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  1. #201  
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    Dayton said

    "The thing is, that the things you people raise objections to have absolutely nothing to do with what Christians believe and put their faith in -- 1. that there is a holy and righteous creator God; 2. that our unrighteousness subjects us to His wrath rather than His grace; 3. that He, Himself provided solution whereby we can avoid His wrath and, instead, enjoy His grace for all eternity; 4. that the solution is belief in the righteous life and the unjust death of Jesus of Nazareth."

    Very good, Dayton. It is always worth while in a debate to have a clear statement of what the debate opponent actualy believes, thus avoiding chasing red herrings.

    I still have to say, though, that your position lacks credible evidence. As I have said before, the nature of the universe leads to the conclusion that either a creator god exists, or else there are many universes. So I have no reason to argue against someone who concludes the existence of a creator deity. It is a perfectly fine conclusion, if you are not happy with the concept of the multiverse.

    However, to go from the idea that a creator deity exists, to say that he/she/it is 'holy and righteous', and served up a human for human sacrifice to allow guilty people to evade their guilt ......

    I see no evidence for this, and no logic.
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  2. #202  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    ...what Christians believe and put their faith in[:] -- 1. that there is a holy and righteous creator God; 2. that our unrighteousness subjects us to His wrath rather than His grace; 3. that He, Himself provided solution whereby we can avoid His wrath and, instead, enjoy His grace for all eternity; 4. that the solution is belief in the righteous life and the unjust death of Jesus of Nazareth.
    What is the evidence that this is what god is and not something else? (assuming that a god even exists). What we've been arguing is that faith is misplaced and an appeal from ignorance. My demonstration of the Christian cult doctrine as myth supports that. Neither your nor cypress have shown any weakness in my demonstrations; you both make empty, baseless arguments; and you both appear to ignore evidence contrary to your conclusions. Thus, it is apparent that you have preconceived conclusions to which you are only interested in data which are supportive. This, my friend, is called willful delusion.


    What you are saying here is that, in your opinion, not only is God implausible, not only is he unlikely, but moreover God is impossible. To you it isn't fair that the supernatural world does not exist in a form that your rational, realistic, material world can quantify.
    I don't rule out the possibility of a god. I'm agnostic. I'm also an atheist since I have no god belief. I'm an agnostic-atheist. I think skeptic is as well, even though he calls him self 'agnostic' only. Either you believe there are one or more gods or you don't. I don't. I don't rule out the possibility and I recognize that I'm not in a position to empirically test the universe to completely rule it out.

    But I'm very certain, almost positive (again, sticking with the scientific principle of being ready to revise my conclusions), that the Christian gods (and there are many in biblical mythology) do not exist. Particularly Yawheh, Elohim, Jesus, and Satan. These among others, are myth.

    I think it is far wiser to put one's faith in the creator rather than that which he created.
    I see no evidence of a creator. You claim there is one but refuse to show the evidence.

    Either put up the evidence or at least admit you are hypocritical when it comes to science and the scientific method.
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  3. #203  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Cypress

    If you claim that the New Testament is the strongest evidence for the divinity of Christ, you need to admit that your evidence is weak.
    I wouldn't describe it as strong or weak, just that it is evidence and it is corroborated by extant writings and traditions of early Christians dated back to the second century who have direct personal lines of acquaintances to the Apostles and who confirm authorship.

    The NT was written by largely uneducated people, and many decades after the events they describe.
    The earliest manuscripts and fragments are several decades after the fact, however we don't know when the first versions were penned.

    We know that human memory is malleable (from research) and we also know (also from proper scientific research) the the human memory can be altered by discussing events at great length with others, so that what is remembered more closely resembles what we want to remember rather than what actually happened.
    True, and if you choose to believe that the story as been altered, go ahead, but recognize that it is an assumption and will remain an assumption until evidence that supports your assumption is found.



    As I said, the only independent historical evidence (Flavius Josephus) shows that Yeshua ben Yosef lived, and preached. That is it. There is no other independent evidence. We can conclude (from the impact he had) that he was probably charismatic, and one hell of a preacher. So what? We know that to be true also of L. Ron Hubbard of the fraudulent Church of Scientology, and that most influential swindler, Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism.
    You are leaving out several other historians and early Church leaders. I understand why you do. We have covered this previously.

    I would suggest that your label of materialism as alternative to theism, is inaccurate. I am agnostic and some of the others on this forum are atheist. A better inclusive term would be non believer, which does not carry the baggage of the word 'materialist'. Careless use of terminology can lead to pointless and irrelevent arguments.
    We are speaking of faith and for this purpose I am not attempting to be inclusive. Theists and deists have a worldview that the universe was created. Atheists also have a worldview too, but they believe the universe has a material cause. They are materialists. Agnostics are undecided and have not settled on a cause for the universe. I don't see the issue.

    Whether you judge the evidence for Christianity to be weak or not, seems irrelevant so long as the evidence for the alternatives are weaker still. this seems clearly to be the case.
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  4. #204  
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    Cypress said

    "Whether you judge the evidence for Christianity to be weak or not, seems irrelevant so long as the evidence for the alternatives are weaker still. this seems clearly to be the case."

    That sounds to me to be a "God of the Gaps" argument. ie. That science does not explain everything, so we slot the deity in to explain the bits that science cannot. And when science explains some more of those gaps, no problem, there will be enough gaps left to keep slotting in the deity.

    That is a terrible basis for a religion!
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  5. #205  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Cypress said

    "Whether you judge the evidence for Christianity to be weak or not, seems irrelevant so long as the evidence for the alternatives are weaker still. this seems clearly to be the case."

    That sounds to me to be a "God of the Gaps" argument. ie. That science does not explain everything, so we slot the deity in to explain the bits that science cannot. And when science explains some more of those gaps, no problem, there will be enough gaps left to keep slotting in the deity.

    That is a terrible basis for a religion!
    I'm not arguing a basis for religion, Skeptic. The discussion is about how faith informs conclusions. There was this notion that religion is based on faith despite the evidence. What we are learning is that there is evidence supporting religious beliefs and thus it is faith in the evidence as several of us argued all along. We are also learning that religious belief seems to have more in the way of evidence than does belief that materialism explains the origin of the universe and life in it.

    It is making an inference to the better conclusion on the basis of the weight of the evidence. Furthermore I have not slotted in a creator because evidence is lacking for a materialist cause. I am comparing and contrasting available evidence for both on a fair playing field. Looking at all the available evidence, a designer is the better inference at this time. You and others may well chose to dismiss the evidence and go with faith in a materialistic cause. My purpose is to make it clear what is going on.

    A personal god that interacts in this world is indeed an extraordinary claim but so to is the claim that the universe and life have a material cause. If we go with available evidence, the theist seems to have the edge just now.
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  6. #206  
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    Cypress

    The only reason why you are even able to make a claim that there is more evidence for a religious cause than a scientific cause to the origin of the universe, is that science is honest enough not to claim that for which there is insufficient evidence.

    Religion, on the other hand, makes all sorts of claims without credible evidence. You still have not understood that the bible is mythology. It has all the reality of 'Gone with the Wind'. That is : it is a fiction based in a historical context, so that some of the historical background is correct, but the details are fictional.

    As far as the life and teachings of Yeshua ben Yosef is concerned, the only independent data we have says he lived and he preached. All other evidence comes from the writings of "True Believers". And we know that such people are so biased and blinded by their religious beliefs that little they say can be regarded as correct.

    All I have ever asked for in the religious arena is evidence that is credible. That is : not subjective, and not based on myths. This is evidence that would be acceptable in science. I think that is a reasonable ask. So far, you, Dayton, and Mitchell have totally failed to present any.
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  7. #207  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Cypress

    The only reason why you are even able to make a claim that there is more evidence for a religious cause than a scientific cause to the origin of the universe, is that science is honest enough not to claim that for which there is insufficient evidence.
    Not even close to true. Scientists make unsupported claims far too often as indicated by the reports provided earlier. In the fields we are discussing, especially, science litterature is full of unsupported speculation. In addition as Mitchell has indicated earlier, there is a significant difference in the type of evidence. The theists rely on testimony and historical evidence plus introspection and other forms of evidence, while the materialist, by virue of the fundamental tennants, must reduce everything to a material cause. This is a significant handicap. I call it a blind spot because it guarantees, if they even reach a conclusion, only the prior commitement is possible. If that presupposition is wrong, they have no hope of reaching a correct conclusion.

    Religion, on the other hand, makes all sorts of claims without credible evidence. You still have not understood that the bible is mythology. It has all the reality of 'Gone with the Wind'. That is : it is a fiction based in a historical context, so that some of the historical background is correct, but the details are fictional.
    It is certainly true of most religions. I understand why you claim the Bible is mythology. I don't assign it that label because the only parts that are clearly fictional, are also clearly metaphorical narratives intended to teach a principle and allow for it to be more easily remembered. The parts that are clearly literal have not been shown to be fiction beyond the transcription errors and minor errors of detail. If this changes in the future with evidence, then the label may well fit.

    As far as the life and teachings of Yeshua ben Yosef is concerned, the only independent data we have says he lived and he preached. All other evidence comes from the writings of "True Believers". And we know that such people are so biased and blinded by their religious beliefs that little they say can be regarded as correct.
    I don't know that these early christians were biased and blinded. The evidence of their preaching and their refusal to alter their story even in death indicates otherwise. I'm not sure how to explain their behavior if not that they were telling the truth, and it seems remarkable that their truth could have been altered so dramatically in 20-30 years by people who knew them directly. We need evidence that their truth was different that what is recorded. Perhaps it will come some day.

    All I have ever asked for in the religious arena is evidence that is credible. That is : not subjective, and not based on myths. This is evidence that would be acceptable in science. I think that is a reasonable ask. So far, you, Dayton, and Mitchell have totally failed to present any.
    The historical sciences make use of evidence that is far less relevant to theories to support ideas and concepts that do not work in the laboratory. Their evidence is still evidence and it is still credible for certain purposes, it is just not very strong support for the claims being made. Likewise here, the issue is that you don't find the evidence relevant to the claims being made. Mitchell very clearly takes a different position. I can present the evidence but I can't make you see it for what it is, I get the strong feeling you don't even try.
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  8. #208  
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    I do not know how to be any more clearer than I have been in the past on this issue of evidence.

    It would be like the defense in a court case insisting that circumstantial evidence cannot be used in an effort for the prosecution or plaintiff to prove his case.

    You would not allow a conviction in a case without a dead body in spite of surveillance camera's observing defendant going out a dead in road with alleged victim in car and coming back without victim and victim has not been seen since. You would not allow evidence that victim had stated fear of defendant or that defendant had told witness that he took care of victim.

    You need for material evidence would insist on the body, would say the surveillance film only showed that victim did not come back with defendant, not that defendant did not come backs. You would insist that victim's stated fear of defendant was meaningless and that "took care of" was capable of so many interpretations that it could not be used to suggest that "took care of" meant to get rid of the victim.

    We believers willingly admit there is very little material evidence to support the existence of the supernaturual other than the existence of the material. We see, feel, hear, touch and taste the presence of God in almost every aspect and detail of our lives. This is not the "God is everything," position, only that the very evidence of God can be noted in all of material existence from the very atoms from which things are made to the laws of science which we have been able to decypher and figure out; from the beauty of a flower or a butterfly to the stench of rotting human flesh; from the simplicity of 1 + 1 = 2 to the complexity of quantum physics; from the beginning of the Universe, to the emergence of living, replicating plants and animals. We see God's meaningful, purposeful handiwork in all of this.
    All you folks see is a series of meaningless, purposeless accidents.

    Perhaps it is the difference between seeing the world as a legitimate child as opposed to seeing it as a bastard.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  9. #209  
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    Cypress said :

    "Scientists make unsupported claims far too often as indicated by the reports provided earlier"

    There are, of course, just as many dishonest scientists as there are dishonest clergy. We are, after all, totally human. However, my earlier statement said 'science', not scientists. In other words, that which is widely accepted by scientists rather than something claimed by an individual. And science as a whole is honest enough to admit when we do not know something. Science as a whole admits when something is uncertain, or even speculative. This is not true of religious pundits.

    Cypress also said

    "The theists rely on testimony and historical evidence plus introspection and other forms of evidence"

    This is, of course, the problem. Testimony is extremely suspect. Almost every person on Death Row who has been found innocent, from modern DNA testing, was put there by faulty testimony. Humans are extraordinarily imperfect when it comes to both observing and remembering. And when a bunch of people get together over a long period of time, to reminisce, their memories become even less accurate, because each person influences the others.

    Outside the bible, there is no historical evidence relating to Yeshua ben Yosef, apart from what we already mentioned. There is some historical evidence relating to the general nature of what was happening at the time, but nothing about Yeshua. Even the name by which Yeshua is referred to in the bible is wrong.

    Introspection, of course, is totally 100% bullsh!t. The science of psychology, early in the 20th Century, used introspection, but found the results to mean nothing, and researchers of the human mind no longer use this technique. It is a totally discredited means of obtaining knowledge.

    Other forms of evidence? You need to be more specific. The evidence you quote so far does not stack up. If you got something else, you need to specify.

    To Dayton

    Regarding evidence.
    I am not unreasonable about this. All I am asking for is credible evidence. No court in the land would convict someone on the basis of testimony that said "I feel it in my heart that he is guilty." Yet much of the evidence offered by religious people is exactly of this type.

    If you want to claim miracles, then show the evidence. The Catholic church claims miracles still happen, and creates saints on that basis. Let us see evidence for those Christian miracles that is strong enough to convince a jury.
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  10. #210  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Cypress said :

    "Scientists make unsupported claims far too often as indicated by the reports provided earlier"

    There are, of course, just as many dishonest scientists as there are dishonest clergy. We are, after all, totally human. However, my earlier statement said 'science', not scientists. In other words, that which is widely accepted by scientists rather than something claimed by an individual. And science as a whole is honest enough to admit when we do not know something. Science as a whole admits when something is uncertain, or even speculative. This is not true of religious pundits.
    This of course represents your opinion of the state of science and scientists. The data simply tells us that scientific conclusions from research are more often incorrect.

    Cypress also said

    "The theists rely on testimony and historical evidence plus introspection and other forms of evidence"

    This is, of course, the problem. Testimony is extremely suspect.
    Indeed in some situations it is poor, but when corroborated independently it is quite accurate.

    Almost every person on Death Row who has been found innocent, from modern DNA testing, was put there by faulty testimony. Humans are extraordinarily imperfect when it comes to both observing and remembering.
    In each case a review of the interview process indicated issues that should have caused one to be concerned with the quality of the testimony. Eye-witness testimony is not 100% accurate. Mistakes are made.

    And when a bunch of people get together over a long period of time, to reminisce, their memories become even less accurate, because each person influences the others.
    In some cases yes but there are many many cases where this does not happen. To conclude that the testimony is unreliable without evidence is poor practice. Returning to the exonerations mentioned above, independent evidence was secured prior to revising the conclusion.

    Outside the bible, there is no historical evidence relating to Yeshua ben Yosef, apart from what we already mentioned. There is some historical evidence relating to the general nature of what was happening at the time, but nothing about Yeshua. Even the name by which Yeshua is referred to in the bible is wrong.
    There are references by Christian scholars and historians you have elected not to consider. Only some translations have the Hebrew name different. It was not uncommon to have different Hebrew and Hellenic names for the same person. Jesus in particular was given many names even in the early manuscripts. The primary issue is that there is no evidence to suggest an alternative to the testimony.

    Introspection, of course, is totally 100% bullsh!t. The science of psychology, early in the 20th Century, used introspection, but found the results to mean nothing, and researchers of the human mind no longer use this technique. It is a totally discredited means of obtaining knowledge.
    Mitchell has made this point better than I will, but these attempts to validate introspection have focused on the wrong tests and the wrong kind of knowledge. With respect to existence of objective truth, and spirituality, we simply can not know the efficacy of introspection.

    Other forms of evidence? You need to be more specific. The evidence you quote so far does not stack up. If you got something else, you need to specify.
    Material evidence, evidence from uniform observation of this universe, metaphysical evidence, etc. Nothing you would accept.

    Again, though your challenge goes beyond tearing down the evidence for a creator. You must also construct a positive case for material causation.
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  11. #211  
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    Cypress

    You have made the statement before that most results from scientific research are incorrect. I seriously doubt that. However, I accept that initial results are often in error. However, science has excellent self correcting mechanisms, and major errors do not survive.

    The sad thing is that religion has no self correcting mechanisms. If a prophet comes up with a load of hooie, it remains a load of hooie for as long as that religion lasts. For example : Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, wrote the Book of Mormon, as a complete work of fiction, and told his followers it was all true, and came from an angel. In spite of the fact that much of that pile of crap was empirically testable (archaeological evidence) and that the testing has shown it was totally wrong, the "True Believers" still think it is 100% correct.

    This could never happen with science, since the tenets of an incorrect science book would be tested empirically, and proven wrong, and scientists everywhere would admit it was wrong. The Christian bible has a load of information that is clearly wrong, such as the contradictions I posted earlier. Yet the "True Believers" still believe it to be 100% correct.

    Most of your other arguments apply equally well to such things as The Kalevala (the folk tales of Finnland, including Gods and spirits.) or to the Ramayana (ancient Hindu book, again detailing the actions of Gods, demons, and other supernatural entities).
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    It matters little to our current understanding what might be learned in the future so whether or not the scientific process has (limited) capability to make corrections sems irrelevant to reaching a conclusion today. On the subjects concerning this thread there are no corrections possible since science has discovered so little thus far.

    Furthermote since science is limited by process, it cannot be seen as the only or even the best source of fact for many questions. In addition, many in the scientific cummunity further limit science to material causation guaranteeing that science will fail to come up with a correct conclusion if and when the event lacks a material cause.

    I don't see how we can conclude that science is superior given these limitations.
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  13. #213  
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    In addition, many in the scientific cummunity further limit science to material causation guaranteeing that science will fail to come up with a correct conclusion if and when the event lacks a material cause.
    Wait a second. What reason do we have to even suspect non-material agents? Can you even define such a thing properly? The fact is that your presupposition of the existence of non-material causes of anything, without the ability to even define it properly or demonstrate it at all should be obviously inferior to the scientific method. But for reasons of your own devising you don't look at it like that. The fact is, you can't admit it, because then you'd have to call into question a part of your life that you define yourself by. Do you think you are being honest to yourself (this is a serious question)?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  14. #214  
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    Of course, Kalster, the presupposition you mention is what faith is all about. Faith is believing something without credible evidence.

    That is not acceptable in science. And that is why science progresses. Scientists know much more about how the universe operates today than we did 500 years ago. Every year, we know more.

    Religion is static. Someone writes a 'holy book' and the followers believe it blindly for as long as that religion survives. It never grows.

    People like Cypress and Dayton claim that the fact the science cannot explain everything is a major flaw in the scientific method. I claim that it is one of the great strengths of science. Religious people delude themselves that their faith explains everything. Scientists know damn well that science does not explain everything. This is called honesty, as opposed to religious self-delusion.

    Because a scientist knows there are gaps in knowledge, he/she will work to explore those gaps. In this way, science grows, while the self deluded in religion, thinking they know everything, cause religious belief to remain static. Another word for lifeless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Of course, Kalster, the presupposition you mention is what faith is all about. Faith is believing something without credible evidence.
    If nothing else, this thread has at least demonstrated that faith is the bridge between available evidence and uncertainty resulting in a conclusion/belief.



    People like Cypress and Dayton claim that the fact the science cannot explain everything is a major flaw in the scientific method.
    Not a flaw, not a strength, but a limitation.

    I claim that it is one of the great strengths of science. Religious people delude themselves that their faith explains everything.
    My religious friends do not claim their faith explains everything. That is an odd thing to say.

    Scientists know damn well that science does not explain everything. This is called honesty, as opposed to religious self-delusion.
    Many scientists and non-scientists act as if science has explained everything that needs to be explained about materialism, origin life and source of diversity when it has explained almost nothing. There is nothing honest about that belief. It exposes a prior commitment as strong as the most ardent theists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    In addition, many in the scientific cummunity further limit science to material causation guaranteeing that science will fail to come up with a correct conclusion if and when the event lacks a material cause.
    Wait a second. What reason do we have to even suspect non-material agents? Can you even define such a thing properly?
    Material being matter and energy making up this universe. Non-material agents being causal entities not made up of or sourced from matter and energy in or from this universe.

    The fact is that your presupposition of the existence of non-material causes of anything, without the ability to even define it properly
    I am satisfied with my understanding of the definition. I don't presuppose existence of non-material causes. I do see evidence by way of examination of the universe, contents in the universe and attributes of the contents. I find that evidence does suggest non-material agents. Furthermore I note that material causes are inadequate to explain this same evidence.

    or demonstrate it at all should be obviously inferior to the scientific method. But for reasons of your own devising you don't look at it like that.
    hmm.. I think I do look at it like that. I firmly believe I am looking at the evidence and am making an inference to the better and more reasonable conclusion.

    The fact is, you can't admit it, because then you'd have to call into question a part of your life that you define yourself by.
    No, I don't think so. I have examined this question for many years. I continuously ask myself this question. I firmly believe I am looking at the available evidence fairly. I recognize my biases and do my best to balance them. I have considered material explanations and I continue to follow and look for materialistic explanations. Thirty years ago I would have said and did say the materialist has the edge. Today I give the edge to the idea of a creator.

    Do you think you are being honest to yourself (this is a serious question)?
    Yes, I do.
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  17. #217  
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    Just a minor question here. Are dark matter and dark energy material things? If dark matter is actually some form of anti-matter, it would seem it is not a material substance, but actually the opposite. This also begs the question, if they are not material, what is to prevent them from being extra-Universe?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Cypress

    Just a comment about the following statement.

    "Many scientists and non-scientists act as if science has explained everything that needs to be explained about materialism, origin life and source of diversity when it has explained almost nothing. There is nothing honest about that belief. It exposes a prior commitment as strong as the most ardent theists"

    There is probably an embarrassing amount of truth in your statement. Scientists are human, and are subject to human pride. My own statement is not that science has explained everything, but that science may have the potential to explain everything. I say "may" because we simply do not know that for sure.

    On the other hand, your statement that science has explained almost nothing is going too far in the other direction. A lot of progress has been made in the past few centuries, and scientists know an awful lot more than we used to. This includes a lot of explanations. I agree that there are a lot of gaps in our knowledge, but we keep working on those gaps.

    And the existence of gaps in our knowledge does not mean we have to invoke a "God of the gaps". It simply means that we still have a lot of work to do.
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  19. #219  
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    Actually, we do not know how successful science has been since we have no idea how much we don't know about the stuff we don't know. There was some guy back in the 1920's who recommended the closing of the patent office to save money because everything had already been invented.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  20. #220  
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    Material being matter and energy making up this universe. Non-material agents being causal entities not made up of or sourced from matter and energy in or from this universe.
    This isn't a definition of any value. It is like describing something by saying it is not a car or a piece of lemon meringue pie or anything that exists in modern science. It is a non-definition.

    I am satisfied with my understanding of the definition. I don't presuppose existence of non-material causes.
    This can only be true if you are a recent convert or if you seriously consider that God and the angels might be beings from another planet, i.e. aliens. Do you or are you?

    I do see evidence by way of examination of the universe, contents in the universe and attributes of the contents. I find that evidence does suggest non-material agents. Furthermore I note that material causes are inadequate to explain this same evidence.
    This has been apparent from the start with your position on evolution. It is my impression that you have gone looking for instances where non-material causes can be the only explanation. Is this true? Because you see, this is a big problem with your position. You have no reason to suspect agents you can't properly define other than desperately wanting to. Just because known natural processes don't provide enough explanation for all things to your liking is not a good reason to invoke causes that do not conform to the laws of nature.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Material being matter and energy making up this universe. Non-material agents being causal entities not made up of or sourced from matter and energy in or from this universe.
    This isn't a definition of any value. It is like describing something by saying it is not a car or a piece of lemon meringue pie or anything that exists in modern science. It is a non-definition.
    Forgive me for not being too concerned that you don't care for the definition offered. It is crystal clear to me and it provides the basis for making and understanding the distinction between material and and non-material causation.

    I am satisfied with my understanding of the definition. I don't presuppose existence of non-material causes.
    This can only be true if you are a recent convert or if you seriously consider that God and the angels might be beings from another planet, i.e. aliens. Do you or are you?
    I don't understand this question. I have not changed my beliefs in the last 20 years, and I don't think it is even possible for the causal agent of this universe to be from another location in this universe.

    I do see evidence by way of examination of the universe, contents in the universe and attributes of the contents. I find that evidence does suggest non-material agents. Furthermore I note that material causes are inadequate to explain this same evidence.
    This has been apparent from the start with your position on evolution. It is my impression that you have gone looking for instances where non-material causes can be the only explanation. Is this true?
    I have a keen interest in understanding and explaining the source and purpose of this universe and life in it, if that is what you are asking. I do not focus on limitations to material explanations, however the examples of them are growing not shrinking as time goes on and they are unavoidable when investigating these questions.

    Because you see, this is a big problem with your position. You have no reason to suspect agents you can't properly define other than desperately wanting to.
    My inability to articulate a definition you would accept is not the same as not having a proper definition that works for this investigation. The definition I have seems to work very well in this endeavor. I am not desperate for a particular answer, I am interested in an answer.

    Just because known natural processes don't provide enough explanation for all things to your liking is not a good reason to invoke causes that do not conform to the laws of nature.
    Agreed. However, when searching for a reasonable explanation for an event, no matter what the event, an open mind to all possibilities will more often than not lead you to the best explanation. You seem to be complaining that theists hold a prior commitment and you imply that you think I hold that same prior commitment, but you also seem to imply it is perfectly fine to have a prior commitment to materialism.

    Now, looking at all available evidence today, and then making an inference today to the most reasonable explanation has me concluding that the evidence is best explained by a creator.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Cypress

    Just a comment about the following statement.

    "Many scientists and non-scientists act as if science has explained everything that needs to be explained about materialism, origin life and source of diversity when it has explained almost nothing. There is nothing honest about that belief. It exposes a prior commitment as strong as the most ardent theists"

    There is probably an embarrassing amount of truth in your statement. Scientists are human, and are subject to human pride. My own statement is not that science has explained everything, but that science may have the potential to explain everything. I say "may" because we simply do not know that for sure.
    Generally agree, except that we already know that there are many areas of investigation that are outside of sciences domain and therefore we can say right now that science has no chance of ever explaining everything. Mitchell has effectively made this point repeatedly.

    On the other hand, your statement that science has explained almost nothing is going too far in the other direction. A lot of progress has been made in the past few centuries, and scientists know an awful lot more than we used to. This includes a lot of explanations.
    A lot of progress has been made in many areas, but very little progress has been made on these particular questions. My statement focused on these areas where little or no progress has been made. Biology for example has made significant progress in explaining how bimolecular systems work. Molecular biology continues to delve deeper into the these systems, and as it continues to do, so the appearance of design is becoming more clear by the year. Yet evolutionary biology has made almost no progress in explaining how the appearance of design has a natural cause. so little actual progress is being made that I am convinced that materialists need to give up on the current attempted explanation and pursue more fruitful avenues. Likewise very little progress is being made on a parsimonious explanation for the universe and the physical properties that govern it.

    I agree that there are a lot of gaps in our knowledge, but we keep working on those gaps.
    As we should.

    And the existence of gaps in our knowledge does not mean we have to invoke a "God of the gaps". It simply means that we still have a lot of work to do.
    Sure, but as we progress it is perfectly appropriate to asses where we are at and then ask ourselves to look at available evidence and make an inference based on the current evidence.
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  23. #223  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Now, looking at all available evidence today, and then making an inference today to the most reasonable explanation has me concluding that the evidence is best explained by a creator.
    Which one, and why that one? Your point has nothing to do with A creator, and everything to do with YOUR preferred creator. Considering the multitude of creation myths out there, your position is hardly tenable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Now, looking at all available evidence today, and then making an inference today to the most reasonable explanation has me concluding that the evidence is best explained by a creator.
    Which one, and why that one? Your point has nothing to do with A creator, and everything to do with YOUR preferred creator. Considering the multitude of creation myths out there, your position is hardly tenable.
    While the empirical evidence from the natural world indicates that the universe and life was created, the evidence doesn't indicate how many agents were involved. The evidence does provide a basis to infer some characteristics of the agent(s). The historical evidence and testimony supports that the creator's character is described in Biblical texts.

    Any conclusions drawn from this evidence requires inference and faith and those conclusions would certainly reflect the model of the person making the conclusion. The reality of that does not diminish the strength of the evidence.
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  25. #225  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    While the empirical evidence from the natural world indicates that the universe and life was created...
    ...The evidence does provide a basis to infer some characteristics of the agent(s).
    Yet another baseless assertion which you seem to think will become more true if you repeat it often enough. You're welcome to hold that as an opinion. Stop putting it forth as if it's some fact.


    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The reality of that does not diminish the strength of the evidence.
    Except, you've been asked like 12 or 15 times already to supply evidence of a creator, and all you've managed to produce is evidence of common everyday ordinary claims and a bunch of hearsay and anecdote. Did you have something else in mind?
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    The evidence was supplied in this and other threads previously. The evidence surrounds you. The evidence is available on the net. You don't see it when you close your eyes to it. There is empirical evidence for a transcending cause for the universe. There is empirical evidence that the cause was deliberate, highly coherent and well coordinated, very powerful, planned, etc. There is also empirical evidence that life was planned and designed as opposed to random chemic events.

    Meanwhile, although we have some highly speculative mathematical equations with no analog in the real world, there has been general acknowledgment that there is no empirical evidence for a material or natural cause for the universe. In addition, there is no empirical evidence to suggest a material cause for life.

    Generally when you compare something to nothing, something comes out on top. I am quite certain this is why your mind is closed to the evidence for design. The fact that you have demonstrated that your mind is closed is why I don't bother rehashing the evidence that you have already cast away.

    If someone other than Inow or skinwalker would like to discuss evidence more thoroughly, just let me know.
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    Cypress,

    Supposing for a moment that the evidence is indeed sufficient to indicate the existence of a creator, as far as the scientific approach goes it's a complete irrelevancy, it wouldn't change a thing. The only issue of any substance would be the intent of that creator and it's interaction with nature.

    Even in the face of good evidence for the existence of a creator, Occam's razor should still aplly to any argument that supposes interaction with the natural world after the creation had taken place, unless and until good evidence were presented that that be the case.

    I suggest that it would be necesary to presuppose non-interference as a default position, because the existence of a creator and even evidence of specific examples of post-creation interference would not allow a generalisation about ongoing interference in all natural phenomenon.

    Further, historical evidence and testimony from any particular religion would remain an insubstantial explanation of the nature and intent of the creator, and 'materialist' science would remain the driving force in explaining our origins.

    You have stated in other threads that the "metaphysical presuppositions' of scientists is a source of bias, presumably because it does not make an allowance for a creator, but this accusation fails because even when making such an allowance the metaphysical presuppositions of science need not be changed further than that.
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  28. #228  
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    Ha! Can you imagine some poor prosecutor with a case involving only circumstantial evidence trying to get a conviction with inow, skinwalker and skeptic on the jury?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606
    Cypress,

    Supposing for a moment that the evidence is indeed sufficient to indicate the existence of a creator, as far as the scientific approach goes it's a complete irrelevancy, it wouldn't change a thing.
    The significance comes when speaking of the implications. In this thread the implication is that faith has support.

    The only issue of any substance would be the intent of that creator and it's interaction with nature.
    Many people think there are more implications.

    Even in the face of good evidence for the existence of a creator, Occam's razor should still aplly to any argument that supposes interaction with the natural world after the creation had taken place, unless and until good evidence were presented that that be the case.
    Of course.

    I suggest that it would be necesary to presuppose non-interference as a default position, because the existence of a creator and even evidence of specific examples of post-creation interference would not allow a generalisation about ongoing interference in all natural phenomenon.
    Evidence of interaction in the past should suggest the possibility of ongoing interaction.

    Further, historical evidence and testimony from any particular religion would remain an insubstantial explanation of the nature and intent of the creator, and 'materialist' science would remain the driving force in explaining our origins.
    I don't see that conclusion. It seems disconnected, it does not seem to follow from the evidence.

    You have stated in other threads that the "metaphysical presuppositions' of scientists is a source of bias, presumably because it does not make an allowance for a creator,
    Bias is what it is. It has a tendency to lead to wrong conclusions.

    but this accusation fails because even when making such an allowance the metaphysical presuppositions of science need not be changed further than that.
    I don't understand this position either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    There is empirical evidence for a transcending cause for the universe. There is empirical evidence that the cause was deliberate, highly coherent and well coordinated, very powerful, planned, etc. There is also empirical evidence that life was planned and designed as opposed to random chemic events.
    Fortunately, there are other arguments for the value and fundamental role of faith, that do not depend on false and crudely materialistic assertions like those.

    There is no such empirical evidence, and if there were the conclusion would have nothing to do with faith in any entities thereby demonstrated.

    One doesn't have faith in entities simply because they are shown to exist, after all.
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  31. #231  
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    iceaura said:
    One doesn't have faith in entities simply because they are shown to exist, after all.
    Ahhhhhh! That explains why I do not have a lot of faith in Obama.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Let me try to nail this down.

    Yes, there is empirical evidence for a creator. As I said before, this comes in the form of the 'privileged universe' concept. That is ; our universe appears to be extremely well designed for life. If any of about 6 different physical constants were only slightly different, a totally weird universe would result, that could not support life. So it can be argued and argued reasonably that the universe must have been designed by a creator.

    The thing is that there is another, and IMHO, equally possible explanation, which is the Anthropic Principle. That is, ours is only one of a myriad of universes, and we live here simply because this one special universe has the physical constants required. No-one lives in the weird universes, because they are not compatible with life.

    However, some people do not like the idea of multiple universes, and cling to the first explanation. Personally, I accept that both are possible, but we are all different, and I do not get my knickers in a twist if someone favours one explanation over the other.

    As I have said before, and will probably keep saying till the day I die, th empirical evidence only suggests a creator deity. It does not specify what that deity is like. To project on that deity the characteristics of a loving father, as Christians do, is probably just wishful thinking. The empirical evidence fits the concept of an uncaring god more that that of a loving father type of god.

    Take a look at history. How are humans treated by the forces of nature (Acts of God)? Not well. Enormous human misery inflicted upon billions, which is in no way their fault. If God allows this to happen, he/she/it is not the loving father of Christian mythology.
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  33. #233  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The evidence was supplied in this and other threads previously. The evidence surrounds you. The evidence is available on the net. You don't see it when you close your eyes to it. There is empirical evidence for a transcending cause for the universe. There is empirical evidence that the cause was deliberate, highly coherent and well coordinated, very powerful, planned, etc. There is also empirical evidence that life was planned and designed as opposed to random chemic events.
    Right then. It seems as if... again... you are happy to content yourself with the mere assertion that there is any evidence whatsoever in support of your position instead of actually presenting any evidence for the rest of us to review and form our own conclusions. It is apparent that you are unable to address the question posed to you in an academically honest way.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Ha! Can you imagine some poor prosecutor with a case involving only circumstantial evidence trying to get a conviction with inow, skinwalker and skeptic on the jury?
    I should like to think that even you would benefit from our consistency and reasonable standards were you to be the one sitting accused based on circumstantial evidence and hearsay alone. It's just a matter of discarding the special pleading and double standards. The only reason you have a problem with that is because we are unwilling to accept your request for special pleading for your personal deity concept.
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  34. #234  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    No, I'm happy to have thoughtful discussions here and do so with many posters, but that requires honesty and respect... Look at it this way, since you consider me dishonest, I'm doing you a favor.
    I notice you have yet to present any evidence for the rest of us to review for ourselves... empirical evidence that there is "a transcending cause for the universe," or empirical evidence "that the cause was deliberate," or empirical evidence that "life was planned and designed."

    Trust me. I'm all ears. Just waiting for you to put it forth.
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  35. #235  
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    skeptic wrote:
    Yes, there is empirical evidence for a creator. As I said before, this comes in the form of the 'privileged universe' concept. That is ; our universe appears to be extremely well designed for life. If any of about 6 different physical constants were only slightly different, a totally weird universe would result, that could not support life. So it can be argued and argued reasonably that the universe must have been designed by a creator.
    May I propose the alternative: The six constants can change values widely, the combinations of some of those values result in nothing, the other combinations result in certain structures. Our Universe is just one of those structures.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
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  36. #236  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    While the empirical evidence from the natural world indicates that the universe and life was created, the evidence doesn't indicate how many agents were involved. The evidence does provide a basis to infer some characteristics of the agent(s). The historical evidence and testimony supports that the creator's character is described in Biblical texts.

    The evidence was supplied in this and other threads previously. The evidence surrounds you. The evidence is available on the net. You don't see it when you close your eyes to it. There is empirical evidence for a transcending cause for the universe. There is empirical evidence that the cause was deliberate, highly coherent and well coordinated, very powerful, planned, etc. There is also empirical evidence that life was planned and designed as opposed to random chemic events.
    If someone other than Inow or skinwalker would like to discuss evidence more thoroughly, just let me know.
    Cite it here or do not post further. Period.
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  37. #237
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    Lets take a step back on consider the following. Of everyone in this thread, how many have actually performed the experiments they use as evidence for their beliefs?

    If you have not, then you are placing faith in others, as well as putting faith in findings you have not personally verified. The fact is, all of those experiments could be 100% valid and the conclusions 100% accurate, but that doesn't mean your trust in the information produced by others is anything more than faith in something you do not know.

    Imagine that I have a piece of paper with a 10 digit number written on it. I tell you the number is 1234567890. Without looking at this paper, you give it to 1,000 other people, all of which confirm the number is what I stated it to be. And lets say the number actually is 1234567890. Until you look at the number yourself, can you really say that your belief in what the number is, is something other than faith?

    From a philosophical point of view, I would say no. Though I have performed a handful of experiments myself, I have not (nor could any one person possibly) perform all of the experiments that the scientific community has as a whole. As a result, I cannot rightly say that I know those finding to be true, (even if they ultimately are). This is just me being honest with myself.

    Can anyone in here claim differently?
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  38. #238 Re: . 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Lets take a step back on consider the following. Of everyone in this thread, how many have actually performed the experiments they use as evidence for their beliefs?

    If you have not, then you are placing faith in others, as well as putting faith in findings you have not personally verified.
    Hmm... Except, that experiments have been done by trustworthy others, repeated by their skeptics, and confirmed over and over again for these other things which we accept.

    Perhaps I have not performed the experiment personally, but I can still point to it, and explain why it shows what it does.

    What is that experiment which others are doing to demonstrate the existence of god? Where was this empirically demonstrated again?

    Oh yeah... Never has happened. Golly. I think you just put forth an invalid comparison. In one area of acceptance, experiments exist which support that acceptance. Ergo, not faith. In the other area of acceptance, a clear, consistent, measurable definition (of god) does not even exist, let alone an experiment demonstrating it.

    Notice the key difference?
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  39. #239 Re: . 
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Hmm... Except, that experiments have been done by trustworthy others, repeated by their skeptics, and confirmed over and over again for these other things which we accept.

    Perhaps I have not performed the experiment personally, but I can still point to it, and explain why it shows what it does.
    I am aware of this, and addressed this with my initial response. That was the point of the "10 digit number" analogy. It doesn't matter how many other people have verified something, nor does it even matter if that that "something" is true. You cannot magicaly inherit someone's experiences, and so you cannot inherit their evidence. You can only inhereit their testimony, for which you can choose to accept on faith, or verify for yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    What is that experiment which others are doing to demonstrate the existence of god? Where was this empirically demonstrated again?

    Oh yeah... Never has happened. Golly. I think you just put forth an invalid comparison.
    I don't recall ever mentioning God in my response, only "faith" (which is not something unique to religion).

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    In one area of acceptance, experiments exist which support that acceptance.
    Experiments of which you ultimately only have literature and testimony. Only a small number of people actually have what I would call "evidence", and those are the people who have personally confirmed the things that they put their belief in.


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Ergo, not faith.
    Faith: the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

    Nope, it's faith alright. Perhaps you have a religiously skewed understanding of the word.


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    In the other area of acceptance, a clear, consistent, measurable definition (of god) does not even exist, let alone an experiment demonstrating it.

    Notice the key difference?
    Never once mentioned religion or god...so I am not sure what to say to that. All I can say is that you (personally) seem to have nothing but literature and testimony to base your beliefs off of, and so you (personally) cannot say that your beliefs are anything BUT "trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing".
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  40. #240 Re: . 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    I am aware of this, and addressed this with my initial response. That was the point of the "10 digit number" analogy. It doesn't matter how many other people have verified something, nor does it even matter if that that "something" is true. You cannot magicaly inherit someone's experiences, and so you cannot inherit their evidence. You can only inhereit their testimony, for which you can choose to accept on faith, or verify for yourself.
    Which totally misses my point. The point, if you'll read more closely, is that one actually CAN be verified, while the other cannot.

    You are conflating acceptance of something based on evidence with the acceptance of something where evidence is not even possible. The two are not equivalent, regardless of how many times you assert otherwise.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Experiments of which you ultimately only have literature and testimony. Only a small number of people actually have what I would call "evidence", and those are the people who have personally confirmed the things that they put their belief in.
    You are now conflating terms. We've been over this already in the first 16 pages of this thread. Please review and determine if you are able to add anything new to the discussion. Currently, you are merely repeating tired assertions which have already been addressed.



    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    In the other area of acceptance, a clear, consistent, measurable definition (of god) does not even exist, let alone an experiment demonstrating it.

    Notice the key difference?
    Never once mentioned religion or god...so I am not sure what to say to that.
    All I can say is that you DEFINITELY should go through and read the thread, then. You are obviously unaware of the context of the discussion taking place.
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  41. #241 Re: . 
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Which totally misses my point. The point, if you'll read more closely, is that one actually CAN be verified, while the other cannot.
    Then your point would be moot, because my argument has nothing to do with religion or god (despite what has been discussed previously). My posts are an examination of those take science on faith, not a comparison of science and religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    You are conflating acceptance of something based on evidence with the acceptance of something where evidence is not even possible. The two are not equivalent, regardless of how many times you assert otherwise.
    Actually I am not, you are doing that all on your own and then putting the words in my mouth. Must be exhausting.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    All I can say is that you DEFINITELY should go through and read the thread
    Yes, I am beginning to see that.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    You are obviously unaware of the context of the discussion taking place.
    I can't help but find this ironic. You seem to be completely entangled in the past contributions of others, and oblivious to the points I am making right now.


    Your belief in science fits the definition of "faith", plain and simple. Without doing the experiments yourself, you have no choice but to rely on the testimony and literature of those who have. You can either take the testimony on faith, or you can verify for yourself. You have done the former, not the latter. It doesn't matter if the studies are accurate and science is right, if you have not done the science yourself, all you are ultimately doing is believing in what you are hearing.

    Trust is trust, no way around it.
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    Sorry, no. We've covered the whole "your faith in science is the same as faith in other stuff" ridiculousness through the first several pages. Why you wish to repeate points which have already been debunked is beyond me.
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  43. #243  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Sorry, no.
    Incredible! You've somehow managed to refute every single point I've made without actually addressing them, or providing counter points. You have got to teach me how to do this...


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    We've covered the whole "your faith in science is the same as faith in other stuff"
    You're joking right?

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Why you wish to repeate points which have already been debunked is beyond me.
    You do understand there is a difference between saying something has been debunked, and actually debunking it, right? Because you have yet to actually refute anything I have said...

    But now that I think about it, you do seem to be having a trouble grasping the difference between saying something is empirically justified, and actually justifying something empirically.

    ____________________

    Faith: "the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing."

    Without doing the science that otherwise justifies your belief, you are placing "trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person (scientists), an idea (scientific theories/concepts), or thing (empirical evidence).

    It fits like a latex glove, and yet you fail to see the connection...I am not sure what to say to that. Your denial is a force to be reckoned with, that's for sure. I honestly feel bad for you.

    *tear

    Have a nice day.
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    Okay. We'll try this again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Lets take a step back on consider the following. Of everyone in this thread, how many have actually performed the experiments they use as evidence for their beliefs?

    If you have not, then you are placing faith in others, as well as putting faith in findings you have not personally verified.
    The point to which I've been trying to draw your attention is that this really is not a valid use of the term "faith." Faith is the belief in something in the ABSENCE of evidence (and sometimes in the face of contradictory evidence). The term which more appropriately applies to what you are describing above is "acceptance."

    Further... This acceptance can be tested. One is no longer putting faith in someone else's work, they are accepting their conclusion as valid since they can put it to the test themselves. It's about having the possibility of replicating that finding on your own, and hence is rooted in reason, logic, and empiricism. It's not faith since faith is unresponsive to contradictory evidence. It's acceptance of a claim... acceptance knowing full well that it could be mistaken, with the knowledge that it can be tested personally for verification.

    If someone claims that bowling balls and golf balls drop to the earth at the same rate despite their difference in size, I can test that myself. I can see that others have repeated the tests and come to the same result. My acceptance is based on evidence. I do not blindly accept it because someone else said so... I don't have faith that this happens, I have knowledge rooted in evidence that it does.


    As was discussed earlier in the thread, this is not the same type of faith as that which is used to discuss existence of god, and it's inappropriate to conflate the two.

    Now, I know you have not personally made any comments about god or religion, but you DID choose to post your comments regarding faith in a thread about exactly that. Either you're a fool, or you're being disingenuous here. I'd like to give you the benefit of the doubt, and will assume it's the latter.



    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    The fact is, all of those experiments could be 100% valid and the conclusions 100% accurate, but that doesn't mean your trust in the information produced by others is anything more than faith in something you do not know.
    It does, actually, though. It's no longer "faith" when it's supported by evidence. It's "acceptance," or "agreement" which is empirically derived. You are conflating how the term "faith" is used... You implicitly suggest that somehow acceptance of scientific evidence created by others is equivalent to acceptance of claims of god as spoken by others.

    They are not. It's foolish to suggest otherwise.

