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Author Topic:   Faith vs Skepticism - Why faith?
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 451 of 533 (536936)
11-25-2009 7:05 PM
Reply to: Message 448 by New Cat's Eye
11-25-2009 10:29 AM


Re: Does X Exist?
When you get the answer "I don't know" because you have flatly refused to define what you mean by "god" is that the same as a genuine statement of agnosticism towards your concept of god?

No?

Then what is it a statement of agnosticism towards?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 448 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-25-2009 10:29 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 452 of 533 (536938)
11-25-2009 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 446 by onifre
11-25-2009 8:37 AM


Re: An Impossible concession?
Yea, but he also agreed that you could hold no position at all, that's why I see a concession because now its just semanitics.

Maybe. But I think there is a principle here too. CS seems to think if he can get people to say "I don't know" because he refuses to define his concept of god that this is identical to them being genuinely agnostic about his concept of god. Semantics or otherwise this thinking is just wrong.

I actually think you were really onto something with regard to the whole ignostic thing.

ignostic (plural ignostics)

1. one who holds to ignosticism.
2. one who requires a definition of the term God or Gods as without sensible definition they find theism incoherent and thus non-cognitive.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ignostic

See my next post to RAZD for more detail on that.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 446 by onifre, posted 11-25-2009 8:37 AM onifre has not yet responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 453 of 533 (536940)
11-25-2009 7:27 PM
Reply to: Message 445 by RAZD
11-25-2009 7:52 AM


Ignosticism
RAZD writes:

Curiously, most people have no problem understanding what the concept god means

Then why over the years in so many threads on similar topics have you been so reluctant to tell us what you mean by "god"? In fact you never have and still haven't.

I can say with all honesty that I am not agnostic to any concept of god that has ever been defined to me as an aspect of external reality. This includes the supernatural gods that CS and RAZD have hinted at previously as being responsible for widespread subjective visions, morality, the origin of the universe or just existing "outside the known universe" whilst "off doing other things" (To quote RAZD from elsewhere). With regard to such supernatural concepts there is a wealth of empirical evidence to justify significant scepticism.

With regard to this non-concept "god" that we are currently being confronted with - Well I am not agnostic towards that either. I consider the question "Do you believe god exists?" to be utterly meaningless if there is no concept to even consider. With regard to such a "god" I am very much ignostic. And by ignostic I mean the following:

ignostic (plural ignostics)

1. one who holds to ignosticism.
2. one who requires a definition of the term God or Gods as without sensible definition they find theism incoherent and thus non-cognitive.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ignostic

Basically I don't see how anyone can claim to believe in something if they have no idea what it is they believe in. If however they do know what it is they believe in and they want an honest appraisal from others as to whether they also believe in the concept or not then they need to define it. Simply refusing to define a concept and then taking the bewildered proclamations of "I don't know" from others as a sign of genuine agnosticism to this secret concept is both misleading and deceitful. In some cases admittedly self decieving rather than willful deceit of others.

So what we see is that you are avoiding the issue of providing evidence that you say exists by playing word games.

I am playing word games? Wow. Tell us what you mean by "god" and we'll get into the details. Until then the entirety of human history will just have to suffice as evidence against the most generic definition of a supernatural god I can muster.

The Supernatural Explanatory Model Has Failed (Message 416)

The entirety of human history. Is that enough evidence for you to contemplate for now?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 445 by RAZD, posted 11-25-2009 7:52 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 460 by RAZD, posted 11-26-2009 5:05 PM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 454 of 533 (536943)
11-25-2009 8:17 PM
Reply to: Message 449 by New Cat's Eye
11-25-2009 10:34 AM


Re: lack of sufficient information ‚ total lack of evidence
Or that we're trying to trick him into saying that he's agnostic.

Actually I think you are tricking yourself into believing that when people say "I don't know" regarding an undefined concept of god that this is a statement of genuine agnosticism towards an actual concept of god.

It isn't.

Try answering the question in Re: Does X Exist? (Message 451) if that isn't clear.

He's starting to scare me...

Well you should see me after a few Jagermeisters then.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 449 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-25-2009 10:34 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

Stile
Member
Posts: 3392
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 455 of 533 (537067)
11-26-2009 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 435 by New Cat's Eye
11-24-2009 12:30 PM


In your mind vs. your actions
Catholic Scientist writes:

Exactly! Even if the concept that I didn't know about happened to be cheese, it was impossible for me to know if it existed or not. I had to be agnostic.

onifre writes:

Unless you are claiming that you know the description of this unknown force, then I would ask for the method you used to gain knowledge of it, and if you could please describe it.
What information am I lacking that is limiting my understanding of this unknown concept?

