The Dawkins Scale
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19-08-2015, 10:04 AM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(19-08-2015 09:55 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 09:21 AM)Chas Wrote:  The rhetorical question, "Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all?" is the statement that it doesn't exist.
No its not. It just says that there is no evidence, all evidences can equally be used to explain either the described dragon or no dragon at all. It doessn't go that extra mile and state that the evidence is soley for no dragon.

He is stating that there is no evidence of any dragon nor any evidence of it interacting with reality. That is indistinguishable from non-existent.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-08-2015, 10:10 AM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(19-08-2015 10:02 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 09:52 AM)Stevil Wrote:  No, I think you would benefit from reading what Carl Sagan actually says.

I read and quoted it.
Yeah, but you didn't read it carefully enough. you are reading into it, things that aren't there.

(19-08-2015 10:02 AM)Chas Wrote:  
Quote:Big Foot would also qualify as a garage dragon. The claimant offers no falsifiable claims, offers no evidence, doesn't tell you where to look for him.

Most definitely not. No one claims Big Foot is undetectable.
Big foot is undetectable because the claim doesn't help us detect it. The claim is a garage dragon claim. It offers no ability for us to test it. Where do we look for big foot?
We looked and didn't find Big foot so he mustn't exist.
Oh, you're saying we didn't look in the right place, so where do we look then?

What do you mean somewhere in the forest? We've looked all around the forest.
You're saying the big foot also moves around, that we need to look in all places at the same time, but that's impossible.
(19-08-2015 10:02 AM)Chas Wrote:  
Quote:Also many theists consider their god to be undetectable however they also insist it interceeds in our universe.

And that is a contradiction.
Not if the god does things while you aren't looking, or does things in a way that looks consistent with nature i.e. guides evolution.
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19-08-2015, 10:13 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2015 10:19 AM by Chas.)
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(19-08-2015 10:10 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 10:02 AM)Chas Wrote:  I read and quoted it.
Yeah, but you didn't read it carefully enough. you are reading into it, things that aren't there.

(19-08-2015 10:02 AM)Chas Wrote:  Most definitely not. No one claims Big Foot is undetectable.
Big foot is undetectable because the claim doesn't help us detect it. The claim is a garage dragon claim. It offers no ability for us to test it. Where do we look for big foot?
We looked and didn't find Big foot so he mustn't exist.
Oh, you're saying we didn't look in the right place, so where do we look then?

What do you mean somewhere in the forest? We've looked all around the forest.
You're saying the big foot also moves around, that we need to look in all places at the same time, but that's impossible.

Quote:Also many theists consider their god to be undetectable however they also insist it interceeds in our universe.

And that is a contradiction.
Quote:Not if the god does things while you aren't looking, or does things in a way that looks consistent with nature i.e. guides evolution.

Your responses are pretty much incoherent because you utterly misunderstand the garage dragon example.

The point being made is simply that something that is undetectable is indistinguishable from non-existent. That's it.

You Big Foot example misses the mark - no one claims it is undetectable.

Looking in the wrong place is off the mark - the thing is undetectable regardless.

"Does things while you aren't looking" is off the mark because that is in principle detectable.

"does things in a way that looks consistent with nature" leaves no evidence of existence - it can be dismissed.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-08-2015, 10:19 AM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(19-08-2015 10:04 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 09:55 AM)Stevil Wrote:  No its not. It just says that there is no evidence, all evidences can equally be used to explain either the described dragon or no dragon at all. It doessn't go that extra mile and state that the evidence is soley for no dragon.

He is stating that there is no evidence of any dragon nor any evidence of it interacting with reality. That is indistinguishable from non-existent.
No, you are taking the analogy too far. The point is that the claim offers no evidence, no falsifiable claims. In this case the dragon is magical, is invisible and leaves no foot prints and the paint doesn't stick. But that's just the proposition of his analogy. The point is that the claim offers no ability to test it. Big foot and Loch ness and UFOs also qualify. They don't have to be magical like the dragon in the analogy. Carl doesn't state that they have to be magical only that the claim offers no evidence and when you think of a way to find evidence then the claimant will come up with an excuse or shift the goal posts.
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19-08-2015, 10:22 AM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(19-08-2015 10:13 AM)Chas Wrote:  "does things in a way that looks consistent with nature" leaves no evidence of existence - it can be dismissed.
Yes the claim can be dismissed but this isn't proof on the contrary side. It isn't proof that the god doesn't exist or doesn't guide evolution.

We just reject the claim rather than say that we have evidence that god doesn't guide evolution.
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19-08-2015, 10:40 AM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(19-08-2015 10:13 AM)Chas Wrote:  Your responses are pretty much incoherent because you utterly misunderstand the garage dragon example.

The point being made is simply that something that is undetectable is indistinguishable from non-existent. That's it.

You Big Foot example misses the mark - no one claims it is undetectable.
Perhaps I need to explain the use of analogies to you.

An anology is used in support of a previously stated idea. The analogy isnt' to introduce new information. No analogy is 100% perfect, they all have aspects that differ from the original idea.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/The_Dragon_in_My_Garage
Regarding Carl's idea
"This is similar to Russell's Teapot in the way it forms an apt analogy for the concepts of the burden of proof and falsifiability. The main thrust of how Sagan develops the garage-dwelling dragon example is that the proponent employs increasingly ad hoc reasoning to describe their belief in the face of further questions. Eventually, the goalposts are moved in such a way as to render the initial assertion practically unfalsifiable. In a more general sense, this part may be done during the initial definition of the belief, or as when replying to critical examination of the belief in question. "

All this applies to non magical claims such as UFOs, Big foot, loch ness.
The claim gives the listener an inkling that they might be able to find or falsify the claim, but once they search and don't find then the claimant gives an excuse as to why they didn't find it. They shift the goal posts. They don't tell them where to look. This also applies to the Teapot analogy as well.

If you are taking the magical properties of Carl's dragon from his analogy and are then assuming that a "garage dragon" type of claim must be for some magical entity then you are taking the analogy too far and have unfortunately missed the point that Carl was trying to get across.
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19-08-2015, 10:46 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2015 10:50 AM by Free.)
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(19-08-2015 09:58 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 09:42 AM)Free Wrote:  Yes.

Any rating from 1 - 6 necessarily implies varying degrees of belief from certainty to a small possibility in the existence of God.

A rating of 7 has no beliefs at all.

Wouldn't a 7 require the belief that god does not exist? Sure, the person would also think that their belief meets the criteria of knowledge, but isn't knowledge a subset of belief?

It's not a belief, it's a statement of certainty. "God does not exist," or "I have no beliefs in the existence of God."

If i were to say, "I believe he doesn't exist," that is denoting the possibility that he does exist, and falls in the range of 1 - 6 on the scale.

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19-08-2015, 10:48 AM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(19-08-2015 10:19 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 10:04 AM)Chas Wrote:  He is stating that there is no evidence of any dragon nor any evidence of it interacting with reality. That is indistinguishable from non-existent.
No, you are taking the analogy too far.
Quote:The point is that the claim offers no evidence, no falsifiable claims. In this case the dragon is magical, is invisible and leaves no foot prints and the paint doesn't stick. But that's just the proposition of his analogy. The point is that the claim offers no ability to test it. Big foot and Loch ness and UFOs also qualify. They don't have to be magical like the dragon in the analogy. Carl doesn't state that they have to be magical only that the claim offers no evidence and when you think of a way to find evidence then the claimant will come up with an excuse or shift the goal posts.

You are still utterly missing the argument.

Carl Sagan Wrote:And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special
explanation of why it won't work.
Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating
dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no
way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would
count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?"
- The Demon-Haunted World p.171

Your examples and arguments aren't even close to the dragon-in-the-garage that Sagan argues.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-08-2015, 11:15 AM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(19-08-2015 10:19 AM)Stevil Wrote:  No, you are taking the analogy too far.

It is precisely what the analogy says. Again, in case you missed it:

"Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?"

It's a simple question. If you disagree with the answer given - that the dragon does not exist - then present your argument for it. Show a meaningful way in which the garage dragon can be said to exist.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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19-08-2015, 11:33 AM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(19-08-2015 05:19 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(19-08-2015 12:00 AM)pablo Wrote:  6. I don't want that pesky burden of proof around my neck. Big Grin

(6000th post)

You'd have just as much burden of proof as those in number 2, wouldn't you?

If you don't have proof that god doesn't exist but you believe it anyways, then wouldn't we call that faith?

If we agree that faith = belief without proof

"a belief not based on proof" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith

If you think that position 6 six has no burden of proof, but that number 2 does, then you must agree that the scale is biased.

As I suggested in an earlier post, this scale is not symmetrical. If we wanted remove the bias from the scale, we could arrive at one of these 2 options.

We could leave 5, and 6 the way they are but change 2 and 3 to read:

2. I cannot know for certain, but I think god is very probable.

3. I do not know whether or not god exists, but I'm inclined to be skeptical.

This would give symmetry to the scale. The other option is to leave 2 and 3, but change 5 and 6 to read:

5. I am very uncertain but I'm inclined to believe god does not exist.

6. I cannot know for certain but I strongly believe that god does not exist.

If you still fall into category number 6 under the second option, then would you agree that both 6 and 2 escape the burden of proof? It seems most of our theists on this site are claiming position 2, do they escape the burden of proof?

The next time a JW, Mormon, or any other theist I'm arguing with claims they're a #2 on the Dawkins Scale, I won't hold them to the burden of proof.
How's that grab ya?
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