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Author Topic:   The persistent question of evidence ...
RAZD
Member (Idle past 344 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(2)
Message 1 of 10 (603160)
02-03-2011 2:57 AM


Who needs to supply evidence, when, and why.
From Message 774 on the Peanut Gallery thread, Coyote:

What they cannot tell is whether or not any of these communications come indirectly from supernatural sources. Thus they can experience communication of supernatural beings without knowing the source, without imagination and without direct experience of the supernatural.

Is there any evidence for the supernatural?

You keep ducking this question, yet your answers all seem to be based on your belief that there is a supernatural.

What's your evidence? Is it anything but belief and wishful thinking?

First, this questioning has no bearing on the great debate issue that should be the topic for the Peanut Gallery, so I have started this topic.

Is there any evidence for the supernatural?

Curiously, I have not made any claims that supernatural entities do exist, so why you keep asking me this is rather amusing.

However, I personally am not aware of an objective empirical valid evidence that would be likely sufficient to show that supernatural entities exist.

In addition I personally am not aware of an objective empirical valid evidence that would be likely sufficient to show that supernatural entities do not exist.

Nor am I aware of any subjective evidence that would likely be sufficient for you (Coyote) to accept, based on my observation of your attitude displayed to theists in this regard.

This would include all the world's religious literature, beliefs, myths, legends, etc., as well as instances like religious experiences and dreamtime visions, etc. These evidences are sufficient, imho, to suggest that god/s may possibly exist, but they are not definitive.

Nor am I aware of any subjective evidence that can show anything more than the possibility that god/s do not exist.

This would include the absence of objective empirical evidence that god/s do exist

If you have any additional evidence that god/s do not exist then please supply us with it, as this alone is a very weak argument, imho, because it involves a logical fallacy.

You keep ducking this question, yet your answers all seem to be based on your belief that there is a supernatural.

My answers in regard to unsupported assertions that god/s do not exist or related arguments (ie the stuff that straggler first and bluegenes second try to pass off as logical) is to recognize and show the existing support for the possibility that god/s exist and to expose the logical fallacies of the various arguments.

My personal belief is irrelevant to discussing arguments based on poor logic and ignoring the possibilities, or assuming that they do not exist.

There is insufficient evidence, imho, to support a logical conclusion that god/s exist.

There is also insufficient evidence, imho, to support a logical conclusion that god/s do not exist.

Logically the only supported conclusion is no conclusion, that the evidence pro and con is insufficient to form a logical conclusion at this time.

Being open-minded, I consider both existence and non-existence positions possibilities.

Being skeptical, I see no reason to accept that either position is sufficiently demonstrated, however I do consider the possible non-existing position to be weaker than the possible existing position.

The proper logical conclusion based on evidence and the "rules" of logic is agnostic. I have discussed this previously on several threads, including

quote:
Message 91: As a result of the logical analysis (see Message 508 of the Faith vs Skepticism - Why faith? thread) we have:

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

(4) is the position that logic supports: the default position when there is a lack of validated evidence is that no conclusion can be reached -- we don't know, can't know, which is true.

(3) is the position of someone that recognizes that (4) is the logical position, but is of the opinion that god/s may exist.

(5) is the position of someone that recognizes that (4) is the logical position, but is of the opinion that god/s may NOT exist.

(2) & (6) are people that think their position is based on something more than their opinion, and they need to provide evidence to substantiate that claim.

(1) & (7) are people that think their position is fact, not opinion, and they need to provide evidence to substantiate that claim.

I am a (3) - weak theist, or agnostic theist.

Enjoy.

Note to admins: this will likely need to be in Great Debates due to the probability of one against many participants.

Edited by RAZD, : clrty

Edited by RAZD, : format, subtitle

Edited by RAZD, : changed title


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


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Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Admin, posted 02-03-2011 8:41 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 3 by Adminnemooseus, posted 02-03-2011 6:14 PM RAZD has responded

Admin
Director
Posts: 12719
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 2 of 10 (603180)
02-03-2011 8:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
02-03-2011 2:57 AM


I haven't been following the discussion this proposal developed from, and so I feel like I'm walking into the middle of a play in the 2nd act. Could you please add some introductory information to set the stage?


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 02-03-2011 2:57 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3934
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 3 of 10 (603316)
02-03-2011 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
02-03-2011 2:57 AM


Coyote says no
Coyote writes:

No, not interested.

That proposed post is nothing more than has been posted many times before, a meaningless word salad that demonstrates once again that philosophy is nothing more than naval gazing.

I have better things to do than to go around in philosophical circles.

Source

Adminnemooseus

Added by edit (from my "Peanut Gallery" message, prior to the above cited:

Adminnemooseus writes:

Admittedly, I haven't followed it closely, but I wasn't impressed with your performance in the current "Great Debate". Bluejeans seemed to be trying to do a dialog and you seemed to be doing some sort of stonewall, refusing to respond to his content. But it seemed to be some sort of prove/disprove God sort of a thing, doomed to wallow in some sort of abstract fuzziness - A wallow you seem to like. Bottom line - It was outside of my comprehension and I really didn't care.

That said, for better or worse, I don't foresee you offering up anything more than what you already said in the PNT message 1. I don't see any point in again going through the same routine as the current "Great Debate".

So, I'm leaning "No". If Coyote really wants to make a go of it, I'll leave it up to another admin to deal with the promotion.

Or something like that (aka - You have me boggled and apathetic).

Adminnemooseus

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : See above.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 02-03-2011 2:57 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 02-05-2011 8:30 PM Adminnemooseus has not yet responded

RAZD
Member (Idle past 344 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 4 of 10 (603605)
02-05-2011 8:30 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Adminnemooseus
02-03-2011 6:14 PM


Re: Coyote says no, so let's move on to ... evidence/
Hi moose,

Since Coyote backed out, petrophysics has put in a new request = PNT Evidence.

This appeals to me for three reasons: (1) bluegenes seems stalled on the presentation of evidence, and wants to continue to argue his "mutually exclusive" test etc that have been refuted (instead of moving on to a new test, etc, as one would do in science), (2) the peanut crowd can't help him yet attack me, and finally (3) it will be refreshing to defend the logic and open-minded skepticism approach from the other side of agnosticism.

This may actually help to move the debate forward on the bluegenes thread.

Yes I agree with petrophysics on a lot of issues, but the one he claims here:

RAZD, I am a #1 absolute deist. God does exist.
I have looked for months here where the atheists could present no evidence.
As an absolute deist lets see if I can do better.

Indeed, lets.

Perhaps bluegenes will agree to put our thread on hold to see how this new one works out?

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 3 by Adminnemooseus, posted 02-03-2011 6:14 PM Adminnemooseus has not yet responded

RAZD
Member (Idle past 344 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 5 of 10 (604283)
02-10-2011 9:24 PM


the absence of evidence is not by itself (negative) evidence (of absence), rather it
It amazes me that I need to spell this out.

For those who think I have changed my mind (Rahvin Peanut Gallery Message 1002, etc), I suggest that perhaps you are actually understanding the position I have had for a long time. What I have said before is that:

The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, rather it is evidence of the absence of evidence.

Recently I have expanded this for better understanding. These quotes from recent posts are the gist of it:

From Peanut Gallery Message 980:

quote:
Properly speaking, the absence of evidence is not by itself (negative) evidence (of absence), rather it is evidence of the absence of (positive) evidence - in the areas where evidence has been sought, and with the methodology\technology used to look for (positive) evidence.

If you only look in area {A} and do not find positive evidence, that means that positive evidence is currently not available within area {A}, it says nothing about positive or negative evidence in area {B} ≠ {A} nor about positive or negative evidence in area {A} at different times or with different methodology\technology/s.

Likewise you can only calculate the probability of the absence from the lack of positive evidence within area {A} when you know the relative sizes of {A} and {B} ...
... with the probability becoming higher as {A} approaches {B}, however until the point that {A} = {B} is reached there is still a possibility that positive evidence exists within {B}, and the relative improbability is inconsequential if the truth is that positive evidence does lie in area {B} ≠ {A} no matter how large {A} is, ...
... as probability calculations, like opinions, are strangely incapable of controlling reality, they are based on properly knowing reality to be accurate, and can be highly inaccurate when reality is not known.


It is only when you have established that {A} == {B}, and the absence of evidence becomes an observed mundane tautological fact , that this can be used as {negative evidence of absence. This has been said before. This is the problem with proving a negative. This should also be evident from my previous post.

and again Peanut Gallery Message 1000

quote:
Modulous writes:

Properly speaking, the absence of evidence is not by itself (negative) evidence (of absence), rather it is evidence of the absence of (positive) evidence - in the areas where evidence has been sought, and with the methodology\technology used to look for (positive) evidence.

If you only look in area {A} and do not find positive evidence, that means that positive evidence is currently not available within area {A}

And we're talking about area {A} only. When we look there are two hypothesis

1. The pen is on the desk (evidence: I can see a pen)
2. The pen is not on the desk (evidence: I can not seen a pen on the desk, and I have reason to suppose it is likely that if a pen was present I'd see it).

The absence of the evidence for 1 just happens to be the evidence for 2.

It's really basic logic.

In other words: ... the absence of evidence is not by itself (negative) evidence (of absence), rather it is evidence of the absence of (positive) evidence - in the areas where evidence has been sought, and with the methodology\technology used to look for (positive) evidence" -- curiously, it really is basic logic.


Here we see that {A} = {B} by the definition of {B} as being =={A}, and the absence of evidence then becomes a mundane tautological fact ... within the area defined as the limits of the search. Of course if you only consider the places where you have found an absence of evidence, then you will reach a (false) conclusion that it is evidence of absence. Even then you have only shown that the evidence applies to the times when the search was made and to the technology with which the search was made.

I see absolutely no reason to make the assumption that all areas are searched in every case, or even in a high proportion of cases, and in those cases where this assumption is not, or cannot be, made, then the absence of (positive) evidence is not (negative) evidence (of absence), rather it is evidence of the absence of (positive) evidence - only in those areas where evidence has been sought, and only with the methodology\technology used to look for (positive) evidence.

