Reason / Science / Religion

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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#361  Postby Sweenith » Jun 01, 2011 7:40 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Self-evident is not the same as necessary. Necessity is the result of deduction, and hence is not a priori.

Postulates are not the same as axioms. A postulate might be something you have decided to try to prove, otherwise, axioms and postulates would be the same. Why have two words if there is only one concept. Parsimony demands it.


Agreed, something can be necessary without being self-evident (also, something can be self-evident without being necessary).

And while it's true that the conclusion of a valid deductive argument follows necessarily from the premises (meaning if the premises are true, then the conclusion can't fail to be true), that doesn't mean that the conclusion as such is a necessary truth (the conclusion, along with its premises, could be contingently true). Moreover, a proposition is either necessarily or contingently true regardless of whether we arrive at that proposition via deduction (ex: it would still have been true that 2 and 2 makes 4 even if we had never deduced it).

In any case, a priori knowledge doesn't mean "not the result of deduction," it just means that it doesn't depend on empirical or experiential evidence. So even if it were granted that necessity is always only the result of deduction, it still wouldn't follow that necessity cannot be a priori.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#362  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 01, 2011 7:45 pm

Sweenith wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
Self-evident is not the same as necessary. Necessity is the result of deduction, and hence is not a priori.

Postulates are not the same as axioms. A postulate might be something you have decided to try to prove, otherwise, axioms and postulates would be the same. Why have two words if there is only one concept. Parsimony demands it.


Agreed, something can be necessary without being self-evident (also, something can be self-evident without being necessary).

And while it's true that the conclusion of a valid deductive argument follows necessarily from the premises (meaning if the premises are true, then the conclusion can't fail to be true), that doesn't mean that the conclusion as such is a necessary truth (the conclusion, along with its premises, could be contingently true). Moreover, a proposition is either necessarily or contingently true regardless of whether we arrive at that proposition via deduction (ex: it would still have been true that 2 and 2 makes 4 even if we had never deduced it).

In any case, a priori knowledge doesn't mean "not the result of deduction," it just means that it doesn't depend on empirical or experiential evidence. So even if it were granted that necessity is always only the result of deduction, it still wouldn't follow that necessity cannot be a priori.


You're bullshitting me. Or else you are putting way more into 'necessary' than it can carry. It's just a word in the English language. Some statement that is not self-evident, and not deduced, and not evident by empiricism? We need examples. Inquiring minds want to know.

I could grant that there is a priori knowledge, but that it is contingent on not being shown the door, not being handed your hat. That door-showing and hat-handing is the province of science. You could presently claim as a priori knowledge that there are other intelligent species in the universe besides human. Pending a definition of 'intelligent'. Or you could claim that there are no intelligent species, including the human. Pending blah blah blah.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#363  Postby Sweenith » Jun 04, 2011 7:05 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
Sweenith wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
Self-evident is not the same as necessary. Necessity is the result of deduction, and hence is not a priori.

Postulates are not the same as axioms. A postulate might be something you have decided to try to prove, otherwise, axioms and postulates would be the same. Why have two words if there is only one concept. Parsimony demands it.


Agreed, something can be necessary without being self-evident (also, something can be self-evident without being necessary).

And while it's true that the conclusion of a valid deductive argument follows necessarily from the premises (meaning if the premises are true, then the conclusion can't fail to be true), that doesn't mean that the conclusion as such is a necessary truth (the conclusion, along with its premises, could be contingently true). Moreover, a proposition is either necessarily or contingently true regardless of whether we arrive at that proposition via deduction (ex: it would still have been true that 2 and 2 makes 4 even if we had never deduced it).

In any case, a priori knowledge doesn't mean "not the result of deduction," it just means that it doesn't depend on empirical or experiential evidence. So even if it were granted that necessity is always only the result of deduction, it still wouldn't follow that necessity cannot be a priori.


You're bullshitting me. Or else you are putting way more into 'necessary' than it can carry. It's just a word in the English language.


All I mean by "necessary" is this: a proposition or statement is necessary if and only if it's impossible for it to be false (like "2+2=4" or "All squares have four sides"). On the other hand, there are certain facts that could have been otherwise than they are, such as the fact that I live in Chicago, or the fact that my computer monitor is to the left of my can of diet Dr. Pepper—the universe might have been organized in such a way that I ended up in Japan, say, or that my monitor was to the right of the can instead of the left—these facts are not necessary, because it was possible for them not to be the case.

Some statement that is not self-evident, and not deduced, and not evident by empiricism? We need examples. Inquiring minds want to know.

First off, what I said was that a priori knowledge doesn't have to be knowledge that's not the result of deduction - i.e., a priori knowledge may or may not be deduced. Secondly, what I said was that a priori knowledge doesn't depend on empirical evidence, not that it couldn't be learned empirically (it may or may not). So I never said anything about a statement that's not deduced and not evidenced empirically.

take for example, "3 x 2 = 6"; let's suppose a child grasps the truth of this statement by observing collections of apples that have fallen from the tree and reflecting on their numerical relations to one another; then he would have learned this via empirical means, right? but, the knowledge he acquires doesn't depend on the apples he was looking at: once he grasps the necessary mathematical truth behind them, he no longer needs the apples to ground or justify his knowledge. That's what I mean when I say that a priori knowledge is independent of empirical experience.

I could grant that there is a priori knowledge, but that it is contingent on not being shown the door, not being handed your hat. That door-showing and hat-handing is the province of science. You could presently claim as a priori knowledge that there are other intelligent species in the universe besides human. Pending a definition of 'intelligent'. Or you could claim that there are no intelligent species, including the human. Pending blah blah blah.

Hmm I don't quite follow. I don't see how "there are other intelligent species in the universe other than humans" or "there are no intelligent species in the universe" could be known a priori, because the truth of either one depends upon the sorts of physical entities which exist in the universe, and facts like that can only be known from observation. Additionally, that fact—(that there are intelligent beings in the universe)—is contingent, and could have been different; as such, it's not necessarily true, and thus (absent of being a "synthetic a priori" truth), can't be known a priori.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#364  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 04, 2011 12:27 pm

Sweenith wrote:
All I mean by "necessary" is this: a proposition or statement is necessary if and only if it's impossible for it to be false (like "2+2=4" or "All squares have four sides"). On the other hand, there are certain facts that could have been otherwise than they are, such as the fact that I live in Chicago, or the fact that my computer monitor is to the left of my can of diet Dr. Pepper—the universe might have been organized in such a way that I ended up in Japan, say, or that my monitor was to the right of the can instead of the left—these facts are not necessary, because it was possible for them not to be the case.


You're now behaving as if this conversation has never taken place before, let alone hundreds of times in this forum alone. What is your point? To observe that people have tried to define the words 'necessary' and 'contingent' as exercises in logic? Do you propose to instruct me in standard definitions of necessary and contingent as presented in your logic classroom? Then you are making your use of the word 'necessary' contingent on some definitions established in the logic classroom. That's OK with me, too, but this is just an internet forum, a chance for you to try to comminicate clearly what your intentions are. If you have any.

Sweenith wrote:
First off, what I said was that a priori knowledge doesn't have to be knowledge that's not the result of deduction - i.e., a priori knowledge may or may not be deduced. Secondly, what I said was that a priori knowledge doesn't depend on empirical evidence, not that it couldn't be learned empirically (it may or may not). So I never said anything about a statement that's not deduced and not evidenced empirically.

I don't see how "there are other intelligent species in the universe other than humans" or "there are no intelligent species in the universe" could be known a priori, because the truth of either one depends upon the sorts of physical entities which exist in the universe, and facts like that can only be known from observation. Additionally, that fact—(that there are intelligent beings in the universe)—is contingent, and could have been different; as such, it's not necessarily true, and thus (absent of being a "synthetic a priori" truth), can't be known a priori.


You have not made a coherent effort at creating anything but a tautology. Perhaps you mean that a priori knowledge is dogmatic. You still have not shown me how the term should be used 'correctly'. Either make a statement of a priori knowledge, like 'God exists' or some act of mental telepathy, or go home. You haven't even started in with knowledge, let alone gotten to a priori knowledge. You're just using the term because somebody else used it. You said a priori knowledge does not have to be deduced. Of course it doesn't: A priori knowledge that is deduced is contingent on its axioms.

Essentially you are saying that self-evident axioms are necessary truths, but you haven't given any examples of such axioms. I would say that self-evident axioms are self-evident, to show you what I mean by 'tautology'.

"All squares have four sides" is part of the definition of 'squares'. Don't be square, daddy-o, be hip to the jive. It's not 'necessary' that squares have four sides. We could have called them 'frambelisks'. It's not necessary that they have four sides, because you have to define the number '4' first. Perhaps you think that the natural numbers are 'necessary'. You should have said that to start. At least you'd be able to quote somebody famous:

"God created the integers," wrote mathematician Leopold Kronecker, "All the rest is the work of Man." Maybe you wish to say something similar about modus ponens. Modus tollens? If you're not metabolising, and created by god, you're not alive.

Saying that there are intelligent species in the universe depends on calling whatever we are doing here 'the exercise of reason'. The debate about what part of mathematics is synthetic is actually an ongoing debate among philosophers. I don't know the technical term for this. Instead, I learned how to use mathematics, a very little bit. What we are doing here is the exercise of language. I call that, in context, 'wibbling'.

What I mean is that, if I wanted to learn a conventional set of definitions of necessary, contingent, and a priori, I would go to a university and pay tuition so I could have something on a transcript certifying that I knew something. Been there. Done that.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#365  Postby Sweenith » Jun 04, 2011 2:44 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Sweenith wrote:
All I mean by "necessary" is this: a proposition or statement is necessary if and only if it's impossible for it to be false (like "2+2=4" or "All squares have four sides"). On the other hand, there are certain facts that could have been otherwise than they are, such as the fact that I live in Chicago, or the fact that my computer monitor is to the left of my can of diet Dr. Pepper—the universe might have been organized in such a way that I ended up in Japan, say, or that my monitor was to the right of the can instead of the left—these facts are not necessary, because it was possible for them not to be the case.


You're now behaving as if this conversation has never taken place before, let alone hundreds of times in this forum alone. What is your point? To observe that people have tried to define the words 'necessary' and 'contingent' as exercises in logic? Do you propose to instruct me in standard definitions of necessary and contingent as presented in your logic classroom? Then you are making your use of the word 'necessary' contingent on some definitions established in the logic classroom. That's OK with me, too, but this is just an internet forum, a chance for you to try to comminicate clearly what your intentions are. If you have any.


You complained about the way I was using the word 'necessary', so I just wanted to clarify what I meant by the term. But if you already knew what I meant, so much the better. And my intentions? well in this thread I guess that would be to discuss "Reason / Science / Religion" , but as you can probably guess, I'm coming at that from a philosophical bent

You have not made a coherent effort at creating anything but a tautology. Perhaps you mean that a priori knowledge is dogmatic. You still have not shown me how the term should be used 'correctly'. Either make a statement of a priori knowledge, like 'God exists' or some act of mental telepathy, or go home. You haven't even started in with knowledge, let alone gotten to a priori knowledge. You're just using the term because somebody else used it.

examples of a priori knowledge: "2+2=4" "no bachelors are married" "all squares have four sides of equal length" those are knowable a priori, because they can be grasped via reason alone.

Essentially you are saying that self-evident axioms are necessary truths, but you haven't given any examples of such axioms. I would say that self-evident axioms are self-evident, to show you what I mean by 'tautology'.

No I'm not saying that at all. I haven't been talking about self-evident propositions - I believe you brought them up.

And I certainly don't maintain that self-evident propositions are all necessarily true - that is obviously false. for consider: it's self-evident to me that "I exist" is true; however, the fact that I exist is not at all necessarily true, since I could die at any moment. Therefore, just because something is self-evident doesn't mean that it's necessarily true.

"All squares have four sides" is part of the definition of 'squares'. Don't be square, daddy-o, be hip to the jive. It's not 'necessary' that squares have four sides. We could have called them 'frambelisks'. It's not necessary that they have four sides, because you have to define the number '4' first. Perhaps you think that the natural numbers are 'necessary'. You should have said that to start. At least you'd be able to quote somebody famous:


You are confusing a term with what the term stands for. "Square" is the name we give to squares, closed shapes with four sides of equal length. But when one says "all squares have four sides", one is talking about squares themselves, not "squares" their name. It's not the square's name that has four sides, it's the square itself. And you're right, we could have named them whatever we wanted - "Frambelisk" if you like - but they would still have been the same thing, they would still have had four sides of equal length.

"God created the integers," wrote mathematician Leopold Kronecker, "All the rest is the work of Man." Maybe you wish to say something similar about modus ponens. Modus tollens? If you're not metabolising, and created by god, you're not alive.


No I think God has created every existing thing about from himself, but I don't think he created the rules of logic (that seems to be an incoherent idea).

Saying that there are intelligent species in the universe depends on calling whatever we are doing here 'the exercise of reason'. The debate about what part of mathematics is synthetic is actually an ongoing debate among philosophers. I don't know the technical term for this. Instead, I learned how to use mathematics, a very little bit. What we are doing here is the exercise of language. I call that, in context, 'wibbling'.

What I mean is that, if I wanted to learn a conventional set of definitions of necessary, contingent, and a priori, I would go to a university and pay tuition so I could have something on a transcript certifying that I knew something. Been there. Done that.


So much for Aristotle's "ALL men by nature desire to know" (first line of the Metaphysics) ;)

My only interest in defining the terms that I use is so that my interloculars and I don't come to find, after pages of discussion and argumentation back and forth, that our whole disagreement had been based on nothing more than a semantical miscommunication (that's happened more times than I can count). I can assure you - I'd love to go without having to define the same old terms over and over, but then people just talk past one another.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#366  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 04, 2011 3:11 pm

Sweenith wrote:
examples of a priori knowledge: "2+2=4" "no bachelors are married" "all squares have four sides of equal length" those are knowable a priori, because they can be grasped via reason alone.


Incredible. What is prior to making those statements is knowing (or agreeing to) the defintions of 'addition', 'equality', 'bachelor', 'married', 'square', 'side' and 'length'. Having a definition of a geometric square is contingent on having seen or made an approximation of it on the ground. You can go with Kant, and say that space and time are prior to reason, but that's an observation, since humans evolved from bacteria.

Yes, you're coming at this from a philosophical POV, and like the notion that philosophers work things out from first principles. My view is that all those first principles come by way of the empirical. The best you can do is to suggest that it is reason that imposes order on the empirical, but that is an axiom, and not an a priori. Is the order there first? Can you say that evolution (of reasoning) is possible without some sort of prior order? Is that an observation or a deduction? If the latter, it is perhaps the self-evident axiom you are looking for, and it is not the foundation for philosophy, but for science.

I see no guarantee that the exercise of pure reason gives you anything but that, and you have to stop there, because you can't make your definitions do anything much by invention of definitions. If modus ponens works consistently, it is because there is consistency. It's not saying much.

Therefore, just because something is self-evident doesn't mean that it's necessarily true.


Well, that's bad for you, since the existing order in the universe will break down, according to the laws of entropy and high energy physics. Meh. There is not anything necessarily true, since no truth is not a statement. That's only a definition.

No I think God has created every existing thing about from himself, but I don't think he created the rules of logic (that seems to be an incoherent idea).


That's nice, Sweenith, but it is a nonsense statement about a nonsense entity. Kronecker's statement is ironic. Even if Kronecker actually believed in God, he only could use it as an axiom, and ironically so. IOW, if you want to talk about authentic a priori knowledge, you will need to talk about God, but that is nonsense. All you will have is connection between necessary truth and the word 'God'. Done with you.

So much for Aristotle's "ALL men by nature desire to know" (first line of the Metaphysics)


Yep. God has ordained it. If you find yourself having to talk about what is prior to everything else, you're doing theology, and not philosophy. Go to the Theism forum, or find somebody else to do it with, here. Theology does not involve the exercise of reason, but the construction of a lot of very trivial tautologies. Not interesting to me.

Sweenith wrote:I'd love to go without having to define the same old terms over and over, but then people just talk past one another.


Well, you won't find me trying to talk past you. I'm very plain spoken, am I not? Why did it take us so long to bring God into this? To say that such conversations are about God? You and I can have a conversation about something I will say is nonsense. Speculating about necessary truths is a preamble to discoursing about God. It's just that once we start talking about God, it is plain that we are talking about bullshit. Are we not plain-spoken?
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#367  Postby Sweenith » Jun 04, 2011 5:17 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Sweenith wrote:
examples of a priori knowledge: "2+2=4" "no bachelors are married" "all squares have four sides of equal length" those are knowable a priori, because they can be grasped via reason alone.


Incredible. What is prior to making those statements is knowing (or agreeing to) the defintions of 'addition', 'equality', 'bachelor', 'married', 'square', 'side' and 'length'. Having a definition of a geometric square is contingent on having seen or made an approximation of it on the ground. You can go with Kant, and say that space and time are prior to reason, but that's an observation, since humans evolved from bacteria.


Again you're confusing terms with what they stand for. A person can know and understand the truths that 2+2=4, that no bachelors are married, that all squares have four sides of equal length, and so on, without ever actually giving those statements expression in language. And one doesn't have to have a definition of something in order to know and understand it (I can't define or describe what the color green looks like, but I know it when I see it).

You're talking about innate knowledge anyways, not a priori knowledge. If knowledge is a priori that just means it can be arrived at through reason alone, and doesn't require recourse to empirical evidence. It's innate knowledge, on the other hand, which is supposed to be known entirely from birth, non-inferential etc.

In addition, geometrical and mathematical truths aren't contingent upon the existence of space and time (rather, it's our ability to define them that depends on it). That a triangle has three sides, for instance, would still have been true even if this whole physical universe had never existed and there wasn't any space or time - that's because mathematical truths are abstract and don't depend on there being particular instantiations of them in the real world.

Yes, you're coming at this from a philosophical POV, and like the notion that philosophers work things out from first principles. My view is that all those first principles come by way of the empirical. The best you can do is to suggest that it is reason that imposes order on the empirical, but that is an axiom, and not an a priori. Is the order there first? Can you say that evolution (of reasoning) is possible without some sort of prior order? Is that an observation or a deduction? If the latter, it is perhaps the self-evident axiom you are looking for, and it is not the foundation for philosophy, but for science.


I think Kant's view (the anti-realist bit) is a little crazy myself, and I can't see why anybody would adopt it (as I see it, a consistent Kantian ought to be a solipsist)

I see no guarantee that the exercise of pure reason gives you anything but that, and you have to stop there, because you can't make your definitions do anything much by invention of definitions. If modus ponens works consistently, it is because there is consistency. It's not saying much.

That sounds right to me. I'm not much into system-building. historically, looks to be a fruitless effort (whether it's Spinoza, Hegel, or even a more modern like Carnap)

Cito di Pense wrote:Well, that's bad for you, since the existing order in the universe will break down, according to the laws of entropy and high energy physics.

That's assuming the universe is a closed system (i.e. it presupposes materialism)

Meh. There is not anything necessarily true, since no truth is not a statement. That's only a definition.

I'm not sure I understand you - are you saying that there are no necessary truths? If that's so, then what you're saying isn't necessarily true. And that would mean that there's a possible world in which "there are necessary truths" is true. But if something is necessary in one possible world, then it's true in all possible worlds, including the actual one. Therefore, if "there are no necessary truths" is true, then it follows that there is (at least one) necessary truth. That shows that "there are no necessary truths" is self-defeating.

Cito di Pense wrote:
No I think God has created every existing thing about from himself, but I don't think he created the rules of logic (that seems to be an incoherent idea).


That's nice, Sweenith, but it is a nonsense statement about a nonsense entity. Kronecker's statement is ironic. Even if Kronecker actually believed in God, he only could use it as an axiom, and ironically so. IOW, if you want to talk about authentic a priori knowledge, you will need to talk about God, but that is nonsense. All you will have is connection between necessary truth and the word 'God'. Done with you.


(typo - it was supposed to read "every existing thing apart from himself" - no doubt that was the source of the alleged "nonsense" :lol: )

Huh? What does God have to do with a priori knowledge? And who said anything about me being concerned about whether there's a ground for a priori knowledge? I'm inclined to think there is (as I would define it that is), but that's more or less inconsequential relative to the issues that do concern me.

Why is my statement nonsensical? Maybe you can do a better job justifying that sort of claim than has been done in the past (the positivists never did get a successful statement of their verification principle)

Yep. God has ordained it. If you find yourself having to talk about what is prior to everything else, you're doing theology, and not philosophy. Go to the Theism forum, or find somebody else to do it with, here. Theology does not involve the exercise of reason, but the construction of a lot of very trivial tautologies. Not interesting to me.


For a person who finds theology uninteresting, you seem surprisingly eager to turn this into a discussion about God rather than epistemology. I'm not sure I said anything related to theism until you brought up that mathematician actually, and even then I was merely stating my position.

Sweenith wrote:I'd love to go without having to define the same old terms over and over, but then people just talk past one another.


Well, you won't find me trying to talk past you. I'm very plain spoken, am I not? Why did it take us so long to bring God into this? To say that such conversations are about God? You and I can have a conversation about something I will say is nonsense. Speculating about necessary truths is a preamble to discoursing about God. It's just that once we start talking about God, it is plain that we are talking about bullshit. Are we not plain-spoken?


I'm still confused as to where God comes into play here. Just so we're on the same page - when I say "God" I mean something very particular—a morally perfect, personal being that knows all and can do all, insofar as is possible—I'm not using it in some vague apophatic way as some mysterious X, or as a sort of Hegelian Absolute, or anything like that (those do seem to me incoherent concepts).

If mine is the very same definition of God you had in mind when you said my statement was non-sensical, maybe you can pin-point exactly what it is that makes it so? (though from past experience I expect a retort to the effect of "cause it's — a fantasy/a delusion/made-up gibberish/etc." , I would be very interested in a more serious answer. From your phrasing it sounds like you're saying the defect in the statement—I think God has created every existing thing apart from himself—is that it's semantically meaningless, but more often than not I find that what people are really trying to object to is that it's unscientific or incompatible with empiricism or some such thing.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#368  Postby Hugin » Jun 05, 2011 1:13 am

Here is a piece that basically argues the same as the OP. It makes sense to me.
"If there were an Economist's Creed, it would surely contain the affirmations 'I understand the Principle of Comparative Advantage' and 'I advocate Free Trade'." - Paul Krugman
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#369  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 05, 2011 1:09 pm

Hugin wrote:Here is a piece that basically argues the same as the OP. It makes sense to me.


You can treat science as a methodology that uses 'reason' without going down the rabbit hole of trying to establish the constituents of 'reason'. You can treat other approaches as 'discourses' (methodologically speaking). Discourse is like a 'talking cure'. Sometimes it works, but you don't really know how it works. I think it works by getting you to think about something other than what was bothering you.

I read Sweenith like a book, when he starts talking about 'innate knowledge'. He's after the sensus divinatus.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#370  Postby Sween » Jun 15, 2011 9:30 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Hugin wrote:Here is a piece that basically argues the same as the OP. It makes sense to me.


You can treat science as a methodology that uses 'reason' without going down the rabbit hole of trying to establish the constituents of 'reason'.

I agree - science can simply bracket the whole issue, and take 'reason' (that is, its reliability) as a given.

You can treat other approaches as 'discourses' (methodologically speaking). Discourse is like a 'talking cure'. Sometimes it works, but you don't really know how it works. I think it works by getting you to think about something other than what was bothering you.

Sounds like Foucault + later Wittgenstein.

I read Sweenith like a book, when he starts talking about 'innate knowledge'. He's after the sensus divinatus.

:lol: Well - for one thing, personally, I don't yet have a settled position on justification - I'm sympathetic to both Plantinga's "Reformed Epistemology" model (which appeals to Calvin's "sense of the divine"), as well as Paul Moser's version of evidentialism (and on Moser's view, theistic belief is justified a posteriori — i.e., not innate)

And secondly, even on Plantinga's view of justification according to which theistic belief is grounded via the "sensus divinitatus," belief in God is not innate, because (according his work in WCB), given that our faculties are functioning properly in the sort of environment for which they were designed, we come to perceive the divine in and through our experience in much the same way that we come to perceive the natural world. But on Plantinga's account, the sense of the divine no more provides us with innate knowledge of the divine than our sense of the empirical provides us with innate knowledge of the empirical - in either case, knowledge is only attained a posteriori.

Come to think of it, I'm not really sure which, if any, prominent view of religious epistemology regards belief in God as innate (in-born). The only one that comes to mind is natural law theory, according to which natural laws of morality are without exception known by all persons. Theistic natural law theorists would hold that such knowledge entails knowledge in God, since one such precept is, for example, the wrongness of mocking God. Though natural law theory is making something of a comeback, it's not at all the majority view of theists. So for the most part, you don't have to worry about your religious interloculars smuggling innate ideas into the conversation (unless they're Thomists).
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#371  Postby Collin237 » Mar 14, 2012 3:56 pm

Cito articulated something that I've surmised from various blogs but which nobody else has admitted. That an absolute reality is considered to be the work of God, and therefore atheists deny it. Just as the OP pointed out that reason is sometimes used in religion, faith is sometimes used in science. The establishment of scientific theories is usually considered as merely a failure to falsify them (supposedly according to Popper). What's overlooked is that the evidence that backs up these theories is also a success at verifying them.

Fundamentalists are notorious for saying "evolution is a theory, not a fact". And yet there are now scientists who say the same thing, with the excuse that the words "theory" and "fact" mean something different in science. No they don't. In politics yes :lol: , but not in science. Almost nobody seems to admit that evolution is a theory that has been verified as fact. And it seems that a concern like Cito's is motivating this strange trend. It seems that no scientific theory, no matter how much evidence there is to support it, and no matter how much it goes against popular religious beliefs, can ever be called a fact, because that would imply that God ordained it. This is considered proof that nonsense has been invoked. Well if you define God as the all-powerful Biblical king blah blah blah, then yes, that's nonsense. But in the first place, this definition is rapidly becoming obsolete. In the second place, this doesn't logically follow from a faith in reality. On the contrary, it is the recognition that reality exists and contradicts much of the Bible that has allowed science to escape the Bible's narrow-mindedness.

This is particularly problematic in the field of quantum theory. It's incomplete, and there are well-founded attempts (CSL is my favorite) to fill in the inconsistencies. But they're never explained to a general audience. The excuses are that they're ad-hoc, they have problems that haven't been worked out yet, they're not currently testable, or that if you simply follow the math they aren't necessary. But these don't excuse the inevitable result: Crackpots and charlatans fill in their own ignorant interpretations, and the real experts are powerless to intervene.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#372  Postby justintime » Mar 23, 2012 12:01 am

I think we have reached the end of our journey, the search for the knowledge that successfully guided us through the crisis of the dark ages and accelerated upon us the dawn of renaissance have all come to past.
Religion, science and reason were early attempts by man to understand and explain the unknown world we lived in. They helped us build institutions to serve the social, economic, medical and universal needs as we learned to define them and demanded they be met. Democracy, freedom, human rights, dignity. etc. etc.
Can the same institutions of religion, science, reason serve us even as the human race has plateaued. We know the limits and boundaries that exist in our great institutions because we can see how limited in effect they have been to address the struggles of mankind as we progress in numbers in a shrinking global context.
We have experienced the green revolution, survived the nuclear clock down and found ways to feed the billions but we are no closer to defining what are mans true aspirations....they all seem to be a little beyond his grasp.
Because the scourges of mankind still persist and rears its head in every new generation and we re-litigate every problem with the same old tried reasons only to fail because the answers are not that much different nor are our problems.
We are a failed experiment, creatures of our own inventions and deeply flawed, perverted and Irreducibly Complex.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#373  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 21, 2012 4:26 pm

Deeply warped view of everything.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#374  Postby justintime » Sep 23, 2012 4:40 pm

Buddhism is not a religion, it is a cult. Buddhism lacks a deity and except for a few tenets is basically secular atheism with some degree of internalized altruism.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#375  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 24, 2012 5:01 pm

The price of fish is sometimes higher in places where it was lower before.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#376  Postby justintime » Sep 24, 2012 5:44 pm

Spearthrower wrote:The price of fish is sometimes higher in places where it was lower before.

Is that from a Thai tourist brochure promoting the underground economy ? :dance:
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#377  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 24, 2012 5:45 pm

Spearthrower wrote:The price of fish is sometimes higher in places where it was lower before.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#378  Postby justintime » Sep 24, 2012 6:03 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:The price of fish is sometimes higher in places where it was lower before.

Why would the price of fishy products go up when the country has devalued its currency? Sounds like a contradiction unless you mean the age went up for minors entering the trade.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#379  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 25, 2012 2:48 am

justintime wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:The price of fish is sometimes higher in places where it was lower before.

Why would the price of fishy products go up when the country has devalued its currency?


Which country? Thailand? You're only a generation out of date, Justin.


justintime wrote: Sounds like a contradiction unless you mean the age went up for minors entering the trade.



Oh look! Yet more bigoted and ill-educated attacks on another country to try to slur me by association.

This is rational skepticism, Justin - poor reasoning skills get you nowhere here.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#380  Postby justintime » Sep 25, 2012 2:20 pm

Spearthrower, You have been admonished by other members for your patently objectionable approach.
Gary S. Gaulin wrote: Study the theory with an unbiased open mind please, before offering your opinion, you'll find out for yourself. Asking for citation after citation and dumb questions like "Who's this 'we'?" when it should be obvious while talking down at me like I'm a child is not getting either of us anywhere. I was hoping for honest unbiased opinion on the theory, not spears thrown at me before you even look at it.

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http://www.rationalskepticism.org/creat ... 32-20.html
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