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SilentScope001
04-12-2007, 07:13 PM
/sigh. Let me make this clear.

Atheism is not "no belief". How come?

An Atheist will suspend judgment on if God exist, since there is no proof. Quite logical. I won't question that.

An Atheist then argues that we should do stem cell research then because it would be good for scientific research. That's wrong.

Why? Because they believe in "science". Darth Insidious is a firm believer of this, and so am I. There is no proof that observations are correct. There is no proof that I am typing, there is no proof that stem cells even exist, or that we are living. No proof at all. And yet, many people do believe in science, do believe that the world exist. There is NO PROOF however.

Proofs are necessary otherwise you can accept...well...anything. You can artibratly choose anything, any religion, any scientific theory, and without any proof, they would all be equally valid or equally invalid.

There is no proof that God exist, therefore we should not believe in it. True. There is no proof that the world exist, therefore we should not believe in it. Our senses could be decivicing us, so we can't trust them to be reliable witnesses. We could very well be brains in a vat. That's considered false, but well...so? Few people would think about that statement, but it is quite true, no? We really know little about the world, all that we see is "apperances".

The real people who don't believe in anything at all are the Skeptics. They don't believe in God, in the world, in anything. There is no proof, so why bother trying to find out the Truth when we really can't? Just walk around, and accept the "apperances", knowing that is the only thing you can? Suspend jugement on the world, suspend judgment on society? Except, well, the Skeptic could be wrong: Since why do we need proof to accept something? They believe proofs are important, but there is no proof that proofs are necessary.

...This is why I object to Atheists saying they don't believe. Because they do believe, in Science. We all believe. Everything is based on belief.

Emperor Devon
04-12-2007, 09:20 PM
Oh yay, a discussion on metaphysics. :p

If you can see it, touch it, or prove in some other way it exists, it's real. There are probably hundreds of philosophy books on that subject out there, but it's kind of moot IMO. Whether the world around us is real or not doesn't seem to matter - supposing it's all an illusion, we all appear to incapable of waking up from it. We might as well go with it.

There is no proof that observations are correct. There is no proof that I am typing,

I can see it on this screen. I'd guess anyone else I ask will agree with me in that the text you've typed up is there. We can speculate all we like on this, but we're incapable of changing the fact that we can see what you've typed. Does it even matter if isn't real? If it's an illusion it's proven itself impossible for us to dispel or wake up from. Since it won't change and can't be changed we might as well run with the idea that it's real. It's not like we could do anything if it wasn't, anyway.

Blame my caveman-like views on metaphysics on Ayn Rand, btw. :p

SilentScope001
04-12-2007, 10:06 PM
If you can see it, touch it, or prove in some other way it exists, it's real. There are probably hundreds of philosophy books on that subject out there, but it's kind of moot IMO. Whether the world around us is real or not doesn't seem to matter - supposing it's all an illusion, we all appear to incapable of waking up from it. We might as well go with it.

Yes, but should we believe it to be true? The Phyrroian Skeptic says to live with the apperances, but never to trust them.

Thing is, I'm worried about believing in something that I know could be false. I think that's the main objection that atheists raise: Don't believe in God, there's no proof of his existence. Beliving in something that could be false would insult your intellect, and it would delude you.

I think the skeptic would rather take the assurance that he cannot know anything rather than randomly picking a belief and therefore having the possiblity it could be totally wrong.

Plus, maybe, just maybe (no proof though, and I highly doubt it :p) we could pop ourselves out like the Matrix, and learn the truth. The Matrix would be a boring movie if Neo never woke up from his dream, after all.

Achilles
04-12-2007, 10:25 PM
@Emperor Devon: Kudos for your post. Not very elegant, but quite effective :D

If I could just add a few thoughts...

We have no reason to suspect that "reality" is not real. If someone asked for evidence that it was, we could easily point to all the things that we see that would indicate that it is (words on a page/screen, pain when you stub your toe, etc). Sure, it might not prove anything 100% but the probability of it not being real is orders of magnitude less likely than the probability of it being real. If one chooses to accept the former, then that's their prerogative, but they would have a hard time showing that their position was the rational one.

lukeiamyourdad
04-12-2007, 11:49 PM
There is no proof that you live. Suicide is the only answer...

Honestly, what's the point? Wait, if there is no proof of life, then there is none of death. So no suicide. So no nothing. Eternal status quo. How joyful.

Isn't an atheist just someone who does not believe in God? Does it automatically means he believes in science?

In fact, science does not give you something that is true, only something that is 99.99999999....% true if possible. It simply tries to explain reality.

I suppose when you grow up you'll simply join the rest of us.

SilentScope001
04-13-2007, 12:18 AM
We have no reason to suspect that "reality" is not real.

