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Author Topic:   Probability of the existence of God
iano
Member (Idle past 200 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 136 of 219 (465996)
05-12-2008 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 135 by Straggler
05-11-2008 2:40 PM


Re: Reality Bites
Given that the concept of non-empirical "evidence" is so inherently fundamental to almost every argument I have ever seen you put forwards at EvC and given that it is so key to what would seem to be your whole world view - I am surprised that you are so reticent and un-forthcoming when it comes to exploring this in detail?

The reason for my reticence is the same as it has always been and has been often stated as being, to whit; I have no interest and can see no purpose in getting into the detail.

My purpose is to deal with a particular accusation ("belief in God is a result of evidential-less faith"). The goal is not to 'win' a debate against that notion - merely to stalemate it. To kick it into touch. To render it not-at-all-necessarily-the-case.

..simple example of what constitutes non-empirical evidence is all that is being requested? Is that such a difficult question?

... I've given you an excellent one which you prefer to duck away from. You don't seem to want to address it head on - supposing that pixies and Zeus and Thor will do your work for you.

Accepting that non-empirical evidence is a common as the day is long might cause you to pause should ever you find yourself on the point of supposing someones belief in God to be of the blind, Dawkinsian type.

:)

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by Straggler, posted 05-11-2008 2:40 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by Stile, posted 05-12-2008 10:38 AM iano has not yet responded
 Message 138 by Straggler, posted 05-12-2008 11:01 AM iano has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3846
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 137 of 219 (465999)
05-12-2008 10:38 AM
Reply to: Message 136 by iano
05-12-2008 9:45 AM


Evidence supports something, what is your something?
inao writes:

The goal is not to 'win' a debate against that notion - merely to stalemate it. To kick it into touch. To render it not-at-all-necessarily-the-case.

That may be a grand goal. But you have yet to accomplish it. You havn't even gotten started.

Straggler is attempting to find out what your position is. And you have yet to respond. You are the one hiding from questions.

Straggler is talking about evidence. Like in a murder case. Evidence would be GSR (Gun Shot Residue). The GSR on someone's clothing would be evidence that they had shot a gun recently, or been in close proximity to a gun that had been fired. If the GSR is centered around their hand, it is a clear indication that they actually fired a hand-gun.

You're walking into this murder case, and when asked to show your evidence you've placed some masking tape on the table. Everyone is looking at your evidence and wondering what it has to do with the topic at hand. What specific position does your evidence support? What is the one-and-only scenario that your evidence demonstrates? We can't even tell if your masking tape is meant to clear the murderer or implicate him. Straggler is attempting to ask you these question, and you insist on remaining quiet and simply pointing at your masking tape on the table. As if it somehow speaks for itself. And now you have the arrogance to state that your masking tape sitting alone on a table with no explanation is on-par with GSR and it's obvious implications in a murder case?

No one is attempting to disprove your evidence, because you've yet to state what your evidence even supports. You've just gone "here it is!" And everyone is asking you "what does this mean or even imply? How does this indicate anything?" Then you simply stare back with a blank face and declare yourself an equivalent.

Your "excellent" example is the fact that your wife has had a great impact on your life.
What is this evidence for? What does this evidence suggest?
Is this evidence that suggests your wife exists?
Is this evidence that suggests your wife does not exist?
Is this evidence that suggests your wife loves you? (In order for her to do this, she'd have to exist...)
Is this evidence that suggests you live with your wife? (In order for you to do this, she'd have to exist...)
Is this evidence that you have a vivid imagination?
Is this evidence that you own a car?
Is this evidence that planets orbit stars?

What is this evidence of, and how does it support that position?

Without being able to answer that question, your example (as Straggler nicely puts it) "renders the term 'evidence' as completely unwarranted in this context."

You have suggested this:

iano writes:

I'm posing it as demonstration of the fact that evidence need not be empirical in order to be evidence.

However, you have yet to demonstrate how your wife having a great impact on your life supports or demonstrates anything in and of itself.
If your evidence does not support or demonstrate anything in and of itself it then "renders the term 'evidence' as completely unwarranted in this context."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by iano, posted 05-12-2008 9:45 AM iano has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 212 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-07-2014 10:34 AM Stile has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 138 of 219 (466001)
05-12-2008 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 136 by iano
05-12-2008 9:45 AM


Re: Reality Bites
The reason for my reticence is the same as it has always been and has been often stated as being, to whit; I have no interest and can see no purpose in getting into the detail.

Well given that the detail exposes your whole position as complete bullshit this is hardly surprising.

My purpose is to deal with a particular accusation ("belief in God is a result of evidential-less faith"). The goal is not to 'win' a debate against that notion - merely to stalemate it. To kick it into touch. To render it not-at-all-necessarily-the-case.

In that case you have failed dismally.

If the same form(s) of "evidence" that are used by you to justify your evidence-less faith in God can also be used to justify evidence-less faith in pixies, unicorns, Thor or the Tooth Fairy then I think we can agree that they are a pretty piss poor standard on which to make any conclusions at all.
So poor that the intentionally misleading mis-use of the term "evidence" in this context is quite obviously nothing more than an ill conceived debating tactic used by you in an attempt to elevate your faith based beliefs to the same status as empirically tested knowledge.

The hilarious thing is that you don't even seem to dispute the fact that non-empirical "evidence" can equally be applied to demonstrate the existence of the Easter Bunny as it can your God. Yet you continue to insist that non-empirical "evidence" is somehow a concept which we should take seriously when you selectively apply it to your belief in God.
Despite disagreeing with you I had at least always thought that you genuinely believed your own argument. Now I am not convinced even of this. I don’t see how even you are capable of giving credence to this self evident nonsense.

... I've given you an excellent one which you prefer to duck away from. You don't seem to want to address it head on - supposing that pixies and Zeus and Thor will do your work for you.

Yet more evasion on your part (and for the record Zeus, Thor et al do seem to have helped to expose your argument for what it is)

I have yet to witness you explicitly describe any form(s) of non-empirical evidence despite this line of argument being the entire foundation of your position in nearly every thread you take part in.
So – How about rising to that challenge and stating a specific example of what you would consider to be non-empirical evidence for the existence of a given entity?
Then we can apply this form of evidence to various other entities and see what results we get.

Accepting that non-empirical evidence is a common as the day is long might cause you to pause should ever you find yourself on the point of supposing someones belief in God to be of the blind, Dawkinsian type.

Realising that the acceptance of non-empirical "evidence" necessarily requires us all to accept that there is “evidence” for the existence of the tooth fairy should cause you to question exactly what it is you claim to accept as evidence and to consider whether or not this is consistent with that which you actually accept as evidence in practical terms outside and away from the narrow confines of your religious beliefs.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by iano, posted 05-12-2008 9:45 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by iano, posted 05-13-2008 7:36 AM Straggler has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 200 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 139 of 219 (466127)
05-13-2008 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 138 by Straggler
05-12-2008 11:01 AM


Re: Reality Bites
Well given that the detail exposes your whole position as complete bullshit this is hardly surprising.

The detail isn't given so the proper position to take is no position yet.

-

If the same form(s) of "evidence" that are used by you to justify your evidence-less faith in God can also be used to justify evidence-less faith in pixies, unicorns, Thor or the Tooth Fairy then I think we can agree that they are a pretty piss poor standard on which to make any conclusions at all.

The same form of evidence which leads me to conclude as I do about my wife-to-be could lead me to conclude the same kind of thing in the case of fairies and unicorns. But I possess none of that same form of evidence regarding them so don't conclude anything about them.

Are you suggesting I shouldn't conclude what I conclude about my wife-to-be simply because the evidence which supports that conclusion isn't empirical? You're taking philosophical empiricism to extraordinary lengths Straggler ... and laying unwarranted claim to the word "evidence".

I have yet to witness you explicitly describe any form(s) of non-empirical evidence despite this line of argument being the entire foundation of your position in nearly every thread you take part in.

As pointed out, my purpose doesn't involve anything other than neutralising the philosophical empiricists position. There is no need to describe anything (and how one would begin to describe the quality red to a blind person is beyond me - if I may draw that parallel). It is sufficient to argue that not all evidence need be empirical in order that it be evidence.

Realising that the acceptance of non-empirical "evidence" necessarily requires us all to accept that there is “evidence” for the existence of the tooth fairy

I'm not asking you accept non-empirical evidence for God. I'm not even asking you to accept non-empirical evidence for the conclusion I draw regarding my wife-to-be.

I'm asking you to accept that the principle that non-empirical evidence exists. Having done so you might remain silent in the face of me saying I have evidence that God exists. You certainly shouldn't suppose that this necessitates your believing God exists, or that tooth fairies exist.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by Straggler, posted 05-12-2008 11:01 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by Straggler, posted 05-13-2008 12:13 PM iano has not yet responded
 Message 143 by Straggler, posted 05-13-2008 2:15 PM iano has not yet responded
 Message 144 by Stile, posted 05-14-2008 10:54 AM iano has responded
 Message 145 by Straggler, posted 05-14-2008 7:37 PM iano has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 140 of 219 (466184)
05-13-2008 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by iano
05-13-2008 7:36 AM


Re: Reality Bites
I'm not asking you accept non-empirical evidence for God. I'm not even asking you to accept non-empirical evidence for the conclusion I draw regarding my wife-to-be.

I'm asking you to accept that the principle that non-empirical evidence exists. Having done so you might remain silent in the face of me saying I have evidence that God exists. You certainly shouldn't suppose that this necessitates your believing God exists, or that tooth fairies exist

I utterly deny that non-empirical evidence exists. In principle or otherwise.

Iano nobody, not even you, relies on non-empirical "evidence" for knowledge of anything. Ever. There is no such thing as non-empirical evidence. No matter how strongly you assert, or even genuinely believe, the opposite to be true.
I will be delighted to explain my reasoning and demonstrate this to you (and anybody else folliwng this) in great depth and detail when I have some more time later this week. You obviously hold this concept dearly so I want to be very very clear and very very thorough in my refutation. Hopefully we can finally lay this ridiculous misapprehension of yours to rest.

In the meantime, so as to avoid talking at cross purposes and the potential accusation that my refutation is any sort of strawman, could you please just give us an example of the form(s) of non-empirical evidence that you believe to be the basis of your (and apparently everybody elses) knowledge?

A simple example of a specific form of non-empirical evidence and the knowledge that is concluded as a result of this "evidence" is all that is being requested.

If the use of non-empirical evidence in our everyday lives is so obvious and prevalent why is this so difficult for you to do?

More later.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by iano, posted 05-13-2008 7:36 AM iano has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by ICANT, posted 05-13-2008 1:16 PM Straggler has responded

  
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6188
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 141 of 219 (466191)
05-13-2008 1:16 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by Straggler
05-13-2008 12:13 PM


Re: Reality Bites
Straggler writes:

A simple example of a specific form of non-empirical evidence and the knowledge that is concluded as a result of this "evidence" is all that is being requested.

T=0

Universe

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by Straggler, posted 05-13-2008 12:13 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by Straggler, posted 05-13-2008 2:12 PM ICANT has not yet responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 142 of 219 (466198)
05-13-2008 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by ICANT
05-13-2008 1:16 PM


Go Away
ICANT why don't you take your own ill understood brand of nonsense back to the cosmology forums where it (sort of) belongs.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by ICANT, posted 05-13-2008 1:16 PM ICANT has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 143 of 219 (466199)
05-13-2008 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by iano
05-13-2008 7:36 AM


Non-Empirical Nonsense
Imagine the scenario -

Policeman: I am sorry sir but we have had to close the case relating to the breaking, entering and burglary of your home due to insufficient evidence.

Iano: What? But the suspect is a well known local villain with a ream of previous convictions who was discovered in the house with a bag of tools that have been forensically matched to those used to enter the house. Not only that his fingerprints are everywhere and he was carrying a full bag of my most treasured and valuable belongings at the point of being apprehended.

Policeman: I appreciate all of that sir. I really do. The problem is that the equally valid non-empirical evidence we have obtained suggests that the accused is in fact not the guilty culprit. In fact the non-empirical evidence places the accused firmly away from the scene of the crime and does in fact strongly suggest that an immaterial entity may well have been responsible for the actions taken against you and your property.

Iano: Ah I see. Well if the non-empirical evidence suggests that then of course we must take that into account. Fair enough. Thank-you for your time officer. Goodbye.

Back later with the serious analysis as promised.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by iano, posted 05-13-2008 7:36 AM iano has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3846
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 144 of 219 (466300)
05-14-2008 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 139 by iano
05-13-2008 7:36 AM


Claims are not evidence
It is sufficient to argue that not all evidence need be empirical in order that it be evidence.

...

I'm asking you to accept that the principle that non-empirical evidence exists.

The reason why you are not attaining your stalemate position is because you are not doing what you say you need to do.

You have not shown how non-empirical evidence can be considered evidence. So far, you have simply provided a non-empirical claim that your wife has had a great impact on your life. No one has a problem with the existence of non-empirical claims. I am only arguring that this claim isn't evidence.

Evidence supports something.
Evidence shows something.
Evidence demonstrates something.

You've provided "your wife has a great impact on your life" as an example of your 'non-empirical evidence'.

What does this support?
What does this show?
What does this demonstrate?

Until it supports something it is not evidence, it is simply information.

Right now, "your wife has a great impact on your life" is not evidence of any kind. Perhaps you can enlighten us as to how it is? This is what's being asked of you. Without this, you do not achieve your goal of stalemate since you have not provided any evidence at all.

Stile in Message 137 writes:

Like in a murder case. Evidence would be GSR (Gun Shot Residue). The GSR on someone's clothing would be evidence that they had shot a gun recently, or been in close proximity to a gun that had been fired. If the GSR is centered around their hand, it is a clear indication that they actually fired a hand-gun.

You're walking into this murder case, and when asked to show your evidence you've placed some masking tape on the table. Everyone is looking at your evidence and wondering what it has to do with the topic at hand. What specific position does your evidence support? What is the one-and-only scenario that your evidence demonstrates? We can't even tell if your masking tape is meant to clear the murderer or implicate him. Straggler is attempting to ask you these questions, and you insist on remaining quiet and simply pointing at your masking tape on the table. As if it somehow speaks for itself.

Message 137

Like the masking tape on the table, the information that your wife has a great impact on your life is not evidence until you can show how it supports something and cannot be misconstrued.

GSR is evidence. It shows that person has been in the vicinity of a gun that was recently fired.
It does not show that a person killed another person, but can be used along with other evidence to support that position.

The masking tape alone is not evidence. It shows nothing. It explains nothing. It cannot be used to support any position.
The masking tape may be the murder weapon. It may not.
Maybe the murderer restrained his victim with masking tape. Maybe not.
Without being able to show how this masking tape is definitively involved in the murder case, it is not evidence.

Your wife having a great impact on your life alone is not evidence. It shows nothing. It explains nothing. It cannot be used to support any position.
Maybe the impact comes from your actual wife. Maybe it doesn't.
Maybe the impact is very great because your wife is a very loving person. Maybe it's just your imagination.
Without being able to show how your wife's great impact on your life is definitively involved in something, it is not evidence.

The additional problem is that the masking tape is an empirical thing, it at least has the possibility of showing definitively how it was involved in the murder case. Maybe there are fingerprints on the masking tape and DNA and teeth marks from the victim which would further support the position of the masking tape being used to strangle the victim.

The great impact on your life from your wife does not have this luxury. Maybe it's from your wife. Maybe it's from your imagination. Maybe it's actually from your neighbour or dog. We cannot definitively show how your perception of a great impact on your life by your wife is from your actual wife, or even if it's actually 'great'.

...but that's just the way I see it. Perhaps you know of a way where we can definitively show that this non-empirical claim supports something. That's why I'm asking you to provide this. If you can, then your stalemate position comes within reach. If you cannot, then your stalemate position remains unattainable.

