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Author Topic: Religion- Oh no not that again  (Read 24644 times)

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Offline Zakharra

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #150 on: April 09, 2012, 05:19:01 PM »

 I got just one nit pick here. This;

 
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.


 .... is the common definition of belief. Yet you posted this;
 
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.


 .. and change the definition of 'belief'.  Isn't that somewhat of a contradiction of what the word means? Your definition, if it varies with that of everyone else can only only confuse others.

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #151 on: April 09, 2012, 05:23:30 PM »
I am sorry about shouting at you.

Thank you.

Offline YaoiRolePlayTopic starter

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #152 on: April 09, 2012, 05:23:53 PM »
That is true. However my definition is close to the first one there:

1. something believed;  an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

However with the added line of being a reaction to evidence. You're right that it just confuses people, but I don't know what other word to use.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #153 on: April 09, 2012, 05:25:53 PM »


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
[/qoute]

So basically you're trying to win the argument by distorting the language? Belief has only one definition. "To hold something to be true in absence of empirical evidence." If you say that in order to believe something, one needs proof, is either a lack of understanding of the word or the language.

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.


Again, you seem to be lacking in either your logic or your language. Many scientists believe things without evidence, then go out to prove it. But in order for them to prove it, they must first have an opinion on the matter, and since no empirical evidence is at hand, that opinion is based on conjecture, otherwise known as believing.

Our greatest scientific discoveries were done that way. A fine example being the discovery of man made flight. For centuries it was a dream, a belief that it was possible for man to fly. But it never worked. Stil people kept believing and kept trying. A lot of these people took ridicule in the same argument as you gave. 'There's no proof, so why believe it? '

Guess what. It took a few hundred years, but they were proven right. By other people who believed in what was said to be impossible. So who knows, maybe come judgement day, these Christians are proven right as well. I know I'll be fucked if they are, but it isn't impossible.


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.

People keep rehashing it, because you are wrong. Logic is based on our knowledge of the universe, and that knowledge is in constant flux. Ergo logic is in constant flux.

Now you come back with the old 1+1 equals 2 rhetoric, and guess what? Science has proven there are many exceptions to that. But rather than spend an hour typing out some examples, I invite you to read up on quantum mechanics. A good idea would be the einstein rosen paradox, or any theorem on the currently popular Higgs Boson.

But a simple point in effect. I can give you empirical evidence, that 1 equals 2. Does that make it true? Dunno. Is it logical? Well it is to any mathematician, but not to the rest of the world.

1. Let a and b be equal non-zero quantities

    a = b \,

2. Multiply through by a

    a^2 = ab \,

3. Subtract b^2 \,

    a^2 - b^2 = ab - b^2 \,

4. Factor both sides

    (a - b)(a + b) = b(a - b) \,

5. Divide out (a - b) \,

    a + b = b \,

6. Observing that a = b \,

    b + b = b \,

7. Combine like terms on the left

    2b = b \,

8. Divide by the non-zero b

    2 = 1 \,

And yes, this is a fallacy, but I'm not stating it as fact, merely using it as an example.


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.


However, you do exactly the same by claiming logic is universal, or that science is completely based on fact. Even worse, you've been given ample proof of the opposite, yet defend your viewpoint with half truths. Classical example of a fundamentalist.


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

 a statement to which you have offered no proof. Actually no one has, and anyone who claims to have, is either lying or ignorant of their own failing. People who are by many considered the greatest scientific minds of our time have said that the human race's understanding of the universe is most likely less than cavemen had of computers.

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.


nope, they are refered to as the theory of general relativity, and the theory of natural selection. This because, despite the fact that they are the most reasonable explanations we have so far, neither has been proven. Ergo, they are still a theory which people believe, not fact beyond doubt. remember that before einstein, newtonian physics was held as the absolute truth, because observation had shown him to be right. And just like Newton was questioned and proven wrong by Einstein, so there are people, real scientists, working to disprove Einstein today. It's the main reason the LHC at the cern institute exists.

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. 

Using reductio ad absurdum now? Can't beat em mock em?

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.
[\quote]

Do we know? Really? Are are we working under the assumption that it must be so, as we have not found another explanation. take the double slit experiment for example. It didn't prove photons are waveforms, only that they exhibit traits we associate with waveform. This is why quantum theory is called theory. We simply cannot prove it yet. And believe me, I'd love to finally prove it, if only to end the eternal debate, but we haven't

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.

true, unfortunately the frailties of scientific evidence mean that most cases will require quite an amount of gut instinct, and experience to solve. But yes, if there is solid scientific evidence, that does trump eye witness reports and such in most cases.

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

What I think she's saying is that as much as we like to believe logic is objective, it is not. Although the root of logic might be objective, every person will filter it based on their own understanding an experience, hence it becomes subjective. And to say that reasoning, logical or otherwise, can exist without subjective elements seems much like hubris or ignorance to me. Everyone has a frame of reference through which they filter everything. The best we can hope for is to lessen it's impact. But believing it has no role in our reasoning would be fallacy.

So basically, everyone will believe what they believe, be it science, theology, or that the moon is made of cheese. We can argue, we can debate, and maybe people will come to see our side of the argument. But no one here can rightfully claim to know the real truth behind the universe. Not the religious folk (For how could they understand the ways of god, if he exists?) Nor the scientists (Because there's just too many pieces of the puzzle missing.) As for those that believe the moon is made of cheese, it's not. But there's a shop there that sells a nice Wensleydale.

Offline DeMalachine

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #154 on: April 09, 2012, 05:26:58 PM »
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.

You did say that. Quote [my bold]:
Quote
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.

Should you not have instead simply stated something along the lines of 'any scientific enquiry begins with a hypothesis', rather than make it look as if you appeared to endorse the incorrect yet frequently bandied-about idea that science is just another belief unsupported by evidence?

Quote
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.

Well, the shopping analogy would still be apt, on the basis that you picked out one small part of the larger aggregate of scientific process - 'science is about a single person believing something will work and setting out to test their experiments' - when that is not what science is about at all. You may indeed just as glibly as said that 'science, at its heart, is all about a process' because it has equal lack of merit with your actual statement. Yes, science may indeed initially involve someone setting out to test their ideas; yes, science can rightly be described as a process. But they are not what science is about. Science, as should be plainly obvious to anyone, is all about understanding reality as it really is.

Quote
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.

In the case of science - the subjective is indeed frequently flawed and occasionally irrelevant. The very process of testing itself exists to allay any subjective interpretation of the data wherever possible. Again, a theory is not judged by what people make of it, but how it fares when tested against reality.

Quote
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.

No - it's judicial process. But it uses science wherever it can. The fact that a jury or judge might dismiss scientific evidence on the basis of some legal technicality or a misunderstanding of it does not alter the veracity of the science in question. Simply because we perceive the world as being flat does not make it so. All evidences speak otherwise, no matter that one, ten or a million people might decree otherwise.

Quote
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.

But it would be illogical to attempt to quantify reality without evidence, would it not?

Offline Torch

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #155 on: April 09, 2012, 05:33:47 PM »
You're right that it just confuses people, but I don't know what other word to use.

And therein lies the problem.

If you are changing the definition of key words to suit your own agenda, then you cannot at all be surprised at the reactions you are getting from posters who are using the common, standard, agreed-upon definition.


Offline vtboy

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #156 on: April 09, 2012, 05:43:12 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.

I never said pain is objective. Quite the contrary, I referred to it explicitly as a subjective phenomenon. What I referred to as objective in my hypothetical headache study were the pain index numbers reported by the test subjects. There can be little room for debate about the numbers of subjects who report their pain as 1 or 2 or 3, etc. Whether the reported numbers bear any sort of reliable relationship to the participants' subjective experiences is another matter entirely. But, even if the presumed connection is unreliable, the data -- i.e., the numbers of 1s, 2s, 3s, and so on, and the methodology -- statistics, are objective. That is why I was careful to say that the most the researchers would be able to report would be a statistical connection between use of the medication and reported, as opposed to felt, pain.


Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #157 on: April 09, 2012, 05:53:40 PM »
Alright, this is perhaps a bit off-topic, but then again, considering how broad the specified topic was, maybe not.

Quote
But a simple point in effect. I can give you empirical evidence, that 1 equals 2. Does that make it true? Dunno. Is it logical? Well it is to any mathematician, but not to the rest of the world.

1. Let a and b be equal non-zero quantities

    a = b \,

2. Multiply through by a

    a^2 = ab \,

3. Subtract b^2 \,

    a^2 - b^2 = ab - b^2 \,

4. Factor both sides

    (a - b)(a + b) = b(a - b) \,

5. Divide out (a - b) \,

    a + b = b \,

6. Observing that a = b \,

    b + b = b \,

7. Combine like terms on the left

    2b = b \,

8. Divide by the non-zero b

    2 = 1 \,

And yes, this is a fallacy, but I'm not stating it as fact, merely using it as an example.

Okay, I've never seen this argument before, for one thing.  Secondly, in case anyone out there assumes that I could care less about math or science or logic based on my previous remarks in this thread, all I can say is, that is totally not the case.  Third, I know there are numerous smart people reading this thread, because there are so many smart people at Elliquiy.  So I have a question for the smart math people out there who have seen this argument before (especially you, Katataban, but anybody can reply, of course) ............

I can't decide if I find the argument more intriguing than terrifying, or more terrifying than intriguing.  But either way, um .................

HOOO LEEEE SHIT. 

(Shouting used intentionally, because I think it's warranted in this rare instance, but with apologies for anyone bothered by that.  ;)  )

So, anyway, somebody please help me understand this, or at least point me to more info about it.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 05:57:42 PM by rick957 »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #158 on: April 09, 2012, 05:54:40 PM »
Ah, I do apologize then for not believing those were my words.  Still, I believe they are true and stand firm in stating them.  I did not detract from nor say that science does not seek to uncover evidence, but at its core and starts are the statement of something and the acquisition of evidence to support such a statement.  Hence my use of the word hypothesis.  I do not see this as a problem of science but a noble endeavor of science.  I said what I meant and did not “make it look as if I appeared..”

Subjective data if gathered properly and with clearly stated parameters is perfectly fine and worthy of scientific use.  I do not understand this disdain for the subjective.  Without subjective data there would be almost no body of information to draw upon.

Once more then, police investigation does not mean science. 

No, it’s not illogical to do so.  Descartes attempted to show reality without any evidence or using any other proof other than his own.  He attempted to logically illustrate reality and other concepts without requiring outside influence or information.  His attempts are quite famous and I don’t remember anyone considering them illogical. 

Yaoi, you made the statement of pain being measurable and objective.  If you have a neuro-biologist that can provide such information then please give the information.  If the information is as easy as a google search then please provide the information.  I am not doing the research to back up your statement.

The numbers   (1,2,3) are objective but their representation is subjective, therefore inside the context of the experiment they are subjective information.  If I state that my pain is a 1, and this person states the pain is a 2 the numbers are meaningless unless attached to a subjective experience.  The numbers are an attempt to quantify something that is subjective.  So if my pain is say a 5 and the medication is given and may pain decreases to a 3 per my statement, the numbers are still a simple measure of the subjective.  Punching subjective numbers into statistics still does not make the numbers objective either. 

The end result of the experiment is objective, because to repeat the experiment the subjective data has to be gathered in the exact same method in which the original experiment gathered the subjective data. 

Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #159 on: April 09, 2012, 06:07:05 PM »
Sorry, I know I shouldn't repost so quickly after my last post, but I just finished reading Katataban's entire post.  The effing math part threw me for such a loop that I was just flabbergasted for a while.  I wanted to reply to this part:

Quote
But no one here can rightfully claim to know the real truth behind the universe. Not the religious folk (For how could they understand the ways of god, if he exists?)