Would "Abscene of evidence does not mean evidence of abscene" work?

Another thing is that we have no reason to suspect reality is real. So, suspension of judgment would prehaps be the best. Rationally, the skeptic would just argue for proofs.

Isn't an atheist just someone who does not believe in God? Does it automatically means he believes in science?

No, but for most humans I meet, religious or non-religious, they all believe in "Science". Achilles is an example of an atheist who is non-religious and who believe in "Science" as well. I'm sure they are possibliy atheists who do not believe in Science or anything at all, I would term them Skeptics.

In fact, science does not give you something that is true, only something that is 99.99999999....% true if possible. It simply tries to explain reality.

But many people do literally take Science as, well, the Bible. They say, "Oh, a scientist says that, this means it must be true!" without realizing that science attempts to find a framework for the truth.

It does provide a framework, but there is no proof that Science is the correct framework. In the end, you just have to take it on faith that society is real, otherwise you'll just kill yourself and end the illusions...maybe. :)

What I mean to say is that Faith isn't bad per se, but many people are believe in something, even if it is merely that I am typing.

Achilles
04-13-2007, 02:10 AM
Hi SS001,

I generally try to avoid responding to your posts, however since I did indirectly engage you with my response to ED, I only think it fair that I consider your points.

Would "Abscene of evidence does not mean evidence of abscene" work?Please help me understand how that buzz-phrase applies to this topic.

"absence of evidence (for reality) is not evidence of absence (of reality)"

I'm not taking the position that there isn't any evidence, you are. This would reinforce my point and weaken yours.

Another thing is that we have no reason to suspect reality is real. So when you cut yourself, you make no attempt to stop the bleeding because there's no evidence that you're actually hurt? Or when you're driving you don't stop at red lights because there's no evidence that there are other cars? You don't bother eating because there's no evidence that the food is really there? Do you really want to continue to defend this position?

So, suspension of judgment would prehaps be the best. Rationally, the skeptic would just argue for proofs. There is no reason to suspend judgment. When I stub my toe, it hurts....everytime! All the people I've ever talked to confirm that it hurts when they stub their toes as well. There is no cause for me to be skeptical about toes or the results of stubbing them. It seems that to do so would be defy intelligence (the ability to learn and adapt to one's environment).

If one time, I nearly stubbed my toe, but instead my foot passed effortlessly though the coffee table, I might have some cause to question reality. Then I would be justified in being a skeptic.

But many people do literally take Science as, well, the Bible. They say, "Oh, a scientist says that, this means it must be true!" without realizing that science attempts to find a framework for the truth.

It does provide a framework, but there is no proof that Science is the correct framework. "Science" is a process used to make explanations for what we observe in nature. To say that I believe in "science" is like saying that I believe in "writing". I find knowing to be vastly superior to not knowing and as such I make an effort to learn as much as I possibly can. Science is the car used on the journey, not the destination.

So the question comes down to, how does one "prove" a process? It either works or it does not. You're sitting in a home built using scientific principles, made out of materials scientifically developed, using a computer fashioned entirely out of scientific discoveries, and yet you want to question the process? Questioning the results is not only permitted, it's encouraged. Heck, question the process too if it will make you feel better, but I'm not sure how much intellectual capital there is to be gained by taking pot-shots from the side lines without making any effort to learn more about what it is you're critiquing.

Thanks for reading.

Vaelastraz
04-13-2007, 11:30 AM
Couldn't agree more with Achilles.

I think it is senseless to doubt everything. What's the point of assuming that everything is a big illusion, when we obviously have no chance to ever be certain?

Or is this just a way to try and make rational "beliefs" and beliefs without evidence equal?

igyman
04-13-2007, 03:04 PM
...This is why I object to Atheists saying they don't believe. Because they do believe, in Science.
Science is not equal to religion. Religion is based on belief. Science is based on facts.
Belief, or faith are nouns most often related to religion, unlike the verb 'to believe', which mostly refers to your opinion on the truthfulness of something another person said, opinion that is based on the facts you know about the matter. Belief refers to a person who thinks something is irrevocably true, even if there are no facts to support it; belief expresses the lack of the need for facts. I hope this is clear enough.
Now, personally I think you lost yourself a little with this thread and I really don't see the point of any further discussion about why atheism is not a form of religion.

SilentScope001
04-13-2007, 03:04 PM
Please help me understand how that buzz-phrase applies to this topic.

"absence of evidence (for reality) is not evidence of absence (of reality)"

I'm not taking the position that there isn't any evidence, you are. This would reinforce my point and weaken yours.

You claim that there is no evidence that reality does not exist. Well, there is no evidence reality exist.

Since you claim that the burden of proof is on the religious person to prove that God exist, then, really, the burden of proof is on you, no, to prove that reality exist?

So when you cut yourself, you make no attempt to stop the bleeding because there's no evidence that you're actually hurt? Or when you're driving you don't stop at red lights because there's no evidence that there are other cars? You don't bother eating because there's no evidence that the food is really there? Do you really want to continue to defend this position?

Have you read about "apperances"?

A skepitic continues to live in the world as normal. But he acts only on the apperances. It appears to him that he cut himself, and it appears to him that he is bleeding, and it appears to him that he should do something to stop the bleeding, and so he does it.

Claiming that a person cannot operate without accepting this is reality is a strawman argument. A person can operate without accepting reality. He can continue to function in the world, can continue to worry about himself. But that does not mean he BELIEVES it to be true. It only appears to him to be true, but there is no real proof that it is true. He is, in essence, like an agonist, who believes that there is no way to prove if God exist or if God does not exists.

here is no reason to suspend judgment. When I stub my toe, it hurts....everytime! All the people I've ever talked to confirm that it hurts when they stub their toes as well. There is no cause for me to be skeptical about toes or the results of stubbing them. It seems that to do so would be defy intelligence (the ability to learn and adapt to one's environment).

If one time, I nearly stubbed my toe, but instead my foot passed effortlessly though the coffee table, I might have some cause to question reality. Then I would be justified in being a skeptic.

You are begging the question. You are assuming that reality is real, and so you are talking to people already in the reality to tell you that reality is real. Begging the question is not wrong, per se, but arguing that reality is real because reality is real does not really prove anything...or be persuasive.

Prove to me that reality is real, without having to rely on reality to tell you that reality is real.

"Science" is a process used to make explanations for what we observe in nature. To say that I believe in "science" is like saying that I believe in "writing". I find knowing to be vastly superior to not knowing and as such I make an effort to learn as much as I possibly can. Science is the car used on the journey, not the destination.

Then why do you condmen Religion? Isn't it a framework used to make explaination for what we observe? Obivously because it relies on a premise that you find silly, God exist. There is no proof that God exist. So why bother with this stupid framework?

But we should question the framework of Science. It relies on the premise that the framework works, that we can observe the rules and we can understand it. The fact is we cannot prove that Science is correct. If we claim that a person should not follow God because there is no proof that God exist, and that the burden of proof is on the followers of God to prove that God exist...then we must apply the same way of thinking to Science no?

I find that "knowing" something is put into doubt because you have no proof you are right, you have no proof that you are knowing anything. The skeptic would rather take the certainty of knowing that you cannot learn anything rather than randomly choose something, like Science, "know" a lot of stuff about it, and be proven wrong. Is it better to be safe than it is to be sorry?

You're sitting in a home built using scientific principles, made out of materials scientifically developed, using a computer fashioned entirely out of scientific discoveries, and yet you want to question the process?

Begging the question again. And Science has always told me that it is correct, and that it is grand. Isn't this a bit too similar to religious people always telling me that they are correct? A person should not rely on a religious authority, because they could be wrong and mistaken, so why should we rely on Science?

Questioning the results is not only permitted, it's encouraged. Heck, question the process too if it will make you feel better, but I'm not sure how much intellectual capital there is to be gained by taking pot-shots from the side lines without making any effort to learn more about what it is you're critiquing.

Again, isn't the burden of proof on you to prove that you are right? Until then, it might be better to suspend judgement rathere than go and put our trust totally on Science and this framework.

I think it is senseless to doubt everything. What's the point of assuming that everything is a big illusion, when we obviously have no chance to ever be certain?

The point is: If there is no such thing as reality, then truly, it puts into doubt everything. Skepticism promises freedom, and preventing a person from wasting time trying to prove the world exist or trying to prove anything. It would be better to suspend judgement.

Or is this just a way to try and make rational "beliefs" and beliefs without evidence equal?

Rationality is based on reason. Reason requires that we cannot accept things without any proof or evidence. There is no proof or evidence that Science works or that reality exist. The Skeptic says we should reject that as well, since it is not rational to believe in something, or anything for that matter.

There is no evidence to support anything, religion or science.

Darth InSidious
04-13-2007, 03:23 PM
Science is not equal to religion. Religion is based on belief. Science is based on facts.
Sorry, not so. Science is based on evidence. Facts are things which are concrete, absolute. Science is neither. You cannot, in science, say 'all swans are white'. What happens when you find a green swan, then? What you can say is that "current evidence suggests that the majority of swans are white; as of yet, no non-white swans have been observed".

