Irreligion does not prevent pseudoscience and superstition

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Irreligion does not prevent pseudoscience and superstition

Here's and article and the accompanying findings of a survey that show that irreligious people being superstitious and declines in traditional beliefs among the educated increases pseudoscience, cults and superstition...

http://www.baylor.edu/pr/news.php?action=story&story=52815

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html

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Wowzers1 wrote:BobSpence1

Wowzers1 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

If something is clearly and repeatably demonstrable, it is part of physical reality. Supernatural is only an empty label some people slap on things we don't have any explanation for - it is ultimately an empty distinction.

So you are assuming it? That's essentially no better than an ontological argument... You're really just begging the question.

Sorry to but in, but since you mentioned the OA, and we're debating physical reality, or the comprehension of reality.  What do you mean by assuming it? Do you mean to criticize the empirical scientific approach to repeated demonstrations?  Or do you mean to criticize how effective empiricism is fundamentally? I see this argument put in by theists all the time, but I have never seen an elaborated approach to it. 

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Wowzers1 wrote:One of the

Wowzers1 wrote:

One of the studies referenced in the article suggested that removing traditional theistic beliefs causes more superstition and pseudo science. The suggests otherwise....

You don't really want me to dig the study up and disprove it on the spot do you (if so, provide the actual study, not a link to an article talking about it)? Because if so, I can guarantee that the study was fallacious if it comes to such a conclusion. Did the study ignore superstitions and pseudo science that had previously been seen in the history of man? If not, then it's guilty of confirmation bias. Those things already existed, and cannot fit the description of "more" superstition and pseudo science. Does the study acknowledge that every religion in existence qualifies as a mass of superstition and pseudo science from the get go (unless of course you have the incontrovertable, observable, and testable proof that your religion, or any religion, is accurate. do you?)?

Unless the study explicitly indicates that the removal of religion literally created new superstitions and pseudo science, and further proves that said superstitions and pseudo science outweigh the pre-existing superstitions and pseudo science contained within the original religion, then it does not in fact prove that removing religion causes more superstition and pseudo science.

As a forewarning, I did read the articles you posted, and they confirmed what I'm saying. But they didn't have the actual study there, or if they did I didn't see it, so I am going off second hand information.

Wowzers1 wrote:
IS the salt-throwing trick one that evolved out of religion?

I haven't the foggiest idea where it originated. I've only seen it mentioned here and there in books and old movies/tv shows.

Wowzers1 wrote:
And communicating ideas does not necessarily require a verbose language as we know them per se, but it does require that one establish a means of communication. But this seen in nature in many species.

It may not take a spoken or written language per se to communicate simple ideas such as sky and ground, but it sure as hell does to do anything more than point and grunt at what you're pointing at. You think you could explain the bible to someone who's total mastery of language involves grunting and growling? I'd wish you the best of luck with that.

Wowzers1 wrote:

But In the fullness of times, I think that it is possible that a species evolved --namely homo-sapiens and the "Adam" of that species received from God revelation in a very meaningful way.... This is how religion was born.

Too bad I don't buy it. If that god were as good as it's claimed to be, there'd have been a thousand "adams" or "jesus'" all over the world. Not just one of each in the middle east. Religion was born when people and the languages they spoke had evolved enough to start combining them into a single giant pseudo scientific superstition. A god for fire, a god for water, a god for love, a god for war, a god for every little thing. Then the age of reason came around, and logic hit the scene, and someone figured out that the simplest answer is almost always the right answer. Thank you Occam for disproving every religion, superstition, and pseudo science. At which point christianity, judaism, and the moslem religions hit the scene, all supposing one single god in some form or another. Now logic is prevalent, and religion is dying. And your god has never given me the choice whether or not to believe in him. So I can't, and don't.

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Atheistextremist wrote:of

Atheistextremist wrote:
of all our long conjectures with Wows and it comes back to what we consider can legitimately be used as evidence. Wows, could you tell me, have you deeply considered the supernatural evidence for the existence of any other gods but your own? What would this other supernatural evidence consist of in the absence of a personal conviction it was true? 

I've done this... Particularly the claims of Islam and even some Christian "cults" and what not.

The evidence would be principally historic evidence and archaeological evidence to corroborate it.

For me, the issue is the weight of the evidence among other things that either kept me from rejecting Christianity...

 

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Vastet wrote:You don't

Vastet wrote:

You don't really want me to dig the study up and disprove it on the spot do you (if so, provide the actual study, not a link to an article talking about it)? Because if so, I can guarantee that the study was fallacious if it comes to such a conclusion. Did the study ignore superstitions and pseudo science that had previously been seen in the history of man? If not, then it's guilty of confirmation bias. Those things already existed, and cannot fit the description of "more" superstition and pseudo science. Does the study acknowledge that every religion in existence qualifies as a mass of superstition and pseudo science from the get go (unless of course you have the incontrovertable, observable, and testable proof that your religion, or any religion, is accurate. do you?)?

If you want to dig up the study, please do.

Vastet wrote:

Unless the study explicitly indicates that the removal of religion literally created new superstitions and pseudo science, and further proves that said superstitions and pseudo science outweigh the pre-existing superstitions and pseudo science contained within the original religion, then it does not in fact prove that removing religion causes more superstition and pseudo science.

But you're still without evidence for your claims though... IOW, it's a naked assertion.

Vastet wrote:

As a forewarning, I did read the articles you posted, and they confirmed what I'm saying. But they didn't have the actual study there, or if they did I didn't see it, so I am going off second hand information.

Only if you go off your baseless assumption, does the article purport what you are saying. You haven't even provided secondary evidence for it...

Vastet wrote:

I haven't the foggiest idea where it originated. I've only seen it mentioned here and there in books and old movies/tv shows.

There's no connection to religion then...that seems more consistent with what the article said.

Vastet wrote:

Too bad I don't buy it. If that god were as good as it's claimed to be, there'd have been a thousand "adams" or "jesus'" all over the world. Not just one of each in the middle east. Religion was born when people and the languages they spoke had evolved enough to start combining them into a single giant pseudo scientific superstition. A god for fire, a god for water, a god for love, a god for war, a god for every little thing. Then the age of reason came around, and logic hit the scene, and someone figured out that the simplest answer is almost always the right answer. Thank you Occam for disproving every religion, superstition, and pseudo science. At which point christianity, judaism, and the moslem religions hit the scene, all supposing one single god in some form or another. Now logic is prevalent, and religion is dying. And your god has never given me the choice whether or not to believe in him. So I can't, and don't.

Occaam said that one should not multiply entities beyond necessity. A monotheistic tradition then seems to be the best option if you want theism. So the Jedeo-Christian tradition simplest concerning theism.

The problem with that assertion is that Occaam's Razor does not disprove anything: it's a pragmatic tool for shaving away unlikely explanations. If this is the basis for disproving something, you've failed to do so.

Even so how would theism be a more complex answer?

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Ok.

Wowzers1 wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:
of all our long conjectures with Wows and it comes back to what we consider can legitimately be used as evidence. Wows, could you tell me, have you deeply considered the supernatural evidence for the existence of any other gods but your own? What would this other supernatural evidence consist of in the absence of a personal conviction it was true? 

I've done this... Particularly the claims of Islam and even some Christian "cults" and what not.

The evidence would be principally historic evidence and archaeological evidence to corroborate it.

For me, the issue is the weight of the evidence among other things that either kept me from rejecting Christianity...

 

 

So your belief in a supernatural god is entirely drawn from the bible and from the archeological evidence that supports it?

Do you use these tools in all areas of your life to furnish yourself with other truths about reality, or only when contemplating the supernatural?

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:So

Atheistextremist wrote:

So your belief in a supernatural god is entirely drawn from the bible and from the archeological evidence that supports it?

Do you use these tools in all areas of your life to furnish yourself with other truths about reality, or only when contemplating the supernatural?

No, in part, from the Bible and the arcahaelogical evidence that supports it.

 

 

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Wowzers1 wrote:Vastet

Wowzers1 wrote:

Vastet wrote:

I haven't the foggiest idea where it originated. I've only seen it mentioned here and there in books and old movies/tv shows.

There's no connection to religion then...that seems more consistent with what the article said.

 

Now look what you did - I had to go look it up.

http://ask.yahoo.com/20031006.html wrote:

Superstitions about salt date back to biblical times when salt was a highly prized commodity. It was expensive, crucial in preserving food, and was often used in lieu of currency. So spilling salt was considered an almost sacrilegious offence, and left one perilously exposed to the devil's machinations.

