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Is God Good?

#151kozlo100Posted 5/23/2013 8:46:35 PM
kirsybuu posted...
Again, I'm not saying the question has two answers, I'm saying that you cannot assert that the question has exactly one answer unless you prove that all axioms and assumptions are consistent. It has not been proven that "X is in Z" and "X does Y" are consistent, thus it has not been proven that "X is not in Z" is not derivable


Ok, I see what you're saying. I think the difference is that you're assuming these statements are contained within a larger context, and I'm working in the mindset that the whole of the context has been defined within those two statements. Examining the two statements and seeing that no contradiction is defined is proof that none exists.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#152Far421Posted 5/23/2013 8:58:37 PM
OrangeWizard posted...
From: Far421 | #149
"Man" is well defined, at least to a workable extent.


Man is as defined as X is. "wise" or "man" is as defined as Y is. This is how it should be. Where people go wrong, is when they attach their own meanings to X and Y, and cause that to cloud their logic.


No. Those words have agreed upon meanings that enable communication. You are trying to operate inside a vacuum, but frankly, that is foolish. Logic is a tool that takes in information and outputs new information. If you put nothing worthwhile in, nothing worthwhile comes out.
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#153OrangeWizard(Topic Creator)Posted 5/23/2013 9:01:10 PM
From: Far421 | #152
Those words have agreed upon meanings that enable communication


Yes. In normal day-to-day communication.

But formal logic is not that.

Don't confuse the two.

You are trying to operate inside a vacuum, but frankly, that is foolish


Yes I am, but frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.
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Trolling and making valid arguments are not mutually exclusive
#154kirsybuuPosted 5/23/2013 9:42:05 PM(edited)
From: kozlo100 | Posted: 5/23/2013 8:46:35 PM | #151
Ok, I see what you're saying. I think the difference is that you're assuming these statements are contained within a larger context, and I'm working in the mindset that the whole of the context has been defined within those two statements. Examining the two statements and seeing that no contradiction is defined is proof that none exists.


The first post does have context, since it is using sentences with meanings rather than pure truth values. It is possible to replace the words such that structure is preserved yet a contradiction may be derived.

1. [Mario] is [red].
2. [Mario] [absorbs] [all frequencies of visible light].
3. Is [Mario] [red]?

Using free variables doesn't change it either. You can't take the propositional form "X -> Y" and conclude that "X -> ~Y" is false for all instantiations of X and Y. By definition, if X is false then both are true.

It's also not about assuming contexts either, it always exists. We can pull tautologies from the ether in proofs. "Red things do not absorb all frequencies of visible light" is no less true than "X -> X".
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#155black spiderPosted 5/23/2013 9:30:54 PM
Since we seem to be reaching an agreement about how to answer OW's question, that OW's logic seems quite vulnerable to a reversal.

1) God is evil
2) God has cured a few people of cancer

Is God evil?
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You want to try your hand at proving why genocide is inherently bad? - OrangeWizard
#156OrangeWizard(Topic Creator)Posted 5/23/2013 9:34:00 PM
From: black spider | #155
1) God is evil
2) God has cured a few people of cancer

Is God evil?


Yes.
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Trolling and making valid arguments are not mutually exclusive
#157Far421Posted 5/23/2013 10:08:50 PM
Logic in a vacuum is nonsense. It's almost special pleading, because you insist that logic itself be active in the vacuum. In a vacuum I can define anything to be any way I want it to be. Pointless, through and through.
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#158kozlo100Posted 5/23/2013 11:51:54 PM(edited)
kirsybuu posted...
The first post does have context, since it is using sentences with meanings rather than pure truth values


That's rather the point, the meanings you are trying to pull are external to anything that was stated in the OP. You're pulling them in of your own accord, and the topic is showing how prone humans are to do that, and why it can lead to miscommunication.

A couple of statements use the terms 'God', 'Good', 'Kill', and 'Baby', and you assume those terms have a certain meaning, when in reality the TC never intended them to have the meanings you ascribe to them. The only way you get away from those terms having only the definitions and implications explicitly described in the OP, as terms like 'X', 'Y', and 'Z' would do, is to assume we're using common English definitions, yet that is not a condition stated in the OP.

The trick of it is that the second line of the argument is completely trivial, as stated. It makes no comment on the relation between 'God' and 'good'. Thus the argument is reduced to the form of a single axiom 'X is Y', and a question of 'Is X is Y true'. It's the simplest tautology with a red herring thrown in.

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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#159kozlo100Posted 5/23/2013 11:44:55 PM
black spider posted...
Since we seem to be reaching an agreement about how to answer OW's question, that OW's logic seems quite vulnerable to a reversal.

1) God is evil
2) God has cured a few people of cancer

Is God evil?


OW already answered, but I think it exposes the issue that you thought this was a vulnerability. In forming the question as such, you assumed values for God and evil without defining them.

That you didn't allows OW, or anyone, to give the one right answer of yes, without it being any skin off anyone's back.

You can even combine the two sets of statements validly.

1) God is good
2) God killed a baby
3) God is evil
4) God cured people of cancer
5) Is God good?
6) Is God evil?

The answer to both 5 and 6 is yes, and it's not contradictory because we haven't defined good and evil as mutually exclusive, and we haven't defined either killing a baby or curing cancer as mutually exclusive with either good or evil.

You might scoff that of course good and evil are mutually exclusive, because according to their English definitions they plainly are, but in so doing you must import the premise that we are using English definitions, when that was never stated.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#160black spiderPosted 5/24/2013 10:50:34 AM
I think it exposes the issue that you thought this was a vulnerability.

Vulnerability is a strong word. I don't know exactly what OW wanted to highlight by using God and good, it just seemed somewhat interesting that God and evil would be equally valid for exactly the same reasons.

you assumed values for God and evil without defining them.

True. But that was mostly to keep things short and in tune with OW's post #1. Treating terms with implicit definitions as entirely undefined is one way of solving the issue peacefully. Challenging the coupling between the proposed logic and reality is another. I don't disagree that it's entirely unproblematic to say "yes", though.

You might scoff that of course good and evil are mutually exclusive, because according to their English definitions they plainly are

Nah, that's closer to Far's take on the issue. The way I see it, if we accept that God can be both good and baby-killing then clearly it follows that baby-killing cannot be mutually exclusive with good.

In a similar notion, most human beings aren't either strictly good or strictly evil, but rather both good and evil in moderate levels, with the exact balance of the levels depending on a number of factors. It would therefore seem that good and evil, despite being polar opposites, are in fact not mutually exclusive.

Yes, I know I could simply accept that the terms are undefined but where's the fun in that? Besides, where do you draw the line when going with that? Do you have to explicitly define your entire language every single time?
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You want to try your hand at proving why genocide is inherently bad? - OrangeWizard