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Author Topic:   Identifying false religions.
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9988
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 421 of 479 (571160)
07-30-2010 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 420 by onifre
07-30-2010 2:23 PM


Re: The rationality of the burden of proof
Subjective "evidence".

Obviously........


This message is a reply to:
 Message 420 by onifre, posted 07-30-2010 2:23 PM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 424 by onifre, posted 07-30-2010 2:35 PM Straggler has not yet responded

jar
Member
Posts: 25124
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 422 of 479 (571161)
07-30-2010 2:33 PM
Reply to: Message 419 by Straggler
07-30-2010 2:21 PM


Re: SOURCE vs Content
Straggler writes:

Well which ones are and which ones are not? What is the defining difference between the two?

Again, hard to say. I would say that the Biblical Creationist that claim to be scientists are reasonable and rational, just dishonest.

Straggler writes:

So you are essentially claiming to know something that they (the rational creationists) do not?

If so - What is it that you know but that they do not?

Much. Some accurate information about the Theory of Evolution is one example. Perhaps some actually experience personally finding fossils, exploring the geography of the US, maybe a little more actual scientific background, in many cases somewhat more knowledge of the Bible then they seem to have.

As mentioned above, some of them might even have the information I have but for financial or other reasons simply disregard the info. Disregarding the information because it might adversely effect your revenue stream is a perfectly reasonable and rational act.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 419 by Straggler, posted 07-30-2010 2:21 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 425 by Straggler, posted 07-30-2010 2:36 PM jar has responded

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 58 days)
Posts: 1535
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 423 of 479 (571162)
07-30-2010 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 404 by RAZD
07-29-2010 11:51 PM


Re: The rationality of the burden of proof
RAZD writes:

Me writes:

Science does not place equal footing for the burden of proof on both the claim of knowledge that "something exists or is likely to exist" and "something does not exist or is not likely to exist". Please show me where in science that it does so.

But the issue here is not claiming that "something does not exist" it is with claiming to know the likelihood, to have sufficient evidence to make an informed decision.

Why should I claim to know the likelihood of something not-existing when the default position of science is the non-existence of something until shown evidence otherwise?

Proving the non-existence of something is a logical fallacy. Although someone may prove non-existence in special circumstances, such as showing that a box does not contain certain items, one cannot prove the absolute non-existence, or non-existence out of ignorance. In other words one cannot prove something that does not exist in the entire universe. The proof of existence (burden of proof) MUST come from those who make the claims for something’s existence.

For example, it is scientifically impossible to prove the non-existence of fairies. Does that mean fairies exist? Of course not. Science starts from a basis of non-existence until shown evidence that fairies do in fact exist. The same is true with God or any other supernatural being.

Don't you think that someone making a claim that he was convinced, absolutely certain, that god/s do not exist - that he would be making an extraordinary claim?

Yes, of course. However, that does not take away the burden of proof to the person making the claim that something exists. Again, the default position of non-existance is not a claim and attempting to prove the absolute non-existence of something is a logical fallacy.

What would be the rational basis for such a claim, if not objective empirical evidence?

I am not making the claim. A default position of non-existence until shown otherwise is not a claim. It is how science works.

We also know that when there is insufficient evidence to reach an informed conclusion that science is perfectly happy to say "we don't know," and that we have to wait for further information and evidence to be gathered before a conclusion can be rational arrived at.

Many rationally minded scientists as agnostics or even weak atheists may say "I don't know" for certain if God exists or does not exist. That however does not take away the burden of proof from theists to show evidence that God exists. You, RAZD, may say you believe in God, but it has no basis in science but rather personal opinion and pure conjecture until you can show emperical evidence that God exists.

'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams writes:

The Babel fish is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with the nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.

Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen it to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.

The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."

"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed on the next zebra crossing.

Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book Well That About Wraps It Up For God.

Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.

Now RAZD, using your logic, can you proove the non-existance of the Babel fish?

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World
This message is a reply to:
 Message 404 by RAZD, posted 07-29-2010 11:51 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 427 by RAZD, posted 07-30-2010 11:42 PM DevilsAdvocate has responded

onifre
Member
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 424 of 479 (571163)
07-30-2010 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 421 by Straggler
07-30-2010 2:32 PM


Re: The rationality of the burden of proof
Likewise for both the question and the answer then....

