Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?
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17-07-2012, 10:01 AM
RE: Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?
(17-07-2012 09:39 AM)Humakt Wrote:  The question itself is prefectly valid, what in this case is extremely suspect is the voracity and motives of the questioner. The answer is of course, yes I could be wrong, the fact that when they are asked the exact same question they at first hedge then state they cant be wrong makes the conversation only useful as a vechile to highlight there aggrogance and hypocracy.
I would think in that case that the question is "syntactically correct", but it doesn't mean it's valid; in which case would you say that you can be wrong about "everything"? Can you be wrong about your own existence? Pondering the question would mean that you exist, so you can't be wrong about that. This may be some philosophical thing that flies over my head and that's why I don't get it. And yes I agree with your point about their arrogance and double-standards. It makes me walk away shaking my head without a word.
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17-07-2012, 10:46 AM (This post was last modified: 17-07-2012 11:08 AM by Humakt.)
RE: Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?
(17-07-2012 09:36 AM)zihuatanejo Wrote:  I still don't see the validity of the question, or how an answer other than "no" would satisfy it. I know that the universe exists and there's life in it. Can I be wrong? No, the fact that somebody is asking the question means that both the universe and people exist. Can giraffes live underwater? Can 2+2=3? Can the earth be filled with chocolate? Can I be typing this while floating mid-air? Does prayer work? No, and I could go on with as many silly questions as these ones. The reason I know that I can't be wrong about *everything* is because of the evidence. I could be wrong about *some* things, of course, but not about *everything* I know. And if the reason for this question is to force me to admit that maybe I'm wrong about the existence/non-existence of X (where X=god, bigfoot or the invisible pink unicorn), I'd still look at the evidence to decide one way or another whether X exists or not. The things that I believe, I believe because of the best evidence for or against it at any given time, evidence that can be independently corroborated by others as well. I don't believe in X "just in case" X is true. And I certainly don't believe in X when all the evidence points in the opposite direction. I don't jump out of balconies in case I'm wrong about gravity. What am I missing here? Sorry if I'm too thick to understand the question, I'm just trying to learn what this is all about.

Thanks!
Z

The question itself is not a simple one although it can be answered simply. It is a philosphical question at its base. The question need be nothing more than an intellectual exercise and as an absolute answer to it is likely not possable its highly probable that is all it will ever be.

As to how an answer other than no would satisfy it, maybe you dont see that, I myself contend that on balance yes is the only satisfactory answer. For example, the reality I believe, may be the result of a head injury, I may be injured or diseased in what is the real reality and what I believe now is entirely false. People are often submerged in artifical self consistent contructs through mental illness, injury or what have you, can I absolutly rule out that is happening to me, as I have no way to observe what may be the real me I have no way to gather any evidence so no.

Thats just your starter 10, hypothetical in this case relatedly is the matrix model - you may be in a machine that simulates a relatity with self constitent rules that are contary to the nature of "reality" again impossable to test, thus impossable to faslify thus not beyond doubt.

I could go on, but I dont want to insult your intelligence. Lets look at some of your examples now.

"I know that the universe exists and there's life in it. Can I be wrong?
No, the fact that somebody is asking the question means that both the
universe and people exist."

Well as shown above, regardless of how likely we may see it, the answer is not that simple. If youd said could a universe exist rather than the, perhaps it would be less cut and dried. But, lets assume you had not tied your answer to this universe existing and life existing in it - and rather asked if there where a reality in which life existed it becomes then more of a stretch to imagine that the answer is no, that may not be the case, but at a stretch we have to start looking at the nature of infinity. Is it given an infinite about of time, space and conditions impossable for something non living to be arranged that generates the "expierance of being you now", the answer again is no its not impossable as the nature of infinty makes a nonsense of the idea of impossable.

Can giraffes live under water, yes but not for very long. Or just to be super contary, yes if you build an enviroment under water capable of sustaining giraffe life - Goriffa dome. So again your no can be a yes.

Can 2+2=3, as said be the OP maths and logic are special cases as they are intellectual constructs that we have defined, but also if we look at the concept of mathematical simplification then yes they can if the formula is the simplifaction of 1.6+1.6=3.2 or in simple notation 2+2=3, its all a matter of your frame of reference. So the simple answer is yes 2+2 can equal 3.

Can the earth be filled with chocalate, is a seperate question from is the earth filled with chocolate. So I'll deal with you asked rather than what I think you meant. Although the engineering aspects of this are immense, is it possable to empty the earth of its contents and fill it with chocalate, no its not impossable expensive and difficult yes, impossable no.

Can you be writting this and foating in mid air, the answer to this is not only yes, but is definitivly yes. You are never in contact with anything, you in fact are not contiguous even with your self, all particles in the unvirse are swimming is a sea of forces the perception of solid is an approximation of your senses.

Does prayer work, again it is easy to dismiss this if you look at the question from a dogmatic stance of the non exisence of the divine, but you can not say that the divine does not exist and then turn to evidence as your defence as the exostence of the divine is not testable, as its not testable its not fasifiable as its not falsifiable its not within a frame work science or evidence can examine, as we cant examine it we cant make any observastions, all we can do is state assumption or vioce our bias. Also, on a different tack, the placebo effect is an area in which prayer can be said to work can definitivly be said to be yes, medicine or medical science has for some time recognised that state of mind is an important factor in both general health and recovery. So prayer from a believer for wellness or recovery can and indeed does have a posative result - so prayer does work. Just because prayer works though is not be confused with the existence of the divine and any such assertion would simply be a misunderstanding of the mechanics involved.

No, and I could go on with as many silly questions as these ones. - These questions are not silly, there are in fact no silly questions - motivations for askng them can be silly, but these questions exercise your intellectual faculties and if taken seriously ask you to look beyond your preconceptions this is both worthwhile and healthy.

The reason I know that I can't be wrong about *everything* is because of the evidence. I could be wrong about *some* things, of course, but not
about *everything* I know. - Unfortunatly, if you wish to make an evidetionary claim concerning everything you must first examine everything, I will make the assumption that your case study has of yet not examined everything and I will thus on evidentionary reasons dismiss your findings as incomplete. If you have indeed examined everything, then I am open to reviewing your findings and changing my mind on the subject.

And if the reason for this question is to force me to admit that maybe I'm wrong about the existence/non-existence of X (where X=god, bigfoot
or the invisible pink unicorn), - Niether you or I can answer that, the motivations of other people are not something we can definivly assert as we cant examine them. All you can do is assert, but as you wish to then rely on evidence your not allowed to.

I'd still look at the evidence to decide one way or another whether X exists or not. - Again you can not examine the evidence, the existence of the divine is not a evidentuary matter.

The things that I believe, I believe because of the best evidence for or against it at any given time, evidence that can be independently corroborated by others as well. - Here I suspect your waffling, in a reprsentavive poll how many people or rather what ratio of people would asset a personal reltionship with God, if the balance of people believe are you going to believe. Also this is the billion chinamen fallacy, can a billion chinamen be wrong, yes they can. Popularity is no guarentor of veracity.
- In the case of the divine your misunderstanding the nature of evidence all you do here is state your bias and misuse the concept of evidence to justify it.

I don't believe in X "just in case" X is true. - Thats fine your believes are entirely your concern.

And I certainly don't believe in X when all the evidence points in the opposite direction. - There is no evidence that points in any direction in concern with the divine, the divine is by its very nature beyond scientific examination, this why science does not bother with it, philsophy and theology are the areas of study concerned with that and the idea of a theological or philosophical "proof" are within there frame of reference "valid" but are unobservable, untestable and unfalsifiable or to put it bluntly unscientific.

I don't jump out of balconies in case I'm wrong about gravity. - Wise.

What am I
missing here? - The shoe on the other foot, the time to think about the absurd, the habit of examning things beyond your preconceptions. It could be any or none of these thing, or something else entirely or nothing at all, you could be absolutly right. What I would say is your stumbling problem is not what you lack, but more what you have to much of and that is certainty. Looking at any problem from a position of bias, is never best practice. Also, I would look iinto what evidence is, what it is used for and what it cant be used for.

Sorry if I'm too thick to understand the question, I'm
just trying to learn what this - the very fact that you enquire, points to the fact that you are not to thick to understand it, perhaps it shows that you have not yet enquired enough and need to work on your patience rather than your intellect.

Hope that gives you something to think about, if youve anything to add post away and I'll respond next time I pass by this way, or someone else here equally nutty will take my slack.

PAX

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17-07-2012, 11:16 AM
RE: Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?
(17-07-2012 10:01 AM)zihuatanejo Wrote:  
(17-07-2012 09:39 AM)Humakt Wrote:  The question itself is prefectly valid, what in this case is extremely suspect is the voracity and motives of the questioner. The answer is of course, yes I could be wrong, the fact that when they are asked the exact same question they at first hedge then state they cant be wrong makes the conversation only useful as a vechile to highlight there aggrogance and hypocracy.
I would think in that case that the question is "syntactically correct", but it doesn't mean it's valid; in which case would you say that you can be wrong about "everything"? Can you be wrong about your own existence? Pondering the question would mean that you exist, so you can't be wrong about that. This may be some philosophical thing that flies over my head and that's why I don't get it. And yes I agree with your point about their arrogance and double-standards. It makes me walk away shaking my head without a word.
I invite you to read the post above by me, during the time I was writing it several new posts have been made, but in brief yes there is a possability that "I" dont exist and yet may possit the question of my existence, I cover that above though so I wont restate. As to being over your head that may be the case, but its only because you insist on ducking Smile

"It makes me walk away shaking my head without a word." for example.

