The Bogosity Forum

General Bogosity => General Discussion => Topic started by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 24, 2010, 01:48:09 AM

Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 24, 2010, 01:48:09 AM
Someone is in serious need of Stefan Molyneux's book, Universally Preferable Behaviour.
I linked him to it in the description.
Here's hoping he gives it a read.

You'll need to do more then that in order to peak his interest.  I can tell you right now that MisterBusta is in the camp of contemporary philosophers who reject certainty, while Stefan sides with the logical positivists and objectivists, who believe that we can have real certainty.  These two factions in philosophy are diametrically apposed and will never see eye to eye.  Personally, I go with the uncertainty camp, as this view keeps me humble.  To the modern philosopher, certainty = dogma.  I must be willing to reject everything I believe is true should conclusive evidence come forward to falsify everything I accepted as fact.

Truly, what MisterBusta is talking about could be expanded further to a more complex set of philosophies.  1) we really do have atheist nihilists on YouTube who really do reject meaningful morality, 2) we really do have atheists who believe that morality is meaningful without the necessity of a god, and 3) we really do have theists who believe that meaningful morality is real and is proof of God's existence.  So, what we have is a spectrum of belief systems based on morality alone, and I don't think its an easy thing for one corner of the triangle to say that the others are wrong without a fair and in depth discussion.  And as always with these discussions, hopefully everybody will understand the other side better, but more commonly all sides will be unconvinced.  Hopefully, though, all sides will admit to trying to answer unanswerable questions and make peace with uncertainty.
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 24, 2010, 10:35:49 AM
You'll need to do more then that in order to peak his interest.  I can tell you right now that MisterBusta is in the camp of contemporary philosophers who reject certainty, while Stefan sides with the logical positivists and objectivists, who believe that we can have real certainty.  These two factions in philosophy are diametrically apposed and will never see eye to eye.  Personally, I go with the uncertainty camp, as this view keeps me humble.  To the modern philosopher, certainty = dogma.  I must be willing to reject everything I believe is true should conclusive evidence come forward to falsify everything I accepted as fact.

Truly, what MisterBusta is talking about could be expanded further to a more complex set of philosophies.  1) we really do have atheist nihilists on YouTube who really do reject meaningful morality, 2) we really do have atheists who believe that morality is meaningful without the necessity of a god, and 3) we really do have theists who believe that meaningful morality is real and is proof of God's existence.  So, what we have is a spectrum of belief systems based on morality alone, and I don't think its an easy thing for one corner of the triangle to say that the others are wrong without a fair and in depth discussion.  And as always with these discussions, hopefully everybody will understand the other side better, but more commonly all sides will be unconvinced.  Hopefully, though, all sides will admit to trying to answer unanswerable questions and make peace with uncertainty.

Problem, you kinda already answered the question yourself:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBipkULRTQI
From about 6:09 onward.

Also, not a very convincing argument.
So people hold the position.
By that logic, because people believe in the legitimacy of the government we have and others who are communists, and others who are anarchists and minarchists, why simply move to one corner of it?
Just because "well people hold that position" =/= a very convincing argument...
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 24, 2010, 02:02:27 PM
By that logic, because people believe in the legitimacy of the government we have and others who are communists, and others who are anarchists and minarchists, why simply move to one corner of it?
Just because "well people hold that position" =/= a very convincing argument...

No, I'm not arguing from popularity, however, I am making the point that enough people seem to have good arguments for these three positions that they deserve to be looked at closely before being dismissed.  When it comes to metaphysical assumptions, all three positions are valid and sound (not to be confused with being true or factual).  This largely stems from the fact that existence itself is an absurdity and our lack of absolute certainty.  Absolute Truth (with a capital T), if it even exists, is unknowable.  I thought that this was strongly implied, but I should have clarified myself above.

My Libertarian ethics largely stem from the uncertainty and falsification of authoritarian claims of legitimacy.  Every theory for government legitimacy I have ever seen fails utterly; democracy in particular fails the worst because its reliant on circular reasoning and justifying itself by giving its definition.  I.e. "The people have legitimacy because they all agree as a majority."  You wouldn't say that apples exist because they are red, round shiny and sweet, would you?  Of course not, because "red, round, shiny and sweet" is just another way of saying "apple".  We assume apples exist because of empirical sense data, not because there exists a definition for apples. When I see "democracy in action", I don't see majority rule, but people pretending that they have authority.

Many people have difficulty with this argument because they expect Libertarianism hold up to its own standard of falsification.  Why can't people understand that Libertarianism is the promotion of Liberty and not authority?  Do people really have that hard a time with negative concepts?  Well, obviously they do.  I just wish they didn't, because it would make Libertarianism a much easier concept for people to accept.
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 25, 2010, 11:19:55 PM
No, I'm not arguing from popularity,
I never said you were.
Your argument seemed to be, "there exist atheists who believe morality is subjective therefore secular morality is most likely subjective" not "the majority of atheists think morality is subjective therefore secular morality is most subjective."
Or something like that.  Just because people think it or hold an opinion doesn't mean it is true.

however, I am making the point that enough people seem to have good arguments for these three positions that they deserve to be looked at closely before being dismissed.
Such as?
As for UPB and refutations for it, I believe Lord T Hawkeye said it best: "All the criticism I've seen are either inconsequential nitpicking or people who just give away that they didn't actually read it".  Stefan says it stands unopposed (or at least unrefuted).

Absolute Truth (with a capital T), if it even exists, is unknowable.
Which sounds like a statement of knowledge.

I fail to see the relevance of the rest of your post.
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 25, 2010, 11:31:13 PM
You'll need to do more then that in order to peak his interest.  I can tell you right now that MisterBusta is in the camp of contemporary philosophers who reject certainty, while Stefan sides with the logical positivists and objectivists, who believe that we can have real certainty.  These two factions in philosophy are diametrically apposed and will never see eye to eye.  Personally, I go with the uncertainty camp, as this view keeps me humble.  To the modern philosopher, certainty = dogma.  I must be willing to reject everything I believe is true should conclusive evidence come forward to falsify everything I accepted as fact.
Then he can refute it on those grounds.
Why doesn't he or anyone else?
UPB is a method for finding morality, just like science is a method.
If UPB uses positivism, it can just be modified to use falsification, just like science was.

Sorry if this and my last post came off as a bit callus, but the tryptophan in the huge amount of turkey I ate seemed to make me sleepy and I don't do as well on logical responses when I'm sleepy.
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 26, 2010, 01:19:29 AM
I would stand by the statement that most secular morality is subjective when it comes to people like Thunderf00t and the other Utilitarians like him.  If you want objective morality, you need to arrive at moral conclusions via deontological methods, much like how Immanuel Kant did.  However, like you said, you could never do this using logical positivism in order to create a moral theory.  Instead, I use falsification, which is the basis for my moral argument from Liberty.  Because all claims of legitimacy have thus far have been falsified, Liberty is the default winner since it means nobody has a legitimate claim to authority.  From this insight, we can logically deduce the non aggression principle and the fundamental rights (a.k.a. the Negative Liberties); this is the only rational conclusion you can reach if nobody has legitimate authority over anybody.  Everything else is neither moral nor immoral, but personal preference.

I haven't ready UBP, but I have seen one of Stefbot's lengthy videos on the subject and I must say that it disappointed me simply because it was based on logical positivism.  It very well could be my own bias, but I feel that my moral theory, based on falsification, is far simpler and not invalidated by the problem of verification.  If he modified his position, he would probably come up with a solution like mine, which itself is based on the political theories of John Locke.  I doubt that he would, though, unless he gave up his logical positivism.  I think he craves certainty too much in order to do that, based on his videos. 

I agree that just because people hold an opinion does not make it true by necessity; this should be intuitively obvious.  However, when a significant number of people hold an opinion or belief, it is proper to fully understand the opinion or belief in question before attempting to falsify and dismiss it.  Opinions, just like theories, are not always completely wrong when falsified.  Some aspects may be true even if it is mostly false, so you always want to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water, as they say.  It is also helpful to understand why people have a particular belief in the first place, too, as this will give powerful insights into how bad information can be falsified.

You seem to think that the statement: "Absolute Truth (with a capital T), if it even exists, is unknowable." is a statement of knowledge, and it is.  In fact, the only thing you can know with perfect certainty is that nothing else can be known with perfect certainly.  I would caution you, though, to understand that knowledge deals with empirical facts, not truth.  Remember that empirical facts are learned through sense data and are thus a perception of what actual reality is.  All of your knowledge is, in fact, a perception of reality, not reality itself.  So yes, saying that absolute truth cannot be known is a statement of knowledge, but it is not a statement of truth.  Truth pertains to the unknowable reality. 

Just in case I haven't mentioned this already, you may be interested in checking out College Binary's channel on YouTube.  His channel has a feature called 3 minute philosophy which covers many of the great philosophers throughout history.  He also has an excellent Libertarian bent.  He's got lots of good stuff that is pretty spot on.  I found his channel after taking a real philosophy class, so I should know.

http://www.youtube.com/user/CollegeBinary
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 26, 2010, 10:37:23 AM
I would like to start off by saying, thank you for the reply.

I would stand by the statement that most secular morality is subjective when it comes to people like Thunderf00t and the other Utilitarians like him.  If you want objective morality, you need to arrive at moral conclusions via deontological methods, much like how Immanuel Kant did.  However, like you said, you could never do this using logical positivism in order to create a moral theory.  Instead, I use falsification, which is the basis for my moral argument from Liberty.  Because all claims of legitimacy have thus far have been falsified, Liberty is the default winner since it means nobody has a legitimate claim to authority.  From this insight, we can logically deduce the non aggression principle and the fundamental rights (a.k.a. the Negative Liberties); this is the only rational conclusion you can reach if nobody has legitimate authority over anybody.  Everything else is neither moral nor immoral, but personal preference.
And if memory serves, the non aggression principle is derived from property rights, which are derived from the principle of self ownership, which in turn is derived from natural law.  That is, when you are alone with nothing else, you and only you have control and ownership over your body (or something like that) and it goes from there.
The principle of liberty.

I haven't ready UBP, but I have seen one of Stefbot's lengthy videos on the subject and I must say that it disappointed me simply because it was based on logical positivism.  It very well could be my own bias, but I feel that my moral theory, based on falsification, is far simpler and not invalidated by the problem of verification.  If he modified his position, he would probably come up with a solution like mine, which itself is based on the political theories of John Locke.  I doubt that he would, though, unless he gave up his logical positivism. I think he craves certainty too much in order to do that, based on his videos.
Responding to the bold part:  You noticed that too, huh?  Glad I'm not the only one.
I have my own issues with his videos on how he tries to falsify god as a concept.  I won't go into details here, but I will say that I vastly prefer Matt Dilahunty's method of having the person define what god is and having them make the case, and responding to it on a point by point, case by case basis.

I agree that just because people hold an opinion does not make it true by necessity; this should be intuitively obvious.  However, when a significant number of people hold an opinion or belief, it is proper to fully understand the opinion or belief in question before attempting to falsify and dismiss it.  Opinions, just like theories, are not always completely wrong when falsified.  Some aspects may be true even if it is mostly false, so you always want to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water, as they say.  It is also helpful to understand why people have a particular belief in the first place, too, as this will give powerful insights into how bad information can be falsified.


You seem to think that the statement: "Absolute Truth (with a capital T), if it even exists, is unknowable." is a statement of knowledge, and it is.  In fact, the only thing you can know with perfect certainty is that nothing else can be known with perfect certainly.  I would caution you, though, to understand that knowledge deals with empirical facts, not truth.  Remember that empirical facts are learned through sense data and are thus a perception of what actual reality is.  All of your knowledge is, in fact, a perception of reality, not reality itself.  So yes, saying that absolute truth cannot be known is a statement of knowledge, but it is not a statement of truth.  Truth pertains to the unknowable reality.
Reminds me of postmodernism.  There is a reason I tend to react so strongly against it and display iratation against the humbling stuff.  Not because of arrogance, but rather because of the sheer number of pseudo-intellectual fuckwads commenting on Shane's videos on the Law of Attraction saying that, "well science isn't validated," or others who say, "science IS philosophy," or "philosophy is better justified than science through logic, not science which is just 'well it works'" all to either bring science down to the level of shit like the Law of Attraction, or to bring their own other pet philosophy up to science's prestige...
And of course there was KabanetheChristian (?) who called into the Atheist Experience saying "Well science is just a form of philosophy" in an attempt to bring science down, or to discredit the falsification of many god claims...Or something like that.

Just in case I haven't mentioned this already, you may be interested in checking out College Binary's channel on YouTube.  His channel has a feature called 3 minute philosophy which covers many of the great philosophers throughout history.  He also has an excellent Libertarian bent.  He's got lots of good stuff that is pretty spot on.  I found his channel after taking a real philosophy class, so I should know.

http://www.youtube.com/user/CollegeBinary
I watched one of the videos you linked me to on that channel.
I was greatly disappointed and turned off from it when I saw Kant saying that, "Yes, in my moral method, it would be moral to say where a Jew is hiding to a Nazi Soldier" or something like that.
It was discredited to me after seeing that, or at least turned me off to it. :\
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on November 26, 2010, 11:11:53 AM
I was greatly disappointed and turned off from it when I saw Kant saying that, "Yes, in my moral method, it would be moral to say where a Jew is hiding to a Nazi Soldier" or something like that.
It was discredited to me after seeing that, or at least turned me off to it. :\

Um, didn't Kant die over a century before the rise of Nazism?
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 26, 2010, 12:29:58 PM
Um, didn't Kant die over a century before the rise of Nazism?
My bad.  I meant that was an example binarycollege used of Kant's morality, or something:

*EDIT* And, upon rewatching the video, I just learned that there wasn't a Nazi example.
Though still a murderer, so the point still stands.
Another problem seems to be if there are no grey areas, doesn't that mean that there is no such thing as neutral (neither moral or immoral) actions?
If that's the case, then his theory is either bogus, or in need of serious modification...
Heck, the presence of neutral action is one the my favorite parts of UPB!

OK, 1st Maxim:  Reminded me of UPB at first, but gets a bit weird with the "everyone doing it all the time" bit.
That reminds me of Conservapedia's reason for why homosexuality is immoral:  "Because if everyone was homosexual, then we wouldn't reproduce, and the entire species would die out."  Which has got to be one of the most bogus arguments I've ever heard...

2nd Maxim:  Note the talk of how it is controversial and Kant's reply to said controversy.  THAT is what I took issue with...

3rd Maxim:  Why?
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 27, 2010, 01:42:13 AM
My bad.  I meant that was an example binarycollege used of Kant's morality, or something:

*EDIT* And, upon rewatching the video, I just learned that there wasn't a Nazi example.
Though still a murderer, so the point still stands.
Another problem seems to be if there are no grey areas, doesn't that mean that there is no such thing as neutral (neither moral or immoral) actions?
If that's the case, then his theory is either bogus, or in need of serious modification...
Heck, the presence of neutral action is one the my favorite parts of UPB!

OK, 1st Maxim:  Reminded me of UPB at first, but gets a bit weird with the "everyone doing it all the time" bit.
That reminds me of Conservapedia's reason for why homosexuality is immoral:  "Because if everyone was homosexual, then we wouldn't reproduce, and the entire species would die out."  Which has got to be one of the most bogus arguments I've ever heard...

2nd Maxim:  Note the talk of how it is controversial and Kant's reply to said controversy.  THAT is what I took issue with...

3rd Maxim:  Why?

There is more to Kant then just the Categorical Imperative.  He also has a Hypothetical Imperative, too, which is where the "grey areas" are dealt with.  I know quite a bit less about this aspect of his philosophy.  One of the benefits of deontological ethics, however, is that everybody should come to the same conclusions if we all use logic and the same asumptions. 

