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-   -   When Does Religion Become Just Silly? (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=341273)

ynot 8th January 2020 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12946411)
To concede that something may be possible is essentially the same as saying something may be impossible you don't know if it is impossible.

ftfy

“May be” isn’t equivalent to “Don’t know”. If you don’t know then you don’t know that it may be.

“May be possible” is equivalent to “May be impossible”.
“Don’t know if possible’ is equivalent to “Don’t know if impossible”


Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12946411)
I don't need to say it at all. This thread is just an amusing look at some silly religious ideas that I find interesting.

Let's not get too serious about it. :)

The reason I’m “serious about it” is because truth is important to me and I respect and value your intellectual honesty and critical thinking (you’re worth the effort). You may be in holiday mode and rather have a beer ;).

Unless you or anyone wants to continue I will leave it at this . . .
  • Does a jar contain an odd or even number of jellybeans?
  • If the number IS odd, then it CAN’T be even, and vise versa.
  • Not knowing which IS the case doesn’t change the fact of what the case IS.
  • If it IS odd, then saying “It possibly could/may be even” IS wrong.
  • “I don’t know” IS the only intellectually honest and correct answer.
At least we know jars and jellybeans actually exist, we can’t even say that about gods :D.

DuvalHMFIC 8th January 2020 06:23 PM

Speak for yourself, I counted 393 Zeuses in my jar of peanut butter.

It's odd.

arthwollipot 8th January 2020 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947711)
“May be possible” is equivalent to “May be impossible”.
“Don’t know if possible’ is equivalent to “Don’t know if impossible”

What? No it isn't.

If the initial assumption is that it is possible, then you say "well, it may be impossible." If the initial assumption is that it is impossible, then you say "well, it may be possible." The emphasis is completely different. They're not equivalent statements, and are used in different contexts.

Thor2 was speaking under the initial assumption that it is impossible, though you don't know that for certain. Therefore he said that it may be possible.

ynot 8th January 2020 07:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DuvalHMFIC (Post 12947862)
Speak for yourself, I counted 393 Zeuses in my jar of peanut butter.

It's odd.

Prove "Zeuses" even exist :p

Besides, if you counted, then you know.

DuvalHMFIC 8th January 2020 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947915)
Prove "Zeuses" even exist :p

Besides, if you counted, then you know.

I'd like you to talk to my friends Jif and Peter Pan, thank you very much!

ynot 8th January 2020 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12947897)
What? No it isn't.

If the initial assumption is that it is possible, then you say "well, it may be impossible." If the initial assumption is that it is impossible, then you say "well, it may be possible." The emphasis is completely different. They're not equivalent statements, and are used in different contexts.

Thor2 was speaking under the initial assumption that it is impossible, though you don't know that for certain. Therefore he said that it may be possible.

That you shouldn't (can't logically) start with any assumption is the very point I'm making.

ynot 8th January 2020 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DuvalHMFIC (Post 12947923)
I'd like you to talk to my friends Jif and Peter Pan, thank you very much!

Well if you're gonna bring in experts then I give up.

arthwollipot 8th January 2020 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947925)
That you shouldn't (can't logically) start with any assumption is the very point I'm making.

You can't avoid starting with an assumption. That's what Bayesian probability is all about.

Take the following premise: "Green cats exist". But you don't know for sure whether they do or not. Are you going to say "Green cats might exist" or "Green cats might not exist. The former implies that they probably don't. The latter implies that they probably do.

We're dealing with possibilities, not certainties, which throws a big wrench into formal logic.

ynot 8th January 2020 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12947943)
You can't avoid starting with an assumption. That's what Bayesian probability is all about.

Oh, here we go . . .

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12947943)
Take the following premise: "Green cats exist". But you don't know for sure whether they do or not. Are you going to say "Green cats might exist" or "Green cats might not exist. The former implies that they probably don't. The latter implies that they probably do.

I'm simply and intellectually honestly going to say "I don't know if green cats exist naturally, but I do know green cats could exist by dying white cats green".

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12947943)
We're dealing with possibilities, not certainties, which throws a big wrench into formal logic.

I'm dealing with what IS true, and more specifically whether you can know it's true without sufficient evidence, not what might possibly be true.

arthwollipot 8th January 2020 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947957)
I'm simply and intellectually honestly going to say "I don't know if green cats exist naturally, but I do know white cats could be dyed green".

That's a different, and equally valid, answer. It takes a fair bit of intellectual courage to just say "I don't know" to something. Most people would tend to come down on one side or another.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947957)
I'm dealing with what IS true, and more specifically whether you can know it's true without sufficient evidence, not what might possibly be true.

This is also what I am saying. If you know that green cats exist without sufficient evidence, then rather than saying "green cats exist" you say "green cats probably exist, but I do not have sufficient evidence to be certain."

But we're getting rather off-track here, which was totally unexpected and not at all what always happens. :D

theprestige 8th January 2020 07:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12947968)
That's a different, and equally valid, answer. It takes a fair bit of intellectual courage to just say "I don't know" to something. Most people would tend to come down on one side or another.

These are things you know to a certainty? If so, how do you know?

If not, do you have the courage to say so?

ynot 8th January 2020 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12947968)
That's a different, and equally valid, answer. It takes a fair bit of intellectual courage to just say "I don't know" to something.

I would rather say it takes courage to be intellectually honest. You should try saying "I don't know" sometimes, it's really not scary at all.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12947968)
Most people would tend to come down on one side or another.

And "most" would be silly and wrong to do so. Theists are an obvious example of such people.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12947968)
That's a different, and equally valid, answer.

It's the ONLY valid answer I know of.

Green cats either do or don't exist (there's no third option). If they don't exist then it's not valid or correct to say they probably might exist. If they do exist then it's not valid or correct to say they probably might not exist.

ynot 8th January 2020 08:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12947968)
This is also what I am saying. If you know that green cats exist without sufficient evidence, then rather than saying "green cats exist" you say "green cats probably exist, but I do not have sufficient evidence to be certain."

No it's not! There's your problem (bet you can't see it).

psionl0 8th January 2020 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947711)
  • Does a jar contain an odd or even number of jellybeans?
  • If the number IS odd, then it CAN’T be even, and vise versa.
  • Not knowing which IS the case doesn’t change the fact of what the case IS.
  • If it IS odd, then saying “It possibly could/may be even” IS wrong.
  • “I don’t know” IS the only intellectually honest and correct answer.

LOL another professor of logic appears.

If you don't know if a statement is true or false then it is possible that the statement is true and it is possible that the statement is false. I don't understand why anybody would call the use of "possible" intellectually dishonest.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947957)
I'm dealing with what IS true, and more specifically whether you can know it's true without sufficient evidence, not what might possibly be true.

Congratulations. You are the first person to have proven an negative.

arthwollipot 8th January 2020 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947989)
I would rather say it takes courage to be intellectually honest. You should try saying "I don't know" sometimes, it's really not scary at all.

I say it all the time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947989)
And "most" would be silly and wrong to do so. Theists are an obvious example of such people.

Most people don't communicate in formal logic.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947989)
It's the ONLY valid answer I know of.

There are dozens of valid answers, from simple rephrasings of the basic statement to elaborations, complications, and answers that include unnecessary digressions. This is how humans communicate.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12947989)
Green cats either do or don't exist (there's no third option). If they don't exist then it's not valid or correct to say they probably might exist. If they do exist then it's not valid or correct to say they probably might not exist.

That's correct. Those options would be logically inconsistent (and what does "probably might exist" even mean anyway?). But if you're not certain if they exist, then it may be valid or correct to say that they probably don't exist.

ynot 8th January 2020 11:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12948033)
LOL another professor of logic appears.

If you don't know if a statement is true or false then it is possible that the statement is true and it is possible that the statement is false. I don't understand why anybody would call the use of "possible" intellectually dishonest.


Congratulations. You are the first person to have proven an negative.

I was wondering if the "professor of LOL” would turn up. Well that’s all a fine strawman.

We are debating the validity/correctness of answers to questions, not statements. Are gods real? Are we the product of some kind of celestial intelligence - some kind if experiment in a test tube perhaps? Are cats green? etc. These questions are about what IS true or false, not what might be.

I don’t call the use of "possible" intellectually dishonest or invalid in answer to all questions as Mr Strawman suggests. In answer to “Will it rain tomorrow?” there’s nothing intellectually dishonest or invalid in answering “It possibly will (or won’t)”, as the fact of it raining tomorrow or not hasn’t as yet been established as a fact. More intellectually honest and valid of course to simply say “I don’t know”.

Totally different question from “Did it rain yesterday?”. If it did rain yesterday then the fact has been established. If it did rain yesterday then there’s absolutely no possibility that it didn’t.

Things are either true or false regardless of whether we know they are. It was true that dinosaurs once lived long before we gained knowledge it was/is true. Knowledge is the reward of discovering truth, not the creator of it.

ynot 8th January 2020 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12948063)
I say it all the time.

No you don't!

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12948063)
Most people don't communicate in formal logic.

I'm not claiming my words are formal logic.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12948063)
There are dozens of valid answers, from simple rephrasings of the basic statement to elaborations, complications, and answers that include unnecessary digressions. This is how humans communicate.

Not all humans.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12948063)
That's correct. Those options would be logically inconsistent (and what does "probably might exist" even mean anyway?). But if you're not certain if they exist, then it may be valid or correct to say that they probably don't exist.

