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Messages - Ex_Nihil0

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1
General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 07, 2010, 01:43:21 AM »
I'll believe it when I see it.

Rule 34: if it exists, there is porn of it.
Rule 35: if porn of it does not exist, porn will be made.

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General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 06, 2010, 05:39:39 AM »
Well, which approach would be more like to yield a viable result?

It depends on what you mean by viable.

Nothing in science can prove any theory 100%, but it only takes 1 contradiction to render it false in part or in whole.  Fallibility and Falsification will not give you certainty, but they are powerful tools for applying criticism to scientific theories.  Fallibility by itself is very powerful for debasing authority because the basis of fallibility is the uncertain nature of everything.  If nothing is certain, then neither is authority or its legitimacy.  This can apply to Biblical and Papal authority, too.  Biblical and papal authority both claim infallibility, but since fallibility hasn't been proven wrong, the concept holds.  Biblical and Papal authority are indeed fallible.  

Fallibility is not a self contradiction because it is a falsifiable concept.  All it takes is one instance of proving that something can be known with absolute certainty.  

Okay...So half of these question are meaningless technobabble to me, one sounds like new age hogwash and the final one is appealing to my personal common sense so it's most probably invalid by definition.

Meaning is gained by experience.  If you haven't experienced what these words mean, they are meaningless to you.

Google would be your friend.

Go look up:
Falsification
Fallibility
Foundationalism
Neopragmatism

If you want a good mindfuck, look up: Linguistic turn

I also suggest looking stuff up on these three men:
Willard Van Orman Quine
Carl Popper
Thomas Kuhn

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General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 06, 2010, 05:06:04 AM »
So what is the problem here exactly?

1) The question of fallibility vs. foundationalism, and whether or not foundationalism is dogmatic.

2) The uncertainty of science regarding the true nature of reality.

3) The proper application of the NULL hypothesis and falsification.

4) The question that older theories are either completely wrong vs. partly wrong relative to newer and better theories.

That covers most of it.

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General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 06, 2010, 05:00:32 AM »
Also, FlowCell's posts about philosophy vs science remind me of this:



And the mouse-over text: "I mean, what's more likely -- that I have uncovered fundamental flaws in this field that no one in it has ever thought about, or that I need to read a little more? Hint: it's the one that involves less work."

That cartoon is humerus satire, but it could not be more of a straw man.  Philosophy is a means to an end, not an end as this the bearded stick figure would suggest.  To the contrary, I advocate a much higher standard of critical inquire regarding scientific theory.  All theories are wrong at least in part, so the goal is to develop newer and better theories that make the old ones obsolete.  But if one is to fully critique Eisenstein's theories, one better understand his theories very well.  And if you are going to outright reject his theories, you'd better have something that explains things a whole lot better.

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General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 06, 2010, 04:49:18 AM »
Well, gee, I guess all these scientists just waste their time doing math. I guess my video using trigonometry to show the distance to SN1987A didn't really prove anything at all and we really have no idea how far away it is.

You dig yourself in deeper and deeper with every post.

I'm said to be digging myself into a bigger hole from a dogmatic foundationalist?  Shane, this is bad comedy.  Yes every single one of those facts could turn out to be completely wrong.  It won't be as wrong as the creationists claims you debunked if you were ever debunked yourself, but you'd still be wrong.  If you aren't prepared to accept findings that would shake your perception of reality to the point where you'd question that SN19787A even exists in the first place, you are being dogmatic.  You might not think so, but you are.  Try thinking with a little more falliblism and you'll see that my being in a hole is a delusion of your own creation.

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Okay: in what way is my proof of the distance to 1987A uncertain, beyond just the margin of error of the measuring precision?

Its uncertain because you can't even be sure that 1978A is actually there.  Everything we observe could be a perceptual illusion and everything we think we know about reality could be completely wrong.  That said, their is nothing wrong with science doing what it does.  In fact, this line of reasoning means that science should be even more critical, not less.

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No, pi is the same ratio, regardless of how you define the numbers. You can use whatever base you want, you can even use whatever non-integral system you can come up with, it'll still be the same ratio.

Then you could just as easily say that 1) Pi is defined as this ratio which, coincidentally gives you an irrational number or, if you don't like that, 2) Pi is an artifact of human logic.  No perfect circles actually exist to test this because they are mental abstractions, just like any other shape.  In fact, if you measured the values of a shame similar to a circle, you'd end up with a number similar to Pi, but you'd never actually get Pi.  Does this mean that your postulate is wrong?  Not necessarily, it does mean you can't say that speaks of reality's true nature.  Again, you are using another axiom with a truth value taken for granted.  If you are going to use rationality as your basis of truth, then you may as well throw out empiricism it the garbage. 

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Scientific conclusions ARE NOT BASED ON BELIEFS. I don't know if you're being think here or deliberately trolling.

If you take the truth value of knowledge for granted, then yes, science would be based on beliefs.  Stop being a stubborn foundationalist.

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You have yet to show how.

It isn't my fault you project your own foundationalism on what he said.  He never disagreed with Kaku, and you never once pointed out how he did.

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Well, if you look at THAT big a picture, you can make astrology appear correct! If the fundamentals don't work out, then the theory is WRONG. That's just all there is to it. And the "big picture" you are left with is nothing specific to atomism; it was universally accepted that things were just larger structure of smaller things. Atomism said that there was one and only one small thing that could come together in infinite patterns to make everything. That was WRONG, and the only part of atomism that you're left with which was right was the part people believed without atomism anyway.

Utter nonsense.  I do not make Astrology appear correct.  I make it appear more wrong then the current theories of astronomy.  With each revolution of theories, the hope is to be less wrong then the previous theories before it.  If Astrology never existed, their would have been no foundation for astronomy to replace it.  For how could humanity learn about the stars if humanity didn't have an interest in them in the first place?  I get really frustrated with your straw man bastardizations of what I say.  You are either dishonest or your thinking is so ridged you may as well be an unimaginative computer. 

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Yes, it is! If Atomism was right because things are made of smaller things, then Lamarckism is right because species change and evolve. That's your "big picture" again.

False dichotomy fallacy.

The big picture was the realization that animals do change over time.  Both theories on how animals evolve share this common thread.  That means Lamarckian evolution wasn't completely wrong.  In fact, you could line up creationism, lamarchian evolution and Darwinian evolution in order from most wrong to least wrong and it would show, if you will excuse the pun, a natural evolution of thought.  A theory wrong in part does not make it wrong in whole.  Why do you continue to make the same binary error?

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The point is you aren't making any specific statement about metaphysics.

Why would I make a specific statement about metaphysics?  It is a consideration of potability which, by its very nature, is non-specific.

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It's not, really. Occasionally it's right, usually it's wrong. And the way we know when it's right or wrong is because of SCIENCE.

I don't disagree with this at all.  In fact, its the fist thing you've said so far that I have not disagreed with in quite a while.  Perhaps we are talking past each other.

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So, you were NOT making an assumption when you said, "Agnosticism is the only rational choice"?

Its not an assumption unless you believe that not making an assumption is itself an assumption. 

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Again, H0 has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with probabilities.

Then why assume the NULL when a statement isn't testable?

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These are prominent and influential libertarian atheists. Deal with it.

I don't care if these are prominent libertarian atheists or not, that isn't what I asked for.  I asked for the ratio of Liberals vs. Libertarians among the entire group of people who call themselves atheist.  I never said nor implied that I was looking for prominent ones.  It may not have been very clear to you, but that was what I was asking for. 

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I never said they weren't, stop lying. You were the one who said they were practically nonexistent.

I never said atheists libertarians were practically non-existent.  Clearly you can find prominent ones, but that doesn't speak for the general makeup of the larger community of atheists. 

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Shifting Burden Fallacy.

Asking for evidence contrary to my observation isn't a shifting of the burden.  I actually want a clearer picture of the community's break down.

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Again, COMPLETELY irrelevant. Not to mention argumentum ad populum.

Bullshit!  Its only a fallacy when a commonly held opinion its a premise to an argument.  Being outnumbered is perfectly relivant to the difficulties of changing people's minds.

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Null IS nothing. Assuming the null IS assuming nothing.

Not so.  The NULL is what must be true of the positive statement is false.  That is completely different then assuming nothing.

Let me give you an example. 

Fred rides the train six days per week. 
Fred has ridden the train Sunday through Thursday and it is Friday.

Hypothesis: Fred will ride the train today on Friday.
NULL: Fred will ride the train on Sunday.

Observation: Fred did not ride the train on Friday.

Conclusion: Fred will ride the train tomorrow on Sunday.

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Yes, it is! Assuming nothing is a rejection of something.

No it isn't.  Rejection of something IS an assumption, or perhaps even a truth statement.  Your concept of the NULL hypothesis is wrong and I'm begining to understand why their was such a fundamental disagreement between yourself and C0nC0rdance on the subject of free choice vs. government restriction.  You would have had more success debating him if you used fallibility instead of your ridged and incorrect understanding.  It would have made far more sense to him.

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No, they aren't. Most humans--and most primates, for that matter--are good and generous and altruistic. This is very well-supported and documented.

That depends on what monkey's can get away with or not.  Its very difficult to get away with something in a small group and much easier to get away with something in a large group.  Put a bunch of monkey's in a large group, much larger then they would naturally exist, and all their altruism vanishes.  In fact, give them free food provided by humans, and their entire social structure breaks down into chaos. 


As you can see, once the monkey's expect free food they don't care about fairness or altruism.  It becomes a grab and go operation.  You can even observe some of the monkey's steeling from one another when they get the chance.  It may be well supported that primates are altruistic in an natural setting (save for dominant males sometimes engaging in sexy by force), but the condition of greed and selfishness is a property of primates under the right circumstances.  The implications of this video should speak volumes about why communities with high levels of welfare distribution are also afflicted with high levels of violence.  If you have to work together with your community to get your food, you are less likely to be a dick to everybody else then if your next meal is also a guarantee. 

I will revise my statement to say that primates are selfish greedy bastards when don't have to work for very much.  This still includes a large number of people, though.

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Yes. Now where in that statement is there ANYTHING about balance? THEY HAVEN'T MADE THEIR CASE. That's the point. If you haven't made your case, then no one else is under any logical obligations to consider it.

