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GabrielYYZ
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
I'm not interested in sharing it with a bigot. While what I described might qualify as "Intelligent Design", propagandists have generalized that too, such that most people assume to be in conflict with the theory of evolution. Nobody should be trying to pass any such thinking off as "science".

You want to talk about "evidence"? You show me evidence of the context in which the big bang occurred. Until then, I'll respect all possible rational explanations. Science is a subset of rational thought, not the end-all, be-all of human reason.

Let me make it easier for you, How about you even offer a speculative hypothesis that describes the context in which the big bang occurred. Oh, wait... that would not be "science", because you have no "evidence". Therefore, if you talk about that, you must be ridiculed, tarred and feathered!!!

Come on, let's hear it: what was the context that the big bang occurred in?


1. The theory of evolution != all "scyents"... I realize it is possible to be a creationist and make the theory of evolution fit that worldview, in the same way you can fit a square peg in a round hole, as long as the hole is bigger than the peg.

2. I'm not making a claim, the people that assert there's something spiritual somewhere are and, so far, they haven't presented anything to, at least, hint at the possibility of that spiritual something existing. By your logic, i should respect someone claiming they're Napoleon, 'cause they might be Napoleon reincarnated and know something i don't.

If you think that a claim, without evidence or at least a reasonable explanation of what the claim is or might be, is rational, you are free to think so, but don't expect me to do the same.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
While religious fundamentalism is a problem to the extent that people with such beliefs take actions that affect others (e.g., terrorism) or influence social norms and laws (e.g., it's good to beat your wife; no abortion should ever be allowed), religion does happen to be the vessel that has captured most of humanity's social "lessons learned" over the ages. So in our rapid transition to secularism, we must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Our social norms and mores ("rules" we follow outside of the de-facto law) have been heavily guided by organized religion for millennia. Our laws do not contain everything necessary to guide behavior in a socially optimal way.


This is where I disagree tbh, I am of the grim view that major monotheistic religions have set mankind towards it's own demise in the sense that they peddle the dream, an illusion of our special place in universe, and that this ecosystem that we are part of, and sprung from, are for us to lord over, yet we clearly lack such skills. Just because we told ourselves that we are the best mankind can offer, I wonder if that is actually true.

It's a form of cultural hubris that is self-perpetuating, yet here we are, dead set on the course. We have two modes to chose from, on the one side, you have reductionistic cartesian hard science, where "if it cannot be measured, it doesn't exist", and that has essentially collapsed, otherwise we wouldn't be making superstring theories and whatnot. It's 19th century thinking.

On the other hand, you have 7th century thinking, dogmatic, etc.

Neither really addresses the function of humans within the whole, we even have a word "Nature" which usually means "not where I spend 99% of time" for most of the denizens of so called "developed" world. As if there is some invisible line where our domain ends and where "Nature" begins. It in itself dictates our relationship with that "Nature" as something out there, foreign, irrelevant, we can either make stuff up we need in the lab, or we can piss on it because Armageddon is what counts. In a sense, we are making our own armageddon, for no reason whatsoever, except the hubris and denial about or origin and place in the big picture.

Yes, religion HAS absolutely defined history and our culture, but I argue for the worse.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't mind to see more Brouns serving on the House Science Committee (USA). :twisted:
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
I'm not interested in sharing it with a bigot. While what I described might qualify as "Intelligent Design", propagandists have generalized that too, such that most people assume to be in conflict with the theory of evolution. Nobody should be trying to pass any such thinking off as "science".

You want to talk about "evidence"? You show me evidence of the context in which the big bang occurred. Until then, I'll respect all possible rational explanations. Science is a subset of rational thought, not the end-all, be-all of human reason.

Let me make it easier for you, How about you even offer a speculative hypothesis that describes the context in which the big bang occurred. Oh, wait... that would not be "science", because you have no "evidence". Therefore, if you talk about that, you must be ridiculed, tarred and feathered!!!

Come on, let's hear it: what was the context that the big bang occurred in?