As one of the religious folk, I just want to say -- and sorry if you've heard this reply before and already dismissed it -- Christianity claims that people can know the real truth behind the universe -- the meaning of life, so to speak -- because and only because God, the maker of the universe and most powerful being in the universe, decided to share that truth with people.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 06:08:15 PM by rick957 »

Offline YaoiRolePlayTopic starter

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #160 on: April 09, 2012, 06:10:21 PM »
Quote
But a simple point in effect. I can give you empirical evidence, that 1 equals 2. Does that make it true? Dunno. Is it logical? Well it is to any mathematician, but not to the rest of the world.

1. Let a and b be equal non-zero quantities

    a = b \,

2. Multiply through by a

    a^2 = ab \,

3. Subtract b^2 \,

    a^2 - b^2 = ab - b^2 \,

4. Factor both sides

    (a - b)(a + b) = b(a - b) \,

5. Divide out (a - b) \,

    a + b = b \,

6. Observing that a = b \,

    b + b = b \,

7. Combine like terms on the left

    2b = b \,

8. Divide by the non-zero b

    2 = 1 \,

And yes, this is a fallacy, but I'm not stating it as fact, merely using it as an example.

In line 5, you can't do that. Since matter can not be created or destroyed, and dividing by zero would be akin to destroying matter entirely. In the first line you say a=b which means a - b would be 0. You can't divide by a - b in line 5 because that is dividing by zero.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #161 on: April 09, 2012, 06:22:58 PM »
This is a mathmatical proof.  Notice the person does not say this is fact.  The math is sound, all the steps taken are possible ones to take and follow the rules meaning these are all correct steps allowed by math.  The point is to show that even following proper math, erroneous conclusions can be made.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 06:30:24 PM by Pumpkin Seeds »

Offline YaoiRolePlayTopic starter

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #162 on: April 09, 2012, 06:32:30 PM »
The math isn't sound, and neither is the logic. Since he did say it was fallacious. Until we learn how to divide by zero.

Either way, I'm not nearly smart enough to continue in this discussion so I will respectfully bow out.

Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #163 on: April 09, 2012, 06:42:17 PM »
Well now I'm even more confused, not because I didn't understand Yaoi's reply, but because I think I did.  Also, it sounded to me like Yaoi just figured that out on his own, which embarrasses the hell out of me, because I guess that means that either Yaoi is a math super-savant (you aren't, are you?), or the obvious response to that argument isn't extremely hard to come up with.

Is nobody else freaked the fuck out by that argument?  1=2, for God's sake???????  *sighs*  I'm going to have nightmares tonight if I don't understand that better before I go to sleep ...

(Okay, and yes, I know how to do research on the internet, so I could look it up myself and will do so if I have to, but considering that it was brought up here, I thought it would be fitting for everyone reading along to hear more about it right here, from somebody who understands it well.)

Pumpkin Seeds, thank you for the reply, but as far as I can tell, the problem with the argument that you're pointing out is the same one that Yaoi pointed out, namely, that you end up 0=0.  Okay, that's a true statement on it's own, but it also makes the fifth equation impossible, because dividing by 0 is impossible.  Okay, I can understand that, even with my extremely limited math background, but still, doesn't the proof appear to be correct until you actually plug in numbers for the variables?  How is that possible?  And, most importantly, how do you get around the seeming challenge that the argument makes to all math and therefore all science that I've ever been exposed to?????  Hehheheh.  This is kinda funny, but I am interested in real responses.  What thuuuhhhhh.......... I need a drink now.  :)

Quote
This is a mathmatical proof.  Notice the person does not say this is fact.  The math is sound, all the steps taken are possible ones to take and follow the rules meaning these are all correct steps allowed by math.  The point is to show that even following proper math, erroneous conclusions can be made.

Okay, I can deal with that conclusion.  In that case, though, what I find astonishing and even upsetting is how simple the proof was.  Is this a proof that most other people encounter in high school or college?  Because I didn't, or at least I don't recall doing so.  Either my memory is bad or my (humble but damn pricey) education was worse than I thought it was.  Somehow this whole line of reasoning seems remarkable to me now, and it would kind of depress me if nobody else found it the least bit remarkable ...

P.S. Yaoi, obviously there's nothing wrong with bowing out of the discussion any time you want to, but you're obviously waayyy better at math than I am, so I'm sure you're "smart enough" to continue in the discussion if you actually want to do so.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 06:43:37 PM by rick957 »

Offline DeMalachine

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #164 on: April 09, 2012, 06:47:30 PM »
nope, they are refered to as the theory of general relativity, and the theory of natural selection. This because, despite the fact that they are the most reasonable explanations we have so far, neither has been proven. Ergo, they are still a theory which people believe, not fact beyond doubt. remember that before einstein, newtonian physics was held as the absolute truth, because observation had shown him to be right. And just like Newton was questioned and proven wrong by Einstein, so there are people, real scientists, working to disprove Einstein today. It's the main reason the LHC at the cern institute exists.

I fail to see your point here - as I said, a scientific theory must be potentially falsifiable, and that these theories deal with degrees of probablity rather than absolutes. Any theory which is not open to potential disproof cannot be rightly described as a theory, as an important means of testing it against reality is closed off. However, simply to say that neither has been proven (in the general sense we are using here, rather than the absolute mathematical one) is not quite correct; both theories have been proven time and time again, and so far, they have continually survived attempts to disprove them. However, one cannot be wholly certain that no new evidence will arrive which will require these theories to be changed; but all the evidence that presently exists confirms the high probability of truth as regards these theories.

As regards Newton - aside from some discrepancies in his calculations, Newton's law of universal gravitation largely holds true, and that it is sufficent for most practical purposes. However, there are problems with it in several areas where the facts were not easily obtainable at the time of the formulation of his theories. For example, the angular deflection of light by gravity as predicted by Newton's theory is half of what is actually observed; also, that Newton's theory requires gravity to be transmitted instantaneously - but this didn't account for the observation of unstable planetary orbits. Einstein saw these problems (as did many other scientists at the time) and resolved General Relativity to account for them. Nowadays, General Relativity has survived pretty much every test thrown at it. However, it still does have problems which have not yet been addressed - most notably, that it cannot be adequately resolved with the very small, and most notably in relation to the four fundamental interactions, and that beyond the event horizon of a black hole - well, the math just breaks down. This is why various scientists are indeed working hard - and the LHC and elsewhere - to account for these discrepancies. But it is not that they're working to disprove Einstein, but to discover the facts - and very possibly new theories - that account for the problems with General Relativity; just as General Relativity did with Newton's universal law. And if these facts should be completely at odds with GR, then so be it - a new theory will have to take its place (but one which covers all the facts, including those supported by GR and Newton's universal law).

This, to me and many others, is science's ultimate strength. It is never ready to simply rest complacently and let any theory stand by consensus. The problems are not ignored; no idea is so sacrosanct that it can be elaborated upon, adjusted or completely discarded. The universe has a habit of throwing up surprises - good, then, that we have a discipline to ready to accommodate them, rather than systems - religious ot otherwise - that simply state: 'We know the truth already; it doesn't matter what reality might throw up'. This is why science is the best thing we have to understand reality. As I said, it's not perfect. But it works better than anything else.

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Using reductio ad absurdum now? Can't beat em mock em?

Well, it wasn't me who initially suggested that science, at its core, was just about belief with lack of evidence.  ::)

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So basically, everyone will believe what they believe, be it science, theology, or that the moon is made of cheese. We can argue, we can debate, and maybe people will come to see our side of the argument. But no one here can rightfully claim to know the real truth behind the universe. Not the religious folk (For how could they understand the ways of god, if he exists?) Nor the scientists (Because there's just too many pieces of the puzzle missing.) As for those that believe the moon is made of cheese, it's not. But there's a shop there that sells a nice Wensleydale.

Well, I'm certainly not claiming that I know the real truth behind the universe. But we do have one tool whose prospects of helping us unearth it are petty damn good!

