Evidence
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
04-06-2012, 09:04 AM
RE: Evidence
What I meant when I wrote we should expect evidence but not get our hopes up was:

Evidence is expected when presenting an argument. So we should expect it as we would in any other form of debate. But we know that's not really the way things are going to shake down. We know there isn't much in the way of evidence for the claims made by Christians and the like, and we know there is no evidence that we have found that points to god, or against god.
So we should expect it as we would in any argument. But we shouldn't just write someone off because they don't present any evidence. The conversation can continue.

As for whether I'm willing to argue on their terms.... Me, not really. But other people who want to argue about these things with theists should be willing to give it a go. Chances are that the theist isn't going to be willing to make any debate concessions so the atheist or agnostic, if wanting to go further, should be prepared to debate in the same vein as the opponent. Or quit. I think more often then not, the atheist would rather destroy the theist with evidence and science before ending the conversation because of the assumption that the theist will automatically claim victory if the other debater pulls out. Which I see all the time, on both sides.
I'm only willing (these days anyways) to ask questions and then go away. I don't want a debate. I already know the results. I'm more curious about the mental state of other people.

Have I made any sense with all of this babble? I dunno. But on I roll.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-06-2012, 09:05 AM
RE: Evidence
I'm not sure that there is a way to engage directly. If someone believes something for illogical reasons, what could one possibly say to make them come back to reality? My wife remains convinced that ghosts might be real because "anything might be possible" as she would say. That isn't a logical reason to believe something, but a desire to believe and the inability to prove the nonexistence of ghosts makes it impossible for me to convince her otherwise. The other defense is to just not think about it. Out of sight out of mind. Or. Out of mind, off limits to reason.

I think the only way to get people to value evidence would be to have them take a series of labs in the sciences that require them to develop critical thinking skills while looking for the most logical answers to the problems given to them. Once they develop those skills however, they still have to be willing to apply them to their everyday lives.

I will say that my wife was willing to value evidence with respect to the vaccine/anti-vaccine debate because she could find no credible evidence or people on the anti-vaccine side. That issue demonstrates she has the ability to think critically and come to a solid conclusion based on evidence and reason, but it is also a more pressing matter with larger ramifications. She would probably not agree that the issue of the existence or non-existence of ghosts is in the same category (same for the god question too).

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-06-2012, 09:25 AM
RE: Evidence
(03-06-2012 09:33 PM)Egor Wrote:  
(02-06-2012 06:42 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Erbody.


They say that the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over expecting a different result.

Now I'm a fan of science as much as the next guy. I dig me some empirical evidence and I, more than a lot of people, base what I know off of what has been proven. I do jive with what Prieur is saying and I do feel that there are other ways of experiencing the world. I am a subjectivist after all Cool

We all know that many people look to things other than evidence to form their beliefs. They trust experience, feeling, revelation, the spiritual journey, spiritual awakening, miracles, omens, a whole host of other things including, most notably, faith.

The thing that seems weird to me is that we all know that when it comes to talking to them about those beliefs, we already know that not only do they not have scientific evidence, but that they don't give a rat's ass that they don't have scientific evidence.

I'm having trouble wording this point of mine, so please bear with me.

Why do we tell them things like, "You don't have evidence, don't you see that that invalidates your belief?" Basically, we ourselves put such a high value on evidence and for some reason, expect those that do not place the same value on it to do the same even knowing that they don't. It strikes me that that sort of approach will never yield results. It strikes me as square peg, round hole. To do it over and over again, well, seems insane.

Thoughts?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I have moved toward a type of atheism. It's difficult to explain but when one considers God to be the monistic fundamental consciousness, they are basically stating an atheist position. I would go into it, but I'm so sick of hearing myself talk about religion that even the bit I've just done makes we want to blow chunks and aspirate them.

I have come to hate religion, and that grows deeper every day for me. I hate it so much that I don't even want to think about anything related to it.

What brought me to this point is not the atheistic arguments you all make, because you don't make any arguments that are at all convincing. The more you babble on, the more religious you sound. Every time I hear something like, "We don't have a clue what dark energy is, but one day science will show us! No God needed!" You might as well be speaking in tongues to me. Every time I hear an atheist talk about how people should or shouldn't act this or that way, all I see is someone coveting the social power the Church has--they might as well be wearing a mozetta and zuchetto.

No, what brought me to this point was the modern state of Christianity, televangelists, scandals, bigotted rhetoric, and their lust for social power--and then there was the book, "The Shack," where we are expected to realize God is a serial killer because he loves us.

You think you can convert the religious, but you can't. It doesn't work that way. There is no "atheist" argument. There are only competing definitions of God. I am 180 degrees out from an atheist, but I'm only a hair's width from it.

A monist, such as myself, is forced to say:

There is no God, because God doesn't have a God.

I find myself becoming more and more angry at the religious. I suppose for every year I was one I feel cheated and conned.

I am no longer a religious person--Christian or Atheist.
Glad to hear it. Let me know if you ever reach a point where your type of atheism includes accepting that any and all god concepts are figments of the imagination.

Join the Logic Speaks Community

I am the unconverted
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-06-2012, 09:47 AM
RE: Evidence
(04-06-2012 07:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful responses.

Hey, DLJ.

Sorry, but I gotta call you out on that one. Trust is something that occurs between people, it has to do with interpersonal relationships and the outcomes of those relationships. Faith is a much broader term and has much more to do with beliefs.

I can understand wanting to distance oneself from the word faith, but I think it's somewhat silly myself. I find it silly because we know that all humans rely on faith. That's not a question, it's a fact. Placing primary importance on science doesn't eliminate that.

Also, what I'm specifically asking is about why one demands evidence from people we know for a fact do not believe in the primacy of evidence and who we know for a fact divine their truths from other sources. You're seeming to say that your approach to that is to demand evidence. How do you respond to that?

Matt
Ok, maybe it's just my definition but "trust" is the broader term and does not just relate to people i.e. I trust this chair won't collapse when I sit on it (the instant risk assessment that I mentioned earlier) whereas "faith" is belief without evidence. I know the chair won't break because of evidence from previous experience... although one day I will end up on my arse.

Apologies Dom, for getting a bit assertive there; it's my pedantry-gene to blame. I teach Best Practices in AsiaPac and definitions of words are all important (particularly difficult with non-English speakers i.e. the Aussies) - both my parents were teachers so what can I do, sigh! My point was that using the right word should close the door to misinterpretation. And I know you knew that.

So back to Ghost, I am not distancing myself from any word that is used correctly so, no, we do not know that all humans rely on faith. I have no need of it.

And yes, I agree with you Lightninlives that evidence is not 100% certain and that high probablity is enough to find working models which help us through life... not to be confused with faith.

Anyway, back to the main reply... well, Lucradis beat me to it. I am asking for evidence but of course, I do not expect any. The purpose of the technique I outlined is to expose the pyschological disposition of my assailant. And its intended audience is often not the main protagonist.

I hope that comes close to answering your original question.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes DLJ's post
04-06-2012, 10:10 AM
RE: Evidence
(04-06-2012 09:47 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I teach Best Practices in AsiaPac and definitions of words are all important (particularly difficult with non-English speakers i.e. the Aussies)

Laughat Laughat Laughat

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-06-2012, 10:16 AM
RE: Evidence
(04-06-2012 07:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Erxomai.

Yeah, I meant what you used to consider evidence.

It strikes me that that would be the sort of thing someone demanding evidence would encounter and then dismiss because it wasn't evidence. But how is that a logical approach if the person demanding evidence had foreknowledge that they weren't going to find it?

A silly analogy just popped into my head. It's like going to an almond plantation and demanding oranges. You knew full well that they specialised in almonds so how does it make sense to be like, "See! Silly almond farmers don't have oranges. Their almonds are meaningless!"

Good analogy, Ghost. It occurs to me now on a Monday morning that I could have perhaps more easily answered, as a True Believer, evidence didn't really matter because I started from a place of Belief which equalled Faith in my understanding then. My almond plantation wouldn't even have to produce real almonds. I started with the premise that it was an almond plantation so I never verified what kind of 'Nut' I really was. Your agnostic "evidence" wouldn't mean anything to me because it was an orange. Anything that doesn't jive with supporting Faith is by Christian definition, of the Devil...ie, intended to weaken faith.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Erxomai's post
04-06-2012, 01:51 PM
RE: Evidence
(04-06-2012 07:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Morondog.

Wicked. Can you elaborate on how you approach the discussion and how you come to understand how they view things?

Worldviews are memeplexes; complex webs of co-evolved interdependent parts with contingent articulations. Most importantly, they are resistant to invasion. But I'm not so much interested in invasion as I'm interested in how people that host these different memeplexes can actually engage in a meaningful way, beginning with the assumption that demanding evidence from people who one knows don't have it is not a meaningful form of engagement. But you seem to have gotten around that and that fascinates me.

Another quick digression: I like your hunter story. I personally have no interest in the capital-T Truth. I am greatly interested in small-t truths. So I see what you mean when you say The Truth, but I think their story illustrates the idea of truths quite nicely.
...

Hi again Ghost


I honestly had a go but it became this ridiculous mess of verbiage Sad I'm not sure I fully understand what you're asking. I'll have another try some other time Smile
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-06-2012, 03:14 PM
RE: Evidence
Hey, Morondog.

I apologise for any aneurysms I may have caused Cool

Hey, Erxomai.

Nice. Well said.

I think that illustrates the mindset I'm talking about. I had a wonderful conversation with a Sufi friend of mine and she was talking about the importance of spiritual experience to her. That's not the sort of thing that can be discussed if I come at her with, "Oh yeah, well where's your evidence?"

So what I'm after is, I suppose, alternative ways to engage with people we know view things differently.

Hey, DLJ.

Yeah, I don't want to get into the faith/no faith argument here. I imagine it will distract. I'll just politely agree to disagree.

Hey, Lucradis.

Quote:But we shouldn't just write someone off because they don't present any evidence. The conversation can continue.

I approve of this message Cool

DLJ, Lucradis and BD.

I'm hearing a lot of combative, or perhaps, confrontational words in your posts.
  • destroy the theist
  • claim victory
  • make them come back to reality
  • get people to value evidence
  • expose the pyschological disposition of my assailant
The sense that I get is that the three of you, for various reasons, view this as a matter of engaging in combat with Theists. That engaging Theists is a matter of getting them to see reason as you see it; to convert them basically.

How do you respond to that?

And what are your thoughts about speaking with Theists in a manner that isn't about, what's the word I'm looking for, victory? Defeat? Perhaps better stated as, in a non-zero-sum way? Follow what I mean? I think what I'm trying to say, in a manner in which you both value the things you value, recognise the difference in the other and still engage in meaningful dialogue.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-06-2012, 03:27 PM
RE: Evidence
For me the answer is not at all.

For what I wrote ( I assume you were talking about when i wrote destroy) I was merely using a more entertaining word to describe victory in debate.

Debate in itself is competition. I don't partake in debate most of the time as I prefer bland old conversation which is more of a big blending of ideas and I doesn't matter who's right.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes lucradis's post
05-06-2012, 01:44 PM
RE: Evidence
My wife and I occasionally discuss religious views (she is a theist), but she has little interest in the debate really. I don't engage other theists in debate about the existence of god, with the exception that I will state my opinion if asked and I will debate if challenged (the reason I am a member of this forum and not a christian forum).

If I am going to debate someone about religion and/or god, I make it a point to assert that I do not have faith and do not value faith, so if the theist wants to sway my opinion, they will have to use evidence and not a book or a personal experience. I will however concede the point that they do not have to value evidence like I do and I can not provide a faith argument for the nonexistence of god. This would be the point that I would state that my definition of atheism is the rejection of the claim that a god or gods exist. If someone wants to make the claim, then they would need to provide sound reasoning and evidence to back up that reasoning in order for me to believe it.

I realize you did not like the Thomas Paine quote, but it is sadly true. Some people cannot see the difference between something actually existing and a desire for that thing (or concept) to exist. Even when confronted with evidence against their position or explanations of their evidence and/or observations that contradict their belief, they will retain their belief because of an emotional investment in it. The best example I know of would be big foot believers and the like (UFO abductees, Loch Ness Monster enthusiasts, Chupacabra believers, etc). There is a paucity of evidence for the existence or truth of any of these claims. The only pieces of evidence that exist can be explained in more logical ways that do not come to the conclusion of the existence of any of the above claims (like the popular bigfoot video that is best explained as a man in a well made suit or people who think they were abducted or saw a ghost are really just susceptible to confirmation bias and an illusion and/or dream).

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TheBeardedDude's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: