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  1. #1
    Senior Member snegledmaca's Avatar
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    Default Objective assessment

    How would one go about getting an objective assessment? For instance, picture a situation where a person has an impression of something, how would I accomplish an objective analysis of the thing they are getting an impression from? Or for a specific situation, say a person says they feel their deity exists, how would I go about proving or disproving such a thing?

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Well, you do know that "deity" basically exists outside of empirical methods, that knowledge of deity comes through some process of "revelation" -- which often is the antithesis of observation?

    Not avoiding the question, just pointing out that proving or disproving in most circumstances is not really the best question to ask, but rather determining if the belief in the deity is "possible" and even perhaps "reasonable."

    (After all, if we could observe and measure "deity," there would be no arguments about it.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member sdalek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snegledmaca View Post
    Or for a specific situation, say a person says they feel their deity exists, how would I go about proving or disproving such a thing?
    I don't think that proving or disproving a matter of religion is a good idea since it is a matter of faith and belief. Think Jihadist; How do you reason with a Jihadist?

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    Senior Member snegledmaca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, you do know that "deity" basically exists outside of empirical methods, that knowledge of deity comes through some process of "revelation" -- which often is the antithesis of observation?
    That's absurd, if it cannot be observed (Perceived) it doesn't exist (For you).


    Not avoiding the question, just pointing out that proving or disproving in most circumstances is not really the best question to ask, but rather determining if the belief in the deity is "possible" and even perhaps "reasonable."

    (After all, if we could observe and measure "deity," there would be no arguments about it.)
    That's exactly what I want to do. Hmmm, so you say it's not doable?

    I agree with you on the part that determining some intrinsic properties first would be a better step then to plunge head in into dissecting it. I was thinking perhaps some logical formulations or even mathematical ones that would let me know if a given scenario is possible.

    My main line of though was it's perception is it's quantifiable. If perception weren't quantifiable we would not be able to perceive it as what we perceive has to have boundaries. But if it isn't quantifiable, it weren't perception then it would be what, a realization? Or a thought? Insight? Like I know what multiplication is but it's not quantifiable as it is a concept. Does this mean that impressions like the one with the deity are nothing more then concepts? And concepts, even through they exist in the real world, do not actually exist without our realization, a rock doesn't know multiplication and thus it cannot affect him (While perceptions exist independent of realization, even through you may not be aware of a bullet it can very much kill you, in general alter your state of existence without you being aware of it). But if impressions are concepts then I think one would need a context to place them in, or perhaps they could be described through their internal context, things they are associated with. For example, multiplication could be quantifiable if we observe it as some kind of a sequence of operations, addition would be one, multiplication two, exponentiation three and so on or we could view it as a member of the family of operations on numbers, or both.

    Anyway, don't think of it as a deity, think of it as they are getting feedback from something and I want to determine that something. I'm thinking that through determining the initial object, the other person, and through determining the second object, the feedback, I can determine the third object, the thing that is giving the feedback. Also my main assumption is that the object and the person are linked as long as the object exerts influence on the person, it's not neutral towards the person.

    Quote Originally Posted by sdalek View Post
    I don't think that proving or disproving a matter of religion is a good idea since it is a matter of faith and belief. Think Jihadist; How do you reason with a Jihadist?
    Well, through reason of course. If they reject reason, well, that's a different matter. But I'm not really looking into religious matters per say, that’s juts what sparked my interest. I'm looking for a general method of determining objectively something that is unobservable to me directly and only available indirectly through exerting influence on an object that is behind "a loot of mirrors".

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    Senior Member snegledmaca's Avatar
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    The thing I'm wondering now is, is it a feedback loop, a projection of the object itself? Is the second object just a mirage created by the first object, the one behind all the mirrors? There is an assumption that I find insightful, basically someone said that religious matters are self referential, no outside influence is need to explain them, in essence it fully functions as a closed system. I'm thinking energy conservation would be the way to go. This will at least give me a clue as whether the object is a projection or an independent entity.

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    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
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    Beliefs are more a values-based decision than logic-based.

    Lots of things are feedback loops. Love, religion, self-respect, loathing of another's qualities--the list goes on.
    Who rises in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "I think I will do something stupid today?" -- James Hollis
    If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snegledmaca View Post
    That's absurd, if it cannot be observed (Perceived) it doesn't exist (For you).
    Oh, it's observed all right -- but the observation is personal, not verifiable.

    To explain a little better, many Christians accept the "Bible" as an authority of divine revelation. It's the starting place and foundation of their beliefs... a premise.

    As such, it is also the lens through which they observe.

    So now they observe and credit God as being present in situations that non-Christians would not, which in turn reinforces what they've already accepted as divine revelation. It's a circular loop.

    (Note, that does not say they're wrong, nor that they're right... just that there is no way to evaluate something that claims to be "divine revelation.")

    You might have as your premise that "truth must be observable." That is an assumption the presupposes that divine revelation does not exist. It colors all of your observations.

    We always bring some type of presupposition to our observations.

    That's exactly what I want to do. Hmmm, so you say it's not doable?
    For the reasons I said above, I don't think that two people who possess differing presuppositions/authorities can convince each other of anything, because they do not share common ground rules.

    At best, you are forced to find the common ground -- some sort of sensible life experience that seems similar for you both -- and this means the argument becomes less about what can be "specifically proven" and more about what seems "more reasonable" to the typical human being.

    I think some sorts of observations are quantifiable... which means in part that anyone who measures/evaluates the object in question will come up with the same answer. (The most obvious are size, weight, color, things like that.)

    But objects just are not objects. We attach meaning to every object we run into. For example a pencil is to write with -- but it could also serve as a stabbing tool, or a thing to pry open a stuck desk drawer, or something to break when you are mad, or a host of other uses. Those uses are not predetermined and are based in large part on what assumptions the person is bringing with them.

    Now imagine something INTANGIBLE, where two people assume different things right off the bat (God is the "God of the Bible" versus no God, or God is something else entirely) and how much more difficult it is to reach a consensus between them. Until one of them changes their framework (the foundation shifts), they will never agree or even really comprehend.

    So you want to deal with the foundation, if anything, and not the cosmetic issues. (i.e., don't argue about what functions a pencil is good for, argue about why a pencil is being perceived a certain way and whether that makes sense as the only valid framework).

    Does this mean that impressions like the one with the deity are nothing more then concepts?
    How about "choices" based on "concepts"? There is a strong element of choice involved: "I choose to believe this is true because I think it is worth believing in."

    But if impressions are concepts then I think one would need a context to place them in, or perhaps they could be described through their internal context, things they are associated with. For example, multiplication could be quantifiable if we observe it as some kind of a sequence of operations, addition would be one, multiplication two, exponentiation three and so on or we could view it as a member of the family of operations on numbers, or both.
    Well, that's one way people do argue about God and other things -- by trying to reduce the discussion to a progression of internally consistent algorithms/proofs. (If this = this, and that = that, then this = that.) It's just that things such as the Bible are assumed to be God's divine revelation, so the only way around it is why making that assumption might be unreasonable or unlikely. Once you bump someone into your own frame of reference (or vice versa), a real discussion can occur.

    --
    I am trying to get past all the abstract language we've both used to get to the kernel of your post, just a little fuzzy yet for me here...

    You probably would also benefit from trying to see things from their frame of reference, even if you disagree with it, especially if you plan to try to bump them into yours. It's only fair, right? And making that sort of effort would only be aided, the more you can momentarily see things the way they do.

    You can try to observe something not by looking at it directly, but by looking "around" it or noting it much from the effect it seems to cause on its surroundings. (Just like we "see" black holes, for example, from all the radiation pouring off of them. We see what's around them, but we do not actually see them.)

    If you want to see the Christian God, for example, I would look at how it impacts the people who claim to be in God's proximity -- who did they used to be, have they changed, do they behave differently because of their faith, how much have they changed, does it inform their life, is their life a "desirable" one, do they seem at peace while still being very engaged in life, and so on. Would the person be different today if they did not believe in God? If they were just trying to be "good on their own," could they maintain the same level of compassion/goodness/whatever they are showing now?

    Is that the sort of thing you are thinking?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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