Offline YaoiRolePlayTopic starter

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #165 on: April 09, 2012, 06:57:07 PM »
Well now I'm even more confused, not because I didn't understand Yaoi's reply, but because I think I did.  Also, it sounded to me like Yaoi just figured that out on his own, which embarrasses the hell out of me, because I guess that means that either Yaoi is a math super-savant (you aren't, are you?), or the obvious response to that argument isn't extremely hard to come up with.

Is nobody else freaked the fuck out by that argument?  1=2, for God's sake???????  *sighs*  I'm going to have nightmares tonight if I don't understand that better before I go to sleep ...

Actually my sister showed it to me several years ago and we puzzled it out before figuring out that it was a divide by zero fallacy. It really freaked me out as well when I first saw it. If 1=2 than anything at all can be true. Human=cow building=moon anything can be possible. But when I figured out that 1 can't actually equal 2 I was ok with it.

Nah. I'm really not as smart as I wish I was. ;) I don't understand half the things people are talking about in here right now.

Sorry, meant to answer this earlier:

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a statement to which you have offered no proof. Actually no one has, and anyone who claims to have, is either lying or ignorant of their own failing. People who are by many considered the greatest scientific minds of our time have said that the human race's understanding of the universe is most likely less than cavemen had of computers.

You don't have to take my word for it, try it for yourself. Try to think something into existence. Did anything happen? I thought not. Reality just doesn't care what you think.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 07:04:03 PM by YaoiRolePlay »

Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #166 on: April 09, 2012, 07:07:30 PM »
It really freaked me out as well when I first saw it.

Thank you!  Jeezus!  I'm glad I'm not the only one.  :)

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If 1=2 than anything at all can be true. Human=cow building=moon anything can be possible.

Yes!  Right!  This is a bit of a problem!

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But when I figured out that 1 can't actually equal 2 I was ok with it.

I'm starting to calm down, thank you.  But I still want more info before I just forget all about that theorem.  It's a wonderful (apparent) conundrum, regardless of its implications.

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Nah. I'm really not as smart as I wish I was. ;) I don't understand half the things people are talking about in here right now.

Look, man, join the club.  ;)  If you and I are both struggling along, that means there are others struggling along too, they just aren't admitting to it publicly.  Heheheheh  I'm basically done contributing to this thread too, but I'm still reading and would respond if anything else gets my attention like that theorem has.

EDIT/addendum
Yaoi was kind enough to send me a link with a further discussion of that fascinating theorem and its intrinsic problems.  My "faith" in mathematics has been restored!  heh  In case anyone reading along is interested, here's the link he found:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_fallacy#Division_by_zero
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 07:33:41 PM by rick957 »

Offline DeMalachine

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #167 on: April 09, 2012, 07:37:04 PM »
Ah, I do apologize then for not believing those were my words.  Still, I believe they are true and stand firm in stating them.  I did not detract from nor say that science does not seek to uncover evidence, but at its core and starts are the statement of something and the acquisition of evidence to support such a statement.  Hence my use of the word hypothesis.  I do not see this as a problem of science but a noble endeavor of science.  I said what I meant and did not “make it look as if I appeared..”

So you really do think that science is simply belief with lack of evidence?

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Subjective data if gathered properly and with clearly stated parameters is perfectly fine and worthy of scientific use.  I do not understand this disdain for the subjective.  Without subjective data there would be almost no body of information to draw upon.

What this has to do with scientific theories, I have no idea. Scientific theories have to be tested as objectively as possible. I've outlined why many, many times before. If you're not prepared to accept it, then kindly stop challenging me about it.

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Once more then, police investigation does not mean science.

No, but again - a police investigation will utilise the tools of science to reach conclusions which are as objective as possible. 

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No, it’s not illogical to do so.  Descartes attempted to show reality without any evidence or using any other proof other than his own.  He attempted to logically illustrate reality and other concepts without requiring outside influence or information.  His attempts are quite famous and I don’t remember anyone considering them illogical.

Is this Cogito Ergo Sum? In which case, Kierkegaard, for one, has considered it illogical, as has Bernard Williams.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #168 on: April 09, 2012, 08:09:37 PM »
And therein lies the problem.

If you are changing the definition of key words to suit your own agenda, then you cannot at all be surprised at the reactions you are getting from posters who are using the common, standard, agreed-upon definition.

 
That is true. However my definition is close to the first one there:

1. something believed;  an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

However with the added line of being a reaction to evidence. You're right that it just confuses people, but I don't know what other word to use.

 I brought it up because last year, there was a poster that insisted on using her own words and her own definition for words that was at adds with the commonly used definitions. It drove a LOT of people nuts since she would also change the meaning she meant every so often.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #169 on: April 09, 2012, 08:36:44 PM »
I think I understand where Pumpkin Seeds is coming from.  Please correct me if I am wrong, Pumpkin Seeds.

Her point, as I understand it, she is not suggesting that science is 'bad' or should be abandoned, but rather everyone, including scientist and/or 'logical' people must believe some things without evidence.  Which, if taken further and I am not sure Pumpkin Seeds is making this point, means we can not simply discount faith because it lacks evidence.

Essentially, everyone has faith in something at some point.

Again, I return to my earlier statement about extraordinary claims.  I am willing to have faith that you have a dollar in your pocket if you tell me you do.  I am not willing to have faith in the existence of any god without substantial proof.

rick957, I am happy to continue discussing with you.  I am interested in other people's perspectives even if I do not necessarily agree with them.  Any yes, I am just as skeptical about most things.  You are welcome to follow along on my exploration of Taoism in this same section.

Offline DeMalachine

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #170 on: April 09, 2012, 09:12:17 PM »
Just need to address this bit, cos I missed it first time round:

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Katataban: take the double slit experiment for example. It didn't prove photons are waveforms, only that they exhibit traits we associate with waveform. This is why quantum theory is called theory. We simply cannot prove it yet. And believe me, I'd love to finally prove it, if only to end the eternal debate, but we haven't

Yes, in the rapid rush of my typing, I substituted 'existing' as waveforms for 'having the characteristics of a waveform' - and there is a difference, as you rightly point out. The fact of wave/particle duality still remains, however; light can also likewise be explained as a wave propagation via the Maxwell Equations. And again, the fact that light can be polarised also demonstrates the waveform characteristic.

But it's not called a theory simply because we cannot prove it yet - as per what constitutes a scientific theory as I outlined earlier, a theory has been subject to any number of tests which do effectively prove it - at the present time. This is why Atomic Theory is still called a theory, even though we've been able to utilise the equations derived from the theory itself to produce concrete results, such as the A-Bomb. The in-orbit clocks of the GPS satellities have to be corrected so that they run at the same rate as the clocks on Earth, owing to time dilation (http://www.physicscentral.com/explore/writers/will.cfm) - yet we still refer to Special Relativity as a theory.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #171 on: April 09, 2012, 09:29:14 PM »
In regard to the math problem, that is sort of the point rick.  All the steps are proper ones, all the movements done are the correct steps.  Plug in the numbers and the answer is wrong despite doing all the steps properly.  2 does not equal 1, even though following a mathmatical proof 2 does equal 1.

Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #172 on: April 09, 2012, 10:15:44 PM »
In regard to the math problem, that is sort of the point rick.  All the steps are proper ones, all the movements done are the correct steps.  Plug in the numbers and the answer is wrong despite doing all the steps properly.  2 does not equal 1, even though following a mathmatical proof 2 does equal 1.

Yes, I think I got it, after some jarring initial confusion.  Actually, I'm happy to have understood the theorem at all, no matter how long it took me, because I'm hardly a math whiz.  It's nice to know once more that the world doesn't equal banana.  :)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 10:18:03 PM by rick957 »

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #173 on: April 09, 2012, 11:03:28 PM »
This is a very interesting topic and I’ve quite enjoyed reading the varied opinions and opposing points of view.  Since I typically shy away from divisive debates such as this, and lack sufficient knowledge to comment on many of the philosophical, mathematical, and scientific arguments, I’ll simply ask you to indulge me a moment so I may share a wee thought…or two. 

