Once upon a time, atheists prided themselves on being more rational, more logical, more truth-loving, than believers.
Those days are long done.
First the link, then the quote. [My comment in brackets – AP]
So why do people like LH make such staggeringly stupid, borderline psychotic claims? [That the Law of Identity A=A, is not always true. – AP] Well, LH feels free to psychoanalyze me, and I will now return the favor. LH rejects the concept of absolute and infallible truth, because absolute and infallible truth acts as a check on his autonomous will. If A always equals A, then maybe, just maybe, it is also always evil to kill little boys and girls, chop them into pieces and sell the pieces. I assure you that it is no coincidence that LH rejects both assertions. Because the rejection of any potential limit on LH’s autonomous will drives the nihilistic antinomianism at the core of his worldview.
[After quoting Isaiah 5:18-30 – AP]
The price for apostasy and twisting truth into falsity, calling darkness light and light darkness is destructive defeat by way of fatally weakening oneself through marches of folly that “draw iniquity with cords of falsehood.”
A is A, A = A.
Calling A by its right name and acknowledging its right definition is a first step to wisdom.
A sound, thorough and accurate vocabulary or dictionary or encyclopedia — Wiki[d . . . ]pedia this speaks to you — is a revolutionary act of courage in an evil day.
A is A.
The tail of a sheep is not, cannot be a leg.
A leg is a leg.
It all starts with truthfully acknowledging (or with ill-advised refusal to acknowledge . . .) distinct identity.
A = A.>>
A = A is indeed important and highly relevant in a world where it can be an act of sometimes almost suicidal courage to acknowledge, state and act on the simple truth.
What interests me is that what amounts to nothing more, really, than some technical possibility that is utterly impractical in every-day life is so important to Keiths and others of his ilk. Their clamor against self-evident truths, the principles of logic and absolute certainty on any matter signifies something, but not a meaningful argument about how people actually must behave and think in the real world.
What’s become clear to me is that these are expressions of something more fundamental to their psyche – what I call a “truth denialism”, which rests entirely on being convinced that a thing is possible. For example, regardless of the overwhelming appearance of design in biology, it is possible that chance and natural law could have generated the appearance of design. That possibility of “deception” or “error” about the appearance of a thing is enough for them to deny the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Even though they employ their free will and use it as if it is autonomous, and even though their actions and arguments require the assumption that it exists; it is possible that it is simply the happenstance product of interacting molecules that determine thought and action.
Even though every moment of their existence and word they use to argue screams otherwise – screams for libertarian free will, for objective morality, for the absolute validity of the principles of logic – they insist that the bare possibility that those things are not true or absolutely valid justifies their denialist perspective, even though such a perspective is ultimately self-defeating and self-referentially incoherent.
Post-modernists have built entire philosophies and terminologies dedicated to the capacity to obfuscate, redefine and deny truth. KN called using classical logic to demonstrate the incoherent nature of “other forms of rationality” (such as, something being deemed rational because it simply conforms to a cultural norm) normative violence. IOW, it was oppressive (his word) to deny the validity of “other forms of rationality” because they were not rational according to logic.
IMO, Keiths et al use “bare possibility” as a means to justify their intellectual aversion to truth, because truth inexorably leads to god. They wish to deny god, and so they must avoid truth; avoiding truth means clinging to possibilities, terminologies, interpretations and philosophies that deny truth or redefines it.
What can logic prove to those who deny truth exists? What can logic prove to those who deny that logical principles are binding? What can logic prove to those who deny “I exist”, or “causation exists”, or “error exists” or “A=A” are necessarily true propositions?
There’s simply no argument that can penetrate such a wall of denial based entirely on “possibility”. Nor should we be able to breach their self-imposed lunacy. Free will, among other things, is the capacity to deny anything, even to the point of insanity and evil. All we can do is recognize it and point it out; there is no “convincing” them otherwise. It’s their choice.
In the end, BA at 10, replying to the insinuation of arrogance for the thought crime of thinking LOI, LNC and LEM are self-evident, is right:
your rhetorical device is transparent and unseemly. Everyone sees what you are trying to do. You are trying to equate certainty about infallible truth with arrogance and uncertainty about infallible truth as humility. Just exactly the opposite is true. There are infallible self-evident truths, and I bow to them and accept them and the limits those truths place on the exertion of my autonomous will. You arrogantly assert there are no infallibly certain limits on your autonomous will and then pretend you are merely being humble. That sound you just heard is the needle on the irony meter breaking the stop.
Whom the gods would destroy, first they rob of reason.
The Law of Identity, Law of Non-Contradiction and Law of the Excluded Middle are not on trial, we are.