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Old 30th December 2017, 05:38 PM   #161
ceptimus
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I stopped believing the religion I'd been taught around the same age that I stopped believing that the magic and magical creatures in fairy stories were real things - I think around the age of eight or nine.

As regards explaining consciousness, scientists will say, "we don't have an explanation" or if they're more optimistic they'll say, "we don't have a full explanation yet." Theists will claim they have a complete explanation (God did it) - but when you look closely at their explanation you find it explains nothing, and worse, introduces more unexplained things than you had in the first place.

Last edited by ceptimus; 30th December 2017 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 31st December 2017, 12:46 AM   #162
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I kissed god's butt until I came across this little baby...

6.62607004 10-34 m2 kg / s

and I've never looked back.
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Old 31st December 2017, 01:45 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
As regards explaining consciousness, scientists will say, "we don't have an explanation" or if they're more optimistic they'll say, "we don't have a full explanation yet." Theists will claim they have a complete explanation (God did it) - but when you look closely at their explanation you find it explains nothing, and worse, introduces more unexplained things than you had in the first place.
'Goddidit' is a dead end. Its untestable and unverifiable.


Originally Posted by Senex View Post
I kissed god's butt until I came across this little baby...

6.62607004 10-34 m2 kg / s

and I've never looked back.
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Old 1st January 2018, 10:03 PM   #164
Senex
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post

PI = 3 in Chronicles and Kings. I'm on a roll...
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Old 3rd January 2018, 01:44 AM   #165
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For me I'd say it was a combination of effects.

I was not brought up in a religious environment. We went to church maybe once or twice a year for my grandparents, but I was not indoctrinated from my youth.
So, like many here, I kinda put Jesus and his stories in the same category as Santa Claus etc. Fun, but just a story.

During high school we were introduced to literature (which I hated at the time, like most teenagers) and that included all the classical mythology, other religious texts and books written by both true believers and those with a grudge against the church(es). Combined with a good history teaching to me it showed that religions might be explained in many ways, but nothing stood out as particularly more truthful than any other social structure.
That probably put me into agnosticism.

My subsequent career in genetics dispelled any belief in an active creator. Looking into the (utterly fascinating) mess that is genetics for me made it clear that nothing intelligent every touched that.

Nowadays I intellectually know that there are people that believe the bible, quran, torah, book of mormon or any of the other myriad Holy, One True texts that are out there, but I cannot really grasp *why*. How can anyone with any form of education read those clearly made up stories and think "this is true!"?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:06 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
........How can anyone with any form of education read those clearly made up stories and think "this is true!"?
Which presumably is why the correlation between education achievements and rates of atheism is very high (the more educated you are, the more likely you are to be atheist), and why some religious fundamentalists start out by trying to remove everything but religious propoganda from education. Boko haram, for instance, translates as "books are banned/taboo".
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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:22 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Senex View Post
PI = 3 in Chronicles and Kings. I'm on a roll...
Correct to one significant digit. Close enough for religious purposes.
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Old 4th January 2018, 11:33 AM   #168
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You know, I get tired of the whole "you can't examine love with science!" argument. And I think many miss the obvious response to it.

It can absolutely be tested with science.

For that matter, so can belief. Without question.

To use the original example, you say you love your kids. That can be tested. Do you care for them? Sacrifice things for their betterment? Feed and cloth them? Offer emotional support? Teach them? The actions you take towards those you claim to love show whether you actually care for them or not. And, as with all science, the conclusions will change as additional evidence comes in.

Likewise with belief. Quite frankly, there are very, VERY few Christians in the world today, if by Christian you mean one who believes in the biblical god. I don't see many in America selling their riches to give to the poor, for example, as Jesus specifically recommends. Most modern Christians take a "pick-and-choose" approach to the Bible that leaves out large portions of it, in addition to adding their own ideas to it as if they were holy scripture. Not to mention that not even all Christian sects agree on what is Bible and what isn't; the Catholic church is the obvious example, with additional canon above and beyond the version used by most Protestants.

Frankly, the idea that science doesn't apply to beliefs is juvenile, and shows both a marked lack of understand of what science actually is and does (there are no absolute answers in science) as well as an irrational and unrealistic abstraction of belief into meaninglessness.

ETA: Quite frankly, it was a theism fail that first got me started towards atheism. The hypocrisy of what Christians did versus what they claimed to believe, and the comparisons to every other religion that also thought it was right (both modern and historical). The success of science and critical thinking simply strengthened that position.

ETA2: To simplify a bit, any belief is either going to have testable consequences or claims, or is meaningless. Religious beliefs make claims about fact (God exists, souls exist, etc.) for which evidence can be examined. Most also make testable predictors for action (a Christian should follow Christian values, for example). Non-religious beliefs likewise (a person with hope acts differently than one without; if you love someone you treat them differently than someone you don't love, etc.). If a belief has no testable consequences, then it makes no actual difference in reality. If it can (or is argued that is should, like various morality laws) affect reality, then there better damn well be evidence to support that.

Last edited by Hellbound; 4th January 2018 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 4th January 2018, 11:57 PM   #169
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Well said!
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Old 5th January 2018, 01:22 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
You know, I get tired of the whole "you can't examine love with science!" argument. And I think many miss the obvious response to it.

It can absolutely be tested with science.

For that matter, so can belief. Without question.
...
Yes, and if you had a high-resolution, real-time, non-invasive, souper-dooper brain scanner it would be easy to tell if someone was happy or in pain or pissed-off or craving country music.


For me it was a triumph of religion.
I was brought up going to church every Sunday, sometimes twice, as was the norm around there and then.
Never really met an atheist but there were rumors.
Had some real trouble with my confirmation, tried hard but god just wouldn't speak to me as he did to others. Had a heart to heart with the pastor who reassured me it was no problem so I was confirmed with the rest.
First year at University I was grabbed by Campus Crusade. They were a very enthusiastic and fun bunch and really got me reading my bible and thinking about it.
A few months later I was an atheist.
Took a hell of a long time, after 18 years of indoctrination, before I could get rid of the instinctual 'ducking from lightning' reflex every time a bad thought about god popped into my head.
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Old 5th January 2018, 01:22 AM   #171
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
You know, I get tired of the whole "you can't examine love with science!" argument. And I think many miss the obvious response to it.

It can absolutely be tested with science.

...
You can't do love in an objective manner. Love is not objective and not a part of this process - the scientific method consists of systematic observation, measurement, experiments, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.
Scientists can observe love as human behavior but they can't do love as scientists. They do love as humans.
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Old 5th January 2018, 02:07 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
You can't do love in an objective manner. Love is not objective and not a part of this process ...
Of course I can, using my souper-dooper brain scanner.

Everything you experience is a result of how the neurons in your brain are connected and firing and my souper-dooper brain scanner can read it and analyze it real-time.
What now?
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Old 5th January 2018, 02:31 AM   #173
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I realised what the problem is with the question in the OP. Bear with me...

At the moment, Australia is busy thrashing the pants off England in the Ashes cricket series. Why is Australia beating England? Is it because Australia is succeeding, or because England is failing?
The answer is it's neither or it's both. The actual reason is that the current Australia team is better at playing cricket than the current England team. That doesn't say anything at all about the absolute quality of either; it simply speaks to one being better than the other, and the better one is winning.

So to the actual subject of the thread: Which is a better way of understanding, predicting and to come extent controlling the world we live in, scientific equiry or religious faith? If one finds that the former is better, that doesn't mean that one is particularly good or the other is particularly bad; it simply means that, on comparison, one is clearly superior to the other. And in fact that comparison can't even be done unless both are available for consideration.

So if atheism is arrived at rationally by comparison of the scientific and religious methods for understanding the world, then the question is, and must be, the wrong question to ask.

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Old 5th January 2018, 02:33 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Is your atheism predominately a science success or a theism fail?
Science has not convinced me of how the university got into existence, or what happens after death. Religion has failed to explain these coherently too. My agnosticism is based on the failure of both science and religion to give trustworthy answers to the fundamental questions of existence and meaning of life.
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Old 5th January 2018, 02:37 AM   #175
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Of course I can, using my souper-dooper brain scanner.

Everything you experience is a result of how the neurons in your brain are connected and firing and my souper-dooper brain scanner can read it and analyze it real-time.
What now?
You are not doing love. You are observing humans doing love. What you claim is that if you see a human driving a car, you ARE driving a car.

Try again.
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Old 5th January 2018, 04:28 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Science has not convinced me of how the university got into existence, or what happens after death.
Universe, presumably.

So what? What's that got to do with atheism?

Quote:
....... My agnosticism is based on the failure of both science and religion to give trustworthy answers to the fundamental questions of existence and meaning of life.
Again, what has answers to these questions got to do with atheism?

Atheism is about the acceptance or otherwise of the existence of god/s.
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Old 5th January 2018, 07:44 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
You are not doing love. You are observing humans doing love. What you claim is that if you see a human driving a car, you ARE driving a car.

Try again.
It's a nonsense argument, shades of Plato's forms, that draws artificial distinctions between reality and some imagined and arbitrary ideal.

By your own argument, no one can see an object. You don't see it, you see the light reflected from it. So we're all blind.

It's a non-argument, containing no information, and providing nothing to act on nor any reason to change any part or piece of behavior or of our understanding of how the universe works.

As I said, it's a stance devoid of information when abstracted to the point you're attempting. It is a dead end. Even if true on some philosophical, esoteric, "but what if C-A-T really spelled dog" level, it's entirely useless.
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Old 5th January 2018, 08:23 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
It's a nonsense argument, shades of Plato's forms, that draws artificial distinctions between reality and some imagined and arbitrary ideal.

By your own argument, no one can see an object. You don't see it, you see the light reflected from it. So we're all blind.

It's a non-argument, containing no information, and providing nothing to act on nor any reason to change any part or piece of behavior or of our understanding of how the universe works.

As I said, it's a stance devoid of information when abstracted to the point you're attempting. It is a dead end. Even if true on some philosophical, esoteric, "but what if C-A-T really spelled dog" level, it's entirely useless.
Here is science or rather a part of it - either an experiment or field observation, both can include instruments but don't have, but always include some sort of quantitative measurement. So you are now doing a field observation observing the behavior of car drivers. ...

Well, no. Here is what science is. Science is love. I love my wife. You love my wife.
How do I know that? Because according to you there is no difference between different kind of human behavior. Science is human behavior and love is human behavior. So it is a scientific fact that I love my wife and since that is objective and can be replicated by other scientists - then you love my wife. Everything is science, everything is love, there is no difference and love is science and science is love.

What are you, Hellbound???
Just because I can walk, doesn't mean that I can't do other human behaviors. Science is a human behavior, but it is a different human behavior that love.
You understand science, right?
Science is a certain human behavior, but not all human behaviors are not science. Love is a certain human behavior, but not all human behaviors are love. Morality and ethics are certain human behaviors, but not all human behaviors are morality and ethics.
You are aware that scientists are humans, right? And all human behavior is not science. Further there is no scientific theory of ethics.
Science is not everything.
Gravity is not everything.
Love is not everything.
You are not everything.
I am not everything.
Reality is the set of a lot interconnected cases of processes in time, space and so on, but everything is not gravity. Nor is all human behavior science.

So try again.
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Old 5th January 2018, 08:37 AM   #179
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Okay, now you've gone into fantasy land. If you can make a coherent point, I'll respond. At this point, you're just spouting nonsense.

ETA: Or intentionally straw-manning. Either way, you're arguing against things I've never said, so I have no idea what point you're attempting to make.

Or, of course, your "thinking" could just be that muddled.

Last edited by Hellbound; 5th January 2018 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:22 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Okay, now you've gone into fantasy land. If you can make a coherent point, I'll respond. At this point, you're just spouting nonsense.

ETA: Or intentionally straw-manning. Either way, you're arguing against things I've never said, so I have no idea what point you're attempting to make.

Or, of course, your "thinking" could just be that muddled.
Can you try to understand this - I am typing right now. That is a fantasy to you, because it makes easier for you to dismiss what I am saying.

Typing is a human behavior, but not all human behavior is typing. Right now you are reading. But all human behavior is not reading. That is a fantasy to you, because it makes easier for you to dismiss what I am saying.

I am saying that science can make a model of love, but that model is not love. It is a scientific explanation of a type of human behavior, love, but in doing love, you can't do science. You have to be in love or love somebody. That is a fantasy to you, because it makes easier for you to dismiss what I am saying.

