Peter wrote:
<<<CertainVerdict: if you believe logic is valid, then you are engaged in
circular reasoning, for you assume your axioms are valid, and those axioms
include logic.>>>

I responded:
<<<My view cannot be guilty of the charge of circular reasoning if that view
does not rest on the attempt to prove the validity of the axioms.>>>

Peter comments:
“In short, the founding principles of your philosophy are based on
unprovable concepts that must be assumed true.”


Peter wrote:
“In fact, according to this sentence, Objectivism does not even attempt to
prove the validity of the axioms (which follows if you assume they are
unprovable to begin with).”

Right. The axioms are not the product of proofs or prior reasoning. They
must be assumed in order to construct proofs and infer conclusions.

Peter wrote:
“Because of this, you claim there is no circular reasoning because you are
simply stating something to be true without any attempt to prove those
axioms true.”

There is no circularity because Objectivism does not attempt to establish
the axioms by means of proof. Circularity is assuming the truth of your
conclusion in the premises offered to support the conclusion. And nowhere
have I put forth an argument to conclude “Therefore, existence exists.”
Again, the axioms are already implicit in any proof. (However, this does not
mean that they cannot be validated, which is a process broader than proof.
Peikoff discusses this in his summary of Objectivism.)

Peter then writes:
“But this is surely a fallacious argument--you are in fact arguing right now
that your views are correct, and as such you are attempting to prove that
you are right.”

Wrong, Peter. Here you are equivocating the term “your views” with the
axioms which I identified earlier. While I hold that the axioms are not
subject to proof, that does not mean that my views, which are derivative of
the axioms, are not subject to proof. Not all my views are axioms. You’re
conflating things here to try to expose a fallacy which has not been
committed. It’s quite a stretch, Peter. Besides, all my discussion about the
axioms and their truth value has not been in the form of a proof, but in the
form of validation. There is a distinction (but you wouldn’t know this from
the Bible; I can’t even find the concepts ‘valid’ or ‘validation’ discussed
in the Bible, and you haven’t pointed them out to me, in spite of my
requests that you do so). I have simply maintained that in order for you to
dispute the axioms which Objectivism proposes, you have to assume them as
well, thus committing yourself to stolen concepts. At no point have you
attempted to salvage the credibility of your positions from this charge.

Peter wrote:
“You assume that the law of identity is true, and then you use that in your
argument (in short, you are begging the question by assuming that which is
yet to be proven, and then using it in your argument).”

Again, one needs the law of identity in order to construct a proof. And
since I have not attempted to establish the truth of the law of identity by
means of proof, there is no circularity.

Peter wrote:
“Fine, but that violates your statement that your view "does not rest on the
attempt to prove the validity of the axioms." “

How so? Only if one accepts your misrepresentations can one think this.
Indeed, my views rest on the axioms, not on any attempt to prove them. If
there’s a problem, it exists only in your mind, for you cannot show there to
be a problem in my views. I think the nature of your problem is simply that
you don’t like the fact that I do not affirm your god-beliefs, and that I
have good reason not to. Get over it, Peter. It won’t change.

Peter wrote:
“If you are arguing for them then you are indeed trying to prove their

Actually, I have not argued for them in the sense that I have tried to prove
them. All I’ve shown (again and again and again) is that you yourself must
assume them in order to dispute or reject them. That’s all. Again, no
circularity on my part, but plenty of stolen concepts on your part. This
should be sufficiently clear to careful readers.

I wrote:
<<<Logic is simply a process of non-contradictory identification. Logic is
not a starting point. If it were, it would have no reference to reality, and
thus nothing to ground it. Again, the starting
point is reality, not consciousness as such.>>>

Peter asked:
“I'm wondering: have you studied quantum mechanics?”

Sure I have. In fact, I’ve debated several professional physicists, and I
understand that now they are all Objectivists as a result. Do you think
quantum mechanics refutes the axioms? (Be careful here, Peter!)

I wrote:
<<<I think you’re making things hard for yourself. It’s not really that
difficult. The axioms are not
“illogical” because they come prior to logic; rather, they are
*pre-logical*. That’s a different thing indeed. To show that they are
"illogical" you would have to show how they are contrary to logic, and you
have not shown this. In fact, you cannot do this, because logic is simply a
derivative of the axioms, not a contradiction of them.>>>

Peter wrote:
“Is the statement "Existence exists" a logical statement?”

It is an axiomatic statement; it identifies a fundamental fact of reality.
As such, it is pre-logical, as I stated already. It is not an inference from
one truth to another, so asking if it is a logical statement misses the

Now, Peter, I know you started out your post today with your announcement
that you do not want to answer the questions which have been lobbed at you
(and which have been generated for good reason). I suppose I don’t blame
you, since I don’t think you can answer any of those questions. But here you
come out with more and more questions for others. You come out
swashbuckling, saying that you can show that Objectivists have no good
reason to hold the axioms, but nowhere do you show this. You’re continually
groping for a way to discredit the views of others, but I have shown time
and time again that you have to accept the very axioms which my view
proclaims explicitly (though you must accept them only implicitly; doing
otherwise simply gives away the game) in order to question them, dispute
their validity, or claim that they are unreasonable. What exactly is your
fuss anyway?