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Author Topic: Religion- Oh no not that again  (Read 24638 times)

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Offline Zakharra

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #125 on: April 09, 2012, 12:33:38 AM »
Quote
Sorry if this answer displeases you, but it's my honest response.  Believing in Christianity does not make it true.  It's just true, whether you or I believe in it.

 But I don't believe in it. I see too many flaws and holes in it to be believable. Just because you say and believe it's true doesn't mean it is though. To say otherwise

 
Quote
So, to answer your question, that's the "lie" I was referring to, the whole problem with all human life:  we were made for a specific purpose, but then we made a mistake and became broken and unable to fulfill that purpose.  In my opinion (and the opinion of certain other Christians), that fundamental flaw within each of us causes all kinds of fucked-up problems, and in particular, it blinds us to the truth about life, about God, about our purpose in life.

We look around and see a too-often-unfair world, and the best evidence of our senses and faculties (science, logic) tells us that there is no God, and we can only trust in ourselves or in each other, and our purpose in life is whatever we choose it to be (if we're lucky enough to be able to choose).

Christianity says those are all lies.  The world is fair, not unfair, despite the undeniable, overwhelming evidence of our senses that tells us otherwise.  There is a God with whom we were meant to be, and that's our purpose, our only purpose, really.

 I cannot call provable science and logic a lie. If you believe that, then you are sitting in a lie, looking at a lie and typing on a lie to reply in a lie. (sitting on a chair, looking at a monitor, typing on a keyboard to reply on an online chat forum.)  All lies if I am reading what you posted correctly.

 What about the history of the world before Christ? Before the old Testament was written? Is that a lie? We've been able to document about 7,000 years or so before AD fairly reliably. And even farther than that by carbon dating and finding  ancient sites were people lived in the Stone Age. Clear back to the last Ice Age. Then there's the dinosaurs.  Are those lies too?



Online Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #126 on: April 09, 2012, 01:31:25 AM »
Logic does not necessarily lead to truth and provable science is not necessarily true.  A conclusion can be logically valid and still not true.  Science has had “provable” conclusions that are false before as well.  In fact science is regularly changing and altering findings, which people exclaim is part of the genius of science.  Therefore, both logic and science can and often are false. 

As for logic being default, that actually makes no sense.  Something is logical because the logic used to reach the conclusion is valid.  Nothing is logical by default simply because they are tested against reality.  Logic has little to do with testing and more to do with a process of thought and that process being considered valid.  People once more get logic confused with truth.  Logic is judged as being valid or invalid, not true or false.

Science does not necessarily attempt to get rid of the subjective.  There is both subjective and objective data in scientific experiments, along with subjective and objective studies.  Often time subjective studies are what lead toward and develop theories that are later tested objectively.  Many times a researcher will lay out their own personal bias and explain in detail the conditions from which they viewed an event so that their perception is taken into account with further research.  Science does not attempt to remove the subjective, but simply to highlight the subjective so that others can take that into account.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #127 on: April 09, 2012, 02:25:50 AM »

1. Logic is a requirement for any belief. As I've said several times throughout this thread. Belief is a reaction to evidence. You can't just believe something without the evidence to back it up.

2. I'm open to any and all ideas. I do not deign to claim that I know everything, because I definitely don't. However, I don't just accept anything. I require everything go through a logical filter, otherwise you can let in an awful lot of false ideas.

1. Why? Belief is thinking something is true, without having definite proof. The whole reason of belief is not having the evidence to back it up. You can have reasonable assumption, but once you have definite proof belief is no longer required as you have knowledge. If people only believed in what they could prove, we'd all still be living in tents alongside caves, and stalking mammoths with pointy sticks. Scientific research is based on believing stuff and having no evidence, just like any faith is. The point with many faiths is that they still believe in things that have been proven false. Not all religious people of course, but a lot do.

2. Logic filters. Great theory, suck in practice. What you consider logical is based on your own experiences and those of people around you. Therefor people who have experienced things other people might call supernatural, will find the happening of these events quite logical. take the example of deja vu. Some scientists, and so called logical thinkers write this off as a discrepancy between the information processing between the two eyes. However I have had situations in which I described a precise situation to other people way before the event happened. Is this supernatural? I do not believe so, as it has happened to me on a few occasions, and it happens to people I know as well. Now I'm not asking you to believe what I say, I'm just saying that when someone comes up to me and says this has happened to me, my logic filter will not stop me from believing them as it's quite logical to me, even though it might not be to you.

In the same sense, people may find the story of Jesus Christ logical, or believe that Muhamed was given the Quran by angels while sleeping in a cave. There's no reason not to find any of this illogical. You may believe it untrue, but you cannot prove it untrue. But wait, by your own statement, doesn't that mean you cannot believe it untrue?

Offline DeMalachine

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #128 on: April 09, 2012, 07:09:22 AM »
Logic does not necessarily lead to truth and provable science is not necessarily true.  A conclusion can be logically valid and still not true.  Science has had “provable” conclusions that are false before as well.  In fact science is regularly changing and altering findings, which people exclaim is part of the genius of science.  Therefore, both logic and science can and often are false. 

As for logic being default, that actually makes no sense.  Something is logical because the logic used to reach the conclusion is valid.  Nothing is logical by default simply because they are tested against reality.  Logic has little to do with testing and more to do with a process of thought and that process being considered valid.  People once more get logic confused with truth.  Logic is judged as being valid or invalid, not true or false.

Science does not necessarily attempt to get rid of the subjective.  There is both subjective and objective data in scientific experiments, along with subjective and objective studies.  Often time subjective studies are what lead toward and develop theories that are later tested objectively.  Many times a researcher will lay out their own personal bias and explain in detail the conditions from which they viewed an event so that their perception is taken into account with further research.  Science does not attempt to remove the subjective, but simply to highlight the subjective so that others can take that into account.

When assessing something within a logical framework, then the conclusions reached by testing it against reality are held to be logical. Now, it is fair to say that in its purest sense, science deals not so much with absolutes as conditions of probability. Many of these conditions - such as the the curvature of spacetime, the second law of thermodynamics and the result of 4 when one adds 2 and 2 - have conditions of such high probability as to be effectively true. The very fact that a scientific theory must be potentially falsifiable is fundamental to establishing the theory as being logically consistent. If this condition were not there, we would assume it entirely reasonable to validate any hypotheses - such as the idea that we are all actually living in a vast matrix style virtual reality, or that we and our memories all blinked into existence five minutes ago, or that Russell's teapot truly is in orbit around the earth - in the face of being completely unable to discern which ones are true and which are not. In which case, the whole system becomes logically inconsistent, because mutual exclusivities (such as a biblical God creating our observed reality vs a computer creating it) can somehow both be true at the same time. In other words, all nonsenses are rendered equal.

The fact, as you point out, that many scientific theories have been altered or discarded in the face of new evidence does not make science as a discipline logically inconsistent. In fact quite the opposite, as again, it shows how any premise can be potentially falsified by contrary data; it is in the resisting of that contrary data where we find illogical systems - such as various religious ideas and woo - taking root. Once again, mutually exclusive ideas flourish, all nonsenses are rendered equal, and we learn precisely...nothing.

