Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
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18-11-2016, 02:18 PM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(18-11-2016 02:02 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(18-11-2016 01:38 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Its called empirical evidence, its what real scientists with real proof use to gain their theories. Theories that we later accept on mere words and consensus.

I'm humbled that you would compare me to KerimF him and I do share some similar beliefs.

I did compare you with Kerim, exactly because you have this really stupid common way of thinking. My intention was not to insult you but to point out how silly that particular argument actually is. I hope i have shaken you a bit (since i am confident you know exactly how silly his argument is when he brings it forth) and you may question your belief regarding this. But maybe i am wrong and you dont.

Interestingly, now you are talking about empirical evidence, scientists and (scientific) theories as if you exactly knew what you are talking about, yet in yur previous posts you made the equivocation of comparing "faith" in scientifically gained knowledge with "faith" in silly assertions taken from a set of weird scrptures.

I am really (still) puzzled about you. You seem educated and intelligent enough to argue non-trivia, yet you are -at times- bringing forth arguments i would only attribute to someone very stupid or ignorant. You are even doubling down on it as can be seen here.
Quote:How would you define empirical evidence then if not based on experience?


I am still trying to figure you out.

I like to see arguments from both sides of the spectrum, earlier I made a comment about how there are over several billion ways to reason in this world. Currently I am trying to figure best how to reason with different groups of people, particularly right now with atheists. I haven't tried anything like this for many years. So I am a little bit rusty.

I suppose you could say, I am trying to be on everyone's level.
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18-11-2016, 02:21 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2016 02:24 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
I'm trying very hard to stay out of this one, but I have to say this:

Science, as a body of knowledge, works largely on consensus, true. But the Scientific Method does not. It works on demonstration of falsifiable principles, which are in endless competition to be torn down by rivals, if possible.

As such, we have some ideas which are really well-established, having survived decades or centuries of such analysis without anyone finding a way to disagree. Others have not cleared the hurdle, and we hold them true only to the degree of confidence that can be supported by the evidence-- especially when those competing groups have alternative ways to explain the evidence, and the tests can't (for whatever reason) demonstrate that one explanation or the other is false. I recently listed the "trees down" versus "ground up" versions of how birds developed flight from their theropod ancestors. There's no serious doubt anymore about the fact that it happened among that group, so we have a pretty good concensus built with which no one really argues, anymore... but the mechanics of the transition still are open to interpretation and thus are not held as articles of faith. (So to speak.)

And here's the kicker:

Though most people out there don't know evolutionary biology as well as I do, and must therefore listen to experts on the subject, they may nevertheless listen with a high degree of confidence to the reports of biologists because they understand why the Scientific Method weeds out bad ideas, leaving only the good ones that we can rely upon. More importantly, there's nothing special or esoteric about science, no governing body of dogmas or ecclesiastical body to determine what is The Official Truth™, and anyone can learn this stuff at any time, in order to demonstrate for themselves that it is as factual as claimed by the experts they had previously had to trust.

Sitasky or EK or any of you could decide to walk into a college classroom, starting tomorrow, to sit in the back and learn all of this, if you wished. So can anyone. There are no revelations, no secrets, and no esoteric insights that must be believed first and only then understood-- science demands we all question at all times, and learn for ourselves how to demonstrate our ideas so that they stand up against competitive scrutiny and can then be deemed trustworthy.

I can't believe anyone could compare the above to a religion. To meet the equivalent degree of proof that science must meet, then you would have to get all of the denominations of Christian, all the Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Shintoists (and so on) to all publish their ideas about God, demonstrate why that is or is not true with evidence that can be examined and re-tested by every other clergyman on the planet (and any layperson who wants to dabble) in order to yield identical results. They would all have to come to a consensus on the details about God, and clearly spell out which areas are well-demonstrated and which are still up for debate. And they must immediately tear down any idea that is demonstrated to be false or which does not yield repeatable test results.

It is an astounding degree of douchebaggery to try to equate the two kinds of trust (you use the word "faith" for both) in even the most indirect way, let alone the direct comparison you have made.

Stop it. When religion even begins to approach the methodology that is so rigorously practiced and enforced by scientists, I might forgive such an equivocation. Until then, it's just plain douchey.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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18-11-2016, 02:31 PM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(18-11-2016 01:38 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Pretty much you both rely on eye witness testimony.

No. One is relying on testable repeatable evidence. Eye witness testimony is the least reliable evidence. You are being extremely dishonest with your word games.

(18-11-2016 01:38 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  I know how they're different, but you just admitted it yourself, they're belief structures, thus they may be different, but they are equivalent.

You are saying that a belief system based on empirical evidence is the same as a belief system based on faith. This proves that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

(18-11-2016 01:38 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  How would you define empirical evidence then if not based on experience?

