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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:04 am 
Well, in science you do have laws, which are supposed to be pretty darn certain, but unfortunately they don't explain things.

And there are certain things we take on faith. 1 + 1 = 2 for instance. :)

Actually it's not really so much "on faith" as it is "by definition", but regardless, you're not going to prove it. I would argue that a lot of science gets done "on faith" whether or not it's thought of that way. At least, research gets done that is only valid if certain widespread assumptions that scientists make are true. I guess the difference is that scientists have a habit of qualifiying their statements. ("Assuming that this is true... this is true also.") You tend not to see religions that state things like "Assuming there is a God, he's like this..."


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:15 am 
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There is a famous line in Russell & Whitehead's Principia Mathematica that goes something like this:

From this it follows, once we have defined addition, that 1 + 1 = 2.

Thought I'd throw that in there.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:19 am 
Vorn the Unspeakable wrote:
There is a famous line in Russell & Whitehead's Principia Mathematica that goes something like this:

From this it follows, once we have defined addition, that 1 + 1 = 2.

Thought I'd throw that in there.


But how does Russell define 1 and 2?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:24 am 
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This is on, like, the 300th page of the book.

Vorn


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 5:04 pm 
I've read excerpts. Russell was a crank.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 5:27 pm 
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Russell was a madman, to be sure, but Principia Mathematica is about the closest you can get to the logical foundations of mathematics.

Vorn


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:20 pm 
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Mrs. Keradon wrote:
However, in some cases, there can be brought forth new evidence which causes a proven theory to be either given an exception (under certain circumstances), or to be shown as totally false. Before then, though, scientists had absolute ...faith... that this theory is true, based on those repetitions.


They did not have "absolute faith". They were very confident it was right, but they would never say they were absolutely 100% certain. That's how the real world works. And how, again, is it faith to accept that which is shown from empirical evidence? Faith in the religious sense by definition is the belief in that which is not supported by empirical evidence. You're committing the fallacy of equivocation again, conflating the two very different meanings of faith: the colloquial usage of "trust" or "confidence", and the other, religious usage of "belief without evidence". Read Pronto's original post; the religious usage is the one being used in this discussion. While people may trust scientists or have confidence in their results, such trust and confidence is founded on experience and evidence, and it is not absolute.

It's very similar to the distinction between the meanings of "believe in" -- "have confidence in", or "believe in the existence of". When a person with low self-esteem says he doesn't believe in himself, he's not suffering from a severe existential dilemma. He's using the first definition: he doesn't have confidence in himself. Whereas if I said I don't believe in Santa Claus, I'm not saying the Jolly Old Elf doesn't have what it takes to deliver presents, I'm using the second definition: I don't believe he exists. Two very different meanings, and it is a fallacy to build an argument based on confusing the two.

Do pay attention.

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They have confidence in these theories, based on these repetitions. But are they absolute truth?


Of course not. Have you read anything I've posted about the matter? That absolute truth is impossible in the real world? Proof is possible in mathematics because we've defined mathematics; we've defined that universe. But not so for the real world, since the universe was not defined by us (if by anybody). Do you remember me posting about that?

Only religions have notions of "absolute truth". There is no such thing in the real world.

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Before then, though, there was widespread belief...widespread faith... that he did indeed commited the crime.


The initial conviction was still based on evidence and logical inference. How is that faith? You can't get a conviction by going "I believe this person is guilty and I have no evidence to back it up but I have faith!" The only "faith" was confidence that the results were right, which is not the meaning of faith as we're talking about it. As I've Said Before.

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When the new evidence was presented, then a new conclusion was reached.


That's how science works. That's how people behave every day without thinking about it.

Let's say I want a glass of milk. Based on what I currently know of this household and prior experience with milk, I conclude there will be milk in the fridge. So I go to the fridge and get new evidence in the form of a lack of milk, and am forced to change my conclusion to say that there is no milk. Is my original assertion that milk is in the fridge "faith"? I didn't make the claim based on nothing. I based it on evidence and prior experience. That my conclusion was wrong does not affect the fact that it was still logically inferred from given information.

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At the time, this was considerably older than the universe was thought to be. The Big Bang Theory is a hotly debated topic, but some scientists did have some faith in it's validity.


