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Author Topic:   Why should religion get a free pass?
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 112 (466507)
05-15-2008 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Percy
05-15-2008 11:19 AM


Catholic Scientist writes:

However, my main point stands that if we can't falsify either of our beliefs about god, then it should get a free pass because we cannot know which of us is right.

If this were true generally then my belief that there are little green men living on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri should be given a free pass, just as much as someone else's belief that there are no such little green men.

I would give "your" belief a free pass though.

Like I said:

quote:
I think The Dude said it best:

quote:
Well... that's just, like, your opinion, man.


I can't falsify your belief in the little green men, I can't convince you that they don't exist, what's wrong with giving it a free pass? BFD, IMHO.

The point being, of course, that unfalsifiable assertions should not get a free pass simply because there's no evidence either way. This rebuttal to the claim that unsupported assertions cannot be challenged is better known as the Celestial Teapot argument, click the link.

From your link:

quote:
Russell's teapot, [snip], intended to refute the idea that the burden of proof lies upon the sceptic to disprove unfalsifiable claims of religions.

I don't think that the the burden of proof lies upon the sceptic to disprove unfalsifiable claims of religions.

From the OP:

quote:
When I say 'free pass' I mean (what I think Dawkins means) letting a statement of faith [snip] go unchallenged because it is somehow 'off limits' to such challenges.

Why would I challenge a claim that I can't falsify? I wouldn't. I would give it a 'free pass'.

I wouldn't challenge Russell's teapot either. It too gets a free pass.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Percy, posted 05-15-2008 11:19 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Percy, posted 05-15-2008 1:32 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 112 (466508)
05-15-2008 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by bluegenes
05-15-2008 11:47 AM


Even some of our creationists might've understood my point there, CS.

You may have trouble with this, of course, as you're religious, so you probably have evidenceless personal tastes, desires or beliefs which you see as having objective truth. If so, I don't give them a free pass, and I'll be happy to explain what delusions are.

Don't bother.

I'd rather communicate with people who don't intend to insult me.

And I'd like to remind you of Rule #10:

quote:
Keep discussion civil and avoid inflammatory behavior that might distract attention from the topic. Argue the position, not the person.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by bluegenes, posted 05-15-2008 11:47 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by bluegenes, posted 05-15-2008 1:03 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 33 of 112 (466509)
05-15-2008 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by New Cat's Eye
05-15-2008 10:50 AM


quote:
If you say your god exist and and I say it does not, only one of us can be correct.

This is not true with a taste issue.

Inside our own heads we can both be right: not so in the real world.


Good point. Although it doesn't add weight to bluegenes's claim that evidenceless assertions are insane.

However, my main point stands that if we can't falsify either of our beliefs about god, then it should get a free pass because we cannot know which of us is right.

Let me spell it out for you then:

Jimmy hears voices. He hears them all the time, telling him to do things, or giving him secret knowledge (like the time they told him that the dog that barks at him all the time is secretly a space alien).

Jimmy has no evidence to prove that his voices exist, but he's certain they do. Nobody else is able to prove that they are not real voices in his head, after all.

Is Jimmy sane, or insane? A better question: is Jimmy's belief that the voices are real rational?

Another scenario:

Tom claims that there is an invisible pink unicorn standing right next to his friend. His friend can't see it, but that's of course becasue it's invisible. The unicorn leaves no evidence of its passing becasue it's magical. Tom's friend doesn't believe Tom, but admits that he can't prove the unicorn doesn't exist either.

Is Tom's belief that the unicorn is present rational, or irrational? Why?

And now, the double standard:

Joe insists that there is an invisible man who lives in an invisible place called "heaven" who created the entire world. There is no evidence suggesting this invisible man exists - Joe explains this by saying "the invisible man wants us to have faith, so he doesn't give us evidence." Joe says that he knows the invisible man is real because of an old book anthology that claims the invisible man is real; also, the anthology claims that its contents are true and that the invisible man never lies, so Joe knows the book is right, even though he has no objective evidence to support his belief. When Evil Atheists say that Joe's invisible man likely doesn't exist, Joe counters with the fact that there is no evidence proving the invisible man does not exist, either.

Is Joe's belief in the invisible man rational, or irrational? Why?

If you responded that any of these scenarios involved a rational belief but that the other(s) did not, what is the factor that differentiates them? If you claim that beliefs not based on any evidence whatsoever deserve a "free pass" so long as there is no contradictory evidence, do you then give a "free pass" to all three scenarios?

If we give a "free pass" to all positions that have no evidence one way or the other, what the heck is the definition of a "free pass," anyway?

