Principle of Sufficient Reasons Never Gives a Reason

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SecularCauses
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Principle of Sufficient Reasons Never Gives a Reason

Post by SecularCauses » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:00 am

The Principle of Sufficient Reasons states that everything that exists either must have a reason or a cause for its existence. But, if that is true, then this principle must either have a cause or a reason for its existence. Yet, none has ever been forthcoming. Why can't something exist without having to have a reason or a cause? There is no proof that the principle is true.

Furthermore, the principle seems self-refuting and anti-scientific by its own terms. Reasons are not causal explanations, and causal explanations do not require reasons. If something has a causal explanation, no reason for its existence is needed. Giving a reason for something's existence is meaningless. Either we have a causal explanation, or we don't, and we cannot fill in the gap by making up a "reason" for the thing's existence.

In fact, at the heart of every pseudoscience is the reliance on a "reason" instead of a true causal explanation. For example, why is there no cure for cancer yet? Because people who have a financial interest in preventing a cure are preventing one from appearing. While this may be a "reason," it is not a true causal explanation. Take any pseudoscientific claim for racism, sexism, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine, anti-semitism, etc., and what you will find is someone making up a reason and confusing that made-up reason with an actual causal explanation. So, not only is this principle unproven, it appears to lend a great deal of support for pseudo-intellectual activity. It gives a seemingly solid intellectual foundation for making up garbage. It would be best if the idea were done away with, and we just stick with causal explanations.

By the way, this will also debunk 99.99% of all religious claims.

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: Principle of Sufficient Reasons Never Gives a Reason

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:22 am

SecularCauses wrote:The Principle of Sufficient Reasons states that everything that exists either must have a reason or a cause for its existence. But, if that is true, then this principle must either have a cause or a reason for its existence. Yet, none has ever been forthcoming. Why can't something exist without having to have a reason or a cause? There is no proof that the principle is true.

Furthermore, the principle seems self-refuting and anti-scientific by its own terms. Reasons are not causal explanations, and causal explanations do not require reasons. If something has a causal explanation, no reason for its existence is needed. Giving a reason for something's existence is meaningless. Either we have a causal explanation, or we don't, and we cannot fill in the gap by making up a "reason" for the thing's existence.

In fact, at the heart of every pseudoscience is the reliance on a "reason" instead of a true causal explanation. For example, why is there no cure for cancer yet? Because people who have a financial interest in preventing a cure are preventing one from appearing. While this may be a "reason," it is not a true causal explanation. Take any pseudoscientific claim for racism, sexism, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine, anti-semitism, etc., and what you will find is someone making up a reason and confusing that made-up reason with an actual causal explanation. So, not only is this principle unproven, it appears to lend a great deal of support for pseudo-intellectual activity. It gives a seemingly solid intellectual foundation for making up garbage. It would be best if the idea were done away with, and we just stick with causal explanations.

By the way, this will also debunk 99.99% of all religious claims.
The Principle doesn't sound very scientific. Seems like an attempt at an argument for a God.

SecularCauses
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Re: Principle of Sufficient Reasons Never Gives a Reason

Post by SecularCauses » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:20 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
SecularCauses wrote:The Principle of Sufficient Reasons states that everything that exists either must have a reason or a cause for its existence. But, if that is true, then this principle must either have a cause or a reason for its existence. Yet, none has ever been forthcoming. Why can't something exist without having to have a reason or a cause? There is no proof that the principle is true.

Furthermore, the principle seems self-refuting and anti-scientific by its own terms. Reasons are not causal explanations, and causal explanations do not require reasons. If something has a causal explanation, no reason for its existence is needed. Giving a reason for something's existence is meaningless. Either we have a causal explanation, or we don't, and we cannot fill in the gap by making up a "reason" for the thing's existence.

In fact, at the heart of every pseudoscience is the reliance on a "reason" instead of a true causal explanation. For example, why is there no cure for cancer yet? Because people who have a financial interest in preventing a cure are preventing one from appearing. While this may be a "reason," it is not a true causal explanation. Take any pseudoscientific claim for racism, sexism, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine, anti-semitism, etc., and what you will find is someone making up a reason and confusing that made-up reason with an actual causal explanation. So, not only is this principle unproven, it appears to lend a great deal of support for pseudo-intellectual activity. It gives a seemingly solid intellectual foundation for making up garbage. It would be best if the idea were done away with, and we just stick with causal explanations.

By the way, this will also debunk 99.99% of all religious claims.
The Principle doesn't sound very scientific. Seems like an attempt at an argument for a God.
It's a major philosophical principle; perhaps the major philosophical principle. It's definitely not scientific because it puts "reasons" on the same level as causal explanations. The principle gives pseudoscience an open door, which is probably why so much that is taught in universities these days is pseudoscience. I'm sticking with science, and confronting all anti-scientific positions, which includes philosophy.

tillingborn
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Re: Principle of Sufficient Reasons Never Gives a Reason

Post by tillingborn » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:59 am

SecularCauses wrote:It's a major philosophical principle; perhaps the major philosophical principle. It's definitely not scientific because it puts "reasons" on the same level as causal explanations. The principle gives pseudoscience an open door, which is probably why so much that is taught in universities these days is pseudoscience. I'm sticking with science, and confronting all anti-scientific positions, which includes philosophy.
This is misleading. The principle of sufficient reason is a philosophical position adopted by some philosophers; in my experience a greater number of philosophers agree with you that it is cobblers.

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Kuznetzova
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Re: Principle of Sufficient Reasons Never Gives a Reason

Post by Kuznetzova » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:47 pm

SecularCauses wrote:
Furthermore, the principle seems self-refuting and anti-scientific by its own terms. Reasons are not causal explanations, and causal explanations do not require reasons. If something has a causal explanation, no reason for its existence is needed. Giving a reason for something's existence is meaningless. Either we have a causal explanation, or we don't, and we cannot fill in the gap by making up a "reason" for the thing's existence.
PSR is not a demand for the existence of objects and nouns. PSR is concerned with states-of-affairs. PSR does not demand you tell me why this rock on the path "exists", but rather asks you why the rock is located at that particular spot on the ground. Again, this is not about existences and essences, but is rather a principle that says any particular attribute of something will have an explanation.

The Principle of Sufficient Reason is a principle due to the claim that its logical inverse (or opposite) is completely absurd. I happen to agree with this claim, personally. Let's take an example. "The earth's crust is 61% silicon dioxide". Now I'm not asking you about the existence of silicon dioxide, I'm asking if there is reason for the 61%. Do you think there is a sufficient reason that 61% of the earth's crust is SiO2?

Sure you do, because taking the contrary position sounds completely barking insane: "There is no reason that 61% of the earth's crust is silicon dioxide". I don't know what that sentence means. The more I read it, the more crazy it sounds. If you think you know what that sentence means, I'd love to hear it.

By the way, this will also debunk 99.99% of all religious claims.
If you want to do that, you might have better luck attacking Platonism.

Impenitent
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Re: Principle of Sufficient Reasons Never Gives a Reason

Post by Impenitent » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:49 am

the reason that 61% of the Earth's crust is silicon dioxide is simple...

homo mensura

-Imp

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