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Author Topic:   Probability of the existence of God
Stile
Member
Posts: 3945
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 166 of 219 (483457)
09-22-2008 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 165 by iano
09-22-2008 12:34 PM


Only Level 1
iano writes:

With respect, this last post of yours merely repeats a philosophy regarding evidence which demands, unsurprisingly, that it be empirical in nature.

Yes, I am merely repeating my stance. I have to repeat it because you refuse to acknowledge it.

I am not saying evidence must be empirical. I don't think I've even used the word so far. All I'm saying is that evidence needs to be able to convince ALL other rational people. If it doesn't convince ALL rational people, it's not evidence, someone's made a mistake. This doesn't require the evidence to be empirical, if you can find a way for non-empirical evidence to convince ALL rational people, then it's certainly good enough. Again, good luck with all that.

If your non-empirical evidence is useless in convincing other rational people... then it is useless in being called "evidence".

Something (the fact that I observed my thoughts turning to her at all times of the day - not the content of those thoughts) led me to conclude that this perhaps, was no run of the mill relationship. I concluded that this might turn out to be the woman for me - based partily on that fact.

If not evidence could you tell me what else this something is which led me to a conclusion?

It's not evidence, it's information. Lucky for you it seems to be turning out well, I hope it continues. I'm not trying to belittle the love between you and your wife, I'm just trying to say that there exists plenty of other people who are "not as lucky" as you. Even though they based their decisions on the same information you're basing yours on.

iano writes:

Stile writes:

Evidence supports something.
Evidence shows something.
Evidence demonstrates something.

..to me. That it doesn't to others means it's not empirical evidence.

No. The "...to me" means it's not evidence. The "...to me" isn't required if it's evidence.

Evidence shows or demonstrates something to ALL other rational people. If your information does not show or demonstrate something to ALL rational people, it's not evidence.

Forget the word games, iano, they are of no consequence. All the definition-dancing you can muster will never change the fact that we still have two different levels of information (whatever you'd like to call them).

Level 1 - Information that is convincing to oneself. This information is not necessarily convincing to ALL other rational people, or even to any of them.
For example: Your wife loves you.
For example: God exists.

Level 2 - Information that is convincing to oneself and is also convincing to ALL other rational people.
For example: GSR on an object meaning that object was close to a gun that was fired.
For example: A ball released in a vacuum on this planet will drop down.

You can call the two levels whatever you'd like. Most people call Level 2 "evidence" (but we no longer have to use that term, if you don't like it). Your claim that your God exists is confined to Level 1.

There is no stalemate.

"Iano says that God exists" is Level 1 information.
"Stile says that Toronto, Ontario exists" is Level 2 information.

Edited by Stile, : Formatting


This message is a reply to:
 Message 165 by iano, posted 09-22-2008 12:34 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 169 by iano, posted 09-23-2008 10:21 AM Stile has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 167 of 219 (483486)
09-22-2008 5:49 PM
Reply to: Message 162 by iano
09-22-2008 7:20 AM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
If by "evidence" you mean whatever convinces you personally then you may have a point.

However the term "evidence" is not conventionally or commonly used in this manner.

Thus by any reasonable or common definition what you have regarding God is not "evidence". By any common definition what you have is "belief".

It seems to be a feature of debating with theists, of the more sophisticated type such as yourself, for them to take commonly used terms and subtly redefine them to meet the requirements of their own argument.

Thus terms like "evidence", "good" etc. etc. are slightly altered to meet the requirements of the argument that they want to make rather than the commonly used or accepted meaning.

Why do you need your views on God to be considered as based upon "evidence" as opposed to "belief"? What difference does it make to you?

Non-empirical "evidence" can be used to support the veracity of any number of ridiculous assertions. These can be mutually exclusive and equally valid in subjective terms (e.g. Person1 "knows" that God exists and is the only God. Person2 "knows" that Vishnu exists and is one of multiple Gods). Thus such conclusions are logically and obviously worthless in terms of reliability and veracity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 162 by iano, posted 09-22-2008 7:20 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by iano, posted 09-23-2008 10:45 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 168 of 219 (483488)
09-22-2008 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 165 by iano
09-22-2008 12:34 PM


Re: Claims are not evidence
With respect, this last post of yours merely repeats a philosophy regarding evidence which demands, unsurprisingly, that it be empirical in nature. Rather than have me simply state the contrary, could you deal with this specific point

Non-empirical "evidence" can be mutually exclusive (i.e wholly contradictory) but equally valid. Thus it is worthless in terms of reliability or veracity.

Empirical evidence has an objective independently verifiable measure by which it can be validated or refuted. Two contradicting statments cannot both be equally true given sufficiant empirical evidence to decide between the two.

That is the key difference.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 165 by iano, posted 09-22-2008 12:34 PM iano has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 453 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 169 of 219 (483582)
09-23-2008 10:21 AM
Reply to: Message 166 by Stile
09-22-2008 1:18 PM


Re: Only Level 1
iano writes:

Something (the fact that I observed my thoughts turning to her at all times of the day - not the content of those thoughts) led me to conclude that this perhaps, was no run of the mill relationship. I concluded that this might turn out to be the woman for me - based partily on that fact.
If not evidence could you tell me what else this something is which led me to a conclusion?

Stile writes:

It's not evidence, it's information. Lucky for you it seems to be turning out well, I hope it continues. I'm not trying to belittle the love between you and your wife, I'm just trying to say that there exists plenty of other people who are "not as lucky" as you. Even though they based their decisions on the same information you're basing yours on.

Perhaps you'll take a third look at the example given. What I concluded at that time from the information I had at that time was this:

quote:
led me to conclude that this perhaps, was no run of the mill relationship.

The issue of luck or not has nothing to do with the conclusion arising from this evidence. Most rational people in similar circumstances would conclude the same kind of thing that I concluded. How things turn out subsequently is not the issue - nor is it being dealt with by the example given.

But if you're happy for it to be called information and not evidence then that's fine with me. We can now say that the reason I believe as I do is based on information - not on blindness. Just as we might be agreed that the reason I believed this relationship to be other than-run-of-the-mill was based on information and not on blindness.

There is no stalemate.

There is no blindness. Perhaps "blind faith" need be re-defined as "belief based on non-empirical information". With your agreement we can leave it there and I'll use that definition in future.

Thanks for the assistance in thrashing it out. :)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by Stile, posted 09-22-2008 1:18 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 171 by Stile, posted 09-23-2008 11:48 AM iano has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 453 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 170 of 219 (483587)
09-23-2008 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 167 by Straggler
09-22-2008 5:49 PM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
Straggler writes:

Thus by any reasonable or common definition what you have regarding God is not "evidence". By any common definition what you have is "belief".

It might be that the post above to Stile will clear things up. The conclusion would be this

quote:
There is no blindness. Perhaps "blind faith" need be re-defined as "belief based on non-empirical information". With your agreement we can leave it there and I'll use that definition in future.

Contrary to what you say above a belief is a conclusion arrived at. How one arrives at a conclusion can either be through evidence or information.

I'm not quite sure how a person could believe something without evidence or information undergirding that belief.

It seems to be a feature of debating with theists, of the more sophisticated type such as yourself, for them to take commonly used terms and subtly redefine them to meet the requirements of their own argument.

It weren't me guv'nor, it were the Bible wot talks about faith = evidence of things not seen. Semantically the word 'evidence' has changed to 'information' but nothing of substance has altered. Belief on account of non-empirical information supporting that belief.

It's not so much an argument as a description of the rational behind Christian belief. How could rational, logical people ever be expected "to come to faith" if they thought they had to believe in something for which they had no evid....information.

Why do you need your views on God to be considered as based upon "evidence" as opposed to "belief"? What difference does it make to you?

It doesn't matter a whole lot to me to be honest. I've been accused of far worse that being the victim of blind faith.

What difference would it make to you - that there is no expectation from God that you believe in his existance without a level information that would satisfy you as to his existance? Leave aside second guessing as to what and how that information could be delivered. Leave aside too demands as to the what and how and suppose for a moment that God is in a position to provide sufficient.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by Straggler, posted 09-22-2008 5:49 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by Straggler, posted 09-23-2008 1:03 PM iano has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3945
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 171 of 219 (483596)
09-23-2008 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 169 by iano
09-23-2008 10:21 AM


Wow, excellent.
iano writes:

Thanks for the assistance in thrashing it out.

No problem.

This was my only point the entire thread:

Stile writes:

Level 1 - Information that is convincing to oneself. This information is not necessarily convincing to ALL other rational people, or even to any of them.
For example: Your wife loves you.
For example: God exists.

Level 2 - Information that is convincing to oneself and is also convincing to ALL other rational people.
For example: GSR on an object meaning that object was close to a gun that was fired.
For example: A ball released in a vacuum on this planet will drop down.

iano writes:

There is no blindness. Perhaps "blind faith" need be re-defined as "belief based on non-empirical information". With your agreement we can leave it there and I'll use that definition in future.

That's a great idea, you've removed a bit of confusion there. You can remove all confusion, though, and re-define it as "belief based on non-verifiable information". Which is exactly what Level 1 information is. That's why other people aren't always convinced by it, because it's unverifiable.

The veracity of Level 1 information is not necessarily false, although the majority of information there does turn out to be false, like all delusions and illusions which are also included in Level 1. It's just that we have ways of verifying information (and moving it into Level 2) that are unavailable/unapplicable to information in Level 1.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by iano, posted 09-23-2008 10:21 AM iano has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 172 of 219 (483603)
09-23-2008 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 170 by iano
09-23-2008 10:45 AM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
Contrary to what you say above a belief is a conclusion arrived at. How one arrives at a conclusion can either be through evidence or information.

I remain wholly unconvinced. If evidence is what allows us to distinguish between truth and falsehood then your argument just does not hold up to scrutiny.

The distinction between non-empirical "evidence" (or non empirical "information") and belief itself seems very blurry to the point of non-existent. Where does this non-empirical evidence/information end and the resulting belief begin?

If for example you believe that God exists based on the evidence/information that you have a personal relationship with God then is that not a belief based on another belief?

If the conclusions are subjective only and the "evidence" on which these conclusions are based is itself subjective only then how can you distinguish between the belief and the evidence for that belief in terms of veracity or reliability? Obviously you cannot.

Are you not just building castles made of sand. One belief stacked on top of another in a spiraling tower of self justification?

Contrary to what you say above a belief is a conclusion arrived at. How one arrives at a conclusion can either be through evidence or information.

But if the information or evidence are themselves subjective then how exactly are they any different or distinguishable from beliefs?

I'm not quite sure how a person could believe something without evidence or information undergirding that belief.

Well let’s try it. Give us an example of a belief for which you have specific subjective "evidence" or "information". Give an example of the belief and the evidence and then let us consider whether or not this "information" or "evidence" is itself distinguishable from belief in any way at all.

Depending on the example given it is my expectation that you will either have a root belief upon which all others are based, a circular set of self justifying beliefs, some sort of reference to pseudo-empirical evidence (such as the bible) or a foundation that is genuinely empirical and not relevant to any discussion regarding theistic beliefs.

It's not so much an argument as a description of the rational behind Christian belief. How could rational, logical people ever be expected "to come to faith" if they thought they had to believe in something for which they had no evid....information.

Apparently by convincing themselves that one belief is evidence for another..................?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by iano, posted 09-23-2008 10:45 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 173 by iano, posted 09-24-2008 6:37 PM Straggler has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 453 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 173 of 219 (483898)
09-24-2008 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 172 by Straggler
09-23-2008 1:03 PM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
iano writes:

Contrary to what you say above a belief is a conclusion arrived at. How one arrives at a conclusion can either be through evidence or information.

Straggler writes:

I remain wholly unconvinced.

I can't for the life of me think why. Think of any area where you use the word belief and you'll find that evidence/information undergirds it. Sure, you can frequently misuse the word "belief" as do some the word weight ("I weigh 78kg") when in fact they mean mass. That's not beliefs fault though:

I believe my brakes will stop me. Why? Evidence/information that that is what brakes do.

I believed my fiance to potentially come to occupy the position of fiance. Why? Based partily on the evidence/information of my thoughts turning frequently to her.

I believe the world is round. Why? The photos indicate so.

Your argument shouldn't be with the word belief - belief is evidence/information based. Your argument should be with something else. That non-empirical evidence/information shouldn't lead to belief perhaps (in which case I point you to the middle example)

-

If evidence is what allows us to distinguish between truth and falsehood then your argument just does not hold up to scrutiny.

The distinction between non-empirical "evidence" (or non empirical "information") and belief itself seems very blurry to the point of non-existent. Where does this non-empirical evidence/information end and the resulting belief begin?

If for example you believe that God exists based on the evidence/information that you have a personal relationship with God then is that not a belief based on another belief?

Much of the above is predicated on belief being as you say. Which I hold it is not. People believe things because of something else. Belief is to evidence/information as death is to gunshot. Effect/cause

I believe God exists because of evidence, henceforth called information

-

If the conclusions are subjective only and the "evidence" on which these conclusions are based is itself subjective only then how can you distinguish between the belief and the evidence for that belief in terms of veracity or reliability? Obviously you cannot.

Such arguments don't convince me that I should suppose myself a brain in a jar. So why should I suppose what you would have me suppose?

-

Are you not just building castles made of sand. One belief stacked on top of another in a spiraling tower of self justification?

In a word? No.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by Straggler, posted 09-23-2008 1:03 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 174 by Straggler, posted 09-24-2008 7:05 PM iano has responded
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Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 174 of 219 (483906)
09-24-2008 7:05 PM
Reply to: Message 173 by iano
09-24-2008 6:37 PM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
Are you not just building castles made of sand. One belief stacked on top of another in a spiraling tower of self justification?

In a word? No.

Well so you claim but, yet again your argument does not hold up to scrutiny.

I believe my brakes will stop me. Why? Evidence/information that that is what brakes do.

Yes. Empirical, independently verifiable physically observable evidence. A "belief" based on genuine evidence. In fact in this particular case "belief" so established that it is "knowledge" by any common definition of the term.

Your argument shouldn't be with the word belief - belief is evidence/information based. Your argument should be with something else. That non-empirical evidence/information shouldn't lead to belief perhaps

Non-empirical evidence is itself just a euphamism, or alternative self justifying phrase for belief. In the particular case of theistic beliefs what you have are beliefs stacked on top of beliefs. The term "evidence" is just unwarranted if evidence has anything whatsoever to do with reliably differentiating between truth and falsehood. If that is not the purpose of evidence then what is?

Re-interpreting common terms to fit theistic arguments is becoming an all too common debating tactic.

Which I hold it is not. People believe things because of something else. Belief is to evidence/information as death is to gunshot. Effect/cause

Then as previously requested give us a specific example of non-empirical evidence/information and the belief that you derive from this. Given that this discussion is ultimately about theistic belief and given that you are an avowed theist a thesitic example would be most obviously relevant.

Give us an example of your non-empirical evidence and you belief derived from this "evidence" and let us see if there is anything to differentiate the two

Such arguments don't convince me that I should suppose myself a brain in a jar. So why should I suppose what you would have me suppose?

If you want to go down the 'brain in a jar' route again then I am more than prepared to do so. Frankly that whole argument smacks of desperation with regard to the idea of non-empirical "evidence" having any worth at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by iano, posted 09-24-2008 6:37 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 175 by iano, posted 09-24-2008 7:16 PM Straggler has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 453 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 175 of 219 (483908)
09-24-2008 7:16 PM
Reply to: Message 174 by Straggler
09-24-2008 7:05 PM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
Could you include an answer to this piece of my last post? It would help complete your argument.

iano writes:

Your argument shouldn't be with the word belief - belief is evidence/information based. Your argument should be with something else. That non-empirical evidence/information shouldn't lead to belief perhaps (in which case I point you to the middle example)

Scan back for the middle example.

Night.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 174 by Straggler, posted 09-24-2008 7:05 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 176 by Straggler, posted 09-24-2008 7:31 PM iano has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 176 of 219 (483911)
09-24-2008 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 175 by iano
09-24-2008 7:16 PM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
I ask
Give us an example of your non-empirical evidence and you belief derived from this "evidence" and let us see if there is anything to differentiate the two

You give

I believed my fiance to potentially come to occupy the position of fiance. Why? Based partily on the evidence/information of my thoughts turning frequently to her.

I have said previously

Depending on the example given it is my expectation that you will either have a root belief upon which all others are based, a circular set of self justifying beliefs, some sort of reference to pseudo-empirical evidence (such as the bible) or a foundation that is genuinely empirical and not relevant to any discussion regarding theistic beliefs.

First point: Your reluctance to consider a theistic example aptly demonstrates your own lack of faith in such an example to stand up to such scrutiny.

Second point: "Based partially" what does that mean? Does it mean that, as predicted, your feelings regarding your 'wife to be' are at root empirically derived? Also if you insist on using this example could you be more explicit as to what the non-empirical evidence is exactly and what specifically the conclusions derived from this "evidence" is.

Based partily on the evidence/information of my thoughts turning frequently to her

If I think often of Galadriel (Lord of the Rings elven queen) does that mean I have feelings for her? Does it make her real? Does it mean I want to marry her? How does your evidence specifically relate to your fiance in a way that could not be applied to a wholly fictional character?

Straggler writes

Then as previously requested give us a specific example of non-empirical evidence/information and the belief that you derive from this. Given that this discussion is ultimately about theistic belief and given that you are an avowed theist a thesitic example would be most obviously relevant.

Why are you so afraid to do this? We can continue discussing your fiance if you so wish but really would a more relevant specifically theistic example not better exemplify your points?

Or is it obvious, even to you, that your theistic beliefs are based on not evidence but yet more beliefs? One unjustifiable belief piled on top of another........

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by iano, posted 09-24-2008 7:16 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 177 by iano, posted 09-25-2008 5:44 AM Straggler has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 453 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 177 of 219 (483941)
09-25-2008 5:44 AM
Reply to: Message 176 by Straggler
09-24-2008 7:31 PM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
Straggler writes:

First point: Your reluctance to consider a theistic example aptly demonstrates your own lack of faith in such an example to stand up to such scrutiny.

There is another logical conclusion that can be drawn:

It is not possible to present a "theistic example" for the simple reason that a person with no experience of God wouldn't/couldn't get it. Whereas a person could be expected to get the example of my wife-to-be.

Clearly, a person with absolutely no experience of "thoughts turning to a person with whom they were having a relationship" wouldn't get the example of my girlfriend either - indicating the inescapable requirement that any example speak into the experience of the person I'm talking to.

Back to the point: the principle of non-empirical information being a valid basis on which to conclude things / arrive at a belief is a established by the example given. The belief can't be said to be blind - in the commonly used sense of that phrase. Nor can belief in God be said to be blind. You've no access to the information I possess rendering such a statement of yours a blind one. It's a question of innocent until proven guilty I think.

Second point: "Based partially" what does that mean? Does it mean that, as predicted, your feelings regarding your 'wife to be' are at root empirically derived? Also if you insist on using this example could you be more explicit as to what the non-empirical evidence is exactly and what specifically the conclusions derived from this "evidence" is.

As already mentioned, the non-empirical information involved my observing my thoughts frequently turning in her direction. Just the fact of their turning - not the content thereof. The conclusion drawn what that this relationship appeared to be taking on a significance hitertoe not experienced. It is but one piece in the overall puzzle. Of course there were other empirical elements involved but this is an example of a non-empirical element.

If I think often of Galadriel (Lord of the Rings elven queen) does that mean I have feelings for her? Does it make her real? Does it mean I want to marry her? How does your evidence specifically relate to your fiance in a way that could not be applied to a wholly fictional character?

Whether or not the character is fictional or not is irrelevant to the point being made. Galadriel is significant to you on the same basis that my fiance is to me: both our thoughts turn in these womens direction. The significance might take different forms but that's an aside to the fact of there being significance. We both conclude from the evidence of our thoughts turning.

If you find your thoughts turning very frequently to her but reckon there is no more signifance at all then I'd find that very strange.

There is a very narrow point being made by me Straggler. It is that my belief is not blind - it is based on information. And that's all. Once the principle (that non-empirical information is an acceptable way to arrive at a conclusion) is established, the point has been made.

Why are you so afraid to do this? We can continue discussing your fiance if you so wish but really would a more relevant specifically theistic example not better exemplify your points?

The point is established by this example alone. The purpose is to stalemate those who would suppose faith necessarily blind.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 176 by Straggler, posted 09-24-2008 7:31 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8930
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 178 of 219 (483957)
09-25-2008 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 177 by iano
09-25-2008 5:44 AM


NEE? Non emperical evidence
I asked awhile ago for your definition of NEE (and EE for that matter) but see nothing.

In your example of the girlfriend I see some empirical evidence: for one thing I (and any others ) can confirm the existence of the g/f. We are also able to measure physiological changes associated with love. Some form of these measurements can be made with animals and compared with the human reaction (removing some of the subjectivity).

This is not non-empirical in my view but I don't have your definition.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by iano, posted 09-25-2008 5:44 AM iano has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 179 of 219 (483959)
09-25-2008 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 177 by iano
09-25-2008 5:44 AM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
Iano writes:

It is not possible to present a "theistic example" for the simple reason that a person with no experience of God wouldn't/couldn't get it. Whereas a person could be expected to get the example of my wife-to-be.

I still think this is a method of evading discussing non-empirical "evidence" in relation to the existence or otherwise of God (which has been the context in which you have declared non-empirical "evidence" to be valid in the past and is kind of key to the whole EvC dabate) but nevertheless..............

In so far as it goes I will accept this for now.

Straggler writes:

Depending on the example given it is my expectation that you will either have a root belief upon which all others are based, a circular set of self justifying beliefs, some sort of reference to pseudo-empirical evidence (such as the bible) or a foundation that is genuinely empirical and not relevant to any discussion regarding theistic beliefs.

The example of your wife to be would seem to be of the second variety predicted. Namely circular.

Iano writes:

As already mentioned, the non-empirical information involved my observing my thoughts frequently turning in her direction. Just the fact of their turning - not the content thereof. The conclusion drawn what that this relationship appeared to be taking on a significance hitertoe not experienced.

Are your persistent thoughts for her evidence for you thinking that you might have a significant relationship? Or are your thoughts of a significant relationship evidence for you having thought a great deal about her? It is just a merry-go-round of subjective reasoning.

Neither one is evidence of the other. Both are subjectively equivalent. The bottom line is that you like the girl and want to marry her. And good luck to you both. But lets not pretend that this is a decision based on anything other than the standard basis of human empirical experience and the subjective preferences upon which we make all such decisions.

To present subjective thoughts, feelings or personal preferences as a means by which to reliably differentiate between truth and falsehood is obviously flawed. Your preferences are not a form of evidence by any reasonable standard of the term. In fact at best they are what we use in the absence of any evidence.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by iano, posted 09-25-2008 5:44 AM iano has not yet responded

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 44 days)
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 180 of 219 (483963)
09-25-2008 10:09 AM
Reply to: Message 177 by iano
09-25-2008 5:44 AM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
It is not possible to present a "theistic example" for the simple reason that a person with no experience of God wouldn't/couldn't get it.

Well congratulations, you've just talked yourself out of the evidence game entirely. Evidence for God that can only be perceived by those who already believe in him is valueless in any discussion other than ones that you might have inside your head.

When people talk about evidence for God, they mean something that can be brought to the table for discussion. What you have done is equivalent to saying "I have the evidence here in this box, but I'm not going to show it to you.".

Mutate and Survive


"The Bible is like a person, and if you torture it long enough, you can get it to say almost anything you'd like it to say." -- Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade

This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by iano, posted 09-25-2008 5:44 AM iano has not yet responded

  
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