Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 58 (9173 total)
0 online now:
Newest Member: Neptune7
Post Volume: Total: 917,565 Year: 4,822/9,624 Month: 170/427 Week: 83/85 Day: 0/20 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Immaterial "Evidence"
Kitsune
Member (Idle past 4376 days)
Posts: 788
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 09-16-2007


Message 106 of 154 (524533)
09-17-2009 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by Hyroglyphx
09-17-2009 10:43 AM


Re: Warnings
quote:
I doubt that it would. There's just too many unknowns to account for.
Can you give an example?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-17-2009 10:43 AM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 107 of 154 (524534)
09-17-2009 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by Kitsune
09-17-2009 3:21 AM


tod und verzweiflung
Sorry I dropped out of the conversation a while back.
Please, don't feel the need to apologize. Anyone who is upset that someone might have other things to do with their life from time to time deserves to be upset
I've had some difficulties; these are the sorts of things that test whatever faith a person has.
I understand.
I think we're all agreed that we can't measure the divine by empirical means.
Do we also agree that this didn't have to be the case? It is a possibility that the divine could have allowed itself to be empirically testable.
Now you offer more empirical evidence - a man who didn't die because he heeded the warnings of an voice he believed he heard the day earlier...as well as the voice that warned him seconds beforehand.
But you also concede it doesn't definitely give us an answer - it could be interpreted to mean many other things. This leads me to address a misunderstanding of your opponents:
For some that's the end of the matter: if it can't be detected in such a way, it doesn't exist. As I've expressed before, I believe this is a closed-minded approach.
I'm sure this is true of 'some', but I've not seen that view expressed commonly here. Neither Straggler nor I feel that the inability to detect something necessarily implies it doesn't exist unless the thing in question should be detectable.
However, you seem to think that the above is synonymous with
"I don't believe the divine exists because it cannot be measured by empirical means"
But they are quite different.
Think about being on a jury.
If the jury says "There is no evidence that this man committed the murder therefore he didn't do it." that is quite different from the jury saying "There is no evidence that this man committed the murder therefore we cannot convict him of the crime."
In the latter case, the jury isn't saying the man didn't commit murder whereas in the former case they are.
I'm not saying the supernatural/divine/etc doesn't exist, I'm just saying that there is no evidence that indicates it does with any degree of confidence whatsoever so I have no reason to believe that it does.
When the likes of Straggler and I say this, we get accused of saying that 'absence of evidence is evidence of absence', despite explicitly saying that we do not believe that there is (and in some cases that there can be) evidence of absence of certain entities. People also say 'but there is evidence', and this thread is about that evidence.
So, let's go to the murder case. Here is the evidence that X murdered Y:
Everybody in the village believes that X killed Y (ie., Consensus gentium)
This belief is based on a 'gut feeling' and intuition.
Somebody heard a voice that said that X killed Y.
We all agree that it is possible that X murdered Y - but we cannot convict them based on this evidence can we?
Straggler's position goes one step further. We also consider that X is a black man with no family in the village and that Y is a young white daughter of the mayor and that the village is insular and racist (in the 1890s in the US deep south, say).
It is possibly that my pen just fell off my desk because of goblins, fairies, elves, unicorns, gremlins etc etc. Or it could be that it was cylindrical and I knocked it with my elbow which is low on nerves so I didn't feel it. I see no reason to believe it was a gremlin, despite its possibility. That is different from holding the belief that gremlins definitely don't exist - which would be 'closed minded', though from a pragmatic point of view I am likely to say "Don't be silly, gremlins don't exist.", but that is just a convenient short-hand method of getting my point accross and not a complete epistemological statement of my position.
Is there any kind of evidence in favour of the supernatural that if we translated it into a murder case would result in you being comfortable with convicting someone of a serious crime?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Kitsune, posted 09-17-2009 3:21 AM Kitsune has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by Kitsune, posted 09-17-2009 11:27 AM Modulous has replied
 Message 109 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 11:30 AM Modulous has replied

  
Kitsune
Member (Idle past 4376 days)
Posts: 788
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 09-16-2007


