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Author Topic: To Scott R
FlyingCow
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quote:
Maybe he should switch to socks...or stop playing Keno altogether.
Is this advocating conversion or atheism when exacting testing doesn't consistently provide evidence of the existence of God?

[ May 23, 2009, 09:19 AM: Message edited by: FlyingCow ]

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Paul Goldner
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No one has really brought this up, but there is a very large leap from "praying makes me feel happy," to "god exists." Making that leap is not rational, either, without some significant intermediate steps.
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Scott R
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quote:
Is this advocating conversion or atheism when exacting testing doesn't consistently provide evidence of the existence of God?
It's definitely advocating not spending money on Keno. [Smile]

Like I said at the outset-- it's not up to me to judge the quality of others' experiences with God.

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Amanecer
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quote:
I am .. amazed, really! We've reached the point where I can actually say that I have discussed the tiger-repelling rock with people, wherein people attempt to defend the act of carrying a rock as protection against tigers as rational as long as it makes you feel safer..
Within the context of that person's understanding, I think the tiger-repelling rock is perfectly rational. That doesn't make their understanding correct or the rock effective.

Personally, I find religion in general to be a bit irrational- or at least non-rational. I do not however find people believing in a religion similar to that in which they were raised to be irrational. Or perhaps that would be better stated as I think that is an understandable reaction that many, if not most, intellegent and reasonable people would also have. I don't even think it is necessarily rational to try and bring scientific rigor of the type required to publish papers to every single assumption one holds about the world. I believe that my family loves me. I can point to the reasons why I think this and I feel that my reasons are sufficient. I think little would be gained by truly seeking out the reasons why my assumption is not true and then trying to test that.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
This conversation may not be useful for you. Your tone indicates an aggressiveness that isn't usually compatible with civil discourse.

If you choose to interpret my straightforwardness as personal aggression against you (as opposed to pointed criticism against views I consider quite mistaken) you are at liberty to feel assailed; it doesn't change my intent. I do not know you. My posts to you here are a response to the sum of the blocks of text compromising your arguments.

The text I am reading here demonstrates some fundamental misconceptions and falsehoods about the nature of logic. I am being very direct in stating why. I am not coaching my disagreements in friendly language. This does not make me incivil. If anything, it represents the fact that I respect you as adults who are not going to bruise when subjected to pointed criticism. If you wish to assume otherwise, that's really too bad in my opinion but you are free to make that choice.

Now.

quote:
Would you like to answer the others? I'm especially interested in your reasoning for using an extreme example, as opposed to a moderate one.
The most direct question you posited, the easiest to address (conveniently) is when you ask in response whether a rational conclusion can be reached and still be wrong.

The answer, as you can anticipate, is yes. As should be noted, I have not asserted otherwise, so at best this is a misdirect. It misses the point that we are talking about: a demonstration of a fallacy. A demonstration of what specious reasoning is. When a person comes to a conclusion through the use of a fallacy, it does not matter if the person recognizes that their logic is fallacious. They may be completely unaware of it. Relative to themselves, their ideas may be internally valid but if they are based on fallacious premises, there is no logical soundness.

By the by, these words reason, logic, validity, soundness they are important, especially in how they differ from each other. Perhaps that's what we need to go into next.

But there needs to be some re-railing.

Essentially, where we're going with your last few points, is that you have missed a huge part of my posts, of my point.

The Tiger Rock was very pointedly and purposefully brought up as a demonstration of specious reasoning. By going into your counterpoint about evidence, you are (accidentally) making a silly point.

It essentially could be worded this way based on how you presented it in an attempt to tie it in as a defense of your reasoning:

"Yes, but what if your example of specious reasoning wasn't an example of specious reasoning? Then it wouldn't be an example of specious reasoning!"

Er.

Thankfully, the response to this is one that ties into the point on the whole. Unfortunately, it involves belaboring the Tiger Repelling Rock to death.

The tiger-repelling rock is a device from the simpsons. It is used as an example of exactly what specious reasoning is, because the tiger-repelling rock does not repel tigers, yet Lisa can 'prove' that it does to someone who does not understand logic well enough to not fall to specious reasoning.

You have a person wearing the tiger repelling rock and he has claimed that he came to the conclusion that his rock really does keep him safe. Let's say he takes a page from your playbook in this thread: he claims a logical deduction of this fact, and says that he has evidence of this fact. He declines to offer this evidence and this is important what he has said about his rock indicates that his reasoning is likely faulty.

Wearing a rock does not meaningfully impact the chance of being attacked by a tiger. Carrying a rabbit's foot does not meaningfully impact one's ability to be lucky or win games of chance. Both are used as examples; one is a ludicrous foil from The Simpsons and one is a real-life example of superstition.

If one claimed that they were luckier because they carried a rabbit's foot and they said they had evidence of this fact, the burden is on them to provide that evidence if they want me to believe them when they say they have come to this conclusion 'logically.'

Otherwise: it is entirely appropriate to assume that their conclusions are the result of illogical thinking. It is as valid, if not more so, than the validity claimed by a person who asserts the Withheld Evidence.

Let's say someone does chance across real evidence that their rock repels tigers. If they say "My rock repels tigers, I know this logically and I have evidence" it is entirely appropriate for me to ask them what their evidence is.

If they don't provide me with evidence, it's easy to guess that the evidence they think they have is far, far less conclusive than they are assuming. You don't accept that on faith. It is perfectly reasonable to challenge based on what constitutes evidence.

It is entirely reasonable for a person to tell you "I am not going to believe you without proof, and I'm not going to take you seriously if you assert proof but decline to offer it."

While your faith is something that should be considered far different than a comic foil on the Simpsons used preconclusively as a demonstration of specious reasoning, the reaction by others who intend to logically analyze the validity of your claim should be the same. A very straightforward one: you don't take the proof on faith. Onus, burden, etc.

And, I'll tell you right now, if you offered your proof, it would be analyzed and torn to shreds within a day by people who are proficient enough at logic to show why your argument is fallacious. If one cannot help but read into aggressiveness against a bad argument as somehow a hostile judgment upon one's person, though, I could EASILY see the reluctance to do so. This still fits into the expected response to someone who claims logicality where (presumably) none exists and they do not provide any means to test it. Burned, bitten, shy x2, perhaps.

Either that, or you could surprise us all and if upon reading it and testing the premises I found them demonstratively sound in a way that makes an actual logical argument for your faith, I would have to run downstairs and bust open the door and yell out after the last pair of bleary-eyed mormonaries to please come back and drop off the newsletter, because, baby, I'm sold.

Yet keep in mind that I am in no way demanding that you offer proof of the logicality of your belief. I am actually hoping that you'll do something quite different, which is to be comfortable enough in your belief that you don't make the mistake of defending it by asserting that you have evidence of your faith being true, just not evidence you are permitting us to view.

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BlackBlade
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Samp:
quote:
If you choose to interpret my straightforwardness as personal aggression against you (as opposed to pointed criticism against views I consider quite mistaken) you are at liberty to feel assailed; it doesn't change my intent. I do not know you.
How about a simple, "No personal offense is intended." I'm sure that would help Scott out quite a bit.
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Samprimary
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That, um, would make an excellent response to being accused simply of making personal attacks. If my response seems more elaborate, keep in mind it is because it is in response to a larger implication involving my suggested 'incompatibility with civil discourse.'

yet at the same time if it's what is needed to make people feel better about my tude then by all means! It's absolutely correct! No personal offense is intended and one can take additional comfort in the fact that if you are not a Scientologist I am not attacking your religion either.

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Scott R
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quote:
"I am not going to believe you without proof, and I'm not going to take you seriously if you assert proof but decline to offer it."
Sure. That's completely reasonable. I never argued the point when Tom first brought it up.

What I have been arguing is that religious people come to their beliefs in a reasonable, rational, way-- whether or not those beliefs are true. I have asserted that they use the same processes to gain their belief that one might use to gain knowledge about a scientific principle-- study, reference, and experience.

I'm glad to hear you agree that a person can be wrong and still rational. That should do a lot towards framing this conversation in a more civil way. Thanks!

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Samprimary
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quote:
What I have been arguing is that religious people come to their beliefs in a reasonable, rational, way-- whether or not those beliefs are true. I have asserted that they use the same processes to gain their belief that one might use to gain knowledge about a scientific principle-- study, reference, and experience.
.. but, you're showing that the 'reasonable, rational ways' you're talking about are, in the way you are framing them, exactly equivalent to how you could consider that a person can 'reasonably rationally' start carrying rocks to feel better about tigers.

This is like Behe admitting in court that his definition of the word "science" would include astrology. It does no credit in fact, it actively harms one's defense of their supposedly 'rational' process.

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King of Men
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The man carrying the tiger rock, or the rabbit's foot, may perhaps be rational yet wrong. But when it is pointed out to him that there is such a thing as selection bias, and humans are very good at it; when he agrees that there are many other superstitions, which do not appear to produce good luck for their holders, yet have the same class of evidence going or them; and when he understands and agrees that his superstition will certainly fail if tested scientifically - then I think I no longer call him rational.
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