Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 77 (8905 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 04-22-2019 6:03 AM
18 online now:
(18 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 850,006 Year: 5,043/19,786 Month: 1,165/873 Week: 61/460 Day: 3/58 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev1
2
3456Next
Author Topic:   How do we know?
sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 88 (162073)
11-21-2004 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Hangdawg13
11-21-2004 12:17 AM


Hangdawg13

Since ALL knowledge is based on certain presuppostions, to know anything one must believe in SOMETHING.

Presuppositions are necessary but only through concensus.There is no need to believe in them.However a presupposition is asssumed in order to progress by testing what the presuppositions can tell us about the world.

Now here is where science has leapt ahead in uncertain knowledge.We use experiments to test whether our presumptions are valid in the sense that they fit the results of the experiments.Now if the results are in complete conflict with the model time after time then that model is discarded.The model we use is not a belief but a conditional assumption that allows us tho organize our means of investigation.

We must here explain that the word theory is not a "guess" but a model that has been consistently shown to agree with experiment in a vast number of experimental trials.We also must state that a theory is never 100% certainty for the very reason that scientists do not have perfect knowledge and as our ability to investigate gets better with the capabilities of our technology we sometimes find that our theories breakdown under certain conditions.
Therefore a theory is always open to modification and is capable of doing so because of the nature given to it by consensus.

must BELIEVE something. I must believe what I am seeing is real. I must believe that my logic is not faulty. I must believe that the scientists who do studies are not figments of my imagination and that the evidence they obtain is real and that their logic and reason is as good as mine.

Your beliefs however do nothing to sway the outcome of the tests of the theory that we hold to be fact only because they have not been shown to be wrong.Belief is seperate from the results.However as we have seen time and again these beliefs can cause us to deny the evidence presented.Whether you believe in the existence of a scientist that does the experiment makes no difference to the outcome of the experiments.It is the evidence of these experiments that cause us consider that there is an objective world that is amenable to our investigations whether we are atheist christian muslim republican liberal marxist or whatever.Even the reality of the world is questionable since we use senses that are themselves composed of the things we investigate.Our senses are sometimes fooled and indeed our very notions of who "we" are are called into question by our investigation.

Take for instance the work of Benjamin Libet.In the 1970's Libet documented a gap between the time an individual was conscious of the decision to flex his finger{and Libet recorded the exact moment of that consciousness} and the time his brain waves indicated that a flex was imminent. The brain activity occured a third of a second before the subject consciously decided to move his finger.
So a lag exists between the beginning of the neural events leading to consciousness and the moment one actually eriences the consequence of those neural events.

So where is free will in all of this?It might seem that such notions disappear yet there are other explanations.How would you decide to proceed on this work?

There exists no means to weigh between these beliefs and determine which is TRUE, because any attempt to do so will be based on a belief in certain presuppositions.

This is not the case at all.Again yes assumptions must be made and by testing those assumptions we are able to eliminate those models that do not stand up to the evidence.Thus we are indeed weighing the assumptions over and over.Such is the nature of science.Beliefs in the assumption do nothing to influence the outcome of the tests of those assumptionsYou can disbelieve that radiation falls off according to the inverse square law but if you are accidently exposed to a dose of radiation then your distance from the source will indicate your survivability regardless of whether you believe in it or not.We gain a level of confidence not a belief.The level of confidence is capable of change the belief is not.

I'm asking for any atheist to tell me how he KNOWS that ALL reality in existence should be available for our 5 senses to discover through science. He cannot. He BELIEVES this.

We do not know and we have found through our investigation that not only are there things that are not accesible to our five senses there are indeed things we cannot ever have any knowledge about at all.However you may recall that what set us on this topic was jazzlover claiming that he knew something without evidence to back up his statement and I called him on it.

They allow for the POSSIBILITY that we could discover evidence of a god in the future, but since we haven't yet this means it is unlikely we ever will and therefore unlikely that God exists. However, this has nothing to do with the likelihood of God existing, and there is a philosophical paradox that if God could be scientificly proven He would cease to be God.

I do not agree.That a god would exist is not the problem. That human beings make the claim that god is beyond human understanding and in the same breath say that they know god exists is the problem.If he is incapable of being understood then we also can have no knowledge of his existence since this would constitute understanding.

