Science vs. Humanities

Epistemologist
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Science vs. Humanities

I have been having an interesting discussion with some nice forum members. I enjoyed it. Thank you. A stance I held in that discussion is that there are aspects of the human experience that are ineffable to science.

 

Three years ago, I studied a year-long module on the humanities at university. I was taught that the humanities study and convey truths, meanings, and knowledge, that are not accessible through the sciences. In other words, academics who specialize in the humanities, from what I have learned, maintain that the humanities study and convey aspects of the human experience that cannot be and/or are not studied or conveyed by the sciences.

 

By the sciences I mean mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology etc.

 

By the humanities I mean music, poetry and other creative writing, drama, painting, sculpture, law, history, linguistics etc.

 

I have some questions about this.

 

Is it irrational to conclude that the humanities study and express truths, meanings, and knowledge, which cannot be and/or are not studied or expressed by the sciences?

 

A related question is, do the humanities encompass aspects of the human experience (truths, meanings and knowledge) that are ineffable to the sciences, but not ineffable to the humanities? In other words, are there aspects of the human experience that can be known through the humanities, but not known through the sciences?

 

Do the humanities encompass aspects of the human experience that are not reducible to scientific naturalism?

 

Since specialists in the humanities maintain that the humanities encompass aspects of the human experience that are not or cannot be encompassed by the sciences, does that mean that the humanities are in opposition to scientific naturalism?

 

If a person concludes that the humanities do indeed encompass truths, meanings, and knowledge, that cannot be or are not encompassed by the sciences, does that mean that person is not a scientific naturalist?

 

There seem to be many scientific naturalists in this forum, and I would be most interested in your thoughts on this. I am not going to debate you. I just want to know, from your perspective, whether it is irrational to conclude that the humanities study and convey truths, meanings and knowledge that cannot be and/or are not studied and/or conveyed by the sciences.

 

Although I am an atheist, happy Easter! Smiling

 

 


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
Wow, you are a moron.

 

Name-calling just means that you’ve lost the argument, because you cannot counter what I have said using logic. If you think that what I have said is incorrect, then explain how, using logic.


v4ultingbassist
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Maybe you should read my

Maybe you should read my post before it.

 

Because you didn't address ANY of it.

 

Until then, I will freely call you a moron for trying to argue without actually addressing counter-arguments.


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Epistemologist wrote:What I

Epistemologist wrote:

What I am saying is this: the decision as to whether or not string theory is true knowledge is a metaphysical decision. So the question is also metaphysical and it is this: is string theory true knowledge? If your answer is ‘yes’, then that means you are saying that the world/universe is inside human minds (idealism wins, and physicalism loses). If your answer is ‘no’, then you are saying that the world/universe is external to human minds (physicalism wins, and idealism loses).

No. I completely disagree.

Whether or not string theory is true does not have to be a "metaphysical decision." We can probably verify, through science, whether or not it conforms to reality within the next couple of decades. And, whether or not string theory is true says nothing about idealism or physicalism. Again, string theory is a theory regarding the physical world; it attempts to merge quantum mechanics and general relativity. How does this say anything idealism? Where does string theory say anything about idealism? 

So, if string theory is verified by experimental evidence, then virtually all natural scientists will become idealists? That's kind of retarded.

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The point of conflict in the Nova documentary ‘The Elegant Universe’ is expressed by a physicist in an interview when he says, “There is physics, and there is string theory.” He said that string theory is not physics because the truth of it has not been confirmed by observation (the verifiability principle of Logical Positivism). As physicists are claiming that string theory is not physics, then what is it? There are only two possibilities. It’s physics, or it’s not. That is clearly stated on the Nova documentary.

That's an exact quote, right? Okay, he's just saying it doesn't accurately represent reality. 

Quote:
However, even if string theory is not, or never becomes, physics, that does not mean it does not accurately represent reality.

Physics is the study of matter and motion. You shouldn't go off of what that physicist said; it's not good definition to say that it's physics if it conforms to reality. I'm fairly certain that was just a succinct, funny way of saying that string theory doesn't conform to reality. 

And, string theory is theory in physics. If it accurately represents reality, then it must be physics, by your own definition.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


v4ultingbassist
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butterbattle wrote:That's

butterbattle wrote:
That's kind of retarded.

 

It's what sent me over the edge.


butterbattle
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Epistemologist wrote:

Epistemologist wrote:

 butterbattle, ad hominem just means ‘to the person’. ‘He’ and ‘she’ are references to the person.

Arrrgg. *tears hair out*

Of course the literal Latin meaning is "to the person," but nobody means that when they say "ad hominem." Nobody! An ad hominem is usually short for argumentum ad hominem, which is an argument that appeals to some characteristic possessed by the person that the argument is being made to or an ad hominem fallacy, which is just a fallacious argumentum ad hominem. Even the dictionaries agree with me, look.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ad%20hominem

Etymology: New Latin, literally, to the person

1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect

2 : marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

It's only included as an etymology.

Same here.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ad+hominem 

English Oxford

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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@E:  "We" have not

@E:  "We" have not established anything.  "You" have stated, asserted and generalized.  Not a single person has agreed to your original, primary premise.  You've got everyone in this thread asking you to demonstrate what the hell you're talking about and all you can do is make a strawman argument about math, physics and string theory.  You are coming onto a board full of math and physics students and asserting that you know more about the nature of math and physics than they do.

 

Just a hint:  When you are discussing an issue with half a dozen people, all of whom are at least somewhat familiar with the subject, and all are saying you are failing to express your primary point, perhaps you should leverage those philosophy muscles towards some introspection about why that might be the case.

 

You are insulted unless I refer to you as an 'it'?  Uh-huh.  I apologized for being rude before you really deserved it and gave you a chance to elaborate on the jumbled mess you've been writing about.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt.  You've failed.

Your arguments continue to be bald assertions aimed at a misunderstood idea of science and naturalism, and to my mind, a misunderstanding of social sciences and the humanities.  Now we are at the point where you are chanting the same idea over and over and no-one is agreeing with you.  If you aren't willing to alter your message or accept any of the input we are giving, this conversation is over, since no-one is buying your argument.

 

 

Personally, I'd like to see you lose the attitude and re-state your argument in a way that makes sense, without preaching down to us ignorant barbarians.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
“Epistemologist, I have repeatedly asked you how we are to define the truths that you posit are in conflict.  I have also pointed out that idealistic interpretation of a field of science is NOT the same thing as the science.  You say social science conflicts with natural science.  You have failed to explain how.  All you have said is that there are idealistic truths to certain areas of science, without giving ANY examples.  We will continue our stance that these truths are misinterpreted and their fields misrepresented until you present specific evidence instead.

 

You cannot continue talking in such broad generality about the existence of truths in 'idealistic science' when no one here accepts that.  We don't know what they are, because you won't tell us.”

 

And I have repeatedly defined those truths, and then you have repeatedly asked me to define them again.

 

I have never said that there is such a thing as an idealistic interpretation of a field of science. From my understanding, science proceeds in the following order:

 

1) Ontological (metaphysical) perspective e.g. naturalism/physicalism, 2) Epistemology, 3) Hypothesis, 4) Methodology (e.g. quantitative or qualitative), 5) Data, 6) Theory (knowledge).

 

What I am saying is that meaning does not come from the data. Meaning is inserted into the data from the ontological (metaphysical) perspective. I am not talking about conflict at the level of data between different scientific fields. I’m only talking about the conflict at the level of perspective.

 

I have explained how strong social science (strong sociology) conflicts with strong natural science (physics). Strong sociology maintains that the world/universe/nature is a social construct. Physics maintains, in contrast, that the world/universe/nature is an objective external reality. I have given as examples of strong sociology, social constructionism and the sociology of knowledge. What I have said is being repeatedly ignored.

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
“And I did NOT say that science comes FROM a metaphysical perspective; I said it applies TO only one that is based on the natural.  That is why I refuse your definition of the social sciences holding idealistic scientific truth.”

 

Science starts with metaphysical assumptions. The epistemology and the methodology don’t come before the metaphysics. They have to come after the metaphysics.

 

Whether you like it or not, the social sciences do hold idealistic scientific truth. That’s what the sociology of knowledge and social constructionism are. To deny that is simply dishonest.

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
“My understanding of physicalism is that most philosophers refer to the physical as the 'scientifically natural.'  In that sense, physicalism holds that all is natural and that a complete scientific model of reality can be created of nature.  I rarely see philosophers use 'chemical, biological etc,' so my understanding was that they picked physics to represent the rest of science.  Physics is no more important than chemistry is in scientific inquiry of reality.”

 

I’m, sorry to be blunt, but you’re wrong. Physics is classified as the king of the sciences. The reason why it is classified as that is because from the perspective of natural science, physics is the final arbiter of what constitutes reality. Physics is the unquestionable leader of the natural sciences.

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
“Physicalism/materialism/naturalism maintains that the world/universe is external to human minds, and therefore ultimately, can only be known through observation (empiricism).

 

Seriously, this is not a trivial error.  The human mind is NOT external to the world/universe in naturalism/etc.  This is a glaring oversight in light of your arrogance regarding philosophy.”

 

There you go again, accusing me of a claim I did not even make. You didn’t even comprehend the meaning of that sentence you are replying to. The sentence doesn’t say that the human mind is external to the world/universe in naturalism. It says that from the perspective of naturalism, the world/universe is external to human minds.

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
“I must emphasize that I only accept the definition of science by Ernest Rutherford, who said: "there is physics and there is stamp-collecting." Physics is the only science. All other sciences, including neuroscience, are pseudo-sciences.

 

As others have pointed out, this is incorrect.  This shows a lack of understanding of science on your part, and certainly hurts your position on conflict within it.

 

Actually, it reveals YOUR lack of understanding of science, and ‘hurts your position on conflict within it’. Physics is classified as the king of the sciences, because amongst the natural sciences, it is regarded as being the final arbiter of the nature and constitution of the natural world.

 

BTW, don’t use the word ‘we’ when talking about your own views. Contributors to this discussion have expressed divergent views, so to summarise them all as ‘we’ is misrepresentative of the wide spectrum of contributors to this forum. And majority rule or democracy does not logically validate the truth of statements. To do that, you have to use logic. Remember that Galileo was in the minority when he claimed that the earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa. He was nearly executed for that claim, but it doesn’t mean he was wrong. We know now that he was right.


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I almost went for a

I almost went for a philosophy degree out of high school.  This kind of discussion, and personal anecdotes, points me to thinking that philosophy seems to be about teaching people to argue themselves into ridiculous concepts and feel elitist and clever about it the whole time.

There must be a legitimate use for philosophy somewhere, and I want to meet some people that utilize it in that manner.

 

You know what this is reminding me of?  Paisley.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote: You know

mellestad wrote:
 You know what this is reminding me of?  Paisley.

Haha. Naw, Paisley is much much much much much much worse. 

Epistemologist actually defines his terms when I ask him to. Paisley would just insist that if I don't know his definition, then I'm too ignorant to participate in the discussion.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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mellestad wrote:I almost

mellestad wrote:

I almost went for a philosophy degree out of high school.  This kind of discussion, and personal anecdotes, points me to thinking that philosophy seems to be about teaching people to argue themselves into ridiculous concepts and feel elitist and clever about it the whole time.

There must be a legitimate use for philosophy somewhere, and I want to meet some people that utilize it in that manner.

 

You know what this is reminding me of?  Paisley.

Interesting that you are coming to much the same conclusion I have about Philosophy as a whole, after I started from a position of reading up on it quite enthusiastically.

Thinking about how to think about and frame subjective things like 'the meaning of life', ethics and many social issues seems to me to be its most appropriate remaining use.

Although I think the Monty Python movie "The Meaning of Life" probably captured it about as well as it could be.

I can see some similarities to the Paisley...

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 

butterbattle wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:
My point is that you are falsely interpreting a difference of approach as a conflict.