And once we start getting into those particulars, then you have something that you can be an atheist to. Before that, you're stuck in a position of agnosticism.

I think the difference lies in two different planes of being agnostic or atheist.

Plane 1: The thinking, internal mindset
Here I agree that we should be agnostic about cheese, and we all have to be agnostic about God or any other unknown concept.
That is, no one knows one way or the other, and there are possibilities for existence or non-existence that we should always remain open to until repeated, objective refutation can (and does) occur.

Plane 2: How you act regarding the Plane 1 mindset
I think this is where the difference lies.

I agree with being agnostic (on a Plane 1 level) towards the concept put forth by Straggler before we knew it was cheese.
And hopefully we can agree that the logical, rational and consistent approach to this is to act in an atheistic manner towards this unknown concept. That is we should not alter or add anything to our actions in reference to this unknown concept. Really, how could we? It is unknown what this concept either wants us to do, or how it could possibly influence our lives.

However, here is the difference:

I still act in an atheistic manner towards the equally unknown "God" concept.
Believers, on the other hand, do not act in an atheistic manner towards the equally unknown "God" concept. That is, they go to church, they worry about what "God" may think of them, some even (as we have seen) only act morally decent out of respect (honorable or fearful) of this unknown "God" concept.

Granted, the non-atheistic manner in which they act varies greatly from individual to individual. Some just go to church... others will go so far as to acknowledge possibly-crazy voices in their heads telling them to kill other people in "God's" name.

I understand how our Plane 1 mindset must retian that sense of unknown tentativity of agnosticism in order to remain logical, rational and consistent.
But, in order to remain logical, rational and consistent, shouldn't our Plane 2 actions reflect an atheistic manner with an unknown "God" concept as much as we do with an unknown "cheese" concept?

I don't think many believers got the idea of going to cheese-church or accepting the moral cheese-government from that unknown concept.

My thoughts lead me to believe that it is nothing more than social pressures (the popularity of belief, both current and historical) that cause believers to act in a non-atheistic manner towards the unknown "God" concept. Such actions are not logical, rational or consistent. Believers have latched onto these social pressures and created all sorts of ways "God" wants us to act or ways "God" influences our lives. But, in doing so, they have forgotten that they were supposed to have an agnostic Plane 1, internal mindset about what God is (and therefore wants) until we can get more information. Since "God" is an unknown concept, it is actually impossible to know (or even get a glimpse at) what "God" may want or how "God" may influence our lives.

As far as this debate is going, I'd say that RAZD and CS are arguing from the Plane 1 level, and Straggler and Rrhain are arguing from the Plane 2 level. I also think that Straggler and Rrhain understand the Plane 1 level, and have voiced their tentativity regarding it. The questions they have are regarding the reasoning behind why RAZD and CS seem to take non-atheistic-actions on the Plane 2 level regarding "God," however they both take atheistic-actions on the Plane 2 level regarding any other unknown concept.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 435 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-24-2009 12:30 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 461 by xongsmith, posted 11-26-2009 9:13 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 456 of 533 (537075)
11-26-2009 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 421 by New Cat's Eye
11-24-2009 11:04 AM


Catholic Scientist responds to me:

quote:
quote:
You don't know if cheese exists or not?

Of course I know that cheese exists.


But you just said you didn't. Straggler asked you if you thought his concept existed and you said you didn't know. The concept was cheese. But now you say you do know that cheese exists in direct contradiction to your previous statement that you didn't know.

Were you lying before?

Does the term "meta" hold any meaning for you? Have you read Godel, Escher, Bach? There is the discussion that we have that is directly connected to the topic and then there is the discussion that we have regarding the discussion. That latter is known as the "meta-discussion." You are conflating the "I don't know" of the former with the "I don't know" of the latter.

That is, you do know what your opinion is regarding cheese. What you don't know is that cheese is what is being discussed. Thus, when Straggler asked you your opinion regarding his undefined concept, he was asking you a direct question about knowing about cheese but you responded as if you were being asked a meta-discussion question about knowing that cheese was being discussed.

That is, there is the question: Do you believe in concept X?

Then there is the question: Do you know what concept X is?

You were asked the former question. The answer to that question is, "Yes," but you said, "I don't know." That's because you answered as if you were asked the latter question. They are not the same.

Since you were being asked a direct question when the only information you had was the meta-discussion, the proper answer was, "I can't say what my opinion regarding X is until it is defined."

