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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 991 of 1725 (604165)
02-10-2011 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 977 by Jon
02-09-2011 6:07 PM


Re: possibilities and probabilities
Isn't this just another way to say: "we have desk" and "we have no evidence of pen"?

Perhaps. But why phrase it so it looks like an absence of evidence other than to make that argument?

By combining it all into a single statement, 'evidence of the desk unblocked by a pen', you're just secretly slipping in an 'absence of evidence' claim.

But it does become evidence of absence. Its not an absence of evidence.

There's more to it than the lack of evidence for a pen. A lack of evidence for a pen doesn't really allow us to conclude that there's no pen. We need to have the whole desk having been searched and showing signs of no pen.

I don't see a good reason to twist it up into an absence of evidence, other than to make the argument.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 977 by Jon, posted 02-09-2011 6:07 PM Jon has not yet responded

crashfrog
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


(1)
Message 992 of 1725 (604171)
02-10-2011 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 984 by Modulous
02-10-2011 9:30 AM


Of course, to the anti-philsophy types, when philosophers are 'rigorous' they are being reasonable or they are being normal or logicians or even scientists!

The problem isn't all the rigorous ways to do philosophy; the problem is that all the non-rigorous ways to do philosophy are considered just as good. For all the rigorous answers to the problem of the absence of evidence, there are non-rigorous philosophers who strike the exact opposite position.

In science there's no non-rigorous way to do science - if the way you're doing it lacks rigor, what you're doing is not science, by definition. In philosophy it's certainly possible to do it with rigor, it's just that it's also possible to do it without rigor. It's the lack of insistence upon rigor by philosophers that makes it a field without rigor. For every Dan Dennett, there's a philosopher perfectly comfortable making an argument that begins and ends "my unexamined intuition is that this is so; therefore it must be universally true." Sometimes that's what even Dan Dennett is doing.

Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 984 by Modulous, posted 02-10-2011 9:30 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 997 by Modulous, posted 02-10-2011 1:22 PM crashfrog has responded

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 993 of 1725 (604173)
02-10-2011 12:19 PM
Reply to: Message 987 by Straggler
02-10-2011 10:15 AM


Re: Literacy
Classic converse error...

If he talks about deities, then he talks about subjective evidence.
He is talking about subjective evidence.
Therefore he is talking about deities.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 987 by Straggler, posted 02-10-2011 10:15 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 995 by Straggler, posted 02-10-2011 1:05 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3966
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 994 of 1725 (604176)
02-10-2011 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 990 by New Cat's Eye
02-10-2011 11:59 AM


Re: possibilities and probabilities
...except that I showed very clearly and accurately that your doublespeak is the equivalent of my own claim rearranged such that it appears to support the opposite.

Which doesn't show that yours is the correct one.

...let me simplify this for you again, CS.

You say that an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

To support this, you say that my own claim that an absence of expected evidence of a pen on a desk is not really what provides evidence that there is no pen on the desk. Rather, you say, it is the positive evidence of the desk unblocked by an image of a pen.

You are drawing a distinction without a difference, and claiming that the distinction shows that an absence of evidence really isn;t evidence of absence, and that I am wrong.

I am saying this:

"The old adage that A is not evidence of B is wrong. Look at this scenario, where A is actually evidence of B. This falsifies the old adage, it cannot be a general rule."

You are saying this:

"That old adage is actually true. A is not evidence of B. Instead, A is evidence of B."

Do you see yet? Everyone else does.

If you want to call it "slowing down" and I want to call it "negetive acceleration", then you showing how they're the same doesn't mean that one is better than the other. And to then speculate about my motives and feeling about calling it the way I do is just pathetic.

The difference here is that rather than only making an equivalent statement, CS, you're saying that your version of the equivalent statement actually shows that the old adage, "an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," is verified.

If the two statements are equivalent, CS, and one of them shows that an absence of evidence in one case is very clearly evidence of absence, then the old adage is falsified. In other words, you're wrong, and in order to hold your position you need to simultaneously believe two mutually exclusive claims. Doublethink. Cognitive dissonance.

You decided to continue your belief in the adage. Now, you're trying to use clever arguments in the form of semantic distortions to allow you to maintain your belief that the adage is valid, despite very clear evidence that the adage is not universal.

I am arguing the position. Just because being wrong makes you feel like an idiot or pointing out your cognitive dissonance makes you feel uncomfortable

Speculating on my motives and feelings is not arguing the position. And there's good reasons why its against the rules.

Cry me a river. Stop playing admin. If you have a problem, report it in the appropriate board administration thread.

I did. You then tried to claim that I'm just as guilty of semantic gymnastics as you are. The difference is that I fully described and illustrated why your version is just a misleading restatement of my own words, that you've drawn a distinction where there is no difference.

If there's no difference in describing it as an absence of evidence or describing it as evidence of an absence, then neither one of us is wrong.

If all you were doing was restating my position in a different way, we would not be having an argument. You;re using a semantic difference, framing an absence of evidence as actually somehow positive evidence (an absurdity in its own right) to claim that an absence of evidence really is not evidenc of absence.

I demonstrated a scenario that falsifies the adage. You used semantic games to restate the evidence of absence such that it sounds (to you at least) like positive evidence rather than an absence of expected evidence. You then claimed that your equivalent statement showed that the adage is true, rather than false.

"A is not actually evidence of B. A is evidence of B."

You're wrong, CS, and very obviously so. Stop clinging to your doublethink and admit that not seeing a pen when you search a desk is evidence that the pen is not present on the desk, and therefore an absence of expected evidence is evidence of absence.

But whatever, if you'd rather be a jerk than explain yourself then I'll just stop responding to you.

Cry more, crybaby.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 990 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-10-2011 11:59 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1003 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-10-2011 2:19 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

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


Message 995 of 1725 (604182)
02-10-2011 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 993 by New Cat's Eye
02-10-2011 12:19 PM


Re: Literacy
Actually I think you will find it is the continual references to subjective “evidence” in threads debating the existence of deities that is the clue here.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 993 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-10-2011 12:19 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 999 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-10-2011 1:58 PM Straggler has responded

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


Message 996 of 1725 (604183)
02-10-2011 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 988 by xongsmith
02-10-2011 11:24 AM


Re: The issue is settled?
X writes:

Straggler writes:

How does Iano's subjective "evidence" for the existence of Jesus (or whatever) differ from Iano's belief that Jesus caused this experience?

I have no idea, but I would venture to guess that there is no difference.

Then he is to all intents and purposes citing his belief as evidence upon which to justify his belief. As is the case with all this "subjective evidence" nonsense.

X writes:

Anyway, I doubt that you & I have a different value attached to such "evidence" in the matter at hand: zero.

Then the evidence that any supernatural aspects to the Jesus concept are more likely to originate in the minds of men than be real would seem to be an obvious conclusion.

Or are you and RAZ going to demand a peer reviewed paper on the ability to walk on water or raise people from the dead?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 988 by xongsmith, posted 02-10-2011 11:24 AM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1010 by xongsmith, posted 02-10-2011 3:45 PM Straggler has not yet responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 1099 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 997 of 1725 (604186)
02-10-2011 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 992 by crashfrog
02-10-2011 12:15 PM


The problem isn't all the rigorous ways to do philosophy; the problem is that all the non-rigorous ways to do philosophy are considered just as good. For all the rigorous answers to the problem of the absence of evidence, there are non-rigorous philosophers who strike the exact opposite position.

They aren't considered 'just as good' as demonstrated by your not considering them just as good. A bunch of numptys that come along and start twisting arguments around in torturous semantic gymnastics is not evidence that philosophers are out to destroy knowledge and are unable to answer whether there is a pen on the desk.

It's the lack of insistence upon rigor by philosophers that makes it a field without rigor.

There's plenty of insistence that we should reason correctly and be rigorous by philosophers. But humans are individually quite bad at doing that and there is disagreement over what is the correct way to reason. There are plenty of disputes at the bleeding edge of science in which the same kinds of disagreements arise but this lack of central dictating authority on the correct way to infer conclusions from evidence and logic is no more a problem in science or philosophy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 992 by crashfrog, posted 02-10-2011 12:15 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 998 by crashfrog, posted 02-10-2011 1:40 PM Modulous has responded

crashfrog
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 998 of 1725 (604194)
02-10-2011 1:40 PM
Reply to: Message 997 by Modulous
02-10-2011 1:22 PM


They aren't considered 'just as good' as demonstrated by your not considering them just as good.

They appear in the same journals as the rigorous philosophy; the people who engage in it are just as likely to be hired by university philosophy departments, they're just as likely to achieve professional success and reward. Indeed, any individual philosopher is just as likely to use rigorous arguments as non-rigorous ones, because there's no preference in the field for one or the other.

I'm not talking about the assembled philosophical chuckleheads of EvC, I'm talking about the academic world of philosophy, where rigorous arguments and non-rigorous arguments - i.e. arguments that can't be known to be wrong, just ill-formed - and those who make them are placed on precisely equal footing.

There's plenty of insistence that we should reason correctly and be rigorous by philosophers.

No, there's none at all, which is why rigorous philosophy appears in the exact same journals alongside non-rigorous philosophy. The notion of "rigor" is simply optional in philosophy, which is why the field as a whole lacks it.

There are plenty of disputes at the bleeding edge of science in which the same kinds of disagreements arise but this lack of central dictating authority on the correct way to infer conclusions from evidence and logic is no more a problem in science or philosophy.

Who on Earth has said there needs to be a "central dictating authority"? Philosophers simply need to insist on rigor in their field, like scientists do.

But they don't - it's easier to be a philosopher when rigor is optional to philosophy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 997 by Modulous, posted 02-10-2011 1:22 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1014 by Modulous, posted 02-10-2011 5:00 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 999 of 1725 (604203)
02-10-2011 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 995 by Straggler
02-10-2011 1:05 PM


Re: Literacy
Actually I think you will find it is the continual references to subjective “evidence” in threads debating the existence of deities that is the clue here.

Huh? What does that have to do with the value of subjective evidence thread not pertaining to deities?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 995 by Straggler, posted 02-10-2011 1:05 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1001 by Straggler, posted 02-10-2011 2:01 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

RAZD
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 1000 of 1725 (604205)
02-10-2011 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 981 by Modulous
02-09-2011 9:59 PM


Hi Modulous,

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.

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 981 by Modulous, posted 02-09-2011 9:59 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1002 by Rahvin, posted 02-10-2011 2:11 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 1008 by Blue Jay, posted 02-10-2011 2:44 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 1012 by Modulous, posted 02-10-2011 4:06 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

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


Message 1001 of 1725 (604206)
02-10-2011 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 999 by New Cat's Eye
02-10-2011 1:58 PM


Re: Literacy
So the validity of subjective evidence is a rather key component of RAZD's arguments regarding the supernatural then?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 999 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-10-2011 1:58 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1004 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-10-2011 2:22 PM Straggler has responded

Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3966
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 1002 of 1725 (604213)
02-10-2011 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 1000 by RAZD
02-10-2011 2:00 PM


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.

Enjoy.

You missed a small bit.

The absence of evidence itself is frequently used synonymously with ignorance. It's a basic limitation of the English language - an absence of evidence in many cases is nothing more than ignorance, and does in fact have no effect, positive or negative, on the likelihood that a given hypothesis is valid.

But an absence of specific positive evidence (like the lack of an observation of a pen) when that specific evidence would be expected if the hypothesis were valid (as in the case of a pen on a desk) and where a legitimate search for that evidence has been made and where the domain of possibility is limited (for example, a desk is a finite and searchable area; asking whether a pen exists anywhere in the universe is a different question entirely) is evidence of absence (or the falsity of a given hypothesis).

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?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1000 by RAZD, posted 02-10-2011 2:00 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 1003 of 1725 (604217)
02-10-2011 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 994 by Rahvin
02-10-2011 12:33 PM


Re: possibilities and probabilities
To support this, you say that my own claim that an absence of expected evidence of a pen on a desk is not really what provides evidence that there is no pen on the desk. Rather, you say, it is the positive evidence of the desk unblocked by an image of a pen.

Right. You don't conclude that there's no pen on the desk just simply from not seeing one. You conclude it from seeing that the desk if free of pens.

You are saying this:

"That old adage is actually true. A is not evidence of B. Instead, A is evidence of B."

Do you see yet?

No, I don't see that. I see: "A is not evidence of B. Instead, C is evidence of B."

You're saying there's no differece between A and C. A is 'not seeing a pen on the desk' and C is 'seeing a penless desk'. A is non-evidence, C is evidence.

You are drawing a distinction without a difference, and claiming that the distinction shows that an absence of evidence really isn;t evidence of absence, and that I am wrong.

If all you were doing was restating my position in a different way, we would not be having an argument.

Are they different or not?

You;re using a semantic difference, framing an absence of evidence as actually somehow positive evidence (an absurdity in its own right)

You are the one saying non-evidence is evidence, not me.

I demonstrated a scenario that falsifies the adage.

As I origianlly said, I think there's more to it than your scenario provides.

And you haven't really addressed that. You'd rather assume your right and I'm crazy, and argue about my motivations.

Troll on, troll.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 994 by Rahvin, posted 02-10-2011 12:33 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 1004 of 1725 (604219)
02-10-2011 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1001 by Straggler
02-10-2011 2:01 PM


Re: Literacy
Not necessarily.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1001 by Straggler, posted 02-10-2011 2:01 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1006 by Straggler, posted 02-10-2011 2:26 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

RAZD
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 1005 of 1725 (604221)
02-10-2011 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 948 by Straggler
02-08-2011 6:16 AM


Re: Subjective "Evidence" - Surely Not?
Hi Straggler, I wondered how long it would take you to misunderstand this argument.

In the context of the great debate at hand the question of course is whether or not supernatural beings can legitimately be concluded to be the cause of such experiences.

Actually the context of the debate is whether or not bluegenes can substantiate a single one of his assertions, including that he actually has a theory rather than an hypothesis based on assumption/s, bias/es and wishful thinking.

In that context, he has made the claim that human imagination is the only source of supernatural beings.

Once you make this claim, then it is incumbent on you to show that existing religious documents, and reports of religious experiences documenting supernatural sources, cannot be due to supernatural communications. You cannot ignore these documents and then assume that your conclusion has any validity.

Similarly if you were investigating an historical event you could not ignore existing historical documents and reports concerning the event and make an assumption that your conclusion is valid.

If one is going to claim that supernatural beings are produced by human imagination and not be experience of supernatural beings or communications from them, then you need to have a process\methodology to differentiate one from the other, not just assume your conclusion.

I find it remarkable that you keep feeling the need to raise such "evidence" in the context of discussions about supernatural beings given your rather forthright stance on the absence of any link between the two.

The purpose of the long discussion about subjective evidence was to demonstrate that (a) unverified subjective experiences do exist and (b) they can be used to suggest possibilities for further investigation.

This conclusion of the value of subjective evidence has nothing to do with deities, but everything to do with the value of subjective evidence.

As I recall, you were dragged kicking and screaming to the inevitable conclusion that subjective evidence can be used to suggest possibilities.

I had to post that banner so that you could be induced to talk about other subjective experiences, where you finally admitted that they could be used to suggest possibilities for further investigation, rather than obsessively concentrate on deities.

And don't call me, Shirley.

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 948 by Straggler, posted 02-08-2011 6:16 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1009 by Straggler, posted 02-10-2011 2:47 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 1035 by Straggler, posted 02-13-2011 5:49 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 1038 by Straggler, posted 02-21-2011 4:27 AM RAZD has responded

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