In about 8 months where I’ve debated theists, I encountered two types of arguments: The first type is the argument, that is designed to convert you to theism. Those arguments while I don’t find them sound can be convincing and lead to belief. The most famous examples are of course the teleological argument and the (Kalam) Cosmological argument. The other type of course has an entirely different purpose: They are designed to A) preventing the one who uses it from leaving his faith and B) for winning debates. ” examples of those arguments are the ontological argument and the transcendental argument (TAG).
I am amazed how popular TAG is and while I was speechless the first time someone brought it up, I find it borderline ridiculous in retrospective. Here is TAG in a nutshell:
- Logical absolutes exist.
- These laws of logic are conceptual in nature, not physical. They do not exist anywhere in the physical world.
- Because these absolutes are conceptual, they must have been conceived in a mind.
- However, these laws are perfect and absolute. Human minds are not perfect or absolute.
- Logical absolutes are true everywhere and are not dependent on human minds.
- Therefore, these laws of logic must exist in a perfect, absolute, transcendental mind.
- That mind is called God.
I realize that Carm.org has a much longer version but this suffices for my purposes.
The biggest problem that I see with this argument is equivocation of the laws of logic and the observed “attributes of logic”.
The truth is, that the laws of logic are descriptive in nature of the “attributes of logic” and they are man made. There are 3 laws of logic:
The law of identity: A is A
The law of non- contradiction: Nothing can both be and not be
the law of excluded middle: Everything must either be or not be
Now those laws are man made. They are invented by us to govern our reasoning. The attributes however are not man made. The attributes of logic are axiomatic which means they are true due to the impossibility of the contrary.
Think about it: What would it require to claim that the law of identity is false?
It would require it to be true because if is false then the law of identiy is true. A = A must be true in order to make the statement that A = not A. The latter statement assumes the truth of the former in order to claim it’s falsity (Kinda confusing I know but I think you’ll get it).
The same holds true for the law of non-contradiction and the law of excluded middle as well. Nothing about them requires a deity and if you disagree then you would need to show, how an apple could be a non apple at the same time. As far as I’m concerned this is impossible.
TAG is about the worst and least persuasive argument I’ve ever seen. But even if it were completely sound, it once again leaves us with a non-sequitur. Why would this perfect, absolute, transcendental mind be a deity? Why can’t this mind be the mind of an absolute perfect transcendental horse, that we of course wouldn’t recognize as God?
And what’s even worse theists once again account for an unknown with an unknown ,even though the first unknown is very well known and easily explainable, if you think about it.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation