How do atheists rationally know truth from fiction?
Debate Rounds (5)
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If all you have is "science", do not respond to this debate, for science relies on the your senses and reason, which begs the question of how you know your senses and reason are valid. Perhaps you can tell me, which is fine, but if the way you validate you senses and reason is with your senses and reason, you lose the debate because that is circular reasoning and circular reasoning is not rational.
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R1 " To be "rational" is to use and accept good forms of argument.
Secondly, we need a definition of "knowledge". I shall give two common definitions, one Socratic and one modern:
K1 " To "know" x, one must have a true belief that x and a justification for this belief which ensures its truth.
K2 " To "know" x, one must have a true belief that x and have come to this belief by a reliable method.
Finally, I wish to clarify the scope of the question and offer two possibilities:
Q1: "Is there a way of knowing whether some proposition is true or fictitious, which both relies on good forms of argument and which does not make recourse to any notion of God?"
Q2: "Is there a way of knowing whether any proposition is true or fictitious, which both relies on good forms of argument and which does not make recourse to any notion of God?"
For now, I will answer Q1 and leave Q2 until the next round to allow room to argue properly. The argument I shall use here is deductive which is a form almost universally accepted as good:
1. I am thinking;
2. If I am thinking, then there are thoughts, therefore;
3. There are thoughts.
I maintain that premises 1 and 2 are true, and therefore by modus ponens, 3 is true. The proposition "there are thoughts" is therefore a true belief. I can justify my thinking it true by relying on the truth of 1 and 2, and on the validity of the argument, thus I can know this in the sense of K1. The true premises together with the valid form of argument also constitute a reliable method, thus I can know this in the sense of K2. The argument makes no reference to, nor relies upon God.
Therefore, there is a way to know some proposition ("there are thoughts") is true, and not fictitious, which relies on a good form of argument (deduction) and which does not make recourse to God.
Premise 1 is adapted from Descartes' 'Cogito'. 'I am thinking' is necessarily true each time it is thought. Indeed, it is impossible to assert its falsity, since each time anyone thinks "'I am thinking' is false", they will be thinking this, which refutes their proposition. Premise 1 is true because either I am thinking or I am not thinking (Law of Excluded Middle); it is impossible to assert that I am not thinking, therefore; 'I am thinking' is true (by disjunctive syllogism).
Premise 2, as a conditional, is false only if the antecedent is true while the consequent is false. I believe it to be analytically true that when the process of thinking occurs, this entails a thought as the object of thinking, which would render the consequent true whenever the antecedent is true; thereby making it impossible for the conditional to be false. As it is either true or false, and it cannot be false, 'if I am thinking, then there are thoughts' is true. The fact that I believe this to be analytically true is here evidence that it is, as ananytical truths are determined by speakers of a language, which I am. Moreover, this does not render my main argument vacuous, as only one premise is analytic.
The truth or falsity of determinism does not bear on this argument, it is perfectly possible that I think while every element of that thought was predetermined by the laws of nature and some previous state of the universe. Nothing in the concept of 'thought' requires that it be causally free.
Cluckelite forfeited this round.
Cluckelite forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by WhineyMagiciann5 9 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: my reasoning should be simple for this and short Arguments- pro gave a thinking process that can be used to achieve the goal that con set. while con only really said "how do you know what think is real?" which is much closer to a kritik than an actual argument. grammar: same sources: same conduct: while con had no argument and repeatedly rude to his opponent, pro did forfeit last two rounds.
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