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Still Waters

Can Skepticism Blind You to the Truth?

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White Crane Feather

Gee, thanks. :sm

But here's the problem: 1) That isn't what you said, and 2), You directly implied that everyone else was thinking precisely that.

1) It was your example and metaphor I was merely piggy backing to clarify. Im not sure how you can say its not what I said...either you did not understand the meaning of the original points or we just are not on the same page...please note, im not questioning your intelligence on not understanding it may simply be a communication issue. 2) Hugh? I try to stick to the arguments. sometimes I may generalize groups but its necessary at times to. Active voice has that affect on people who are not used to it. But its a valid style in debate and was ingrained into me by a particular professor.

Are you getting it yet? Are you understanding that you did a double whammy of first insulting our sense of logic (not the first time, not the last, and not even that bad a thing, considering that it drives the majority of the discussion on this forum), but then squared the error by following it up with an utterly false implication that we would not agree with the idea that there is still much, much, more to learn.

No Im not. someone attacked my logic and I demonstrated how faulty that argument was. Granted we got a little testy, but I do tend to mimic someone's energy directed at me... something im working on being more graceful with...but im simply competitive that way. It seems there are some that can dish it out and not take it. I am versed enough in rhetoric not to let them run me over, just not graceful enough just yet not to fight back. Non of it was directed at you any hoo. You usually can stick with arguments and can handle someone point out the use of fallacies. It is what it is. If I identify the use of a fallacious remarks especially when someone is claiming im being fallacious, am I not supposed to point it out? Is it insulting to someone if someone else happens to be right about something, and if im not then the other person should able to make a case right? Not just get in a huff?

That's exactly what was implied. The implication was that what we think we know doesn't change only what don't know is added to what we know. This is simply not true.

No, sorry, can't give the intellectual high ground here. The disagreement here has nothing to do with cognitive bias. This here disagreement is totally and 100% due to your communication skills. Moreso, I would even venture to say that it is a refusal, probably due to some sense of ego, to admit that you made a mistake or changed your mind half-way through the thread.

I will have to disagree. The thread is about skeptics being blinded by their own bias. I get along fine and debate well with other skeptics who are respectful and have the ability to see things from the other perspective and am even friends with a few, so it would seem that its not just my communication skills but related specifically to the styles and sensitivities of a few individuals. Point out my mistake specifically. I cannot fathom even what there is to be mistaken about. Ego has nothing to do with it. If you can clearly and simply point out the mistake I will concede. I have done It before even rambled on for pages until someone was prepared enough to show me my mistake with a clear argument then I walked away with my foot in my mouth, when its real. But I doubt that is what is happening here. often claims like this are just about muddying the waters or an actual communication problem.... I do type very fast sometimes and sometimes what I meant to say does not come out right, but I assure you there is no conscious about face in this debate what-so-ever. Other times people are simply sub level thinking. Im happy to review the material and try to see what you are referring to to clarify.

Not really, no. The physical world hasn't changed at all just because we discovered that there is an underlying truth beneath the truth that governs our world.

No it has not. But like my sun circling the earth analogy earlier, it does show us that what governs the world ultimately isn't physical. This is an important point of contention when discussing metaphysics. And on this one point metaphysical apologetics happen to be right. Remember Ego when not being able to admit something? If you want to see a materialist/physicalist squirm show him the evidence that physical things are governed by non physical principals. They do tend to bite when you do this though, but not all of them. It is important to note that just because ultimate reality is governed by non physical principals dosnt mean metaphysical things are right though. Its just a stepping stone.

Why are you freely mixing philosophy and science? Why are you judging science based on philosophy? That's crazy. Nature doesn't care about philosophy. Science doesn't care about underlying principles in other fields. The quantum world is a separate environment so unique it is for all intents and purposes a different reality. The effect is has on the macro world we live in is one thing, the significance of that effect to our understanding of the macro world something completely different.

Have you studied any scientific history? All science is based on philosophical materialism. Science is used to explore philosophical assertions, and philosophy is used to interpret scientific results. The two are bed mates. I know you are talking about the cold hard method of testing, but that is only part of science. The beauty and power of science is so good and elegant that in the end it proved that the very philosophical premis that it was built upon simply cannot be true, despite the clinginess to old ways. Look...im not spinning all this off the top of my head. Im merely parroting what I have learned from real scientists and philosophers, I used to read a lot. to many kids these days to be as active as I used to.

QM is not a different reality. Its right here with us and plays an important part in the construct of this reality. Especially on this website where metaphysics is common topic. Truths are always discovered on the margins. I cant see how you can possibly say its a different reality. In all likelihood it was a quantum event that initiated the BB, Quantum tunneling is responsible for the extra energy needed to keep stars burning. Yes all atoms cooked inside of stars are a direct result of quantum effects. These are the very elements you are made of. Quantum effects affect processes inside of your very nurons, and ultimately it may be discovered that quantum effects are the direct cause of dark energy and dark matter. Galaxy's...planets....plants...animals....all subject to quantum effects.

We know how gravity works, but we don't know why. We don't understand the mechanism. We don't need to in order to work with gravity. Which is not to say we aren't intenselley curious about. Someday, we will find out, and it will probably have something to do with the quantum world, but it would be crazy to pretend that what we know right now, living as we do in the materialistic side of reality isn't valid. And it would be downright insulting to pretend that because we are willing to work with the knowledge we have, we are refusing to admit that more knowledge exists. That sort of presumptuous, self-righteous, utterly egotistical sort of remark accomplishes nothing other than turn a discussion on scientific culture into one in which the high school queen bee disdainfully sniffs and turns her nose up, claiming the others are pretending to be as popular as she knows she is.

Then why is it happening? are you seriously going to tell me that the constant criticisms of the spiritual isn't doing just this. I have debated countless NDE debates. I can see that there is a belief that there is no room for things outside of materialism even when we know for a fact there is something vast and deep even responsible for berionic matter itself. I have never said that making use of material knowledge isn't valid. Its simply, and truthfully isn't all there is. Assertions that 'things' cannot exist that are non material is categorically false. You know as well as I do that there are those that simply cannot admit this. I am happy to see that you are open to this though.

Why are you getting the reaction you are getting? Because you are acting like the high school queen B. Admit that you made a mistake, or at the very least what you typed was completely and totally different from what you claim you wanted to say, and you will receive a greater degree of latitude. Pretend that you always knew what you were talking about and it is the fault of everyone else they didn't understand you, and you get nothing but the scorn accorded to posers.

Point out my "mistake" paste what I said that you think I changed right next to it. We will see. Its the only way to resolve this. I get reactions like this because people don't like to have their own attitude thrown back at them. Psudoskeptics do not like to be shown that their logic is faulty, especially while they are claiming logical high ground. The same thing happens when someone points out spelling/grammer mistakes then you point out they were making spelling/grammer mistakes while critiquing you. ( one lady screamed at me in PM once because of this) . The same thing happens with riligous fundamentalists when they are confronted with their own logic as well. As I mentioned. Its only the a certain type of skeptic that gets their "queen B" panties in a ruffle when they are forced to look into a mirror and a guy who believes in "Woo" wont let them get away with it. Im sorry. I make friends with plenty of other skeptics that can actually handle debate without getting emotional. These guys remind me why I never ever argue with my wife. Im open to see how my words can misinurpreted, and how I could have said it better. That's reasonable. but yes all I see is claims not direct comparisons. Sometimes people with fundamental beliefs simply hear what they want to out of written words, and when their logic is defeated the look for other things to argue about, but hey it could be me to. All I can say is point it out clearly and will see what happened, but difference of opinon is not ego driven stubbornness. People that think they are right often claim the stubbornness of the other party. Im not going to back down every time someone claims im being difficult. Hopefully I can be more graceful in the future though. :)

Please note that I am under the impression that this is not a moderator user discussion. But a discussion amongst 2 people. if this is a moderator action I am perfectly capable of shutting my mouth. If not...then please show me the point of confusion.

Edited by White Crane Feather
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White Crane Feather

My own bias towards non-belief has affected the accuracy or reliability of some of my conclusions. I truly am a skeptic at heart, at it sometimes leads me to harsh judgments of people & people's claims, despite the fact that I have had some of the same "supernatural" experiences they've had. It's like, I can believe my own experiences and trust my own senses and sensibilities and motives, but I'm almost always skeptical of the claims of others. I can make an exception for myself, but not for others, and I don't think that speaks very highly of me.

I don't think so Beany. I call that personal honesty. Jung would be proud of you.

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aquatus1
What's this based on?

Much like everything else in science, observation, experimentation, and education (in the sense of reading the work that other people have done in the field).

The way I see it, physical and the "other levels" are connected some way.

They are. They simply aren't connected in any particular way that affects the macro behavior in any way since the discover of the quantum world, as White Feather claims there is.

I wonder if nature really doesn't care about philosophy... we're part of nature, us humans, and lot of us seem to care about philosophy

That's kind of where part of the problem comes from. That one element is part of a greater whole doesn't mean that the greater whole has any qualities from the individual elements. It is a classic error, and the classic example is sodium and chloride, both highly toxic, somewhat unstable, elements by themselves, but common table salt when in a compound. The same is largely true of people as well, both as social groups among humanity, as humans within their own species groups, and even as animals on the entire planet. While humans are certainly not the only animals on Earth to show intelligence, aesthetics, spirituality, and culture, we do have a particular trait that does make us unique among other animals. What that trait is, however, doesn't really affect nature's behavior as a whole. It isn't a matter of philosophy; it's simply observation.

Monkeys ain't that far from us, nor the only other intelligent animals. It's not like there's a steep ravine between us and the rest of the animals, we just make it look like it through technology and advanced communication and by developing our brain-use. Other animals do that too. Doesn't darvinism say all species evolve? What would prevent today's monkeys from being like us in terms of technology millions years after if we allowed them to do their thing?

Hey, you're preaching to the quoir. This doesn't, however, have anything to do with the actual point under discussion. The central problem here is that White Feather is accusing everyone involved in science as taking materialism as a belief, instead of as a theory. That, in addition to all the social challenges he makes, is what is creating the tension in the discussion. His actual claims aren't all that controversial.

I just dont understand reducdionism. I do understand sticking to subjects you are good at for a lot of reasons. Reducdionism is different from scepticism, because scepticism is supposed to weight the evidence, not throw it to a trash can nor embrace it without some base. Neither one. Reducdionism and ignorance throws it in a trash can and makes believers take it on face value without any further study. The point of scepticism is to study, not to conclude. Because after conclusion there's nothing. Occam's razor is for reducdionism, not scepticism. Sceptic evaluates and looks from different angles, don't they? Because they can't accept the easy solution. If you're a reducdionist then be so but it's not the same as scepticism, is it? Not meaning this to you or anyone else in particular Aquatus.

No problem, I get that you are speaking generally. Thing of it is, though, that you are making the same mistake as White Feather, and assuming some of the practices of the scientifically minded are actually beliefs. This compounded by having a somewhat incomplete concept of what these practices are, which leads you to incorrect conclusions, such as the "throw it in a trash can" idea.

The point of skepticism isn't actually to study. In fact, the greatest use of skepticism is when one doesn't have the time or resources to study effectively. Skepticism is for validating or for determining the credibility of a given claim. Note that this isn't the same of showing a claim to be correct. It is simply a manner in which we can determine whether a given claim can be a valid explanation for a given phenomena or situation. There can be more than one valid explanation for something.

Occam's Razor, the use (and abuse) of it really deserves its own thread. Occam's Razor is actually neither for skepticism, reductionism, or really anything else other than a general rule of thumb that changes depending on the purpose of the analytical activity. In terms of general discussion and debate, Occam's Razor is used for little more than K.I.S.S. In terms of skepticism, it helps focus on "Which answer explains why?" In terms of scientific methodology, it becomes "Which answer is the most useful?" There isn't a one-size-fits-all definition for Occam's Razor. It isn't a law as much as it is a tool, useful, but hardly the end-all-be-all. Most people use it to try and come up with the easiest solution. That's not quite what it is for.

So, what is reductionism, then? If skepticism is for validation and credibility, and Occam's razor is for focusing, what is the purpose of reductionism? Reductionism is the practice of analyzing complex systems through the study of their simpler constituents. Things to note here are that "simpler constituents" isn't the same is "individual parts" and that the above practice is not the same as the philosophical position of "the whole is the sum of its parts". Reductionism is little more than reverse engineering the phenomena to discover the context in which it occurs in.

There is nothing about skepticism, reductionism, or even Occam's razor that requires anything to be "thrown in the trash can". To do such a thing would be pointless (how are you going to investigate simpler constituents if you are throwing away parts of the argument)? Yes, there are explanations and claims that are pushed aside through the use of the above, but that they are pushed aside for a given phenomena doesn't mean that they are useless for any other phenomena. That is the perspective of science. Not throwing something away; just seeing if it is a best fit for a given problem. Whether a particular explanation or claim ends up in the trash can can usually be traced to that individual claims ability to support itself, not to whether or not it has been excised by any of the above.

