Weak logical argument against a creator.

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Weak logical argument against a creator.

Post  Daneel Olivaw on Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:31 pm

I was having a discussion on another forum when 'invented' this simple syllogism that concludes that god does not exist. It's extremely flawed in some sense but I found it useful, specially to distinguish between rational believers (or at least those that respect rational discourse) and just plain dogmatists. It relies heavily in one definition that I think is not that controversial at first but may cause problems afterwards. The Universe is the set of all things that exist. So, to be more technical U = { x : E(x)} or "If E(x), then x ∈ U" with E(x) meaning "x exists". Then we ask the theist if god is part of the universe or just assume that the creator can't belong to it's creation. I don't think there should be a problem with that. So:

1. If E(x), then x ∈ U.
2. ¬U(god)
3. ¬E(god) (from 1 and 2)

I think this argument can be challenged (and effectively destroyed) by pointing out that, in the making of the premises, we indulged in an Equivocation Fallacy. When we defined the Universe as "the set of all things that exist", we are creating a mathematical concept (a set). But when we assert that "God does not belong to the Universe" we are using Universe more in a cosmological sense.
I found that dishonest theists will start hiding themselves in meaningless semantic changes and even declaring that the syllogism it a fallacy. I try to construct the premises using their own words, so once a guy said that "the universe is all that surrounds us, is tangible, measurable, material, immaterial or physical". So I constructed the syllogism to show that god cannot have any of those characteristics. To that he objected that I was "trying to deduce something like you are a computer and not a reasoning person" and that I didn't understand what he said. After that, I new that any meaningful conversation was impossible and that his position was based on dogma.

What do you think? Is it right to knowingly use invalid arguments in that fashion or do you think is not intellectually honest?

Daneel Olivaw

Posts : 11
Join date : 2010-02-10

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Re: Weak logical argument against a creator.

Post  Aught3 on Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:04 pm

What do you think? Is it right to knowingly use invalid arguments in that fashion or do you think is not intellectually honest?
I think it's useful to show flaws in their own arguments.

I doubt god can actually be shown to exist with a logical argument, what we need to impress on theists is the requirement for evidence in order to demonstrate existence.

Aught3

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Join date : 2009-09-25
Location : New Zealand

http://www.indoctrinatingfreethought.blogspot.com/

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Re: Weak logical argument against a creator.

Post  2buckchuck on Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:32 pm

Imho, it's never acceptable to use an argument that you know is flawed, except to point out its flaws.

Like Aught3, I don't believe it's possible to construct a syllogism that demonstrates the existence (or non-existence) of a deity. In the absence of an abstract argument, we have to fall back on the evidence. Using evidence, it's possible to construct many arguments that are most consistent with the absence of any deity of the sort espoused by the major monotheistic religions - e.g., the non-efficacy of prayer - but such arguments fall short of the standard of absolute proof that one can achieve via logic alone.

I recommend:

http://godisimaginary.com/

although I dispute that the evidence presented therein is "proof" in a purely abstract sense. Rather, it is strong evidence to refute the "God Hypothesis".

2buckchuck

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