Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Create a topic and discuss! No subject is off limits, but moderators have the right to remove asshat posts. What's an asshat post? Selling stuff, trolling, harassing--the usual stuff you don't want to see either. Happy posting!
Og3
Posts: 965
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Post by Og3 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:29 am

More to the point: Does SEG have anything material to say about my reasoning, rather than dismissing it with a wave of his hand. For example, did I misread Tolstoy? Did he make a counter-argument in some later work, such as The Forged Coupon? Am I correctly understanding and reporting the synopsis of Kafka's metamorphosis?

Does the argument make more or less since when you see it in the scene above, as a dialog between the four individuals of Solomon, Lewis, Kafka, and Tolstoy?

Is there a way for a fish to know that he is wet without ever being dry?
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

User avatar
SEG
Posts: 2143
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:59 pm

Re: Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Post by SEG » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:21 pm

Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:29 am
More to the point: Does SEG have anything material to say about my reasoning, rather than dismissing it with a wave of his hand. For example, did I misread Tolstoy? Did he make a counter-argument in some later work, such as The Forged Coupon? Am I correctly understanding and reporting the synopsis of Kafka's metamorphosis?

Does the argument make more or less since when you see it in the scene above, as a dialog between the four individuals of Solomon, Lewis, Kafka, and Tolstoy?

Is there a way for a fish to know that he is wet without ever being dry?
Yes, I do have something to say about your reasoning. You said earlier that science did nothing to dispel your God. But did you use the scientific method to test whether God exists or even to discover what a god actually is? What is your evidence that God exists? You have avoided these type of questions in your rational enquiries. Finally, if everything that exists has a cause, what is the cause of your God? Why isn't it reasonable to think that he was invented from the minds of men, just like the millions of other gods that have been invented over the past 200,000 years?
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

Og3
Posts: 965
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Post by Og3 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:46 pm

Argh. Yes. Look at the scientific method.

Step 1: Define the question: Does God exist?
Step 2: Gather information.
Step 3: Form a hypothesis: God exists.
Step 4: Test the hypothesis... And how are you going to do that, exactly?
Step 5: Draw a reasonable inference, based on the results of the test, and/or repeat the process with new information.

Step 4 cannot provide a "scientific" test. The only possible tests are purely subjective, and require reliance on a variance from the P-value. So what would be the P-value that, say, I would experience the presence of God in a church building? But even if you had a P-value, the test is not repeatable. And what would be your controls?

So in any real and significant way, trying to use the scientific method to determine if God exists is like trying to use a can-opener to change the channels on your TV. It won't work because it wasn't made for that.

What was my evidence? My evidence was philosophical, because science could not address the question. So my evidence was that life seems to have a purpose, but that without God in the equation, the result is always an identity -- A = A, 0 = 0. So in accordance with Duhem's thesis (a scientist), the entire experimental structure is in question -- every assumption, back to the first: that there is no God. We only get a result AT ALL when we do not make that initial assumption.

Science is the wrong tool for the job. Suppose you address miracles. Science will tell you that given the set of natural laws, a man cannot walk on water. But a miracle is assumed to be a suspension of natural laws. No one ever says, "Jesus experimentally walked on water and therefore we should be able to replicate that experiment in a laboratory, and wehn we do, we will change our understanding of natural laws."

We talk about miracles because they are an exception to natural laws, not a new understanding of them. Contrast the development of Newtonian Gravity. Suddenly we understood that there was a limit to the rule, "What goes up must come down." Now we understand that "What goes up, unless it reaches escape velocity, must come down eventually." But in the walking on water, no one is claiming that it was possible but misunderstood: The claim is that it was impossible, and that by doing the impossible, Jesus proved that he was God.

Science only tells us of natural law; it cannot tell us of times when natural law is suspended supernaturally.

Thus, as I say, science does nothing to dispel religion.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Og3
Posts: 965
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Post by Og3 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:50 pm

I think that part of the problem here is that we use the word "Science" ambiguously.

We rightly mean the narrow sense: Forming and testing hypotheses to discover new facts. But we also use it to mean the facts that we have discovered, and we expand it to mean the theories that we infer from those facts, tested or not; and we further expand it to mean "The things that we believe because we have a vague suspicion that they relate to a theory inferred from known facts."

So I suspect that you are using the broader definition, and thinking that we know that we cannot naturally walk on water, therefore we know that Jesus did not supernaturally walk on water, even though that simply does not follow. And that is also Carrier's first error, by-the-by.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

User avatar
SEG
Posts: 2143
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:59 pm

Re: Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Post by SEG » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:02 pm

Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:46 pm
Argh. Yes. Look at the scientific method.

Step 1: Define the question: Does God exist?
Step 2: Gather information.
Step 3: Form a hypothesis: God exists.
Step 4: Test the hypothesis... And how are you going to do that, exactly?
Step 5: Draw a reasonable inference, based on the results of the test, and/or repeat the process with new information.

Step 4 cannot provide a "scientific" test. The only possible tests are purely subjective, and require reliance on a variance from the P-value. So what would be the P-value that, say, I would experience the presence of God in a church building? But even if you had a P-value, the test is not repeatable. And what would be your controls?

So in any real and significant way, trying to use the scientific method to determine if God exists is like trying to use a can-opener to change the channels on your TV. It won't work because it wasn't made for that.
The reason it can't be tested is because it's not falsifiable. Take two silly statements,
1· The moon is made of green cheese and
2· There are undetectable gremlins living in the rings of Saturn.
The first statement is testable. We know what cheese is and the colour green. We can send a spaceship up to the moon to grab a sample of soil and test it on the moon or on board the spaceship. We can even test it from Earth without launching a spaceship. So even if it is a silly statement, we can test it and falsify it. So it is a somewhat meaningful statement,even if it is silly to suppose that the moon is made of green cheese.

The second statement is not testable. How can we possibly detect undetectable gremlins and what is a gremlin anyway?

Never mind testing all the rings of Saturn. So it is not falsifiable and a meaningless statement. Just like your invisible, mute God with all the omnis.
What was my evidence? My evidence was philosophical, because science could not address the question.
Or a more honest answer would be there is no scientific evidence or even a definition of what such a god (if it exists) consists of.
So my evidence was that life seems to have a purpose, but that without God in the equation, the result is always an identity -- A = A, 0 = 0. So in accordance with Duhem's thesis (a scientist), the entire experimental structure is in question -- every assumption, back to the first: that there is no God. We only get a result AT ALL when we do not make that initial assumption.
What makes you think that life has a purpose?
Science is the wrong tool for the job.
Why? If science can't detect something, why worry about it?
Suppose you address miracles. Science will tell you that given the set of natural laws, a man cannot walk on water. But a miracle is assumed to be a suspension of natural laws. No one ever says, "Jesus experimentally walked on water and therefore we should be able to replicate that experiment in a laboratory, and wehn we do, we will change our understanding of natural laws."
I don't know what "suspension of natural laws" means. Have you any evidence of what you mean by this?
We talk about miracles because they are an exception to natural laws, not a new understanding of them. Contrast the development of Newtonian Gravity. Suddenly we understood that there was a limit to the rule, "What goes up must come down." Now we understand that "What goes up, unless it reaches escape velocity, must come down eventually." But in the walking on water, no one is claiming that it was possible but misunderstood: The claim is that it was impossible, and that by doing the impossible, Jesus proved that he was God.
So by that logic, any religion that has claims of a hero performing impossible tasks is also God?
Science only tells us of natural law; it cannot tell us of times when natural law is suspended supernaturally.
Correct, because the last bit is not falsifiable and a meaningless statement.
Thus, as I say, science does nothing to dispel religion.
Yes, not entirely, but it does refute silly claims with no verifiable evidence. Ever wonder why no-one writes peer reviewed scientific papers on the existence of God?
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

User avatar
SEG
Posts: 2143
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:59 pm

Re: Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Post by SEG » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:15 pm

Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:50 pm
I think that part of the problem here is that we use the word "Science" ambiguously.

We rightly mean the narrow sense: Forming and testing hypotheses to discover new facts. But we also use it to mean the facts that we have discovered, and we expand it to mean the theories that we infer from those facts, tested or not; and we further expand it to mean "The things that we believe because we have a vague suspicion that they relate to a theory inferred from known facts."

So I suspect that you are using the broader definition, and thinking that we know that we cannot naturally walk on water, therefore we know that Jesus did not supernaturally walk on water, even though that simply does not follow. And that is also Carrier's first error, by-the-by.
What are you saying was Carrier's first error? He does make them, btw. He is the first to admit that, unlike religions with unchanging dogmas.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

Og3
Posts: 965
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Post by Og3 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:42 pm

SEG wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:02 pm
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:46 pm
Argh. Yes. Look at the scientific method.

Step 1: Define the question: Does God exist?
Step 2: Gather information.
Step 3: Form a hypothesis: God exists.
Step 4: Test the hypothesis... And how are you going to do that, exactly?
Step 5: Draw a reasonable inference, based on the results of the test, and/or repeat the process with new information.

Step 4 cannot provide a "scientific" test. The only possible tests are purely subjective, and require reliance on a variance from the P-value. So what would be the P-value that, say, I would experience the presence of God in a church building? But even if you had a P-value, the test is not repeatable. And what would be your controls?

So in any real and significant way, trying to use the scientific method to determine if God exists is like trying to use a can-opener to change the channels on your TV. It won't work because it wasn't made for that.
The reason it can't be tested is because it's not falsifiable. Take two silly statements,
1· The moon is made of green cheese and
2· There are undetectable gremlins living in the rings of Saturn.
The first statement is testable. We know what cheese is and the colour green. We can send a spaceship up to the moon to grab a sample of soil and test it on the moon or on board the spaceship. We can even test it from Earth without launching a spaceship. So even if it is a silly statement, we can test it and falsify it. So it is a somewhat meaningful statement,even if it is silly to suppose that the moon is made of green cheese.

The second statement is not testable. How can we possibly detect undetectable gremlins and what is a gremlin anyway?

Never mind testing all the rings of Saturn. So it is not falsifiable and a meaningless statement. Just like your invisible, mute God with all the omnis.
The existence of the Christian God is certainly falsifiable, and I have told you how. The Apostle Paul told you how in 1 Cor. 15, nearly 2000 years ago. Show that Jesus did not rise from the dead. There's your falsification.
What was my evidence? My evidence was philosophical, because science could not address the question.
Or a more honest answer would be there is no scientific evidence or even a definition of what such a god (if it exists) consists of.
Evidence is neither scientific nor unscientific. Logic demands the existence of God, but logic is not science per se.

Again, you're conflating the popular meanings that we ascribe to the word science with science itself. When used that way, "science" is nothing but a voodoo charm. Why do satellites orbit? Science-did-it. Oh, that makes perfect sense...

Is there evidence that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead? Yes. Do you choose to accept that evidence? No, because you read a book where Carrier dismissed it out of hand. Is it "scientific?" well, very little evidence for historical events is based on the scientific method...
So my evidence was that life seems to have a purpose, but that without God in the equation, the result is always an identity -- A = A, 0 = 0. So in accordance with Duhem's thesis (a scientist), the entire experimental structure is in question -- every assumption, back to the first: that there is no God. We only get a result AT ALL when we do not make that initial assumption.
What makes you think that life has a purpose?
Well, if it doesn't, then you and I are having a remarkably pointless discussion, aren't we?
Science is the wrong tool for the job.
Why? If science can't detect something, why worry about it?
Tell your wife that on Valentine's day when she asks if you love her.
Suppose you address miracles. Science will tell you that given the set of natural laws, a man cannot walk on water. But a miracle is assumed to be a suspension of natural laws. No one ever says, "Jesus experimentally walked on water and therefore we should be able to replicate that experiment in a laboratory, and when we do, we will change our understanding of natural laws."
I don't know what "suspension of natural laws" means. Have you any evidence of what you mean by this?
"Evidence of what [ ... I .... ] mean by this?" Are you expecting a PETN scan of my brain activity when I use the phrase? Do you see how you're throwing words around without assigning them meanings? I will assume you meant to type "example:"

A suspension of a natural law would be a miracle. For example, let us say that we attempt to make feldspar, (Na,K)AlSi3O8 into bread, for example, a very simple flour and water combination cooked as a flat cake. fairly revolting as a foodstuff -- at best a dry tasteless cracker -- but can we do that through chemical processes without adding anything else? Well, let's take inventory. Feldspar is
Na, sodium
K, potassium
Al, aluminum
Si, silicon, and
O, oxygen.

Bread (flour C6H10O5 and water H2O) requires:
C, carbon
H, Hydrogen,
O, Oxygen.

The only element in common is oxygen, so we're SOL (Simply Out of Luck).

Now, there is a theoretical natural way to make bread -- C, H, and O -- into stone, though not vice versa. We would need to take the hydrogen, extract the naturally occurring heavy hydrogen -- deuterium and tritium, isotopes of hydrogen that have 1 and 2 neutrons respectively, instead of the usual none -- and fuse these in a nearby star until we produce Na, K, Al, and Si in appropriate proportions to make feldspar. Easy as pie, Bob's your uncle, and we leave the demonstration as an exercise for the student.*

So suppose that we watch someone turn feldspar into sourdough. Well, science tells us that it can't happen by any natural means. When we say that "science tells us" we mean NOT the Scientific Method, but the data we have gathered by using the Matchless Method (Scientific Method).

But we just (as is given) watched someone do so, in violation of the natural laws. So one of two things must be true:
A. The natural law is wrong and must be amended in some way, or
B. The natural laws have been suspended for the purpose of this demonstration.

We will assume, Ad Argumentum, that James Randi was standing by and approved the experiment in advance, then provided his million-dollar award to the person who performed it, because he could find no fault in it, just to rule out the idea that the transmutation was faked. We are examining the narrow case of an actual real event which is apparently in direct violation of natural law.

What determines if the event was A or B? (not that it matters, you stopped reading and skipped to the next item. But anyway) Repeatability. If we can ALWAYS do process x, y, z, and the results will ALWAYS turn feldspar into sourdough, then it is REPEATABLE, and we need to amend our physical laws to reflect the transmutation of elements by this new process.

If we cannot repeat the process -- That is, if one person following a verifiable series of steps did the process ONCE, and it worked, but no one else by any process can replicate it, then it is not a call to amend our physical laws, but a bona fide miracle.

thus I said:
We talk about miracles because they are an exception to natural laws, not a new understanding of them. Contrast the development of Newtonian Gravity. Suddenly we understood that there was a limit to the rule, "What goes up must come down." Now we understand that "What goes up, unless it reaches escape velocity, must come down eventually." But in the walking on water, no one is claiming that it was possible but misunderstood: The claim is that it was impossible, and that by doing the impossible, Jesus proved that he was God.
So by that logic, any religion that has claims of a hero performing impossible tasks is also God?
Not merely claims, but actual miracles. And those miracles were performed for the people of that day, to show THEM that He was the Son of God. Here's the thing you seem to get backwards:

You think that I read the Bible, see that Jesus performed a miracle, and say, oh, then He must have been God. But that's backwards.

I reasonably infer that Jesus was the Son of God. From that, by corollary, I am compelled to also believe that the Bible is true as written, and from that I am compelled to believe that the miracles therein are bona fide events.

So attacking miracles is not going to chop down my faith, any more than chopping a branch off of a tree will kill the tree. You need to start at the trunk if you're going to chop down the tree. You'll need to prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Or you can demonstrate and external meaning of life that is not God, though that would merely raise doubts, not chop down the tree.
Science only tells us of natural law; it cannot tell us of times when natural law is suspended supernaturally.
Correct, because the last bit is not falsifiable and a meaningless statement.
It is falsifiable; see my discussion above of feldspar and sourdough. If it can be repeated, and a mechanism found for it, then it merely requires an update to physical laws, and the alleged miracle is falsified as a pure miracle.
Yes, not entirely, but it does refute silly claims with no verifiable evidence.
Really? Name a silly claim that has no verifiable evidence, and tell me how you would refute it.

Here, I'll give you one: I claim that Australia isn't real: It's a mapmaker's joke from 1606. There you go, use SCIENCE - -the scientific method, and ONLY the scientific method -- to show me how to refute that. Be sure that your experiment includes plenty of controls.

