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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The $1,000.00 Challenge to Account for the Laws of the Science Without God

Or... how can we have induction without God?



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This guy makes a good point, but his thinking is flawed to assume some god can solve the problem of induction without any evidence or justification. He also makes the huge mistake of making a deistic argument then assuming Christianity is therefore true (and seems to realize this too o_O).

The more I think about it, the more this argument seems like the old "nothing came from nothing" argument. If God created the rules by which the universe operates, what created the rules by which God could act in any logical manor?

All he has done is shift the problem of induction from the Universe to God the same way the cosmological argument shifts the problem of existence from the Universe to God.

Saying, "Goddit" never solves any problem. But the question is still a good one. How do you know the sun will come up tomorrow? I would simply answer that you cannot know the sun will come up tomorrow; you can only assume it will. And once you distill the value of science to its ability to make predictions or to assume X will happen, the problem of induction is partially eliminated. For example, you are not claiming absolute knowledge that the Earth will continue to revolve around the sun, you just assume that it will continue to do so.

The problem of induction made here assumes knowledge of the future. We can only have knowledge of the past and make predictions of the future. Once you accept this statement as true, the problem of induction vaporizes.

89 comments:

  1. I think the proper response would be for give them 1,000 if they get their "justification of induction" into the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy as the true solution to the problem, not just as a game to gain foot.

    What an asshole. Also note the trickery! Even in video they cannot escape of showing their blatant dishonesty. They present the stuff as if Stanford is endorsing their shit.

    G.E.

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  2. The fact that he invokes Pascal's Wager shows that he is also an agnostic.

    When Christians invoke Pascal's Wager they unwittingly think they can fool the God they propose.

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  3. i feel stupider after watching that

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  4. Sometimes things are so stupid, you have trouble understanding the severe lack of understanding and missed steps. That's kind of how I feel about this video.

    I mean, they get the problem of induction, and it's a good problem. But then they respond with "goddit!" And then they gloat upon their great wisdom.

    I don't get it. But g_e makes the best point. If they have a solution to the problem, let them submit their paper to Stanford.

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  5. There is no problem of induction. To look for the same kind of certainty in inductive arguments as we have with deductive arguments is silly: deductive arguments are essentially analytic / linguistic; inductive arguments are synthetic / empirical. The fact that we don't have the same degree of certainty with induction as we do with deduction is part of the nature of the beast. This is why all scientific truths -- perhaps all interesting truths -- are provisional, i.e. falsifiable.

    We believe that the future will resemble the past because it works. Every raven I have seen has been black, therefore I assume that all ravens are black. As soon as I see a white raven, my initial belief will have to be revised, but until then my inductive generalization will accurately describe my world.

    And the move from there being problems with justifying inductive reasoning to that somehow establishing the truth of Christianity is totally bogus. I

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  6. Now, I will solve the problem of induction. However, we have to go back to the beginning.

    I think therefore I am. This statement not only shows that you exist, it also shows the existence of time, knowledge of the past, and inference.

    You cannot think without time, you cannot know you were thinking without knowledge of the past, and to go from thinking to existing requires inference.

    So in order for you to know you exist you need time, knowledge, and the ability to put things together in your mind.

    So already we have the basic underlying structure for induction. We exist, we have knowledge of the past, and the ability to make inferences or make predictions about the future.

    Therefore, if we exist, induction must exist as well.

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  7. Crazy Van tillians.He does have a good point htough. I should go read some Van till.
    [This guy makes a good point, but his thinking is flawed to assume some god can solve the problem of induction without any evidence or justification.]
    How?
    [ He also makes the huge mistake of making a deistic argument then assuming Christianity is therefore true (and seems to realize this too o_O).]
    It makes much more sense with a creator who reveals his nature for us that with a deistic creator.
    [If God created the rules by which the universe operates, what created the rules by which God could act in any logical manor? ]
    What? He never claimed all rules had to be created.He claimed he had justification to believe in induction because of revelation and God's promise.
    [And once you distill the value of science to its ability to make predictions or to assume X will happen, the problem of induction is partially eliminated.]
    Kaitlyn , science assumes induction.It would be impossible to say science will continue to work without induction.

    [you just assume that it will continue to do so.]
    And you have zero warrant to assume that. Scmike and I at least can rely on what God promised us.

    [We can only have knowledge of the past and make predictions of the future.]
    But the past does not govern the future as he eloquently pointed out.

    [Once you accept this statement as true, the problem of induction vaporizes.]
    But you have not shown why we can use the past to predict the future.

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  8. Alex, exactly. It's only difficult to justify induction if you assume knowledge of the future. When you assume you can only make predictions of the future with knowledge of the past, the problem of induction is largely eliminated.

    The only question left is, "How are we able to make predictions from the past?" Or "What makes past knowledge so trustworthy as to be a source for making predictions of the future?"

    Both questions were answered in my last post about existence. And the answer is, it's fundamental to our existence that we can make inferences from knowledge in the past. If we cannot, we cannot and do not exist.

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  9. [So already we have the basic underlying structure for induction. We exist, we have knowledge of the past, and the ability to make inferences or make predictions about the future.]
    Kaitlyn
    THE PAST DOES NOT GOVERN THE FUTURE.
    You cannot just assume that because something happened in the past, it will happen in the future.

