Evidence Of Absence.
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24-08-2015, 07:05 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(24-08-2015 06:47 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(23-08-2015 09:15 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  if we have no evidence that something is impossible, that this alone is evidence that it is possible.

Isn't that just trivially true?

I have no evidence that something is impossible
I have no reason to conclude that it is not possible
I must conclude that it is *possible*

Talking in terms of propositions, I take it that "possible" means that it has a truth value not yet determined. So if I have a proposition which I do not *know* for certain has the truth value False, then it *must* be possible that it is *True*.

I think if we really don't know, then we need to add the disclaimer "for all we know". For all we know, it might be possible one day to download your consciousness into a computer and keep living without your biology, but for all we know, it might not be possible. Many people speculate that we might one day be able to live eternally as machines.

This is one of those instances when I have to admit that I just don't know whether or not this is possible. I am very willing to admit that I can't know it's impossible, but I also don't think I know it's possible. I don't think I can confidently claim that it's possible to download your consciousness/brain-information into a computer as a way to live beyond bodily death.
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24-08-2015, 07:18 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(24-08-2015 06:47 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(23-08-2015 09:15 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  if we have no evidence that something is impossible, that this alone is evidence that it is possible.

Isn't that just trivially true?

I have no evidence that something is impossible
I have no reason to conclude that it is not possible
I must conclude that it is *possible*

Talking in terms of propositions, I take it that "possible" means that it has a truth value not yet determined. So if I have a proposition which I do not *know* for certain has the truth value False, then it *must* be possible that it is *True*.

I wouldn't like to say something is possible until it has been established that the probability of it occurring is greater than zero.

In that sense "it is possible" and "it is not possible" would both be positive claims. The neutral claim is "I don't know whether it is possible".

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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24-08-2015, 07:32 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(24-08-2015 07:18 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(24-08-2015 06:47 AM)morondog Wrote:  Isn't that just trivially true?

I have no evidence that something is impossible
I have no reason to conclude that it is not possible
I must conclude that it is *possible*

Talking in terms of propositions, I take it that "possible" means that it has a truth value not yet determined. So if I have a proposition which I do not *know* for certain has the truth value False, then it *must* be possible that it is *True*.

I wouldn't like to say something is possible until it has been established that the probability of it occurring is greater than zero.

In that sense "it is possible" and "it is not possible" would both be positive claims. The neutral claim is "I don't know whether it is possible".

OK, but I think this then boils down to semantics - we agree, we're just niggling over details. "It's possible that man will one day travel to Alpha Centauri." I would say this is a true statement on it's own, in that no one has yet done it but there doesn't seem to be a reason why not. You would rather modify the statement to "I don't know if it is possible that man will one day travel to Alpha Centauri" because for you "possible" carries the connotation of "has a chance of actually happening".

I think that's more or less what you're saying?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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24-08-2015, 08:00 AM (This post was last modified: 24-08-2015 08:26 AM by Free.)
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(24-08-2015 07:18 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(24-08-2015 06:47 AM)morondog Wrote:  Isn't that just trivially true?

I have no evidence that something is impossible
I have no reason to conclude that it is not possible
I must conclude that it is *possible*

Talking in terms of propositions, I take it that "possible" means that it has a truth value not yet determined. So if I have a proposition which I do not *know* for certain has the truth value False, then it *must* be possible that it is *True*.

I wouldn't like to say something is possible until it has been established that the probability of it occurring is greater than zero.

In that sense "it is possible" and "it is not possible" would both be positive claims. The neutral claim is "I don't know whether it is possible".

You guys already know this answer.

"The burden of proof is upon the person who makes a positive claim of existence."

Therefore if someone says that something is possible, it means the possibility must exist, and it falls upon them to demonstrate either with physical evidence or demonstrable evidence why and how it is possible.

When someone says it is not possible, that is a direct response to the positive claim that it is possible, and the burden of proof does not fall upon the person contesting the existence.

The question of possibilities is absolutely no different than a faith claim by theists. When they say that God exists, they are making a positive claim. Therefore, when anyone says that a possibility exists, they too are making a positive claim.

Both the theist and the person making a positive claim about a possibility are therefore required to meet the burden of proof.

It is logically fallacious to withhold validation of non existence when no shred of evidence has been provided to meet the burden of proof. This fallacious act falls under the category known as "Denialism:"

In human behavior, denialism is exhibited by individuals choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid dealing with an uncomfortable truth.

In science, denialism has been defined as the rejection of basic concepts that are undisputed and well-supported parts of the scientific consensus on a topic in favor of ideas that are both radical and controversial. It has been proposed that the various forms of denialism have the common feature of the rejection of overwhelming evidence and the generation of a controversy through attempts to deny that a consensus exists. Several motivations and causes for denialism have been proposed, including religious beliefs and self-interest, or as a psychological defence mechanism against disturbing ideas.

The terms Holocaust denialism and AIDS denialism have been used, and the term climate change denialists has been applied to those who argue against the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and that human activity is its primary cause.
"

We, as atheists, enjoy setting a higher standard for reason and rationality. We pride ourselves upon our abilities to confront theism with a greater education in the fields of logic, reason, and rationality.

If we forego that which we so dearly cherish because of an uncomfortable truth, how then are we any different than the theist?

We simply are not.

I am Atheist 7.0 because the reason, rationality and logic dictate that to be the most intellectually honest position to hold, and claiming "I don't know" in the face of a complete and total lack of any evidence to support the "I don't know" position amounts to nothing less than withholding validation of non existence, and is rightfully identified as denialism.

And that had to be said.

Drinking Beverage

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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24-08-2015, 08:09 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
^^ TL; DR Rolleyes

I don't need to be lectured about burden of poof thanks Smile

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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24-08-2015, 08:12 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(24-08-2015 08:09 AM)morondog Wrote:  ^^ TL; DR Rolleyes

I don't need to be lectured about burden of poof thanks Smile

Curious on how you would know I said anything about the burden of proof if you hadn't read it.

Wink

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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24-08-2015, 08:28 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(24-08-2015 08:12 AM)Free Wrote:  
(24-08-2015 08:09 AM)morondog Wrote:  ^^ TL; DR Rolleyes

I don't need to be lectured about burden of poof thanks Smile

Curious on how you would know I said anything about the burden of proof if you hadn't read it.

Wink

Because he read the first two lines, maybe?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-08-2015, 08:31 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(24-08-2015 08:00 AM)Free Wrote:  
(24-08-2015 07:18 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  I wouldn't like to say something is possible until it has been established that the probability of it occurring is greater than zero.

In that sense "it is possible" and "it is not possible" would both be positive claims. The neutral claim is "I don't know whether it is possible".

You guys already know this answer.

"The burden of proof is upon the person who makes a positive claim of existence."

Therefore if someone says that something is possible, it means the possibility must exist, and it falls upon them to demonstrate either with physical evidence or demonstrable evidence why and how it is possible.

When someone says it is not possible, that is a direct response to the positive claim that it is possible, and the burden of proof does not fall upon the person contesting the existence.

The question of possibilities is absolutely no different than a faith claim by theists. When they say that God exists, they are making a positive claim. Therefore, when anyone says that a possibility exists, they too are making a positive claim.

Both the theist and the person making a positive claim about a possibility are therefore required to meet the burden of proof.

It is logically fallacious to withhold validation of non existence when no shred of evidence has been provided to meet the burden of proof. This fallacious act falls under the category known as "Denialism:"

In human behavior, denialism is exhibited by individuals choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid dealing with an uncomfortable truth.

In science, denialism has been defined as the rejection of basic concepts that are undisputed and well-supported parts of the scientific consensus on a topic in favor of ideas that are both radical and controversial. It has been proposed that the various forms of denialism have the common feature of the rejection of overwhelming evidence and the generation of a controversy through attempts to deny that a consensus exists. Several motivations and causes for denialism have been proposed, including religious beliefs and self-interest, or as a psychological defence mechanism against disturbing ideas.

The terms Holocaust denialism and AIDS denialism have been used, and the term climate change denialists has been applied to those who argue against the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and that human activity is its primary cause.
"

We, as atheists, enjoy setting a higher standard for reason and rationality. We pride ourselves upon our abilities to confront theism with a greater education in the fields of logic, reason, and rationality.

If we forego that which we so dearly cherish because of an uncomfortable truth, how then are we any different than the theist?

We simply are not.

I am Atheist 7.0 because the reason, rationality and logic dictate that to be the most intellectually honest position to hold, and claiming "I don't know" in the face of a complete and total lack of any evidence to support the "I don't know" position amounts to nothing less than withholding validation of non existence, and is rightfully identified as denialism.

And that had to be said.

Drinking Beverage

Observing that the non-existence of X has not been proven is not the same as claiming X is possible.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-08-2015, 08:31 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(24-08-2015 08:28 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(24-08-2015 08:12 AM)Free Wrote:  Curious on how you would know I said anything about the burden of proof if you hadn't read it.

Wink

Because he read the first two lines, maybe?

Maybe, but still, he read "something" of the post.

Besides, I'm only poking fun in jest.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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24-08-2015, 08:34 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(24-08-2015 08:31 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(24-08-2015 08:00 AM)Free Wrote:  You guys already know this answer.

"The burden of proof is upon the person who makes a positive claim of existence."

Therefore if someone says that something is possible, it means the possibility must exist, and it falls upon them to demonstrate either with physical evidence or demonstrable evidence why and how it is possible.

When someone says it is not possible, that is a direct response to the positive claim that it is possible, and the burden of proof does not fall upon the person contesting the existence.

The question of possibilities is absolutely no different than a faith claim by theists. When they say that God exists, they are making a positive claim. Therefore, when anyone says that a possibility exists, they too are making a positive claim.

Both the theist and the person making a positive claim about a possibility are therefore required to meet the burden of proof.

It is logically fallacious to withhold validation of non existence when no shred of evidence has been provided to meet the burden of proof. This fallacious act falls under the category known as "Denialism:"

In human behavior, denialism is exhibited by individuals choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid dealing with an uncomfortable truth.

In science, denialism has been defined as the rejection of basic concepts that are undisputed and well-supported parts of the scientific consensus on a topic in favor of ideas that are both radical and controversial. It has been proposed that the various forms of denialism have the common feature of the rejection of overwhelming evidence and the generation of a controversy through attempts to deny that a consensus exists. Several motivations and causes for denialism have been proposed, including religious beliefs and self-interest, or as a psychological defence mechanism against disturbing ideas.

The terms Holocaust denialism and AIDS denialism have been used, and the term climate change denialists has been applied to those who argue against the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and that human activity is its primary cause.
"

We, as atheists, enjoy setting a higher standard for reason and rationality. We pride ourselves upon our abilities to confront theism with a greater education in the fields of logic, reason, and rationality.

If we forego that which we so dearly cherish because of an uncomfortable truth, how then are we any different than the theist?

We simply are not.

I am Atheist 7.0 because the reason, rationality and logic dictate that to be the most intellectually honest position to hold, and claiming "I don't know" in the face of a complete and total lack of any evidence to support the "I don't know" position amounts to nothing less than withholding validation of non existence, and is rightfully identified as denialism.

And that had to be said.

Drinking Beverage

Observing that the non-existence of X has not been proven is not the same as claiming X is possible.

That's fallacious.

How does one observe a non existence? How does one prove that a non existence is in fact non existent?

This is fallacious and you know it.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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