Denying Physical Proof
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27-05-2012, 09:23 AM
RE: Denying Physical Proof
(26-05-2012 03:33 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  Instead of just throwing in more and more reasons, you have to attack the main problem, which is faith.


By attacking faith, I would think the argument will still run in circles.

Faith as you yourself define is trust, this can mean being single-minded.

Wikipedia “single-minded”… it will redirect to “Critical Thinking” ….. and I think this mean that people reflect on things based on what they believe in.
Critical thinkingFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia(Redirected from Single-minded)


(26-05-2012 03:33 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  Just because they accept something without reason, doesn't mean there isn't a reason why they are accepting something without reason.

Interesting contradiction on how to use the word “reason”.


Thanks for mentioning “principle of charity” in another thread…it was the first time I heard that phrase/ principle…. and I will apply it here : )

(26-05-2012 03:33 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  I think the key would really be finding out why it is they have that faith and moving on from there.


I agree... although my conclusion is that it is a mystery.

Believer parents even how much they teach their kids: the kids can become a non-believer.

Non-believer parent even how much they teach their kids: the kids can become a believer.
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27-05-2012, 02:20 PM (This post was last modified: 27-05-2012 02:26 PM by Starcrash.)
RE: Denying Physical Proof
(27-05-2012 09:23 AM)ahoy Wrote:  
(26-05-2012 03:33 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  Instead of just throwing in more and more reasons, you have to attack the main problem, which is faith.


By attacking faith, I would think the argument will still run in circles.

Faith as you yourself define is trust, this can mean being single-minded.

Wikipedia “single-minded”… it will redirect to “Critical Thinking” ….. and I think this mean that people reflect on things based on what they believe in.
Critical thinkingFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia(Redirected from Single-minded)

You start to explain how attacking faith "runs in circles" by linking faith to being single-minded, and the single-minded to critical thinking. Your link from single-minded to critical thinking is tenuous at best (is there a dictionary or thesaurus that discusses these ideas as synonymous?), but at least you're making an argument for it. Your link from faith to single-minded is simply stated as if it was common sense or known fact -- it's not. I can't find a single definition of faith that includes being single-minded or thinking critically, although I do see a link between thinking critically and logic, which you dismissed in an earlier post as having a definition that changes from person to person. This simply isn't true, any more than addition or multiplication changes from person to person. Why am I comparing logic to math? Because logic has an objective structure, very similar to math problems.

Finally I have to point out that the definition of critical thinking is easy, and it's not quite as you define it above. Critical thinking is being able to criticize your own thoughts, to weed out errors in logic, clarity, credibility, etc. (the list is in that hyperlink I made above). It does include reflecting on your own thoughts, but it's more than simply dwelling on them, it's repairing them with those "broad intellectual criteria". Faith sidesteps critical thought -- it simply accepts that someone else has already done the critical thinking for you.

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27-05-2012, 04:41 PM (This post was last modified: 27-05-2012 04:49 PM by TrulyX.)
RE: Denying Physical Proof
(27-05-2012 09:23 AM)ahoy Wrote:  By attacking faith, I would think the argument will still run in circles.

Faith as you yourself define is trust, this can mean being single-minded.

Wikipedia “single-minded”… it will redirect to “Critical Thinking” ….. and I think this mean that people reflect on things based on what they believe in.
Critical thinkingFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia(Redirected from Single-minded)

Interesting contradiction on how to use the word “reason”.

Thanks for mentioning “principle of charity” in another thread…it was the first time I heard that phrase/ principle…. and I will apply it here : )

I agree... although my conclusion is that it is a mystery.

Believer parents even how much they teach their kids: the kids can become a non-believer.

Non-believer parent even how much they teach their kids: the kids can become a believer.

I do think that it is possible for the conversation to still come back to the same place and that is what I meant by: "It could be that you find that the location you were looking for was not there to begin with".

I don't know exactly what you meant by "contradiction on how to use the word". Faith does make a strange contradiction if that is what you meant. It's a reason basically without reason: people use it as the grounds for accepting something as a truth i.e. believing, while lacking the evidence, proof, logic etc. to lead them to that conclusion. I don't know how you were going to apply the principle of charity to that, but what I meant there was the same as finding out why they have faith. If they are not following proof or evidence to the existence God, there has to be an underlying reason as to why they would still want to come to the conclusion that God exists. I don't think it is a mystery, as you describe it. In some cases it could be just as simple as asking. We already know a lot of the reasons e.g. fear of death, comfort, family/friends, reward of heaven, morality, lack of understanding of science, etc.

As far as attacking faith, I think there is an indirect approach. I don't know how it would work, but it's an idea.

Instead of going at it directly and asking them why they have faith, and instead of piling on reasons, it could be easier just to make them use reason by making them do the philosophy of it.


Start with the main question of what their idea of God is i.e. what is God. Then move on to where they got that idea in their lives, and ask them if they know where the idea came form historically or in general. It could very much be the case that they can't even explain where the idea came from or what exactly what the attributes of the God they believe in are. If they can't help them out. By now you would also be able to make them question if the knowledge of god's existence was possible or not. You could even get them to admit some level of agnosticism, if are not already aware that they lack knowledge of the existence of god.

Then maybe you can move on to what exactly would have to be the case for God to exist. Given the definition of God and what we know, and what scientist know and believe, could something by that definition even exist without just being a metaphor for the universe in general. At that point, you would already be past the point that most theist even get to and would be making them question deism. Now that you got the reason ball rolling, it would be okay to bring up points about what scientists know and believe. Once you got the seed planted, I think it's alright at that point to not totally dismiss some absurd claims. If they make one respond, "I don't know you tell me" and force reason back upon them. Don't give them conclusions, just questions and reasons. If there is something they get wrong about science, correct them, but don't make the connections between scientific evidence and God's existence, but instead just imply it and say: "could that be the case".

You would then have to back up to make them question such things as heaven or hell, but that would be easy to backtrack to, if they already weren't, at that point, starting to be unconvinced about whether or not they should believe. But heaven and hell relate to death, so just ask them if they know what happens when people die; if they don't, ask them if they have ever seen anything dead, and make them describe it. If they can't describe lifelessness, do it for them. Then make them describe life and make them explain what it is that would actually go to heaven or hell. If they say soul, make them describe what the soul is and how it could be independent from the body and mind. Don't tell them, but explain to them how it seems impossible that there could be something independent of their body and mind, that could live on after we die. Is the mind part of the soul, if so, how? Is the mind not dependent on the brain? Are the senses not dependent upon the mind? You could even make them question the idea of heaven; would that really be a place you would want to go? Would there be any practical reason to what to go there?

For morality, that's cake. Point out the common sense moral flaws in religion, then pose the Euthyphro Dilemma and walk away: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma . You could explain it, if needed, but if not you should be done at that point. "Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?"


To me, the two of the major problems that lead to faith in God are: 1) Simple reward i.e. just having faith leads to Heaven and a lot of people see that as the ultimate prize. 2) The belief rarely gets challenged, and it is even more rare for it to get challenged in the way that I described above.

I think some religious people go through their lives and don't even realize their religious, kind of in the same sense that a person who has a vision problem would not be affected by it given that they can wear glasses and contacts all of the time. If I weren't allowed to wear my glasses that would drastically change my life, but given that I put my glasses or contacts in every morning, it doesn't really affect me much. I remember the couple of times, after I first started wearing glasses, how hard it made my life, particularly in school, when I would forget to put my contacts in or leave my glasses at home on the mourning. Religious people, in certain societies, are always allowed wearing their glasses, and I think that's part of the problem. If they had to take their glasses off now and then, I think their view on life would be drastically different.

Given the gains that theist see religion giving them and the lack of challenge to their ideology in everyday life, it makes becoming and maintaining faith all too easy.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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27-05-2012, 11:54 PM
RE: Denying Physical Proof
(27-05-2012 02:20 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  and logic[/url], which you dismissed in an earlier post as having a definition that changes from person to person.

I thought that was already an air-tight syllogism.
That is, if we agree on the proposition: “All Adjectives are subjective”.

(27-05-2012 02:20 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  This simply isn't true, any more than addition or multiplication changes from person to person. Why am I comparing logic to math? Because logic has an objective structure, very similar to math problems.


Math as far as they are certain, does not refer to reality.

Algebra, geometry tries to explains reality in limited number of dimensions… so as the "truth" implied the parable of “Blind men and an elephant” http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~rywang/berk...rable.html

Also, as Dr. Einstein answered:

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality…”

That is Dr. Einstein answer to a question how mathematics relates to reality.

http://www.tu-harburg.de/rzt/rzt/it/Geometry.html



(27-05-2012 02:20 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Critical thinking is being able to criticize your own thoughts, to weed out errors in logic, clarity, credibility, etc. (the list is in that hyperlink I made above). It does include reflecting on your own thoughts, but it's more than simply dwelling on them, it's repairing them with those "broad intellectual criteria". Faith sidesteps critical thought -- it simply accepts that someone else has already done the critical thinking for you.

I agree.
We use math, logic, scientific method, common sense, critical thinking…
…and for that matter … I also use faith.
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28-05-2012, 07:40 AM (This post was last modified: 28-05-2012 07:45 AM by TrulyX.)
RE: Denying Physical Proof
(27-05-2012 11:54 PM)ahoy Wrote:  I thought that was already an air-tight syllogism.
That is, if we agree on the proposition: “All Adjectives are subjective”.


Math as far as they are certain, does not refer to reality.

Algebra, geometry tries to explains reality in limited number of dimensions… so as the "truth" implied the parable of “Blind men and an elephant” http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~rywang/berk...rable.html

Also, as Dr. Einstein answered:

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality…”

That is Dr. Einstein answer to a question how mathematics relates to reality.

http://www.tu-harburg.de/rzt/rzt/it/Geometry.html

Both math and language are metaphysical constructs to describe physics/reality.

Numbers and mathematical symbols are to math like words are to language.

Reason is what allows us to apply these metaphysical constructs to physics/reality; it is also the facility from which these constructs were derived i.e. from rationality.

Logic is the set of rules we follow to reason properly/validly.



Good link, by the way. That guy wasn't the brightest crayon in the box; however, he did have some good points.

Quote: "Whether this knowledge springs from an ability of the human mind or from experience, from some collaboration of the two or from some other source, is not for the mathematician to decide. He leaves the question to the philosopher. Being based upon this knowledge, which precedes all mathematics, the axiom stated above is, like all other axioms, self-evident, that is, it is the expression of a part of this a priori knowledge."

"from some collaboration of the two" << This

"or from some other source" << He must have been a theist.

Quote:"Yet on the other hand it is certain that mathematics generally, and particularly geometry, owes its existence to the need which was felt of learning something about the relations of real things to one another. The very word geometry, which, of course, means earth-measuring, proves this."

Quote:"Geometry thus completed is evidently a natural science; we may in fact regard it as the most ancient branch of physics."

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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28-05-2012, 10:49 AM
RE: Denying Physical Proof
Ok, let us go to the details:

Which one she did not gave a "logical answer".... i see her answer "logical" enough:

Big Bang
Age of the Earth
First man
Cave man bones
Cave drawings
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28-05-2012, 01:05 PM
RE: Denying Physical Proof
(28-05-2012 10:49 AM)ahoy Wrote:  Ok, let us go to the details:

Which one she did not gave a "logical answer".... i see her answer "logical" enough:

Big Bang
Age of the Earth
First man
Cave man bones
Cave drawings
What was her arguments? "God caused the Big Bang, therefore God exists"?

The problem with her logic is that she assumed the existence of God and based all of her claims off God's existence.

She also assumed that God caused all of those things. Even with the assumption that God exists, you still wouldn't be able to then conclude that God created/caused all of those things.

She went pretty damn deep in ignoring logic.

Some might see it as bad to assume the existence of a mind-independent reality to substantiate some scientific claims as being intrinsic or inherently true. I, however, find it reasonable to believe that reality does exists outside of my own mind. But that is the difference between reason and logic. I can't logically conclude that reality exists as more than just perceptions in my mind, but I have good reason to believe that I should not doubt its existence.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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28-05-2012, 04:25 PM
RE: Denying Physical Proof
(27-05-2012 11:54 PM)ahoy Wrote:  We use math, logic, scientific method, common sense, critical thinking…
…and for that matter … I also use faith.
Don't you understand what an obvious double-standard that is? Faith is not objective (and it's clear from your earlier posts that an objective truth is something that you value). A Muslim can have faith in his beliefs about Allah (and from our point of view, that's his only reason). To reject his faith means that you don't value his conviction, which is why the weight you put in your own conviction is a double-standard.

Faith has no power to separate truth from fact, and there was plenty of ways that it can be used to "dupe" or "con" somebody. A con (or "confidence") artist abuses somebody's trust for his or her personal gain... for instance, the Nigerian prince scam asks for a relatively small sum in order to get a much larger sum as a share of the prince's riches. The prince is unable to prove to you that there is money to be made, but asks for your trust and promises that the size of the reward is so huge that you'd be foolish to pass it up (very similar to Pascal's wager). Should you trust him? The skeptic asks for evidence, and is rewarded by not losing his money. The faithful pay and get nothing. Faith is not a virtue... it's a weakness.

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28-05-2012, 04:48 PM
RE: Denying Physical Proof
Reality check.

Fact: Many Theists place a lot of value on their faith.
Fact: Many Atheists place a lot of value on empirical proof.

POINT: The idea that either side uses only one exclusively is false; it is ideological, not factual.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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28-05-2012, 07:04 PM (This post was last modified: 28-05-2012 07:08 PM by Starcrash.)
RE: Denying Physical Proof
(28-05-2012 04:48 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Reality check.

Fact: Many Theists place a lot of value on their faith.
Fact: Many Atheists place a lot of value on empirical proof.

POINT: The idea that either side uses only one exclusively is false; it is ideological, not factual.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
If you value truth, empirical proof is objectively better at finding it than faith is. I already gave a fine example of a Muslim coming to his view of reality through faith, though there are literally thousands of religions and any of them can be arrived at by faith. You can make up a religion that (as far as you know) is completely false and you won't be able to prove it to anyone else empirically, although you may get them to accept it by faith.

Can you give me even one example of something that faith can prove true but empirical evidence can't? Or are you arguing that truth isn't something that you value?

REALITY CHECK: Faith isn't necessary. Some of us can and do use empiricism exclusively. Give me an example of something that we "have faith" in and I'll show you why your concept of an atheist's faith isn't "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".

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