Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#106

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:24 pm

abelcainsbrother wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
RickD wrote:I just ordered Feser's Five Proofs.

:rockcool:
Just don't become Catholic. :P
I just now realized Feser is catholic.

:pound:

His book is Five Proofs For The Existence of God, not a Mary worshiping manual, right?
:mrgreen:

I will be ordering it and like I've explained before I'm good at picking out the good stuff and shunning the bad stuff and so I won't be becoming a Catholic.I will pick out the good stuff and shun what might be bad stuff.Alot of times a book can be mostly right but it can have bad stuff in it too and its the other way too a book can be mostly wrong but have good stuff in it.The important thing is to pick out the good stuff and shun the bad,not just believe everything it says because you like the person,etc.
Yes, don't mind Feser, just don't like his Catholicism. Just like Byblos. :P hehe...

I actually went to buy, but then saw he wrote a book a number of years earlier titled, Aquinas (A Beginner's Guide) (only US$2.99!). As much as I think I know, I really don't know a whole much other than what Jac clued me into. So I figure that's a better one for me to start on. I think his newer Five Proofs book goes into only one of Aquinas' arguments, otherwise he presents different classical proofs and responses to common Atheist objections and arguments to them.
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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#107

Post by RickD » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:27 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Yes, don't mind Feser, just don't like his Catholicism. Just like Byblos. :P hehe...
I didn't know Byblos is Catholic. I thought he was Lebanese.
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Byblos (Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:23 pm)
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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#108

Post by abelcainsbrother » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:30 pm

Kurieuo wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
RickD wrote:I just ordered Feser's Five Proofs.

:rockcool:
Just don't become Catholic. :P
I just now realized Feser is catholic.

:pound:

His book is Five Proofs For The Existence of God, not a Mary worshiping manual, right?
:mrgreen:

I will be ordering it and like I've explained before I'm good at picking out the good stuff and shunning the bad stuff and so I won't be becoming a Catholic.I will pick out the good stuff and shun what might be bad stuff.Alot of times a book can be mostly right but it can have bad stuff in it too and its the other way too a book can be mostly wrong but have good stuff in it.The important thing is to pick out the good stuff and shun the bad,not just believe everything it says because you like the person,etc.
Yes, don't mind Feser, just don't like his Catholicism. Just like Byblos. :P hehe...

I actually went to buy, but then saw he wrote a book a number of years earlier titled, Aquinas (A Beginner's Guide). As much as I think I know, I really don't know a whole much other than what Jac clued me into. So I figure that's a better one for me to start on. I think his newer Five Proofs book goes into only one of Aquinas' arguments, otherwise he presents different classical proofs and responses to common Atheist objections and arguments to them.
Well it looks like I'm going to have to order both books now.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#109

Post by abelcainsbrother » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:36 pm

I do really need to brush up on philosophy but I'm still convinced that most of the critics of Aquinas get it wrong overlooking that his arguments only apply to things in our world,not things outside our world like God who is in heaven.When it comes to things outside our world we cannot know about it and can only speculate but we are dealing with the reality of our world.If they would understand that these are logical,reasoned arguments based on things in our world that are not eternal like God then they might finally see.By understanding that these arguments are only talking about things in our world they point us to an eternal God based just on the reality of our world.
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Byblos (Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:28 pm)
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#110

Post by Byblos » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:22 pm

RickD wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
RickD wrote:I just ordered Feser's Five Proofs.

:rockcool:
Just don't become Catholic. :P
I just now realized Feser is catholic.

:pound:

His book is Five Proofs For The Existence of God, not a Mary worshiping manual, right?
:mrgreen:
Just wait for the sequel. :mrgreen:
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#111

Post by Byblos » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:25 pm

RickD wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Yes, don't mind Feser, just don't like his Catholicism. Just like Byblos. :P hehe...
I didn't know Byblos is Catholic. I thought he was Lebanese.
A Catholic Ayrab, Lord what is this world coming to. :pound:
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#112

Post by Byblos » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:26 pm

K, I would also highly recommend his earlier book, The Last Superstition. It's a must read.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#113

Post by Philip » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:29 pm

K, what I think needs some simple bullet points, concern the professor's points about infinite regression and that all things contingent require a cause, and not the strawman assertions many pointlessly set out to refute.

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#114

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:31 pm

Philip wrote:K, what I think needs some simple bullet points, concern the professor's points about infinite regression and that all things contingent require a cause, and not the strawman assertions many pointlessly set out to refute.
Feel free to do so then. I personally don't like leading a horse to water if it ain't gonna drink. ;) If Nils watched it, and got a taste that there is much more going on, then I don't think it's too hard for TrulyEnlightened. It really isn't that long. I think it's easy to tell who is being more honest in their pursuit of knowledge.
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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#115

Post by Nils » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:06 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Philip wrote:K, what I think needs some simple bullet points, concern the professor's points about infinite regression and that all things contingent require a cause, and not the strawman assertions many pointlessly set out to refute.
Feel free to do so then. I personally don't like leading a horse to water if it ain't gonna drink. ;) If Nils watched it, and got a taste that there is much more going on, then I don't think it's too hard for TrulyEnlightened. It really isn't that long. I think it's easy to tell who is being more honest in their pursuit of knowledge.
I got a bit tempted to buy the book but it has to be ordered from UK and before I get time to read it, there will be Christmas. I trust that you guys together will be able to find out if there are any errors in my reasoning in the new thread about Aquinas.

About the video with Feser I found the second part interesting. I haven't read Alfred Mele's book but I agree with him concerning the neurological reasons against free will. But there are other much better arguments but that is another story that I can come back to later.

Nils

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#116

Post by Nils » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:13 am

Byblos wrote:
Nils wrote:- What do you mean by "self-explanatory"? Please give some examples.
- What do you mean by saying that a self-explanatory explanation is "absolute necessary"?
As it turns out, from logic and reason alone, we can say a great deal about a thing being self-explanatory. But before we can give example(s), we must first agree on the definitions and agree on whether or not there any other possibilities.

So first, do you agree that, according to the PSR, everything must have a reason? If yes, then do you agree that there are only 2 possibilities, i.e.

1. Either the explanation is extrinsic (outside of the thing it explains), or
2. The explanation is intrinsic (self-explanatory)
I would rather say
1 There are things that have explanations (that are extrinsic, outside of the thing it explains),
2. There may be things that don't have explanations (very special things)

It is possible that your 2. and my 2. are in some way the same, I am unsure. Examples of my 2 might be things like God, Universe, Multiverse and Nothing.

But yours arguments are new to me so don't be too upset by my comments.
And if you so far agree, then do you further agree that

There are only two types of explanations:
1. Either the explanation requires an explanation extrinsic to itself, in which case it is contingent on that extrinsic explanation, or
2. The explanation is fundamentally self-explanatory and, therefore absolutely necessary (not contingent on any other explanation)
The absolute necessity in 2. makes me uneasy.
- If there is nothing in group 2 then is there a Nothing that is absolute necessary, or
- if there is something in group 2 that is only potential then is it still absolutely necessary, or
- is the conclusion that nothing in group 2 can be only potentially or
.....?
If you agree, we can go further. If not, tell me why and what other options there are.
I am a bit confused.
Nils

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#117

Post by trulyenlightened » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:16 am

Byblos wrote:
trulyenlightened wrote: It is becoming tedious to keep highlighting all the straw man and misrepresentation that I have to respond to. If you are going to accuse me of something, at least make sure it is accurate. For example, Byblos quoted "Truth is, at the very foundation of philosophy in general and metaphysics in particular, is logic and reason. Dismissing it will completely undermine science". I responded to his comment by asking two question, "I do agree that logic and reason had to come from somewhere. But why philosophy and the metaphysical(1st question)? Couldn't logic and reason be only the evolved results of our physical experiences in our early struggle for survival(2nd question)"? So show me where I made a truth claim that logic and reason DID come from philosophy and the metaphysical? You can't can you? So why would you state, "You have it backwards. Logic and reason did not come from philosophy and metaphysics, it is the other way around"? Other than existence, I have no idea what are the attributes of reality. Let's move on.

The Borneo analogy was to illustrate difference in mind sets, and the survival priorities between urban and primitive mind sets. But never mind, it is obvious where that will lead. Since you have stated that,"Metaphysics is not in the business of offering evidence, that's the domain of science", then how are my assumptions wrong? Does the Metaphysical offer scientific facts, data, evidence, proofs, or have any practical application? Is there a Metaphysical Theory? I have already stated that I can only bring common sense and intuition to the table, but these can be fooled and not always dependable. Maybe you can site a practical application of any metaphysical argument? Otherwise, it's just pseudo-sophistry and semantics. I assume that you know that you have the burden of proof, since you are in the minority and are claiming that the majority is wrong. So let's hear any proofs on any topic.

All I said was that time is necessary for change to have occurred. I'm afraid your causal analyses is far too obfuscating and ambiguous for me. But I'm sure you know what you mean. The problem that you seem to have, is that you assert and accuse me of everything, but never provide the evidence to back it up. I demonstrated that Aquinas's premises were clearly false. But instead of showing me how I was wrong, you simply asserted it. It is irrelevant if his arguments extend into all realities, it is still wrong. Don
What is becoming crystal clear (and yes, very tedious) is the fact that you have no interest in an honest discussion. I had come to that conclusion from our previous exchanges but I figured I'd give you the benefit of the doubt. I was wrong.

Carry on.

Please spare me the latent guilt trip. Because I prefer not to engage in arguing just for the sake of arguing, is a rational and logical choice, and in no way reflects the level of my intellectual honesty or knowledge. I think that it is a very sound choice, that you stay away from scientific arguments as well. I'm just not interested in receiving the self-gratification, or self-indulgence from simply arguing about existentialism and metaphysical topics. I'm more interested in the practical knowledge I can receive from the argument, and its practical benefits. So far you have only stated rhetoric, for the sake of rhetoric. If this is a preview example of a metaphysical argument, then I HAVE truly made the right decision. Of course I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Don

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#118

Post by trulyenlightened » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:09 am

I can understand that in the 13th Century, few people could read, write, or had enough understanding to challenge Aquinas's logic. But today his proofs are embarrassingly, and obviously flawed. His fallacy-riddled proofs are blatantly obvious and easily exposed. I will try again in the simplest way I can. Let's talk about the first premise of his first argument.

OBJECTS ARE IN MOTION. This premise is sound unless you are a solipsist, which I'm not.

SOMETHING THAT IS IN MOTION MUST HAVE BEEN CAUSED TO BE IN MOTION BY SOMETHING OUTSIDE OF ITSELF. This premise is not all that egregious. Maybe a bit of a semantics problem, but generally sound. Now it begins to fall apart.

THERE CAN BE NO INFINITE CHAIN OF MOVERS OR MOVEE'S. This is a fallacy of special pleading. This premise contradicts the first, which states that all objects are in motion. It is also an unjustifiable assertion. How does he know this? Even today we have a poor concept of infinity, so how does a 13th Century part time philosopher, know what can and can't be infinite? This premise also contradicts the second premise since it implies that there is a prime-mover that is immovable. Another special pleading fallacy, without justification. Unless you have a firm understanding of the Theory of General Relativity and Quantum Physics, please don't say the BB was the beginning. Because you would be wrong("time is the hint").

THERE IS A FIRST UNMOVED MOVER. This premise violates the first and second premises which states that all objects are in motion. And, that objects MUST be acted upon by something to be in motion. It also violates Newton's first law of Motion, which states that an object at rest, WILL REMAIN AT REST. This means that it would be impossible for a prime mover to affect movement on anything, while at rest(unmoved). Unless it is moved by an uneven force acting upon it, how would it overcome its own inertia? Unless it is moving and not moving at the same time. Therefore an immovable mover is not only impossible, but irrelevant as well. It also violates the Conservation of Energy Law. An immovable object can't impart kinetic energy unless it is receives kinetic energy from an unbalanced force. Therefore, if a prime mover exists, the universe could not exist, period. Another faulty premise and special pleading fallacy.

THEREFORE GOD EXISTS. Even if we were to accept every premise as the truth, this would ONLY prove that a prime mover existed. It would not prove that a God exists. It would not prove that a God still exists. It would not prove that a prime mover is a being of consciousness or substance. In other words, it would not prove Theism or Christianity. We could simply insert anything real or imaginary for God, and it would make no difference to the argument. You merely label the unmoved mover God, because you want to. This is a perfect example of a Gap-filler, or an argument from ignorance.

This first argument of Motion collapses under the weight of it own arbitrary rules and conditions. Aquinas's second argument is exactly the same, but he substitutes "cause" instead of "movement". We know more today about a beginning, causality, motion, and Quantum reality, then Aquinas could ever have dreamed of. We are much smarter by many orders of magnitude, than the smartest person in the 13th Century, and we should be. This was just the first argument, and we can see the gaping flaws in its premises. Unless I am wrong, and that objects at rest do not remain at rest, please show me not just tell me? Please demonstrate that there are no contradictions and no special pleading, without just simply asserting that there isn't. Although I'm beginning to realize that Belief is much stronger than logic or reason, I still have hope. So, if 13th Century logic and reason is your ultimate confirmation bias, then by all means rejoice. But I wish to think that our critical thinking abilities have evolved further than the 13th Century. Don

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#119

Post by Byblos » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:25 am

trulyenlightened wrote:Of course I could be wrong ...
Prophetic words indeed. :wave:

Moving on.
Nils wrote:But yours arguments are new to me so don't be too upset by my comments.
To address this first, not at all. This is exactly the type of discussion I envisioned when I recommended the PSR.
Nils wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Nils wrote:- What do you mean by "self-explanatory"? Please give some examples.
- What do you mean by saying that a self-explanatory explanation is "absolute necessary"?
As it turns out, from logic and reason alone, we can say a great deal about a thing being self-explanatory. But before we can give example(s), we must first agree on the definitions and agree on whether or not there any other possibilities.

So first, do you agree that, according to the PSR, everything must have a reason? If yes, then do you agree that there are only 2 possibilities, i.e.

1. Either the explanation is extrinsic (outside of the thing it explains), or
2. The explanation is intrinsic (self-explanatory)
I would rather say
1 There are things that have explanations (that are extrinsic, outside of the thing it explains),
2. There may be things that don't have explanations (very special things)

It is possible that your 2. and my 2. are in some way the same, I am unsure. Examples of my 2 might be things like God, Universe, Multiverse and Nothing.
No, our 2s aren't the same. But that's exactly the point of the PSR. As a self-aware, intelligent species that values logic and reason above all, we must believe that there actually is an intelligible reason for everything, regardless whether or not the reasons are discoverable at this time. Because if we open the door that some things have no explanation or are unintelligible then we are building a house of cards in a hurricane. The most foundational aspect of logic and reason, i.e. intelligibility, would collapse and with it goes every branch of science.

So when the PSR states that everything has a reason, this definitely includes the universe, the multi-verse, and yes, even God. Now I'm assuming you listed God and the multi-verse as both without an explanation because you see them as competing alternatives to reality (and you happen to choose the former and I choose the latter to govern our worldviews). But that's not true at all, for it can be shown from the PSR that brute force facts are unintelligble (for that is what they are, brute force facts without any explanation), thereby violating the PSR. Whereas God is a perfectly intelligible explanation for He is His own explanation, thereby satisfying the PSR. It's not a nuanced difference so I'm hoping you see that.
Nils wrote:
And if you so far agree, then do you further agree that

There are only two types of explanations:
1. Either the explanation requires an explanation extrinsic to itself, in which case it is contingent on that extrinsic explanation, or
2. The explanation is fundamentally self-explanatory and, therefore absolutely necessary (not contingent on any other explanation)
The absolute necessity in 2. makes me uneasy.
I'm not sure why it should make you uneasy. No one said anything about what it entails (well, I just did but) taken at face value, when something is self-explanatory it means it does not depend on others for anything and it follows that it must be necessary by definition. For it it weren't necessary then it would be contingent and if it were contingent then it would not be self-explanatory. So you see, absolute necessity if part and parcel of the self-explanatory attribute.
Nils wrote:- If there is nothing in group 2 then is there a Nothing that is absolute necessary,
If there is nothing in group 2 then there would be nothing in group 2. But that does not preclude group 2 from being a logical alternative. Whether or not there is something in group 2 is the subject we are discussing.
Nils wrote:or
- if there is something in group 2 that is only potential then is it still absolutely necessary,
But potential things are contingent and contingent things depend on extrinsic explanations. So again, by definition, it is a violation of the law of non-contradiction to state a self-explanatory entity has potential or is contingent in any way.
Nils wrote:or
- is the conclusion that nothing in group 2 can be only potentially or
.....?
Well, you're jumping the gun here but that is precisely what the only logical conclusion is, that in group 2 there can only be one self-explanatory pure actuality, intelligible, immaterial, timeless, immutable, which is subsistent existence itself.
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Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Skepticism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

#120

Post by Byblos » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:34 am

trulyenlightened wrote:THERE CAN BE NO INFINITE CHAIN OF MOVERS OR MOVEE'S. This is a fallacy of special pleading. This premise contradicts the first, which states that all objects are in motion. It is also an unjustifiable assertion. How does he know this? Even today we have a poor concept of infinity, so how does a 13th Century part time philosopher, know what can and can't be infinite? This premise also contradicts the second premise since it implies that there is a prime-mover that is immovable. Another special pleading fallacy, without justification. Unless you have a firm understanding of the Theory of General Relativity and Quantum Physics, please don't say the BB was the beginning. Because you would be wrong("time is the hint").
This is to the mods,

Just how many times are we going to allow this charlatan to misrepresent Aquinas and get away with it? I and others have attempted to correct him numerous times and yet he is allowed to perpetuate this ridiculous straw man of an argument from infinite causes. This person is not here to learn nor to debate honestly the way others have. Personally I can put him on ignore but I fear other readers will be affected by his misrepresentations which, at this juncture, can only be characterized as willful obfuscation.

Enough of this, please.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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