Throwing salt over your shoulder is akin to blessing someone after they've sneezed -- it's a way of keeping the devil at bay while you're in an especially vulnerable moment. Depending on your interpretation, the salt is either intended to blind the devil so he can't witness your error, or keep him from sneaking up on you while you're cleaning up your mess.

It's important to note that the superstition calls for the offender to throw salt over the left shoulder. As one web site notes, many ancient traditions place the devil to the left of the straight and narrow path. The classic image of a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other often shows the sinister imp sitting on the left side.

And if you want to really follow the letter of the law, you're encouraged to throw the salt with your "good," or right hand. Throughout history, the association of right with good and left with bad caused a number of perfectly respectable left-handed people to be burned at the stake.

So, yes, throwing salt over your left shoulder has origins in religion.

 

Wowzers1 wrote:

Occaam said that one should not multiply entities beyond necessity. A monotheistic tradition then seems to be the best option if you want theism. So the Jedeo-Christian tradition simplest concerning theism.

The problem with that assertion is that Occaam's Razor does not disprove anything: it's a pragmatic tool for shaving away unlikely explanations. If this is the basis for disproving something, you've failed to do so.

Even so how would theism be a more complex answer?

 

There is no necessity for god/s/dess - so therefore, s/he/it/they are one and all too many entity(ies) per Occam.

Theism - all varieties - arose because being a Shaman required too much evidence.  A Shaman has to have results.  If a rain dance is performed, rain had better happen.  Priests on the other hand, do not have to provide results.  No rain - it's god's will, or you people aren't pious enough, or the sacrifices you made were not good enough.  Never the priest's fault you notice.  And s/he still gets the leftover sacrifices - and now a days, they still get the money.  Sound familiar?  Hmmm....

 

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cj wrote:There is no

cj wrote:

There is no necessity for god/s/dess - so therefore, s/he/it/they are one and all too many entity(ies) per Occam.

And how do you know that?

And again, Occaam's razor proves nothing... It's a pragmatic tool, that's all. Anyone who uses it to disprove theism or anything for that matter are abusing it and are not otherwise justified in their conclusion.

cj wrote:

Theism - all varieties - arose because being a Shaman required too much evidence.  A Shaman has to have results.  If a rain dance is performed, rain had better happen.  Priests on the other hand, do not have to provide results.  No rain - it's god's will, or you people aren't pious enough, or the sacrifices you made were not good enough.  Never the priest's fault you notice.  And s/he still gets the leftover sacrifices - and now a days, they still get the money.  Sound familiar?  Hmmm....

You're entire conjecture is not how I've suggested that I arrived at the conclusion that I did... it's largely irrelevant.

 

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Vastet wrote:I win.

Vastet wrote:

I win. Smiling

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Wowzers1

Wowzers1 wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

So your belief in a supernatural god is entirely drawn from the bible and from the archeological evidence that supports it?

Do you use these tools in all areas of your life to furnish yourself with other truths about reality, or only when contemplating the supernatural?

No, in part, from the Bible and the arcahaelogical evidence that supports it.

 

 

Archaeology does not support the bible. It typically shows its mythic aspects. So how does archaeology and the bible support a supernatural god? Also what is supernatural evidence such that it differs from natural evidence and how does it support a supernatural claim?


 

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Wowzers1 wrote:Vastet

Thanks CJ. I'd always kinda wondered where that started. Smiling

Wowzers1 wrote:

Vastet wrote:

You don't really want me to dig the study up and disprove it on the spot do you (if so, provide the actual study, not a link to an article talking about it)? Because if so, I can guarantee that the study was fallacious if it comes to such a conclusion. Did the study ignore superstitions and pseudo science that had previously been seen in the history of man? If not, then it's guilty of confirmation bias. Those things already existed, and cannot fit the description of "more" superstition and pseudo science. Does the study acknowledge that every religion in existence qualifies as a mass of superstition and pseudo science from the get go (unless of course you have the incontrovertable, observable, and testable proof that your religion, or any religion, is accurate. do you?)?

If you want to dig up the study, please do.

See bold. I should have merged those sentences, but I was tired last night and my editting suffered a bit as a result.

Wowzers1 wrote:
But you're still without evidence for your claims though... IOW, it's a naked assertion.

Not at all. The entire fossil record, all of archeology, and all of human history backs up my claims. Furthermore, deductive reasoning is more than sufficient to conclude that without language, there can be no religion. Or society. Best you can hope for is a tribe. Or pack/herd, as either of those terms would more closely match the circumstances.

Wowzers1 wrote:
Only if you go off your baseless assumption, does the article purport what you are saying. You haven't even provided secondary evidence for it...

Because both primary and secondary evidence is common knowledge, it doesn't require my posting proof. I'm not a high school teacher getting paid to teach students history and evolution. Besides, most people learn better by looking things up for themselves. Harder to argue against it that way.

Wowzers1 wrote:
There's no connection to religion then...that seems more consistent with what the article said.

Hold your horses there, I'm pretty sure I didn't even get the salt thing right in the first place. Besides, I didn't use that particular example to link superstition to religion, religion didn't exist yet when superstitions started to ocurr. I used that to show how superstitions can start, thanks to confirmation bias. The guy didn't toss salt over his shoulder a few more times, taking notes as to when, where, etc. his luck went good and bad, he based it off a single instance. Which is pseudo science.

Wowzers1 wrote:
Occaam said that one should not multiply entities beyond necessity. A monotheistic tradition then seems to be the best option if you want theism. So the Jedeo-Christian tradition simplest concerning theism.

Exactly. But there's something even simpler than monotheism: nontheism. ie: shit happens. Smiling

Wowzers1 wrote:
The problem with that assertion is that Occaam's Razor does not disprove anything: it's a pragmatic tool for shaving away unlikely explanations. If this is the basis for disproving something, you've failed to do so.

Very good. However, I'm not attempting to disprove religion here. Even in the actual history of the Earth, there is room for a god or gods. This is about how superstition and pseudo science turns into religion. We could theoretically both be right. Everything I've said I know is true, but that doesn't preclude your god and your jesus. It simply means they waited awhile. But the bible says that anyway right? No christian believes the world is only 2000 years old.

I'm frankly surprised you're so against getting this. Maybe it would work better if you ignored your own religion. I won't, but if it helps you then I won't hold it against you. Either way, can you not see how the paganism that the christians have been fighting so fiercely for so long started from superstitions and pseudo science? Even if you won't accept that christianity started the same way? It'd be a start.

Wowzers1 wrote:
Even so how would theism be a more complex answer?

The scientific view of the universe:

It happened.

The religious view of the universe:

god.

It happened. (usually because of god, but not always)

 

There's literally an extra equation in theism. An unnecessary extra equation. Without defining god, and noone ever has been able to do so logically, its even worse. An extra equation without value. Why is so hard for so many theists to understand that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator AND the universe is infinitely more complex than the universe on its own? I've never received a satisfactory answer to that question. Sad

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Nothing recorded in the

Nothing recorded in the Bible comes close to proving that the God referred to exists.

Even taken at face value, all it 'proves' is that a number people reported seeing things that they could not explain, none of which unambiguously point to, or can only be 'explained by' an omnipotent loving entity.

Considering the rudimentary and mostly mistaken 'understanding' of reality that pervaded the times and that region, and the ease with which reports of events get scrambled as they are passed on, especially of events which are beyond the normal experience, to base claims of truth on such 'evidence' is crazy.

Every day in the news I hear of things which have been 'reported' which subsequently appear to have been based on rumor, misunderstanding, and over-interpretation of flimsy evidence, or something mis-heard.

 

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

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Is the sighting of Elvis a

Is the sighting of Elvis a supernatural claim? 


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TGBaker wrote:Is the

TGBaker wrote:

Is the sighting of Elvis a supernatural claim? 

TG, referring to Elvis 'sightings' had indeed crossed my mind also...

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

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BobSpence1 wrote:TGBaker

BobSpence1 wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Is the sighting of Elvis a supernatural claim? 

TG, referring to Elvis 'sightings' had indeed crossed my mind also...

Kinda thought so. Great minds think.....


 

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To base any strong belief

To base any strong belief system essentially on the testimony of human beings, which is what the Bible requires you to do, the same book which asserts how flawed and subject to being deceived human beings are, is just so inherently self-contradictory...

The basic contradiction is to have absolute confidence that a flawed, mortal mind can know with absolute confidence when it has received a 'genuine' revelation from an invisible super-being, rather than just imagining that it has, and that such confidence itself cannot possibly be just another bit of self-deception.

