Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

8 Comments

  1. Dale
    May 24, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    Hi Marisa,
    < blockquote>1. It is possible God is a unitarian spirit.
    2. Angels are also unitarian spirits.
    3. If God is a unitarian spirit then He is no greater than angels
    4. But God created the angels.
    5. So God must be greater than the angels.
    6. Therefore God is more than a unitarian spirit.

    We can just take out the first two premises here, and 3 to 6 is a valid argument. One can always take an invalid argument and turn it into a valid argument by adding one or more premises to it. The problem is that oftentimes those premises are very implausible, even obviously false like your 3 here. God is supposed to be essentially omniscient, omnipotent, and necessarily existent (etc.). But presumably no angel would have any of those perfections.

    About your second argument, it is unclear why one should 2 true. The three dimensions are spatial. I don’t see why there could not be an everlasting and omnipresent being which literally exists at all points in space. But if this is possible then 2 is false.

    The guy wants to claim that God has those three dimensions, and more, but it is not clear that this is correct, since God is a spirit.

    Again, I suggest that you are evaluating arguments based on your liking their conclusion. This is a difficult fallacy to avoid (special pleading). Judging by the response of a crowd is not the best way either…

  2. Marisa
    May 23, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

    I still disagree. I don’t see blatant non-sequitors in the video. I think one could construe the thoughts of the video into non-sequitors, but I don’t see it as blatant. Take no. 3 from your article. You say:

    1. God is a spirit.
    2. Angels are spirits.
    3. Therefore, God is no greater than the greatest angel.

    I don’t see this in the video. In fact, it came out like this to me:

    1. It is possible God is a unitarian spirit.
    2. Angels are also unitarian spirits.
    3. If God is a unitarian spirit then He is no greater than angels
    4. But God created the angels.
    5. So God must be greater than the angels.
    6. Therefore God is more than a unitarian spirit.

    Take no. 5. You say:
    1. God is omnipresent.
    2. Therefore, God is hyper-dimensional (exists in more than three dimensions).

    But the video teaches:
    1. The Bible says God is omnipresent.
    2. No 3D being can be omnipresent.
    3. Therefore for God to be omnipresent, He must be greater than 3 dimensions.

    It was really easy to follow the logic of the video, so this is why I don’t see your point and I think you are turning molehills into mountains by claiming the video is full of non-sequitors. One could easily construe the message of the video into making it sound like it is full of non-sequitors, but that is only because the video doesn’t repeat its logic over and over again. It expects the viewer the follow the logic instead of having to recap every step.
    I came across this article because I was looking for a good example to show to my class of what a non-sequitor is. However, after watching the video I have to disagree with your logic, since it was very easy to follow the logic in the video. I was even allowed to show it to my 8th grade class and they all understood just fine. So, I’m sorry, but I still think you are mistaken. This video is fine and simple to follow.

  3. Xavier
    May 21, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    Marisa

    Are you talking about the video I posted? 😛

  4. Marisa
    May 21, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    Honestly, I think that the video you are talking about is easier to understand than your article. The video is simple, clear, and understandable, so I am not sure why you have such a problem with it. I showed the video to my husband and he understood it just fine, but had issues with understanding your points in this article. I think you might be making a mole hill into a mountain. The video is fine and, quite honestly, it helped me understand the Holy Trinity better. I am very thankful for it.

    By the way, I think you have an error. You say, “A non sequitur (Latin for: “it doesn’t follow”) is an invalid argument, one in which the premises don’t imply the conclusion, that is, where one could consistently accept all the premises and yet deny the conclusion.”

    But then you say, “Here are most of them – not that in each case, the step starting with “Therefore” is not implied by the premises.” – This is a double negative.

    I think you meant, “Here are most of them – note that in each case, the step starting with “Therefore” is not implied by the premises.

    • Dale
      May 21, 2012 @ 8:51 am

      Hi Marisa,

      Thanks for the comment, and for catching the typo.

      Beware of evaluating arguments by whether or not you agree with the conclusion! That will lead you to accept a lot of foolish arguments. If you can see that one could consistently accept each premise, while denying the conclusion, then you must grant that the argument in question does not establish or prove the conclusion, right?

      I’ll wager that you would pounce on such arguments if they were offered, say, by an atheist. But a junk argument is a junk argument no matter who is offering it, or how much we may agree with the conclusion.

      I again recommend this: http://www.jimpryor.net/teaching/vocab/validity.html

  5. Marg
    May 14, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

    Tonight I found the other three videos by clicking on options at the side, so I have had my short course on arguments: valid, sound and cogent. I will try not to misuse the word “valid” again.

    I find that philosophy makes mathematics look very attractive.

  6. Xavier
    May 14, 2012 @ 8:34 am

  7. Marg
    May 13, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed utube 1A, but I was hoping that the other three would continue the series. Instead, they all seem to be the same.

    You have whetted my appetite, Dale. Could you give the links to the other three sessions?