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McGruff
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I thought.

Religions have constantly tried to explain physical phenomena and yet they fail every single time. They fail because they are not rational, and never will be. You think they still have one place left to hide - a kind of intellectual exile far away at the end (or beginning) of the universe - but even here they will be exposed, yet again, when the day comes that we are able to look beyond the big bang.

I should not have to argue that irrational beliefs are not able to provide a rational explanation for anything.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
mcgruff wrote:
Name one physical phenomenon which has been successfully explained by religion, not science.

The linearity of Time. The apparent long-term movements of the sun, moon, and stars were first observed, studied, and documented, and forecast by by ancient priests, druids, and astrologers. Archaeologists tell us that, prior to that, primitive man's concept of time was a short, ever-repeating cycle.

However, your question is without significance because you artificially limit it to "religion", "physical phenomena", and the perhaps most importantly, the past. You're being that dude I talked about who says, "What's over the horizon? We don't talk about that because that's not science." Unlike you, real scientists speculate all the time and understand it to be quite rational, if not within the domain of the scientific method.

Now, name one truly important question or discovery (e.g., "what's the difference between right and wrong", "how should men behave toward each other and other creatures", "why are we here"), ever answered by thinking limited entirely to the scientific method. Anything you can think of that's on that level of importance is fine. Valid non-scientific thinking is also rational and of at least equal importance.


What is "valid, non-scientific thinking"?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
What is "valid, non-scientific thinking"?


By definition, it would be a valid philosophical argument.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
mcgruff wrote:
Name one physical phenomenon which has been successfully explained by religion, not science.

The linearity of Time. The apparent long-term movements of the sun, moon, and stars were first observed, studied, and documented, and forecast by by ancient priests, druids, and astrologers. Archaeologists tell us that, prior to that, primitive man's concept of time was a short, ever-repeating cycle.

However, your question is without significance because you artificially limit it to "religion", "physical phenomena", and the perhaps most importantly, the past. You're being that dude I talked about who says, "What's over the horizon? We don't talk about that because that's not science." Unlike you, real scientists speculate all the time and understand it to be quite rational, if not within the domain of the scientific method.

Now, name one truly important question or discovery (e.g., "what's the difference between right and wrong", "how should men behave toward each other and other creatures", "why are we here"), ever answered by thinking limited entirely to the scientific method. Anything you can think of that's on that level of importance is fine. Valid non-scientific thinking is also rational and of at least equal importance.


What is "valid, non-scientific thinking"?

It took me a minute to decide whether you were seriously asking this. Valid non-scientific thinking would be any thinking that is logically coherent but which does not conform to the scientific method. An example would be you deciding to get out of bed this morning. Other examples would be: how you decided what to have for breakfast, which articles from the newspaper you read, and probably every single thing you did at work, assuming you're not a research scientist or or an idiot. In fact, you probably didn't have single scientific thought the whole day.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is for you, GabrielYYZ.

I'm assuming that English is not your native language, so bravo for your understanding. Valid has a very specific meaning in logic. So a small course in basic phil logic should help you understand why that specific word is chosen.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
mcgruff wrote:
Name one physical phenomenon which has been successfully explained by religion, not science.

The linearity of Time. The apparent long-term movements of the sun, moon, and stars were first observed, studied, and documented, and forecast by by ancient priests, druids, and astrologers. Archaeologists tell us that, prior to that, primitive man's concept of time was a short, ever-repeating cycle.

However, your question is without significance because you artificially limit it to "religion", "physical phenomena", and the perhaps most importantly, the past. You're being that dude I talked about who says, "What's over the horizon? We don't talk about that because that's not science." Unlike you, real scientists speculate all the time and understand it to be quite rational, if not within the domain of the scientific method.

Now, name one truly important question or discovery (e.g., "what's the difference between right and wrong", "how should men behave toward each other and other creatures", "why are we here"), ever answered by thinking limited entirely to the scientific method. Anything you can think of that's on that level of importance is fine. Valid non-scientific thinking is also rational and of at least equal importance.


What is "valid, non-scientific thinking"?

