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Thread: When does proving one's truth claims come to an end?

  1. #291
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    It IS subjective that you believe you exist. A person in a coma exists, although he is unaware of it.
    This is confused. 'Subjective' means: "based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes or opinions." To have personal feelings, tastes or opinions, there must be a person there, an "I" or a subject within whom those subjective states are occurring. If there is no "I", there is no possibility of subjectivity. It is a belief that I exist, but it is a more certain belief than any belief that can possibly be derived from scientific research, because that research already assumes the reality of an external world, of a self, of inductive regularity, etc... This is an actual truth discoverable about the world that results from philosophy and is not possible from science.


    Just because a comatose person isn't able to believe that she exists has nothing to do with the argument. She also cannot acknowledge that 1+1=2, but that doesn't mean that 1+1=2 is subjective. She cannot acknowledge ANY truth at all.


    I’ve repeatedly acknowledged this. Scientific methodology is grounded in ‘metaphysical naturalism’ and its correlate of ‘methodological naturalism’ both of which exclude the notion of the ‘supernatural. Metaphysical naturalism holds that all properties related to consciousness and the mind are reducible to, or ensue from, nature” – there is no good reason to think otherwise.
    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SUPERNATURAL. How many times do I have to say that? Why don't you try to actually learn something about this issue?



    Similarly with science – existing empirical data is reinforced by newly discovered data although, unlike philosophy science has the methodology to test its data.
    That statement itself is not a scientific finding, so it is not strictly factual by your own criteria. So I can disregard.



    An “academic” philosophical argument is indeed tested by its “soundness”. A “sound” argumThis is an actual truth about theent is an argument that is valid and whose premises are all true. In other words, the premises are true and the conclusion necessarily follows from them, making the conclusion true as well. But, unlike science which can empirically test its premises, an “academic” philosophical argument has no mechanism to test its premises. It cannot arrive at a “true conclusion”.
    I'M SORRY, BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW ELSE TO GET THROUGH TO YOU. THIS STATEMENT YOU JUST MADE IS A PHILOSOPHICAL STATEMENT. IT PURPORTS TO BE 'TRUTHFUL' AND 'FACTUAL.' SO YOU CONTRADICT YOURSELF.

    As I pointed out above, and in many other cases, philosophical arguments can make real claims about the world, many of them decisive.
    Last edited by Jim B.; 03-03-2020 at 02:43 PM.

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  3. #292
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    We are environmentally conditioned to enjoy certain natural sounds just as culturally we are socialized to enjoy certain types of music.
    Of course, but those are the minimal conditions and are laughably insufficient for explaining everything about the experience.



    What “more than that” do you suggest?
    As Louie Armstrong famously said, "Man, if you gotta ask, you'll never know."



    We are genetically predisposed to believe data about the way the world around us functions. It’s a survival thing.
    So how are you NOT a believer in evolutionary psychology?

    For you to believe that you can represent this evolutionary process 'truthfully,' means that there must be at least a logical distinction between that process and your capacity to rationally and faithfully represent it. Otherwise, your capacity for representing is merely another adaptive tool, and we as humans could never 'stand outside' logically speaking of that process to represent it more or less accurately. Physical evolution explains a lot about us, but evo psych goes too far in positing that it explains EVERYTHING, because then it undercuts our ability to confidently say that it explains everything.



    Possibly. But science is better equipped than philosophy to investigate “emergent properties”.
    In terms of their causal properties, perhaps, but probably not in other respects.



    As opposed to your predetermined notion of “phenomenal concepts” you mean?
    How do you know that it's pre-determined if you don't know what it is?

  4. #293
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    QUOTE=Jim B.;715909]'Subjective' means: "based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes or opinions." To have personal feelings, tastes or opinions, there must be a person there, an "I" or a subject within whom those subjective states are occurring. If there is no "I", there is no possibility of subjectivity. It is a belief that I exist, but it is a more certain belief than any belief that can possibly be derived from scientific research, because that research already assumes the reality of an external world, of a self, of inductive regularity, etc... This is an actual truth discoverable about the world that results from philosophy and is not possible from science.
    The subjective belief that “I” exist is an instinct common to most sentient creatures. One doesn’t require philosophical argument OR science to arrive at this conclusion.

    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SUPERNATURAL. How many times do I have to say that?
    If you are not arguing for the supernatural then you shouldn't be concerned about accepting the scientific position that all properties related to consciousness and the mind are reducible to, or derive from, nature.

    THIS STATEMENT YOU JUST MADE IS A PHILOSOPHICAL STATEMENT.
    Yes. It is a “philosophical statement” about the requirements of a “sound” philosophical argument, which you vaunted as the means of testing an 'academic' philosophical argument.

    But “a deductive argument is sound if and only if it is both valid, and all of its premises are actually true. Otherwise, a deductive argument is unsound”.

    https://www.iep.utm.edu/val-snd/

    And a philosophical argument has no mechanism for arriving at a 'true premise'. Alternatively, as opposed to philosophy, science verifies its premises (or hypotheses) by empirically testing them multiple times. As such it has arrived at conclusions that are sufficiently reliable to determine the laws and constants of the universe and put a man on the moon.
    Last edited by Tassman; 03-03-2020 at 11:41 PM.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  5. #294
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Of course, but those are the minimal conditions and are laughably insufficient for explaining everything about the experience.
    So you agree that we are environmentally conditioned to enjoy certain natural sounds just as culturally we are socialized to enjoy certain types of music. What more is required?

    As Louie Armstrong famously said, "Man, if you gotta ask, you'll never know."
    By which you presumably mean you think there must be more than merely a natural explanation for these things but are unable to explain it. You just know it.

    For you to believe that you can represent this evolutionary process 'truthfully,' means that there must be at least a logical distinction between that process and your capacity to rationally and faithfully represent it. Otherwise, your capacity for representing is merely another adaptive tool, and we as humans could never 'stand outside' logically speaking of that process to represent it more or less accurately.
    Outside of what, exactly?

    In terms of their causal properties, perhaps, but probably not in other respects.
    What other respects?

    How do you know that it's pre-determined if you don't know what it is?
    Tell me what you mean by “phenomenal concepts”.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  6. #295
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    Morality however, doesn't seem to be prior to God's nature in the same way logic (which as I see it is in it's basest form simply the distinction between "meaningful" and "nonsensical" states of/statements about existence, or sets of statements about existence) is. It's impossible to me to speak coherently or meaningfully about God's nature in any way that is not logical, or in a way that is contrary to logic, but it does seem to me to be possible to speak about God's nature in a way that is completely devoid of moral language. It is perfectly possible to take any moral statement about God's nature and actions and rewrite them in such a way that they are stripped of any reference or inference to moral value judgements/propositions, and you're still left with a perfectly coherent description of God's nature and dealings with the universe. In short, it doesn't seem to me like moral values/statements/propositions define/bind/constrain (or whatever word you prefer) God's nature in even remotely the same sort of way that logic does.
    I agree. I meant 'logical' in the sense that the distinction between God and moral goodness is only logical or conceptual and not actual, that God is in actuality one with 'the good' for eternity because that is his eternal nature.


    I agree that God doesn't have any moral obligations, but not because He is morally perfect. A created being could theoretically be morally perfect, but still have moral obligations. God doesn't have any moral obligations because He Himself is the source of moral obligations. Humans have moral obligations not because we're finite imperfect beings, but because we are created by and stand in relation to God, and a core component of that relation is moral obligations. Regardless of whether we've attained moral perfection or not, these moral obligations still apply to us. Moral perfection would simply lead to us fulfilling our moral obligations willingly and without feelings of compulsion, but the obligations themselves do not disappear simply because our unwillingness to fulfill them disappears.
    This is where we differ. If God is the source of goodness, then he sets the standard and criteria for what constitutes goodness, the metric of goodness, if you will. He is "goodness itself." But when we ascribe a property to something, we mean that it can be judged by a standard that is logically independent of itself. Otherwise the process of property-ascription loses its meaning. If "God is the Good" is to be understood as a strict identity statement, then there is no independent way of filling in the statement with meaning. It becomes in effect a tautology along the lines of "God is God" and "God does what God does."

    For "God is the Good" to be understood as a strict identity statement, then the Good has to be logically prior to any good-making property, such as being just, loving, merciful, etc. The good has to logically come before anything that could possibly make it good; otherwise, God's goodness would be logically dependent on those properties and there would therefore be a moral standard independent of God.

    If God "is" love, is this because love is good, or because love happens to be what God is? If God is love because love is good, then the good must be logically prior to love; but then God's goodness is a featureless blank without anything making it good. But it makes more intuitive sense to say that God is love (even though I have problems with saying 'God is love' as an identity statement) because love is good than to say that God is love simply because that is what God is. Sounds like a tautology.


    As to why God is perfect, I would posit that it is because God is the greatest conceivable Being, or greatest possible Being, and a perfect Being is greater than a being who is not perfect. And as to why what we call God's moral nature consists of the exact attributes that it does (i.e those attributes that make God act in a way that we call moral), I would simply say that it is because a Being who has those attributes is greater than a being who does not have them, or a being that only has them to a certain degree. I.e, God's moral nature is a consequence of Him being the greatest possible Being, and none of his moral attributes need to be explained by reference to a moral standard independent of God. In fact, if such a moral standard does exist (and to me such as standard seems unnecessary to explain any facet of reality), God's nature is perfectly explainable without any inference to such a standard.
    But 'perfection' strongly connotes "the exact meeting of a standard." "Perfect" in relation to what? How can something or someone be 'perfect' in regards to a standard that he himself sets? The word loses its meaning, like Wittgenstein's famous question "What time is it on the sun?"



    It makes perfect sense to me to wonder why goodness is a part of God's nature, and I would posit that the answer lies in Perfect Being theology.
    Yes, God is the greatest conceivable Being, but as I said, God's moral perfection does not necessarily help you. According to the Autonomy Thesis, which I'm defending, either God has good reasons for his commands or he doesn't. If he does, then those reasons, and not his commands, are the ultimate grounds of moral obligation. If he does not have good reasons, then his commands are arbitrary and may be disregarded.

    Moral autonomy and responsibility are both premised on the fact that moral obligation is grounded in reasons that are equally transparent and accessible, ideally, to all moral agents and to the different semantic meanings to the phrases: "being morally obligatory" and "being willed by God" even if they happen to coincide in fact.


    Is love a good thing merely due to the fact that God loves? Or does God love because to love is a good thing? I know you're saying they are the same thing in terms of his character, but there's a logical distinction that must be made. Even if God is the primordial and exemplary instance of loving, that would not, IMO, alter the fact that love is an intrinsically good thing. And if it is an intrinsically good thing, then there is a moral standard that is logically independent of God.

    How, just by being the primordial and exemplary act of loving, would God make love a good thing? If God is the primordial and exemplary instance of mathematical thought, would that thought actually confer reality on mathematical objects?

    It's not clear how God could actually confer goodness on things that people normally consider to be intrinsically good things, such as health, life, consciousness, friendship, love, etc.

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