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Thread: Teaching Creationism is Child Abuse

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    TheWalrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post

    Do you know that even if you really believe that you know something it doesn’t mean that you do? You can’t get around this; in order to question whether knowledge exists you must appeal to your own knowledge and thus contradict yourself.



    Do you know that people argue using even nominally baseless assertions all the time? You see you did it again, you appealed to your knowledge in the very conversation where you are questioning whether knowledge is possible or not. In logical reasoning that is actually the only proof for a logical certainty; any statement that can only be challenged by making a self-contradictory statement or position is considered to be a logical certainty. We know that knowledge is possible because anyone who challenges its possibility contradicts their own challenge because they appeal to their own knowledge in their challenge. You’re only going to tie yourself into knots questioning whether the second premise is true.
    You don't seem to understand what I'm saying. I'm not appealing to "knowledge." Just because I might think I know something doesn't mean I do. I appeal to my experience, to what I observe, to my understanding of logic.

    All of those things are flawed, however. They contradict themselves at times, to say nothing of grabbing holding of Truth. Because I "appeal" to something doesn't mean what I am appealing to has substance.

    These concepts we have of "truth" and "facts" are in my view only colloquial expressions. At their height they express a generalized feeling about what is true and what is factual, or in the case of science, what can be shown through testing and experiment. That does not mean these things are Truth or Facts. Even now in quantum mechanics they are showing that the foundational laws of the universe do not always apply at the subatomic level. How can there be "knowledge" when even the basic understandings we have about the physical universe can and does change over time?

    What? How could someone who doesn’t exist be “wrong”? Your statement above refutes itself because Descartes would have to exist in order to be wrong, and if he existed then he was not wrong at all. It’s the very definition of logical certainty.
    Can you prove Descartes existed?


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    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    You don't seem to understand what I'm saying. I'm not appealing to "knowledge." Just because I might think I know something doesn't mean I do. I appeal to my experience, to what I observe, to my understanding of logic.
    No, I am following what you are saying, but that’s still knowledge, regardless whether it’s propositionally certain knowledge or not.

    All of those things are flawed, however. They contradict themselves at times, to say nothing of grabbing holding of Truth. Because I "appeal" to something doesn't mean what I am appealing to has substance.
    It still seems like you know for certain that contradictions cannot lead to truth since that seems to be your standard for determining whether something is flawed/fallible or not; so you do have knowledge that is certain.

    These concepts we have of "truth" and "facts" are in my view only colloquial expressions. At their height they express a generalized feeling about what is true and what is factual, or in the case of science, what can be shown through testing and experiment.
    Are you certain of this? Are all generalized feelings equally valid or true? Are you saying that all truth claims are verified through empirical means?




    That does not mean these things are Truth or Facts. Even now in quantum mechanics they are showing that the foundational laws of the universe do not always apply at the subatomic level. How can there be "knowledge" when even the basic understandings we have about the physical universe can and does change over time?
    All quantum mechanics demonstrates is that at the subatomic level particles may behave differently than matter does at different levels, it does not prove that nature lacks uniformity. Quantum physicists are still able to make accurate predictions because there is uniformity even at that level. However, I do not want to head down some rabbit trail concerning QM because it’s not relevant to my proof.

    Even though I do not believe that your semi-postmodern view of truth and certainty is defensible (eventually you’re rendered to making certain claims about the lack of certainty or regarding your standard for measuring uncertainty), it’s an interesting discussion. However, it’s completely irrelevant to my proof for God. My proof only requires that some form of knowledge be possible; whether it is epistemic certainty or just psychological confidence is irrelevant because both of them require the same preconditions for intelligibility that all in turn require God’s existence. Even you made several appeals to the laws of logic and the principle of induction in your post; both of those things only make sense if God exists. So whether you want to take the position that the proof proves that “we know God exists as far as we can know anything at all”, or the position I take, which is that it proves that “we are absolutely certain that God exists” it does not matter to me. Either position renders atheism indefensible and therefore irrational.



    Can you prove Descartes existed?
    We are not talking about whether I can prove Descartes existed; we are talking about whether Descartes could prove he existed, which he did. Descartes had epistemic certainty that he in fact existed because there were no grounds to doubt his own existence. Proving other people exist is a bit more tricky though.
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