Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sceptical non-theism

Apparently, it's hard to know what worlds are possible even without theism. See here, by Alexander Pruss.

HT: Crude

30 comments:

BeingItself said...

Modal logic is primarily a tool used by Sophisticated Theologians™ to prove the palpably ridiculous. It's a mug's game.

BenYachov said...

Yes arguing by ridicule is much more convincing.


BTW Oderberg does give an excellent critique of modal logic in REAL ESSENTALISM.

It's a far more profitable read then the lame dismissals of a knuckle dragging willful ignoramus.

grodrigues said...

@BeingItself:

"Modal logic is primarily a tool used by Sophisticated Theologians™ to prove the palpably ridiculous. It's a mug's game."

Is it?

The Handbook of Modal Logic (Elsevier) has this abstract:

"The Handbook of Modal Logic contains 20 articles, which collectively introduce contemporary modal logic, survey current research, and indicate the way in which the field is developing. The articles survey the field from a wide variety of perspectives: the underling theory is explored in depth, modern computational approaches are treated, and six major applications areas of modal logic (in Mathematics, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Game Theory, and Philosophy) are surveyed. The book contains both well-written expository articles, suitable for beginners approaching the subject for the first time, and advanced articles, which will help those already familiar with the field to deepen their expertise."

What "Mathematics, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Game Theory, and Philosophy" has to do with "Sophisticated Theologians™" is anyone's guess, but your insight that it is primary a tool "to prove the palpably ridiculous", and a "mug's game" is certainly enlightening.

grodrigues said...

@BenYachov:

"BTW Oderberg does give an excellent critique of modal logic in REAL ESSENTALISM."

Slight correction: it is not a critique of modal logic per se, but a critique of modalism, that is, the idea that possible world talk can tell us anything of metaphysical significance about essences.

Karl Grant said...

BI,

I first ran across Modal Logic studying for my Computer Science degree, not sitting in church or hanging out on theology/philosphy blogs. Maybe, just once or twice (I know better than to demand consitent rationality and forethought), you could actually research something before making a comment.

BenYachov said...

BI like so many Gnus disbelieves in gods because he prayed for and failed to receive a pony when he was 4 years old.

That is the intellectual extent of his Gnuism.

Crude said...

First, hey, a HT. My first one.

Second, I just want to say I am laughing my ass off at the suggestion that modal logic is some kind of creation of theologians to defend their crazy ideas. This is almost like reading that empiricism is just something creationists came up with to make YEC more plausible. :D

Papalinton said...

"BI like so many Gnus disbelieves in gods because he prayed for and failed to receive a pony when he was 4 years old.
That is the intellectual extent of his Gnuism."


An opinion cast through the eyes of believers. Emo Phillips, the American comedian, [and how apt] best characterizes the reality of pray:

"When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his wisdom, didn't work that way. So I just stole one and asked him to forgive me."

How brilliantly insightful is that? How many of these types of prays have we witnessed? In politics, in business dealings, in infidelity cases, in death-row conversions, from the pulpit, you name it. Yet they all have one thread in common; they all have been caught out, found out, exposed for their indiscretions and actions. And the only reason for their resort to 'prayer for forgiveness' is because they have been publicly exposed. Their prayers don't come from contrition or 'soul-searching' or acknowledgement of wrong-doing.
Prayer is most effective[?] only after the fact. Otherwise, prayer has no more a positive or significant statistical effect than chance.

BenYachov said...

Paps now want to hijack the thread in order to save face for BI implying Modal logic is some kind of creation of theologians to defend their crazy ideas. When the brute facts show it's wide use in Mathematics, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Game Theory, and Philosophy etc...

He is also upset he didn't get a pony either.

Even selling his soul to Lucifer the cabbage demon didn't work either!

He always falls for that one.

QUOTE"Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"

Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over."END QUOTE

I am going up state so I think I'll be listening to some Emo Philips and Steven Wright.

Matt DeStefano said...

Sceptical theists respond to the problem of evil by, very roughly, telling us that we can't say what kinds of worlds God is more likely to create. This is a very rough formulation, and perhaps not entirely fair, but I think it is defensible. After all, if we have no reason to think that the values we know are representative of the larger realm of value, then we are unable to say what kinds of worlds a being whose actions are entirely guided by correct value considerations is likely to create.

I would agree with Dr. Pruss that this description of skeptical theism is "not entirely fair", and I don't think it's as defensible as he claims. Skeptical theism generally argues that "we should be skeptical of our ability to discern God’s reasons for acting or refraining from acting in any particular instance." (IEP)

It seems to me that Pruss's formulation requires the skeptical theist to adopt a sort of global skepticism about the "larger realm of values" that God's actions are guided by. However, most skeptical theists reject this and argue that we can have (limited) knowledge of a wide range of values.

BenYachov said...

I read that link on Skeptical Theism.

So it pr-supposes a Theistic Personalist "god" a "god" who is a person like us who is also a moral agent?

Pass!

No such "god" exists.

Crude said...

I am going up state so I think I'll be listening to some Emo Philips and Steven Wright.

Emo Philips is pretty awesome.

Papalinton said...
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Papalinton said...
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Papalinton said...
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Papalinton said...

"I am going up state so I think I'll be listening to some Emo Philips and Steven Wright."

"

Perhaps a little George Carlin? George on Religion

BenYachov said...

To paraphrase George Carlin,

Paps you defend Atheism like old people F***.

Papalinton said...

"Paps you defend Atheism like old people F***."

So, not only does your catholicism breed hatred of women, homosexuals, blacks and atheists, your catholicism breeds a hatred for old people. I guess it isn't passed catholics to be age-ists as well, given their track record i recent years. Particularly the travesty of injustice for so many little boys caught in the divine web of catholic-inspired pedophilia.

BenYachov said...

But Paps I was paraphrasing George Carlin who was an Atheist?

He said of bad drivers "You drive like old people f***."

see here:
http://www.jbnickel.com/personal/pages/george5.html

Hey don't you like Carlin? You did just recommend him. That means you, like him, hate old people, women, gays, blacks, religious people etc.. because Carlin made jokes about them all. We all know such jokes are expressions of hate according to you & how could you be wrong.;-)

I guess it isn't passed Atheist liberals like you and Carlin to be age-ists as well as hypocrites, given your track record in recent years.

Particularly the travesty of injustice for so many little kids caught in the secular web of public school-inspired pedophilia.
BTW just to be clear you are an Ex-teacher right Paps?

LOL!

Oh Paps! You still defend Atheism like Old people F***.

Sure old people enjoy it but who wants to see it? It's just cringe worthy much like your posts.

Now let us be quiet maybe someone more intelligent will post?

Papalinton said...

No Yachov. It's the direct attack on the person that is objectionable and to which I responded in kind in defense. I am tired of your predisposition to personal attack on those that differ or disagree with the ancient nonsense you propound. Play the game, not the man, if you comprehend and can appreciate the difference. I do not care what you say about my atheism or my perspectives, but cut the personal vituperation.

B. Prokop said...

Papalinton,

You're way off base in your criticism of Ben here. You brought up Carlin. He responded with a humorous semi-quote by Carlin (which you apparently didn't recognize). You go ballistic. But his comment was totally within bounds. In fact, you actually set it up by calling upon Carlin in the first place. "Speak of the devil, and the devil will appear."

And by the way, I speak here as an "old" person.

BenYachov said...

Chesterton said that one of the marks of a savage is he howls with delight when he beats you but howls with indignant outrage when you beat him back.

That is Paps. I mean he can't argue Atheist Philosophy to save his life so what does he do?

He brings up the Priestly pedophilia scandal but calls it a "personal attack" when I counter with Public School Pedophilia (which is substantively worst).

Classic!

Oh and Bob's right. You brought up Carlin the ant-gay, ageist, woman hating, religion hating Atheist comic.

You own him!:-)

Like I said Paps you defend Atheism like old people F***.

BTW I'm getting old too and it's true.

Papalinton said...
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Papalinton said...
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Papalinton said...

"You're way off base in your criticism of Ben here. You brought up Carlin."

Yes I did. It was a referential comment not a personal attack on Ben.
But it seems personal attacks are OK within your code of morality so long as they are pitched against atheists.

Given the long standing tradition of Ben to label people he disagrees with expletives and disparaging remarks directed at their person, and his testimony is replete throughout his commentary, I guess it was silly of me to imagine that you at least might have known and appreciated the difference. Clearly I was wrong.

B. Prokop said...

Oh, gimme a break! This has nothing to do with "personal codes of morality", or with anything whatsoever except your flying off the handle at an imagined slight where none existed.

And in any case, your pious horror at alleged personal attacks is rich from the person who applauds and praises the desecration of the most sacred rites of another's faith. I'm expecting you any day now to start defending your true soulmates, the so-called Westboro Baptist church.

Papalinton said...

Yes. Clearly I was wrong to make any assumption about knowing the difference between a directed personal attack from one that is not.

BenYachov said...

Geez Paps you're breaking my freakin heart.

B. Prokop said...

C'mon, Ben. Now you're crossing the line.

Don't make me come in there and split you two up!

BenYachov said...

As you wish Bob.