    Now, you may again claim that you have not mentioned god or religion, but I remind you of the context of the thread. That's exactly what your comments about faith suggest... again... given the context of the thread, and it's disingenuous to suggest the contrary.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Imagine that I have a piece of paper with a 10 digit number written on it. I tell you the number is 1234567890. Without looking at this paper, you give it to 1,000 other people, all of which confirm the number is what I stated it to be. And lets say the number actually is 1234567890. Until you look at the number yourself, can you really say that your belief in what the number is, is something other than faith?
    No... It's either acceptance or non-acceptance of the claims of others which are themselves rooted in evidence. It's also a completely mundane and ordinary claim.

    Claims of god, however? Not so ordinary. Extra-ordinary, in fact, and the evidence must scale with the claim. Accepting the number written on a piece of paper as confirmed by a thousand people is mundane, so the word of those 1,000 people is generally sufficient. Sure, they could all be wrong, but believing them is hardly faith... It's acceptance because the claim is small and ordinary... and... perhaps most importantly... testable.

    The term faith is very specific and generally applies to belief in deities and the following of religions... especially in the context of this thread. It's a different type of faith in those instances than that which you are trying to apply to our acceptance of science and scientific claims, since faith in deities is NOT rooted empirically and it is NOT derived from experiment and it is NOT based on evidence or precise and consistent definitions. To suggest that my acceptance of gravity or the germ theory of illness is equivalent to the faith being described about gods is nonsense... As has been pointed out repeatedly in the other 16 pages of this thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    From a philosophical point of view, I would say no.
    Good for you, but this is a science forum.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    As a result, I cannot rightly say that I know those finding to be true, (even if they ultimately are). This is just me being honest with myself.
    I think perhaps this gets to the root of your issue. You claim that people "know something to be true" because of evidence from others. However, the term "acceptance" applies better. That's the approach of science... Based on current evidence, things are generally treated as facts, but inherent in science is the willingness to change... The knowledge that this could be wrong, and we may have to update our model or view. It's not that we "know something to be true," but instead that we "accept it as true based on what we currently know."

    I have never seen the London Bridge, but I accept that it is where people claim it is (because it's a mundane ordinary claim supported by evidence and observation). Could I be wrong? Could the bridge not exist? Sure... That's possible, but I accept it as true given the circumstances and evidence. I hardly have faith that the bridge is there. I accept it as valid given the evidence available.

    To equivocate that acceptance with the concept of faith is to stretch the meaning of that term so far as to make it virtually meaningless and wholly without utility or merit.
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  45. #245 Re: . 
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Okay. We'll try this again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Lets take a step back on consider the following. Of everyone in this thread, how many have actually performed the experiments they use as evidence for their beliefs?

    If you have not, then you are placing faith in others, as well as putting faith in findings you have not personally verified.
    The point to which I've been trying to draw your attention is that this really is not a valid use of the term "faith." Faith is the belief in something in the ABSENCE of evidence (and sometimes in the face of contradictory evidence). The term which more appropriately applies to what you are describing above is "acceptance."

    Further... This acceptance can be tested. One is no longer putting faith in someone else's work, they are accepting their conclusion as valid since they can put it to the test themselves. It's about having the possibility of replicating that finding on your own, and hence is rooted in reason, logic, and empiricism. It's not faith since faith is unresponsive to contradictory evidence. It's acceptance of a claim... acceptance knowing full well that it could be mistaken, with the knowledge that it can be tested personally for verification.

    If someone claims that bowling balls and golf balls drop to the earth at the same rate despite their difference in size, I can test that myself. I can see that others have repeated the tests and come to the same result. My acceptance is based on evidence. I do not blindly accept it because someone else said so... I don't have faith that this happens, I have knowledge rooted in evidence that it does.


    As was discussed earlier in the thread, this is not the same type of faith as that which is used to discuss existence of god, and it's inappropriate to conflate the two.

    Now, I know you have not personally made any comments about god or religion, but you DID choose to post your comments regarding faith in a thread about exactly that. Either you're a fool, or you're being disingenuous here. I'd like to give you the benefit of the doubt, and will assume it's the latter.



    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    The fact is, all of those experiments could be 100% valid and the conclusions 100% accurate, but that doesn't mean your trust in the information produced by others is anything more than faith in something you do not know.
    It does, actually, though. It's no longer "faith" when it's supported by evidence. It's "acceptance," or "agreement" which is empirically derived. You are conflating how the term "faith" is used... You implicitly suggest that somehow acceptance of scientific evidence created by others is equivalent to acceptance of claims of god as spoken by others.

    They are not. It's foolish to suggest otherwise.

    Now, you may again claim that you have not mentioned god or religion, but I remind you of the context of the thread. That's exactly what your comments about faith suggest... again... given the context of the thread, and it's disingenuous to suggest the contrary.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Imagine that I have a piece of paper with a 10 digit number written on it. I tell you the number is 1234567890. Without looking at this paper, you give it to 1,000 other people, all of which confirm the number is what I stated it to be. And lets say the number actually is 1234567890. Until you look at the number yourself, can you really say that your belief in what the number is, is something other than faith?
    No... It's either acceptance or non-acceptance of the claims of others which are themselves rooted in evidence. It's also a completely mundane and ordinary claim.

    Claims of god, however? Not so ordinary. Extra-ordinary, in fact, and the evidence must scale with the claim. Accepting the number written on a piece of paper as confirmed by a thousand people is mundane, so the word of those 1,000 people is generally sufficient. Sure, they could all be wrong, but believing them is hardly faith... It's acceptance because the claim is small and ordinary... and... perhaps most importantly... testable.

    The term faith is very specific and generally applies to belief in deities and the following of religions... especially in the context of this thread. It's a different type of faith in those instances than that which you are trying to apply to our acceptance of science and scientific claims, since faith in deities is NOT rooted empirically and it is NOT derived from experiment and it is NOT based on evidence or precise and consistent definitions. To suggest that my acceptance of gravity or the germ theory of illness is equivalent to the faith being described about gods is nonsense... As has been pointed out repeatedly in the other 16 pages of this thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    From a philosophical point of view, I would say no.
    Good for you, but this is a science forum.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    As a result, I cannot rightly say that I know those finding to be true, (even if they ultimately are). This is just me being honest with myself.
    I think perhaps this gets to the root of your issue. You claim that people "know something to be true" because of evidence from others. However, the term "acceptance" applies better. That's the approach of science... Based on current evidence, things are generally treated as facts, but inherent in science is the willingness to change... The knowledge that this could be wrong, and we may have to update our model or view. It's not that we "know something to be true," but instead that we "accept it as true based on what we currently know."

    I have never seen the London Bridge, but I accept that it is where people claim it is (because it's a mundane ordinary claim supported by evidence and observation). Could I be wrong? Could the bridge not exist? Sure... That's possible, but I accept it as true given the circumstances and evidence. I hardly have faith that the bridge is there. I accept it as valid given the evidence available.

    To equivocate that acceptance with the concept of faith is to stretch the meaning of that term so far as to make it virtually meaningless and wholly without utility or merit.
    Quoted for emphasis.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  46. #246 Re: . 
    Forum Freshman Munk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    The point to which I've been trying to draw your attention is that this really is not a valid use of the term "faith." Faith is the belief in something in the ABSENCE of evidence (and sometimes in the face of contradictory evidence). The term which more appropriately applies to what you are describing above is "acceptance."
    On the contrary, I used the actual definition of the word 'faith'...

    "Confidence or trust in a person or thing "
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

    "The confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith

    "Complete trust or confidence in someone or something"
    http://www.google.com/dictionary?lan...ith&hl=en&aq=f

    The rest of your post is (more or less) irrelevant now that I have (once again) shown that your science-based beliefs fit the definition of the word "faith". However, since I anticipate this being my last post on the issue, I will go ahead an address the rest of your response. After all, there is no point in endlessly repeating myself.


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Further... This acceptance can be tested.
    But you haven't tested it. No matter how you try to dodge the issue, your beliefs are still only based off of what you have read/heard. Period.

    I'll give that a moment to sink in.

    This fact also applies to the very evidence and experiments you use to inflate the status of your beliefs. In the end, *your* only experience with this evidence and these experiments boil down to words on a page. Your beliefs are based off of words on a page! Protest all you want, this truth is blatant. You know it, I know it, and even your boy Arcane Mathematician knows it. 8)


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    One is no longer putting faith in someone else's work
    But that is exactly what you are doing when you do not do the work yourself, and place confidence/trust in the results.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    they are accepting their conclusion as valid since they can put it to the test themselves.
    Correction, they are trusting their conclusion is valid because they have read they can test it themselves and come to the same result.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    It's about having the possibility of replicating that finding on your own, and hence is rooted in reason, logic, and empiricism.
    Saying your beliefs are "rooted in empiricism” is on par with a movie saying it’s “based on true events”. Do you know what else is rooted in empiricism? A little thing called Intelligent Design. Need I say more?


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    If someone claims that bowling balls and golf balls drop to the earth at the same rate despite their difference in size, I can test that myself. I can see that others have repeated the tests and come to the same result. My acceptance is based on evidence. I do not blindly accept it because someone else said so... I don't have faith that this happens, I have knowledge rooted in evidence that it does.
    But until you do do it yourself, all you have to go off of are words that describe these experiments, words that tell of uniform results, and no actual experiences of your own to back those words up. Label it what you will, we all know what kind of belief that is…



    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Now, I know you have not personally made any comments about god or religion, but you DID choose to post your comments regarding faith in a thread about exactly that. Either you're a fool, or you're being disingenuous here.
    Or better yet, either I’m a fool and accept this false dichotomy, or I minored in philosophy…

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    You implicitly suggest that somehow acceptance of scientific evidence created by others is equivalent to acceptance of claims of god as spoken by others.
    You and your imagination! All I said was that these scientific beliefs of yours are faith-based, and since these beliefs fit the very definition of the word, I was right in making this statement. Stop trying to make my argument into something it isn’t, we call that a quoteunquote strawman fallacy . Isn’t learning fun!


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Now, you may again claim that you have not mentioned god or religion, but I remind you of the context of the thread. That's exactly what your comments about faith suggest... again... given the context of the thread, and it's disingenuous to suggest the contrary.
    Not just a claim, but an empirical fact as well. I’m sorry if that means you can’t use the same ol’ bag of tricks you normally would...deal.

    The fact is, neither my premise or assertions hinge upon such a comparison. So even if we temporarily assume my underlying motivation was to draw similarities (reductio ad absurdum) , it would be irrelevant to the validity of the arguments put forth. So even if you were right, you’d still be wrong. Gotta love it!



    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    The term faith is very specific and generally applies to belief in deities and the following of religions... especially in the context of this thread. It's a different type of faith in those instances than that which you are trying to apply to our acceptance of science and scientific claims, since faith in deities is NOT rooted empirically and it is NOT derived from experiment and it is NOT based on evidence or precise and consistent definitions. To suggest that my acceptance of gravity or the germ theory of illness is equivalent to the faith being described about gods is nonsense... As has been pointed out repeatedly in the other 16 pages of this thread.
    Well, then I guess it’s a good thing that I NEVER MADE THIS COMPARISON.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    "]You claim that people "know something to be true" because of evidence from others. However, the term "acceptance" applies better. That's the approach of science... Based on current evidence, things are generally treated as facts, but inherent in science is the willingness to change... The knowledge that this could be wrong, and we may have to update our model or view. It's not that we "know something to be true," but instead that we "accept it as true based on what we currently know.
    Nope. I am simply pointing out the fundamental difference between hearing something is verified, and actually verifying something. And I have a feeling you already have a firm grasp on the significance of this difference...call it a hunch.
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  47. #247 Re: . 
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    The point to which I've been trying to draw your attention is that this really is not a valid use of the term "faith." Faith is the belief in something in the ABSENCE of evidence (and sometimes in the face of contradictory evidence). The term which more appropriately applies to what you are describing above is "acceptance."
    On the contrary, I used the actual definition of the word 'faith'...

    "Confidence or trust in a person or thing "
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith
    I can't help but to notice that your link has 8 definitions for faith, more than four of which agree with my central point. You've merely cherry-picked that one which seemed to suggest the contrary. Regardless, your link to a dictionary has nothing to do with that central point, so I will ignore it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    The rest of your post is (more or less) irrelevant now that I have (once again) shown that your science-based beliefs fit the definition of the word "faith".
    I suppose it's a matter of opinion. I see you as equivocating. I see you as conflating terms. I have described why, and even offered a more precise word (actually, plural... words) to convey what you are saying. Feel free to cast it aside as irrelevant. You have still failed to address my central point.




    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Further... This acceptance can be tested.
    But you haven't tested it.
    Irrelevant. The fact that it CAN be subjected to test and scrutiny means it is no longer equivalent to that faith which cannot.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    I'll give that a moment to sink in.
    Okay. That moment has passed. Now what? You've still not addressed my central point.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    This fact also applies to the very evidence and experiments you use to inflate the status of your beliefs. In the end, *your* only experience with this evidence and these experiments boil down to words on a page. Your beliefs are based off of words on a page! Protest all you want, this truth is blatant. You know it, I know it, and even your boy Arcane Mathematician knows it. 8)
    What's your point? You're asserting some sort of equivalence between faith in the absence of evidence and acceptance of a claim rooted in empiricism. I've pointed out why this is a flawed approach.

    It seems you're merely interested in some deeper philosophical circle jerk where you try to one-up those posting replies by proposing that EVERYTHING in the ENTIRE universe is equivalent because it must first pass through our own perception and so is completely equivalent.

    Okay... And that particular gem of information is useful to us and relevant to the discussion... how, exactly?



    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    One is no longer putting faith in someone else's work
    But that is exactly what you are doing when you do not do the work yourself, and place confidence/trust in the results.
    Feel free to continue in your disagreement, but as I've laid out... One is acceptance based on data, another is belief in the absence of (or even despite contradictory) data.

    I propose these are not equivalent. You propose they are. I'm comfortable with letting the reader decide for themselves which is the more rational approach.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    they are accepting their conclusion as valid since they can put it to the test themselves.
    Correction, they are trusting their conclusion is valid because they have read they can test it themselves and come to the same result.
    And this particular correction is helpful to us... how, exactly?
    The core concept at play here is that it CAN be tested, and hence is not equivalent to the faith which is applied to something which cannot be.



    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Saying your beliefs are "rooted in empiricism” is on par with a movie saying it’s “based on true events”.
    No, actually. That's not the case at all. I am not sure I've ever seen a more failed analogy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Do you know what else is rooted in empiricism? A little thing called Intelligent Design.
    Well... Actually, no. Let me tell you why. They made empirical claims, and when those claims were subjected to test and scrutiny, they failed. Ergo, if ID were rooted in empiricism it would be abandoned entirely since empiricism showed those claims to be false. Only if the experiment confirmed the claims could you then say said belief was empirically rooted.

    Interesting attempt, though. I'll give you an E for effort.



    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Or better yet, either I’m a fool and accept this false dichotomy, or I minored in philosophy…
    Did you really just use an appeal to authority based on a minor in philosophy? That's classic. Thanks for the chuckle.



    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    All I said was that these scientific beliefs of yours are faith-based
    And I countered that you are conflating the term, equivocating meanings, and using sloppy imprecise language to describe what you actually mean (which is better characterized as acceptance based on available evidence... an acceptance which would change given different evidence... Faith? Yeah... That doesn't change in the face of evidence, ergo... not equivalent).


    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    I am simply pointing out the fundamental difference between hearing something is verified, and actually verifying something.
    I never disagreed with that difference. Never once called it into question. What I've been elucidating to you is that this is little more than a red herring, since the relevant metric at play here is whether or not the claim CAN be tested... Not whether or not we've personally performed said test.

    It is the fact that a claim is available for test which makes acceptance of that claim different from faith.



    Right then... This has all been said already in the other 16 pages of this thread. I'm done. Have fun.


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  48. #248 Re: . 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Or better yet, either I’m a fool and accept this false dichotomy, or I minored in philosophy…
    Wow, so did I... Funny, I can taste the faulty logic in your posts from here. You're going in circles, and equating non-equivalent objects.

    For instance:

    I ate a red apple, and found it sweet and delicious. I ate several more, and have come to see that they all taste roughly the same. I reason that all red apples have a flavor to them that is roughly the same as my experience. I came to this conclusion through testing the apples for flavors and finding a consistent result.

    I am told that green apples have a sour taste to them. More people confirm this statement through self-testament. I reason that Green apples likely taste roughly the same and have a likely sour taste to them, based on the testaments of those who have eaten them. Can I test this? Yes. All I must do is eat a few green apples. Can I trust these testaments? Yes. Through the use of Occam's Razor, I reason that these separate claims are likely correct due to the repeatability of the claims, and the fact that the idea of all of these people conspiring to make me believe that green apples are sour when they in fact are not, fails the razor, as do all alternative theories. Logically, I have determined that Green apples are likely sour, without ever eating one. I accept this due to the logical process I've followed. No faith ever entered the equation aside from the usual assumptions that are necessary for logic to function, among few other basic assumptions.

    Any religious faith statement is untestable, and as such, illogical. That's like comparing Green Apples to Red Apples. They simply are not the same.



    And for the record, I have never eaten a green apple. In your opinion, was i correct? In your opinion, are they sour?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  49. #249 Re: . 
    Forum Freshman Munk's Avatar
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    There are a few points I would like to address before I go, I’ll try to be quick

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    I can't help but to notice that your link has 8 definitions for faith, more than four of which agree with my central point. You've merely cherry-picked that one which seemed to suggest the contrary. Regardless, your link to a dictionary has nothing to do with that central point, so I will ignore it.
    Anyone who actually clicks the link you quoted will see that 4 agree with you, and 4 agree with me. Not sure how that constitutes cherry picking on my part, especially when you consider that dictionary's list definitions in order of most-to-least common, and the definition I cited was numero uno on both online dictionaries, and the opening sentence on Wikipedia.

    In any case, it wouldn’t matter if you were right. Words often have multiple meanings, and from the very beginning I made it clear which “meaning” I was referring to. You are the one who ignored it, and then turned around and accused me of conflating terms.


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    I suppose it's a matter of opinion. I see you as equivocating. I see you as conflating terms. I have described why, and even offered a more precise word (actually, plural... words) to convey what you are saying. Feel free to cast it aside as irrelevant. You have still failed to address my central point.
    See above.




    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Irrelevant. The fact that it CAN be subjected to test and scrutiny means it is no longer equivalent to that faith which cannot.
    I’m calling it, strawman fallacy. You are misrepresenting my argument and attempting to refute the misrepresentation. You already know what I mean when I say faith, I have defined it for you several times now. Yet, even though you now know my definition is just as prominent (if not, more so) than the definition you are using (click the links), you continue to equivocate the two to better suit your argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Feel free to continue in your disagreement, but as I've laid out... One is acceptance based on data, another is belief in the absence of (or even despite contradictory) data.

    I propose these are not equivalent. You propose they are. I'm comfortable with letting the reader decide for themselves which is the more rational approach.
    I think it's about time that you either quote the part where I make this comparison, or stop making the accusation. All I have done is point out that your science-based beliefs fit the definition of the word “faith“, and it does. The irony here is that you are ignoring contradictory data to uphold this belief , i.e. the other definitions that qualify your belief as “faith”. Sound familiar?

    And since I am asserting the claim about faith, and using a valid definition of the word, your alternate definition would not to apply my argument (no matter how bad you wish it did). If I assert that X fits definition Y, it you couldn't refute the argument by saying that X does not = Z. But that is what you are trying to do.

    I could probably even use most of the definitions you think support your argument against you. For example, lets look at the definition: “belief without proof.” Normally this would fall right in line with your position. However, is merely reading words off a page sufficient in having “proof” of something?

    I think we both have the answer to that question, and even if we consider that those things could be tested, the answer still wouldn't change, would it? You would still only have words on a page to back up your belief.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    they are accepting their conclusion as valid since they can put it to the test themselves.
    Correction, they are trusting their conclusion is valid because they have read they can test it themselves and come to the same result.
    And this particular correction is helpful to us... how, exactly?
    Just showing the striking resemblance between the reality of the situation, and the definition of the word faith. But you already knew that.


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Or better yet, either I’m a fool and accept this false dichotomy, or I minored in philosophy…
    Did you really just use an appeal to authority based on a minor in philosophy? That's classic. Thanks for the chuckle.
    That was almost a clever comeback, I‘m actually a bit surprised! Unfortunately the validity of the claim I made (i.e. that you were trying to use a false dichotomy) doesn’t actually depend on the fact that I minored in philosophy. Instead, it depended only on the fact that you made it seem as if there were only two possible options in that particular circumstance, when in reality there were more. Hence, no actual appeal to authority…but I can see how that may have been confusing for a newb. :wink:


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    I am simply pointing out the fundamental difference between hearing something is verified, and actually verifying something.
    I never disagreed with that difference. Never once called it into question. What I've been elucidating to you is that this is little more than a red herring, since the relevant metric at play here is whether or not the claim CAN be tested... Not whether or not we've personally performed said test.
    Since when has my argument ever relied on the premise that your beliefs are faith based only because they cannot be tested…oh wait, that’s not my argument at all, that’s your argument against religion…except your trying to use it on me…even though I never mentioned religion or god….and despite the fact that I keep telling you this…

    ______________________


    Arcane, I actually like the way you positioned this, but why do you BOTH keep ignoring the fact that I never made a comparison to religion. Bite the apple and see for yourself, if you must. Its all there, just read and you will see this never actually happened.

    Moving on, there are a couple things I would like to point about the apple analogy:

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    I ate a red apple, and found it sweet and delicious. I ate several more, and have come to see that they all taste roughly the same. I reason that all red apples have a flavor to them that is roughly the same as my experience. I came to this conclusion through testing the apples for flavors and finding a consistent result.
    This assumes the person actually ate a red apple...and not just that, but ate several. However, we have already determined the extent of the person’s knowledge is limited to ‘reading about how red apples taste’.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    I am told that green apples have a sour taste to them. More people confirm this statement through self-testament. I reason that Green apples likely taste roughly the same and have a likely sour taste to them, based on the testaments of those who have eaten them. Can I test this? Yes. All I must do is eat a few green apples.
    “Have I tested this? No, and so instead I place trust and confidence in the testimonies of others without actually verifying whether or not this trust/confidence is well-founded.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Can I trust these testaments? Yes. Through the use of Occam's Razor, I reason that these separate claims are likely correct due to the repeatability of the claims [and the fact that the idea of all of these people conspiring to make me believe that green apples are sour when they in fact are not, fails the razor, as do all alternative theories. Logically, I have determined that Green apples are likely sour, without ever eating one. I accept this due to the logical process I've followed. No faith ever entered the equation aside from the usual assumptions that are necessary for logic to function, among few other basic assumptions.
    Occam’s Razor: “the simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation”

    I don’t see how using this principle keeps the apple assumption from fitting the definition of faith. In fact, this person has not even verified that the principle of Occam’s Razor is valid. Instead, they just assume it to be true, and then use this assumption to justify the even more assumptions, and so on and so forth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Any religious faith statement is untestable, and as such, illogical.
    Two things here,

    1.) Never mentioned religion or religious faith, look for yourself
    2.) Your casual use of the word “illogical” is erroneous.

    “Logic” refers to the process of valid reasoning to derive conclusions. It is entirely possible to use valid reasoning (logic) to justify something that is untestable. A classic example:

    Premise 1: Magic is supernatural
    Premise 2: Science can only examine the natural universe

    Conclusion: Science is inherently unable to examine the nature of Magic.


    This is a logical conclusion to derive from the given premises, hence it is what we call in philosophy a valid argument. Now, if the premises were determine to be untrue, then the conclusion may not be true either. However, the argument would still be “valid“, even though it would be “unsound” because of its untruthfulness. As you can see, logic is just a process of reasoning…one that allows for abstract problem solving that may or may not apply to what can be tested.
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  50. #250  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    I can't help but to notice that your link has 8 definitions for faith, more than four of which agree with my central point. You've merely cherry-picked that one which seemed to suggest the contrary. Regardless, your link to a dictionary has nothing to do with that central point, so I will ignore it.
    Anyone who actually clicks the link you quoted will see that 4 agree with you, and 4 agree with me. Not sure how that constitutes cherry picking on my part
    Wait, what? You think this one agrees with your point:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith?jss=0
    the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
    And you think this one agrees with your point:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith?jss=0
    the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
    Can you please explain how, exactly, those "agree with you?"


    Regardless... As I mentioned above, I do not have much desire to continue with you.

    I have described why I think use of the term faith in regard to acceptance of scientific knowledge is inaccurate and sloppy, and unnecessarily conflates scientific claims with those which are unscientific and not rooted in evidence.
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    You appear to be lacking the ability to understand why people are resisting you the way they are so I hope this helps.

    The way I see it, in that singular definition of Faith, "confidence or trust in a person or thing" you could reasonably say scientists have faith in one another.

    However you came into a thread, discussing the religious definitions of the word faith. You used a completely different definition of faith, to try to prove that scientists have faith.

    This is why people are resisting you. It's the same as saying "(insert scientific theory here) is just a theory." Trying to state that it isn't as important or backed up by evidence as it is. True, theory is used by the lay person to mean roughly equivalent to how scientists use hypothesis, but theory has a very specific meaning when used by scientists. Using it in the way a lay person does when referring to science means you are using the wrong definition. Even though it has a definition that agrees with your point, it is still the incorrect word to use for your proposition. By using it in that way, so long as you know the difference, you are intentionally being deceitful, and people are not going to be receptive to your idea.

    Faith:
    1.
    confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
    The one above is the only one I see that agrees with your use of the word faith, and like I said I don't see any reason to disagree with your use of this singular definition of the word. The rest of these definitions don't agree with you.
    2.
    belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
    Scientists have proof for their claims. When they don't have proof for their claims they are either disregarded as crackpot or they are putting forth a new hypothesis and are working on acquiring the proof for their claim. I wouldn't classify the latter as faith, but the former (with no proof or attempt at proof) would be faith. This is the definition used by the first 16 pages of this thread. Your choice to ignore this definition means you are being picky about what definition you're using. I don't know what your motivation is to do this, if you want to go back to some religious group and say "SEE scientists have faith too!" or if you just wanted to "prove" scientists have faith to try to make yourself feel better or something. I really can't see a point to your point of trying to say scientists have that one limited definition of the word faith.

    3.
    belief in god or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
    Obviously not the definition you were talking about.

    4.
    belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
    Again not your definition, although this one might be able to be argued for your way or using faith. You have faith that the methods in the experiment were done correctly and without contamination. But that is a stretch.
    5.
    a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
    Again not your use of faith.

    6.
    the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
    Scientists don't really have much loyalty to much of anything. If they think someone is wrong they are going to do what they can to prove that person wrong. If they think a hypothesis is wrong or a theory is wrong they are going to try to disprove it. Science is more about proving other people/ideas wrong, than proving things right.

    7.
    the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
    See above.

    8.
    Christian Theology . the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.
    Again most of the thread was using definitions of faith regarding a definition like this one.



    It appears to me that one definition agrees with you, a second definition might be able to be bent to agree with you, and the other 6 are clearly not the definition you're using. Those other 6 are the ones the rest of the thread was talking about. It is not fair for you to come into a thread talking about those 6 definitions, and use a completely different definition and expect people to agree with you.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster...when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you" - Friedrich Nietzsche

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  52. #252 Re: . 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Arcane, I actually like the way you positioned this, but why do you BOTH keep ignoring the fact that I never made a comparison to religion. Bite the apple and see for yourself, if you must. Its all there, just read and you will see this never actually happened.

    Moving on, there are a couple things I would like to point about the apple analogy:

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    I ate a red apple, and found it sweet and delicious. I ate several more, and have come to see that they all taste roughly the same. I reason that all red apples have a flavor to them that is roughly the same as my experience. I came to this conclusion through testing the apples for flavors and finding a consistent result.
    This assumes the person actually ate a red apple...and not just that, but ate several. However, we have already determined the extent of the person’s knowledge is limited to ‘reading about how red apples taste’.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    I am told that green apples have a sour taste to them. More people confirm this statement through self-testament. I reason that Green apples likely taste roughly the same and have a likely sour taste to them, based on the testaments of those who have eaten them. Can I test this? Yes. All I must do is eat a few green apples.
    “Have I tested this? No, and so instead I place trust and confidence in the testimonies of others without actually verifying whether or not this trust/confidence is well-founded.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Can I trust these testaments? Yes. Through the use of Occam's Razor, I reason that these separate claims are likely correct due to the repeatability of the claims [and the fact that the idea of all of these people conspiring to make me believe that green apples are sour when they in fact are not, fails the razor, as do all alternative theories. Logically, I have determined that Green apples are likely sour, without ever eating one. I accept this due to the logical process I've followed. No faith ever entered the equation aside from the usual assumptions that are necessary for logic to function, among few other basic assumptions.
    Occam’s Razor: “the simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation”

    I don’t see how using this principle keeps the apple assumption from fitting the definition of faith. In fact, this person has not even verified that the principle of Occam’s Razor is valid. Instead, they just assume it to be true, and then use this assumption to justify the even more assumptions, and so on and so forth.
    You've shown that your "minor" in philosophy isn't worth Horse Shit in this post. Well done sir, Well done, and way to miss the point entirely. I understood what you meant, and demonstrated two methods of logically ascertaining the taste of an apple. You missed the mark by more than a mile. Occam's Razor is a simple concept that, given your statement of having studied philosophy, I figured you'd have no refutation for. But, turns out, you are among those who simply deny the processes of Logic as invalid, and bend them to your will to make you right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Any religious faith statement is untestable, and as such, illogical.
    Two things here,

    1.) Never mentioned religion or religious faith, look for yourself
    2.) Your casual use of the word “illogical” is erroneous.

    “Logic” refers to the process of valid reasoning to derive conclusions. It is entirely possible to use valid reasoning (logic) to justify something that is untestable. A classic example:

    Premise 1: Magic is supernatural
    Premise 2: Science can only examine the natural universe

    Conclusion: Science is inherently unable to examine the nature of Magic.


    This is a logical conclusion to derive from the given premises, hence it is what we call in philosophy a valid argument. Now, if the premises were determine to be untrue, then the conclusion may not be true either. However, the argument would still be “valid“, even though it would be “unsound” because of its untruthfulness. As you can see, logic is just a process of reasoning…one that allows for abstract problem solving that may or may not apply to what can be tested.
    now, this, is just an example of pisspoor logic. You use basic reasoning to apply a simple conclusion to a rather complex problem, with the use of false premises. Wow, again, what a fantastic load of crap your "philosophy minor" is... Inow pointed out that you are using a religious definition of faith, and applying it across the board. That's a naughty no-no.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  53. #253  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    And you think this one agrees with your point:

    Can you please explain how, exactly, those "agree with you?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    In any case, it wouldn’t matter if you were right. Words often have multiple meanings, and from the very beginning I made it clear which “meaning” I was referring to. You are the one who ignored it, and then turned around and accused me of conflating terms.
    Plus there was more than one link, but anyway...

    _______________


    Hassum, I understand the context of the discussion and why they are resisting my argument. I do appreciate your efforts however (honestly, you were very polite). Though I sometimes go off on tangents, the number of definitions really has nothing to do with the argument. Clearly my argument makes sense with definition 1, as we seem to agree, but what about definition 2:

    belief that is not based on proof
    Would you agree that this understanding of faith is "more suitable" for this discussion? If so, I think my argument still holds pretty solidly.

    People who say they have "proof" of their science-based beliefs (but have not actually done any science themselves) are in fact referring to testimony of proof (scientific journals, books, data sets, etc). And there is a difference. A scientist cannot just write something in a journal and have it magically become proof of anything, the experiments must be done before proof is had. This is enough to make a case that there is no intrinsic empirical value in scientific testimony. So, if scientific testimony is all someone is going off of...

    It is also important to distinguish the difference between being able to test/confirm a finding, and actually testing/confirming a finding. Suppose I have a box with something in it. Others have opened it to say a rock was inside. Though I could open the box, can I really say I (personally) have proof that there is a rock inside, if I never actually open the box myself? Can you see how this relates to the argument I made of scientific testimony?


    __________________________


    Arcane, though I actually did minor in philosophy, I only mentioned it as a tongue-in-cheek type response to inow's false dichotomy...so you can relax. Please read the points I brought up to Hassum, as they apply to you as well.


    On a side note, your ill-informed critique of the most basic logical concepts (like the difference between valid logic and sound logic) says much more about your understanding of the discipline than it does about mine.

    Your analogy is an example of inductive logic, which means the conclusion is not necessarily entailed by the premises. This is opposed to deductive logic, where the conclusion is necessarily entailed by the premises (such as my 'magic' argument). When you use inductive logic to justify something, you are making an assumption that is beyond the premises you use to justify it. That 'gap' between the conclusion and premises is the proverbial chink in your armor...and this particular chink is the size of football field.

    It's not hard to see why words on a page ≠ empirical proof of anything (aside from perhaps the claim that there are indeed words on said page)
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  54. #254  
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    Wheeee!!!11!2!!1one22!!


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  55. #255  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Munk, you are right and I am wrong.
    Hey, look at that, empirical evidence!
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  56. #256  
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    I would not say that definition two is valid when applied to scientists.
    Lets say 50 scientists perform the exact same experiment, and all 50 get the same answer (within an acceptable margin of error for the experiment). I can safely assume that they have a correct answer.

    However I myself as you say do not have the "evidence" they do and I am taking their word for it. However let's say I read their findings (in the form of a scientific paper) and I feel their procedure was wrong or there was contamination. So I decide to test it myself, and lets say that my findings disagree with 50 scientists who also performed the experiment.

    To me, it sounds as if you are saying that, because I now have personal evidence, I can automatically reject the findings of those other 50 scientists. When it is one against 50, generally (not always) the majority is going to be right when it is that overwhelming.

    We also have, depending on the theory/experiment, multiple ways to test something. If 50 scientists all test something and again get the same answer (within acceptable margin of error) and 50 scientists using a different method to test the same hypothesis, all get the same answer they did (*) we can reasonably draw the conclusion that the answer is right, and the tests were valid. Because the tests were valid we don't have to actually do the experiment ourselves in order to accept that the findings are right.


    A very good example of people disbelieving something until they do it themselves is testing gravity. By which I mean that objects fall at the same rate no matter their weight/mass.

    Most young people find it hard to believe that something like a bowling ball will fall at the same rate as an apple. Then they try it, and they find that it is true. Before they test it are they correct in their disbelief of the truth of that statement? I would say no, because it has been tested and demonstrated so many times that there is no point in questioning it.

    If you took someone who never tested it, and dropped in their lap 10,000 papers that tell you the hypothesis that an apple and a bowling ball (among other various combination's of objects to thoroughly test it) will fall at the same rate. They tell you the materials (bowling ball and apple) and method used (we went to the top of a 10 story building and dropped them. We had an observer at the bottom who confirmed they hit at the same time.)

    Would you say that person would be just in his disbelief of the fact that they will fall at the same rate, in the face of all that hard evidence?

    If so, why would he be just? There is a mountain of evidence that has been reviewed, and tested and all of it proved the hypothesis true.

    I don't understand why you feel that unless you actually do something yourself you can't accept it as true.

    Would you say acceptance of theory's or experiments that produce tangible benefits or results is wrong unless you have done the experiment yourself? I have done no experiment to test electricity, but it is powering my computer right now. I have done no experiment to test whether you can reach critical mass with radioactive elements and create a nuclear bomb, but they clearly exist. Am I wrong to accept the findings of the scientists who created the atom bombs without actually testing it myself?

    If we had to continually rediscover everything science has found in order to be sure of anything, we would never get anywhere and learn new things with science because we would be constantly testing things that we already know are true from the thousands of times they have been tested before.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster...when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you" - Friedrich Nietzsche

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  57. #257  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Munk, you are right and I am wrong.
    Hey, look at that, empirical evidence!
    I don't appreciate the academic dishonesty you have just displayed by using a quote to attribute words to me which I did not post or say. Those are not my words shown in your quote, and you have just shown your true colors with that post.
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  58. #258  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haasum
    I would not say that definition two is valid when applied to scientists.
    Then there is no use in continuing this line of debate, as it assumes this premise. Are you saying scientists are somehow inherently unable to believe in something without proof? Perhaps we should define proof before we go any further. I am already anticipating an equivocation between:

    A. The documentation of proof: words, numbers, and other means of recording quantitative data.

    B. Proof: that which the words, number and other quantitative data measure/refer to.

    Often time in debates like these, A and B will be used interchangeably under the umbrella term of 'proof' which, as you can guess, doesn't make for productive conversation. And if we can't get this worked out now, there is no point in going forward. When I say 'proof', I mean (B). I am not sure how else to describe 'that', but the only method of attaining (B) is by first-person-experience. Without that, you only have (A).

    ___________

    inow, stop being so melodramatic. You opened the door to "creative" ways of making a point with that picture you posted. I simply responded in kind. I used this to illustrate a very important point that you have been shrugging off throughout this debate. Perhaps now you have a bit more appreciation for the gravity of this point...but, I kind of doubt it. In any case, I didn't know you would be so offended.

    I'm man enough to apologize. I'm sorry. And I love you.
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  59. #259  
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    If the documentation of proof, A, is based off of proof, B, we can reasonably assume that without B you cannot have A*. If you cannot have A without B then A is just as viable as B. If A is just as viable as B you can use A as evidence for something without having personal experience with B.


    *I make this statement meaning that, when it come to science, so I am excluding religious writings or fiction etc, you are not going to find documentation of proof, A, without the proof, B, to back them up.

    How can you not see that they are really the same thing?

    I'll grant you that the only way to get proof, B, is by personal experience. I want to know WHY you feel that A is not good enough to base knowledge off of, when it is based directly off of B.

    It sounds like you are saying that personal experience trumps over general consensus. If I do an experiment and it disagrees with the rest of the findings, am I correct to throw aside the results of all of the other scientists because I now have personal proof which disagrees with them? Or should I perhaps re-run the experiment to see if I messed up somewhere because I got a different answer than they did?
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster...when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you" - Friedrich Nietzsche

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  60. #260  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haasum
    If the documentation of proof, A, is based off of proof, B, we can reasonably assume that without B you cannot have A*.
    I do not accept this premise. If this documentation is fabricated, inaccurate, or even incomplete, it is entirely possible to have a supposed documentation (A) of something that doesn't actually exist (B); therefore (A) without (B).


    For example: Suppose that someone believes that thinking of a number between 1 and 6 will directly influence the outcome of the random rolling a die.

    - This person can use a trick die, fake video, fake data, etc to fabricate documentation of said phenomenon

    - This person may be as blind as a bat, and not document the correct numbers (inaccurate documentation of said phenomenon)

    - This person may only do 3 trials (and get lucky), and produce incomplete/misleading documentation of said phenomenon.


    Neither of these things entail that the actual phenomenon exists, therefor it is possible to have (A) without (B).


    Quote Originally Posted by Haasum
    If you cannot have A without B then A is just as viable as B. If A is just as viable as B you can use A as evidence for something without having personal experience with B.
    Quote Originally Posted by Haasum
    How can you not see that they are really the same thing?
    Based on what I have quoted, by 'just as viable' I assume you mean 'equivalent'. I do not accept this premise either, not only as a result of rejecting the first premise, but because it doesn't follow even if we assumed that the first premise was sound (reductio ad absurdum)

    For example: If you cannot have water (A) without oxygen (B), then oxygen is equivalent to water. Clearly this is not true. Though you cannot have H2O without O, this doesn't mean that O is equal to H2O, or that O functions in the same way as H2O, has the same properties as H2O, etc.

    If you meant something other than 'equivalent', please clarify.



    Quote Originally Posted by Haasum
    It sounds like you are saying that personal experience trumps over general consensus.

    I am not saying that one trumps the other, just that they are not the same thing (and therefore cannot be 'used' interchangeably).
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    The documentation could be faked, incomplete, or inaccurate, true. But when multiple sources using a variety of techniques all produce the same answer, there is no reason to suspect that they are wrong.

    Your second comment about H2O and O is not valid because it is a completely different situation, you have two physical things which are different. A correct analogy here would be saying us naming the atoms. The atoms can exist without their name, but a name without an atom isn't an atom.

    Hydrogen, would have the exact same properties it has now, if it were named something other than hydrogen. Hydrogen is just the method by which we convey what we are talking about.

    Your idea that we cannot rely on the work of other credible people, is quite frankly wrong. The fact that we constantly advance our knowlege due in large part to not having to redo every experiment, and are still making correct advancements is proof of that.

    But I see that we are not going to come to an agreement with that so I am done here. Sorry you can't see that when you have mountains of overwhelming evidence, you can trust that it is right, and enjoy performing experiments that have been proven countless times already just to satisfy your irrational need for first person proof.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster...when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you" - Friedrich Nietzsche

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  62. #262  
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    I'm sorry, but I have to side with Rene Margritte on this one

    When he was asked what he meant by "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" ("this is not a pipe"), he simply stated "Of course its not a pipe, just try to fill it with tobacco."

    No amount of argument will ever make (A) = (B). The fact is, the only way these two things could be identical is if they had identical properties, and clearly they do not. The documentation of evidence is not the same as actual, physical evidence, for the same reason the word "dog" is not identical to an actual, physical "dog". If you cannot understand why, or if you refuse to accept this difference, well... that's not my problem.
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    I trust no one who values their personal experience over the scientific milieu's gestalt.

    I am sure you will lose no sleep over me finding you untrustworthy, but then, on the plus side, I shan't waste anymore time reading your misinterpretations of reality.
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  64. #264  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I trust no one who values their personal experience over the scientific milieu's gestalt.

    I am sure you will lose no sleep over me finding you untrustworthy, but then, on the plus side, I shan't waste anymore time reading your misinterpretations of reality.
    I'm afraid you have it all wrong, Ophiolite. Believe it or not, I have a significant level of trust when it comes to the scientific community, the scientific method, and etc. In fact, there are very few things that I trust more than science, so please refrain from the ignorant character judgements.

    With that being said, I am under no disillusion that this trust I have is anything but that -- trust. Simply because I cannot say that I personally know a given scientific principle is accurate/real, doesn't mean I do not genuinely believe those principles to be real. It only means that I am lucid enough to know the difference between (A) and (B), and that I have no "side" I feel I need to defend from rather obvious (and contradictory) truths.


    * A. The documentation of proof: words, numbers, and other means of recording quantitative data.
    * B. Proof: that which the words, number and other quantitative data measure/refer to.
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  65. #265  
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    only means that I am lucid enough to know the difference between (A) and (B)
    One thing you don't seem to realise, is that you can only ever have any experience with (A).
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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  66. #266  
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    I don't follow, please elaborate.
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    My point is that we can't know ANYTHING for 100% sure. The best we can do is employ every method we can to verify the truth of what we experience and about the nature of the world we live in. But then surely there are varying degrees of confidence we can legitimately have in what we know? I mean you can't legitimately equate a grain of sand and a mountain can you?

    So it comes down to what methods we can reliably use to find out about the world we live in and when you look at the scientific method and religious faith, the objective truth of the matter is that one is a grain of sand and the other a mountain.

    What you seem to be doing, is using the fact that a grain of sand and a mountain is qualitatively the same, to equate the degree of truth that one can attribute to that which they describe, despite the quantitative difference between them. Making a plea with regards to the source of the information available to either group of proponents by looking at only one aspect of the available information that happens to be equatable (i.e. that both are not personally verified), is, it seems to me, deliberately disingenuous.

    I mean, you have witnessed accounts (in person or in print) from people who believe that Australia exists and that dragons exist. Can you really honestly tell me that you give equal credence to the potential truth of both?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  68. #268  
    Forum Freshman Munk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    My point is that we can't know ANYTHING for 100% sure.
    I disagree, I am 100% positive that qualia exists...but that's a different discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    The best we can do is employ every method we can to verify the truth of what we experience and about the nature of the world we live in. But then surely there are varying degrees of confidence we can legitimately have in what we know?
    I agree there are varying degrees of confidence one can legitimately have, but that only supports the distinction between (A) and (B).

    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    What you seem to be doing, is using the fact that a grain of sand and a mountain is qualitatively the same, to equate the degree of truth that one can attribute to that which they describe, despite the quantitative difference between them.
    I am simply pointing out that there is a limit to the certainty one can have with (A) in the absence of (B). I never said (A) wasn't enough to have a "reasonable" degree of confidence in something, only that beliefs that are justified solely by (A) fit the definition of faith ("belief without proof").

    What I would call disingenuous is the way that people know, deep down inside, that their beliefs are completely based on words on a page...but pretend they are not because of what those words suggest. In the end, the proven principles, the overwhelming evidence, and the cases of independently verification, those are all things you believe simply because you have read them. They are still only words on a page, no matter how true they might be.

    I have repeated myself enough at this point. I am (provisionally) done with this discussion unless someone presents something that I couldn't answer by quoting an earlier response of mine.
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  69. #269  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    I disagree, I am 100% positive that qualia exists...but that's a different discussion.
    Sure. I meant we can't know anything exists objectively.

    I am simply pointing out that there is a limit to the certainty one can have with (A) in the absence of (B).I never said (A) wasn't enough to have a "reasonable" degree of confidence in something, only that beliefs that are justified solely by (A) fit the definition of faith ("belief without proof").
    By saying that we can only ever have experience of (A) is precisely because we can never be 100% certain of the precisely defined objective existence of anything. That is the whole essence of the scientific method.

    What I would call disingenuous is the way that people know, deep down inside, that their beliefs are completely based on words on a page...but pretend they are not because of what those words suggest. In the end, the proven principles, the overwhelming evidence, and the cases of independently verification, those are all things you believe simply because you have read them. They are still only words on a page, no matter how true they might be.
    Nobody is arguing with the fact that those things are words on a page and that they have not been personally verified (usually). That is an obvious truth. What I am saying is that it is not the whole story and simply stating the fact does not mean anything, precisely because we cannot 100% know anything objectively, even despite it. What we have to do in ALL instances is determine the degree of truth one can assign to something and ultimately that is all we can go on.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  70. #270  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Or, we accept things as valid until there is evidence or reason not to.
    We choose not to accept things if there is no compelling evidence or reason to.

    Faith? That's the same regardless of evidence and does not change, so does not exist as an accurately/precisely applied term here.
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