In a message dated 3/10/99 2:35:46 PM Central Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< Maybe I do get what you are pointing at. The validity of any argument for the non-existence of something depends on the initial formalization (representation) of the object in question. This is why one can prove the non-existence of certain (defined) types of Gods, or Gods with certain sets of attributes, but not "God" in general (whatever said term may mean). Is that what you were talking about?
Perhaps this is getting close to what I am saying. I think to really get down to the issue, we need to think even more generally than a question of the existence of a particular thing (like a "God" thingy) and talk about existence generally.
For example as a pancritical rationalist, I think that if we pretend to propose that any representation is in principle subjectable to rational criticism, then even if we are not currently criticizing a representation, we ought to be able to articulate at least one form (if not more) that a criticism of a representation can take.
For example a representation that "The universe exists". If we get too narrow
minded about formal logic and falsifiability, then aside from being
contradictory, it would seem a little absurd to consider "The universe does
not exist" for obvious(?) reasons. When the actual form of criticism would be
"The universe does not exist as represented". Which is not formal, in that it
suggests another necessarily potential concept of "existence" that is not yet represented in the criticism. By shoving this potentiality off into the metaphysical realm of the currently ineffable, we can proceed with an appropriate epistemological criticism of the statement "The universe exists".