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Thread: Supernatural?

  1. #181
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    No, but we did say we were going to debate here on ODN
    I recall that I suggested that you ask Christ your question. BTW, what was the question?

    Universities and many other prestigious scientific groups would line up for a chance to study such a phenomena.
    Other then the wow effect, not sure what they would learn that fits into any logical explanation by an observation of an adept floating in the air. A phenomena they are not able to repeat-– unless, of course, they chose to take up one of esoteric sciences that enables levitation to happen. Now that would be interesting.

    Gravity seems to pervade all of our universe???
    Gravity is a phenomenon we assign to an observation we have of objects that accelerate towards each other when they are otherwise left to their own devices.
    When the mind goes into a state where all sense of separation to the outer world (including objects) is removed, gravity most likely becomes irrelevant.

    All that aside, it would be incredible to be shown the human mind could override gravity.
    To me it would make more sense for science to agree to the hypothesis of mind over matter. I believe that's where most theories start.

    what is consciousness anyway??
    Right, it could turn out to be everything.


    “…I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” – Max Planck, German theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory,which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918. The Observer, London, January 25, 1931
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  2. #182
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I recall that I suggested that you ask Christ your question. BTW, what was the question?
    Yeah, Belts, what's your question? In case, Jesus doesn't answer it (spoiler alert: He won't) maybe I can.


    Other then the wow effect, not sure what they would learn that fits into any logical explanation by an observation of an adept floating in the air.
    Well, they would learn that all of our physical theories about the universe that have been methodically assembled and tested over and over again over the past 3 1/2 centuries are mistaken. I have to think that would be fairly significant.

  3. #183
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I'll answer your question first:

    Since I answered a similar question in the thread earlier, I'll just cut'n'paste my answer from there: "I never said that someone can't 'guess' at a result. I've never said that guesses can't sometimes be correct. What I have said or strongly implied at any rate is that to guess at an outcome is not a rational way to form a belief about that outcome. Sure, you can guess that the coin may be as likely as not to produce a "heads" and you might even be correct. But in the absence of sufficient evidence to support your guess, your guess does not equate to rational belief, and that's the point of this discussion."
    And that applies to BOTH sides of an issue. If I can't make a rational guess at "heads" then I can't make a rational guess at "tails" either. And if I can't formulate a rational belief that ghosts exist because I have no evidence that they exist, then you can't formulate a rational belief that ghosts don't exist because you have no evidence that they don't exist.

    And therefore we have no rational reason to hold that ghosts do exist and we have no rational reason to hold that ghosts do not exist. Right?

    Really, the long and short of it is that whatever the lack of evidence means regarding the position that "ghosts exist" also applies to the position that "ghosts don't exist". So it doesn't really matter what a lack of evidence means regarding the relative superiority of either of the claims because whatever it means for one, it also means for the other so no matter what, a lack of evidence doesn't make one claim better than the other and therefore in that respect, they are equal.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    No. They have no amount of water in them.

    Two empty cups don't have the same amount of water or wine or tea or milk or coffee or anything else in them. Two empty cups have nothing in them.

    Who looks at two empty cups and says, "Oh look! Equal amounts of water in each!"? That would be crazy.
    But if asked "Do the two empty cups have equal amounts of water in them, what would one say?"

    1. Yes.
    2. No
    3. I can't determine if they have equal amounts because they no water in them.

    OBVIOUSLY the answer is "yes".

    Likewise, if one is asked "which cup would do a better job at quenching one's thirst" the answer is not "I can't determine that" but "The cups would be equally ineffective at quenching one's thirst". And when one looks at contrary arguments for and against ghosts existing, both of which have no evidence to support them, one would say "The two cases are equally ineffective at supporting their opposing claims".




    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Those are not independent statements. They are each a part of your logic chain. If one of the statements isn't dependent on one of the other two, then so much for your chain.
    In a logic chain, not all statements are depending on each other. Only the conclusion is dependent on all of the prior statements.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    And, BTW, not only have I shown that your 2nd premise is false but you believe it is false, as well. You believe this since you agree with me that it is only evidence that can make a possibility probable to any degree.
    First off, don't declare victory until I have conceded a point. When you have adequately supported that you've shown a premise is false is when you've done so.

    And "evidence required for probability" does not contradict point 2. Here it is again:

    "2. If there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal."

    The word or concept of "probability: is not present in premise 2.

    In fact, I'm going to challenge you on this.

    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that premise 2 is flawed.

    And to note - saying "I already did" is not support. You must either come up with a fresh argument or cut-and-paste a prior argument that reveals its flaws.

    Without supporting that it's flawed, you cannot continue to claim that it's flawed.




    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    A proposed entity's being possible means only that its description isn't self-contradictory (e.g., a square circle). It doesn't mean that the proposed entity has any probability of existence whatsoever beyond its trivial possibility of existence.
    And a "trivial possibility of existence" is indeed a probability of existence (just a very low probability).



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    If for personal or psychological reasons someone wants to guess that something for which there is no shred of evidence, has a decent chance of existing then he will most likely do just that -- but he shouldn't for a second think that his guess is a rational act, because it's not.
    First off, this sounds like you are saying that one should not guess. That is a complete red herring and even sounds like an attempt to halt the debate. We ARE discussing the relative odds of existence of that which has not evidence which means that hypothetical guesses WILL happen. To say that guesses are irrational indicates that this whole debate is irrational which is clearly false.

    Now, if you are saying the guess (as oppose to the act of making the guess) is irrational, fair enough. I don't necessarily agree but it's a valid position.

    But if one guessing that there's a decent chance that X exists despite lack of evidence is irrational, then likewise one guessing that X does not exist despite lack of evidence is irrational also.

    And if there is no rational guess, then we can forward no position on whether X exists or not.

    And therefore, until evidence that ghosts do or do not exist is provided, we can make no rational guess on whether ghosts exist. And therefore going back to your lettering system, neither of us should have picked a letter (if our choices were based on the evidence provided in the debate, that is).


    ------------------------

    And a question (now asked for a second time and if not answered, will be asked for a third time).

    If there is no evidence that ghosts exist and there is no evidence that ghosts don't exist and we are to accept your argument that lack of evidence means that one cannot make an estimation, is it your position that we can't make an estimation on the probability that ghosts exist until we see evidence for and/or against their existence?
    Last edited by mican333; June 9th, 2018 at 11:41 AM.

  4. #184
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    And a question (now asked for a second time and if not answered, will be asked for a third time). If there is no evidence that ghosts exist and there is no evidence that ghosts don't exist and we are to accept your argument that lack of evidence means that one cannot make an estimation, is it your position that we can't make an estimation on the probability that ghosts exist until we see evidence for and/or against their existence?
    It's not the second time you've asked me this question. Actually, I think it's the third time you've asked me this question (or a similar question)

    . . . and for the third time I'll answer it by saying that I've never argued that one cannot make a guess about the answer to any question -- and that includes questions about the existences of gods, ghosts, and other goblins. What I almost always go on to say, though, is that one shouldn't confuse one's guess with rational belief. It's not rational belief. Rational belief requires evidence for support. Guesses do not. We can let our biases and preconceived notions run wild when we guess and we often do just that.

    Sometimes the most probable answers to some of the BIG questions in life may not always be the answers that we would prefer to discover. They may not always agree with the things we were brought up believing. They may run counter to the traditional belief system that surrounds us even today. At some point in our lives, many of us have a decision to make -- do we honor rational belief (truth as we've come to know it) or do we find some way to rationalize the new information that we've acquired so that we can continue to maintain a belief in the things we've always believed in.

    Most of us first encounter this dilemma in childhood. We believed in Santa Claus because we were told by people in whom we had absolute trust at the time that Santa Claus brings us toys on Christmas Day. This was fine . . . at first. Gradually, however, the evidence we accumulated had us questioning our belief.

    When we first publicly questioned our belief, we were answered with "Oh and there's one more thing I forgot to tell you: If you stop believing in Santa, he stops bringing you presents at Christmas."

    This is a true "fear and trembling" moment. Maybe our first.

    Do I go with the evidence and with rational belief and believe what is most likely to be the correct answer, even if the answer isn't what I want it to be, even at the price of a painful consequence?

    Or do I rationalize away the evidence in some way and continue to hold on to my old familiar comfortable belief?

    Anyway, whatever gets you through the night. We all always do what we believe is the right thing for us to do. We never do anything else.

    ---------- Post added at 04:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:47 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    And a "trivial possibility of existence" is indeed a probability of existence (just a very low probability).
    In a way, but not really. Possibility of existence concerns whether something CAN exist. It has to do with the putative entity's definition. It has nothing to do with what is actually "in" the world.

    Probability of existence concerns whether something DOES exist. It has to do with the evidence that is discovered that seems to fits the description of the putative entity. It has everything to do with what is actually "in" the world.

  5. #185
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    . . . and for the third time I'll answer it by saying that I've never argued that one cannot make a guess about the answer to any question -- and that includes questions about the existences of gods, ghosts, and other goblins. What I almost always go on to say, though, is that one shouldn't confuse one's guess with rational belief. It's not rational belief. Rational belief requires evidence for support.
    But that goes for both sides of an issue.

    If the proposition that ghosts exist requires evidence before the proposition can be considered rational, then the proposition that ghost DON'T exist likewise require evidence before before the proposition can be considered rational.

    To apply that logic to only one of the two contradictory propositions would be engaging the special pleading fallacy.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Sometimes the most probable answers to some of the BIG questions in life may not always be the answers that we would prefer to discover. They may not always agree with the things we were brought up believing. They may run counter to the traditional belief system that surrounds us even today. At some point in our lives, many of us have a decision to make -- do we honor rational belief (truth as we've come to know it) or do we find some way to rationalize the new information that we've acquired so that we can continue to maintain a belief in the things we've always believed in.

    Most of us first encounter this dilemma in childhood. We believed in Santa Claus because we were told by people in whom we had absolute trust at the time that Santa Claus brings us toys on Christmas Day. This was fine . . . at first. Gradually, however, the evidence we accumulated had us questioning our belief.

    When we first publicly questioned our belief, we were answered with "Oh and there's one more thing I forgot to tell you: If you stop believing in Santa, he stops bringing you presents at Christmas."

    This is a true "fear and trembling" moment. Maybe our first.

    Do I go with the evidence and with rational belief and believe what is most likely to be the correct answer, even if the answer isn't what I want it to be, even at the price of a painful consequence?

    Or do I rationalize away the evidence in some way and continue to hold on to my old familiar comfortable belief?
    Of course that can go for evidence and beliefs on BOTH sides of the theistic divide. A theist could discount evidence that God does not exist due to it challenging his current beliefs and an atheist could discount evidence that God does exist due it challenging his current beliefs.

    I try my best to not use preconceived judgment on issues and approach all issues with an open mind and go where the evidence takes me. So again, when it comes to my friend saying there's a ghost in his house, I don't leap to either conclusion. Maybe there is and maybe there isn't. Honestly, I don't really care about the issue enough to try to find evidence either way (if any could be found).


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    In a way, but not really. Possibility of existence concerns whether something CAN exist. It has to do with the putative entity's definition. It has nothing to do with what is actually "in" the world.

    Probability of existence concerns whether something DOES exist. It has to do with the evidence that is discovered that seems to fits the description of the putative entity. It has everything to do with what is actually "in" the world.
    If the discussion is whether X exists in the world, the BOTH possibility and probability relate to the proposition of X existing. To say that it's possible that X exists address whether X is in the world and holds that it may b1e. And the odds of X existing doesn't have to be small either. It's possible that there's a one dollar bill in my wallet. And also the probability of there being a one dollar bill1 in my wallet is very high because I'm pretty sure I saw on there earlier today. Both statements are correct.


    And I will note that most of my previous post was not responded to.

  6. #186
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    Re: Supernatural?

    First off, this sounds like you are saying that one should not guess. That is a complete red herring and even sounds like an attempt to halt the debate. We ARE discussing the relative odds of existence of that which has not evidence which means that hypothetical guesses WILL happen. To say that guesses are irrational indicates that this whole debate is irrational which is clearly false.
    A guess is irrational if the guess is your answer to a question about which you have insufficient evidence to form a rational belief. So, yes, emphatically yes. One should NOT do that if one's epistemic goal is to hold as many true beliefs and as few false beliefs as possible.

    But if one guessing that there's a decent chance that X exists despite lack of evidence is irrational, then likewise one guessing that X does not exist despite lack of evidence is irrational also.
    We're not talking about just a 'lack" of evidence here but rather the complete 'absence' of evidence. 'Lack' too often is interpreted as 'insufficient' rather than 'absence.' If you don't mind, I'd prefer you use the word 'absence' not 'lack' going forward in order to make the discussion less ambiguous.

    And if there is no rational guess, then we can forward no position on whether X exists or not.
    Anyone can guess about the answer to anything, but a guess as an answer does not qualify as a rational belief.

    And therefore we have no rational reason to hold that ghosts do exist and we have no rational reason to hold that ghosts do not exist. Right?
    Of course, if no one ever made the claim that ghosts do exist in the first place, no one would need to believe that they don't exist.

    For future reference, everyone may assume that I have no belief one way or the other about the existence of anything for which no one has ever made a claim for existence.

    I had no belief either way about the alleged existence of the Higgs boson, for instance, before it was proposed. Likewise, I'd never have had a belief one way or the other in the existence of ghosts if someone hadn't first proposed their existence. It's not as if ghosts (or Higgs bosons, for that matter) are something I experience perceptually on a routine basis.

    Isn't it typically the case that someone FIRST says X exists before anyone says X doesn't exist?

    ---------- Post added at 05:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:34 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    This seems pretty off-topic to what we were debating for the past several posts and doesn't really counter any argument that I've made so I have no response.
    There's no need to inform me that you're not responding to something I've written. If I don't read a response from you, I'll assume it's because you didn't write one.

    Likewise, I will note that most of my arguments from the last post were not responded to.
    Not to be trite, but I don't work on your schedule. I'll answer the parts of your posts that interest me when I get around to them and expect you'll do the same with mine.

    [FWIW, I posted another response to your post from last night about 10 minutes ago. Just want to make sure you see it. I'll get to the remainder of it, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow. Thanks for your patience and for the conversation.]

  7. #187
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    Re: Supernatural?

    [QUOTE=Rodriguez;560199]
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    A guess is irrational if the guess is your answer to a question about which you have insufficient evidence to form a rational belief. So, yes, emphatically yes. One should NOT do that if one's epistemic goal is to hold as many true beliefs and as few false beliefs as possible.
    Red Herring. That is not what is going on here. We are discussing the relative likelihood of two opposing notions being true and therefore we are analyzing hypothetical guesses and therefore guesses MUST be made here.

    Again, I forwarded the guess of 50/50. And the question of whether it was rational for me to even bother to make a guess is completely irrelevant. The issue is whether my guess is the best guess one can make. And I have seen no case made (or I missed it if were made) that there's a better guess than 50/50.

    And here's something that was not responded to and very much worth repeating.

    Really, the long and short of it is that whatever the lack of evidence means regarding the position that "ghosts exist" also applies to the position that "ghosts don't exist". So it doesn't really matter what a lack of evidence means regarding the relative superiority of either of the claims because whatever it means for one, it also means for the other so no matter what, a lack of evidence doesn't make one claim better than the other and therefore in that respect, they are equal.

    That's really the point. Without evidence putting one proposition above the other, the only logical conclusion one can reach is that both propositions are equal. Therefore, barring evidence for or against ghosts, the proposition that ghosts exist and don't exist are equal (at least in that respect).


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Of course, if no one ever made the claim that ghosts do exist in the first place, no one would need to believe that they don't exist.

    For future reference, everyone may assume that I have no belief one way or the other about the existence of anything for which no one has ever made a claim for existence.
    Then do you retract the argument that it's more likely that ghosts don't exist than do exist? you chose the letter that corresponded to the opinion that they don't exist. And while I completely respect your right to think what you want and won't even indicate that you are wrong, what one argues on the thread is a different matter.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    There's no need to inform me that you're not responding to something I've written. If I don't read a response from you, I'll assume it's because you didn't write one.
    Actually, I edited my post and made a response.

    And if I do choose to not respond, I may want to make my reasoning clear. So I understand that I don't need to do that. But that doesn't meant that I won't decide to do that anyway.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Not to be trite, but I don't work on your schedule. I'll answer the parts of your posts that interest me when I get around to them and expect you'll do the same with mine.
    I didn't say you should do otherwise nor did I say that you need to respond in a timely manner.

  8. #188
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    First off, don't declare victory until I have conceded a point. When you have adequately supported that you've shown a premise is false is when you've done so.

    And "evidence required for probability" does not contradict point 2. Here it is again:

    "2. If there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal."

    The word or concept of "probability: is not present in premise 2.

    In fact, I'm going to challenge you on this.

    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that premise 2 is flawed.
    Premise #2 in your argument is not just flawed but is false for the reason I've given previously. It is false because a proposition's having no evidence in support of it does not mean, contradictorily, that it has evidence in support of it. If a proposition has no evidence in support of it then it has no amount of evidence in support of it.

    You say that "'the . . . evidence for and against X being true is equal" after you say that there is "no evidence" either way for the truth or falsity of X.

    That is a contradiction. If there is no evidence, then the evidence isn't equal because, obviously, there isn't any evidence. The evidence isn't equal, the evidence is nonexistent.

    ---------- Post added at 06:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    Red Herring. That is not what is going on here. We are discussing the relative likelihood of two opposing notions being true and therefore we are analyzing hypothetical guesses and therefore guesses MUST be made here.
    False. Guesses do not HAVE to be made in a situation where no evidence exists. It's perfectly fine to say, "It's not possible to form a rational belief on this matter because there is no evidence whatsoever about it."

    If you want to guess, then guess. However, I think you should label your conjecture as such and not pretend that there is any basis whatsoever on which to believe that your guess is correct.

    ---------- Post added at 06:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:10 PM ----------

    I didn't say you should do otherwise nor did I say that you need to respond in a timely manner.
    Sure you did or at the very least strongly implied it when you wrote: "I will note that most of my arguments from the last post were not responded to."

    You wrote that at the very time I was responding to your "arguments from the last post" which I then posted only about 10 minutes later.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Yeah, Belts, what's your question? In case, Jesus doesn't answer it (spoiler alert: He won't) maybe I can.
    Eye suggested that if Jesus were to stop by, He would be gracious enough to explain how He could walk on water etc. Perhaps even here on ODN
    I think it would be awesome to talk with some one that honestly did have the truth and was willing to share it.
    Alas, I'm still waiting.

    Maybe you could start an "ask Rod anything thread" since it's kinda off topic in this thread. I liked how Zav's last "ask me" thread started. I would stop by and give you a shot or two at the universe' truths!

    ---------- Post added at 05:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:27 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Well, they would learn that all of our physical theories about the universe that have been methodically assembled and tested over and over again over the past 3 1/2 centuries are mistaken. I have to think that would be fairly significant.
    Agreed, this would change the course of human existence IMHO
    (though, in this case MHO happens to be clearly correct!)

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Premise #2 in your argument is not just flawed but is false for the reason I've given previously. It is false because a proposition's having no evidence in support of it does not mean, contradictorily, that it has evidence in support of it. If a proposition has no evidence in support of it then it has no amount of evidence in support of it.

    You say that "'the . . . evidence for and against X being true is equal" after you say that there is "no evidence" either way for the truth or falsity of X.
    No, I did not say that. You have misquoted me by leaving out a very pertinent word. I said "If there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal"

    So I did not say that there was any evidence. I said the AMOUNT of evidence is equal and I include "zero" as an amount (and have justified such usage in an argument that has not been responded to yet).

    So there is no contradiction within 2.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    False. Guesses do not HAVE to be made in a situation where no evidence exists.
    But hypothetical guesses DO have to be made and analyzed in a debate about those very guesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    It's perfectly fine to say, "It's not possible to form a rational belief on this matter because there is no evidence whatsoever about it."
    Which does not absolve you from addressing a claim that the best guess is that the odds are 50/50 when someone makes that claim (which I did).


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Sure you did or at the very least strongly implied it when you wrote: "I will note that most of my arguments from the last post were not responded to."
    I guess that's how you interpreted it but that's not what I meant.

    And I think discussing this further neither forwards the debate and risks one of both of us annoying each other so I choose to not discuss this further.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Well, they would learn that all of our physical theories about the universe that have been methodically assembled and tested over and over again over the past 3 1/2 centuries are mistaken. I have to think that would be fairly significant.
    Why would they be mistaken by observing an adept floating in the air? Mistaken about what? Just because we may not yet understand how the universe can walk and chew gum at the same time, doesn't mean our theories are mistaken --maybe incomplete. It could however mean, as I stated earlier, that we need to move up the ladder of progress in understanding the nature of consciousness.
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    No, I did not say that. You have misquoted me by leaving out a very pertinent word. I said "If there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal."

    So I did not say that there was any evidence. I said the AMOUNT of evidence is equal and I include "zero" as an amount (and have justified such usage in an argument that has not been responded to yet).
    This is an interesing development. So you draw a distinction between "amount of evidence" and "evidence"?

    IOW, the "evidence" that supports p and ~p is not equal. Only the "amount of evidence" (which in your mind includes "no evidence") is equal?

    Have I got this correct?

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    This is an interesing development. So you draw a distinction between "amount of evidence" and "evidence"?
    IOW, the "evidence" that supports p and ~p is not equal.
    You can't say anything about the evidence being equal or unequal if there is no evidence at all.

    It's like discussing the relative merits of two employees when you have no employees.

    But you can certainly discuss the amount of employees you have, even if you have none (you'd say "I have no employees").

    So yes, there is a distinction between how many (the amount) of employees one has and the employees themselves. Same for evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Only the "amount of evidence" (which in your mind includes "no evidence") is equal?
    I don't know about "only" but yes, if there is no evidence for either proposition then the amount of evidence present for both of them is equal (just like two empty cups have an equal amount of water in them).

    And please keep in mind that at this moment the discussion is very narrow and ONLY applies to premise 2. Discussion of anything other than premise 2 regarding this may be off-topic.

    When it comes to premise 2, the only real issue is whether the premise is accepted.
    Last edited by mican333; June 10th, 2018 at 08:11 AM.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Rodriguez: IOW, the "evidence" that supports p and ~p is not equal. Only the "amount of evidence" (which in your mind includes "no evidence") is equal?

    mican: I don't know about "only" but yes, if there is no evidence for either proposition then the amount of evidence present for both of them is equal (just like two empty cups have an equal amount of water in them).
    I apologize for my poorly constructed question. Reading that back to myself just now even I'm not sure what I was asking you. I'll try again.

    If there is no evidence for p and no evidence for ~p, then is the evidence for p and for ~p equal?

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I apologize for my poorly constructed question. Reading that back to myself just now even I'm not sure what I was asking you. I'll try again.

    If there is no evidence for p and no evidence for ~p, then is the evidence for p and for ~p equal?
    Since we are discussing specifically premise 2, I think the best way to word the question would be:

    "Does Premise 2 indicate that if there is no evidence for p and no evidence for ~p, then the evidence for p and for ~p equal?"

    And the answer to that question would be "no". Here's Premise 2 again:

    "If there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal"

    Premise 2 refers to the amount of evidence, not the evidence.
    Last edited by mican333; June 10th, 2018 at 11:43 AM.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    Premise 2 refers to the amount of evidence, not the evidence."
    OK, I see. Premise 2 says nothing about a situation in which there is no evidence for p and no evidence for ~p. So premise 2 says nothing about the situation we're discussing, i.e., Is it rational to believe that the probability of p is 0.5 when there is no evidence whatsoever available about p and ~p?

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    OK, I see. Premise 2 says nothing about a situation in which there is no evidence for p and no evidence for ~p.
    Yes it does. Here it is again with the pertinent part bolded.

    "If there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal"

    So in a situation in which there is no evidence for p and no evidence for ~p, then per premise 2, the amount of evidence for p and -p is equal.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    So premise 2 says nothing about the situation we're discussing, i.e., Is it rational to believe that the probability of p is 0.5 when there is no evidence whatsoever available about p and ~p?
    It's part of the logic chain that ends with the conclusion that it is rationale to put the probability at 0.5

    1. If the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal, then the most logical conclusion regarding the probability of X being true is 50/50
    2. If there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal.
    3. Therefore if there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the most logical conclusion regarding the probability of X being true is 50/50.

    So premise 2 supports the conclusion that it the most logical conclusion is that it's 50/50.
    Last edited by mican333; June 11th, 2018 at 07:42 AM.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Yes it does. Here it is again with the pertinent part bolded.

    "If there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal"

    So in a situation in which there is no evidence for p and no evidence for ~p, then per premise 2, the amount of evidence for p and -p is equal.
    As far as the probability that p is true goes, it doesn't matter that the "amount of evidence" for p is the same as the "amount of evidence" for ~p if there is no evidence for either p or ~p.

    The only thing that gives a proposition a probability of truth is evidence. If there is no evidence whatsoever that p is true, then no probability that p is true can be formulated. I was under the impression that you agreed with this.

    If I've got that wrong and you actually believe that something other than evidence can give a proposition a probability of being true, then please state what this other, non-evidence thing is.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    As far as the probability that p is true goes, it doesn't matter that the "amount of evidence" for p is the same as the "amount of evidence" for ~p if there is no evidence for either p or ~p.

    The only thing that gives a proposition a probability of truth is evidence. If there is no evidence whatsoever that p is true, then no probability that p is true can be formulated.
    Please support this assertion. So far, as far as I can tell, you just repeat it but never explain why I should agree with you. I recommend using a logic chain if you are going to support it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    If I've got that wrong and you actually believe that something other than evidence can give a proposition a probability of being true, then please state what this other, non-evidence thing is.
    My logic chain supports that NO evidence for p and -p can be used to make a valid logical guess at 50/50 and you have not shown any flaw in the logic chain. Both of your attacks on Premise 2 seemed to be based on misstating or misunderstanding what it says.

    So again, I forward the logic chain for my support that no evidence can be used for estimation.

    1. If the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal, then the most logical conclusion regarding the probability of X being true is 50/50
    2. If there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the amount of evidence for or against X being true is equal.
    3. Therefore if there is no evidence that X is true and there is no evidence that X is not true, then the most logical conclusion regarding the probability of X being true is 50/50.

    And please note that the chain counts as support so not only have a stated a position regarding no evidence and probability but I have also supported it and therefore it should be accepted until you can show a valid flaw in the logic chain.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Please support [that only evidence gives a proposition a probability of being known to be true].
    Why is there a need to support that with which we both agree? Isn't that just a waste of time?

    OTOH, if you disagree with the contention that only evidence makes a possibly true proposition probable, then just say that you don't agree with it and we can talk about it.

 

 
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