I wanted to put this question out there to see how strongly everyone feels on this subject. Being that most of us trust in scientific fact and reasoning, I was wondering if everyone is absolutely, undeniably, 100% sure that a god doesn't exist.  I personally take into account that there is no proof of any cosmic creator so therefore I am about 99.9999% sure that there is no god. However we all agree that science is an ever evolving field and I don't think that there will ever be any proof to support the existence of a supreme being, but I can't be 100% sure until there is concrete proof against one. I would like to know what all of your thoughts on this.  

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I don't entirely disagree with you.  I don't believe gods exist either.

 

My only contention is in your statement "but god is 100% impossible because contradictions cannot exist and the concept cannot even be defined in any way. An existent must have identity. It must be some things and not others. Identity and noncontradiction are necessary properties for any thing to exist. Science depends on these concepts and so does all concept formation and thought..."

 

It is a perceptual fallacy to rest ones methodology on the basis of logical non-contradiction of entities.  There are many propositions (properties of existing things) that are both true and false at the same time.  We humans drive our needs off of absolutes and we pay the price for it.  Science will NOT truly understand the workings of the macro and micro envrionments until it gets over its incessant need to codify things absolutely.

 

Besides, it's always appeared to me that the ones most angry about something (and ramping his or her self up to the point of causing destruction in other's lives) are the very ones who know with absolute certainty and refuse to be open to new ideas.  It's true of the religious and non-religious.

These angry people you refer to might be certain, but they do not have certain knowledge. Saying that you know for sure that certainty is impossible is a blatant contradiction. And by the rules that make any knowledge possible is invalid. There is not a single known entity that has contradictory properties. I would ask you to name one, but I already know that you cannot. And I have already addressed the uncertainty principle which is a description of our limited understanding at the limits of our perception, so don't bring up very tiny things or perfectly precise measurement. I am talking about things, entities, with identity. A leaf cannot freeze and burn at the same time. Balloons filled with helium, if let go, will go up, in this atmosphere and 2+2=4, always, in this reference frame, barring any additional variables. We can understand and have contextually valid knowledge of the macro world and we do with the use of noncontradiction and causal law. That's how come we can create stuff like the IPhone. Gods, with no clear identity or noncontradictory characteristics cannot be contextually valid. Epistemologically, all concept formation and therefore thought is dependent on these things. You cannot use the scientific method or any other form of reasoning to negate the foundations of what you would need to understand and verify something. Science is a process of discovery and verification, it does not understand things; we do. You are still using science in an attempt to gain epistemological knowledge. It is not possible. And neither are invisible pink unicorns.

I think I understand the need for humans to have certainty in life.  It makes us all feel more at ease.  I understand you would exclaim so dramatically "I would ask you to name one, but I already know that you cannot."  But feeling comfortable to me is no excuse for ignoring how I use what I learn and how things actually work.  Your statement "Saying that you know for sure that certainty is impossible is a blatant contradiction."  Of course it is.  That is exactly the point.  The Universe is full of "things, entities, with identity" that actually operate by declarative, provable contradictions.  The basic Law of Non-Contradiction (the excluded middle) is a fallacious tautology imposed on provable contradictory declarative statements.  Some of your examples are truly non-contradictory.  (ie the burning leaf, balloons filled with helium)  Those are positive.

 

My arguments do not threaten what has been learned.  And my above contention does not extend to the notions of gods because there do not appear to be any properties for an appropriate provable argument.  The use of (P or -P) given the lack of properties does not mean I can conclude (-P) just as much as I cannot conclude (P).  Moreover I cannot blatantly disregard (P and -P) which seems so obvious to me.

"The Universe is full of "things, entities, with identity" that actually operate by declarative, provable contradictions."

 

Name one.

 

Operating by contradiction? Provable ones, no less. Silly. Please attempt to prove a contradiction. I want to see that.

Marc, you say, "There are many propositions (properties of existing things) that are both true and false at the same time." Can you name some? I'm having trouble buying this without concrete examples.

 

I'm pretty sure that Michael Tricoci is correct; any definition of a god I've ever seen has suffered from logical contradictions and been therefore impossible. Of course, mostly people don't even bother to try to define a god very precisely, but even the handul of major attributes usually ascribed render such an entity logically impossible.

Jason, I appreciate your light-hearted inquiry to my post.  For me it is not just important to be Utilitarian but also Pragmatic as well.  Unfortunately I get a LOT of absolutists out here so angry because my position does not fit in their (P or -P) views.  I am currently investigating a practical position that propositions might actually include (P and -P).

 

I would be happy to share with you at least one proposition that is both true and false at the same time.  (The cup on my desk is at rest.)

 

Now, I know that skeptics have the tendency to also take things to extreme and those extremists can question everything.  And just so you can better respond (if you so wish to educate me on where I am wrong :)  I will elaborate a bit.

 

I don't think anyone would require further proof of the existence of me, the cup or the desk. (Even though I've met some skeptics who would love go down that road.  Not to mention some absolutists who wish I didn't exist.  lol)  I don't think anyone would question that the above statement is a proposition in the sense that it is declarative.  Given the current definition of "proposition" though, it would have to conform to the properties of the excluded middle (P or -P)  And it is here that I seriously question the Law of Non-Contradiction.

 

The cup is at rest and in motion at the same time.  For me to conclude that the cup is not in motion, I would not take into account that it is in motion with the Earth moving around the sun.  I can't do that. 

On the other hand, if I were to conclude that the cup is not at rest, I'm forced into considering the implications of applying a concept of "at rest" to ALL identifiable objects.  Are there technically any objects in the Universe that can be considered "at rest"?  In order to for me to measure the distance the cup travels when I move it across the room, must I also have to take into account its motion through space in order to determine the actual distance?  This is not pragmatic either since the cup is contained within an environment that has other objects at rest (and in motion) for comparison.  And it is not Utilitarian for our simple practice of measuring because its actual distance through space is not necessary for the relations of objects on Earths environment.

 

So, I'm hoping a reasonable sort such as yourself might have some way of showing me how the above proposition is not provable both as (P and -P) [the cup is moving and not moving at the same time] and does not fit in the absolutist position of (P or -P).

That cup is at rest in relation to the desk and not in relation to the sun. Motion is a relative concept describing a relationship between entities. It is not at all contradictory that the cup isn't moving in respect to the desk and is in relation to the sun. For things to be a contradiction, they must be contradictory in the same way. One leaf can burn and another can freeze, but not the same leaf at the same time. The cup is not both in motion and not in motion with respect to the desk or table or the sun. You are attempting to use noncontradiction to negate noncontradiction. The process of proof, which you are attempting necessitates noncontradiction. Relativity and quantum theory do not negate noncontradictory reason and logic, they depend on it. Motion is relative. Nice try, though. Any more?

I would ask you to please not put words into my mouth.  I did not say the cup is both in motion and not in motion with respect to the desk or table or the sun. You restated the proposition with your own properties.  The proposition presented did not include your "with respect..." additions

I said "The cup on my desk is at rest."  You added the "with respect..." to attempt to force the proposition into either (P or -P)  As it stands, I would ask how you can prove the cup is both not at rest AND not in motion at the same time.

 

I do find it interesting though that you use the term "relative" when so many other absolutists out here uncompromisingly despise relativity.

You stated "You are attempting to use noncontradiction to negate noncontradiction."  Did you rather mean that I am attempting to use contradiction to negate noncontradiction?  Because yes, that is what I contend - using examples of (P and -P) to show that it is a tautological fallacy to only attribute (P or -P) to the use of propositions.  I would have to ask you to explain how I might be attempting to use 'noncontradiction' to negate noncontradiction.

 

I disagree that a process of proof necessitates noncontradiction.  This does not mean that things can't be proved by the use of noncontradiction.  I simply contend that the basic law of noncontradiction should not be universal because there are things which can be proved that ARE contradictory.

 

Furthermore, if you intend to continue to throw in rhetorical devices like "I would ask you to name one, but I already know that you cannot." and "Provable ones, no less. Silly." and "Nice try, though. Any more?" it simply won't be worth either of our time to continue discussing this.  The absolutists out here, moreso than others, tend to use this kind of language to fallaciously beef-up their own stance.  If you continue it, and I don't respond, it might appear to others that you've won something.  For me it will only mean you can't control your rhetoric.

You are pretty sensitive, Marc. I apologize for my insensitive and insulting rhetoric.

And no, I meant that you are trying to use noncontradiction, through your arguments, which by definition of being an argument, depend on noncontradiction, to negate the very same process you are using to attempt to negate it.

When you talk about velocity, by definition, you are talking about 'in respect to'. The cup is absolutely not in motion in relation to the desk and it is in motion in respect to the sun. This is not at all contradictory.

Can you state something that has an essential characteristic that is two contradictory things at the same time in the same way?

Marc, you say, "I would be happy to share with you at least one proposition that is both true and false at the same time.  (The cup on my desk is at rest.)" Unfortunately, that statement is not both true and false at the same time; it is neither true nor false, owing to a lack of sufficient definition. Michael is correct. The definition of "at rest" intrinsically contains the notion of "relative to".

 

So no, no object in the universe is technically "at rest", considered in isolation. At minimum, no object in the universe is at absolute zero, so there's always some movement. Further, objects in our everyday sense are always quite divisible, so to begin with we have a bit of a rhetorical/definitional problem. Regardless, without taking into account a frame of reference, "at rest" doesn't begin to make any sense, so you're jumping the gun by assigning any truth value to the proposition, unless you're pretty sure that everybody is implicitly using the same frame of reference.

 

Michael's question stands: do you have an example of something that contains truly contradictory essential properties? Relative to a local gravity field, an arrangement of rocks and dirt can be a mountain or a valley, but not both. A god can be omnibenevolent or omnipotent, but not both. A numerical value can be 2 or 3, but not both.

 

Further, it's a pretty basic form of disproof to show a logical contradiction. If you are trying to show that logical contradiction need not negate the truth value of a proposition, you're pretty much throwing logic out the window as a truth-finding tool. It doesn't get much more fundamental than that. God, as typically construed, is either logically impossible owing to inherent contradictions, or so ill-defined as to be unworthy of consideration. Usually both. I am 100% certain that such a creature does not exist, because it cannot.

"Further, it's a pretty basic form of disproof to show a logical contradiction. If you are trying to show that logical contradiction need not negate the truth value of a proposition, you're pretty much throwing logic out the window as a truth-finding tool."

-Beautiful!

Yes.  Your response follows exactly in line with what I am objecting to.  Assuming an Axiom of (P or -P) ONLY means one will no doubt conclude ONLY either P or -P.  It is very interesting that you say "Unfortunately, that statement is not both true and false at the same time; it is neither true nor false, owing to a lack of sufficient definition."  because I am addressing that right now in another link.

 

I started a post on this very topic in the Philosophy Forum.  It is called "The Law of Non-Contradiction?"  It might better expose what I'm saying better than restating it here.  So, I do hope you are ok with switching over there because I very much appreciate your responses. 

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