Message 108 of 154 (524537)
09-17-2009 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by Modulous
09-17-2009 10:57 AM


Re: tod und verzweiflung
Interesting subtitle, rather grim
quote:
It is a possibility that the divine could have allowed itself to be empirically testable.
I guess that depends on how one views the divine. Seeing it as a human-like entity that makes conscious choices is easy because we can relate to that. If the divine exists then I think in reality it must go beyond this. Maybe there is no being that has conscious thoughts. Maybe God could simply be all of us, incarnate -- in which case we're erroneously looking for something outside of ourselves. Maybe the divine really is empirically detectable; but like bacteria under the microscope, we are unable at this time to detect it. Who knows? You could argue that the IPU is out there and we could find it if we built an IPU detector, but then we have actually discovered real things with new instruments. Or maybe it really does require a sixth sense/third eye.
quote:
Is there any kind of evidence in favour of the supernatural that if we translated it into a murder case would result in you being comfortable with convicting someone of a serious crime?
Lots of strong circumstantial evidence (logic).
Lots of eyewitness testimonies that have consilience (anecdote).
I also am against the death penalty; a wrong conviction can never be reversed.
What's more, empirical evidence can sometimes be misleading. You might be one of the unlucky ones whose DNA matches that found at the scene of the crime when in reality it is not yours. Someone might do a good job of framing you, for example by planting evidence on you.
quote:
It is possibly that my pen just fell off my desk because of goblins, fairies, elves, unicorns, gremlins etc etc. Or it could be that it was cylindrical and I knocked it with my elbow which is low on nerves so I didn't feel it. I see no reason to believe it was a gremlin, despite its possibility.
I think you've clarified the point. But it's far, far more logical to conclude that you knocked your pen off the desk yourself. What if, instead, it seemed to fly on a strange trajectory, perhaps travelled too slowly or too quickly, and came to a dead stop when physics says it should have rolled on the floor? What if it seems to have appeared on your desk from nowhere and is slightly warm to the touch? What if you hear a zipping noise while you are bent over reading alone, and suddenly your pen hits you on the back of your head? I know this all sounds utterly ridiculous but these are the kinds of phenomena that have repeatedly been reported in poltergeist cases all over the world, for centuries. They happened to people I know. Though maybe this point won't mean anything to you if you are unwilling to admit the possibility that they could happen to anyone at all.
And again, I don't think this is necessarily evidence for the divine. Based on the available evidence, I believe in the one-ness of all things; I'm not sure if you could even call that theism really. Would you categorise belief in spirits as theism? I believe in those too.
Edited by LindaLou, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Modulous, posted 09-17-2009 10:57 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by Modulous, posted 09-17-2009 12:55 PM Kitsune has replied
 Message 113 by Rahvin, posted 09-17-2009 12:59 PM Kitsune has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 109 of 154 (524538)
09-17-2009 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by Modulous
09-17-2009 10:57 AM


Re: tod und verzweiflung
Think about being on a jury.
If the jury says "There is no evidence that this man committed the murder therefore he didn't do it." that is quite different from the jury saying "There is no evidence that this man committed the murder therefore we cannot convict him of the crime."
In the latter case, the jury isn't saying the man didn't commit murder whereas in the former case they are.
I'm not saying the supernatural/divine/etc doesn't exist, I'm just saying that there is no evidence that indicates it does with any degree of confidence whatsoever so I have no reason to believe that it does.
Now, when the question is asked: "Did he do it?" (not 'can we convict him')
What is your answer? Yes, no, or I don't know?
So, let's go to the murder case. Here is the evidence that X murdered Y:
Everybody in the village believes that X killed Y (ie., Consensus gentium)
This belief is based on a 'gut feeling' and intuition.
Somebody heard a voice that said that X killed Y.
We all agree that it is possible that X murdered Y - but we cannot convict them based on this evidence can we?
Straggler's position goes one step further. We also consider that X is a black man with no family in the village and that Y is a young white daughter of the mayor and that the village is insular and racist (in the 1890s in the US deep south, say).
Even with this extra evidence, when the question is asked: "Did he do it?"
What is your answer? Yes, no, or I don't know?
We all agree that it is possible that X murdered Y - but we cannot convict them based on this evidence can we?
Nope. And I don't know that god exists, but I think that he does.
Is there any kind of evidence in favour of the supernatural that if we translated it into a murder case would result in you being comfortable with convicting someone of a serious crime?
Not convicting, but it could make me think that he did do it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Modulous, posted 09-17-2009 10:57 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by Modulous, posted 09-17-2009 1:08 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 110 of 154 (524540)
09-17-2009 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by Straggler
09-08-2009 10:52 AM


