The First Principles
The First Principles can be categorized as follows:
1. The Intuitive Principles.
These principles, while not provable, are known to be valid intuitively.
a. Identity. If it is true, then it is true; if it exists, then it exists.
b. Non-Contradiction. If it is true, then it cannot be false; if it exists, it cannot NOT exist.
c. Excluded Middle. A (singular, unity) concept cannot be somewhat true and somewhat false; a (singular, unity) thing cannot somewhat exist and somewhat not exist.
d. Cause and effect. Every effect has a cause that is both necessary and sufficient.
e. Cogito (Descartes). Because I doubt my own doubt, it is true that I think; because I think (truth), I must exist (fact).
2. The Probabilistic Principles.
These Principles seem to encompass both truth and existence.
a. The Immutability of math throughout the universe.
b. The Immutability of physical law throughout the universe.
c. The mutability of all levels of verifiability (Godel's laws).
3. The Presuppositional Principles.
These principles are declared either as empirical constraints, or as part of a worldview.
a. No form of reality exists that cannot be either observed and measured directly or by the use of instrumentation.
b. No Singularities (temporary violations) exist in the physical laws of the universe.
4. The Principle of Rational Thought; Skepticism; and Rational Deniability
These two principles demonstrate the philosophical tension between the Rational Empiricists and the Anti-Rationalists.
a. No premise should be accepted without evidence.
( This is the Principle of Rational Thought, and the basis for “skepticism”: Hume, Russell, Ayer)
b. Existence of evidence via intuition is denied.
(This is the basis for Anti-Rationalism: Nietzsche)(Notice that deniability is declared true as a rational premise, which premise requires the intuition of its truth; so intuition is denied via the use of intuition, which is a paradoxical process to Rationalists – but not to Anti-Rationalists who deny that paradox exists).
5. The Principles of Evidence
Evidence is demanded by Rationalists and Skeptics. Anti-Rationalists deny all basis for evidence, except (paradoxically) Darwinism; Anti-Rationalists also deny paradox, having denied the First Principles due to their intuitive basis. So the following principles are Rational principles only, and are not necessarily accepted by the Anti-Rationalists.
a. All evidence ultimately devolves to the First Principles and is therefore intuitively based.
b. “Universals” can be assumed valid without proof. These include Mathematics, Logic, and Language (a syllogistic form of logic deriving from the First Principle of Cause and Effect). (Notice that this is an intuited principle).
c. Empirical evidence:
1. Physical; Sensate only: Therefore, measurable.
2. Local (inductive)
3. Repeatable (deductive)
4. Universality cannot be proven so must be assumed (intuited, based upon probability, which can be increased by numerous replications of tests)
5. Validity is probabilistic only (intuited, based upon statistical probability, which can be increased by numerous replications of tests)
6. Assumes the validity of the Presuppositional Principles, # 3 above.
7. Valid Empirical evidence can be falsified, but has not been. (Popper).
Second Level Effects of the First Principles
a. If the First Principles are true, it follows that truth exists.
b. If truth exists, then falseness also exists.
c. If falseness exists, then skepticism is justified.
d. However, if the First Principles are true, then intuition of truth is assumed a valid technique; therefore, skepticism is neither absolute nor is it immune to argument.
e. If the First Principles are NOT true, then any and every argument is not based on rational precepts, and skepticism becomes (1) absolute, and (2) Anti-Rational.
f. If Principle 4a, above, is valid, then ethical considerations can be intuited as First Principles. This is because Principle 4a expresses an “ought” imperative, which is an ethical statement, and which is considered to be valid for the foundation of Naturalism, and thus is considered to be a universal truth. It is intuited, and cannot be proven by itself, by empiricism, by Naturalism, or by Materialism. Thus the basis for Naturalism and Materialism (worldviews) as well as empiricism (a discipline) are based upon an intuited ethical value.
g. Because Naturalism, Materialism and empiricism are all based upon an intuited ethical value, then intuited ethical values exist, and can be valid (true).
h. Because intuited ethical values are seen to exist, then intuition exists, ethics exists, and values exist – outside and beyond the constraints and limits of Naturalism, Materialism and Empiricism; also transcendence is proven to be a valid source of both information and ethical value statements. I.e., Transcendence exists and can be valid.