To say that logic is is more to do with what is valid and invalid as opposed to true or false is to confuse the validity of the system with the conclusions drawn. 2+2=4 is logically true; the system that led to this conclusion (by way of, say, taking two beans, adding another two, and finding four - and so on and so forth) is logically valid, in that it has been sufficiently tested against reality to make it so. In fact, in many formal logical calculi, 'true' and 'false' statements serve as operators.

Science always attempts to get rid of the subjective wherever possible when a theory is in formulation. Yes, subjective viewpoints are taken into account, but only in order to quantify them in the hope of removing them. If a researcher should highlight the subjective for others to assess, it is only to offer the cautionary elements that need to be taken into account when developing a theory. As I said before, science is not a perfect system, as the subjective human component is always there; but it does seek to establish the objective by all possible means, and as such, remains the best method we have of understanding how things really are.

It is indeed the case that many areas of scientific study grew out of the subjective - take such things as alchemy, for instance, and astrology (both of which were imbued with a form magical thought that satisfied the human desire to find poetical correspondences in nature: for example, that lead is somehow more mystically 'base' than gold, simply because gold is shinier and more expensive - as was the case with alchemy - and that the cycle of the stars must find some similarly cyclical reflection in a human lifetime). Both these pursuits led directly to chemistry and astronomy, and perhaps more indirectly to physics and cosmology. As you can see, the latter ideas are more objective refinements of the former; and it is notable that these latter refinements have demonstrated a great deal more about how the universe works than the systems that preceded them. After all, if alchemy and astrology - with all their subjective components - were all that, then why the need for these later developments?

Scientific research is based on believing stuff and having no evidence, just like any faith is.

The incorrectness of this statement is extreme. There's plenty of other contributions from other members here addressing why evidence is vitally important to science.

Everything

I'm afraid I can no longer address your points without descending into the kind of abject mockery liable to get me banned. Henceforth, my stance as regards your ideas is a firm 'no comment'.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 07:46:48 AM by DeMalachine »

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #129 on: April 09, 2012, 08:06:53 AM »
If you will allow me a terrible analogy; a quote from Michael Jordan taken completely out of context that I believe is relevant.

"You may only make 50% of the free throws you try, but you miss 100% of the ones you don't try."

To clean up the analogy a bit, let us say that making a free throw is the truth.  Let us further say that standing in front of the basket and aiming at the basket is science.  Are you suggesting we discredit this strategy because it only hits the mark 50% of the time?  And you want to further suggest we adopt a new strategy by standing in the bleachers and not aim at the basket?  And further, you want to suggest we are making the basket despite ever actually making the basket because it feels right?

You are free to remain in the bleachers and lob balls in whatever direction you want to your heart's content.  But do not expect to get picked up by the NBA.

Offline Sabby

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #130 on: April 09, 2012, 08:12:08 AM »
A strangely fitting analogy for organized religion...

Offline DeMalachine

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #131 on: April 09, 2012, 08:13:32 AM »
If you will allow me a terrible analogy; a quote from Michael Jordan taken completely out of context that I believe is relevant.

"You may only make 50% of the free throws you try, but you miss 100% of the ones you don't try."

To clean up the analogy a bit, let us say that making a free throw is the truth.  Let us further say that standing in front of the basket and aiming at the basket is science.  Are you suggesting we discredit this strategy because it only hits the mark 50% of the time?  And you want to further suggest we adopt a new strategy by standing in the bleachers and not aim at the basket?  And further, you want to suggest we are making the basket despite ever actually making the basket because it feels right?

You are free to remain in the bleachers and lob balls in whatever direction you want to your heart's content.  But do not expect to get picked up by the NBA.

That, in fact, is a bloody excellent analogy!

The scientific process is not a perfect system. But it's a damn sight better than any others we can conceive of.

Online Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #132 on: April 09, 2012, 08:49:20 AM »
Well, to an extent the statement is true.  Experimentation begins with a simple statement, a statement of what a researcher believes will happen under certain conditions.   The hypothesis is formed and is essentially an educated guess.  An experiment is then done to either reject the null hypothesis or accept the null.  Yet the original hypothesis is still a guess as to what will happen.  The experiment is meant to provide evidence to support that hypothesis or belief.  Time, money and effort goes into this hypothesis as others have faith in the researcher’s belief.  There is no actual evidence though until the experiment is performed.  So at the core of science is a belief with lack of evidence.  The scientific method and methods of research are designed to gather evidence, to provide a framework that others can review and critique in regard to the evidence.

I do wonder if there is an understanding that there are forms of subjective measurement, such as surveys and questionnaires.  Science does not disregard subjective, but instead makes tools to measure the subjective information.  Subjective information is important and taken into account in various ways, but subjective information cannot truly be measured through direct observation.  For instance, pain is a subjective form of information and so a researcher must develop a tool to measure pain.  Science cannot eliminate the subjective because often times the subjective is what is being studied.  My feeling is that you are attempting to discuss researcher bias, which goes far beyond simply just subjective perception.

There are types of research that utilize subjective perception in another fashion.  This might be gathering eye witness reports to an event, such as a nuclear blast to study the effects of the blast.  Researchers might interview victims of rape to understand trauma or interview veterans of a particular battle to understand the stress of combat.  That information can then lead to a hypothesis, once more an educated guess.  From there experimentation can begin.

 I am not sure where the alchemy thing played into this sort of area.  Not quite sure how to respond to that.  Also not sure how to respond to the basketball thing either.  Not sure if I was meant to in truth.  To my knowledge nobody is arguing not to use science at this point in time.

Once more, I think there is some confusion about the idea of logic.  Logic does not need experimentation to be shown as valid.  Logic is an exercise of thought.  A = C, B=C, A=B.  That is a logical proof.  There is no experimentation there, there is no testing against reality.  Two premise are proposed (A = C and B=C) and then a valid conclusion is reached (A = B).  Socrates typically showed people how their logic lead to poor judgments and lead to statements that they did not find to be true.  Logic does not have to be true, logic just has to be valid.  There is a big distinction here.

For instance, my car is a Honda.  All Honda are blue.  My car is blue. 

We all know that determining the color of my car by the simple statement of the car company does not work.  The statement is valid though, just not true.  Were I to turn that into a professor in a course on logic, he would consent to the validity of my statement.  Hopefully he would not consent to the conclusion being true.  The truth of the statement relies on the premise being accepted.  There in lies the problem of living a “logical” life.  The premise must be accepted and a person accepts and rejects a premise based on their beliefs, past experiences and observations.  Nobody ever believes they are being illogical or irrational. 

Offline vtboy

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #133 on: April 09, 2012, 08:54:24 AM »
I'm glad to try to explain my understanding of Christianity further, but as I said before, you may get far more helpful religious insights from other people, Christian or non-. 

Also, I'm not having a go at you either ;) but I do think that if Christianity's claims rankle you, then you're on exactly the right track, not the wrong one -- you're getting a clear picture of things.  Other Christians may not see it that way.

So anyway, here's the thumbnail sketch, as concise as I can manage it.  (Probably nothing you haven't heard in a million other places, but since you asked.)