Do you think that would hold up in a court of law? If the Plaintiff accused the defendant of a crime but all he had to back up his claim was pure conjecture?

You just said above that they were the same.

You said above that faith and empirical evidence were the same.


(18-11-2016 01:38 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  am I being obtuse in my explanation or are you being obtuse in your understanding?

You are being deliberately dishonest. People like you give debate and discussion a bad name.

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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18-11-2016, 02:35 PM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
Come to think of it, I think this needs to be imported from the "Laugh at Religion" thread. Sorry to steal your thunder, Captain Congo.

[Image: 2pyx2c4.jpg]

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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18-11-2016, 02:41 PM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(18-11-2016 02:18 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  
(18-11-2016 02:02 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  I did compare you with Kerim, exactly because you have this really stupid common way of thinking. My intention was not to insult you but to point out how silly that particular argument actually is. I hope i have shaken you a bit (since i am confident you know exactly how silly his argument is when he brings it forth) and you may question your belief regarding this. But maybe i am wrong and you dont.

Interestingly, now you are talking about empirical evidence, scientists and (scientific) theories as if you exactly knew what you are talking about, yet in yur previous posts you made the equivocation of comparing "faith" in scientifically gained knowledge with "faith" in silly assertions taken from a set of weird scrptures.

I am really (still) puzzled about you. You seem educated and intelligent enough to argue non-trivia, yet you are -at times- bringing forth arguments i would only attribute to someone very stupid or ignorant. You are even doubling down on it as can be seen here.


I am still trying to figure you out.

I like to see arguments from both sides of the spectrum, earlier I made a comment about how there are over several billion ways to reason in this world. Currently I am trying to figure best how to reason with different groups of people, particularly right now with atheists. I haven't tried anything like this for many years. So I am a little bit rusty.

I suppose you could say, I am trying to be on everyone's level.

Trying to put yourself into your "opponents" (as in "the other one you are just dealing with") shoes is a wise thing. I am doing this all the time in my job. Before i judge others and their actions i always am trying to understand where they are coming from, why and how they arrived where they arrived (while many of my colleagues dont bother with this).
However, its one thing to understand your "opponent" and his reasons and motivations, and its another thing to understand which of his reasons are demonstrably irrational or which of his facts are simply, demonstrably, wrong.

When a religious person talks about "faith" and "evidence" and many other terms used in a conversation with him, then its one thing to understand that he means "personal experience is my evidence, and, sorry, i cant present it to you but only *witness* and you have to take that on faith" and another thing to know that he is demonstrably wrong with his interpretation of "evidence".

You currently seem not to be able or willing to differentiate between what a christian thinks good (rational) reasoning is and what a demonstrably rational reasoning is (both of which may sometimes overlap, sometimes not at all), as can be seen by the excellent comparison of you with a YEC regarding fossilisation.

So i may ask again to avoid any possible misunderstandings. You did (and this can be demonstrated by just reading this forum!) claim that knowledge cant be gained other than by personal experience (just like KerimF), otherwise one would have *faith* which you (falsly) equivocated with (blind) faith of a believer. There is no ambiguity about this, so please dont start to backpedal from this. My question is: Do you still stick to that claim several pages later?

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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18-11-2016, 02:48 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2016 03:07 PM by Celestial_Wonder.)
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(18-11-2016 02:21 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I'm trying very hard to stay out of this one, but I have to say this:

Science, as a body of knowledge, works largely on consensus, true. But the Scientific Method does not. It works on demonstration of falsifiable principles, which are in endless competition to be torn down by rivals, if possible.

As such, we have some ideas which are really well-established, having survived decades or centuries of such analysis without anyone finding a way to disagree. Others have not cleared the hurdle, and we hold them true only to the degree of confidence that can be supported by the evidence-- especially when those competing groups have alternative ways to explain the evidence, and the tests can't (for whatever reason) demonstrate that one explanation or the other is false. I recently listed the "trees down" versus "ground up" versions of how birds developed flight from their theropod ancestors. There's no serious doubt anymore about the fact that it happened among that group, so we have a pretty good concensus built with which no one really argues, anymore... but the mechanics of the transition still are open to interpretation and thus are not held as articles of faith. (So to speak.)

And here's the kicker:

Though most people out there don't know evolutionary biology as well as I do, and must therefore listen to experts on the subject, they may nevertheless listen with a high degree of confidence to the reports of biologists because they understand why the Scientific Method weeds out bad ideas, leaving only the good ones that we can rely upon. More importantly, there's nothing special or esoteric about science, no governing body of dogmas or ecclesiastical body to determine what is The Official Truth™, and anyone can learn this stuff at any time, in order to demonstrate for themselves that it is as factual as claimed by the experts they had previously had to trust.

Sitasky or EK or any of you could decide to walk into a college classroom, starting tomorrow, to sit in the back and learn all of this, if you wished. So can anyone. There are no revelations, no secrets, and no esoteric insights that must be believed first and only then understood-- science demands we all question at all times, and learn for ourselves how to demonstrate our ideas so that they stand up against competitive scrutiny and can then be deemed trustworthy.

I can't believe anyone could compare the above to a religion. To meet the equivalent degree of proof that science must meet, then you would have to get all of the denominations of Christian, all the Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Shintoists (and so on) to all publish their ideas about God, demonstrate why that is or is not true with evidence that can be examined and re-tested by every other clergyman on the planet (and any layperson who wants to dabble) in order to yield identical results. They would all have to come to a consensus on the details about God, and clearly spell out which areas are well-demonstrated and which are still up for debate. And they must immediately tear down any idea that is demonstrated to be false or which does not yield repeatable test results.

It is an astounding degree of douchebaggery to try to equate the two kinds of trust (you use the word "faith" for both) in even the most indirect way, let alone the direct comparison you have made.

Stop it. When religion even begins to approach the methodology that is so rigorously practiced and enforced by scientists, I might forgive such an equivocation. Until then, it's just plain douchey.

I am not doubting the methodology only making a comparison in the way the adherents (the common people) of these two processes go about accepting information.

later on, to discover if I was being equivocal or not, I decided to try and see things from evolution's perspective so I used how he might define faith 'the belief without proof' since then I have been trying to convince him that he believes without proof.

And while it is true that any of us could go to college get a degree, and go on to observe the reality we've come to know and draw their conclusions.

Its a matter of how many people actually do that.

I don't think that is my problem here though.

I believe my problem is that religion and faith are the equivalent of the devil to many atheists. So in essence I think what I've been doing is essentially telling Christians that they worship the devil. I wouldn't expect results from the latter so why should I then expect results from the former if it holds true? I will try and adjust my vocabulary accordingly.

(18-11-2016 02:31 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(18-11-2016 01:38 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Pretty much you both rely on eye witness testimony.

No. One is relying on testable repeatable evidence. Eye witness testimony is the least reliable evidence. You are being extremely dishonest with your word games.

(18-11-2016 01:38 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  I know how they're different, but you just admitted it yourself, they're belief structures, thus they may be different, but they are equivalent.

You are saying that a belief system based on empirical evidence is the same as a belief system based on faith. This proves that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

(18-11-2016 01:38 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  How would you define empirical evidence then if not based on experience?

Do you think that would hold up in a court of law? If the Plaintiff accused the defendant of a crime but all he had to back up his claim was pure conjecture?

You just said above that they were the same.

You said above that faith and empirical evidence were the same.


(18-11-2016 01:38 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  am I being obtuse in my explanation or are you being obtuse in your understanding?

You are being deliberately dishonest. People like you give debate and discussion a bad name.

You accuse me of being dishonest yet you claim that I claimed faith and empirical evidence were the same?

(18-11-2016 02:41 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(18-11-2016 02:18 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  I like to see arguments from both sides of the spectrum, earlier I made a comment about how there are over several billion ways to reason in this world. Currently I am trying to figure best how to reason with different groups of people, particularly right now with atheists. I haven't tried anything like this for many years. So I am a little bit rusty.

I suppose you could say, I am trying to be on everyone's level.

Trying to put yourself into your "opponents" (as in "the other one you are just dealing with") shoes is a wise thing. I am doing this all the time in my job. Before i judge others and their actions i always am trying to understand where they are coming from, why and how they arrived where they arrived (while many of my colleagues dont bother with this).
However, its one thing to understand your "opponent" and his reasons and motivations, and its another thing to understand which of his reasons are demonstrably irrational or which of his facts are simply, demonstrably, wrong.

When a religious person talks about "faith" and "evidence" and many other terms used in a conversation with him, then its one thing to understand that he means "personal experience is my evidence, and, sorry, i cant present it to you but only *witness* and you have to take that on faith" and another thing to know that he is demonstrably wrong with his interpretation of "evidence".

You currently seem not to be able or willing to differentiate between what a christian thinks good (rational) reasoning is and what a demonstrably rational reasoning is (both of which may sometimes overlap, sometimes not at all), as can be seen by the excellent comparison of you with a YEC regarding fossilisation.

So i may ask again to avoid any possible misunderstandings. You did (and this can be demonstrated by just reading this forum!) claim that knowledge cant be gained other than by personal experience (just like KerimF), otherwise one would have *faith* which you (falsly) equivocated with (blind) faith of a believer. There is no ambiguity about this, so please dont start to backpedal from this. My question is: Do you still stick to that claim several pages later?

True knowledge can not be gained except by empirical evidence, which that knowledge is passed down to us in books, this would be considered second hand knowledge much in the same way that we might be given clothes passed down to us by our older siblings who outgrew them. There is also the knowledge which can be gained by philosophy. Indeed there are many types of knowledge. But the one that science uses is what comes from empirical evidence, and that is something that many of us will not be able to come to know first hand on the level that they have (universal) but we can use come to know it for smaller, and easier to prove theories.

I think the main problem is not that I am unable to differentiate the rationale of a christian to a scientific rationale but that I am unable to believe that a christian is being irrational for their beliefs. I do not believe they have blind faith, and so that is not the faith I am talking about, but it is the faith that is being regarded by others here. I don't stick to that claim because that is not what I claimed, because we view the faith of Christians differently, but that is what you perceived I claimed. Where as you perceived the faith of Christians to be blind I did not.
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18-11-2016, 03:25 PM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(18-11-2016 02:48 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  You accuse me of being dishonest yet you claim that I claimed faith and empirical evidence were the same?


Quote:We all operate on faith.
#1 I can't prove it but I know in my heart, that science/scientists would never lie to me.
#2 I can't prove it but I know in my heart, that god exists.

#1 You kind of dishonestly claimed that the OP would uncritically believe any scientist and thus claimed (equivocated) that trusting in a scientists findings is faith, while, in fact it is possible to verify his findings because he will have his measurements, calculations, findings published and documented and finally peer reviewed by competing scientits, for everyone to repeat them if he wants/needs to.

#2 you gave a (correct) definition of *faith* of a religious person

So, yes, you did, and you would be dishonest not to admit to it, since its demonstrated on this forum. I dont have faith in this claim of mine but a very well founded expectation based on evidence and everybody can go back and read for himself. So, no others dont need to take my claim on faith and i dont expect them to.

We have another regular poster here who shares a trait with you. His name is Tomasia and he too loves to play dishonest word games. I am still puzzled as to why someone like this is not bothered by the fact that his dishonesty is clearly demonstrated and visible all over this forum. But it seems we have over seven billion different limits of where we start to feel ashamed of ourselves.

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18-11-2016, 03:49 PM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(18-11-2016 03:25 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(18-11-2016 02:48 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  You accuse me of being dishonest yet you claim that I claimed faith and empirical evidence were the same?


Quote:We all operate on faith.
#1 I can't prove it but I know in my heart, that science/scientists would never lie to me.
#2 I can't prove it but I know in my heart, that god exists.

#1 You kind of dishonestly claimed that the OP would uncritically believe any scientist and thus claimed (equivocated) that trusting in a scientists findings is faith, while, in fact it is possible to verify his findings because he will have his measurements, calculations, findings published and documented and finally peer reviewed by competing scientits, for everyone to repeat them if he wants/needs to.

#2 you gave a (correct) definition of *faith* of a religious person

So, yes, you did, and you would be dishonest not to admit to it, since its demonstrated on this forum. I dont have faith in this claim of mine but a very well founded expectation based on evidence and everybody can go back and read for himself. So, no others dont need to take my claim on faith and i dont expect them to.

We have another regular poster here who shares a trait with you. His name is Tomasia and he too loves to play dishonest word games. I am still puzzled as to why someone like this is not bothered by the fact that his dishonesty is clearly demonstrated and visible all over this forum. But it seems we have over seven billion different limits of where we start to feel ashamed of ourselves.

Would belief be a better word?

Also fatbalhobbit said that I was equating faith the empirical evidence, the only one in your example that would have empirical evidence would be the scientist, while the person in #1 (which I should have reworded better in hindsight) does have the ability to independently test and verify the scientists findings. I made the example to help show how we accept things without proof.

Indeed evolutionkills is right we are forced to do so out of necessity because it is impractical of us to try and verify every little thing out there that we will eventually come to take things 'on another's word' without doing all the hard mathematics and experiments they did.

that is not saying that faith is the same as empirical evidence.
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18-11-2016, 03:51 PM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(18-11-2016 02:48 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  You accuse me of being dishonest yet you claim that I claimed faith and empirical evidence were the same?

Can you not read the quoted post?


(18-11-2016 01:38 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  I know how they're different, but you just admitted it yourself, they're belief structures, thus they may be different, but they are equivalent.

Should I quote it some more?

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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18-11-2016, 03:55 PM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(18-11-2016 03:49 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Also fatbalhobbit said that I was equating faith the empirical evidence, the only one in your example that would have empirical evidence would be the scientist, while the person in #1 (which I should have reworded better in hindsight) does have the ability to independently test and verify the scientists findings. I made the example to help show how we accept things without proof.

Which is a lie. Science is based on empirical evidence. Proof is a poor choice of words. Science does not accept things without evidence. Faith on the other hand...

(18-11-2016 03:49 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  that is not saying that faith is the same as empirical evidence.

You said that faith and science were equivalent belief systems.

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