Proof you don't say "I don't know" "all the time" :p.

arthwollipot 8th January 2020 11:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948081)
No you don't!

Okay, oh expert in my behaviour.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948081)
I'm not claiming my words are formal logic.

No, but you're acting like it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948081)
Not all humans.

You, for example.


Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948081)
Proof you don't say "I don't know" "all the time" :p.

https://media.giphy.com/media/Y4qEWs...9s88/giphy.gif

ynot 8th January 2020 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12948063)
That's correct. Those options would be logically inconsistent (and what does "probably might exist" even mean anyway?). But if you're not certain if they exist, then it may be valid or correct to say that they probably don't exist.

Okay, I’ll give you a “proper” answer . . .

If you claim it’s valid and correct to say either “They probably don't exist” or “They probably do exist”, then you have two conflicting valid and correct answers. Cognitive dissonance much!

arthwollipot 9th January 2020 12:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948112)
Okay, I’ll give you a “proper” answer . . .

If you claim it’s valid and correct to say either “They probably don't exist” or “They probably do exist”, then you have two conflicting valid and correct answers. Cognitive dissonance much!

You obviously wouldn't say both at the same time. Either you think they probably don't exist, or you think that they probably do exist.

ynot 9th January 2020 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12948119)
You obviously wouldn't say both at the same time. Either you think they probably don't exist, or you think that they probably do exist.

In what way can what you merely think be valid and correct when a person that thinks the opposite can also be equally valid and correct?

You didn't respond to this previous "problem" . . .
Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12947968)
If you know that green cats exist without sufficient evidence

How CAN you know that green cats exist without sufficient evidence that they do?

arthwollipot 9th January 2020 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948133)
In what way can what you merely think be valid and correct when a person that thinks the opposite can also be equally valid and correct?

Why are you assuming that they're both talking about the same thing?

ynot 9th January 2020 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12948141)
Why are you assuming that they're both talking about the same thing?

You are presenting an argument in which they both could be talking about the same thing, so what's wrong with assuming they are? Are you saying they can't be talking about the same thing?

psionl0 9th January 2020 12:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948112)
If you claim it’s valid and correct to say either “They probably don't exist” or “They probably do exist”, then you have two conflicting valid and correct answers.

These are not conflicting answers unless your definition of "probably" means "greater than even chance".

ynot 9th January 2020 01:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12948147)
These are not conflicting answers unless your definition of "probably" means "greater than even chance".

What's a definition of "probably" that makes them not conflicting answers?

Lithrael 9th January 2020 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948157)
What's a definition of "probably" that makes them not conflicting answers?

I think it’s just a quirk of English that people don’t say something more like “I guess that’s improbably possible” instead of “I guess that’s probably possible.” Most of the time colloquially ’probably’ used like that indicates you’re not trying to shut down the other guy’s position, out of conversational politics, rather than indicating you think it’s actually more probable than improbable. Like “could be, could be...”

JoeMorgue 9th January 2020 08:39 AM

Ahhh yes... the weeds. And now we shall enter them.

The argument will now be a constant, self feeding, snake eating it's own tail cluster of endless hairsplitting over intellectual probably, semantic nonsense of strong and weak beliefs, meaningless "Do you positively believe the thing exists or negatively believe the thing doesn't exist" and other such tripe.

Darat 9th January 2020 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 12948461)
Ahhh yes... the weeds. And now we shall enter them.

The argument will now be a constant, self feeding, snake eating it's own tail cluster of endless hairsplitting over intellectual probably, semantic nonsense of strong and weak beliefs, meaningless "Do you positively believe the thing exists or negatively believe the thing doesn't exist" and other such tripe.

Not but probably not not it will happen.

ynot 9th January 2020 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948157)
What's a definition of "probably" that makes them not conflicting answers?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lithrael (Post 12948459)
I think it’s just a quirk of English that people don’t say something more like “I guess that’s improbably possible” instead of “I guess that’s probably possible.” Most of the time colloquially ’probably’ used like that indicates you’re not trying to shut down the other guy’s position, out of conversational politics, rather than indicating you think it’s actually more probable than improbable. Like “could be, could be...”

Is that meant to be a serious attempt at answering the question?

Roger Ramjets 9th January 2020 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12946401)
You seem to be off with the fairies yet again.

Just because the topic is about the silliness of religion, doesn't mean you can shoot off in all kinds of silly directions with the subject matter.

On the contrary, it is the heart of the matter. You asserted that religion 'becomes just silly' when it includes the notion of a caring god who takes great interest in our activities (implying that it is not otherwise just silly).

But if many other notions are also silly then why single out religion?