Rahvin Peanut Gallery Message 1002:All of the components are important. But it's very clear that the adage "an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is not a universal, general rule.

This is what I've said in every instance where I used the example of a pen on a desk, RAZD. Are you now, finally, saying that you agree?

Yes, conditionally: when you absolutely limit the question to where {A} == {B}, and set observation time to only include those times an actual search was made, and where the object of the search is defined to be something that can be observed with current technology (ie the pen is not microscopic) as you have done with "All of the components" (or Modulus does by only considering {A}), then you have an observation of fact, not a probability, but a mundane truth that only applies when {A} = {B}. To apply this to any other cases you need to show that these qualifications apply.

Amusingly, as soon as you move away from those few instances where you can observe fact, then the logic (and any attempt to calculate probability) fails to provide you with answers that are necessarily true or even likely to be true. As I said about the Coelacanths

quote:
One thinks of the Coelacanth in the days before the modern species were found: the evidence only existed in the fossil record of shallow sea beds until ~60 million years ago. The evidence from trawling the seas of the world, and taking oceanographic samples with the then latest technology, did not show any positive evidence of extant Coelacanths, although there was evidence of other aquatic life from pre-60 million years ago (sharks etc). The actual probability of finding the modern Coelacanth was very small - using crashfrogs outcome space and probability calculations - the area currently occupied by the current species is a very small fraction of a percentage of the available space in the oceans of the world ... and yet the truth was that Coelacanths did exist === the absence of (positive) evidence was not (negative) evidence (of absence). There are many cases where this is found to be the case.

This, of course, is much more representative of the real world than artificial straw man hypothetical examples where you eliminate all other possibilities a priori, which then becomes meaningless jabberwocky.

Of course, one positive result is all that is necessary for the (negative) assumption (of absence) to be totally and irrevocably falsified, so any calculations (however made) of high probability odds against it provide a false impression of security in the calculations. This is like the difference in a lottery between a specific ticket winning and the lottery being won by at least one ticket: it takes incredible luck or prescience to pick a single winning ticket, and yet time and again the lottery is won. Mathematical calculations, like opinions, are strangely incapable of altering reality in any way, and they only reflect truth/s to the degree that they are based on truth/s.

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) • • •

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by AdminModulous, posted 02-10-2011 9:47 PM RAZD has responded

AdminModulous
Administrator (Idle past 1043 days)
Posts: 897
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 6 of 10 (604288)
02-10-2011 9:47 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by RAZD
02-10-2011 9:24 PM


Hi RAZD,
did you mean to post that in this thread? It doesn't seem to be related to the OP. I'm not sure posting a response to criticism in another thread in a PNT will be viewed as entirely good form, especially a PNT that has stalled and is likely to not be promoted. Is there some good reason to be here? This PNT doesn't appear to be going to be promoted since it was for a GD where the other person declined.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by RAZD, posted 02-10-2011 9:24 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by RAZD, posted 02-10-2011 9:56 PM AdminModulous has responded

RAZD
Member (Idle past 344 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 7 of 10 (604289)
02-10-2011 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by AdminModulous
02-10-2011 9:47 PM


just more definition of the basic argument.
Hi AdminModulous,

Is there some good reason to be here? This PNT doesn't appear to be going to be promoted since it was for a GD where the other person declined.

The GD was turned down by Coyote, that doesn't mean that someone else will not take it up. Of course they would need to ask.

It doesn't seem to be related to the OP.

Message 1:

quote:
Nor am I aware of any subjective evidence that can show anything more than the possibility that god/s do not exist.

This would include the absence of objective empirical evidence that god/s do exist

So Message 5 is some additional information on that issue.

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 6 by AdminModulous, posted 02-10-2011 9:47 PM AdminModulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by AdminModulous, posted 02-10-2011 11:27 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

AdminModulous
Administrator (Idle past 1043 days)
Posts: 897
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 8 of 10 (604293)
02-10-2011 11:27 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by RAZD
02-10-2011 9:56 PM


Re: just more definition of the basic argument.
Could you concisely sum up the basic argument this debate would be about?

Is it about who has the burden of the evidence under what circumstances in general. Is it about the specific question of god? Is it about the quality of the evidence or lack thereof it either way? Your extra definition was longer than your OP it would seem - and rather than being about whether you are required to provide evidence is about you not being persuaded by a certain argument.

Subbie expressed an interest in a debate with you where he would support ' the proposition that gods do not exist.' - so if that's the kind of thing you want to do here, and Subbie is still interested, you can have at it. Subbie, let us know.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by RAZD, posted 02-10-2011 9:56 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

AdminModulous
Administrator (Idle past 1043 days)
Posts: 897
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 9 of 10 (604394)
02-11-2011 6:21 PM


subbie and RAZD only
subbie has confirmed his interest so I'm promoting this.

AdminModulous
Administrator (Idle past 1043 days)
Posts: 897
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 10 of 10 (604404)
02-11-2011 6:25 PM


Thread Copied to The Great Debate Forum
Thread copied to the The persistent question of evidence ... thread in the The Great Debate forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.

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