2
   

Is this a sound deductive argument? VERY basic philosophy beginners question

 
 
jber
 
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 02:06 pm
Hi there, I am taking my first class in philosophy and am wondering if what I am writing is a sound deductive argument? (for grading purposes) This is my first paper. So a very basic question that only needs a simple answer!
Thank you to anyone willing to help! I know this probably isnt a very good argument.. but its just a first attempt at philosophy so it doesnt need to be perfect. As long as this generally is somewhat of a sound deductive argument

Premises:
1. Humans have an inadequate mind for determining the nature of God
2. God cannot be conceived. God is not measurable. To measure Gods existence would make us omnipotent (all powerful) ourselves. We can only speak of a human way of understanding God.

My argument/conclusion: An energy beyond us could exist. But we as humans cannot certainly know this.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 1,787 • Replies: 10
No top replies

 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 02:21 pm
@jber,
IMO Your argument does not follow a normal deductive pattern like a syllogism (for example) and may be just a tautology. Also the word 'energy' does not occur in the premises, so you cannot use it in the conclusion. Indeed 'energy' seems to contradict 'not knowing the nature of God'. You could perhaps get out of that by replacing 'energy' with 'power'

Beyond the beginner level, to get into any substantial philosophical discussion, I suggest you need to explore the verbs 'to know' (epistemology) and 'to exist' (ontology). That would make the 'God issue' secondary to much wider problems.
jber
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 02:44 pm
@fresco,
Very good point on the word of energy being used! I will change that to power...
That is of course if I can find a way to make this a sound deductive argument..or a cogent inductive argument. Any suggestions on how I could get this to be in the correct form of a deductive argument?
0 Replies
 
jber
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 02:51 pm
@jber,
In changing the word energy to power, this is what it is

Premises:
1. Humans have an inadequate mind for determining the nature of God
2. God cannot be conceived. God is not measurable. To measure Gods existence would make us omnipotent (all powerful) ourselves. We can only speak of a human way of understanding God.

My argument/conclusion: A power beyond us could exist. But we as humans cannot certainly know this.


I feel that my first premise supports the conclusion, but maybe my second premise is an issue?

Here is a general sentence of the idea written.
First of all, the human mind is inadequate for determining the nature of God. Second of all, we can only speak of a human way of understanding God, and to measure Gods existence would make us as humans omnipotent, which we are not. So, a power beyond us could exist, but we as humans cannot certainly know this.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 03:12 pm
@jber,
Code:
Quote:
God cannot be conceived. God is not measurable. To measure Gods existence would make us omnipotent (all powerful) ourselves.


1. there are not really two premises here. "2" is just an elaboration on 1.

2. You need to add the qualification "by humans" (or "by the human mind, by mere mortals," or something similar) to this claim: "God is not measurable."

3. Your conclusion follows from your premise(s), regardless of form.

4. A more traditonal (syllogistic) form might go something like this.

Major Premise: Humans have an inadequate mind for determining the nature of God

Minor Premise: I (you, all of us) am (are) human(s)

Conclusion: Therefore I (we) cannot (i.e., have a mind which is inadequate to) determine the nature of God.
jber
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 03:21 pm
@layman,
ahhhh I see now, yes this makes much more sense! Now I see what I was doing wrong... thank you very much for your help layman
layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 03:59 pm
@jber,
jber wrote:

ahhhh I see now, yes this makes much more sense! Now I see what I was doing wrong... thank you very much for your help layman


You're welcome. Glad it helped.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 04:43 pm
@jber,
Boiled down to it's essentials, your argument seems to be something like:

1. Finite minds cannot fully comprehend infinite things.
2. Human minds are finite.
3. God is infinite.
4. Therefore the human mind cannot fully comprehend God.

Logical arguments must have at least two premises, and in it's simplest form (syllogisms), that's ALL they have.

But, in practice, a valid logical argument (i.e. one in which the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises), generally has any number of premises. Often the "next" premise is the conclusion from the initial logical proposition, and so on.

I believe the argument I just presented is logically valid.

For an essay, you don't usually state your premises in a single sentence. You generally explain them and give reasons why they are acceptable.

That appears to be what you are doing. That's fine. It doesn't make anything you say "illogical" just because it's not in the form of a syllogism.
jber
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 05:16 pm
@layman,
Thank you, you have made some really great points and I think this will now be much easier to write. Thanks for the tip of not writing it in one sentence.. I wasn't really sure how to set it up in a paper. I am learning better from these explanations on how to turn the idea I initially had into an actual logical argument. All these tips are great and im learning a lot. Thank you
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2018 02:08 am
@jber,
Your difficulty here also stems from the point that 'logic' and 'a God concept' rarely sit well together, because in logic a 'truth concept' is axiomatic, which separates it from the concept of 'belief'.
Here's a clip which might give you the flavour of that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzynRPP9XkY
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Jan, 2018 11:37 pm
@jber,
jber wrote:
Hi there, I am taking my first class in philosophy and am wondering if what I am writing is a sound deductive argument? (for grading purposes) This is my first paper. So a very basic question that only needs a simple answer!
Thank you to anyone willing to help! I know this probably isnt a very good argument.. but its just a first attempt at philosophy so it doesnt need to be perfect. As long as this generally is somewhat of a sound deductive argument

Premises:
1. Humans have an inadequate mind for determining the nature of God
2. God cannot be conceived. God is not measurable. To measure Gods existence would make us omnipotent (all powerful) ourselves. We can only speak of a human way of understanding God.

My argument/conclusion: An energy beyond us could exist. But we as humans cannot certainly know this.

There is no evidence to support either of your two hypotheses, nor to support the idea that the conclusion can be drawn from them.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Is this a sound deductive argument? VERY basic philosophy beginners question
Copyright © 2018 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/15/2018 at 10:44:20