December 1, 2020

The Council

Proclaiming the truth to the world.

Razor Thin Arguments

I had an exchange with a stubborn atheist of the name Ben Krueger about the issue of whether a rational atheistic worldview exists. He sliced his worldview on a Razor.

Ben Krueger:
also, my worldview can account for these things because those are the things that, as far as we know, simply are. That the world functions in a logical manner is my base assumption.

TheSire:
So, all knowledge is based on arbitrary assumptions? You are a fideist. Why should I accept your axioms over the axiom of X? The axiom states that the world is rational and that you (Ben) are wrong when you disagree with me. So, why not choose my axiom?

Ben Krueger
Asking how my worldview can account for logic and reason is like me asking you how your worldview can account for the existence of God. You would have no response besides “he just IS”. This is because God is your base assumption.

TheSire:
I don’t start with axioms, but rather employ epistemic circularity.

Ben Krueger:
I think he’s unnecessary, as Occam’s razor would dictate that the fewer assumptions you make, the stronger the explanation.

TheSire:
What grounds Occam’s razor? Your assumption? Secondly, I have a version of Occam’s razor myself. Mine states that every simpler explanation that makes sense of the data should be preferred as long as it comports to Christianity. That is just an axiom I am taking for this conversation. Third, it isn’t foolproof. It doesn’t tell us in advance what is a “simpler” theory. Fourthly, multiple versions of this principle exist:

Quantitative ontological parsimony
(or economy): postulating a smaller number of independent entities, processes, causes, or events.
Qualitative ontological parsimony
(or economy): postulating a smaller number of independent kinds or classes of entities, processes, causes, or events.
Common cause explanation
: accounting for phenomena in terms of common rather than separate causal processes.
Symmetry
: postulating that equalities hold between interacting systems and that the laws describing the phenomena look the same from different perspectives.
Uniformity
(or homogeneity): postulating a smaller number of changes in a given phenomenon and holding that the relations between phenomena are invariant.
Unification
: explaining a wider and more diverse range of phenomena that might otherwise be thought to require separate explanations in a single theory (theoretical reduction is generally held to be a species of unification).
Lower level processes
: when the kinds of processes that can be posited to explain a phenomena come in a hierarchy, positing processes that come lower rather than higher in this hierarchy.
Familiarity (or conservativeness)
: explaining new phenomena with minimal new theoretical machinery, reusing existing patterns of explanation.
Paucity of auxiliary assumptions
: invoking fewer extraneous assumptions about the world.
Paucity of adjustable parameters
: containing fewer independent parameters that the theory leaves to be determined by the data.
~Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

So, you’re not out of the woods just yet. The fact of the matter is you have no basis to believe your worldview is rational.

Ben Krueger
if you’re saying that God is logically possible, as opposed to actually possible, I disagree with premise two. Unless, of course, you’re referring to logically possible worlds, in which case I’d dispute premise three. You’ll have to elaborate, as I won’t take the time to dispute all three.

TheSire:
I am not making the argument, so it isn’t my job to do such. But if you think it is logically impossible then demonstrate it.

Ben Krueger
Second, when you say “you just need your worldview to account for reason and logic” and I justify it with axioms, you claim that you don’t use axioms.

TheSire:
I told you that I accept epistemic circularity. Other systems than foundationalism exist.

Ben Krueger
Rather, you say that God creates logic and logic justifies God’s existence.

TheSire:
We aren’t discussing my worldview. We are discussing yours and no amount of attacking mine will demonstrate that yours is rational. Plus this is a strawman as I haven’t said this.

Ben Krueger
First, you’ve yet to demonstrate that logic demonstrates God’s existence,and second, a God who has always been is the root to your worldview. Why assert a root where we haven’t demonstrated a need for one?You first have to demonstrate that logic and reasoning needed to be created. You haven’t even demonstrated that logic and reason exist in space,and are not simply a human made way of describing the universe.

