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Re: Wallace Murphree on the Dziubla v. Baty Debate!

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  • rlbaty50
    By way of background and context, I note here that the argument under consideration was developed, in part, to reflect upon the fundamental issue that was
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 5, 2011
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      By way of background and context, I note here that the argument under consideration was developed, in part, to reflect upon the fundamental issue that was taken up in the Alexander Campbell (Christian) v. Robert Owen (Skeptic) Debate of 180 years ago.

      That debate is available on-line at:

      http://www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/acampbell/cod/COD00A.HTM

      Campbell asked the question regarding the origin of the idea/concept of God:

      > "Now, as you are philosophers and historians,
      > and have all the means of knowing, How did it
      > come into the world?"

      Owen replied:

      > "By imagination."

      That's from page 123.

      The argument under consideration today, and as was under consideration in the Dziubla v. Baty Debate is:

      Major Premise:

      > IF man was able to originate the idea/concept
      > of God through the power of imagination, as
      > opposed to reason and/or revelation,
      >
      > THEN man did originate the idea/concept of God
      > through the power of imagination.

      Minor Premise:

      > Man was able to originate the idea/concept of
      > God through the power of imagination, as
      > opposed to reason and/or revelation.

      Conclusion:

      > Man did originate the idea/concept of God
      > through the power of imagination.

      And here are my proposals regarding the argument:

      (1)

      The argument is valid.

      (2)

      Atheists believe its premises are true.

      (3)

      Robert Baty does NOT believe its premises are true.

      Sincerely,
      Robert Baty
    • Wallace
      I guess, Robert, that I didn t make my point clear. Certainly, the validity of any argument form is not affected by the truth or falsity of its premises.
      Message 2 of 13 , Nov 5, 2011
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        I guess, Robert, that I didn't make my point clear. Certainly, the validity of any argument form is not affected by the truth or falsity of its premises. However, my concern was not with the argument's HAVING false premises, but rather with your SAYING that they both are false. That is, my point is that TO SAY they are both false is TO UTTER an inconsistency (i.e., an implicit contradiction); likewise, TO BELIEVE they are both false is TO BELIEVE an inconsistency.
        Let me try to put this more carefully than I did before. First, I take it we agree that for any formula, x, to say "x is false" is to say "not-x is true." Accordingly, when you say both premises of the Modus Ponens argument are false you say both "~(P > Q)" and "~P" are true. But my point is that TO SAY both of these are true is TO UTTER an inconsistency; moreover, these don't have to be considered premises in an argument to be inconsistent—they are just inherently incompatible with each other; furthermore, as I said earlier, any argument whose premises are these two negative propositions no longer has a Modus Ponens form.

        The reason these are inconsistent is that ~(P > Q) resolves into (P & ~ Q), so that whoever asserts them both affirms P (as well as ~Q) in the major while denying P in the minor (by claiming it false). This is simply standard, truth-functional logic—as it is taught in the schools and used in computer science, etc. (I taught it for over 30 years at Mississippi State.)

        You may balk at resolving ~(P > Q) into (P & ~Q); if you do, I think I see why--: you are using the conditional (hypothetical) statement in a logically nonstandard sense. That is, the standard, truth-functional definition of a conditional statement (P > Q)--composed of antecedent, P, and consequent, Q—is that it, the conditional statement, is false only when the antecedent (P) is true while the consequent (Q) is false, and under all other combinations of truth and falsity of antecedent and consequent the conditional as a whole is true. So to claim that (P > Q) is false is indeed to claim that both P and ~Q are true, which is why it resolves into (P & ~Q).

        I certainly agree that this truth-functional definition of if-then statements seems not to fit our everyday usage of it sometimes, as you exhibit by claiming that "If grass is blue, then trees are blue" and "If today is Tuesday, tomorrow is Friday" are both false. But, since neither of these have a true antecedent and a false consequent (because both antecedents and both consequents are false), both conditional statements as a whole (=both major premises) of the examples are indeed true in standard logic. Perhaps we have less trouble with this definition using other examples, such as "If today is Tuesday, tomorrow is Wednesday"; here both p and q are false, but my students were always happy to say the overall conditional here is true.

        Some of the logic texts I have used through the years have had a little section on "paradoxes of material implication" where such inconveniences were at least noted. Also I have seen an article or two in professional journals of logic which discuss it, and I believe about the time I was retiring a movement called something like "relevance logic?" was trying to provide away to deal more effectively with translating from natural language into logical form. I don't know if they did. At any rate, the Modus Ponens (and ModusTollens) forms and truth tables operate using the standard interpretations.

        Accordingly, since this logic that you are employing universally interprets such claims as "If grass is blue then trees are blue," i.e., (False > False) as true, let me repeat the suggestion I made earlier that you reconsider the truth value of your major premise. For if, indeed, you think its antecedent and its consequent are both false, then you simply cannot call the overall, hypothetical statement false also without changing the whole of logic!

        I hope this helps. Oh, and thanks for changing the subject line.