The claim is that god is beyond our spacetime and interacts with it yet leaves no trace. God speaks to people yet has no vocal apparatus.God created a universe of such enormity with actions occuring within it that are forever beyond our obsevation or interaction yet the only place he seems to be concerned with is this immensly tiny speck upon which even tinier creatures live out life and this same god seems to require from us worship without which he will punish us with horrible suffering.

This is even remotely reasonable?

It is no more rational and productive to speak in terms of the probability of God existing than the probability of the universe exploding from nothing.

Neither the rational nor the science run to probability of a universe exploding from nothing.Our physical laws only hold to the level of Planck time and beyond that we can say nothing with any level of confidence.The notion of the big bang still is only the conception arrived at by "revesing the clock"on the observations we make of the universe which appears to be expanding and accelerating.
The reasonable assumption is that going backward in time we have a universe that at one time was closer together and hotter. Thus we at least have a model which explains some of what we see and as we progress we find we must revise our model of the universe somewhat.

God,on the other hand,is not amenable to investigation.God is not evidenced in any way that is clear nor does the belief in god have a definition of consensus among people.Indeed the various properties of god seem to inexticably tied to the culture that the belief resides in.Since cultures are a result of human construction it would follow that so is god.

Atheists BELIEVE ALL reality can be discovered through science alone.

I do not believe such,rather,it is my experience that science lend itself to clarity about the world around us that is independent of belief.As science progresses its foundations support its further investigations.Whether this clarity is pointing to a reality or an illusion we cannot say since an illusion may be forever be beyond our ability to resolve.
But then a perfect illusion is different from "reality" in what way?

Theists BELIEVE there is more to reality than what science alone can discover and that personal revelation from the rest of reality can and does happen.

Then if it can and does happen why can you not evidence it? Why does the "reality"{or perfect illusion} of scientific investigation never line up with personal revelation? Could it be that the errors of human perception are lending themselves to further errors in personal revelation?Why or Why not?
If it does happen why does it leave no trace other than personal interpretation?Why is there never objective evidence ever?

Since everything we KNOW is based on certain presuppositions we BELIEVE to be true, can't we stop with the meaningless arguments and just get along???

I have shown you the arguements that not all presumptions are equally valid yet the fact that I cannot agree with you will never,repeat never, have any bearing as to whether I can get along with you or others.


"Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color."
--Don Hirschberg
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-21-2004 12:17 AM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-21-2004 3:58 PM sidelined has not yet responded
 Message 32 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-21-2004 11:19 PM sidelined has not yet responded

  
sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 17 of 88 (162074)
11-21-2004 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by AdminDawg
11-21-2004 1:14 PM


AdminDawg

Just a note to congratulate you on admin status. I somehow missed your appointment.Good to have you on board.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by AdminDawg, posted 11-21-2004 1:14 PM AdminDawg has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-21-2004 11:22 PM sidelined has not yet responded

  
lfen
Member (Idle past 2785 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 18 of 88 (162076)
11-21-2004 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Hangdawg13
11-21-2004 1:10 PM


Well, Christian theists believe that there is a spiritual war going on so naturally there would be a lot of unreliable information floating around out there

A spiritual war as an explanation for unreliable information? All unreliable information? Is your notion that humans would not disagree on anything except for this spiritual war?

This is an interesting apologetic approach. I have my denomination and I preach the Bible, the true understanding of the Bible. Some one asks me well, folks at the other church do or don't believe in the trinity, or think this passages means something a little different. And I say to my congregation in defense of my doctrine. There is a spiritual war going on. Satan and his minions are using subtle disinformation compaigns to distort the truth, the truth I've told you and everyone would clearly agree on if it were not for the unreliable information spread by the opposition.

Can you at least see why I get so frustrated with religionists, and in the context of this forum with fundamentalist Christians. All science is simply because we have not conquered Satan and so we have to deal with unreliable information? As long as we hold to the Bibical view this makes perfect sense although Xtians argue endlessly about the trinity and all kinds of stuff. This is just rhetorical manipulations to maintain control and power in a community.

