Originally Posted by tiger02
All of which presupposes 1. our five senses are able to detect every possible stimulus 2. our brain is capable of correctly interpreting those stimuli 3. reality does not extend beyond our ability to understand it (actually a restatement of the first 2.) Five hundred years ago, a godless, moral person was "literally impossible" to imagine, except by accident, and people that long ago weren't smart enough to come up with that possibility. Logic is a very tidy, internally consistent way to describe our understanding of the world. That doesn't make it infallible.
The point isn't whether it's infallible, though; the point is that it's impossible to form any sort of belief without it. Five hundred years ago, a godless moral person was not *literally* impossible to imagine. Not in the same way that it is literally--and I mean "literally" literally
--impossible to imagine that there both is and is not a God. I think you're slightly missing my point. You can easily assert, logically speaking, that a person can be godless and moral, and you could have done so 500 years ago. That most people in most parts of the world would have said that you were wrong is immaterial; the statement is conceivable insofar as it does not violate any logical principles. In fact, the argument against it would probably follow some form of asserting that "morality" and "godlessness" were mutually exclusive--which, if you note, is actually an argument based on the logical principles I enumerated above
. In other words, the "godlessly moral" person would only be literally impossible to imagine in the event that the definitions of morality *necessarily* included a conception of God. All of which just buttresses my point.
EDIT: Or, let's put it another way. Give me an example of a belief system, of any sort, that denies the principles of identity/contradiction/excluded middle. That is, a belief system that believes that A does not equal A, or that A and Not-A can both be true, or that A and Not-A eliminate all other possible assertions. Now explain to me how that belief system can make any assertions, of any sort. For example, if this belief system asserts that there is a physical universe, but denies the principle of contradiction, it is also forced to assert that, though there positively is a physical universe, it's also still possible that there positively is not a physical universe. By the way, I disagree with your list of what, precisely the principles of identity, contradiction, and the excluded middle presuppose. None of them have any necessary reference to our senses, or to any sort of stimuli. You could hold that there is no external world at all and still, your thought would be bound by these principles. Is it possible that the world might work in ways that are impossible for us to understand? Sure. Of course, since by definition we'd never understand how it did so, that wouldn't actually matter as a subject of inquiry, would it?
My point still stands: you cannot form any set of beliefs without first relying, like it or not, on certain basic principles of logic. Also, yeah, the new sig is fine. Babykiller.