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Author Topic:   Immaterial "Evidence"
Member (Idle past 155 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 5 of 154 (519211)
08-12-2009 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
07-26-2009 5:40 PM

Subjective Evidence - Oxymoron
Straggler writes:
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?
I agree. Especially with point number 2.
Evidence, at it's most basic level, are facts about reality.
In bird watching, one may very well personally and individually witness a rare bird in a region where it's not generally present.
Is this evidence? No. We are people, we can be mistaken, and we don't remember or know everything.
At worst, the evidence is "I think I saw something interesting." The sighting may have been so far away that it wasn't even a bird, perhaps it was a bat, or a leaf.
At best, the evidence is "I think I saw a bird which closely resembles (insert rare bird name here)."
Is this a reason for other equally avian-passionate searchers to basically overwhelm the area looking for duplicate sightings?
Of course it is.
Of course, my pure imagination (if presented in the right way) is also a reason for other equally avian-passionate searchers to start combing a certain area. This then becomes a level of trust of the individual, evidence does not require trust by any means.
Evidence never requires trust. Conclusions drawn from evidence do, but not evidence itself. Subjectivity always requires trust, therefore "subjective evidence" doesn't exist as the two terms are opposites.
Subjective reasons for looking for evidence certainly exist, there are plenty. But not subjective evidence.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 07-26-2009 5:40 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 08-12-2009 12:24 PM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 155 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 7 of 154 (519225)
08-12-2009 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Straggler
08-12-2009 12:24 PM

Re: Subjective Evidence - Oxymoron
Whoops, I made half that post, had to do some stuff, then came back and finished it. In between that, I forgot to tie in with the immaterial stuff, I'll do that now:
Again, at the basic level "evidence" is facts about reality.
Possibly sighting a rare bird may be a fact about the reality of those specific rare birds in the vicinity. But it may not. Until we are able to confirm that it is a fact about reality, it can never be called "evidence."
The picture is even worse for anything immaterial.
At least with a rare bird, it's possible to one day have others confirm that they saw the same rare bird. It's possible to confirm with pictures or video or dung or feathers or a unique nest or even the bird itself so that everyone can be witness to the rare bird. If such external, verifiable things ever do happen, then and only then does it become evidence.
With immaterial aspects, we can never compare two "sightings." How can it be determined that one person's subjective, immaterial experience is the same as another person's subjective, immaterial experience? There will never be external, verifiable things that could happen that would bump such subjective reasoning into the realm of actual evidence.
We are no longer able to objectively discern between imagination and reality. Such difference may possibly exist, but we will never know.
It is this same lack of objective-differentiation between experiences that erases the line between imagination or a "real" experience and drove The Dark Ages. During The Dark Ages, it was possible to tell the difference between imagination and "real" experiences, but people just didn't do it. They ignored evidence and relied upon subjective reasons to discern reality. This reliance upon a method that is indistinguishable from imagination is what caused the confusion, allowed the manipulation, and threw the (known) world into hundreds of years of useless stagnation.
Granted, when speaking of inherently immaterial things, we do not have a choice to use factual evidence. However, this does not negate the fact that it too soley relies on a system that cannot distinguish between a "real" subjective, immaterial experience and pure imagination. Because of that fact, all the pitfalls and stagnation that came with The Dark Ages is alive and well and just waiting to spill over within the realm where subjective, immaterial experiences are allowed to be a valid method for detecting reality.
It's not that it's strictly impossible for inherently immaterial beings to exist, it's that if we allow ourselves to make non-objective methods valid in finding them... we begin a downward spiral where we already know the outcome.
And, of course, if something (even an inherently immaterial something) cannot affect objective reality in any way, and therefore never has and never will... is it worth pursuing?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 08-12-2009 12:24 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Straggler, posted 08-12-2009 2:38 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

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