As for your problems with the first maxim, that is dealt with in the first and second maxims.  Since you aren't allowed to manipulate anybody, according to the second maxim, it would be wrong to impose your vision of morality on somebody else.  Also, the third maxim says that everybody should be their own moral authority, which also means that morality cannot be imposed on somebody else.  Just as you could not impose your moral authority on a homosexual, you also could not impose your moral authority on an ax murderer.  So far, everything matches up pretty well with, the philosophy of Liberty.  However, if one were to base their morality on falsification of authority alone, I think one would not be obligated to volunteer information to an ax murderer.  And, in fact, you would be free to act on your impulse to defend your friends and family from an ax murderer by what ever means are necessary.

And yes, that Marxist is a little off his rocker.
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 27, 2010, 12:03:16 PM
There is more to Kant then just the Categorical Imperative.  He also has a Hypothetical Imperative, too, which is where the "grey areas" are dealt with.  I know quite a bit less about this aspect of his philosophy.  One of the benefits of deontological ethics, however, is that everybody should come to the same conclusions if we all use logic and the same asumptions. 

As for your problems with the first maxim, that is dealt with in the first and second maxims.  Since you aren't allowed to manipulate anybody, according to the second maxim, it would be wrong to impose your vision of morality on somebody else.  Also, the third maxim says that everybody should be their own moral authority, which also means that morality cannot be imposed on somebody else.  Just as you could not impose your moral authority on a homosexual, you also could not impose your moral authority on an ax murderer.  So far, everything matches up pretty well with, the philosophy of Liberty.  However, if one were to base their morality on falsification of authority alone, I think one would not be obligated to volunteer information to an ax murderer.  And, in fact, you would be free to act on your impulse to defend your friends and family from an ax murderer by what ever means are necessary.
I suppose, but when I see a moral theory that makes it so that everything sort of breathing and not producing could be 'proven' as immoral, we have a problem...
Also, I finally did watch MisterBusta's video on morality and atheism.
Basically, he used the is-ought gap argument, which is fine.
However, before saying anything else, I have one question:  why doesn't the is-ought gap argument also apply to theistic morality?
Smells like special pleading...

And yes, that Marxist is a little off his rocker.
You have no idea...Check out his channel page for what he calls, "1.4 billion people being killing by capitalism".
In it, he lists Hurricane Katrina as an example.
I'm not kidding...
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 27, 2010, 12:11:19 PM
@Ex_Nihil0:  I would also like that I'd really like to see some examples of UPB being based in logical positivism (with citations of course).

Also, going back to your counterargument to Lord T Hawkeye's statements about "square circles" and stuff regarding the existence of gods and your talk about using logic and the issues with that.
Why is it that gods get that pass, yet I see you using logic and not accepting logically fallacious arguments for the legitimate authority of the state?

As Lord T Hawkeye said when I showed him your reply, "and that same question crops up, how come only gods get to use that argument?"
and, "when people say it's better to withhold absolute judgment on Gods, it begs the question...how come only gods get that excuse?"

What's more in a response to me about Shane's video on the Null Hypothesis, you gave me this:

Quote
No, you do not falsify the NULL, ever. The NULL is what must be true if the positive statement being tested turns out to be false.

I hate to say it, but I never liked Shane's interpretation of the NULL hypothesis. In his view, lack of evidence for a positive claim is the same as falsifying it. According to him, if you don't have proof for the positive, you automatically fall back on the NULL.
Again, where did Shane say that?  It becomes clear later in his video:
when he talks of maybe one day proving the existence of what could be called a 'god'.
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on November 27, 2010, 12:53:36 PM
The way the Null Hypothesis works in science is: You go with the Null Hypothesis until the positive hypothesis is proven.

If you have a new medicine, you can't just claim that the new medicine works, and then that must be falsified before we fall back to H0. No, lack of evidence for a claim is not the same as falsifying it, but it still means that we go with H0 until such time as the case for the positive hypothesis is demonstrated. To do anything else would be to shift the burden of proof.

Really, a lot of these things CAN'T be falsified. If I claim, "Eating french fries gives me the ability to fly," I can test that hypothesis by eating french fries and jumping off a platform. But if I fall, does that falsify the hypothesis? No, it just means that it didn't work THIS TIME, and there may have been other reasons for the failure. But it's still H0--in this case, "Eating french fries won't help you to fly one bit"--that stands.

Going with H0 does NOT rule out the possibility of the positive hypothesis being confirmed at a later date, but until it is, H0 rules.
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 27, 2010, 01:09:24 PM
Very well put, Shane.
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 27, 2010, 11:05:39 PM
Speaking of which, where's my fail quote you promised? I thought I was going to get a chance to debate someone on a relevant topic without a 500 character limit. Besides, I owe you one for that virgin remark, don't I? :-P

Oh so you remember that virgin remark. :P

Well, actually, I did post it here, but changed my mind and replaced it with the MaoistRebelNews2 video.

This was what I deemed the fail quote from you that I promised:
"Considering how far we are from even minarchy, anarchy doesn't seem to be a viable option by now."--Virgil0211 in the comment section of this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh-NqdmEDq4)

The reasons:
The statement came off as a non-sequitor.
It was like the equivalent, (at least to me) of saying something like, "Considering how far we are even from decriminalization of pot and LSD, the legalization of all drugs doesn't seem to be a viable option by now."
Very very defeatist, really.
Also, minarchy had a chance to work in this plot of land wherein people conscientiously threw out the old gov't and set up a constitutional republic.
So for the sake of comparing apples to apples, why shouldn't a stateless society get the chance of having people purposely dismantle the gov't without the intent of replacing it with another?
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 27, 2010, 11:27:09 PM
@Ex_Nihil0:  I would also like that I'd really like to see some examples of UPB being based in logical positivism (with citations of course).

Also, going back to your counterargument to Lord T Hawkeye's statements about "square circles" and stuff regarding the existence of gods and your talk about using logic and the issues with that.
Why is it that gods get that pass, yet I see you using logic and not accepting logically fallacious arguments for the legitimate authority of the state?

As Lord T Hawkeye said when I showed him your reply, "and that same question crops up, how come only gods get to use that argument?"
and, "when people say it's better to withhold absolute judgment on Gods, it begs the question...how come only gods get that excuse?"

What's more in a response to me about Shane's video on the Null Hypothesis, you gave me this:
Again, where did Shane say that?  It becomes clear later in his video:
when he talks of maybe one day proving the existence of what could be called a 'god'.

You want a citation that UPB is based on Verification?  Here you go:

Its the basic thesis of his argument and you can see it 26 seconds into the video above.  "All theories must be logically consistent and conform to available evidence..." is a statement that does not meet its own standard of evidence, thus it is invalid by its own standard of evidence.

I would not say that gods get a free pass in that we can accept them as true because we cannot say with certainty that they do or do not exist.  I simply say that we cannot know for sure, either way because gods, unlike religions and states, are not falsifiable.  States are a lot more like a religion then a god is because religions and states have common ancestry and they both make positive truth claims that can be falsified.  In fact, both states and religions make the positive claim of authority based on self declared authority.  Is self declaration of authority legitimate?  It could be, save for the fact that authority is a fictional concept, and we know it is fiction because it exists only as a perception.  Individual humans recognize the authority of Congress and Obama because the idea that they have authority is a pervasive meme in the population, so it is assumed to be truth, and because Congress and Obama are part of an established memeplex known as the Federal Government.  In other words, a cop only has authority because everybody believes he has authority.  If nobody believed in his authority, he would have none.  So, if the cop's authority was real, and not imagined, where did it go?  Religions, like States, only exist because people believe they exist.  If people stopped believing in them, they would be seen for what they really are: paper with words written on them no different then any other fiction.  Authority has no object permanence, so it isn't real.

The existence or non-existence of gods, however, is not dependent on popular belief or the lack thereof.  

The way the Null Hypothesis works in science is: You go with the Null Hypothesis until the positive hypothesis is proven.

If you have a new medicine, you can't just claim that the new medicine works, and then that must be falsified before we fall back to H0. No, lack of evidence for a claim is not the same as falsifying it, but it still means that we go with H0 until such time as the case for the positive hypothesis is demonstrated. To do anything else would be to shift the burden of proof.

Really, a lot of these things CAN'T be falsified. If I claim, "Eating french fries gives me the ability to fly," I can test that hypothesis by eating french fries and jumping off a platform. But if I fall, does that falsify the hypothesis? No, it just means that it didn't work THIS TIME, and there may have been other reasons for the failure. But it's still H0--in this case, "Eating french fries won't help you to fly one bit"--that stands.

Going with H0 does NOT rule out the possibility of the positive hypothesis being confirmed at a later date, but until it is, H0 rules.

I can understand that somebody who is a modern skeptic would agree with this, but assuming H0 is still an assumption and cannot be accepted as fact or be said to "rule" or "stand" in any epistemic sense.  It may be necessary to go with H0 for practical reasons, but I would hardly call that scientific.  

If I were a classical Greek skeptic, I would reserve judgment and assume neither the positive nor the NULL until more evidence can be brought to the table to give a definitive answer.  Similar to this, I am an anti-skeptic.  This means that I require equal evidence for both doubt and belief, so like the classical skeptics I cannot accept the NULL nor the positive in the total absence of evidence, so I assume nothing.  I believe this to be the only epistemic correct position to have when dealing with an unknown.

If I go with your example, Shane, regarding the claims of effectiveness for new drugs on the market I honestly can't assume the claim is true nor false if I want to be scientifically correct.  Practically speaking, however, I assume that the drug is ineffective, because I don't want to waste my money on a sugar pill and I assume that the drug is potentially deadly, because the could be unsafe.  This is argument against using the new drug is, of course, an argument over personal ethics, what a person should do regarding a drug.  It is not an argument of fact.  

I think the lack of distinction between the epistemological and ethical arguments regarding the NULL hypothesis is what made me not like your video very much, but for the longest time I couldn't fully understand why.  Now I know.
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Virgil0211 on November 28, 2010, 12:18:51 AM
Oh so you remember that virgin remark. :P

Well, actually, I did post it here, but changed my mind and replaced it with the MaoistRebelNews2 video.

This was what I deemed the fail quote from you that I promised:
"Considering how far we are from even minarchy, anarchy doesn't seem to be a viable option by now."--Virgil0211 in the comment section of this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh-NqdmEDq4)

The reasons:
The statement came off as a non-sequitor.
It was like the equivalent, (at least to me) of saying something like, "Considering how far we are even from decriminalization of pot and LSD, the legalization of all drugs doesn't seem to be a viable option by now."
Very very defeatist, really.
Also, minarchy had a chance to work in this plot of land wherein people conscientiously threw out the old gov't and set up a constitutional republic.
So for the sake of comparing apples to apples, why shouldn't a stateless society get the chance of having people purposely dismantle the gov't without the intent of replacing it with another?

Yes, I remember anytime I had the occasion to post a comment of a fellow bogosity.tv forum member in the fail quotes. It's a rarity, you know. =P

Non sequitur(sic?): I was describing the values of Shanedk, myself, and you as far as I perceived them, and providing a little bit of extrapolation where I thought it would either help or I had access to verifiable information. I'm not exactly psychic, so I don't feel as comfortable extrapolating on the positions of others unless I have more tangible proof of their positions. Whether through my rather irregular posting/viewing habits and so on, or some other mechanism, I don't feel I'm familiar enough with yours and Shane's reasoning to speak for you, making my comments little more than speculative.

As for the rest, that wasn't really my point. To make something of an analogy, I'm currently capable of deadlifting 415 lbs. I know that, through training, I can deadlift 750 someday. I don't know how well I'd be able to reach my eventual goal of 1,000 lbs, as that has more to do with my future free time, regularity of training, etc. I'll keep pushing for 750 right now, and set my new goal of 1,000 when I reach 750. It's easier for me to set a goal of 750 and work for that right now.

I hope that helps a bit. As part of my commitment to full disclosure, I must admit that I've consumed an unknown (because I didn't measure) amount of 151 proof rum (yes, they make the stuff, and it tastes like rubbing alcohol mixed with piss if you don't mix it with something), and may not be quite as articulate as I'd like. =P
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 28, 2010, 01:44:33 PM
Yes, I remember anytime I had the occasion to post a comment of a fellow bogosity.tv forum member in the fail quotes. It's a rarity, you know. =P

Non sequitur(sic?): I was describing the values of Shanedk, myself, and you as far as I perceived them, and providing a little bit of extrapolation where I thought it would either help or I had access to verifiable information. I'm not exactly psychic, so I don't feel as comfortable extrapolating on the positions of others unless I have more tangible proof of their positions. Whether through my rather irregular posting/viewing habits and so on, or some other mechanism, I don't feel I'm familiar enough with yours and Shane's reasoning to speak for you, making my comments little more than speculative.

As for the rest, that wasn't really my point. To make something of an analogy, I'm currently capable of deadlifting 415 lbs. I know that, through training, I can deadlift 750 someday. I don't know how well I'd be able to reach my eventual goal of 1,000 lbs, as that has more to do with my future free time, regularity of training, etc. I'll keep pushing for 750 right now, and set my new goal of 1,000 when I reach 750. It's easier for me to set a goal of 750 and work for that right now.

I hope that helps a bit. As part of my commitment to full disclosure, I must admit that I've consumed an unknown (because I didn't measure) amount of 151 proof rum (yes, they make the stuff, and it tastes like rubbing alcohol mixed with piss if you don't mix it with something), and may not be quite as articulate as I'd like. =P

OK, so it was an honest interpretation.
My bad.
Yes, I did misspell "non sequitur" because for some reason FireFox doesn't recognize it as a word, blah. :P
Title: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 28, 2010, 01:50:48 PM
You want a citation that UPB is based on Verification?  Here you go:
[insert video here; not quoted for sake of brevity]

Its the basic thesis of his argument and you can see it 26 seconds into the video above.  "All theories must be logically consistent and conform to available evidence..." is a statement that does not meet its own standard of evidence, thus it is invalid by its own standard of evidence.
Noted and sent to Stefan on YouTube via private message.  I want to hear what his response, as the creator of UPB (the book and the theory), is.


I would not say that gods get a free pass in that we can accept them as true because we cannot say with certainty that they do or do not exist.  I simply say that we cannot know for sure, either way because gods, unlike religions and states, are not falsifiable.  States are a lot more like a religion then a god is because religions and states have common ancestry and they both make positive truth claims that can be falsified.  In fact, both states and religions make the positive claim of authority based on self declared authority.  Is self declaration of authority legitimate?  It could be, save for the fact that authority is a fictional concept, and we know it is fiction because it exists only as a perception.  Individual humans recognize the authority of Congress and Obama because the idea that they have authority is a pervasive meme in the population, so it is assumed to be truth, and because Congress and Obama are part of an established memeplex known as the Federal Government.  In other words, a cop only has authority because everybody believes he has authority.  If nobody believed in his authority, he would have none.  So, if the cop's authority was real, and not imagined, where did it go?  Religions, like States, only exist because people believe they exist.  If people stopped believing in them, they would be seen for what they really are: paper with words written on them no different then any other fiction.  Authority has no object permanence, so it isn't real.

The existence or non-existence of gods, however, is not dependent on popular belief or the lack thereof.
Alright.

I can understand that somebody who is a modern skeptic would agree with this, but assuming H0 is still an assumption and cannot be accepted as fact or be said to "rule" or "stand" in any epistemic sense.  It may be necessary to go with H0 for practical reasons, but I would hardly call that scientific. 

If I were a classical Greek skeptic, I would reserve judgment and assume neither the positive nor the NULL until more evidence can be brought to the table to give a definitive answer.  Similar to this, I am an anti-skeptic.  This means that I require equal evidence for both doubt and belief, so like the classical skeptics I cannot accept the NULL nor the positive in the total absence of evidence, so I assume nothing.  I believe this to be the only epistemic correct position to have when dealing with an unknown.

