Sunday, May 01, 2011

Revenge of the Concept Mummies

Theistic Case Builder: An Open-Source Community Philosophical Development Project

This spreadsheet is merely a table in a database. It's just a quick-and-dirty way to jump-start an open-source database for the edification of anyone who wants to use it. Right now it contains only my redaction of a brief first part Craig's opening statement in the Craig-Harris debate. I will do this to the entire debate, and hope to complete it over the next week or two. I will then start reading the blog reviews for new things to include so that people can see how new material can be integrated into an overall logically continuous sequence.

Thanks to Norman Geisler for sparking this idea in me, from the finely detailed outline of argumentation he gave me decades ago. I still have it and will eventually integrate the argumentative essence of it's theistic components into this database.

I will try to show in a real-world way, how the views, arguments, objections, and counter-objections can be collected, how the assumed premises can be readily identified, how they can all be organized in a simple numbered sequence, and how the arguments can be inferentially tracked with precision. If you think of a better way of doing this, that will be a major Mission Accomplished for me.

Although it is -my- database, it can be copied or downloaded, and then edited or enhanced any way anyone else wants to. Let a thousand architectonic flowers bloom inferentially.

Here's an explanation of the simple table/spreadsheet format:

Column 1: A hard-coded and at this point arbitrary number for the statement.
Column 2: The statement itself.
Columns 3-6: The number of any statement or statements that imply the current statement.
[ap=assumed premise is the default until a reason is given.]
Column 7: Note: This could be the source from which I got the statement, to help anyone who needs to write papers. It's optional for purely analytic purposes, but I'm including it for illustrative purposes and I will document it as much as possible given my time constraints.

For now, there is no automated way to get changes or additions populated to other versions, but this will at least push through the concepts and the possibilities.

As mine is edited, you should be able to get a feel for how any statement can be questioned or countered or objected to, how this can get visually noticed so that the oppositions are easily distinguished but with readability, and how supporting arguments eventually are to be numbered and organized for both clarity and flow, in spite of the strict system of derivation tags and numbering.

It's not the final word on how to do this, but it's -something- that might prevent a lot of duplication in separate efforts, and the data can be easily ported to whatever anyone else might want to use it for.

Right now, you'll have to just message me if you want something included and are not interested in constructing one of these things yourself, and I'll try to be as accommodating as I can in adding to the thing. Or you can just observe the changes as they occur.

But the idea is to enable and motivate others to do the same kind of thing, while helping those who don't have time to do it to profit from this organized expanding collection of positions and arguments. Comments and contributions from anyone interested, is encouraged.

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