Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 64 (9045 total)
415 online now:
AZPaul3, PaulK (2 members, 413 visitors)
Newest Member: maria
Happy Birthday: AdminPhat
Post Volume: Total: 887,203 Year: 4,849/14,102 Month: 447/707 Week: 2/176 Day: 2/65 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Faith vs Skepticism - Why faith?
RAZD
Member (Idle past 393 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 496 of 533 (537575)
11-29-2009 12:30 PM
Reply to: Message 493 by xongsmith
11-29-2009 11:00 AM


Re: possibilities yes, probabilities YES NO.
Hi xongsmith,

I see "probability" used a lot in there.

Exactly, and that is why the scale as listed is flawed - it is not possible to know these "probabilities" and all they turn out to be is opinions based on a person's world-view.

Using pseudo-probabilities gives the impression that there is more to the issue than opinion, and this just is not so.

A better scale would remove this misleading information:

quote:
For reference on definitions, we can use the (flawed) "Dawkins scale" as a reference to some general positions:

1.00: Strong theist. 100 percent possibility of God. In the words of C.G. Jung, 'I do not believe, I know.'

2.00: Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. 'I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there

3.00: Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. 'I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.'

4.00: Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. 'God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.'both possibilities.

5.00: Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. 'I don't know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical.'

6.00: Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. 'I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.'

7.00: Strong atheist. 'I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung 'knows' there is one.'



(where deletions are marked deletions and additions are marked additions)

Notice it does not appear in 7 - unneccesary - and that you cannot judge exactly 50-50 either. The scale is relative, and the pseudo-probabiities distract from the real issue.

I guess what I'm saying is people are going to look at this and pick their number based on their worldview, including, among other things, their own estimate of what the probability is, problems or not. You cant stop people from doing that when they look at this scale.

I agree, that has been a consistent problem with this discussion, with pages wasted talking about the relative merits if pseudo-probabilities.

Message 494: The 3.0 position says the person is inclined to believe s/he/it exists.

I would ask "Why?" Now if they answer "Is just feels better for me, it gives me a cozier feeling", then I call that a pseudo-3. Most people would probably say something like "I had a personal experience" and thus we are looking at Straggler's dreaded Subjective Evidence.

It is possible to have an opinion on a topic without having any knowledge of whether that opinion is actually true or not. That opinion is formed in your world-view, and yes, it includes subjective experiences.

Remember that subjective experiences can - at best - only indicate possibility, nothing more than that. Thus the opinion that X is possible is consistent with the logic (as long as there is no contradictory empirical objective evidence) and with having subjective experience/s.

The 5.0 position says the person is inclined to believe s/he/it does not exist.

Again, I would ask "Why?" Now if they answer "Is just feels better for me, it gives me a cozier feeling", then I call that a pseudo-5. But, unlike the other case, I doubt if anyone has had a personal experience equivalent to the 3. Maybe this person considers the Absence of Evidence being enough of an indicator to incline towards Absence - and when you take apart their worldview in detail, you find they are basing it on loosely drawn together opinions of respected others like their parents, professors, friends, college textbooks, professional journals and witty songwriters - appeals to authority if you will. Again, all ultimately subjective evidence.

Again, you have an opinion, formed, as you say, from the world-view.

The key difference, as I see it, is recognizing it as opinion, rather than pretending that it is a logical conclusion (as you get with "2" and "6" positions).

Now, are you saying that subjective evidence cannot be used?

Not to invalidate a claim or premise: you need to show that the claim\premise IS invalid, rather than assume it.

The central positions have no corresponding lifestyle references. We can imagine someone at the 3.0-4.0-5.0 levels living their lives assuming they dont know, but what would this look like?

People live their lives according to their world-view, whether they are strong believers, weak believers or agnostic. If a decision is necessary (life\death incident) then people will decide based on the information (or lack) that they have - they will make their best guess - regardless of whether the choice is true or false. If no decision is necessary, then the default behavior is that of not knowing. So how you live your life depends more on how much you think a decision is necessary, than what that decision involves.

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 493 by xongsmith, posted 11-29-2009 11:00 AM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 500 by xongsmith, posted 11-30-2009 12:25 AM RAZD has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 497 of 533 (537626)
11-29-2009 7:55 PM
Reply to: Message 460 by RAZD
11-26-2009 5:05 PM


Your God And Why?
I am a 6.9999R with regard to Santa Claus. Not gods. As you know because I have told you at least a dozen times now. Your ongoing need to misrepresent others does nothing but highlight the paucity of your own arguments.

RAZD writes:

Either Straggler's position has changed (substantially?), or he is playing word games. If he is now ignostic, does that mean that he is not now a 6.999999999 atheist on the Dawkin's (flawed) scale, as he can no longer rule out all the concepts he is not aware of, with the same pseudo-assurance exhibited in the above quote? Is he now a 5?

No. I am a 6 with regard to any gods so far even remotely defined. As stated numerous times elsewhere. Which brings us full circle and to the crux of the issue. Back to the question that effectively started this whole rash of related threads all those months ago as far as I am concerned.

Question: With regard to the concept of god in which you believe what would you say is the rational response for others to take?

A) Ignostic - There is no concept. Reasoned opinion is impossible. RAZD does not know what he believes in and his deism is thus incoherent and non-cognitive.

B) Atheistic - RAZD does have a supernatural concept in mind (even if he won't tell us what it is for some unspecified reason). But the objective evidence available suggests that any concept of the supernatural is more likely to be a product of human invention than an aspect of external reality.

C) Agnostic - There is no evidence. There is a complete vacuum of all objective evidence pertaining to the existence of your god (including any historical, cultural or psychological objective evidence that might be relevant to assessing the likelihood of human invention) and the only rational response is therefore pure agnosticicm.

D) Theistic - Belief in your particular god is objectively evidenced and rational and I too should believe in it.

E) Something else.

What position should I (and others) in your view rationally take towards your god and why?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 460 by RAZD, posted 11-26-2009 5:05 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 508 by RAZD, posted 11-30-2009 10:41 PM Straggler has responded

RAZD
Member (Idle past 393 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 498 of 533 (537628)
11-29-2009 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 495 by bluegenes
11-29-2009 12:24 PM


Re: possibilities yes, pseudo-probabilities no.
Sigh, you just keep trying, bluegenes.

Easy.
Possibility: There's a treasure worth more than 1 million dollars buried 10ft under the middle of my/your backyard.

Why aren't we digging up our backyards? Because we take the "6" position that, although we cannot know whether or not this possibility is an actuality, we think it very improbable that it is an actuality.

Curiously, that has nothing to do with proving that it is a possibility or not, only with trying to realize the possibility ....

Strangely, you could dig for 10 or 100 years and still not eliminate the possibility that it was still there, and the only thing you would have proven was that it was not recognized\observed in the dirt you dug up and discarded (perhaps it was a lottery ticket while you're looking for gold bricks).

Nor can you say just how improbable it is until you have cataloged all the possibilities, just as was necessary in the search for nessie.

All you can make are pseudoskeptical pseudo-calculations of pseudo-probabilities. That is not scientific OR logical.

There's a book by James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks, that has a character (the Golux) that makes up a buried treasure in someone's yard and then digs along with the neighbors ... why? Because he thought it might be true.

No, something is possible until it has been proven to be impossible, and it does not matter how improbable you think it is, you need to have empirical objective evidence to (a) make any valid calculation of probability or (2) contradict the possibility by evidence that shows it is not possible.

Substitute these (or yetis) for your "X", and we find that they do not actually exist in complete evidential voids.

No matter how many times you say it, you are wrong, because you have a logical fallacy that contradicts your logic as soon as you claim knowing something you don't know is true.

Logic is not opinion. Your pseudo-probabilities are nothing but your opinion based on your world-view. It's really very simple. From Message 491:

quote:
A conclusion that allows both possibilities to exist is valid, but any conclusion that tries to add a measure of likelihood of one over the other, means that an additional term has been added to the argument, a term that is not part of the original information - a logical fallacy of a hidden assumption - and it results in the formal error in composition.

• any X with no contradictory evidence can be true
• Yetis have no contradictory evidence
∴ Yetis can be true

3D, 4C and 5E fit this pattern.

versus:

• any X with no contradictory evidence can be true
• Yetis have no contradictory evidence
∴ Yetis are absolutely true

can be true ≠ are absolutely true

1A and 7B fit this pattern and are logically invalid

or

• any X with no contradictory evidence can be true
• Yetis have no contradictory evidence
∴ Yetis are probably true

can be true ≠ are probably true

2F and 6G fit this pattern and are logically invalid


These can also be rendered in a more valid form as:


• any X with no contradictory evidence can be true (TRUE)
• Yetis have no contradictory evidence (TRUE)
∴ Yetis can be true (VALID and TRUE)

3D, 4C and 5E fit this pattern. Possible is a valid conclusion from a lack of contradictory evidence.

versus (inserting the hidden assumptions into valid argument forms):

• any X with no contradictory evidence is absolutely true (FALSE)
• Yetis have no contradictory evidence (TRUE)
∴ Yetis are absolutely true (VALID but FALSE due to p1 being false)

We see that the first premise is FALSE and therefor the conclusion is as well.
1A and 7B fit this pattern and are logically FALSE

or

• any X with no contradictory evidence is probably true (FALSE)
• Yetis have no contradictory evidence (TRUE)
∴ Yetis are probably true (VALID but FALSE due to p1 being false)

We see that the first premise is also FALSE and therefor the conclusion is as well.
2F and 6G fit this pattern and are logically FALSE

We can run through the X and the Y = notX one more time if you still have trouble with this logic.

Likewise we can do the same for your concepts in this post, and even though you just made them up, you still end up with possibilities being a true conclusion and probabilities being a false conclusion.

It's a mistake to think that we can discover reality by mathematical logic alone. That's why we do science. Maths and logic are useful tools in science. Your "X" in mathematical logic can exist in a theoretical evidential void. But in reality, no proposition that human beings make does exist in such a void.

Curiously, that is exactly why your "6" position is a false pseudoskeptical one, based on opinion and fake probabilities and NOT on scientific empirical objective evidence of reality that would confirm or contradict one position or the other.

Fascinatingly, I am not trying to deduct reality, but the possibility of reality. It is NOT by logic alone, it is logic after the methodology and investigation of science have done what they can, and the possibility remains. It is the known absence of contradictory empirical objective evidence after that point, where logic that says we don't know, can't know for sure, but without contradiction X is possible.

Possible, not probable, not known, just possible.

Clutch those straws, you might make a man out of them yet.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : valid


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 495 by bluegenes, posted 11-29-2009 12:24 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 499 by Straggler, posted 11-29-2009 8:45 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 502 by bluegenes, posted 11-30-2009 11:55 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 499 of 533 (537629)
11-29-2009 8:45 PM
Reply to: Message 498 by RAZD
11-29-2009 8:33 PM


History
RAZD writes:

It is NOT by logic alone, it is logic after the methodology and investigation of science have done what they can, and the possibility remains. It is the known absence of contradictory empirical objective evidence after that point, where logic that says we don't know, can't know for sure, but without contradiction X is possible.

Possible, not probable, not known, just possible.

Well the existence of a magical and undetectable Santa Claus is possible. It by definition cannot be disproven. By your above definition it is 50-50 as to whether Santa actually exists or not. But I would say that all of the objective evidence suggests human invention. So I would say the existence of Santa is really and deeply improbable.

If you were to finally accept that objective evidence actually exists with regard to gods there are many comparable doors to discussion that would open.

We could talk about the origins and the evolution of god as a concept. We could talk about the commonalities of religion. Commonalities such as the universal belief in an afterlife and the need to explain the unknown. We could consider the commonality of making ones deities as unable to be disproved as possible. We could consider the psychological reasons underpinning such commonalities.

We could talk about the fact that the earliest known gods, and indeed the gods of those hunter gatherer societies that still exist today, are used to explain aspects of otherwise inexplicable nature. We could talk about the fact that such gods broadly form a pantheon that reflects the society from which they are derived. A dispirate collection of related concepts responsible for natural phenomenon woven together through mythology in the case of the most primitive societies. A highly organised hierachy of gods with very specific roles and duties in more structured cultures. Hierachies headed by a chief god of some sort. But still a pantheon whose primary purpose is to explain those aspects of nature of which man has no understanding or control.

We could talk about cultural and theological integration of various pantheons throughout history and of the rationalisation of gods achieved by absorbing a number of roles into aspects of a single deity. A sort of grand unified theory of the supernatural. In doing so we could discuss the possible reasons for the rise of monotheism where "one true god" exists but is still surrounded by a plethora of supernatural allies and enemies in the form of angels, demons and spirits. Concepts that themselves would in many cultures warrant the term "god" but which cannot be classed as such because of the monotheists need to equivocate.

We could talk about the fact that deistic notions of god arose largely out of the enlightenment and as a direct result of scientific progress and the rational removal of god from many aspects of nature. We could talk about the deistic god of the enlightenment as chiefly concerned with the question of morality. We could talk about the continuation of scientific progress (e.g. man as a product of biological evolution) and the further retreat of deistic notions of god from any physical or even moral role in the universe. We could conclude that the deistic god of the vague sort you seem to be proposing is merely the logical endpoint of this historically evidenced process of origin and retreat.

We could talk at great length about how the entirety of human history strongly suggests that gods were originally invented as explanations for aspects of nature and that as nature has become less mysterious those explanations have made a steady and evidenced retreat into what we now know as deism. Essentially fertility gods, harvest gods, Apollo, Thor and all those other long abandoned desitic concepts taken to their logical and scientifically compatible conclusion. The ultimate god of the ultimate gap. We could discuss all of that.

But whatever evidenced or speculative discussions might ensue the bottom line here is that history tells us that the supernatural explanatory model has failed. And nothing you say is going to change that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 498 by RAZD, posted 11-29-2009 8:33 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2057
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 500 of 533 (537639)
11-30-2009 12:25 AM
Reply to: Message 496 by RAZD
11-29-2009 12:30 PM


Re: possibilities yes, probabilities YES NO.
RAZD recasts the Dawkins Scale thusly:
A better scale would remove references to probability:

"Modified Dawkins scale" as a reference to some general positions:

1.00: Strong theist. In the words of C.G. Jung, 'I do not believe, I know.'

2.00: De facto theist. 'I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.'

3.00: Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. 'I do not know if God exists, but I am inclined to think so.'

4.00: Completely impartial agnostic. 'God's existence and non-existence are both possibilities.'

5.00: Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. 'I do not know whether God exists, but I'm inclined think not.'

6.00: De facto atheist. 'I cannot know for certain but I strongly don't believe in God, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.'

7.00: Strong atheist. 'I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung 'knows' there is one.'

Is that it?
I was going to say something, but I have to go. Back tomorrow to edit this.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 496 by RAZD, posted 11-29-2009 12:30 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 507 by RAZD, posted 11-30-2009 9:35 PM xongsmith has not yet responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 501 of 533 (537695)
11-30-2009 10:16 AM
Reply to: Message 494 by xongsmith
11-29-2009 11:25 AM


Subjective Evidence Has NOTHING To Do With This Topic (RAZD Said So)
Xongsmith writes:

"I had a personal experience" and thus we are looking at Straggler's dreaded Subjective Evidence.


Xongsmith writes:

Now, are you saying that subjective evidence cannot be used?

I have no idea how you define "subjective evidence" such that it incorporates textbooks, professional journals etc. etc. but RAZD has previously defined what he means by "subjective evidence" as a singular and isolated experience experienced by an aware and conscious individual that, as best they can determine, is through their senses. This all seems a bit arbitrary to me. Specifically it seems designed to conflate genuine empirical experience with hallucinations and so-forth. But fortunately this definition has been further clarified by Catholic Scientist as pertaining to visions and voice of god type experiences. This seems very very different to what you mean by the term "subjective evidence".

My concerns with the nature and reliability of such experiences are summed up here Immaterial "Evidence". But all of this talk of subjective evidence (of the RAZD variety) is completely moot anyway because.......Message 402

RAZD writes:

NEWS FLASH:

RAZD ARGUMENT ON THE VALUE OF SUBJECTIVE EVIDENCE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DEITIES!!!

.... for more on a logical argument regarding the value of subjective evidence that has nothing to do with deities stay tuned for more of my posts ....

Thus surely subjective evidence is necessarily off-topic in a thread that is indisputably about deities. No?

RAZD writes:

Yes, the value of subjective evidence has to do with the value of experiences of reality as perceived by a conscious and aware individual.

At best it can suggest possibilities. Because the existence of gods is already a logical possibility due to the absence of contrary evidence, so subjective evidence adds NOTHING to the argument about the possible existence of god/s. Message 253

Yep. Subjective evidence has "NOTHING" to do with this thread. RAZD said so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 494 by xongsmith, posted 11-29-2009 11:25 AM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 503 by xongsmith, posted 11-30-2009 12:29 PM Straggler has responded

bluegenes
Member (Idle past 1465 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 502 of 533 (537705)
11-30-2009 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 498 by RAZD
11-29-2009 8:33 PM


Probability estimates
RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

Why aren't we digging up our backyards? Because we take the "6" position that, although we cannot know whether or not this possibility is an actuality, we think it very improbable that it is an actuality

Strangely, you could dig for 10 or 100 years and still not eliminate the possibility that it was still there, and the only thing you would have proven was that it was not recognized\observed in the dirt you dug up and discarded (perhaps it was a lottery ticket while you're looking for gold bricks).

Who's trying to eliminate the possibility. The treasure is possible, but very improbable, and we do not need to waste time digging for it. We know that holes are dug all the time, and we know that it's extremely rare for treasures worth more than a million dollars to be found in them.

Nor can you say just how improbable it is until you have cataloged all the possibilities, just as was necessary in the search for nessie.

You don't have to know "just" how improbable it is to describe it as very improbable. It is very improbable that RAZD will be struck by a meteorite tomorrow, but I've made no calculations as to exactly how improbable. It is very improbable that a figment of RAZD's imagination created the universe, but I've made no exact calculations on this either.

All you can make are pseudoskeptical pseudo-calculations of pseudo-probabilities. That is not scientific OR logical.

It is certainly scientific. Don't you ever read scientific papers? Rough probability estimates are frequently made. I'm defending the "6" position, remember, which is about things that are possible but very improbable.

RAZD writes:

No, something is possible until it has been proven to be impossible, and it does not matter how improbable you think it is, you need to have empirical objective evidence to (a) make any valid calculation of probability or (2) contradict the possibility by evidence that shows it is not possible.

Yes. And who on the "6" position is trying to prove that gods or magical deer which pop into existence without being born from other animals are impossible. We conclude that they are very improbable based on the evidence. When are you going to falsify the theory that all supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination and do not exist in reality?

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

Substitute these (or yetis) for your "X", and we find that they do not actually exist in complete evidential voids.

No matter how many times you say it, you are wrong, because you have a logical fallacy that contradicts your logic as soon as you claim knowing something you don't know is true.

Are you talking to the people who are 1 and 7 on the Dawkins scale here? The "knowing" people?

Logic is not opinion. Your pseudo-probabilities are nothing but your opinion based on your world-view. It's really very simple. From Message 491:

Of course there are different world views. My opinions are made from observing the world. I'm not a fantasist/supernaturalist. Creationists frequently make your "world view" argument, and they do it for the same reason. Do you agree with me that it's very improbable that you will be struck dead by lightning in twenty days time? Yes or no?

Do you agree with me that it's very improbable that Satan is manipulating your mind? Yes or no?

RAZD writes:

We can run through the X and the Y = notX one more time if you still have trouble with this logic.

I've explained to you that we explore reality by science. "X" is abstract, and is not the equivalent of yetis or any other proposed creatures or beings. The "6" position does not conclude that possible things are "very improbable" by abstract logic alone, it does so in relation to the evidence. It is a position on specific described propositions.

How do you think people bet on horses in races where all runners could possibly win? They assess the past form of the horses. Why don't you try assessing the past form of supernatural explanations for phenomena?

You seem to need to learn what evidence is.

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

It's a mistake to think that we can discover reality by mathematical logic alone. That's why we do science. Maths and logic are useful tools in science. Your "X" in mathematical logic can exist in a theoretical evidential void. But in reality, no proposition that human beings make does exist in such a void.

Curiously, that is exactly why your "6" position is a false pseudoskeptical one, based on opinion and fake probabilities and NOT on scientific empirical objective evidence of reality that would confirm or contradict one position or the other.

Repeat, for slow people: How do you think people bet on horses in races where all runners could possibly win? They assess the past form of the horses. Why don't you try assessing the past form of supernatural explanations for phenomena?

RAZD writes:

Fascinatingly, I am not trying to deduct reality, but the possibility of reality.

You're not trying to do anything in relation to reality. We agree that fairies, gods, and magic nine dimensional pencils are theoretically possible. What you're trying to do is ignore the evidence that supernatural beings like your precious deity are figments of the imagination, making their real existence very improbable. Falsifiy my theory, which is about the reality of human supernatural beliefs and delusions.

RAZD writes:

It is NOT by logic alone, it is logic after the methodology and investigation of science have done what they can, and the possibility remains.

Is it a religious belief of yours that science has "done what it can"? How do you think people bet on horses......

It is the known absence of contradictory empirical objective evidence after that point, where logic that says we don't know, can't know for sure, but without contradiction X is possible.
Possible, not probable, not known, just possible.

Is your English comprehension letting you down again. The phrase "very improbable" does not mean "impossible". You fail to explain why you think that propositions that have absolute zero supporting evidence get promoted to anything other than very improbable. Try something like Satan existing, and Satan manipulating your mind. Do you think that that's ~50/50? If not, why not? Then what about the evil elves manipulating your mind? ~50/50 as well? Then what about the evil gnomes.....?

Then, there are the fairies that manipulate atoms. And Obama being the anti-christ.

All of these have something in common with your deity. The evidence points towards them being made up superstitious bullshit.

Theory to be falsified: All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination and do not exist in external reality.

Enjoy falsifying.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 498 by RAZD, posted 11-29-2009 8:33 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2057
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 503 of 533 (537706)
11-30-2009 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 501 by Straggler
11-30-2009 10:16 AM


Re: Subjective Evidence Has NOTHING To Do With This Topic (RAZD Said So)
LOL! Thanks Straggler
I have no idea how you define "subjective evidence" such that it incorporates textbooks, professional journals etc. etc.

The subjective evidence I was referring to was the collective worldview assessment an individual has on the probability god(s) exist. Since this probability has no empirical objective evidence, each individual has to make their own estimate,and the estimate they make is based on their opinion developed out of their worldview - it is a subjective opinion.

That is why RAZD rewrote Dawkins' Scale the way he did. He wants to stamp out probability from the scale, in order to eliminate subjective evidence.

I say he has not gone far enough, because a 3.0 has made the determination that god(s) exist has a probability slightly higher than the probability they dont. That is why a 3.0 would lean that way. All 3.0s and 5.0s should really be 4.0s.

Bluegenes is still trying to use probability, and I agree with him that it is appropriate here. But RAZD does not, because it is unscientific.

Well, the whole process of picking a Dawkins Number is unscientific in the first place.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 501 by Straggler, posted 11-30-2009 10:16 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 505 by bluegenes, posted 11-30-2009 1:41 PM xongsmith has responded
 Message 514 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2009 4:24 AM xongsmith has not yet responded

Briterican
Member (Idle past 2937 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 504 of 533 (537712)
11-30-2009 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 479 by RAZD
11-28-2009 6:32 PM


Re: The third level of logical evaluations of the positions
bluegenes writes:

It's a mistake to think that we can discover reality by mathematical logic alone. That's why we do science. Maths and logic are useful tools in science. Your "X" in mathematical logic can exist in a theoretical evidential void. But in reality, no proposition that human beings make does exist in such a void.

This is a good summation of how I feel about your mathematics. They look great on paper, and your elimination of probability from the equation makes everything fall into place neatly, but doesn't really move us any closer to reality. Having said that, I realise that is not your intention, and that your intention has been to show that agnostic is the position most defensible in terms of logic, to which I feel that you have successsfully presented a viewpoint that I cannot disagree with, in the terms it is presented.

RAZD writes:

As we have seen that "literally mountains of evidence" melts away every time we talk about evidence that god/s do not, or cannot, exist, and that the "scientific evidence (from the fields of cosmology and biology)" etc etc is not a predictor of god/s not being responsible for the "fixed laws" that cause all that evidence to be as it is.

Fair point, at least in terms of the ultimate origin question. I DO feel strongly that science demonstrates that these fixed laws hold firm and are not subject to the whimsical fancy of "miracles". Where the faithful see a miracle, many of us see a missing or inadequate explanation. Although the accumulated evidence of mankind does not abrogate the possibility of a divine creator having kicked off the whole process in the first instance, I feel strongly that the same evidence DOES strongly indicate that said creator is no longer "on the scene", guiding everything like the ultimate choreographer.

RAZD writes:

ps - using terms like FSM, IPU, Last Thursdayism, etc. don't bother me, I just find it somewhat childish, like schoolyard mockery.

Childish? Possibly, but no more so than scriptures themselves in their depictions of a jealous God's tantrums (usually resulting in genocide).
Mockery? Good That's the meaning I intend. I am confident that the mocking of ridiculous origin myths using equally ridiculous made-up origin myths is a good way to get believers to take a step back and evaluate their own reasons for believing.

Edited by Briterican, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 479 by RAZD, posted 11-28-2009 6:32 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 511 by RAZD, posted 11-30-2009 11:32 PM Briterican has not yet responded
 Message 517 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2009 7:33 AM Briterican has responded

bluegenes
Member (Idle past 1465 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 505 of 533 (537713)
11-30-2009 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 503 by xongsmith
11-30-2009 12:29 PM


Scientific theories.
xongsmith writes:

Bluegenes is still trying to use probability, and I agree with him that it is appropriate here. But RAZD does not, because it is unscientific.

If the well evidenced theory that supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination is unscientific, then there are no scientific theories. Think about it. There's loads of evidence to support it, and there are thousands of ways in which it could potentially be falsified. It is a theory about a real phenomenon: belief in supernatural beings.

As it's highly probable that such a strong theory is correct, and as there is overwhelming evidence that humans and their imaginations post-date the origins of the universe, then it is highly unlikely that an apparent figment of the human imagination is responsible for creating the universe.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 503 by xongsmith, posted 11-30-2009 12:29 PM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 506 by xongsmith, posted 11-30-2009 4:54 PM bluegenes has responded

xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2057
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 506 of 533 (537732)
11-30-2009 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 505 by bluegenes
11-30-2009 1:41 PM


Re: Scientific theories.
Bluegenes says:
If the well evidenced theory that supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination is unscientific, then there are no scientific theories. Think about it. There's loads of evidence to support it, and there are thousands of ways in which it could potentially be falsified. It is a theory about a real phenomenon: belief in supernatural beings.

Hi Bluegenes,

Unfortunately this thread is NOT about the 100% track record thus far of finding out that every supernatural chocolate sprinkly thing examined closely turns out to be another figment of human imagination.

RAZD has something else in mind. I hope we can figure out what the implications are. My opinion, subjective as it is, is that RAZD has set up a thing in his head where he is a 3.0 on this scale and still needs to behave very much like a 6.0 everywhere else (as you have been trying to point out) in such a way as not have a conflict.

It is curious. I think he's doing it. But he has to go through all these Powerful Ptolemaic Gymnastical Hoops with Logic rules. This is beyond math. This is like quantum entanglement. You ring up 50% here, 50% there, 50% over this way, and oh look there's another 50% - and complain that it is over 100%. You're using the wrong yardsticks and rules. There would be so many things, all possible - but anyone of them at any time would be 50% likely, 89% likely - it doesnt matter - this is out side of the confines of mathematics and probability theory - this is trying to explore the implications of the raw bare bones of Logic Theory.

We should throw everything we have against this! This is crazy! And yet, this is also one of the sanest things ever.

Fascinating.

One of the things with one of the fastest rate of evolutionary change is each individual human mind.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 505 by bluegenes, posted 11-30-2009 1:41 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 522 by bluegenes, posted 12-01-2009 2:55 PM xongsmith has not yet responded

RAZD
Member (Idle past 393 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 507 of 533 (537781)
11-30-2009 9:35 PM
Reply to: Message 500 by xongsmith
11-30-2009 12:25 AM


Re: possibilities yes, probabilities YES NO.
Hi xongsmith,

RAZD recasts the Dawkins Scale thusly:
Is that it?

Not quite, I think it can be simpler yet, and still retain the overall general scale effect:

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

This casts it more in the vernacular of opinion, and keeps the relative likelihood of the original without the implications of the inaccurate word probability.

That is why RAZD rewrote Dawkins' Scale the way he did. He wants to stamp out probability from the scale, in order to eliminate subjective evidence.

No, not subjective evidence, fake probabilities posing as some mathematical calculation that is impossible to make. As bad as the 747 from the junkyard pseudo-calculations. To me, all these position except 4 involve opinion, which is necessarily subjective and based on one's world view.

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 500 by xongsmith, posted 11-30-2009 12:25 AM xongsmith has not yet responded

RAZD
Member (Idle past 393 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 508 of 533 (537794)
11-30-2009 10:41 PM
Reply to: Message 497 by Straggler
11-29-2009 7:55 PM


possibility versus logical fallacy? I'll take door number 3
Hi Straggler,

I am a 6.9999R with regard to Santa Claus. Not gods. As you know because I have told you at least a dozen times now. Your ongoing need to misrepresent others does nothing but highlight the paucity of your own arguments.

No. I am a 6 with regard to any gods so far even remotely defined.

Well, curiously, I don't see how quoting your full post is misrepresenting it, and I must have missed that clarification on your first ever post, where you were arguing with iano about the existence of gods, rather than Santa, and said (whole post again):

Logically speaking: God is knowable, Message 34: Anyone who claims to be at 1 or 7 has to be deluded because either position requires a certainty about the source of their absolute certanty that it is impossible to have.

The key difference is that those of faith are necessarily 1s whilst those that call themselves atheists would more likely describe themselves as 6.999999999Rs as they would generally accept that absolute certainty about anything requires the sort of faith that they oppose!!

But if you say so, I'll take it as new information from this point forward, noting that iano's response was:

Message 50: I agree. The same could be said of positions 2-6 however.

Curiously, what we see from logical analysis is that the same is true for positions 2 and 6 - they too are logically invalid arguments based on opinion and not facts or evidence or sound logic.

Compare:

• any X with no contradictory evidence is possibly true
• X(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ X(a) can be true

to:

• any X with no contradictory evidence is absolutely true
• X(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ X(a) is absolutely true

OR:

• any X with no contradictory evidence is more likely true than false
• X(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ X(a) is more likely true than false

Now, let Y = notX:

• any Y with no contradictory evidence is possibly true
• Y(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ Y(a) can be true
== notX(a) can be true ...

... and by the form of the argument, X(a) still can be true true ... which is valid, and a true conclusion is reached.

3D, 4C and 5E fit this pattern. Possibility is a valid conclusion from a lack of contradictory evidence.

versus:

• any Y with no contradictory evidence is absolutely true
• Y(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ Y(a) is absolutely true
== notX(a) is absolutely true ...

... and by the form of the argument, X(a) is still absolutely true ... which is a contradiction ... unless you have objective empirical evidence that directly contradicts one or the other being true: without such evidence there is a contradiction in the form of the argument and the argument is invalid, falsified, void.

As the second premise is the same as above, we see that the first premise is falsified. 1A and 7B fit this pattern and are logically FALSE arguments.

OR:

• any Y with no contradictory evidence is more likely true than false
• Y(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ Y(a) is more likely true than false
== notX(a) is more likely true than false ...

... and by the form of the argument, X(a) is still more likely true than false ... which is a contradiction ... unless you have objective empirical evidence that directly contradicts one or the other being true: without such evidence there is a contradiction in the form of the argument and the argument is invalid, falsified, void.

As the second premise is the same as above, we see that the first premise is falsified as well. 2F and 6G fit this pattern and are logically FALSE arguments.

Your "6" position is logically invalid, unless - and only unless - you have direct empirical objective evidence that contradicts the existence of god/s.

Pretending that "people make things up" is evidence that god/s do not, or cannot, exist, just doesn't cut it. It's like saying

  • Mushrooms grow in the woods when it rains at night during a new moon
    ∴ god/s are more likely to be mushrooms than supernatural beings
... Are you going to argue with the objective empirical evidence of mushrooms?

Question: With regard to the concept of god in which you believe what would you say is the rational response for others to take?

Based on the analysis above only 3D, 4C and 5E would be rational responses, depending on people's personal world view and opinions.

I expect people to be agnostic for several reasons, not least of which is that I just don't discuss it, except in generalities, with generic terms (god/s).

Of course, I mean an actual agnostic position as I see it, and not your false straw-man-begging-the-question fallacy -- that there is not sufficient evidence pro or con to make a logical conclusion.

C) Agnostic - There is no evidence. There is a complete vacuum ...

I notice that you do NOT quote me as saying this, amusingly, just after complaining about my misrepresenting you with a full, complete and documented quote. One wonders where you come up with these ideas, because it does nothing but highlight the paucity of your own arguments.

Intriguingly, it should be relatively easy to find an actual quote of what I actual post as the agnostic position, as it has been repeated on this thread many times. For instance, here's one from earlier in the thread:

quote:
Message 239:
(Rrhain): That presumes a complete absence of evidence,

(RAZD): No, it presumes that there is an absence of convincing evidence, that what exists is insufficient for decision/s pro or con.

Oh snap, look at that: a direct contradiction to what you said! Caught again.

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 497 by Straggler, posted 11-29-2009 7:55 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 515 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2009 5:04 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 516 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2009 5:42 AM RAZD has responded

Rrhain
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


(1)
Message 509 of 533 (537795)
11-30-2009 10:53 PM
Reply to: Message 474 by xongsmith
11-28-2009 11:18 AM


xongsmith responds to me:

quote:
quote:
What do you mean by "supernatural"? All you've done is replace one undefined term with another.

Okay then - let's use your term: chocolate sprinkles

Surely you are familiar with what that term means.


No. No, I don't. I'm not the one making the claim that the chocolate sprinkles are required. Defining what the means is the responsibility of the one claiming that they are needed.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 474 by xongsmith, posted 11-28-2009 11:18 AM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 518 by xongsmith, posted 12-01-2009 2:33 PM Rrhain has responded

Rrhain
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


(1)
Message 510 of 533 (537799)
11-30-2009 11:23 PM
Reply to: Message 476 by xongsmith
11-28-2009 11:40 AM


xongsmith responds to me:

quote:
I think I would view the incompleteness of the Model as not just chocolate sprinkles or rainbow sprinkles - but any kind of sprinkles, including those that turn out to be legit expansions of the Model.

And you don't see any difference between the two? We have a method that self-corrects. This observational method requires that we account for all the observations we've made before. Compare this to those who advocate for the chocolate sprinkles which ends up insisting that we toss out what we have observed and start over.

quote:
For example, before General Relativity there used to be a bunch of sprinkles

But nothing about relativity required us to toss out any of our previous observations. Instead, it needed to take them into account. It needed to explain why objects seemed to move in a linear fashion. Just as Newtonian mechanics needed to explain why objects seemed to move in an Aristotelian fashion. No matter how far afield we go from Aristotle's claim that the natural state of an object is rest, we need to explain why it is that when I slide a book along the table, it comes to a stop.

Apples do not hover in mid-air waiting for us to figure out how gravity works before falling.

quote:
because the Model at that time did not have an explanation for Mercury's orbit or starlight deflection by gravity

Um, the former was an observation, the latter was a prediction.

At any rate, do you not see the difference? We could see the movement of Mercury. And our process for figuring out planetary motion became more and more accurate over time without adding chocolate sprinkles. In fact, it was the removal of chocolate sprinkles that allowed us to get a handle on how they moved.

quote:
GR was incorporated into the Model, expanding it's scope.

But the reason that we were getting hints of GR was because of evidence.

Where's the evidence of the chocolate sprinkles?

quote:
We are not assigning a probability to that, we are noting that we havent observed it in all known history.

What does that have to do with anything? We have one process that has been extremely successful and another system that is continually being tossed out and starting over from scratch. Why would anybody rationally consider them to be equally likely?

quote:
We are assigning a probability to the chances of observing it - call it a chocolate sprinkle, if you will.

And if you can't even define what you're looking for, how can you possibly make any statement about it at all, even RAZD's precious "I don't know"?

quote:
We've turned over 83 gazillion cards

And we've learned nothing in the process? We're still naifs when it comes to how this deck actually works?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 476 by xongsmith, posted 11-28-2009 11:40 AM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 523 by xongsmith, posted 12-01-2009 3:27 PM Rrhain has responded

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2021