Case Against Faith

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Case Against Faith

Caseagainstfaith is a popular poster on infidelguy.com, and also the name of a website he created to debunk people like Lee Stroebel and defend atheism.

http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/

Case recently wrote an excellent article concerning G. Brady Lenardos' analysis of historical methodology concerning 'jesus' claims

http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/articles/historicalmethods.htm

Recently Lenardos attempted a reply, which is available here:

http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/debates/lenardos_rebuttal.htm

I hope people will take a look at his site, because he does a great expose concerning how theists like Lenardos misuse methods of analyses from English Literary History to defend their arguments! What is more interesting is that Case demonstrates that these own methods actually contradict much of what Lendardos says!

Do take a look, and I hope to talk to some of you about this....I suggest starting with the first article, and then the rebuttal, (of course)

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That's a good site.

That's a good site.


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Yes, it's very good. Case

Yes, it's very good. Case gets right to the point, he covers a great deal of things quickly. His site is quite a resource for critically analyzing the claims of these theists.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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I have every intention of

I have every intention of getting him on the show at some point. Not sure when, but I'd love to have him on, and I'm sure he'd show

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Case Against Faith

Since this is about me, do you mind if I respond?

G. Brady Lenardos


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zorro wrote:Since this is

zorro wrote:
Since this is about me, do you mind if I respond?

G. Brady Lenardos

Well, you already did, this was a response to your response... I suppose if you want to write a response to the response to your response, you could... but what point would there be if you're just going to repeat yourself?

If you have something new, by all means, go on...

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Actually, I am responding to

Actually, I am responding to your remarks.

You see, you say that Paul has an "excellent article" on this forum you call "Rational Response." Do you think it rational to base the conclusions of inductive arguments on subjective preference as Paul does, or to base those conclusions on evidence and objective criteria as I do? Or do you have some other way you prefer?

G. Brady Lenardos


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zorro wrote:Actually, I am

zorro wrote:
Actually, I am responding to your remarks.

Then by all means, continue...

Quote:
You see, you say that Paul has an "excellent article" on a forum called "Rational Response."

Yes. It is an excellent expose of some of the flaws in your reasoning, particularly your strawman definition of 'subjective'

Case writes:

Quote:
He equated "subjective" with "no value".

i.e. like a mere preference....

But that's not what 'subjective' means here.

Case continues, and corrects your error here:

Quote:
Subjective means it is influenced by the person making the judgment, it doesn't mean the person making the choice did so randomly.

So you need to start over and correctly define the term, before you can even continue. As long as you refer to it as 'preference' you're failing to understand the term properly.

Quote:

Do you think it rational to base the conclusions of inductive arguments on subjective preference as Paul does

Paul did not say 'subjective preference" - so you're misrepresenting him here. He's talking about subjective data, as he's defined it above.

Your post here relies on a strawman misinterpretation of what the word means, and a fallacious implication that he prefers mere whinsy over fact.

If you can't present his actual argument correctly, then it's pretty clear that you fear his real argument.

Quote:

, or to base those conclusions on evidence and objective criteria as I do?

Again, Paul is not saying that he prefers 'subjective preference over objective fact'. You're misrepresenting him yet again.

Most likely because you don't seem to understand the terms you're using...

And he's not saying he prefers subjective reports over 'objective' facts either, he's saying that there are situations where we only have subjective report... and he's showing you aren't even able to recognize when this is the case.

Here's how to best represent the real situation:

you write:

Quote:

Let’s ask ourselves, “What is subjective about the above method?” Are we supposed to subjectively guess the answers to those questions? Or answer them with the answers we would prefer? No, we are to look over the objective evidence and reach a conclusion based on the evidence, not based on our likes and dislikes. This is an objective, inductive methodology that Gottschalk describes.

and Case corrects you, here:

Quote:
Astonishingly, Lenardos accepts the Gottschalk Method as a historical method, but insists that is indeed objective! Does Gottschalk say this? Noooo, he doesn't actually. Lenardos acts like each of the questions Gottschalk asks can be answered objectively! Is he serious??? Take one of Gottschalk's questions is, "Was the primary witness willing to tell the truth?" Did Gottschalk give us an objective method to answer this yes or no? No he didn't. Imagine that. Unless you're a mind reader of people who have been dead 2,000 years, there is no way to answer this objectively.

Precisely. So please get it straight.

Quote:

Or do you have some other way you prefer?

G. Brady Lenardos

No one is saying that they prefer mere preference over facts, that's your strawman, born of your lack of any real understanding of the terms, or the methods you claim to be using.

I think that you don't understand what the term 'subjective" means, as Case already demonstrated in his response to you. Your definition is a strawman. You need to carefully read his response to your response....

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I might as well just post

I might as well just post the majority of Case's post here:

Since Lenardos made hay of pulling out some alleged logical fallacies of mine, I will point out that the fallacy Lenardos is using is called a "false dichotomy". This is where the person presents two extremes as if they are the only possibilities, ignoring other options. To Lenardos, either something is objective, or completely of "no value." Its objective, or just something pulled out your ass. This is a false dichotomy. Subjective simply means that it is influenced by the person making the judgment and that is all.

Lenardos has such a difficult time understanding this word, he is unable to comprehend what Gottschalk means when he uses the word, and tries to tell us that Gottschalk doesn't really mean "subjective". Lenardos understands that Gottschalk isn't saying, "history is just pulled out our collective asses", so, he concludes that Gottschalk doesn't really mean subjective. Lenardos tells us that given the context, Gottschalk's meaning of "subjective" is "not 100% certainty". There is no such definition of the word "subjective" in the dictionary. As it happens, Gottschalk spends a couple of pages on the issue of objectivity vs. subjectivity. I didn't initially quote any of that material before because I didn't think it was necessary. But in order to show that Gottschalk understands the word, here is the opening to Gottschalk's section "Objectivity vs. Subjectivity":

" Sometimes objects like ruins, parchments and coins survive from the past. Otherwise, the facts of history are derived from testimony and therefore are facts of meaning. They cannot be seen, felt, tasted, heard or smelled. They may be said to be symbolic or representative of something that once as real, but they have no objective reality of their own. In other words, they only exist in the observer's or historian's mind, and thus they may be called "subjective." To be studied objectively, a thing must first be an object; it must have independent existence outside the human mind; and most of history is based upon recollections -- that is written or spoken testimony. (p 42)"

I'll have to concede that after this passage, Gottschalk continues on and discusses the need to attempt to study the testimony in a judicially and detached manner, in order to attempt to approach "the actual past" as much as possible. I suspect Lenardos would say that Gottschalk is agreeing with him. And to a degree he is, but in the same degree that I agree with Lenardos. We all agree that the goal is to try to discover the past as much as possible. Its just that there isn't any "magic formula" to apply. There are plenty of passages where Gottschalk shows the necessity of human (subjective) judgment. Here are some passages:

" The historian must do what he can do to restore the total past of mankind. He has no way of doing so but in terms of his own experience. (p. 46) "

The historian is frequently required to imagine things that must have happened. For the exercise of the imagination in history it is impossible to lay down rules except very general ones. It is a platitude that the historian who knows contemporary life best will understand past life best. Since the human mentality has not changed noticeably in historic times, present generations can understand past generations in terms of their own experience. (p. 50)

And so historiography, the synthesizing of historical data into narrative or expositions [...] is not easily made the subject of rules and regulations. Some room must be left for naive talent and inspiration, and perhaps this is a good thing. (p. 50)

Notice Gottschalk makes reference to terms of one's "own experience", the very definition of subjective. To summarize this section: guess what Lenardos?!! Gottschalk really means subjective when he says subjective! I can't believe that I've had to spend several paragraphs to explain this, but such is the nature of refuting theists. And he says that I'm guilty of equivocation?

************

Indeed... clearly Lenardo's cry of 'equivocation' was a projection of his own, now demonstratably flawed, understanding of the term.

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Sapient wrote:I have every

Sapient wrote:
I have every intention of getting him on the show at some point. Not sure when, but I'd love to have him on, and I'm sure he'd show

Here's my first post on RR. You're interested in having me on your show?


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todangst

todangst wrote:
Caseagainstfaith is a popular poster on infidelguy.com, and also the name of a website he created to debunk people like Lee Stroebel and defend atheism.

http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/

Thanks, Todangst. I'd have to pay you a commission if I actually sold stuff on my site.


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MattShizzle wrote:That's a

MattShizzle wrote:
That's a good site.

Thanks, glad you like it.


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caseagainstfaith

caseagainstfaith wrote:
Sapient wrote:
I have every intention of getting him on the show at some point. Not sure when, but I'd love to have him on, and I'm sure he'd show

Here's my first post on RR. You're interested in having me on your show?

Always have been, just seem to be buried in guests that are willing to come on and haven't gotten around to it. Also, I'd be interested in having some of your works published on our site linking back to yours of course. Specifically if there was a way we could post a debunking of any of Strobels work.

... all in due time, but since you've come to me, might as well get the ball rolling. Smiling Glad to see you over here man.

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Well, I didn't know that

Well, I didn't know that Paul had written a new reply until this evening. I read it just before you posted part of it on this forum.

To be honest with you, until I logged on to the forum again, I thought that you hadn't read it either. I was planning to quote the same section in your above post as a rebuttal to your accusation that my definition of "subjective" was a "straw man."

Let's set aside for the moment that in those quotations Gottschalk is describing the creation of narrative for the history reader’s benefit. Let's set aside that Gottschalk differentiates between narrative and "historical data" in those quotations. Paul uses those quotations to identify what he means by "subjective." Gottschalk’s key words are: imagination, inspiration and personal experience.

Paul has asserted in our debates and articles that, "there is no such thing as an 'objective historical methodology.'" So, how are we to determine the facts? Paul tells us, in his reply to my original paper, "Do Extraordinary Events Require Extraordinary Evidence?", that "History is a subjective study." (See http://caseagainstfaith.com/articles/extraordinary_events.htm)

So, if "History is a subjective study," how do we do historical research? Using the Law of Inference, Paul's answer is deductively clear: we determine history by imagination, inspiration and personal experience. Sure sounds like preference to me.

To be fair to Paul, almost immediately after declaring with absolute certainty that "History is a subjective study," he declares that it is both and objective and subjective study. (See http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/articles/extraordinary_events.htm)

He is also as adamant in the same article that "there is no such thing as 'objective' measure in history," and in one of his last articles he declares "there is no such thing as an objective historical methodology.” (See http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/articles/historicalmethods.htm)

So where does this leave us? Paul says history is determined both objectively and subjectively, but, he adds, there is no such thing as an objective method for determining history.

This seems to leave us with his original statement, “history is a subjective study." And by “subjective” we mean imagination, inspiration and personal experience.

But this conclusion is based only on his last article. Let’s take a look at some other quotes that give us a clue to Paul’s view of “subjective:”

“But if you ask 10 people how certain we can be that text 'A' is an accurate representation of the original, we will get 10 answers. How certain the accuracy of a document is, is SUBJECTIVE, each person asked that question will give a different answer.”(See http://caseagainstfaith.com/debates/lenardos_debate_10.htm)
In the above quote, it seems by the term “subjective” Paul means “personal opinion.” Let’s go on:

“Yes, history is subjective. If the Revolutionary War had been won by England, you don't think the history books today would portray the revolutionists as "heroes" now do you? So what? You say I'm dismissing history as subjective. I'm simply recognizing that it is what it is.” (See http://caseagainstfaith.com/debates/lenardos_debate_1.htm)

I think this last quote is most telling. In it, Paul shows that by “subjective” he does mean “preference.” He also confuses the commentary about history, with the actual history. Yes, I would agree that much of the commentary that we find in history books is preference. But what of the “facts of history,” are they also determined subjectively? I am not so much concerned whether or not the Sons of Liberty are called “heroes,” as I am with whom actually won the war. How do we make that latter determination? Can we objectively know who won the revolutionary war? Paul’s answer is: "There is no such thing as 'objective' measure in history," and “Yes, history is subjective.” So, I guess his answer would be, “No.”

G. Brady Lenardos


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I will respond in more

I will respond in more detail later. The time of our debate was a couple of years ago, prior to my reading Gottschalk and Sanders. I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses, but, I would say that my more recent writings, the ones linked at the top of this thread, are more accurate.

The bottom line is, interpretation of testimony is inherently subjective. There is no way around it.


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Brady, You say that you

Brady,

You say that you don't care whether the American revolutionaries were heros or not, you are interested in who won the war. Why? Why do you care who won the war? There were surely more people killed in wars you never heard of. Why do you care who won the American Revolutionary war? Among the reasons is that our society has deemed it important to know about the origins of this country. Though there are people that enjoy history for the pure interest of just knowing things that happened, most people, if they have any interest in history at all, are usually most interested in the history that they feel has personal relevance to them today. A son of a WW II fighter pilot may be most interested in WW II history. Or even pre WW II history as far as how the events before it lead to it.

