Materialist Bias?
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30-12-2013, 04:15 AM
RE: Materialist Bias?
(29-12-2013 08:57 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  G.K Chesterton touched on this subject in a slightly more eloquent way in his book Orthodoxy in the chapter "authority and the Adventurer". Here is the excerpt.
Quote:Any one who likes, therefore, may call my belief in God merely mystical; the phrase is not worth fighting about. But my belief that miracles have happened in human history is not a mystical belief at all; I believe in them upon human evidences as I do in the discovery of America. Upon this point there is a simple logical fact that only requires to be stated and cleared up. Somehow or other an extraordinary idea has arisen that the disbelievers in miracles consider them coldly and fairly, while believers in miracles accept them only in connection with some dogma. The fact is quite the other way. The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them. The open, obvious, democratic thing is to believe an old apple-woman when she bears testimony to a miracle, just as you believe an old apple-woman when she bears testimony to a murder. The plain, popular course is to trust the peasant’s word about the ghost exactly as far as you trust the peasant’s word about the landlord. Being a peasant he will probably have a great deal of healthy agnosticism about both. Still you could fill the British Museum with evidence uttered by the peasant, and given in favour of the ghost. If it comes to human testimony there is a choking cataract of human testimony in favour of the supernatural. If you reject it, you can only mean one of two things. You reject the peasant’s story about the ghost either because the man is a peasant or because the story is a ghost story. That is, you either deny the main principle of democracy, or you affirm the main principle of materialism—the abstract impossibility of miracle. You have a perfect right to do so; but in that case you
are the dogmatist. It is we Christians who accept all actual evidence—it is you rationalists who refuse actual evidence being constrained to do so by your creed. But I am not con- strained by any creed in the matter, and looking impartially into certain miracles of mediaeval and modern times, I have come to the conclusion that they occurred. All argument against these plain facts is always argument in a circle. If I say, “Mediaeval documents attest certain miracles as much as they attest certain battles,” they answer, “But mediaevals were superstitious”; if I want to know in what they were superstitious, the only ultimate answer is that they believed in the miracles. If I say “a peasant saw a ghost,” I am told, “But peasants are so credulous.” If I ask, “Why credulous?” the only answer is—that they see ghosts. Iceland is impossible because only stupid sailors have seen it; and the sailors are only stupid because they say they have seen Iceland.

Its interesting. I was planing on starting a thread about your guys thoughts on this passage. And conveniently a thread was already waiting for me.
Yeah, well, about that... we don't dismiss these testimonies because they make claims about the supernatural; we do it because there is no corroborating evidence which could establish their truthfulness. Drinking Beverage

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30-12-2013, 04:58 AM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2013 06:40 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Materialist Bias?
(29-12-2013 07:27 PM)alpha male Wrote:  Materialist bias in context of that thread is simply assuming that accounts of the supernatural are mythology rather than history.

As opposed to what, assuming the supernatural? What evidence do we have for the existence of the supernatural? None. What evidence do we have of the natural? Everything else. In light of this, you want to assume the supernatural on no evidence?

That might make sense in woo-woo land, but for the rest of use who rely on evidence to determine truth from falsehood? Yeah, how about no?



(29-12-2013 07:27 PM)alpha male Wrote:  Huh? That doesn't come from the context at all. The context was Josephus v. Luke. It had nothing to do with things we can observe. The discussion involved mundane history. You engaged in poisoning the well and materialist bias by saying that Luke is less trustworthy because he also speaks of supernatural events. I then showed that Josephus also recorded supernatural events, making the issue irrelevant for that thread.

Jospehus actually existed, we have a fairly good idea of who he is and when he lived. His works can be cross compared against other contemporary sources, some of which is corroborated, others (such as the supernatural claims) clearly are not. This is an even greater indictment against super-naturalism, in case you missed the memo. Still, compare this to 'Luke'. Who is 'Luke'? We simply do not know, nor do we have any other works (outside of Acts) to compare just how reliable 'Luke' is as a source of history. 'Luke' is a label applied to two essentially anonymous works believed to share the same author, even though his identity remains unknown.

Once again, your flawed logic might make sense in woo-woo land, but for the rest of use who rely on evidence to determine truth from falsehood? Yeah, how about no?



(29-12-2013 07:27 PM)alpha male Wrote:  
Quote:So far as I can tell, if I'm looking for cars before I cross the road, I see a car, and wait for it to pass, I'm being biased, or something.
A more accurate analogy would be if you were about to step into the road without looking, I said "Wait, a car's coming," and you ignored me because I accept some supernatural claims. You know that you don't reject mundane claims from people because they're religious, yet that's what you attempted to do with Luke.

The reason why Jospehus is a more reliable historian, is because he is not anonymous and other contemporary historians and other forms of evidence have provided corroboration to much of his works. Yes, Josephus did report on supernatural claims (which are not sufficiently substantiated, and can thus be dismissed). Yes, Jospehus was a retainer and there is a clear bias in his work in favor of his patron, the Roman Emperor Vespasian. This still places his reliability vis-à-vis historicity and reliability leagues ahead of the anonymous author of The Gospel (remember that a 'gospel', or euangelion [good news], was never meant to be literal history) of Luke and Acts.

If you told RobbyPants to stop crossing the road because Apollo's flaming sky-chariot was coming, Robby would have a really good reason to doubt your claim. Not because you simply believe in the super-natural, but because there has never been any substantiated evidence in support of the super-natural.

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30-12-2013, 05:54 AM
RE: Materialist Bias?
(30-12-2013 12:04 AM)DLJ Wrote:  But it was quite enjoyable to play 'Find The Fallacy' (have we just invented a new forum game?).

Oh... that should be a fun thread all its own. Thumbsup lol
(as long as chippster doesn't try to push me to prove/defend something I dont believe buwwwaahaaa)

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30-12-2013, 06:32 AM
RE: Materialist Bias?
Sorry I'm late on to the thread guys! Damndest trouble this morning. It's really frosty up here and it was a complete ball ache trying to de-ice my pegasus and get it to start! I had to get a lift off my mate but he's only got a unicorn, good mileage though and the horn works at least ... What's this thread about again? ... Oh yeah bias! So that long waffling post about rationalists being dogmatic and Christians being open to evidence! ... Tarzan, do you believe Robby and I go to work on our own pegasus and my mate gave me a lift on his unicorn? I wouldn't believe it either if I didn't know in my heart it's true! (And that's how crazy christianity sounds to those of us of a rational disposition) ...

ROBBY! I'LL RACE YOU FOR PINK SLIPS IF YOU AND YOUR PEGASUS HAVE THE BALLS! hahaha Smile

A man blames his bad childhood on leprechauns. He claims they don't exist, but yet still says without a doubt that they stole all his money and then killed his parents. That's why he became Leprechaun-Man

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30-12-2013, 06:50 AM
RE: Materialist Bias?
(30-12-2013 06:32 AM)Monster_Riffs Wrote:  Sorry I'm late on to the thread guys! Damndest trouble this morning. It's really frosty up here and it was a complete ball ache trying to de-ice my pegasus and get it to start! I had to get a lift off my mate but he's only got a unicorn, good mileage though and the horn works at least ...
...
ROBBY! I'LL RACE YOU FOR PINK SLIPS IF YOU AND YOUR PEGASUS HAVE THE BALLS! hahaha Smile
Bowing

Seems legit.

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30-12-2013, 07:23 AM
RE: Materialist Bias?
(29-12-2013 09:02 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  
(29-12-2013 07:27 PM)alpha male Wrote:  Materialist bias in context of that thread is simply assuming that superstitious WOO is mythology rather than history.
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Likewise...you're now on ignore. Smile
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30-12-2013, 07:26 AM
RE: Materialist Bias?
(18-12-2013 11:55 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
Quote:2) For the third time: answer the question!
Why? It's a red herring. Start another thread if you want to discuss means of differentiating extraordinary claims.

Alright. So, I started the new thread. For the forth time, here is the question:

Let's say you ask me how I got to work. If I told you I drove my car, you would probably trust me. If I told you I took my helicopter, you'd probably be skeptical. You might trust me if a mutual friend confirmed it and said they flew in it.

Now, what if I told you I flew my Pegasus? What would it take for you to believe it? Why did you give this answer?
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30-12-2013, 07:28 AM
RE: Materialist Bias?
(30-12-2013 07:23 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(29-12-2013 09:02 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  [Image: fixed.gif]
Likewise...you're now on ignore. Smile

I love when people need the public attention of announcing their *Ignore* process. Yanno - if you really want to ignore someone - well - ya just ignore them.

Hint........... IGNORE

LMAO Thumbsup

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30-12-2013, 07:44 AM
RE: Materialist Bias?
**bump**


(30-12-2013 07:26 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(18-12-2013 11:55 AM)alpha male Wrote:  Why? It's a red herring. Start another thread if you want to discuss means of differentiating extraordinary claims.

Alright. So, I started the new thread. For the forth time, here is the question:

Let's say you ask me how I got to work. If I told you I drove my car, you would probably trust me. If I told you I took my helicopter, you'd probably be skeptical. You might trust me if a mutual friend confirmed it and said they flew in it.

Now, what if I told you I flew my Pegasus? What would it take for you to believe it? Why did you give this answer?

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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30-12-2013, 08:11 AM
RE: Materialist Bias?
Because Pegasus are in the Koran[1], not the Bible. Obviously. Heretic.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buraq

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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