Understanding and Truth
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08-03-2015, 08:46 AM
RE: Understanding and Truth
(08-03-2015 06:58 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(07-03-2015 08:59 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think what's meant here by evidence and logic, is the sort that's passes the muster of being scientifically vigorous. The sort of stuff we're dependent on when making observations about the external world around us, or in regards to our biological components. Aspects that break down into a sort of systematizing fashion.

So let's broaden the "hammer" from science to critical thinking. That is: Considering new claims or new evidence for claims on their merits, being ready to accept or reject claims on their evidence rather than relying on the filter of on one's own prior beliefs, and being ready to discard prior beliefs in favour of better explanations.

Do you have a pathway to truth that is inconsistent with that model? Would you describe your mechanism?


I can agree to the idea of critical thinking, but I wouldn't consider it to be synonmous with the scientific method which involves a more stringent set of criteria. I can in essence think critical about a novel, in regards to the authors meanings and intent in a particular passage, but I wouldn't consider this applying the scientific method.

And I do seem to be in somewhat agreement with you in regards to better explanations. But what I find to be the case when talking with my opponents, it's not they're offering better explanations, but more often than not, appeal to "no explanation is to be derived" attitude. Particular when we come to an impasse, when we're no longer able to infer something based on hard, tangible facts, but based on the perceived motives and intentions of others.

In some sense, in this situation they're often expressing their own limits, particularly in regards to intentions and motives of the religious communities and people of the ancient world. For them these people are so other, so unrelatable, so unlike them, that their desires and motives appear like a mysterious cloud over their head. Since they can't offer an explanation, they often assert than no one can. That their inability to relate, means than no one can.
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08-03-2015, 08:55 AM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2015 08:59 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Understanding and Truth
(08-03-2015 08:19 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(07-03-2015 09:05 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Obviously I find that incoherent and disappointing and also realise my failure to empathise with that way of thinking.

It is a redundant epistemology belonging to the childhood of our species.

Fortunately, we are growing out of it. Too slowly but it's happening.

Unsure

I think you should empathize.

While I'm not ashamed to admit the role and confidence I have in viewing the world through my own subjective experiences and observations, in reality pretty much everyone does the same thing, whether they acknowledge this or not. The only times in which atheists have a real problem with this, when the conclusion being drawn doesn't align to an ontological naturalism, or in those cases where those conclusions are an affront to any established science.

This is particularly the case when dealing with the human domain rather than observation regarding the external world. Atheists views on religions are often shaped to a large extent by their own personal experiences with religion. A person who had a very bad experience with religion tends to see it more negatively than one who might not have had a bad experience, who might have rejected religion, but whose own experiences might have been positive in most respects.

We're sort of dependent on our "theory of mind", for human understanding. Since we're limited in observing other minds directly, we do so through introspection of our own mind, of our own thoughts and desires, the collection of our experiences, that we use to decipher the emotions, purposes, and actions of others.

Your agreement with the view that, "religions were a premodern attempt to explain natural phenomenons, as a sort of precussor to scientific curiosity, but appeased by crude explanations", is one that you derive by perceiving your own particular curiosities and inferring that they were present in these early individuals, expressed in their religious beliefs.

I have a different set of curiosities, which I also associate as operating in these early individuals serving as the basis for why religions arose, and I think mines are more faithful to that early picture, conveying a larger explanatory scope than one's you attempt to associate with them. It's not that we're operating on two different undefined methodologies here, but rather quite similar ones. Neither of us can really appeal to human biology, or the hard sciences in regards to these observations for support, because they're fairly limited in this regard, and may always be to some extinct. I would just hold your own experiences are more limited than mine in regard to the question of religion, and therefore you're not able to draw the same conclusions.

It's tempting to do a line-by-line deconstruction of this but it's getting late here and I'm not in the mood.

So, in brief...
Yes, we have evolved into beings that simulator applications on our neck-tops.

Simulation of self and simulation of other selves and simulation of future. All very useful in the 'middle', Newtonian world.

I am not going to generalise about all atheists as you have done because I cannot speak for them but I can speak for myself (sample size of one).

I count myself lucky that my software is relatively virus-free in that my ELS-protectors (early life support) uploaded the critical-thinking apps before I was exposed to indoctrination-programming.

I also have an app that reminds that me, on a continuous (real-time) basis that my simulator software might be flawed and is in constant need of upgrades.

Again, I am fortunate to have a lifestyle that enables this ... travel most surely broadens the mind as do the fellow travelers here on TTA. You included.

I am not closed to alternative curiosities that our ancestors may have had. I am guided by archaeology and anthropology etc. to draw my conclusions.

I'd say that our (yours and mine) experiences are both limited by culture / opportunity etc. and I have no way of judging whether my "own experiences are more limited than [yours] in regard to the question of religion". I don't know how you can know that either as you do not have access to my programming.

So, I guess it would help me if you could expand on this. In what ways / to what extent (I assume you meant extent, not, extinct) precisely are your thinking tools superior to mine?

Cheers.

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08-03-2015, 11:21 AM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2015 11:24 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Understanding and Truth
(08-03-2015 08:55 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I’d say that our (yours and mine) experiences are both limited by culture / opportunity etc. and I have no way of judging whether my "own experiences are more limited than [yours] in regard to the question of religion". I don't know how you can know that either as you do not have access to my programming.

So, I guess it would help me if you could expand on this. In what ways / to what extent (I assume you meant extent, not, extinct) precisely are your thinking tools superior to mine?

Cheers.

I was using you more analogously, as sort of stand in for the general themes and views I come across often among unbelievers online. I think our actual conversations have been too limited to say much about your views directly.

But, if we both hold competing views in regards to how religion arose, and the sort of questions and desires it was attempting to address, then only one of us could be right. And if I am to think critically as to why I am right, it would entail a surmising as to what led those to hold a competing perspective to be wrong. The shoe could just as easily be on my foot, if my assessment was wrong. That I was wrong for much of the same reasons, that I assumed that you were wrong.

If i were to see your views on religion as correct, and mines as being inaccurate. I would have to sort of concede that your knowledge of the relevant anthropology and archaeology were more comprehensive than the one I was operating on. I would have to concede that you own particular grasp of human desires, intents, and purposes was more complete than mine. That you were better attuned to your own desires and motivations, in order to perceive how those desires and motivations operate on others. That you were better able to recognize which are unique to a particular place and time, and universal to all places and time. I would have to concede that you were better able to empathize, to relate, and understand the inner dimensions of these early religious communities and people, and their sacred writings that served as expressions of this.
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08-03-2015, 11:42 AM
RE: Understanding and Truth
(08-03-2015 11:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
If i were to see your views on religion as correct, and mines as being inaccurate. I would have to sort of concede that your knowledge of the relevant anthropology and archaeology were more comprehensive than the one I was operating on. I would have to concede that you own particular grasp of human desires, intents, and purposes was more complete than mine. That you were better attuned to your own desires and motivations, in order to perceive how those desires and motivations operate on others. That you were better able to recognize which are unique to a particular place and time, and universal to all places and time. I would have to concede that you were better able to empathize, to relate, and understand the inner dimensions of these early religious communities and people, and their sacred writings that served as expressions of this.

Quite so. I thought you'd see it my way in the end. Big Grin

All good, except for the 'empathy' bit... I'm too much of an Aspie to be able to claim more empathy than anyone except perhaps my ex-wife.

Wink

Big Grin

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08-03-2015, 01:07 PM
RE: Understanding and Truth
Trying to convince a theist about THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION on text, online is like a French talking Japanese to a dog. All their thinking of is "I wonder where the bone is". Take the theistic ideas for what it is "great comedy and entertainment" however there's a chance that we might get killed.
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08-03-2015, 04:00 PM
RE: Understanding and Truth
(06-03-2015 02:25 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  
(05-03-2015 08:36 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  So you would say it's more a matter of differing values, than misunderstandings? That it's more a matter of believers valuing concepts such as faith, and unbelievers valuing evidence and rationality that leads to these differing perspectives?

A theist in your view may just as well be able to see the values that you hold, and perhaps even how you conceive the world as a result of holding these values, understanding your perspectives as result. But it would require that he accepts your values in order to be an unbeliever of the same cloth?

I think it is definitely a matter of differing values, but they are not as different or foreign as they might seem. Theists use evidence and rationality all the time in all areas of their lives. They simply make exceptions when it comes to religion. I think its important to recognize that everyone values evidence and rationality, but not everyone is 100% consistent in their application, not even Atheists. Gullibility and irrationality are human problems, not exclusively theistic ones.

It might be true that a full understanding of why Atheists reject faith will cause the person seeking understanding to follow suit, if they are convinced. I think this is because the arguments are sound and effective, but again, I wouldn't want anyone to take my word for it.
So true. To take it one step further, theists believe they value evidence when choosing theism. The problem is it's all anecdotal and not falsifiable. They point to personal experience, testimonials, etc. This is where lack of intelligence and education comes into play. The inability to distinguish evidence from delusional anecdote.
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