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  10. "But you have not shown why we can use the past to predict the future."

    I think therefore I am... or I thought therefore I am. Our very existence relies upon inferences of the past.

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  11. Thanks Kaitlyn, this was a great post...

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  12. "THE PAST DOES NOT GOVERN THE FUTURE."

    Oh, really, Mr. "Everything had a cause?"

    Are you ready to give up the entomological argument now?

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  13. "THE PAST DOES NOT GOVERN THE FUTURE."

    Oh, really, Mr. "Everything had a cause?"

    Someone take a screenshot of this, quick. It's epic...

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  14. [Oh, really, Mr. "Everything had a cause?"]
    I never said that . I said contingent entities were caused.

    Are you ready to give up the entomological argument now?]
    "Entomological"???
    OK look Kaitlyn every argument assumes certain things. Thomistic arguments (like the cosmological one) assume we are on common ground with things like uniformity of nature.
    Van Tillian arguments argue that we are not on common ground.*sigh*

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  15. No, you said you weren't ready to give up on causality. I remember.

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  16. Errr.... entomological = cosmological. Sorry, spell check got a little over zealous.

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  17. The laws of nature are not uniform, and are relative, so there goes the argument and the problem.

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. Thanks Alex,

    I was visiting the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and it seems that the thing is not as presented by these guys (liars liars).

    But, instead of going there, I prefer to comment on what you said:

    I assume that all ravens are black. As soon as I see a white raven, my initial belief will have to be revised, but until then my inductive generalization will accurately describe my world.

    Yep, and what these presupps are saying, stupidly, is that god has revealed to them that they can confidently say that all ravens are black. Thus, if a white raven were found ... why the fuck did their god tell them they were all black in the first place?

    In other words, feeling certain because they have an imaginary being telling them that they can be is self-defeating.

    G.E.

    [edited for clarity]

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  20. Right, you cannot show uniformity in nature because the laws that govern nature are not uniform, but relative.

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  21. "OK look Kaitlyn every argument assumes certain things. Thomistic arguments (like the cosmological one) assume we are on common ground with things like uniformity of nature."

    Don't change the subject. You're now saying that there's no reason to believe in causality. Or as you so eloquently put it, "THE PAST DOES NOT GOVERN THE FUTURE."

    Fair enough. However, if this is the case, there's no reason to believe in a "first cause."

    It would appear as though you have a logical contradiction to unwind. Either the past directly or indirectly governs the future, in which case you would have reason to believe in a first cause, or you do not.

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  22. @ Free

    You wrote "He claimed he had justification to believe in induction because of revelation and God's promise."

    And how do you know that such revelations or promises from God are reliable?

    I'll tell you how. Because they have proved reliable in the past. In other words you are using induction to justify induction.

    Naughty Free.

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  23. K,

    Sometimes things are so stupid, you have trouble understanding the severe lack of understanding and missed steps. That's kind of how I feel about this video.

    Exactly, and this is central to their trickery. The stuff is so deeply and fundamentally stupid that just trying to disentangle their mess would require to properly educate them, and when we start trying, they retort to their set of prefabricated responses instead of trying to understand the first bits of info you are trying to get across. Also, since we do not think about these issues too much, we have to start from scratch (more often than not), against a set of trickery that has been developing for several years.

    G.E.

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  24. Am I wrong or there is lots of people from Toronto and near Toronto posting in this blog?

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  25. [Don't change the subject. You're now saying that there's no reason to believe in causality. Or as you so eloquently put it, "THE PAST DOES NOT GOVERN THE FUTURE."

    Fair enough. However, if this is the case, there's no reason to believe in a "first cause."

    It would appear as though you have a logical contradiction to unwind. Either the past directly or indirectly governs the future, in which case you would have reason to believe in a first cause, or you do not.]
    Kaitlyn ,the arguments are completely different styles arguing from completely different standpoints.
    I have justified induction so I'm allowed to use it. You're not .

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  26. K,

    I think you are brilliant. Are you "only" a programmer, or you have a background in computer science, with an undergrad, not even that? Working for a PhD? A scientist? What the heck?

    G.E.

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  27. MFT,

    You are being dishonest. You said that the past does not govern the future, then you contradict yourself by saying that you are allowed because you have justified induction. Then, you are saying that the past does govern the future.

    Now be surprised. i do not think you do this on purpose. It is part of your system of beliefs. You can automatically change gears without noticing because you have to do that on a daily basis just to ignore the contradictions in your book. Thus, it is not surprising that you fall for it on other aspects of your life.

    G.E.

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  28. GE,

    Kaitlyn has definitely groomed a personality for online. She is hard to put into words, I believe this is on purpose. In a way I like it. At other times it makes it hard to figure out exactly what she is thinking. It makes me smile though. It also confuses those she is arguing with, just reread her comments with Ray. Ray really thinks he can reach her, then she jumps right out of reach, the next statement she looks vulnerable again. A very groomed presence this is.

    Anyway she is totally pwning the troll here.