 

Ha! You explained that better with one sentence than I could with several paragraphs.

 

 

Differences of approach are conflicts. They are also complimentary or coexistent. To conclude that they are complimentary and coexistent, without admitting that they are also conflicting, is simply dishonest, or reveals profound misunderstanding.


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Epistemologist

Epistemologist wrote:

Differences of approach are conflicts. They are also complimentary or coexistent. To conclude that they are complimentary and coexistent, without admitting that they are also conflicting, is simply dishonest, or reveals profound misunderstanding.

So.....they are complimentary and conflicting?

How is it a conflict? 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
“Until then, I will freely call you a moron for trying to argue without actually addressing counter-arguments.”

 

I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to butterbattle. I can’t multi-task by responding to two or more people simultaneously. And I have now responded to you.

 

To everyone: Please wait your turn. Patience is a virtue.

 

Name-calling is never justified in a debate. I’m not offended. It merely is not a way of effectively refuting a logical argument. It doesn’t work.

 

It is well known that internet forums breed a mob mentality in which people form gangs and seek to refute logic through democracy. That’s a fallacy. Logic can only be refuted with logic.


BobSpence
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Epistemologist

Epistemologist wrote:

 

butterbattle wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:
My point is that you are falsely interpreting a difference of approach as a conflict.

Ha! You explained that better with one sentence than I could with several paragraphs.

 

Differences of approach are conflicts. They are also complimentary or coexistent. To conclude that they are complimentary and coexistent, without admitting that they are also conflicting, is simply dishonest, or reveals profound misunderstanding.

No they are not, at least not necessarily.

A conflict exists only when the two different approaches come up with incompatible interpretations of some aspect of the object of study. Otherwise they just reveal different ways of looking at the same object. An sculpture may be analysed for its size and form by one person, for its overall aesthetic impact by another, the techniques employed in creating it by another, and so on, all from different disciplines. A conflict would only arise if, for example, the person investigating how it was carved, from knowledge about the artist and the historical context, concluded that some particular tool would have been used, while someone analysing it 'forensically' for traces of tool-marks, or any tiny fragments of the tool embedded in the material, or such explicitly physical evidence, came to a different conclusion.

More careful historical research on one hand, and more careful analysis of the physical evidence on the other, would be how they would hope to resolve the issue. It may be that more than one type of tool or technique was employed, or more than one artist worked on it. This is how people from different disciplines work together. 

Metaphysical considerations would not be at all useful or relevant here, if anywhere. That can be safely left to the academics in their 'ivory towers' to debate amongst themselves.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


v4ultingbassist
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Epistemologist wrote:And I

Epistemologist wrote:

And I have repeatedly defined those truths, and then you have repeatedly asked me to define them again.

 

No, you have continually asserted that there exist certain truths in things like social constructionism that contradict natural science.  You have failed to provide any specific examples.  I want you to provide examples to show you why they don't conflict.  You are arguing conflict with generalizations and definitions of areas that we aren't agreeing with.  As Mellestad said, we haven't agreed on premises, and that is what I am trying to address.

 

Also, I didn't ask to you to define the truths.  I asked you HOW we can define truths.  As I said, you have been saying all of these perspectives have some amount of truth.  Bob addressed this, that you are saying they each have truths, but are in conflict.  We will offer our view on things, because we DON'T accept those other views as true.  As scientific naturalists (for the most part), we reject things like social constructionism and misinterpretation.  You are assuming that these areas hold some universal truths, but you haven't said what those truths are (specifically).

 

Quote:

I have never said that there is such a thing as an idealistic interpretation of a field of science.

 

Um.  What?  You were arguing that the social sciences interpret their field idealistically resulting in ideas like social constructionism.  That is definitely idealistic interpretation of science.

 

Quote:

From my understanding, science proceeds in the following order:

 

1) Ontological (metaphysical) perspective e.g. naturalism/physicalism, 2) Epistemology, 3) Hypothesis, 4) Methodology (e.g. quantitative or qualitative), 5) Data, 6) Theory (knowledge).

 

What I am saying is that meaning does not come from the data. Meaning is inserted into the data from the ontological (metaphysical) perspective. I am not talking about conflict at the level of data between different scientific fields. I’m only talking about the conflict at the level of perspective.

 

Then you are essentially arguing that meaning comes before data, and knowledge.  I would think meaning would come after data and knowledge, because my understanding of 'meaning' is 'comprehension of.'  It is impossible to comprehend (find meaning in) something before it is known (knowledge).

 

Also, as I said, the scientific method doesn't presuppose anything.  The method, by definition, only works on the empirical.  This doesn't require anything prior to experimentation, with the exception of the guidelines for the method itself. 

 

Quote:

I have explained how strong social science (strong sociology) conflicts with strong natural science (physics). Strong sociology maintains that the world/universe/nature is a social construct. Physics maintains, in contrast, that the world/universe/nature is an objective external reality. I have given as examples of strong sociology, social constructionism and the sociology of knowledge. What I have said is being repeatedly ignored.

 

No, you haven't.  You've just said it over and over by repeating the distinction between the two monistic extremes.  You have not provided truths for us to even accept or reject that are based on sociology of knowledge or social constructionism.  Tell me, what is a truth, understood in social constructionism, and why is it true?  I brought up the idea of impossibility of absolute truth because you can't even argue something as true without a standards for truth (a worldview).

 

We aren't ignoring what you are saying.  We get it.  They are in conflict, in your mind.  If you give me examples of two things in conflict that aren't generalized positions on the understanding of reality, I can argue which I think is true.

 

If you are unwilling to attempt to resolve the conflict, you will never obtain understanding of reality.

 

Quote:

Science starts with metaphysical assumptions. The epistemology and the methodology don’t come before the metaphysics. They have to come after the metaphysics.

 

Countless scientists do not consult philosophers before they experiment and find something useful for technology.  Frankly, I don't care that they ignore philosophy.

 

Quote:

Whether you like it or not, the social sciences do hold idealistic scientific truth. That’s what the sociology of knowledge and social constructionism are. To deny that is simply dishonest.

 

 

You are contradicting yourself.  You just said, a few lines above, that you weren't positing an idealistic interpretation of a field of science.  Now you are telling me that regardless of what I say, there exist idealistic scientific truths. (Which, btw, you have failed to express.  I don't know of any idealistic truths.  Enlighten me.)  You should take your own argument to heart and realize that that isn't true because they contradict, by definition.

 

Do I deny they hold it as true?  No.  I deny that they're right.  I'm arguing that they are wrong.  Are you seriously just arguing that different perspectives believe different, contradictory, things?  If that is all you are doing, then my question is why?  What purpose does that serve? 

Quote:

I’m, sorry to be blunt, but you’re wrong. Physics is classified as the king of the sciences. The reason why it is classified as that is because from the perspective of natural science, physics is the final arbiter of what constitutes reality. Physics is the unquestionable leader of the natural sciences.

 

Does it make sense to use quarks to define gene transfer?  No.  It doesn't.  It is a common misconception that physics is the king of all science, because its fields ended up being the most fundamental extremes (smallest and largest) of reality.  I would've agreed with you a few weeks ago, but a discussion here set me straight.  The concept of natural selection is meaningless at the quantum scale.  Quantum physics can't describe evolution.  Biology can.  Why, then, is biology a 'lesser' science?

 

Epistemologist wrote:
“Physicalism/materialism/naturalism maintains that the world/universe is external to human minds,

Quote:

There you go again, accusing me of a claim I did not even make. You didn’t even comprehend the meaning of that sentence you are replying to. The sentence doesn’t say that the human mind is external to the world/universe in naturalism. It says that from the perspective of naturalism, the world/universe is external to human minds.

 

I called you a moron because you actually think there is a significant difference between what is bolded.  I'm not even angry, I'm actually happy because I find it hilarious.

And, again, you are wrong.  From the perspective of physicalism/etc, the human mind is contained within the natural.  It would be dualistic if it were external (sorry, if the natural were external).  What you are proposing is human minds and the natural.  That is dualistic.  Idealism is all mind, physicalism is all physical/natural.  That includes the mind.  The mind exists IN the natural in physicalism/etc, and you should know that if you actually understand the position.

 

Quote:

Actually, it reveals YOUR lack of understanding of science, and ‘hurts your position on conflict within it’. Physics is classified as the king of the sciences, because amongst the natural sciences, it is regarded as being the final arbiter of the nature and constitution of the natural world.

 

I addressed this above.  I will add that philosophy makes the distinction you are arguing exists between the various fields.  I am telling you, as a scientific naturalist, that the various fields of science are not more or less important than others.  You are projecting that distinction onto my position.

 

Quote:
BTW, don’t use the word ‘we’ when talking about your own views. Contributors to this discussion have expressed divergent views, so to summarise them all as ‘we’ is misrepresentative of the wide spectrum of contributors to this forum. And majority rule or democracy does not logically validate the truth of statements. To do that, you have to use logic. Remember that Galileo was in the minority when he claimed that the earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa. He was nearly executed for that claim, but it doesn’t mean he was wrong. We know now that he was right.

 

Honestly, I don't care.  Most of them hold positions very near mine.  If I am wrong, they will correct me.  Right now, we are all disagreeing with you similarly, so it fits that I use 'we' instead of 'I.' 

 

BTW, your discussion regarding string theory is hilarious.  Right now string theory is speculation.  It is based on mathematics.  Until we can observe the scale that it represents, it will remain purely speculative and NOT scientific.  It isn't physics because it isn't observable.  It may be down the road, but right now it is just a bunch of math formulas.  How you associated that with idealism is beyond me.


v4ultingbassist
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Epistemologist wrote: 

Epistemologist wrote:

 

Name-calling is never justified in a debate. I’m not offended. It merely is not a way of effectively refuting a logical argument. It doesn’t work.

 

It is well known that internet forums breed a mob mentality in which people form gangs and seek to refute logic through democracy. That’s a fallacy. Logic can only be refuted with logic.

 

To be honest, I called you a moron because of your misunderstanding of physicalism whilst proclaiming expertise in philosophy, and because you asserted that string theory is somehow an idealistic truth.

 

It was really just me being an asshole in defiance of your arrogance.


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You don't refute 'logic'

You don't refute 'logic' with 'logic'.

You demonstrate that an argument is logically invalid by demonstrating where it contains logical errors. That is the best way. As in a mathematical argument, where you might find that one step has 1 + 2 = 4, that puts into question the whole argument.

If you construct an alternative argument which contradicts the first, you have demonstrated only that at least one of the arguments must be invalid. But until the error can be identified, you don't which one is invalid. It is possible that both are invalid, and the correct conclusion is something different from either.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

butterbattle wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
What I am saying is this: the decision as to whether or not string theory is true knowledge is a metaphysical decision. So the question is also metaphysical and it is this: is string theory true knowledge? If your answer is ‘yes’, then that means you are saying that the world/universe is inside human minds (idealism wins, and physicalism loses). If your answer is ‘no’, then you are saying that the world/universe is external to human minds (physicalism wins, and idealism loses).

“No. I completely disagree.

 

Whether or not string theory is true does not have to be a "metaphysical decision." We can probably verify, through science, whether or not it conforms to reality within the next couple of decades. And, whether or not string theory is true says nothing about idealism or physicalism. Again, string theory is a theory regarding the physical world; it attempts to merge quantum mechanics and general relativity. How does this say anything idealism? Where does string theory say anything about idealism?

 

So, if string theory is verified by experimental evidence, then virtually all natural scientists will become idealists? That's kind of retarded.”

 

butterbattle wrote:
“And, string theory is theory in physics. If it accurately represents reality, then it must be physics, by your own definition.”

 

That way around is definitely retarded. It’s actually the other way around that would make natural science idealist rather than physicalist i.e. if string theory is true, but it is not confirmed to be true by observation, then it is not physics. However, just because it is not physics does not mean that it is not true. If it is not physics (not confirmed true by observation or reason and observation combined), but true, then the world/universe is ultimately inside human minds (idealism).

