ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 5th August 2019, 03:39 AM   #201
halleyscomet
Philosopher
 
halleyscomet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 9,787
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I don't say intelligent people cannot be happy. But the consensus of opinions on this forum is there is no God. Therefore most people here have to face a universe without a meaning or purpose. But religious people have belief in immortality of the soul and feel comforted by that.

Nonsense. That’s a self-serving platitude with no substance behind it. Here are two counter-arguments.

http://rabbisacks.org/danger-ahead-t...ated-atheists/

Quote:
”Do you believe,” the disciple asked the rabbi, “that God created everything for a purpose?”

“I do,” replied the rabbi.

“Well,” asked the disciple, “why did God create atheists?”

The rabbi paused before giving an answer, and when he spoke his voice was soft and intense. “Sometimes we who believe, believe too much. We see the cruelty, the suffering, the injustice in the world and we say: ‘This is the will of God.’ We accept what we should not accept. That is when God sends us atheists to remind us that what passes for religion is not always religion. Sometimes what we accept in the name of God is what we should be fighting against in the name of God.”
https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/com...bis_beautiful/

Quote:
When the Rabbi was asked "Why did God create atheists?"...

"God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all - the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his actions are based on his sense of morality. Look at the kindness he bestows on others simply because he feels it to be right.

When someone reaches out to you for help. You should never say "I'll pray that God will help you." Instead, for that moment, you should become an atheist - imagine there is no God who could help, and say "I will help you"."
What your argument really does is accuse the religious of being sociopathic narcissists. You are claiming that without a cosmic sky-Daddy ready to spank them for all eternity the religious will find no motivation, inspiration, or empathy in the world around them. In short, you’re claiming the religious are amoral monsters who won’t help unless a space-wizard forces them to.

Your message is a degenerate one that denigrates your fellow humans.
__________________
Look what I found! There's this whole web site full of skeptics that spun off from the James Randy Education Foundation!

Last edited by halleyscomet; 5th August 2019 at 03:51 AM.
halleyscomet is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 03:57 AM   #202
halleyscomet
Philosopher
 
halleyscomet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 9,787
__________________
Look what I found! There's this whole web site full of skeptics that spun off from the James Randy Education Foundation!
halleyscomet is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 04:56 AM   #203
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 87,158
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I don't have a clue how science could do that. Ethics and morality are social constructs. Science merely informs those constructs.
As joe says, or as I would usually put it ethics and morality are human behaviours. If we can model human behaviours (and we can more and more) then there is nothing in principle that means we can't tell Jane that she "should" do X in circumstances Y.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:04 AM   #204
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 87,158
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Yes, I think that science more or less deals itself out of moraity and ethics.



Philosophy is not much help either.



And yet we all can't avoid having to make moral and ethical decisions all the time.



How do we do it? Common sense I suppose.
Heuristic solutions embedded in hardware, quite easy to explain. Nothing mysterious as to why a system "chooses" to do X in circumstances Y.

Fiendishly complicated of course.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:05 AM   #205
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,851
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
As joe says, or as I would usually put it ethics and morality are human behaviours. If we can model human behaviours (and we can more and more) then there is nothing in principle that means we can't tell Jane that she "should" do X in circumstances Y.
This.

Now, again, I know the game and Philosophizer Peanut Gallery is going to run in demanding what basically amounts to ethical solipsism where we have to prove suffering is bad or some other nonsense, but that's the gist of it.

The only ethics/morality I care about, as I in the only ethics/morality question I consider valid are questions about the reducing the suffering of conscious creatures. That's it. And that's not some mystical thing we don't have and/or can't get data on.

It's possible to reduce people's suffering. We can collect, analyze data on that. We can alter what we do based on that data.

That is science. Just because it's not someone in a labcoat holding a beaker of blue fluid over a Bunsen Burner doesn't make it not science.

All the other various angels dancing on the head of a pin trolley problems aren't valid questions.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:09 AM   #206
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 87,158
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
What is boring is scientists holding forth on things like reductionism, emergence, free will and "something from nothing" without really defining their terms or not realising that anything useful they can say on the subject has already been said decades or even centuries ago and if they had only just deigned to talk it over with someone in the philosophy department they could have saved themselves valuable time.

I don't mind people not wanting to do philosophy, but if so they should stay away from those subjects and not try to reinvent philosophical wheels, especially those that philosophers themselves have long given up as a pointless exercise.
Which philosopher explained how the universe arose, or let me not even make.either that hard, which one explained the initial inflation of the universe?
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:12 AM   #207
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,851
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which philosopher explained how the universe arose, or let me not even make.either that hard, which one explained the initial inflation of the universe?
None of them.

Apparently philosophy is supposed to get credit for NOT answering questions nobody else has also answered.

Apparently when science can't answer questions yet it loses, when philosophy never answers questions it wins.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:23 AM   #208
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
As joe says, or as I would usually put it ethics and morality are human behaviours. If we can model human behaviours (and we can more and more) then there is nothing in principle that means we can't tell Jane that she "should" do X in circumstances Y.
There is nothing in principle that means that we can't throw a dice and tell Jane that she "should" do X in circumstance Y.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:24 AM   #209
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
None of them.

Apparently philosophy is supposed to get credit for NOT answering questions nobody else has also answered.

Apparently when science can't answer questions yet it loses, when philosophy never answers questions it wins.
Can you give me an example of any of this happening?

Oh, I forgot, you are allowed to make claims and then cast your inability to back them up as some kind of intellectual superiority.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:25 AM   #210
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
There is nothing in principle that means that we can't throw a dice and tell Jane that she "should" do X in circumstance Y.
You certainly could. But I think the more relevant point is that if you only base it on what some supposedly smart guy pulled out of the ass, then yeah, you're not in any way more justified than when you just rolled some dice.

I repeat, "That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." And "some famous dead guy said so" is not really more evidence than if I cast the runes, or yes, rolled some dice.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 5th August 2019 at 05:28 AM.
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:42 AM   #211
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Now, again, I know the game and Philosophizer Peanut Gallery is going to run in demanding what basically amounts to ethical solipsism where we have to prove suffering is bad or some other nonsense, but that's the gist of it.
No-one has done this.

Why don't you deal with what people actually are saying rather than the thing you arbitrarily pretend they are going to say?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:45 AM   #212
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which philosopher explained how the universe arose, or let me not even make.either that hard, which one explained the initial inflation of the universe?
Does that really seem to you like a reasonable response to what I said?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:48 AM   #213
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Does that really seem to you like a reasonable response to what I said?
Seems more than reasonable to me. A lot more polite than what I would have said, too.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:50 AM   #214
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You certainly could. But I think the more relevant point is that if you only base it on what some supposedly smart guy pulled out of the ass, then yeah, you're not in any way more justified than when you just rolled some dice.

I repeat, "That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." And "some famous dead guy said so" is not really more evidence than if I cast the runes, or yes, rolled some dice.
Keep it up, I haven't completed my "dumb straw man cracks about philosophy" bingo card yet.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:52 AM   #215
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Keep it up, I haven't completed my "dumb straw man cracks about philosophy" bingo card yet.
Right. So you can't actually address any actual objection that has been raised, you can only do the above dumbassery. Duly noted.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:53 AM   #216
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Seems more than reasonable to me. A lot more polite than what I would have said, too.
Suppose a physicist tried re-plumbing your house and made a dog's breakfast of it so that there were leaks springing up everywhere. Would you say "Yeah, that's OK, because what plumber ever told us how the universe began?".
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:54 AM   #217
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Suppose a physicist tried re-plumbing your house and made a dog's breakfast of it so that there were leaks springing up everywhere. Would you say "Yeah, that's OK, because what plumber ever told us how the universe began?".
No, but I would say you're definitely in the dumb flailing and handwaving stage at this point.

Because THAT has nothing to do with what Darat said and why it was an apropriate response.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:55 AM   #218
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 29,448
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Suppose a physicist tried re-plumbing your house and made a dog's breakfast of it so that there were leaks springing up everywhere. Would you say "Yeah, that's OK, because what plumber ever told us how the universe began?".
No, I'd probably say, "At least it's a better job than the philosopher did last week."

Dave
__________________
Inspiring discussion of Sharknado is not a good sign for the audience expectations of your new high-concept SF movie sequel.

- Myriad
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 05:56 AM   #219
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Right. So you can't actually address any actual objection that has been raised, you can only do the above dumbassery. Duly noted.
Er which "actual objection"? I am very certain that asserting stuff without evidence is numbers 1 through 9 of the top ten "thou shalt not"s of any self respecting philosopher.

Just because you say that philosophers do something does not make it true.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:00 AM   #220
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
No, but I would say you're definitely in the dumb flailing and handwaving stage at this point.
You are projecting again.

Quote:
Because THAT has nothing to do with what Darat said and why it was an apropriate response.
I am betting that you didn't even read the post Darat was responding to, because mine was a pretty close analogy.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 5th August 2019 at 06:04 AM.
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:06 AM   #221
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
But to address that too, science, as in the application of the scientific method, doesn't only mean physicists in lab coats. If I hired someone to do the plumbing, yeah, there too I would expect that they learned it based on the real world and evidence, and tested it on the real world. If anyone tried to do plumbing based on just navel-gazing and imagining what proper plumbing might be, or quoting what some other smart men said without basing it on even seeing an actual pipe, guess what? I wouldn't trust them to do my plumbing.

So if that's supposed to be an analogy for there being a time and place for using a philosopher instead of a scientist, well, I'd say that's where it fails right there. Because if the result actually matters in the real world -- e.g., can actually flood my kitchen -- then I want a plumber whose opinions are in fact scientific by any other name. I.e., based on actual RL data.

Even if he can't actually calculate the pressure in the pipes, and the flow and whatnot, at least he has some tables and/or parts made by someone who did. That's in fact the ONLY way to be reasonably confident that they'll do a good job. If their own expertise is thinking about other vaguely connected domains that don't overlap with what can be measured and determined scientifically, then you don't, in fact, have any reason to trust anything they can say or do about your plumbing.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:09 AM   #222
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
You are projecting again.
Right. I bet your kindergarten teacher is very proud of your debating skills.

Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I am betting that you didn't even read the post Darat was responding to, because mine was a pretty close analogy.
You know that he actually quoted what he was answering to from your message, right? If the best defense is that you bet nobody actually read what you were saying, that's pretty lame.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:12 AM   #223
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
No, I'd probably say, "At least it's a better job than the philosopher did last week."

Dave
That pretty much underlines my point.

Wouldn't it have been better for a plumber to do it?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:14 AM   #224
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You know that he actually quoted what he was answering to from your message, right? If the best defense is that you bet nobody actually read what you were saying, that's pretty lame.
But you weren't responding to his quote, you were responding to mine in which I only quoted his response.

I didn't say he didn't quote it, I am saying I bet you didn't read it. Or at least you are answering as though you didn't.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 5th August 2019 at 06:15 AM.
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:15 AM   #225
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Er which "actual objection"? I am very certain that asserting stuff without evidence is numbers 1 through 9 of the top ten "thou shalt not"s of any self respecting philosopher.
And I'm saying that any domains which are based on proper evidence and Occam's razor, are by definition already covered by science. In fact, that any philosopher ("self respecting" or otherwise) whose conclusions are worth of any consideration, is in fact a scientist by any other name.

I'm not sure what you think science is, but it's nothing more than a method for testing your suppositions against reality. It can cover physics, or plumbing, or, to reuse Vince Ebert's example, testing my supposition that there's still beer in the fridge.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:18 AM   #226
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
That pretty much underlines my point.

Wouldn't it have been better for a plumber to do it?
The thing about an argument from analogy is that it's only as good as the analogy. You have to actually show that there is a domain with similar practical implications, where you're similarly better off with a philosopher than a scientist. Given that the latter covers anything based on evidence and testing assumptions, that leaves you in fact with only woowoo as domains where a scientist would be unfit for the job.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:19 AM   #227
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 50,675
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which philosopher explained how the universe arose, or let me not even make.either that hard, which one explained the initial inflation of the universe?
Uh, philosophy basically started with different ideas about how the universe originated. The "Pre-Socratics" is how the Greek ones are typically called. (They had lots of ideas, including one about things they named "atoms". I wonder if anything ever came of that one?)

It seems unfair to demand the work of historical people incorporate future advances, doubly unfair when the future advances were built on the work of the historical people. No, Heraclitus didn't know about gravity waves. That doesn't mean he was stupid and his work was worthless. People do the best they can with what they have, just like in any other field. I cannot understand the contempt purportedly pro-science people here display for philosophy. The scientific method itself, the very basis for science and means of all this vaunted knowledge, was developed by philosophers! Descartes, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences. (He didn't discover snappy titles.) The ignorant only know of the "I think therefore I am" bit of that, what they miss is the point of it: by reducing what he can know without evidence to just that one thing, Descartes explained that all other knowledge can only be acquired by inquiry, with evidence. The man invented modern skepticism, a philosophy. I would have thought that would merit a teensy bit of respect here.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:20 AM   #228
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
But you weren't responding to his quote, you were responding to mine in which I only quoted his response.

I didn't say he didn't quote it, I am saying I bet you didn't read it. Or at least you are answering as though you didn't.
No. What you're actually saying is that you ASSUME that anyone who disagrees with you just didn't read your post. Which must be a comforting delusion, I suppose.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:25 AM   #229
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 29,448
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
That pretty much underlines my point.

