Jonathan G.

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Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« on: May 20, 2014, 01:41:21 pm »
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Nightvid Cole

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Re: Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 09:33:13 am »
???

No, PSR is self-refuting. This can be appreciated once you realize that there isn't a sufficient reason for PSR to be true. Thus, if PSR is true, then PSR is false.

You can also think in terms of Goedel's incompleteness theorem if you like.

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Language-Gamer

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Re: Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 12:03:38 pm »
I find it to be so. I dont think there is an answer to why it seems self-evident, or else you are making some argument and so it isnt self-evident. That isnt to say that there arent arguments for the PSR though.

It's also not self-refuting because it's a necessary truth and not in need of an explanation.
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Will

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Re: Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 12:52:28 pm »
???

No, PSR is self-refuting. This can be appreciated once you realize that there isn't a sufficient reason for PSR to be true. Thus, if PSR is true, then PSR is false.

You can also think in terms of Goedel's incompleteness theorem if you like.

1.  God created all things, visible and invisible
2.  PSR is invisible (an abstract entity or proposition)
3.  Therefore, PSR has been created
4.  If a thing, visible or invisible, has been created, then it has a sufficient reason or cause
5.  Therefore, there is a sufficient reason for PSR



Will

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Saibot

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Re: Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2014, 08:55:31 am »
I think the main reason why it's self-evident is simply because it's all we observe; equally, we see no violations of it or at the very least, if the PSR were to be false, we should see more kinds of events occur without explanation. I suppose it's a kind of inductive reason.

Also, it should be known that if we reject the PSR, all kinds of absurdities arise.
For instance, Koons (1997) showed that there are epistemological issues in rejecting the PSR, as we have to entertain the possibility that our cognition and mental faculties occur, exist and process, for no reason at all. It makes it difficult to make any knowledge claim, either certain or even probablistic.
It seems that probability can't be affirmed if you reject the PSR, as probability claims are made in relation to contingent laws of nature, contingent etc. and if we reject the PSR then you can't even say that it's probably false, as that would appeal to relative contingent facts as to make the judgement.
It could be argued that the scientific method rests on the metaphysical assumption that there is an explanation of everything in the natural world... If we reject that principle then we also have to shed doubt on the scientific method. Pruss (2006) proposed that we have to question evolution as well, as it rests on the reasoning that some feature of some observable fossil evidence is best explained by some process (natural selection). It if you reject the PSR them you can't even make that claim. It is equally as plausible that it is explained by no reason at all.

So it's self-evident in the sense that if we reject it, we can't rationally hold to many things that are otherwise rational to hold.

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Nightvid Cole

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Re: Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 05:31:11 pm »
???

No, PSR is self-refuting. This can be appreciated once you realize that there isn't a sufficient reason for PSR to be true. Thus, if PSR is true, then PSR is false.

You can also think in terms of Goedel's incompleteness theorem if you like.

1.  God created all things, visible and invisible
2.  PSR is invisible (an abstract entity or proposition)
3.  Therefore, PSR has been created
4.  If a thing, visible or invisible, has been created, then it has a sufficient reason or cause
5.  Therefore, there is a sufficient reason for PSR

1. By Goedel's incompleteness theorem, there are necessary truths which cannot be proven and thus cannot have a reason
2. If God exists, God created everything, including PSR
3. From 2, if God exists, there is a sufficient reason for PSR, which means it must be true
4. From 1 and 3, God does not exist.

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Nightvid Cole

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Re: Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 05:50:10 pm »
I think the main reason why it's self-evident is simply because it's all we observe; equally, we see no violations of it or at the very least, if the PSR were to be false, we should see more kinds of events occur without explanation. I suppose it's a kind of inductive reason.

Also, it should be known that if we reject the PSR, all kinds of absurdities arise.
For instance, Koons (1997) showed that there are epistemological issues in rejecting the PSR, as we have to entertain the possibility that our cognition and mental faculties occur, exist and process, for no reason at all. It makes it difficult to make any knowledge claim, either certain or even probablistic.