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 421 by Straggler, posted 07-30-2010 2:32 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9988
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 425 of 479 (571164)
07-30-2010 2:36 PM
Reply to: Message 422 by jar
07-30-2010 2:33 PM


Re: SOURCE vs Content
jar writes:

Again, hard to say. I would say that the Biblical Creationist that claim to be scientists are reasonable and rational, just dishonest.

Even if they believe themselves to be honest?

jar writes:

Disregarding the information because it might adversely effect your revenue stream is a perfectly reasonable and rational act.

So basically you consider it reasonable and rational to accept things on the basis of personal need even if they contradict objective forms of evidence?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 422 by jar, posted 07-30-2010 2:33 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 426 by jar, posted 07-30-2010 2:42 PM Straggler has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 25124
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.3


(1)
Message 426 of 479 (571166)
07-30-2010 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 425 by Straggler
07-30-2010 2:36 PM


Re: SOURCE vs Content
Straggle writes:

jar writes:

Again, hard to say. I would say that the Biblical Creationist that claim to be scientists are reasonable and rational, just dishonest.

Even if they believe themselves to be honest?

Yes.

Straggler writes:

jar writes:

Disregarding the information because it might adversely effect your revenue stream is a perfectly reasonable and rational act.

So basically you consider it reasonable and rational to accept things on the basis of personal need even if they contradict objective forms of evidence?

Reasonable and rational? Yes. Correct, not always.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 425 by Straggler, posted 07-30-2010 2:36 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 430 by Straggler, posted 07-31-2010 1:02 PM jar has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 16227
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 427 of 479 (571258)
07-30-2010 11:42 PM
Reply to: Message 423 by DevilsAdvocate
07-30-2010 2:34 PM


really?
Hi DevilsAdvocate,

Why should I claim to know the likelihood of something not-existing when the default position of science is the non-existence of something until shown evidence otherwise?

No, the default position is that we don't know.

Take the graviton as an example of something that is claimed to exist but for which there is currently no objective empirical evidence that it exists. The possible responses to the claim that gravitons exist are:

  1. it is possible that they exist, there is no evidence that shows they do not exist, and this theory (logical construction) implies that they exist, let's see if we can find evidence that they exist.

  2. I don't know, there is insufficient objective empirical evidence at this point to say, but
    1. let's see if we can find out, or
    2. we'll have to wait until more evidence becomes available.

  3. no they don't exist. Don't waste your time looking for them.

Position (1) can be held by anyone that develops or accepts the theory that they exist: it's a tentative claim of existence.

Position (2) is the default position of science: it is skeptical but open-minded to the possibility, and willing to wait until that information becomes available from other sources, or to look for more information before making a decision on whether or not they exist: wait or investigate.

Position (3) leads nowhere, certainly not towards any scientific investigation into the possibility of the existence of gravitons.

Now one can just have the opinion that (3) is true, based on their world view, life experiences and biase, but it is not a conclusion reached on evidence.

Now if one made either the claim that gravitons absolutely exist OR that gravitons absolutely do not exist, then they would need to provide evidence to support that position.

You may want to read through Pseudoskepticism and logic, or at least filter it for Rrhain's posts and then read from where he makes this same assertion of a default position (mid=526397), and the replies to them.

When the doorbell rings, do you assume a default position that no-one is there, or do you open the door to see who\what made the bell ring?

Proving the non-existence of something is a logical fallacy. Although someone may prove non-existence in special circumstances, such as showing that a box does not contain certain items, one cannot prove the absolute non-existence, or non-existence out of ignorance. In other words one cannot prove something that does not exist in the entire universe.

Agreed, and therefore it is irrational to claim that something absolutely (or that it is highly likely that something) does not exist.

The proof of existence (burden of proof) MUST come from those who make the claims for something’s existence.

But the claim that "X absolutely does not exist" would have to be substantiated by the evidence that you refer to above, or it is just a delusional claim.

Likewise a claim that "it is likely that X does not exist" assumes a level of knowledge of a sufficient proportion of the universe to allow one to make an informed conclusion of the likelihood.

The claim of knowing the likelihood is a positive claim, and it certainly bears a burden of proof.

