Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
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15-12-2017, 12:19 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
Sure yes, good points. Thank you. I didn't word it well. I meant to say that such a person uses a different logical system, one which gets you the conclusion they want, because standard logic (which generally pertains to reality) isn't working. I didn't mean to imply that it was created by theists for this purpose, although in my extreme sarcasm that is what I wrote!

Of course, they can use whatever logical system the like, but they still have to show that the results they get have anything to do with reality and the actual claims they are making. This is what I was trying to show regarding a reality which somehow conformed to possible=true.

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15-12-2017, 12:43 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
(15-12-2017 12:19 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  .. because standard logic (which generally pertains to reality) isn't working.

Whoa, slow down there Hoss. Which logic you calling "standard" exactly? And what you mean by "pertains to"? Smile

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15-12-2017, 12:52 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
(15-12-2017 12:43 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(15-12-2017 12:19 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  .. because standard logic (which generally pertains to reality) isn't working.

Whoa, slow down there Hoss. Which logic you calling "standard" exactly? And what you mean by "pertains to"? Smile

I'm speaking very informally here. I'm talking about logic which has been demonstrated to be useful when trying to analyse and understand reality. For example, it's easy to show that if "I haven't shown your statement to be wrong yet" is made logically equivalent to "your statement is correct", then this is not a good model for everyday statements about reality.

If I either don't understand that, or get frustrated and decide to just insist that it is in fact a good model to try and make some stupid point, I'm going to "come a cropper" if I use this model to make any actual decisions.

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15-12-2017, 01:33 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
(15-12-2017 12:19 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Sure yes, good points. Thank you. I didn't word it well. I meant to say that such a person uses a different logical system, one which gets you the conclusion they want, because standard logic (which generally pertains to reality) isn't working.

That's the thing - modal logic does pertain to reality every bit as much as "standard" logic does.

The different fields of logic don't really give you different answers. They allow you to ask different questions. The thing that you're probably talking about when you say "standard logic" is generally limited to very simple yes/no, true/false questions. It can't deal with things like "probably" or "possibly". That's where modal logic comes in; it allows us to ask those kinds of questions.

I can almost guarantee that you use modal logic regularly. You just don't think to frame it as such, because it doesn't really matter - it's all just logic in the end. The only reason that it seems so strange at the moment is that you haven't really seen it formalized before.

(15-12-2017 12:19 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Of course, they can use whatever logical system the like, but they still have to show that the results they get have anything to do with reality and the actual claims they are making.

Entirely correct. This is, again, the ultimate flaw of the ontological argument, whatever form it takes and whatever logical system it tries to employ.

I started typing up a long and pointless ramble on what ontology is and why that makes the ontological argument fundamentally broken in every form, but I lost interest halfway through because I remembered that I had to go do something more interesting, like watching paint dry. So I'll sum up.

The ontological argument's stated goal is to prove the existence of God entirely a priori - that is, entirely without any supporting evidence, from "reason" alone. This obviously does not work, as literally nothing can be proven without evidence. Making the attempt is equivalent to trying to win a staring contest when you don't have any eyes. It's not conceivable that you could even possibly succeed.

"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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15-12-2017, 02:02 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
Thank you for the clarification Smile I clearly have an oversimplified idea of what modal logic is. I'll look into it more, and I'm sure you're right that I'll recognize it for what it is.

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15-12-2017, 03:36 AM (This post was last modified: 15-12-2017 03:44 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
(15-12-2017 01:33 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  That's the thing - modal logic does pertain to reality every bit as much as "standard" logic does.

There are heretics amongst us who think that by assuming the premises of different logics you actually impose reality. ... What if instead of epistemology presuming an ontological foundation, reality presumes an epistemological foundation? ... Big Grin

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15-12-2017, 05:17 AM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
It's funny how this supposedly awesome being gets reduced to a needle in a haystack here, to go along with being a quivering wreck who needs its feelings protected, and a prudish buzzkill who can't stand anyone having fun or doing anything not in its iron-age sex manual.

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15-12-2017, 05:13 PM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
(15-12-2017 02:02 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Thank you for the clarification Smile I clearly have an oversimplified idea of what modal logic is. I'll look into it more, and I'm sure you're right that I'll recognize it for what it is.

Modal logic is involved with possible worlds, contingency, necessity and impossibility.

Thus in all possible worlds, God is necessary. But Robvalue is contingent, in some possible worlds there is a Robvalue, but in other, there is no Robvalue. Then we get people like David Lewis who proclaims that possible worlds are real. There is worlds where Robvalue exists and some in which no Robvalue exists. All well constructed and reasonable possible worlds exist just as this world really exists. Of course Lewis has to rule out possible worlds like a possible and real world with a very real Flying Spaghetti Monster or J.R. "Bob" Dobbs.

Modal logic can be very whacky and woo laden.

Of course as an atheist, I can easily proclaim that God as a hypothesis has so many problems, self contradictions and improbabilities that God is impossible in all possible worlds. Alvin Plantinga has long been a theologian who has played games with modal logic.

Still, the whole subject is worth poking around in to understand modal logic and its uses and abuses. After all, you don't want to be accused of not being a properly sophisticated atheist, do you?

β€œIt is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction.”
― Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit

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15-12-2017, 06:23 PM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
(15-12-2017 05:13 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  Modal logic is involved with possible worlds, contingency, necessity and impossibility.

Clarification:

Modal logic is concerned with the concepts of "possible" versus "necessary" and "sufficient" versus "contingent".

A possibly true statement is any statement that is not necessarily false. A necessarily true statement is any statement that is not possibly false. A contingent statement is a statement that is both possibly true and possibly false. An impossible statement is a statement that is not possibly true.

Modal logic allows us to perform prepositional calculus on groups of these statements to construct arguments, in the same way that "standard" logic allows us to.

(15-12-2017 05:13 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  Thus in all possible worlds, God is necessary. But Robvalue is contingent, in some possible worlds there is a Robvalue, but in other, there is no Robvalue.

Again, clarification:

This is how theists would frame the ontological argument. Their position would be that the universe and all things in it are contingent, and that the ultimate creator of the universe must, for whatever reason, be necessary. Thus, God must exist, and he must be necessary.

Of course, they fail to establish that the universe is actually contingent, or that the ultimate creative force must be necessary, or any number of other things.

All of this is just unpacking and rephrasing the ontological argument that I wrote down in my first post. This is all just them failing to justify Clause Three, as before - just with more technical jargon thrown in.

(15-12-2017 05:13 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  Then we get people like David Lewis who proclaims that possible worlds are real. There is worlds where Robvalue exists and some in which no Robvalue exists. All well constructed and reasonable possible worlds exist just as this world really exists. Of course Lewis has to rule out possible worlds like a possible and real world with a very real Flying Spaghetti Monster or J.R. "Bob" Dobbs.

Modal logic can be very whacky and woo laden.

Entirely true.

The phrase "possible world" is something of a tripping point for theists who try to use modal logic. For most people who work with it, it just means "I can imagine a universe wherein X is different from our own, and this imagined universe does not contain any logical contradictions, and thus we call it 'logically possible'".

Theists, meanwhile, tend to try and act as though it means that all of these possible worlds have actual existence. A slight reformulation of the ontological argument takes this into account by saying that there is some possible world where God exists and is necessary for all worlds, and thus that God must exist.

Yes, it's exactly as stupid as it sounds.

"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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19-12-2017, 01:57 PM
RE: Semi Formal Proof for the Existence of G
Thank you all for your wonderful insight into this! It really helped me to make sense of this.
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