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Devil's Advocate

dtaylor971
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1/21/2015 3:41:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
In a [weak] attempt to get some people to see other sides, I encourage everyone to try and argue devil's advocate. Also, see SNP1's tournament if you want to understand another side further. As an agnostic-atheist, I suppose I will argue as a weak Christian.

My argument:

Too many religious people argue ad nauseum, especially when it is not necessary. Atheists attempt to take a scientific route to disprove Christianity, usually via the theory of Evolution or pointing out contradictions or issues in the Bible. However, most of us radical Christians know that science or physics do not touch metaphysics. Attempting to disprove belief with science seems illogical, as they do not really seem all that similar.

Continuing on, the human mind is of limited capacity, and we can only completely understand what we have observed, or through empiricist belief. We can't even attempt to understand a completely omnipotent being, for we have not observed of a creature like this, and it is in our knowledge that all animals have limited knowledge (including us.) Attempting to understand God with our limited mental capacity seems like a huge waste of time. We are trapped in our own logical box, but isn't it possible that God exists outside of that box? For example, I cannot completely conceive of a dimension outside my very own, though it is entirely possible it somehow exists, even though I have no evidence to go on. If the second dimension exists, as well as a third, why not a fourth and fifth?

This brings us to our last point, stemming from metaphysics. While we religious can rely on reason and logic (which does work) the real action is belief and acceptance. We believe in the seemingly impossible, because we accept that the seemingly impossible can be simple when it slips the surly bounds of our limited mental capacity. Hopefully, the atheists can understand this: though evolution seems to be backed by evidence, we believe that God exists somewhere, somehow, outside our own mind. And you can't take that away from us, no matter how hard you try.

*Honestly, I think that is a load of horsecrap, but I can at least comprehend the arguments of theists and see how they could be true.
"I don't know why gays want to marry, I have spent the last 25 years wishing I wasn't allowed to." -Sadolite
Envisage
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1/21/2015 4:13:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
A honest position is to construct the strongest possible case you can for your opponent's position, and to assess whether or not on balance it's more likely than not to be true. One should do this for essentially any contentious belief, you might surprise yourself.

Doing this ended up with my becoming a functional nihilist. *shrug*
dhardage
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1/21/2015 4:20:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 3:41:54 PM, dtaylor971 wrote:
In a [weak] attempt to get some people to see other sides, I encourage everyone to try and argue devil's advocate. Also, see SNP1's tournament if you want to understand another side further. As an agnostic-atheist, I suppose I will argue as a weak Christian.

My argument:

Too many religious people argue ad nauseum, especially when it is not necessary. Atheists attempt to take a scientific route to disprove Christianity, usually via the theory of Evolution or pointing out contradictions or issues in the Bible. However, most of us radical Christians know that science or physics do not touch metaphysics. Attempting to disprove belief with science seems illogical, as they do not really seem all that similar.

Continuing on, the human mind is of limited capacity, and we can only completely understand what we have observed, or through empiricist belief. We can't even attempt to understand a completely omnipotent being, for we have not observed of a creature like this, and it is in our knowledge that all animals have limited knowledge (including us.) Attempting to understand God with our limited mental capacity seems like a huge waste of time. We are trapped in our own logical box, but isn't it possible that God exists outside of that box? For example, I cannot completely conceive of a dimension outside my very own, though it is entirely possible it somehow exists, even though I have no evidence to go on. If the second dimension exists, as well as a third, why not a fourth and fifth?

This brings us to our last point, stemming from metaphysics. While we religious can rely on reason and logic (which does work) the real action is belief and acceptance. We believe in the seemingly impossible, because we accept that the seemingly impossible can be simple when it slips the surly bounds of our limited mental capacity. Hopefully, the atheists can understand this: though evolution seems to be backed by evidence, we believe that God exists somewhere, somehow, outside our own mind. And you can't take that away from us, no matter how hard you try.

*Honestly, I think that is a load of horsecrap, but I can at least comprehend the arguments of theists and see how they could be true.

No, I cannot argue for a position that I once held and discarded because it was no longer viable. To even try feels like hypocrisy to me. My heart, as they say, would not be in it and it would not be valid.
dtaylor971
Posts: 1,907
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1/21/2015 10:11:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This got buried under crap
"I don't know why gays want to marry, I have spent the last 25 years wishing I wasn't allowed to." -Sadolite
Fido
Posts: 357
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1/21/2015 10:37:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 3:41:54 PM, dtaylor971 wrote:
In a [weak] attempt to get some people to see other sides, I encourage everyone to try and argue devil's advocate. Also, see SNP1's tournament if you want to understand another side further. As an agnostic-atheist, I suppose I will argue as a weak Christian.

My argument:

Too many religious people argue ad nauseum, especially when it is not necessary. Atheists attempt to take a scientific route to disprove Christianity, usually via the theory of Evolution or pointing out contradictions or issues in the Bible. However, most of us radical Christians know that science or physics do not touch metaphysics. Attempting to disprove belief with science seems illogical, as they do not really seem all that similar.

