If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Atla
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Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Atla » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:57 pm

Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:18 pm
P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
P2. Something exists.
You actually seem to be serious.. :)
Okay.. why is "something" necessarily God? My monitor is something, but why is it God?

Hugh Nose
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:28 am

Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Hugh Nose » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:44 am

Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:57 pm
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:18 pm
P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
P2. Something exists.
You actually seem to be serious.. :)
Okay.. why is "something" necessarily God? My monitor is something, but why is it God?
I have no idea what you are talking about here. The argument does not say that "something is necessariy God". While the first premise might be expressed in terms of material implication, "If something exists, then God exists", this conditional would not be interpreted as expressing some kind of entailment relation between the antecedent and the consequent.

"God" refers to the same being that Anselm referred to, the same being that Aquinas referred to, the same being that Veritas A. referred to, the all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing individual who spoke to Lot from the whirlwind. I should have thought that was obvious.

Cheers,

Hugh

Hugh Nose
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Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Hugh Nose » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:56 am

Logik wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:50 pm
Hugh Nose wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:51 pm
You are spinning your wheels here. Interpreting one or more of the various properties that are attributed to God [an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing being] in ways that are incoherent does not show that there is no being, God. All it shows is that the being, God, does not have the incoherent ‘property’. I am surprised that you cannot see this.
We see it quite clearly.

You don't seem to draw distinction between extensional and intensional definitions.
You don't seem to draw distinction between positive and negative properties.
You don't seem to draw distinction between inclusionary and exclusionary criteria.

What you have attempted-but-failed is a genus-difference definition ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genus%E2% ... definition ) where you have claimed that God is a being.

Which is fine, but you haven't:
1. Defined the exclusionary criteria for "being"
* Is a rock a being?
* Is an amoeba a being?
2. Once you define the inclusionary and exclusionary criteria for beings you have defined the genus "being". Then you need to explain how "God" is different.

Your claim for "God" is merely one of existence. It could be literally any object in The Universe - big or small.
I am not sure I understand what point you are making here. The being, God, that the argument is referring to is the same being that Anselm referred to, the same being that Aquinas referred to, the same being that Descartes referred to, the same being that Veritas A referred to, and the same being that contemporary philosophers are referring to when they attempt to show that this being exists or does not exist. There is a difference of view between the properties that Veritas A wants to attribute to God and the properties that others attribute to God [it is not clear that any of the just mentioned philosophers attribute "absolute perfection, understood in the way V understand it, but that really isn't relevant to the current [immediate] discussion].

You aren't making the same mistake that Atla seems to be making, are you?

Cheers,

Hugh

Logik
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Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Logik » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:13 pm

Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:56 am
I am not sure I understand what point you are making here. The being, God, that the argument is referring to is the same being that Anselm referred to, the same being that Aquinas referred to, the same being that Descartes referred to, the same being that Veritas A referred to, and the same being that contemporary philosophers are referring to when they attempt to show that this being exists or does not exist.
I don't know what Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes or Veritas A are referring to when they speak of "God" because nobody has an ostensive definition of "God" and so it's entirely possible that each of them had a different conception of "God". It is entirely possible that you and VA have different conceptions of “God” and are talking right past each other none the wiser. So far VA has been unwilling to be scrutinised on his conception of "God" so he is as good as being dead - like Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, whom I can't interrogate either.

Such matters need to be tackled from first principles, interactively and using all the tools at our disposal.

In order to get closer to understanding what you mean by "God" I need to tackle the metaphysical issues of being and existence separately, so that we can avoid tripping over ambiguity.

First there is the ontological problem. Things either exists or they are not things.
A “non-existing thing” is a semantic error - a non-sensical notion.

Rocks (note - plural!) exist.
Flowers exists.
Amoebas exist.
Cats exist.
Humans exist.
Beings exist.
The universe (note - singular!) is a collective noun for ALL things.

If we agree to the above taxonomy then a non-existent rock, flower, amoeba, human or being is an oxymoron. If it doesn't exist - it's not a thing!

What we are yet to agree on are the following: Of all the things that exist - some things are beings, and some things are not beings. What are the inclusionary and exclusionary properties shared by all things you call "beings" ? Help me sort the following into two groups: beings and not-beings.