1. The theory of evolution != all "scyents"... I realize it is possible to be a creationist and make the theory of evolution fit that worldview, in the same way you can fit a square peg in a round hole, as long as the hole is bigger than the peg.

2. I'm not making a claim, the people that assert there's something spiritual somewhere are and, so far, they haven't presented anything to, at least, hint at the possibility of that spiritual something existing. By your logic, i should respect someone claiming they're Napoleon, 'cause they might be Napoleon reincarnated and know something i don't.

If you think that a claim, without evidence or at least a reasonable explanation of what the claim is or might be, is rational, you are free to think so, but don't expect me to do the same.

Do you have "evidence" that killing is "wrong"?

So think all speculation and theorization is irrational? You didn't answer my question.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wildhorse wrote:
I wouldn't mind to see more Brouns serving on the House Science Committee (USA). :twisted:

You have a State Religion and a hereditary monarchy.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
wildhorse wrote:
I wouldn't mind to see more Brouns serving on the House Science Committee (USA). :twisted:

You have a State Religion and a hereditary monarchy.

"In God We Trust" is on your money. It's a bit of a spoiler as to what the state religion of the US is.
It's either money or god. My money is on the money.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a leftover from the Cold War, and I can't imagine it's going to stay there much longer.

I'm still waiting for somebody to talk about the context of the big bang without speculating and lacking evidence, and therefore being religious or spiritual and worthy of ridicule.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
wildhorse wrote:
I wouldn't mind to see more Brouns serving on the House Science Committee (USA). :twisted:

You have a State Religion and a hereditary monarchy.
No, I don't.

And I do not expect to see any significant change of your banknotes. Not as long as your Senate has state appointed archpriests of some voodoo cult.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wildhorse wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
You have a State Religion and a hereditary monarchy.
No, I don't.

Yes you do.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
Who dismissed the model? I'm just saying there is more. Everything we have ever observed has context; what was the context of the big bang?

I'm saying "what's beyond the horizon?", and you guys are saying, "the Priests say you fall off, but that's just stupid religion."

So I say, "that's not what I asked you," and you say, "I dunno; there's nothing there. We don't talk about that, because it's not scyents."

So I say, "there must be something. What about those guys who say maybe it goes down, like a hill, and the world is like a ball?", and you guys are saying, "That's stupid Priest talk! Boy are you an idiot! You shouldn't talk about it, because it's not scyents!"


the guy in the OP dismissed the model.

and why do you think there must be 'something', there must be some context that is missing? Do you have any evidence to back up this claim? Do you have any models that require this context, and includes other known phenomenon, that can be used to make a compelling argument?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
I'm not interested in sharing it with a bigot. While what I described might qualify as "Intelligent Design", propagandists have generalized that too, such that most people assume to be in conflict with the theory of evolution. Nobody should be trying to pass any such thinking off as "science".

You want to talk about "evidence"? You show me evidence of the context in which the big bang occurred. Until then, I'll respect all possible rational explanations. Science is a subset of rational thought, not the end-all, be-all of human reason.

Let me make it easier for you, How about you even offer a speculative hypothesis that describes the context in which the big bang occurred. Oh, wait... that would not be "science", because you have no "evidence". Therefore, if you talk about that, you must be ridiculed, tarred and feathered!!!

Come on, let's hear it: what was the context that the big bang occurred in?


1. The theory of evolution != all "scyents"... I realize it is possible to be a creationist and make the theory of evolution fit that worldview, in the same way you can fit a square peg in a round hole, as long as the hole is bigger than the peg.

2. I'm not making a claim, the people that assert there's something spiritual somewhere are and, so far, they haven't presented anything to, at least, hint at the possibility of that spiritual something existing. By your logic, i should respect someone claiming they're Napoleon, 'cause they might be Napoleon reincarnated and know something i don't.

If you think that a claim, without evidence or at least a reasonable explanation of what the claim is or might be, is rational, you are free to think so, but don't expect me to do the same.

Do you have "evidence" that killing is "wrong"?

