Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
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07-09-2016, 08:34 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 08:29 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 08:13 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I'll accept that because it is a meaningless tautology; anything that is contingent by definition requires something to cause it. Now you would just have to prove that any specific thing you define as contingent actually is contingent.

This depends on the definition of "contingent". It can be taken to refer to something that "must have a cause", in which case the statement is tautologous, as you say. But I've more commonly seen it defined simply as the opposite of "necessary" -- a necessary being must exist; a contingent being is one that may or may not exist (a contingent event is one that may or may not happen). So it basically just refers to something that exists, but could conceivably not have existed. To me, at least, that doesn't necessarily imply causation. It's not logically impossible for a contingent being to arise with no cause, as for example, particles are said to do at the quantum level. This makes it a lot like statements #2 and #3 -- plausible on an intuitive level, but ultimately unsupported.

Maybe... I'll have to think about that. I never considered the case of a non-necessary thing not being caused. As you say, it doesn't help the argument either way.

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07-09-2016, 08:56 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
Quote:The big bang is not suggested as a first cause, it is only the furthest back we can extrapolate based on the physics that we currently understand. Calling it a first cause is a strawman characterization.

Why is it that believers can't accept "we do not know"? When I get to a point where there is something I can't explain I say "I can't explain it". When believers get to that point they say "I can't explain it so X is the explanation" where X is god or your extra-dimensional life force, or whatever.

Sometimes "I don't know" is the best answer. It is honest and opens you up to searching for more evidence.


Yes, now we're back to the beginning again... I said I don't know. You say you don't know. Agnosticism is the only honest conclusion. Are we agreed on that?

Given that, are we not free to subscribe to our own conclusions? Is there a set standard those conclusions must have i.e. they must be rational, they must be virutous?

We both don't know. We both speculate. Whose speculations are better? What is the standard for better speculations? Rationality? Logic? What makes one feel good?

What is the standard?




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07-09-2016, 09:07 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 08:56 AM)xear Wrote:  
Quote:The big bang is not suggested as a first cause, it is only the furthest back we can extrapolate based on the physics that we currently understand. Calling it a first cause is a strawman characterization.

Why is it that believers can't accept "we do not know"? When I get to a point where there is something I can't explain I say "I can't explain it". When believers get to that point they say "I can't explain it so X is the explanation" where X is god or your extra-dimensional life force, or whatever.

Sometimes "I don't know" is the best answer. It is honest and opens you up to searching for more evidence.


Yes, now we're back to the beginning again... I said I don't know. You say you don't know. Agnosticism is the only honest conclusion. Are we agreed on that?

Given that, are we not free to subscribe to our own conclusions? Is there a set standard those conclusions must have i.e. they must be rational, they must be virutous?

We both don't know. We both speculate. Whose speculations are better? What is the standard for better speculations? Rationality? Logic? What makes one feel good?

What is the standard?

.

The speculation that contains unevidenced elements would be the inferior one, the supernatural ones.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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07-09-2016, 09:11 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 08:56 AM)xear Wrote:  
Quote:The big bang is not suggested as a first cause, it is only the furthest back we can extrapolate based on the physics that we currently understand. Calling it a first cause is a strawman characterization.

Why is it that believers can't accept "we do not know"? When I get to a point where there is something I can't explain I say "I can't explain it". When believers get to that point they say "I can't explain it so X is the explanation" where X is god or your extra-dimensional life force, or whatever.

Sometimes "I don't know" is the best answer. It is honest and opens you up to searching for more evidence.


Yes, now we're back to the beginning again... I said I don't know. You say you don't know. Agnosticism is the only honest conclusion. Are we agreed on that?

Given that, are we not free to subscribe to our own conclusions? Is there a set standard those conclusions must have i.e. they must be rational, they must be virutous?

We both don't know. We both speculate. Whose speculations are better? What is the standard for better speculations? Rationality? Logic? What makes one feel good?

What is the standard?

Easy: the standard for not knowing is "i dont know". You said it in this very post and i agree with your first sentence.
If you present your speculations as...specualtions. No problem. You will be presented with other specualtions probably. There will be arguments, counter-arguments. Possibly supporting evidence for one or the other specualtion. Yet, as soon as a single fact we know or a single piece of evidence we have shows a specualtion to be wrong, it would be wise to drop that speculation and make a new one (in science they are called hypothesis).

For conclusions having to be rational: Well they better be, since that has been the only thing in history to be working in terms of finding out the truth. Thats why philosophers made up those guidelines, so we have a tool at hand for *proper thinking*. Noone is *forced* to be rational by some kind of law, but being rational just puts one in a proper position in a discussion (philosophical or scientific).

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07-09-2016, 09:13 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 08:56 AM)xear Wrote:  Yes, now we're back to the beginning again... I said I don't know. You say you don't know. Agnosticism is the only honest conclusion. Are we agreed on that?

No. You have given no valid, rational reason for us to consider your proposed beliefs.

(07-09-2016 08:56 AM)xear Wrote:  Given that, are we not free to subscribe to our own conclusions? Is there a set standard those conclusions must have i.e. they must be rational, they must be virutous?

We both don't know. We both speculate. Whose speculations are better? What is the standard for better speculations? Rationality? Logic? What makes one feel good?

What is the standard?

The standards are the Scientific Method, supported by Apistevism, Logic, Realism and Rationality.

Which completely eliminates everything you have proposed.

When you rely on feelings and personal experience, you remove yourself from any serious discussion.

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07-09-2016, 09:21 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 08:56 AM)xear Wrote:  Yes, now we're back to the beginning again... I said I don't know. You say you don't know. Agnosticism is the only honest conclusion. Are we agreed on that?

In general... OK. For specific claims we may be able to reach a conclusion.

Quote:Given that, are we not free to subscribe to our own conclusions? Is there a set standard those conclusions must have i.e. they must be rational, they must be virutous?

You are free to believe whatever you want but if you do not have evidence for your beliefs then you should not expect anybody else to accept or even respect them. If you continue to insist that you are somehow justified because they make you happy then you earn ridicule.

Quote:We both don't know. We both speculate. Whose speculations are better?

The difference is that when I speculate I clearly identify it as speculation and I do not believe it unless I can find evidence to support the speculation.

Quote:What is the standard for better speculations? Rationality? Logic? What makes one feel good?

What is the standard?

Evidence. Reliable, demonstrable, consistent evidence that supports the speculation, explains everything that we see, and provides testable propositions that could falsify the proposal.

So far what you've offered for biocentrism does not explain anything better than standard models, fails to explain some things as well as the standard models, and provides no testable propositions. It fails on every front and believing that it is true is irrational.

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07-09-2016, 11:02 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 08:56 AM)xear Wrote:  
Quote:The big bang is not suggested as a first cause, it is only the furthest back we can extrapolate based on the physics that we currently understand. Calling it a first cause is a strawman characterization.

Why is it that believers can't accept "we do not know"? When I get to a point where there is something I can't explain I say "I can't explain it". When believers get to that point they say "I can't explain it so X is the explanation" where X is god or your extra-dimensional life force, or whatever.

Sometimes "I don't know" is the best answer. It is honest and opens you up to searching for more evidence.


Yes, now we're back to the beginning again... I said I don't know. You say you don't know. Agnosticism is the only honest conclusion. Are we agreed on that?

Given that, are we not free to subscribe to our own conclusions? Is there a set standard those conclusions must have i.e. they must be rational, they must be virutous?

We both don't know. We both speculate. Whose speculations are better? What is the standard for better speculations? Rationality? Logic? What makes one feel good?

What is the standard?




.