Christianity claims that there is a perfect and all-powerful God who made people and everything else in the universe.  People were literally made to be with him [sorry, he's male in a sense, won't go into that here though] -- but then certain people disobeyed one of his rules.  From that point on, people became imperfect, so they couldn't be with God anymore -- couldn't fulfill their very purpose for being -- because the perfect God cannot be with imperfect people.  (I guess you could say that's his choice, if he's all-powerful, and that seems like an unfair and unkind choice.  I would sorta agree with you.)

So, to answer your question, that's the "lie" I was referring to, the whole problem with all human life:  we were made for a specific purpose, but then we made a mistake and became broken and unable to fulfill that purpose.  In my opinion (and the opinion of certain other Christians), that fundamental flaw within each of us causes all kinds of fucked-up problems, and in particular, it blinds us to the truth about life, about God, about our purpose in life.

We look around and see a too-often-unfair world, and the best evidence of our senses and faculties (science, logic) tells us that there is no God, and we can only trust in ourselves or in each other, and our purpose in life is whatever we choose it to be (if we're lucky enough to be able to choose).

Christianity says those are all lies.  The world is fair, not unfair, despite the undeniable, overwhelming evidence of our senses that tells us otherwise.  There is a God with whom we were meant to be, and that's our purpose, our only purpose, really.

Then you get to Jesus, who provided a specific way for people to get rid of their imperfection and therefore be able to fulfill their original purpose and be with the perfect God again.

I see that I've run on too long already and left out a handful of key points.  I'm hesitant to keep talking about all this only because most of it is the same Christian teaching that almost everyone has heard a million times, and I really don't want to convince anyone of anything -- I'm not out to proselytize, although I do believe Christianity to be the truth, and the only one in fact.

On the other hand, I don't want to bore anyone any more than I already have (... nor is it my intention to piss people off, but on the other hand, I think the only reasonable response to certain parts of Christianity is to get pissed off.  For example, saying that one religion is true and others are false ought to piss people off.  It does me.  It offends me, upsets me even.  But I believe it anyway, because I think it's true).

Anyway ... if you want the rest of the thumbnail -- actually there isn't too much more, but there's a bit more -- if you want the rest, just ask again here, or PM me, and I can tell you what I know and believe, and you can take it for what it's worth.  My apologies to anyone whom I've already angered with anything here.

Oh wait, there's other questions.  (I see I've really stepped in it now!  Geez.  I know there are other Christians out there, so anybody who wants to take over the explanations is welcome to, because you can probably do it better than me and less offensively.)

Sorry if this answer displeases you, but it's my honest response.  Believing in Christianity does not make it true.  It's just true, whether you or I believe in it.

Hey, I got nothing against pixies!  :)  More seriously, though -- I will not try to tell you, as some other Christians might, that Christianity will necessarily make anyone feel good or have a successful, prosperous life.  It does, however, allow anyone who believes it to fulfill their whole purpose for existing. 

Also ... (Okay, I hope you actually read the stuff above before reading this, and sorry this is taking so long, but I'm a bit tired and this isn't easy stuff to talk about.)  Believing in Jesus and what he did for the sake of humanity allows people to literally be with God, immediately in spirit, and eventually in the so-called, rather-poorly-named "afterlife," which goes on forever.  Nobody ever really dies, Christian or not -- our bodies change, but we keep going.  Sounds crazy, I know.

Not exactly, but you're close, in my opinion.  Other Christians will defend the "logic" of their beliefs in very complicated and detailed ways, but I don't want to do that, because I don't agree with most of those arguments.  I consider Christianity to be opposed to human logic, and that's really the reason I choose to believe it, however contradictory that sounds.

First off, I'm sorry to have irked you; that's really not my intention, but at the same time, as I said above, if some of these ideas piss you off, then I think you're actually getting the point.  I'm not saying you're "supposed to" do anything or that you "have to believe" anything.  People are going to believe what they believe, I suppose, and most other people's beliefs are probably less controversial than mine, maybe.  However, I'm suggesting exactly the opposite of what you said there -- Christianity says that it is reality, and our initial impression otherwise is the actual fantasy, the actual lie.

Oh poo.  Should I reply more?  I guess I'll try and assume that anybody who doesn't want to read all this will skip it or skim it anyway, right?

See, um, it doesn't make sense.  That's what I'm saying.  I agree with you, I'm afraid.

Well, almost.  First of all, I'm not doing a good job of representing Christianity, so if anybody wants to start believing anything, please look into Christianity and then believe it, not me.  Secondly, perhaps the argument will sound a bit more palatable if I add that Christianity gives a person total freedom and allows them to fulfill their whole purpose in life.  But if that pisses you off or anything, sorry.  ???  I'm trying to be nice even though I'm saying some not-nice things that I believe are true.

Because it's the truth and they're not.  Some other religions do claim to be exclusively true, but not all.  I wouldn't try to prove anyone else's religion was wrong.  Sorry these answers aren't nicer but I'm trying to be honest with you.

Sorry Ironwolf, I'm gonna stop here and post this in the hopes that one or two people might read the whole thing.  (I respect your viewpoints as I understand them, but I do mean the things I'm saying, and I don't share some of your views.)

You've provided a precis of what you believe, but no explanation of why you believe it (not that you owe one). I suspect the reason for your belief is simply that you like the Jesus story. In a tolerant, pluralist society (i.e., a society that differs markedly from the ones most other believers in the same story have attempted to impose, with varying degrees of success, over the last two millennia), that is reason enough.

Here are a few of the reasons I consider the story a bit of lunacy:

1)  The perfect and all-powerful creator.

The Abrahamic religions tell us that, in addition to being omnipotent and omniscient, god is timeless. These religions also tell us that our world had a beginning, and that it is temporal and finite. It follows from this that god's realm is necessarily marked by change - a pre/post-creation divide in eternity, if you will. Once we allow change into the mix, however, we are marking time, and god's realm ceases to be timeless. The same conundrum necessarily flows from god's supposed interventions into our world (i.e., all of god's interventions recounted in scripture, most famously Jesus's walkabout, mark time).   

2) The fall from grace or, as you put it, "certain people disobeyed one of his rules [and f]rom that point on, people became imperfect."

Putting aside for the moment the improbability of the rest of the story of Genesis, does this really make sense to you? If humankind had been perfect before Eve's fruit poaching, what could possibly have impelled her to violate god's rather simple prohibition of this conduct? It seems to me that, if Adam and Eve had been perfect (my wife is perfect, but I am not inclined to accept that the rest of the species shares this trait), they would have known enough to piss off the big guy. Even more fundamental, being all-powerful and all-knowing, god could certainly have designed the species in such a way that rule violation would have been impossible. Does not his his failure to do so put his own perfection in doubt? And, if he intentionally designed us with the flaw, and knew it would eventually lead us to stray (which seems to be the necessary implication of omniscience), why were his panties all twisted over the fruit picking thing? It couldn't have been much of a surprise.

Another mystery, I suppose.

3) Original sin.

