Sye’s definition of “proof”
Here’s a small but I think very telling observation worth making at this point. Sye has just defined a “proof” as a valid argument with true premises.
This really does explain a lot.
For that’s not what a “proof” is, in fact.
Suppose I am trying to convince you that I have an offspring. You don’t believe me. As a matter of fact I do have an offspring. I now offer you this “proof” of that fact:
I have a daughter
Therefore, I have an offspring
This argument is valid. And its premise is true, too. But obviously I would not ordinarily be considered to have “proved” to you that I have an offspring – not in the sense of giving you good grounds to accept that conclusion, or in the sense of demonstrating to you, beyond reasonable doubt, the truth of my conclusion.
Why not? well, in order to provide a genuine “proof”, I must not help myself to any unargued for and contentious premises, as I do in the above example. That is why it fails as a genuine proof. (In fact, the premise presupposes the truth of the conclusion.)
Sye’s “proof” similarly contains an unargued for and contentious premise. So it’s not a genuine proof either. Whether or not its a valid argument with true premises.
Sye can call it a “proof” if he wants (he can just insist it is a valid argument with true premises). But only by using the word “proof” in his own very peculiar way – a way that prohibits him from then accusing anyone not convinced by his argument of any sort of illogicality or unreasonableness.
I think this goes some way to explaining why Sye’s so convinced he has a proof, despite the fact that he very obviously doesn’t. He is confused about what a “proof” is. Is that fair comment, would you say, Sye?
Sye – is it your view that if we find your argument unconvincing and so reject your conclusion, we are not guilty of any sort of unreasonableness or illogicality? Given your definition of “proof”, and given your argument does help itself to an unargued for and contentious premise, it looks like it has to be your view.