I would disagree and say that the theists did make there case.  They just didn't prove anything by it because their case is based on fallacies that many people find convincing. 

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And just what are you claiming he meant by "that level"?

That by stooping to the level of the theists, he's can use reason as a counterweight to their emotional appeals.  I.e. he's balancing the scale for the sake of the easily swayed. 

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Incorrect. Saying that the burden of proof is on the statists is NOT the same thing as saying that there's no way they can ever meet that burden.

This is because you misunderstand what the NULL is.  The NULL is what must be true if the Hypothesis is false.  In other words, both cannot be logically true.  I actually think that C0nC0rdance had it right all along.  You'd be better off defending freedom from the likes of him with fallibility then using your misunderstanding of the NULL.

And just so you know that I'm not making this up about C0nC0rdance, here's the link to the video where he explains it at 6:32.  And yes, there Is a part 2 if you are interested.


He also quotes Einstein as saying: "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."
And also quotes Popper saying: The criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability."

If you erroneously interpret Einstein's quote as you have dishonestly (or ignorantly) interpreted my arguments, then this should be more then enough evidence that Einstein thought Astrology and Lamarkian evolution had the same validity as astronomy and Darwinian evolution.

Oh, and here is another cool point.  The way you use use the NULL hypothesis begins with a positive test for the evidence of evidence.  Its a positive confirmation and subjects you to confirmation bias regarding metaphysical statements!

Also, when you say "Only evidence based statements speak of reality."

This is not a falsifiable statement and, therefore, does not speak of reality by its own standard, making it completely self refuting nonsense.

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General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 06, 2010, 01:40:23 AM »
Those terms are defined as the atheist community dictates.  Agnosticism has always been separate from atheism until the new atheist movement annexed the term so they could have more credibility, even though their actual arguments would never bring you to that conclusion.  This bate and switch is patently dishonest.  If you find a genuine agnostic, which are rather hard to find, the'll be more then happy to give you a definition that separates themselves from their atheist contemporaries and explain why atheists are every bit as dogmatic as their theists counterparts.

And do you know why they are different?  Modern atheism is based primarily on the philosophy of foundationalism.  That is, they operate on a ridged set of principles that they can neither prove nor disprove as fundamental truth, yet they dogmatically claim that absolute certainty could be had from such foundations, anyway, assuming they are applied without error.   Destroying Shane's argument is as easy as understanding the M√ľnchhausen Trilemma because demonstrates clearly the dogmatic nature of foundationalism. 

The agnostic argument, however, bases itself on falabilism.  That is, because foundationalists have yet to conclusively prove any of their axioms and definitions are grounded in the truth of reality, certainty cannot be assumed towards anything a foundationalist says, be they religious or secular.  This means, for example, that both papal infalability and the infalability of mathematics can be rejected.  This does not mean that the pope and mathematical proofs are necessarily wrong, it just means they offer no promises of actual certainty and are subject to partial or even complete revision.

The identification of foundationalism in every atheist argument I have ever heard clearly shows that atheists are an entirely different specie from Agnostics.  Agnostics think falliblisticly, Atheists do not.

I should point this out now, but, you do realize that atheism and agnosticism aren't mutually exclusive right?
From  http://www.atheist-community.org/faq/#atheist_agnostic
"Q: What's the difference between an atheist and an agnostic?

A: It has to do with the difference between what you believe and what you think you know. For any particular god that you can imagine, a "theist" is one who has a belief in that god. In contrast, an "atheist" is one who does not have a belief in the god. A "gnostic" is one who knows about the existence of god and an "agnostic" is one who thinks that god is unknowable.

Notice that the terms "atheist" and "agnostic", by these definitions, are not mutually exclusive. You could be an agnostic atheist, meaning you don't think that the existence of gods is knowable, but you don't choose to believe in one without further proof. Many people assume that atheists believe that gods can be proved not to exist, but this isn't strictly true and there is no proper word to describe this. You could call such a person an "untheist", perhaps. Or, you could just call such a person a "gnostic atheist", one who doesn't believe in a god and thinks that his non-belief can be proved.

So there are four possible ways one could be.

    1. Agnostic-Theist: believes god exists, but the existence of a god is unknowable
    2. Gnostic-Theist: believes in a god for which he claims knowledge
    3. Agnostic-Atheist: does not believe god exists, but it can't be proved
    4. Gnostic-Atheist: believes it can be proved that god does not exist

Case 3 is sometimes referred to as "weak atheism" and case 4 is sometimes referred to as "strong atheism". Only strong atheism positively asserts that there are no gods.

Finally, it should be pointed out that when a person is asked about their beliefs and replies that they are agnostic, they are avoiding the question and answering a different one. Someone who can't positively say he/she believes in a god is an atheist."
I'd recommend reading the entries on the subject on the Iron Chariots Wiki.
It covers it in greater depth.

Also, why all the metaphysical jibber-jabber?
An Atheist is simply one without a belief in a deity or deities.
An Anarchist is simply one without a belief in the necessity or virtue of the state.
Both are simply the H0 at work.
Also, a libertarian can be an anarchist, such as Murray Rothbard and Mary Ruwart.

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General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 05, 2010, 12:23:30 PM »
I would also LOVE to know what the "logical inconsistencies" of atheist libertarians are...
Especially given his video response to thunderf00t...

At the moment, I am currently revising my basis for Libertarianism.  Right now, I'm considering quite strongly that Libertarianism is more compatible with Agnosticism then Atheism for two reasons.

The core of Libertarianism has always been to not make assumptions about how people's lives should be run.  I believe this is because legitimacy is actually a metaphysical concept that is undecidable (even though democracy and divine right have been debunked, legitimacy could come from another source).  This runs parallel to the Agnostic point of view that God is undecidable much like how legitimacy is undecidable.  This means that whom one chooses as leader, if one chooses a leader at all, is a personal choice much like spiritual beliefs are a personal choice.  This allows for a bare minimum of government that works on a purely voluntary basis.

Using Shane's NULL hypothesis algorithm applied to state legitimacy, the assumption becomes a hard anarchy, where everybody remains leaderless, NOT Libertarianism.  If, however, you use the NULL hypothesis to assume some form of Libertarian government, you are trading one illegitimate state for another, even if it is indeed a very small one. Admittedly, some of our anarchist friends will really like this line of reasoning.  More power to them, I guess, but it is still an error, I think, to apply science to non-falsifiable statements and metaphysics.

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General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 05, 2010, 11:52:35 AM »
That's a nonsense statement. If you create a concept and give it a definition, then that definition IS accurate--BY DEFINITION. That statement is WHAT IT MEANS TO BE EQUAL! Accuracy doesn't enter into it!

Not of purely conceptual constructs like "equal."

That's pretty weak, Shane.  In order to know that 1+1=2, you have to be shown.[/quote]

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Complete balderdash. [Logical Proofs] do it all the time. Science wouldn't work otherwise.

Only by your own dogmatic degree do logical proofs assert statements about the nature of reality.  You can't have certain conclusions when your fundamentals are inductions.  Science doesn't give you certainty and it never will and no amount of wishful thinking will do that, sir.

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Your argument was that we just made up the thing about a triangle's angles totalling 180 degrees. We didn't. We couldn't just have arbitrarily decided to make it 179 degrees, any more than we could have arbitrarily decided to make pi 4.

My argument was based on the fact that triangles are triangles because of how they are defined.  The actually definition, being based on my error or being based on three points isn't relevant to my argument, just the fact that it is what it is because of how it is defined. Pi is what it is, because of how the numbers are defined.  Numbers and mathematics are little more then mental abstractions used to model and measure things.  

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What people believe is irrelevant.

Its completely relevant, otherwise their is no distinction between metaphysics and science.  But that's what you want, isn't it?

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The very same cop-out that Shermer corrected.

Like I said, Shermer's correction was bullshit.  He even said that Kaku was technically correct before he got back to addressing Craig and the other theists.

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They are different at a FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL! If you don't understand that, then you either don't understand the science or you don't understand ancient atomism.

The "fundamentals" don't matter to what I'm saying because I'm looking at the big picture of atomic theory's evolution while you get bogged down in the details and say that they can't possibly be related because that would require metaphysics to be part of the process.  You get so worked up about minutia that you can't see the forest for the trees.  

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The point is that their was a notion that matter was made up of little bits that were too small to see.

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No, the idea was that these bits were fundamental, universal, indivisible, and infinite. NONE of these are true.

Quite correct.  This is also strong evidence of metaphysics in science.

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Nor is it in any way unique to atomism. Atomism was NOT an attempt to state this since this was a widely-held view; what it was was an attempt to quantify it and describe how it worked. And it could not have been more wrong.

What's your point?

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It's like saying Lamarck was right because evolution is right.

What?  No it isn't.  How could you even remotely think this about me?  You clearly aren't grasping what I'm saying at all, probably because you are so lost in details.  Nit picking errors doesn't invalidate my entire argument, though I do appreciate you finding the ones that actually matter when you do.

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Metaphysics hardly has the monopoly on coming up with new ideas. Look at how many started in science fiction, for example.

1) I never said it did have a monopoly, so what's your point?
2) You made the claim that metaphysics had the hallmark of fiction, so how is it any different then science fiction?
3) Science fiction can be very metaphysical, so what's your point?

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The same could be said of anything. Nothing special about metaphysics there.

Metaphysics are intimately involved with science, especially during the extraordinary phase.  I think that makes it very special.

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You accuse me of being dogmatic, and then in the next sentence make a mind-bogglingly dogmatic statement. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad.

Since when was NOT making an assumption dogmatic when you have no evidence for or against something?  As I stated before (and you keep ignoring) assuming the NULL when you have absolutely no way of calculating a probability a metaphysical statement being true is completely dogmatic.  If you can't calculate a probability, you have no basis for your assumption.

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Michael Shermer? Penn & Teller? Dean Cameron? Drew Carey? Nick Gillespie? Trey Parker and Matt Stone? I can keep going. Anecdotes are NOT evidence.

Guess what, Shane?  Naming those individuals would be anecdotal to your own experience.  If you want to show me that Libertarians aren't in the minority among atheists, you'll need to give me actual statistics.

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We're not anywhere near as outnumbered in the atheist/skeptic movement as we are in general.

No, but you still are outnumbered.  What's worse is that you are minority within a minority.  Not that this makes your position invalid.  Its just a hell of a lot harder for you to get your way and impose freedom and liberty on everybody (yes, I'm being ironic).

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There's your problem right there: it's not "supposed to be" anything. Atheism is a rejection of one particular claim. It has nothing to do with anything else.

Its only "supposed to be" based on the links provided by Google when I go searching for it.  Granted, it isn't 100% scientific, but it is 100% disappointing.

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What you fail to realize is that the two are the same thing.

What you fail to realize is that the two are completely different.  One makes an assumption for the NULL, and the other assumes nothing.  NULL is a rejection of the positive.  Assuming nothing isn't a rejection of anything.

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That's true of most real-world conservatives and liberals who are gung-ho in favor of the drug war.

Yes, because most humans are politically dishonest and selfish bastards, like most primates.

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You made particular claims based on his statements that were refuted by Shermer. Yet, you neglected to even MENTION him.

Who gives a shit?  My point was that Kaku's statement was similar to my own perspective.  I thought that maybe you'd understand my perspective better if it were explained by Kaku instead of myself.  Shermer's statements weren't worth mentioning any more then any other debater because all other debaters statements were not similar to my own.  Calling this cherry picking is nonsensical and hysterial.

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If you reference an argument without dealing with the response to it, it's cherry-picking, plain and simple.

I was asking for YOUR response to it, not Shermer's.  Shermer's opinion shouldn't have any berring on how you respond to Kaku any more then your response would have affected his.  That isn't cherry picking unless you are resorting to moon logic, you liar.

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And I don't drink coffee either. Stop projecting your failings on to me and trying to appear generous by making up a bogus reason for it. That may gain you verisimilitude most other places on the internet, but THIS forum is different.

I haven't failed nearly as much as your ego would suggest.

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That's not even CLOSE to what he said.

Do we really need to go there?

Here is the actual quote from the time stamp you provided as best as I could transcribe: " Michio, you are right, technically there is no way to prove nor disprove the existece of God, but please understand [these theists] argue that you can prove it through science and through tests and through empirical reason and so on.  We're arguing that they haven't done so from a scientific perspective.  That's the only reason we deal with it on that level."

I interpreted his statement thusly: "He uses theism as an excuse for his position as if he must take the polar opposite position in order to have balance."

You conveniently left out the last part: "Why else would he address theists on 'that level'?"  

If he agrees with Michio, why bother sinking down to level of the theists?  And if he agrees with Micho, how is Micho making a cop out?  The only difference I see between Micho and Shermer is that Shermer wants atheism to be a polar opposite to the theists.  How could you even see Shermer's statements as a counter argument to Micho?  Its like he's only making excuses for not being agnostic but atheist.

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General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 05, 2010, 09:32:56 AM »
Cherry-picking is also ignoring Dr. Shermer's response at 1:16:27. In fact, he makes the point so clearly and succinctly that I can only conclude that you didn't bother listening to that part.

Asking your opinion about Michio Kaku's statements is cherry picking? Yes, I heard Shermer's response, but I was interested in what you had to say about his statements. Cherry picking relates to omission of evidence, not to singling out a particular debater for your analysis because I thought it a good summary of my position.  Logical fallacies have actual meanings.  You can't just throw them around like and be somebody worth respecting.  This is so dishonest of you, I'm actually socked, but I'll just give you the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to you not having your morning coffee yet.

Edit:  To respond to Sherman's statement, I he uses theism as an excuse for his position as if he must take the polar opposite position in order to have balance.  Why else would he address theists on "that level"?  Sorry, but I call bullshit because his argument is structured for the sake of politics.

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General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 05, 2010, 09:29:38 AM »
You keep trying to fall back on this excuse, but it doesn't work. If a statement is not useful for determining reality, then--DUH--it can't be used to determine reality!

I'm not falling back on any excuse.  Metaphysics doesn't tell you what reality's true nature is and I never said otherwise.  It only tells you what it could be.  And yes, some metaphysical statements can morph into scientific statements when science advances enough to examine them.

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No, they're based on definitions. Example: "a = a; if a = b then b = a; if a = b and b = c then a= c." This is NOT a statement of self-evident truth as a lot of people try to make it out to be; it's the definition of the concept of "equal."

If you are going to make a proof based on definitions, then your proof is dependent on the accuracy of those definitions.  Definitions are derived from experience, which makes the meaning of every word an induction.  Again, logical proofs and mathematical proofs tell you nothing of reality.  If you want to say that these "definitions" are not axiomatic, fine, but I'll just caulk this up to it being your personal point of view.

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No, a triangle is defined as a polygon with three sides. The fact that the inner angles total 180 degrees is a PROOF, NOT a definition.

I appreciate your correction, but this detail that changes nothing about my argument.

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AND his idea was falsifiable. It COULD have been proven wrong; it wasn't.

