God vs. ET

  
By:  TᵢG  •  9 months ago  •  243 comments

God vs. ET
At the very end, the argument leaps to a logical equivalence of God and extraterrestrial life in terms of existence.

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Consider the following logic:

  1. There is no direct evidence of extraterrestrial life
  2. It is, however, probable based on our empirical understanding of life and the number of planets suitable to host life, that extraterrestrial life exists somewhere in the universe
  3. It is thus reasonable to assume extraterrestrial life does exist

   If it is reasonable to assume extraterrestrial life exists, then it is reasonable to assume a creator of the universe exists ('God')

What are the problems with this reasoning?

  • Premise 1 is correct.   We have zero evidence -not a shred-  that extraterrestrial life exists.
  • Premise 2 is correct.   Given our empirical and theoretical understanding of the size and variability of the cosmos, it is statistically more likely than not that at least one extraterrestrial life form exists in the universe.
  • Premise 3 is correct.   Given the probability, it is reasonable to assume extraterrestrial life exists.   This is not a fact, it is a reasonable speculation.

The conclusion, however, is a non-sequitur.   The conclusion does not follow from the premises.   At the very end, the argument leaps to a logical equivalence of God and extraterrestrial life in terms of existence.   That is, it hijacks the assertions for extraterrestrial life and -at the last moment- substitutes in 'God'.

To see the flaw, let's look at the premises with 'God' (sentient creator of the universe) properly used instead of extraterrestrial life.

  1. There is no direct evidence of a sentient creator of the universe
  2. It is, however, probable based on our empirical understanding of life and the number of planets suitable to host life, that sentient creator of the universe exists somewhere in the universe
  3. It is thus reasonable to assume a sentient creator of the universe does exist
  • Premise 1 is correct.   We have zero evidence -not a shred-  that a sentient creator of the universe exists
  • Premise 2 blows up.   The empirical factors for determining the likelihood of extraterrestrial life have nothing to do with the likelihood of a sentient creator of the universe.
  • Premise 3 is false because premise 2 is false.

Substituting God for extraterrestrial life equates the most supreme possible entity - the creator of the universe - with a single life form.    Extraterrestrial life could exist as a lowly single-cell organism in a minor planet in a distant galaxy.   That is all it takes for the extraterrestrial logic to work.   Not so with God.

So in simple terms: The likelihood that extraterrestrial life in even the most primitive form exists says nothing about the likelihood that God exists.   One can reasonably assume that extraterrestrial life exists (this is not fact, it is simply an educated guess) and commit resources to explore the cosmos looking for evidence to support this hypothesis.    The God hypothesis, however, is profoundly different and needs its own argument and supporting empirical data.   

Hijacking the extraterrestrial argument is absurd on its face.

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TᵢG
1  author  TᵢG    9 months ago

Logic is good.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1    9 months ago
Logic is good.

Absolutely. It's just a shame so many are logically kaput. 

 
 
 
JBB
1.2  JBB  replied to  TᵢG @1    9 months ago

I would replace the word "Assume" in logic item #3 probably with the word "speculate". The way it is "Assume" would be thus could be interchangeable with the word "Believe". It is my opine that sans proof to assume something exists or to believe in its existance is logocally unsound. Speculation that something probably exists is in my mind quit different than actual belief in said things existance. Didn't I say I would never discuss semantics with you ever again?

By my logic, it is reasonable to speculate about the possible existance of all sorts of krazy things possible things possibly existing in other realms. That does not equate with my assuming extratesticals exist or believing an older man with a long white beard created the entire universe in seven days seven thousand years ago who still today sits in judgement of us all under threat of eternal suffering and damnation in hellfire. Sorry, I know you didn't ask. I must be bored...

 
 
 
Skrekk
1.2.1  Skrekk  replied to  JBB @1.2    9 months ago
Speculation that something probably exists is in my mind quit different than actual belief in said things existance.

Correct.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.2.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  JBB @1.2    9 months ago

A reasonable assumption normally is taken to mean speculation based on decent evidence.  To me, there are facts (truth) and then there are assumptions (hypotheses, speculation, ...).   The quality of an assumption (by any name) is a function of the supporting evidence and logic.

Not sure the semantic nuances make a difference; the logic remains the same.    The words:  "Given the probability, it is reasonable to assume extraterrestrial life exists.   This is not a fact, it is a reasonable speculation." basically express: "there is thus sufficient reason for us to expect that extraterrestrials exist even though we do not know this as a fact"

 
 
 
JBB
1.2.3  JBB  replied to  TᵢG @1.2.2    9 months ago

As I said, "speculate" definitely does not equal "assume"...

I'm not going to argue. They have very different meanings.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.2.4  author  TᵢG  replied to  JBB @1.2.3    9 months ago
I'm not going to argue. They have very different meanings.

You did not and do not have to argue about word choice (unless you want to):

TiG @1.2.2Not sure the semantic nuances make a difference; the logic remains the same

Substitute whatever word you wish in the argument.   As long as that word connotes to likelihood and not fact  the argument remains the same and the critique remains the same.

My point in this article is about the critique itself.   Not the semantic nuances on words such as assume, believe and speculate.

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
1.3  NV-Robin6  replied to  TᵢG @1    8 months ago

Yes, logic is good, TiG! It's the best and the reason humanity and it's consciousness continue to exist and expand.   And it's good to read you again and many of our former NV greats once again. I have missed you guys! I don't have much time yet to be online and frankly, I couldn't stand the nonsense here (or any other forum on the net) for the most part-- but I see if I stick where the brains and logic are, it may be worth it during my slowest work season to participate a bit here and there. I do long for the good ole days when civility was the norm. 

Hope this finds all well with you and hats off to all that I knew along my way as well. I hope  to catch up here soon.

The answer to life, the universe and everything IS 42! ;-)

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.3.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  NV-Robin6 @1.3    8 months ago
I couldn't stand the nonsense here (or any other forum on the net) for the most part-- but I see if I stick where the brains and logic are, it may be worth it during my slowest work season to participate a bit here and there.

The best way to shape a forum to one's liking is to participate.  There are plenty of folks from the older days who, if here, could easily take this site in different interesting directions.    

Also, the technology on NT seems to provide all the goodies many of us were used to (and beyond that in some cases).

Good to read you again Robin!   If you get a chance, I wrote a piece on AI last week:  What (really) Is Artificial Intelligence.     No AI prerequisite knowledge required.

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
1.3.2  NV-Robin6  replied to  TᵢG @1.3.1    8 months ago

HI again TiG, first chance to login since I left you my note. I'll check it out this week for sure and set for tracking right now.  I'll take your advice on the participation as I really do miss our NV guys so very much and would love to reconnect and see if there is that great kinship of like-minded NV intelligentsia thriving here, along side of you, of course. I sure hope so! I recognize a whole bunch and sure hope all is well and tolerable here.

Hello to all my ole NV buddies! Hope to catch up with each and every one of you over the winter when I have some time to participate. :-)

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1    8 months ago
It is, however, probable based on our empirical understanding of life and the number of planets suitable to host life, that extraterrestrial life exists somewhere in the univers Premise 2 is correct. Given our empirical and theoretical understanding of the size and variability of the cosmos, it is statistically more likely than not that at least one extraterrestrial life form exists in the universe.

This is incorrect. Statistically, there is no basis for the likelihood of life anywhere else. There is only one place in the universe known to have life and one cannot build a statistical model from a sample of one. There are no statistics that support a claim that it is more likely there is other life out there than not. 

 
 
 
epistte
1.4.1  epistte  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4    8 months ago
This is incorrect. Statistically, there is no basis for the likelihood of life anywhere else. There is only one place in the universe known to have life and one cannot build a statistical model from a sample of one. There are no statistics that support a claim that it is more likely there is other life out there than not. 

Why would the earth be the only place that life forms in the entire galaxy? What makes this small blue plant in a backer star system so unique that it would be the only place that life would start and flourish? 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.2  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4    8 months ago

Are you seriously suggesting there is little or no possibility of life elsewhere in the universe? Statistically, there is a high probability of life elsewhere in the universe, given the sheer vastness of the universe and the the myriad of conditions on which life can arise, develop, and even thrive. Earth is a perfect model and example of that.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.3  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @1.4.2    8 months ago

Statistically, we are beginning to get an understanding of how many stars have planets. Statistically, we are beginning to understand what kind of planets those are and in what quantity they appear. Statistically, we're getting a feel of how those planets may be distributed within a star system. The reason we are beginning to be able to use statistics in these cases is because we have a sample greater than one in these areas. 

What we are statistically still on ground zero on is how many of them are likely to contain life because we are still stuck at a statistical sample of one concerning that. To say that it is statistically likely based simply on one confirmed planet with life on it isn't actually based on statistics. Doing so is akin to putting one's hand in a box of marbles, pulling out one that is black and stating on that one drawing that all the marbles in the box are likely black. 

Saying that there is likely to be other life out there based on what we know may be a reasoned statement, but it isn't one supported by any statistical model. About as close as one can get is, based on what we've learned of exoplanets so far, we can come up with statistics of how many of the right kind of planets appear in the right orbit around their star (or stars). That doesn't translate to a statistical likelihood of them having life. In order to do that you have to find some of those planets to actually have life on them. At that point one can start actually building a model based on statistics. 

If I am wrong, please show me actual statistics that prove your point. But to answer your question, no, I'm not suggesting there is little or not life out there. The reason I'm commenting on this at all is that religious people are often characterized as non-rational believers who don't base their claims on evidence. Yet statements like "it is statistically likely" are presented as science when they aren't. The belief, at this point, that there is other life out there is only that. A belief. It isn't backed up by evidence, without which one cannot build a statistical model. That is, it's simply a matter of faith. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.4  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4    8 months ago
Statistically, there is no basis for the likelihood of life anywhere else.

Of course there is.  The problem is that you insist upon using a ridiculously simple statistical model.   (Statistics is based on models.   Choice of model is critical.)

Finding life on Earth is the critical factor.  Not because of its number (one observation - not thousands) but because it proves that the physics of the universe can host life.   Once that has been established (and it has been established) the proper model would look at the likelihood that the conditions for life might be elsewhere.   Your model translates a profound data point (the physics of universe can host life) into almost meaningless data - a count (only one planet found thus far hosting life).   And then you argue that this one data point (merely the count) has no statistical power to estimate the likelihood of another data point.   True.   The problem is that your model sucks.   Use a better (more realistic) model.


Consider first this analogy:

The physics of the universe appears to be generally uniform - quantum dynamics and the more visible manifestations in cosmological bodies (direct evidence) suggest that conditions that can arise in our part of the universe could arise in other parts.   As an analogy, imagine a large green field - a large grassy area several square miles subject to the same basic environmental conditions.   You find one mushroom where you happen to be standing.   Given the size (critical factor) of this generally uniform (critical factor) green field it is likely that you will find another mushroom.  Your model simply counts mushrooms and totally ignores other information such as the size and physical conditions of the green field.   So in your model, finding one mushroom does not mean anything.  In my model, the one mushroom is PROOF that a mushroom can grow in this green field and thus it is likely that another mushroom exists elsewhere in this green field.   The larger the field the more potential areas for hosting mushrooms and the more likely one exists.  (I chose mushrooms because they are particular and sporadic - like habitable exoplanets.)

Putting this in cosmological terms, our galaxy has about 400 billions stars (and possibly trillions of planets)  [ NASA ]:

Its [Milky Way] spiraling expanse probably contains about 400 billion stars, our Sun among them. And if each of those stars has not just one planet, but, like ours, a whole system of them, then the number of planets in the galaxy is truly astronomical: We’re already heading into the trillions.

The universe conservatively contains at least 200 billion galaxies [ NASA ]:

This led to an estimate that the observable universe contained about 200 billion galaxies.  The new research shows that this estimate is at least 10 times too low.

200 billion galaxies (conservatively) each with 400 billion stars (Milky way is considered a medium sized galaxy) yields 80 trillion stars.   80 trillion solar systems with the same laws of physics (not identical conditions - same laws) is an incomprehensibly vast green field.   And we have proof that life can indeed be found in this green field (i.e. life exists here).   

We are on a vast green field (80 trillion solar systems) and found a mushroom (life in one solar system).   We have explored the tiniest fraction of this green field (a cup of water out of the entire ocean) so we have just started our search.   You claim that the existence of a mushroom does not yield any information about the likelihood that at least one other mushroom exists on this vast green field.   I say that finding a mushroom is PROOF that the physics of the universe can host life and that when we include other information (the findings of cosmology) there is an incomprehensibly large set of potential hosts.  

This does not mean that there necessarily is life elsewhere only that it is more likely that it exists than not.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.5  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.3    8 months ago
The reason I'm commenting on this at all is that religious people are often characterized as non-rational believers who don't base their claims on evidence. Yet statements like "it is statistically likely" are presented as science when they aren't.

Religious belief is not based on evidence (where evidence = that which supports a scientific theory).  So, to be candid, it is irrational based on the meaning of the word.   Religious belief is based on other human beings making declarations of truth but failing (repeatedly for thousands of years) to establish evidence supporting the declarations.   And, much worse, never addressing the challenges to these declarations based on their contradictions and errors.

I suspect you want to try to bring science down to the level of religion to have a level playing field.   So you offer a contrived model and try to claim that we do not have sufficient information to make any statements whatsoever on the likelihood of life existing somewhere among 80 trillion solar systems.   As if the only thing we know is a mere count of 1 (number of known planets hosting life).    (see @1.4.4)

The belief, at this point, that there is other life out there is only that.

And now you are playing semantic games.   Who has stated a belief that extraterrestrial life actually exists?    We have no hard evidence that extraterrestrial life exists so to believe that it exists is irrational.   But we do have data that suggests extraterrestrial life is likely to exist.  (Does not mean that it does exist.)  The scientific assessment stops there.   To believe in ET would be religious.  That is not how science works.

A belief. It isn't backed up by evidence, without which one cannot build a statistical model. That is, it's simply a matter of faith. 

One cannot simply declare science to be a belief system.   You cannot declare estimates of the likelihood of life to a belief that extraterrestrial life actually exists.   That is intellectually dishonest.    Religious belief (as you tacitly admit) is highly flawed.   I predict that you will continue to be unsuccessful in your attempt to bring science down to the level of religion.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.6  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.4    8 months ago
The problem is that you insist upon using a ridiculously simple statistical model.

Actually, I think I simply use the word as it is defined. Statistics is a branch of mathematics dealing with data collection, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation. You simply cannot build a statistical model on only one point of data. 

Finding life on Earth is the critical factor.

It seems to me that all that does is tell us life is possible. The more critical factor concerning what we are talking about is to find life elsewhere. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.7  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.5    8 months ago
I suspect you want to try to bring science down to the level of religion to have a level playing field.

Incorrect. Science doesn't concern God. Cannot deal with the issue. There is no way to make the fields relate. I wouldn't even try. 

Who has stated a belief that extraterrestrial life actually exists?

Irrelevant question. My statements concerned the accuracy of the statement that it is statistically more likely than not that at least one extraterrestrial life form exists. There is no statistical evidence to support this and is actually a statement of faith than statistics. If you believe that wrong, I ask you to present those statistics.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.8  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.6    8 months ago
It seems to me that all that does is tell us life is possible.

Yes.  That is indeed what it does.

The more critical factor concerning what we are talking about is to find life elsewhere. 

Yes.   We know that life is possible given the laws in place in our universe.   So we know that a mushroom can exist in our green field.   So we ask ourselves, how much of our green field have we seen?   The answer is that we have seen about 1 glass of water in an ocean.   Given the size of our green field, the amount that we have seen, coupled with the knowledge that our green field can indeed host mushrooms, how would you bet?:

If we searched the entire green field, would we:

  • never find another mushroom?
  • find at least one mushroom?

Place your bets.   Nobody knows the answer.   A smart better would consider everything we know and draw a conclusion.   And we know considerably more than "we have only found one planet hosting life".   Considerably more!

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.9  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.7    8 months ago
Incorrect. Science doesn't concern God. Cannot deal with the issue. There is no way to make the fields relate. I wouldn't even try. 

You misread my comment.   I was referring to your attempt to attribute to science the most profound weakness of religion - belief sans evidence.  

Irrelevant question.

LOL 

It is very relevant question given you made a point that people criticize religious views based on the belief foundation and that you wanted to show that 'science minded' people operate on belief too.   Your brought this up, not me:

Drak @1.4.3The reason I'm commenting on this at all is that religious people are often characterized as non-rational believers who don't base their claims on evidence. Yet statements like "it is statistically likely" are presented as science when they aren't. The belief, at this point, that there is other life out there is only that. A belief. It isn't backed up by evidence, without which one cannot build a statistical model. That is, it's simply a matter of faith. 
 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.10  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.8    8 months ago

All you offer is reasoning, not any statistical evidence. When do I get to see that? 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.11  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.9    8 months ago
You misread my comment. I was referring to your attempt to attribute to science the most profound weakness of religion - belief sans evidence.

No, I did not misread. You claim statistical evidence when there is none. At least you have yet to provide any. Therefore, your "statistical" evidence is much more related to faith than actual science. In fact, nearly your whole view as to what constitutes reality is a position of faith. Faith that materialism is all that there is and the only valid method in determining reality. It is a hermetically sealed room from the inside. A constant demand that the supernatural be explained in terms of the natural, an oxymoron. You claim that it isn't impossible that the supernatural exists but at the same time demand that it be explained in the terms of the natural. I would suggest you look up the definition of supernatural. Perhaps then you may understand how illogical it is to do so. 

You dismiss belief as invalid because there is no scientific evidence. At the same time you claim that it is statistically more likely than not that there is other life out there when no such statistics exist. Since I don't believe you intended to lie, I can only assume that whatever you're looking at convinces you that life elsewhere is likely. Since it isn't based on evidence, it must be based on faith. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.12  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.8    8 months ago
Yes.   We know that life is possible given the laws in place in our universe. 

I don't think the laws we have defined as existing have anything to say about the possibility of life. We can say that life as we know it could not exist without those laws being what they are but there's nothing in those laws that suggest that life must, or is likely,  happen. That is, there's noting about the law of gravity or Newton's second law that says, because it is thus, life is inevitable. We know life is possible simply because it exists on our planet, not because of any laws we currently know about. 

Yes. We know that life is possible given the laws in place in our universe. So we know that a mushroom can exist in our green field. So we ask ourselves, how much of our green field have we seen? The answer is that we have seen about 1 glass of water in an ocean. Given the size of our green field, the amount that we have seen, coupled with the knowledge that our green field can indeed host mushrooms, how would you bet?:

You are attempting to conflate reasoning with statistics. I have no problem with your reasoning. I have a problem with you stating that statistics back up your reasoning. 

As to how I would bet, I would not bet at all, even if I were an atheist. It has nothing to do with faith on my part. We like to think that if life happened here it must have happened elsewhere. However, for all we know, assuming there are other universes, life may be so improbable that it only happens once in a million universes. Or it may be as common as sand on a seashore. We may, over the course of years, identify thousands of suitable planets that, in theory, should be capable of supporting life. However, all we are capable of currently is to come up with a statistical model of how many such planets may exist. We cannot come up with a statistical model of how many likely harbor life unless we plug in guesses based on assumptions rather than actual data. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.13  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.10    8 months ago
All you offer is reasoning, not any statistical evidence. When do I get to see that? 

First, are you implying that my reasoning is wrong?   Second, I have told you that your model is bad.   The model I use is based on solar systems, but we could easily take this to exoplanets or even habitable exoplanets.   It takes no effort to review statistical analysis according to this model.   Here is an example.;  here is another.   Studies are replete so I trust you can find others.  But, of course, they are using my model.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.14  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.11    8 months ago
No, I did not misread. You claim statistical evidence when there is none.

If you did not misread then you are reading what you wish rather than what I wrote.   Regardless, see TiG @1.4.13

Therefore, your "statistical" evidence is much more related to faith than actual science. 

Still trying to bring science down to the level of religion.   

In fact, nearly your whole view as to what constitutes reality is a position of faith. 

This should be interesting

Faith that materialism is all that there is and the only valid method in determining reality.

Incorrect.   That is not faith, that is following the evidence to where it leads.   Should we find evidence of some other credible method I will certainly consider it.

It is a hermetically sealed room from the inside. A constant demand that the supernatural be explained in terms of the natural, an oxymoron.

Problem is that you posit a supernatural based on nothing.   Demonstrate the supernatural and then complain when people dismiss it as pure fantasy.   Until then, supernatural is a mere concept - nor more credible than 'the force' in Star Wars.

You claim that it isn't impossible that the supernatural exists ...

Hold on there Drak, I made no such claim.   Theists do this often (I have noticed), translate 'I am not convinced' into 'it is not possible'.   

... but at the same time demand that it be explained in the terms of the natural.

We ask that it be demonstrated.   I think the reason ancients invented supernatural is to have an unfalsifiable posit in which to host their unsupportable arguments.   Sorry that you believe something that you admit cannot possibly be demonstrated.  Should make you wonder why you believe it, right?

I would suggest you look up the definition of supernatural. Perhaps then you may understand how illogical it is to do so. 

Well aware Drak.   But note how you 'added value' to what I have written in order to become confused.

You dismiss belief as invalid because there is no scientific evidence.

I do not believe there is a god.   However I would be thrilled if you have evidence to offer.   The hypothesis of a god is valid - it certainly is possible (note that I can say this and we do not even have a single data point) - but a scientific theory of god is not because there is zero supporting evidence, no falsifiability, no predictive qualities.

At the same time you claim that it is statistically more likely than not that there is other life out there when no such statistics exist. Since I don't believe you intended to lie, I can only assume that whatever you're looking at convinces you that life elsewhere is likely. Since it isn't based on evidence, it must be based on faith. 

Not sure what to do when someone ignores a rebuttal and continues to make the same point.   Also, be sure you read TiG @1.4.13


Bottom line, science follows the evidence to where it leads.   Religion leaps to wild explanations (totally unsupported) and then attempts to justify same.    You, in this case, think I am being unfair by not simply accepting as true your entirely unsupported posit of a supernatural aspect of reality.   You think it is wrong for me to expect evidence of the supernatural because the supernatural by definition cannot be evidenced.   And this is my problem?     

Again, if you cannot demonstrate the supernatural why do you believe it exists?

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.15  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.12    8 months ago
I don't think the laws we have defined as existing have anything to say about the possibility of life.

Do you think the universe can host life Drak?   Seriously, that is one premise I did not expect you to reject.

We can say that life as we know it could not exist without those laws being what they are but there's nothing in those laws that suggest that life must, or is likely,  happen.

I posited the laws of the universe only to establish that life can be hosted by our universe.   Hello?   

That is, there's noting about the law of gravity or Newton's second law that says, because it is thus, life is inevitable. We know life is possible simply because it exists on our planet, not because of any laws we currently know about. 

You are way off track here Drak.   This is so far from what I was saying I am just going to suggest you reread my words as written. 

You are attempting to conflate reasoning with statistics. I have no problem with your reasoning. I have a problem with you stating that statistics back up your reasoning. 

Wrong (yet again).   Here I am providing reasoning.   My responses did not limit themselves to statistics.   If I were offering statistics you would see a model, numbers, probabilities, etc.  And if you really want statistics for my model (your model is horrible) then see TiG @1.4.13

As to how I would bet, I would not bet at all, even if I were an atheist. It has nothing to do with faith on my part.

Okay fine.  Why bother responding at all then?   Just ignore my question.

We like to think that if life happened here it must have happened elsewhere. However, for all we know, assuming there are other universes, life may be so improbable that it only happens once in a million universes.

Possibly.   We go by the information we have.   We have statistical estimates of habitable exoplanets.   But we do not know everything and it certainly is possible that out of 80 trillion solar systems there are zero habitable exoplanets hosting life.   Sure, it is possible.  Not likely, but possible.

However, all we are capable of currently is to come up with a statistical model of how many such planets may exist. We cannot come up with a statistical model of how many likely harbor life unless we plug in guesses based on assumptions rather than actual data. 

A statistical model of how many habitable exoplanets might exist establishes the size of our green field.   We know that life is possible in the universe and, in particular, on planets we label as habitable.   There might be about 11 billion in our galaxy alone.    One galaxy out of hundreds of billions.    ( One mushroom found in a large green field and all we have explored at this point is a few inches. )

You do not want a statistical model, Drak, you are demanding hard evidence.   The best we have right now are estimates based upon our understanding of conditions conducive to life and the size and makeup of our universe.   But we have enough for someone to conclude that it is unlikely that out of 80 trillion solar systems - in a universe that demonstrably does host life - not a single life form exists on any cosmological body in the universe other than Earth.    We do not know for certain, but we certainly can make educated guesses based upon what we know.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.16  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.12    8 months ago

One final point.   I stated upfront that your model is terrible but maybe I need to demonstrate why.

You have a model consisting of one data point (life exists on Earth) - a count of one.   That is it.   And you claim (appropriately) that statistics cannot be based on a single data point.   Correct.   

Note that the question (in effect) is:   is there at least one form of life in the universe other than on planet Earth?

Your model requires that we answer that question with certainty to even get your second data point.   You have put forth a statistical model that requires the question be answered before the model can even start estimating probabilities (with a measly two data points even).

That is silly, right?

This article is based on my model - a statistical model based on exoplanets (and we can discuss habitable exoplanets too).

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.17  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.3    8 months ago
Statistically, we are beginning to get an understanding of how many stars have planets.

A great very many, considering the billions and billions of planets orbiting billions of stars, among billions more of galaxies.

What we are statistically still on ground zero on is how many of them are likely to contain life because we are still stuck at a statistical sample of one concerning that.

Not quite. We already know the variety of environmental conditions under which life can exist. That's not even taking into consideration otherwise unknown types of life that might exist in completely different types of environments. Given all the different environments in which life can exist, then statistically, many planets may be capable of supporting life.

 To say that it is statistically likely based simply on one confirmed planet with life on it isn't actually based on statistics. 

It's likely based on what is currently known about life and hospitable environments for them. That's why we look to planets in their stars habitable zone and even towards planetary moons which may contain the necessary conditions for life.

Saying that there is likely to be other life out there based on what we know may be a reasoned statement,

It's very reasoned, and quite probable.

but it isn't one supported by any statistical model.

The earth itself is the model. It's the perfect model to use as well.

That doesn't translate to a statistical likelihood of them having life.

There's no guarantee that a planet within a star's habitable zone will have life. But it is the best place to start looking for life. If one looks at every planet within their stars hab zone, it is probable that there will be a planet which does have life.

  In order to do that you have to find some of those planets to actually have life on them.

That would be great. unfortunately, our current technology is insufficient to detect life at such long ranges.

The reason I'm commenting on this at all is that religious people are often characterized as non-rational believers who don't base their claims on evidence.

Whether one is religious or not is irrelevant. it's all about the evidence. Religion does not go by evidence, but rather by belief. It's an irrational position to hold. 

Yet statements like "it is statistically likely" are presented as science when they aren't.

They are presented as probabilities.

The belief, at this point, that there is other life out there is only that. A belief. It isn't backed up by evidence, without which one cannot build a statistical model. That is, it's simply a matter of faith.

As TiG pointed out, you seem to want to equate science with religion. Religion makes claims without any supporting evidence and calls it belief. Science does not do that. Science considers evidence and establishes a probability based on that evidence. Science will not rely solely on belief and stop there.

It seems to me that all that does is tell us life is possible.

It's not only possible, it's confirmed (here on earth). But since life is possible, and we know all the currently known possibilities (it's possible there are other unknown possibilities too) in which life can exist, it is therefore likely that life can exist elsewhere, if it is not yet confirmed.

The more critical factor concerning what we are talking about is to find life elsewhere.

Which is why we are looking. of course, it's also a big universe out there. But that doesn't mean there isn't a pin in the proverbial haystack.

Science doesn't concern God. Cannot deal with the issue. There is no way to make the fields relate. I wouldn't even try.

Good. Therefore, one cannot call science a belief then!

All you offer is reasoning,

You say that like it's a bad thing?

 In fact, nearly your whole view as to what constitutes reality is a position of faith.

Now that's funny.

Faith that materialism is all that there is and the only valid method in determining reality.

That is based on the current evidence and what the evidence shows.

It is a hermetically sealed room from the inside. A constant demand that the supernatural be explained in terms of the natural, an oxymoron.

Then the supernatural is irrelevant and little more than imagination.

You claim that it isn't impossible that the supernatural exists but at the same time demand that it be explained in the terms of the natural. I would suggest you look up the definition of supernatural. Perhaps then you may understand how illogical it is to do so.

If the supernatural does not connect with actual reality or cannot be detected in the natural world, there is no logical reason to assume there is such a realm. Thus, claiming the supernatural as a (as some people do) possibility, fact, or even a reality in itself is illogical. The idea of a supernatural realm or entity is not only illogical, it is also just a belief.

You dismiss belief as invalid because there is no scientific evidence.

Without evidence, there is no reason to consider mere belief as a valid reason, alternative,  or explanation. In terms of supernatural entities like god/s, there is no evidence so any such claim affirming god/s is not valid and is still only a belief. But everyone is entitled to believe whatever they want.

I don't think the laws we have defined as existing have anything to say about the possibility of life. We can say that life as we know it could not exist without those laws being what they are but there's nothing in those laws that suggest that life must, or is likely, happen.

Our universe is capable of and does support life. That is a given.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.18  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.13    8 months ago
First, are you implying that my reasoning is wrong?

No. In fact I said I have no problem with your reasoning. I haven't addressed your reasoning at all. I am addressing your claim that it is statistically more likely that life exists out there than not. I don't know how I can make that more plain. 

Second, I have told you that your model is bad.

I don't have a model. I don't understand why you can't get that. My whole point is that you cannot, repeat, cannot have a statistical model based on a sample of one. So why are you saying I am presenting a model???

The model I use is based on solar systems, but we could easily take this to exoplanets or even habitable exoplanets. It takes no effort to review statistical analysis according to this model. Here is an example.; here is another. Studies are replete so I trust you can find others. But, of course, they are using my model.

I reviewed your links and they were what I expected them to be. Generally, a statistical analysis of the number of exoplanets that, as far as we know, may be able to support life. This is actually an excellent example of statistical analysis. We not only have the criteria necessary to define our analysis but actual examples of exoplanets that seem to fit those criteria. So, what we can now do is come up with a statistical probability of a given star system to contain planets that should be capable of bearing life. I'm sure it's pretty rough at this stage but it should get better as more discoveries are made and our tech improves. 

What these links do not provide is a shred of statistical likelihood for the prevalence of exolife. The only thing that will do that is to find more life out there. We are building a statistical model of exoplanets because we are finding exoplanets upon which to build a statistical model. 