Wouldn't it have been better for a plumber to do it?
To digress slightly, I (a physicist) am perfectly capable of doing quite a lot of plumbing perfectly competently, because (a) I understand the basic physical principles involved very thoroughly, and (b) some of my experimental work as a physicist has involved quite a lot of plumbing that was required to be of very high quality. I suspect (a) is not true of many philosophers, and I'm pretty sure (b) is true of even fewer.

Dave
__________________
Inspiring discussion of Sharknado is not a good sign for the audience expectations of your new high-concept SF movie sequel.

- Myriad
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:29 AM   #230
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Uh, philosophy basically started with different ideas about how the universe originated. The "Pre-Socratics" is how the Greek ones are typically called. (They had lots of ideas, including one about things they named "atoms". I wonder if anything ever came of that one?)

It seems unfair to demand the work of historical people incorporate future advances, doubly unfair when the future advances were built on the work of the historical people. No, Heraclitus didn't know about gravity waves. That doesn't mean he was stupid and his work was worthless. People do the best they can with what they have, just like in any other field. I cannot understand the contempt purportedly pro-science people here display for philosophy. The scientific method itself, the very basis for science and means of all this vaunted knowledge, was developed by philosophers! Descartes, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences. (He didn't discover snappy titles.) The ignorant only know of the "I think therefore I am" bit of that, what they miss is the point of it: by reducing what he can know without evidence to just that one thing, Descartes explained that all other knowledge can only be acquired by inquiry, with evidence. The man invented modern skepticism, a philosophy. I would have thought that would merit a teensy bit of respect here.
I don't think it's unreasonable at all, when what was claimed was that on a swathe of domains, including explicitly "something from nothing", scientists are "not realising that anything useful they can say on the subject has already been said decades or even centuries ago and if they had only just deigned to talk it over with someone in the philosophy department they could have saved themselves valuable time."

If one claims the above nonsense, then I think it's very apropriate to ask exactly which philosopher centuries ago explained the same things that modern science studies.

Sure, I'm more than willing to give them all the respect and whatnot, but it has to be pointed out that no, they were nowhere near the point where one can say they've already said everything of any use on the topic.

And I would add, without science, how would one even know WHICH of those philosophers to believe? E.g., if I'm to just believe the old philosophers instead of science on the domain of "something from nothing", does it mean that I can just believe Aristotle and Parmenides that the universe must have always existed, because "nothing comes from nothing"? Can I just believe Lucretius that therefore evolution is false, and every species always existed? (Cf, De Rerum Natura.) Or what?

Seems to me like science does have an important role there: if nothing else, to sort out which bits out of the piles of manure the ancients wrote on any given topic, are actually even vaguely resembling the real thing.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 5th August 2019 at 06:30 AM.
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:41 AM   #231
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which philosopher explained how the universe arose, or let me not even make.either that hard, which one explained the initial inflation of the universe?
Do you suppose that if a kind of knowledge has not given an explanation of the origin of the universe is worthless? How strange.

By the way, who gave an explanation of the origin of the universe? It is that this "origin of the universe" is not clear to me what it means.

Why, when you speak of philosophy, do you not refer to this or that philosopher but to "the" philosophy? Why, when you mention philosophers, do you never refer to contemporary philosophers? Don't you think that philosophy has changed something since Thales of Miletus?

Last edited by David Mo; 5th August 2019 at 06:44 AM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 06:54 AM   #232
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Maybe someone could just explain to me why the fact that science can tell us about the beginning of the universe makes it a good idea for scientists to try to rehash subjects that have already been covered in detail without having tried to inform themselves about what has previously been said on the subject.

(Edit and note I never said that scientists can't do philosophy. Or plumbing for that matter)
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 5th August 2019 at 07:04 AM.
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 07:18 AM   #233
Cheetah
Graduate Poster
 
Cheetah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,825
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
If we can model human behaviours (and we can more and more) then there is nothing in principle that means we can't tell Jane that she "should" do X in circumstances Y.

Can you explain this, to me it makes no sense at all.


Assume you model Jane's behaviour perfectly and you see that under circumstances Y she will do X.
You say "then there is nothing in principle that means we can't tell Jane that she "should" do X in circumstances Y"?


But what if she should not do X? What then? Then you can't say it.
And what does that have to do with moral choices?
__________________
"... when you dig my grave, could you make it shallow so that I can feel the rain" - DMB

Last edited by Cheetah; 5th August 2019 at 07:19 AM.
Cheetah is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 08:07 AM   #234
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 87,158
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
There is nothing in principle that means that we can't throw a dice and tell Jane that she "should" do X in circumstance Y.
That's right and?
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 08:08 AM   #235
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 87,158
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Can you give me an example of any of this happening?



Oh, I forgot, you are allowed to make claims and then cast your inability to back them up as some kind of intellectual superiority.
Which philosopher described the inflation of the universe before scientists?
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 08:08 AM   #236
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 87,158
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Does that really seem to you like a reasonable response to what I said?
Absolutely, else I wouldn't have asked it twice.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 08:09 AM   #237
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,851
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And I'm saying that any domains which are based on proper evidence and Occam's razor, are by definition already covered by science. In fact, that any philosopher ("self respecting" or otherwise) whose conclusions are worth of any consideration, is in fact a scientist by any other name.
And this is the overall only point that matters.

Shove the "labels" to the side. It's patently obvious that 99% of the discussion is just labeling from people who don't like the word "science."

So put all that to the side. Forget the words and concepts science, philosophy, ethics, morality, etc.

You have a variable you need to figure out. If the answer you get to the variable is not arrived at by looking at the evidence then what exactly are you even doing? Randomly guessing?

Because that is the core of science. As XKCD put it (slightly paraphrased) "Ideas are testing by experiment. That is the core of science. Everything else is just bookkeeping and questions of level of rigor."

Again as Hans has already pointed out we're fighting the common image of science of nothing but labcoats and beakers but that's a very limited (if the word had already lost all meaning I'd call it a strawman) viewpoint.

When you want to cross the street you perform an experiment to see if the it safe to do so; you look both ways. You don't sit under a Bodhi tree for 30 years contemplating the nature of traffic.

Tasting the soup to see if you need to add salt, asking your wife what she wants for her birthday, seeing if applying Gold Pine Resin to your Drake Sword will help you defeat the Bell Gargoyles in Dark Souls... all science, or, if that word simply sets you off and you can't get over it, evidence based thinking.

That's why I'm firmly in the "only science gives us answers" camp. Because until it is answered using scientific principles, it's not an answer, it's a guess. And again to anyone this sentence triggers just substitute "Evidence based thinking" for science, because if you're arguing against that I have nowhere else to go with you.

I know humbly await the "Oh yeah! Well can your cold hard science tell you if a painting is beautiful!?" argument.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 5th August 2019 at 08:19 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 08:13 AM   #238
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18,934
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
That pretty much underlines my point.

Wouldn't it have been better for a plumber to do it?
No, obviously it would be far better to pay a philosopher to define the concept of "pipe", right?
__________________
Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?


...love and buttercakes...
abaddon is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 08:27 AM   #239
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 87,158
Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Can you explain this, to me it makes no sense at all.


Assume you model Jane's behaviour perfectly and you see that under circumstances Y she will do X.
You say "then there is nothing in principle that means we can't tell Jane that she "should" do X in circumstances Y"?


But what if she should not do X? What then? Then you can't say it.
And what does that have to do with moral choices?
A moral choice is a human behaviour. All current evidence indicates that human behaviour arises from our brain interacting with the environment (to try and keep it simple).

If our model is accurate we can for example answer what Jane will do in certain circumstances I.e. her making a moral choice.

Let me try a different way of explaining what I mean.

Consider in the course of the day I sit down at a park bench and realise there is a paper bag containing 5000 next to me.

What I "should" do about the money is your "moral choice". Now I can wrestle with myself about whether to take the money to the police and hand it over or take the money for myself. And then I'll make my decision.

A sufficiently accurate model of my behaviour would let you know what I should do I.e. what I will do.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 08:39 AM   #240
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 50,675
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
A moral choice is a human behaviour. All current evidence indicates that human behaviour arises from our brain interacting with the environment (to try and keep it simple).

If our model is accurate we can for example answer what Jane will do in certain circumstances I.e. her making a moral choice.

Let me try a different way of explaining what I mean.

Consider in the course of the day I sit down at a park bench and realise there is a paper bag containing 5000 next to me.

What I "should" do about the money is your "moral choice". Now I can wrestle with myself about whether to take the money to the police and hand it over or take the money for myself. And then I'll make my decision.

A sufficiently accurate model of my behaviour would let you know what I should do I.e. what I will do.
What a given person will do is not the same thing as what a given person should do. Is Bill Cosby going to drug her drink and rape that girl? Of course he is. Should he? Certainly not.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:05 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.