So you're saying he should apologize so he could gain acceptance?

Not at all. He wondered (whether he did so sincerely or not is a different question) why he was getting such a reaction from people (or rather, why others "had become so narrowly emotional at his suggestions"). I told him precisely why, and gave him the start to a solution. Whether he chooses to apply it or not is up to him. And, to clarify, an apology is not going to gain him acceptance, particularly if he doesn't know what he is apologizing for.

Bending down can be a good thing but not for the wrong reasons. Do say I'm wrong if you feel so, but I think you're just mad because you dont like his attitute.

I won't say mad, but yes, his attitude is fairly exasperating. He is the boor in the party, airily claiming to be the victim of all those pseudo-skeptics while he himself shines in the light of his own personal authority. Like I said, no one likes a poser.

Can't blame you if you dont, I think there's a lotta that in the air. But does that make what he says wrong? Maybe harder to swallow, much so when there's argument, we draw thicker curtains over our mind's eyes the more we get into an argument and take sides. It's obvious here's side-taking, nothing wrong, but look what it does.

No, his attitude is just what is causing the emotional reaction, which I tend to think he does on a subconscious basis as a pre-emptive defense mechanism. That he is wrong is an entirely different matter, which is addressed by the people quoting his specific claims and showing how they do not make sense logically, and on occassion, how they do not make sense contextually.

I'll get to White Crane's post a little later on today.

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baro67

I think that the hardcore skepticism is the lowest step on the steep staircase leading to knowledge

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aquatus1

Well, it could be argued that the most hardcore skeptics tend to be the freshly-graduated, so I suppose there is a certain amount of truth to that.

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NewAge1

Skepticism and rational thinking are very useful tools that can be applied in just about every area of life, as long as it does not become a kind of ''religion'' to dismiss that which cannot enter one's conception of reality, so that it quickly become a state of denial.

The term “skeptic” derives from a Greek noun, skepsis, which means examination, inquiry, consideration.

Source: http://www.iep.utm.edu/skepanci/

Unfotunately, this definition seems to have lost the essence of it's meaning along the way, what we often find in skeptic organisations these days is a form of nihilism, a systematic rejection of what doesn't fit in a materialistic and atheist science.

Edited by sam_comm
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maximusnow

I believe it goes both ways. A skeptic will not see what he does not believe in and a believer could see a lot more than there is. There has to be a healthy balance.

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J. K.

I believe it goes both ways. A skeptic will not see what he does not believe in and a believer could see a lot more than there is. There has to be a healthy balance.

Moderation -- such a useful, yet under-used, concept.

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David Thomson

What many people think is "skepticism" is really "cynicism." They think they are being open-minded, but they are actually projecting their beliefs.

Real skeptics take the time to carefully review data before making any comment at all. And when they do comment, their words reflect the careful consideration of the data and the mechanisms that could or could not explain the data.

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Beany

I think maybe it's true that default skepticism can sometimes cause us to be blind, or ignore, or dismiss things that might be helpful to consider; the same is true of taking the opposite position. I say this because the former was true of myself, at one time, and I'm assuming I'm not alone in this. As a skeptic, I can think something can't possibly be true, but as a rational person I have to examine all of the information, giving it equal weight, before I draw a conclusion. And that's the problem with some skeptics and some believers, they fail to do that, as they have already adopted an opinion and justify or reason from that opinion. I'm not sure I'm being clear with this idea, so here's an extreme example: I am a skeptic so I'm not going to seriously consider any ideas unless they've been proven by science, or, I'm a believer, and I'm going to believe what I will and ignore ideas or facts that weaken my position. Neither one is really helpful.

And re: errors in thinking or critical thinking, reasoning, etc. may make a person wrong, however, it is not an indication of a character flaw. Here's another observation, it's the need to be right that causes errors in thinking. Putting aside the need to be right opens up doors for us that we might not otherwise see. Who wants to live in a house, no matter how large or luxurious or beautiful, that has no doors?

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Mikko-kun

I wont go into what you think about Crane and how he brings himself out, not my place and so on, we're human beings, not perfect by far and it's easy in arguments to see the worse characteristics of the other. I know it because I got a habit of getting hung-up about what I think are inherent fallacies of character in how the other party brings themselves out.

As for the scepticism thing, I think your view on it is profound, and I use the same school of thought about taking to consideration both the whole and the little things, both the river and the raindrops. Or at least work on using it. I think it's a healthy view to see things like scepticism and Occam's razor as tools instead of beliefs, to take them as such instead. Belief is more like the end result what you get with those tools, but as a whole they can be close to each others, those steps can be seen as a one whole step in a broader picture.

No problem, I get that you are speaking generally. Thing of it is, though, that you are making the same mistake as White Feather, and assuming some of the practices of the scientifically minded are actually beliefs. This compounded by having a somewhat incomplete concept of what these practices are, which leads you to incorrect conclusions, such as the "throw it in a trash can" idea.

Well, I just see them as beliefs, is what they seem from my angle, because I dont see them being all founded in reality as I experience it to be. The practises of some of the scientifically minded you refer to there, those practises are based on belief that they work on some level. And honestly, I think everything can be discussed as if it was belief, because everything has a value of being believed in. Believing in your room is clean, believing in 1+1 cannot be proven to be 3 by any math genius, belief in plain reality, belief in what you don't know about. Belief is just to extend our trust to that which has qualities that are out of our scope of understanding. To believe is to realise you might be wrong but still choose to regard it as reality, it is to have good aim. It's not ment to be solid but just a source of insight we have, like when looking through a rifle's crosshair at our target. If we miss the mark, we use self-control or self-transformation to correct ourselves instead of claiming we're right, that would be the kind of blind dogmatic belief instead of just a belief.

To believe is to broaden our understanding through a possible error. To know is to rely on something not being an error, and knowledge can become belief when you go full circle and reduce the other alternatives, go through the other steps. Or if you skip steps and just question that which you know. Which means to consider that which you know from the point of "what if it's just a belief I have?". Sorry for the elaborate way but that's the angle you can take to see the belief value of everything.

I didn't want to mean belief as a religion, but a belief in abstract sense. Steep difference between belief/faith and religion, because religion is more of a dogmatic and reliant method which ignores errors more than an actual belief/faith which comes from instinct. I think belief is something worth to refine.

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DigitalDreamer

"Liek zomg i am such a realists lolz martial posessions are teh only thing that matterz!!1" just about every 'skeptic' when it comes to anything paranormal or spiritual!

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Babe Ruth

All possible evidence maybe, but evidence paints a picture not necessarily the truth.

This thread subject reminds me of Kierkegaard's observation that there are 2 ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true, and the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

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paperdyer

Skeptic means study then believe. It's not a disbelief in anything. Instead of jumping to the conclusion like "true", "false", a true skeptic will put the subject in question under the state "unknown". A study will then necessary to decide whether it's "true/false" or still "unknown" (require more test).

The key to prove something is "repeatable", "experimentable". Something which is randomness or personal experience is very hard to do experiment with

I agree. I've seen some strange things as a "shadow creature" in my driveway when i was outside with my dog at night. I kept seeing something out of the corner of my left eye. I had a flashlight and of course nothing was there. I kept seeing something but everytime I looked, nothing. Finally I eyes followed some shadowy mass more very quickly in friont of me and disappear. Paranormal? Who knows. i haven't seen it since. But if string theory is correct, we might be able to see glimses of different dimensions under the proper conditions.

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Beany

I like your idea about skepticism being a tool, instead of a default position, something we manipulate instead of ourselves being manipulated. That's the kind of practical thinking I love. As for beliefs, those are changeable, subject to a lot of different influences. I have worked really hard to reduce my list of beliefs, because I found they were so often not my beliefs, but those of others, that I adopted as my own.

My practice is not to believe anything that I don't know from personal experience to be true unless there is persuasive evidence to do otherwise; not to disrespect others and their own experiences and conclusions, and not to insist that my version of reality is the only one there is. As for how I feel about WCF or anyone else, I have a rule of thumb I learned in my sociology class years ago, to consider someone's actions or words in a situational context, and not that of a character defect. It's worked really well for me throughout the years, and frankly, has saved me more than once from making a complete horse's patootie out of myself.

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Professor T

I personally don't think that belief has anything to do with it, and a healthy level of skepticism is a critical part of any experience..

Using Dreams as an example...

Most people see dreams as just that "It was only a dream" That is because that belief has been conditioned since their first nightmare when a parent run's into the room and says "there there...... it was only a dream.."

