Des: I mostly derive my belief in God from my first assumption. Can it be proven that I have felt God's love and presence? No. But I know I have. I experienced it, and it was as real as the chair I'm sitting in and the keyboard I'm typing on.
There are logical reasons (such as the pervasiveness of religion among humans and the sheer improbability of the universe) but for the most part, my belief defies logic. I can't use logic to explain it's existance and I can't use logic to explain it away. I just assume that what I experience is real, and I assume that some real things can't be scientifically/logically explained, and so I can sit comfortably with my belief in God anyway.
Quantum: What do you mean by literal creationist? I believe God created the universe and everything in it, and science is an exploration of how he did it. I do not believe in young-earth creationism as described in Genesis. I believe in the Bible, but not that it's perfect or always literal. I'm inclined to think that the first chunk of Genesis is figurative or was corrupted over time, but I'm not sure. For now, I just talk about Adam and Eve in Sunday School (whether they were real or not, it's still an important story) and evolution (overseen by a higher power) everywhere else.
*bump* so that Quantum feels guilty. :P
Oh yeah...I'll get to this later today. I promise.
a) Art is cool, but isn't all that helpful for knowing how the unvierse works (notice I didn't say understanding - I said knowing). And by making it scientific I don't think they are ruling out non-causal personalities. That may be what is expected, but it isn't ruled out. After all if scientific evidence (which is probably more neuroscience anyway) points to the contrary then we'll know not all things are causal.
a. I think we're good on this.
b. Just because rights, morality, and responsibility aren't universal or are possibly illusory in a scientific materialist world view doesn't mean you have to give them up. They're still sueful and important - they just don't have any bearing on how the universe works. They are human-created things and as much as we hate to admit it we aren't important at all on the universal scale.
c. Evidence against free will - every scientific edxperiment ever done has shown things to be causal - why should free will be any different?
And from a non-scientific standpoint I cn just extrapolate out that everything that we have ever thought to make us "special" has been shown to be wrong. Its not great evidence, but the lack of free will would certainly continue the pattern.
As for your list I agree with your against free will list. As for your "For free will" list I repeat that introspective empiricism/our feelings/gut instincts doesn't have a good track record on this kind of thing. We evolved to survive not to understand the universe.
As for your dilemma about arguing this with me, I see your point. However, unlike with arguing with religious people I acknowledge that my views have doubt. They can be proven wrong. All I am saying is just an educated guess based on previosu scientific information. I'm a scientific materialist because the world seems to work that way, but I'm not tied to that belief. Although, you probably can't convince me to change my mind unless you do some experiments on the brain that prove your point... :)
d. Physics and other sciences are very different for the sake of simplicity. It would be very hard to understand the digestive system using electromagnetic forces, but it is theoretically possible. Everything is ultimately physics.
e. I meant I'd agree with you if I believed in free will, but I doubt it exists, so I don't really have much to say on the topic.
f. Consciousness is really neat. I predict that it will end up being just a really complicated computer, but maybe not. Maybe it will prove to me the existance if not of God, at least a spirtual realm of some sort.
g. I don't know about other people's reasons for being agnostic, but mine are certainly more than just "belief". Sometimes I wish I could believe in God, but my rational mind tells me otherwise. Atheism on the other hand requires some of the same emotional flaws that religion has in terms of determining a world view.
h. This kind of certainty is subjective, and not a real certainty. Real certainty is impossible, but if we jsut use our objective intellect we can be very confident in our knowledge and precisely how accurate it is.
i) You can falsify historical predictions upon discovering evidence contrary to the typical description.
j) Not much else to say.
k) Yeah...a bit contradictory there I suppose. The point is gut feelings based on evidence are fine as long as we acknowledge they are essentially guesses. I guess (with a decent amount confidence) that free will doesn't exist, but I would never (as people do with religion) claim this to be the truth or to have a bunch of certainty in my prediction.
How do you get God from your assumptions?
"So what if morality is a societal construct? Can't it be important to society and have deeper meaning? So what if religous experiences result from/in stimulating the temporal lobe? Can't they be from God and also stimulate the temporal lobe?"
Sure. But there's no reason to bring in a God when He's not needed to explain how these things work. He may be out there, but I see no reason to believe He is.
Ok. This is a pretty reasonable view. I just asked because if you literally believed Genesis I was going to show that your assumptions aren't good enough to prove that. As is, you're safe from my questioning (except for the question above) :)
"How do you get God from your assumptions?"
Let me clarify. Your assumptions allow you to conclude there is some sort of spirtual world, but why the Christian God. Do you believe in Heaven? How does that come from your assumptions?