Belief, or faith are nouns most often related to religion, unlike the verb 'to believe', which mostly refers to your opinion on the truthfulness of something another person said, opinion that is based on the facts you know about the matter. Belief refers to a person who thinks something is irrevocably true, even if there are no facts to support it;
There may be evidence, however, or logical constructs which aim to lend, for want of a better word, proof to the idea presented.

@LIAYD: I don't know about other fields, but in my line of work, the most we can usually say is that it is very probable that something is, or that it seems. This means, if we go for percentages, we can be certain of about 75% accuracy at most in what we say. For the rest there simply isn't enough evidence.

@Achilles: Apologies for not replying to your latest post in the Atheism/Theism thread, but I've been rather snowed under, and haven't had a chance to complete a reply, though thankfully this post was rather smaller and easier to answer :)

lukeiamyourdad
04-13-2007, 05:01 PM
@LIAYD: I don't know about other fields, but in my line of work, the most we can usually say is that it is very probable that something is, or that it seems. This means, if we go for percentages, we can be certain of about 75% accuracy at most in what we say. For the rest there simply isn't enough evidence.

Well, you summarized things pretty well. In the case of your statement "all swans are white" my 99.999...% applies quite well. It's merely a way to mean that the probability of finding a swan that isn't white is extremely low. The remaining percentage only forces us to say "current evidence suggests that the majority of swans are white; as of yet, no non-white swans have been observed" because every question we ask and hypothesis we make must have a "false" answer. The problem is that sometimes, in some parts of the worlds, that somehow makes you a flipflopper or something...

In the case of social sciences, this is incredibly complicated. There is almost no consensus on any issue.

But you're an Egyptologist right? I can only assume that since you're dealing with the past and only the past, while most of us deal with the present, that your error rate must be much higher.

Achilles
04-13-2007, 05:23 PM
You claim that there is no evidence that reality does not exist. Well, there is no evidence reality exist. I'll tell you what, rather than repeat myself, I'll just ask you a question:

What more evidence do you need?

Here's an experment that you can try yourself at home with readily available resources.

Step 1: Find a wall free of any obstructions (paintings, shelves, furniture, etc)
Step 2: Walk towards the wall
Step 3: If you do not pass through the wall or are otherwise repelled by the wall, back up and repeat step 2.
Step 4: Keep records of your attempts. Be sure to mark how many times you pass through the wall as well as how many times you do not pass through the wall.
Step 5: Report your results.

If you experiment produces just one case in which you pass through the wall, I will abandon my position and jump on your bandwagon.

Since you claim to have no evidence for reality, you have no reason to suspect that the wall actually exists, therefore you have no reason not to attempt this experiment.

Failure to conduct this experiment will only show that you're not interested in having a rational discourse and should therefore be ignored.

Since you claim that the burden of proof is on the religious person to prove that God exist, then, really, the burden of proof is on you, no, to prove that reality exist? See experiment above. If that isn't enough evidence for you, I don't know what is.

A skepitic continues to live in the world as normal. But he acts only on the apperances. It appears to him that he cut himself, and it appears to him that he is bleeding, and it appears to him that he should do something to stop the bleeding, and so he does it. I'm trying to make some sense of this argument, however I cannot. You don't accept reality but are willing to operate as though it exists...why?

Claiming that a person cannot operate without accepting this is reality is a strawman argument. A strawman is when you put words in someone's mouth and then attack the thing that he did not say. As your next sentence demonstrates, you are in fact making the claim that one can operate without accepting reality. No strawman was made.

A person can operate without accepting reality.If one operates on the assumption that reality exists, he or she has accepted reality.

He can continue to function in the world, can continue to worry about himself. But that does not mean he BELIEVES it to be true. It only appears to him to be true, but there is no real proof that it is true. Of course he believes it to be true. If he did not, he wouldn't band-aid his finger, use his brake pedal, or bother eating.

You are begging the question. You are assuming that reality is real, and so you are talking to people already in the reality whoa, whoa, whoa....stop right there! "Talking to people already in the reality"? What does that mean? I thought reality didn't exist? You seem to think it does here. Ok, continue.

...to tell you that reality is real. Begging the question is not wrong, per se, but arguing that reality is real because reality is real does not really prove anything...or be persuasive. Do you mean "begging the question" as in the logical fallacy or as in "I'm asking you questions", which is a normal part of discourse? No fallacy occured, sir. There is endless emperical evidence for reality, therefore arguing on the premise that reality is real is not a logical fallacy. Nice try though :D

Prove to me that reality is real, without having to rely on reality to tell you that reality is real. That doesn't even make sense.

Then why do you condmen Religion? Isn't it a framework used to make explaination for what we observe? No. Religion makes no explanations based on observation. That endeavor is called "science".