Continuing on, the human mind is of limited capacity, and we can only completely understand what we have observed, or through empiricist belief. We can't even attempt to understand a completely omnipotent being, for we have not observed of a creature like this, and it is in our knowledge that all animals have limited knowledge (including us.) Attempting to understand God with our limited mental capacity seems like a huge waste of time. We are trapped in our own logical box, but isn't it possible that God exists outside of that box? For example, I cannot completely conceive of a dimension outside my very own, though it is entirely possible it somehow exists, even though I have no evidence to go on. If the second dimension exists, as well as a third, why not a fourth and fifth?

This brings us to our last point, stemming from metaphysics. While we religious can rely on reason and logic (which does work) the real action is belief and acceptance. We believe in the seemingly impossible, because we accept that the seemingly impossible can be simple when it slips the surly bounds of our limited mental capacity. Hopefully, the atheists can understand this: though evolution seems to be backed by evidence, we believe that God exists somewhere, somehow, outside our own mind. And you can't take that away from us, no matter how hard you try.

*Honestly, I think that is a load of horsecrap, but I can at least comprehend the arguments of theists and see how they could be true.

Who has the time to argue whether or not God exists? It is human existences that is uncertain, and even our own individual lives are ever in doubt, and must be proved, and we can only prove the past, our lives yesterday to the point we can testify today.
If there is a God he or she can certainly provide his or her own proofs as he or she feels the need.
Smithereens
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1/21/2015 11:20:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 4:13:36 PM, Envisage wrote:
A honest position is to construct the strongest possible case you can for your opponent's position, and to assess whether or not on balance it's more likely than not to be true. One should do this for essentially any contentious belief, you might surprise yourself.

Doing this ended up with my becoming a functional nihilist. *shrug*

What's the point in being a nihilist when you can be anything else? It's really the only position that can be categorically shown to be pointless.
Music composition contest: http://www.debate.org...
Envisage
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1/21/2015 11:47:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 11:20:06 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/21/2015 4:13:36 PM, Envisage wrote:
A honest position is to construct the strongest possible case you can for your opponent's position, and to assess whether or not on balance it's more likely than not to be true. One should do this for essentially any contentious belief, you might surprise yourself.

Doing this ended up with my becoming a functional nihilist. *shrug*

What's the point in being a nihilist when you can be anything else? It's really the only position that can be categorically shown to be pointless.

Because it's a truth claim, rather than a personal philosophy. I haven't really divided life philosophies from truth claims, although I am seriously considering doing such with nihilism. It's not a particularly healthy one.
Smithereens
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1/21/2015 11:54:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 11:47:21 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 1/21/2015 11:20:06 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/21/2015 4:13:36 PM, Envisage wrote:
A honest position is to construct the strongest possible case you can for your opponent's position, and to assess whether or not on balance it's more likely than not to be true. One should do this for essentially any contentious belief, you might surprise yourself.

Doing this ended up with my becoming a functional nihilist. *shrug*

What's the point in being a nihilist when you can be anything else? It's really the only position that can be categorically shown to be pointless.

Because it's a truth claim, rather than a personal philosophy. I haven't really divided life philosophies from truth claims, although I am seriously considering doing such with nihilism. It's not a particularly healthy one.

I agree with your surmise that nihilism isn't healthy, I'm inclined to believe it is counter-productive for a progressive society. But on philosophical grounds, nihilism doesn't make for a sound truth claim as it is able to defeat itself if true. If nihilism is correct, then there is no point believing that nihilism is correct, as we can use nihilism to refute the most fundamental aspect of argument, the nature of truth itself. Truth is a semantic prime, and we can't define it except by its use in functions. If I propose a function where truth doesn't have a meaning, it is impossible for me to affirm anything. Hence how did you manage to affirm that nihilism was 'true?' claims that truth has no meaning, along with every other claim that contradicts a basic logical tenet needs not be believed.
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Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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1/22/2015 12:02:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 11:54:46 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/21/2015 11:47:21 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 1/21/2015 11:20:06 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/21/2015 4:13:36 PM, Envisage wrote:
A honest position is to construct the strongest possible case you can for your opponent's position, and to assess whether or not on balance it's more likely than not to be true. One should do this for essentially any contentious belief, you might surprise yourself.

Doing this ended up with my becoming a functional nihilist. *shrug*

What's the point in being a nihilist when you can be anything else? It's really the only position that can be categorically shown to be pointless.

Because it's a truth claim, rather than a personal philosophy. I haven't really divided life philosophies from truth claims, although I am seriously considering doing such with nihilism. It's not a particularly healthy one.

I agree with your surmise that nihilism isn't healthy, I'm inclined to believe it is counter-productive for a progressive society. But on philosophical grounds, nihilism doesn't make for a sound truth claim as it is able to defeat itself if true. If nihilism is correct, then there is no point believing that nihilism is correct, as we can use nihilism to refute the most fundamental aspect of argument, the nature of truth itself. Truth is a semantic prime, and we can't define it except by its use in functions. If I propose a function where truth doesn't have a meaning, it is impossible for me to affirm anything. Hence how did you manage to affirm that nihilism was 'true?' claims that truth has no meaning, along with every other claim that contradicts a basic logical tenet needs not be believed.

Because it's perfectly coherent to construct a completely subjective epistemology (which is largely derivative from existing systems, such as foundationalism, etc.) and just work on the assumption that everyone else is using essentially the same system you are. Thus 'true' is not an objective operator in the way you, the subject, mean it, it would just fall within the category which is defined by how you construct that subjective epistemology.