So think all speculation and theorization is irrational? You didn't answer my question.


Again, i am not claiming anything, if i did you would have every right to ask me for evidence to back up my unsupported claim but, as it happens, i'm not claiming to know the truth about anything.

Speculating and theorizing about things is perfectly fine, but you need to be able to test the validity of your hypothesis, otherwise it becomes unsupported nonsense. Thinking Colombia (for example) is a shitty country then going there to find out if that's true is perfectly fine, thinking x country is shitty and refusing to go because you know you're right, that's nonsense.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Borekracker wrote:
You want to talk about "evidence"? You show me evidence of the context in which the big bang occurred. Until then, I'll respect all possible rational explanations. Science is a subset of rational thought, not the end-all, be-all of human reason.


What you're saying is that because science can't see some (cherry-picked) phenomena clearly, you're entitled to make up any old crap - and of course you are, in a sense. Anyone is free to just make shit up. It isn't very rational though.

Science is rational. Religion is not. We live in a technological civilisation built by rare outbreaks of rationality in our troubled species. It took centuries to build our world and it was all done with science and engineering. God didn't build that. We don't have magic angel-wings powering our aircraft. We have jet engines. We don't cure people with the power of prayer, we do it with the power of surgery and drugs.

We don't need Jesus, or Mohammed, or Thor. We have Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, and Michael Mann.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
wildhorse wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
You have a State Religion and a hereditary monarchy.
No, I don't.

Yes you do.
No, I don't.
But I am happy to provide you a cajón for your convenience, because I know you have to put everything into little boxes and can't think outside the box. :P
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sugar wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
Who dismissed the model? I'm just saying there is more. Everything we have ever observed has context; what was the context of the big bang?

I'm saying "what's beyond the horizon?", and you guys are saying, "the Priests say you fall off, but that's just stupid religion."

So I say, "that's not what I asked you," and you say, "I dunno; there's nothing there. We don't talk about that, because it's not scyents."

So I say, "there must be something. What about those guys who say maybe it goes down, like a hill, and the world is like a ball?", and you guys are saying, "That's stupid Priest talk! Boy are you an idiot! You shouldn't talk about it, because it's not scyents!"


the guy in the OP dismissed the model.

I think we all agree he's an idiot. I thought you were referring to my argument.

sugar wrote:
and why do you think there must be 'something', there must be some context that is missing? Do you have any evidence to back up this claim? Do you have any models that require this context, and includes other known phenomenon, that can be used to make a compelling argument?

I already explained this to you. Everything we have ever observed has context. That's science: drawing conclusions based on actual observations. Everything we have ever observed has context, therefore it is rational to theorize that this too has context, whether we can see it or not. This is the same logical process that has led to attempts to show the world is round, that space, time, and gravity interact, and that the Higgs Boson exists.

We know less than we don't know, and speculating about the unknown is rational. Having blind faith in something unknown based on no evidence is silly, but speculating about it, and even acting on what you perceive the probabilities to indicate, is entirely rational.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
Do you have "evidence" that killing is "wrong"?

So you think all speculation and theorization is irrational? You didn't answer my question.


Again, i am not claiming anything, if i did you would have every right to ask me for evidence to back up my unsupported claim but, as it happens, i'm not claiming to know the truth about anything.

You are claiming that all thinking without evidence is irrational. I am showing you this is false by demonstrating a test of that assertion, using morals as an example. Do you, or do you not, have "evidence" supporting your belief that killing is wrong?

The scientific process is a subset of rational thinking, not the exhaustive totality of it. There is a great deal of rational, logical thinking outside of the scientific process. In fact, the scientific process itself is the result of it. If you actually believe everything that doesn't fit within the scope of the scientific process is "nonsense", then you need to further your education.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
Speculating and theorizing about things is perfectly fine, but you need to be able to test the validity of your hypothesis, otherwise it becomes unsupported nonsense.

You say speculating is fine, but then you turn around and say speculating is "nonsense". Which is it? Again, if you actually believe everything that doesn't fit within the scope of the scientific process is "nonsense", then you need to further your education.

