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Is this a Valid Argument /Did I do this right

 
 
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 01:28 pm
I have a writing assignment and want to check that I am doing this correctly. I am supposed to construct an argument that meets the following criteria: (1) It is valid (2) The conclusion is "If God exists, God is not omnibenevolent." (3) One of the premises must be "If evil exists and God created everything, then God is not omnibenevolent." (4) The argument must contain 5 premises (5) All premises must be necessary in order to derive the conclusion from the premises. Is this correct?


P1: If God exists, then God created everything.
P2: If everything exists, then good and evil exists.
P3: If good exists, then God exists.
P4: If evil exists, then God exists.
P5: If evil exists and God created everything, then God is not omnibenevolent * (has to be one premise)
C: "If God exists, God is not omnibenevolent." *(has to be conclusion)
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 1,411 • Replies: 18
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 01:58 pm
@airnautique,
Let me preface my remarks with a caveat, to the effect that i don't know what you've already covered in your course, or what your instructor has told you prior to presenting the assignment.

Premise One might be flawed in that it is possible that a "god" might be omnipotent and omniscient, but still reside in a cosmos which that god did not create. Therefore, I suggest that your first premise must be a definition of god. This could be, based on what you've discussed in class, a case of question begging if one defines god as the creator of the cosmos, a priori.

*****************************************

Premise Two seems rather extravagant in that "everything" is also not defined. Is that everything that we might imagine, or is there some limit on how everything is to be defined? Once again, without having taken the course, i can't know what your instructor has told you about this.

But there is another problem here, as well. There are two dichotomies which are often assumed to be identical, but which are not in fact identical. The first is the good/bad dichotomy. This is almost certainly going to be a subjective judgment: that which i like or which benefits me is good, that which i do not like or which harms me is bad. However, that subjectivity is implicit in the dichotomy, and we may, without suffering cognitive dissonance, accept the subjectivity, and accept contradictory judgments on this subject. For example: Joe likes to eat meat, and "knows" that eating meat is good for him; Mark does not eat meat, because Mark "knows" that eating meat is bad for him. We can accept both statements in the knowledge that they are subjective statements for which neither speaker has provided substantiation.

The other dichotomy is good/evil. In that dichotomy, both terms are assumed to be absolutes: good is assumed to be good in the eyes of all observers, and evil is considered to be evil in the eyes of all observers. (I would argue that this is a false dichotomy, or very likely a false dichotomy, in that the absolute nature of good in the dichotomy might be challenged, and the absolute nature of evil in the dichotomy might be challenged.) Therefore, at the least, good and evil need to be defined, and distinguished from the good and bad of the good/bad dichotomy. If good and evil are absolutes, there can be no disagreement on what constitutes good and evil.

(There is a rather elegant review of this subject--the good/bad dichotomy and the good/evil dichotomy--in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.)

********************************************

Premises Three and Four are completely unnecessary, and, given that Premise One assumes the existence of god, a rather sad case of circular reasoning, if the point is to establish the existence of god. That ought to have already been assumed.

**************************************************

The conclusion and Premise Five would be reasonable, if you can establish the first two premises.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 02:00 pm
@airnautique,
Good game ! Laughing

I suggest think about the terms "existence" and "thing" and whether they are transcendent of binary logic.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 02:25 pm
Not a bad idea, but i suspect the author here just wants to work up an acceptable paper to turn in.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 02:28 pm
@Setanta,
Agreed. The fact that "logic" and "religion" go together like herring and ice-cream leads to many a futile exercise.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 02:41 pm
I see this as a logic exercise, and far, far from the realm of semiotics. Sorry . . . semi-idiotics.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 03:00 pm
@Setanta,
Maybe, but why take an argument which is potentially contentious to theists as a straight "logic" exercise ?

I can't be bothered with a "validity check" but supposing it turns out to be "valid", what a theist is likely to do is resort to questioning whether "benevolence" must exclude "evil" by evoking a "cruel to be kind" or "God moves in mysterious ways" clause. (a variant of your dichotomies argument)

I repeat ...it's herring and ice cream !
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 03:08 pm
@fresco,
I agree completely. Making a logic exercise based in exegetical uncertainties is in very bad taste--worse than fish and ice cream (i withhold my opinion until you specify kippers or herring pickled in sour cream). By the way, that crapola--God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform--is not scripture, it's from a poem by William Cowper, the old fakir.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 03:14 pm
@Setanta,
Thanks for that Cowper ref.
0 Replies
 
Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 04:12 pm
@airnautique,
Your argument is valid if you change your second premise to:

P2*: If God created everything, then good and evil exists.