Well, this just strikes me as downright unfair. I didn't pick the fucking apple. I don't even like apples. Yet, absent my acceptance of the Jesus story (which my god-given reason tells me is rather improbable), I get punished for my many-times removed parents' transgression? Doesn't this run counter to the fairly widespread notion that moral responsibility turns on matters of individual choice and behavior? This is a bit like Mrs. Manson, my third grade teacher, punishing the whole class when Dennis shot a spitball at the back of her head. I didn't like the idea then, and don't care much for it now. And, I doubt it turned me into a better person. 

4) Absolution by acceptance of another's death on my behalf.

Okay, I'm guilty of something, even if I don't know what, and, for that guilt, I deserve to be nailed to a cross. Some other poor soul takes the rap. I am absolved of responsibility. Well, I guess if I can be vicariously dirty, I can be vicariously cleansed. But, again, the idea that god just wanted some whipping boy, not only for my vicarious sins but for my personal ones, and didn't really give much of a hoot who took the strokes seems a bit depraved.

5) The requirement of blind faith after the age of miracles.

It seems god has not treated us all equally when it comes to his insistence that, notwithstanding profound doubts (which are, after all, the product of the mechanism he supposedly designed), we must accept this unlikely story or suffer terrible torments. The leap would not have been all that difficult, of course, for those who allegedly witnessed with their own eyes and ears the dead climbing out of tombs, multitudes being fed with a couple of cans of sardines, voices coming from flaming shrubbery, and the like.

David Hume noted that, when when we are relying on other peoples' accounts of unfamiliar events, those that are most distant from us in time and space are least worthy of our confidence. All the sleight-of-hand stuff in scripture took place long ago and far away. I haven't seen any of it and, among the hundreds of people I have met in my wanderings, I can't think of anyone who claims he or she has (I have seen stuff on the internet about the face of Jesus appearing in the toasted particles on the surface of a grilled cheese sandwich but, for me anyway, that falls a bit short of seeing someone turned into a pillar of salt).

From what I understand we who live today are not much different in our nature from those who lived in the time of miracles. I fail to see the sense in god's denying us the benefit of the concrete proofs he offered our forbears.

6) The final paradox.

If, as scripture tells us, our nature is akin to god's, the thought processes that lead so many of us to reject the Jesus tale (and other apparent myths) must necessarily mirror those of god. What sense does it make then for god to withhold his approval from those who have done no more than to exercise a divine capacity? 


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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #134 on: April 09, 2012, 08:57:41 AM »

1. Logic is a requirement for any belief. As I've said several times throughout this thread. Belief is a reaction to evidence. You can't just believe something without the evidence to back it up.

Might I suggest you look up the dictionary definitions of "faith" and "belief".

be·lief   [bih-leef] noun
1. something believed;  an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
3. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.
4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.


faith   [feyth] noun
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

While you yourself may not possess faith or religious beliefs, others feel differently. The fact that they feel differently does not make them right or wrong or better than you or worse than you. It simply makes them different from you.

Offline Sabby

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #135 on: April 09, 2012, 09:27:22 AM »
Found this really interesting.

Bill Maher on Jesus Camp×

Offline DeMalachine

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #136 on: April 09, 2012, 11:20:45 AM »
Well, to an extent the statement is true.  Experimentation begins with a simple statement, a statement of what a researcher believes will happen under certain conditions.   The hypothesis is formed and is essentially an educated guess.  An experiment is then done to either reject the null hypothesis or accept the null.  Yet the original hypothesis is still a guess as to what will happen.  The experiment is meant to provide evidence to support that hypothesis or belief.  Time, money and effort goes into this hypothesis as others have faith in the researcher’s belief.  There is no actual evidence though until the experiment is performed.  So at the core of science is a belief with lack of evidence.  The scientific method and methods of research are designed to gather evidence, to provide a framework that others can review and critique in regard to the evidence.

No, it doesn't quite work like this. A hypothesis (in effect, a speculation) is indeed formulated to account for what the researcher believes will happen under certain conditions - it may hold some strong consistency and rationales, but it remains, before testing, as you say, an educated guess. However, it it a mistake to simply think that one experiment is all that is required to establish the veracity of a hypothesis; many, many other experiments need to be performed, in order to establish not only that it the hypothesis accords with reality, but that it is also resistant to various methods of disprovablity. For example:

Hypothesis: 'Any card I turn over from the top of a deck will be of the suite of diamonds.' (presuming, for the sake of argument, the researcher has observed facts that leads him or her to believe this)

Experiment: the researcher turns over the top card. It is the jack of diamonds.

Now, are you suggesting, on the basis of this one experiment that this makes the hypothesis viable enough to be considered an acceptable model of reality?

You can see here the flaw in the idea that experiment exists only to prove any given hypothesis (please note that I accept that 'proof' is really only applicable in mathematics; I'm simply using the concept here as a more  concise way of saying 'that which is supported by reality'); experiment is there to disprove a hypothesis, and if it resists all possible attempts at disproof, the resultant data is then passed on to other scientists for peer review. Here, the experiments are repeated again and again, by scientists who are not there to support their 'faith' in the in the initial experimenter's 'belief' but to again test the hypothesis against disproof - this is necessary to ensure against any bias on the initial scientist's part. Again, if the hypothesis holds up against the tests, and the data these scientists produce accords with the initial data, then the hypothesis becomes a theory. (There's more to it than that, but that, in essence, is the process in a nutshell)

Now, theory, it is true, has often been conflated with the concept of hypotheses or speculation, but a genuine scientific theory must hold to the following principles:

1. That it is supported by whatever facts are available.

2. That any present facts do not falsify it.

3. That it is, however, potentially falsifiable (I've detailed why this is important in my earlier post)

4. That it remains testable.

5. That is has predictive power.

A theory, therefore, is an explanation that is constantly being tested against reality - and the longer it survives these tests, the stronger it becomes, to the point where is reaches such a high state of probability as to be considered effectively true. It is not simply about 'believing' in a hypothesis; it's about offering a model of reality which is constantly tested against the facts as they are observed or emerge. For an example of a good, working theory with a high degree of probability, let's take Evolution by Natural Selection, and see how it accords with the principles outlined above:

1: It is supported by various things such as the fossil record, chromosomal fusion, mitochondrial DNA, and many other items too numerous to go into here

2: There are none: despite what many creationists say (without testable evidence) the fossil record, for example, clearly delineates a process of simple organisms evolving into more complex ones. We do not have polar bears native to the Sahara desert; likewise, we do not have elephants native to the Arctic circle.

3: As Haldane so bluntly put it: 'the discovery of rabbit fossils in the precambrian.'

4: Every palaentological dig is, in effect, a test of the theory of evolution. Also, Lenski's Long Term E-Coli Evolution Experiment (whcih I'll go into below)

5: Perhaps the trickiest condition to fulfil, in that an enormous number processess contribute to evolution, and that it occurs over a long timescale. However, it is possible to observe it when you have creatures that can span generations within a very short space of time, such as bacteria - as happened with the long term E-coli experiment. To cut a long story short, a number of E-coli populations were separated from an initial culture, to see how they would fare in their own, exclusive micro-environments. Since then, we already have a number of evolutionary adapatations within certain populations. But the most astonishing thing about this experiment was this it disclosed the first seeds of speciation as predicted by the theory: one population suddenly had a massive growth spurt. Why? Because it had evolved the ability to draw energy from a previously undigestible materia (citrates). You can find more about this experiment here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

I hope this demonstrates that by no means could one consider the core of science as being one of 'belief with lack of evidence'. It is, in fact, the opposite: understanding on the basis of evidence.