It took me a minute to decide whether you were seriously asking this. Valid non-scientific thinking would be any thinking that is logically coherent but which does not conform to the scientific method. An example would be you deciding to get out of bed this morning. Other examples would be: how you decided what to have for breakfast, which articles from the newspaper you read, and probably every single thing you did at work, assuming you're not a research scientist or or an idiot. In fact, you probably didn't have single scientific thought the whole day.


So, basically, deductive reasoning.

Assuming you know that for a valid argument to be sound its premises need to be true, how do you make sure your premises aren't false?

PS: I also assume that you want your conclusions to be based on true premises to be of any use, to avoid believing things based on falsehoods.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
It took me a minute to decide whether you were seriously asking this. Valid non-scientific thinking would be any thinking that is logically coherent but which does not conform to the scientific method. An example would be you deciding to get out of bed this morning. Other examples would be: how you decided what to have for breakfast, which articles from the newspaper you read, and probably every single thing you did at work, assuming you're not a research scientist or or an idiot. In fact, you probably didn't have single scientific thought the whole day.


but no knowledge is gained. In the situations where you need to build knowledge, then there's a range of logical tools that can be applied via science philosophy.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sugar wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
It took me a minute to decide whether you were seriously asking this. Valid non-scientific thinking would be any thinking that is logically coherent but which does not conform to the scientific method. An example would be you deciding to get out of bed this morning. Other examples would be: how you decided what to have for breakfast, which articles from the newspaper you read, and probably every single thing you did at work, assuming you're not a research scientist or or an idiot. In fact, you probably didn't have single scientific thought the whole day.


but no knowledge is gained. In the situations where you need to build knowledge, then there's a range of logical tools that can be applied via science philosophy.

New knowledge does not have to be created for thinking to be rational or logical. However, much logical thinking outside the realm of science does in fact produce new information. All deduction, induction, or other synthesis, produces new information (i.e., new knowledge").

Science is only a small part of philosophy (one might call it "natural philosophy"), and it's an even smaller part of rational thought, which extends beyond the logical rigor of traditional philosophy and is logically fuzzy (i.e., probabilistic and often intuitive).

Sophomoric schoolboys and pseudo-intellectuals running around blathering that something is invalid or irrational because 'it's not science' are uneducated or unintelligent fools. Whether this was programmed into their minds by some other respected, well-intentioned, but misguided fool (presumably for the admirable purpose of advancing the secularization of society), it's simply incorrect. It's wrong. It's not scientific. It's not even logical or rational. And, it tends to engender intolerance and bigotry.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Name one physical phenomenon which has been successfully explained by religion, not science.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
Name one physical phenomenon which has been successfully explained by religion, not science.

Walking on water.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone can do that.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
Name one physical phenomenon which has been successfully explained by religion, not science.

I already did: the linearity of time was discovered by religious practitioners, because it was necessary to explain the apparent long-term movement of the Moon, Sun, and stars (which were variously believed by religions to be entities of great influence upon human events). Don't even bother trying to claim that doesn't satisfy your request, because it does, and nobody wants to waste their time with your usual inane quibbling.

I answered your question (with a thoughtful, valid answer), you may not want to agree with it, but now it's your turn to answer mine. Let's jump to the present, and you explain to everyone how thinking constrained to the scientific method has "successfully explained" time. Let's start with something simple: what it is. Don't forget to show how this was scientifically proven to be.

Also, you apparently missed my response, the first time you asked that question. Everything but the first 23 words is non-redundant with this post.
Quote:
The linearity of Time. The apparent long-term movements of the sun, moon, and stars were first observed, studied, and documented, and forecast by by ancient priests, druids, and astrologers. Archaeologists tell us that, prior to that, primitive man's concept of time was a short, ever-repeating cycle.

However, your question is without significance because you artificially limit it to "religion", "physical phenomena", and the perhaps most importantly, the past. You're being that dude I talked about who says, "What's over the horizon? We don't talk about that because that's not science." Unlike you, real scientists speculate all the time and understand it to be quite rational, if not within the domain of the scientific method.

Now, name one truly important question or discovery (e.g., "what's the difference between right and wrong", "how should men behave toward each other and other creatures", "why are we here"), ever answered by thinking limited entirely to the scientific method. Anything you can think of that's on that level of importance is fine. Valid non-scientific thinking is also rational and of at least equal importance.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:

New knowledge does not have to be created for thinking to be rational or logical. However, much logical thinking outside the realm of science does in fact produce new information. All deduction, induction, or other synthesis, produces new information (i.e., new knowledge").

Science is only a small part of philosophy (one might call it "natural philosophy"), and it's an even smaller part of rational thought, which extends beyond the logical rigor of traditional philosophy and is logically fuzzy (i.e., probabilistic and often intuitive).

Sophomoric schoolboys and pseudo-intellectuals running around blathering that something is invalid or irrational because 'it's not science' are uneducated or unintelligent fools. Whether this was programmed into their minds by some other respected, well-intentioned, but misguided fool (presumably for the admirable purpose of advancing the secularization of society), it's simply incorrect. It's wrong. It's not scientific. It's not even logical or rational. And, it tends to engender intolerance and bigotry.


Philosophy means "love of wisdom (knowledge)" in greek. Furthering our understanding of the world around us and the universe is precisely what Philosophy and science are used for.

The question is how useful is the knowledge produced, if your reasoning is based on false premises?. The question you, apparently, chose to ignore deals precisely with that. How can you expect to use reason to solve questions of morality, if you begin accepting premises that aren't shown to be true? how can you know that any conclusion you reach is probably true, if you're not sure about the truth of your premises?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@BK

The movements of the moon, sun and stars were not given to us by prophets or holy books. They were determined by observation and science.

I have no idea what you think you're doing with time but you might want to stop and compare what science has to say about time, and what has been revealed in divine visions.

Irrational beliefs are unable to provide a rational explanation for anything - including the big bang. Agnosticism is not an option.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:

New knowledge does not have to be created for thinking to be rational or logical. However, much logical thinking outside the realm of science does in fact produce new information. All deduction, induction, or other synthesis, produces new information (i.e., new knowledge").

Science is only a small part of philosophy (one might call it "natural philosophy"), and it's an even smaller part of rational thought, which extends beyond the logical rigor of traditional philosophy and is logically fuzzy (i.e., probabilistic and often intuitive).

Sophomoric schoolboys and pseudo-intellectuals running around blathering that something is invalid or irrational because 'it's not science' are uneducated or unintelligent fools. Whether this was programmed into their minds by some other respected, well-intentioned, but misguided fool (presumably for the admirable purpose of advancing the secularization of society), it's simply incorrect. It's wrong. It's not scientific. It's not even logical or rational. And, it tends to engender intolerance and bigotry.


Philosophy means "love of wisdom (knowledge)" in greek. Furthering our understanding of the world around us and the universe is precisely what Philosophy and science are used for.

The question is how useful is the knowledge produced, if your reasoning is based on false premises?. The question you, apparently, chose to ignore deals precisely with that.

I didn't fail to deal with it at all. You just failed to absorb what was said. You are still stuck in black-and-white land, which is only academically useful. The pragmatic reality we live and reason in is based not on "truth" but on "likelihood". To answer your question, a rational man relies upon information only to the degree it is likely to be true.

This we do every day, all day long. It's called "decision-making under uncertainty".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_theory

Even in science, "Perfect Information" exists only as an academic assumption. The scientific method is intended to continuously reduce uncertainty and arrive at highly reliable conclusions based on observation (which is possible in dealing with what we know as "physical reality").

But "physical reality" is not all there is, and there are aspects of it which are beyond our capability (temporarily or perhaps permanently) to observe. Within these domains of reality, rational thought may produce conclusions that are not as uncertain or reliable as many of the outputs of the scientific method, or which remain one of many arguable conclusions. Nevertheless, this does not make that process or those conclusions any less rational or valid. It just makes them less reliable.

As an example, the existence of a "God" or "higher power" is possible. Everything is possible. How likely or unlikely one concludes it to be is a result of a rational thought process (some of which may be semi-conscious or "intuitive", but nevertheless based on experience, knowledge, observations, and their synthesis). One rational person might say they think there could be a "God" or "higher power", because they have observed that sustained order is most likely the result of intentionally governed systems. Based on their knowledge and thinking, they may conclude it is "likely". Another rational person might conclude this is "quite unlikely", because he his observations are that ordered systems are temporary constructs within the context of a larger, increasingly disordered system. Neither one can say for sure, but they rationally act upon their understanding of the likelihood.

