Basis of truth?
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30-03-2016, 01:02 AM
Basis of truth?
Soooo... I'm arguing with someone on YouTube again. <waits for snickering to die down a little so the rest can be heard> We've gone into the basis of thinking what we do. It's the usual trope of "if naturalism/atheism is true, then your brain was formed to find food, not truth". with a dash of "you're stealing from my worldview" buuut... I've gone and gotten myself confused with it all again. Sadcryface2

He started with "How do you know your reasoning is valid?", then added in "You can't deny you have access to absolute knowledge because you're fallible and then go on and make knowledge claims about me or others."

I could repeat more of it if you think it'd help, but my head is spinning some 30+ comments into the conversation. I'm sure I'm screwing it up somewhere, I'm just not sure where.
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30-03-2016, 01:43 AM
RE: Basis of truth?
You don't know your reasoning is valid. There's always the possibility that you've made a logic error or indeed that logic itself is kinda broken. Stuff that gives mathematicians nightmares. That said, you can be reasonably confident in logic based reasoning.

How does he know his reasoning is valid? A magical sky fairy told him so?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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30-03-2016, 02:03 AM
RE: Basis of truth?
We know our reasoning is valid when we have evidence to support our reasoning. That's the way science works. We make observations through experimentation and try to make sense of those observations through hypotheses. We then seek further evidence to test those hypotheses.

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Relying on logic alone as a basis of reason is suspect because people invariably go down the route of logical fallacies.

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30-03-2016, 05:10 AM
RE: Basis of truth?
If knowing that your reasoning is valid requires absolute certainty then it is probably fair to say that you don't know that. That's missing the point that you have a strong basis for trusting your reasoning. You have a lifetime of experience testing you reasoning against reality and you can compare your reasoning against that of others. Science works, bitches.

We have solid empirical evidence that investigation and reasoning is the single best method for determining what is and is not true. That doesn't mean we can't recognize that we can be wrong but we can continue to compare our reasoning against reality and improve. Faith has no such self-correcting mechanism.

By the way, "if naturalism/atheism is true, then your brain was formed to find food, not truth" is a great example. Would an organism that was able to correctly identify what is and is not actually real be better or worse off at finding food than an organism that could not? We wouldn't be able to find food (or we'd quickly become food) if we couldn't differentiate truth from fiction.

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30-03-2016, 05:33 AM
RE: Basis of truth?
There is no evidence of a source of absolute knowledge.

As a fiction writer, using all of my imagination, I would have a hard time explaining how a being with limited senses on a spec of a planet (among billions of planets in a universe of billions of galaxies, in which all of the observable universe only makes up about 04%) somehow KNOWS there is a source of absolute knowledge.

And how did this person go about validating if all of this absolute knowledge was true or not ?

In other words, look at the claims someone is making and ask for evidence that supports the claim.

If someone asks, "How do you know your reasoning is valid ?"
You could turn around and ask them "What evidence do you have to think my reasoning isn't valid ?"

Just because we are fallible doesn't mean we are unable to observe and test our observations.

As for denying things. I can denying anything until you show me evidence of that thing.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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30-03-2016, 06:14 AM (This post was last modified: 30-03-2016 06:21 AM by RobbyPants.)
RE: Basis of truth?
(30-03-2016 01:02 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  We've gone into the basis of thinking what we do. It's the usual trope of "if naturalism/atheism is true, then your brain was formed to find food, not truth". with a dash of "you're stealing from my worldview" buuut... I've gone and gotten myself confused with it all again. Sadcryface2

He started with "How do you know your reasoning is valid?", then added in "You can't deny you have access to absolute knowledge because you're fallible and then go on and make knowledge claims about me or others."

What he is saying is technically true. That's the annoying thing about philosophy is that we can't claim we objectively know things. Now, note, there are three very big caveats to his whole spin on things:
  • His god claims are still without evidence. All he is doing is throwing a red herring out there to discredit your requests for him to provide evidence.
  • While you can't claim "absolute knowledge" (no one can), we can look for a reasonable basis for truth. For example, you could claim there's no "absolute" way to know if wearing a seat belt makes you safer in a car crash, or if cars even exist, but everyone wears their seat belt. When it comes to practical decision-making, most people will put this misunderstood Philosophy 101 bullshit on the shelf and look both ways before they cross the road. This ridiculous argument is one that is taken off the shelf to "win" debates (by a slight of hand stalemate) and them promptly put back on the shelf while life goes on.
  • This argument cuts both ways. He can't objectively know anything, either. As soon as he starts arguing "something something absolute knower", you pull out the old trickster god argument. It is impossible for him to prove his God is genuine and telling the truth. What possible proof can he give you that is divinely-given logic isn't a sham?
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Edit:
Also, the best his argument does is show that you can't disprove God; it doesn't do anything to prove God is real. For what it's worth, I don't believe you can disprove nonfalsifiable notions, but at that point, who cares?
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30-03-2016, 07:42 AM (This post was last modified: 30-03-2016 09:44 AM by true scotsman.)
RE: Basis of truth?
(30-03-2016 01:02 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  Soooo... I'm arguing with someone on YouTube again. <waits for snickering to die down a little so the rest can be heard> We've gone into the basis of thinking what we do. It's the usual trope of "if naturalism/atheism is true, then your brain was formed to find food, not truth". with a dash of "you're stealing from my worldview" buuut... I've gone and gotten myself confused with it all again. Sadcryface2

He started with "How do you know your reasoning is valid?", then added in "You can't deny you have access to absolute knowledge because you're fallible and then go on and make knowledge claims about me or others."

I could repeat more of it if you think it'd help, but my head is spinning some 30+ comments into the conversation. I'm sure I'm screwing it up somewhere, I'm just not sure where.

I would ask him to clarify what he means by reasoning. Does he mean reason the faculty or reasoning about a certain point. If he means the first I would tell him that the validity of the mind is axiomatic. Any attempt to attack the validity of the mind necessarily must make use of the very thing being attacked. The validity of the mind is defended by retorsion. If he means the latter then I would tell him that I've validated my reasoning by referencing the relevant facts and by using logic. If he wants to call your reasoning into question he needs to show some flaw in it or some relevant fact you have overlooked.

As far as having access to absolute knowledge, you do. The axioms are absolutes. In fact, all facts are absolutes in the sense that they are what they are independent of our consciousness. 2 +2=4 whether you like it or not or would prefer it to be 11. The fact that my favorite tree in the front yard got struck by lightning and is slowly dying is a fact even though I wish it wasn't. Axioms are fundamental recognitions of truths or facts which are at the base of knowledge. They are the recognition that existence exists, that consciousness is consciousness of something as opposed to nothing, and that to exist is to be something as opposed to something else. Existence, consciousness and identity are the three axiomatic concepts, identified directly from perception and incontestably true. Let anyone who would like to challenge their truth do so while at the same time not existing, not being conscious and not identifying what it is they are challenging. It can't be done. These ground knowledge in truth and act as a razor against illegitimate ideas. Any idea which violates one of them is false. These three axioms taken together entail a fourth, the primacy of existence. This is the axiom that existence exists independently of conscious activity. Reality is what it is and does what it does independent of our likes, dislikes, preferences and prayers. The primacy of existence establishes the proper relationship between consciousness and its objects. Since all knowledge involves both a knowing subject and an object of awareness and since knowledge is knowledge of the identity of existents, then all of these axioms are implicit in any knowledge. Together these four axioms provide the basis of knowledge. What's needed now is a good theory of knowledge which adheres to these fundamental truths. But this is probably something better left out because if he is a Christian then he most likely has no theory of knowledge to begin with and will be too difficult to educate. His idea of a theory of concepts is to read the Bible and just believe it on faith. That's not really a method of knowledge.

The primacy of existence is especially useful as a razor. Since truth is only compatible with the primacy of existence, then any idea or system of ideas based on the primacy of consciousness can not be true, such as theism.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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30-03-2016, 09:35 AM
RE: Basis of truth?
(30-03-2016 07:42 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(30-03-2016 01:02 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  Soooo... I'm arguing with someone on YouTube again. <waits for snickering to die down a little so the rest can be heard> We've gone into the basis of thinking what we do. It's the usual trope of "if naturalism/atheism is true, then your brain was formed to find food, not truth". with a dash of "you're stealing from my worldview" buuut... I've gone and gotten myself confused with it all again. Sadcryface2

He started with "How do you know your reasoning is valid?", then added in "You can't deny you have access to absolute knowledge because you're fallible and then go on and make knowledge claims about me or others."

I could repeat more of it if you think it'd help, but my head is spinning some 30+ comments into the conversation. I'm sure I'm screwing it up somewhere, I'm just not sure where.

I would ask him to clarify what he means by reasoning. Does he mean reason the faculty or reasoning about a certain point. If he means the first I would tell him that the validity of the mind is axiomatic. Any attempt to attack the validity of the mind necessarily must make use of the very thing being attacked. The validity of the mind is defended by retorsion. If he means the latter then I would tell him that I've validated my reasoning by referencing the relevant facts and by using logic. If he wants to call your reasoning into question he needs to show some flaw in it or some relevant fact you have overlooked.

As far as having access to absolute knowledge, you do. The axioms are absolutes. They are the recognition that existence exists, that consciousness is consciousness of something as opposed to nothing, and that to exist is to be something as opposed to something else. Existence, consciousness and identity are the three axiomatic concepts, identified directly from perception and incontestably true. These ground knowledge in truth and act as a razor against illegitimate ideas. Any idea which violates one of them is false. These three axioms taken together entail a fourth, the primacy of existence. This is the axiom that existence exists independently of conscious activity. Reality is what it is and does what it does independent of our likes, dislikes, preferences and prayers. The primacy of existence establishes the proper relationship between consciousness and its objects. Since all knowledge involves both a knowing subject and an object of awareness and since knowldege is knowledge of the identity of existents, then all of these axioms are implicit in any knowledge. Together these four axioms provide the basis of knowledge.

The primacy of existence is especially useful as a razor. Since truth is only compatible with the primacy of existence, then any idea or system of ideas based on the primacy of consciousness can not be true, such as theism.

There will come a time when I truly understand what you've written. On that day, I will rejoice.

I'm not asking for you to clarify any of it, because I think it's well written. Its all on my end.

It's going to take me some time, but like baking a cake for the first time, I still need to look at directions about a million times.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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30-03-2016, 09:57 AM (This post was last modified: 30-03-2016 10:04 AM by true scotsman.)
RE: Basis of truth?
(30-03-2016 09:35 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  
(30-03-2016 07:42 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  I would ask him to clarify what he means by reasoning. Does he mean reason the faculty or reasoning about a certain point. If he means the first I would tell him that the validity of the mind is axiomatic. Any attempt to attack the validity of the mind necessarily must make use of the very thing being attacked. The validity of the mind is defended by retorsion. If he means the latter then I would tell him that I've validated my reasoning by referencing the relevant facts and by using logic. If he wants to call your reasoning into question he needs to show some flaw in it or some relevant fact you have overlooked.

As far as having access to absolute knowledge, you do. The axioms are absolutes. They are the recognition that existence exists, that consciousness is consciousness of something as opposed to nothing, and that to exist is to be something as opposed to something else. Existence, consciousness and identity are the three axiomatic concepts, identified directly from perception and incontestably true. These ground knowledge in truth and act as a razor against illegitimate ideas. Any idea which violates one of them is false. These three axioms taken together entail a fourth, the primacy of existence. This is the axiom that existence exists independently of conscious activity. Reality is what it is and does what it does independent of our likes, dislikes, preferences and prayers. The primacy of existence establishes the proper relationship between consciousness and its objects. Since all knowledge involves both a knowing subject and an object of awareness and since knowldege is knowledge of the identity of existents, then all of these axioms are implicit in any knowledge. Together these four axioms provide the basis of knowledge.

The primacy of existence is especially useful as a razor. Since truth is only compatible with the primacy of existence, then any idea or system of ideas based on the primacy of consciousness can not be true, such as theism.

There will come a time when I truly understand what you've written. On that day, I will rejoice.

I'm not asking for you to clarify any of it, because I think it's well written. Its all on my end.

It's going to take me some time, but like baking a cake for the first time, I still need to look at directions about a million times.

Don't feel bad. Even though these are simple principles it took me about 8 years to fully integrate them. That's because none of us are taught to think in terms of fundamental principles or of integrating concepts at all really. In Fact modern education is all about dis-integration.

There is a blog which I found about 4 or 5 years ago and the writer really knows his stuff and is excellent at making these ideas understandable. It is called incinerating presuppositionalism. I've linked to a post on the axioms and the primacy of existence. He's got 11 years worth of archived blog posts dealing with these issues and a lot more. Some of the comments sections are a hoot to read as well. I think you'll find it interesting reading and he definitely does a better job of explaining it than I can. You might also want to check out the work of Anton Thorn.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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30-03-2016, 11:37 AM
RE: Basis of truth?
(30-03-2016 01:02 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  He started with "How do you know your reasoning is valid?"

Propositional calculus.

Logic, when you get right down to it, is basically math. You know it's valid because it checks out. The system has objectively-defined rules that do not vary from person to person. Determining whether or not an argument is valid (or sound) is relatively straightforward, and not something that can really be called into question.

Now, someone could then get into attacking the basis of logic itself, but I can pretty much guarantee that anyone who wastes their time on YouTube philosophy discussions doesn't have the necessary education to do so in any sort of coherent manner, and can be safely ignored.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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