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I do wonder if there is an understanding that there are forms of subjective measurement, such as surveys and questionnaires.  Science does not disregard subjective, but instead makes tools to measure the subjective information.  Subjective information is important and taken into account in various ways, but subjective information cannot truly be measured through direct observation.  For instance, pain is a subjective form of information and so a researcher must develop a tool to measure pain.  Science cannot eliminate the subjective because often times the subjective is what is being studied.  My feeling is that you are attempting to discuss researcher bias, which goes far beyond simply just subjective perception.

When science utilises tools to measure information that is subjective to someone, it always strives - if both necessary and possible - to do so by objective means. In the case of pain, for example, one could objectively measure the subject's physical response to it - perspiration levels, for instance, the release of stress hormones, rate of respiration, and so on. In most cases, however, it is fair to assume that someone is in pain when they say so, so no tests need to be done. But an objective means to test pain is certainly there, simply by assessing the physical responses of the biology. Besides, if pain were indeed wholly subjective, then how come morphine has such an effect in reducing it?

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There are types of research that utilize subjective perception in another fashion.  This might be gathering eye witness reports to an event, such as a nuclear blast to study the effects of the blast.  Researchers might interview victims of rape to understand trauma or interview veterans of a particular battle to understand the stress of combat.  That information can then lead to a hypothesis, once more an educated guess.  From there experimentation can begin.

Suffice it to say, the police and judiciary strive to attain as much forensic evidence - such as DNA fingerprinting - as possible in a court case; it is not, if ever possible, left solely to eyewitness reports (though it does, admittedly, depend upon the severity of the incident in question). In the case of a nuclear blast, there aren't likely to be any witnessess left. The subjective reports as incurred by trauma situations certainly does help in undestanding the objective circumstances that induce it; however, the science resulting from that must be as objective as possible in nature - and not what people may subjectively make of the information - otherwise it explains very litle and helps very few.

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Once more, I think there is some confusion about the idea of logic.  Logic does not need experimentation to be shown as valid.  Logic is an exercise of thought.  A = C, B=C, A=B.  That is a logical proof.  There is no experimentation there, there is no testing against reality.  Two premise are proposed (A = C and B=C) and then a valid conclusion is reached (A = B).  Socrates typically showed people how their logic lead to poor judgments and lead to statements that they did not find to be true.  Logic does not have to be true, logic just has to be valid.  There is a big distinction here.

For instance, my car is a Honda.  All Honda are blue.  My car is blue. 

We all know that determining the color of my car by the simple statement of the car company does not work.  The statement is valid though, just not true.  Were I to turn that into a professor in a course on logic, he would consent to the validity of my statement.  Hopefully he would not consent to the conclusion being true.  The truth of the statement relies on the premise being accepted.  There in lies the problem of living a “logical” life.  The premise must be accepted and a person accepts and rejects a premise based on their beliefs, past experiences and observations.  Nobody ever believes they are being illogical or irrational.

Well okay - we can all play with logical abstractions when there is no correspondence to reality, and come up with such nonsenses as Xeno's paradox or *shudder* Anselm's ontological argument. However, if your premise is that logic is a poor tool to apply to reality, then I can only ask...what conceptual tool would you propose to replace it with, in order to help better our understanding of reality?


Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #137 on: April 09, 2012, 12:32:53 PM »
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I cannot call provable science and logic a lie. If you believe that, then you are sitting in a lie, looking at a lie and typing on a lie to reply in a lie. (sitting on a chair, looking at a monitor, typing on a keyboard to reply on an online chat forum.)  All lies if I am reading what you posted correctly.

My view is that science and logic are the best tools people have to understand the world around them, probably by a very long stretch.  I think they're almost always right and ought to be taken seriously and studied carefully by any sensible, mature adult.  I also think they are wrong about the single most important thing in life, and they will continue to be wrong, and there are reasons for that too.  Is it possible to use logic to uncover the crucial flaw within logic itself?  To a certain extent, I would say that it is; but ultimately, it's not.

A more general response to several recent posts:  I can't tell you how nice it is to see the amount of self-control and mutual consideration and respect on display by posters here, especially those who strongly disagree with my views.  I'm extremely grateful.  Also it's a huge relief and pleasure to hear a range of views being expressed, rather than everyone lining up on two diametrically opposed sides.

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I'm afraid I can no longer address your points without descending into the kind of abject mockery liable to get me banned. Henceforth, my stance as regards your ideas is a firm 'no comment'.

Okay.  Thanks for the dialog, as much as we were able to have.  If you ever become willing to engage in further civil discussion with me, I'd like to ask you some questions to understand your perspective better, whether in private or in public, here or elsewhere.  I'm genuinely interested.  If not, though, no big deal.

MasterMischief -- I just want to say that I hope you keep attempting to sniff out what's real, question and criticize and be as skeptical and suspicious as you possibly can, even if that process leads you in a totally different direction from Christianity.  Actually, I hope that every person here does those things.  Why?  Well, there are many smart people who disagree about this, but I believe that the truth in life is findable by anyone who doesn't stop looking.

vtboy -- You are a motherfucking genius and I couldn't agree more with many of the things you just said.  ;)  Seriously, I would enjoy discussing these topics a bit further with you, in private or in public, here or elsewhere, if that proposition interests you.  Let me know if it does, or if it doesn't, that's cool too.

Offline vtboy

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #138 on: April 09, 2012, 01:01:07 PM »
I do wonder if there is an understanding that there are forms of subjective measurement, such as surveys and questionnaires.  Science does not disregard subjective, but instead makes tools to measure the subjective information.  Subjective information is important and taken into account in various ways, but subjective information cannot truly be measured through direct observation.  For instance, pain is a subjective form of information and so a researcher must develop a tool to measure pain.  Science cannot eliminate the subjective because often times the subjective is what is being studied.  My feeling is that you are attempting to discuss researcher bias, which goes far beyond simply just subjective perception.

When scientists use questionnaires and surveys to marshal data about subjective phenomena, if they know what they are doing, they should still be studying objective evidence, specifically the reports of those surveyed, which stand in as a surrogate for the subjective variable.

For example, a survey which asks people who claim to suffer from headaches to rate the average intensity of their headache pain on an increasing scale from 1 through 10, would measure objective data -- the numbers those surveyed attach to their subjective experience of pain. If the survey were administered to two sample groups (properly selected), one of which had been given some analgesic medication, and the other a placebo, and the researchers found the mean pain index of the former group lower than that of the latter (assuming statistical significance), they would be justified in saying only the study offered some support for the existence of a relation between use of the medication and a reduced level  in the reported intensity of pain.

Of course, the underlying premise for such an experiment would be that some sort of a direct relationship exists between the subjective experience of the sample subjects and their reports of pain. The premise may or may not be worthy of much confidence. Still, the stuff of the study would be objective evidence.