 

There are only two ways of confirming the truth of a statement: 1) by reason, or 2) by observation. You can argue that confirming the truth of a statement through reason and observation combined is a third way. However, that’s still only three ways. There are no further mysterious or esoteric ways of confirming the truth of a statement. There are none. That’s it.

 

The epistemological difference between mathematics and physics is this: Mathematics confirms the truth or falsity of statements through reason alone. Physics confirms the truth or falsity of statements through observation, or through a combination of observation and reason. A reason why physics is classified as the king of the sciences is this: Logical Positivism concluded that statements are more meaningful if they are verified to be true empirically (or jointly with reason), rather than by reason alone. They called this the verifiability principle. If a true numerical statement meets the requirement of the verifiability principle, then it’s physics. However, if a numerical statement is true but does not meet the requirement of the verifiability principle, then it is mathematically meaningful, but not physically meaningful i.e. it’s mathematics and not physics. The decision as to whether or not the verifiability principle of Logical Positivism really is the determinant of meaning is a metaphysical decision. The decision is between the conflicting metaphysical perspectives of idealism and physicalism.

 

To clarify further, there are two types of statement – numerical and linguistic.

 

The interpretative margin of error of the meaning of numerical statements is narrower than that of linguistic statements. Out of all of the natural sciences, the knowledge created and expressed by physics has the highest ratio of numeric to linguistic statements.

 

That means that knowledge in physics is more accurate than knowledge in other natural sciences. Ultimately, that means that the knowledge created by physics is more trustworthy than the knowledge created by the other natural sciences e.g. neuroscience. Out of the natural sciences, physics is therefore the final arbiter of what constitutes reality or the natural world. That is another reason why physics is called the king of the sciences. It is also why the physicist Ernest Rutherford said, “there is physics, and there is stamp collecting.”

 

Out of all sciences, mathematics expresses meanings at the highest ratio of numerical to linguistic statements. However, mathematics is not a natural science because it does not incorporate the metaphysical perspectives of naturalism and physicalism, and it does not seek to meet the criteria of the verifiability principle of Logical Positivism. That is a reason why, from the perspective of naturalism/physicalism, mathematics is the queen of the sciences, and not the king. However, from the perspective of idealism, mathematics is the king of the sciences, and physics is the queen. That is because idealism is the metaphysical opposite of naturalism/physicalism.

Physics is the leader of natural sciences, and mathematics is the leader of the formal sciences. The natural and formal sciences therefore conflict, and this is their fundamental conflict. Because of this, the humanities and sciences also conflict. Metaphysics is a science, but it is also a humanity. Logical Positivism rejects the validity of metaphysics. That causes metaphysics to conflict with physics. Logical Positivism rejects metaphysics through the verifiability principle. But the verifiability principle is itself metaphysical because it is a decision between idealism and physicalism, as I mentioned above. Because the verifiability principle is itself metaphysical, physics is therefore absolutely inseparable from metaphysics. And the humanities also conflict with the natural sciences in that the humanities do not demand the adoption of one metaphysical position. The natural sciences, in contrast, do demand the adoption of just one metaphysical position – naturalism/physicalism. That renders the natural sciences metaphysically dogmatic, and the humanities metaphysically liberal. This dogmatism vs. liberality is a central conflict between the natural sciences and humanities.

 

 

This was the central conflict between Platonism and Aristotelianism. It is 3500 years old or older. It is also the central conflict or controversy in science and the humanities today. So it is not going to go away in a hurry.

 

So in summary: The sciences and humanities conflict, and their most fundamental conflict is metaphysical.

 

 

mellestad and others in this forum also need to be aware of the democratic fallacy. The meaning of a statement cannot be confirmed true or false by voting.

 This also answers v4ultingbassist, BobSpence1, and mellestad.


Whatthedeuce
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I would like to say that I

I would like to say that I have not forgotten about this thread. The reason I have not participated recently is because I was very busy doing a physics project and studying for a math test. (The math test btw, was on the Generalized Stokes' Theorem, which I think is really cool, and I would recommend anyone interested in the topic check it out.)

 

Anyways, the argument as it currently stands (when the various tangential discussions are ignored) seems to be this:

Epistemologist is stating that the various types of sciences are in conflict because they hold conflicting metaphysical perspectives to be true.

The other participants are saying the only way he has come to the conclusion that they hold these conflicting metaphysical perspectives is by making various fallacies of equivocation and straw mans.

This chain of argument has led to people describing why they do not hold the perspectives. Then Epistemologist responds by making more claims that people believe to be based on more fallacies of equivocation and straw mans.

In my opinion this has led nowhere, and it has proven to be a complete waste of time.

So, Epistemologist, I have the following question for you.

 

Can you provide any example within any of the sciences that relies on the specific metaphysical perspectives that you claim they hold?

 

If you cannot provide an example, then how can you expect us to take your claims seriously?

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 It’s good to see you back in the discussion. Good luck with your studies.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“Epistemologist is stating that the various types of sciences are in conflict because they hold conflicting metaphysical perspectives to be true.”

 

You're almost right, but not quite. It is different metaphysical perspectives that hold different sciences to be ultimate arbiters of truth or not, and this conflict is expressed most strongly between the leaders of the natural and formal sciences – physics and mathematics respectively.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“The other participants are saying the only way he has come to the conclusion that they hold these conflicting metaphysical perspectives is by making various fallacies of equivocation and straw mans.”

 

And that is merely a demonstration of ignorance of epistemology and metaphysics by them.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“Can you provide any example within any of the sciences that relies on the specific metaphysical perspectives that you claim they hold? If you cannot provide an example, then how can you expect us to take your claims seriously?

 

That question by you is an absolute misconception by you (and others in this forum) of what metaphysics and epistemology are. v4ultingbassist keeps asking that question as well. There is no example within any of the sciences that relies on specific metaphysical perspectives. A metaphysical perspective is the meaning of a science or humanity. There is no such thing as an example of 'meaning'. The verifiability principle of Logical Positivism is an example of a metaphysical decision that is the meaning of the difference between mathematics and physics. The verifiability principle determines physics to be the king of the sciences (the ultimate arbiter of the nature and constitution of reality/the natural world), and mathematics to be the queen. It is agreed by scientists that it is the verifiability principle of Logical Positivism that defines the ultimate difference between mathematics and physics, and the verifiability principle is metaphysics.

 

To all forum users/readers: If you have only studied mathematics or physics, or both mathematics and physics, you will not know what the difference is between mathematics and physics. To know what the difference is between mathematics and physics, you have to have studied philosophy, particularly epistemology and metaphysics. 


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Mathematics is, at least in

Mathematics is, at least in intent, a purely deductive discipline, exploring the implications of its starting axioms, which are essentially just assumptions, and not rigorously verifiable in themselves.

The natural sciences attempt to generate models (essentially mathematical) which match as closely as possible the results of observation and experiment in the context of what we perceive as reality, which includes both the external universe and the mechanisms of human thought itself (  Cognitive Science and Neuroscience and Psychology). A strong element in increasing our confidence in a model is its ability to predict what should happen in different circumstances other than those used to develop it. Or what we should find when we test some aspect of the universe that has not been specifically investigated before.

Sciences which study the past can test the accuracy of their models in a version of the second verification test, by 'predicting' what we should find if we look in a particular place that has not been investigated before, or where to look for new evidence of some proposed event. This worked very well recently when predictions were made as to where would be the best place to look for an intermediate form between marine and terrestrial forms, which uncovered Tiktaalik. While not a 'perfect' example, it is probably the best so far found.

So the differences are quite clear to me.

If someone wants to label these differences as 'metaphysical', feel free, but it adds nothing useful to the above description.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Epistemologist wrote:   

Epistemologist wrote:

 

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“Epistemologist is stating that the various types of sciences are in conflict because they hold conflicting metaphysical perspectives to be true.”

 

You're almost right, but not quite. It is different metaphysical perspectives that hold different sciences to be ultimate arbiters of truth or not, and this conflict is expressed most strongly between the leaders of the natural and formal sciences – physics and mathematics respectively.

If the different metaphysical perspectives hold the different sciences to be ultimate arbiters of truth, then this is a conflict that only exists between the different metaphyscial perspectives. It is not a conflict between the sciences themselves.

The various sciences are valid in the context of many metaphysical perspectives. The fact that one specific metaphysical perspective that the sciences can be viewed from conflicts with the others, does not mean that all metaphysical perspectives the sciences can be viewed from conflict.

 

edit: For example. All of the sciences are valid when viewed from the perspective of neutral monism.

Epistemologist wrote:

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“Can you provide any example within any of the sciences that relies on the specific metaphysical perspectives that you claim they hold?”

 

That question by you is an absolute misconception by you (and others in this forum) of what metaphysics and epistemology are. There is no example within any of the sciences that relies on specific metaphysical perspectives.

That is because the sciences can be viewed from many metaphysical perspectives and do not rely on any specific one.

Epistemologist wrote:
A metaphysical perspective is the meaning of a science or humanity.

What do you mean by "meaning of a science or humanity"

Epistemologist wrote:

The verifiability principle of Logical Positivism is an example of a metaphysical decision that determines the meaning of the difference between mathematics and physics. The verifiability principle determines physics to be the king of the sciences (the ultimate arbiter of the nature and constitution of reality/the natural world), and mathematics to be the queen. It is agreed by scientists that it is the verifiability principle of Logical Positivism that defines the ultimate difference between mathematics and physics, and the verifiability principle is metaphysics.

 

first of all, I don't see how this King/Queen metaphor is relevant. You did not describe what the term queen refers to. Secondly, we don't need the verifiability principle to determine that physics addresses the natural world directly while mathematics does not. This is inherent in the definitions of physics and mathematics

Which scientists said that the verifiability principle of logical positivism defines the ultimate difference between mathematics and physics?

It seems very strange to me because the verifiability principle is not necessary for the existence of either physics or mathematics.

Epistemologist wrote:

To all forum users/readers: If you have only studied mathematics or physics, or both mathematics and physics, you will not know what the difference is between mathematics and physics. To know what the difference is between mathematics and physics, you have to have studied philosophy, particularly epistemology and metaphysics. 

 

I would disagree with this statement. to know what the difference between mathematics and physics is does not require intimate knowledge of metaphysics. I also do not think it requires that you have studied mathematics or physics. All it requires is that you have read a definition of mathematics and a definition of physics. Mathematics finds conclusions that can be drawn from various axioms. Physics studies how nature behaves. I just did that without (extensive) knowledge of metaphysics.

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


Epistemologist
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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
To all forum users/readers: If you have only studied mathematics or physics, or both mathematics and physics, you will not know what the difference is between mathematics and physics. To know what the difference is between mathematics and physics, you have to have studied philosophy, particularly epistemology and metaphysics.

 

I would disagree with this statement. to know what the difference between mathematics and physics is does not require intimate knowledge of metaphysics. I also do not think it requires that you have studied mathematics or physics. All it requires is that you have read a definition of mathematics and a definition of physics. Mathematics finds conclusions that can be drawn from various axioms. Physics studies how nature behaves. I just did that without (extensive) knowledge of metaphysics.

 

But that is not the difference between mathematics and physics. It is not that one studies the natural world and the other one does not. To claim that mathematics on its own does not reveal the natural world and physics does, is highly controversial. That was actually the main controversy between Platonism and Aristotelianism. Before you can make that claim, you have to define what you mean by ‘nature’. ‘Nature’ is a metaphysical concept, and naturalism is a metaphysical perspective.

 

The claim that physics studies nature and mathematics does not, can be contrasted against the claim that mathematics studies (or rather 'reveals') nature and physics does not. To choose between those two claims requires a metaphysical and epistemological decision. You cannot use physics or mathematics to choose between those two claims. You can only use philosophy.

 

And a definition of physics will not tell you what the difference is between physics and mathematics. Nor will a definition of mathematics tell you what the difference is between physics and mathematics. To know the difference, you have to read an explanation of the difference from the perspective of the philosophy of science, particularly from the perspective of metaphysics and epistemology.

