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Author Topic:   Peanut Gallery
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 72 of 1725 (506902)
04-30-2009 9:24 AM


Jaderis in Eternal LIfe
In Modulous' thread about eternal life, Jaderis made a good comment here:
Jaderis writes:
Why would God advise against our own understanding if that is what he has given us?
I have been trying to explain exactly this to my family and other people in my church for a very long time, and it's just nice to hear it coming from somebody else.
Of course, how can you use that logic to explain yourself to somebody when that logic is the very thing that the people you want to explain it to think you shouldn't trust?
Religious thinking gives me such a headache: I think, secretly, that's the reason most religious people believe thinking should be avoided.

-Bluejay/Mantis/Thylacosmilus
Darwin loves you.

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 92 of 1725 (514682)
07-10-2009 5:24 PM


Bluejay is a Muslim!
The way I remember it, I thought I grew up a Mormon.
Yet, lately, Traste has proposed a new hypothesis to explain my belief system: Bluejay is a Muslim who believes in Intelligent Design! (Source: Post #380 in Transition from chemistry to biology).
And, his hypothesis might actually have some merit. Look at his evidence:
He read Why is the Intelligent Designer so inept?. In Message #3 of that thread, I clearly state that I believe in a naturalistic Intelligent Designer, one that uses evolution to "design." Throughout the thread, I present my beliefs as tentative speculation.
In the same thread, the fact that I am a Mormon is mentioned several times (e.g., Messages #5, #7 and #343).
Sounds like a foolproof hypothesis to me. I think Traste should submit it for publication in the Journal of Bluejayology (impact factor: 1.3E-42): they've been looking for a new hypothesis to reinvigorate the field.
Edited by Bluejay, : Apparently, I've lost my link-to-individual-posts privileges.
Edited by Bluejay, : More individual posts linked.
Edited by Bluejay, : Indents, and important preposition added.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

Replies to this message:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 129 of 1725 (517152)
07-29-2009 11:55 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by Rahvin
07-29-2009 1:05 PM


Re: RevCrossHugger
Hi, Rahvin.
Rahvin writes:
Whole thing was driven off-course when he started appealing to the authority of his allegedly-fictitious Theology degree, as if that would even help his argument.
Wait, his degree is allegedly fictitious?
Why would he allege a fictitious degree?

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 125 by Rahvin, posted 07-29-2009 1:05 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by Rahvin, posted 07-30-2009 2:50 AM Blue Jay has seen this message but not replied
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 184 of 1725 (534984)
11-12-2009 9:26 AM
Reply to: Message 182 by Percy
11-12-2009 9:17 AM


Re: Kaichos Man in the Information Thread
Hi, Percy.
Percy writes:
One comment from a friend I had lunch with yesterday: "It sounds like he can maintain understanding of only a single sentence at a time."
So, do you think we'd be more successful with short messages taking a strategic, one-step-at-a-time approach?
Maybe that makes it Great Debate material?

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 182 by Percy, posted 11-12-2009 9:17 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 185 by Percy, posted 11-12-2009 9:45 AM Blue Jay has not replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 188 of 1725 (535005)
11-12-2009 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 186 by PaulK
11-12-2009 10:06 AM


Re: Kaichos Man in the Information Thread
Hi, PaulK.
PaulK writes:
On the other hand, consider EMA's current behaviour on The Psychology Behind the Belief in Heaven and Hell, where not only is he obviously misreading the Bible (to the point where it looks as if he is deliberately ignoring the text) his posts are littered with disparaging comments directed at anyone who disagrees.
Tells you mountains about the psychology behind religious belief, doesn't it?
For another example, read my posts on the Book of Mormon thread before Iano arrived to calm things down. Fundamentalist beliefs make people into nutcases and provide a strong counter to the normal, healthy process of cognitive dissonance.
Like Percy said, misunderstanding like that takes lots of practice to perfect.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 186 by PaulK, posted 11-12-2009 10:06 AM PaulK has not replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 242 of 1725 (572740)
08-07-2010 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 240 by onifre
08-06-2010 4:51 PM


Re: RAZD and Bluegenes - Peanut Gallery
Hi, Onifre.
onifre writes:
I'm waiting for RAZD's giant banners and flashing light displays when his argument fails and he has to resort to glamourous attractions to keep us interested.
So that stuff really works for you, eh?
I like bright colors, but not on my reading material. I definitely think a simpler approach would be better.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 240 by onifre, posted 08-06-2010 4:51 PM onifre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 243 by Coyote, posted 08-07-2010 11:29 AM Blue Jay has not replied
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 264 of 1725 (574185)
08-14-2010 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 260 by xongsmith
08-14-2010 12:32 PM


Re: he aint heavy, he's my brother
Hi, Xongsmith.
I generally think Bluegenes has taken a good, logical approach to his debate with RAZD, but, like you, I think he's made just one blunder that may undermine his entire argument, and it's the same one that you brought up.
Basically, how would one demonstrate that any certain being both exists and is supernatural, or has supernatural abilities?
For instance, I can provide very strong evidence that Guan Yu existed. Guan Yu is worshiped as a deity in Chinese traditional religion, and believed to have aided many Chinese generals to victory through his post-mortal influence on the battlefield.
Does this satisfy Bluegenes’ requirements for demonstrating the existence of a supernatural being?
Well, no, of course not, because, even if I could demonstrate that Guan Yu did help the Ming emperor win the Battle of Lake Poyang, I would still have to demonstrate that it was actually supernatural.
But, I submit that such a demonstration is not possible with any reasonable degree of confidence. Thus, I don’t think Bluegenes’ theory is falsifiable.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 260 by xongsmith, posted 08-14-2010 12:32 PM xongsmith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 316 by crashfrog, posted 08-18-2010 3:23 PM Blue Jay has seen this message but not replied
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 286 of 1725 (574602)
08-16-2010 8:20 PM
Reply to: Message 273 by Straggler
08-16-2010 1:40 PM


Re: RAZD and Bluegenes - Peanut Gallery
Hi, Straggler.
I replied upthread to Xongsmith on this topic (Message 264), but, by dint of its being a reply to Xongsmith, it seems to have been ignored by the people I actually wanted to see it.
Anyway, I agree that RAZD is losing the debate with Bluegenes. But, I don’t think it’s because he’s wrong: I think it’s because his raz-otechnic sermons are not getting the message across.
I think there is a fatal flaw in Bluegenes’ theory, and I think Xongsmith has caught on to it, but I’m honestly not satisfied with Xongsmith’s presentation of it, so I will step in to offer my own.
Here is Bluegenes’ original statement:
bluegenes writes:
"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".
This is a high level of confidence theory. The human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings, just as adult rabbits are the only known source of baby rabbits.
It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.
Bluegenes is treating this argument as if this falsification condition has only one criterion: (1) existence of a given entity.
But, in fact, there are actually two criteria there: (1) the origin of the entity; (2) the demonstration of a given attribute of the entity. Thus, Bluegenes is asking RAZD to demonstrate two things.
In the case of all rabbits come from rabbits, Bluegenes is asking RAZD to demonstrate that (1) a given rabbit came from something other than a rabbit, and that (2) the rabbit is indeed a rabbit.
In the case of all supernatural beings come from human imagination, Bluegenes is asking RAZD to demonstrate that (1) a given supernatural being came from something other than human imagination, and that (2) the being is indeed supernatural.
Criterion 1 for the rabbit theory is identical to criterion 1 for the supernatural theory.
Criterion 2, however, is not identical. I submit that, while it is possible to assign a level of confidence to the conclusion that some animal is a rabbit, it is not possible to assign a level of confidence to the conclusion that some being is supernatural.
The hypothesis X is a rabbit can be tested against the hypothesis X is not a rabbit using many known statistic and logical methodologies.
The hypothesis X is supernatural cannot be tested using those same statistical and logical methodologies. So, instead, one tests an alternative, naturalistic hypothesis, such as X is Y, against the hypothesis X is not Y.
One can assign confidence to the hypothesis X is Y, or to the hypothesis X is not Y, but, since X is not Y is not the logical equivalent of X is supernatural (that would be affirming the consequent), no confidence can be assigned to the conclusion that X is supernatural at all.
Thus, the tests for criterion 2 is these two theories are not the same, and the two theories are not parallel, as Bluegenes has argued that they are.
Furthermore, Bluegenes’ theory is not strictly falsifiable, because the criterion for falsification cannot be entered into a statistical or logical test.
That said, the only time this objection is meaningful is when we can demonstrate the existence of a being for which the answer to the question, is it supernatural? is at least ambiguous. I’ll admit that I cannot demonstrate the existence of a being for which the answer is ambiguous, so my objection here is only one of academic principle.
But, I happen to feel that principles are important.
Edited by Bluejay, : "mid" codes can't have a space after the "=" sign.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 273 by Straggler, posted 08-16-2010 1:40 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 287 by Straggler, posted 08-16-2010 8:32 PM Blue Jay has replied
 Message 288 by nwr, posted 08-16-2010 9:27 PM Blue Jay has not replied
 Message 289 by xongsmith, posted 08-16-2010 11:49 PM Blue Jay has not replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 293 of 1725 (574674)
08-17-2010 8:34 AM
Reply to: Message 287 by Straggler
08-16-2010 8:32 PM


Re: RAZD and Bluegenes - Peanut Gallery
Hi, Straggler.
Straggler writes:
If we found a man who it could be confirmed was born from a virgin, whose DNA reflected this rather bizzarre happenstance and who seemed to be unbounded by the laws of nature in terms of the things he could do - Do you think that this dude would qualify as "supernatural"?
Have you ever watched Star Trek?
How many aliens that "seemed to be unbounded by the laws of nature" turned out to have perfectly rational explanations?
Being convinced by such a show would not be a rational or logical conclusion: it would be an emotional conclusion.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 287 by Straggler, posted 08-16-2010 8:32 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 294 by Huntard, posted 08-17-2010 8:58 AM Blue Jay has not replied
 Message 295 by Straggler, posted 08-17-2010 9:20 AM Blue Jay has replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 296 of 1725 (574695)
08-17-2010 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 295 by Straggler
08-17-2010 9:20 AM


Re: RAZD and Bluegenes - Peanut Gallery
Hi, Straggler.
Straggler writes:
We agree that there is a difference between genuinely supernatural feats and advanced technology — Yes?
Yes, we agree here.
-----
Straggler writes:
If this dude turned up I would say that bluegenes theory was in rather serious trouble.
Wouldn't you?
The principle espoused by this argument is that current knowledge can be used as a surrogate for absolute knowledge.
If we are reasoning with this principle, then how do we avoid reasoning that all things we cannot currently explain by science are supernatural?

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 295 by Straggler, posted 08-17-2010 9:20 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 297 by Straggler, posted 08-17-2010 10:46 AM Blue Jay has replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 308 of 1725 (574906)
08-18-2010 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 297 by Straggler
08-17-2010 10:46 AM


Re: RAZD and Bluegenes - Peanut Gallery
Hi, Straggler.
Straggler writes:
Bluejay writes:
The principle espoused by this argument is that current knowledge can be used as a surrogate for absolute knowledge.
No. I don't know what principle you are applying.
...If the religious methods of knowing which I have treated with such scorn turn out to be able to demonstrate themselves as reliable...
You’re stuck on empirical demonstration of the supernatural validating religious methodology. But, this debate is not about religious methodology: it’s possible for RAZD to demonstrate the existence of one supernatural being without validating any religious methodology (e.g., a supernatural being that nobody believes in).
Thus, your argument is a non sequitur. There's no reason that religious methods of "knowing" even have to be discussed in this debate.
Assuming that current knowledge is a surrogate for absolute knowledge is a perfectly normal part of scientific reasoning, and it plays a useful role in the development of theories.
But, in this case, supernaturalism cannot be tested directly. You can’t gather evidence that distinguishes between the conclusions, it’s supernatural and we don’t know how it works.
So, if we saw a supernatural occurrence, and concluded that it was indeed supernatural, we cannot have any idea how well our conclusion, based on current knowledge, would serve as a surrogate for absolute knowledge.
Thus, the concept of confidence cannot be applied to any theory that explicitly deals with the supernatural. So, all theories about the supernatural are little more than speculation.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 297 by Straggler, posted 08-17-2010 10:46 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 310 by Dr Jack, posted 08-18-2010 11:36 AM Blue Jay has seen this message but not replied
 Message 311 by Straggler, posted 08-18-2010 12:20 PM Blue Jay has replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 309 of 1725 (574909)
08-18-2010 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 304 by Huntard
08-18-2010 4:33 AM


Re: RAZD and Bluegenes - Peanut Gallery
Hi, Huntard.
Huntard writes:
So, really, this entire thing is based on whether a word was used correctly or not...
I find it hard to believe that you really think qualifying as a scientific theory is just an issue of word usage.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 304 by Huntard, posted 08-18-2010 4:33 AM Huntard has not replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 341 of 1725 (575163)
08-19-2010 12:58 AM
Reply to: Message 311 by Straggler
08-18-2010 12:20 PM


Re: RAZD and Bluegenes - Peanut Gallery
Hi, Straggler.
Straggler writes:
But if you consider the second coming of Christ to be insufficient evidence upon which atheists should at least question their position...
I didn’t say this.
What I said was that this is not what RAZD and Bluegenes are debating about.
-----
Straggler writes:
...I am intrigued as to what your own theistic beliefs are based on? It must be exceptionally compelling.
You should know me well enough by now to know that my theistic beliefs are based on childhood indoctrination and chronic indecisiveness. I don’t think I’ve been particularly cryptic about this.
-----
Straggler writes:
A miraculously conceived Christ dude with DNA to match goes round raising the dead, healing the incurable and generally being as verifiably miraculous and divine as one could hope for and you want to proclaim this as a victory for naturalism on the basis that the dude in question is obviously an alien rather than anything that could possibly be described as supernatural.
I didn’t say this either.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 311 by Straggler, posted 08-18-2010 12:20 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 349 by Straggler, posted 08-19-2010 8:39 AM Blue Jay has replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(2)
Message 351 of 1725 (575298)
08-19-2010 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 349 by Straggler
08-19-2010 8:39 AM


Re: RAZD and Bluegenes - Peanut Gallery
Hi, Straggler.
Straggler writes:
In the unlikely event of being faced with what appears to all practical intents and purposes to be the second coming of Christ I, as an atheist, would feel it necessary to re-evaluate my position on the validity of the religious methods of knowing that had predicted this event.
This is the most frustrating discussion I have ever tried to engage in. At least, when it’s ICANT, I can pretend that it’s because he’s too ignorant or senile to figure it out. I have no idea what I’m supposed to pretend in your case, because I have gathered enough evidence from my time here to conclude that Straggler is not this stupid.
Your example of Jesus’s Second Coming is, at best, tangential to the topic. Bluegenes has not asked RAZD to validate religious methods of knowing things or religious prophecies, nor would RAZD’s successful defense of his position necessarily validate religious methods or prophecies.
I say again: Bluegenes has asked RAZD to demonstrate that belief in at least some supernatural beings is based on a foundation of empirical evidence and/or rational principles.
-----
Straggler writes:
Are you saying that nothing short of proof (which we probably both agree is impossible) will satisfy you that bluegenes theory has been falsified? If so why this sudden demand that we have to disprove things when science makes no claims to either prove or disprove anything?
I have already explained why I think the supernatural hypothesis is different from others. Twice, in fact. I’ll write it again a third time, using smaller words, but if you still don’t get it, I’ll just ignore your responses.
The concept of confidence in statistics and science refers to the likelihood that rejecting the null hypothesis in favor of an alternative hypothesis is accurate. Thus, an investigator can have confidence that the alternative hypothesis explains the data better than the null hypothesis, or confidence that the alternative hypothesis does not explain the data better than the null hypothesis.
Note that there is no option of having confidence that the null hypothesis is correct, or even that the null hypothesis is likely to be correct. There is no possibility of measuring the veracity of the null hypothesis at all.
In statistical tests, supernaturalism can only be entered as the null hypothesis. If you believe otherwise, present a series of tests to which you could subject Jesus that would yield positive evidence for supernaturalism. In doing so, you should notice that all evidence you gather takes the basic form of, I can’t explain this using natural law X, or natural law X fails to prevent this, as it should.
What that means is that you are concluding supernaturalism on the basis of rejecting alternative hypotheses. That means you are treating supernaturalism as the null hypothesis, which means you cannot assign confidence to its veracity, and thus, cannot know how likely it is that supernaturalism is the correct conclusion.
Now, you could still conclude that supernaturalism is the only explanation, but only if you are able to reject all alternatives, and able to ascertain that no natural alternatives beyond those tested remain. This, essentially, amounts to absolute proof.
This is in contrast to all truly scientific theories, which can be entered into statistical tests as the alternative hypothesis, and can thus have levels of confidence assigned to them.
This is why I treat supernaturalism differently from the way I treat scientific hypotheses: because logical consistency requires me to acknowledge that there is a real and fundamental difference.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 349 by Straggler, posted 08-19-2010 8:39 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 365 by Straggler, posted 08-20-2010 2:34 AM Blue Jay has replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 367 of 1725 (575637)
08-20-2010 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 365 by Straggler
08-20-2010 2:34 AM


Re: Agreement
Hi, Straggler.
Straggler writes:
So you are saying that the only circumstance under which the supernaturalistic position can be scientifically legitimate is if every conceivable naturalistic alternative has been exhausted.
So by the terms of your own argument you agree with bluegenes over-arching thesis. Namely that the scientific conclusion must necessarily be that the very concept of the supernatural is derived from purely naturalistic origins.
I’m extremely confused. How does your first paragraph lead you to the conclusion in your second?
I’m honestly trying really hard to find a way to interpret this so that it doesn’t amount to inserting an a priori assumption that the supernatural doesn’t exist on your way to drawing the conclusion that supernatural beings can’t actually be supernatural.
It seems like such an absurd leap of logic, that I’m having a hard time believing that you actually wrote it.
My point is that exhaustion of every conceivable naturalistic alternative is the only possible way to conclude that supernaturalism is responsible for anything, even if supernaturalism actually is responsible.
It means that the scientific conclusion about the supernatural is really just an assumption born from an inability to properly investigate anything that might exist outside of naturalistic constraints.
It means that the inability to falsify Bluegenes’ theory is just an artifact of practical constraints on human capacity to investigate, and really has nothing to do with how well his theory actually explains the data.
It means that concepts like theory and confidence cannot be applied to any idea that attempts to provide commentary on the supernatural.
It means that Bluegenes’ theory amounts to nothing but an assertion that the supernatural doesn’t exist. That’s hardly convincing.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 365 by Straggler, posted 08-20-2010 2:34 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 368 by RAZD, posted 08-20-2010 8:28 PM Blue Jay has seen this message but not replied
 Message 370 by Straggler, posted 08-21-2010 2:04 AM Blue Jay has replied

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