Similarly, a Christian, or even a non-Christian living in a predominatly Christian society may have interest in Roman history because of its relevance to Christianity. I'm no Roman history expert, but I at least know who Constantine was, and I probably wouldn't if he didn't play an important part of the origins of Christianity.

What particular pieces of history someone is interested in is, indeed, pure personal choice, with of course social influence. If our society didn't value knowing about Washington crossing the Delaware, then I probably would have never heard about it.

The papers and debate entries that I wrote prior to reading Gottschalk, I probably did not clearly differentiate between testimony and artifacts. Gottschalk's section "Objectivity vs. Subjectivity" that I quoted part of is good information that helped me to understand these issues better. You would do well to read Gottschalk's book.

I don't Gottschalk's book in front of me at the moment to quote further, but in subsequent paragraphs after the one I quoted, he says that many people have a strong bias against subjective knowledge, as you do. But he says that subjective knowledge is as valuable as objective knowledge.

Artifacts have many advantages. They are indeed objects that can be studied objectivly. Yet, as Gottschalk notes, testimony is often all that is available, there may be no artifacts. We are forced to rely on testamony, despite knowing that testamony has many, many limitations. There are guidelines that help one decide whether to accept a piece of testamony or not, but, there is no magic formula. There is no objective measure. But the guidelines Gottschalk provided are useful. And based on his guidelines, the Gospels fail miserably.


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Very nice Case, and I'm glad

Very nice Case, and I'm glad that you've exposed his strawman definition of 'subjective'.


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Sapient wrote: Always have

Sapient wrote:

Always have been, just seem to be buried in guests that are willing to come on and haven't gotten around to it. Also, I'd be interested in having some of your works published on our site linking back to yours of course. Specifically if there was a way we could post a debunking of any of Strobels work.

... all in due time, but since you've come to me, might as well get the ball rolling. Smiling Glad to see you over here man.

Did you have a particular work of Strobel's in mind? There's _Case for Faith_ (on theological problems like the problem of evil), _Case for a Creator_ (on Creationism), and _Case for Christ_ (on alleged historical evidence for the Resurrection). I've got articles on all three on my site, though the one on Case for Christ is by Earl Doherty, reprinted with his permission.

Note: if you by any chance have heard of _Case for Easter_ and/or _Case for Christmas_, those are just pocket-sized selections from _Case for Christ_.


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I'm interested in putting up

I'm interested in putting up anything you want and are allowed to give me. How bout Case for Faith and Case for Creator?

I'd do the pocket sized ones as well.

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Sapient wrote:I'm interested

Sapient wrote:
I'm interested in putting up anything you want and are allowed to give me. How bout Case for Faith and Case for Creator?

I'd do the pocket sized ones as well.

As far as the pocket-sized ones, my point was, if you put something for Case for Christ up, then the Easter and Christmas pocket books are covered automatically as they are just selections from Case for Christ. Doherty would probably allow you to reprint the same material that I have on my site.

So, as far as Faith and Creator, my papers go... They are currently on my site and on the Internet Infidels. But, I have the rights to publish them anywhere I want. But put something like copyright Internet Infidels, reprinted with permission.

As far as byline, here's the deal. I originally used my real name on my site. But, a couple of years ago, my company was having a bit of hard times, and I was thinking I might need to find a new job. And I wondered if a prospective employer might google me, find my site, and take offense. So I started to use a pen name. But, Internet Infidels prefers real names. So, I wound up inconveniently having my real name there and my pen name on my site. I should probably change it sometime. But, for now, that is what I've got.

So, with articles that are on my site that are also on the Internet Infidels, I simply have no byline at all, other than the copyright Internet Infidels, Inc. So, go with that.


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caseagainstfaith

caseagainstfaith wrote:
Brady,

You say that you don't care whether the American revolutionaries were heros or not, you are interested in who won the war. Why? Why do you care who won the war? There were surely more people killed in wars you never heard of. Why do you care who won the American Revolutionary war? Among the reasons is that our society has deemed it important to know about the origins of this country. Though there are people that enjoy history for the pure interest of just knowing things that happened, most people, if they have any interest in history at all, are usually most interested in the history that they feel has personal relevance to them today. A son of a WW II fighter pilot may be most interested in WW II history. Or even pre WW II history as far as how the events before it lead to it.

