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Author Topic: Bwa hahahahha  (Read 4541 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #125 on: July 18, 2013, 10:01:18 PM »
Actually, it looked more like she was angling for the 'I could be completely imagining this conversation/interaction' approach.  No computer required.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #126 on: July 18, 2013, 10:03:18 PM »
Something doesn't need to be binary to be true or false. Gravity is a theory, but you can test it. It's conclusive, if only likely.
It's hardly conclusive - that test might be in error, or there could be another as-yet undiscovered theory which better fits the evidence, or there could be evidence we don't have yet, or the entire universe could be a highly-detailed simulation. If you are not willing to accept "more likely" as "true" at all, then p=0.999... is not sufficient to declare truth, and p=1 doesn't happen.

"X doesn't exist because the world is simpler if it doesn't exist" isn't conclusive. It's common sense, maybe, but since when is that a scientific/mathematical proof?
"Proof" as you seem to be defining it does not exist.

Regardless, when faced with two mutually contradictory hypotheses about reality, it makes sense to treat the one with greater probability as true and the other as false pending new evidence - which will force an update and shift the balance of probability.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #127 on: July 18, 2013, 10:04:35 PM »
Quote from: Ephiral
Bayes has shown to be reliable and at an excellent balance point between speed, evidence required, and accuracy as compared

Bayes Exists AND at an excellent balance point between etc etc etc.  Less likely than simply "Bayes Exists".  In fact, more things don't fulfil those criteria than do, so it's more likely that "Bayes exists AND isn't at an excellent balance point between etc etc etc" than the converse.  Bayesian evidence would seem to suggest Bayes doesn't work.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #128 on: July 18, 2013, 10:06:09 PM »
Taking the one with the highest probability is a flawed methodology for determining the truth though.  For one there is the question of how the probability was drawn up, tested and constructed.  Second there is also the fact that even if one answer has the higher probably that answer can still be wrong and therefore not the truth.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #129 on: July 18, 2013, 10:12:50 PM »
Taking the one with the highest probability is a flawed methodology for determining the truth though.  For one there is the question of how the probability was drawn up, tested and constructed.  Second there is also the fact that even if one answer has the higher probably that answer can still be wrong and therefore not the truth.
It's a theorem. It was constructed out of mathematical proofs. It is one of the most certain things in the entire universe.

Can one still go wrong in the application? Yes. But you'll be more correct more often this way - that much is proven inasmuch as anything can be.
Truth is simple: "Snow is white" is true iff snow is white. Determining actual truth is hard - we cannot trust our obervations perfectly. Ergo, we must use a weighted probability distribution; doing so via Bayes simply makes us consciously aware of the rules any such distribution must obey, and tells us how we should weight them to come as close as we can to the world outside our brains.

Bayes Exists AND at an excellent balance point between etc etc etc.  Less likely than simply "Bayes Exists".  In fact, more things don't fulfil those criteria than do, so it's more likely that "Bayes exists AND isn't at an excellent balance point between etc etc etc" than the converse.  Bayesian evidence would seem to suggest Bayes doesn't work.
...sigh. I do not have the energy or patience required to prove a theorem from first principles to people arguing in bad faith tonight. Sorry, Kythia, I know you mean this in fun, but I'm not going to continue this line of discussion.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #130 on: July 18, 2013, 10:17:16 PM »
Fair enough, and you're quite right I was just picking on you.  What's more I should go for a run. 

One last one
Of course, it's far more doors DON'T lead to the outside of my house than do, so who knows where I'll end up when I leave  :P

Offline Kythia

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #131 on: July 18, 2013, 10:21:56 PM »
Oh, while Im thinking though, and in all seriousness now, if you know of a decent link to a proof then please do throw it up.  If not, I shall a google but I figure there's a good chance that you might know of one AND I can tap into your quality control.

Hmmm, don't seem to be able to stop.  I better go.

Offline Shjade

Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #132 on: July 18, 2013, 10:26:14 PM »
It's hardly conclusive - that test might be in error, or there could be another as-yet undiscovered theory which better fits the evidence, or there could be evidence we don't have yet, or the entire universe could be a highly-detailed simulation

"Proof" as you seem to be defining it does not exist.

Well heck, if you're going to argue against yourself I guess I don't need to play devil's advocate anymore.

Also, I said "a scientific/mathematical proof" there, not "proof" as a concept. They're different things, as I'm reasonably sure you're aware. Assuming you exist.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #133 on: July 18, 2013, 10:37:08 PM »
Oh, while Im thinking though, and in all seriousness now, if you know of a decent link to a proof then please do throw it up.  If not, I shall a google but I figure there's a good chance that you might know of one AND I can tap into your quality control.

Hmmm, don't seem to be able to stop.  I better go.
Here's the formal proof.

Well heck, if you're going to argue against yourself I guess I don't need to play devil's advocate anymore.

Also, I said "a scientific/mathematical proof" there, not "proof" as a concept. They're different things, as I'm reasonably sure you're aware. Assuming you exist.
Yes, but if you're looking for a mathematical proof (science doesn't have proofs, only lack of disproofs) of a non-mathematical proposition, you're going to be disappointed, because there is no realistic value you can enter into any mathematical equation anywhere to make p=1. Which brings us, then, to "If you require p=1, all is faith up to and including "I exist" (Descartes, eat your heart out), and thus saying "X is faith" is a zero-information statement, devoid of meaning or content".

Online gaggedLouise

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #134 on: July 18, 2013, 10:40:40 PM »
All it takes is a mind capable of imagining E!

"There are but two people on this forum, you...and me socking behind all the other accounts and writing their posts."

(read that one at a much smaller forum than E)

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #135 on: July 19, 2013, 03:28:24 AM »
All it takes is a mind capable of imagining E!

Heh heh .. out of the 6 billion or so people skittering around in this world, only one has imagined and implemented E thus far.
( Bold added to quote for emphasis )

Offline Rogue

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #136 on: July 19, 2013, 07:03:07 AM »
Heh heh .. out of the 6 billion or so people skittering around in this world, only one has imagined and implemented E thus far.
( Bold added to quote for emphasis )

Not likely, since we all found it. Say we didn't find what we were looking for when we found E? Some of us would have been like, damn I'll just write my stories alone. Some others would probably go NO! I will bring all the awesome writers to this one place and we shall have fun writing together!

And thus E, or a variant there of, is born.

However, we have E and Veks already has it set up and awesome so why do we need to go creating something that already exists.

It's like recreating a sandwich of which we are the meat and toppings and condiments. We have a perfectly good sandwich here, why would we go try to make a new one if this one is still filling us up? (Literally the only analogy I could think of and I just woke up... *hides*)

Offline Kythia

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #137 on: July 19, 2013, 07:28:07 AM »
Not likely, since we all found it. Say we didn't find what we were looking for when we found E? Some of us would have been like, damn I'll just write my stories alone. Some others would probably go NO! I will bring all the awesome writers to this one place and we shall have fun writing together!

And thus E, or a variant there of, is born.

She's right.  Further, this is actually evidence for meikle's point.

Take the death star.  Which is more likely - that the money, time, effort, motivation, knowledge, etc required to create it were actually invested or that it was simply made up?  The harder something is to implement the more likely it is that it doesn't exist.  Sure, we have more evidence for E than the Death Star but it remains to be seen if that is sufficient to prove it exists and isn't simply a figment of my imagination, I'll return to that in a moment.

In general, rational (non-religious) arguments fail against "this leads to solipsism".  So my charges were unfair.  Note that I'm not laying this as a criticism of rational arguments I'm actually, now I'm no longer just trying to wind Ephiral up, laying it as a criticism of solipsism.  It's a piece of rhetorical trickery that adds nothing to an argument.  Criticising Bayesian induction for not addressing it is almost as valid as criticising it for not making the sky green.

Why Religious Arguments Don't Fail
"I believe the Bible is the ultimate authority on truth"
"How do you know the world isn't just a figment of your imagination"
"Bible says so"
"How do you know other people exist"
"Bible says so"
"How do you know the Bible is the ultimate source of truth"
"Bible says so"

In general, the further you get from accepting reason and the evidence of your senses as a basis for truth, the more immune you are to charges your argument leads to solipsism.  That's not me claiming superiority of biblical literalism, I've already said that being immune to leading to solipsism isn't a benefit.

Of course, the religious aren't immune to actually being solipsists - having made up the bible and everything in it in the first place - I'm simply saying that that position doesn't lead to solipsism

Almost.  Because while the charge is mostly unfair, its not totally.  It does seem to me that Bayes fails particularly hard against solipsism, hard enough to open itself to some non-solipsist arguments.  Look at the housing market bubble.  A group of people convinced themselves that their method worked and ignored evidence to the contrary.  Sure, Ephiral has been kind enough to link a proof - which I haven't got round to reading it - but CDOs had a triple A credit rating: there was a great deal of psychological pressure to accept the "proof" of their opinion.

Which brings me neatly to the main objection I have with using Bayes as a baseline for epistemology.  It's inherently mathematical.  You know what?  Maybe it IS more likely than not that other people exist.  But humans are notoriously bad at an innate grip of probabilities.  So without a rigorous demonstration of the possibilities, its simply an assertion unsupported by evidence.  Maybe it is more likely than not that Bayes' method isn't simply groupthink and confirmation bias.  But lacking the proof, it comes down to a matter of opinion.  Any claim made through Bayes that isn't accompanied by a proof I can dismiss with an airy wave of my hand and a reminder that Hitchens' razor cuts both ways.  Despite a recent loss in a broadly similar contest, I'm pretty certain that Ephiral will get fed up of providing rigorous analyses of every ridiculous notion I propose to him quicker than I get fed up of proposing ridiculous notions.



Not to say that all of my teasing had merit.  The other thing I did - the point at which Ephiral quite rightly threw up her arms and said "I'm not even going to talk to you if you're being like this" - was define my terms dishonestly:

It's clearly more likely that "Kythia exists" than that "Kythia exists AND is sometimes wrong".  There we go, Bayesian induction proves I'm always right.  QED motherfuckers.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #138 on: July 19, 2013, 09:20:38 AM »
Almost.  Because while the charge is mostly unfair, its not totally.  It does seem to me that Bayes fails particularly hard against solipsism, hard enough to open itself to some non-solipsist arguments.  Look at the housing market bubble.  A group of people convinced themselves that their method worked and ignored evidence to the contrary.  Sure, Ephiral has been kind enough to link a proof - which I haven't got round to reading it - but CDOs had a triple A credit rating: there was a great deal of psychological pressure to accept the "proof" of their opinion.
And they were ignoring the considerable evidence that that rating was in no way justified. They failed to update on the evidence. Of course Bayes fails when you fail to update; do you criticize your computer for not working when it is turned off?

Which brings me neatly to the main objection I have with using Bayes as a baseline for epistemology.  It's inherently mathematical.  You know what?  Maybe it IS more likely than not that other people exist.  But humans are notoriously bad at an innate grip of probabilities.  So without a rigorous demonstration of the possibilities, its simply an assertion unsupported by evidence.  Maybe it is more likely than not that Bayes' method isn't simply groupthink and confirmation bias.  But lacking the proof, it comes down to a matter of opinion.  Any claim made through Bayes that isn't accompanied by a proof I can dismiss with an airy wave of my hand and a reminder that Hitchens' razor cuts both ways.  Despite a recent loss in a broadly similar contest, I'm pretty certain that Ephiral will get fed up of providing rigorous analyses of every ridiculous notion I propose to him quicker than I get fed up of proposing ridiculous notions.
"This is mathematical" is not a damning indictment; it is possible to reduce every model we have of reality to math. Do you have similar objections to Maxwell's equations? "This is a difficult tool to use well" is not exactly a damning argument when getting to a correct answer with every other tool is more difficult. Choosing good priors is the hardest part of using Bayes, yes. Fortunately, Bayes is inherently iterative. You input your priors and some evidence, and get a posterior. Then you get some new evidence. You feed that evidence and your former posterior in (as the new prior), and get an adjusted posterior. Even the worst possible priors are going to get there eventually; all bad ones do is increase the time taken and evidence required, to a level which hard-caps below the glacial slowness and evidence required when using purely frequentist methods. Finally, sure, people are bad at an intuitive understanding of probabilities. Know what subset of people is markedly better at it (and therefore tends to choose better priors and get to the right answer quicker)? People who actually use the tools on a regular basis.

I might get tired of providing a rigorous analysis of every single ridiculous notion you can name - but I needn't bother, as a lot of them will fail much more basic checks. Which brings us to solipsism. The fact that I didn't think of this last night is a pretty good indication of how out of it I was: Anything capable of emulating the universe is, by definition, more complex than the universe. As such, solipsism fails MML and, by extension, Bayes. You've found a corner case where Occam's and more formal statements of complexity disagree, and are using Occam's to the detriment of your reasoning - this is one of those odd cases where adding an entity reduces complexity.



Not to say that all of my teasing had merit.  The other thing I did - the point at which Ephiral quite rightly threw up her arms and said "I'm not even going to talk to you if you're being like this" - was define my terms dishonestly:

It's clearly more likely that "Kythia exists" than that "Kythia exists AND is sometimes wrong".  There we go, Bayesian induction proves I'm always right.  QED motherfuckers.

P(Kythia is always right|Kythia has made statements which are provably incorrect) is vanishingly small, I'm afraid.  ;)

Offline Kythia

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #139 on: July 19, 2013, 10:12:35 AM »
And they were ignoring the considerable evidence that that rating was in no way justified. They failed to update on the evidence. Of course Bayes fails when you fail to update; do you criticize your computer for not working when it is turned off?

Sorry, my analogy was obviously unclear. There were flaws in the system but they failed to recognise them because they had so much invested in the system being unflawed.  The triple A credit rating is Bayes.

Not that that's why I asked for the proof, by the way.  I lack the skills to find any holes there may be in it.  I was just curious as its something you kinda mention a lot.

Quote
"] Finally, sure, people are bad at an intuitive understanding of probabilities. Know what subset of people is markedly better at it (and therefore tends to choose better priors and get to the right answer quicker)? People who actually use the tools on a regular basis.

Know what subset of people are better drivers than average?  80% of drivers.  And if they came up with a test for how good a driver is, I imagine they'd ace it.

Its not that Im saying you're wrong, simply that there are multiple points that need addressing.

Quote
I might get tired of providing a rigorous analysis of every single ridiculous notion you can name - but I needn't bother, as a lot of them will fail much more basic checks.

See, we actually agree here.  I suspect my usage of "baseline" was confusing.  "First port of call" might have been a better wording. 

Quote
Which brings us to solipsism. The fact that I didn't think of this last night is a pretty good indication of how out of it I was: Anything capable of emulating the universe is, by definition, more complex than the universe. As such, solipsism fails MML and, by extension, Bayes. You've found a corner case where Occam's and more formal statements of complexity disagree, and are using Occam's to the detriment of your reasoning - this is one of those odd cases where adding an entity reduces complexity.

Nah, this doesn't work.  Issue is, I don't need to emulate the universe.  It matters not whether some planet observing some star in some galaxy outside the range of our current telescopes has life on it.  I'll decide that when it matters.  I don't even need to have thought up the shape of the galaxy yet (though, obviously, I am leaning towards a light years across bust of me).  I don't need to emulate the universe, just those bits of it we can observe.  And, until science is finished, that will always be, by definition, less complex than the universe.  MML satisfied, solipsism wins the day, everyone has cream buns for tea.

It's fine not being able to refute it.  It's not a real thing, just a collection of words strung together in a way that sound like they make sense.



 :P
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 10:15:10 AM by Kythia »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #140 on: July 19, 2013, 10:28:32 AM »
Sorry, my analogy was obviously unclear. There were flaws in the system but they failed to recognise them because they had so much invested in the system being unflawed.  The triple A credit rating is Bayes.
The triple-A credit rating is not a theorem. Your analogy only holds if you are asserting that math is wrong.

Know what subset of people are better drivers than average?  80% of drivers.  And if they came up with a test for how good a driver is, I imagine they'd ace it.
No, that's the subset of drivers who think themselves better than average. Does it hold up when you compare their driving to others' across a sufficiently wide sample?

Nah, this doesn't work.  Issue is, I don't need to emulate the universe.  It matters not whether some planet observing some star in some galaxy outside the range of our current telescopes has life on it.  I'll decide that when it matters.  I don't even need to have thought up the shape of the galaxy yet (though, obviously, I am leaning towards a light years across bust of me).  I don't need to emulate the universe, just those bits of it we can observe.  And, until science is finished, that will always be, by definition, less complex than the universe.  MML satisfied, solipsism wins the day, everyone has cream buns for tea.
Except "we" under solipsism is actually "me". Given that the parts of the universe you are not observing right now still behave consistently including the apparent passage of time, you must be capable of emulating everything that it is possible to observe more than once on an ongoing basis, and of making anything that is only observable once perfectly fit into this simulation. A perfectly specified Kythia capable of doing so is absolutely more complex than the minimum-length statement of the laws of physics needed to get us to this point - a statement which doesn't even require describing Kythia at all (which is good, because even baseline-human Kythia is pretty damn complex). So no, still fails MML.

I was trying to keep to layman's terms before, and may have aimed a bit too high-level. The breaking point here is basically that physical laws are only a handful of bytes each, and you only need a fairly small handful of them in order to derive literally everything else. This is a high bar for nalternative explanations to beat. "Thor" might seem like a simple explanation of lightning - until you try to define "god", where they come from, his exact powerset, his psychology, etc, all of which are inherent parts of the definition of Thor. While you're specifying all of those, I'll jot down Maxwell's equations and go do something more entertaining.

(As an aside, this is a significant part of the reason I place such emphasis on playing taboo and asking "What do you actually mean when you say X?")



Shjade, I've been thinking on our discussion for a bit now, because the conclusion still bugged me. And here's the thing: If all is faith (the position you assert), then, as I stated, "X is faith" is literally a null message. So we're left to determine what is worthy of stronger belief... which  leaves us with the sort of analysis I'm talking about here. And under such analysis, we're still left with a false equivalence: p(God,!God) is not a universal distribution. So your inital assertion still rings false: The "faith" put forth by an atheist and a believer are not equivalent, and it is disingenuous and insulting to say so.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 10:39:44 AM by Ephiral »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #141 on: July 19, 2013, 10:37:23 AM »
The triple-A credit rating is not a theorem. Your analogy only holds if you are asserting that math is wrong.

People have done sums wrong before, others have failed to notice the error before.  Maths doesn't have to be wonrg, just Bayes.

Quote
No, that's the subset of drivers who think themselves better than average. Does it hold up when you compare their driving to others' across a sufficiently wide sample?

Hence my mention of them designing the test. 

Quote
I was trying to keep to layman's terms before, and may have aimed a bit too high-level. The breaking point here is basically that physical laws are only a handful of bytes each, and you only need a fairly small handful of them in order to derive literally everything else. This is a high bar for nalternative explanations to beat. "Thor" might seem like a simple explanation of lightning - until you try to define "god", where they come from, his exact powerset, his psychology, etc, all of which are inherent parts of the definition of Thor. While you're specifying all of those, I'll jot down Maxwell's equations and go do something more entertaining.

But Thor's exact power set, psychology, etc is the same as the inhabitants of an unseen planet.  I'll make that up when we need it. "Thor can shoot lightning" is less bytes than Maxwell's equations.

But I have a train to catch.  Have a good weekend.  Though I doubt you will.  The chances of "Not talking to Kythia" AND "Having a good weekend" are pretty damn tiny.  Given how unlikely "Talking to Kythia is amazing" AND "It is possible to enjoy one's life without doing so" is.

I'm never gonna stop doing this.  Just FYI

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #142 on: July 19, 2013, 11:01:21 AM »
People have done sums wrong before, others have failed to notice the error before.  Maths doesn't have to be wonrg, just Bayes.
I reject your silly British mixing of singular and plural. Unlike other areas of empirical study, math actually does have solid proofs - it's relatively trivial to prove every case that would invalidate a statement false. Bayes is backed by such proof. Any case where it would be wrong, then, is either wrong or constitutes a proof of p and ~p, which breaks... pretty much everything.

Hence my mention of them designing the test.
Which leaves us back at selectively ignoring evidence, which is a matter of failing to update on the evidence. Sure, and you won't be driving today if you don't start your car. Bayes is not a method of making a human being infallible, because no human can apply it perfectly. It's a method of making a human less wrong. 

But Thor's exact power set, psychology, etc is the same as the inhabitants of an unseen planet.  I'll make that up when we need it. "Thor can shoot lightning" is less bytes than Maxwell's equations.
You need them the moment you introduce Thor as a distinct entity in your equation, else your specification is incomplete.

But I have a train to catch.  Have a good weekend.  Though I doubt you will.  The chances of "Not talking to Kythia" AND "Having a good weekend" are pretty damn tiny.  Given how unlikely "Talking to Kythia is amazing" AND "It is possible to enjoy one's life without doing so" is.
The probability of having a good weekend without talking to you is equal to the probability that I can do something else I find entertaining. Which is pretty damn high.

I'm never gonna stop doing this.  Just FYI
Given that the only other time you have made this statement to me, you were wrong, I'm gonna have to tag that with a low prior.

Offline Shjade

Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #143 on: July 19, 2013, 11:50:37 AM »
Shjade, I've been thinking on our discussion for a bit now, because the conclusion still bugged me. And here's the thing: If all is faith (the position you assert)

Stopped reading there. I never made such an assertion; that has been your assertion since the start of our interaction, one which I have repeatedly refused and which refusals you have repeatedly ignored, which is the main reason I ceased posting: I have no interest in a one-way conversation.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #144 on: July 19, 2013, 12:02:29 PM »
Stopped reading there. I never made such an assertion; that has been your assertion since the start of our interaction, one which I have repeatedly refused and which refusals you have repeatedly ignored, which is the main reason I ceased posting: I have no interest in a one-way conversation.
I'm sorry, I'm... quite confused, in that case. You seemed to be stating that we need absolute proof in order for something to not be faith; absolute proof is pretty much impossible outside of math. Where did I go wrong, here?

Offline Shjade

Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #145 on: July 19, 2013, 12:57:45 PM »
It'd be back where I said all you need is something you can test/measure/etc. to be conclusive in an observable way, rather than relying wholly on probability. Take your pick on which time I said it, there's a few to choose from.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #146 on: July 19, 2013, 01:06:22 PM »
Can't quote on phone:

You need them the moment you introduce Thor as a distinct entity in your equation, else your specification is incomplete.

And?  Doesn't matter.  My entire point is that I don't need to fully specify things.  Might well lead to an inconsistent world, sure, but you won't notice.  Quite honestly, I only made Canada up this morning.  And I was in a bit of a rush, that's why there's huge empty sections with no cities.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #147 on: July 19, 2013, 01:12:45 PM »
It'd be back where I said all you need is something you can test/measure/etc. to be conclusive in an observable way, rather than relying wholly on probability. Take your pick on which time I said it, there's a few to choose from.
But... such a thing does not exist. There is not a single thing outside of math which has been proven, because positive proofs are not how any means of observing reality, including with your own senses, works.

Can't quote on phone:

You need them the moment you introduce Thor as a distinct entity in your equation, else your specification is incomplete.

And?  Doesn't matter.  My entire point is that I don't need to fully specify things.  Might well lead to an inconsistent world, sure, but you won't notice.  Quite honestly, I only made Canada up this morning.  And I was in a bit of a rush, that's why there's huge empty sections with no cities.
You do if you want to test it against MML. Complete specification is a requirement, else any proposition could be reduced to a single bit.

Offline Shjade

Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #148 on: July 19, 2013, 01:51:05 PM »
But... such a thing does not exist. There is not a single thing outside of math which has been proven, because positive proofs are not how any means of observing reality, including with your own senses, works.

I'd like you to re-read my last post and point out where it includes the words "proven" or "proofs."

Then I'd like you to reflect on the humor of the statement "such a thing does not exist" given the current context.

Offline Rogue

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Re: Bwa hahahahha
« Reply #149 on: July 19, 2013, 03:49:45 PM »
Why Religious Arguments Don't Fail
"I believe the Bible is the ultimate authority on truth"
"How do you know the world isn't just a figment of your imagination"
"Bible says so"
"How do you know other people exist"
"Bible says so"
"How do you know the Bible is the ultimate source of truth"
"Bible says so"

In general, the further you get from accepting reason and the evidence of your senses as a basis for truth, the more immune you are to charges your argument leads to solipsism.  That's not me claiming superiority of biblical literalism, I've already said that being immune to leading to solipsism isn't a benefit.

Of course, the religious aren't immune to actually being solipsists - having made up the bible and everything in it in the first place - I'm simply saying that that position doesn't lead to solipsism

Sorry Kythia, but this bugs me more than the other things. Why? Partly because I'm not a skilled enough debater/know enough logic to understand all the other terms/points. Partly because no one has addressed this and it really, really bugs me.

There's a book. It says it's a true story. But it also says that names and locations have been changed to protect the identities of those around it. No sources have been given. There is no other evidence than the word of the author and the word of the publishing company. Add in that it's about ghosts or them developing psychic abilities. Okay... suspension of belief is tested...

Now, take a book. A book that has been around more than 2000 years, starting with the Old Testament, with additions made about 1900 years ago, which I believe if I remember my history right is when the Gospels were written.

During the period these books were written people believed many things. Many Pantheons still existed, many still believed that natural disasters were caused by a God's fury, and superstitions still were a large part of people's lives. A person hands these people a book and the book tells them it's true. The people in control tell them it's true. And so it becomes true.

Now I'm going to use another famous instance of that very logic you just used (aka: Circular logic).

Circular Logic reference
These people grew up in an age where a drink becomes a major source of nutrients. It has water so it's perfectly okay for humans to drink and get away with. On the other hand people also start to use it for their plants.

Now the plants are dying.

A person suggests using Water.

They are met with the argument this drink is better.

Why is this drink better for the plants?

Because it's got electrolytes?

Why are electrolytes better for the plants?

Because the plants need it?

Well why do they need it?

Because it's got electrolytes.

And I'm sure everyone knows which movie I'm talking about and which drink it is and how this argument continues.

They'd been hand fed this by the government and taught not to think outside that and let the government think for them.

And that's exactly what the church does and did until the protestant reformation.

Now we're part of a time where most of us in the US are encouraged to think freely (even if school systems mess that up but that's another discussion). Now why shouldn't we utilize it and study for ourselves? I was taught to do research outside of the class room for history, to do different lab work to show how what we were learning was correct. Attempt to find as many first hand accounts as possible that all collaborate the same story.

Why should people blindly follow a book for truth?

Maybe, if you were to hand me 20 people, or even 10 people. Some not so educated, some really educated and they all experienced a miracle. A true miracle, not a "miracle" made from coincidence. Maybe. Maybe I'd change my mind if their stories all matched. But without evidence to support a belief, why should we believe it?