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Old 03-13-2014, 04:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
This is a straw man question designed to legitimize proselytizing disbelief in the existence of God. There is no definitive answer to whether or not God exists that can be used to justify such proselytizing. Pretending that there is . . . is itself a lie or false belief. Pitting one false belief against others is no way to be ethical. All that can be done is to protect against those things that demonstrably produce evil and encourage those that demonstrably produce good. Everything else is egotistical human vanity and hubris.
I'm surprised at you Mr Philosophical phd. You at least should know what a strawman argument is and what it isn't (Theist -English dictionary :Strawman argument- any argument a theist wants to dismiss out of hand).

You know as well as I do that there are many unsubstantiated claims in the world (including yours, despite your ongoing insistence that they are some kind of fact) and it is not only better but necessary that they be disbelieved until some sound evidential support is given. Even if (as you surely will) it was argued that a god of some kind was real, the various beliefs about it - many of which you slam as heartily as you atheism - should not be believed without question, and indeed being contradictory very often, cannot all be believed.

The very pertinent question, which actually arises when the claims of theism have been shown to be without substance, is 'Should be have god -belief (true or not) because of the good it does?' That at least is the reverse of the thread title and so you stomping on it is a regrettable indication of how your fine Phd mind is supplanted by a kneejerk Theist -think reaction to anything that you suspect might aid the spread of atheism.

As I argue, it is better to either know on reasonable grounds or say 'I don't know'. There is a case for letting believers believe if it makes them happy and indeed as your disciple Gldnrule argued, there is something -just cultural fun, at least - that religions can offer.

All religions, not just one. Which is why a non - believing worldview is better as it can tolerate all these claims in a way that each one might not be willing to tolerate the others. That at least is why it is actually better to have a predominance of unbelief, quite apart from the rationalist dictum that it is important to us that what we believe is founded on sound evidence and not on unsubstantiated claims, of which the God-claim is one.

And save yourself the trouble of claiming that it is scientific fact. It isn't.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 03-13-2014 at 05:27 AM..
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:58 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,297,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnPop View Post
Of course! But this example was merely meant to stand as a "proof of concept" example, and it has so far faired fairly well for that purpose
I agree but only so far as it supports a thought experiment. A thought experiment that while fun to engage in, has little bearing on actual reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnPop View Post
Sorry, no.
An interesting way to start a paragraph that appears to agree with pretty much all I have said. So what you think you are applying the "No" to is currently opaque to me. Perhaps you misunderstand what I have said and think you are disagreeing with me, while not actually doing so much at all.

There is this however....

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnPop View Post
since deception already permeates homoeopathy so thoroughly it would be a hard to argue that one more deception added to the great steaming heap it already is based upon could hardly be said to truly "help" it all that much
.... deception is all that homeopathy is. The water and sugar pills they sell do nothing at all. Therefore when asked to prove or demonstrate the efficacy of homeopathy to the public, the purveyors of this woo flounder, lie, dodge or litigate.

So if you added the deception you suggest to the mix you would cause a lot of harm because now purveyors of fraud will have an example to point to and hold on to whenever their practice is called into question.

And that was the point I was trying to make. Lying to get one group of people to accept an treatment they might not otherwise take is.... in limited time and scope..... a fun thought experiment but the reality is that the effect of this would be to lend credence to that lie (in this case homeopathy) as a whole. And this is not a good thing.

And I am constitutionally unable to measure the benefit of something (in this case the lie) in isolation from the cost of that something. Which simply renders and engagement in this thought experiment, while fun, completely meaningless in reality.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Mill Valley, California
275 posts, read 394,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
I don't think the accidental homoeopathic flu vaccine is "all-good." It causes a further undue believe in homoeopathy, instead of its placeboes and attention/care endorphins. It's better to explain to the conspiracy theorist pro-homoeopathy person why they are wrong. A lot of people don't go to homoeopathy because they "believe," they go to try it out.
The vaccine, however, is not a lie, is was just serendipity. The moral dillemma is actually the other way around, where truth leads to disaster and lying leads to societal benefit. The lie of this dilemma lies with the researcher who discovers the truth of the serendipitous vaccine -- and by telling the truth about it (exposing the vaccine as non-homoeopathic) he actually does a lot of harm, but by lying (keeping his discovery a secret) he promotes a societal good.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:08 AM
 
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The magic feather, eh? The moral of that story is, it was fine, until the feather went missing, and of course, because the kiddies were watching, it was all saved by the mouse bawling 'You can Fly!' before they hit the deck. In real life they would have been scraped off the dirt floor and used as lion-food.

Placebos may have their place, experiments at least. But as a technique in established medicine, not as a way of justifying the promotion of unsubstantiated claims of various kinds.

I have seen only the results of one or two tests and they suggested that there might be a result, though frankly I cannot imagine what it could be, unless it is something to do with 'water remembers'.

However, that is not the same thing as accepting that it is bunkum (which may be too early to say yet) but justified by the good it does.

And the same applies to religion. The placebos are better applied on a rational-based worldview.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Mill Valley, California
275 posts, read 394,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
I agree but only so far as it supports a thought experiment. A thought experiment that while fun to engage in, has little bearing on actual reality.
That is because moral dilemma thought experiments aren't intended to address the actual reality they portray, they are only meant to address and question one's morality. Take for example, the famous trolley car dilemmas that everyone knows. They are not intended to give any insight into what people will do in the actual case a trolley car is about to kill someone, are they? Rather, they are merely meant to highlight the moral dilemma they place people in, and draw out interesting questions about human morality itself. Granted, my moral dilemma is clearly failing to do its job very well. A good moral dilemma, it seems, is not something that comes easily to me.

Quote:
An interesting way to start a paragraph that appears to agree with pretty much all I have said. So what you think you are applying the "No" to is currently opaque to me. Perhaps you misunderstand what I have said and think you are disagreeing with me, while not actually doing so much at all.
The "no" applies to your contention that this scenario could prop up homoeopathy in any significant way (I would contend the opposite to be the much more likely scenario). But you were right, I did misconstrue where your criticism applied to my example. You had understood it as I intended. My bad, Sorry.

One thing our dialogue is exposing, is the fact that this example is far too complex to be useful. It has at its core this lying-about-a-truth-about-a-mistake-in-a-community-based-on-lies convolution that I did not initially fully anticipate. I have to come up with a much cleaner example.

Quote:
.... deception is all that homeopathy is. The water and sugar pills they sell do nothing at all. Therefore when asked to prove or demonstrate the efficacy of homeopathy to the public, the purveyors of this woo flounder, lie, dodge or litigate.
That is true, but you do understand how all of that may, or may not, actually lead to a good or bad outcome? You are implying a causal element into this situation that does not exist. Deceptive and bad motives do not inextricably lead to unfavorable outcomes automatically, as you are implying. Perhaps mostly, or almost always. But there is no justification to think that the result of homeopathy necessarily HAS to be bad one

Quote:
So if you added the deception you suggest to the mix you would cause a lot of harm because now purveyors of fraud will have an example to point to and hold on to whenever their practice is called into question.
Yes, I now understand that is your contention, however, I still disagree. The success of homoeopathy has never been based upon actual demonstrations of efficacy, so how can the presence of one single efficacious drug among thousands of placebos actually ever be distinguished by homoeopathic studies that think there is already efficacy in ALL of their concoctions? Purveyors of fraud have never been limited on the number of examples at hand, upon which they regularly call upon to defend their faith. How could having a real one that they are entirely unaware of ever be noticed for such singular distinction? When a group of people, like homoeopathic consumers and purveyors, do not distinguish between 'claims of efficacy' from 'actual efficacy', and instead treat them as one in the same, there is no mechanism at work to see how your scenario of "benefit to homoeopathy" would actually unfold as you claim.

Quote:
And that was the point I was trying to make. Lying to get one group of people to accept an treatment they might not otherwise take is.... in limited time and scope..... a fun thought experiment but the reality is that the effect of this would be to lend credence to that lie (in this case homoeopathy) as a whole. And this is not a good thing.

And I am constitutionally unable to measure the benefit of something (in this case the lie) in isolation from the cost of that something. Which simply renders and engagement in this thought experiment, while fun, completely meaningless in reality.
I am guessing, despite my efforts to convince you otherwise, and given your vociferous (and appreciated!) attack upon my example, you may likely still feel very uncomfortable about agreeing with me about how this scenario would unfold if it were real. I wonder if, at the very least, I have made you wonder whether your objection is less about reasoning, and a little more to do with your own belief that deception can never lead to a good thing without consequences (especially if it is a homoeopathic scenario )?
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Mill Valley, California
275 posts, read 394,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
The magic feather, eh? The moral of that story is, it was fine, until the feather went missing, and of course, because the kiddies were watching, it was all saved by the mouse bawling 'You can Fly!' before they hit the deck. In real life they would have been scraped off the dirt floor and used as lion-food.

Placebos may have their place, experiments at least. But as a technique in established medicine, not as a way of justifying the promotion of unsubstantiated claims of various kinds.

I have seen only the results of one or two tests and they suggested that there might be a result, though frankly I cannot imagine what it could be, unless it is something to do with 'water remembers'.

However, that is not the same thing as accepting that it is bunkum (which may be too early to say yet) but justified by the good it does.

And the same applies to religion. The placebos are better applied on a rational-based worldview.
LOL -- something tells me, as a story teller, you are much more sought after around Holloween, and not so much around Christmas?
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:35 PM
 
39,395 posts, read 10,979,347 times
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I'm not sought after at all- I go around looking for an audience.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,320 posts, read 18,652,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I'm not sought after at all- I go around looking for an audience.
I think that is why a lot of us are here.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:46 PM
 
39,395 posts, read 10,979,347 times
Reputation: 5113
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:46 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,368,865 times
Reputation: 4056
Actually, I was here looking for a homoeopathic treatment for my neurological condition, but damn ... I guess I had better stick to my regular meds.
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