If you did not misread then you are reading what you wish rather than what I wrote.

Again, no. I am not trying to "attribute to science the most profound weakness of religion - belief sans evidence." I'm attributing faith concerning this subject to you, personally, not science. Your position that it is statistically more likely than not that there is exolife is scientifically unsupportable from a statistical position. There is not enough data to create a statistical model. I will remind you again about what statistics are.

the practice or science of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities, especially for the purpose of inferring proportions in a whole from those in a representative sample.

What representative sample do we have? Right now, one planet with life. To have a statistical analysis you have to have a number greater than one. Since you are refusing to admit this, then clearly your position is more based on faith than science. 

Hold on there Drak, I made no such claim. Theists do this often (I have noticed), translate 'I am not convinced' into 'it is not possible'.

Try re-reading what you were responding to. 

Do you think the universe can host life Drak? Seriously, that is one premise I did not expect you to reject.

Since it does, I obviously do. Apparently you missed the point. You said:

We know that life is possible given the laws in place in our universe.

We do not know why life exists. The laws may decide what forms are possible but it doesn't dictate that it must exist. Or even that it can. It just has something to say about it if it does. So when you say we know life is possible given the laws in place in our universe, I think you misunderstand what those laws have to do with it. The laws might be slightly different but that wouldn't preclude life. It may mean whatever life existed might be different than what we know now. Do you understand what I am saying? Laws might determine what shape life takes, but they don't demand life. From your scientific perspective, we don't know what does. I, of course, believe I know what does.  

Your model requires that we answer that question with certainty to even get your second data point. You have put forth a statistical model that requires the question be answered before the model can even start estimating probabilities (with a measly two data points even).

Statistics can't be used to determine whether or not life is more or less likely on other planets. At least not the way you are trying to use it. Statistics uses actual data, actual numbers concerning what you are trying to analyze. It isn't going to answer the question as to whether life is more or less likely. It will model the prevalence of life if we find it elsewhere. You have to have actual numbers to plug in. You can't do a statistical analysis of a salmon run in a particular river without going out and getting the data for that analysis. 

So, yes, you have to answer the question of "is there other life out there" before you can even begin to build a statistical model concerning that life. You have to have numbers. You have to have data. Otherwise, it isn't statistics. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.19  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.18    8 months ago
My whole point is that you cannot, repeat, cannot have a statistical model based on a sample of one. So why are you saying I am presenting a model???

LOL - other than you are presenting a model?   Your model has as its key (or only) metric a tally of known planets hosting life.   Your tally is currently at one.   You note that this is not going to work.   I agree.   Pick a better model.

What these links do not provide is a shred of statistical likelihood for the prevalence of exolife. The only thing that will do that is to find more life out there. We are building a statistical model of exoplanets because we are finding exoplanets upon which to build a statistical model. 

As noted, you have presented a condition in which we MUST find exolife in order to draw any inference on the likelihood of exolife.   You should see how silly it is to insist that we have no possible way of gauging the likelihood that we are not alone (i.e. at least one exolife exists) except to find an exolife.   

We must find an exolife before we can estimate the likelihood of finding an exolife!     jrSmiley_84_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.20  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @1.4.17    8 months ago
Without evidence, there is no reason to consider mere belief as a valid reason, alternative,  or explanation

Most of the planet would disagree with you. What you are stating is a personal choice. Because someone believes something without physical evidence doesn't mean that belief is invalid. Requiring scientific evidence is your personal standard. There is no evidence that you can bring that invalidates belief in God. You are only stating that, without scientific evidence, you choose not to believe in God. 

Oh, and please don't boor me with an Ad Populum claim. The point isn't how many believe but that most find your criteria invalid. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.21  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.20    8 months ago
Because someone believes something without physical evidence doesn't mean that belief is invalid.

Agreed.   It just means that the belief is unjustified.   

The point isn't how many believe but that most find your criteria invalid. 

Yup.   But we already know that believers believe that belief without evidence is okay.   Indeed religions insist that faith (belief without evidence) is something to which one should aspire.   Religion is comforting.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.22  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.20    8 months ago
Oh, and please don't boor me with an Ad Populum claim. The point isn't how many believe but that most find your criteria invalid. 

That doesn't make those criteria invalid.

I have to wonder how many people have been exposed to the concept of logical fallacies.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.23  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.18    8 months ago
Laws might determine what shape life takes, but they don't demand life.

Correct.  My point was that the laws of our universe do indeed allow for life.   (My words did not get anywhere close to 'demand'.)   It is the green field analogy.   We have a green field within a relatively uniform environment.   If we find a mushroom at our feet we know that this green field has the means to host mushrooms.   Given that fact, we would naturally assume (rather than reject) that given the same basic conditions elsewhere in the green field there might be another mushroom.   If we can measure the size of the green field we have additional facts.   If we have an idea of at least some of the critical factors enabling a mushroom and the likelihood of those same factors elsewhere in the green field we have even more facts that we can use to estimate the likelihood of finding another mushroom (just one will do).

And, of course, the larger the green field the more likely we will find the necessary conditions that enable a mushroom to grow.


You insist, however, that one must first find another mushroom before one can even gauge the likelihood that another (just one will do) mushroom exists.    Obviously this is silly.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.24  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.19    8 months ago
As noted, you have presented a condition in which we MUST find exolife in order to draw any inference on the likelihood of exolife.   You should see how silly it is to insist that we have no possible way of gauging the likelihood that we are not alone (i.e. at least one exolife exists) except to find an exolife.

You must be speaking to someone else. That is, comments such as this aren't aimed at me but at someone who doesn't realize what you are attempting to do. I'm sure you don't think I'm stupid enough to buy this crap so you must be trying to convince anyone still following this thread. 

I have only focused on the fact that there is no statistical basis, no statistical data, that supports your claim that exolife is more likely than not. You made the claim that it is statistically more likely than not. Your problem is, there are no statistics that support this. So, instead you try to divert the conversation in such a way to make it seem we aren't talking about statistics but rather, a reasoned argument as to why you think it is more likely than not. I'm totally fine with your arguing on the basis of reason. But that isn't what you did. You claimed a scientific fact that doesn't exist. 

So, rather than play a game that doesn't work with me, why don't you present this statistical evidence that supports your claim that exolife is more likely than not or just admit that you were wrong? Why are you attempting to support and unsupportable position? Is it because that you can't present the evidence it shows that your position on the question reveals a position based more on faith than evidence? If so, why does that bother you? 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.25  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.22    8 months ago
That doesn't make those criteria invalid.

Correct. The problem is that there isn't any way to prove one way or the other, empirically speaking. So it is left to the individual to make the choice. If left there, there would be no argument. But the problem then becomes someone saying someone else's choice is invalid because they didn't make their choice according to that someone's criteria. That is, people like TiG or Gordy saying that someone else's beliefs are invalid because they don't meet TiG's or Gordy's criteria. Do you understand what I am saying? God either exists or He doesn't. It isn't necessary to satisfy someone else's criteria for belief or non-belief in that existence. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.26  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.22    8 months ago
I have to wonder how many people have been exposed to the concept of logical fallacies.

I wonder how many people have been exposed to the concept of logic. (that should not be read as a criticism of your statement)

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.27  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.25    8 months ago
That is, people like TiG or Gordy saying that someone else's beliefs are invalid because they don't meet TiG's or Gordy's criteria.

From TiG's comment:

Because someone believes something without physical evidence doesn't mean that belief is invalid.
Agreed.   It just means that the belief is unjustified.

This is a discussion board, Drakk.  If you come on here making statements that you can't support, your inability to support them will be remarked upon.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.28  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.24    8 months ago
I'm sure you don't think I'm stupid enough to buy this crap so you must be trying to convince anyone still following this thread. 

I know you are not stupid, just driven to make a flawed point because you are tired of people noting that religious belief is unjustified and want to make it seem as though unjustified belief is part of science.   To justify unfounded belief as a good thing.   jrSmiley_80_smiley_image.gif

On Statistics:

I have answered your challenges numerous times and have provided statistical analysis (TiG @1.4.13) about the likelihood of exolife.   I have also linked to it several times and noted that my two examples are merely two of many.   Anyone can Google around to find credible scientific analysis based on real data and, of course, augmented statistically.   To make this super obvious instead of just the links here are the titles (with links) of the articles (from TiG @1.4.13):

Statistical-likelihood Exo-Planetary Habitability Index (SEPHI)

Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

These (and other statistical analyses of exolife) are based on habitable exoplanets (the numbers of which are estimated from the number of solar systems based on the number of galaxies and the number of stars per galaxy).    Habitability is based on element composition, proximity to the star, etc.   Lots of data go into these estimates and of course it is statistically based given we cannot literally visit exoplanets.

On Your Model:

You reject the statistical analysis I have linked to (and the one that I use in this article - estimated number of solar systems in the universe).   You claim that the only model that counts is yours.   Your model is based on known exolife.   That is, your critical metric is the count of planets that we know hold life.   You note that the only planet we know that has life is ours.   You then note that one cannot base a statistical model on one data point.   My rebuttal (since the very beginning) has been that your model is terrible.   It does not address the question at hand which is:

Is it likely that life exists outside of planet Earth?

Apparently you refuse to admit that it is absurd to put forth a model that requires we collect metrics on other planets that we KNOW have life before we can use a model to estimate the likelihood of finding exolife.    Per your model:  We must find exolife before we can estimate the likelihood of finding exolife!  

That is ridiculous Drakk.   Pick a different model.   

On Belief:

You are attempting to argue that belief in God should not be considered unfounded because even in science people believe that which is not evidenced.   That is incorrect.   Scientifically, belief in exolife is unfounded.   One should not believe in exolife.   One might, however, hold that exolife is more likely than not.   That position is supported by the following (my model):

  • Our universe, best we can tell, has uniform physics
  • The physics of our universe is capable of hosting life (Earth is the proof)
  • Our universe has something on the order of 80 trillion solar systems.  (The number is not really important, it is the magnitude that matters)
  • We continue to catalog habitable exoplanets.   Given the extremely tiny portion of the universe we have 'seen' what we have found suggests the universe is replete with habitable exoplanets.

Out of 80 trillion (or so) solar systems in a universe with consistent physics we muse about the possibility that even 1 of those solar systems hosts life.   You think it is more likely that in all 80 trillion solar systems we will not find life.   I think the metrics suggest that the likelihood that we are the only life in the universe is quite poor.

But, and this is key, I do not believe in exolife.   The correct position is that I do not know if exolife exists but the data suggests it is more likely than not.   

On God:

But this is ultimately all about belief in the Christian God.   At least that is what you have told us is your motivation.   My position on a sentient entity who created the known universe is that this is possible.   We exist thus we got here somehow, but we do not yet know how.   We cannot ruled out the possibility that we were created by a sentient entity so it remains possible.  

So a sentient creator is possible.

Now we turn to the Christian God.   This is a highly specific sentient creator described by an ancient errant book.    This God is highly attributed with personality, desires, emotions and plenty of stories.   All this information came from an era where people knew almost nothing about how nature works and were heavily vested in using gods to explain volcanoes, famine, storms, etc.   We can easily inspect the Bible (and other books) and find it (them) full of contradictions.   Even the definition of the biblical god is a contradiction at first glance:  an omniscient entity that is surprised by the disobedience of beings it (an omnipotent entity) created.

The Abrahamic god (in general) is a grand and highly specific claim.   It is a claim that bronze and iron age men were in direct contact with the grandest possible entity - a supernatural force that somehow interfaced with the natural.    Such grand and specific claims have endured for thousands of years without a shred of evidence.

And you think it is unfair for skeptics to expect evidence for such specific and grand claims.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.29  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.27    8 months ago
This is a discussion board, Drakk. If you come on here making statements that you can't support, your inability to support them will be remarked upon.

Not sure where this is coming from but presumably it has something to do with this quote:

Because someone believes something without physical evidence doesn't mean that belief is invalid.
Agreed. It just means that the belief is unjustified.

Since you don't explain what you mean I'll go with what seems to be your intent. Specifically, that what you quoted me as saying was unsupportable because I said someone else's beliefs are invalid because they don't meet TiG's or Gordy's criteria. You then point out that TiG agreed that it doesn't make it invalid. But did he actually agree or did he just say something and then immediately contradict what he said?

Consider. Validate and justify are synonyms. I could rewrite what I said as:

That is, people like TiG or Gordy saying that someone else's beliefs are unjustified because they don't meet TiG's or Gordy's criteria.

Do you see any significant difference in the meaning behind what I said? You are calling me out because I used the word "invalidate" instead of "justify" but it doesn't change the meaning of what I said at all. In either word, no one needs to validate or justify their belief in God according to someone else's criteria. They only have to do so according to their own. In essence, TiG didn't actually agree at all. He still stated that someone else's belief in God was invalid because it wasn't justified according to his criteria. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.30  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.29    8 months ago
But did he actually agree or did he just say something and then immediately contradict what he said?

Good grief Drakk, I am not the subject and I do not appreciate you suggesting that I am lying (or, alternatively, that I am stupid to the point of contradicting myself).   

I do not have some special criteria for belief.   Belief sans evidence is unjustified; that is basic logic.   And by evidence I am indeed referring to that which would be considered evidence under the scientific method.   So 'my' criteria is very well established and generally practiced - not something I invented.

In either word, no one needs to validate or justify their belief in God according to someone else's criteria. 

True.   If someone believes that the Earth is flat or that the Earth is <10,000 years old they do not NEED to validate or justify their belief.   But they should realize that when those beliefs are discussed with others, it is perfectly fair for those beliefs to be challenged.    Especially when the claim is that those beliefs are true; no possibility of being wrong.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.31  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.29    8 months ago

"Valid" can also mean "acceptable".  Your beliefs are valid, in that they are acceptable.  They are not justified on the basis of fact or logic.

Semantics aside, I'm not quite sure why you'd expect that you can enter a discussion about logical fallacies, and not expect to have the fallacies in your own arguments pointed out.  If you reject such concepts as "argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy", then you are attempting to assert your own criteria on logical thinking.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.32  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.31    8 months ago

(sigh) The Ad Populum fallacy doesn't apply because I wasn't making the point that, since most people believe there is a God or gods, it must therefore be true that He or they exist. If I were, then I'd be guilty of an Ad Populum fallacy. I was simply making the point that most people reject the criteria TiG demands for justification or validation or any other synonym you want to use for holding those beliefs as valid. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.33  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.32    8 months ago
I was simply making the point that most people reject the criteria TiG demands for justification or validation or any other synonym you want to use for holding those beliefs as valid. 

Then it's more of a throwaway statement than a point.  It really supports nothing.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.34  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.32    8 months ago
I was simply making the point that most people reject the criteria TiG demands for justification or validation or any other synonym you want to use for holding those beliefs as valid. 

That is true.   Why that matters is another question.   

A highly specific claim of truth that the grandest possible entity is that which is described in the Bible is truly extraordinary.   It is a staggeringly bold declaration of certainty.   Why would you find it so surprising that those of us with skeptical minds find such a claim to be unsupported by the evidence (in fact countered by the evidence)?

The Ad Populum fallacy doesn't apply because I wasn't making the point that, since most people believe there is a God or gods, it must therefore be true 

What is the point of stating that most people believe in a God sans evidence other than to suggest that by sheer numbers of disagreement that my position (belief is not justified) is wrong?    Pretty much ad populum is it not?

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.35  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.20    8 months ago
What you are stating is a personal choice.

What I am stating is a fact, regardless if someone chooses to accept it or not.

Because someone believes something without physical evidence doesn't mean that belief is invalid.

Without evidence, a belief is just a belief, and nothing more.

Requiring scientific evidence is your personal standard.

It's also a scientific standard. Are you suggesting it shouldn't be, or that belief alone should be on par with scientific evidence?

There is no evidence that you can bring that invalidates belief in God.

There's no evidence which validates it either. So there is no reason to accept any such belief as valid or true (except maybe for emotional comfort and/or delusion) until such evidence is forthcoming. 

You are only stating that, without scientific evidence, you choose not to believe in God. 

it's not really a choice. I am incapable of believing in something for which there is no evidence.

Oh, and please don't boor me with an Ad Populum claim.

Then don't make an ad populum fallacy.

. The point isn't how many believe but that most find your criteria invalid. 

My criteria is based on mathematical probability and the scientific method. Mere belief fails to meet that criteria. It basically settles for much less and largely on emotional comfort.

a reasoned argument as to why you think it is more likely than not.

A reasoned and logical argument was already given.

The problem is that there isn't any way to prove one way or the other, empirically speaking. So it is left to the individual to make the choice.

The problem is, some people prefer to make a choice based on what makes them feel more comfortable, rather than derived through logical analysis. 

That is, people like TiG or Gordy saying that someone else's beliefs are invalid because they don't meet TiG's or Gordy's criteria.

it doesn't meet scientific criteria. Therefore, such beliefs are unjustified.

God either exists or He doesn't. It isn't necessary to satisfy someone else's criteria for belief or non-belief in that existence.

Until there is evidence, there is no reason to assume god exists, unless one prefers emotional comfort. People can believe whatever they want. But without evidence, such belief is unjustified.

I was simply making the point that most people reject the criteria TiG demands for justification or validation or any other synonym you want to use for holding those beliefs as valid.

That's just another way of making an ad populum fallacy: arguing by numbers alone.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.36  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.30    8 months ago
Good grief Drakk, I am not the subject and I do not appreciate you suggesting that I am lying (or, alternatively, that I am stupid to the point of contradicting myself).

Actually, I just think you're too closed minded to see what you are doing. That you can't see that saying, true, they may be valid, but not justified, is a contradiction is an example of that. How can they be valid but not justified? If someone spends half an hour speaking about why they believe in God, how can it be said their belief is valid, but then say it isn't justified? If it isn't justified, how can it be valid?

I do not have some special criteria for belief. Belief sans evidence is unjustified; that is basic logic. And by evidence I am indeed referring to that which would be considered evidence under the scientific method. So 'my' criteria is very well established and generally practiced - not something I invented.

It isn't a question of whether you invented it or not. It is the way you apply it. For instance, presumably you know the difference between natural and supernatural yet you find no problem in demanding that the supernatural be proven with natural means. How does one do that, exactly? Further, you reject subjective experience simply because it can't be proven scientifically concerning the supernatural. If someone says they have a personal relationship with God you say it isn't justified because there's no scientific evidence for that relationship but don't explain why evidence is necessary for that relationship to exist. One may have a basis for not believing themselves that the other person's relationship exists but they can't say the other person's claim is invalid because the claimant themselves don't have any evidence that it doesn't. 

True. If someone believes that the Earth is flat or that the Earth is <10,000 years old they do not NEED to validate or justify their belief. But they should realize that when those beliefs are discussed with others, it is perfectly fair for those beliefs to be challenged. Especially when the claim is that those beliefs are true; no possibility of being wrong.

Apples and oranges. The Earth and it's age isn't God. These are natural things, not supernatural. Science can address such natural things. It can't address God. At least not directly. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.37  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @1.4.35    8 months ago
It's also a scientific standard. Are you suggesting it shouldn't be, or that belief alone should be on par with scientific evidence?

I'm not suggesting anything. I'm telling you that science cannot be the standard when it comes to God. 

Science the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

What in that definition tells you that science can address the supernatural? But you guys completely ignore this fact. You instead just go right back into your circular reasoning. Basically, "Can science address the issue of God? No. Then how can you say God doesn't exist? Because there's no scientific evidence."

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.38  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.36    8 months ago
Actually, I just think you're too closed minded to see what you are doing.

Try to focus on the topic and not on me.   I know it is easier to go personal or to jump on tangents but it is a counterproductive practice.

That you can't see that saying, true, they may be valid, but not justified, is a contradiction is an example of that.

Do you see how it may indeed be the case that there is a Star Wars like Force available to all living creatures?   Do you hold that such a belief is justified?   It might be correct (valid), but is the belief justified?

How can they be valid but not justified? If someone spends half an hour speaking about why they believe in God, how can it be said their belief is valid, but then say it isn't justified? If it isn't justified, how can it be valid?

Not (unqualified) valid - it might be valid.   One cannot declare that it is false.   Makes a big difference.    It might be the case that our universe was created by a powerful alien force operating in four dimensions of space and one of time.   That might be a valid (as in: turns out to be correct) belief (we currently do not know).   However, we have no justification for such a belief so it is unfounded.   Not knowing does not mean a belief is not true - it might be.

This is rather ironic.  You accuse me of being closed-minded yet you are trying to wedge through language where I am trying to accommodate your position (without compromising mine).   Makes me think that I really should play hardball with you on this.   (Not planning to, but damn Drakk this is an ugly ploy to watch.)

For instance, presumably you know the difference between natural and supernatural yet you find no problem in demanding that the supernatural be proven with natural means. 

My objective here is typically to illustrate the absurdity of people declaring certain knowledge (truth) of the supernatural given we are natural beings.   See?   A claim of supernatural interplay coupled with 'I cannot evidence this, of course, because it is dealing with the supernatural' is not very credible.  Do you see why?

Further, you reject subjective experience simply because it can't be proven scientifically concerning the supernatural.

If someone makes a claim, that claim is meaningless unless it can be evidenced.   That is nothing new either.   So if you were to claim that you can communicate with the supernatural but cannot demonstrate this to anyone, what value is your claim?   Why do you expect that such a claim would not be challenged?

If someone says they have a personal relationship with God you say it isn't justified because there's no scientific evidence for that relationship but don't explain why evidence is necessary for that relationship to exist.

If you posit that as objective truth (which you seem to do) then your posit is entirely unjustified.   It is simply your word.   If someone merely claims to have been abducted by aliens would you say that their claim is justified?   You might indeed have a personal relationship with a supernatural entity (God).   You might also just think you do.   Nobody knows because your claim is entirely subjective and personal - no evidence - no possible method of falsifiability.

One may have a basis for not believing themselves that the other person's relationship exists but they can't say the other person's claim is invalid because the claimant themselves don't have any evidence that it doesn't. 

Well now what should I say?  If I agree (again) that the person's claim might be valid (as in correct) are you going to come back again and claim that this is a contradiction?   jrSmiley_89_smiley_image.gif   You might be talking directly with God.   On the other hand, you might be just kidding yourself.   We have no evidence supporting your claim.   Given your claim is quite bold (directly communicating with the grandest possible entity - God) it is reasonable for me, et. al. to be skeptical until you can provide sufficient evidence.   And if you cannot provide said evidence then you should understand why we would remain skeptical.    

Apples and oranges. The Earth and it's age isn't God. These are natural things, not supernatural. Science can address such natural things. It can't address God. At least not directly. 

My analogy was about beliefs and justification of same.   

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.39  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.34    8 months ago
What is the point of stating that most people believe in a God sans evidence other than to suggest that by sheer numbers of disagreement that my position (belief is not justified) is wrong?    Pretty much ad populum is it not?

You said:

Without evidence, there is no reason to consider mere belief as a valid reason, alternative, or explanation

I said:

Most of the planet would disagree with you. What you are stating is a personal choice. Because someone believes something without physical evidence doesn't mean that belief is invalid. Requiring scientific evidence is your personal standard. There is no evidence that you can bring that invalidates belief in God. You are only stating that, without scientific evidence, you choose not to believe in God.

There is nothing in that statement that says who is right and who is wrong. There is something in that statement that says most people choose a standard different from yours. I'll try to put it a different way. In my statement I was pointing out the problem with your statement by focusing on your views concerning this subject. Instead, we'll look at the other side of the coin, most people. You said, "there is no reason...." I was pointing out that most people feel they have reasons, they're just not yours. Do you understand now? I wasn't suggesting that they were right because of numbers, I was pointing out that most people feel they have perfectly valid beliefs in spite of your demand for evidence. I was also pointing out that you made a statement that only applies to people who think the way you do. That is not an Ad Populum fallacy. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.40  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.39    8 months ago

So, they support their beliefs by holding them to a lower standard of credibility?

That's good to know.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.41  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.37    8 months ago
What in that definition tells you that science can address the supernatural? But you guys completely ignore this fact. You instead just go right back into your circular reasoning. Basically, "Can science address the issue of God? No. Then how can you say God doesn't exist? Because there's no scientific evidence."

The problem is that the supernatural is simply a concept.   There is no objective evidence (scientific or otherwise) that the supernatural is anything more than the product of human imagination.

Worse though is that you claim to have certain knowledge of a supernatural entity - communicate with same - yet when it comes to evidence you claim that this is unreasonable for a supernatural entity.

Spelling it out.   If you (natural entity) can cross to the supernatural to engage with God (supernatural entity) then don't complain that it is unfair for us to ask for evidence.   Clearly your claim crosses the natural-supernatural bridge (in a rather substantial way) so delivering evidence on that bridge is not unreasonable.

The supernatural is, IMO, a very clever intellectual device designed to insulate God from logical scrutiny.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.42  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.39    8 months ago
I was pointing out that most people feel they have perfectly valid beliefs in spite of your demand for evidence

That is not an interesting observation.   That is common, common knowledge.    Your statement then, as explained, offers no relevant or interesting information.

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt - that you were making a point more profound than:  ice is cold.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.43  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.37    8 months ago
I'm telling you that science cannot be the standard when it comes to God. 

Mere belief is hardly a standard for anything. if science cannot demonstrate the existence of a god in the slightest, then there is no logical reason to assume or believe there is. God is therefore little more than collective imagination.

What in that definition tells you that science can address the supernatural? But you guys completely ignore this fact.

Not at all. The fact that the supernatural is outside the realm of science and the natural makes the supernatural (including god/s) completely irrelevant. It otherwise has no effect or place within our natural reality.

You instead just go right back into your circular reasoning.

Hardly.

Basically, "Can science address the issue of God? No. Then how can you say God doesn't exist? Because there's no scientific evidence."

That's like saying how can one say fairies do not exist, as there is no scientific evidence? But I doubt many people are going to claim or say fairies exist. How can anyone make a claim that god exists without evidence? They can't! Therefore, such beliefs are unjustified! Until it can be demonstrated with evidence that god might exist, there is no reason to assume or believe god does. 

Actually, I just think you're too closed minded to see what you are doing.

Sounds like you're projecting while making it personal.

How can they be valid but not justified?

It's about the evidence. A belief might  be valid (i.e. a "god' may have created the universe) but it is not justified without supporting empirical evidence. See the difference.

you find no problem in demanding that the supernatural be proven with natural means. How does one do that, exactly?

Why should any concept of a supernatural be accepted, much less declared as a reasonable explanation or even as fact, without evidence? 

Further, you reject subjective experience simply because it can't be proven scientifically concerning the supernatural.

See previous statement. Subjective experience is just that-subjective, and is not a valid or reliable source of evidence. 

If someone says they have a personal relationship with God you say it isn't justified because there's no scientific evidence for that relationship but don't explain why evidence is necessary for that relationship to exist.

I'd say that's nothing more than their own belief coupled with some emotional need or comfort, and possibly mental delusions or other psychological condition. it's basically a case of mind over matter.

Science can address such natural things. It can't address God. At least not directly.

As I said, then that means god and the supernatural are largely irrelevant, outside of fulfilling some emotional need.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.44  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.39    8 months ago

On a related note:

I accept (even offer) the possibility that a creator entity might exist.   I am not convinced of this (due to the lack of evidence) but that does not preclude the possibility.

Do you accept the possibility that there is no creator entity (no God)?

I seem to recall that you do accept the possibility that no God exists.  Is that faulty recall on my part?

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.45  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.29    8 months ago
But did he actually agree or did he just say something and then immediately contradict what he said?

If I had (but clearly did not) immediately contradicted myself, why would you not ask me to clarify?    If someone states 'X' and then immediately states '~X' I would presume they made a typo.   Why jump on something like this rather than ask the author what he meant?

Regardless, you clearly misread - the mistake was yours.   Sandy made this quite clear, but to be crystal clear I will show who wrote what:

Drakkonis @1.4.20 - Because someone believes something without physical evidence doesn't mean that belief is invalid.
TiG @1.4.21 - Agreed.   It just means that the belief is unjustified.   

You said that belief without evidence does not mean the belief is necessarily invalid.

I agreed with you.   A belief without evidence is not necessarily invalid - but the belief is unjustified.

Why is the belief unjustified?   Because it has insufficient supporting evidence.

Why is the belief not necessarily invalid?   Because it might end up being correct.

Applying this to the current focus (God), belief in God without evidence is unjustified (no evidence), but it is not necessarily invalid because it remains possible that God does exist.


Going further, you complain that it is wrong for me to deem belief sans evidence to be unjustified.   That there are ways of justifying belief without evidence.    What then is the justification for believing there is a God (as you see things)?    Personal feelings?    Incredulity?    Truth by authority?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.46  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.41    8 months ago
The problem is that the supernatural is simply a concept.

Do you have proof of this? Can you show me with science that the supernatural doesn't exist?

If you (natural entity) can cross to the supernatural to engage with God (supernatural entity) then don't complain that it is unfair for us to ask for evidence. Clearly your claim crosses the natural-supernatural bridge (in a rather substantial way) so delivering evidence on that bridge is not unreasonable.

First, it's God that crosses, not me. Second, I never said anything remotely like it being unfair for you to ask for evidence. My point is that you have no logical or scientific basis for claiming a believer in God is unjustified. You, of course, can, and do, do it, but you can't justify doing so. You make a claim with no basis except an artificial one based on a standard you choose for yourself and try to impose on everyone else or their belief is not justified. 

It doesn't hurt my feelings that you do so. I'm not debating with you in the hopes that you'll agree that maybe I'm justified after all and I can feel more vindicated about my belief. Your opinion about my belief means nothing to me. I'm bothering with this because what pisses me off is you claim reason and logic but act irrationally and illogically, then tell others that they are the irrational and illogical ones. In short, it's your hypocrisy that gets under my skin.

You'll state all day long that, yes, it's possible that the supernatural exists. But then immediately dismiss the implications as part of the discussion, when logic would state that since it is possible, that's the end of the discussion. You'll agree that natural means won't detect supernatural things, but really, you don't mean it. You only say such things in order to avoid the obvious "prove it doesn't exist" trap.

Worse, rather than use logic, you throw in the artificial qualifier science in order to avoid the obvious and claim unless that it can pass the science test it doesn't count. You'll agree all day long that there may exist things that science can't examine or explain but, inexplicably, when those very things are discussed, you predictably and invariably invoke science as the only valid method to determine those things. Do you really call that logic?

Lastly, since you hold science in the position that you do, you employ as much faith as anyone who believes in God. Possibly more. You are saying that, unless science can prove it, it doesn't exist, even though science doesn't agree. That is both illogical and unscientific. There is nothing in the concept of science that insists only what science can examine exists. I'm certain you agree with this, but then, illogically go immediately back to your mantra "can you provide scientific evidence". In always demanding scientific evidence you are expressing pure faith that science is the god of what's real, what's justifiable.  

In the end, you can't justify your position any more than you believe the God believer can. Yet you pronounce their belief as unjustified. All you do is declare science as the arbiter and demand the issue be determined in it's court. Sorry, you don't get to demand that of anyone but yourself. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.47  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.46    8 months ago

Shifting the burden, Drakk.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.48  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.46    8 months ago
Do you have proof of this? Can you show me with science that the supernatural doesn't exist?

Nope.  The religious supernatural might exist.   My conclusion, however, is that it is simply a product of human imagination - a convenient place to insulate the biblical God from scrutiny.   And the reason I have concluded there is no supernatural is because for thousands of years people (illogically by the way) spoke of a supernatural yet we have no credible evidence of same.

Would you care to share your evidence (not even proof) of the supernatural?   Something that is more than thoughts?   If not, I will continue to think the supernatural is yet another product of human imagination until we have supporting evidence.

First, it's God that crosses, not me. 

The instant God engages you, you have crossed the bridge in my 'bridge' analogy.   You, a natural creature, would be connected to a supernatural entity.   Natural+supernatural.  And if that actually did occur then this notion that there is no way to evidence a supernatural entity goes out the window.  

Second, I never said anything remotely like it being unfair for you to ask for evidence. My point is that you have no logical or scientific basis for claiming a believer in God is unjustified.

Sure I do.   If someone walks up to you and claims that Zeus is real would you call that a justified or an unjustified belief?    If someone claims to have been abducted by extraterrestrial beings would you call that a justified or an unjustified belief?    Note:  in both cases no evidence is provided - merely the statement of belief - the claim.

You, of course, can, and do, do it, but you can't justify doing so. You make a claim with no basis except an artificial one based on a standard you choose for yourself and try to impose on everyone else or their belief is not justified. 

Please explain how the aforementioned belief of extraterrestrial abduction is a justified belief.    Beliefs sans credible evidence are unjustified.   If the abductee was abducted (or if this is an hallucination) then s/he would have personal knowledge of the event (thoughts).  That would justify the belief to them personally.   But when the belief is communicated to everyone else it will be entirely unjustified.   No evidence.   This is same situation with the biblical God.   People think they have evidence of God but it is always tucked away in their thoughts.   To them this is hard evidence to justify their beliefs.    Yet there is not a shred of credible objective evidence to corroborate the belief.   The belief in God is justified by the belief of evidence (mere thoughts), but belief of evidence is not the same as actual evidence.   Until we have actual credible evidence there is no justification for the belief.   There may indeed be a God, but the belief is unjustified.

It doesn't hurt my feelings that you do so. 

It is not my intent to hurt your feelings.   I am engaging in debate.   I like you Drakk, always have.   To me this is not personal nor is it emotional.   The question of a supernatural creator is likely the most important question of all.   That question cannot realistically be answered (yet).   The question of the biblical God is very important too because billions of people buy into the claim that the Bible is divine truth.   In that case it is quite easy to make the case that the Bible is not divine - from quite a few dimensions.   To me, it would be a net improvement in critical thinking if those in the world who hold ancient books to be divine truth would instead treat them as ancient human wisdom, history, etc. and learn as one would learn from any other ancient book.   To take under advisement but not to blindly follow as if instructed by the grandest possible entity (who, in this case, is nothing more than ancient men with pens and agendas - in my opinion of course).

I'm not debating with you in the hopes that you'll agree that maybe I'm justified after all and I can feel more vindicated about my belief.

Same here.   I debate to try to eek out a bit more truth and to provide benefit to those who might read the debate.   

Your opinion about my belief means nothing to me.

Not only am I not surprised, I applaud that.   My opinion should be irrelevant to you.   What matters is evidence, facts and logic - not what some human being claims or concludes.   

I'm bothering with this because what pisses me off is you claim reason and logic but act irrationally and illogically, then tell others that they are the irrational and illogical ones. In short, it's your hypocrisy that gets under my skin.

I think the problem is that you are getting pissed off - that you are engaging at an emotional level.   While I can fully appreciate the frustration of trying to argue the pro side of a 'Does God Exist?' kind of a debate (and variations thereof) getting angry only clouds one's thinking.    It also causes one to read what is not written.   

... you claim reason and logic but act irrationally and illogically ...

Interesting accusation.   Other than where you have misread and/or provided meaning for me, where do you find me acting irrationally or acting illogically?   (Also, going personal does not really help matters.)

You'll state all day long that, yes, it's possible that the supernatural exists. But then immediately dismiss the implications as part of the discussion, when logic would state that since it is possible, that's the end of the discussion. You'll agree that natural means won't detect supernatural things, but really, you don't mean it. You only say such things in order to avoid the obvious "prove it doesn't exist" trap.

The other possibility is that I am entirely consistent.   I do not knowingly make claims of truth (100% certainty).    Although I do not qualify every single sentence with 'in my opinion', implicitly I am offering opinions / conclusions.   And, conversely, I generally do not ask people for proof.   Proof is a tough thing to deliver.  Rather, I ask for evidence.   The grander the claim, the grander the evidence to justify the claim.

So, it is possible there is a supernatural.   Deliver some evidence to convince me that it is anything more than human imagination and I will be thrilled to discuss it.   But without any reason to consider the supernatural real there is no point talking about it.   And I do accept that natural cannot detect supernatural given the common definition of the concept.   I am just agreeing with the common meaning of the word.   And I do mean it - I accept the common meaning; no reason to redefine the word.   

What I write is what I understand to be correct.   To avoid the 'prove it does not exist' trap, all one need do is avoid making claims that one cannot justify to others.   To me, that is easy.   I do not have to plot and scheme to accomplish that feat.

Worse, rather than use logic, you throw in the artificial qualifier science in order to avoid the obvious and claim unless that it can pass the science test it doesn't count.   

You do not see me using logic?

You'll agree all day long that there may exist things that science can't examine or explain but, inexplicably, when those very things are discussed, you predictably and invariably invoke science as the only valid method to determine those things. Do you really call that logic?
  • It is logical to realize that most anything is possible and that unless we can prove something impossible, we must rationally hold possibility.
  • It is logical to not hold something as true without credible evidence.    (Scientific evidence is likely the most credible, but other evidence that is equally or better qualified would do.)
  • If someone offers a method other than science to approach truth I would evaluate the method.   If the method is ultimately grounded on mere thoughts, it will not be as good as science.

So yes, Drakk, I do indeed consider my approach to be logical.   

Lastly, since you hold science in the position that you do, you employ as much faith as anyone who believes in God. Possibly more. 

Every claim ultimately is based on evidence.   The reason I refer to science is because of the scientific method.   Give me another method and I will consider it (see above).

You are saying that, unless science can prove it, it doesn't exist, even though science doesn't agree.

Not quite.   I am saying that unless I am convinced I will not believe.   I never claim that the lack of evidence means a claim is false.   For example, how many times have I told you that there might be a God?   We have no scientific evidence of God so by your accusation I should robotically chant 'thus God does not exist'.   

There is nothing in the concept of science that insists only what science can examine exists.

True.   Science currently, for example, speaks of dark energy and dark matter.   We (human beings) have almost no clue what this might be and we cannot really examine it, but we hold that it exists because it neatly explains phenomena that we can observe (e.g. the accelerating expanding universe).   It is currently a placeholder - a domain to study.   Science follows the evidence to where it leads and is always on the edge of knowledge trying to find ways to evidence that which has been hypothesized.

I'm certain you agree with this, but then, illogically go immediately back to your mantra "can you provide scientific evidence". In always demanding scientific evidence you are expressing pure faith that science is the god of what's real, what's justifiable.  

By demanding evidence (scientific or equivalent, by the way) I am simply stating that unless I am convinced by evidence, I will not believe something to be true.

In the end, you can't justify your position any more than you believe the God believer can.

Which position am I to justify here?   I do not believe the biblical God is anything more than a creation of human imagination.   That is one position.   Would you like me to justify this position?    I do not believe there is a sentient creator of everything.   The reason for this lack of belief is simply that I have seen no evidence supporting the positive assertion that this entity exists.   That is, sans evidence I have no basis for believing this notion.   It is possible, but that is as far as I can go.

Yet you pronounce their belief as unjustified. All you do is declare science as the arbiter and demand the issue be determined in it's court. Sorry, you don't get to demand that of anyone but yourself. 

If scientific evidence is not to your liking then offer another form of evidence.   If you offer 'evidence' that cannot be verified at least at the level of normal scientific evidence then I will not be convinced.   I am curious, what would you consider to be an unjustified belief?    Seems to me you want to degrade the concept of supporting evidence to the point where most anything can be justified by personal thought alone.    So if someone claims to have been abducted by ET and delivers only their thoughts and feelings as evidence, is that a justified belief in your way of thinking?


Now, as an aside.   Your entire post was, in effect, a personal attack.   So now you have vented; hopefully we can move on now without the personal stuff.   

I took each of your comments as you 'talking angry' and responded with content designed to correct misunderstanding.   My net conclusion is that you have oddly attributed factors to me that are not only wrong, but some you know are wrong.   Ultimately it seems that in your mind, it is not that your argument is poor, it is that I am an illogical, irrational hypocrite.  

My prior posts were focused on showing why I think your argument is lacking.   Your demand that we cannot employ any statistical method for gauging the likelihood of exolife is both logically silly and demonstrably wrong (see my links).   The question of: 'is the existence of exolife likely or unlikely?' basically focuses on one thing - the likelihood that at least one exolife exists in the universe.   Just one.   You insist that we must first find exolife before we can employ any statistical methods of gauging the likelihood that at least one exolife exists.   That is just silly at face value.   That model is terrible.

And, on the big question of God, you have never delivered any credible evidence (scientific or otherwise).   The closest you have come is to note that God is real to you based on your experiences.   I have no doubt that your belief in God is justified to you personally.  In other words, I am convinced that you believe in God (as you have defined God).   But the belief is not justified (outside of your mind; in a form others can consider) because you have never provided any justification other than 'I believe'.    

That is how I see it.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.49  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.48    8 months ago
 And the reason I have concluded there is no supernatural is because for thousands of years people (illogically by the way) spoke of a supernatural yet we have no credible evidence of same.

And what would this credible evidence have to look like? What conditions would this credible evidence have to satisfy?

If not, I will continue to think the supernatural is yet another product of human imagination until we have supporting evidence.

I could not care less what you continue to think about it. What I care about is your hypocritical stance that other's beliefs are not justified when you can't prove that they aren't. 

The instant God engages you, you have crossed the bridge in my 'bridge' analogy. You, a natural creature, would be connected to a supernatural entity. Natural+supernatural. And if that actually did occur then this notion that there is no way to evidence a supernatural entity goes out the window.

Really? Why? Do you have some sort of method worked out for detecting what the supernatural connecting to the natural must look like? Tell me, TiG, what it would look like if God connected to a person? Would there be thunder and lighting? He'd levitate them off the ground? Maybe you have some sort of instrument that could detect it as a Geiger counter detects radiation. 

Sure I do. If someone walks up to you and claims that Zeus is real would you call that a justified or an unjustified belief? If someone claims to have been abducted by extraterrestrial beings would you call that a justified or an unjustified belief? Note: in both cases no evidence is provided - merely the statement of belief - the claim.

I wouldn't think of justified or justified in the first place. I can tell that person why I don't believe in Zeus, but I wouldn't dream of telling that person they aren't justified or unjustified. Who am I to declare that? 

Please explain how the aforementioned belief of extraterrestrial abduction is a justified belief.

This is a red herring, offered in an attempt to argue this in the natural world only and a continuation of your insistence that if it can't be explained by science it doesn't exist. Either you're blind to the shortcoming of your example or you think I'm blind to how irrelevant it is. Whether or not extraterrestrial abduction is justified or not is irrelevant. It doesn't work as an example because it doesn't deal with the supernatural. Regardless whether abduction occurs or not it would be a completely natural occurrence. There would be nothing supernatural about it. It would be conducted by aliens subject to the same natural laws as we are and using technology that adheres to those same laws. You are arguing that the supernatural falls under those laws, which is illogical, because it would not be supernatural, but just nature. 

But even if we address this question in the natural world, say that the man was actually abducted, it doesn't matter a damned bit whether he can prove it to you or not. He knows he was abducted. He doesn't need your convincing for it to have been true. It's only necessary for your belief. 

I think the problem is that you are getting pissed off - that you are engaging at an emotional level. While I can fully appreciate the frustration of trying to argue the pro side of a 'Does God Exist?' kind of a debate (and variations thereof) getting angry only clouds one's thinking. It also causes one to read what is not written.

Are you doing this on purpose? Trying to push my buttons? This has absolutely nothing to do with whether God exists or not. It is not in any way pro-God. This is not a religious discussion. This is a purely scientific one. This is about the hypocrisy of claiming that someone else is unjustified in their religious belief while claiming logic, rationality and the scientific method when we both know science has nothing to say on the subject in the first place. TiG, it's one thing to say that you yourself are not convinced and another to say that someone else has no justification for what they believe. How could you possibly know that? 

To use your own example against you, imagine you're walking in the woods on a moonlit night. You don't have anything but the clothes you are wearing. Suddenly you see a bright light ahead. You walk toward it and arrive at the edge of a clearing. To your astonishment you see a silent craft hovering over it with a beam of light falling on another person. Then, even more amazing, you see figures descend through the air to surround the person. They are quite obviously not human. Up they go to their ship, lights go off and they disappear. A week later, a man featured in the newspaper tells about his abduction experience. It was the same night at the same place at the same time you saw the whole thing. 

Neither of you have any credible proof that it ever occurred. No detectable evidence left behind. No photos. Nothing. Are you going to claim that the man's claim of being abducted is not justified? Point being, whether anyone else is convinced, the man is justified because he knows it happened. That no one else is convinced doesn't mean he isn't justified in what he says happened. Just because you have no proof doesn't mean you aren't justified in what you saw happen. Anyone who claims you aren't justified is a fool because you know it happened. They are fools because they are imposing a false standard in being justified. That in order for it to be true, they have to confirm it through evidence, when in truth, it's true because it happened, regardless of evidence. They conflate justification with being convinced. 

The other possibility is that I am entirely consistent.

It isn't a possibility, it's a demonstrable fact. That is what is so frustrating about talking to you. You always demand nature based evidence for what is claimed to be supernatural. And you honestly don't see the illogic in that, apparently. It's like trying to talk to you about China when you don't recognize anything but the United States as existing. 

I do not knowingly make claims of truth (100% certainty).

Maybe you don't knowingly do, although as smart as you are, it seems hard to believe sometimes. But I can tell you that you do make such a claim. Every time you demand evidence, you demand it be in a manner that can be examined within the context of nature. That is a 100% certainty that it can be done so. But if that were the case, it wouldn't be supernatural, would it? Beyond nature? Yet you can't see the illogic in that stance and because you don't, you declare belief unjustified. Your own position is unjustifiable because no actual basis for it. The hypocrisy is that you demand evidence for faith to be justified when you can't provide evidence that the supernatural would be provable through scientific means. Do you really not see how disingenuous that is? You're demanding red be described in terms of blue. 

Again, this isn't about religion or God. This is about the absurdity of your demands. It isn't about convincing you that God exists. It's about how you demand one standard for the believer and apply another for yourself. 

Although I do not qualify every single sentence with 'in my opinion'...

Nor would I expect you to. I also have no difficulty in knowing what is your opinion and one that is a declarative statement of fact, like believers are not justified in what they believe. 

So, it is possible there is a supernatural. Deliver some evidence to convince me...

Again, the purpose of my participation in this is not to convince you the supernatural, that is, God, exists. The purpose is to convince you that you do not apply to yourself the standards you apply to the believer. That is, you demand evidence of believers you do not demand of yourself. If you did, you would not state that believers were unjustified, having no evidence to support such a claim. 

But even if I were to accept such a challenge I would first ask you what you believe such evidence would look like. Apparently you feel the supernatural would be explainable in natural terms. To my mind, I can't see how that would be possible. To my mind, if it were, then it wouldn't be supernatural but, rather, natural. You say that you accept the meaning of the word "supernatural" but honestly, when you demand it be evidenced through natural means, it's difficult to believe you really do understand the term. 

What I write is what I understand to be correct. To avoid the 'prove it does not exist' trap, all one need do is avoid making claims that one cannot justify to others. To me, that is easy. I do not have to plot and scheme to accomplish that feat.

Apparently not as easy as you believe. When you make a statement like "believers have no justification for what they believe", you have to have some proof that this is so. As I illustrated above, a person can be justified in what they believe regardless whether or not someone else is convinced. Claiming that they aren't justified, without evidence, is false. Claiming that one is not convinced without evidence is true. 

You do not see me using logic?

I see you using logic within the artificial constraint with which you limit yourself. My accusation is that this constraint is the result of a personal choice and not on logic and therefor warps your objectivity concerning claims such as believers having no justification in what they believe. There is nothing in science or the scientific method that demands only what it can examine exists. An unbiased, unemotional understanding of science understands that science is merely a tool with which to examine the natural world around us. I am not trying to subtly work you around to a belief in God. I am trying to get you to think in a more objective manner than you currently do. You have your reasons for not being convinced of God. You have no objective reason for saying those who are, are not justified. Not unless you impose an artificial standard such as science when discussing the supernatural. 

It is logical to realize that most anything is possible and that unless we can prove something impossible, we must rationally hold possibility.

This would be a more credible statement on your behalf if you actually argued with this in mind. 

It is logical to not hold something as true without credible evidence. (Scientific evidence is likely the most credible, but other evidence that is equally or better qualified would do.)

True concerning natural things. Completely useless on the supernatural in most cases. Take Jonah and the whale (fish) for instance. In the natural world it is unlikely in the extreme someone is going survive three days in the belly of some sea creature, based on what we know. But for the sake of argument, let's say Jonah actually spends three days in the belly of whatever sea creature because of the intervention of God. The people of his day had irrefutable evidence that it really happened. They saw him get swallowed and puked up three days later, alive and totally fine. To be sure, they force fed a thousand other people into the same sort of fish, different other fish and whatever else they could conceive of as a control and they all died. Meticulous records and everything.

Question. Do you think anyone today would believe it was credible that God intervened on Jonah's behalf? 

If someone offers a method other than science to approach truth I would evaluate the method. If the method is ultimately grounded on mere thoughts, it will not be as good as science.

Is it scientifically true that we should allow children with certain genetic defects to live? Depends on the question we ask science concerning such a question, doesn't it? One could make the argument that euthanizing such children would spare future generations the pain of such diseases. But at what cost? Our humanity? Not all truths can be answered in the realm of science. 

Every claim ultimately is based on evidence. The reason I refer to science is because of the scientific method. Give me another method and I will consider it (see above).

Science can't address everything (see above)

Not quite. I am saying that unless I am convinced I will not believe.

That would be fine if that is all you claimed. But when you say someone isn't justified you are going beyond that. 

True. Science currently, for example, speaks of dark energy and dark matter.

Bad example. Science can address this. 

By demanding evidence (scientific or equivalent, by the way) I am simply stating that unless I am convinced by evidence, I will not believe something to be true.

I think I'll end here as this is just getting too repetitive. The issue isn't what you personally believe. It is your unjustified declaration concerning what others believe. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.50  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.47    8 months ago
Shifting the burden, Drakk.

Which is a ridiculous claim. Shifting the burden, I mean. If one claims that someone else's belief is unjustified they have a responsibility to give evidence as to why. The burden was already his. I didn't shift it at all. 

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
1.4.51  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.50    8 months ago
If one claims that someone else's belief is unjustified they have a responsibility to give evidence as to why. The burden was already his. I didn't shift it at all.

So, I guess someone who walks into your home and tells you that he owns your home and everything in it, it's now your burden of proof to prove him wrong if you believe his claim is unjustified?

If someone tells me the contrails airplanes make contain mind control drugs, do I have to believe them until I get a sample, test it and prove to everyone that it doesn't?

Seems rather ridiculous doesn't it, and the same is true in your example. If someone claims to believe in spirits and the supernatural, that's their choice, but it's my opinion that their belief is unjustified if they have no empirical evidence they can present to get others to believe. Again, believe whatever you want, aliens, mind control contrails, a young flat earth, that's your choice. But don't try to convince others of your beliefs unless your willing to be doubted and asked for proof. Getting all defensive when others ask for proof of your belief in the supernatural shows how flimsy a believers faith really is.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.52  Drakkonis  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.4.51    8 months ago
So, I guess someone who walks into your home and tells you that he owns your home and everything in it, it's now your burden of proof to prove him wrong if you believe his claim is unjustified?

I'd ask if you could see why I'm so frustrated but since you said this it's obvious that you can't.

Your analogy has little to do with what I am talking about but I'll explain why it's wrong as an application concerning the subject anyway. Home ownership is a human invented concept. You can't scientifically explain why one person owns a home and another doesn't. It's based on human convention, not science. It doesn't have any bearing as to whether or not an individual has any justification in believing in God. But perhaps I'm wrong. I invite you to explain how who owns what justifies another claiming that belief in God is not justified. 

Seems rather ridiculous doesn't it...

Sure does. But I'm offering you a chance to explain yourself.

If someone claims to believe in spirits and the supernatural, that's their choice, but it's my opinion that their belief is unjustified if they have no empirical evidence they can present to get others to believe.

And you're welcome to your opinion. But, if you declaratively state that their belief is unjustified, the burden is upon you to prove that it is unjustified. That it can't be proven scientifically isn't sufficient unless you can prove that only what science can prove, exists. Can you do that? If not, you can't legitimately tell someone their belief is unjustified. You are only stating that as far as you are concerned, if it can't be proven by science it doesn't exist. 

Again, believe whatever you want, aliens, mind control contrails, a young flat earth, that's your choice. But don't try to convince others of your beliefs unless your willing to be doubted and asked for proof.

Yeah. This would have relevance in this conversation if I were trying to convince others that my beliefs are fact. I invite you to provide even a single quote that says that I am. 

Getting all defensive when others ask for proof of your belief in the supernatural shows how flimsy a believers faith really is.

Here's a suggestion. Why don't you actually do a little research in the form of actually reading the whole discussion rather than one tiny part of it and responding according to your own pre-conceptions? I'm convinced that if you have an I.Q. greater than a turnip you'll discover that my argument doesn't concern what you think about what I believe. I don't care what you think of what I believe, nor do I feel a need to justify it. What pisses me off is your side's hypocrisy in demanding evidence from us when you cannot provide evidence that what be believe is unjustified. How about I demand you prove your accusation? Prove my belief in God is unjustified! And don't give me that unjustifiable crap that the burden of proof is on me. In order for that fallacious demand to stand, you first have to prove that science is the arbiter of all that is possible.

Your move. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.53  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.50    8 months ago
If one claims that someone else's belief is unjustified they have a responsibility to give evidence as to why. The burden was already his. I didn't shift it at all. 

You didn't give any evidence as to why your belief (or anyone's belief) in a god is justified. So answer TiG's question: what is the justification for believing there is a god?

And what would this credible evidence have to look like? What conditions would this credible evidence have to satisfy?

The same as any valid evidence: objective, empirical, testable, and falsifiable.

What I care about is your hypocritical stance that other's beliefs are not justified when you can't prove that they aren't.

Prove that they are! What is the justification for belief in a god?

Do you have some sort of method worked out for detecting what the supernatural connecting to the natural must look like?

You tell us, since you seem to think such an occurrence is possible.

Who am I to declare that?

For starters, that would make one rational and a critical thinker.

You are arguing that the supernatural falls under those laws, which is illogical, because it would not be supernatural, but just nature.

Until you  or anyone can prove there's a supernatural or that it interacts in some way with the natural, then such a concept is limited to the confines of imagination.

He knows he was abducted. He doesn't need your convincing for it to have been true.

He can make the claim he was abducted. but without evidence, such a claim is empty and without merit. For all anyone knows, such a claim could be the result of a drug trip, a psychological condition, attention seeking, ect., rather than actual abduction.

This is about the hypocrisy of claiming that someone else is unjustified in their religious belief while claiming logic, rationality and the scientific method when we both know science has nothing to say on the subject in the first place.

You're pretty much saying belief is unjustified then, if science doesn't deal with the supernatural. In that case, the supernatural is outside of natural reality and therefore cannot be detected nor have interaction or effect in the natural world in any way. Therefore, the supernatural is utterly irrelevant and self contained.

To use your own example against you,

What was that you were saying about Red herrings?

And you honestly don't see the illogic in that, apparently.

You don't seem to see the illogic of the supernatural. You can claim the supernatural this or that, but you have yet to provide one iota of evidence to support such a concept. You're basically saying the supernatural exists because you say so.

Every time you demand evidence, you demand it be in a manner that can be examined within the context of nature.

What other kind of evidence is there?

The hypocrisy is that you demand evidence for faith

Faith itself is unjustified. it's little more than wishful thinking.

This is about the absurdity of your demands.

His "demands" is quite reasonable and logical.

That is, you demand evidence of believers you do not demand of yourself.

What claim did TiG make that does not require evidence?

Apparently you feel the supernatural would be explainable in natural terms. To my mind, I can't see how that would be possible. To my mind, if it were, then it wouldn't be supernatural but, rather, natural.

Then there's no logical reason to believe or accept the supernatural, outside of personal preference or emotional comfort.

There is nothing in science or the scientific method that demands only what it can examine exists.

But science also will not make affirmative claims or explanations without some kind of evidence and/or logical analysis.

You have no objective reason for saying those who are, are not justified.

So what is a believer's objective justification for believing in a god or the supernatural?

Is it scientifically true that we should allow children with certain genetic defects to live?

That is a moral and ethical consideration, not a scientific one. Science would seek to eliminate genetic defects or associated conditions.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.54  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.49    8 months ago
And what would this credible evidence have to look like? What conditions would this credible evidence have to satisfy?

I don't know.   What evidence convinced you that the religious supernatural is real?   We probably should start with that.

I could not care less ...

Looks like another angry post to deal with.

Tell me, TiG, what it would look like if God connected to a person?

You have it backwards.  You should be describing connection to the supernatural, not me.  I am the one who is not convinced.

I wouldn't think of justified or justified in the first place. I can tell that person why I don't believe in Zeus, but I wouldn't dream of telling that person they aren't justified or unjustified. Who am I to declare that? 

The lack of justification is why you do not believe in Zeus.   Objectively, belief in Zeus is not justified.   The person who believes in Zeus obviously has justified the belief to his/her own satisfaction; personal justification.   Maybe s/he should share the justification (if possible).   Until someone provides objective justification (that would be evidence), belief in Zeus is unjustified.  I am confident you see the difference and equally confident that you will never admit it.

But even if we address this question in the natural world, say that the man was actually abducted, it doesn't matter a damned bit whether he can prove it to you or not. He knows he was abducted. He doesn't need your convincing for it to have been true. It's only necessary for your belief. 

Yes!  That is the point I made.   It is necessary for my (and others) belief.   The belief in the abduction is personally justified to the man, but objectively (to others) it is unjustified because the man has no evidence.  He only has what he believes to be true.   See the difference?  (Again, I am confident you will not admit this.)   

Are you doing this on purpose? Trying to push my buttons? 

Not my intent.  If I were trying to push your buttons, Drakk, I would think my tone would be sarcastic or negative.   I can think of plenty of things to write if that was my intent.   I think most anyone reading this exchange could easily do likewise.   From what I am observing mere disagreement pushes your buttons.   That part I cannot do anything about except to not respond to you.   So I will continue to respond to your comments and agree when I do, disagree when I do and explain why.   Your anger is necessarily your responsibility.

This is not a religious discussion. This is a purely scientific one. 

Is it?   Okay, then what aspect of the scientific discussion should we be discussing?   

This is about the hypocrisy of claiming that someone else is unjustified in their religious belief while claiming logic, rationality and the scientific method when we both know science has nothing to say on the subject in the first place. 

Personal (subjective) justification vs. objective justification.   You keep trying to spin this as me saying that a believer is not actually a believer - that the believer has not justified the belief to himself.   You must, at this point, be doing this on purpose.   In which case you are being intellectually dishonest.   You believe in God.  To you the belief is justified.  To me the belief is not justified.   I am not saying that your personal belief is not justified to you personally.  How would anyone know if that were true or false?   I am saying that belief in God, based on the evidence that has been presented, is unjustified.   If you think you have evidence that would justify a belief in God (or belief in an abduction) then present it.   Until presented, the lack of evidence is the reason the belief remains unjustified to others.

No way that you do not understand that (unless you prefer to not understand).

To use your own example against you, ...

jrSmiley_80_smiley_image.gif

... imagine you're walking in the woods on a moonlit night. You don't have anything but the clothes you are wearing. Suddenly you see a bright light ahead. You walk toward it and arrive at the edge of a clearing. To your astonishment you see a silent craft hovering over it with a beam of light falling on another person. Then, even more amazing, you see figures descend through the air to surround the person. They are quite obviously not human. Up they go to their ship, lights go off and they disappear. A week later, a man featured in the newspaper tells about his abduction experience. It was the same night at the same place at the same time you saw the whole thing.  Neither of you have any credible proof that it ever occurred. No detectable evidence left behind. No photos. Nothing. Are you going to claim that the man's claim of being abducted is not justified?

Certainly not.   I have personal evidence that convinced me that aliens do exist, they have arrived on Earth and they do abduct human beings.   So two people in this story of yours have justified personal beliefs.   However when we go to others I am pretty sure they will not consider our beliefs to be justified (to them).   See?

Point being, whether anyone else is convinced, the man is justified because he knows it happened.

Yes!   You did not actually read my prior post did you?

That no one else is convinced doesn't mean he isn't justified in what he says happened.

He is personally justified.   But his belief (to everyone else who has no access to his private, personal evidence) is unjustified.   Same answer every time.   With all these answers I wonder if you will still pretend to not see the difference.

Just because you have no proof doesn't mean you aren't justified in what you saw happen.

Right!   I would certainly believe it and would insist my abduction belief was justified.   It would suck because nobody else would believe me.   They probably would think I was nuts.   (That is a possibility too.)

Anyone who claims you aren't justified is a fool because you know it happened. They are fools because they are imposing a false standard in being justified. That in order for it to be true, they have to confirm it through evidence, when in truth, it's true because it happened, regardless of evidence. They conflate justification with being convinced. 