 

The epistemological difference between mathematics and physics is this: Mathematics confirms true or falsifies the meaning of statements through reason alone. Physics confirms true or falsifies the meaning of statements through observation, or through a combination of reason and observation. This knowledge requirement by physics is the criteria of the verifiability principle of Logical Positivism. That principle is metaphysics, and it is used by scientists to differentiate mathematics and physics.

 

I defined what the meanings of ‘king’ and ‘queen’ are in terms of the sciences above, but I will do so again. Physics is called the king of the sciences from the perspective of physicalism because it meets the criteria of the verifiability principle of Logical Positivism. Another reason is this: There are only two types of statement, which are linguistic and numerical. The meaning of numerical statements has a lower interpretative margin of error than the meaning of linguistic statements. Out of all of the natural sciences, the knowledge created by physics has the highest ratio of numerical to linguistic statements. That means that the knowledge created by physics is more accurate and trustworthy than the knowledge created by the other natural sciences. Physics also seeks to investigate the absolutely fundamental basis of reality, and the other natural sciences do not. Physics is therefore the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes reality or the natural world (from the perspective of physicalism/naturalism).

 

Mathematics is called the queen of the sciences for the following reason. Out of all of the sciences, mathematics expresses meanings at the highest ratio of numerical to linguistic statements. Mathematical meanings therefore have the lowest interpretative margin of error than the meanings created by any other science. However, mathematics, unlike physics, does not seek to meet the criteria of the verifiability principle of logical positivism. And from the perspective of physicalism, mathematics is not studying the natural world.

 

The verifiability principle of Logical Positivism maintains that ‘nature’ can only ultimately be known empirically (empiricism). This is the perspective of physicalism and naturalism. However, idealism maintains that ‘nature’ can ultimately only be known through reason (rationalism). The choice between whether nature can ultimately only be known through reason or observation is the choice between physics and mathematics. It is a metaphysical choice, as I mentioned above. It is philosophy.

 

This is the essence of what we are talking about: You defined physics as studying nature, and mathematics as not studying nature. This claim is metaphysical. From the perspective of physicalism, physics is the study of nature, and mathematics is not. In contrast, from the perspective of idealism, it is actually mathematics which is the study of nature, and physics is not. So idealism holds mathematics to be the king of the sciences, and physics to be the queen. But physicalism/naturalism holds physics to be the king of the sciences and mathematics to be the queen.

 

 And ‘Meaning’ is an abstract idea. That is why there is no such thing as an example of meaning.

 

This also answers BobSpence1.


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I was operating on a

I was operating on a different definition of "difference" than you were. I agree that the difference, as you describe it, can only be known through metaphysics

Epistemologist wrote:

I defined what the meanings of ‘king’ and ‘queen’ are in terms of the sciences above, but I will do so again. Physics is called the king of the sciences from the perspective of physicalism because it meets the criteria of the verifiability principle of Logical Positivism. Another reason is this: There are only two types of statement, which are linguistic and numerical. The meaning of numerical statements has a lower interpretative margin of error than the meaning of linguistic statements. Out of all of the natural sciences, the knowledge created by physics has the highest ratio of numerical to linguistic statements. That means that the knowledge created by physics is more accurate and trustworthy than the knowledge created by the other natural sciences. Physics also seeks to investigate the absolutely fundamental basis of reality, and the other natural sciences do not. Physics is therefore the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes reality or the natural world (from the perspective of physicalism/naturalism).

You have now defined "king" twice and "queen" zero times.

edit: When you stated that mathematics has the smallest interpretive error of the sciences were you defining "queen"? I thought you were just providing one of the characteristics of "queen," but you may have intended it to be an actual definition.

Epistemologist wrote:

 And ‘Meaning’ is an abstract idea. That is why there is no such thing as an example of meaning.

I never asked you to provide an example of meaning. You already stated that there is no such thing as an example of it in post #170.

However, I did ask you to define what it means in the context that you used it in post #170.

 

Upon reading your post #173, I was fairly disappointed. It did not address the first (and most important IMO) statement I made in post #172. I probably should have mentioned this in post #172, but to clarify my current view of the argument:  I consider the following claim that I made in post #172 to be the most important aspect of my argument at the moment:

Whatthedeuce wrote:

If the different metaphysical perspectives hold the different sciences to be ultimate arbiters of truth, then this is a conflict that only exists between the different metaphyscial perspectives. It is not a conflict between the sciences themselves.

The various sciences are valid in the context of many metaphysical perspectives. The fact that one specific metaphysical perspective that the sciences can be viewed from conflicts with the others, does not mean that all metaphysical perspectives the sciences can be viewed from conflict.

 

edit: For example. All of the sciences are valid when viewed from the perspective of neutral monism.

I apologize if you intended to address it, but just did not have the time to yet. I just wanted to repost it to make sure that it is not forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“You have now defined "king" twice and "queen" zero times.

 

edit: When you stated that mathematics has the smallest interpretive error of the sciences were you defining "queen"? I thought you were just providing one of the characteristics of "queen," but you may have intended it to be an actual definition.”

 

I’m sorry if my definition of ‘queen’ of the sciences was not clear, while the definition of ‘king’ was clear twice. I thought that the definition of king would imply the definition of queen. From the perspective of the philosophy of science, ‘king’ just means the primary arbiter of the nature and constitution of ultimate reality. ‘Queen’ means the secondary arbiter of the nature and constitution of ultimate reality. That’s physics (king), and mathematics (queen). The king is at the top of the chain of command, the queen below that, and everyone else (the other sciences) below the queen.

 

Also, from this perspective, mathematics and physics are the only sciences there are. Other sciences, like neuroscience and the rest of biology, are pseudo-sciences, because they do not accurately reveal the nature and constitution of ultimate reality. Biology is just irrational nonsense, from the perspective of mathematics and physics. For example, whether or not the world/universe is inside human minds (idealism), or external (physicalism/naturalism) is essentially the controversy of whether it is physics or mathematics that reveals the nature and constitution of ultimate reality. Neurosciences and the rest of biology are pseudo-sciences because biology completely ignores this conflict between physics and mathematics. Biology presupposes naturalism/physicalism without questioning it. That puts neuroscience and biology on par with superstition, religion, and other irrationalities.

 If mathematics is actually the primary arbiter of the nature and constitution of ultimate reality, then the brain, the rest of the central nervous system, and the rest of the body, is just an idea, like, say . . . God. 

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“If the different metaphysical perspectives hold the different sciences to be ultimate arbiters of truth, then this is a conflict that only exists between the different metaphyscial perspectives. It is not a conflict between the sciences themselves.

 

The various sciences are valid in the context of many metaphysical perspectives. The fact that one specific metaphysical perspective that the sciences can be viewed from conflicts with the others, does not mean that all metaphysical perspectives the sciences can be viewed from conflict.

 

edit: For example. All of the sciences are valid when viewed from the perspective of neutral monism.”

 

Thank you for re-posting your point. I will now address it.

 

In essence, the controversy is this:

 

There are instances of conflict between the statements of meaning of mathematics and physics. BobSpence1 previously said in this discussion that these conflicts, when resolved, become knowledge.

 

However, resolving the conflict between a statement of meaning in physics and a statement of meaning in mathematics requires firstly a metaphysical decision, and secondly an epistemological decision.

 

The metaphysical decision is between the opposite perspectives of idealism and physicalism. Then the epistemological decision is between the perspectives of rationalism and empiricism.

 

The question is this: Is nature primarily what we experience through our minds (idealism and rationalism), or is nature primarily what we experience through our senses (physicalism/naturalism and empiricism)?

 

When the meanings of a statement in physics and a statement in mathematics conflict, you have to decide which meaning represents (or reveals) nature, and which does not.

 

You have to make that choice. If, in that conflict, you decide that the physical statement of meaning is true, but the mathematical statement of meaning is false, then you are choosing naturalism/physicalism and empiricism. However, if you decide that the statement of mathematical meaning is true, and the statement of physical meaning is false, then you are choosing idealism and rationalism.

 

This is the metaphysical and epistemological conflict between mathematics and physics. It is between the formal sciences and natural sciences. It is also between the humanities and natural sciences.

 

This conflict and controversy is fundamental.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“I never asked you to provide an example of meaning. You already stated that there is no such thing as an example of it in post #170.”

 

I know you didn’t ask that. Sorry. I actually repeated it for v4ultingbassist because v4ultingbassist kept asking for examples.


Whatthedeuce
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Epistemologist wrote:From

Epistemologist wrote:

From the perspective of the philosophy of science, ‘king’ just means the primary arbiter of the nature and constitution of ultimate reality. ‘Queen’ means the secondary arbiter of the nature and constitution of ultimate reality. That’s physics (king), and mathematics (queen). The king is at the top of the chain of command, the queen below that, and everyone else (the other sciences) below the queen.

 

This makes absolutely no sense to me. Mathematics and physics are just tools we use to study "ultimate reality." How can they possibly decide how it is constituted? If they constituted reality, then reality would not exist before we invented mathematics and physics. Also, how can there be a chain of command in the way reality is constituted?

I also think that this metaphor is not really relevant to our argument, and I have no problem with dropping the issue.

Epistemologist wrote:

Also, from this perspective, mathematics and physics are the only sciences there are. Other sciences, like neuroscience and the rest of biology, are pseudo-sciences, because they do not accurately reveal the nature and constitution of ultimate reality. Biology is just irrational nonsense, from the perspective of mathematics and physics. For example, whether or not the world/universe is inside human minds (idealism), or external (physicalism/naturalism) is essentially the controversy of whether it is physics or mathematics that reveals the nature and constitution of ultimate reality. Neurosciences and the rest of biology are pseudo-sciences because biology completely ignores this conflict between physics and mathematics. Biology presupposes naturalism/physicalism without questioning it. That puts neuroscience and biology on par with superstition, religion, and other irrationalities.

 If mathematics is actually the primary arbiter of the nature and constitution of ultimate reality, then the brain, the rest of the central nervous system, and the rest of the body, is just an idea, like, say . . . God. 

 

what is "this perspective?" You stated several perspectives in this paragraph.

Also, I don't see how ignoring the relationship between mathematics and physics makes biology a pseudo-science. Biology is, by definition, not a pseudoscience because it adheres to the scientific method.

This does not put neuroscience and biology on par with superstition, religion, and other irrationalities. Biology utilizes the scientific method.

Even if mathematics is the "primary arbiter of the nature and constitution of ultimate reality" (I put it in quotes because I have no idea what that even means) and that leads to the conclusion that the brain, the central nervous system, and the rest of the body are just ideas that are just like God, that does not imply that the methodological study of those ideas is also just like God.

 

Epistemologist wrote:

There are instances of conflict between the statements of meaning of mathematics and physics. BobSpence1 previously said in this discussion that these conflicts, when resolved, become knowledge.

It is my impression that he was arguing that these conflicts do not actually exist. He was arguing that when it appears we have found one of these "conflicts" it is really just an indication that we have made a mistake somewhere. When the mistake is corrected our knowledge is increased.

By the way, in posts #170 and 173 you stated that there are no such instances of conflict. (Or are you using a different definition of "meaning" than you did in those posts?)

edit: Or, if "meaning" is different from "statement of meaning" you may not have said that in posts #170 and 173. If you meant them in different ways I am sorry for misinterpreting what you said. However, I still remain unconvinced that these instances exist.

 

Epistemologist wrote:

However, resolving the conflict between a statement of meaning in physics and a statement of meaning in mathematics requires firstly a metaphysical decision, and secondly an epistemological decision.

before such statement can be resolved, such a statement must exist. if one actually does exist, please provide an example

 

Epistemologist wrote:

The metaphysical decision is between the opposite perspectives of idealism and physicalism. Then the epistemological decision is between the perspectives of rationalism and empiricism.

 

these are false dichotomies. Idealism and physicalism are not the only metaphysical perspectives that exist. Strong rationalism and strong empiricism are not the only two epistemological perspectives that exist.

Epistemologist wrote:

The question is this: Is nature primarily what we experience through our minds (idealism and rationalism), or is nature primarily what we experience through our senses (physicalism/naturalism and empiricism)?

 

This question seems completely irrelevant to me. All you have to do is develop a coherent definition of nature. Once a coherent definition of nature is decided on, the answer to this question should be obvious.

Epistemologist wrote:

When the meanings of a statement in physics and a statement in mathematics conflict, you have to decide which meaning represents (or reveals) nature, and which does not.

 

You have to make that choice. If, in that conflict, you decide that the physical statement of meaning is true, but the mathematical statement of meaning is false, then you are choosing naturalism/physicalism and empiricism. However, if you decide that the statement of mathematical meaning is true, and the statement of physical meaning is false, then you are choosing idealism and rationalism.

 

This is the metaphysical and epistemological conflict between mathematics and physics. It is between the formal sciences and natural sciences. It is also between the humanities and natural sciences.

This conflict and controversy is fundamental.

If this conflict and controversy existed, I agree it would be fundamental. However, if it exists it should also be very easy to locate examples of its existence

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“I never asked you to provide an example of meaning. You already stated that there is no such thing as an example of it in post #170.”

Epistemologist wrote:

I know you didn’t ask that. Sorry. I actually repeated it for v4ultingbassist because v4ultingbassist kept asking for examples.

 

This is a little bit difficult for me to believe for two reasons:

1. The entirety of the rest of the post was made as a direct response to the previous post I made. You also specifially mentioned the post applied to Bobspence1, if there were anyone else it was directed at, you would have most likely included that person.

 

2.You stated it once in post #170. v4ultingbassist never asked for an example after post #170. However, you provided it again in post #173.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“This makes absolutely no sense to me. Mathematics and physics are just tools we use to study "ultimate reality." How can they possibly decide how it is constituted? If they constituted reality, then reality would not exist before we invented mathematics and physics. Also, how can there be a chain of command in the way reality is constituted?

 

I also think that this metaphor is not really relevant to our argument, and I have no problem with dropping the issue.”

 

We don’t have to say ‘king’ and ‘queen’ if you’ve got something against government by monarchy. The terms ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ would suffice too, so I’ll use those terms instead.

 

I may not have been clear. The relationship between knowledge and reality is complex. In one sense you could say that statements of physical or mathematical meaning define reality, or you could say that they describe reality.

 

So knowledge is one of two things: 1) a definition of reality (reality’s constitution), or 2) a description of reality. For example, Euclid’s geometry used to be considered to define reality, but now it is considered to describe reality. However, it also depends on whether you are looking at it from the perspective of idealism or physicalism. From the perspective of idealism geometry defines reality, but from the perspective of physicalism it defines reality.

 

The existence of numerical patterns in nature didn’t require the invention of mathematics and physics. Those patterns must have existed in nature before the invention of our sciences.

 

The chain of command is in terms of the interpretative margin of error of statements of meaning in relation to empiricism and rationalism. Mathematical meanings have the lowest interpretative margin of error. Statements of meaning in physics have the second lowest interpretative margin of error. Statements of meaning generated by other sciences have greater margins of error. If you like, you can call it a hierarchy instead of a chain of command. Logical Positivism regarded statements of meaning in physics to be more meaningful than statements of meaning in mathematics because they are verified empirically. Mathematical meanings are verified by reason alone (rationalism). So if you’re an idealist/rationalist, mathematics is at the top of the hierarchy. But if you are a physicalist/empiricist, physics is at the top of the hierarchy.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“what is "this perspective?" You stated several perspectives in this paragraph.

 

Also, I don't see how ignoring the relationship between mathematics and physics makes biology a pseudo-science. Biology is, by definition, not a pseudoscience because it adheres to the scientific method.

 

This does not put neuroscience and biology on par with superstition, religion, and other irrationalities. Biology utilizes the scientific method.

 

Even if mathematics is the "primary arbiter of the nature and constitution of ultimate reality" (I put it in quotes because I have no idea what that even means) and that leads to the conclusion that the brain, the central nervous system, and the rest of the body are just ideas that are just like God, that does not imply that the methodological study of those ideas is also just like God.

 

In terms of the way mathematics and physics relate to ‘nature’, there are two metaphysical perspectives – idealism and physicalism/naturalism. From the perspective of idealism, mathematics is the primary arbiter of nature/reality. And from the perspective of physicalism/naturalism, physics is the primary arbiter of nature/reality.

 

By ‘reality’ I mean what’s ‘real’ as opposed to what’s ‘not real’ i.e. ‘real’ is the opposite of ‘not real’.

 

I agree that biology is a science in that it uses the scientific method. However, biology is pseudoscience in that it incorporates the metaphysical presuppositions of naturalism and physicalism unquestioningly i.e. biology is just another religion like Islam or belief in the invisible flying spaghetti monster (no offence intended to believers in the invisible flying spaghetti monster Smiling).

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
“However, resolving the conflict between a statement of meaning in physics and a statement of meaning in mathematics requires firstly a metaphysical decision, and secondly an epistemological decision.

 

before such statement can be resolved, such a statement must exist. if one actually does exist, please provide an example.”

 

String theory is the example I am using. If the meaning of string theory is true by reason, but not by observation, then the world/universe is inside human minds (idealism) i.e. the brain and body are an idea, and consciousness is not reducible to the brain. However, if the meaning of string theory is confirmed true by observation, then the world/universe is external to human minds (physicalism/naturalism), and consciousness is reducible to the brain.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“these are false dichotomies. Idealism and physicalism are not the only metaphysical perspectives that exist. Strong rationalism and strong empiricism are not the only two epistemological perspectives that exist.”

 

I’m not saying that idealism, physicalism, rationalism, empiricism are the only perspectives. I’m saying they’re the relevant opposing perspectives in terms of the relationship between nature, mathematics and physics.

 

If it makes you happy, I can use these terms instead, which have roughly the same meaning: Mind, matter, reason and observation.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
The question is this: Is nature primarily what we experience through our minds (idealism and rationalism), or is nature primarily what we experience through our senses (physicalism/naturalism and empiricism)?

 

This question seems completely irrelevant to me. All you have to do is develop a coherent definition of nature. Once a coherent definition of nature is decided on, the answer to this question should be obvious.

 

This has been the central question in science and philosophy for 3500 years. It divided Aristotelianism and Platonism. What the greatest minds in history discovered is that ‘nature’ is the most difficult of all things to define.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“This is a little bit difficult for me to believe for two reasons:

 

1. The entirety of the rest of the post was made as a direct response to the previous post I made. You also specifially mentioned the post applied to Bobspence1, if there were anyone else it was directed at, you would have most likely included that person.

 

2.You stated it once in post #170. v4ultingbassist never asked for an example after post #170. However, you provided it again in post #173.”

 

OK, so people make mistakes. Point taken . . . 


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A question, but not for

A question, but not for Epist:  Is this making any sense to anyone else?  Even a little?  If it is making sense, even a little, to someone else would you mind explaining what his point is?  If it isn't making sense to anyone I'll just ignore this thread and stop worrying about it.

 

I still don't see anything addressing his original point about the humanities being in conflict with science at a basic level, but I want to make sure I'm not missing something important in the wall of text and jargon.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Epistemologist wrote: That

Epistemologist wrote:

That way around is definitely retarded. It’s actually the other way around that would make natural science idealist rather than physicalist i.e. if string theory is true, but it is not confirmed to be true by observation, then it is not physics. However, just because it is not physics does not mean that it is not true. If it is not physics (not confirmed true by observation or reason and observation combined), but true, then the world/universe is ultimately inside human minds (idealism).

The validity of idealism or physicalism is simply not dependent on string theory, at all.   

If the claims made in string theory do conform to the natural world, then they will conform to the natural world regardless of whether these claims are experimentally verified by humans. I'll say it again; whether or not we experimentally verify string theory does not change whether or not it actually conforms to the natural world. That reflects the entire point of the natural world being independent of human perception.

This confusion could be the result of your strange definition for 'physics,' which you are still using after I stated that it was not a good definition. That something is not strictly physics does not mean that does not reflect reality. Based on the widely accepted definitions of biology and physics, virtually all of biology is not physics, but it is true. Does that mean biology only exists inside human minds? That is just as retarded, if not more retarded than the implications of your previous post.

Epistemologist wrote:
Out of all sciences, mathematics expresses meanings at the highest ratio of numerical to linguistic statements. However, mathematics is not a natural science because it does not incorporate the metaphysical perspectives of naturalism and physicalism, and it does not seek to meet the criteria of the verifiability principle of Logical Positivism. That is a reason why, from the perspective of naturalism/physicalism, mathematics is the queen of the sciences, and not the king. However, from the perspective of idealism, mathematics is the king of the sciences, and physics is the queen. That is because idealism is the metaphysical opposite of naturalism/physicalism.

Physics is the leader of natural sciences, and mathematics is the leader of the formal sciences. The natural and formal sciences therefore conflict, and this is their fundamental conflict.

Since other sciences have been shown to be reducible to physics, and physics is a more fundamental description of reality, I will agree that physics is a "harder science," so it is plausible that physics is somewhat more reliable.  

However, I still disagree with your 'conflict.' Maybe you need to explain it differently if it's just a communication problem.

Mathematics and physics are not "themselves" "in conflict." It's certain philosophical positions independent of either field, which neither mathematicians nor physicists and neither mathematics nor physics necessarily express/hold, which are in conflict. It does not follow from the fact that mathematics does not refer to the natural world that mathematics somehow intrinsically supports the assertion that the natural world does not exist independent of our minds. It does not follow from the fact that physics does study the natural world that it somehow supports the assertion that natural world does exist independent of our minds. Again, to paraphrase Bobspence, you are falsely interpreting the use of different methods and/or studying different subjects as an inherent conflict.

The same goes for the "conflict" between the sciences and the humanities. It's essentially a category error. Music is not idealistic. Linguistics is not idealistic. People support idealism. Chemistry is not physicalist. Physics is not physicalist. People support physicalism. The assumption is not 'inherent' in the field of study, and the assumption is not necessary to study any of these fields.  

Epistemologist wrote:
I agree that biology is a science in that it uses the scientific method. However, biology is pseudoscience in that it incorporates the metaphysical presuppositions of naturalism and physicalism unquestioningly i.e. biology is just another religion like Islam or belief in the invisible flying spaghetti monster (no offence intended to believers in the invisible flying spaghetti monster Smiling).

Omg, what is your definition for pseudoscience? 

I do not know of a single mathematician or physicist that considers biology a pseudoscience. You really need a dictionary.

And no, biology does NOT "incorporate the metaphysical presuppositions of naturalism and physicalism unquestioningly," so it is certainly NOT another religion like Islam. Biology, like all other natural sciences, does not "inherently" reject non-natural or non-physical as a philosophical position. Like all other natural sciences, it merely utilizes scientific naturalism, because, by definition, it cannot investigate non-natural phenomena. Biology does not require faith. It has no dogma, no rituals, no ethics. There is no fundamental set of beliefs or practices. It constantly changes and refines its perspective by appealing to reason and evidence. Biology is a science, not a religion, period.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Epistemologist wrote:I may

Epistemologist wrote:

I may not have been clear. The relationship between knowledge and reality is complex. In one sense you could say that statements of physical or mathematical meaning define reality, or you could say that they describe reality.

 

I what sense could you say that statements of physical or mathematical meaning define reality?

 

Epistemologist wrote:
So knowledge is one of two things: 1) a definition of reality (reality’s constitution), or 2) a description of reality.

I reject any definition of the word "knowledge" which is compatible with point 1). Knowledge is a description of reality.

 

Epistemologist wrote:

For example, Euclid’s geometry used to be considered to define reality, but now it is considered to describe reality. However, it also depends on whether you are looking at it from the perspective of idealism or physicalism. From the perspective of idealism geometry defines reality, but from the perspective of physicalism it defines reality.

 

When and by whom was Euclid's geometry considered to define reality?

 

Epistemologist wrote:

The existence of numerical patterns in nature didn’t require the invention of mathematics and physics. Those patterns must have existed in nature before the invention of our sciences.

 

I fully agree with this statement.

 

Epistemologist wrote:

The chain of command is in terms of the interpretative margin of error of statements of meaning in relation to empiricism and rationalism. Mathematical meanings have the lowest interpretative margin of error. Statements of meaning in physics have the second lowest interpretative margin of error. Statements of meaning generated by other sciences have greater margins of error. If you like, you can call it a hierarchy instead of a chain of command. Logical Positivism regarded statements of meaning in physics to be more meaningful than statements of meaning in mathematics because they are verified empirically. Mathematical meanings are verified by reason alone (rationalism). So if you’re an idealist/rationalist, mathematics is at the top of the hierarchy. But if you are a physicalist/empiricist, physics is at the top of the hierarchy.

 

Could you please define the term "interpretative margin of error?" I have always defined "margin of error" in the context of statistics, not metaphysics. I have no idea what it means in this context.

 edit: I misspoke. I actually have heard the term "margin of error" outside of statistics. I still have not heard it in the context of metaphysics though.

Epistemologist wrote:
 

In terms of the way mathematics and physics relate to ‘nature’, there are two metaphysical perspectives – idealism and physicalism/naturalism. From the perspective of idealism, mathematics is the primary arbiter of nature/reality. And from the perspective of physicalism/naturalism, physics is the primary arbiter of nature/reality.

 

No, there are in fact other possible metaphysical perspectives. I have already referred to one specifically in post # 172 and reiterated it in post #174. Another example of a metaphysical perspective which relates to our mathematics and physics is neutral monism.

 

Epistemologist wrote:

By ‘reality’ I mean what’s ‘real’ as opposed to what’s ‘not real’ i.e. ‘real’ is the opposite of ‘not real’.

 

Is this statement meant to be a joke?

 

Epistemologist wrote:

I agree that biology is a science in that it uses the scientific method. However, biology is pseudoscience in that it incorporates the metaphysical presuppositions of naturalism and physicalism unquestioningly i.e. biology is just another religion like Islam or belief in the invisible flying spaghetti monster (no offence intended to believers in the invisible flying spaghetti monster Smiling).

 

So, you use a definition of pseudoscience which incorporates things that are part of science...

 

Epistemologist wrote:
 

String theory is the example I am using. If the meaning of string theory is true by reason, but not by observation, then the world/universe is inside human minds (idealism) i.e. the brain and body are an idea, and consciousness is not reducible to the brain. However, if the meaning of string theory is confirmed true by observation, then the world/universe is external to human minds (physicalism/naturalism), and consciousness is reducible to the brain.

 

 

what do you mean by "meaning of string theory" I don't think string theory possess any quality which I would define as "meaning"

 

Epistemologist wrote:

I’m not saying that idealism, physicalism, rationalism, empiricism are the only perspectives. I’m saying they’re the relevant opposing perspectives in terms of the relationship between nature, mathematics and physics.

 

Please prove that the relationship between nature, mathematics and physics cannot be viewed from any other metaphysical perspective.

 

Epistemologist wrote:

If it makes you happy, I can use these terms instead, which have roughly the same meaning: Mind, matter, reason and observation.

 

 

use these terms in place of which other terms?

 

Epistemologist wrote:

Whatthedeuce wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
The question is this: Is nature primarily what we experience through our minds (idealism and rationalism), or is nature primarily what we experience through our senses (physicalism/naturalism and empiricism)?

 

This question seems completely irrelevant to me. All you have to do is develop a coherent definition of nature. Once a coherent definition of nature is decided on, the answer to this question should be obvious.

 

Epistemologist wrote:

This has been the central question in science and philosophy for 3500 years. It divided Aristotelianism and Platonism. What the greatest minds in history discovered is that ‘nature’ is the most difficult of all things to define.

 

Science has not existed for 3500 years; it is a part of modern society. Science and philosophy do not have central questions. They are composed of many different disciplines each of which addressess many different questions.

I have not encountered philosophical attempts to define "nature", but in science it is generally used as a synonym for "universe."

Epistemologist wrote:

OK, so people make mistakes. Point taken . . . 

The point wasn't that you made a mistake. The point was that you lied about who your statement was directed at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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mellestad wrote:A question,

mellestad wrote:

A question, but not for Epist:  Is this making any sense to anyone else?  Even a little?  If it is making sense, even a little, to someone else would you mind explaining what his point is?  If it isn't making sense to anyone I'll just ignore this thread and stop worrying about it.

I still don't see anything addressing his original point about the humanities being in conflict with science at a basic level, but I want to make sure I'm not missing something important in the wall of text and jargon.

I addressed his 'conflict' again in my post above this one. It's the same main point he's been making all along.

I think I know what he is trying to say, but what he is trying to say doesn't really make sense. I still think he is confusing subjects and methods with philosophers' opinions about these subjects and methods. There is no musician's Bible that states that idealism is true nor are musicians necessarily idealists. So, what is in conflict? Absolutely nothing.  

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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mellestad wrote:A question,

mellestad wrote:

A question, but not for Epist:  Is this making any sense to anyone else?  Even a little?  If it is making sense, even a little, to someone else would you mind explaining what his point is?  If it isn't making sense to anyone I'll just ignore this thread and stop worrying about it.

His point: The various types of sciences (as defined earlier in the thread) presuppose conflicting claims. Therefore they are in conflict with each other.

 

mellestad wrote:

I still don't see anything addressing his original point about the humanities being in conflict with science at a basic level, but I want to make sure I'm not missing something important in the wall of text and jargon.

 

That point has been abandoned a long time ago. The thread has moved onto new topics.

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

Whatthedeuce wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
By ‘reality’ I mean what’s ‘real’ as opposed to what’s ‘not real’ i.e. ‘real’ is the opposite of ‘not real’.

 

Is this statement meant to be a joke?

 

No. It’s the truth.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
Whatthedeuce wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
The question is this: Is nature primarily what we experience through our minds (idealism and rationalism), or is nature primarily what we experience through our senses (physicalism/naturalism and empiricism)?
This question seems completely irrelevant to me. All you have to do is develop a coherent definition of nature. Once a coherent definition of nature is decided on, the answer to this question should be obvious.
This has been the central question in science and philosophy for 3500 years. It divided Aristotelianism and Platonism. What the greatest minds in history discovered is that ‘nature’ is the most difficult of all things to define.
Science has not existed for 3500 years; it is a part of modern society. Science and philosophy do not have central questions. They are composed of many different disciplines each of which addressess many different questions.

 

I have not encountered philosophical attempts to define "nature", but in science it is generally used as a synonym for "universe."

 

We have arrived at this question: Is mathematics knowledge, or is mathematics reality?

 

By ‘knowledge’ I mean something other than ‘reality’ i.e. knowledge is not reality. Knowledge describes but does not define reality.

 

If mathematics is knowledge, then physicalism is true, and idealism is false. However, if mathematics is reality, then idealism is true, and physicalism is false.

 

Plato expressed this dichotomy in his ‘world of forms’. Plato’s theory of forms is that mathematics is reality, and reality can therefore ultimately only be known through reason and not observation. Physics (Aristotelianism) maintains the opposite i.e. that reality is that which is observed, not that which is experienced through reason alone.

 

To clarify what Plato’s theory of forms means: Mathematics is not observable. It is pure reason. So if mathematics is reality, that means that reality can be known through reason, but not observation. It means that observation gives incomplete knowledge, but reason gives complete knowledge. So this is the conflict between mathematics and physics (between Platonism and Aristotelianism): Does mathematics (reason) reveal reality and physics not, or does physics (observation) reveal reality and mathematics not?

 

Whatthedeuce, butterbattle, BobSpence1 and others seem to be saying that mathematics is knowledge and not reality. My point is this: You do not know that mathematics is not reality.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:
“The point wasn't that you made a mistake. The point was that you lied about who your statement was directed at.”

 

You don’t know if I lied. You don’t know that mathematics is not reality either. It was directed at v4ultingbassist. I remember that intention when I wrote it, regardless of your fancy detective work results to the contrary. I simply made the mistake of not inserting ‘to v4ultingbassist’. That’s it.

 

To summarise the conflict between the humanities and natural sciences for everyone:

 

We have established in this discussion that the humanities do indeed conflict with the natural sciences. THEY CONFLICT IN THE FOLLOWING WAY: The humanities allow for philosophical positions like postmodernism, relativism, and idealism, which deny that reality exists eternally to human minds, or deny the very existence of reality. IN CONTRAST, the natural sciences do not allow for philosophical positions that deny that reality exists externally to human minds, or that deny reality’s very existence. I am only highlighting the conflict. People kept deviating from the point by questioning the validity of such philosophical positions. That’s not the point of this discussion. The point is simply to highlight that the conflict exists, because it does. Putting it simply: THE HUMAITIES ALLOW PHILOSOPHICAL POSITIONS THAT DENY THE EXISTENCE OF REALITY or that deny that reality exists externally to and independently from human minds, AND THE NATURAL SCIENCES DO NOT ALLOW THAT.

 

The natural sciences begin with an axiom, which claims that reality is that which is ‘observed’. And the natural sciences begin with an axiom that reality exists externally to and independently from human minds i.e. the natural sciences do not incorporate ‘idealism’.

 

This also answers mellestad, butterbattle, BobSpence1, v4ultingbassist, and all other readers.

 

 


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So any form of idealism has

So any form of idealism has to deny the natural sciences are true?

 

EDIT: In order to avoid a logical contradiction?


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

v4ultingbassist wrote:
So any form of idealism has to deny the natural sciences are true?

 

EDIT: In order to avoid a logical contradiction?

 

That’s a way of interpreting it. However, to be more specific, the question is this:

 

Is reality that which we experience by reason (mathematics), or is reality that which we observe (physics and the other natural sciences)?

 

Platonism maintained that reality is that which we experience by reason, and Aristotelianism maintained that reality is that which we observe. This is a central division, or perhaps the central division, in western thought.

 

Platonism maintained that that which we observe is a reflection of reality, but that reality itself is that which we experience through reason i.e. that that which we observe is a reflection of that which we experience by or through reason. That’s idealism.

 

Aristotelianism maintained the opposite; that reality is that which we observe, and that reason is a reflection of reality (a reflection of what we observe). That’s physicalism and naturalism.

 

If Plato was right and Aristotle was wrong, then physicalism/naturalism is false, and idealism is true.

 

But if Aristotle was right, and Plato was wrong, then physicalism/naturalism is true, and idealism is false.

 

This is what Plato meant by the allegory of the cave. But the allegory of the cave could apply to either side of reason vs. observation.

 

 


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Epistemologist wrote:

Epistemologist wrote:

That’s a way of interpreting it. However, to be more specific, the question is this:

 

Based on what you said, it isn't open to interpretation.  Any form of idealistic truth must deny truth in the natural sciences in order to be logically coherent.

 

Quote:

Is reality that which we experience by reason (mathematics), or is reality that which we observe (physics and the other natural sciences)?

 

Doesn't knowledge of mathematics require observation?  Without senses you could never learn that 1+1=2.  I fail to see how one can know mathematics without observation.


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
That’s a way of interpreting it. However, to be more specific, the question is this: Is reality that which we experience by reason (mathematics), or is reality that which we observe (physics and the other natural sciences)?

 

Based on what you said, it isn't open to interpretation.  Any form of idealistic truth must deny truth in the natural sciences in order to be logically coherent.

 

From the perspective of idealism, the natural sciences are not false. They are incomplete truth, and a reflection of truth, but not truth itself.

 

‘Incomplete truth’ and ‘reflection of truth’ don’t mean the same as ‘false’.

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
Is reality that which we experience by reason (mathematics), or is reality that which we observe (physics and the other natural sciences)?
 

 

Doesn't knowledge of mathematics require observation?  Without senses you could never learn that 1+1=2.  I fail to see how one can know mathematics without observation.

 

Your question is part of the controversy. Can one reason independently of sensing? I don’t know.

 

I have heard the question posed as a thought experiment like this: If a person had a disease that had prevented them from having any sensory experience, would that person be incapable of reasoning?

 

I would feel very sorry for such a person if they existed. They would probably be on a life support machine.

 

Reason may begin with observation, or observation may begin with reason. Even if one comes before the other, it doesn’t mean that the one which comes before reveals reality, and the one which comes after does not. It may be the one which comes after that reveals reality, and the one that comes before does not.

 

To all readers: Physics is currently called the ‘king’ of the sciences, and mathematics is called the ‘queen’ of the sciences. This all boils down to what reality is. If Plato was right, then it is actually mathematics that is the king of the sciences, and physics is the queen. But if Aristotle was right, then physics is the king of the sciences, and mathematics is the queen. Whatthedeuce doesn’t like the terms ‘king’ and ‘queen’, but those are the terms used by academics: http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursedesclong2.aspx?cid=1434


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Alright, I'm out.  You

Alright, I'm out.  You don't know what physicalism is, and consequently have no right to discuss it.

 

Quote:

And the natural sciences begin with an axiom that reality exists externally to and independently from human minds

 

This is not true of physicalism or naturalism.  You are misrepresenting my perspective on reality.  Unless you fix this misconception, you are not qualified to discuss it.  This is why I didn't hesitate to call you a moron.  You CLEARLY do not understand physicalism, and have ignored me calling you out on it.


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Epistemologist wrote:

That’s a way of interpreting it. However, to be more specific, the question is this:

Based on what you said, it isn't open to interpretation.  Any form of idealistic truth must deny truth in the natural sciences in order to be logically coherent.

Quote:

Is reality that which we experience by reason (mathematics), or is reality that which we observe (physics and the other natural sciences)?

Doesn't knowledge of mathematics require observation?  Without senses you could never learn that 1+1=2.  I fail to see how one can know mathematics without observation.

I would say the formulation of the axioms of mathematics is normally based on observation, especially if we want the mathematics to match reality reasonably well.

Once you define what the integers (whole numbers) are, then what addition means, then 1 + 1 must equal 2, from the definitions of '1', '+', and '2'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peano_axioms describes those axioms used for defining the 'natural numbers' - integers starting at 0. It is a good example of how Math actually works.

It is possible to define an arbitrary set of axioms and develop a system of 'mathematics' which bears no necessary relation to physical reality at all. Although they can be arranged to give us insight into the weirder areas of science, like Quantum Mechanics.

Obviously, traditional mathematics was intended to be an idealised model of 'reality'.

I just don't see what Episto's metaphysics adds to this picture.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
Alright, I'm out.  You don't know what physicalism is, and consequently have no right to discuss it.

 

Epistemologist wrote:
And the natural sciences begin with an axiom that reality exists externally to and independently from human minds

 

This is not true of physicalism or naturalism.  You are misrepresenting my perspective on reality. Unless you fix this misconception, you are not qualified to discuss it. This is why I didn't hesitate to call you a moron.  You CLEARLY do not understand physicalism, and have ignored me calling you out on it.

 

I am not offended, but name-calling does not add useful meaning to an intellectual discussion.

 

I may not understand ‘physicalism’, and you may. Everyone misunderstands ideas. It is through discussion like this that people learn from each other. If my definition of physicalism is not true, then tell me what the correct definition is. If you cannot tell me what the correct definition of physicalism is in your own words, then you do not understand what it is either.

 

I want to know.

 

At the moment you are saying that the definition of physicalism is this:

 

My definition of physicalism = I am a moron

 

That’s not a definition of physicalism.

 

My definition of physicalism (and naturalism) is this:

 

Physicalism (and naturalism) = the opposite of Idealism

 

The natural sciences begin with an axiom that reality is that which is observed, whether you like it or not. 


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I described

I described physicalist/naturalist views sufficiently before name-calling.

 

From post 135:

"the metaphysical conclusion that the natural is all that is"  (implies the mind is natural)

"From a physicalist perspective, reason is a form of thinking adhering to logic.  This thinking is brain activity.  If you understand physicalism/naturalism, you should have known that we posit that the human mind is synonymous with the body, in the sense that is fundamentally complex brain activity. "  (implies mind is brain activity, which is natural processes)

 

From post 145:

 

Quote:
Physicalism/materialism/naturalism maintains that the world/universe is external to human minds, and therefore ultimately, can only be known through observation (empiricism).

 

"Seriously, this is not a trivial error.  The human mind is NOT external to the world/universe in naturalism/etc.  This is a glaring oversight in light of your arrogance regarding philosophy."

 

You responded to the last one by saying I didn't understand the distinction between mind external to the natural and the natural external to the mind; the latter being your idea of physicalism.  It is wrong, because if all that exists is natural, then the mind is too.  Consequently, nature is NOT external to the mind, the mind is a part of nature.  Your previous idea of physicalism was basic dualism, that mind is separate, but somehow connected to, an external nature.

 

I reacted as I did because the most important implication of physicalism/naturalism is that the mind is physical/natural.  I was taken off-guard by you claiming to understand philosophy but clearly not knowing the most important implication of naturalism/etc.  This also factors into your reason vs. physics bit, because, in naturalism, reason is just a very complicated physical process that works off of logic, the inherent observed consistency of reality.  The opposite of this, idealism, holds that logic is a priori, and thus not a facet of observed reality.  I reject this because evolution has shown us to be ancestors to animals without reason, meaning our ability to reason was developed through observation of reality in the form of complex neurological processes.


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

 v4ultingbassist,

 

You haven’t successfully falsified my definition of naturalism and physicalism. There is nothing in your above post that I can answer as a refutation of my definition.

 

There are only two ways of knowing reality:

 

1) By or through reason.

 

2) By or through observation.

 

‘1’ is idealism, and ‘2’ includes naturalism and physicalism.

 

Absolutely nothing you have said so far falsifies my definition. If my definition is wrong, tell me how it’s wrong. If you can’t tell me how it’s wrong, then you are the one who doesn’t understand naturalism and physicalism.

 

However, I wouldn’t call you a moron. I’m not like that.

 

For biology to be the arbiter of reality, you have to side with Aristotle i.e. observation.


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Epistemologist wrote: Is

Epistemologist wrote:

Is reality that which we experience by reason (mathematics), or is reality that which we observe (physics and the other natural sciences)?

I swore I wouldn't read this thread.  Sigh.

You have a problem, epis.  And I think it is because you don't have enough background in mathematics and engineering.  This website is very interesting: http://planetmath.org/encyclopedia/BernaysMeasure.html 

Quote:

Any platonist position has to satisfy the following propositions:

  1. There is a mathematical reality.
  2. The existence of the objects of mathematical knowledge does not depend on actions or reactions by the cognitive subject.
  3. In particular, the objective existence of these objects does not result from the success of the subject's cognitive performance.
  4. The existence of the objects of mathematical knowledge does not depend on the conceptual scheme which the cognitive subject happens to be inserted in.
  5. In particular, does not depend on the language used by the cognitive subject.
  6. The meaning of a mathematical proposition is given by the truth-conditions which correspond to it, since it describes a fact of the mathematical reality.
  7. The truth of a mathematical proposition is independent of its being verified, either effectively or only in principle.

Under these propositions we consider that totalities of mathematical objects are well defined when statements which use quantification over such totalities are given a truth-value.

I can understand this list of propositions a lot better than your bald statement.  And I can get behind some of these.  In part because it is true that a meter is a meter and 1+1=2 whether you speak English, Spanish, or Pushtu.  There are some problems.

Down the page, please note the paragraphs on imaginary numbers.  A rather obscure branch of mathematics unless you are into signal processing, control theory, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, cartography, vibration analysis and so on.  Understanding how to use imaginary numbers is very important to understanding and designing certain systems.

Quote:

The first [of Frege's arguments] was to argue that to create a system of notation and a system of rules for a set of entities like the imaginary numbers does not secure their existence. It is required that the terms and the expressions of the system be satisfied in a model, where they receive their truth-values. If nothing satisfies the expressions of the system, nothing secures their truth. Formalists delude themselves into believing that postulating imaginary numbers to exist as a notation without content spares them the effort of providing a model where propositions about such numbers can be seen to be consistent.

Frege's second argument was that mathematicians like geographers can not create anything out of nothing.

Mathematicians can at most discover what already existed, prior to its being discovered, and can give it a name and describe its properties.

We have then the following disjunction:

either the imaginary numbers really existed prior to their creation by the mathematician, in which case his creating them in a system of content-free notation is redundant, or imaginary numbers did not exist prior to their being created by the mathematician, in which case his postulating them in a system of content-free notation does not make them any more real.

Now, imaginary numbers are imaginary.  The square root of -1 (usually notated with a lower case cursive i ) is not a real number and it never will be - by definition.  It is useful in certain mathematical concepts for particular systems.  But that doesn't make it any more real.  We can observe that using imaginary numbers in these specific contexts really does adequately model the systems well enough to create systems that function in the real world.

"Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right?"

Mathematics are only the finger pointing at the moon of reality.  Reality is a functioning system, which may be modeled by mathematics.  Mathematics is a tool, a way to measure and explain reality.  It is not reality.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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You have said, repeatedly,

You have said, repeatedly, that in naturalism nature is external and independent of the mind.  That is where you are wrong.  I quoted you saying it, and sufficiently explained myself.  I do not need to do it again.  It is right there for you to read.

 

You: And the natural sciences begin with an axiom that reality exists externally to and independently from human minds

 

Me: This is not true of physicalism or naturalism.

 

That was the exchange.  You then followed up with:

 

You: The natural sciences begin with an axiom that reality is that which is observed, whether you like it or not.

 

You just shifted your position to save face.


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Epistemologist wrote: 1) By

Epistemologist wrote:

1) By or through reason.

 

2) By or through observation.

 

Naturalism does both, no problem, without conflict.  The conflict that you posit exists, naturalism denies.


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Epistemologist

Epistemologist wrote:

Whatthedeuce wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
By ‘reality’ I mean what’s ‘real’ as opposed to what’s ‘not real’ i.e. ‘real’ is the opposite of ‘not real’.

Is this statement meant to be a joke?

No. It’s the truth.

 

I don't deny that it is the truth. However, it has no practical utility whatsoever. The inclusion of a tautological definition in an argument like this is a complete waste of time. For example, I could define tree, mathematics, blue, happy in the following ways:

tree is the opposite of not tree

mathematics is the opposite of not mathematics

blue is the opposite of not  blue

happy is the opposite of not happy

While the above statements are true, those definitions have no practical utility. This is why I thought it might be a joke.

Epistemologist wrote:

We have arrived at this question: Is mathematics knowledge, or is mathematics reality?

 

Mathematics is not reality. Mathematics is a way we acquire one type of knowledge, and that knowledge which has been acquired using mathematics.

Epistemologist wrote:

By ‘knowledge’ I mean something other than ‘reality’ i.e. knowledge is not reality. Knowledge describes but does not define reality.

 

I agree that knowledge describes but does not define reality.

Epistemologist wrote:

If mathematics is knowledge, then physicalism is true, and idealism is false. However, if mathematics is reality, then idealism is true, and physicalism is false.

 

The truth of idealism and physicalism do not depend on the definition of the word "mathematics."

Epistemologist wrote:

Plato expressed this dichotomy in his ‘world of forms’. Plato’s theory of forms is that mathematics is reality, and reality can therefore ultimately only be known through reason and not observation. Physics (Aristotelianism) maintains the opposite i.e. that reality is that which is observed, not that which is experienced through reason alone.

