Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 General Skepticism
 My basic question about skepticism
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 9

Isaiah
Skeptic Friend

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  11:27:09  Show Profile  Visit Isaiah's Homepage Send Isaiah a Private Message
I have an issue with skepticism and I suppose the scientific method itself because of my belief that any topic has two sets of statements which can be made about it:
Set 1 consists of all those statements about which examination [of the subject] of the statement will make no change in the truth value of that statement.
Set 2 consists of all those statements about which examination [of the subject] of the statement will make some change in the truth value of that statement.

The problem I have is trying to figure out whether a statement is possibly part of set 2. For example, are some, all, or none of the statements involving Chi members of Set 2 or members of Set 1? How does one discover which set a statement belongs to? Then there is the meta-question: If a statement, A, which defines statement B as belonging to set 2 exists, is statement A a member of set 1 or set 2?

[Sidenote: And I suppose there also exists those statements which change their truth value just by making the statement itself, as the Torah claims about the name of God and the Tao-Te-Ching says about the Tao: i.e., The Tao which can be spoken of is not The Tao.]

A skeptic would probably say that Set 2 is an empty set, but I don't know how she/he would prove that.
[Moved to the General Skepticism folder, and edited to fix link - Dave W.]
[Edited to improve the definitions of my sets, as generously suggested by Dave W.]

For Real Things I Know - http://solomonj.blogspot.com

"My point is, that you cannot use lack of evidence for one possibility as proof for another." - Dude

“I would rather delude myself with comforting fantasies than face a cold reality” - Isaiah, altered from astropin

Edited by - Isaiah on 01/06/2005 13:41:58

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  12:23:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Welcome to the SFN, Isaiah!

If I'm understanding your questions, then from a purely semantic point of view, set two must be empty. After all, if examination of a statement changes the truth value of the statement, then it seems clear that the statement wasn't understood properly when its initial truth value was decided. In other words, the reason for the change in truth value has nothing to do with the statement itself, but only with the people trying to parse the statement.

The truth values of statements regarding Chi are whatever they are. If we examine the statements, we may be able to refine our knowledge of their meaning, and thus change our thoughts as to their truth value. If we run tests for Chi, we may also discover the truth value of some of those statements. But the "inate" truth value of a statement does not change.

In other words, despite what people once believed, "the Earth is flat" never had a truth value other than zero.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

Isaiah
Skeptic Friend

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  12:37:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Isaiah's Homepage Send Isaiah a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.
The truth values of statements regarding Chi are whatever they are. If we examine the statements, we may be able to refine our knowledge of their meaning, and thus change our thoughts as to their truth value. If we run tests for Chi, we may also discover the truth value of some of those statements. But the "inate" truth value of a statement does not change.

In other words, despite what people once believed, "the Earth is flat" never had a truth value other than zero.



So you're saying that you believe that the act of examining or measuring something does not have an affect on the thing you are trying to examine or measure?

Are you saying that the truth value of "Photon A has a quantum state of X?" doesn't change upon examination or testing of the photon?

Whether or not Chi exists, if it did exist I would expect it to be as or more complicated than light.

For Real Things I Know - http://solomonj.blogspot.com

"My point is, that you cannot use lack of evidence for one possibility as proof for another." - Dude

“I would rather delude myself with comforting fantasies than face a cold reality” - Isaiah, altered from astropin
Go to Top of Page

BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  12:55:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
No we dont believe things without evidence, and there is no evidence that matter changes just because it is being observed.

2) We(most of us) dont generally put things in one of two catagories around skeptic town either.

3) We(most of us) dont beilieve in absolute truths to begin with, nothing is certain because new evidence may be found to contradict known evidence.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  12:58:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Isaiah

quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.
The truth values of statements regarding Chi are whatever they are. If we examine the statements, we may be able to refine our knowledge of their meaning, and thus change our thoughts as to their truth value. If we run tests for Chi, we may also discover the truth value of some of those statements. But the "inate" truth value of a statement does not change.

In other words, despite what people once believed, "the Earth is flat" never had a truth value other than zero.



So you're saying that you believe that the act of examining or measuring something does not have an affect on the thing you are trying to examine or measure?

Are you saying that the truth value of "Photon A has a quantum state of X?" doesn't change upon examination or testing of the photon?

Whether or not Chi exists, if it did exist I would expect it to be as or more complicated than light.



I would say, yes. The effect of examining or measuring something has no effect on the thing being measured or examined. It does, however, change our understanding of the thing being measured or examined. The effect being either reinforcing our understanding of the thing or challenging or refuting our understanding of that thing.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Edited by - Valiant Dancer on 01/06/2005 12:58:47
Go to Top of Page

Isaiah
Skeptic Friend

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  13:17:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Isaiah's Homepage Send Isaiah a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

I would say, yes. The effect of examining or measuring something has no effect on the thing being measured or examined. It does, however, change our understanding of the thing being measured or examined. The effect being either reinforcing our understanding of the thing or challenging or refuting our understanding of that thing.



So what's your opinion about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle? Or is Heisenberg an "old" discussion on skeptic's forums?

American Institute of Physics pages on the Uncertainty Principle:
"The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa.: This is a succinct statement of the "uncertainty relation" between the position and the momentum (mass times velocity) of a subatomic particle, such as an electron. This relation has profound implications for such fundamental notions as causality and the determination of the future behavior of an atomic particle. "

"But a basic assumption of physics since Newton has been that a "real world" exists independently of us, regardless of whether or not we observe it. (This assumption did not go unchallenged, however, by some philsophers.) Heisenberg now argued that such concepts as orbits of electrons do not exist in nature unless and until we observe them."

"In the sharp formulation of the law of causality-- 'if we know the present exactly, we can calculate the future' -it is not the conclusion that is wrong but the premise." - Heisenberg

For Real Things I Know - http://solomonj.blogspot.com

"My point is, that you cannot use lack of evidence for one possibility as proof for another." - Dude

“I would rather delude myself with comforting fantasies than face a cold reality” - Isaiah, altered from astropin
Edited by - Isaiah on 01/06/2005 13:34:25
Go to Top of Page

Isaiah
Skeptic Friend

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  13:19:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Isaiah's Homepage Send Isaiah a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

2) We(most of us) dont generally put things in one of two catagories around skeptic town either.



Sorry, number theory was my focus in college, so I often put things into categories of A and Not A; or A, B, and Not A or B.

For Real Things I Know - http://solomonj.blogspot.com

"My point is, that you cannot use lack of evidence for one possibility as proof for another." - Dude

“I would rather delude myself with comforting fantasies than face a cold reality” - Isaiah, altered from astropin
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  13:30:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Isaiah

So you're saying that you believe that the act of examining or measuring something does not have an affect on the thing you are trying to examine or measure?
You didn't ask that. You asked whether the truth value of a statement could be modified by examining the statement. If you meant for set one to include those statements for which no amount of examination of the subject of the statement will change its truth statement, and set two to include statements for which testing the subject of the statement will change its truth value, that's a different matter altogether.
quote:
Are you saying that the truth value of "Photon A has a quantum state of X?" doesn't change upon examination or testing of the photon?
Obviously, the truth value must change, as I am not aware of any way to measure a photon without having it interact with other matter, often destroying it. But such a statement is generally worthless, as if we're going to measure a photon, we're interested in its state before it was destroyed. In other words, "Photon A had a quantum state of X at thus-and-such a time" is a much more useful statement, and one with a truth value that will not change upon measuring the photon.
quote:
Whether or not Chi exists, if it did exist I would expect it to be as or more complicated than light.
But what you expect really has little bearing on reality, doesn't it? I expect my son to be well-behaved, but am often disappointed.

Seriously, quantum mechanics is one of the most complicated fields there is. Feynman wisely stated that if you claim to understand it, you don't understand it. What makes you expect Chi to be more complicated than that?

But anyway, if you've got some specific statements about Chi you'd like us to examine, please don't hesitate to share them with us.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  13:32:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
By the way, there are two types of people in the world: those who put everything into two categories, and those who don't.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

Isaiah
Skeptic Friend

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  13:55:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Isaiah's Homepage Send Isaiah a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.
You asked whether the truth value of a statement could be modified by examining the statement. If you meant for set one to include those statements for which no amount of examination of the subject of the statement will change its truth statement, and set two to include statements for which testing the subject of the statement will change its truth value, that's a different matter altogether.


Your restatement of my original words is a much better way of clearly stating what I meant, so I'll edit that in the original post. Thank you.

quote:
Seriously, quantum mechanics is one of the most complicated fields there is. Feynman wisely stated that if you claim to understand it, you don't understand it. What makes you expect Chi to be more complicated than that?

But anyway, if you've got some specific statements about Chi you'd like us to examine, please don't hesitate to share them with us.



In regard to Chi, I don't have many opinions and look at it in martial arts or meditation as like the model of astronomy sailors use when they go to sea, utterly wrong but useful as a model for finding your position at sea.

As regards my belief that if Chi exists it's incredibly complicated, that's just from my thoughts on the nature of discovery. Those things that are simple are discovered and examined and understood early in human history and those things that are complicated are understood later. I think most of the fields of science being explored today that weren't being explored a century ago are immensely complicated, on level with quantum mechanics. You can throw genetic engineering and artificial intelligence into that mix.
So if Chi exists, it has evaded our understanding and examination until now, thus it must be very complicated.

But my interest is mainly in examining skepticism and the scientific method and figuring what parts of reality lie outside of their grasp, and how proclaimed skeptics accept or deal with those things outside of their grasp, i.e. those things which at this point can only be accepted as true if one uses faith or belief.

For Real Things I Know - http://solomonj.blogspot.com

"My point is, that you cannot use lack of evidence for one possibility as proof for another." - Dude

“I would rather delude myself with comforting fantasies than face a cold reality” - Isaiah, altered from astropin
Edited by - Isaiah on 01/06/2005 13:56:43
Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  14:23:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Isaiah

quote:
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

I would say, yes. The effect of examining or measuring something has no effect on the thing being measured or examined. It does, however, change our understanding of the thing being measured or examined. The effect being either reinforcing our understanding of the thing or challenging or refuting our understanding of that thing.



So what's your opinion about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle? Or is Heisenberg an "old" discussion on skeptic's forums?

American Institute of Physics pages on the Uncertainty Principle:
"The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa.: This is a succinct statement of the "uncertainty relation" between the position and the momentum (mass times velocity) of a subatomic particle, such as an electron. This relation has profound implications for such fundamental notions as causality and the determination of the future behavior of an atomic particle. "

"But a basic assumption of physics since Newton has been that a "real world" exists independently of us, regardless of whether or not we observe it. (This assumption did not go unchallenged, however, by some philsophers.) Heisenberg now argued that such concepts as orbits of electrons do not exist in nature unless and until we observe them."

"In the sharp formulation of the law of causality-- 'if we know the present exactly, we can calculate the future' -it is not the conclusion that is wrong but the premise." - Heisenberg




It relates to the understanding of the object, not the object itself.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Go to Top of Page

Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  14:30:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
3) We(most of us) dont beilieve in absolute truths to begin with, nothing is certain because new evidence may be found to contradict known evidence.


Well, it doesn't really contradict other evidence, it contradicts the theory explaining the evidence and a new theory is needed. If two pieces of evidence directly contradict each other, one of them is wrong.

quote:
By the way, there are two types of people in the world: those who put everything into two categories, and those who don't.


Sorry, couldn't resist:

There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Go to Top of Page

Isaiah
Skeptic Friend

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  14:35:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Isaiah's Homepage Send Isaiah a Private Message
But seriously, folks.

Have you skeptically examined skepticism?

How rigorous are you in examining something which is so important to you?

If your examination of skepticism made you conclude that a skeptical view of the world hindered your aesthetic and emotional appreciation of the world, how would you go about changing yourself?

For Real Things I Know - http://solomonj.blogspot.com

"My point is, that you cannot use lack of evidence for one possibility as proof for another." - Dude

“I would rather delude myself with comforting fantasies than face a cold reality” - Isaiah, altered from astropin
Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  15:30:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Isaiah

But seriously, folks.

Have you skeptically examined skepticism?

How rigorous are you in examining something which is so important to you?

If your examination of skepticism made you conclude that a skeptical view of the world hindered your aesthetic and emotional appreciation of the world, how would you go about changing yourself?



Skepticism isn't a claim, it's a methodology. One cannot be skeptical of skepticism. It doesn't hinder aesthetics or emotions. I think at this point you've gone down that lonely path of existentialism where nothing is real because the methods by which we percieve the world cannot be trusted.


Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Go to Top of Page

Isaiah
Skeptic Friend

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  15:45:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Isaiah's Homepage Send Isaiah a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

quote:
Originally posted by Isaiah

But seriously, folks.

Have you skeptically examined skepticism?

How rigorous are you in examining something which is so important to you?

If your examination of skepticism made you conclude that a skeptical view of the world hindered your aesthetic and emotional appreciation of the world, how would you go about changing yourself?



Skepticism isn't a claim, it's a methodology. One cannot be skeptical of skepticism. It doesn't hinder aesthetics or emotions. I think at this point you've gone down that lonely path of existentialism where nothing is real because the methods by which we percieve the world cannot be trusted.





Wow. You're saying that a methodology isn't subject to examination?

And frankly, you can state as much as you like that skepticism doesn't hinder aesthetics or emotions, but that's a claim without any proof. You can make any claim you want, but without evidence, your own warning signals should be going off.


For Real Things I Know - http://solomonj.blogspot.com

"My point is, that you cannot use lack of evidence for one possibility as proof for another." - Dude

“I would rather delude myself with comforting fantasies than face a cold reality” - Isaiah, altered from astropin
Go to Top of Page

Isaiah
Skeptic Friend

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  15:49:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Isaiah's Homepage Send Isaiah a Private Message
quote:
I think at this point you've gone down that lonely path of existentialism where nothing is real because the methods by which we percieve the world cannot be trusted.


I'm hardly an existentialist, but by this, are you saying that the methods by which we perceive the world are above questioning?

For Real Things I Know - http://solomonj.blogspot.com

"My point is, that you cannot use lack of evidence for one possibility as proof for another." - Dude

“I would rather delude myself with comforting fantasies than face a cold reality” - Isaiah, altered from astropin
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 9 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.77 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000