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Tags donald trump , internet incidents , Trump controversies , US-Russia relations , vladimir putin

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Old 9th January 2017, 08:39 AM   #441
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
Just do what Trump does and trust your Trump's guts. He has the best guts. Everyone says so. His guts are yuge!
FIFY.
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Old 9th January 2017, 08:39 AM   #442
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
Just do what Trump does and trust your guts.
I think we're supposed to trust Trump's guts, not our own.

ETA: Guess it was an obvious joke, since I was ninja'ed.
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Old 9th January 2017, 09:14 AM   #443
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
How are they not? They are trained in this, they have the data, and there is a consensus across agencies. I'm not saying they can't be wrong, but it silly to deny that they are the authorities in this.

If not them, then who?
They are as good at assessing truth as police are at assessing guilt or innocence (FBI are closer to police than the other two). FBI agents regularly testify to the validity of both forensic and witness evidence to a degree of certainty appropriate to a courtroom maybe, but not scientifically sound. The CIA simply believes a number of things about intelligence that is flat out not supported (torture works). I simply cannot evaluate the capability of the NSA as they keep so much of their work secret.

Authority must be earned (setting aside my thoughts on appeal to authority). None of these agencies have earned it.
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Old 9th January 2017, 09:26 AM   #444
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
They are as good at assessing truth as police are at assessing guilt or innocence (FBI are closer to police than the other two). FBI agents regularly testify to the validity of both forensic and witness evidence to a degree of certainty appropriate to a courtroom maybe, but not scientifically sound. The CIA simply believes a number of things about intelligence that is flat out not supported (torture works). I simply cannot evaluate the capability of the NSA as they keep so much of their work secret.

Authority must be earned (setting aside my thoughts on appeal to authority). None of these agencies have earned it.
"...then who?"
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Old 9th January 2017, 09:34 AM   #445
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
"...then who?"
Then no one.
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Old 9th January 2017, 09:37 AM   #446
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Then no one.
Just sit on the information and pretend nothing happened?
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Old 9th January 2017, 09:39 AM   #447
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Just sit on the information and pretend nothing happened?
Being a skeptic sometimes means the answer is , "I don't know and neither do you."
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Old 9th January 2017, 09:53 AM   #448
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Being a skeptic sometimes means the answer is, "I don't know and neither do you."
Being a critical thinker mean asking the question, "How do we know?" Sometimes, how we know relies on conditionally trusting an authority. There are several authorities on this issue and they all currently agree. Denying this by cherry-picking times when various agencies were wrong merely supports my hypothesis from a day or two ago.
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Old 9th January 2017, 09:55 AM   #449
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Being a critical thinker mean asking the question, "How do we know?" Sometimes, how we know relies on conditionally trusting an authority. There are several authorities on this issue and they all currently agree. Denying this by cherry-picking times when various agencies were wrong merely supports my hypothesis from a day or two ago.
It isn't cherry picking. They are examples of their fundamentally poor institutional structure that makes them poor at figuring out what is correct and for us to accept their judgement.

They have not even earned conditional trust.
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Old 9th January 2017, 10:50 AM   #450
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
It isn't cherry picking.
Then, you acknowledge the successes of the US intelligence community?
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Old 9th January 2017, 10:55 AM   #451
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
If you prefer to call it "critical thinking" rather than "informal logic", I have no complaints.
From the way you're presenting it, it seems mostly a combination of educated guesswork and ideological indoctrination. Whatever it is, it sure ain't a logic though.

Quote:
Historically, of course, these topics have been a part of logic, though these days, when people think of logic, they think of the formal stuff.
Historically alchemy was a part of science, that doesn't mean much.

When I think of logic I think of the study of logical systems, aka formal systems with semantics. All of which have precise definitions, precise methods, etc. As opposed to that "informal logic" which seems some vague set of heuristics floating around in mid-air without grounding.

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I disagree that it is mere educated guesswork. I find the view that inductive reasoning must be done in a Bayesian setting[1] to be a fantastic fiction.
Not limited to Bayesian. I find the view that any meaningful reasoning can be done without a formal framework to be a fantastic fiction.

