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Old 03-11-2017, 01:14 PM   #176
Aaron W.
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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Epic fail at appreciating context. Here, 'polemic' and 'argument' are indeed perfectly interchangeable, therefore "one can be exchanged for the other in a one-to-one manner as if they have identical meanings."
Nope. You have conflated multiple meanings of the word "argument" in your argument.
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:09 PM   #177
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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Nope. You have conflated multiple meanings of the word "argument" in your argument.
Nope- I've done no such thing. 'Polemic' and 'argument' are synonymous in that context, therefore the usage was correct. You made an unreasonable conclusion, and now you're repeating it without offering further support. Improve.
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:20 PM   #178
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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But now you are now arguing that you DID write a polemic and were adversarial.
Where did I argue the contrary? It is clear that my argument is adversarial to Zeno's position. Pointing out that 'polemic' was synonymous with 'argument' in that context was a courtesy to you, since you implied that one cannot express "actual view" through a polemic, which is a falsehood. So...not sure what you're trying to accomplish here...

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Disagreeing with that was what you led you to post insults and characterizations in the first place.
Nope- I disagreed with your implication that 'polemic' and 'argument' are not synonymous in the context of use. Please show me where I said anything about my position relative to Zeno not being a polemic.

Also, when you post ad hominem about using "big words" and knowing how to "spell them", you're not exactly in any position of moral superiority to speak of insults. You made an unreasonable interpretation of my argument in response to Zeno. Then you deflected from that by implying that 'polemic' and 'argument' are not synonymous as I used them. This is false: they are synonymous in that context.

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No.
Yes. 'Polemic' and 'argument' are often used interchangeably, regardless of adverseness. In the current circumstance, this is not an issue, because adverseness is clearly present. Also, it should be noted that for someone who recently appeared so ready to tear down prescriptivism, you now seem to be championing a contrary viewpoint, though are still in error. Expediency be thy name .
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:23 PM   #179
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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Nope- I've done no such thing. 'Polemic' and 'argument' are synonymous in that context, therefore the usage was correct.
This is about as accurate as your previous definition of a "valid argument" and your ability to not PM me after saying you weren't going to PM me.

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'Polemic' and 'argument' are often used interchangeably, regardless of adverseness.
This might be true. But it's probably only true for people who don't know what the words mean.
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:50 AM   #180
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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[...] Yes. 'Polemic' and 'argument' are often used interchangeably, regardless of adverseness. [...]
This is still untrue.

Feel free to support your claim from a credible source or dictionary (with a full link). I'm sure you'll have a handy wall of words to explain why that isn't necessary, however.

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Old 03-12-2017, 05:04 AM   #181
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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This is still untrue. Feel free to support your claim from a credible source or dictionary (with a full link).
No, it is true: 'polemic' and 'argument' can be and are used interchangeably in appropriate contexts. They are synonyms of one another, as you've already admitted above. You have access to online dictionaries and thesauri, therefore it is indeed unnecessary for me to provide you with such information.

In the meantime, feel free to provide support for your position that the two words are not used interchangeably. Whenever you're ready.

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I'm sure you'll have a handy wall of words to explain why that isn't necessary, however.
See above. Try not to confuse terseness with accuracy and validity .
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Old 03-12-2017, 05:12 AM   #182
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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This is about as accurate as your previous definition of a "valid argument" and your ability to not PM me after saying you weren't going to PM me.
This is a conclusory statement for which you've provided absolutely no support. If you need a refresher as to what a 'valid argument' is, see my previous posts. In the meantime, I will enjoy the epic irony of your statement here.

Oh, and where did I say that I was not going to PM you? If I recall, I asked you if you wanted me to stop PM'ing you after you intimated that I was "harassing" you. You failed to reply to my query. Do let me know if you want the big bad man on the Internet to stop PM'ing you, though- I will cease right away.

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This might be true. But it's probably only true for people who don't know what the words mean.
False. As has been explained above, 'polemic' refers generally to an adverse and/or aggressive argument, therefore it can be used interchangeably with 'argument' in such contexts. My retort to Zeno was adverse to Zeno's position. The two words can therefore be used interchangeably in the situation at hand. Let me know what part of this you do not understand.

Do a little more research about word meanings next time before regurgitating boilerplate ad hominems .
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:30 PM   #183
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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No, it is true: 'polemic' and 'argument' can be and are used interchangeably in appropriate contexts. They are synonyms of one another, as you've already admitted above. You have access to online dictionaries and thesauri, therefore it is indeed unnecessary for me to provide you with such information.

In the meantime, feel free to provide support for your position that the two words are not used interchangeably. Whenever you're ready.



See above. Try not to confuse terseness with accuracy and validity .
Polemic means a contrary, often controversial, rhetoric. Any dictionary or encyclopedia will give you a definition to that effect.

Webster:
Quote:
a: an aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of another
b : the art or practice of disputation or controversy —usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction
Oxford:
Quote:
strong verbal or written attack on someone or something.
Wiki:
Quote:
A polemic is contentious rhetoric that is intended to support a specific position.
So, again: You were wrong, you're still wrong and your refusal to admit it is just embarrassing.

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Old 03-12-2017, 02:32 PM   #184
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

This conversation is strong evidence for the multiple-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (speaking of cosmology). It was necessary for this conversation to exist in some world, because all possible conversations exist. QED.
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:41 PM   #185
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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This is a conclusory statement for which you've provided absolutely no support. If you need a refresher as to what a 'valid argument' is, see my previous posts.
Here is what you said:"to make a valid argument... you must apply it to the facts"

That is not what it means to make a valid argument.

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Oh, and where did I say that I was not going to PM you? If I recall, I asked you if you wanted me to stop PM'ing you after you intimated that I was "harassing" you. You failed to reply to my query. Do let me know if you want the big bad man on the Internet to stop PM'ing you, though- I will cease right away.
Ironically, that's almost identical what you said the last time in a post that was deleted, which I believe was posted on March 5. And yet I have two PMs from you dated on March 6.

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False. As has been explained above, 'polemic' refers generally to an adverse and/or aggressive argument, therefore it can be used interchangeably with 'argument' in such contexts.
You continue to conflate two distinct meanings of the word argument.

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Do a little more research about word meanings next time before regurgitating boilerplate ad hominems .
I welcome you to quote the definition of an ad hominem and then quote where I've done that.
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:44 PM   #186
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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This conversation is strong evidence for the multiple-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (speaking of cosmology). It was necessary for this conversation to exist in some world, because all possible conversations exist. QED.
Well, evidently that also goes for dictionaries.
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:46 PM   #187
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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Well, evidently that also goes for dictionaries.
There exists a universe in which Lychon is right.
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:50 PM   #188
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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There exists a universe in which Lychon is right.
Which is desperately looking for a word to cover "contentious rhetoric".
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:30 PM   #189
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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Which is desperately looking for a word to cover "contentious rhetoric".
There exists a universe in which that is called a "Lychon."

Last edited by Aaron W.; 03-12-2017 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Maybe that's this one?
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:16 PM   #190
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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Originally Posted by tame_deuces View Post
Polemic means a contrary, often controversial, rhetoric. Any dictionary or encyclopedia will give you a definition to that effect. So, again: You were wrong, you're still wrong and your refusal to admit it is just embarrassing.
False. This has been explained to you above. First, in the context of use, my argument was directly contrary to that of Zeno's, so even under your prescriptivist approach, 'polemic' and 'argument' are interchangeable in the circumstance at hand.

Secondly, 'polemic' and 'argument' are generally interchangeable, notwithstanding the more specialized definition. The reason for this is because an 'argument', when responding to a position, is often contentious, especially on online forums. Thus, the two are generally interchangeable because the responsive position is contrary to that of the respondee. Allow me to define 'argument' for you to make this clearer:

Dictionary.com

Quote:
an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation:
OxfordDictionaries.com:

Quote:
An exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one.
The adverseness and aggressiveness present in 'polemic' is part and parcel of the general definition of 'argument', thus, if the context of use is appropriate, the two are interchangeable. Here, my position against Zeno is directly adverse, therefore, I can describe it as either a 'polemic' or an 'argument'.

You're wrong, just like you were wrong in your misinterpretation of my response to Zeno when you introduced poetic license into the discussion. Attempting to deflect from this with prescriptivism isn't working too well.

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Old 03-13-2017, 08:00 PM   #191
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

Going forward, all argumentative off-topic posts from this thread will be deleted.

EDIT: For example, discussions about whether "argument" and "polemic" are interchangeable.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:08 PM   #192
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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Going forward, all argumentative off-topic posts from this thread will be deleted.

EDIT: For example, discussions about whether "argument" and "polemic" are interchangeable.
I wonder whether a contrary assertion is considered sufficiently argumentative to constitute a polemic.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:02 AM   #193
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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I wonder whether a contrary assertion is considered sufficiently argumentative to constitute a polemic.
In light of what Original_Position has posted above, I will not respond to this polemically.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:35 AM   #194
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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As a longtime lurker on this forum, I find it a bit odd that a random theological discussion was ultimately my impetus for registering an account, but then again, I've got to put that philosophy minor to use somewhere.

The problem with solving the "riddle" of the cosmological argument rests in the absence of an indisputable absoluteness point, i.e., logic's infinite regression (as you pointed out). No premise, no matter how pragmatically absurd or counterintuitive (e.g., "nothing exists"- sorry Descartes), can be principally eliminated. Practically, of course, this is of little to no concern, given that we differentiate between "absolute philosophical certainty" and "maximal certainty": we can't principally validate reason due to circularity ("reason is valid because of reason"), but we don't need to because its validity is axiomatic (self-evident through the production of consistently reliable and accurate conclusions about reality). Thus, we hold certain direct fruits of our sentience (e.g., "I'm typing on a keyboard right now"; "the sun appears bright"; etc.) as maximally certain from the start: no greater proof or determination is necessary to incorporate such phenomena into our corpus of awareness (and thus, basis for action).

But, ironically, this lack of absolute philosophical certainty gives rise not only to the confounding nature of the cosmological argument, but to the argument itself! Because the subject regards first principles, and, as has been established, logic provides no such philosophically absolute first principles, the critical question becomes as follows: what conception in the range of cognition provides a complete answer to the origin of existence as we comprehend it? Answer: God (meaning, in essence, an entity or force beyond logic that is not subject to logic's regression and is not limited by any force or tenet).

That is the force of the cosmological argument: God (per the definition above) is the only presently available complete answer to the question of first principles, which leads directly to your post's conclusion regarding there being nothing inherently "wrong" with the notion of an entity or force beyond logic creating our universe (or creating the base reality within which our universe resides). Because the notion of a 'first mover' is the only conception that provides a complete answer to the most fundamental of all questions, it is an incredibly attractive proposition (which is at least partly responsible for the immeasurable influence theism has had on this planet, and, most likely, on other planets with intelligent life). By the way, to clarify, by "complete", I mean an answer that does not, by its definition, invite any further questions on the issue: we don't have to ask where God comes from because God, by definition, is beyond logic and exists without beginning, and we're able to entertain the idea of such a being because logic itself has no established absolute point, so we cannot say that logic precludes such a being!

The "confounding" nature of this proposition, i.e., God, arises, of course, in its possession of a nature that runs contrary ("beyond" logic) to the principle of our sentience with which we discover it: reason! (It's like the ultimate mindf**k, really lol).

Now, this certainly does not mean that all atheists are in error by not believing in a creator entity/force- simply because there is, at present, only one complete answer to the first principles quandary does not imply that it is necessarily correct. But it does imply that holding a belief in the validity and actuality of such an answer (theism) is not necessarily without good reason (note that this does not apply whatsoever to any revelation, as you also correctly pointed out by differentiating it in your original post).

So what's the upshot? The upshot is 1) we have one complete (though unsatisfying) explanation for first principles that we have not established as possible or impossible, but have established as possessing strong conceptual validity; 2) we will continue to push the boundaries of what we hold as maximally certain by exercising our reason to discover more about our reality and use it to increase our power over nature; and finally 3) hope beyond all hope that in doing so, our efforts will eventually ripen into an attainment of philosophical absolute certainty (for what are the notions of "heaven" and "hell" but final answers to existence anyways? =D).
Having thought a bit more about this, I have come to find that I disagree with the post. Logic or positions can't affirm themselves, they can only be affirmed through agents. As far as we know agents need experience to make such judgments.

This in the same sense that "All apples are green -> Therefore the apple is green" becomes meaningless without traits. It doesn't matter if the apples objectively have traits, because they have to have traits for you to play. "Das ding an sich, das ding für mich".

"God" also needs traits for the cosmological argument to have any meaning. Those traits matters just as much as any formal logic applied. Any judgment of an answer ("complete" as you call it) must be weighed also on those grounds. If god is "undefined" or "beyond logic" such a judgment does not follow. Calling it "complete" becomes a leap of faith, not logic.
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:07 AM   #195
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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Having thought a bit more about this, I have come to find that I disagree with the post. Logic or positions can't affirm themselves, they can only be affirmed through agents. As far as we know agents need experience to make such judgments.
You've implicitly affirmed my position with that statement. My argument is predicated on the principle that nothing is immune to skepticism, including logic. By stating that logic or positions cannot affirm themselves, you're providing support for my original polemic. Thank you.

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This in the same sense that "All apples are green -> Therefore the apple is green" becomes meaningless without traits. It doesn't matter if the apples objectively have traits, because they have to have traits for you to play. "Das ding an sich, das ding für mich".
Cool example, but irrelevant to the general principle explained above.

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"God" also needs traits for the cosmological argument to have any meaning.
This is tantamount to saying that something needs to have at least one identifiable property, whether or not fully defined to have any meaning, which is probably a truism as far as maximal certainty is concerned. However, in first principle discussions, such as this one, we are discussing philosophical certainty, and it is exactly judgment of those properties, as well as their foundations, that is being questioned. If logic is not absolute, it is error to ascribe any absolute requirement (i.e., "needs") to first principles.

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Those traits matters just as much as any formal logic applied. Any judgment of an answer ("complete" as you call it) must be weighed also on those grounds. If god is "undefined" or "beyond logic" such a judgment does not follow. Calling it "complete" becomes a leap of faith, not logic.
See above; again, if our comprehension and reason are predicated on axioms which we cannot rid of skepticism, then it simply makes no sense to speak of necessary traits for hypothetical first principles that lie beyond these axioms.

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Old 03-14-2017, 05:16 AM   #196
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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You've implicitly affirmed my position with that statement. My argument is predicated on the principle that nothing is immune to skepticism, including logic. By stating that logic or positions cannot affirm themselves, you're providing support for my original polemic.



Cool example, but irrelevant to the general principle explained above.



This is tantamount to saying that something needs to have at least one identifiable property, whether or not fully defined to have any meaning, which is probably a truism as far as maximal certainty is concerned. However, in first principle discussions, such as this one, we are discussing philosophical certainty, and it is exactly judgment of those properties, as well as their foundations, that is being questioned. If logic is not absolute, it is error to ascribe any absolute requirement (i.e., "needs") to first principles.



See above; again, if our comprehension and reason are predicated on axioms which we cannot rid of skepticism, then it simply makes no sense to speak of necessary traits for hypothetical first principles that lie beyond these axioms.
The problem is by voiding this is that your "first principle" becomes without information. You can't show that it is "first", if it is countable ("a") or even if it can reliably be called "principle".
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:19 AM   #197
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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The problem is by voiding this is that your "first principle" becomes without information. You can't show that it is "first", if it is countable ("a") or even if it is can reliably be called "principle".
We're talking about the idea of first principles- that much you agree with, yes? I'm not saying anything absolute about such hypothetical first principles. It is exactly my point that because we cannot rid ourselves of skepticism, any kind of claimed "absolute information" about such first principles is a non sequitur, i.e., nonsensical relative to the nature of our comprehension, and this includes whether such "first principles" are truly "first" or that God "has to have" traits. We can define God in various ways so that we can speak intelligibly about the word, but that only concerns maximal certainty. When we start speaking about philosophical certainty, the gloves are off, and no definition remains absolute, including everything stated here.

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Old 03-14-2017, 05:29 AM   #198
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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We're talking about the idea of first principles- that much you agree with, yes? I'm not saying anything absolute about such hypothetical first principles. It is exactly my point that because we cannot rid ourselves of skepticism, any kind of "absolute information" about such first principles is a non sequitur, i.e., nonsensical relative to the nature of our comprehension, and this includes whether such "first principles" are truly "first".
I don't disagree with that. But you did write in a post that believing in such (your) interpretation of "first principle" is "not without reason". That is what I disagree with. By removing the requirement for information, you have moved beyond the scope of reason (be it rational or empirical). "Complete" is a judgment based on reasoning, so there ends up being a contradiction.
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:44 AM   #199
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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I don't disagree with that. But you did write in a post that believing in such (your) interpretation of "first principle" is "not without reason". That is what I disagree with. By removing the requirement for information, you have moved beyond the scope of reason (be it rational or empirical). "Complete" is a judgment based on reasoning, so there ends up being a contradiction.
That's where differentiation between maximal and philosophical certainty comes in. Maximally, we can reason that our comprehension is limited, and from that derive the idea that we are incompetent as to meaningful commentary on "phenomena" beyond such limits (it's mostly reveries and virgin births at that point). That idea itself is based in reason, but commentary about first principles themselves, which are beyond our limits of comprehension, is not necessarily grounded in anything familiar or sensible to us whatsoever (i.e., "beyond the scope of reason").

So I don't see where you're getting a contradiction from. There is a distinct division between our logical axioms (which we take as true, automatically and inescapably) and positing beyond such axioms, which we cannot necessarily apply any such axioms to. Thus, the part of my "first principle interpretation" that is "not without reason" is simply the part that states that we appear to be incompetent in making any definitive statements about such "first principles", and that that is a major bummer.

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Old 03-14-2017, 05:58 AM   #200
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Re: An alternate cosmological argument

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That's where differentiation between maximal and philosophical certainty comes in. Maximally, we can reason that our comprehension is limited, and from that derive the idea that we are incompetent as to meaningful commentary on "phenomena" beyond such limits (it's mostly reveries and virgin births at that point). That idea itself is based in reason, but commentary about first principles themselves is not necessarily grounded in any reason familiar to us whatsoever. So I don't see where you're getting a contradiction from.
If I say that "zybbzt" points to a statement beyond reason and comprehension, but then say it is a "good statement", would you really let me get away with that?
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