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Author Topic:   The Nature of Scepticism
ringo
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Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


(2)
Message 6 of 271 (690825)
02-16-2013 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Phat
02-16-2013 5:31 AM


Re: Wikipedia
Phat writes:

To me it is an opinion and a belief.


During my brief encounter with Evolution FairyTale, one of the members called me, "Skeptic!" in the same sense that you might call somebody, "Murderer!" It was plain that he considered skepticism a belief - and an evil one at that.

But I took the intended insult as a compliment. I consider skepticism the natural starting point for any inquiry. First you ask the question; then you look for possible answers; then you ask if the answers are adequate.

It's a never-ending process that may get you closer to truth/knowledge but it never gets you "there".

Edited by ringo, : Inflated my ego by capitalizing "I".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Phat, posted 02-16-2013 5:31 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Phat, posted 02-18-2013 7:51 AM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


(1)
Message 58 of 271 (691024)
02-19-2013 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Phat
02-18-2013 7:51 AM


Re: Wikipedia
Phat writes:

...but I dont want to end the day with a question regarding Gods interaction with me.


Why not?

(See what I did there? There's always a potential question.)

Phat writes:

One must stand for something or else they will fall for anything!


It's funny how some of those cliches are a mirror to the speaker. In fact, it's just the opposite. If you're not skeptical, you're the one who falls for everything.

Phat writes:

as far as "there" I would define there as being in communion, or walking in the Spirit, if you will.


Why?

(See above.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Phat, posted 02-18-2013 7:51 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by Phat, posted 03-01-2013 10:16 AM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 77 of 271 (691445)
02-22-2013 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by kofh2u
02-19-2013 10:02 PM


Re: Too far already? Yep
kofh2u writes:

Rene Descartes is called the father of modern philosophy because he started at the point where his own thinking proved to him that he existed and was real.
You can start there, too.


I don't though. Nothing I say here depends on me being real. The "truth" of what I say (if any) doesn't depend on my existence.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by kofh2u, posted 02-19-2013 10:02 PM kofh2u has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by kofh2u, posted 02-23-2013 9:30 AM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 99 of 271 (691622)
02-23-2013 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by kofh2u
02-23-2013 9:30 AM


Re: Too far already? Yep
kofh2u writes:

The Truth was before Abraham, before Jesus, and before you or I.


You say The Truth and I say the "truth". In case it isn't already clear, I'm mocking the concept of Ultimate Truth. If there is such a thing as The Truth, it's pretty near certain that you don't know what it is.

Skepticism is the habit of always asking, "Is that true?" not thinking you alreay have all of the answers.

Edited by ringo, : Fixed quote.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by kofh2u, posted 02-23-2013 9:30 AM kofh2u has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by kofh2u, posted 02-24-2013 1:25 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 111 of 271 (691778)
02-25-2013 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by kofh2u
02-24-2013 1:25 PM


Re: Too far already? Yep
kofh2u writes:

Truth is that which corresponds, directly and one-to-one with what actually Exists.


Skepticism is the practice of determining whether or not a claim does correspond directly and one-on-one to what actually exists. Without skepticism, there's no way to know if something is "true".

This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by kofh2u, posted 02-24-2013 1:25 PM kofh2u has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by kofh2u, posted 02-27-2013 2:23 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 123 of 271 (692164)
02-28-2013 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 118 by kofh2u
02-27-2013 2:23 PM


Re: Absolute Truth is an oxymoron...
kofh2u writes:

Whether one knows what is true or not is irrelevent to the existence of Truth.

Truth exists in the absence of man, himself.


If "Truth" is a black box that we can't unlock, it's worthless.

kofh2u writes:

Truth is the Ideal which corresponds to what is real and actually exists.


The only way we can know what is real and actually exists is by observing it. An "ideal" of what it might be is worthless.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by kofh2u, posted 02-27-2013 2:23 PM kofh2u has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by kofh2u, posted 02-28-2013 8:05 PM ringo has responded
 Message 129 by Phat, posted 03-01-2013 10:07 AM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


(1)
Message 134 of 271 (692236)
03-01-2013 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 124 by kofh2u
02-28-2013 8:05 PM


Re: Absolute Truth is an oxymoron...
kofh2u writes:

And all this you ask for was resolved when the Scientific Method was devised in the 18th century.
Scientists thens began gathering facts about Reality which everyone (willing to set up the exact same laboratory conditions) would observe.


Yes, but the scientific method can only approach "truth". It can devise an image that resembles reality more and more closely but the image can never be reality. Thus, it makes no difference whether "Absolute Truth" or "Ultimate Truth" exists at all. It is irrelevant to our understanding of reality.

So skepticism is the understanding that Truth, if it even exists, can not be known and therefore we must continuously keep looking for approximate truth.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by kofh2u, posted 02-28-2013 8:05 PM kofh2u has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by kofh2u, posted 03-01-2013 2:27 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


(2)
Message 135 of 271 (692237)
03-01-2013 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 129 by Phat
03-01-2013 10:07 AM


Re: Observe The Image or Character
Phat writes:

The only way to observe Christ as being real...more than a 3 dimensional concept...is to observe those who claim to have Christ in them.


Unfortunately, those who claim to have Christ in them are often the poorest images. We need to be skeptical of those claims.

Phat writes:

I suppose there is a huge difference between questioning myself and doubting myself.


Yes, there is. It's the difference between looking at your image in the mirror and calling yourself ugly.

Honest questioning provides an opportunity for improvement.


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 Message 129 by Phat, posted 03-01-2013 10:07 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 137 of 271 (692387)
03-02-2013 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 136 by kofh2u
03-01-2013 2:27 PM


Re: Absolute Truth is an oxymoron...
kofh2u writes:

You are trying to confuse the existence of Truth with the ability for man to model it.


No, I'm pointing out that the existence of "Truth" is irrelevant. Only what we can model matters.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by kofh2u, posted 03-01-2013 2:27 PM kofh2u has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by kofh2u, posted 03-03-2013 1:05 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 156 of 271 (692584)
03-05-2013 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 139 by kofh2u
03-03-2013 1:05 PM


Re: Absolute Truth is an oxymoron...
kofh2u writes:

ringo writes:

Only what we can model matters.


It mattered to Neanderthal man who went extinct because of his inability to see the Truth.
That prevented him from adapting to the changing environment.

You make my point. Neanderthal man failed to model the truth. The existence of "Truth" did him no good.

Skepticism is all about tweaking your model, not thinking you already have the "Truth".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by kofh2u, posted 03-03-2013 1:05 PM kofh2u has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 161 by RAZD, posted 04-14-2013 7:31 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 164 of 271 (696358)
04-15-2013 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 161 by RAZD
04-14-2013 7:31 PM


Re: an observation
RAZD writes:

ringo writes:

Skepticism is all about tweaking your model, not thinking you already have the "Truth".


What causes us to tweak the model?

The desire to have a better model.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by RAZD, posted 04-14-2013 7:31 PM RAZD has responded

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 Message 168 by RAZD, posted 04-15-2013 7:03 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 170 of 271 (696474)
04-16-2013 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 168 by RAZD
04-15-2013 7:03 PM


Re: an observation
RAZD writes:

But how do we know the tweaks make it better?


If the model fits reality better - i.e. predictions made from the model "work" - then the tweaks made it better. Otherwise, we untweak the tweaks.

RAZD writes:

Random fiddling would hardly be strictly speaking scientific -- what events cause tweaking to be considered?


I don't think the tweaking is caused by "events" per se. I think it's a natural human behaviour to want to know "more".

There's a survival advantage in wanting "more" of something - e.g eating more than you need because tomorrow you might not have enough, or hoarding for a time of famine. (Unfortunately, overeating and hoarding have disadvantages too in a situation where resources are practically unlimited.)

Wanting more food extrapolates easily to wanting more information.

So a trial-and-error approach to getting more information seems natural enough. Science is just a refinement of that trial-and-error method.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 168 by RAZD, posted 04-15-2013 7:03 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 173 by RAZD, posted 04-16-2013 6:57 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 176 of 271 (696630)
04-17-2013 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 173 by RAZD
04-16-2013 6:57 PM


Re: an observation
RAZD writes:

What about "events" that force tweaking, wholesale revision or discarding of the model?


Nothing "forces" tweaking. That's why models like "God" still exist.

RAZD writes:

Aren't they important in the scientific process?


We're not talking about the scientific process specifically. We're talking about scepticism in general. In the more rigourous form of scepticism, known as science, an objective consensus may "force" major tweaking.

Edited by ringo, : Changed "require" to "force".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by RAZD, posted 04-16-2013 6:57 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 180 by RAZD, posted 04-20-2013 9:11 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


(1)
Message 184 of 271 (697194)
04-22-2013 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 180 by RAZD
04-20-2013 9:11 PM


Re: an observation
RAZD writes:

And yet, technically, in the field of science, does not invalidation of an hypothesis "force" tweaking, wholesale revision or a complete discarding of the model?


Yes.

RAZD writes:

If that is true\valid in science, then isn't that same approach valid\rational outside science?


It can be a valid approach but the rigor of science isn't necessarily applicable to every question. There may be some areas where a "Scepticism Lite" approach is more useful.

RAZD writes:

So should we be more or less skeptical of concepts that are in discord with other concepts or evidence, when compared to ones with no (or less) discord?


I'm not sure that scepticism is something that can be measured. We can look at something scientifically when there is a significant amount of evidence pointing in one direction or another. However, we can be sceptical even when there is no evidence.

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 Message 180 by RAZD, posted 04-20-2013 9:11 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 218 of 271 (717022)
01-23-2014 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 217 by Stile
01-23-2014 11:22 AM


Re: Change of Pace
I don't like your whole wolf scenario.

We know objectively that wolves exist and we can infer from the villagers' fear of wolves that they exist in the vicinity. The failure to find evidence of a wolf on any particular occasion or series of occasions does not change the fact that wolves do exist in the vicinity. The failure of any or all attempts to find a wolf has no effect on the probability of the next wolf report being accurate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 217 by Stile, posted 01-23-2014 11:22 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 219 by Stile, posted 01-23-2014 12:06 PM ringo has responded
 Message 220 by Modulous, posted 01-23-2014 1:29 PM ringo has responded

  
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