Are rocks beings?
Are flowers beings?
Are amoebas beings?
Are cats beings?
Are humans beings?

Once you answer that question then we can already make some deductions about your conception of God. Since you claim that God is a being, and beings exist then God shares some properties with beings.

The Universe is the greatest thing in existence that I can conceive. Therefore, as per Anselm and Godel's arguments "The Universe" is synonymous with "God".

Age
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Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Age » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:32 pm

Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:18 pm
from Patrick J. Hurley's A Concise Introduction to Logic,

i] "...(A) valid deductive argument is an argument in which it is impossible for the conclusion to be false given that the premises are true"
ii] "A sound argument is a deductive argument that is valid and has all true premises".


from George I. Mavrodes' Belief in God: A Study in the Epistemology of Religion

Argument P:

P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
P2. Something exists.
----
Therefore, 3. God exists.

iii] Suggestion/proposal/claim: a sound argument for "God exists" is a proof for "God exists"

iv] Claim: Argument P is a sound argument for "God exists":

v] Argument P is a proof that God exists.

Question: If argument P is not a proof that God exists, why not?
Because P1 is NOT, necessarily, a true premise.
Although the conclusion MIGHT be true, there is, however, a possibility that it MIGHT be false.
So, argument P is neither, necessarily, a valid argument nor a sound argument.

YOUR argument might be valid and sound if you instead wrote:

P1. Either nothing exists or something exists.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, something exists.

For YOUR argument to be a sound, valid argument you would have to first SHOW Who/What 'God' IS, AND, also prove that THAT/Thing HAS TO exist whenever something exists.

Look at these next two arguments and tell us if they a proof that 'humans' and/or 'unicorns' exist. If they are not proof of both or either, then why not?

P1. Either nothing exists or unicorns exist.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, unicorns exists

P1. Either nothing exists or humans exist.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, humans exist.

Maybe you can SEE sound and valid logic in YOUR argument, but from the responses you are getting no one else can.

Hugh Nose
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Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:28 am

Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Hugh Nose » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm

Reminder:
i] "...(A) valid deductive argument is an argument in which it is impossible for the conclusion to be false given that the premises are true"
ii] "A sound argument is a deductive argument that is valid and has all true premises".


P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
P2. Something exists.
----
Therefore, 3. God exists.

iii] Suggestion/proposal/claim: a sound argument for "God exists" is a proof for "God exists"

iv] Claim: Argument P is a sound argument for "God exists":

v] Argument P is a proof that God exists.

Question: If argument P is not a proof that God exists, why not?
[/quote]

You say,
Because P1 is NOT, necessarily, a true premise.
Although the conclusion MIGHT be true, there is, however, a possibility that it MIGHT be false.
So, argument P is neither, necessarily, a valid argument nor a sound argument.
I am not quite sure about your remark here, since the first sentence is ambiguous. If you mean that the first premise is not a necessary truth, your remark is irrelevant for two reasons. In order for it to be true, it doesn't have to be a necessary truth. In addition, it is not part of the definition of sound argument that the premises must be necessary truths; they just have to be true.

Your "validity" assessment is mistaken. The argument is a valid argument- If the premises are true, the conclusion must be true also.
YOUR argument might be valid and sound if you instead wrote:

P1. Either nothing exists or something exists.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, something exists.

For YOUR argument to be a sound, valid argument you would have to first SHOW Who/What 'God' IS, AND, also prove that THAT/Thing HAS TO exist whenever something exists.
Your "objection" here reflects a common error, the failure to recognize the distinction between "producing a sound argument" and "demonstrating that the sound argument is a sound argument". It is not part of the definition of "sound argument" that it be one in which there is a set of premises and a conclusion that deductively entails that conclusion AND a sound argument that has the conclusion of each of the premises of the first set".
If that were true, no sound argument could be a sound argument.
Look at these next two arguments and tell us if they a proof that 'humans' and/or 'unicorns' exist. If they are not proof of both or either, then why not?

P1. Either nothing exists or unicorns exist.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, unicorns exists

P1. Either nothing exists or humans exist.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, humans exist.

In order to know that one or the other, or both, are sound arguments, I would have to know if the first premise of each argument is true. In order to know that one or the other is not a sound argument, I would have to know that the first premise, or the second premise is false. If I don't know whether or not eh first premise is true or false, then I don't know if the arguments are sound arguments or not.