 

No that is not Plato's theory of forms. Plato's theory of forms is that abstract concepts are more fundamental to reality than physical entities. Plato's theory makes no specific reference to mathematics in its definition. Physics is not Aristotelianism. Physics did not even exist when Aristotle developed his theories.

Epistemologist wrote:

To clarify what Plato’s theory of forms means: Mathematics is not observable. It is pure reason. So if mathematics is reality, that means that reality can be known through reason, but not observation. It means that observation gives incomplete knowledge, but reason gives complete knowledge. So this is the conflict between mathematics and physics (between Platonism and Aristotelianism): Does mathematics (reason) reveal reality and physics not, or does physics (observation) reveal reality and mathematics not?

 

Mathematics and Platonism are not synonyms.

Physics and Aristotelianism are also not synonyms.

All you have shown is that Platonism conflicts with Aristotelianism. You have not shown that mathematics conflicts with physics.

Epistemologisty wrote:
Whatthedeuce, butterbattle, BobSpence1 and others seem to be saying that mathematics is knowledge and not reality. My point is this: You do not know that mathematics is not reality.

In post #177, you stated that reality existed before mathematics existed. Here is what you said:

Epistemologist wrote:
 

The existence of numerical patterns in nature didn’t require the invention of mathematics and physics. Those patterns must have existed in nature before the invention of our sciences.

If reality existed before mathematics existed, then mathematics is certainly not reality.

(I am assuming that you consider nature to be real)

 

Epistemologist wrote:

We have established in this discussion that the humanities do indeed conflict with the natural sciences.

No, we didn't.

Epistemologist wrote:
THEY CONFLICT IN THE FOLLOWING WAY: The humanities allow for philosophical positions like postmodernism, relativism, and idealism, which deny that reality exists eternally to human minds, or deny the very existence of reality. IN CONTRAST, the natural sciences do not allow for philosophical positions that deny that reality exists externally to human minds, or that deny reality’s very existence. I am only highlighting the conflict. People kept deviating from the point by questioning the validity of such philosophical positions. That’s not the point of this discussion. The point is simply to highlight that the conflict exists, because it does. Putting it simply: THE HUMAITIES ALLOW PHILOSOPHICAL POSITIONS THAT DENY THE EXISTENCE OF REALITY or that deny that reality exists externally to and independently from human minds, AND THE NATURAL SCIENCES DO NOT ALLOW THAT.

I do not think the humanities allow philosophical positions that deny the existence of reality. Could you provide an example of one such position?

I do, however, agree that the humanities allow the existence of positions that deny that reality exists externally to human minds. I disagree that the natural sciences do not allow that. The natural sciences only require that the observations we make (or imagine that we make) are valid descriptions of reality, regardless of whatever sort of existence reality might have. You also believe that the natural sciences allow other philosophical positions. In post #187 which was made after the one I am currently replying to, you say:

Epistemologist wrote:

From the perspective of idealism, the natural sciences are not false.

 

 

Epistemologist wrote:

The natural sciences begin with an axiom, which claims that reality is that which is ‘observed’. And the natural sciences begin with an axiom that reality exists externally to and independently from human minds i.e. the natural sciences do not incorporate ‘idealism’.

I have never heard of the term "axiom" be applied to the natural sciences before. I assume that "axiom" is defined as "unproven assumption."

The natural sciences do not make the assumption that reality is that which is observed. They make the assumption that observation is a valid way of obtaining knowledge about reality.

The natural sciences also do not make the assumption that reality exists externally and independently from human minds.


 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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v4ultingbassist wrote:

Epistemologist wrote:

Is reality that which we experience by reason (mathematics), or is reality that which we observe (physics and the other natural sciences)?

 

Doesn't knowledge of mathematics require observation?  Without senses you could never learn that 1+1=2.  I fail to see how one can know mathematics without observation.

Mathematics does not require observation. 1+1=2 follows from the peano axioms.

 

 

 

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Natural Science vs. Humanities

cj, it’s nice to see you back.

 

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
Epistemologist wrote:
There are only two ways of knowing reality:

 

1) By or through reason.

 

2) By or through observation.

 

‘1’ is idealism, and ‘2’ includes naturalism and physicalism.

 

Naturalism does both, no problem, without conflict.  The conflict that you posit exists, naturalism denies.

 

cj and v4ultingbassist,

 

Neither of you understand what you are saying. I’m laughing myself to tears after reading those posts from both of you.

 

Time and time again throughout this discussion, both of you and the other forum users have demonstrated your total ignorance of epistemology and metaphysics. I am very patient, and since it is clear that all of you have been let down by the modern education system, I will continue to educate you about the key difference between Platonism and Aristotelianism. It is the answer to the question: What is real, and what is not real; what is reality, and what is not reality?

 

By the way, in terms of the relationship between the mind and the brain, neuroscientists and other biologists are the most ignorant people on the earth. They claim to know everything about it, but in fact they know absolutely nothing about it.

 

A seriously distorted myth peddled by the modern education system is this: Reasoning is brain activity, or something that happens in the brain. If you believe that, then you are more religious than young earth creationist Christians who believe that the earth is only six thousand years old. At least young earth Creationist Christians have the Bible to support their belief. In contrast, naturalists and physicalists have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that reasoning occurs in the brain.

 

I don’t mean to be offensive, but anyone who believes that reasoning occurs in the brain is an absolute nut case. If you believe that reasoning occurs in the brain, then you may as well believe in God, fairies, sea monsters, magic and all the other irrational precepts. Actually, the belief that reasoning occurs in the brain is THE MOST IRRATIONAL of all irrational precepts.

 

cj, it’s actually the other way around. Platonistic idealism does not have to prove anything. Anyone who demands that Platonistic idealism has to prove itself is absolutely ignorant of what Platonistic idealism is.

 

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that physicalism and naturalism are true. Physicalism and naturalism are the most laughable of all religious beliefs or irrational precepts (apologies to Aristotle Smiling).

 

To prove that physicalism and naturalism are true you have to prove that reasoning occurs in the brain. If you cannot prove that, then physicalism and naturalism are absolutely laughable. You have to do the following to prove that naturalism and physicalism are true:

 

Gather together the most intelligent neuroscientists and biologists on Earth. Give them the best laboratory or laboratories and tools that exist for studying biology, particularly the brain. Give them as experimental participants the mathematicians and physicists who know and understand the most advanced and sophisticated ideas in mathematics and physics today. Tell nothing of those mathematics and physics ideas to the neuroscientists and other biologists, and make sure that the neuroscientists and other biologists conducting the experiment know as little as possible about the mathematics and physics ideas that the experimental participants understand and know. Don’t allow the mathematicians and physicists to speak about mathematical and physics ideas to the neuroscientists and other biologists. But they can speak about other things if they wish, like football or toast. The job of the neuroscientists and other biologists is to explain in perfect detail what the most advanced ideas are in mathematics and physics today. The neuroscientists and other biologists have to do this only by and through observing the brains of the mathematicians and physicists. If the neuroscientists and other biologists cannot do this, then there is absolute no evidence that reasoning occurs in the brain, and naturalism and physicalism are therefore just irrational religious beliefs.

 

This also answers Whatthedeuce.

 

 


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cj wrote:Now, imaginary

cj wrote:

Now, imaginary numbers are imaginary.  The square root of -1 (usually notated with a lower case cursive i ) is not a real number and it never will be - by definition.  It is useful in certain mathematical concepts for particular systems.  But that doesn't make it any more real.  We can observe that using imaginary numbers in these specific contexts really does adequately model the systems well enough to create systems that function in the real world.

I'm not sure why you included information on imaginary numbers. It appears irrelevant to your argument. However, I think that you are making a fallacy of equivocation here. Mathematics does not define the word "real" in the same way that metaphysics define the word "real". In the context of metaphysics, the square root of -1 is a real entity even though in the context of mathematics the square root of -1 is not in the set of real numbers.

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Epistemologist wrote:Time

Epistemologist wrote:

Time and time again throughout this discussion, both of you and the other forum users have demonstrated your total ignorance of epistemology and metaphysics. I am very patient, and since it is clear that all of you have been let down by the modern education system, I will continue to educate you about the key difference between Platonism and Aristotelianism. It is the answer to the question: What is real, and what is not real; what is reality, and what is not reality?

I don't think anyone ever denied that Platonism and Aristotelianism differ and are in conflict. What we denied is that their conflict is relevant to the relationship between physics and mathematics.

Epistemologist wrote:
By the way, in terms of the relationship between the mind and the brain, neuroscientists and other biologists are the most ignorant people on the earth. They claim to know everything about it, but in fact they know absolutely nothing about it.

 

A seriously distorted myth peddled by the modern education system is this: Reasoning is brain activity, or something that happens in the brain. If you believe that, then you are more religious than young earth creationist Christians who believe that the earth is only six thousand years old. At least young earth Creationist Christians have the Bible to support their belief. In contrast, naturalists and physicalists have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that reasoning occurs in the brain.

 

I don’t mean to be offensive, but anyone who believes that reasoning occurs in the brain is an absolute nut case. If you believe that reasoning occurs in the brain, then you may as well believe in God, fairies, sea monsters, magic and all the other irrational precepts. Actually, the belief that reasoning occurs in the brain is THE MOST IRRATIONAL of all irrational precepts.

 

The opinions of various biologists, neuroscientists, naturalists, and educators is completely irrelevant to our discussion.

Epistemologist wrote:

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that physicalism and naturalism are true. Physicalism and naturalism are the most laughable of all religious beliefs or irrational precepts (apologies to Aristotle Smiling).

 

To prove that physicalism and naturalism are true you have to prove that reasoning occurs in the brain. If you cannot prove that, then physicalism and naturalism are absolutely laughable. You have to do the following to prove that naturalism and physicalism are true:

 

Gather together the most intelligent neuroscientists and biologists on Earth. Give them the best laboratory or laboratories and tools that exist for studying biology, particularly the brain. Give them as experimental participants the mathematicians and physicists who know and understand the most advanced and sophisticated ideas in mathematics and physics today. Tell nothing of those mathematics and physics ideas to the neuroscientists and other biologists, and make sure that the neuroscientists and other biologists conducting the experiment know as little as possible about the mathematics and physics ideas that the experimental participants understand and know. Don’t allow the mathematicians and physicists to speak about mathematical and physics ideas to the neuroscientists and other biologists. But they can speak about other things if they wish, like football or toast. The job of the neuroscientists and other biologists is to explain in perfect detail what the most advanced ideas are in mathematics and physics today. The neuroscientists and other biologists have to do this only by and through observing the brains of the mathematicians and physicists. If the neuroscientists and other biologists cannot do this, then there is absolute no evidence that reasoning occurs in the brain, and naturalism and physicalism are therefore just irrational religious beliefs.

You have an incredibly strange definition of the word "religious belief"

I also think that you have a definition of "evidence" that most people would consider to be synonymous with "proof"

I also do not think that anyone has made an argument that relies on proof that naturalism and physicalism are true.

edit:There is no reason why the test subjects need to be mathematicians and physicists. Neurosicence and biology address topics which are broader than just what occurs inside the brains of mathematiciancs and physicists. It seems that any human would be equally as valid a test subject. There is no reason why the knowledge of the researchers need to be restricted. Biology and neuroscience apply aspects of mathematics and physics all the time. There is no reason why a complete, empirically verified model need to exist before any evidence can be discovered. Science actually works in the reverse direction. First evidence is acquired and then theories are created. You have just demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of how biology and neuroscience work. You have also just demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of what constitutes evidence.

Epistemologist wrote:

This also answers Whatthedeuce.

 

I never claimed that Platonism is not in conflict with Aristotelianism. I never made any claims that are dependent on the opinions held by various neuroscientists, biologists, naturalists and educators. I never made any claim which would require that naturalism or physicalism be proven to be true. In my opinion this does not answer anything I said. Could you perhaps explain how it does?

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.