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  29. [You said that the past does not govern the future, then you contradict yourself by saying that you are allowed because you have justified induction. Then, you are saying that the past does govern the future.]
    I am not contradicting myself. I am saying that god promised me that I could rely that the future will be like the past. The is what I assume.God governs the future

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  30. I am not contradicting myself. I am saying that god promised me that I could rely that the future will be like the past. The is what I assume.God governs the future

    As beautiful as this sounds to you MFT, you are now playing a game of semantics. Still quite dishonest. Do you learn this in christian apologetic school? How do you deal with the prospect of dishonestly presenting the stuff like a contradiction so that you can then answer with this twist of intentions?

    In other words, you present your argument quite emphatically as:

    "THE PAST DOES NOT GOVERN THE FUTURE"

    As an argument against induction. The context is clear to lead the other party into thinking you are talking about whether the past indicates the future or not. But you had to make this a dishonest game of semantics. Right?

    Can you get out of this now? You do this all the time now that I think of it. Now I am starting to think that the tactics get inserted into your brain so well that, maybe, you do not even feel you are being dishonest.

    G.E.

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  31. MFT stated I am saying that god promised me that I could rely that the future will be like the past.

    I would be curious to read scripture that suggests this. In the mean time:

    If I accept your above statement as true, then it follows that the past does actually govern the future. It does not matter whether you substitute the word "God" for "Past" - they are both equivalent.

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  32. BeamStalk,

    Kaitlyn has definitely groomed a personality for online. She is hard to put into words, I believe this is on purpose.

    Yep, I know, but I am truly curious as to whether she will reveal a bit about herself (in a way that we can be certain ;-) sorry, I couldn't resist)

    G.E.

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. Ah, good ol' Presupp.

    Here's a summary:

    ~ The Presupp is allowed to use logic to establish that [god] told him that logic is valid, because [god] told him logic is valid.
    ~ The Atheist is not allowed to use logic or observation to establish that logic is valid, because the Pre-supp says so.
    ~ The Atheist is not allowed to demonstrate the inherent stupidity of Presuppositionalism, because that uses logic, which he can't account for because the Presupp won't let him, because that would use logic, which he can't account for because the Presupp won't let him, because that would use logic, which he can't...




    Or, an even quicker summary of Presupp:

    while (Atheist.stillDebating == true)
    {
    MessageBox.Show("Are you certain?");
    }
    MessageBox.Show("I win!");

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  35. Where are your manners Quasar? You did not use indentation in your pseudocode ...

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  36. I believe that the proper response to a presup saying that atheists can't justify induction is to say, "Yeah? Well neither can you!"

    Personal revelation is the weakest type of evidence that I know of.

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  37. I believe that the proper response to a presup saying that atheists can't justify induction is to say, "Yeah? Well neither can you!"

    Personal revelation is the weakest type of evidence that I know of.


    Yep, the fallacy they are using is called "special pleading." Whereas the problem they propose applies to everything except their argument. In the words of SC Mikei: Riiiiiiight!! :-D

    G.E.

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  38. (though that is not the only kind of fallacy they use ...)

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  39. @ Free

    You wrote "I have justified induction so I'm allowed to use it. You're not."

    First of all this argument is garbage. If someone's argument was logically valid but they could not justify their use of it that would NOT render the argument invalid!

    Secondly you HAVE NOT justified your use of induction. You feel you can trust God's promises to you because He has shown Himself trustworthy. In otherwords you have used induction to justify your use of induction.

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. Quasar you left a few bits out.

    while (Atheist.stillDebating == true)
    {
    MessageBox.Show("Are you certain?",MessageBoxButtons.No);
    }
    MessageBox.Show("I win!", MessageBoxOptions.DefaultMygodOnly, HelpNavigator.Bible);

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  42. [It also confuses those she is arguing with, just reread her comments with Ray. Ray really thinks he can reach her, then she jumps right out of reach, the next statement she looks vulnerable again. A very groomed presence this is.]
    I know.At first I thought I was reaching her in another thread , but then she put up a link to a video of Robert Price and left. I was quite saddened.
    word verification=kisses

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  43. I can't wait to find out if the sun is going to come up tomorrow! The suspense is killing me.

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  44. Frankly, I don't get the whole argument; surely we can't have induction with God, as this makes any future events subject to his whims and he has revealed to us (sic) in the Bible that he changes his mind (and Ray confirmed this, so it must be true). This means that cause and effect no longer hold and a dropped weight might, if He chooses, go up instead of down. The sun might not rise tomorrow (apparantley he can stop it in the sky without any adverse effects on, say, the entire solar system). Induction is worthless in a world where the past doesn't just effect the future, but define it.

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  45. Milo,

    Lol! I know, I was chomping at the bit this afternoon, wondering if the moon was going to produce it's own light...just like the Bible claims. Well, its shining bright again...wonder why that cheese produces light but refrigerator cheese doesn't?

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  46. PB,

    I responded the same way on the comments over at AtheistMediablog for this video. There is no reason to think the earth will continue to revolve around the sun once again. Next thing we know, the earth is a basketball twirling on God's finger (or prick).

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  47. Ya think God gives a shit about Newton's laws???? Fuck Newton, this is how I roll, biatches!!!! (this is how god talks....when he is not busy causing miscarrages)

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  48. Dang, only just saw this, and by gum is it ridiculous. First, if this "Problem of Induction" is as great a thing as its being put, I'd think it'd be worth more than $1000. It kinda reminds me of this card game where, if anyone could conclusively prove the Riemann Hypothesis (Basically a sort of equation that will, in theory, produce every prime number in existence) you would win like 50 points. Something that big would be sorta worth, you know, scads more than that. S'like "I got a twenty here for the first person who cures Cancer."

    Also, love how pompous Smirky McForehead is: "Atheists have only been able to contribute to our sciences because we've been allowing them to, cause we're so awesome. I'm gonna give myself a big hug. Mmmm... Thas some good huggin."

    Anyway, a thought: Whats wrong with saying we have induced induction to be reasonable? Induction has worked basically every time in the past, so we will induce it will work in the future. Tautological, yes, but whats wrong with it being so? It is still falsifiable in that context, I mean if it ever failed, we couldn't very well use it to defend itself, but because it hasn't, isn't it reasonable to assume that it won't?

    Further, how is God any kind of an explanation? Doesn't God violate the laws of the universe in which induction is thought to be valid? I mean, so we look around the universe, we observe a bunch of bushes and say "Know what, no bush I have ever seen has ever spoken while on fire, pretty safe to assume none ever will." We talk to other experts in Folial-Linguistics, and we agree that such a thing has never happened, and resultantly, could never happen. Then one talks to Moses, because God made it happen. Sort of throws a wrench into the validity of induction, don't it?

    Smirky is trying to say that the laws of this universe are consistant only because God has ordained induction valid, and yet can anyone name a single thing that God can do that does not violate those very laws? The Argument becomes "The Entity whose very existence violates the permanence of the laws that govern this universe is, itself, the very reason those laws are permanent." Like the un-caused cause arguments, this just winds down to defeating the very premises on which it is founded, resulting in something like "With the exception of God, God is shown to exist."

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  49. I hope Warp Records and Aphex Twin sue this guy!

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  50. [Anyway, a thought: Whats wrong with saying we have induced induction to be reasonable?]
    It's circular logic. I would be as if I used the bible to prove the bible.

    [Induction has worked basically every time in the past, so we will induce it will work in the future.]
    The bible says it is the word of gd and it is true because t is the word of God.

    [ Tautological, yes, but whats wrong with it being so?]
    The same thing that was wrong with my biblical 'proof'.

    [Further, how is God any kind of an explanation?]
    The guy explained that God reb=veal the consistent and regular nature of his creatins in his word.
    [ Doesn't God violate the laws of the universe in which induction is thought to be valid?]
    'Violate' is an odd word.
    [I mean, so we look around the universe, we observe a bunch of bushes and say "Know what, no bush I have ever seen has ever spoken while on fire, pretty safe to assume none ever will."]
    Same here. Bushes rarely ever speak. Unless I have good reason to think god is going to perform a miracle today I don't worry about talking bushes.
    [We talk to other experts in Folial-Linguistics,]
    That's a nice field of study.
    [and we agree that such a thing has never happened]
    NEVER HAPPENED?? Have you examined every bush in the world? i think not?
    [and resultantly, could never happen. ]
    Why?


    [Smirky is trying to say that the laws of this universe are consistant only because God has ordained induction valid, and yet can anyone name a single thing that God can do that does not violate those very laws?]
    'Violate' is an odd word. Does a bird 'violate' gravity hen it flies?

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  51. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/04/pompous_git_solves_the_problem.php

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  52. Bingo, Paul & Rex! A universe with an omnipotent deity who can change reality at a whim is much less trustworthy, not more. Get it, MFT? With the universe dependent on God's will, the rules can change at any time.

    As I recall, the conversation then goes something like this:

    "But God wouldn't do that! He's good!"

    "Uh huh. And how do you know that?"

    "Because He told me so!"

    And you're right back to special pleading again, aren't you?

    Wow, the presups really are a feeble lot.

    Word verification: mindwar

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  53. MFT:"It's circular logic. I would be as if I used the bible to prove the bible."

    Not quite the same thing, since the Bible is not, strictly speaking, a logical precept in the way that induction is. "This statement is true," is true as far as it goes, and if the Bible only contained the words "this book is true," it would be no more problematic either, but the Bible claims other things, about Unicorns and Satyrs and Miracles and such. The Bible is making other claims, and falsifiable ones at that, and if any one were falsified (Off the top of my head, 2 Chronicles 4:2 and the pi = 3 thing, frinstance) then the claim that the bible makes about its own veracity is manifestly untrue.

    Thing is that induction makes no such additional claims itself. It is, therefore it is. If it isn't, then it isn't, and we can actually check if it isn't. The validity of induction is a falsifiable premise, and like other standing laws of science, since it hasn't been falsified yet, we interpret it as representative of the way the universe functions.

    I'm thinking there's nothing wrong with saying that it has to be "circular" in the end, as it would sort of have to be. If there were a different logical argument to validate induction, then that argument too needs validation with another argument, which itself needs validation, and so on. I may be about to pose a false dichotomy here, so feel free to call me on it, but it seems that either logic has a source external to the rules of logic, or it doesn't, and self-validates.

    Smirky posits that God is that external source, but that cannot be as even God must be beholden to only doing that which is logically possible (else we get into arguments about him making rocks too heavy for him to lift) and back we come to the problem. If the source of logic is beholden to logic itself, then mustn't it be self-perpetuating?

