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Thread: Supernatural?

  1. #201
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Why is there a need to support that with which we both agree?

    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.
    I will re-post my last post with the addition that I disagree.

    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.
    I disagree that if there is no evidence whatsoever that p is true, then no probability that p is true can be formulated. So please support this assertion.

    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.
    Last edited by mican333; June 11th, 2018 at 07:22 PM.

  2. #202
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Rodriguez: 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.

    mican: I will re-post my last post with the addition that I disagree.
    OK, I'll try to support my assertion.

    Do you believe that knowledge (or at least justified belief) is possible? If not, then there's really no point in continuing this.

    If OTOH you do believe that knowledge (or something like it) is possible, then do you agree with me that propositions (i.e., the semantical content of a sentence that describes some state of affairs in the world) are the things we are talking about that have the ability to be either true or false? IOW, what is true or false aren't the things themselves in the world. Those things are what they are, however we describe them, regardless of any claims we make about them. What can be true or false is the description we give of those things.

    "It's raining outside" is an example of what I'm talking about. This proposition is true if indeed it is raining outside. Otherwise, it's false. While this proposition has the possibility of being either true or false, we cannot know which it is independently of our experience in the world.

    So far so good?

  3. #203
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    OK, I'll try to support my assertion.

    Do you believe that knowledge (or at least justified belief) is possible? If not, then there's really no point in continuing this.

    If OTOH you do believe that knowledge (or something like it) is possible, then do you agree with me that propositions (i.e., the semantical content of a sentence that describes some state of affairs in the world) are the things we are talking about that have the ability to be either true or false? IOW, what is true or false aren't the things themselves in the world. Those things are what they are, however we describe them, regardless of any claims we make about them. What can be true or false is the description we give of those things.

    "It's raining outside" is an example of what I'm talking about. This proposition is true if indeed it is raining outside. Otherwise, it's false. While this proposition has the possibility of being either true or false, we cannot know which it is independently of our experience in the world.

    So far so good?
    Sure.

    Although I will say that even if we don't know if it's raining (in a room where one cannot tell what's going on outside), one can make estimate the odds of it raining outside. Since the odds of it raining at any particular time is roughly 1 in 5, one can rationally guess that it's probably not raining. But you may ignore this and I'll even go along if you want to put the hypothetical rain on a planet where there is no way to estimate the odds of it raining.

  4. #204
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    Re: Supernatural?

    I will note this about your point: the 1 in 5 odds comes from our experience in the world. It is decidedly a posteriori knowledge, not a priori. So this is very much what I'm talking about. We can go into this in a little more depth if you'd like or you can agree with me that this sort of evidence is experientially based.

  5. #205
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I will note this about your point: the 1 in 5 odds comes from our experience in the world. It is decidedly a posteriori knowledge, not a priori. So this is very much what I'm talking about. We can go into this in a little more depth if you'd like or you can agree with me that this sort of evidence is experientially based.
    I agree with your main point so just continue with that. I agree that we don't know if it's raining outside or if it's not raining outside without access to information on whether it's raining (looking out a window or receiving the information from a source like a weather app).

  6. #206
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I agree with your main point so just continue with that. I agree that we don't know if it's raining outside or if it's not raining outside without access to information on whether it's raining (looking out a window or receiving the information from a source like a weather app).
    Right. To determine whether the proposition "It is raining outside" is probably true we need evidence of some kind. Evidence in the form of the historical precipitation pattern of the area (if we're in Aswan, Egypt, it's probably not raining) or a weather report or a noise on top of our hotel room roof that sounds like rain or going outside and getting wet.

    Without evidence, we don't (can't) know whether the proposition "It is raining" is true or even how likely we are to know that it is true.

  7. #207
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Right. To determine whether the proposition "It is raining" is probably true we need evidence of some kind. Evidence in the form of the historical precipitation pattern of the area (if we're in Aswan, Egypt, it's probably not raining) or a weather report or a noise on top of our hotel room roof that sounds like rain or going outside and getting wet.

    Without evidence, we don't (can't) know whether the proposition "It is raining" is probably true
    I find this comment to be contradictory so I can't accept it. "Know" indicates certainty and "probably" means uncertainty so we can't know if something is probably true with or without evidence. We can guess it's probably true but we can't know it's probably true. I may be nit-picking here but if I am to be asked to agree to a statement it must be a statement that I agree is true as worded.

    So you will need to re-state that before I will agree to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    or even how likely we are to know that it is true.
    Again, as worded, it doesn't make sense to me so I can't accept it.

    Either I know something is true or I don't know so the concept of "how likely it is to know that something is true" doesn't make sense.

    I do recommend that you put your argument in the form of a logic chain. One of its advantages is that it does help one make a coherent argument since they have to get from premise to conclusion in a coherent fashion.

  8. #208
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    I find this comment to be contradictory so I can't accept it. "Know" indicates certainty and "probably" means uncertainty so we can't know if something is probably true with or without evidence.
    It's not contradictory because I made it clear earlier (or tried to) that when we use the term "to know" when we are talking about states of affairs in the world, it doesn't mean "to know absolutely" or "to know indubitably" or "to know certainly." It's really no more than justified belief. All our knowledge (or justified beliefs) about the world contains an element of probability in it.

    This is the reason that I asked you a couple of posts ago if you believed knowledge or at least justified belief about the world were possible. Clearly we're not talking about certainty here. A posteriori knowledge (knowledge about the world) is never absolutely certain. The best we can do is to know something like this with a high degree of probability. We can never know it to be indubitably true.

    So again I'll ask you (but this time I have to insist that you clearly answer so that we don't have to repeat this same point ad nauseam) Do you believe that it is possible to know things about the world? "To know" in this instance doesn't mean "to know absolutely, indubitably, and certainly"; it's much more like "justified belief"). Please state your answer as either "yes" or "no" and of course you are free to elaborate on your answer as much as you like.

    Again, as worded, it doesn't make sense to me so I can't accept it. Either I know something is true or I don't know so the concept of "how likely it is to know that something is true" doesn't make sense.
    So when do you "know" something is true? Is it intuition? Is it some sort of gut feeling? Is it thinking that the vast preponderance of the evidence supports your belief? What? When, for example, do you "know" that the proposition "It is raining outside" is true?

    I do recommend that you put your argument in the form of a logic chain. One of its advantages is that it does help one make a coherent argument since they have to get from premise to conclusion in a coherent fashion.
    Advice noted.
    Last edited by Rodriguez; June 12th, 2018 at 08:54 AM.

  9. #209
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    It's not contradictory because I made it clear earlier (or tried to) that when we use the term "to know" when we are talking about states of affairs in the world, it doesn't mean "to know absolutely" or "to know indubitably" or "to know certainly." It's really no more than justified belief. All our knowledge (or justified beliefs) about the world contains an element of probability in it.
    But it doesn't means "probably".

    If think it's probably true, then I would not say I know it's true.

    And if I know it's true, then I would not say that it's probably true.

    So regardless, I consider a statement that says that one knows that it's probably true to be contradictory.

    If you rephrase your statement as either:

    "Without evidence, we don't (can't) know whether the proposition "It is raining" is true"

    or

    "Without evidence, we don't (can't) guess whether the proposition "It is raining" is probably true"

    then I would no longer consider the statement to be contradictory. So do either of those relay what you are trying to forward?


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    So again I'll ask you (but this time I have to insist that you clearly answer so that we don't have to repeat this same point ad nauseam) Do you believe that it is possible to know things about the world?
    Yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    So when do you "know" something is true? Is it intuition? Is it some sort of gut feeling? Is it thinking that the vast preponderance of the evidence supports your belief? What? When, for example, do you "know" that the proposition "It is raining outside" is true?
    I would say that when I'm convinced that X IS true is when I would say I know it's true. If I see rain falling from the sky I am convinced that it's raining.

    And likewise "probably" means that I think it's more likely to be true than not but I don't know that it's true. As an example, if I see a forecast that says that it will rain tomorrow, then I will say that it probably will rain tomorrow. But since it's possible that the forecast will be incorrect, I would not say I know it will rain tomorrow.
    Last edited by mican333; June 12th, 2018 at 12:49 PM.

  10. #210
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    Re: Supernatural?

    I would say that when I'm convinced that X IS true is when I would say I know it's true. If I see rain falling from the sky I am convinced that it's raining.
    OK, but your being convinced that p is true does not mean that p is certainly or absolutely true. If there is any chance that you are mistaken in what you take yourself to know, then your knowledge is probable (no matter how high that probability might be). I use the word "probable" with respect to knowledge only to distinguish knowledge about the world from knowledge which has no probability of being false. That's all I mean.

    "It is either raining outside or it is not" is absolutely true and certain in a way that "It is raining outside" can never be true and certain. We can only have a belief that is to some degree justified, possibly even a belief that qualifies as knowledge, that "It is raining outside" is true whereas we have no doubt whatsoever that "It is either raining or it is not" is absolutely true.

    That's all I mean by probable knowledge. If you'd rather use the term "justified belief" than "probable knowledge," that's fine too. So do we still have a problem or are we ready to move on?

    I'll rephrase the statements I asked you to agree with earlier to see if that helps:

    To determine whether we can know the proposition "It is raining outside" is true we need evidence of some kind. Evidence in the form of the historical precipitation pattern of the area (if we're in Aswan, Egypt, it's probably not raining) or a weather report or a noise on top of our hotel room roof that sounds like rain or going outside and getting wet.

    Without evidence, we can't even have a justified belief, much less know, that the proposition "It is raining outside" is true.

    OK, do you agree with the reworded statements?

  11. #211
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    OK, but your being convinced that p is true does not mean that p is certainly or absolutely true. If there is any chance that you are mistaken in what you take yourself to know, then your knowledge is probable (no matter how high that probability might be). I use the word "probable" with respect to knowledge only to distinguish knowledge about the world from knowledge which has no probability of being false. That's all I mean.
    But that's not how I use the word "probable" nor what it typically means. I don't use "probable" as in "there's the slightest probability that what I KNOW to be true might be false" but as "I think it's probably true but there is room for doubt". If you want to use it in some alternative way, I guess that's up to you. But you are asking me if I agree with something that you are saying which means that if I "sign off" on what is being said, it must conform to words as I understand them.




    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    To determine whether we can know the proposition "It is raining outside" is true we need evidence of some kind. Evidence in the form of the historical precipitation pattern of the area (if we're in Aswan, Egypt, it's probably not raining) or a weather report or a noise on top of our hotel room roof that sounds like rain or going outside and getting wet.

    Without evidence, we can't even have a justified belief, much less know, that the proposition "It is raining outside" is true.

    OK, do you agree with the reworded statements?
    Let me rephrase it slightly (in a way that should not effect your point at all) and then I will agree to it.

    Without evidence that it is raining, we can't even have a justified belief, much less know, that the proposition "It is raining outside" is true.

    I agree with that.

  12. #212
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    Without evidence that it is raining, we can't even have a justified belief, much less know, that the proposition "It is raining outside" is true.

    I agree with that.
    Without evidence that it's 0.5 probable that an unknown coin will land on a side that shows the head of Richard Nixon facing up when it's flipped, we can't have a justified belief, much less know, that the proposition "This unknown coin has a 0.5 probability of landing on a side that shows the head of Richard Nixon facing up" is true.

    Do you agree with this?

  13. #213
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Without evidence that it's 0.5 probable that an unknown coin will land on a side that shows the head of Richard Nixon facing up when it's flipped, we can't have a justified belief, much less know, that the proposition "This unknown coin has a 0.5 probability of landing on a side that shows the head of Richard Nixon facing up" is true.

    Do you agree with this?
    Yes.

    And you don't need to ask me if I agree. Just make your arguments and let one follow the other and if you say anything that I disagree with, I will tell you that I disagree and likewise if I don't challenge a point, you may consider it an agreement of the point.
    Last edited by mican333; June 12th, 2018 at 05:52 PM.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    The reason this type of argument goes nowhere is because of the equivocation of the word observe. The word observation can be used to describe both subjective and objective (testable) experience. There is a massive chasm separating empirical evidence from anecdotal evidence. After all, ants and blue whales are both animals yet have few similarities beyond that name alone. The word evidence can easily misconstrue vague evidence and concrete evidence by eliminating the qualifiers and calling them both evidence.

    Since supernatural events are basically events for which no empirical evidence is available, whatever evidence there is, being non-empirical, cannot draw a logical testable conclusion. Therefore, all that can be derived from such evidence is undisciplined speculation. Using equivocation does not turn undisciplined speculation into proof.

  15. #215
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
    The reason this type of argument goes nowhere is because of the equivocation of the word observe. The word observation can be used to describe both subjective and objective (testable) experience. There is a massive chasm separating empirical evidence from anecdotal evidence. After all, ants and blue whales are both animals yet have few similarities beyond that name alone. The word evidence can easily misconstrue vague evidence and concrete evidence by eliminating the qualifiers and calling them both evidence.

    Since supernatural events are basically events for which no empirical evidence is available, whatever evidence there is, being non-empirical, cannot draw a logical testable conclusion. Therefore, all that can be derived from such evidence is undisciplined speculation. Using equivocation does not turn undisciplined speculation into proof.
    Are you saying a supernatural event can not have empirical evidence?
    How could we say an event even happened if that were the case?

  16. #216
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    In religious debates and the like, the word "supernatural" is often used. But I'm not sure that all parties are going by the same criteria for when something qualifies as "supernatural" or what it means to be "supernatural" so I'm forwarding how I define it in terms of the common debate here. I think a very pertinent qualifier for "supernatural" is "that which is not accounted for by current scientific understanding" (that's not necessarily a complete definition but I very much hold that that is a pertinent part of the definition and likewise the focus here).

    But of course as time goes on we learn more and more so some of what's currently not accounted for by current scientific understanding could be accounted for in the future.

    So let's say that hypothetically that what we consider as ghosts actually exist - there ARE disembodied consciousness that sometime reside in particular locations. And let's also say hypothetically that in twenty years science will confirm that this actually exists and the existence of ghosts becomes an accepted scientific reality.

    So in that scenario, it seems clear that ghosts would no longer be considered "supernatural". And likewise because ghosts currently fit the definition of "supernatural" does not mean that they don't actually exist (since what is unaccounted for now might be discovered later). That's not to say that one can't successfully argue that ghosts don't exist but I hold that one can't successfully argue that they don't exist just because they fit the definition of "supernatural".

    Anyway, I'm posting this in part to forward how I define supernatural in terms of the debate. While one can certainly argue that a certain supernatural something does not exist, it is not an accepted premise, going by the definition of "supernatural" I'm using here, that it doesn't exist just because it's qualifies as supernatural.

    And btw, if you (whoever you are) are using a different definition of "supernatural" in your arguments, feel free to argue for that definition.
    Can anyone give an example of a supernatural event that does not use religious text as the basis for it's evidence?
    Or perhaps a more contemporary supernatural event?

    As near as I can tell, only religions/religious are claiming supernatural events actually happen.

    If one witnessed such an event but was atheist, would they claim the event didn't even happen or would they just look for an alternate explanation and still acknowledge that there was actually an event to discuss at all? Sure some would convert to being religious, but I'm guessing, generally the latter, so there still should be some corroborating testimony unless only the faithful can witness such an event, which would bring in other issues...

  17. #217
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Can anyone give an example of a supernatural event that does not use religious text as the basis for it's evidence?
    Or perhaps a more contemporary supernatural event?
    Every episode of the Ghosthunters TV show. Nearly every Tarot Card reader. Tec.... there are tons of them.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  18. #218
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Every episode of the Ghosthunters TV show. Nearly every Tarot Card reader. Tec.... there are tons of them.
    I assume you aren't just a couple sandwiches short of a picnic here and just pulling my leg as it were, but in case you are serious:

    There is a very good, logical reason why they call it "Ghost hunters" and not "Ghost Finders"! It's pretty obvious.....


    "Tarot cards"? Really?
    You gotta be pulling on my boots straps while I'm still in em on this one!
    Last edited by Belthazor; October 20th, 2018 at 04:53 PM.

 

 
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