Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
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23-10-2013, 02:04 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 01:55 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  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.

I think you are conflating evidence with proof. If everyone believed in invisible dragons, that would be evidence for the existence of invisible dragons. It wouldn't be strong evidence. It wouldn't be direct evidence. It would be weak circumstantial evidence because if invisible dragons existed, you would expect many people to believe in them. It wouldn't prove the existence of invisible dragons and by itself shouldn't convince anyone invisible dragons exist. However it could be the impetus for a non believer to seek out other evidence for the existence of invisible dragons.
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23-10-2013, 02:09 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 01:45 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  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.

Lots of people believing (key word BELIEVING) that there is a god is indeed evidence of a few things:

1. It's evidence that people believe there is a god;
2. It's evidence that people do not actually know there is a god, and instead rest their belief on faith;
3. It is not, in any way, evidence that there is actually a god;

Number three is the key point here. PJ is using it as evidence that there is a god. Why does he think it's evidence? Because he claims: lots and lots of people ... believe believe believe believe believe ... that there is a god.

Belief in no way affects reality. There either is or is not a god. What one, or all, people believe has no affect on the state of the truth. Therefore, all these people have no affect on whether or not god is real. Their belief is not evidence. One person believing is no more or less valuable as everyone believing. But PJ makes an appeal to the NUMBER of people who believe.

Now, if all these people described god the same way, and had the same reasons for believing, we might use that to direct us towards real evidence. We would apply their reasons and methods to see if we too could find god, and if we did, we would then have our actual discovery of god as evidence. Hasn't happened.

(23-10-2013 01:45 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  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.

You don't read his posts, yet you're certain he's not committing a fallacy? Interesting.

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, 02:12 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 02:04 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(23-10-2013 01:55 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  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.

I think you are conflating evidence with proof. If everyone believed in invisible dragons, that would be evidence for the existence of invisible dragons. It wouldn't be strong evidence. It wouldn't be direct evidence. It would be weak circumstantial evidence because if invisible dragons existed, you would expect many people to believe in them. It wouldn't prove the existence of invisible dragons and by itself shouldn't convince anyone invisible dragons exist. However it could be the impetus for a non believer to seek out other evidence.

No conflation here. Why do you think many people claiming something make's it more legitimate than one person claiming it is so when there is no physical evidence to back up the claim?

We do not live on planet Earth, we live on the planet Mars. Is that now circumstantial evidence that we live on Mars? If not how many people need to say it before it fits your definition?

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23-10-2013, 02:17 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 02:09 PM)guitar_nut Wrote:  
(23-10-2013 01:45 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  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.

Lots of people believing (key word BELIEVING) that there is a god is indeed evidence of a few things:

1. It's evidence that people believe there is a god;
2. It's evidence that people do not actually know there is a god, and instead rest their belief on faith;
3. It is not, in any way, evidence that there is actually a god;

Number three is the key point here. PJ is using it as evidence that there is a god. Why does he think it's evidence? Because he claims: lots and lots of people ... believe believe believe believe believe ... that there is a god.

Belief in no way affects reality. There either is or is not a god. What one, or all, people believe has no affect on the state of the truth. Therefore, all these people have no affect on whether or not god is real. Their belief is not evidence. One person believing is no more or less valuable as everyone believing. But PJ makes an appeal to the NUMBER of people who believe.

Now, if all these people described god the same way, and had the same reasons for believing, we might use that to direct us towards real evidence. We would apply their reasons and methods to see if we too could find god, and if we did, we would then have our actual discovery of god as evidence. Hasn't happened.

(23-10-2013 01:45 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  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.

You don't read his posts, yet you're certain he's not committing a fallacy? Interesting.

And now you're reducing my argument to create an absurdity. My argument is not a mere ad populum appeal. Because I repeat my question, "Can you name something else that 80-99% of people who live now in our modern world belief DESPITE the evidence?"

There is both EVIDENCE for God and LOTS of folks who believe the evidence. It's normative human behavior to go with the evidence.
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23-10-2013, 02:54 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 02:17 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  And now you're reducing my argument to create an absurdity. My argument is not a mere ad populum appeal. Because I repeat my question, "Can you name something else that 80-99% of people who live now in our modern world belief DESPITE the evidence?"

There is both EVIDENCE for God and LOTS of folks who believe the evidence. It's normative human behavior to go with the evidence.

That's an interesting range of percentages you've got there. It's almost like they're made up. You allow for a spread of almost 20%, 1.3 billion people. The lack of accuracy is suspicious. But anyways...

The continued rise in atheism and 'weekend Christians' shows me that it is indeed normative behavior to go with the evidence. Thank you in advance for agreeing.

There is no evidence for a god. That's one of the reasons so many variations of the god(s) exist, past and present. The idea varies from culture to culture, era to era. Is god a thing? A person? A force? Nature itself? Even Christianity is muddled with confusion. If there was evidence, we'd know which of these, if any, was true. The very concept of god exists because there is not yet evidence for things we want answers to.

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, 03:53 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 12:59 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(23-10-2013 10:35 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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.

No, belief is not evidence, direct or corroborating. Your argument is simply wrong.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-10-2013, 03:56 PM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 02:17 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(23-10-2013 02:09 PM)guitar_nut Wrote:  Lots of people believing (key word BELIEVING) that there is a god is indeed evidence of a few things:

1. It's evidence that people believe there is a god;
2. It's evidence that people do not actually know there is a god, and instead rest their belief on faith;
3. It is not, in any way, evidence that there is actually a god;

Number three is the key point here. PJ is using it as evidence that there is a god. Why does he think it's evidence? Because he claims: lots and lots of people ... believe believe believe believe believe ... that there is a god.

Belief in no way affects reality. There either is or is not a god. What one, or all, people believe has no affect on the state of the truth. Therefore, all these people have no affect on whether or not god is real. Their belief is not evidence. One person believing is no more or less valuable as everyone believing. But PJ makes an appeal to the NUMBER of people who believe.

Now, if all these people described god the same way, and had the same reasons for believing, we might use that to direct us towards real evidence. We would apply their reasons and methods to see if we too could find god, and if we did, we would then have our actual discovery of god as evidence. Hasn't happened.


You don't read his posts, yet you're certain he's not committing a fallacy? Interesting.

And now you're reducing my argument to create an absurdity. My argument is not a mere ad populum appeal. Because I repeat my question, "Can you name something else that 80-99% of people who live now in our modern world belief DESPITE the evidence?"

There is both EVIDENCE for God and LOTS of folks who believe the evidence. It's normative human behavior to go with the evidence.

So show us the evidence. You have yet to do that.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-10-2013, 02:59 AM (This post was last modified: 24-10-2013 03:06 AM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 02:12 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  No conflation here. Why do you think many people claiming something make's it more legitimate than one person claiming it is so when there is no physical evidence to back up the claim?

What your doing is making an argument that the evidence the crowd gives us in this specific situation is weak...because you think the crowd has no real reason to know the answer. This is a legitimate reason to discount the evidence....but even highly discounted it remains evidence none the less.

If you awoke in a foreign land in a situation much like the one described in the story below. If everyone you met told you that you were in Elbonia, chances are you are in Elbonia. In this situation the crowd has a very strong reason know the answer so the evidence is strong. Find yourself waist deep in mud and surrounded by heavy bearded inhabitants dressed like orthodox christain monks and now you have corroborating evidence that you are in Elbonia.

You are only committing the argumentum ad populum fallacy if you think the crowd opinion by itself proves a particular proposition. But there is nothing wrong with using crowd consensus as evidence to infer a particular position.

You to return home from work, famished. You reach for
a can of anchovies. As you spread the tiny fish across a piece of lettuce,
you notice a small note at the bottom of the can. Written on it is a
telephone number. Curious, you dial, and are told, "Don't move, DarkLight, we'll
be right over." Placing the phone back on the hook, you turn to see three
smartly dressed men standing in your kitchen doorway. Before you realize
what is happening to you, you are rolled tightly in long sheets of cellophane,
transported to an international airport, and placed on a waiting jet-liner.
All this being too much for you to comprehend, you pass out.

Upon awakening, you find yourself in a strange, foreign speaking nation ("Dalas nekcihc dna tihs nekcihc neewteb ecnereffid eht wonk ot suineg a
ekat t'nseod ti.") Alone, fearing your escape impossible, you seek comfort
in the arms of a confidential agent. With the trace of her kiss still warm
upon your lips, she betrays you into the hands of three scientists who are
engaged in diabolical, avant-garde experiments previously performed only on
insects and other small, meaningless creatures. Using you as their subject,
they are delighted with the results. For the first time, a human being is
transformed into a ("shhh... it's secret").........
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24-10-2013, 03:02 AM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(23-10-2013 03:53 PM)Chas Wrote:  No, belief is not evidence, direct or corroborating. Your argument is simply wrong.

The consensus of the crowd is evidence. It might be weak or strong but is evidence none the less. Your argument is simply wrong.
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24-10-2013, 05:46 AM
RE: Pascal's Wager Expanded Edition
(24-10-2013 03:02 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(23-10-2013 03:53 PM)Chas Wrote:  No, belief is not evidence, direct or corroborating. Your argument is simply wrong.

The consensus of the crowd is evidence. It might be weak or strong but is evidence none the less. Your argument is simply wrong.

Belief is never evidence of fact.

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