Online Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #139 on: April 09, 2012, 03:02:39 PM »
Not entirely sure how I implied that the result of a single experiment suddenly becomes the leading framework or theory.  People seem to have a problem understanding what a hypothesis is and what a hypothesis is not.  Vekseid has made a sticky note defining some of the commonly used terms in science, including a hypothesis.  A hypothesis is an educated guess.  That is simply the definition.  A researcher takes something they believe to be true, writes a hypothesis, designs an experiment, performs the experiment and reviews the results.  I do not understand where this leads to crafting a framework for reality.  I gave you the definition of a hypothesis.  Really my statement was that simple.

Science at its core is a single person making a statement of what they believe will happen and then setting out to test if that will happen.  Scientific method, peer view, publication and so on are part of the process to replicate the results.  That does not change that at the core, science is about a single person believing something will work and setting out to test their experiments.  Their belief may be based on observation, but the belief is still just that. 

One cannot directly observe pain.  Pain is not be directly measured or observed.  No matter how pain is quantified, there is no direct method to observe or measure pain.   This means pain is subjective.  If I were to say that an elevation of blood pressure corresponded with the introduction of pain that is still not a measure of pain.  For one that is not necessarily true and on the other this does not provide a measurement for pain.  The statement would have to be something like, for the purpose of this experiment an elevation of the systolic blood pressure by factors of 10 equates to an increase by 1 on the pain scale once the noxious stimuli is introduced.  There is not measure of pain outside of the parameters set by the researcher.  The measurements taken are of blood pressure, not of pain and so is not a direct observation of pain.  This means that pain is subjective.

As for morphine, current JCAHO standards are to ask the patient to rate their pain before administration and 30 minutes after administration to gauge the effect of morphine on their pain level.  This is called a pain assessment and is considered subjective.

Police and judiciary do not operate using the scientific method.  Eyewitness reports are gathered by scientists to understand an event that cannot be directly observed.  By piecing together multiple eye witness reports an understanding of the event can be put together.  For instance, the multitude of survivors of a nuclear blast that were in outlying areas and observed the event can help piece together what happened during the event.  This is also part of scientific research.  Not everything studied is in a petri dish in a lab.

For the last statement, “The truth of the statement relies on the premise being accepted.  Therein lies the problem of living a ‘logical’ life.  The premise must be accepted and a person accepts and rejects a premise based on their beliefs, past experiences and observations.  Nobody ever believes they are being illogical or irrational.” – me

“Of course, the underlying premise for such an experiment would be that some sort of a direct relationship exists between the subjective experience of the sample subjects and their reports of pain. The premise may or may not be worthy of much confidence. Still, the stuff of the study would be objective evidence. “ –vtboy

This makes it subjective, not objective.

Offline YaoiRolePlayTopic starter

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #140 on: April 09, 2012, 03:22:11 PM »
I will attempt to respond to as much as I can, and definitely try to tackle the things addressed directly at me. I probably won't address the comments of the people who's views are most similar to mine such as DeMalachine and vtboy unless there is something in particular I want to comment on. Besides, they say what I want to say and much better than I can myself. So get ready, buckle up. It's sure to be a bumpy ride. ;)

Logic does not necessarily lead to truth and provable science is not necessarily true.  A conclusion can be logically valid and still not true.  Science has had “provable” conclusions that are false before as well.  In fact science is regularly changing and altering findings, which people exclaim is part of the genius of science.  Therefore, both logic and science can and often are false. 

Yes, so you amend it. You change what you think. You don't stay static. If the results contradict what you already thought, you change what you thought. Just because logic misses the mark sometimes doesn't mean you throw the whole goddamned thing out. You simply change the argument. It may not make sense to us, as we are limited by the way we evolved a species, but it still works. Our logic may not work for some things. And that's ok. But it's the only thing we've got to understand the world around us. As I've said before, we can't just toss out the system. It works most of the time so we keep it. If a tree has some dead branches, you don't cut down the whole tree, you trim the branches that are dead.

As for logic being default, that actually makes no sense.  Something is logical because the logic used to reach the conclusion is valid.  Nothing is logical by default simply because they are tested against reality.  Logic has little to do with testing and more to do with a process of thought and that process being considered valid.  People once more get logic confused with truth.  Logic is judged as being valid or invalid, not true or false.

This is true. But logic is a means at getting at the truth. If something is logically possible, it doesn't mean it really does exist, yes, but it does mean that it can exist. If something is logically impossible, however, like a square circle, it can not exist, regardless of what we think. The entire goal of logic is to align our views with reality. Reality is the way it is regardless of what we think, so with logic we attempt to understand the way reality really is.

Science does not necessarily attempt to get rid of the subjective.  There is both subjective and objective data in scientific experiments, along with subjective and objective studies.  Often time subjective studies are what lead toward and develop theories that are later tested objectively.  Many times a researcher will lay out their own personal bias and explain in detail the conditions from which they viewed an event so that their perception is taken into account with further research.  Science does not attempt to remove the subjective, but simply to highlight the subjective so that others can take that into account.

I'm no scientist and I hardly claim to speak for them, but I will say that science does try to remove subjective opinions and biases. Sure someone may test something because of their subjective like for the something, and they may think that they will reach a certain result based on their opinions and biases, but if they get a different result they don't throw a temper tantrum and say that it can't be true because it goes against what they believe. They adjust their opinions accordingly.

1. Why? Belief is thinking something is true, without having definite proof. The whole reason of belief is not having the evidence to back it up. You can have reasonable assumption, but once you have definite proof belief is no longer required as you have knowledge. If people only believed in what they could prove, we'd all still be living in tents alongside caves, and stalking mammoths with pointy sticks. Scientific research is based on believing stuff and having no evidence, just like any faith is. The point with many faiths is that they still believe in things that have been proven false. Not all religious people of course, but a lot do.

I use the word belief in a different way as I've already defined it. Belief, for me, is a reaction to evidence. Whenever I use that word or I make a statement starting with "I believe" that's what I mean. I don't like getting it confused with the idea of thinking something is true without evidence.

In science, you don't just believe things without evidence. That is the very opposite of science. Science examines the data and forms hypothesis and theories to fit the data. It's full of questioning. If you were a scientist and you believed something without evidence for it, you would get picked apart by other scientists, especially if you used that belief as a basis for an argument. It's not based in reality if you have a belief without evidence. You need that evidence first before you can say that something is true.

2. Logic filters. Great theory, suck in practice. What you consider logical is based on your own experiences and those of people around you. Therefor people who have experienced things other people might call supernatural, will find the happening of these events quite logical. take the example of deja vu. Some scientists, and so called logical thinkers write this off as a discrepancy between the information processing between the two eyes. However I have had situations in which I described a precise situation to other people way before the event happened. Is this supernatural? I do not believe so, as it has happened to me on a few occasions, and it happens to people I know as well. Now I'm not asking you to believe what I say, I'm just saying that when someone comes up to me and says this has happened to me, my logic filter will not stop me from believing them as it's quite logical to me, even though it might not be to you.

Logic is not based on what we think. Logic is objective as in it is the way it is regardless of what we think. That's what I mean by a logic filter. For example 1+1=2. That is logically sound. It works. Now if I think 1+1=3, that is not logical. It does not work in the real world, regardless of what I think. I've tried to make this point over and over again but people just keep rehashing the same argument.

