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← Refuting supernatural

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Jos Gibbons


None of this is pertinent to my earlier rebuttal since the fallacy of begging the question is an informal fallacy

It’s quite pertinent. Because to complain about an “informal fallacy” is a criticism of the premises rather than the form of the argument, you actually need to explain what is implausible about a premise when you make this complaint. Do you or do you not have an alternative definition of the supernatural in mind?

you are, then, simply making a statement of your lack of personal belief not attempting to present a general argument showing that belief in the supernatural is untenable.

Actually, that’s not true; that a claim is unevidenced is not merely an excuse for not believing it, but a reason why to believe it is irrational, and hence the source of an obligation of all not to believe it.

My point was just that there needs to be an examination of what the supernaturalist presents as evidence for supernaturalism not merely an a priori assertion that “there is no evidence”.

That was not all of your point; you said, “of course, it isn't true that there is "no evidence" for the supernatural”, which means you are saying it is true, in fact “of course” true, that evidence for the supernatural exists. That is going a lot further than it taking hard work to adjudicate on whether something claimed to be such evidence in fact is; it’s to say it actually is. And you can’t get out of this by saying, “well, it is evidence, but the debate concerns whether it’s good evidence”, because “bad evidence” is a contradiction in terms; that which does not give good reason to warrant a conclusion isn’t evidence of it.

I would probably find any definition from a reputable philosophical dictionary acceptable.

Then Google one and copy-paste it here (linking to the source) and show it can’t be used to reach the conclusions for which the present definition was used. DO you even know such a definition? If not, how do you know the one used here is “wrong”?

Come to think of it, what is a reputable philosophical dictionary? (There's little enough consensus on what is reputable philosophy.) Not that there seem many to choose from online, & the ones I just looked at don't even seem to have definitions of the supernatural you could use to "prove" your "point". But if you can track one down I'll be all eyes.

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 06:14:52 UTC | #949035