"True Atheists are Hypocrites"
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23-11-2010, 01:05 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(19-11-2010 10:09 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, BnW.

Quote:No, science does not have limits. Our capacity to learn, and maybe even comprehend, in a given lifetime has limits but science is just a search for truth and the search has no limits, save maybe our creativity and ability to ponder.

Bold statement. What do you base it on? Has it been peer reviewed? Is there a journal I can read? Where's the proof?

Tantrum? You are so remarkably consistent in making incorrect assumptions about me.

Math can add any two numbers together without limit. That's a statement that can be verified. If you make a statement like "science has no limits" then it should be equally verifiable. Otherwise it's an opinion.

If you watch the superstring documentary, "The Elegant Universe," one physicist asks an important question. Superstring theory is unprovable. Full stop. The math makes sense but it's not a proof. Brian Greene himself say's that. So this other physicist asks, does that mean it's science, or philosophy?

He is, like many scientists, willing to recognise the limits of science. He won't commit to saying that superstring theory is a scientific reality because science can't prove it.

And that has to do with something that is naturally occuring.

If the supernatural can't be investigated at all... This is so frustrating because the objection is based on a sumary rejection of the idea that the supernatural is beyond the reach of science. No one is even willing to entertain the idea that IF it's true, then the idea makes sense.

So you'll excuse me if I ask you to back up a statement like "science does not have limits" and I'll thank you to not tell me I'm having a tantrum for asking.

Hey, Godless.

Quote:Is there anything other then the supernatural that Science can't explore?

Philosophy.

Quote:As I've asserted before we are making an assumption that the Supernatural even exists.

No. No one is. Quote one sentence in this entire thread that supports that.

It's simple. Science cannot comment on the supernatural REGARDLESS of whether or not it exists. That is to say, science cannot tell us one way or the other.

How in God's name you figure that means the supernatural exists is beyond me.

Quote:You can invent anything and throw it in the Supernatural realm so it can't be debunked.

So instead we should just claim that science can do something it can't? Fantastic.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you Matt. Smile

Philosophy would be an incorrect answer to something science can't explore. Much of Philosophy actually bases itself off of what is known in the actual world. Philosophy much like science changes it's mind as more is discussed and agreed upon. Indeed by it's method of peer criticism Philosophy has more in common with science then most any other study of the world.

That is part of the reason I beleive (yes beleive not think or know) that the church was so hostile towards Philosophy in it's early history. In fact many schools of Philosophy met a very early end at the hands of Christianity because they were proof that discussion of morality was already well developed before the bible.

In other words Philosophical documents predating the bible prove that morality was not to be found only in one holy book. It threatened the claims of the church.

But that's going off topic.

As for the existence of the supernatural...well you try explaining to me how I'm wrong in addressing your assumption it exists when you try to define it. Obviously you beleive in exists or you wouldn't waste your time trying to define it first of all and second of all if it doesn't exist then how on earth is anyone's definition of a non existent type of reality is any more accurate then another.

Just because I can put together the words super and man doesn't mean that there is such a thing as a superman or god.

Finally my point was not that we should make any claim at all in regards to the supernatural but that to continuity redefine something so as to make it impossible to disprove is childish and ludicrous.

If I made the claim that Santa Clause was real and that he got down the chimneys of every home in the world because he is supernatural and thus can bend the laws of time and space you would likely ask me a very obvious question such as.

Well then why is it that I buy my kids their presents every year and put them under the tree instead of Santa?

To which you may reply. Well that's because you don't have enough faith in Santa. Santa will drop off presents of anyone who has enough faith in Santa. The only reason Santa has not made himself known to you is that you don't have enough faith. You can't know that what happens in your home is what happens in every home in the world. You can't disprove Santa.

I don't need to have omniscient knowledge to know that your grasping for straws by trying to shift the burden of proof in this claim and when I can see that all many of *those who have faith in Santa buy their presents just like I do I'm right to call total crap.

I'm sure you get the analogy there. (*Transpose this onto morality and ideas like murder and theft)

The idea your defending is the ability of these people to redefine things in an absurd manner so they don't have to worry about trying to prove anything at all. Yahweh, Baal, Thor and many others don't define themselves as beyond reality. Often they tell us exactly on what mountain or sky to find them in. It's only people that redefine gods and other things into the supernatural category and even then the vast majority of these supernatural claims like telepathy, dousing, and physic powers have been debunked by....science!

Don't defend such absurd things as a way of redefining things such as to escape any need for proof. If you are a rational person you see just as well as the rest of us how absurd that is.

If you don't then I guess that there's no point in talking about this until you have some questions as to why so many of us don't buy it.

Peace Matt,

Jeff
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23-11-2010, 01:31 AM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(21-11-2010 10:19 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Hauser.

I didn't take it as a personal insult. I took it as a dismissal of everything that has gone on in this thread. I didn't apreciate it at all. I feel that it's easy to take away from and undermine conversations but that it's hard to contribute to them. That's what I reacted to.

You can tell anyone that they're rigid and immovable. If they say they aren't you can say, "ha. proves my point." But that doesn't make it so. My worldview is not an Atheist worldview. If people object to my terminology, it's their right, but I am what I am. The fact is, I have a position. As does everyone. If I don't change it because people introduce what I feel are insufficient arguments, that doesn't make me rigid. If you want to say I'm rigid and not here to explore and pretend that that somehow advances the conversation, then keep saying it. My record is clear on this forum. I stand by it. And as far as this thread, this has been the progression. This guy is dumb --> Actually he has a good point --> Nope --> Actually yes, because of this --> Nope. So how that makes ME rigid is beyond me.

Who did I misquote? Greene or the physicist that asked if it was science or philosophy? What's the actual quote?

Saying that science has limits is not a redefinition of science.

The line between the natural and the supernatural is crystal clear. The natural is everything in the universe caused by and or governed by natural law. The supernatural, theoretically, is all that is above and beyond natural law. Of course there have been supernatural claims that have been debunked. But that doesn't prove there's no supernatural, it proves that those specific things were natural phenomenon.

Science is not only based entirely on the premise that everything in the unvierse can be explained by natural law, it uses those natural laws to draw its conclusions. You're a biologist? Explain to me how you can do what you do WITHOUT natural law.

Natural law means universals. Same way everywhere always. It is the universality of natural law that allows science to function. By DEFINITION, the supernatural cannot be explained by natural law and it cannot be measured by natural law. All of that is just fact. The question is, can science function despite these things or does this constitute a limit to science?

I agree with you that science is a self-correcting process. But if there's no way to explain or measure the supernatural, how can it be scrutinised?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

my answer is simple.

the existence of the supernatural is speculative. it's pure unadulterated speculation. science doesnt have limits until the limits of nature have been clearly and demonstrably defined.

ill go back over the documentary tomorrow if i get a moment to and pull you the direct bits in question so that you can address it properly and in context. right now it's sleepytime lol. ill elaborate more on the other points then as well.
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23-11-2010, 09:29 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey, Jeff.

Dude. Stop. Stop telling me what I believe. Stop.

I am NOT saying that the supernatural exists. By saying that I am, you are clearly demonstrating that you don't even understand what it is I am saying.

Whether or not the supernatural exists or whether or not the universe didn't self-create but was created are important questions. That's why I'm interested.

Whether or not anyone's specific claims about the supernatural are true are not important questions to me. I could care less.

IF the supernatural exists and I cannot stress IF in any stronger terms, then BY DEFINITION it cannot be explained by natural law. That, to me, means that a methodology that is based on the premise that everything in the universe can be explained by natural law and a methodology that relies on natural law to make its conclusions would be unable to make conclusions about something that by definition is above and beyond natural law and that by definition is impossible to explain with natural law. If science cannot use natural law to explain the supernatural, then what can it use in its place?

Nobody is MAKING it impossible to disprove. It simply is. I can understand how that might be frustrating to someone that believes that everything can be proven or disproven and I can understand how one might not like it. But that doesn't change the fact that it is impossible to both prove and disprove. That's just a truth. It doesn't; HOWEVER, mean that the supernatural exists. It means that science cannot comment on it.

Quote:I don't need to have omniscient knowledge to know that your grasping for straws by trying to shift the burden of proof in this claim and when I can see that all many of *those who have faith in Santa buy their presents just like I do I'm right to call total crap.

Shift the burden of proof? Did you even read what I wrote?

Quote:The idea your defending is the ability of these people to redefine things in an absurd manner so they don't have to worry about trying to prove anything at all.

No. What I'm defending is that something is what it is. I don't give a fuck what the ramafications of that are. Why should anyone care about what is true?

Hey, Hauser.

Quote:the existence of the supernatural is speculative.

I agree.

Quote:science doesnt have limits until the limits of nature have been clearly and demonstrably defined.

I think you're echoing something that was said earlier. Like if science one day knows everything, then it will know exactly what it can't explain. If that's what you're saying, I agree.

But we're living today, not then.

Quote:ill go back over the documentary tomorrow if i get a moment to and pull you the direct bits in question so that you can address it properly and in context.

Thank you. That's very helpful.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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23-11-2010, 01:19 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
One thing I am seeing alot of in this thread (and several others as of late) is people misinterpreting what others are saying. I would strongly suggest everyone start reading others posts, instead of reading into them. A good example of this is the idea many seem to have that Matt believes in the supernatural. He has made it clear countless times that he doesn't know if the supernatural exists. This is, of course, just one example of how several people are misinterpreting what several others are saying. I use it as an example because it was just addressed, as an illustration of what's happening throughout.

One of the things I enjoy most about being an atheist is having the ability to say, "I don't know, and it may never be possible to know." I am of the opinion that the supernatural doesn't exist. I believe that strongly. I do not KNOW that the supernatural doesn't exist. I think it may very well be one of those things that are impossible to know. (I resisted the temptation to bold the word "may", though I guess by mentioning it, I kind of did huh?) "Supernatural" to me means "beyond natural". Is this correct? Let me know if it's not. If it is correct, then I think there's a good chance that IF the supernatural exists, it MAY be undetectable by science, simply because something beyond the natural world doesn't nescessarily have to leave natural evidence.

Make any sense?

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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23-11-2010, 01:52 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Unless I'm just misread this, it's another post about potatoes, right? Or, is that a misinterpretation?

Angel

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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23-11-2010, 02:03 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(23-11-2010 01:52 PM)BnW Wrote:  Unless I'm just misread this, it's another post about potatoes, right? Or, is that a misinterpretation?

Angel

Smart ass.


...at least I know someone's reading my mindless ramblings on potatoes.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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24-11-2010, 01:26 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey, Stark Raving.

You're just a good man.

Quote: "Supernatural" to me means "beyond natural". Is this correct

Works for me.

OK. So funny thing happened on the way to the forum. I posted a definition of supernatural earlier:
Quote:Supernatural: of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.
But I went to Wikipedia to see if they had a good definition. These are the first to sentences of the supernatural article.
Quote:The supernatural or supranatural (Latin: super, supra "above" + natura "nature") is anything above or beyond what one holds to be natural and exists outside natural law and the observable universe.[1] Science limits its explanations for phenomena to natural explanations, a process known as methodological naturalism, and cannot consider supernatural explanations, as they cannot be investigated empirically.

LOL!

Aint that some shit?

Dude, I've been trying to say that for 13 pages!!! Man, I gotta learn how to write concicely. I mean, Jesus, I try to write that way but I just tend to add things to what I'm saying. It's like I can't accept the fact that my point has been made in just a few words, so I have to over explain. I'm not entirely certain what the psychology behind that is, but I find it interesting. I mean, some of the things I talk about are complex so I feel a need to be thorough particularly if I feel that what I'm writing will be challenged. I hate for simple miscommunications to get in the way of meanigful dialogue so I feel a responsibility to clarity. I think it's because in forums, the text remains for years. Who knows how long it will be preserved? So I feel the need to write for posterity as well as for the person I'm responding to. That and I also have a condition known as verbal diareah. You know, it's like my grandpappy always said.... Big Grin

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-11-2010, 05:07 PM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Ghost, can you please define for me what you consider to be "existence"?
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24-11-2010, 05:12 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
One thing I'm curious about for your thoughts Ghost.

Can science be used to investigate if something CAN be explained by the natural realm. Many people have claimed supernatural abilities over the years that have been debunked by natural methods.

If the supernatural does exist then Science may not be able to explain it but it should be able to deduce if it really is a natural phenomenon or not.

That's really the whole point I've been trying to get across. If something is supernatural then it shouldn't be possible for science to show how it's down naturally. No claims have been brought forward of "supernatural" origin that have not been attributed demonstrably to natural causes in fair lab conditions.
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25-11-2010, 12:03 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey, TruthAddict.

Quote:Ghost, can you please define for me what you consider to be "existence"?

I'm not entirely sure I know how to answer this.

Here's how I will. The universe exists. It exists independently of the awareness of it that any organism in the universe has (terrible sentence). It is what it is. I would call that actuality. You and I and slugs and rocks and photons and gravity all exist in actuality.... does that help?

Hey, Godless.

Quote:Can science be used to investigate if something CAN be explained by the natural realm. Many people have claimed supernatural abilities over the years that have been debunked by natural methods.

Absolutely!

That's what it does. And it's exceptional at it!

If something is a part of the natural universe and if it is governed by natural law, science can address it. It might not know HOW to address it, but theoretically speaking it CAN.

Quote:If something is supernatural then it shouldn't be possible for science to show how it's down naturally.

Absolutely!

If someone claims that something is supernatural and it is demonstrated that it is in fact naturally occuring, then it cannot be supernatural. By definition, in order to BE supernatural it has to be above and beyond and unexplainable by natural law. If it's governed by and explainable by natural law, then by definition it's natural.

"Watch me levitate! I have supernatural powers!"
"Actually you're just angling yourself in such a way that you obscure your support foot. You're just doing a calf raise, but from my perspective it looks like you're levitating. Look, see, I can do it too. I can also show everyone else how to do it and how it works. Calf raises aren't supernatural, so, hate to break it to you, but not only is that a naturally occuring phenomenon, but you don't have supernatural powers."

The question is, does the debunking of that wingnut's claim, or the debunking of a thousand wingnut's claims, prove the non-existence of the supernatural? No. It proves that there's a thousand wingnuts.

The point is, if the supernatural truly exists, like honest to goodness it exists, science can't tell us. If it doesn't exist, like honest to goodness it doesn't exist, science can't tell us. Science can, however, without doubt, tell us if a process that someone is claiming is supernatural is in fact a natural process (that we already understand).

"I breathe fire!"
"Dude, you spat gasoline into a lighter."

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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