On the Existence of Garage Dragons
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22-08-2015, 05:30 PM (This post was last modified: 22-08-2015 05:36 PM by Chas.)
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(22-08-2015 05:28 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 04:38 PM)Chas Wrote:  The garage dragon is undetectable by definition.
The garage dragon claim was
Quote:A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage.

And RationalWiki's explanation of the Garage Dragon' point was
Quote:The main thrust of how Sagan develops the garage-dwelling dragon example is that the proponent employs increasingly ad hoc reasoning to describe their belief in the face of further questions. Eventually, the goalposts are moved in such a way as to render the initial assertion practically unfalsifiable.

Because it is undetectable.

You overlook that Sagan asks "If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?"

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-08-2015, 05:36 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(22-08-2015 05:28 PM)Stevil Wrote:  The garage dragon claim was
Quote:A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage.

Shameless quote-mining does not serve any purpose but to make you appear even more disingenuous than you already do.

Quote:I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won’t work.

Now, what’s the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there’s no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?

Bolding, yet again, mine.

You can try to ignore this part of the passage all you like, but it won't go away.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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22-08-2015, 05:52 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(22-08-2015 05:30 PM)Chas Wrote:  You overlook that Sagan asks "If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?"
I don't overlook this.
From the viewpoint of the claim rather than the subject of the claim, we can say that if the claim doesn't include falsifiable criteria then we cannot devise an experiment (based on criteria within the claim) which would distinguish if the subject of the claim exists or not.
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22-08-2015, 05:53 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(22-08-2015 05:52 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 05:30 PM)Chas Wrote:  You overlook that Sagan asks "If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?"
I don't overlook this.

Then answer the question.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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22-08-2015, 05:55 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(22-08-2015 05:52 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 05:30 PM)Chas Wrote:  You overlook that Sagan asks "If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?"
I don't overlook this.
From the viewpoint of the claim rather than the subject of the claim, we can say that if the claim doesn't include falsifiable criteria then we cannot devise an experiment (based on criteria within the claim) which would distinguish if the subject of the claim exists or not.

And the claim is that the garage dragon exists and is undetectable.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-08-2015, 05:58 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
As soon as my husband gets rid of the pool table I am getting a garage dragon, damnit.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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22-08-2015, 06:00 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(22-08-2015 05:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 05:52 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I don't overlook this.
From the viewpoint of the claim rather than the subject of the claim, we can say that if the claim doesn't include falsifiable criteria then we cannot devise an experiment (based on criteria within the claim) which would distinguish if the subject of the claim exists or not.

And the claim is that the garage dragon exists and is undetectable.
Well, no.

The claim was "A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage." But this was just an analogy. He was meaning for it to apply to other situations as well rather than to be restricted just to fire-breathing dragons or restricted to things existing in garages, but I think most of his audience gets this.
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22-08-2015, 06:06 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(22-08-2015 06:00 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 05:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  And the claim is that the garage dragon exists and is undetectable.
Well, no.

The claim was "A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage."

And we're back to denying the plainly obvious and pretending that it hasn't been pointed out before.

We're officially done here, folks. Post-game summary is as follows:

Garage dragons are defined as fundamentally undetectable entities, which is self-contradictory and nonsensical, as existence requires interaction, and interaction necessitates the ability to be detected. Thus, garage dragons do not exist by definition.

This confuses no one save Stevil, who then proceeds to spend thirty pages quote-mining and dodging a very direct and simple question which would instantly shatter the opposition if he were capable of answering it, finally resorting to flat-out ignoring those who point out his disingenuous behavior and repeating the same actions within the space of a page.

Tune in next week for his follow-up performance in the upcoming discussion "Is Blue Red?"

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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22-08-2015, 06:07 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(22-08-2015 06:00 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 05:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  And the claim is that the garage dragon exists and is undetectable.
Well, no.

The claim was "A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage." But this was just an analogy. He was meaning for it to apply to other situations as well rather than to be restricted just to fire-breathing dragons or restricted to things existing in garages, but I think most of his audience gets this.

Of course, it is obvious that it is an example to illustrate the principle.
The point of that example is that there is no discernible difference between the undetectable and the non-existent. That claiming the existence of something that is undetectable, therefore unfalsifiable, has no meaning.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-08-2015, 06:09 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(22-08-2015 05:58 PM)Anjele Wrote:  As soon as my husband gets rid of the pool table I am getting a garage dragon, damnit.

You won't regret it. They make great pets.

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