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God, logic, debates.

TesterPot
Posts: 10
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3/16/2011 12:08:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
My first debate on here was about whether the Christian God could logically exist. I'm not sure whether we're allowed to link to debates so I won't, but afterwards I noticed voters and commenters questioning the relevance of what I was saying. I wished to properly address this in a rematch, but my original opponent refused.

So now I'm sat here wondering whether I really am insane or whether people just didn't understand me properly / I didn't convey my thoughts properly - and it's going to irritate me forever. Hence... this thread is born.

Pro's argument - as mentioned before - was that the Christian God cannot logically exist. My argument obviously was that it could. I went on to describe how unknown variables could account for contradictions that arise from certain traits attributed to God (we all know of the omnipotence paradoxes). The opinion people seemed to have was that as true as my point may be, it defies the point of the argument - basically, that I'm arguing something outside of logic in a discussion specifically mentioning logic.

The point I continued to make (that everyone still seemed to miss) was that, even though what I was referring to may lie outside of ("conventional") logic, logic still must acknowledge it and so it is logical.

Logic isn't a fixed set of restrictive and naive rules, but a process of reason. If it can be reasoned that something is possible outside of logic (which no one disagreed with), the possibility of that thing is logical.

To give one of my legendary poor analogies:

Frank, can't build sheds = logic
Carl, Frank's friend, can build sheds = metalogic / LogicEx

Pro's (and his supporters) argument: Sheds can't get built under the charge of Frank because he lacks the skills.

My argument: Sheds can get built under the charge of Frank because he knows Carl who can build sheds.

Or something to that effect.

Tell me if I'm going crazy.
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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3/16/2011 12:19:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I haven't read the post, but logic isn't something that puts limits on existing things. It's a system that puts limits on what we can know/understand.

To say that something is outside of logic is to say that it is neither true or false (in classic logic, there are more choices obviously with non bivalent logic). If that's true, then it can only mean that we can't speak intelligently about such a thing (even calling it a thing cannot be intelligently said).

Which ultimately means that such a thing is not rational.
TesterPot
Posts: 10
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3/16/2011 12:34:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm not sure how accurate your definition of logic is, but we'll have to see whether others agree with you. To me it seems intentionally restrictive and also conflicts with definitions of my own finding.

But even working with your definition, I don't see the conflict. People seem to place the main focus on the unknown that I refer to, whereas my argument rests entirely on <i>the link between the known and the unknown</i>. Basically, the advocate within logic that speaks on behalf of the 'external'. Logic can't simultaneously rule something out as an impossibility whilst also acknowledging it as a possibility.

I'm not sure how much sense any of this is making.
Meatros
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3/16/2011 12:39:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/16/2011 12:34:44 PM, TesterPot wrote:
Logic can't simultaneously rule something out as an impossibility whilst also acknowledging it as a possibility.

Such a 'something' would be incoherent and could not exist or not exist - it is literally nonsense. Is a square circle coherent? No. It literally makes no sense. Such a 'thing' cannot be said to exist or not, since there is no coherent referent.
Meatros
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3/16/2011 12:50:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/16/2011 12:42:05 PM, TesterPot wrote:
I don't know what that's relevant to. Sorry.

If you say something is not bound by logic you are saying that it's essentially nonsense. So it makes no sense to say whether it exists or not. It's not that it could exist or not exist, it's that the 'something that isn't bound by logic' is completely incoherent.

You might as well say Flargblagg wubbled darsnaff.

Is this true or false? It's neither, it's nonsense.
Meatros
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3/16/2011 12:55:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
In short you are saying that something outside of logic could exist or not exist.

I'm saying that if something is outside of logic, then it is completely unintelligible and it makes no sense to say whether it exists or not - you haven't defined what you are talking about yet.
Meatros
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3/16/2011 1:10:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/16/2011 12:58:47 PM, TesterPot wrote:
Refer to my 2nd post (first reply) here. The answer to what you're saying is in there.

I'm not sure that it is.

You state that my use of logic is restrictive - my definition being Wiki's: Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning.

You then state that people place focus on the unknown - whereas you are arguing about the known. I don't think this is possible if what you are arguing about is 'above logic'.

If you are saying that something is not privvy to valid inference or correct reasoning, then you can't say anything about it at all. *Nothing* is known about it. There is no 'link' between known and unknown as there is only the unknown.
TesterPot
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3/16/2011 1:15:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The logically-valid reasoning is that you can't know for certain that there isn't an unknown that solves the problems that are presented when taking a given approach to the problem. It's ignorant to say that we absolutely know everything and logically valid to say that things may exist that we don't know. This is the connection. This is the unknown's logical advocate. This is what allows a person to say, "Logically, God is conceivable." It's what allows agnosticism. The specifics of the unknown (which are, oddly enough, unknown) are irrelevant.
Meatros
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3/16/2011 1:19:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Let's take this track, what do you mean when you say something is outside of logic?

You seem to be equivocating 'unknown' with the illogical. The two are not the same (even though it may appear otherwise).

So, could a square circle exist? We would say that a square circle is illogical because the attributes of a square contradict those of a circle.

You would, presumably, say, 'on the surface, no, it wouldn't, but there might be some extra logical point that enables it to exist'.

I think this is confusing the issue. When we say a square circle could not exist we are, essentially, saying that 'square circle' makes no sense. We are not saying that there is a thing called a square circle that could exist or not exist, and it doesn't exist.

There is no 'thing' called a square circle because the attributes are contradictory and lack objective coherent meaning.

In order to know whether something exists or not, we first have to know what it is and that 'is' has to be coherent otherwise what are you potentially saying exists?

Do blarthogs exist?

Before we make any determinations about blarthogs existing we have to know what a blarthog is supposed to be - don't you think?
Meatros
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3/16/2011 1:25:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/16/2011 1:15:56 PM, TesterPot wrote:
The logically-valid reasoning is that you can't know for certain that there isn't an unknown that solves the problems that are presented when taking a given approach to the problem.

Solves 'what' problem - if something is illogical that means that it is ill defined, incoherent.

You are treating something illogical as something unknown.

At 3/16/2011 1:15:56 PM, TesterPot wrote:
It's ignorant to say that we absolutely know everything and logically valid to say that things may exist that we don't know.

You are basically saying that there is no point to logic - which translates to saying that we cannot engage in reasonable thought.

At 3/16/2011 1:15:56 PM, TesterPot wrote:
This is the connection. This is the unknown's logical advocate. This is what allows a person to say, "Logically, God is conceivable." It's what allows agnosticism. The specifics of the unknown (which are, oddly enough, unknown) are irrelevant.

Unknown is not the same as illogical. If something is illogical that means that we know something about the supposed attributes, but what we know doesn't make any sense so it would have to be redefined until it did make sense.

With your 'logically god is conceivable', what is god? What does concievable mean if you also take god to be above logic? You've essentially admitted that 'god', whatever this thing is, cannot be rationally talked about.

So what sense does it make to say god is logically conceivable?
Meatros
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3/16/2011 1:31:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Seriously, you seem to be saying 'God is unintelligible', AND saying 'let's talk intelligibly about God'.

You are trying to have it both ways.
TesterPot
Posts: 10
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3/16/2011 1:36:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
You seem to wildly misinterpret me in the second and third posts. However the first one gives me some good material to work with that will hopefully help you better understand the situation.

The question of "do blarthogs exist?" and your statements about the (un)intelligible are a misrepresentation of the issue. I'm not saying that blarthogs exist and then inviting someone to discuss their existence. Rather someone else is saying that blarthogs absolutely cannot exist and I'm pointing out that this is an ignorant way of thinking. I don't need to discuss the unintelligible as long as I can intelligibly say that such a thing is a possibility.

This is the thing I keep having to repeat and will eventually get bored of saying. This intelligible connection is all I care about. I don't care whether the unknown causes me colon cancer; its specific existential makeup is of absolutely no consequence. I cannot stress this enough.

Hopefully under this new light, you'll better understand the situation and my position.
Meatros
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3/16/2011 1:49:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
TesterPot wrote: You seem to wildly misinterpret me in the second and third posts. However the first one gives me some good material to work with that will hopefully help you better understand the situation.

Possibly I have, but it was not intentional if that's the case.

TesterPot wrote: The question of "do blarthogs exist?" and your statements about the (un)intelligible are a misrepresentation of the issue. I'm not saying that blarthogs exist and then inviting someone to discuss their existence. Rather someone else is saying that blarthogs absolutely cannot exist and I'm pointing out that this is an ignorant way of thinking. I don't need to discuss the unintelligible as long as I can intelligibly say that such a thing is a possibility.

This depends on their reasoning I suppose - but how I've been arguing this thread, you are technically correct; If a blarthog's attributes contradict each other then you cannot say it exists or doesn't exist - because you don't have a coherent definition of what a blarthog is. A blarthog with this qualifier is simply incoherent.

TesterPot wrote: This is the thing I keep having to repeat and will eventually get bored of saying. This intelligible connection is all I care about. I don't care whether the unknown causes me colon cancer; its specific existential makeup is of absolutely no consequence. I cannot stress this enough.

What I'm saying is that if you put X above logic, you essentially remove it from discussion. You are saying that it is unintelligible. You cannot then say anything intelligible about it (be it, that it exists, doesn't exist, or could possibly exist).

TesterPot wrote:
Hopefully under this new light, you'll better understand the situation and my position.


I'm not sure we do if you still maintain that we could say something intelligible about an entity outside of logic.

Hopefully we are getting closer to understanding each other's arguments though.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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3/16/2011 2:13:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/16/2011 12:08:08 PM, TesterPot wrote:
My first debate on here was about whether the Christian God could logically exist. I'm not sure whether we're allowed to link to debates so I won't, but afterwards I noticed voters and commenters questioning the relevance of what I was saying. I wished to properly address this in a rematch, but my original opponent refused.

So now I'm sat here wondering whether I really am insane or whether people just didn't understand me properly / I didn't convey my thoughts properly - and it's going to irritate me forever. Hence... this thread is born.

Pro's argument - as mentioned before - was that the Christian God cannot logically exist. My argument obviously was that it could. I went on to describe how unknown variables could account for contradictions that arise from certain traits attributed to God (we all know of the omnipotence paradoxes). The opinion people seemed to have was that as true as my point may be, it defies the point of the argument - basically, that I'm arguing something outside of logic in a discussion specifically mentioning logic.

The point I continued to make (that everyone still seemed to miss) was that, even though what I was referring to may lie outside of ("conventional") logic, logic still must acknowledge it and so it is logical.

Logic isn't a fixed set of restrictive and naive rules, but a process of reason. If it can be reasoned that something is possible outside of logic (which no one disagreed with), the possibility of that thing is logical.

To give one of my legendary poor analogies:

Frank, can't build sheds = logic
Carl, Frank's friend, can build sheds = metalogic / LogicEx

Pro's (and his supporters) argument: Sheds can't get built under the charge of Frank because he lacks the skills.

My argument: Sheds can get built under the charge of Frank because he knows Carl who can build sheds.

Or something to that effect.

Tell me if I'm going crazy.

My definition of logic was as follows:
Logically: according to or agreeing with the principles of logic

If a being exists who is above these principles then he is not in accordance with them and is therefore illogical. Simple as that.
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Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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3/16/2011 3:06:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I've just started to read the debate.

I think, for the purposes of this thread and that debate, you should define what you mean by 'unbound by logic'.

You write in your debate: 'The same thing applies to a loophole allowing logic-contradicting logic.'

What exactly do you think logic is?
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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3/17/2011 6:04:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/16/2011 12:08:08 PM, TesterPot wrote:
My first debate on here was about whether the Christian God could logically exist. I'm not sure whether we're allowed to link to debates so I won't, but afterwards I noticed voters and commenters questioning the relevance of what I was saying. I wished to properly address this in a rematch, but my original opponent refused.

So now I'm sat here wondering whether I really am insane or whether people just didn't understand me properly / I didn't convey my thoughts properly - and it's going to irritate me forever. Hence... this thread is born.

Pro's argument - as mentioned before - was that the Christian God cannot logically exist. My argument obviously was that it could. I went on to describe how unknown variables could account for contradictions that arise from certain traits attributed to God (we all know of the omnipotence paradoxes). The opinion people seemed to have was that as true as my point may be, it defies the point of the argument - basically, that I'm arguing something outside of logic in a discussion specifically mentioning logic.

The point I continued to make (that everyone still seemed to miss) was that, even though what I was referring to may lie outside of ("conventional") logic, logic still must acknowledge it and so it is logical.

Logic isn't a fixed set of restrictive and naive rules, but a process of reason. If it can be reasoned that something is possible outside of logic (which no one disagreed with), the possibility of that thing is logical.

To give one of my legendary poor analogies:

Frank, can't build sheds = logic
Carl, Frank's friend, can build sheds = metalogic / LogicEx

Pro's (and his supporters) argument: Sheds can't get built under the charge of Frank because he lacks the skills.

My argument: Sheds can get built under the charge of Frank because he knows Carl who can build sheds.

Or something to that effect.

Tell me if I'm going crazy.

God is not restricted by puny human logic!

Isaiah 55:8-9 (New International Version, ©2011)

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The Cross.. the Cross.
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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3/17/2011 6:31:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Dat, no offense, but I think the issue is already complicated enough without throwing specific gods into the mix. A proclamation from your God about being above human though might be helpful after it's been established that such a condition is intelligible.
tigg13
Posts: 302
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3/17/2011 11:29:32 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/16/2011 1:36:47 PM, TesterPot wrote:
You seem to wildly misinterpret me in the second and third posts. However the first one gives me some good material to work with that will hopefully help you better understand the situation.

The question of "do blarthogs exist?" and your statements about the (un)intelligible are a misrepresentation of the issue. I'm not saying that blarthogs exist and then inviting someone to discuss their existence. Rather someone else is saying that blarthogs absolutely cannot exist and I'm pointing out that this is an ignorant way of thinking. I don't need to discuss the unintelligible as long as I can intelligibly say that such a thing is a possibility.

If the subject is unintelligible (unknowable), then you cannot say that it absolutely can exist (is possible) for the same reason that your opponent can't say that it absolutely cannot. No logical statement can be made if it is unknowable.

The Agnostic position, as I understand it, is that God is unknowable, therefore you cannot say one way or the other whether God exists - no logical conclusion can be reached because no premises can be supported either way.

Now, you're trying to bypass this by saying "Well, if it is true that God might exist, then his existence must logically be possible." This sounds like a valid statement, but actually what makes this statement true is not God's relationship to existence, but the word "might"'s relationship with the word "possible".
Let me illustrate:
If Santa Claus might exist then his existence is logically possible.
If square circles might exist then square circles are logically possible.
If impossible things might exist then the existence of impossible things is logically possible.
Since "might" and "possible" are basically synonymous, might=possible which is the logical law of identity (A=A).

So you're not making a logical argument for the possibility of God's existence, you're making a tautological statement which is essentially meaningless.

This is the thing I keep having to repeat and will eventually get bored of saying. This intelligible connection is all I care about. I don't care whether the unknown causes me colon cancer; its specific existential makeup is of absolutely no consequence. I cannot stress this enough.

Hopefully under this new light, you'll better understand the situation and my position.