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Even if rejection of certainty was paradoxica

phantom
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12/2/2012 4:16:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
*Paradoxical

The most common attack against the position that nothing is certain, is that it is a self-defeating paradoxical statement. I have no idea why it's the most popular argument since it's usually essentially a strawman and misunderstanding, but I digress. That's a topic for another discussion. Even if the argument was completely valid, it wouldn't prove any certainties. It wouldn't even prove with certainty that certainties don't exist. If someone gave me a completely convincing argument that it was a self-contradictory statement, I would not then accept that certainties exist. No, I would take the step to radical skepticism. I would be agnostic to everything. That's essentially all the rebuttal would accomplish. It would lead to further skepticism. That is because the position that some things are certain is itself inherently fallacious as I will explain.

It seems logical that every fact has an explanation and that other facts back those logical facts. You can't claim something is true if there's no reason that it is true. Every statement you make would need an argument to be conceived of as true. But then it also seems only logical that there are a finite amount of facts. An infinity would be implausible. But then if there's a finite amount of facts and every statement needs a justification, either you are lead to circular reasoning or an infinite regress. Circular reasoning because if everything is explained by something else and there's only a finite amount of explanations, you'll have to eventually use explanations to explain themselves. Just like how the Greeks realized the couldn't define everything in geometry because it would lead to the same problem. An infinite regress because the only way to avoid circular reasoning is to keep using explanations until infinity. Both seem to be fallacious. So we're left with two epistemic problems. If you make a logical statement, either you're assuming an infinite amount of explanations or a circular based reasoning, or you just don't know. And we can't know how the problem is solved. So we can't claim certainty. It's fallacious. We have limited knowledge backing up our claims. Every time we make a claim, we make presuppositions. Those presuppositions may be valid or invalid. We can give pseudo proofs to some of them but those proofs themselves make more presuppositions and we can't possibly address everything. So when we claim something is certain, we can only justify that claim by being certain of our presuppositions. That is because if one of the foundations of your belief is uncertain, your belief can't stand as certain either. Certainties need other certainties to back them up; one reason why I have to wander if people who claim the only certainty is that everything is uncertain with the exception of that statement, have really thought of the ramifications of that proposition.

Therefore, the position that certainties exist, is in itself a fallacious and inherently flawed viewpoint. If I found the argument that the view that certainties don't exist is paradoxical, I could not accept that certainties do exist. It's not a true dichotomy that the only positions are that either something is certain or nothing is certain. You could be agnostic to it. You could have no negation or acceptance of certainties existing. But you would then have to be agnostic to everything. If I was convinced of the argument, logic would seem like a flawed system. I could not accept any statement as true or false even the statement that I cannot except anything as true/false. It's not really contradictory because instead of being a belief, it would be a complete lack of belief. I just would refrain from believing in anything. So contrary to proving certainties do exist, if the argument were valid, it would only promote pure skepticism. Either your a total skeptic, a skeptic or a non-skeptic. As non-skepticism is flawed, if I were convinced skepticism is flawed, I would only have the option of total skepticism.

So please people, stop using that argument as your only or main justification for certainties existing. It doesn't help to prove it at all.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
socialpinko
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12/2/2012 9:37:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Besides simply reverting to agnosticism, I know Cody has an argument against nihilism being self-defeating/paradoxical. Don't know enough about it to comment *and* do justice though.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
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phantom
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12/2/2012 9:55:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/2/2012 9:37:21 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Besides simply reverting to agnosticism, I know Cody has an argument against nihilism being self-defeating/paradoxical. Don't know enough about it to comment *and* do justice though.

Well from my experience almost every argument that it's paradoxical has ended up being a misunderstanding/representation of the position of skepticism. I've never found it to be paradoxical. I didn't address it in the OP though since I was just saying even if it were, it would only lead to further skepticism not the affirmation of certainties.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
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12/2/2012 10:24:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/2/2012 10:18:08 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Certainty certainly has the possibility of existing.

I love epistemology.

It's possible certainties exist. But it's also possible they don't exist. Therefore it's not certain.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
OMGJustinBieber
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12/2/2012 10:27:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/2/2012 10:24:09 PM, phantom wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:18:08 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Certainty certainly has the possibility of existing.

I love epistemology.

It's possible certainties exist. But it's also possible they don't exist. Therefore it's not certain.

You say "nothing is certain" so this might roughly mean no truth values of 1 or 0. So, truth values are certainly between .0001 and .9999.

Otherwise your claims just falls flat on itself with the other interpretation that allows for the possibility of certainty.

When you say that it's possible that certainties exist you're flatly contradicting your original statement.
phantom
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12/2/2012 10:39:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/2/2012 10:27:52 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:24:09 PM, phantom wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:18:08 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Certainty certainly has the possibility of existing.

I love epistemology.

It's possible certainties exist. But it's also possible they don't exist. Therefore it's not certain.

You say "nothing is certain" so this might roughly mean no truth values of 1 or 0. So, truth values are certainly between .0001 and .9999.

Otherwise your claims just falls flat on itself with the other interpretation that allows for the possibility of certainty.

When you say that it's possible that certainties exist you're flatly contradicting your original statement.

Truth values are not certainly between .0001 and .9999. Where do you make this conclusion? Saying nothing is certain doesn't entail what truth values are with certainty.

Also what do you mean exactly by truth values? I believe absolute truths exist. I think many truths are not partial truths. The relativity only exists in probabilities. So nothing has the probability of 0 or 100 but truths can still be 100% true/false.

It's possible God exists. It's also possible he doesn't exist. It's possible certainties exist. It's also possible they don't exist.

Are the first statements fallacious? Why/why not?
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
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12/2/2012 10:47:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/2/2012 10:43:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
"Nothing is certain" and "It's possible certainties exist" flatly contradict. You have said both.

God does not exist. It's possible God exists.

How do those contradict? The first statement is not an epistemic claim. None are. The first statement is based on the fact that it is likely. The second statement is the concession that what is likely still leaves room for the possibility that is wrong. It's always possible that we're wrong but it's still many times probable that we're right.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
OMGJustinBieber
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12/3/2012 12:27:50 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/2/2012 10:47:33 PM, phantom wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:43:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
"Nothing is certain" and "It's possible certainties exist" flatly contradict. You have said both.

God does not exist. It's possible God exists.

How do those contradict? The first statement is not an epistemic claim. None are. The first statement is based on the fact that it is likely. The second statement is the concession that what is likely still leaves room for the possibility that is wrong. It's always possible that we're wrong but it's still many times probable that we're right.

Those very clearly contradict, and I'll pose the question to DDO if you need further backing. If you want to say the first statement is based on the fact that it is likely, say God likely does not exist.

I think you're kind of pulling a trick here. You've already decided that "nothing is certain" is an axiom that is beyond doubt, so any attempt that I make to doubt it or point out its practical contradictions you just deny by placing it on this higher theoretical level that entails unquestionability. It would be like if I were to blankly assert that atheism and theism are compatible because theists are actually atheists when all is considered.
phantom
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12/3/2012 12:48:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/3/2012 12:27:50 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:47:33 PM, phantom wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:43:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
"Nothing is certain" and "It's possible certainties exist" flatly contradict. You have said both.

God does not exist. It's possible God exists.

How do those contradict? The first statement is not an epistemic claim. None are. The first statement is based on the fact that it is likely. The second statement is the concession that what is likely still leaves room for the possibility that is wrong. It's always possible that we're wrong but it's still many times probable that we're right.

Those very clearly contradict, and I'll pose the question to DDO if you need further backing. If you want to say the first statement is based on the fact that it is likely, say God likely does not exist.

Why would I have to insert the "likely" into it? The first statement neither necessarily imposes certainty or probability. It depends on the person making it. It's just a statement of belief. Richard Dawkins would say God does not exist but he still admits he might. We make probability statements all the time without using "likely". It would be incredibly redundant to use likely and probably every time we made a probability claim.

And this is just semantics anyway so it doesn't matter. I took it as a probability statement so what I meant is what's important.

I think you're kind of pulling a trick here. You've already decided that "nothing is certain" is an axiom that is beyond doubt, so any attempt that I make to doubt it or point out its practical contradictions you just deny by placing it on this higher theoretical level that entails unquestionability.

Don't know what you mean. I haven't decided that the statement "nothing is certain" is beyond doubt. I deny the contradictions because I don't think they are contradictions.

It would be like if I were to blankly assert that atheism and theism are compatible because theists are actually atheists when all is considered.