This would be a meta-meta-discussion. I daresay that it's a bit of a linguistic equivalent of Russell's Paradox.

quote:
Regardless of my knowledge of the definition of "it", if I do not know if it exists or not, then I'm agnostic by definition.

So you're agnostic about cheese? You just said you do know that it exists and now you say you aren't sure. Which is it?

quote:
But I didn't know what it was so I, quite literally, did not know if it existed or not.

But you just said you do know that cheese exists and now you say you weren't sure. Which is it?

quote:
Once the concept became defined, I had the knowledge of whether or not it exists. What's ridiculous about that?

That when you were asked a direct question about whether you thought cheese existed, you said, "I don't know." That's what's ridiculous.

Again, you were asked a direct question but you answered as if you were asked a meta-question. They are not the same. You were asked, "Do you believe it exists?" but you answered as if you were asked, "Do you know what it is?"

quote:
For a concept like cheese, since I know that it exists then I'm not agnostic towards it. And if someone is talking about cheese and I don't know that it is what they are talking about, I can't be agnostic about it because I'm already not agnostic towards cheese. So I have to be in some undefined position until I know what they're talking about.

Yes. But rather than saying, "I can't tell you what my opinion is because I don't know what you're talking about," you instead responded, "I don't know." Since the question you were asked was, "Do you believe in concept X," your answer is applying to your belief in X, not your understanding of what X is.

quote:
My problem with this is that this undefined postion doesn't exist.

Huh? You knew what Straggler was talking about and yet you still said, "I don't know," indicating that you weren't sure about the existence of cheese?

How can anybody have any opinion at all, even the precious "I don't konw" that RAZD wants everyone to have, regarding a concept that hasn't been defined?

quote:
If I don't know what they're talking about then I simply lack the knowedge of whether or not exists

So you don't know whether cheese exists? But you just said that you do. Which is it?

You continue to conflate the question of "Do you believe that X exists?" with the question of "Do you know what X is?" You were asked the former. You answered the latter.

quote:
The basis for making my claim of agnosticism for its existence was that I didn't know what "it" was

Precisely! And yet, rather than saying, "I don't know what you're talking about so I cannot tell you whether or not I believe in X," you said, "I don't know." Well, Straggler was talking about cheese and thus your response was that you didn't know if cheese existed.

That's ridiculous. Clearly, you do know. You've just said that you do. And yet, when you were asked a direct question about it, you said, "I don't know."

quote:
So what's the problem with that?

The problem is that you didn't answer the question that you were asked. You answered a completely different question.

quote:
And what's wrong with my argument? Don't I, in fact, lack the knowledge of whether or not an undefined conept exists?

That's the entire point! But you weren't asked if you lacked the knowledge about the undefined concept. You were asked if you believed in the undefined concept.

You were asked, "Do you believe in X?"

You answered as if you were asked, "Do you know what X is?"

Those are not the same question.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 421 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-24-2009 11:04 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


(1)
Message 457 of 533 (537079)
11-26-2009 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 441 by RAZD
11-24-2009 6:11 PM


RAZD writes:

quote:
Well, we see that Rrhain is uncomfortable with the use of the term cognitive dissonance to describe the apparent inability of people to deal with certain arguments

(*snort!*)

Yeah, you keep telling yourself that. The cognitive dissonance you've been vomiting all over thousands of posts has been quite telling.

quote:
especially when they are uncomfortable with apparent indecision or failure to take a stand on a position other than "I don't know, the available evidence is inconclusive"

Indeed, and if there were ever a case where "the available evidence is inconclusive," you'd have a point. But so far, the only instances that have come forward have been ones where there is literally thousands of years worth of evidence or a concept that has yet to be defined and thus no position is possible, not even your precious "I don't know."

You keep asking me to tell you what my "model" is. And I keep responding that I'll define it when you define what you mean by "god."

Frustrating, isn't it? Oh, the internal angst you must be feeling regarding the cognitive dissonance you have pouring through you as you try to defend what you can't even define.

See how silly it sounds when someone tries to psychoanalyze you over the internet?

quote:
and we see that Straggler is uncomfortable with the concept of not having sufficient objective empirical evidence to make a logical conclusion.

Hardly. And that is the source of your intellectual meltdown. He has pointed out that your premise is based on a fallacy and rather that simply accept this fact, your cognitive dissonance is forcing you to continue to defend that which you can't define.

Shall we continue with the remote psychoanalysis?

