• Bartricks
    1.9k
    Why are you listening to 'Zen' (whatever that is when it is at home) and not 'Reason'?

    Doesn't your reason - your faculty of reason - tell you that nothing comes from nothing?

    Doesn't your reason tell you that if something happens, there was a cause of its happening?

    Forget how certain you can be of the truth of these representations - they do appear to be true, yes? I mean, the reason of virtually everyone says the same thing about these matters which is why you find this kind of argument - a first cause arugment - being discussed and found persuasive throughout history.

    Now, are these representations actually true? Well, what grounds do you have for doubting them? That it is 'possible' they're false? Well, it is far more likely they're true. I mean, it is possible the moon landings were faked, but that's not good evidence they were faked. It is possible you killed Kennedy. That's not good evidence you did.

    Perhaps your grounds are that you think physics is philosophy and that only physics is studying reality and anything and everything the majority of physists say - regardless of whether it is about physics or philosophy - is true and you've heard some physicists say "something comes out of nothing".

    Well, then you're just confused about what physicists do and what authority to accord a physicist's statement when it is about something outside of their bailiwick.

    Perhaps you think it is not true because its truth conflicts with something 'Zen' says. Well, then you have faith in Zen rather than Reason - a faith based on nothing more than your own conviction rather than evidence. That is, you put yourself above Reason, which is foolish given you don't know everything (whereas Reason does).

    So, anyway, I wait to hear on what rational basis you doubt the deliverances of your - and virtually everyone else's - reason on this matter.
  • Miles
    22


    Hi and thanks for the reply but your argument is invalid my friend, for the following reason;

    When we exclude ‘must’ it means what ‘is’ just happens to be that way but could have been different.

    But with regards to a chain of events having a non-event cause, we did not conclude ‘it happens to have a non-event cause’ meaning it could have not had such an initiating cause. What we said is that such an infinite chain 'must' end in a non-event initial cause.

    This mean given the fact that we have such a set it means we must have a non-event cause, meaning given the current state of affairs it is necessary that there is a non-event cause (corresponding to the current world).

    In deductive reasoning if the conclusion was not the necessary conclusion of the premises then in wouldn’t be much use. The conclusion is in fact a ‘must’, given the initial premises.

    And I repeat this doesn't mean 'such a non-event cause is a necessary existent' (which is the point you are consistently taking an issue with. We are not making such a conflation, all we are doing is working backward given the current state of affairs not the other way around (in other words given the initial premises of a deductive argument). We are not saying we must have such a non-event initial cause even if this set didn’t exist.

    It is as simple as that and I don't think I can explain it any clearer.

    Unless we are willing to concede that such a causal chain could very well have had a non-event cause, which would result in an infinite regress, the very point we had initially denied with the introduction of the non-event cause.

    You can of course now do a U-turn and assert that such a chain doesn’t need to have an initial non-event cause, but this means you have to revise your entire argument and present an argument for how such a chain can ‘in principle’ have a non-event initial cause avoiding the infinite regress.
    Regards
    Miles
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    Earlier I was speaking with the vulgar, so to speak. So yes, I have probably used terms like 'must' throughout up to now, but they were functioning expressively. (Which is how I think they generally function). I haven't believed in necessity for some while, but I continue to use terms like 'must' both out of habit, and because they can function expressively, and because I normally want to bracket that issue. (For the most part, when I say 'must be so' I am expressing my confidence that it 'is' so).

    But anyway, my argument is not invalid. It is not me, but others who have introduced necessity and contingency. I haven't mentioned them, except to warn against conflating other things with them.

    So, my version of the first cause argument goes as follows. Every event has a cause. I don't think that has to be true. But I think it 'is' true.

    There is no actual infinity of anything. Again, I do not think that has to be true, but I think it is true - I am completely certain of it (so certain that I often express this by saying that it 'must' be true).

