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Argument from truth

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by Sapiens, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. gaara4158

    gaara4158 I prefer you trust your reason.

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    But we’re not just surviving out here. We’re building rockets, designing smartphones, swapping out vital organs. It’s unlikely for all of that to be illusory and yet we have success at survival using the same epistemic tools we use to do all that. If survival has anything to do with reality, then all our other experiences probably correlate with reality too. We’re prone to errors, yes, but it’s unlikely we’re entirely deceived unless you’re willing to say that survival has nothing to do with reality. And if that’s the case, truth is of little value to us in the first place.
     
  2. Sapiens

    Sapiens Wisdom is of God

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    It's unlikely to be illusory relative to what? How do you you know the probability?

    Yes, if it is the case, it is of little value. But I take it that we are not hallucinating, and thus that we should reject naturalism.
     
  3. gaara4158

    gaara4158 I prefer you trust your reason.

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    It’s unlikely that a completely wrong conception of reality would allow us to survive if survival and reality are connected. There are far more ways to die than to survive, so an experience completely disconnected from reality has far more ways to fail us in our endeavor to survive than it has to succeed. Therefore, we can infer from our continued survival that our experience is at least somewhat correlated with reality.
     
  4. Eight Foot Manchild

    Eight Foot Manchild His Supreme Holy Correctfulness

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    Truth is that which comports with reality.

    If reality is subject to an omnipotent cosmic mind, that mind could have any aspect of reality, or all of it, altered or destroyed at any second, without warning.

    So, no. If a god exists, truth is the first thing to go. I am glad there is no reason to suspect we live in such a reality.
     
  5. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Your argument is invalid. Just because something can destroy all or part of reality does not mean truth does not exist. Following your own logic, if truth is that which comports with reality, and reality is subject to God, then truth is subject to God via the reality he creates (or destroys).
     
  6. Eight Foot Manchild

    Eight Foot Manchild His Supreme Holy Correctfulness

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    Yeah. That's pretty much what I said. 'Truth' would be entirely subject to mind of Yahweh.

    And since you have no means of apprehending the mind of Yahweh, you don't have 'truth'.
     
  7. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Christians believe that truth is subject to the mind of God, and that we have access to this truth primarily through the world that God created. But this is true even on your own premises given here, for the external world is still the terminus of truth even if that external world is contingent upon the power of God. Just because God created the world does not mean that truth does not exist.
     
  8. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    Let's say God causes every person on Earth to experience the color "Purple" differently from everyone else. Anyone who looks at a plum will say, "That plum is purple" but we're all seeing different things. Has anyone apprehended the "truth" of what a plum looks like?
     
  9. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Is this meant to build on what Eight Foot Manchild has stated, or are you starting a new topic? I see some overlap but I can't find a valid syllogism to represent it. The closest I can get is this:
    1. If reality depends on God, then God could "alter purple".
    2. If God "alters purple," then the objective truth of purple would not exist.
    3. Therefore if reality depends on God, then the objective truth of purple would not exist.
    The proper conclusion of your premises is "could," whereas the conclusion that Manchild seeks is "would." He thinks that grounding reality in God undermines truth; you think that grounding reality in God gives rise to a possible world where truth is undermined. The difference between necessity and possibility is a large one.
     
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  10. Eight Foot Manchild

    Eight Foot Manchild His Supreme Holy Correctfulness

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    No, on my own premises, it does mean that, as far as you and I are concerned. The 'truth' may still lie in the ineffable mind of Yahweh, but that does us no good. All we have to go on is the external world, which may be altered or destroyed at any second.

    'Truth' is meaningless to us creatures, in such a place. It's a cartoon reality where anything can happen, unpredictably, for reasons that need never be made apparent to us. I'm glad there is no reason to suspect we live in it.
     
  11. Sapiens

    Sapiens Wisdom is of God

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    I agree.
     
  12. gaara4158

    gaara4158 I prefer you trust your reason.

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    Therefore, god or no god, we can trust that we have access to truth. Are you retracting your original argument?
     
  13. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    Mmm... No, I think Manchild and I are actually on the same page. If God can, you don't know if He did or not. So a reality in which He did, and a reality in which He didn't are indistinguishable. I see Manchild saying "can" and "could" too. Truth would be undermined because you can't know if you're experiencing the truth or not.
     
  14. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Can you formalize your argument? I don't see how the problem in one possible world undermines truth in all possible worlds. If you are saying that we can't determine whether or not we are in that world I would strongly disagree. We have all sorts of other considerations that provide evidence that we are not in that possible world. Gaara has given a number of these examples in his recent posts in this thread.
     
  15. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    No, probably not. My syllogisms are clumsy at best. I can manage about one if/then at a time :D
    Maybe there's a limit to the scale. Maybe. I don't see how us accomplishing things disproves my small scale example. I could cook up more examples just imagining what's possible. And maybe they can't all work at the same time, but if any of them could work individually, then no truth would be known about any of them because you can't know which specific ones are true and which ones are not.
     
  16. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Okay, no worries. :D

    Okay... but we're in very stipulative waters here. If reality is a brute, eternal, uncreated and unchanging fact then truth has a rock-solid foundation (at least as far as Manchild's argument is concerned). If reality is the creation of an evil god then truth is undermined. If reality is the creation of a good God then truth is safeguarded. If reality is the creation of a 'morally opaque' god then truth might be okay and might not be.

    On Christianity truth is safeguarded... For Voluntarists it wouldn't be as safe as on the brute fact assumption, but it's still pretty safe. And if we leave the world of pure imagination, then we will find that it is one of the safest historical groundings for truth, and has even been melded with some of the strongest ontological systems for truth (such as Platonism and Aristotelianism).

    Therefore to say that Christianity provides shaky ground for truth strikes me as very misleading at best.
     
  17. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    If you assume Christianity is totally true, then sure, reality is steadfast. I'd argue that no matter how historically accurate Christianity can be shown to be, you've got no idea whether or not there is a creator of the universe, and even if we assumed there is, you've got no idea whether or not He is good or evil or somewhere in between.
     
  18. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Maybe, but what began this conversation was Manchild's assertion that belief in a creator undermines truth. Except the argument only works if you believe in a very specific kind of creator, and there are very few people who do believe in that kind of a creator.

    If you don't want to just look at beliefs about the nature of reality and see how they correlate to an ontological grounding for truth, but instead start from scratch to fully justify some particular system from the ground up, will you make progress against Christianity or theism? I doubt we have the time for such an endeavor, but it is highly unlikely that a naturalistic system constructed by the skepticism of the modern mind is going to provide some kind of exceptionally sure footing for truth. Modern secular approaches usually terminate in some form of pragmatism. If grounding truth is the naturalist's goal, then the tu quoque response to Manchild has teeth, and they are sharp.
     
  19. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    How specific? I think it works even with "the creator might be this or might be that". That doesn't seem specific to me.
    I don't know that I could ground truth from a naturalist perspective either. I just think it becomes harder the more things you believe are actually possible.
     
  20. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Sorry, only specific in the sense that it follows the "morally opaque" option presented here.

    Well there is possibility and then there is probability. Supposing it dawned on you that it is possible for your wife to stab you in your sleep, I doubt you would lose any sleep at night.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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