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

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Vastet wrote:Not at all. The

Vastet wrote:

Not at all. The entire fossil record, all of archeology, and all of human history backs up my claims. Furthermore, deductive reasoning is more than sufficient to conclude that without language, there can be no religion. Or society. Best you can hope for is a tribe. Or pack/herd, as either of those terms would more closely match the circumstances.

How does the fossil record, archaeology, and human history support you claim and not mine? I have not reason to think that it does support your claim. You have not provided a reason why religion necessarily requires language either. As far as I can tell, it still a naked assertion.

Vastet wrote:

Because both primary and secondary evidence is common knowledge, it doesn't require my posting proof. I'm not a high school teacher getting paid to teach students history and evolution. Besides, most people learn better by looking things up for themselves. Harder to argue against it that way.

But I see no necessary connection between what you are citing as evidence and your claim... I think you're confusing your interpretation of the evidence with the evidence itself.

Vastet wrote:

Hold your horses there, I'm pretty sure I didn't even get the salt thing right in the first place. Besides, I didn't use that particular example to link superstition to religion, religion didn't exist yet when superstitions started to ocurr. I used that to show how superstitions can start, thanks to confirmation bias. The guy didn't toss salt over his shoulder a few more times, taking notes as to when, where, etc. his luck went good and bad, he based it off a single instance. Which is pseudo science.

The science would eliminate the possibility through repeated tests. The one instance where it did work without any reason to link salt to horses winning races then is coincidence -- a post hoc fallacy of sort. But that does not say anything about religion.

Vastet wrote:

Exactly. But there's something even simpler than monotheism: nontheism. ie: shit happens. Smiling

So, if I take that to the logical entailment, then, nothingness is the simplest. But something exists... this shows that Occaam's razor does not disprove anything. It's a tool, not proof.

Vastet wrote:

Very good. However, I'm not attempting to disprove religion here. Even in the actual history of the Earth, there is room for a god or gods. This is about how superstition and pseudo science turns into religion. We could theoretically both be right. Everything I've said I know is true, but that doesn't preclude your god and your jesus. It simply means they waited awhile. But the bible says that anyway right? No christian believes the world is only 2000 years old.

No, but what does that have to do with superstition though?

Vastet wrote:

I'm frankly surprised you're so against getting this. Maybe it would work better if you ignored your own religion. I won't, but if it helps you then I won't hold it against you. Either way, can you not see how the paganism that the christians have been fighting so fiercely for so long started from superstitions and pseudo science? Even if you won't accept that christianity started the same way? It'd be a start.

I'm not denying superstitions arise. I do not disagree with how they do...

Vastet wrote:

The scientific view of the universe:

It happened.

The religious view of the universe:

god.

It happened. (usually because of god, but not always) 

There's literally an extra equation in theism. An unnecessary extra equation. Without defining god, and noone ever has been able to do so logically, its even worse. An extra equation without value. Why is so hard for so many theists to understand that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator AND the universe is infinitely more complex than the universe on its own? I've never received a satisfactory answer to that question. Sad

"It happened" is not comparable to "God. it happened"... that's a category mistake.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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BobSpence1 wrote:Nothing

BobSpence1 wrote:

Nothing recorded in the Bible comes close to proving that the God referred to exists.

Even taken at face value, all it 'proves' is that a number people reported seeing things that they could not explain, none of which unambiguously point to, or can only be 'explained by' an omnipotent loving entity.

Considering the rudimentary and mostly mistaken 'understanding' of reality that pervaded the times and that region, and the ease with which reports of events get scrambled as they are passed on, especially of events which are beyond the normal experience, to base claims of truth on such 'evidence' is crazy.

Every day in the news I hear of things which have been 'reported' which subsequently appear to have been based on rumor, misunderstanding, and over-interpretation of flimsy evidence, or something mis-heard.

You're divorcing the events from the teachings. That's be like saying the events of the story of the tortoise and the hare do not support the moral implications asserted in the story...

And I think you're grossly over stating this too concerning the "understanding of reality" in that time and place. I think this is a sort of an appeal to novelty. They may not have had modern science, but they certainly recogonize unsual events. What will people say about humans living today in 2000 years?

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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TGBaker wrote:Is the

TGBaker wrote:

Is the sighting of Elvis a supernatural claim? 

I don't think people are willing die over an Elvis sighting. If one wants to prove Elvis is dead, they simply can go to his grave among other things...

 

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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BobSpence1 wrote:To base any

BobSpence1 wrote:

To base any strong belief system essentially on the testimony of human beings, which is what the Bible requires you to do, the same book which asserts how flawed and subject to being deceived human beings are, is just so inherently self-contradictory...

The basic contradiction is to have absolute confidence that a flawed, mortal mind can know with absolute confidence when it has received a 'genuine' revelation from an invisible super-being, rather than just imagining that it has, and that such confidence itself cannot possibly be just another bit of self-deception.

So who's testimony can we trust?

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Just as an aside

 

a revelation is a direct one-on-one communication with a supernatural deity. Such a communication can only be life changing for the person who has it - a revelation is not revealed to hundreds of millions of other people simultaneously. Anyone who has not experienced a direct communication with a deity is taking some one else's word for baseless assertions on the basis of some personal confirmation bias. Revelation as defined in the bible is a nebulous beast at best and appears only to happen to 'prophets' which is hardly convincing if you don't happen to be a prophet.  

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Wowzers1 wrote:BobSpence1

Wowzers1 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Nothing recorded in the Bible comes close to proving that the God referred to exists.

Even taken at face value, all it 'proves' is that a number people reported seeing things that they could not explain, none of which unambiguously point to, or can only be 'explained by' an omnipotent loving entity.

Considering the rudimentary and mostly mistaken 'understanding' of reality that pervaded the times and that region, and the ease with which reports of events get scrambled as they are passed on, especially of events which are beyond the normal experience, to base claims of truth on such 'evidence' is crazy.

Every day in the news I hear of things which have been 'reported' which subsequently appear to have been based on rumor, misunderstanding, and over-interpretation of flimsy evidence, or something mis-heard.

You're divorcing the events from the teachings. That's be like saying the events of the story of the tortoise and the hare do not support the moral implications asserted in the story...

And I think you're grossly over stating this too concerning the "understanding of reality" in that time and place. I think this is a sort of an appeal to novelty. They may not have had modern science, but they certainly recognize unusual events. What will people say about humans living today in 2000 years?

The events I was referring to are claimed to be actual events, acts of God, and not just fables to teach moral principles, although that is probably all they were in reality. IOW, those miracles and other manifestations which are claimed to 'prove' the existence of God and the Divinity of Christ. I am happy to put the whole of Genesis, the birth and life and resurrection of Jesus, in that category, but I doubt that is what you meant, by comparing them to "the tortoise and the hare".

========

I did not say they would not be capable of recognizing 'unusual events", although they would have even less chance of understanding them, for many reasons.

But that has nothing to do with my point - when something happens which you are not familiar with, our memories of the details of that event are more likely to not accurately record it, as our brains strives to match it to what it already is familiar with.

Are you really as confused as you appear with these responses?

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Wowzers1 wrote: Occaam's

Wowzers1 wrote:
Occaam's razor proves nothing...

Incorrect.

It proves that anytime you make an assumption (particularly) about something without precedent, your odds of being correct/incorrect are practically equal.

This is proven very simply (Boole's Inequality), and is not up for debate.

Adding more assumptions isn't likely to increase your odds.

Wowzers1 wrote:
It's a pragmatic tool, that's all.

No.

If your objective is to be certain, working any other way is patently stupid.

Wowzers1 wrote:
Anyone who uses it to disprove theism or anything for that matter are abusing it and are not otherwise justified in their conclusion.

You've got that backwards.

There's every justification to conclude that not a single human being knows how this universe formed, because it's 100% fact.

None of us were there.

Theism is the worldview that is arbitrarily elastic when it confirms their bias, and arbitrarily dismissive when it doesn't, and more drastically hypocritical when it comes to *cough* evidence and proofs.

Theism has to make huge stretches, the first one being that there is no justification for positing that there is only 1 'being/entity' capable of 'creating'.

The simple 'God' claim is actually a number of claims. It's a claim that there aren't any other gods, and that this single mythical god is preoccupied with us.

The whole 'idea' of creating humans, and putting them in a hostile place, for a 'pico blip' on the timescale, only to go back to an eternity of 'afterlife', is a complete joke, and deeply rooted in prehistoric ignorance where everything was assumed to be 'animate', and contain a 'spirit'.

