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  1. #1
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    The Dragon In My Garage

    "A fire breathing dragon lives in my garage."

    Suppose I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity.

    "Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle - but no dragon.

    "Where's the dragon?" you ask.

    "Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."

    You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.

    "Good idea," I say "but this dragon floats in the air."

    Then you'll use infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.

    "Good idea, but the invisible fire is heatless."

    You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.

    "Good idea, except she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick."

    And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work.

    Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so.

    The bolded portion of this quote from Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World" is what I am interested in debating. My position is as follows:

    1. There is no difference, the dragon might as well not exist.

    2. The claim is worthless.

    The following is why I think the dragon exists:

    1. Clouds exist.
    2. Anything that exists must have been created.
    3. Clouds exist.
    4. This dragon is the only thing that can create clouds. There is no other way.
    5. Therefore, this dragon must exist.

    Sure I do not have any evidence that clouds can only be made by this dragon, but you cannot disprove my claim. To disprove my claim you would have to provide another way that clouds are made. Since you cannot my claim is perfectly rationale. I have no physical evidence that this dragon exists but I have faith and that is good enough a reason for billions of people to believe in something, so it is good enough for me and should be good enough for you.

    Oh and if you do find another way in which clouds are made, say threw science or something, then I was mistaken. It isn't clouds that this dragon makes but stars. If you find another way in which stars are made then... so on and so forth until science has explained everything in all universes. Once that happens then I suppose I was wrong about the dragon.

    Don't get hung up on the fact that a dragon must have mass to be a dragon, or fire must have heat to be fire. That really is missing the point.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; November 1st, 2011 at 10:59 AM. Reason: edited op to include argument
    abc

  2. #2
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by MYXENO
    Suppose I seriously make such an assertion to you.
    My first problem with the claim.

    See ultimately made up examples done for the sake of showing that you can make up an example that is false to compare to another claim.. .IS meaningless.


    Quote Originally Posted by OP
    Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all
    Depends on what you mean.
    If you mean the difference to you then maybe nothing.
    but if we are talking in comparison then the difference is existence. An Invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fires but does in fact exist in reality, is fundamentally different than a dragon that does not exist at all.

    But so what? It isn't analogous to anything argued for.
    for example
    god is argued to be a "necessary" being, he can't not exist. The dragon in the example is not. That is a fundamental difference which makes the dragon irrelevant to any fundamental theist claim.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  3. #3
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Xeno...since YOU can't detect the dragon due to every physical test you propose would have a special explanation of why it wouldn't work, what reason would YOU have for believing in YOUR dragon?

    Either you would believe it with absolutely no basis, no reason whatsoever...(blind faith that spontaneously appeared w/o cause)
    or
    You intentionally made up the claim that the dragon exists and you want others to be deceived by you.
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  4. #4
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    You intentionally made up the claim that God the dragon exists and you want others to be deceived by you.
    I think you're on to something.
    Last edited by Galendir; October 30th, 2011 at 10:07 PM.
    Faith is a vice.
    It is a substitute for courage.
    It is the abdication of Reason - the greatest attribute humans possess.
    It is the selling of one's soul for a happy lie.

  5. #5
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    I don't think the dragon and God are analogous. Does God have mass? God is a transcendent entity. The dragon is more like a magical animal--something that violates rules that actually do apply.

    I'd say that if you're calling it a fire-breathing dragon but it doesn't have scales and its fire isn't hot, you don't really have a dragon. I could say I have an incorporeal teacup, but how do you know it's a teacup? What makes it an incorporeal teacup as opposed to an incorporeal triangle? What makes your invisible fire-breathing dragon something other than an invisible gnat? Or an invisible cylinder?
    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: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    Does God have mass?
    Why? Does the dragon have mass? I don't believe that anyone made the claim that it did.

    God is a transcendent entity.
    Sez you. Do you have evidence to support your claim?

    The dragon is more like a magical animal--something that violates rules that actually do apply.
    Name one.

    I'd say that if you're calling it a fire-breathing dragon but it doesn't have scales and its fire isn't hot, you don't really have a dragon.
    Does this mean that you consider there to be no good reason to believe in the existence of an entity that has unobservable traits?

    What if MX adds the disclaimer that it seems to be the case that only those who have a strong enough faith in the existence of the dragon in the absence of material evidence are able to become aware of its existence?

    I could say I have an incorporeal teacup, but how do you know it's a teacup? What makes it an incorporeal teacup as opposed to an incorporeal triangle? What makes your invisible fire-breathing dragon something other than an invisible gnat? Or an invisible cylinder?
    Or an invisible god?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    Xeno...since YOU can't detect the dragon due to every physical test you propose would have a special explanation of why it wouldn't work, what reason would YOU have for believing in YOUR dragon?

    Either you would believe it with absolutely no basis, no reason whatsoever...(blind faith that spontaneously appeared w/o cause)
    or
    You intentionally made up the claim that the dragon exists and you want others to be deceived by you.
    I'm not MX but there's any number of reasons that he might come to hold such a belief. Could be, for example, that in the village from which MX hails it is common belief that some garages house invisible dragons.

    Could be that when he was small and incapable of thinking critically about any issue, his parents and relatives told him that an invisible dragon occupies their garage and, now that he's matured, he's unconsciously used the critical thinking skills he's acquired to DEFEND his cherished childhood belief rather than to subject it to serious, objective scrutiny.

    Could be that he read a book which suggested that some of the weird things he's noticed occurring in his garage are actually the doings of an invisible dragon and this explanation makes sense to him.

    Again, there could be any number of reasons that he seriously believes an invisible dragon lives in his garage. Anyway, since the OP stipulates that he's serious in his claim (Remember, the OP begins with the words "Suppose I seriously make such an assertion to you") the sincerity of his belief is not relevant in this thread. Put another way, any reply that does not "suppose" that the assertion is serious, as the OP clearly stipulates, is not responding to the OP.

  7. #7
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    My first problem with the claim.

    See ultimately made up examples done for the sake of showing that you can make up an example that is false to compare to another claim.. .IS meaningless.
    As meaningless as other made up claims yes. Unless people believe those other made up claims in which case this made up claim has value in the sense that it shows those people that the claim they believe in was made up.

    Depends on what you mean.
    If you mean the difference to you then maybe nothing.
    but if we are talking in comparison then the difference is existence. An Invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fires but does in fact exist in reality, is fundamentally different than a dragon that does not exist at all.
    If, given infinite time, we could never detect the dragon no matter what test we performed. What does it mean to say that the dragon exists? Nothing. Either I lied, or this dragon cannot effect anything in reality/existence. It might as well not exist. Although something that exists must be able to effect something within existence otherwise it doesn't fit the definition of exist.

    But so what? It isn't analogous to anything argued for.
    for example
    god is argued to be a "necessary" being, he can't not exist. The dragon in the example is not. That is a fundamental difference which makes the dragon irrelevant to any fundamental theist claim.
    Well I am not interested in discussing if this examples relates to God, I'll leave that for someone else. I am more interested in the philosophical question of what it means to say that something, in this case a dragon, exists if all tests we could ever perform would never detect it. If everything we know says the dragon doesn't exist, is there meaning in saying that it does?

    ---------- Post added at 08:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:20 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Xeno...since YOU can't detect the dragon due to every physical test you propose would have a special explanation of why it wouldn't work, what reason would YOU have for believing in YOUR dragon?

    Either you would believe it with absolutely no basis, no reason whatsoever...(blind faith that spontaneously appeared w/o cause)
    or
    You intentionally made up the claim that the dragon exists and you want others to be deceived by you.
    If the dragon didn't exist then the tree in my front yard wouldn't exist because the dragon planted it there. My tree does exist and therefore the dragon must exist.

    ---------- Post added at 08:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:23 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I don't think the dragon and God are analogous. Does God have mass? God is a transcendent entity. The dragon is more like a magical animal--something that violates rules that actually do apply.

    I'd say that if you're calling it a fire-breathing dragon but it doesn't have scales and its fire isn't hot, you don't really have a dragon. I could say I have an incorporeal teacup, but how do you know it's a teacup? What makes it an incorporeal teacup as opposed to an incorporeal triangle? What makes your invisible fire-breathing dragon something other than an invisible gnat? Or an invisible cylinder?
    That is a good point, it doesn't really fit the definition of a dragon so what does it mean to call it a dragon? Is it a new special breed of dragon? We might as well call it a square, since we will never detect it and thus never know what it is. It might as well not exist...
    abc

  8. #8
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by MYXENO
    As meaningless as other made up claims yes.
    Sure, sure.. made up claims are meaningless... and?

    Quote Originally Posted by MYXENO
    Unless people believe those other made up claims in which case this made up claim has value in the sense that it shows those people that the claim they believe in was made up.
    Not at all. First you are assuming claims are made up, which basically begs the question.

    Suppose the dragon you describe was real, would our ability to detect it make it any less actual? What you are then discussing is not the reality of it, but it's effect. Which are two very different things. There are plenty of things that are "real" that don't have any effect on my life, and are thus equal to any given made up claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by MYXENO
    If, given infinite time, we could never detect the dragon no matter what test we performed. What does it mean to say that the dragon exists? Nothing. Either I lied, or this dragon cannot effect anything in reality/existence. It might as well not exist. Although something that exists must be able to effect something within existence otherwise it doesn't fit the definition of exist.
    What definition of existence are you using? Something either exists or it doesn't, the effects it has on other things are irrelevant to that fact.

    It may as well not exist =/= doesn't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by MYXENO
    Well I am not interested in discussing if this examples relates to God, I'll leave that for someone else.
    Well.. just pointing out that there is no correlation in case some body stumbles in and thinks this is some how trying to address God.

    Quote Originally Posted by MYXENO
    I am more interested in the philosophical question of what it means to say that something, in this case a dragon, exists if all tests we could ever perform would never detect it. If everything we know says the dragon doesn't exist, is there meaning in saying that it does?
    I would say it has meaning to the dragon.


    In the end you are really discussing effect and if there is no effect (especially in your life) then what does it matter. The answer is all in perspective.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  9. #9
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Why? Does the dragon have mass? I don't believe that anyone made the claim that it did.
    You missed the point. A dragon is known to have certain properties. It is these properties that make it a dragon. But now...ALL of these properties are removed from this entity yet it is still being referred to as a dragon.

    1) Why?
    2) How do you know it is a dragon given that there is no characteristic of a dragon that we can attribute to it?

    Sez you. Do you have evidence to support your claim?
    Is evidence important? What kind of evidence should we expect?


    I'm not MX but there's any number of reasons that he might come to hold such a belief. Could be, for example, that in the village from which MX hails it is common belief that some garages house invisible dragons.
    Appeal to tradition. It's fallacious.

    Could be that when he was small and incapable of thinking critically about any issue, his parents and relatives told him that an invisible dragon occupies their garage and, now that he's matured, he's unconsciously used the critical thinking skills he's acquired to DEFEND his cherished childhood belief rather than to subject it to serious, objective scrutiny.
    What critical thinking skills are being used? I didn't see any.

    Could be that he read a book which suggested that some of the weird things he's noticed occurring in his garage are actually the doings of an invisible dragon and this explanation makes sense to him.
    What is the source of this book? And this is merely a fallacious appeal to authority.

    Again, there could be any number of reasons that he seriously believes an invisible dragon lives in his garage.
    Beliefs aren't always true. As far as I can see, there is no rational, none whatsoever used here in the claim (analogy - which has yet to be supported to be applicable to any theist position). In fact, in every instance, reason has been thrown out, disregarded.

    And if something is not reasonable, has no support, fallacious even...there is no need to accept it to be true or actual.

    Anyway, since the OP stipulates that he's serious in his claim (Remember, the OP begins with the words "Suppose I seriously make such an assertion to you") the sincerity of his belief is not relevant in this thread. Put another way, any reply that does not "suppose" that the assertion is serious, as the OP clearly stipulates, is not responding to the OP.
    I didn't ask about the sincerity of his belief. Sincerity isn't an indicator of truth.

    ---------- Post added at 07:55 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:51 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    If the dragon didn't exist then the tree in my front yard wouldn't exist because the dragon planted it there. My tree does exist and therefore the dragon must exist..
    First, a response I gave to Rod:

    A dragon is known to have certain properties. It is these properties that make it a dragon. But now...ALL of these properties are removed from this entity yet it is still being referred to as a dragon.

    1) Why?
    2) How do you know it is a dragon given that there is no characteristic of a dragon that we can attribute to it?

    Secondly, what property is it of a dragon, that plants trees? And why is this particular tree different than all the rest of the trees that are not planted by this imaginary friend of yours?

    Lastly, as I recall, you've already attempted this type of argumentation and it was shot down rather quickly. Why just reword it and start from the beginning vs strengthen the existing argument?
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  10. #10
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Not at all. First you are assuming claims are made up, which basically begs the question.

    Suppose the dragon you describe was real, would our ability to detect it make it any less actual? What you are then discussing is not the reality of it, but it's effect. Which are two very different things. There are plenty of things that are "real" that don't have any effect on my life, and are thus equal to any given made up claim.
    All claims are made up. The difference is that some claims are made up based on evidence and others are made up based on imagination/hallucination.

    If the dragon is real would our ability to detect it make it any less real? Of course not, it would make it real. I am not talking about effect in a restricted sense like your life, I am talking about it in the broadest sense possible. This dragon cannot effect anything, be it matter, energy or anything else in the entirety of existence (this universe or another).

    What definition of existence are you using? Something either exists or it doesn't, the effects it has on other things are irrelevant to that fact.
    Can you name me anything that exists yet does not have any effect on anything? Can you name me something that does not exist yet has an affect on something? No, thus existence means having an effect on something. Since the dragon has no affect on anything I point at it (flour, spray paint...) it does not exist. Even if this is wrong, if existence is not dependent on having an affect on something, the claim of the dragon is still meaningless. This is because it cannot affect anything in any universe. If it can't bite my head off when I try to get into my car, it doesn't matter if it exists or not. If it can't bring about cold fusion, it doesn't matter if it exists or not... so on and so for threw all examples.

    Well.. just pointing out that there is no correlation in case some body stumbles in and thinks this is some how trying to address God.
    Carl Sagan was sort of making that claim. He was disproving the existence of alien abductions and claiming that alien abductions are the modern demos/angles/perhaps by extension God.

    I would say it has meaning to the dragon.
    Good point, but the dragon cannot hear my claim so it doesn't know what I have said and silence cannot mean much.

    In the end you are really discussing effect and if there is no effect (especially in your life) then what does it matter. The answer is all in perspective.
    I am discussing affect, but not in a restricted sense as my life. I am talking about affect in the broadest sense possible. The dragon cannot affect anything in any universe.

    ---------- Post added at 11:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:18 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    First, a response I gave to Rod:

    A dragon is known to have certain properties. It is these properties that make it a dragon. But now...ALL of these properties are removed from this entity yet it is still being referred to as a dragon.
    I didn't remove any of these properties. I altered some of them, like this dragon's fire does not produce heat, but no dragon is alike. Everything is unique, there are similarities between things but in the end everything is slightly different. This dragon is just a bit more different then most.

    1) Why?
    2) How do you know it is a dragon given that there is no characteristic of a dragon that we can attribute to it?
    Well that is simply not true. Dragons have wings and scales, so does mine...

    Secondly, what property is it of a dragon, that plants trees? And why is this particular tree different than all the rest of the trees that are not planted by this imaginary friend of yours?
    This is a tree dragon, he likes to plant trees. The tree is shaped like a dragon... sort of. In the OP I said that all such objections towards the dragon are dealt with by a special explanation. You need to assume this is the case, I will not go threw every objection and give a special explanation.

    Lastly, as I recall, you've already attempted this type of argumentation and it was shot down rather quickly. Why just reword it and start from the beginning vs strengthen the existing argument?
    Are you referring to the unicorn argument? That was an argument against God, or something, I am not arguing against God.

    [QUOTE MyXenocide]Well I am not interested in discussing if this examples relates to God, I'll leave that for someone else. I am more interested in the philosophical question of what it means to say that something, in this case a dragon, exists if all tests we could ever perform would never detect it. If everything we know says the dragon doesn't exist, is there meaning in saying that it does?[/QUOTE]

    Just a random question: is the only difference between affect and effect tense? So affect is past tense and effect is present tense?
    Last edited by MyXenocide; October 31st, 2011 at 08:34 AM.
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Why? Does the dragon have mass? I don't believe that anyone made the claim that it did.
    What makes it a dragon, if not its biology? Are you arguing that there are biological entities that don't have mass?

    Sez you. Do you have evidence to support your claim?
    My evidence is the Bible (note: I'm not arguing that the God of the Bible exists. I'm only giving evidence that the kind of thing being argued for is a transcendent thing rather than a normal thing). The God of the Bible is not argued to have anything like mass; He is equated with abstract objects like "love"; under mainstream Christian theology, He is considered to be independent of time and the universe in general.

    Name one.
    It generates fire that doesn't release heat, light, or sound? How is such a thing "fire"? How is this consistent with the conservation of energy? (I assume you know how the phenomenon of fire is generated.)

    Does it fly with wings? If so, it doesn't disturb the air?
    Does it have mass? Is it composed of matter? Does it deflect light particles?

    It seems like you're arguing for something more like a kind of energy field or some other medium, rather than anything like an animal (specifically, a dragon) that is invisible to the naked eye.

    Does this mean that you consider there to be no good reason to believe in the existence of an entity that has unobservable traits?
    No, that's not what it means. It means that you can't call it a "dragon". If I claim that some object exists and I call it a teacup, but it's nothing like a teacup, then I'm not using language responsibly.

    In an example like this, where an analogy is being drawn, misusing language can lead to invalid inferences. If I say, "Believing in God is like believing in an invisible dragon," but in my analogy my "dragon" is actually identical to "electromagnetic force", then the analogy should fail to convince people that belief in God is unreasonable, since we all believe in the existence of electromagnetic force, which is "invisible".

    What if MX adds the disclaimer that it seems to be the case that only those who have a strong enough faith in the existence of the dragon in the absence of material evidence are able to become aware of its existence?
    What does it mean to be "aware of its existence"? If I believe that something exists, and it actually does exist, does that mean I am "aware" of its existence?

    Say that someone sells me a bag that he assures me contains a pig. I sincerely believe that the bag contains a pig, but I can't tell; from my perspective, the bag looks identical to an empty bag. Suppose the bag actually contains a pig; would anyone really say that due to my belief alone, I am "aware" of the presence of the pig?


    Also, your question is perplexing because unbelievers are certainly able to become "aware" of God's existence in Christianity--Hell being a good example, or Paul's conversion on the road to Ephesus.

    Or an invisible god?
    I find this very unpersuasive. There are many things that I have no evidence for which are nevertheless perfectly true; if you lived in 3000 B.C., and I went back in time to tell you about quantum physics but lacked any of the sophisticated technology needed to detect quantum phenomena, you'd just as confidently assert that it's foolish to believe that quantum phenomena occur.

    In any case, the God of Christianity is alleged to have certain properties that distinguish Him as an entity. I can tell you that God isn't a tiger, because there are statements true of tigers that aren't true of God (e.g., genetic information). I can tell you that God isn't a teacup because there are statements true of teacups that aren't true of God (e.g., curvature).
    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: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    I didn't remove any of these properties.
    You did remove them all.

    Dragons being visible, touchable, making sounds, leaving behind observable destruction, etc...

    I altered some of them, like this dragon's fire does not produce heat, but no dragon is alike
    You don't know if the dragon does breathe fire since you cannot detect it...which is removing the property of what it means to be a dragon.

    Well that is simply not true. Dragons have wings and scales, so does mine...
    You don't know that. You have no reason to believe it does since you have no reason to believe it is a dragon (let alone that it exists).

    This is a tree dragon, he likes to plant trees. The tree is shaped like a dragon... sort of. In the OP I said that all such objections towards the dragon are dealt with by a special explanation. You need to assume this is the case, I will not go threw every objection and give a special explanation.
    I don't need to offer every objection, just point out the inconsistency in your reasoning (which has been done ).
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    You did remove them all.

    Dragons being visible, touchable, making sounds, leaving behind observable destruction, etc...
    *Input special explanation here*

    You don't know if the dragon does breathe fire since you cannot detect it...which is removing the property of what it means to be a dragon.
    Just because you don't know doesn't mean that I don't know. I know, you cannot prove that I don't. Your inability to conceive of a way in which I know or my inability to explain how I know has no bearing or whether or not I know.

    You don't know that. You have no reason to believe it does since you have no reason to believe it is a dragon (let alone that it exists).
    You don't know, I on the other hand I do know.

    I don't need to offer every objection, just point out the inconsistency in your reasoning (which has been done ).
    All you have shown is that you can't explain my knowledge and that I am terrible at explaining my knowledge. You haven't shown that I do not have the knowledge that I claim to have.

    You cannot disprove my claim and therefore it is true.
    abc

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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    *Input special explanation here*



    Just because you don't know doesn't mean that I don't know. I know, you cannot prove that I don't. Your inability to conceive of a way in which I know or my inability to explain how I know has no bearing or whether or not I know.



    You don't know, I on the other hand I do know.



    All you have shown is that you can't explain my knowledge and that I am terrible at explaining my knowledge. You haven't shown that I do not have the knowledge that I claim to have.

    You cannot disprove my claim and therefore it is true.
    This is not an argument against theism, MyXenocide. Imagine if I argued for theism by saying that God exists, but my description of "God" is equivalent to "a toothbrush". Therefore, being an atheist is like denying that toothbrushes exist. Does that seem like a convincing argument for theism? Now, suppose I argued for atheism by saying that an invisible dragon exists, but my description of "invisible dragon" is nothing like a dragon. I then conclude that believing in God is like believing in invisible dragons. Do you see why this is a horrible argument?

    You're constructing an object that you think is like God in some important aspects, and then trying to show that believing it exists is absurd. The problem is that the "absurdity" of believing in it follows almost exclusively from its name--nobody wants to say they believe in "invisible dragons"--rather than the substance of the thing you actually describe, which is nothing like a dragon.
    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: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    *Input special explanation here*
    Special explanation does not absolve you of reason. You have by extension ADMITTED that reason and logic have no place in your belief. As such, the entire argument can be dismissed because it is in fact, not an argument at all. It is mere opinion and nothing more.

    We all have opinions. We are all entitled to them. But what separates opinions from reasoned beliefs, is their lack of use of any reason whatsoever. Opinions can not be refuted nor can they be claimed to be true. They are not arguments so they do not share these types of characteristics.

    So really, there is no debate here. It's just another "Shooting the breeze" type of discussion.



    Just because you don't know doesn't mean that I don't know.
    I didn't say I didn't know. I said that YOU did not know by your OWN admission as to the properties you have arbitrarily assigned to this entity. You have to include yourself in the group of "not being able to verify or observe". And w/o reason, it is mere opinion...nothing more. There is nothing to debate here, as I said...we are all welcome to our opinions.

    You don't know, I on the other hand I do know.
    Logically impossible. And you have indirectly admitted otherwise.

    All you have shown is that you can't explain my knowledge and that I am terrible at explaining my knowledge. You haven't shown that I do not have the knowledge that I claim to have.
    No, I have shown that you have mere opinion, nothing more. There is no argument that exists.

    You cannot disprove my claim and therefore it is true.
    1) You didn't claim anything because there is no argument. You are missing the necessary requirements that an argument possesses.
    2) I don't have to disprove your opinion. We all have them. In fact, opinions aren't to be proved or disproved. They are mere statements that lack reason to support them. This is precisely what you have done here.

    Without an actual argument, this thread would probably be better suited in the Off-Topic - Shooting the Breeze forum. I'll allow you to actually present an argument however before I do.
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    With regard to the deeper question about unfalsifiable claims, take the claim "The universe was not created five minutes ago with the appearance of age and false memories." Is this falsifiable? I think not; how could you ever prove that it was false? And yet, despite being unfalsifiable, it is still comprehensible; we understand what it would mean if it were true or if it were false. And it matters to us whether it is true, surely. But this contradicts Sagan's claim regarding unfalsifiable claims.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    This is not an argument against theism, MyXenocide. Imagine if I argued for theism by saying that God exists, but my description of "God" is equivalent to "a toothbrush". Therefore, being an atheist is like denying that toothbrushes exist. Does that seem like a convincing argument for theism? Now, suppose I argued for atheism by saying that an invisible dragon exists, but my description of "invisible dragon" is nothing like a dragon. I then conclude that believing in God is like believing in invisible dragons. Do you see why this is a horrible argument?

    You're constructing an object that you think is like God in some important aspects, and then trying to show that believing it exists is absurd. The problem is that the "absurdity" of believing in it follows almost exclusively from its name--nobody wants to say they believe in "invisible dragons"--rather than the substance of the thing you actually describe, which is nothing like a dragon.
    Assuming that I am trying to disprove theism... I'm not. There is a reason why this is in the philosophical forum and not the religion forum.

    ---------- Post added at 03:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:41 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    "The universe was not created five minutes ago with the appearance of age and false memories." Is this falsifiable?
    Our evidence says that the universe wasn't created 5 minutes ago. Is it possible that it was, yes. But that statement doesn't have any value. Everything that we know tells us that that statement is false. If we are wrong who cares, we still have to live our lives as if it were false.

    ---------- Post added at 03:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:44 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Special explanation does not absolve you of reason. You have by extension ADMITTED that reason and logic have no place in your belief. As such, the entire argument can be dismissed because it is in fact, not an argument at all. It is mere opinion and nothing more.

    We all have opinions. We are all entitled to them. But what separates opinions from reasoned beliefs, is their lack of use of any reason whatsoever. Opinions can not be refuted nor can they be claimed to be true. They are not arguments so they do not share these types of characteristics.

    So really, there is no debate here. It's just another "Shooting the breeze" type of discussion.




    I didn't say I didn't know. I said that YOU did not know by your OWN admission as to the properties you have arbitrarily assigned to this entity. You have to include yourself in the group of "not being able to verify or observe". And w/o reason, it is mere opinion...nothing more. There is nothing to debate here, as I said...we are all welcome to our opinions.


    Logically impossible. And you have indirectly admitted otherwise.


    No, I have shown that you have mere opinion, nothing more. There is no argument that exists.


    1) You didn't claim anything because there is no argument. You are missing the necessary requirements that an argument possesses.
    2) I don't have to disprove your opinion. We all have them. In fact, opinions aren't to be proved or disproved. They are mere statements that lack reason to support them. This is precisely what you have done here.

    Without an actual argument, this thread would probably be better suited in the Off-Topic - Shooting the Breeze forum. I'll allow you to actually present an argument however before I do.
    If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?

    I say it means nothing. You say it means something. There is your debate.
    abc

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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    I never said it means anything at all Xeno.

    My contention was that you were arbitrarily and erroneously assigning attributes.

    If your question is "Let's have entity A, and not give it any actual attributes whatsoever, does it exist?" The answer is no.
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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    You missed the point. A dragon is known to have certain properties. It is these properties that make it a dragon. But now...ALL of these properties are removed from this entity yet it is still being referred to as a dragon.
    I believe that the actual entity referred to was "an invisible dragon." There is reason to suspect that the properties given are similar to those of a "dragon" but with some differences, the most notable of which is our inability to detect those differences.

    Think of it as somewhat like a god who acts in the world but who you never actually see act.

    How do you know it is a dragon given that there is no characteristic of a dragon that we can attribute to it?
    It's like a dragon, true. But it's not a typical everyday dragon because it's invisible.


    Is evidence important? What kind of evidence should we expect?
    To the former question, yes, evidence is important to rational belief, and to the latter, we should expect to find enough evidence to make the claim more probably true than not to rationally believe that it is true.

    Appeal to tradition. It's fallacious.
    You asked for a reason, Apok. You did not ask for a reason sufficient to justify a rational belief.

    On a related note, is it your opinion that no or few persons believe in their particular god because of tradition? Or do you share my opinion that it is quite common for religious folk to hold their particular beliefs about god based on local tradition?


    What critical thinking skills are being used? I didn't see any.
    Just because you don't see something doesn't mean it isn't there.


    What is the source of this book? And this is merely a fallacious appeal to authority.
    Again, you asked for a reason. You never asked for a reason sufficient to justify rational belief. There's a differnce in those two requests.

    Beliefs aren't always true. As far as I can see, there is no rationale, none whatsoever used here in the claim (analogy - which has yet to be supported to be applicable to any theist position). In fact, in every instance, reason has been thrown out, disregarded.
    On the contrary, many theists resort to just this very sort of "reasoning" to support their belief in their particular god. Even though you yourself, as far as I know, do not use such reasoning, I find it incredible that you are entirely unaware of the existence of any theist, indeed, of many such theists who do.

    And if something is not reasonable, has no support, fallacious even...there is no need to accept it to be true or actual.
    I agree and that agreement holds whether the claim in question concerns invisible (or "transcendent" if you prefer) gods or dragons.


    I didn't ask about the sincerity of his belief. Sincerity isn't an indicator of truth.
    But here, by use of a false dilemma, you plainly state that . . .
    Either you would believe it with absolutely no basis, no reason whatsoever...(blind faith that spontaneously appeared w/o cause) or you intentionally made up the claim that the dragon exists and you want others to be deceived by you.
    . . . you say that one of only two possible reasons to explain MX's claim is that he made up the claim. That indicates to me that you are questioning the sincerity of his belief. If you intended for this claim to be interpreted in some other way, then what is that "other way" that you think it should be interpreted?

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    Re: The Dragon In My Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide
    Our evidence says that the universe wasn't created 5 minutes ago. Is it possible that it was, yes. But that statement doesn't have any value. Everything that we know tells us that that statement is false. If we are wrong who cares, we still have to live our lives as if it were false.
    What evidence is that? What do you know that tells you that the universe wasn't created 5 minutes ago with the appearance of age? "We still have to live our lives as if it were false"...so now you're alright with living a comfortable lie?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

    HOLY CRAP MY BLOG IS AWESOME

 

 
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