The Sky Is Falling...?

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AuthorTopic: The Sky Is Falling...?
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #200
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

My point is valid because there are complicated factors, unknowns, and untestables at this point as concerns our climate. I asked what we should do when opinions differ and the response from TM was 'scientific method instead of prayer' as if we're not talking about a scientific disagreement and as if scientific method is guaranteed to resolve all disputes.
It is, when we actually get conclusive data. If what you're saying is true — and I don't think that it is — the most that you could possibly say is that we don't have enough information yet, not that the scientific method is not useful in answering this question.

I agree. I’m not arguing that this is unknowable. Which is why my answer to unresolved dispute is further investigation.

quote:
If our predictions about climate change are anywhere near as accurate as that, it hardly matters if there are some other minute factors we have yet to take into account that may also add or subtract a thousandth of a degree.
Unless we’re applying Newtonian techniques to something on relativistic scale.

quote:
Quit being asinine. No one is actually saying this. What people are saying is that we know enough now to get to a finite level of accuracy on this particular topic, not that we know everything about everything.
Kel, that sounds reasonable, but I talk to so many people and what I said is about what they believe. For example, I just read on this thread about shepherds 2000 years ago. What’s the implication? “Those people only knew about sheep. They didn’t have thoughts exactly like the ones we have today. They didn’t have science, and art, and complicated philosophy, politics, or technology. We are something more, so their beliefs are passé.”

That assumes so much and is such a misguided view. If things continue as they have some of our descendants will hold the same self-centered outlook of us in centuries to come. Unless we are just about at the pinnacle and only a very little bit is left to be tweaked. Yeah, that’s the ticket. In 1000 years, we’ll still believe basically the same things about biology, astrophysics, and the nature of the universe. Certainly our sacred beliefs, like relativity, evolution, and spontaneous generation will remain untouched.

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quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:

And it must also conform to linear sequence(cannot be "beyond time" and similar nonsense for obvious reasons) because the simple act of BEING(let alone ACTING) requires such a span entailing the preceding moment to said action and/or the sequence that comprises "being".
By what rule must a real being be subject to time? Do you believe there was always something? Or always nothing, then something from nothing? If I’m not mistaken the general consensus is something. If that something is someone, it does not seem farfetched, even if difficult to understand, that time is not the same for them as for us. It also seems a pretty bold claim to assume we know everything must be natural and physical – that was your claim.

quote:
Religion has no methodological approach.
Maybe some religions, but not all.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #201
Stillness - the Sawz-All is an extremely destructive tool, and should be used with caution. If you are ever interested in learning more about how things are put together, I suggest using small pry bars, chisels and other finely honed tools. You will get much better results and learn quite a bit more about the underlying materials and how they were manufactured.

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Synergy - "I don't get it."

Dikiyoba - "Dang. I'm one firecracker short from getting a gourd potion today."
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Lifecrafter
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Profile #202
Your saw blades are not finely honed?! That the problem. You can build or destroy with the proper saw and a skilled, steady hand.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 156
Profile #203
quote:
By what rule must a real being be subject to time? Do you believe there was always something? Or always nothing, then something from nothing?
I accept that there had to always have been something because logically an "existence of nothing" makes no sense. Existence is a chain of causation in infinite regress.

quote:
If I’m not mistaken the general consensus is something. If that something is someone, it does not seem farfetched, even if difficult to understand, that time is not the same for them as for us.
Even granting the premise that it was "someone"(for which there is NO reason to grant), we have EVERY reason to assume that time is time. What does it mean, for example, for a God to "create the universe" if there was not a preceding moment where the universe did NOT exist, followed by the act of "creation" and then the post-creation span? The "beyond time" or "Non-linear experience of time" is just word salad nonsense. Like claiming that square shaped circles might exist in Bizarro World without explaining HOW such a thing could be.

quote:
It also seems a pretty bold claim to assume we know everything must be natural and physical – that was your claim.
Not at all bold. By definition all things must be natural and physical for we live in a natural and physical reality. This fact remains until one of you can cough up reason to infer otherwise.

What you are doing here is citing the lack of proof for your own speculation as the case for your speculation being true. If we DO live in a material reality(as all evidence points to) then we CANNOT have evidence for or against a 'non-physical' reality, which is why we have that "burden of proof" thing that falls on YOU making such a claim.

quote:
quote:Religion has no methodological approach.

Maybe some religions, but not all.
False. If someone is employing methodology to arrive at understanding then they are using reason. I am not saying that no religious people use reason(quite the contrary). I am just saying that this is not part of a religious foundation itself.

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"I am in a very peculiar business. I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
Posts: 219 | Registered: Saturday, October 13 2001 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #204
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Your saw blades are not finely honed?! That the problem. You can build or destroy with the proper saw and a skilled, steady hand.
You are mis-informed. I suggest you learn a bit about carpentry before you speak out of turn.

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Synergy - "I don't get it."

Dikiyoba - "Dang. I'm one firecracker short from getting a gourd potion today."
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 73
Profile #205
The conversation seems to have come to a point where I can easily argue by copying and pasting my arguments from the Venganza thread and then tweaking them to be relevant to this discussion. Much of this was originally, in this form or a slightly different one, in response to posters on Venganza, and where I use their specific contributions I will credit them.

quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:

quote:
If I’m not mistaken the general consensus is something. If that something is someone, it does not seem farfetched, even if difficult to understand, that time is not the same for them as for us.
Even granting the premise that it was "someone"(for which there is NO reason to grant), we have EVERY reason to assume that time is time. What does it mean, for example, for a God to "create the universe" if there was not a preceding moment where the universe did NOT exist, followed by the act of "creation" and then the post-creation span? The "beyond time" or "Non-linear experience of time" is just word salad nonsense. Like claiming that square shaped circles might exist in Bizarro World without explaining HOW such a thing could be.

quote:
It also seems a pretty bold claim to assume we know everything must be natural and physical – that was your claim.
Not at all bold. By definition all things must be natural and physical for we live in a natural and physical reality. This fact remains until one of you can cough up reason to infer otherwise.

What you are doing here is citing the lack of proof for your own speculation as the case for your speculation being true. If we DO live in a material reality(as all evidence points to) then we CANNOT have evidence for or against a 'non-physical' reality, which is why we have that "burden of proof" thing that falls on YOU making such a claim.

SkeleTony, it appears you are commiting an Appeal to Ignorance fallacy. (See *NOTE at end of post before talking about the page the preceding link directs you. Feel free to disagree after you have read it, but I ask that you back up your argument with logic.) Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. I shall give you two examples:

In medieval times, humans had no observable evidence that what we now call black holes existed. Therefore, by the logic you appear to have used in your posts in this thread, because there was no evidence for them, it was reasonable to conclude that it was 100% certain that they did not exist.

You might say this is absurd, because we now have tools and methods for seeing them that medieval people did not and through their use we now do have evidence for their existence. However, could the same situation that applies to medieval people with regard to the existence of black holes not also apply to ourselves at the present with regard to the existence of currently undetectable souls and deities?

Perhaps it's not even undetectable simply due to being beyond the limitations of our current scientifically determined methods like telescopy and infrared photography, etc. (for instance, if it is only unobservable until we die, as some religions claim), but simply because they're beyond the limitations of our current technology (i.e. far enough away that our most powerful telescopes can't see it and that its gravitational effects are miniscule to the point where we can't currently detect them). Perhaps somewhere very far away dragons and unicorns do exist. You can say that there's no evidence and that it's therefore 100% certain that they don't exist, but then the same could be said of black holes in medieval times.

Here is my second example:

You claim that nothing non-physical/material/observable exists. Can you offer proof that such things do not exist? I posit that you cannot. However, can anyone offer proof that they do exist? I don't believe that anyone can, and if I understand your argument properly I would say you agree with that statement. Therefore, there is no evidence for the lack of non-physical/material/observable things, and therefore it is 100% certain that there is no lack of non-physical/material/observable things.

Therefore, they both exist and don't exist simultaneously. I find that this does not make much sense. Perhaps you disagree with me?

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As it turns out, logically, in order to argue that the existence of non-physical/material/observable things isn't logical in the face of evidence against their natural/physical/material/observable occurrence, you have to put faith into the reliability of evidence. If observable evidence turns out to be false (for instance, if a Flying Spaghetti Monster is always there altering the data as we collect it, as The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (a.k.a. Pastafarianism) asserts, or if you are a Boltzmann brain), then your argument is moot. Appearances can be deceiving, of course, and logic appears to tell us that.

The implication of all this seems to be that we know nothing at all with absolute certainty (as RandomSam from the thread at Venganza observed) by this definition of "certainty" (which, incidentally, is actually the one used by most dictionaries from what I can tell). However, it seems that we may as well behave as though we do because it appears to make things significantly easier. Just because nothing being truly certain is an uncomfortable thought doesn't mean it can be disregarded out of hand.

Therefore, assuming my logic holds (and I believe it does, although you may disagree and say so if you wish, in which case I ask that you back it up with reasoning), it appears you have two options: you can either stop using observable-evidence-based logic, or you can simply accept my conclusion as logical (again, ASSUMING MY LOGIC HOLDS and I'm not saying I must be right and you're stupid, because I could be wrong, in which case tell me so and why if you wish). If you accept my conclusion as logical, then it appears you have two choices: You can either accept that appearances can be deceiving and go insane thinking about it, or (this is the option I choose) you can accept that appearances can be deceiving and then simply behave as though they weren't both for an apparent preference for sanity and for an apparent lack of anything else to go by.

Choosing the second option of the second set of options that comes as a result of choosing the second option of the first set of options, of course, leaves us in an interesting position. Since it neither appears that there are things that cannot be directly observed nor appears that there aren't, then it appears to me that we have another choice: The three best ways to preserve sanity are to either simply abandon appearance-based logic (perhaps putting faith in non-appearance-based things such as a book or person that tells you global warming, or evolution, or the existence of black holes, is false), leading us back to the first option of the first set of options that we initially overlooked, or apply it in some situations and not others (for instance, via some ruleset, an hierarchy of what things are more true than others [Bible > science > anecdotal experience > random conjecture, for instance]), or to simply accept and acknowledge it, not waste any more time thinking about it except when relevant to conversation, and behave as we would if appearances were not deceiving with regards to those things which appearances are even meaningful, and simultaneously believe or not believe whatever we want about those things that we have no evidence for or against yet until the point comes that we do have evidence (i.e. whatever you derive the most happiness from believing or not believing).

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Then, provided we do not choose to go insane ourselves, we are left with the question of how we deal with those who disagree with the manner in which we choose not to go insane (and perhaps those who do go insane, but in those cases institutionalization of the insane accompanied by attempts to make them not insane appears to be the most popular choice in developed countries). I personally find that acceptance and tolerance of other ways to deal with the apparent possible deceptiveness of apparent appearances is a good way to deal with said other ways, provided my own apparent ability to choose my own way to deal with the apparent possible deceptiveness of apparent appearances is not infringed upon, although you personally may disagree.

Specifically, it seems to me that one should believe or not believe what they please. If Tim the Religious wants to believe in religion, I personally see no reason why one should not let him unless he interferes with one's ability to believe what one wants, assuming one doesn't want him to interfere with said ability, which for all I know one may. If he interferes and one decides to believe that he is interfering when he shouldn't and that one can and should stop him, then by all means one should go ahead. What it essentially boils down to, or so it appears to me, is social contracts (with regard only to human society's current state and disregarding any speculation about the origin of our society.)

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So to sum up, yes, you can say it is impossible for things that are non-phsyical/natural/material/observable to exist, in the understanding of all in the discussion that "exist" is redefined to mean what you describe. I don't disagree and I don't think Thuryl does either (him being a scientist himself and all). We (or me at least, and Thuryl as far as I can tell) were merely playing devil's advocate. I still say it's perfectly valid to say that logic and reason are fallible, although thankfully ("thankfully" in my opinion at least) the majority of our society tends to agree that reason is good, and thus, due to social contracts, in most developed countries we run scientific medical hospitals instead of sacrificing pigs and praying to the gods of health to heal us (although many combine prayer with science, and those that rely solely on mystics tend to die and/or kill/maim someone and/or get arrested.)

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*NOTE: I linked to that Appeal to Ignorance Fallacy page because I find the basic form and explanation of what the fallacy is that the page gives to be essentially satisfactory. However, it does say this

quote:
When extensive investigation has been undertaken, it is often reasonable to infer that something is false based upon a lack of positive evidence for it. For instance, if a drug has been subjected to lengthy testing for harmful effects and none has been discovered, it is then reasonable to conclude that it is safe. Another example is:

If there really were a large and unusual type of animal in Loch Ness, then we would have undeniable evidence of it by now.
We don't have undeniable evidence of a large, unfamiliar animal in Loch Ness.
Therefore, there is no such animal.

As with reasoning using the closed world assumption, auto-epistemic reasoning does not commit the fallacy of Argument from Ignorance.
and one therefore might be tempted to argue that, if one's argument falls under that exception, then the argument is not an Appeal To Ignorance Fallacy. However, the author of the website does not appear to be infallible. I posit that the part of the Appeal To Ignorance Fallacy page I quoted is, or at least appears to be, itself committing an Appeal To Ignorance Fallacy. Of course, it depends on how you define "reasonable". "Reasonable" does not necessarily mean "true" or "perfect". It could simply mean "good enough and useful given that observable evidence is true" (practical instead of logical, as Thuryl said). A lot of scientific philosophy and logic goes on the assumption that appearances are true.

[ Monday, August 27, 2007 17:07: Message edited by: The Almighty Do-er of Stuff ]

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Posts: 2957 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #206
quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:

What does it mean, for example, for a God to "create the universe" if there was not a preceding moment where the universe did NOT exist
It’s not the preceding moment, but the preceding eternity that gets us. We’re accustomed to things having a start. It’s difficult to imagine something that doesn’t. I’m glad we can agree that there is though. That means that we can agree that something exists that we can’t quite wrap our brains around.

quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:

quote:
It also seems a pretty bold claim to assume we know everything must be natural and physical – that was your claim.
Not at all bold. By definition all things must be natural and physical for we live in a natural and physical reality. This fact remains until one of you can cough up reason to infer otherwise.

What you are doing here is citing the lack of proof for your own speculation as the case for your speculation being true. If we DO live in a material reality(as all evidence points to) then we CANNOT have evidence for or against a 'non-physical' reality, which is why we have that "burden of proof" thing that falls on YOU making such a claim.

I think you are projecting some other discussion you’ve had on me. You made the claim about everything being physical and indicated having some logical basis for it. I made no such matter of fact claims to back up. All I did was ask you what the basis was. For all you know I could agree with you as I’ve given no indication either way. Now I see you’re forcing your point to be true by some definition you have.

quote:
False. If someone is employing methodology to arrive at understanding then they are using reason . I am not saying that no religious people use reason(quite the contrary). I am just saying that this is not part of a religious foundation itself.

Reason is inherent to Christian faith.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #207
quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:

[W]e have EVERY reason to assume that time is time. What does it mean, for example, for a God to "create the universe" if there was not a preceding moment where the universe did NOT exist, followed by the act of "creation" and then the post-creation span? The "beyond time" or "Non-linear experience of time" is just word salad nonsense. Like claiming that square shaped circles might exist in Bizarro World without explaining HOW such a thing could be.
I applaud the demand for explanations of how, instead of mere claims that. Likewise the rejection of word salad nonsense as acceptable explanation of how.

Speaking as a professional theoretical physicist, however: insisting that people clearly explain how the universe was created is setting the bar rather high. Scientific cosmology is an awfully long way from being able to do that. We think we have a rough understanding of how things went after the first few microseconds or so, but our inability to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics prevents us from making sense of the Big Bang itself. People are working on it.

What we believe we already do know, though, is that time can in fact behave very differently from the way it seems to behave in day to day life on earth. In particular we have a clear mathematical model for the Big Bang, which we know is incomplete at best because it ignores quantum mechanics, but which we think ought to be accurate enough after the earliest moments of the universe. It accords very well with all available data, and by now there is quite a decent amount of data available, which not just any model could fit.

And in this model, time itself begins at the Big Bang. It is not easy to picture the model in its full four dimensions, but if for visualization we can replace the three dimensions of space with a simple one dimensional circle, then we can picture spacetime in only two dimensions. But this two dimensional spacetime is not flat, like a plane. It is curved, like (at least a part of) a sphere. At any one instant in time, space is like a parallel of latitude on the sphere; and time flows south along meridians of longitude. The instant of the Big Bang is like the north pole. At the north pole, space has zero size, everywhere is together at one point, and time begins. As time moves forward, space expands.

That is an explanation of how time can have a beginning. It is the currently orthodox scientific theory of the early history of the universe, not some hypothetical example I just cooked up. Current scientific consensus is that time itself is only about 15 billion years old. The earth is not eternal, but it is roughly a third as old as time.

What was there before time began? In what sense could anyone or anything cause the beginning of time, when causality as we know it is about succession in time? These may be philosophical or theological questions, but they are also physical questions. We don't know how to answer them, but there is nothing wrong with them as questions except that they are hard. Theoretical physicists have been happy to make models and speculate. Theologians are entitled to do the same.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Lifecrafter
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Profile #208
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Sarcasmon:

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Your saw blades are not finely honed?! That the problem. You can build or destroy with the proper saw and a skilled, steady hand.
You are mis-informed. I suggest you learn a bit about carpentry before you speak out of turn.

Ridiculous! As someone who has used a sawzall to build stuff your ignorance is forgiven.

quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Speaking as a professional theoretical physicist
Awesome. I did not know this. Out of all things scientific, physics is my most favorite. While I was in college ignoring all of my studies, some of my fun time was spent in the library studying physics well beyond anything mechanical engineering required. It is to a large extent physics that made me believe again when my faith in God wavered.

You seem knowledgeable about astrophysics. Does your work involve that? How sure are you about the big bang? 100%? 90%? Why? How sure are you about an expanding universe? Somehow a currently expanding universe (especially the high rate of expansion) is unsettling to me. I've seen explanations of redshift as not solely an indicator of velocity but as an intrinsic quality of galaxies. I like this because a more static universe feels a lot better to me. And we know how important feelings are in science.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #209
My work now is only very indirectly related to cosmology, but I was more closely in touch in the past. Basic Big Bang stuff, though, is part of any senior undergrad course in general relativity.

It is conceivable that light frequency patterns from distant galaxies are all shifted down for some reason other than the expansion of space or motion of the galaxies relative to us. But there are no reasonable and plausible scenarios as yet available for this, just wild speculations, or even crackpot notions based on ignorance of available evidence. Expansion of the universe, in contrast, is essentially required by general relativity, theoretically; and observationally it fits a large amount of data very well and very easily.

Everyone's emotional bias is for a static universe. Albert Einstein was so sure that the universe ought to be static, that he modified his own theory in an attempt to make it allow a universe that did not expand or contract. This attempt failed: his modified theory still did not allow a static universe in any realistic way. (In technical terms, the Einstein static universe is dynamically unstable.) Then Penzias and Wilson accidentally discovered strong observational evidence for the Big Bang, and Einstein kicked himself for the rest of his life for not having had the nerve to accept the expansionary predictions of his own theory, until the observations came in. He always called this episode the biggest mistake of his career.

