Poll 2 on the validity of a more complex argument

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Speakpigeon, Jan 18, 2019.

?

Is the argument valid?

Poll closed Feb 17, 2019.

25.0%

37.5%

0 vote(s)
0.0%

37.5%
1. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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1,123
This thread is a poll on a logical argument.

Thank you to vote before posting any comment on the argument (you can change your vote if need be).

Here is the logical argument:

For all we know, A may be the state of some unknown part of B;
C is determined by the state of some unknown part of B;
Therefore, for all we know, C may be determined by A​

Is the argument valid?
EB

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30,994
Sure. So?

5. JeevesValued Senior Member

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5,089
What's with the "for all we know" and "may be" ? Is this leading to something sneaky?

DaveC426913 likes this.

7. DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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18,887
Hey, I wonder if Ignore makes one invisible in polls too...

So, does the Ignorer see different numbers than the rest?

8. Quantum QuackLife's a tease...Valued Senior Member

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23,328
It is not an argument. It is a speculation if anything. For all we know pigs may fly, is not an argument however it may very well solicit arguments.

9. James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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39,237
Sure, it's valid, although the value of the argument itself, applied to a specific case, might turn out to be marginal, because the conclusion is so weak.

I understand that this might relate to two previous threads, neither of which I have read, so I'm only commenting on this in isolation.

10. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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1,123
So?
So, why not cast a vote accordingly?
EB

11. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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1,123
Sure, but the thread is about validity. Further, while the form of the argument can only deliver conclusions of possibility, possibilities are the ground onto which rationality has purchase. And that's not just me saying this.
And I'm more interested in the logical question than in proving anything about consciousness or God.
Maybe you can have a look there and see if this can inspire you.
EB

12. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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1,123
???
You think that this:

For all we know, A may be the state of some unknown part of B;
C is determined by the state of some unknown part of B;
Therefore, for all we know, C may be determined by A

is the same kind of statement as "For all we know pigs may fly"?
Whoa.
EB

13. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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1,123
For all you know, yes.
For all you know it's a subtle conspiracy from White Supremacists.
Unless it's for all you know Speakpigeon is really retired Pope Benedict XVI investing his spare time to undermine science and democracy.
I guess comments here couldn't get much worse.
EB

14. JeevesValued Senior Member

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5,089
For all you know, they might.

15. Quantum QuackLife's a tease...Valued Senior Member

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23,328
So what is the argument? I see no argument. I see a speculation which you are fully entitled to make.
Similar to
"If all things are possible then everything is possible."

What does interest me is why you persist with an obviously flawed approach (determined by consensus) and no doubt your future responses shall prove very enlightening...

16. RainbowSingularityValued Senior Member

Messages:
7,447
valid
/ˈvalɪd/
(of an argument or point) having a sound basis in logic or fact; reasonable or cogent.

must logic be factual ?
must facts be logical ?
must logic be well reasoned in fact ?

there is only 1 fact that remains
mathematically any value makes the equation valid

17. JeevesValued Senior Member

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5,089
No, but every argument must be about something.

You can have a valid formula, such as: x may stand for y and y can be anything; therefore x=anything
but it won't be a logical argument, as it has nothing to dispute, prove, test or evaluate.

• 1.An exchange of diverging or opposite views
• 2A reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory.
• 3Mathematics Logic
An independent variable associated with a function or proposition and determining its value.

18. James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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39,237
A good thing, because there's no mention of consciousness or God in the argument you've put in this thread.

19. James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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39,237

It strikes me that premise [1] is extraordinarily weak. It says that A might be the state, so it follows that it might not be. It also says that it might be the state of an unknown part of B. But it might be the state of some unknown part of X, Y or Z, instead. Since nothing is known about this postulated unknown part of B (it's unknown, after all), then any state might be the state of it, never mind A. Also, B might not even have a part that A can be the state of, because you're only saying that A might be the state. If it is, then we can deduce that B has an unknown part of which A is the state, but if A is not the state, then B needn't even have an unknown part.

There's also no guarantee that the "unknown part" referred to in [2] is the same unknown part that is referenced in [1]. If it isn't, then A is irrelevant to C, quite apart from whether A determines some other unknown part of B.

Thus, the conclusion [3] is extraordinarily weak, too. Let's rephrase:

1. Let C be determined by the state, D, of some part, E, of B.
2. A might be a state.
3. A and D might be the same state.
4. A might be the state of some part, F, of B.
5. Parts E and F might be the same part of B.

We wish to draw the conclusion that C might be determined by A. This will be true if:

A turns out to be a state (2' doesn't help much there, and there's no premise in the original argument that says A is a state);
A turns out to be the state of part F of B (there's nothing in the original argument that tells us that it is).
E and F turn out to be the same part of B (there's nothing in the original argument that says they are).
A turns out to be the same state as D (there's nothing in the original argument that says it is).

That's a lot of "ifs".

20. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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1,123
Indeed, but you can replace A, B and C by anything meaningful like God, the conscious mind or whatever you fancy, as long as it makes the argument an assertion about the real world. So, discussing the validity of the argument first makes sense. You only discuss soundness once you've made whatever substitution you want.
EB

21. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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1,123
For all I know, certainly not.
EB

22. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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1,123
Well, that's a bit better than your previous straight assertion, here you do produce an argument, but it's a tautology, X implies X, something that is trivially true of absolutely anything.
Mine isn't.
First, my contention is that it's a logical truth, like X and Y implies X, which is just saying that the argument is valid.
Second, while by definition of validity it will be valid for all things, if it is valid, it will only be true (sound) of certain things. So, it's definitely not a trivial argument as your X implies X.
Here, I didn't specify what A, B and C may be. So, we can only assess validity, but validity is necessary for soundness, i.e. whether the argument is true of the real world.
My argument in the other thread is an example of substituting meaningful terms to A, B and C, e.g. Conscious Mind for A, Brain for B (or group of neurons), and what the person does for C. Once you've done that, you can assess soundness by deciding whether premises are true (provided you accept the argument as valid).
The consensus at the time of Copernicus was that the Sun revolved around the Earth, so I'm not too worried.
And there is actually more people who think the argument is valid than people who think it is invalid, even without counting myself.
Further, I can justify to myself, in a rational way, why the argument is valid, so I can live with your "consensus", for what it's worth.
I don't know yet if I'll post the explanation. Right now, I don't feel like it. None of you can prove his assertion that the argument would be invalid. All anyone does here is merely assert it is invalid, when they do. People who have claimed invalidity on ground of undistributed middle did so on the basis of a different argument, which is clearly something absurd to do.
And I'm not interested in convincing you it is valid. I'm only interested whether you think it is valid or not and in proofs you can offer that it is not valid.
Well, no proof here yet.
EB

23. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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1,123
Yes. The facts of our logical intuitions.
Facts are not necessarily logical. It's not a fact that they are.
Facts are just facts. It might well turn out that facts are not logical.
Our logic is the result of natural selection. So far, it seems to work very well in our natural environment.
Well, it's up to you to decide. Many people here don't reason very well at all, or at least, if they do, it doesn't show.
No. I don't think you would accept the following substitution: What you do is determined by the state of some unknown part of my brain;
I can assure you it's not true. It's not some unknown part of my brain that determined that you voted the argument as valid.
EB