In terms of being convinced of how the universe formed, those who are more scientifically inclined have very little problems accepting a universe (reality) that formed simply from the particles and forces that are present, and the reasons that justify those theories are growing everyday.

The findings from the LHC experiments could really start putting the final nails in the coffin for theism, and very soon.

 

Why is it that Islam is more quicky outgrowing Christianity, and with atheists now in the hundreds of millions worldwide, if Christianity has so much compelling 'evidence'?

Because it doesn't.

Islam is growing out of more breeding of ignorance and control, and science and higher levels of education and information are breeding more atheists.

 

The study you linked to only demonstrates how great single case studies are at generating 'false positives'.

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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BobSpence1 wrote:The events

BobSpence1 wrote:

The events I was referring to are claimed to be actual events, acts of God, and not just fables to teach moral principles, although that is probably all they were in reality. IOW, those miracles and other manifestations which are claimed to 'prove' the existence of God and the Divinity of Christ. I am happy to put the whole of Genesis, the birth and life and resurrection of Jesus, in that category, but I doubt that is what you meant, by comparing them to "the tortoise and the hare".

What I'm saying is that in order to be consistent, you cannot use existential evidence to make a point, whether the events be actual or not.

BobSpence1 wrote:

I did not say they would not be capable of recognizing 'unusual events", although they would have even less chance of understanding them, for many reasons.

But that has nothing to do with my point - when something happens which you are not familiar with, our memories of the details of that event are more likely to not accurately record it, as our brains strives to match it to what it already is familiar with.

Are you really as confused as you appear with these responses?

I don't think you understood what I said: I was speaking in reference to the events that are recorded to show the divinity of Jesus in reference to "that a number people reported seeing things that they could not explain".

Witnessing something by more than one person on more than one occasion gives multiple accounts of the same event. The details of the event are remembered differently by different people. Many uses this as an argument against the gospels, but rather quite the opposite is true: should they all report exactly the same thing, then it is likely that they are citing one source rather than having multiple accounts. Multiple accounts would increase the probability of being certain that the event did occur.

 

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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redneF wrote:Incorrect.It

redneF wrote:

Incorrect.

It proves that anytime you make an assumption (particularly) about something without precedent, your odds of being correct/incorrect are practically equal.

This is proven very simply (Boole's Inequality), and is not up for debate.

Adding more assumptions isn't likely to increase your odds.

You've just proved that you don't understand Occaam's razor, that's all you've done.


 

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Wowzers1 wrote:BobSpence1

Wowzers1 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

The events I was referring to are claimed to be actual events, acts of God, and not just fables to teach moral principles, although that is probably all they were in reality. IOW, those miracles and other manifestations which are claimed to 'prove' the existence of God and the Divinity of Christ. I am happy to put the whole of Genesis, the birth and life and resurrection of Jesus, in that category, but I doubt that is what you meant, by comparing them to "the tortoise and the hare".

What I'm saying is that in order to be consistent, you cannot use existential evidence to make a point, whether the events be actual or not.

You can most definitely use evidence of existence to make a point about whether something actually exists or not, or whether events reported actually took place or not. You are the one who pointlessly brought up the idea of narratives specifically designed to teach some moral point, or something of that nature. I am not concerned with those.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

I did not say they would not be capable of recognizing 'unusual events", although they would have even less chance of understanding them, for many reasons.

But that has nothing to do with my point - when something happens which you are not familiar with, our memories of the details of that event are more likely to not accurately record it, as our brains strives to match it to what it already is familiar with.

Are you really as confused as you appear with these responses?

I don't think you understood what I said: I was speaking in reference to the events that are recorded to show the divinity of Jesus in reference to "that a number people reported seeing things that they could not explain".

Witnessing something by more than one person on more than one occasion gives multiple accounts of the same event. The details of the event are remembered differently by different people. Many uses this as an argument against the gospels, but rather quite the opposite is true: should they all report exactly the same thing, then it is likely that they are citing one source rather than having multiple accounts. Multiple accounts would increase the probability of being certain that the event did occur.

But there are few instances in the Bible of such events being witnessed by more than one person, certainly never more than a handful for significant events in the Jesus story. I am specifically referring to the 'magical' events, which excludes the crucifixion.

The meeting with the resurrected Jesus would be the main confirming event, and we don't have solid evidence that it even occurred as described, and it is not by any means the only report of a prophet of some sort returning or appearing after death, across various religions. So my comments about far more mundane events becoming a widely spread rumor without actual foundation are quite appropriate here.

Even if it occurred as reported, it would not prove the divinity of Christ or the existence of God, just maybe something like the existence of ghosts, perhaps.

If you are prepared to accept the claimed nature of Jesus on the basis of that kind of report, there is a world-full of  paranormal and alien abduction stories that are at least as well attested, that you should also accept, to be consistent.

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Wowzers1 wrote:redneF

Wowzers1 wrote:

redneF wrote:

Incorrect.

It proves that anytime you make an assumption (particularly) about something without precedent, your odds of being correct/incorrect are practically equal.

This is proven very simply (Boole's Inequality), and is not up for debate.

Adding more assumptions isn't likely to increase your odds.

You've just proved that you don't understand Occaam's razor, that's all you've done.

If you could prove it, you would have, so STFU...

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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BobSpence1 wrote:But there

Quote:

You can most definitely use evidence of existence to make a point about whether something actually exists or not, or whether events reported actually took place or not. You are the one who pointlessly brought up the idea of narratives specifically designed to teach some moral point, or something of that nature. I am not concerned with those.

Then why can't the events of Jesus life corroborate his teachings? I think you're special pleading on the case of Jesus.

BobSpence1 wrote:

But there are few instances in the Bible of such events being witnessed by more than one person, certainly never more than a handful for significant events in teh Jesus story. I am specifically referring to the 'magical' events, which excludes the crucifixion.

So you'd include the resurrection then? Post morten appearances of Jesus? Etc.?

BobSpence1 wrote:

The meeting with the resurrected Jesus would be the main confirming event, and we don't have solid evidence that it even occurred as described, and it is not by any means the only report of a prophet of some sort returning or appearing after death, across various religions. So my comments about far more mundane events becoming a widely spread rumor without actual foundation are quite appropriate here.

Appearting to multiple people on multiple occasions would be compelling in and of itself. But I think this when combined with the transforming nature of these appearances and the willingness to die and indure intense persecution because of the implications of the the resurrection seems to corroborate the resurrection.

BobSpence1 wrote:

 

Even if it occurred as reported, it would not prove the divinity of Christ or the existence of God, just maybe something like the existence of ghosts, perhaps.

But that would not explain the empty tomb or the disciples demand to touch a living, breathing Jesus though...

BobSpence1 wrote:

If you are prepared to accept the claimed nature of Jesus on the basis of that kind of report, there is a world-full of  paranormal and alien abduction stories that are at least as well attested, that you should also accept, to be consistent.

I don't think you are taking into account the whole story if you want to reduce it to paranormal events etc.

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Wowzers1 wrote:Quote:You can

Wowzers1 wrote:

Quote:

You can most definitely use evidence of existence to make a point about whether something actually exists or not, or whether events reported actually took place or not. You are the one who pointlessly brought up the idea of narratives specifically designed to teach some moral point, or something of that nature. I am not concerned with those.

Then why can't the events of Jesus life corroborate his teachings? I think you're special pleading on the case of Jesus.

Because they are only reported in the same text that reports his teachings!!! So they can't count as independent corroboration, the only kind worth talking about!!!!!

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

But there are few instances in the Bible of such events being witnessed by more than one person, certainly never more than a handful for significant events in teh Jesus story. I am specifically referring to the 'magical' events, which excludes the crucifixion.

So you'd include the resurrection then? Post morten appearances of Jesus? Etc.?

BobSpence1 wrote:

The meeting with the resurrected Jesus would be the main confirming event, and we don't have solid evidence that it even occurred as described, and it is not by any means the only report of a prophet of some sort returning or appearing after death, across various religions. So my comments about far more mundane events becoming a widely spread rumor without actual foundation are quite appropriate here.

Appearing to multiple people on multiple occasions would be compelling in and of itself. But I think this when combined with the transforming nature of these appearances and the willingness to die and indure intense persecution because of the implications of the the resurrection seems to corroborate the resurrection.

The appearances are not confirmed, again, only being reported in the Bible itself, and "the transforming nature" etc depends on you buying into the myth and the doctrines behind it, so again, don't count toward confirming it, and neither does the purely hypothetical "willingness to die", and so on. They are all part of the same narrative in the one text. At the very least we would need a fairly full independent account of the events to form any meaningful corroboration. The events themselves do not provide much evidence of the motives of the participants, and nothing at all toward corroborating the 'divine' aspects of the whole thing

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Even if it occurred as reported, it would not prove the divinity of Christ or the existence of God, just maybe something like the existence of ghosts, perhaps.

But that would not explain the empty tomb or the disciples demand to touch a living, breathing Jesus though...

The 'empty tomb' is the least mysterious aspect of the whole story - various common, mundane scenarios could account for that.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

If you are prepared to accept the claimed nature of Jesus on the basis of that kind of report, there is a world-full of  paranormal and alien abduction stories that are at least as well attested, that you should also accept, to be consistent.

I don't think you are taking into account the whole story if you want to reduce it to paranormal events etc.

There is nothing about 'the whole story" which would lend any extra support. I am definitely reducing it to the status of as paranormal account - that is all it is worth.

It is all part of the one narrative, and you cannot use one or more parts of the same text to verify other parts. It barely hangs together as a coherent, self-consistent story, so in the absence of a verified independent source, it is not a firm foundation to base such beliefs upon.

 

 

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Wowzers1 wrote:How does the

Wowzers1 wrote:

How does the fossil record, archaeology, and human history support you claim and not mine? I have not reason to think that it does support your claim. You have not provided a reason why religion necessarily requires language either. As far as I can tell, it still a naked assertion.

Then you need to study archeology a lot more. And you need to explain how to explain a religion to someone without language. You've still failed to do so, making your denial the naked assertion.

Wowzers1 wrote:
But I see no necessary connection between what you are citing as evidence and your claim... I think you're confusing your interpretation of the evidence with the evidence itself.

What you think is irrelevant. What you see is irrelevant. These are accepted facts, even within religions such as christianity. Outside of religion they are universally recognised as facts. You can say whatever you like, it doesn't change a thing. If you want to deny the sky appears to be blue on a sunny day, then there's not much I can do to convince you.

Wowzers1 wrote:
The science would eliminate the possibility through repeated tests. The one instance where it did work without any reason to link salt to horses winning races then is coincidence -- a post hoc fallacy of sort. But that does not say anything about religion.

Where was it attempting to say something about religion? That paragraph was to do with pseudo-science and superstition. You're confusing the subjects. Can you refute it or not?

Wowzers1 wrote:
So, if I take that to the logical entailment, then, nothingness is the simplest. But something exists... this shows that Occaam's razor does not disprove anything. It's a tool, not proof.

Wrong. Something exists, therefore nothingness is NOT the simplest answer. It is not even an answer at all.

Wowzers1 wrote:
No, but what does that have to do with superstition though?

You shouldn't have split the paragraphs up, they work together. Eye-wink

Wowzers1 wrote:
I'm not denying superstitions arise. I do not disagree with how they do...

So you agree that superstitions were, or at least could have been, the foundation of paganism?

If you fear a trap, don't bother. I'm not going to continue with this line of discussion if you agree. There's no point putting you in a corner.

Wowzers1 wrote:

"It happened" is not comparable to "God. it happened"... that's a category mistake.

No, it isn't. Neither you nor anyone else can explain or describe the events that took place, so "it happened" is an adequate description in the absence of description.

And you didn't address the subject either. Even if "it happened" really was a category mistake, you know as well as any other what happened, and you could have mentally substituted what you believe happened for it happened, and then addressed the problem. Instead you ignored the problem and argued semantics.

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Wowzers1 wrote:TGBaker

Wowzers1 wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Is the sighting of Elvis a supernatural claim? 

I don't think people are willing die over an Elvis sighting. If one wants to prove Elvis is dead, they simply can go to his grave among other things...

 

So the validity of a claim is directly proportional to the amount of people willing to die for it?

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Vastet wrote:Then you need

Vastet wrote:

Then you need to study archeology a lot more. And you need to explain how to explain a religion to someone without language. You've still failed to do so, making your denial the naked assertion.

Ideographs, pictures, dances, rituals, etc.... these things can communicate ideas concerning religion without language.

I think you'd do will to study archaeology more and learn the difference between interpretation and facts. You seem to confuse those two.

Vastet wrote:

What you think is irrelevant. What you see is irrelevant. These are accepted facts, even within religions such as christianity. Outside of religion they are universally recognised as facts. You can say whatever you like, it doesn't change a thing. If you want to deny the sky appears to be blue on a sunny day, then there's not much I can do to convince you.

So you are asserting that your interpretation of facts is factual? If so, you've certainly got a skewed perception of what constitutes facts....

Vastet wrote:

Where was it attempting to say something about religion? That paragraph was to do with pseudo-science and superstition. You're confusing the subjects. Can you refute it or not?

I'm still confused as to how you arrive at religion from superstition or the other way around... You still haven't really cleared that up at all. I was speaking in reference to superstition only there...

Vastet wrote:

Wrong. Something exists, therefore nothingness is NOT the simplest answer. It is not even an answer at all.

Precisely. But Occaam's razor does not deal with the truth values of propositions, only the probabilities of them. You'd be making a category mistake to assert that occaam's razor is vindicated by actual existence.

Vastet wrote:

So you agree that superstitions were, or at least could have been, the foundation of paganism?

If you fear a trap, don't bother. I'm not going to continue with this line of discussion if you agree. There's no point putting you in a corner.

Paganism in what regard? I think superstition gives way to pagan practices: that is if I perform ritual X, it will certainly result in benefit Y... That to me is superstition. I believe that such things exist within the context of religion, that doesn't mean that I believe them though...

Vastet wrote:

No, it isn't. Neither you nor anyone else can explain or describe the events that took place, so "it happened" is an adequate description in the absence of description.

And you didn't address the subject either. Even if "it happened" really was a category mistake, you know as well as any other what happened, and you could have mentally substituted what you believe happened for it happened, and then addressed the problem. Instead you ignored the problem and argued semantics.

"It happened because of some unknown cause" would be more analogous to ït "happened because of a god" For that reason, I don't think it is any simpler... Without the unknown variable, you have no way to say iit is simpler or more complex... you just don't know.

I didn't argue semantics... I was arguing that your statements were apples and oranges so the conclusion was unsound for this reason.

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BobSpence1 wrote:Because

BobSpence1 wrote:

Because they are only reported in the same text that reports his teachings!!! So they can't count as independent corroboration, the only kind worth talking about!!!!!

So if a newspaper reports a story of events and saying, then it isn't worth talking about then? I really think you're special pleading here, because this is a stretch.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The appearances are not confirmed, again, only being reported in the Bible itself, and "the transforming nature" etc depends on you buying into the myth and the doctrines behind it, so again, don't count toward confirming it, and neither does the purely hypothetical "willingness to die", and so on. They are all part of the same narrative in the one text. At the very least we would need a fairly full independent account of the events to form any meaningful corroboration. The events themselves do not provide much evidence of the motives of the participants, and nothing at all toward corroborating the 'divine' aspects of the whole thing

The appearances are confirmed though. You're forgetting that the Bible is a collection of documents by several authors. The authors themselves reported what was reported by numerous sources and what they saw themselves. An onlooker need not buy into the "myth" to affirm that Jesus followers were transformed by whatever they had experienced. You'd have to show that the collection of documents in the Bible were written by a single person in order to get your objection, to I think your objection does not hold water. And the events themselves do provided plenty of evidence for the divine. I think you're being disingenuous here.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The 'empty tomb' is the least mysterious aspect of the whole story - various common, mundane scenarios could account for that.

Many have been proposed...it seems that they basically all come down to conspiracy theories at best.

BobSpence1 wrote:

There is nothing about 'the whole story" which would lend any extra support. I am definitely reducing it to the status of as paranormal account - that is all it is worth.

It is all part of the one narrative, and you cannot use one or more parts of the same text to verify other parts. It barely hangs together as a coherent, self-consistent story, so in the absence of a verified independent source, it is not a firm foundation to base such beliefs upon.

There are independent sources from many people on many occasions.

They saw a person who they had previously known and had watch die alive again after the they had watched him die in a living, breathing body.

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Wowzers1 wrote:Vastet

Wowzers1 wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Then you need to study archeology a lot more. And you need to explain how to explain a religion to someone without language. You've still failed to do so, making your denial the naked assertion.

Ideographs, pictures, dances, rituals, etc.... these things can communicate ideas concerning religion without language.

I think you'd do will to study archaeology more and learn the difference between interpretation and facts. You seem to confuse those two.