I specifically get frustrated with you at times because I find you have the intelligence and insight to see through this stuff and yet you keep coming back to it. I can accept a viewpoint that sees spiritual war going on in a metaphoric sense. Certainly there is unreliable information, but it's not a single thing. It's not Christianity is right and all disagreements are due to unreliable information promulageted by Satan in the spiritual war. That is just too simplistic, it reduces the universe to an understanding that is easy to grasp precisely because it is a holdover from primitive explanatory mythical thinking that is easier to teach than science and so is easier for mass education, literacy is not even necessary. But though it has profound emotional impacts on people and I believe emotions are very important what they don't do is establish facts. Emotions tells us about ourselves, our functioning, our needs in a subjective sense.

lfen


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-21-2004 1:10 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-21-2004 11:42 PM lfen has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 88 (162083)
11-21-2004 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Hangdawg13
11-21-2004 12:17 AM


I'm asking for any atheist to tell me how he KNOWS that ALL reality in existence should be available for our 5 senses to discover through science. He cannot. He BELIEVES this.

Well, this atheist doesn't believe that.

But any reality that isn't avaliable to those senses simply isn't knowable. There are no methods for the aquisition of knowledge about reality, besides science, that are distinguishable from just making things up.

Can science tell us everything about reality? No. But it's the only thing that can really tell us anything about reality. If it can't be discovered through science it simply isn't knowable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-21-2004 12:17 AM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

  
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3013 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 20 of 88 (162086)
11-21-2004 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by PaulK
11-21-2004 1:36 PM


Thanks for your reply.

I didn't say anything about science. It is just that if you want to claim knowledge then you have to show that your justification for belief is good enough.

What is "good enough" depends on your decision. This is what I've tried to point out. What is "good enough" for you? You may only accept evidence of God's existence as good enough to KNOW He exists when a substantial number of independently working scientists come to the same conclusion through repeatable verifiable experimentation and publish their findings in a scientific journal. Whereas I decide to believe in God on non-scientific evidence I have already.

Where we decided to say, "I know" instead of "I believe" is completely arbitrarily decided by the individual.

I haven't even claimed that science is the only means of gaining knowledge.

What would it take for you to say, "I KNOW God exists"?

It is, however, the most reliable means of gaining knowledge about our physical universe. And it has a proven track record.

I do not dispute this. But IF there is an aspect of reality that is on another plane intersecting our physical universe, why would you expect science to discover it? I know you did not say that science is the only way to gain knowledge, but nevertheless you and other atheists imply that the only way they would accept this scenario is if it were scientifically verifiable.

And are you prepared to admit that "personal revelations" that contradict your religious beliefs mght be valid ?

Sure. I admit other "revelations" to those of other religions could very well be real. How do I KNOW which ones are telling the truth? I don't. I choose which to believe based on conscience. Since the angel that appeared to Mohammed told him to kill everyone who would not follow Allah, and Christ said love God, love your neighbor, and love your enemies, I would assume that Christ is the good guy and the angel that appeared to Mohammed was the bad guy. I reject Islam due to my conscience. Even Mohammed was sure the devil himself had appeared to him. It was his wife that convinced him it was really an angel from God.

This message has been edited by Hangdawg13, 11-21-2004 03:19 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by PaulK, posted 11-21-2004 1:36 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by PaulK, posted 11-21-2004 3:38 PM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14811
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 21 of 88 (162090)
11-21-2004 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Hangdawg13
11-21-2004 3:18 PM


Instead of trying to suggest that he level of reliability we use is purely arbitarry perhaps you could try producing evidence that religious methods of knowing are reliable. Surely that is the central issue ?

And there is abolsutely no point in even trying to state what evidence would convince me that God existed without a definition of God.

And there is no point in speculating avour other "aspects of reality" unless you can actually show that religion DOES give us reliable information about it.

BTW I think you are definitely distorting what Islam is about. Like Christianity there are a lot of conflicting moral ideas even within Islam. And even if you are right we can presumably say that the God who inspired Moses and Joshua was evil based on the massacres of Numbers and Joshua. Are you willing to take that step or is divinely commanded genocide acceptable when YOUR religion says so ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-21-2004 3:18 PM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by mike the wiz, posted 11-21-2004 6:58 PM PaulK has responded

    
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3013 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 22 of 88 (162091)
11-21-2004 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by sidelined
11-21-2004 2:15 PM


Thank you for your reply.

We gain a level of confidence not a belief.The level of confidence is capable of change the belief is not.

Now we're getting somewhere.

We do not know and we have found through our investigation that not only are there things that are not accesible to our five senses there are indeed things we cannot ever have any knowledge about at all.However you may recall that what set us on this topic was jazzlover claiming that he knew something without evidence to back up his statement and I called him on it.

One of my points here is to say that where believing becomes knowing is arbitrarily set by the individual's decision. For a person who believes in something completely, believing IS the same as knowing in their mind. The problem occurs when two people who have different standards try to have a discussion.

I understand the scientific standards for "knowing" something. But we do not always use those standards. As I've said before, if you had some friends tell you about their trip to the mountains, you would accept their story with possibly no scientific evidence at all. You might even then say, "I know that my friends went to the mountains last week."

Your mention of confidence has brought to mind another good analogy to what I'm trying to explain. In statistics I've been doing a lot of confidence intervals lately. You can pick how confident you want to be and depending upon the percentage you choose, you may accept or reject the hypothesis.

You may choose an alpha of .05 and discover that you are 95% confident we can reject the null hypothesis. However you may choose an alpha of .15 and discover that we can be 85% confident in accepting the null hypothesis.

In our situation, I can raise the confidence so high that I can be sure of nothing, or I can lower it so low I can be sure of everything. Now when you are listening to your friends tell you about their trip, you hold them to a low standard because you are biased to accept their story. If you lowered your alpha, you would grow less and less confident that they were telling the truth until eventually you would doubt they even went to the mountains or even existed.

Now let's say you raise your alpha back up to normal friendly level, and your friends were telling you about a hike up a particular mountain, then they all described the Lord appearing to them and speaking to them and showing them all a vision of heaven. Instantly you make your alpha so low that there is practically no way you can accept their statements.

Now in real life we cannot apply statistics to this situation because it is impossible to get a data set. Therefore it is strictly a matter of choice as to whether you believe your friends just as it is a matter of choice as to whether you are even going to believe they went to the mountains in the first place.

I'm sorry I don't have the time to reply to the rest of your post right now. I've put off homework for far too long. I will get back and reply to the rest later.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by sidelined, posted 11-21-2004 2:15 PM sidelined has not yet responded

    
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 23 of 88 (162107)
11-21-2004 6:58 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by PaulK
11-21-2004 3:38 PM


Like Christianity there are a lot of conflicting moral ideas even within Islam. And even if you are right we can presumably say that the God who inspired Moses and Joshua was evil based on the massacres of Numbers and Joshua. Are you willing to take that step or is divinely commanded genocide acceptable when YOUR religion says so ?

Erm - no we can't say God is evil - YOU ARE. So let's examine YOU.

Your first assertion is that there are conflicting morals in Christianity. Which proves nothing, because you didn't back it up. Christians agree on the morals, as there is no choice. The basis of Christ's teachings also don't change.

As for invoking the Old Testament, this is simply your modern atheistic concept of God, that he is evil etc.. You lack the Christian's theology concerning these things. It's irrelevant if a human judges God as evil for a start, that won't mean he is because a modern outlook is easy to buy into.

So you claim some moral high, and then judge God.

That's two big no nos when it comes to what the bible says. Since you are a modern atheist who doesn't argue to have a moral basis or source, and just a human with subjective outlook on morals, your points aren't valid. Back your assertions about Christians please, thanks.

This message has been edited by anne, 11-21-2004 07:04 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by PaulK, posted 11-21-2004 3:38 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by CK, posted 11-21-2004 7:04 PM mike the wiz has responded
 Message 28 by Coragyps, posted 11-21-2004 7:32 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded
 Message 31 by lfen, posted 11-21-2004 8:24 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded
 Message 37 by PaulK, posted 11-22-2004 2:45 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
CK
Member (Idle past 2235 days)
Posts: 3221
Joined: 07-04-2004


Message 24 of 88 (162108)
11-21-2004 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by mike the wiz
11-21-2004 6:58 PM


hah hahah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah.

Why am I doing that?

I'm sorry Anne - I don't mean to mock you, but ever so often a christian will turn up and claim that "you don't understand the bible" - generally they are blown out of the water within ten posts and are never seen again.

I wish you well but I'll start the ball rolling...

quote:
As for invoking the Old Testament, this is simply your modern atheistic concept of God, that he is evil etc.. You lack the Christian's theology concerning these things. It's irrelevant if a human judges God as evil for a start, that won't mean he is because a modern outlook is easy to buy into.