Obivously because it relies on a premise that you find silly, God exist. There is no proof that God exist. So why bother with this stupid framework? Because such belief has very real consequenses. If there are 20 people charging at you because they believe that their god has called for your death, wouldn't you consider that a real consequence of a silly framework?

But we should question the framework of Science. The framework? No. The framework has proven itself everytime it's been used. The various conclusions that it helps to produce? Sure, pretty please feel free to test those ad infinitum.

It relies on the premise that the framework works, that we can observe the rules and we can understand it. The fact is we cannot prove that Science is correct.Actually, we can. It has never "failed".

If we claim that a person should not follow God because there is no proof that God exist, and that the burden of proof is on the followers of God to prove that God exist...then we must apply the same way of thinking to Science no?Can, should, and have. Guess wha? Its proven itself time and again. Perhaps you should make some effort to learn a little bit more about the field so that you can speak more intelligently about it.

I find that "knowing" something is put into doubt because you have no proof you are right, you have no proof that you are knowing anything. The skeptic would rather take the certainty of knowing that you cannot learn anything rather than randomly choose something, like Science, "know" a lot of stuff about it, and be proven wrong. Is it better to be safe than it is to be sorry?I know that there is a chair underneath me right now. I know it because I'm not flat on the floor. I am skeptical of any claim that says otherwise because the evidence shows that the chair is right there.

Begging the question again. And Science has always told me that it is correct, and that it is grand. Isn't this a bit too similar to religious people always telling me that they are correct? A person should not rely on a religious authority, because they could be wrong and mistaken, so why should we rely on Science?Again, it would only be begging the question if there was cause to think none of those things were true. The evidence shows that that they are. No fallacy there.

Science is based on facts and evidence. Religion is based on myths and subjective experiences. Please quit equating the two.

Again, isn't the burden of proof on you to prove that you are right? Until then, it might be better to suspend judgement rathere than go and put our trust totally on Science and this framework. Please be sure to let me know how your experiment turns out. I am very interested in reading your findings. :D

igyman
04-13-2007, 05:53 PM
Science is based on evidence.
I stand corrected.

SilentScope001
04-13-2007, 06:13 PM
I'll tell you what, rather than repeat myself, I'll just ask you a question:

What more evidence do you need?

Here's an experment that you can try yourself at home with readily available resources.

Step 1: Find a wall free of any obstructions (paintings, shelves, furniture, etc)
Step 2: Walk towards the wall
Step 3: If you do not pass through the wall or are otherwise repelled by the wall, back up and repeat step 2.
Step 4: Keep records of your attempts. Be sure to mark how many times you pass through the wall as well as how many times you do not pass through the wall.
Step 5: Report your results.

If you experiment produces just one case in which you pass through the wall, I will abandon my position and jump on your bandwagon.


There is one problem. You are stating that I can trust my senses. There is no proof I can trust my senses.

This is what I mean. I am doubting the senses. I cannot consult the senses, because if the senses could be lying, if I could be deceived, then I shouldn't trust them.

An Example: What if I am hallucating? Thene if I am hallucating a wall, and if I am hallucating that I am running towards the wall, and that I get hit by the wall...THEN, I could conclude there is a wall. But there is not. If my senses are lying, then why do tests and rely on my senses to tell me what is right and what is wrong?

You are assuming that the senses are accurate. I dispute that.

See experiment above. If that isn't enough evidence for you, I don't know what is.

How about this: Prove to me that the senses can be trusted.

I'm trying to make some sense of this argument, however I cannot. You don't accept reality but are willing to operate as though it exists...why?


...Why not? You are in this world, you might as well do something. Really, there is no reason why you shouldn't do anything.

A strawman is when you put words in someone's mouth and then attack the thing that he did not say. As your next sentence demonstrates, you are in fact making the claim that one can operate without accepting reality. No strawman was made.

You have said that you cannot live in the world unless you accept that it is true. I say it is wrong, you can live in the world and not accept it to be true. Let me explain.

If one operates on the assumption that reality exists, he or she has accepted reality.

Let us assume for instance that I am sleeping, and that I am having a dream, and that the dream is false. Now, if I am in this dream, and I receive life-like preceptions similar to that I am awake, and THEN I have my finger cut. Now what?

Now I am in constant pain. Even though the dream is just a dream, I still have my finger cut. During that time, I am also wondering if it is just a dream. To end the pain of the dream or the hallucation, I go and get a band-aid to heal myself from the pain. I do not accept that the dream is real, and I do not even know for certain that it was just a dream I was having. But I still have pain, and it appears to me that I could die if I do not heal myself. When healing myself, I never ever accepted reality, but I do want to end the pain.