That I am using everyday examples, is that fantasy world I live in. I know, I am sitting before a computer and debating what science is and what it is not. That is a fantasy to you, because it makes easier for you to dismiss what I am saying.

Do you know that one sign of living in a fantasy, is to believe that everybody else is living in a fantasy than one self.
To recap - science is a limited but useful way of explaining and make predictions about reality, but it doesn't work on all aspects of the human condition. That you don't accept that, could mean that you live in a fantasy world, because it appears that you don't understand how science works, yet you claim so.

So what is science? Is science love or another human behavior?
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:26 AM   #181
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Okay, so strawman.

I never said love is science, that's your fantasy.

I said love is perfectly capable of being examined by science, and described by science, which you've agreed with.

So whoever you're arguing against, it isn't me.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:31 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Okay, so strawman.

I never said love is science, that's your fantasy.

I said love is perfectly capable of being examined by science, and described by science, which you've agreed with.

So whoever you're arguing against, it isn't me.
No, we are arguing because the scientific explanation of love is not all, there is to love.
So it is all there is to love covered by the scientific explanation?
That is my question to you.
You can ignore it or answer.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:33 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Science has not convinced me of how the university got into existence, or what happens after death. Religion has failed to explain these coherently too. My agnosticism is based on the failure of both science and religion to give trustworthy answers to the fundamental questions of existence and meaning of life.
It's unfortunate that the only option upon doubting the explanations offered by religion and science is agnosticism, which essentially says that one or the other is true and that the failure to decide which one represents a defect in your own analysis. It's a choice between 'A' or 'B' or 'on the fence', there is no 'C'. It's a depressing situation.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:36 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
No, we are arguing because the scientific explanation of love is not all, there is to love.
So it is all there is to love covered by the scientific explanation?
That is my question to you.
You can ignore it or answer.
Yes.

Anything that is "outside" the scientific explanation of love (current or theoretical) can, by definition, have no impact on reality.

Because science is the study of reality.

Anything that can affect reality can be studied by science, either directly or by it's effects.

You're doing the same old tired arguments that always come up. The philosophical navel-gazing of assuming some ideal behind the actual reality (love IS a set of behaviors, both internal and external. There's nothing more to it) and the same old assumption that because something is only studied by the effects it has, that it can't be "truly known".

In other words, you're arguing "if we don't know everything then we can't ever know everything".

You are arguing for ignorance.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:36 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Science has not convinced me of how the university got into existence, or what happens after death.
That seems to me to be rather arbitrary, though interesting, criteria. Did you have other criteria besides these two that were either confirmed or denied by science or theism?


Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
...[b]ecause according to you there is no difference between different kind of human behavior...
Could you point to the post or quote a line which gives this impression, because I'm not seeing it.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:38 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
No, we are arguing because the scientific explanation of love is not all, there is to love.
So it is all there is to love covered by the scientific explanation?
That is my question to you.
You can ignore it or answer.
Are you talking about qualia here?
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:38 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Could you point to the post or quote a line which gives this impression, because I'm not seeing it.
Don't look too hard. I suspect if you find where it came from, you'd like be charged under various sodomy laws.

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Old 5th January 2018, 09:41 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Don't look too hard. I suspect if you find where it came from, you'd like be charged under various sodomy laws.

lol Maybe you're right. It seemed like a left-turn-out-of-nowhere kind of post and I didn't know if it was my misunderstanding or not.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:44 AM   #189
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Yes.

Anything that is "outside" the scientific explanation of love (current or theoretical) can, by definition, have no impact on reality.

Because science is the study of reality.

...
I get it now. Science is not the study of reality. Science is a human behavior, which is a part of reality.
Ask yourself this: Where does science take place? Inside as a part of reality or outside of reality? Are scientists humans and a part of reality?

Science is the study of reality.
-versus-
Science is a human behavior which takes places inside reality as a part of reality and follows certain rules to qualify as science.
Which one is more correct?
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:44 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
I get it now. Science is not the study of reality. Science is a human behavior, which is a part of reality.
Ask yourself this: Where does science take place? Inside as a part of reality or outside of reality? Are scientists humans and a part of reality?

Science is the study of reality.
-versus-
Science is a human behavior which takes places inside reality as a part of reality and follows certain rules to qualify as science.
Which one is more correct?
False dichotomy.

Both are correct.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:45 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Are you talking about qualia here?
No.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:46 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post

To use the original example, you say you love your kids. That can be tested. Do you care for them? Sacrifice things for their betterment? Feed and cloth them? Offer emotional support? Teach them? The actions you take towards those you claim to love show whether you actually care for them or not. And, as with all science, the conclusions will change as additional evidence comes in.
Claiming that you can "test" something does not make it scientific particularly when you use wildly vague terms that are not scientific in the slightest!

Lets run that test through the old tester, using one of my partners who claims to love his son, who is a millionaire product developer who lives in California, and who my partner does not sacrifice for his betterment, Feed or cloth him or teach them in any realistic way. He probably does Offer emotional support, tho. Can only guess what caring for entails.

In contrast my partner does most of those things for his employees, and he dislikes most of them!

Heck, tigers do most of those things too for their cubs until they kick them out or, like Spaulding, eat them.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:47 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
False dichotomy.

Both are correct.
Give evidence for the fact that it is false dichotomy and only use science.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:50 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Give evidence for the fact that it is false dichotomy and only use science.
Give evidence that love is more than behavior and use no scientific tools.

It's a false dichotomy because neither answer excludes the other. Nothing prevents both from being true (or neither, for that matter).

Last edited by Hellbound; 5th January 2018 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:56 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Claiming that you can "test" something does not make it scientific particularly when you use wildly vague terms that are not scientific in the slightest!

Lets run that test through the old tester, using one of my partners who claims to love his son, who is a millionaire product developer who lives in California, and who my partner does not sacrifice for his betterment, Feed or cloth him or teach them in any realistic way. He probably does Offer emotional support, tho. Can only guess what caring for entails.

In contrast my partner does most of those things for his employees, and he dislikes most of them!
You get two internets for scoring a "point".

My list wasn't an exhaustive list, obviously. It was representative. But actually taking it as that wouldn't let you score a "point".

Your response is about as sensible as responding to "You can measure speed with a radar gun" by saying "Oh, so if I point a radar gun at something, it's moving?"

You have anything meaningful to say?
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Old 5th January 2018, 09:57 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Give evidence that love is more than behavior and use no scientific tools.

It's a false dichotomy because neither answer excludes the other. Nothing prevents both from being true (or neither, for that matter).
Yes, you are right.

So I will try to be more precise.

Science is one human behavior observable in some humans but not all humans. The purpose of science is to make testable explanations and predictions about different aspects of reality.

So is there something a scientist can't do as a scientist, but that she/he could do as a human?
That is my question to you and be aware of the following: It is testable according to what science is.
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Old 5th January 2018, 10:00 AM   #197
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Old 5th January 2018, 10:04 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Yes, you are right.

So I will try to be more precise.

Science is one human behavior observable in some humans but not all humans. The purpose of science is to make testable explanations and predictions about different aspects of reality.

So is there something a scientist can't do as a scientist, but that she/he could do as a human?
Of course, and this is the same straw-man nonsense you started with. I never said everything was science, or that everything a scientist does is science. That's either your intentional misrepresentation of my argument, of a product of unclear thinking.

Quote:
That is my question to you and be aware of the following: It is testable according to what science is.
Is WHAT testable? Love? Absolutely.
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Old 5th January 2018, 10:05 AM   #199
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Define love.
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Old 5th January 2018, 10:07 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
Define love.
love

/ləv/

noun

noun: love; plural noun: loves

1.an intense feeling of deep affection.
"babies fill parents with intense feelings of love"

synonyms: deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment;

ETA: Of course that's easy, but you do hit on the problem: Just like "god" and "soul" people add a LOT of baggage to their definition of "love".

Frankly, we can recognize love...that's why we have a word for it. How do we recognize it? Either by how we feel (internal behaviors) and act (external behavior) towards one we "love", or by how they act towards us.

Both of which are amenable to scientific investigation.

Last edited by Hellbound; 5th January 2018 at 10:10 AM.
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