Empiricism, Naturalism and Materialism
Because the “ought imperative” of Principle 4a is the necessary and sufficient principle upon which Naturalism and Materialism are based, it is easily shown that the transcendent nature of the underlying foundation of these concepts produces a contradiction that violates the anti-transcendent worldviews themselves.
In other words, Naturalism and Materialism declare that intuition and other transcendences cannot exist, yet the basis for Naturalism and Materialism is itself necessarily intuitive and transcendent.
So Naturalism and Materialism deny their own foundational validity, and thus are paradoxical (violate the Principle of Non-Contradiction), and so are neither coherent nor valid.
This paradox is fatal, rationally speaking, for Naturalism and Materialism, but not for Empiricism, because Empiricism has voluntarily chosen to limit its range of investigation, and, in theory any way, does not say anything at all about transcendences or about value systems, except that they are out of the range of the testability and verification constraints placed upon Empirical processes. (Empiricism is a process, not a worldview or value system).
In this manner Empiricism retains its validity as a process for obtaining information about physical reality. Naturalism and Materialism are seen to be invalid, non-coherent worldviews, spun off from Empiricism, but no longer identical to it.
Atheist Talking Points
EvidenceAtheists of all stripes call for evidence. One should not believe anything without evidence for the thing. The cry for evidence is the primary premise for Atheism. This cry is heard from Russell to Edison, from Hume to Nietzsche: "Evidence, we must have evidence!"
From an Atheist website:
"We have observed our natural world and not found any evidence for the existence of anything supernatural."[url=http://web.archive.org/web/20101118091127/http://www.atheism-analyzed.net/Atheist Talking Points Evidence.htm#_edn1][/url] (emphasis added).
The obvious self refutation of this statement is painful to a true rationalist, one who at least has heard of “paradox”. One thinks of looking into the sock drawer, and not finding a sockmaker. What a surprise…. Proving exactly what? The atheist author of this Atheist web page is sadly lacking in exactly that which he advertises: Rational thinking.
And this blatant reference to the atheist FAITH, implemented within a worldview:
"The disbelief in God shouldn't be considered a CONCLUSION, it should be what you start with."
To paraphrase, the starting principle is "there is no God" and the conclusion is "there is no God". This is akin to saying "the starting premise is ‘there are no blue apples’, so we conclude from this that ‘there are no blue apples’. This is Circular Reasoning.
If this is the starting point for logic, then their conclusion is identical to their basic premise, which is tantamount to declaring it be a First Principle.
"As far as a general overview, consider this...science is the best description of our natural world. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to point to any kind of supernatural existence. Regardless of the many pseudoscience programs and movies, none of these things are REAL. They are all for entertainment value only. So, for our purposes, all evidence points in our favor. We know the truth."
They have not even defined truth. They know exactly nothing because they have placed Naturalism as their outer limit beyond which they dare not venture, and then crow that supernatural is not found in the natural. This is not logic, nor is it rational. Plus they have not defined the rules for validation of their "evidence". However they do seem to actually expect that the supernatural should be a subset of the natural, which grossly violates logic even at the grade school level.
And then there's this piece of convoluted mind-numbness:
"We have to judge the existence of God by natural laws, by what we experience, by what we know to be true. By what we can observe. If there were a god, it would only make sense that he would have evolved himself. Of course, there is a Christian philosophy that says the Christian God has changed and is changing."
How many ways can one go wrong in only three statements?? To expect to find the intrinsically supernatural inside the natural is buffoonery. No philosopher ever has made the silly leap that the existence of a supernatural god is a subset of natural laws! If that were the case, then the existence of a deity would be instantly confirmed, not denied. The mere existence of coherent natural laws projects into the confirmation of supernatural intelligence. Their argument trips them up and fells them face first into the mud.
As for God evolving, what tripe! The Christian Philosophy calls not for a changing deity, but for an eternal unchanging deity. One should at least research what one blusters about.