        Best,
        Wallace





        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "rlbaty50" <rlbaty@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
        > "Wallace" <w_murphree@> wrote, in part:
        >
        > http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/25320
        >
        > > As with Goliath of GRAS, you had it
        > > set up in a Modus Ponens form
        > > (which, again, is valid).
        >
        > We're off to a good start. By valid, it simply means that it is so constructed that if the premises are true, the conclusion will follow as true from the premises.
        >
        > We agree on that.
        >
        > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
        > "Wallace" <w_murphree@> wrote, in part:
        >
        > > (T)he atheist believes both premises
        > > (and hence the conclusion) to be true,
        > > while you—on behalf of the theist—contend
        > > that both premises are false, and this is
        > > what makes for a big logical problem.
        > >
        > > Specifically, to say that both premises of
        > > a Modus Ponens argument are false is always
        > > to utter an inconsistency—an implicit
        > > contradiction!
        >
        > I disagree, Wallace.
        >
        > I will propose that a valid, modus ponens argument can have two false premises without presenting a "big logical problem" except for showing that the argument is not sound; there is no "implicit contradiction" in a modus ponens argument containing two false premises.
        >
        > As one on-line reference puts it:
        >
        > http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Modus_ponens_and_Modus_tollens
        >
        > > "...valid arguments can have false premises."
        >
        > Here's a couple of examples:
        >
        > > If grass is blue, then trees are blue.
        > > Grass is blue.
        > > Trees are blue.
        >
        > > If today (11/5/2011) is Tuesday, tomorrow is Friday.
        > > Today (11/5/2011) is Tuesday,
        > > Tomorrow is Friday.
        >
        > The arguments are valid, modus ponen forms, with two false premises in each and no "big logical problem or implicit contradiction"; they are just unsound arguments; or so it seems to me.
        >
        > The issue is not whether both premises of a modus ponens are false, which might be the case, but whether both premises are true.
        >
        > One or both of the premises of a valid, modus ponens argument may be false.
        >
        > One or both of the premises of a valid, modus ponens argument may be true.
        >
        > If both are true, the argument is considered sound.
        >
        > I have proposed that both premises in the Dziubla debate argument are false.
        >
        > That they both may be false should not be a problem; they may both be false without affecting the logical analysis/merits of the argument.
        >
        > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
        > "Wallace" <w_murphree@> wrote, in part:
        >
        > > To say
        > >
        > >> "(If P then Q) is false"
        > >
        > > is to say
        > >
        > >> "It is not the case that (If P then Q)"
        > >
        > > = ~(P > Q);
        >
        > I don't see a problem with that, though the formal, symbolic logic stuff does try my sanity.
        >
        > Wallace, you seem to agree that there is no problem with at least one of the premises being false. As to the major, mixed hypothetical premise of the argument in question, I have proposed it is false.
        >
        > That is, it is NOT, necessarily, the case that man originated the idea/concept of God through his imaginative powers even if he had such powers. In other words, even if man had such powers, the origination of the idea/concept of God may have come through revelation and/or reason.
        >
        > That's why I have proposed the major premise is false/not true.
        >
        > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
        > "Wallace" <w_murphree@> wrote, in part:
        >
        > > ...and for the minor premise, to say
        > >
        > >> "P is false"
        > >
        > >> is to say
        > >
        > >> "It is not the case that P,"
        > >
        > > or ~P.
        >
        > I don't see a problem with that.
        >
        > In this case, man either has/had the imagination power to originate the idea/concept of God or not. I don't believe it's true; atheists do.
        >
        > In any case, I am proposing as far as your criticism that it can be false independent of whether or not the major premise is true or false without affecting the logic of the argument.
        >
        > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
        > "Wallace" <w_murphree@> wrote, in part:
        >
        > > So, first, for what it's worth these are no longer
        > > premises of a Modus Ponens argument because
        > > the major no longer has a hypothetical (conditional)
        > > form.
        > >
        > > Rather, it is the "negation of a conditional" which
        > > is equivalent to the conjunction,
        > >
        > >> "Both P and it is not the case that Q,"
        > >
        > > or (P & ~Q).
        > >
        > > (Check it out on the truth table if this doesn't
        > > seem intuitive.)
        >
        > I quite cautiously suggest, Wallace, that you are missing something with that kind of analysis. As I figure it, a "truth table" analysis is for determining whether or not an argument is valid. In this case, we have already agreed that the argument in question is valid; a modus ponens form.
        >
        > Therefore, the questions left to resolve is whether or not the premises, and there are two, are true or false. I propose that it is possible, without creating the problem you suggest, that both premises could be false.
        >
        > I think your "So,..." claim is wrong.
        >
        > The major premise remains a mixed hypothetical statement which, I propose, has not been shown to be true.
        >
        > The minor premise remains a categorical statement which, I propose, has not been shown to be true.
        >
        > Wallace,
        >
        > Think about it some more.
        >
        > If you still disagree with me, try explaining your position a little better. It just seems to me that you are, simply, wrong as far as what you are saying has any relevance to the argument under consideration.
        >
        > If I am the one "missing it", I would like your further help to figure it out.
        >
        > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
        > "Wallace" <w_murphree@> wrote, in part:
        >
        > > But of more consequence is that then claim
        > > that both premises are false is then to affirm both:
        > >
        > >> Denied major = Both P and
        > >> it is not the case that Q = (P & ~ Q)
        > >
        > > and
        > >
        > >> Denied minor = It is not the case that P = ~P
        >
        > In claiming that both premises are false, I am only proposing that:
        >
        > > Even IF P, which may be false,
        > > Q would not follow therefrom.
        >
        > and
        >
        > > P is not true.
        >
        > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
        > "Wallace" <w_murphree@> wrote, in part:
        >
        > > And this inconsistency entails the formal
        > > contradiction, Both P and not-P = (P & ~P).
        >
        > Since, as I think I have shown, there is no inconsistency, there is no contradiction as claimed. I am not explicitly or implicitly proposing "both P and not P". I am proposing "not P" and "even IF P, it would not, necessarily, mean Q).
        >
        > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
        > "Wallace" <w_murphree@> wrote, in part:
        >
        > > I am fully confident of my claim here, but
        > > I'm not sure that it is fatal to the insight
        > > you may have been operating on.
        >
        > I have a certain confidence as well, but I am always cautious when dealing with "experts".
        >
        > I hope I have provided you with enough of my "insight" to reconsider your criticisms.
        >
        > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
        > "Wallace" <w_murphree@> wrote, in part:
        >
        > > Since only one premise needs to be denied to release one
        > > from the conclusion, let me suggest that you reconsider
        > > the possibility that the major premise is true.
        >
        > I don't think so.
        >
        > For reasons given above, plus the fact that the substance of the argument, from my perspective, is in being able to show that the major premise is not true.
        >
        > Even some of the atheists I contended with in the JREF forum admitted as much which, in my opinion, is why the tried so hard to discredit the argument. They didn't like being put in the affrimative regarding one of their cherished, implicit and/or explicit, beliefs.
        >
        > That pretty much exhausts my analytical skills for now.
        >
        > Wallace,
        >
        > I will look forward to your further efforts in this matter and again express my appreciation for your time, interests and talents.
        >
        > Sincerely,
        > Robert Baty
        >
        > P.S. Wallace, might it be of relevance to note that while I constructed the argument, it is the argument inferred from atheism/atheists? Atheism/atheists affirm/believe the truth of the premises. I have noted that while they believe such to be true, the scientific evidence has not established the truth of the premises. That atheists have such "beliefs" that go beyond the scientific evidence seems to be a what ticks some of them off when it is pointed out in such an exercise as Dziubla and I engaged.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------
        > ------------------------------------------------
        >
      • rlbaty50
        ... I don t think so! ... and ... OK! I think we agree on that. ... and ... I hear you saying that, but I see no inconsistency or contradiction . ... and
        Message 3 of 13 , Nov 5, 2011
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          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

          > (M)y point is that TO SAY they are both false
          > is TO UTTER an inconsistency (i.e., an implicit
          > contradiction); likewise, TO BELIEVE they are
          > both false is TO BELIEVE an inconsistency.

          I don't think so!

          It is NOT a contradiction and not inconsistent to propose, as I have, that:

          > It is not true that
          >
          >> IF man could have imagined God,
          >> THEN man did imagine God,

          and

          > Man did not/does not have the
          > power to imagine God.

          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote:

          > Let me try to put this more carefully
          > than I did before.
          >
          > (W)hen you say both premises of the Modus
          > Ponens argument are false you say both
          >
          >> "~(P > Q)"
          >
          > and
          >
          >> "~P"
          >
          > are true.

          OK! I think we agree on that.

          As to the argument in question, I have proposed that:

          > P does not lead to Q,

          and

          > it's not P in any case.

          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

          > But my point is that TO SAY both of
          > these are true is TO UTTER an inconsistency...

          I hear you saying that, but I see no "inconsistency" or "contradiction".

          It is simply true, according to me, that it can be consistently and non-contradictorily proposed that:

          > It is NOT the case that
          >
          >> "if P, then Q",

          and

          > it is NOT P.

          Even if P were true, in our argument, it is not required that Q is true because there are other alternatives that might be proposed as to the origin of the idea/concept of God (e.g., reason, revelation).

          And there is no inconsistency if proposing that P has not been shown to be true anyway.

          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

          > (T)hese...are just inherently incompatible
          > with each other...

          I hear that, but repeat that I don't see the demonstration of any "inconsitency" or "contradiction".

          It is simply true, according to me, that it can be consistently and non-contradictorily proposed that:

          > It is NOT the case that "If P, then Q",

          and

          > it is NOT P.

          Even if P were true, in our argument, it is not required that Q is true because there are other alternatives that might be proposed as to the origin of the idea/concept of God (e.g., reason, revelation).

          And there is no inconsistency if proposing that P has not been shown to be true anyway.

          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

          > I said earlier, any argument whose premises
          > are these two negative propositions no longer
          > has a Modus Ponens form.

          Maybe this is where you are getting off track.

          The argument does not have two negative propositions.

          The argument has two affirmative, positive premises.

          The atheist is in the affirmative as to both premises.

          I have simply taken up the negative in pointing out that atheists "believe" their affirmative premises, but they have not scientifically established the truth of the premises.

          If an argument can have, and does have false premises, and I point it out, surely there can be no inconsistency or contradiction in my pointing out the fact.

          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

          > The reason these are inconsistent is that
          >
          >> ~(P > Q)
          >
          >resolves into
          >
          >> (P & ~ Q),
          >
          > so that whoever asserts them both affirms
          > P (as well as ~Q) in the major while denying
          > P in the minor (by claiming it false).
          >
          > This is simply standard, truth-functional logic—as
          > it is taught in the schools and used in computer
          > science, etc. (I taught it for over 30 years at
          > Mississippi State.)

          I don't think I disagree with that, and am left wondering why you think it is a problem here.

          Are you forgetting that in the major premise the P is hypothetical (e.g., it may or may not be true; that's an issue for the minor premise to resolve)???

          Let's assume that man could NOT have originated the idea/concept of God by imagination and, in fact, did not originate the idea/concept of God by imagination?

          In that "world", would you have any disagreement with my proposition that the following statements are false?

          (1)

          > IF man was able to originate the idea/concept
          > of God through the power of imagination, as
          > opposed to reason and/or revelation,
          >
          > THEN man did originate the idea/concept of God
          > through the power of imagination.

          (2)

          > Man was able to originate the idea/concept of
          > God through the power of imagination, as
          > opposed to reason and/or revelation.

          As I suggested earlier, I could, for sake of argument, concede the truth of (2) and still defeat the argument by showing that (1) has not been established as true, though "believed" to be true by atheists (e.g., the origin of the idea/concept of God has not been established as being from man's imagination and there are alternatives).

          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

          > You may balk at resolving ~(P > Q) into (P & ~Q);
          > if you do, I think I see why--: you are using the
          > conditional (hypothetical) statement in a logically
          > nonstandard sense.
          >
          > That is, the standard, truth-functional definition
          > of a conditional statement (P > Q)--composed of
          > antecedent, P, and consequent, Q—is that it, the
          > conditional statement, is false only when the
          > antecedent (P) is true while the consequent (Q) is
          > false, and under all other combinations of truth
          > and falsity of antecedent and consequent the
          > conditional as a whole is true.
          >
          > So to claim that (P > Q) is false is indeed to claim
          > that both P and ~Q are true, which is why it resolves
          > into (P & ~Q).

          I think you are confusing the "truth-functional" thing with the "truth" issue and how it relates to the issue we are fussing about. My mind usually gets twisted into a knot when I try to get those issues straight. In my mind, your appeal to "truth function" and "truth tables" are not relevant. They involve issues and definitions involving "validity" that are not in dispute here. One authority I read indicated it was quite unfortunate that the "truth table" was labeled as it is. We are past that, in my opinion, having agree that the argument in question is "valid".

          Whether or not, in fact, a premise is true, cannot be resolved by by an appeal to a "truth table" or "truth functional" definitions.

          In this case, I propose, it is simply the case that P does NOT, necessarily, lead to Q as is believed to be the case by atheists.

          Similarly, I propose, P has not been established in the first place.

          To repeat again, I see no inconsistency or contradiction in noting the major and minor premises have not been established as being true.

          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

          > Perhaps we have less trouble with this definition
          > using other examples, such as
          >
          >> "If today is Tuesday,
          >> tomorrow is Wednesday";
          >
          > here both p and q are false, but my students
          > were always happy to say the overall conditional
          > here is true.

          I think that is an example of what I was talking about above; the confusion between a "truth table"/"truth functional" analysis and what is actually true in the practical sense.

          I agree that logicians, according to "truth table"/"truth functional" definitions propose that,

          > IF today is Tuesday,
          > THEN tomorrow is Wednesday

          is true (e.g., a false antecedent implies anything; resulting in a "true" statement).

          However, is the statement true. That is,

          > is tomorrow Wednesday if today is Tuesday?

          I think so!

          In that argument, the major premise can be accepted as true and the argument defeated by showing that the minor premise is false; it's not Tuesday.

          I think my example, however, was:

          > IF today is Tuesday,
          > THEN tomorrow is Friday.

          Your students might also say that is true, for reasons noted (e.g., because the argument is unequestionably valid, the premise is "true" by the peculiar rules of "truth tables"/"truth functional" definitions.

          For purposes of evaluating the soundness of the argument, however, I would say it is false; the argument is unsound.

          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

          > (L)et me repeat the suggestion I made earlier
          > that you reconsider the truth value of your major
          > premise.
          >
          > For if, indeed, you think its antecedent and its
          > consequent are both false, then you simply cannot
          > call the overall, hypothetical statement false also
          > without changing the whole of logic!

          I'll try to repeat for emphasis as well, and maybe with the hope that I might spark you into recognizing where you are going off track in the analysis.

          Since we agree on the validity of the argument, we should not be quibbling about the "truth value" of the major premise.

          The "truth value" as far as the logical analysis proposed in evaluating validity claims has been resolved. We both agree that the argument in valid.

          So, the issue I have taken issue with is whether or not the major premise (as well as the minor premise) is actually true.

          > IF man had the power to originate the idea/concept
          > of God, does it follow that man did originate the
          > idea/concept of God through the power of imagination?

          NO!

          IT DOES NOT!

          There are other alternatives, rejected by atheists.

          They "believe" the major premise to be true, but have failed to provide the scientific evidence necessary to establish the truth of the major premise.

          Thanks for bearing with me, Wallace.

          Sincerely,
          Robert Baty

          P.S. Bruce Waller writes in his logic text:

          > Remember, when we are determining the validity
          > or invalidity of an argument, we are not worried
          > about whether any of the statements-the premises
          > and conclusions-of the argument are actually
          > true...

          I think that goes to what appears to be why we seem to be failing to agree on what would appear to be a simple, fundamental point regarding the argument under consideration.

          Waller also wrote:

          > Truth-Functional Definitions
          >
          > Fortunately, such a method is readily available,
          > it is simple to use, and it does both jobs (e.g.,
          > determining validity and invalidity) with equal
          > facility. It's called the "truth-table" method
          > of determining validity and invalidity. (I didn't
          > invent it, so I didn't get to name it; if I had,
          > I would have given it a sexier name, because it's
          > a powerful method.)

          Powerful as it is, it frustrates me to work through the details of truth table analysis. Fortunately, in this case, we shouldn't be hung up on that (which is where you seem to be, Wallace).

          We agree that the argument in question is valid.

          So, we don't need truth tables or truth-functional analysis. We just need to consider whether the premises have been shown to "actually" be true.

          I claim the premises have not been scientifically shown to be true, though believed to be true by atheists, without any inconsistency or contradiction!

          ------------------------------------------
          ------------------------------------------
        • rlbaty50
          ... Since we already agree on the validity of the argument in question, it seems to me that our task is to consider the ACTUAL TRUTH of the major premise and
          Message 4 of 13 , Nov 5, 2011
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            Regarding the "actual" truth of the premises of the argument under consideration, Wallace, I note the following from Waller which goes to what I see as your problem; distinguishing between the logical analysis and "truth values" which, by definition, are considered in validity exercises and considering the "actual" truth of the premises (EMPHASIS added):

            > Are the Premises True?
            >
            > Getting the "truth"-and the whole "truth"-is
            > an essential part of deciding the soundness
            > of arguments. It is important to question
            > the "truth" of premises, whether they occur
            > in commercials or editorials or courtrooms.
            >
            > But there's the rub.
            >
            > How do you discover whether the premises are
            > "true"?
            >
            > How do you know whether the advertiser is
            > lying to you?
            >
            > How do you tell whether the editorial writer
            > is omitting important facts?
            >
            > How do you determine whether the witness is
            > telling the "truth"?
            >
            > Certainly it's important to know whether the
            > premises are "ACTUALLY TRUE" and that no
            > relevant information is concealed; but, how
            > can you know?
            >
            > Digging for "Truth"
            >
            > Unfortunately, there's no easy way.
            >
            > You can lounge in your hammock and analyze
            > arguments for validity to your heart's content.
            >
            > Does the conclusion follow from the premises?
            >
            > That's a question we can answer without research
            > or observation or experiments or expert
            > authorities.
            >
            > BUT WHEN WE ASK ABOUT THE "TRUTH" OF THE PREMISES-
            > AND WHETHER SOME RELEVANT INFORMATION HAS BEEN
            > OMITTED-THEN WE MUST GO OUT INTO THE COLD GRUBBY
            > WORLD AND TRY TO FIND THE FACTS.
            >
            > THAT'S HARD WORK.
            >
            >> Critical Thinking
            >> Bruce N. Waller
            >> page 218

            Since we already agree on the validity of the argument in question, it seems to me that our task is to consider the "ACTUAL TRUTH" of the major premise and minor premise; or why atheists believe they are true and I don't.

