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Is your religion mythology?

 
EN
 
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EN
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12 July 2019 15:55
 
Garret - 12 July 2019 02:54 PM

Do you accept someone else’s experience as evidence for what is real?
In the above case, do you accept someone else’s experience of being abducted by aliens as evidence that they were in fact abducted by aliens?

I’m not asking you if you believe that they experienced something.  I am asking if you accept their claim as being true.  Not “true for them”, but actually true.  If I were to posit a competing claim that they were just hallucinating, would you view their original claim of aliens being real as being more probable than my new claim of it being a hallucination? (not even picking one as being 100% true, but just which is more likely to be true)

No. Just as with my experience, it is not evidence for anyone else, only the person experiencing it. It may give them a reason to believe.  I have no reason to believe in abduction by aliens, having never experienced it.  Now, aliens may exist - the concept of life in other solar systems is not far-fetched.  Some may be more highly advanced than we are.  But I have no experience with them. I simply suspend judgment on that issue.  Now, Butt Fairies I don’t believe in.  But I can understand why GAD does.

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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12 July 2019 16:15
 
Garret - 12 July 2019 02:54 PM
EN - 12 July 2019 01:43 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 10:51 AM
EN - 12 July 2019 09:05 AM
Garret - 12 July 2019 08:02 AM

My question is whether this is sufficient evidence to think that aliens might be real.

Not for anyone other than people who legitimately think they have experienced that.

So, during this conversation, I have been operating under the assumption that we are discussing a shared reality.  That you and I (and the person who experienced an alien abduction) are all in the same realm of existence.  If something exists in reality, it exists for all of us.

Is that something you agree with?

Of course, either something is real for all of us or not real for all of us.  My position is that my experiences cause me to believe that God is real. Either that is true or not true for all of us. I believe in God, you don’t.  One of us is wrong about reality.  I’m offering you the basis of my belief.  I don’t have any scientific evidence of the kind you seek.  I have my experience. You don’t accept that. That pretty much is the state of things.

Do you accept someone else’s experience as evidence for what is real?
In the above case, do you accept someone else’s experience of being abducted by aliens as evidence that they were in fact abducted by aliens?

I’m not asking you if you believe that they experienced something.  I am asking if you accept their claim as being true.  Not “true for them”, but actually true.  If I were to posit a competing claim that they were just hallucinating, would you view their original claim of aliens being real as being more probable than my new claim of it being a hallucination? (not even picking one as being 100% true, but just which is more likely to be true)

Garret, how would it strike your sensibilities if EN were to devote a bunch of time and energy to writing a book that details principles of his personal brand of Christianity, which would (here in my little hypothetical) amount to an attempt to adjust/tweak/reform current Protestantism’s commonly adhered-to ethical weaknesses and logical faults? Would you celebrate such a thing as a worthwhile endeavor, or would you instead see it more negatively?

I refer to EN here only because he seems like someone who has every mental widget that would be necessary to carry out my hypothetical example, and then some. But it could be anybody.

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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12 July 2019 16:39
 
EN - 12 July 2019 03:55 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 02:54 PM

Do you accept someone else’s experience as evidence for what is real?
In the above case, do you accept someone else’s experience of being abducted by aliens as evidence that they were in fact abducted by aliens?

I’m not asking you if you believe that they experienced something.  I am asking if you accept their claim as being true.  Not “true for them”, but actually true.  If I were to posit a competing claim that they were just hallucinating, would you view their original claim of aliens being real as being more probable than my new claim of it being a hallucination? (not even picking one as being 100% true, but just which is more likely to be true)

No. Just as with my experience, it is not evidence for anyone else, only the person experiencing it. It may give them a reason to believe.  I have no reason to believe in abduction by aliens, having never experienced it.  Now, aliens may exist - the concept of life in other solar systems is not far-fetched.  Some may be more highly advanced than we are.  But I have no experience with them. I simply suspend judgment on that issue.  Now, Butt Fairies I don’t believe in.  But I can understand why GAD does.

We aren’t suspending judgement.  You either believe the claim or you don’t.

Now to clarify that statement, not believing doesn’t mean you are positive that the claim is false.  It just means you are unconvinced that it is true.  Think of it like being on jury duty.  Just because you vote “not guilty” doesn’t mean you think they are innocent, you just don’t think there is sufficient evidence to find them guilty.

In this case, it sounds like you find aliens “not guilty” of existing.  There is insufficient evidence to determine that they are “guilty” of existing based on our discussion so far.

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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12 July 2019 16:42
 
nonverbal - 12 July 2019 04:15 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 02:54 PM
EN - 12 July 2019 01:43 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 10:51 AM
EN - 12 July 2019 09:05 AM
Garret - 12 July 2019 08:02 AM

My question is whether this is sufficient evidence to think that aliens might be real.

Not for anyone other than people who legitimately think they have experienced that.

So, during this conversation, I have been operating under the assumption that we are discussing a shared reality.  That you and I (and the person who experienced an alien abduction) are all in the same realm of existence.  If something exists in reality, it exists for all of us.

Is that something you agree with?

Of course, either something is real for all of us or not real for all of us.  My position is that my experiences cause me to believe that God is real. Either that is true or not true for all of us. I believe in God, you don’t.  One of us is wrong about reality.  I’m offering you the basis of my belief.  I don’t have any scientific evidence of the kind you seek.  I have my experience. You don’t accept that. That pretty much is the state of things.

Do you accept someone else’s experience as evidence for what is real?
In the above case, do you accept someone else’s experience of being abducted by aliens as evidence that they were in fact abducted by aliens?

I’m not asking you if you believe that they experienced something.  I am asking if you accept their claim as being true.  Not “true for them”, but actually true.  If I were to posit a competing claim that they were just hallucinating, would you view their original claim of aliens being real as being more probable than my new claim of it being a hallucination? (not even picking one as being 100% true, but just which is more likely to be true)

Garret, how would it strike your sensibilities if EN were to devote a bunch of time and energy to writing a book that details principles of his personal brand of Christianity, which would (here in my little hypothetical) amount to an attempt to adjust/tweak/reform current Protestantism’s commonly adhered-to ethical weaknesses and logical faults? Would you celebrate such a thing as a worthwhile endeavor, or would you instead see it more negatively?

I refer to EN here only because he seems like someone who has every mental widget that would be necessary to carry out my hypothetical example, and then some. But it could be anybody.

If you removed the logical faults from Protestantism, you’d have to remove God.

I bet if EN and I sat down and discussed a way of implementing morality, as long as we didn’t reference absolute morality or God, we’d agree just fine.

The core problem I have with Protestant salvation is that scripturally, most flavors view belief in God as the only method of salvation.  Good works do not get you into heaven, only believing in God and asking for forgiveness.  Based on this, a man who sexually abuses children all his life but ask’s for God’s forgiveness on his death bed will get into heaven, but me, someone who’s served their country, became a teacher, done volunteer work, never hurt anyone, only done a few minor things here and there, like stealing candy as a small boy, will go to hell because I do not believe God exists.

I honestly don’t see how anyone could even consider that to be a valid moral or ethical system.

[ Edited: 12 July 2019 16:57 by Garret]
 
EN
 
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EN
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12 July 2019 18:45
 
Garret - 12 July 2019 04:39 PM
EN - 12 July 2019 03:55 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 02:54 PM

Do you accept someone else’s experience as evidence for what is real?
In the above case, do you accept someone else’s experience of being abducted by aliens as evidence that they were in fact abducted by aliens?

I’m not asking you if you believe that they experienced something.  I am asking if you accept their claim as being true.  Not “true for them”, but actually true.  If I were to posit a competing claim that they were just hallucinating, would you view their original claim of aliens being real as being more probable than my new claim of it being a hallucination? (not even picking one as being 100% true, but just which is more likely to be true)

No. Just as with my experience, it is not evidence for anyone else, only the person experiencing it. It may give them a reason to believe.  I have no reason to believe in abduction by aliens, having never experienced it.  Now, aliens may exist - the concept of life in other solar systems is not far-fetched.  Some may be more highly advanced than we are.  But I have no experience with them. I simply suspend judgment on that issue.  Now, Butt Fairies I don’t believe in.  But I can understand why GAD does.