I don't get how you would accomplish that.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
OMGJustinBieber
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12/3/2012 12:58:41 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Richard Dawkins would say God does not exist but he still admits he might.

Yes, so his real stance is that God probably does not exist. Saying God certainly doesn't exist is stupid.

We make probability statements all the time without using "likely".

Are you going Cartesian on me? What kinds of statements are these? Give me some examples.

Don't know what you mean. I haven't decided that the statement "nothing is certain" is beyond doubt.

I think you do, and that you don't realize it. I'd be willing to debate you on this, but I can't do so until January because this week is finals and I'll be going overseas afterwards until around New Years. Meanwhile I'd be happy to pose the question to DDO: Does it contradict if someone believes both "there is no God" and "it is possible that there is a God."
OMGJustinBieber
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12/3/2012 1:03:08 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
^The only way these statements are compatible is if you hold "there may be a God" as a general meta-claim. Hard atheism and agnosticism are widely acknowledged to be different stances.
000ike
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12/3/2012 5:26:39 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/2/2012 10:47:33 PM, phantom wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:43:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
"Nothing is certain" and "It's possible certainties exist" flatly contradict. You have said both.

God does not exist. It's possible God exists.

How do those contradict? The first statement is not an epistemic claim. None are. The first statement is based on the fact that it is likely. The second statement is the concession that what is likely still leaves room for the possibility that is wrong. It's always possible that we're wrong but it's still many times probable that we're right.

The first statement is an objective claim since it doesn't include a clause of limitation....you can't just insert one in your head and then suppose that the actual english words you put down actually communicate that message. All statements that set no bounds on a claim are objective and absolute statements. That's what differentiates "God does not exist" from "It is likely that God does not exist," and "I don't believe that God exists." So, the 2 statements are very clearly contradictory.

And you also can't just say that all that matters is what you meant,...because as you already know, philosophy uses very precise and categorical diction, and the smallest changes and oversights lead to a huge change in meaning. This is the same problem I had with your "Omnipotence means all power except power to transgress logic"... which is not grammatically valid because "all" means all...not some, not most. All. All is boundless. If Logic was a limiting factor, then you would not use "all" you would use maybe most or some. So you can't use the term "omnipotence" and then proceed the sentence with "except".
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Sidewalker
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12/3/2012 6:38:42 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/2/2012 10:47:33 PM, phantom wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:43:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
"Nothing is certain" and "It's possible certainties exist" flatly contradict. You have said both.

God does not exist. It's possible God exists.

How do those contradict? The first statement is not an epistemic claim. None are. The first statement is based on the fact that it is likely. The second statement is the concession that what is likely still leaves room for the possibility that is wrong. It's always possible that we're wrong but it's still many times probable that we're right.

You're falling back to those "dreadful semantics" that you said your epistemic nihilism tends to in the other thread. God does not exist is an unqualified statement, it is not a probabilistic statement and it leaves no room for uncertainty. Nothing is certain is an unqualified statement, it states with certainty that nothing is certain. You also said you believe in absolute truths, yet no truths can be absolute if nothing is certain, for an epistemic nihilist there are no absolute truths and there certainly should be no unqualified statements.

The statement "nothing is certain" is an unqualified statement, "nothing" is an unqualified noun that leaves no room for anything else, so the statement introduces the self referential paradox (the liars paradox - if the statement is true then it is false), it is self contradictory because it states with unqualified certainty that there is no unqualified certainty (so if it's true then it is false).

I give you credit that you said yourself that you epistemic nihilist argument tends to dreadful semantics, nevertheless, that is exactly what this argument has become.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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12/3/2012 6:42:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
...and that is not a strawman argument.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
phantom
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12/4/2012 4:12:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/3/2012 12:58:41 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Richard Dawkins would say God does not exist but he still admits he might.

Yes, so his real stance is that God probably does not exist.

Correct. That's why saying, "God does not exist", does not imply that he probably does not exist. But nor does it imply that he certainly does not exist. It simply implies belief. Belief can have any degree of probability.

Saying God certainly doesn't exist is stupid.

You mean the language use, or the assertion?

We make probability statements all the time without using "likely".

Are you going Cartesian on me? What kinds of statements are these? Give me some examples.

Here are a few all from this conversation with the added "probably".

-"I [probably] don't know what you mean".
-"I [probably] haven't decided that the statement "Nothing is certain" is beyond doubt."
-Me
-"I think you [probably] do, and that don't realize it."
-You

Don't know what you mean. I haven't decided that the statement "nothing is certain" is beyond doubt.

I think you do, and that you don't realize it.

I fully concede that I might be wrong. I don't know why I would place it beyond doubt nor what I've said that's implied this.

I'd be willing to debate you on this, but I can't do so until January because this week is finals and I'll be going overseas afterwards until around New Years.

Debate what? That they contradict or whether anything is certain? Personally I'd rather do the latter since language seems less important but I'd do either.

Meanwhile I'd be happy to pose the question to DDO: Does it contradict if someone believes both "there is no God" and "it is possible that there is a God."

Go for it.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
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12/4/2012 4:28:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/3/2012 5:26:39 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:47:33 PM, phantom wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:43:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
"Nothing is certain" and "It's possible certainties exist" flatly contradict. You have said both.

God does not exist. It's possible God exists.

How do those contradict? The first statement is not an epistemic claim. None are. The first statement is based on the fact that it is likely. The second statement is the concession that what is likely still leaves room for the possibility that is wrong. It's always possible that we're wrong but it's still many times probable that we're right.

The first statement is an objective claim since it doesn't include a clause of limitation....

Correct. It doesn't include a clause of no limitation either.

you can't just insert one in your head and then suppose that the actual english words you put down actually communicate that message.

I don't. That's because it doesn't. Saying God does not exist neither implies that it's certain he exists or simply probable. It implies belief, but belief can be either certain or just probable. The statement in itself makes no claim to either. Just because it doesn't to the latter, doesn't mean the former is assumed.

All statements that set no bounds on a claim are objective and absolute statements.

Debate resolutions you've made:

"The infinite regress problem exists in objective morality only"

"God is a logical impossibility"

"Categorical Imperatives do not exist"

"The U.S would be better off without the Supreme Court"

Were you claiming certainty in all of these debates? According to you you were since you set no limits but I'd be surprised if you excluded the possibility that the supreme court is good, God is a logical impossibility etc...

Setting no bounds on a claim is not equal to saying there are no bounds, just that the statement is compatible with their being no bounds.

That's what differentiates "God does not exist" from "It is likely that God does not exist," and "I don't believe that God exists." So, the 2 statements are very clearly contradictory.

The difference between the two statements is the first is simply a belief claim while the second is a specific claim to probability. Neither claim 100% probability which is what certainty is. Saying "it is likely there is no God", is just clarifying you only believe it as probable because the first sentence doesn't do that.

And you also can't just say that all that matters is what you meant,...

I didn't...

because as you already know, philosophy uses very precise and categorical diction, and the smallest changes and oversights lead to a huge change in meaning. This is the same problem I had with your "Omnipotence means all power except power to transgress logic"... which is not grammatically valid because "all" means all...not some, not most. All. All is boundless. If Logic was a limiting factor, then you would not use "all" you would use maybe most or some. So you can't use the term "omnipotence" and then proceed the sentence with "except".

The main issue here was skepticism, so critiquing my language use didn't address the main issue even if it is perfectly fine to do. Language does matter. I never said I didn't. I was just saying it didn't poke any holes in my initial thesis.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
iamnotwhoiam
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12/4/2012 4:46:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/2/2012 4:16:18 PM, phantom wrote:
*Paradoxical

The most common attack against the position that nothing is certain, is that it is a self-defeating paradoxical statement. I have no idea why it's the most popular argument since it's usually essentially a strawman and misunderstanding, but I digress. That's a topic for another discussion. Even if the argument was completely valid, it wouldn't prove any certainties. It wouldn't even prove with certainty that certainties don't exist. If someone gave me a completely convincing argument that it was a self-contradictory statement, I would not then accept that certainties exist. No, I would take the step to radical skepticism. I would be agnostic to everything. That's essentially all the rebuttal would accomplish. It would lead to further skepticism. That is because the position that some things are certain is itself inherently fallacious as I will explain.

It seems logical that every fact has an explanation and that other facts back those logical facts. You can't claim something is true if there's no reason that it is true. Every statement you make would need an argument to be conceived of as true. But then it also seems only logical that there are a finite amount of facts. An infinity would be implausible. But then if there's a finite amount of facts and every statement needs a justification, either you are lead to circular reasoning or an infinite regress. Circular reasoning because if everything is explained by something else and there's only a finite amount of explanations, you'll have to eventually use explanations to explain themselves. Just like how the Greeks realized the couldn't define everything in geometry because it would lead to the same problem. An infinite regress because the only way to avoid circular reasoning is to keep using explanations until infinity. Both seem to be fallacious. So we're left with two epistemic problems. If you make a logical statement, either you're assuming an infinite amount of explanations or a circular based reasoning, or you just don't know. And we can't know how the problem is solved. So we can't claim certainty. It's fallacious. We have limited knowledge backing up our claims. Every time we make a claim, we make presuppositions. Those presuppositions may be valid or invalid. We can give pseudo proofs to some of them but those proofs themselves make more presuppositions and we can't possibly address everything. So when we claim something is certain, we can only justify that claim by being certain of our presuppositions. That is because if one of the foundations of your belief is uncertain, your belief can't stand as certain either. Certainties need other certainties to back them up; one reason why I have to wander if people who claim the only certainty is that everything is uncertain with the exception of that statement, have really thought of the ramifications of that proposition.

Therefore, the position that certainties exist, is in itself a fallacious and inherently flawed viewpoint. If I found the argument that the view that certainties don't exist is paradoxical, I could not accept that certainties do exist. It's not a true dichotomy that the only positions are that either something is certain or nothing is certain. You could be agnostic to it. You could have no negation or acceptance of certainties existing. But you would then have to be agnostic to everything. If I was convinced of the argument, logic would seem like a flawed system. I could not accept any statement as true or false even the statement that I cannot except anything as true/false. It's not really contradictory because instead of being a belief, it would be a complete lack of belief. I just would refrain from believing in anything. So contrary to proving certainties do exist, if the argument were valid, it would only promote pure skepticism. Either your a total skeptic, a skeptic or a non-skeptic. As non-skepticism is flawed, if I were convinced skepticism is flawed, I would only have the option of total skepticism.


Are you sure?
phantom
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12/4/2012 5:56:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/3/2012 6:38:42 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:47:33 PM, phantom wrote:
At 12/2/2012 10:43:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
"Nothing is certain" and "It's possible certainties exist" flatly contradict. You have said both.

God does not exist. It's possible God exists.

How do those contradict? The first statement is not an epistemic claim. None are. The first statement is based on the fact that it is likely. The second statement is the concession that what is likely still leaves room for the possibility that is wrong. It's always possible that we're wrong but it's still many times probable that we're right.

You're falling back to those "dreadful semantics" that you said your epistemic nihilism tends to in the other thread. God does not exist is an unqualified statement, it is not a probabilistic statement and it leaves no room for uncertainty.

Indeed, it is not a probabilistic statement. But it's also not a certainty statement. It could be either. It's not in itself one or the other but has the potential to be either.

Nothing is certain is an unqualified statement, it states with certainty that nothing is certain.

To justify this statement you have to show what in it entails 100% probability. You can't just show that it doesn't entail mere probability. It entails belief, nothing more. Adding the word probably to it allows us to clarify our position. Saying God does not exist, shows that the person believes he doesn't exist. Saying God probably doesn't exist shows what type of belief it is. The first statement does not show us what degree of belief he has.

You also said you believe in absolute truths, yet no truths can be absolute if nothing is certain, for an epistemic nihilist there are no absolute truths and there certainly should be no unqualified statements.

False. That's a complete misrepresentation of skepticism. Skeptics usually maintain that absolute truth exists. The question is about whether we can be certain of any of them. They're completely different. No truths are absolute to us. But that doesn't mean no objective truths exist in reality. The question of certainty is whether we as agents can apply anything the quality of certainty. The question of absolute truth is totally different because it's not in itself dependent on the agents view. To demonstrate this, consider the possible situation. What if we, by some fluke in evolution, or whatever, had severely flawed attributes of reasoning and the senses. We could make sense of a few things but reality seemed to be strange and contradicting and we didn't know what to trust. In that situation would anything be certain? Obviously not. Would absolute truths exist? There's no reason to say why not.

The statement "nothing is certain" is an unqualified statement, "nothing" is an unqualified noun that leaves no room for anything else, so the statement introduces the self referential paradox (the liars paradox - if the statement is true then it is false), it is self contradictory because it states with unqualified certainty that there is no unqualified certainty (so if it's true then it is false).

You seem to be saying the "nothing" entails epistemic absolutism. I'm not sure why you think that. Saying nothing is certain is an application too all beliefs and a rejection to a certain quality (certainty) of them. We may not be able to conceive of every proposition, but reasoning still allows us to garner that they are only probably true or unlikely and not certain.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by "unqualified"?

I give you credit that you said yourself that you epistemic nihilist argument tends to dreadful semantics, nevertheless, that is exactly what this argument has become.

Yes I realize that. But we're not even discussing skepticism anymore. We're just discussing the language I used in demonstrating it. Skepticism is belief that probably nothing is certain. We're just arguing whether the statement "nothing is certain"can be just probability. If I had said the earlier statement (which would have clarified my actual meaning) we wouldn't be having this conversation.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
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12/4/2012 5:57:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/4/2012 4:32:18 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Sidewalker nailed the issue. I'm done with the discussion.

Are you still going to pose the question though?
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
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12/4/2012 5:58:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/3/2012 6:42:55 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
...and that is not a strawman argument.

For the most part. That's why I said "usually".
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
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12/4/2012 5:58:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/4/2012 4:46:53 PM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:

Are you sure?

Guess.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
tBoonePickens
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12/4/2012 6:00:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/2/2012 4:16:18 PM, phantom wrote:
*Paradoxical

The most common attack against the position that nothing is certain, is that it is a self-defeating paradoxical statement.
That's because it IS a paradoxical statement.

I have no idea why it's the most popular argument since it's usually essentially a strawman and misunderstanding, but I digress.
It can be a strawman but it has been my experience that it's your rebuttal that's the strawman.

Even if the argument was completely valid, it wouldn't prove any certainties.
Yes it would. It would prove with certainty that "nothing is certain" is a paradoxical statement.

It wouldn't even prove with certainty that certainties don't exist.
That's actually another contradiction.

If someone gave me a completely convincing argument that it was a self-contradictory statement, I would not then accept that certainties exist.
Sure it would: the certainty that it is a self-contradictory statement.

No, I would take the step to radical skepticism.
And it would be futile as it would be equivalent to not taking any steps at all!

I would be agnostic to everything.
You can't be agnostic to everything; that too is a contradictory statement.

That's essentially all the rebuttal would accomplish.
Nope; see above.

It would lead to further skepticism.
I agree: it would lead to further contradiction.

That is because the position that some things are certain is itself inherently fallacious as I will explain.
Another paradoxical statement. You're on a roll!

It seems logical that every fact has an explanation and that other facts back those logical facts.
OK.

You can't claim something is true if there's no reason that it is true.
Depends what you mean by reason. Something can be true for the simple reason that it cannot be false.

Every statement you make would need an argument to be conceived of as true. But then it also seems only logical that there are a finite amount of facts.
Not necessarily so; I would say that there can only be understood or known a finite amount of facts.

An infinity would be implausible. But then if there's a finite amount of facts and every statement needs a justification, either you are lead to circular reasoning or an infinite regress. Circular reasoning because if everything is explained by something else and there's only a finite amount of explanations, you'll have to eventually use explanations to explain themselves.
True but there's no need for infinite regression because there are facts that do not rely on other facts to be true. Ergo, you have starting point(s). Remember that circular reasoning is not = to a tautology: in other words, all circular reasoning is tautological but not all tautologies are circular reasoning.

Therefore, the position that certainties exist, is in itself a fallacious and inherently flawed viewpoint.
That's a contradiction.

If I found the argument that the view that certainties don't exist is paradoxical, I could not accept that certainties do exist.
Well, you could but you just don't want to. Regardless, you couldn't actually do this for all things because then there wouldn't be anything being done.

It's not a true dichotomy that the only positions are that either something is certain or nothing is certain. You could be agnostic to it. You could have no negation or acceptance of certainties existing.
It seems to me that you are equivocating belief and knowledge here.

But you would then have to be agnostic to everything.
That's not possible; it's a contradiction.

If I was convinced of the argument, logic would seem like a flawed system. I could not accept any statement as true or false even the statement that I cannot except anything as true/false.
Another contradiction! You are a contradiction machine!

It's not really contradictory because instead of being a belief, it would be a complete lack of belief.
Agnosticism is a position on knowledge NOT belief. "Lack of belief in X" can ONLY be understood as "the belief in not-X", which is of course simply another belief; thus it is also a position on belief. Any other interpretation is a contradiction in meaning, and probably what you are trying to express. You must realize that if "lack of belief" is not itself a belief then it is also NOT belief claim and certainly NOT a knowledge claim...so then what type of claim is it? (Hint: it is a contradiction...it is the claimless claim!)

I just would refrain from believing in anything.
Another one!

So contrary to proving certainties do exist, if the argument were valid, it would only promote pure skepticism.
All that means is "pure paradox"; there's no need for the modifier.

Either your a total skeptic, a skeptic or a non-skeptic.
False choices. Total skeptic = total paradox which is no different than skeptic because skeptic = paradox. So the only real choice is non-skeptic because non-skeptic = non-paradoxical.

As non-skepticism is flawed, if I were convinced skepticism is flawed, I would only have the option of total skepticism.
Actually non-skepticism is the only choice because it's the only one that's non-paradoxical.

So please people, stop using that argument as your only or main justification for certainties existing. It doesn't help to prove it at all.
It is quite easy to accommodate you: simply stop propagating your paradoxical argument and people will stop pointing out your paradoxes!

Cheers!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
OMGJustinBieber
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12/4/2012 6:15:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/4/2012 5:57:07 PM, phantom wrote:
At 12/4/2012 4:32:18 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Sidewalker nailed the issue. I'm done with the discussion.

Are you still going to pose the question though?

If you want me to, your reasoning just relies on "nothing is certain" being exempt from doubt so that contradictory statements can be reconciled if you alter their meaning. It would be like if I said X is either Black or ~Black, and you just denied the dichotomy because you think everything is probabilistic and you can doubt it....I think I've figured you out, and I obviously can't force you accept Sidewalker's assessment but I think he was spot on.
phantom
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12/4/2012 6:29:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/4/2012 6:15:18 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 12/4/2012 5:57:07 PM, phantom wrote:
At 12/4/2012 4:32:18 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Sidewalker nailed the issue. I'm done with the discussion.

Are you still going to pose the question though?

If you want me to, your reasoning just relies on "nothing is certain" being exempt from doubt

I don't know what you mean by this. It's not exempt from doubt. I admit that it could be wrong. There is a degree of doubt in the statement. The reason it's probably true is because any statement of certainty in and of itself has flaws in it. I don't just say X isn't certain because nothing is certain, if that's what you're saying. I say X isn't certain because it inherently contains no certainty.

so that contradictory statements can be reconciled if you alter their meaning. It would be like if I said X is either Black or ~Black, and you just denied the dichotomy because you think everything is probabilistic and you can doubt it....I think I've figured you out, and I obviously can't force you accept Sidewalker's assessment but I think he was spot on.

We can't reconcile contradictory/seemingly contradictory statements but there's still always the possibility that they're not actually contradictory. I would not deny that dichotomy because I think it's a true dichotomy. I would just deny that it was a certain dichotomy.

I don't like to use the term "doubt". I thought you said the same in the other thread. Doubting seems to much like a simple mental activity. Everything can be reasoned to nothing as high as 100% or as low as 0%. That's my position.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
THEBOMB
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12/4/2012 10:35:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Nobody ever defined certainty. If we take it to mean free from all forms of skepticism (cannot be argued against, etc.), then what exactly is certain? "Nothing is certain, not even that" I forget who said that (was it Arcesilaus). But, how exactly does a proposition become certain? An argument has three parts, claim, warrant, and impact. A debater has to make a claim. They then have to warrant that claim. In order for the claim to be truly justified, the warrant must be certain. If you allow the warrant to be uncertain, then the claim is uncertain. But, what is a warrant but another claim? How can one be certain if they cannot justify all propositions? How can someone be certain about their uncertainty? How can someone else be certain that, another person's certainty, about their uncertainty, is uncertain? How can someone be certain that a person's certainty about another's certainty about someone else's uncertainty is uncertain? How can somebody else be certain that a person's certainty about another person's certainty about somebody else's uncertainty being uncertain? Excuse me if I made a few logical errors, I'm tired and that was not the easiest thing to write or think about. By trying to defeat the statement "nothing is certain" one is falling right into a logical sh1t storm. How can someone be certain that it is a paradox? How can someone be certain that the warrants for their certainty about the paradox are certain?

So, what is certain?