I don't know if I have adequately addressed your last remarks, "Look at these...", but you will probably let me know if I have not.

Cheers,

Hugh

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bahman
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Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by bahman » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:28 pm

Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:18 pm
from Patrick J. Hurley's A Concise Introduction to Logic,

i] "...(A) valid deductive argument is an argument in which it is impossible for the conclusion to be false given that the premises are true"
ii] "A sound argument is a deductive argument that is valid and has all true premises".


from George I. Mavrodes' Belief in God: A Study in the Epistemology of Religion

Argument P:

P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
P2. Something exists.
----
Therefore, 3. God exists.

iii] Suggestion/proposal/claim: a sound argument for "God exists" is a proof for "God exists"

iv] Claim: Argument P is a sound argument for "God exists":

v] Argument P is a proof that God exists.

Question: If argument P is not a proof that God exists, why not?
Basically P1 should instead be "either nothing exists or something exist". You are mixing the definition of God, the creator, with my premise. That would be correct if existence is due to God. You have to prove that.

FlashDangerpants
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Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by FlashDangerpants » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:47 pm

Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm
Look at these next two arguments and tell us if they a proof that 'humans' and/or 'unicorns' exist. If they are not proof of both or either, then why not?

P1. Either nothing exists or unicorns exist.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, unicorns exists

P1. Either nothing exists or humans exist.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, humans exist.

In order to know that one or the other, or both, are sound arguments, I would have to know if the first premise of each argument is true. In order to know that one or the other is not a sound argument, I would have to know that the first premise, or the second premise is false. If I don't know whether or not eh first premise is true or false, then I don't know if the arguments are sound arguments or not.
It makes no difference, they aren't valid for the same reason your argument isn't. I'm pretty sure that is his point. I really don't understand why you can't see the problem, it's been made clear enough for you.

You just have to look at the OR part in the first premise and anyone unburdened by severe head wounds can see that it doesn't work.

You used the grammatical form of a disjunctive syllogism, but you got it totally wrong, it isn't a syllogism at all. Please stop being silly.

Age
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Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Age » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:59 am

Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm
Reminder:

i] "...(A) valid deductive argument is an argument in which it is impossible for the conclusion to be false given that the premises are true"
ii] "A sound argument is a deductive argument that is valid and has all true premises".

Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm
P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
P2. Something exists.
----
Therefore, 3. God exists.

iii] Suggestion/proposal/claim: a sound argument for "God exists" is a proof for "God exists"

iv] Claim: Argument P is a sound argument for "God exists":

v] Argument P is a proof that God exists.

Question: If argument P is not a proof that God exists, why not?
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm
You say,
Because P1 is NOT, necessarily, a true premise.
Although the conclusion MIGHT be true, there is, however, a possibility that it MIGHT be false.
So, argument P is neither, necessarily, a valid argument nor a sound argument.
I am not quite sure about your remark here, since the first sentence is ambiguous. If you mean that the first premise is not a necessary truth, your remark is irrelevant for two reasons.
I do NOT mean that, so the rest of what you say here is moot.
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm
In order for it to be true, it doesn't have to be a necessary truth. In addition, it is not part of the definition of sound argument that the premises must be necessary truths; they just have to be true.
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm
Your "validity" assessment is mistaken. The argument is a valid argument- If the premises are true, the conclusion must be true also.
That is IF the premises are true. I am saying I do NOT know if the first premise in YOUR argument is true, therefore I do NOT know if YOUR argument is sound. If I do NOT know your argument is sound, then that argument is NOT proof that God exists.

You asked if your argument is not proof that God exists, then why not? Well I am telling you why NOT.
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm

Your "objection" here reflects a common error, the failure to recognize the distinction between "producing a sound argument" and "demonstrating that the sound argument is a sound argument".
But was that the 'objection' that I was making?
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm
It is not part of the definition of "sound argument" that it be one in which there is a set of premises and a conclusion that deductively entails that conclusion AND a sound argument that has the conclusion of each of the premises of the first set".
If that were true, no sound argument could be a sound argument.
I am not sure what you are talking about here. It is nothing to do with what I have been talking about, as far as I can tell.
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm


In order to know that one or the other, or both, are sound arguments, I would have to know if the first premise of each argument is true.
What do you NEED to KNOW if the first premise of each argument is true?

I would suggest that you would NEED evidence to prove that they existed FIRST, which is exactly what I was pointing out to you. You NEED to prove, with evidence, that either God or nothing exists FIRST.
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm
In order to know that one or the other is not a sound argument, I would have to know that the first premise, or the second premise is false. If I don't know whether or not eh first premise is true or false, then I don't know if the arguments are sound arguments or not.
That was the POINT I want you to recognize and SEE.

Also, and off topic, neither of My arguments are obviously sound nor valid. They are both just ridiculous, throw away statements made by mixing letters around to form words into sentences, and then into nonsensical "arguments".
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm
You do NOT need to KNOW if the first premise is true or false to recognize that both arguments are NOT sound. Without the definitions, and the deeper meanings, being clarified those, so called, "arguments" mean absolutely nothing at all.

I don't know if I have adequately addressed your last remarks, "Look at these...", but you will probably let me know if I have not.

Cheers,

Hugh

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:32 am

Hugh Nose wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:51 pm
You are spinning your wheels here. Interpreting one or more of the various properties that are attributed to God [an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing being] in ways that are incoherent does not show that there is no being, God. All it shows is that the being, God, does not have the incoherent ‘property’. I am surprised that you cannot see this. Misguided attempts such as this are taken up in any decent Introduction to Philosophy textbook.

Consider the following argument.

A1. If my grandmother is in the living room, then there is a person in the living room with a head that it is sphere-shaped and cube-shaped.
A2. My grandmother is in the living room.
therefore,
A3. There is a person in the living room with a head that is sphere-shaped and cube-shaped..

Pointing out that there cannot be a head that is sphere-shaped and cube-shaped, even if true, does nothing to show that my grandmother is not in the living room. It shows at most that my grandmother doesn’t have a sphere-shaped, cube-shaped head.

There have been attempts to show that there is no God by attempting to show that there is an incoherence in the existence of an all-knowing being and free-will for human beings [where free-will in humans is an essential aspect of human beings according to the proponents of the existence of God in the context]. The most that this approach can show, by itself, is that there is an inconsistency in the existence of this God’s notion of free-will and a particular understanding of “all-knowing”. It does not show that God does not exist. A perfectly rational way of responding is to acknowledge the inconsistency, if there is an inconsistency, as showing that the notion of “all-knowing’ that had been part of the understanding must to be revised. The believer in this context still has her God along with a better understanding of the nature of her God.

Your proof of the non-existence of God that appeals to the impossibility of “absolute perfection” [understood in the way that you choose to present it] does not show that the first premise of argument P is false, because your notion of “absolute perfection” has nothing to do with the God of argument P.

Whether or not your “proof” has anything to do with one of the God proofs in Descartes’ 5th “Meditation”, or Anselm’s Ontological proof is a different argument. Even if it is assumed that the arguments of Descartes [the one in the 5th, not the one in the 3rd “Meditation”] and the argument of Anselm are impacted by your critique [I do not think they are, but that is not important here] the “first cause” arguments of Aquinas, for example, are not.

Let me emphasize that the points above have nothing to do with the substance of your claims about “absolute perfection”. Rather the points are about the basic logical structure of your argument, which structure is reflected in other discussion in philosophy, discussions where the mistake you are making is not made.
I am curious, have you ever taken a basic college introduction to philosophy course, or even read a decent Introduction to Philosophy textbook?

Cheers,

Hugh
Note I'd spent 3 years full time [ave -6/7 hrs a day] reading, researching and analyzing the philosophy of Kant plus reading tons of other philosophical material covering all the notable Eastern and Western philosophers.
I wonder how much you have really learn about philosophy-proper if you have taken a basic college introduction to philosophy?

I stated your argument P is a non-starter
  • Your Argument P:

    P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
    P2. Something exists.
    Therefore, 3. God exists.
Your P1 is fundamentally flawed because it is impossible for God to exists as real.

Note my argument why God must imperatively have the quality of absolute perfection. To add:
Within Buddhism perspective it has been argued 'nothingness' exists.
Thus your argument P is not valid in this case.
  • P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
    P2. Nothing exists.
    Therefore, 3. God do not exists.

Atla
Posts: 1889
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Atla » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:13 pm

Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:44 am
Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:57 pm
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:18 pm
P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
P2. Something exists.
You actually seem to be serious.. :)
Okay.. why is "something" necessarily God? My monitor is something, but why is it God?
I have no idea what you are talking about here. The argument does not say that "something is necessariy God". While the first premise might be expressed in terms of material implication, "If something exists, then God exists", this conditional would not be interpreted as expressing some kind of entailment relation between the antecedent and the consequent.

"God" refers to the same being that Anselm referred to, the same being that Aquinas referred to, the same being that Veritas A. referred to, the all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing individual who spoke to Lot from the whirlwind. I should have thought that was obvious.

Cheers,

Hugh
But what if my monitor exists, but God doesn't? So P1 is false. :)

Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 1795
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Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:21 am

Atla wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:13 pm
But what if my monitor exists, but God doesn't? So P1 is false. :)
That is a good point.
Thus,
  • P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
    P2. Something is proven to exists but there is no proofs God exists
    Therefore, 3. God does not exist.
It would be simpler,
  • Whatever exists must be proven and justified.
    there is no proofs God exists
    Therefore God does not exist.

Reflex
Posts: 951
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Reflex » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:42 am

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:21 am
Atla wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:13 pm
But what if my monitor exists, but God doesn't? So P1 is false. :)
That is a good point.
Thus,
  • P1. Either nothing exists or God exists.
    P2. Something is proven to exists but there is no proofs God exists
    Therefore, 3. God does not exist.
It would be simpler,
  • Whatever exists must be proven and justified.
    there is no proofs God exists
    Therefore God does not exist.
Oh, geez. You’d fail philosophy for pre-schoolers. :roll:

Hugh Nose
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:28 am

Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Hugh Nose » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:42 pm

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:47 pm
Hugh Nose wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:49 pm
Look at these next two arguments and tell us if they a proof that 'humans' and/or 'unicorns' exist. If they are not proof of both or either, then why not?

P1. Either nothing exists or unicorns exist.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, unicorns exists

P1. Either nothing exists or humans exist.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, humans exist.

In order to know that one or the other, or both, are sound arguments, I would have to know if the first premise of each argument is true. In order to know that one or the other is not a sound argument, I would have to know that the first premise, or the second premise is false. If I don't know whether or not eh first premise is true or false, then I don't know if the arguments are sound arguments or not.
It makes no difference, they aren't valid for the same reason your argument isn't. I'm pretty sure that is his point. I really don't understand why you can't see the problem, it's been made clear enough for you.

You just have to look at the OR part in the first premise and anyone unburdened by severe head wounds can see that it doesn't work.

You used the grammatical form of a disjunctive syllogism, but you got it totally wrong, it isn't a syllogism at all. Please stop being silly.
Point 1: All three of the arguments, argument P, and the two arguments you have offered are valid, but I can see why you might think they aren't. The definition of "valid argument" is to be understood as saying that an argument is valid if the argument is such that if the premises are/were true, then the conclusion must be/would be true also". In other words, to be a valid argument, the argument doesn't have to actually have true premises. There are valid arguments that don't have true premises-- these arguments while valid, are not sound. This is the way that Hurley's logic text uses "valid", as well as many/most[?] authors of contemporary college logic texts [for purposes of our discussion here it doesn't really matter how many; what is important is that this is how I used it and will continue to use it in this discussion].

Point 2: The argument form is "disjunctive syllogism". Check any contemporary logic text [once again, my reference here is Hurley's logic text] Either you mean something else, or you are just wrong.

As to your comment,
You just have to look at the OR part in the first premise and anyone unburdened by severe head wounds can see that it doesn't work.
I don't know what this means.

Cheers,

Hugh

Logik
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Re: If the existence of God cannot be proved, why not?

Post by Logik » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:45 pm

What feedback are you expecting to receive exactly?

P1. Either nothing exists, or Hugh Nose was born on Mars.
P2. Something exists.
C. Therefore, Hugh Nose was born on Mars.

The argument is absurd because it can be used to prove anything. It's a truism.

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