We aren’t suspending judgement.  You either believe the claim or you don’t.

Now to clarify that statement, not believing doesn’t mean you are positive that the claim is false.  It just means you are unconvinced that it is true.  Think of it like being on jury duty.  Just because you vote “not guilty” doesn’t mean you think they are innocent, you just don’t think there is sufficient evidence to find them guilty.

In this case, it sounds like you find aliens “not guilty” of existing.  There is insufficient evidence to determine that they are “guilty” of existing based on our discussion so far.

If I experience something as true, I believe it until shown it is false.  I have never experienced aliens, so I have no reason to to believe in them.  I can be convinced by by logic or evidence or experience.  If I have none of that, I don’t believe. But I don’t necessarily discount the possibility of that.  But if it is obvious bullshit, like Butt Fairies or pink unicorns, I disregard it.  Does that help?

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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12 July 2019 19:47
 
Garret - 12 July 2019 10:53 AM
Brick Bungalow - 12 July 2019 01:26 AM
Garret - 11 July 2019 08:49 PM

P1: only things that exist can be the cause of an effect.
P2: we cannot demonstrate that God exists.
C: therefore, we cannot assume that God is the cause of anything.

To be clear there, God could be the cause of something, but until we can demonstrate God’s existence, we cannot reasonably assume God is the cause.

.

I’m pretty sure that syllogism isn’t valid. I’ll leave it to the more experienced logicians.

 

Just curious, which part of the syllogism do you disagree with.  I’m not the best at creating them either, so I’m more than willing to clear up the language.

I’m not either but a few problems occur to me. The set of things that exists is not identical to the set of things we can demonstrate. Otherwise there would no point to future inquiry. The phrase ‘things that exist’ is too ambiguous and possibly redundant. Do mental events exist? Do stories exist? Even if god doesn’t exist the mere conviction that she exists seems to motivate all sorts of behavior. So, I think it’s fair to say that the idea of god, of an imaginary god, actually causes all sorts of things.

I suspect the question of whether an imaginary being can be the cause of something is more a measure of personal semantics and emphasis than it is logical. I used to believe in werewolves and would hide from them in the closet. Did an imaginary werewolf cause that behavior or did MY imagination of a werewolf cause it? If there is a difference I’m not sure I know what it is.

But again, others here are more formally trained and could probably arrange it better.

 

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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12 July 2019 20:09
 
Garret - 12 July 2019 07:47 AM

No, I think the confusion is that everyone arguing for an unexaminable experience use real world examples that we can always examine.
.

We will have to simply agree to disagree here.

Human experience is far more varied and chaotic than merely a set of reports about events that can be verified with other means. We have idealistic visions for the future. We have flattering retrospective versions of stories involving ourselves and our lovers. We can can invent all sorts of private languages. We are adapted to see predatory animals that don’t really exist. We speculate and predict and gamble with occasional success. We create art. All of this and much more lies within the gamut of our experience and none of it is a strict measure of proportions in nature. God may not exist in nature but god experiences do. They are common all over the world They are real world events.

I’m not explicitly arguing for god experiences. That’s just a throwaway example. I’m arguing for the primacy of experience at large and I’m not willing to throw god experiences away just because I don’t have them or because I find fault with the concept. I don’t favor it either. It is simply one variety and as it happens a common variety that is the cause of a lot of polarization. I don’t think the god of any major religion exists. I do think god experiences are informative about the property of our minds and not just in negative ways.

I share all of your concerns about the problems with religious claims and explanations. I think it’s a great source of misery and confusion in the world. Even worse its a great source of false confidence and unwarranted satisfaction. I’m happy to check any box you like in that camp.

The fact that we cannot verify another persons story about god is true. But I caution against assuming we have strong counter examples. I think most often when we are satisfied and convinced by story it isn’t because some valid case has been made. I think we rest on our intuition and our familiarity and our interest.

But we’ve come full circle already. Good talk.

