Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Does Logic Presuppose God?

Michael Martin says no.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will someone please explain why presuppositionalism isn't the worst idea ever (seriously)? It seems to me that all the presuppositionalist is doing is declaring "I win" before the match has started. Why should philosophers even take the view seriously?

legodesi said...

I think that presuppositionalism works if you can defend the connection before you argue that something presupposes another. Wait... that wouldn't be presuppositionalism then, would it?

normajean said...

Perhaps logic presupposes God in the same way consciousness does. One might insist it has a qualitative feel that has no third person entry. But I don’t know what I’m talking about really—I certainly have no argument =)

Ilíon said...

"Does Logic Presuppose God?""

Yes and no.

The belief or assertion that it doesn't turns out to be erroneous ... and, interestingly, we can *start* with the presupposition that 'logic' does not presuppose that God exists and we will learn, via logical reasoning, that that presupposition was incorrect.


The fact is, 'reason' and 'logic' do not (and cannot) exist on their own, for they are the product of 'mind.'

The person who refuses to acknowledge the conclusion (or to do the work to get to the conclusion) of the falseness of the presupposition that 'logic' does not presuppose that God exists (and is the "source" of all things, including reason and logic) it trying to assert that reason and logic exist independently of any mind. In effect, he is asserting Plato's Forms.

Or, he's trying to assert that reason and logic are not objectively real things, do not actually exist, and that we can neither reason-together nor understand objective rules of logic.

Ilíon said...

Anonymouse: "Will someone please explain why presuppositionalism isn't the worst idea ever (seriously)? It seems to me that all the presuppositionalist is doing is declaring "I win" before the match has started. Why should philosophers even take the view seriously?"

Perhaps for the simple reason that it *isn't* the worst idea ever.

It's incomplete, and therefore it can easily be pushed too far; but it is essentially correct.

What 'presuppositionalism' is missing is its first step, which shows *why* it is correct. But then, as Legodesi points out, supply that first step and it's no longer a presupposition.

I'm pretty that VR can supply the first step ... but he seems not to realize that he can. Or, perhaps, it's that (in contrast to me) he's more concerned with not "offending" 'atheists' than in demonstrating the utter vacuity of atheism.

Ilíon said...

Interestingly (or not, that's up to you, Gentle Reader), I discovered that first step on my own and quite some time before I'd ever heard of either 'presuppositionalism' or the "Transcendental Argument."

And, it was in trying to understand more about the insight and the argument which follows from it, including whether others had already had it and argued it, that I came across the Dangerous Idea site and then eventually bought a copy of VR's book.

Now, the interesting thing is that "educated" people (including, it seems, VR) don't seem inclined to even attend to this argument. But, several weeks I told a synopsis of the argument to a clerk at a convenience store (the topic came up because I know her boss and had promised the boss a copy of it if I ever get around to writing it up), whom I presume to be at best a hight-school grad and who seems not particularly religious -- and she saw and stated one of the next steps in the argument before I'd gotten to that point.