In the same sense, people may find the story of Jesus Christ logical, or believe that Muhamed was given the Quran by angels while sleeping in a cave. There's no reason not to find any of this illogical. You may believe it untrue, but you cannot prove it untrue. But wait, by your own statement, doesn't that mean you cannot believe it untrue?

They have to prove that it is logical. They can't just say it's logical and than leave it at that. There has to be proof for it, especially such events that are so unlikely to occur in the real world. I do not "believe it untrue" at all. I lack belief in these stories. That is, I don't believe what people tell me when they say that these stories are true. And there's no need for me to prove it untrue. That is the responsibility of the believer to prove it is true. It's called the burden of proof. Those who assert something are responsible for backing up that assertion. For example, if I said that I saw flying elephants in the sky, no one would believe me because I haven't provided proof. But if I were to say that there are flying elephants in the sky, and you can't prove they weren't there. That would be religion. Religion attempts to shift the burden of proof on the one who doesn't believe their stories and that just does not work logically. You can't just make a claim and expect everyone to believe it.

If you will allow me a terrible analogy; a quote from Michael Jordan taken completely out of context that I believe is relevant.

"You may only make 50% of the free throws you try, but you miss 100% of the ones you don't try."

To clean up the analogy a bit, let us say that making a free throw is the truth.  Let us further say that standing in front of the basket and aiming at the basket is science.  Are you suggesting we discredit this strategy because it only hits the mark 50% of the time?  And you want to further suggest we adopt a new strategy by standing in the bleachers and not aim at the basket?  And further, you want to suggest we are making the basket despite ever actually making the basket because it feels right?

You are free to remain in the bleachers and lob balls in whatever direction you want to your heart's content.  But do not expect to get picked up by the NBA.

This is bloody brilliant. It works extremely well. Only religion would stand in the bleachers throwing balls at the wall and saying that they are making the baskets and than expect everyone else to do the same.

Might I suggest you look up the dictionary definitions of "faith" and "belief".

be·lief   [bih-leef] noun
1. something believed;  an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
3. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.
4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.


faith   [feyth] noun
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

While you yourself may not possess faith or religious beliefs, others feel differently. The fact that they feel differently does not make them right or wrong or better than you or worse than you. It simply makes them different from you.

Yes, belief is commonly defined that way, but I've already covered this further up so I'll not repeat myself.

And yes. I've said this many many times throughout this thread, but I'm going to say it one more time as big and loud as I can possibly make it just to get it to sink in cause I'm tired of repeating myself.

REALITY IS THE WAY IT IS REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYONE THINKS.

This means that someone is wrong. When everyone has conflicting ideas about the way the world is, someone has to be wrong. One person could be wrong, both people could be wrong, everyone in the entire world could be wrong, but someone is wrong. More often than not we're wrong infact since there's so much we don't know. As for being better, obviously one thing or another does not make anyone better than anyone else. Better is a subjective anyway, it doesn't have any basis in the real world.

A more general response to several recent posts:  I can't tell you how nice it is to see the amount of self-control and mutual consideration and respect on display by posters here, especially those who strongly disagree with my views.  I'm extremely grateful.  Also it's a huge relief and pleasure to hear a range of views being expressed, rather than everyone lining up on two diametrically opposed sides.

You have no idea how difficult it is to keep my self-control. >_>

One cannot directly observe pain.  Pain is not be directly measured or observed.  No matter how pain is quantified, there is no direct method to observe or measure pain.

Smarter people than me are giving you better answers to what you're saying, but I wanted to chime in here really quick. Pain is not subjective. We can measure it because it is a brain state. We can see the different brain states and the chemicals involved in their workings. We can observe and quantify those workings objectively.

As for everything else, everyone else who have views close to mine are doing a much better job than me answering the comments. But I leave you with this:


Online Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #141 on: April 09, 2012, 03:51:22 PM »
Alright Yaoi, what is the unit of measure for pain? 

Offline ColdBloodedJellyDoughnut

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #142 on: April 09, 2012, 04:04:47 PM »
As someone who has been watching this thread for a while, I must interject here. While you have been very methodical and well thought out in your responses up until now, Pumpkin Seeds, that reply was a bit beligerent. I am fairly sure there is a measure of pain, at least shown in the intensity of neural responses. Yaoi is not a scientist, just as you are not a theologian. Let's stay civil, shall we? and not force people to become the spokespeople of an entire field of study. This is a thread on an internet forum and there needs to be some perspective on that account.

On another note, I wish to add something from my thoughts. You speak of religion, faith and belief as connected. However, one may have belief and faith and not attribute that to any specific system of belief. In a similar way, one may be seen to attach themselves to a particular religion, without any real faith.

Offline DeMalachine

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #143 on: April 09, 2012, 04:05:29 PM »
Not entirely sure how I implied that the result of a single experiment suddenly becomes the leading framework or theory.  People seem to have a problem understanding what a hypothesis is and what a hypothesis is not.  Vekseid has made a sticky note defining some of the commonly used terms in science, including a hypohttp://elliquiy.com/forums/Themes/default/images/bbc/italicize.gifthesis.  A hypothesis is an educated guess.  That is simply the definition.  A researcher takes something they believe to be true, writes a hypothesis, designs an experiment, performs the experiment and reviews the results.  I do not understand where this leads to crafting a framework for reality.  I gave you the definition of a hypothesis.  Really my statement was that simple.

Ummm - no. You said in your previous post that science at its core is 'belief based on lack of evidence.' And to illustrate this, decreed that science rests on hypotheses. However, you have clearly not understood the transition from a hypothesis to a scientific theory - which is an explantion supported by the evidences, validated by the necessarily numerous tests it has been subject too, and gains high probability through longevity and resistance to subsequent disproof. For example, you do not hear of scientists talking about the hypothesis of general relativity, or the hypothesis of evolution through natural selection; this is because they are theories which have stood the test of reality. Also, you plainly stated in your previous post that 'The hypothesis is formed and is essentially an educated guess.  An experiment is then done to either reject the null hypothesis or accept the null.' Now you stated 'experiment' here in the singular; should the hypothesis withstand that one initial experiment, that is not the end of it. As I outlined in my earlier post, there are numerous processes which the hypothesis needs to go through in order to be justified as a theory. It just does not stand on one experiment!

Please be aware that what I wrote concerning the nature of theory is not just something I pulled out of my jacksy, but the process as outlined by scientists such as Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, and so and so forth.

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Science at its core is a single person making a statement of what they believe will happen and then setting out to test if that will happen.  Scientific method, peer view, publication and so on are part of the process to replicate the results.  That does not change that at the core, science is about a single person believing something will work and setting out to test their experiments.  Their belief may be based on observation, but the belief is still just that.

This is entirely akin to suggesting a game of chess, at its core, is all about basic origami because it starts with someone unfolding a board. 