Thus I agree that if we are talking about objective truth, then nihilism can never fulfil it's own truth conditions, but then it doesn't have to for 'me' to say it's true.

On the flipside, I can say exactly the same thing about objective truths, where we can never actually make a sound objective truth claim, since it is in principle divorced from what we can know (assuming an objective system is valid), thus it is a functionally useless epistemology for us subjects.

Thus, I am at the very least a pragmatic nihilist.
Smithereens
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1/22/2015 12:21:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/22/2015 12:02:26 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 1/21/2015 11:54:46 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/21/2015 11:47:21 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 1/21/2015 11:20:06 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/21/2015 4:13:36 PM, Envisage wrote:
A honest position is to construct the strongest possible case you can for your opponent's position, and to assess whether or not on balance it's more likely than not to be true. One should do this for essentially any contentious belief, you might surprise yourself.

Doing this ended up with my becoming a functional nihilist. *shrug*

What's the point in being a nihilist when you can be anything else? It's really the only position that can be categorically shown to be pointless.

Because it's a truth claim, rather than a personal philosophy. I haven't really divided life philosophies from truth claims, although I am seriously considering doing such with nihilism. It's not a particularly healthy one.

I agree with your surmise that nihilism isn't healthy, I'm inclined to believe it is counter-productive for a progressive society. But on philosophical grounds, nihilism doesn't make for a sound truth claim as it is able to defeat itself if true. If nihilism is correct, then there is no point believing that nihilism is correct, as we can use nihilism to refute the most fundamental aspect of argument, the nature of truth itself. Truth is a semantic prime, and we can't define it except by its use in functions. If I propose a function where truth doesn't have a meaning, it is impossible for me to affirm anything. Hence how did you manage to affirm that nihilism was 'true?' claims that truth has no meaning, along with every other claim that contradicts a basic logical tenet needs not be believed.

Because it's perfectly coherent to construct a completely subjective epistemology (which is largely derivative from existing systems, such as foundationalism, etc.) and just work on the assumption that everyone else is using essentially the same system you are. Thus 'true' is not an objective operator in the way you, the subject, mean it, it would just fall within the category which is defined by how you construct that subjective epistemology.

Thus I agree that if we are talking about objective truth, then nihilism can never fulfil it's own truth conditions, but then it doesn't have to for 'me' to say it's true.

On the flipside, I can say exactly the same thing about objective truths, where we can never actually make a sound objective truth claim, since it is in principle divorced from what we can know (assuming an objective system is valid), thus it is a functionally useless epistemology for us subjects.

Thus, I am at the very least a pragmatic nihilist.

I see, what I said however was in anticipation of subjectivity. To reiterate, if a system defines truth as something that is meaningless, it is impossible to affirm it as true. Objective/subjective aside, nihilism allows me to consider that every conclusion has no truth value.
(x)(Cx->~Tx) However, Nihilism itself is defined as C, thus both subjective and objective views will both use the same F(x). For purposes of argument, everyone needs to use the same definitions, otherwise nothing can really make sense. Hence when we talk about truth, you can't conclude that an objective system (or even a subjective one for that matter) cannot make objective claims when that claim itself is made within a system that is unable to critique other systems. To show fault in objective truths, you would need to show that it infers a contradiction. However, we suppose that contradictions imply falsehood only because we consider it to be an objective truth. Therefore, there exists at least one objective truth. To further prove this, we can consider the negation, where S is defined as a statement that can have a truth value:
(x)(Sx->~Tx) The argument is false, as the conclusion disproves itself. Such is the case with nihilism. To state it concisely: 'All statements are false.' Is inferred from 'No statement has a truth value.' However, since there necessarily exists one objectively true statement: (Ex)(Sx->Tx), (something must be true), it must be the case that the premise of nihilism is a contradiction. It doesn't matter if contradictions don't infer falsehood within the nihilistic system, we can still prove nihilism to be logically untenable using its own subjective standards.

Pragmatic nihilism sounds odd though. How is nihilism in any way useful?
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Envisage
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1/22/2015 4:15:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/22/2015 12:21:53 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/22/2015 12:02:26 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 1/21/2015 11:54:46 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/21/2015 11:47:21 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 1/21/2015 11:20:06 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/21/2015 4:13:36 PM, Envisage wrote:
A honest position is to construct the strongest possible case you can for your opponent's position, and to assess whether or not on balance it's more likely than not to be true. One should do this for essentially any contentious belief, you might surprise yourself.

Doing this ended up with my becoming a functional nihilist. *shrug*

What's the point in being a nihilist when you can be anything else? It's really the only position that can be categorically shown to be pointless.

Because it's a truth claim, rather than a personal philosophy. I haven't really divided life philosophies from truth claims, although I am seriously considering doing such with nihilism. It's not a particularly healthy one.

I agree with your surmise that nihilism isn't healthy, I'm inclined to believe it is counter-productive for a progressive society. But on philosophical grounds, nihilism doesn't make for a sound truth claim as it is able to defeat itself if true. If nihilism is correct, then there is no point believing that nihilism is correct, as we can use nihilism to refute the most fundamental aspect of argument, the nature of truth itself. Truth is a semantic prime, and we can't define it except by its use in functions. If I propose a function where truth doesn't have a meaning, it is impossible for me to affirm anything. Hence how did you manage to affirm that nihilism was 'true?' claims that truth has no meaning, along with every other claim that contradicts a basic logical tenet needs not be believed.