The result of this after many nights of "there there...... it was only a dream.." is that Dreams become perceived as un-real because of conditioning as opposed to actual critical thinking with the experience.. They Believe that dreams are not real even though they experience them.. (this is a conditioned logical fallacy)

Once someone applies a tiny amount of skepticism to the concept of Dreams and consciousness one can soon realize that Dreams are a real experience.. And if one is so inclined they can use one's self and ones own self discoveries and experience with dreams and can slowly build up an ability to remember them......... The Dreams become richer and they become the much MUCH more real...

But open minded skepticism doesn't here there.. Because next you are faced with the reality of dreams being equal to or of even of greater realism than what we perceive as reality today.... Hmmmph, this doesn't mean you throw skepticism out the door.. On the contrary, this is when you need critical thinking and healthy dollop of skepticism more than ever, especially when faced with concepts one has never faced before..

So, in this example, Belief Is a limiting factor. And a healthy level of skepticism is needed to get past the dogma..

In this case, the dogma being "It's only a dream" and the Skepticism needed to realize that logical fallacy.

This argument could, of course, be easily turned on it's head.. But only through looking at the same situation from a the fixed perspective of a true believer or a died in the wool pseudoskeptic..

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DieChecker

Even the deeply religious and the crazed true believer can be Skeptical when confronted with other religions or crazed beliefs. If someone believes strongly in Atlantis, and that it is in the Carabbean, they may be very skeptically of an idea where Atlantis is in Greenland, England, Bermuda, or the Canary Islands.

I don't think being a believer and being a skeptic are mutually exclusive. I think that each is a spectrum in each individual.
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Mikko-kun

Even the deeply religious and the crazed true believer can be Skeptical when confronted with other religions or crazed beliefs. If someone believes strongly in Atlantis, and that it is in the Carabbean, they may be very skeptically of an idea where Atlantis is in Greenland, England, Bermuda, or the Canary Islands.

I don't think being a believer and being a skeptic are mutually exclusive. I think that each is a spectrum in each individual.

Funny that you mention this. I have this one guy at work who believes in UFOs and angels and is proclaims to be an ufologist and is interested in all kinds of alternative history, but he seemed disturbed when I told him I know some astrology.

And yeah, I had to give him the idea I wasn't THAT much into UFOs and such, my jury's still out on those things, he's pretty pumped-up about that stuff tho. I think we all have our favourite things, for different reasons, but it takes something else to listen to the other person.

Edited by Mikko-kun

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aquatus1
I wont go into what you think about Crane and how he brings himself out, not my place and so on, we're human beings, not perfect by far and it's easy in arguments to see the worse characteristics of the other. I know it because I got a habit of getting hung-up about what I think are inherent fallacies of character in how the other party brings themselves out.

I avoid it if I can, but don't hesitate to answer if asked. While it is true that in a discussion, it is the argument that is the key, it is also true that it isn't the argument that creates the response. Making the argument personal is a charge that works both ways.

Well, I just see them as beliefs, is what they seem from my angle, because I dont see them being all founded in reality as I experience it to be. The practises of some of the scientifically minded you refer to there, those practises are based on belief that they work on some level.

This sort of belief is what is referred to in science as an "Axiom". An axiom is a premise which is taken as true for the simple reason that it has never been shown to be false. The extension of this is that any given explanation for a phenomena that will work in one scenario will also work in a different scenario at another point in time, given that there are no other influencing factors involved. Basically, if it works now, we can assume it worked then, unless there is a reason to assume it didn't.

Scientific Methodology has five of these axioms, which are considered the pre-requisites for something to be considered "scientific":

1) The first would be that it needs to explain the currently existing data.

2) The second is that it would have to be able to predict future events based on that data, in order to encompass data discovered in the future, as well as post-dict data from the past.

3) The conclusion would have to be logical enough so that an unbiased third party would naturally arrive at the same results.

4) The theory must be falsifiable.

5) The explanation offered must be a verifiable event.

These axioms apply to every single scientific theory in existence, all the way from the earliest Pythagorean Theorum all the way to the latest M-string quantum theories, with no exceptions.

Sure, one could refer to the above as "beliefs", but beliefs tend to have a certain, as you mentioned, "abstract" nature to them, a sort of fuzzy edge that makes a it hard to pin down a hard definition for them. Axioms have a bit more concreteness to them. Certainly, the authority of being applicable for examples throughout millenia of history gives them at the very least the credibility of having been tested, tried, and found to be true. Few mere beliefs can claim as much.

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stevemagegod

I don't see how believing in the Paranormal is any different than believing in Religion. Hell the Paranormal in my personal opinion is much more believable than Religion.

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Mikko-kun

So if it can't be repeated it doesn't exist or is false according to that kinda thinking. But what if world is never exactly the same in some ways and that would effect the possibility of exact repetation of events of certain nature? Or, what if it's such a highly hard-to-repeat event that it fails to be repeated often enought to pass the treshold but the actual event is still true? Must we then just wait until a method is discovered which can make the event more repeatable under those circumstances? Or can we rely on faith?

I know the answer from what you call a scientific perspetive, I dont think it's scientific but just a certain school of thought which can produce results to certain extent, which it seems to be able to. Just like basic math can produce basic results. Basic math can hardly explain however why people become jealous of each other or some astronomical phenomenon, you need more than addition and substracting there.

Is the aim of science only to reassure us, or to make discoveries too?

Edited by Mikko-kun

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aquatus1
So if it can't be repeated it doesn't exist or is false according to that kinda thinking.

*sigh*

I'll try again.

These aren't philosophical positions. They aren't random beliefs. They aren't rules of reality.

What they are, are a set of observations that have been seen to be universal throughout all of history, even from time before these axioms were ever thought up. These axioms define what we refer to as scientific, no more, no less. It has absolutely nothing to do with whether something exists or is false. These axioms filter out that which is useful, from that which is not.

But what if world is never exactly the same in some ways and that would effect the possibility of exact repetation of events of certain nature?

Then it is a matter of discovering the axiom that this new phenomena follows.

Or, what if it's such a highly hard-to-repeat event that it fails to be repeated often enought to pass the treshold but the actual event is still true?

Then it is a matter of discovering the environment in which the event occurs. This is actually about 90% of theoretical science research.

Must we then just wait until a method is discovered which can make the event more repeatable under those circumstances? Or can we rely on faith?

People can, and quite often do, whatever the heck their little hearts desire. Most often, they don't bother to check in with science first to determine whether or not it is a good idea. People are free to believe what they wish when they wish to. They can rely on faith, whether it be the faith in the supernatural or faith that the media is correctly representing what the scientists think (honestly, I would bank on the supernatural over the media).

If, however, you want to understand the perspective of science, then it is an inherent part of the practice to understand the 5 prerequisites of scientific methodology.

I know the answer from what you call a scientific perspetive, I dont think it's scientific but just a certain school of thought which can produce results to certain extent, which it seems to be able to. Just like basic math can produce basic results. Basic math can hardly explain however why people become jealous of each other or some astronomical phenomenon, you need more than addition and substracting there.

Well...they are called prerequisites.

Is the aim of science only to reassure us, or to make discoveries too?

Neither.

The general aim of science is to discover why things happen. The general aim of research is to determine how things happen. If people are reassured or frightened, if discoveries are made or mistakes uncovered, those are just the individual results of given lines of research. The purpose of science, if such a thing can be said to have a purpose, is to gather knowledge.

What a person chooses to do with that knowledge is up to them.

Edited by aquatus1
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DieChecker

*sigh*

I'll try again.

:nw: :nw:

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ask21771

the best people to find the truth in my opinion are those who are ideologically neutral who are truly unattached to either spiritualistic or atheistic beliefs we need people who are objective and not at risk of having their judgment clouded

Edited by ask21771

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Beany

So if it can't be repeated it doesn't exist or is false according to that kinda thinking. But what if world is never exactly the same in some ways and that would effect the possibility of exact repetation of events of certain nature? Or, what if it's such a highly hard-to-repeat event that it fails to be repeated often enought to pass the treshold but the actual event is still true? Must we then just wait until a method is discovered which can make the event more repeatable under those circumstances? Or can we rely on faith?

I know the answer from what you call a scientific perspetive, I dont think it's scientific but just a certain school of thought which can produce results to certain extent, which it seems to be able to. Just like basic math can produce basic results. Basic math can hardly explain however why people become jealous of each other or some astronomical phenomenon, you need more than addition and substracting there.

Is the aim of science only to reassure us, or to make discoveries too?

I think science says if it can't be repeated or recreated, then it can't be scientifically proven, which isn't the same as saying it doesn't exist.

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