Author Topic: Checking in from California  (Read 3717 times)

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2018, 05:44:29 PM »
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It seems to me that the theist needs to be the one to shoulder the burden of proof for what they believe.  It would be like me saying that Bugs Bunny is God--prove that He isn't.
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Well, the proof thing is the polka-dotted elephant in the room.  In almost all discussions with theists, there are these big, grandiose claims thrown about with a telling lack of concern for whether or not these claims are actually supported by any facts on the ground.

Mostly, these people are operating on standards of evidence that would work in a church or mosque, and unaware that their "arguments" don't fly in mixed company, let alone an actively skeptical setting.

Because of that glaring weakness, all a skeptic has to do is ask for any supporting evidence, and viola, the topic has suddenly changed.

There are other arguments that have to be dealt with, most of which have to do with relevance (a billion Catholics can't be wrong, no one would die for a lie, etc), reversing the burden of proof, false dilemmas, assuming what you're trying to prove, special pleading, no true scotsman, courtier's reply, etc.

It all gets very tiresome and old hat after a while, to be honest.
I agree fully with both of you. Once you have cleared your head of the religious spiderwebs, as I had to spend much time doing, the arguments against theism are short and sweet. I kept looking for that one-level-up argument... But, if the theist cannot get past the initial burden of proof question - and so far not one of them has - then there's no need to keep talking, as there is no foundation for further discussion.

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Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2018, 06:41:29 PM »
My favorite argument against the existence of God, if the definition of God is the theistic, omni-max type of God, is that You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login. Mutually exclusive characteristics can't belong to the same being at the same time. And if a thing cannot logically exist, then it does not, in fact, exist.
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Offline Baruch

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2018, 07:34:33 PM »
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My favorite argument against the existence of God, if the definition of God is the theistic, omni-max type of God, is that You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login. Mutually exclusive characteristics can't belong to the same being at the same time. And if a thing cannot logically exist, then it does not, in fact, exist.

A rational person would argue that ;-)
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Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2018, 01:55:01 AM »
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A rational person would argue that ;-)
I have heard it said that if you give a rational person a false premise, they can reason their way to a rational solution ~ albeit, wrong :)

Offline SGOS

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2018, 05:40:50 AM »
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I watched The Atheist Experience for a short while, till I figured out that every caller was met with the burden of proof argument. I want to hear other points of view 
The burden of proof is the big one, for me anyway, and it's one that theists often fail to understand, especially the ones who would call into the Atheist Experience.  They get hammered with "burden of proof," because they seemingly don't get it.  If they got it, they might think twice about calling in, because they would realize how invalid discussions about the nature of God are with out proof of existence.

There are other points of view of course, and other arguments against God.  But proofs against God can be dicey.  More important, they are irrelevant.  I can tell you honestly that in my transition to atheism, I didn't waste time trying to prove that God didn't exist.  I would have if I could, but intuitively, I knew this was a lost cause.  As a doubting Christian, all I cared about was rock solid evidence that God was real.  That was the single most important nugget that would convince me to stay in the fold, and the single biggest question that needs to be answered.  As a Christian on a quest, it was the single biggest question about my entire life and it's meaning.  The issue is positively enormous, and dwarfs everything else.  It supersedes all discussions about a master plan and what a deity may or may not want from humans.

Other discussions are interesting, and we have them here.  Lately, the topic of whether Jesus actually existed at all is fashionable.  An interesting thought indeed, and it generates philosophical musings that are not unreasonable questions, but they don't answer the big question, "Is God real?"  That question must be answered first.  If it can't be then all the rest of the religious bullshit is meaningless.

In my case, I might have asked, "Should I be a good Christian," but before I know that God exists, it's an irrelevant question.  If God does truly exist, then we can talk about whether I should be a Christian, Muslim, or Jew.  Other topics may be interesting on a philosophical level, however, but they fail as proof.  And that simple most basic thing was all I ever needed as a Christian, but I never found it.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 06:41:23 AM by SGOS »

Offline SGOS

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2018, 05:53:51 AM »
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I have heard it said that if you give a rational person a false premise, they can reason their way to a rational solution ~ albeit, wrong :)
That's true, but you can't simply ignore the validity of the premise, and happily go on stringing sequiturs together to derive a rational conclusion.  If we all accepted that the Milky Way was made of splatters of cow's milk, I suppose we could work through logic to arrive at lots of logical outcomes, excluding of course that the Milky Way was cow's milk, which would be circular.

Offline Baruch

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2018, 06:46:40 AM »
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I have heard it said that if you give a rational person a false premise, they can reason their way to a rational solution ~ albeit, wrong :)

Talk to poster Vulcan about that.  Logic only works if you are Vulcan, not if you are Terran.
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Baruch

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2018, 06:55:48 AM »
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That's true, but you can't simply ignore the validity of the premise, and happily go on stringing sequiturs together to derive a rational conclusion.  If we all accepted that the Milky Way was made of splatters of cow's milk, I suppose we could work through logic to arrive at lots of logical outcomes, excluding of course that the Milky Way was cow's milk, which would be circular.

All arguments in ordinary language, given that the validity of the definitions of ordinary language are in question (Milky Way .. isn't that a candy bar?) turn on semantics.  Basically a random walk across the dictionary, which is itself the single largest circular argument.  This is why math has to use jargon.  Actual logic research has to be so abstract as to not touch even math.

Logic originated negatively in "reductio absurdum" ... by Parmenides ... who was a mystagogue by profession.  The arguments of Socrates were designed to demonstrate that ordinary people don't even know what the words they use mean.  Positive logic started with Euclid, and only applied to geometrical abstractions.

Your example is taken from empirical evidence ... which isn't about rationality at all, but correspondence with facts.  Yes, the Milky Way isn't made up of cow's milk.  In common language, "I am rational" simply is virtue signaling that "I am right and you are wrong".
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline SGOS

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2018, 07:34:57 AM »
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In common language, "I am rational" simply is virtue signaling that "I am right and you are wrong".
That's true, but it's not limited to virtue signaling.  Sometimes it's simply a reflection that the signaler has no conception of what logic is.  He uses the phrase, "It's totally logical," instead of "I believe it without thinking about it," in an attempt to add credibility to some nonsense or other.  Common language is simply common.  Its only virtue is that it is common, and there is nothing particularly useful about that.

Common meaning also varies between sub groups.  I'm guessing for most people here, the common definition of logic isn't "I'm right.  You're wrong."  I'm guessing they see logic as something that transcends that, more about what claims can be made with a degree of safety, a tool to test a claim, not foolproof, but several notches above an unsupported authoritarian claim.  I see it as the best set of rules on clear thinking that are currently available to me.  Not to say I always follow the rules.  I fall into the thoughtless void from time to time, but at my peril.


« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 07:37:09 AM by SGOS »

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2018, 11:54:49 AM »


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Basically a random walk across the dictionary, which is itself the single largest circular argument.
I've seen this statement before, but it was mired in a weak discussion. Is it that the dictionary does not define words - but rather that it only shows common usages of them?

I had a hard language lesson two days ago with my doctor. I've only been seeing her for a few months, but I have had this feeling that there was a language barrier - despite the fact that we were both speaking English. I just couldn't put my finger on the problem. I said something to her about my life. A few minutes later, she brought that point back up - completely out of the context in which it was intended. I am actually looking for a new doctor now, as her mistaken context would have lead to an improper diagnosis - which would have been a critical mistake in this case. Yet, right up to the point of her revealing her misunderstanding of my meaning, I believed that we were talking about the same thing.

Offline Baruch

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2018, 12:54:47 PM »
On any important medical thing, get a second opinion.  I have worked in the medical area for over 20 years, and doctors do have a complex.

Officially, a dictionary should reflect current common usage, unless it is a specialized dictionary (say a medical dictionary).  They haven't always been that way ... Samuel Johnson's, Voltaire's,  or Ambrose Beirce's.  Those are full of editorial and humor.  Stan Kelly-Bootle wrote the Devil's Dictionary for IT ... was a Renaissance man, and got the first post-graduate degree in computer science.

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But of course, the content of any dictionary, has definitions using words in that dictionary.  That is complexly circular by nature.  To be independent, one would have to define words using something other than words.  This was Confucius' POV, that words should match up with what they empirically describe.  The Reification of Names project.  That the word for "house" shouldn't suggest to you something other than, or in addition to ... a house.  Confucius was against poetic license and polyvalence.  He liked clarity.  This was hard phonetically in Chinese, since Chinese uses many same sounding spoken words for different things ... homonym hell.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 12:56:44 PM by Baruch »
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2018, 02:41:07 AM »
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I've seen this statement before, but it was mired in a weak discussion. Is it that the dictionary does not define words - but rather that it only shows common usages of them?

I had a hard language lesson two days ago with my doctor. I've only been seeing her for a few months, but I have had this feeling that there was a language barrier - despite the fact that we were both speaking English. I just couldn't put my finger on the problem. I said something to her about my life. A few minutes later, she brought that point back up - completely out of the context in which it was intended. I am actually looking for a new doctor now, as her mistaken context would have lead to an improper diagnosis - which would have been a critical mistake in this case. Yet, right up to the point of her revealing her misunderstanding of my meaning, I believed that we were talking about the same thing.

It is sometimes essential to agree on common terms.  Maybe get a basic medical dictionary and point to terms you aren't understanding ( and the doctor might be misusing).  I have had to "educate" a doctor more than once.  I do my research when I think I have a problem.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2018, 06:50:25 AM »
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It is sometimes essential to agree on common terms.  Maybe get a basic medical dictionary and point to terms you aren't understanding ( and the doctor might be misusing).  I have had to "educate" a doctor more than once.  I do my research when I think I have a problem.

The patient does have an obligation to be both independently informed, but also cooperative with the doctor once a care plan is agree to.  Doctors/nurses use jargon, so word definitions aren't much of a problem for them.
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2018, 12:01:59 PM »
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It is sometimes essential to agree on common terms.  Maybe get a basic medical dictionary and point to terms you aren't understanding ( and the doctor might be misusing).  I have had to "educate" a doctor more than once.  I do my research when I think I have a problem.
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The patient does have an obligation to be both independently informed, but also cooperative with the doctor once a care plan is agree to.  Doctors/nurses use jargon, so word definitions aren't much of a problem for them.
Without going into details, the word that was misunderstood was, "always," in reference to something that I do, as opposed to an ache or pain. Being that this word is not medical jargon, but rather a common word used in everyday conversation, the doctor's understanding of my usage of "always" was taken in a context that better fit a common diagnosis; a wrong diagnosis. She went word-fishing, and was interpreting my language to fit what she was thinking - not what I was meaning.

Offline Hydra009

Re: Checking in from California
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2018, 04:20:08 PM »
I've had issues with understanding other people and being understood due to different uses of the same word.

I talked with a guy who used "fallacy" to describe widely held beliefs that aren't true rather than invalid logic.

And my brother refuses to switch over to nautical terminology.  At sea, I say starboard and east.  He says right for both.  :*[

 

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