The rational conclusion is that we don't know, the default position is that we don't know.


question
|
is there sufficient valid
information available to decide
| |
yes no
| |
decide based is a
on empirical decision
valid evidence necessary?
(A) / \
yes no ... but ...
/ | |
decide why make a
based on decide decision
inadequate at this anyway
evidence time? based on
=guess =wait opinion
(B) (C) (D)

The scientific process normally leads to (A) when there is sufficient objective empirical evidence to base an informed conclusion, and to (C) - wait or investigate - when there is not sufficient objective empirical evidence.

Many rationally minded scientists as agnostics or even weak atheists may say "I don't know" for certain if God exists or does not exist.

And some that are theists.

That however does not take away the burden of proof from theists to show evidence that God exists.

Or from atheists that claim to have some inside knowledge of the likelihood that god/s do not exist.

You, RAZD, may say you believe in God, but it has no basis in science but rather personal opinion and pure conjecture until you can show emperical evidence that God exists.

And amusing, what I have actually said is that it is my personal opinion that god/s exist, based on my world view, personal life experiences and biases. I do not claim that anyone needs to believe me.

Logically, as I have also demonstrated in previous posts, it is possible to have an agnostic, weak atheist, or weak theist positions (Forum Oscars, Message 91):

quote:
There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the following posts, but it seems that the key claim -- that the logical, rational position based on the evidence available was agnosticism -- went largely uncontested.

That the agnostic position is indeed the logical conclusion has now been demonstrated to be the case in If it can be, how can the "Absence of Evidence" be "Evidence of Absence?". thread, where a fairly complete summary can be found in Message 273, especially in the green area, and where it concludes with:

As a result of the logical analysis we have:

  1. Absolute Theist: knows god/s exist. (logically invalid position)
  2. Strong Theist: the existence of god/s is more likely than not. (logically invalid position)
  3. Weak Theist: the existence of god/s is possible, maybe likely, but not sure. (logically valid position)
  4. Agnostic: god/s may exist or they may not, there is insufficient evidence to know one way or the other. (logically valid position)
  5. Weak Atheist: the non-existence of gods is possible, maybe likely, but not sure. (logically valid position)
  6. Strong Atheist: the non-existence of god/s is more likely than not. (logically invalid position)
  7. Absolute Atheist: knows that god/s do not exist. (logically invalid position)

This has not been refuted, certainly not by the likes of Straggler, so we see that this original claim - that the only logical position was the agnostic position - has withstood the test of time.


There's more, lots more, but the gist of this is that on their own, without objective empirical evidence to support or invalidate them, positions (3), (4) and (5) are rational (based on valid logic), while (1), (2), (6) and (7) are irrational (based on invalid logic).

Thus positions (1), (2), (6) and (7) all bear a burden of proof to show that the claim is supported by objective empirical evidence OR the claim is merely an irrational assertion of opinion.

Enjoy

NOTICE: I am not going to answer all the posts I am getting, as there are just too many that are just repeating old arguments that have already been addressed. I have already answered these, and I have answered them to the point that it is silly to keep repeating my position in the hopes that it is understood and not misrepresented. If you see "RAZD acknowledges this reply" it is because this means you. This is my blanket response to those posts. Likewise if I only answer part of your post/s it is because this applies to the rest.
Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 423 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 07-30-2010 2:34 PM DevilsAdvocate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 428 by bluegenes, posted 07-31-2010 1:25 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 429 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 07-31-2010 8:25 AM RAZD has responded
 Message 432 by Straggler, posted 07-31-2010 1:41 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 446 by DBlevins, posted 07-31-2010 4:20 PM RAZD has responded

bluegenes
Member (Idle past 109 days)
Posts: 2812
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 428 of 479 (571266)
07-31-2010 1:25 AM
Reply to: Message 427 by RAZD
07-30-2010 11:42 PM


It's very unlikely that you're right.
RAZD writes:

When the doorbell rings, do you assume a default position that no-one is there, or do you open the door to see who\what made the bell ring?

When my doorbell's not ringing, I assume the default position that no-one is there. I cannot know that no-one is there, but 100 random visits to the door when the bell's not ringing will demonstrate that I'm being very, very rational to take that default position.

When my doorbell does ring, I assume the default position that it will not be a supernatural being doing the ringing. Decades of door answering have shown me to be very, very rational in making this assumption.

RAZD writes:

.... and therefore it is irrational to claim that something absolutely (or that it is highly likely that something) does not exist.

You claim that it is irrational to claim that something is highly unlikely to exist?

I think it's very unlikely that your house was built by elves. I think it's very unlikely that house-building elves exist.

The only known source of houses is human construction.

The only known source of supernatural beings is the human imagination.

Therefore, it's very unlikely that house-building elves exist.

Even without those observations, "elves built your house" would be a random, baseless hypothesis, and as such, very unlikely to be true.

1,530,000 uses of the phrase "very unlikely" here, on google scholar.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 427 by RAZD, posted 07-30-2010 11:42 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 58 days)
Posts: 1535
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 429 of 479 (571285)
07-31-2010 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 427 by RAZD
07-30-2010 11:42 PM


Re: really?
RAZD writes:

No, the default position is that we don't know.

So the default position of dragons, unicorns, and any other mythical type creature is that we don't know if they exist because we can't prove absolutely that they don't exist?

Really!?!

Logic dictates that the burden of proof lies with the one make a ontologically positive claim aka claim of the existance of something. Not the other way around.

RAZD writes:

Take the graviton as an example of something that is claimed to exist but for which there is currently no objective empirical evidence that it exists

Yes, but gravitons are predicted in physics (specifically quantum field theory). There is also indirect evidence (inference) for gravitational radiation to exist. This indirect evidence comes from observing the spin of a binary pulsar (PSR 1913 + 16 ). As the pulsar orbits around a companion star that is nearby (most likely another neutron star), the orbital energy of the system was observed to decrease slightly over a time of several years. The decrease appeared to be consistent with the amount of decrease predicted by general relativity from the radiation of gravitational energy.

There are also several experiments currently underway i.e. LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) and VIRGO (Virgo interferometer) that will possibly detect gravitational waves (not invidividual gravitons) in the near future.

That is a lot more that we can say for the existance of God IMHO.

RAZD writes:

it is possible that they exist, there is no evidence that shows they do not exist, and this theory (logical construction) implies that they exist, let's see if we can find evidence that they exist.

I don't know, there is insufficient objective empirical evidence at this point to say, but

let's see if we can find out, or

we'll have to wait until more evidence becomes available.

no they don't exist. Don't waste your time looking for them.

That is not how science works. We don't just conjure up ideas like gravitons in a vacuum of knowledge and evidence. Concepts such as gravitons are derived or infered based on previous knowledge (A Posteriori). Scientists believe gravitons to exist because of previous knowledge not in spite of it.

RAZD writes:

Now if one made either the claim that gravitons absolutely exist OR that gravitons absolutely do not exist, then they would need to provide evidence to support that position.

Agreed. However, like I said earlier, proposed phenomena such as gravitons are usually backed by prior ontologically positive knowledge and science works on the basis of positive ontological arguments not negative ones.

RAZD writes:

When the doorbell rings, do you assume a default position that no-one is there, or do you open the door to see who\what made the bell ring?

But the doorbell itself is emperical evidence that something occurred.

RAZD writes:

Agreed, and therefore it is irrational to claim that something absolutely (or that it is highly likely that something) does not exist.

Working from a basis of non-existance is not a claim it is a priori knowledge. It is the default position, not a claim. I am not claiming or asserting that God does not exist, I am inferring (deducing) he does not exist until shown otherwise, just like I deduce that teapots don't orbit Jupiter, unicorns don't exist, pigs can't fly, etc, etc ad infinitim. There is a difference.

Science (human process of assimilating, analyzing and understanding knowledge about the universe we live in) does not start from a position that everything and anything could exist. Rather it works from the premise that only things that follow the laws of the universe could possibly exist and only exist when shown evidence of their existance (whether that is indicitive of reality or not is irrelevent as science is an approach to understanding reality not reality itself). If science did not work that way than it would be impossible to make predictions and hypothesis of how the universe functions understanding that an infinite amount of 'things' 'could exist'.

But the claim that "X absolutely does not exist" would have to be substantiated by the evidence that you refer to above, or it is just a delusional claim.

Again you are using the word claim. I am not. See above. We are talking past each other.

RAZD writes:

Likewise a claim that "it is likely that X does not exist" assumes a level of knowledge of a sufficient proportion of the universe to allow one to make an informed conclusion of the likelihood.

Again, I am not claiming anything. The burden of proof lies with the ones making assertations. I am not making any such claim. God may or may not exist. Still, the burden of proof for evidence lies with the one making the positive ontological argument that God exists not with the one saying that because there is no emperical evidence of God existing, they do not believe God to exist.

RAZD writes:

The claim of knowing the likelihood is a positive claim, and it certainly bears a burden of proof.

Most atheists, even die hard ones like Richard Dawkins, do not claim they 'know' with certainity that God does not exist (because it is logically impossible to prove a negative claim with 100% certainty). However it is also impossible to prove a postive claim with 100% certainty (the sun rose yesterday but can you be 100% certain it will rise tomorrow). Either way the burden of proof lies more with the person making a positive claim that God exists vice the other way around i.e.

Richard Dawkins writes:

A friend, an intelligent lapsed Jew who observes the Sabbath for reasons of cultural solidarity, describes himself as a Tooth Fairy Agnostic. He will not call himself an atheist because it is in principle impossible to prove a negative.

But "agnostic" on its own might suggest that he though God's existence or non-existence equally likely. In fact, though strictly agnostic about God, he considers God's existence no more probable than the Tooth Fairy's.

Bertrand Russell used a hypothetical teapot in orbit about Mars for the same didactic purpose. You have to be agnostic about the teapot, but that doesn't mean you treat the likelihood of its existence as being on all fours with its non-existence.

The list of things about which we strictly have to be agnostic doesn't stop at tooth fairies and celestial teapots. It is infinite. If you want to believe in a particular one of them -- teapots, unicorns, or tooth fairies, Thor or Yahweh -- the onus is on you to say why you believe in it. The onus is not on the rest of us to say why we do not. We who are atheists are also a-fairyists, a-teapotists, and a-unicornists, but we don't have to bother saying so.

RAZD writes:

And some that are theists.

True

RAZD writes:

Or from atheists that claim to have some inside knowledge of the likelihood that god/s do not exist.

Again replace the word god(s) with unicorns, vampires, werewolfs, leprecauns, yeti, the loch ness monster, big foot, or any other mythological creature and see how ludicrous this sounds. Seriously. If we operated science in this way we would be in serious trouble.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World
This message is a reply to:
 Message 427 by RAZD, posted 07-30-2010 11:42 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 443 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 4:06 PM DevilsAdvocate has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 9988
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 430 of 479 (571350)
07-31-2010 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 426 by jar
07-30-2010 2:42 PM


Re: SOURCE vs Content
jar writes:

Straggler writes:

Even if they believe themselves to be honest?

Yes.

This is a bit of a side issue - and I am not even sure I disagree with you on this - but I am intrigued to know how you think someone who thinks they are being honest can be dishonest? Does it ultimately boil down to being dishonest with oneself?

jar writes:

Of course it is rational and reasonable to consider the existence of Hobbits as evidenced based on the 'Lord of the Rings' text.

jar writes:

Reasonable and rational? Yes. Correct, not always.

So if someone had some sort of emotional need to believe in the actual existence of Middle Earth hobbits you would consider it rational and reasonable for them to believe in the actual existence of Middle Earth hobbits?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 426 by jar, posted 07-30-2010 2:42 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 431 by jar, posted 07-31-2010 1:19 PM Straggler has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 25124
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 431 of 479 (571355)
07-31-2010 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 430 by Straggler
07-31-2010 1:02 PM


Re: SOURCE vs Content
Straggler writes:

This is a bit of a side issue - and I am not even sure I disagree with you on this - but I am intrigued to know how you think someone who thinks they are being honest can be dishonest? Does it ultimately boil down to being dishonest with oneself?

Ever been around kids, see how they can get into The Game, to the point that at least for awhile, they are the character?

Then there are also the ones that lie to themselves so often they can no longer tell fact from fantasy.

Straggler writes:

So if someone had some sort of emotional need to believe in the actual existence of Middle Earth hobbits you would consider it rational and reasonable for them to believe in the actual existence of Middle Earth hobbits?

Sure, or other reasons.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 430 by Straggler, posted 07-31-2010 1:02 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 433 by Straggler, posted 07-31-2010 1:44 PM jar has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 9988
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 432 of 479 (571359)
07-31-2010 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 427 by RAZD
07-30-2010 11:42 PM


Questions and Answers
Question: If the specific god under consideration is immaterial and wholly empirically undetectable how can it have originated as a human concept from anywhere other than the internal workings of the human mind?

Answer: It cannot.

Question: Can the deistic notion of god as previously described by RAZD - "Unknowable, outside our universe, outside of our perception/s, or is off doing other things" Message 225 - possibly be empirically perceptible?

Answer: Quite obviously not.

Thus we have refuted this particular class of gods as necessarily the products of human invention. Refuted to the same extent that any other unfalsifiable imperceptible fantasy we can pluck from the collective arse of humanity has been refuted as made-up. Even allowing for the philosophical possibility that by some miracle of coincidence the imagined entity in question does indeed actually exist.

As for these empirically detectable gods - Well I would request that those prone to the much vaunted subjective expereinces take up the "Catch a God on a Camera Phone" challenge Message 278


This message is a reply to:
 Message 427 by RAZD, posted 07-30-2010 11:42 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Straggler
Member
Posts: 9988
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 433 of 479 (571361)
07-31-2010 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 431 by jar
07-31-2010 1:19 PM


Re: SOURCE vs Content
jar writes:

Straggler writes:

So if someone had some sort of emotional need to believe in the actual existence of Middle Earth hobbits you would consider it rational and reasonable for them to believe in the actual existence of Middle Earth hobbits?

Sure, or other reasons.

If someone has an emotional need to believe that they are Napoleon Bonaparte is it rational and reasonable for them to believe that they actually are Napoleon Bonaparte?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 431 by jar, posted 07-31-2010 1:19 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 434 by jar, posted 07-31-2010 1:46 PM Straggler has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 25124
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 434 of 479 (571363)
07-31-2010 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 433 by Straggler
07-31-2010 1:44 PM


Re: SOURCE vs Content
For them, it might well be reasonable and rational. I would need to know what led them to that conclusion.

Are they wrong, deluded? Almost certainly.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 433 by Straggler, posted 07-31-2010 1:44 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 437 by Straggler, posted 07-31-2010 3:20 PM jar has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 16227
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 435 of 479 (571389)
07-31-2010 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 405 by crashfrog
07-29-2010 11:51 PM


Re: back to the begining?
Hi crashfrog,

Sorry, still your opinion.

One of us has to be wrong. That's why it can't simply be a matter of opinion.

But you don't know which one, so it is opinion.

You can toss a coin in the air and call heads or tails ...

You can hold the opinion\position that it will fall on heads

I can hold the opinion\position that it will fall on tails

They are "mutually inconsistent positions" because one of us must be wrong, but you don't know which until the coin lands.

But God can't exist for you and not exist for me. One of us has to be wrong ...

Yes, and at this time we don't know which one is wrong. It is perfectly rational to hold mutually opposing opinions about something when the truth is not known, it is only after the truth is known that one becomes irrational to continue to hold.

... (and according to the weight of the evidence, it's you.)

Which you have thus far failed to demonstrate.

All you have done is assert that you have evidence ...

... and posted one (1) instance of your opinion, based on confirmation bias, that an expectation of yours in one particular case was not met.

As pointed out, this is not evidence that god/s per se do not exist, but that your expectation was not met.

This means that, logically, either a god of your expectation does not exist (while leaving all others unscathed), OR that your expectation is false (leaving god/s unscathed).

This is not objective empirical evidence for the non-existence of god/s, this is you voicing your opinion about what a god would be like and then claiming that it does not exist.

quote:
http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/straw.htm
Straw Man

Definition: The author attacks an argument which is different from, and usually weaker than, the opposition's best argument.

Examples:
1. People who opposed the Charlottetown Accord probably just wanted Quebec to separate. But we want Quebec to stay in Canada.
2. We should have conscription. People don't want to enter the military because they find it an inconvenience. But they should realize that there are more important things than convenience.

Proof: Show that the opposition's argument has been misrepresented by showing that the opposition has a stronger argument. Describe the stronger argument.


As I pointed out in Message 402

quote:
So ... if god/s exist, then they would not meet your criteria for "benevolent, omnipotent" gods. You're expectations could be what is false here, rather than the existence of gods, so this is not evidence that god/s do not exist, just that your expectations are not met.

Now I personally do not expect god/s to be benevolent or malevolent or concerned in any way with the human life experiences or conceptions of the welfare of human life on earth, so I don't have that problem.

Your "evidence" fails to address the issue of whether god/s exist or not.


This shows that your argument is just another logical fallacy, the straw man argument, rather than actual evidence of any thing other than your willingness to believe logical fallacies.

Of course this is just the dishonest theist game of retreat; where God is constantly redefined to lack whatever previously-essential characteristic was just disproven by the atheist. ...

Curiously, this is also how the scientific method works, discarding falsified concepts as you parse down understanding to find close approximations of the truth.

... Ultimately you'll reach the point where "God" is just an empty word, a cypher devoid of all intelligible meaning - yet, somehow still maintained by you to exist.

Let me know when you get there.

They taught this stuff in first grade, RAZD. Were you out that day or something?

Ah yes, the old ad hominem attack when all else fails, imply that the messenger is uneducated and ignorant.

Curiously, what I was taught was that it was proper and logical to say "I don't know" when you do not have sufficient objective empirical evidence that can lead to a logical evidence supported conclusion.

Thus when the coin is in the air, the logical and rational opinion\position to take is that I don't know.

To claim that it must land on heads (or tails) is irrational.

To claim that it is more likely to land on heads than tails (or tails than heads) is irrational.

These opinions\positions are irrational whether the other opinion\position is held.

Sure. Just as anyone of the position that God exists would have to be in denial of the massive objective empirical evidence that there's absolutely no such thing; that it's an invention of the human imagination not an actual being of magical power.

Interestingly, continuing to assert that there is "massive objective empirical evidence" does not magically make it appear.

That people make some things up sometimes is an acknowledged fact, as is the fact that sometimes people don't make things up. Assuming that one is the case and then arguing that this is evidence that this is the case is the logical fallacy of assuming the consequent:

quote:
http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/affirm.htm
Affirming the Consequent

Definition:
Any argument of the following form is invalid:
If A then B
B
Therefore, A

Examples:
1. If I am in Calgary, then I am in Alberta. I am in Alberta, thus, I am in Calgary. (Of course, even though the premises are true, I might be in Edmonton, Alberta.)
2. If the mill were polluting the river then we would see an increase in fish deaths. And fish deaths have increased. Thus, the mill is polluting the river.


Another example of this logical fallacy is brought to us most recently by Straggler (Message 300):

straggler, after asserting that because modern santa clause folklorehas been shown to include some made up concepts, that it is refuted, and then proclaiming: writes:

The same must apply to any empirically imperceptible entity as there is no means by which it's human conception can have been arrived at but by the internal workings of the human mind.

One poor example is then (in typical Straggler style) extrapolated extravagantly into applying to all concepts of god/s (he also messes things up by putting one of his precepts into his conclusion). To put it in the form of this fallacy:

If all concepts of god/s are made up then we would see examples of concepts that are made up
We see examples of god/s (well one so far, maybe, and only if we really stretch the concept of god ...),
Therefore all concepts of god/s must be made up.

Note, for the record (once again), that "empirically imperceptible" just means that any perceptions of god/s cannot be tested empirically, not that they are necessarily imperceptible as a result.

Or you are begging the question, by assuming first that your conclusion is true first, and then using that to show that your conclusion is true:

quote:
http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/begging.htm
Begging the Question
(petitio principii)

Definition:: The truth of the conclusion is assumed by the premises. Often, the conclusion is simply restated in the premises in a slightly different form. In more difficult cases, the premise is a consequence of the conclusion.


Not you, certainly; you've made it clear that you draw no distinction at all between matters of fact and matters of opinion.

Amusingly, I say no such thing. What you are arguing against is your ill formed opinion of my position (to use your term).

Can you quote where I say this? If you can't you should withdraw the statement.

And, funny you should use that word "delusional":

Ah yes, Dawkins, the shock-jock of anti-theism. Are you skeptical of any of his claims?

Are you going to argue that because he published a popular press book, that this is evidence that god/s do not exist?

Enjoy

NOTICE: I am not going to answer all the posts I am getting, as there are just too many that are just repeating old arguments that have already been addressed. I have already answered these, and I have answered them to the point that it is silly to keep repeating my position in the hopes that it is understood and not misrepresented. If you see "RAZD acknowledges this reply" it is because this means you. This is my blanket response to those posts. Likewise if I only answer part of your post/s it is because this applies to the rest. Additionally I may answer your post in reply to someone else, and I just don't need to repeat points already made.
Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : added notice, fixed quote


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 405 by crashfrog, posted 07-29-2010 11:51 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 478 by crashfrog, posted 08-01-2010 11:21 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

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