On the Existence of Garage Dragons
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21-08-2015, 04:44 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:08 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 04:04 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Who cares if Sagan was an atheist? We don't have to use his definition of atheism and he isn't the arbiter of all things science.

His opinions on god, don't dictate mine.

Yeah, but this thread is specifically about Sagan.

And specifically about the garage dragon example.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-08-2015, 04:46 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:35 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 04:11 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  No. It's about the implications of the garage dragon scenario that he authored.

Ok, let's suppose that the garage dragon does exist. Now what? Are you going to say that even though it exists, it doesn't exist?

There is no reason to suppose it exists. That's the whole point of the example.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-08-2015, 04:48 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:46 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 04:35 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Ok, let's suppose that the garage dragon does exist. Now what? Are you going to say that even though it exists, it doesn't exist?

There is no reason to suppose it exists. That's the whole point of the example.

Right, but also no reason to conclude that it doesn't exist, as Sagan never concluded that god doesn't exist. Not only did he never come to that conclusion, but he criticized those who did by calling them arrogant.
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21-08-2015, 04:52 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
I left the garage door open last night and my dragon got out. Facepalm
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21-08-2015, 04:55 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
My next-door neighbors just moved out and left a bin full of garbage in the garage that should have been put out for collection a week ago. It is starting to stink. There is no doubt that it exists.

Garage garbage, lol...
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21-08-2015, 04:57 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:48 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 04:46 PM)Chas Wrote:  There is no reason to suppose it exists. That's the whole point of the example.

Right, but also no reason to conclude that it doesn't exist, as Sagan never concluded that god doesn't exist. Not only did he never come to that conclusion, but he criticized those who did by calling them arrogant.
Carl's "garage dragon" analogy is merely to make a point that the claim itself should be disregarded because it is poorly defined. Has no testable criteria, no falsifiable criteria and is evolving (rather than being a completely documented claim).
He uses the "garage dragon" analogy to show how a poorly defined claim can evolve.

i.e. He starts off with a fire breathing dragon, then when people say that they can't see the dragon then the claim changes and the dragon becomes invisible, when the people say they can't detect the heat of the fire the claim changes again and the fire becomes heatless.

It just shows that the claim has not been fully described and continues to turn and twist in ways that avoid the possibility of any evidence being found.

Carl's analogy is more about the qualities of the claim itself rather than the conclusion of the claim.
Carl quite clearly states and the end of his piece that we should keep having an open mind but discard this claim itself.

Edit: A properly defined claim needs to put its head on the chopping block. It needs to be pegged down and be falsifiable.
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21-08-2015, 05:12 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:48 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Not only did he never come to that conclusion, but he criticized those who did by calling them arrogant.

But...
When Carl asked the question
"what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all?"
It's quite a pertinent question.

If there is no difference then it doesn't really matter if you accept the claim or not. There are no threats or opportunities to be had.

This is why the Christian mythology adds the idea of "If you don't believe then you will go to hell"
The consequence now is that if the "garage dragon" does exist and you don't believe in it then you WILL spend an eternity in hell.

A risk analysis would say that the penalty is "Severe" and the likelihood is (well, it's up to you to decide how likely it is). The risk score being a combination of penalty x likelihood. Some people might consider the likelihood to be low but since the penalty is so high (eternity of torture) they may be motivated to avoid that risk by believing despite the low likelihood.

Us skeptics though, we point out that there is no evidence in support of gods, no evidence in support of hell, no evidence in support of a requirement for belief in order to avoid eternal torment. We throw away the claim as being insufficiently formulated and don't bother trying to evaluate it. This is consistent with Carl's conclusion regarding his "garage dragon" analogy.

People that have been got to from an early age, they cite the bible and their trusted parents, friends, pastor, and assumptions they have made regarding their personal experiences as evidence for the claim, they are then sufficiently motivated to try to avoid the risk of eternal torment.
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21-08-2015, 05:35 PM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2015 06:03 PM by Free.)
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 03:56 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 03:53 PM)Free Wrote:  2. It is possible that God doesn't exist? Yes, no evidence exists.

You fail to realize that if god does exist, then it's not possible that he doesn't exist.

That statement is meaningless unless you can demonstrate the possibility that God can exist.

By the way, what's the difference between a completely undetectable garage dragon and no dragon at all?

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21-08-2015, 05:37 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:52 PM)pablo Wrote:  I left the garage door open last night and my dragon got out. Facepalm

Therefore, no dragon exists in the garage. Game over, everyone.

Pablo wins the internets.

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21-08-2015, 05:52 PM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2015 06:04 PM by Free.)
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 01:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-08-2015 03:47 PM)Free Wrote:  That position does not represent the singular statement of:

"I do not accept the belief that the existence of God is impossible."

Only because the singular statement doesn't address the lack of belief that it's possible.

True.

Quote:Your statement is incomplete.

False. It's complete as far as the singular statement is concerned.

Note: The singular statement is not mine, just in the event of any possible confusion.

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