Well I am pretty sure I told you upfront, several times, that an unjustified belief might actually be correct.   Remember that?   Read what you just wrote.   Note that you think you are making a killer point yet I stated this upfront.   (hint)

It isn't a possibility, it's a demonstrable fact. That is what is so frustrating about talking to you. You always demand nature based evidence for what is claimed to be supernatural. And you honestly don't see the illogic in that, apparently. It's like trying to talk to you about China when you don't recognize anything but the United States as existing. 

Drakk, think this through, you claim connection with a supernatural entity.    The basic challenge will be to provide evidence of your claim.   You will then play the supernatural card and state that there can be no natural evidence for a supernatural entity.   Then I suppose you expect the challenger to then say:  oh, okay, yeah.   Of course that is not how it goes.   If you claim supernatural as your rebuttal then you will be challenged to explain how you, a natural entity, is capable of connecting with a supernatural entity yet are entirely incapable of explaining how this is done and providing evidence that it actually occurs.   

Here is one way this claim could be evidenced.   It is the method used to qualify the claims of those professing to speak to the dead, etc.   If one is connected to God then one is gaining information from God.   If a connected individual could provide divine information that could be verified that would be evidence of a connection to at least a highly impressive entity.   Now in all of history, with all sorts of people claiming divine connection, why have we never found any verification that a person truly can engage with God?    Skeptics have a point.

Like I said in my earlier post, I am convinced that your belief is personally justified.   That is, I am convinced you are sincere.   But why would skeptics find your belief justified?   On what grounds?   Because you say so?    Personal justification vs. objective justification.

Every time you demand evidence, you demand it be in a manner that can be examined within the context of nature. That is a 100% certainty that it can be done so.

Either one can provide evidence or one cannot.  The reasons do not matter.   Sans evidence you should not expect others to simply believe something another person merely claims.

But if that were the case, it wouldn't be supernatural, would it? Beyond nature?

( We just covered this. )

The hypocrisy is that you demand evidence for faith to be justified when you can't provide evidence that the supernatural would be provable through scientific means.

What an odd statement.   Very simple:  if the supernatural exists and we have no way to verify its existence then the belief in the supernatural is unjustified.   If you hold that the supernatural exists then clearly you have evidenced something (at least personally).   What is it?   If you say that the evidence is only feelings and thought communications then we are at the alien abduction scenario.

Nobody (including me) is required to evidence (or prove) that the supernatural would be scientifically falsifiable.   I am not the one claiming that the supernatural exists.   You claim it exists, I am afraid that you bear the burden of proof.   If you cannot even evidence the supernatural then why would anyone believe it exists?   Claiming that it is unfair to demand natural evidence for a supernatural reality is logical, but it does not make your claim objectively justified.   Also, remember, you are a natural being who is connected with the supernatural.   Seems to me the natural-supernatural connection is much like the event horizon of a black hole.   We see things on the natural side that quite clearly evidence the black hole even though we cannot possibly see past the event horizon.

Do you really not see how disingenuous that is? You're demanding red be described in terms of blue.

I see how frustrating it must be for you, but again I am not the one making these claims and then complaining of unfair treatment when the claim is challenged.

Again, this isn't about religion or God. This is about the absurdity of your demands. It isn't about convincing you that God exists. It's about how you demand one standard for the believer and apply another for yourself. 

It probably feels good to accuse me of that but unfortunately (for your logic) you are inventing the absurd scenario.    Yes it would be convenient if I truly were making unfair demands of you.   But ultimately all I have done is challenge your claims and ask that you substantiate them.   You cannot.   I get that.   It is frustrating.   I fully appreciate why.   Not my fault, Drakk.

I also have no difficulty in knowing what is your opinion and one that is a declarative statement of fact, like believers are not justified in what they believe. 

Apparently you do have difficulty.   What you just deemed a declarative statement of fact is my opinion.   I can (yet again) explain it.   Those who claim that the biblical God exists have not provided a shred of evidence.   Ergo, that claim is unjustified.   It is an unjustified belief.   To the believer (the true believer that is) the belief is justified (albeit personally).   Personal (subjective) justification vs. objective justification.   

The purpose is to convince you that you do not apply to yourself the standards you apply to the believer. 

You have failed.   The reason you have failed is because you are purposely (clearly) conflating personal justification with objective justification.   Given I explained this in my prior post and you have repeated the same basic allegation throughout this post it is rather obvious that you want me to be wrong and apparently are willing to refuse explanation and continue with a strawman argument over and over.   I doubt anyone is buying what you are peddling.   

That is, you demand evidence of believers you do not demand of yourself. If you did, you would not state that believers were unjustified, having no evidence to support such a claim.

Well all you had to do was ask.   The reason belief in the biblical God is unjustified is because in thousands of years we have yet to see credible evidence of what is defined as the grandest possible entity - an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, perfect, loving eternal creator of everything.   This is a claim of staggering proportions yet no evidence for thousands of years.   Now that is an unjustified belief.   

But you, personally, have clearly justified the belief to your satisfaction.   You cannot or will not provide the evidence that convinced you.   Thus from the perspective of a skeptic who does not believe something simply because it is claimed - who needs to be convinced based on evidence - belief in the biblical God is unjustified.    Objectively.

But even if I were to accept such a challenge I would first ask you what you believe such evidence would look like. Apparently you feel the supernatural would be explainable in natural terms.

Repeating again.   I am not sure how you would evidence the supernatural Drakk.    But I do know that thus far nobody has credibly done so and billions of people over thousands of years have been highly motivated to do so.   

To my mind, I can't see how that would be possible. To my mind, if it were, then it wouldn't be supernatural but, rather, natural.

Logically then, you should not have any connection with the supernatural.  Why would the existence of a connection not make the supernatural 'natural'?

You say that you accept the meaning of the word "supernatural" but honestly, when you demand it be evidenced through natural means, it's difficult to believe you really do understand the term. 

I understand the concept.   I just do not accept the religious ploy (a very old, established ploy).   No insulating God from scrutiny with the supernatural shield.


I am just repeating myself.   Your post keeps cycling through the same themes and I have addressed each repeatedly at this point.

The issue isn't what you personally believe. It is your unjustified declaration concerning what others believe. 

So my advice is to try to understand what I wrote.   Belief in Zeus is unjustified.   Clearly you understand why.   But ancient Greeks believed in Zeus and one would expect that each believer personally justified the belief.   Whether it was based on seeing lightning or something else it does not matter.   The belief, objectively, is (was) not justified but the personal beliefs were no doubt individually justified in each mind.

If the ancient Greeks could have delivered objective evidence of Zeus then they would have had a chance to make their beliefs justified.   Lacking such evidence, the belief is not justified.

A sentient creator might exist.   Belief that a sentient creator DOES exist is unjustified (objectively) because there is no supporting evidence.   But that unjustified belief might actually be correct.   We do not (yet) know.

What you can personally justify is good for you, but is only good for you - personally.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.55  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.52    8 months ago
What pisses me off is your side's hypocrisy in demanding evidence from us when you cannot provide evidence that what be believe is unjustified. How about I demand you prove your accusation? Prove my belief in God is unjustified! And don't give me that unjustifiable crap that the burden of proof is on me. In order for that fallacious demand to stand, you first have to prove that science is the arbiter of all that is possible.

You ask to prove (let's just say illustrate) that your personal belief in God is unjustified.    Nobody knows what is in your mind or what you have experienced.   So clearly nobody could possibly prove that your belief has no private, personal justification.   Personal justification is private.   But objective (general) justification is another matter entirely.

It is quite easy to claim that belief in the biblical God is unjustified because there is no evidence of same.   No evidence for thousands of years, by billions of highly motivated believers, for what would be the grandest possible entity.   Do you really not understand why a skeptic would find the belief to be objectively unjustified?

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.56  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.49    8 months ago

One more sort of summary point:

If a skeptic held that belief in God (or anything really) was justified, the skeptic would ipso facto be a believer.   Thus a skeptic necessarily does not hold that such a belief is justified.

You are bent out of shape because a skeptic (me) articulated the position that belief in a god is unjustified.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.57  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @1.4.53    8 months ago
You didn't give any evidence as to why your belief (or anyone's belief) in a god is justified. So answer TiG's question: what is the justification for believing there is a god?

No, I didn't. That is because it is irrelevant to the discussion. The discussion is the hypocrisy in declaring belief unjustified when you can't prove that it is. 

The same as any valid evidence: objective, empirical, testable, and falsifiable.

Okay. What would that be for something that isn't subject to the laws of nature?

Prove that they are! What is the justification for belief in a god?

Seriously? You can't prove that belief in God is unjustified so you instead shift the burden of proof and think that is valid? This isn't a discussion as to whether or not God exists. I know that is your one-trick-pony but it's not the issue. 

You tell us, since you seem to think such an occurrence is possible.

instead of just reacting, you might try thinking before you write. The purpose of my question was to suggest that it is unlikely that one can use natural means to detect the supernatural. As I stated, if the supernatural could be detectable by natural (scientific) means, it wouldn't be supernatural, would it? In demanding natural (scientific) methods, one is stating that there is no supernatural.

For starters, that would make one rational and a critical thinker.

I disagree. It would make one a person who's chosen to believe that only what science can address is all that exists. I challenge you to prove such a thing is true.

Until you or anyone can prove there's a supernatural or that it interacts in some way with the natural, then such a concept is limited to the confines of imagination.

Says the person who believes nothing can exist that science can't address. Please prove this is true.

He can make the claim he was abducted. but without evidence, such a claim is empty and without merit. For all anyone knows, such a claim could be the result of a drug trip, a psychological condition, attention seeking, ect., rather than actual abduction.

Except TiG would have to be subject to the same thing. Are you going to try to convince TiG that what he saw with his own eyes didn't happen because there is no proof that convinces you? Is TiG going to say, well, yeah, I saw what the guy claimed happened but since there's no evidence, it didn't really happen? You have to justify why it didn't happen in order to declaratively state that it didn't. That you don't believe or have doubt only means that you don't believe or have doubts. It doesn't mean their claim isn't unjustified to them. 

You're pretty much saying belief is unjustified then, if science doesn't deal with the supernatural. In that case, the supernatural is outside of natural reality and therefore cannot be detected nor have interaction or effect in the natural world in any way. Therefore, the supernatural is utterly irrelevant and self contained.

Not what I'm saying. So, how about you explain your position on this rather than projecting it on me?

You don't seem to see the illogic of the supernatural. You can claim the supernatural this or that, but you have yet to provide one iota of evidence to support such a concept. You're basically saying the supernatural exists because you say so.

Perhaps because I'm not trying to prove evidence for the supernatural? Please provide a quote that suggests that I am.

Faith itself is unjustified. it's little more than wishful thinking.

To use your favorite tactic, prove it.

His "demands" is quite reasonable and logical.

As long as you limit what is possible to what science can address.

What claim did TiG make that does not require evidence?

That believer's faith is unjustified.

Then there's no logical reason to believe or accept the supernatural, outside of personal preference or emotional comfort.

Please explain why you feel this is so?

But science also will not make affirmative claims or explanations without some kind of evidence and/or logical analysis.

Duh! Maybe because science is restricted to the natural?

So what is a believer's objective justification for believing in a god or the supernatural?

Irrelevant to the subject. 

That is a moral and ethical consideration, not a scientific one.

Brilliant. You've just proved my point that science isn't the arbiter of all that there is. That there are things that science can't address. But you keep on going, okay? Keep on saying science is what matters except where your personally think it doesn't. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.58  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.54    8 months ago

it is too late to reply to this extensively. So I will just reply to this:

Certainly not. I have personal evidence that convinced me that aliens do exist, they have arrived on Earth and they do abduct human beings. So two people in this story of yours have justified personal beliefs. However when we go to others I am pretty sure they will not consider our beliefs to be justified (to them). See?

You seem to pin justification on human opinion. I pin it on truth. That is why in the example I gave, you and the abducted person are justified in what you know to be true. It wasn't personal belief on your and the abductee's behalf. It is simply what happened. If every other person on the planet said your experience wasn't justified it wouldn't change that nor make their opinion true. In fact it wouldn't be. Their charge of not being justified wouldn't be based in fact but, rather, opinion. 

You accuse me of not admitting something. I admit I see your point of view. I totally understand where you are coming from and why you believe it. I categorically deny that it is valid. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.59  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.50    8 months ago
Which is a ridiculous claim.

If your belief is not supported by evidence, it is unjustified.  It is up to you to support your claims (the existence of the supernatural, for example).  If you can't (and  you can't), then it is logical to dismiss them as unjustified.

It is up to you to support your claims.  Trying to make it our responsibility to disprove them is what shifting the burden is, Drakk.  What is ridiculous is that you're trying to deny you're engaging in it.  Your arguments are a textbook example of it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.60  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.58    8 months ago
You seem to pin justification on human opinion. I pin it on truth. That is why in the example I gave, you and the abducted person are justified in what you know to be true. It wasn't personal belief on your and the abductee's behalf. It is simply what happened. 

I told you upfront that an unjustified belief might turn out to be correct.   You ignored that.   You ignored repeated similar explanations.  You wrote a book exclaiming how offended you were that I dare claim that your personal belief is unjustified to you.   Except, of course, that is not what I wrote nor is it what I meant.  Clearly others have no problem understanding my words.  After all my various explanations in response to your allegations and examples, you still refuse to get it.   This is your problem, not mine.

You seem to pin justification on human opinion. I pin it on truth.

How odd.  You would argue that belief in God is justified only if it is truth and unjustified if not?   Truth?   Really?   Recognizing that there is no way (currently) to prove (establish truth) that God exists, how (with your definition) could you call your belief justified without first establishing truth (a very tall order)?   My position is that you personally could justify your position sans evidence (you need only be personally convinced of truth) even if you could never deliver evidence that would provide objective justification (objective truth).   It would seem my approach is much easier to achieve than yours.   

I categorically deny that it is valid. 

Personal belief can be personally justified.  You categorically deem that invalid?   

Sans evidence one cannot objectively justify a belief.   You categorically deem that invalid?

Not buying it.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.61  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.54    8 months ago
I don't know.   What evidence convinced you that the religious supernatural is real?   We probably should start with that.

No. This isn't going to work. Try as hard as you guys want to but the issue isn't whether we can justify God or the supernatural or whatever to you, as much as you want it to be. The issue is why you think we need to in the first place in order to be justified? It's your claim, not mine.  I've told you many times in other conversations what I can about my relationship with God and you dismiss them as evidence. So, again, what would God or the supernatural look like? How do you propose to detect such in a manner you feel would be justifiable? I would think that, since you feel qualified as to who is justified and who isn't, you must have some way to prove it, other than "you haven't convinced me so you're not justified". That just means you're not convinced. 

You have it backwards. You should be describing connection to the supernatural, not me. I am the one who is not convinced.

Not at all. I'm not trying to convince you God exists or that I have a relationship with Him. Either you're incapable of understanding this as evidenced by you continually making statements like this or you do understand and you're simply arguing the way you are to avoid my points. Again, the issue isn't whether you are convinced or not. The issue is whether your claim that believers aren't justified in their faith, it's are you justified in saying they're not. 

The lack of justification is why you do not believe in Zeus. Objectively, belief in Zeus is not justified.

This is not why I don't believe Zeus exists. It has nothing to do with objective evidence or the lack thereof. 

 I am confident you see the difference and equally confident that you will never admit it.

Yes, I do see the difference. I've stated before that I do. That doesn't mean that I agree with the way you apply it concerning the subject. 

If we were discussing something natural, like the moon, and someone claimed that they believed the moon is made of cheese then I'd be on board with what you're saying. Why? Because we actually can go about proving the truth or falsity of such a claim. There's nothing supernatural to contend with. 

But it doesn't work with the supernatural. If someone says Zeus exists, you can't say that statement is unjustified because the statement is unfalsifiable. You can't use a lack of evidence because that doesn't prove Zeus doesn't exist. Put the other way round, you can't say Zeus doesn't exist because you have no evidence that he doesn't. That is, you can't say people who don't believe Zeus are justified in not believing in him because there is no evidence that he doesn't. 

Yes! That is the point I made. It is necessary for my (and others) belief. The belief in the abduction is personally justified to the man, but objectively (to others) it is unjustified because the man has no evidence. He only has what he believes to be true. See the difference? (Again, I am confident you will not admit this.)

What I see here is you playing word games. The man doesn't believe it happened, he knows it happened and so do you because you were there. He is justified because it happened, not because he believes it did. But then, now he somehow isn't justified because someone else doesn't believe it? How can it be both?

Is it? Okay, then what aspect of the scientific discussion should we be discussing?

For the umpteenth time, your hypocrisy in applying a standard to believers you do not apply to yourself. You expect believers to provide you with objective natural scientific proof of something science can't even address. Yet, when someone demands the same of you, you ignore it or claim the burden is somehow only on my side. Total crap and wouldn't stand up in a court of science. IF you claim that a person's belief in God is unjustified, the burden, scientifically, is on you to prove it. You can't do it for the same we can't prove it. It's the supernatural. 

Personal (subjective) justification vs. objective justification. You keep trying to spin this as me saying that a believer is not actually a believer - that the believer has not justified the belief to himself.

I couldn't care less about any of that. My focus is entirely on the fact you have no scientific basis in stating a believer is unjustified in their belief. You can't prove it and lack of evidence isn't credible scientifically because you can't identify what that evidence would look like in the first place. 

Either one can provide evidence or one cannot. The reasons do not matter. Sans evidence you should not expect others to simply believe something another person merely claims.

Yeah, another red herring. This has nothing to do with getting others to believe anything. You guys are so tunnel visioned that you simply can't understand that what I personally believe about God has nothing to do with this discussion. You probably think this is some lead up to bringing up the subject, though. It's not. I have no intention of sharing those things with you guys any longer. More or less shook the dust off my sandals on that you might say. 

So, how about you just stick to the subject? That is, how you don't apply the same standards to yourself that you apply to believers? Leave out all the "why should I believe without evidence" crap because this has nothing to do with that. I get pissed because you guys keep adding in crap that has nothing to do with the subject and then accuse me of ignoring what you say. If you wanted to talk about cookies and I kept trying to make it about cake, you'd get pissed, too. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.62  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.59    8 months ago
It is up to you to support your claims.

What claims have I made, Sandy? I've made exactly two. Everything I've said is in support of either one or the other. It shouldn't be hard for you to come up with just two claims you think I've made. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.63  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.62    8 months ago
First, it's God that crosses, not me.

Those are your words, from your post #1.4.46  They were in reference to beings with the ability to cross between the natural and supernatural worlds.  This one sentence therefore contains two claims - the existence of God, and the existence of the supernatural.

But you've produced no evidence to support either.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.64  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.61    8 months ago
Try as hard as you guys want to but the issue isn't whether we can justify God or the supernatural or whatever to you, as much as you want it to be.

I realize that it is impossible for you to deliver evidence of God (or the supernatural) but your excuse cannot be to change the rules of logic.   If one makes a certain claim that God exists then the claimer has the burden of proof (or evidence for that matter).   If one, however, simply claims belief in God (etc.) there is no burden of proof.

I've told you many times in other conversations what I can about my relationship with God and you dismiss them as evidence. 

True, a declaration of faith is not evidence.

So, again, what would God or the supernatural look like? 

Asking the same question gets the same answer.  I do not know.  I am not the one making the claim.   My position is that belief in a god is unjustified due to a lack of evidence.   If you have the evidence in a form you can share then do so.   If not, then we remain in the same situation - no evidence - by anyone - for thousands of years.   And worse,  you and many others are quite motivated to deliver evidence.   Would you not enjoy delivering the evidence that shows that belief in a god is indeed justified and that atheists are being irrational by ignoring it?    Yet in spite of the motivation, no evidence by anyone for thousands of years.

The issue is whether your claim that believers aren't justified in their faith, it's are you justified in saying they're not. 

I am done rebutting this ongoing strawman since it has been thoroughly and repeatedly rebutted.   You are doing this on purpose.   Bad form Drakk.   jrSmiley_92_smiley_image.png

This is not why I don't believe Zeus exists. It has nothing to do with objective evidence or the lack thereof. 

You left off the part where you explain why you do not believe in Zeus.

But it doesn't work with the supernatural.

Special rules?

If someone says Zeus exists, you can't say that statement is unjustified because the statement is unfalsifiable.

Sure I can.   Belief in Zeus is unjustified because there is zero evidence that Zeus exists (or existed) and, indeed, substantial evidence to the contrary.   It is possible Zeus exists, but that does not make the belief in Zeus justified.

You can't use a lack of evidence because that doesn't prove Zeus doesn't exist.

Of course one can!   Proof is not required.   Stating that belief in Zeus is unjustified (given the lack of evidence) is not the same as stating:  Truth = Zeus does not exist.   

Put the other way round, you can't say Zeus doesn't exist because you have no evidence that he doesn't.

Of course one can!   One can certainly state that Zeus does not exist.  One cannot state that as an absolute fact (100% certainty, truth) but one certainly can articulate one's conclusion (and I recommend offering the supporting facts and logic as well).

That is, you can't say people who don't believe Zeus are justified in not believing in him because there is no evidence that he doesn't. 

A quadruple negative.   One can indeed say that people who do not believe in Zeus are justified in their lack of belief.   Why?   If they do not believe in Zeus because they are not convinced due to the lack of evidence, their lack of belief is justified by the objective evidence (none supporting Zeus; plenty debunking Zeus).   Now if you believed in Zeus I cannot state with certainty that your belief is unjustified because you likely have justified the belief in your own mind.    Similarly, one cannot claim that a flat earther's beliefs are not justified personally by the individual.   Flat earth beliefs, however, in objective reality are entirely unjustified based on the evidence.

What I see here is you playing word games. 

Ironic as hell for you to write that.

The man doesn't believe it happened, he knows it happened and so do you because you were there.

Flat earther's know the earth is flat.   Is that a belief or truth?   Think carefully - you do not need anyone else to explain this to you.

He is justified because it happened, not because he believes it did.

His belief is correct because it happened.   His belief could be personally justified if it happened or if he hallucinated.  To him, it is certainty.   That does not make it true, it simply makes it true to him.

But then, now he somehow isn't justified because someone else doesn't believe it? How can it be both?

Come on Drakk, I have explained this over and over.   No way that you do not understand the distinction between personal (subjective) justification and objective justification.

For the umpteenth time, your hypocrisy in applying a standard to believers you do not apply to yourself. 

Your repeated insult is meaningless since it is based on your contrived strawman that has been repeatedly refuted.   Why you insist on doing this is beyond me since, at this point, it simply damages your credibility.

You expect believers to provide you with objective natural scientific proof of something science can't even address.

Here again, where do I ask for proof?    Evidence, Drakk, evidence.   If you make a positive claim then support it with evidence.   If you cannot adequately support your claim then do not expect anyone to believe it.   This is not a difficult concept.    So if you claim that the supernatural exists, it is your choice to make an unfalsifiable claim and you do not get a pass.   That is, you still are required to convince people of your claim because you made the claim.   And if you cannot convince people that the supernatural exists, you do not get to complain that it is unfair because there is no way to provide evidence.   Your claim, your problem.   

Yet, when someone demands the same of you, you ignore it or claim the burden is somehow only on my side.

Except I do not do that.   Show me where I have made a positive claim and have not backed it up.    Deliver the quote.   No doubt I will simply quote my earlier response which you would have ignored. 

IF you claim that a person's belief in God is unjustified, the burden, scientifically, is on you to prove it.

Except (given how you mean your words) I never made that claim.    Belief in a God is unjustified due to the lack of evidence.   However a personal belief in a God is likely justified (personally) because (after all) the person believes it.   Sound familiar?   Put your strawman down - it is looking very ratty at this point.

I couldn't care less about any of that. 

Yes, you ignore the rebuttal to your strawman.  Already know that.  Ignoring your repeated strawman.

I get pissed because you guys keep adding in crap that has nothing to do with the subject and then accuse me of ignoring what you say.

Another amazing bit of irony.


Summary:

Belief in a god is unjustified.   Why?   Because there is no supporting evidence.   Belief in the supernatural is unjustified.   Why?  Because there is no supporting evidence.

Is it possible that a god exists?  Yes.   Is it possible the supernatural exists?   Yes.

Can an individual hold a belief that is personally justified even without objective evidence?  Yes.   Indeed, if a person believes something they typically 'know' it is justified to them.

If an individual holds a belief they 'know' is justified does that mean the belief is true?   No.

If a belief cannot be evidenced and is thus an unjustified belief (objectively) does that mean the belief is false?   No, the belief is unjustified (objectively) by the evidence (lack thereof) but it may actually be a correct belief.   (Time might tell.)

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.65  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.61    8 months ago
If you wanted to talk about cookies and I kept trying to make it about cake, you'd get pissed, too. 

What do you want to discuss?   Frankly I have been spending my time in the last few posts dealing with your allegations and strawman.

Be happy to discuss the subject of the article or at least a related subject that can be discussed sensibly (and calmly) without all this negative, emotional language.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.66  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.63    8 months ago
Those are your words, from your post #1.4.46  They were in reference to beings with the ability to cross between the natural and supernatural worlds.  This one sentence therefore contains two claims - the existence of God, and the existence of the supernatural.

If you think that is an actual claim to God's existence on my part then you must also be saying that TiG is also claiming God exists. That's because I was responding directly to what TiG said.

If you (natural entity) can cross to the supernatural to engage with God (supernatural entity) then don't complain that it is unfair for us to ask for evidence.

Do you think TiG is claiming God exists? No? Then why are you saying I'm making a claim that God exists just because he appears in my statements? 

Further, if you notice, I've tended to use "supernatural" more than I do God unless I am referring directly to the belief of believers. God, or the supernatural, is ancillary to this discussion. One can hardly have this discussion without talking about one of the other. In any case, I've taken pains to actually refer to the supernatural rather than God, except when referring to actual believers, because my personal beliefs aren't relevant to the discussion. 

Anyway, the two claims I have made are:

  • There is no statistical evidence that supports other life out there being more likely than not.
  • TiG, and you guys, do not apply the same standards to believers that you do to yourself.

Everything I've said is in support of one of those two claims. Why would I think it necessary to prove God in order to be able to talk about the second claim? 

But you've produced no evidence to support either.

Because it is not my purpose in this discussion. It isn't relevant. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.67  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.66    8 months ago
One can hardly have this discussion without talking about one of the other.

Well, if one were using supernatural in a secular fashion one would be talking about that which is currently unknown to science.   As science learns more, the technically supernatural becomes natural by definition.   It used to be the case that quantum dynamics was in the realm of the supernatural.   Now it is in the realm of the natural.   Today dark energy / dark matter appears to be in the realm of the supernatural because science has no clue what is going on there but can indeed see the effects (so something is there).   The expectation is that once we understand dark energy / matter we will necessarily have extended our understanding of physics (changes to equations).   And, at that point, the dark energy / matter will be considered in the natural realm.

The religious supernatural, however, is typically taken to be the realm of God.    It is always viewed as distinct from the natural realm of existence.

Secular supernatural exists by definition of the term.   Religious supernatural, however, requires evidence to assert that it actually exists.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.68  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.66    8 months ago
There is no statistical evidence that supports other life out there being more likely than not.

Statistical-likelihood Exo-Planetary Habitability Index (SEPHI)

Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

More where that came from. 

But, of course, none of these are what you require.   You demand a tally of the number of verified exolife species.   You demand (by your own criteria) that everyone must first tally verified exolife before we can use statistics to even gauge the likelihood that out of ~80 trillion planets at least one species of exolife exists.

TiG, and you guys, do not apply the same standards to believers that you do to yourself.

I disagree.   Demonstrate this without using a strawman or changing the meaning of words (or other intellectually dishonest tactics).

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.69  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.57    8 months ago
The discussion is the hypocrisy in declaring belief unjustified when you can't prove that it is. 

You haven't proved that belief is justified to begin with. That's the point of the discussion. people can believe whatever they want. But outside of personal preference or emotional comfort, there's no reason to assume the crux of such beliefs are justified or valid. If someone believed in fairies, leprechauns, or gnomes, is that belief justified to anyone other than the believer?

What would that be for something that isn't subject to the laws of nature?

Irrelevant and/or imaginary. As I said, if it's outside of nature, then it has by default no interaction or effect on natural reality. So there is no justification for it.

Seriously?

Did I stutter?

You can't prove that belief in God is unjustified so you instead shift the burden of proof and think that is valid?

The burden of proof is on the one making the affirmative claim. It's only justified to the believer personally. But there is no evidence or proof of any god to justify the belief, especially the claims made on behalf of that belief.

This isn't a discussion as to whether or not God exists. I know that is your one-trick-pony but it's not the issue.

God is just an example being used. But pick the belief in the supernatural entity of your choice. Same thing really.

instead of just reacting, you might try thinking before you write.

Instead of getting emotional and personal, try keeping it civil.

The purpose of my question was to suggest that it is unlikely that one can use natural means to detect the supernatural. As I stated, if the supernatural could be detectable by natural (scientific) means, it wouldn't be supernatural, would it? In demanding natural (scientific) methods, one is stating that there is no supernatural.

And as I stated, if the supernatural cannot be detected, or does not interact with the natural in any way, then it is utterly irrelevant and there is no reason to assume or believe there is a supernatural to begin with. It's little more than  mere fantasy.

 I disagree. It would make one a person who's chosen to believe that only what science can address is all that exists. I challenge you to prove such a thing is true.

Resorting to belief over critical thinking is quite irrational. What exists that science cannot or has not demonstrated? Let's see the evidence or proof of this.

Says the person who believes nothing can exist that science can't address. Please prove this is true.

I've made no mention of my beliefs. I said that if something presumably exists that science cannot address (i.e. the supernatural), then there is no reason to assume it exists to begin with and is otherwise irrelevant. Prove that something exists that science cannot address or demonstrate!

Are you going to try to convince TiG that what he saw with his own eyes didn't happen because there is no proof that convinces you?

I'm not trying to convince TiG of anything. He can be convinced or believe personally. But unless he has evidence to support it, then that belief is unjustified. I think TiG understands that if there is no evidence, then such belief is unjustified and anyone else is not likely to be rationally convinced.

It doesn't mean their claim isn't unjustified to them.

Key phrase there is "to them." As in it's only justified to the individual with the belief. But until there is evidence, then the claim is empty and unconvincing.

Not what I'm saying.

Then what are you saying?

So, how about you explain your position on this rather than projecting it on me?

Speak for yourself! My position on this has been clear.

Perhaps because I'm not trying to prove evidence for the supernatural?

Then any claim you make for the supernatural is unjustified (to anyone except you) and is otherwise unconvincing to anyone else.

To use your favorite tactic, prove it.

