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  1. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrogdog View Post
    Sorry to come late here, but the basic philosophical point here is simply that "truth" can only be what people decide it is.

    Now, you may think that is foolish in that you may believe that many share your view, for example, but that does not necessarily invalidate the philosophical argument.

    You simply might have majority opinion. Note that I am not even stating that you do, or not, as even that would be a point of view thing.

    Mostly anyway. Unless there were clear votes to the contrary, but even then, the basis of those votes would be derived by things YOU hold to be true.

    I'm not sure I can adequately explain the difference between practical and philosophical arguments.

    Nonetheless, philosophical matters when applied to real life usually indicate a dead end situation as the two cannot be rationally taken together in most cases.
    So you are basically agreeing the whole matter is a bunch of commie bullsh1t. Understood, I was saying all along the guy was an idiot, glad we can agree.
    "You boys are really making this thing harder than it has to be". Me

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  2. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmac00 View Post
    come on Tool, idiot is a little strong don't ya think.........maybe moron would be a better adjective. The guy lives in academia, the real world is a distant theoretical place totally unfamiliar to him.
    No, I think IDIOT is quite appropriate. I reserve moron for intellectually challenged folks, those lacking grey matter. Them who have brains, yet have no wisdom whatsoever, they are just idiots. IDIOT works for me as a description just fine.
    "You boys are really making this thing harder than it has to be". Me

    "Who ARE you people? And WHAT are you doing in my SWAMP!?" Shrek

    Service calls submitted after 3PM will be posted the next business day.

    I give free estimates [Wild Ass Guesses] over the phone.

    "Ain't nobody got time for that". Corny

  3. #42
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    The way I learned about life is there are two realities. One is man's reality. And the other is the reality of the universe for lack of a better term.

    Two examples.

    Man's reality: What is the price to pay for doing 70 MPH in a 30MPH zone when you are not caught? Nothing because you were not caught so there is no price to pay physically. So what is the truth in this matter?

    Universe reality: Take 5 steps off of a 10 story roof and what is the price you pay? Immeidate results because you have broken one of the many physical laws of the universe. So what is the truth in this matter?
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
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  4. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaT View Post
    The way I learned about life is there are two realities. One is man's reality. And the other is the reality of the universe for lack of a better term.

    Two examples.

    Man's reality: What is the price to pay for doing 70 MPH in a 30MPH zone when you are not caught? Nothing because you were not caught so there is no price to pay physically. So what is the truth in this matter?

    Universe reality: Take 5 steps off of a 10 story roof and what is the price you pay? Immeidate results because you have broken one of the many physical laws of the universe. So what is the truth in this matter?
    The flaw in your examples is saying there is only one truth, when in fact there are many. In example one you may not get caught but you can crash. Example two there are many ways to take five steps off a 10 story roof without harming yourself.

  5. #44
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    this is giving me a headache.

    I got to go fix a furnace, be back in awhile to further this BS
    "Arguing with liberals...it's like playing chess with a pigeon; no matter how good I am at chess, the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board and strut around like it's victorious." -- Anonymous

  6. #45
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  7. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tool-Slinger View Post
    So you are basically agreeing the whole matter is a bunch of commie bullsh1t. Understood, I was saying all along the guy was an idiot, glad we can agree.
    Not exactly. The guy is not an idiot for making a proper philosophical point.

    Anyone who wants to think its relevant to the real world is the one with the problem, not the guy who said it.

    Case in point... how many times have we heard this old tired one?

    You can't prove a negative.

    Er... what? Of course you can. We do it every day.

    What was meant by the statement is a philosophical musing pretty much useful only as that. A point of interest.

    That's pretty much what philosophy is. It rarely has relevance to real life in a practical sense.

    You may have cause to believe in a silopsist view for example, but you aren't going anywhere with that thought practically speaking. Even if all you percieve to be "real" *is* all in your head, it still makes sense to proceed as if reality were "real".
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  8. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmac00 View Post

    I got to go fix a furnace, be back in awhile to further this BS
    Me too. I've got to do a window estimate and then put in about 40 miles on my road bike.

  9. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrogdog View Post
    Not exactly. The guy is not an idiot for making a proper philosophical point.