Quote:
On the contrary, it's appropriate to reason inductively, through analogy and also to appeal to trustworthy, informed authorities.
Except that your assignment of "trust" to the "authorities" in this case (US government and intelligence agencies) is ideological rather than empirical. By this logic I can assign "trust" to the pope and then claim to have evidence for us having immortal souls, because the pope says so.

All that's happening here is that people are packaging their ideological preferences under "trust assignments" and then claiming that their appeals to these "trusted" authorities aren't fallacies because reasons.

And that's the thing that bothers me about this, if people were to just say "my ideology requires me to believe the claims" then sure, I wouldn't have a problem with that. But no, they just have to go and package it under "critical thinking". Especially the appeals to scientific authority to support the case is an abuse of science at a level which is no better than so-called "creation science".

Quote:
This kind of thinking is what we do everyday. When my car makes a funny noise and I recall that this was a symptom of a bad starter last time I heard it, then I am doing informal inductive reasoning, and quite appropriately, too.
You are doing statistical reasoning. You've earlier established a correlation between "hearing funny noise" and "having bad starter" which you then use the next time you hear the noise. This could easily be put in a Bayesian framework as well.
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Old 9th January 2017, 10:57 AM   #452
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Tell me
Tell me: do we have immortal souls? The pope says so.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:00 AM   #453
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Tell me: do we have immortal souls? The pope says so.
The difference is that, with time and effort, we can access the information being used by the authorities I mentioned. Heck, the stuff we're talking about here may be eventually declassified.

Is there information the Pope is using that we can have access to?
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:07 AM   #454
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Then, you acknowledge the successes of the US intelligence community?
Why don't we ask a former CIA director?

Originally Posted by William Casey
We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.
Now, your question is to how successful they are? I think that's hard to measure, but luckily I've just learned here that there is no need for measurements or any sort of empirical inquiry, all we need is blind faith in authorities. Judging the result on that basis (ie "critical thinking" is rejecting empirical evidence in favour of blind faith in the government) I'd say they've been pretty successful indeed.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:13 AM   #455
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
The difference is that, with time and effort, we can access the information being used by the authorities I mentioned.
Well then feel free to come back with your claim once you actually have the evidence.

Quote:
Is there information the Pope is using that we can have access to?
I am free to assign "trust" to him, making him an "appropriate authority", so by your own argument you should now believe that we have immortal souls.

But since you've now jumped ships to "accessing the information" as a requirement - does that mean you reject the existence of Hannibal?
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:15 AM   #456
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Why don't we ask a former CIA director?
(citation needed)


Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I think that's hard to measure, but luckily I've just learned here that there is no need for measurements or any sort of empirical inquiry, all we need is blind faith in authorities.
I don't know where you learned that, but it wasn't from me. Perhaps you should re-read the thread and actually address my posts.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:21 AM   #457
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Why don't we ask a former CIA director?
That quote wasn't directly from Casey, an 'expert' relayed it secondhand. Do you depend on 'expert' testimony?
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:23 AM   #458
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
(citation needed)
1. Do you know how to use google?

2. The mere fact that you even require a citation for this shows that you are in absolutely no position to judge the "trustworthiness" of the intelligence agencies.

Quote:
I don't know where you learned that, but it wasn't from me.
Sure it was from you. You argued that we could appeal to authority as opposed to requiring evidence, didn't you?

Quote:
Perhaps you should re-read the thread and actually address my posts.
Ugh. I don't mind arguing topics, but when it comes to continually explaining critical thinking, logic, and fallacies, it gets really old.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:36 AM   #459
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
1. Do you know how to use google?

2. The mere fact that you even require a citation for this shows that you are in absolutely no position to judge the "trustworthiness" of the intelligence agencies.
.
Your post does place the onus to cite it on you.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:38 AM   #460
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Then, you acknowledge the successes of the US intelligence community?
I do acknowledge the successes, of course.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:42 AM   #461
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
1. Do you know how to use google?
I do. I found no primary sources, but several references lacking any citation what so ever.

Plus, your claim, your burden of proof.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
2. The mere fact that you even require a citation for this shows that you are in absolutely no position to judge the "trustworthiness" of the intelligence agencies.
How so?


Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Sure it was from you. You argued that we could appeal to authority as opposed to requiring evidence, didn't you?
Not at all. I said we could appeal to appropriate authority in situations where we lack empirical evidence or are otherwise unqualified to evaluate such evidence.

Do vaccines cause autism? Did you preform your own studies to verify or reject the scientific consensus?


Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Ugh. I don't mind arguing topics, but when it comes to continually explaining critical thinking, logic, and fallacies, it gets really old.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it would help if you knew what you were talking about.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:43 AM   #462
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I do acknowledge the successes, of course.
But those do not count towards their respective credibilities?
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:44 AM   #463
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
That quote wasn't directly from Casey, an 'expert' relayed it secondhand. Do you depend on 'expert' testimony?
And furthermore, William Casey died about 30 years ago; therefore even if one does find exact quotes from him, then such data may be of quite limited value now.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:45 AM   #464
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
But those do not count towards their respective credibilities?
It does. It is why my description of them here has been so kind.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:46 AM   #465
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
And furthermore, William Casey died about 30 years ago; therefore even if one does find exact quotes from him, then such data may be of quite limited value now.
True, but context would also help. What I found was a third-person anecdote with no context at all.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:53 AM   #466
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
I do. I found no primary sources, but several references lacking any citation what so ever.
It was reported by someone in a staff meeting where he purportedly said this, which you can easily find by googling.

Quote:
Plus, your claim, your burden of proof.
True.

Quote:
How so?
Because your request for a citation suggests that your view of the intelligence agencies is such that you would find this surprising.

Quote:
Not at all. I said we could appeal to appropriate authority in situations where we lack empirical evidence or are otherwise unqualified to evaluate such evidence.
I declare the pope to be an "appropriate" authority. So you believe you have an immortal soul?

Quote:
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it would help if you knew what you were talking about.
I do, you don't.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:55 AM   #467
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
But those do not count towards their respective credibilities?
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
It does. It is why my description of them here has been so kind.
No they do not. If sometimes telling the truth serves them better than lying, and other times lying serves them better than telling the truth, then the mere fact that they sometimes tell the truth does not give them credibility.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:55 AM   #468
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post

Because your request for a citation suggests that your view of the intelligence agencies is such that you would find this surprising.
I wouldn't read that much into a request for a cite.
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:00 PM   #469
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
No they do not. If sometimes telling the truth serves them better than lying, and other times lying serves them better than telling the truth, then the mere fact that they sometimes tell the truth does not give them credibility.
Everyone lies. You have to factor it in.
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:07 PM   #470
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
It was reported by someone in a staff meeting where he purportedly said this, which you can easily find by googling.

True.
Anytime you're ready, then.


Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Because your request for a citation suggests that your view of the intelligence agencies is such that you would find this surprising.
So, because I asked you to support your claim, you have deduced my view on separate topic and drew even further conclusions based on that?


Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I declare the pope to be an "appropriate" authority. So you believe you have an immortal soul?
I pointed out the distinction before. Can you rectify in order to continue this line of argument or are you merely going to continue from a position of intellectual dishonesty?


Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I do, you don't.
Evidence?

In case you missed mine from before, here are a few others, with relevant quotes:

Quote:
An argument from authority refers to two kinds of logical arguments:
  1. A logically valid argument from authority grounds a claim in the beliefs of one or more authoritative source(s), whose opinions are likely to be true on the relevant issue. Notably, this is a Bayesian statement -- it is likely to be true, rather than necessarily true. As such, an argument from authority can only strongly suggest what is true -- not prove it.
  2. A logically fallacious argument from authority grounds a claim in the beliefs of a source that is not authoritative. Sources could be non-authoritative because of their personal bias, their disagreement with consensus on the issue, their non-expertise in the relevant issue, or a number of other issues. (Often, this is called an appeal to authority, rather than argument from authority.)
(source)

Quote:
This fallacy is committed when the person in question is not a legitimate authority on the subject. More formally, if person A is not qualified to make reliable claims in subject S, then the argument will be fallacious.

