Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
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15-12-2014, 09:08 AM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(14-12-2014 04:50 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  You can call it simple, I would call it misconstrued. I don't think any opinion "of taste" or not can be true and false.

Scrambled eggs are better than over easy. True (for me)
Scrambled eggs are better than over easy. False (for my wife)
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15-12-2014, 09:11 AM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(15-12-2014 09:04 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(15-12-2014 07:52 AM)morondog Wrote:  Yup. Is important to draw distinction between what is just your opinion, and what has data to back it up. Honest scientists try very hard to identify clearly when they're making a statement of opinion.

You mean draw a distinction when other are likely to view your claims as an opinion?

But let's assume, I come across several different people making a variety of claims such as, the world is 6000 years old, 9/11 was an inside job, that the american government faked a moon landing, that there's a tea pot orbiting the sun, the man evolved from a single cell billions of years ago, that time is relative. They all claim to have evaluated these things themselves, and are confident that these claims are true.

Let's assume that I know next to nothing about the validity of these claims, whether or not anything is true, or false, or unverifiable, all I know is that they are claiming something about reality, and not matters of taste.

Should I view all these claims as opinions, since i haven't evaluated them myself?

Those are all truth claims. One may have an opinion about whether or not they are credible.

Quote:If somewhere to tell me we evolved from a single cell billions of years ago, should I inform them that this is just an opinion for me, until I evaluate the claim to see if it's something more than that?

It depends on what that someone said.
  • "We evolved from a single cell from billions of years ago." is a truth claim.
  • "I believe we all came from a single cell billions of years ago." is an opinion.
The former requires objective evidence. The latter does not.

Of course, someone may ask why one believes something.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-12-2014, 09:26 AM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(15-12-2014 09:11 AM)Chas Wrote:  It depends on what that someone said.
  • "We evolved from a single cell from billions of years ago." is a truth claim.
  • "I believe we all came from a single cell billions of years ago." is an opinion.
The former requires objective evidence. The latter does not.

Of course, someone may ask why one believes something.

I think we might be in agreement.

So in essence it's the one holding the claim, and making it, that decides whether he is making a truth claim, or just stating an opinion.

I can state there's a tea pot orbiting the sun, as an opinion. And I can also state it as a "truth claim", even if everyone thinks i'm crazy for doing so.
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15-12-2014, 09:38 AM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
This got a bit TL; DR and rambly, my apologies. Not even sure if I answered your questions - but I had a crack at them anyway.

(15-12-2014 09:04 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Let's assume that I know next to nothing about the validity of these claims, whether or not anything is true, or false, or unverifiable, all I know is that they are claiming something about reality, and not matters of taste.

Should I view all these claims as opinions, since i haven't evaluated them myself?
Essentially, yes. They start as opinions. Once confirmed by others via some test you can then think of them as something more than just an opinion. Same applies to any hypothesis.

There's a certain discomfort in science, always, that you're never quite sure. First off, are you *really* sure you controlled for all external variables in that experiment? But it's even worse than that... Are we *really* sure that mathematical logic applies to the "real world"? And even worse... are we *really* sure that mathematics is internally consistent, that our lense for deriving these powerful results is fool-proof?

The result of that discomfort is the beauty of science, that *nothing* is really above reproach. Nothing is shielded from questioning, not even maths.

You might think from this that the only thing to do is throw one's hands up in horror and abandon any hope of understanding. BUT. We have a certain amount of method, we know how to test things, we grasp with our limited minds at understanding... And we see *results*. We make predictions and they *work*...

We test and confirm and obsessively peer review to try and make sure that the only stuff that makes it through to "accepted fact" status is what actually happens. But data is always subject to reinterpretation in light of new theories.

Opinions which are backed up with references to published literature are something more than simply the opinion of a single person. They are the consensus view of experts in the field in question. That is why scientific peer review is so important. Science isn't *just* boffins working in isolation, it's a *collective* effort.

If you have a reference to back you up then someone who doesn't believe you can go check the reference. They can follow all the way back to the original experiments if the process has been followed correctly, and *that* is powerful. Then if they disagree, as often happens, they must explain why their explanation is better than yours, or at least why they think yours is a load of crud.

Quote:If someone were to tell me we evolved from a single cell billions of years ago, should I inform them that this is just an opinion for me, until I evaluate the claim to see if it's something more than that?
Well, yes. To an extent. But that statement is not isolated - there is a vast body of research that has gone into evolution etc. That particular statement is a speculative one, but nonetheless possible, as far as I know. You can happily view that as someone's opinion, but *your* opinion carries no weight unless you too are familiar with the field of research, and if you want to express that opinion, then as before, you must back up your own opinion with an explanation of why it is better than the other.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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15-12-2014, 10:04 AM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(15-12-2014 07:14 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(14-12-2014 05:36 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You said these were "fact claims".


Would you like me to call them opinions on what is fact, rather than fact claims?

Do you think these claims are matters of taste, or one's more like there's a teapot orbiting the sun?

No. They are not even fact claims. Facts are verifiable, as has been pointed out to you NUMEROUS times. They are opinions.
They are not now, nor ever will be verifiable.
They will never be recognized as 'facts".

You can dump the shit about "taste". It's totally irrelevant.

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15-12-2014, 10:14 AM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(15-12-2014 10:04 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(15-12-2014 07:14 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Would you like me to call them opinions on what is fact, rather than fact claims?

Do you think these claims are matters of taste, or one's more like there's a teapot orbiting the sun?

No. They are not even fact claims. Facts are verifiable, as has been pointed out to you NUMEROUS times. They are opinions.
They are not now, nor ever will be verifiable.
They will never be recognized as 'facts".

You can dump the shit about "taste". It's totally irrelevant.

I gave up, Bucky.

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15-12-2014, 10:24 AM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(15-12-2014 09:26 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(15-12-2014 09:11 AM)Chas Wrote:  It depends on what that someone said.
  • "We evolved from a single cell from billions of years ago." is a truth claim.
  • "I believe we all came from a single cell billions of years ago." is an opinion.
The former requires objective evidence. The latter does not.

Of course, someone may ask why one believes something.

I think we might be in agreement.

So in essence it's the one holding the claim, and making it, that decides whether he is making a truth claim, or just stating an opinion.

No. It is how one phrases a statement.

Quote:I can state there's a tea pot orbiting the sun, as an opinion. And I can also state it as a "truth claim", even if everyone thinks i'm crazy for doing so.

No. If you say "There is a teapot orbiting the sun" then you have made a truth claim.

If you say "I believe there is a teapot orbiting the sun" then you have stated a belief.

If you say "It's crazy to to think that there's a teapot orbiting the sun" then you have stated an opinion.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-12-2014, 10:48 AM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(15-12-2014 10:24 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(15-12-2014 09:26 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think we might be in agreement.

So in essence it's the one holding the claim, and making it, that decides whether he is making a truth claim, or just stating an opinion.

No. It is how one phrases a statement.

Quote:I can state there's a tea pot orbiting the sun, as an opinion. And I can also state it as a "truth claim", even if everyone thinks i'm crazy for doing so.

No. If you say "There is a teapot orbiting the sun" then you have made a truth claim.

If you say "I believe there is a teapot orbiting the sun" then you have stated a belief.

If you say "It's crazy to to think that there's a teapot orbiting the sun" then you have stated an opinion.


Yes, that's kind of what I meant.

That it's by adding some sort of qualifier, like "I believe", "It's my opinion" to "there's a teapot orbiting the sun", that makes it an opinion, or a belief, compared to if I added no qualifier and stated "there's an teapot orbiting the sun" in which case I'd be making a truth claim.

The question of whether these qualifier need to be explicit or implicit, is not all that relevant here, so we can ignore that question.
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15-12-2014, 10:52 AM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(15-12-2014 10:48 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  That it's by adding some sort of qualifier, like "I believe", "It's my opinion" to "there's a teapot orbiting the sun", that makes it an opinion, or a belief, compared to if I added no qualifier and stated "there's an teapot orbiting the sun" in which case I'd be making a truth claim.

The question of whether these qualifier need to be explicit or implicit, is not all that relevant here, so we can ignore that question.

Making it explicit makes it clear. If you want to be understood, then make it clear.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-12-2014, 10:53 AM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(15-12-2014 10:04 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(15-12-2014 07:14 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Would you like me to call them opinions on what is fact, rather than fact claims?

Do you think these claims are matters of taste, or one's more like there's a teapot orbiting the sun?

No. They are not even fact claims. Facts are verifiable, as has been pointed out to you NUMEROUS times. They are opinions.
They are not now, nor ever will be verifiable.
They will never be recognized as 'facts".

Well, I tend to agree with Chas's understanding of things here. That the statement "there's a teapot orbiting the sun" is a truth claim, for it to be an opinion, I would have to state "it's my opinion", there's a teapot orbiting the sun.
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