Perhaps we could do scans of your brain and eventually identify something that's only from your actual wife. I don't think this is possible, but even if it was, this would only turn your non-empirical claim into empirical evidence. Again though, just because I can't think of a way doesn't mean there isn't one. If you know of one, please describe it.

You do not have to stick with the example you gave previously, feel free to choose any other information that you think is non-empirical evidence. Just don't forget to include what it shows, what it explains, and how it's definitively used to support a position.

Currently, your desired position of stalemate is not attainable with what you've provided. You have not provided any evidence. You have not provided 'non-empirical' evidence. You have provided information. You have provided a non-empirical claim.

Edited by Stile, : Formatting


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by iano, posted 05-13-2008 7:36 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 161 by iano, posted 09-22-2008 5:38 AM Stile has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 145 of 219 (466367)
05-14-2008 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by iano
05-13-2008 7:36 AM


Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
THE STORY SO FAR....
Before continuing it is worth re-iterating the main conclusion of the discussion so far. Namely that a form of evidence that can be used to support claims for everything and anything is effectively evidence for nothing at all. Evidence is the means by which we divide truth from untruth and accuracy from errancy. If the false is as equally well supported by a given form of evidence as is the truth then the term evidence is obviously unwarranted and blatantly being misused. Non-empirical evidence fits this bill in every sense imaginable. Non-empirical evidence is as pointlessly unreliable with regard to drawing conclusions as it is conceivably possible to be.

No refutation has even been attempted by Iano regarding this very key point.

Instead Iano simply implies that we somehow magically differentiate between all of the possible and equally well supported potential claims of non-empirical evidence (the existence of you, me, Iano, Thor, Apollo, Santa, The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny and God are a few choice examples). No method of distinguishing between reliable non-empirical “evidence” (what a bizarre concept) and unreliable non-empirical evidence is suggested. According to Iano we simply know which non-empirical "evidence" to believe and which to not.
Despite these very obvious flaws in his theory Iano still insists that non-empirical evidence should be acknowledged and accepted as a valid form of evidence with regard to drawing conclusions about the world. In fact he goes even further than this and suggests that we all rely on non-empirical evidence in our day to day lives.
Tellingly, and despite many requests to do so, he is completely unable to provide us with a specific example of non-empirical evidence or a definite example of a conclusion borne of such evidence. Draw your own conclusions.

IANO'S CURRENT POSITION
Iano disregards all of the above and continues to assert that he knows his wife exists by means of non-empirical "evidence". He also asserts that such evidence can equally and validly be applied to the existence of God.

Is there any value in this claim at all?
If non-empirical evidence does not exist does the 'empirical only' alternative require us to go around seeking independently verified corroborating evidence for the existence of our loved ones before we can legitimately accept that they exist? These are the questions I will attempt to address.

AIM
In this post I will attempt to debunk what remains of Iano's disintegrating argument in favour of non-empirical evidence and refute his unsupported assertion that the everyday assumptions that we all make all of the time are somehow poignant examples of our reliance on such evidence.
There is a huge difference between the standards of ‘evidence’ that we apply to the mundane, ordinary and everyday as compared to the exacting standards of evidence required of scientific enquiry.
The wider aim of this post is to explore these differences and expose Iano’s ongoing tactic of selectively conflating and confusing the two to evade any meaningful standards of evidence being applied to his flawed theistic position.

STANDARDS OF EVIDENCE
Do we apply the same standards of evidence to every situation and every conclusion we make? No, quite obviously we do not. The questions that we therefore need to consider instead are –

1) What determines the standards of evidence that we apply in different contexts?
2) Are these differing standards of evidence contextually justified?
3) Do these differing context based standards of evidence result in reliable and valid conclusions?
4) Does any form of non-empirical “evidence” (whatever this may be) play any part at all in our conclusions?

In order to explore the different standards of evidence applied to different situations let us consider a (hopefully) un-contentious (and rather silly) example.