Assuming this discussion exists. The short answer would be proposition that can be put to the test.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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08-09-2016, 03:37 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 09:21 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 08:56 AM)xear Wrote:  Yes, now we're back to the beginning again... I said I don't know. You say you don't know. Agnosticism is the only honest conclusion. Are we agreed on that?

In general... OK. For specific claims we may be able to reach a conclusion.

Quote:Given that, are we not free to subscribe to our own conclusions? Is there a set standard those conclusions must have i.e. they must be rational, they must be virutous?

You are free to believe whatever you want but if you do not have evidence for your beliefs then you should not expect anybody else to accept or even respect them. If you continue to insist that you are somehow justified because they make you happy then you earn ridicule.

Quote:We both don't know. We both speculate. Whose speculations are better?

The difference is that when I speculate I clearly identify it as speculation and I do not believe it unless I can find evidence to support the speculation.

Quote:What is the standard for better speculations? Rationality? Logic? What makes one feel good?

What is the standard?

Evidence. Reliable, demonstrable, consistent evidence that supports the speculation, explains everything that we see, and provides testable propositions that could falsify the proposal.

So far what you've offered for biocentrism does not explain anything better than standard models, fails to explain some things as well as the standard models, and provides no testable propositions. It fails on every front and believing that it is true is irrational.




We're agreed on agnosticism as the only totally honest conclusion. Yes?

We're agreed on speculation is what we are both doing. Ok?

So now we are talking about what supports speculative evidence. I think someone said rational, testable, falsifiable. I'm surprised that no one said empirical.

Let's try this thought experiment. You wake up in a dark shed with no windows and you have no memory... total alzheimers. It's pitch dark. You can't find a door and if you did find it, it would be locked. You speculate, is there even another world outside of this enclosed dark space? You have no testable, falsifiable, rational, or empirical evidence to believe there is any other world other than the inside of this shed and cannot from your present position arrive at any. You must conclude this is the sum total of the world.

This "no evidence" idea is a red herring that completely throws things off the trail. For centuries, looking at a drop of water, they had no evidence there were living creatures in that drop. Because they had no evidence, does that prove there wasn't?

If you are in a dream, in the dream you have no evidence there is a world outside of the dream. Does that mean it's true?

If you look at me you have no evidence that I know how to swim.

If I look at you I have no evidence you know how to make toast. I can look at you and find no evidence you know how to play ping pong. No matter how many tests I do on you I still can find no evidence. No evidence of consciousness outside of the brain: proves nothing, says nothing and is a total red herring.

There is another big detour that can throw our investigation off. That is pre-conclusions based on what we want to believe. I'm am always surprised when I hear of seemingly intelligent people who were caught by a Nigerian email scam. How can this happen? Easily. When someone wants to believe something, they will discard all of the evidence against it and only look for evidence to support their desire. If we have a pre-conclusion already, then it's simply not possible to arrive at a conclusion outside of our pre-belief.





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08-09-2016, 04:40 AM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2016 09:24 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  We're agreed on agnosticism as the only totally honest conclusion. Yes?

There's a difference between an honest "I don't know" and "We don't know, so anything goes". Anyone here what to take bets on which camp you consistently fall into?


(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  We're agreed on speculation is what we are both doing. Ok?

Not all speculating is equal. There's a vast difference between "these are the best of our tentative conclusions based on the evidence we currently have available" and your particular brand of "because magic, I ain't gotta explain shit". That you purposely and continuously fail to notice this difference is quite telling.


(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  So now we are talking about what supports speculative evidence. I think someone said rational, testable, falsifiable. I'm surprised that no one said empirical.

Empirical
-Based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic

Good hypothesis extrapolate from good evidence, and good evidence is by definition empirical.


(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  Let's try this thought experiment. You wake up in a dark shed with no windows and you have no memory... total alzheimers. It's pitch dark. You can't find a door and if you did find it, it would be locked. You speculate, is there even another world outside of this enclosed dark space? You have no testable, falsifiable, rational, or empirical evidence to believe there is any other world other than the inside of this shed and cannot from your present position arrive at any. You must conclude this is the sum total of the world.

Wow, a poor man's take on Plato's allegory of the cave? You're about 2,500 years late to the party.


(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  This "no evidence" idea is a red herring that completely throws things off the trail. For centuries, looking at a drop of water, they had no evidence there were living creatures in that drop. Because they had no evidence, does that prove there wasn't?

So you're problem is that tentative conclusions of the past, based upon the evidence of the time, where later proven to be false, therefore evidence based reasoning is unsound?

Quick question? How did we determine that water actually did potentially contain microscopic life?

With evidence, you dumbass. Your biggest beef is that the scientific method actually works, how fucking original.


(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  If you are in a dream, in the dream you have no evidence there is a world outside of the dream. Does that mean it's true?

By definition, a dream isn't reality. If you know what a dream is and what the word means, you already know that it's not the sum total of existence, you twit.


(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  If you look at me you have no evidence that I know how to swim.

You appear to be as least sentient. So either you're a very elaborate chat-bot capable of reliably passing the Turing Test, or more probably, you're just another ignorant jackass in the internet (the place if filled with them, after all). So you most probably have the capability to learn how, even if you current don't know how to or otherwise can't because of a disability. There are things we know about our world that allow us to draw reasonable conclusions and levels of certainty, even if we cannot always be absolutely sure. Good skeptics can operate with various levels of doubt concerning many subjects, it's certainly not something we're unfamiliar with around here.


(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  If I look at you I have no evidence you know how to make toast. I can look at you and find no evidence you know how to play ping pong. No matter how many tests I do on you I still can find no evidence. No evidence of consciousness outside of the brain: proves nothing, says nothing and is a total red herring.

I could invite you over, and challenge you to a game of ping-pong or prepare some toast for you. Failing that, I could present evidence (such as video) or me performing and participating is such acts. You are being needlessly obtuse.


(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  There is another big detour that can throw our investigation off. That is pre-conclusions based on what we want to believe. I'm am always surprised when I hear of seemingly intelligent people who were caught by a Nigerian email scam. How can this happen? Easily. When someone wants to believe something, they will discard all of the evidence against it and only look for evidence to support their desire. If we have a pre-conclusion already, then it's simply not possible to arrive at a conclusion outside of our pre-belief.


Oh, like your pet theory biocentirsm?

Pot, meet kettle... Facepalm

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08-09-2016, 04:56 AM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2016 04:59 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  We're agreed on agnosticism as the only totally honest conclusion. Yes?

Nope. We just agree that agnosticism means one does not believe it is possible to know for sure if there is or isn't a god. I happen to hold that position.

(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  We're agreed on speculation is what we are both doing. Ok?

Speculation is only the first step in the scientific process, and even then it is based on observable phenomena. It is dishonest of you to try to suggest that the entire scientific process is speculation.

(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  So now we are talking about what supports speculative evidence. I think someone said rational, testable, falsifiable. I'm surprised that no one said empirical.

"Empirical evidence, also known as sense experience, is the knowledge or source of knowledge acquired by means of the senses, particularly by observation and experimentation. The term comes from the Greek word for experience, ἐμπειρία (empeiría). After Immanuel Kant, it is common in philosophy to call the knowledge thus gained a posteriori knowledge (in contrast to a priori knowledge)."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empirical_evidence

Note that last sentence carefully, because you seem to be confusing the two. We are speaking of the former, while you are relying upon the latter and trying to suggest that both are the same thing. We didn't use the term "empirical" because it means the same thing we were already saying, and would have been redundant.

(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  Let's try this thought experiment. You wake up in a dark shed with no windows and you have no memory... total alzheimers. It's pitch dark. You can't find a door and if you did find it, it would be locked. You speculate, is there even another world outside of this enclosed dark space? You have no testable, falsifiable, rational, or empirical evidence to believe there is any other world other than the inside of this shed and cannot from your present position arrive at any. You must conclude this is the sum total of the world.