Faith is an emotional appeal or comfort mechanism. Or perhaps the product of indoctrination or teaching. There is no empirical evidence to support the basis (presumably a supernatural entity of some kind) of faith.  Basically, one has faith because they want to, are taught to, believe something is real or true (sans evidence), or all of the above.

As long as you limit what is possible to what science can address.

If science cannot address it, because it is outside of scientific purview forever (such as the supernatural), then it is immaterial.

That believer's faith is unjustified.

I think TiG also stated that faith is only justified to the individual with the faith. beyond that, it is not.

Please explain why you feel this is so?

The complete lack of evidence.

Maybe because science is restricted to the natural?

And maybe the supernatural is complete fantasy.

Irrelevant to the subject.

Not at all, and don't try to dodge the question! You said (post 1.4.49 above) "You have your reasons for not being convinced of God. You have no objective reason for saying those who are, are not justified." So you have no objective reason for saying belief in god (or whatever) is justified. So again I ask: what is the believers' objective justification? 

You've just proved my point that science isn't the arbiter of all that there is.

I never claimed it was.

That there are things that science can't address.

Science addresses nature and reality. It doesn't address philosophical, ethical, or moral issues. That is a sociological issue.

But you keep on going, okay? Keep on saying science is what matters except where your personally think it doesn't.

It matters when it comes to the natural world and what it can discover, or what there is to discover. If the supernatural by default cannot be discovered or is not part of the natural world, then it does not matter.

The issue is why you think we need to in the first place in order to be justified?

Now you're moving the goalposts.

I've told you many times in other conversations what I can about my relationship with God and you dismiss them as evidence.

Your claims or statements about god is not evidence. It's subjective and anecdotal.

So, again, what would God or the supernatural look like? How do you propose to detect such in a manner you feel would be justifiable?

You tell us, as you seem convinced, without any empirical evidence, that god and/or the supernatural is real or true.

you must have some way to prove it

Do you?

That just means you're not convinced.

Of course not, and rightfully so. It also means any claims of the supernatural (deities included) is unjustified to anyone except you.

The issue is whether your claim that believers aren't justified in their faith, it's are you justified in saying they're not.

That takes us back to my previous question: what is the believers' objective justification?

This is not why I don't believe Zeus exists. It has nothing to do with objective evidence or the lack thereof.

Out of curiosity, then what is it? You did not explain the why.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.70  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.66    8 months ago
If you think that is an actual claim to God's existence on my part then you must also be saying that TiG is also claiming God exists.

Context matters, Drakk.  I know, both from past conversations and this one, that TiG does not believe in the existence of either.  I also know, from those same sources, that you do.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.71  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.61    8 months ago
My focus is entirely on the fact you have no scientific basis in stating a believer is unjustified in their belief.

Per Oxford:

UNJUSTIFIED = 'Not shown to be right or reasonable'.   

If a belief (e.g. the biblical God exists) has not been shown to be right (that would require evidence) or reasonable (again, a need for evidence) then the belief is by definition unjustified.   It is a word used by me to express 'has not been corroborated by evidence'.


Note your own words at the inception of your strawman:

Drakk @1.4.20:   Because someone believes something without physical evidence doesn't mean that belief is invalid.

TiG @1.4.21Agreed [that the belief is not necessarily invalid].   It just means that the belief is unjustified 

Drakk @1.4.25:  That is, people like TiG or Gordy saying that someone else's beliefs are invalid because they don't meet TiG's or Gordy's criteria.

I explicitly and immediately agreed with you that belief is not necessarily invalid.   You flat out ignored that and invented your strawman.   This has been the problem throughout.   You are apparently reading past words used, changing the usage of words, etc. and pushing a false negative allegation.   You then ignored probably a dozen more explanations (by me alone) in response to your repeated false allegation.   You ignored every comment that calmly showed your allegation to be wrong.

All the while claiming everyone else was being unfair (and worse).


Finally.   I am speaking of belief that can be inspected by people in general.   An individual might justify their belief with personal information that cannot be delivered for objective review.   To them their belief is justified (by definition) since they are the only audience.  But objectively the belief is not justified (again, by the very definition of the word).

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.72  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.70    8 months ago
Context matters, Drakk. I know, both from past conversations and this one, that TiG does not believe in the existence of either. I also know, from those same sources, that you do.

Context does matter. You are correct concerning that. You are correct that I do believe in God. However, you need to provide an explanation as to how the context of what I said proves your point. The context in which TiG and I were speaking doesn't address whether God exists or not. It addressed my accusation (sort of) that he wasn't applying the same standards to himself that he applies to believers.

When TiG said...

If you (natural entity) can cross to the supernatural to engage with God (supernatural entity) then don't complain that it is unfair for us to ask for evidence.

...I understood that he wasn't speaking in the sense that he believed God exists. He didn't need to say "...engaging with God (supernatural entity, should He exist). When I replied...

First, it's God that crosses, not me.

… it was a statement concerning the nature of God as I understand Him. I knew that TiG would accept it as such, even though he felt the distinction made no difference. Believe it or not, I actually thought before I wrote that. Not because I thought it would be going into the "claiming God exists" category as you seem to think, but because if he didn't dismiss it out of hand as he did, I wasn't sure I wanted to explain it, and therefore get sidetracked from the point I am concerned with. But, in the end, I thought the distinction was worth the risk of having said it. 

The problem you are having is that you can't get past the idea that I believe in God, therefore you view everything I say as some sort of effort to convince you that God exists. In reality, I believe only God can convince you that He exists. He may utilize believers in that effort, but a believer by themselves cannot to it. If you asked me to prove to you God exists I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't try. I might tell you why I believe but that's about it. So, please believe me that, on my honor, I am not participating in this conversation with the intent of trying to prove God exists. I'm not trying to justify my belief in Him. Please believe that I am simply claiming that TiG, and all of you, aren't applying the same standards to yourselves that you apply to believers. 

To understand that claim you have to understand that for science to address the question of whether or not a believer is justified, the claim "God exists" must be an unfalsifiable claim. Science can't address unfalsifiable claims. So, he's using science to justify the claim that it is acceptable to say believers are unjustified scientifically, even though he knows science can't address the question of God in the first place. It isn't hard to understand why he does so. His position is that unless science can address it, it doesn't exist. Of course, that is also an unfalsifiable claim, but I don't think he recognizes that. If he did, I don't think we'd be having this discussion. He'd say, you're right, I can't prove believers are unjustified. He'd say, I'm just not convinced they are. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.73  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.72    8 months ago
He'd say, you're right, I can't prove believers are unjustified. He'd say, I'm just not convinced they are. 

Have you read Tig's comments over the years we've been discussing these issues?  He has said that, practically verbatim.  That's exactly what "agnostic atheist" means.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.74  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.73    8 months ago
Have you read Tig's comments over the years we've been discussing these issues?  He has said that, practically verbatim.  That's exactly what "agnostic atheist" means.

Yes, I obviously have. The problem is, even though he may say it, he dismisses it when he makes a statement that contradicts it. When he claims a believer is unjustified when the believers statement is unfalsifiable, he is crossing from agnostic to just plain atheist. A true agnostic would say, I'm not convinced but I can't say they are unjustified. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.75  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.74    8 months ago

I can't prove there's not an invisible unicorn watching over my shoulder as I type.  Is belief in invisible unicorns who lurk on internet conversations justified?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.76  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @1.4.69    8 months ago

I know I shouldn't do it, but thank you. Thanks for your response. For any rational thinking person, you only serve to prove my case. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.77  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.75    8 months ago
I can't prove there's not an invisible unicorn watching over my shoulder as I type.

Progress.

Is belief in invisible unicorns who lurk on internet conversations justified?

That is the question, isn't it? Before I continue, I'd like to point out that, within the context of the discussion as I see it, such a unicorn would be supernatural. If, for whatever reason, you believe that there is a supernatural unicorn watching over your shoulder as you type, there is no scientific way to prove that there isn't. That is the point. If science requires that you prove than such a unicorn exists, then it must equally demand that it doesn't exist. That is the nature of science. 

The crux of the argument as I see it is that science can't be applied to such questions as the supernatural. Science is a tool for examining the natural. If that is so, how can one legitimately claim that belief in God is unjustified? Since the statement "God exists" can't be falsified, science has no part in the discussion. One cannot believe in science, logic and rationality and at the same time claim belief in God is unjustified as it is scientifically unjustifiable to state such. To claim that it is, is stating that science is the arbiter of all that is possible, and, therefore, a position of faith equal to a belief in God. 

 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.78  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.76    8 months ago
For any rational thinking person, you only serve to prove my case. 

What case? You have not even addressed any of my points. Your reply is little more than a dismissive hand wave.

If science requires that you prove than such a unicorn exists, then it must equally demand that it doesn't exist. That is the nature of science.

That is not how science works. And that is, as Sandy previously pointed out, shifting the burden. 

The crux of the argument as I see it is that science can't be applied to such questions as the supernatural. Science is a tool for examining the natural. If that is so, how can one legitimately claim that belief in God is unjustified?

It's been pointed out to you multiple times now that if something does not fall within the natural universe or purview of science (like the supernatural), then it is irrelevant, as it has no effect on the natural universe, nor is there any rational reason to assume it exists. You're basically saying the supernatural exists because you say so.

Since the statement "God exists" can't be falsified, science has no part in the discussion.

If science cannot demonstrate that "god [or the supernatural] exists," then any claims to the affirmative is unjustified.

One cannot believe in science

I would hope not. Science doesn't go by mere belief, but by where the evidence leads.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.79  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.77    8 months ago
If science requires that you prove than such a unicorn exists, then it must equally demand that it doesn't exist. That is the nature of science. 

Logic does not.  Logic calls that shifting the burden of proof.

Science doesn't concern itself with that for which there is no evidence either way, although evidence regarding the origins of our planet and universe have, without bothering to refer to God, shattered the creation myth as written.  That's why creationists don't want science to be taught in schools; the only way to believe in the myth after knowing the science is to engage in a ridiculous amount of mental gymnastics.

So, logically, as there is no evidence for God and the supernatural, and quite a bit of evidence in opposition to the literal description of God and his supposed role in creation, it is logical to accept that the existence of God and the supernatural is unlikely.  It is logical to dismiss unevidenced claims.  To expect us to disprove unevidenced claims before dismissing them as likely untrue is shifting the burden.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.80  Gordy327  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.79    8 months ago

The problem is some people are taught or prefer to accept dogma over logic, or otherwise have some emotional need for dogma/belief.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.81  sandy-2021492  replied to  Gordy327 @1.4.80    8 months ago

I have no problem with them holding such a belief, so long as they confine themselves to adhering to its rules, and don't expect the rest of us to do so.

But when discussing those beliefs with those they know to be nonbelievers, they should expect those beliefs to be examined rigorously, and accept that nonbelievers will likely find them to be lacking logical support, and say as much.  They should be neither surprised nor upset, and they shouldn't expect nonbelievers to accept any attempt at twisting the rules of logic to favor those beliefs without objection.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.82  Gordy327  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.81    8 months ago

Some do seem to become irate when their beliefs are challenged, scrutinized, or logically analyzed. It's almost as if logic is an anathema to them.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.83  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.72    8 months ago
Please believe that I am simply claiming that TiG, and all of you, aren't applying the same standards to yourselves that you apply to believers. 

Please believe you?   That is quite a request given @1.4.71 I illustrated with your own words how you formed the strawman argument that has been endlessly repeated and refuted.   

I agreed with you immediately and upfront that beliefs sans evidence are not necessarily invalid.  I stated they are unjustified instead.   You ignore the agreement and equate unjustified with invalid.   A blatant show of intellectual dishonesty right at the start.

And you want us to please believe you when you employ (and continue to employ) such tactics??

Curious that you chose to ignore my entire post.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.84  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.72    8 months ago
To understand that claim you have to understand that for science to address the question of whether or not a believer is justified, the claim "God exists" must be an unfalsifiable claim.

Who made a demand for a God theory??   One could objectively justify a belief (in anything really) by providing suitable evidence - no need for a formal theory of science.   Again, going back to @1.4.71 which you ignored, Oxford offers:

UNJUSTIFIED = 'Not shown to be right or reasonable'.   

If a belief (e.g. the biblical God exists) has not been shown to be right (that would require evidence) or reasonable (again, a need for evidence) then the belief is by definition unjustified.   It is a word used by me to express 'has not been corroborated by evidence'.

Note there is no mention of a scientific theory of God or anything like that.  Nor did I restrict evidence to only scientific evidence.   Evidence is what is required.   And the evidence would have to be convincing and credible.   Scientific evidence meets that criteria, but other credible convincing evidence is not precluded.   The above words do not restrict the evidence to science.


I understand that you cannot deliver any evidence.   Trouble is you are trying to turn your inability to evidence a claim into someone else's problem.   Your claim, your problem.   Nobody is treating you unfairly.   You hold a belief that you cannot objectively justify.   That is not the fault of others.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.85  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.74    8 months ago
The problem is, even though he may say it, he dismisses it when he makes a statement that contradicts it. When he claims a believer is unjustified when the believers statement is unfalsifiable, he is crossing from agnostic to just plain atheist. A true agnostic would say, I'm not convinced but I can't say they are unjustified. 

Since you focus on my word 'unjustified' you should take the meaning I provided (from Oxford) that I have used throughout.   Instead you insist on using your own contrived meaning.

Get out of religion for a second.    If someone declares belief in an alien abduction yet can provide no evidence of same, it the belief objectively justified?

It is not.   The abductee no doubt believes he was abducted so the belief is personally justified by whatever is in his memory.    And, as I stated upfront, one cannot claim that the abductee's belief is invalid.   But the belief itself when dealing with the world outside of the abductee is not objectively justified because there is no credible, convincing evidence (scientific or otherwise).

... when he makes a statement that contradicts it.

Deliver the contradiction.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.86  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.74    8 months ago
... he is crossing from agnostic to just plain atheist ...

That is proof (to me) that you are reading a ton into my words.   To a ridiculous level.

A true agnostic would say, I'm not convinced but I can't say they are unjustified. 

And here you go yet again with the original strawman nonsense.   Unjustified does not mean invalid.   It means that the claim lacks objective convincing evidence.    

In personal terms, your belief in God is not necessarily invalid.   You could be correct.   But you cannot provide evidence to others.   Thus your belief is unjustified (to others) - by definition.   Your belief is not objectively justified.   It may be justified to you personally (I am convinced that it is), but to everyone else you simply make a claim sans evidence.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.87  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @1.4.78    8 months ago
Your reply is little more than a dismissive hand wave.

Yep. Why should I not when that's all you've done to mine?

That is not how science works.

Okay. How does science work, then?

It's been pointed out to you multiple times now that if something does not fall within the natural universe or purview of science (like the supernatural), then it is irrelevant, as it has no effect on the natural universe, nor is there any rational reason to assume it exists. You're basically saying the supernatural exists because you say so.

Yeah. I guess I missed you guys pointing that out. Probably because of all the times I was too busy pointing out, multiple times, that you guys argue on the basis that if science can't detect it then it doesn't exist, even though science doesn't support such a view. 

If science cannot demonstrate that "god [or the supernatural] exists," then any claims to the affirmative is unjustified.

Bingo! This illustrates the point I'm making perfectly. Thanks : )

Science can't address something that is unfalsifiable. So how can you logically, rationally or scientifically state such? At the moment you're just insisting it must be so but you have no actual basis for it. You ignore actual science to claim science must be satisfied in order for a believer to be justified in their belief. It may be your opinion that they aren't justified, but if you go up to a believer and tell them they aren't justified, they have every right to ask you to prove it. 

Of course, you're going to talk about the burden of proof crap again, at which point you've already defeated your own argument, since you're no longer in the realm of science in demanding that. 

I would hope not. Science doesn't go by mere belief, but by where the evidence leads.

So why don't you actually argue according to this? Why do you ignore it in this conversation? There is not one single thing in science that says if science can't examine it, it doesn't exist. Yet you constantly argue as if it does. Your position is one of faith, not science. A faith that is at least as strong as a believer in God. In order for your faith to be justified, according to the rules you apply to believers, you must provide evidence. Scientific evidence. But you can't for the same reason a believer can't provide it in order to justify their belief in God. It's unfalsifiable. 

And so, my charge of hypocrisy against you guys is still valid. You apply to others a standard you do not apply to yourselves. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.88  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.87    8 months ago
Yep. Why should I not when that's all you've done to mine?

You can, of course, if you like.  But logic is not on your side.

you guys argue on the basis that if science can't detect it then it doesn't exist,

Where has anybody said that?

hypocrisy

So, we have shifting the burden, a straw man, and ad hom.  A logical fallacy trifecta.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.89  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.83    8 months ago
I agreed with you immediately and upfront that beliefs sans evidence are not necessarily invalid. I stated they are unjustified instead. You ignore the agreement and equate unjustified with invalid. A blatant show of intellectual dishonesty right at the start.

Wow. Just wow. I pointed out that you weren't actually agreeing with me and why. Validated and justified are synonyms. The mean the same thing. How in the hell can someone hold a valid belief and not be justified in holding it? If it's valid, how could he not be justified? I didn't ignore your claimed agreement, I pointed out that it didn't exist. How is that intellectual dishonesty???

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.90  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.84    8 months ago
Who made a demand for a God theory??

Don't understand the question. 

UNJUSTIFIED = 'Not shown to be right or reasonable'.

Yep. That's what it says. It doesn't help your case, though. It doesn't say "What someone believes not shown to be right or reasonable to someone else" does it? There's nothing in that about evidence, either. Right? So, if a believer tells a non-believer that God exists, and that non-believer goes in search of God and God reveals Himself to that person, and that person believes in God, that person certainly is justified because that person has found belief in God to be right and reasonable. 

Your limitation is that you can't countenance the idea someone could very well be justified without proving it to someone else. You say it may possibly be valid. Well, if that's so, then it must also possibly be justified. It can't be logically or linguistically any other way. And since it can't you can't state that a believer is unjustified. You can only state you yourself aren't convinced. 

If a belief (e.g. the biblical God exists) has not been shown to be right (that would require evidence) or reasonable (again, a need for evidence) then the belief is by definition unjustified. It is a word used by me to express 'has not been corroborated by evidence'.

Here we go again. Trying to make this about whether God exists or not rather than, by the rules of science and logic, can someone state truthfully that belief in God is not justified. The reality is that it's only your own criteria for such. Neither logic or science support it. 

Evidence is what is required.

I would agree. Question is, what kind of evidence? You appear to have no idea because I've asked and your only idea is to sent the question back. I do, though. If one seeks God and He reveals Himself, that's pretty convincing evidence. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.91  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.85    8 months ago
Since you focus on my word 'unjustified' you should take the meaning I provided (from Oxford) that I have used throughout.   Instead you insist on using your own contrived meaning.

It's not your word, but you sure try to make it yours. You are doing the contriving. You are trying to force a meaning it doesn't carry. That "justify", or it's negative, only has the connotation you personally wish it to have. Specifically, that to be justified one has to prove something to someone else. It certainly can mean that, but it is applied in other ways as well. Trying to restrict it to your desired meaning is disingenuous. Further, you have not credibly shown the difference between "valid" and "justified".  

Get out of religion for a second.

I haven't been in it. It's you guys who keep trying to drag me into it. I'm only engaging in this according to logic, reason and science. So, heal thyself.

If someone declares belief in an alien abduction yet can provide no evidence of same, it the belief objectively justified?

Do you think I'm stupid? Do you think I don't see how adding the word "objectively" isn't a change from what you've said previously? That somehow there's no difference between "not justified" and "not objectively justified?" Is the addition of "objectively" an admission that I've been right all along and so you add this in order to change the issue to one you can defend?

The abductee no doubt believes he was abducted so the belief is personally justified by whatever is in his memory.

Love the way you avoid stating an example where the abductee was definitely abducted. Because if you did, you'd have to agree with the point I've been making all along. 

And, as I stated upfront, one cannot claim that the abductee's belief is invalid. But the belief itself when dealing with the world outside of the abductee is not objectively justified because there is no credible, convincing evidence (scientific or otherwise).

We aren't dealing with the world outside the abductee. We are dealing with whether or not the abductee is justified in stating that he was. That was the point of involving you as a spectator to an abduction. Although it couldn't be proven to anyone else, both you and he knows he was abducted. He is stating a fact and is therefore justified in making the claim. He doesn't need to prove it to anyone else for it to be a fact. You aren't even necessary for the example. The only reason I added you to it was to eliminate the "if he was abducted" factor. 

Deliver the contradiction. When he claims a believer is unjustified when the believers statement is unfalsifiable, he is crossing from agnostic to just plain atheist. A true agnostic would say, I'm not convinced but I can't say they are unjustified.

It was right there in the same post, TiG. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.92  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.86    8 months ago
Unjustified does not mean invalid.

Unjustified: synonyms:

irrational · unreasonable · unsound · unreasoned · unfounded · groundless · unjustifiable · unjustified · incorrect · erroneous · wrong · invalid · spurious · faulty · flawed · fallacious ·

Invalid: Synonyms:

false · untrue · inaccurate · faulty · fallacious · spurious · inadequate · unconvincing · unsound · weak · wrong · wrongly inferred · wide of the mark · off target · unjustified · unsubstantiated · unwarranted · untenable · baseless · ill-founded · unfounded · groundless · illogical · irrational · unscientific · absurd · preposterous · inconsistent · off beam · out · way out · full of holes · bogus
antonyms:
true · accurate

It is you who tries to restrict the meaning of these words to one that suits your argument. I'm just taking them at face value.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.93  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.88    8 months ago
You can, of course, if you like.  But logic is not on your side.

Care to defend your statement? Where does my logic fail, for example? It isn't enough to just state that it does.

Where has anybody said that? Irrelevant and/or imaginary. As I said, if it's outside of nature, then it has by default no interaction or effect on natural reality. So there is no justification for it. (Gordy)

and...

So, we have shifting the burden, a straw man, and ad hom. A logical fallacy trifecta.

What do you think the straw man is?

How do I accuse someone of hypocrisy without it being ad hominem?

How is asking someone to prove their claim (Believers are unjustified) shifting the burden. Surely the one making the claim has the burden? 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.94  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.93    8 months ago
Care to defend your statement? Where does my logic fail, for example? It isn't enough to just state that it does.

I've already told you.  Shifting the burden (making it our responsibility to disprove the supernatural), straw man (nobody here has said that the supernatural does not exist), and ad hom (accusations of hypocrisy).

The invisible unicorn reading over my shoulder gets it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.95  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.89    8 months ago
Wow. Just wow. I pointed out that you weren't actually agreeing with me and why.

"Wow. Just wow"?   jrSmiley_84_smiley_image.gif   

In the quote below, I explicitly and immediately agreed with you.   But you claim I am not 'actually' agreeing?:

Drakk @1.4.20:   Because someone believes something without physical evidence doesn't mean that belief is invalid.

TiG @1.4.21 Agreed [that the belief is not necessarily invalid].   It just means that the belief is unjustified 

Drakk @1.4.25:  That is, people like TiG or Gordy saying that someone else's beliefs are invalid because they don't meet TiG's or Gordy's criteria.

I agreed upfront that a belief is not necessarily invalid (meaning = it may indeed be correct)

I state that it is, however, unjustified (meaning = there is no objective corroborating evidence to support it)

Not many people claim to know another person's mind and then go to the next step and claim that what the person wrote is not really what the person meant.   Last time I saw such presumptive arrogance was with Valerie - not a good thing.

Validated and justified are synonyms. 

You are now pretending to not understand how English works.   jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif     English words often have multiple usages because of nuances in the language, context, etc.   That is why dictionaries offer alternate usages.   Words can be synonyms in some contexts and not in others.   That is why it is quite important to read what is written with the honest intent of comprehension.

In this context it is beyond obvious that I was not equating invalid with unjustified.   It would make no sense to write:  "I agree that a belief is not necessarily invalid.  It just means that it is invalid."    Who would insist for days that someone wrote:  'X is true but X is not true' while arguing with the author about what he meant?    Hard to imagine how this display of intellectual dishonesty is of advantage to you.   It is interesting to behold, but it is an ugly game you are playing.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.96  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.92    8 months ago

As a hypothetical - 

Say there's a guy who murders his wife.  He's very careful to hide his tracks - leaves no physical evidence, doesn't do something stupid like go out and buy a life insurance policy on her right before he kills her, doesn't have an obvious motive like a mistress.  Hasn't made any threats toward her to put him on the police radar.

But the police, her family, the jury - they all think he did it.  Maybe he doesn't seem upset enough at her death.  Maybe her parents have noticed the couple didn't seem happy lately, but never actually witnessed an argument or physical fight.  They all have a hunch that he did it, but no real evidence.  Is their belief valid?  Well, yes, by definition, because he did in fact kill her.  Is their belief justified by the evidence presented?  No, it's not.

Belief in God and the supernatural may be valid, but it is not justified by the evidence we have at present.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.97  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.90    8 months ago
It doesn't help your case, though.

Now you demand that dictionaries must include not only a definition but enumerate every possible sentence corresponding to the definition?    You really are pushing the envelope on contorted reasoning - never saw anything like that before.

Trying to make this about whether God exists or not rather than, by the rules of science and logic, can someone state truthfully that belief in God is not justified.

Instead of reading the example for comprehension, you complain.

You appear to have no idea because I've asked and your only idea is to sent the question back. 

I told you directly that I do not know what evidence would objectively convince me, et. al. that the grandest possible entity exists.   Now you are complaining that I answered your question.   I can speculate (have done so in other articles), but why do that?   You made the claim, so you provide the evidence.   Also, did you not just complain about making this about the existence of God?   Lots of complaining.

If one seeks God and He reveals Himself, that's pretty convincing evidence. 

But it is not objective evidence.   You claiming absolute certainty that God exists based on what is in your brain is not objective evidence - it is subjective.   If that is all that is out there (and that is all that seems to be out there) then belief in a God is unjustified (i.e. no supporting evidence).   Sorry.   Complaining about reality does not change matters.

Importantly, how does God reveal Himself?   If this is not verifiable by a third party your claim is as credible as an alien abductee.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.98  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.91    8 months ago
It's not your word, but you sure try to make it yours.

Now you are claiming that one cannot select a usage for a word, package it in a sentence and impart an intended meaning.

Is the addition of "objectively" an admission that I've been right all along and so you add this in order to change the issue to one you can defend?

I have been waiting for this ploy.   What took you so long?     No, Drakk, I have included the adjective 'objective' and 'objectively' for many posts now.   I inserted it (and quite a few other words) in my explanations.  That is what one does (typically).   

Clearly you are deliberately trying to impose your own meaning on my words.   I promise you, I will never stop countering gross intellectual dishonesty.   FYI.

We aren't dealing with the world outside the abductee. 

I reject your rule.   I am most definitely dealing with the world outside the abductee.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.99  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.92    8 months ago
synonyms

Usages!    (Did you see 'unfounded' as one of your listed synonyms?   Why ignore it and pretend that 'invalid' is the only valid usage?   It is one of the options.   Blatant intellectual dishonesty.)

Again (read @1.4.95 for the English lesson), in English we have quite a few words to express nuances.   When we place words in sentences within a context, meaning is imparted.   Usually the meaning is clear.   The words by themselves, however, are typically ambiguous.   And a word can have multiple, conflicting meanings.   See?   A single cherry-picked word can mean many things because it lacks the structure and the context to disambiguate.   Ah, but when that word is used in a sentence we have a different story.   For those who are not hell bent on imposing their own meaning that is.

It is you who tries to restrict the meaning of these words to one that suits your argument. I'm just taking them at face value.

jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif   See above.   When human beings write English sentences we necessarily restrict the meaning of the words.   We are actually taught how to do this in school.   Context.  Grammar.  Parts of speech?  Ever parse a sentence to understand the semantic relationships?    Good grief man do you have no shame?

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.100  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.93    8 months ago
How is asking someone to prove their claim (Believers are unjustified) shifting the burden.

'Believers are unjustified' is not the claim.   


The claim is that belief in a god is not justified.   The reason (and note, Drakk, this is the proof behind the claim that I already gave you) is because the claim lacks convincing objective evidence.

  1. To be justified, a claim must be shown to be right or reasonable
  2. The audience to be shown is either the individual (a personal/subjective justification) or in general (an objective justification)
  3. Drakk personally believes in a god.   (Accepted without reservation as a personal belief)
  4. Drakk's belief is likely to be subjectively justified (i.e. Drakk likely is personally satisfied by private evidence that his belief is true)
  5. Drakk claims it is not possible for him to provide objective evidence that his belief is true  (understandable - nobody in all of recorded history has pulled off this feat)

   Drakk's belief in a god is not objectively justified

Does this mean that Drakk's belief is false?   No, he may be correct - it is possible that a god exists.   So he might actually hold a correct (valid) belief that is not objectively justified due to the lack of evidence.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.101  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.96    8 months ago
But the police, her family, the jury - they all think he did it.  Maybe he doesn't seem upset enough at her death.  Maybe her parents have noticed the couple didn't seem happy lately, but never actually witnessed an argument or physical fight.  They all have a hunch that he did it, but no real evidence.  Is their belief valid?  Well, yes, by definition, because he did in fact kill her.  Is their belief justified by the evidence presented?  No, it's not.

A good case for what you are trying to argue. The problem with it is that it isn't what I'm talking about. You ask "Is their belief justified". Their belief or whatever it takes to convince them isn't the issue. The issue is whether the believer's belief is justified. This isn't about convincing someone else about what they believe. 

If, on one foggy morning you find yourself alone on the shores of Loch Ness enjoying your vacation and suddenly the monster rises out of the water, gives you a sniff (so close you could touch it if you wanted) and then wanders away, would you not be justified in believing the Loch Ness Monster exists? Are you going to say to yourself, "Wow! In order to justify my belief that the monster exists, I first gotta prove it to everyone else?" You might need evidence to get them to believe you but you're sure as hell going to feel you're justified in your belief. No matter how frustrating your lack of ability to prove it to others, you yourself have proof. You saw the evidence. You are justified in your belief.

When someone says your belief isn't justified, what they are really claiming is that you have no proof. The only way they can prove your belief isn't justified is to prove it isn't, which they can't. Claiming lack of evidence isn't sufficient for a charge of not being justified. It's simply a lack of evidence. Think about that. That you can't prove it doesn't mean it didn't happen. It doesn't change the justification for your belief. 

Do you see now? It isn't whether anyone else is convinced, it's about what you know to be true. And if someone comes up to you and says your belief is unjustified, you have every right to demand they prove it. Well, you have no evidence, they'll say. Does not having evidence mean you didn't see the monster? Of course not. You're still justified in your belief so, logically, a lack of evidence is insufficient. It is sufficient to doubt or not believe you but it isn't sufficient to prove you unjustified. 