There are also people who will use faulty reasoning (a logically incoherent thought process) to arrive at their conclusion. This is not rational thought, and there are indeed people who, even though their own knowledge and experience does not logically support it, will arrive at illogical conclusions.

Being irrational is one thing, being ignorant is another. There are other people who are simply working with inadequate information, or who have been fed incorrect information. These people are not necessarily irrational, they are ignorant or indoctrinated with falsehoods.

And, of course, there are times when people are both ignorant and indoctrinate as well as illogical and irrational. This is the challenge quite obviously faced by cult de-programmers, but I think it's apparent in every day life, particularly when dealing with intelligent but relatively uneducated or inexperienced people and subjects that interest powerful entities, such as governments, political parties, organized religions, and so on. The truly unintelligent learn pretty quickly they are stupid and learn to defer to others when it comes to information. But intelligent people who have been intentionally fed limited information along with ostensibly valid logic that apparently supports certain conclusions, that's harder to overcome. It's even harder to overcome if this was done when they were young by authority figures who linked the false information and only cursorily valid logic to the child or teen's emotional state (feelings of self-worth, etc.).

We see it in the children of devout members of organized religions. We also now see it increasingly in the children of state-run education programs. To one degree or another, both produce young adults with irrational beliefs. Some, like wswartzendruber with his religion and mcgruff with his Scyents-religion, have a death-grip on them.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
How can you expect to use reason to solve questions of morality, if you begin accepting premises that aren't shown to be true? how can you know that any conclusion you reach is probably true, if you're not sure about the truth of your premises?

This is an insightful question, and the answer is that we can't. I have argued at length in here before that there are no such things as "God-given Rights" or even "Natural Rights". When it comes to morality, there are no absolute truths; there is only what a man chooses to believe, which more pragmatically amounts to "what men generally agree upon and force each other to abide by". This is why, as you may have noticed, morals are not universal across cultures.

My thinking on this is that morals and ethics should not be based upon hand-me-down traditions of religion (although those should be viewed as having some value, because many are based on hard-learned lessons), but on logic. This is why it's important to have a strong philosophical foundation that answers questions like, "what is the goal of humanity"? Although I say there is no such thing as "natural rights", I do lean in the direction of nature, and I believe, until we come up with something better, some reasonable goals would be things like "survival of the species" and "optimization of the human experience" (i.e., for as many people as possible, minimize suffering, maximize joy). This has led me to some questionable conclusions, however, such as the need to constrain human population, which can only be humanely achieved by constraining procreation, which is something we have a natural instinct for, which has long been viewed as a human rights, and which competing tribes, peoples, religions and nations have long touted as a duty.

So I don't have the answers, but I am trying to think rationally about it. One thing that's not rational is supposedly enlightened elitists denigrating things because they're 'not science'.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:

New knowledge does not have to be created for thinking to be rational or logical. However, much logical thinking outside the realm of science does in fact produce new information. All deduction, induction, or other synthesis, produces new information (i.e., new knowledge").

Science is only a small part of philosophy (one might call it "natural philosophy"), and it's an even smaller part of rational thought, which extends beyond the logical rigor of traditional philosophy and is logically fuzzy (i.e., probabilistic and often intuitive).


You seem to be implying that induction is not scientific, which is false. Induction is a key part of science philosophy.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is one thing that science never answered and that is what is Man. Apart from heap of cells, dna, electrical currents etc. What is our place. Should we fuck up everything and wait for Mahdi/Jesus 2.0/Whatever, or should we preserve. What should we preserve? Ourselves and eat synthethic goo until we figure out ion-drives, or should we make huts of mud and stop fucking about. Or something in between?

Answers for religious touchy handled by philosophy, and once in that land, you cannot make any progress without being intellectually honest and abandoning culture programming, and once you do that, you cannot but observe that some notions in 5400+ religions are eeringly similar to your own observations. What does that mean? Are you all of a sudden a hindu without knowing about it? Or does it mean that there is some amount of intuition in traditional religions that correlate with modern science and philosophy? Things like notions about cosmology and matter in say, hinduism, and string theory?

