The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#61

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:29 am

Nils, are you saying that something can't explain itself? (Scenario C: Something explains itself, to which you say it is not intelligible).

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#62

Post by Nils » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:32 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:29 am
Nils, are you saying that something can't explain itself? (Scenario C: Something explains itself, to which you say it is not intelligible).
Yes, I have never heard about anything (but God, according to some) that explains itself.
Nils

Edit: Of course excluding user manuals etc.

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#63

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:15 am

Nils wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:32 am
PaulSacramento wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:29 am
Nils, are you saying that something can't explain itself? (Scenario C: Something explains itself, to which you say it is not intelligible).
Yes, I have never heard about anything (but God, according to some) that explains itself.
Nils

Edit: Of course excluding user manuals etc.
Just wanted to be sure I didn't misunderstand you.
So, everything MUST have an explanation for it's existence, the way and what that it is OUTSIDE of itself?

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#64

Post by Byblos » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:22 am

Nils wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:16 am
Thanks for you patience, Byblos, this is a bit complicated matter.
Not a problem at all, I just wanted to be sure we're still active in the discussion. Take your time but if it's taking too long (more than a day or 2) to respond, just drop a line saying so.
Nils wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:32 am
PaulSacramento wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:29 am
Nils, are you saying that something can't explain itself? (Scenario C: Something explains itself, to which you say it is not intelligible).
Yes, I have never heard about anything (but God, according to some) that explains itself.
Of course you have. It's just that you haven't (perhaps) thought it through completely because if you have you would see right away the utterly fatalistic position you're putting yourself into.
Nils wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:16 am
As you already know, to me self-explanation is not intelligible. How can you say that the reason why an entity is as it is, is that it is as it is – the nature of the entity? So I am of course interested in you explanation.
If that's your position, that there is no such thing as a self-explained thing as that would be the equivalent of the unexplained or irrational, and on that basis you are rejecting my (Feser's) rational argument, then let me ask you this (rhetorical) question: how do you explain the very instrument you are using to reason this out, i.e. reason itself?

You see, in order to explain reason, you would have to use reason itself, which renders reason self-evidently true or self-explanatory. We use the same type of rational thinking with respect to the law of non-contradiction as well, which is self-evidently true. Now you can deny that reason is self-explained and try to appeal to something non-rational to explain it but by doing so you render reason itself non-rational and thereby self-contradictory (hence, utterly fatalistic).

So it seems to me the choice is either to accept the self-explanatory nature of necessity on the basis of reason itself being self-explained or to deny the very instrument you use against it. Pick your poison.
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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#65

Post by Nils » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:27 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:15 am
Nils wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:32 am
PaulSacramento wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:29 am
Nils, are you saying that something can't explain itself? (Scenario C: Something explains itself, to which you say it is not intelligible).
Yes, I have never heard about anything (but God, according to some) that explains itself.
Nils

Edit: Of course excluding user manuals etc.
Just wanted to be sure I didn't misunderstand you.
So, everything MUST have an explanation for it's existence, the way and what that it is OUTSIDE of itself?
Sorry Paul, I don't understand your question. Please explain.
Nils

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#66

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:45 am

You said that something being the explanation of itself is not logical, correct?
So that means that everything must have an explanation for what it is, that it is, why it is, outside of itself, correct?
I mean, it;s an either /or thing right?
Either somethings are their own explanation or everything has an explanation outside itself, right?

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#67

Post by Nils » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:32 pm

Byblos wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:22 am
Nils wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:16 am
Thanks for you patience, Byblos, this is a bit complicated matter.
Not a problem at all, I just wanted to be sure we're still active in the discussion. Take your time but if it's taking too long (more than a day or 2) to respond, just drop a line saying so.
I will try to do that if it's taking tooooo long, but sometimes I'm not even close to a computer. I will tell you if/when I terminate this discussion.
Byblos wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:22 am
Nils wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:32 am
PaulSacramento wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:29 am
Nils, are you saying that something can't explain itself? (Scenario C: Something explains itself, to which you say it is not intelligible).
Yes, I have never heard about anything (but God, according to some) that explains itself.
Of course you have. It's just that you haven't (perhaps) thought it through completely because if you have you would see right away the utterly fatalistic position you're putting yourself into.
I don’t see how fatalism enters but that perhaps isn’t important now.
Byblos wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:22 am
Nils wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:16 am
As you already know, to me self-explanation is not intelligible. How can you say that the reason why an entity is as it is, is that it is as it is – the nature of the entity? So I am of course interested in you explanation.
If that's your position, that there is no such thing as a self-explained thing as that would be the equivalent of the unexplained or irrational, and on that basis you are rejecting my (Feser's) rational argument, then let me ask you this (rhetorical) question: how do you explain the very instrument you are using to reason this out, i.e. reason itself?

You see, in order to explain reason, you would have to use reason itself, which renders reason self-evidently true or self-explanatory. We use the same type of rational thinking with respect to the law of non-contradiction as well, which is self-evidently true. Now you can deny that reason is self-explained and try to appeal to something non-rational to explain it but by doing so you render reason itself non-rational and thereby self-contradictory (hence, utterly fatalistic).
Self-evident (Cambridge: clear or obvious without needing any proof or explanation) is not the same as self-explanatory. Besides,[shadow][/shadow] the law of non-contradiction really isn’t self-evident, see Wikipedia.

The truth and the evolution of reason is related to the development of language. It’s true that language and reason are used to describe language and reason. That’s a kind of self reference but I don’t see any big problem with this. It’s part of the evolution of mankind. Some have claimed that there is no guarantee that reason is rational in a world without God, Plantinga for example. I claim that evolution, survival of the fittest, has done the job. It is of great survival value to have a rational reasoning. So the development and use of reason is explained by evolution.

I insist that there are no examples of self-explanation similar to what is required for a self-explanatory God.
Byblos wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:22 am
So it seems to me the choice is either to accept the self-explanatory nature of necessity on the basis of reason itself being self-explained or to deny the very instrument you use against it. Pick your poison.
I don’t agree.
Nils

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#68

Post by Nils » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:43 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:45 am
You said that something being the explanation of itself is not logical, correct?
Rather that it isn’t intelligible. To me the rules of logic doesn't seem to be involved.
PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:45 am
So that means that everything must have an explanation for what it is, that it is, why it is, outside of itself, correct?
I mean, it;s an either /or thing right?
Either somethings are their own explanation or everything has an explanation outside itself, right?
No, my opinion is that either things have an explanation outside itself or there is no explanation at all. The latter is only applicable to things not inside our Universe.
To me something being the explanation of itself is the same as not having any explanation at all, but I know that Byblos and others don’t agree.
Nils

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#69

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:24 am

Nils wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:43 pm
PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:45 am
You said that something being the explanation of itself is not logical, correct?
Rather that it isn’t intelligible. To me the rules of logic doesn't seem to be involved.
PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:45 am
So that means that everything must have an explanation for what it is, that it is, why it is, outside of itself, correct?
I mean, it;s an either /or thing right?
Either somethings are their own explanation or everything has an explanation outside itself, right?
No, my opinion is that either things have an explanation outside itself or there is no explanation at all. The latter is only applicable to things not inside our Universe.
To me something being the explanation of itself is the same as not having any explanation at all, but I know that Byblos and others don’t agree.
Nils
So, everything has an explanation for it existing and that explanation is something other than itself?

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#70

Post by Philip » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:42 am

Nils: either things have an explanation outside itself
Yes
Nils: ... or there is no explanation at all
By saying no explanation is needed, that would be the same as asserting a thing needs no cause and is merely eternal / has forever existed. Of course, this is not scientific whatsoever a scientific answer - as it's belief in some sort of unexplainable metaphysics. It's the thing that all atheists babbling about an eternal chain of multiverses or whatever ultimately must face - that they aren't ultimately arguing for logical causes and effects and connected chains or science-based explanations, but they are actually arguing for uncaused, self-existing, eternal things - and unfathomably intelligent things at that. Of course, this defies every logical analysis brought to bear upon everything that is known to exist and that has been exhaustively studied since the birth of the scientific method. It's an idea put forth when one has NO explanations for a thing - yet when the entire universe screams of causes and effects. Except for the First One.