The Big Bang Theory -- that, essentially, the universe was Very Small and then got Very Big -- is still well supported by evidence such as analysis of matter distribution and cosmic background radiation. That it happened earlier than we thought still doesn't mean it's entirely wrong.

And, once again, you've committed the fallacy of equivocation. Scientists have confidence in the validity of the Big Bang Theory, but such confidence is based on the evidence and the confirmation of predictions of the theory.

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So thus, you have two opposing theories, based on acceptable scientific practices. Which do you believe, and which do you throw out?


Why not look at a bunch of bacteria, put them in different environments, and SEE IF THEY CHANGE FORM! Wow! Testing hypotheses! Will wonders never cease!

You're still thinking that scientists just pull things out of their ass and run with it. When they make a statement about the real world, they test it! They say, "well, if what I say is true, what sort of other evidence would I find?" or "well, if what I say is true, what sort of evidence would go against it?" and then they conduct experiments to find out if the evidence supports their conclusion. Let's say your theory says that the result of such-and-such test should be X. If the result is in fact X, then your theory gets that much more support. If the result is Y, work on the theory some more and try again.

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It's the third point that's the core of my argument.


And since you screwed up the third point, that doesn't bode well for your argument.

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There are various belief systems out there, whether it be scientific or religious. Each are based on the evidence provided whether it be through gathering of evidence through controlled experiments or through the interpretation of scriptures, documents...or personal experiences.


Like Pronto said, personal experiences aren't empirical evidence. They can't be shared exactly. You can still report them; psychologists do so in studies on dreams and stuff. (Although, they are usually if not always careful to say things like "x number of patients reported having a dream about such-and-such". The report itself can be recorded and whatnot, even if the actual experience can't. But I digress.) But the beliefs of science aren't based off personal experience. Science is built up as objectively as possible, with people of all sorts of beliefs, all sorts of biases, all sorts of preconceived notions participating to provide evidence and analysis, to cancel out as much as humanly possible any bias based on personal experience. Does measuring something to 12 inches count as a personal experience? Does weighing? Does looking at a picture? Does listening to what someone says? These things can be shared. As I've said before, science is built on the same basic assumptions that you use every day to go about your business without getting killed crossing the street: that the universe exists, that it is self-consistent, that it follows basic rules and order. People who believe otherwise tend to end up in the loony bin. If a schizophrenic were to tell you -- based solely on his personal experiences with voices and the like -- that there was an evil monster lurking in your oven, would you ignore him, or would you place his assertion on the same footing as "the world is round", even after looking in the oven?

Speaking of personal experiences, why haven't you answered my other questions about yours? What were the details of your visions/dreams? What did the ancient being look like? What is it like to fly? After your experiences, what made you conclude that you did, in fact, have a vision from a spirit or deity or whatever? Why did you not go "Hey, that was a messed-up dream"? Even knowing that dreams and tarot readings are very open to interpretation and that even improbable coincidences happen all the time, what led you to conclude that none of these things was the case? Why did you consider that it was more likely that a spirit was talking to you instead of your subconscious? As far as I can tell, the only apparent reason is wishful thinking: that the deity interpretation was more interesting.

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Often times it is a certain choices that are made. In terms of science, it's the choice of the controls under which the experiment is given.


The choice of controls can affect results, yes. And? Scientists are trained on how to choose the most useful controls, that are least likely to give bad data. Experiments are done very carefully so as to minimize error, and there are many formal and informal ways to go about it. And the controls and expected errors are published along with the evidence, and are, in a sense, evidence themselves.

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Given an alternate series of choices, you can sometimes end up with the same result/interpretation, or a different result.


That's why peer review -- having other people check your work, essentially -- is such an important part of science: it helps to be as objective as possible, and also helps to discover flaws in the methodology.

Also, science is full of people with differing interpretations. That's why scientists run experiments: to find out, as well as is possible, whose interpretation is right. There will always be debates and differences in the scientific community, but over time some things have been supported to the degree that they are on more-or-less equal footing as such statements as "the world is round" or "people can't walk through walls".

Moreover, "fact" does not mean "absolute certainty." The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. [...] In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.


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Can a belief system, built either by doctrines of religion or theories of science, be rendered valid or invalid solely on empirical evidence or a lack of such evidence?


Uh, yes. It's why nobody sticks leeches to your arms to cure colds anymore. There was no evidence to support the assertion that diseases like the cold were caused by imbalances of bodily fluids. But there is no such thing with faith. With faith, things are believed to be true regardless of what empirical evidence may or may not say. They have absolute certainty and refuse to budge even in the face of contradictory evidence, and make up ever-more-improbable excuses to cover for it when the real world disagrees with them.

And even doctrines of religion aren't based solely on faith. "The Bible says such and such" is a bit of empirical evidence: anyone can look at the Bible and read "such and such". Numerous religious organizations accept evolution as part of their doctrine, considering it to be how God did his thing. But this part of the doctrine is based on the empirical evidence for evolution. If it were solely based on faith, you end up with creationists*, who take it completely on faith that the universe is 6000 years old and that Noah's Ark once floated on the flood -- despite the mounds of evidence against such assertions, not to mention the (theo)logical argument used by many saying that the Christian God, being all-good and such, would not be a deceiver and thus would not fake all the evidence just to mislead rational and honest people.

And, in the end, it is possible to convince people, by using logical arguments, that faith is not a valid basis for belief systems. Their belief that faith is a valid basis for a belief system might not be a matter of faith; in other words, they don't have faith in faith, and when it is pointed out using logic and evidence that faith is useless in the real world, they discard it. I know that this happens, because it happened to me.

* Please tell me you're not a creationist, or I might just have to shoot somebody.

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Wouldn't there also have to be faith that such evidence is correct?


How much faith does it take to read a ruler or a scale, or to look at telescope or microscope images, or to watch a videotape, or to read the Human Genome analysis? And if there are any doubts, you can often test whether or not the evidence is correct: for instance, obtaining some yourself.

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And also what about any new evidence that may be brought into play?


What did I say before about 100% absolute certainty? Scientists don't have it, only people who live by faith do. Science essentially, "So far, this is best explanation we can come up with. It explains the evidence we have so far and all the tests of its predictions support it." You've read this far; surely you can guess by now what happens with new evidence. If it fits the theory as is, no problem; if not, the theory needs work.

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Occam's Razor, while a good rule to folow at times, tends to not allow for newer evidence to be considered above the minimum.


Do you even know what Occam's Razor even says? In a nutshell, "Don't make up new hypotheses if the old ones still work just fine to explain the evidence." If there's new evidence that the old hypotheses don't explain, you need a new one, or at the very least the old ones need tweaking. It allows for new evidence just fine. And, once again, you use Occam's Razor every day.

In my previous example, if there were no milk in the fridge, what would you conclude? That someone drank it? That burglars stole it and left no evidence? That aliens abducted it without a trace? The only assumptions needed to come up with the first conclusion are the knowledge that there are other people in the house who drink milk: a very likely and reasonable assumption. For the second, you have to posit a burglar who not only is capable of entering my house and stealing milk unnoticed, but who would also bother to steal milk and nothing else. This assumption seems incredibly unlikely and unreasonable based on what we know of the behavior and capabilities of burglars. The third requires the assumption that aliens with advanced technology not only exist but really want milk, which is completely unsupported by any evidence known, and is so unlikely as to not even merit discussion.

Now, if I had a security camera showing a burglar coming in from the ceiling Mission: Impossible style and taking off with the milk, I would have new evidence, and would have to change my conclusion to state that a burglar took the milk. This conclusion would be based on my prior experience and evidence regarding the reliability of video surveillance, and the likelihood that the events depicted on the tape actually happened.

See how easy that is?

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If not, I can elaborate further, if you wish, especially on any topic I might have missed.


So about those antlers...

Madcat wrote:
And there are certain things we take on faith. 1 + 1 = 2 for instance. :) Actually it's not really so much "on faith" as it is "by definition", but regardless, you're not going to prove it.


Why do you need to prove what is true by definition? That's like saying "prove that an isosceles triangle has two sides of equal length".

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I would argue that a lot of science gets done "on faith" whether or not it's thought of that way. At least, research gets done that is only valid if certain widespread assumptions that scientists make are true.


Assumptions like "I'm not just hallucinating this microscope here" and "If E = mc^2 today, it'll still be that way tomorrow", which as I said are the same assumptions everyone makes in going about their basic lives. Question them if you like. Just be careful not to get killed crossing the street by thinking "Well, that Toyota might not actually exist" or "Well, maybe today I'll be able to pass through that Ford completely unharmed".

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I guess the difference is that scientists have a habit of qualifiying their statements. ("Assuming that this is true... this is true also.") You tend not to see religions that state things like "Assuming there is a God, he's like this..."


Exactly, because scientists don't have the 100% absolute certainty, the unwavering faith, that religions do. They admit they could be wrong.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:38 pm 
jeremiahsmith wrote:
Madcat wrote:
And there are certain things we take on faith. 1 + 1 = 2 for instance. :) Actually it's not really so much "on faith" as it is "by definition", but regardless, you're not going to prove it.


Why do you need to prove what is true by definition? That's like saying "prove that an isosceles triangle has two sides of equal length".



Well, when you say "1+1=2", you implicitely say that it has a sense - that there are integers, and that there is an addition. People generally take it on faith that integers exist. I know I do. But some people need to write very long proofs before admitting such things.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:03 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
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Anh Minh wrote:
Well, when you say "1+1=2", you implicitely say that it has a sense - that there are integers, and that there is an addition. People generally take it on faith that integers exist. I know I do. But some people need to write very long proofs before admitting such things.


It may not be possible to define "integer" if you go down far enough, and eventually have to rely on the abstracting abilities of the human brain to fill in the last step with "well, you know what I mean"; that's how pretty much every definition of anything goes, I have to say. That integers exist in the mathematical realm is a given, by the simple reason that we say so: we've defined the universe of math, and put integers there, even if we're not entirely sure how to define them exactly. Whether mental abstractions such as math can be considered to exist would be another matter entirely.

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 2:27 am 
Peano's axioms give us a definition of integers that doesn't rely in "you know what I mean". But yes, eventually we get there, and then we need "faith" that the system is coherent.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 2:11 pm 
... I had a feeling I might have been arguing about the wrong thing, but I wasn't certain...

I decided to sleep on it and reread your postings, and I found where I was misinterpreting things. There are two things that are guaranteed to influence my responses. One is attacks on my faith. The other, which applies here, is fundamentalists. And I mean fundamentalists of any sort (Christian, Wiccan, whoever.) When I first read your posts, I believed your point of view was that faith had <b>absolutely</b> no basis in building of a belief system. I basically saw that as a 'Pure Reason' fundamentalist line of thought (where if something isn't there, it doesn't exist), and basically had a knee-jerk reaction. One of the things I should not have done was use the word 'absolute', when it comes to faith in a theory. :oops: Yes, I do agree, a true scientist tests the hell out of anything they come across to provide a basis for their theory. (Or reads up on credible experiments on those theories.)

I believe your point of view is actually that faith <b>by itself</b> wouldn't be a valid basis on the building of a belief system. That a major part of it is what that faith is based on, and would be a factor if that faith was misplaced or not. (The evidence you refer to.) Would this be it, or have I missed the mark again?

I also have a habit of defensiveness whenever my faith is concerned (the fundamentalists that I mentioned), so I was refraining from talking much about how I arrived to my faith to avoid seeming defensive. However, now that I think I know what you're asking about, I think I can safely comment about it. I'm just not sure of how it would be taken, though, so bear with me.

At the time I had my first experience with my god (which, yes, was my freshman year of high school), I had initially dismissed it as a flash of creativity. I will certainly admit that at that time, like other stereotypical fluff-bunnies, I was also doing research on magick. The major difference in me was that I wasn't fully certain about the rituals I initially found especially since I was reading everything I could find. I wanted to know more about what others thought and had done before. The how as well as the why of it.

I would have other experiences beyond basic intuitions later on. These would be after I began to truly question what was going on. I hadn't really considered a medical reason because of the timing of these experiences (they are extremely rare). (Note: I actually spoke with a diagnosed schizophrenic about a year or more ago in the recent past. She mentioned that without regular doses of the drugs, she experiences <b>constant</b>, and at times annoying, distractions.)

I considered the possiblity of a spiritual/religious experience having occured. (I wasn't raised Catholic, so at the time I didn't have knowledge of the saints. Looking back on it, I'd also say my mother's opinion of Catholicism, my local churches, and my own bible readings at the time also influenced my search away from christianity.) I considered a possible communication with an ancestor, but that didn't explain a few of the other experiences I was having, and the beliefs I was forming.

The easiest to find faith being openly worshiped in my area was of the Christian faiths, based on the bible, children's bible stories and sundy school, so I began my spiritual search through that. I later ruled it out, though. Note I only recently(within the past few year) found others locally who practice and sometimes teach the pagan faiths(as in not just wicca).

I've been reading those Greco/Roman mythologies since childhood, and tend towards considering them to be fairy tales on par with those of the Brothers Grimm. To this day, I have problems joining in with some Greek or Roman Reconstructionists in their rituals. The doctrines of the Norse religions didn't seem to strike a chord with me either. While there was a lot of spirtual aspects of it, there was seemed to be a lot of emphasis on survival and preparing for Ragnarok. I also delved into my Slavic(once again going with the ancestor theory) gods and goddesses for a possible explanation.

I read whenever I could and everything I could get my hands on conserning the topic. I was in high school, though, and tried to fit homework and other things around this search I was doing.

During my junior year of high school (2 years after the first major vision), was when my search finally narrowed down to a specific term. Out of total curiosity, I picked up Practical Candleburning Rituals by Raymond Buckland. While reading through the pages, I picked up a definition of the core beliefs of Wicca.

This was where I found the name to what I believed from things I was taught, my own experiences and what I felt made the most sense. From there, I sought out more based on that focus, to understand more about this belief. While I wrote down the Sabbats and when they should be observed, I was still wondering the reason why they should be observed. I read a variety of authors (Amber K, and others. I tried some Crowley and Gardner. I still suspect the nudity Gardner insisted on was something Gardner himself pulled out due to a preference he had), but it was extremely difficult to find credible books that detailed Wicca. (As I worked on growing out of the 'fluff-bunny' stage, I threw out a lot of uncorrabarted ideas.) I also read up on archaeological digs around areas where Celts had lived and anything new on the druids of the area.

I'm still learning more though, and I'm still researching. In terms of doubts that I've had... yes, I've had doubts. Admittedly, none that have ever been on the level that Job ever had with his God. But still I had my times of doubt. I've kept the faith during those times, however.

Is there anything else I should elaborate on?

Oh... one final thought, and I'll be done. The coven that I gathered together is small for a very good reason. The only other coven I was in was fairly large (about 15-20...maybe more. With 8 elders, probably more). Between the politicing, gossiping, and pure negativity, it basically disintegrated in on itself. I opted to try to stay out of the in-fighting when it started to involve the whole coven, dedicants, initiated and elders alike to figure out what was really going on. (I'm still not sure what really did happen just pieces that contributed). I wanted to avoid that negativity as much as possible when starting my own. With the coven I'm in now, we all agreed (all 5 of us) to rotate the leadership role during rituals so no one gets burned out with the work (or bitchy about not having a chance to lead). Other decisions are made on concensus, so everyone has a say in decisions that effect everyone. There is also a set limit on the number of members the coven will hold at one time. This too helps to stop power struggles and help prevents the shepard and sheep type of gathering. Everyone has to think about what they are doing and why it happens in that way without simply unquestioned faith.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 9:27 pm 
Oh, here's a question. Who says that belief has to pass the empirical evidence "test?"


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 9:38 pm 
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How many times have you dreamed about your family in trouble and it turned out they were fine?


Never. For the longest time, my mother and I would not talk. And to be honest, there's no reason to worry about them. They're alive and that's what counts.

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How many times has your family been in trouble and you never dreamed about it at all?


Well, there was this time where my sister ran into an I beam with her forehead, but she didn't dent her skull. *snorts* Beyond that, and excluding the everyday matters of bills, life, living, etc...my family has been pretty decent.

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Can you say confirmation bias? What were the details of the dreams? Did the events in the dreams correlate with your family's problems, or did you dream about your sister in, say, a burning house and it turns out it was a car accident? Were the dreams open to interpretation at all? How soon after the dreams did the events occur?


You want details? Well, how detailed do you want? Want to know about my father being in the hospital and the doctors not being able to tell us if he would survive surgery? Oooer, here's a good one. shall i tell you about my sister going into labor on the front porch and my neice dying before the paramedics could get there? How detailed do you want? sheesh...you're turning this thread into an impeachment. Impeach religion! Faith does not exist! Empirical evidence is the only truth!

Bullshit.

I'm a polytheistic Pagan who believes in science. I just don't believe in it to the point of excluding everything else. Hmm, hey, why not go to a Scientology Church. See what goes on there. Who knows, you might like it.

*rolls her eyes* Need more coffee.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 11:07 pm 
kreely wrote:
sheesh...you're turning this thread into an impeachment. Impeach religion! Faith does not exist! Empirical evidence is the only truth!

Turned it in to? Thats what it started out as.

kreely wrote:
I'm a polytheistic Pagan who believes in science. I just don't believe in it to the point of excluding everything else.


There is nothing else. My original point was that faith and reason are mutually exclusive. I haven't seen anything in this discussion to change that view.

I don't have any problem with you or anyone else having faith. But keep it to yourself. And don't expect me to respect it or you. (Actually, there are a lot of things I respect about you... despite your faith.)

kreely wrote:

Hmm, hey, why not go to a Scientology Church. See what goes on there. Who knows, you might like it.


kreely, Scientology may look like it has the word 'science' in it's name, but it doesn't and thats as close as that church comes to science.


Last edited by Pronto on Sun Oct 31, 2004 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 11:14 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
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kreely wrote:
Oh, here's a question. Who says that belief has to pass the empirical evidence "test?"


Believe what you like. But if you can't back it up with anything, why should we give your belief credence? There's other explanations for this sort of thing, that can be backed up with evidence. Why should we ignore them? Why do you ignore them?

What basis do you have for determining whether to go with the explanations supported by empirical evidence, or the explanations you come up with completely on faith instead? Because so far from what I've seen in this thread, the only reasons I've seen seem to fall into the category of "The supernatural is fun and I don't feel like looking for a natural explanation first anyway!" (Granted, no one's said those exact words, but it seems to be implied.)

You said that you suspect these dreams happened because of your ties to your family, even though I get the impression your family hasn't always gotten along very well. Why doesn't this happen to families that get along great? Is there any pattern to this sort of thing? Do the telepathic ties only work for people who believe in them? Does your family ever have any dreams about you? You had dreams about your family in danger when they were, or at least you say you did. Why did you rule out coincidence? Improbable things happen all the time. And, having done that, why did you not at least stop at "well, something weird is going on" and jump straight into thinking "it obviously must be telepathy or a message from the Deity"? Assuming that the cause is supernatural, what made you decide it was one of those? Why did you conclude telepathy instead of, say, benevolent aliens who have mastered the art of manipulating dreams with EM radiation?

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You want details? Well, how detailed do you want? Want to know about my father being in the hospital and the doctors not being able to tell us if he would survive surgery? Oooer, here's a good one. shall i tell you about my sister going into labor on the front porch and my neice dying before the paramedics could get there?


You have my condolences. The seriousness of the incidents doesn't mean the supernatural was involved though.

Quote:
How detailed do you want?


Considering you gave me none of the details I asked for -- what you dreamed about, how well it correlated with what happened, whether they were vague or not, when they happened in relation to the events -- I'd say "more than you've been so far".

Quote:
sheesh...you're turning this thread into an impeachment.


Forgive me for wanting to know what you all are talking about and asking that you back up what you've said about your experiences and providing details so I know where you're coming from.

Quote:
Faith does not exist!


Of course it exists. My point is that it is not a valid basis for a belief system, because it is the assertion that one needs no basis for a belief system.

Quote:
Empirical evidence is the only truth!


Would you like to demonstrate otherwise?

Quote:
I'm a polytheistic Pagan who believes in science. I just don't believe in it to the point of excluding everything else.


What, exactly, is the everything else that can't be found using empirical evidence and logical arguments, and why do you believe in it despite the lack thereof?

Quote:
Hmm, hey, why not go to a Scientology Church. See what goes on there. Who knows, you might like it.


The Church of Scientology has little to do with actual science.

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 4:54 am 
Quote:
How detailed do you want? sheesh...you're turning this thread into an impeachment. Impeach religion! Faith does not exist! Empirical evidence is the only truth!