This sort of reasoning is fallacious when the person in question is not an expert. In such cases the reasoning is flawed because the fact that an unqualified person makes a claim does not provide any justification for the claim. The claim could be true, but the fact that an unqualified person made the claim does not provide any rational reason to accept the claim as true.
(source)
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:11 PM   #471
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Everyone lies. You have to factor it in.
Which raises the question: Why would all the relevant intelligence agencies lie about this, especially as it is based on information that will, in all likelihood, be part of a congressional investigation and/or declassified at some point?
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:12 PM   #472
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Everyone lies. You have to factor it in.
Yes, everyone lies. In this specific case though the people who we should blindly "trust" are statistically more likely to lie to serve their interests (by the psychological effects of having power), are known to be in the business of spreading disinformation (exactly disinformation of the type which the claims under consideration fit in), the evidence which did get public has clear flaws, and the report which did get released could have come straight from McCarthy.

To argue that it should be accepted on "trust" isn't critical thinking but pure unadulterated ideology.
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:21 PM   #473
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
From the way you're presenting it, it seems mostly a combination of educated guesswork and ideological indoctrination. Whatever it is, it sure ain't a logic though.
"A logic" typically refers to a formal system, yes, but the study of logic historically and appropriately refers to more than that. It is the study of reasoning (in a prescriptive sense), the distinction between reasoning effectively and not.

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Historically alchemy was a part of science, that doesn't mean much.

When I think of logic I think of the study of logical systems, aka formal systems with semantics. All of which have precise definitions, precise methods, etc. As opposed to that "informal logic" which seems some vague set of heuristics floating around in mid-air without grounding.
Not at all. The rules for judging the strength of, say, an argument by analogy are well-motivated, though in practice certainly more vague than a formal logic. That's the nature of the beast.

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Not limited to Bayesian. I find the view that any meaningful reasoning can be done without a formal framework to be a fantastic fiction.



Except that your assignment of "trust" to the "authorities" in this case (US government and intelligence agencies) is ideological rather than empirical. By this logic I can assign "trust" to the pope and then claim to have evidence for us having immortal souls, because the pope says so.

All that's happening here is that people are packaging their ideological preferences under "trust assignments" and then claiming that their appeals to these "trusted" authorities aren't fallacies because reasons.

And that's the thing that bothers me about this, if people were to just say "my ideology requires me to believe the claims" then sure, I wouldn't have a problem with that. But no, they just have to go and package it under "critical thinking". Especially the appeals to scientific authority to support the case is an abuse of science at a level which is no better than so-called "creation science".
No, we must distinguish between evaluating an argument form (very loosely understood, in an informal setting) and the truth of the premises.

Suppose I'm dead wrong about whether these sources are indeed trustworthy authorities. Then some of the premises of my argument are false, and so the argument does not support the probability of the conclusion.

In deduction, we distinguish between validity (appropriate form, roughly) and soundness (valid with true premises). I apologize that I don't seem to have my old text at hand, so do not recall the appropriate terms for induction and am not sure that the distinction between the two concepts is as clearly made there. But, given that A is a trustworthy authority on X, from A's assertion that X, I can infer that X is probable. The better the evidence of trustworthiness and expert knowledge, the more probable X will be.

Of course, my claims about A's trustworthiness or knowledge could be false. In that case, it would still be so that, had my premises been true, X would be probable. Since some of my premises are false, X is not probable.

Very similar things happen in deduction. Many times, in a mathematical proof, I use a statement which I am damn sure is a theorem in order to prove something, but I'll be darned if I'm not wrong. It happens. Individuals' abilities to determine the truth of premises is prone to error.

In this case, we are worse off, since you and I have no good way for ensuring that, through patient discussion and careful consideration, we will come to agree on whether or not these agencies and the bipartisan committees are reliable authorities. The stuff of political discussion is messy compared to mathematics. So it goes.



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You are doing statistical reasoning. You've earlier established a correlation between "hearing funny noise" and "having bad starter" which you then use the next time you hear the noise. This could easily be put in a Bayesian framework as well.
Goodness, who would put it in a Bayesian framework?