I've even made it easier for you: I've given you something very physical to test. Off you go...
Ever wonder why no-one writes peer reviewed scientific papers on the existence of God?
Because any competent scientist will say, "This is not something that our field addresses, and therefore we cannot review it."

edit: Added ellipses around [ ... I ... ] to keep from triggering the BB code to italicize.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Og3
Posts: 965
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Post by Og3 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:54 pm

* Two notes:
1) the nuclear process required is likely to emit radiation deadly to nearby humans. It is recommended that you separate your deuterium and your tritium remotely, and then access the star remotely, using adequate protection against radiation.
2) As a curious side note, there is a decay chain which will permit a certain isotope of lead to naturally decay into gold, but the process is extremely impractical for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are the extremely long half-lives of some of the stages, and the difficulty of chemically extracting the minute atoms of gold and spending it in the fractions of pico-seconds before it decays into another element. Because of the half-lives involved, very tiny numbers of atoms of gold would be in existence at any one moment, regardless the vastness of the supply of the original isotope of lead.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Og3
Posts: 965
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Post by Og3 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:08 pm

SEG wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:15 pm
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:50 pm
I think that part of the problem here is that we use the word "Science" ambiguously.

We rightly mean the narrow sense: Forming and testing hypotheses to discover new facts. But we also use it to mean the facts that we have discovered, and we expand it to mean the theories that we infer from those facts, tested or not; and we further expand it to mean "The things that we believe because we have a vague suspicion that they relate to a theory inferred from known facts."

So I suspect that you are using the broader definition, and thinking that we know that we cannot naturally walk on water, therefore we know that Jesus did not supernaturally walk on water, even though that simply does not follow. And that is also Carrier's first error, by-the-by.
What are you saying was Carrier's first error? He does make them, btw. He is the first to admit that, unlike religions with unchanging dogmas.
Carrier engaged in circular reasoning (actually begging the question):

"As if walking on water were to be believed..."

Premise: No one walks on water
Premise: Therefore no one has walked on water
Conclusion: Therefore no one walked on water.

A better syllogism would be:
Premise: No one naturally walks on water
Corrollary (restatement of the premise): If someone walked on water then it not natural

with this as a GP, then we can go either of two ways:
GP: If someone walked on water, then it was not natural
SP: Jesus walked on water
C: The event was supernatural

OR

GP: If someone walked on water, then it was not natural
SP: No supernatural event occurred
C: Therefore Jesus did not walk on water.

In either case, the Specific Premise is the disputed point. But Carrier bypasses the dispute and simply assumes that Jesus did not walk on water, which is begging the question.

But he extracts the GP: No one walks on water (at all) ("As if walking on water were to be believed...") from the extremely broad definition of science, which he understands (implicitly, from this citation) as "The things that we believe to have been extracted as data by using the Matchless Method." But the things that people believe have been so extracted includes a lot of crap that is simply carried along, or at best vaguely implied. And this is where ambiguity in defining science leads us astray.

If begging the question re: walking on water is Carrier's first error, we might also say that poorly understanding the meaning of science is his zeroeth error.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Og3
Posts: 965
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Be ready always to give ... a reason of the hope that is in you...

Post by Og3 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:24 pm

SEG wrote:What makes you think that life has a purpose?
I gave this question short shrift in my haste to answer the scientific aspects, above, so let's address it now:

C. S. Lewis posed the question, "How would a fish know that he is wet?" Or to bring the analogy back into perspective: Why do we know that life is meaningless? Because the default solution to any logical or mathematical process in which we seek the meaning of life must be X = X or 0 = 0, as Tolstoy tells us. So if we assume ad argumentum that there is no god, and we solve for [meaning of life] we get an absurdity. X = X.

By why do we know that? By all rights, we should not be able to recognize that life SHOULD have a meaning. We should be like the goldfish, never dreaming for an instant that there is even such a thing as meaning in life. We should be entirely ignorant of the question. But we're not. We sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, as Tolstoy did, and ask, "Why am I here? What purpose am I supposed to be fulfilling?"

Lewis elsewhere expands this idea: Everything that we need in this life matches a real thing that satisfies the need. Hunger matches food. Thirst matches water. Itch matches scratch. So what matches "desire for the meaning of life?" or "desire for real true justice?" or "desire to know why I exist?"

The fact that every physical desire has an analog that satisfies it strongly suggests that the mental and spiritual desires must also have a real analog that satisfies them -- that there must be real meaning, real justice, and real purpose.

Now if we go back to Tolstoy's equations, producing identities: We have a contradiction: The argument from desire strongly suggests that life MUST have meaning, but Tolstoy tells us that any equation beginning with the assumption that God does not exist will bring us to an error -- an absurdity, a dead end. So we must question our assumptions. And if we remove the assumption that God does not exist, then we find a solution to the equation. So the meaning of life necessarily requires God.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Post Reply