Theists have been chortling ever since, of course, since atheists had been appealing for centuries to the impossibility of time having a beginning. Atheistic cosmologists either shrug and say a beginning doesn't necessarily imply a creator, or hope that the quantum mechanical loopholes in our understanding of the earliest universe will turn out to have been hiding something other than a true beginning (perhaps a low point in some eternal cycle of collapse and expansion).

I'm pretty close to 100% confident in the Big Bang, in some form, and in the expansion of the universe. I'm fairly agnostic about the current consensus that the expansion will continue forever, and even accelerate. This consensus has been stable for several years now, and the evidence we have certainly seems to favor it. But cosmology has wavered on issues like this over the past few decades — it's a much tougher call than the basic appearance of current expansion — and I don't really like the ever-expanding universe. So I nurse some hope that the data will be re-interpreted somehow in the years to come, and we'll end up in a Big Crunch at some finite time in the future, after all. In this I am probably indulging in irrationality; but I'm not a cosmologist.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #210
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Everyone's emotional bias is for a static universe.
That's comforting. I thought I was alone. The only person I shared this with that seemed to care anything about it didn't feel the same way. Now that you're saying this I do remember hearing it about Einstein.

quote:
Theists have been chortling ever since, of course, since atheists had been appealing for centuries to the impossibility of time having a beginning.
Yeah, the Bible even mentions expansion. It's still disturbing to me for there to be current expansion though. When there are no atheists to harass I'm left with my uneasiness.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
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Until we have some kind of handle on dark energy, I think we're pretty much unable to say much of anything about the final fate of the universe. Yes, the expansion is accelerating, but we don't have any idea really at all about what's causing it or why.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 156
Profile #212
quote:
Originally written by The Almighty Do-er of Stuff:



SkeleTony, it appears you are commiting an Appeal to Ignorance fallacy. (See *NOTE at end of post before talking about the page the preceding link directs you. Feel free to disagree after you have read it, but I ask that you back up your argument with logic.)
Will do, and yes...you are wrong here(*See below).

quote:
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
False. Absence of evidence is some of the strongest evidence of absence we can possibly have! The above makes for a cute slogan but it is not logically sound. You also have to keep in mind the difference between ordinary claims and extraordinary claims. Not having positive evidence that my aunt works for NASA is NOT evidence that she does not. That would be true. But not having evidence that my aunt is a vampiric telepath from dimension 'x934' IS evidence that she is not.

quote:
I shall give you two examples:

In medieval times, humans had no observable evidence that what we now call black holes existed. Therefore, by the logic you appear to have used in your posts in this thread, because there was no evidence for them, it was reasonable to conclude that it was 100% certain that they did not exist.
You are commiting a false analogy fallacy here. And if someone claimed, back in the dark ages or some such, that black holes existed, with NO regards for inference, then their claim would be, at the very least, unreasonable(even if it turned out to be true).
But the grounds on which I deny the possibility of things, like "God" for example, are LOGICAL grounds, not evidentiary grounds. God, nor ANY other "transcendent" thing, cannot exist for the same reason as square shaped circles cannot exist. Law of non-contradiction and all that. The very definition of "existence" prohibits things from both existing AND having none of the traits that constitute existence.

Again, you have to define "existence" in a way that differentiates it from "imaginary" or the word has no meaning. Do that and you will see the strength of my argument, I assure you.

quote:
You might say this is absurd, because we now have tools and methods for seeing them that medieval people did not and through their use we now do have evidence for their existence. However, could the same situation that applies to medieval people with regard to the existence of black holes not also apply to ourselves at the present with regard to the existence of currently undetectable souls and deities?
Define these "souls" and "entities" for me and I will tell you. If they are vacuously defined or ambiguous then I simply lack assent to any claim that they exist and point out the error in reasoning that goes with claiming otherwise.
If they are defined in such a way that entails contradiction then I say they positively do NOT exist.

My beef is NOT with "undetected" things. it is with undetectable things. To claim that something both exists but is transcendent/beyond human observation, etc. is a nonsense claim and nonsense claims are false. Word salad gibberish.

It was not "brilling in the slithey toaves." there was NOT even a 0.02% chance of "brilling". "Brilling", "slithey" and "toaves" are nonsense words and the above statement is gibberish.

quote:
Perhaps it's not even undetectable simply due to being beyond the limitations of our current scientifically determined methods like telescopy and infrared photography, etc. (for instance, if it is only unobservable until we die, as some religions claim), but simply because they're beyond the limitations of our current technology (i.e. far enough away that our most powerful telescopes can't see it and that its gravitational effects are miniscule to the point where we can't currently detect them).
Fine. As soon as technology advances to the point of you having grounds for the inference of whatever it is you are sort-of claiming/speculating, I will be happy to discuss it. Until then, it odes not exist and I welcome you to prove me wrong. ;)

quote:
Perhaps somewhere very far away dragons and unicorns do exist. You can say that there's no evidence and that it's therefore 100% certain that they don't exist, but then the same could be said of black holes in medieval times.
We are not in medieval times and black holes are not = magical, supernatural claims. Ironically YOU are committing an appeal to ignorance fallacy here! A wordy "God of the gaps" argument.

quote:
Here is my second example:

You claim that nothing non-physical/material/observable exists. Can you offer proof that such things do not exist?
I cannot offer "proof" of such for the same reason I cannot offer proof that 2 + 2 does NOT = 'not 4'. This is an absurd request. Burden of proof is not on ME. These things do NOT exist by default until we have reason to infer otherwise. If you disagree then YOU have the burden to demonstrate that such things DO exist or at least CAN exist and the latter entails a mechanistic explanation of HOW they might.

quote:
I posit that you cannot. However, can anyone offer proof that they do exist? I don't believe that anyone can, and if I understand your argument properly I would say you agree with that statement.
I go even farther than that. I state the explicit reason they cannot do so is because imaginary things cannot be proven to be non-imaginary.
But again, this hinges on specific definitions of the claims.

quote:

Therefore, there is no evidence for the lack of non-physical/material/observable things, and therefore it is 100% certain that there is no lack of non-physical/material/observable things.
I am 100% certain, for reasons of logic that no non-physical/transcendent/supernatural things can exist. Your ONLY contention here is to demonstrate the converse. Simply claiming that "maybe square shaped circles exist for God-minds?" or some such is just speculative gibberish and, without a mechanistic explanation, fails.

quote:
Therefore, they both exist and don't exist simultaneously. I find that this does not make much sense. Perhaps you disagree with me?
I DO disagree with the above. Things DO exist in our reality. These things ARE material by necessity. Everything we have EVER found to exist or can even meaningfully speculate MIGHT exist, has this quality of being materialistic/natural/physical.

