3 AM Philosophy

The only thing we can safely say about babies and rocks are that they are not theist, not atheists, and not agnostic.


In the scope of babies and rocks being “atheist”, with respect to God beliefs, the only thing we can safely, without incurring excessive baggage, say about babies (which Oppy argues are “innocent” with respect to the proposition), and rocks are that they are not theist, not atheist, and not agnostic:
A V ~A which means A or NOT A
If we instantiate A with theist we get:
Theist or Not Theist
(I sometimes use p V ~p here heuristically, but I know that is technically wrong as “Theist” is not a proposition)
When these atheist here change Not Theist = Atheist they are committing themselves by entailment to the position that babies AND ROCKS and COMPUTERS and CARS and QUARKS etc are all atheists.
Instead of having a dichotomy, atheist often do the reverse of the “Matt Slick” fallacy with his TAG argument and they make the dichotomy into a disjunctive syllogism.
Matt Slick does this with TAG (assuming arguendo that ‘God’ and ‘Not God’ are even propositions):
p V q
God either accounts for the laws of logic or ‘Not God’ accounts for the laws of logic”
(This is a disjunctive syllogism, if given on two possible things, and one must be true…if one is shown to be not true, then the other MUST be true).
Matt then takes ‘Not God’ to be ~p and to be a dichotomy and substitutes it for q (you can’t do this as this is a fallacious move):
p V q
Matt does a fallacious substitution:
~p = q
He then says ‘Not God’ can not account for the laws of logic, therefore God MUST account for the laws of logic.
So his argument looks like this:
p V q
p V ~p
:. p
Which is called a tautology and is the same as saying:
:. p
or p, there p
Which is trivially true, but not much of an argument.
Atheist do the some what of the reverse when they have:
A V ~A ≡ T (Law of Negation)
Theist or Not-Theist (Instantiation) 

Then if one tries to make NOT theist = Atheist, which is an arbitrary semantic substitution, and merely a conceptual relative necessity merely true in virtue of the meanings ascribed to the words by someone rather than some type true logical dichotomy by metaphysical necessity, leaving you with a disjunction of theist V atheist…while not logically invalid it comes with a price (baggage). By doing so it commits the atheist that anything that is not a theist MUST therefore be atheist. This includes everything not in the set of theism such as babies, rocks, atoms, quarks…while some atheist I know accept this baggage, and even promote “we are all born atheist”, some do not. Accepting that these thing are atheist *IS* actually consistent with their preferred schema, but then leads to issues such as taking a census…if one asked how many atheists are their in the world the only consistent answer would have to be something along the lines of “countless” or “immeasurable”.


For the atheist that accepts that non theism=atheism, but not that babies, rocks, atoms, quarks etc are atheist they are then stuck with a different problem as they would then have an internally inconsistent system since for any set {A} there is a complimentary set {A’} both comprising the Universal set {U}:


A’ = {x ∈ U | x ∉ A}
Which means in this schema it makes no difference if an object is self-aware, intelligent, sentient, have or does not have executive functions, or anything else. All that matters if that object is not in set {A) therefore it MUST be in in the complimentary set {A’}…so all objects that are not theist are atheist in the paradigm where an atheist accepts Non-theism=atheism.

(In philosophy atheism is not defined this way to eliminate this type of baggage, but defined to be the belief that theism is false, or ostensibly the belief that ontologically God(s) do not exist)  


If you are interested in the logic here using a hypothetical syllogism pattern:
1. ∀x(R(x) ⇒ N(x))
2. ∀x(N(x) ⇒ A(x))
3. ∀x(R(x) ⇒ A(x))
All Rocks are Nontheists
All Nontheist are Atheists
All Rocks are AtheistsOr

  1. (For all rocks, if it’s a rock, then it’s a nontheist.)
  2. (For all nontheists, if it’s a nontheist, then it’s an atheist.)
  3. (For all rocks, if it’s a rock, then it’s an atheist.)
The form works with any instantiation. (aka “panvalid”)
Rocks= A
Atheist =C
*I DO NOT HOLD THAT ROCKS ARE ATHEIST, just showing the logic of why it must be the case if you accept NONTHEIST=ATHEIST*

______________________Or simpler:

p1) A V ~A (LEM)
P2) Theist or Not-Theist (Instantiation)
P3) Rocks are Not-Theist (Assertion)
P4) Not-Theist = Atheist (Assertion)
P5) Rock Are Atheist (Conclusion)

Either way, holding to nontheism=atheism leads to absurdities.

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