    It follows from this that some events have causes that are not events. It does not 'have' to follow, but it does actually follow. All actual events have causes, and there is not actually an infinity of causes. Thus, some events have causes that are not events.

    Every claim there is contingent. Certainly true, but also contingently true - but no less true for that.

    Likewise for my other arguments. In each case, take the assumptions to be claims that I think are true, but assume that I do not think they 'must' be. And take ever claim about a conclusion 'following' to be the claim that it 'actually' follows, not that it 'must' follow. They work just as well. For 'true' and 'necessarily true' don't denote a difference in truth. And it is truth that matters, truth that explains.

    It seems to me that you are thinking that until or unless we say 'must be so' we have no really explained why something is the case. I think that's demonstrably false, precisely because we can explain why there are in fact some substances that are simple, that have not been created and that are causally responsible for the existence of all else, and we can explain these things without ever having to say 'must'.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    In deductive reasoning if the conclusion was not the necessary conclusion of the premises then in wouldn’t be much use. The conclusion is in fact a ‘must’, given the initial premises.Miles

    That's the conventional definition of a deductive argument, I grant you. And defined that way, I don't believe there are any deductively valid arguments. But what's in a word?

    My reason says of some arguments that if their premises are true, then their conclusions are too. It says it of this argument, for instance:

    1. If P, then Q
    2. P
    3. Therefore Q

    I express this by saying that the argument is 'valid'. But why do I need to think that its conclusion 'must' be true? I draw the conclusion, and I am confident - as confident as anyone else, I am sure - that Q is the case, given that 1 and 2 are - yet I do not think it must be true. I do not think 3 must follow from 1 and 2, but I believe no less confidently than you that it does, in fact, follow from 1 and 2.

    For an analogy - it is common to confuse causation with deterministic causation. That is, to think that if an event has been caused, it has been determined to occur. This is a mistake. There can be indeterministic causation. An event that has been indeterministically caused has been no less caused than one that has been determined. It isn't that we're dealing with causation in one case, and a lack of it in the other. No, we have causation in both, it is just that in one the caustation necessitated the event, in the other it did not.

    It seems to me that we have something analogous going on here. I am saying that valid arguments - or, if you want to build 'necessity' into the definition of valid, then 'arguments of the kind just mentioned above' - are contingently valid. You are saying that they are necessarily valid. But we both think they're valid - we both think their conclusions are true if the premises are, and their conclusions will be true either way. They're no less true for being contingently true.

    In deductive reasoning if the conclusion was not the necessary conclusion of the premises then in wouldn’t be much use.Miles

    How so? I am using them, even though I do not believe their conclusions 'have' to follow. It is sufficient for them to be useful that their conclusions do, in fact, follow.
  • Miles
    22


    Look, forget everything else, matters in this argument are far simpler than this based on basic rules of deduction. You are right, deductive arguments can be sound but not valid, but this is why we have the crucial ‘if’ which enforces a ‘conditional’ validity.

    Premise 1 (given the crucial ‘if’) offers a universal premise such as ‘if all Ps are Qs’ (which of course can be contested to be false).

    Premise 2, or the middle premise, makes another ‘if’ observation (where the ‘if’ is often omitted) that ‘if some X is in fact P’ (not that it must be P but that we assume it to be P) which again can be contested not to be a true observation.

    The conclusion then follows that ‘X is therefore Q’ (given that we take the first two premises to be true).
    The characteristic of the conclusion is different that P1 and P2. The ‘therefore’ in the conclusion just means ‘X cannot fail but to Q’ if we have accepted the validity of P1 and P2.

    The conclusion isn’t, unlike, premise 2, an observation stating what some X ‘could’ be. It is a conclusion telling us what it ‘needs’ to be, given we have accepted the validity of premise 1 and 2 (presumptions which can be objected to).

    This means, X, independent and outside of premises 1 & 2, ‘could’ in fact be an S in a world where either P1 or P2, or both are not true. So the only way where X can fail to be Q is where one or both of the initial premises do not prevail.