Nobody had any idea that it was even possible to prove atoms wrong because they could not be observed.  As I stated above, metaphysical statements that are non-falsifiable can eventually become falsifiable later.  This is one such example.  There may come a time when "gods" becomes a falsifiable idea, but until then, "gods" is off limits to science because current science is too limited to address the question.  

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Actually, as I pointed out earlier, that was corpuscularism, not atomism.

It doesn't matter if the details of the two concepts were different.  The point is that their was a notion that matter was made up of little bits that were too small to see.  It may have been difficult to get the exact idea down, but the notion of matter being made up of small particles isn't all that counter intuitive.  

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And how are you going to test something without having that first? EVERY new idea in science starts out that way. That's NOT cherry-picking, and it's dishonest of you to try and claim that it is.

No, it made it a testable (falsifiable) theory.

How can a scientist first get his testable idea if he doesn't consider metaphysics first?  What's wrong with that?

Again, not every idea in science is falsifiable right away.  Atomic theory didn't get "final" confirmation until early last century.  It didn't become falsifiable right away, which was my point.  Scientists had to develop techniques to look for atoms first in order to confirm their existence, which I already stated.  If no such techniques were ever developed to this date, you'd be calling atomic theory unfalsifiable right now.  Truth be told, the scientific establishment always dismisses claims like atomic theory until such a time that proper techniques are invented for testing.    

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Which is why [metaphysical statements] can't be used to determine reality.

I never said that they did.  I only said that they were useful to science for inspiration because they could be true.  As long as one isn't dogmatic, metaphysics do have something to contribute.

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No, I am not! I am ONLY wanting to test if that metaphysical statement has any use to us for determining what is real and what is not. That's the OPPOSITE of being dogmatic!

You can say you aren't being dogmatic all you want, but the moment you default to the NULL to assume a metaphysical statement, you are not being rational, you are being dogmatic.  Agnosticism is the only rational choice, not assumption.

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You have yet to do ANYTHING to support this.

Just spending as much time as I have on YouTube and in real life, I've met very few Atheists who weren't socialists or some other kind of Liberal. You are only one of a small handful that I have actually found.  I've seen the debates and flame wars.  Libertarians are clearly outnumbered, and Libertarian atheists are outnumbered even more.  And anytime I look for what atheists politics is supposed to be, I get a bunch of Liberal bullshit about taxation and socialized medicine.

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Funny; that's the exact same reason why I insist that they MUST be!

Then the difference between us is your assertion that metaphysical statements should be assumed wrong and my assertion that nothing should be assumed until such a time that they can be tested, if ever.  Clearly, I have the more open mined point of view, yet no so open minded that I accept metaphysical statements blindly.

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You mean, like yours did earlier when I asked you how you know that nothing can be known?

That's easy to answer.  Everything we know, including the very basis of math proofs, are based on inductions.  This means you can't be certain of anything and reality itself may not even exist.  How could I be certain that what I know is the Truth?  If you wish to make the positive claim that everything we know is certain and true.  You'll find the task very difficult if not impossible.

Then how come it's so hard to find an atheist who's in favor of it?

Because so few of them have something to gain financially.  If you owned a prison company as an atheist, you might be for the war on drugs, too.  If you owned a company that got big military defense contracts as an atheists, you might be all for the war on terror.  If you owned the bank that prints the money that gets loaned to the government to pay for said war, you might actually be for said war.  I would expect no less from a race of super intelligent monkeys.  

 

11
General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 05, 2010, 01:53:53 AM »
In other words, you were weaseling. :P

I consider the state to be a religion, much like Dale Everett (the anarchyinyourhead guy) does.  Though it isn't a religion in the colloquial sense, I'd say it still fits the bill rather well.

What are my weasel words, exactly?  The war on drugs is a great example of secular violence.  What does this have to do with Hitler and other tyrants?  It would seem to me that their quest for power and megalomania was a result of their primate ancestry, not their religious beliefs which you can't actually be sure of since they were involved in politics.  One thing I do know is that religion is a tool of propaganda in history.  Nationalism and xenophobia are two other major tools as well.  Over the past century, however, the theories of Freud used to change the nature of Public Relations for to exploit the "primitive and irrational desires" of masses of individuals.  You should search for "Century of The Self" a BBC documentary that shows the evolution of propaganda over the last century.  It made me question just how many of my ideas are actually my own, because people can be so easily manipulated by their most basic desires and needs.

I consider Church and State are two different, but closely related things.  Consider them to be like two closely related species with a common ancestor, the Church State.  Church functions according to a religion, while the State functions according to an ideology.

12
General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 05, 2010, 01:13:33 AM »
Then why didn't it happen during the hundred years before the en mass religious indoctrination?

As Stargazer5871 has observed, "Statism is all well and good until you realize that people in the state are human too. If your claim is that people need to be ordered around and controlled, who will order around and control the people in the state? Statism necessitates the existence of gods and only made sense back when people thought the heads of state were gods. When you realize gods don't exist, all arguments for a state self-detonate."  Emphasis added by me

I was speaking in general, not to the video you referenced.  I would consider the "War On Drugs" to be a secularly motivated war, even though some of its participants might have religious motivation.  Its continued existence largely stems from the financial gains people make off of it.  The black market wants prices to stay high and prison construction and management companies want to keep filling up our jails.

13
General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 05, 2010, 12:15:26 AM »
Reminds me of a video from Stargazer5871 where he points out the way many stateless societies end is by the population developing an acceptance of violence through religion.

In those cases, religion would be an excuse for violence.  Take religion away, and the'll find a secular excuse.  At the end of the day, people are just primates who just want to have their way and dominate those they can exploit.  Domination and submission are peculiar afflictions to the human species, aren't they?

14
General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 05, 2010, 12:06:37 AM »
There's a difference between things that are undecidABLE and things that are undecidED. And for things that truly are undecidable, they do not make any useful statements about reality.

Usefulness isn't a basis for determining what is or isn't real, it only relates statement being scientific.  And before we go full circle back into your citation of mathmatical proofs, let me explain why that isn't conclusivly isn't a valid argument for certainty of what is real.

Mathematical proofs are based on axioms which are statements said to be self evidently true.  In this case, you have three choices.  1) You accept that said statements are self evident, in which case you are making an argument for rationality as a basis for truth against empirical evidence, 2) you use empirical evidence to justify axioms as true, which meas that every logical proof ever made is rendered uncertain because they are ultimately based on induction.

A triangle will always have 180 degrees inside it because that's how they are defined, not because we observed triangles to be that way.  A triangle is a perfect idea that exists only in the abstract world of our minds.  What the human brain does is pick three points in space and draws imaginary lines to connect them, so a triangle is a pattern that we recognize, just like a face.  It doesn't prove anything about the nature of reality any more then seeing Jesus on burnt toast.  The only difference between the two patterns are the areas of the brain they stimulate.  

If I may go on a rabbit trail for a bit, I speculate that mathematics is largely about pattern recognition in the brain.  If your brain didn't form with the full set of mathematical patterns to perceive them "out of the box", then they must be learned in math class.  For some kids math and logic are intuitive, while for other children math and logic seem to them like an arbitrary set of rules with no basis.  Yet, those students who shy away from math and science tend to do better with the liberal arts.  I think this could explain why some children struggle with math, while others grasp it immediately.  Being a parent yourself, I would be interested in your insight on this subject.

Unlike the patterns we are pre-wired to recognize (like faces), meaning of words derives from experience, so only that which we have experienced can be defined.  This is, I think, where much of the trouble with metaphysics comes in, since it is speculation about what is unknown at a given moment and what is forever unknowable.  

When John Dalton's atomic theory came out, it was criticized for a century by the positivists at the time because his idea of the atom was still as much a metaphysical claim as Democritus' claim.  The only difference is that Dalton had far superior data.  Never the less, Dalton's idea of the atom was open to criticism because atoms could just as easily been an artificial construct of his mathematics as his critics pointed out.  Also, the influence of Democritus' idea can be seen in Dalton's thinking just by virtue of him using the name in his own published works and by the fact that he, like Democritus, thought they were indivisible units of matter.  Besides, it doesn't matter if he used the word atom or not.  There had been long speculation since Galileo that atoms existed, and Newton thought they existed as well, though he used the term "particle" instead and didn't really consider how "particles" related to gas pressure.  That problem, as you know, would later be solved by Dalton.

Anyway, the picture you painted about how Dalton concluded the existence of atoms was cherry picking in its own right since it ignores his criticisms and influences.  He never had direct evidence of atoms, only a mathematical inference to their existence.  This made his claim that atoms exist a metaphysical claim even up to this point.  Your distinction between undecided and undecidable is not relevant since metaphysics will always be part of the scientific process as much as it was for Dalton.

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But I can with mermaids, unicorns, and, yes, God.

Not so.  If a statement isn't scientific, it isn't subject to scientific criticism.  

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No, it has nothing to do with probability or likelihood. It has to do with which statement can be falsified.

Which is why the NULL doesn't apply to metaphysical statements!  If a statement isn't falsifiable to begin with, you can't stick it into your falsification algorithm because they aren't meaningful to it.  You think way to much like a computer.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all if you were a programmer because the way you analyse my arguments is more like how somebody examines computer code for syntax errors, not like somebody who is critical of the main point.

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Good thing we don't do that, then.

If you apply the NULL to a particular metaphysical statement, you are being dogmatic about that particular metaphysical statement!  There are no binary choices in metaphysics, only infinite possibility for each given idea.  You can't mix separate magisteria and expect to get a logical outcome.  I think it clear to me now that Atheists are distinct from Agnostics based on the application of the NULL to metaphysics and possibly the acceptance that the truth of axioms can be taken for granted, which is dogmatic in its own right.

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And what about its frequent connections to Libertarianism?

Using your line of reasoning, Anarchy logically follows from Atheism, not Libertarianism.  If you believe that a Libertarian Government is best, then you'd better come at it from an Agnostic point of view.  Atheist Libertarians lack logical consistency, which the Atheist Statists love to exploit when they debate Libertarians.Among Atheists, Atheist Libertarians are in the minority for a reason.  

You will never convince statist atheists with an elite minds to reject statism because they use their superior intelligence as positive evidence for legitimacy, and from that legitimacy they install purpose where they believe purpose, with absolute or near absolute certainty, never existed.  I.e. Thunderf00t and Dawkins thrust a purpose upon society, such as scientific discovery or helping the poor.  In no small way, debating Thunderf00t or Dawkins over statism is actually a debate against their respective egos.  The only way to win such an argument is the dissolution of their egos through Agnostic arguments.  What I am saying would be easier to understand if you've ever experienced the dissolution of your own ego for a period of time.  Such times are the only times you can be genuinely honest with yourself and fairly consider possibilities you would otherwise be too suborn to consider or too suborn to dismiss.  It is obscenely difficult for one to look at ideas fairly and without the burden of selfish desire or social programming.  This is partly why I reject the NULL being applied to metaphysical claims and statements.

One other point I wish to address.  A while back you said that my thinking was like a creationist.  I sort of see how you could think that, but consider the strategy of a creationist or even a Holocaust denier and where they part ways with me.  First, they point out the uncertain nature of our knowledge and use this to say that all of science could be wrong.  I'll grant them that so far, but only because it is entirely possible to imagine the whole of my experience to be an illusion.  If true, I can't really do anything with that, but I'm at least open to it as one of many possibilities regarding the true nature of reality.  After making the case for Agnosticism, they attempt to tip the scales through emotional appeals (i.e. Jesus loves you) and threats of violence (i.e. believe this way or go to Hell).  If the very foundation of rationality can be debased so easily, then what reason do I have to reject or accept a metaphysical claim beyond my own personal desires and preferences, which are entirely subjective and subject to change, if I can't even be sure if the creationist himself actually exists?  

If they continue to press the point and say "How do you know?  You weren't there!"  The simple response is saying back to them, "How do you know?  You weren't there!"  Their argument self destructs at that point, leaving you back at Agnosticism and perhaps even to Nihilism, which I consider to be Agnosticisms strongest form.  

15
General Discussion / Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: December 04, 2010, 06:47:30 PM »
Yes, Dawkins is talking about "why" in the context of purpose or meaning, not in a causal or theoretical sense. It's the same point he made in his "Growing Up in the Universe" lectures. Bees don't make honey for us to eat, flowers don't look pretty so that we can enjoy them. They do so because it's been the best way to pass their genes on to the next generation. But that latter statement is no less a "why" than the former statements; it just doesn't have the metaphysical presumptions that the others do.

As for Kaku, he's a brilliant physicist, but I think he makes the same mistake as a lot of deists and pantheists in that he tries to define God as being the fundamental underpinnings of the universe--in his case, the strings of string theory. But if these things cannot be said to be conscious in any meaningful sense, then how is it God in the sense that any average English speaker would recognize the word?

I really don't get what point you think Kaku is making that you think makes your point. Look at my video again: I say essentially the same thing about mermaids as he does about unicorns.

The difference between what you say and what Kaku says is that such things are undecidable, therefore, not scientific.  This means you can't subject non-scientific ideas to the NULL hypothesis, which is scientific, and be logically correct.  Using the NULL implies that mermaids and unicorns are things you can mathematically predict the likelihood of, which is impossible! 

Injecting the NULL into metaphysics would be dogmatism, or at least border on dogmatism since you are using it to make an assumption, not a conclusion about metaphysical statements.  No, I take that back.  Invoking the NULL is dogmatic because it assumes that you can calculate probabilities of metaphysical statements being true. 

The only error I see Kaku making is being open mined about valid questions he cannot answer because those valid questions are not scientific (yet).  As you say, string theory doesn't lend itself to consciousness, but he still dares to ask the question, where did string theory come from?  You end up with an endless series of questions, and infinite regress.  I believe this line of reasoning does nothing but further the case for Gould's notion of "Separate Magisteria".  In this view, an atheist isn't entitled to make metaphysical claims anymore then a creationists is entitled to make scientific claims.  Either way, you end up with dogma.

Lets be bluntly honest for a moment.  The only reason why any scientific atheist would be interested in shutting down metaphysical thinking isn't to be intellectually honest or open mined, but to stop religious nut groups from imposing their insanity on everybody.  Yet, on the about face, many (but not all) of the most prominent scientific atheists will try to impose their own political will based the their own dogmas about metaphysics.  I.e. Richard Dawkins and Thunderf00t pushing socialism societal engineering on the basis that humans are both social, and existing without an divine edict.  If one is to assume no purpose to the universe, then one's own mental superiority over the average man becomes a justification for imposing a purpose on the average man and on society.  After all, when you are the smartest and in a position of influence or power, you've become a high ranking monkey in the troop and that's what the monkeys at the top get to do.  Atheism's frequent connections to Liberalism and Stateism in its adherents have got to be for a reason, and I think this is why.  Dogmatic thinking seems to always leads to statism, be it secular or religious.

Perhaps if concluding that legitimacy is a undecidable metaphysical statement, their is no scientific way to justify legitimacy.  If we use the NULL hypothesis for legitimacy, then we must assume Anarchy.  If, however, we assume nothing, then whom the individual gets to choose as leader becomes a matter of preference and individual choice, not something concrete or democratic.  I, therefore, see Agnosticism as more compatible with, if not analogous to, Libertarianism then Atheism. 

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