If you're giving one scenario a free pass, but not others, when there is no evidence either way for any of the three, why does that scenario get a free pass?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 10:50 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 12:32 PM Rahvin has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 112 (466518)
05-15-2008 12:32 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Rahvin
05-15-2008 12:09 PM


If you responded that any of these scenarios involved a rational belief but that the other(s) did not, what is the factor that differentiates them?

I wouldn't differentiate between the scenarios. I think any of the three have the potential to be rational beliefs.

If you claim that beliefs not based on any evidence whatsoever deserve a "free pass" so long as there is no contradictory evidence, do you then give a "free pass" to all three scenarios?

Yes, all three get a free pass.

If we give a "free pass" to all positions that have no evidence one way or the other, what the heck is the definition of a "free pass," anyway?

A position has been given a free pass when it goes unchallenged.

I wouldn't challenge any of those positions because I cannot falsify them. It would be a fruitless effort.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Rahvin, posted 05-15-2008 12:09 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Rahvin, posted 05-15-2008 12:55 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 35 of 112 (466526)
05-15-2008 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by New Cat's Eye
05-15-2008 12:32 PM


quote:
If you responded that any of these scenarios involved a rational belief but that the other(s) did not, what is the factor that differentiates them?

I wouldn't differentiate between the scenarios. I think any of the three have the potential to be rational beliefs.

Well, at least you're consistant.

quote:
If you claim that beliefs not based on any evidence whatsoever deserve a "free pass" so long as there is no contradictory evidence, do you then give a "free pass" to all three scenarios?

Yes, all three get a free pass.

This now becomes like determining the center of the surface of a sphere - all points are exactly the same.

You're basically saying we shouldn't challenge any belief no matter how utterly ridiculous if there is no evidence one way or the other.

quote:
If we give a "free pass" to all positions that have no evidence one way or the other, what the heck is the definition of a "free pass," anyway?

A position has been given a free pass when it goes unchallenged.

And yet Christianity (and other religions, of course) does directly challenge the beliefs of all other religions, claiming that the beliefs of Christianity are true and the others are false.

And of course you'd be perfectly happy putting our friend the schizophrenic into a mental institution for his voices, wouldn't you? Doesn't that mean you'd support "challenging his belief?" Or should we stop medicating all schizophrenics?

And what about the invisible unicorn? Do you believe that the unicorn is next to you, or do you challenge it by saying "maybe, but probably not?"

Nearly all beliefs we could identify as completely delusional are simply unfalsifiable fantasies.

I wouldn't challenge any of those positions because I cannot falsify them. It would be a fruitless effort.

Ah, apathy. How wonderful. "It won't make a difference, so I won't try."

Would you tell your child that Santa doesn't exist? Would you tell your child that fairies aren't real?

Or do you give such positions a "free pass," as well? After all, they're unfalsifiable, with no evidence either way.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 12:32 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 3:04 PM Rahvin has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 932 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 36 of 112 (466528)
05-15-2008 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by New Cat's Eye
05-15-2008 12:04 PM


Catholic Scientists writes:

And I'd like to remind you of Rule #10:

There's a thread for you to make complaints. Use it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 12:04 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19652
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 37 of 112 (466539)
05-15-2008 1:32 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by New Cat's Eye
05-15-2008 11:59 AM


Catholic Scientist writes:

I can't falsify your belief in the little green men, I can't convince you that they don't exist, what's wrong with giving it a free pass? BFD, IMHO.

But you're not giving it a free pass. You're not thinking to yourself (or at least most people would not be thinking to themselves), "Okay, he believes there are little green men on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri, and there's nothing wrong with him believing that."

No, of course not. What you're likely thinking is, "He's nuts, but it just isn't worth my time challenging something so ridiculous." And of course that's a very sensible position when dealing with statements from wackos.

But with religion it is different, because when someone expresses a belief that, for example, the world was created by God 6000 years ago, most people think, "Well, that's a religious belief, and there's nothing wrong with that."

That is, they think this up until fundamentalists try to get it added to science class curiculums. At that point the idea passes from acceptable religious belief to wacko idea.

Why is this, when it was actually a wacko idea all along?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 11:59 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 2:51 PM Percy has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 38 of 112 (466557)
05-15-2008 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Percy
05-15-2008 1:32 PM


Catholic Scientist writes:

I can't falsify your belief in the little green men, I can't convince you that they don't exist, what's wrong with giving it a free pass? BFD, IMHO.

But you're not giving it a free pass. You're not thinking to yourself (or at least most people would not be thinking to themselves), "Okay, he believes there are little green men on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri, and there's nothing wrong with him believing that."

