Sunday, July 25, 2004

Once More on Nietzsche and the Genetic Fallacy

Hunt Stilwell (Austin, TX) writes:

I still disagree that Nietzsche's desire, in that passage or elsewhere, was to disprove God's existence. Not only does he not explicitly saying that he is doing this, but such a disproof would be counter to the way Nietzsche usually operated. Instead, I think he wants to show that God is a construction, and a dangerous/destructive one, and therefore render disproof of God "superfluous," because even if God does exist, because believing in Him would be impractical.

BV: Sorry, but I find this incoherent and not just because of the bad grammar. If God is a construction, then God does not exist. (It is God's nature to exist independently of everything else that exists, if God exists; therefore, to say that God is a conceptual construction is equivalent to saying that God does not exist.) It is therefore impossible both for God to be a construction and to exist. Therefore, any argument that God is a conceptual construction is an argument that God does not exist.

I'm willing to concede that it can be an instance of the Genetic Fallacy with Gettier-cases admitted, which makes it an unsound deduction, but given the improbability of the reality of Gettier-like cases, both in the sexual abuse cases (if it can be definitively shown that the beliefs were implanted) and in
the case of God-beliefs, the argument is still a pretty good inductive one.

Finally, sorry about the anonymity. I forgot that this email address doesn't have my signature automatically attached. The blog of the same name was anonymous because it was a joke, written by several different people (hence its lasting only 2 months, at which point, it was no longer fun). We knew nothing about blogs at the time. I'd almost forgotten about it. I do have a real blog. It's still pretty rudimentary, as well, and currently undergoing some changes in an attempt to start a real cognitive science blog.


Thanks for the reference to the new blog, and best wishes.