If I go with your example, Shane, regarding the claims of effectiveness for new drugs on the market I honestly can't assume the claim is true nor false if I want to be scientifically correct.  Practically speaking, however, I assume that the drug is ineffective, because I don't want to waste my money on a sugar pill and I assume that the drug is potentially deadly, because the could be unsafe.  This is argument against using the new drug is, of course, an argument over personal ethics, what a person should do regarding a drug.  It is not an argument of fact. 

I think the lack of distinction between the epistemological and ethical arguments regarding the NULL hypothesis is what made me not like your video very much, but for the longest time I couldn't fully understand why.  Now I know.
Question:  Then why do you do this, "assuming the NULL is true" etc, regarding the arguments for the existence of the state's legitimacy?
E.G. your debate with franks2732 on C0ncordance's raw milk video.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on November 28, 2010, 04:39:11 PM
I split this off into a different topic because it's become a proper discussion in its own right, and no longer just Fail Quotes.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 28, 2010, 06:13:20 PM
I split this off into a different topic because it's become a proper discussion in its own right, and no longer just Fail Quotes.

Thanks, this will be helpful.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 28, 2010, 07:03:05 PM
Noted and sent to Stefan on YouTube via private message.  I want to hear what his response, as the creator of UPB (the book and the theory), is.

Alright.
Question:  Then why do you do this, "assuming the NULL is true" etc, regarding the arguments for the existence of the state's legitimacy?
E.G. your debate with franks2732 on C0ncordance's raw milk video.

1) The NULL hypothesis is true because state legitimacy is false.
2) Because this argument of legitimacy is a moral argument as well as being an epistemic one, I fall back on the NULL because regardless of it being potentially true or not, government power has the potential for great harm, and indeed, we know that it does because we have seen it in the past.  This poses a real problem for government because not only must they do the impossible (prove their legitimacy), but they must also make the claim that they can do no wrong in order to prevent defaulting to the NULL on moral grounds.  Again, that is impossible. 

Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on November 28, 2010, 07:08:59 PM
1) The NULL hypothesis is true because state legitimacy is false.

Question: is it up to the state to prove its own legitimacy, or is it up to others to falsify it?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 28, 2010, 08:33:05 PM
Question: is it up to the state to prove its own legitimacy, or is it up to others to falsify it?

Morally, the state must prove legitimacy (which is impossible).  Epistemologically, it is up to others to falsify the legitimacy of government and I will even go so far as to say that it is up to Government to falsify its own legitimacy if it is to be philosophically honest (which it isn't).  This does not mean that state legitimacy is assumed to be true until falsified.  Falsification means that you never assume the state's claim is true or false under any circumstances because, even if it has never been falsified, the possibility of falsification in the future still exists.  Epistemologically speaking, you can't assume anything until you have falsified something.  Government loses simply because of how falsification works, not just because it has been falsified.

Morally, government also loses because it must have positive proof that it can do no moral wrong, but this is impossible to obtain because truth is inherently unknowable.  Therefore, the only moral assumption one can have is Liberty because it has no potential for moral wrong, unlike government. One does not wish to assume government's moral legitimacy only to find that it is capable of evil later on and had been doing evil since it was assumed moral.

Government loses on both moral and epistemic grounds.  Is it any wonder why they need guns in order maintain and hold their power?  If they can't use sound logic and sophistry fails to get their point across, they can always resort to brute force to get their way, even when they are shown to be morally and intellectually bankrupt.  Every day, I realize more and more that anarchy or the night watchman state are the only morally justifiable systems we could every put into place, and the only reason why I relent on the nigh watchman state is to avoid the freeloader problem regarding the financing of a civil defense force.  Until the entire world has become anarchic, a military will always be necessary.  I'm going off into a rabbit trail hear, but I think this is at least worth mentioning regarding a practical issue a Libertarian nation would face.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on November 29, 2010, 08:02:05 AM
Morally, the state must prove legitimacy (which is impossible).

Why is that impossible? I mean, other than in the sense that it's impossible to 100% prove that the Earth is round.

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Epistemologically, it is up to others to falsify the legitimacy of government

Sorry, but that's a Shifting Burden Fallacy.

Let's go back to first principles:

Person A wants to do something that affects no one else--or, if it does, they're willing and informed participants.

Person B wants to do something that initiates force or otherwise imposes costs on third parties.

Person A doesn't have to justify what he's doing to anybody. Person B damn well does!

What is government, if not one gigantic Person B?

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Falsification means that you never assume the state's claim is true or false under any circumstances because, even if it has never been falsified, the possibility of falsification in the future still exists.

But that's a double-standard! Above, you said that it's impossible for the state to prove its legitimacy, presumably because the door is always open for it to be falsified in the future. Now, here you're saying that, even falsifying something doesn't let you assume it's false (presumably because the falsification itself could be falsified)!

While I agree with the rest of your post, I firmly believe that, in each and every case, the burden of proof should be on the government to justify what it's doing.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 30, 2010, 02:25:16 AM
I think the confusion is that we are working off of two different scientific paradigms.  I see you and most skeptics, well, still being attached to the verification principle.  Of course, under a modern skepticism, one would say that the burden of proof is always and only on the proponents of a truth claim.  However, proof with 100% certainty is not possible because the possibility of future falsification always exists.  Regarding the history and structure of scientific revolution, you must always be prepared to scrap the old theory and replace it with a new one.  And yes, it is entirely possible for a falsification to later be falsified, which is what much of peer review is all about.  Different groups with differing opinions and biases go back and forth like a game of tennis.  In the end, the closest thing to proof a theory has is the consensus of experts after numerous attempts to falsify and modify theories.  Maybe it is a double standard somehow, but this is how science seems to work as far as I can tell.  English may frown upon double negatives for aesthetic reasons, but philosophy loves them.  It is possible that I made the error above that falsification gives 100% certainty to falsity.  Clearly, it does not, making science far less certain then I had previously stated.  Scientific consensus is, after all, an argument from popularity if you assume the consensus is truth.  If you accept the consensus as a theory subject to revision and rejection, then it isn't.

This understanding of the scientific process leads me to anti-skepticism, which states that doubt and belief both require equal proof.  With modern skepticism, there is a clear bias towards doubt; this is not the case with anti-skepticism, which I feel is more fair minded.  With the rejection of the verification principle in favor of falsification and the adoption of anti-skepticism, the problem of induction in science more or less goes away, however it is at the cost of certainty.  Of great tragedy for science is that human have an emotional need for certainty.  That was the appeal of verification and logical positivism.  The verification principle states that in order for a statement to be cognitively meaningful, it must be both non-contradictory and verifiable by positive evidence.  Unfortunately, the verification principle cannot meet its own standard of evidence, making it a self contradiction statement.  In other words, modern skepticism is based on a fallacy.

This is where you've got to be very careful, because apologists are more then well aware of verification's status as a failure and its importance to skepticism.  That's why guys like William "Lame" Craig think they can poke a whole in skepticism and insert what ever crazy idea they want without any scrutiny whatsoever and call it the truth because they had a "revelation".  They think that "revelation" is there get out of scrutiny free card.  Little do the apologists realize that many scientists moved on to anti-skepticism and falsification where you simply can't just say what ever you want and demand that it sticks.  People voluntarily accept theories and claims as what works best after attempting to falsify it first, but those theories and claims are never said to be absolute truth.  

Under the paradigm of anti-skepticism, there is no sifting of the burden of proof for lack of falsification, because the burden is equally shared on both sides.  So, when I say the opposition to an idea is responsible for falsification, I don't mean that failure to falsify it is a liability for them, where failure defaults the positive claim as the winner.  What I mean is that the opposition has an academic obligation to falsify an idea so that it can be refined or possibly rejected after rigorous peer review.  This would also be true for theories of government legitimacy, which are remarkably easy to debunk.

I agree with your first principles argument, however, I see it as a moral argument, not an epistemological one.  In fact you even use the word "should" in your statement "While I agree with the rest of your post, I firmly believe that, in each and every case, the burden of proof should be on the government to justify what it's doing."

It is a good moral reason NOT to accept or assume positive truth claims that could lead to potential harms to others, its just not a good epistemic reason.  Using that argument as part of your epistemology to debunk religion and government would be an argument from consequence, making it a fallacy.  All it does is prove that Obama and the Pope are gigantic cocks.

Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on November 30, 2010, 06:43:51 AM
However, proof with 100% certainty is not possible because the possibility of future falsification always exists.

But as I pointed out, by the same token, falsification with 100% certainty isn't possible, either. So you can't use this as a point to prop up falsification over verification.

Not to mention the fact that falsification is an important part of verification.

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Scientific consensus is, after all, an argument from popularity

No, it isn't; it's not a vote or a poll, it's the convergence of multiple independent lines of reasoning.

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This understanding of the scientific process leads me to anti-skepticism, which states that doubt and belief both require equal proof.

Which makes no sense: since there are an infinite amount of claims that COULD be true, but only a finite amount of claims that actually ARE true, the extreme probability of a new claim is that it is false. They're just not on equal ground.

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Little do the apologists realize that many scientists moved on to anti-skepticism and falsification where you simply can't just say what ever you want and demand that it sticks.

You're misunderstanding what science is doing, and switching the meaning of falsification. You've been arguing for falsification in the negationist sense, while science uses falsification in the Popperian sense. The Null Hypothesis is very much a part of Popperian falsification--and of modern science.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on November 30, 2010, 08:21:50 AM
But verification says that no statement is valid if it contradicts itself and can be backed up by evidence.  Since it cannot meet its own standard of evidence, it couldn't possibly be a valid statement by its own standard, either.  Because the principle self refutes, so I don't need anything special to prop up falsification as long as it is a valid and sound concept.  Further, the Poperian concept of falsification is in contrast to verification, so I don't see the point saying that falsification is an important part of verification. 

I agree, and I think I agreed in the last post, that falsification does indeed NOT give you 100% certainty.  I can fully concede that point.  But if you want to go with the Popper version of Falsification, yes, it would mean that a concept is only scientific if it is falsifiable.  Granted, that is also true, but I don't see how this is in conflict with my previous statements.  Popperian falsification does not mean that metaphysical and unfalsifiable statements are invalid or untrue, it just means that falsifiable statements have a higher standard of criticism available to them.   Further, the agreement of experts on a theory does not confirm its true.

By the way, I fail to see the difference between "multiple independent lines of reasoning" is not a matter of popular opinion.  Yeah, if you say that popular opinion is the same as a poll or vote, you are correct, but communities of people, be they scientists or not, to reach popular opinions through social interaction.  In order for your argument to work that popular opinion is the same as polls, you'd also have to say that the opinions of the individuals are based on votes and polling data, even though votes and polling data are based on opinions already formed.  What's worse, polls don't allow for nuanced and excluded middle answers that free floating collective opinions could more accurately be described as.  There is just no getting around the fact that scientific consensus is not a standard of truth.  Corroboration is not confirmation.

My understanding of the Popperian falsification would be negation.  If I observe nothing but white swans, and I make the universal claim that all swans are white, I've made an inductive argument, and we all know about the problem of induction.  In order to make the positive claim that all swans are white, you'd have to find every single swan in the world to verify that it is white.  At first sight of a black swan, however, the statement "All swans are white" has been falsified.  Thus, we get the universal statement, "Not all swans are white."  To me, this seems to be the exact opposite of what verification tried to do.  According to Popper, you don't get universally positive statements in science because of induction's problem, instead you get universally negative statements via falsification.  I must say, I am unclear what you think my mistake is.  Unless maybe you would point out that Popper rejected ad hoc hypotheses as part of the scientific.  Lakatos, and I believe Kuhn as well, thought the ad hoc hypothesis had its place in science.

As a moral argument, I would agree that it isn't wise to investigate the infinite possibly theories to every observable phenomenon, but, again, that alone doesn't make them invalid or untrue.  As a matter of scientific conduct, you go with what is falsifiable, because that's all you have to work with.  Indeed, any given testable hypothesis is as much a guess an untestable one, its just open to criticism.  Unfalsifiable claims aren't a bad thing, either.  The ancient Greeks had metaphysical ideas concerning the atom, the big bang and evolution, yet they later reemerged thousands of years later as highly sophisticated and rigorously tested theories.  I don't think you can use a probabalistic arguments to say that a scientist should never look at metaphysical claims for inspiration or even to see if they have become falsifiable as technology and scientific theories evolve.  But again, you are making a moral argument, not a epistemic one.  I can't disagree with it, because I to believe this is how a scientist should professionally conduct his or her self as well, but I cannot agree that this is a scientifically testable conclusion.

[quote[Little do the apologists realize that many scientists moved on to anti-skepticism and falsification where you simply can't just say what ever you want and demand that it sticks.

You're misunderstanding what science is doing, and switching the meaning of falsification. You've been arguing for falsification in the negationist sense, while science uses falsification in the Popperian sense. The Null Hypothesis is very much a part of Popperian falsification--and of modern science.

I actually think I understand what science is doing pretty well, so I may have not made myself clear.  In science, yeah, you can falsify a falsified statement by finding out that the evidence used to falsify the original claim was faulty in some way, such as the exposure of bad methodology and repeated independent experiments that yield different results.  Or, it may turn out that what appeared to be falsified later becomes accepted again because the paradigm shifted. 

I think I understand the factual error I made, though.  I'm actually mixing Poperian falsification with American neopragmatism, which is where I believe I get the idea of antiskepticism.  It goes along with falabilism, which I've found dovetails nicely with the philosophy of both Popper and Kuhn.  Actually, Popper was a proponent of falabilsm (part of neopragmatism), as well as his falsificationism. 
 
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on November 30, 2010, 10:03:56 AM
Further, the Poperian concept of falsification is in contrast to verification, so I don't see the point saying that falsification is an important part of verification.

Why don't we hear it from Popper himself: "In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality."

I think it should be obvious that a statement that does not speak about reality should not even be considered as valid. So, as a vital part of validating one's concept, one must show how that concept could, at least in theory, be falsified. If you haven't done that, then you cannot be said to have validated anything.

"Popperian falsification does not mean that metaphysical and unfalsifiable statements are invalid or untrue, it just means that falsifiable statements have a higher standard of criticism available to them."

No, as I just quoted, it means that statements that cannot be falsified are not speaking about reality.

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By the way, I fail to see the difference between "multiple independent lines of reasoning" is not a matter of popular opinion.

If you don't understand the difference between facts and opinions, then perhaps you should go back to grade school. My daughter just covered it in third grade; maybe she can help you.

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There is just no getting around the fact that scientific consensus is not a standard of truth.  Corroboration is not confirmation.

Which is EXACTLY why the verification principle is false!

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My understanding of the Popperian falsification would be negation.

Then you understand it incorrectly. Negationism can lead to things like holocaust denial, while Popperian falsification would tell you why the holocaust deniers do not speak of reality (since many of their statements are not falsifiable, and of the ones that are, they have been falsified).

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If I observe nothing but white swans, and I make the universal claim that all swans are white, I've made an inductive argument, and we all know about the problem of induction.

Without induction, there is no science, reason, or progress. "All swans are white" is perfectly falsifiable: find a black swan, or a red or purple one for that matter. The act of falsification causes the theory to be modified to better fit reality.

Your concept would also negate, for example, Euclid's proof of infinite primes, since infinite primes cannot be observed. But Euclid did it by falsifying finite primes.

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To me, this seems to be the exact opposite of what verification tried to do.

No, that's EXACTLY it: the statement was falsified, and therefore revised. But if all we ever saw were white swans, and you were to say, "A black swan exists somewhere," how could that statement be falsified? It could only be verified--but since the statement verified was not falsifiable, it doesn't tell us anything about reality anyway.

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As a matter of scientific conduct, you go with what is falsifiable, because that's all you have to work with.

No, it's because all other concepts are useless or even meaningless.

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Unfalsifiable claims aren't a bad thing, either.  The ancient Greeks had metaphysical ideas concerning the atom, the big bang and evolution, yet they later reemerged thousands of years later as highly sophisticated and rigorously tested theories.

And what does that say about the Greeks, other than the fact that they were lucky? It's also cherry-picking, as you are required to ignore other things like Humorism which have been completely discredited.

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I think I understand the factual error I made, though.  I'm actually mixing Poperian falsification with American neopragmatism, which is where I believe I get the idea of antiskepticism.

The problem with neopragmatism is that it ignores the distinction between doubt and rejection.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on November 30, 2010, 05:07:55 PM
Quote
FlowCell:  There is just no getting around the fact that scientific consensus is not a standard of truth.  Corroboration is not confirmation.
Shane: Which is EXACTLY why the verification principle is false!

Shane, I'm confused.
Does this mean that peer review is a part of the verification principle, and that because the verification principle is false, peer review is invalid?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on November 30, 2010, 05:37:38 PM
Peer review works by attempting to falsify the finding, by trying to find as many errors as possible. It's "verification" only in the sense that they couldn't find anything wrong with it. It's a filter--an important filter, to be sure, but nothing more than a filter.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 01, 2010, 03:56:30 AM
Why don't we hear it from Popper himself: "In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality."

I think it should be obvious that a statement that does not speak about reality should not even be considered as valid. So, as a vital part of validating one's concept, one must show how that concept could, at least in theory, be falsified. If you haven't done that, then you cannot be said to have validated anything.

That quote was written in 1933 when Karl Popper was just beginning to criticize the Logical Positivists.  Back then, he was friends with some members of the Vienna Circle but was never invited in because his views alienated him, so he never joined.  Clearly, this statement reflects their influence on him at the time, as this was not long at all since he earned his Ph.D.
The quote itself is from a letter to the editor first plblished in Erkenntnis.  You will not find it in the main body of text in any of his works, nor should it be considered a reflection on his mature philosophy later on in his career.  In fact, his preface to the actual letter says:

"This explains why, as soon as I heard of the Circle’s new verifiability criterion of meaning, I contrasted this with my falsifiability criterion—a criterion of demarcation, designed to demarcate systems of scientific statements from perfectly meaningful systems of metaphysical statements. (As to meaningless nonsense, I do not pretend that my criterion is applicable to it.)"

Clearly, Popper thinks his Falsification contrast to verification, saying that does not consern meaning, like verification, but demarcation.  That is, his criterion for falsifiability is used to determine what is and isn't a scientific statement.  This has nothing to do with the statements truthfulness.

If you read the full quote from the book, not just the part you gave me, you'll se that he's paraphrasing Einstein as one might characterize empirical science:

"Varying and generalizing a well-known remark of Einstein’s,4 one might therefore characterize the empirical sciences as follows: In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality."

Cleary, Popper was not speaking for himself when he wrote this.  In fact, the book "Logic of Scientific Discovery" privides a footnote for the actual quote of Einstein that was referenced:

"4 Einstein, Geometrie und Erfahrung, 1921, pp. 3f. *Added 1957: Einstein said: ‘In so far as the statements of mathematics speak about reality, they are not certain, and in so far as they are certain, they do not speak about reality.’"  

This can only mean that you mined this quote, and probably found it by googleing web pages that contain scientific quotes from great thinkers, not fully realizing its context.  But as if that wasn't damning enough, in that very same letter, Popper writes:

"In this way, the recognition of unilaterally decidable statements allows us to solve not only the problem of induction (note that there is only one type of argument which proceeds in an inductive direction: the deductive modus tollens), but also the more fundamental problem of demarcation, a problem which has given rise to almost all the other problems of epistemology. For our criterion of falsifiability distinguishes
with sufficient precision the theoretical systems of the empirical sciences from those of metaphysics (and from conventionalist and tautological systems), without asserting the meaninglessness of metaphysics (which from a historical point of view can be seen to be the source from which the theories of the  empirical sciences spring)."

As I stated above, and you tried to shoot down with your quote mine, Popper saw the value of metaphysics to inspire falsifiable ideas that could further science.  It's all right here in black and white.

But lets consider Popper's paraphrase of Einstein further.  "In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality."

In order to conclude that what is falsifiable speaks of reality and what is not falsifiable does not speak of reality, reality must already be known.  But knowledge of reality would be knowledge of truth with certainty.  This makes the statement absurd, because if reality is already known, why bother practicing science?  

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No, as I just quoted, it means that statements that cannot be falsified are not speaking about reality.

Certainly, you can see the absurdity of your statement that was already based on an out of context quote.  Taking this at face value to is logical and ridiculous end, any statement made that was not falsifiable at the time it was made, but later becomes falsifiable, remains not part of reality.  This means that atoms, evolution and the big bang aren't real, because when those ideas were first conceptualized by the Greeks, they were not falsifiable.  If these concepts suddenly become real once they become falsifiable, then the permanence of being would be contradicted.  

I will go further and say that the quote you provided, in the context that it was given, is in complete contradiction to every summary on the works of Karl Popper I have ever read.  

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If you don't understand the difference between facts and opinions, then perhaps you should go back to grade school. My daughter just covered it in third grade; maybe she can help you.

Getting snide, are we?  That's not very gentlemanly of you.  I thought we were here for a debate to better understand the philosophy of science, not belittle one another.   I would ask that you refrain from abandoning your usual high standards of professionalism and not break the gentlemen's code.

That said, take a look at: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/popper/#ProDem as I will base my next few paragraphs on it.

You say that I lack a distinction between fact and opinion.  I see them as distinct only based on the thoroughness of scrutiny they have faced.  What it appears to me is that there is a disconnect between your understanding between fact and reality (or Truth with a capital T) and Popper is not the authority on what reality is, so I suspect you are taking what he said out of context in some way since it is in conflict with every summary of his ideas I have ever read.  Every fact we know is an assumption at its core, and there is no denying this.  It could not be more evident by the fact that Popper apparently favored the Humean view of induction at least according to the Standford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and rejected the Baconian/Newtonian primacy of scientific observation because every observation carries with it theoretical baggage and is selective in nature, which is kind of interesting that you bring up the quote that you do, because Hume argued that there was no way we could ever know if reality even exists, because everything we know is based on perception.  This is it total conflict with the quote that you presented in the context in which you presented it.

That, to me at least, means every fact is an opinion of sorts, though some opinions may be of such high standard that they appear as if truth, which I believe leads to dogmatism in science (scientists are certainly immune to dogma).  If scientific progress had nothing to do with opinion, then Kuhn's observation that progress happens in science when the older, more conservative scientists die out and are replaced with more open minded younger scientists was not true.  I would not ever concede that Popper is the authority on scientific conduct even though much of his ideas are very satisfying to me, because up until this point, I did not know we were arguing on the specifics of Popper and not what good scientific conduct should be.  Indeed, in the demarcation section I linked to above, it states that "In this way he destabilises the traditional view that science can be distinguished from non-science on the basis of its inductive methodology; in contradistinction to this, Popper holds that there is no unique methodology specific to science. Science, like virtually every other human, and indeed organic, activity, Popper believes, consists largely of problem-solving."

It states further, "Popper, then, repudiates induction, and rejects the view that it is the characteristic method of scientific investigation and inference, and substitutes falsifiability in its place. It is easy, he argues, to obtain evidence in favour of virtually any theory, and he consequently holds that such ‘corroboration’, as he terms it, should count scientifically only if it is the positive result of a genuinely ‘risky’ prediction, which might conceivably have been false. For Popper, a theory is scientific only if it is refutable by a conceivable event. Every genuine test of a scientific theory, then, is a logical attempt to refute or to falsify it, and one genuine counter-instance falsifies the whole theory. In a critical sense, Popper's theory of demarcation is based upon his perception of the logical asymmetry which holds between verification and falsification: it is logically impossible to conclusively verify a universal proposition by reference to experience (as Hume saw clearly), but a single counter-instance conclusively falsifies the corresponding universal law. In a word, an exception, far from ‘proving’ a rule, conclusively refutes it."

That said, I will offer you the counter criticism that you make no distinction between fact and reality, a common mistake I feel is universal problem to all logical positivist thinkers and those who pretend their brand of skepticism isn't logical positivism repackaged.   The way I can tell is that you seem to consistently put empirical evidence on the same level as reality when everything we think we know about reality is based on perceptions, biases, paradigms and currently accepted theories.  Facts are colored by these things, truth is not.

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Which is EXACTLY why the verification principle is false!

I'm glad you agree with me on this, because it the falsity of verification brings me back to my earlier point that Universal Preferable Behavior is an argument castrated because verification is its founding principle.  

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Then you understand it incorrectly. Negationism can lead to things like holocaust denial, while Popperian falsification would tell you why the holocaust deniers do not speak of reality (since many of their statements are not falsifiable, and of the ones that are, they have been falsified).

As I pointed out above, Popperian falsification does not say that non-falsifiable statements do not speak of reality.  Falsification is not a criterion for distinguishing fantasy from reality.  It is a criterion for what is scientific and what is not.  Holocaust deniers do not operate in the realm of science.  Some of their non-falsifiable statements may turn out to be true at some point, but there is no way you could determine the probability that any one of them is true or false because those determinations aren't possible.   That said, it is perfectly acceptable to dismiss a Holocaust denier's claims, not to say that their claims are false, but on the basis that it is a scientific dead end, at least for the time being.  

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Without induction, there is no science, reason, or progress. "All swans are white" is perfectly falsifiable: find a black swan, or a red or purple one for that matter. The act of falsification causes the theory to be modified to better fit reality.



Not all science is based on inductive observation and is clearly not the foundation of all science and scientific progress, as Popper explains.  Science is not induction, it is problem solving in general.  However many ways their are to solve a problem are the number of ways one can be said to practice science.  To say that all of science is based on induction is to ignore that paleontology, evolutionary science, archeology and history all deal with abductive reasoning.  Abductive arguments take empirical evidence and use their implications to determine what happened in the past by their implication.

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Your concept would also negate, for example, Euclid's proof of infinite primes, since infinite primes cannot be observed. But Euclid did it by falsifying finite primes.

Why are you invoking mathematics?  Falsifiability is a demarcation criterion, not a criterion for what is or isn't real.  It has nothing to do with mathmatical proofs whatsoever.   In fact, mathematical proofs only work because they are internally consistent regarding their own rules.   This isn't possible in science because mathematics is a purely rational discipline, while science is discipline based on empirical data and all the uncertainties that come with it.  This is clearly moving the goal post.

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No, that's EXACTLY it: the statement [all swans are white] was falsified, and therefore revised. But if all we ever saw were white swans, and you were to say, "A black swan exists somewhere," how could that statement be falsified? It could only be verified--but since the statement verified was not falsifiable, it doesn't tell us anything about reality anyway.

The statement "Somewhere a black swan exists." is not a falsifiable statement and, according to your logic above, does not speak of reality.  Actually, you can't say the statement is true or false because it isn't scientific, so you have to remain black swan agnostic until you actually see one.  This, however, is not verification in the Logical Positivist sense.  If it were, black swans wouldn't exist until you saw them, which would mean that the more ridiculous conclusions of Hegelian philosophy are at least partly right.

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As a matter of scientific conduct, you go with what is falsifiable, because that's all you have to work with.
No, it's because all other concepts are useless or even meaningless.

Nonsensical statements aside, the usefulness of a statement has absolutely nothing to do with its truth value.  Falsifiability, as I stated above, is a criterion for being scientific, not a determination for what is real and what isn't real.

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Unfalsifiable claims aren't a bad thing, either.  The ancient Greeks had metaphysical ideas concerning the atom, the big bang and evolution, yet they later reemerged thousands of years later as highly sophisticated and rigorously tested theories.
And what does that say about the Greeks, other than the fact that they were lucky? It's also cherry-picking, as you are required to ignore other things like Humorism which have been completely discredited.

Luck had nothing to do with the cleverness and insightfulness of found in classical Greece.  I don't see how ignoring their failures is cherry picking, either.  Failure of certain Greek ideas does not violate the law of non-contradiction, nor is my point that the Greeks were wonderful people, but to make the point that just because a theory isn't falsifiable doesn't mean that it isn't true or that it doesn't speak of reality.  The fact that metaphysical statements can become falsifiable in the future should be more than enough evidence of their value.   As I quoted Popper above: "For our criterion of falsifiability distinguishes with sufficient precision the theoretical systems of the empirical sciences from those of metaphysics (and from conventionalist and tautological systems), without asserting the meaninglessness of metaphysics (which from a historical point of view can be seen to be the source from which the theories of the  empirical sciences spring)."

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The problem with neopragmatism is that it ignores the distinction between doubt and rejection.

I don't see why this is a problem.  Empirically based rejection is more than sufficient reason to cause doubt in a fact.  Anti-skepticism need not be in conflict with Popper's falsificationism.  I think they go together like PB and J.  Its delicious and you should try some.

Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 01, 2010, 04:06:34 AM
Shane, I'm confused.
Does this mean that peer review is a part of the verification principle, and that because the verification principle is false, peer review is invalid?

Idealistically: Peer review is where a bunch of scientists discuss their theories and ideas, while exchanging data and comparing notes in an attempt to collectively arrive at valid and sound theory that, over time, can be improved to be "less bad".  

Cynically: Peer review is where a bunch of scientists try to heartlessly debunk each other's ideas using falsification to decrease their rival's chances of getting their grants renewed in the hopes of improving their own chance.

How peer review actually works is somewhere in between to varying degrees.  Scientists aren't immune to ape politics and territorial battles.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 01, 2010, 07:06:02 AM
As I stated above, and you tried to shoot down with your quote mine, Popper saw the value of metaphysics to inspire falsifiable ideas that could further science.  It's all right here in black and white.

Yes, it is, but what you think it has to do with this discussion is a complete mystery to me.

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Taking this at face value to is logical and ridiculous end, any statement made that was not falsifiable at the time it was made, but later becomes falsifiable, remains not part of reality.  This means that atoms, evolution and the big bang aren't real, because when those ideas were first conceptualized by the Greeks, they were not falsifiable.

Those ideas AS CONCEPTUALIZED BY THE GREEKS were WRONG. Science just used the terms because they discovered something kinda-sorta similar.

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You say that I lack a distinction between fact and opinion.  I see them as distinct only based on the thoroughness of scrutiny they have faced.

Then you need to go back to grade school. Statements of fact can NEVER be statements of opinion, and vice-versa.

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It states further, "Popper, then, repudiates induction, and rejects the view that it is the characteristic method of scientific investigation and inference, and substitutes falsifiability in its place.

Anyone who says that hasn't actually read Popper. Popper posited falsification as a SOLUTION to the problem of induction. We conclude that the sun rises every morning because of induction: since it always has, we conclude that it always will. This idea could be falsified if one day the sun does not rise. But until that happens, there is no reason to reject the assumption. As long as it is potentially falsifiable, the continued failure to do so makes acceptance rational.

On the other hand, the assumption that the sun will stop rising one day is NOT falsifiable, as no matter how many times the sun rises once could always say that the day is not here yet.

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The way I can tell is that you seem to consistently put empirical evidence on the same level as reality when everything we think we know about reality is based on perceptions, biases, paradigms and currently accepted theories.

That ignores the point I made above about the sunrise, as well as the fact that we have a convergence of such perceptions from multiple independent lines of inquiry. The more you do that, the more closely the idea can be considered to match reality.

You may dispute the shape of the Earth all you want, in that there is uncertainty of precisely how oblate the spheroid is; but it will never, ever EVER be a cube.

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Falsification is not a criterion for distinguishing fantasy from reality.

No, it very much is! For the refusal to make a falsifiable statement is the hallmark of fantasy.

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Some of their non-falsifiable statements may turn out to be true at some point,

How could you EVER find out if a non-falsifiable statement is true?

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Not all science is based on inductive observation and is clearly not the foundation of all science and scientific progress, as Popper explains.

Maybe you should actually READ Popper, and not what other people have written about him. You have a very distorted view of what he said. Again, falsification is the very thing that gives inductive reasoning its validity. So he only rejected inductive reasoning with regards to verification. And I think if you look back at your claims objectively, you'll see that you've run afoul of this.

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To say that all of science is based on induction is to ignore that paleontology, evolutionary science, archeology and history all deal with abductive reasoning.  Abductive arguments take empirical evidence and use their implications to determine what happened in the past by their implication.

There's no contradiction between that an induction--and they all use inductive reasoning in that they make the (falsifiable!) assumption that the more consistently they find something, the more likely it was to be the case in general.

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Why are you invoking mathematics?

Is there any reason why I shouldn't?

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It has nothing to do with mathmatical proofs whatsoever.

Bullshit. As I just pointed out, the concept of falsification works VERY well there. Just ask Euclid.

Or look for the proof that the square root of 2 is irrational for another example.

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Luck had nothing to do with the cleverness and insightfulness of found in classical Greece.

No, it had a great deal to do with it! Look at how they viewed atoms vs. how they really are. We call them atoms not because we verified their existence, but because we found something kinda sorta similar and decided to use the same word.

If you do physics experiments using the Greek concept of the atom, you're going to become very confused very quickly.

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I don't see how ignoring their failures is cherry picking, either.

That's the DEFINITION of cherry-picking!

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Peer review is where a bunch of scientists discuss their theories and ideas, while exchanging data and comparing notes in an attempt to collectively arrive at valid and sound theory that, over time, can be improved to be "less bad".

No, peer review is a formal process of finding the mistakes in a scientific finding. It's like grading a paper, only much moreso.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 01, 2010, 10:24:22 AM
You want a citation that UPB is based on Verification?  Here you go:

Its the basic thesis of his argument and you can see it 26 seconds into the video above.  "All theories must be logically consistent and conform to available evidence..." is a statement that does not meet its own standard of evidence, thus it is invalid by its own standard of evidence.

But that standard you quoted is how scientific theories work.
That this, in order to be accepted, they must be logically consistent (no contradictions!) and conform to all available evidence.
Yet you said science is based on falsification which is valid.
Ergo, UPB is still valid.

Just something I wanted to point out and to add to what Shane has stated on the subject of science, verification, falsification, etc.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 01, 2010, 11:31:22 AM
FlowCell:  As I stated above, and you tried to shoot down with your quote mine, Popper saw the value of metaphysics to inspire falsifiable ideas that could further science.  It's all right here in black and white.
Shane:  Yes, it is, but what you think it has to do with this discussion is a complete mystery to me.

So how exactly did Shane quote mine?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 01, 2010, 02:48:29 PM
So how exactly did Shane quote mine?

Its a quote mine because Popper was paraphrasing Einstein to characterize the common view of empirical science at the time.  It could not be more apparent that Popper was not giving his opinion about what he thought science was because if that were the case, he would be contradicting other statements he made in the same letter.  Shane used the quote the make it look like Popper was an authority on the subject of what was reality actually was.  The actual quote is from note 1 in Appendix *i in his book Logic of Scientific Discovery.  Its an obvious paraphrase because he actually gives the citation of the actual quote from Einstein.  I give the full quote above and if you wish to actually read the full letter, a PDF of the book should be easy to find on Google if you wish to check it for yourself.

Shane is also focusing on what Popper called a "minor problem" of science, that being the problem of induction.  In the very same letter I cite, Popper says that the greater problem of science is the problem of demarcation.  Shane is interpreting this to mean how we determine what is or isn't real when, in fact, demarcation is the determination of what is or isn't science.  Science isn't reality, science is a perception of it.  Therefore, all theories are either wrong or partially wrong.  No theory has ever been created that perfectly matches all observations.  Some are better then others, but none are perfect.  Never mind the fact that new theories and observations are themselves distorted by the prevailing theories and paradigms of the day as the work of Kuhn will point out.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 01, 2010, 03:37:57 PM
Shane is also focusing on what Popper called a "minor problem" of science, that being the problem of induction.

YOU'RE the one who brought up induction.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 01, 2010, 09:38:27 PM
You're misunderstanding what science is doing, and switching the meaning of falsification. You've been arguing for falsification in the negationist sense, while science uses falsification in the Popperian sense. The Null Hypothesis is very much a part of Popperian falsification--and of modern science.

Though I haven't finished reading UPB yet (it's on my To-Do list), I wouldn't be surprised if it could easily use (or does use) falsification in the Popperian sense, as Stefan pretty much based the theory on how science and scientific theories work.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 01, 2010, 09:44:26 PM
@Shane: I recall a while back on the comments to one of your videos (can't remember which one) you said that you "just recognize philosophy for the bullshit that it is." (paraphrased).
After the discussions I've been having for over 2 weeks with FlowCell on the subjects of Verification vs. Falsification and Statism & the Null Hypothesis, I can't really say I blame you.
And, as I said in the comments to your videos and to Lord T Hawkeye via AIM, The closest things the 'philosophers' that I have a shred of respect for would be John Locke and Stefan Molyneux.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Virgil0211 on December 01, 2010, 11:38:07 PM
@Shane: I recall a while back on the comments to one of your videos (can't remember which one) you said that you "just recognize philosophy for the bullshit that it is." (paraphrased).
After the discussions I've been having for over 2 weeks with FlowCell on the subjects of Verification vs. Falsification and Statism & the Null Hypothesis, I can't really say I blame you.
And, as I said in the comments to your videos and to Lord T Hawkeye via AIM, The closest things the 'philosophers' that I have a shred of respect for would be John Locke and Stefan Molyneux.

I wouldn't necessarily call it bullshit. It's a means to an end, not an end unto itself.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 01, 2010, 11:39:24 PM
I wouldn't necessarily call it bullshit. It's a means to an end, not an end unto itself.
I never said it was. :P
Only that I could understand where he was coming from.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Virgil0211 on December 02, 2010, 12:04:53 AM
I never said it was. :P
Only that I could understand where he was coming from.

Never said you said it was. Just what I would say it was. =P

I guess I'm a little bit unsettled because one of the best teachers/classes I ever had was a philosophy teacher/class. I learned more from him than just about anyone else, and he influenced me a great deal. Got me out of my tryst with sophism, something that'd been a significant aspect of my personal philosophy for about 4 years at the time. And he beat it with a rectangle. :-P
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 02, 2010, 12:13:10 AM
Never said you said it was. Just what I would say it was. =P
Yet it was a quote to me, which is generally considered the same as a reply to the post quoted. :3

I guess I'm a little bit unsettled because one of the best teachers/classes I ever had was a philosophy teacher/class. I learned more from him than just about anyone else, and he influenced me a great deal. Got me out of my tryst with sophism, something that'd been a significant aspect of my personal philosophy for about 4 years at the time. And he beat it with a rectangle. :-P
I've seen you mention the word sophism many times now.  What do you mean by that in this context?

And don't get me wrong, I do like philosophy, I wouldn't be participating in this debates/discussions if I didn't.
It's just that it can get a bit frustrating at times when listening to guys like FlowCell when they start to blather on about stuff they either clearly don't understand.
If he did he would be able to explain it easier and with less free passes, special pleading, etc.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Virgil0211 on December 02, 2010, 12:25:57 AM
Yet it was a quote to me, which is generally considered the same as a reply to the post quoted. :3
I've seen you mention the word sophism many times now.  What do you mean by that in this context?

And don't get me wrong, I do like philosophy, I wouldn't be participating in this debates/discussions if I didn't.
It's just that it can get a bit frustrating at times when listening to guys like FlowCell when they start to blather on about stuff they either clearly don't understand.
If he did he would be able to explain it easier and with less free passes, special pleading, etc.

As far as I understand it (And I make room for being wrong), it's the focus on rhetoric and deceptive debating tactics rather than logical reasoning and evidence. It matters more whether or not you win the argument rather than focusing on finding truth. The use of the term is related to the sophists of ancient Greece, who developed a bit of a reputation for using deceptive language and rhetorical sleight of hand, in large part due to Plato's depiction of them in his writings. My grounding in this realm of thought developed from a few conversations with my brother, where we'd chat about this sort of thing over games of chess (No, we weren't very good, and we rarely finished a game.). The topics eventually covered the subject of 'what is real', 'what is truth', and so forth. We concluded at one point that reality was relative, as everyone defines and interprets things their own way (Green to one may be 'lime green' to another, and may be something completely different to someone who's colorblind). This eventually led to the idea that you couldn't be 100% sure whether or not reality was real, or semi-real, etc. That, combined with a bit of an adolescent obsession with finding conflict, led to the focus on arguing and rhetorical methods.

I hope that helps a bit.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 02, 2010, 02:16:55 AM
The topics eventually covered the subject of 'what is real', 'what is truth', and so forth. We concluded at one point that reality was relative, as everyone defines and interprets things their own way (Green to one may be 'lime green' to another, and may be something completely different to someone who's colorblind). This eventually led to the idea that you couldn't be 100% sure whether or not reality was real, or semi-real, etc. That, combined with a bit of an adolescent obsession with finding conflict, led to the focus on arguing and rhetorical methods.

I hope that helps a bit.

I hope it does, because nobody thus far has understood what I was getting at until you.  Once upon a time, I did see a distinction between fact and opinion, but if no two people see the same shade of green, then the fact something is colored green becomes indistinguishable to the opinion that something is green.  Perceptions and the paradigms that affect them do matter.


But that standard you quoted is how scientific theories work.
That this, in order to be accepted, they must be logically consistent (no contradictions!) and conform to all available evidence.
Yet you said science is based on falsification which is valid.
Ergo, UPB is still valid.

Just something I wanted to point out and to add to what Shane has stated on the subject of science, verification, falsification, etc.

That isn't falsification, its verification.  The Verification Principle has two criterion for cognitive meaning 1.) the statement must be logically consistent, and 2.) must be supported by evidence.  The problem with verification is the question: If only the statements supported by evidence are meaningful, how is this supported by evidence?  It isn't supported by empirical evidence, so those who cling to it, like Stephan are being dogmatic.

Falsification's criterion are different and apply to demarcation, not cognitive meaningfulness. In order for a hypothesis to be scientific, it must be possible to falsify it (i.e. it must be testable).  It is more related to the method of science then a theory of meaning.   

Another distinction between falsification and verification is the type of reasoning they use.  Falsification uses only modus tollens while verification uses both modus ponens and modus tollens, and considers meaningfulness at the same time.

YOU'RE the one who brought up induction.

Bringing up induction was necessary to show the uncertainty of science, but it seems that I have much more to explain.

Yet it was a quote to me, which is generally considered the same as a reply to the post quoted. :3
I've seen you mention the word sophism many times now.  What do you mean by that in this context?

And don't get me wrong, I do like philosophy, I wouldn't be participating in this debates/discussions if I didn't.
It's just that it can get a bit frustrating at times when listening to guys like FlowCell when they start to blather on about stuff they either clearly don't understand.
If he did he would be able to explain it easier and with less free passes, special pleading, etc.

Anybody who only respects John Locke and Stephan obviously didn't study philosophy.  If you had studied it, what I say wouldn't be "blather" or fallacious to you.  Don't get upset just because because I've pointed out the unsettling idea that modern science does not provide certainty or truth.  Human beings love certainty, which is why they get upset when they are confronted with its fallacious nature.  This is why both religious people and particular scientists who dogmatically cling to pet theories get upset when they are shown to be wrong.  One should never be emotionally attached to any theory or idea, ever, yet it happens anyway because its human nature to do so.  This is why Stephan hates modern philosophy. 

Scientists can get very annoyed with philosophers mostly because the philosopher gets mired in the fine details minutia of careful reasoning, but the moment a scientists says that "why" is a stupid question (especially because of his own inpatients with philosophy) is the moment his slits the throat of science with dogmatic reasoning.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Gumba Masta on December 02, 2010, 02:42:13 AM
...
Oh, please do go on.
Fierce intelectual debates such as these always give me wood.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 02, 2010, 05:39:41 AM
Yes, it is, but what you think it has to do with this discussion is a complete mystery to me.

Those ideas AS CONCEPTUALIZED BY THE GREEKS were WRONG. Science just used the terms because they discovered something kinda-sorta similar.

Shane, every theory is wrong to some degree or another.  Of course the concepts invented by the Greeks were wrong, but they weren't completely wrong.  In order to realize that atoms exist, you first have to conceptualize they exist before you can test for them.  You can't sit there and tell me that the Greek concept of the atom didn't provide any inspiration for the actual discovery of atoms.  You may as well through out Origin of Species because Darwin didn't know about DNA with your logic.  Darwin would have had to use metaphysics to explain how evolution actually worked in order to fill in the gap that his ignorance of DNA left him with.  What ever his place holder was, was clearly not falsifiable at the time, just like the imagined atoms of the Greeks.  It wasn't until science advanced enough to test these hypothesis that they became scientific ideas.  This is why I get so enraged when somebody like Dawkins says "Why" is a stupid question.  If you don't ask why, you won't imagine things like atoms and DNA.  Not asking "why" shuts down science in its tracks.  He may as well be telling people to shut up and calculate.  Its dogmatic and shows a great deal of ignorance regarding philosophy and the good it has done to science.

I thought this argument ended with Kuhn's distinction between "normal science" and "extraordinary science".  

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Then you need to go back to grade school. Statements of fact can NEVER be statements of opinion, and vice-versa.

Once upon a time, when I was still a conservative, I saw a distinction between fact and opinion, but when I realized that two people can empirically see the same thing and give two completely different reports, I realized that the distinction between fact and opinion is heuristic at best and at worst, a meaningless artifact of the human mind's craving for certainty.  Children need certainty in order to function because of their limited cognitive abilities, but I believe it is the cause of children living in a "magical" world.

he only way a fact could be distinguished from opinion is if a given fact were a certain fact (i.e. a statement of truth).  

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Anyone who says that hasn't actually read Popper. Popper posited falsification as a SOLUTION to the problem of induction. We conclude that the sun rises every morning because of induction: since it always has, we conclude that it always will. This idea could be falsified if one day the sun does not rise. But until that happens, there is no reason to reject the assumption. As long as it is potentially falsifiable, the continued failure to do so makes acceptance rational.

Falsification addresses the problem of induction, but it doesn't solve it.  The problem of induction boils down to certainty of fact, or rather, the lack of it.  If Falsification solved the problem of induction, science would be a method of determining truth, rather then theory.  Let's just go right to the core issue of science which is the assumption that the universe is rational.  This assumption by induction that is falsifiable, but not provable.  Because it cannot be proven as a universal truth, their isn't 100% certainty that the universe is rational 100% of the time or in all places or scales.  Like all swans being white, the accuracy of the statement cannot be determined until such time that it is falsified.  

I will conceded that everything ultimately does boil down to induction when it comes to science when it comes to the assumption that the universe is ration, but beyond that, it is important to note that the methods of science are not limited to just induction when solving a problem.  My example of abduction works under the inductive assumption that the universe is rational, making abduction an induction by extension, but not directly so.

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On the other hand, the assumption that the sun will stop rising one day is NOT falsifiable, as no matter how many times the sun rises once could always say that the day is not here yet.

Yep.

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That ignores the point I made above about the sunrise, as well as the fact that we have a convergence of such perceptions from multiple independent lines of inquiry. The more you do that, the more closely the idea can be considered to match reality.