That's not a convincing argument unless you're trying to argue for global skepticism. Ultimately you must postulate something without an epistemologically sufficient reason external to itself for accepting it.


It seems that probability can't be affirmed if you reject the PSR, as probability claims are made in relation to contingent laws of nature, contingent etc. and if we reject the PSR then you can't even say that it's probably false, as that would appeal to relative contingent facts as to make the judgement.


This is an absurd argument. Given you are contingent on your parents having met each other, does this mean you can't trust your cognitive faculties? It's the same argument.


It could be argued that the scientific method rests on the metaphysical assumption that there is an explanation of everything in the natural world... If we reject that principle then we also have to shed doubt on the scientific method. Pruss (2006) proposed that we have to question evolution as well, as it rests on the reasoning that some feature of some observable fossil evidence is best explained by some process (natural selection). It if you reject the PSR them you can't even make that claim.


Pruss does not understand the scientific method. It's not just about assuming that some explanation is better than none at all. It also needs to have predictive power. If a proposed explanation has no predictive power, it cannot be tested even in principle and thus is not a scientific hypothesis. Pruss misses the important fact that in science, we do not accept something simply because it is better than no explanation at all. In general, it isn't. The superiority of a well-tested theory like evolution requires that it be falsifiable, not just that it explain something.



 It is equally as plausible that it is explained by no reason at all.

So it's self-evident in the sense that if we reject it, we can't rationally hold to many things that are otherwise rational to hold.

Uh, yes we can - we just have to have other criteria besides being some explanation rather than no explanation. Pruss is grotesquely misrepresenting the nature of scientific inference in order to make this argument and the argument is not even remotely compelling as I explained earlier.

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H.H.

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Re: Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 02:51:06 am »
The PSR is ultimately incoherent - it seems to hold within mundane reality but once followed through to its conclusion you wind up with something that is the reason for its own existence, this proposition is impossibly incoherent and hopelessly unintelligible. You can say that God is so great that God is the reason for God's own existence but when someone says that to me all I ever hear is: 'square circles'.

That's not to say that the PSR isn't in fact the case, it very well could be. After all, our only logical options in this area of inquiry must be inherently illogical and impossible - the only explanation that can be completely ruled out is the one that is coherent and logical because logic dictates that any coherent  rational explanation will only serve to beg the question.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 02:53:59 am by H.H. »
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David Y

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Re: Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2014, 04:08:51 pm »
???

No, PSR is self-refuting. This can be appreciated once you realize that there isn't a sufficient reason for PSR to be true. Thus, if PSR is true, then PSR is false.

You can also think in terms of Goedel's incompleteness theorem if you like.

I don't think it's self refuting, if the PSR has an explanation.  It could either be a revelation from the mind of God or could exist necessarily, both are explanations.  Indeed Gödel's theorem itself points to these necessary axioms, does it not? 

Also, if it is indeed 'self evident,' or basic, then it need not be proved, just like the fact that we can trust our own sensory perceptions, or the laws of logic themselves.

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Nightvid Cole

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Re: Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 09:05:51 am »
The incompleteness theorem requires that something be true despite the fact that there is no necessary "reason" for it to be true, and thus is true but cannot be shown to follow from anything.

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Will

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Re: Do you think the PSR is self-evident? If so, why?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2014, 09:31:03 am »
Quote
1. By Goedel's incompleteness theorem, there are necessary truths which cannot be proven and thus cannot have a reason
2. If God exists, God created everything, including PSR
3. From 2, if God exists, there is a sufficient reason for PSR, which means it must be true
4. From 1 and 3, God does not exist.

1.  If God doesn't exist, there couldn't be necessary truths
2.  If there are no necessary truths, your premise 1 cannot be true or false since that it would entail a necessary truth
3.  There are necessary truths
4.  Therefore, PSR and God exists
Will