I think you may be oversimplifying the term religion.  It may fundamentally be ritualized superstition, as you have described, pictures, dances are part of the rituals, but in order to communicate the meaning behind the pictures,dances, you need a complex, abstract and precise medium of communication.  It's as though you would try to explain the theory of relativity through modern dancing.  You may get across that energy and mass are interchangeable, but I think you would be missing the point.  Birds use dance and song to communicate, but I haven't seen too many sparrow churches kicking around lately. 

Ultimately you may inspire a sense of spiritually though art, but you would never have religion without language.

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Wowzers1 wrote:Ideographs,

Wowzers1 wrote:

Ideographs, pictures, dances, rituals, etc.... these things can communicate ideas concerning religion without language.

I think you'd do will to study archaeology more and learn the difference between interpretation and facts. You seem to confuse those two.

No, you are the one who needs to study more. Each of those things can describe only one thing, and they do not link. A dance for rain, a series of pictures to describe something witnessed or maybe even imagined, a virgin thrown into a volcano to appease the volcano. None of these or any other primitive pre-language communication are comparable to an organised religion. None of them come within a light year. A religion is not a dance or a ritual, it is a SERIES of hundreds or thousands of them. So again, explain how you would explain christianity to someone who cannot speak or understand any language.

Wowzers1 wrote:

So you are asserting that your interpretation of facts is factual? If so, you've certainly got a skewed perception of what constitutes facts....

Obviously, quite the opposite is true.

Wowzers1 wrote:

I'm still confused as to how you arrive at religion from superstition or the other way around... You still haven't really cleared that up at all. I was speaking in reference to superstition only there...

Once language has evolved sufficiently to link multiple ideas together into one collective idea, and to have groups of people large enough to constitute a religion as opposed to a cult, religions are formed by such linking. Now I'm going to reassert that I'm not directly attacking any particular religion here. I'm still leaving open the possibility that some religion somewhere is true, for your benefit. But obviously if any religion is true, then the rest are false, so obviously they all had to arise somehow. This is how.

Wowzers1 wrote:
Precisely. But Occaam's razor does not deal with the truth values of propositions, only the probabilities of them. You'd be making a category mistake to assert that occaam's razor is vindicated by actual existence.

Oc·cam's ra·zor

/ˈäkəmz/ 

  1. The principle (attributed to William of Occam) that in explaining a thing no more assumptions should be made than are necessary. The principle is often invoked to defend reductionism or nominalism

Clearly you are mistaken. Attempting to explain existence as nothing is an in invalid assumption. It`s not necessary. Therefore it is wrong to attempt to explain existence as nothing.

Wowzers1 wrote:
Paganism in what regard? I think superstition gives way to pagan practices: that is if I perform ritual X, it will certainly result in benefit Y... That to me is superstition. I believe that such things exist within the context of religion, that doesn't mean that I believe them though...

I'm not suggesting you believe them. I don't believe them any more than you do, it's one of those happy things most atheists and christians can agree on.

When you look at other religions, say: scientology, mormonism, judaism, and moslems, do you define them as pagan?

Wowzers1 wrote:

"It happened because of some unknown cause" would be more analogous to ït "happened because of a god" For that reason, I don't think it is any simpler... Without the unknown variable, you have no way to say iit is simpler or more complex... you just don't know.

I didn't argue semantics... I was arguing that your statements were apples and oranges so the conclusion was unsound for this reason.

Except that "it happened because of some unknown cause" is fallacious. Scientists don`t look at things that way. We know it happened. We don`t know there is some unknown cause. Hypothesis are sometimes started in such fashion, in scientific attempts to deduce existence without presuming anything, but they never go to the theory stage unless a cause is known or presumed. There are currently a few theories that can explain existence. None of them attribute existence to an unknown cause. If your god exists, then whatever your god did to create existence will be explained in scientific theory. Because existence is and is ruled by physics. As soon as something was, it was explainable. So god is an addition to the equation. It isn`t necessary, because what happened happened, and can be explained. This is why we don`t believe in a god. One isn`t required for us to be here.

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Vastet wrote:No, you are the

Vastet wrote:

No, you are the one who needs to study more. Each of those things can describe only one thing, and they do not link. A dance for rain, a series of pictures to describe something witnessed or maybe even imagined, a virgin thrown into a volcano to appease the volcano. None of these or any other primitive pre-language communication are comparable to an organised religion. None of them come within a light year. A religion is not a dance or a ritual, it is a SERIES of hundreds or thousands of them. So again, explain how you would explain christianity to someone who cannot speak or understand any language.

I think you're seriously overstating the necessity for language... religion is conceivably a simpler subject grasp as it seems ascertainable by simpler people. I think you may be overstating the complexity of religion in order to get your point. Given this and the aforementioned reasons, I have no reason to think that it is necessary.

Vastet wrote:

Obviously, quite the opposite is true.

Or rather you cannot see that you are doing just as I described?

Vastet wrote:

Once language has evolved sufficiently to link multiple ideas together into one collective idea, and to have groups of people large enough to constitute a religion as opposed to a cult, religions are formed by such linking. Now I'm going to reassert that I'm not directly attacking any particular religion here. I'm still leaving open the possibility that some religion somewhere is true, for your benefit. But obviously if any religion is true, then the rest are false, so obviously they all had to arise somehow. This is how.

I think there is 1 true religion that has always existed. I do not know when or where it was revealed, but I have no reason to think that language was necessary a necessary entity to get it of

Vastet wrote:

Clearly you are mistaken. Attempting to explain existence as nothing is an in invalid assumption. It`s not necessary. Therefore it is wrong to attempt to explain existence as nothing.

I was taking your "nontheism" to a logical extreme using occaam's razor. Vindicating by evaluating the truth claims of something would forego the need for occaam's razor. IOW, why do I need to eliminate hypothesis when one has been shown to be true?

Vastet wrote:

When you look at other religions, say: scientology, mormonism, judaism, and moslems, do you define them as pagan?

Pagan as a rule is any other religion than my own. So, yes, they are pagan. But I do not want to attach the baggage that comes with the word "pagan" to these religions.

Vastet wrote:

Except that "it happened because of some unknown cause" is fallacious. Scientists don`t look at things that way. We know it happened. We don`t know there is some unknown cause. Hypothesis are sometimes started in such fashion, in scientific attempts to deduce existence without presuming anything, but they never go to the theory stage unless a cause is known or presumed. There are currently a few theories that can explain existence. None of them attribute existence to an unknown cause. If your god exists, then whatever your god did to create existence will be explained in scientific theory. Because existence is and is ruled by physics. As soon as something was, it was explainable. So god is an addition to the equation. It isn`t necessary, because what happened happened, and can be explained. This is why we don`t believe in a god. One isn`t required for us to be here.

Unknown is not the same thing as unknowable. A hypothesis can explain something, but without evidence for the hypothesis, it is unknown as to whether the hypothesis is true or not.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Wowzers1 wrote:Vastet

Wowzers1 wrote:

Vastet wrote:

No, you are the one who needs to study more. Each of those things can describe only one thing, and they do not link. A dance for rain, a series of pictures to describe something witnessed or maybe even imagined, a virgin thrown into a volcano to appease the volcano. None of these or any other primitive pre-language communication are comparable to an organised religion. None of them come within a light year. A religion is not a dance or a ritual, it is a SERIES of hundreds or thousands of them. So again, explain how you would explain christianity to someone who cannot speak or understand any language.

I think you're seriously overstating the necessity for language... religion is conceivably a simpler subject grasp as it seems ascertainable by simpler people. I think you may be overstating the complexity of religion in order to get your point. Given this and the aforementioned reasons, I have no reason to think that it is necessary.

LOL, I think you're being purposely obtuse to justify your position.  You still haven't explained how you can communicate ANY complex concept without language.  Any sufficiently complex medium needs language as a prerequisite to develop.  Any ideologically organized art movement is impossible without language.  Your comment has quite a few uncharacteristic (of your previous posts) fallacies.  Religion is a simpler subject ( read: concept ) as opposed to what?  It being ascertainable by simpler people doesn't make it a simpler subject.  That's a category fallacy pertaining to 'people' and concepts (such as religion), an equivocation fallacy on the word 'simple', and a non sequitur.  People have different degrees of comprehension of religion proportional to their insight of it.  I think you're overstating the simplicity of religion in order to get your point (across). Smiling

 

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Wowzers1 wrote:Vastet

Wowzers1 wrote:

Vastet wrote:

No, you are the one who needs to study more. Each of those things can describe only one thing, and they do not link. A dance for rain, a series of pictures to describe something witnessed or maybe even imagined, a virgin thrown into a volcano to appease the volcano. None of these or any other primitive pre-language communication are comparable to an organised religion. None of them come within a light year. A religion is not a dance or a ritual, it is a SERIES of hundreds or thousands of them. So again, explain how you would explain christianity to someone who cannot speak or understand any language.

I think you're seriously overstating the necessity for language... religion is conceivably a simpler subject grasp as it seems ascertainable by simpler people. I think you may be overstating the complexity of religion in order to get your point. Given this and the aforementioned reasons, I have no reason to think that it is necessary.

Or rather you cannot see that you are doing just as I described?

So in other words you can't explain how you'd explain christianity to someone who doesn't understand language, and you concede the point.

Wowzers1 wrote:

I think there is 1 true religion that has always existed. I do not know when or where it was revealed, but I have no reason to think that language was necessary a necessary entity to get it of

So you still haven't explained how you'd explain any religion to someone who cannot comprehend language, and you add to that failure the suggestion that christianity has existed since the beginning of time, despite no artifacts or writings to back it up. It's quite obvious who is making the naked assertions here.

Wowzers1 wrote:
I was taking your "nontheism" to a logical extreme using occaam's razor.

The very definition of Occams Razor does not allow you to do so logically. You can only do so irrationally.

Wowzers1 wrote:
 Vindicating by evaluating the truth claims of something would forego the need for occaam's razor. IOW, why do I need to eliminate hypothesis when one has been shown to be true?

You have shown anything but. Occams Razor works like this. You take something, anything. Lets go with an orange. There are infinite possibilities on the face of the question as to how there is an orange. With Occams Razor you eliminate such things as an alien or santa claus or nothingness. Because none of those things can explain or describe an orange. The same works with reality. You CANNOT use nothingness to describe reality, because nothingness does NOT describe reality.

Wowzers1 wrote:
Pagan as a rule is any other religion than my own. So, yes, they are pagan. But I do not want to attach the baggage that comes with the word "pagan" to these religions.

Do you see any real distinction between them? Other than that they each have their own texts and rituals of course. I'm just curious.

Wowzers1 wrote:
Unknown is not the same thing as unknowable. A hypothesis can explain something, but without evidence for the hypothesis, it is unknown as to whether the hypothesis is true or not.

Whether or not god is unknowable, the universe is knowable. We know it, therefore it is knowable. Whatever happened WILL be explained AND confirmed by science, should the human species not end itself in nuclear fire or swatted aside by an asteroid or some such thing. Therefore god remains an extra equation that means nothing and does nothing for the question of existence. Asking "god?" does nothing. Nothing can be learned about existence by asking god, because as you suggest god is unknowable. It's simple, god is unnecessary.

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Wowzers1 wrote:TGBaker

Wowzers1 wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Is the sighting of Elvis a supernatural claim? 

I don't think people are willing die over an Elvis sighting. If one wants to prove Elvis is dead, they simply can go to his grave among other things...

 

They would if you added that he was a saviour. The point carries to the fact that people see Elvis and I've gone to his grave but did not dig it up.   Jesus's grave is not accessible, remembered or necessarily real. People in Baha'i faith are dying all the time in Muslim countries for their manifestations of god, the Bab and Bahullah. What makes that religious claim less valid than yours. There history, writings an scripture a far more consistent than the New Testament.  There concept of God is far more consistent than other theisms. People have changed there lives because of Elvis sightings, ghosts experiences, UFO's , Loch Ness Monsters, Big Foot,. Their faith is sufficient that they act upon it as real. Yet none of it is reality though the myths transformation of many of the people is remarkable.  Many do die for false beliefs.  Many die in the name of Islam which I assume is not a valid belief since it is not Christian.  Someday someone may be willing to die over an Elvis sighting.  A whole cult may develop like with Jesus  years after the fact from teh retailing and the exaggerating and raising of the fantastic. It is a typical apologetic to emphasize the disciples facing martyrdom. I can show you a 100 years of such by the Baha'i that believe Bahalluah is the present manifestation of god. This Islamic heresy is sought after by fanatical Islamic believers.  There are no more or less true than the Jesus movement.

 

 

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Wowzers1 wrote:BobSpence1

Wowzers1 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

To base any strong belief system essentially on the testimony of human beings, which is what the Bible requires you to do, the same book which asserts how flawed and subject to being deceived human beings are, is just so inherently self-contradictory...

The basic contradiction is to have absolute confidence that a flawed, mortal mind can know with absolute confidence when it has received a 'genuine' revelation from an invisible super-being, rather than just imagining that it has, and that such confidence itself cannot possibly be just another bit of self-deception.

So who's testimony can we trust?

Having worked in the court system for 20 years and having studying eyewitness research by neurosciences I would go with data and evidence over eyewitness testimony whenever possible.

http://agora.stanford.edu/sjls/Issue%20One/fisher&tversky.htm

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/06/60minutes/main4848039.shtml

There is of course V.S. Ramachandran's work on the subject.  Three peopl in white shirts are to pass a basketball wit three people in black shirts. Observers were asked to count the times the ball was passed. As the exeriment begins a man dressed in a gorilla suit walks through the group. Most of the observers do not ever see the gorilla. There is a thing called gun blindness as well. When someone points a gun at close range you tend to stare at the barrell of the gun. Many people can never identify the person was holding the gun since there consciousness was focused on the gun.

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Wowzers1 wrote:Paganism in

Wowzers1 wrote:

Paganism in what regard? I think superstition gives way to pagan practices: that is if I perform ritual X, it will certainly result in benefit Y... That to me is superstition. I believe that such things exist within the context of religion, that doesn't mean that I believe them though...

 

You don't understand superstitions and how they are propagated.  Review some of BF Skinner's experiments with pigeons.  You can train superstitious behaviors in pigeons by rewarding them randomly.

Works like this - pigeon has a bar in its cage and sometimes when it presses the bar, food is dropped in the tray.  But randomly.  Not after a certain number of presses, nor a certain time interval.  Randomly.  And the pigeons will begin to demonstrate superstitious behaviors.  They will spin, or shake their head, and so on before pressing the bar.  Their actions have no effect on whether food will appear or not because they are not being rewarded for superstitious behavior.  But the longer they are in this situation where food appears randomly after they tap the bar, the more set the superstitious behaviors become.

Works the same way in people - it is the randomness of the universe that causes superstitions.  You perform some action and randomly, you get what you ask for.  Random rewards are the strongest training method known to learning theorists. 

Religion works the same way - pagan or Catholic or Jehovah Witness or Muslim or Hindu or .... - people get what they pray for randomly.  And so they continue with their superstitious behaviors more "religiously".  All of us are liable to fall for this built in programming.  It is the way brains are wired.  Researchers have used the same learning techniques on spiders for pete's sake. 

My point is that we need to be aware of and watch out for our tendency to be programmed for superstitious behaviors.  When the behaviors are harmless, fine.  But when they cause us to sell all of our stuff and quit our jobs or attempt to kill ourselves or our families because we are sucked into some old guy's delusions, they are harmful.  And so religion is not always good for the individual or for society.

That religion may consistently always be bad for the individual or society would be the subject of another post.

 

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

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cj wrote:Works like this -

cj wrote:

Works like this - pigeon has a bar in its cage and sometimes when it presses the bar, food is dropped in the tray.  But randomly.  Not after a certain number of presses, nor a certain time interval.  Randomly.  And the pigeons will begin to demonstrate superstitious behaviors.  They will spin, or shake their head, and so on before pressing the bar.  Their actions have no effect on whether food will appear or not because they are not being rewarded for superstitious behavior.  But the longer they are in this situation where food appears randomly after they tap the bar, the more set the superstitious behaviors become.

Amusing. They didn't need to use pigeons. They should have used humans who play video games. I am as unprone to superstition as anyone can be, and even I start doing weird little things to see if it makes an impact on the randomness programmed into a game when that randomness doesn't reward me within a certain amount of time and effort. There are countless superstitions in the gaming industry. Final Fantasy probably racked up more than any other particular title, but any game where the random factor is sufficiently low will generate similar results.

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Vastet wrote:cj wrote:Works

Vastet wrote:

cj wrote:

Works like this - pigeon has a bar in its cage and sometimes when it presses the bar, food is dropped in the tray.  But randomly.  Not after a certain number of presses, nor a certain time interval.  Randomly.  And the pigeons will begin to demonstrate superstitious behaviors.  They will spin, or shake their head, and so on before pressing the bar.  Their actions have no effect on whether food will appear or not because they are not being rewarded for superstitious behavior.  But the longer they are in this situation where food appears randomly after they tap the bar, the more set the superstitious behaviors become.

