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Author Topic:   The Nature of Scepticism
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 60 of 271 (691035)
02-19-2013 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by kofh2u
02-16-2013 8:40 PM


Re: Evidence
That is what makes this writing appear on face value as divinely revealed.

Or, an advanced race of aliens, posing as a supreme being decided to play a little joke and implanted the thoughts into those sheep farmers who would then write the books of the bible....

Or Apollo, bored with his life on Olympus, decided to pose as the one true supreme being while the other Olympic Gods were busy playing poker...

Or, we look at the historical context of these writing and find out that many of the writings accepted into today's bible are unremarkably similar to previous myths and stories from other religions. That these other myths and stories were contemporaneous or previous to the writings of the people who wrote the bible and parts of the bible are just plagiarized stories.

In any case, we use skepticism to help lead us to the most likely story, and remember the axiom, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," while continuing our search for evidence.


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DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 61 of 271 (691038)
02-19-2013 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by RAZD
02-17-2013 12:29 PM


Re: Too far already? Yep
Agreement that the corpus of established knowledge must be based on what is proved, but recognising its incompleteness.

'Proven' is a pretty loaded word. Our established 'knowledge' of the universe is never proven, something I am sure you've agreed with outside of your philosophical debates. We may be able to draw inferences based on what we think we know, but we can never be absolutely certain that we are absolutely correct.


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 Message 29 by RAZD, posted 02-17-2013 12:29 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by RAZD, posted 02-19-2013 9:30 PM DBlevins has responded
 Message 65 by kofh2u, posted 02-19-2013 10:02 PM DBlevins has responded

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


(1)
Message 62 of 271 (691039)
02-19-2013 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Thugpreacha
02-18-2013 7:43 AM


Re: The Fray
vivid dreams are weak yet possible evidence as well as daily happenings that are beyond random coincidence...though I suppose you will challenge me to explain the difference between..say..a chance encounter and a divine appointment.

Do you understand that humans are great at seeing patterns? We can see constellations in the sky. Does that mean those stars are lined up to make those particular objects? If so, why do some cultures see completely different objects in the same quadrant of the night sky? The point is that you are counting the hits and forgetting the misses. In other words the fallacy of observational selection, or the enumeration of favorable circumstances. You have a dream that you have an accident and in the morning you decide to walk to work and hope to prevent the accident, which you happen to do. Perhaps you dreamed you won the lottery and you buy a ticket. You don't win. Which dreams do you believe and which ones do you write off as 'just a dream'? How do you discern between dreams? Is a sex dream divinely inspired, telling you that you ought to go out and get laid, or is it just your brain working out a desire (or fear) you had?


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 Message 42 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-18-2013 7:43 AM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 63 of 271 (691040)
02-19-2013 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Thugpreacha
02-18-2013 7:51 AM


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

Why can you not stand for being good to others without some invisible god telling you to do so?

Is your moral compass so damaged that you require the god of the bible to tell you to treat others with kindness?

Skepticism isn't a belief, it is a way of discerning a path towards knowledge.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by kofh2u, posted 02-19-2013 10:07 PM DBlevins has responded

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 78 of 271 (691470)
02-22-2013 1:31 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by kofh2u
02-19-2013 10:07 PM


Re: skeptism can just be nilihism...
But we see the people who are skeptical of Evolution because it confronts their faith in the way they understand Genesis.

There is nothing wrong with being skeptical of evolution or any other theory. Scientists codify 'skepticism' by limiting well supported ideas to the position of 'Theory.' While evolution is a Theory that is well-supported by evidence, has been tested a multitude of times, and makes correct predictions, there is still the chance, however slight, that someone could come about and turn it on it's head. Same thing with our "Theory" of Gravity. Scientists know our knowledge is not and will never be complete.

That being said, Evolution is a fact. Life evolves. Whether it is through the process laid out by the Theory of Evolution or by some other process not yet discovered is the question. What those who rely on a religious text for their understanding of science seem unable to grasp is that they have replaced skepticism with credulity.

