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Author Topic:   Absence of Evidence..............
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 61 of 138 (468050)
05-26-2008 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Marcosll
05-26-2008 8:23 AM


Re: Evidence
Not sure what you're on about here. I suppose you can either believe in unwitnessed miracles or not believe in them.

So if I told you I had just witnessed a miracle you would belive me? Case closed? Miracles happen.

Wrong. Someone may have had a personal experience where they have witnessed something which to them seems as real as this very text you're reading. You can call it "personal prejudice" but sometimes seeing is believing (or experiencing).

Seeing things nobody else can see implies you are seeing things that are not actually there. In other words delusion at best or madness in extreme cases.

Again, to those who have experienced it, it would be unfair to call it personal prejudice or philosophical bais.

As above.

Depends... absence of physical evidence? So if my friend takes an extasy pill and sees elves and I don't take one does that mean I have no physical evidence that those pills helped him see elves?

You have physical evidence that your friend believes that he saw elves. There is a subtle but very importnat difference. I don't dispute what he thinks he saw. I dispute the objective physical reality of what he actually saw.

"In practice is not the default position for everyone disbelief rather than belief almost all of the time? Exceptions are then made, by some, with regard to the extraordinary claims of religion and other aspects of the supernatural which are deemed ‘untestable’."

So if, during a court case, some eye witnesses say they saw Mr. Smith stab Mrs. Smith repeatedly with a knife, the jury's position here should be disbelief rather than belief all of the time? I think not!


Don't be an idiot. An eye witness account is empirical evidence if it corroborates other phyical objective evidence.
An eye witness acoount with no other physical evidence (no body, no weapon, no suggestion of murder at all in fact) should rightly be taken with a large pinch of salt.

Empirical evidence is just a peice of the puzzle. Sometimes it's an important piece, other time's it's not even required. In science, empirical evidence is one of the foundations for any rule.

You are not the first person to say this but none have yet given a convincing arguemnt for the inclusion of any other forms of evidence.
What form s of evidence are you advocating and on what grounds?

Please give an example of such "evidence" and the conclusion that was derived from this evidence.

Yes, we all do this every day constantly. It's called taking someone's word for it. In fact, most of us have been taught in school many things without us having any evidence for them. We just believed them. Same applies to the TV. Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq anyone?

Bollocks. We assess the validity of claims for which we do not have direct physical evidence on a lifetime of empirical experience of what is and what is not empirically likely.
If I tell you I saw a cat this morning you would probably believe me. This is mundane and everyday. You have personal empirical experience of cats and know that they are common.
If I told you I saw a unicorn today I doubt you would believe me quite so readily. Because you have no empirical experience that suggests unicorns are likely.
Don't confuse direct evidence for a claim with a lifetime of empirical evidence that allows us to accurately evaluate the validity of various claims.

Good question. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the great majority of the time we don't have any evidence ourselves and we must act based upon what we think to be true based on what others have told us.

Again - We believe others when they make claims that our own empirical experience tells us are reasonable. Our evidence for these claims is effectively a wealth of day to day empirical experience.
When claims are made that are contrary to our empirical experience we do not believe such claims without additional objective evidence.
I have covered this subject previously here www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=778&m=159#145 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=778&m=159#145">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=778&m=159#145

I suggest that you use the 'Reply' button rather than use the general post option. That way people get notified of your contributions and can respond accordingly.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Marcosll, posted 05-26-2008 8:23 AM Marcosll has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Marcosll, posted 05-29-2008 8:15 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 62 of 138 (468057)
05-26-2008 7:07 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Grizz
05-25-2008 4:41 PM


Rationality of Empiricism
Scientific empiricism(sometimes referred to as Scientism) states that the empirical methods of science are the only valid means of arriving at facts, inferences, or conclusions about the nature of the world. The irony is that neither the rejection of empiricism nor its acceptance can be established by empirical inquiry and is grounded in reason rather than measurement. It is axiomatic and is entirely a metaphysical presupposition.

I am absolutely thrilled with this line of argument.
I am sure that to those that have studied philosophy in depth this is an obvious and well explored conclusion. But it is the first time it has been meaningfully pointed out to me.

I have to agree with Mike that the empirical results of empiricism justify it in purely practical terms.
However as a logical argument the circularity of this is obvious and as such the position taken in the OP, whilst I maintain is indisputable in terms of rational conclusion and practical application, is not something that I think can be advocated in terms of it's own criteria.

I find the irony of this marvellous!!


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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6269
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 63 of 138 (468099)
05-27-2008 3:22 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by Straggler
05-26-2008 5:30 PM


Re: Irrelevant
Hi Stragler,

I would like to answer your message 59 but I better not in a science thread. Send me an e-mail and I will answer.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2508 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 64 of 138 (468125)
05-27-2008 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by Straggler
05-26-2008 5:30 PM


Re: Irrelevant
Given all of the physical attributes it seems sould/spirits have it makes me wonder why we don't just exist as spirits/souls before death too? What exactly is the difference between a soul and a body?

Imagination?¿


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969


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Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1916 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 65 of 138 (468135)
05-27-2008 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Straggler
05-25-2008 1:54 PM


Re: Unicorns
Straggler:

It's symbolic reality is neither here nor there. My claim is that the invisible pink unicorn is true.

If truth is the issue, any reality your invisible pink unicorn possesses matters very much. Reality and truth are synonyms.

We have established that your invisible pink unicorn cannot be real as a physical object. It embodies a fatal self-contradiction according to the laws of physics.

This need not prevent it from having a potent existence as a symbol. Much of what you said in its defence suggests a symbol (simultaneous possession of physically contradictory features, its 'colour beyond colour' etc.). That's why I mentioned this possibility.

Your invisible pink unicorn is already real as a concept. Neither of us have encountered such a creature in the physical universe, yet we can talk about it and understand each other without running to our dictionaries. Our behaviour demonstrates the reality of a concept we call 'invisible pink unicorn.'

Do you dispute the truth (or likelihood of truth if we want to be pedantic) of my claim and if so on what grounds?

To say anything more about the 'truth' of your unicorn--to dispute your claim or affirm it--we need more clarity about what kind of truth you are claiming. We have already eliminated one possibility from the kind of truth you can claim for it.

If you claim your unicorn is real as a physical object, your claim already stands refuted on the grounds I stated. Such an object is physically impossible.

If you claim your unicorn is real in some other way--as a symbol, as a concept, as a metaphysical object--then we can talk.

So what kind of truth for it are you claiming?

____

Edited by Archer Opterix, : html.

Edited by Archer Opterix, : brev.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Straggler, posted 05-25-2008 1:54 PM Straggler has responded

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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 66 of 138 (468144)
05-27-2008 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Archer Opteryx
05-27-2008 1:13 PM


Re: Unicorns
If you claim your unicorn is real in some other way--as a symbol, as a concept, as a metaphysical object--then we can talk.

So what kind of truth for it are you claiming?

I suppose that metaphysical is the closest of the options available. However that is not to say that the IPU cannot manifest itself physically should it choose to do so (at that point it would be pink but not invisible in purely physical terms whilst retaining it's inherent pinkiness in metaphysical terms at all times).

It also should not be thought that the IPU's metaphysical nature stops him from interracting with the physical world when he so wills.


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Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1916 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 67 of 138 (468145)
05-27-2008 2:54 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Straggler
05-25-2008 2:05 PM


Re: A right brain hemisphere is a terrible thing to waste
Straggler:

As things stand with regard to your position I am still unclear as to the precise difference between physical evidence and empirical evidence.

Empirical refers to a method, to a way we think of something. The brain itself is a physical object, not an 'empirical' one.

If we have a pickled brain in a jar in our biology lab, that brain is a physical object. We can study that brain empirically. But the object of our interest is not itself 'empirical.' It couldn't care less how we study it.

Back before it was pickled in formaldehyde, in the days when that brain sat perched inside a skull and was being used by somebody, it employed both empirical and non-empirical ways of thinking.

The brains inside our own skulls, the brains you and I use today as we study the pickled brain in the lab, also use both empirical and non-empirical ways of thinking.

When I offered the human brain's multiple functions as evidence that both empirical and non-empirical ways of thinking have their value, you declared empiricism the winner on the premise that brains themselves are 'empirical.' They are not. Brains are physical objects. They may do things in empirical and non-empirical ways when they are alive. But these words refer to ways brains do things, not to the brains themselves.

It's as if you said left is the only valid direction for anyone to move. I say 'But look at cars. They come from the factory with a reverse gear and a steering wheel that can take them right as well as left. This suggests that all directions have their uses.' You then say 'I can't believe you brought cars into this. Everyone knows cars are left. If it all comes down to cars, left automatically wins.'

The flaw: 'left' is a direction. It is not a car.

In your opinion would a suitably futuristic MRA scanner show a physical/empirical basis behind every thought, emotion etc. etc. or is there "something else" that defines this non-empirical stance of yours?

This question is impossible to answer as worded.

The main problem with it is the assumption that I took a 'non-empirical stance.' Not so. I used empirical means to show the validity of non-empirical modes of thought.

Another problem with the question is that the choice it poses is weird. It's like being asked 'Do you think it will rain tomorrow or is there something else that defines this sunny disposition of yours?'

Say what?

______

Edited by Archer Opterix, : html.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Straggler, posted 05-25-2008 2:05 PM Straggler has responded

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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 68 of 138 (468158)
05-27-2008 6:21 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by Archer Opteryx
05-27-2008 2:54 PM


Say What?
As things stand with regard to your position I am still unclear as to the precise difference between physical evidence and empirical evidence.

Empirical refers to a method, to a way we think of something. The brain itself is a physical object, not an 'empirical' one.

Yes but slicing it in half, which was the example you gave, has some very empirical effects.

If we have a pickled brain in a jar in our biology lab, that brain is a physical object. We can study that brain empirically. But the object of our interest is not itself 'empirical.' It couldn't care less how we study it.

I loathe arguments that are based on dictionary definitions so I will avoid that. However in my OP regarding 'empirical evidence' and 'non-empirical forms of evidence' I thought it obvious that by 'empirical evidence' I referred to evidence that is objectively observable (either directly or indirectly) and by non-empirical evidence I referred to evidence which is not objectively observable.

If there is confusion between the use of the terms empirical and physical it is because in the context of evidence I can see little to separate them.

Are you suggesting that there is a form of empirical evidence that is not physical?
Are you suggesting hat there is a form of non-empirical evidence that is physical?

If not then I think in this context you are splitting hairs unnecessarily and being pedantic in the extreme.

Back before it was pickled in formaldehyde, in the days when that brain sat perched inside a skull and was being used by somebody, it employed both empirical and non-empirical ways of thinking.

The brains inside our own skulls, the brains you and I use today as we study the pickled brain in the lab, also use both empirical and non-empirical ways of thinking.

I don't think I ever suggested that all thought is empirical as such. Only that all thought is rooted in the physical. I would extend this to logically suggest that the nature of thought could therefore be studied empirically. In principle at least.

The topic at hand is the nature of empirical evidence Vs other forms of evidence. I fail to see how the argument (which I seem to agree with) that not all thought is empirical contributes to this in any way at all?

When I offered the human brain's multiple functions as evidence that both empirical and non-empirical ways of thinking have their value, you declared empiricism the winner on the premise that brains themselves are 'empirical.' They are not. Brains are physical objects. They may do things in empirical and non-empirical ways when they are alive. But these words refer to ways brains do things, not to the brains themselves.

Given that the topic of discussion is empirical evidence and it's relative value I had assumed that your brain example was intended to show that non-empirical forms of evidence were somehow valid.
If all you are saying is that there is more to human thought than drawing conclusions based on empirical evidence then I am with you 100%. Art, literature, emotion etc. are not things I am suggesting that we do without!!! The key question posed in my OP is -

Is not empirical evidence the only basis on which reliable conclusions can be made? The only form of evidence that can ultimately establish the truth or otherwise of any given claim? The only form of evidence that actually warrants the term “evidence”?

You seem to have flown off on a tangent regarding the fact that not all human thought relates to making reliable concusions. I never claimed that it did and would never propose that it should.

In your opinion would a suitably futuristic MRA scanner show a physical/empirical basis behind every thought, emotion etc. etc. or is there "something else" that defines this non-empirical stance of yours?

This question is impossible to answer as worded.

Then let me reword it.
In your view is all thought manifested by (potentially detectable) physical processes (technology allowing) in the brain or are there elements of thought for which you would claim no physical manifestation to be present and thus no empirical evidence to exist?

The main problem with it is the assumption that I took a 'non-empirical stance.' Not so. I used empirical means to show the validity of non-empirical modes of thought.

The undisputed validity of types of thought and their respective validity with regard to drawing reliable conclusions are not one and the same.

The main problem with it is the assumption that I took a 'non-empirical stance.' Not so. I used empirical means to show the validity of non-empirical modes of thought.

To make any of this relevant to the subject at hand I need to see how you relate this example to evidence and the drawing of reliable conclusions. The validity of imagination (for example) is not at question. The comparative validity of such non-empirical modes of thought when used as a tool with which to draw reliable conclusions is at question.

  • What exactly is the non-empirical evidence in your brain example?
  • What is the conclusion being drawn based on this evidence?
  • Is the conclusion reliable?

    If your argument in favour on non-empirical modes of thought cannot be translated into an example of evidence and conclusion then, again, I fail to see any relevance to any of what you have said to the topic at hand. The topic of reliable evidence based conclusions

    Another problem with the question is that the choice it poses is weird. It's like being asked 'Do you think it will rain tomorrow or is there something else that defines this sunny disposition of yours?'

    I predict rain based on my empirical knowledge but I hope it is sunny based on my very non-empirical modes of ever optimistic thought. However I know which of these two modes of thought I would actually rely on to make reliable conclusions.

    Say what?

    Yes good question. What does any of your post have to do with the validity of different types of evidence?

    ABE - Happy Birthday by the way :)

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


  • This message is a reply to:
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    RAZD
    Member
    Posts: 20261
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004
    Member Rating: 3.8


    Message 69 of 138 (468160)
    05-27-2008 6:27 PM
    Reply to: Message 58 by Straggler
    05-26-2008 5:18 PM


    Re: No empirical evidence
    So what did you mean?

    Part of the problem is the degree of skepticism we have for different concepts. The question is whether we have no empirical evidence of the existence of {X} today, can we use that to assume that {X} does not exist today. And the shades of gray that surround uncertainty.

    The pink unicorn
    The loch ness 'monster'
    Thunder gods
    Bigfoot
    UFO's
    etc.

    To me the continued existence of species assumed (through lack of evidence for their continued existence) to be extinct falls into this gray area. The longer the time passes without evidence the stronger is the skepticism that they still exist. Can we ever be certain? Not in all cases - the coelacanth tells us that.

    Can we rule out a pleisiosaur in loch ness? Most likely most would be happy to do so, but we can't rule out the idea that there may still be some cause for the unusual sightings. Certainly most people rule out thunder gods, as we do have a natural explanation for the phenomenon of thunder that doesn't need a gods active hand in it's distribution.

    We can be highly skeptical about individual concepts but overall have low skepticism that "something unusual" is out there ... whether its rare animals or ufo's is up for grabs.

    It's kind of like a lottery, you can have a high degree of skepticism that a specific ticket will win the lottery, but very low skepticism that some lottery ticket will win.

    The Ivory Billed Woodpecker and the Coelacanth are ticket winners. There may be others.

    Or maybe I'm just an old romantic at heart.

    Enjoy.


    we are limited in our ability to understand
    by our ability to understand
    RebelAAmericanOZen[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 58 by Straggler, posted 05-26-2008 5:18 PM Straggler has responded

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    Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10285
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    (1)
    Message 70 of 138 (468162)
    05-27-2008 6:40 PM
    Reply to: Message 69 by RAZD
    05-27-2008 6:27 PM


    Re: No empirical evidence
    Ah I see. I think.

    But I would argue that our skepticism or lack of it in each case is based on the empirical. Our empirical experience and prior empirical evidence is the basis on which we judge the likelihood of such claims.

  • Claims for the sighting of a unicorn are likley to result in general derision and ridicule.
  • Claims for the sighting of a cat are likely to result in bored but accepting indifference.
  • Claims for the sighting of a 'thought to be recently extinct' species are likely to result in deep interest and the requirement for further objective evidence to support the claim.

    Nobody has ever found any empirical evidence for unicorns.
    We all have too much empirical evidence of cats. So much that we can validly evaluate a claim as reasonable without any further direct evidence for the case in point being sought.
    We have some empirical evidence of the "extinct" species in question. Enough to make the claim potentially believable in light of further empirical evidence.

    The fact that we do not have material evidence in front of us for each and every claim does not mean that the assessment of the validity of a given claim is not ultimately based on empirical evidence.


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    Archer Opteryx
    Member (Idle past 1916 days)
    Posts: 1811
    From: East Asia
    Joined: 08-16-2006


    Message 71 of 138 (468170)
    05-27-2008 9:01 PM
    Reply to: Message 62 by Straggler
    05-26-2008 7:07 PM


    Re: Rationality of Empiricism
    I am absolutely thrilled with this line of argument.
    I am sure that to those that have studied philosophy in depth this is an obvious and well explored conclusion. But it is the first time it has been meaningfully pointed out to me.

    I'm delighted you're delighted. Thanks to Mike for giving me the opportunity, then, to cut to the chase in my own contribution.

    Empirical and non-empirical ways of thinking originate in the brain. This means that both ways of doing things are ultimately subjective. They are functions of how each individual brain operates.

    Mike showed this for empiricism by pointing out the axiomatic basis of empirical knowledge. I have been going at both sides of it.

    Non-empirical: There is no way to get that unicorn out of your head and into the physical universe. This does not deny the reality of the unicorn as a subject rather than an object.

    Empirical: If the scanner in the future were to show the data you propose--non-empirical thought processes are all in our heads--this does not mean empiricism 'wins.' The empirical process is in our heads, too. A question remains about the data: 'show' to whom? Another brain remains in this picture, doing what brains do, drawing conclusions in the empirical and non-empirical ways brains draw them. None of the information from the scanner has meaning--there is no 'information' at all--until someone thinks about it.

    I have to agree with Mike that the empirical results of empiricism justify it in purely practic'al terms.

    Empiricism's value is indeed practical. It's value does not lie in taking us to The Truthâ„¢. That's why scientists usually take care to distinguish the two.

    All forms of knowledge, when you trace the threads, just take you further back into your own skull. Ultimately, it's all in our heads.

    ___

    Edited by Archer Opterix, : html.

    Edited by Archer Opterix, : brev.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 62 by Straggler, posted 05-26-2008 7:07 PM Straggler has responded

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    Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10285
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    (1)
    Message 72 of 138 (468182)
    05-28-2008 8:08 AM
    Reply to: Message 71 by Archer Opteryx
    05-27-2008 9:01 PM


    Re: Rationality of Empiricism
    All forms of knowledge, when you trace the threads, just take you further back into your own skull. Ultimately, it's all in our heads.

    But this is ultimately not true is it? It is not all in our heads.
    The whole basis of empiricism is to verify aspects of an external objective reality by virture of independent corroboration with other independent conscious beings who inhabit and perceive the same objective reality as ourselves.
    Whilst individual perceptions of reality may well be "in our heads" the reality that we are each individually and subjectively perceiving is not.
    Thus we are able to come to meaningful common conclusions regarding the nature of reality in a way that is inherently impossible with regard to purely subjective thoughts or feelings which have no physical manifestation external to ourselves.

    Unless we genuinely assume that you are a brain in a jar (or some other such metaphor) imagining all that you subjectively perceive with no basis in reality and no opportunity for the independent corroboration of an external reality with other independent conscious beings - Unless we assume this rather nihilistic and pointless scenario, empirical evidence will always be a superior form of determining the "truths" of reality.
    Indeed I argue that it is the only form of evidence worthy of the name evidence.

    Empiricism's value is indeed practical. It's value does not lie in taking us to The Truthâ„¢. That's why scientists usually take care to distinguish the two.

    I think most scientists fundamentally believe that they are searching for the "truths" of nature. Necessary scientific tentativity is the very rational response to the fact that we can never knowingly declare that we have all of the relevant evidence.
    Whether this aim for "truth" is genuinely and ultimately achievable given our limited and subjective perception is another and more philosophical question. However some sort of ever increasing verisimilitude (as in reflection of, or approximation to, truth and reality) must be the aim of scientific theories and empiricism as a whole.

    What is the root of the undisputed practical succes of empiricism if it is not the proximity of it's findings to "truth"?

    None of the information from the scanner has meaning--there is no 'information' at all--until someone thinks about it.

    I think you are confusing and conflating forms of thinking, information etc. with evidence. The superiority of empirical evidence and the practical conclusions that are available in the absence of such evidence was the original topic of this thread.

    Your arguments are different (and frankly more interesting) than the ones I was expecting but I still don't see how they refute the stated conclusion of the OP. Namely, that empirical evidence is the only form of evidence from which any meaningful conclusions can be drawn.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


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    Marcosll
    Junior Member (Idle past 4096 days)
    Posts: 25
    From: Estepona, Spain
    Joined: 02-14-2008


    Message 73 of 138 (468392)
    05-29-2008 8:15 AM
    Reply to: Message 61 by Straggler
    05-26-2008 6:11 PM


    Re: Evidence
    "So if I told you I had just witnessed a miracle you would belive me? Case closed? Miracles happen."

    This depends on the reliability of your person. There is an element of Trust. Again, I don't know how you would define miracle but I'll give you a real life example.

    I used to work in an office with about 20 people. One of them was about 50 and from my conversations with him he was a serious, honest and reliable person. He was married with kids and had been a police officer in Norway where he is from).

    One day during a conversation he told of his and his wife's experience on their boat. He said he didn't believe in UFO's or anything strange but told the story as reliably as possible of what him and his wife experienced.

    Here's how the story went:

    They were sleep while the boat was piloting itself in the sea overnight. They were awoken by the sonar (low depth warning) and immediately went to the control room. Sure enough the sensors had detected that their boat was in shallow water. They double checked their GPS position and saw they were actually in the middle of the sea, no where near land.

    A few seconds later, the boat was without electricty and they couldn't even hear the diesel engines (the diesel engines had stopped). I.e. all mechanical and electrical things on the boat stopped working.

    They went onto the deck of the motionless boat and heard a noise as though something soared out of the water. Then a light shone onto the boat for what to him and his wife seemed like several seconds.

    The light turned off, and they heard a noise similar to some craft taking off. Immediately all power returned to the boat and engines continued.

    Sonar or whatever depth meter showed once again normal depth for their location and they resumed their journey.

    Now, there is no doubt in my mind, that the person telling the story was 100% sincere. I, nor him, have no plausible explanation for what he claims happened. I am, however, certain of one thing, to him and his wife what happened was real.

    You would just dismiss this as imposible. A big mistake in my opinion, and definitely not the way to go about life and its mysteries.

    Case closed? No. Your mind, my friend, is what's closed.

    "Don't be an idiot. An eye witness account is empirical evidence if it corroborates other phyical objective evidence.
    An eye witness acoount with no other physical evidence (no body, no weapon, no suggestion of murder at all in fact) should rightly be taken with a large pinch of salt."

    Insults aren't the right way to go about things. By the way, there are many cases which are decided without any physical objective evidence. Expand your views.

    "You are not the first person to say this but none have yet given a convincing arguemnt for the inclusion of any other forms of evidence.
    What form s of evidence are you advocating and on what grounds?

    Please give an example of such "evidence" and the conclusion that was derived from this evidence."

    FIRST HAND WITNESS ACCOUNTS. Sigh. Many pilots have seen things in the sky. Whether they are optical ilusions or something else is what we don't know. Saying all those pilots are delusional IS THE WRONG WAY TO GO ABOUT IT! This is the point I'm trying to make.

    "Bollocks. We assess the validity of claims for which we do not have direct physical evidence on a lifetime of empirical experience of what is and what is not empirically likely."

    So you're the authority on what is empirically likely and what is not?

    I agree that there are things that are common and things that are not. That doesn't make it right to think that uncommon events or things don't exist.

    "If I tell you I saw a cat this morning you would probably believe me. This is mundane and everyday. You have personal empirical experience of cats and know that they are common."

    If you told me you saw a cat with two heads I would probably doubt you. But I'd be a fool to state that a cat with two heads cannot possibly exist.

    "Again - We believe others when they make claims that our own empirical experience tells us are reasonable. "

    Closed-minded: lacking tolerance or flexibility or breadth of view.


    Estepona Apartments - Apartments for sale and rent in Estepona, Spain

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 61 by Straggler, posted 05-26-2008 6:11 PM Straggler has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 74 by Straggler, posted 05-29-2008 12:46 PM Marcosll has responded

      
    Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10285
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    (1)
    Message 74 of 138 (468436)
    05-29-2008 12:46 PM
    Reply to: Message 73 by Marcosll
    05-29-2008 8:15 AM


    Re: Evidence
    Please give an example of such "evidence" and the conclusion that was derived from this evidence."

    FIRST HAND WITNESS ACCOUNTS. Sigh.

    You are kind of missing the point here.
    Nobody here is declaring first hand witness accounts as a form of non-empirical evidence. You seem to be confusing non-empirical evidence with uncorroborated and (thus unreliable) empirical evidence.

    If an eye witness claims that they saw something then this is very obviously empirical in the sense that it was observable. Without independent verification of the observation we cannot be sure that they did actually observe said phenomenon. It is possible that they imagined it in which case the phenomenon would obviously not be empirically verifiable. In the case of personal subjective claims additional physical evidence may well be required to discount this possibility.

    However this is a very different question to the one of inherently unverifiable non-empirical evidence.

    Non-empirical evidence would be of the form where there could be no independent corroboration because the "evidence" in question is purely personal and subjective by it's very nature. Feelings of having a soul, claims for undetectable personal auras etc. etc. etc. Things which are inherently physically undetectable. Things for which any form of corroborating evidence is actually impossible.

    Nobody has claimed that UFO sightings are non-empirical in this sense. The very fact they are called sightings tells you that they should be inherently observable and thus very definitely empirically detectable.

    The question then becomes one of likelihood.
    Were the claimed sightings actually observed or were they imagined? Is there any corroborating evidence to eliminate the possibility of imagination? If we can be reasonably confident that the effect was not imagined and there was an actual observation (e.g. if more than one person witnessed the phenomenon) then are there other more likley sources for the phenomenon than visiting aliens (e.g. attempted hoaxes, shooting stars, unusual weather conditions, everyday aircraft etc. etc.).

    The problem with evidence for UFOs is not that it is inherently non-empirical and thus inherently unverifiable.
    The problem with UFO sightings is that for a phenomenon that should be so empirically verifiable there is so little concrete empirical evidence.
    Endless personal accounts backed up by no corroborating evidence.
    Endless sightings of the mysterious that are perhaps better explained by the mundane.

    Very occasionally a genuinely mysterious case arises. However even in such cases leaping to unsubstantiated conclusions hardly seems reasonable.
    Taking the line - "If we cannot explain something it must be aliens" - is not a reasonable conclusion.
    On the basis that there is a complete absence of corroborating or reliable evidence for alien visitors I remain deeply skeptical.

    If you told me you saw a cat with two heads I would probably doubt you. But I'd be a fool to state that a cat with two heads cannot possibly exist.

    No it is not impossible. But it is unlikely.
    What would it take to convince you that I really had seen a cat with two heads? Empirical evidence?

    Not once have I used the word certain or impossible. The more extraordinary the claim the more evidence we require. The only reliable evidence in such circumstances is empirical evidence.

    Which of that do you actually disagree with?

    Closed-minded: lacking tolerance or flexibility or breadth of view.

    Given that you have yet to understand what is being said that is yet to be ascertained.
    And you? Gullible, irrational and easily influenced? That too remains to be seen.

    Remember "Evidence is not the plural of anecdote" - Ex(?) EvC Member Phat.

    Watch out for those pesky aliens!!!

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 73 by Marcosll, posted 05-29-2008 8:15 AM Marcosll has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 75 by Marcosll, posted 05-30-2008 10:31 AM Straggler has responded

      
    Marcosll
    Junior Member (Idle past 4096 days)
    Posts: 25
    From: Estepona, Spain
    Joined: 02-14-2008


    Message 75 of 138 (468566)
    05-30-2008 10:31 AM
    Reply to: Message 74 by Straggler
    05-29-2008 12:46 PM


    Re: Evidence
    Alas my friend it is you who is entirely missing the point.

    Keep in mind it is you that was asking (or stating): "In the absence of empirical evidence what conclusions can we justifiably draw?"

    The point I'm making is simple. I'll break it into easy points anyone can follow.

    - Lack of empirical evidence doesn't prove that something doesn't exist (neither does it prove that it does exist).
    - When we lack empirical evidence for a rare or dificult-to-physically-detect observation we must propose possible explanations.
    -Dismissing things as impossible based on our current knowledge of the universe is the easy thing to do.

    P.S. I've noticed you've made some sneaky edits to your original post :)


    Estepona Apartments - Apartments for sale and rent in Estepona, Spain

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 74 by Straggler, posted 05-29-2008 12:46 PM Straggler has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 76 by Straggler, posted 05-30-2008 12:53 PM Marcosll has not yet responded

      
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