    "'Violate' is an odd word. Does a bird 'violate' gravity hen it flies?"

    Well no. He 'defies' it perhaps, but doesn't violate it, as he's using another law, that of aerodynamics, to do so. God, alternately, can really only violate the natural laws whenever He interacts with the universe.

    Lets invent a miracle where God makes an apple manifest in the palm of my hand where there was none before. To accomplish this, what would God have had to do? Make matter behave in a way it simply doesnt, for a start. Or perhaps a passing bird could drop one in the palm of my hand. More reasonable perhaps, doesnt mess with the laws of time and space, but does violate nature nonetheless, since most birds are not inclined to do any such thing, so that bird would be behaving in a way that it simply doesn't too. Maybe a person could place one in my hand, and that has no problems, except why would they? Do they typically do this? Well then its not a miracle. Do they not typically do this? Then if they're compelled to do something against their nature, is that nature not being violated?

    There is simply no way a phenomenon that does not occur naturally can manifest without violating the laws of nature itself, which is what God does, and what God can only do. That is the point I was trying to make, that God can act upon nature, but not in such a way that messes with the rules that govern it. My point was that to use God as an explanation for why such rules are fundamentally inviolable, when God exists exclusively in violation of those same inviolable rules, is silly.

    Also, um, turns out this Tripplehorn guy died this past weekend. Best wishes to their family. Doesn't make his argument or attitude any better recieved though. Particularly in light of this notorious email.

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  54. Wow - this day just keeps getting weirder and weirder...

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  55. I'm with Mr. FreeThinker on this one...

    "Thing is that induction makes no such additional claims itself. It is, therefore it is. If it isn't, then it isn't, and we can actually check if it isn't. The validity of induction is a falsifiable premise, and like other standing laws of science, since it hasn't been falsified yet, we interpret it as representative of the way the universe functions."

    Using induction to support induction doesn't sit with me very well. But there is something to be said about the argument, "Hey! It worked before, let's continue using it!"

    You don't need to know why or how something works to benefit from it.

    Take the computer you're using right now. How many of us know how a computer operates? I have a degree in this stuff and I don't understand the quantum physics involved or the assembly process. I still get plenty of use out of my computer though. :)

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  56. Using induction to support induction doesn't sit with me very well. But there is something to be said about the argument, "Hey! It worked before, let's continue using it!"

    Yup - it's a gray area. I've been using a form of the above argument against Dan, who consistently rails against and misrepresents science. Using the scientific method to demonstrate the validity of the scientific method is a bit sketchy, but it seems to work.

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  57. I cannot imagine the anguish and despondence that someone must endure before they off themselves.
    It must be a total breakdown and total despair.

    One of my closest local cronies has bi-polar. He started being treated before I met him five years ago but he has some mind bending stories abiout how the condition affected him.

    I would not wish it on anybody.

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  58. "Using induction to support induction doesn't sit with me very well."

    I don't see why not. What could possibly validate logic but logic itself? The existence of any external source of validation would, by definition, be illogical, which is to say that it wouldn't follow the simplest of rules, and thus, by necessity, simultaneously exist and not exist. Why should an entity which exists as a logical paradox be the source of logical certainties?

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  59. I don't see why not. What could possibly validate logic but logic itself? The existence of any external source of validation would, by definition, be illogical, which is to say that it wouldn't follow the simplest of rules, and thus, by necessity, simultaneously exist and not exist. Why should an entity which exists as a logical paradox be the source of logical certainties?

    Exactly.

    G.E.

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  60. "I don't see why not. What could possibly validate logic but logic itself? The existence of any external source of validation would, by definition, be illogical, which is to say that it wouldn't follow the simplest of rules, and thus, by necessity, simultaneously exist and not exist. Why should an entity which exists as a logical paradox be the source of logical certainties?"

    Rex, that's brilliant.

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  61. I think that I shall begin to refer to them as:




    Van Sillians

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  62. Put another way,

    Any universe created by a supernatural 'being' would be a universe created by fiat, where every parameter of existence would exist by fiat alone. It would be unlawful, unpredictable, random, literally "whimsical'. Does this represent our universe?

    No.

    On the other hand, if logic, reason, and order are universals that 'god' has to 'follow' if god were limited in some way, we leave theism altogether and enter pantheism. We'd have Spinoza and Einstein's god. The god of Christian theology would be out of a job.

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  63. http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/6534?page=3

    Good response to these issues

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  64. We were talking about induction here but whatev.

    [What could possibly validate logic but logic itself? The existence of any external source of validation would, by definition, be illogical, which is to say that it wouldn't follow the simplest of rules, and thus, by necessity, simultaneously exist and not exist.]
    I'm glad you understand why atheists can't account for this logic. But you see we know that laws of logic are a reflection of God's unchanging nature is the and he reveals this to us via natural and special revelation.No problem there.

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  65. The more I read Mr. Freethinker's responses, the more I see a pathological amount confirmation biases.

    No reasonable person would think the induction argument is an even remotely good argument for even a deistic God. But hey, anything that confirms Mr. FreeThinker's world view.

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  66. @ Free

    It seems that you have a very convenient memory Free.

    You wrte "I'm glad you understand why atheists can't account for this logic."
    My response: One word "probabilism".

    Or are you gong to conveniently confuse probabilism with induction.

    You then write "But you see we know that laws of logic are a reflection of God's unchanging nature is the and he reveals this to us via natural and special revelation. No problem there."

    My response: I have pointed out repeatedly that this is garbage. Yet every time I do so you disappear or ignore my posts. Why is that Free?

    Let's examine your claim shall we?

    God reveals the laws of logic. First there is no such thing as the laws of logic so God revealed no such thing. Second the RULES of logic have been changed several times so God must either have been unable to get His revelation through or He keeps changing His mind.

    God's unchanging nature: God often through scripture commands both one action and later on its opposite. Indicates change or insanity.

    Finally I have pointed out that the ONLY way you can know any [either special, personal or natural] revelations are reliable is through the use of induction. So in fact you are using induction
    to prove induction.

    Going to disappear again or ignore my post again Free?

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  67. @ Free

    I must raise one last point. You've often spoken about personal revelations from God to yourself.

    Two things. Since God is revealing things to you personally and you pass it on to the rest of us does that mean that to disagree with you is to disagree with God?

    If that is the case doesn't that indicate an attribute more in keeping with megalomania? If it doesn't then how can you explain this logically?

    Second Peter Sutcliff [who killed several women] also claimed to have personal revelations from God. What makes your revelations any different to Sutcliff?

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  68. @Chris
    Probabilism presupposes uniformity as Tripplehorn pointed out , so you just are just begging the question?
    God doesn't change , and any reference in the bible to "change" is anthropomorphism.
    And the laws of logic have changed?
    Could you point to me where in the past where a proposition and its negation were both true (law of non-contradiction)?

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  69. So, MrFreeThinker...

    It appears you have given up on the Christian God and are now arguing in favor of a version of Spinoza's God.

    What prompted such of a shift in thinking?

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  70. Mr. Freethinker,

    Math and logic are human tools like language. Logic didn't even exist until the first philosopher came up with it.

    This is such a bad argument you're making.

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  71. Logic and math do not govern the universe. I don't understand why so many theists don't get this. I guess they are too eager to prove their point than think rationally.

    But, let's take Mr. Freethinker's argument and put it into a context that might make sense.

    We exist in a construct. We call it the universe. It is a subset of the multiverse. How does this construct function in such a way as to be able to be described in terms of mathematics?

    Well, all that's theorized at the moment is that at the base structure of any given universe are waveforms. Since waveforms are easily described via mathematics, mathematics gives us the tools to describe the world in which we live.

    So, that gives us a fairly good starting position in understanding why we are able to use math and subsequently logic in regards to the universe.

    As to what these waveforms that govern the universe really are, how they can exist, and where they came from is a question for further inquiry. One thing is for certain, saying "god did it" is a moronic cop out to a very important and valid question.

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  72. @ Free

    Good god you are deceptive.

    You wrote "Probabilism presupposes uniformity as Tripplehorn pointed out , so you just are just begging the question?"

    Since the question was the justification of probabilism & NOT uniformity no I am not. You just altered the goal posts didn't you Free?

    Next you wrote "God doesn't change , and any reference in the bible to "change" is anthropomorphism."

    My response: I didn't say the bible said the bible used the word change. I wrote that the bible said God had commanded to contradictory actions at different peiods of time. That indicates change in the Abrahamic God, A non-Abrahamic God or an insane God. Your choice Free.

    You next write "And the laws of logic have changed? Could you point to me where in the past where a proposition and its negation were both true (law of non-contradiction)?"

    Two points
    1) Because some of the RULES of logic have changed that does NOT mean that all of them have. As Ipointed out in another thread an 8 year old should be able to comprehend that.

    2) If you want an example of a thing being one thing and another simultaneously try quantum mechanics. We already went through this Free. Didn't you learn anything?

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  73. @ Free

    I see you still didn't counter my point about how you also use induction to justify induction. Glad to see your in the same boat as the rest of us.

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  74. @ Free

    By the ay you STILL haven't answered my questions. Here they are again.

    1) Since God is revealing things to you personally and you pass it on to the rest of us does that mean that to disagree with you is to disagree with God?

    If that is the case doesn't that indicate an attribute more in keeping with megalomania? If it doesn't then how can you explain this logically?

    2) Peter Sutcliff [who killed several women] also claimed to have personal revelations from God. What makes your revelations any different existentially to those of Sutcliff?

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  75. MFT asked Could you point to me where in the past where a proposition and its negation were both true (law of non-contradiction)?

    Schrodinger's Cat

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  76. KAITLYN:"Logic and math do not govern the universe."

    ...um, don't they? I mean really, like MFT said, a premise cannot be simultaneously completely true and completely false right?

    Granted our understanding of these areas is imperfect, but on a fundamental level there must be rules by which all things have to operate. Rules which fundamentally cannot be negated. When I say logic I'm not talking about the specific rules for proper use of NAND gates or syllogisms, not talking about it as a field of study and argument, but about the, well call it Capital L Logic, that governs the universe, not as a seperate entity that reigns over it but really just as a set of traits that all things posses and must obey... see I'm not sure I'm explaining this right, language sort of isn't suited for these kinds of ideas I think.

    MFT:"I'm glad you understand why atheists can't account for this logic."