    So to deny that X cannot fail but to be Q we must first deny P1 or P2 or both (which we are allowed to do and I have said that all along).
    Please remember:

    The conclusion of such a deductive argument, although necessary true, isn’t some necessary truth. That much we both agree on. It is a contingent truth as you say, but contingent on P1 and P2. Meaning it is necessarily true ‘if’ we accept P1 and P2. Which, as I stated, can either or both be contested.

    Nowhere did I say the conclusion is a ‘necessary truth’ regardless of the validity of either P1 or P2 or both. But you insist on claiming that I am guilty of committing this conflation which I have demonstrated repeatedly not to be the case.

    All I have said is ‘if’ we accept P1 and P2 then the conclusion cannot fail to be what we have stated it to be.

    And as far as translating this to our argument is concerned we can break it down as such with the crucial ‘if’:

    P1: ‘If’ all causal chains must be caused by some non-caused cause,
    P2: And if our world is in fact a causal chain,
    C: Therefore our world cannot fail but to be caused by some non-caused cause.

    The only path to avoid the conclusion is to object either to P1 or P2 or both.

    This is the only thing we need to focus on to reject the argument. So let’s keep the focus on this.

    So we must present at least one arguments to weaken the universality of P1, and at least one argument to weaken the observation made in P2.

    And I do in fact think there is a way to make one such decisive objection.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    You are right, deductive arguments can be sound but not valid, but this is why we have the crucial ‘if’ which enforces a ‘conditional’ validity.Miles

    That wasn't my point - I accept, of course, that arguments can be sound but not valid and valid but not sound, but my point was that we do not need the notion of necessity to make sense of what the validity of valid arguments consists of.

    The characteristic of the conclusion is different that P1 and P2. The ‘therefore’ in the conclusion just means ‘X cannot fail but to Q’ if we have accepted the validity of P1 and P2.Miles

    It doesn't have to mean that. I don't accept that necessity exists, yet I can still distinguish between the conclusion and the premises and make sense of what the 'therefore' means.

    Let me clarify what I take rules of logic to be. They are prescriptions. Prescriptions of Reason.

    Let's forget them for a moment and focus instead on my prescriptions. Let's say I give my partner a shopping list and on it I write "If they have mars bars, then buy me some". What does it mean? Does it mean that if they have mars bars she 'must' buy me some in some metaphysical sense of that term? That it is now 'necessarily' the case that she will buy me some? No, obviously not. It just expresses a desire on my part - a desire for mars bars.

    Now return to the laws of logic. They too are prescriptions. It is just that they are prescriptions of Reason, not of me. And some of them say "If a premise of this form is true, and if a premise of this form is true, then believe that this conclusion is true". In fact, of course, they often say something stronger, namely "then this conclusion 'must' be true", but that 'must' is, I think, operating expressively, just as mine would be if I wrote on the shopping list - as well I might - "if they have mars bars, you 'must' buy me some!". Anyway, clearly prescriptions of this kind are the kind that define valid arguments.

    So, when it comes to arguments like this:

    1. If P, then Q
    2. P
    3. Therefore Q

    my reason tells me that if the premises are true, then I am to believe the conclusion is true. I am instructed to do so - told that the conclusion will be true if the premises are. But that does not mean that the conclusion is 'necessarily' true. It just means Reason is adamant the conclusion is true if those premises are, just as I am adamant that my partner should buy me some mars bars if the shop is stocking them.

    Compare this to this kind of a claim: "if there are some mars bars in the shop, maybe buy me some" or "if the premises are true, then the conclusion probably is". Well, there's no strong conviction being expressed there.

    So about some things Reason is quite certain - she says "If the premises of the above argument are true, then the conclusion certainly is" - and about some other things she is not as certain.

