A valid ...

*[Blah blah blah]*

... argument can produce.

None of which counters anything I said.

Your "good" relies on the premises being true.

That an argument might be valid doesn't itself make the argument good.

Until you can address that point, without resorting to the strawman of true premises, you're just being irrelevant.

This thread is about validity, not soundness. We don't care whether premises are probable or not.

You might not care, and clearly you don't, but others do, others have raised the issue of the strength of the conclusion, and I am continuing that line.

If you don't like it, don't respond to it.

And "may" signals possibility, not probability. So, even the soundness of my argument is immune to your point about probability. It's just irrelevant.

If you are illiterate enough not to see the inherent notion of probability within the term "possibility" then there is little hope for you.

Something can be considered either necessary or possible, whether it exists in all conceivable worlds or only some of them.

If possible then it is a matter of probability as to how likely it is to occur in a specific world.

Probability is merely the ascribing of quantity to that likelihood, whereas possibility leaves it indeterminate.

Since your argument deals only in possibility, and is thus valid, it remains the case that the possibility in the conclusion is far weaker than the possibility within the premises.

Sure, if we could assign a probability to premise 1, that would affect the probability of the conclusion.

But the "may" signals possibility, not probability. So, even the soundness of my argument is immune to your point about probability. It's just irrelevant.

I never said that the soundness was affected.

I have said, and continue to say, that your argument sacrifices weakness in the conclusion by creating uncertainty within the premise, and that the weakness in the conclusion is actually greater than that introduced in the first premise.

And the conclusion is true.

If one accepts the premises as true, yes.

But it is a weak conclusion.

Probabilities depend on each specific example. We know a house is made of many bricks. Take an example where your initials may be written on one item among two.

Yes, the probability would be 50%.

If there is but one brick, it would be 100%.

But any more than two and the probability quickly disappears below 50% and asymptotes to zero.

Your choice of an example involving one brick of a house isn't based on good logic. There is an infinity of examples where the probabilities would be 1.

Sure, and far more orders of infinities where they are nearer zero.

Just take the bricks in my house as an example: it takes one brick for the example to yield a probability of 1, yet beyond 2 bricks...?

And you are ultimately looking to tie this back to "groups of neurons in the brain", so apologies if I example the issue with something far more easily quantified.

Note that this is even before you take account of the probability inherent within the first premise.

And my argument isn't about probability but about possibility. So, probabilities are just irrelevant.

For validity, yes, that much is not disputed, and has not been.

I am now talking with the grown ups (as far as being able to hold a civil discussion) and exploring the matter of how strong or weak the conclusion is, and why, even if it is ultimately valid.

So if you want an argument that is valid but offers a weak conclusion, that is what you have.

If you don't want to concern yourself with how weak your argument is, feel free not to respond.

In my example about the conscious mind, we don't have any probability, assuming premise 2 is true. We only have possibility, and possibility is consistent with probabilities above zero including 1. That's why the argument works.

It seems valid, but remains weak precisely because it allows any probability above zero up to 1, but analysis of the middle term quickly demonstrates that it doesn't take many "groups" being considered for the probability to drop below 50%, and that's not including the uncertainty inherent in premise 1.

You're making my point, thanks.

You've just convincingly demonstrated that the notion of probability is only relevant to cases where we can assume a probability, such as that a house is made of many bricks.

The notion of probability remains applicable, which is why your's is an even weaker argument than where probability can actually be quantified, because with your argument it remains unknown.

Your argument is so weak that

**at best **we can say that the valid conclusion results in a non-zero probability.

It is a stronger argument that can actually quantify that probability.

So, our point is only relevant to cases where where we can assume many "bricks". My example is immune from that because we have no probabilities regarding "*a group of neurons*", which may well be a small group or a large group. No probabilities. Only possibility.

And by making itself immune you make the conclusion weaker.

This was my point earlier that you seem to make the premises as acceptable as true as possible but in doing so you sacrifice the strength of the conclusion.

And one where the probability associated with the possibility can not be even remotely quantified is as weak as you can seem to get.

So congratulations on that.

At last, something sensible.

I await the same from you.