RE: virus: Incredulity

David McFadzean (
Thu, 06 Mar 1997 18:29:53 -0700

At 03:28 PM 06/03/97 -0800, Richard Brodie wrote:
>David McF wrote:
>>What about the Incoherence Argument such as the proof
>>of the non-existence of BOD:
>>1. BOD is a benevolent omnipotent deity.
>>2. Since It is benevolent, it wishes to end human suffering.
>>3. Since It is omnipotent, it has the power to end human suffering.
>>4. Human suffering exists.
>>5. Therefore BOD does not exist.
>>The conclusion follows because *we can't imagine* propositions
>>1-4 being simultaneously true, so it is an argument from
>>incredulity (like, I claim, all logical arguments).
>This syllogism suffers from more than an illogical faith in logic.
>Supposition #1 is fantastic. Conclusions #2 and #3 are questionable.

Axioms 1-3 are merely definition of BOD, benevolent and omnipotent
respectively. They are not open to question within the context of
the argument. All the argument is saying is that IF 1-4 are true
then 5 is also true.

>But even so, aren't you being needlessly reductionist? Logic has value
>beyond the simple gut feeling of incredulity often used irrationally to
>argue against things like the origin of species.

I'm suggesting that incredulity is justified in some cases. Like if
a situation is logically impossible, then is it reasonable to be
incredulous. Or when someone claims that a miracle happened in the
past which breaks physical laws (definition of miracle) then it is
reasonable to say, "I can't believe that is true." Would you discard
that argument out of hand?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus