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Author Topic:   The "science" of Miracles
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2755
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 526 of 671 (828171)
02-12-2018 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 516 by ringo
02-11-2018 1:34 PM


Re: Consensus
Definist Fallacy

(also known as: persuasive definition fallacy, redefinition)

Description: Defining a term in such a way that makes one’s position much easier to defend.

Logical Form:

A has definition X.

X is harmful to my argument.

Therefore, A has definition Y.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 516 by ringo, posted 02-11-2018 1:34 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 532 by ringo, posted 02-13-2018 11:35 AM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5668
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 527 of 671 (828173)
02-12-2018 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 525 by 1.61803
02-12-2018 4:29 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
1.6etc writes:

Hilarious... Atheist now being dogmatic about the non existence of agnostics.

Yeh, hilarious but never-the-less correct.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 525 by 1.61803, posted 02-12-2018 4:29 PM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 528 by 1.61803, posted 02-12-2018 5:06 PM Tangle has responded

  
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2755
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 528 of 671 (828175)
02-12-2018 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 527 by Tangle
02-12-2018 4:51 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
Agnosticism is just another phase of the journey.

Theism. Deism. Agnosticism. Atheism. Nihilism

I tend to fluctuate/vacillate between these on a regular basis.

Edited by 1.61803, : a word


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 527 by Tangle, posted 02-12-2018 4:51 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 529 by Tangle, posted 02-12-2018 5:40 PM 1.61803 has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5668
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 529 of 671 (828177)
02-12-2018 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 528 by 1.61803
02-12-2018 5:06 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
So at each of those time you're either a believer in god(s) or you're not. And when you say you're agnostic you also don't believe - if you don't know whether you believe, you don't believe. It's quite simple.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 528 by 1.61803, posted 02-12-2018 5:06 PM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 530 by 1.61803, posted 02-13-2018 10:23 AM Tangle has responded

  
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2755
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


(1)
Message 530 of 671 (828187)
02-13-2018 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 529 by Tangle
02-12-2018 5:40 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
Tangle writes:

if you don't know whether you believe, you don't believe. It's quite simple.

Tangle,

If I do not know that any gods exist I am agnostic.
If I know that no gods exist then I am atheist.

It really is quite simple.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 529 by Tangle, posted 02-12-2018 5:40 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 535 by Tangle, posted 02-13-2018 3:17 PM 1.61803 has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14570
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 531 of 671 (828193)
02-13-2018 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 524 by Percy
02-12-2018 1:07 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

If science creates the definition then it is a scientific definition.


Science doesn't create the definition or even use the word.

Percy writes:

Of course they wouldn't change their MO. They'd continue to follow the evidence where it leads.


Then what the @#$% are you saying? Why would the notion of 'inexplicable" or "violating natural laws" or "miracles" come up at all if it was just business as usual?

Percy writes:

Einstein never said this. You can find this misattribution explained on many webpages, e.g.....


I did say that it was attributed to Einstein. But of course it doesn't matter who said it.

Percy writes:

... the evidence could indefinitely indicate phenomena inexplicably breaking known natural or scientific laws.


It would indicate that our understanding of natural laws was breaking down, not that the laws themselves had been "violated".

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Percy writes:

When in the history of science have known natural or scientific laws been violated as flagrantly as in the proposed scenarios?


The level of flagrancy is irrelevant.

How so?

Right back atcha: Why would there be some point at which scientists were "more baffled" than ever before? How would they measure the level of violation-flagrancy and bafflement so that they could switch into "miracle mode". And bear in mind that you have agreed that nothing would change in their approach to the problem.

Percy writes:

Where in science does it say there is no such thing as a violation?


Where does it say there is such a thing?

Percy writes:

If they leave evidence behind that science can study, then why are they not science?


If they leave evidence behind that science can study, how are they miracles?

Percy writes:

A more appropriate analogy would be one where the pigs were presented something different than mud to wallow in.


The question is: How would the pigs interpret "something different"? Since pigs habitually wallow, their natural response would be to wallow.

The analogous question would be: How would the scientists interpret "something different"? Since scientists habitually investigate phenomena and find explanations for them, their natural response would be to investigate the phenomenon and explain it.

Percy writes:

You and Hume agree, right? That by definition miracles can't exist.


I'm saying that miracles do exist in the minds of people who believe in miracles. Things are inexplicable in the minds of people who can't explain them.

But to scientists, they are just things that happened. A scientist saying something can't be explained would be like a pilot saying an aircraft can't fly.