            I contend that the truth claim as to the major premise can be denied independent of the denial of the truth claim as to the minor premise and that both premises may be false without involving any "inconsistency" or "contradiction".

            For example:

            The Major Premise truth claim may be denied because, even if the antecedent is true as hypothesized, the consequent does not, necessarily, follow because there are one or more alternatives (e.g., reason, revelation) as to the origin of the idea/concept of God.

            The Minor Premise truth claim may be denied because, even though it is believed to be true by atheists and implied by atheism, the authorities indicate that the scientific evidence does not establish the claim as true (e.g., we don't know of anyone who has originated the idea/concept of God by imagination).

            Sincerely,
            Robert Baty
          • rlbaty50
            Wallace, If you will bear with me a little longer, I will try in this posting to explain why we do AGREE on the validity issue and the application of truth
            Message 5 of 13 , Nov 6, 2011
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              Wallace,

              If you will bear with me a little longer, I will try in this posting to explain why we do AGREE on the validity issue and the application of "truth table"/"truth functional" analysis of my argument.

              I will then try to explain where it is I think you go wrong in proposing that there is a logical problem (e.g., an inconsistency/contradiction) in my proposal that the premises (major and minor) have not been scientifically shown to be true.

              First, a statement of the argument, which I propose is an inference from atheism and which contains premises which atheists believe to be true:

              Major Premise:

              > IF (p) man was able to originate the
              > idea/concept of God through the power
              > of imagination, as opposed to reason
              > and/or revelation,
              >
              > THEN (q) man did originate the idea/concept
              > of God through the power of imagination.

              Minor Premise:

              > (p) Man was able to originate the
              > idea/concept of God through the power
              > of imagination, as opposed to reason
              > and/or revelation.

              Conclusion:

              > (q) Man did originate the idea/concept
              > of God through the power of imagination.

              We agree that the above argument is "valid".

              That is, it is so constructed that if its premises are true the conclusion will follow as true therefrom.

              We agree that, in being valid, the argument passes the "truth table" test of validity which is designed to demonstrate that the only way that the major premise can be false, by "truth table" definition, is if the antecedent (e.g., the "if..." segment) is true and the consequent (e.g., the "then..." segment) is false.

              Here's how I think we see that test working out and demonstrating the logical validity of the argument:

              "Truth Table" Analysis

              (1.)

              > If (p) is true and (q) is true,
              > then we agree that the conditional
              > would be counted as TRUE.
              >
              > (Man had the power and did, in fact,
              > originate the idea/concept of God
              > by imagination.)

              (2.)

              > If (p) is true and (q) is false,
              > then we agree that the conditional
              > would be counted as FALSE.
              >
              > (Man had the power to have originated
              > the idea/concept of God by imagination,
              > but man did not do so; it was either
              > by revelation or reason.)

              (3.)

              > If (p) is false and (q) is true,
              > then we agree that the conditional
              > would be counted as TRUE.
              >
              > (I don't think that is actually an
              > option given the conditional in
              > this case, and that may be part of
              > why we disagree on the other matter.)
              >
              > (For purposes of the "truth table"
              > analysis, false statements "imply"
              > true statements so, by definition,
              > if it were possible for the antecedent
              > to be false and the consequent true,
              > the conditional would be "counted"
              > as true for purposes of the "truth
              > table".)

              (4.)

              > If (p) is false and (q) is false,
              > then we agree that the conditional
              > would be counted as TRUE.
              >
              > (Man did not have the power of
              > imagination so as to originate the
              > idea/concept of God, and man did
              > not do so.)

              I think the above demonstrates where and why we agree that the argument is valid and how the "truth table" may be used to verify it's validity: it is so constructed that if its premises are true then the conclusion will follow as true therefrom, and the only way the conditional will be false is when the antecedent (p) is true and the consequent (q) is false.

              OK, now let me try to again explain where you, Wallace, are wrong in proposing that there is something wrong in my proposal that both the major and minor premises have not been scientifically shown to be true. You propose that there is something inconsistent and contradictory in my proposal that the major and minor premises have not been scientifically shown to be true.

              It might be easier to start with the minor premise:

              > Minor Premise
              >
              > (p) Man was able to originate the
              > idea/concept of God through the power
              > of imagination, as opposed to reason
              > and/or revelation.

              I propose, consistent with personal experience and the testimony of one or more authorities, that the scientific evidence has not established the truth of that claim. It is "believed" to be true by atheists, but has not been scientifically established.

              Wallace, you seem to have no problem with that much of my position.

              So, now lets consider the major premise and if my position regarding the major premise in any way results in an inconsistency or contradiction as a result of my position as to the minor premise:

              > Major Premise:
              >
              > IF (p) man was able to originate the
              > idea/concept of God through the power
              > of imagination, as opposed to reason
              > and/or revelation,
              >
              > THEN (q) man did originate the idea/concept
              > of God through the power of imagination.

              That's a condition antecedent, a hypothetical proposal which is given to be true for purposes of evaluating the truth of the premise. To grant the truth of the antecedent for purposes of evaluating the truth of the entire premise creates no inconsistency or contradiction as to my position on the minor premise (e.g., whether, in fact, the antecedent is true).

              IF, IF, IF the antecedent is true, would it necessarily follow that man did originate the idea/concept of God through his powers of imagination.

              I say, "NO"!

              > True antecedent, false consequent = false premise.

              That's my position: IF, IF, IF the antecedent is true, it does not follow, necessarily, that the idea/concept of God originated by imagination because there are other alternatives which may better explain the origin of the idea/concept of God.

              I can consistently and without contradiction propose the following:

              (1.)

              > In a world where man had the power to
              > originate the idea/concept of God by
              > the power of imagination, it does not
              > necessarily follow that he did originate
              > the idea/concept of God by imagination
              > where there are other alternatives.

              (2.)

              > In fact, it is not been scientifically
              > demonstrated that man has imaginative
              > powers to have originated the idea/concept
              > of God.

              I'm still thinking this is really simple, and I am right in my evaluations and you are wrong, Wallace, in proposing my position involves an inconsistency and contradiction. However, it may seem overly complex because of what all has been now written on the subject.

              I've tried a number of ways to explain it.

              I hope that the above is simplest most efficient way to explain the issues and resolve your criticism on an agreeable basis.

              I hope you are continuing to bear with me and, if you still think I'm missing something, you will grace me with your further analysis.

              Sincerely,
              Robert Baty
            • Wallace
              Well, I m not sure how to go from here. As I said earlier, I have other issues that are demanding my attention, and it seems to me that with each exchange of
              Message 6 of 13 , Nov 7, 2011
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                Well, I'm not sure how to go from here. As I said earlier, I have other issues that are demanding my attention, and it seems to me that with each exchange of posts our disagreements are widening rather than becoming more focused. Indeed, I think I would have to work all night simply to "correct" what I find unacceptable in Robert's last two posts! Of course, I suppose he feels the same way about mine. So, I think I'll try to summarize my point again from a slightly different angle here and pose one new possible interpretation of our disagreement; then Robert can bring it to a conclusion the way he sees fit.

                First, let's agree (for our purposes here at least) that the truth or falsity of atomic propositions—P, Q, R, etc.—can only be known by investigating the world. But then how does one determine the truth or falsity of molecular propositions, such as conjunctions ("Both P and Q"), disjunctions ("Either P or Q)", and conditionals ("If P then Q")?
                For standard logic, the answer is that their truths are determined by the truth values of their ingredient, atomic propositions, as follows:

                A conjunction (P & Q) is true only when both conjuncts are true; but if either or both conjuncts are false, the conjunction as a whole is false.

                A disjunction (P v Q) is false only when both disjuncts are false; but if either or both disjuncts are true, the disjunction as a whole is true. (This is "inclusive" disjunction.)

                A conditional (P > Q) is false only when the antecedent (P) is true while the consequent (Q) is false; but if P is false or Q is true, or both, the conditional as a whole is true.

                Moreover, the truth value of the negation of any proposition, atomic or molecular, is the opposite of the value of the original, unnegated proposition. That is, if the original is true, its negation is false; and vice versa.