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#71

Post by Byblos » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:29 am

Nils wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:32 pm
I don’t see how fatalism enters but that perhaps isn’t important now.
Self-defeating is a better term.
Nils wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:32 pm
Byblos wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:22 am
Nils wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:16 am
As you already know, to me self-explanation is not intelligible. How can you say that the reason why an entity is as it is, is that it is as it is – the nature of the entity? So I am of course interested in you explanation.
If that's your position, that there is no such thing as a self-explained thing as that would be the equivalent of the unexplained or irrational, and on that basis you are rejecting my (Feser's) rational argument, then let me ask you this (rhetorical) question: how do you explain the very instrument you are using to reason this out, i.e. reason itself?

You see, in order to explain reason, you would have to use reason itself, which renders reason self-evidently true or self-explanatory. We use the same type of rational thinking with respect to the law of non-contradiction as well, which is self-evidently true. Now you can deny that reason is self-explained and try to appeal to something non-rational to explain it but by doing so you render reason itself non-rational and thereby self-contradictory (hence, utterly fatalistic).
Self-evident (Cambridge: clear or obvious without needing any proof or explanation) is not the same as self-explanatory. Besides,[shadow][/shadow] the law of non-contradiction really isn’t self-evident, see Wikipedia.
As per the same source (Cambridge):

"self-explanatory
easily understood from the information already given and not needing further explanation"

Not much of a difference in definition. There are many examples of self-explanatory things Nils. Take a stop sign, for example. Pretty self-explanatory to me. If you're going to contend one must have certain a priori knowledge to arrive at the self-explanatory nature of a stop sign, we can take that all the way back to consciousnesses and you'd end up in the same place.
Nils wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:32 pm
The truth and the evolution of reason is related to the development of language. It’s true that language and reason are used to describe language and reason. That’s a kind of self reference but I don’t see any big problem with this. It’s part of the evolution of mankind. Some have claimed that there is no guarantee that reason is rational in a world without God, Plantinga for example. I claim that evolution, survival of the fittest, has done the job. It is of great survival value to have a rational reasoning. So the development and use of reason is explained by evolution.
What on earth does this have anything to do with evolution? This is purely a rationalistic argument. But if your contention is that reason and rationality itself is purely the product of evolution then things get a lot worse for you since evolutionary processes are by definition a-rational, which makes reason and rationality itself a-rational. I really hope I don;t have to explain the self-contradictory nature of such a position.
Nils wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:32 pm
I insist that there are no examples of self-explanation similar to what is required for a self-explanatory God.
You're wrong on the examples of self-explanations as there are many. You're absolutely right on the uniqueness on the example of a necessary self-explained entity but that's precisely what the rationalist argument concludes in to begin with, so thank you.
Nils wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:32 pm
Byblos wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:22 am
So it seems to me the choice is either to accept the self-explanatory nature of necessity on the basis of reason itself being self-explained or to deny the very instrument you use against it. Pick your poison.
I don’t agree.
Nils
Of course you don't agree. It's just that you have no basis whatsoever for doing so. Your position boils down to denying reason is self-evident, which makes it self-defeating; and baseless claims that a self-explained necessity is unintelligible when it is a rational element of a binary system.

So that's where we are. I have no idea how to make the discussion go any further.
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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#72

Post by Nils » Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:53 am

Philip wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:42 am
Nils: either things have an explanation outside itself
Yes
Nils: ... or there is no explanation at all
By saying no explanation is needed, that would be the same as asserting a thing needs no cause and is merely eternal / has forever existed. Of course, this is not scientific whatsoever a scientific answer - as it's belief in some sort of unexplainable metaphysics.
Agree.
Philip wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:42 am
It's the thing that all atheists babbling about an eternal chain of multiverses or whatever ultimately must face - that they aren't ultimately arguing for logical causes and effects and connected chains or science-based explanations, but they are actually arguing for uncaused, self-existing, eternal things - and unfathomably intelligent things at that.
The atheistic metaphysics doesn’t require any intelligence at all. Do I need to explain?
Philip wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:42 am
Of course, this defies every logical analysis brought to bear upon everything that is known to exist and that has been exhaustively studied since the birth of the scientific method. It's an idea put forth when one has NO explanations for a thing - yet when the entire universe screams of causes and effects.
No, science has never dealt with the existential questions e.g. What is the cause of everything. That’s metafphysics.
Philip wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:42 am
Except for the First One.
The problem is that you introduce the First One without any argument. When we, theists and atheists, discuss the metaphysics of the origin of the Universe, it seems reasonably to avoid reference to a divine creator (I don’t call that “babbling”). It is to beg the question.
There are two possibilities. On one hand your First One that in your view explains everything but in my view explains nothing and besides involves lot of other problems. On the other hand one (or more) unexplained entities but don’t involve any further problems.
Again: I prefer the second alternative and I have no problem with you preferring the first but I know no decisive argument for the choosing.
Nils

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#73

Post by Nils » Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:59 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:24 am
Nils wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:43 pm
PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:45 am
You said that something being the explanation of itself is not logical, correct?
Rather that it isn’t intelligible. To me the rules of logic doesn't seem to be involved.
PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:45 am
So that means that everything must have an explanation for what it is, that it is, why it is, outside of itself, correct?
I mean, it;s an either /or thing right?
Either somethings are their own explanation or everything has an explanation outside itself, right?
No, my opinion is that either things have an explanation outside itself or there is no explanation at all. The latter is only applicable to things not inside our Universe.
To me something being the explanation of itself is the same as not having any explanation at all, but I know that Byblos and others don’t agree.
Nils
So, everything has an explanation for it existing and that explanation is something other than itself?
Wasn’t I clear enough. I wrote: “my opinion is that either things have an explanation outside itself or there is no explanation at all”.
To clarify further:
I think that all but a few (or one) exeptional case, there is an explanation outside itself.
In one (or a few) cases there is no explanation at all
Nils

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#74

Post by Nils » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:05 am

Byblos, I'll answer within a few days, hopefully.
Nils

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Re: The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

#75

Post by Philip » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:44 am

Nils: The atheistic metaphysics doesn’t require any intelligence at all. Do I need to explain?
Of course they do! Because what appeared at the Big Bang, and instantly, requires intelligence beyond our understandings. From the designs and functionalities, to the immense power utilized with incredible precision and sychronization instantly appearing - these things check every possible box indicating an intelligence! This should be obvious to anyone being honest about the characteristics of what showed up instantly.
Nils: The problem is that you introduce the First One without any argument. When we, theists and atheists, discuss the metaphysics of the origin of the Universe, it seems reasonably to avoid reference to a divine creator (I don’t call that “babbling”). It is to beg the question.
"Whatever" it took to produce the Big Bang required certain characteristics and capabilities that were totally necessary to produce what appeared - that is not speculation. Now, one could certainly debate Who or What that "Thing" was, but as to it's eternalness, capabilities, power, intelligence, and unfathomable power - these are NECESSARY attributes to produce what came instantly into existence!
Nils: There are two possibilities. On one hand your First One that in your view explains everything but in my view explains nothing...
How so? Of course it explains it - you just don't like the explanation, even though it perfectly fits.
Nils: ...and besides involves lot of other problems. On the other hand one (or more) unexplained entities but don’t involve any further problems.
The problem, for you, with Christians' explanation for the Identity of the First Cause is because you won't accept what you don't like - a personal God with expectations of mankind that are tied to eternal fates. This God is different than how you think and want Him to be. But it doesn't work like that. The creation has no say so in whatever reality inhabits the Creator - how arrogant is that? Whatever truths there are about the First Cause don't change because we don't like them!
Nils: Again: I prefer the second alternative and I have no problem with you preferring the first but I know no decisive argument for the choosing.
Of course I prefer God - He's the great hope of the world and humanity. But I couldn't just invent Him. The creation REQUIRES a Creator with certain attributes and capabilities - it's only logical. I don't think your problem is that you can't see an eternal First Cause is necessary - despite your smokescreen of copious posts. I think your problem is that the only logical candidate of such attributes are only inherent in the God of the Bible - which you don't like. We were built for communication and wanting to search for our the cause of our existence - it's a universal trait of mankind. "Whoever" the Creator is, He wants to communicate with us - but He won't overwhelm and force us to know Him to find this out. He wants us to come to Him freely - and also to have the free will to freely reject Him. Again, I doubt seriously if you have sincerely sought Him - that is, with a willingness to accept and embrace Him as Who and What He actually is - as opposed to how you think He should be, or how YOU would have done things. So, no, the god who exists as YOU would have him does not exist.

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