However, the way I went about proving the argument did not involve P3 or P4. I used a conditional proof and reductio ad absurdum, which involved the other premises. Hope this helps! Smile
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 05:16 pm
@airnautique,
If I was give that assignment, I'd return this:

P1 My teacher gave me an assignemt to construct an argument about god.
P3 "God" is undefined, and by definition defies definition. (Paradox? Nah. The same thing happens to Einsteins relativity when you run it through a black hole. It breaks down and stops making sense.)
C There is reason to doubt my teacher's proficiency at logical thinking.

Actually, could you hand in that for me, along with your own? Say it's from Cyracuz, and that I think he should get his act together if he's going to be molding our future. Wink

0 Replies
 
airnautique
 
  0  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 06:20 pm
@Ding an Sich,
Thank you so much for catching Premise 2 mistake, when I had transferred it from my notebook, I left God created out and thank you for seeing that!!! This is for my first online Intro to Logic class and we have just been learning the basics and havent gone in depth so I appreciate your help and everyones help although some of it is way over my head for now~
Thanks Again,
@airnautique
airnautique
 
  0  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 06:29 pm
@Setanta,
Thank you for your input, I really appreciate it.!! This is for my first Intro to Logic Class and its online. We have not gone in depth we just have learned the basics etc. and I up to now had only had experience with arguments with 2 premises and a conclusion so I was having difficulty trying to figure out if my format is correct and made sense. One of the other repliers caught my mistake on premise 2 when I was transferring it on here I left out If (God created) and just put If everything exists. So if you have any additional insight I would appreciate your input. Also, we had not covered dichotomies at all.
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 06:43 pm
@airnautique,
Quote:
This is for my first online Intro to Logic class


Are you MOOCing?
0 Replies
 
airnautique
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Dec, 2012 05:05 pm
@airnautique,
I have reworked my argument for my assignment in response to the other replies. I want to make sure that this is deductively valid. If you could let me know yes it is valid or no not valid would be helpful. Thank you.

P1: If God exists, then God is omniscient.
P2: If God is omniscient, then God created everything.
P3: If God created everything, then good exists.
P4: If good exists, then evil exists.
P5: If evil exists and God created everything, then God is not omnibenevolent. * (has to be one premise)
C: If God exists, God is not omnibenevolent. *(has to be conclusion)

Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2012 02:08 am
@airnautique,
airnautique wrote:

I have reworked my argument for my assignment in response to the other replies. I want to make sure that this is deductively valid. If you could let me know yes it is valid or no not valid would be helpful. Thank you.

P1: If God exists, then God is omniscient.
P2: If God is omniscient, then God created everything.
P3: If God created everything, then good exists.
P4: If good exists, then evil exists.
P5: If evil exists and God created everything, then God is not omnibenevolent. * (has to be one premise)
C: If God exists, God is not omnibenevolent. *(has to be conclusion)




Geeeez...

P1 Why ? (depends on definition)
P2 Why ? (not necessarily)
P3 Why ? (good exists if good exists, everything might not be good or bad, its a relative assumption)
P4 (I admit P4 is reasonable but there is no reason to assume good exists per se)
P5 Agree
C Agree

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2012 04:23 am
@airnautique,
That looks good, with the caveat that premise one is not a premise, but a definition of god. If you start by defining god as omnipotent and omniscient, and then proceed to your premises, i think you'll have a good argument.
0 Replies
 
tomr
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2012 12:15 pm
@airnautique,
airnautique wrote:
P2: If God is omniscient, then God created everything.


Being all-knowing or "omniscient" is not a sufficient reason to conclude that God has created everything. Define god first as something that is all-knowing and who has created everything. Then go through a series of steps from that point to make some conclusion.
0 Replies
 
burtonrichard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Dec, 2012 07:51 pm
@airnautique,
For simplicities sake can we not consider 'good' and 'evil' in terms of commonly associated acts? I believe this is the intended view of the tutor and you are wasting premises trying to establish the existence of either. This is my first post - am I right in assuming that I'm to avoid just giving my answer? I suggest you use your first premise to define god as omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient- and the remaining three to show that he chooses not to prevent evil. Maybe looking at the riddle of Epicurus or the Logical problem of Evil will help.
0 Replies
 
 

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