On the Existence of Garage Dragons
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19-08-2015, 10:31 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(19-08-2015 09:53 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 09:45 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Focusing on the concept of a poorly defined claim, the options are:
1. I accept your claim is valid and I accept your conclusion
2. I accept your claim is valid, I have falsified it which means your conclusion is false.
3. Your claim is invalid, I cannot assess your conclusion.

Or, as is the case with the garage dragon...
For now, lets just ignore the fucking garage dragon. I just want to understand your ability to apply logic.

We aren't even looking at the specifics of a claim, its premesis or its conclusions.
All we are interested in is that we can agree with the conclution, we can falsify the conclusion or we can state that the claim is invalid and that the conclusion can't be evaluated.


If we address this first then we can move on to the case where we consider if a non physical entity exists.

Then after than we can move onto the case where we can evaluate if Carl's anaology tells us that he thinks a non physical entity can't exist.

3 steps.

If you try to combine then we can't move forward.

We can combine at the end if you wish, but lets take this one step at a time.
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19-08-2015, 10:34 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(19-08-2015 09:56 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  It sounds like you're describing the soundness and validity of an argument. Yes?

1. Your premises are sound and your conclusion is valid.
2. Your premises are sound but your conclusion is invalid.
3. Your conclusion is invalid but your premises are sound.
3. Your conclusion is invalid and your premises are unsound.

Yes, but I want to distinguish between where invalid means we have disproved your conclusion (i.e. you say X = True but actually X = False) as opposed to we cannot evaluate to the affirmative/negative regarding the conclusion (i.e. you say X = True but we don't have enough information to determine if X = True or False).
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19-08-2015, 10:46 PM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2015 11:00 PM by Unbeliever.)
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(19-08-2015 10:31 PM)Stevil Wrote:  For now, lets just ignore the fucking garage dragon. I just want to understand your ability to apply logic.

Then you would have done well to actually read what I said.

You might at least pretend that you are bothering to do so. Since you don't seem to be about to, though, I will reiterate: your claim that there are only three options is wrong. The fourth option is as follows: the claim is nonsensical and self-contradictory, and self-evidently false. Statements such as "blue is red" fall under this heading. They are by definition false, and can never be anything else. This is the case with the garage dragon claim.

And no, I'm not going to jump through your little hoop and follow your "steps". As pointed out previously, whether or not Carl Sagan originally intended the analogy to serve this purpose is irrelevant, as it is quite a nice illustration of it anyway. Throwing a fit over it won't change that, so you may as well take a moment to collect yourself.

Moving on.

I'm going to make this as thorough and simple as possible here. The claim that a garage dragon exists falls under the above heading of self-contradictory (and therefore definitively false) claims.

"There is an undetectable dragon in my garage." This is functionally equivalent to "there is an undetectable entity which exists". This, in turn, is equivalent to "there is a non-interactive entity which interacts", as the definition of "exists", again, is "interacts with other entities". It is self-contradictory. It is nonsensical.

It is false.

"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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20-08-2015, 12:10 AM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(19-08-2015 10:46 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  "There is an undetectable dragon in my garage."
If you actually bother to read Carl's statement the claim isn't "There is an undetectable dragon in my garage"

The claim is "There is a dragon in my garage".
The difference is fundamental to understanding the point Carl was getting across.

What you are trying to do, has nothing to do with the "garage dragon". You are inventing something different and palming it off as Carl's garage dragon.
Your one makes no logical sense. His one is really quite good.
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20-08-2015, 12:19 AM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(20-08-2015 12:10 AM)Stevil Wrote:  If you actually bother to read Carl's statement the claim isn't "There is an undetectable dragon in my garage"

Carl Sagan Wrote:"...And so on. 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 mine.

You might at least try to pretend that you read the passage in 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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20-08-2015, 06:22 AM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
14:33 - 16:53 seems relevant to this discussion.



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20-08-2015, 07:47 AM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(19-08-2015 04:18 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  My answer to the question Sagan poses is as follows:

There is no difference between them. Garage dragons do not exist. There is no meaningful definition of the word "exists" that can possibly apply to them. They are functionally imaginary.

I will let Stevil present his own position, as I don't want to unintentionally misrepresent him, but the discussion is, of course, open to everyone. What is your answer to Sagan's question, and why?


That seems to suggests that things that are not visible do not exist. Which could be true, but would follow from a belief that all that exists is visible and measurable in some form or the other.

I would say that I believe the invisible dragon in the garage doesn't not exist, based on a conclusion that the person suggesting it is perhaps delusional, or crazy, perhaps suffering from some form of hallucination. That their lack of cogency should be evident. Either that or they were just pulling my leg the whole time.

I'd wonder why they believe an invisible dragon existed in their closet? In fact if there was some invisible entity, why would your suppose it also had the characteristics of a dragon, etc..
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20-08-2015, 07:57 AM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(19-08-2015 05:12 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 05:06 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  No, they are not. God is by definition invisible, immaterial, and undetectable, and so is the garage dragon. That is the specific claim. No such claim is made about Bigfoot. The hypothetical Bigfoot is a physical creature that can be seen, smelled, felt, etc. It is, according to the claim, detectable by our senses. God and the garage dragon are not.

That is a fundamental and huge difference in the claims being made. They are not similar at all.

There is various definitions of various gods and types of gods or deities that aren't of those definitions.

I agree with this, and that's one of the reasons why I'm a 6 rather than a 7 (on the Dawkins scale). God is not quite a garage dragon in my opinion, because, at least according to the claims of some religions, he does interact with the world (or has done so) -- he created it, he performed miracles, he still does occasionally perform miracles. Not that I believe any of that, but the claim is of a God who interacts with our reality.

But that argument properly belongs in the other thread (or maybe a separate new thread). This thread is about proper garage dragons, and my contention (and my argument so far) is that Stevil is misconstruing what that phrase means. His examples are not garage dragons at all.

My apologies if someone else has already covered this. I'm responding to this post without having read the next 3-4 pages of the thread yet.
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20-08-2015, 08:08 AM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2015 08:17 AM by Free.)
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(19-08-2015 09:39 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 09:21 PM)Free Wrote:  If we are to say " I do not know," it implies uncertainty in the existence of Garage Dragons (God etc), which by necessity holds the belief in the possibility.

I disagree.

Let me show you your contradictions.

Quote:I don't believe that it's possible that god exists.

Then you are an atheist, because atheists have no beliefs in respect to the existence or possible existence of God.

Quote: I also don't believe that it's impossible that god exists.

Here you demonstrate agnosticism, because by necessity, if you don't believe it's impossible, then by default you claim a belief in the possibility that God exists whether you directly state it with words or not.

Quote: I don't have a belief, because I don't have enough evidence to form a belief I would want to hold.

Your very words above demonstrate a contradiction in your thought processes.

Quote: Sure, I can have a guess, and I would guess no god.

A guess demonstrates a level of uncertainty, and is not a statement of total ignorance.

Quote: I can also guess which team is going to win a football game, but I don't hold a belief that one team is going to win. No need to rush to a conclusion....not in that big of a hurry.

Even here, making a guess on one team over another holds a degree of belief, otherwise you could not make that choice. You do not make choices with no catalyst for the decision.

The simple way to understand this is by asking yourself a question:

"Why do I chose one team over another?"

Your contradictions here are very apparent.

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20-08-2015, 08:11 AM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(20-08-2015 07:47 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 04:18 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  My answer to the question Sagan poses is as follows:

There is no difference between them. Garage dragons do not exist. There is no meaningful definition of the word "exists" that can possibly apply to them. They are functionally imaginary.

I will let Stevil present his own position, as I don't want to unintentionally misrepresent him, but the discussion is, of course, open to everyone. What is your answer to Sagan's question, and why?


That seems to suggests that things that are not visible do not exist.

No, it doesn't. He is saying there is no substantve difference between something that is not detectable and something non-existent.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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