To be clear, this has nothing to do with proving God. I didn't have to use God in the discussion. Using the Loch Ness Monster serves just as well, as I hope you see. No, it was about demanding a standard of others not applied to oneself. A lack of evidence can't be logically used as a reason to claim someone is unjustified in their belief. They have to prove the charge. If that is the standard they apply to others, then they have to apply it to themselves as well. That is why I am not shifting the burden. I did not make the claim that believers are unjustified in their belief. Therefore the burden was always on them. I just presented evidence why my charge of hypocrisy was valid. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.102  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.98    8 months ago
I reject your rule.   I am most definitely dealing with the world outside the abductee.

Of course you do. You're trying to avoid the actual subject of the discussion. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.103  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.99    8 months ago
(Did you see 'unfounded' as one of your listed synonyms?   Why ignore it and pretend that 'invalid' is the only valid usage?   It is one of the options.   Blatant intellectual dishonesty.)

By all means, use "unfounded" if it pleases you. It doesn't make a difference. How are you going to prove a believer's belief is unfounded? 

 
 
 
JBB
1.4.104  JBB  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.103    8 months ago

Then upon what demonstable evidence are your beliefs founded?

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.105  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.101    8 months ago
The issue is whether the believer's belief is justified. This isn't about convincing someone else about what they believe. 

This is most definitely about convincing others that a belief is true.   Nobody has suggested that the average believer is not convinced of his/her beliefs.   Indeed I have repeatedly stated that the believer being convinced is not (and never was) my claim.   Most everyone accepts that believers actually think their beliefs are true - the belief is personally justified to them.

You insist that a belief which cannot be shown  to be right or reasonable is justified.   'Showing' a belief means 'showing to others'.    Evidence.   Objective.   Failure to show objective evidence is -by definition- an (objectively) unjustified belief.   


The challenge for evidence of God is ancient.   Highly intelligent, learned, motivated people have tried for centuries to show (that means to others, Drakk) that God exists.   Philosophical attempts such as the teleological argument have tried desperately to show the existence of God in lieu of objective evidence.   Nobody has succeeded in all these centuries.   This is a belief that remains unjustified due to lack of evidence - unjustified by definition.  

You demand that belief in a god is justified.   Great!   My proof that the belief is unjustified is the lack of evidence (proof by definition).   The good news is that all you need do to show me wrong is to deliver the convincing evidence for the belief.    No doubt everyone would be highly interested in reviewing your evidence.    Indeed, you will likely be famous - the first person to successfully justify (show as right or reasonable) belief in the existence of a god.    (In your case you are showing the existence of the biblical God.)

Note:  'I just know' is not evidence.
Note:  Getting angry because all you can do is claim 'I just know' is not evidence either.   
Note:  Changing the meaning of words and arguing a strawman is also not evidence.    
Note:  Complaining and going personal is definitely not evidence.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.106  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.101    8 months ago
If, on one foggy morning you find yourself alone on the shores of Loch Ness enjoying your vacation and suddenly the monster rises out of the water, gives you a sniff (so close you could touch it if you wanted) and then wanders away, would you not be justified in believing the Loch Ness Monster exists? Are you going to say to yourself, "Wow! In order to justify my belief that the monster exists, I first gotta prove it to everyone else?" You might need evidence to get them to believe you but you're sure as hell going to feel you're justified in your belief. No matter how frustrating your lack of ability to prove it to others, you yourself have proof. You saw the evidence. You are justified in your belief.

I would believe that a Loch Ness creature exists.   My belief would be personally justified.   So now I report my experience.   Can I justify the belief to everyone else?   How?   Evidence!   If I cannot deliver evidence then the belief that a Loch Ness monster exists is unjustified (objectively).

When someone says your belief isn't justified, what they are really claiming is that you have no proof.

Yes.  It is not justified as a general belief.   What the hell else would they be doing - challenging what is in your mind?  No, Drakk, it is always about others.   What a person believes is not relevant - what is relevant is what can be shown to be true by evidence (and/or logic).

The only way they can prove your belief isn't justified is to prove it isn't, which they can't.

Nobody (except you) is talking about personal justification.   This, your strawman, has been exposed for days.   

That you can't prove it doesn't mean it didn't happen. It doesn't change the justification for your belief. 

Already covered over and over.   Same with alien abduction.   I have always agreed with you regarding personal justification yet you endlessly harp on this as if I (and others) are disagreeing.  Your comments are now beyond ridiculous and I am confident you are not fooling anyone by stubbornly repeating your strawman.   So what prompts you to behave in this manner and damage your personal credibility??

Do you see now? It isn't whether anyone else is convinced, it's about what you know to be true.

Convincing others = objective justification.   Convincing yourself = personal justification.    

And if someone comes up to you and says your belief is unjustified, you have every right to demand they prove it.

And if the answer is:  'beliefs are routinely personally justified, but belief in god has never been objectively justified'  pretending that the only form of justification is personal is intellectually dishonest.

Well, you have no evidence, they'll say. Does not having evidence mean you didn't see the monster? Of course not.

Correct.  You saw the monster.   You are convinced.   But you cannot justify your belief to others.   Although personally justified, your belief is objectively unjustified.   Deliver the evidence to correct that situation.

You're still justified in your belief so, logically, a lack of evidence is insufficient. It is sufficient to doubt or not believe you but it isn't sufficient to prove you unjustified. 

If someone thinks ('knows' - full personal justification) that he is Jesus, is that a justified belief?    What is the justification for everyone else to believe this man to be Jesus?   

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.107  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.103    8 months ago
How are you going to prove a believer's belief is unfounded? 

A belief that has not been shown to be right or reasonable is unjustified (unfounded) by definition.    Proof = by definition.

If you claim to be abducted by aliens, your belief is unjustified until you can show that it is right or reasonable.   By definition.

Now you might have actually been abducted.   In which case your belief is right (correct).   And if actually abducted or hallucinating, your belief is personally justified given you personally have been shown evidence that your belief (to you) is right.   But objectively  (everyone else) your belief (even if you are correct) is unjustified because you have given no corroborating evidence which justifies the belief that you were indeed abducted.

Claiming 'I just know' does not cut it.   Pretending to not comprehend the difference between personal justification and objective justification does not cut it either.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.108  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.103    8 months ago

To ensure it does not get lost in the shuffle, from JBB:

JBB @1.4.104:  Then upon what demonstable evidence are your beliefs founded?
 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.109  Drakkonis  replied to  JBB @1.4.104    8 months ago
Then upon what demonstable evidence are your beliefs founded?

Absolutely does not matter. The issue is, can you say someone's belief in God is unjustified without being able to prove it. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.110  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.109    8 months ago
The issue is, can you say someone's belief in God is unjustified without being able to prove it. 

Be clear.   Are you referring to personal justification or objective justification?

The answers are different.    

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.111  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.101    8 months ago
If, on one foggy morning you find yourself alone on the shores of Loch Ness enjoying your vacation and suddenly the monster rises out of the water, gives you a sniff (so close you could touch it if you wanted) and then wanders away, would you not be justified in believing the Loch Ness Monster exists? Are you going to say to yourself, "Wow! In order to justify my belief that the monster exists, I first gotta prove it to everyone else?" You might need evidence to get them to believe you but you're sure as hell going to feel you're justified in your belief. No matter how frustrating your lack of ability to prove it to others, you yourself have proof. You saw the evidence. You are justified in your belief.

I personally would probably believe, but I would also recognize that I had no proof, and that many people would doubt both my story and my motives for telling it.  I'd also wonder if my own surprise, the fog, and the fact that I might be kinda-sorta expecting to see a monster had convinced me that I actually had seen one.

As it happens, I cruised Loch Ness a few years ago.  The boat pilot was most informative about the Loch, the surrounding area, and of course, the legend of Nessie.  He claimed to be somewhat convinced that there was a creature there.  I doubted him on the basis of several observations - his own description of the Loch as having no caves or irregularities in which such a creature could hide, as confirmed by extensive exploration, no sightings ever by anyone in a submersible, and the likelihood that his tips would be larger, based on how interesting he made the cruise for his passengers.

If I were to expect others to believe me, to justify my story to them, well, like any good tourist, I should have had my camera out at the time.  Many people have claimed to see Nessie, for various reasons, and most of those sightings have been explained as hoaxes or errors in identification.  My audience would be wise to require more than my word for it that Nessie was real and came calling.  If I were to tell others of my experience, I would not be surprised by their skepticism.  The burden would be on me to produce evidence of Nessie, not on them to prove that mine wasn't the last in a long series of hoaxes.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.112  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.110    8 months ago
Be clear.   Are you referring to personal justification or objective justification? The answers are different.

Before answering I'm no longer going to use God in this argument. It seems to distract you guys, as in you can't seem to get away from the idea that this is about God or something. So, I'm just going to use the Loch Ness Monster (LNM) as it doesn't change anything about my argument and you guys don't get distracted. 

Yes, they are different and I have been very clear. When someone says someone who believes in the Loch Ness Monster is not justified in their belief they are referring to that person's personal justification. In the sentence "She has no justification for her belief", the object of the sentence is "belief", the thing acted upon by the subject "She". So we cannot be talking about anything other than her personal justification.  If they were concerned with objective justification they'd say the believer has provided no evidence to justify their  (non-believer's) belief. Without evidence of their own they can't justify believing themselves but they can't justify saying she's not justified unless they can prove it, like documented evidence she was 300 miles away from the loch when the incident was claimed to have occurred. 

If someone makes the claim that she is not justified in believing she saw the LNM the only time objective evidence would come into it is if the claimant provided objective evidence to support the claim. Not simply a reasoned argument but objective evidence that shows her claim would be impossible. That is the standard science sets. That is the basis of my charge of hypocrisy. You claim science but don't follow it. 

 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.113  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.111    8 months ago
I personally would probably believe, but I would also recognize that I had no proof, and that many people would doubt both my story and my motives for telling it.

As a believer in God, I understand this very well. 

I'd also wonder if my own surprise, the fog, and the fact that I might be kinda-sorta expecting to see a monster had convinced me that I actually had seen one.

I tried to eliminate this as a possibility by making the creature so close you could easily touch it if you wanted to. But of course, wondering how we could possibly prove it to someone else makes us question ourselves. If this had really happened to you, how much of your doubt would stem from the anxiety of trying to get someone to believe you?

As it happens, I cruised Loch Ness a few years ago. The boat pilot was most informative about the Loch, the surrounding area, and of course, the legend of Nessie. He claimed to be somewhat convinced that there was a creature there. I doubted him on the basis of several observations - his own description of the Loch as having no caves or irregularities in which such a creature could hide, as confirmed by extensive exploration, no sightings ever by anyone in a submersible, and the likelihood that his tips would be larger, based on how interesting he made the cruise for his passengers.

Totally cool and it tickles me beyond pink that I just happened to come up with the example I did. That makes it so fun!

If I were to expect others to believe me, to justify my story to them, well, like any good tourist, I should have had my camera out at the time. Many people have claimed to see Nessie, for various reasons, and most of those sightings have been explained as hoaxes or errors in identification. My audience would be wise to require more than my word for it that Nessie was real and came calling. If I were to tell others of my experience, I would not be surprised by their skepticism. The burden would be on me to produce evidence of Nessie, not on them to prove that mine wasn't the last in a long series of hoaxes.

Of course. I'd just like to remind you, though, that the point of the example wasn't whether one could prove Nessie existed but rather, they could not justify saying your belief Nessie existed was unjustified. Science doesn't allow them to unless they have objective proof to back it up. 

And again, it made my day to hear you'd actually been to Loch Ness. Was it beautiful there? I'd love to go myself. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.114  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.113    8 months ago
I tried to eliminate this as a possibility by making the creature so close you could easily touch it if you wanted to.

Some of the stories have involved claims of near encounters.  But then descriptions would line up with descriptions of otters, which are present in the area.  I actually didn't know until researching sightings that there were otters in that area, as I didn't see any while we were there.  If I met an otter, but wasn't expecting an otter, and was expecting Nessie, I might believe I'd seen Nessie.

they could not justify saying your belief Nessie existed was unjustified.

Sure, they could.  Partly for the reasons you quoted, partly because of my explanation in this post.  If such an encounter were to occur, I would likely be in a heightened emotional state, and not in a frame of mind to make accurate observations and conclusions.  That, with a lack of reproducible evidence, would give them every right to doubt my belief.

And, yes, it was gorgeous there.  If you ever go, take a water-resistant jacket.  We were there in late June, and it was chilly (mid 50s, maybe) and windy.  And rain is never far off in Scotland.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.115  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.112    8 months ago
Before answering I'm no longer going to use God in this argument. It seems to distract you guys, as in you can't seem to get away from the idea that this is about God or something.

A bit condescending, but sure carry on with what makes you comfortable.   I thought we were doing a fine job with your various hypotheticals.

Yes, they are different and I have been very clear.

If you see the difference then why have you been carrying on for days as if there is only one kind of evidence and one kind of justification?

When someone says someone who believes in the Loch Ness Monster is not justified in their belief they are referring to that person's personal justification.

What if they said:  belief in the Loch Ness Monster (LNM) is unjustified?   Typically people do not single out a human being.  If one was musing on the existence of the LNM one would naturally presume existential statements are in general.   Who cares what an individual might privately think (or know) if the info is always locked up in her mind?   If the person can show the personal justification so that it becomes evidence to others then it is objective evidence.   If the evidence is credible we might have objective justification.   Until then, there is no objective evidence and the belief (in general) is unjustified.   By definition.

Today, belief in the LNM is unjustified.   That is a general statement of fact.   Why?   Because to-date there is no credible objective evidence that the LNM exists.   Belief in the LNM, is not supported by known objective evidence and is thus unjustified.   However we know that a number of folks seem to genuinely believe they have credible evidence of the LNM.   To them, belief in the LNM is justified.   To observers, it is not.  In general, it is not.

In the sentence "She has no justification for her belief", the object of the sentence is "belief", the thing acted upon by the subject "She". So we cannot be talking about anything other than her personal justification. 

If two people are communicating and both actually understand the difference between personal justification and objective justification (and you now claim that you understand the difference) then really we should break your sentence into two specific forms:

  1. She has no personal justification for her belief.
  2. She has no objective justification for her belief.

For [1], the claimant must somehow have private knowledge of what is in her mind.   Assuming the subject claims that she does have experiences that prove to her that the LNM exists then one must (should) take her at her word.   At this point, a reasonable person would say: 'She has personal justification for her belief'.   Even if the personal justification is never articulated.

For [2], we are not concerned with what privately convinces an individual.   The individual beliefs are not relevant.  What is relevant is what can be shown.  Objective evidence.   Sans credible, objective evidence belief in the LNM is unjustified.

Note that [1] could be justified and at the same time [2] could not be justified.   Two different tests, two different audiences, two very different concepts of evidence.

If they were concerned with objective justification they'd say the believer has provided no evidence to justify their  (non-believer's) belief. 

Pretend that a person was being honest and sincerely wanted to know what the person really meant.   The person might then ask:  'Are you saying she has no personal justification or are you saying that there is no objective justification for the belief?'

Now if the response was: 'I am of course talking about objective justification because objective evidence (vs. personal, private evidence) is the only evidence available for scrutiny.' would the person say:

'Ah, yes.   I understand.   True, we have yet to have credible objective evidence of the LNM.'

Or would the person say:

'No you are not!  You are talking about personal justification.  I know your intent better than you do.  So, now that I have schooled you on what is in your own mind, how can you possibly determine that she has no personal, private evidence of the LNM ?  You hypocrite! '  

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.116  Drakkonis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.4.114    8 months ago
Some of the stories have involved claims of near encounters.  But then descriptions would line up with descriptions of otters, which are present in the area.  I actually didn't know until researching sightings that there were otters in that area, as I didn't see any while we were there.  If I met an otter, but wasn't expecting an otter, and was expecting Nessie, I might believe I'd seen Nessie.

First, I had no idea otters existed outside North America. No reason why they shouldn't, but it never occurred to me. If I had thought about it I would have guessed Russia. Thinking about it I'm sure they do but I would never have guessed Scotland. 

Second, to be mistaken for Nessie, I would think it would have to be a pretty freakin big otter to fit my scenario : )

Sure, they could. Partly for the reasons you quoted, partly because of my explanation in this post. If such an encounter were to occur, I would likely be in a heightened emotional state, and not in a frame of mind to make accurate observations and conclusions. That, with a lack of reproducible evidence, would give them every right to doubt my belief.

Not really. In my scenario, you are absolutely convinced. While what you say here is true enough, it's also true that, should Nessie exist, you may have actually seen it and had no reason to doubt what you saw. That is the way I set the scenario up. The purpose wasn't to argue how you could be sure but that you were sure and they couldn't prove otherwise. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.4.117  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.116    8 months ago
you may have actually seen it and had no reason to doubt what you saw. (Bolding mine).

Yes, I may have.  I may also have been prone to the power of suggestion.  I may have been hallucinating, for some reason or other.  I may have been unfamiliar with the local wildlife.

Or, from my audience's point of view, I may have just been telling a whopper.  I wouldn't be the first.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.118  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.87    8 months ago
Yep. Why should I not when that's all you've done to mine?

You haven't provided any evidence to justify belief. You many have your own beliefs which are justified to you, but without evidence to support them, there is no reason to accept said belief as anything but mere belief, and certainly without objective justification.

Okay. How does science work, then?

Science doesn't make something up to explain things or make assumptions something exists without evidence. Science works by evidence and follows where that evidence leads. One cannot prove the non-existence of something. That is a logical fallacy.

  that you guys argue on the basis that if science can't detect it then it doesn't exist, even though science doesn't support such a view.

And yet, you continue to insist the supernatural exists, despite science, and base that on what exactly? Your own belief? And I never said that if science can't detect it, then it doesn't exist. I said that is something has no interaction or effect on the natural world or universe, then it is irrelevant and cannot be demonstrated to exist. So there is no reason to assume it exists, nor does it really matter if it actually does since it has no observable effect anyway.

Bingo! This illustrates the point I'm making perfectly. Thanks : )

Thanks for agreeing that belief or claims of the supernatural are unjustified, as we've been saying.

You ignore actual science to claim science must be satisfied in order for a believer to be justified in their belief.

What you continuously fail to understand is, and has been pointed out already, is that belief is only justified to the believer. But trying to posit said belief as factual or to anyone else is when it is unjustified, as there is no evidence.

It may be your opinion that they aren't justified, but if you go up to a believer and tell them they aren't justified, they have every right to ask you to prove it.

See previous statement! It's the believer that usually makes the affirmative claim based on nothing but their own belief. So they bear the burden of proof. Non-believers are simply unconvinced without evidence.

Of course, you're going to talk about the burden of proof crap again, at which point you've already defeated your own argument, since you're no longer in the realm of science in demanding that.

The burden of proof is a matter of logic. So of course I'm going to talk logic.

So why don't you actually argue according to this? Why do you ignore it in this conversation

I guess you haven't been paying attention then.

There is not one single thing in science that says if science can't examine it, it doesn't exist.

I never said it does. I said there is no reason to assume or believe something without evidence.

Yet you constantly argue as if it does.

Then you clearly did not understand my arguments.

Your position is one of faith, not science. A faith that is at least as strong as a believer in God.

Now that's funny, and also wrong!

In order for your faith to be justified,

Do tell, what is my "faith" exactly?

according to the rules you apply to believers,

They're not my rules. They're simple logical rules which are applied to anyone, especially those making unfounded claims.

you must provide evidence. Scientific evidence.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

But you can't for the same reason a believer can't provide it in order to justify their belief in God. It's unfalsifiable.

A believer cannot provide any evidence for a belief in god. It's simply a belief, and nothing more. But they tend to think such  a belief is true, even though they cannot justify it with evidence.

And so, my charge of hypocrisy against you guys is still valid. You apply to others a standard you do not apply to yourselves.

Only in your mind.

Absolutely does not matter.

Now who's trying to change the rules? >sarc<

The issue is, can you say someone's belief in God is unjustified without being able to prove it.

No, the issue is, can a believer say their belief is justified without being able to prove Or provide evidence)  there's a god? Without evidence, on what basis is their belief justified? What is the objective justification for belief in a god? That question has been posed to you before and you ignored it.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.119  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.115    8 months ago
If you see the difference then why have you been carrying on for days as if there is only one kind of evidence and one kind of justification?

Because is isn't an argument concerning the different ways "justification" can be used and because only one matters! The claim "She is not justified in her belief" only deals with one meaning. You keep trying to make this an issue that if she can't prove it to someone else, she isn't justified. That's wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. You can't grammatically or logically justify that. If it is possible that she is right, then there is no possible way to claim that she is unjustified. Period. This is beyond basic, TiG! You can reason why she may not be. You can say her story isn't convincing. But you can't prove it didn't happen. 

What if they said: belief in the Loch Ness Monster (LNM) is unjustified? Typically people do not single out a human being.

Why are you doing this? What if? There is no "what if" here to discuss. If someone states that her belief in Nessie is unjustified, who do you think they are referring to??? 

If one was musing on the existence of the LNM one would naturally presume existential statements are in general.

Sure, but what does that have to do with this? If someone states she has no justification it isn't speaking in general terms. It's a specific accusation. 

Who cares what an individual might privately think (or know) if the info is always locked up in her mind? If the person can show the personal justification so that it becomes evidence to others then it is objective evidence.

Which would be relevant if her purpose was to insist that others believe because she does. If her claim was that they must believe because she does, you'd have a point. But that isn't the situation. The situation is that she believes it. But when you (not you specifically, but the general reference to anyone who does so) claim "your belief isn't justified" you are specifically stating what an individual believes does matter. (Also, don't doubt that I haven't missed the pains you take to avoid putting it in terms that it actually happened, but rather, put it in terms of what she thinks happened)

But even if we ignore that, your purpose is revealed in the question you ask. "Who cares what an individual might privately think?" Yet another iteration of "if science can't prove it, it doesn't exist". Or, to put it another way, if you can't prove what you believe through science then it isn't valid, justified, founded or whatever other synonym you wish to use. If what a person believes isn't confirmed by a committee then it isn't justified. 

 If the evidence is credible we might have objective justification. Until then, there is no objective evidence and the belief (in general) is unjustified. By definition.

Once again, this is only relevant if we were debating "Without objective evidence we can't validate your claim." We're not. We are debating the claim "you are not justified concerning what you believe". She doesn't need your approval of what she believes. She saw Nessie. Nessie was close enough to touch. It couldn't be mistaken for anything else. She wasn't on drugs. She isn't given to flights of fancy. She is absolutely convinced of the experience. And you have no way to prove her objectively wrong. It's that simple. 

Today, belief in the LNM is unjustified. That is a general statement of fact. Why? Because to-date there is no credible objective evidence that the LNM exists. Belief in the LNM, is not supported by known objective evidence and is thus unjustified. However we know that a number of folks seem to genuinely believe they have credible evidence of the LNM. To them, belief in the LNM is justified. To observers, it is not. In general, it is not.

You getting bored, yet? I am! Once again, this isn't about whether she can convince someone else. If she (and by she, I don't mean Sandy. I'm just using "she" because only ever using "he" is sexist) It is about whether or not what she believes is justified to her. We aren't speaking in general because to claim someone is not justified for what they believe is specific. Oh, to be sure, if made as a general statement, it can be, but it's a statement like a magnet. A magnet doesn't do anything until it get's near something ferrous. Then it latches on. In the same way, even if you say believers aren't justified as a general statement, the moment someone states they believe, it becomes specific and not general. 

...and you now claim that you understand the difference...

I've always understood it. proof is woven into what I've said throughout the argument. Recognition that it can be applied in different ways doesn't do anything for your argument because we aren't speaking of something general. The claim that a believer is a specific one, not a general one. 

If two people are communicating and both actually understand the difference between personal justification and objective justification...

Tell you what, TiG. I'm going to, for the moment, grant your wish and address what you want this discussion to be about. For the moment, I'm going to forget about "Believers are unjustified in their beliefs." That statement, for the moment, doesn't exist. If someone rented a hall with 5,000 seats and gave out free tickets to his lecture (because only ever using "she" would also be sexist) and tried to convince the rest of us that Nessie existed, he would not be justified in doing so because he has no evidence to back up his claim. That he believes it, claims to have seen it and been given a ride upon it's back, wouldn't be enough for the rest of us to believe. Happy? 

But can't you see the problem here? I can't pretend his claim doesn't exist. The 37 of us who showed up can't pretend that he didn't make the claim that he saw Nessie. And since, through whatever chain of events caused it to happen, both you and I were there. 

… then really we should break your sentence into two specific forms:

She has no personal justification for her belief.
She has no objective justification for her belief.

For [1], the claimant must somehow have private knowledge of what is in her mind. Assuming the subject claims that she does have experiences that prove to her that the LNM exists then one must (should) take her at her word. At this point, a reasonable person would say: 'She has personal justification for her belief'. Even if the personal justification is never articulated.

For [2], we are not concerned with what privately convinces an individual. The individual beliefs are not relevant. What is relevant is what can be shown. Objective evidence. Sans credible, objective evidence belief in the LNM is unjustified.


Note that [1] could be justified and at the same time [2] could not be justified. Two different tests, two different audiences, two very different concepts of evidence.

Even though there are problems with the way you state [1], the way to determine which is relevant is revealed in the statement "she is not justified in her beliefs". The statement indicates we aren't concerned with what everyone else thinks, but what she believes. The perspective is properly from her point of view, not everyone else's. It isn't a case of "the claimant must somehow have private knowledge of what is in her mind."  That doesn't make sense.  You seem to mean something like, she has a reason for what she believes. Also, "Assuming the subject claims that she does have experiences that prove to her that the LNM exists then one must (should) take her at her word." is incorrect because it is unreasonable to expect everyone to accept something so incredulous simply on her word. 

Pretend that a person was being honest and sincerely wanted to know what the person really meant. The person might then ask: 'Are you saying she has no personal justification or are you saying that there is no objective justification for the belief?'

I don't understand the question. That is, this question seems to be in response to the statement :

If they were concerned with objective justification they'd say the believer has provided no evidence to justify their (non-believer's) belief.

The intent of this statement is to make clear that someone not the believer has no justification, or has not been provided any, to believe what the believer believes. The part of the question you ask that I can answer is "... or are you saying that there is no objective justification for the belief?" Depends on what you're asking. The belief on who's part? The statement... 

If they were concerned with objective justification they'd say the believer has provided no evidence to justify their (non-believer's) belief.

… should obviously indicate that there is no obvious indication that the non-believers have any objective justification for belief. 

Are you saying she has no personal justification...

This is the part I don't understand. How can such a question be generated from the statement you quoted?

Now if the response was: 'I am of course talking about objective justification because objective evidence (vs. personal, private evidence) is the only evidence available for scrutiny.' would the person say:
'Ah, yes. I understand. True, we have yet to have credible objective evidence of the LNM.'

And this is where I feel you are being disingenuous. By this point it is inescapable that my point is that saying a believer is unjustified in their belief without providing evidence that it is so is unsupportable. We are having this argument precisely because I began by saying you can't justify stating that a believer is unjustified in their belief without providing evidence for such a claim. The point isn't whether LNM exists, the point is can you prove someone who believes the LNM exist is false. 

Once again, I will state that because someone believes the LNM exists is not objective evidence that it does. I do so not only because it is true, but in an effort to get you to focus on the actual issue. How can you claim that an individual's belief is unjustified without proving that it is? 

'No you are not! You are talking about personal justification. I know your intent better than you do. So, now that I have schooled you on what is in your own mind, how can you possibly determine that she has no personal, private evidence of the LNM ? You hypocrite! '

Honestly, I have no idea how this can follow from this:

If they were concerned with objective justification they'd say the believer has provided no evidence to justify their (non-believer's) belief.

I literally have no clue what you are saying. That isn't a criticism. I just don't understand. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.4.120  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @1.4.118    8 months ago
You haven't provided any evidence to justify belief. You many have your own beliefs which are justified to you, but without evidence to support them, there is no reason to accept said belief as anything but mere belief, and certainly without objective justification.

You truly are your own worst enemy in this. My claim is that you cannot claim a believer is unjustified without providing evidence. So what do you do? You just go ahead and admit that I have my own beliefs which are justified to me. Why would you do that? Maybe because you can't prove otherwise?

Science doesn't make something up to explain things or make assumptions something exists without evidence. Science works by evidence and follows where that evidence leads.

Correct, as far as it goes. So, prove that a believer is unjustified in what they believe. That would shorten the argument considerably, don't you think?

One cannot prove the non-existence of something. That is a logical fallacy.

Uh, you just said that it is a logical fallacy that one cannot prove the non-existence of something.

And yet, you continue to insist the supernatural exists, despite science, and base that on what exactly?

Actually, I make it clear that I believe the supernatural (i.e. God) exists. I challenge you to post a quote where I insist that you have to believe it.

And I never said that if science can't detect it, then it doesn't exist. I said that is something has no interaction or effect on the natural world or universe, then it is irrelevant...

And the practical difference would be???

What you continuously fail to understand is, and has been pointed out already, is that belief is only justified to the believer.

And what have I said that supports this claim? Don't bother trying to post something that shows I believe in God. We already know that. Post something that says you must believe because I do.

It's the believer that usually makes the affirmative claim based on nothing but their own belief. So they bear the burden of proof. Non-believers are simply unconvinced without evidence.

Yes, there are believers out there who will tell you that you must believe in God. They do so because they believe. But you are addressing me. You are accusing me of things that I haven't done. Don't use others to justify your false claims against me. 

The burden of proof is a matter of logic. So of course I'm going to talk logic.

Well, I, for one, can't wait for you to start. You wrote this in response to this:

Of course, you're going to talk about the burden of proof crap again, at which point you've already defeated your own argument, since you're no longer in the realm of science in demanding that.

The burden of proof is on the claimant. Period. If Einstein claimed E=MC2 without evidence and someone objected, what do you think the reaction would be if he claimed the burden of proof was on someone else to prove it wasn't true? I never said it does. I said there is no reason to assume or believe something without evidence.

I never said it does. I said there is no reason to assume or believe something without evidence.

It amounts to the same thing! It literally says that if science can't examine it, it doesn't exist. Do you really think saying it simply isn't relevant changes that? The only basis for saying it is irrelevant is to make the personal choice to only consider what science can examine as relevant. It's sticking your head in the sand.

Do tell, what is my "faith" exactly?

To believe something without evidence, like, if science can't address it, it is irrelevant.