Amusing. They didn't need to use pigeons. They should have used humans who play video games. I am as unprone to superstition as anyone can be, and even I start doing weird little things to see if it makes an impact on the randomness programmed into a game when that randomness doesn't reward me within a certain amount of time and effort. There are countless superstitions in the gaming industry. Final Fantasy probably racked up more than any other particular title, but any game where the random factor is sufficiently low will generate similar results.

I think it is hardwired in all creatures of a certain level of awareness.  It's how we interact with our environment, we attempt small variations in our behavior towards a given system (such as a video game, or hitting apples out of a tree) and then remember the steps that were successful.  Since we have to allow for error in ability to repeat the events precisely, it would be beneficial to develop a selective memory that favours positive outcomes.  We then twirl around before throwing a rock to hit apples, as long as it is successful thirty percent of the time, I believe it would be sufficient to cause us to embed that behavior variation in our apple hitting action.  It shouldn't be a surprise that inefficient steps make their way into a process, we learn in an evolutionary analogue.  Just good enough to produce results.  The surprise comes in when people that should know better uphold those irrationalities.  The spiders and pigeons have an excuses, they don't know any better.  

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Vastet wrote:cj wrote:Works

Vastet wrote:

cj wrote:

Works like this - pigeon has a bar in its cage and sometimes when it presses the bar, food is dropped in the tray.  But randomly.  Not after a certain number of presses, nor a certain time interval.  Randomly.  And the pigeons will begin to demonstrate superstitious behaviors.  They will spin, or shake their head, and so on before pressing the bar.  Their actions have no effect on whether food will appear or not because they are not being rewarded for superstitious behavior.  But the longer they are in this situation where food appears randomly after they tap the bar, the more set the superstitious behaviors become.

Amusing. They didn't need to use pigeons. They should have used humans who play video games. I am as unprone to superstition as anyone can be, and even I start doing weird little things to see if it makes an impact on the randomness programmed into a game when that randomness doesn't reward me within a certain amount of time and effort. There are countless superstitions in the gaming industry. Final Fantasy probably racked up more than any other particular title, but any game where the random factor is sufficiently low will generate similar results.

 

Where do you think they got their ideas for game rewards??  As an example:

http://onlyagame.typepad.com/only_a_game/2005/08/designing_rewar.html

Quote:

These elements - types of reward, and the schedules upon which they are delivered - form a framework which maintains a player's interest in the game they are playing. The more complex the game, the more different rewards and schedules for the delivery of those rewards are required to keep the player involved. A simple game can be built upon a single schedule.

 

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Ktulu wrote:I think it is

Ktulu wrote:

I think it is hardwired in all creatures of a certain level of awareness.  It's how we interact with our environment, we attempt small variations in our behavior towards a given system (such as a video game, or hitting apples out of a tree) and then remember the steps that were successful.  Since we have to allow for error in ability to repeat the events precisely, it would be beneficial to develop a selective memory that favours positive outcomes.  We then twirl around before throwing a rock to hit apples, as long as it is successful thirty percent of the time, I believe it would be sufficient to cause us to embed that behavior variation in our apple hitting action.  It shouldn't be a surprise that inefficient steps make their way into a process, we learn in an evolutionary analogue.  Just good enough to produce results.  The surprise comes in when people that should know better uphold those irrationalities.  The spiders and pigeons have an excuses, they don't know any better.  

 

Much, much less than 30.  For dogs, one score when surfing the kitchen counters will teach the dog to surf the counters every chance he gets for the rest of his life.  For humans - depends.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6722886.html

Quote:

Psychologists have demonstrated the speed of learning a behavior tends to increase when reinforcements are awarded predictably. For example, if a reinforcement is provided every time the subject completes a targeted behavior event, i.e., when the ratio of rewards to desired events 1:1, the learning rate is usually high. The learning rate is also normally high when the reward to desired event ratio is another predictable, fixed value. However, targeted behavior quickly ceases after a program of predictable reinforcement administration stops. When reinforcements are provided in an unpredictable manner such as after random numbers of targeted behavior events, individuals learn to produce the targeted behavior more slowly, but the learning of the targeted behavior mode tends to continue long after the reinforcements are stopped.

 

For me, this says that if you associate a reward (anything you may desire happens) with prayer enough times (whatever "enough" is enough for that person) they will not give up the behavior (religious or gaming superstitions) perhaps not ever.  As the reward - having your prayers "answered" - will happen often enough to reinforce the continuing behavior.

For the first "priest" to intuitively grasp this, it must have been like envisioning the gold rolling in.  He wouldn't have to "do" anything.  Just keep telling all of his gullible flock that their prayers will be answered some day, we don't know when.  And pure random happenstance would reinforce his gravy train.

 

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

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cj wrote:For me, this says

cj wrote:

For me, this says that if you associate a reward (anything you may desire happens) with prayer enough times (whatever "enough" is enough for that person) they will not give up the behavior (religious or gaming superstitions) perhaps not ever.  As the reward - having your prayers "answered" - will happen often enough to reinforce the continuing behavior.

For the first "priest" to intuitively grasp this, it must have been like envisioning the gold rolling in.  He wouldn't have to "do" anything.  Just keep telling all of his gullible flock that their prayers will be answered some day, we don't know when.  And pure random happenstance would reinforce his gravy train.

My issue is with people that have the capacity to realize how this works and stop the irrational behaviour, or at least not be proud of it, or try to convert others to their irrationality.

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It's amazing just how weak

It's amazing just how weak and manipulable our species is, and how much we think of ourselves despite it.

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Ktulu wrote:My issue is with

Ktulu wrote:

My issue is with people that have the capacity to realize how this works and stop the irrational behaviour, or at least not be proud of it, or try to convert others to their irrationality.

 

It is one thing to fall into to this without thinking too much about it, and quite another to deliberately manipulate people into parting with their hard earned cash.  I am certain there are many religious leaders who sincerely believe what they say.  And I am just as certain there a lot of crooks who take believers for whatever they can get.

Mind you, there are a lot of crooks out there who are willing to part money from the suckers and they aren't all religious types.  It might be nice to keep people from being ripped off, but there is a fine line between over protectiveness and prosecuting criminals.

 

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I've never heard of this

cj wrote:

Wowzers1 wrote:

Paganism in what regard? I think superstition gives way to pagan practices: that is if I perform ritual X, it will certainly result in benefit Y... That to me is superstition. I believe that such things exist within the context of religion, that doesn't mean that I believe them though...

 

You don't understand superstitions and how they are propagated.  Review some of BF Skinner's experiments with pigeons.  You can train superstitious behaviors in pigeons by rewarding them randomly.

Works like this - pigeon has a bar in its cage and sometimes when it presses the bar, food is dropped in the tray.  But randomly.  Not after a certain number of presses, nor a certain time interval.  Randomly.  And the pigeons will begin to demonstrate superstitious behaviors.  They will spin, or shake their head, and so on before pressing the bar.  Their actions have no effect on whether food will appear or not because they are not being rewarded for superstitious behavior.  But the longer they are in this situation where food appears randomly after they tap the bar, the more set the superstitious behaviors become.

Works the same way in people - it is the randomness of the universe that causes superstitions.  You perform some action and randomly, you get what you ask for.  Random rewards are the strongest training method known to learning theorists. 

Religion works the same way - pagan or Catholic or Jehovah Witness or Muslim or Hindu or .... - people get what they pray for randomly.  And so they continue with their superstitious behaviors more "religiously".  All of us are liable to fall for this built in programming.  It is the way brains are wired.  Researchers have used the same learning techniques on spiders for pete's sake. 

My point is that we need to be aware of and watch out for our tendency to be programmed for superstitious behaviors.  When the behaviors are harmless, fine.  But when they cause us to sell all of our stuff and quit our jobs or attempt to kill ourselves or our families because we are sucked into some old guy's delusions, they are harmful.  And so religion is not always good for the individual or for society.

That religion may consistently always be bad for the individual or society would be the subject of another post.

 

 

experiment but it makes perfect sense. And in spiders, too. Flippin' heck. Whatever next?

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Agreed

Vastet wrote:

It's amazing just how weak and manipulable our species is, and how much we think of ourselves despite it.

 

and when you think of our little fits and starts of engaged conciousness our intellectual pride seems sillier still. I've wondered whether there's a relationship between our sense of mental power and the early development of written language forming a sort of organic network storage capacity allowing humanity to feel more mentally proficient, more mentally consistent, than we actually are.  

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck