Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 63 (9072 total)
83 online now:
AZPaul3, dwise1, PaulK, vimesey (4 members, 79 visitors)
Newest Member: FossilDiscovery
Post Volume: Total: 893,162 Year: 4,274/6,534 Month: 488/900 Week: 12/182 Day: 0/12 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Atheism and the case against Christ
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 13 (724847)
04-21-2014 3:39 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by MFFJM2
04-21-2014 10:55 AM


Re: Believe It Or Not
A statement of truth is one which is in accordance with physical reality, and is verfiable, falsfiable, and produces reliable predictions.

A minor nitpick, but true things are still true even if we can't verify them or use them to make reliable predictions.

I think you can leave it as something is true if it is in accordance with reality.

However, why would anyone want to believe something that is false, or even something that cannot be shown to be true.

One reason could be that it makes them feel better.

How is this any different from wishful thinking..

Its not, but some people do prefer fantasy to reality.

This I understand is the basic concept of faith, to believe even though the evidence is against you...but why would anyone do that..?

I don't think the evidence really has to be against you for there to be room for faith. Simply being unknown is enough, in my opinion.

Faith is not a pathway to truth. Now in this case I'm not using the word faith as a synonym for hope, but rather faith as a truth statement about our world.

Hrm, I usually don't state the things that I take on faith as being a matter of fact.

I'll say that I believe X, but I'm not saying it must be true and I'll acknowledge that I don't know.

And for things that I do know, or would state matter of factly, I don't say that I "believe" them. I accept them, or I know them.

Belief is not a conscious choice, but rather it is subconscious and entirely dependent on our being convinced of the actual truth of the proposition in question.

I'm not sure that the jury isn't still out on that one. For one, I'm not totally convinced of the things that I have faith in. And for two, sometimes it seems like I can choose to believe in some things.

We may be convinced for good or bad reasons, but we don't then make a conscious choice to believe.

And for the things that you're not convinced of? Can't you still lean one way or the other? Couldn't you hope so bad that you find yourself accepting it anyways?

Can you choose not to believe in gravity..?

I don't think that's a good representation. Gravity is undenyable. Can you choose to believe that your wife loves you? Even if she isn't showing it very strongly today? Or even if she's not behaving in a way in which she should?

.

Oh, and one more thing. If you could go ahead and press that Enter key a few times here and there, that would be great.

Check it out. This:

quote:
A statement of truth is one which is in accordance with physical reality, and is verfiable, falsfiable, and produces reliable predictions. Unless you're writing poetry that is how the truth is defined. What you want to believe has no effect whatsoever on reality. However, why would anyone want to believe something that is false, or even something that cannot be shown to be true. How is this any different from wishful thinking..? The idea that you would continue to believe something that is proven false or logically refuted is beyond me. This I understand is the basic concept of faith, to believe even though the evidence is against you...but why would anyone do that..? Faith is not a pathway to truth. Now in this case I'm not using the word faith as a synonym for hope, but rather faith as a truth statement about our world. When someone says I have faith my football team will win the Superbowl, they mean they hope their team will win. Nobody uses the word faith in this way in a negative sense (I have faith my team will lose), so we know they mean hope. I don't know how anyone could continue to believe as you say you would, although some certainly claim to have the ability. Belief is not a conscious choice, but rather it is subconscious and entirely dependent on our being convinced of the actual truth of the proposition in question. We may be convinced for good or bad reasons, but we don't then make a conscious choice to believe. Can you choose not to believe in gravity..?

Versus this:

quote:
A statement of truth is one which is in accordance with physical reality, and is verfiable, falsfiable, and produces reliable predictions.

Unless you're writing poetry that is how the truth is defined. What you want to believe has no effect whatsoever on reality. However, why would anyone want to believe something that is false, or even something that cannot be shown to be true. How is this any different from wishful thinking..?

The idea that you would continue to believe something that is proven false or logically refuted is beyond me. This I understand is the basic concept of faith, to believe even though the evidence is against you...but why would anyone do that..?

Faith is not a pathway to truth. Now in this case I'm not using the word faith as a synonym for hope, but rather faith as a truth statement about our world. When someone says I have faith my football team will win the Superbowl, they mean they hope their team will win. Nobody uses the word faith in this way in a negative sense (I have faith my team will lose), so we know they mean hope.

I don't know how anyone could continue to believe as you say you would, although some certainly claim to have the ability. Belief is not a conscious choice, but rather it is subconscious and entirely dependent on our being convinced of the actual truth of the proposition in question.

We may be convinced for good or bad reasons, but we don't then make a conscious choice to believe. Can you choose not to believe in gravity..?


Isn't that second one A LOT easier to read?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 10:55 AM MFFJM2 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 4:55 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 13 (724853)
04-21-2014 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by MFFJM2
04-21-2014 4:55 PM


Re: Believe It Or Not
Please note, I wrote "a statement of truth is one which..." I didn't mean to suggest that truth cannot exist without it being verifiable, falsifiable, and providing reliable predictions, but truth statements cannot.

So something that is true, but cannot be verified, becomes not-true when someone states it? That don't make sense.

but the statement that there is said teapot needs to be verifiable, falsifiable, and provide reliable predictions before the statement can be accepted as a truth statement.

Whether or not something can be accepted as true can be independent of its veracity. That is, something can be true even though we are unable to accept it as such.

But we don't have something that is true, what we have are statements or assertions of truth and we are assessing those statements for their truth value.

Sure, assessments of the truth value of a statement require the things you say, but that's not what I thought you were saying before.

Ah, the placebo effect. But isn't the placebo effect neutralized once you know it's a placebo..?

But they don't know its a placebo. They believe something because it makes them feel better, and they don't know if its right or wrong.

This then becomes a problem for the rest of us, especially when theists are intent on becoming martyrs to their religions. We live in a technological society and our beliefs have effects beyond our personal thoughts and convictions.

Where's the problem for the rest of you?

quote:
I don't think the evidence really has to be against you for there to be room for faith. Simply being unknown is enough, in my opinion.

Faith is not a pathway to truth. To accept anything on faith is to accept it regardless of the evidence to the contrary. The Webster New Word dictionary definition of faith in this context is "unquestioned belief that does not require proof or evidence."

Many theists hold their beliefs so strongly they would not change their views regardless of the evidence against them.

Be that as it may, I don't see where having faith in something requires that there is evidence against that thing.

quote:
Hrm, I usually don't state the things that I take on faith as being a matter of fact.

Christians accept that Jesus was born of a virgin, worked miracles, was the son of God, suffered and died on the cross, and was resurrected as literal facts. If you don't take these things on faith what evidence do you have that they occurred..? If you don't have faith in them as literal facts then you aren't a Christian, according to the doctrine of the Christian church.

Nobody knows if those things happened or not. As a Christian, I'm telling you that I don't accept them as literal facts. Facts are things that I know are true. For the things you mention, I believe that they happened. But I don't know, and I may very well be wrong.

If you're asserting a belief, how can you also assert it isn't or might not be true..?

Because I don't know if its true or not. That's why I say that I just "believe" it. If I knew it was true then I'd say it was a fact. i wouldn't say that it is a fact that Jesus was resurrected. It is simply a belief of mine.

It appears you're saying that belief for you is no more than what might or might not be true, but because you like it or it feels good, you're going to believe in it. That's not belief, it's delusion.

I don't believe things just because I like them or they make me feel good. There's other reasons involved.

quote:
And for things that I do know, or would state matter of factly, I don't say that I "believe" them. I accept them, or I know them.

That is a distinction without a difference.

I just explained to you the difference:

If its a fact, then its something I can verify as true, and then I accept it and say that I know it.

If it is something that I cannot verify as true, but I still think that it is correct, then I will say that I believe it.

Apparently, you'd like to add a degree of certainty to the things you know, but all certainty requires a level of belief because we can never know anything to absolute certainty. The brain in the jar comes to mind.

If I mean absolutely, then i will say absolutely. If I don't say absolutely, then I don't mean absolutely.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 4:55 PM MFFJM2 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 10:16 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 10 of 13 (724905)
04-22-2014 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by MFFJM2
04-21-2014 10:16 PM


Re: Believe It Or Not
All statements of truth must be verifiable, falsifiable, and provide predictive ability or they cannot be accepted as true. They might still be true objectively, but we would have no way of ascertaining that they are. The default position for any statement of truth that does not provide verifiability, falsifiability, and predictive ability is non-belief.

Non-belief as in rejection? There's no way that's how I'm gonna live my life.

Here's a video that is worth watching. I realize that 9 minutes is terribly long in internet time, but its got a great message, its put together really well, and its not religious or anything. Its an excerpt from a commencement speech with some video thrown on top. The point is that you have the choice in what you are willing to accept as possibilities in the world around you. If you reject all those possibilities then you strip life down to an existence that will make you miserable.

http://youtu.be/DKYJVV7HuZw


Now, regarding knowledge versus belief, I am explaining to you how my mind works and how I use the words that I do to describe those workings. You cannot use my words back against me to define away the workings of my mind, that's just not gonna work. If you have a suggestion on better words to use, then I'm willing to hear them.

And that's not the dictionary definitions of belief or fact. I'm afraid you don't get to make up your own definitions for words.

Dictionaries are descriptive, not proscriptive. Language is a malleable clay, not a rigid stone. The words 'know' and 'believe' contain enough wiggle room to be used in the way that I am using them, but you're going to have to be open to the possibility if you care to understand what I am trying to tell you.

If you just want to dig your heels in, and insist that I cannot think the way that I do, and that I cannot use these words to describe it, then there's really no point in us conversing.

Knowledge is a subset of belief.

That's what I'm saying. I can believe things that I do not know. I can also reserve the use of the word knowledge for the beliefs that I have verified as true, and then stop calling those pieces of knowledge "beliefs".

It is a way to separate the things I accept into those that have been verified and those that have not.

If you believe them, then they are by definition what you think are real and true.

I reserve the word "belief" for things that I do not know. I reserve the word "know" for things that I have verified as true.

I do think that my beliefs are true, but I don't know that they are.

I wouldn't say that I "believe" that the Earth orbits the Sun. I know that it does because I have verified that it is true. I wouldn't say that I "know" that Jesus existed, because I cannot verify that its true, but I believe that he did.

That is how I use those words.

This simple belief of yours is a literal contradiction. A belief is the "conviction or acceptance that certain things are true or real." You cannot believe something is real or true, and at the same time assert you don't think it is true or that it might not be true. If you feel that it might not be true, then by definition you don't believe it.

I can believe that something is true, while accepting that I can be wrong about it. Its possible that Jesus never existed, but I believe that he did. There's no contradiction in knowing that your beliefs might not be true.

What you're saying here, is that belief is a subset of knowledge rather than visa versa.

If you don't accept them as literal facts then you're not a Christian, according to the doctrine of the Christian church.

There are plenty of Christians that leave room for doubt in their beliefs. Being a Christian does not require unquestioning and absolute certainty of the truth of your beliefs.

There are certainly religious people who do say that they are absolutely certain that their beliefs are true, but they're the ones who are crazy.

quote:
Be that as it may, I don't see where having faith in something requires that there is evidence against that thing.

It doesn't, and that's not what I wrote.

You wrote that "the basic concept of faith, to believe even though the evidence is against you...", and I replied that faith does not require there to be evidence against you.

Well, regardless of what you thought, that is precisely what I wrote, "a statement of truth..."

That's what you changed it to. You started with: "This book is a must read for any person who desires to use rational thought and critical thinking rather than a priori beliefs to determine truth." To which Phat replied: "What is truth?" Then you went on to talk about how we assess statements of truth rather than talking about what truth is. And if you're allowing that people to use a priori beliefs to determine truth, then you cannot be restricting truth to that which we can assess through verification.

So pardon me for failing to follow you.

Now I know this doesn't make sense to you,

There's no reason to act like an arrogant prick. And if I wanted to return the favor, I could point out that since you have not verified how much sense it makes to me, then you cannot assess that statement as being truth, and therefore you cannot know it.

One more thing:

Is the statement "there is a teapot circling Saturn" a true statement or not, and why..?

You need to revisit the point that Bertrand was making. He was shifting the burden of proof back onto those who claim that you cannot discount something because it isn't falsifiable. He wasn't talking about how we accpet truth through verification.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 10:16 PM MFFJM2 has taken no action

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.1
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2022