Well, look at it this way: If someone isn't basing his beliefs on logic - on what makes sense - then what can he base his beliefs on? Wishful thinking?
Suppose my neighbors just bought a cat. I could say "I believe the cat is black". But unless I have a logical reason to believe it, I could only end up being right through dumb luck. Now, if they've told me the cat is black (assuming I have no reason to doubt their word here), or I've seen the cat, or noticed some short black hair on their sweaters, or passed by the local petshop and noticed a black cat who was there isn't there now, then I have good reason to believe it. But otherwise, well...

Quote:
I'm a polytheistic Pagan who believes in science. I just don't believe in it to the point of excluding everything else.

Kreely, science is the set of rules according to which the universe works. There's nothing else by definition. If they prove tomorrow that telepathy exists, soon enough scientists will be studying the physical/biological principles of telepathy - because, if something exists, the rules that govern it are science by definition.

Quote:
Hmm, hey, why not go to a Scientology Church. See what goes on there. Who knows, you might like it.

Bad example, Kreely. Really bad. Those guys claiming to be scientific is like [insert political group here] claiming to be [insert here something said political group obviously isn't, but claims to be in order to get votes].


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:02 pm 
Scientology is bad bad bad. :( I get mail from them on a monthly basis too. :x

I have to take issue with one thing you said though JS:
Quote:
Only religions have notions of "absolute truth". There is no such thing in the real world.



What about the value of universal constants? Those are pretty true.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:51 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
Madcat wrote:
What about the value of universal constants? Those are pretty true.


Yes, they've been very well supported by analysis and experiment after experiment, but we can't know for with absolute certainty that universal constants are either universal or constant. As far as we can tell, they are, but who knows what happens on the other side of the universe?

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:02 pm 
Heh, what are you saying Jerm, scientists need to take it all on faith? :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:23 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
Madcat wrote:
Heh, what are you saying Jerm, scientists need to take it all on faith? :)


Apparently someone else didn't read anything I wrote, either.

Scientists accept these values for these constants because so far that's what the evidence and experimentation has shown repeatedly.

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:14 pm 
My trusty E-Metre detects a large concentration of Thetans in this thread
DANGER WILL ROBINSON

... okay enough of that, yup Scientology has little to do with science, it means "The Study of Knowledge" whatever that means....

speaking of creationists... bah

Scientists have to accept some things on faith but generally they're scrutinized with the Scientific Method before any credible scientist should even think of taking it as what actually happens.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:27 pm 
Attilla wrote:
Scientists have to accept some things on faith ...


Such as?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:30 pm 
well they have to accept their theory's on faith to themselves that they are right, before it has been proven
it all depends on your definition of faith


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:40 pm 
Good scientists question everything and accept nothing as proven. All theories are tenative.

And for the definition of faith that this discussion is using...
http://zoo.nightstar.net/viewtopic.php?t=9966


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:44 am 
I dunno if what I'm about to do is called "Devil's Advocacy", or just being a total jerk, but I'd like to add a few thoughts...

Does it count as faith if a scientist trusts implicitly in his perceptions of reality? That the hard tested evidence tested logically and is real.

(...yes, I'm aware that peer review can substantiate a perception of reality. Naturally, at that point, I'd bring up the idea of either shared hallucinaiton, colleagues not being too trustworthy, etc. Either way this is idle curiousity, primarily).

What I mean is (and I'm sorry if this sounds odd) we tend towards taking our reality around us for granted. What if it's not what we think?

Does it count as faith if a person accepts his rational world around him as real, without any evidence for or against it? Insanity <u>could</u> be considered a different perception of reality after all... if taken from a certain point of view.

Again, just curious to see what is thought on this ....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:15 pm 
Keradon wrote:
I dunno if what I'm about to do is called "Devil's Advocacy", or just being a total jerk, but I'd like to add a few thoughts...

Does it count as faith if a scientist trusts implicitly in his perceptions of reality? That the hard tested evidence tested logically and is real.

(...yes, I'm aware that peer review can substantiate a perception of reality. Naturally, at that point, I'd bring up the idea of either shared hallucinaiton, colleagues not being too trustworthy, etc. Either way this is idle curiousity, primarily).

What I mean is (and I'm sorry if this sounds odd) we tend towards taking our reality around us for granted. What if it's not what we think?

Does it count as faith if a person accepts his rational world around him as real, without any evidence for or against it? Insanity <u>could</u> be considered a different perception of reality after all... if taken from a certain point of view.

Again, just curious to see what is thought on this ....


Well, we can't prove we're not in the Matrix. But, from a practical point of view, we have to assume the reality we see is real. We can never prove it, but since we have no way to study the possibility, it's a neccessary assumption - without it, no reasoning is possible.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:46 pm 
sun tzu wrote:
Well, we can't prove we're not in the Matrix. But, from a practical point of view, we have to assume the reality we see is real. We can never prove it, but since we have no way to study the possibility, it's a neccessary assumption - without it, no reasoning is possible.


Yeah, that's pretty much what I see too.

(And on a further note:... I was actually trying to keep the Matrix out of this. :cry: )

Let's add something else to the equation then. You have your perception of reality, but then there are other's who see things differently. Say you start talking with someone who's view of reality clashes with your own, but then you suddenly start seeing that alternate view of reality.

Say for example: A scientist and a faith healer. (Just to bring this topic back to a theological perspective.)

Now, for the sake of the example, say that the faith healer has actually done faith healing, and can demonstrate it many times over. The scientist befriends him, and then gets to see his ability work over and over again.

In the scientist's world view, faith healing is an impossibility. Something that cannot be defined, tested, or otherwise explained in a simple fashion. However, he witnesses the impossible done in repetition.

Do you think he...

a.) ...convinces himself he was hallucinating, or was tricked/conned somehow? And convinces himself that he should either stop associating with the faith healer, or expose the healer for what he is?

b.) ...attempts to further test what he saw to make sure it's genuine? And then present this to the scientific community, possibly facing ridicule from his peers, who believe similarly in the 'rational' view of faith healing?

c.) ...does something not listed above? If so, what do you think he does and why?

My point is: What do you think someone (scientist or whoever), would do if their world view, which they accepted faithfully as real, was partially challenged?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:51 pm 
Quote:
And on a further note:... I was actually trying to keep the Matrix out of this. Crying or Very sad

Sorry...Most well-known example.

Quote:
Say for example: A scientist and a faith healer. (Just to bring this topic back to a theological perspective.)

Now, for the sake of the example, say that the faith healer has actually done faith healing, and can demonstrate it many times over. The scientist befriends him, and then gets to see his ability work over and over again.

In the scientist's world view, faith healing is an impossibility. Something that cannot be defined, tested, or otherwise explained in a simple fashion. However, he witnesses the impossible done in repetition.

Do you think he...

a.) ...convinces himself he was hallucinating, or was tricked/conned somehow? And convinces himself that he should either stop associating with the faith healer, or expose the healer for what he is?

b.) ...attempts to further test what he saw to make sure it's genuine? And then present this to the scientific community, possibly facing ridicule from his peers, who believe similarly?

c.) ...does something not listed above? If so, what do you think he does and why?


I've said it before and I'll say it again: Science is the rules according to which the Universe works by definition. If faith-healing is real, then the rules that govern it are, by definition, science. A good scientist would study the phenomenon, and then, if he was talented enough, would try to come up with and test a theory to explain it. And if that theory states, say, the existence of God...It would still be a scientific theory.

Quote:
My point is: What do you think someone (scientist or whoever), would do if their world view, which they accepted faithfully as real, was partially challenged?

Hm...I don't know.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:24 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
Keradon wrote:
My point is: What do you think someone (scientist or whoever), would do if their world view, which they accepted faithfully as real, was partially challenged?


Analyze the challenge and, assuming they were intellectually honest, if it required a change of their world view, they'd change it.

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:18 pm 
Keradon wrote:

Say for example: A scientist and a faith healer. (Just to bring this topic back to a theological perspective.)

Now, for the sake of the example, say that the faith healer has actually done faith healing, and can demonstrate it many times over. The scientist befriends him, and then gets to see his ability work over and over again.

In the scientist's world view, faith healing is an impossibility. Something that cannot be defined, tested, or otherwise explained in a simple fashion. However, he witnesses the impossible done in repetition.



In the world of science 'faith-healing' is not impossible. It's just never been demonstrated. Oops... maybe it has.
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/01/14/science.mind.reut/index.html

And guess what? Science and scientists can accept that.

jeremiahsmith wrote:
Analyze the challenge and, assuming they were intellectually honest, if it required a change of their world view, they'd change it.

And thats exactly what happened in this case. Are you and your faith as capable of accepting new evidence and theories?


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