Re: degrees of acceptance
I don't think we can say that one specific placement of that line is THE rational one.
Yes we can. The one that is overwhelmingly the most evidenced at the expense of the other mutually exclusive alternative. The human invention of gods and the ongoing ability of humans to invent gods is a deeply evidenced fact. The actual existence of gods remains utterly unevidenced by any form of evidence that is demonstrably superior to biased guessing in terms of reliability.
The rational conclusion with regard to any given god concept is therefore a degree of atheism. You continue to deny this but have failed to give a reasoned argument as to why this position is flawed.
One flaw is in the assumption that because we cannot distinguish something from a guess then it is equivalent to a guess.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Straggler, posted 09-08-2009 10:52 AM Straggler has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by Rahvin, posted 09-17-2009 12:55 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 111 of 154 (524550)
09-17-2009 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by New Cat's Eye
09-17-2009 11:35 AM


Re: degrees of acceptance
One flaw is in the assumption that because we cannot distinguish something from a guess then it is equivalent to a guess.
That assumption is never made, CS.
All we've been trying to say is that, when you cannot demonstrate that a model has greater accuracy than random guessing, there is no rational reason to have confidence that it is in fact more accurate.
That's what we mean when we say "no better than random guessing." We aren't saying "this model is definitely bullshit," because we're typically talking about models that cannot be tested at all. We're saying that "if you have confidence that your model is accurate but cannot demonstrate that accuracy to be greater than random guessing, then your confidence is not based on evidence and as such is irrational."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 11:35 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 1:07 PM Rahvin has replied

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 112 of 154 (524551)
09-17-2009 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by Kitsune
09-17-2009 11:27 AM


Re: tod und verzweiflung
I guess that depends on how one views the divine.
Exactly, it depends on our definitions. But it could have been the case that an entity we all agree is 'divine' could have been empirically detectable (such as a God wandering around a garden cursing and blessing people in tangible ways). Obviously - such a blatantly detectable divinity isn't around.
Lots of strong circumstantial evidence (logic).
Lots of eyewitness testimonies that have consilience (anecdote).
I also am against the death penalty; a wrong conviction can never be reversed.
I don't think we have these things for any supernatural entity. If everyone is giving evidence that a black man comitted the crime, but they disagreed as to the height, the clothes, the hair etc etc what then? At best we have a bunch of witnesses that claim that a black man gone done it. But then we're in a pickle - is this evidence of the racism of the villagers or is it evidence that a black person comitted the crime?
In this case we have the luxury at least, of being able to independently confirm that black people exist. But that's a complication for another time.
What's more, empirical evidence can sometimes be misleading. You might be one of the unlucky ones whose DNA matches that found at the scene of the crime when in reality it is not yours. Someone might do a good job of framing you, for example by planting evidence on you.
You know, most miscarriages of justice can be put down to faulty or malicious eyewitness testimony? Nevertheless, I'm not suggesting that empricism alone should be enough to convict someone. I'd hope to see multiple independent lines of evidence point to a single person (fingerprints + DNA + motive + oppurtunity + matching clothing fragments + blood of victim on shoes + shoe treads matching etc etc).
I think you've clarified the point. But it's far, far more logical to conclude that you knocked your pen off the desk yourself. What if, instead, it seemed to fly on a strange trajectory, perhaps travelled too slowly or too quickly, and came to a dead stop when physics says it should have rolled on the floor? What if it seems to have appeared on your desk from nowhere and is slightly warm to the touch? What if you hear a zipping noise while you are bent over reading alone, and suddenly your pen hits you on the back of your head? I know this all sounds utterly ridiculous but these are the kinds of phenomena that have repeatedly been reported in poltergeist cases all over the world, for centuries. They happened to people I know. Though maybe this point won't mean anything to you if you are unwilling to admit the possibility that they could happen to anyone at all.
And I'm not saying that it is impossible that they are ghosts, though unfortunately they ghosts stubbornly refuse to show themselves in a fashion that lends to decent scientific study.
I've experienced this kind of thing, and friends and family have too. Indeed - given how many people have experienced this, one has to wonder why they only seem to occur when the ability to verify is low. Human memory is very frail and easily changed. Ever heard of the idea that a person has told a lie so often they believe it themselves? Well it turns out it is quite true, and more.
I'm not saying all these people are lying. If a person tells a story how they remember it, it is common for another person to ask questions about it...or for the person telling it to ask themselves those questions. If there is no definitive answer, humans are great at inventing an answer. It has been studied, observed and measured for decades that humans can supply details about a witnessed event that definitely did not happen.
There is an old party game where the victim is asked to leave the room while another person describes a dream they had and they will have to ask yes or no questions to try and get to the dream. When they have left the room the person explains to everyone else that there was no dream, and that every question that ends with a letter a-m the answer is "yes" and if the question ends with n-z the answer is "no" (or some other easily observed rule) as long as a new answer does not contradict an older one.
It is possible to construct interesting and amazing stories in this fashion. The human memory seems to be somewhat analagous to this. In asking questions, an answer is often created. This then becomes retrodicted into the memory and the rememberer is none the wiser for it having happened.
That is just one possibility, of course, and this is not particularly on topic. After all - what you propose is still empirical evidence. It is just not very solid evidence, and it could mean any number of different things.
Interesting subtitle, rather grim
Exploding manholes, near death experiences and murder...it felt fitting

This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Kitsune, posted 09-17-2009 11:27 AM Kitsune has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by Kitsune, posted 09-18-2009 11:05 AM Modulous has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 113 of 154 (524552)
09-17-2009 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by Kitsune
09-17-2009 11:27 AM


Re: tod und verzweiflung
I guess that depends on how one views the divine. Seeing it as a human-like entity that makes conscious choices is easy because we can relate to that. If the divine exists then I think in reality it must go beyond this. Maybe there is no being that has conscious thoughts. Maybe God could simply be all of us, incarnate -- in which case we're erroneously looking for something outside of ourselves. Maybe the divine really is empirically detectable; but like bacteria under the microscope, we are unable at this time to detect it. Who knows? You could argue that the IPU is out there and we could find it if we built an IPU detector, but then we have actually discovered real things with new instruments. Or maybe it really does require a sixth sense/third eye.
Well, that's the basic problem with subjective evidence, isn't it: we can all define "divine" to be whatever we want, because we're absolutely not drawing conclusions from repeatable, testable evidence.
In short, you're speculating based on nothing objective at all. The accuracy of any given concept of the divine is evidencially equivalent to all other concepts of the divine - when you cannot test, cannot repeat, and cannot independently verify, how could you ever claim that you rationally think that one concept of the "divine" that may actually exist is more accurate than any other?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Kitsune, posted 09-17-2009 11:27 AM Kitsune has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 1:11 PM Rahvin has replied
 Message 129 by Kitsune, posted 09-18-2009 2:19 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 114 of 154 (524554)
09-17-2009 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by Rahvin
09-17-2009 12:55 PM


