Does anyone else find........

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kwackers
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby kwackers » 26 Mar 2013, 10:39am

Si wrote:But unless you prove it how do you know that it is provable? And if you haven't proved it but argue that it is correct then what are you basing that argument on?

Have you been doing a philosophy course?

I'm a practical person. I spend my entire life relying on other peoples work, I'm satisfied that to all practical purposes their work is right.
I also spent some time (albeit decades ago) looking into organised religion, my conclusion based on the nature of humanity, the history of religion and the texts themselves was that they were a construct of mankind.

As far as I'm concerned it needn't get any more complex. I'm absolutely certain that should I decide to replicate the work of scientists I could. I trust the nature of science and the way it's conducted to be mostly self policing. It's no different to my mind to trusting the people who designed the building I'm currently sat in, I'm pretty confident it won't fall down (at least not without external input).

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 26 Mar 2013, 10:50am

Hi,
Ah but did you test that the building wont fall down :?: Come on, did you did you, hit it with a BIG hammer :?:
Nah you didnt did you. Go now and test your house just to be sure................ :lol:
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al_yrpal
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby al_yrpal » 26 Mar 2013, 10:52am

My view aligns with this: http://www.the-brights.net/ although they do bang on a bit about the politics of who should be included in political decisions

What is a bright?

A bright is a person who has a naturalistic worldview
A bright's worldview is free of supernatural and mystical elements
The ethics and actions of a bright are based on a naturalistic worldview

Religion is normally a superstition. When the Pope came to his window to bless the crowd, the queue on the burger van disappeared and we quickly stepped up to the counter.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...

kwackers
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby kwackers » 26 Mar 2013, 10:58am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Ah but did you test that the building wont fall down :?: Come on, did you did you, hit it with a BIG hammer :?:
Nah you didnt did you. Go now and test your house just to be sure................ :lol:

As befits a 'scientist'*, I did formalise my statement using the phrase "at least not without external input". Hitting it with a hammer would break that condition... 8)

*Or engineer...

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 26 Mar 2013, 11:12am

kwackers wrote:
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Ah but did you test that the building wont fall down :?: Come on, did you did you, hit it with a BIG hammer :?:
Nah you didnt did you. Go now and test your house just to be sure................ :lol:

As befits a 'scientist'*, I did formalise my statement using the phrase "at least not without external input". Hitting it with a hammer would break that condition... 8)
*Or engineer...

Hi,
:wink:
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JohnW
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby JohnW » 26 Mar 2013, 1:29pm

Vorpal wrote:
JohnW wrote:
meic wrote:The last thing that we need is scientists messing around with our food supplies.

There is enough food grown on the planet and could be in the individual countries on it if wanted, the problems of distribution are not scientific or even technical they are political.


OK meic - accepted and agreed - but even so, how do we stop scientists from inventing death-rays etc?

And how do we stop scientists from meddling with our food?

In support of what you say, and subsequent to my comment about scientists inventing ways of making poor people dependant upon the inventions of the rich - there are those in Ameruica who see "Elsanta" as the devil incarnate......... (I think Elsanta is the correct name - anyone know better?) That's the company who produce GM seeds which supposedly produce a bigger yield, but don't produce fertile seed, so that the the affected farmers, once they've started with the GM crops, have to buy further seed from Elsanta (or whatever the correct name is), and are therefore dependant upon them, and the pollenating insects can't find foood, so they die and the farmers have to buy the seed from Elsanta......................an American business of course...........


I think you mean Monsanto? They're in the UK, too. And plenty of crops are like that these days, not just GM ones, but also some that are bred by more conventional means. They are bred to produce by size, appearance, or storage longevity. Farmers do not in most inductrialised nations save seed for subsequent years anyway. They buy it each year.

The biggest problem with agriculture and food distribution in the USA arise from monoculture (growing corn and soybeans, and not much else), rather then GM crops. GM crops have just made monoculture easier to justify. I think it would surprise most people the extent to which it has permeated British foods.

There are a couple of books about it (from an American perspective). I really enjoyed reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Omnivore's_Dilemma

Read the Omnivore's Dilemna, and then read some labels on your food.

It's enough to make one religious ;)


Yes - you're right vorpal - forgive my ignorance - it is Monsanto.

I have a friend in Ohio - he seems to know what's going on, and he and his peers are less benevolently disposed to them - and what they're doing - and their reason for doing it, than I am. My personal interpretation is that Monsanto are not doing it to feed the world,and that the benefits they're seeking are nearer to their own bank accounts that to children starving to death in Africa. But that's scientists.

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Si
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby Si » 26 Mar 2013, 1:37pm

kwackers wrote:
Si wrote:But unless you prove it how do you know that it is provable? And if you haven't proved it but argue that it is correct then what are you basing that argument on?

Have you been doing a philosophy course?

I'm a practical person. I spend my entire life relying on other peoples work, I'm satisfied that to all practical purposes their work is right.

So you have faith in their work but no actual proof.

I also spent some time (albeit decades ago) looking into organised religion, my conclusion based on the nature of humanity, the history of religion and the texts themselves was that they were a construct of mankind.

Fair enough - no argument from me there.

As far as I'm concerned it needn't get any more complex. I'm absolutely certain that should I decide to replicate the work of scientists I could. I trust the nature of science and the way it's conducted to be mostly self policing. It's no different to my mind to trusting the people who designed the building I'm currently sat in, I'm pretty confident it won't fall down (at least not without external input).


There you go then: "trust", similar to "faith".
As I've said, it's nothing to do with whether or not the building will fall down, it is how you have come to the conclusion that it won't.

As to replicating the work of scientists - you certainly could replicate some work of some scientists...but I doubt that you could replicate all the work of all scientists that is needed to prove many specific conclusions - you simply wouldn't have the time or resources. Thus again you have to rely on what others have told you for some of it.

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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby reohn2 » 26 Mar 2013, 1:46pm

JohnW wrote: ...................But that's scientists.

No,that's capitalists!
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kwackers
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby kwackers » 26 Mar 2013, 1:59pm

Si wrote:As to replicating the work of scientists - you certainly could replicate some work of some scientists...but I doubt that you could replicate all the work of all scientists that is needed to prove many specific conclusions - you simply wouldn't have the time or resources. Thus again you have to rely on what others have told you for some of it.

You seem to be trying to make a point of something that to my mind isn't...

Whilst I personally have neither the time nor inclination I do know that the majority of scientific research has been done multiple times and it's conclusions studied by very many people. Even in cases where I don't have the ability or cash to replicate experiments I know enough to look at (say) the LHC and understand the basic principles and thus what the data it collects represents and as such am satisfied that the basics of the experiments they're performing are valid within the parameters they specify.
The idea that all this is 'faith' is to my mind a technicality of language, the very fact it can be tested and proven (and often is) moves it from faith to fact - in all but the most tenuous play on words.

In contrast religious texts spend all their time being analysed in order to fudge their meanings as their age works against them and the social constructs they're based on fall apart.
However, if what the religion says can be tested and used to prove the existence of God then I'll accept that it exists on a level playing field with science.
Probably at that point I'll become a believer, although whether I'd trust a guy who gets off on having bacteria spend all their time telling him how great he is under threat of eternal damnation well that I'm less sure of...

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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby JohnW » 26 Mar 2013, 2:51pm

reohn2 wrote:
JohnW wrote: ...................But that's scientists.

No,that's capitalists!


Yes r2, but the scientists know who their masters and paymasters are - I don't see science as being a branch of philanthropy, nor scientists as philanthropists. If they were, would they be so intent on inventing and refining weaponry? - for which (and I say this in support of your proposition) they earn their twenty pieces of silver.

kwackers
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby kwackers » 26 Mar 2013, 3:29pm

JohnW wrote:Yes r2, but the scientists know who their masters and paymasters are - I don't see science as being a branch of philanthropy, nor scientists as philanthropists. If they were, would they be so intent on inventing and refining weaponry? - for which (and I say this in support of your proposition) they earn their twenty pieces of silver.

It's a minor point and I'm prepared to be wrong - but aren't most of the guys 'inventing' and refining weaponry engineers rather than scientists?

Regardless, scientists (and engineers) suffer from the same problems as everyone else in that they're human. Some will be philanthropists and some no doubt are kiddie fiddlers (even some that are probably involved in cancer research).
Humans are many sided and I think we all have the ability to be both 'good' and 'evil'. Can't say I've ever seen any evidence that religion or science makes someone better or worse than anyone else.

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Si
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby Si » 26 Mar 2013, 3:42pm

kwackers wrote:The idea that all this is 'faith' is to my mind a technicality of language, the very fact it can be tested and proven (and often is) moves it from faith to fact - in all but the most tenuous play on words.


Not at all - either you know some thing to be true because you have explicit proof of it, or you believe it to be true because you have a number of indicators but no explicit proof. the latter would involve faith in those indicators being true.

kwackers wrote:However, if what the religion says can be tested and used to prove the existence of God then I'll accept that it exists on a level playing field with science.


Again you are using chalk to test cheese. Religion can be proven to be true when one uses religious criteria: science is biased towards scientific criteria and religion is biased toward religious criteria.....choose the one to test the other and you get difficulties. You've chosen scientific criteria so it is little wonder that you find a better answer in science, but you should not expect to convince someone, who has chosen an alternative criteria with which to judge the world, that you are right because the thing is, you are both right within your own interpretation of the world.

Of course, the existence of god can be tested by anyone, however it seems a bit tricky to publish the results afterwards.

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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby kwackers » 26 Mar 2013, 3:53pm

Si wrote:Not at all - either you know some thing to be true because you have explicit proof of it, or you believe it to be true because you have a number of indicators but no explicit proof. the latter would involve faith in those indicators being true.

I think your argument is just a play on words.
We can take it (your argument) to it's logical conclusion and demonstrate that nothing can be proven. Ultimately you're dependent on your senses which form a very biased view of the world and by no means one that's correct...

IMO we're so far from sensible discussion there's probably little point other than as a philosophical exercise.

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Si
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby Si » 26 Mar 2013, 4:12pm

kwackers wrote:
Si wrote:Not at all - either you know some thing to be true because you have explicit proof of it, or you believe it to be true because you have a number of indicators but no explicit proof. the latter would involve faith in those indicators being true.

I think your argument is just a play on words.
We can take it (your argument) to it's logical conclusion and demonstrate that nothing can be proven. Ultimately you're dependent on your senses which form a very biased view of the world and by no means one that's correct...

By Jove I think that he's (almost) got it. :lol:
But it's not just your senses - people do not, for instance, see what they view. You get all of these light particles happily entering through your eyes, about to make their way to your brain when they are ambushed by your habitus and context...then it all starts to get screwed up.

kwackers wrote:IMO we're so far from sensible discussion there's probably little point other than as a philosophical exercise.

If you really want to understand the world (isn't that the point of science?) then then it's far from pointless. For a start it allows you to understand why positivism often fails, why there is a difference between the physical world and the scientific study of it, and ultimately why science so often fails. You say that when done properly science is a pure, unbiased subject, but in my view what you are talking about is an abstracted theoretical ideal that can never be truly achieved because science can not be uncoupled from the social. I do not deny, however, that luckily most of the failings within science seem so small as not to make a large noticeable impact. However science's inability to talk to religion is one where people are often hurt by the failings.

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meic
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby meic » 26 Mar 2013, 4:14pm

I dont accept that faith and believing the validity of results is the same thing.

Faith requires you to be constant and unquestioning. Even the slightest new result should change a scientist's beliefs because there is new, different evidence available.

Now we do have some scientists with that sort of faith and they are a bit of a problem. Rather like there have been some rogue priests in the Catholic church.

I guess a good example would be global warming, we all "know" that it is man-made but we cant prove it. If however some body could prove that it wasnt then we would have to change our minds. I dont think that it goes as far as faith on this issue but it would have to be very convincing proof to turn the tide of popular opinion.
So scientists on the whole are still correctly saying that nothing is proven but the cap fits. Which is more intuitive than scientific. Unfortunately we dont have two identical worlds to run tests on.
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