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Author Topic:   Open-minded Skepticism
MrHambre
Member
Posts: 1493
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 31 of 85 (759290)
06-10-2015 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by mikechell
06-10-2015 2:29 PM


Re: Skepticism is a good thing !!!
mikechell writes:

I wasn't intending to be "uncivil"


I don't know how I could have gotten the idea you were, mike. Within the span of five minutes, you replied to two posts of mine, neither of which were addressed to you, employing the logical fallacies of tu quoque in one (Message 181) and non sequitur in the other (Message 27), and making no apparent attempt to engage with what I was saying in either.

Facts are concrete ... what you believe does not change the facts.

But facts also have contexts, and we interpret them according to what we already believe. It's not like we're data processors which perform operations on input. The way we relate to information, knowledge, and interpretations can vary widely depending on our personal and cultural backgrounds.

Facts and evidence of facts should change how one believes, if previous beliefs were proven wrong.

It's human nature to prefer the evidence that supports what we believe and de-emphasize or dismiss the evidence that contradicts what we believe. That's what I meant in my post: we can say we'll follow the evidence wherever it leads, but in reality we're the ones doing the leading.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by mikechell, posted 06-10-2015 2:29 PM mikechell has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by mikechell, posted 06-10-2015 3:05 PM MrHambre has responded

    
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2664
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 32 of 85 (759291)
06-10-2015 2:56 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by mikechell
06-08-2015 4:47 PM


Re: Skepticism is a good thing !!!
mikechell writes:

Most people cannot conceive the fact that, when the chemical/electrical processes of the brain stop, so do you.


Perhaps your physical body. But everything you ever have done continues to send ripples throughout the universe. The memory of your existance still exist.
mikeshell writes:

My skepticism fades ... body dies, brain ceases to function ... you cease to exist.

Yes your physical self. But not the part of you than can not die, the memory of you.

mikeshell writes:

"God" is a creation of man to avoid that conclusion.

Perhaps. But I choose to believe our existence is more than than the sum of it's parts. It does have meaning that our concious brains choose to give it, for better or for worse. imo.
Skepticism is a good thing? Nah, we all base most of our decisions on belief rather than hard evidence, otherwise nothing would get done. Many believe the sources of our facts based on the confidence we have in those sources. It is there that confirmation bias can rear it's ugly head.

Edited by 1.61803, : spelling

Edited by 1.61803, : change "confidence to confirmation"


"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 22 by mikechell, posted 06-08-2015 4:47 PM mikechell has responded

Replies to this message:
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mikechell
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 33 of 85 (759294)
06-10-2015 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by MrHambre
06-10-2015 2:55 PM


Re: Skepticism is a good thing !!!
I replied to "pop science" (your inference that it's false) with "pop bible".
I disputed that belief can alter the facts or the evidence of facts ... a premise you subscribe to and seem to believe and I don't.

I guess you can consider my uncivil, since I did respond to you without agreeing with you ... but I don't understand how I didn't "engage" you? I countered your statements ... that's part of a debate, no?


evidence over faith ... observation over theory

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by MrHambre, posted 06-10-2015 2:55 PM MrHambre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by MrHambre, posted 06-10-2015 3:22 PM mikechell has not yet responded

  
mikechell
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 85 (759295)
06-10-2015 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by 1.61803
06-10-2015 2:56 PM


Re: Skepticism is a good thing !!!
But everything you ever have done continues to send ripples throughout the universe.

Sorry, but no. Your ripples die out as soon as your brain does. Yes, your memory lingers in those who choose to remember you, but if no one does, then you don't ripple.
The memory of your existance still exist.

but not the part of you than can not die, the memory of you.

Exactly my point. Everyone likes to believe they'll "live on". But it's just not true. Granted, you might leave a memory, but those only last until they no longer are important to the "rememberer". You ceased to exist long before that.
Nah, we all base most of our decisions on belief rather than hard evidence, otherwise nothing would get done.

It is blind belief that causes "nothing would get done". Skepticism drives the search for truth. Belief does not require truth, or action, it just "is". And it causes stagnation.

evidence over faith ... observation over theory

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by 1.61803, posted 06-10-2015 2:56 PM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by 1.61803, posted 06-10-2015 4:05 PM mikechell has responded

  
MrHambre
Member
Posts: 1493
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 35 of 85 (759298)
06-10-2015 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by mikechell
06-10-2015 3:05 PM


Re: Skepticism is a good thing !!!
mikechell writes:

I replied to "pop science" (your inference that it's false) with "pop bible".

I disputed that belief can alter the facts or the evidence of facts ... a premise you subscribe to and seem to believe and I don't.


I don't believe pop science is false, and neither do I believe belief can alter facts. What I was saying about pop science is that it's no substitute for the hard data that support theories we affirm such as the Big Bang or the evolution of species; it's just the best we can manage as amateurs. What I was saying about facts, as I've already made a futile attempt to clarify, is that they don't exist outside a context and we arrange and interpret them according to our personal and cultural backgrounds.

I guess you can consider my uncivil, since I did respond to you without agreeing with you ... but I don't understand how I didn't "engage" you? I countered your statements ... that's part of a debate, no?

It's clear you had no idea what I meant by either statement, but instead of asking me to elucidate you posted snide responses to them anyway. Since I've explained myself, you could try to engage with what I've said going forward. If you're interested in civil dialogue, that is.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by mikechell, posted 06-10-2015 3:05 PM mikechell has not yet responded

    
subbie
Member (Idle past 58 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 36 of 85 (759306)
06-10-2015 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by ramoss
06-08-2015 11:13 PM


Perhaps this is just semantics, but there's a reason those people are called "deniers," not skeptics. I had thought that part of the definition of "skeptic" is the idea that the skeptic is looking for evidence and will rationally weigh and consider evidence offered.

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

Howling about evidence is a conversation stopper, and it never stops to think if the claim could possibly be true -- foreveryoung


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Replies to this message:
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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2664
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 37 of 85 (759314)
06-10-2015 4:05 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by mikechell
06-10-2015 3:14 PM


Re: Skepticism is a good thing !!!
mikechell writes:

Sorry, but no. Your ripples die out as soon as your brain does.

You have evidence of this? Or is this arm chair speculation based on your own naval gazing expertise? I can refute your above statement by saying a brain dead person can still be physically alive for decades. And that is not even part of my argument. I can also refute your above statement by saying the finger nail, hair and toenail matrix continues production post mortum.( further ripples) So again your wrong. But the sailent point of my comments was that our human interactions in life "live on after our physical death. Your personal nihilistic take on your own life is not the end all- (pun intended) of what many others choose to believe.

kmikeschell writes:

Exactly my point. Everyone likes to believe they'll "live on". But it's just not true.

Well if by "live on" you mean your physical body I agree, most reasonable folks do. Once your physical body is dead then yes your phyical body is dead. Duh, kind of redundant.

mikeshell writes:

Granted, you might leave a memory, but those only last until they no longer are important to the "rememberer". You ceased to exist long before that.

If you grant that YOU left a memory then who is to judge what is or is not important enough to remember. All people and memories are not created equal and some are more memorable than others.

mikeshell writes:

It is blind belief that causes "nothing would get done". Skepticism drives the search for truth. Belief does not require truth, or action, it just "is". And it causes stagnation.


Skeptics do not have to do anything but be skeptical. That is the epitomy of inaction. I challenge you to try to get though your day fact checking every interaction you encounter. Lets just see how much you get done.

"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 34 by mikechell, posted 06-10-2015 3:14 PM mikechell has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by mikechell, posted 06-10-2015 5:50 PM 1.61803 has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 12820
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 38 of 85 (759316)
06-10-2015 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by subbie
06-10-2015 3:51 PM


subbie writes:

I had thought that part of the definition of "skeptic" is the idea that the skeptic is looking for evidence and will rationally weigh and consider evidence offered.


To True Believers - e.g. the folks over at Evolution Fairy Tale - "skeptic" apparently refers to people who accept evidence over the Bible.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by subbie, posted 06-10-2015 3:51 PM subbie has acknowledged this reply

  
mikechell
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 85 (759351)
06-10-2015 5:50 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by 1.61803
06-10-2015 4:05 PM


Re: Skepticism is a good thing !!!
You have evidence of this?

Since all brain activity is electro-chemical, once it stops, death. Once the body dies, there is no way to continue the thoughts that made the person. That person ceases to exist.

I can also refute your above statement by saying the finger nail, hair and toenail matrix continues production post mortum.

Actually, no they don't. It's been an accepted fact for some time, the skin recedes, the nails and hair don't grow.

if by "live on" you mean your physical body

No, I was referring to the fantasy of a "soul" that will know heaven or hell.

All people and memories are not created equal and some are more memorable than others.

True ... memories will live on. Books keep some memories around longer. But memories aren't "Souls" and the individual is not alive just because memories are.

Skeptics do not have to do anything but be skeptical.

That argument could be said of anybody. But being skeptical means you question the validity of something. Sure, you could stop at that, but most don't. If only to prove your skepticism, most will research and discover the truth.
By your argument, the "faithful" have no need to research ... they believe and that's enough for them.

evidence over faith ... observation over theory

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by 1.61803, posted 06-10-2015 4:05 PM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by 1.61803, posted 06-10-2015 6:23 PM mikechell has not yet responded

  
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2664
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


(3)
Message 40 of 85 (759356)
06-10-2015 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by mikechell
06-10-2015 5:50 PM


Re: Skepticism is a good thing !!!
mikechell writes:

Since all brain activity is electro-chemical, once it stops, death. Once the body dies, there is no way to continue the thoughts that made the person. That person ceases to exist.

Does their memorie cease to exist? Do their children cease to exist? Does their life work cease to exist? If you define your person as your physical body then yes you cease to exist. I was simply offering another point of view that our lives are more than the sum of its physical parts. That we are the ones that give meaning to our lives.
mikechell writes:

Actually, no they don't. It's been an accepted fact for some time, the skin recedes, the nails and hair don't grow.

Ok Ill concede this point . But you did say once brain death the body dies. And I have shown that the physical body can be kept alive post brain death so the person is still physically alive despite being brain dead so your still wrong.
mikechell writes:

No, I was referring to the fantasy of a "soul" that will know heaven or hell.

Where in the conversation did I mention either of those things?

mikeshell writes:

True ... memories will live on. Books keep some memories around longer. But memories aren't "Souls" and the individual is not alive just because memories are.

Again I never said the individual stayed physically alive just because his/her memories did. And again I never spoke of the soul at all.

mikeschell writes:

That argument could be said of anybody. But being skeptical means you question the validity of something.


And believing means you accept something not based on evidence.
My point was that people operate in daily life based on beliefs rather than non belief. It is impossible to check the sources of all information. You believe the things you read and hear based on the confidence you have in those sources and their sources.
If you do not believe anything then how can you function?
Believing something is not the same thing as blind faith no more than skepticims is the same thing as denying everything. There is room in the universe for both skepticism and belief.

"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 39 by mikechell, posted 06-10-2015 5:50 PM mikechell has not yet responded

  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 318 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


(4)
Message 41 of 85 (759357)
06-10-2015 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by mikechell
06-10-2015 2:29 PM


Re: Skepticism is a good thing !!!
Hi, Mike--my turn to welcome you and admire your fish. I was on South Cape Cod Beach last week watching surfcasters throw 2 and 3-foot bluefish back...

Their freezers were full, they said. The bastards.

Facts are concrete ... what you believe does not change the facts.

What you believe can change your body. Those changes can impact you and the world around you dramatically.

Circumstantial evidence might be interpreted incorrectly ... factual evidence cannot, no matter what you believe.

Surely you don't mean that literally: we are regularly treated here to the misinterpretation of factual evidence.

I agree with MrHambre that facts are socially/culturally determined.

Whose perceptual apparatus and mindset should be used to determine which "facts" are cast in concrete? Sadly, we lack an heroic "Objective Man" and have to settle for a consensus arrived at by best methods and efforts, all of them falling short of the Glory of Fact.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by mikechell, posted 06-10-2015 2:29 PM mikechell has not yet responded

    
mikechell
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 85 (759362)
06-10-2015 7:22 PM


new and confused ... who is E and who is C
LOL Maybe I am confusing issues that aren't so confusing. I was talking about my perceptions and conclusions that there is no "soul" that lives on after a person dies. There is no heaven or hell, and even if there was, there's no electro-chemical way for a person to know where they ended up because the brain activity has ceased.
I was simply offering another point of view that our lives are more than the sum of its physical parts. That we are the ones that give meaning to our lives.

I am cool with this. Memories of you can live on long after you are gone.

Thank you for the welcome, Omnivorous.

Circumstantial evidence might be interpreted incorrectly ... factual evidence cannot, no matter what you believe.

Surely you don't mean that literally: we are regularly treated here to the misinterpretation of factual evidence.

I stand by what I say, this time. Factual evidence can only be misinterpreted by those who refuse to accept it. Refusal to accept a fact does not change that fact.

evidence over faith ... observation over theory

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by jar, posted 06-10-2015 7:26 PM mikechell has not yet responded
 Message 44 by Omnivorous, posted 06-10-2015 7:40 PM mikechell has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 28433
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 43 of 85 (759363)
06-10-2015 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by mikechell
06-10-2015 7:22 PM


Re: new and confused ... who is E and who is C
Well I believe there will be a life after death, maybe even a heaven or hell, and that the evidence shows that Evolution is a fact and so far the Theory of Evolution is the only one that can explain what is seen. Does that help?

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by mikechell, posted 06-10-2015 7:22 PM mikechell has not yet responded

  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 318 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 44 of 85 (759365)
06-10-2015 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by mikechell
06-10-2015 7:22 PM


Re: new and confused ... who is E and who is C
new and confused ... who is E and who is C

Even scientists of great integrity can disagree about the interpretation of apparent facts.

For your EvC bestiary:

I'm a strong atheist who experiences what religious folk would consider mystical transports. I figure, meh, temporal lobe bonus. I could be wrong.

And an evilutionist, of course.

What makes a fact a fact, Mike?


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by mikechell, posted 06-10-2015 7:22 PM mikechell has not yet responded

    
mikechell
Inactive Member


Message 45 of 85 (759369)
06-10-2015 8:03 PM


Okay ... we're cool!
Well I believe there will be a life after death, maybe even a heaven or hell, and that the evidence shows that Evolution is a fact and so far the Theory of Evolution is the only one that can explain what is seen. Does that help?

You're like my Wife. I've told her god's 6 days took about 12 billion of our years. We're somewhere in the middle of the 7th day and he's still resting. (which explains his lack of interaction) She likes that explanation.

What makes a fact a fact, Mike?

Fact requires physical proof of existence. Fact requires observable cause and effect.

Edited by mikechell, : No reason given.


evidence over faith ... observation over theory

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by Jon, posted 06-10-2015 8:32 PM mikechell has not yet responded
 Message 47 by Coyote, posted 06-10-2015 8:37 PM mikechell has responded

  
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