Posted: Jan 03, 2018 11:02 am
by MS2
Thommo wrote:Yeah, that's true. The nation state of Sweden is a social construct, although the Geographical nation of Sweden and many of the instruments (e.g. government buildings, passports, other documentation) attributed to that social construct are identifiable directly through the senses.

I did follow the link in the OP, I was genuinely amazed that someone would write quite so many words on such a turgid subject. His entire central thesis can be summed up in a couple of sentences. It's still irrational to not believe in something when there's an abundance of independent, direct physical evidence for its existence. This is true of Sweden.

Nonetheless if someone asks me for evidence of some arbitrary non-belief I hold, e.g. whether there is intelligent extraterrestrial life within one billion light years - there's bugger all evidence one way or the other so I don't believe it.

I think the truth is that I (and perhaps others) am not strictly neutral about any and all god claims, that on some of them I have greater doubts than others - e.g. miracle working gods that suspend the laws of nature in arbitrary ways, despite us having the evidence that natural laws have held throughout human history. But the key difference there is that shift from neutrality is still driven by evidence perceptible by the senses - we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste natural laws in action.

At least intelligent extraterrestrial life is a sensible concept. So you can say that there could be evidence for it, albeit there is bugger all evidence that you know of. I don't think that is equivalent to god claims. Or at least the modern god claims I have heard, where the concept itself breaks down on examination. If no sensible concept can be made out in the first place that itself might be reason to think 'it' doesn't exist and also to say we don't know what evidence for 'it' could look like