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17-07-2012, 12:21 PM
RE: Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?
(17-07-2012 10:46 AM)Humakt Wrote:  
(17-07-2012 09:36 AM)zihuatanejo Wrote:  I still don't see the validity of the question, or how an answer other than "no" would satisfy it. I know that the universe exists and there's life in it. Can I be wrong? No, the fact that somebody is asking the question means that both the universe and people exist. Can giraffes live underwater? Can 2+2=3? Can the earth be filled with chocolate? Can I be typing this while floating mid-air? Does prayer work? No, and I could go on with as many silly questions as these ones. The reason I know that I can't be wrong about *everything* is because of the evidence. I could be wrong about *some* things, of course, but not about *everything* I know. And if the reason for this question is to force me to admit that maybe I'm wrong about the existence/non-existence of X (where X=god, bigfoot or the invisible pink unicorn), I'd still look at the evidence to decide one way or another whether X exists or not. The things that I believe, I believe because of the best evidence for or against it at any given time, evidence that can be independently corroborated by others as well. I don't believe in X "just in case" X is true. And I certainly don't believe in X when all the evidence points in the opposite direction. I don't jump out of balconies in case I'm wrong about gravity. What am I missing here? Sorry if I'm too thick to understand the question, I'm just trying to learn what this is all about.

Thanks!
Z

The question itself is not a simple one although it can be answered simply. It is a philosphical question at its base. The question need be nothing more than an intellectual exercise and as an absolute answer to it is likely not possable its highly probable that is all it will ever be.

As to how an answer other than no would satisfy it, maybe you dont see that I myself contend that on balance yes is the only satisfactory answer. For example, the reality I believe, may be the result of a head injury, I may be injured or disease inwhat is the real reality and what I believe now is entirely false. People are often submerged in artifical self consistent contructs through mental illness, injury or what have you, can I absolutly rule out that is happening to me, as I have no way to observe what may be the real me I no way to gather any evidence so no.

That just your starter 10, hypothetical in this case relatedly is the matrix model - you may be in a machine that simulates a relatity with self constitent rules that are contary to the nature of "reality" again impossable to test, thus impossable to faslify thus not beyond doubt.

I could go on, but I dont want to insult your intelligence. Lets look at some of your examples now.

"I know that the universe exists and there's life in it. Can I be wrong?
No, the fact that somebody is asking the question means that both the
universe and people exist."

Well as shown above, regardless of how likely we may see it, the answer is not that simple. If youd said could a universe exist rather than the, perhaps it would be less cut and dried. But, lets assume you had not tied your answer to this universe existing and life existing in it - and rather asked if there where a reality in which life existed it becomes then more of a stretch to imagine that the answer is no, that may not be the case, but at a stretch we have to start looking at the nature of infinity. Is it given an infinity about of time, space and conditions impossable for smething non living to be arranged that generates the "expierance of being you now", the answer again is no its not impossable as the nature of infinty makes a nonsense of the idea of impossable.

Can giraffes live under water, yes but not for very long. Or just to be super contary, yes if you build an enviroment under water capable of sustaining giraffe life - Goriffa dome. So again you no can be a yes.

Can 2+2=3, as said be the OP maths and logic are special cases as they are intellectual constructs that we have defined, but also if we look at the concept of mathematical simplification then yes they can if the formula is the simplifaction of 1.6+1.6=3.2 or in simple notation 2+2=3, its all a matter of your frame of reference. So the simple answer is yes 2+2 can equal 3.

Can the earth be filled with chocalate, is a seperate question from is the earth filled with chocolate. So I'll deal with you asked rather than what I think you meant. Although the engineering aspects of this are immense, is it possable to empty the earth of its contents and fill it with chocalate, no its not impossable expensive and difficult yes, impossable no.

Can you be writting this and foating in mid air, the answer to this is not only yes, but is definitivly yes. You are never in contact with anything, you in fact are not contiguous even with your self, all particles in the unvirse are swimming is a sea of forces the perception of solid is an approximation of your senses.

Does prayer work, again it is easy to dismiss this if you look at the question from a dogmatic stance of the non exisence of the divine, but you can not say that the divine does not exist and then turn to evidence as your defence as the exostence of the divine is not testable, as its not testable its not fasifiable as its not falsifiable its not within a frame work science or evidence can examine, as we cant examine it we cant make any observastions, all we can do is state assumption or vioce our bias. Also, on a different tack, the placebo effect is an area in which prayer can definitivly be said to be yes, medicine or medical science has for some time recognised that state of mind is an important factor in both general health and recovery. So prayer from a believer for wellness or recovery can and indeed does have a posative result - so prayer does work. Just because prayer works though is not be confused with the existence of the divine and any such assertion would simply be a misunderstanding of the mechanics involved.

No, and I could go on with as many silly questions as these ones. - These questions are not silly, there are in fact no silly questions - motivations for askng them can be silly, but these questions exercise your intellectual faculties and if taken seriously ask you to look beyond your preconceptions this is both worthwhile and healthy.

The
reason I know that I can't be wrong about *everything* is because of the
evidence. I could be wrong about *some* things, of course, but not
about *everything* I know. - Unfortunatly, if you wish to make an evidetionary claim concerning everything you must first examine everything, I will make the assumption that your case study has of yet not examined everything and I will thus on evidentionary reasons dismiss your findings as incomplete. If you have indeed examined everything, then I am open to reviewing your findings and changing my mind on the subject.

And if the reason for this question is to force me to admit that maybe
I'm wrong about the existence/non-existence of X (where X=god, bigfoot
or the invisible pink unicorn), - Niether you or I can answer that, the motivations of other people are not something we can definivly assert as we cant examine them. All you can do is assert, but as you wish to then rely on evidence your not allowed to.

I'd still look at the evidence to decide
one way or another whether X exists or not. - Again you can not examine the evidence, the existence of the divine is not a evidentuary matter.
The things that I believe, I
believe because of the best evidence for or against it at any given
time, evidence that can be independently corroborated by others as well.
- In the case of the divine your misunderstanding the nature of evidence all you do here is state your bias and misuse the concept of evidence to justify it.
I don't believe in X "just in case" X is true. - Thats fine your believes are entirely your concern.
And I certainly don't
believe in X when all the evidence points in the opposite direction. - There is no evidence that points in any direction in concern with the divine, the divine is by its very nature beyond scientific examination, this why science does not bother with it, philsophy and theology are the areas of study concerned with that and the idea of a theological or philosophical "proof" are within there frame of reference "valid" but are unobservable, untestable and unfalsifiable or to put it bluntly unscientific.
I
don't jump out of balconies in case I'm wrong about gravity. - Wise.

What am I
missing here? - The shoe on the other foot, the time to think about the absurd, the habit of examning things beyond your preconceptions. It could be any or none of these thing, or something else entirely or nothing at all, you could be absolutly right. What I would say is your stumbling problem is not what you lack, but more what you have to much of and that is certainty. Looking at any problem from a position of bias, is never best practice. Also, I would look iinto what evidence is, what it is used for and what it cant be used for.

Sorry if I'm too thick to understand the question, I'm
just trying to learn what this - the very fact that you enquire, points to the fact that you are not to thick to understand it, perhaps it shows that you have not yet enquired enough and need to work on your patience rather than your intellect.

Hope that gives you something to think about, if youve anything to add post away and I'll respond next time I pass by this way, or someone else here equally nutty will take my slack.

PAX
I understand what you're saying, thanks for taking the time to explain this to me. It still looks to me like an exercise in futility in the sense that we can all spend our time thinking about absurd things but that doesn't take us necessarily anywhere. Where's the evidence for a god, I don't see it, and to say that "maybe god exists in another reality that's untestable" is useless, to me at least. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, far from there; I'm just trying to understand the point of arguing about things that there's no way to ascertain whether they exist or not, and in particular, when the theists claim that god can't be tested but he still exists is to deny the need for evidence of said claim. Do unicorns cry? Do fairies exist in fairyland? I don't know, I see no evidence for it, and to base my life on the existence of fairyland or to discuss how many moons revolve around it is pointless; why would I do it, what's so good about it?

Some of the answers that you gave me are just mental gymnastics to try to justify the unjustifiable and to push me to think outside the box, I get that, I see your point, but the reality is that I'm not floating mid-air, giraffes can't live underwater, and the earth can't be filled with chocolate. Twist it any way you want, mid-air is a point above ground level, between the floor and the ceiling and I'm definitely not there, otherwise my boss would have already asked me what I was doing. Giraffes can't live underwater, I never mentioned any breathing apparatus, a diet based on plankton instead of leaves and twigs or anything like that. The earth can't be filled with chocolate because there probably isn't enough chocolate to do it, because of the mechanical impossibility to do so and because you would have to empty the earth of magma first otherwise the chocolate would evaporate before it gets to the center of it. 2+2 is not 3, I know that, and that's part of what I know, and I can't ever be possibly wrong about it even if I wanted. Besides, I never claimed to know EVERYTHING, because that would mean that knowledge is a finite quantity and you can determine how much of it you posses; I said I can't be wrong about everything I KNOW. Of course, there are plenty of things I don't know. But I never made any claim about the things that I don't know.

