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  1. #81
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    Re: why do people believe in a god

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    What you seem to be saying here is that any whimsical claim that anyone believes in for whatever reason should be considered as likely true as false as long as no evidence about the claim can be found.
    In a debate, yes.

    As I said to Kevin, what I actually believe is irrelevant to whether my argument in a debate holds up. I am free to forward positions that I don't even believe if I choose. What matters is how well I and my opponent support our respective positions.

    So if two people were debating whether unicorns exist and neither provided a shred of support for their respective positions, their arguments equal out. That doesn't mean that it's officially true that unicorns are just as likely to exist as not exist and therefore that is what we should personally believe. It means that that particular debate on whether unicorns exist was a draw and based on that debate (and nothing else) it was not shown that unicorns are more likely to exist than not (or vice versa).
    Last edited by mican333; September 4th, 2012 at 09:01 AM.

  2. #82
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    Re: why do people believe in a god

    So does this mean that outside of a debate setting, say for example when you're just trying to get to the truth of a matter, then you do take into consideration the fact that a claim is random or whimsical in judging the probability that the claim is true?

  3. #83
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    Re: why do people believe in a god

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    So does this mean that outside of a debate setting, say for example when you're just trying to get to the truth of a matter, then you do take into consideration the fact that a claim is random or whimsical in judging the probability that the claim is true?
    What do you mean by "whimsical and random"? You mean that it looks like someone just made it up (random) or think it would be funny to forward it (whimsical) and doesn't really believe it themselves? If I think that the claimant does not really believe what he is forwarding, I would be disinclined to believe the claim.

    And besides being whimsical and random, there are all kinds of thing that I factor as support for my beliefs in real life that I cannot use as support in an ODN debate. For instance, if I thought that personal experiences would count as support in an ODN debate, I might be arguing quite differently.
    Last edited by mican333; September 4th, 2012 at 11:28 AM.

  4. #84
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    Re: why do people believe in a god

    There is nothing in the ODN rules or in any other debate format that I'm aware of that preclude the use of a charge of "whimsical claim" in legitimately attacking an opponent's position.

  5. #85
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    Re: why do people believe in a god

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    There is nothing in the ODN rules or in any other debate format that I'm aware of that preclude the use of a charge of "whimsical claim" in legitimately attacking an opponent's position.
    Sure. If you can show that a claim is "whimsical" and if you can also show that whimsical claims are less likely to be true than non-whimsical claims, then you can effectively use that attack against a claim.
    Last edited by mican333; September 4th, 2012 at 12:55 PM.

 

 
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