    Can't account for what? My argument is that the fundamental basics of logic must be self generative (if thats the right wording) as for there to be any external source for them it would by necessity be a paradox, extant and nonextant, creative and noncreative, etc.

    "But you see we know that laws of logic are a reflection of God's unchanging nature is the and he reveals this to us via natural and special revelation.No problem there."

    No, big problem there. For the umpteenth time, God is beholden to logic. God cannot do anything logically impossible, such as devise a task he cannot perform, omnipotent as he may be. Logic rules Him, constricts Him as much as it does us all.

    Its possible what you're arguing though is that Logic doesn't actually rule God, but that it is God's fundamentally unchanging nature that the rules of logic which we understand reflect. If thats the case, however, then you're actually arguing my point without realizing it. You're just using the word God where I put the word Logic. However this, as Kaitlyn pointed out, is not the God you believe in, but the "god" of Spinoza and Einstein, which necessarily lacks intentional agency.

    You are, to summarize, trying to prove an opposite argument from the one you profess belief in.

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  77. Kaitlyn wrote:"Logic and math do not govern the universe."

    Rex Mundane responded: ...um, don't they? I mean really, like MFT said, a premise cannot be simultaneously completely true and completely false right?

    Granted our understanding of these areas is imperfect, but on a fundamental level there must be rules by which all things have to operate


    No, logic and math are simply linguistic/cognitive tools by which the nature of reality may be assessed and communicated.

    1+1=2 is not an absolute. In decimal addition, it appears to be correct, but it would be completely false if in binary (1+1=01).

    Generally, math gives us a way to express reality. If someone places an apple in each of my hands, I have a way to refer to the total number of apples I now hold. Without mathematical rules, I would still have apples, but no way to differentiate between "2" and "a whole frikkin lot".

    Logic is the same. Of itself, it is not truth - it is merely a set of tools by which "truth" may be assessed and expressed.

    ---

    Both are subservient to language and communication. They can not exist without our ability to communicate - and are thus human (for all intents and purposes). The universe would surely continue operating the same way it does today if everything humans Are and Have Done were to suddenly disappear.

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  78. "No, logic and math are simply linguistic/cognitive tools by which the nature of reality may be assessed and communicated.

    1+1=2 is not an absolute. In decimal addition, it appears to be correct, but it would be completely false if in binary (1+1=01)."

    Think you mean 01 + 01 = 10, but I get your point. Thing is that you're talking about logic and math as being our way of representing the nature of the universe. When I use the words, I'm trying to refer to sort of the parts of the Universe RuleBook that our logic and math actually represent. On some level there are those rules that the Universe operates by, and we represent those rules within a particular language and idiom. I'm talking about those rules on that meta-level, not about the means by which we comprehend them.

    I'm sorry if that's not clear, for all I know theres a simpler way to refer to what I'm talking about without having to invent nonsensical words like I'm doing. Basically though when I say capital-L Logic, I'm talking about what you might refer to as the nature of reality that our little-l logic reflects.

    "Generally, math gives us a way to express reality. If someone places an apple in each of my hands, I have a way to refer to the total number of apples I now hold. Without mathematical rules, I would still have apples, but no way to differentiate between "2" and 'a whole frikkin lot'."

    Yes, and to follow, if three people of different countries look at you, and one says you have "deux" apples, one "ni" apples, the other "zwei," and then proceed to represent it numerically, pictographically, in bases 10, 2, and 0.6, they are all still looking at the exact same thing (you) and observing the exact same real phenomena, right? The difference in how they represent the phenomena of addition doesn't change what they're observing, only how they see/report it.

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  79. Rex wrote I'm talking about those rules on that meta-level, not about the means by which we comprehend them.

    {..snip..}

    Basically though when I say capital-L Logic, I'm talking about what you might refer to as the nature of reality that our little-l logic reflects.


    Ok, I did misunderstand.

    Rex followed up with The difference in how they represent the phenomena of addition doesn't change what they're observing, only how they see/report it.

    Ah, but the concept of math comes with an AWFUL lot of baggage, not the least of which are Zero, Infinity (positive and negative), Imaginary Numbers, etc.

    When you talk about the phenomenon being observed (and not simply our way of expressing it), my opinion is that you're talking about something fundamentally different. Honestly, I'm not trying to harp on semantics - I really do think that "Math" and "That thing we don't have words for" are only vaguely related, if at all.

    Let's assume God exists, and he created everything. Did God create math? Does he even think in terms that we might label as mathematical? Would the phrase "1 + 1 = 2" make any sense to him, or would it be completely alien?

    I don't know.

    I only know (or rather, have the opinion) that to assume "yes" is to anthropomorphise existence; math exists, even if we don't have a word for the phenomenon.

    I don't think we can really know that for sure. So perhaps that's why I err on the side of skepticism in this case.

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  80. "...um, don't they? I mean really, like MFT said, a premise cannot be simultaneously completely true and completely false right?"

    Nope! While I understand your argument that the universe acts in a roughly predictable manor. Quantum physics throws a huge wrench into this, but whatever.

    However, the universe's operation can only be described by mathematics and logic. What actually causes the universe to behave the way it does is still the subject of inquiry. And the cause of the universe's behavior governs what we see. Logic and mathematics are purely human concepts used as tools to describe and make predictions of the universe.

    Does the universe act predictably? Yes, mostly. Is this because of logic and mathematics or is it expressed through logic and mathematics? I think the answer is obvious.

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  81. "Does the universe act predictably? Yes, mostly. Is this because of logic and mathematics or is it expressed through logic and mathematics? I think the answer is obvious."

    Look, yes, logic, as in the human fields of study and argumentation, is what expresses the nature of the universe. When I'm talking about capital-L Logic, I'm talking about the specific portion of the nature of the universe that our little-l logic reflects. Such "rules" as "an entity cannot both posses and lack the same characteristic" would be true whether or not we as humans invented a context in which we understand such things to be the case, the same way gravity existed before Newton worked out the specifics of how, and Pluto existed before we developed powerful enough telescopes to see it. I'm talking about Logic as the rules that govern the operation of the Universe which actually exist, not the rules such that we merely understand them to be.

    While I agree that we cannot predict the future state of the universe, ultimately it does behave predictably. If we understood all the rules that govern it (which we don't, of course) we'd be able to make and understand those predictions ourselves. We don't, and so we can't, but that doesn't mean the universe doesn't behave predictably in the end, anymore than not working out the laws of physics means they didnt exist in the time before man became cognizant of them.

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  82. Rex, I think we may be suffering from a problem of semantics.

    Can you point me to a dictionary definition or standard definition of logic with a capital 'l'?

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  83. Regrettably no, thats basically just the term I'm employing for it. Made it up completely. I'm sorry I don't know how to express this idea clearer, language is failing me here, which is insanely frustrating to me and my BA in English and Philosophy.

    Basically though, as I'm defining it, capital-L Logic is a part of the rules by which the universe behaves, and little-l logic is the partial reflection of Logic which we are capable of comprehending.

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  84. @ Rex

    You define large L logic as "a part of the rules by which the universe behaves".

    May I suggest the term reality?

    Reality is defined in the oxford dictionary of philosophy as "That which there is" which would by definition include your large L logic.

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  85. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  86. Rex Mundane wrote While I agree that we cannot predict the future state of the universe, ultimately it does behave predictably.

    You realize, Rex, that the fundamental nature of reality on the level of the miniscule - can not be expressed in terms of predictability, right?

    Schrodinger's Cat / The Copenhagen Interpretation.

    Until we actually look in the box, that cat is both dead and alive. Ergo, this law of non-contradiction is not absolute.

    This is one of reasons I'm rejecting your Logic concept. On the macro level, there may be some analogue to it, but it's a fact that this analgue is not universal.

    Edit: spelling.

    PS. I would agree with Chris (I think) who suggested that you're referring to "reality" and not "logic". I sympathize with the fact that you're trying to describe something which doesn't fit the typical definition of the word - but I really do feel that "logic" is not representative of what you're driving at.

    Maybe "reality" isn't either - I'm not sure

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  87. Logic is part of reality isn't it?

    Whatever said....
    "Schrodinger's Cat / The Copenhagen Interpretation.

    Until we actually look in the box, that cat is both dead and alive. Ergo, this law of non-contradiction is not absolute."

    Isn't that just a analogy? I don't think it was what actually happens

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  88. Obsidian asked Isn't that just a analogy? I don't think it was what actually happens

    I wish I had the technical understanding to be able to fully describe it in layman's terms. Know what I mean?

    The nature of reality is such that the actual state of the cat (while the box is sealed) is indistinguishable from BOTH being dead and being alive. This is not (and I can't stress this strongly enough) simply a mental exercise; if a scientist or engineer needs to make calculations based on the state of Mittens inside that box, he MUST quanitfy it in terms which describe the animal as being both.

    Physicists have actually done R Feynman's experiment in which an electron is shot at a metal plate with two holes in it. The goal is to figure out which hole the electron goes through.

    Until they actually try to detect which hole it went through, it appears to go through both (as a wave would). The very second they actually watch the holes, in order to detect where that electron actually is, it chooses one or the other, not both (as a particle might).

    The rabbit hole goes much much deeper, as Feynman and other physicists began using the "All Possible Paths" theory to very accurately describe the behavior of particles. In essence, the electron in our previous experiment not only goes through both holes, it also goes around the plate - hovers over Reykjavik to take in the scenery - hits Starbucks for a vente grande Sumatra, and then ends up back at the experiment.

    This isn't nonsense. It's been confirmed by experiment.

    ---

    Quantum mechanics and the related theories which produce testable hypotheses [re. string theory is *not* one of these] have revealed that nature is really really REALLY messed up.

    The law of non-contradiction fails on the level of particle physics. It is therefore not absolute.

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  89. @ Obsidian

    You wrote "Logic is part of reality isn't it?"

    That is a good question & it is highly controversial. I would argue that logic is a part of reality but only as a conception of the mind.

    Think of it this way. I can conceive of a creatue which does not exist anywhere. Does my conception exist? Of course it does but only as a conception. It has no independent existence.

    Logic exists in a similar manner. It is not subjective in that Logic has its own rules which function despite what anyone thinks...but it is also the case that logic does not exist outside of my mind.

    Math seeks to modal reality and logic seeks to modal truth. But math itself has no independent reality and neither does logic.

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