Because it's perfectly coherent to construct a completely subjective epistemology (which is largely derivative from existing systems, such as foundationalism, etc.) and just work on the assumption that everyone else is using essentially the same system you are. Thus 'true' is not an objective operator in the way you, the subject, mean it, it would just fall within the category which is defined by how you construct that subjective epistemology.

Thus I agree that if we are talking about objective truth, then nihilism can never fulfil it's own truth conditions, but then it doesn't have to for 'me' to say it's true.

On the flipside, I can say exactly the same thing about objective truths, where we can never actually make a sound objective truth claim, since it is in principle divorced from what we can know (assuming an objective system is valid), thus it is a functionally useless epistemology for us subjects.

Thus, I am at the very least a pragmatic nihilist.

I see, what I said however was in anticipation of subjectivity. To reiterate, if a system defines truth as something that is meaningless, it is impossible to affirm it as true. Objective/subjective aside, nihilism allows me to consider that every conclusion has no truth value.

I can aregue that an objective truth is meaningless, but I can arbitarily define a system that is subjective. It wouldn't be inherently meaningful but it would be conceptually closed. Nihilism doesn't preclude something being arbitarily assigned, which would be the case in doing do with the terms 'true' and 'false'.

The same would also be done with the terms 'good' and 'evil' in moral nihilism.

(x)(Cx->~Tx) However, Nihilism itself is defined as C, thus both subjective and objective views will both use the same F(x). For purposes of argument, everyone needs to use the same definitions, otherwise nothing can really make sense.

Exactly, that's the assumption.

Hence when we talk about truth, you can't conclude that an objective system (or even a subjective one for that matter) cannot make objective claims when that claim itself is made within a system that is unable to critique other systems.

It's a good thing it is not an objective claim then.

To show fault in objective truths, you would need to show that it infers a contradiction. However, we suppose that contradictions imply falsehood only because we consider it to be an objective truth. Therefore, there exists at least one objective truth. To further prove this, we can consider the negation, where S is defined as a statement that can have a truth value:

Or I can just show it's fundamentally incoherent to the subject. I.e. the "objective truth" system even if true is beyond conceptual understanding by the subject. In the case of "truth", I would just point out that we only have an approximation of what we mean by "objective truth". Thus for the subjects, they do not actually have the objective concept of "truth" to actually talk about.

It would be like me talking about a "wooble", which is a meaningless word, but pile on layers of epistemology on it and we end up with something that ends up like:

"A green cubic slightly aromatic and springy wooble"

The entire concept of "A green cubic slightly aromatic and springy wooble" becomes more cognitable, yet the nature of a "wooble" is still incoherent.

(x)(Sx->~Tx) The argument is false, as the conclusion disproves itself. Such is the case with nihilism. To state it concisely: 'All statements are false.' Is inferred from 'No statement has a truth value.'

Things can be true, false or meaningless (incoherent). A meaningless statement doesn't (and cannot) have truth or false conditions. Which I would argue that all objective truth claims fall within.

A subjective system would be one based on utility or "usefulness", for example you can ground it in incorrigable experiences, where all qualia and subjective definitions are labelled "true", and then work on building a system from there. Here we have a meaningful grounding for what we mean by "true", but it is indeed arbitrary, and only chosen because of it's functional utility. Given that qualia are readily accessible to the subject, they are a reasonable place to start

However, since there necessarily exists one objectively true statement: (Ex)(Sx->Tx), (something must be true), it must be the case that the premise of nihilism is a contradiction. It doesn't matter if contradictions don't infer falsehood within the nihilistic system, we can still prove nihilism to be logically untenable using its own subjective standards.

Addressed in paragraph above.

Pragmatic nihilism sounds odd though. How is nihilism in any way useful?

That came out wrong. I meant that systems are used based on pragmatics rather than any objective truth value.
Smithereens
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1/22/2015 6:22:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/22/2015 4:15:34 AM, Envisage wrote:
I see, what I said however was in anticipation of subjectivity. To reiterate, if a system defines truth as something that is meaningless, it is impossible to affirm it as true. Objective/subjective aside, nihilism allows me to consider that every conclusion has no truth value.

I can aregue that an objective truth is meaningless, but I can arbitarily define a system that is subjective. It wouldn't be inherently meaningful but it would be conceptually closed. Nihilism doesn't preclude something being arbitarily assigned, which would be the case in doing do with the terms 'true' and 'false'.

This would lead me back to my first point, that there is no real reason to be a nihilist. I mentioned previously why to argue against an objective truth is impossible, as that would involve an objective claim. Nihilism is an objective claim, and that claim seeks to refute meaning in anything. Subjective systems are also meaningless under nihilism. The significance of this is greater than appears, if the proposition does not carry a function that can even be true, it is logically incoherent. We cannot conceptualise such a mechanic of logic where something without meaning can be true under any subjective or objective consideration. Being a nihilist is the equivalent of being a 'Gjhooda,' it doesn't mean anything and does not draw any valid conclusions about itself, much less everything that exists. When you say that nihilism can be conceptually closed without being inherently meaningful, you aren't actually arguing anything. Something needs to be true or false if anything is to be logically coherent. Language is impossible without this stipulation. Since Nihilism actually attempts to refute this ideal (the act of which is self-contradictory) The very concept of Nihilism is impossible to formulate. Futhermore, Nihilism not precluding something from being arbitrarily assigned means what? A subjective truth is still a function, and under every possible function, if 1=0, as is the case in nihilism (truth value is no different from falsehood), valid conclusions don't matter because they can't even be made.

