Just a co-incidence?

A true story you probably won't believe

Discussions on UFOs, ghosts, myths etc.

Moderators: Calilasseia, DarthHelmet86, Onyx8

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#81  Postby Animavore » May 25, 2014 1:09 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:

Nope, the problem is that you don't understand why what I'm talking about can't be scientifically tested. I understand the scientific method perfectly.


I understand that you're trying your damnedest to try keep what you're talking about out of reach of skeptical inquiry to safegaurd your beliefs.

UndercoverElephant wrote: Do synchronicities or evidence of mind-reading occur around us all the time, everywhere? No, of course not. If these things happen at all then they happen in very specific sorts of situations, and it is those specific situations that can't be replicated.


But what does occur around us all the time is cold-reading, apohenia, paredolia and coincidence. We can then ask which is more likely? The mundane event or the extraordinary one?

UndercoverElephant wrote: ETA: of course some "parapsychologists" try to replicate them, but in my opinion those sorts of tests are doomed to produce either negative or very marginally positive results, which would never be enough to convince any skeptic of anything. I think there are fundamental reasons why these parapsychologists are wasting their, and everybody-else's, time.


The fundamental reason being they're trying to test for the extraordinary and ignoring the mundane answers given to them.
A most evolved electron.
User avatar
Animavore
 
Name: The Scribbler
Posts: 44741
Age: 42
Male

Ireland (ie)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Just a co-incidence?

#82  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 25, 2014 1:10 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:The case we are talking about in this thread could not be more different. Do synchronicities or evidence of mind-reading occur around us all the time, everywhere? No, of course not. If these things happen at all then they happen in very specific sorts of situations, and it is those specific situations that can't be replicated. ETA: of course some "parapsychologists" try to replicate them, but in my opinion those sorts of tests are doomed to produce either negative or very marginally positive results, which would never be enough to convince any skeptic of anything. I think there are fundamental reasons why these parapsychologists are wasting their, and everybody-else's, time.


Well, your problem is that you can't say that synchronicity applies to anything but synchronicity. Department of tautology department.


Erm...I don't really know what you mean, but I'm pretty sure I don't have any "problems" in this area. In what way is it a "problem"?


Synchronicity, if it only applied to mind-reading, would just be called 'mind-reading'.


Some things don't easily get pigeon-holed. Sometimes they fall into more than one category, or it is not clear what category they ought to belong to. Is this a problem?


You can dress a pig in a tuxedo, and it's just a pig in a tuxedo. It's all the special tailoring that goes into the suit that makes it so 'meaningful'.


Oh, I've missed you sooo much, CDP. :smile:
UndercoverElephant
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 6626
Age: 52
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#83  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 25, 2014 1:16 pm

Animavore wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:

Nope, the problem is that you don't understand why what I'm talking about can't be scientifically tested. I understand the scientific method perfectly.


I understand that you're trying your damnedest to try keep what you're talking about out of reach of skeptical inquiry to safegaurd your beliefs.


Nope. It's the other way around. You and Shrunk are trying your damnedest to fit everything that exists into the category of "science can investigate this", and you're doing so in order to safeguard your beliefs. :)

See, two can play at this game!


UndercoverElephant wrote: Do synchronicities or evidence of mind-reading occur around us all the time, everywhere? No, of course not. If these things happen at all then they happen in very specific sorts of situations, and it is those specific situations that can't be replicated.


But what does occur around us all the time is cold-reading, apohenia, paredolia and coincidence. We can then ask which is more likely? The mundane event or the extraordinary one?


You can ask that, but it doesn't make any difference to this example. To use a metaphor: lots of dirty bathwater doesn't demonstrate the non-existence of a baby.


UndercoverElephant wrote: ETA: of course some "parapsychologists" try to replicate them, but in my opinion those sorts of tests are doomed to produce either negative or very marginally positive results, which would never be enough to convince any skeptic of anything. I think there are fundamental reasons why these parapsychologists are wasting their, and everybody-else's, time.


The fundamental reason being they're trying to test for the extraordinary and ignoring the mundane answers given to them.


No. The fundamental reason being that they're trying to test for something that, by its very nature, isn't testable. (In my opinion.)

They have every right to "ignore the mundane answers". There is no law of nature saying that everybody has to agree with the skeptics because the skeptics are always right. That's not the way this works. :)
UndercoverElephant
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 6626
Age: 52
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#84  Postby Animavore » May 25, 2014 1:31 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Nope. It's the other way around. You and Shrunk are trying your damnedest to fit everything that exists into the category of "science can investigate this", and you're doing so in order to safeguard your beliefs. :)

See, two can play at this game!


And which beliefs are they?
No. Two cannot play at this game, at least not on an even playing field. We already know that the phenomena I've detailed exist, and you've already conceded that they do, so there's nothing more to say on our side. It is your side which is completely lacking in evidential support. You can't play the game if you don't have anyone on your team.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
You can ask that, but it doesn't make any difference to this example. To use a metaphor: lots of dirty bathwater doesn't demonstrate the non-existence of a baby.


It makes every bit of difference to the example and every other supernatural/extra-terrestrial claim. To use a metaphor: lots of dirty bathwater doesn't demonstrate that something far more inexplicable than a bath occured here.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
No. The fundamental reason being that they're trying to test for something that, by its very nature, isn't testable. (In my opinion.)


Well obviously things that don't exist aren't testable. We agree.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
They have every right to "ignore the mundane answers". There is no law of nature saying that everybody has to agree with the skeptics because the skeptics are always right. That's not the way this works. :)


Of course they have a right to ignore the mundane answers. The problem is in doing so they will always be asking questions for which an answer cannot be found because they're the wrong questions in the first place.
A most evolved electron.
User avatar
Animavore
 
Name: The Scribbler
Posts: 44741
Age: 42
Male

Ireland (ie)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#85  Postby Cito di Pense » May 25, 2014 2:19 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:

Synchronicity, if it only applied to mind-reading, would just be called 'mind-reading'.


Some things don't easily get pigeon-holed. Sometimes they fall into more than one category, or it is not clear what category they ought to belong to. Is this a problem?


It is if you have to make up a new category every time something happens that isn't easily pigeonholed. Makes it look like a shell game with either a proliferation of categories, or vagueness enough not to have to commit to anything.

The usual whine is, "No, that's not what I meant."

UndercoverElephant wrote:The fundamental reason being that they're trying to test for something that, by its very nature, isn't testable.


Well, well, well. Isn't that just soooooooo fucking convenient? So, then, why'd you have to tell us about this one? You say you didn't, but if you pick every event that you can't explain, then you're gonna sound like the boy who cried "Wolf!"

This means, in effect, that you'll be able to supply a reason that you mentioned this one, rather than any of a number of other odd occurrences. Oh, you say, there weren't any others. That's what makes this one so special.

Yes, UE, it's your sampling scheme that's up for grabs.
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.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Al Forno, LLD,LDL,PPM
Posts: 29554
Age: 23
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#86  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 25, 2014 2:31 pm

Animavore wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
Nope. It's the other way around. You and Shrunk are trying your damnedest to fit everything that exists into the category of "science can investigate this", and you're doing so in order to safeguard your beliefs. :)

See, two can play at this game!


And which beliefs are they?


Your strong belief (you "know") that all paranormal/supernatural stuff isn't real.


No. Two cannot play at this game, at least not on an even playing field.


Of course they can, and the fact that you can't see this speaks volumes about just how vulnerable to confirmation bias you are. At least I know it's there, and I'm watching out for it. You, on the other hand, have convinced yourself you are immune to it! Why? Because "your beliefs are the correct ones", that's why! You aren't vulnerable to confirmation bias because you already know you are right! :lol:


We already know that the phenomena I've detailed exist, and you've already conceded that they do, so there's nothing more to say on our side.