Re: degrees of acceptance
All we've been trying to say is that, when you cannot demonstrate that a model has greater accuracy than random guessing, there is no rational reason to have confidence that it is in fact more accurate.
And I disagree with that notion.
If the confidence comes from my directly experiencing it, then my inability to repeat the experience to determine its accuracy doesn't necessitate that I abandon that direct experience.
That's what we mean when we say "no better than random guessing." We aren't saying "this model is definitely bullshit,"
I dunno. If that were true, then it wouldn't be claimed that atheism is the rational choice over agnosticism.
We're saying that "if you have confidence that your model is accurate but cannot demonstrate that accuracy to be greater than random guessing, then your confidence is not based on evidence and as such is irrational."
And I think that's wrong.
If I see something once, I can have rational confidence that I did see it even though I cannot demonstrate the accuracy to be better than random guessing.
And to say that because I cannot demonstrate it, then it isn't evidence is to go the route that only things scientific are evidence.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by Rahvin, posted 09-17-2009 12:55 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by Rahvin, posted 09-17-2009 3:11 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied
 Message 122 by Straggler, posted 09-18-2009 3:32 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 115 of 154 (524555)
09-17-2009 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by New Cat's Eye
09-17-2009 11:30 AM


Re: tod und verzweiflung
Now, when the question is asked: "Did he do it?" (not 'can we convict him')
What is your answer? Yes, no, or I don't know?
Obviously, the answer is "I don't know". The confidence I have that he did it would be split between all the people that had an equal opportunity to commit the crime - so it would probably be fairly low.
Even with this extra evidence, when the question is asked: "Did he do it?"
What is your answer? Yes, no, or I don't know?
Still, it is "I don't know", but I'd be even more strongly inclined towards the view that it is even more likely he was a victim of fear and suspicion and nothing more. Indeed, if I was going to place a bet on the guilty party, I'd put the money on the mayor (since most murderers of females are related or are otherwise close friends with the victim).
Nope. And I don't know that god exists, but I think that he does.
But why do you think that he does? Is it because of some evidence?
Not convicting, but it could make me think that he did do it.
You might think someone murdered someone else just because a whole village has a 'gut feeling' that he did it and that one person even heard a voice saying that he did?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 11:30 AM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 116 of 154 (524556)
09-17-2009 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Rahvin
09-17-2009 12:59 PM


Re: tod und verzweiflung
The accuracy of any given concept of the divine is evidencially equivalent to all other concepts of the divine - when you cannot test, cannot repeat, and cannot independently verify, how could you ever claim that you rationally think that one concept of the "divine" that may actually exist is more accurate than any other?
When one of the concepts is a made-up satire, like the IPU, you can rationally doubt that it is as accurate as a legitimately believed divine concept.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Rahvin, posted 09-17-2009 12:59 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by Rahvin, posted 09-17-2009 2:56 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied
 Message 119 by Straggler, posted 09-17-2009 3:02 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 117 of 154 (524572)
09-17-2009 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by Kitsune
09-17-2009 7:37 AM


What Is The Rational Conclusion?
Not all of them, but quite a few, including you I thought. Can you tell me how your own position is different from "I don't believe the divine exists because it cannot be measured by empirical means"?
As I have said repeatedly I believe that a degree of atheism rather than "it's 50-50 I just don't know" agnosticism is the rational conclusion regarding any given god concept for two reasons:
1) Because the mutually exclusive possibility that any given god concept (and associated visions, voices etc. etc. that you are citing as "evidence") are products of the human mind is overwhelmingly objectively evidenced. We know that the human mind is both capable of, and incredibly prone to, such creations.
2) There is absolutely no evidence of any kind that can be demonstrated as superior to biased guessing in favour of the possibility that gods actually exist. Aside from strong personal conviction that such things exist there seems to be no reason at all to believe that they actually do.
If you can cite some form of evidence in favour of gods that is ultimately non-empirical (i.e. unable to be detected by means of our empirical senses) but that leads to results that are demonstrably superior in terms of reliability to guessing then I am all ears.
I agree with you to an extent. I don't personally draw the conclusion that therefore humans are always mistaken, and the divine does not exist. Do you? If you do, I'm wondering what the purpose of this thread is, because I can't see what anyone could say that would cause you to question your beliefs.
Quite a lot of things would cause me to question my atheistic beliefs and we can go into those if you want.
But this whole thing with RAZD and now more latterly with you and CS started when RAZD said that agnosticism was the rational conclusion and that atheism was wholly reliant upon "absence of evidence is evidence of absence" etc. etc. You and CS have said the same thing at different points too.
I, and others, have since comprehensively demonstrated that this is not the case. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that based on the objective evidence a degree of "human invention is the most likely explanation" atheism rather than "it's 50-50 I just don't know" agnosticism is the rational conclusion with regard to any given god concept.
In conversation both you and CS seem to grudgingly agree with all the individual steps that lead to this conclusion but for some reason will not make that final step and actually agree that a degree of atheism is wholly rationaly justified. I don't understand why and I am not sure you do either. And so the discussion relentlessly continues.......
I have been saying the same thing in so many words since here:
Straggler in February writes:
Any given specific god either actually exists or it does not. If it does not then said god is the product of human invention and nothing more.
If we know that the probability of humans inventing gods is very high then when assessing the plausibility of any given god for which there is no other evidence available we know that there is a high probability that it is a human invention.
If there is a high probability that it is a human invention then there is a correspondingly low probability that said god actually exists.
Now if you want to tell me that my degree of certainty is rationally unwarrented and that my over-interpretation of the evidence reflects my world view rather than the actual reliability of the evidence at hand then we can have that discussion. Given that in my experience when strongly held beliefs are put under the micoscope they rarely come out as black and white as initially seemed justified I think it highly likely that I would have to concede some ground.
BUT don't tell me that there is absolutely no evidence available relevant to the question of any specified god actually existing - Because. This. Just. Is. Not. True.
No matter how directly unevidenced a claim may be there is no such thing as a total vacuum of evidence. Message 184
Since then RAZ has stopped speaking to me, you have repeatedly implied that I am some sort of simplistic black and white empiricist zealout and CS and I have had our various bad mouthed spats. But ultimately my position remains constant and, as far as I can see, completely unrefuted by any of you.
I'll ask you directly - Is the rational conclusion for me a degree of atheism or is it "50-50 I just don't know" agnosticism? If the former then ultimately you and I have no disagreement. If the latter then I guess we continue on this little merry-go-round for a while longer.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by Kitsune, posted 09-17-2009 7:37 AM Kitsune has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 118 of 154 (524573)
09-17-2009 2:56 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by New Cat's Eye
09-17-2009 1:11 PM


Re: tod und verzweiflung
When one of the concepts is a made-up satire, like the IPU, you can rationally doubt that it is as accurate as a legitimately believed divine concept.
Which does two things: ignores the conceptual possibility that the IPU could still be a subjectively "inspired" vision of an actually existing entity (you "know" that the IPU was compeltely made up, and not the result of divine inspiration, how exactly?), and completely misses the point of the IPU reference. The IPU is used as a placeholder for any deity concept (unless she's actually inspired - we can't know that, but whether she is or isn't, she works fine as a placeholder) to demonstrate that, in the absence of evidence, all speculations are equivalent.
If I identify "Moogoo" as a deity, the likelihood of "Moogoo" actually existing is equivalent to "Zeus," "Jambom," "Madoc," "Jupiter," "Yahweh," "Ra," or any number of other entities whos existence are not supported by evidence.
The IPU is no different, except that it sounds silly in modern cultures. The initial reaction of incredulity is a trap - it typically causes people, like yourself, to dismiss the IPU as made up or absurd despite having exactly the same amount and quality of supporting evidence as every single other god concept.
What evidence distinguishes the IPU from Zeus? From Moogoo? From leprechauns? From fairies? From ghosts? From Yahweh? From none of them at all?
If there is no evidence surrounding any of them, if each concept is completely untestable, unverifiable, and unfalsifiable, how can you decide that one concept is any more or less likely than any other?
The reaction of personal incredulity at the IPU is a logical fallacy - you cannot know that the IPU is completely made up, it just sounds silly to you, which we all know has nothing whatsoever to do with whether a thing is real or not.
"Legitimate belief" is simply an appeal to popularity and tradition - does the number of people "legitimately believing" the Earth to be flat vs. round have anything to do with the actual shape of the Earth? If every single person on Earth legitimately believed in Moogoo, does that mean Moogoo actually exists? Without any repeatable, testable, verifiable, falsifiable predictions and objective evidence, how could you ever have rational confidence that Moogoo does or does not exist?
Did I make Moogoo up? Did he come to me in a dream and reveal himself? Did I look online and find an obscure but previously-worshiped deity named Moogoo? How would you ever know?
What if Moogoo is the name of the Immaterial Pink Unicorn?
Does any of this make any difference whatsoever as to whether Moogoo is more or less likely to actually exist?
None at all. Only evidence that is repeatable and verifiable and a concept that is falsifiable can show us the accuracy of any given assertion. Popularity, tradition, and personal incredulity are all just logical fallacies and have nothing to do with anything.
Your god concept is indistinguishable in terms of evidence and accuracy from any other god concept - or any other unfalsifiable, unsupported assertion about anything at all for that matter. That's not to say that your concept is definitely inaccurate - I'm simply saying that we cannot rationally tell the difference.
For the exact same reasons you claim belief in your god concept are rational, I can claim that belief in Moogoo, the IPU, Zeus, Allah, Yahweh, Quetzalcoatl, Anubis, Thor, the Great Spirit, Coyote, Vishnu, and Galactic Emperor Xenu is rational.
But none of them are testable. None of the supposed evidence behind any of them is reproducible or independently verifiable. None of them are falsifiable. Some may be made up. All of them may be made up. One or more may actually be accurate. But we have no way of knowing - and claiming that you do have that knowledge, that one or more of those concepts is more or less likely than any of the others, is irrational.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 1:11 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 119 of 154 (524575)
09-17-2009 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by New Cat's Eye
09-17-2009 1:11 PM


