The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
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07-02-2017, 04:47 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
There's an easy way for one to trust one's senses.

Follow these instructions.

1. Pick up hammer.
2. Place one hand on table.
3. Smash hammer into hand.
4. See results.
5. Call ambulance.

Big Grin

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I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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07-02-2017, 04:55 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
At sork.

Have already voiced that kind of test to Naielis in passing Banjo.

I missed my hand with the hammer with the demonstration, however.

Tongue
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07-02-2017, 05:41 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 04:55 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  I missed my hand with the hammer with the demonstration, however.

I invariably wind up in the test group of that particular study. Just for once I'd like to be in the control group instead. (winces and rubs hand) It's not so much double-blind as something-got-in-my-eye-as-I-was-swinging-the-hammer. Tongue

I'm sorry, but your beliefs are much too silly to take seriously. Got anything else we can discuss?
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07-02-2017, 05:47 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 04:55 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  At sork.

Have already voiced that kind of test to Naielis in passing Banjo.

I missed my hand with the hammer with the demonstration, however.

Tongue

It's really funny when you accidentally hit someone else's hand instead. Yes

#sigh
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07-02-2017, 05:49 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
At work.

Strangely. .... the room always seems to empty when I pick up a hammer.... Blush

Big Grin Tongue
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08-02-2017, 07:05 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 02:53 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 01:59 PM)Naielis Wrote:  When we say 2+2=4 we aren't working with symbols that represent nothing. They have meaning. The meaning of that statement was true before humans existed. Content is more important that symbolism and terminology.


Both examples you gave fail to demonstrate a disconnect between math and the physical world. Instead, the first confuses units. Cups, as you're using the term, is not a standard unit. It refers to an object that holds water. If you refer to the actual unit of cups, then yes you would get four cups of water in the large glass. The second example confuses the operation. If you divide one amoeba by two, you do get one half of an amoeba. But dividing by two is not reproduction. It would be cutting a single amoeba in two equal parts.

In the amoeba's case, though, reproduction is dividing by two (hence my parenthetical comment in the example), and you get two complete amoebas, not one half (1 divided by 2) or two halves.

What about my other example about adding wind speeds? What about superimposing ("adding") two sinusoidal electrical signals, each with an amplitude of 2 volts? If they are exactly in phase, the resulting signal will have an amplitude of 4 volts. If they are 180 degrees out of phase, the resulting signal will have an amplitude of 0. The amplitude can vary anywhere between those extremes, depending on the phase angle.

The point is that "addition" and "division" are abstract concepts that don't always apply to the real world -- or if they do apply, they often apply in a fuzzy way, as in my examples. In the real world, the result of "2+2" depends on what kinds of things you are adding, and on how you are adding them. The real world does not correspond to abstract mathematics nearly as precisely as you would like it to.

But if they are 180 degrees out of phase, then you still add them. It's just that the operation is actually 2 + (-2). Adding sinusoids is exactly the same in the physical world as it is in the abstract mathematical world. I didn't see the wind speed example. In the case of the amoeba, I don't think reproduction is dividing by two. It's copying it's nucleic acid to actually reproduce itself. It isn't the same as just dividing one amoeba in two equal halves. I think the problems with most of these examples is confusion with application rather than an actual failure of mathematics to explain reality.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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08-02-2017, 07:08 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 02:57 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 02:44 PM)Naielis Wrote:  But you only know this bit about your senses by using your senses. You would have to assume their reliability to begin with. Humans assume senses can depict reality semi-accurately. How do we justify this?

This is another of those questions of solipsism which is off-topic for this discussion.

A brief answer, though, to show willing: we do not assume anything. Human senses demonstrably sense something external to us. We call this "the universe". This is not debatable, and is merely a matter of having coherent definitions, and is why hard solipsism ("the universe does not exist and/or is not external to us") fails on its face.

From there, it does not matter whether or not we can accurately sense what the universe is "really" like. The question is incoherent and relies on "really" being insufficiently semantically clear, but it wouldn't matter even if it wasn't; so long as we accept that the universe exists and we can sense it in some fashion, the only thing that we need in order to gather accurate information about it is consistency. So long as our senses do not give us literally random input with no connection whatsoever to the thing being sensed - and they demonstrably do not - we can gather information about it. Any argument to the contrary is, like the "really" question, just playing games with semantics.

A lot of the "hard" questions in philosophy are like this, and just boil down to word games. Language is easily abused, and there are no built-in safeguards against someone who is willing to take advantage of the fact that many people don't realize when something is poorly defined semantically.

I'll start a separate thread on this because I still have some issues with how you avoid skepticism.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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08-02-2017, 07:24 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 02:57 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Any argument to the contrary is, like the "really" question, just playing games with semantics.

A lot of the "hard" questions in philosophy are like this, and just boil down to word games. Language is easily abused, and there are no built-in safeguards against someone who is willing to take advantage of the fact that many people don't realize when something is poorly defined semantically.

I have noticed that Apologists repeatedly invent, misappropriate, equivocate and flat-out hijack the common definitions of words echoing the linguistic inventions of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth to support their world view.

Like you say, language is easily abused.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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08-02-2017, 08:39 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(08-02-2017 07:05 AM)Naielis Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 02:53 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  In the amoeba's case, though, reproduction is dividing by two (hence my parenthetical comment in the example), and you get two complete amoebas, not one half (1 divided by 2) or two halves.

What about my other example about adding wind speeds? What about superimposing ("adding") two sinusoidal electrical signals, each with an amplitude of 2 volts? If they are exactly in phase, the resulting signal will have an amplitude of 4 volts. If they are 180 degrees out of phase, the resulting signal will have an amplitude of 0. The amplitude can vary anywhere between those extremes, depending on the phase angle.

The point is that "addition" and "division" are abstract concepts that don't always apply to the real world -- or if they do apply, they often apply in a fuzzy way, as in my examples. In the real world, the result of "2+2" depends on what kinds of things you are adding, and on how you are adding them. The real world does not correspond to abstract mathematics nearly as precisely as you would like it to.

But if they are 180 degrees out of phase, then you still add them. It's just that the operation is actually 2 + (-2). Adding sinusoids is exactly the same in the physical world as it is in the abstract mathematical world. I didn't see the wind speed example. In the case of the amoeba, I don't think reproduction is dividing by two. It's copying it's nucleic acid to actually reproduce itself. It isn't the same as just dividing one amoeba in two equal halves. I think the problems with most of these examples is confusion with application rather than an actual failure of mathematics to explain reality.

Mathematics doesn't "explain" anything. It's a tool to model reality, and for the most part, does so imperfectly. Scientific calculation is all about approximation. Scientific theories, whether mathematical or not, are always provisional and subject to modification/falsification/refutation. The certainty that you seek is a chimera. It doesn't exist.
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08-02-2017, 08:51 AM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(08-02-2017 08:39 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(08-02-2017 07:05 AM)Naielis Wrote:  But if they are 180 degrees out of phase, then you still add them. It's just that the operation is actually 2 + (-2). Adding sinusoids is exactly the same in the physical world as it is in the abstract mathematical world. I didn't see the wind speed example. In the case of the amoeba, I don't think reproduction is dividing by two. It's copying it's nucleic acid to actually reproduce itself. It isn't the same as just dividing one amoeba in two equal halves. I think the problems with most of these examples is confusion with application rather than an actual failure of mathematics to explain reality.

Mathematics doesn't "explain" anything. It's a tool to model reality, and for the most part, does so imperfectly. Scientific calculation is all about approximation. Scientific theories, whether mathematical or not, are always provisional and subject to modification/falsification/refutation. The certainty that you seek is a chimera. It doesn't exist.

Are you certain?

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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