After reading this thread over the past couple of days, I’m left with the sense that the core disagreement here is religion, or ‘belief’, versus science, or ‘proven fact’.  Also, there seems to be an under current that gives the impression the two are mutually exclusive, which I tend to disagree with.  For me personally, the issue boils down to a gray area that science cannot (yet) explain.  As an Atheist, I don’t believe in any Deity or religion for several reasons, but mainly because I want to have proof, empirical evidence, testable hypotheses, and elegant theories wrapped around complex equations.  The problem is, as exciting and wonderful as all these discoveries are, science too often can only tell us part of the story.  For example, we’ve made fantastic progress over the past century in understanding how the Universe was created and how the laws of Physics operate, but knowing those facts can’t always tell us why.  In other words, science may be able to explain what the physical nature of reality is, but so far, it hasn’t been able to offer an explanation as to why it is exactly this way.  At least, it has not done so to my satisfaction.

So how do I reconcile this gap in our current understanding?  Why do we exist?  What is the true nature of consciousness?  For me, these unanswered questions are where faith and beliefs come into play.  There is zero doubt in my mind that science is on the right track and it’s the best option we have for uncovering the true nature of our reality.  Until that time comes however, all I can say is that I fill this gray area by choosing to have faith…faith that it eventually will be revealed, through science, to be something along the lines of a collective consciousness.  That’s the simplest way I can describe it, but I can offer absolutely no testable, observable evidence as the basis for that belief because it’s nothing more than a gut feeling, in many ways inexplicable, and not easily defined.  My best friend also embraces science as vigorously as I do, but she has faith it will prove the theories of Christianity and the existence of the one true God, something she believes to be true, also based on nothing more than a gut feeling.  Neither of us is in position to argue which belief is ‘right’ because it’s just that…a belief…based on our own subjective experiences, biases, and basic human desire to explain the unexplainable.  In the end, since physical death is a sure thing, I figure one day we’ll find out…or maybe not.  It would be unfair of me to fail to acknowledge the Agnostics may be right.  ;) 

One final thought that struck me as I was reading over the different posts is ‘believers’ vs. ‘non-believers’ are too often wrapped up in arguing over semantics, when really, at the end of the day, they are talking about the same thing.  I could be way off base, but it’s simply a sense I had that many of the contentious issues were over the label being used, not necessarily the idea itself.         

Fin!  *slinks back into position as thread lurker*

Offline Sophronius

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #174 on: April 09, 2012, 11:13:15 PM »
What I really do not understand with regard to the scientific denial of religion is why it is implied that science is the only epistemology that can lead to some definition of truth.  This, I feel, is at the root of the problem - scientists fail to acknowledge that there are other sound means to the truth.  When someone states that there is no empirical evidence of any sort of divinity or supernatural, my instinctive response is to ask why someone does not pursue the supernatural through other means?  For example, through Platonism or Neoplatonism.  Their cosmology is logically sound, even if not based on empirical evidence or the empirical world at all.  Or Hegel's philosophy of the right and of history, which is sound even if not empirical.  What special claim does science have that Plato, Ficino, or Hegel lack?  Upon what basis does gravity rest that makes it more true than the concept of thesis, antithesis, synthesis?  Really, science rests upon a shakey foundation - it uses finite observations to make universal claims and this requires a logical jump that is actually baseless.  To contrast, mathematics uses universal suppositions to make universal claims - it is possible to universally prove any mathematical theorem without a jump in logic.  So, basically, I don't get why science is a valid tool for proving and disproving metaphysical claims.  I would find it much more satisfying if people used Lucretius or Epicurus to disprove religion and the reality of a divinity than science.

No, but again - a police investigation will utilise the tools of science to reach conclusions which are as objective as possible. 

Actually, police investigations more closely resemble historical research than scientific research.  This is largely due to the fact that both historians and the police are searching for the truth as it concerns particular phenomena that cannot be observed, whereas scientists search for the truth as it concerns universal phenomena that can be observed and replicated.