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  1. #21
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Yes, exactly. This is pretty much what they are talking about in a lot more words.

    Unfalsifiable doesn't mean false. There very well could be such a god. What they are saying is that if you claim to know, and you stop looking, you close the door on further knowledge.

    It's basically saying "I've got it right and I don't have to seek anymore" when you can't actually know if you've got it right. Nowhere does this say that it's actually false. It might still be true. Then again it might not.

    Edit: also note that if one claims esoteric knowledge, that's a whole other story entirely, and is up to an individual to deal with on their own.
    They're just using two different models of truth. The caller has not made his choice on the basis of empirical evidence, but on what makes him happy. So it constitutes a personal truth, like delicious cake. Nobody except a child would argue that everybody should like chocolate cake or whatever.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  2. #22
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Aye! and does he ever give a rational reason for why black people do what they do, or what other racial groups do wrong?
    Well, I would think so. According to the video I just viewed previously to this one, D'Souza has three hypothetical explanations for modern blacks, and dismisses two of them: genetics, and victimhood. He then pins the blame on black culture itself. He states that victimhood is a worn out theme that leads blacks to find their salvation in the federal government (the march on Washington, for example). This sort of thing has been going on for, how long?, almost 40 years. And no social progress has been made, only regress. Pro-black legislation has done nothing but create an excuse for more victimhood. Socialism requires victims in order to survive, so it works out for both sides. The idea of social progress is a myth used to sustain the system. But nobody who wants the government hand-outs to continue can possibly be in favor of progress without engaging in a deeply rooted contradiction, because it's so obvious that social progress requires the inevitable end of hand-outs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Doesn't look like it. Ever since The End of Racism, his "rational" views have been very lopsided. (Blacks use "victim rhetoric" to get special treatment; while conservatives had been the loudest "victims" in the very act of pointing at others using victim rhetoric, to take something from them!) But people buy it up; and he's become a "darling" of conservativism.
    If the conservatives are not using victimhood to get continued government hand-outs, and thus sustain a system based on the myth of social progress made impossible by those same hand-outs because they encourage more victimhood, more hand-outs, and more single-parent black families, then one must ask about the conservatives' goals in pursuing their own victimhood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    He basically fuses Western jingoism with Christianity, and it looks so good for this dark skinned foreigner to be advancing the "truth" of capitalistic and Western cultural superiority, but if you search the blogosphere on him, you can see him likely accurately portrayed as just an upper caste member in his country's own discriminatory system; so of course he will favor the powerful in the West.

    So as the second quote shows, even his arguments for religion are basically shallow and inaccurate. Since it's all about cultural superiority, it doesn't matter; you just have the "bad guys" on one side (the atheists and communists), and the "good guys" on the other (Westerns and Christians, even if only culturally Christian, because it's the culture that determines "truth"), so you can say anything you want about the other side.
    Oh yes indeed, he believes that the culture which "delivers the goods," not the hand-outs, has the superior system. But you should ask whether or not deconstructing the man himself truly reveals his alleged motives. Or if he is just reaping the benefits of the American melting-pot and wishes to spread his good fortune to others.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  3. #23
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    In the context of determining an objective truth value, they are not wrong.
    In the context of determining and objective truth-value?

    First, please stop talking about truth-values; they're not what you think. Second, how does one 'determine an objective truth value'? I suspect you mean to say 'in the context of confirming whether a proposition is true (or false) by observation'.

    It is true that being unfalsifiable does not determine truth or validity
    What does validity have to do with anything? I think you're just throwing around clever-sounding words.

    and she even says that claiming to know that God is unfalsifiable is a knowledge claim.
    Right, claiming to know something is a knowledge claim ... duh? I think you meant to say something else, right?

    However, they are not talking about unfalsifiable in the sense of "This cake is delicious." or even "I saw some guy cross the street." They are talking to a man who admits that he essentially does not know but believes anyway because it can't be proven wrong and it makes him happy.
    Which is different from most atheists, how exactly? Need anyone be reminded that atheism is not scientifically falsifiable. Yes, there are logically possible observations that would falsify atheism, but this is a very weak kind of falsifiability. Why? Because atheism doesn't make any precise predictions that we can test. For example, it predicts that God will never descend from heaven and bring judgement upon non-believers, but the prediction is unbounded: the experiment, so to speak, can never be completed. Perhaps this falsifiability is better than nothing, but it's not much to brag about either. In any case, atheists typically make all kinds of metaphysical assumptions, such as materialism, reductionism, empiricism, realism, and so on, that all exemplify unfalsifiable theories about the fundamental nature of the universe.

    In his context it can't be given a truth value. At least not in that point in time. That is not to say that no unfalsifiable thing can be given a truth value.
    If we wait for "knowledge" before giving something a 'truth value', then we'll never get anywhere. The caller on the show might have been hopelessly confused, willfully irrational, and probably quite stupid, but the hosts just responded with their own bad arguments and atheists shibboleths. Heck, I'm an atheist. I've always been an atheist. However, atheists like this are more likely to convert me to Christianity than any theist I know.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  4. #24
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    They're just using two different models of truth. The caller has not made his choice on the basis of empirical evidence, but on what makes him happy. So it constitutes a personal truth, like delicious cake. Nobody except a child would argue that everybody should like chocolate cake or whatever.
    It's not a 'personal truth' and it's in no way comparable to liking cake.

    What you're talking about is close to solipsism. (i.e. it's a bad thing)

    Everything that makes you happy is some kind of true!
    Not.

    You're lucky that you don't have 10 INTP logicians in here yelling at you for this. Because there most certainly could have been and they would be right.

  5. #25
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Which is different from most atheists, how exactly? Need anyone be reminded that atheism is not scientifically falsifiable. Yes, there are logically possible observations that would falsify atheism, but this is a very weak kind of falsifiability. Why? Because atheism doesn't make any precise predictions that we can test.
    Aside from your insufferable nitpicking - I would say it makes NO predictions.

    For example, it predicts that God will never descend from heaven and bring judgement upon non-believers,
    Bullshit. It does no such thing.

    In any case, atheists typically make all kinds of metaphysical assumptions, such as materialism, reductionism, empiricism, realism, and so on, that all exemplify unfalsifiable theories about the fundamental nature of the universe.
    Yes. Problem?

    If we wait for "knowledge" before giving something a 'truth value', then we'll never get anywhere.
    Do we need to get somewhere? Why?

    The caller on the show might have been hopelessly confused, willfully irrational, and probably quite stupid, but the hosts just responded with their own bad arguments and atheists shibboleths. Heck, I'm an atheist. I've always been an atheist. However, atheists like this are more likely to convert me to Christianity than any theist I know.
    Oh, so it's personal. I see.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    They're just using two different models of truth.
    No, they're not. The caller admitted, right near the beginning of the conversation, that whether the God of Christianity actually exists--whether the statement 'the God of Christianity' corresponds to the facts--is not irrelevant. He believes it because he thinks it's true in the classical sense.

    In any case: 'models of truth' and 'personal truth', seriously? You're just playing wordgames. Sure, we can use the word 'truth' to mean different things in different contexts, but you're just casually equivocating.

    The caller was confused. What I think he was trying to say was that atheists can no more verify that God does not exist than he can that God does exist, so the decision cannot be made by rational-empirical criteria. So what to do? Well, maybe our happiness of satisfaction in life is a criteria indicating truth. Pretty stupid, right? I'm inclined to think so, but the idea that usefulnes--or instrumental value--is a proxy for truth, or that it might replace truth altogether as the purpose of our investigations, is associated with philosophies that generally fall under the category of 'pragmatism'.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    It's not a 'personal truth' and it's in no way comparable to liking cake.

    What you're talking about is close to solipsism. (i.e. it's a bad thing)

    Everything that makes you happy is some kind of true!
    Not.

    You're lucky that you don't have 10 INTP logicians in here yelling at you for this. Because there most certainly could have been and they would be right.
    Nah.

    The caller said that belief in God makes him happy. Did he say that there was anything comparable to God, like chocolate cake? I think not. But I stand by my "personal truth" idea, in the sense of having a personal relationship with God, or that one's faith in God is a personal matter that goes beyond mere Bible study and church attendance. That one person's faith is another's fantasy is obvious throughout this entire social debate.

    This isn't solipsism, and I never implied that only subjective truth exists. But it's also obvious that there are as many "truths" as there are religions and philosophies. I'm not saying there are literally 6 billion truths, one for every man, woman, and child.
    Last edited by Mal12345; 08-26-2012 at 10:23 PM. Reason: clarification
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  8. #28
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    No, they're not. The caller admitted, right near the beginning of the conversation, that whether the God of Christianity actually exists--whether the statement 'the God of Christianity' corresponds to the facts--is not irrelevant. He believes it because he thinks it's true in the classical sense.

    In any case: 'models of truth' and 'personal truth', seriously? You're just playing wordgames. Sure, we can use the word 'truth' to mean different things in different contexts, but you're just casually equivocating.

    The caller was confused. What I think he was trying to say was that atheists can no more verify that God does not exist than he can that God does exist, so the decision cannot be made by rational-empirical criteria. So what to do? Well, maybe our happiness of satisfaction in life is a criteria indicating truth. Pretty stupid, right? I'm inclined to think so, but the idea that usefulnes--or instrumental value--is a proxy for truth, or that it might replace truth altogether as the purpose of our investigations, is associated with philosophies that generally fall under the category of 'pragmatism'.
    First you say I am equivocating something; then at the end you point out the very thing I was talking about. The only difference is that you distinguished a rational-empirical model from a pragmatic one, whereas I didn't take it far enough to give them labels.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  9. #29
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    The caller said that God makes him happy. Did he say that there was anything comparable to God, like chocolate cake? I think not. But I stand by my "personal truth" idea, in the sense of having a personal relationship with God, or that one's faith in God is a personal matter that goes beyond mere Bible study and church attendance. That one person's faith is another's fantasy is obvious throughout this entire social debate.
    I only brought up the taste of cake as an example of something that can be unfalsifiable.

    If it was a personal matter then he didn't have to call into the show. You're getting into esoteric knowledge. If he wanted to go that route he didn't have to specify unfalsifiablility. The fact that he did is important.

    This isn't solipsism, and I never implied that only subjective truth exists. But it's also obvious that there are as many "truths" as there are religions and philosophies. I'm not saying there are literally 6 billion truths, one for every man, woman, and child.
    So all gods exist then? Every claim is just fine?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Aside from your insufferable nitpicking - I would say it makes NO predictions.
    It's called the law of excluded middle. If P is inconsistent with Q, then P entails not-Q. That is to say, if atheism is inconsistent with God descending from the sky to bring judgement upon non-believers, then atheism entails that it will not happen. Since this is something we could observe, it is something atheism predicts will never happen. Such an observation would falsify atheism--it's just not a scientific prediction.

    Yes. Problem?
    Yes, precisely. Atheists are normally hypocrites. They'll use unfalsifiability like a club to bash theists with, but then not apply that same standard to their own views. I mean, that lady literally said she wouldn't believe anything that is not falsifiable. That is, falsifiability is being used as a criterion of acceptability. However, consistently applied, this is devastating to almost everything atheists typically believe (including, ironically, the notion of falsifiability itself).

    Do we need to get somewhere? Why?
    If we are to get to the truth, and because we want to.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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