The problem of proving, that there is no proof

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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:38 pm

Lausten:

You are either a troll, or acting enough like one to be ignored.

Then why haven't you ignored me?

That is ad hominem by the way.
Last edited by GrammarOfAssent on Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:02 am

Lausten:

By describing your position and your reason for it, you are specifically stating that you are not being arbitrary, you are using reason and you are not locking yourself out of hearing any new evidence that may guide you toward "the truth".

Well of course. However, if you have taken a position (i.e. a conclusion...even if not definitive or "certain"), and you have reasons (i.e. arguments) for adopting that position, then you should be able to defend those arguments and that conclusion. If you can't, you either refine your arguments/conclusion, or you abandon it.

So far, I have understood your reason (i.e. argument) for adopting the negative position, by default, to be: it is analogous to a legal proceeding. I reject that fallacious induction.

Stating that you are choosing a default position is virtually the same as staying neutral

A default position is taken in the absence of an alternative. I am suggesting that the alternative is taking no position, or the opposite position. If there are alternatives...there is no default position.

There are many cases where it would be irrational to take someone at their word. You defined one right in your explanation. The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I know. That is why it is fallacious. Thank you for recognizing my example as truly fallacious. I am glad you see that.

It is just as fallacious to see the rationality involved in legal proceedings and then to apply that same methodology to "the god question".

In the same way that there are cases in which it would be irrational to take a person at their word, there are cases in which it is irrational (at least unnecessary) to treat as if it were a legal proceeding. I maintain that "the god question" is one of those cases.

You are using a default position; "I'm going to accept that you just gave me your real name and proceed as if that is true, until further evidence tells me otherwise."

Haha. There ARE cases in which that is perfectly normal and valid. That is fine. The point you totally missed is this: just because there are specific cases in which such methods ARE valid DOES NOT mean that those methods are valid for EVERY case. You agreed above. Now apply it to your analogy of legal proceedings and tell me why I'm wrong.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby Lausten » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:25 pm

just because there are specific cases in which such methods ARE valid DOES NOT mean that those methods are valid for EVERY case


Right, and if you thought about the definition of "analogy", this would fit it. I made an analogy. It was not perfect. That does not completely invalidate the analogy. I stand by it, as an analogy.

Now you need to start defining how your god question is different, and why my default position should not apply to it.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:18 pm

Lausten:

That does not completely invalidate the analogy. I stand by it, as an analogy.

I never said it wasn't an analogy. It is. I said it is the fallacy of a "false analogy". Look it up. Your analogy (though in some fashion analogous to the god question) is not a valid reason to take the negative as a "default position". It is a fallacious induction (because there are more dissimilarities than there are similarities).

Even if you had used a better and more fitting analogy, it wouldn't be sufficient in demonstrating your conclusion. Analogies can't do that in principle.

Now you need to start defining how your god question is different, and why my default position should not apply to it.

No I don't. It's your position, and your burden of proof. You have provided precious little. But since you will refuse and dance around it:

As far as I can tell, the only thing similar between the court case and the god question is that they are attempting to answer a question.

In the court case, a person is being accused (by another party) of a crime that, if convicted, will result in some penalty. The people accused receive the judgment of "innocent until proven guilty" BECAUSE, in the eyes of the state, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE. it is not MERELY a "default position" the state "entertains" as a formality so that there can be a trial. The accused are innocent because, until the accusation, they have lived in such a way that DEMONSTRATES their innocence (unless evidence is shown to t he contrary). A good defense lawyer includes this demonstration as a part of the case. Also, accused people are able to be present and (with the aid of a lawyer) defend themselves against the accusing party. Witnesses are called, testimonies taken, and a judge presides. A group of ordinary people witness the proceedings and ultimately determine the verdict.

In the god question, a single person is able to ask themselves the question, "does a god exist?". That same person can consider "witnesses" and "testimony" (i.e. data/evidence/argument/logic/reason). That same person can determine the "verdict" (i.e. judgment).

People can consider the god question within the confines of their own rational thought. In a legal proceeding, several individuals, all with distinct roles and responsibilities consider the question within the predetermined and highly specific framework and methodology of a judicial system.

