The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
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07-02-2017, 08:58 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 08:43 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(06-02-2017 11:57 AM)Naielis Wrote:  But empiricism is subservient to a priori deductive arguments.

You wish. Not because you declare it so, Your Holiness.
Deductive arguments are only correct if the premises are (totally) correct.
It's easy to miss or state incorrectly a premise or employ unexamined assumptions.
Empirical evidence is not subject to those kinds of errors.

So empiricism stands alone? You have no justification for it? You see all I'm asking for is an actual system that justifies your views on science. I think this is possible under many worldviews. Pragmatism and materialism are not in this group. They aren't sufficient to explain reality as we observe it.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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07-02-2017, 09:02 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 06:12 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(06-02-2017 11:57 AM)Naielis Wrote:  So if I wrote a mathematical proof showing that 0.99... repeating on forever is equal to 1, would you not believe me until I showed it with physical evidence? Your standard seems to be empiricism. But empiricism is subservient to a priori deductive arguments.

You're equivocating the abstract and the concrete.

Well maybe I'm biased towards the abstract, but I do think it applies to the concrete here. You can have exactly one third of something. And if you get three thirds of something you get one of that thing. So it can occur in the concrete. But I can justify it with the abstract. Math and physical reality are inseparable.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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07-02-2017, 09:04 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(06-02-2017 09:46 PM)Astreja Wrote:  The cosmological argument fails most spectacularly when it makes a totally unwarranted jump from "things that come into existence are related to something that was already in existence" to "...therefore, it was caused by *my* particular god, and there are no other possibilities. Therefore, worthless sinner, accept Jesus into your heart or face the consequences."

I'm exaggerating for effect, of course, but evangelism does seem to be the primary motivation for utilizing such arguments in the first place.

I would agree that historically, this is true. I think a lot of modern apologists for Christianity have flocked towards presuppositonalism and revelational epistemology.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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07-02-2017, 09:10 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 06:08 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(06-02-2017 11:46 AM)Naielis Wrote:  No one is reasoning things into existence. We are using our reasoning to determine whether something exists.

There's your problem, then. You should probably look at existence in order to determine what does and doesn't exist.

Quote:Yes it does. Fideism is unjustified nonsense.

Fidoism -- is that the belief in Dog?

But to say we need to look at existence is to make several unjustified assumptions. I've been told my arguments are based on bare assertions. While I disagree, I don't see what the issue would be if this were true. It seems you are perfectly fine with unjustified assertions. To say we need to look at existence, you assume the physical exists. You assume your senses are reliable. How do you justify this. Is it an axiom or basic belief to your foundation?

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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07-02-2017, 09:20 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(06-02-2017 09:25 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  I did, in fact, read it.

Sorry for accusing you of not reading it then.

(06-02-2017 09:25 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  You did, in fact, merely assert that the universe is contingent. You also merely assert several other properties that contingent beings must supposedly have.

You do this because that is all that any argument of this type can ever do. At best, they come down to bare assertion. All ontological arguments necessarily come down to this, because ontology is, ultimately, just semantics dressed up.

But, just to be clear here, and to make it clear that this is neither a personal attack nor an argument made in bad faith or without understanding, I will go over it again, in more detail.

For the sake of argument, let us say that I accept the definition of "contingent" supplied by the argument. All premises which are intended to establish properties of contingent beings or their relationship to necessary beings can, again, for the sake of argument, taken as valid.

These two premises are functionally equivalent (premise one simply puts the cart before the horse and asserts the same thing that premise eight eventually does before the properties of contingent beings are properly established), I will deal with them together.

This is bare assertion.

This is flatly true and not debatable. The argument at no point even contains an attempt to justify this claim. This is the issue that philosophers - not just atheists, philosophers of all faiths and lack-of-sames - take with the argument from contingency. This-

- is a complete mischaracterization of the opposing position, and smacks of you having read only those articles which confirm your own beliefs, rather than actively trying to research what the real issues people have with it are.

Now, premise five is also problematic. That is true. It is, in and of itself, also bare assertion. But it is not the crux of the problem.

This is not a new or earth-shattering rebuttal. It is barely a step above trivial. It is the same issue that everyone takes with every ontological argument. You can define "contingency" and "necessary beings" all you like. You can make these definitions as valid and coherent as you wish.

It doesn't matter one bit unless you can show that these definitions actually apply.

You cannot.

This is why no one has taken ontological arguments seriously for centuries. Even Alvin Plantinga, himself a theistic philosopher who formulated one of the more popular modern versions, admits that ontological arguments fail to prove that God exists. They create a handful of definitions that, if they could be shown to apply to anything, would prove this - but since no one can actually establish that they do, they are worthless.

Any claim that any ontological argument applies to this universe is nothing more than bare assertion. As such, the arguments are discarded.

Before moving on to the other arguments, I will take a moment to clarify: the same issues with the above argument exist, in broad strokes, with all of the following ones as well. I just see no point in repeating them, and will cover only the new issues raised.