Stay with me here because it is easy to get lost in this stuff: What exactly would it mean for something to "exist" in some "other way"(aside from the imaginary)? What would it mean for something to independently exist and NOT be physical/observable/measurable(do not confuse these with "observed/measured" which are completely different things)?

quote:

------

As it turns out, logically, in order to argue that the existence of non-physical/material/observable things isn't logical in the face of evidence against their natural/physical/material/observable occurrence, you have to put faith into the reliability of evidence.
False. I do not ever, for any reason rely on "faith". I think it is a literally meaningless concept akin to "Wishing oneself to assent/belief".

quote:
If observable evidence turns out to be false (for instance, if a Flying Spaghetti Monster is always there altering the data as we collect it, as The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (a.k.a. Pastafarianism) asserts, or if you are a Boltzmann brain), then your argument is moot. Appearances can be deceiving, of course, and logic appears to tell us that.
The "Matrix" argument re-revisited. It is a poor argument because IF I am a brain in a jar or some such and CANNOT see this or understand this to be the "true nature" of things then whatever I am experiencing IS reality until the alleged delusion is shattered. The Cartesian crowd seems enamored of such speculative fictions but I see no value in them. It leads to being unable to feed your children because you cannot know whether you are feeding them or raping them(so why do anything?!).

quote:
The implication of all this seems to be that we know nothing at all with absolute certainty (as RandomSam from the thread at Venganza observed) by this definition of "certainty" (which, incidentally, is actually the one used by most dictionaries from what I can tell).
I know many things with "certainty" but I am open to you/anyone showing me to be wrong. I am quite certain this will not happen and we both know why.

Fairies and gods do not exist. Magical "souls" do not exist. These are imaginary things we made up for explicit purposes.

quote:
However, it seems that we may as well behave as though we do because it appears to make things significantly easier. Just because nothing being truly certain is an uncomfortable thought doesn't mean it can be disregarded out of hand.
I don't do this. I am not even a big advocate of the "certainty" some of you guys are on about here but this assertion that "Nothing is certain" is itself a statement of certainty and therefore, by your own reasoning, cannot be true(and so it may be that some things are certain). ;)

[quote]


quote:
So to sum up, yes, you can say it is impossible for things that are non-phsyical/natural/material/observable to exist, in the understanding of all in the discussion that "exist" is redefined to mean what you describe. I don't disagree and I don't think Thuryl does either (him being a scientist himself and all). We (or me at least, and Thuryl as far as I can tell) were merely playing devil's advocate.
That is all well and good but Thuryl seems have a thing for coming out of left field can calling me out on things as if I peed in his soup or some such and then offers logically unsound gobbledegook and ad hominems in support of his assertions. Hence my decision to just ignore him in these fora..
YOU at least presented your case without goose-stepping about and proclaiming superior intellect and such so I have no problem debating these matters with you, regardless of how much I disagree with you.

quote:
I still say it's perfectly valid to say that logic and reason are fallible, although thankfully ("thankfully" in my opinion at least) the majority of our society tends to agree that reason is good, and thus, due to social contracts, in most developed countries we run scientific medical hospitals instead of sacrificing pigs and praying to the gods of health to heal us (although many combine prayer with science, and those that rely solely on mystics tend to die and/or kill/maim someone and/or get arrested.)
I will have to see SOME evidence that "logic and reason are fallible" before I can assent to this claim though myself.

quote:


------

*NOTE: I linked to that Appeal to Ignorance Fallacy page because I find the basic form and explanation of what the fallacy is that the page gives to be essentially satisfactory. However, it does say this

quote:
When extensive investigation has been undertaken, it is often reasonable to infer that something is false based upon a lack of positive evidence for it. For instance, if a drug has been subjected to lengthy testing for harmful effects and none has been discovered, it is then reasonable to conclude that it is safe. Another example is:

If there really were a large and unusual type of animal in Loch Ness, then we would have undeniable evidence of it by now.
We don't have undeniable evidence of a large, unfamiliar animal in Loch Ness.
Therefore, there is no such animal.

As with reasoning using the closed world assumption, auto-epistemic reasoning does not commit the fallacy of Argument from Ignorance.
and one therefore might be tempted to argue that, if one's argument falls under that exception, then the argument is not an Appeal To Ignorance Fallacy. However, the author of the website does not appear to be infallible. I posit that the part of the Appeal To Ignorance Fallacy page I quoted is, or at least appears to be, itself committing an Appeal To Ignorance Fallacy. Of course, it depends on how you define "reasonable". "Reasonable" does not necessarily mean "true" or "perfect". It could simply mean "good enough and useful given that observable evidence is true" (practical instead of logical, as Thuryl said). A lot of scientific philosophy and logic goes on the assumption that appearances are true.[/qb]
Granted and I very much contend that my argument is one of those "exceptions"(if the Appeal to ignorance is even relevant to what I said) for reasons already stated.

[ Tuesday, August 28, 2007 05:40: Message edited by: SkeleTony ]

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"I am in a very peculiar business. I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
Posts: 219 | Registered: Saturday, October 13 2001 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #213
Wasn't this thread about the frakking environment?
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 156
Profile #214
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

[quote=SkeleTony]
[W]e have EVERY reason to assume that time is time. What does it mean, for example, for a God to "create the universe" if there was not a preceding moment where the universe did NOT exist, followed by the act of "creation" and then the post-creation span? The "beyond time" or "Non-linear experience of time" is just word salad nonsense. Like claiming that square shaped circles might exist in Bizarro World without explaining HOW such a thing could be.

I applaud the demand for explanations of how, instead of mere claims that. Likewise the rejection of word salad nonsense as acceptable explanation of how.

Speaking as a professional theoretical physicist, however: insisting that people clearly explain how the universe was created is setting the bar rather high.[/quote]That is not what I am requesting though. I am just saying that if someone will assert the nonsensical idea that something can exist "beyond time" or "non-linearly" I request that they explain to me how this can even BE. To me it is no different than claiming that objects can get further away from you as they move towards you.

quote:
Scientific cosmology is an awfully long way from being able to do that. We think we have a rough understanding of how things went after the first few microseconds or so, but our inability to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics prevents us from making sense of the Big Bang itself. People are working on it.
I accept that there ARE gaps and always WILL be gaps in our knowledge. What I do NOT accept is appeals to these "gaps" as justification for nonsense-claims.

quote:
What we believe we already do know, though, is that time can in fact behave very differently from the way it seems to behave in day to day life on earth.
This is a matter I am anxious to delve into here because my own view(seems rather unpopular) is that time does not even exist and therefore CANNOT be affected, tangibly.


quote:
In particular we have a clear mathematical model for the Big Bang, which we know is incomplete at best because it ignores quantum mechanics, but which we think ought to be accurate enough after the earliest moments of the universe. It accords very well with all available data, and by now there is quite a decent amount of data available, which not just any model could fit.

And in this model, time itself begins at the Big Bang.
But what does that MEAN? "Time itself"? DO you mean the EVENTS which befall the physically existent things of the universe did not transpire until the Big Bang occurred? if so then I heartily agree but I do not equate the existence of physical things and events with the existence of time itself as an independent thing.

quote:
It is not easy to picture the model in its full four dimensions, but if for visualization we can replace the three dimensions of space with a simple one dimensional circle, then we can picture spacetime in only two dimensions. But this two dimensional spacetime is not flat, like a plane. It is curved, like (at least a part of) a sphere. At any one instant in time, space is like a parallel of latitude on the sphere; and time flows south along meridians of longitude. The instant of the Big Bang is like the north pole. At the north pole, space has zero size, everywhere is together at one point, and time begins. As time moves forward, space expands.
I understand that(thanks for the explanation) but does it not make infinitely more sense that TIME always was, before the birth of our universe? How could the big bang have even occurred without time's precedence?!

quote:
That is an explanation of how time can have a beginning. It is the currently orthodox scientific theory of the early history of the universe, not some hypothetical example I just cooked up. Current scientific consensus is that time itself is only about 15 billion years old. The earth is not eternal, but it is roughly a third as old as time.
Regardless of how many cosmologists actually hold this view, I disagree with it for the reasons above. If the universe had a "birth"(and i agree that this one DID) then this entails a preceding moment in which the universe did not exist, followed by the "bang" and so on...
Hence linear temporal sequence has ALWAYS existed.

quote:
What was there before time began? In what sense could anyone or anything cause the beginning of time, when causality as we know it is about succession in time? These may be philosophical or theological questions, but they are also physical questions. We don't know how to answer them, but there is nothing wrong with them as questions except that they are hard. Theoretical physicists have been happy to make models and speculate. Theologians are entitled to do the same.
It is not the speculation that bothers me... ;)

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"I am in a very peculiar business. I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
Posts: 219 | Registered: Saturday, October 13 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 156
Profile #215
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:

What does it mean, for example, for a God to "create the universe" if there was not a preceding moment where the universe did NOT exist[/qb]
It’s not the preceding moment, but the preceding eternity that gets us.
Very "Sphynx-like"(See Mystery men) but does not answer the question.

quote:
We’re accustomed to things having a start. It’s difficult to imagine something that doesn’t.
That may be but my contention is that existence itself has NO "start" and CANNOT have a "start".

quote:
I’m glad we can agree that there is though. That means that we can agree that something exists that we can’t quite wrap our brains around.
I think you misunderstood me because I agree to no such thing.

quote:
quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:

quote:
It also seems a pretty bold claim to assume we know everything must be natural and physical – that was your claim.
Not at all bold. By definition all things must be natural and physical for we live in a natural and physical reality. This fact remains until one of you can cough up reason to infer otherwise.

What you are doing here is citing the lack of proof for your own speculation as the case for your speculation being true. If we DO live in a material reality(as all evidence points to) then we CANNOT have evidence for or against a 'non-physical' reality, which is why we have that "burden of proof" thing that falls on YOU making such a claim.
I think you are projecting some other discussion you’ve had on me.
No...I simply answered your rebuttal. This is what I was responding to:

quote:
It also seems a pretty bold claim to assume we know everything must be natural and physical
Clear or...?

quote:


quote:
False. If someone is employing methodology to arrive at understanding then they are using reason . I am not saying that no religious people use reason(quite the contrary). I am just saying that this is not part of a religious foundation itself.
[/qb]
Reason is inherent to Christian faith.
A bald assertion and hinting at a No true Scotsman fallacy here. Reason MAY be a part of SOME Christian faiths(depending on how one is defining these terms)....

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"I am in a very peculiar business. I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
Posts: 219 | Registered: Saturday, October 13 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 156
Profile #216
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:

What does it mean, for example, for a God to "create the universe" if there was not a preceding moment where the universe did NOT exist[/qb]
It’s not the preceding moment, but the preceding eternity that gets us.
Very "Sphynx-like"(See Mystery men) but does not answer the question.

quote:
We’re accustomed to things having a start. It’s difficult to imagine something that doesn’t.
That may be but my contention is that existence itself has NO "start" and CANNOT have a "start".

quote:
I’m glad we can agree that there is though. That means that we can agree that something exists that we can’t quite wrap our brains around.
I think you misunderstood me because I agree to no such thing.

quote:
quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:

quote:
It also seems a pretty bold claim to assume we know everything must be natural and physical – that was your claim.
Not at all bold. By definition all things must be natural and physical for we live in a natural and physical reality. This fact remains until one of you can cough up reason to infer otherwise.

What you are doing here is citing the lack of proof for your own speculation as the case for your speculation being true. If we DO live in a material reality(as all evidence points to) then we CANNOT have evidence for or against a 'non-physical' reality, which is why we have that "burden of proof" thing that falls on YOU making such a claim.
I think you are projecting some other discussion you’ve had on me.
No...I simply answered your rebuttal. This is what I was responding to:

quote:
It also seems a pretty bold claim to assume we know everything must be natural and physical
Clear or...?

quote:


quote:
False. If someone is employing methodology to arrive at understanding then they are using reason . I am not saying that no religious people use reason(quite the contrary). I am just saying that this is not part of a religious foundation itself.

Reason is inherent to Christian faith.
A bald assertion and hinting at a No true Scotsman fallacy here. Reason MAY be a part of SOME Christian faiths(depending on how one is defining these terms)....

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"I am in a very peculiar business. I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
Posts: 219 | Registered: Saturday, October 13 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #217
quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:
[b]
What does it mean, for example, for a God to "create the universe" if there was not a preceding moment where the universe did NOT exist
It’s not the preceding moment, but the preceding eternity that gets us.
Very "Sphynx-like"(See Mystery men) but does not answer the question.[/b]
The thing is I really don’t think I disagree so as to contend. It makes perfect sense to me that there was a moment before the universe. If you say there can be no being above time, I don’t know that I quite disagree with that. I guess you’d have to define “above time.” If a being has no beginning and no end and can accurately foresee and control events as he sees fit does that mean he is “above time?”

It seems to me that you have a problem understanding not understanding. You want to define everything as things you can understand or are aware of and anything you can’t understand as nonexistent. As has been pointed out, that is not sound logic. You want to place the ball in my court as if I was the one that made the matter of fact statement about what is and is not possible. Again, I did not. I questioned you about your statement as I thought you had some novel logic that would preclude a spiritual realm and was curious. So here’s an exercise that the gang here forced me to do when my logic was unclear. It will expose soundness or lack thereof. It helped me to be surer of my position and so I am forever grateful. DELINEATE YOUR LOGIC.

1. Only things I can comprehend exist.
2. I cannot comprehend supernatural entities.
3. Supernatural entities do not exist.

That is what you seem to be saying. Fix it if it is not representative of your position.

quote:
A bald assertion and hinting at a No true Scotsman fallacy here. Reason MAY be a part of SOME Christian faiths(depending on how one is defining these terms)....
There’s no fallacy as the Bible instructs Christians to use their thinking ability, reason, examine evidence, and to be sure of what they believe. I can somewhat agree with your latter statement though. Some religions discourage logical examination of doctrine. Some is different from all though, which is what you seemed to be implying.

-------------

Yes Drew, this thread has been hijacked.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #218
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Yes Drew, this thread has been hijacked.
Boo! Get your own topic!

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TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #219
quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:


[M]y own view ... is that time does not even exist and therefore CANNOT be affected, tangibly.

In view of your subsequent statements about time being and temporal sequence existing, I am not sure what you mean by time not existing. Time does not exist, but yet somehow it does, and possesses certain necessary properties? It may well be that you have a coherent theory of time that is hard to explain, but I'm afraid this is word salad to me right now.

quote:

If the universe had a "birth" ... then this entails a preceding moment in which the universe did not exist, followed by the "bang" and so on...

Why does a beginning entail a moment before the beginning? I agree that most moments are preceded by other moments, but the Big Bang is a unique case. I simply don't see why every moment must necessarily have a predecessor.

The sphere model I described is a perfectly clear explanation of how time can have a beginning; it is not meaningless word salad. No logical contradictions are involved; only conflicts with your intuitions about time. But many people's intuition is that a roadrunner who runs off a cliff will travel horizontally for a while, then fall straight down. If you're not prepared to let a concord between extensive data and clear theoretical explanations overrule your intuition, then your rationality differs from that of natural science.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7331
Profile Homepage #220
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Your saw blades are not finely honed?! That the problem. You can build or destroy with the proper saw and a skilled, steady hand.
It's hard to hone a serrated edge, FYI.

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You Shall Die Laughing: http://www.worfthecat.ermarian.net/converted

The Roost: www.roost01.proboards104.com. Birds of a feather flock together.
Posts: 794 | Registered: Thursday, July 27 2006 07:00
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #221
This thread should be considered proof of mutation/evolution. Who is SkeleTony, anyway and what planet is it from?

I am of the opinion that there is nothing even in what is now called the spiritual realm that won't eventually be seen in natural terms. Energies may be invisible, but they follow principles to do what they do. If there are energies harnessed by a "spiritually-focused" person to create an effect upon the material, is it supernatural, or merely a natural law of energies in operation which we don't understand yet? I don't believe in magic to believe in the spiritual realm. It's just largely unexplored and undefined by science so far. But I expect it will be increasingly, given time. The two will marry. Einstein and the 20th century laid a good groundwork to open it all up.

The fact that some energies seem to be able to travel at the speed of light/speed of thought around the world, as in the curious, sometimes psychic link of twins, for instance, does not make it unscientifice or magical. I don't see any ultimate division between the "spiritual" and the scientifiic. There are energetically-based principles of connectedness in the universe which I don't think we grasp yet, and I believe they can appear to supersede time and space in the conventional sense.

I don't have a problem with time having starting and stopping points, but I can't really grasp with my mind what that "looks like." The Bible actually rarely talked about true eternity if you study Greek "aeon." What is depicted moreso with deity is a state of incorruptibility, a changeless state. Time is observed as things change. If nothing changes (expands/decreases) does time exist? I think any concept of eternity in a spiritual context isn't about time or timelessness at all. It's about a state of being in which corruption and death no longer exist.

What existed before this universe? Perhaps a few billion prior universes in an endless cycle of expansion and contraction and recreation. Who knows? It's probably mind-boggling. This one here ain't going away for some billions of years frow now, best we can gauge, so I'm not too concerned about it not being truly static. Our sun is going to burn out one distant day from now. This solar system is not forever. Hard to argue for a static universe, I think. Surely we have time enough to do what we need to do in the meantime. After that...who knows? If there is an incorruptible "spiritual" energy at the core of our being, then it is not tied to this time and its universe, I'll wager.

I believe what Stillness referred to, and a closing word from a prophecy of Daniel's, the principle of which I believe applies to both the material and the spiritual universe is, "and of the increase of the Kingdom of God there shall be no end." There seems to a principle of ever-unfolding expansion in the spiritual understanding of the universe.

Of which the climate on this planet is one small, integral, and immediately relevant part.

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 73
Profile #222
I like this debate. An observation: One of the things I like most about debates is that sometimes I will be fervently agreeing with one person and arguing heatedly with another, while another time the roles of the other two people are switched. For instance, in general Stillness and I are at odds in debates about logic, science and religion. Here I find that I am agreeing with him. It's an amazing world, isn't it?

Nevertheless, Stillness, I defy you to turn a screw with a sawzall. :P

As for SkeleTony:

quote:
False. Absence of evidence is some of the strongest evidence of absence we can possibly have! The above makes for a cute slogan but it is not logically sound. You also have to keep in mind the difference between ordinary claims and extraordinary claims. Not having positive evidence that my aunt works for NASA is NOT evidence that she does not. That would be true. But not having evidence that my aunt is a vampiric telepath from dimension 'x934' IS evidence that she is not.
Please explicitly define the terms "ordinary claims" and "extraordinary claims" and the difference between them.

quote:
Define these "souls" and "entities" for me and I will tell you. If they are vacuously defined or ambiguous then I simply lack assent to any claim that they exist and point out the error in reasoning that goes with claiming otherwise.
If they are defined in such a way that entails contradiction then I say they positively do NOT exist.
I'll define "souls" and "entities" when you define "black holes" without any use of Newtonian physics or anything more advanced. Unless you're positing that black wholes didn't exist until we discovered them and then retroactively came into past existance, which wouldn't surprise me given your claims about the nature of time.

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My Myspace, with some of my audial and visual art
The Lyceum - The Headquarters of the Blades designing community
The Louvre - The Blades of Avernum graphics database
Alexandria - The Blades of Exile Scenario database
BoE Webring - Self explanatory
Polaris - Free porn here
Odd Todd - Fun for the unemployed (and everyone else too)
They Might Be Giants - Four websites for one of the greatest bands in existance
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Posts: 2957 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Agent
Member # 1934
Profile Homepage #223
quote:
Originally written by The Almighty Do-er of Stuff:


Unless you're positing that black holes didn't exist until we discovered them and then retroactively came into past existence, which wouldn't surprise me given your claims about the nature of time.

He must be channeling Richard White.

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You acquire an item: Radio Free Foil
Posts: 1169 | Registered: Monday, September 23 2002 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 156
Profile #224
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

[quote=SkeleTony]
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

quote:
Originally written by SkeleTony:
[b]
What does it mean, for example, for a God to "create the universe" if there was not a preceding moment where the universe did NOT exist
It’s not the preceding moment, but the preceding eternity that gets us.
Very "Sphynx-like"(See Mystery men) but does not answer the question.

The thing is I really don’t think I disagree so as to contend. It makes perfect sense to me that there was a moment before the universe. If you say there can be no being above time, I don’t know that I quite disagree with that. I guess you’d have to define “above time.”[/b][/quote]"Beyond time"(not "above time") is a typical 'transcendence-rationalization' of many theists and such for trying to explain away the apparent paradox be of 'omniscience' and 'free will' and such. When I point out that an omniscient being himself could not have free will(and hence neither can anyone else which does away with the rationalization that HUMANS are to blame for "evil" which is the typical rationalization offered in answer to The Riddle of Epicurus/problem of evil), they posit that he is "beyond time" and that this somehow means he COULD simultaneously know the future and make decisions.

quote:
If a being has no beginning and no end and can accurately foresee and control events as he sees fit does that mean he is “above time?”
No. It means he is a robot with no free will who cannot take credit for any action or be blamed for any event.

quote:
It seems to me that you have a problem understanding not understanding. You want to define everything as things you can understand or are aware of and anything you can’t understand as nonexistent.
?!? I am not sure I can parse those sentences.
It is true that I want things defined in a way that I can understand what the Hell people are talking about. I would like to think we ALL do.
I do not deny the existence of things by virtue of me not understanding them. I logically rule out things which are NOT UNDERSTANDABLE(period). BIG difference. If you assert something nonsensical and attempt to justify it by stating "Maybe it is just beyond human reason?!" or some such, then you are just saying that it CANNOT be understood(and is therefore, by definition...nonsense).

I do not grant assent or credence to nonsense/gibberish.

quote:
As has been pointed out, that is not sound logic.
*Boggle* What is wrong with my logic?!

quote:
You want to place the ball in my court as if I was the one that made the matter of fact statement about what is and is not possible.
If you are going to assert something that is nonsensical to the human, rational mind then you are going to have to back this up. Saying that things can both exist and simultaneously be BEYOND the constraints by which we define existence is a nonsensical assertion. Saying that "Not everything that exists is necessarily bound by existential constraints" is the same assertion, re-phrased.

BOTH entail a burden of proof for the one asserting such.

quote:
Again, I did not. I questioned you about your statement as I thought you had some novel logic that would preclude a spiritual realm and was curious. So here’s an exercise that the gang here forced me to do when my logic was unclear. It will expose soundness or lack thereof. It helped me to be surer of my position and so I am forever grateful. DELINEATE YOUR LOGIC.

1. Only things I can comprehend exist.
2. I cannot comprehend supernatural entities.
3. Supernatural entities do not exist.

That is what you seem to be saying. Fix it if it is not representative of your position.
It is most certainly NOT my position at all.

p1. In defining "existence", we must be able to differentiate "existent" things from "imaginary" things. To not do so leads to inability to communicate or establish any existential truth or understanding of reality.

p2.The means by which we differentiate existential things from imaginary things is by sense contents primarily and logic(including linear sequential constraint). If you know of some other logically sound qualifiers or means of such differentiation then by all means, let me know. In many, many years of presenting this argument, I have never been presented with any.

p3. "Transcendent" and "supernatural" are defined as being "beyond observation-capability" and/or "beyond logic/rationality/linear constriant/etc".

C1 - Ergo, "transcendent things/supernatural things do not "exist" except as imaginary entities and concepts.

Your rebuttal...?

quote:
A bald assertion and hinting at a No true Scotsman fallacy here. Reason MAY be a part of SOME Christian faiths(depending on how one is defining these terms)....
There’s no fallacy as the Bible instructs Christians to use their thinking ability, reason, examine evidence, and to be sure of what they believe.[/qb][/quote]

Yes, there IS a fallacy(or three) you committed above and you add another one here. You are citing a SUBJECTIVE text(the Bible) as if it were some OBJECTIVE source. Te Bible, as all holy scriptures, is interpreted and everyone has their own interpretations. NO where does it explicitly say "Use reason" or anything like that. That does not stop you from interpreting it to say such but this is due to psychological quirks such as pattern recognition behavior in humanity.

quote:
I can somewhat agree with your latter statement though. Some religions discourage logical examination of doctrine. Some is different from all though, which is what you seemed to be implying.

-------------

Yes Drew, this thread has been hijacked.[/QB]
I am not implying "all" really but would love to hear of one that encourages critical thinking applied to it's doctrines. Thus far, in the hundreds of religions I have been presented with in my life, I have not encountered any(some Buddhist sects come close though).

Applying critical thought/reason to religious doctrine is a surefire way to destroy that religion(at least for the one applying such). Reading the Bible is a leading cause of atheism amongst critical atheists for example. The Bible simply cannot be justified as reasonable. It is blatantly silly and bears all the earmarks of man-made doctrine. it makes perfect sense when we assume that it was written by nomadic sheep-herders of 2,000+ years ago(what with it's morality fables of children being slain for t4easing bald men, tower of babel etc.) but makes no sense at all if we assume an omni-max deity inspired/wrote the thing.

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"I am in a very peculiar business. I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
Posts: 219 | Registered: Saturday, October 13 2001 07:00

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