 

 

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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12 July 2019 20:10
 
Brick Bungalow - 12 July 2019 07:47 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 10:53 AM
Brick Bungalow - 12 July 2019 01:26 AM
Garret - 11 July 2019 08:49 PM

P1: only things that exist can be the cause of an effect.
P2: we cannot demonstrate that God exists.
C: therefore, we cannot assume that God is the cause of anything.

To be clear there, God could be the cause of something, but until we can demonstrate God’s existence, we cannot reasonably assume God is the cause.

.

I’m pretty sure that syllogism isn’t valid. I’ll leave it to the more experienced logicians.

 

Just curious, which part of the syllogism do you disagree with.  I’m not the best at creating them either, so I’m more than willing to clear up the language.

I’m not either but a few problems occur to me. The set of things that exists is not identical to the set of things we can demonstrate. Otherwise there would no point to future inquiry. The phrase ‘things that exist’ is too ambiguous and possibly redundant. Do mental events exist? Do stories exist? Even if god doesn’t exist the mere conviction that she exists seems to motivate all sorts of behavior. So, I think it’s fair to say that the idea of god, of an imaginary god, actually causes all sorts of things.

I suspect the question of whether an imaginary being can be the cause of something is more a measure of personal semantics and emphasis than it is logical. I used to believe in werewolves and would hide from them in the closet. Did an imaginary werewolf cause that behavior or did MY imagination of a werewolf cause it? If there is a difference I’m not sure I know what it is.

But again, others here are more formally trained and could probably arrange it better.

 

Would the werewolf have existed without your mind?

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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12 July 2019 20:23
 
Brick Bungalow - 12 July 2019 08:09 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 07:47 AM

No, I think the confusion is that everyone arguing for an unexaminable experience use real world examples that we can always examine.
.

We will have to simply agree to disagree here.

Human experience is far more varied and chaotic than merely a set of reports about events that can be verified with other means. We have idealistic visions for the future. We have flattering retrospective versions of stories involving ourselves and our lovers. We can can invent all sorts of private languages. We are adapted to see predatory animals that don’t really exist. We speculate and predict and gamble with occasional success. We create art. All of this and much more lies within the gamut of our experience and none of it is a strict measure of proportions in nature. God may not exist in nature but god experiences do. They are common all over the world They are real world events.

I’m not explicitly arguing for god experiences. That’s just a throwaway example. I’m arguing for the primacy of experience at large and I’m not willing to throw god experiences away just because I don’t have them or because I find fault with the concept. I don’t favor it either. It is simply one variety and as it happens a common variety that is the cause of a lot of polarization. I don’t think the god of any major religion exists. I do think god experiences are informative about the property of our minds and not just in negative ways.

I share all of your concerns about the problems with religious claims and explanations. I think it’s a great source of misery and confusion in the world. Even worse its a great source of false confidence and unwarranted satisfaction. I’m happy to check any box you like in that camp.

The fact that we cannot verify another persons story about god is true. But I caution against assuming we have strong counter examples. I think most often when we are satisfied and convinced by story it isn’t because some valid case has been made. I think we rest on our intuition and our familiarity and our interest.

But we’ve come full circle already. Good talk.

I have never once argued that “god experiences” don’t exist.  I am asking questions to ascertain what we can positively identify about them.

I think you and I are on the same page that most likely the experiences are the product of a human mind which has through training and teaching, constructed the theory of mind image of a God.  While I can’t prove this is the case, there does at least exist evidence that would suggest my claim is possible, while no evidence exists to suggest God is possible.

 
Garret
 
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12 July 2019 22:31
 
EN - 12 July 2019 06:45 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 04:39 PM
EN - 12 July 2019 03:55 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 02:54 PM

Do you accept someone else’s experience as evidence for what is real?
In the above case, do you accept someone else’s experience of being abducted by aliens as evidence that they were in fact abducted by aliens?

I’m not asking you if you believe that they experienced something.  I am asking if you accept their claim as being true.  Not “true for them”, but actually true.  If I were to posit a competing claim that they were just hallucinating, would you view their original claim of aliens being real as being more probable than my new claim of it being a hallucination? (not even picking one as being 100% true, but just which is more likely to be true)

No. Just as with my experience, it is not evidence for anyone else, only the person experiencing it. It may give them a reason to believe.  I have no reason to believe in abduction by aliens, having never experienced it.  Now, aliens may exist - the concept of life in other solar systems is not far-fetched.  Some may be more highly advanced than we are.  But I have no experience with them. I simply suspend judgment on that issue.  Now, Butt Fairies I don’t believe in.  But I can understand why GAD does.

We aren’t suspending judgement.  You either believe the claim or you don’t.

Now to clarify that statement, not believing doesn’t mean you are positive that the claim is false.  It just means you are unconvinced that it is true.  Think of it like being on jury duty.  Just because you vote “not guilty” doesn’t mean you think they are innocent, you just don’t think there is sufficient evidence to find them guilty.

In this case, it sounds like you find aliens “not guilty” of existing.  There is insufficient evidence to determine that they are “guilty” of existing based on our discussion so far.

If I experience something as true, I believe it until shown it is false.  I have never experienced aliens, so I have no reason to to believe in them.  I can be convinced by by logic or evidence or experience.  If I have none of that, I don’t believe. But I don’t necessarily discount the possibility of that.  But if it is obvious bullshit, like Butt Fairies or pink unicorns, I disregard it.  Does that help?

Okay, I’m happy ending here with the caveat that this is not a rational proposition.

 
Poldano
 
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Poldano
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13 July 2019 01:02
 

When I mentioned in a previous post that all explanations outside of religious or political belief systems were myths, I intended to include some very deep and basic things that seem to be ontological necessities. Some of these are:

(1) That reality comprises objects.

(2) That objects can be identified as entities with attributes, which makes them amenable to reasoning via the Predicate Calculus and Relational Theory, etc.

(3) That objective reality is knowable without subjective experience.

That reality comprises discrete objects (AKA “things”) breaks down with almost any in-depth empirical study. It works fine at a level of perception and cognition that humans are familiar with, but becomes less and less reliable as the scale of what’s being studied varies from what humans are familiar with. It should be thrown out, except that it is too useful a shorthand, compared to the alternatives, to be done away with. It’s so useful that natural selection has probably ensured that it is hard-wired into every biological information-processing system in existence.

That objects can be identified as entities with attributes breaks down with the hoary and still unresolved philosophical nugget of something, a vehicle perhaps, having every part replaced one-at-a-time, while another thing is constructed from the replaced parts in a different place. Which of the things is the original and which is the replacement or copy? I say that the huge volumes of words propping up the entire object-identity house of cards attempts to justify what is essentially a myth that is not true despite being indispensable for ordinary human activity. Wouldn’t it be better to accept that entities and attributes are useful fictions rather than the stuff of axioms about reality?

That objective reality is knowable without subjective experience cannot be true for humans, who cannot know without subjective experience. Only the dubious denial of subjective experience in automata and organisms without evident capability for consciousness supports that position for non-humans, and that denial depends on some weaseling around the definition of subjective experience. What is known about objective reality is necessarily a shared consubjective construction, because there is no place that we can get to from which non-subjective data collection, or in other words data collection without constraints of locality, is possible.

The last point, especially, applies to the recent pages of arguments. We necessarily use prior descriptions and explanations of experiences by others to classify our own experiences. Those who have been acculturated in some religion will tend to use the language and imagery of that religion to describe experiences for which there is no immediate ostensible correlate. Those who have been acculturated in UFO/alien speculations will do likewise with that language and imagery. Such experiences are not always hallucinatory, since human mind and memory are constantly active in “replay mode”, so to speak, constructing potential connections among memories and learned assertions that are not immediately obvious.

What’s always hard is to recognize one’s own reliance on mythology. We humans tend to regard our most deeply held assumptions as incontrovertible fact, ignoring the fact that they are almost always theories rather than singular facts. Some of the mythologies that people hold dear could be surrendered, but what is there to replace them in case they actually do serve an essential purpose efficiently?

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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13 July 2019 04:24
 
Garret - 12 July 2019 10:31 PM
EN - 12 July 2019 06:45 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 04:39 PM
EN - 12 July 2019 03:55 PM
Garret - 12 July 2019 02:54 PM

Do you accept someone else’s experience as evidence for what is real?
In the above case, do you accept someone else’s experience of being abducted by aliens as evidence that they were in fact abducted by aliens?

I’m not asking you if you believe that they experienced something.  I am asking if you accept their claim as being true.  Not “true for them”, but actually true.  If I were to posit a competing claim that they were just hallucinating, would you view their original claim of aliens being real as being more probable than my new claim of it being a hallucination? (not even picking one as being 100% true, but just which is more likely to be true)

No. Just as with my experience, it is not evidence for anyone else, only the person experiencing it. It may give them a reason to believe.  I have no reason to believe in abduction by aliens, having never experienced it.  Now, aliens may exist - the concept of life in other solar systems is not far-fetched.  Some may be more highly advanced than we are.  But I have no experience with them. I simply suspend judgment on that issue.  Now, Butt Fairies I don’t believe in.  But I can understand why GAD does.

We aren’t suspending judgement.  You either believe the claim or you don’t.

Now to clarify that statement, not believing doesn’t mean you are positive that the claim is false.  It just means you are unconvinced that it is true.  Think of it like being on jury duty.  Just because you vote “not guilty” doesn’t mean you think they are innocent, you just don’t think there is sufficient evidence to find them guilty.

In this case, it sounds like you find aliens “not guilty” of existing.  There is insufficient evidence to determine that they are “guilty” of existing based on our discussion so far.

If I experience something as true, I believe it until shown it is false.  I have never experienced aliens, so I have no reason to to believe in them.  I can be convinced by by logic or evidence or experience.  If I have none of that, I don’t believe. But I don’t necessarily discount the possibility of that.  But if it is obvious bullshit, like Butt Fairies or pink unicorns, I disregard it.  Does that help?

Okay, I’m happy ending here with the caveat that this is not a rational proposition.

I realize that.  To you, that disqualifies it. To me, I see it as arational, not irrational, as I accept non-rational sources of information about reality. At least we have clearly set out our positions. Thanks for the discussion.

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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13 July 2019 10:32
 
EN - 12 July 2019 06:45 PM

If I experience something as true, I believe it until shown it is false.

Back to the magic example. So when a magician causes your signed dollar bill to mysteriously end up embedded in that apple that’s been sitting on the table all along, do you believe that the dollar became invisible, travelled through the air, and non-destructively quantum tunneled to the center of the apple?

Ron

 

 
EN
 
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13 July 2019 12:11
 
MrRon - 13 July 2019 10:32 AM
EN - 12 July 2019 06:45 PM

If I experience something as true, I believe it until shown it is false.

Back to the magic example. So when a magician causes your signed dollar bill to mysteriously end up embedded in that apple that’s been sitting on the table all along, do you believe that the dollar became invisible, travelled through the air, and non-destructively quantum tunneled to the center of the apple?

Ron

No, Ron, that’s a stupid question. He is a magician - he knows how to deceive people. There is a rational explanation for magicians’ tricks and I know that they practice the art of deception.  It’s fun, but it’s not real.  When I experience God, no magician is involved.

 
Garret
 
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13 July 2019 13:32
 
Poldano - 13 July 2019 01:02 AM

That objective reality is knowable without subjective experience cannot be true for humans, who cannot know without subjective experience. Only the dubious denial of subjective experience in automata and organisms without evident capability for consciousness supports that position for non-humans, and that denial depends on some weaseling around the definition of subjective experience. What is known about objective reality is necessarily a shared consubjective construction, because there is no place that we can get to from which non-subjective data collection, or in other words data collection without constraints of locality, is possible.

To me, this is largely a problem that exists only within philosophy.  It only matters if we prioritize the experience in our minds over whatever is actually happening.  As soon as we prioritize what is outside of our minds, this problem largely goes away.  It isn’t an unimportant discussion, but it is mostly important for how we think about thinking about thinking.  It largely disappears in actual thinking or even thinking about thinking.

 
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