Keep The Reason wrote:Moonwood the Hare wrote:I'm taking the law of identity to be a universal law and as such non-demonstrable by definition. If you wish to reformulate it as a description of past and present experience then you are modifying it's meaning. But as we pursue this we will run once again into the old problem that I am never sure what you mean by demonstrable and you have never been able to clearly define the term. I will make my point again. If demonstrable only means to point to some facts consistent with then the law of identity is demonstrable but so is the existence of God.
By demonstrable I can point out to you the fact that each of these strings of symbols we call words have specific identity, meanings that are either what they are, or not. Given this law, you can decipher what I am saying, and so can others all assuming they understand this particular langauge and the symbols; indentity is thus demonstrated in a consistent and materialistic manner. As best as is possible, we have a demonstration of a claim or belief that words (or letters) strung together in specific ways, supports the assertion that there is a law of identity. That the letter A means the letter A and not the letter Z or the number 12 or... etc.
You missed my point and I feel I can only make it clearer by labouring it. What you have done is demonstrated that their are entities to which the law of identity applies. But the law if it is valid is supposed to be universal. That is to say if you intuit it as valid you intuit it as being true not of some or even of some class of entities but of all entities. We have had similar confusions over empirical science when you have said that a scientific law has been verified because you can point to instances when it has been fulfilled so let me take a parallel example from empirical science. You take the temperature of some boiling water and it comes out as 100 degrees centigrade; do you now have an intuition that all water boils at 100 degrees centigrade. If your intuitions work like mine then you do not get that intuition. However when I perform the thought experiment you describe above I do find it triggers such an intuition, 'of course all entities are identical to themselves!'. So my intuition confirms the law of identity and I feel no need to attempt to confirm that law by examining entities under a wide range of circumstances to see if it holds, I just know it is true. I am open to the possibility that your intuition does not function that way and if so I would need to find a different example. If I were dealing with a Buddhist mystic who had trained himself to transcend the law of identity there would be other truths that he grasped in this direct intuitive way such as the identity of form and emptiness. I don't think there are human beings who have no experience of grasping a truth by intuition but again I am open to that possibility; is that what you are claiming about yourself?
Keep The Reason wrote: When you can show me the same regarding the assertions of Christianity, such as sin, gods, ressurrection and so on, you'll have something worth investigating. But as it stands, you don't have anything that even remotely comes up to this simple and basic criteria, and indeed, you will immediately have to submit to the law of identity by default in order to offer such demontration in the first place. The best you can offer is that the materialist, at some times, does have "Articles of faith" as well. Sure, ok. We just don't have them across the board for our core worldview.
Yes, there may be epistemological differences between us. I don't think it is possible to stand outside all possible ontologies and all possible epistemologies and select which one is right. You can choose to work in a particular way because it somehow feels right to you but I can't see any reason for thinking that is the only way or the only valid way or the superior way.