And, here, we see the other people who are skeptical of admitting the Big Bang was "In the beginning" because they would have to concede the first verse of Genesis actually is literally true.

I may be mistaken but I would say that the vast majority of the people on this forum are not physicists, and I am not either. I don't think I would conclude anything about the Big Bang from what others say about it, no matter how knowledgeable they appear. It's always good, imho, to have at least a little bit of skepticism about the extent of peoples knowledge and try to investigate it yourself by looking for reputable sources.

The point is that you may think that people are avoiding an admission of whether the Big Bang was "In the beginning" but it may be the case that they just don't know what "In the beginning" means in the context of the Big Bang.

Skeptism is actuallyu the best way to make sure no one "proves" anything to you simply because for that to happen, ONLY you can say it was proven.

You seem to be missing the point of skepticism. My understanding of how things work could be flawed, and thus I should never assume that my view of how the universe works is complete or proven.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by kofh2u, posted 02-19-2013 10:07 PM kofh2u has responded

Replies to this message:
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DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 79 of 271 (691478)
02-22-2013 2:36 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by kofh2u
02-19-2013 10:02 PM


Re: Too far already? Yep
When all observers agree with one another, you have proven things, like putting our hand in the fire willl always get it burnt, etc.

We employ something like the scientific method when we determine that putting our hands in the fire will burn our hands and we draw the conclusion that putting our hands in the fire is dangerous. While this conclusion is related to the scientific method of determining why it is dangerous, it isn't an explanation. For an explanation of why things burn, we draw upon our knowledge of physics and chemistry. Our understanding of these processes is not truly complete. Our assumptions may be flawed. We don't have a complete understanding of physics and chemistry, and thus we can not say with 100% certainty that every time we put our hand in the fire it will burn. We can be reasonably assured that this will happen and wouldn't recommend testing it out by placing our hand in the fire. We can continue testing our theory and refining it and draw conclusions from it but there may come a time when something happens that we don't expect and the physical and chemical process
of fire doesn't act the way we think it should. It may be a complete shock and wonder but that is the process of science.

By the way, just because something doesn't act the way we think it should doesn't mean we just drop our theory of how we thought it should work. We remain skeptical of our assumptions and look for flaws in the new observations. If the new observations hold up to further testing then we update or change our theory. But even so, it can never be complete. Our perception and understanding of the world is limited and thus my skepticism.

The short of it is: We can have an observation that fire will burn and a theory on how or why and draw valid conclusions from it, but we should remain skeptical and be prepared to change our understanding when appropriate.


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

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DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


(1)
Message 80 of 271 (691481)
02-22-2013 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by RAZD
02-19-2013 9:30 PM


Re: Too far already? Yep
Agreement that the corpus of established knowledge must be based on what is validated, but recognising its incompleteness.

It still is a contradictory statement. The act of proving something is a recognition of it's completeness. Thus if you recognize something as incomplete it is, by definition, NOT proven.

edit: I read this wrong and substituted 'validated' with 'proven' when I read it. I recognized this when Straggler responded. Pardon the error.

Edited by DBlevins, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by RAZD, posted 02-19-2013 9:30 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Straggler, posted 02-22-2013 3:09 PM DBlevins has responded

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 84 of 271 (691506)
02-22-2013 5:11 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Straggler
02-22-2013 3:09 PM


Re: Too far already? Yep
Scientfic conclusions are falsifiable.

Absolutely.

If someting is falsifiable it has not been proved.

and can never be proved, otherwise we wouldn't call it falsifiable. (which I was trying to say so inarticulately.)

This is the distinction RAZ is missing when he talks about "proof".

It seems to me that Dr. A nailed it when he spoke of those who would accept skepticism in some instances and not in others. RAZ seems to be of that ilk.


This message is a reply to:
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