Argument I havent heard before (help refuting it)

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Argument I havent heard before (help refuting it)

Postby Lucia_Rodriguez » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:48 pm

Hi everyone, this is my first post and the reason for creating an account, my name is Lucia and Im from Argentina, so I was debating with a friend about god (here is not that common to have people crazy for the church, they have like a spirituality, dont ask me to define it, like a belief in God but no regard for the church, its a though of mine then that belief is just a confortable thing they have) and I was making the argument that your beliefs depend on how you were raised and what we think its absurd other things from that, and I made the example of Zeus, he then brought up the Caver Myth (I dont know if thats the name in english, thats the direct translation form spanish) and made the point that just because you cant see something or understand it, it doesnt mean it doesnt exist and made the following example:
suppose you were isolated your hole life and have never seen a flower, someone can explain it to you, tell its parts and functions, but you wont believe they exist, they can claim to have seen them, touch them, smell them, but you havent, they can tell you there are different types that other people have seen, but you havent, so you wont believe they exist (or will you?), so, the fact that you dont think that something exist doesnt deny their existence
i didnt have much time to think of a responce but on my way home i kept thinking but couldnt come up with a comeback that was really solid, i though that the people that told you about the flowers didnt tell you that they had and authority of some sort, they didnt expect you to follow some rules and behaviours and that they were able to be proved objectibly, also people who have seen these flowers didnt claim that they were special and try to rule according to them, but still even if non flower believers say that, it doesnt mean flowers dont exist

I dont know if im clear enough, please tell me if you need me to make this more understandable
I dont know if this argument already exist if so please tell me the name and ill research it myself,
sorry for the grammar and lack of punctuation and probably misspelling

thanks!
Faith means not wanting to know what is true. — Friedrich Nietzsche
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. — Edward Gibbon
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Re: Argument I havent heard before (help refuting it)

Postby dobbie » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:15 am

Lucia wrote: [He] made the point that just because you cant see something or understand it, it doesnt mean it doesnt exist and made the following example:

Hi, Lucia. The way I see it, he had made a fair enough statement. But it was too close to the “anything goes mode.” And of course anything doesn’t go. There can’t be people living on the moon while there aren’t any people living on the moon. It has to be the one way or the other, and not “anything goes.”

[S]uppose you were isolated your hole life and have never seen a flower, someone can explain it to you, tell its parts and functions, but you wont believe they exist …

Again it was a fair enough thing to say. But the deal is, in the above case, other people have certified that they have seen flowers. So I, the guy who has never seen a flower before, am in a position to believe their testimony or disbelieve. What else can I do? If they have seen flowers, they have the advantage over me.

The flower analogy is of course leading to an assertion of the existence of God. So by extension (that is, like the flower person) the person who believes in God is supposed to have seen God. But somehow I doubt that the person wants to say he has seen God. So the flower analogy starts to fall apart once the person gets specific about the real theme, God.

I’m not in a position to say positively that there is no God of any kind. But if somebody else makes the positive assertion that there is a God and wants me to believe them, I’ll be inclined to ask a few questions. Pesky questions such as “Have you seen the God?” “Have you heard the God?” “If you have cognized the God, what did you cognize?”

If they can answer some questions like those, they would then have a hard time harmonizing their experiences with others who claim to have experienced God. And so they would sound less convincing to me. It would be hard for them to share the experience intelligently. Meanwhile I still wouldn’t be in a position to deny that their experiences were real, I would be in a position to say to them that I didn’t understand them well.

I wouldn’t be trying to win the argument. I would be trying to inform them of the way I see things. And by the same token, I would like for them to inform me of the empirical evidence they have, if they would. As far as I know, there isn’t anything beyond that approach to the matter.
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Re: Argument I havent heard before (help refuting it)

Postby sepia » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:11 pm

Lucia_Rodriguez wrote:he then brought up the Caver Myth (I dont know if thats the name in english, thats the direct translation form spanish) and made the point that just because you cant see something or understand it, it doesnt mean it doesnt exist and made the following example:
suppose you were isolated your hole life and have never seen a flower, someone can explain it to you, tell its parts and functions, but you wont believe they exist, they can claim to have seen them, touch them, smell them, but you havent, they can tell you there are different types that other people have seen, but you havent, so you wont believe they exist (or will you?), so, the fact that you dont think that something exist doesnt deny their existence

I see no reason to refute his critics on the appeal to authority. But it doesn't adress your claim that people belief the religion they were born into. As far as I understand his point it is just a straw man. Or did you claim, that no god exists?

