Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
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23-10-2013, 11:37 AM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 10:43 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  We're going beyond ad populum now to when the atheist is judged and god says, "I had many, many, many people around you believing in me and many Christians witnessing to you..."

Unless, of course, you didn't grow up in a country overrun by Christians. Or lived before Christianity. Or were witnessed to by other religions. And on, and on, and on. The ugly "It's all about us" perspective of theism rears its head again!

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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23-10-2013, 12:59 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 10:35 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(23-10-2013 10:24 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  You must have missed the part where I said it was, "evidence...not conclusive evidence...but evidence none the less.

Oh I did, and you're wrong. Majority opinion is only evidence of the opinion of the majority. You're using a flawed evolutionary mental heuristic to attempt to justify your logically fallacious position. Congrats...

You don't understand evidence and the kinds thereof. You don't understand that the argumentum ad populum fallacy occurs only when an individual uses the belief of the crowd as direct evidence. It does not occur when an individual uses the belief of the crowd as circumstantial or corroborating evidence.

A theists makes no error by claiming that since nearly everyone believes in God, that is evidence that God exists. A theist is making an error by claiming that since nearly everyone believes in God, that is proof that God exists. There is a very big difference between those last two statements and if you can't see it, your not going to be capable of identifying the argumentum ad populum fallacy.
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23-10-2013, 01:05 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 09:52 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  Heywood is arguing that the sum of anecdotes is data. That, if you draw a big enough circle around people who believe in "something greater" then we have a large percentage of people who have concluded that "something greater" exists. His analysis of this belief is that the consensus position among humans is that "something greater" exists and agues that those who disagree with this consensus position should shoulder the burden of proof.

This is a silly old argument and reveals the following failures of insight:
1. That there is almost zero consensus about what that something greater might be among "something greater" believers. Even within a particular religious sect opinions differ sharply on foundational questions. The circles can just as easily be drawn as "people who believe in Heywood's god" and "people who conclude Heywood's god to be false". The former group being presumably a vanishingly small set and the size of the latter group providing strong evidence against the existence of Heywood's god. Arbitrary circles drawn around specific groups or to exclude specific groups are not statistically relevant.
2. We can draw a comparison between god belief and consensus on scientific topics. We might accept a consensus scientific opinion, subject to change as new evidence comes in, that a broad range of scientists have reasonably come to through a thorough examination of the evidence. On the other hand many religious people are simply indoctrinated and have never critically analysed their beliefs. Their beliefs are on the whole not evidence based even if we count the seeking of evidence for pre-established beliefs that we call "apologetics". Therefore it is not reasonable to treat a consensus among god-believers on the whole as being comparable to the reasoned, challenged and tested consensus opinions of professional academics.
3. The statement that god exists is a positive claim that demands positive evidence, just as the statement that no god exists is a positive claim that demands positive evidence. No amount of ad populum covers up this fact or shifts the burden of proof away from those who claim either extreme... but while atheism may be strong or weak and therefore may demand positive evidence or not demand positive evidence, theism is always a positive claim. Theism always carries with it a burden of proof.

Hanoff, you are completely off your rocker with respect to what I am saying. I'm not talking about God. I am talking about what is and what isn't an argumentum ad populum fallacy.
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23-10-2013, 01:09 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 01:05 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(23-10-2013 09:52 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  Heywood is arguing that the sum of anecdotes is data. That, if you draw a big enough circle around people who believe in "something greater" then we have a large percentage of people who have concluded that "something greater" exists. His analysis of this belief is that the consensus position among humans is that "something greater" exists and agues that those who disagree with this consensus position should shoulder the burden of proof.

This is a silly old argument and reveals the following failures of insight:
1. That there is almost zero consensus about what that something greater might be among "something greater" believers. Even within a particular religious sect opinions differ sharply on foundational questions. The circles can just as easily be drawn as "people who believe in Heywood's god" and "people who conclude Heywood's god to be false". The former group being presumably a vanishingly small set and the size of the latter group providing strong evidence against the existence of Heywood's god. Arbitrary circles drawn around specific groups or to exclude specific groups are not statistically relevant.
2. We can draw a comparison between god belief and consensus on scientific topics. We might accept a consensus scientific opinion, subject to change as new evidence comes in, that a broad range of scientists have reasonably come to through a thorough examination of the evidence. On the other hand many religious people are simply indoctrinated and have never critically analysed their beliefs. Their beliefs are on the whole not evidence based even if we count the seeking of evidence for pre-established beliefs that we call "apologetics". Therefore it is not reasonable to treat a consensus among god-believers on the whole as being comparable to the reasoned, challenged and tested consensus opinions of professional academics.
3. The statement that god exists is a positive claim that demands positive evidence, just as the statement that no god exists is a positive claim that demands positive evidence. No amount of ad populum covers up this fact or shifts the burden of proof away from those who claim either extreme... but while atheism may be strong or weak and therefore may demand positive evidence or not demand positive evidence, theism is always a positive claim. Theism always carries with it a burden of proof.

Hanoff, you are completely off your rocker with respect to what I am saying. I'm not talking about God. I am talking about what is and what isn't an argumentum ad populum fallacy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum


In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "appeal to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: "If many believe so, it is so."
This type of argument is known by several names,[1] including appeal to the masses, appeal to belief, appeal to the majority, appeal to democracy, appeal to popularity, argument by consensus, consensus fallacy, authority of the many, and bandwagon fallacy, and in Latin as argumentum ad numerum ("appeal to the number"), and consensus gentium ("agreement of the clans"). It is also the basis of a number of social phenomena, including communal reinforcement and the bandwagon effect. The Chinese proverb "three men make a tiger" concerns the same idea.

There is no debate, you are just wrong.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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23-10-2013, 01:24 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 01:09 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(23-10-2013 01:05 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Hanoff, you are completely off your rocker with respect to what I am saying. I'm not talking about God. I am talking about what is and what isn't an argumentum ad populum fallacy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum


In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "appeal to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: "If many believe so, it is so."
This type of argument is known by several names,[1] including appeal to the masses, appeal to belief, appeal to the majority, appeal to democracy, appeal to popularity, argument by consensus, consensus fallacy, authority of the many, and bandwagon fallacy, and in Latin as argumentum ad numerum ("appeal to the number"), and consensus gentium ("agreement of the clans"). It is also the basis of a number of social phenomena, including communal reinforcement and the bandwagon effect. The Chinese proverb "three men make a tiger" concerns the same idea.

There is no debate, you are just wrong.

It is a fact that most people believe in God. How is PleaseJesus using this fact to make his case? If he is using it as direct evidence(i.e. concludes his proposition is true because of this fact), then he is guilty of the fallacy. If he is using it a circumstantial or corroborating evidence(the existence of this fact corroborates other evidence), then he is not guilty of the fallacy.

Your right about one thing, there is no debate. But it is you, EvolutionKills, Hanoff, and Impulse who are wrong. I have recommendation for all of you. http://WWW.COURSERA.COM. On that site you can take free classes which explains this stuff. Start with "How to reason and Argue well".
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23-10-2013, 01:34 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 01:24 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  It is a fact that most people believe in God.

It may be a fact that many people believe in "a" god (you'd need census data for that); until you provide data, it is simply an assertion. Most people do not believe in your God, especially those that lived before it was invented (a minimum of 4000 years for even the most hardcore fundie).

(23-10-2013 01:24 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  How is PleaseJesus using this fact to make his case? If he is using it as direct evidence(i.e. concludes his proposition is true because of this fact), then he is guilty of the fallacy. If he is using it a circumstantial or corroborating evidence(the existence of this fact corroborates other evidence), then he is not guilty of the fallacy.

What is the point of it, then, if it is not evidence? If it leads to other, legitimate, evidence, then post that evidence. He is most definitely using it as evidence and you continue to defend it for some inexplicable reason. He gives it weight solely based on the number of people that he asserts believe it. That's it's 'value' in his eyes. The assertion focuses on numbers, pure and simple.

(23-10-2013 01:24 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Your right about one thing, there is no debate. But it is you, EvolutionKills, Hanoff, and Impulse who are wrong. I have recommendation for all of you. http://WWW.COURSERA.COM. On that site you can take free classes which explains this stuff. Start with "How to reason and Argue well".

Lesson 1: You asserting things as facts does not make them facts.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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23-10-2013, 01:45 PM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2013 01:48 PM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 01:34 PM)guitar_nut Wrote:  What is the point of it, then, if it is not evidence? If it leads to other, legitimate, evidence, then post that evidence. He is most definitely using it as evidence and you continue to defend it for some inexplicable reason. He gives it weight solely based on the number of people that he asserts believe it. That's it's 'value' in his eyes. The assertion focuses on numbers, pure and simple.

It is evidence. You have to understand there are different kinds of evidence. There is direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. There is strong evidence and there is weak evidence.

I don't know how PleaseJesus is characterizing this evidence because I don't read his posts. He like to talk about religion and I am not really interested. What I do know is I often hear atheists(and others) claim, "Oh your making an argumentum ad populum fallacy"....just because someone points out the fact that most people believe in God. Sometimes those atheists are right and a fallacy is commited, and sometimes they are wrong. Just because someone presents as evidence the majority opinion, that does not mean the fallacy is being made.
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23-10-2013, 01:54 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 10:43 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(23-10-2013 10:04 AM)Impulse Wrote:  Most everyone believes in God?
Would that be Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Zeus, ... who?
To have any meaning, the sentence should say "most everyone believes in Jesus" or "most everyone believes in Buddha" or ... insert appropriate god.

I question whether "most" people believe in any god. Is there a supporting statistic? But certainly when you narrow down to a specific god, "most" becomes inaccurate.

So you may as well say "most people believe the world will come to an end within our lifetime and that is the evidence which suggests it will happen" and it would be about as accurate. Hopefully that sheds some light on how ridiculous that "reasoning" is.

I'm going with the scriptural understanding of Romans 1 that despite any degenerative or pagan beliefs in god, people believe in god and that it takes a willful effort to be an atheist.

We're going beyond ad populum now to when the atheist is judged and god says, "I had many, many, many people around you believing in me and many Christians witnessing to you..."

I see... so you're going by a very old text that is a work of complete fiction and which, even if it had been nonfiction, would have applied to the beliefs of people thousands of years ago... which of course quite possibly bears no resemblance to the people of present day... you know, which is what we were discussing.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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23-10-2013, 01:55 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 01:45 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(23-10-2013 01:34 PM)guitar_nut Wrote:  What is the point of it, then, if it is not evidence? If it leads to other, legitimate, evidence, then post that evidence. He is most definitely using it as evidence and you continue to defend it for some inexplicable reason. He gives it weight solely based on the number of people that he asserts believe it. That's it's 'value' in his eyes. The assertion focuses on numbers, pure and simple.

It is evidence. You have to understand there are different kinds of evidence. There is direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. There is strong evidence and there is weak evidence.

I don't know how PleaseJesus is characterizing this evidence because I don't read his posts. He like to talk about religion and I am not really interested. What I do know is I often hear atheists(and others) claim, "Oh your making an argumentum ad populum fallacy"....just because someone points out the fact that most people believe in God. Sometimes those atheists are right and a fallacy is commited, and sometimes they are wrong. Just because someone presents as evidence the majority opinion, that does not mean the fallacy is being made.

Yes it is. That isn't evidence. It's an informal fallacy. The truth has nothing to do with the amount of people that believe something. That statement has no meaning. To borrow from Sagan, if everyone believed that there was invisible dragons living in everyone's garages it would not make it so. You couldn't prove it, nor disprove it, but regardless of how many people believed it it would not affect reality one bit.

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23-10-2013, 01:59 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 10:41 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  You might not be familiar with the Bible. Can you name any verses that state that "most" or "many" adults would trust Christ for salvation?

There are many who trust God and are saved, but you've put a narrow confinement around Christianity that isn't inherent to the text.

Okay, but my point still stands.

And your text is silly. Drinking Beverage

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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