I'm not going to bother with the rest. I shouldn't have bothered with what I have. You aren't capable of considering anything outside the narrow bands of your self imposed restrictions. 

 
 
 
Freewill
1.4.121  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.4    8 months ago
The physics of the universe appears to be generally uniform - quantum dynamics and the more visible manifestations in cosmological bodies (direct evidence) suggest that conditions that can arise in our part of the universe could arise in other parts. 

Hey TiG!  Hope you have been well and had a great Thanksgiving with your family!  I have been off the grid for a bit but found some time to check in and see whats up with you and NT.  I've read through most of the comments on this thread, and being late as usual, not quite sure where to jump in.  Your statement above seemed like a good place to start.

Being a Neil deGrasse Tyson fan myself, I tend to agree with you and most astrophysicists that the so far observable universe appears to follow the basic laws of physics as we currently understand them. And certainly mathematics can be used to estimate trillions of potential planets and perhaps even a fair number of what scientists call "habitable"(from a human or other earthly species standpoint I presume) planets that must be out in the cosmos. 

While all of this might "suggest" a level of probability that conditions on distant planets could be similar to those we have on earth, it does not take into account the much higher improbability that life (particularly human or intelligent life) came to be on Earth in the first place.  Even the Drake equation goes only as far as roughly predicting the existence of exoplanets capable of sustaining the type of life we know of, but does not delve into the incredibly complex and improbable chain of events that gave rise to life, or especially intelligent life, right here on earth, much less the chances of it happening again on another planet.  Interesting article HERE.

Another interesting article addressing the scientific shortcomings of all such probability analysis (including the analysis of the authors of the study in the other article to which I linked), in the face of missing data and guesswork/assumptions, see HERE.

A bit tongue in cheek, but consider the odds of we as individuals ever existing.  Interesting graphical analysis HERE. If the odds of our own existence are 1 in 10 to the 2,685,000 power, which already dwarfs even trillions of potential exoplanets in the universe, then the odds of intelligent life existing elsewhere must be infinitesimal.  Funny side note, I saw a tweet the other day addressing this incredibly low probability of a specific individual being born and one guy's response was, "Fuck sake!  Can't win a tenner on a lotto scratcher but I can win this shite existence!  Nice one."

I have been fascinated by the idea of extraterrestrial life from the time I was little.  I think about it all the time. But when one considers the massive improbability that intelligent life ever developed on our own planet, and even if there are trillions of other like it, the probability of intelligent life developing elsewhere and along anywhere near the same time line as our existence, the smart money is on us being alone in the Universe.  So we damn well better start getting along before we destroy what could be the only sentient life in the Universe. 

 
 
 
Freewill
1.4.122  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.105    8 months ago
Failure to show objective evidence is -by definition- an (objectively) unjustified belief.

Otherwise known as "faith".

 
 
 
Freewill
1.4.123  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.44    8 months ago
I accept (even offer) the possibility that a creator entity might exist.   I am not convinced of this (due to the lack of evidence) but that does not preclude the possibility. Do you accept the possibility that there is no creator entity (no God)?

Forgive me for responding to a question you were addressing to another, but you and I have certainly discussed this before.  We are on the same page with respect to the first sentence and my answer to your second question would be yes.  I think we agree that your position would be characterized as "agnostic atheism", and mine might lean a bit more toward "agnostic theist" simply due to my faith which I freely admit is not the same as an objectively justified belief.  I have other reasons for continuing to practice my faith, other than simply a belief in God, if that makes any sense.  I might go as far as to say that I see some real and valuable personal and social utility in my faith and the millions who also share it, but at the same time I see how it can be horribly abused.  Faith is inherently personal, although it can certainly be shared.  When faith is forced on others, rather than being presented as a gift which others can freely accept or decline, is when the trouble starts.  Faith is a belief system in my mind, much more than a belief in any one thing that can or cannot be supported by objective evidence.

If I might restructure your first sentence above:

I accept (even offer) the possibility that extraterrestrial life might exist.   I am not convinced of this (due to the lack of evidence) but that does not preclude the possibility.

This is not meant to equate the discussion of God with that of ET, but rather to illustrate that the reason for being agnostic about such matters is the same, a lack of evidence.  And the reason for having faith in such matters is also the same, open-mindedness to the possibility in the face of no, or at least very little, objective evidence.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.124  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.119    8 months ago
You keep trying to make this an issue that if she can't prove it to someone else, she isn't justified.

My meaning has always been quite clear.  And if it was not clear at first to you, after about a dozen responses to your stubbornly repeated allegations I would expect that you know all too well that I have always been speaking of objective justification.   I have also explicitly stated that an individual could be personally justified.   So your continued pretense of not understanding is sad to watch.

If it is possible that she is right, then there is no possible way to claim that she is unjustified

Again, my comment is not about an individual.  It is about the belief.  And yes a belief can be correct and still be unjustified.   We have no evidence that there are parallel universes with versions of each individual living a different reality than ours.   That belief is unjustified (objectively).   Those who hold that unjustified belief might be correct (time might tell).   Further, those who hold the belief personally justified it, but we have no idea what personal evidence they have.   See?   

You can say her story isn't convincing. But you can't prove it didn't happen. 

Correct.   Where did I claim that I could prove it did not happen?   Another strawman Drakk.   

 We are debating the claim "you are not justified concerning what you believe". She doesn't need your approval of what she believes. 

Actually we are not.  I am watching you spin yet another strawman in direct contradiction to my comments on your scenario.   I am now skipping over the bulk of this gross intellectual dishonesty ...

You seem to mean something like, she has a reason for what she believes. 

'Seem' to mean.   As in you are just getting your first hint?   As if this has not been thoroughly explained to you?

TiG @1.4.54 (4 days ago):

Personal (subjective) justification vs. objective justification.   You keep trying to spin this as me saying that a believer is not actually a believer - that the believer has not justified the belief to himself.   You must, at this point, be doing this on purpose.   In which case you are being intellectually dishonest.   You believe in God.  To you the belief is justified.  To me the belief is not justified.   I am not saying that your personal belief is not justified to you personally.  How would anyone know if that were true or false?   I am saying that belief in God, based on the evidence that has been presented, is unjustified.   If you think you have evidence that would justify a belief in God (or belief in an abduction) then present it.   Until presented, the lack of evidence is the reason the belief remains unjustified to others.

No way that you do not understand that (unless you prefer to not understand).

I agree with my former self - no way you did not understand that.  

Honestly, I have no idea how this can follow from this

Your use of the word 'honestly' at this point strikes me as poignantly ironic.  Of course you do not understand.  /s  I illustrate the intellectual dishonesty at play and you 'do not understand'.   Does not matter.   I am confident others do.   Since you clearly are not here to understand my meaning but rather to insist that what I wrote is not really what I meant, I have zero expectation that you will admit to understanding anything I write.   Play your game until your fingers grow numb Drakk.   In response, I am going to simply repeat my position.   (Unless you come up with something interesting other than your strawman game.)  


My position:

  1. A belief that has not been shown to be right (truth) or reasonable (high confidence) using evidence that can be scrutinized has by definition not been justified to the intended audience.   By definition, the belief is not justified to the audience.   The audience is normally presumed to be the public in general (observers).
  2. A belief sans objective evidence is objectively unjustified.   (Unjustified in general.)
  3. An individual can personally justify a belief based solely on personal information / logic (private reasons / evidence).   That would be a justified belief for an audience of one - the individual.  This is usually not relevant.  That is, people do not speak about individual beliefs - we tend to speak of beliefs in general.
  4. A belief that is not objectively justified might still be correct (truth).   
  5. When speaking of beliefs, unless the intent is to target a specific person, one should assume that the statement is about the belief in general (audience = observers in general).    This is especially true if the author directly explains that his/her comment was not about an individual. 

Example One:   True belief that is not objectively justified

A person is abducted by an extraterrestrial.   This actually happens (not a hallucination).   The abductee in this case has a justified belief of abduction (has personal evidence) and, per this scenario, the abductee's belief is indeed correct (truth).   Is this an objectively justified belief?    The answer is: NO.   'But why ...  it is true and the abductee has evidence?'   Until the abductee can provide evidence that can be objectively reviewed, the abduction belief will remain justified to an audience of one - the abductee.   To justify the belief in general (that means an audience outside of the individual) there needs to be convincing objective evidence.

So here we have a belief that is absolutely true but is not objectively justified.   

Example Two:   Personally justified belief that is not objectively justified

Drakk is convinced that the biblical God exists.   He claims to have evidence but it is personally experiential in nature - a supernatural connection that cannot be shown for objective review.   In general, in all of recorded history, nobody has provided credible objective evidence supporting the existence of the biblical God.   Belief in the biblical God is thus objectively unjustified.   Why?  Because there is no corroborating objective evidence.   By definition.   Does this mean that Drakk is wrong?   No.  The lack of evidence never means that something is false.   Does that mean that Drakk's personal belief is unjustified?  No, Drakk claims to have personal justification and since he knows his own mind better than anyone else it is both polite and logical to presume he has the evidence he claims.   Does this serve to objectively corroborate the belief?  No.  Not at all.  

Your strawman tactics seek to change my position into:

  1. An individual cannot personally justify a belief based on personal information.
  2. A belief that is not objectively justified is necessarily false.
  3. A belief that is not objectively justified cannot be personally justified.

Keep claiming to know my position better than I do and I will continue to state my position.    


Super summary:

You keep insisting that you know my position better than I do.  You understand my mind better than I.    When an author writes X and a reader reads Y (something bad) the reader should try to ensure s/he got it right.   If the author explains X, the reader should accept the intent and move on.   A reader that insists:  'no, you really meant Y - you hypocrite' is being intellectually dishonest (and rude).

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.125  author  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @1.4.123    8 months ago

Hello Freewill!     Thanks for making a comment that actually addresses the real topic (we have been waaaay off base for days).

If I might restructure your first sentence above: I accept (even offer) the possibility that extraterrestrial life might exist.   I am not convinced of this (due to the lack of evidence) but that does not preclude the possibility.

This is being agnostic about exolife.  And that IMO is the only rational position.  Some people see the likelihood of at least one species of exolife in a universe of ~80 trillion planets to be higher than us being alone (I am in that camp) and others see the likelihood of exolife being 0 (you are in that camp).   However, in both cases, we agree that we do not really know (cannot know yet) and that either of us could be wrong.

This article actually is exposing a logical flaw in an argument made by someone else who was trying to argue that if science holds it likely that exolife exists (evidenced by continued research in this area) then by the same token science should have a God hypothesis (not sure if he would argue that it should be funded).    The key difference is that there exists mountains of evidence about physics with a finite number of chemicals, forces, etc. as well as data on the enormous size of our universe and the potential for habitable exoplanets.   We have the means to make rough estimates on exolife.   And while we have pessimistic estimates too that suggest we are alone most estimates do not.   Just need one exolife species.   On the flip side, we have zero evidence to support a God hypothesis.   ET and God hypotheses are very different animals.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.126  author  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.120    8 months ago
My claim is that you cannot claim a believer is unjustified without providing evidence.

True.   Nobody knows what the individual believer has in his/her mind.   I suspect most flat Earthers personally justify their beliefs - that is typically why one holds a belief.   

But one can easily claim that a belief (in general) is unjustified.   If said belief does not have convincing, objective evidence then it is unjustified (in general).   This makes no comment about an individual's personal justification.   That is something entirely different.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.127  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.4.120    8 months ago
You truly are your own worst enemy in this.

Yeeaahh-No!

My claim is that you cannot claim a believer is unjustified without providing evidence.

Without evidence, a claim lacks justification. That's a simple concept.

So what do you do? You just go ahead and admit that I have my own beliefs which are justified to me. Why would you do that? Maybe because you can't prove otherwise?

Wow, you still don't get it! It's not about the individual and their personal beliefs. It's about the belief itself. As has been repeatedly explained to you, a belief is only justified to the believer. But if the believer tries to posit a belief as something more, then the belief (and any associated claims based on that belief) is unjustified. I can't make it any simpler than that.

 So, prove that a believer is unjustified in what they believe. That would shorten the argument considerably, don't you think?

See previous statement! Can the believer provide objective evidence to support their belief? You have also been asked repeatedly to provide an objective justification for a belief in the supernatural. Yet, you continue to ignore that challenge. Why is that?

Uh, you just said that it is a logical fallacy that one cannot prove the non-existence of something.

Yes, and? You seem confused about something.

I make it clear that I believe the supernatural (i.e. God) exists. I challenge you to post a quote where I insist that you have to believe it.

I never said you insisted I believe anything. I know you have such beliefs and that is your prerogative. But without evidence, such a belief is only valid and justified to you, and is unjustified and unconvincing to anyone else. So there is no reason to accept such a belief or associated claims based on it as factual or justified.

And the practical difference would be???

Belief in the supernatural is quite illogical and objectively meaningless then. The existence of the supernatural or not makes no difference to anything.

Post something that says you must believe because I do.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that anyone must believe something you do or where such a demand was implied.

You are accusing me of things that I haven't done. Don't use others to justify your false claims against me. 

And what have I accused you of exactly?

Well, I, for one, can't wait for you to start.

Then you haven't been paying attention.

I said there is no reason to assume or believe something without evidence.

I said the same thing. Glad we agree on that.

It amounts to the same thing! It literally says that if science can't examine it, it doesn't exist.

No, it doesn't! Science generally doesn't make claims of absolute certainty either way unless there is enough evidence to establish a high degree of probability.

Do you really think saying it simply isn't relevant changes that? The only basis for saying it is irrelevant is to make the personal choice to only consider what science can examine as relevant. It's sticking your head in the sand.

If something is outside the purview of the natural universe and science, to the effect that it can never be observed or have any effect on the natural universe, then any such thing is irrelevant since there is no effect. It becomes a non-issue.

To believe something without evidence, like, if science can't address it, it is irrelevant.

Once again, you completely misunderstand what I said. Perhaps you should reread my previous posts.

You aren't capable of considering anything outside the narrow bands of your self imposed restrictions.

Making things personal yet again, eh?

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.128  author  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @1.4.127    8 months ago
It's about the belief itself. As has been repeatedly explained to you, a belief is only justified to the believer. But if the believer tries to posit a belief as something more, then the belief (and any associated claims based on that belief) is unjustified. I can't make it any simpler than that.

IMO, this is not a problem with comprehension.   It is a very thinly veiled argument (using strawman tactics and attempting to impose different meanings on words written by others) that religious beliefs should be considered rational and fully supported by evidence even if no believer can deliver a shred of objective evidence for evaluation.

That is, if even one believer thinks s/he has a justified (personally/privately evidenced) belief then it is deemed logically invalid for anyone to claim that the belief in general is not objectively justified.  Even if there is no objective evidence, one cannot consider the belief unjustified because some human being thinks it actually is.

In short, the concept of personal justification vs. objective justification is recognized but ignored.    The tactic has been to conflate the two and deem it hypocritical to note that sans objective evidence a belief is unjustified (in general).   That the only way to deem the belief unjustified is to know and discredit personal justification which lies solely in the mind of the believer.    Because skeptics demand believers provide evidence for claims of religious truth (e.g. God exists) this twisted logic states that skeptics are hypocritical unless they in turn provide evidence that what is in the mind of a believer is not personally justified.

Now that is some pretzel logic.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.4.129  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.128    8 months ago
It is a very thinly veiled argument (using strawman tactics and attempting to impose different meanings on words written by others) that religious beliefs should be considered rational and fully supported by evidence even if no believer can deliver a shred of objective evidence for evaluation.

I agree.

then it is deemed logically invalid for anyone to claim that the belief in general is not objectively justified.

Some do try to put belief on par with science.

Because skeptics demand believers provide evidence for claims of religious truth

It's interesting to note that people will generally want some evidence or proof for any claim made (not necessarily supernatural based claims either). Yet they drop that requirement when it comes to religious claims or beliefs. Skeptics prefer evidence/proof for any claim, especially the more outrageous ones like supernatural claims.

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
1.4.130  NV-Robin6  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.4    7 months ago

Found some time today TIG. Very interesting subject that I'm so happy to be hearing you again and the several other critical thinkers I used to enjoy daily from NV/ Thank you for using this outlet (you too Perrie for hosting it!)  I do miss these types of internet blogging/sharing, the most. I'll figure out where to limit and how to best maneuver the bullshit away that I came to despise here. 

With that said; my take is this; knowing what little I know (we are ALL ignorant to some degree or some to several degrees) and I'll speak from what I've learned and observed since I'm not a bonafide scientist --but rather an absolute admirer, lover and layperson observer of the doctrine of the Sciences. 

Hydrogen, Helium, Oxygen, Carbon are 4 of the most common elements found in all we have been able to discover of our the cosmos we have discovered. Humans are majorly carbon-based which all life forms are, from plant to insect to reptile to mammal. Carbon seemingly finds it's building blocks to some which can be described as "life".  Knowing these fundamentals --gives, if anything-- the re-assurance without the exact need for direct evidence "that life as we can describe it from our perception" is at least highly likely in forms we might recognize and even ones we don't. One has to ask, why would this small blue dot in the Milky Way Galaxy be the only place where carbon found its building blocks in which to play life in, out of a vast human-observable universe which is made up of approximately 200 billion+ galaxies.

To expect we are alone in this universe is close-minded and a total disregard of the evidence to date. Whether there are any other life forms on earth that are not of earth origin that we would call terrestrial or is of intelligence near us or far beyond us is just unknown? Quite possible sentient intelligent life exists or even a single cell--but either requires rigorous scientific evidence to which there is none to date in any type of open shared public knowledge beyond speculation, mystics and others who claim they can firmly attest as eye-witnesses to extraterrestrial UFO's. 

Logic tells us the probabilities of what can be described as life-form may be endless but based in logical objectivity and continual true-seeking scientific fact protocol for evidence (and as long as we keep evolving our species) there may come a chance one day, some unit of time in the lifespan of humankind might find more answers. However, our time is running out on this planet as all carbon-based life forms will go extinct --as do all planets, suns, galaxies and quite possibility every universe observable or not observable. It's all matter of time. Is it why we are creating IT? How did we evolve to this state of consciousness to create this? Maybe "WE" are nothing but IT to whom our universal ancient ancestors figured out how to carbon create us. At what point does IT turn to self-awareness and self-instruction to be called life sustaining or a life form? 

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." ! ~Richard Bach

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.131  author  TᵢG  replied to  NV-Robin6 @1.4.130    7 months ago

Nicely stated.

Also, life need not be carbon based so there are all sorts of possibilities.   And, as you noted, this article does not speak of finding sentient life - just life itself.   

It is possible that life exists only on Earth.  Seems extremely unlikely, but given the lack of falsifying evidence the possibility remains.   But let's spin the roulette wheel:

  • Black = life only exists on Earth 
  • Red   = at least one lifeform exists outside of Earth

I know where I would put my chips.

 
 
 
Padre Bear
1.5  Padre Bear  replied to  TᵢG @1    8 months ago

Your logic is impeccable. People make up myths based on their human experience. A lot of human energy goes into creating things to fill human needs. So the reasoning goes that "the universe must have had a sentient creator" and the unstated corollary is "the sentient creator must be very similar to humans". In fact there is an element of wishful thinking in the fantasies humans have spewed about deities ... an unspoken but very real desire to be taken care of by a parental figure. It amounts to basically wanting to continue in a childhood state, free of responsibility and the demands of adulthood.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.5.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  Padre Bear @1.5    8 months ago

And of course skeptics challenge these beliefs on the grounds of no supporting evidence.   These beliefs have been in play for thousands of years and that would mean countless billions of human beings who would be motivated to deliver corroborating evidence.   Yet ... nothing.   The lack of evidence for so long, with so much motivation by believers to corroborate coupled with the fact that this belief presents probably the grandest possible claim - the existence of the creator of all things - is a belief that needs to be challenged.

Personally I can easily appreciate why people would hold that 'there must be something there'.  The universe is awesome and we have but scratched the surface in terms of understanding.   So there might be something there - a sentient creator.   It is certainly possible.   And if someone believed in a sentient creator while holding that we know absolutely nothing about the creator (objectives, plans, rules, commands, motivations, personality, exploits, ...) I would not even bother challenging the belief.   

What I do routinely challenge, however, are beliefs rooted in ancient books like the Bible.   The God character described in these (and similar) books is self-refuting - a perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, eternal, loving entity.   These attributes are at the root of biblical contradictions:

  • perfect - yet God does not condemn as immoral the widely active practice (in biblical times) of owning another human being as property
  • omniscient - yet God is surprised by His creature's disobedience
  • omniscient - yet God (who knows what you will do) claims to have provided free will (thus He cannot know what you will do)
  • etc.

Ultimately we have belief sans evidence.  But worse, the core of these beliefs (books like the Bible) are not only unevidenced, they claim to be divine yet are demonstrably errant.

 
 
 
JBB
1.5.2  JBB  replied to  Padre Bear @1.5    8 months ago

True, most small children are told to believe in and depend upon for psychological comfort all sorts of unfounded irrational illogical magical beings. Adults will tell small children believe in The Tooth Fairie, The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, The Great Pumpkin and all sorts of other mythical magical imaginary beings. Thankfully over time most people outgrow their wishful unfoynded childhood beliefs though the fear of death causes some to still find comfort in clinging to irrational unfounded unquantifiable childhood nonsense. The reality, inevitability and finality of death is so threatening to some that they will suspend all their normal logical adult demands for evidence. This is why, perhaps, it would probably be better in the long run if adults would not lie to kids just to ally their fears of the unknown so they can better sleep at night. The result is that too many otherwise sane people hold delusional belief systems. The fact that all of ours lives are singular and terminal only leads me to appreciate life all the more free of such silly childish superstitions. Personally, I feel a great deal of pity for those adults who live their lives in fear of eternal damnation by a mythical being. Living this life in expectation of a nonexistant eternity in some unseen magical realm causes too  many to misspent their limited time in this their one and only life...

 
 
 
mocowgirl
1.6  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @1    8 months ago
Logic is good.

Logic is wonderful.

However, Seth Andrews (from Tulsa, OK) explains the area I was raised in and am still living in today.

I can laugh at the absurdity today, but I wasn't laughing when I believed that devil worshippers were abducting animals and people and sacrificing them to Satan. 

I watched Geraldo conduct interviews with people who made outlandish claims what Satanists were doing to people and livestock in their area.  What made it even more horrifying was that we were having livestock killed in our area and even had a large steer killed on the ranch I worked on.  Our area vet was convinced that extraterrestrials were responsible.  My brother-in-law, who was a cop, was called to investigate why someone had killed a dog, split it open, and burned a cross in the stomach opening.  

My children were told they were going to Hell for watching Smurfs.  Smurfs were demonic and casting spells.  

I appreciate your efforts to have reasonable discussions on religion and don't want to hijack your thread.  I noticed this was a month old and it's late and I wanted a place to share this video before I go to sleep tonight.

Delete or have this comment deleted if you want.  I will not be offended.  But please watch the video if you haven't seen it. It has been said that history repeats itself.  In my area, I am not sure that we have progressed past the mindset of the 1970/80s.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.6.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @1.6    8 months ago

Thanks for the courtesy, but I would never delete a thoughtful comment.

I think you should seed this MCG.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
1.6.2  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @1.6.1    8 months ago
I think you should seed this MCG.

I prefer to add comments here and there rather than moderate most discussions.   If you or anyone else wants to seed this, I will try to drop by for the discussion.  I've had insomnia lately and need to get back on a saner sleep cycle.  I have always been a night owl, but with winter's short amount of daylight hours,  I need to get to sleep by midnight instead of 3 am.   

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.6.3  author  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @1.6.2    8 months ago

Understood

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
2  sandy-2021492    9 months ago

Thank you for pointing out logical fallacies when you see them.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
3  Hal A. Lujah    9 months ago

I've never been a big fan of philosophical musing.  When it comes to the concept of God, it seems like overkill.

Plain old common sense will do.  It doesn't take philosophy to understand the horror of any sentient entity who has no choice but exist for eternity.  Anyone who believes in such a ridiculous concept, should feel sorry for that entity, not rejoice it and organize their entire life around ways they think will appease said noncommunicative and invisible entity.  And how about the question of why such an entity would 'create' sooooo much stuff (ie the universe), just to serve the tiniest, most miniscule corner of it all?  How about the reality that we live in a finite space, but the 'infallible' and 'immutable' instructions from said entity are to procreate with abandon?  And why destroy every living being on the planet, just because of some trouble makers in one area of the world?  I could go on for days with more common sense questions that religionists refuse to honestly ask themselves.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1  Gordy327  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @3    9 months ago
It doesn't take philosophy to understand the horror of any sentient entity who has no choice but exist for eternity.  Anyone who believes in such a ridiculous concept, should feel sorry for that entity, not rejoice it

That reminds me of an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, where the crew encounter a Q who wants to commit suicide because he has nothing life to see or experience after experiencing the entire universe.

Quinn [Q]: "You want me to prove to you that I suffer in terms that you can equate with pain or disease. Look at us. When life has become futile, meaningless, unendurable, it must be allowed to end. Can't you see, Captain? For us, the [pain and] disease is immortality."

Some people actually believe an eternal (immortal) afterlife in a mythical heaven will also be a paradise. It probably will be at first. But I doubt they can understand the true depth of what being immortal entails. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @3    9 months ago
It doesn't take philosophy to understand the horror of any sentient entity who has no choice but exist for eternity. 

Agreed.

This article is pointing out a very poor argument that was made - one that equates the possibility of the most supreme possible entity (God) with the possibility of extraterrestrial life.   As if the likelihood of ET has something to do with the likelihood of God.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.2.1  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @3.2    9 months ago
ne that equates the possibility of the most supreme possible entity (God) with the possibility of extraterrestrial life. 

We know certain individuals here who use that very same and illogical argument. Something along the lines of: "the existence of the universe (or you, earth, ect.) is proof of god." It's no different than when someone also says the proof of god was Jesus, who was (claimed to be) god made flesh. It's like some people just don't understand illogical arguments and statements.

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.2.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @3.2.1    9 months ago

It is possible, I suppose, that some minds are simply unable to think critically about certain topics.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.2.3  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.2    9 months ago
I suppose, that some minds are simply unable to think critically about certain topics.

That's what happens with religious belief, along with emotional comforts, clouds the mind.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
3.2.4  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Gordy327 @3.2.3    9 months ago

Religion exists because of the tendancy for emotion to trump reason.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.2.5  Gordy327  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @3.2.4    8 months ago

Or when ignorance overrides critical thinking.

 
 
 
Split Personality
4  Split Personality    9 months ago
Premise 3 is false because premise 2 is false.

Works for me every time.....

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5  Trout Giggles    9 months ago

Have any of you ever watched "Ancient Aliens"?

I watch it just for amusement. This past week they were discussing sacred places and what do Ancient Aliens have to do with it? My favorite segment was about Moses and Mt Sinai. Apparently an extraterrestrial gave Moses the 10 Commandments. Ok, that's cool but why would I even consider worshiping a God that is not divine (He's an Alien) and that God is so vain and arrogant that the first 4 (?) commandments are all about him?

Just throwing that out there. AA is one of my favorite programs to watch after I have a few beers

 
 
 
charger 383
5.1  charger 383  replied to  Trout Giggles @5    9 months ago

interesting show

 
 
 
JBB
5.2  JBB  replied to  Trout Giggles @5    9 months ago

In probably 74 a friend of my Dad's, a man I much admired at the time, gave me a copy of Ancient Astronauts. I was young and impressionable. Some of my theories back then make me cringe now. The same way I cringe for Jesus Freaks. There is nothing so irritating as a new true believer. Child evangelists are the stuff of nightmares. Worse than evil clowns even...

BTW, the man who gave me Ancient Astronauts is now the nearly ninety year olde crank everybody gets reams of crap from Info Wars shared from on Facebook. I finally had to unfriend him because he became such a nasty racist. What is it makes so many olde white guys turn into xenophobes? 

 
 
 
Skrekk
5.2.1  Skrekk  replied to  JBB @5.2    9 months ago
There is nothing so irritating as a new true believer.

Or as dangerous.    Converts tend to be the most zealous.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
5.3  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Trout Giggles @5    9 months ago
Apparently an extraterrestrial gave Moses the 10 Commandments.

Was that the burning bush rocket ship thing?

It was supposed to be 15, but Mel Brooks dropped one of the tablets. jrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Freewill
5.4  Freewill  replied to  Trout Giggles @5    8 months ago
Have any of you ever watched "Ancient Aliens"?

That show has shaken my confidence in The History Channel. I used to watch that channel to learn things I might not have previously known about natural or human history.  If I wanted an hour of repetitive pure conjecture that never really ties off any of the loose ends, I'd watch the SyFy Channel... or go to Mass.... (-:    

But I too watch it for amusement because deep down I want to believe it is true.  OK maybe not that the alien part is true per se, but I really want to know exactly how/why intelligent life came to be on this planet, and if it has actually happened elsewhere in the Universe and when.  Perhaps it is the fear that we will go to our graves never knowing the answer to that question that drives people to have faith in a number of possible, albeit improbable, answers. For some perhaps any answer will do, just to put a comforting or familiar face on the unknown.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.4.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Freewill @5.4    8 months ago

The History Channel used to be a lot more informative when it was The Hitler Channel. I wish they would go back to showing more Hitler docs than these stupid reality shows like Pawn Stars and the like.

That Oak Island show really is a joke

 
 
 
Freefaller
5.4.2  Freefaller  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.4.1    8 months ago

With the exception of Forged in Fire the History channel is a complete waste of time and the Discovery Channel is not far behind.  Used to love those two channels.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.4.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  Freefaller @5.4.2    8 months ago

Is Forged the one where they make swords?

 
 
 
Freefaller
5.4.4  Freefaller  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.4.3    8 months ago

Knives and swords, yup that's the one.  Although truthfully what I watch it for is not so much about what they forge rather it's how they do it

 
 
 
charger 383
5.4.5  charger 383  replied to  Freefaller @5.4.2    8 months ago

I like Forged in Fire,  "It will Cut"

I have learned a lot about metalworking

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.4.6  Trout Giggles  replied to  Freefaller @5.4.4    8 months ago

I saw someone in Branson (Silver Dollar City) forge a knife. It was pretty cool

 
 
 
Freewill
5.4.7  Freewill  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.4.6    8 months ago
I saw someone in Branson (Silver Dollar City) forge a knife. It was pretty cool

I have forged many relationships here and at NV that turned out to be pretty cool.  A few of them are still in the fire, but you know... a forged relationship is better than a mold-cast one anyway. (-:

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
5.4.8  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Freewill @5.4.7    8 months ago

Great comment! jrSmiley_96_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
epistte
5.4.9  epistte  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.4.1    8 months ago
The History Channel used to be a lot more informative when it was The Hitler Channel. I wish they would go back to showing more Hitler docs than these stupid reality shows like Pawn Stars and the like.