Percy writes:

By the way, like you Hume considered miracles from a religious perspective, the only one you're willing to consider.


It's the only context in which miracles are defined.

Percy writes:

Yet what if the scientific evidence shows a violation of natural laws, and a consensus develops around the evidence that a violation of natural laws did indeed occur?


The consensus would be that there was a need for a paradigm shift in our understanding of the laws.

An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 524 by Percy, posted 02-12-2018 1:07 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 533 by Percy, posted 02-13-2018 1:45 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14570
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 532 of 671 (828194)
02-13-2018 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 526 by 1.61803
02-12-2018 4:32 PM


Re: Consensus
~1.6 writes:

Defining a term in such a way that makes one’s position much easier to defend.


But I'm not defining anything. I'm using the definition as written. It's Percy who is ignoring the importance of attribution in the definition that he himself quoted.

An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 526 by 1.61803, posted 02-12-2018 4:32 PM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 534 by Percy, posted 02-13-2018 1:52 PM ringo has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17143
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 533 of 671 (828205)
02-13-2018 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 531 by ringo
02-13-2018 11:31 AM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

If science creates the definition then it is a scientific definition.


Science doesn't create the definition or even use the word.

It does in the "what if".

Percy writes:

Of course they wouldn't change their MO. They'd continue to follow the evidence where it leads.


Then what the @#$% are you saying? Why would the notion of 'inexplicable" or "violating natural laws" or "miracles" come up at all if it was just business as usual?

I'm saying they would follow the standard practices of science when confronted with unprecedented phenomena and creating new conceptual frameworks.

Percy writes:

Einstein never said this. You can find this misattribution explained on many webpages, e.g.....


I did say that it was attributed to Einstein. But of course it doesn't matter who said it.

Only the ignorant would believe an attribution to Einstein. The first clue is that it doesn't sound remotely like Einstein.

Percy writes:

... the evidence could indefinitely indicate phenomena inexplicably breaking known natural or scientific laws.


It would indicate that our understanding of natural laws was breaking down, not that the laws themselves had been "violated".

How can adding to our knowledge be equated to our understanding breaking down?

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Percy writes:

When in the history of science have known natural or scientific laws been violated as flagrantly as in the proposed scenarios?


The level of flagrancy is irrelevant.

How so?

Right back atcha: Why would there be some point at which scientists were "more baffled" than ever before? How would they measure the level of violation-flagrancy and bafflement so that they could switch into "miracle mode".

None of this sounds relevant or even scientific. You originally said back in Message 502, "(If you have examples of scientists labelling things as miracles in the past, feel free to cite them.) That's why we can comfortably predict that they won't do it tomorrow." I replied that the phenomena were unprecedented. That's still the answer. If you have examples of science encountering such dramatic contraventions of known physical laws in the past then feel free to cite them.

And bear in mind that you have agreed that nothing would change in their approach to the problem.

"Following the evidence where it leads" isn't terribly constraining.

Percy writes:

Where in science does it say there is no such thing as a violation?


Where does it say there is such a thing?

That's a silly thing to say. Where did science ever say something existed before it was either first observed or theory predicted it?

Percy writes:

If they leave evidence behind that science can study, then why are they not science?


If they leave evidence behind that science can study, how are they miracles?

"They leave no evidence behind that science can study" is not part of the definition of miracles, and the proposed "what ifs" all included evidence amenable to scientific study.

Percy writes:

A more appropriate analogy would be one where the pigs were presented something different than mud to wallow in.


The question is: How would the pigs interpret "something different"? Since pigs habitually wallow, their natural response would be to wallow.

So pigs not only wallow in all types of mud, even new types of mud of unknown qualities, they also wallow in everything? There's no non-solid in which they would not wallow? If a significant component of your new type of mud were something like vinegar, turpentine or chlorine bleach, would pigs really wallow in it? I don't know much about pigs, but it is generally wise to question any overly ambitious claims.

But your original intent was to create an analogy between pigs wallowing in mud and scientists considering new phenomena. You're correct that they would follow their standard MO if by MO you mean following the evidence where it leads. You're incorrect if by MO you mean they'd refuse to consider the possibility of phenomena that violate known natural or scientific laws.

The analogous question would be: How would the scientists interpret "something different"? Since scientists habitually investigate phenomena and find explanations for them, their natural response would be to investigate the phenomenon and explain it.

Yes, of course. Isn't "follow the evidence where it leads" just a more succinct form of the same thought?

Percy writes:

You and Hume agree, right? That by definition miracles can't exist.


I'm saying that miracles do exist in the minds of people who believe in miracles.

But you and Hume agree, right? Your shared position is the very essence of defining the problem away.

Things are inexplicable in the minds of people who can't explain them.

Scientists are people.

But to scientists, they are just things that happened. A scientist saying something can't be explained would be like a pilot saying an aircraft can't fly.

Once again you offer a weak analogy and misframe the argument to make your position look better. More appropriately and accurately, a scientist saying something hasn't yet been explained would be like an astronaut saying we can't yet go to Mars.

Percy writes:

By the way, like you Hume considered miracles from a religious perspective, the only one you're willing to consider.


It's the only context in which miracles are defined.

Hume's consideration of miracles came when he stepped into an already ongoing debate about religious miracles. You're stepping into a science thread and insisting only religious perspectives on miracles are allowed.

Percy writes:

Yet what if the scientific evidence shows a violation of natural laws, and a consensus develops around the evidence that a violation of natural laws did indeed occur?


The consensus would be that there was a need for a paradigm shift in our understanding of the laws.

Possibly, but remember, miracles are local in time and space. Outside of when and where miracles are taking place, in the entire rest of space/time in the universe the laws continue to operate unchanged.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 531 by ringo, posted 02-13-2018 11:31 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 537 by ringo, posted 02-14-2018 2:40 PM Percy has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17143
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 534 of 671 (828206)
02-13-2018 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 532 by ringo
02-13-2018 11:35 AM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

But I'm not defining anything. I'm using the definition as written. It's Percy who is ignoring the importance of attribution in the definition that he himself quoted.

You're again stating one of your original arguments as if it hadn't already been addressed. Someone forthright would say, "Now I know Percy has said that attribution isn't an essential quality of scientific phenomena, citing the two-slit experiment, entanglement and radioactive decay as examples, but...", and then go on to explain why that is wrong, something you haven't yet done despite repeated opportunities, always instead merely repeating your original argument unchanged.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 532 by ringo, posted 02-13-2018 11:35 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 539 by ringo, posted 02-14-2018 2:45 PM Percy has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5668
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 535 of 671 (828210)
02-13-2018 3:17 PM
Reply to: Message 530 by 1.61803
02-13-2018 10:23 AM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
1.6etc writes:

If I do not know that any gods exist I am agnostic.

No-one knows whether god exists or not.

They can only believe it does or believe it doesn't.

Some people believe god exists. They're theists.

Some people believe god doesn't exist. Those people are atheists.

Those people that say they don't know if they believe in a god, can't possibly believe in a god. Belief is active.

It really is quite simple.

When you don't make the mistake of confusing knowledge and belief, yes it is.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 530 by 1.61803, posted 02-13-2018 10:23 AM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 536 by 1.61803, posted 02-14-2018 12:49 PM Tangle has responded

  
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2755
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 536 of 671 (828224)
02-14-2018 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 535 by Tangle
02-13-2018 3:17 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
Hi Tangle,

Tangle writes:

No-one knows whether god exists or not.

The word "agnostic" comes from Greek roots meaning "without knowledge."

Tangle writes:

When you don't make the mistake of confusing knowledge and belief, yes it is.


And when you make the mistake of changing the definition of agnostic to suit your argument your are guilty of a fallicous argument called the definist fallacy.

Since the word agnostic means without knowledge and not without belief I will go with what the word means and not what Tangle thinks it means, thank you very much.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 535 by Tangle, posted 02-13-2018 3:17 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 538 by Tangle, posted 02-14-2018 2:44 PM 1.61803 has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14570
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 537 of 671 (828227)
02-14-2018 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 533 by Percy
02-13-2018 1:45 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Science doesn't create the definition or even use the word.


It does in the "what if".

So you're making up the scenario, making up the evidence and making up the scientists' reaction. That's the nice thing about fiction: you don't have to have any rationale at all for your claims.

Percy writes:

I'm saying they would follow the standard practices of science when confronted with unprecedented phenomena and creating new conceptual frameworks.


If you think considering the possibility of a miracle is part of the standard practice, you shouldn't have any trouble citing scientific papers that do so. I've been asking you to do that. Why no response?

Percy writes:

Only the ignorant would believe an attribution to Einstein. The first clue is that it doesn't sound remotely like Einstein.


I can't tell whether you're being deliberately evasive or not. Deal with what was said and quit quibbling about who said it.

Percy writes:

How can adding to our knowledge be equated to our understanding breaking down?


Every time we add something to our knowledge, the old understanding changes. A paradigm shift constitutes a major change in the old understanding - i.e. we tear down the old understanding to replace it with a newer, better one.

Percy writes:

If you have examples of science encountering such dramatic contraventions of known physical laws in the past then feel free to cite them.


Relativity. Quantum mechanics.

Percy writes:

"Following the evidence where it leads" isn't terribly constraining.


But you keep saying that the evidence in your fairy tale doesn't lead anywhere. You claim that scientists would react differently because the evidence doesn't lead anywhere.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Percy writes:

Where in science does it say there is no such thing as a violation?


Where does it say there is such a thing?

Where did science ever say something existed before it was either first observed or theory predicted it?

Where does the scientific method allow for "violations"?

Percy writes:

You're incorrect if by MO you mean they'd refuse to consider the possibility of phenomena that violate known natural or scientific laws.


Then show us in the MO - i.e. the scientific method - where there is consideration of "violations".

Percy writes:

Isn't "follow the evidence where it leads" just a more succinct form of the same thought?


But you keep waffling. If they follow the evidence where it leads, why do they need to consider violations or miracles at all? If the evidence leads nowhere, they look for more evidence; they don't say, "You can't get there from here."

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Things are inexplicable in the minds of people who can't explain them.


Scientists are people.

Scientists are people who look for explanations, not people who think things are inexplicable.

Percy writes:

More appropriately and accurately, a scientist saying something hasn't yet been explained would be like an astronaut saying we can't yet go to Mars.


And he wouldn't say it would take a miracle to get to Mars. He'd continue business as usual until the problem was solved,.

Percy writes:

You're stepping into a science thread and insisting only religious perspectives on miracles are allowed.


I'm pointing out that scientists don't have a perspective on miracles. Given the same event - e.g. the Miracle of the Sun - only religious people interpret it as "inexplicable" or a "miracle". Scientists explain it. Ergo, miracles are not part of their perspective.

Percy writes:

Possibly, but remember, miracles are local in time and space.


Are they? Who made up that rule and why?

An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 533 by Percy, posted 02-13-2018 1:45 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 543 by Percy, posted 02-14-2018 6:47 PM ringo has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5668
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 538 of 671 (828228)
02-14-2018 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 536 by 1.61803
02-14-2018 12:49 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
1.6etc writes:

The word "agnostic" comes from Greek roots meaning "without knowledge."

Yikes, who knew?!

And when you make the mistake of changing the definition of agnostic to suit your argument your are guilty of a fallicous argument called the definist fallacy.

I'm not changing the definition of agnostic. I had hoped that was clear. I'm ignoring the word altogether as it's a Victorian invention that has no practical value. It was created as a socially acceptable excuse for non-belief.

Since the word agnostic means without knowledge and not without belief I will go with what the word means and not what Tangle thinks it means, thank you very much.

Concentrate. Agnostic means without knowledge.

My claim is that no-one has knowledge of god. What people do have is knowledge of whether they believe in a god or not.

Believe is active, you either have it or you do not. Therefore those that say they don't know whether they believe or not, do not believe.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 536 by 1.61803, posted 02-14-2018 12:49 PM 1.61803 has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14570
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 539 of 671 (828229)
02-14-2018 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 534 by Percy
02-13-2018 1:52 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

Someone forthright would say, "Now I know Percy has said that attribution isn't an essential quality of scientific phenomena, citing the two-slit experiment, entanglement and radioactive decay as examples, but...", and then go on to explain why that is wrong, something you haven't yet done despite repeated opportunities, always instead merely repeating your original argument unchanged.


Huh?

Nobody is calling the two-slit experiment or entanglement or radioactive decay a miracle. How are they relevant to events that are called miracles?

We're talking about the definition of "miracle" here. I keep asking you: if attributing an event to an unnatural cause is not an important part of the definition of miracle, why does practically every definition mention it?


An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 534 by Percy, posted 02-13-2018 1:52 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 544 by Percy, posted 02-14-2018 7:32 PM ringo has responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 7425
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 540 of 671 (828233)
02-14-2018 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 499 by Tangle
02-09-2018 5:49 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
Tangle writes:

Agnostics don't exist. You either believe in god(s) or you don't. If you don't know whether you believe in god(s) or not, you don't believe in god(s).

Christian agnostics would beg to differ.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_agnosticism


This message is a reply to:
 Message 499 by Tangle, posted 02-09-2018 5:49 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 541 by Tangle, posted 02-14-2018 5:27 PM Taq has responded

  
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