Quote:

The effectiveness of religion as a "force for good", has been argued in other threads.
And it's relevant to this thread too, because you cannot dismiss an activity as 'just silly' if it is beneficial.

arthwollipot 9th January 2020 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948146)
You are presenting an argument in which they both could be talking about the same thing, so what's wrong with assuming they are? Are you saying they can't be talking about the same thing?

But both talking about the same thing is, as you point out, a contradiction. So while it's possible that they're talking about the same thing, it's more likely that I was simply describing two different ways of saying something. The subject is unspecified. Okay, how about this.

Do green cats exist?

I think that they probably don't exist.

Do deaf tortoiseshell cats exist?

I think that they probably do exist.

The first is unlikely - who's ever seen a green cat anyway? (psst) So you frame your statement such that you're affirming the negative, even though you don't have proof either way.

The second is likely - it certainly isn't beyond the realms of possibility. So you frame your statement such that you're affirming the positive, even though you don't have proof either way.

Thus, the statements "it probably exists" and "it probably doesn't exist" are not logically equivalent. QED.

ynot 9th January 2020 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12949296)

The first is unlikely - who's ever seen a green cat anyway? (psst) So you frame your statement such that you're affirming the negative, even though you don't have proof either way.

Oh really? - GREEN CATS! - Mega fail!

arthwollipot 9th January 2020 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12949322)
Oh really? - GREEN CATS! - Mega fail!

Yeah. That's almost all the same one I linked to in my own post. Didn't you see it?

The story is actually that the cat was dyed green in an accident with an industrial colouring agent. It's not naturally green. But it's my go-to in discussions about proving a negative so I thought I'd rope it in here. :)

ynot 9th January 2020 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12949334)
Yeah. That's almost all the same one I linked to in my own post. Didn't you see it?

The story is actually that the cat was dyed green in an accident with an industrial colouring agent. It's not naturally green. But it's my go-to in discussions about proving a negative so I thought I'd rope it in here. :)

There’s no “naturally” in your go-to question “Do green cats exist?“.

You need to be more precise if you want people to take you and your question seriously.

arthwollipot 9th January 2020 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12949365)
There’s no “naturally” in your go-to question “Do green cats exist?“.

You need to be more precise if you want people to take you and your question seriously.

Yes, that's true, I did gloss over that aspect of the argument. I didn't feel it was necessary to specify, but if I wanted to be precise, I should have.

The Atheist 9th January 2020 10:39 PM

When Does Religion Become Just Silly?

First three words: "In the beginning".

arthwollipot 9th January 2020 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 12949405)
When Does Religion Become Just Silly?

First three words: "In the beginning".

Yes, that's already been established, thanks.

Darat 10th January 2020 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12949296)
But both talking about the same thing is, as you point out, a contradiction. So while it's possible that they're talking about the same thing, it's more likely that I was simply describing two different ways of saying something. The subject is unspecified. Okay, how about this.



Do green cats exist?



I think that they probably don't exist.



Do deaf tortoiseshell cats exist?



I think that they probably do exist.



The first is unlikely - who's ever seen a green cat anyway? (psst) So you frame your statement such that you're affirming the negative, even though you don't have proof either way.



The second is likely - it certainly isn't beyond the realms of possibility. So you frame your statement such that you're affirming the positive, even though you don't have proof either way.



Thus, the statements "it probably exists" and "it probably doesn't exist" are not logically equivalent. QED.

They do exist.

BBC News - Glowing cats shed light on Aids
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14882008

DuvalHMFIC 10th January 2020 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 12949405)
When Does Religion Become Just Silly?

First three words: "In the beginning".

Based on another thread here, you could also say First ten words: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." :D

JoeMorgue 10th January 2020 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 12948461)
Ahhh yes... the weeds. And now we shall enter them.

The argument will now be a constant, self feeding, snake eating it's own tail cluster of endless hairsplitting over intellectual probably, semantic nonsense of strong and weak beliefs, meaningless "Do you positively believe the thing exists or negatively believe the thing doesn't exist" and other such tripe.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12949296)
But both talking about the same thing is, as you point out, a contradiction. So while it's possible that they're talking about the same thing, it's more likely that I was simply describing two different ways of saying something. The subject is unspecified. Okay, how about this.

Do green cats exist?

I think that they probably don't exist.

Do deaf tortoiseshell cats exist?

I think that they probably do exist.

The first is unlikely - who's ever seen a green cat anyway? (psst) So you frame your statement such that you're affirming the negative, even though you don't have proof either way.

The second is likely - it certainly isn't beyond the realms of possibility. So you frame your statement such that you're affirming the positive, even though you don't have proof either way.

Thus, the statements "it probably exists" and "it probably doesn't exist" are not logically equivalent. QED.

I rest my case.


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