Many of the good shows from the History channel have moved to Quest. I've seen Modern Marvels reruns on that channel. 

That Oak Island show really is a joke

It does seem to be very staged.

 
 
 
Freefaller
5.4.10  Freefaller  replied to  Freewill @5.4.7    8 months ago
I have forged many relationships here and at NV that turned out to be pretty cool

Lol and it didn't require a 2400 degree oven and a big hammer

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.4.11  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @5.4.8    8 months ago

Freewill is a special person and loved by all.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.4.12  Trout Giggles  replied to  epistte @5.4.9    8 months ago

I saw a Modern Marvels episode the other night on Quest. I get that channel with my antenna. This was a pretty good epi since they were discussing nukes. I'm fascinated by nukes

 
 
 
epistte
5.4.13  epistte  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.4.12    8 months ago

I found Modern Marvels on Quest by accident when I was searching to something to watch and I heard the very distinctive narrators voice. Many of those episodes could be updated with new technology or even made into 2 hour episodes.

 
 
 
Freewill
5.4.14  Freewill  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.4.11    8 months ago
Freewill is a special person and loved by all.

Oh now stop that! <blushing>  I could only wish that were true. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.4.15  Trout Giggles  replied to  Freewill @5.4.14    8 months ago

Well...you're loved by those who count...on all their fingers and toes!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
6  JohnRussell    9 months ago

Where are these three premises coming from?  Was this on a website or in a book or video? What is the source. 

It seems like a cousin to a straw man argument to claim that pro-God folks are proposing these premises. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
6.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @6    9 months ago

Came from an argument made (off topic) in another article.   This article factored out the argument for on-topic discussion.   And, yes, the argument was made by a devout theist who has apparently decided to not weigh in.

 
 
 
Skrekk
6.1.1  Skrekk  replied to  TᵢG @6.1    9 months ago

What he seemed to be arguing was "what's the difference between a (currently) unprovable belief in ETs with a (currently) unprovable belief in a sky fairy, and why do you criticize the latter as irrational but not the former?" 

There were other points in that discussion but the central problem was that the people he was addressing the question to don't per se believe in the existence of ETs but rather the likelihood that extraterrestrial life exists in some form somewhere.    It also ignores that the probability of life elsewhere is supported by its existence here, something which cannot be said about "gods".     All that can really be said about the latter is that various cultures have firmly held beliefs in such creatures despite there being no actual evidence of such things independent of the artistic expression of those cultures.

 
 
 
TᵢG
6.1.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  Skrekk @6.1.1    9 months ago
What he seemed to be arguing was "what's the difference between a (currently) unprovable belief in ETs with a (currently) unprovable belief in a sky fairy, and why do you criticize the latter as irrational but not the former?" 

Yes, equating the probability one can calculate regarding ET with that of God.   That is, if one can state that it is reasonable to hold that ET is likely then it is ipso facto reasonable to hold that God is likely.   The key problem of course is that the probability of ET is based on empirical data (specifically the estimated number of exoplanets that are likely to be able to host life).   We know exoplanets exist and have a decent understanding of how many there are based on the number of galaxies, average number of stars per galaxy and our understanding of cosmology.

For God we have no data.   It really does not matter how many stars exist in the universe, no matter the number it gives us nothing upon which to calculate a God probability.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
6.2  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @6    9 months ago

By definition GOD is a supernatural entity, E.T. may be exotic and originate in another part of the galaxy or universe, but is still originated within nature as we know it. 

I don't see how one can argue one way or the other about the correlation between the existence of two such disparate sets of entities, forces or beings. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
6.2.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @6.2    9 months ago
I don't see how one can argue one way or the other about the correlation between the existence of two such disparate sets of entities, forces or beings. 

Agreed.   There is no correlation.   That is precisely the problem with such an argument.

So if someone can, through some means of analysis, form an opinion on the likelihood of extraterrestrial life, that analysis says nothing about the likelihood of God.

 
 
 
Skrekk
6.2.2  Skrekk  replied to  JohnRussell @6.2    9 months ago
By definition GOD is a supernatural entity

I'm hoping that someday someone will explain how this hypothetical "supernatural" entity interacts with the natural universe.    Is it all just magic and poofery or is there some underlying mechanism?

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
6.2.3  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  JohnRussell @6.2    9 months ago

Literally nothing defined as supernatural can be shown to actually exist.  For some strange reason, the most prolifically impossible supernatural concept (god(s)) gets more traction with humans than something like ghosts or Bigfoot.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
6.2.4  author  TᵢG  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @6.2.3    9 months ago
Literally nothing defined as supernatural can be shown to actually exist.

Yet somehow people know a God exists and have many tales of God’s adventures, expectations, plans and personality.

How can they possibly know these thing so ?

 
 
 
Gordy327
6.2.5  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.4    9 months ago
Yet somehow people know a God exists and have many tales of God’s adventures, expectations, plans and personality.

That's because god supposedly wrote a book (but forgot to autograph it) or "inspired" others to write a book about him. So of course they know. >sarc<

 
 
 
Freefaller
6.2.6  Freefaller  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.4    9 months ago
How can they possibly know these thing so ?

Lol you know the one word answer to that question.

 
 
 
†hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh
7  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh    9 months ago

I've never understood why the believers and nonbelievers spend so much time trying to disprove one another. It seem like such a waste of time.

I personally think they struggle to tolerate one another. Does anyone think they are going to change minds on the internet? 

One must ask who they are really  speaking too? I sense doubt in the arguments of both of these groups. That might explain why they aren't really talking to one another. It's fascinating in my opinion but not really about the actual debate.

I am more interested in the behavior of trying to convince oneself publicly.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh @7    9 months ago

It is all about the dialectic (not about changing the mind of one's debate opponent).    Clearly the existence of a supreme entity is a big deal - indeed the biggest deal.   It would overshadow everything.    It is an important question - that is why it has been debated for centuries.

 
 
 
Skrekk
7.1.1  Skrekk  replied to  TᵢG @7.1    9 months ago
Clearly the existence of a supreme entity is a big deal - indeed the biggest deal.

I'm the sort of atheist who thinks it would be a curiosity but largely irrelevant.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  Skrekk @7.1.1    9 months ago

Not to me.   If we actually knew that our reality was the product of a sentient creator that would be staggering insight for every aspect of science.    It would also (no doubt) wreak havoc with the world's religions given this information could easily dismiss them all.

In my way of thinking, resolving the existence of 'God' would set the entire planet on its ear.

 
 
 
Skrekk
7.1.3  Skrekk  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.2    9 months ago
If we actually knew that our reality was the product of a sentient creator that would be staggering insight for every aspect of science. 

That part would be the curiosity.

Otherwise would it matter to you if such a creature existed, like would it change your behavior in any way?

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.4  author  TᵢG  replied to  Skrekk @7.1.3    9 months ago
That part would be the curiosity.

Okay.   'Curiosity' seems mild to me.   I think it would change everything.

Otherwise would it matter to you if such a creature existed, like would it change your behavior in any way?

Knowledge only of its existence would not change my behavior.    (Well, I would spend zero time debating its existence .. that would be a change.)   However, if we learn more of this entity what we learn could easily affect my behavior.   Hell, my behavior is affected by weather patterns.  jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
7.1.5  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Skrekk @7.1.3    9 months ago

Even if there were a creator, why would anyone think it could monitor billions of humans simultaneously?  That’s the funniest thing about heaven to me.  Throughout the world, over 6,000 people die every hour.  Even if only 1% of people were pure enough to make it into heaven, if one thinks that they will actually meet god, then your introduction would last about one minute and you would never be able to meet with it again because it’s never ending job would be to welcome newbies.  What kind of pitiful existence is that?

 
 
 
†hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh
7.1.6  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @7.1.5    9 months ago

I think to really explore the existence of god or lack there of we really need someone to volunteer to be baptized by XXJefferson or Livefreeordie and walk the walk for awhile.

Try it out and then report back to us. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
7.1.7  Gordy327  replied to  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh @7.1.6    9 months ago

That sounds like Hell to me.

 
 
 
Skrekk
7.1.8  Skrekk  replied to  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh @7.1.6    9 months ago
I think to really explore the existence of god or lack there of we really need someone to volunteer to be baptized by XXJefferson or Livefreeordie and walk the walk for awhile.

The mere existence of such folks proves that there is no "god."

 
 
 
†hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh
7.1.9  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh  replied to  Skrekk @7.1.8    9 months ago

Come on Shrekk, we need you to go undercover!

 
 
 
Freewill
8  Freewill    8 months ago

Somewhat, ok a few billion years, off topic but THIS will blow your mind. 

The possibility that the origins of life predated the existence of Earth, has a bit of scientific backing.

384

Not sure how much traction this theory has as of yet, but it is a damn interesting read.

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @8    8 months ago

Panspermia does not strike me as such a wild hypothesis.   Earth is somewhat late to the game and was formed by more ancient matter coalescing.   Mother Earth may have been impregnated.

Similarly, imagine a future where Earth (upon destruction) emits its parts to space.   If any form of life (e.g. a nanobe) survives transport and landing on another planet, Earth could be a daddy.

Lots of ways for at least one exolife to exist.

 
 
 
Freewill
8.1.1  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @8.1    8 months ago
Lots of ways for at least one exolife to exist

Perhaps.  Another good read HERE from the late Stephen Hawking.

Maybe the probability of life spontaneously appearing is so low, that Earth is the only planet in the galaxy, or in the observable universe, in which it happened. Another possibility is that there was a reasonable probability of forming self reproducing systems, like cells, but that most of these forms of life did not evolve intelligence. We are used to thinking of intelligent life, as an inevitable consequence of evolution. But the Anthropic Principle should warn us to be wary of such arguments. It is more likely that evolution is a random process, with intelligence as only one of a large number of possible outcomes. It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value. Bacteria, and other single cell organisms, will live on, if all other life on Earth is wiped out by our actions. There is support for the view that intelligence, was an unlikely development for life on Earth, from the chronology of evolution. It took a very long time, two and a half billion years, to go from single cells to multi-cell beings, which are a necessary precursor to intelligence. This is a good fraction of the total time available, before the Sun blows up. So it would be consistent with the hypothesis, that the probability for life to develop intelligence, is low. In this case, we might expect to find many other life forms in the galaxy, but we are unlikely to find intelligent life. Another way, in which life could fail to develop to an intelligent stage, would be if an asteroid or comet were to collide with the planet. We have just observed the collision of a comet, Schumacher-Levi, with Jupiter. It produced a series of enormous fireballs. It is thought the collision of a rather smaller body with the Earth, about 70 million years ago, was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. A few small early mammals survived, but anything as large as a human, would have almost certainly been wiped out. It is difficult to say how often such collisions occur, but a reasonable guess might be every twenty million years, on average. If this figure is correct, it would mean that intelligent life on Earth has developed only because of the lucky chance that there have been no major collisions in the last 70 million years. Other planets in the galaxy, on which life has developed, may not have had a long enough collision free period to evolve intelligent beings.

Rather in line with my thinking on the probability of intelligent exolife.

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @8.1.1    8 months ago

Agreed, intelligent exolife is certainly rarer than exolife.   And not only is life fragile, but the more complex the life the more fragile.   And then when we have intelligent life, we have a means for the species to wipe itself out due to the misuse of its intelligence.

Note:   In this article I was focused on exolife, not necessarily intelligent - just alive.   The notion that Earth is not the only host for cellular organisms.

 
 
 
lennylynx
8.1.3  lennylynx  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.2    8 months ago

Doesn't there almost have to be simple organisms in the waters of Europa?

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.4  author  TᵢG  replied to  lennylynx @8.1.3    8 months ago

Given current knowledge (presence of water and oxygen in abundance, etc.) we do expect to find exolife there.   But until we do ...

 
 
 
Gordy327
8.1.5  Gordy327  replied to  lennylynx @8.1.3    8 months ago
Doesn't there almost have to be simple organisms in the waters of Europa?

It is a possibility, as the conditions there are capable of supporting life, albeit probably simple life. But until we can go there and actually look into the ice for life, we will remain uncertain. Perhaps one day astronauts will do a little ice fishing on Europa, lol

 
 
 
Freewill
8.1.6  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.4    8 months ago
But until we do ...

It remains the stuff of science fiction.  Which is cool too.  HG Wells and Jules Verne certainly weren't too far off the mark...  (-:

 
 
 
Gordy327
8.1.7  Gordy327  replied to  Freewill @8.1.6    8 months ago
It remains the stuff of science fiction. 

Science fiction today may become science fact tomorrow. Think Star Trek.

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.8  author  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @8.1.7    8 months ago

Consider what people thought possible at the inception of our nation.    Imagine how modern technology that we take for granted would blow their minds.    Imagine how distant future advances might blow our minds.

 
 
 
Freewill
8.1.9  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.8    8 months ago
Imagine how distant future advances might blow our minds.

Indeed!  And I can imagine quite a bit!

 
 
 
Freewill
8.1.10  Freewill  replied to  Gordy327 @8.1.7    8 months ago
Think Star Trek

Oh absolutely!  Nearly every day.  Working on a warp core design as we speak.  (-:

 
 
 
Freewill
8.1.11  Freewill  replied to  Gordy327 @8.1.7    8 months ago
Think Star Trek.

384

 
 
 
Gordy327
8.1.12  Gordy327  replied to  Freewill @8.1.10    8 months ago
Working on a warp core design as we speak.

Didn't Stephen Hawking say the same thing once?

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
8.1.13  NV-Robin6  replied to  Freewill @8.1.11    7 months ago

Dear Free Will, I have to catch ya on this one.  This isn't odd, it's overture recital is absolutely incorrectly stated on it's face, therefore making the poster declaration illogical. ;-) It isn't "boldy go where no one has gone before".

I understand we have at least 2 generations that didn't grow up watching Star Trek daily but I did and then all the reruns years afterwards (I never made to the 9th Gen, etc, though.)  I was a Trekkie baby, baby! 1959 Babyboomer here, so like all the awesome theme songs we grew up with, this great Roddenberry opening was etched into our brain cells and will remain there in the hippo campus till it dies. I'm surprised you didn't catch this, FW!  (btw, greetings, it's been awhile. I'm from NV, if you remember.)  :-) 

When I read the poster here, I thought to myself, "that's just crazy, that ISN'T what Captain Kirk recites in the overture!" It makes zero sense to what he actually recited. Therefore making all the creatures and aliens possible as they were not MAN! ;-)  

So to make sure the newest generations don't confuse fact from fiction, here's the facts, man! 

"Where no man has gone before" is a phrase made popular through its use in the title sequence of the original Star Trek science fiction television series, describing the mission of the starship Enterprise. The complete introductory speech, spoken by William Shatner at the beginning of each episode, is:

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations.

**To boldly go where no man has gone before!**

Here's a link worth watching about Star Trek and how it impacted our modern lives more than any other work of modern fiction or theatrical art, in my opinion. 

 “If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear.” 

Gene Roddenberry

 
 
 
Freewill
8.1.14  Freewill  replied to  NV-Robin6 @8.1.13    7 months ago

Right you are of course Robin-6!  And great to see you!  Of course I remember you from NV, you were one of my favorites there. Hope you have been well!

I just so happened to have been sent the meme I posted above as we were discussing the subject and Star Trek came up.  I too grew up on Star Trek and know of course that Shatner's original line was actually, "...where no man has gone before", but I do believe in the more recent "generations" of Star Trek they have indeed changed it to, "...where no one has gone before", presumably because the word "man" is too exclusive these days I suppose.  But the change does open it up to the conundrum pointed out in the meme.  Are not alien beings included in the more general term "one"?  (-:

Loved Star trek when I was a kid.  It sparked my love for science fiction and a keen interest in science fact (or science non-fiction...). 

Live long and prosper my friend!

 
 
 
Freewill
8.1.15  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @8.1    7 months ago
Panspermia

Planets love it when you talk dirty to them like that TiG!  (-:

Hey have a happy and humorous new year my friend!

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.16  author  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @8.1.15    7 months ago

If anyone could find humor in a scientific discussion it would be you Freewill!  jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

Best wishes to you for 2019.

 
 
 
TᵢG
9  author  TᵢG    8 months ago

Came across this by accident so I figure I should post it here since it applies.

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
10  NV-Robin6    7 months ago

This is quite a wonderful Q&A session with 2 of my favorite modern critical thinkers. Well worth the time.  Thanks for posting. Helped me get past a long boring office babysitting afternoon.   

 
 
 
Freewill
10.1  Freewill  replied to  NV-Robin6 @10    7 months ago
This is quite a wonderful Q&A session with 2 of my favorite modern critical thinkers.

Had to go back up and read this a couple times.  Thought you were talking about me and TiG.... (-:

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.1.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @10.1    7 months ago

Fishin' trip Freewill?    jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Freewill
10.1.2  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @10.1.1    7 months ago
Fishin' trip Freewill?

Of sorts.  Just got back from SLO where I caught all my daughter's stuff and brought it home to get her ready for Winter Quarter in Adelaide Australia (actually summer there).  Then for Spring quarter I have to go back down and throw it all back in to her apartment - on the third floor.  A catch and release with a 3 month gap in between.

I'm getting too old for this shit...

 
 
 
Freewill
11  Freewill    7 months ago

Interesting perspective HERE from a physics professor at my Alma Mater.

For many casual observers, the relationship between faith and science is a tense one at best, and an outright hostile one at worst. For Cal Poly physics Professor Stamatis Vokos, the two concepts are complementary and essential parts of the whole human experience.
The second lesson Vokos learned working with monks came from their approach to why they were trying to learn: not just intellectual curiosity or a desire for self-improvement, but a deep sense of moral responsibility.

A deep sense of moral responsibility.  Wouldn't it be great if all administrators, educators, teacher's unions, and most importantly students around the world looked at education that way?

“The interaction between religious faith and science is complicated,” he says. “I do not subscribe to the inherent tension perspective, and I certainly do not subscribe to the idea that everything is hunky-dory and there are no tensions whatsoever.”

It’s an imperfect dichotomy, he says. “The term ‘unscientific’ has connotations that something is bogus. But think about major decisions that a human being makes: Should I take this job? Is this a good time to have kids? Should I marry this person? Should I go to this school? Who should I vote for? Those big questions would all benefit from more rationality. But none of those are purely rational decisions because they are intertwined with our sense of values, meaning, purpose. Those kinds of things cannot be reduced to scientific propositions.”

The important thing, he says, is to be able to determine which questions are best answered scientifically, and which questions go beyond the realm of science.

“A scientific stance can help you better approach some of those questions, while at the same time, questions of meaning and purpose can help drive the kind of science that you do,” he says. “There is opportunity for productive, highly non-trivial interaction between the scientific and the spiritual if both sides approach each other with humility.”

Indeed.  I think he makes a good point. An us against them approach, as in many other areas of life (like politics), is often futile and destructive.   Whereas a more humble and cooperative approach can lead to progress and dare I say it, "enlightenment". (-: 

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @11    7 months ago

The presumption is that some hold that every decision in life must necessarily be reduced into verifiable empirical facts.   While that would be awesome (IMO) if anyone could do that, human beings are just not wired for such precision.   Our neural networks are a complex combination of facts and 'feelings' - the 'feelings' being abstract notions of truth that have evolved from many varied experiences.  

But generally this does not seem to be the real debate because I think most everyone accepts the fact that we are not purely logical creatures.   We do make decisions based on facts mixed with what we label as 'emotions' or 'intuition'.   The debate really, when speaking of religion (as the professor is doing), is determining truth.   There are millions of people in the USA who believe the Earth is < 10,000 years old.  This belief is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible and the foundational belief that the Bible is the divine word of a perfect God.   This is an example (a stark one of course) that belief sans credible evidence is not a good pathway to truth.   

 
 
 
Freewill
11.1.1  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @11.1    7 months ago
There are millions of people in the USA who believe the Earth is < 10,000 years old.

And the data shows that this belief is mostly held by the less educated among us.  Again, we need to place more value on education in our society and that starts with administrators and educators but ends (very importantly) with the individual.  One must WANT to learn, if not for oneself, then at least out of a sense of moral responsibility like the Tibetan Monks in the story to which I linked.

One drawback of organized religion I think is that it tends to foster intellectual laziness in some ways.  By that I mean when concepts are difficult to grasp, religion presents "answers" that are easy to understand and seem reasonable when applied to one's life and relationships with others.  The problem is that it leaves many with no desire to seek further education or truth when it comes to matters of the origin of the planet and life in general, as like you say, it is already laid out in the Bible for those who have already chosen to believe it.  To them it is a comfort not to have to think about it any further.  At least that is the impression I get when talking to folks who claim to believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old. 

Truly I only know, or have met, a handful of people who actually believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old, so it is difficult for me to imagine that there are millions of them in this country.  I often wonder if they really believe that, or if they just say they do so as not to "tarnish" their professed belief in God and/or the Bible.   

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.1.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @11.1.1    7 months ago
I often wonder if they really believe that, or if they just say they do so as not to "tarnish" their professed belief in God and/or the Bible.   

Yeah same here.   It just boggles the mind that people could believe that but then again we have flat Earthers so people can truly believe anything.    The stats show about 10% of the USA profess to be Young Earth Creationists.   So millions it is ... apparently.   We can thank organizations such as Answers In Genesis for continually drumming this nonsense into the heads of their followers.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
11.1.3  mocowgirl  replied to  Freewill @11.1.1    7 months ago
One drawback of organized religion I think is that it tends to foster intellectual laziness in some ways.

Yes and no.   The men, who made up the fables, were definitely more intelligent than the sheeple who believed them.

I am watching an interesting video about the man who wrote the gospel of Mark.  This video touches on the fracturing within the Jewish and Christian sects as they tried to attract and keep members.

 
 
 
Freewill
11.1.4  Freewill  replied to  mocowgirl @11.1.3    7 months ago
The men, who made up the fables, were definitely more intelligent than the sheeple who believed them

I'm sure they were.  It is interesting to note that the stories of the Bible use the two most powerful human psychological forces, fear and love, seemingly to foster order in a world of chaos.  What better way to tame or control the violent ways of human-kind than to teach them from a young age to fear eternal fire and damnation in the after-life while simultaneously teaching them to love thy neighbor as thyself? Certainly the elders or leaders of ancient societies throughout time would have searched for ways to maintain peace and harmony among the people, if for nothing more than to protect their own wealth or positions of power.

We know from history that these sorts of stories were told well before the Bible and by many other societies pre-dating the Judeo-Christian cultures. Certainly I think that many of the Biblical stories are simply the retelling of other ancient stories and myths that had been handed down over the ages.

The "fracturing" to me seems like an inevitable consequence of religious laws being taken too far, or becoming oppressive even, and people turning against one set of leaders in desperate search of another, better way.  The idea of a "creator", "Vishnu", or "maker" seems to transcend these fractures or splintered religions throughout time, perhaps I think because it is human nature to seek an explanation for human existence or a guiding force behind it.  When one is born into a society where such explanations are provided by the culture or dominant religion, this is where I was suggesting that a bit of intellectual laziness is imparted.  In more recent years people have turned to science for such explanations in greater numbers, despite any cultural forces into which they may have been born. Perhaps this is simply part of human evolution, or at the very least our social/cultural evolution.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
11.1.5  sandy-2021492  replied to  Freewill @11.1.1    7 months ago
One drawback of organized religion I think is that it tends to foster intellectual laziness in some ways.  By that I mean when concepts are difficult to grasp, religion presents "answers" that are easy to understand and seem reasonable when applied to one's life and relationships with others.

I stepped away from this conversation for a while, but my insomnia is in full force, so here I am.

This was a reason I once read given for conversion to a religion, in this case, Islam.  The woman advocating for conversion thought that one of Islam's strengths was its rules and ready-made answers.  She knew how far from home she was allowed to travel, whose permission she needed to seek, and whose accompaniment was required.  She knew what she could and couldn't eat.  And, of course, to her, it was a given how we came to be here - Allah did it.  It was like she needed a cage of sorts because she couldn't deal with the world on her own, even in simple matters, like leaving the house.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
11.1.6  mocowgirl  replied to  Freewill @11.1.4    7 months ago
What better way to tame or control the violent ways of human-kind than to teach them from a young age to fear eternal fire and damnation in the after-life while simultaneously teaching them to love thy neighbor as thyself?

The Christian religion is not about love - the NT states that Jesus said he came to divide, not unite.  

The Christian religion is just a tool that is 100% about controlling people's entire life via fear, hate and even violence when fear and hate are not effective enough.

The Christian religion is about domination, not about love

From what I have read and what I have experienced.....

There are vast differences among the various Christian sects about what is and what is not acceptable to Yahweh.  There are vast differences among various groups with a sect about what is and what is not acceptable to Yahweh.  There are vast differences among people attending one church about what is and what is not acceptable to Yahweh.

Therefore, there is endless fear, hate and judgment of other sects, other churches inside a sect and even inside one church.  The "other" is condemned as a false religion, sect, or person and should be shunned or killed depending on the threat to whomever is in charge of the sect.  This is why the history of the Christian church is filled with inventing torture devices and killing other Christians via barbaric ways.

For me, it is impractical and illogical to ignore the real history of the number of Christians killed by other Christians in the name of being the one true faith.   I believe it is crucial to critically survey the damage that the Christian religion has done everywhere it has achieved any power throughout the world.

Loving, kind, tolerant, humane people do not need a religion to be loving, kind, tolerant and humane.

Barbarians, and their ilk, need patriarchal religion as an excuse for their inhumanity to others.

 
 
 
Freewill
11.1.7  Freewill  replied to  mocowgirl @11.1.6    7 months ago
Loving, kind, tolerant, humane people do not need a religion to be loving, kind, tolerant and humane.

And with that I am in full agreement.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
11.1.8  mocowgirl  replied to  Freewill @11.1.4    7 months ago
The "fracturing" to me seems like an inevitable consequence of religious laws being taken too far, or becoming oppressive even, and people turning against one set of leaders in desperate search of another, better way. 

Religion comes in all flavors from the peaceful Quakers to the sadists/masochists shown as examples in the link below.  I learned about practices that should have been banned long ago, but are allowed today in the name of religious "freedom".  Why is cruelty acceptable when it is done in the name of appeasing a god?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
12  Bob Nelson    7 months ago

I saw this much too late to participate decently.

Statisticians say "Garbage in, garbage out." Applying statistics to the question of extraterrestrial life is a bit of a fool's game. Depending on how one sets up the equations, how one defines the variables, ... anything may result.

It seems utterly improbable that our little planet on the edge of an ordinary galaxy, one of billions... should be the only one to harbor life.

At the same time...

We have no indication of extraterrestrial life. None. Nada. Zilch. Within the solar system or further away. If the universe teems with life, how improbable is it that we would have seen not the slightest trace?

We have no way to resolve this contradiction.

The debate will continue until we find something... with doubt growing ever greater as we fail to find anything. But the day we do find something, anything, the  debate is over.

Only time will tell...

 
 
 
TᵢG
12.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @12    7 months ago
We have no indication of extraterrestrial life. None. Nada. Zilch. Within the solar system or further away. If the universe teems with life, how improbable is it that we would have seen not the slightest trace?

You are correct that we have no evidence of exolife.   But this is not about estimating a specific probability distribution of how much exolife but rather the binary:  exolife?:  yes or no.   Just one exolife species is the question.

On that question - the likelihood of exolife - people typically rely upon the metrics of our universe to produce a statistical model.   We look at the size of the landscape, the apparent uniformity of the laws of physics and the fact that this universe has absolutely proved that it can host life (us).   Given factors such as the number of exoplanets (given ~80 trillion solar systems) we ask if it is statistically likely that at least one of those exoplanets hosts even a single species of primitive life.    Given that one would tend to agree with your statement:

It seems utterly improbable that our little planet on the edge of an ordinary galaxy, one of billions []... should be the only one to harbor life.

  (One of hundreds of billions of galaxies.)   

If we find one exolife then the question is answered with 100% certainty.   


see TiG @1.4.4 which includes this analogy:

We are on a vast green field (80 trillion solar systems) and found a mushroom (life in one solar system).   We have explored the tiniest fraction of this green field (a cup of water out of the entire ocean) so we have just started our search.   You claim that the existence of a mushroom does not yield any information about the likelihood that at least one other mushroom exists on this vast green field.   I say that finding a mushroom is PROOF that the physics of the universe can host life and that when we include other information (the findings of cosmology) there is an incomprehensibly large set of potential hosts.  
 
 
 
Bob Nelson
12.1.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @12.1    7 months ago

I agree that it's very hard to accept that our little, out-of-the-way planet is the only one with life.

But then comes the question, "Well... in that case, why haven’t we found it... or it found us?"

Wait and see.......

 
 
 
TᵢG
12.1.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @12.1.1    7 months ago

Imagining the enormity of both the time and space involved is extremely difficult.   A common analogy for how much of the universe we have 'seen' (the space aspect) is to scoop up a glass of water from the ocean.   We have explored the glass of water ... the balance of the ocean is our frontier.   Yes, we have not yet discovered exolife.   No surprise.

 
 
 
TᵢG
12.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @12    7 months ago

One more thing, although the discussion got totally side-tracked on statistical models, statistical models really had nothing whatsoever to do with the point of this article.

This article exposed a logical flaw in an argument made by someone else.   That flawed argument basically concluded that if human beings can hold that exolife exists given zero evidence (to the point of investing serious time and money into trying to locate evidence of same), then one can similarly hold that God exists given zero evidence.

The article details the logical flaw.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
12.2.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @12.2    7 months ago

Yes. That last item is a non sequitur.

 
 
 
Freewill
13  Freewill    7 months ago

TiG

Just caught a Joe Rogan Podcast with guest Sir Roger Penrose, mathematical physicist from Oxford.  Very interesting take on consciousness and later in the podcast they touch on the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe and even some thoughts on the origin of the universe.  Call me a geek, but I could listen to these sorts of discussions all day.

 
 
 
TᵢG
13.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @13    7 months ago

Great find Freewill.   Dr. Penrose has an amazing ability to explain that for which the English language has no words.   When I first heard of the hypothesis that consciousness was a passive rather than active process it took some time to get past my intuition.   I see how that could be nowadays but it still is a very strange and undesirable notion.    

The question of exolife is really the question of the cell or equivalent.   Given the incomprehensibly large number of incubators in the universe how likely is it that something like the cell has never emerged elsewhere?

 
 
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