Apperances are really the only thing you can go on. You can't go and figure out deeper meanings. Prehaps there are secrets that we may never find out.

If you call that acceptance, then yes, most skeptics do indeed operate in the world as "if" it is real, and in that case, they accept it. But they also keep it in the back of their mind that it could all be a lie, and they would just smile at that possiblity.

whoa, whoa, whoa....stop right there! "Talking to people already in the reality"? What does that mean? I thought reality didn't exist? You seem to think it does here. Ok, continue.

Well, let us assume that the reality we agree about here means the apperances that appears to us to be reality, the sensations we have gotten. You and I receive the same sensations, but for you to trust them and say they prove reality is right seems a bit...annoying.

Do you mean "begging the question" as in the logical fallacy or as in "I'm asking you questions", which is a normal part of discourse? No fallacy occured, sir. There is endless emperical evidence for reality, therefore arguing on the premise that reality is real is not a logical fallacy. Nice try though

Begging the question: Assuming something that is at the basis of question.

An example: A person says: The Bible is the true word of God because God says so. This is fallacious, as the person has assumed the premise of what he is trying to prove. It could be true, but it does not persaude the atheist.

You are saying that what you believe to be reality is true because there is emprical evidence (aka, evidence you gathered from what you believe to be reality) . This is fallacious, as you assumed the premise of what you are trying to prove.

No. Religion makes no explanations based on observation. That endeavor is called "science".

Yes they do.

Prehistoric man: "Oh, rain is falling."

Another Prehistoric man: "Someone must be causing the rain to fall."

Prehistoric man: "It must be the Rain God!"

Another Prehistoric man: "Good job! Let's worship it!"

And even so, in Science, you trust observations, which is something that is in doubt.

Because such belief has very real consequenses. If there are 20 people charging at you because they believe that their god has called for your death, wouldn't you consider that a real consequence of a silly framework?

Red herring? Attempting to distract the whole purpose of this debate? I'm not arguing about consquences of religious belief, I'm arguing about science's validity here.

And your belief DO has consquences. Spending 20 hours researching, or having 20 people holding protest marches calling for research into stem cell research, or even trying to prove to other people that you are correct, they all are consquence of a framework.

The framework? No. The framework has proven itself everytime it's been used. The various conclusions that it helps to produce? Sure, pretty please feel free to test those ad infinitum.

I don't believe it has proven itself, it still rely on observations, and we do not know if observations are right.

I will feel free to test Science, yes, but without proof that observations is correct, it seems that you have to take something on faith, that this world is real. And, according to the skeptic, belief in anything is wrong.

Again, it would only be begging the question if there was cause to think none of those things were true. The evidence shows that that they are. No fallacy there.

Science is based on facts and evidence. Religion is based on myths and subjective experiences. Please quit equating the two.

I question the evidence. How do you know the evidence is valid? You don't.

Science is based on facts and evidence, and religion is based on myths and subjective experiences. What are facts and evidence based on then? Not myths, of course, but "subjective experiences" would be accurate, we all see it. But can we trust the senses?

Please be sure to let me know how your experiment turns out. I am very interested in reading your findings.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I understand your views, and you understand mine.

Achilles
04-13-2007, 07:25 PM
There is one problem. You are stating that I can trust my senses. There is no proof I can trust my senses. Of course there is. Have you ever been walking along and suddenly fallen through the ground? If not then you can trust your senses to tell you that the ground is solid. Again, you are defending a very inane position.

An Example: What if I am hallucating? Thene if I am hallucating a wall, and if I am hallucating that I am running towards the wall, and that I get hit by the wall...THEN, I could conclude there is a wall. But there is not. If my senses are lying, then why do tests and rely on my senses to tell me what is right and what is wrong?You could certainly add a regimen of psychotropic drugs to your experiment and use your sober attempts as a control group. Also, you could try walking through the wall at different times.

Quit dodging the point and do the experiment. If your argument is right, you have nothing to lose. If my argument is right then you will have a bruised nose tomorrow. How confident are you in your argument?

You are assuming that the senses are accurate. I dispute that.I've offered you an experiment that will allow you to test your hypothesis. Are you serious about this or aren't you?

How about this: Prove to me that the senses can be trusted. I've given you an experiment. That's your proof.

...Why not? You are in this world, you might as well do something. Really, there is no reason why you shouldn't do anything.This diatribe does not answer my question. Try again please.

You have said that you cannot live in the world unless you accept that it is true.Hmmmm, I don't recall making any such claim. What I have said is that we have no reason to question reality because there is no evidence to show that we should. I've never passed through a wall or fallen through the floor so I have no reason to suspect that I ever shall.

PS: Not sure what this has to do with the strawman you accused me of.

I say it is wrong, you can live in the world and not accept it to be true. Let me explain. <snip> People wake up from dreams. People rarely, if ever, are capable of making decisions or expressing free will in dreams. People do not feel physical pain from dreamed injuries (although emotional experiences tend to be quite livid). All this is to say that your examples needs some work.

Well, let us assume that the reality we agree about here means the apperances that appears to us to be reality, the sensations we have gotten. You and I receive the same sensations, but for you to trust them and say they prove reality is right seems a bit...annoying. How else would one empirically prove that reality exists. You say you want an answer and then immediately want to dismiss the framework on the basis of "not liking it". You seem to think that this is all very profound, yet you're the one that seems rather incapable of defending his position with anything that resembles a real argument.

Begging the question: Assuming something that is at the basis of question. I'm well aware of what it is. What I question is your assertion that the fallacy was used.

Yes they do.<snip> That's an untested hypothesis. In other words a belief with no empirical evidence to support it (i.e. they can't prove that it's the rain god). Religion forms a hypothesis and stops right there and calls that the conclusion. Science actually tests the hypothesis and then abandons it if isn't repeatable, falsifiable, if it doesn't make any predictions, etc. If it can do all of these things, then it's accepted as a conclusion. You continue to demonstrate a lack of basic understanding about science and the scientific process. I really think you'd have a better chance at making sound argument if you made some effort to learn more about the subject before commenting on it further.

Red herring? Attempting to distract the whole purpose of this debate? I'm not arguing about consquences of religious belief, I'm arguing about science's validity here.Oooo..nice try! Unfortunately, that was "an example". I used it to support the answer that I offered in response to your question. Here it is again:

Then why do you condmen Religion? Isn't it a framework used to make explaination for what we observe? Obivously because it relies on a premise that you find silly, God exist. There is no proof that God exist. So why bother with this stupid framework? I hope that helps.

I don't believe it has proven itself, it still rely on observations, and we do not know if observations are right.Your lack of belief is not an argument.

I will feel free to test Science, yes, but without proof that observations is correct, it seems that you have to take something on faith, that this world is real. And, according to the skeptic, belief in anything is wrong. Your reasoning is circular. Faith is the belief in something with little, no, or contradictory evidence. Since you hold that evidence has no evidence, you've sucked yourself into an endless loop. No point in testing science because nothing can be proven in your world.

I question the evidence. How do you know the evidence is valid? You don't. Sure I do, via the scientific method.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I understand your views, and you understand mine.Indeed. I've said my piece and really do not feel like repeating myself any longer. I feel that I've sufficiently carried the albatross for my earlier response, so I will now return to my previous habits. The last word is yours, sir.

Thanks for reading.


Science is based on evidence. Facts are things which are concrete, absolute. Science is neither. You cannot, in science, say 'all swans are white'. What happens when you find a green swan, then? What you can say is that "current evidence suggests that the majority of swans are white; as of yet, no non-white swans have been observed". You're very, very close here.

Facts are integral to the first step in the scientific process: Observation. You cannot say that facts are not part of the process, as facts are the foundation of the process.

From the facts, we make observations. From the observations, we form hypothesis. We then develop tests to try to disprove the hypothesis. If the hypothesis cannot be shown to be false and can be used to make accurate predictions, then the hypothesis is accepted as theory.

To use your example:

We see a swan and it is white (fact)
We look for more swans and see that they too are also white (observation)
We form a hypothesis that all swans are white (hypothesis)
We travel around the country and observe that there are no swans that aren't white (testing)
We wager that swans will be white in other countries as well (prediction)
We go to several other countries and find that there are no non-white swans there as well (testing)
We draw up our conclusions and then submit our findings to scientific journal for peer-review.(testing)
The editors submit the study to other bird experts that verify the methodology of our study, test our hypothesis, and either confirm or refute our findings. (testing)
If our study survives the peer-review process then our hypothesis is accepted as theory. (theory)

If at any time, a non-white swan is found, then the theory is discarded and we start from step 1. If no non-white swan is ever found, then the White Swan Theory will continue to be accepted with the scientific community as the "truth". Scientists accept that finding new evidence is always a possibility and actually look forward to finding evidence that contradicts the status quo because it gives them something exciting to do. As such, they are skeptical by nature because they are always on the lookout for something that debunks current theory.

Dagobahn Eagle
04-14-2007, 11:23 AM
Atheism is not "no belief".Let me clarify: Atheism is the lack of religious belief. Simple as that. It doesn't even have to be for good, rational reasons.

Also, of course atheists have beliefs, too. Many of us even believe in major things that can't be proven, like UFOs, ghosts, psychic healing, etc. Atheism simply means we deny the existence of God. There's really nothing more to it than that.

An Atheist then argues that we should do stem cell research then because it would be good for scientific research.Generalization. There is no such thing as 'atheist morals', any more than there are 'left-handed peoples' morals' or 'blond morals'.

You can be an atheist in India and be a vegetarian opposed to abortion and stem cell research, or you can be an atheist in Scandinavia and be a meat-eating stem cell scientist who's had an abortion the year before.

Atheism just means we do not believe in a god, not that we're necessarily 100% rational and worshipers of every scientific endavour. Not even religious people, who actually have holy books telling them what to think, can come close to a uniform code of morals.

Why? Because they believe in "science". Darth Insidious is a firm believer of this, and so am I. There is no proof that observations are correct. There is no proof that I am typing, there is no proof that stem cells even exist, or that we are living. No proof at all. And yet, many people do believe in science, do believe that the world exist. There is NO PROOF however.First of all, there is plenty proof. You may assert that it's technically possible that all the evidence is wrong, and of course that's possible. However, the assertion that you aren't typing, despite all evidence to the contrary, is unproven.

For: Your posts are evidence you are typing.
Against: There is nothing to suggest the evidence for is incorrect.

There is no proof that the world exist, therefore we should not believe in it.Incorrect. There is plenty of proof the world exists, and your hypothesis that it's a mass delusion lacks any kind of evidence.

The real people who don't believe in anything at all are the Skeptics. No. Believing in a hypothesis that nothing exists, despite a total lack of evidence, is not being 'skeptical'. It's being stubborn and deluded.

Evidence for the world: Everything perceived by billions and billions of people throughout the world, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, nearly all of it fitting together.
Evidence it's all a hallucination: None.

...This is why I object to Atheists saying they don't believe. Because they do believe, in Science.No one 'believes in' science more than we 'believe in mathematics'. I honestly can not understand why religious people keep looking at science as some religious cult you 'believe in'. I certainly never, ever did back when I was religious.

Since you claim that the burden of proof is on the religious person to prove that God exist, then, really, the burden of proof is on you, no, to prove that reality exist?Of course. And it's been proven over and over again it does.

Our hypothesis that the world exists has been proven.
Your hypothesis that the world is a mass hallucination and that all evidence is void... has not been proven.

People rarely, if ever, are capable of making decisions or expressing free will in dreams. People do not feel physical pain from dreamed injuries (although emotional experiences tend to be quite livid).With all due respect, I beg to differ. I once dreamed I pinched my arm to see if I was dreaming, and it did indeed hurt. Also, we frequently make decisions in dreams, though they may not always be very rational.

In addition, hallucinations can be very real, to the point where you do not realize you're hallucinating. Some people suffering from PTSD can experience this.

Science and religion both seek answers [paraphrased].Yes. However:
Science seeks answers by forming hypotheses and testing them.
Religion seeks answers by going, 'let's just say this is how it is'.

How about this: Prove to me that the senses can be trusted.I can't prove that 100%, of course, but just about every single person in this world has the same perception of things, and all the senses correlate on just about every issue. For example, if I eat a new-baked bread, my senses of taste, smell, touch, vision and hearing all correlate. And the senses of everyone else correlate, in turn, with this experience. Everyone who eats bread, sans those with impaired senses, experience it roughly the same way.

Obivously because it relies on a premise that you find silly, God exist. There is no proof that God exist. So why bother with this stupid framework?The Crusades and witch hunts, 9/11, the Oklahoma bombing, the terrorist campaigns in India and Africa, and other atrocities notwithstanding, it's simply that most people like to correct those who are wrong.

If a person I care about in my class has a delusion that a certain guy is deeply in love with her, and there's nothing to suggest he is, I'll tell her, trying to be as gentle as possible.

If a person I care about in my class has a delusion that a certain Messiah cares deeply about her, and there's nothing to suggest He does, or that, for that matter, He even exists... I don't tell her. For some reason I respect that belief, even though it's no better than the arrogance of the lonely girl, who's come to the conclusion that her crush must be in love with her because it brings comfort to her life.

Achilles
04-14-2007, 02:31 PM
Also, of course atheists have beliefs, too. Many of us even believe in major things that can't be proven, like UFOs, ghosts, psychic healing, etc. Atheism simply means we deny the existence of God. There's really nothing more to it than that.If I may, I'd like to interject with something that I think is rather important.

Atheism literally means to be without belief. It is a neutral state. This is not the same thing as "denying the existence of god", which would be making a definitive statement (i.e. "I renounce god" or "I deny the evidence for god"). I only bring this up to point out that while an atheist can also be an anti-theist, atheism itself is neutral toward theism or anti-theism.

Thank you for allowing me to add my comments.