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  Topic: No reason for a rift between science and religion?, Skeptic's chance to prove his claims.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,09:31   

Quote (k.e @ Aug. 10 2007,09:29)
"Oh well the Augustin route, wenching, drinking and blaspheming, then the discovery of God later in life" Gore Vidal on Malcolm Muggeridge  
- keep up the good work Louis.

Yeah.  Much better than the other way around...

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,09:38   

Re: The Augustin Route:

On noticing a marked tendancy towards piety in his aging friends, an Australian gent remarked to one of them "Swotting for the finals, eh?".

I thought it summed it up nicely. Now if I could only remember where I heard the anecdote.

Louis

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Bye.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,09:39   

Quote (J-Dog @ Aug. 10 2007,17:31)
Quote (k.e @ Aug. 10 2007,09:29)
"Oh well the Augustin route, wenching, drinking and blaspheming, then the discovery of God later in life" Gore Vidal on Malcolm Muggeridge  
- keep up the good work Louis.

Yeah.  Much better than the other way around...

Chin chin darling

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,09:48   

Quote (k.e @ Aug. 10 2007,15:39)
Quote (J-Dog @ Aug. 10 2007,17:31)
Quote (k.e @ Aug. 10 2007,09:29)
"Oh well the Augustin route, wenching, drinking and blaspheming, then the discovery of God later in life" Gore Vidal on Malcolm Muggeridge  
- keep up the good work Louis.

Yeah.  Much better than the other way around...

Chin chin darling

Oh is it cocktail time already?

{looks at watch}

Yikes I'm late!

TO THE BAR!

Louis

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Bye.

  
JohnW



Posts: 3215
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,10:56   

Quote (Louis @ Aug. 10 2007,07:08)
P.S. Oh no the Aussies have given us more than cheap wine. There's the rotary washing line, Steve Irwin (Crikey!), much good Ocker fun, Carlton Cold and much much more.

And Rolf Harris.  How could you forget Rolf Harris?

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
George



Posts: 315
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:38   

Quote (Louis @ Aug. 10 2007,09:18)

George,

Well as we know, I disagree on epistemological grounds. Reigion and science are the most notable uses of two very different mechanisms that we humans have developed for acquiring knowledge of the universe around us.

I'm happy to be pluralist about this and admit that there are aspects of religion and science that don't overlap or conflict in any way, but I really don't buy this Non Overlapping Magisteria stuff at all, for the reasons stated. I'd also disagree that science can't answer questions about what it means to be human. There's a huge swathe of psycholgical, philosophical and neurological data that is at least a fledgling attempt to answer just these sorts of questions. We can ask questions like "why do I feel this way?" or "why does this mean so much?" or "what is it to be human?" etc and get very rational answers based on reason and observation. What do faith and revelation offer in the way of answers to these questions that a) isn't actually reason, rational thought and observation in disguise or at it's root, or b) trite and dismissable on the basis that the identical answer can be provided by faith in anything or revelation of anything.


Back again.  You've expanded on my narrow ideas on science and religion to talk about faith and reason.  I was going to make the point that a lot of religion, although grounded in faith, actually uses reason and logic in developing theology.  But you've made that point for me.  We need to be careful not to conflate science with reason.

Certainly science and reason can answer some questions about being human, like the above "why do I feel this way"?  Prime candidate for the psych people.  What I meant were the big fluffy questions like "what is the meaning of life", "why am I here" and "how can I be a good person."  Reason can only go so far I think with these questions.  At the root of logical analysis of these are assumptions made using something else, philosophy, faith or something.  These are the questions I think are better addressed by religion or other disciplines like philosophy or art.

As for your point b), you'll have to explain in what sense triteness necessarily follows.

Quote

This is the thing with religion. I'd be singularly amazed if all relgious ideas from all religions over all time turned out to be totally useless. In fact it would be a staggering (and interesting) clue if they were. As it turns out, not all the ideas contained in religion are totally useless, some of them, many of them are quite useful. But a) how do we know they are useful, b) how did they develop, and c) how do we examine them and extract the useful bits? The answer to those three questions is not "faith and revelation". The answer is "by careful reasoning, rational examination of their claims and coherence, careful observation of their effects and basis, and scrutiny of the evidence they claim in support". The useful bits of religions are not only discernable by reason and observation, they are derived from them and can be reverse engineered on that basis. The fact that we have forgotten how they arose, or that their workings are hidden is no more significant than the fact that some part of our brain does very rapid and complex differential calculus when we catch a ball, or that we don't show the full proofs of number theory when we add two and two to get four.


A couple of thoughts here.  Sometimes it may not be possible to extract the useful "bits" as they lose their value when removed from other apparently useless bits of context, support, etc.  The Catholic mass comes to mind.  On its own, incense or responses by the congregation mightn't be very useful in isolation, but they can combine to benefit individuals and arguably society.  The definition of "useful" is also tricky in this context and its definition conditions the ability of reason to analyse religious beliefs and aspects.  Beliefs that are useful in producing a happy, productive society are easily analysed by logical, rational methods.  Certain practices or customs may not have any obvious utility, but may be good for an individual.  Often religion and "religious bits" may be useful or good for one person or in one context, but not others.  Can be a bit messy I think.

All that said, I'm in large agreement with you on heavy doses of reason and logic in religion.  A lot of religion can be understood with reason and logic, but fundamentally religion is irrational and illogical.  I'm not exactly sure how the non-overlapping magisteria idea is defined.  But I would agree that science in the strict sense and religion don't overlap if properly applied.  It's in the misapplication that the conflicts occur.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1773
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,12:17   

Quote (Louis @ Aug. 10 2007,06:21)
Skeptic,

1) There is no assumption of a rift between science and religion, it's a fact. It exists because of the epistemological differences...etc.