I would rather determine whether the analogy between the two situations is sufficiently compelling to make a probable diagnosis. I haven't the time or interest to muck about with statistical methods before testing the starter.

The informal methods of reasoning we use are imperfect, vague, would be much better replaced by statistical methods in many, many instances. But we live in the world, and we reason as things happen, and while it may be jolly fun and useful to build artificial agents to reason more formally, we are not those agents. Thus, we ought to concern ourselves with insuring that our understanding of these informal methods is as thorough as is practicable.

Sorry, I won't be teaching freshmen that they need to use Bayesian methods in order to reliably diagnose starter issues.
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:23 PM   #474
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Not limited to Bayesian. I find the view that any meaningful reasoning can be done without a formal framework to be a fantastic fiction.
Just to be clear, almost none of your contributions in this thread constitute meaningful reasoning?

(Not sure exactly how to understand the word "meaningful" in terms of reasoning, by the way.)
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:23 PM   #475
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As in most human affairs, we don't need 100% proof to make a judgement call. Most of the time we do not have the luxury of perfect knowledge or infinite time to investigate, especially if there are national security implications. To demand proof beyond doubt is nothing is plain obstructionism.
Not even Trump denies that hacking of the DNC and Clinton campaign took place. And most people would agree that the released emails dominated the news about the Clinton campaign, thereby skewing the perception of voters.
Everyone who doesn't think investigating this is important doesn't believe in democracy.
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:24 PM   #476
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
To argue that it should be accepted on "trust" isn't critical thinking but pure unadulterated ideology.
What do you call it when someone dismisses it on "lack of trust" and then refuses efforts to take a closer look with a full investigation?
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:26 PM   #477
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Which raises the question: Why would all the relevant intelligence agencies lie about this, especially as it is based on information that will, in all likelihood, be part of a congressional investigation and/or declassified at some point?
So many reasons. The biggest one is that like the FBIs law enforcement efforts, they think they are right.
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:27 PM   #478
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Anytime you're ready, then.
Well by these standards I can just declare the source to be an authority and be done with it.

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So, because I asked you to support your claim, you have deduced my view on separate topic and drew even further conclusions based on that?
Yes, well, combined with your other statements and arguments in this thread on this subject.

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I pointed out the distinction before. Can you rectify in order to continue this line of argument or are you merely going to continue from a position of intellectual dishonesty?
I have declared the pope to be an "appropriate" authority, just like you did with the intelligence agencies. The arguments are equivalent. So do you accept that you have an immortal soul?

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Evidence?
This entire thread as well as previous conversations with you. Your "you can't prove a negative" is a tell-tale sign, for one.

Let me ask you something, have you ever taken a course on logic or taught yourself a course on it? And I mean proper logic, not that "informal logic".

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In case you missed mine from before, here are a few others

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A logically valid argument from authority grounds a claim in the beliefs of one or more authoritative source(s), whose opinions are likely to be true on the relevant issue.
How likely? Do you have empirical evidence for this "likely to be true"?

Besides, since when is RationalWiki an authority? Do you or they even know what the term "logically valid" means? Clearly they don't.
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:28 PM   #479
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
The difference is that, with time and effort, we can access the information being used by the authorities I mentioned. Heck, the stuff we're talking about here may be eventually declassified.

Is there information the Pope is using that we can have access to?
I wouldn't hang my hat on that difference, if I were you.

There are various historical figures who are known to us only through the testimony of others. When a sufficient number of contemporaries agree that this or that fellow existed, and their accounts are similar enough, and if we there is reason to believe these accounts were written independently and without common prior (lost) source, then we ought to conclude it is probable the person existed (ignoring, of course, fantastical tales).

But we cannot reasonably expect any better evidence than such testimony.
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:32 PM   #480
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Why don't we ask a former CIA director?
And your source for that quote? Were you there? Have you seen video footage of him saying it? (Not likely, given the situation in which it was written down.)

So, do give me the probability that he really said it, given the testimony of those who were there, and then tell me the probability that the CIA aims to make the public believe only false stuff, given that Casey said so.

Let's follow your distinction and restrict ourselves to "meaningful" reasoning.
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