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Old 09-18-2020, 01:30 AM   #113
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 689
Re: Something from nothing

Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
Incidentally, my position has been pretty clear throughout my posting that I don't think that all beliefs are ultimately justifiable in any formal sense. I think we should challenge ourselves towards being clear-minded thinkers, and that probing questions can be helpful for generating discussions and helping us become better thinkers. There are many places where I've openly admitted the limits of what I feel I can reasonably justify to others from a "logic" perspective, and that I believe that "experience" of being human (or the experience of living life, or other similar phrases) is the ultimate driver of our beliefs.

I don't believe that every belief we hold must be formally derived by some sort of syllogism. Nor do I believe that the ability to "syllogize" one's beliefs make them any more reasonable, rational, or logical. In fact, most of the times, the syllogisms are created *after* the belief is established. In that sense, they function more of a tool of self-justification than of intellectual exploration. This is especially true if (as MB is prone to do) one focuses on the conclusion and not the reasoning. In many places, MB has shown that he accepts or rejects arguments on the basis of whether he agrees with the conclusion, and he holds other people to the same, regardless of what they say. (As shown here -- I've never used the Kalam Cosmological argument as a reason to believe in God, but he insists that I'm somehow dependent upon it because I believe in God.)
I agree with the gist of what you are saying. We all know we had/have beliefs and preferences prior to thinking deeply about them and concluding they were the right beliefs and preferences to have. However, that doesn't mean we should expect to win debates or be persuasive if we rely on gut feelings as part of an argument.

I suspect another way of explaining the paradigm you are describing is that "experience" drives our beliefs when we lack good reasons for them. If you were able to use reasoning and data to prove or disprove the existence of some God or gods, it would enter the realm of those things which can be proven by "logic" and don't require "experience." I don't have any good reason to think that everything in the "experience" category is different from fantasy or day dreaming or wishful thinking.

But I just want to see you two have a conversation, not a meta conversation about why you won't have a conversation.
mrmr is offline   Reply With Quote