When Will Science End?
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17-12-2014, 01:24 PM
RE: When Will Science End?
(16-12-2014 02:13 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  The trillions spent by the medical sciences are all about saving people's lives except that um, uh....

.... nobody has the slightest clue whether we are better off alive or dead. Trillions of science dollars, all based on nothing but a particular brand of faith.

Medicine sounds like it's all about reason and science etc but to a very great degree all the technology and science etc serve just another faith based belief system.

I'm pretty sure I prefer life to death, is it that difficult? Science is based on evidence, faith is not needed when you can make physical measurements that lead to repeatable, falsifiable predictions.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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17-12-2014, 03:24 PM
RE: When Will Science End?
(16-12-2014 07:55 PM)Free Wrote:  Most theists such as yourself do not do well with my previous statement, and tend to avoid it because it is indeed difficult to contend with it.

Please provide the evidence of your assertion that I'm a theist.
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17-12-2014, 03:27 PM
RE: When Will Science End?
(17-12-2014 01:24 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I'm pretty sure I prefer life to death, is it that difficult?

Emotionally, I get it and have no argument.

Intellectually, how can we prefer X to Y if we know nothing at all about Y?
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17-12-2014, 03:29 PM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2014 03:36 PM by tear151.)
RE: When Will Science End?
(17-12-2014 06:24 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
Quote:Seen in that light, statements like "all the evidence points to X" are essentially meaningless.

Quote:No, they identify the best answer we have now. It is ridiculous to not believe anything at all because someday the evidence may be discovered that overturns that belief. If there is strong evidence for a proposition now then it is reasonable to believe that proposition now.

Thanks for your reply.

Ok, let's consider the situation of a 7 year old kid. Compared to the family dog, the kid is very smart and can do many impressive things.

But can a 7 year old kid understand the ultimate nature of all reality? It seems to me a smart 7 year old would say, "I'm not old enough to know that yet" whereas the less smart 7 year old might make up an answer and then argue about it with his friends.

My thesis is that both theists and atheists, to the degree they think they have a meaningful useful answer to such enormous questions, are like the less smart seven year old kid in the example above.

This is not complicated. What lies beyond the observable universe? Scientists simply say, "we don't know yet" and they don't find it necessary to have an answer. They realize we just aren't there yet on that question. Simple.

What makes it not simple is that humans are incredibly socially competitive, and thus many people can't be happy with a simple "I don't know" because then there's no way to be superior to somebody else. And this drive for imaginary superiority is a primary driver of theist vs. atheist debates, and most other human interactions as well.

Quote:Right. Scientists believed that the galaxy was the entire universe base don the evidence that they had. When more evidence was found the belief was revised to be in accord with that evidence. That seems to be a sensible approach to take for most things. You have to go with what you know and understand.

Right, we don't say, "we have no evidence for those billions of other galaxies, therefore they don't exist".

Instead we say, "we don't know if there are more galaxies than one or not".

Quote:And, in general, atheists aren't answering the question of the ultimate nature of EVERYTHING. We are looking at specific claims being made by theists about the existence of specific gods that have undertaken specific actions. Those claims do not have sufficient evidence now to be accepted now. If new evidence is discovered then the belief may change like it did for the universe.

Atheists are making a counter claim, though many or most don't realize it.

Atheists are claiming human reason is qualified to come to some meaningful theory or conclusion regarding issues the scale of the God question.

I decline to accept this huge claim for the same reason I decline to believe in Bible stories. Not enough credible evidence to support the claims of either atheists or theists.
Quote:To claim we can't say anything useful is just wrong. We may not be able to say things with 100% certainty but we can be pretty close; certainly past the 'useful' mark.

Reason is indeed very useful for very many things. But then so is religion.

But being useful for many things does not automatically qualify reason or holy books to be useful for EVERYTHING. If reason or holy books are to be declared useful and authoritative for questions of this huge scale, that has to be proven first, we can't just take it as an obvious given.

Quote:Religion, on the other hand, can't say anything about death or god that can be shown to have any value at all.

If the theories of religion had no value at all, they would have been discarded thousands of years ago. Clearly they have a value to billions of human beings, but that doesn't mean the theories are therefore correct.

Quote:In my thesis your thesis completely misses the point.

Ok then, no problem, so go for it. Sell me your "religion".

Prove to me that human reason can deliver meaningful answers about the ultimate nature of everything.

And don't forget please, we currently don't even know what the word "everything" refers to.

Please explain how we can know what does or doesn't lie at the heart of something we can't even begin to define.

Go for it!

Let's start from the beginning shall we

1. Constant awareness of the following things

- Sense impressions
- Self
- thoughts
- A memory that we cannot assume reliability of, but seems to mostly be consistent with the present and what we are constantly aware of

We know these things exist because we are always directly aware of them

2. inductive reasoning giving incredibly likely explanations for things

- I don't seem to control these sense impressions, there seems to be some external source for them, this external source seems to have the thing that causes what I'm constantly aware of inside it, the longer it goes on that I seem to lack meaningful control of these sense impressions unless I have reason to suggest I was hallucinating since it appeared what happened in this sense impression world has affected me

- The laws of this external world appear to be constant, we cannot be sure of this, but in our current frame of reference it is so, and we no ability to infer anything outside of what we are aware of since by definition we are not aware of it. For example, this gives us a lesser kind of truth or the "Inductive truth".

