Monday, November 19, 2012

Cast Level 30 Logical Syllogism

I can't take credit for this analogy, because I didn't come up with it, but I thought it was a good analogy.

Many apologists seem to think that making a logical argument for the existence of God is like casting a spell - that if they successfully make it, we would be forced to accept it and be converted. Without any kind of verification of the argument, we're cornered.

Outside of math, here in practical reality, logic is great. It's a fantastic cognitive guide. It's not something one can simply recite and them charn the other person into being a follower.

The problem with logical arguments is that we do not have absolute knowledge. We then feed non-absolute premises into the argument, and thus get a non-absolute result out of the argument. The more premises there are, and the greater the uncertainty on each... it's sort of like uncertainty calculations in engineering,

If you have 10 planks of wood, measured at 1 meter +/- 0.01 meter, if we want to know the total length if they were placed end-to-end, we'd end up multiplying the uncertainty by how many beams are laid down. The result would be 10 meters +/- 0.1 meter.

Likewise, the uncertainty across the premises adds up, making the output conclusion have higher uncertainty.

In addition, the more that logical conclusion violates other established knowledge, the more likely it is that there's something wrong with the syllogism - perhaps in one of the premises.

How do we know whether the logic is actually sound and valid?

Empirical confirmation - the one thing apologists rarely even attempt to provide.

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