So let’s take a rational look at just what evidence actually is.
Evidence Against GodUnderstanding that evidence is empirically constricted for the Atheist, one might ask, “What is the empirical evidence against the existence of God?”. There being no possible way to prove a negative, the Atheist is most likely to launch off into Bertrand Russell’s “orbiting teapot” Strawman, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster Strawman, or the gnomes, elves, pixies, unicorns and faeries” Strawman argument. Interestingly enough these same arguments can be made against the existence of life elsewhere in the universe, Carl Sagan’s belief.
These Strawman Fallacy roadblocks are set up in an attempt to trivialize the actuality of an unexplained and unexplainable First Cause for the creation of the universe. That the universe actually did begin has not set well with Atheists who are not prepared to deal with a First Cause. Ridicule is a common tactic. When that doesn’t work they pull out their big gun:
“Who Made God?”
The problem of the First Cause (What caused the universe to pop into being?) is covered by the Atheist rejoinder, “Who made God?”. This implies that the Atheist believes that a good dose of infinite regression will decoy the argument away from a First Cause.
First off, the question does not philosophically prevent there actually being a God, it merely deflects attention away from the original problem of there needing to be a God in order to have a universe made out of nothing. So the question of “who made God” is a Red Herring Fallacy.
However, if we generously decide to consider the logic behind the question, we find that the antidote is right at hand. The “Who made God” argument is smashed by reminding the Atheist that there is no space-time or mass-energy on the other side of the Big Bang: this renders the “Who made God” argument DOA, due to complete lack of cause and effect in such an environment. Cause and Effect requires that a timeframe exist, so that the cause can pre-exist the effect. So, no time = no timeframe. Therefore a First Cause (deity) exists outside time (and outside of space, outside of mass and outside of energy). A First Cause (deity) exists in a place we cannot comprehend, because all of our cognition depends on the existence of space-time and mass-energy.
What is Evidence, anyway?
Now if we inquire as to the type of evidence that might be acceptable to an Atheist, we would probably be made to understand that only empirical evidence is valid. This would mean tangible, repeatable, falsifiable, etc.
So what sort of tangible, repeatable, falsifiable evidence would one expect, that would mount up as proof against the existence of a deity? Well of course there is none.
Along with tangible, repeatable, falsifiable, there is another requirement. Each premise needs to be proven valid in order for the final conclusion to be valid. So for every premise to be valid, there must be sub-premises that are valid (Godel’s theorems). For every sub-premise to be valid, there must be sub-, sub-premises that are valid, and so on and on, indefinitely. Here is a true infinite regression, wherein no final state of complete validation can ever be reached.
According to Godel’s theorems of infinite regression, complete validation can never be reached. There is always another “sub” level required.
Or is There?
This is where the First Principles come into play. At some sub-, sub-, sub-level, the supporting premise will fall into one of the categories of the First Principles. Because the First Principles are known to be true, by inspection, or by intuition, the process of validating the evidence by validating sub premises stops, and rests on “known validity”. This requires acknowledging that the evidence is validated, in the limit, by intuition, i.e. transcendentally. Such principles are known to be absolute, transcendental, intuited and “incorrigibly valid”.
One Atheist bickers that “scientific data” is not evidence until it is repeated, peer reviewed and so on. If so, evidence is promoted to being “meaning”, beyond just the raw data. Generally speaking the “meaning” (i.e. a collection of data plus interpretation) insinuated by the data would be the “theory”, supported by the data. Now if evidence = meaning = theory, then the evidence = theory.
(Data + Interpretation, peer review, etc.) = Meaning
Meaning = Evidence
Meaning = Theory
Theory = Evidence
Assuming Inductive data gathering, this says that the theory, generated via the data, is the evidence. The theory is the evidence? Doesn’t that sound familiar? It is a closed form of Abductive Reasoning. It is circular and nonsensical: the evidence for the theory is…the theory. So the theory itself is the proof of the theory, or, “the theory proves itself”. From this we can see that it is a phony “First Principle”, and that under such a principle any “meaning” taken from data becomes TRUTH. Such absurdities seem to fester everywhere within Atheist apologetics.
Evidence and EccliasticismAtheists do have a (dwindling) evidentiary case against humans in ecclesiastical situations, humans who betrayed the principles upon which the religion was based. The evaporating case of the Inquisition[url=http://web.archive.org/web/20101118091127/http://www.atheism-analyzed.net/Atheist Talking Points Evidence.htm#_edn2][/url] is case-in-point. Is this a case against a deity, or a case for the existence of imperfect humans? The case against imperfect and evil Atheists is greater by far. Neither of these, like semantic battles over theodicies, has any bearing on the actual existence of a deity. What humans do or think neither proves or disproves the existence of a deity.
To turn the Anthony Flew[url=http://web.archive.org/web/20101118091127/http://www.atheism-analyzed.net/Atheist Talking Points Evidence.htm#_edn3][/url] argument back on its cheerleaders, what evidence would it take to prove the existence of a deity?
For one thing, would ordering a deity to show himself work? A no-show on the deity’s part bears no information at all.
What if I create an agenda that I think a deity must meet? Again, a no-show = no info.
What if I create an ethic that I happen to like, and demand that the deity obey it? The absurdity is complete. Yet these are the arguments made by Atheists, all the time.
Atheists are destined to have a love-hate relationship to evidence. Some evidence is loved, especially the Just So Stories concocted to “explain” the latest fossils within the accepted bounds of Darwinism. Some evidence is denied outright, like the intelligence content of DNA, the complexity of human organic functions and that stirring upon the brain which is the mind. Atheists, as we have seen, are not under any compunction to subscribe to the same values of honesty and principled intellectual coherence that those with a set of absolute values might subscribe to.
To be of value, evidence must be necessary and sufficient; not extravagantly extrapolated; it must be resolvable to the First Principles; it must be falsifiable; and then, tangible, observable, repeatable.
EvidenceNaturalism and Materialism are based on the premise that nothing should be considered credible without evidence to support it. This is actually a first line defense against ecclesiasticism and claims of the existence of deity. What then are the expectations for evidence? What comprises valid evidence? How is validity determined? What are the rules of evidentiary acceptability?
As with mathematics, Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem insists that NO system of evidence can be considered valid within itself. So there is never 100% certainty of any fact, based on any amount or type of evidence. However, as in the system of courts, a preponderance of evidence can be assembled in favor of or against the certainty of a fact.
Now if the “truth” of a statement regarding a fact is based on how well the statement corresponds to the actual fact (“Correspondence Theory of Truth”), then “truth” is ascertained by evidence regarding the fact. So “truth”, determined by material evidence, cannot ever be certain, because the evidence is never certain.
Thus truth, if it is to be known to be true, completely and without reservation, must be based upon intuition of the correct degree of correspondence between the statement, and the actual fact. And once again, intuition is found to be the basis for the knowledge of truth.
“In summary, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury…”, we find that no evidence can ever be 100% validated. And the transcendent capacity of intuition is required to be engaged in order to determine truth. So, intuition and transcendence both exist.
Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE)
The systems of courts and justice has long operated on the basis of “rules of evidence”. Centuries of legal proceedings have honed the concept to the point of being able to issue a document called the “Federal Rules of Evidence”. Evidence can be categorized as follows:
1. Testimony (Witness under oath)
2. Documentary (paper, photos)
3. Demonstrative (graphs, photos, simulations)
4. Scientific (expert witnesses)
5. Physical Evidence
Only two out of the five can be considered empirical testing. Much of the evidence is taken from first person observations and documentation of observations. While the point of this non-empirical evidence is still to produce a cause and effect relationship, it is mostly historical (forensic) and not empirical.
Moreover, it is plain that the expert witness evidence has many suspicions surrounding it. It is common to observe one expert witness contradict another expert witness, with the result that the inexpert judge and jury must decide the technical details that most closely point to a correspondence with fact. This is obviously inexact and probabilistic.
So the FRE cannot promise that the Truth will be found due to it’s evidentiary procedures. Once again the transcendent faculty of intuition is required; transcendence exists.
Last edited by Admin on Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:16 am; edited 1 time in total