    Anyone who wants to think its relevant to the real world is the one with the problem, not the guy who said it.

    Case in point... how many times have we heard this old tired one?

    You can't prove a negative.

    Er... what? Of course you can. We do it every day.

    What was meant by the statement is a philosophical musing pretty much useful only as that. A point of interest.

    That's pretty much what philosophy is. It rarely has relevance to real life in a practical sense.

    You may have cause to believe in a silopsist view for example, but you aren't going anywhere with that thought practically speaking. Even if all you percieve to be "real" *is* all in your head, it still makes sense to proceed as if reality were "real".
    Philosophy is primarily thinking about thinking.

    When someone for instance reasons to the existence of gods a philosopher would be interested first in whether the subject of gods is something that could even be reasoned to.

    Philosophers find that, of all the propositions of reasoning processes, there are those that are logically true and so analytic and a priori and then there are those that cannot be established or even discovered by mere logic such as those that are synthetic and contingent.

    There was a time after Kant where it was thought that new non-trivial knowledge of the world could be established by following Euclidean Geometry - because it was assumed that the world was itself Euclidean. But people like Riemann introduced variations to Euclid's 5th Postulate bringing about hyperbolic and elliptical geometries which were in the end used by Einstein to map that part of reality we call space-time. What is important is that which geometry mapped best to the world had to be discovered a posteriori. So it is now quite firmly established by philosophers that there is no known means by which we humans could derive non-trivial new knowledge of the world through pure reason unaided by experience.


    A friend put this to me the other day...

    "--The so called " God particle" was not discovered by empiricism as a starting point. It was discovered on the basis of an a priori proposition. it was discovered on the basis of deduction and an idea. --"

    My reply to him...

    Firstly - it was not known that that particular particle did in fact exist. It was that particle proving so difficult to find - being so elusive - that jokingly it was called the "god particle" meaning almost as elusive as god.

    The first time Newton's mechanical description of the way the planets go failed they postulated an unknown planet in the vicinity of Uranus to account for the apparent falsifying observations in which Uranus's orbit was perturbed. They did find a new planet subsequently called Neptune - exactly where predicted. This is something like the expectation that there must be a Higgs Boson. It was an inductive move - it was the expectation that there must be more of the same.

    However, the advancing perihelion of Mercury also falsified Newton's descriptions. Again, following the success regarding Uranus, they postulated a so far yet to be discovered planet which in anticipation they called Vulcan which would explain why Mercury seemed to disobey the inverse square law of gravity. It was an inductive move again - it was again the expectation that there must be more of the same. They never found this new planet. Instead Einstein later explained the advancing perihelion of Mercury with his theory of relativity. And precisely the same could have happened with the Higgs Boson. The reasoning toward the Higgs could not rule out some such similar unfolding.

    There are many examples in the history of science like this. Bodes Law is another famous example.

    This is why the Higgs Boson had to be discovered by experiment - the math models representing the theories just could never establish the truth of the existence of the Higgs Boson.

    What's more - pure reason, as employed by the rationalist, could not tell us that we can know that what looks like the Higgs of the model is in fact the Higgs suggested - pure reason can tell us that something is such and such but it cannot ever tell us why it necessarily could not be some other way. We must still remain open to the possibility of some better competing hypothesis demanding another major alteration to the web of conceptions within which this one sits.

    The planets Neptune and Vulcan and then too the Higgs Boson were all inductively anticipated. Any deduction found in the arguments for them would have come down from generalisations originally established purely inductively.

    From observation statements we inductively establish laws and theories and then from these inductively established laws and theories we deduce predictions and explanations.

    Such moves were made to establish postulates regarding Neptune, Vulcan and the Higgs. We say the move was successful regarding Neptune and the Higgs but it was not regarding Vulcan.

    There is no known means by which we can attain a 100% success rate.

  10. #49
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    A philosophical point is an oxymoron.
    "The road to Hell is paved with progressive policies."

  11. #50
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    Quite true. But for most of your post, you were not demonstrating thinking about thinking. Instead, you demonstrated thinking about observations.

    Quite a different thing.

    Not only that, but patterns of thought themselves evolve by physical confirmations.

    As one of my favorite physicists Feynman once said;

    “… there are many reasons why you might not understand [an explanation of a scientific theory] … Finally, there is this possibility: after I tell you something, you just can’t believe it. You can’t accept it. You don’t like it. A little screen comes down and you don’t listen anymore. I’m going to describe to you how Nature is – and if you don’t like it, that’s going to get in the way of your understanding it. It’s a problem that [scientists] have learned to deal with: They’ve learned to realize that whether they like a theory or they don’t like a theory is not the essential question. Rather, it is whether or not the theory gives predictions that agree with experiment. It is not a question of whether a theory is philosophically delightful, or easy to understand, or perfectly reasonable from the point of view of common sense. [A scientific theory] describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it agrees fully with experiment. So I hope you can accept Nature as She is – absurd.

    I’m going to have fun telling you about this absurdity, because I find it delightful. Please don’t turn yourself off because you can’t believe Nature is so strange. Just hear me all out, and I hope you’ll be as delighted as I am when we’re through. “
    Scientifically speaking, without confirmation, it really doesn't matter what one may think! Though it is true that thought can lead us to why a certain confirmation might be relevant.

    And you've just shown why astrophyisics is generally considered a theoretical science rather than a practical one. There sure is a lot of THOUGHT about the observations, isn't there?
    "Social networking" is an oxymoron.

  12. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrogdog View Post
    You can't prove a negative.

    Er... what? Of course you can. We do it every day.

    What was meant by the statement is a philosophical musing pretty much useful only as that. A point of interest.
    The thing about proof is that it is only a concept with any meaning within the realms of the logics - first order logic and then that branch of logic called mathematics. The notion of proof has no meaning whatever in the contingent world.

    We can't prove a negative because the word proof itself just cannot properly be applied to the realm it ordinarily is by the layman.

    The aphorism "absence of evidence is no evidence of absence" is the usual form of this common mistake and is mostly associate with the theist/atheist debate.

    As Julian Baggini puts it: "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is a false slogan as far as atheism goes.

    Consider the question of whether there is butter in my fridge.

    If we do not open the door and have a look inside there will be an absence of evidence for the butter being there, but this would not add up to evidence of its absence.

    If we look inside the fridge and thoroughly examine it and don't find any butter then we have an absence of evidence which really does add up to evidence of absence.

    In fact what other evidence could there be for the butter not being there other than a failure to find any evidence that it is there?

    Something which does not exist leaves no mark so it can only be an absence of marks of its existence that can be evidence of its absence or of its non-existence.

    The strongest evidence that there is no elephant in your fridge is that none is found when you open the fridge.

    So the evidence for atheism is to be found in the fact that there is a plethora of evidence for the truth of naturalism and an absence of evidence for anything else including goblins, hobbits or gods.

  13. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrogdog View Post
    You may have cause to believe in a silopsist view for example, but you aren't going anywhere with that thought practically speaking. Even if all you percieve to be "real" *is* all in your head, it still makes sense to proceed as if reality were "real".
    Was there ever any philosopher who actually doubted the existence of the world?

    Personally, I know of none.

    Was there ever a trolley lever next to a fat man on the bridge to choose from?

    Not that I know of.

    Whether such questions are meant to be taken literally is a question never actually expected by those posing such questions.

    Did Hercules actually lose a race against a tortoise or could he actually never beat a tortoise?

    I doubt it.

    For those who think the likes of Descartes actually doubted the universe exists I must say that it seems obvious to me that he just came to understand that we cannot justify any claim to knowing it exists as opposed to say the demon postulate or the brain in a vat postulate.

    The evidence underdetermines the competing theories.

    The three main arguments against realism are the Pessimistic meta-induction, Theory underdetermination by evidence and then the Quine-Duhem Thesis.

    Descartes was just sharing a primitive version of the problem of underdetermination - weak scepticism being the difficulties in determining that we are not now dreaming and then strong scepticism being that how the world would look if our experiences of it were merely the creations of an evil demon could not be differentiated from how it would look if it were not. The evidence supports both hypothesis 100% - the evidence cannot help us decide which way the world actually is.

    But this was a thought experiment suggested by Descartes to show only the limits of the power of reason - that reason is utterly useless toward such matters.

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