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

  1. #71
    tWebber mattbballman31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    They are speculations based upon observation and inference and in this sense are the equivalent of scientific hypotheses. But they remain unverified speculations, i.e. mere academic arguments, if they cannot be tested by experiments to verify the inferences.
    They are not speculations based upon observation, though they are based on a kind of inference. To judge transcendental deductions by whether or not they can be verified by experiment is just a category mistake. When the deductions are a priori, they're not based on experiment, and experiment is unnecessary to verify such inferences. You're just waffling between two completely distinct epistemic categories, and imposing the methodological constraints of one category onto the other. This is question-begging.

    IÂ’m not "invalidating" philosophy. It is essential for holding the scientific structure together - e.g. it can ensure self-consistency and avoid errors of false inference. But philosophy cannot in and of itself arrive at new factual knowledge about the real world. For this you need scientific methodology.
    You're invalidating the kind of philosophy you need to hold the structure of science together. It certainly isn't limited to formal considerations like self-consistency or errors in false inference. You're going to need to motivate an entire metaphilosophy that would back that up. My metaphilosophy is in line with the consensus of analytic metaphysics. It defintely doesn't naturalize the discipline. It provides it with its own domain, inaccessible to the sciences, but nevertheless justified, even more so than the sciences. For the sciences deal with the probable, whereas philosophy deals with the necessary and the possible. Disciplinary interface is taken on a case by case basis. To say that philosophy can't give you new factual knowledge is just naive. Philosophy is very useful in determining what is impossible or necessary, which has momentous empirical consequences. If science is investigating whether or not an empirical phenomenon has happened, and the scientist is given a philosophical argument justifying why such a phenomenon is impossible, then the scientist is given factual knowledge about the world (the modal joints of reality are such that such a phenomenon can't be: to argue against this would use the same philosophical methods ruled out a priori by your metaphilosophy). Further empirical inquiry isn't needed. The phenomenon can't, in principle, happen. I could multiply examples of this in the history of both science and philosophy indefinitely.
    Many and painful are the researches sometimes necessary to be made, for settling points of [this] kind. Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.
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  2. #72
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    They are not speculations based upon observation, though they are based on a kind of inference.
    They are “speculations” nevertheless and cannot be verified by anything other than an academic argument.

    My metaphilosophy is in line with the consensus of analytic metaphysics. It defintely doesn't naturalize the discipline. It provides it with its own domain, inaccessible to the sciences, but nevertheless justified, even more so than the sciences.
    How can your metaphysical argument be justified as any more than an academic mind-game, when there is no mechanism to arrive at a verifiable true premise and consequently cannot arrive at a verifiable true conclusion?
    “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.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    They are “speculations” nevertheless and cannot be verified by anything other than an academic argument.

    How can your metaphysical argument be justified as any more than an academic mind-game, when there is no mechanism to arrive at a verifiable true premise and consequently cannot arrive at a verifiable true conclusion?
    How can anything you just said be verified?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    This is the crux of the matter. Why would killing and eating those of a neighboring tribe be immoral, exactly? And you still have two distinct moral standards. God's and this other thing (no matter how well they line up). What about Occams' Razor here? This ethereal second standard of yours would be totally unnecessary. And considering cannibalism immoral is not an inherent human condition, since some do find it morally acceptable.
    Let's make it simple. Let's talk about torturing small children for one's amusement. Doing so is immoral because it is unnecessarily cruel and unjust. It is immoral because it unnecessarily causes harm and pain and misery. Misery is bad. Happiness is good. Justice is good and injustice is bad. You can continually ask "Why?" and somewhere the "why's" end in intrinisic or axiomatic fact, i.e. "pain is bad, pleasure is good." Axioms cannot be ultimately grounded beyond those intrinsic facts, whether one's morality is secular or divine. Why would torturing children for fun be bad simply because God said so?

    If God is the only standard of 'the Good', then it leads to a tautology. It's contentless to say that "God is good," because all you're saying is that "God is God-like." To say that 'God does what is good' is only to say that 'God does what God does.' God can only hold Himself to the standard that HE Himself sets for Himself. Furthermore, God could not know that He is good but could only know that He is God-like, since He'd have no other possible criterion to judge Himself against.

    I don't know what "second standard" you're referring to here. There's only one standard, the standard of morality that is dictated by reason and that tells us that inflicting unnecessary cruelty is wrong. We could and often are wrong in our judgments about what is right and wrong and God is infinitely wiser than we are in His omniscience as far as knowing outcomes, but that fact doesn't alter the basic meanings of the words "good" and right".

    Some humans find murder and torture morally acceptable, but that doesn't mean that they are right in doing so. I meant the inherent human condition of being rational moral beings that are capable of being wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    This is the crux of the matter. Why would killing and eating those of a neighboring tribe be immoral, exactly? And you still have two distinct moral standards. God's and this other thing (no matter how well they line up). What about Occams' Razor here? This ethereal second standard of yours would be totally unnecessary. And considering cannibalism immoral is not an inherent human condition, since some do find it morally acceptable.
    The thing about Occam's Razor is that you're saying, or at least I think you're saying, that for every single math, logical, and moral truth there has to be a thought in God's mind perpetually maintaining that truth in its existence. That's an infinite number of, IMO, unnecessary extra entities!

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Let's make it simple. Let's talk about torturing small children for one's amusement. Doing so is immoral because it is unnecessarily cruel and unjust. It is immoral because it unnecessarily causes harm and pain and misery. Misery is bad. Happiness is good. Justice is good and injustice is bad. You can continually ask "Why?" and somewhere the "why's" end in intrinisic or axiomatic fact, i.e. "pain is bad, pleasure is good." Axioms cannot be ultimately grounded beyond those intrinsic facts, whether one's morality is secular or divine. Why would torturing children for fun be bad simply because God said so?
    Jim, if torturing small children for fun brings great pleasure to the sadist then is redounds to personal opinion as to weather it is morally acceptable or not. The sadist thinks it is - we don't. And since we are finite we can not, apart from the law of God, turn it's immorality into a universal truth.

    If God is the only standard of 'the Good', then it leads to a tautology. It's contentless to say that "God is good," because all you're saying is that "God is God-like." To say that 'God does what is good' is only to say that 'God does what God does.' God can only hold Himself to the standard that HE Himself sets for Himself. Furthermore, God could not know that He is good but could only know that He is God-like, since He'd have no other possible criterion to judge Himself against.
    Of course He would have no other criterion to judge Himself, why would He? Why would anything else be necessary? His goodness is an "intrinsic or axiomatic fact."

    I don't know what "second standard" you're referring to here. There's only one standard, the standard of morality that is dictated by reason and that tells us that inflicting unnecessary cruelty is wrong. We could and often are wrong in our judgments about what is right and wrong and God is infinitely wiser than we are in His omniscience as far as knowing outcomes, but that fact doesn't alter the basic meanings of the words "good" and right".
    Jim you just referenced this second standard when you asked about what other criterion can judge Himself against. What is this other criterion that God can look to see if He is doing the right thing.

    Some humans find murder and torture morally acceptable, but that doesn't mean that they are right in doing so. I meant the inherent human condition of being rational moral beings that are capable of being wrong.
    You are still taking a personal moral opinion (torture isn't morally acceptable) and universalizing it.

    The thing about Occam's Razor is that you're saying, or at least I think you're saying, that for every single math, logical, and moral truth there has to be a thought in God's mind perpetually maintaining that truth in its existence. That's an infinite number of, IMO, unnecessary extra entities!
    No I'm asking why we need that second moral criterion that God can judge Himself against, when He is the embodiment of goodness? The very standard of goodness.
    Last edited by seer; 01-16-2020 at 01:21 PM.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Jim, if torturing small children for fun brings great pleasure to the sadist then is redounds to personal opinion as to weather it is morally acceptable or not. The sadist thinks it is - we don't. And since we are finite we can not, apart from the law of God, turn it's immorality into a universal truth.
    We know it in the same way we know truths about the physical world, for instance. There is a computer in front of me, for example. My senses could deceive me. I could be in the matrix, etc. Likewise, all of our knowledge of the Bible could be part of that Matrix as well. All of my memories could have been manufactured up until now, including my knowledge of God.

    And God sanctions some apparently pretty heinous acts in the OT. He commands Abraham to kill Isaac, among other very problematic things. Biblical hermeneutics is not all that simple. We still need reason to interpret the Bible and to evaluate and judge God's trustworthiness and character. We have to have a prior and independent criterion of goodness to know the meanings of the terms 'goodness' and 'love' to be able to apply them to God.


    Of course He would have no other criterion to judge Himself, why would He? Why would anything else be necessary? His goodness is an "intrinsic or axiomatic fact."
    It would be necessary because without it, the 'good' is vacuous. It is devoid of meaning.



    Jim you just referenced this second standard when you asked about what other criterion can judge Himself against. What is this other criterion that God can look to see if He is doing the right thing.
    It was a rhetorical question. He needs only ONE standard, the one single standard of THE GOOD that HE and we and all rational beings judge themselves and are judged against. If He has no standard, no criterion of reference, then 'the good' for Him just means nothing. It's a circular definition.



    You are still taking a personal moral opinion (torture isn't morally acceptable) and universalizing it.
    You're confusing epistemology (how we come to know stuff) with metaphysics or ontology (what it is we are coming to know). All epistemology has an inescapable starting point in subjectivity. Even scientists and mathematicians have to use their physical sense organs to begin their investigations. So do theists. That fact does not mean that the object of the theist's investigation, namely God, is necessarily subjective in nature.



    No I'm asking why we need that second moral criterion that God can judge Himself against, when He is the embodiment of goodness? The very standard of goodness.
    You're begging the question. You're assuming that you are right and that God is the standard of goodness. I'm saying we should set that aside, since we shouldn't assume which of us is right. I'm saying that IF you are right, it leads to an absurdity, namely, that 'goodness' for God is vacuous.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    We know it in the same way we know truths about the physical world, for instance. There is a computer in front of me, for example. My senses could deceive me. I could be in the matrix, etc. Likewise, all of our knowledge of the Bible could be part of that Matrix as well. All of my memories could have been manufactured up until now, including my knowledge of God.

    And God sanctions some apparently pretty heinous acts in the OT. He commands Abraham to kill Isaac, among other very problematic things. Biblical hermeneutics is not all that simple. We still need reason to interpret the Bible and to evaluate and judge God's trustworthiness and character. We have to have a prior and independent criterion of goodness to know the meanings of the terms 'goodness' and 'love' to be able to apply them to God.
    I'm not sure what your point it Jim. For instance, if you disagreed with an act of God, you thought it was immoral, on what possible basis could you make that judgement?



    It would be necessary because without it, the 'good' is vacuous. It is devoid of meaning.
    Vacuous to whom? You? We both agree that moral questions must stop somewhere, I stop them in the moral character of God, where do you stop them?


    It was a rhetorical question. He needs only ONE standard, the one single standard of THE GOOD that HE and we and all rational beings judge themselves and are judged against. If He has no standard, no criterion of reference, then 'the good' for Him just means nothing. It's a circular definition.
    Sheesh you are doing it again! And how do you know this standard is actually good without begging the question?



    You're confusing epistemology (how we come to know stuff) with metaphysics or ontology (what it is we are coming to know). All epistemology has an inescapable starting point in subjectivity. Even scientists and mathematicians have to use their physical sense organs to begin their investigations. So do theists. That fact does not mean that the object of the theist's investigation, namely God, is necessarily subjective in nature.
    Jim I know the difference, and I'm not confusing anything. You still don't get to universalize a moral opinion. You would have to demonstrate how universal moral truths exist without God, and even if they did exist what authority they would have over us. Good luck.



    You're begging the question. You're assuming that you are right and that God is the standard of goodness. I'm saying we should set that aside, since we shouldn't assume which of us is right. I'm saying that IF you are right, it leads to an absurdity, namely, that 'goodness' for God is vacuous.
    How is it any more vacuous than this ethereal standard of good you are speaking of? Why is that the good? How do you get there without circular reasoning? If you can escape by claiming that as an axiomatic fact, why can't I do claim the same about the moral character of God?

    Let me ask you Jim, do you believe God's moral character is immutable?
    Last edited by seer; 01-17-2020 at 06:22 AM.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    How can anything you just said be verified?
    The metaphysical speculation both of you referred to, of course, cannot be verified. How can any one metaphysical argument be justified as 'truth' beyond what we may believe considering the conflicting diversity of the claims?
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 01-17-2020 at 08:07 PM.
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    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    How can anything you just said be verified?
    Scientific methodology provides a mechanism to test and verify hypothetical propositions to the extent it can put a man safely on the moon. Conversely, your purely academic metaphysical arguments cannot test and verify hypothetical propositions.
    Last edited by Tassman; 01-17-2020 at 11:56 PM.
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