Sherlock Holmes, ‘inference to the best explanation’, false dichotomies and God

There’s a way of thinking called abductive reasoning, commonly referred to as “the inference to the best explanation”. Sherlock Holmes famously uses it, and his use is fallacious. There are many structures of argument that would fall under abductive reasoning, which this post will look at, briefly, focussing on their errors. It will then focus… Continue reading Sherlock Holmes, ‘inference to the best explanation’, false dichotomies and God

Advertisements

The Ontological Argument for God – and why it’s nonsense

There is an argument for God called the ‘Ontological argument’ and it received an ambivalent welcome whenever it is trotted out, which seems increasingly rarely. It isn’t at all compelling, and yet that appears to be irrational because it’s rare to see someone actually attack the premises or the structure. However, that, today, is what… Continue reading The Ontological Argument for God – and why it’s nonsense

How do you identify intent?

In February, I read the case of the ‘Inexplicable Omelette’, in which the author played off a difficult question: how can you tell whether something has come into its current form ― been constructed or altered ― with intent? His argument was that some things are too complex to consider unintended, and even an omelette… Continue reading How do you identify intent?

Can I trust my brain?

According to some apologists, the mind can only work if it is designed or permitted to work by a God. The mind can only access ‘logic’ and reason because such things are authored and exist in some sort of platonic realm. If the world were different to this ― i.e. if it were strictly natural… Continue reading Can I trust my brain?

Is Infinity Real?

Although infinity is a mathematical term, it is very useful in entering the philosophy of what “real” is. To decide whether infinity is real, we must first decide whether any numbers are real and what criteria they either do or do not fit. For that, we need to know what makes something ‘real’? Does it… Continue reading Is Infinity Real?