Bet they don't teach you that in high school.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prenj wrote:
There is one thing that science never answered and that is what is Man. Apart from heap of cells, dna, electrical currents etc. What is our place. Should we fuck up everything and wait for Mahdi/Jesus 2.0/Whatever, or should we preserve. What should we preserve? Ourselves and eat synthethic goo until we figure out ion-drives, or should we make huts of mud and stop fucking about. Or something in between?

Answers for religious touchy handled by philosophy, and once in that land, you cannot make any progress without being intellectually honest and abandoning culture programming, and once you do that, you cannot but observe that some notions in 5400+ religions are eeringly similar to your own observations. What does that mean? Are you all of a sudden a hindu without knowing about it? Or does it mean that there is some amount of intuition in traditional religions that correlate with modern science and philosophy? Things like notions about cosmology and matter in say, hinduism, and string theory?

Bet they don't teach you that in high school.


asking 'what is our place' could be answered with 'why do we think about our place in the universe'. Asking 'what is the meaning of religion' is a valid question.

both questions could be reduced further by psychology and anthropology?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:

I didn't fail to deal with it at all. You just failed to absorb what was said. You are still stuck in black-and-white land, which is only academically useful. The pragmatic reality we live and reason in is based not on "truth" but on "likelihood". To answer your question, a rational man relies upon information only to the degree it is likely to be true.

This we do every day, all day long. It's called "decision-making under uncertainty".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_theory

Even in science, "Perfect Information" exists only as an academic assumption. The scientific method is intended to continuously reduce uncertainty and arrive at highly reliable conclusions based on observation (which is possible in dealing with what we know as "physical reality").

But "physical reality" is not all there is, and there are aspects of it which are beyond our capability (temporarily or perhaps permanently) to observe. Within these domains of reality, rational thought may produce conclusions that are not as uncertain or reliable as many of the outputs of the scientific method, or which remain one of many arguable conclusions. Nevertheless, this does not make that process or those conclusions any less rational or valid. It just makes them less reliable.

As an example, the existence of a "God" or "higher power" is possible. Everything is possible. How likely or unlikely one concludes it to be is a result of a rational thought process (some of which may be semi-conscious or "intuitive", but nevertheless based on experience, knowledge, observations, and their synthesis). One rational person might say they think there could be a "God" or "higher power", because they have observed that sustained order is most likely the result of intentionally governed systems. Based on their knowledge and thinking, they may conclude it is "likely". Another rational person might conclude this is "quite unlikely", because he his observations are that ordered systems are temporary constructs within the context of a larger, increasingly disordered system. Neither one can say for sure, but they rationally act upon their understanding of the likelihood.

There are also people who will use faulty reasoning (a logically incoherent thought process) to arrive at their conclusion. This is not rational thought, and there are indeed people who, even though their own knowledge and experience does not logically support it, will arrive at illogical conclusions.

Being irrational is one thing, being ignorant is another. There are other people who are simply working with inadequate information, or who have been fed incorrect information. These people are not necessarily irrational, they are ignorant or indoctrinated with falsehoods.

And, of course, there are times when people are both ignorant and indoctrinate as well as illogical and irrational. This is the challenge quite obviously faced by cult de-programmers, but I think it's apparent in every day life, particularly when dealing with intelligent but relatively uneducated or inexperienced people and subjects that interest powerful entities, such as governments, political parties, organized religions, and so on. The truly unintelligent learn pretty quickly they are stupid and learn to defer to others when it comes to information. But intelligent people who have been intentionally fed limited information along with ostensibly valid logic that apparently supports certain conclusions, that's harder to overcome. It's even harder to overcome if this was done when they were young by authority figures who linked the false information and only cursorily valid logic to the child or teen's emotional state (feelings of self-worth, etc.).

We see it in the children of devout members of organized religions. We also now see it increasingly in the children of state-run education programs. To one degree or another, both produce young adults with irrational beliefs. Some, like wswartzendruber with his religion and mcgruff with his Scyents-religion, have a death-grip on them.


I mostly agree with the second part of the post, so i'll cut it here.

You claim that "'physical reality' is not all there is" but i have to question again how do you know that? That claim hasn't fullfilled its burden of proof, so how can someone accept it in rational discourse? If you said "maybe 'physical reality' is not all there is", i'd say "yeah, maybe, we'll just have to keep looking", but you're not, you're affirming that there is more.

Also, on the "God" or "higher power" thing, countless deities have been discredited (i.e. Zeus is not the cause of lightning, Helios doesn't pull the sun in a chariot), so, with that in mind, do you think we should accept the possibility of yet another deity if the people that claim it exists can't seem to produce evidence to support the possibility of its existence? wouldn't it be rational to wait until there's evidence that takes us in that direction before we assume "everything is possible"? After all, jesus (supposedly) said "everything is possible for him who believes" but belief without reason is gullibility.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
I mostly agree with the second part of the post, so i'll cut it here.

You claim that "'physical reality' is not all there is" but i have to question again how do you know that? That claim hasn't fullfilled its burden of proof, so how can someone accept it in rational discourse? If you said "maybe 'physical reality' is not all there is", i'd say "yeah, maybe, we'll just have to keep looking", but you're not, you're affirming that there is more.

Physical reality only actually exists at the quantum level. The rest is nothing but abstractions. I actually wrote a lengthy footnote to that last "wall of text" post about this, but when I tried to post it, the forums ass-fucked me and I lost it.

I'm too tired to go into this now. Suffice it to say that all these abstractions are, to one extent or another, un-scientific, because they are not, in fact, actual, direct observations of physical reality. You might be a physicist and see a ball colliding with another ball, but in true reality that's not what happened at all. In real, physical reality, the two objects actually overlapped momentarily. The more abstraction, the more uncertainty that your observation is what it seems to be. That doesn't make abstract thought less rational; it just means its results are more likely to be less certain.

The less directly observable the abstractions are, the less they fall within the realm of "science". Physics, Medicine, Communications, Computer Science, Education, Psychology, Philosophy and Art are all "valid" and "rational" fields of thought, but they lie at different points along a continuum of abstraction and uncertainty. Your reflection on your feelings about a crow on your window skill are going to be far less scientific, and far less likely to produce information in which you will be highly confident, than your reading of a thermometer outside your door as part of a decision on what to wear.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
Also, on the "God" or "higher power" thing, countless deities have been discredited (i.e. Zeus is not the cause of lightning, Helios doesn't pull the sun in a chariot), so, with that in mind, do you think we should accept the possibility of yet another deity if the people that claim it exists can't seem to produce evidence to support the possibility of its existence?

This, along with everything else you know, should play into your assessment of how likely or unlikely something diety-like might be, or similar questions.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
wouldn't it be rational to wait until there's evidence that takes us in that direction before we assume "everything is possible"? After all, jesus (supposedly) said "everything is possible for him who believes" but belief without reason is gullibility.

I think Jesus was less likely the son of god and more likely a con man who learned his trade from some dude who had picked up some interesting philosophical ideas in India. But he might have been the Son of God. Anything is possible.

We don't even know what mass really is or why things have it. There is an advancing scientific theory based on the study of black holes that says reality only really exists in two static dimensions on the outer surface of the universe, and that our experience, to include the passage of time, is analogous to a holographic projection. Reality is that strange, and anything is indeed possible, to one extent or another. We might [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horton_Hears_a_Who!]a Who on some Horton's dust speck[/url], in turn on some Who's dust speck. The best we can do is consider the relative likelihood of ideas based on our experience and what little we know, and to keep an open mind, because one thing that is very, very likely is that the reality we will some day comprehend will bear little resemblance to what is "generally understood" today.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:

I already did: the linearity of time was discovered by religious practitioners, because it was necessary to explain the apparent long-term movement of the Moon, Sun, and stars (which were variously believed by religions to be entities of great influence upon human events). Don't even bother trying to claim that doesn't satisfy your request, because it does, and nobody wants to waste their time with your usual inane quibbling.


nobody claimed at all that religious practitioners haven't discovered anything. They have. we know that the church used to be a hotbed of research at some times, and at the forefront of thought. but that is not because they were religious; it was because they were doing real science or philosophy.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prenj wrote:
There is one thing that science never answered and that is what is Man.


Are you serious? Science has completely explained what human beings are and where they came from.

Prenj wrote:
does it mean that there is some amount of intuition in traditional religions that correlate with modern science and philosophy? Things like notions about cosmology and matter in say, hinduism, and string theory?


Are you sure you want to go there? What do you think would happen if we were to criticially assess the truthfulness of hindu (or any other religions') claims about the nature of reality without cherry-picking? They worship f****ng elephant gods.

If I were to toss a coin and call heads I'd at least be right 50% of the time. Religion - all religions - are so consistently wrong about everything they are worse than pulling ideas at random out of a hat. That's how bad they are.

One little, brown nugget of half-truth plucked from an ocean of mental sewage does not validate "ancient wisdom". It merely highlights the consistent, abject confusion of religious thought and it's dismal failure to tell us anything about the world we live in.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:

The question is how useful is the knowledge produced, if your reasoning is based on false premises?. The question you, apparently, chose to ignore deals precisely with that. How can you expect to use reason to solve questions of morality, if you begin accepting premises that aren't shown to be true? how can you know that any conclusion you reach is probably true, if you're not sure about the truth of your premises?


The question is how would you know what is false premise, unless you are aware of your cultural programming?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
Are you sure you want to go there?
Bring it on.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
GabrielYYZ wrote:
I mostly agree with the second part of the post, so i'll cut it here.

You claim that "'physical reality' is not all there is" but i have to question again how do you know that? That claim hasn't fullfilled its burden of proof, so how can someone accept it in rational discourse? If you said "maybe 'physical reality' is not all there is", i'd say "yeah, maybe, we'll just have to keep looking", but you're not, you're affirming that there is more.

Physical reality only actually exists at the quantum level. The rest is nothing but abstractions. I actually wrote a lengthy footnote to that last "wall of text" post about this, but when I tried to post it, the forums ass-fucked me and I lost it.

I'm too tired to go into this now. Suffice it to say that all these abstractions are, to one extent or another, un-scientific, because they are not, in fact, actual, direct observations of physical reality. You might be a physicist and see a ball colliding with another ball, but in true reality that's not what happened at all. In real, physical reality, the two objects actually overlapped momentarily. The more abstraction, the more uncertainty that your observation is what it seems to be. That doesn't make abstract thought less rational; it just means its results are more likely to be less certain.

The less directly observable the abstractions are, the less they fall within the realm of "science". Physics, Medicine, Communications, Computer Science, Education, Psychology, Philosophy and Art are all "valid" and "rational" fields of thought, but they lie at different points along a continuum of abstraction and uncertainty. Your reflection on your feelings about a crow on your window skill are going to be far less scientific, and far less likely to produce information in which you will be highly confident, than your reading of a thermometer outside your door as part of a decision on what to wear.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
Also, on the "God" or "higher power" thing, countless deities have been discredited (i.e. Zeus is not the cause of lightning, Helios doesn't pull the sun in a chariot), so, with that in mind, do you think we should accept the possibility of yet another deity if the people that claim it exists can't seem to produce evidence to support the possibility of its existence?

This, along with everything else you know, should play into your assessment of how likely or unlikely something diety-like might be, or similar questions.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
wouldn't it be rational to wait until there's evidence that takes us in that direction before we assume "everything is possible"? After all, jesus (supposedly) said "everything is possible for him who believes" but belief without reason is gullibility.

I think Jesus was less likely the son of god and more likely a con man who learned his trade from some dude who had picked up some interesting philosophical ideas in India. But he might have been the Son of God. Anything is possible.

We don't even know what mass really is or why things have it. There is an advancing scientific theory based on the study of black holes that says reality only really exists in two static dimensions on the outer surface of the universe, and that our experience, to include the passage of time, is analogous to a holographic projection. Reality is that strange, and anything is indeed possible, to one extent or another. We might [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horton_Hears_a_Who!]a Who on some Horton's dust speck[/url], in turn on some Who's dust speck. The best we can do is consider the relative likelihood of ideas based on our experience and what little we know, and to keep an open mind, because one thing that is very, very likely is that the reality we will some day comprehend will bear little resemblance to what is "generally understood" today.


To be honest, i still fail to see why anyone should believe any claims about deities or any other claims without a good reason to do so. Speculations or hypotheses are fine, but dogmatically believing them before that belief is justified by reason and evidence is nonsense.

By the way, the Jesus comment wasn't about Jesus, but about belief without reason being gullibility (or faith, as they call it).
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