User Tag List

First 81617181920 Last

Results 171 to 180 of 239

  1. #171
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This example is mostly irrelevant, because there is no real criteria for what makes one race inferior to another. However if a Nazi shoots a Jew, then we know that his understanding of how to operate a gun is based on correct princlples.
    For the very least my example shows that your principle does not work in all cases as in some situations we do not have a criteria which could be used to solve a problem, for example: the question of whether or not one race is superior to the other.

    However, with regard to the problems that could be solved by your method, there are several problems as well. Your argument can be justified on inductive grounds. It has the following form: if I have used a principle X and it has worked, principle X must be true. We can't conclude that it is true only if it worked once, it needs to work consistently. For instance, physicists concluded that the law of gravity is true because it has worked in all cases that they have documented.

    Prayer does not work frequently enough for us to conclude that it is a general principle about the world. In other words, prayer has not worked frequently enough for us to assume that there is a law of nature that is as follows: when I pray good things happen. A lot of people have lost their faith because prayer did not work for them. We often hear testimonies of people who no longer believe in God because He disregarded their prayers by allowing their family member to die.

    By objection 2 we can make the following observation: the consequences of your praying do not produce a significant enough of a 'measurable impact' for us to conclude that they have been based on a true principle. Your inference is analogous to a man who concludes that he can cause his old and malfunctioning TV to produce images of higher quality by banging on it with great forcefulness. His strategy may work some of the time, yet it does not work often enough for us to make this conclusion: there is a true principle about fixing TV screens; that is, just bang on them until they work!

    The bottom line is that your argument regarding the efficacy of prayer is inductively weak.

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

    I do not think that you have gone on to infer that God exists from your conclusion that prayer is efficacious. However, if you were to do this your conclusion would be illegitimate because it has no empirical basis. We may make an empirical observation of prayer and conclude that prayer truly does work if it grants us the expected results often enough, yet we cannot even begin to make such observations with regard to God as quite simply we have no direct empirical documentation of his work or identity.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  2. #172
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Likewise if your hypothetical dictator really does become king of the world then we know his belief is correct..
    If he did it only once, we can't conclude that his beliefs were correct. If he attempted it 100 times and succeeded, then we could.

    In that one time he succeeded, it could have been the case that his beliefs had nothing to do with his triumph as the situation involved a variety of factors.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    One purpose of religion is to improve one's behavior. Therefore if a person's behavior is improved, then we know that their belief is based on correct principles. .
    Do people improve their lives after accepting religion frequently enough for us to conclude that religion was the cause of the improvement?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  3. #173
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sp
    Posts
    1,080

    Default

    Liquid Laser, in addition to the points SW raised, I'd add that the only question answered is, "Does adherence to this belief system result in improvement as we are presently defining the term?" Even if fervent belief does lead to improvement, that in no way supports the claims made by the system of beliefs. It could very well be a placebo effect: I believe, in my heart of hearts, Pill A (in actuality a placebo) will relieve my headaches, and lo and behold! Yet there's nothing to Pill A whatsoever.

    As SW points out, you've construed scientific induction to suit your wishes. Religious belief, no matter how fervent, clearly does not result in marked improvement in the majority of people. What you propose now is similar to a hypothetical researcher who "succeeds" in creating cold fusion once; good enough for him! And if it doesn't work for anyone else, well, obviously their faith/perseverance/etc. is lacking.

    We'll set aside, for now, discussion on the subjectivity of "improvement" and how one goes about gauging the extent to which he has "improved".
    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. #174
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Posts
    3,377

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    The bottom line is that your argument regarding the efficacy of prayer is inductively weak.
    I don't believe I've made any argument about prayer.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    If he did it only once, we can't conclude that his beliefs were correct. If he attempted it 100 times and succeeded, then we could.
    This is the type of "experiment" that can't be repeated in practical terms. It's a one shot deal. Let's connect the scenario more with real events. If Alexander the Great claimed he was destined to be a great conquerer then he'd be correct. If Saddam Hussein claimed that he was destined to be a great conquerer then he'd be incorrect. In either case we have to make a decision based on the information we have.

    Of course the more important conclusion we can draw from this example is that it's irrelevant to our current discussion. Our current discussion involves groups of people which actually can be examined statistically. Our would be conquerers cannot be examined statistically, so this scenario isn't particularly enlightening to this discussion.

    Do people improve their lives after accepting religion frequently enough for us to conclude that religion was the cause of the improvement?
    I've already posted stating that for the large majority of Christians, religion does not have a significant change on their behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Liquid Laser, in addition to the points SW raised, I'd add that the only question answered is, "Does adherence to this belief system result in improvement as we are presently defining the term?" Even if fervent belief does lead to improvement, that in no way supports the claims made by the system of beliefs. It could very well be a placebo effect: I believe, in my heart of hearts, Pill A (in actuality a placebo) will relieve my headaches, and lo and behold! Yet there's nothing to Pill A whatsoever.
    What a great example you've given. The thing about placebos is that they actually do improve a person's condition. So if placebos are so effective, then why should we ever use actual drugs as medicine? We use actual drugs because we expect that they will be even more effective than a placebo. In fact if a drug is not at least as effective as a placebo then it is worthless as medicine. It is only the drugs which improve a person's healthy more than a placebo that can be considered to be effective medicine.

    In a previous post I pointed out that statistically (in the US) there is no difference in a Christian's behavior compared to a non-Christian's behavior. In fact in some cases the Christian's behavior is shown to be worse. This data shows that there is no placebo effect to Christianity. If there was a placebo effect then there would be a statistical improvement simply from being a Christian. There is no such improvement.

    On the other hand Christians which said they believed in the authority of the Bible and engaged in "costly" behavior did have a statistical improvement in behavior. Their type of religion is actually potent, because it is more effective than the default level of Christianity. This is analogous to how potent medicine is more effective than the default pill, a placebo. This differentiation shows that there is no placebo effect taking place. If there was a placebo effect then all Christians would get the benefit regardless of what the specifics of their beliefs were.

    Religious belief, no matter how fervent, clearly does not result in marked improvement in the majority of people.
    Yes, this is exactly what I am saying. Christianity only results in a marked improvement in a minority of people.
    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)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

  5. #175
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    3,705

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragingkatsuki View Post
    Wow, what ignorance... I've mentioned before I've lived in the ME for a section of my life didn't I? Well, I lived in Egypt and Kuwait. I've lived the experience and I can tell you first hand that the christians in Egypt do not live in the way in which you described. Christians in Egypt lean towards the higher class of society in Egypt so they are treated with respect there whereas the low class egyptians are the ones that are treated poorly. The christians there are free to practice what they want as well as the atheists, buddhists and any other religion worth mentioning. I'd have to say the copts in Egypt are actually living quite good lives and most of them wouldn't dream of leaving egypt. I can say the same for the greek and armenian christians that reside there too. May you be supported in receiving more truthful knowledge.
    I wouldn't put so much stock into anecdotal evidence, particularly in light of all the objective evidence to the contrary-most notably the steady string of anti-Coptic mob and vigilante violence.

    As for less violent forms of persecution, directly influenced by the fact that Shariah law is constitutionally "the primary source of legislation," this report gives a decent overview:

    Egypt

  6. #176
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sp
    Posts
    1,080

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    What a great example you've given. The thing about placebos is that they...
    So you concede that the effect is psychosomatic? That the more fervent believers (i.e. those with a greater vested interest) will report greater efficacy is hardly an unknown and unexplored phenomenon.

    At any rate your argument is internally consistent. That's not a straightforward compliment: so is that of the man wearing tin foil on his head to keep out the aliens' mind-control beams. In this man's case, his argument begins with "aliens are able to control all of human kind's thoughts and actions undetected from remote locations". Everything else follows from this premise, and so long as we accept the premise, nothing that follows can be refuted.

    In your case, your arguments begin with the premise, "efficacy of a belief system dictates that all elements (or at least the bulk of them) of the belief system are true". Indeed, if we accept this proposition, everything else you argue follows.

    In both cases, the central argument is an assertion that cannot be supported.

    Since your circular logic is, if nothing else, well-rehearsed, I'm curious: how do you justify equally efficacious (in the terms you've alluded to) belief systems that are at odds with one another? I can cite examples, if you wish.
    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 --

  7. #177
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Posts
    3,377

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    So you concede that the effect is psychosomatic?
    Actually I said the opposite of this.

    Since your circular logic is, if nothing else, well-rehearsed, I'm curious: how do you justify equally efficacious (in the terms you've alluded to) belief systems that are at odds with one another? I can cite examples, if you wish.
    I can't say anything about other belief systems, because I haven't seen any data collected on them. If you know of any studies conducted then we can examine the results.
    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)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

  8. #178
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I don't believe I've made any argument about prayer..
    I apologize for misreading. If I recall correctly, your claim was the following. Because my religious views exert a measurable impact with respect to my life, I know that my religious views are true. Your wording was different, you stated you know that they are based on true principles. I think in this case the word principle was used out of place and the substitution of principle for 'my beliefs' is legitimate. A principle is merely a theoretical model that describes how things work.

    Another way to frame your claim is as follows: if I have a belief regarding how the world works, one way for me to see whether or not it is true is to apply it to the world, if it works the way I thought it would, then its true. For example, if I am a Nazi who wants to shoot a jew and I have a belief that I can accomplish this goal by operating a gun in a certain way; I can discover if my belief regarding the use of guns is true by attempting to shoot a jew. If I do shoot him then I can conclude that my belief regarding the gun use is true.

    My objection was that one successful shooting act is not conclusive evidence for my gun operating competence as for all I know it could have been the case that I fired the gun accidentally; or the action I performed will not always cause the gun to fire. We would need many more of such incidents to procure evidence for my competence using a gun.

    Your main argument with respect to religion is as follows, at least as I understand it. A very small portion of Christians sincerely and fundamentally accept the authority of the Bible, most do not. However, out of this small group, an overwhelming majority show a marked ethical improvement in their lives?

    Is this so? Can you cite any empirical studies on this topic? It certainly seems unpersuasive. History is full of examples of men of the highest piety possible behaving in a morally disreputable manner. Priests; for example have been accused of pederasty. One may say that the priests were simply problematic people and religion did not at all contribute to their decadence, it actually helped them; they would have been far worse off if they did not endorse any religious views. This seems unpersuasive as many of them showed no sign of licentiousness until later on in their career. They must have appeared quite pious to many astute judges of character in order to have become priests. The argument that they always were salacious is unpersuasive because if they truly were, it is difficult to believe that they could have duped every relevant astute critic to believe that they are morally irreproachable. You may say they are a minority of true Christians who do not show a marked improvement. Very well, but what about the common-place preacher? Religious moralists are widely accused of hypocrisy and for justifiable reasons. A significant portion of preachers indeed do not practice what they preach. But then again, you could respond that there are other, extra-religious factors in the situation that make them behave immorally; for example, the heavy political circumstances of their lives often seduce them into illicit behavior. If men of such ardent faith weren't forced to function as politicians, their lives would have shown an ethical improvement. In short, in this case Christianity did improve their lives, but this was overshadowed by other circumstances that pulled them towards wickedness.

    Very well, if those examples of mine aren't acceptable; what about the thousands of religious fanatics who kill people in the name of Christianity? They believe that they accept the authority of the Bible, yet nonetheless they engage in savage-like behavior. (For example, mothers who drown their babies in the name of God or Christians who bombed abortion clinics)

    You may say that they are simply misreading the Bible and are not truly accepting its authority. Yet in that case, how do you know what interpretation of the Bible is a true depiction of its authoritative voice? It is a book that has been written in a culture dating thousands of years back: many of its expressions depend heavily on culture specific factors such as the customs that were endorsed at the time and figurative expressions such as allegories and idioms that are not easily understood by members of a different culture. Indeed, the proper interpretation of many passages of the Bible has been the subject of controversial debate for scholars of biography, literature and history. No clear-cut consensus has been established with regard to the nature of the thorough and an educative message of the Bible. The message extracted by these scholars certainly is not thorough and educative enough for a person to base his worldview on. At this point we simply do not have a clear enough of an understanding regarding the proper interpretation of Biblical passages as well as the context that they are environed in.

    In summary, I have cited various problems regarding the suggestion that people who truly accept the authority of the Bible show a marked ethical improvement in their lives. First of all, not all of them who claim to have truly accepted the authority of the Bible do. Its not at all obvious that the people who do improve are the majority. You can't just bracket those who don't show the improvement under the justification that those people did not truly accept the authority of the Bible because the correct interpretation of the Bible is not at all obvious.








    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    On the other hand Christians which said they believed in the authority of the Bible and engaged in "costly" behavior did have a statistical improvement in behaviorTheir type of religion is actually potent, because it is more effective than the default level of Christianity. ..
    I have expressed my objections regarding this claim above.



    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This is the type of "experiment" that can't be repeated in practical terms. It's a one shot deal. Let's connect the scenario more with real events. If Alexander the Great claimed he was destined to be a great conquerer then he'd be correct. If Saddam Hussein claimed that he was destined to be a great conquerer then he'd be incorrect. In either case we have to make a decision based on the information we have. ..
    We don't have to make a decision based on the information above, we can postpone the decision until the mroe suitable information arrives. Only by doing so will we be able to avoid making an inductively weak argument.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  9. #179
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sp
    Posts
    1,080

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Actually I said the opposite of this.
    It certainly doesn't seem that way.

    I can't say anything about other belief systems, because I haven't seen any data collected on them. If you know of any studies conducted then we can examine the results.
    You've yet to provide an iota of evidence in support of your central thesis: efficacy of a belief system dictates the tenants of the system are true. You obfuscate this evasion with a veneer of irrelevant statistics. How certain percentages of some group of self-professed "believers" self-reports in no way supports your main argument.

    So far your method of argument is analogous to our hypothetical alien-mind-control believer: like you, he also can't provide any evidence in support of his central thesis (aliens exist, are able to control man's thoughts via remote, and are doing so), and obfuscates this shortcoming by citing example after example of the supposed "effects" of alien mind control.

    And let's touch on it: what constitutes this "improvement"? Christianity teaches that turning the other cheek, being meek in spirit, etc., are desirable traits, and that learning to embody these traits constitutes improvement. It goes on to provide quips and philosophical advice on how to achieve this state. Naturally, (some) fervent adherents of Christianity begin to embody these traits, which Christianity posits as positive, and report that they've "improved".

    On the other hand, people like Nietzsche and Ayn Rand assert that these are not positive traits, and offer contrasting philosophies. Just like Christians, people who adhere to these philosophies will begin to embody the traits that these philosophies speak in favor of, and also report that their lives have "improved".

    Christianity and the above philosophies stand in stark contrast to one another, right down to their takes on the existence of a deity. Yet they are all efficacious by their own standards.

    Not to mention that virtually every major religion prescribes dire consequences for non-believers. Clearly, they can't all be "correct" about this, which you would argue they must be, since every major religion is, by its own standards, efficacious.

    How do you reconcile this?
    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 --

  10. #180
    Tempbanned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Enneagram
    8w9
    Posts
    14,031

    Default

    Personally, I don't think Jesus' immortality (or lack thereof), effects the credibility, value or importance of what he had to teach.

    People getting so caught up in miracles and the immortality of Christ, seem to be losing the forest for the trees.

Similar Threads

  1. Questions for those who are completely SURE of their type
    By Such Irony in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 06-15-2013, 11:49 PM
  2. Question for People Who Live In Japan
    By Savage Idealist in forum The Bonfire
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-11-2011, 02:48 AM
  3. Question for those who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds:
    By Brendan in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 111
    Last Post: 05-05-2010, 09:32 PM
  4. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 04-25-2009, 03:19 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO