Sye’s “but you don’t believe that” move
Sye, you have repeatedly made a certain sort of move. Here’s an example.
I say, “Sye, not only have you not got a good argument for logic being underpinned by a deity, why your particular deity – the Christian God – rather than another deity that I might find more plausible?”
You say – “But you don’t believe in any other Gods either, so why should we even consider them?”
Here’s why this doesn’t wash with me.
You are not just arguing that a deity is required to underpin logic; you are arguing for a very specific deity – the Judeo-Christian God. Now, even if I could be persuaded that some deity is required, your particular deity would still, I think, be one of the least reasonable to invoke.
So it’s entirely relevant for me to ask – even if you could show a deity is required, why this one?
Here’s an analogy. Five go on holiday on a deserted island. Bert, one of the five, dies apparently alone in a boating accident. Now I, as prosecutor, claim that this was no accident and Bill, one of the other four, murdered Bert.
Trouble is, not only have I not yet produced any good evidence that Bert was murdered, Bill, unlike the others, has a particularly good alibi (being on the phone at the time of the death – the phone being miles from the death).
Now, as Bill’s defence, you do not believe Bert was murdered. You start by pointing out there is, as yet, no evidence he was.
And then you add, “But in any case, even if Bert was murdered, why should we suppose Bill is the guilty party? Where’s your evidence that it wasn’t one of the other three?”
Would it be fair for me to respond, “But you don’t believe any of the others murdered Bert either, do you? Because you don’t think he was murdered. So you see – we don’t even need to consider the others!”
This would be an entirely unfair move, would it not?
If I, as prosecutor, want rightly to convince my audience that Bill did it, I do have to rule the other three out, whether my audience happens to believe any of the other three guilty or not. If I now whipped out conclusive evidence Bert was indeed murdered, and then got Bill convicted by means of such logic, that would be a grave miscarriage of justice.
My prosecutor’s move is just a rhetorical ploy, with no justification.
Ditto your move, of course.