Tony should really keep a much shorter leash on these types of discussions. His range of knowledge is not up to it.
tonyenglish7 wrote:I can understand why a naturalist would be skeptical, how could an unguided evolutionary process produce the ability to know the actual reality?
Because this is the genetic fallacy, Tony. You cannot discount the possibility of such a conclusion just because you are skeptical of the origins. Example: if Bauxite is mined in an African country ruled by a brutal dictator, then the automobile that is ultimately fashioned from it must be evil.
How could one with this world view even trust what seems to be knowledge?
Because the scientific process is the best methodology that we have. Have you a better one?
Would we trust the knowledge of a Monkey?
I'd say it depends on what you ask it.
Of course, even to be skeptical you must know something? But how could you know the very minimum if you are always in favor of skepticism?
Because skepticism is not inherently an act of denial, as you seem to be suggesting. It is an act of verification, of questioning if you are accepting something based on flawed thinking processes (such as personal bias), or if you are accepting it on something more solid, such as evidence, or if you understand the limitations of the evidence available.
Do you know that the external world exists? Is the past real? Are there other minds out there? How about your own mental life? Is that real?
These are all interesting questions that have been taken up by philosophers. They aren't really scientific questions.
If the brain is all there is (as opposed to non-physical mind) and it evolved out of chance circumstances and survival, then it is impossible to trust your brain for an accurate point of view of the actual reality out there.
This is a non-sequitur. It's also another version of the genetic fallacy.
But, if the brain is designed for the capacity of knowledge, not just survival, then we can know some things in a real way. We can freely ponder the questions like why is there something rather than nothing? Is the universe here for a reason? Is life actually valuable?
This is just a dumb idea altogether. You can't realistically impose such a constraint on the function of a brain because of how it came about. That's like saying a car can only be used for good deeds if it was created by a monk; otherwise, it's just an instrument of evil. It also ignores the possibility that animals other than ourselves have the capacity to ponder such things as why we are instead of are not. You cannot assume such things.
I think of the skeptic in bed in the middle of the night, the smoke detector goes off. This is unusual, this never happens and every single time it has in the past it was because the alarm was going bad or someone over cooked toast. So, since it is "ALWAYS" better to be skeptical, it makes logical sense to ignore it and go back to bed. But really, the stakes are too high for that in this case as everyone could see. Since life is at stake, the most prudent thing to do is go see if there is a fire. If you smell smoke, the level of skepticism should decrease. If you feel heat through the door, it should drop substantially. And when your hair explodes into flames, the time for skepticism is over....
Tony, you have a grand penchant for dumb analogies, I'll give you that. No one has ever suggested that skepticism should override common sense. Actually, it should improve
your common sense.
It is my opinion, that a false world view has been preached and believed in our modern society which has been accepted as a form of enlightened knowledge which is, only things that can be tested in the lab are things that are justified to be believed. Since that believe itself cannot be tested in the lab as so many other true beliefs cannot be, this is an absurd belief to hold, yet it is believed without any skepticism whatsoever.
This is a whole stew of dumb ideas, misunderstandings and straw men. First of all, no one is suggesting that every act of every day be scrutinized in a skeptical manner. Many actions are simply not worth the effort. For example, should I be skeptical that if I put a dollar in a drink machine, I will receive a drink? Perhaps, but is it really worth my time?
Second, your insistence that the very idea that skepticism is unprovable as an idea is so absurd that it makes me laugh every time I see you post it.
Of course, sometimes you substitute the "scientific method" instead, which is equally dumb. I suppose you believe yourself very clever for this and pat yourself on the back. Well, don't sprain your elbow. You basically won't get a serious response to this because it is such a dumb idea that it isn't worth anyone's time. It's akin to saying you don't believe breathing has been proven useful to humans, so we can't verify for sure that we should even do it.
Third, the very reason science and skepticism is so well regarded is because they ARE so useful to humans. No one practices alchemy anymore. Did you ever wonder why? Because it is not useful. So, it's really very simple. If science and skepticism were not useful in a very practical way, then we wouldn't bother with either. But they are immensely useful and as long as they are, they will both be practiced in a very real way.
Fourth, I would argue that even though your lab example is false, it actually doesn't do reality justice. I believe that most people practice skepticism more often than they even know. If a person has his wits about him, he is constantly on the look-out for scams and cheats. He's also watching out for misdirections. When you go shopping, do you ever question the real value of a sale? Do you notice when products that appear to be a good deal are actually trending up in price? Do you know when someone is trying to manipulate you into doing something for them? I could go on about this for hours, but this is just the practical use of skepticism. We do it every day and should probably do it more. Clearly, some people are still getting taken and the simple application of skepticism can often be an effective defense.
So, it is my opinion that your opinion is greatly flawed. It is also obvious to any reasonably educated observer that you are completely mislead as to what skepticism is and how it is spread. Skeptics are not indoctrinated as people are in religion. I would wager that nearly every skeptic on the planet is self-taught and self-motivated. I certainly did not learn skepticism in any school or group. I learned it by questioning things and people. Once I gained the necessary knowledge and resources to be effective at it, I became more vocal about it. This vocal and confident position seems to be at the core of what mystics like yourself are confused about. You misunderstand a passion for something as being derived from something illegitimate, or perhaps being brainwashed when you ignore the reality staring you right in the face. That reality being the gigantic masses of people brainwashed into believing ridiculous things about religions and mystics and sages. Of spending large sums of money and living their lives in awkward ways in the hope of attaining a dream that not a single living being has seen or shown evidence of. Yet when this lifestyle is rejected by a skeptic, it is people like Tony who scream for their beheading.
When we see the big bang, the fine tuning, the case for morals being real, the complexity of life, the amazing power within the universe, the existence of other minds and so much more.
This whole precursor to your argument is nothing but an appeal to ignorance, Tony. Just because things are really complex and mysterious is not a good reason to throw out science and choose a mystical belief instead.
The atheists always holds to the scientific method as the basis for saying, "we just don't know enough yet to postulate God".
I don't think that's true at all. I don't think atheists are looking for science to prove/disprove god. They would like to see some tangible evidence of god, yes, but the definition of god often defies the very nature of scientific inquiry.
But if your brain was designed, you could use it to freely step above the article of faith which has you stuck in a double bind. But if it was not designed but arrived by chance, you are doomed to the dream world which doesn't reflect reality whatsoever. .. .
All these if's and but's are nice, Tony, when you are postulating hypotheticals. Yet there's no more reason to take what you say as valid than what another person says in another country regarding another religion. But these ideas are just conjecture. There's no basis on which to put them.
Get out of bed and lower your skepticism a few notches and see if there is a fire... You only have this one life....
Quite pathetic. My response would be that you should open your eyes and stop believing in your own grandiose intellect. Your ideas are not new and they are not profound.