Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
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11-08-2015, 03:45 PM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 03:28 PM)unfogged Wrote:  An agnostic atheist can believe that god doesn't exist so that doesn't work.
I'm interested in your stance.
You recognise that you have no knowledge of god's existence or non existence, but you choose to believe that god doesn't exist.

What criteria have you used to make this belief and how does this differ from an epistemology?
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11-08-2015, 03:47 PM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 03:20 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Everybody wants their beliefs to match reality, and if they thought their beliefs either were false or unjustified, they would discard them.
Depends on how you define "reality"
Evidence based people want their knowledge to be supported by observations.
Faith based people don't expect any observations to support their knowledge.
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11-08-2015, 03:54 PM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 03:47 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(11-08-2015 03:20 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Everybody wants their beliefs to match reality, and if they thought their beliefs either were false or unjustified, they would discard them.
Depends on how you define "reality"
Evidence based people want their knowledge to be supported by observations.
Faith based people don't expect any observations to support their knowledge.

Yeah, but I know plenty of religious people who believe that heaven and god are real.
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11-08-2015, 03:59 PM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 03:54 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(11-08-2015 03:47 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Depends on how you define "reality"
Evidence based people want their knowledge to be supported by observations.
Faith based people don't expect any observations to support their knowledge.

Yeah, but I know plenty of religious people who believe that heaven and god are real.
Yes but they also no doubt expect that their god is unobservable and that heaven is unobservable. So they don't have any expectations of "evidence" from observations of reality in support of their beliefs.

So when you say "Everybody wants their beliefs to match reality" what is meant by that?
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11-08-2015, 04:13 PM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 03:31 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(11-08-2015 03:09 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I'm not doing that at all. Knowledge = belief that is justified and true

Same definition as everyone else.

I'm not questioning your definition of knowledge. You seem to have a strange conception of belief, though. You don't have to be 100% certain of something to say you "believe" it. Most people, when they say they believe something, mean that they think it is likely to be true, but they are not certain that it's true. If they were certain, they wouldn't call it belief -- they would call it knowledge.

To use one of your own examples, if someone says they are not sure whether God exists, but if they had to choose, they would say probably yes -- that is not atheism or disbelief. "Probably yes" qualifies as belief by the commonly understood definition of the word. I would call that person a believer. A weak believer perhaps, but a believer nonetheless. You can't call them an atheist until the "probably yes" becomes "probably no". Otherwise you're making up your own definitions of words, and people aren't going to understand you.

I guess I just can't relate. I only believe things that I know. If I'm uncertain of something, then I don't draw a conclusion, and I consider the evidence to be merely suggestive, not conclusive. I use suggestive evidence when I'm forced to guess, as often in life, we have to guess. For example, we might have guess how someone will react to certain news. We know that we don't know how someone will act, but often we have suggestive evidence that gives us reason to guess one thing over another. Sometimes in life, we find conclusive evidence, and I don't form a belief about something until I believe that I have found some.

I guess a lot of people believe things that they know they don't know? Seems weird to me.

Why would someone believe something that they know they don't know?

Do you hold such beliefs?
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11-08-2015, 04:18 PM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 03:59 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(11-08-2015 03:54 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Yeah, but I know plenty of religious people who believe that heaven and god are real.
Yes but they also no doubt expect that their god is unobservable and that heaven is unobservable. So they don't have any expectations of "evidence" from observations of reality in support of their beliefs.

So when you say "Everybody wants their beliefs to match reality" what is meant by that?

I mean that no one wants to believe something that is false. I'm not saying that everyone is using good methodology.

"belief is when someone thinks something is reality, true,"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belief
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11-08-2015, 04:38 PM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 04:13 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(11-08-2015 03:31 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I'm not questioning your definition of knowledge. You seem to have a strange conception of belief, though. You don't have to be 100% certain of something to say you "believe" it. Most people, when they say they believe something, mean that they think it is likely to be true, but they are not certain that it's true. If they were certain, they wouldn't call it belief -- they would call it knowledge.

To use one of your own examples, if someone says they are not sure whether God exists, but if they had to choose, they would say probably yes -- that is not atheism or disbelief. "Probably yes" qualifies as belief by the commonly understood definition of the word. I would call that person a believer. A weak believer perhaps, but a believer nonetheless. You can't call them an atheist until the "probably yes" becomes "probably no". Otherwise you're making up your own definitions of words, and people aren't going to understand you.

I guess I just can't relate. I only believe things that I know. If I'm uncertain of something, then I don't draw a conclusion, and I consider the evidence to be merely suggestive, not conclusive. I use suggestive evidence when I'm forced to guess, as often in life, we have to guess. For example, we might have guess how someone will react to certain news. We know that we don't know how someone will act, but often we have suggestive evidence that gives us reason to guess one thing over another. Sometimes in life, we find conclusive evidence, and I don't form a belief about something until I believe that I have found some.

I guess a lot of people believe things that they know they don't know? Seems weird to me.

Why would someone believe something that they know they don't know?

Do you hold such beliefs?

Yes, I believe all kinds of things that I don't know (and know that I don't know), because that's what the word "believe" means. I believe that the St. Louis Cardinals will win the NL Central Division this year. I believe that Beethoven was a better composer than Haydn. I believe that there are no gods. I believe that OJ Simpson probably killed his wife. I believe that the "Jesus" of the Gospels was based on a real person, but that the Gospels themselves are largely fiction. I do not claim knowledge or certainty on any of those points

Obviously, it is possible for a person to think that they "know" something and be wrong. You would call this an unjustified belief or a false belief, and so would I. But it's not the only kind of belief. Your use of the word is extremely specialized, and not the way most people use it. There is such a thing as an agnostic theist. A person who assigns a 90% probability to God's existence and one who assigns a 10% probability are both agnostics, but the first one is a theist and the second one is an atheist. I am in the second category, although my probability would be lower than 10%. Anyone who claims 100% or 0% is fooling himself.
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11-08-2015, 05:19 PM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 04:38 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(11-08-2015 04:13 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I guess I just can't relate. I only believe things that I know. If I'm uncertain of something, then I don't draw a conclusion, and I consider the evidence to be merely suggestive, not conclusive. I use suggestive evidence when I'm forced to guess, as often in life, we have to guess. For example, we might have guess how someone will react to certain news. We know that we don't know how someone will act, but often we have suggestive evidence that gives us reason to guess one thing over another. Sometimes in life, we find conclusive evidence, and I don't form a belief about something until I believe that I have found some.

I guess a lot of people believe things that they know they don't know? Seems weird to me.

Why would someone believe something that they know they don't know?

Do you hold such beliefs?

Yes, I believe all kinds of things that I don't know (and know that I don't know), because that's what the word "believe" means. I believe that the St. Louis Cardinals will win the NL Central Division this year. I believe that Beethoven was a better composer than Haydn. I believe that there are no gods. I believe that OJ Simpson probably killed his wife. I believe that the "Jesus" of the Gospels was based on a real person, but that the Gospels themselves are largely fiction. I do not claim knowledge or certainty on any of those points

Obviously, it is possible for a person to think that they "know" something and be wrong. You would call this an unjustified belief or a false belief, and so would I. But it's not the only kind of belief. Your use of the word is extremely specialized, and not the way most people use it. There is such a thing as an agnostic theist. A person who assigns a 90% probability to God's existence and one who assigns a 10% probability are both agnostics, but the first one is a theist and the second one is an atheist. I am in the second category, although my probability would be lower than 10%. Anyone who claims 100% or 0% is fooling himself.

For those of us interested in truth, probability is something we calculate, not assign. For myself, if I know something is a guess, I don't call it a belief.

As Matt Dillahunty says "I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible."

Basically Matt is saying that he wants his beliefs to be knowledge. One method of doing this is to recognize that guesses =/= truth. If you know it's a guess, you should discard it as a belief. A hypothesis is not the same as a belief.
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11-08-2015, 06:29 PM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 03:09 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Knowledge = belief that is justified and true

Same definition as everyone else.

That is not the definition of knowledge...

knowl·edge
ˈnäləj/
noun
1.
facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.
"a thirst for knowledge"
synonyms: understanding, comprehension, grasp, command, mastery; More
2.
awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.
"the program had been developed without his knowledge"
synonyms: awareness, consciousness, realization, cognition, apprehension, perception, appreciation; formalcognizance
"he slipped away without my knowledge"


The words "truth or true" haven't a thing to do with it.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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11-08-2015, 06:35 PM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 03:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(11-08-2015 03:19 PM)unfogged Wrote:  It is possible that they are coming from a knowledge-based epistemology
knowledge-based epistemology is incoherent.

Sorry, I meant evidence-based.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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