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Author Topic: General thread drift SHOWDOOOWN June 1st 2:09 MST
TomDavidson
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Well, I would argue that in your Microsoft situation you are relying on an establishment of sorts to make your determination. It's also worth noting that, as your example calls into sharp relief, sometimes this sort of more casual decision does fail; certainly, in my experience, calling a random friend of mine has been more helpful than calling Microsoft's technical support hotline. This is one of the reasons that third parties are so important; they help check the otherwise unverifiable assertions of fact.
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Tresopax
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quote:
Tres, you really don't realize how thoroughly your point has been dismantled here, do you?
Tom, if you want to go the route of claiming "victory", I'll point out that by your own admissions your original point has been refuted. You were originally claiming that you needed direct material evidence for all beliefs you hold in order to be rational, but now you've granted (1) it's okay to trust experts as long as they have direct material evidence even if you don't have the evidence yourself, (2) it's okay to trust experts even if they are merely trusting a long chain of experts with material evidence only at the beginning, (3) you don't even have to confirm the material evidence exists, as long as you understand what makes the expert an expert and have material evidence that it is possible for the expert to have material evidence. You are still holding off on admitting that it's okay to trust an expert when you don't understand exactly how they became an expert, but that has put you in the awkward position of concluding that uneducated people around the world shouldn't trust anything their doctors tell them. Even if you won't admit that, it's still true that we've confirmed a person does not personally need material evidence in order to rationally believe something.

And that, in turn, means that if you want to claim it is irrational to believe in God then you're going to have to come up with a much better reason than "they have no direct material evidence of God."

quote:
re: the material evidence/help line thing: I can't open Office one day. I call up Microsoft's technical help number and rationally expect for them to be more likely to help me solve my software problem than my friend Greg. I can do this without the whole "establishment" or "material evidence" related to who is going to be on the other end of the line. I can make this rational assessment with a solid rationale, without having to do anything like witness the person on the other end of the line solve other computer problems first.
I agree completely. This illustrates that having a solid rationale for trusting someone does not require the sort of material evidence Tom was talking about an the beginning of this discussion. Rational people trust others if they think those others know what they are talking about.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
You were originally claiming that you needed direct material evidence for all beliefs you hold in order to be rational
No, see, as I said earlier, that's what you thought I was claiming. Do you understand now why I've been maintaining a ginormous eye-roll in your direction? [Smile]

quote:
And that, in turn, means that if you want to claim it is irrational to believe in God then you're going to have to come up with a much better reason than "they have no direct material evidence of God."
If you're back to this, Tres, you're either playing dumb or you really, genuinely, had no idea what people on this thread were talking about when they were talking about the differences between a doctor and a shaman. I mean, seriously, do you understand the distinction? Do you agree that there is one?

quote:
This illustrates that having a solid rationale for trusting someone does not require the sort of material evidence Tom was talking about an the beginning of this discussion. Rational people trust others if they think those others know what they are talking about.
Whereas I would say that this only goes to prove my point, since no truly rational person would call Microsoft technical support for help with an Office product when they have a friend named Greg available.
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Tresopax
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In that case, I'm glad we've clarified that we are in agreement that direct material evidence is not personally needed to rationally hold a belief. Please know that this is why Christians consider their religion to be rational, even though most cannot pull any kind of direct material evidence out of their pocket when requested to prove it.

Of course there's a difference between a priest and a doctor. There's also a difference between a doctor and a tech support guy. And a difference between a doctor and a shaman. And a difference between a priest and shaman. There's all sorts of types of potential experts who go about supposedly getting expertise in different ways. I'm well aware that that you personally don't consider a priest to be an expert on the truth about God. However, that is not what most Christians believe. Most Christians believe that priests do have some degree of expertise that has been gained through personally observing, studying, and meditating on God's influence on the world (including material things that priests and other religious individuals have concluded to be evidence of God's hand.) I'm well aware that you personally don't agree with that assumption, but as long as Christians DO accept that assumption, it is rational for Christians to give weight to what a priest, or the Church as a whole, says.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Please know that this is why Christians consider their religion to be rational... I'm well aware that that you personally don't consider a priest to be an expert on the truth about God. However, that is not what most Christians believe.
Oh, I know. But this is, in and of itself, irrational for the reasons given earlier. There is no demonstrable evidence of any kind that priests are experts on the truth about God. In fact, rival groups of priests dispute that other groups of priests are experts on the truth about God. There is no research that can be performed by any human being alive that will show that any given group of priests is more qualified than any other given human beings to speak to the truth about God.
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Samprimary
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quote:
In that case, I'm glad we've clarified that we are in agreement that direct material evidence is not personally needed to rationally hold a belief. Please know that this is why Christians consider their religion to be rational, even though most cannot pull any kind of direct material evidence out of their pocket when requested to prove it.
And please know that we've already discussed why that's not rational.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Bob might not see why scientific evidence is evidence...
Except that while Bob might not see it, your evidence is "evidence" that Bob cannot see.

quote:
To clarify, the evidence I'm referring to is mostly lives that were improved significantly through their interaction with the church.
Well, that's just silly. I know you already know enough about this sort of thing to know that that evidence amounts to "lives that were improved (according to a given set of standards for improvement) during interaction with the church." You'd have to actually show a mechanism by which church membership improved lives -- where the absence of church membership, or belonging to a contrary church, did not -- to even start to have a conversation about causation.

Like I said: irrational.

But, seriously, does it bother you to hold an irrational belief? If so, why?

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Tresopax
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Hmmm... ok I deleted my post because I had wanted to write it more clearly, but it looks like you caught it before I did so!

But seriously, imagine that Bob, being in the situation described earlier where he lacks information to verify the doctor's expertsie, went around the village to find out about his fellow villagers' interactions with the doctor. He discoveres that with many different villagers, he was able to diagnose and successfully cure their diseases. He did a quick tally and found 10 people the doctor was successfully able to help, and 2 people he could not. Would you not consider this any evidence at all in favor of the idea that the doctor has some kind of medical expertise?

As I'd said, I've seen plenty of people whose lives were improved through the church. When asked, many of these will report that it is because their relationship with God has improved. If you'd prefer I be more scientific, we could have a study in which a large sample of people who went to church were compared with another sample of people who didn't go to church, and asked about their relationship with God. I suspect the people who regularly went to church would report a better relationship with God. And I suspect if we only included religious theists, that result would still hold true. So if the question is whether the church has some expertise on God, I'd consider that to be significant evidence in favor, at least if my goal is to improve my relationship with God. It'd be more evidence than I have for my dentist's expertise, for instance. I suspect it's at least as much evidence as you have for trusting your "random friend" on tech questions.

Again, I'd guess you disagree. But disagreeing with something is different from thinking it is irrational. Or do you think they are the same? What is the difference between "wrong" and "irrational" in your mind?

quote:
Except that while Bob might not see it, your evidence is "evidence" that Bob cannot see.
I believe Bob likely could see my evidence as well as I can, if Bob came to church, etc. But convincing a dedicated atheist of religious evidence sometimes seems like convincing a dedicated creationist of evolution. A creationist can be shown the evidence of evolution but often doesn't interpret the evidence in the way most interpret it. I'm not going to accept there is no evidence of evolution just because some creationists aren't convinced by it. Most people are - and I am.

[ June 08, 2009, 08:06 AM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Would you not consider this any evidence at all in favor of the idea that the doctor has some kind of medical expertise?
No, not really. Certainly not in and of itself. The only "evidence" here is that 10 out of 12 people visited felt better later.

quote:
If you'd prefer I be more scientific, we could have a study in which a large sample of people who went to church were compared with another sample of people who didn't go to church, and asked about their relationship with God.
Except you're still measuring at this point how good someone thinks his relationship with God is. There's a reason that, when recording cancer rates, we don't record the number of people who think they have cancer. I would be completely unsurprised if the percentage of people who think they have a good relationship with God is higher among people who specifically think they're cultivating such a relationship. I'm sure the number of people who think they're growing radishes is made up significantly of people who bought planted the contents of packets labeled "Radish" on the front.

quote:
A creationist can be shown the evidence of evolution but often doesn't interpret the evidence in the way most interpret it.
Show me some evidence of God, evidence that actually meets evidentiary standards. I'll wait. Take all the time you like.
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Corwin
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Would you not consider this any evidence at all in favor of the idea that the doctor has some kind of medical expertise?
No, not really. Certainly not in and of itself. The only "evidence" here is that 10 out of 12 people visited felt better later.

I'd say the likelihood that the doctor is doing the healing improves with this sort of evidence. Of course both the doctor and the shaman could scam their way to being perceived as best healers: the doctor could chose only people who he knows he can heal and the shaman could chose people he knows are not sick but that would require some cooperation from the subjects. Otherwise how could the doctor explain that the ones he turned away as healthy would die, or continue to suffer? Or how could the shaman convince other people that his "patients" who don't feel any pain actually suffer from the same disease as the ones who do feel pain?
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
He discoveres that with many different villagers, he was able to diagnose and successfully cure their diseases. He did a quick tally and found 10 people the doctor was successfully able to help, and 2 people he could not. Would you not consider this any evidence at all in favor of the idea that the doctor has some kind of medical expertise?

Does it surprise anyoen that Tres has no idea what a control group is?

No Tres, this information in a vacuum tells you nothing. Because of 10 out of 12 people who don't see a doctor get better on their own, then the doctor isn't actually doing anything.

quote:
As I'd said, I've seen plenty of people whose lives were improved through the church. When asked, many of these will report that it is because their relationship with God has improved.
No control group. People "feel better" about their relationship about God in churches which teach completely opposite things about God. If Mohammad is the last prophet of God, the Joseph Smith can't be one too. So those churches can't both be right. Both are claiming expertice about whom is a true prohpet of God, and at least one of them is wildly, fatally off the mark.

Are you counting completely, wildly false beliefs as "expertice"?

quote:
So if the question is whether the church has some expertise on God, I'd consider that to be significant evidence in favor, at least if my goal is to improve my relationship with God.
You would. But without a real control group, you would be wrong to draw that conclusion. And you still have the problem of dueling 'expertice'. Are the Muslims right, or the Mormons? They can't both be right. So if people in both churches report being happier with their relationship to God (as mediated by their understanding of God's prophet's legitimate teachings), how do you determine which expertice is actually correct?

Or are you somehiow defining the word "expertice" to include believing things which are utterly false?

quote:
A creationist can be shown the evidence of evolution but often doesn't interpret the evidence in the way most interpret it.
Do you honestly think that that is the real reason that people are Creationists?

Do you really, honestly think that the evidence of Creationists' understanding of evolution, as demonstrated by their statements supports that take?

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Tresopax
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quote:
Show me some evidence of God, evidence that actually meets evidentiary standards. I'll wait. Take all the time you like.
Whose standards? Show me some evidence of evolution that meets a creationist's standards. They can come up with "standards" to deny your evidence just as easily as you can come up with "standards" to deny mine. I just cited evidence that meets my standard for evidence.

The problem is that I strongly suspect your standards aren't consistent with how even you act in your life with anything other than religion. I don't believe you apply the same evidentiary standard before accepting your dentist, or your accountant, or your child's teacher, etc. Or perhaps you do, but virtually everyone else I know plainly does not. If I say I saw "Up" this weekend and it is a good movie, most people I know will simply trust that I did actually see the movie and thus have some degree of expertise about it - I doubt most people would think rationality pevents them from accepting my review on the grounds that I am unable to prove that I went to the movie. Or if that's not subjective enough for you, if I go to the doctor and complain that I had a throat that hurt yesterday, the doctor is going to accept that I know what I felt; he's not going to say that rationally he can't believe me unless I am in some way able to prove that my throat actually felt sore.

A rational person acts in a way that will give them the most benefits at the lowest cost. Accepting expert opinion allows us to gain knowledge without the extensive costs of researching it ourselves. A person who actually acted in the way you are suggesting would end up spending tons of time doing research, and yet ends up with fewer benefits because they are not allowed to trust anyone that they can't confirm with research. A person acting in the way I am suggesting spends far less time researching yet ends up with more knowledge. There is a risk to this, since the knowledge is less confirmed, and you seem to be suggesting a rational person would choose the option with zero risk. But that doesn't follow - a rational person would take a risk that the person concluded was outweighed by the likely benefits.

[ June 08, 2009, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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Corwin
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Well, people who have seen "Up" can ask you about specific things in it. You can try to fool them by saying you've forgotten most of it, or tell them things from the trailers or other reviews. But in the first case no one could take your review as serious as someone's who can actually talk about some scenes in the movie. And you can easily check whether the reviewer knows what he says by watching the movie! If your review seems pertinent after I watched the movie, should I care whether it's really yours, or if you read it somewhere?!

As for the doctor, actually, I don't think they believe anything you tell them... You can try to skip school by saying your head hurts, but he's gonna try to talk more about it and find out why. Sure, you can fool him once; you can do it several times with several different doctors. But try to come to the same doctor 10 times in a short time-frame and tell him your head hurts and see if he gives you a prescription for painkillers and a note saying you can skip school each time without checking to see what the problem is. Without you paying him to do it, that is. [Wink]

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Corwin
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Come to think of it, I'm not sure anymore what you're trying to prove here... Yes, we sometimes accept things from experts without checking them. Yes, sometimes we can be wrong about them. Yes, we take (and sometimes weigh) the risks when doing this. That is simply rational: if you're facing imminent death from an unknown disease you won't turn away the person who says he's a doctor and will save you. If waiting to check his credentials *will* get you dead and not checking his credentials *might* get you dead, you'll choose the later. I don't see a problem with that.
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Tresopax
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Tom does seem to see a problem with that, though. Or at least he seems to have a problem with it when it comes to religion. He's argued that it isn't rational to accept things from religious experts without checking them.

I'm saying that if that is truly the standard for rationality, it should apply just the same to everything, not just to religion. If we can't reasonably apply that standard to other facets of life, then it isn't a good standard for rationality.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
[QB]
quote:
Show me some evidence of God, evidence that actually meets evidentiary standards. I'll wait. Take all the time you like.
Whose standards? Show me some evidence of evolution that meets a creationist's standards. They can come up with "standards" to deny your evidence just as easily as you can come up with "standards" to deny mine. I just cited evidence that meets my standard for evidence.
But your standards for evidence are pathetic. Ignoring control groups will give you wrong answers.

quote:
The problem is that I strongly suspect your standards aren't consistent with how even you act in your life with anything other than religion.
No, the problem is that you are refusing to listen when people are telling you what standard are actually used. A belief that the sun will rise tommorow is not a decision based on faith, as you think it is. At least not as anyone else on this board uses the term. It is soundly based on evidence. I don't have to have the evidence right at my fingertips for it to be rational to believe it, all I have to know is that it was at some time at someone's fingertips, and that if I doubted this, I could get the same inforamtion myself at my own fingertips.

That standard works. It works very well.

You can't do this for religion. There's no hard evidence to go back to. Either the Muslims or the Mormons are wrong about who the last prophet of God is. What data could you possibly collect at your fingertips that would tell you which is right? What data could other people collect that their fingertips which would have the potential to prove your conclusion false?

quote:
If I say I saw "Up" this weekend and it is a good movie, most people I know will simply trust that I did actually see the movie and thus have some degree of expertise about it - I doubt most people would think rationality pevents them from accepting my review on the grounds that I am unable to prove that I went to the movie.
Sure they would trust you...in part becuase if you were lying, someone would detect it. The amount of trust is proportional to the ease with which you could be shown to be wrong.

quote:
Or if that's not subjective enough for you, if I go to the doctor and complain that I had a throat that hurt yesterday, the doctor is going to accept that I know what I felt; he's not going to say that rationally he can't believe me unless I am in some way able to prove that my throat actually felt sore.
I'm sorry, but when patients come in wanting prescription meds to treat their undectable ailments, doctors shouldn't just give in. 99 times out of a hundred, the guy with no detectable illness has no illness.

quote:
A rational person acts in a way that will give them the most benefits at the lowest cost. Accepting expert opinion allows us to gain knowledge without the extensive costs of researching it ourselves.
But the point is that the research was already done and externally verified. It doesn't matter that you yourself didn't do it, or even that the expert didn't do it, what matters is at the core, the expertise is supported by verifiable evidence.

How can you verify whom the last true prophet of God was?

quote:
A person who actually acted in the way you are suggesting would end up spending tons of time doing research, and yet ends up with fewer benefits because they are not allowed to trust anyone that they can't confirm with research.
This is absurd. Belief in the efficasy of vaccines, for example is already confirmed with research. Everyone can rely on the same research, once skeptics have checked it for errors.

quote:
There is a risk to this, since the knowledge is less confirmed, and you seem to be suggesting a rational person would choose the option with zero risk.
There is no such zero-risk option. It doesn't exist. No one is claiming that being rational is 100% infallible

But the rational path is right 99 times out of a hundred. The religious way? You've got a million religions with their so-called expertise, and they all disagree with each other. That means at best 999999 out of a million are wrong. Maybe all million are wrong.

So a 99% chance of being right, or at best a 0.000001% chance of being right. Sorry, but the former is the better choice.

[edited for misspellings]

[ June 08, 2009, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: swbarnes2 ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
Show me some evidence of God, evidence that actually meets evidentiary standards. I'll wait. Take all the time you like.
Whose standards?
Heh. Not very familiar with epistemology, are you?
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Corwin
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"Expertise", not "expertice". It hurts a bit every time you write it. [Wink]
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Tresopax
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quote:
Heh. Not very familiar with epistemology, are you?
Hmmmm.... well, I got an A in epistemology, but I suppose one would be free to reject that as valid evidence of anything too. [Wink]
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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
Tom does seem to see a problem with that, though. Or at least he seems to have a problem with it when it comes to religion. He's argued that it isn't rational to accept things from religious experts without checking them.

I'm saying that if that is truly the standard for rationality, it should apply just the same to everything, not just to religion. If we can't reasonably apply that standard to other facets of life, then it isn't a good standard for rationality.

I'd say that almost all of us DO use that standard for every day things. If you walked into a restaurant with no chairs, and everyone just squatting, telling you that they were using invisible chairs, which you couldn't feel until you've been a member of the restaurant in good standing for many years, would you buy one of those invisible chairs, to practice (not)sitting on at home?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
A rational person acts in a way that will give them the most benefits at the lowest cost
This is not actually how I'd define "rational." Is it how you're defining "rational?"

Seriously, though...
Had you seen "Up" and then come to this forum to report that, now that you'd seen "Up," we were all required to give you fifty bucks and sleep with someone of your choice, we'd probably want a little more information.

If religion were a consequence-free decision, no one would care how the religious came by their beliefs.

As it stands, religions make multiple extraordinary claims to justify multiple demands, and can offer no reproducible evidence to validate the rationales given for those claims. If it really mattered to me whether or not you had seen "Up," there are ways to determine -- within reason -- that you have. If it didn't matter, there's certainly no cost to me to do you the courtesy of believing you -- unless of course I planned to have you give a presentation on the movie to a room full of my peers, in which case I'd probably want to get a plot summary from you at the very least.

This is another reason, by the way, that qualia don't actually exist. Things that matter matter in ways that can be detected. [Wink]

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Tresopax
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quote:
I'd say that almost all of us DO use that standard for every day things. If you walked into a restaurant with no chairs, and everyone just squatting, telling you that they were using invisible chairs, which you couldn't feel until you've been a member of the restaurant in good standing for many years, would you buy one of those invisible chairs, to practice (not)sitting on at home?
No, but only because I think I have plenty of evidence that invisible chairs don't exist.
On the other hand, if I walked into a restaurant where everyone was eating X, which looked disgusting to me, I might believe them if they all said that after trying X it would taste really good. Even if they had no demonstrable evidence to back that up.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
I'd say that almost all of us DO use that standard for every day things. If you walked into a restaurant with no chairs, and everyone just squatting, telling you that they were using invisible chairs, which you couldn't feel until you've been a member of the restaurant in good standing for many years, would you buy one of those invisible chairs, to practice (not)sitting on at home?
No, but only because I think I have plenty of evidence that invisible chairs don't exist.
But you wrote a long paragraph a few days ago about how you can never actually know that flu vaccines/elephant repellant/tiger stones don't work.

Here's the important quote:

"If I keep doing that and still nothing, then I'd be unable to answer the question because it will always be possible that vaccines can prevent diseases in some way other than how I tested it. I would never be able to show that vaccines can't prevent diseases."

So if you try and try to sit in the chairs, and still nothing, you are still unable to answer the question because it will always be possible that the chairs can be sat in in some way other than how you tested it. You can never prove that you can't sit in those chairs.

So why is it unreasonable to trust the expertise of the people who claim to be sitting in them? Why are invisible chairs less reasonable than, say, religous claims that one can talk to God?

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Tresopax
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quote:
This is not actually how I'd define "rational." Is it how you're defining "rational?"
I'm not sure if that's how I'd actually define the term, but I do think a person who is rational in making decisions would act that way.

quote:
If religion were a consequence-free decision, no one would care how the religious came by their beliefs.
This is true. That makes the risk of accepting religion great. But the risks of rejecting religion are also presumably great too. Imagine if knowing the quality of "Up" was a life or death decision either way - perhaps you have been imprisoned by a madman who wants to know if "Up" is a good movie. If you give him the wrong advice, he'll kill you. I'm imprisoned with you and so I'm the only person available for advice. I say I've seen it, but you can't tell for sure. Would you trust my advice at all? Or would you count my advice as no evidence whatsoever, and just make a guess instead?

quote:
This is another reason, by the way, that qualia don't actually exist. Things that matter matter in ways that can be detected.
If that were true, then technically qualia would be the ONLY thing that exists. Everything else is only detected through qualia. But that's another topic entirely.
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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
No, but only because I think I have plenty of evidence that invisible chairs don't exist.
On the other hand, if I walked into a restaurant where everyone was eating X, which looked disgusting to me, I might believe them if they all said that after trying X it would taste really good. Even if they had no demonstrable evidence to back that up.

Except that you can see the food and taste it for yourself, which gives you ample reason to believe that the food exists. You know in your own experience that some people enjoy foods that other people don't enjoy - that's just personal preference.

By your analogy, I accept that different churches do have different services, and that some people find one service more enjoyable than another. I can see them enjoying the service, even though it does not give me a feeling of joy, I accept that they are enjoying it.

Further, I accept that the people at the restaurant are enjoying their sensation of sitting. I just don't accept that they are actually using invisible chairs, and I won't buy one any more than you will. Just like I won't buy an invisible God without proof, even though I accept that people enjoy the process of talking to the God they believe is there.

quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
Imagine if knowing the quality of "Up" was a life or death decision either way - perhaps you have been imprisoned by a madman who wants to know if "Up" is a good movie. If you give him the wrong advice, he'll kill you. I'm imprisoned with you and so I'm the only person available for advice.

For this analogy to work, there would have to be 100 people imprisoned with me, all of whom have completely different accounts of what "Up" is about, who voiced it, whether it's a cartoon or live action, whether or not it's based on a true story, if it's in color or black and white, and I have to guess which of those people is giving me the true version or the madman kills me.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
Imagine if knowing the quality of "Up" was a life or death decision either way - perhaps you have been imprisoned by a madman who wants to know if "Up" is a good movie. If you give him the wrong advice, he'll kill you. I'm imprisoned with you and so I'm the only person available for advice. I say I've seen it, but you can't tell for sure. Would you trust my advice at all? Or would you count my advice as no evidence whatsoever, and just make a guess instead?

There really isn't an objective way to measure the quality of a movie. If your cellmate is going to kill you for your opinion, well, religious people have been burning each other over their opinions for centuries, so you'll probably get a better death than those guys and gals.

If one had to make a life or death decision based on the plot of the movie, the best thing to do would be to see the movie. If you didn't have time, you would find someone's blog, a blog that allows unrestricted comments, where the blogger answers your question. If the blog is well visited, you can be sure that there are Up viewers reading it, and they would have mentioned if the blogger were wrong. That's your best chance; it's not 100%, but nothing is. Your best chance for being right is to believe things that have been scrutinized by critics. If the critics failed to falsify the claim, the claim is probably right.

Of course, the thing about the movies is that there is a right anwer to a question about the plot. You can watch the movie. You can read the script. Maybe the answer is "it's ambiguous", but the evidence is all there, and everyone can agree on what the text of the movie is.

You don't have that agreement with religion. Someone says it's a life or death question, but you can't even verify that there was such a movie created. It's not playing anywhere, and there is no script. Lots of people claim to have seen it, but they all disagree violently about what it was about.

So if your cell mate says "If KooKoo the parrot concealed the Wicket of Morality from the Ubuntu tribesman in the movie 'Wickets for Wally', then slitting your wrists and bleeding to almost to death is the only way to earn your freedom", then I think the answer pretty clearly is "No thanks, I'm not going to do that on your say-so", not "Well, your say-so is better than nothing, where's the razor?"

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