You, like CS, have confused the question of "Do you believe in X?" with the question of "Do you know what X is?" You have further actively denied actual evidence by simply ignoring it, falling into many common creationist fallacies. It would seem you are "uncomfortable" actually discussing that which you hold dear. Shall I try to read your mind to determine why or should I just continue to point out the errors in your logic and trust that you'll figure it out for yourself?

quote:
We take Straggler's example of concept X -- without describing what he means by X you have no evidence on which to base a decision, and thus the natural default position is "I don't know, the available evidence is inconclusive"

And thus, you find yourself in the ridiculous position that CS finds himself, saying "I don't know about the existence of cheese. The available evidence regarding cheese is inconclusive."

Is that what you're saying? There is no evidence regarding cheese?

You have confused the question of "Do you believe in X?" with the question of, "Do you know what X is?"

Those are not the same question. You were asked the former. You answered the latter.

quote:
The only point at which a decision is logically possible is when there is sufficient objective and empirical evidence presented for us to conclude, however poorly, whether X is something that exists or not.

Indeed, but you have two problems.

First, before we can even get off the ground, you have to tell us what X is. So far, you have steadfastly refused to do so (and shall I try to psychically determine why that is or should I realize that I don't know you from Adam and attempts at plumbing the depths of your soul would be foolish at best?)

Second, you ignore all the evidence that is in front of you in a miasma of creationist handwaving. There is no difference between your argument and the perennial claim by creationists that "There are no transitional fossils!"

quote:
Until then, the agnostic position is the natural default.

So you're agnostic about cheese? That's what you were directly asked: Do you believe that cheese exists?

And here you are, saying you don't know and that the only possible rational answer is to say you don't know.

You were not asked if you knew what cheese was. You were asked if you thought cheese existed.

So it would appear that you aren't sure. "The evidence is inconclusive."


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 441 by RAZD, posted 11-24-2009 6:11 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 458 of 533 (537080)
11-26-2009 4:19 PM
Reply to: Message 445 by RAZD
11-25-2009 7:52 AM


RAZD writes:

quote:
Curiously, most people have no problem understanding what the concept god means

And yet, if you were to ask them to define what "god" is, you'd never get the same answer twice.

God's kinda like obscenity: Can't define it, but you know it when you see it.

Are you seriously claiming that the "god" that is referred to by any random Mulsim is the same concept as the "god" that is referred to by any random Jew? That the Ancient Greeks would have any idea what a Mayan meant? That the Hindu conceptualization of "aspects of god" could be reconciled with the Christian concept of the triune "god"?

quote:
So what we see is that you are avoiding the issue of providing evidence that you say exists by playing word games.

Said the person who still refuses to define what on earth he's talking about and has confused "Do you believe in X?" with "Do you know what X is?" so that he can get a precious "I don't know" from those he accuses of suffering from "cognitive dissonance" in their "pseudo-skepticism."


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 445 by RAZD, posted 11-25-2009 7:52 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 6.2


Message 459 of 533 (537084)
11-26-2009 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 449 by New Cat's Eye
11-25-2009 10:34 AM


Re: lack of sufficient information ‚ total lack of evidence
Hi Catholic Scientist

How Straggler takes this honest approach as being a way to trick people into agnosticism, I have no idea.

Perhaps because that is the way he thinks. It has been fairly obvious from the start that he is engaging in "gotcha" games, with his frequent (and always premature) claims of winning a point.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic

quote:
agˇnosˇtic (āg-nŏs'tĭk) n.
1.a. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
. .b One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.
2. One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

The American HeritageŽ Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright Š 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

When discussing god/s, then definition (1) (a or b) would apply, when discussing topics in general, then definition (2) would apply, and indeed this is the usage most common when discussing things like "concept X".

Hey neat, its says there that you have 11111 number of posts

Yep, rolled the old odometer over. Just wait till it gets to 66666 ...

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 449 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-25-2009 10:34 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 6.2


Message 460 of 533 (537086)
11-26-2009 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 453 by Straggler
11-25-2009 7:27 PM


Re: Ignosticism - and playing word games
Yes Straggler, word games.

I am playing word games? Wow.
...
With regard to this non-concept "god" that we are currently being confronted with - Well I am not agnostic towards that either. I consider the question "Do you believe god exists?" to be utterly meaningless if there is no concept to even consider. With regard to such a "god" I am very much ignostic. And by ignostic I mean the following:

Curiously, I contrast that with the statement:

Percy is a Deist - Now what's the difference between a deist and an atheist? thread, Message 332:
quote:
There is no evidence of gods. Nor is there any evidence to suggest the possibility of gods. If there was such evidence gods would be evidentially viable concepts. If there was such evidence faith would be redundant.
...
I am an atheist because I consistently do not believe in the actuality of that for which there is no evidential reason to even think possible.

