Moonwood the Hare wrote:I was not arguing or suggesting that the laws of logic are not in place just that they cannot be demonstrated to be universal.
Back at you: How do you know that's true that they can't be demonstrated as universal? When you look at deep space via the Hubble telescope, as far as we can see which is to the deep end of existence, we see identity maintaining itself. What would suffice to convince you if not the whole of existence overtly displaying an adherence to the laws of logic?
Only you, with your added "spiritual realm" (that goes undemonstrated) has this problem. I don't. A local star, Sol, is itself and not a different star at the same time and in the same place even if it happens to be located 10 billion light years out. I'd say that's a fairly firm grounding of the laws of logic-- universally demonstrated.Who sees the laws of Logic being violeted in this deep space picture? Raise your hands and tell us why!
However you have now brought in yet another concept of what you mean by demonstration. You now seem to be saying that if a group of people can agree that a certain way of looking at the world is essential for them that demonstrates that that way of thinking is valid. By that definition of demonstration almost any religion can be demonstrated.
No, I am saying that you have to be able to demonstrate things in some tangible manner. Assertion (which is your vox populi
rebuttal here) is not enough. If 5.5 billion people say the moon is made of green cheese, then this doesn't make it a fact that the moon is made of green cheese. It means they are simply asserting something undemonstrated. When you get to the moon and find out it's not
made of green cheese, you show those 5.5 billion people are wrong despite their overwhelming numbers.
I think you are making an error here but it is quite a subtle one. You are saying we have examined enough water to know what the properties of all water is because we can define water as being whatever has those properties. This is the same move as the one where we say we can know all swans are white simply by making whiteness a defining feature of being a swan. You are shifting between analytic and synthetic claims. But I do note the shift in your final sentence from a verificationist to a falsificationist philosophy of science I think this is a good move.
You are in your same trap. Simply asserting that "we haven't looked at all water yet" may be true, but you cannot argue that there is water with properties outside of those of water in any ultilitartian manner; you certainly can simply say it, but it's meaningless. Anything with the properties of water (one of which is a boiling point) would be water. You find me water that has no boiling point, and I would say, "It cannot then be water."
If the question is what kind of claims can be made by extending the epistemology of empirical science into other areas then the question of how we understand the nature of scientific claims is relevant regardless of the practical application of that philosophy. In fact most philosophers of science have felt their role has been not to guide the practice of science by providing a set of rules but to counter the ideological use of ideas about science to invalidate other views.
Well that depends on which of your many definitions of demonstrability you chose to use; going with the one you began the page with all these things are demonstrable if people find accepting them works for them.
It's not just
that people collectively agree something is extant (like in this example, what letters "sound" like and how they become words, and words become sentences that leads to communication, etc.)
Is it actually possible you're ignoring the fact that the letter are there, on the page, in a material, existing sense? Or that they are uttered sounds? That when a group of people say the word "tree" they are talking about plant life with trunks, branches, bark, roots and leaves? And that the word "tree" is grounded in material soundwaves, or a written word we can directly see, and we can actually point to an object that we call "tree" and that it is therefore a tree
But you ignored my main question: You seem to be claiming that every truth claim must be demonstrable in the same was a singular empirical claim is demonstrable. Can you demonstrate that this claim is true?
I'm saying every VALID truth claim must be demonstrable. VALID. It must be something that can tangibly be. It must exist. You can make ASSERTIONS all day long but those that are not demonstrable are fully open to be dismissed as INVALID CLAIMS. If something is, by definition, not demonstrable, we have utterly no reason to consider it a valid proposal. We may be wrong-- maybe it IS a valid truth, but we cannot tell if it is or not. And remember, this is just one piece of the pie. By itself it doesn't mean "Ergo, one is an athiest". There's a lot more to the theistic models that build on the compelling case to be made that gods are fictional.
This is another thinig thiests in these forums tend to do. They think because we're focused on this one particular element of the discussion -- in this case the lack of demonstrability of all god claims -- that this by itself leads to atheism. Which of course is bullshit. There are lots of other reasons besides
the lack of demonstrability, though the lack of demonstrability is a strong reason by itself.
I think this is remarkably naive psychologically. Almost any person caught in an abusive relationship will utterly insist that their abuser loves them. It is almost impossible to know that one is motivated by a particular mental state let alone to be able to demonstrate this to others.
I don't know where you get your statistics from, but where I come from, while there are some people who do what you've said, there are others who leave immediately, or, if they stay, its out of fear of some kind, even if it's the fear of having to do things on their own without the skills or training to do so. Surely, some
victims of abuse might assert they are loved by their abusers but to cite that "almost all utterly insist" this is patently absurd. And pretty naive yourself.
Fear is one of the primary reasons that women return to abusive relationships.
Often, abusive men step up their threatening and manipulative behavior right after their victims choose to leave. As a result, many women come to fear more severe abuse if they refuse to return to their abusers. The situation becomes even more complicated when there are children involved, as many women return to abusive relationships in the belief that doing so is the only way to protect their children. Many women try to act as human shields, sacrificing themselves to stop abusive mates from harming their children.
Sometimes, the abuser may play on the woman’s love for her children, convincing her that she cannot support them alone. The abuser may also play on the woman’s desire for her children to have a father, convincing her to return to him. Even when women maintain their commitment to leaving abusive relationships, the legal system sometimes fails them by failing to grant restraining orders or by giving the batterers custody of the children.
Sometimes, as a result of abuse, a woman’s self-esteem is so damaged that she lacks the confidence to maintain independence from her abuser. Often, women who leave abusive relationships have trouble earning an adequate income or finding safe and affordable housing. Women may feel compelled to return to abusive relationships because they lack resources and support.
Sometimes, an abused woman's own family members and friends place the blame on her, perhaps because they assume that she somehow caused the abuse. In some cases, the woman's family and friends may act as if the abuse is bearable or deny its existence altogether. If the abused woman is married, friends and family may try to talk her out of divorce, often citing religious reasons.
In some cases, women return to abusive relationships because they feel sorry for their abusers. A common tactic batterers use to control their mates is threatening to commit suicide. This may lead the victim to feel both guilty and worried, and she may return to the relationship to save the abuser. Just as often, batterers are able to convince their victims that they love them and are committed to changing. Believing the batterers and hoping for real change, some women return to these abusive relationships.
According to statistics, the average abused woman leaves her abuser seven to eight times before she leaves permanently. Victims of abuse often live in a state of fear, confusion, and overwhelming sadness.
Which of your definitions of demonstrate are you using this time?
At all times, demonstration is delivering solid, tangible examples of the thing being asserted that can be examined or analyzed as part of the actual expience or event being asserted.
Again you ignored my main point which was that knowing our own identity by self reflection is a valid method even though it is not infallible. If a materialist is simply someone who believes in the reality of matter then yes I am a materialist. If it means believing all states of affairs within the cosmos can be explained by reducing them to the actions of material processes then I am at best agnostic. I think the things you claim about brain states are far from proved and the theory that mind can be reduced to brain and brain to matter creates the problem of all human thoughts and actions being determined by physical interactions and thus of any act of knowing or apparent knowing being a mere epiphenomenon of physical processes.
While they are not fully understood nor proven per se
, there aren't many scientists looking for the answers to the human mind by hunting in fields of daisies or in the clouds over Mount Kilimanjaro. They are looking for those answers, ironically enough, in the brain. Why? Because that is where they are to be found. No brain that has been turned off offers anything like a mind or a personality or a soul. So while I guess we have to say these are inferred --else philosophers will revolt in the streets apparently -- the inference that the brain houses the mind and the personality is pretty much a demonstrated fact.
So far, only physical beings have exhibited even the slightest hint of knowing. I'd say "knowing" is, in fact, a physical process. If you wish to assert otherwise...
Demonstrate it. What do I mean by demonstration? See above.
We can discuss that if you wish but it was not my real point. My point, using materialism as an example was that whatever your worldview you still have to explain why others do not share it and why their knowing processes are misfiring if they do not.
It's not misfiring if they want
to believe in dreamland things. They are simply choosing to believe in fantasy. A large part of it is likely a lack of education-- not an EXLCUSIVE reason, as some percentage of thiests are of course highly intelligent; but by and large, people who believe in religious tenets are not as well educated in the answers we do have. For instance, most people in the USA don't know anything of the subtlties of evolution-- they only know the simplistic soundbyte version that on the surface aren't even what evolution is. They consistently make the same mistakes: That evolution is merely blind and random chance, that there's nothing workable about "half an eye" (that one is particularly lamebrained, since having some sight is better than having no sight), that there is a "missing link" between humans and apes, and that "if humans came from apes, how come there are apes today?" type thinking.
Of course if you are steeped in ignorance about what actual information has been demonstrated to be true might be, you're going to be open to all sorts of numbnuttery and absurd assertions. and if you dismiss some tangible version of demonstration, you're even more likely to be gullible and fall for nonsensical claims.