Let me give you an example. How do scientists know what the most important priorities are for research? Hmm. What will benefit Humanity the most? How do they know what will benefit humanity the most? So we cure diseases, expand agriculture, etc. Does overpopulation benefit Humanity? What does it mean to "benefit humanity"? Is humanity a collection of individuals (and "to benefit humanity" means maximizing the benefit experienced by each individual in their lifetime)? Is humanity a species (and "to benefit humanity" means optimizing the survival of the species, sometimes to the detriment of individuals)? Is humanity some kind of "collective" with a purpose (and "to benefit humanity" means optimizing fulfillment of that purpose --- oh, and what is it)? You see, even in directing science itself, one very quickly finds ones logic beyond the realm of science. Science is but a subset of rational thought, and it is sophomoric schoolboy hubris to dismiss all else as "nonsense".
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
Do you have "evidence" that killing is "wrong"?

So you think all speculation and theorization is irrational? You didn't answer my question.


Again, i am not claiming anything, if i did you would have every right to ask me for evidence to back up my unsupported claim but, as it happens, i'm not claiming to know the truth about anything.

You are claiming that all thinking without evidence is irrational. I am showing you this is false by demonstrating a test of that assertion, using morals as an example. Do you, or do you not, have "evidence" supporting your belief that killing is wrong?

The scientific process is a subset of rational thinking, not the exhaustive totality of it. There is a great deal of rational, logical thinking outside of the scientific process. In fact, the scientific process itself is the result of it. If you actually believe everything that doesn't fit within the scope of the scientific process is "nonsense", then you need to further your education.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
Speculating and theorizing about things is perfectly fine, but you need to be able to test the validity of your hypothesis, otherwise it becomes unsupported nonsense.

You say speculating is fine, but then you turn around and say speculating is "nonsense". Which is it? Again, if you actually believe everything that doesn't fit within the scope of the scientific process is "nonsense", then you need to further your education.

Let me give you an example. How do scientists know what the most important priorities are for research? Hmm. What will benefit Humanity the most? How do they know what will benefit humanity the most? So we cure diseases, expand agriculture, etc. Does overpopulation benefit Humanity? What does it mean to "benefit humanity"? Is humanity a collection of individuals (and "to benefit humanity" means maximizing the benefit experienced by each individual in their lifetime)? Is humanity a species (and "to benefit humanity" means optimizing the survival of the species, sometimes to the detriment of individuals)? Is humanity some kind of "collective" with a purpose (and "to benefit humanity" means optimizing fulfillment of that purpose --- oh, and what is it)? You see, even in directing science itself, one very quickly finds ones logic beyond the realm of science. Science is but a subset of rational thought, and it is sophomoric schoolboy hubris to dismiss all else as "nonsense".


1. I said, and repeated twice now, that claiming knowledge of something and asserting something as truth without evidence to support it is nonsense. Claiming there is a "spiritual realm" or "spiritual dimension" without defining what spiritual is or without something to verify that that realm or dimension could, at least, possibly exist is nonsensical for me, yeah. Also, i find it amusing that you're asking me for evidence to support "my belief that killing is wrong", how do you know i believe that? when did i make that claim? how can you know what i believe when i haven't made a truth claim?

2. I'll repeat what i said: speculating and hypothesizing is fine, as long as you try to test that hypothesis to see if it's true or false, if you don't test it and just claim it as truth because you thought of it, that's nonsensical.

I even provided you with a very simple example that doesn't require "scyents", let's try another one: if you hypothesize that x wine is shit because it's not aged enough but then drink it to test your hypothesis, you might be wrong or right but at least you'll have some evidence to support your conclusion. What is not rational or logical is refusing to drink the wine because you have realized that it's crap before you drank it, thus making the claim nonsensical and not even worthy of attention.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's what (I think) BK said, summarized into something other than a giant wall of text.

It is possible to have a question that has no discoverable answer, to discuss that question and even to act on what you believe the answer is most likely to be. This is completely rational, despite not being testable in empirical terms.


Here is my take on it:

I think we are talking about the age old...and I mean ancient...question posed by Aristotle and Plato, pictured arguing in the center of this masterpiece... "Science or Philosophy?"



It is my belief that philosophy contains science. Since philosophy contains science, it is possible for perfectly rational ideas that are completely untestable to be thought up, considered and even acted upon.



Further, I believe that if science contains philosophy, then our ethics are bound to science and what science tells us about ourselves, who we are and how we got here...and the way we got here is bloody and ruthless. In my opinion, science as ethics justifies both cooperation and genocide. From the smallest cellular level to the interactions of vast civilizations, it cannot resolve any dilemma except through might makes right.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rational thing to do about a mystery is to say "We don't know. Yet." It is not rational just to make things up. In fact it's much worse than that: it's deliberately dishonest to claim knowledge of something of which there is no knowledge.

Also, science does not lead us to genocide and immorality. Science in fact just shows us what we are: an extremely sophisticated social animal with a built-in sense of empathy and morality. We would never have evolved as a species otherwise. These are the core elements of the formula which gave homo sapiens its staggering initial successes. Of course, in evolutionary terms, we're just the new kid on the block and the jury is still out as to whether we have any staying power. You can be too successful...
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bogamol wrote:
Here's what (I think) BK said, summarized into something other than a giant wall of text.

It is possible to have a question that has no discoverable answer, to discuss that question and even to act on what you believe the answer is most likely to be. This is completely rational, despite not being testable in empirical terms.


I don't see how that's anything more than an academic exercise and, while there's nothing particularly bad about it, i don't think it is rational to act on what you think/believe is the answer to an unanswerable question.

We could, after all, discuss whether there are millions of civilizations living inside a single atom, we could even imagine what those civilizations are like but the second you claim the atom king told you you need to make other people do certain things, that's when i, personally, would say it is nonsense unless you could justify your claim.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
The rational thing to do about a mystery is to say "We don't know. Yet." It is not rational just to make things up. In fact it's much worse than that: it's deliberately dishonest to claim knowledge of something of which there is no knowledge.

Also, science does not lead us to genocide and immorality. Science in fact just shows us what we are: an extremely sophisticated social animal with a built-in sense of empathy and morality. We would never have evolved as a species otherwise. These are the core elements of the formula which gave homo sapiens its staggering initial successes. Of course, in evolutionary terms, we're just the new kid on the block and the jury is still out as to whether we have any staying power. You can be too successful...


Science does not lead to immorality because science does not contain philosophy. Genocide can however lead to a more favorable environment for the expression of other genes. Since science cannot speak on the rationality of morality it can only condone behavior based on whether it helps or hinders the survival of genes. Thus science can, in certain situations lead to genocide. Watch male lions attack a pride and kill all the cubs. There ia no morality to be found within the confines of science.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bogamol wrote:

It is possible to have a question that has no discoverable answer, to discuss that question and even to act on what you believe the answer is most likely to be. This is completely rational, despite not being testable in empirical terms.


We DO have those kinds of questions today already, within the conventional science. When people attack anything that strays outside the cartesian materialistic science, they are basically talking out of their 19th century ass.

Dr. S James Gates, theoretical physicist who dedicated his life to research of superstring theory said that it appears that the universe is "programmed" by strings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLvXaclRlHs

Which is related to what Terence McKenna used to talk about that the universe is built on "language", information.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bna2vkzU-WI&feature=g-vrec
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
Do you have "evidence" that killing is "wrong"?

So you think all speculation and theorization is irrational? You didn't answer my question.


Again, i am not claiming anything, if i did you would have every right to ask me for evidence to back up my unsupported claim but, as it happens, i'm not claiming to know the truth about anything.

You are claiming that all thinking without evidence is irrational. I am showing you this is false by demonstrating a test of that assertion, using morals as an example. Do you, or do you not, have "evidence" supporting your belief that killing is wrong?

The scientific process is a subset of rational thinking, not the exhaustive totality of it. There is a great deal of rational, logical thinking outside of the scientific process. In fact, the scientific process itself is the result of it. If you actually believe everything that doesn't fit within the scope of the scientific process is "nonsense", then you need to further your education.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
Speculating and theorizing about things is perfectly fine, but you need to be able to test the validity of your hypothesis, otherwise it becomes unsupported nonsense.

You say speculating is fine, but then you turn around and say speculating is "nonsense". Which is it? Again, if you actually believe everything that doesn't fit within the scope of the scientific process is "nonsense", then you need to further your education.

Let me give you an example. How do scientists know what the most important priorities are for research? Hmm. What will benefit Humanity the most? How do they know what will benefit humanity the most? So we cure diseases, expand agriculture, etc. Does overpopulation benefit Humanity? What does it mean to "benefit humanity"? Is humanity a collection of individuals (and "to benefit humanity" means maximizing the benefit experienced by each individual in their lifetime)? Is humanity a species (and "to benefit humanity" means optimizing the survival of the species, sometimes to the detriment of individuals)? Is humanity some kind of "collective" with a purpose (and "to benefit humanity" means optimizing fulfillment of that purpose --- oh, and what is it)? You see, even in directing science itself, one very quickly finds ones logic beyond the realm of science. Science is but a subset of rational thought, and it is sophomoric schoolboy hubris to dismiss all else as "nonsense".


1. I said, and repeated twice now, that claiming knowledge of something and asserting something as truth without evidence to support it is nonsense. Claiming there is a "spiritual realm" or "spiritual dimension" without defining what spiritual is or without something to verify that that realm or dimension could, at least, possibly exist is nonsensical for me, yeah. Also, i find it amusing that you're asking me for evidence to support "my belief that killing is wrong", how do you know i believe that? when did i make that claim? how can you know what i believe when i haven't made a truth claim?

You're missing the point. Substitute any moral belief you want. You keep insisting rational though be based on "evidence", apparently because you pray to the Scyents God, presumably due to the limited scope of your education, but as I keep telling you:
the scientific method is a but subset of rational thinking, not the exhaustive totality of it. There is a great deal of rational, logical thinking outside of the scientific process. In fact, the scientific process itself is the result of it. Or maybe you think somebody used the scientific method to come up with the scientific method? Speculation is rational thought. I never said it was science; I said is rational thought. The real world if full of uncertainty, and we rely on speculation and intuitive, probabilistic assessments all the time.

To call this "nonsense" is to dismiss the very logic that created the scientific method to begin with, and which guides most of our behavior.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
2. I'll repeat what i said: speculating and hypothesizing is fine, as long as you try to test that hypothesis to see if it's true or false, if you don't test it and just claim it as truth because you thought of it, that's nonsensical.

Repeating something that's wrong doesn't make it right. Of course one ought to test what one can. But often, we can't, or can't within the foreseeable future. When Einstein couldn't test his theories, they were "nonsense"? We may well be able to define the context of the big bang someday, based on our enhanced understanding of what little we can see (which is gradually increasing, both on the cosmic and quantum scales). So speculation about it is not automatically "nonsense". In fact, there are scientists doing it. I suppose you would also say it's "nonsense" that reality is actually two-dimensional, not the reality we experience, but there is a respected recent theory (probably more correctly a "speculative scientific thesis") stating exactly that.

So, if someone's intuitive assessment is, say, that the big bang couldn't have just "happened" without causation and location in some dimensions if not ours, and that a higher intelligence may have been involved in that causation, who are you to say, "that's nonsense, because it's not teh Scyents!"? Anybody claiming it's science would be an idiot. But anybody claiming it's "nonsense" because "it's not science" is just as much of an idiot. I'll say it only one more time: the scientific method is a but subset of rational thinking, not the exhaustive totality of it. If it doesn't sink in this time, then you're beyond hope and will have to go through life with the cognitive distortions and bigoted views that have been inflicted upon you.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabrielYYZ wrote:
bogamol wrote:
Here's what (I think) BK said, summarized into something other than a giant wall of text.

It is possible to have a question that has no discoverable answer, to discuss that question and even to act on what you believe the answer is most likely to be. This is completely rational, despite not being testable in empirical terms.


I don't see how that's anything more than an academic exercise and, while there's nothing particularly bad about it, i don't think it is rational to act on what you think/believe is the answer to an unanswerable question.

We could, after all, discuss whether there are millions of civilizations living inside a single atom, we could even imagine what those civilizations are like but the second you claim the atom king told you you need to make other people do certain things, that's when i, personally, would say it is nonsense unless you could justify your claim.

It's not an "academic exercise"; it's what we base most of our day to day behavior on. More importantly, this type of thinking is necessary to answer the most important questions that guide our very behavior (and even guide science), which science can not answer: such as questions of morality and just what the hell we're trying to accomplish besides individual survival. Furthermore, all scientific advancement actually begins with speculative thought.

If men actually followed your logic, Parmenides would never have speculated that the Earth is round, and would have dismissed the idea as "nonsense" or "religious crap that nobody needs to think about because it doesn't matter, and that's best left to the charlatan priests and oracles". Or, if he did talk about it, people like you would have run him out of town. As a result, Eratosthenes, hundreds of years later, would never have measured the angle to the Sun at the same time in two different locations, to actually confirm the curvature of the surface and estimate the size of the planet.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prenj wrote:
bogamol wrote:

It is possible to have a question that has no discoverable answer, to discuss that question and even to act on what you believe the answer is most likely to be. This is completely rational, despite not being testable in empirical terms.


We DO have those kinds of questions today already, within the conventional science. When people attack anything that strays outside the cartesian materialistic science, they are basically talking out of their 19th century ass.

Dr. S James Gates, theoretical physicist who dedicated his life to research of superstring theory said that it appears that the universe is "programmed" by strings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLvXaclRlHs

Which is related to what Terence McKenna used to talk about that the universe is built on "language", information.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bna2vkzU-WI&feature=g-vrec

Exactly. Real scientists speculate all the time. The people suffering from this "Ack!! Nonsense!! It's religious crap!!" syndrome are mostly students of science and technical fields (or recent students) who still have a high emotional investment in fundamentals that have been pounded in their heads as "fact" and have not yet had the opportunity to broaden and synthesize their knowledge through life experience and further self-education in other domains.

Now, having perpetrated all these walls of text (for which I apologize), I reiterate that I am an atheist, have disdain for much of what organized religion represents, believe 100% in "separation of church and state". I just think in our eagerness to become secular we've engendered some closed-minded bigotry and cognitive inflexibility. I also think that, without religion, philosophy must become more important to society.
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GabrielYYZ
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
GabrielYYZ wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
Do you have "evidence" that killing is "wrong"?

So you think all speculation and theorization is irrational? You didn't answer my question.


Again, i am not claiming anything, if i did you would have every right to ask me for evidence to back up my unsupported claim but, as it happens, i'm not claiming to know the truth about anything.

You are claiming that all thinking without evidence is irrational. I am showing you this is false by demonstrating a test of that assertion, using morals as an example. Do you, or do you not, have "evidence" supporting your belief that killing is wrong?

The scientific process is a subset of rational thinking, not the exhaustive totality of it. There is a great deal of rational, logical thinking outside of the scientific process. In fact, the scientific process itself is the result of it. If you actually believe everything that doesn't fit within the scope of the scientific process is "nonsense", then you need to further your education.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
Speculating and theorizing about things is perfectly fine, but you need to be able to test the validity of your hypothesis, otherwise it becomes unsupported nonsense.

You say speculating is fine, but then you turn around and say speculating is "nonsense". Which is it? Again, if you actually believe everything that doesn't fit within the scope of the scientific process is "nonsense", then you need to further your education.

Let me give you an example. How do scientists know what the most important priorities are for research? Hmm. What will benefit Humanity the most? How do they know what will benefit humanity the most? So we cure diseases, expand agriculture, etc. Does overpopulation benefit Humanity? What does it mean to "benefit humanity"? Is humanity a collection of individuals (and "to benefit humanity" means maximizing the benefit experienced by each individual in their lifetime)? Is humanity a species (and "to benefit humanity" means optimizing the survival of the species, sometimes to the detriment of individuals)? Is humanity some kind of "collective" with a purpose (and "to benefit humanity" means optimizing fulfillment of that purpose --- oh, and what is it)? You see, even in directing science itself, one very quickly finds ones logic beyond the realm of science. Science is but a subset of rational thought, and it is sophomoric schoolboy hubris to dismiss all else as "nonsense".


1. I said, and repeated twice now, that claiming knowledge of something and asserting something as truth without evidence to support it is nonsense. Claiming there is a "spiritual realm" or "spiritual dimension" without defining what spiritual is or without something to verify that that realm or dimension could, at least, possibly exist is nonsensical for me, yeah. Also, i find it amusing that you're asking me for evidence to support "my belief that killing is wrong", how do you know i believe that? when did i make that claim? how can you know what i believe when i haven't made a truth claim?

You're missing the point. Substitute any moral belief you want. You keep insisting rational though be based on "evidence", apparently because you pray to the Scyents God, presumably due to the limited scope of your education, but as I keep telling you:
the scientific method is a but subset of rational thinking, not the exhaustive totality of it. There is a great deal of rational, logical thinking outside of the scientific process. In fact, the scientific process itself is the result of it. Or maybe you think somebody used the scientific method to come up with the scientific method? Speculation is rational thought. I never said it was science; I said is rational thought. The real world if full of uncertainty, and we rely on speculation and intuitive, probabilistic assessments all the time.

To call this "nonsense" is to dismiss the very logic that created the scientific method to begin with, and which guides most of our behavior.

GabrielYYZ wrote:
2. I'll repeat what i said: speculating and hypothesizing is fine, as long as you try to test that hypothesis to see if it's true or false, if you don't test it and just claim it as truth because you thought of it, that's nonsensical.

Repeating something that's wrong doesn't make it right. Of course one ought to test what one can. But often, we can't, or can't within the foreseeable future. When Einstein couldn't test his theories, they were "nonsense"? We may well be able to define the context of the big bang someday, based on our enhanced understanding of what little we can see (which is gradually increasing, both on the cosmic and quantum scales). So speculation about it is not automatically "nonsense". In fact, there are scientists doing it. I suppose you would also say it's "nonsense" that reality is actually two-dimensional, not the reality we experience, but there is a respected recent theory (probably more correctly a "speculative scientific thesis") stating exactly that.

So, if someone's intuitive assessment is, say, that the big bang couldn't have just "happened" without causation and location in some dimensions if not ours, and that a higher intelligence may have been involved in that causation, who are you to say, "that's nonsense, because it's not teh Scyents!"? Anybody claiming it's science would be an idiot. But anybody claiming it's "nonsense" because "it's not science" is just as much of an idiot. I'll say it only one more time: the scientific method is a but subset of rational thinking, not the exhaustive totality of it. If it doesn't sink in this time, then you're beyond hope and will have to go through life with the cognitive distortions and bigoted views that have been inflicted upon you.


You seem to be too lost in a sea of ad hominems and straw men to actually see the point, the point must be a blur for you now, no?

1. Again, you seem to be against evidence and "scyents" but you fail to acknowledge that the reason the scientific method is still used today, and isn't just simply an idea we discuss without expecting results, is precisely because it is the most consistent method, in terms of results, of getting to know the world around us. You also seem to be missing the point about speculation passed as truth without justification being nonsense, not all speculation.

2. You do realize Einstein had to test his hypothesis and justify them? They weren't accepted on the basis of him claiming they were "good stuff". Also, what is a higher intelligence? we still haven't found out what is spiritual, it is just an assertion without any evidence or sound argument to justify it.
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