My point is how do you prove any of your religious beliefs beyond the simple "I feel that there is something else out there" (which is one of your assumptions and is thus free from my criticism)
"So really there isn't a need to bring your own personal assumption into the list, as it isn't really relevant?"
It is relevant, that's why I brought it up. Moving on...
"My argument is that the very much practical scientific assumption of the regularity of nature rests on induction."
Yes, it is by far the strongest inductive pattern we have ever been able to observe. Also, it's not really an assumption, but mainly my point is that if you are willing to discredit the strongest inductive case a person could ever make, then you may as well discredit induction as a whole.
"Part of the two-part problem of induction is how to know that Billy's stubbornness is more rationally justified than your widely-accepted principle."
As for Stuntdude the counterinductivist, for one thing his ideas fail horrible on a pragmati level. If you base engineering and problem-solving on induction, it works. If you base engineering and problem-solving on counter-induction, you will get nowhere. I'd like to see a counterinductivist build a working plane using their ideas.
We see that induction is more rationally justified because it has better explanatory and predictive power.
"If you really, really dumb down what you're saying, I think you'd agree that there isn't a logical justification for believing that the next number will be 9 any more than it may be 2."
If I dumbed it down a lot, maybe. If I pretended the induction was the only type of logic that can be used, as the example does, maybe. But in not-dumbed-down reality, it depends on the circumstances.
For instance, repeating digits are a terrible example for making a case about induction (whether for or againts) as they tend to follow different patterns than you might immediately suspect. For instance, if we are measuring particle speeds in the Large Hadron Collider, we know that the 0.999... can't continue forever because the particles are only going a finite amount of the speed of light. In cases like these, deductive reasoning overrules inductive reasoning.
"Incidentally, Popper believed we should seek out scientific theories that have the most ways of being false (so probably most false) but that have been falsified the most."
I think you mean theories that have had the most opportunities to be disproven but have not been.
If that's the case, then I am agreeing and I have justified why. Induction is pragmatically necessary on multiple levels. Not only do you use it for pretty much everything, but it is also implied by the assumption "Our reasoning can be applied to the world," which as I've demonstrated is a necessary assumption for us to function.
"My last criticism is that while it is all very well and good to say that science does not hold stuff to be 100% true, like you said, in practical life, yes people do."
Because it's practical to do so. Which should you spend more time fretting about, the thing that is 70% certain, or the thing that is 99.999999999...% certain?
"And since science is not some abstract theory but the scientific method carried out by real people, it is a failing regardless of the falsiifiability principle."
Clearly not, as evidenced by the computer you are currently using, science seems to be doing quite well.
"Ah, but no, because you have told us nothing new about the world. If there may be non-white swans, and there may all be white swans, we have literally learned nothing."
It's only a problem for those with a messed-up "worldview" who are too stubborn to ever admit when they don't know something. "I don't know if there are other colors of swans out there. I have good reason to believe there are only white swans in my homeland, but because it's a big world out there and past exploration has yielded new breeds of animals unknown to us, there may well be other types of swans out there." See? That wasn't so hard.
Or, if you're in the modern day and not an explorer from several centuries ago, you might know about evolution and how traits of a species difer between populations that have been separated for a long time, and take that into consideration as well.
My assumptions (that I can feel/experience real things not provable by science) don't get me all the way to Christianity or my particular branch (Mormonism)- they simply get me to the point that "There is a God, and He loves us." From there I deduce that if there is a God and He loves me, He wants me to become closer/return to Him. If He wants me to return to Him, He must have a way for me to do it. If He loves me, He wouldn't just dump me on Earth and expect me to figure that way all out on my own with no guidance or support. Thus I've arrived at the necessity for organized religion (to allow us to figure out the procedure for returning to God, with support from others who have the same goal.) Once I've arrived at organized religion, then it's a matter of finding the right one; I choose Mormonism because we believe in living prophets that can still receive revelation and God's word today. (If God wouldn't abandon me to figure things out on my own, he certainly wouldn't abandon his entire church to do the same.) From there, if the Mormon church is true, then what it teaches (about heaven, morality, the nature of God, and so on) is also true. And finally, tying back to the first assumption, this chain of logic is reinforced by experiences I've had that you'd probably chalk up to an overactive temporal lobe- my belief in the afterlife was strengthened after feeling a sense of closeness to people that have died.
As for God being needed... you're partially right too (I don't need God to explain, for example, how the stock market works). The big question is where God is relevant to what's being discussed. If people having spiritual experiences are consistantly attributing those experiences to a higher power, then completely dismissing/ignoring the possibility of a higher power being involved is narrow-minded at best and totally biased at worst.
Imaginedangerous: Makes sense. Thanks for detailing your logic so well.
"If people having spiritual experiences are consistantly attributing those experiences to a higher power, then completely dismissing/ignoring the possibility of a higher power being involved is narrow-minded at best and totally biased at worst."
I'll point out I don't completely dismiss GOd (I'm agnostic, not atheist), but after rational evaluation I do seriously doubt the genuinity of religious "experiences".
"But he would explain it thru some extensive (and wrong) conspiracy theory."
Which, to be sure, would be nothing at all like a scientific theory and would have no predictive power.
"as a layman I do not find it necessary to judge scientific theories that have no actual bearing on my life. (Medicine has a more direct bearing on my health.)"
Biological evolution has a huge significance in modern medicine, so you may want to rethink that one.
"Quantum's claim that we evolve for survival, not truth, makes it very easy to doubt any of our mental faculties."
Because we can clearly show that they're sometimes inaccurate. The fact that you're in denial about this is appalling.
"But no, I agree with you. That is precisely what I was saying."
I doubt that, considering you were clearly trying to support your views with what you originally said, and as I explained, it's irrelevant/doesn't actually support them.
"yes, people can lie, but clearly not everyone is lying all of the time"
Please stop intentionally misrepresenting what I'm saying. Thanks.
"if you cannot find the part(s) in the brain that are thought to be activated in concurrence with a feeling of depression, then you do not say the person is not feeling depressed."
Why not, if neuroscience becomes that advanced? What's stopping people? You arbitrarily say, "you can't do this!" but, why couldn't I?
"Your ant/human reasoning comes across as weakly ex post facto."
Way to pass it off without actually responding to it or, it would seem, even understanding it.
"I wasn't implying that about artistic technique."
Then your argument falls flat.
"I meant non-intentional thoughts."
Please state your reasons to believe that intentions are functionally different in the brain as compared to other thoughts.
"Anyway, I was saying that among the domains where things aren't falsifiable by nature, "We cannot know for certain" is a claim. (Not "I don't know", which is something else entirely.)"
Do you even know what a claim is? "I don't know" is also a claim. It's certainly a less loft claim, but it is certainly not "something else entirely." Further, something being a claim does not its being unfalsifiable.
"'Subjectivity and science do not have to be mutually exclusive' --> can you elaborate on that?"
Firstly, I said "subjectivity and objectivity," though subjectivity and science are also not mutually exclusive.
What I mean is that something subjective, for instance my vast enjoyment of FastFall, is based in part on objective truths about the music. Likewise, the subjective enjoyment of the music could be objectively measured as electrical (and chemical) activity in my brain.
"I would argue atheism is a belief. Just like I believe Zeus does not exist."
That's not what atheism is. It's not a claim that, for 100% certain, there's no god. It's simply a rejection of theism. Someone who looks at the arguments put forward by theists and says, "none of this has met its burden of proof, so I have no reason to believe it," is an atheist, wouldn't you agree?
...... I kinda wanna take this whole thread and paste it onto a word doc just to see how long it is.
My guess is somewhere around... 15,000 words? :)
Thanks for your replies :) They always make writing like 1000-word posts worth it :)
a) Can science deal with something non-causal? (i.e. explain it, and not just observe it) How can you predict based on that?
And I'm interested (not for debating purposes lol) of the difference between "understanding" and "knowing" in your view. Scientific observations can help us "observe", but knowledge-wise, isn't everything sprinkled with doubt?
b. I'm confused now. Because of course rights et al are useful, but we want to know if they aer truthful. as in, are they "real"? Now, obviously, if humans never existed, then "rights" would not exist (as rights have to do with duties, which require higher levels of consciousness and all that). But since we do exist, are they sound? Do they have a basis in reality or are they merely "useful"? And if they do not have a basis in reality, then can you ever say of anything (morality especially) that it is truly wrong, or can you only say it is "not useful" and "you feel repulsed by it"? Usefulness is an IS. For instance, computers are useful. But we do not say it is moral to have computers, that everyboyd ought to have computers. You can't derive "oughts" (moral duties) from "is"s (facts). The is-ought gap is irreducible, except by means of a divine command, or some other such spiritual-esque means which has to be held as true within the fabric of reality.
1. It's always shown objects to be causal, but never human agents. Unless you are saying humans are objects (which is begging the question), it is not scientifically sound to assume that we are. Population dynamics can explain tendencies of groups, never indiviudal predictions (based on intention, of course). I think you'd agree that this is not hardcore evidence, right? As in, if someone does have the assumption/belief/whatever of free will, it is not unreasonable?
2. Can you elaborate on what we have thought to make us special that has been disproved? Thanks :)
3. I would place feelings and introspection to be vastly different. Just consider that you can introspect about feelings -- it has an "observational" aspect, while you obviously "feel" feelings. They are related, obviously. but introspection is kinda like sticking a telescope in yourself, and observing. You can then reason about the results, label them, etc. Take the fact that this has occurred widely, pretty much worldwide, every case of introspection has "revealed" that we will things, and the rational mind, i.e. the thing that can only understand causality and is from the very start unable to understand freedom, is what rejects it. It is never experience.
LOL fair enough XD I have mentioned I'm an agnostic theist, right? As in, you don't have to be an agnostic atheist... I personally think it's far more reasonable to be an agnostic theist than an agnostic atheist.
d. It's funny, the guy I used to have a crush on (lol you must be like TMI haha) said the same thing :) "Everything is physics" Possibly. But I don't think you can judge the emergent by only its constituents.
e. Gotcha. :) So if we have free will, or even if we don't, reason can't understand freedom. XD Glad we agree.
f. It is, isn't it? I predict that science will find it to be a complicated computer, because it can never find anything else.
g. My reason for being agnostic are pretty much the same as yours (I think), in that my assumptions are going to take time (or at least more personal experience/knowledge/study) to be justified. A year ago, I was absolutely dying to become a theist (I was a an agnostic deist, which is operationally the same thing as an atheist). So I can understand the problem. My route to de-religionizing (which isn't a word :P) was actually free will, in that I rejected it (and so H.ell, Heaven, etc all become hugely unjust). But then I recognised the inherent contradictions in determinism, so theism seemed more reasonable. (That's the short, unemotional story.)
h. I don't know what you mean by "real" certainty. Quantitatively? the probability being 1? Quantitative certainty only understand quantitative phenomena. Certainty in the belief sense is a whole lot more about the wider human experience.
i. True, but that's really true of anything. Much of history is not "testable". History can have a certainty of 1. A very large # of people have reported some battle in 1849, you can't really falsify it in reality (I believe Popper criticized the addition of ad hoc hypotheses in science, so it's kinda like that).
k. But you are operating your life based on a guess. If you think all guesses are equal (I doubt you do, but I am trying to say that it is at least equally reasonable to take for your assumption Human Freedom as it is to take the vice versa), then IMO it is most reasonable for you to be operating on Opportunity Cost, or Pascal's Wager. (There are numerous problems with his wager, but I mean you should be considering the consequences of each lifestyle, eliminating the blatantly unreasonable choices, and choose the one that has the lowest opprtunity cost.) That is surely most reasonable. (Sorry if it sounds like I'm criticising you.)
Also, I'm now officially open to you criticizing my assumptions XD Go for it. (You and stuntddude.)
Cheers and thanks for your patience, everybody :)
You ain't seen nothing yet :P
stuntddude and Quantum:
I want to reply to the 1/2/3s I posted on page 2, but I am not sure if you guys are totally in agreement with each other or not. So I'll reply to stuntddude, God willing, and then if I think you Quantum have said a similar-enough response to him, I'll just say so XD
This is in response to your reply on Jun 10, 9.44 PM :) (Please don't respond to my post until I get throuhg all a-e's)
a) I see :) I'm actually interested in what you would say the difference between observation and perception is (I think it'd be interesting to disuss.) :) Any thoughts?
b) First off, I enjoyed reading your reply to this :) For some reason you came across as sweet and understanding, LOL.
"Action on a very small scale [...] determines action on a large scale". For objects, yes. I do not (for the moment) agree or disagree wtih you, but I think it is important to realize that there are differences and similarities between humans and objects. For instance, if I fell, like anything else, I'd fall at ~9.8 m/s. But of course I mean a law for the "non object" aspect of us, or that which is willed, which does not share an analogy in a rock, and shares limited analogies in other animals.
I do understand what you are saying, but I wanted to point that out in case it wasn't clear.
And to be fair, humans use and affect the internet, so I think a better analogy would be the wind thing :)
to be continued....
lol im doing it. right now., gimme a sec.
Alright excluding this post, the report abuse button, time stamp, etc, here:
Word Count: 23,868
Characters (No Spaces): 112,925
Characters (With Spaces): 136,848
Honestly page count isnt very accurate though with a bunch of weird spacing.
Floree: I agree, I also feel flustered when I see this thread.
You guys: Thinking of doing Nanowrimo this year with philosophy? :P
OH HECK Nmaybe. I don't think I could do it, though, or get anywhere close. I'm far too much of a perfectionist to reach 50,000 words... maybe 5,000 XD
That said, apparently just reading this thread all the way through is equivalent to reading a large portion of a novel, so...
You can. You are doing it already. Another 27000 words and you would be in :P