    So what you take to be a relation of necessity, I take simply to be Reason expressing her certainty. And anytime you invoke necessity, I will deny it is needed and take it to mean instead that Reason is expressing her certainty that something is the case, or expressing her strong desire that we believe it. And that enables me to distinguish what needs to be distinguished without having to saddle myself with the troublesome notion of metaphysical necessity - a notion that, I believe, we have come by simply by taking Reason too literally.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    Please remember:

    The conclusion of such a deductive argument, although necessary true, isn’t some necessary truth. That much we both agree on. It is a contingent truth as you say, but contingent on P1 and P2. Meaning it is necessarily true ‘if’ we accept P1 and P2. Which, as I stated, can either or both be contested.
    Miles

    I am not in danger of forgetting this, but it is not the point I am making. I am denying that making sense of deductive arguments requires invoking necessity. I think it is contingently true that the conclusions of sound arguments are true.

    So, to be clear, my claim is that anything you distinguish I can distinguish too without invoking necessity. For our evidence that there is necessity in the world is that our reason represents there to be. But those representations should not be taken literally. Instead, what we have is not actual necessity, but conviction and strong desire (albeit on Reason's part, not ours).

    What's the difference between a conclusion that is entailed and one that is merely made likely true? Well the conclusion that is entailed is one Reason is now certain is true, or categorically wants us to believe, whereas the conclusion that is merely made likely is one that Reason thinks is now probably true, or to some extent wants us to believe. (I do not mean that Reason is certain 'because' it is entailed - no, I mean the entailment is no more or less than Reason expressing her certainty....so 'what it is' for a proposition to be entailed by others is for those others to be making Reason certain that it is true).

    So, just to be clear, although I accept that it is indeed a fallacy to go from thinking that if all houses have foundations, and this is a house, then necessarily it has a foundation to thinking that therefore foundations exist of necessity, that is not the point I am making here. You seem to think that is the point I am making, but it is not.

    I am denying that necessity exists and denying that we have to invoke it to make sense of what needs to be made sense of - denying that we need to invoke it to be able to distinguish the valid from the invalid.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    So we must present at least one arguments to weaken the universality of P1, and at least one argument to weaken the observation made in P2.

    And I do in fact think there is a way to make one such decisive objection.
    Miles

    Well, I agree that all of this necessity talk is by-the-by, interesting though it is, as we both accept that this argument's conclusion is true if the premises are:

    1. If every event has a cause, then some events are substance-caused
    2. Every event has a cause
    3. therefore some events are substance-caused

    It really doesn't matter that I think the argument is contingently sound. I think the premises are true and I think the conclusion is therefore true. And if you can give me reason to doubt a premise then I will cease to be so sure the conclusion is true.
  • jgill
    233
    Doesn't your reason - your faculty of reason - tell you that nothing comes from nothing?Bartricks

    Is reason axiomatic? How do you think it develops or arises in the human mind? Can it change as a culture changes?

    I don't practice Zen. Look it up on Wikipedia.
  • Devans99
    2.5k
    1. If every event has a cause, then some events are substance-caused
    2. Every event has a cause
    3. therefore some events are substance-caused
    Bartricks

    A. Ultimately, God's first action (be that creation of spacetime or whatever) has to be uncaused. So this action counts as an event and it has no cause. So you terms, think of the substance moving on its own with no prior reason; this is not caused by the substance, it simply has no cause.

    B. I do not see that you have proved substance causation; God could be composed of parts that all exist timelessly.

    C. I feel it is remiss to leave out the start of time from such arguments as it has a pivotal role.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    Ultimately, God's first action (be that creation of spacetime or whatever) has to be uncaused. So this action counts as an event and it has no cause. So you terms, think of the substance moving on its own with no prior reason; this is not caused by the substance, it simply has no cause.Devans99

    It won't be uncaused - if there can be events that are uncaused, then we do not need to posit God, we can just say that some events just occur uncaused. So God's first action is caused, it is just that it is caused by God the object, rather than by some event.

    B. I do not see that you have proved substance causation; God could be composed of parts that all exist timelessly.Devans99

    I do not follow you. You mentioned God, not me - I don't think the first cause argument can get you all the way to God.

    What the first cause argument does is demonstrate the existence of substance causation. If there are any events - and clearly there are - then there are substance causes, because all causal chains are going ultimately to trave to such causes.

    That has been established by it following from these claims: every event has a cause; there is no actual infinity of events; there are some events.

    C. I feel it is remiss to leave out the start of time from such arguments as it has a pivotal role.Devans99

    No it doesn't, as I've just shown. We can run the argument without having to mention time. Time throws up a host of philosophical problems so introducing it into the argument does nothing but make matters an order of magnitude more complex than they need to be.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    I don't practice Zen. Look it up on Wikipedia.jgill

    Then why did you mention Zen? If neither you nor I know anything about it, why mention it as if it had some importance? And why would I look it up on Wikipedia? A) I am not remotely interested in it (you - you - mentioned it) and B) Wikipedia is unreliable and not peer reviewed.

    Is reason axiomatic? How do you think it develops or arises in the human mind? Can it change as a culture changes?jgill

    No. Note sure. Yes.
  • Devans99
    2.5k
    I think that time is an important part of the argument; its impossible to exist in an uncaused state within time, so the uncaused cause has to be beyond time.

    IE no substance can exist forever in time - it would have no temporal start.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    its impossible to exist in an uncaused state within time, so the uncaused cause has to be beyond time.Devans99

    But as I've already argued, that's false by your own lights - God, having created time, would exist in it, yet God is uncaused.

    You could insist that God does not exist in time, but you'd need an argument to show that. And so far as I can tell, your only argument is that he created it. But that fails because creating something does not preclude one from being in it. I create a cave, I am in a cave.
  • Miles
    22


    My friend you are making an error precisely related to what makes an argument either valid or sound, or both. This is exactly where soundness vs validity comes into play.

    First things first;

    The ‘if’ in deductive reasoning secures the validity of the conclusion regardless of what P and Q stand for.

    Therefore to see whether the argument is in fact sound we then drop the ‘if’ and see whether the first statement is in fact true, and thus question the truth of the conclusion.

    Now the crucial point in reply to your example:

    Your ‘if there are mars bars in the shop then buy me some’ isn’t describing some state of affairs that can be used as a general principle. It is neither true nor false, precisely because it is not describing a state of affairs. So it is of no use in any argument. It merely is describing one state of affairs and one request. So we need to re-write it as:

    P1: If there are any mars bars in the shop she will buy me some (describing a state of affairs that is either true or false, the same as ‘whatever goes up will come down’)

    P2: There are mars bars in the shop (or X goes up).

    Conclusion: She will necessarily buy me some (or X will necessarily come down).

    You will rightfully object that she very well may not buy you any mars bars (or that not everything that goes up will come down). And here we say these arguments were valid but not sound because at least one of P1 and P2 wasn’t true. A sound argument is one where the conclusion isn’t just valid but true, and for a conclusion of an argument to be true its premises must be true. This means we will start by questioning the truth of P1 (which is what I suggested we do with our own argument).

    But truth or falsehood doesn’t apply to your mars bar statement because you are not asserting a state of affairs (be it concretely or abstractly).

    You may wish to reject the structure and force of a deductive argument but the point remains that in both valid and sound arguments the conclusion is implied by the premises, such that to deny the conclusion would be to a contradiction.

    Which brings us to what Aristotle would call the first principle of thought, the law of non-contradiction. We cannot accept that something is both A and not A at the same time and in the same respect.

    To deny the implied conclusion of a deductive argument would be a contradiction in the same spirit as some x is A and not A at the same time in the same respect.

    You now may wish to insist that something is A and not A at the same time and in the same respect but to demonstrate how this can be so you will come full circle to the law of non-contradiction (interesting process, check it out on-line).

    In summary: Your mars bar statement isn’t asserting some general observation or some general principle which could be subject to criticism as a principle in order for us to draw a conclusion from. It is a statement that is neither true nor false. ‘Please sit here’ doesn’t describe the world hence it is neither true nor false.

    But such statements can be turned into state of affairs if we describe them as the mental state of the person making the request and in that respect we can say they are either true or false.

    As a mental state we can re-write them as:
    P1: If there are mars bars in the shop I desire her to buy me some.

    And you can see how the 2nd premise and conclusion will look like. And following everything we have said above it means we can question the truth of P1 in a number of ways.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    But you're begging the question against me. You're giving a descriptive interpretation, I'm giving an expressive one.

    So, you take the laws of logic to be descriptive. I take them to be prescriptive.

    You take 'must' to mean 'will necessarily be the case' whereas I take it to be expressive of a strong desire.

    When Reason says of the conclusion that it 'must' be true, she is not saying that it is necessarily true, but is expressing her conviction that it is true, just as I would be expressing my commitment to being honest if I said "I must be honest!"

    It really doesn't matter, of course, because your objection to a premise in the argument should work either way.

    My point is just that the ambiguity over whether words such as 'necessary' 'must' 'always' and so on are functioning expressively or descriptively allows me to make all the distinctions you make, but just to do so in an expressive way. Hence how I can avoid having to accept the reality of necessity.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    You may wish to reject the structure and force of a deductive argument but the point remains that in both valid and sound arguments the conclusion is implied by the premises, such that to deny the conclusion would be to a contradiction.Miles

    I do not follow you here - they retain all of their force. I think a sound argument establishes that its conclusion is certainly true.

    Something can be certainly true without having to be necessarily true. It is certainly true that I exist. It is not necessarily true that I exist.

    I am every bit as certain as you are that the conclusions of sound arguments are true. It is just that you think they have to be, given the truth of the premises, whereas I think they just most certainly are, because Reason is telling me that they are.

    But truth or falsehood doesn’t apply to your mars bar statement because you are not asserting a state of affairs (be it concretely or abstractly).Miles

    Yes, prescriptions can't be true. But descriptions of prescriptions can be. It is true that I have said "if there are mars bas in the shop, then buy me some". And we can reason about prescriptions of this sort:

    1. If there are mars bars in the shop, then he wants me to buy some.
    2. There are mars bars in the shop
    3. Therefore he wants me to buy some.


    Which brings us to what Aristotle would call the first principle of thought, the law of non-contradiction. We cannot accept that something is both A and not A at the same time and in the same respect.Miles

    I think it is true that if a proposition is true, it is not also false. I just don't think it has to be.

    Why does it matter whether I think it is just 'true' as opposed to 'necessarily true'? I am as confident as you are that no true proposition is also false. And if you show me that my position contains a contradiction, I will abandon it as surely as I would if I believed the law of non-contradiction is necessarily true.
  • jgill
    233
    Then why did you mention Zen? If neither you nor I know anything about it, why mention it as if it had some importance?Bartricks

    I never said I knew nothing about the practice. In fact, I do. I do not practice it now, however. As for importance, serious devotees reach a mental state in which empty awareness or no-thingness becomes "real" and may seem, to a non-devotee, to conflict with pure reason. Something arising from emptiness is not necessarily nonsensical.

    Is it possible there are aspects of reality that may be beyond what we consider reason?
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    But the rational intuition I was appealing to is about 'nothing', and it says that nothing comes from nothing. A mind that is empty of thoughts is not 'nothing'. Limiting the thinking activity of minds - and trying to make a virtue of it - has long been the practice of charlatans. I mean, if your worldview will not survive rational scrutiny, then the first thing you must do is ensure that those you've attracted to it do not now subject it to that rational scrutiny. And a good way to do that is to persuade them that it is a virtue to think nothing.

