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Old 03-17-2010, 08:44 AM
 
Location: An absurd world.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
That's irrelevant. The revelation itself is objective.
So the people in the mental institutions who say aliens landed in their heads and told them to do things are just having "revelations"?

If you say yes, then you admit that "revelations" are likely just hallucinations and/or delusions.

If you say no, then you make your hypocrisy clear because you'll only apply it to issues outside of religion.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:45 AM
 
702 posts, read 811,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Frankly, if examined in detail and in front of an adjudicated audience, you'd lose on this one, Jremy. To date, despite your vaunted "revelations", there are several facts available to all open minds.

1) "Revelations" are usually tainted by a pre-disposition to interpretation of the results.
So is scientific evidence.

Quote:
2) The evidence for God, by rational, verifiable standards, are either weak (I'm being generous) or non-existent, under the cold hard light of seeing Unamibiguous, Incontrovertible Proof.
The problem with this is that, like others, you ascribe to science an infallibility that it simply does not have. Science is useful, but not infallible. Evidence is subject to human interpretation and biases.

Quote:
3) Science's conclusions require a very high standard of reproduceability, are almost always conservative in their finality, and remain open to later improvement or even fevision. But regardless, they are not opinion, and are certainly not based on some potentially biased "ultimate authority".
I disagree on that last point. Nobody is free from bias, and nobody can avoid the charge of relying on an ultimate authority. In science, observation itself is the ultimate authority. Or, if you find that disagreeable, perhaps it's better to say that in science evidence is the ultimate authority. Either way, the scientist has to begin somewhere, at some unprovable foundation. Since it's unprovable, it is considered an authority because one wants to, hence bias.

Quote:
Unlike Christianity.
On the contrary, it's more like Christianity than you realize, based on what I said above.

Quote:
Wrong conclusion. True, intellectually honest "Objectivity" at least leads to possible truth, or, equally, to the understanding that we don't quite yet understand "it" all (like the origins of the Universe, for a quick and easy example...).

Objectivity, managed by a set of accepted working standards (we call those "The Scientific Method"), and followed by intense peer-review and publication, leads to the best possible conclusions. That does not outlaw bias, dishonesty or incorrect conclusions within science, it just minimizes them.
Fair enough, but in the end the biases are there and nobody can escape them. My point is not to argue the degree to which bias occurs but rather to argue that many atheists enter discussions like this one believing the myth that they are completely neutral. "Just show me, and I'll believe it." One person here even went so far as to say, or at least strongly imply, that objective evidence cannot be denied. Saying things like that is hopelessly naive.

Quote:
Of course, Christianity has absolutely no such requirements nor internal review process,
True enough, because it is not science. But like science, it has a starting point, an unprovable foundation. If you disagree, please show me how science does not proceed from an unprovable foundation.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:46 AM
 
702 posts, read 811,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haaziq View Post
So the people in the mental institutions who say aliens landed in their heads and told them to do things are just having "revelations"?
I was talking about general and special revelation, the former being creation and the latter being the objective text of the Bible. Both are objective.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:53 AM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,568,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
Sure it does. Faith is not the result of neutrality. Faith sees the evidence and wants to acknowledge it. Likewise, the atheist's rejection of God is not the result of neutrality.
I did not claim that faith was the result of neutrality. I didn't not deny that faith "sees evidence and wants to acknowledge it." I didn't say one way or the other whether the athesit rejection of God is the result of neutrality. None of that is relevant.

That is an arguments you are having with yourself. Every bit of that could be true, and it would not change the definition of faith. In other words, the causes and effects of faith never came up, (except by you.) I was only discussing the distinction between faith and rationality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
No, that is not what faith is. Again, you proceed from an erroneous understanding. Faith is not blind. There is an element of the unseen to it. We don't hope for what we see; we hope for what we don't see. That, however, does not necessarily mean that it is blind and proceeds without anything observable.
I never said there was nothing observable. Nor did I ever say that all faith was blind faith. So why do you mention it?

I only pointed out the distinction between faith and rationality, and that hinges on your perception of the statistical probability.

Does it take faith to believe the sun is in the sky, when you look up and see the sun there? Why or why not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
Okay, what about my other questions? Is statistics infallible? If not, why is it relied upon?
I'm not sure I understand your question. Are "statistics infallible"? If you mean "can we come to the wrong conclusion with statistics," for a number of reasons, the answer is certainly.

And assuming I understand the second part of your question, they are relied because it makes sense to do so.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:00 AM
 
702 posts, read 811,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I'm not sure I understand your question. Are "statistics infallible"? If you mean "can we come to the wrong conclusion with statistics," for a number of reasons, the answer is certainly.

And assuming I understand the second part of your question, they are relied because it makes sense to do so.
So, what you're describing is the adherence to a fallible authority in spite of one's knowledge that it is fallible, simply because "it makes sense to do so." But how can it make sense to rely upon it if it is fallible?
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Not.here
2,828 posts, read 3,441,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
That's a good example, and thank you for sharing that. First of all, I would question whether all biologists agree about evolution. Are you sure about that? Second, the very fact that the process through which it occurs is under debate merely shows that the scientists who so debate are not free from their humanness. They are subject not only to their own limitations of knowledge but also to their own biases.

In terms of significance, evolution is accepted by the significant majority of biologists.

The beauty of science is that its conclusions are never closed, never considered 'absolute.' If new evidence to the contrary surfaces about anything, it can be presented and openly evaluated. Who would want to be using medicines to treat today's illnesses that were used a hundred years ago or even a few years ago just because they were in use then? I think that the reasons there are questions on the table concerning the processes used in evolution is because satisfactory answers have not yet surfaced that most can agree on. Science is a work in progress; religion is based on the writings of the past.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:17 AM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,568,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
So, what you're describing is the adherence to a fallible authority in spite of one's knowledge that it is fallible, simply because "it makes sense to do so." But how can it make sense to rely upon it if it is fallible?

Because it is more likely to be right than wrong, even if it is fallible.


By the way Jremy, you never answered my question:

Does it take faith to believe the sun is in the sky, when you look up and see the sun there? Why or why not?
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:19 AM
 
702 posts, read 811,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nezlie View Post
In terms of significance, evolution is accepted by the significant majority of biologists.

The beauty of science is that its conclusions are never closed, never considered 'absolute.' If new evidence to the contrary surfaces about anything, it can be presented and openly evaluated. Who would want to be using medicines to treat today's illnesses that were used a hundred years ago or even a few years ago just because they were in use then? I think that the reasons there are questions on the table concerning the processes used in evolution is because satisfactory answers have not yet surfaced that most can agree on. Science is a work in progress; religion is based on the writings of the past.
I'm glad you see that science is a "work in progress." I agree. It also needs to be pointed out that science is grounded upon unprovable foundations, just as religion is. If it is grounded on empiricism, then empiricism is its ultimate authority, which it does not question. That means it is no surer a foundation than the Bible, at least from the atheist's vantage point, since both are presupposed.

I've found in threads like this one that the real problem is that the atheist seems most unwilling to admit this. There may be some exceptions to this, but generally that is the problem that plagues the atheist.

Also, I would add to your statement, "Religion is based on the writings of the past." That's true, but it's not only based on that. Belief in God is also based on natural revelation--creation--which is ongoing. In fact, even "the writings of the past"--i.e., the Bible--are ongoing in that God is still speaking through those Scriptures even today.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:22 AM
 
702 posts, read 811,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Because it is more likely to be right than wrong, even if it is fallible.
Perhaps, but even so there is still a degree of error possible with it, and that was really my only point.


Quote:
By the way Jremy, you never answered my question:

Does it take faith to believe the sun is in the sky, when you look up and see the sun there? Why or why not?
Sorry, I didn't see that question.The answer is: No. But it does take faith to understand that the Sun was created by God.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,061,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
So is scientific evidence. (i.e.: disposed to bias)

Wrong. You're obviously neither a person educated in, or exposed to, the rigors of science Not saying it's perfect, but as a fundtioning, responsible scientist, you can't just throw your biases out there. f you do, there's a starving-shark feeding frenzy response. And BTW, contrary to popular anti-science education biases, you don't get Bachelor's, Master's or PhD science degrees out of cereal boxes. (Watch now, folks, for the predictable educational jealousy response.).


The problem with this is that, like others, you ascribe to science an infallibility that it simply does not have. Science is useful, but not infallible. Evidence is subject to human interpretation and biases.

Never said it was infallible. Don't put words in my mouth please! Especially when you're so far off base! Where did I say "science is infallible"?? I actually said it makes mistakes, but unlike religion, which has NO standards for presenting evidence, science is highly self-regulating. Who, exactly, discovered the Piltdown Man or room-temperature fusion fakeries? Why, hello... it was the scientific community itself. How often does the Church rat-fink on it's own? I can't recall a single instance. Ever. Talk about delusions of grandieur.

You need to read up on the concept of hypothesis, which is always clerly stated in every research study. Also, on the realities and logic of deductive reasoning. A far more common bias is in the absolute, proven hatred of those conclusions by those with a particular dogmo-axe to grind. The church often comes to mind, and has been shown up in the past too many times to be counted, in their denialism of conclusions. Like, for instance, that the Earth is round.

"NO! Off with his head!"

I disagree on that last point.

You disagree with this?:


Science's conclusions require a very high standard of reproduceability, are almost always conservative in their finality, and remain open to later improvement or even revision. But regardless, they are not opinion, and are certainly not based on some potentially biased "ultimate authority".

How, specifically, do you disagree?

Nobody is free from bias, and nobody can avoid the charge of relying on an ultimate authority. In science, observation itself is the ultimate authority. Or, if you find that disagreeable, perhaps it's better to say that in science evidence is the ultimate authority. Either way, the scientist has to begin somewhere, at some unprovable foundation. Since it's unprovable, it is considered an authority because one wants to, hence bias.

You haven't been involved in actual scientific research ,have you? It's not that simple.
We often (usually, actually...) begin from a position of not knowing, but we present one or more hypotheses 9 such as A=B, or A = C), and include the infamous "null hypothesis", which states, that perhaps A≠B, or A≠C, or that, worst case, C=B, oh no!).

On the contrary, it's more like Christianity than you realize, based on what I said above.

Having been a Christian, I can perhaps look dispassionately at this issue from both sides. By your commentary, I'm thinking you've not been in a practicing scientist's position or shoes, nor have you designed too many research projects, specifically dialing out the obvious, and even the less-obvious, biases. We always want to avoid the later ridicule that a bad design would generate, after all. Christians who make all-encompassing statements have no such fear; their bretheren will always support them.

Fair enough, but in the end the biases are there and nobody can escape them. My point is not to argue the degree to which bias occurs but rather to argue that many atheists enter discussions like this one believing the myth that they are completely neutral. "Just show me, and I'll believe it." One person here even went so far as to say, or at least strongly imply, that objective evidence cannot be denied. Saying things like that is hopelessly naive.

True, but there are obvious degrees of objectivity, and in it's correct definition and utility, it is a process infused with honest interpretation.
Truly objective evidence is hard to deny, BTW. You just assume that most or all of it is tainted, esp. if it counters faith or religion. And again, any conclusion in science is immediately open to review, reproduction and re-interpretation. Try that within the Church and, as previously noted, it's "Off with his head!"

True enough, because it is not science. But like science, it has a starting point, an unprovable foundation. If you disagree, please show me how science does not proceed from an unprovable foundation.
Simple, and demonstrable every day. We regularly observe some unknown phenomenon and we speculate, usually within the bounds of some rationality: "Why did that bright light in the sky appear over Colorado?"

It could be:

1) a solar flare

2) an atmospheric condition

3) a meteorite, comet or exploding space vehicle

4) or?

Then we design the necessary means to evaluate each one, in ways that eliminate odd-ball conclusions. For example, if we find out that no astronomical observatories recorded any unusal events at that particular time, but that The Russian Space Agency quietly noted they'd lost one of their manned space vehicles at exactly the same time and location, we would then, reasonably, conclude:

1) it was probably the source of the explosion, or:

2) it may still have been something else (if there were any nagging remnant problems with our initial conclusions), or:

3) it was the hand of God, telling us to go to church this weekend (have faith, my son!)!

But regardless, the original study design was not in any way biased. It presented no built-in biases, and was entirely objective. Too bad you have that pre-determination about science's process.

BTW, it also seems that the conclusions of science are generally accepted, even by the religious community, unless they specifically challenge faith-based pre-determined conclusions that decades of "education" by the church have ingrained., Such as, again, Genesis, Evolution, etc.


You tend to widely dismiss science's purity and objectivity. Not unusual within the faith-based community, to be sure. It's part of the dogma, because objectivity tends to demote Christian dogma so thoroughly.

I do not dismiss science; but then, I'm a practicing scientist and engineer, with literally decades of research design, rigorous controversy and internal dispute about conclusions under my belt. In the end though, that process does result in a pretty reliable system, as witness by all the undeniable "progress" easily visible around us.
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