For example

"I saw 10 white swans"

therefore "I cannot be sure all swans are white, but within my current frame of reference they have all been white, thus if I must make a conclusion, I will go on the assumption all swans are white until I see a contradiction"

These truths exist in the context of what we know, these are the truths science is based off, we believe them because they conform the the world and are yet to be disproven.

"A witty quote means nothing"
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17-12-2014, 03:29 PM
RE: When Will Science End?
(17-12-2014 12:09 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  So. You. A theist.

Evidence to back up your assertion please.

Quote:Posting prolifically on a forum called "The Thinking Atheist"...

Ok, this we have evidence for. :-) And you ain't seen nothing yet. :-)
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17-12-2014, 03:30 PM
RE: When Will Science End?
(17-12-2014 03:27 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(17-12-2014 01:24 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I'm pretty sure I prefer life to death, is it that difficult?

Emotionally, I get it and have no argument.

Intellectually, how can we prefer X to Y if we know nothing at all about Y?

Why do you need one? If people are emotional and arbitrary and there is no objective meaning to life? Why do you need to justify any of your preferences, if you're going to deny the framework used for justifying actions the actions and preferences don't need to be justified other than simply what you emotionally prefer.

If you do suppose an objective meaning... use that.

"A witty quote means nothing"
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17-12-2014, 03:42 PM
RE: When Will Science End?
(17-12-2014 06:57 AM)unfogged Wrote:  What I have said is that reason has proven to be the best tool we have for finding answers about claims of fact.

It's indisputable that reason is very useful for very many things for very many people. I'm sure we agree there. But again, the same thing can be said of holy books.

If someone wishes to claim that holy books are a qualified authority on the subject of gods, they have to prove it. They can't just assert it and then we are required to agree, right?

The very same test applies to the question of whether human reason is a qualified authority on the subject of gods. Here too, the qualifications of reason for this particular investigation have to be proven, asserting such qualifications isn't enough.

All I'm doing is applying the very same challenge we reasonably apply to holy books to reason as well. You might say I am faithfully applying atheistic procedures to atheism itself.

If we accept your statement that reason is the best tool we have, that tells us nothing about whether reason is useful on the subject of gods.

Quote:Reason doesn't tell me that there is no god, it tells me that the claims made regarding Yahweh and Allah and Buddha and others can be rejected as unproven.

You're on the right track, just keep going. Now apply the same challenge you reasonably apply to Yahweh and Allah and Buddha to reason itself.

Quote:The fact that we don't know everything in no way means that we don't know anything.

We aren't discussing "anything" here, but the question of what does or doesn't lie at the heart of all reality.

ANYBODY who makes a claim that they are in a position to know what does or doesn't lie at the heart of all reality has to prove they are in that position. Theist, atheist, it makes no difference.
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17-12-2014, 03:53 PM
RE: When Will Science End?
(17-12-2014 08:01 AM)Chas Wrote:  My stating that theists can't possibly know the answers either is not claiming to know what lies at the heart of anything.

It appears you are claiming to know what DOESN'T lie at the heart of all reality. That's a claim too, and so requires evidence to support it just like any other claim.

You very reasonably challenge theists to prove their assertions, a process I agree with and support. I'm just applying that very same process we both agree on to atheism as well.

The person who says "I don't know" bears no burden. Anybody who moves beyond "I don't know" to some other position bears the burden of providing evidence to support whatever their position is.
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17-12-2014, 04:05 PM
RE: When Will Science End?
(17-12-2014 03:53 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(17-12-2014 08:01 AM)Chas Wrote:  My stating that theists can't possibly know the answers either is not claiming to know what lies at the heart of anything.

It appears you are claiming to know what DOESN'T lie at the heart of all reality. That's a claim too, and so requires evidence to support it just like any other claim.

You very reasonably challenge theists to prove their assertions, a process I agree with and support. I'm just applying that very same process we both agree on to atheism as well.

The person who says "I don't know" bears no burden. Anybody who moves beyond "I don't know" to some other position bears the burden of providing evidence to support whatever their position is.

Apply every single argument you've made about God's to space pixies, allah, and the possibility that when your not looking the entire world is made of cheese.

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17-12-2014, 04:14 PM
RE: When Will Science End?
(17-12-2014 03:53 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(17-12-2014 08:01 AM)Chas Wrote:  My stating that theists can't possibly know the answers either is not claiming to know what lies at the heart of anything.

It appears you are claiming to know what DOESN'T lie at the heart of all reality. That's a claim too, and so requires evidence to support it just like any other claim.

You very reasonably challenge theists to prove their assertions, a process I agree with and support. I'm just applying that very same process we both agree on to atheism as well.

The person who says "I don't know" bears no burden. Anybody who moves beyond "I don't know" to some other position bears the burden of providing evidence to support whatever their position is.

Why does this type of misunderstanding always appear here in arguments? Saying I don't blank... doesn't mean I do opposite of blank. It's a status of neither.

In no context for a sensible person does, I don't know what lies there. Mean I know what DOESN'T lie there... It's an illogical unstated leap to conclude it. If you want to discuss thing with people that way, you'll be disregarded very quickly.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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