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VonNoble

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1 hour ago, VonNoble said:

Is the correct average 50%.

I don't know. Someone else might. I perceeve imperfectly and I reasen imperfectly. I assume that others also do so, but I cannot know if this assumption is more than simply a product of my own imperfections. 

I work with what I have. I have strong opinions. They are often wrong and usually in a state of flux. But they are what I have to work with. My beliefs may not rise to the level of knowledge. They may be dangerous, or even harmful. I am kind of stuck with them, though, you know? My mind is not of my own design. And perhaps that is a good thing.

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1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 An assertion made without evidence, can be ignored without evidence.

If told the brakes are bad, but given no other evidence, do you still drive the car?

Prudence often suggests that we accept a claim, on a conditional basis, while waiting for evidence. Prudence also often suggests that we look for evidence, rather than waiting for evidence to be provided to us. Not in everything, but in at least some thiings. Perhaps it is the exception that proves the rule. Perhaps it is evidence the rule is false.

Edited by mererdog

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It's conditional to an extent.  If I am told by someone walking by on the street that my brakes are bad, and the car is just sitting parked...I don't put very much faith in their statement.  If I am told by my mechanic that my brakes are bad, I look at them myself(I know how to check brakes, btw :) )  because it's possible they are bad, or it's possible he's trying to get a little more money out of my pocket.  I actually went to Sears one time for brake pads, I usually do them myself but it was cold outside and I didn't have a garage and I thought I would let someone else do the job for convenience.  They told me they did a free inspection and I needed $800 bucks worth of work.  I went to Autozone and bought the pads for 25$ and did it myself, and it did not need new calipers, new rotors and new brake lines.

 

Then you have the level of the claim being made and the "expertise" of the person involved in the claim.  As I said, some guy walking by on the street viewing my car parked and not running, and I don't know his credentials but I DO know he hasn't even looked at the brakes?  No.  

 

I guess the bottom line of all that mess is sometimes you have to examine the evidence for yourself and decide.  You may be right, and you may be wrong...but either way the decision and responsibility is yours and nobody else's. 

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2 hours ago, mererdog said:

If told the brakes are bad, but given no other evidence, do you still drive the car?

Prudence often suggests that we accept a claim, on a conditional basis, while waiting for evidence. Prudence also often suggests that we look for evidence, rather than waiting for evidence to be provided to us. Not in everything, but in at least some thiings. Perhaps it is the exception that proves the rule. Perhaps it is evidence the rule is false.

 

Let us take your example at face value. 

 

If my mechanic tells me that my car's brakes are faulty, I will take his word for it.  He is my technical advisor. I will go with his judgement.

 

If the local Imam tells me that I'm going to burn in Hell, unless I become a Muslim -- piss on his opinion.

 

If the local Bible humper wants to tell me that I'm going to burn in Hell, unless I accept the Christ as my Lord and savior -- piss on his opinion.

 

Some things are valid warnings.  Others are terrorist threats.  I am responsible to know which is which.

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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2 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Some things are valid warnings.  Others are terrorist threats.  I am responsible to know which is which.

A bomb is a bomb, whether you are warned about it or threatened with it. If someone calls in a bomb threat at a school, but provides no evidence that there is a bomb, is the proper response to assume there is no danger and ignore the threat? 

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2 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I guess the bottom line of all that mess is sometimes you have to examine the evidence for yourself and decide.

And sometimes we have to decide based only on the testimony of strangers. We often don't know the car's history and don't know how to check the brakes for ourselves, metaphorically speaking. The only way to know the truth may be to experience catastrophic failure at a catastrophic moment.

In those cases, it is strictly a gamble. And the kind of gamble where you don't really know what the odds are. Probably not the sort of gamble where you should bet the farm, you know?

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3 hours ago, mererdog said:

A bomb is a bomb, whether you are warned about it or threatened with it. If someone calls in a bomb threat at a school, but provides no evidence that there is a bomb, is the proper response to assume there is no danger and ignore the threat? 

 

Metaphor and parable aside, there is judgement here.  My judgement.  When I'm threatened with Hell Fire -- I make my threat assessment.  Then I move on.  There are some things that I am not obliged to take seriously.  Neither am I obliged to engage a mental incompetent in debate.

 

In the past, you have made it clear to me that you are agnostic, with a small "a".  Why are you urging me to take  this crap seriously?  Clearly, you don't.  Why should I?  

 

 

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3 hours ago, mererdog said:

And sometimes we have to decide based only on the testimony of strangers. We often don't know the car's history and don't know how to check the brakes for ourselves, metaphorically speaking. The only way to know the truth may be to experience catastrophic failure at a catastrophic moment.

In those cases, it is strictly a gamble. And the kind of gamble where you don't really know what the odds are. Probably not the sort of gamble where you should bet the farm, you know?

 

Which brings us to such matters as the credibility and objectivity of this person, warning me about my car's brakes.

 

I never ask a barber if he thinks I need a haircut.  I never ask a car salesman, if I should buy a car.  I'm not stupid enough to expect objectivity.  

 

:mellow:

 

 

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12 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Why are you urging me to take  this crap seriously?  

I am urging you to stop justifying your position on this subject with arguments that justify bad positions on other subjects. Its about critical thinking, not the soecifics of the claims.

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13 minutes ago, mererdog said:

I am urging you to stop justifying your position on this subject with arguments that justify bad positions on other subjects. Its about critical thinking, not the soecifics of the claims.

 

I thought you were pushing for an impossible standard, of intellectual open mindedness.  This has been irritating without being helpful.  At least now -- finally -- I have some grasp on what you are getting at.  What's wrong with my thinking skills?  Please.  Be specific.

 

While we are at it -- what's wrong with my understanding of Agnosticism -- big A -- ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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We have only one class remaining on the topic of Metaphysics. 

Our BIG EVENT (this week) - was actually MUCH tamer than I imagined it would be for whatever reason.  

 

Of interest were the presentations by two Theists (each of whom identified themselves as Christian) used a justification "by personal experience" for their reasons for believing in the existence of God.   One went on at length about feeling God's presence.  The other actually "hears" God.   No one challenged those presentations.   Which in my opinion was a good thing.   This is what they believe.   In a room of young adult peers it seemed like a bold move and I thought everyone should be respectful of their beliefs.  Everyone seemed to be. 

 

On the other side we had a very bold young atheist.   There was no "agnostic" tie to it - he was REALLY loud and proud (articulate) and sort of edgy challenging any one who believed remotely in any higher power.    Interestingly enough - he was not challenged either.  

 

The vast majority were "believers" in some higher power-God but they did not attempt to deride or sway anyone else to that point of view.  Like I said - it was pretty tame.   Each person had time to explain their position.   The only challenges were very mild (and done by the professor largely) and that was it. 

 

A statement - an occasional mild and gentle pushback on the position by way of asking for clarification. Then it was over.  

 

A handful of people refused to participate in the exercise.    (I didn't know we had that option :blink:) and they were allowed to take a "pass" for participation.   It was completely unclear to me how that factors into the grading.   I thought participation was required.   I thought that because there was no "opt out" clause in any of our instructions.   

 

In the Forum here - we certainly generate FAR MORE information, history, depth of understanding - but then again this is an introductory class with mostly very young adults.  

 

Conclusion:  The information from the Forum had me at ease enough to simply observe and absorb without entanglements so we got through it and I thank all posters for that.    The Agnostic Atheist position (not an official option but one after reading this thread seemed to fit well enough I could present it decently) actually seemed to be one that was of no interest the professor.  I was thankful for that.    ;)     I can cross that assignment off the list. 

 

ONE MORE class to go......we have a team project (we do not have the instructions till we get to class next week) and whatever that is - we then move on to Ethics. 

 

Thanks to all for helping me jump through this section. 

von

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4 hours ago, VonNoble said:

Of interest were the presentations by two Theists (each of whom identified themselves as Christian) used a justification "by personal experience" for their reasons for believing in the existence of God.   One went on at length about feeling God's presence.  The other actually "hears" God.   No one challenged those presentations.  

The "Intimate Knowledge" argument is inherently unassailable, in this context. That's why I originally suggested it. While citing evidence that can't be independantly verified is a fairly crap way to convince others, it is a great way to construct an argument that cannot be disproven. It invites ad hominem, in the form of accusations of insanity or lies, but it stands up as logical justification.

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2 hours ago, mererdog said:

The "Intimate Knowledge" argument is inherently unassailable, in this context. That's why I originally suggested it. While citing evidence that can't be independantly verified is a fairly crap way to convince others, it is a great way to construct an argument that cannot be disproven. It invites ad hominem, in the form of accusations of insanity or lies, but it stands up as logical justification.

 

An assertion put forth without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.  

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17 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

An assertion put forth without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.  

Any assertion can be dismissed. That does not mean any assertion should be dismissed.

The argument from ignorance asserts that an argument that has not been proven true can be treated as if it is false. The argument from ignorance is a logical fallacy of relevance. It seeks to infer the truth of a claim based on factors irelevant to the truth of the claim. It is lazy thinking.

 

When hearing "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," most people focus exclusively on the lesson regarding the effect of lying on reputation. There is, however, a deeper lesson about the danger of complacency. With their lives at stake, the villagers have a responsibility to determine the truth of The Boy's claim. When they tire of chasing false leads, they become irresponsible, refusing to put effort into duscerning the truth. And they get eaten. 

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2 hours ago, mererdog said:

Any assertion can be dismissed. That does not mean any assertion should be dismissed.

The argument from ignorance asserts that an argument that has not been proven true can be treated as if it is false. The argument from ignorance is a logical fallacy of relevance. It seeks to infer the truth of a claim based on factors irelevant to the truth of the claim. It is lazy thinking.

 

When hearing "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," most people focus exclusively on the lesson regarding the effect of lying on reputation. There is, however, a deeper lesson about the danger of complacency. With their lives at stake, the villagers have a responsibility to determine the truth of The Boy's claim. When they tire of chasing false leads, they become irresponsible, refusing to put effort into duscerning the truth. And they get eaten. 

 

It is possible to demonstrate, by objective, verifiable evidence, that wolves exist.  This is not the case with God.  

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23 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

It is possible to demonstrate, by objective, verifiable evidence, that wolves exist.  This is not the case with God.  

Depending entirely on what pile of assumptions you use to define God... Simple logic says that if God is all-powerful, God can produce objective, verifiable evidence that God exists.

 

Consider the assertion "My teacher molested me." It may be impossible to find objective, verifiable evidence of such a claim. Should such A claim therefore simply be dismissed?

Edited by mererdog

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5 hours ago, mererdog said:

Depending entirely on what pile of assumptions you use to define God...

 

1.  Simple logic says that if God is all-powerful, God can produce objective, verifiable evidence that God exists.

 

2.  Consider the assertion "My teacher molested me." It may be impossible to find objective, verifiable evidence of such a claim. Should such A claim therefore simply be dismissed?

 

1.  This is true.  Perhaps God is not all powerful.  Or does not care what I believe.  Simple logic suggests that the god that gave us brains, would expect us to use them.  

 

2.  There is ample evidence that similar claims, made in the past, are true.  Have any claims made on behalf of God's existence, been verified?  No.  

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I think it is simple logic and deduction to assert that IF the Christian version of God exists, that is all powerful all knowing and all loving, AND he behaves like he did in the bible, then the evidence would be clear in the first place without our having had to ask for it.  So...evidence NOT being blatantly in our faces, contrasts with the ideal God of the Bible, in my mind negating the idea altogether.

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