Re: tod und verzweiflung
When one of the concepts is a made-up satire, like the IPU, you can rationally doubt that it is as accurate as a legitimately believed divine concept.
Yes all the evidence points towards the IPU being a made up entity. Nobody disputes that at all. But the problem you face is that the same is true of all other immaterial objectively unevidenced supernatural godly entities.
Rationally there is no reason for me to believe, or even be agnostic towards, any of them. That is the point I have been making for some time now.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 1:11 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 120 of 154 (524577)
09-17-2009 3:11 PM
Reply to: Message 114 by New Cat's Eye
09-17-2009 1:07 PM


Re: degrees of acceptance
If the confidence comes from my directly experiencing it, then my inability to repeat the experience to determine its accuracy doesn't necessitate that I abandon that direct experience.
I didn't say you should abandon the experience. I said there is no rational reason to believe that your one-off experience has led you to a rational and supportable conclusion.
If you have a dream about winning the lottery, and you win, does that mean that you are able to see the future?
Or is it simply the statistical inevitability that someone had to win, and you happened to dream about it the night before?
The improbable happens every single day. Every single one of us is the result of a statistical improbability that boggles the mind - out of all of the people your parents met, they ended up together; out of every sperm and egg, the result was you. Taking one-off experiences and attributing them to an additional factor like god or precognition as opposed to a statistical inevitability is quite flatly irrational.
Our brains are practically hardwired to do it, but we're not rational by nature. Our "gut," our basic sense of credulity, is so flawed as to be worse than useless, literally counterproductive, when trying to ascertain what is or is not likely. We consider what we like or what we fear to be more likely; we are more impacted by singular, detailed and emotional stories than by actual data; we regularly distort or make up memories, rationalize our feelings and actions after the fact; fantasies are often indistinguishable from memories of actual events to our subconscious mind.
Only objective data and thoughtful adherence to objectivity can ensure accurate results. Literally nothing else works reliably, even if our "gut" is like a broken clock and gets something right twice a day.
When you have a one-off experience, the rational approach is to avoid drawing conclusions until more data is available.
If you pray and have your prayers answered, the rational approach is not to believe that prayer works. That's what your "gut" will tell you - basic positive reinforcement tells you that you performed an action and received a positive result - and it's completely and totally irrational. The rational approach is to statistically analyze all of your prayers and note their success rate in order to determine whether prayer actually works.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 1:07 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Parasomnium, posted 09-17-2009 5:07 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024