I will also, for diplomacy's sake, refrain from my customary rant on Aquinas.


This is simply false.

Aquinas was simply unaware of the concept of conservation of matter, and equivocated between entities ceasing to exist in their current forms and ceasing to exist altogether as a result. It is not, in fact, possible for there to have been a time when there were no things in existence.

Again, the ultimate issue is that, while the argument may be coherent given a universe in which the definitions apply, they simply do not do so in ours.

And the Kalam likewise fails to do anything other than assert that the universe is contingent.

No one is arguing for an infinite regress.

The arguments you present simply fail to establish that the universe is contingent.

And, again, you simply assert that the universe is insufficient, without actually establishing it. Saying something does not make it true, no matter how many times you repeat it.

The daisy chain of arguments you attempt to build does not fix the issue. It simply fails to establish that the universe is contingent repeatedly, instead of only once.

No matter how you slice it, all of these arguments boil down to nothing but bare assertion.

They have been debunked.

The universe can't be the necessary being because it lacks potency to cause all things (unless you think the universe is mind, which would be interesting). I'm appealing to the Principle of Proportionate Causality which, like the PSR, you might contest on the basis of QM. Even though I've on had a surface level education on QM, I do think there are interpretations of it that follow the PSR and PPC and are deterministic.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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07-02-2017, 09:27 AM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2017 09:30 AM by Naielis.)
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(06-02-2017 03:53 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(06-02-2017 12:32 PM)Naielis Wrote:  So you think we need something beyond logic?

Yes - EVIDENCE.

Quote:There exists no such thing.

Yes there is - EVIDENCE.

Quote:Are you suggesting science is illogical?

No - but it relies on EVIDENCE.

In what way is evidence beyond logic? Evidence is not a method for determining truth. It's a term within a specific method called... logic.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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07-02-2017, 09:56 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 08:56 AM)Naielis Wrote:  The fact that you think something has been shown to be false doesn't mean it is so or that everyone agrees it is so.

The fact that you think something has been shown to be true doesn't mean it is so or that everyone agrees it is so.

So if two people look at a line of reasoning and one thinks it describes reality and the other thinks it does not how do we determine who is right? Easy... we compare the argument to reality. An argument is only good if the premises can be shown to correspond to the actual evidence.

(07-02-2017 09:27 AM)Naielis Wrote:  In what way is evidence beyond logic? Evidence is not a method for determining truth. It's a term within a specific method called... logic.

Evidence is not "beyond" logic but it is needed if you want to tie your arguments to reality. Arguments that are not based on evidence are based on hypothetical worlds and may provide a great basis for writing fiction but they do not help us understand what is actually true. If you aren't willing to base your argument on evidence then whatever you are talking about is not truth.

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07-02-2017, 10:05 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 09:56 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 08:56 AM)Naielis Wrote:  The fact that you think something has been shown to be false doesn't mean it is so or that everyone agrees it is so.

The fact that you think something has been shown to be true doesn't mean it is so or that everyone agrees it is so.

So if two people look at a line of reasoning and one thinks it describes reality and the other thinks it does not how do we determine who is right? Easy... we compare the argument to reality. An argument is only good if the premises can be shown to correspond to the actual evidence.

(07-02-2017 09:27 AM)Naielis Wrote:  In what way is evidence beyond logic? Evidence is not a method for determining truth. It's a term within a specific method called... logic.

Evidence is not "beyond" logic but it is needed if you want to tie your arguments to reality. Arguments that are not based on evidence are based on hypothetical worlds and may provide a great basis for writing fiction but they do not help us understand what is actually true. If you aren't willing to base your argument on evidence then whatever you are talking about is not truth.

I agree that evidence is necessary in many cases. But you can use deductive reasoning from observations. Aquinas observed that some beings are contingent and he formed his argument around that.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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07-02-2017, 10:11 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 10:05 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Aquinas observed that some beings are contingent and he formed his argument around that.

... and he falsely extrapolated from that to conclude that the universe as a whole is contingent. This simply does not follow. His problem was bad logic. But you can go equally far astray with faulty observations or bad data.

All logical arguments have to start from (1) observed fact or (2) assumptions. If you're only using #2, I don't have to agree with your conclusion unless I agree with your assumption(s). The facts and assumptions can exist with or without logic. They are the starting point for an argument. Logic is the structure of the argument.
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07-02-2017, 10:19 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 10:11 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 10:05 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Aquinas observed that some beings are contingent and he formed his argument around that.

... and he falsely extrapolated from that to conclude that the universe as a whole is contingent. This simply does not follow. His problem was bad logic. But you can go equally far astray with faulty observations or bad data.

All logical arguments have to start from (1) observed fact or (2) assumptions. If you're only using #2, I don't have to agree with your conclusion unless I agree with your assumption(s). The facts and assumptions can exist with or without logic. They are the starting point for an argument. Logic is the structure of the argument.

You don't necessarily need to know the universe is contingent. If any contingent being exists, then you have the same problem of how to explain it's existence without infinite regress.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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