You Know NOTHING, Sye Ten.

(the following is the text version of this video here).

Let’s take a look at Sye’s whole argument and not just the single premise he spent ten minutes explaining why he felt he’s not required to offer reason or support to justify. To defend that premise Sye used the; “but I’m really super-cereal special” defense of God, Let’s look at his whole argument this time.

Premise 1: It is reasonable to believe that which is true.

Premise 2: It’s true that God exists.

Conclusion: Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that God exists.

I’m getting the impression that Sye is trying to do a runaround on justified true belief. Justified true belief is a philosophical concept that dates back to Plato. Up until the 1960s it was treated as the accepted, established definition of what knowledge is.

Then a philosopher named Edmund Gettier came along and with a few simple observations did the philosophical equivalent of drop a nuclear bomb on the Justified True Belief definition of knowledge, and the field of epistemology hasn’t been the same since.

For half a century now no one has really been able to offer a definition of what “knowledge” is that has the strength and certitude of the now defunct JTB definition of knowledge.

Which brings us back to Sye.

He appears to be trying to come up with a definition of knowledge that doesn’t involve justified true belief but when you examine premise one and three you see that all he’s doing is a poor reordering and rewording of the justified true belief definition of knowledge (I’ve reordered his premises here for clarity’s sake and I am treating Sye’s conclusion as a premise as it is an unsupported, and therefore more premise than conclusion).
sye slide 6


Sye is using the word “reasonable” in the place of “justifiable” in premise thre and if you apply consistency to Sye’s usage of the word “reasonable” then premise two is also a statement of justification as well. In other words, it’s a statement of justified belief; in the context of the premise a justified true belief.

But I suspect Sye knows Gettier killed the justified true belief definition of knowledge (he didn’t just kill it, Gettier dragged it into a back alley, stole its wallet, pummeled it to death and then uploaded a bunch of selfies of himself with the corpse for the whole world to see). So rather than say these beliefs are justified Sye is saying that they are “reasonable”.

What Sye has given us is a definition of knowledge which has two assertions of justified belief with no establishment of belief. I had originally thought that Sye’s argument is viciously circular but upon closer examination I’m seeing that it isn’t even that. It’s just incredibly incoherent. Sye presenting a circular reasoning argument would actually be an improvement on what he’s offered here. In the end run all Sye has done is shown that he’s proven he doesn’t know anything.

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*same day edit to fix picture and add sign-off