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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2010 :  17:58:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Originally posted by Ebone4rock

Originally posted by Kil
But how can I have "knowledge enough" of something that I have no knowledge of?


Because the fact that it doesn't exist means that there is no knowledge to be had.
What "fact" would you be referring to? Don't you see that you are making a claim to a fact that you can't support?

The only conclusion you can reasonably come to is that due to a lack of evidence it can reasonably be inferred that the existence of anything supernatural is unlikely to the extreme. Once you enter fact-land, you are making a claim. Why go there? What's to be gained by making claims to facts that are unsupportable?

Kil, you are missing the point.

Nothing "supernatural" exists. If a thing exists, it is natural.

So it is an obvious fact that anything called "supernatural" is either fiction or just not understood.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2010 :  19:18:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

Originally posted by Kil

Originally posted by Ebone4rock

Originally posted by Kil
But how can I have "knowledge enough" of something that I have no knowledge of?


Because the fact that it doesn't exist means that there is no knowledge to be had.
What "fact" would you be referring to? Don't you see that you are making a claim to a fact that you can't support?

The only conclusion you can reasonably come to is that due to a lack of evidence it can reasonably be inferred that the existence of anything supernatural is unlikely to the extreme. Once you enter fact-land, you are making a claim. Why go there? What's to be gained by making claims to facts that are unsupportable?

Kil, you are missing the point.

Nothing "supernatural" exists. If a thing exists, it is natural.

So it is an obvious fact that anything called "supernatural" is either fiction or just not understood.


If we are talking about the existence of god, a being widely thought to dwell in the realm of the supernatural, I'm not missing the point. I happen to agree with you that if it exists, it's natural. I was using the common term for the being as most people use it. Can you explain to me why it would matter if god were natural or supernatural, if such a being actually does exist? As I pretty much said before, if a god exists, and even if we all agree that the very fact of his existence places him in the realm of the natural, it would still be a very startling discovery, eh?

Or are you saying that because there is nothing supernatural, and god is thought to be supernatural, it necessarily follows that god can't exist?

If that's the case, you're just making a semantics argument against the existence of god. And, like Ebone4rock you are also making a claim to a fact that you can't support.

Because you said, "either fiction or just not understood" I don't think you're doing that. I hope your not anyway.

That said, and even though I happen to agree with you on this, right up to the point that my logic will allow me to go, saying that the supernatural can't exist and that I should somehow have enough knowledge to get the "fact" that it can't exist is a claim to a fact that can't be supported. So really, I think you missed my point.

There are plenty of very good reasons to reject claims for the existence of god and the supernatural without resorting to "facts" that can't be supported.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Machi4velli
SFN Regular

USA
854 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2010 :  21:59:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Machi4velli a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil
That said, and even though I happen to agree with you on this, right up to the point that my logic will allow me to go, saying that the supernatural can't exist and that I should somehow have enough knowledge to get the "fact" that it can't exist is a claim to a fact that can't be supported.

What does it even mean for something to both (1) exist and (2) be supernatural?

Depending on the definition we use for supernatural, the two could be contradictory. I always hate all use of the word natural.

"Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
-Giordano Bruno

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge."
-Stephen Hawking

"Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable"
-Albert Camus
Edited by - Machi4velli on 08/17/2010 22:02:42
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2010 :  01:04:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude.....

That is a bunch of absurd, meaningless, nonsense.
A remarkable judgment based on absolutely nothing but a shallow opinion. Namely:
"Experiential states" come from your brain, which is certainly a part of the physical world in exactly the same way a pebble is.
And so do wild fantasies, hallucinations, sheer madness, and utter bullshit such as you just produced. The fact that all of the above "come from your brain", does not qualify such ephemeral, subjective phantasms as subject to the same observation, definition, classification, and objectivization as material things such as pebbles are. What is the physics, the chemistry, even the biology of a dream, Dude?
You are trying to engage in a variation of the god-of-the-gaps, putting things that aren't exactly understood into some quasi-mystic realm.
There is nothing mystical or even quasi-mystical about mental illness or the emotion of love. Neither are subject to the depth and accuracy of scientific analysis that material objects and physical events are, however. This is the primary reason that psychology is not generally accepted as a hard science and has yet to produce the spectacular advances in application that physics has, for instance. It is my view that ultimately the lack of understanding that you refer to will be much better addressed by chemistry and biology than by psychology.
You are trying to engage in a variation of the god-of-the-gaps,
Oh, crap! I was doing nothing of the sort! The definition of your chosen derogation is:
The phrase "God of the gaps" refers to a view of God as existing in the "gaps" or aspects of reality that are currently unexplained by scientific knowledge.
Where in the name of fucking Christ do you see any reference in my comments to a view of God? I was responding to chfcrsh's statement that
If you posit that we can know something about something that is not of this material world, your epistemology goes a step further from mine into the supernatural.
I don't feel that simply because something is, in his words, "not of the material world", it is not necessarily supernatural. The fact that a thought "comes from" a brain certainly does not demonstrate that a thought is a material thing.
Really? Not much evidence for bi-polar disorder? If, maybe, you mean evidence for the cause of it, then I'd agree. But we lack the ability to closely examine a living brain.
I specifically mean not much evidence for what it is and also what is the cause of it. Certainly, it has no connection to or derivation from God - a concept in itself that certainly comes from a human brain, but has no physical or material existence, is completely imaginary, and is not "of this material world".

You and I simply may have a different view of what chfcrsh meant by "not of the material world". But that is no reason to go wildly off into orbit with insulting accusations of deistic explanations when none were intended or made.

I really don't feel that you make absurd, meaningless, nonsense statements in your posts at anytime, Dude; and I see no reason for you to accuse me of such commentary when you simply didn't understand what I was saying. What is the point of insult simply for insult's sake? I really feel there is too much of that foolish hyperbole on SFN and I am genuinely attempting to reduce my engagement in it!
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26014 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2010 :  04:14:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

You are trying to engage in a variation of the god-of-the-gaps,
Oh, crap! I was doing nothing of the sort! The definition of your chosen derogation is:
The phrase "God of the gaps" refers to a view of God as existing in the "gaps" or aspects of reality that are currently unexplained by scientific knowledge.
Where in the name of fucking Christ do you see any reference in my comments to a view of God?
Missed out on the "variation of" part, didn't you? Dude was accusing you of creating an "immaterial-of-the-gaps" argument.
I was responding to chfcrsh's statement that
If you posit that we can know something about something that is not of this material world, your epistemology goes a step further from mine into the supernatural.
I don't feel that simply because something is, in his words, "not of the material world", it is not necessarily supernatural. The fact that a thought "comes from" a brain certainly does not demonstrate that a thought is a material thing.
Both Dude and chef are strict materialists: thoughts are nothing more than an emergent property of brain chemistry and biology, and so wholly material. Suggesting that they're not is to suggest that there's something other than matter and energy in the universe, something for which there is no evidence.

So, this is nothing more than a definitions problem.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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chefcrsh
Skeptic Friend

Hong Kong
380 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2010 :  16:29:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send chefcrsh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am very very very fucking busy right now coordinating the sale and purchase of my company which may conclude tomorrow (if I can resolve the many problems). Therefore I have no time to prepare a misspelled and poorly thought out cogent reply to the many points taken up.

For now please rest assured I am thinking I am a thousand times smarter than any of you all. And will soon be able to beat you all into submission with half my brain tied behind my back, in this debate.

Regards,

Chef
Edited by - chefcrsh on 08/18/2010 16:30:00
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2010 :  17:37:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by chefcrsh

I am very very very fucking busy right now coordinating the sale and purchase of my company which may conclude tomorrow (if I can resolve the many problems). Therefore I have no time to prepare a misspelled and poorly thought out cogent reply to the many points taken up.

For now please rest assured I am thinking I am a thousand times smarter than any of you all. And will soon be able to beat you all into submission with half my brain tied behind my back, in this debate.

Regards,

Chef

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2010 :  18:41:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kil said:
If that's the case, you're just making a semantics argument against the existence of god.

What I'm saying is that I reject the word "supernatural" because it is a phrase containing mutually exclusive propositions. Further, what I'm saying, is that if some deity exists it would be a part of the natural order of things. Further yet, anything that it is possible for us to have knowledge of must be a part of our universe. Therefore, anything that actually really is "supernatural" is unknowable by anything or anyone in our universe/multiverse/whatever. From our frame of reference anything supernatural does not exist.

That said, and even though I happen to agree with you on this, right up to the point that my logic will allow me to go, saying that the supernatural can't exist and that I should somehow have enough knowledge to get the "fact" that it can't exist is a claim to a fact that can't be supported. So really, I think you missed my point.

I get your point, I just have to dispute it. You are not understanding my argument apparently.

If you want to define "supernatural" as just some stuff we can't currently explain or don't understand, then I'm with you. But in order to be technically precise that definition is poor. Nothing exists apart from nature (in the sense of "super" natural), it can't. If you disagree, I'm open to an explanation of how this is possible and how we could have knowledge of it.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2010 :  19:05:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
bng said:
And so do wild fantasies, hallucinations, sheer madness, and utter bullshit such as you just produced. The fact that all of the above "come from your brain", does not qualify such ephemeral, subjective phantasms as subject to the same observation, definition, classification, and objectivization as material things such as pebbles are. What is the physics, the chemistry, even the biology of a dream, Dude?

I don't know. All of these things are, however, a result of something your brain does. And your brain certainly is as real as a pebble. Just because the science of these things is nascent does not mean they are unquantifiable in physical terms, it just means we lack the capacity to study a living brain in minute detail without damaging it. With the advancing technology involved in neuroscience (like fMRI and implantable microchips) it seems very likely we will learn more about these things.

It is my view that ultimately the lack of understanding that you refer to will be much better addressed by chemistry and biology than by psychology.

Well, ummm, yeah, obviously. What were you ranting about then? I'm sure it was you who was calling psychosis and dreams "ephemeral". Glad you now agree that it's all biology and chemistry.

Where in the name of fucking Christ do you see any reference in my comments to a view of God?

You misread my post. You were engaging in a variation of the god-of-the-gaps fallacy. I've never seen you credit any deity in these forums, and I'm pretty sure you aren't starting now.

I don't feel that simply because something is, in his words, "not of the material world", it is not necessarily supernatural. The fact that a thought "comes from" a brain certainly does not demonstrate that a thought is a material thing.

You are creating unnecessary distinctions. Calling thoughts ephemeral an immaterial may be poetic, and while we may not yet be able to point to a specific bit of neurobiology or chemistry and say "that represents a memory or thought", is there any question that this will one day be possible? Physical damage to your brain can impair both thought and memory, so I think I'm on safe ground extending that to say that some as yet unknown physical/chemical state inside some part of your brain is responsible for both.

I really don't feel that you make absurd, meaningless, nonsense statements in your posts at anytime, Dude; and I see no reason for you to accuse me of such commentary when you simply didn't understand what I was saying. What is the point of insult simply for insult's sake? I really feel there is too much of that foolish hyperbole on SFN and I am genuinely attempting to reduce my engagement in it!

In your previous post you seemed to be (and in the one I'm quoting from still are to some extent) saying that thought, mental illness, and the like are not material things. Then you say the answer is probably to be found in biology and chemistry. So maybe you could clarify exactly what you are saying?


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2010 :  19:06:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude:
If you disagree, I'm open to an explanation of how this is possible and how we could have knowledge of it.

No. I don't disagree. See, what happened is Ebone4rock said this to me:

But don't you have knowledge enough to fully embrace the fact that the supernatural doesn't exist?

What knowledge and what fact? Even if I reject the supernatural, which I do, it's because of a lack of knowledge that it exists. Plus, as much as I doubt that it exists I wouldn't go so far as to call my doubt a fact, no matter how strongly I doubt it.

So basically, I was pointing out to him, being the pesky skeptic that I am, that his claims to a fact in this case are of little value and not supportable.



Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2010 :  19:12:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Dude:
If you disagree, I'm open to an explanation of how this is possible and how we could have knowledge of it.

No. I don't disagree. See, what happened is Ebone4rock said this to me:

But don't you have knowledge enough to fully embrace the fact that the supernatural doesn't exist?

What knowledge and what fact? Even if I reject the supernatural, which I do, it's because of a lack of knowledge that it exists. Plus, as much as I doubt that it exists I wouldn't go so far as to call my doubt a fact, no matter how strongly I doubt it.

So basically, I was pointing out to him, being the pesky skeptic that I am, that his claims to a fact in this case are of little value and not supportable.




You are confusing me. I am unsure you are following my argument.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26014 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2010 :  22:44:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

Physical damage to your brain can impair both thought and memory, so I think I'm on safe ground extending that to say that some as yet unknown physical/chemical state inside some part of your brain is responsible for both.
You're on safer ground than just that. We know of no way to store or transmit information (thoughts, memories, etc.) without some sort of purely physical medium.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Ebone4rock
SFN Regular

USA
894 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2010 :  05:46:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Ebone4rock a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Dude:
If you disagree, I'm open to an explanation of how this is possible and how we could have knowledge of it.

No. I don't disagree. See, what happened is Ebone4rock said this to me:

But don't you have knowledge enough to fully embrace the fact that the supernatural doesn't exist?

What knowledge and what fact? Even if I reject the supernatural, which I do, it's because of a lack of knowledge that it exists. Plus, as much as I doubt that it exists I wouldn't go so far as to call my doubt a fact, no matter how strongly I doubt it.

So basically, I was pointing out to him, being the pesky skeptic that I am, that his claims to a fact in this case are of little value and not supportable.




Sure, blame it all on me.
Do you mean unsupportable because of a lack of evidence to support the supernatural? In that case I can see your angle but it's merely philosophical and I'm not buying into it. Practicality has to come into play at some time otherwise a person would never be able to make a decision. While philosophy is a good thing if taken too far a person can philosophize themselves out of knowing anything .

Haole with heart, thats all I'll ever be. I'm not a part of the North Shore society. Stuck on the shoulder, that's where you'll find me. Digging for scraps with the kooks in line. -Offspring
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2010 :  08:26:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ebone4rock:
Do you mean unsupportable because of a lack of evidence to support the supernatural? In that case I can see your angle but it's merely philosophical and I'm not buying into it. Practicality has to come into play at some time otherwise a person would never be able to make a decision. While philosophy is a good thing if taken too far a person can philosophize themselves out of knowing anything .


Here's the thing. It doesn't matter whether a supernatural exists or not. If we ever find evidence for one of those things that are commonly assigned to the supernatural, and, as Dude says and I agree with, that would mean that whatever it is that we didn't know but there is now sufficient evidence to accept it, natural by default, it still doesn't matter.

The argument that something can't exist cannot rest on whether it's commonly assigned to the supernatural or whether there even is a supernatural. That point is irrelevant to the actual existence of whatever it is.

Also, you can't prove or disprove a null hypothesis. While I agree with Dude, that doesn't mean I am absolutely certain that he is correct.

You may call this philosophical and think that it leads me to not come to any conclusions about things. I do come to conclusions but they are all held tentatively. On those things where I can have no knowledge, I would not present my conclusions as facts. Why? BECAUSE THEY AREN'T FACTS! I agree that this approach to evidence or the lack of evidence is philosophical. It's the philosophy of "scientific skepticism." You know. It's that set of tools that we promote here as the best way to approach claims to facts. I strongly doubt many things because they lack evidence. Some things have so much evidence to support them that I am willing to call them "facts" even though there are people out there who may not agree. But you can only know for sure what you can know for sure. And I'm cool with that.

Look at my signature.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2010 :  09:15:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
kil said:
The argument that something can't exist cannot rest on whether it's commonly assigned to the supernatural or whether there even is a supernatural. That point is irrelevant to the actual existence of whatever it is.

Yeah, you are completely not understanding me.

I'm not making any comment on the existance of some deity, what I'm saying is simply that if they exist, they are not supernatural, because supernatural is a nonsense word. It doesn't really mean anything.

Don't know how to explain it any better than that.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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