                Perhahps I need also to say here that it is these very truth values assignments to the molecular propositions that makes the valid argument forms of propositional logic (such as Modus Ponens, Modus Tollens, etc.,) valid. For example, if one said a conditional is also true when its antecedent is true and its consequent is false, then the Modus Ponens form would no longer be valid—for then it could be instantiated with true premises and still have a false conclusion; and if one said a conditional is also false when it both its antecedent and its consequent is false, then Modus Tollens would likewise not be valid.

                Now, again, the Modus Ponens argument form is composed of the conditional premise (P > Q) and the atomic premise, P. And, to say both premises of a Modus Ponens argument are false is to say P is true (as per the definition of a false conditional stated above) while also saying that the atomic premise, P, is false. And this is a contradiction. Or symbolically, to deny both premises is to say both that ~(P > Q) and ~P. And if this were fed into a computer scanning for contradictions, all the bells and sirens would ring and the screen would flash red and yellow!! There is simply no way around this contradiction—and I don't know how else to say it.

                Still, Robert claims both premises of the Modus Ponens argument under investigation are false, but claims he is doing so without contradiction. Hence, I suspected that in his own thoughts he was using the conditional statement in a way that was different from the standard logical treatment of it and some examples he proposed of false conditionals seemed to confirm this—for example "If grass is blue then trees are blue." [Here antecedent and consequent are both false, so the conditional as a whole is true—by the standard definition given above.] Likewise, in message 25325 he says

                Let's assume that man could NOT have originated the idea/concept of God by
                imagination and, in fact, did not originate the idea/concept of God by
                imagination

                and then asks if I would have any disagreement with the claim that the following statement is false:

                > IF [antecedent] man was able to originate the idea/concept
                > of God through the power of imagination, as
                > opposed to reason and/or revelation,
                >
                > THEN [consequent] man did originate the idea/concept of God
                > through the power of imagination.

                Of course, my response is that standard logic certainly would have trouble calling it false on that assumption because then both the antecedent and the consequent are false, making the conditional as a whole true. But I still suspect this may be what he is doing. Nevertheless, I suppose it's fine if he understands and uses "if…then…" statements that way; but it must then be conceded then that the proposition so conceived cannot be counted as the conditional in a Modus Ponens argument.

                However, after reading his last two posts (25325 & 25326) it occurred to me that he may be using the notion of so-called "logical implication" rather than the "material implication" for the conditional of the Modus Ponens form. Consider the difference between the two examples below:

                1. If the man is a bachelor then he is unmarried.
                2. If the man is a bachelor then he is a millionaire.

                In the first case the proposition is necessarily true because a man's being a bachelor (P) logically implies his being unmarried (Q). In fact, we might automatically say "Necessarily, if the man is a bachelor then he is unmarried," or "If the man is a bachelor then necessarily he is unmarried."

                However, in the second case the proposition is not necessarily true, although it still may be true as a matter of fact. For example, to pass the time two people might play making random bets. So the first might bet "If the man in the corner is a bachelor then he is a millionaire." The second takes the bet and investigates. If his research concludes that the man is a bachelor but not a millionaire, then he wins because the proposition the first bet on is false. But otherwise it is true and the first bettor wins—according to the definition of conditionals above. But here the man's being a bachelor (P) has nothing to do with his being a millionaire (Q): Certainly one can't say "being a bachelor" leads to "being a millionaire"…unless one is making a bad joke!

                Given that distinction, I now wonder if Robert isn't conceiving conditional (hypothetical) propositions more along the lines of example 1 above rather than example 2. If so, this might explain the problem as I see it since they are not the types of conditionals that go into the formation of Modus Ponens arguments. But this line of thought leads to "modal logic," and I claim no special expertise there.

                At any rate, I write slowly and I've spent much more time than I intended to on this already, so I'm going to have to let it go now. I suggest you get engage some other logic professor—maybe someone who is versatile in modal logic—to replace me if there is a desire to continue this thread. Thanks for inviting me to have a role in it.

                Sincerely,
                Wallace



                --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "rlbaty50" <rlbaty@...> wrote:
                >
                > Regarding the "actual" truth of the premises of the argument under consideration, Wallace, I note the following from Waller which goes to what I see as your problem; distinguishing between the logical analysis and "truth values" which, by definition, are considered in validity exercises and considering the "actual" truth of the premises (EMPHASIS added):
                >
                > > Are the Premises True?
                > >
                > > Getting the "truth"-and the whole "truth"-is
                > > an essential part of deciding the soundness
                > > of arguments. It is important to question
                > > the "truth" of premises, whether they occur
                > > in commercials or editorials or courtrooms.
                > >
                > > But there's the rub.
                > >
                > > How do you discover whether the premises are
                > > "true"?
                > >
                > > How do you know whether the advertiser is
                > > lying to you?
                > >
                > > How do you tell whether the editorial writer
                > > is omitting important facts?
                > >
                > > How do you determine whether the witness is
                > > telling the "truth"?
                > >
                > > Certainly it's important to know whether the
                > > premises are "ACTUALLY TRUE" and that no
                > > relevant information is concealed; but, how
                > > can you know?
                > >
                > > Digging for "Truth"
                > >
                > > Unfortunately, there's no easy way.
                > >
                > > You can lounge in your hammock and analyze
                > > arguments for validity to your heart's content.
                > >
                > > Does the conclusion follow from the premises?
                > >
                > > That's a question we can answer without research
                > > or observation or experiments or expert
                > > authorities.
                > >
                > > BUT WHEN WE ASK ABOUT THE "TRUTH" OF THE PREMISES-
                > > AND WHETHER SOME RELEVANT INFORMATION HAS BEEN
                > > OMITTED-THEN WE MUST GO OUT INTO THE COLD GRUBBY
                > > WORLD AND TRY TO FIND THE FACTS.
                > >
                > > THAT'S HARD WORK.
                > >
                > >> Critical Thinking
                > >> Bruce N. Waller
                > >> page 218
                >
                > Since we already agree on the validity of the argument in question, it seems to me that our task is to consider the "ACTUAL TRUTH" of the major premise and minor premise; or why atheists believe they are true and I don't.
                >
                > I contend that the truth claim as to the major premise can be denied independent of the denial of the truth claim as to the minor premise and that both premises may be false without involving any "inconsistency" or "contradiction".
                >
                > For example:
                >
                > The Major Premise truth claim may be denied because, even if the antecedent is true as hypothesized, the consequent does not, necessarily, follow because there are one or more alternatives (e.g., reason, revelation) as to the origin of the idea/concept of God.
                >
                > The Minor Premise truth claim may be denied because, even though it is believed to be true by atheists and implied by atheism, the authorities indicate that the scientific evidence does not establish the claim as true (e.g., we don't know of anyone who has originated the idea/concept of God by imagination).
                >
                > Sincerely,
                > Robert Baty
                >
              • rlbaty50
                ... I m for less and not more when it comes the formal, logical analysis that, I think, takes us way beyond the fundamental subject regarding my argument.
                Message 7 of 13 , Nov 7, 2011
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                  --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                  "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote:

                  > Well, I'm not sure how to go from here.
                  >
                  > As I said earlier, I have other issues
                  > that are demanding my attention, and it
                  > seems to me that with each exchange of
                  > posts our disagreements are widening
                  > rather than becoming more focused.

                  I'm for less and not more when it comes the formal, logical analysis that, I think, takes us way beyond the fundamental subject regarding my argument.

                  Realizing you have other interests that will be taking you away from this discussion, I will offer this quick reply in an effort to at least, I hope, allow us to state our respective positions on the some of the issues relevant to the matter.

                  Here's the argument again:

                  Major Premise:

                  > IF (p) man was able to originate the
                  > idea/concept of God through the power
                  > of imagination, as opposed to reason
                  > and/or revelation,
                  >
                  > THEN (q) man did originate the idea/concept
                  > of God through the power of imagination.

                  Minor Premise:

                  > (p) Man was able to originate the
                  > idea/concept of God through the power
                  > of imagination, as opposed to reason
                  > and/or revelation.