And that would be the correct conclusion, pending additional evidence to the contrary. If we had a cellmate (shedmate?) who was just as blind/amnesiac, but who kept insisting that he knew about the world outside of our shed, we would be right to consider him delusional. Whether or not there actually is something beyond the shed is irrelevant to the knowledge of the two men inside. What would I say to a guy who said that the entire world outside our shed was composed of water, and we were a thousand meters under the ocean? Or that we were floating in deep space? Et cetera. There's a reason we don't buy into speculations about things that are without evidence and which cannot be tested.

You set up a truism (since we already know there's a world), deprive the occupants of the shed a way to detect what we already know, and then say, "Aha! But there really is a world out there!" Except that it could just as easily be true (from the POV of the shed's occupants) that they're surrounded by vacuum and a horde of invisible space dragons. Get it?

(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  This "no evidence" idea is a red herring that completely throws things off the trail. For centuries, looking at a drop of water, they had no evidence there were living creatures in that drop. Because they had no evidence, does that prove there wasn't?

Not a red herring. If you had come to me in the year 1016 and said there were tiny things living in the water, I would have been right to demand evidence of this before I believed it. Again, what if your claim was that the water contained invisible the aether of life, which is why we needed it to survive? I would be just as right to be skeptical of that claim (and we now know it's total bullshit) as of the claim about the microbes. Regardless of what eventually turns out to be true, it is stupid to believe in a claim by another human being that is made without evidence.

(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  If you are in a dream, in the dream you have no evidence there is a world outside of the dream. Does that mean it's true?

I'm not sure what this question means. Presumably it's a repeat of the argument you just made, so I'll skip it.

(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  If you look at me you have no evidence that I know how to swim.

True, but I know a good way to test that hypothesis. Big Grin

(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  If I look at you I have no evidence you know how to make toast. I can look at you and find no evidence you know how to play ping pong. No matter how many tests I do on you I still can find no evidence. No evidence of consciousness outside of the brain: proves nothing, says nothing and is a total red herring.

You do understand, right, that the moment one makes an assertive claim as to the truth of any of those things, we can indeed demand evidence?

"I can make toast!"
"Okay, prove it."

(08-09-2016 03:37 AM)xear Wrote:  There is another big detour that can throw our investigation off. That is pre-conclusions based on what we want to believe. I'm am always surprised when I hear of seemingly intelligent people who were caught by a Nigerian email scam. How can this happen? Easily. When someone wants to believe something, they will discard all of the evidence against it and only look for evidence to support their desire. If we have a pre-conclusion already, then it's simply not possible to arrive at a conclusion outside of our pre-belief.

You realize, of course, that you're the one pushing the Nigerian scam, right? You're telling us to accept, without evidence, that you're royalty and in need of a little of our money in order to get a big reward down the road. Come to think of it, that's pretty much religion in a nutshell.

You are Projecting your fault onto us by claiming we just "want" to believe that there's nothing beyond this universe. Horse-shit! There are lots of atheists who wish there was a heaven, or an eternal creator who loves us, or whatever. We just don't think it's reality, after listening to the claims made by our fellow human beings, looking at the (lack of) evidence presented, and/or breaking down the logical fallacies used to support the proposition. This is why we all say we will believe as soon as good evidence is presented.

You are the one who wants to believe, and so you do, and you do it by telling yourself that we're all really just guessing... but I have news for you. You are the guesser. We are refusing to guess. That's the entire point you've been making, with your shed analogy, etc.

We don't have all the answers. We don't even pretend to have all the answers. But what we do know is that humans like to make shit up, either to comfort themselves or to control their fellow human beings, and we're skeptical of all supernatural claims until we have some solid evidence that "supernatural" is even a thing.

Without a priori knowledge of the supernatural, there is no reason to even suspect it is real. Sorry to burst your bubble, pal.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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