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  1. #111
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    By 'things' I suppose you mean ideas, propositions, theories, etc. rather than people, circles, colours, etc. If so, then things are not 'inherently uncertain.' People may be certain or uncertain about an idea, proposition, theory, or what have you, but these things are not inherently uncertain.

    Curious green dreams sleep furiously too, I bet.
    Yes, they are. Everything is inherently uncertain. We can say "that wall is green" with a high degree of certainty but only because we've predefined that particular visual appearance as "green" before the fact. When someone else says they see the same wall that you do, and describes it as green just as you do, subjective experience necessitates that you can't really be certain you're seeing the same thing--you're both just seeing whatever combination of colors you've been taught from birth is "green." Maybe the shade you consider green actually appears to someone else as the color you'd call purple, but no one will ever know!

    If I decide that my dog's name is Rover, I know 100% that he is, in fact, named Rover, but only because I set the system that way myself. This does no good in helping us escape the problem of metaphysical subjectivity.

  2. #112
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Is the only purpose of debate to convince the other that you are right? Why can it not be to discover that all are wrong?
    Yes my questions in the post you are quoting are largely rhetorical. The reasons why you'd debate the existence of God are the same reasons that you'd debate anything else. Convincing the person that you are debating should be near the bottom of the list of those reasons though, because there are more effective methods of persuading people, but it is very difficult to persuade the person you are debating.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  3. #113
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Yes my questions in the post you are quoting are largely rhetorical. The reasons why you'd debate the existence of God are the same reasons that you'd debate anything else. Convincing the person that you are debating should be near the bottom of the list of those reasons though, because there are more effective methods of persuading people, but it is very difficult to persuade the person you are debating.
    As I've mentioned: I, and others like me, are extremely easy to persuade regardless of the format of the discussion:

    Provide evidence which disproves our assertions upon the basis of objective fact.

    Unfortunately, the religious-minded have extreme difficulty understanding what constitutes an "objective fact".
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  4. #114
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Why have them?

    I don't get it... seems like a waste of time.

    It's unanswerable.
    No... it actually is.
    And has been.

    It's just that there are as many people who are unwilling to accept the evidence as there are propounders of that evidence.
    we fukin won boys

  5. #115
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Is the only purpose of debate to convince the other that you are right? Why can it not be to discover that all are wrong?
    Well said.

  6. #116
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    As I've mentioned: I, and others like me, are extremely easy to persuade regardless of the format of the discussion:

    Provide evidence which disproves our assertions upon the basis of objective fact.

    Unfortunately, the religious-minded have extreme difficulty understanding what constitutes an "objective fact".
    Well what you call "objective fact" shows a distanct lack of "critical thinking". Should I conclude that, like you, all science atheists have extreme difficulty with "critical thinking"?
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  7. #117
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    The question 'does a god exist?' is easily answered with either a 'yes' or 'no.' It is done frequently.
    Well sure you can assign a "yes" or "no" to it... you just have no valid evidence in support of your claim. That's what I meant by "unanswerable". Perhaps I should have phrased it more succinctly as "cannot be proven". My apologies for randomly slapping words on the screen.

    I endevour to refute this notion in every debate I have. It all depends on what you seek from a debate and what you consider constitutes a 'productive debate.'
    That was my question... what are people seeking out of a debate relating to god. To convert others? To booster self-beliefs? To get a kick out of annihilating your opposition? Something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Is the only purpose of debate to convince the other that you are right? Why can it not be to discover that all are wrong?
    Well that's a possibility. Too bad very few people take the approach in debates.

    If A, then not B. If not A, then B. What about C?

    Strangely the possibility of C rarely cross people's minds since they're so intent on option A and B. It doesn't answer my question as to the general case though...

  8. #118
    / nonsequitur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    It doesn't answer my question as to the general case though...
    My view:

    Atheists bother arguing because they believe that they are "right", and that logic/empiricism = truth. Therefore anyone who believes otherwise is being illogical and delusional.

    Theists bother arguing because it has been such an intrinsic, meaning-providing source in their life. To hear it thusly denigrated and written off is very offensive.

    There is no real resolution to this question for either side (in that neither side will convince the other), but the debate will go on anyway. I have no interest in this topic whatsoever because it has no impact on how I live my life.

  9. #119
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Everything is inherently uncertain.
    Suppose that simulatedworld is uncertain. It would seem eminently sensible to pose the question 'what is simulatedworld uncertain about?' If someone is uncertain, then they are uncertain about something. Perhaps simulatedworld is uncertain about the truth of evolutionary theory, or the proposition 'the wall in front of simulatedworld is green,' or the morality of the command 'thou shalt not kill,' etc. In any case, it would seem nonsensical to pose a similar question to, say, the theory of relativity. If it is uncertain then, like simulatedworld, it must be uncertain about something, right? Is it, perhaps, uncertain about the theory of evolution?

    Ideas (propositions, theories, hypotheses, etc.) are not uncertain, no more than they are green. An idea may be about something that is green, or someone may be uncertain about an idea, but the ideas themselves are not green or uncertain. What you or I may feel about an idea should not be mistaken for a property of the idea itself. simulatedworld is uncertain, his ideas are not. Another may feel certain about the same ideas. Certainty offers no guaruntee against error, but it may be, and is frequently, had by many people.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  10. #120
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Ideas (propositions, theories, hypotheses, etc.) are not uncertain, no more than they are green. An idea may be about something that is green, or someone may be uncertain about an idea, but the ideas themselves are not green or uncertain.
    Interesting point, reason.

    Detachment from transference is a hallmark signature of those working towards a semblance of objectivity in perceiving the object they are studying.

    Wildcat provides great opinions on the subject. Or is it the object?

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