Seriously good post Louis. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,12:23   

Hi George,

Since I already explained a lot of what is dealt with above in the long reply to Skeptic (including why I was talking about faith and reason for example), I thought I'd deal with this:

Quote
Reason can only go so far I think with these questions.  At the root of logical analysis of these are assumptions made using something else, philosophy, faith or something.  These are the questions I think are better addressed by religion or other disciplines like philosophy or art.


How do you know?

This is a serious question.

Oh and science IS the application of reason, rational thought and observation etc. It is the very epitome of it. I'm not conflating the two at all, there's no conflation to be made. The difference between the use of reason etc in science and it's use in other fields is merely the difference, to use a surgical analogy, between the careful strokes of a master surgeon's scapel and the broad strokes of a butcher's knife (in some cases the wild swings of a bastard sword! But that's a different matter).

Again, the fact that reason etc can be applied "unconsciously" or with no "significant showing of workings" is insignificant. Precisely as insignificant as the fact that the calculus your brain does is "unconscious" when you catch a ball. The ability to reason is an evolved trait, and for good reasons (to mix definitions!).  Also the fact that one individual might find something useful and another might not is again no more significant than one likes strawberries and another doesn't. Diversity of preference is to be expected. Perhaps the next bit will clarify this.

You cannot fence off religion from scruntiny. This "religion properly applied" stuff is purest bunk. Religion, in part, seeks to inform us about the universe (I would say "and ourselves" but the illusion that we are seperate from the universe is just that, an illusion). In trying to inform us about the universe it makes models and claims and conjectures (like any other area of enquiry). In part those models etc are based on faith: I believe X to be so as a matter of faith, or because god revealed it to me. Regardless of reasoning downstream from this the axioms of faith and revelation are very different from the axioms of philosophy or reason or anything else. By definition an axiom of faith/revelation (and hence religion, the greatest exponent of these mechanisms of "acquiring knowledge") is an unchallengable edict from the creator(s) of the universe. No where else will you find such an in principle unchallengeable edict. Simply because all forms of epistemological tool kits have some axioms does not mean all axioms are equal nor as productive.

Religions use their faith and revelation derived ideas to describe the universe around us. Religions use their faith and revelation derived ideas to make moral, social and ethical claims. On what basis can any religion state that these physical descriptions and moral claims are valid? If it claims them by faith alone then I can make an equally supported faith claim of the polar opposite. Who is right and how do we decide?

Faith and revelation are at their core anti-reason, anathema to it, its polar opposite. That one can combine the two to form ideas is not in doubt, that useful ideas, or accurate ideas, or indeed that any knowledge at all can be gained from faith and revelation is. Examine two faith based propositions. Again, how can one distinguish between them? The only basis one has is reason. That should be a massive clue!

The conflict between science and religion has this very epistemological conflict at its heart. Religions make faith derived claims about the universe. Religion in this sense is overlapping on science's territory (although to frame this as a territorial dispute is false, it's more like a Venn diagram). Epistemologically religions are making the claim that in addition to reason etc, faith and revelation are methods of acquiring knowledge about that universe that work. This is a claim open to scrutiny, and thus far every time it has been scrutinised it has been found wanting. Coincidence happens, but any scrutiny of faith derived claims causes their faith based nature to waft away. The claim to "different ways of knowing" is nothing more than special pleading, wishful thinking and an appeal to prejudice and ignorance.

The tools of art, philosophy etc etc are just the same as the tools of science (as mentioned above) the difference is a quantitative one, not a qualitative one. Again, how something makes one feel is a reasoned response no matter how unconscious. It is bog standard "stimulus-response". The bagges we associate with it is also based on other stimuli, claiming an undemonstrated (and undemonstrable) "other" dimension to it is simply over emphasising the "unconscious" element.

Lastly, to answer your question about triteness, well I thought the rest of the sentence did that, but obviously I didn't explain myself very well. Give me a question of the type you/I mention and the religious answer to it and I'll show you what I mean.

Louis

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Bye.

  
swbarnes2



Posts: 78
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,13:59   

Quote (George @ Aug. 10 2007,11:38)
 I was going to make the point that a lot of religion, although grounded in faith, actually uses reason and logic in developing theology.


And one can use pure logic to extrapolate about hen's teeth.

I think the utter absence of hen's teeth (barring fun tricks in the laboratory) proves that reason badly applied is pretty stupid.

     
Quote
We need to be careful not to conflate science with reason.


I don't think "we" need to be careful at all.  I think all the science advocates here are perfectly aware that what makes science so darn useful is that it's reason combined with empirical testing.

That's what distinguishes science from theology, which is reason built on...things not empirical.

     
Quote
What I meant were the big fluffy questions like "what is the meaning of life", "why am I here" and "how can I be a good person."


Your third question is amendable to scientific inquiry, because we probably can build a definition for "good" person that we can observe in the physical universe. You could start by saying that a "good person" is the kind of person that most people feel improves their society.  Or that a "good person" follows closely the Golden Rule, which is valued as useful by pretty much every society on the planet ever.

We probably can't make a purely objective definition, but we can at least ground our definition in observable behaviors.

But your other questions are meaningless unless you start with the assumption that your life has a "meaning" and a "reason".  And that you can't demonstrate.  You just believe it on religious grounds.  So we're back to impeccably reasoned treatices on hen's teeth.

 
Quote
But I would agree that science in the strict sense and religion don't overlap if properly applied.


Okay, so who defines "proper"?  Religions once proclaimed that the best way to ensure a good crop was to rip the queen's sacred consort to shreds over the fields.  They thought that was a proper application of religious thinking.  And why isn't it "proper" to learn about, say, a global flood from reading a book that your religion tells you is suppsoed to describe it utterly faithfully?

I suppose the best answer to how to "properly" apply science and religion is: "science works with physical phenomena, and religions work for non-physical phenomena".  You are just stuck with the problem that you can't know if there are any of the latter, you just have to hope there are, and call that wish "faith".

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 13 2007,23:00   

I hate getting this far behind because I can't possibly respond to everything that's been said so I'll just make a few quick points.

First, nice thorough post Louis however much I disagree with what you said.  

The term creationist is being thrown around alot and I think slightly misused.  You could lump every single religious person into this catagory because whatever mechanism God used, the universe was still created.  Now the small subset of this group are the YECs and IDers who attempt to construct a rigis framework to the creation story.  They are incorrectly straying into science just as the scientist who  mistakenly applies empiricism to faith.  They are part of the problem but not the norm.  I'll use Genesis as an example but it applies to all creation stories.  Genesis is poetry written by a man.  Careful reading of Genesis quickly reveals that it is not a science text, there is no evidence presented nor observations recorded.  The point is to demonstrate the power of God and reinforce the concept of the special nature of mankind (this is an over-simplification but I'm just hitting the high points) not to layout the blueprint for universe creation.  Remember the author, Moses or Aaron or other, did not see any of this take place nor interview anyone who did.  Any attempt to say that Genesis is develops a model for the physical universe is groundless.  Genesis lays the groundwork for a spiritual model of the universe.  Huge difference.

The questions that faith and reason try to answer are in NO way similar.  Take for instance the brain.  Science will tell me about the neurons that form networks that lead to higher functions.  How they fire, what stimuli drive these responses, etc and so forth.  What science can not tell me is anything about the Mind, who I am, where I reside in this brain.  These questions are outside of rational thought as are love, sadness, goodness and morality.  These questions must be answered in some other ways and faith is one of these avenues.  And just to make my thoughts plain, there is no such thing as true morality in the absense of God everything else is just a human construct and therefore flawed.

But before we go round and round I wanted to make an observation.  Based upon what you've said I think you are much more optimistic concerning man's ability to apply reason and rationality to these questions and find the answer.  I do not believe that is possible as our capacity is limited and those questions are beyond reason.  I see why you insist on the conflict because you believe it is science's role to answer these questions using it's methods as opposed to the methods used by faith.  Science can not answer these questions and in error when it tries and the same applies to faith.

One last thing, both science and faith seek knowledge but of a completely different sort and for a completely different reason.  I believe Crick ran right out to the local pub after the discovery of the structure of DNA and promptly declared that they had discovered the meaning of life.  What was not doscovered was the meaning of Life and that is a question only Faith can answer.

  
Renier



Posts: 276
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,01:28   

Quote (George @ Aug. 10 2007,08:56)
My take on this subject, and maybe it's the middle point btwn Louis and Skeptic, is that religion and science should not come into conflict, but often do.  As Louis has said, they are based on two completely different ways of understanding the world and humanity.  Neither should try to answer questions that are best addressed by the other.  Religion can't usefully answer questions about the natural world and science can't usefully questions about what it means to be a human.  The problems arise when people forget this.  Usually creationists.

My €0.02.  Maybe not very enlightening or useful, but must dash now.

Perhaps you are right with "science can't usefully questions about what it means to be a human". But, how does religion do any better with answering questions about being human? Is philosophy not perhaps better at this and does it mean that non-beleivers like Atheists and Agnostics cannot answer questions about being human because they have no religion to help them?

I don't buy it. There are many people who uphold NOMA, for obvious reasons, even reasons that I can understand but I don't agree with it. Religion is just pissed because science has refuted so much opinions that their holy texts had about the universe and world we live on.

*Disclaimer: As Lenny would surely point out, there are many religious people that stands up for science, even against people that share their faith. My above comments are therefore not a blanket.

  
Louis



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,04:52   

Skeptic,

So your reply is to handwave away generations of evidence that contradict your claims and simply reassert them?

Wow, well I'm impressed!

1) The mentions of creationists were:

a) in response to a point that you made claiming that people don't use faith to understand/claim knowledge of the world, the existence of creationists proves that claim wrong, Skeptic. You can say they are wrong to do so all you like, but you haven't answered the question of how you know they are wrong to do so. You are merely asserting that they are wrong, you are not demonstrating it. How do you know they are wrong? And remember Skeptic you are not allowed to use reason, logic, evidence and observation because if you do you prove my point.

b) You made a (false) claim about scientists being naughty for daring to counter creationists. That claim has been refuted, ergo the mention of creationists was relevant.

You go on about Genesis being poetry, great, I agree. How do you know Skeptic. All though this you are merely asserting these things by faith alone. If I were to come up with a contradictory position based on faith alone, then how would you demonstrate which was right and which wasn't (if indeed either of them were)?

2) No one is applying empiricism to faith. All anyone is asking is what knoweldge comes from faith/revelation and how do we know. You have avoided that question. Just as you have avoided the question about how we distinguish between two faith based positions that are mutually contradictory.

3) You are very keen on defining things as beyond rational study and yet you give no support for these claims. Worse than that the claims you make are actually false. We CAN rationally study morals and ethics. We CAN rationally study aspects of the mind (not "merely" the brain, although what is "mere" about it I'll never know! Looks bloody complicated to me). No one is saying these studies are perfect or 100% complete but appeals to mind/brain dualism (long since refuted by the evidence) don't work.

4) It's not a matter of my optimism or my beliefs or a desire to see science answer something it "shouldn't" (not my claim, but yours. Totally unsubstantiated on your part you'll note), Skeptic. It's a matter of the evidence. All the knowledge we have that deserves the title derives solely from reason and observation. Show me what knowledge faith and revelation have contributed and how we know that it is knowledge and not mere fantasy. All the evidence we have demonstrates beyond doubt that reason, observation, rational thought etc can provide us with answers to every coherent question we can ask. My faith/desire/belief is immaterial, it doesn't even enter into the question. I might want completely the opposite, or believe in limits, but I cannot honestly deny the success of the methods of acquiring knowledge about the universe we have developed.

Back to your false dualism, we know for a fact that alterations in brain structure and chemistry alter aspects of what was once thought to be the province of the "mind" or "spirit" as entities distinct and disembodied from the brain. We can induce religious experiences of awe and love with an electromagnetic field or a chemical. Experiences indistinguishable from the "natural" occuring ones. This alone disproves your comments about reason being incapable of probing the mind.

Again, no one denies humanity's limits or lack of infinite attributes but so what? Simply declaring things off limits because you don't like them is not an answer. We haven't reached the end of what we can study yet, when and if we do you *might* have a point, but as it stands we haven't and you don't. (Actually you wouldn't have a point, because the appeal to mystery is a) logically fallacious and b) open to ANY mystery anyone wishes to insert). I suggest you start trying to answer the epistemological question rather than flapping around avoiding the issue.

5) Meaning of life? Go on then, how does faith/revelation answer it better than reason. In fact how does it answer it at all. Why is the question even worth answering or meaningful (and I DO NOT mean from a personal perspective)?

You keep making the assertion that reason and faith are attempts to answer different questions and yet you a) haven't established this and b) whenever this point is refuted (because they do have questions in common at least) you run away or re-assert that it is misapplication of these methods of acquiring knowledge with no support.

6) No "true" morality in the absence of god, eh? Oh really! Eat a lot of porridge do you? Put and sugar on it? Which god Skeptic, and how do you know? Stop dodging the question.

Oh and no one denies the imperfections of human morality, imperfections don't equal a problem. Unless of course one is a fool seeking absolutist ideals, demonstrated decades (hell, centuries) ago to be false and fallacious. Again Skeptic you believe this because you want to, despite the fact that it flies in the face of all of the evidence.

The simple fact that different societies have different morals utterly refutes your appeal to absolutist morals. Unless of course you can demonstrate that the basis for you moral claims is more valid than the basis for a different set of moral claims. Let me clue you in a second: the appeal to prejudice won't cut the mustard.

So Skeptic, you have a lot of work to do. For your assertions to be true you have to:

a) Demonstrate that faith/revelation provide knowledge about the universe. I.e. that they are valid mechanisms of acquiring knowledge, be it physical or "spiritual" (whatever that means, we'd need a definition, and some evidence it even exists, because saying that reason cannot examine love [for example] is merely yet another reassertion of the original claim).

b) Demonstrate a method for distinguishing between two faith based claims. (this includes your moral claims)

c) Demonstrate that reason etc cannot penetrate the areas you claim faith/revelation can, because at the moment all of your examples have been either i) mere reassertions of your original point or ii) derived solely from your personal ignorance of the topics at hand.

d) Demonstrate that questions such as "what is the meaning of life?" are valid questions, and that faith/revelation can answer them.

Oh and you have to do this WITHOUT recourse to reason, logic, rational thought and observation. Why? Because I have taken the position that all knowledge acquired by humanity since the dawn of time is derived solely from reason, logic, rational thought and observation (unless one really wants to retreat into solipsism and nihilism). I can conclusively demonstrate (as far as any such thing can be conclusive) that appeals to faith and revelation alone are indistinguishable from any other appeal to faith and revelation, and thus mere fantasy. It is you that is claiming "different ways of knowing" to reason thus you who has to justify that claim. Simply reasserting them and stamping your foot and saying "They ARE different" doesn't acheive this.

Louis

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Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,07:34   

This will have to be quick but I will get back later to address this fully.  One thing I'm seeing is the criticism that I'm making statements about faith by faith alone without proving them.  That sounds like a catch-22 to me.  How can I possibly supply evidence in a field that I conclude is beyond reason? : D

You are absolutely right.  You can not prove that you're statements by faith are any more valid than my statements of faith.  Again, these opinions are not subject to empirical analysis.  This is not about truth in a scientific sense and that may be hard to accept.

Be back for more later...

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,07:50   

Quote (skeptic @ Aug. 14 2007,13:34)
This will have to be quick but I will get back later to address this fully.  One thing I'm seeing is the criticism that I'm making statements about faith by faith alone without proving them.  That sounds like a catch-22 to me.  How can I possibly supply evidence in a field that I conclude is beyond reason? : D

You are absolutely right.  You can not prove that you're statements by faith are any more valid than my statements of faith.  Again, these opinions are not subject to empirical analysis.  This is not about truth in a scientific sense and that may be hard to accept.

Be back for more later...

Great! Then what knowledge value do they have? How do I distinguish "true" faith claims from "false" faith claims. And if I can't, why listen to either when I have so excellent an alternative to both at my disposal?

It isn't about truth in a scientific sense? LOL Skeptic, it ain't about "truth" at all. It's about the probelm the majority of humanity have with a) dealing with reality, and b) the exciting little hypocritical circles they run in when confronted about it.

Louis

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Bye.

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,07:50   

Quote (skeptic @ Aug. 14 2007,07:34)
This is not about truth in a scientific sense and that may be hard to accept.

Please define other types of proof (if by proof you mean overwhelming evidence, if you DON'T, then that's another problem entirely)

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Occam's Toothbrush



Posts: 555
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,09:08   

Quote
But, how does religion do any better with answering questions about being human?

Well, it's much faster and easier.  For instance, if you asked a mathematician "what's the smallest prime number of more than a trillion digits?"  It would probably take him/her a long time and a large amount of effort and resources to figure out the answer. OTOH, you could ask me the same question and I could instantly blurt out "fifty seven point oh-six-three."  From the standpoint of response time and ease of calculation at least, my answer is superior.  Stupid, useless and wrong, but faster and easier.

And so children, that's how religion helps us understand the answers to questions about what it means to be human.

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"Molecular stuff seems to me not to be biology as much as it is a more atomic element of life" --Creo nut Robert Byers
------
"You need your arrogant ass kicked, and I would LOVE to be the guy who does it. Where do you live?" --Anger Management Problem Concern Troll "Kris"

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,09:14   

Quote (Occam's Toothbrush @ Aug. 14 2007,15:08)
Quote
But, how does religion do any better with answering questions about being human?

Well, it's much faster and easier.  For instance, if you asked a mathematician "what's the smallest prime number of more than a trillion digits?"  It would probably take him/her a long time and a large amount of effort and resources to figure out the answer. OTOH, you could ask me the same question and I could instantly blurt out "fifty seven point oh-six-three."  From the standpoint of response time and ease of calculation at least, my answer is superior.  Stupid, useless and wrong, but faster and easier.

And so children, that's how religion helps us understand the answers to questions about what it means to be human.

AH But Occam's Toothbrush, the answer "I haven't a bastard clue" is equally short, rapid, useless, and easy but with the additional virtue of (in my case at least) being absolutely true.

Therefore ignorance is knowledge, black is white, war is peace, love is hate, slavery is freedom and I'm a little teapot.

All together now.....

Louis

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Bye.

  
Occam's Toothbrush



Posts: 555
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,09:28   

Quote (Louis @ Aug. 14 2007,09:14)
AH But Occam's Toothbrush, the answer "I haven't a bastard clue" is equally short, rapid, useless, and easy but with the additional virtue of (in my case at least) being absolutely true.

The answer "I don't know" is always a more useful answer to any real question than "goddidit."  At least when you say "I don't know," the door is still open for someday figuring out the real answer.

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"Molecular stuff seems to me not to be biology as much as it is a more atomic element of life" --Creo nut Robert Byers
------
"You need your arrogant ass kicked, and I would LOVE to be the guy who does it. Where do you live?" --Anger Management Problem Concern Troll "Kris"

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,09:51   

I see that our disagreement is very fundamental.  We are two ships passing in the night with you seeking certainty and I saying there is none.

Consider this example.  I ask you to prove that you love your wife and you give me your evidence.  I reject your evidence because IMO you don't love your wife you just like her.  Why?  Because love can not be broken down to an equation or proven as a theorem.  No matter how unsatisfying that answer is it is simply true.  In these cases we turn to poetry, philosophy and faith to answer questions such as these.

Example number 2.  Let's take the Bible and assume that everything in it is proven absolutely false.  It's just one big novel with some very interesting stories.  What does this mean for the existence of God, any God?  Nothing.  God's existence, or more correctly the existence of anything, is independent of our ability to comprehend or recognize it.  In order to gain knowledge of something we have to observe it, measure it, touch it, etc.  In the case of God, science is unable to supply these observations whereas revelation, inspiration, meditation, etc are exactly suited to this kind of knowledge.

I understand you desire to know everything or assume that everything is theoretically within reach for mankind.  The truth is it's not and that is very hard for some people to accept.  In fact, in some cases, it's just that realization that allows people to find comfort in their faith.  This may be an alien concept.

anyway gotta go for now...

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,10:51   

Quote (skeptic @ Aug. 14 2007,15:51)
I see that our disagreement is very fundamental.  We are two ships passing in the night with you seeking certainty and I saying there is none.

Consider this example.  I ask you to prove that you love your wife and you give me your evidence.  I reject your evidence because IMO you don't love your wife you just like her.  Why?  Because love can not be broken down to an equation or proven as a theorem.  No matter how unsatisfying that answer is it is simply true.  In these cases we turn to poetry, philosophy and faith to answer questions such as these.

Example number 2.  Let's take the Bible and assume that everything in it is proven absolutely false.  It's just one big novel with some very interesting stories.  What does this mean for the existence of God, any God?  Nothing.  God's existence, or more correctly the existence of anything, is independent of our ability to comprehend or recognize it.  In order to gain knowledge of something we have to observe it, measure it, touch it, etc.  In the case of God, science is unable to supply these observations whereas revelation, inspiration, meditation, etc are exactly suited to this kind of knowledge.

I understand you desire to know everything or assume that everything is theoretically within reach for mankind.  The truth is it's not and that is very hard for some people to accept.  In fact, in some cases, it's just that realization that allows people to find comfort in their faith.  This may be an alien concept.

anyway gotta go for now...

Skeptic,

Fuck me you really do like your straw men don't you!

Me? Certainty? Can't you read for comprehension. All knowledge is provisonal, I've never said different. You do realise that this means there isn't any certainty don't you? Lawks Skeptic, but you can be a tiresome idiot.

Ships passing in the night? Crikey, will you do anything to avoid defending your claims?

Let's deal with your examples:

1) I love my wife. I can demonstrate that I act towards my wife in a certain way consistent with the defition of love. I can, as far as can be ascertained, demonstrate to an impartial observer that I love my wife by the use of evidence and reason and observation. Is there some modicum of doubt? Of course, as I said above there is always some element of doubt, knowledge is provisional.

I didn't say anywhere that things could be broken down into equations, that is a strawman of your own confection. Please don't you it again or I shall be moved to exceedingly harsh language! ;-)

You end your first example by simply restating your original claim, again. What on earth makes you think that art and philosophy are not founded on and utilising reason and observation? As I have said possibly umpteen times now, the fact that one doesn't sit down and work out one's desires or emotions on a calculator does not in any way mean they are not reasoned responses to stimuli. The fact that they are perhaps unconsciously processed is no more indicative of magic or faith or "different ways of knowing" than is catching a ball. Try again.

2) The bible: Apart from the fact that it deals with some demonstrably real places, occasionally some demonstrably real people and events, and that it contains the anecdotes of many people some of which bear up to scrutiny, it HAS BEEN proven absolutely false! But that aside your "example" is nothing of the sort, it is simply you restating BY FAITH ALONE that some things are unexaminable by reason. You then couple this with some patronising falsity about my seeking certainty.

If there is a theistic deity or set of deities that interact with the universe in such a way as to alter it (i.e. not a deistic god), then those interactions are by definition detectable (no one is saying that it's necessarily an easy job!). Deities that tinker with the material world are open to disproof (as far as such things can be accomplished) simply on the basis that no interaction of that nature can be shown to be occuring. Of course absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and there could be a deity lurking somewhere, but not the one's describe by current world faiths. Why? Because those descriptions include properties we simply do not observe.  As I said right at the start you are trying to constantly redefine your deity away from scrutiny and you simply cannot honestly do that.

Skeptic, try very very hard to understand the fact that you are merely repeatedly ASSERTING your claims, you are NOT demonstrating them. You have continually reasserted that reason cannot understand some things whilst being incapable of pointing out what those things are. You have to date (IIRC, I can't be bothered to wade through your shit to find them all) said that reason cannot examine:

a) the mind
b) meaning
c) emotions (e.g. love)
d) god(s)
e) morals and ethics

In every case you are staggeringly wrong, and not because I merely assert that this is the case.

a) The studies of psychiatry, psychology and neurology are (despite their flaws) doing precisely what you claim they cannot. They are probing the nature of the "mind" tha arises from the physical functioning of the brain. There is no reason to expect a "ghost in the machine" separate from the brain's operation. Is it a complex and imperfectly understood relationship and set of processes? Yes of course it is. Is it in principle unexaminable by reason? Demonstrably no.

b) Meaning can be explored rationally through various branches of philosophy and the arts. Not only do these fields rely on reason and observation but the very things that underpin them are derived from the interaction of the brain anf the universe around it. Where the questions involved are not non sequiturs, reason can explore them. Where the questions are irrational, there is a) no reason to expect them to even have answer and b) no reason to expect that faith and revelation can answer them. Assertion that this is the case is merely a restatement of the original claim, not a validation of it.

c) Emotions can not only be explored and understood psychologically but they have definite bases in biological processes that we know the workings of. If I wish to demonstrate I love my wife for example, I can behave in a manner consonent with the defintion of love towards her. The fact that I cannot demonstrate if it is "true" love or not is a) logially fallacious (no true scotsman) and b) irrelevant in exactly the same way that "is the colour purple you see the same as the colour purple I see" is. We can demonstrate the brain responds the same way to the same frequencies of radiation in the brains of different people, both of whom refer to that stimulus as seeing the colour purple. That is as close as it is possible to get to anything approaching certainty. Certainty is itself unreachable.

d) Gods. If they interact with the material universe they are in principle a claim about the material nature of the universe and thus open to falsification on that basis. Thus far, no single event consonent with any current operating defintion of any deity conceived of by humanity has been observed. This far, no logical or rational argument from ontology to teleology and beyond has been found that can demonstrate the existence of a deity ab initio and as a matter of principle. Any deity described in such a way that it is utterly undetectable is uttrely indistingushable from a  non-existent deity, and thus as a matter of parsimony can be said not to exist. All so far totally open to reason and rational enquiry, nothing thus far unpenetrable by reason.

e) Morals and ethics are demonstrably social contructs. Rationalisations of current behaviours and desires about future or general behaviours. Centuries of study in philosophy, sociology, anthropology, ethology etc etc etc (all reasoned and observational) have demonstrated this beyond any reasonable doubt. Again, all open to reason.

Your examples, Skeptic and you claims are not only unsubstantiated but utterly refuted thus far. Care to do any better?

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,10:56   

Shouldn't "skeptic" be changed to
"Not a skeptic", or maybe "I'll believe any old thing if it's in a dusty old book"?

Aren't there Truth In Advertising laws anymore?

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,13:19   

on points a)-e), I completely disagree on every point and it can not be any plainer than that.  You put you faith in man's ability to collect knowledge on these concepts and you couldn't be more wrong.

The Mind, not the mind, define it for me please.  Explain how the function and structure of the brain gives rise to the emergence of the Mind and (just for kicks) consciousness.

Meaning in life is rationally subjective and can not be pinned down to a time, place or culture.  The only universal solution is if it is based upon something transcendate to time, place and culture.

Emotions or the chemical reactions leading to emotions have nothing to do with what Love is or what Sadness is.  For that matter, if you've ever known a woman you know that emotions are in no way rational.

God.  Well this is the point of the discussion but it is extreme arrogance to assume that if God exists you should be able to detect him or them.  Prove that to me and you win.

Morality is also subjective and it depends upon time, place and culture unless rooted upon something uninfluenced by these factors.  Resorting to rationality to define morality results in nothing but relativism.  But again, if you believe otherwise, prove it.

I keep having to repeat myself because you just aren't getting it.  You're appling humanistic reasoning but it is severely limited and if it wasn't then these concepts would be defined by now and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,13:23   

Quote (skeptic @ Aug. 14 2007,13:19)
The Mind, not the mind, define it for me please.  Explain how the function and structure of the brain gives rise to the emergence of the Mind and (just for kicks) consciousness.

Skeptic, you've got to be kidding.

Please remove your brain and let us know if you retain consciousness.

Or, if that seems a bit extreme, please outline for us the scientific evidence for a mind/brain dualism.

thanks

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Shirley Knott



Posts: 148
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,14:23   

Quote
Meaning in life is rationally subjective and can not be pinned down to a time, place or culture.

Quite demonstrably false.
As you go on to show later in your own post...

 
Quote
Morality is also subjective and it depends upon time, place and culture unless rooted upon something uninfluenced by these factors.


Trying to have it both ways, eh?

 
Quote
You're appling humanistic reasoning but it is severely limited and if it wasn't then these concepts would be defined by now and we wouldn't be having this discussion.


I have to assume you intended to say 'human reasoning' rather than humanistic.  Otherwise, kindly define and demonstrate just what the heck 'humanistic reasoning' is other than plain old everyday human reason.
And insofar as you mean 'human reasoning', you are using the same thing [to be charitable.  The content of your posts suggests that you might not be...]
It is the only kind of reasoning we have available to us.
And it is the starting point for anything you do; if it is flawed, the flaws apply equally to you and the products of your mentation.
Secondly, "then these concepts would be defined by now".
Says who?  Why must this be the case?
Concepts appear at a point in time, and our understanding of that to which the concept, or proto-concept refers, grows and evolves over time.
Contra to your first point, but somewhat in synch with your second, and devastating to your third-and-a-half.

no hugs for thugs,
Shirley Knott

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,16:09   

Alba, you raise a very interesting question.  Let me put something together for you.

Shirley, you do not.  Look up "humanism."

  
Shirley Knott



Posts: 148
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,16:52   

I'm *quite* familiar with the general and specific meanings of 'humanism'.
I am at a loss as to how any of them help clarify your effluent.
Your screed was all but meaningless in the technical sense of the term.  What little meaning was actually there was confused, largely self-refuting, and embarrassing to anyone with more than 2 functioning brain cells.
And you have ignored the challenge embedded in your own post, while trivializing a response that both points that out and asks a meaningful and specific question about just what it is you are going on about.
It is on that basis that I conclude:
You, sir, are an idiot.
Not a sceptic, an idiot.
A singularly clueless, smug, supercilious idiot.
Kindly intercourse elsewhere and expire.

no hugs for thugs,
Shirley Knott

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2007,19:22   

*smiles*

Thank fine lady but I will kindly turn down your offer and apply my two functioning brain cells to the question at hand.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2007,03:02   

Quote (skeptic @ Aug. 14 2007,19:19)
on points a)-e), I completely disagree on every point and it can not be any plainer than that.  You put you faith in man's ability to collect knowledge on these concepts and you couldn't be more wrong.

The Mind, not the mind, define it for me please.  Explain how the function and structure of the brain gives rise to the emergence of the Mind and (just for kicks) consciousness.

Meaning in life is rationally subjective and can not be pinned down to a time, place or culture.  The only universal solution is if it is based upon something transcendate to time, place and culture.

Emotions or the chemical reactions leading to emotions have nothing to do with what Love is or what Sadness is.  For that matter, if you've ever known a woman you know that emotions are in no way rational.

God.  Well this is the point of the discussion but it is extreme arrogance to assume that if God exists you should be able to detect him or them.  Prove that to me and you win.

Morality is also subjective and it depends upon time, place and culture unless rooted upon something uninfluenced by these factors.  Resorting to rationality to define morality results in nothing but relativism.  But again, if you believe otherwise, prove it.

I keep having to repeat myself because you just aren't getting it.  You're appling humanistic reasoning but it is severely limited and if it wasn't then these concepts would be defined by now and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Skeptic,

This is getting beyond farcical.

We are not merely exchanging subjective opinions, and my "faith" in humanity's ability to study things is not faith at all but observation of what is occurring/has occurred. I need no faith in it at all, it's happening all around me and we as a species have been doing it since the dawn of time and writing about it for only slightly less time! It doesn't matter than some of the conclusions and data we have are in error (or were in error or will be in error) the fact is beyond doubt that we can rationally investigate these things.

I know you don't understand this but you are making a claim that (for example) all of psychiatry, psychology and neurology cannot study the things they study! It's not up to me to get a psych textbook and regurgitate it for you, it's up to you to support your claim that, in contradiction to enormous quantities of evidence available at your local library no less, that the rational study of topics such as minds, morals and men is an impossibility.

I'll repeat it to help you:

Throughout this entire "conversation" (for I now realise I have been casting pearls not merely before swine but into a black hole of utter ignorance and stupidity) you have made various claims about the impossibility of things being studiable. You have in no way expanded on how or why you know this to be the case, you have merely continually reasserted them without basis. You can disagree all you like but all you are doing is sticking your fingers in your ears, plugs up your nose, and a blindfold over your eyes and singing "LALALALALA the universe isn't the way I want it to be so I won't admit anything". So again Skeptic, how do you know, i.e. on what basis, do you make the claim that (for example) the mind is not open to rational enquiry.

You claim to keep repeating yourself because *I* don't get it? Jesus fucking H Corbett, Skeptic! For an utterly clueless moron you don't suffer from the virtue of humility do you! LOL Honestly old bean your attempts at "argument" have been laughable. You now claim that if these concepts were open to rational enquiry then they would already be settled? Skeptic, crack a book, THEY ARE! The fact that many people are too biased, apathetic stupid or ignorant to know about/understand/care about the relevant data isn;t a data point in your favour! Pick up a neurology text, or a psych text, go and read Hume and Russell on ethics (hell, go and read the Greeks, no need to trouble you with anything from the last century or two!), it's all out there.

Oh and meaning and morals ARE relative! That's the point I've been trying to get you to comprehend for a while now. There is no transcendant moral code to which human morals are merely a poor reflection and the different cultural moral codes are a key indicator (but by no means the only one) of this. That's the whole point, morals vary from culture to culture (as does attempt at meaning etc). We can study (and do very effectively) the origins and nature of different cultures' morals and ethics, again crack a book and you'll find the world open up around you.

Oh and Skeptic, you really need to lay off the straw men:

a) I do live with a woman (and I've known a few, I believe my mother is one, although I'll have to ask her) and her emotions are perfectly rational whilst at the same time being totally irrational (just like mine, yours, anyone's. Oh and your abject sexism is noted, well done Skeptic, a new low). Guess what, the word "rational" can be used in different ways. I was very explicitly (and very clearly to anyone with a reading age over 5) using "rational" in the EPISTEMOLOGICAL sense of the word, not the colloquial one. Pissing about with definitions makes you look very silly. Please don't act the cunt with me because I will slap you down.

b) I never said that if god(s) exists then we should be able to detect it (them). I said that if god(s) exist AND interact with the universe (answer prayers, move matter about to create X or Y) then BY DEFINITION that is an interaction with the material universe that is detectable. How easy or hard it might be to do that is a different matter. If god(s) only move single photons, then our chance of detecting them are vanishingly small, still finite, but beyond modern technology unless it's a photon we currently happen to be looking at very carefully. That's the difference Skeptic, and I think you'll find it's a key one. Appeals to undetectable deities don't butter any parsnips. First undetectable looks a lot like nonexistant. Second it's not exactly parsimonious. Appeals to tinkerer gods (liek the one described above) are dangerous because thus far all gods defined by the human race have attributes that are open to detetction. Claiming (for example) that hurricanes are sent by god is a big no no. We KNOW how hurricanes work and arise, no god there at all.  If you want to make the utterly asinine claim that "ahhhhhh well it's really god behind it all but you can't see him" then you know I am going to ask "how do you know?" and "how do you know which god it is? Or if it's not pixies etc?" and since you are relying solely on faith to suuport your claim then those contradictory and mutually exclusive faith claims are equally as valid, so you lose out once again.

Oh and Skeptic, if I prove something to you I've won? Sweetie I hate to break this to you but if there was winning and losing to be done, I won a while ago. I was also unaware that conversation involved winning or losing. You think this is a debate? LOL Skeptic my dear sweet little munchkin, if this was a debate, the debate moderator would have removed you for failing to meet the minimum intellectual requirements both in terms of your abilities as a prticipant and the lack of cohesion in your claims and arguments. You would have been ruled out of order and sat on the sidelines so that a more capable debater could take the floor. PErhaps some kind of vegetable.

What you are currently doing is flannelling around and repeating the same claims you made at the start. Even a sympathetic reader would be ashamed of your drivel, but don't take my word for it. Capitalising words like Mind and Love don't change their meaning, and as some supposedly capable of understanding basic chemistry (although no eevidence of this has ever arisen I note) you seem curiously ignorant about the basics of drug action and biological chemistry. Want me to prove you can feel a sincere and abiding love just on the basis of your body's chemistry? Easy peasy, take an E, go to a club. You'll love everyone in the room very sincerely indeed because of the lovely little biological pathways through your brain that E stimulates.

I'm giving you an F, must try a lot harder. Now are you going to answer the questions or not?

Here they are again:

1) How does one distinguish between two faith based claims?

2) Demonstrate that faith/revelation provide knowledge about the universe. I.e. that they are valid mechanisms of acquiring knowledge, be it physical or "spiritual" (whatever that means, we'd need a definition, and some evidence it even exists, because saying that reason cannot examine love [for example] is merely yet another reassertion of the original claim).

3) Demonstrate that reason etc cannot penetrate the areas you claim faith/revelation can, because at the moment all of your examples have been either i) mere reassertions of your original point or ii) derived solely from your personal ignorance of the topics at hand.

4) Demonstrate that questions such as "what is the meaning of life?" are valid questions, and that faith/revelation can answer them.

Four simple questions you have yet to answer, and yet you continually (ever more frantically) reassert your claims without basis. Whining that you do so "because I don't get them" is a) untrue (quite demonstrably so) and b) a logically fallacious special plead. Not only do I "get" your claims Skeptic, but since post number one I have shown them to be utterly false at every turn.

It's quite simple: the rational study of the universe works and is going on all around you despite your ignorance of it. You can stamp your feet and shout "BUT IT CAN'T" all you like, the simple fact is that it can, it does, it is and you are in denial. Asserting by faith alone that something is not open to rational enquiry does not constitute evidence for your claims. The very fact that we can and do investogate things like morals, mind and what have you rationally proves your claims false. The fact that we investigate these things and produce reproducible, reliable data from their study that can be used to predict future phenomena before we've even observed them (why, that seem like science! Gosh, it is!) is the icing on the cake. Not only can we investigate these matters perfetcly rationally, we can do so successfully. So your claims aren't merely false, they are in direct contradiction to what we already know. Hence why you have to show on what basis you make those claims. Good luck!

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2007,11:58   

Louis, for the first time, I'm sad to say, you utterly demonstrate that you just don't know what you are talking about.  It appears that you are just so rooted in materialism that you just can not accept that there may be knowledge that can not be accessed by rational means.  We are continuially reasserting the same premises because we are talking past each other.  For my part, I mistakenly assumed that you acknowledged the different types of knowledge.

There is a distinct difference between the mind and The Mind and if you don't see that then this conversation is in real trouble.  Certainly, Alba raises a valid criticism as to the actual existence of The Mind but I'll get back to that.  If you can not understand what is meant by spiritual or you fail to understand the limitations of psychology, neurology or any other ology that you seem to think can absolutely reveal reality then we must go back and reeducate you on the basics of knowledge.

I'm really surprised.  It is one thing to differentiate between the different types of knowledge accessable by science and faith but it is another thing entirely to completely deny that faith can offer any types of knowledge and that not only is science the only source of "true" knowledge but all knowledge is completely accessable to it.

You're gonna have to provide some proof because I'm just not buying it and I really don't think you know what you're even implying.  Otherwise you're just endlessly repeating yourself and making ridiculous claims such as ectasy-induced chemical reactions are equivilent to Love.  Louis, that's just laughable and I think you know it.

P.S. the comment about emotional women was an attempt at levity (failed apparently) but it does reflect the fact that no emotions are rational and that I will stand by.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2007,12:11   

God presuppositionalist dualists are so fekking boring.  

It boils down to this:  

Skeptic "faith is a valid epistemology"

Louis "You can't prove it"

Skeptic "I've got your nose.  Look, I've got your nose"

Louis "That's your bloody thumb, not my nose"

Skeptic "You materialist".

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
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