Giving it a free pass doesn't mean thinking that there's nothing wrong with them believing it. It means not challenging it.

No, of course not. What you're likely thinking is, "He's nuts, but it just isn't worth my time challenging something so ridiculous." And of course that's a very sensible position when dealing with statements from wackos.

That would be giving it a free pass.

But with religion it is different, because when someone expresses a belief that, for example, the world was created by God 6000 years ago, most people think, "Well, that's a religious belief, and there's nothing wrong with that."

Really? Most people seem to think that there is something wrong with believing in a 6000 y/o Earth.

That is, they think this up until fundamentalists try to get it added to science class curiculums. At that point the idea passes from acceptable religious belief to wacko idea.

Assuming you are right about what most people think, I'd say that at the point referenced above, the idea would maintain being an acceptable religious belief but at that point would also become an unacceptable scientific belief.

Why is this, when it was actually a wacko idea all along?

Its would become wacko to the eyes of science but 'most poeple' could still respect it as a religious belief.

But my position has been that a falsified belief like a 6000 y/o Earth should NOT get a free pass.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Percy, posted 05-15-2008 1:32 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Percy, posted 05-15-2008 4:39 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 112 (466560)
05-15-2008 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Rahvin
05-15-2008 12:55 PM


You're basically saying we shouldn't challenge any belief no matter how utterly ridiculous if there is no evidence one way or the other.

If there's no evidence one way or the other, then how are you going to challenge the belief?

And of course you'd be perfectly happy putting our friend the schizophrenic into a mental institution for his voices, wouldn't you?

No, not perfectly happy :rolleyes:

Doesn't schizophrenia have testable symtoms though? People shouldn't be locked up for simply believing something.

Doesn't that mean you'd support "challenging his belief?" Or should we stop medicating all schizophrenics?

I'm certainly not going to advocate medicating people because they are religious...

There's a difference between being schizophrenic and believing something that is not falsifyable.

And what about the invisible unicorn? Do you believe that the unicorn is next to you, or do you challenge it by saying "maybe, but probably not?"

I don't have any reason to believe in the IPU though.

Nearly all beliefs we could identify as completely delusional are simply unfalsifiable fantasies.

But not all unfalsifyable beliefs are completely delusional.

I wouldn't challenge any of those positions because I cannot falsify them. It would be a fruitless effort.

Ah, apathy. How wonderful. "It won't make a difference, so I won't try."

Yeah, a free pass, if you will.

Would you tell your child that Santa doesn't exist? Would you tell your child that fairies aren't real?

Or do you give such positions a "free pass," as well? After all, they're unfalsifiable, with no evidence either way.

I don't have any reasons for believing in Santa or fairies like I do for believing in my soul. So they're not the same thing and I can be consistent in giving one a free pass but not the others.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Rahvin, posted 05-15-2008 12:55 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Rahvin, posted 05-15-2008 3:41 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 40 of 112 (466567)
05-15-2008 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by New Cat's Eye
05-15-2008 3:04 PM


quote:
You're basically saying we shouldn't challenge any belief no matter how utterly ridiculous if there is no evidence one way or the other.

If there's no evidence one way or the other, then how are you going to challenge the belief?

By saying "What's your evidence? If you don't have any, I won't believe you. And I'll think you're a fucking loon for believing in an invisible pink unicorn."

quote:
And of course you'd be perfectly happy putting our friend the schizophrenic into a mental institution for his voices, wouldn't you?

No, not perfectly happy

Doesn't schizophrenia have testable symtoms though? People shouldn't be locked up for simply believing something.

quote:
A person experiencing schizophrenia may demonstrate symptoms such as disorganized thinking, auditory hallucinations, and delusions. In severe cases, the person may be largely mute, remain motionless in bizarre postures, or exhibit purposeless agitation; these are signs of catatonia. The current classification of psychoses holds that symptoms need to have been present for at least one month in a period of at least six months of disturbed functioning. A schizophrenia-like psychosis of shorter duration is termed a schizophreniform disorder.[4] No one sign is diagnostic of schizophrenia, and all can occur in other medical and psychiatric conditions.[4]

From the Wiki entry on Schizophrenia. Note that "auditory hallucinations and delusions" are typically unfalsifiable positions - if teh victim believes the voices are being beamed into his brain from aliens, there is no evidence for or against. He simply holds the belief without a rational reason - the very definition of a delusion, and one that applies equally to religious faith.

In schizophrenics, the delusional beliefs typically result in extremely odd behavior (as you'd expect if you're hearing voices that tell you to do things), and social withdrawal (as the voices tell you that everyone else is out to get you, nobody else believes you, etc).

What differentiates a schizophrenic's delusional beliefs from the utterly insane beliefs of many Christians, such as "speaking in tongues?"

Also, schizophrenics are not "locked up" unless they demonstrate the potential to harm themselves or others. Otherwise they are free to live like anyone else, including not taking their medication.

I can tell you from personal experience that a paranoid schizophrenic is one of the most frightening things on this Earth.

quote:
Doesn't that mean you'd support "challenging his belief?" Or should we stop medicating all schizophrenics?

I'm certainly not going to advocate medicating people because they are religious...

That wasn't the question. Should we not medicate schizophrenics because their delisions are unfalsifiable? We can't prove that aliens aren't beaming voices into their heads, can we? Should we or should we not challenge their beliefs? Note that not challenging their beliefs means allowing even dangerously psychotic individuals to roam the streets without help because we cannot falsify their delusions.

There's a difference between being schizophrenic and believing something that is not falsifyable.

And what is that difference, exactly? Be specific. And don't say "one is a mental disorder;" we know that, but the mental disorder is defined by some of the same things that appear prominently in religion: claiming to hear from or even have conversations with entities that may or may not exist, believing in things that do not objectively appear to be real, often withdrawing from society and associating only with those who share the same delusions, disorganized thinking and behavior...

Those certainly don't apply to all Christians, but watch Jesus Camp again and see how many symptoms of schizophrenia you see.

What's te difference between a schizophrenic and believing in unfalsifiable fairy-tales?

quote:
And what about the invisible unicorn? Do you believe that the unicorn is next to you, or do you challenge it by saying "maybe, but probably not?"

I don't have any reason to believe in the IPU though.

That wasn't the question. If I insist that the unicorn is next to you, do you challenge my belief by saying "I don't believe you," or do you say "well, I guess there could be?"

Hint: if you reply with the latter, you're saying "there could be" fairies, Santa, goblins, ghosts, dragons, gnomes, and that everyone's imaginary friends "could be" real.

quote:
Nearly all beliefs we could identify as completely delusional are simply unfalsifiable fantasies.

But not all unfalsifyable beliefs are completely delusional.

And what, specifically, differentiates the two? Specifically, what differentiates the unfalsifiable claims of Christianity from the unfalsifiable claims of an indivdual who believes he hears voices that tell him his dog is out to get him?

quote:
I wouldn't challenge any of those positions because I cannot falsify them. It would be a fruitless effort.

Ah, apathy. How wonderful. "It won't make a difference, so I won't try."


Yeah, a free pass, if you will.

And why do you give this free pass? Do you automatically respond "maybe" to any and all unfalsifiable claims? Really? I mean, it would make you consistent, but responding "maybe" to a child's claim that his invisible friend Johnny is real isn't exactly rational, is it?

quote:
Would you tell your child that Santa doesn't exist? Would you tell your child that fairies aren't real?

Or do you give such positions a "free pass," as well? After all, they're unfalsifiable, with no evidence either way.


I don't have any reasons for believing in Santa or fairies like I do for believing in my soul. So they're not the same thing and I can be consistent in giving one a free pass but not the others.

You have a reason for believing in your "soul?" What would that be? Do you "like" the idea, do you have a generic and non-specific emotional "feeling" that tells you you have a soul, or did you read about it in a book, or some combination?

Becasue none of those are any different from people who believe in fairies or invisible unicorns. Why do you give your favored belief the free pass, but don't believe in any other claims that have exactly the same amount of evidence?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 3:04 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19652
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 41 of 112 (466576)
05-15-2008 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by New Cat's Eye
05-15-2008 2:51 PM


I can see there's a definitional issue here concerning what constitutes a "free pass". I don't think this is an important issue that we need to get into, and it should be sufficient to say that for me, if you think someone is nuts for believing something ridiculous but say nothing, that's not a free pass. To me a free pass is when view as normal and rational someone with nutty beliefs. Whether you actually challenge the nuttiness overtly or not is beside the point.

The main point is that an inherently loony idea, like that prayer works, is loony no matter what the context. Someone prays to God for deliverance and most people thinks that's okay, but someone makes the same request to the Pink Unicorn and it's considered loony. Why is that, since it was a loony idea all along?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 2:51 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 5:14 PM Percy has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 112 (466582)
05-15-2008 5:14 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Percy
05-15-2008 4:39 PM


I can see there's a definitional issue here concerning what constitutes a "free pass".

Yeah, I've been using the one provided in the OP. But then, I guess I could be mistaken by what he meant by "challenging" a belief.

To me a free pass is when view as normal and rational someone with nutty beliefs.

Do you consider a belief to be nutty simply because it lacks empirical evidence?

I only consider them truly nutty, when they have been falsified yet someone still actually believes them.

The main point is that an inherently loony idea, like that prayer works, is loony no matter what the context. Someone prays to God for deliverance and most people thinks that's okay, but someone makes the same request to the Pink Unicorn and it's considered loony. Why is that, since it was a loony idea all along?

Because people are idiots....

I've already said that a falsified belief (like prayer working) should not get a free pass.

Things like believing in the soul can be rational, unless you assume that lacking empirical evidence = irrational. But I think that, itself, is irrational. You can't falsify the belief, so we will never know, how can you determine that its nutty? If its because you believe that it is nutty, without empirical evidence that it is, then your own belief has become nutty, itelf.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Percy, posted 05-15-2008 4:39 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2008 5:36 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 46 by Percy, posted 05-15-2008 7:54 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 85 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 43 of 112 (466587)
05-15-2008 5:36 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by New Cat's Eye
05-15-2008 5:14 PM


Nutty?
Do you consider a belief to be nutty simply because it lacks empirical evidence?

I only consider them truly nutty, when they have been falsified yet someone still actually believes them.

So you really don't think that someone who genuinely believes that an evil invisible unicorn (for which there is no empirical evidence either for or against due to it's magical and obviously invisible nature) whispers instructions to him and him alone that he must obey to save the planet from certain extinction, is nutty?

Not even if the unicorn in question is telling him he has to skateboard to the centre of the surface of the Earth. Naked.
????
Is this non-empirical unfalsifiable claim not nutty? Not even a little bit?

Your religious convictions aside - Is there any non-religious claim for which you have absoluetly no empirical evidence whatsoever but which you are reasonably certain of being true?

Do you effectively give religion a free pass yourself?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 5:14 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 6:07 PM Straggler has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 112 (466590)
05-15-2008 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Straggler
05-15-2008 5:36 PM


Re: Nutty?
So you really don't think that someone who genuinely believes that an evil invisible unicorn (for which there is no empirical evidence either for or against due to it's magical and obviously invisible nature) whispers instructions to him and him alone and that he must obey to save the planet from certain extinction, is nutty?

It depends on how they came to the belief. If they really did hear the Unicorn, then their belief could very well be rational. It would prolly still be wrong, but that doesn't make it automatically irrational.

If the IPU revealed herself to you in a convincing manner, you would believe in her too. Your belief wouldn't be nutty.

Not even if the unicorn in question is telling him he has to skateboard to the centre of the surface of the Earth. Naked.
????
Is this non-empirical unfalsifiable claim not nutty? Not even a little bit?

We're getting into a different meaning for "nuttyness".

Simply believing, willy-nilly, in things that cannot be falsified could be nutty. But if you have real reasons for believing in them, them being unfalsifiable doesn't make them automatically nutty.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2008 5:36 PM Straggler has responded

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 Message 45 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2008 6:28 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 85 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 45 of 112 (466595)
05-15-2008 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by New Cat's Eye
05-15-2008 6:07 PM


Re: Nutty?
I added this to my last post probably after you had read it. I would be interested in your response.

Straggler asks -

Your religious convictions aside - Is there any non-religious claim for which you have absoluetly no empirical evidence whatsoever but which you are reasonably certain of being true?

Do you effectively give religion a free pass yourself?

CS Writes

If the IPU revealed herself to you in a convincing manner, you would believe in her too. Your belief wouldn't be nutty.

Hmmmm. I cannot imagine a non-empirical and non-verifiable way in which the invisible unicorn could reveal itself convincingly. If I detected it and so did everyone else around me I might start to ask some interesting questions about reality. But if I and only I could hear the unicorn I would definitely think I had lost the plot.

Independent corroboration is the key to objective empirical evidence in this respect.

We're getting into a different meaning for "nuttyness".

But are we? I am not just saying this for the sake of debate. I honestly don't see the difference between this and many religious beliefs in terms of nuttiness!!!

Simply believing, willy-nilly, in things that cannot be falsified could be nutty. But if you have real reasons for believing in them, them being unfalsifiable doesn't make them automatically nutty.

Reasons? What reasons?

Our friend who skateboards naked with his invisible unicorn tormentor believes he has reasons!! He believes that he was put here to save the rest of humanity from the threatened destruction that the invisible unicorn threatens us with. He has felt that he was chosen for this higher purpose since birth. He has always known that he was special in this respect. Even before the invisible unicorn revealed his true calling in life he "knew".

At what point do the "reasons" for nuttiness merge with the nuttiness itself? In fact is it ever posible to distinguish between the two? Really distinguish between the two?


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 Message 44 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-15-2008 6:07 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
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