There was no equivocating on the definition of god/s in that earlier claim, nor did he need any definition from any poster to reach his conclusion at that time (whether it was logical or not).

In addition, we have Straggler's first post on this forum:

Logically speaking: God is knowable thread, Message 34
quote:
Anyone who claims to be at 1 or 7 has to be deluded because either position requires a certainty about the source of their absolute certanty that it is impossible to have.

The key difference is that those of faith are necessarily 1s whilst those that call themselves atheists would more likely describe themselves as 6.999999999Rs as they would generally accept that absolute certainty about anything requires the sort of faith that they oppose!!


Leaving aside the certainty implied by 1x10^-9 less than 7, there was no equivocating on the definition of god/s in that earliest claim, nor did he need any definition from any poster to reach his conclusion at that time (whether it was logical or not).

Either Straggler's position has changed (substantially?), or he is playing word games. If he is now ignostic, does that mean that he is not now a 6.999999999 atheist on the Dawkin's (flawed) scale, as he can no longer rule out all the concepts he is not aware of, with the same pseudo-assurance exhibited in the above quote? Is he now a 5?

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : first post evidence


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 453 by Straggler, posted 11-25-2009 7:27 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 497 by Straggler, posted 11-29-2009 7:55 PM RAZD has responded

xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1871
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


Message 461 of 533 (537098)
11-26-2009 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 455 by Stile
11-26-2009 12:40 PM


Re: In your mind vs. your actions
Stile writes:
Plane 1: The thinking, internal mindset

Plane 2: How you act regarding the Plane 1 mindset

later he tentatively argues:

As far as this debate is going, I'd say that RAZD and CS are arguing from the Plane 1 level, and Straggler and Rrhain are arguing from the Plane 2 level. I also think that Straggler and Rrhain understand the Plane 1 level, and have voiced their tentativity regarding it. The questions they have are regarding the reasoning behind why RAZD and CS seem to take non-atheistic-actions on the Plane 2 level regarding "God," however they both take atheistic-actions on the Plane 2 level regarding any other unknown concept.

Good point.

Also Rrhain eventually brought up the concept of a Meta-I-Dont-Know, regarding what it is, versus the ordinary I-Dont-Know if it exists.

But for some reason Rrhain still think RAZD is DEMANDING the chocolate sprinkles as part of the model, when he was agnostic about them but leaning towards a Deist view of, perhaps, maybe one of them. RAZD has been arguing that, rather than being needed in the model, it's only that a sprinkle cannot be ruled out. Like a huge deck of cards that may or may not contain an Ace Of Spades, failure to find it so far has not ruled out the possibility that it's in the deck somewhere, lurking like a coelacanth. {note to self: "a coelacanthic Ace" would be a cool concept in some future uninvented card game.}

So far all the evidence gathered so far supports the model that has no god. Infact, I offered it as positive evidence in that other thread. It is also true that all the evidence gathered so far supports the model that has a Deistic God that clapped the universe into existence and then went off to do other things elsewhere. So, that means that all the evidence gathered so far to date could be useless...nearly.

Now, is there an ivory-billed coelacanthic Ace of evidence that will be materializing in the future?

I DONT KNOW.

However, personally - and this is where I differ from RAZD and CS, while agreeing with Straggler, Onifre, Stile and others well-known here - I think it's very UNLIKELY. Why? If you know the concept of probability and mean time between failure calculations, this coelacanthic Ace should have shown up by now. If it exists, it is Very Late to the Party. There wont be any beer left by the time it gets here and we wont be able to celebrate properly! CS & Onifre & Straggler will have emptied the Jaegermeister! Onifre & I will have smoked up the entire island of Jamaica!

I'm a 5.7 on that strange scale. My evidence, albeit not so heavily required as a 6.0 or 6.9999, is the Mean Time Between Coelacanthic Aces probability. I freely admit I could be wrong about that. We might only be 10% of the way through the deck. But that's another story.


- xongsmith
This message is a reply to:
 Message 455 by Stile, posted 11-26-2009 12:40 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 462 by RAZD, posted 11-27-2009 12:34 AM xongsmith has not yet responded
 Message 463 by Rrhain, posted 11-27-2009 3:11 AM xongsmith has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 6.2


Message 462 of 533 (537104)
11-27-2009 12:34 AM
Reply to: Message 461 by xongsmith
11-26-2009 9:13 PM


The third level of logical evaluations of the positions
Hi xongsmith,

However, personally - and this is where I differ from RAZD and CS, while agreeing with Straggler, Onifre, Stile and others well-known here - I think it's very UNLIKELY. Why? If you know the concept of probability and mean time between failure calculations, ...

Perhaps this is the time to discuss the logical basis of the final group of positions on the Dawkins Scale.

I had hoped that Briterican would reply to Message 409, so that we could discuss the logical basis behind the probability claims. It is rather amusing that nobody is discussing the actual logic of these positions, but are more interested in just claiming that their position is logical.

For review, here is the state of logical analysis so far:

quote:
For reference on definitions, we can use the (flawed) "Dawkins scale" as a reference to some general positions:

quote:
1.00: Strong theist. 100 percent possibility of God. In the words of C.G. Jung, 'I do not believe, I know.'

2.00: Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. 'I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there

3.00: Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. 'I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.'

4.00: Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. 'God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.'

5.00: Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. 'I don't know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be sceptical.'

6.00: Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. 'I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.'

7:00: Strong atheist. 'I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung 'knows' there is one.'


In this regard, the "A" position is modeled on the "1" category, concluding that god/s are true because there is no evidence contradicting this claim (whether this is actually true or not is irrelevant to the logical validity of the form of the argument). Likewise, the "B" position is modeled on the "7" category, concluding that god/s are not true because there is no evidence contradicting this claim, and the "C" position is modeled on the "4" category, concluding that there is insufficient evidence to conclude whether god/s are true or not true.

Where the "A," "B" and "C" positions were:

  • person A: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is not true, therefore it is logical to believe that X is true,
  • person B: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is true, therefore it is logical to believe that X is not true, or
  • person C: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is true or that X is not true, therefore it is logical to say that we don't know.

Now let Y = notX to see if the same conclusions are reached:

Curiously, A(X) = B(Y) = theistic position, B(X) = A(Y) = atheistic position, and C(X) = C(Y) = agnostic position.

By comparing the form of the arguments, we see that "A" and "B" must either both be true or both be false. Fairly obviously, god/s cannot logically both be true and false at the same time, and therefore both "A" and "B" arguments must be invalid arguments because they result in false conclusions.

This problem does not exist for "C" and therefore it is a logically valid form of argument, and it results in valid conclusions when the premises are true.

"A" = "1" = logically invalid argument
"B" = "7" = logically invalid argument
"C" = "4" = logically valid argument

With regard to things being on "equal footing", we need to be talking about probabilities here.

Now, let's expand the list and look at possibilities first, and see if we can agree on the logical form of these arguments:

quote:
Message 307:
  • person D: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is not true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that X is true, and
  • person E: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that X is not true,

In these cases, "D" is modeled on the "3" category of theistic agnostic ("Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. 'I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.'), claiming that god/s may possible be true due to the lack of contradicting evidence, and "E" is modeled on the "5" category of atheistic agnostic ("Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. 'I don't know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be sceptical.') claiming that god/s may possible be not-true.


So, once again we substitute Y = notX into these statements:

  • person D: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows Y is not true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that Y is true,

    Becomes: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows notX is not true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that notX is true,

    Or: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows notX is not true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that notX is notnot true,

    = person E: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that X is not true,

    and

  • person E: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows Y is true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that Y is not true,

    Becomes: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows notX is true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that notX is not true,

    Or: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows notX is notnot true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that notX is not true,

    = person D: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is not true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that X is true.

Here we have the same inherent problem with the "A" and "B" positions, except that the possibility that X is not true implies the possibility that X is true without any measurement of one being more or less likely than the other:

The possibility that X is true = the possibility that X is not true.

Thus there is no contradiction between "D" and "E" positions, as one does not rule out the other, and we end up with:

"A" = "1" = logically invalid argument
"B" = "7" = logically invalid argument
"C" = "4" = logically valid argument
"D" = "3" = logically valid argument
"E" = "5" = logically valid argument

This leads us to the final pair:

  • person F: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is not true, therefore it is logical to consider it is highly probable that X is true, and
  • person G: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is true, therefore it is logical to consider it is highly probable that X is not true,

In these cases, "F" is modeled on the "2" category of theistic agnostic (Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. 'I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there'), claiming that god/s are highly probable to be true due to the lack of contradicting evidence, and "G" is modeled on the "6" category of atheistic agnostic (Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. 'I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.') claiming that god/s are highly probable to be not-true.

Going through the little exercise of analyzing the logical structure of the argument should bring us to a final conclusion regarding what positions are logical, and what positions are not logical, based on an absence of contradictory empirical or objective evidence.