TheSire:
The first thing you said is a red herring. It wasn’t what we were discussing at this moment. This is a burden-shifting attempt to attack my worldview while we are discussing your worldview. Are you presenting the idea that laws of logic are just man-made conventions?

Ben Krueger:
Then you can ask how my worldview accounts for the causing of their existence.

This is actually what I’ve been asking. What worldview are you presenting?

Ben Krueger:
Occam’s razor may be an axiom, but it justifies itself in it’s reliability as a logical tool.

TheSire:
So, the law of logic are axioms but Occam’s razor is justified by experience? The issue is that you are using this as a meta-epistemological rule to then assert later in your epistemology it as verified by experience. Secondly, you ignored the fact multiple versions of that principle exist and even my hypothetical competitor is just as justified as yours.

Ben Krueger
It’s not an inherent fact about the universe, simply an observation about human explanations of the universe. Like logic, reason, etc., it’s a man-made method used to describe the universe, not an inherent fact about the universe.

TheSire:
Why suppose a man-made system is true? If logic is a human convention then why couldn’t we just change logic?

Ben Krueger
we assume it’s true because it holds true consistently. I don’t see how this is hard for you.

TheSire:
You assume the truth of something because it is consistent. Well, I don’t think it is consistent. I think your worldview reduced logic to a human convention.

Ben Krueger
Also, if you’re not making the argument or the claim, then we shall fall to the rational default. That is: God doesn’t exist. Agnostic atheism. If you want to criticize my not believing in a God, you must demonstrate the existence of such a being.

TheSire:
I don’t believe there is a ‘default’ position and it surely isn’t agnosticism.

Ben Krueger
Now, while I as of yet carry no burden of proof, as I make no claim, I will still outline my worldview with regards to reason and logic to demonstrate its stability.

TheSire:
You seem to make claims but they are not stated. You, for example, believe your worldview to be rational and the basis for all rational thought.

Ben Krueger
To begin, we haven’t demonstrated that the fact that the universe operates in a logical way needs a cause, thus it is unnecessary to assert a cause.

TheSire:
How do you know the universe acts in an orderly rational way? What is your basis for any inductive inference?

Ben Krueger
We know the universe operates in a logical manner through observation. Logic is a man-made tool used to describe the universe.

TheSire:
Have you observed all instances of the universe? Have you observed all future states of the universe? Have you observed all past instances of the universe? So, it seems to not be the case that we have observed the universe in such a way that we know it acts in a rational fashion. If laws are just human conventions then I could arbitrarily make up laws of logic. So, the law of the non-ben states that you are wrong unless you agree with me. There are obvious problems with your a posteriori justification. There is a problem that you enter issues that just make what you are saying implausible. The first issue is that we assume logic before we experience things. I presuppose my experience isn’t identical to my non-experience. That isn’t proved by going out in your backyard and staring at rocks.Such as a proposition has an opposite value than its negation or [p ∨ (q ∨ r)] :: [(p ∨ q) ∨ r] [p ⋅ (q ⋅ r)] :: [(p ⋅ q) ⋅ r]. It simply is unrealistic to think you see these things and verify them while walking to the store. I also think it is unrealistic to think mathematical truths are discovered through the world. Where do we see greater and lesser infinite sets walking to the store? Thirdly, if we discover them through experience they loose there necessity, invariance, and universality. We could only say they apply in the past experiences that you had in which at any moment a contradiction could come before your eyes. I also don’t think it works by putting leaky buckets together. Sure you try to get inductive inference before you have logic, which is strange, but you have no basis for induction and only have created a twofold problem.

Secondly, you ignored my criticisms of your axioms. How does it avoid fideism and what about the axiomatic system that takes as an assumption that you’re wrong unless you agree with it.

Ben Krueger:
I would respond, but it would take a good amount of time that I don’t have. Anyone who reads the thread and has half a brain will understand what I’m saying even if you don’t. I now realize this is a waste of time, as you will continue to push the burden of proof where it does not belong. I wish we could have a conversation IRL so I could get you to finally understand what I’m saying. Because we can’t, I’ll just throw in the towel. Congratulations, you “won” an internet debate with your twisted logic.

I had an exchange with a stubborn atheist of the name Ben Krueger about the issue of whether a rational atheistic worldview exists. He sliced his worldview on a Razor.

Ben Krueger:
also, my worldview can account for these things because those are the things that, as far as we know, simply are. That the world functions in a logical manner is my base assumption.

TheSire:
So, all knowledge is based on arbitrary assumptions? You are a fideist. Why should I accept your axioms over the axiom of X? The axiom states that the world is rational and that you (Ben) are wrong when you disagree with me. So, why not choose my axiom?

Ben Krueger
Asking how my worldview can account for logic and reason is like me asking you how your worldview can account for the existence of God. You would have no response besides “he just IS”. This is because God is your base assumption.

TheSire:
I don’t start with axioms, but rather employ epistemic circularity.

Ben Krueger:
I think he’s unnecessary, as Occam’s razor would dictate that the fewer assumptions you make, the stronger the explanation.

TheSire:
What grounds Occam’s razor? Your assumption? Secondly, I have a version of Occam’s razor myself. Mine states that every simpler explanation that makes sense of the data should be preferred as long as it comports to Christianity. That is just an axiom I am taking for this conversation. Third, it isn’t foolproof. It doesn’t tell us in advance what is a “simpler” theory. Fourthly, multiple versions of this principle exist:

Quantitative ontological parsimony
(or economy): postulating a smaller number of independent entities, processes, causes, or events.
Qualitative ontological parsimony
(or economy): postulating a smaller number of independent kinds or classes of entities, processes, causes, or events.
Common cause explanation
: accounting for phenomena in terms of common rather than separate causal processes.
Symmetry
: postulating that equalities hold between interacting systems and that the laws describing the phenomena look the same from different perspectives.
Uniformity
(or homogeneity): postulating a smaller number of changes in a given phenomenon and holding that the relations between phenomena are invariant.
Unification
: explaining a wider and more diverse range of phenomena that might otherwise be thought to require separate explanations in a single theory (theoretical reduction is generally held to be a species of unification).
Lower level processes
: when the kinds of processes that can be posited to explain a phenomena come in a hierarchy, positing processes that come lower rather than higher in this hierarchy.
Familiarity (or conservativeness)
: explaining new phenomena with minimal new theoretical machinery, reusing existing patterns of explanation.
Paucity of auxiliary assumptions
: invoking fewer extraneous assumptions about the world.
Paucity of adjustable parameters
: containing fewer independent parameters that the theory leaves to be determined by the data.
~Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

So, you’re not out of the woods just yet. The fact of the matter is you have no basis to believe your worldview is rational.

Ben Krueger
if you’re saying that God is logically possible, as opposed to actually possible, I disagree with premise two. Unless, of course, you’re referring to logically possible worlds, in which case I’d dispute premise three. You’ll have to elaborate, as I won’t take the time to dispute all three.

TheSire:
I am not making the argument, so it isn’t my job to do such. But if you think it is logically impossible then demonstrate it.

Ben Krueger
Second, when you say “you just need your worldview to account for reason and logic” and I justify it with axioms, you claim that you don’t use axioms.

TheSire:
I told you that I accept epistemic circularity. Other systems than foundationalism exist.

Ben Krueger
Rather, you say that God creates logic and logic justifies God’s existence.

TheSire:
We aren’t discussing my worldview. We are discussing yours and no amount of attacking mine will demonstrate that yours is rational. Plus this is a strawman as I haven’t said this.

Ben Krueger
First, you’ve yet to demonstrate that logic demonstrates God’s existence,and second, a God who has always been is the root to your worldview. Why assert a root where we haven’t demonstrated a need for one?You first have to demonstrate that logic and reasoning needed to be created. You haven’t even demonstrated that logic and reason exist in space,and are not simply a human made way of describing the universe.

TheSire:
The first thing you said is a red herring. It wasn’t what we were discussing at this moment. This is a burden-shifting attempt to attack my worldview while we are discussing your worldview. Are you presenting the idea that laws of logic are just man-made conventions?

Ben Krueger:
Then you can ask how my worldview accounts for the causing of their existence.

This is actually what I’ve been asking. What worldview are you presenting?

Ben Krueger:
Occam’s razor may be an axiom, but it justifies itself in it’s reliability as a logical tool.

TheSire:
So, the law of logic are axioms but Occam’s razor is justified by experience? The issue is that you are using this as a meta-epistemological rule to then assert later in your epistemology it as verified by experience. Secondly, you ignored the fact multiple versions of that principle exist and even my hypothetical competitor is just as justified as yours.

Ben Krueger
It’s not an inherent fact about the universe, simply an observation about human explanations of the universe. Like logic, reason, etc., it’s a man-made method used to describe the universe, not an inherent fact about the universe.

TheSire:
Why suppose a man-made system is true? If logic is a human convention then why couldn’t we just change logic?

Ben Krueger
we assume it’s true because it holds true consistently. I don’t see how this is hard for you.

TheSire:
You assume the truth of something because it is consistent. Well, I don’t think it is consistent. I think your worldview reduced logic to a human convention.

Ben Krueger
Also, if you’re not making the argument or the claim, then we shall fall to the rational default. That is: God doesn’t exist. Agnostic atheism. If you want to criticize my not believing in a God, you must demonstrate the existence of such a being.

TheSire:
I don’t believe there is a ‘default’ position and it surely isn’t agnosticism.

Ben Krueger
Now, while I as of yet carry no burden of proof, as I make no claim, I will still outline my worldview with regards to reason and logic to demonstrate its stability.

TheSire:
You seem to make claims but they are not stated. You, for example, believe your worldview to be rational and the basis for all rational thought.

Ben Krueger
To begin, we haven’t demonstrated that the fact that the universe operates in a logical way needs a cause, thus it is unnecessary to assert a cause.

TheSire:
How do you know the universe acts in an orderly rational way? What is your basis for any inductive inference?

Ben Krueger
We know the universe operates in a logical manner through observation. Logic is a man-made tool used to describe the universe.

TheSire:
Have you observed all instances of the universe? Have you observed all future states of the universe? Have you observed all past instances of the universe? So, it seems to not be the case that we have observed the universe in such a way that we know it acts in a rational fashion. If laws are just human conventions then I could arbitrarily make up laws of logic. So, the law of the non-ben states that you are wrong unless you agree with me. There are obvious problems with your a posteriori justification. There is a problem that you enter issues that just make what you are saying implausible. The first issue is that we assume logic before we experience things. I presuppose my experience isn’t identical to my non-experience. That isn’t proved by going out in your backyard and staring at rocks.Such as a proposition has an opposite value than its negation or [p ∨ (q ∨ r)] :: [(p ∨ q) ∨ r] [p ⋅ (q ⋅ r)] :: [(p ⋅ q) ⋅ r]. It simply is unrealistic to think you see these things and verify them while walking to the store. I also think it is unrealistic to think mathematical truths are discovered through the world. Where do we see greater and lesser infinite sets walking to the store? Thirdly, if we discover them through experience they loose there necessity, invariance, and universality. We could only say they apply in the past experiences that you had in which at any moment a contradiction could come before your eyes. I also don’t think it works by putting leaky buckets together. Sure you try to get inductive inference before you have logic, which is strange, but you have no basis for induction and only have created a twofold problem.

Secondly, you ignored my criticisms of your axioms. How does it avoid fideism and what about the axiomatic system that takes as an assumption that you’re wrong unless you agree with it.

Ben Krueger:
I would respond, but it would take a good amount of time that I don’t have. Anyone who reads the thread and has half a brain will understand what I’m saying even if you don’t. I now realize this is a waste of time, as you will continue to push the burden of proof where it does not belong. I wish we could have a conversation IRL so I could get you to finally understand what I’m saying. Because we can’t, I’ll just throw in the towel. Congratulations, you “won” an internet debate with your twisted logic.