Solution to the problem of induction

Woody50

Well-known member
I don't think it.

Nothing can be known from induction. It can only be a case of "here's an example" or "here's what MIGHT be." Even Einstein understood this.

This is not really in question. Induction is irrational. Over the years, many continue to try to justify induction because most try to make sense of things with this irrational way of thinking. This thread's purpose, I posit, is to do just that. The problem is, this has been discussed ad nauseum to the same effect--induction is irrational.

Without a first principle from which to deduce, we can know nothing. This is unacceptable to "scientists" and "philosophers" because to find a first principle is to scary--they might just have to acknowledge God.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
I don't think it.

Nothing can be known from induction. It can only be a case of "here's an example" or "here's what MIGHT be." Even Einstein understood this.

This is not really in question. Induction is irrational. Over the years, many continue to try to justify induction because most try to make sense of things with this irrational way of thinking. This thread's purpose, I posit, is to do just that. The problem is, this has been discussed ad nauseum to the same effect--induction is irrational.

Without a first principle from which to deduce, we can know nothing. This is unacceptable to "scientists" and "philosophers" because to find a first principle is to scary--they might just have to acknowledge God.
You haven't given any reason here to consider induction to be irrational.

I've never come across anyone before who thought this.

Can you please explain in more detail why you consider induction to be irrational?
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
What do you think about this solution to the problem of induction?

From Richard Carrier, https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/17294
Hey Gus, it's Bruiser...

I would say that for it's 'Contemporaries', the Bible involved Deductive Reasoning; but for us, the Bible can only involve Inductive Reasoning. After all, we're to Walk by Faith...

Is this what your OP is talking about? I don't think the quote in the OP solves anything; I don't even know what the problem is with Induction. It used the example of Design by an improvable Designer; thus there isn't anything to Induct. If your quote used something firm, then there's something to Induct...

As Christians, we have something to Induct; the historical Deductive Reasoning of the Bible Contemporaries. IE Witnesses...
 
Last edited:

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
Hey Gus, it's Bruiser...

I would say that for it's 'Contemporaries', the Bible involved Deductive Reasoning; but for us, the Bible can only involve Inductive Reasoning. After all, we're to Walk by Faith...

Is this what your OP is talking about? I don't think the quote in the OP solves anything; I don't even know what the problem is with Induction. It used the example of Design by an improvable Designer; thus there isn't anything to Induct. If your quote used something firm, then there's something to Induct...

As Christians, we have something to Induct; the historical Deductive Reasoning of the Bible Contemporaries. IE Witnesses...
The problem of induction is that, apparently, there is no way to show that what causes have produced certain effects in the past will do so in the future. It doesn't have anything to do with Christianity, necessarily, although maybe someone could propose Christianity as a solution to the problem of induction, although I don't know what that would look like.

There should be plenty of things online about the problem of induction that you could look at. I don't have anything at my fingertips to recommend, though.
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
The problem of induction is that, apparently, there is no way to show that what causes have produced certain effects in the past will do so in the future. It doesn't have anything to do with Christianity, necessarily, although maybe someone could propose Christianity as a solution to the problem of induction, although I don't know what that would look like.

There should be plenty of things online about the problem of induction that you could look at. I don't have anything at my fingertips to recommend, though.
Thanks; I'll chew on it...
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
The problem of induction is that, apparently, there is no way to show that what causes have produced certain effects in the past will do so in the future. It doesn't have anything to do with Christianity, necessarily, although maybe someone could propose Christianity as a solution to the problem of induction, although I don't know what that would look like.

There should be plenty of things online about the problem of induction that you could look at. I don't have anything at my fingertips to recommend, though.
My first thought was that in Biblical times, people could use Deduction because (if it was real) it was happening before their eyes. Then like anything of Antiquity, we can only know via Induction of the former Deduction...
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
My first thought was that in Biblical times, people could use Deduction because (if it was real) it was happening before their eyes. Then like anything of Antiquity, we can only know via Induction of the former Deduction...
One example of this is a part of a Gospel Tract I've written. It alks about the first Christian Pentecost where the Christians spoke in fiery cloven Tongues. Several people heard it. My point in the Gospel Tract is that for a few years, many miraculous things were happening in Israel, so they probably had record crowds show up to see if it would continue. They used Deductive Reasoning from what they saw in the Past and what they saw that day; and 3,000 believed. ~ We use Inductive Reasoning when pouring over the written account of what they deduced...
 

Torin

Well-known member
I don't think it.

Nothing can be known from induction. It can only be a case of "here's an example" or "here's what MIGHT be." Even Einstein understood this.

This is not really in question. Induction is irrational. Over the years, many continue to try to justify induction because most try to make sense of things with this irrational way of thinking. This thread's purpose, I posit, is to do just that. The problem is, this has been discussed ad nauseum to the same effect--induction is irrational.

Without a first principle from which to deduce, we can know nothing. This is unacceptable to "scientists" and "philosophers" because to find a first principle is to scary--they might just have to acknowledge God.
@Nouveau is correct that there's no reason to think induction is irrational here.

I'd just add that the only apparent argument you provide for thinking induction is irrational is, itself, inductive: "Many attempts to justify induction have failed in the past, so future attempts will likely fail as well."

So according to you, your own argument is irrational.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
I havev always considered that the best solution to the problem of induction is simply that it works. I realise that that solution itself is inductive (and therefore it may stop working tomorrow, or in twenty minutes). But again, the induction there simply works.

Do I know that things I (correctly) induct are correct? No. But it pays to act as though they are (or will be).
 

Torin

Well-known member
I havev always considered that the best solution to the problem of induction is simply that it works. I realise that that solution itself is inductive (and therefore it may stop working tomorrow, or in twenty minutes). But again, the induction there simply works.

Do I know that things I (correctly) induct are correct? No. But it pays to act as though they are (or will be).
It's pretty crazy to doubt the rationality of induction altogether. There are legitimate questions about *how* induction works, though (its mechanics, so to speak). It would be very useful to have a clear criterion for distinguishing cogent inductive reasoning from bad inductive reasoning like we have for deduction - surely many scientific mistakes would be avoided, in that case.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
I think induction is best viewed as a special case of abductive reasoning - inference to the best explanation. I'm not sure that this 'solves' the problem, as there will still be unjustifiable principles at the foundation of abductive reasoning too, but then I'm not convinced that this was really a problem in the first place.
 
Top