Nonsense. Your logic is all over the place. What you're arguing, logically, is the same as this:

(1) We know that there are some serious scammers and con-men out there.
(2) Therefore anybody who contacts you or makes themselves available for business is a scammer or a con-man.

Yes, scammers and con-men exist. Yes, some (a lot) of "paranormalists" are either intentionally misleading people, or they are clearly deluded for one reason or another. It does not follow that all businessmen are scammers and conmen, nor does it follow that all paranormalists are intentionally misleading people or clearly deluded.


It is your side which is completely lacking in evidential support. You can't play the game if you don't have anyone on your team.


I think you need to take a step back and think about this a bit harder.

If it is possible for a believer to selectively filter information/evidence in order to support their belief that things like synchronicity and mind-reading are real (i.e. some examples are real, not necessarily all of them), then it is equally possible for a skeptic to selectively filter information/evidence in order to support their belief that they are (always) false. How on Earth could this not be true? And, as explained above, it's actually worse than this, because you're so confident that your metaphysical beliefs are correct (that all paranormal claims are false), that you've denied it is even possible that this sort of confirmation bias could apply in your own case! Think about it.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
You can ask that, but it doesn't make any difference to this example. To use a metaphor: lots of dirty bathwater doesn't demonstrate the non-existence of a baby.


It makes every bit of difference to the example and every other supernatural/extra-terrestrial claim. To use a metaphor: lots of dirty bathwater doesn't demonstrate that something far more inexplicable than a bath occured here.


But I'm not the one who is claiming it does demonstrate that, am I? Go back and read the opening post again. I started this thread by declaring, up front, that this DOES NOT "demonstrate" anything - that it does not conclusively prove anything. It is YOU, not me, who wants to "demonstrate" something. You want to demonstrate that what you believe is right, and that what I believe is wrong. You want to prove that this couldn't possibly be anything more than a co-incidence. You want to prove that your own belief system is correct and that mine is false. And yet you're claiming this is the other way around, and that it is me who needs to prove things to the world. I don't. My belief system is not so fragile that I need everybody else to agree with me. Yours, apparently, is.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
No. The fundamental reason being that they're trying to test for something that, by its very nature, isn't testable. (In my opinion.)


Well obviously things that don't exist aren't testable. We agree.


But you do not have any grounds for saying you know that they don't exist. Again, I'm saying that it is impossible to prove this conclusively one way or another. It is you, not me, who wants to prove things even though there is no proof available! You're not satisfied with "there is no evidence to conclusively demonstrate this." Oh no. You want to push it all the way to "we know this isn't real. Science says so." Sorry, but you can't have that. Science says no such thing. You're getting your beliefs mixed up with scientific facts.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
They have every right to "ignore the mundane answers". There is no law of nature saying that everybody has to agree with the skeptics because the skeptics are always right. That's not the way this works. :)


Of course they have a right to ignore the mundane answers. The problem is in doing so they will always be asking questions for which an answer cannot be found because they're the wrong questions in the first place.


Says you. Another alternative is that a whole bunch of people out there know quite a lot about a load of stuff that you don't believe exists. Just because some question is incompatible with your belief system doesn't mean it is incompatible with reality.
UndercoverElephant
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 6626
Age: 52
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#87  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 25, 2014 2:39 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:

Synchronicity, if it only applied to mind-reading, would just be called 'mind-reading'.


Some things don't easily get pigeon-holed. Sometimes they fall into more than one category, or it is not clear what category they ought to belong to. Is this a problem?


It is if you have to make up a new category every time something happens that isn't easily pigeonholed.


Maybe, if that was the case, yes. But it isn't.


UndercoverElephant wrote:The fundamental reason being that they're trying to test for something that, by its very nature, isn't testable.


Well, well, well. Isn't that just soooooooo fucking convenient?


Just the way things are, CDP. Convenient or inconvenient has nothing to do with it. Look at the example of the "the will of God." You could say the same thing to the theist: "you say your God does not have to act a certain way in certain situations as if God's will was driven by physical laws. How convenient! That means science can't test for God!" You could say this, but it would be ridiculous to do so. It would just be a way of you venting your frustration and trying to make the theist look like he's twisting the story to evade scientific scrutiny, but no independent, rational person should agree with it. This is not a case of re-defining what God is in order to avoid science, is it? The truth is the other way around: any person who tried to define God as an entity which was subject to the laws of physics would be guilty of bending the normal definitions to breaking point, and doing so because they wanted to argue that because science hasn't found God, God doesn't exist.

Nice try though. ;)
UndercoverElephant
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 6626
Age: 52
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Just a co-incidence?

#88  Postby Animavore » May 25, 2014 2:54 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:

Your strong belief (you "know") that all paranormal/supernatural stuff isn't real.


Incorrect. I have no beliefs at all pertaining to the paranormal and supernatural as none have been demonstrated. If they had I would believe in them. As it is I don't. Not having a belief is not a belief in and of itself. That doesn't even make sense.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Of course they can, and the fact that you can't see this speaks volumes about just how vulnerable to confirmation bias you are. At least I know it's there, and I'm watching out for it. You, on the other hand, have convinced yourself you are immune to it! Why? Because "your beliefs are the correct ones", that's why! You aren't vulnerable to confirmation bias because you already know you are right! :lol:


Incorrect again. I haven't said that I'm right. I'm not the one trying to sell a story here. That would be you. And your story is incredibly unconvincing. I'm not sure where the confirmation bias fits into that. What am I trying to confirm? That I find your story to hold less weight than a paper tissue rucksack?

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Nonsense. Your logic is all over the place. What you're arguing, logically, is the same as this:

(1) We know that there are some serious scammers and con-men out there.
(2) Therefore anybody who contacts you or makes themselves available for business is a scammer or a con-man.

Yes, scammers and con-men exist. Yes, some (a lot) of "paranormalists" are either intentionally misleading people, or they are clearly deluded for one reason or another. It does not follow that all businessmen are scammers and conmen, nor does it follow that all paranormalists are intentionally misleading people or clearly deluded.


Incorrect again. I said nothing of scammers or con-men. I mentioned cold-reading, but that's something someone can do without even realise they're doing it and actually believe they're psychic. I'm not sure what the scam or con is in apophenia, paredolia or coincidences :scratch:
My point was about likelihood. That's all.

UndercoverElephant wrote:I think you need to take a step back and think about this a bit harder.

If it is possible for a believer to selectively filter information/evidence in order to support their belief that things like synchronicity and mind-reading are real (i.e. some examples are real, not necessarily all of them), then it is equally possible for a skeptic to selectively filter information/evidence in order to support their belief that they are (always) false. How on Earth could this not be true? And, as explained above, it's actually worse than this, because you're so confident that your metaphysical beliefs are correct (that all paranormal claims are false), that you've denied it is even possible that this sort of confirmation bias could apply in your own case! Think about it.



Except I've never claimed they are always false. You're doing your best to try turn the tables on me by trying to somehow show that my doubt in your and other beliefs is equal to your positive belief. It amounts to "I know you are but what am I?"
Show me what I've filtered here in the case of the OP for instance? I've looked at your picture. I've acknowledged the vague similarities while also noting the many differences. What am I censoring here? Show me the bias because it's certainly not as obvious as yours.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
But I'm not the one who is claiming it does demonstrate that, am I? Go back and read the opening post again. I started this thread by declaring, up front, that this DOES NOT "demonstrate" anything - that it does not conclusively prove anything. It is YOU, not me, who wants to "demonstrate" something. You want to demonstrate that what you believe is right, and that what I believe is wrong. You want to prove that this couldn't possibly be anything more than a co-incidence. You want to prove that your own belief system is correct and that mine is false. And yet you're claiming this is the other way around, and that it is me who needs to prove things to the world. I don't. My belief system is not so fragile that I need everybody else to agree with me. Yours, apparently, is.




I never said it can be anything other than a coincidence. My first post I asked "what else could it be?" You gave examples and I've called them into question. You haven't yet offered a convincing alternative to make me think it is anything but a coincidence. My position is doubt, not positive belief that I'm right or that you're wrong. Just doubt that you're right.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
But you do not have any grounds for saying you know that they don't exist. Again, I'm saying that it is impossible to prove this conclusively one way or another. It is you, not me, who wants to prove things even though there is no proof available! You're not satisfied with "there is no evidence to conclusively demonstrate this." Oh no. You want to push it all the way to "we know this isn't real. Science says so." Sorry, but you can't have that. Science says no such thing. You're getting your beliefs mixed up with scientific facts.



I have lots of grounds for saying they don't in all likelihood don't exist, but I'll concede that that line was just me being cheeky.

UndercoverElephant wrote:

Says you. Another alternative is that a whole bunch of people out there know quite a lot about a load of stuff that you don't believe exists. Just because some question is incompatible with your belief system doesn't mean it is incompatible with reality.


Except I don't have a belief system, you'r desperately trying to endow me with one, it's just more, "I know you are but what am I?". And if there are a whole bunch of people out there who know quite a load of stuff about things that I don't believe eixist I haven't met a single one of them.

I'll tell you what I have met though in all my time spent searching for the 'Truth' in my early twenties. A shit load of people who thought they knew a load of stuff I see no reason to believe exists and not one of them could demonstrate a single one of their claims when pushed, in fact even got snarky when pushed and whined that they should not be tested.

Again I resort back to likelihood.
A most evolved electron.
User avatar
Animavore
 
Name: The Scribbler
Posts: 44741
Age: 42
Male

Ireland (ie)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#89  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 25, 2014 3:15 pm

Animavore wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:

Your strong belief (you "know") that all paranormal/supernatural stuff isn't real.


Incorrect. I have no beliefs at all pertaining to the paranormal and supernatural as none have been demonstrated.


Rubbish! Of course your do. If you had no beliefs then you'd be an agnostic. You are nothing of the sort. You have a very strongly-held belief that these things do not exist. You are not satisfied with "they have not been [scientifically] demonstrated". You want/need to go much further than that. That you claim not to have any beliefs on this matter is nothing short of bizarre. You're claiming that if somebody believes in metaphysical framework X, which allows for such things, then they believe something, but if somebody believes in metaphysical framework Y, which doesn't allow for such things, then they don't believe anything. Sorry, but this is pure nonsense.


If they had I would believe in them. As it is I don't.


On top of being sure they don't exist, you also strongly believe, incorrectly, that if they did exist they could be scientifically proved.


Not having a belief is not a belief in and of itself. That doesn't even make sense.


Rubbish. "Not having a belief" is AGNOSTICISM. You are not agnostic. You are a strong and committed disbeliever.

You have a positive belief about metaphysics: paranormal phenomena do not exist.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
Of course they can, and the fact that you can't see this speaks volumes about just how vulnerable to confirmation bias you are. At least I know it's there, and I'm watching out for it. You, on the other hand, have convinced yourself you are immune to it! Why? Because "your beliefs are the correct ones", that's why! You aren't vulnerable to confirmation bias because you already know you are right! :lol:


Incorrect again. I haven't said that I'm right. I'm not the one trying to sell a story here. That would be you.


Oh no it isn't. You have indeed said you are right. You have claimed that "these phenomena do not exist"; I merely spoke in terms of what I believe. You have claimed scientific support for your position where none exists; I have not. You have even claimed your beliefs are not beliefs, as if somehow you are right by default.


And your story is incredibly unconvincing.


For you. Others feel differently, as is their right.


I'm not sure where the confirmation bias fits into that. What am I trying to confirm?


You are trying to confirm the following:

(1) If paranormal phenomena did exist, science could test for them.
(2) They don't exist.
(3) All believers in such things are suffering from some sort of psychological delusion.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
Nonsense. Your logic is all over the place. What you're arguing, logically, is the same as this:

(1) We know that there are some serious scammers and con-men out there.
(2) Therefore anybody who contacts you or makes themselves available for business is a scammer or a con-man.

Yes, scammers and con-men exist. Yes, some (a lot) of "paranormalists" are either intentionally misleading people, or they are clearly deluded for one reason or another. It does not follow that all businessmen are scammers and conmen, nor does it follow that all paranormalists are intentionally misleading people or clearly deluded.


Incorrect again. I said nothing of scammers or con-men. I mentioned cold-reading, but that's something someone can do without even realise they're doing it and actually believe they're psychic. I'm not sure what the scam or con is in apophenia, paredolia or coincidences :scratch:
My point was about likelihood. That's all.


OK. Except you are not in some sort of privileged position where your attempts at assigning a probability to these things are any better than mine or anybody else's. If you think you are, then you're guilty of confirmation bias.


UndercoverElephant wrote:I think you need to take a step back and think about this a bit harder.

If it is possible for a believer to selectively filter information/evidence in order to support their belief that things like synchronicity and mind-reading are real (i.e. some examples are real, not necessarily all of them), then it is equally possible for a skeptic to selectively filter information/evidence in order to support their belief that they are (always) false. How on Earth could this not be true? And, as explained above, it's actually worse than this, because you're so confident that your metaphysical beliefs are correct (that all paranormal claims are false), that you've denied it is even possible that this sort of confirmation bias could apply in your own case! Think about it.


Except I've never claimed they are always false.


I think you have. Are you now saying that it is possible that you could be presented with two pictures like those in the opening post, and come to some conclusion other than it was pure co-incidence?


You're doing your best to try turn the tables on me by trying to somehow show that my doubt in your and other beliefs is equal to your positive belief.


Yes, I am, and you've asked for it, because you've claimed you have no beliefs when it is abundantly clear that you do have beliefs, and strong ones at that. Your distinction between "positive" and "negative" belief is, in this case, arbitrary and totally unjustified. You believe in one metaphysical model of reality, and I believe in a different one. Neither of them are "positive" or "negative".


Show me what I've filtered here in the case of the OP for instance? I've looked at your picture. I've acknowledged the vague similarities while also noting the many differences. What am I censoring here? Show me the bias because it's certainly not as obvious as yours.


The confirmation bias, in your case, comes from emphasising the differences and playing down the similarities. It's exactly the same process as you're accusing me of, but the other way around. You are accusing me of placing too much significance on the similarities, and I'm accusing you of placing too much significance on the differences. Except I'm admitting confirmation bias is possible, and you are point blank denying it!

Try to imagine what this looks like from my perspective, and maybe it will be easier to understand what I'm saying.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
But I'm not the one who is claiming it does demonstrate that, am I? Go back and read the opening post again. I started this thread by declaring, up front, that this DOES NOT "demonstrate" anything - that it does not conclusively prove anything. It is YOU, not me, who wants to "demonstrate" something. You want to demonstrate that what you believe is right, and that what I believe is wrong. You want to prove that this couldn't possibly be anything more than a co-incidence. You want to prove that your own belief system is correct and that mine is false. And yet you're claiming this is the other way around, and that it is me who needs to prove things to the world. I don't. My belief system is not so fragile that I need everybody else to agree with me. Yours, apparently, is.


I never said it can be anything other than a coincidence. My first post I asked "what else could it be?" You gave examples and I've called them into question. You haven't yet offered a convincing alternative to make me think it is anything but a coincidence. My position is doubt, not positive belief that I'm right or that you're wrong. Just doubt that you're right.


I think you're back-peddling now.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
But you do not have any grounds for saying you know that they don't exist. Again, I'm saying that it is impossible to prove this conclusively one way or another. It is you, not me, who wants to prove things even though there is no proof available! You're not satisfied with "there is no evidence to conclusively demonstrate this." Oh no. You want to push it all the way to "we know this isn't real. Science says so." Sorry, but you can't have that. Science says no such thing. You're getting your beliefs mixed up with scientific facts.


I have lots of grounds for saying they don't in all likelihood don't exist, but I'll concede that that line was just me being cheeky.


And that's definitely back-peddling...


UndercoverElephant wrote:

Says you. Another alternative is that a whole bunch of people out there know quite a lot about a load of stuff that you don't believe exists. Just because some question is incompatible with your belief system doesn't mean it is incompatible with reality.


Except I don't have a belief system


Oh yes you do. An agnostic you are not, despite your protestations.
UndercoverElephant
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 6626
Age: 52
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#90  Postby Animavore » May 25, 2014 3:44 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:

Rubbish! Of course your do. If you had no beliefs then you'd be an agnostic. You are nothing of the sort. You have a very strongly-held belief that these things do not exist. You are not satisfied with "they have not been [scientifically] demonstrated". You want/need to go much further than that. That you claim not to have any beliefs on this matter is nothing short of bizarre. You're claiming that if somebody believes in metaphysical framework X, which allows for such things, then they believe something, but if somebody believes in metaphysical framework Y, which doesn't allow for such things, then they don't believe anything. Sorry, but this is pure nonsense.


No. The word "agnostic" means without knowledge. It has nothing to do with belief.
I don't have a strongly held belief that these things do not exist. I have a strong disbelief. There is a massive difference.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
On top of being sure they don't exist, you also strongly believe, incorrectly, that if they did exist they could be scientifically proved.


No. I don't strongly believe. I disbeleve. You either believe something or you don't. Also, I haven't mentioned science anywhere with regards to believing. If a ghost or god came and visited me personally I would believe. It just so happens that there seems to be a complete dearth of them, and not for want of trying.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Rubbish. "Not having a belief" is AGNOSTICISM. You are not agnostic. You are a strong and committed disbeliever.

You have a positive belief about metaphysics: paranormal phenomena do not exist.


Agnosticism is about knowledge. Not belief. And no, I do not have a positive belief about metaphysics. I have disbelief.
I feel like I'm repeating myself.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Oh no it isn't. You have indeed said you are right. You have claimed that "these phenomena do not exist"; I merely spoke in terms of what I believe. You have claimed scientific support for your position where none exists; I have not. You have even claimed your beliefs are not beliefs, as if somehow you are right by default.


Bollox. I never said no such thing.

UndercoverElephant wrote:

For you. Others feel differently, as is their right.


I know they do. So what? It doesn't mean anything.

UndercoverElephant wrote:

You are trying to confirm the following:

(1) If paranormal phenomena did exist, science could test for them.
(2) They don't exist.
(3) All believers in such things are suffering from some sort of psychological delusion.


Never said that.

UndercoverElephant wrote:

OK. Except you are not in some sort of privileged position where your attempts at assigning a probability to these things are any better than mine or anybody else's. If you think you are, then you're guilty of confirmation bias.


I don't think I'm privilaged at all. Probabilities happen independant of me. It' s not my fault the chips tend to land on naturalistic explanations more than supernaural ones. Take it up with whoever you think is behind the curtain and don't be complaining to me.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
I think you have. Are you now saying that it is possible that you could be presented with two pictures like those in the opening post, and come to some conclusion other than it was pure co-incidence?


Of course it's "possible", but I've already explained why "possible" is a red-herring. I tend to speak in terms of "probable" or "plausible".

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Yes, I am, and you've asked for it, because you've claimed you have no beliefs when it is abundantly clear that you do have beliefs, and strong ones at that. Your distinction between "positive" and "negative" belief is, in this case, arbitrary and totally unjustified. You believe in one metaphysical model of reality, and I believe in a different one. Neither of them are "positive" or "negative".


I don't have any metaphysical model of reality. I tend to just take it at face value. I don't make any pronouncements about what goes on behind the curtain, or indeed if there even is a curtain.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
The confirmation bias, in your case, comes from emphasising the differences and playing down the similarities. It's exactly the same process as you're accusing me of, but the other way around. You are accusing me of placing too much significance on the similarities, and I'm accusing you of placing too much significance on the differences. Except I'm admitting confirmation bias is possible, and you are point blank denying it!

Try to imagine what this looks like from my perspective, and maybe it will be easier to understand what I'm saying.


I'm not emphasising or playing down anything. I'm simply counting what's alike and not alike. There is one item that is the right kind of thing (the cheese) but not in the same place in relation to the frame or the other objects. Three pairs of items of similar colour, but not the same item, two in roughly the correct place in relation to each other, though not in relation to the frame, and one which you need to use poetic license to conclude it is similar to its countepart. And seven things in one picture not in the other at all.
Tell me where you think my assessment is unfair?
I can easily understand where you're coming from. Just like I can easily understand how if you change the word "Hister" in Nostrodamus's works by shifting it it around a bit you can get the name "Hitler".

UndercoverElephant wrote:
I think you're back-peddling now.


Nope.

UndercoverElephant wrote:

And that's definitely back-peddling...


That sentence was a clear wind-up, so I dont see how.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Oh yes you do. An agnostic you are not, despite your protestations.


I am an agnostic, how could I be otherwise without special knowledge? I have no secret knowledge about what goes on behind the curtain that I can say with any type of assuredy that your coincidence is anything other than that. I'd love to have access to the mystical goings on in the background, but I'm afraid any such door is firmly shut to me.
A most evolved electron.
User avatar
Animavore
 
Name: The Scribbler
Posts: 44741
Age: 42
Male

Ireland (ie)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#91  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 25, 2014 4:05 pm

Animavore wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:

Rubbish! Of course your do. If you had no beliefs then you'd be an agnostic. You are nothing of the sort. You have a very strongly-held belief that these things do not exist. You are not satisfied with "they have not been [scientifically] demonstrated". You want/need to go much further than that. That you claim not to have any beliefs on this matter is nothing short of bizarre. You're claiming that if somebody believes in metaphysical framework X, which allows for such things, then they believe something, but if somebody believes in metaphysical framework Y, which doesn't allow for such things, then they don't believe anything. Sorry, but this is pure nonsense.


No. The word "agnostic" means without knowledge. It has nothing to do with belief.
I don't have a storgly held belief that these things do not exist. I have a strong disbelief. There is a massive difference.


There's no difference whatsoever. You're just playing with words and convincing yourself it is much more than that.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
Rubbish. "Not having a belief" is AGNOSTICISM. You are not agnostic. You are a strong and committed disbeliever.

You have a positive belief about metaphysics: paranormal phenomena do not exist.


Agnosticism is about knowledge. Not belief. And no, I do not have a positive belief about metaphysics. I have disbelief.
I feel like I'm repeating myself.


You're repeating yourself, but repeating yourself doesn't turn wrong into right. You have plenty of beliefs. You have bought into a myth about how theism is a belief but atheism isn't, and now you're applying it to the paranormal.

If you've read the whole of this thread then you'll have read the account of what my girlfriend believed when I met her. That is agnosticism. That is having no beliefs. She didn't know much about science, and knew even less about religion. She'd never been exposed to strong beliefs on these things either within her family, or at school. It just hadn't been a major thing in her life. You could not be more different if you tried. Not only do you have strong beliefs about these things, but you have well-developed views about why you believe what you believe and why other people believe other things. And as part of this complex set of beliefs, you've even managed to convince yourself that you don't believe anything!! :dopey:


UndercoverElephant wrote:

For you. Others feel differently, as is their right.


I know they do. So what? It doesn't mean anything.


Equally, it doesn't mean anything that you find it unconvincing. I don't know why you're asking me "so what?", because you started this.


UndercoverElephant wrote:

You are trying to confirm the following:

(1) If paranormal phenomena did exist, science could test for them.
(2) They don't exist.
(3) All believers in such things are suffering from some sort of psychological delusion.


Never said that.


Not in so many words you didn't. However, your posts reek of it.


UndercoverElephant wrote:

OK. Except you are not in some sort of privileged position where your attempts at assigning a probability to these things are any better than mine or anybody else's. If you think you are, then you're guilty of confirmation bias.


I don't think I'm privilaged at all. Probabilities happen independant of me. It' s not my fault the chips tend to land on naturalistic explanations more than supernaural ones.


Says you, again. Stop getting your beliefs mixed up with scientific fact and we'll make a whole lot more progress. :)


Take it up with whoever you think is behind the curtain and don't be complaining to me.


I'm not the one who has a problem here, though, am I? All I'm complaining about is you trying to claim things as facts when they are merely your beliefs. Given that this is the case, it is not obvious what the above quote is trying to say.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
I think you have. Are you now saying that it is possible that you could be presented with two pictures like those in the opening post, and come to some conclusion other than it was pure co-incidence?


Of course it's "possible", but I've already explained why "possible" is a red-herring. I tend to speak in there's of "probable" or "plausible".


Yawn. SAYS YOU. Again, you are not in a privileged position to declare what is plausible and what it isn't. I don't happen to agree with you, and you are in no position to claim your belief is any better than mine.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
Yes, I am, and you've asked for it, because you've claimed you have no beliefs when it is abundantly clear that you do have beliefs, and strong ones at that. Your distinction between "positive" and "negative" belief is, in this case, arbitrary and totally unjustified. You believe in one metaphysical model of reality, and I believe in a different one. Neither of them are "positive" or "negative".


I don't have any metaphysical model of reality.


Oh yes you do, and the fact that you can't/won't admit it just demonstrates how important to you. It's like saying you haven't got glasses on, because you can't see them.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
The confirmation bias, in your case, comes from emphasising the differences and playing down the similarities. It's exactly the same process as you're accusing me of, but the other way around. You are accusing me of placing too much significance on the similarities, and I'm accusing you of placing too much significance on the differences. Except I'm admitting confirmation bias is possible, and you are point blank denying it!

Try to imagine what this looks like from my perspective, and maybe it will be easier to understand what I'm saying.


I'm not emphasising or playing down anything.


Of course you are!


I'm simply counting what's alike and not alike. There is one item that is the right kind of thing (the cheese) but not in the same place in relation to the frame or the other objects. Three pairs of items of similar colour, but not the same item, two in roughly the correct place in relation to each other, though not in relation to the frame, and one which you need to use poetic license to conclude it is similar to its countepart. And seven things in one picture not in the other at all.

Tell me where you think my assessment is unfair?


I'm not even judging whether your assessment is fair or unfair. To do so would be to fall into the very same trap I'm accusing you of having fallen into. What I have said is that "confirmation bias", in this case as in many others, can work from the skeptical viewpoint just as easily as it works from the viewpoint of the believer. You denied this, and claimed that it was an uneven playing field, and that while believers can suffer from confirmation bias, skeptics do not. I can't even be bothered to get into a discussion about "how similar" or "how different" the pictures are, because that would just be an exercise in "who's got the biggest confirmation bias." There is no point in doing this. It will get us nowhere.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
Oh yes you do. An agnostic you are not, despite your protestations.


I am an agnostic, how could I be otherwise without special knowledge? I have no secret knowledge about what goes on behind the curtain that I can say with any type of assuredy that your coincidence is anything other than that. I'd love to have access to the mystical goings on in the background, but I'm afraid any such door is firmly shut to me.


You are not an agnostic. My girlfriend, who's views I have described, is (or rather was) an agnostic (on this issue, and many others of a similar nature). You are very, very long way from that.
UndercoverElephant
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 6626
Age: 52
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#92  Postby quas » May 25, 2014 4:16 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:I'd also say that there's no need or desire, for us, to try to apply "methods" to this. Obviously I understand why some skeptics want to apply methods - because they want to try to show that such things don't exist (which is impossible, IMO, but I understand why they want to try).

I'm the sort of skeptic who is anxious to test this out in order to gain practical real-life benefits. If synchronicity exists and it can be used to read minds or even somehow influence worldly events, then you can use it to predict the rise and fall of the corporate stock prices, housing bubbles, upcoming winning lottery numbers, etc. And yet, lousily, it has never been proven to work?
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem
those who think alike than those who think differently. -Nietzsche
User avatar
quas
 
Posts: 2793

Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#93  Postby Animavore » May 25, 2014 4:20 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:

There's no difference whatsoever. You're just playing with words and convincing yourself it is much more than that.


Bolloxs. There is a distinct difference. I'm more of a believe something if and when I see it type of person. Not a believe something doesn't exist until I see it. That's the difference.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
You're repeating yourself, but repeating yourself doesn't turn wrong into right. You have plenty of beliefs. You have bought into a myth about how theism is a belief but atheism isn't, and now you're applying it to the paranormal.

If you've read the whole of this thread then you'll have read the account of what my girlfriend believed when I met her. That is agnosticism. That is having no beliefs. She didn't know much about science, and knew even less about religion. She'd never been exposed to strong beliefs on these things either within her family, or at school. It just hadn't been a major thing in her life. You could not be more different if you tried. Not only do you have strong beliefs about these things, but you have well-developed views about why you believe what you believe and why other people believe other things. And as part of this complex set of beliefs, you've even managed to convince yourself that you don't believe anything!! :dopey:


I'm sorry but you're just wrong here. The root of the word "agnostic" is "gnosis" which means "knowledge". The prefix "a-" means "without".
I'm really getting sick of your putting words into my mouth and trying to superimpose believes on me. I'm going to have to ask you to quit it.

UndercoverElephant wrote:

Equally, it doesn't mean anything that you find it unconvincing. I don't know why you're asking me "so what?", because you started this.


Did I create this thread?

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Not in so many words you didn't. However, your posts reek of it.


Quit it.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Says you, again. Stop getting your beliefs mixed up with scientific fact and we'll make a whole lot more progress. :)


What are you even talking about any more?

UndercoverElephant wrote:
I'm not the one who has a problem here, though, am I? All I'm complaining about is you trying to claim things as facts when they are merely your beliefs. Given that this is the case, it is not obvious what the above quote is trying to say.


I talked about probabilities. Not facts. No where have I done that. Are you shadow boxing?

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Yawn. SAYS YOU. Again, you are not in a privileged position to declare what is plausible and what it isn't. I don't happen to agree with you, and you are in no position to claim your belief is any better than mine.


I'm not saying it is. Fuck me this is getting tedious.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Oh yes you do, and the fact that you can't/won't admit it just demonstrates how important to you. It's like saying you haven't got glasses on, because you can't see them.


Quit telling me what I believe and don't. I mean it.
If you want to know what I believe you can ask me.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Of course you are!


I'm not. I'm counting numbers.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
I'm not even judging whether your assessment is fair or unfair. To do so would be to fall into the very same trap I'm accusing you of having fallen into. What I have said is that "confirmation bias", in this case as in many others, can work from the skeptical viewpoint just as easily as it works from the viewpoint of the believer. You denied this, and claimed that it was an uneven playing field, and that while believers can suffer from confirmation bias, skeptics do not. I can't even be bothered to get into a discussion about "how similar" or "how different" the pictures are, because that would just be an exercise in "who's got the biggest confirmation bias." There is no point in doing this. It will get us nowhere.


I never said sceptics can't suffer from confirmation bias. That doesn't even make sense. I asked you to point out my confirmation bias with regards the picture which you haven't done.
Deflection noted though.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
You are not an agnostic. My girlfriend, who's views I have described, is (or rather was) an agnostic (on this issue, and many others of a similar nature). You are very, very long way from that.


I don't have knowledge pertaining to whether coincidences are more than just that. Therefore I am, by definition, agnostic on the issue.
I just don't believe they are more than coincidences. And I think that for me to do so I would need to have some facts, some evidence, ie. some knowledge available to make that call.
A most evolved electron.
User avatar
Animavore
 
Name: The Scribbler
Posts: 44741
Age: 42
Male

Ireland (ie)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#94  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 25, 2014 5:32 pm

quas wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:I'd also say that there's no need or desire, for us, to try to apply "methods" to this. Obviously I understand why some skeptics want to apply methods - because they want to try to show that such things don't exist (which is impossible, IMO, but I understand why they want to try).

I'm the sort of skeptic who is anxious to test this out in order to gain practical real-life benefits. If synchronicity exists and it can be used to read minds or even somehow influence worldly events, then you can use it to predict the rise and fall of the corporate stock prices, housing bubbles, upcoming winning lottery numbers, etc. And yet, lousily, it has never been proven to work?


Well, you've given a pretty good example of a potential reason why it can't be tested. A question we've not asked, let alone tried to answer, is why do these things happen? In what circumstances, and for what purpose, if any? Personally I suspect that if we had the answer to that question then it would probably turn out that you can't use it to predict those things. I've certainly seen no evidence to suggest that it can be. There's different ways of "influencing world events" and different circumstances under which minds might be read. If, for example, it has something to do with with spirituality, or trying to make the world a better place, then a person trying to use it to win the lottery (which is pure personal financial gain) isn't likely to work. I personally believe it be highly unlikely it can be "controlled" in this way at all. In other words, humans can't use it - it's the other way around - it's using us.
UndercoverElephant
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 6626
Age: 52
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#95  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 25, 2014 5:50 pm

Animavore wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
You're repeating yourself, but repeating yourself doesn't turn wrong into right. You have plenty of beliefs. You have bought into a myth about how theism is a belief but atheism isn't, and now you're applying it to the paranormal.

If you've read the whole of this thread then you'll have read the account of what my girlfriend believed when I met her. That is agnosticism. That is having no beliefs. She didn't know much about science, and knew even less about religion. She'd never been exposed to strong beliefs on these things either within her family, or at school. It just hadn't been a major thing in her life. You could not be more different if you tried. Not only do you have strong beliefs about these things, but you have well-developed views about why you believe what you believe and why other people believe other things. And as part of this complex set of beliefs, you've even managed to convince yourself that you don't believe anything!! :dopey:


I'm sorry but you're just wrong here. The root of the word "agnostic" is "gnosis" which means "knowledge". The prefix "a-" means "without".
I'm really getting sick of your putting words into my mouth and trying to superimpose believes on me. I'm going to have to ask you to quit it.


Sorry - no can do. I'm not going to let you get away with claim you have no beliefs about a topic where you quite obviously have very strong beliefs. "Agnostic" can mean either "believes no knowledge is possible" or "has no knowledge about". And you are seriously claiming that you "have no knowledge" about the existence or non-existence of paranormal phenomena?? This is nonsense. You've posted all sorts of things in this thread about that topic. If that isn't knowledge of the topic, then what is?

You're not an agnostic, Animavore. You have a strong belief in the non-existence of all paranormal phenomena and I'm not even sure why you're bothering to deny this. Oh wait, I remember now, it is because you want to claim that there in an "uneven playing field" and that I'm vulnerable to confirmation bias but you aren't.

You're vulnerable to confirmation bias, and the longer you try to deny it, the more obvious it becomes that you're vulnerable to it.


UndercoverElephant wrote:

Equally, it doesn't mean anything that you find it unconvincing. I don't know why you're asking me "so what?", because you started this.


Did I create this thread?


Nope, but you're the one that started assigning value to the fact that you aren't convinced.



UndercoverElephant wrote:
Says you, again. Stop getting your beliefs mixed up with scientific fact and we'll make a whole lot more progress. :)


What are you even talking about any more?


I'm talking about your tendency to make pronouncements about things as if they were facts, when in reality they are just your beliefs.


UndercoverElephant wrote:
I'm not the one who has a problem here, though, am I? All I'm complaining about is you trying to claim things as facts when they are merely your beliefs. Given that this is the case, it is not obvious what the above quote is trying to say.


I talked about probabilities. Not facts. No where have I done that. Are you shadow boxing?


You talk about probabilities as if those probabilities were objective, and being determined by facts/science, when in fact the figure you've come up with is massively influenced by your own personal belief system. For you, all sorts of things are "highly improbable". But you don't say "I believe this to be highly improbable", because that's not strong enough for you. Instead you just say "This is highly improbable", as if it was a fact. I'll call this tactic "flobble" and next time you do it I'm just going to post the word "flobble!" to save time. :)


UndercoverElephant wrote:
I'm not even judging whether your assessment is fair or unfair. To do so would be to fall into the very same trap I'm accusing you of having fallen into. What I have said is that "confirmation bias", in this case as in many others, can work from the skeptical viewpoint just as easily as it works from the viewpoint of the believer. You denied this, and claimed that it was an uneven playing field, and that while believers can suffer from confirmation bias, skeptics do not. I can't even be bothered to get into a discussion about "how similar" or "how different" the pictures are, because that would just be an exercise in "who's got the biggest confirmation bias." There is no point in doing this. It will get us nowhere.


I never said sceptics can't suffer from confirmation bias. That doesn't even make sense.


It doesn't make sense that skeptics (or more accurately, non-believers) can't suffer from confirmation bias? Of course it does. Both the following statements "make sense":

1) Non-believers can suffer from confirmation bias.
2) Non-believers can't suffer from confirmation bias.

(1) is true. (2) is false. Both "make sense."


I asked you to point out my confirmation bias with regards the picture which you haven't done.
Deflection noted though.


I have already explained why I have no intention of getting drawn into that game. I'm not playing "I've got the biggest confirmation bias" with you. I am arguing that people need to look at those pictures, and think about the story that goes with it, and make their own decision about whether it is evidence for anything or not. It is you, not me, who wants to get into some process where we try to objectively analyse it and come up with some answer that everybody is bound to accept. I'm telling you that there's no way to do this that doesn't involve people bringing their confirmation bias to the table, but all you're interested in doing, apparently, is bringing your own confirmation bias, which you claim doesn't exist, to the table. :roll:


UndercoverElephant wrote:
You are not an agnostic. My girlfriend, who's views I have described, is (or rather was) an agnostic (on this issue, and many others of a similar nature). You are very, very long way from that.


I don't have knowledge pertaining to whether coincidences are more than just that. Therefore I am, by definition, agnostic on the issue. I just don't believe they are more than coincidences. And I think that for me to do so I would need to have some facts, some evidence, ie. some knowledge available to make that call.


Following that logic, because there is no clear scientific answer to the question, everybody is an agnostic. Which is, of course, silly.
UndercoverElephant
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 6626
Age: 52
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Just a co-incidence?

#96  Postby Animavore » May 25, 2014 6:31 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:

Sorry - no can do. I'm not going to let you get away with claim you have no beliefs about a topic where you quite obviously have very strong beliefs. "Agnostic" can mean either "believes no knowledge is possible" or "has no knowledge about". And you are seriously claiming that you "have no knowledge" about the existence or non-existence of paranormal phenomena?? This is nonsense. You've posted all sorts of things in this thread about that topic. If that isn't knowledge of the topic, then what is?

You're not an agnostic, Animavore. You have a strong belief in the non-existence of all paranormal phenomena and I'm not even sure why you're bothering to deny this. Oh wait, I remember now, it is because you want to claim that there in an "uneven playing field" and that I'm vulnerable to confirmation bias but you aren't.

You're vulnerable to confirmation bias, and the longer you try to deny it, the more obvious it becomes that you're vulnerable to it.


I am an agnostic. Deal with it. And I'm sure mischaracterisation is againt the FUA. Not that I'm arsed to report it, but I'm sure it is.

UndercoverElephant wrote:

Nope, but you're the one that started assigning value to the fact that you aren't convinced.


I'm not assigning value. I'm just saying what I think and you're getting defensive about it.

UndercoverElephant wrote:


I'm talking about your tendency to make pronouncements about things as if they were facts, when in reality they are just your beliefs.


Like when?

UndercoverElephant wrote:
You talk about probabilities as if those probabilities were objective, and being determined by facts/science, when in fact the figure you've come up with is massively influenced by your own personal belief system. For you, all sorts of things are "highly improbable". But you don't say "I believe this to be highly improbable", because that's not strong enough for you. Instead you just say "This is highly improbable", as if it was a fact. I'll call this tactic "flobble" and next time you do it I'm just going to post the word "flobble!" to save time. :)


This is more mischaracterisation. You're not looking at it the way I look at it. You're looking at it the way you think I look at it.

I'm going to explain it with example and if you don't get it I'm done. I feel this is escalating out of control.

I tend to think about it like I was a betting man. If someone made a bet with me, let's say something substantial like a 1,000 quid, that a phenomena was natural or supernatural, I would simply look at all the claims and see what I can glean from that.
On the one hand you've lots and lots of cliams of supernatural phenomena which turn out to be natural - Earthquakes, volcanoes, cases of mind-readers using fraud or cold-reading, origin of life, UFOs which turn out to be aircraft or fraud, ghosts which turn out to be a case of mass hysteria or fraud, so-called healers which turn out to be frauds, and on, and on, and on...
You have a second pool of supernatural claims which are unsupported or unsupportable - Jesus' divinity, God, miracles of long past Saints and so forth.
And you have the final pool of supported and verified supernatural phenomena - *crickets chirp*

Now, as an astute gambling man, where am I going to hedge my bet? One would think that you'd be a fool to gamble on the supernatural given it's poor record. That's like betting on a horse that has a history of coming last based on some hunch. To hell with that, I'm going to back a winner. I either win when the inevitable happens. Die and it remains unresolved. Or eat serious amounts of humble pie if it turns out to b a supernatural phenomena.
I really don't see that last one happening.

UndercoverElephant wrote:It doesn't make sense that skeptics (or more accurately, non-believers) can't suffer from confirmation bias? Of course it does. Both the following statements "make sense":

1) Non-believers can suffer from confirmation bias.
2) Non-believers can't suffer from confirmation bias.

(1) is true. (2) is false. Both "make sense."


It doesn't make sense in light of what I know about confirmation bias. Nobody is immune to it.

UndercoverElephant wrote:
I have already explained why I have no intention of getting drawn into that game. I'm not playing "I've got the biggest confirmation bias" with you. I am arguing that people need to look at those pictures, and think about the story that goes with it, and make their own decision about whether it is evidence for anything or not. It is you, not me, who wants to get into some process where we try to objectively analyse it and come up with some answer that everybody is bound to accept. I'm telling you that there's no way to do this that doesn't involve people bringing their confirmation bias to the table, but all you're interested in doing, apparently, is bringing your own confirmation bias, which you claim doesn't exist, to the table. :roll:



Well then we're done here.

UndercoverElephant wrote:

Following that logic, because there is no clear scientific answer to the question, everybody is an agnostic. Which is, of course, silly.


It not silly at all. If we don't know something then we are without knowledge.
I never said anything about the answer having to be a clear, scientific one though. That's your input.
A most evolved electron.
User avatar
Animavore
 
Name: The Scribbler
Posts: 44741
Age: 42
Male

Ireland (ie)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#97  Postby Oldskeptic » May 25, 2014 6:43 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:This is for your entertainment only - no scientific validation is possible, it can't be repeated and you've only got my word that what I'm telling you is true, and that there was no "cheating." Suffice to say that for the person most directly involved, who is the only one who absolutely knows there was no cheating (although I 100% believe her), it was conclusive evidence that "something spooky is going on."

Last year I received only two birthday cards (I don't really do birthdays). I received the first one through the post a couple of days before my actual birthday. It was from my mother, and it had a picture on the front of some mice carrying some party supplies past the back of cat. Nothing spooky about that. My girlfriend lived in another town at the time, and came to visit me on my birthday, bringing with her a jar of pickle and a jar of jam she had made. She also hand-drew me a card, and in it she wrote "you're like...the pickle on my cheese, the jam on my scone." Cute. Later that evening I put the two cards on my mantelpiece. "Put it the right way up then!", she said (I had hers 90 degrees out). And at first nothing seemed odd.

borthdaycards.jpg


I'll let you see it for yourself, because it took a couple of minutes after seeing the first bit of it before the whole thing became clear for us.

There was no cheating. My girlfriend had not seen my mother's card, and she says she had decided at least two weeks beforehand what she was going to draw on the one she gave me.

Anyway...my cat, who is a tabby very like the one in the picture, has now been nick-named "pickle." :)

As somebody who was a total non-believer in anything like synchronicity or "accidental mind-reading" until I was 33 (12 years ago), I can say that if I'd seen somebody make this claim before that time I would probably feel forced to conclude that somebody cheated - that my mother and sister conspired to play a well-intentioned "prank" on me, or something along those lines. If I knew there was no cheating I guess I'd have had to assume that it was just something exceptionally improbable that happened for no reason - after all some people get struck by lightning 50 times, don't they? :mrgreen:

It a funny old world.

UE


I have to ask why are you talking about your girlfriend in the first part of your post and then your sister in the second part?

This makes me suspicious that things happened the way you describe them.

That aside, even if the two pictures were remarkably similar, which they are not, there is the law of truly large numbers. It describes how seemingly highly improbable events, given large enough sample size, become highly probable events.

Take as an example a lottery with five numbers. If the number of tickets sold -sample size- is 100,000 then the probability that someone wins is very high. Yet the probability that you win is very low. Someone wins 99,999/100,000. I know that it's not quite that simple give that more than one person can pick the same number, but I think it's close enough for the purpose here.

The probability that you win is is 1/100,000. So, while the probability of anyone winning approaches %100, without ever getting there, the probability of you winning approaches %0 while never quite getting there.

Then as sample size grows the probabilities grow further apart. And while your probability of winning becomes so unlikely that it seems impossible, the probability that someones wins becomes so likely that it becomes almost a certainty.

It may seem hard to reconcile these two probabilities, but it's not. Given a large enough sample set someone has to win, and it might as well be you because you have the same probability of winning as anyone else.

How does this relate to you? Well, if your sample set is the US then your sample set is somewhere around 300,000,000 birthdays a year. That's a very large sample set. Even if you subtract people that might not get birthday cards you have to add in people that see other people's birthday cards and think they're seeing something "spooky". Throw in the rest of the English speaking world and you have a sample set of somewhere around 500,000,000. Throw in all the rest of the people on Earth and you have a sample set of over 7,000,000,000.

So, while it may be highly improbable for you to get similar birthday cards it is highly probable that someone does, and it might as well be you because you have the same probability as anyone else.

Then we could throw in Littlewood's law that has some common ground with the law of truly large numbers:

Littlewood defines a miracle as an exceptional event of special significance occurring at a frequency of one in a million. He assumes that during the hours in which a human is awake and alert, a human will see or hear one "event" per second, which may be either exceptional or unexceptional. Additionally, Littlewood supposes that a human is alert for about eight hours per day.

As a result a human will in 35 days have experienced under these suppositions about one million events. Accepting this definition of a miracle, one can expect to observe one miraculous event for every 35 days' time, on average – and therefore, according to this reasoning, seemingly miraculous events are actually commonplace.


What this means is that people that are prone to viewing highly unlikely events as miraculous or "spooky" are bound to experience them.

None of the above is an exact science, but it is science in that it is a better way to explain events that are seemingly impossible because of their high improbability of happening to you.

One more thing, some people argue, "Yeah, but things like this happen to me all the time." Well, of course they do if your pattern seeking is hyperactive and you are prone to believe that highly unlikely events are caused by something "spooky," they're bound to happen to you quite frequently.
There is nothing so absurd that some philosopher will not say it - Cicero.

Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead - Stephen Hawking
User avatar
Oldskeptic
 
Posts: 7395
Age: 64
Male

Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#98  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 25, 2014 7:02 pm

Oldskeptic wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:This is for your entertainment only - no scientific validation is possible, it can't be repeated and you've only got my word that what I'm telling you is true, and that there was no "cheating." Suffice to say that for the person most directly involved, who is the only one who absolutely knows there was no cheating (although I 100% believe her), it was conclusive evidence that "something spooky is going on."

Last year I received only two birthday cards (I don't really do birthdays). I received the first one through the post a couple of days before my actual birthday. It was from my mother, and it had a picture on the front of some mice carrying some party supplies past the back of cat. Nothing spooky about that. My girlfriend lived in another town at the time, and came to visit me on my birthday, bringing with her a jar of pickle and a jar of jam she had made. She also hand-drew me a card, and in it she wrote "you're like...the pickle on my cheese, the jam on my scone." Cute. Later that evening I put the two cards on my mantelpiece. "Put it the right way up then!", she said (I had hers 90 degrees out). And at first nothing seemed odd.

borthdaycards.jpg


I'll let you see it for yourself, because it took a couple of minutes after seeing the first bit of it before the whole thing became clear for us.

There was no cheating. My girlfriend had not seen my mother's card, and she says she had decided at least two weeks beforehand what she was going to draw on the one she gave me.

Anyway...my cat, who is a tabby very like the one in the picture, has now been nick-named "pickle." :)

As somebody who was a total non-believer in anything like synchronicity or "accidental mind-reading" until I was 33 (12 years ago), I can say that if I'd seen somebody make this claim before that time I would probably feel forced to conclude that somebody cheated - that my mother and sister conspired to play a well-intentioned "prank" on me, or something along those lines. If I knew there was no cheating I guess I'd have had to assume that it was just something exceptionally improbable that happened for no reason - after all some people get struck by lightning 50 times, don't they? :mrgreen:

It a funny old world.

UE


I have to ask why are you talking about your girlfriend in the first part of your post and then your sister in the second part?


Typo. You're the first person to point it out.


This makes me suspicious that things happened the way you describe them.


Well, you needn't be. I do have a sister, but she is totally estranged and I'm unlikely to ever see her again. It's just a typo, and totally irrelevant.


That aside, even if the two pictures were remarkably similar, which they are not, there is the law of truly large numbers. It describes how seemingly highly improbable events, given large enough sample size, become highly probable events.

Take as an example a lottery with five numbers. If the number of tickets sold -sample size- is 100,000 then the probability that someone wins is very high. Yet the probability that you win is very low. Someone wins 99,999/100,000. I know that it's not quite that simple give that more than one person can pick the same number, but I think it's close enough for the purpose here.

The probability that you win is is 1/100,000. So, while the probability of anyone winning approaches %100, without ever getting there, the probability of you winning approaches %0 while never quite getting there.

Then as sample size grows the probabilities grow further apart. And while your probability of winning becomes so unlikely that it seems impossible, the probability that someones wins becomes so likely that it becomes almost a certainty.

It may seem hard to reconcile these two probabilities, but it's not. Given a large enough sample set someone has to win, and it might as well be you because you have the same probability of winning as anyone else.

How does this relate to you? Well, if your sample set is the US then your sample set is somewhere around 300,000,000 birthdays a year. That's a very large sample set. Even if you subtract people that might not get birthday cards you have to add in people that see other people's birthday cards and think they're seeing something "spooky". Throw in the rest of the English speaking world and you have a sample set of somewhere around 500,000,000. Throw in all the rest of the people on Earth and you have a sample set of over 7,000,000,000.

So, while it may be highly improbable for you to get similar birthday cards it is highly probable that someone does, and it might as well be you because you have the same probability as anyone else.


Yes, I have already accepted this. Although it is slightly different to that case in that the lottery is just that - a blind lottery - whereas this involved somebody drawing something.


None of the above is an exact science, but it is science in that it is a better way to explain events that are seemingly impossible because of their high improbability of happening to you.


Yep, it's not an exact science. In the end, it boils down to a subjective judgement based on all sorts of factors, some of which are unquantifiable.


One more thing, some people argue, "Yeah, but things like this happen to me all the time." Well, of course they do if your pattern seeking is hyperactive and you are prone to believe that highly unlikely events are caused by something "spooky," they're bound to happen to you quite frequently.


If things this unlikely happened to me all the time, I might start questioning my sanity.
UndercoverElephant
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 6626
Age: 52
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#99  Postby Shrunk » May 25, 2014 7:03 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Animavore wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:

Nope, the problem is that you don't understand why what I'm talking about can't be scientifically tested. I understand the scientific method perfectly.


I understand that you're trying your damnedest to try keep what you're talking about out of reach of skeptical inquiry to safegaurd your beliefs.


Nope. It's the other way around. You and Shrunk are trying your damnedest to fit everything that exists into the category of "science can investigate this", and you're doing so in order to safeguard your beliefs. :)


Quite the opposite. I readily accept that there could be things that exist that cannot be investigated by science. "Existence", per se, is not even the business of science. Science is, by its nature, unable to determine if something actually "exists". That would be the job of metaphysics, except that metaphysics seems to be irreparably broken such that it cannot perform any of the functions that it purports to perform.

The difference between you and I is that I am consistent in deciding how to use science. You earlier asserted that gravity is operational in every instance. But you can only assert that if you assume that "everything that exists" fits "into the category of 'science can investigate this'", at least when you're talking about gravity.

It could actually be the case that gravity only works 50% of the time. The rest of the time, gravity is inoperational and when you let go of a rock it would just hang there, suspended in space. So what then happens is that God causes a miracle that forces the rock to "fall" towards the ground, just as it would have if gravity was working.

So how can we scientificlaly determine whether gravity works 100% of time, or if it only works 50% of the time, and the rest of the time we are witnessing a Divine Miracle? We can't. All we can determine thru science is that the rock will fall in a predictable manner 100% of the time, and attribute this pattern to a force called "gravity."

So, if you wished, you could use "gravity" as evidence for the existence of God. We could sit around and watch a tree in autumn. As its leaves fall to the ground, you could point to them and say "That one fell because of gravity. But that one fell because God caused it fall miraculously. And the fact that we can't tell them apart is because science is unable to detect the existence of God. Therefore, that leaf falling is proof God exists. But not that other leaf over there."

Do you find that argument persuasive? You should, since it is essentially the same argument you are using with your example of the birthday cards.
Last edited by Shrunk on May 25, 2014 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"A community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime." -Oscar Wilde
User avatar
Shrunk
 
Posts: 26170
Age: 56
Male

Country: Canada
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Just a co-incidence?

#100  Postby Thommo » May 25, 2014 7:16 pm

Just a co-incidence?

No, not even that.
User avatar
Thommo
 
Posts: 27175

Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Paranormal & Supernatural

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest