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3 AM Philosophy

How to Trigger Atheists (Part II, Atheism Can’t be True/Inconsistent Logical Systems)

How to Trigger Atheists (Part II)

Another interesting thing that I found that triggers lack of belief atheists is when you point out they have an inconsistent logical system. That means that given any system of premises that they can not all be true at the same time.

Example:

1) A square has only 4 sides.
2) A square has only 3 sides.

One of those propositions has to be false, as there is a contradiction of both 1 and 2 were true.

Lack of belief atheist often will say atheism is not a proposition, but merely a response to a theist proposition, in that they merely do not believe the proposition of theism is true. They would be correct that merely refusing p (not-accepting) the proposition of theism is true, would indeed would mean atheism is not propositional, but a psychological state of unbelief. Ok…so far so good. That is all seemingly logically consistent so far…but then that would mean if atheism is not propositional, that atheism can not be True or False since only a proposition would be T or F. A psychological belief is merely a mental status, not a propositional what that can hold a true value. (Note: I tend to capitalize Boolean states, but this is merely pure personal preference as I think it reads easier.)

This leads to two propositions:

1) Atheism is not propositional.
2) Atheism can not be True or False.

If atheism can not be T or F, then it can not be False by conjunctive elimination:

p ^ q
:. p

or written as:
A and B
Therefore A

Example:

It’s raining outside and wet.
Therefore, it’s raining outside.

Given:

Atheism can not be True or False is logically the same as:
“Atheism can not be True” and “Atheism can not be False”
( ~(A ^ B) is logically equivalent to ~A v ~B))
(See: De Morgan’s laws)

Example:

A square can not have 2 or 3 sides = A square can not have 2 sides and A square can not have 3 sides.

Given: “Atheism can not be True” and “Atheism can not be False”
Therefore, Atheism can not be True.  (conjunctive elimination)

We now have two derived propositions:

1) Atheism is not propositional.
2) Atheism can not be True.

Both of those propositions clearly then both can be true…but if atheism is not propositional, then it 2 can’t be true (and it can’t be false either). So if an atheist says atheism is not a proposition, but merely a response to one…then you can tell them if that is the case, then atheism can not be true.  If they do not then see they have have to reject at least 1 or 2 they are in a state of irrationality with an inconsistent belief system, since for 2 to be true, 1 has to be true. If they accept 1, they must accept 2…if they accept 1 and reject 2 they have an inconsistent logical system as they end up with:

1) Atheism is not propositional.
2) Atheism can be true.

Where clearly both of these premise can not be true. If 1 is True then 2 is False and atheism can’t be true. 

Then, soon as you tell the lack of belief atheist that using their system of premises atheism can’t be true, the triggering usually and inevitably ensues as is often the case of having irrational incoherent systems of belief.

2 comments
  1. Avatar
    lreadlResurrected

    Steve,
    You need to revise your statements. If you are going to hinge your discussion on semantics, you need to be very exact with your wording. Add the word “only” to your square syllogism. A square DOES have three sides. It also has one side and it has two sides. It ALSO has a fourth side.
    I’ll be movin’ on now.

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