                  Conclusion:

                  > (q) Man did originate the idea/concept
                  > of God through the power of imagination.

                  If I am misrepresenting you regarding the following, Wallace, please correct me regarding your position.

                  Issues:

                  (1)

                  The argument is valid; that is, it is so constructed
                  that if its premises are true its conclusion will
                  follow as true therefrom.

                  > Wallace Murphree - YES
                  > Robert Baty - Yes

                  (2)

                  At least one of the premises may be false.

                  > Wallace Murphree - YES
                  > Robert Baty - YES

                  (3)

                  The major premise may be false while the minor
                  premise may be true.

                  > Wallace Murphree - YES
                  > Robert Baty - YES

                  (4)

                  The major premise may be true while the minor
                  premise may be false.

                  > Wallace Murphree - YES
                  > Robert Baty - YES

                  (5)

                  If either the major premise or minor premise
                  is false, the argument is considered to be
                  UNsound.

                  > Wallace Murphree - YES
                  > Robert Baty - YES

                  (6)

                  Both premises of a modus ponens argument may
                  be false.

                  > Wallace Murphree - YES
                  > Robert Baty - YES

                  (7)

                  It's the form of an argument and not the substance
                  which determines its validity.

                  > Wallace Murphree - YES
                  > Robert Baty - YES

                  As I get further time, Wallace, I will try to deal with your other comments and, hopefully, further simplify what appears to a disagreement between us.

                  Sincerely,
                  Robert Baty
                • Wallace
                  Robert, I just mailed in a post before I read this that said I was going to have to leave--truly sorry. I ll make a couple of comments at the bottom of this
                  Message 8 of 13 , Nov 7, 2011
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                    Robert, I just mailed in a post before I read this that said I was going to have to leave--truly sorry. I'll make a couple of comments at the bottom of this as I sign out....

                    --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                    "rlbaty50" <rlbaty@...> wrote:

                    > Wallace,
                    >
                    > If you will bear with me a little longer,
                    > I will try in this posting to explain why
                    > we do AGREE on the validity issue and the
                    > application of "truth table"/"truth functional"
                    > analysis of my argument.
                    >
                    > I will then try to explain where it is I
                    > think you go wrong in proposing that there
                    > is a logical problem (e.g., an inconsistency/
                    > contradiction) in my proposal that the premises
                    > (major and minor) have not been scientifically
                    > shown to be true.
                    >
                    > First, a statement of the argument, which I
                    > propose is an inference from atheism and which
                    > contains premises which atheists believe to be true:
                    >
                    > Major Premise:
                    >
                    >> IF (p) man was able to originate the
                    >> idea/concept of God through the power
                    >> of imagination, as opposed to reason
                    >> and/or revelation,
                    >>
                    >> THEN (q) man did originate the idea/concept
                    >> of God through the power of imagination.
                    >
                    > Minor Premise:
                    >
                    >> (p) Man was able to originate the
                    >> idea/concept of God through the power
                    >> of imagination, as opposed to reason
                    >> and/or revelation.
                    >
                    > Conclusion:
                    >
                    >> (q) Man did originate the idea/concept
                    >> of God through the power of imagination.
                    >
                    > We agree that the above argument is "valid".
                    >
                    > That is, it is so constructed that if its
                    > premises are true the conclusion will follow
                    > as true therefrom.
                    >
                    > We agree that, in being valid, the argument
                    > passes the "truth table" test of validity
                    > which is designed to demonstrate that the
                    > only way that the major premise can be false,
                    > by "truth table" definition, is if the
                    > antecedent (e.g., the "if..." segment) is
                    > true and the consequent (e.g., the "then..."
                    > segment) is false.
                    >
                    > Here's how I think we see that test working
                    > out and demonstrating the logical validity
                    > of the argument:
                    >
                    > "Truth Table" Analysis
                    >
                    > (1.)
                    >
                    >> If (p) is true and (q) is true,
                    >> then we agree that the conditional
                    >> would be counted as TRUE.
                    >>
                    >> (Man had the power and did, in fact,
                    >> originate the idea/concept of God
                    >> by imagination.)
                    >
                    > (2.)
                    >
                    >> If (p) is true and (q) is false,
                    >> then we agree that the conditional
                    >> would be counted as FALSE.
                    >>
                    >> (Man had the power to have originated
                    >> the idea/concept of God by imagination,
                    >> but man did not do so; it was either
                    >> by revelation or reason.)
                    >
                    > (3.)
                    >
                    >> If (p) is false and (q) is true,
                    >> then we agree that the conditional
                    >> would be counted as TRUE.
                    >>
                    >> (I don't think that is actually an
                    >> option given the conditional in
                    >> this case, and that may be part of
                    >> why we disagree on the other matter.)
                    >>
                    >> (For purposes of the "truth table"
                    >> analysis, false statements "imply"
                    >> true statements so, by definition,
                    >> if it were possible for the antecedent
                    >> to be false and the consequent true,
                    >> the conditional would be "counted"
                    >> as true for purposes of the "truth
                    >> table".)
                    >
                    > (4.)
                    >
                    >> If (p) is false and (q) is false,
                    >> then we agree that the conditional
                    >> would be counted as TRUE.
                    >>
                    >> (Man did not have the power of
                    >> imagination so as to originate the
                    >> idea/concept of God, and man did
                    >> not do so.)
                    >
                    > I think the above demonstrates where
                    > and why we agree that the argument is
                    > valid and how the "truth table" may be
                    > used to verify it's validity: it is so
                    > constructed that if its premises are true
                    > then the conclusion will follow as true
                    > therefrom, and the only way the conditional
                    > will be false is when the antecedent (p)
                    > is true and the consequent (q) is false.
                    >
                    > OK, now let me try to again explain where
                    > you, Wallace, are wrong in proposing that
                    > there is something wrong in my proposal
                    > that both the major and minor premises have
                    > not been scientifically shown to be true.
                    > You propose that there is something inconsistent
                    > and contradictory in my proposal that the major
                    > and minor premises have not been scientifically
                    > shown to be true.
                    >
                    > It might be easier to start with the minor premise:
                    >
                    >> Minor Premise
                    >>
                    >> (p) Man was able to originate the
                    >> idea/concept of God through the power
                    >> of imagination, as opposed to reason
                    >> and/or revelation.
                    >
                    > I propose, consistent with personal experience
                    > and the testimony of one or more authorities,
                    > that the scientific evidence has not established
                    > the truth of that claim. It is "believed" to be
                    > true by atheists, but has not been scientifically
                    > established.
                    >
                    > Wallace, you seem to have no problem with that
                    > much of my position.
                    >
                    > So, now lets consider the major premise and if
                    > my position regarding the major premise in any
                    > way results in an inconsistency or contradiction
                    > as a result of my position as to the minor premise:
                    >
                    >> Major Premise:
                    >>
                    >> IF (p) man was able to originate the
                    >> idea/concept of God through the power
                    >> of imagination, as opposed to reason
                    >> and/or revelation,
                    >>
                    >> THEN (q) man did originate the idea/concept
                    >> of God through the power of imagination.
                    >
                    > That's a condition antecedent, a hypothetical
                    > proposal which is given to be true for purposes
                    > of evaluating the truth of the premise. To grant
                    > the truth of the antecedent for purposes of
                    > evaluating the truth of the entire premise creates
                    > no inconsistency or contradiction as to my position
                    > on the minor premise (e.g., whether, in fact, the
                    > antecedent is true).
                    >
                    > IF, IF, IF the antecedent is true, would it
                    > necessarily follow that man did originate the
                    > idea/concept of God through his powers of imagination.
                    >
                    > I say, "NO"!
                    >
                    >> True antecedent, false consequent = false premise.
                    >
                    > That's my position: IF, IF, IF the antecedent is
                    > true, it does not follow, necessarily, that the
                    > idea/concept of God originated by imagination
                    > because there are other alternatives which may
                    > better explain the origin of the idea/concept of God.
                    >
                    > I can consistently and without contradiction
                    > propose the following:
                    >
                    > (1.)
                    >
                    >> In a world where man had the power to
                    >> originate the idea/concept of God by
                    >> the power of imagination, it does not
                    >> necessarily follow that he did originate
                    >> the idea/concept of God by imagination
                    >> where there are other alternatives.
                    >
                    > (2.)
                    >
                    >> In fact, it is not been scientifically
                    >> demonstrated that man has imaginative
                    >> powers to have originated the idea/concept
                    >> of God.
                    >
                    > I'm still thinking this is really simple, and
                    > I am right in my evaluations and you are wrong,
                    > Wallace, in proposing my position involves an
                    > inconsistency and contradiction. However, it
                    > may seem overly complex because of what all has
                    > been now written on the subject.
                    >
                    > I've tried a number of ways to explain it.
                    >
                    > I hope that the above is simplest most efficient
                    > way to explain the issues and resolve your
                    > criticism on an agreeable basis.
                    >
                    > I hope you are continuing to bear with me and,
                    > if you still think I'm missing something, you
                    > will grace me with your further analysis.
                    >
                    > Sincerely,
                    > Robert Baty

                    Well, I'd like to come to an agreement if we could before I leave, but I don't know if it's possible.

                    But first, let me say that I have been under the assumption that you were asserting both premises are false--not just that they have not been scientifically proven, but I'm not sure now.

                    If you are willing to go with "not scientifically proven"
                    then I have no problem at all--certainly I would not think it entailed a contradiction.

                    Second, a point I tried to make in the post I just sent concerned a claim you also made above, viz,. that the consequent "does not necessarily follow" from the antecedent.

                    But my problem never concerned whether it necessarily followed, but whether it was false in fact when the antecedent was true.

                    Hope it makes sense when you read it.

                    I detest abandoning a conversation when hard feelings remain, but I have no big problem leaving a logic/philosophical issue unresolved when the feeling of friendship prevails.

                    And it's in that spirit that I leave now.

                    Peace,
                    Wallace
                  • rlbaty50
                    ... No hard feelings at all, Wallace. Whether or not you able to provide any further input, I will be trying to figure out what you ve had to say and trying to
                    Message 9 of 13 , Nov 7, 2011
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                      --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                      "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

                      > I detest abandoning a conversation when hard
                      > feelings remain, but I have no big problem
                      > leaving a logic/philosophical issue unresolved
                      > when the feeling of friendship prevails.
                      >
                      > And it's in that spirit that I leave now.

                      No hard feelings at all, Wallace.

                      Whether or not you able to provide any further input, I will be trying to figure out what you've had to say and trying to tie it all together in such as way that we might be considered to be agreed.

                      We do seem to agree that the argument is "valid", that the truth of the premises have NOT been scientifically established to be true, that atheism implies the truth of the premises, and that some atheists "believe" the premises to be true.

                      Apart from that, the issues between us seem to be as you suggest above (e.g., logical and philosophical).

                      Sincerely,
                      Robert Baty
                    • rlbaty50
                      (1) ... Wallace wrote, in part: http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/25331 ... OK, for our present purposes, I think I
                      Message 10 of 13 , Nov 7, 2011
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                        (1)

                        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                        "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

                        http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/25331

                        > First, let's agree (for our purposes here at least)
                        > that the truth or falsity of atomic propositions—
                        > P, Q, R, etc.—can only be known by investigating
                        > the world.

                        OK, for our present purposes, I think I can agree on that.

                        (2)

                        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                        "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

                        http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/25331

                        > But then how does one determine the truth
                        > or falsity of molecular propositions, such as
                        > ... conditionals ("If P then Q")?
                        >
                        > For standard logic, the answer is that their
                        > truths are determined by the truth values
                        > of their ingredient, atomic propositions, as
                        > follows:
                        >
                        > A conditional (P > Q) is false only when the
                        > antecedent (P) is true while the consequent
                        > (Q) is false; but if P is false or Q is true, or
                        > both, the conditional as a whole is true.

                        OK, again, I think we are, generally, agreeing on that.

                        However, I think we are getting off on how that applies to our issue.

                        (P > Q) is NOT our conditional.

                        (If P, Then Q) is our conditional (e.g., a mixed hypothetical statement).

                        The conditional, (If P, Then Q) is either true or false without regard to whether (P) is, in fact, true or false.

                        Copi, Cohen, McMahon say:

                        > The symbol ">" is not to be regarded as denoting
                        > "the" meaning of "if-then", or standing for the
                        > relation of implication. That would be impossible,
                        > for there is no single meaning of "if-then"; there
                        > are several meanings.
                        >
                        > What (P > Q) abbreviates is ~(P & ~Q).

                        "For standard logic" suggests that the move from the actual, conditional premise to a "truth table"/"truth funcational" analysis involves definitions and issues quite possibly diverse from whether or not, in fact, the "if...then" statement is true. The "ACTUAL" truth of the conditional cannot be determined with reference to "standard logical" analysis.

                        (3)

                        Wallace, you wrote above, in part:

                        > (P > Q) is false only when the antecedent
                        > (P) is true while the consequent (Q) is false.

                        For this analysis, we seem to be in agreement, but you seem not to recognize it and take the issue beyond what is "logical".

                        For purposes of your "truth table"/"truth functional" exercise, I am proposing that even if "P" is true, "Q" is false (e.g., has not been shown scientifically to be true).

                        In other words: It's (P &~Q), for "truth table"/"truth functional" purposes, which you agree with me would make the major premise false. For all other possible combinations, and using the peculiar definitions involved in "truth table"/"truth functional" analysis,
                        (P > Q) would be considered true.

                        So, apart from the "form" of the argument, we could determine the argument's "validity".

                        Wallace,

                        It seems to me that when we agreed that the argument is "valid" (e.g., having the "valid" modus ponens form), these things were implicitly agreed as they deal with determining "validity"; which is not in dispute.

                        (4)

                        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                        "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

                        http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/25331

                        > (T)he Modus Ponens argument form is
                        > composed of the conditional premise (P > Q)
                        > and the atomic premise, P.
                        >
                        > (T)o say both premises of a Modus Ponens argument
                        > are false is to say P is true (as per the definition
                        > of a false conditional stated above) while also
                        > saying that the atomic premise, P, is false.
                        >
                        > And this is a contradiction.

                        Wallace, you seem to be saying that, despite authorities who say that a valid argument can have false premises (plural), a modus ponens argument cannot have two false premises.

                        I think I see where you are going wrong on this, Wallace, at least according to me. However, I may not be doing a very good job of explaining it.

                        (P > Q) is not the conditional premise of my argument.

                        In order to make (P > Q) into a conditional, you need to have that big "IF" in front of the (P).

                        The conditional of a modus ponens argument is "If P, Then Q".

                        (5)

                        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                        "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

                        http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/25331

                        > Or symbolically, to deny both premises is
                        > to say both that
                        >
                        >> ~(P > Q)
                        >
                        > and
                        >
                        >> ~P.
                        >
                        > And this is a contradiction.

                        There's the rub, I guess.

                        You say there is a contradiction.
                        I say there is no contradiction.

                        Even IF, IF, IF there is (P), (Q) does not follow from (P).

                        Therefore, it's ~(P > Q). As we agree, a true (P) and false (Q) makes the premise false = ~(P > Q).

                        And, in any case, it's ~(P).

                        So, without contradiction, I am proposing that:

                        > ~(P > Q); with (P) conditional.

                        and

                        > ~(P); with (P) categorical.

                        (6)

                        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                        "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

                        http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/25331

                        > There is simply no way around this
                        > contradiction—and I don't know how
                        > else to say it.

                        I think I've made my way "around it", but, like you, I don't know how better to explain it. There is no inherent contradiction in proposing that both premises of a modus ponens argument are false or, at least, have not been shown to be true.

                        (7)

                        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                        "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

                        http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/25331

                        > Robert claims both premises of the Modus Ponens
                        > argument under investigation are false, but claims
                        > he is doing so without contradiction.

                        Wallace, it seems to me that your analysis suggests you don't think that any modus ponens argument can have two false premises.

                        Is that the case, or are you thinking that this argument is one of a select group that would not allow for both premises to be false?

                        Your symbolic claims suggest you must think that NO modus ponens can have both premises false.

                        Can you clarify this point?

                        (8)

                        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                        "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote, in part:

                        http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/25331

                        > Let's assume that man could NOT have
                        > originated the idea/concept of God by
                        > imagination and, in fact, did not originate
                        > the idea/concept of God by imagination
                        >
                        > and then ask if I would have any disagreement
                        > with the claim that the following statement is false:
                        >
                        >> IF [antecedent] man was able to
                        >> originate the idea/concept of God
                        >> through the power of imagination, as
                        >> opposed to reason and/or revelation,
                        >>
                        >> THEN [consequent] man did originate
                        >> the idea/concept of God through the
                        >> power of imagination.
                        >
                        > Of course, my response is that standard logic
                        > certainly would have trouble calling it false
                        > on that assumption because then both the
                        > antecedent and the consequent are false,
                        > making the conditional as a whole true.

                        In my mind, Wallace, that demonstrates what I see clearly, and have trouble explaining, where you go wrong; using the peculiar standard logic to explain the validity/truth issue as well as the "ACTUAL" truth issues.

                        The "ACTUAL" truth or falsity of the "CONDITIONAL" is not determined by "standard logic".

                        The "CONDITIONAL" is "CONDITIONAL" because of that "BIG IF" that precedes the antecedent.

                        That's where I think you get off track.

                        To determine whether the premise is "ACTUALLY" true or false, it is a hypothetical given that the antecedent is true. Even if it is true, and it isn't in the example, the consequent would not follow from the truth of the antecedent.

                        Because the major premise is hypothetical, there is NO CONTRADICTION in proposing that the hypothetical is false and, in fact, the categorical antecedent is false.

                        While it may not seem like I'm trying to keep it simple, I am not going to go into Wallace's analysis of bachelor's and millionaires. To the extent such analysis might be relevant, I think the above should cover it; for now at least.

                        (9)

                        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                        "Wallace" <w_murphree@...> wrote as part
                        of his concluding comments:

                        http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/25331

                        > (T)his line of thought leads to "modal logic,"
                        > and I claim no special expertise there.

                        I wouldn't know about that. I claim no special expertise in either area.

                        My simple claims remain:

                        > My argument is valid.

                        > It may have one or more false premises.

                        > Atheists believe both premises to be true.

                        > I believe both premises to be false; unproven.

                        > There is no contradiction in proposing both
                        > premises are false; unproven.

                        Sincerely,
                        Robert Baty
                      • rlbaty50
                        MY SUMMATION OF THE MURPHREE v. BATY DISCUSSION (1) Wallace Murphree and Robert Baty AGREE that the argument is so constructed that if its premises are true
                        Message 11 of 13 , Nov 8, 2011
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                          MY SUMMATION OF THE MURPHREE v. BATY DISCUSSION

                          (1)

                          Wallace Murphree and Robert Baty AGREE that the argument is so constructed that if its premises are true its conclusion will follow as true therefrom (e.g., it is logically valid).

                          (2)

                          Wallace Murphree and Robert Baty AGREE that atheists believe that the premises are true.

                          (3)

                          Wallace Murphree and Robert Baty AGREE that the premises have not been scientifically, empirically shown to be true.

                          (4)

                          Wallace Murphree and Robert Baty AGREE that at least one of the premises may be false.

                          I believe the above reflects on the substantive issues regarding an analysis of the argument. Wallace and I can, I believe, shake on that and bring our discussion of the "real world" aspects of the argument to a reasonable conclusion. I think Wallace and I may have already done that, symbolically. Maybe Wallace will eventually return to the discussion, maybe not.

                          Maybe "Joseph" will return and take up the discussion as he indicated a few days ago that he would.

                          Maybe MikeA, our new member, will have somewhat to say about these things. Maybe not. He indicated a possible interest in such things in some of his postings to the Human-NonModerated list.

                          Here's the argument again for ready reference:

                          Major Premise:

                          > IF (p) man was able to originate the
                          > idea/concept of God through the power
                          > of imagination, as opposed to reason
                          > and/or revelation,
                          >
                          > THEN (q) man did originate the idea/concept
                          > of God through the power of imagination.

                          Minor Premise:

                          > (p) Man was able to originate the
                          > idea/concept of God through the power
                          > of imagination, as opposed to reason
                          > and/or revelation.

                          Conclusion:

                          > (q) Man did originate the idea/concept
                          > of God through the power of imagination.

                          Before concluding this message and this chapter in the discussion of the argument, I would like to try again to reflect, reasonably, on the problems/issues reflected in my discussion with Wallace about certain academic/technical aspects of the analysis.

                          Wallace's problem in proposing there is an inconsistency and/or contradiction in my position that both premises may be false, I believe, arises as a result of his failure to properly distinguish the "real world" consideration of the argument from the academic exercise involving how the argument may be represented for purposes of "truth table"/"truth functional" analysis and its peculiar definitions.

                          Point 1:

                          The major premise of my argument takes the following form:

                          > If..., then...

                          That statement, a mixed, hypothetical statement consisting of a hypothetical antecedent and a categorical consequent, may be either true or false in our "real world" consideration of it.

                          That is, IF the antecedent is true, the consequent either follows as true or it doesn't. Those are the TWO options (e.g., true antecedent leading to a true consequent, or a true antecedent that does not lead to a true consequent).

                          I propose that the consequent doesn't, of necessity, follow from the truth of the antecedent because there are other alternatives. The atheists deny the alternatives are a possibility and so "believes" the statement to be true.

                          I think Wallace agrees with me that if the antecedent is true, there are only TWO alternatives to deal with as to whether the premise itself is true or false.

                          Point 2:

                          I believe the problem, the problem Wallace has attempted to deal with, results from Wallace's transition from the above "real world" consideration of the argument to an academic exercise involving the "truth table"/"truth functional" analysis of the argument as is used in formal logical analysis.

                          That analysis does NOT actually involve a consideration, in "real world" terms, of the statement:

                          > If..., then...

                          Instead, it represents the "if..., then..." statement as:

                          > (P > Q)

                          That is reasonably understood to mean:

                          > P implies Q.

                          However, "implies" may be understood in various ways just as "if..., then..." may mean different things for purposes of different arguments.

                          In Wallace's formal logical analysis, which involves definitions not practically applicable to all "real world" considerations, (P > Q) has FOUR possible "true/false" configurations instead of the TWO I propose under "Point 1" above:

                          1.

                          > P may be true and Q true.

                          2.

                          > P may be true and Q false.

                          3.

                          > P may be false and Q false.

                          4.

                          > P may be false and Q true.

                          In Wallace's academic exercise, only option (2.) above is considered as false.

                          I don't dispute that that is how the formal, logical analysis works.

                          I don't dispute that the other three options are considered true using "truth table"/"truth functional" definitions.

                          That simply goes to show why it is the argument will withstand any arguments against its validity. Wallace and I have already agree on the validity of the argument without having to work through the formal, logical analysis.

                          But the formal, logical analysis is independent of the "real world" consideration of the truth or falsity of the premises.

                          Point 3:

                          I propose in my "real world" analysis that there is no inconsistency or contradiction in proposing that both premises are false.

                          The minor premise (antecedent of the major premise) can be false, and it can also be the case, without inconsistency or contradiction, that even IF it is true as hypothesized in the major premise, the consequent would not, of necessity, follow therefrom.

                          The reason Wallace has proposed that such a position is inconsistent and/or contradictory, I believe, is because he is failing to properly distinguish between the formal, logical analysis regarding the (P > Q) representation and the "real world" evaluation of the "If..., then..." premise.

                          If anyone can explain it any better, I would welcome their input and even more so Wallace's return, now or later, to endorse my analsyis.

                          In closing, I again express my sincere appreciation for Wallace's willingness to engage the discussion such as it has been.

                          Sincerely,
                          Robert Baty
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