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  1. #201
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But that is irrelevant for the purpose of the deduction. He doesn't need a visceral sense of what is red, he simply needs to know or define the fact that red is X, blue is Y, X and Y are non-overlapping therefore Red is not blue.
    True, but the ability to apply a logical structure to a contention does not give you understanding of what the thing itself is, which is what I am contending. I am saying that empiricism is the basis for knowledge, all that deduction does is put "red" into a category of things that are not blue, which only tells you what it isn't, not what it is.

  2. #202
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers View Post
    True, but the ability to apply a logical structure to a contention does not give you understanding of what the thing itself is, which is what I am contending. I am saying that empiricism is the basis for knowledge, all that deduction does is put "red" into a category of things that are not blue, which only tells you what it isn't, not what it is.
    Not so, if I deduce red as not being Blue, green, and all other colors, I am defining what it is by exclusion am I not?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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  3. #203
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Not so, if I deduce red as not being Blue, green, and all other colors, I am defining what it is by exclusion am I not?
    Technically yes, but unless you were to do that for every single possible thing, you would not have narrowed down red. Also, you are only narrowing it down to colours, but red is not a tomahawk missile any more than it is green and unless you have a basis for understanding what colour is, you cannot narrow it down immediately. In logic, process of elimination is not very sound. Also, what would you do if you came to a shade which you think is reddish orange, but someone else thinks is orangish-red, then you don't really have a clear divide, because if you say "red is not orange", that does not tell you whether that colour is really orange or red.

  4. #204
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers View Post
    Technically yes, but unless you were to do that for every single possible thing, you would not have narrowed down red. Also, you are only narrowing it down to colours, but red is not a tomahawk missile any more than it is green and unless you have a basis for understanding what colour is, you cannot narrow it down immediately. In logic, process of elimination is not very sound. Also, what would you do if you came to a shade which you think is reddish orange, but someone else thinks is orangish-red, then you don't really have a clear divide, because if you say "red is not orange", that does not tell you whether that colour is really orange or red.
    Your claim was that empirical observation is the sole proprietor of truth, the counter isn't that it is irrelevant, solely that other methods can arrive at truth as well. You are adding subjectivity in your example, which is ironically, more a problem with empirical evidence than it is with deductive reasoning. In my earlier example Red was clearly defined as having a certain set of traits. If I were to show you a picture, it would be the observers bias as to what shade he thought it was.

    Regardless, are you willing to admit now that empirical observation does not have sole claim over truth?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.Ē -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  5. #205
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Your claim was that empirical observation is the sole proprietor of truth, the counter isn't that it is irrelevant, solely that other methods can arrive at truth as well. You are adding subjectivity in your example, which is ironically, more a problem with empirical evidence than it is with deductive reasoning. In my earlier example Red was clearly defined as having a certain set of traits. If I were to show you a picture, it would be the observers bias as to what shade he thought it was.

    Regardless, are you willing to admit now that empirical observation does not have sole claim over truth?
    I have admitted that from the beginning, my claim is that empirical analysis is the basis for knowledge, not that it is the only way of attaining it (I don't use th word truth in this case, because I don't like the connotations that make it seem like certainty). I apologize if I gave another impression. What I am saying is that if you consider, for example, deduction, there is no way to confirm premises (in most cases) without some form of empirical analysis (the exception would be if a premise is based on an intrinsic property, i.e. "a square has 4 equal sides and 4 90 degree angles", however such deductions are early used in argument, because our brain does simple logic automatically and often by a process we cannot even explain).

  6. #206
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers View Post
    My only point was that empiricism is the basis for establishing truth. Unless the truth of certain prepositions is established, we have no real basis for knowledge
    What happens when the empirical evidence doesn't point to a material substance / a mechanism? I would support scientists that think we should follow the empirical evidence, regardless of where it may leads us. I assume, from your claim about empiricism that 'it is a basis for truth', you would agree?
    Experiment with this: Information can be converted into energy.