Example 1 Mundane Moggy
Today my little boy told me he had seen a cat in the street outside our house earlier this morning. I “know” that a cat was outside my house today because he told me so. Yes he could be lying. Yes he could be delusional. These are possibilities. But as far as I am concerned there was indeed a cat outside my house this morning and to all intents and purposes this is a fact. The standards of evidence which I demand for this ‘fact’ are very low. Why? Because this claim is so mundane, un-extraordinary and everyday that frankly the alternative explanations are even less likely than the claim itself. I don’t consciously think through the probabilities. I just unquestioningly accept the claim as a fact.
I am effectively assuming the truth of this particular and specific instance based on a long history of empirical evidence that tells me that cats are a common feature of my street and that my son is not a pathological liar.
This is an example of an everyday assumption borne out of, and supported by, a long history of empirical evidence that make questioning or requiring further evidence of such a ‘truth’ the exception rather than the rule.

Example 2 Moggy Mayhem
Today my little boy told me that he had seen “thousands” of cats in the street outside our house earlier this morning. “Really? Did you count them?” I asked. “Yes daddy I did” he said, “There were fifteen thousand four hundred and twenty two cats”.
“Hmmm. Are the cats still there?”
“No daddy they've all gone home”
“Did they make a mess outside?” I ask.
“No daddy. Cats are very clean. You know that!”
“Did anyone else see the cats?”
“No daddy. Just me. Why? Don’t you believe me?”
“Of course I do. But next time you see that many cats I would like to take a photo of them because it is kind of unusual to see that many cats. Will you let me know straight away next time?”
“OK daddy. I will. Can I have biscuit?............” etc.
Generally speaking thousands of rampant moggies do not spontaneously converge on a single street in Britain. Without any corroborating empirical evidence of such an unlikely event I am going to dismiss this claim as a result of the healthy imagination of a small child. Would you do differently?

Example 3 Millionaire Moggy
Today my little boy told me he had seen a cat in the street outside our house earlier this morning. Co-incidentally they have just announced on the radio that a one million pound prize will be given to the first person today to spot a cat in the local area.
I rush out of the house with my camera demanding of my son that he tell me exactly where and when he saw the cat in question and wondering whether or not the CCTV tapes for the neighbourhood might be available upon request. “Did you really see the cat? Are you sure? Was anyone else there?” I ask as we run down the stairs in hot pursuit of objective evidence in favour of the aforementioned claimed cat sighting.

The above examples are intended to show that the issue here is not one of empirical or non-empirical evidence per se. Rather it is an issue of context and reliability.
The more unbelievable the claim the higher the standards of evidence we require to support the claim.
The greater the impact of a 'fact' the greater the evidence we require to support that conclusion.
Putting the issue of scientific evidence aside for one moment I think that there are two factors that define the standards of evidence that we require in everyday life.

1) The believability of a claim. How likely or improbable is that which is being claimed?
2) The significance of a claim. How important is the truth of a claim? What impact will the truth (or otherwise) of the claim being made have?

Taking these into account it should be obvious to all that different standards of evidence are indeed contextually justified. It also needs to be appreciated that when assessing the 'believability' of a very un-extraordinary and unimportant claim we do this against the background of a great wealth of empirical experience which can make our judgements and assumptions regarding the specific case in hand highly reliable

SCIENCE - THE SPECIAL CASE
What are the standards of evidence imposed by scientific methods of investigation and how do these compare with those of day to day life?
Science is the search for objective truth. As such generalised assumptions borne of experience, no matter how seemingly reliable, are considered no substitute for hard empirical, case specific, testable evidence.
Science does not assume conclusions. Science tests conclusions. In this respect the standards of evidence imposed by the methods of science dwarf anything that we might use in our daily lives or the examples above.
In terms of believability and importance, science effectively treats the conclusions borne of every claim with scepticism and significance.
It is not realistic or practical for us to apply these standards of evidence to everyday life but it is these standards of evidence that differentiate science from other, less reliable, forms of investigation.

THE MUNDANITY OF EXISTENCE
An ongoing theme of this debate has been Iano’s insistence that he knows that his wife exists by means of non-empirical, rather than empirical, evidence.
Is there any truth in this claim at all?
Do we really continually require evidence (whether empirical or non-empirical) of that which we are, to all practical intents and purposes, certain of?
At what point in day to day life does assumption rather than ‘evidence’ become the norm?
Is the basis of any such assumption empirical at root?
Can we realistically be expected, or required, to apply the same standards of evidence to the mundane, ordinary or unimportant as we do the outrageously unbelievable or deeply significant?

Far be it from me to declare existence as mundane and ordinary….. but in this context that is exactly what it is.
From the moment we are born we are bombarded with empirical evidence that there is a common reality inhabited by other people who are also part of this common reality. The things we see are seen and verified by other people. The things we hear are heard and verified by other people. The things we can touch can be touched by other people. The other people that we interact with undergo interactions independent of us with other people. The existence of other independent beings is so much part of our mundane, ordinary, everyday experience that we do not question each specific case. We do not require evidence, either empirical or non-empirical, beyond our own subjective perception that each individual we chance across actually exists. The genuine existence of each individual is a perfectly valid case specific assumption borne of, and validated by, a lifetime of empirical experience.
Given a reason to doubt this assumption we might well consider such “evidence” less flippantly (Anyone seen the film about John Nash – ‘A Beautiful Mind’?). Fortunately most of us will never experience seeing and hearing things and people that nobody else can see and hear.
If we did experience such things regularly no amount of non-empirical “evidence” would change the fact that we were considered by everybody else to be completely mad and in desperate need of psychiatric help.

IANO'S FOLLY
Iano would have us apply the same standard of “evidence” that we superficially apply to the mundane examples of everyday life to the existence of God.
He would have us apply the knowledge we gain through continual and historical experience of the empirically ordinary to the non-empirical and fantastic.
He feigns indignation and protests at the supposed unfairness and philosophical bias on our part when we refuse this. He objects when we impose higher standards of evidence for his very obviously not trivial or mundane claims of the existence of an omniscient omnipotent creator. Despite the fact that this is one of the most important, arguably improbable, and controversial claims it is possible for anyone to make.
Most outrageously of all he then goes on to claim that the assumptions he insists we make about his God should be considered as equally valid and equally as reliable as the conclusions of science. Conclusions which are based on the most exacting standards of evidence it is practically feasible to impose.
Iano would ask us to treat his claims for the existence of God as we would treat a child’s claims of seeing a cat in the street.
He would then insist that we equate this, in terms of validity, with the empirically tested conclusions of science.
Any fool can see that this is a wholly unjustified attempt at legitimising an indefensible faith based position.

CONCLUSION
Non-empirical "evidence" is so pointlessly unreliable as to be useless. By conflating and confusing the everyday and perfectly valid empirically borne assumptions that we all make in our everyday lives with “evidence” Iano has attempted to claim the existence of non-empirical “evidence”. This folly has been comprehensively debunked.
Furthermore the assertion that we should willingly equate the lowly standards of “evidence” that we require for specific cases of the everyday and familiar, to the controversial and spectacular (i.e. God) has been utterly refuted.

The tired argument that Iano has been making at EvC for as long as I have been a member here has finally been shown to be that which it is - Yet another failed attempt to legitimise blind faith based belief by falsely equating it with the knowledge and understanding gained through proper scientific investigation.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : Remove bizzarre characters inserted in place of punctuation since site downtime.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by iano, posted 05-13-2008 7:36 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by anglagard, posted 05-15-2008 2:26 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 162 by iano, posted 09-22-2008 7:20 AM Straggler has responded

  
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2200
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 146 of 219 (466433)
05-15-2008 2:26 AM
Reply to: Message 145 by Straggler
05-14-2008 7:37 PM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
Yes (sorry about the continuing debate thing but sometimes one is compelled to simply agree)


Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon

The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza


This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by Straggler, posted 05-14-2008 7:37 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2008 9:45 AM anglagard has not yet responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 147 of 219 (466486)
05-15-2008 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 146 by anglagard
05-15-2008 2:26 AM


Re: Iano's Folly - The Case Against Non-Empirical "Evidence"
Thanks. I think.
Unqualified agreement is not normally a feature of EvC.....

I am intrigued to know how (or even if) Iano is going to attempt to defend his argument given that the existence and viability of non-empirical "evidence" has been the cornerstone and of his position and participation at EvC for quite some time now.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by anglagard, posted 05-15-2008 2:26 AM anglagard has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by Stile, posted 05-15-2008 10:39 AM Straggler has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3846
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 148 of 219 (466495)
05-15-2008 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 147 by Straggler
05-15-2008 9:45 AM


Ignorance is bliss?
Straggler writes:

I am intrigued to know how (or even if) Iano is going to attempt to defend his argument given that the existence and viability of non-empirical "evidence" has been the cornerstone of his position and participation at EvC for quite some time now.

I also think iano's response would be interesting, especially if he actually has some information I've been glossing over and not realizing.

I'm not holding my breath, though.

Iano seems to have a history of ignoring posts as soon as he is unable to proceed without addressing the foundation of his position.

My initial attempt where iano stopped replying to me, but continued discussion of other issues:
Message 39
-this thread deals almost exactly with this same issue, and everyone is left being ignored by the end of it.

I think this thread will end with the same result.

I'm okay with being ignored, though. Anyone reading the thread can easily see when someone is unable to respond to an analysis of their position. And it is a message board, it's not like the discussion is simply going to disappear or anything.

I initially thought that it was just a mistake and iano's a busy guy. But, well, I think the pattern is becoming very obvious.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2008 9:45 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 149 by Straggler, posted 05-17-2008 8:23 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 149 of 219 (466807)
05-17-2008 8:23 AM
Reply to: Message 148 by Stile
05-15-2008 10:39 AM


Re: Ignorance is bliss?
Stile writes -
I also think iano's response would be interesting, especially if he actually has some information I've been glossing over and not realizing.

I'm not holding my breath, though.

Iano seems to have a history of ignoring posts as soon as he is unable to proceed without addressing the foundation of his position.


I think this thread will end with the same result.

Hmmm. Well so far your prediction has been borne out.

I too took part in the thread you mention above and Iano also stopped replying to me when it became obvious that the nature of evidence in an objective reality inhabited by independent beings was very different to the nature of "evidence" in a wholly subjective "reality" (i.e. "it's all a dream" or some such similar scenario).
If he ever does reply here I expect that confusing and conflating these two will again be his tactic.

I hope he does continue the discussion.
But like you I am not holding my breath.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by Stile, posted 05-15-2008 10:39 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3846
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 150 of 219 (467748)
05-23-2008 10:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Wumpini
04-23-2008 8:20 AM


God's Existence has a 0% Chance
...that's rounding down, of course. Somewhere less then 0.5%, for sure. So rounding to one digit we get 0%

In order to obtain a number on the probability of God, we simply need to look at all the evidence that points towards the existence of God.

There is none.

This hurts the cause. A lot.

Not only is there none, but it is a fact that throughout human history, an overwhelming abundance of people have consistently dedicated their lives to searching for this evidence. And we still have none.

Evidence for unicorns was sought after for hundreds of years. None was found. The probability for the existence of unicorns is 0% (rounding down).

Evidence for God has been sought after for (at least) thousands of years, and is still currently highly searched for. None has ever been found. The probability for the existence of God is 0% (rounding down).

Just ask anyone who claims to know anything about God how they know such things about God. Their answers are always based on the same subjects:

-The Bible
-Other statements or documents or texts from organised religions
-Personal or internal feelings and confirmations

The one thing in common to these is their foundation in human imagination. None of these reasons for God's existence can be confirmed by reality, they can only be confirmed by imagination. This forces any chance of 'mere coincidence' that we "just don't have empirical proof of God (yet)" to be extremely low. Certainly lower than 0.5%

Is there a chance that God exists?

Yes.

If there is a chance, what is it?

Negligible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Wumpini, posted 04-23-2008 8:20 AM Wumpini has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by bluegenes, posted 05-24-2008 1:14 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
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