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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


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Mark Perakh's Web Site


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Title Author Date
Rebutting the blatantly empty discourse Rossow, Amiel Jul 04, 2004
Dear Francois:

You wrote: "Unless we are using a different language here, it is not an inclusion but
a definition. That is what 'nothing' means. A state of nothingness implies the total absence of both potentiality and actuality. Otherwise there is 'something'."

I think 'inclusion' and 'definition' are not
mutually exclusive notions; you cannot say something is not an inclusion but a definition as an inclusion can very well be a part of a definition. If a statement is a definition it does not prevent if from containing (or not
containing) an inclusion of some subordinate notion. What I meant was that you have included a certain notion into your definition, a notion which was not inherent in your definition - the latter could have been adopted without that additional notion. You suggest efining "nothing" as including absence of any potentiality. It is not the only possible choice. I am sure that you are perfectly
able to choose a definition of "nothing" which does not include the absolute absence of any potentiality. A definition is after all a matter of choice.

You also wrote:

"It is certainly not 'empty' since its truth-value disproves the opposite roposition, 'something can come out of nothing'." It is a tautology because, if your definition is adopted (which includes the
notion of absence of any potentiality) it makes your statement true by definition and therefore adding nothing to what has already been included
into the definition. A tautology is empty in that it simply reiterates the premise.

Finally you wrote:
"Just cut the long words and simply say I am begging the question. Geesh. And no, I am not begging the question, I am simply pointing out that 'something can come out of nothing' is illogical, given the meaning of each."

I suspect that if one measures the frequency of "long words" (or, rather of fancy terms) in your writing and in my comments to them, the result is far from being clear-cut. As to the essence of that passage, you simply repeat
the same statement I commented to originally. The "meaning of each" is a matter of definition, and, as I said before, you include into your definition of "nothing" the notion of an absolute absence of any potentiality which is not necessarily inherent in the term "nothing" and may legitimately be not included.

I am sure you see that we are going in circles, so, imo, a continuation of this exchange of opinions is hardly justified - you repeat the same notions and I reply with variations of the same counter-notions. So, I suggest that
we agree to disagree and stop at that. Recall that I only made one critical comment regarding your article and like it otherwise, so you should not get angry, not to mention condescending and rude.

Best wishes.

Related Articles: Dr. Craig's Unsupported Premise

Title Author Date
Rebutting the blatantly empty discourse Tremblay, Francois Jul 19, 2004
I don't mean to be rude, but I am not the one who started repeating himself. You keep arguing that I went out of my way to make a logical rebuttal to Craig by changing the definition of "nothing". Unless you can point to a definition of "nothing" which is better adapted to the context of our metaphysical discussion, and which does not include absence of potentiality, then you might have a case. Otherwise, there is no point in this discussion.

In either case, thank you for the letter and interest.
Related Articles: Dr. Craig's Unsupported Premise