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  7. #207
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    What happens when the empirical evidence doesn't point to a material substance / a mechanism? I would support scientists that think we should follow the empirical evidence, regardless of where it may leads us. I assume, from your claim about empiricism that 'it is a basis for truth', you would agree?
    I don't really understand your objection

  8. #208
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers View Post
    I don't really understand your objection
    I wasn't making an objection. I was asking a question.

    You've made the point that you think empiricism is the basis for establishing truth.

    If that's your position, which is certainly a practical position, where do you stand when the empirical evidence doesn't point to material causes or a mechanism? If you believe empiricism is the basis for establishing truth, which you've defended on this thread, I would assume you would follow the empirical evidence of a given theory regardless of where the evidence pointed to. That's my question: do think empiricism whose evidence doesn't point to material causes is the basis of establishing truth?
    Experiment with this: Information can be converted into energy.

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  9. #209
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers View Post
    True, but the ability to apply a logical structure to a contention does not give you understanding of what the thing itself is, which is what I am contending.
    I'm sorry, is it your position that the color red is the sensory perception of red? Let's say that a blind person can never know what the sensory experience of color is like. You're suggesting that this is the same as not knowing what red is. That is, red = the sensory experience of red.

    Have I accurately summarized your position?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  10. #210
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers View Post

    I am saying you need perception to establish the basic principles, from there you can extrapolate.
    Why is this necessary only for basic principles? Why is it necessary for the basic principles? If you can extrapolate beyond the basics, why can't you extrapolate the basics from even more basic concepts which need no empirical basis?

    But it gets worse. Your are essentially espousing Scientism, the idea that only scientific or empirical facts are true. But this itself is contradictory as one cannot empirically or scientifically prove Scientism.

    How does one empirically prove the most basic foundational principles, namely the Aristotles three classic laws of thought? The problem with trying to prove empirically these is that you must already assume them to be true in order to prove them. For example, how does one empirically arrive at the Law of Identity, that "A is A"? Say you are some primitive caveman and you see a rock, how do you arrive at the conclusion that the rock is a rock through empirical means? The mental thought process you use to even make that conclusion assumes already that if it is a rock then it is a rock. In other words so foundational is the Law of Identity that it presupposes any empirical evidence, we must assume its truth even before we attempt to perceive or prove it. The same can be said of the Law of Noncontradiction.

    So there we have two foundational principles that are not dependent on perception or empirical proof. From these two Classical Laws, we can extrapolate to the third, the Law of Excluded Middle.

    From there, all other logic, including mathematics from the most basic principles, can be derived independent of perception or empirical proof (thats essentially what Set Theory is all about). That one cannot prove these most basic foundational principles is the conclusion of Godel's Incompleteness theorems.

    ---------- Post added at 12:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:39 AM ----------

    my claim is that empirical analysis is the basis for knowledge
    I disagree. Empirical analysis is completely dependent upon foundational principles of logic. One cannot conduct an empirical analysis without them? Since the most basic axioms are self-evident and cannot be proven either empirically or through logic, then they, not empirical analysis is the basis of knowledge.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  11. #211
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I'm sorry, is it your position that the color red is the sensory perception of red? Let's say that a blind person can never know what the sensory experience of color is like. You're suggesting that this is the same as not knowing what red is. That is, red = the sensory experience of red.

    Have I accurately summarized your position?
    To some extent, yes. Colour is an interesting property in this regard, because it legitimately cannot be described. A blind person could understand sight, because they could imagine the concept of being able to physically view something they can only perceive mentally. Similarly a deaf person might understand the concept of hearing things. A person who is totally colourblind cannot really do the same thing, because how do you describe what colour is? I think the difference is that colour is not a property you can cross confirm. Shape can be felt and seen, speech can be seen (at least the act of producing it can be) and heard. So as long as you have 1 means of perceiving things, you can imagine what it would be like to experience it through another sense. Is this making sense or am I just rambling?

    ---------- Post added at 01:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:49 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I wasn't making an objection. I was asking a question.

    You've made the point that you think empiricism is the basis for establishing truth.

    If that's your position, which is certainly a practical position, where do you stand when the empirical evidence doesn't point to material causes or a mechanism? If you believe empiricism is the basis for establishing truth, which you've defended on this thread, I would assume you would follow the empirical evidence of a given theory regardless of where the evidence pointed to. That's my question: do think empiricism whose evidence doesn't point to material causes is the basis of establishing truth?
    If empiricism did point to non material causes, then that would be part of the established truth, if it doesn't, then the same holds. Empiricism get you to go where the evidence leads.

    ---------- Post added at 01:55 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:51 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    I disagree. Empirical analysis is completely dependent upon foundational principles of logic. One cannot conduct an empirical analysis without them? Since the most basic axioms are self-evident and cannot be proven either empirically or through logic, then they, not empirical analysis is the basis of knowledge.
    I disagree. Empiricism requires only 2 assumptions to work, these same assumptions are the foundation of logic, but they are not part of either
    1. The universe exists
    2. we are able to accurately perceive the universe

    Neither of those can be totally proven, but without them no truth can be established either through rational or empirical means.

  12. #212
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers
    I disagree. Empiricism requires only 2 assumptions to work, these same assumptions are the foundation of logic, but they are not part of either
    1. The universe exists
    2. we are able to accurately perceive the universe

    Neither of those can be totally proven, but without them no truth can be established either through rational or empirical means.
    How do you know the universe exists? How do you know you are able to accurately perceive the universe?

    When Rene Descartes sought out a set of fundamental principles on which to build his philosophy, he employed methodological skepticism, discarding the existence of anything he could doubt the existence of. This includes the world and universe in which we live. In fact, as he points out, one can doubt all perception. As these could be illusions, they are not fundamental or foundational in anyway.

    Furthermore, these are not axioms of logic. It is plausible that in an alternative universe there exists two creatures having this very same debate. However in this alternative universe, the laws of physics are very different. For those creatures, the existence of our universe and our ability to perceive it is irrelevant. Our physical laws have absolutely no bearing on them. Nothing that pertains to our universe has any impact as a foundation to their knowledge.

    What would be shared between our two universes and is fundamental to both of our abilities to obtain knowledge are the basic laws of logic, those axioms whose truth cannot be proven and which are not dependent upon perception. Before one can conduct any empirical analysis or make sense of perception, it is entirely necessary that you have basic logical principles that are already known to be true. And those laws are the aforementioned Classic laws of logic.

    Going back to Descartes, he applied his methodological skepticism with extremity, eventually concluding that the one thing that he cannot doubt was the fact that there existed the thought of doubt: The simple meaning of the phrase is that if one is skeptical of existence, that is in and of itself proof that he does exist.

    This leads to the famous saying Cogito Ergo Sum, I think therefore I am.

    However, in applying this principle, he assumes still and takes for granted the Classic Laws of Thought, so fundamentally true are these. Cogito Ergo Sum is the very application of the Laws of Thought. For if you do not exist, then you cannot doubt. Yet you doubt, therefore you exist.

    The Laws of Thought are fundamental and completely above all perception and empirical proof.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  13. #213
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers
    To some extent, yes. Colour is an interesting property in this regard, because it legitimately cannot be described. A blind person could understand sight, because they could imagine the concept of being able to physically view something they can only perceive mentally. Similarly a deaf person might understand the concept of hearing things. A person who is totally colourblind cannot really do the same thing, because how do you describe what colour is? I think the difference is that colour is not a property you can cross confirm. Shape can be felt and seen, speech can be seen (at least the act of producing it can be) and heard. So as long as you have 1 means of perceiving things, you can imagine what it would be like to experience it through another sense. Is this making sense or am I just rambling?
    Here's why I don't think that works: suppose that tomorrow all animals capable of sight became extinct across the entire universe. Would color cease to exist? Or suppose that all sources of light died out--say, the heat death of the universe. Would the red ball stop being red just because we can't see it?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers View Post
    I have admitted that from the beginning, my claim is that empirical analysis is the basis for knowledge, not that it is the only way of attaining it (I don't use th word truth in this case, because I don't like the connotations that make it seem like certainty). I apologize if I gave another impression.
    You can certainly understand my confusion given this statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by SGTPeppers
    Empirical evidence involves the ability to make testable predictions and observations, which is the only way of forming objective truth.
    Emphasis mine.

    Now, given that admission, that there are other ways of obtaining knowledge, why is empirical evidence necessary to confirm the existence of something supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by SGTPeppers
    What I am saying is that if you consider, for example, deduction, there is no way to confirm premises (in most cases) without some form of empirical analysis (the exception would be if a premise is based on an intrinsic property, i.e. "a square has 4 equal sides and 4 90 degree angles", however such deductions are early used in argument, because our brain does simple logic automatically and often by a process we cannot even explain).
    This point is moot, as long as a premise can be supported in any case by other than empirical evidence the argument that this thread is based upon is fallacious.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.Ē -G.K. Chesterton
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  15. #215
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You can certainly understand my confusion given this statement:
    Yes

    Now, given that admission, that there are other ways of obtaining knowledge, why is empirical evidence necessary to confirm the existence of something supernatural?
    The supernatural is by definition outside of nature, humans are within nature. the only way to confirm the supernatural is for it to interfere in a way humans can perceive, which means it would enter the realm of the natural and be observable. Unless it does that, you have no way of showing it exists.

    This point is moot, as long as a premise can be supported in any case by other than empirical evidence the argument that this thread is based upon is fallacious.
    That requires special circumstances, in almost all cases there is no way to confirm premises without empirical analysis, bless you can structure all your arguments in self proving premises (i.e. based on intrinsic properties).

  16. #216
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers View Post
    The supernatural is by definition outside of nature, humans are within nature. the only way to confirm the supernatural is for it to interfere in a way humans can perceive, which means it would enter the realm of the natural and be observable. Unless it does that, you have no way of showing it exists.
    That is only true if you assume that nothing can be common to those two realms. Why would logical relationships necessarily break down outside of natural law?

    Quote Originally Posted by SGTPeppers
    That requires special circumstances, in almost all cases there is no way to confirm premises without empirical analysis, bless you can structure all your arguments in self proving premises (i.e. based on intrinsic properties).
    You are shifting the goal posts of this thread. The argument was not does a specific deist argument fail because it requires empirical evidence, it was that all deist arguments are by definition impossible.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.Ē -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  17. #217
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    That is only true if you assume that nothing can be common to those two realms. Why would logical relationships necessarily break down outside of natural law?
    I think, given the realms are mutually exclusive, it is safe to assume that anything crossing from one to the other would be viewed as an anomaly in the other. Since we can test phenomena in the natural world, we could analyze the anomaly and quantify supernatural forces.

  18. #218
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers View Post
    I think, given the realms are mutually exclusive, it is safe to assume that anything crossing from one to the other would be viewed as an anomaly in the other. Since we can test phenomena in the natural world, we could analyze the anomaly and quantify supernatural forces.
    Why is it a given that the two realms are mutually exclusive?
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  19. #219
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers View Post
    I think, given the realms are mutually exclusive, it is safe to assume that anything crossing from one to the other would be viewed as an anomaly in the other. Since we can test phenomena in the natural world, we could analyze the anomaly and quantify supernatural forces.
    Things can be mutually exclusive and still reside under a larger categorical umbrella. For example: Rules describing dogs might or might not apply to cats. But rules applying to animals apply to both.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.Ē -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  20. #220
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    Re: You canít prove god doesnít exist!

    Moved this thread to Religion forum.
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