Furthermore: If he claims that there is a god you can use the same argumentation against this claim: Belief in the existence of a god implies belief in the nonexistence of anything which contradicts the existence of this god. For example more, that one god or a magical chaos creating the physical world without wanting it or Henry the great magician, who supernaturally knows, that there is no god. All this is hypothetically possible, just like a monotheistic god. But monotheists belief that these things don't exist. All people, including theists are kept in our world, which is in his analogy the cave. Agnostics don't claim to know, what is outside, theists often do.
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Re: Argument I havent heard before (help refuting it)

Postby Lucia_Rodriguez » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:16 pm

sepia wrote:I see no reason to refute his critics on the appeal to authority. But it doesn't adress your claim that people belief the religion they were born into. As far as I understand his point it is just a straw man. Or did you claim, that no god exists?


Thanks! I didnt think about it as a fallacy, beacuse he wouldnt have done it intentionally, we were just having an informal conversation, and no I didnt claim that no god exists, i dont fall into that one i use the one that sais i refute the claim that a god exists.

sepia wrote:Furthermore: If he claims that there is a god you can use the same argumentation against this claim: Belief in the existence of a god implies belief in the nonexistence of anything which contradicts the existence of this god. For example more, that one god or a magical chaos creating the physical world without wanting it or Henry the great magician, who supernaturally knows, that there is no god. All this is hypothetically possible, just like a monotheistic god. But monotheists belief that these things don't exist. All people, including theists are kept in our world, which is in his analogy the cave. Agnostics don't claim to know, what is outside, theists often do.


I used the argument in some way, based on some things that he had said, that his particullar belief was based on convenience, confort, and I made the point of the context in wich you are brought up and how that affect what you belief and made the exaple that he disvelief that there is a unicord on the dark side of the moon, which he answered of course that he didnt, but when I said that that unicorn would be the one to reunite you with you loved ones one you are dead, he said that he would believe it.

One more question, would it be wrong for the person that, in the exaple, doesnt believe there are such things as flowers to say they dont believe they do even if they exist? That person based on his evidence has no proof for flowers (not to mention that he could eventualy get proof)
Faith means not wanting to know what is true. — Friedrich Nietzsche
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. — Edward Gibbon
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Re: Argument I havent heard before (help refuting it)

Postby sepia » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:10 pm

Lucia_Rodriguez wrote:One more question, would it be wrong for the person that, in the exaple, doesnt believe there are such things as flowers to say they dont believe they do even if they exist? That person based on his evidence has no proof for flowers (not to mention that he could eventualy get proof)

I find this hard to answer, because this cave scenario is so strange and not very detailed. I wonder, why people aren't using more common scenarios. For example, if somebody claims, he has seen a lion walking down the street in manhattan, what evidence should he offer that his claim is trustable, or what evidence should be offered to refute his claim and explain it - for example - with lying or halluciantion?

P.S.: I find you should read about the outsider test in the iron chariots wiki. Its a strategy to see, how claims of beliefers appear to outsider. I think the important things you know already, but it might be good to have a name.
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Re: Argument I havent heard before (help refuting it)

Postby DjVortex » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:39 am

Lucia_Rodriguez wrote:just because you cant see something or understand it, it doesnt mean it doesnt exist


That's the core problem of the whole argument.

The problem with that "argument" (if it can even be called that) is that it's useless. It could be used to argue for the existence of anything you want. There's a reason why we don't assess the veracity of claims by simply thinking "just because we can't measure it doesn't mean it doesn't exist".

Exercise: What other fantastical things can you come up with, and argue for their existence using the above?
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Re: Argument I havent heard before (help refuting it)

Postby sepia » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:18 am

The argument isn't useless to refute an argument from ignorance or an argument from personal incredulity. But its useless to argume, that something exists.
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Re: Argument I havent heard before (help refuting it)

Postby SkyDaddy » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:57 am

This is an easy argument to refute, and honestly its a terrible argument.

1) The flower's existence is pointless, it is not effecting your life in any way, and until it does it does not matter. In this case you can believe or disbelieve solely based on the credibility of the person making the claim, and comparing his claim to things about the world you already know. Trees exist, so hey, flowers might exist too, cool beans.

2) If the existence of the flower is important for some reason, then you have to examine the credibility of the person making the claim, and comparing his claim to things about the world you already know. Trees exist, so hey, flowers might exist too.
If he can bring you a flower or lead you to one, then it is proven. If he can't, and you cant find any within a reasonable amount of time, then it is not currently attainable and the importance goes down the drain. (this means back to answer 1)

In this case, if it were a god who made rules for how you should live, and he supposedly has all the power in the universe, well the claim of his existence and the rules he made also hold no importance until he can demonstrate to every single person that he has the ability to enforce his rules (this means, appearing to each and every person and convincing them), until he does so, only a fool would blindly obey because of a unproven promise of a reward or an unproven threat of punishment, no matter how nice you are told he is or what you are told he did for you thousands of years before you existed.

One cannot choose to believe, but one can confuse himself and become deluded until he thinks he believes x, and stay deluded by running away from examining evidence.
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