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Author Topic:   Immaterial "Evidence"
Straggler
Member (Idle past 177 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 1 of 4 (516668)
07-26-2009 5:40 PM


Why The
Immaterial evidence. Non-empirical evidence. Call it whatever you will. Can any entity that is completely and inherently immune from detection by means of our five empirical material senses, or related scientific instruments of physical detection, possibly be considered to be evidenced by personal experience?
Is it possible for immaterial entities or beings to be evidenced as aspects of reality external to the mind by personal experience?
http://www.yourdictionary.com/immaterial writes:
im·ma·teri·al (im” tir” l)
adjective
  • not consisting of matter; incorporeal; spiritual
  • http://www.yourdictionary.com/incorporeal writes:
    in·cor·po·real (in”kr pr” l)
    adjective
  • not consisting of matter; without material body or substance
  • of spirits or angels
  • I say no. I say this on the basis of the following:
    1) How? If a concept inherently cannot be detected by our empirical senses then how can any "experience" relating to such a concept be anything but internal to the mind? A sixth sense?
    2) What is evidence? If a form of "evidence" cannot ever be shown to lead to results that are superior to just guessing then how can this form of "evidence" be deemed worthy of the term?
    Once the beguiling terminology and various conflations have been cast aside most theistic positions that claim an evidential basis for the object of belief ultimately boil down to a dependence on "immaterial evidence". Does the concept have any value at all? Or is it just an exercise in confirmation bias whereby those who believe in immaterial beings manage to convince themselves that the object of their belief can be, and therefore is, evidenced by means of personal experience?
    If promoted then "Is It Science" is the obvious place for this.
    This thread is being proposed as a result of RAZD's response Message 393 in the "Is My Hypothesis Valid" thread. In this post RAZD strongly indicates that immaterial entities undetectable by empirical means can indeed be somehow evidenced by "subjective evidence". I want to find out exactly what is meant by this.
    For months RAZD has trumpeted the value of personal experience ("subjective evidence" as he calls it) as a means of evidence. I challenge him to justify this with specific regard to immaterial entities that are unable to be detected by means of empirical material sensory perception. Aliens, Nessie, Bigfoot, gravity, G forces, cats crossing roads and any other such material concepts are "off-topic". As are any creationist style claims that gods are empirically evidenced by geology, the balance of physical constants or whatever else. Personal experiences. Immaterial entities. Only.
    FAITH: NOT INTERESTED AND OFF TOPIC
    Finally let me make it absolutely clear that this thread is not about personal faith. I have no desire to discuss the personal faith based beliefs of others and no desire whatsoever to convince deists/theists that they should be atheists.
    I simply want to know whether or not there is any rational reason for me to consider the actual existence of some immaterial entities as more likley than others. And yes, in case it isn't obvious, that does include using our dear old friend the "Immaterial Pink Unicorn" (IPU) as a point of comparison.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
    Edited by Straggler, : Add faith qualifier to avoid confusion and eliminate that misconception.
    Edited by Admin, : Fix non-printing unicode characters. Minor grammar fix. Major edit to 2nd to last paragraph.

    Admin
    Director
    Posts: 13084
    From: EvC Forum
    Joined: 06-14-2002
    Member Rating: 2.5


    Message 2 of 4 (516678)
    07-26-2009 7:19 PM


    I'm going to suggest an interlude. I'll close this now, but if you're still interested after a couple weeks then please request reconsideration at the Topic Proposal Issues thread.

    --Percy
    EvC Forum Director

    Replies to this message:
     Message 3 by Straggler, posted 08-12-2009 6:33 AM Admin has not replied

    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 177 days)
    Posts: 10333
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 3 of 4 (519164)
    08-12-2009 6:33 AM
    Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
    07-26-2009 7:19 PM


    Editing completed.
    Over to you for final consideration.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by Admin, posted 07-26-2009 7:19 PM Admin has not replied

    Admin
    Director
    Posts: 13084
    From: EvC Forum
    Joined: 06-14-2002
    Member Rating: 2.5


    Message 4 of 4 (519177)
    08-12-2009 7:41 AM


    Thread Copied to Is It Science? Forum
    Thread copied to the Immaterial "Evidence" thread in the Is It Science? forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.

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