"True Atheists are Hypocrites"
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26-10-2010, 02:52 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(26-10-2010 10:30 AM)Ghost Wrote:  2+2=Jabba the Hutt.

I nearly peed my pants I laughed so hard. Good one Matt.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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26-10-2010, 11:06 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey, TruthAddict.

Quote:But if we define existence as something that can be validated with evidence (which I hope isn't a stretch), and evidence for the supernatural can, by definition, never be found, can we not say that the supernatural does not exist?

It's a huge stretch in that it is a limited viewpoint. It is the materialistic viewpoint. The idea is that if something cannot be tested then that something does not exist. This argument is predicated on the assumption that everything in the universe has a material explanation. But that is an assumption and not a tested fact. Thus the materialistic viewpoint is an assumption. Thus the statement "the supernatural doesn't exist" is an assumption.

Hey, Unbeliever.

Quote:After all, if something exists, it has an effect on the universe, and if it has an effect, we should theoretically be able to prove that it causes that effect.

Again, this is based on the materialist assumption that everything in the universe is caused by the forces of the natural universe.

If materialism is correct and EVERYTHING is regulated by the laws of the natural universe then there is no supernatural. However, if the supernatural exists, by definition, it operates above the laws of the natural universe; meaning materialism is incorrect. If the supernatural exists, it's beyond the ability of science to investigate.

This is not to say that the supernatural DOES exist, but rather that science cannot tell us IF the supernatural exists.

So once again, we're left with a simple truth. Science cannot comment on the supernatural one way or another.

Hey, Stark Raving.

Lol.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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27-10-2010, 03:09 AM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(26-10-2010 10:30 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, 2buckchuck.

Quote:But if something supernatural exists, presumably, it can have some influence on the natural world.

Indeed it can. But here's the thing. Everything that you and I do is BOUND BY the laws of the natural universe. You and I can't fly or teleport or turn loaves into fishes, simply because we are naturally occuring and must conform to the rules that govern our existence.

But if someone had the power to turn loaves into fishes, there are 2 possible explanations ... either there is some heretofore undiscovered natural process (apart from the rather drawn out natural process of feeding loaves to fishes who can then use that food to make more fishes!) that permits such a transformation, or it's evidence for the intervention of a supernatural entity (STCBCG). If such a transformation can be documented in a credible way, then we are obligated to entertain the possibility of STCBCG as there would be evidence for the supernatural! This is what I tried to say in my last post. If your hypothetical STCBCG interferes in the natural world (we might call such interference "miracles") then we have evidence for the supernatural. Your contention is thereby obviated.

(26-10-2010 10:30 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The supernatural, by definition, is above the natural. It isn't bound by the laws of the natural universe by definition. The laws of the natural universe are subject to the supernatural. So something that is supernatural can affect the universe in ways that nothing bound by the laws of the natural universe ever could. For example, God could flood the planet, or make my penis three feet long, or wink five extra moons into Earth's orbit and not allow current tidal paterns to change despite their added mass, or even decide that 2+2=Jabba the Hutt.

Quote:If those things have a supernatural origin but are observed in the natural world, then evidence for their supernaturality must exist.

I can observe a burning bush. But how do I back up that claim? It can't be recreated. Ever. Unless the burning bush decides to show up again. Even then, even if everyone in the world saw it, there's no way to test it. Do bushes burn? No. Do they talk? No.

Presumably, you're referring to a burning bush that isn't consumed by fire, and which speaks. You can back up that claim by using your handycam video with its audio track. You can call to your friends to come see the burning bush. The idea is to provide some evidence (preferably physical) besides your own testimony for this decidedly unnatural occurrence. If all we have is your testimony that this happened, that's just not credible.

It's possible, although unlikely, that if everyone in the world saw it, everyone was simply having a simultaneous hallucination or everyone was deceived by some trick. I'm inclined to the idea that if everyone in the world saw it, it wouldn't be difficult to claim this was credible evidence for the existence of STCBCG. The fact that everyone in the world saw it would be miraculous in its own right!

You seem quite determined to stand by your claim that physical evidence logically can't be used validate a claim for the existence of the supernatural, despite my efforts to convince you otherwise. I mean no offense, but I don't believe you have an accurate understanding of how science really works.

(26-10-2010 10:30 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The scientific evidence would point away from it because science cannot account for supernatural influence.

I disagree. First of all, I dispute your claim to know how science would respond to having everyone in the world see a miraculous burning bush. Your argument seems to be based entirely on the false logic that the word "supernatural" means that supernatural events cannot be manifested in the natural world. Such events, if shown to be real and not just some hallucination, would stand out like beacons in the night precisely because they are unnatural!!

(26-10-2010 10:30 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The best science would be able to say is, "that burning bush is scientifically impossible," or, "we have no explanation for how that happened, but we're convinced it must have a natural explanation."

I disagree. I've just articulated an alternative: "We have no explanation for what has been seen by everyone in the world, and in the absence of a plausible natural explanation, we must admit the possibility of a supernatural explanation."

Such miracles are distributed liberally throughout the Abrahamic sacred texts, but conveniently, they all happened without any convincing physical or historical evidence apart from the "testimony" contained in those texts. Although we have no absolute proof they're all just made-up stories, the apparent sudden cessation of such miracles, which has continued for the last 2000 years, seems to be pretty compelling evidence that they're all just made-up stories.

The "standards" used in science allow us to arrive at conclusions that, while provisional rather than being established absolute truth, can be associated with a very convincing body of evidence. So convincing, we can behave as if they're true. Religion offers us nothing of this sort. Religion claims absolutes, which science never does.
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27-10-2010, 09:06 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(26-10-2010 11:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Unbeliever.

Quote:After all, if something exists, it has an effect on the universe, and if it has an effect, we should theoretically be able to prove that it causes that effect.

Again, this is based on the materialist assumption that everything in the universe is caused by the forces of the natural universe.

No it isn't. There's nothing in there that presumes materialism.

It's simple. If something exists, it has an effect, even if that effect is as simple as producing a tiny electrical field. If something does not exist, it has no effect. So if something has no effect, it does not exist.

What about the above do you think presumes materialism?

"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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27-10-2010, 04:50 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey, 2buckchuck.

Re: your 2 possibile explanations.

I think we're saying the same thing on the first one. If something has a natural explanation, poof, it's natural and no more significant than gravity or math. Sound fair, or did I steamroll something important?

As for the second, I agree that watching it happen would be evidence of the supernatural, but the question is, is there a credible way to document it? More to the point, is that scientific evidence? If seeing is believing, great. I'm cool with that. But anytime someone does something or sees something and claims it's supernatural, scientists step in and debunk it by proving it had a natural cause. Can that be done with something that is actually supernatural? I don't see how that's possible. If the question is asked, "was that supernatural," we can't test it because we will never have the ability to recreate it because we aren't supernatural. If the question is asked, "how did that work," there's no scientific answer like E=MC2 or D=RT or an object in motion stays in motion... because the answer is, "because that supernatural force wanted it to and used their powers."

Take mind reading for example. Mind reading is real. Mind you, there's no super-powers involved, it's about intuition and guiding people's responses and gleaning information and all the rest. We can explain it. But if I had supernatural mind reading powers and just ripped information out of your mind, no one would be able to explain how I did it because the response isn't rational. If it was, it would just be a parlour trick. To be supernatural it can't have a rational explanation.

Another example would be Chris Angel. Millions of people saw him walk down the side of a building. But there's a natural explanation. I don't know it but I don't think he himself has ever claimed to have actual super powers. But say he did claim it. Millions of people saw a supernatural event. But science doesn't accept that. They ask, how did it happen? Scientist go in and try to figure it out. I may be making a jump here, but isn't that what DeGrasse Tyson was talking about in that video? That people put God at the limit of understanding and stop asking questions until someone asks those questions.

Anyhoo, the core of what I'm saying is that seeing something isn't evidence of how it works or confirmation of its status as supernatural (Ie,if everyone agreed that something was obviously supernatural, that doesn't make it scientificaly proven, it makes it the consensus). Figuring out how it works is what science is about. If it's not possible to figure out how it works, then science can't comment on it. If you don't catch my meaning, let's focus on this cause this is all I'm really saying.

Hey, Unbeliever.

I can't really comment on what you said because I don't get it... I tried writing something but I think it'd just be easier to ask you to try and explain that again.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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27-10-2010, 06:57 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(27-10-2010 04:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Unbeliever.

I can't really comment on what you said because I don't get it... I tried writing something but I think it'd just be easier to ask you to try and explain that again.

Mmkay. I'll try and simplify it; I've had trouble communicating this in the past. Please don't think I'm patronizing you - like the "Free Will" discussion in another thread, I'm just going to start at the beginning so that you can see the entire train of thought.

Do things that do not exist have an effect on the universe?

No.

Do things that exist have an effect on the universe?

Yes, even if that effect is extremely small and almost unnoticeable. If something has absolutely no effect on the universe, there is no difference between it and something that does not exist.

Do they always have an effect, or can it be hidden for a while?

They must always have an effect, no matter how small. Otherwise, they would have not existed prior to the point where they began to have an effect, which would violate the conservation of matter and energy.

Are we capable of detecting the effects?

Not necessarily. That's the tricky bit. For something to exist, it must have an effect. Theoretically we should be able to isolate an effect and rule out other possible causes until only one thing is left. Practically, we aren't always capable of an observation that detailed.

So what about the paranormal?

Well, as we've already established, it must have an effect. Even if we can't explain how that effect works, we should (theoretically) be able to detect it. Otherwise, it doesn't exist. Even if we can't explain how ghosts work, they should be detectable.

"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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27-10-2010, 10:12 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey, Unbeliever.

I think I see what you're saying. If it exists, it does something that we can see because if it doesn't do something then it doesn't exist. Because it's always doing something (cause it's always existing), we can always find it (provided the opportunity is there). Close or off the mark?

That being said, I think it might be of value for you to define what you mean by "exists". If we're not on the same page on that one we might be wasting energy.

Now, back to business, the idea that all things that exist affect the universe in a detectable and measureable way assumes that whatever exists affects the universe in a rational way. For example, God has a constant output of 1 200 joules per second. If that's true, that's detectable. We can see that. But that makes God a natural occurence. But at any given moment, God could output zero or 10 to the millionth power joules or eliminate joules from the universe altogether because the God phenomena is not governed by the laws of the natural universe. Plus, at a whim, God could make all of his activities unobservable. Abracadabra, there's no light in this area, not because there is a singularity trapping all light in its event horizon, but because there simply is no light. There should be, there's no reason there isn't, there just isn't.

I guess the equivalent would be something like, in hockey there are six players a side and there are rules A-Z. At any given moment you can understand the progression of play in terms of those rules (time, period, checks, penalties, icing, goals, save percentage). But then all of a sudden someone apears on the ice out of nowhere shoots players at random then adds 20 goals to one team's score, then turns into Pizza the Hutt and eats itself (shoud out to my homey, Stark Raving!). You can't understand how they are allowed to do this in hockey terms because those aren't hockey terms. They get to operate outside of those rules and they're the only one (Sidney Crosby cannot do these things because he can only play by the rules). So when someone asks, how did they score 20 goals, the answer is they didn't. Yet the score is 23-2. No rule can explain it. It just happened. Someone says, do that again cause I wanna understand how that could be, but people can only respond, "not only do I not understand what happened, I can't recreate it. I'm bound by the rules of hockey. I can't add goals for no reason and I can't eat myself."

Now that I'm situated, the answer to how does:
Quote:After all, if something exists, it has an effect on the universe, and if it has an effect, we should theoretically be able to prove that it causes that effect.
Reflect a materialistic view:
Quote:In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance. As a theory, materialism is a form of physicalism and belongs to the class of monist ontology. As such, it is different from ontological theories based on dualism or pluralism. For singular explanations of the phenomenal reality, materialism would be in contrast to idealism, neutral monism and spiritualism.

Despite the large number of philosophical schools and subtle nuances between many,[1][2][3] all philosophies are said to fall into two primary categories, which are defined in contrast to each other: Idealism, and materialism.[a] The basic proposition of these two categories pertains to the nature of reality, and the primary distinction between them is the way they answer two fundamental questions: "what does reality consist of and how does it originate?" To idealists, spirit or mind is primary, and created matter. To materialists, matter is primary and mind or spirit is secondary, a product of matter acting upon matter.[3]

The materialist view is perhaps best understood in its opposition to the doctrines of immaterial substance applied to the mind historically, famously by René Descartes. However, by itself materialism says nothing about how material substance should be characterized. In practice, it is frequently assimilated to one variety of physicalism or another.

Materialism is often associated with reductionism, according to which the objects or phenomena individuated at one level of description, if they are genuine, must be explicable in terms of the objects or phenomena at some other level of description — typically, at a more reduced level. Non-reductive materialism explicitly rejects this notion, however, taking the material constitution of all particulars to be consistent with the existence of real objects, properties, or phenomena not explicable in the terms canonically used for the basic material constituents. Jerry Fodor influentially argues this view, according to which empirical laws and explanations in "special sciences" like psychology or geology are invisible from the perspective of basic physics. A lot of vigorous literature has grown up around the relation between these views.

Modern philosophical materialists extend the definition of other scientifically observable entities such as energy, forces, and the curvature of space. However philosophers such as Mary Midgley suggest that the concept of "matter" is elusive and poorly defined.[4]

Materialism typically contrasts with dualism, phenomenalism, idealism, vitalism and dual-aspect monism. Its materiality can, in some ways, be linked to the concept of Determinism, as espoused by Enlightenment thinkers. It has been criticised as a spiritually empty philosophy.
-SOURCE

Now I may have misenterpreted this. Perhaps what I meant is closer to reductionism. Not sure about that but I don't want to seem unreasonable.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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28-10-2010, 02:18 AM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(27-10-2010 04:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, 2buckchuck.

Re: your 2 possibile explanations.

I think we're saying the same thing on the first one. If something has a natural explanation, poof, it's natural and no more significant than gravity or math. Sound fair, or did I steamroll something important?

Not so far.

(27-10-2010 04:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  As for the second, I agree that watching it happen would be evidence of the supernatural, but the question is, is there a credible way to document it? More to the point, is that scientific evidence?

Yes, science accepts and uses visual evidence all the time. The key to its credibility is that many ways to fake such evidence are detectable.

(27-10-2010 04:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  If seeing is believing, great. I'm cool with that. But anytime someone does something or sees something and claims it's supernatural, scientists step in and debunk it by proving it had a natural cause.

There are many examples of visual evidence that cannot be "debunked" as evidence - for instance, the UFO stuff includes examples of film/video that have no obvious explanation and are evidently not faked. Some UFOs remain literally unidentified. Given that the vast majority of UFO "evidence" can be attributed to natural causes and various forms of deception, the null hypothesis rule applies. The burden of proof is on the believers, not the skeptics.

(27-10-2010 04:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Can that be done with something that is actually supernatural? I don't see how that's possible. If the question is asked, "was that supernatural," we can't test it because we will never have the ability to recreate it because we aren't supernatural.


But there are many sciences that lack the capability of reproducing an event: meteorology, geology, astronomy, and so on. Reproducibility of an event is not a universal criterion for scientific investigation. These sciences simply work with whatever evidence exists. If you accept the notion that supernatural events in the natural world can be documented if they have an effect in the otherwise natural world, then such documentation represents evidence for the existence of the supernatural character of the event

(27-10-2010 04:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  If the question is asked, "how did that work," there's no scientific answer like E=MC2 or D=RT or an object in motion stays in motion... because the answer is, "because that supernatural force wanted it to and used their powers."

OK. That's a valid statement, although I would say it differently ... there's no scientific answer capable of explaining the event, so one possible explanation would be a supernatural explanation. Since science deals with the natural world, this is not an attractive hypothesis, but it is at least logically possible.

(27-10-2010 04:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Take mind reading for example. Mind reading is real. Mind you, there's no super-powers involved, it's about intuition and guiding people's responses and gleaning information and all the rest. We can explain it. But if I had supernatural mind reading powers and just ripped information out of your mind, no one would be able to explain how I did it because the response isn't rational. If it was, it would just be a parlour trick. To be supernatural it can't have a rational explanation.

If someone truly could read minds, as opposed to your "natural" explanation, would it be possible to tell the difference between true mind-reading and parlor tricks? My answer ... yes. I think it would be possible to test whether or not a person truly could read minds. As for an explanation ... since I know of no one capable of this feat, I feel an explanation is unnecessary. Why try to explain something that has not been shown to exist?

(27-10-2010 04:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Another example would be Chris Angel. Millions of people saw him walk down the side of a building. But there's a natural explanation. I don't know it but I don't think he himself has ever claimed to have actual super powers. But say he did claim it. Millions of people saw a supernatural event.

Among those millions of people are some who know how the trick was done, or could make some reasonably accurate guesses since they know about "magic" and illusions.

(27-10-2010 04:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  But science doesn't accept that. They ask, how did it happen? Scientist go in and try to figure it out. I may be making a jump here, but isn't that what DeGrasse Tyson was talking about in that video? That people put God at the limit of understanding and stop asking questions until someone asks those questions.

Anyhoo, the core of what I'm saying is that seeing something isn't evidence of how it works or confirmation of its status as supernatural (Ie,if everyone agreed that something was obviously supernatural, that doesn't make it scientificaly proven, it makes it the consensus). Figuring out how it works is what science is about. If it's not possible to figure out how it works, then science can't comment on it. If you don't catch my meaning, let's focus on this cause this is all I'm really saying.

I agree that science is focused on understanding the process, but surely it would be of significance if credible evidence for what appeared to be a supernatural event existed and science couldn't find any existing process that would provide a natural explanation. If something ever turns up to be credibly supernatural, science wouldn't be very well-equipped to deal with it, because a supernatural being could violate natural laws (i.e., the subject matter of science) at will.

Ultimately, science is based on an assumption ... that natural laws exist and are the basis for everything we observe in the natural world. Under this assumption, science has accomplished tremendous things in a short time. People have believed in god(s) for as long as human history and no doubt longer than that - and the net result of their deity assumption and their prayers and other activities is virtually zero. The evidence is quite strong that deities are a human invention and have neither explanatory power nor the capability to intervene in our world in supernatural way.

This is a fun debate, but until someone can provide credible evidence for the intervention of a supernatural STCBCG in our world, it's basically just so much hot air.
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28-10-2010, 07:54 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(27-10-2010 10:12 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Unbeliever.

I think I see what you're saying. If it exists, it does something that we can see because if it doesn't do something then it doesn't exist. Because it's always doing something (cause it's always existing), we can always find it (provided the opportunity is there). Close or off the mark?

Pretty much, except that you're forgetting the in theory bit. In theory - as in, given the ability to make perfectly accurate measurements - we should always be able to detect it. In practice, we're probably not going to be so lucky.

Basically, all I'm saying is that the paranormal must have some kind of effect, or else it doesn't exist. It doesn't matter whether we can explain that effect. To find evidence for the paranormal, you just have to find an effect with no normal explanation.

Quote:That being said, I think it might be of value for you to define what you mean by "exists". If we're not on the same page on that one we might be wasting energy.

Thought I did that. Something that exists is something that has an effect on the universe.

Quote:Now, back to business, the idea that all things that exist affect the universe in a detectable and measureable way assumes that whatever exists affects the universe in a rational way. For example, God has a constant output of 1 200 joules per second. If that's true, that's detectable. We can see that. But that makes God a natural occurence.

The last sentence is a non sequitur. He has an effect that we can detect, yes, but that doesn't mean that the effect obeys the laws of reality. He may have a constant output of 1,200 J/s, but if that energy doesn't come from somewhere, I'd say that's paranormal.

That's what I'm saying. Being able to detect something doesn't make it any less paranormal. But if we can't detect something (again, in theory; I'm not saying that the things we can't detect right now don't exist), then it isn't paranormal or normal, because it doesn't exist.

Quote:But at any given moment, God could output zero or 10 to the millionth power joules or eliminate joules from the universe altogether because the God phenomena is not governed by the laws of the natural universe.

Yep. Exactly. Paranormal. It doesn't obey the known laws of reality. If God can add or subtract energy from the universe at a whim, then we can detect him doing so. We may not be able to explain how or why or through what mechanism he does so, but we can detect that he's doing it.

Quote:Plus, at a whim, God could make all of his activities unobservable.

Impossible. He would will himself out of existence. Making yourself entirely unobservable by any means whatsoever makes you nonexistent; you no longer have any effect that can be detected even in theory.

Quote:Abracadabra, there's no light in this area, not because there is a singularity trapping all light in its event horizon, but because there simply is no light. There should be, there's no reason there isn't, there just isn't.

Yes, that would be paranormal, but that's not "making all of his activities unobservable". We can determine that there is no light in said area and determine that there is no natural explanation for said lack of light; this points to a supernatural explanation.

That's not undetectable. It's just another weird effect.

Quote:I guess the equivalent would be something like, in hockey there are six players a side and there are rules A-Z. At any given moment you can understand the progression of play in terms of those rules (time, period, checks, penalties, icing, goals, save percentage). But then all of a sudden someone apears on the ice out of nowhere shoots players at random then adds 20 goals to one team's score, then turns into Pizza the Hutt and eats itself (shoud out to my homey, Stark Raving!). You can't understand how they are allowed to do this in hockey terms because those aren't hockey terms. They get to operate outside of those rules and they're the only one (Sidney Crosby cannot do these things because he can only play by the rules). So when someone asks, how did they score 20 goals, the answer is they didn't. Yet the score is 23-2. No rule can explain it. It just happened. Someone says, do that again cause I wanna understand how that could be, but people can only respond, "not only do I not understand what happened, I can't recreate it. I'm bound by the rules of hockey. I can't add goals for no reason and I can't eat myself."

None of which in any way disagrees with what I said.

As I've repeatedly stated, being detectable is not the same as being explainable. We may not now how this person changed the score, why he shot all the players, or anything else, but we sure as hell can see the dead hockey players all around the rink and see that the score is now 23-2. He has an effect.

Quote:Now that I'm situated, the answer to how does:
Quote:After all, if something exists, it has an effect on the universe, and if it has an effect, we should theoretically be able to prove that it causes that effect.
Reflect a materialistic view:
Quote:<snip>

Now I may have misenterpreted this. Perhaps what I meant is closer to reductionism. Not sure about that but I don't want to seem unreasonable.

Once again, I fail to see what the similarity is. The only bit of the quoted material that might have any bearing on what I'm saying is the part about "things must be explicable in terms of other things in a reductionist view", but I am not saying that. I think you've misinterpreted what I'm saying.

Things that exist have an effect. That's all. I haven't said that the effect must be explainable.

"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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28-10-2010, 08:30 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
I sort of dropped out of this discussion, mostly because I'm just overwhelmed with work right now and could not keep up. But, catching up quickly on this and a few of the other threads that are having parallel discussions, I've noted something.

The key difference, and primary point of contention, here is that Ghost seems to equate philosophy and philosophical theory with physics and observations of the natural world. He made the point earlier about not just disregarding 1,000 years of philosophy. I recognize that this perspective is not unique to Ghost but it is, for me, a maddening view of the world. To deny physical existence or that certain things that have been documented, tested and observed are more perception then reality is, again - for me, both foolish and unreasonable.

This is not a cut on you, Ghost, but I do think it is a correct observation. You wish to see the world as just one person's perception and seem to take the position that the laws of physics, etc. are all unique to the person who observes them and while it may seem we are speaking a common language, perhaps we are not.

I consider myself a realist, and, to me, things are what they are. That applies to the laws of physics, the amount of money I've got in my bank account, and whatever problems life throws at me. Things are what they are regardless of whether I like it or not. And, having this view, I do very well at adopting and meeting whatever unexpected challenges and surprises life throws at me. I'm not suggesting I don't get frustrated or overwhelmed at times, but generally I accept what is and, if it's a problem I find a solution and if it's something that I can't solve I learn to deal with it. That, for me, is reality.

Perhaps the world is subjective and all things are possible, but I don't see any evidence of that. What I see is plenty of evidence of objective truth and constant universe. I don't believe that makes me obtuse and, from my perspective it makes you (not you personally, but the royal "you" of subjective thinkers) seem unrealistic and foolish.

I know you hate this analogy, but I see this as I say "2 + 2 = 4" and you come back and say "hey, a unicorn!". We are just completely apart in our thinking. That doesn't make one wrong and one right, but it does lend itself to a lot of frustration.

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