The same would also be done with the terms 'good' and 'evil' in moral nihilism.
Good and evil are not required for language to exist. Truth and falsehood are.

(x)(Cx->~Tx) However, Nihilism itself is defined as C, thus both subjective and objective views will both use the same F(x). For purposes of argument, everyone needs to use the same definitions, otherwise nothing can really make sense.

Exactly, that's the assumption.
If X is C, then X is not T. C is a conclusion that can possibly be drawn. T is 1, meaning, true. The X variable is nihilism. Note that Nihilism is C. Therefore, Nihilism is false.
1. (x)(Cx->(~Tx V Tx)) (bivalence)
2. (x)(Nx->Cx) (Definition)
3. Nx (Axiom)
4. (Ex)(Nx /\ Cx) (2,3 modus ponens)
5. (x)(Nx->(~Tx V Tx)) (1,4)
6. (Nx=Tx)->(Tx=~Tx) (Definition)
7. Tx=/=~Tx (Axiom)
C: Nx=/=Tx (5,6,7)

Hence when we talk about truth, you can't conclude that an objective system (or even a subjective one for that matter) cannot make objective claims when that claim itself is made within a system that is unable to critique other systems.

It's a good thing it is not an objective claim then.
Which is why Nihilism cannot be true, because it cannot say that something isn't true, which it needs to be able to do. If the negation of nihilism is true, nihilism must be false. Therefore, according to nihilism, not nihilism is objectively false. If this is not the case, nihilism is false.

To show fault in objective truths, you would need to show that it infers a contradiction. However, we suppose that contradictions imply falsehood only because we consider it to be an objective truth. Therefore, there exists at least one objective truth. To further prove this, we can consider the negation, where S is defined as a statement that can have a truth value:

Or I can just show it's fundamentally incoherent to the subject. I.e. the "objective truth" system even if true is beyond conceptual understanding by the subject. In the case of "truth", I would just point out that we only have an approximation of what we mean by "objective truth". Thus for the subjects, they do not actually have the objective concept of "truth" to actually talk about.
As I mentioned, we have exactly one statement which we know categorically to be absolutely true. 'Something can be true.' The reason being obvious. Our ability, or lack thereof, to adequate employ absolute functions in everyday speech is less severe in philosophy. The reason why you say we only have an approximation is because truth is a semantic prime. As mentioned, objective truth cannot be refuted without using similar functions. 'Nothing is true' is a well formed formula that is an absolute claim. Since the laws of logic do not permit this truth-candidate to have a positive value, it is necessarily false. Hence, we know that statements can be true or false, (or other, in many-valued logics) 'Nothing is true,' is an equivalent statement to Nihilism, therefore Nihilism is necessarily false.

It would be like me talking about a "wooble", which is a meaningless word, but pile on layers of epistemology on it and we end up with something that ends up like:
Wtf?
"A green cubic slightly aromatic and springy wooble"
The entire concept of "A green cubic slightly aromatic and springy wooble" becomes more cognitable, yet the nature of a "wooble" is still incoherent.
You managed to establish the existence of wooble, hence you are employing absolute claims. If you can't do this, then none of what you say makes any sense.

(x)(Sx->~Tx) The argument is false, as the conclusion disproves itself. Such is the case with nihilism. To state it concisely: 'All statements are false.' Is inferred from 'No statement has a truth value.'

Things can be true, false or meaningless (incoherent). A meaningless statement doesn't (and cannot) have truth or false conditions. Which I would argue that all objective truth claims fall within.
As demonstrated multiple times, this statement is impossible. Not only that, it is meaningless. Does this claim apply universally? (objective)
If yes: Then it is meaningless
If no: Then it cannot fault a system to which it has no relation. Just like in modal logic two worlds without an accessibility relation cannot be used to draw inferences on epistemic (that's the correct term) possibility.

A subjective system would be one based on utility or "usefulness", for example you can ground it in incorrigable experiences, where all qualia and subjective definitions are labelled "true", and then work on building a system from there. Here we have a meaningful grounding for what we mean by "true", but it is indeed arbitrary, and only chosen because of it's functional utility. Given that qualia are readily accessible to the subject, they are a reasonable place to start
A subjective system which is defines truth as different for every instance where the system is used is about as effective as everyone using different units of measurement to describe the length of a piece of string, with no universal system. Again, language relies on the concept of universal truths and definitions. If every instance is different, nihilism would be anything but pragmatic.

On another note, what is a subjective truth? Why is it different to an objective truth? how can objectively truth be meaningless, given we establish logical laws are objectively true in order to have this argument?

That came out wrong. I meant that systems are used based on pragmatics rather than any objective truth value.
Statements are the only things that logic is interested in. Your pragmatics seems based upon relative utility, which is a whole different area, more to do with materialistic monism.
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JJ50
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1/22/2015 6:29:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The devil is supposed to be bad, but I don't see how it can be more evil than the Biblical deity?
Envisage
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1/22/2015 8:15:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/22/2015 6:22:03 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I already agreed with you on this point. I don't think it's particularly healthy, and even if nihilism is the only sound philosophical position on meaning and purpose, let alone truth (my position on epistemological nihilism is nowhere near as strong as my ones on moral and existential noncognitivism) it probably would be better to adhere to something else.

You keep presupposing objective truth when you make your reducio of nihilism, but it's exactly this presupposition that nihilism attacks. I am only phrasing my language as if nihilism is an objective truth claim because that's pragmatically how we communicate in real life.

In a nihilist world, then truth would be subjective and arbitary. You could ground the definition of truth in rather static principles, yet it wouldn't change the fact that it is entirely subjective at it's core. Again, I am using objective-type language here simply to pragmatically convey the concepts.

We have an approximation of what we generally mean by 'a statement is true' (that's an assumption on my end, that everyone generally shares similar surface-level epistemology), but fundamentally we really don't have an objective concept of truth. Much like when objective morals are appealed to, or objective worth. We have a vague concept of what people mean when they say they have value, but a noncognitivist would argue it's fundamentally incoherent.

Nihilism doesn't claim that a subjective system is meaningless, since it is arbitrarily assigned. The labels are arbitrarily assigned (in this case, for pragmaticism). People may use different labels for "truth", for example "what concords with reality" or "what reduces to my incorrigable experiences", and it may or may not be the case these fundamentally converge (i.e. my incorrigable experiences really do concord with reality). The working assumption is it indeed generally the case.

Something needs to be true or false if anything is to be logically coherent.

I googolplex dare you to justify that statement. Because being unable to understand something clearly precludes making an epistemological claim about it.

Language is impossible without this stipulation. Since Nihilism actually attempts to refute this ideal (the act of which is self-contradictory) The very concept of Nihilism is impossible to formulate.

to formulate objectively*

Futhermore, Nihilism not precluding something from being arbitrarily assigned means what? A subjective truth is still a function, and under every possible function, if 1=0, as is the case in nihilism (truth value is no different from falsehood), valid conclusions don't matter because they can't even be made.

NO! Being arbitrarily assigned does not mean truth is not different from falsehood. That's the whole point of an epistemological system!

I could adopt foundationalism for example, and just declare by fiat that certain things are just "true" and have a concept of truth (in that case the three logical absolutes and I exist). I am not making an objective claim that these are "true", I am just putting everything that falls within that system under the arbitrary label of "true".

Similarly with morals, I could just declare by fiat that what causes intentionally causes harm is "immoral" with that arbitrary label, and move on with life.

If X is C, then X is not T. C is a conclusion that can possibly be drawn. T is 1, meaning, true. The X variable is nihilism. Note that Nihilism is C. Therefore, Nihilism is false.
1. (x)(Cx->(~Tx V Tx)) (bivalence)
2. (x)(Nx->Cx) (Definition)
3. Nx (Axiom)
4. (Ex)(Nx /\ Cx) (2,3 modus ponens)
5. (x)(Nx->(~Tx V Tx)) (1,4)
6. (Nx=Tx)->(Tx=~Tx) (Definition)
7. Tx=/=~Tx (Axiom)
C: Nx=/=Tx (5,6,7)

Forgive me for making some silly statements, as I am a little unfamiliar with the logic. But every single premise implicitly presupposes nihilism is false (the very thing it is attempting to show) which is the whole problem. None of these premises *can* be objectively true if nihilism is true, and bivalence doesn't hold since they can still be incoherent or meaningless (and that seems to be our biggest sticking point).

It's a good thing it is not an objective claim then.
Which is why Nihilism cannot be true,

cannot be objectively true*

because it cannot say that something isn't true, which it needs to be able to do. If the negation of nihilism is true, nihilism must be false. Therefore, according to nihilism, not nihilism is objectively false. If this is not the case, nihilism is false.

Addressed in your wff.

Things can be true, false or meaningless (incoherent). A meaningless statement doesn't (and cannot) have truth or false conditions. Which I would argue that all objective truth claims fall within.

As demonstrated multiple times, this statement is impossible. Not only that, it is meaningless. Does this claim apply universally? (objective)

It is subjective, that's the point. It is as you say, asdfgf. I cannot make objective claims about anyone else as I am epistemologically limited to my own mind. My best guess is that everyone is in essentially the same position I am, and make most of the same assumptions, and that there is some uniformity of nature which makes reality intelligable to me. That's just a convenient coincidence though.

If yes: Then it is meaningless
If no: Then it cannot fault a system to which it has no relation.

Nihilism isn't an epistemological system, lol. It's more of a statement.

Just like in modal logic two worlds without an accessibility relation cannot be used to draw inferences on epistemic (that's the correct term) possibility.

EXACTLY MY POINT. There is a clear divide between what is objective and what is subjective. The point is that it is in principle impossible to bridge it. We're stuck in the mud.

Mergh. I'll address the rest later, you have burned me out. Just note that my epistemological stance on nihilism is nowhere near as strong as my moral and existentialist stances on metaphysics. It gets messy and awkward since we are so accustomed to preconceived notions of truth and knowledge, and applying the necessary skepticism is a pain in the arse.
Smithereens
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1/23/2015 3:27:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/22/2015 8:15:41 AM, Envisage wrote:
You keep presupposing objective truth when you make your reducio of nihilism, but it's exactly this presupposition that nihilism attacks. I am only phrasing my language as if nihilism is an objective truth claim because that's pragmatically how we communicate in real life.
Here's the contention that I am attempting to make however: You say that nihilism attacks something. But nihilism cannot attack anything at all which is not nihilism. That would be outside its logical abilities. Such a function that it would produce we cannot cognate, it is meaningless. You furthermore cannot phrase it as an objective truth claim. That is also meaningless, nihilism does not seek to prove or disprove any contention which is not nihilism, because its logic is inapplicable to other systems. This is unreasonable. To consider communication, what you say should be able to change what I consider to be true. However, if what you are saying is that considering things to be universally true is meaningless, that statement I can"t consider universally true. Under what system is it true? Nihilism alone. It isn"t true outside nihilism, due to its inherent subjectivity. The premise behind nihilism is therefore a universal objective claim that cannot be made universally. Meaningless.
In a nihilist world, then truth would be subjective and arbitary. You could ground the definition of truth in rather static principles, yet it wouldn't change the fact that it is entirely subjective at it's core. Again, I am using objective-type language here simply to pragmatically convey the concepts.
Since you are using objective truths to convey your claim, you can't claim that the objective truth you are using is meaningless, otherwise that would mean you don't have any comprehensible language syntax. But your claim is that there is no objective truth, and you expect people to consider that universally true. The world is not nihilism, because nihilism being an objective truth would prove nihilism false. As I have argued X=Tx,(!Ex->~Nx). If there exists exactly one objectively true statement, nihilism is false. There exists at least exactly one objectively true statement, therefore Nihilism is false.
We have an approximation of what we generally mean by 'a statement is true' (that's an assumption on my end, that everyone generally shares similar surface-level epistemology), but fundamentally we really don't have an objective concept of truth. Much like when objective morals are appealed to, or objective worth. We have a vague concept of what people mean when they say they have value, but a noncognitivist would argue it's fundamentally incoherent.
Is your claim that we have an approximation of what is meant by "a statement is true," a statement that is actually true? Or just your opinion? If I knew that it was an objectively true statement (which, since you"re not sure what it is, a conclusion which applies to X for every instance where X exists, such as 1=1 for every instance of 1, is an objectively true statement), we would be able to have a coherent discussion. But since you are using objective claims (nihilism is true for every instance of everything that exists), I can"t believe that your objective claims are meant to be applied universally. It simply does not follow. Furthermore, I actually don"t understand your use of the word epistemology. "Layers of epistemology," "surface-level epistemology," what do that mean?
Nihilism doesn't claim that a subjective system is meaningless, since it is arbitrarily assigned. The labels are arbitrarily assigned (in this case, for pragmaticism). People may use different labels for "truth", for example "what concords with reality" or "what reduces to my incorrigable experiences", and it may or may not be the case these fundamentally converge (i.e. my incorrigable experiences really do concord with reality). The working assumption is it indeed generally the case.
Here"s the thing, a subjective system has no objective meaning, so when you say that nihilism doesn"t claim that a subjective system is meaningless, this needs to be a subjective claim. A more perfect circle of reason I couldn"t possibly imagine. Arbitrary assignments of truth values don"t have meaning for this reason. Nihilism can only make sense if (x)(Nx->Tx) But this statement is impossible because nihilism doesn"t allow it. As for labels, instead of physicalistic definitions such as "what concords with reality," etc, the study of statements, (ie. Logic) uses pure mathematical definitions, such as universal quantification. Objective statements may be hard to make about reality, but in maths, objectivity is a must. Problem for nihilism comes in because it is a logic based claim about reality. A mathematical claim about mathematics is more than enough to demolish the nihilistic predicate.
Something needs to be true or false if anything is to be logically coherent.
I googolplex dare you to justify that statement. Because being unable to understand something clearly precludes making an epistemological claim about it.
I have already proven this statement. Something is true. If nothing were true, the statement that nothing can be understood is false. If the statement that nothing can be understood is true, then all statements are meaningless, hence it is meaningless. False or meaningless, take your pick.
Language is impossible without this stipulation. Since Nihilism actually attempts to refute this ideal (the act of which is self-contradictory) The very concept of Nihilism is impossible to formulate.
to formulate objectively*
In which case, nihilism is nonsensical. The philosophy you understand is inherently objective. For every instance where a statement is made, that statement cannot have an objective truth value. This universal application of the statement is the very definition of objective truth. Hence, nihilism is an objective truth. Or more accurately, an objective falsehood.
Futhermore, Nihilism not precluding something from being arbitrarily assigned means what? A subjective truth is still a function, and under every possible function, if 1=0, as is the case in nihilism (truth value is no different from falsehood), valid conclusions don't matter because they can't even be made.
NO! Being arbitrarily assigned does not mean truth is not different from falsehood. That's the whole point of an epistemological system!
LOL! It does! Under a subjective system, definitions are not contingent upon anything objective. The distinction between truth and not truth depends upon a law of identity. Subjectively, there is no context where this law can exist objectively, as nothing is objective. (note that nothing being objective is absolute itself). Hence, subjectively, truth does not exist, as truth infers (Ax), and this statement can"t be allowed.
(Continued)
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Smithereens
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1/23/2015 3:27:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I could adopt foundationalism for example, and just declare by fiat that certain things are just "true" and have a concept of truth (in that case the three logical absolutes and I exist). I am not making an objective claim that these are "true", I am just putting everything that falls within that system under the arbitrary label of "true".
If you were to adopt foundationalism, you are indeed making an objective claim is true, being that your method of determining truth in reality is metaphysically true. It"s impossible to have an absolute absence of something absolute.
Similarly with morals, I could just declare by fiat that what causes intentionally causes harm is "immoral" with that arbitrary label, and move on with life.
Morality is hard to marry with mathematics. You could argue that nothing is wrong, and there wouldn"t be any statement that could categorically refute you, but you cannot argue that statements are wrong, or meaningless, and expect the same thing.
If X is C, then X is not T. C is a conclusion that can possibly be drawn. T is 1, meaning, true. The X variable is nihilism. Note that Nihilism is C. Therefore, Nihilism is false.
1. (x)(Cx->(~Tx V Tx)) (bivalence)
2. (x)(Nx->Cx) (Definition)
3. Nx (Axiom)
4. (Ex)(Nx /\ Cx) (2,3 modus ponens)
5. (x)(Nx->(~Tx V Tx)) (1,4)
6. (Nx=Tx)->(Tx=~Tx) (Definition)
7. Tx=/=~Tx (Axiom)
C: Nx=/=Tx (5,6,7)
Forgive me for making some silly statements, as I am a little unfamiliar with the logic. But every single premise implicitly presupposes nihilism is false (the very thing it is attempting to show) which is the whole problem. None of these premises *can* be objectively true if nihilism is true, and bivalence doesn't hold since they can still be incoherent or meaningless (and that seems to be our biggest sticking point).
If "every single premise implicitly presupposes nihilism is false" were true (objectively, harhar) then this would be an obviously fallacious argument. But if there is a fallacy, it most certainly isn"t obvious. I should have written it out though. The first Fx is a definition. Statements are truth-candidates. Simple enough. Nihilism is a truth candidate, since nihilism can be true. If nihilism is true, truth candidates cannot have prescribed truth values, they don"t mean anything. Therefore, nihilism cannot have an objective truth value.
Which is why Nihilism cannot be true,
cannot be objectively true*
I don"t think you"re seeing how significant that concession is. If nihilism isn"t objectively true, then there is an instance of a statement where that statement is objectively true, which would mean nihilism is actually false. Nihilism needs to be objectively true so that absolutely no instance of a statement can be objectively true. I"m sure you see the sheer incoherency of the attempt.
because it cannot say that something isn't true, which it needs to be able to do. If the negation of nihilism is true, nihilism must be false. Therefore, according to nihilism, not nihilism is objectively false. If this is not the case, nihilism is false.
Addressed in your wff.
Where is that?
As demonstrated multiple times, this statement is impossible. Not only that, it is meaningless. Does this claim apply universally? (objective)
It is subjective, that's the point. It is as you say, asdfgf. I cannot make objective claims about anyone else as I am epistemologically limited to my own mind. My best guess is that everyone is in essentially the same position I am, and make most of the same assumptions, and that there is some uniformity of nature which makes reality intelligable to me. That's just a convenient coincidence though.
It"s because of subjectivity that I can make the point that the claim is meaningless. I mentioned previously why absolute claims are objective, nihilism is such an absolute claim, as it applies to every possible statement. It"s objective. Just saying that objectivity has no meaning does not at all indicate that nihilism is suddenly allowed to make objective claims. It isn"t, yet it does. If you say that nihilism is subjective, I have already shown why this still doesn"t help, so I"ll instead argue here that the claims is flat out wrong. If we assume Nihilism to be subjective, then the claim that it makes: (x)(Cx->~Tx) does not apply to (Ax). Therefore, the following is true: (Ex)(Cx->Tx). Concludes with: (Ex)(Cx->Tx)->(~ x)(Cx->~Tx) Sub for N, and nihilism is false.
If yes: Then it is meaningless
If no: Then it cannot fault a system to which it has no relation.
Nihilism isn't an epistemological system, lol. It's more of a statement.
If yes: Then it is meaningless
If no: Then it cannot fault a system to which it has no relation.
Just like in modal logic two worlds without an accessibility relation cannot be used to draw inferences on epistemic (that's the correct term) possibility.
EXACTLY MY POINT. There is a clear divide between what is objective and what is subjective. The point is that it is in principle impossible to bridge it. We're stuck in the mud.
That doesn"t mean what you think it does, a nihilistic world-view can only exist if nihilism can be universally true. Nihilism can"t be universally true because nihilism is someone"s opinion. I have demonstrated why nihilism needs to be a universal claim, and I have demonstrated why it is either false or nonsensical, under both an objective and subjective context. Nihilism makes one claim. That claim if true, is false. If false, is false. If meaningless, is meaningless. If subjective, is meaningless. If other, is meaningless. Nihilism is meaningless as meaning infers objectivity. If it is meaningful within its own subjective system, it is both circular and meaningless.
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