Yes, multiple lines of inquiry does give you corroboration, but their is no way to tell how closely a theory matches reality unless you have the truth of reality to compare to your theory!

I imagine reality or, if you will, the truth to be analogous to the north poll.  Like a compass pointing north, a theory points to truth, but it can't tell you how close to the "truth" you actually are or even if the truth really is a place.  All you know is that the more precise the compass, the more accurately it points to what you reason is probably real.

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You may dispute the shape of the Earth all you want, in that there is uncertainty of precisely how oblate the spheroid is; but it will never, ever EVER be a cube.

Under the current paradigm, your statement would be accurate.  However, it doesn't rule out the possibility that much of what we see could be illusory.  Granted, that isn't a scientific statement, but only because a scientist can't do anything with it and still call himself a scientist, not because is isn't true.  Although we accept the paradigm that the Earth is some type of spheroid and interpret all of our data based on that paradigm, we must remain agnostic that everything we think is true is actually false.  

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No, it very much is! For the refusal to make a falsifiable statement is the hallmark of fantasy.

How could you EVER find out if a non-falsifiable statement is true?

Firstly, falsification is a method, not a standard of truth discovery.  Popper never said it was anything but a method of critical investigation.  Secondly, nobody said anything about refusing to make a falsifiable statements.  I'm only pointing out that non-falsifiable statements are part of the scientific process because theories cannot account for all anomalies.  In order to account for anomalies, sometimes it is necessary to imagine factors that cannot be falsified at the present moment.  Instead, such non-falsifiable theories must be able to make predictions of empirical observation.  In other words, you have to make assumptions and use a modus ponens argument.  The presents or absence of predicted observations, however, does not confirm or falsify a non-falsifiable theory.  To do so would be to affirm the consequent or deny the the antecedent respectively.  It just gives an indicator if science is on the right track, but it is far from confirmatory.  Sometimes you just have to wait until non-falsifiable theories become falsifiable as technology and methodology improve.  

String theory is a non-falsifiable theory, but people seem to like it because of its mathematics, so scientists attempt to make predictions based on this theory to see if they are on the right track.  Maybe one day we will find direct evidence of strings, but until then, string theory isn't scientific.  And that isn't to say that String Theory refuses to make falsifiable statements, because it doesn't refuse.  On the contrary, it doesn't make falsifiable statements because it is impotent to do so!  Technology and methodology need to catch up in order for String Theory to move from non-falsifiable theory to falsifiable theory.

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Maybe you should actually READ Popper, and not what other people have written about him. You have a very distorted view of what he said. Again, falsification is the very thing that gives inductive reasoning its validity. So he only rejected inductive reasoning with regards to verification. And I think if you look back at your claims objectively, you'll see that you've run afoul of this.

As I said before, I'm not just talking about Popper alone, but of other science philosophers as well, including Kuhn.  Wasn't it you who brought up Popper, or am I wrong?  I guess that doesn't really matter.  In any case, Falsification does give us a way to deal with the problem of induction, but it is not a solution to it as I stated above.  Verification tried to solve the problem through modus tollens and modus ponens, which I posit are both required to determine truth.  So, if you want to say falsification solves the problem of induction, it only solves it for modus tollens, not for modus ponens.

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There's no contradiction between that an induction--and they all use inductive reasoning in that they make the (falsifiable!) assumption that the more consistently they find something, the more likely it was to be the case in general.

I concede the point that science is based primarily on induction, however, there is no way to calculate likelihood based on induction.  In fact, that's the big problem with induction and why you can't use it to rule out metaphysical statements.  Their isn't a way to calculate the likelihood finding things like leprechauns, elves, and unicorns.  They aren't part of science because we feel they are unlikely, but because they aren't falsifiable, which brings us back to the true reason falsification exists, which is demarcation.  All though any given ad hoc hypothesis may be true, falsification rules them out as scientific, not as being real.

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Is there any reason why I shouldn't?

You shouldn't invoke mathematics because it is a deductive process of pure reason, while science is an inductive process based on empiricism.  They are completely different even though they compliment each other well. The burger is not the same as the bun.

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Bullshit. As I just pointed out, the concept of falsification works VERY well there. Just ask Euclid.

Mathematics are a tool of science, but they are not the same.  The fact that you can use modus tollens in math is an irrelevant comparison to science when you are dealing with a purely logical framework where all assumptions are assumed true.

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Or look for the proof that the square root of 2 is irrational for another example.

Proofs in mathematics only prove mathematical conclusions.  They don't prove scientific theories or determine facts as truth.  Again, what's the point in bringing this up?  If philosophical proofs can't determine what is real, what makes you think mathematical proofs could?

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No, it had a great deal to do with it! Look at how they viewed atoms vs. how they really are. We call them atoms not because we verified their existence, but because we found something kinda sorta similar and decided to use the same word.

As I said above, you can't find an atom unless you are looking for one before you find evidence for it.  Every metaphysical concept looks completely different from its empirical counterparts.  If that wasn't so, then their would be no surprises in science.  I'm sure Darwin's concept of a hereditary factor looked nothing like what DNA or chromosomes actually look like.  That shouldn't mean he was completely wrong.

Sure, if I used the concept of the atom according to the ancient Greeks, I'd probably be confused at first, but at least now we have the ability to falsify their concept and refine the theory, which the Greeks didn't have the ability to do at the time.  If they had the ability to falsify their theory at the time, I'm sure they would have modified it accordingly.

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If you do physics experiments using the Greek concept of the atom, you're going to become very confused very quickly.

Same as above.

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That's the DEFINITION of cherry-picking!

Cherry picking would be me ignoring failures when I'm making an argument for a universal statement.  I'm making the case that some, not all, metaphysical statements are useful to science.  This is an argument in the particular, so all I need is at least one example of a metaphysical statement to be of use to science in order to for my argument to be valid.  Sorry, but there is no fallacy here, though I do appreciate you giving me the opportunity to clarify myself further.

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No, peer review is a formal process of finding the mistakes in a scientific finding. It's like grading a paper, only much moreso.

Basically, you rephrased what I said in your own words and then said I was wrong.  Our opinions of what peer review is are not in conflict in the least.  Finding mistakes in a theory is the same as making a theory "less bad".  Peer review isn't just about how scientists interact with one another on a professional level.

You aren't talking to me, you are talking past me.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 02, 2010, 05:41:08 AM
...
Oh, please do go on.
Fierce intelectual debates such as these always give me wood.

I accept your statement as sincerer flattery.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 02, 2010, 07:00:42 AM
Don't get upset just because because I've pointed out the unsettling idea that modern science does not provide certainty or truth.

No one's saying it does. Stop it.

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Scientists can get very annoyed with philosophers mostly because the philosopher gets mired in the fine details minutia of careful reasoning,

No, they get annoyed because philosophers continually make unfalsifiable statements and pretend that they're valid.

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but the moment a scientists says that "why" is a stupid question

Name ONE scientist that does that. A scientific theory is all about the "why." (And the "how" as well.)
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 02, 2010, 07:18:28 AM
No, they get annoyed because philosophers continually make unfalsifiable statements and pretend that they're valid.

In philosophy, a statement is valid as long as it is logically sound.  Its up to the scientists to show if the assumptions are reasonable or not, but the fact is, assumptions are unavoidable.

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Name ONE scientist that does that. A scientific theory is all about the "why." (And the "how" as well.)

Including "how" would be moving the goal post, but I can certainly give you one for "why", and that would be Richard Dawkins and another gentlemen he cites as his source for "why" is a stupid question.


If you can get past the Spanish parts, Richard Dawkins says this clearly and distinctly in this three way debate between the atheist side, the theist side and the agnostic side.  I think his remarks are between a quarter and half way through, though I could be way off.  Its been about a week since I watched this.

If a scientist rejected both "how" and "why", he'd be a mathematician, not a scientist. j/k.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 02, 2010, 08:18:22 AM
Shane, every theory is wrong to some degree or another.

Claptrap worthy of creationists. The theory of the round Earth is not wrong (just insufficiently specified). The theory of the cube Earth is totally and completely wrong.

Just like, Newton's theories weren't wrong. Einstein didn't prove them wrong, he just defined the scope in which they work. Something having a scope in which it applies doesn't make it limited or wrong.

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You can't sit there and tell me that the Greek concept of the atom didn't provide any inspiration for the actual discovery of atoms.

Actually, I can do exactly that! It was when chemists discovered the law of conservation of mass and the law of multiple proportions that they realized that chemicals could be broken down into discrete elements. It wasn't until they discovered that elements react to each other in ratios of whole numbers that the ancient concept of the "atom" was brought in to explain it--and even then, it was only a metaphor. The name just stuck. But these atoms possess NONE of the qualities that ancient atomism said: they're not indivisible, they're not particles (they're collections of particles), they're not indestructible, they're not immutable, they're not infinite...really, you could say that modern chemists were inspired more by corpuscularism than by atomism.

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You may as well through out Origin of Species because Darwin didn't know about DNA with your logic.

Not the same at all. Not only was Darwin's work about natural selection, which is much more well-supported today than it was in Darwin's time, DNA absolutely confirms it! The discovery might have revealed that heredity worked in a way that makes natural selection impossible. It didn't.

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Darwin would have had to use metaphysics to explain how evolution actually worked in order to fill in the gap that his ignorance of DNA left him with.

Darwin made up the concept of gemmules to do that. And in that, he was absolutely 100% WRONG.

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What ever his place holder was, was clearly not falsifiable at the time, just like the imagined atoms of the Greeks.

Actually, it was--little did Darwin know that Gregor Mendel was doing experiments which falsified gemmules at the very time he was writing about them!

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This is why I get so enraged when somebody like Dawkins says "Why" is a stupid question.

Quote with reference or it didn't happen. (And I mean him talking about it in terms of scientific theory, not religion or anything else.)

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Once upon a time, when I was still a conservative, I saw a distinction between fact and opinion, but when I realized that two people can empirically see the same thing and give two completely different reports, I realized that the distinction between fact and opinion is heuristic at best

What you SHOULD have concluded is that eyewitness testimony is the lowest form of evidence, as science does.

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Children need certainty in order to function because of their limited cognitive abilities,

No, they don't. Believe me, I'm a parent. The certainty is foisted on them by adults.

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If Falsification solved the problem of induction, science would be a method of determining truth, rather then theory.

There's that creationist-esque misunderstanding of the word "theory" again. Your sentence is akin to saying that cooking is a method of making pies, rather than space ships.

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This assumption by induction that is falsifiable, but not provable.

NOTHING is provable outside of pure mathematics.

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it is important to note that the methods of science are not limited to just induction when solving a problem.

No one said they were.

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I imagine reality or, if you will, the truth to be analogous to the north poll.  Like a compass pointing north, a theory points to truth, but it can't tell you how close to the "truth" you actually are or even if the truth really is a place.

A compass CAN tell you the distance to the North Pole. Well, a compass and basic trig.

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However, it doesn't rule out the possibility that much of what we see could be illusory.

That would be an unfalsifiable concept. It's therefore useless at trying to gauge reality.

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Firstly, falsification is a method, not a standard of truth discovery.  Popper never said it was anything but a method of critical investigation.

Separating critical investigation from truth discovery is foolhardy at best.

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In order to account for anomalies, sometimes it is necessary to imagine factors that cannot be falsified at the present moment.

This shows you just don't understand what you're talking about. A scientific theory doesn't have to be falsified RIGHT NOW, just theoretically at some point when the technology becomes available.

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You shouldn't invoke mathematics because it is a deductive process of pure reason,

That is EXACTLY what allows me to use these examples to refute you. We KNOW for 100% CERTAIN that there are infinite primes. We KNOW for 100% CERTAIN that the square root of 2 is irrational. And all we need to get there is the concept of falsification--which is exactly what you say it CAN'T do!

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Cherry picking would be me ignoring failures when I'm making an argument for a universal statement.  I'm making the case that some, not all, metaphysical statements are useful to science.

But it's a post-diction, not a prediction. You can't do it after the fact; it has to be stated ahead of time which ones would be correct and which ones not, or else you're not saying anything at all.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 02, 2010, 08:23:02 AM
In philosophy, a statement is valid as long as it is logically sound.

Incorrect. Validity and soundness are two different things. This is a perfectly valid argument:

P1: All horses are rockets.
P2: All rockets are mammals.
C: All horses are mammals.

It's valid because the conclusion follows naturally from the premises. But it is NOT sound, because both premises have to be true in order for the conclusion to be true. As it turns out, the conclusion IS true, but only by luck.

The Computer Science expression of this concept is Garbage In, Garbage Out. In order to test for soundness, you need to test for the accuracy of your premises. And the ONLY way to do that is through falsification.

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Including "how" would be moving the goal post, but I can certainly give you one for "why", and that would be Richard Dawkins and another gentlemen he cites as his source for "why" is a stupid question.

I'm not sitting through a 2-hour debate just for this. Give me a timecode. And again, as I already said, if he's talking about religion and not scientific theory, it's a bogus example.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 02, 2010, 10:22:11 AM
Wait a minute...
Once upon a time, when I was still a conservative, I saw a distinction between fact and opinion, but when I realized that two people can empirically see the same thing and give two completely different reports, I realized that the distinction between fact and opinion is heuristic at best and at worst, a meaningless artifact of the human mind's craving for certainty.  Children need certainty in order to function because of their limited cognitive abilities, but I believe it is the cause of children living in a "magical" world.

You ARE one of those post-modernist woos!
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Virgil0211 on December 02, 2010, 10:30:18 AM
I hope it does, because nobody thus far has understood what I was getting at until you.  Once upon a time, I did see a distinction between fact and opinion, but if no two people see the same shade of green, then the fact something is colored green becomes indistinguishable to the opinion that something is green.  Perceptions and the paradigms that affect them do matter.

All internal angles of a four-sided shape will equal 360 degrees when added together.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 01:49:20 PM
Alright, I'm going to be blunt.
After reading this post (https://www.bogosity.tv/forum/index.php?topic=579.msg6466#msg6466), I haven't really been reading any of FlowCell's posts, outside of stuff Shane has quoted in his replies.
Between the constant flow of TL : DR bs emanating from what I have read, and how much Shane has refuted, it sounds like he really don't know what he's talking about...
I guess Stefan really was right regarding the issue with Modern Philosophers not acknowledging self detonating statements (something FC does many times in this thread).

As for your point that "science doesn't provide certainty or truth" (however those words are defined), in the absolute sense, I guess, but then, I never claimed that anything supported here was absolute, be it science, OR UPB.

The idea seems to be that, given the senses and logic aren't perfect, we shouldn't consider them as arbiters of truth (ignoring the self detonating statements there).
However, given that our senses (empiricism/observation) and our logic are about all we have, I'd say it's not a terrible policy either, especially given how questionable, flimsy and shaky (if not outright fallacious) the alternative seems to be.

Put another way, if what you call "rationality" can be "an intuitive truth", then why not 'verification', or anything else?
Basically, what I'm getting from this is that because nothing is certain, we can't rely on observation, but then, how do we progress at all?
Basically, that would just mean that don't learn anything we don't already know.
This is probably why philosophy is as Stefan describes it too, stagnant.  Because it doesn't tell us anything we don't already know.
Hell, at least math rearranges that which we already know in different ways and proves useful.
Besides the philosophy of liberty, philosophy doesn't seem to useful.
You could claim that the latter is irreverent, but that would betray the principle of human action; and would admit the entire branch to be nothing but intellectual masturbation.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 02:20:07 PM
One of the benefits of deontological ethics, however, is that everybody should come to the same conclusions if we all use logic and the same assumptions.
And besides the lack of empiricism (read: observed evidence), how is this different from the verification that you so dislike?
And how is not being grounded in the real world (e.g. with evidence) something desirable, if it is to be descriptive?

As for your problems with the first maxim, that is dealt with in the first and second maxims.  Since you aren't allowed to manipulate anybody, according to the second maxim, it would be wrong to impose your vision of morality on somebody else.  Also, the third maxim says that everybody should be their own moral authority, which also means that morality cannot be imposed on somebody else.  Just as you could not impose your moral authority on a homosexual, you also could not impose your moral authority on an ax murderer.  So far, everything matches up pretty well with, the philosophy of Liberty.  However, if one were to base their morality on falsification of authority alone, I think one would not be obligated to volunteer information to an ax murderer.  And, in fact, you would be free to act on your impulse to defend your friends and family from an ax murderer by what ever means are necessary.
Actually, no it doesn't solve a single problem.
Again, I could just as well say, "but if people are their own moral compasses and do that all the time, nobody gets fed, and everybody dies, therefore people being their own moral compasses is immoral."
In fact, I could even go as far as saying that, "If all of humanity has to just do anything one thing all the time, regardless of what it is, we all end up unhealthy if not dead and extinct because of it; therefore all actions are immoral."
So tell me again why Kant is a good philosopher again?
He doesn't seem all that bright if you ask me.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 02:26:00 PM
That is EXACTLY what allows me to use these examples to refute you. We KNOW for 100% CERTAIN that there are infinite primes. We KNOW for 100% CERTAIN that the square root of 2 is irrational. And all we need to get there is the concept of falsification--which is exactly what you say it CAN'T do!

And as you yourself said, falsification IS a part of verification.  I don't know if you meant something different when you talked about the 'principle of verification' as being 'invalid' in this earlier post:
FlowCell:  There is just no getting around the fact that scientific consensus is not a standard of truth.  Corroboration is not confirmation.
Shane:  Which is EXACTLY why the verification principle is false!

Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 03, 2010, 03:39:13 PM
That's exactly it: corroboration tells you nothing. Only falsification can. Without it, the door is not only wide open for Confirmation Bias, it's been sent an invitation and met by a valet.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 03:46:20 PM
OK, but I'm what I'm getting at is, did you mean two different things when you said "verification" (as in, "falsification is an important part of verification") than when you talk of the "principle of verification"?
If the two mean the same thing, that means that falsification is also invalid.

Also, you seem to define "Verification" differently than FlowCell does.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 03, 2010, 04:19:31 PM
Yes, the verification principle is different.

Consider the phrase, "Human beings get infected by viruses." A verificationist would say that this must be the statement to examine, because it can be empirically verified: just find a human infected with a virus.

But the problem they ignore is, what if you never find such a person? That doesn't mean that it's wrong, it just means that they haven't yet found anyone it applies to. There's no way to prove the statement wrong.

The proper default is, "There is no reason to consider that humans get infected by viruses," because that's falsifiable. Once it's falsified--once a human infected by a virus is found--THEN you reject the falsified claim, and can take the former position because it's been observed.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 04:36:51 PM
And just so we're on the same page, the former is an example of the "Verification Principle" while the latter is an example of Verification & Falsification?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 03, 2010, 04:47:58 PM
Yes, although it's not "verification AND falsification," more like "verification THROUGH falsification."
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 05:09:11 PM
Awesome, thanks.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 10:14:43 PM
I believe this bit put it best:
"Scientific inferences are by no means absolutely certain.  They rely upon predictive power and falsification as a type of crutch which helps them overcome the Humean problem of induction."--(Paraphrased; Source (http://www.okcupid.com/tests/describescore?testid=9398363798011747468&category=3))
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 10:30:24 PM
The proper default is, "There is no reason to consider that humans get infected by viruses," because that's falsifiable. Once it's falsified--once a human infected by a virus is found--THEN you reject the falsified claim, and can take the former position because it's been observed.
I think I get it now!
H0 is the proper default, which you attempt to falsify using evidence and observation.

By the way, what do you mean by 'corroboration' in this context?
And why does it invite confirmation bias?
Also, is scientific consensus the same as 'corroboration'?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 10:32:02 PM
No, they [scientists] get annoyed because philosophers continually make unfalsifiable statements and pretend that they're valid.
Case in point: The idiots commenting on your videos of Bogosity episode 6 where you debunk the "Law of Attraction".
Or the people in the movie, "The Secret" itself.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 10:51:17 PM
"verification THROUGH falsification."
And I DO believe I've found the name of my own personal "philosophy". :)
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 03, 2010, 11:05:02 PM
Shane, I have another question.
This is from an earlier post from FlowCell:

The Verification Principle has two criterion for cognitive meaning 1.) the statement must be logically consistent, and 2.) must be supported by evidence.  The problem with verification is the question: If only the statements supported by evidence are meaningful, how is this supported by evidence?  It isn't supported by empirical evidence, so those who cling to it, like Stephan are being dogmatic.

Do you define the "Verification Principle" the same way?
If so, do you agree with that FlowCell's post?
If so, why does science work this way in terms of how theories are validated via verification through falsification?  That is, scientific theories, in order to be considered validated must be both consistent logically, and supported by the evidence.

Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 04, 2010, 01:23:02 AM
OK, but I'm what I'm getting at is, did you mean two different things when you said "verification" (as in, "falsification is an important part of verification") than when you talk of the "principle of verification"?
If the two mean the same thing, that means that falsification is also invalid.

Also, you seem to define "Verification" differently than FlowCell does.

Yes, I would like a clear definition of what Shane thinks Verification is, because when I say verification, I mean the verification principle, which is very specific.  Shane's definition of verification seems to mean what I call corroboration.  In other words, an experiment could be said to be verified if one lab gets the same result as another.  To avoid the confusion between this type of verification and the verification principle, I use the term corroboration. 

The Verification principle is a check for "cognitive meaning" using the criterion of logical consistency and positive evidence (i.e. a modus ponens argument). 

Modus Ponens (Affirming The Consequent)
If A, then B.
A.
Therefore, B.

This type of verification is in strong contrast with falsification (a modus tollens argument) to falsify conceptual ideas.

Modus Tollens (Denying The Consequent)
If A, then B.
Not A.
Therefore, not B.

I do not see how falsification could be considered part of verification unless verification is considered synonymous with corroboration. 
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 04, 2010, 01:29:52 AM
Yes, although it's not "verification AND falsification," more like "verification THROUGH falsification."

That feels more like word play to make your point by changing the definition of verification to be synonymous with falsification.  If verification is through falsification, what's the point in making a distinction between the two words?  It seems impossible to me that you could derive positive evidence from evidence of absence.  This requires further clarification.  I would like to know exactly how you define verification and falsification.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 04, 2010, 02:37:01 AM
My original quite:
Quote
In philosophy, a statement is valid as long as it is logically sound.  Its up to the scientists to show if the assumptions are reasonable or not, but the fact is, assumptions are unavoidable.


What you quoted:
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In philosophy, a statement is valid as long as it is logically sound.

Incorrect. Validity and soundness are two different things. This is a perfectly valid argument:

P1: All horses are rockets.
P2: All rockets are mammals.
C: All horses are mammals.

It's valid because the conclusion follows naturally from the premises. But it is NOT sound, because both premises have to be true in order for the conclusion to be true. As it turns out, the conclusion IS true, but only by luck.

The Computer Science expression of this concept is Garbage In, Garbage Out. In order to test for soundness, you need to test for the accuracy of your premises. And the ONLY way to do that is through falsification.

Okay, I explained this rather poorly, but I'm not factually incorrect.  I should have phrased is thus: "philosophers only concern themselves with the validity of the argument; they leave the determination of soundness of the assumptions up to the scientists."  Honestly, this was the point I was getting at.

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I'm not sitting through a 2-hour debate just for this. Give me a timecode. And again, as I already said, if he's talking about religion and not scientific theory, it's a bogus example.

Its related to religion, but he seems to be targeting his argument towards philosophy in general.  Dawkins speaks at 00:32:19 and 01:03:19.  It would, however, not be honest of me to omit that Dawkins is actually referencing a conversation between scientist Peter Atkins and Prince Philip, so I do not know what the full context of that conversation was or what else was said.  It would be interesting to find out, though.

Also, I would welcome your opinion on Michio Kaku's contrastingly agnostic point of view. 01:07:34 & 01:34:45 (apologies for the short one's comments)  He makes a very similar point that I've been trying to make all along.

The theists in the debate aren't worth seeing as they add very little philosophy and use emotional appeals and the pointless "revelation" defense.  


I'd like to get back to your points on atomic theory and mathematical proofs, because they still don't address the issue I'm getting at, plus I there are other things about Dalton's original theory that need to be addressed that I feel support my case about the importance of metaphysics as part of the scientific process.  



Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 04, 2010, 07:03:50 AM
The Verification principle is a check for "cognitive meaning" using the criterion of logical consistency and positive evidence (i.e. a modus ponens argument). 

Modus Ponens (Affirming The Consequent)
If A, then B.
A.
Therefore, B.

This type of verification is in strong contrast with falsification (a modus tollens argument) to falsify conceptual ideas.

Modus Tollens (Denying The Consequent)
If A, then B.
Not A.
Therefore, not B.

I do not see how falsification could be considered part of verification unless verification is considered synonymous with corroboration. 

Because you've got the falsification part completely and utterly wrong. "If A, then B" does NOT imply "If not A, then not B." The REAL falsification principle is:

If A, then B
Not B
Therefore, not A

This problem of verification the way you've described it and how falsification is the solution is easily represented by Wason's Four-Card Task, elucidated here: http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Wason%27s_Four-card_Task
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 04, 2010, 07:10:52 AM
That feels more like word play to make your point by changing the definition of verification to be synonymous with falsification.

I think you need some remedial English. Verification is NOT synonymous with falsification the way I stated it; falsification is a METHOD of attempting to verify statements and concepts.

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If verification is through falsification, what's the point in making a distinction between the two words?

Because there are claims to be other ways of verifying things.

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It seems impossible to me that you could derive positive evidence from evidence of absence.

No, it's just the opposite, and if you read my previous post and the page on Wason's Four-Card Task I think you'll get cleared up on the matter.

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Okay, I explained this rather poorly, but I'm not factually incorrect.

Yes, you are, since as I pointed out it's entirely possible for an argument to be valid but not sound.

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Its related to religion, but he seems to be targeting his argument towards philosophy in general.

In many cases, there's not much difference. But as long as he's not talking about scientific theory, then it's not valid. He's using "why" in a completely different context.

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The theists in the debate aren't worth seeing as they add very little philosophy and use emotional appeals and the pointless "revelation" defense.   

So what else is new?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 04, 2010, 07:52:00 AM
Its related to religion, but he seems to be targeting his argument towards philosophy in general.  Dawkins speaks at 00:32:19 and 01:03:19.  It would, however, not be honest of me to omit that Dawkins is actually referencing a conversation between scientist Peter Atkins and Prince Philip, so I do not know what the full context of that conversation was or what else was said.  It would be interesting to find out, though.

Also, I would welcome your opinion on Michio Kaku's contrastingly agnostic point of view. 01:07:34 & 01:34:45 (apologies for the short one's comments)  He makes a very similar point that I've been trying to make all along.

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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 04, 2010, 05:05:47 PM
Because you've got the falsification part completely and utterly wrong. "If A, then B" does NOT imply "If not A, then not B." The REAL falsification principle is:

If A, then B
Not B
Therefore, not A

This problem of verification the way you've described it and how falsification is the solution is easily represented by Wason's Four-Card Task, elucidated here: http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Wason%27s_Four-card_Task

That was a typo.  Honestly, it was not intentional.  I did not mean to say that Modus Tollens was Denying the antecedent.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 04, 2010, 05:24:04 PM
Well, it's a funny typo, then, because it matches perfectly the problem with what you've been saying. Confirmation really doesn't do you any good. Only falsification does.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 04, 2010, 05:24:34 PM
Wow.
I'm surprised this topic has lasted for six pages.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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. 
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 04, 2010, 08:46:55 PM
The difference between what you say and what Kaku says is that such things are undecidable,

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.

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This means you can't subject non-scientific ideas to the NULL hypothesis,

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

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Using the NULL implies that mermaids and unicorns are things you can mathematically predict the likelihood of,

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

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In this view, an atheist isn't entitled to make metaphysical claims

Good thing we don't do that, then.

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Atheism's frequent connections to Liberalism and Stateism in its adherents have got to be for a reason,

And what about its frequent connections to Libertarianism?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 04, 2010, 10:13:28 PM
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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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.  
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 01:06:18 AM
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?
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
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 01:17:50 AM
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.

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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 01:26:45 AM
And speaking 'secular' violence on a mass scale:
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Gumba Masta on December 05, 2010, 03:48:15 AM
Wow.
I'm surprised this topic has lasted for six pages.

That's what she said.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 05, 2010, 07:28:35 AM
Usefulness isn't a basis for determining what is or isn't real, it only relates statement being scientific.

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!

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Mathematical proofs are based on axioms which are statements said to be self evidently true.

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."

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A triangle will always have 180 degrees inside it because that's how they are defined,

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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.

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This made his claim that atoms exist a metaphysical claim even up to this point.

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

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Which is why the NULL doesn't apply to metaphysical statements!

Which is why they can't be used to determine reality.

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If you apply the NULL to a particular metaphysical statement, you are being dogmatic about that particular metaphysical statement!

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!

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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 have yet to do ANYTHING to support this.

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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.

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

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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,

You mean, like yours did earlier when I asked you how you know that nothing can be known?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 05, 2010, 07:31:44 AM
The war on drugs is a great example of secular violence.

Then how come it's so hard to find an atheist who's in favor of it?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 05, 2010, 08:30:47 AM
Also, I would welcome your opinion on Michio Kaku's contrastingly agnostic point of view. 01:07:34 & 01:34:45 (apologies for the short one's comments)  He makes a very similar point that I've been trying to make all along.

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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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.  

 
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 05, 2010, 10:08:58 AM
If you are going to make a proof based on definitions, then your proof is dependent on the accuracy of those definitions.

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!

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Definitions are derived from experience,

Not of purely conceptual constructs like "equal."

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Again, logical proofs and mathematical proofs tell you nothing of reality.

Complete balderdash. They do it all the time. Science wouldn't work otherwise.

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

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.

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Nobody had any idea that it was even possible to prove atoms wrong because they could not be observed.

What people believe is irrelevant.

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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.

The very same cop-out that Shermer corrected.

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It doesn't matter if the details of the two concepts were different.

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 point is that their was a notion that matter was made up of little bits that were too small to see.[/quote]

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

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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.

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.

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

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How can a scientist first get his testable idea if he doesn't consider metaphysics first?

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

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I never said that they did.  I only said that they were useful to science for inspiration because they could be true.

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

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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.

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.

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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.

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

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Libertarians are clearly outnumbered,

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

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And anytime I look for what atheists politics is supposed to be,

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.

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Then the difference between us is your assertion that metaphysical statements should be assumed wrong and my assertion that nothing should be assumed

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

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Because so few of them have something to gain financially.

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

Asking your opinion about Michio Kaku's statements is cherry picking?

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

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Cherry picking relates to omission of evidence, not to singling out a particular debater for your analysis

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

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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.

That's not even CLOSE to what he said.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 10:49:16 AM
@Shane:  FlowCell did NOT just try and use the whole "atheist politics" excuse.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Gumba Masta on December 05, 2010, 10:52:38 AM
If he did I want some fish and a skillet.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 10:58:30 AM
And some spaghetti.

He does realize that that's just an appeal to popular belief (e.g. more atheists believe in this, therefore this is an 'atheist' political system.)
I believe the good folks at the Atheist Experience put it best:

"Q: Aren't all atheists Communists (or vice versa)?

A: All Communists may well be atheists, simply because their political system rarely exposes them to anything else. It does not follow that all atheists are Communists. Atheism is a view on the existence of the supernatural, not a political system. Some atheists favor some form of socialism. Many agree with the writings of Ayn Rand, who was a very strong supporter of both unbounded Capitalism and atheism. Many atheists are Libertarians and Democrats; fewer tend to be Republicans, but that is mostly because of their stance on church and state, not always because of their financial plans.

Atheists come in all political flavors. We don't feel that the Communist system does anything to promote well-reasoned atheism, so we don't support it."-- Souce (http://www.atheist-community.org/faq/#communists)

I would also LOVE to know what the "logical inconsistencies" of atheist libertarians are...
Especially given his video response to thunderf00t...
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 05, 2010, 12:50:27 PM
Only by your own dogmatic degree do logical proofs assert statements about the nature of reality.

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.


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You can't have certain conclusions when your fundamentals are inductions.

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

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Pi is what it is, because of how the numbers are defined.

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.

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

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

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Like I said, Shermer's correction was bullshit.

You have yet to show how.

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The "fundamentals" don't matter to what I'm saying because I'm looking at the big picture

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.

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

So, when you're wrong, you're right?

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What's your point?

The same one I just reiterated.

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What?  No it isn't.

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.

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1) I never said it did have a monopoly, so what's your point?

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

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2) You made the claim that metaphysics had the hallmark of fiction, so how is it any different then science fiction?

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.

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3) Science fiction can be very metaphysical, so what's your point?

Irrelevant.

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

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Since when was NOT making an assumption dogmatic

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

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As I stated before (and you keep ignoring) assuming the NULL when you have absolutely no way of calculating a probability

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

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Guess what, Shane?  Naming those individuals would be anecdotal to your own experience.

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

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If you want to show me that Libertarians aren't in the minority among atheists,

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

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you'll need to give me actual statistics.

Shifting Burden Fallacy.

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No, but you still are outnumbered.

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

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Its only "supposed to be" based on the links provided by Google when I go searching for it.

Again, COMPLETELY irrelevant.

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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 nothing. Assuming the null IS assuming nothing.

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Assuming nothing isn't a rejection of anything.

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

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

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.

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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."

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.

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

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

Using Shane's NULL hypothesis algorithm applied to state legitimacy, the assumption becomes a hard anarchy, where everybody remains leaderless, NOT Libertarianism.

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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 01:01:36 PM
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.
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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 01:14:22 PM
Using Shane's NULL hypothesis algorithm applied to state legitimacy, the assumption becomes a hard anarchy, where everybody remains leaderless, NOT Libertarianism.

A government (as I and other anarchists define it) (n): A group of individuals within a geographical area who retain the monopolistic moral and legal right to initiate force.
A geopolitical monopoly on the "legitimate" initiation of force where said force would otherwise be considered illegitimate if used by private citizens not in the name of the state.--my youtube page.
Anarchists aren't against "leaders" so long as they are voluntary.  E.G.: an employer in a free market.

Shane's definition differs from ours in that he has it being an organization that uses force, but not necessarily the initiation of force.  I've also seen him claim that he wouldn't have it be a monopoly either.
So, at least by mine, Stefan's, Lord T Hawkeye's, Ladyattis', etc definitions of government, Shane is an anarchist.

As for Agnosticism in the context that you seem to be talking about, it's a contradiction.
It's basically saying, "I know that god is unknowable".
Just like you did earlier with your statement about "Truth".
Repeating the self detonating statement doesn't make it any less bogus.

Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 01:31:29 PM
I fall back on the NULL because regardless of it being potentially true or not, government power has the potential for great harm, and indeed, we know that it does because we have seen it in the past.
Then by your own argument, the same MUST be done to religion, which has done vast harm.
Even ignoring the deaths:


As for stuff besides religion and statism (redundancy for the win :P):  http://www.whatstheharm.net/
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 05, 2010, 01:35:55 PM
A government (as I and other anarchists define it) (n): A group of individuals within a geographical area who retain the monopolistic moral and legal right to initiate force.

This isn't the definition used by libertarians, by the way. To a libertarian, having an authority over a geographic location does NOT give that authority the moral or legal right to initiate force. It's a system of mutual protection, but it should fund itself and operate itself by means of voluntary participation.

An anarchist would respond to that by saying that it's not really a government then. It's one of the ways that anarchists and libertarians continually talk past each other.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 01:40:30 PM
This isn't the definition used by libertarians, by the way. To a libertarian, having an authority over a geographic location does NOT give that authority the moral or legal right to initiate force.
I never said (or at least didn't mean) that having the authority over a geographic location gives said authority.
Only that when an group of people has that authority over a geographical area, that it is what we call government.

It's a system of mutual protection, but it should fund itself and operate itself by means of voluntary participation.

An anarchist would respond to that by saying that it's not really a government then. It's one of the ways that anarchists and libertarians continually talk past each other
OK, so to be fair, the philosophies of anarchists and libertarians ARE somewhat different then in terms of what constitutes a "government" (And I doubt that's the only way they're different).
I guess this is one of the reasons why it pisses you off (and rightly so) when people say that libertarians are anarchists.
Or, even stupider, when they say libertarians are Ayn Rand followers.

Heck, I just had some idiot claim I was a Randroid on my profile page on youtube.
Is he not aware that Rand HATED libertarians AND anarchists?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 02:05:18 PM
On the other hand, the assumption that the sun will stop rising one day is NOT falsifiable, as no matter how many times the sun rises once could always say that the day is not here yet.
Am I the only one reminded of end-times prophecies by this point and how they have the same error you mention here?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 02:13:02 PM
Also, FlowCell's posts about philosophy vs science remind me of this:

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/revolutionary.png)

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."
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 05, 2010, 02:16:53 PM
I guess this is one of the reasons why it pisses you off (and rightly so) when people say that libertarians are anarchists.
Or, even stupider, when they say  libertarians are Ayn Rand followers.

And from the other direction: when anarchists say that libertarians are statists.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 02:18:27 PM
And from the other direction: when anarchists say that libertarians are statists.

Touché.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 05, 2010, 03:12:35 PM
2) You made the claim that metaphysics had the hallmark of fiction, so how is it any different then science fiction?

From Shane's very post:
No, it very much is! For the refusal to make a falsifiable statement is the hallmark of fantasy.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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 Münchhausen 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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Gumba Masta on December 06, 2010, 04:58:55 AM
So what is the problem here exactly?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 on December 06, 2010, 05:00:32 AM
Also, FlowCell's posts about philosophy vs science remind me of this:

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/revolutionary.png)

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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Gumba Masta on December 06, 2010, 05:06:39 AM
Well, which approach would be more like to yield a viable result?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Gumba Masta on December 06, 2010, 05:17:33 AM
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.

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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Gumba Masta on December 06, 2010, 06:08:33 AM
Would you believe it if I told you that one of the search results was a site with photos and videos of girls in nun habbits and nurse uniforms stuffing dictionaries up each other's fannies?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Gumba Masta on December 06, 2010, 06:43:11 AM
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.  

Yes, but you put such a negative spin to it.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 06, 2010, 06:56:18 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.

The term "agnostic" was coined by T.H. Huxley to describe his own views, and who wrote:

"I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel. I cannot see one shadow or tittle of evidence that the great unknown underlying the phenomenon of the universe stands to us in the relation of a Father [who] loves us and cares for us as Christianity asserts. So with regard to the other great Christian dogmas, immortality of soul and future state of rewards and punishments, what possible objection can I—who am compelled perforce to believe in the immortality of what we call Matter and Force, and in a very unmistakable present state of rewards and punishments for our deeds—have to these doctrines? Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them."

(Letter to Charles Kingsley, 6 May 1863)

How is that any different from Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens today?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: MrBogosity on December 06, 2010, 07:19:15 AM
Yes every single one of those facts could turn out to be completely wrong.

So, the Earth COULD turn out to be a cube? SN1987A COULD turn out to be 6,000 light-years away? Why do you keep avoiding these questions?

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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.

This is solipsism, nothing more.

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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.

Why do you keep ignoring what he pointed out? And it's EXACTLY the same thing I quoted Huxley pointing out in my previous post. If you keep ignoring this, you will be no better than the creationists, clinging to a strawman version of our claims just for the point of refuting us.

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Utter nonsense.  I do not make Astrology appear correct.

Yes, that's EXACTLY what your "big picture" does!

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I make it appear more wrong then the current theories of astronomy.

Then you MUST have some sort of knowledge of what is real in order to make that evaluation.

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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.

More projection.

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False dichotomy fallacy.

How is that in ANY way a false dichotomy? How is it even PHRASED in a way that would allow it to be a false dichotomy?

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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.

But the idea DOESN'T COME FROM Lamarckian evolution, so it would be ridiculous to say that Lamarck was confirmed by Darwin. For the same reason, Atomism didn't come up with the idea that stuff is made up of smaller stuff, so it's just as ridiculous to say that modern atomic theory confirms it.

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

Oh, come on--that sentence, and the arguments behind it, are CHOCK FULL of assumptions. You just don't want to see it.

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

Because doing otherwise has caused all sorts of trouble.

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I asked for the ratio of Liberals vs. Libertarians among the entire group of people who call themselves atheist.

And I've pointed out how that's a) irrelevant to the point and b) argumentum ad populum.

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Being outnumbered is perfectly relivant to the difficulties of changing people's minds.

But that's not what we're talking about!

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Not so.  The NULL is what must be true of the positive statement is false.

No, the NULL is the default assumption that everyone MUST make until presented with an option. If you had never even HEARD of the concept of God, then your default position would be that there isn't one--how could it be otherwise, if you didn't even have the concept?--until someone presents it as an option. But that presentation is PRECISELY why it's up to them to support it.

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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.

That makes absolutely no sense. With all your study of philosophy, do you not even know how to construct a simple syllogism?

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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.

Reference to peer-reviewed scientific literature, please.

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In fact, give them free food provided by humans, and their entire social structure breaks down into chaos.

Ditto.

And YouTube videos do NOT count. Besides, they weren't in a natural environment; they were in an artificially-created environment with an aspect (free food) that they would NOT have if they were in such numbers in the wild. It's not the numbers that cause them to behave selfishly; it's the fact that they were led to expect entitlements. This is NOT a demonstration of how badly they behave naturally, but it is, on the other hand, an EXCELLENT description of how people behave in an entitlement system.

See William Bradford's notes on Plymouth Plantation for an example of this happening in a small human population.

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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.

If the case is based on fallacies, then you HAVEN'T made your case, no matter how many people find it convincing (there's a reason why they're fallacies: people tend to fall for them).

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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.

Again, NOT WHAT HE SAID AT ALL.

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This is because you misunderstand what the NULL is.

I'm the one defending the notion in this conversation; you don't get to make up the terms as to what it is.

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The NULL is what must be true if the Hypothesis is false.

No, the null is what you use to test the hypothesis. Since verificationism leads to confirmation bias, only falsification can give you valid results. So to test the hypothesis, you try to falsify the null.

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In other words, both cannot be logically true.

But both could conceivably be false, if there's a third option not being considered. So no one is saying the null MUST be true.

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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.

HOW??? His quote is EXACTLY falsification as I've been using it, and as you've been denying!

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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!

Bullshit, and a desperate rhetorical ploy.

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

This is not a falsifiable statement

Sure, it is: find a non-evidence-based statement and show how it speaks of reality.

You really don't understand this concept AT ALL, do you?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 06, 2010, 11:36:19 AM
On a semi-related note: something tells me FlowCell isn't an atheist.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: VectorM on December 06, 2010, 12:45:55 PM
I've known that since forever
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 06, 2010, 12:47:16 PM
I've known that since forever

Any idea what is religion actually is?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Gumba Masta on December 06, 2010, 01:19:17 PM
Whatever it is, if it involves licking toads I'm all in!
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 06, 2010, 02:41:16 PM
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.
[Citation Needed]
Even if that's the case, it's probably because WE don't have the burden of proof.  We are rejecting others God claims.
They've yet to meet their burden of proof.

For your benefit:  http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheist_vs._agnostic


"The question is, 'do you believe in the existence a deity or deities?'  If you answer 'yes' to that question, you're a theist.  If you answer anything else, including 'I don't know.' You're an atheist."

Agnosticism/Gnosticism on the other hand is answering a different question, one of knowledge.
If I claim to know that god exists or doesn't exist, I am a Gnostic theist or atheist respectively.
If I claim to do not claim to know, or even deny knowing, I am an Agnostic Theist or Agnostic Atheist.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 06, 2010, 02:42:08 PM
That cartoon is humerus satire, but it could not be more of a straw man.
Whatever.  If the glove fits dude. :P
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 06, 2010, 02:52:55 PM
The term "agnostic" was coined by T.H. Huxley to describe his own views, and who wrote:

"I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel. I cannot see one shadow or tittle of evidence that the great unknown underlying the phenomenon of the universe stands to us in the relation of a Father [who] loves us and cares for us as Christianity asserts. So with regard to the other great Christian dogmas, immortality of soul and future state of rewards and punishments, what possible objection can I—who am compelled perforce to believe in the immortality of what we call Matter and Force, and in a very unmistakable present state of rewards and punishments for our deeds—have to these doctrines? Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them."

(Letter to Charles Kingsley, 6 May 1863)

How is that any different from Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens today?

Even if that weren't the case, it would still be an Argument from etymology (argumentum ad etymologia) (https://www.bogosity.tv/forum/index.php?topic=295.0;msg=2833).
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: VectorM on December 06, 2010, 03:33:24 PM
Any idea what is religion actually is?

Is it relevant? It would appear, from the exchange in this thread, that he is agnostic. Though the mannerism of some of his posts do remind me of the rhetoric that some Christians and/or Muslims use against us atheists. But now I am just dragging myself in to a fallacy.

Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 06, 2010, 10:14:39 PM
Is it relevant? It would appear, from the exchange in this thread, that he is agnostic. Though the mannerism of some of his posts do remind me of the rhetoric that some Christians and/or Muslims use against us atheists. But now I am just dragging myself in to a fallacy.
I was just curious.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 06, 2010, 11:23:49 PM
Scientists aren't immune to ape politics and territorial battles.
Nor are philosophers (or any other group of people); what's your point?
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Virgil0211 on December 07, 2010, 01:25:13 AM
Would you believe it if I told you that one of the search results was a site with photos and videos of girls in nun habbits and nurse uniforms stuffing dictionaries up each other's fannies?

I'll believe it when I see it.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Ex_Nihil0 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.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 07, 2010, 06:21:51 PM
Rule 34: if it exists, there is porn of it.
Rule 35: if porn of it does not exist, porn will be made.
Between this post and Gumba Masta's topic, "The Big Bad Wolf's how big?!", I reminded of the Encyclopedia Dramatica's depiction of furries...
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Gumba Masta on December 08, 2010, 05:02:01 AM
Please, you should'nt take me as a measure of judgement.
I am a groteske carricature of human existance after all.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 16, 2010, 03:02:21 PM

Nice video.  I giggled at the end where it was said people say that if he existed today, he would be a filthy libertarian holed up in his cabin with lots of guns and Ron Paul campaign material, constantly saying that the gov't did 9/11.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on December 30, 2010, 12:00:14 AM
but it [the xkcd comic] could not be more of a straw man.
It might be, if I were using it to rebut or argue against any of your points.  All I said was that it reminded me of this thread.  So you falsey accuse me of a strawman, thereby committing a strawman yourself.

Philosophy is a means to an end
Something I went on and addressed in one of my earlier posts on the 4th page of this thead that you never responded to.
Title: Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
Post by: Travis Retriever on January 29, 2011, 03:48:12 PM
Also, FlowCell regarding the definition of Atheism: 
From your above video starting @3:50 - "All people are born equal for the same reason all men are born atheists; all men are born without knowledge."

There we go, right out of your own mouth.