Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
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12-12-2017, 03:14 PM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
(12-12-2017 01:55 AM)Renadt Wrote:  https://wiserobbie.blogspot.com/2015/06/...proof.html

https://wiserobbie.blogspot.com/2013/09/...-of-g.html

What the fuck's a "semi-formal" proof? Nobody can "prove" the existence of a so-called supernatural entity anyway because... they just don't exist. Well, certainly in no way that man is aware of LOL.

What next from the pretentious Wise Robbie? A semi-formal proof that telekinesis is real, or that homeopathy works? Big Grin

PS: I note that his blog is no longer active, so maybe he's had that much-needed brain transplant?

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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12-12-2017, 05:13 PM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
I'm sorry in advance, but when I read "semi-formal proof", I thought immediately that it must rely on Semi-circular reasoning. Turns out to be semi-accurate.
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12-12-2017, 07:34 PM (This post was last modified: 13-12-2017 12:31 AM by Unbeliever.)
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
(11-12-2017 11:49 PM)Renadt Wrote:  I do have a question to ask for any logic buffs in here. I have debated this dude named R L, who claims to have a semi-formal proof for the Existence of G. It is quite convoluted in its first iteration, and then released a "slightly less terse" version. I know the first two fallacies he makes, special pleading and circular reasoning, but I wonder if there is a fault in the actual logic. I tried reading this thing 5 times, to refute it, and it made my head hurt. So, I warn you, it might happen to you.

The first post is simply a long and unnecessarily jargon-filled presentation of the modal ontological argument, which is known to be fallacious.

It is also trivially easy to refute.

The ontological argument falls apart because it is bare assertion. Formally stated, it looks like this:

  1. "God" is defined as "an entity which necessarily exists".
  2. Under the S1 axiom set*, any entity that is "possibly necessary" is necessary.
  3. It is possible that a necessary entity exists.
  4. Therefore, a necessary entity exists.
  5. Therefore, God exists.

Clause Three is where it dies, as this is bare assertion on its face. If one accepts that Clause Three is true, then the argument holds, but no evidence can be presented that it is actually true, so there is no reason to accept it. It could also be argued that this is a form of circular logic, since Clause Three is essentially "it is possible that God exists", which has not been established but is rather assumed, but that's really more than we need to get into right now.

It is not impossible, or even difficult, to state theistic arguments in formal terms. This poster is just fucking terrible at logic.

*: Logic is not actually one big unified "thing", as many people assume it to be. It actually refers to a bunch of interrelated fields, and can best be described as "taking a set of rules and using them to draw a conclusion in accordance with those rules". Over the years, people have created lots of different sets of rules, referred to as "axioms".

The S1 axiom set is a specific set of rules for use in the field of modal logic - that is, logic that includes phrases like "must" and "might", rather than simply "yes" and "no". S1 is not fallacious, and is a perfectly acceptable axiom set. It just had the misfortune to be the axiom set that the theistic philosopher Alvin Plantinga, in 1974, used to formulate his version of the ontological argument, which theists then held up as being perfect and wonderful and irrefutable.

Unfortunately for Plantinga's fans, even Plantinga himself admitted that the argument collapsed at Clause Three, as I stated above, and was thus completely worthless except for theists to look at and say "oh yes this confirms my pre-existing beliefs very good" and then go on with their lives.

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13-12-2017, 12:12 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
The argument could be more honestly presented as, "If you close your eyes and wish really really hard..."

I don't particularly give a shit anyway, it's still an impossible gulf to get from this kind of bargain basement non-entity "cause" to anything resembling the particular tantrum throwing toddler he actually worships. Then you've got to convince people why such a being is worthy of worship.

The stupidest thing is that "thanks" is normally given in proportion to the effort someone has made. Considering God is generally described as spending zero effort when creating and maintaining all of this, then a brief muttering of thanks is more than sufficient; particularly considering his work is such a load of shit.

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13-12-2017, 01:06 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
3. It is possible that "x" exists
4. Therefore "x" exists
5. Therefore my special, personal "x" exists

Facepalm

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13-12-2017, 01:38 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
(13-12-2017 01:06 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  3. It is possible that "x" exists
4. Therefore "x" exists
5. Therefore my special, personal "x" exists

Facepalm

That's another problem, yes. But the leap between 3 and 4 isn't quite as broad as that.

Again, the modal ontological argument makes use of the S1 axiom set. One of the axioms in S1 boils down to... well, boiling statements down.

A large part of modal logic is concerned with the phrases "possibly" (might be true) and "necessary" (must be true). It's possible that a given entity might be described with more than one of these - so, for example, a necessarily possible or possibly necessary entity, or even a possibly possibly necessarily possibly necessary... possible entity.

One of S1's rules allows for the removal of all but the last one of those, without changing the actual meaning of the statement. So a necessarily possible entity is simply possible, while a possibly necessary entity is necessary, and a possibly possibly necessarily... possible entity is simply possible.

Again, there's nothing wrong with S1, though it does have its limitations in applicability, which I'm not going to get into here. The issue with the modal ontological argument isn't in its claim that, if God is possibly necessary, then he is simply necessary. That's just a basic bit of modal logic.

The problem also isn't in defining God as "possibly necessary". That's just a definition. The problem is that the argument simply asserts that it is possibly necessary for God to exist, and thus that he must, without actually establishing that this is, in fact, that case. It offers a valid argument - that is, one that is true if its premises are true - but fails to show that it is sound.

It's like defining the Death Star as "a thing that is both possible and necessary". All right. Fine. You've done that. But you haven't actually shown that a thing that meets that definition exists.

And, since the ontological argument doesn't even make the attempt to do so (which would mean having to back up Clause Three with evidence), the entire thing is a complete non-starter.

"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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13-12-2017, 01:47 AM (This post was last modified: 13-12-2017 01:54 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
A similar problem can be shown in mathematics.

Let x be defined to be the smallest real number greater than zero.

If x>1, then the square root of x is less than x. So x cannot be greater than 1.

If x<1, then x squared is less than x. So x cannot be less than 1.

Therefor, x=1.

Also, the whole "possible" thing is such a load of crap. If we're talking about something that exists or doesn't exist right now, then it's only possible it exists if (and only if) it actually exists. If it doesn't exist, then it's not possible it exists, because it doesn't. "Possible" only makes sense with regard to what might exist in the future, or what may have happened in some sort of parallel re-run of reality. [Or it refers to trying to estimate whether something exists or not based on incomplete data, which certainly doesn't "prove" anything.]

But as has been noted, you can come up with any logic system you like. It doesn't mean it has anything to do with reality. That's where evidence comes in, and why such people shy away from reality.

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13-12-2017, 01:57 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
The word "possible" is interesting, and often misused I think.

Instead of the response that something is possible until it's been proved impossible, it should be said that it's unknown whether something is possible.

For example (this is from a video on The Atheist Experience) I have a bag with some dice in it. You don't know how many dice. Is it possible I can roll a total of 30 with the dice in the bag?

If you say yes, it is possible, then you may be simply wrong. If it turns out there are less than 5 dice in the bag, it is not possible, and was never possible. So instead, the answer should be (as Matt D correctly gave on the show) that you don't know if it is possible.

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13-12-2017, 06:39 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
(12-12-2017 07:34 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(11-12-2017 11:49 PM)Renadt Wrote:  I do have a question to ask for any logic buffs in here. I have debated this dude named R L, who claims to have a semi-formal proof for the Existence of G. It is quite convoluted in its first iteration, and then released a "slightly less terse" version. I know the first two fallacies he makes, special pleading and circular reasoning, but I wonder if there is a fault in the actual logic. I tried reading this thing 5 times, to refute it, and it made my head hurt. So, I warn you, it might happen to you.

The first post is simply a long and unnecessarily jargon-filled presentation of the modal ontological argument, which is known to be fallacious.

It is also trivially easy to refute.

The ontological argument falls apart because it is bare assertion. Formally stated, it looks like this:

  1. "God" is defined as "an entity which necessarily exists".
  2. Under the S1 axiom set*, any entity that is "possibly necessary" is necessary.
  3. It is possible that a necessary entity exists.
  4. Therefore, a necessary entity exists.
  5. Therefore, God exists.

Clause Three is where it dies, as this is bare assertion on its face. If one accepts that Clause Three is true, then the argument holds, but no evidence can be presented that it is actually true, so there is no reason to accept it. It could also be argued that this is a form of circular logic, since Clause Three is essentially "it is possible that God exists", which has not been established but is rather assumed, but that's really more than we need to get into right now.

It is not impossible, or even difficult, to state theistic arguments in formal terms. This poster is just fucking terrible at logic.

*: Logic is not actually one big unified "thing", as many people assume it to be. It actually refers to a bunch of interrelated fields, and can best be described as "taking a set of rules and using them to draw a conclusion in accordance with those rules". Over the years, people have created lots of different sets of rules, referred to as "axioms".

The S1 axiom set is a specific set of rules for use in the field of modal logic - that is, logic that includes phrases like "must" and "might", rather than simply "yes" and "no". S1 is not fallacious, and is a perfectly acceptable axiom set. It just had the misfortune to be the axiom set that the theistic philosopher Alvin Plantinga, in 1974, used to formulate his version of the ontological argument, which theists then held up as being perfect and wonderful and irrefutable.

Unfortunately for Plantinga's fans, even Plantinga himself admitted that the argument collapsed at Clause Three, as I stated above, and was thus completely worthless except for theists to look at and say "oh yes this confirms my pre-existing beliefs very good" and then go on with their lives.

Doesn't it die at premise 1 as well? It asserts an "entity" and then that it is "necessary"

Or is this an entirely self-contained axiom with no relevance to the outside world?

Premise 1 just sends up the bullshit alert.

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Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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13-12-2017, 06:41 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
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