The astute observer will have already figured out that there is a contradiction between "F" and "G" positions, as one rules out the other in the same way that "A" rules out "B" and vice versa:

A high probability that X is true ≠ a high probability that X is not true.

Thus we end up with:

"A" = "1" = logically invalid argument
"B" = "7" = logically invalid argument
"C" = "4" = logically valid argument
"D" = "3" = logically valid argument
"E" = "5" = logically valid argument
"F" = "2" = logically invalid argument
"G" = "6" = logically invalid argument

The only way around this problem, is to show that there is objective empirical evidence that shows one position or the other is invalid, evidence that contradicts the opposing position.

For the theist, this means providing actual evidence that god/s in fact exist, contradicting the atheist "5" premise that there is no evidence contradicting the atheist position -- or realizing that a "3" position is all that can be supported by the logic and available evidence.

Likewise, for the atheist, this means providing actual evidence that god/s do not in fact exist, contradicting the theist "3" premise that there is no evidence contradicting the theist position -- or realizing that a "5" position is all that can be supported by the logic and available evidence.

As Jon demonstrated in Message 138, and as most people realize, proving a negative is not logically possible, and thus we are left with the conclusion that a "6" or higher position is logically indefensible. It may be true, but it cannot be defended by logic.

This is why people trying to defend a "6" position are stuck with logical fallacies rather than valid logic: the position is logically invalid.

I'm a 5.7 on that strange scale. My evidence, albeit not so heavily required as a 6.0 or 6.9999, is the Mean Time Between Coelacanthic Aces probability. I freely admit I could be wrong about that.

And that possibility is ... logically still a possibility.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : clrty

Edited by RAZD, : clrty


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 461 by xongsmith, posted 11-26-2009 9:13 PM xongsmith has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 464 by Briterican, posted 11-27-2009 11:27 AM RAZD has responded

Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 463 of 533 (537118)
11-27-2009 3:11 AM
Reply to: Message 461 by xongsmith
11-26-2009 9:13 PM


xongsmith writes:

quote:
But for some reason Rrhain still think RAZD is DEMANDING the chocolate sprinkles as part of the model

He claims the model is incomplete. Therefore, it must have chocolate sprinkles. He claims that there is no evidence when the model is specifically created from all the evidence there is and works without that which he claims is missing or at the very least needs to be seriously considered as if the evidence didn't exist.

Unless and until he can show his evidence to support his negative claim regarding the functionality of the model, he is the very "pseudo-skeptic" he is accusing everyone else of being.

The model works.

quote:
when he was agnostic about them but leaning towards a Deist view of, perhaps, maybe one of them.

Oh? RAZD claims a certain direction, but he has yet to define what it is that he's talking about. Therefore, the problem is even worse: His precious "I don't know" makes no logical sense because there is no defintion of what he doesn't know about. Thus, he cannot claim "I don't know for the evidence is inconclusive." Evidence of what? He refuses to say.

If he can't say what it is, how can he claim that the "evidence" for it is inconclusive? How on earth can he even know what evidence there is?

quote:
RAZD has been arguing that, rather than being needed in the model, it's only that a sprinkle cannot be ruled out.

But the model doesn't require it and the null hypothesis rules it out until evidence is brought forward that indicates it is required.

RAZD refuses to show his evidence or even define what he's talking about.

quote:
I DONT KNOW.

What don't you know? What are you talking about? That is not a facetious question. How can you claim that you don't know about something if you are unable to tell us what it is?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 461 by xongsmith, posted 11-26-2009 9:13 PM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 465 by xongsmith, posted 11-27-2009 11:43 AM Rrhain has responded
 Message 466 by xongsmith, posted 11-27-2009 11:51 AM Rrhain has responded

  
Briterican
Member (Idle past 2023 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 464 of 533 (537178)
11-27-2009 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 462 by RAZD
11-27-2009 12:34 AM


Re: The third level of logical evaluations of the positions
Razd writes:

I had hoped that Briterican would reply to Message 409, so that we could discuss the logical basis behind the probability claims. It is rather amusing that nobody is discussing the actual logic of these positions, but are more interested in just claiming that their position is logical.

Apologies that I have not replied. You have given this topic a great deal of input for which I am grateful, even if I don't fully agree with some of what you've said.

Although it might be logical to say that:

there is no objective empirical evidence that shows Y is not true, therefore it is logical to consider the possibility that Y is true

But "possibility" carries with it an element of probability. It is "possible" that the keyboard I am typing on right now will suddenly metamorphose into a butterfly and fly off not allowing me to finish this senten........" (crap where'd my keyboard go?). HOWEVER, the probability of this is incredibly low. I base that probability estimate on the fact that there has never been a recorded incident of this occurring in the history of keyboards.

