Inductive Logic 101 (Updated 23-Apr-14)

Here is a very quick and very rough overview of inductive logic. Almost all of it is taken from sources other than me; I'll try to identify where the material came from. The Difference between Deductive and Inductive ArgumentsLogic Type Unsuccessful Arguments Successful ArgumentsDeductive Logic Invalid* Valid*Inductive Logic Incorrect Correct*I'm oversimplifying this somewhat by ignoring the question of whether the premises are trueThe late philosopher … [Read more...]

Simplicity, Theism, and Naturalism

In a recent post on his blog, Alexander Pruss presents an interesting argument regarding simplicity, theism, and naturalism. He writes: I have argued elsewhere, as my colleague Trent Dougherty also has and earlier, that when we understand simplicity rightly, theism makes for a simpler theory than naturalism. However, suppose I am wrong, and naturalism is the simpler theory. Is that a reason to think naturalism true? I suspect not. For it is theism that explains how simplicity can be a guide to … [Read more...]

A Good F-Inductive Argument for Theism based on Consciousness

I was waiting for someone to bring this up in the combox on my recent post on Swinburne's cosmological argument, but no one did. The argument from consciousness (to theism) is a parallel argument to the cosmological argument against theism.In the cosmological argument against theism, I pointed out that naturalism entails a physical universe whereas theism does not. Since a physical universe exists, it follows that the universe is evidence favoring naturalism over theism.The parallel … [Read more...]

New Scientific Evidence for the Multiverse

I have always been a multiverse skeptic. If this article in New Scientist is accurate, however, it appears the recent confirmation of chaotic inflation also provided some evidence for a multiverse.LINK (HT: Ex-Apologist) … [Read more...]

F-Inductive Arguments: A New Type of Inductive Argument

In his extensive writings, the prestigious philosopher Richard Swinburne makes a useful distinction between two types of inductive arguments. Let B be our background information or evidence; E be the evidence to be explained; and H be an explanatory hypothesis.“C-inductive argument”: an argument in which the premisses confirm  or add to the probability of the conclusion, i.e., P(H | E & B) > P(H | B).“P-inductive argument”: an argument in which the premisses make the conclusion pro … [Read more...]

Theistic Prejudice: A Case Study with Stan

Over at Randal Rauser's blog, Stan wrote the following: Free thinking does not mean disciplined logical thought; it means being free to think that whatever you might think at the moment is Truth, including that there is no truth. Free Thought is much like removing the timing from your engine's combustion system to allow it "freedom".Logic demands discipline and guidance under the rules of deductive reasoning. Atheists have no concept of this, for the most part, and those who do, cannot … [Read more...]

Stan on Materialism and Morality

A reader named Stan recently posted many comments on another page on this blog about materialism and morality. I'm going to copy and paste several of his comments together to provide a convenient summary of his argument. Stan's Definitions Here is a summary of Stan's definitions. Materialism: functional materialism is the set of constraints on science; Philosophical Materialism claims that there is no possible existence which is not physical or derived straight from physical … [Read more...]

Cosmological Arguments: The Naturalists Strike Back

A couple of days ago, I blogged some potential objections to Swinburne's inductive cosmological argument. I concluded that post with an argument that the existence of a physical universe is evidence favoring naturalism over theism.Tonight, ex-apologist has blogged about the prospects for a Leibnizian cosmological argument against theism. Take a look! … [Read more...]