I agree with you that it may be just an intellectual exercise, but then so could be the question of the existence of god; however, I don't base my life on it, and since the evidence (god doesn't heal amputees for example) points me in the direction of the non-existence of a god, to play mental tricks to fool myself because "maybe I'm wrong and god exists but we can't detect it; however, he can find me a parking spot if I pray" doesn't lead me anywhere. I would find it very dishonest with myself to begin with. What would be the point of such an intellectual exercise, or such mental gymnastics to explain a fantasy? Does it really serve any purpose to talk about the moons of fairyland? Would it be valid to kill those who don't believe in the moons of fairyland? What about those who get the number of moons wrong, should they be punished just in case fairyland exists? We could say, well it's just an intellectual exercise, it can't be answered, let's move on. But people base their lives and do all sorts of nasty things to one another based on the intellectual exercise of the existence of god. So I'd say no it's not a valid question if we're going to use it to justify some inane claim without any evidence; it's a meaningless and destructive question that leads nowhere, and ultimately, even if I was wrong about everything I know, the theist still has to prove that he's right independently of whether I'm wrong or not. There's still that nagging issue of evidence that can't be dismissed with mental gymnastics of word tricks.

Once again, since it's often very difficult to understand the other's stance because we can't see body language on these forums, please don't think for a second that I'm trying to pick a fight or that I'm being aggressive in any way, that's certainly not my intention, I'm actually smiling as I type this and I'm here to learn from those who know more than I do.

Thanks!
Z
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18-07-2012, 03:35 AM
RE: Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?
(17-07-2012 12:21 PM)zihuatanejo Wrote:  I understand what you're saying, thanks for taking the time to explain this to me. It still looks to me like an exercise in futility in the sense that we can all spend our time thinking about absurd things but that doesn't take us necessarily anywhere. Where's the evidence for a god, I don't see it, and to say that "maybe god exists in another reality that's untestable" is useless, to me at least. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, far from there; I'm just trying to understand the point of arguing about things that there's no way to ascertain whether they exist or not, and in particular, when the theists claim that god can't be tested but he still exists is to deny the need for evidence of said claim. Do unicorns cry? Do fairies exist in fairyland? I don't know, I see no evidence for it, and to base my life on the existence of fairyland or to discuss how many moons revolve around it is pointless; why would I do it, what's so good about it?

Some of the answers that you gave me are just mental gymnastics to try to justify the unjustifiable and to push me to think outside the box, I get that, I see your point, but the reality is that I'm not floating mid-air, giraffes can't live underwater, and the earth can't be filled with chocolate. Twist it any way you want, mid-air is a point above ground level, between the floor and the ceiling and I'm definitely not there, otherwise my boss would have already asked me what I was doing. Giraffes can't live underwater, I never mentioned any breathing apparatus, a diet based on plankton instead of leaves and twigs or anything like that. The earth can't be filled with chocolate because there probably isn't enough chocolate to do it, because of the mechanical impossibility to do so and because you would have to empty the earth of magma first otherwise the chocolate would evaporate before it gets to the center of it. 2+2 is not 3, I know that, and that's part of what I know, and I can't ever be possibly wrong about it even if I wanted. Besides, I never claimed to know EVERYTHING, because that would mean that knowledge is a finite quantity and you can determine how much of it you posses; I said I can't be wrong about everything I KNOW. Of course, there are plenty of things I don't know. But I never made any claim about the things that I don't know.

I agree with you that it may be just an intellectual exercise, but then so could be the question of the existence of god; however, I don't base my life on it, and since the evidence (god doesn't heal amputees for example) points me in the direction of the non-existence of a god, to play mental tricks to fool myself because "maybe I'm wrong and god exists but we can't detect it; however, he can find me a parking spot if I pray" doesn't lead me anywhere. I would find it very dishonest with myself to begin with. What would be the point of such an intellectual exercise, or such mental gymnastics to explain a fantasy? Does it really serve any purpose to talk about the moons of fairyland? Would it be valid to kill those who don't believe in the moons of fairyland? What about those who get the number of moons wrong, should they be punished just in case fairyland exists? We could say, well it's just an intellectual exercise, it can't be answered, let's move on. But people base their lives and do all sorts of nasty things to one another based on the intellectual exercise of the existence of god. So I'd say no it's not a valid question if we're going to use it to justify some inane claim without any evidence; it's a meaningless and destructive question that leads nowhere, and ultimately, even if I was wrong about everything I know, the theist still has to prove that he's right independently of whether I'm wrong or not. There's still that nagging issue of evidence that can't be dismissed with mental gymnastics of word tricks.

Once again, since it's often very difficult to understand the other's stance because we can't see body language on these forums, please don't think for a second that I'm trying to pick a fight or that I'm being aggressive in any way, that's certainly not my intention, I'm actually smiling as I type this and I'm here to learn from those who know more than I do.

Thanks!
Z
An apt enough description of philosphy, I prefer to think that philosophy has enriched humanity, but that esthetics for you. You conflate some of my examples to come up with the statement "maybe god exists in another reality that's untestable", I believe the untestable reality I refered to contained a hypothetical me. God may exist in this reality, but none the less is testable.

Here you say "when the theists claim that god can't be tested but he still exists is to deny the need for evidence of said claim" this is exactly what faith is, a thiest does not require evidence, belief in god does not require evidence thats kinda the deal. Ultimatly, your and many other athiests who demand they must view and argue from your paradigm is as aggrogant and insulting as any thiest who demands the same of you. I fail to believe that the vast majority of people do not recognise this distiction nor understand that the sides of this debate view the issue from a completely different view point. Its not a weakening of either position to acknowledge this difference or an admission that the other side is correct. But, we like conflict so I guess we're probably stuck with bost sides ignoring this for the sake of throwing easy insults at each other. Your world view is from your stand point evidence based, although Im not convinced what you consider evidence is what I consider evidence, statements like god does not cure amputees is evidence he does not exist is to me a profound misunderstanding of evidence is. I could as easily say I dont believe in Mohammed Ali because he hasnt punched me in the face. But really at its most basic, you can not prove a negative its just not how it works.

Smile, None of my answers were mental gymnastics, Im far to lazy for that. The reality is you are floating, in the sense that you are not in contact with any surface wether you accept this or not its a fact, of course for all practical purpose your are, but thats not the point. Giraffes can live under water, otherwise Giraffes transported through tunnels under rivers would die, what you did or did not mention is irrelevant, your statement is just demonstratebly false perhaps thats not what you meant, in which case you need to refine and restate your assertion until I am unable to demonstrate that it is false. As for a chocolate filled earth, I covered the removing of the contents of the earth in my hypothetical, as its a hypthetical I dont really have to deal with things like how its removed or indeed with sourcing an adequate supply of chocolate, you have not asked if such a thing is probable, only possable.

OK, on to 2+2=3, I assume your knowledge of arthemetic simplification is at least at a high school level, in which case the example I gave is something you understand, instead of bothering to engage with example you simply ignore it and dismiss it with even acknowledging it. So I'll ask you to simplfy and the following equation 2.2+2.2=3.4. To ignore the example and then say "I know that, and that's part of what I know, and I can't ever be possibly wrong about it even if I wanted" is simply a statement of faith, it is verbatim the case god used by theists that you find so unacceptable, if you want your assertion that your world view is based on evidence to be taken seriously then you simply should not say stuff like this, because it demonstrates that you dont.

Again, when you say you never claimed to know everything and Im gonna quote the section here.

The reason I know that I can't be wrong about *everything* is because of the

evidence. I could be wrong about *some* things, of course, but not

about *everything* I know. - Unfortunatly, if you wish to make an
evidetionary claim concerning everything you must first examine
everything, I will make the assumption that your case study has of yet
not examined everything and I will thus on evidentionary reasons dismiss
your findings as incomplete. If you have indeed examined everything,
then I am open to reviewing your findings and changing my mind on the
subject.

You say the reason you know you can't be wrong about everything is because of the evidence, for the evidence to apply to everything, you must first have examined everything, as you can not have evidence of that which you have not observed, as that is what evidence is, as I said. Now what you probably mean is that you have evidence that some of what you know is true, therefore not everything you know is false to that I would say prove it, you could be wrong about every assertion. Science recognises this, that is why science has at its base an assumption, know as the the base assumption of science funnily enough. The base assumption of science is that fact are verifable through observation. Any scientist, worth the name will not dispute this, just as any scientist worth the name will admit god may exist, though most will preface that with as his existence is untestable its not really a question for science to tackle and suggest you talk to a theologian. As for knowledge being a finite quantity, thats an interesting one, now we "know" that our universe is finite both in space and time, this kinda means that everything within it is finite including knowledge, even if you knew everything in the unverse, that still would be a finite amount, but I digress.

As you say it may be just an intellectual conciet that god exists, but equally it may not be. What you choose to believe and how you live your life are entirely matters for you to decide, or at least is so far as any of us has choice over such thing. Ive already mentioned your amputee example, but I'll say it again, this shows a profound misunderstanding of what evidence is, not only that it is not something you have to say, your not claming god exsts so you have nothing to prove, but trying to prove he doesnt, doesnt strengthen your case, but weakens it and gives leave to others saying dumb shit about monkeys not turning into human now and dismissing evolution, an arguement Ive no doubt youve heard, dismissed and scoffed at.

From here on in, you just start making shit up, the question asked is[b] Could you be wrong about everything you know? [/b]You then spend the best part of a paragraph saying that many questions
are not valid, whilst never actually addressing the question asked of
you. Of course you also end up saying the thiest must prove, but he doesnt have to prove anything, not you, not to himself all that is required is that he has faith if he has faith, then he can honestly assert what he likes and that includes dismissing evidence. It is those of us who wish to live a life based on evidence and rationality, who dont get to do that we're not allowed, we cant say I believe, we must demonstrate, we cant accept we must examine, we dont get to ignore what we dont like and we dont get to rest on the comfortable truths we accept if they are shown to be in error. In this the bible has it right "He who increasith knowledge, increasith misery" It is niether easy or comfortable and it is never ending.

Likewise, Im not fighting although I am asserting. Im not smiling, but Im not angry or antogontistic I am trying my best to sincere and serious. But no matter what I am, it is for you to review what not only I have said, but also many other posters in this thread have said, and decide for yourself what to believe. I hope what I and others have said allows you to examine what you think on thing and to look into the veracity of our claims through other sources as any such examination can only broaden your understanding even if it doesnt change it.

Anywhoo, thats enough waffle for now.


PAX

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18-07-2012, 11:37 AM
RE: Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?
(18-07-2012 03:35 AM)Humakt Wrote:  
(17-07-2012 12:21 PM)zihuatanejo Wrote:  I understand what you're saying, thanks for taking the time to explain this to me. It still looks to me like an exercise in futility in the sense that we can all spend our time thinking about absurd things but that doesn't take us necessarily anywhere. Where's the evidence for a god, I don't see it, and to say that "maybe god exists in another reality that's untestable" is useless, to me at least. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, far from there; I'm just trying to understand the point of arguing about things that there's no way to ascertain whether they exist or not, and in particular, when the theists claim that god can't be tested but he still exists is to deny the need for evidence of said claim. Do unicorns cry? Do fairies exist in fairyland? I don't know, I see no evidence for it, and to base my life on the existence of fairyland or to discuss how many moons revolve around it is pointless; why would I do it, what's so good about it?

Some of the answers that you gave me are just mental gymnastics to try to justify the unjustifiable and to push me to think outside the box, I get that, I see your point, but the reality is that I'm not floating mid-air, giraffes can't live underwater, and the earth can't be filled with chocolate. Twist it any way you want, mid-air is a point above ground level, between the floor and the ceiling and I'm definitely not there, otherwise my boss would have already asked me what I was doing. Giraffes can't live underwater, I never mentioned any breathing apparatus, a diet based on plankton instead of leaves and twigs or anything like that. The earth can't be filled with chocolate because there probably isn't enough chocolate to do it, because of the mechanical impossibility to do so and because you would have to empty the earth of magma first otherwise the chocolate would evaporate before it gets to the center of it. 2+2 is not 3, I know that, and that's part of what I know, and I can't ever be possibly wrong about it even if I wanted. Besides, I never claimed to know EVERYTHING, because that would mean that knowledge is a finite quantity and you can determine how much of it you posses; I said I can't be wrong about everything I KNOW. Of course, there are plenty of things I don't know. But I never made any claim about the things that I don't know.

I agree with you that it may be just an intellectual exercise, but then so could be the question of the existence of god; however, I don't base my life on it, and since the evidence (god doesn't heal amputees for example) points me in the direction of the non-existence of a god, to play mental tricks to fool myself because "maybe I'm wrong and god exists but we can't detect it; however, he can find me a parking spot if I pray" doesn't lead me anywhere. I would find it very dishonest with myself to begin with. What would be the point of such an intellectual exercise, or such mental gymnastics to explain a fantasy? Does it really serve any purpose to talk about the moons of fairyland? Would it be valid to kill those who don't believe in the moons of fairyland? What about those who get the number of moons wrong, should they be punished just in case fairyland exists? We could say, well it's just an intellectual exercise, it can't be answered, let's move on. But people base their lives and do all sorts of nasty things to one another based on the intellectual exercise of the existence of god. So I'd say no it's not a valid question if we're going to use it to justify some inane claim without any evidence; it's a meaningless and destructive question that leads nowhere, and ultimately, even if I was wrong about everything I know, the theist still has to prove that he's right independently of whether I'm wrong or not. There's still that nagging issue of evidence that can't be dismissed with mental gymnastics of word tricks.

Once again, since it's often very difficult to understand the other's stance because we can't see body language on these forums, please don't think for a second that I'm trying to pick a fight or that I'm being aggressive in any way, that's certainly not my intention, I'm actually smiling as I type this and I'm here to learn from those who know more than I do.

Thanks!
Z
An apt enough description of philosphy, I prefer to think that philosophy has enriched humanity, but that esthetics for you. You conflate some of my examples to come up with the statement "maybe god exists in another reality that's untestable", I believe the untestable reality I refered to contained a hypothetical me. God may exist in this reality, but none the less is testable.
Help me understand. A hypothetical you can test a hypothetical God. So you're saying God is a hypothesis, a mental construct. But you live here, not in a hypothetical world, and the laws that are passed and the wars that are waged and the people who are stoned in the name of god are, unfortunately, not hypothetical.

Here you say "when the theists claim that god can't be tested but he still exists is to deny the need for evidence of said claim" this is exactly what faith is, a thiest does not require evidence, belief in god does not require evidence thats kinda the deal.
That's fine. You can believe anything you want without evidence. Just don't try to convince me of the reality of your beliefs. I believe in the chupacabra. Want to buy an insurance policy against chupacabra attacks? Or perhaps you prefer to invest on that Nigerian guy that will send you 20 million dollars?

Ultimatly, your and many other athiests who demand they must view and argue from your paradigm is as aggrogant and insulting as any thiest who demands the same of you.
No, it's not arrogant or insulting. I don't throw people in jail for not believing. I don't kill homosexuals for thinking. I don't sexually mutilate babies to please god. And I don't think that I know anything because god revealed it to me. No, it's not the same.

I fail to believe that the vast majority of people do not recognise this distiction nor understand that the sides of this debate view the issue from a completely different view point. Its not a weakening of either position to acknowledge this difference or an admission that the other side is correct. But, we like conflict so I guess we're probably stuck with bost sides ignoring this for the sake of throwing easy insults at each other. Your world view is from your stand point evidence based, although Im not convinced what you consider evidence is what I consider evidence
I go by the commonly accepted definition that evidence in its broadest sense includes everything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. If you have another definition, one that doesn't include demonstrating the truth of an assertion, I'd like to hear it. If your definition of evidence is "anything I can make up", then you're right and what you consider evidence is not what I consider evidence.

, statements like god does not cure amputees is evidence he does not exist is to me a profound misunderstanding of evidence is.
Not really. Some people say that god answers prayers and healing amputees that pray or have been prayed for would constitute a pretty strong, indirect evidence of god's existence.

I could as easily say I dont believe in Mohammed Ali because he hasnt punched me in the face. But really at its most basic, you can not prove a negative its just not how it works.
Maybe you don't believe in Muhammad Ali but there's plenty of evidence of his existence. There are video and audio recordings, pictures, you can even dial up his number or send him an email or a tweet and he'll get back to you, maybe even invite you to his home. No evidence for god.

Smile, None of my answers were mental gymnastics, Im far to lazy for that. The reality is you are floating, in the sense that you are not in contact with any surface wether you accept this or not its a fact, of course for all practical purpose your are, but thats not the point.
You're wrong, that's exactly the point. You can't make up the definition of reality to suit your desires. You can't say that a plane still on the tarmac is flying mid air and have it speed forward at 1000 miles per hour without any consequences. So no, when I'm sitting in my chair I'm not floating mid air. Saying otherwise is what I call mental gymnastics. It's the same as saying that according to the babble, god sent bears to kill 42 children, but by "bears" we mean "kittens" and by "kill" we mean "tickle", so this is proof that god is loving.

Giraffes can live under water, otherwise Giraffes transported through tunnels under rivers would die, what you did or did not mention is irrelevant, your statement is just demonstratebly false perhaps thats not what you meant, in which case you need to refine and restate your assertion until I am unable to demonstrate that it is false.
Again, stop changing the meaning of words. I didn't say giraffes transported through tunnels, giraffes that have had a genetic modification and now have gills, giraffes equipped with scuba diving gear, giraffes that are actually whales, or anything else. So let me restate my example: a giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis, the African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant) that's currently in the plains of Africa eating leaves and twigs, when submerged under water (the substance with the chemical formula H2O), can't live (from the word Life: the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally). Is that clear enough?

As for a chocolate filled earth, I covered the removing of the contents of the earth in my hypothetical, as its a hypthetical I dont really have to deal with things like how its removed or indeed with sourcing an adequate supply of chocolate, you have not asked if such a thing is probable, only possable.
Please stop making excuses and moving the goalposts. I'm not talking about a hypothetical earth. I'm talking about the planet that you inhabit. That earth can't be filled with chocolate.

OK, on to 2+2=3, I assume your knowledge of arthemetic simplification is at least at a high school level, in which case the example I gave is something you understand, instead of bothering to engage with example you simply ignore it and dismiss it with even acknowledging it. So I'll ask you to simplfy and the following equation 2.2+2.2=3.4.
Again, don't change the meaning of words or play mental tricks. Don't patronize me with your stupid arithmetic simplification. A is not B, the same that 2 is not 2.2 and 3 is not 3.4. If your car has a breaking distance of 3m when travelling at a certain speed and you stop in 3.4m then congratulations, you just killed a child, go explain to the mother or the judge that 3 is 3.4. If you send a probe to Venus and the landing speed has to be 3 miles/sec (just making this up, I have no idea), 3.4 miles/sec will guarantee a crash. So no, 3 is not 3.4. And either way, 3.4, arithmetic simplification or not, is still not the right answer to 2+2. Please look carefully: 2. Not 2.2.

To ignore the example and then say "I know that, and that's part of what I know, and I can't ever be possibly wrong about it even if I wanted" is simply a statement of faith, it is verbatim the case god used by theists that you find so unacceptable, if you want your assertion that your world view is based on evidence to be taken seriously then you simply should not say stuff like this, because it demonstrates that you dont.
No, it's not a statement of faith. It's a statement of evidence. I don't believe gravity exists, I know it based on evidence. I know I'm not my father, that's another thing that I know that I can't be wrong about because it's just plain impossible for me to be my father.

Again, when you say you never claimed to know everything and Im gonna quote the section here.

The reason I know that I can't be wrong about *everything* is because of the
evidence. I could be wrong about *some* things, of course, but not
about *everything* I know. - Unfortunatly, if you wish to make an
evidetionary claim concerning everything you must first examine
everything, I will make the assumption that your case study has of yet
not examined everything and I will thus on evidentionary reasons dismiss
your findings as incomplete. If you have indeed examined everything,
then I am open to reviewing your findings and changing my mind on the
subject.
Again, I'm not making any statement about *everything in the universe*. I'm making a statement about everything I, myself, know. I revise my understanding and my knowledge of reality every day, I'm doing it right now. So first you dismiss evidence, now you're asking for it. Which is it? Do you value it or not?

You say the reason you know you can't be wrong about everything is because of the evidence, for the evidence to apply to everything, you must first have examined everything, as you can not have evidence of that which you have not observed, as that is what evidence is, as I said. Now what you probably mean is that you have evidence that some of what you know is true, therefore not everything you know is false to that I would say prove it, you could be wrong about every assertion.
Nonsense. Again, I'm talking about everything I know. I'm not talking about things I have not observed. The question is "could you be wrong about everything YOU know?" I think that that's pretty clear. Again, I'm telling you that I know I'm not my father. Are you going to tell me that I could be wrong?

Science recognises this, that is why science has at its base an assumption, know as the the base assumption of science funnily enough. The base assumption of science is that fact are verifable through observation.
Yes, assumptions that are verified, tested, refined, discarded. Science doesn't stay at assumptions, even if they're a good starting point. What are the verifiable facts about god? People assume god exists, and stay there.

Any scientist, worth the name will not dispute this, just as any scientist worth the name will admit god may exist, though most will preface that with as his existence is untestable its not really a question for science to tackle and suggest you talk to a theologian.
Not true. When somebody makes claims about a god that intervenes in the world, that claim is perfectly testable and it enters the realm of science.

As for knowledge being a finite quantity, thats an interesting one, now we "know" that our universe is finite both in space and time, this kinda means that everything within it is finite including knowledge, even if you knew everything in the unverse, that still would be a finite amount, but I digress.
I don't have enough information to know if our universe is finite or not, but that's not the point of this discussion.

As you say it may be just an intellectual conciet that god exists, but equally it may not be. What you choose to believe and how you live your life are entirely matters for you to decide, or at least is so far as any of us has choice over such thing. Ive already mentioned your amputee example, but I'll say it again, this shows a profound misunderstanding of what evidence is, not only that it is not something you have to say, your not claming god exsts so you have nothing to prove, but trying to prove he doesnt, doesnt strengthen your case, but weakens it and gives leave to others saying dumb shit about monkeys not turning into human now and dismissing evolution, an arguement Ive no doubt youve heard, dismissed and scoffed at.
I'm not trying to prove that god doesn't exist. You still don't get it. I'm saying that I see no any evidence of god, which is different. And please give me your definition of evidence, but I must ask you not to start with something like "evidence is the word of god" or some such nonsense.

From here on in, you just start making shit up, the question asked is[b] Could you be wrong about everything you know? [/b]You then spend the best part of a paragraph saying that many questions are not valid, whilst never actually addressing the question asked of
you.
I've already answered: No, I can't be wrong about everything I know. Not even if I tried. Because there are things that I know, things that are true no matter what; those things are part of the everything I know, therefore not everything I know can be wrong. Some things, yes; everything, no.

Of course you also end up saying the thiest must prove, but he doesnt have to prove anything, not you, not to himself all that is required is that he has faith if he has faith, then he can honestly assert what he likes and that includes dismissing evidence. It is those of us who wish to live a life based on evidence and rationality, who dont get to do that we're not allowed, we cant say I believe, we must demonstrate, we cant accept we must examine, we dont get to ignore what we dont like and we dont get to rest on the comfortable truths we accept if they are shown to be in error. In this the bible has it right "He who increasith knowledge, increasith misery" It is niether easy or comfortable and it is never ending.
I'm sorry but you don't get a free pass on proof here based on some bible quote. Because as I said before what you believe impacts the world, and as such, it impacts me and if you expect me to accept as OK to kill homosexuals or stone women because of god, you'd better provide me with evidence of god's existence. If your beliefs were private, I wouldn't care. But you don't live in a void, and there are some people in power that have made their religious beliefs very public and some of the things that they do based on those beliefs are downright frightening. Plus that stupid babble quote is quite literally saying "it's best to remain ignorant because knowledge will make you miserable". I don't agree, but I see that you do.

Likewise, Im not fighting although I am asserting. Im not smiling, but Im not angry or antogontistic I am trying my best to sincere and serious. But no matter what I am, it is for you to review what not only I have said, but also many other posters in this thread have said, and decide for yourself what to believe. I hope what I and others have said allows you to examine what you think on thing and to look into the veracity of our claims through other sources as any such examination can only broaden your understanding even if it doesnt change it.
Again, you can assert whatever you want but your assertions have no base in reality; not unless you can demonstrate them. I have looked into the veracity of my claims through other sources and to my knowledge, based on what we know about the biology of giraffes, they can't breathe underwater. I asked my father if I was he, and he assured me that no, I wasn't my father. Also, I can't force myself to believe in the flying spaghetti monster, or that white is black, or that the moon doesn't exist, that the earth is flat, or any such nonsense. I believe based on evidence and reason. The evidence may be faulty, my reasoning flawed and I may have to revise my beliefs in light of new evidence or better understanding, but it's still based on evidence and reason and not on "faith" in magical beings. How can believing in fairies broaden my understanding of anything?

Anywhoo, thats enough waffle for now.
Agreed.

PAX

Z
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19-07-2012, 03:40 AM
RE: Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?
(18-07-2012 11:37 AM)zihuatanejo Wrote:  
(18-07-2012 03:35 AM)Humakt Wrote:  An apt enough description of philosphy, I prefer to think that philosophy has enriched humanity, but that esthetics for you. You conflate some of my examples to come up with the statement "maybe god exists in another reality that's untestable", I believe the untestable reality I refered to contained a hypothetical me. God may exist in this reality, but none the less is testable.
Help me understand. A hypothetical you can test a hypothetical God. So you're saying God is a hypothesis, a mental construct. But you live here, not in a hypothetical world, and the laws that are passed and the wars that are waged and the people who are stoned in the name of god are, unfortunately, not hypothetical.

Here you say "when the theists claim that god can't be tested but he still exists is to deny the need for evidence of said claim" this is exactly what faith is, a thiest does not require evidence, belief in god does not require evidence thats kinda the deal.
That's fine. You can believe anything you want without evidence. Just don't try to convince me of the reality of your beliefs. I believe in the chupacabra. Want to buy an insurance policy against chupacabra attacks? Or perhaps you prefer to invest on that Nigerian guy that will send you 20 million dollars?

Ultimatly, your and many other athiests who demand they must view and argue from your paradigm is as aggrogant and insulting as any thiest who demands the same of you.
No, it's not arrogant or insulting. I don't throw people in jail for not believing. I don't kill homosexuals for thinking. I don't sexually mutilate babies to please god. And I don't think that I know anything because god revealed it to me. No, it's not the same.

I fail to believe that the vast majority of people do not recognise this distiction nor understand that the sides of this debate view the issue from a completely different view point. Its not a weakening of either position to acknowledge this difference or an admission that the other side is correct. But, we like conflict so I guess we're probably stuck with bost sides ignoring this for the sake of throwing easy insults at each other. Your world view is from your stand point evidence based, although Im not convinced what you consider evidence is what I consider evidence
I go by the commonly accepted definition that evidence in its broadest sense includes everything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. If you have another definition, one that doesn't include demonstrating the truth of an assertion, I'd like to hear it. If your definition of evidence is "anything I can make up", then you're right and what you consider evidence is not what I consider evidence.

, statements like god does not cure amputees is evidence he does not exist is to me a profound misunderstanding of evidence is.
Not really. Some people say that god answers prayers and healing amputees that pray or have been prayed for would constitute a pretty strong, indirect evidence of god's existence.

I could as easily say I dont believe in Mohammed Ali because he hasnt punched me in the face. But really at its most basic, you can not prove a negative its just not how it works.
Maybe you don't believe in Muhammad Ali but there's plenty of evidence of his existence. There are video and audio recordings, pictures, you can even dial up his number or send him an email or a tweet and he'll get back to you, maybe even invite you to his home. No evidence for god.

Smile, None of my answers were mental gymnastics, Im far to lazy for that. The reality is you are floating, in the sense that you are not in contact with any surface wether you accept this or not its a fact, of course for all practical purpose your are, but thats not the point.
You're wrong, that's exactly the point. You can't make up the definition of reality to suit your desires. You can't say that a plane still on the tarmac is flying mid air and have it speed forward at 1000 miles per hour without any consequences. So no, when I'm sitting in my chair I'm not floating mid air. Saying otherwise is what I call mental gymnastics. It's the same as saying that according to the babble, god sent bears to kill 42 children, but by "bears" we mean "kittens" and by "kill" we mean "tickle", so this is proof that god is loving.

Giraffes can live under water, otherwise Giraffes transported through tunnels under rivers would die, what you did or did not mention is irrelevant, your statement is just demonstratebly false perhaps thats not what you meant, in which case you need to refine and restate your assertion until I am unable to demonstrate that it is false.
Again, stop changing the meaning of words. I didn't say giraffes transported through tunnels, giraffes that have had a genetic modification and now have gills, giraffes equipped with scuba diving gear, giraffes that are actually whales, or anything else. So let me restate my example: a giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis, the African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant) that's currently in the plains of Africa eating leaves and twigs, when submerged under water (the substance with the chemical formula H2O), can't live (from the word Life: the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally). Is that clear enough?

As for a chocolate filled earth, I covered the removing of the contents of the earth in my hypothetical, as its a hypthetical I dont really have to deal with things like how its removed or indeed with sourcing an adequate supply of chocolate, you have not asked if such a thing is probable, only possable.
Please stop making excuses and moving the goalposts. I'm not talking about a hypothetical earth. I'm talking about the planet that you inhabit. That earth can't be filled with chocolate.

OK, on to 2+2=3, I assume your knowledge of arthemetic simplification is at least at a high school level, in which case the example I gave is something you understand, instead of bothering to engage with example you simply ignore it and dismiss it with even acknowledging it. So I'll ask you to simplfy and the following equation 2.2+2.2=3.4.
Again, don't change the meaning of words or play mental tricks. Don't patronize me with your stupid arithmetic simplification. A is not B, the same that 2 is not 2.2 and 3 is not 3.4. If your car has a breaking distance of 3m when travelling at a certain speed and you stop in 3.4m then congratulations, you just killed a child, go explain to the mother or the judge that 3 is 3.4. If you send a probe to Venus and the landing speed has to be 3 miles/sec (just making this up, I have no idea), 3.4 miles/sec will guarantee a crash. So no, 3 is not 3.4. And either way, 3.4, arithmetic simplification or not, is still not the right answer to 2+2. Please look carefully: 2. Not 2.2.

To ignore the example and then say "I know that, and that's part of what I know, and I can't ever be possibly wrong about it even if I wanted" is simply a statement of faith, it is verbatim the case god used by theists that you find so unacceptable, if you want your assertion that your world view is based on evidence to be taken seriously then you simply should not say stuff like this, because it demonstrates that you dont.
No, it's not a statement of faith. It's a statement of evidence. I don't believe gravity exists, I know it based on evidence. I know I'm not my father, that's another thing that I know that I can't be wrong about because it's just plain impossible for me to be my father.

Again, when you say you never claimed to know everything and Im gonna quote the section here.

The reason I know that I can't be wrong about *everything* is because of the
evidence. I could be wrong about *some* things, of course, but not
about *everything* I know. - Unfortunatly, if you wish to make an
evidetionary claim concerning everything you must first examine
everything, I will make the assumption that your case study has of yet
not examined everything and I will thus on evidentionary reasons dismiss
your findings as incomplete. If you have indeed examined everything,
then I am open to reviewing your findings and changing my mind on the
subject.
Again, I'm not making any statement about *everything in the universe*. I'm making a statement about everything I, myself, know. I revise my understanding and my knowledge of reality every day, I'm doing it right now. So first you dismiss evidence, now you're asking for it. Which is it? Do you value it or not?

You say the reason you know you can't be wrong about everything is because of the evidence, for the evidence to apply to everything, you must first have examined everything, as you can not have evidence of that which you have not observed, as that is what evidence is, as I said. Now what you probably mean is that you have evidence that some of what you know is true, therefore not everything you know is false to that I would say prove it, you could be wrong about every assertion.
Nonsense. Again, I'm talking about everything I know. I'm not talking about things I have not observed. The question is "could you be wrong about everything YOU know?" I think that that's pretty clear. Again, I'm telling you that I know I'm not my father. Are you going to tell me that I could be wrong?

Science recognises this, that is why science has at its base an assumption, know as the the base assumption of science funnily enough. The base assumption of science is that fact are verifable through observation.
Yes, assumptions that are verified, tested, refined, discarded. Science doesn't stay at assumptions, even if they're a good starting point. What are the verifiable facts about god? People assume god exists, and stay there.

Any scientist, worth the name will not dispute this, just as any scientist worth the name will admit god may exist, though most will preface that with as his existence is untestable its not really a question for science to tackle and suggest you talk to a theologian.
Not true. When somebody makes claims about a god that intervenes in the world, that claim is perfectly testable and it enters the realm of science.

As for knowledge being a finite quantity, thats an interesting one, now we "know" that our universe is finite both in space and time, this kinda means that everything within it is finite including knowledge, even if you knew everything in the unverse, that still would be a finite amount, but I digress.

I don't have enough information to know if our universe is finite or not, but that's not the point of this discussion.


As you say it may be just an intellectual conciet that god exists, but equally it may not be. What you choose to believe and how you live your life are entirely matters for you to decide, or at least is so far as any of us has choice over such thing. Ive already mentioned your amputee example, but I'll say it again, this shows a profound misunderstanding of what evidence is, not only that it is not something you have to say, your not claming god exsts so you have nothing to prove, but trying to prove he doesnt, doesnt strengthen your case, but weakens it and gives leave to others saying dumb shit about monkeys not turning into human now and dismissing evolution, an arguement Ive no doubt youve heard, dismissed and scoffed at.
I'm not trying to prove that god doesn't exist. You still don't get it. I'm saying that I see no any evidence of god, which is different. And please give me your definition of evidence, but I must ask you not to start with something like "evidence is the word of god" or some such nonsense.

From here on in, you just start making shit up, the question asked is[b] Could you be wrong about everything you know? [/b]You then spend the best part of a paragraph saying that many questions are not valid, whilst never actually addressing the question asked of
you.
I've already answered: No, I can't be wrong about everything I know. Not even if I tried. Because there are things that I know, things that are true no matter what; those things are part of the everything I know, therefore not everything I know can be wrong. Some things, yes; everything, no.

Of course you also end up saying the thiest must prove, but he doesnt have to prove anything, not you, not to himself all that is required is that he has faith if he has faith, then he can honestly assert what he likes and that includes dismissing evidence. It is those of us who wish to live a life based on evidence and rationality, who dont get to do that we're not allowed, we cant say I believe, we must demonstrate, we cant accept we must examine, we dont get to ignore what we dont like and we dont get to rest on the comfortable truths we accept if they are shown to be in error. In this the bible has it right "He who increasith knowledge, increasith misery" It is niether easy or comfortable and it is never ending.
I'm sorry but you don't get a free pass on proof here based on some bible quote. Because as I said before what you believe impacts the world, and as such, it impacts me and if you expect me to accept as OK to kill homosexuals or stone women because of god, you'd better provide me with evidence of god's existence. If your beliefs were private, I wouldn't care. But you don't live in a void, and there are some people in power that have made their religious beliefs very public and some of the things that they do based on those beliefs are downright frightening. Plus that stupid babble quote is quite literally saying "it's best to remain ignorant because knowledge will make you miserable". I don't agree, but I see that you do.

Likewise, Im not fighting although I am asserting. Im not smiling, but Im not angry or antogontistic I am trying my best to sincere and serious. But no matter what I am, it is for you to review what not only I have said, but also many other posters in this thread have said, and decide for yourself what to believe. I hope what I and others have said allows you to examine what you think on thing and to look into the veracity of our claims through other sources as any such examination can only broaden your understanding even if it doesnt change it.
Again, you can assert whatever you want but your assertions have no base in reality; not unless you can demonstrate them. I have looked into the veracity of my claims through other sources and to my knowledge, based on what we know about the biology of giraffes, they can't breathe underwater. I asked my father if I was he, and he assured me that no, I wasn't my father. Also, I can't force myself to believe in the flying spaghetti monster, or that white is black, or that the moon doesn't exist, that the earth is flat, or any such nonsense. I believe based on evidence and reason. The evidence may be faulty, my reasoning flawed and I may have to revise my beliefs in light of new evidence or better understanding, but it's still based on evidence and reason and not on "faith" in magical beings. How can believing in fairies broaden my understanding of anything?

Anywhoo, thats enough waffle for now.
Agreed.

PAX

Z
Help me understand. A hypothetical you can test a hypothetical God.

So you're saying God is a hypothesis, a mental construct. But you live

here, not in a hypothetical world, and the laws that are passed and the

wars that are waged and the people who are stoned in the name of god

are, unfortunately, not hypothetical.



No a hypthetical is an imaginary set of circumstances used to
illustrate a point, hypthotheticals are'nt testable. Hypthothesis and
hypotheticals are two entirely different things. So no Im not, nor have I
said God is a hypthosis, what Ive said that the nature of divine put it
beyond examination, as it cant be examined it cant be tested, as it
cant be tested it cant be falsified, as it cant be falsified it falls
outwith the purview of science to comment on. But, people get killed,
laws get passed for all sorts of reasons, if it wasnt religion, it'd be
something else Stalin killed plenty, Pol Pot plenty more and where as
both were for ideolgical reasons none of them were religious and for
that matter human trafficking, gang violence, the genocide in rwanda
nothing to do with religion. Its just a handy motivator to get the mob
going and justify doing shitty thing, but its not the only one. In other
words, its not the problem, its just the cosmetics. And wether your
killed because your the wrong colour, creed, tribe, gang or socio
economic group your just as dead.



That's fine. You can believe anything you want without evidence. Just

don't try to convince me of the reality of your beliefs. I believe in

the chupacabra. Want to buy an insurance policy against chupacabra

attacks? Or perhaps you prefer to invest on that Nigerian guy that will

send you 20 million dollars?




Yes that is fine, they can
believe what they want, but saying they souldnt voice there opionins
thats not right, your pretty vocal in your beliefs and thats fine, in
fact thats your right, but they got the same rights, theyre allowed to
try and convince you, what your allowed to do is remain unconvinced.
Just as Im allowed to buy insurance or invest in nigerian guys. If your
advocating that they shouldnt be allowed to talk, then we part ways
there Im all for free speech and Im all against those who use theres and
demand that others cant.



No, it's not arrogant or insulting. I don't throw people in jail for

not believing. I don't kill homosexuals for thinking. I don't sexually

mutilate babies to please god. And I don't think that I know anything

because god revealed it to me. No, it's not the same.



So noone lacking faith did any of that, so all the religious do
that, your kinda passing casual arrogance and skirting bigotry now.



I go by the commonly accepted definition that evidence in its

broadest sense includes everything that is used to determine or

demonstrate the truth of an assertion. If you have another definition,

one that doesn't include demonstrating the truth of an assertion, I'd

like to hear it. If your definition of evidence is "anything I can make

up", then you're right and what you consider evidence is not what I

consider evidence.




And your free to do so, but the critera youve used thus far I find less than compelling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence
with paticular reference to scientific evidence. As for commonly
accepted, the bible is commonly accepted as evidence, popularity is not a
guarentor of veracity. Also, you have have constantly made, emotive
claims in lieu of evidence, cite in action as evidence of non existence,
stated your beliefs and called that evidence, none of this is
compelling, most of it is in fact suspect. Accusing me, of making shit
up and calling it evidence also is far from compelling, the only thing I
have asserted as fact in the course of this discussion is the fact that
you do float in mid air, everything else has been stated as a
hypthetical to invite you to look at a different frame of reference,
whereas you cite evidence all the time, well you say that the evidence
supports your beliefs, but have yet to demonstrate what that evidence
is. So, whereas your free to state your beliefs are evidence, that
ancedotal and emotive claims demontrate truth, popular belief is a
beacon of truth and distortions and accusations demonstrate your
integrity I'll still remain unconvinced.



Not really. Some people say that god answers prayers and healing

amputees that pray or have been prayed for would constitute a pretty

strong, indirect evidence of god's existence.



A lot of people say a lot of things, thats not the point. To my
knowledge theres never been a healed amputee, but if there was sizable
number of amputees being healed, that'd be some pretty compelling
evidence that something was going on. But really the point is you cant
prove a negative and thats what your trying to do.



Maybe you don't believe in Muhammad Ali but there's plenty of evidence of his existence. There are video and audio recordings, pictures, you

can even dial up his number or send him an email or a tweet and he'll

get back to you, maybe even invite you to his home. No evidence for god.





Again with the making shit up and accusations, I said I just as
could easily say, I did not say I didnt. If you wish to willifully
disregard that to throw mud fair choice, but its not me who's gonna end
up looking bad. And of course theres no evidence for god, I dont know
how many times Ive said it now, you cant have evidence for god, either
because he fictious or because he's god and thats not the way he rolls.



You're wrong, that's exactly the point. You can't make up the

definition of reality to suit your desires. You can't say that a plane

still on the tarmac is flying mid air and have it speed forward at 1000

miles per hour without any consequences. So no, when I'm sitting in my

chair I'm not floating mid air. Saying otherwise is what I call mental

gymnastics. It's the same as saying that according to the babble, god

sent bears to kill 42 children, but by "bears" we mean "kittens" and by

"kill" we mean "tickle", so this is proof that god is loving.




Now your just being pigheaded literal and displaying that you have no
understanding of physics, also changing the what I said to an example
you can then dismiss is poor form. And again, I did say for all intents
and purposes you are sitting on the chair, but that does not mean if you
scale down the level of perception that you are not in fact in contact
with the chair, the matter that comprises you and the chair are
seperated by all those forces that make all the this stuff work, thats
just physics thats just how it works, I dont have to change bears into
kittens I just have to look at it closely enough.



Again, stop changing the meaning of words. I didn't say giraffes

transported through tunnels, giraffes that have had a genetic

modification and now have gills, giraffes equipped with scuba diving

gear, giraffes that are actually whales, or anything else. So let me

restate my example: a giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis, the African

even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the

largest ruminant)
that's currently in the plains of Africa

eating leaves and twigs, when submerged under water (the substance with

the chemical formula H2O), can't live (from the word Life: the condition

that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms,

being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the

power of adaptation to environment through changes originating

internally). Is that clear enough?



Again stop making shit up, I changed the meaning of no words.
Your assertion is that "Giraffes can not live under water." I contend
that a giraffe travelling through a tunnel under a river has water above
him and this will not prove fatal. This invalidates your stated claim,
it may not be what you meant to say, but dont blame me for your poor
formulation. Now you've restated and completly changed your assertion to
something completely different, then I'll agree that giraffes will
drown in the right conditions.



Please stop making excuses and moving the goalposts. I'm not talking

about a hypothetical earth. I'm talking about the planet that you

inhabit.
That earth can't be filled with chocolate.



Your the one asked for a different view point to illustrate your
misunderstanding dude, but fair enough, but as Im pretty sure no
serious work has gone into the feasablity of filling the earth with
chocolate, I'll admit its highly improbable, but I shy away from
throwing around absolutes like can't until theres some evidence to make
such a claim defensible.



Again, don't change the meaning of words or play mental tricks. Don't

patronize me with your stupid arithmetic simplification. A is not B,

the same that 2 is not 2.2 and 3 is not 3.4. If your car has a breaking

distance of 3m when travelling at a certain speed and you stop in 3.4m

then congratulations, you just killed a child, go explain to the mother

or the judge that 3 is 3.4. If you send a probe to Venus and the landing

speed has to be 3 miles/sec (just making this up, I have no idea), 3.4

miles/sec will guarantee a crash. So no, 3 is not 3.4. And either way,

3.4, arithmetic simplification or not, is still not the right answer to

2+2. Please look carefully: 2. Not 2.2.



Again Ive changed the meaning of no words, arithmetic
simplification is not my invention, nor is it a trick its arithmetic.
Your again use emotive examples will not strengthen your arguement that
arithmetic simplification does not exist. And again, I used the example
as demostration of a how looking at something from a different frame of
reference affects the out come, I did not say 2.2 is 2 I said 2.2 when
simplified is 2, this is such a basic concept that you are either
willifully ignoring the distinction, in which case your not worth
discussing anything with or you are so poorly educated that you are
ignorant of this, in which case if you can get out from under the
massive chip on our shoulder and educate yourself then you have every
the potential to change that. As for patronising you, I wouldnt waste my
breathe stating the obvious.



No, it's not a statement of faith. It's a statement of evidence. I

don't believe gravity exists, I know it based on evidence. I know I'm

not my father, that's another thing that I know that I can't be wrong

about because it's just plain impossible for me to be my father.



Yes it is as explained science itself is based on an assumption,
the assumption that evidence means anything. Its a pretty good
assumption in my view and certainly trumps all the assumptions floating
around, but nonetheless it remains an assumption. You are free to
believe in absolutes if you wish, I prefer to leave that to the
irrational and the religious.



Again, I'm not making any statement about *everything in the

universe*. I'm making a statement about everything I, myself, know. I

revise my understanding and my knowledge of reality every day, I'm doing

it right now. So first you dismiss evidence, now you're asking for it.

Which is it? Do you value it or not?


Really this exchange because you asked for an help understanding the
wider meaning of the question, that in and of itself invalidates the
claim that we are discussing only what you know, also as your conversing
with me the additional ideas Ive put forward this also invalidate your
claim. And if it is your intent to limit the discourse to to only what
you know then Im not needed here and you can go back to talking to
yourself. I stated clearly at the beginning of this that the question is
philosphical in nature and that have repeatedly used hypotheticals,
none of these require evidence support, you however are willfully
ignoring all of this and making "evidentionary" claims, I cite a what if
there is no burden of proof because I assert nothing, if you assert
then then evidence is important. Also Ive made claims about the nature
of things outside the floaty issue, I'll cite almost any good physics
text book as evidence for that, your "evidence" is cripples dont dance
so gods not true. You say there earth cant be filled with chocolate I
ask really what evidence do you have to support that assertion, you
claim the burden of proof is with you. I say its possable if we
hypothetically emptied the planet of its contents and had enough
chocolate, I need not support that with evidence because its a
hypthetical. If I said we could fill the earth with chocolate then well
thats a testable claim and the burden is on me to prove it, but Im not
gonna say that which will save me trillions I dont have in research.

Nonsense. Again, I'm talking about everything I know. I'm not talking

about things I have not observed. The question is "could you be wrong

about everything YOU know?" I think that that's pretty clear. Again, I'm

telling you that I know I'm not my father. Are you going to tell me

that I could be wrong?


Nonsense you say, let look at your next sentence, your talking about
everything you know and about things you havent observed. OK, let take a
look at that, Have you seen God, have you seen an attempt to fill the
earth with chocolate, have you seen a giraffe drown and have you
conversed about these things. As both both statements cant be true you
must be confused, Im not going to tell you anything. Just as I havent
told you anything outside of a couple of extremely basic phyisics and
arthemetical things, Ive attempted to illustrate through hypotheticals
different ways of looking at the question, in the main your
hypotheticals by te way. Where Ive seen clumsy, as in your giraffe
example, formulation I have cited conditions that destroy the
hypothesis.Your responce is to get pissy and restate and infer that your
original sloppy work is my fault. But am I going to tell your your own
father no Im not, am I going to completly dismiss the idea no Im not, I
have no way to test that assertion and I can think of several scenarios
where it is possable, none are highly likly however so I'll continue you
to assume your not. You are welcome as you ever where to think whatever
the hell you please.



Yes, assumptions that are verified, tested, refined, discarded.

Science doesn't stay at assumptions, even if they're a good starting

point. What are the verifiable facts about god? People assume god

exists, and stay there.



Yes it does, but the validity of that is still based on the
assumption that those observations are valid. Pragmatically this doesnt
stop us using science as the powerful predictive tool that is. As your
about about to accuse me of not talking about what this thread is all
about in a responce or two, I find it somewhat laughable that you yet
again get on to the fact theres no evidence for God, like a)this falls
under the heading "Could you be wrong about everything you think you
know?" and b)isnt what Ive said over and over again, again theres no
evidence for god, nor will there or can there ever be wether he exists
or not. And people assume, so youve never heard a religious person
citing the evidence of there paticular holy book, or the evidence of the
perfection of design, or the countless other citings of evidence they
use. But like as your use of the word evidence, it does little help
them. However, I have more respect and in there case that respect is
almost none for a new earth creationists arguement because they at least
cite what that evidence is, even if 99% of it is bat shit crazy. But,
actually the respect I have for the creationist is somewhat diminished
by there trying to argue there case from an evidentionary stand point,
when they dont need and are in fact flat out told in there holy
teachings that its not nessecary. They have faith, thats the only
defence they need, and its impenetratable by science because science
science cant examine any of the claims.



Not true. When somebody makes claims about a god that intervenes in

the world, that claim is perfectly testable and it enters the realm of

science.




Poppycock, your ignoring that if god exists hes ineffable, that means by
his very nature he is unknowable any scientific examination of god
would have to contend with that and science does content with that by
saying its not a matter science can examine and science gets back to
curing polio, making better crops and all that other useful shit its
good at. And if it is perfectly testable I can assume you have a method
for testing the exisistence of god - a bold claim, but nonetheless
present it Im hardly qualified to peer review it, but Im sure not just
me on the boards would be interested in reading your proposed
experiment. But I suspect your throwing this claim around without
thinking it through, if for example because people do claim that god
intervenes that this perfect test would have been performed, now my
reading on the sciences isnt exactlay current, but I pretty sure if
science had disproved god Id have heard about, as I havent I can only
assume this perfect test you alledge exist in fact doesnt and your just
metaphorically flappin your gums, but I again can only assume that it
doesnt exist because I cant prove a negative.



I don't have enough information to know if our universe is finite or not, but that's not the point of this discussion.





Read up on the hubble and the huge leap forward in the understanding of

the unvirse its observations have made possable, not definitive by any

means, but certainly now the evidence we have suggests the universe is

finite. This of course is without acknwledging the extra dimensions that

are theorised which may or may not be infinite, but that is a seperate

question.



I'm not trying to prove that god doesn't exist. You still don't get

it. I'm saying that I see no any evidence of god, which is different.

And please give me your definition of evidence, but I must ask you not

to start with something like "evidence is the word of god" or some such

nonsense.



"The things that I believe, I believe because of the best evidence for or

against it at any given time, evidence that can be independently

corroborated by others as well."



The above statement by you states otherwise if you belive what you
believe because of the best evidence, and you state you dont believe god
exists you are by nessicity saying you have evidence that god doesnt
exist, so it is perhaps not difficult to understand my difficulty
understanding what your saying, because you clearly dont understand what
your saying. As for the definition, of evidence rather than what
everyone else believes to be true, I'll refer you to the wiki again http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence.
As to stating that evidence is the word of god, why youd think Id
assert that I have no idea, Im agnostic Im not even prepared to take
your word that you exist, and Im only just a little more comfortable
with my word that I exist.



I've already answered: No, I can't be wrong about everything I know.

Not even if I tried. Because there are things that I know, things that

are true no matter what; those things are part of the everything I know,

therefore not everything I know can be wrong. Some things, yes;

everything, no.




Then you have more confidence in your assertions and observations than
Im willing to have confidence in. There is a high probabilty, that I am
at least right about something, but high no matter how high doesnt
approach absolute. I could be a pandimensional being resembling a jelly
fish with a mental disorder, likely no, completely discountable also no.
So there we differ, you believe in absolutes, I dont.



I'm sorry but you don't get a free pass on proof here based on some

bible quote. Because as I said before what you believe impacts the

world, and as such, it impacts me and if you expect me to accept as OK

to kill homosexuals or stone women because of god, you'd better provide

me with evidence of god's existence. If your beliefs were private, I

wouldn't care. But you don't live in a void, and there are some people

in power that have made their religious beliefs very public and some of

the things that they do based on those beliefs are downright

frightening. Plus that stupid babble quote is quite literally saying

"it's best to remain ignorant because knowledge will make you

miserable". I don't agree, but I see that you do.



Here you jump off the deep end, and I suspect your at all sorry. I dont
ask for a free pass, nor do I expect one, itd be kinda nice if youd
addressed what Id said as opposed to spazzing out because I quoted the
bible. I dont expect anything of you, and my beliefs have no impact on
the world, also Im not a thiest Im agnostic, I dont believe in a god or
anything remotely similar the closest I get to theism is to concede I
could be wrong. I certainly dont advocate homosexuals or women are
stoned, I am in fact very anti the death penalty for reason ever, the
practice in monstrous. Im certainly not going to attempt to provide you
or anyone else with evidence for god, mainly because I have none and
thats why Im agnostic. Also, if you dont see the nessecity of
surrendering the comfortable asstumptions of ignorance as a worthwhile
pricce for greater understanding thats your affair. As for what you
literally understand the phrase to mean, I cant say I agree with a
greater understanding comes the surrendering of the comfort of not
knowing, it is not an assertion that knowing is bad, or at least the way
I read it its saying through greater understanding comes greater
empathy and responsability. But I suspect if Id said Ignorance is bliss,
you religion detector would have set off your bigotry subroutine.
Eitherway, I cant say Im miserable, but Im certainly far from happy.



Again, you can assert whatever you want but your assertions have no

base in reality; not unless you can demonstrate them. I have looked into

the veracity of my claims through other sources and to my knowledge,

based on what we know about the biology of giraffes, they can't breathe

underwater. I asked my father if I was he, and he assured me that no, I

wasn't my father. Also, I can't force myself to believe in the flying

spaghetti monster, or that white is black, or that the moon doesn't

exist, that the earth is flat, or any such nonsense. I believe based on

evidence and reason. The evidence may be faulty, my reasoning flawed and

I may have to revise my beliefs in light of new evidence or better

understanding, but it's still based on evidence and reason and not on

"faith" in magical beings. How can believing in fairies broaden my

understanding of anything?



Gracious of you, but I wasnt asking for your permission. Why Mr.
Pot why do you call me black, sincerely Mr. Kettle. As to the rest of
it, I'll leave it and you alone, youve every right to think the way you
do, but theres nothing productive to had in conversing with you futher.
Please feel free to troll me at your leisure, but until you demnstrate a
marked improvement in critical thinking, debating style and tone down
the hate speech dont expect any more than flippancy from me.



Good day.

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19-07-2012, 04:12 AM
RE: Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?
Oh my God, this has got to be the longest post here... I haven't read it and I certainly won't.

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