In the same vein of thought, I consider the probability that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe as being infinitesimally small, though I have no basis on which I can flatly announce that probability to be zero. Therefore, I find it unrealistic to come to the conclusion that there is a 50% probabillty that he exists and a 50% probability that he doesn't - i.e. the two possiblities (FSM exists / FSM does not exist) are NOT on equal footing. I consider the probability that the FSM does NOT exist to be dramatically greater than the probability that he does exist.

Replace FSM in the above argument with whatever flavour of God you like, and (in my opinion) the argument still holds true.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 462 by RAZD, posted 11-27-2009 12:34 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 467 by RAZD, posted 11-27-2009 1:26 PM Briterican has responded

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1871
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


Message 465 of 533 (537182)
11-27-2009 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 463 by Rrhain
11-27-2009 3:11 AM


Rrhain writes:
He claims the model is incomplete. Therefore, it must have chocolate sprinkles.

No. He claims the Model is incomplete because it is incomplete. Do you honestly think the current scientific Model of the Universe and Everything is complete? Why are zillions of scientists still getting grants to do research if the Model is complete? Why have the LHC looking for the Higgs boson? It does not follow from this that it must have chocolate sprinkles. He's just saying you cannot rule them out yet. But there are other kinds of chocolate sprinkles....

Rrhain observes:

But the model doesn't require it and the null hypothesis rules it out until evidence is brought forward that indicates it is required.

You could also bring in Occam's Razor.....

However, it has been my experience that nothing in the real world is a clean, unsprinkled thing - there's scads of DNA that isnt being used, for example. Just because they are not required doesnt mean they're not there. Check out the Silly Design Institute for further troubles with only having what is required. Then we also have to consider that the Model is an Abstract. No person or machine can create a drawing of a perfect square - there's always wobbles and ultimately Heisenberg says "hi!"

The Model by necessity makes simplifications in order to get to tractable mathematics ("assume a spherical distribution"), then it adds perturbations requiring numerical integration that get closer to reality - so in fact the Model is loaded with chocolate sprinkles - just not the kind you talk about. If we go down to Planck length and Planck Time sizes, then all manner of sprinkles come waltzing in. Today the current Model seems to point to a Big Bang. (See Ned Wright's page at http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm) Certainly at the very beginning we have the Planck dimensions in effect. What evidence do we have that at that moment the current Model works? They talk about how physical laws break down inside a black hole...and certainly the Planck-aged universe is in a similar dire condition with these physical laws. How can RAZD's one sprinkle be ruled out when we already have to allow for scads of other weird sprinkles. To use your Gay Marriage - Mixed Race Marriage argument, what is different this time? Sure - it's not needed, but a lot of stuff is not needed and is here. Not being needed is insufficient grounds for dismissal. Your Null Hypothesis is only applicable in the sense of forming a guide on how to conduct scientific investigations. You always begin as simple as possible. You start with a blank sheet of paper, as it were, but then stuff gets written on it, and then more stuff and so on, even in the margins. One man's Higgs boson might be another man's chocolate sprinkle, to paraphrase the terrorist/freedom fighter line.

In the case of RAZD's chocolate sprinkle, I'm not sure that it will ever be possible to find empirical objective evidence of something that happened down in the Planck moments of creation, so I shrug and move on. And, if I understand my brother correctly, once we get out of that Planck zone, there is no difference in what you & I and my brother accept into our worldview by applying the Model to reality. For me and you it makes no difference in how we behave in this Universe. We wont need to pay attention anymore to that sprinkle. It might be curious to know some day, but we are not going to throw huge amounts of energy at finding out right now. Sunsets are beautiful either way. Enjoy the sunsets.

In the case of YEC chocolate sprinkles, we have a different story. Not only are they not needed, they've been disproven. In fact tons of descriptions of the supernatural have been shown to be made up, as Straggler will attest. And by "tons" I mean every description that has fallen under the rigors of scientific scrutiny.

Now, in the case of some currently observing omniscient god in the sky as yet undescribed, we have the Mean Time Between Coelacanthic Aces probability calculations to make such a thing extremely unlikely and form evidence of the kind RAZD would need to see for a 6.0 Dawkins instead of a 5.0 Dawkins.


- xongsmith, 5.7d
This message is a reply to:
 Message 463 by Rrhain, posted 11-27-2009 3:11 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 471 by Rrhain, posted 11-27-2009 7:47 PM xongsmith has responded

  
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