The Bible speaks the Truth therefore God exists?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Speakpigeon, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    Here is another interesting argument:

    (p1) A and (A implies B), therefore B;
    (p2) B and (B implies A), therefore A;
    (C) Therefore, A and B.​

    I'll give a straightforward application of it:

    (p1) God exists and the fact that God exists implies that the Bible speaks the truth, therefore the Bible speaks the truth;
    (p2) The Bible speaks the truth and the fact that the Bible speaks the truth implies that God exists, therefore God exists;
    (C) Therefore, God exists and the Bible speaks the truth.​

    It's seriously more complicated than usual, so please take all the time you need to answer the two questions:

    Question 1: Do you think that this argument is logically valid, and why?​

    Question 2: Do you think that this argument is fallacious, and if so, what kind of fallacy is it?​

    Thanks to all for your answers,
    EB
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It is not valid.

    It is begging the question.

    One of your premises is based on a conclusion that you draw later in the argument.

    Since your argument attempts to show (among other things) logically that God exists, you cannot use its existence as a premise.

    You could say "P1: If God exists..." but you're still left with a hypothetical that you must still make a case for.
     
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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    It still wouldn't work, because books don't talk. You'd have to presuppose the veracity of at least one contributor to the bible who 1. claims to have encountered God in person and 2. is the actual author of their entry in the book, and then - unless you have access to the authentic manuscript - assume that the intervening translators, editors and transcribers rendered the text accurately.
    Contrarywise, if you presupposed the existence of God as the entity commonly referred to by that name, you would still have to authenticate a series of links between him and the final product to which you refer as the bible.
    In absence of those conditions, all the two statements indicate is that you juxtaposed two unverified claims based on a popular notion regarding that relationship. (Not even to mention, the bible contains a whole lot of material that's in no way implied by the existence of God.)
     
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    1. No, the first statement is a claim that requires logical support, it isn't a conclusion.
    2. The fallacy might be called circular logic.

    You could say, if (the Biblical) God exists, then the Bible must be true. Therefore, if we find something that is not true in the Bible, then (the Biblical) God doesn't exist. The bible contains false statements (snakes can't talk), therefore there is no God.
     
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Why? If Howard Hughes existed, Clifford Irving's biography must be true? Anybody can write anything about anybody!
    In the case of the biblical god, the various authors described him in enough different ways, we can't even be sure they were talking about the same god.
    But snakes do exist. So do asses, whether they speak or not. Deserts exist, whether tribes are wandering in them for a week or forty years. It's perfectly possible to for a book to contain some truths, some mistakes and some fictions. Even about the same person.
     
  9. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1. The question of validity is whether the conclusion follows from the premises.

    Valid
    4. Logic
    a. Containing premises from which the conclusion may be logically derived.
    b. Correctly inferred or deduced from a premise: a valid conclusion.​

    Your point seems to be instead that the premises are not obviously true, which would make the argument unsound but not necessarily not valid.
    So, is it valid, i.e. does the conclusion follow from the premises?

    2. As to the question of the fallacy, can you try to articulate how this argument is "circular"?
    Thanks,
    EB
     
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Premise p1 is invalid, since the God that exists may not be the God of the Bible.

    Otherwise, if we assume it is the God of the Bible, then the entire thing is just a single claim, that the God of the Bible exists.

    It may be an attempt at circular logic, that if you assume one thing is true, then the other must be true, but there is no logic since both claims are in essence the same claim.

    Merely claiming things isn't logic.
     
  11. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    The question of the validity of the premises is irrelevant. The question is whether the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises assumed true.
    Any argument is a single claim, a claim of validity. So the question is not whether the premises are true or not, but whether the argument is valid.
    I'm not sure if you are now talking about the argument or if you are still about the premise.
    So, what is a logical argument?
    EB
     
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    This is not a premise: it is a self-contained circular statement.
    This is not a premise: it is the same circular statement, going counterclockwise.
    This is not a conclusion: it is the same statement going straight.
     
  13. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    When it comes to faith, spirituality, belief systems, etc...I don’t think that these cookie cutter equations offer much in the way of conclusiveness.
     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    They don't. I don't think that's the OP's intent.

    He's interested in logical deduction/induction. He could have used any example instead of God and the Bible. He could have used a plumber and a plumbing manual.
     
  15. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    But, faith is required to believe in God. I think reading a plumbing manual would directly correlate with what it means to be a plumber, but unless you believe that the Bible is a direct reflection of God...or “God’s word,” the two don’t automatically correlate.

    That’s just how I see it.
     
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Note, the subject matter/context of the argument is a red-herring with regard the question asked.
    Logical validity is about the form of the argument, not about whether one considers the premises to be true or not. Instead it is a question of if you take the premises as true then can the conclusion be considered false. If the answer is no, the conclusion can not be false if you accept the premises as true, then the argument is valid.
    So please ignore the context of the argument and look at the form, else this thread will deteriorate into discussion of a red-herring.
    If an argument begs the question then it is necessarily valid (see below).
    Begging the question, which is the fallacy that the argument in the OP is guilty of, is an informal fallacy - i.e. an issue with something other than the form.
    For example, I could say that P1: God exists.
    P2: God exists means that God exists.
    C: Therefore God exists.
    This is a valid argument - it is impossible for the premises to be true but the conclusion nevertheless to be false - but its worth as a persuasive argument is much reduced (to zero) since it begs the question: how can one convince of the truth of the conclusion if one must assume the truth of it as a premise?
    Hence the argument is valid - as it is impossible for the premises to be true yet the conclusion false.
    Question begging, yes, but this merely speaks to the weakness of the argument as a means of persuasion, not to its validity.

    The argument given in the OP is logically valid: it is impossible for the premises to be true but the conclusion to nonetheless be false.
    We don't need to accept the premises, but if we do accept them as true then the conclusion can be nothing other than true. This is what it means to be logically valid.

    To show this we can simplify the premises to only those elements that are relevant:
    P1: God exists (it doesn't matter what this implies)
    P2: The Bible speaks the truth (it doesn't matter what this implies)
    C: God exists and the Bible speaks the truth.

    If we accept P1 and P2 as true then how can C be anything other than true? It can't. Hence it is valid.

    Without the context:
    P
    Q
    Therefore P and Q.

    Note also that P1 as given is itself an argument:
    P1.1: God exists
    P1.2: If God exists then the Bible speaks the truth
    C1: Therefore the Bible speaks the truth

    Or without the context: If P then Q. P. Therefore Q. This also isn't contentious in terms of its logical validity: if we accept P, and we accept "If P then Q" then it is impossible for the conclusion of Q to be false. Hence logically valid. This valid form is known as modus ponens.
    P2 is of the same valid form.

    But the argument as given is guilty of the fallacy of begging the question: the conclusion appears directly within the premises.
    Valid 1 - Persuasive 0
     
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  17. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    Bravo. Oll Korrect.
    I think it is significant that more people get it wrong than for the Monkey argument, even though in some respect it is easier since, as you correctly explain, the conclusion is essentially a repeat of the premises.
    My interpretation is that people react emotionally to the semantic of this argument suggesting that logic could somehow prove God. This appears to move many people.
    The Monkey argument by contrast is clearly semantically neutral so people find it easier to focus on the logic of it and give the correct answer.
    EB
     
  18. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, problem here. What do you mean by "conclusiveness"?!
    As it happens, the argument is logically valid, that is, the conclusion follows from the premises, which may be understood as the proper criterion of conclusiveness. Maybe you mean that the argument is not convincing? That is, reading this argument is very unlikely to convince you that God exists?
    There is also another aspect to your reply. Why would the question of faith and belief systems be in any way special in this respect? Once the argument is recognised as valid, all that matters is that the premises be recognised as true, irrespective of the subject-matter of the argument.
    EB
     
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    (p1) Roses are red and the fact that roses are red implies that the rhyme in which they are red is true; therefore violets are blue.
    (p2) Violets are blue and the fact that they also appear in the true rhyme implies that roses are red; therefore roses are red.
    (C) Roses are red and violets are blue.

    No faith required: just put any nonsense in the form a logical argument.
     
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  20. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Then I don't care. Why insert religion into it if it's just a question of formal logic?
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    This was my point in post 11.

    At the risk of speaking for him, I believe SP is interested in a purely academic discussion. The subject of the logic could have been anything.

    I mean, it's possible that, once the validity has been established (or refuted) there may be practical applications of the implication - but one step at a time.

    In this respect I (think) I understand SP.
     
  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Putting nonsense in that form doesn't make it 1. valid 2. logical or 3 and argument. It's still just nonsense.
    Forget the form: look at the content.
    If everybody were female, there would be no words for father, brother, son, uncle, etc. All siblings would be sisters, and there would be nothing to put in the "argument".
    God does not "imply" anything about the bible or vice versa. Juxtaposing two statements that have some cognitive connection doesn't mean that either can be used to validate the other.
    If the content is nonsense, the form is irrelevant.
    Whether crap is in a pile, a box or a bag doesn't affect its nature.
     
  23. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,122
    Why not?
    My thread is what it is. There's no need to complain. You don't like it, move on.
    The evidence shows that, for many people, the mere contemplation of a religious argument can throw their logic off.
    Something to keep in mind given that your logic not only can save your life, but it is probably and by far your best friend, at least in this our material world.
    The religious argument was only offered as an application of the formal argument, given first. Apparently, you can't even make yourself focus on that.
    And it's not a question of formal logic. I wouldn't need your opinion if that was the case. The thread is what it is. You don't like it, move on.
    EB
     

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