    Is it possible there are aspects of reality that may be beyond what we consider reason?jgill

    No, I don't think so, given that Reason determines what's true and thus reality is a creature of her will.
  • Miles
    22

    We can’t just start an argument with a statement that is neither true nor false and draw conclusions from it. Because the conclusion will be neither true nor false. And statements like ‘sit here’ or ‘buy me a mars bar’ are neither true nor false. That’s that.

    I make this point because we need to stick to valid forms of argument in order to make progress. You can choose the form but it needs to offer a structure to reach conclusions.

    Now, from what I understand your claim is that we can just say ‘is’ or ‘is not’ rather than ‘can’ and ‘cannot’. In other words you wish to replace ‘how something must be’ with ‘how something is’.

    OK here is a demonstration why this cannot always happen:

    If I asked you ‘is this object a squared-circle?’ what would you reply?
    In your system of thought you will say ‘it is not’.
    I will say on what grounds do you say that, and you will say well I have examined it and it is not.
    I will then say maybe your examination was not correct so is it possible that you are wrong and is it possible that X is a squared-circle?

    Your reply surely is that ‘no it cannot be because nothing can be squared-circle’.

    And this is how you move from ‘is not’ to ‘it cannot be’. And ‘cannot be’ means never, it necessarily cannot be. Not that it happens not to be but it might have been. No, it cannot be because nothing can be a squared and a circle at the same time in the respect. So no matter how many years to examine it and with what apparatus or with what system of thought, X will never be a squared-circle.

    To suggest its possibility is to suggest a contradiction.

    The only path to dismantle the original God or first cause argument is to reject its key premises. And remember it had two halves; the 1st half concluded that a causal chain needs a first uncaused cause, and the 2nd half defined the uncaused cause as something simple and unique in number.

    And no point saying ‘well we will just accept the conclusion until some other argument comes along to reject it and that the conclusion is not necessarily true because one day it may be proven wrong’. That is not in the spirit of a philosophical or scientific enquiry.

    By the way I might be less active for a few days as I need to work on a painting, my second main passion, which I have neglected recently due to my philosophy research.
    But this forum is great and I thank you for all your replies.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    We can’t just start an argument with a statement that is neither true nor false and draw conclusions from it. Because the conclusion will be neither true nor false. And statements like ‘sit here’ or ‘buy me a mars bar’ are neither true nor false. That’s that.Miles

    Yes, I agree with all of that. I have not said otherwise.

    I think there are true propositions.

    I think no true proposition is also false.

    I think prescriptions are not true or false.

    I think valid arguments, if sound, have certainly true conclusions.

    And every argument that you think is valid, I am confident I will think is valid too.

    I just don't think anything I have just said is necessarily true. I don't think anything is necessarily true.
  • Miles
    22
    Well, it is necessarily true that X cannot be a squared circle.
  • jgill
    233
    Reason determines what's trueBartricks

    At one time it was reasoned that a bolt of lightning was due to an action by Zeus. It might appear then that "reason" is not necessarily the test of truth. :gasp:
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    I think it is just true. Certainly true. I am sure I am as certain as you are that there are no square circles.
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    You're talking about our faculty of reason and its fallibility. I am talking about 'Reason' - she is the person, the god, whose prescriptions our faculty of reason gives us insight into. And yes, it - our faculty - is fallible and can - and often is - corrupted.
  • Miles
    22
    ‍♂️ ‍♂️ I really enjoy the discussions. Philosophy is amazing I simply love it. I think u do too. That's great.

    One question; how do you copy sections from previous comments? I haven't worked it out yet
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    I found that if you highlight a section of someone else's post then a little box appears that says 'quote' and you click on it and it then appears in your reply.
  • Miles
    22
    thank u. Speak soon
  • jgill
    233
    I am talking about 'Reason' - she is the person, the god, whose prescriptions our faculty of reason. . .Bartricks

    OK. Now that I see the thread is theological I understand. Carry on! :cool:
  • Bartricks
    1.9k
    No, you really don't.
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