Ezekiel 18:20 "A child shall not suffer for the iniquity of a parent, nor a parent suffer for the iniquity of a child; the righteousness of the righteous shall be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be his own."

Wait a minute...

Ezekiel 23:43-46 "The assembly shall stone them (prostitutes) and with their swords shall cut them down; they shall kill their sons and their daughters and burn up their houses."

Hold on!

Exodus 20:5 "You shall not bow down to them or worship them (idols), for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generations of those who reject me"

This message has been edited by Charles Knight, 11-21-2004 07:09 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by mike the wiz, posted 11-21-2004 6:58 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by mike the wiz, posted 11-21-2004 7:19 PM CK has not yet responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 25 of 88 (162113)
11-21-2004 7:19 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by CK
11-21-2004 7:04 PM


That's all Old Testament.

Jesus says that we have heard in times past, that it should be an eye for an eye, but now I say, love your enemies, bless those that curse you.

Jesus also said to them about to stone a prostitute, " Let he without sin cast the first stone ".

THIS is why you lack a Christian philosophy. Because it doesn't matter how much NT I quote - you'll always quote the Old one, even if Christ has fulfilled the law for me, as it is written in the OT, "he shall be called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS".

However, I claim no moral high dround for this very reason - as no moral can make me enter heaven. If you or Paul had this theology, you wouldn't assert wrongful conclusions about us.

So you see - we don't even boast a moral highground. You both show a lack of understanding.

Read more about "no boasting" in the New Testament, the parts written by Paul who was Saul.

This message has been edited by anne, 11-21-2004 07:21 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by CK, posted 11-21-2004 7:04 PM CK has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by AdminJar, posted 11-21-2004 7:24 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded
 Message 27 by AdminDawg, posted 11-21-2004 7:29 PM mike the wiz has responded

  
AdminJar
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 88 (162114)
11-21-2004 7:24 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by mike the wiz
11-21-2004 7:19 PM


Getting way off topic
let's try to move back towards the topic folk.


How pierceful grows the hazy yon! How myrtle petaled thou! For spring hath sprung the cyclotron How high browse thou, brown cow? -- Churchy LaFemme, 1950
This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by mike the wiz, posted 11-21-2004 7:19 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
AdminDawg
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 88 (162115)
11-21-2004 7:29 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by mike the wiz
11-21-2004 7:19 PM


Off Topic!
Both of you can debate the morality of God in another topic. Please stick to the Original Post.

This message has been edited by AdminDawg, 11-21-2004 07:30 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by mike the wiz, posted 11-21-2004 7:19 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by mike the wiz, posted 11-21-2004 8:04 PM AdminDawg has not yet responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 7.9


Message 28 of 88 (162116)
11-21-2004 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by mike the wiz
11-21-2004 6:58 PM


Hi, Anne, and welcome to our community!

Christians agree on the morals, as there is no choice.

That's interesting! All Christians are anti-abortion? Anti- (or is that pro- ?) capital punishment? I didn't know that! Or do only True Christians (TM) agree completely on moral issues?

Added in edit: Oh, sorry, Dawg! I'll shut up unless it gets its own thread.

This message has been edited by Coragyps, 11-21-2004 07:35 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by mike the wiz, posted 11-21-2004 6:58 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by AdminJar, posted 11-21-2004 7:34 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

    
AdminJar
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 88 (162117)
11-21-2004 7:34 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Coragyps
11-21-2004 7:32 PM


Topic Coragyps
Let's head towards it.

This message has been edited by AdminJar, 11-21-2004 07:34 PM


How pierceful grows the hazy yon! How myrtle petaled thou! For spring hath sprung the cyclotron How high browse thou, brown cow? -- Churchy LaFemme, 1950
This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Coragyps, posted 11-21-2004 7:32 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 30 of 88 (162122)
11-21-2004 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by AdminDawg
11-21-2004 7:29 PM


Re: Off Topic!
Oops, Okay. Sorry.

Ofcourse, I'll refrain then. And, abortion wasn't mentioned by Christ, I was only agreeing about the NT moral basis - which doesn't change, but I won't go off topic into that now.

Thanks for the welcomes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by AdminDawg, posted 11-21-2004 7:29 PM AdminDawg has not yet responded

  
Prev1
2
3456Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019