The legal proceeding analogy is a false one if used to demonstrate that there is a "default position" when considering the god question.

Further, as I already mentioned, it is also the fallacy of "special case":

There are certain questions (e.g. regarding the innocence of an individual) that are rightly answered within a special and predetermined methodology (e.g. a judicial system). It is fallacious to argue that this special methodology should be employed to answer any question based on the fact that it should be used to answer a special sort of question.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby Lausten » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:41 pm

I'll give it to you that I have "burden of proof" on demonstrating my analogy is valid, but I'm not going to bother to attempt to do anymore proving than I have already done.

You still have considerable burden on any number of assertions you have made.

Your "single person" discussion is crap and has very little to do with my analogy. How about taking a look at countries that don't have "innocent until proven guilty"? Think about people in prison, dying of starvation or beat to death who never did a darn thing wrong. Doesn't much matter what I think about that person's innocence. Doesn't much matter what the truth is. Their just dead. That's the fact jack.

If we lived in a world where people considered the god question in their heads and didn't discuss it much or didn't try to impose God's will on others, we wouldn't be talking about this. There wouldn't be a need for this forum or for the ACA.

And what the hell is a "special case" fallacy. I can't find that and I've never heard of it. If it exists, you did a poor job of applying. The courts use "innocent until proven guilty" because of the difficulty of proving 100% innocence and the unjust nature of assuming someone is guilty. I suggest using "god does not exist until proven to" because of the difficulty of proving non-existence and the unjust nature of claiming power over others and dictating their actions based on something unproven. And I'll repeat, if people weren't currently doing things like fighting for a marriage amendment, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby sepia » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:09 pm

Lausten wrote:So, back to the original post. I'm actually happy with the three alternatives offered. It was only the "prove it is impossible" part that had me bothered. It is a worthy goal, but how do you apply it to the God question?

Maybe we can't.

Lausten wrote:I can discuss the logic of Pascal's wager, but I haven't heard or thought of a way to prove God doesn't exist. I can discuss why I don't trust the Bible as evidence, but I don't have a way to disprove the claims. But there are lots of wild claims I can't disprove. Why should I bother?

I don't think you should in an ethical way. You are free to be not interested. But I think maybe some other people are interested. I found it interesting to think about the topic.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:35 pm

Lausten:

I'll give it to you that I have "burden of proof" on demonstrating my analogy is valid, but I'm not going to bother to attempt to do anymore proving than I have already done.

That is fine... but you will bother to critique my critique =).

Your "single person" discussion is crap and has very little to do with my analogy. How about taking a look at countries that don't have "innocent until proven guilty"? Think about people in prison, dying of starvation or beat to death who never did a darn thing wrong. Doesn't much matter what I think about that person's innocence. Doesn't much matter what the truth is. Their just dead. That's the fact jack.

Now this ^ is interesting. A few things...

1) Think about the people in American prisons who "never did a darn thing wrong" (i.e. innocent people found guilty). You don't have to imagine people in a foreign country to find the wrongly imprisoned. Even if there is only one innocent person in prison...it is too many.

2) Your example demonstrates my point exactly. The question of a person's innocence is one that is most prudently answered with a special sort of method (a sort that is absent in foreign countries). The answer affects an individual in such a way that a great deal of care needs to be taken in finding that answer. It would be fallacious to conclude that all questions, therefore, need to be treated in such a way. It might be the case that the god question needs to be treated in a way similar to the court case. You have not even begun to demonstrate this to be the case. All you have done is critique the manner in which I have pointed this out, and indicate that you have no intention of arguing why the "default position" when considering the god question should be in the negative.

3) "Doesn't much matter what the truth is." <= I hope you do not really believe this. I happen to believe that the truth matters a great deal, and I am sure those people who suffer and die unjustly care(d) a great deal as well.

If we lived in a world where people considered the god question in their heads and didn't discuss it much or didn't try to impose God's will on others, we wouldn't be talking about this. There wouldn't be a need for this forum or for the ACA.

The point was not that people don't talk about the god question publicly. Obviously they do. The point is that a person can rationally and JUSTLY consider the god question on their own (in fact, you allude to this point...when people infringe on this personal freedom of thought...you reject that intrusion). However, when it comes to the question of another person's innocence, it is impossible in principle to consider the question independent of another person. Comparing the process to the American legal system was YOUR analogy, so, for sake of this discussion, it does not matter what the process is in other countries. In ours, many people are required in order to answer the question. It is NOT the case with the god question. That was simply one point among many dissimilarities.

And what the hell is a "special case" fallacy. I can't find that and I've never heard of it. If it exists, you did a poor job of applying.

And I see that you had no intention of explaining why it was a "poor job".

Special case is a version of cherry picking or faulty generalization. It is the opposite of dicto simpliciter. It is when a special case of something is used in an attempt to prove it to be true generally.

I suggest using "god does not exist until proven to" because of the difficulty of proving non-existence

Which is very much different from "god's existence is false until proven true"
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby Lausten » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:20 am

I found it interesting to think about the topic.

And I find it interesting as well, in a philosophical sense. And just for pure entertainment. Just letting your imagination run wild and thinking up all sorts of alternative universes where we exist only provide an energy source for something else, or only in the mind of some other type of being. That's all fine. But usually, when someone starts talking about proving or disproving a god, they are quite serious about it.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby Lausten » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:24 am

Lausten:I suggest using "god does not exist until proven to" because of the difficulty of proving non-existence

Which is very much different from "god's existence is false until proven true"

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Did I say, "god's existence is false until proven true" ?
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:08 am

Lausten:

Did I say, "god's existence is false until proven true" ?

Nope. If you recognize the difference between the two, then it means you recognize that there are three options as answers:

1) God's existence is true

2) God's existence is false

3) God's existence is undetermined

Obviously you have not been advocating 1 as the default position. Your rhetorical/sarcastic question quoted above probably means that you have not been advocating 2 as the default. Which leaves 3. 3 Is not analogous to "innocent until proven guilty" in any way.

If, all along, you have been advocating, "treat the god question as undetermined until it can be determined" (I highly doubt it), then you have been saying absolutely nothing.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:12 am

Lausten:

I suggest using "god does not exist until proven to" because of the difficulty of proving non-existence

Why don't you just avoid the confusion and use, "God's existence is under consideration" or "God's existence is undetermined" or "I have not decided if god exists or not", etc.

"God does not exist" is too ambiguous. Ask TAE.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby BahRayMew » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:37 am

GrammarOfAssent wrote:Lausten:

I suggest using "god does not exist until proven to" because of the difficulty of proving non-existence

Why don't you just avoid the confusion and use, "God's existence is under consideration" or "God's existence is undetermined" or "I have not decided if god exists or not", etc.

"God does not exist" is too ambiguous. Ask TAE.


We don't say "innocent until proven guilty" to mean that there is never any consideration or a future consideration for the guilt or innocence of this person.

You have no idea what you're talking about, but you don't care because you think you're scoring points on some trivial technicality.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby Lausten » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:57 pm

Bah wrote:We don't say "innocent until proven guilty" to mean that there is never any consideration or a future consideration for the guilt or innocence of this person.

You have no idea what you're talking about, but you don't care because you think you're scoring points on some trivial technicality.

Well, I don't know what YOU are talking about. What "we" are you referring to. My country has "double jeopardy" in the constitution. You can get tried in a civil case for the same thing that you were found innocent of in a criminal case, but I don't know of any other technical way to get around it. This was done for O.J. Simpson. Of course much of the public considered him guilty, but that is a different issue. Is this the "future consideration" you are referring to?
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:52 pm

BahRayMew:

You have no idea what you're talking about, but you don't care because you think you're scoring points on some trivial technicality.

This sentence is ad hominem. Is that the best you have?

It might be true that I don't know what I am talking about. It might be true that I don't care that I don't know what I am talking about. It might be true that the reason for my lack of care is that I believe I've "scored points" on a trivial technicality. What does that have to do with the argument? (Answer: nothing).

We don't say "innocent until proven guilty" to mean that there is never any consideration or a future consideration for the guilt or innocence of this person.

Who cares? (This is where you supply reasoning...)
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby Lausten » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:11 am

This thread has suddenly become very confused. I forget what it is I believe. Could someone remind me?
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