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One cannot directly observe pain.  Pain is not be directly measured or observed.  No matter how pain is quantified, there is no direct method to observe or measure pain.   This means pain is subjective.  If I were to say that an elevation of blood pressure corresponded with the introduction of pain that is still not a measure of pain.  For one that is not necessarily true and on the other this does not provide a measurement for pain.  The statement would have to be something like, for the purpose of this experiment an elevation of the systolic blood pressure by factors of 10 equates to an increase by 1 on the pain scale once the noxious stimuli is introduced.  There is not measure of pain outside of the parameters set by the researcher.  The measurements taken are of blood pressure, not of pain and so is not a direct observation of pain.  This means that pain is subjective.

As for morphine, current JCAHO standards are to ask the patient to rate their pain before administration and 30 minutes after administration to gauge the effect of morphine on their pain level.  This is called a pain assessment and is considered subjective.

You seem to be under the impression that simply because something cannot be directly measured or observed, then it can only be quantified by subjective impressions. This is nonsense, as quantum theory so aptly demonstrates. The very observation of a quantum event affects it; therefore, one cannot get raw data or measurements by observation alone. In this instance, theories are developed by by observing the effects rather than the phenomena. For example, it is impossible to directly observe the phenomenon of wave/particle duality; but we know it exists owing to both the photoelectric effect (where photons behave as discrete particles) and the waveform bandings as illustrated by the double-slit experiment (thereby establishing that photons also exist as a waveform). It should be noted that quantum theory is regarded by the scientific community as the most proved theory in physics. Science can work just as well with the results of facts as well as the facts themselves.

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Police and judiciary do not operate using the scientific method.  Eyewitness reports are gathered by scientists to understand an event that cannot be directly observed.  By piecing together multiple eye witness reports an understanding of the event can be put together.  For instance, the multitude of survivors of a nuclear blast that were in outlying areas and observed the event can help piece together what happened during the event.  This is also part of scientific research.  Not everything studied is in a petri dish in a lab.

Again - No. The police and judiciary do operate using scientific methods wherever possible. Have you not heard of genetic fingerprinting? Forensics? Ballistics (in the case of firearms incidents)? Yes, eyewitness testimony is used. And the police and judiciary, being fully aware of human frailties in this regard, will always prefer good, objective, scientific evidence whenever it is available.

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For the last statement, “The truth of the statement relies on the premise being accepted.  Therein lies the problem of living a ‘logical’ life.  The premise must be accepted and a person accepts and rejects a premise based on their beliefs, past experiences and observations.  Nobody ever believes they are being illogical or irrational.” – me

So are you saying here that simple belief is better than logic, when used as a tool to quantify reality?

Offline YaoiRolePlayTopic starter

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #144 on: April 09, 2012, 04:29:09 PM »
Alright Yaoi, what is the unit of measure for pain?

I'm not a scientist, but I could point you in the direction of neruo-biologists who could answer your question. Though a simple google search could probably answer that.

Online Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #145 on: April 09, 2012, 04:33:25 PM »
I am sorry if my response came across as harsh.  The simple fact is that if Yaoi wishes to contest that pain is measurable, then the unit of measure for pain should be easy for him to provide.  A simple google search in fact should uncover both the unit of measure and its method of being measure.  People do not need to be scientists to uncover the unit of measure for something.  I understand that Yaoi may not hold any expertise in the scientific field, but he has entered a debate and weighed in on a topic regarding to science.  Unfortunately, there is a right and wrong in regard to the statement made.  He may feel free to do research on the topic of pain, but he will find there is no unit of measure or any standard of measure for pain.  Again, I apologize to Yaoi and anyone reading if they feel the response was harsh or “catty.”  I really did not mean for the question to appear so. 

I actually did not say that science is “belief based on lack of evidence.”  I said there was truth to the statement which you said was completely wrong.  To illustrate the truth in the statement, I presented the notion of a hypothesis which is at the start of scientific inquiry.  I am well aware of how a hypothesis goes into scientific theory.  I get the impression that you think I don’t.

Actually, no the two statements aren’t the same.  If I said that science was like shopping for groceries because they both have a process, then you could say I am comparing chess to origami.  Since I did not compare science to anything, there is no reason to say I am comparing two things that are not the same.

You seem to think that something being subjective is somehow flawed and irrelevant.  The data is subjective if it cannot be directly measured.  I am not making this up or to quote you “something I pulled out of my jacksy.”  Look up objective vs subjective data. 

A police officer is not brought to the stand of a court room to give their statements on ballistics or DNA.  An experiment, someone qualified to use the scientific method, is brought forward to give their interpretation and statements on those subjects.  Someone of authority, in the United States this is a judge, makes a determination on the evidence presented whether to issue a warrant of arrest.  Later in a court room the evidence is put forward to be judged by lay people (at least in the United States).  This is not science.

I did not say belief or logic quantify reality.  I stated that to claim to be a logical person does not mean there is not belief.  A person has to believe and accept the premise which means that the person, to some level, has to believe without evidence. 

Offline vtboy

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #146 on: April 09, 2012, 04:46:39 PM »
“Of course, the underlying premise for such an experiment would be that some sort of a direct relationship exists between the subjective experience of the sample subjects and their reports of pain. The premise may or may not be worthy of much confidence. Still, the stuff of the study would be objective evidence. “ –vtboy

This makes it subjective, not objective.

Makes what subjective? Surely not the study, which consists of toting up the pain index numbers for each group, calculating averages, and applying an appropriate test of statistical significance. The phenomenon under study may be subjective, but the data (i.e., the numbers reported) and the methodology used to evaluate them are purely objective.

Let's not confuse the possibility that an aspect of an experiment's design may be flawed (in my example, perhaps, the presumed link between reported pain and felt pain) with the experiment, or the data, being subjective.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 04:54:19 PM by vtboy »

Online Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #147 on: April 09, 2012, 04:54:01 PM »
The data is subjective.  I actually have never seen a “subjective” experiment or really an “objective” experiment unless there are of course testing those particular topics.  The results of a trial or experiment are considered objective, which is what an experiment seeks to accomplish.  The information used and tested is subjective though.  This does not mean that pain is objective because there is an experiment on pain, simply that the results are considered objective.

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #148 on: April 09, 2012, 04:55:01 PM »


And yes. I've said this many many times throughout this thread, but I'm going to say it one more time as big and loud as I can possibly make it just to get it to sink in cause I'm tired of repeating myself.

REALITY IS THE WAY IT IS REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYONE THINKS.

This means that someone is wrong. When everyone has conflicting ideas about the way the world is, someone has to be wrong. One person could be wrong, both people could be wrong, everyone in the entire world could be wrong, but someone is wrong. More often than not we're wrong infact since there's so much we don't know. As for being better, obviously one thing or another does not make anyone better than anyone else. Better is a subjective anyway, it doesn't have any basis in the real world.

Formatting your statement in large, obnoxious all-caps print was completely and wholly unnecessary and rude. The equivalent of "internet shouting", which is frowned upon on this site, and certainly not appreciated by the poster (myself) to whom it was directed. In short, I do not deserve to be shouted at. Please reformat your post.

The intent of my post was simply to clarify the definitions of the two words "faith" and "belief". No more, no less.

Offline YaoiRolePlayTopic starter

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #149 on: April 09, 2012, 04:56:26 PM »
I am sorry about shouting at you. And I normally don't do it. I really don't. I just get tired of having to repeat the same things over and over again. And the statement was not just intended at you.