Actually, I didn't say that I didn't care; I said I wasn't so much concerned about the "hero" designation of the Sons of Liberty. Why? Because our discussion has never been about commentary, but how to determine what historical events took place. You see, one cannot make an accurate commentary (who is or who isn't a hero) unless one first has accurate information about the events around and actions of the person or persons in question. To say the Sons of liberty were heroes means that you know that they did heroic things. But if the only way you have of knowing that they did heroic things is YOUR imagination, YOUR inspiration and YOUR personal experience, well, you will have to forgive me for questioning YOUR opinion on who is heroic. If you want to leave our discussion concerning historical methods and move to commentary and motives, I am sure you can find someone interested in those subjects, but I am not interested in that red herring.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
The papers and debate entries that I wrote prior to reading Gottschalk, I probably did not clearly differentiate between testimony and artifacts. Gottschalk's section "Objectivity vs. Subjectivity" that I quoted part of is good information that helped me to understand these issues better. You would do well to read Gottschalk's book.

I don't Gottschalk's book in front of me at the moment to quote further, but in subsequent paragraphs after the one I quoted, he says that many people have a strong bias against subjective knowledge, as you do. But he says that subjective knowledge is as valuable as objective knowledge.

Well, if you now have different definitions of objective and subjective than you did before, let’s have them! (If your definitions have changed, doesn’t that also mean that your position has changed? Isn’t that an acknowledgement that your former position was wrong? Looks that way to me.)

In your last article you gave quotes from Gottschalk with the key words: inspiration, imagination and personal experience as examples of subjective. Is that what you mean? At this point I have no idea what you mean by “objective.”

I notice that Gottschalk didn’t refer to “inspiration, imagination and personal experience” as subjective. It seems what he means by “objective” is deductive certainty; by subjective he means verisimilitude via induction, as I previously noted in my last article. His use of “objective” and “subjective” may be a language problem and, as they say, loose something in the translation.

Allow me to give you my definitions of objective and subjective. These are the same definitions I have been using all along, for the purposes of our discussion. You can find them in the Harper Collins Dictionary of Philosophy:

Subjective is often used to connote privately arrived at judgments based on emotional and prejudiced grounds without the support of objective, logical analysis.

Objective refers to the ability to make an evaluation of a situation without being affected by feelings, emotions, and preconceived notions, and to the support of a statement with proof and evidence based on actual events.

Your turn. Before I continue with the rest of your points, these definitions are needed.


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zorro wrote:

zorro wrote:

Allow me to give you my definitions of objective and subjective. These are the same definitions I have been using all along, for the purposes of our discussion. You can find them in the Harper Collins Dictionary of Philosophy:

Subjective is often used to connote privately arrived at judgments based on emotional and prejudiced grounds without the support of objective, logical analysis.

Objective refers to the ability to make an evaluation of a situation without being affected by feelings, emotions, and preconceived notions, and to the support of a statement with proof and evidence based on actual events.

What Harper Collins says is "often used" meaning of subjective, I disagree with. Subjective can indeed use logical analysis, just "fuzzy logic" where the answers are not just 0 and 1.

As far as their definition of objective, they didn't emphasize something you have always claimed about objective, you've claimed that everybody following an objective methodology will get the same results.

zorro wrote:

Your turn. Before I continue with the rest of your points, these definitions are needed.

I like these definitions from Merrium-Webster Online Dictionary:

Subjective:
4 a (1) : peculiar to a particular individual : PERSONAL (2) : modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background

Objective:
b : of, relating to, or being an object , phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind

We could get into epistemology, how do we know that the keyboard we think we are typing on is really there? I'd rather not go there, but, what is important is that even assuming our senses are reasonably reliable indicators of reality, it is still true that what our senses may see, hear, touch etc. are a distinctly separate entity form the objects themselves. We get an image in our mind (presumably) because of the photons that bounce off objects. But the photons that hit our eyes are not the object itself. My keyboard and CRT are not inside my head. I have in my head a representation of those (presumably) real objects.

Even if you and me are looking at the same keyboard/CRT, you have in your mind a representation of them, and I have in my mind a representation of them. I have no way of knowing if 'blue' looks the same to you as it looks to me. But, based on the fact that everybody who isn't color blind can identify colors of things as well as I can, I use this to infer that we at least get a roughly *equivalent* representation of 'blue' even if I can't know it is an *identical* representation of 'blue'.

You may wonder the point of all this. The point I'm getting at here is, when we say something is objective, we are talking about something that has existence outside of the mind. If you reread my quote of Gottschalk, he makes that point explicitly. If I say something is 'blue', I'm saying that the pattern I see in my mind tells me it is blue, and I have experience that when I say something is blue, other people will likely agree. The representation in my mind is not the blue object, but I have reason to believe that if I see a blue object, it is most likely because there is a real object that reflects photons in a manner that my mind sees as blue and other people will probably see as blue too.

zorro wrote:

It seems what he means by “objective” is deductive certainty; by subjective he means verisimilitude via induction, as I previously noted in my last article.

It seems you need to reread my quotes of Gottschalk. He specifically indicates that objective means independent of the mind.


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zorro wrote:Allow me to

zorro wrote:

Allow me to give you my definitions of objective and subjective. These are the same definitions I have been using all along, for the purposes of our discussion. You can find them in the Harper Collins Dictionary of Philosophy:

Subjective is often used to connote privately arrived at judgments based on emotional and prejudiced grounds without the support of objective, logical analysis.

Your definition of 'subjective' has nothing to do with how the term is defined in historical or psychological research. Subjective data result from an individual's personal opinion or judgement and not from some external measure. There is nothing to the term 'subjective' that implies that it is necessarily a decision made on emotionality or prejudiced grounds - this is only a possible bias, not the grounds for the decision. There is nothing to the term subjective that implies without the support of logical analyis. Again, judgements need not be irrational. Yet you imply that irrationality is
necessarily included in the term "subjective". This is false.

Here is an example of how the terms are actually used, by educated researchers ( a group you clearly cannot number yourself among):

Examples of qualitative and quantitative data taken in research:

Objective
"The chip speed of my computer is 2 GHz"

"Yes, I own a computer"

Subjective

"On a scale of 1-10, my computer scores 7 in terms of its ease of use"

"I think computers are too expensive"

example taken from:
http://www.userfocus.co.uk/articles/datathink.html

Subjective and/or qualitative data can be collected by using a Likert scale, which is a researcher-approved metric.

1) Its very clear from your biased definition of 'subjective' that you don't have even a basic understanding of research methodology. If you did, you'd realize that both objective and subjective data have a value. There are places where it simply is not possible to obtain objective data.

2) You've attempted to import an out of context definition into the discussion, which is a very basic blunder commited by the uninformed in debates.

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caseagainstfaith wrote:What

caseagainstfaith wrote:
What Harper Collins says is "often used" meaning of subjective, I disagree with.

It doesn't matter a whit whether that definition is often used or never used... what really matters is whether that particular definition is used by researchers.

It. Is. Not.

So saying it is 'often used' is a red herring.... what matters is how the term 'subjective data' is defined by researchers. And no researcher defines it the way zorro has defined it... (they also don't define 'objective' the way he defines it either, his definition is too strong.)

Quote:

Subjective can indeed use logical analysis, just "fuzzy logic" where the answers are not just 0 and 1.

Subjective could use any type of logic imaginable. If you ask me my personal judgement on X, for all you know I've got a valid deductive proof for it....

The problem is that you, the researcher, may not be privy to my thought processes, ergo you can't quantify it.

Quote:

I like these definitions from Merrium-Webster Online Dictionary:

Subjective:
4 a (1) : peculiar to a particular individual : PERSONAL (2) : modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background

Objective:
b : of, relating to, or being an object , phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind


If you gentlemen would 'like', I will post more on how the term is used in research. Actually, only Case will "like" the definitions, "Zorro" will not like them.

That's subjective, right?

But notice that this subjective response will be based on an objective fact - how researchers ACTUALLY use the term.

Now, ain't that just a bit ironic?

Oh, and one more thing, zorro tells us:

Quote:

Objective refers to the ability to make an evaluation of a situation without being affected by feelings, emotions, and preconceived notions, and to the support of a statement with proof and evidence based on actual events.

This is too strong... objective data may be quantifiable, but even when researchers work with objective data, their preconceptions play a role! What exactly is "one" 'emotional outburst". Where exactly does one 'war' begin and end? Categorical decisions require the preconception of what the 'category' actually is... This is a process known as operationalism - we define how we will recognize the specified category. But this process itself has subjective aspects to it! We make decisions in regard to what will qualify as an 'emotional outburst" - we make a judgement concerning what qualifies and what does not. You might even call this a 'preference' but the process itself would be logical, rational.... and yet, subjective.

So your 'objective' count of 'emotional outbursts' will be based on a subjective preconception - your operationalizing of the term 'emotional outburst'.

You might think this doesn't apply to quantifying historical events or historical data... you'd be wrong.

In addition, there are other ways in which bias can creep into even objective data collection. I could go on...

Zorro, it's very clear that you've never taken a class in research methodology. Your errors are the sort of basic errors a freshman makes. You have an early 19th century positivists conception of objective data.... you've missed a few centuries of philosphical development on the matter of scientific data collection.

Here is a site where I discuss the scientific method and research methodology.

http://www.candleinthedark.com/sagangalaxy.html

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zorro wrote:I notice that

zorro wrote:
I notice that Gottschalk didn’t refer to “inspiration, imagination and personal experience” as subjective. It seems what he means by “objective” is deductive certainty; by subjective he means verisimilitude via induction, as I previously noted in my last article.

WOW

I just caught this howler.

All matters of evidence, whether objective or subjective are inductive.

No matter of physical evidence leads to certain conclusions.

Deduction has to do with arguments that can be reworded into tautologies. Not physical evidence of any kind!

Wow....

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todangst wrote: Here is a

todangst wrote:

Here is a site where I discuss the scientific method and research methodology.

http://www.candleinthedark.com/sagangalaxy.html

I've been to your site before, but hadn't looked at these articles before. Thanks for these.

By the way, at least on my computer, that page doesn't work with FireFox 1.5.0.6, but does with IE. With FF, I get no music, and the text line is just a white bar that won't click. Strangely, your main page which operates similarly does work.


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caseagainstfaith wrote: What

caseagainstfaith wrote:

What Harper Collins says is "often used" meaning of subjective, I disagree with. Subjective can indeed use logical analysis, just "fuzzy logic" where the answers are not just 0 and 1.

You really have no idea of what you are talking about, do you? The “fuzzy” refers to imprecise sets and concepts, the “logic” part is no less precise than any other form of logic; it is organized and it is mathematical. In other words, the form of the fuzzy logic argument and the results are completely objective (using my definition). That is why controllers in refrigerators, microwave ovens and anti-lock brakes can use fuzzy logic. So, if you want to use fuzzy logic, be my guest! In your next post, please present the fuzzy logic formulas you wish to use. I am certain everyone will be interested in seeing them.

caseagainstfaith wrote:

As far as their definition of objective, they didn't emphasize something you have always claimed about objective, you've claimed that everybody following an objective methodology will get the same results.

Let me explain this to you. The 15th century Mongolian, when adding 2+2, will get the same sum as the 21st century American. Why? Because mathematics is objective. It doesn’t matter if either of them likes the answer or not. The answer will always be 4. Because a person can never have all the data for anything in science, law or history, none of these conclusions can reach the 100% certainty of math and formal logic. The conclusions are always probable. The purpose of inductive processes is to get as close to as possible to its deductive counterpart. One way of doing that is to eliminate personal likes, dislikes, prejudices and preferences. So, the idea is that two different people using the same methods and examining the same data should come to the same conclusions. If their conclusions are different, one of three things has occurred: 1) they have different data, 2) they have different methods or they are not applying the methods correctly, 3) they have inserted their personal views into the equation.

caseagainstfaith wrote:

zorro wrote:

Your turn. Before I continue with the rest of your points, these definitions are needed.

I like these definitions from Merrium-Webster Online Dictionary:

Subjective:
4 a (1) : peculiar to a particular individual : PERSONAL (2) : modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background

These are synonyms of the definition I gave. When you begin to modify conclusions because of your personal views, they are no longer the conclusions of the argument (criteria), but the conclusions of your personal views. Why even do the investigation in the first place? If you are just going to change it to suit your views, investigation is not necessary. You already know what your views are!

Now, you may say that you are not modifying the conclusion, but your personal views are part of the process. What’s the difference? Is the conclusion different with your personal views as part of the process, than the conclusion would be if your personal views were not part of the process? If the answer is, No, then your personal views weren’t needed in the first place. If the answer is, Yes, then your personal views did modify the conclusion from what it would have been; and it is a different conclusion than one someone else with different personal views would get. Let’s see how this can work out in real life: you do the math using your personal views and come to the conclusion that you have $10,000 in the bank. Your banker does the math using his personal views and comes to the conclusion that you are $5,000 overdrawn. Surely, you can’t say the banker is wrong.

Now, you may say that math is different and personal views shouldn’t affect it. But who are you to say when personal views can or cannot be used to draw conclusions. You think you have the right to insert your personal views into determining historical facts? Your banker may think he has the right to insert is personal views in determining your bank account balane. Surely, you are not going to insist on a double standard, that one set of rules applies to you and another to everyone else, including your banker?

Next, I thought we were going to get a new definition out of you; one that you have come to after much reading and study. How does this differ from the definition of “subjective” you used in your “Ford vs. Chevy” illustration in our debates? You insisted on inserting your personal views there and you insist on inserting your personal views here.

caseagainstfaith wrote:

Objective:
b : of, relating to, or being an object , phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind

Is this the new insight you received from your study and reading?

I hate to tell you this, but the definition you chose has to do with the objective existence of a particular and individual thing (object) and has nothing to do with methodology. In this sense of the word, everything that exists is “objective.” This has absolutely nothing to do with how we draw conclusions.

Definition 3 in Merrium-Webster Online Dictionary is the one you want:

3 a : expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations b of a test : limited to choices of fixed alternatives and reducing subjective factors to a minimum.

You will notice that one of the examples given in this definition has to do with history.

If you want to stay with the definition you quoted, I guess we will be done. It is kind of like arguing with an opponent about grammar and him insisting that a sentence in grammar has to do with a judge telling you to go to prison. There is no place to go at that point.

caseagainstfaith wrote:

We could get into epistemology, how do we know that the keyboard we think we are typing on is really there? …

I will be more than happy to discuss epistemology and the complete and utter failure of any and all atheistic world views to provide any viable epistemology, once we complete our current discussion. But at this point, even though this is a tempting red herring, I will let it pass and stay on track.

caseagainstfaith wrote:

You may wonder the point of all this…

The point is obvious: the only new definition was a wrong definition, and that you want your personal views influence the conclusions of historical investigations. You insert your personal views and say that the resurrection didn’t happen; I insert my personal views and say that it did happen. The difference is that I am suggesting, as I always have, that we see what the evidence shows without our personal views inserted into the investigation.

G. Brady Lenardos


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todangst wrote:zorro

todangst wrote:
zorro wrote:

Allow me to give you my definitions of objective and subjective. These are the same definitions I have been using all along, for the purposes of our discussion. You can find them in the Harper Collins Dictionary of Philosophy:

Subjective is often used to connote privately arrived at judgments based on emotional and prejudiced grounds without the support of objective, logical analysis.

Your definition of 'subjective' has nothing to do with how the term is defined in historical or psychological research. Subjective data result from an individual's personal opinion or judgement and not from some external measure. There is nothing to the term 'subjective' that implies that it is necessarily a decision made on emotionality or prejudiced grounds - this is only a possible bias, not the grounds for the decision. There is nothing to the term subjective that implies without the support of logical analyis. Again, judgements need not be irrational. Yet you imply that irrationality is necessarily included in the term "subjective". This is false.

Here is an example of how the terms are actually used, by educated researchers ( a group you clearly cannot number yourself among):

Examples of qualitative and quantitative data taken in research:

Objective
"The chip speed of my computer is 2 GHz"

"Yes, I own a computer"

Subjective

"On a scale of 1-10, my computer scores 7 in terms of its ease of use"

"I think computers are too expensive"

example taken from:
http://www.userfocus.co.uk/articles/datathink.html

Subjective and/or qualitative data can be collected by using a Likert scale, which is a researcher-approved metric.

Dude, Paul and I are not discussing ways to collect subjective data, BUT using one’s personal (i.e. subjective) views as a criterion for drawing conclusions about the facts of history. You got the wrong conversation.

Regards,

G. Brady Lenardos


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zorro wrote:

zorro wrote:

You really have no idea of what you are talking about, do you?

You might get half a clue before thowing ad hominems, okay?

zorro wrote:

Let me explain this to you. The 15th century Mongolian, when adding 2+2, will get the same sum as the 21st century American.

No shit, Sherlock. The reason why I made mention of the fact that the definition didn't emphasize that point is because....(wait for it)

zorro wrote:

Because mathematics is objective. It doesn’t matter if either of them likes the answer or not.

... is because history isn't mathmatics, Einstein.

zorro wrote:

Because a person can never have all the data for anything in science, law or history, none of these conclusions can reach the 100% certainty of math and formal logic.

Ergo, it is not objective.

zorro wrote:

One way of doing that is to eliminate personal likes, dislikes, prejudices and preferences.

That's the theory, but an impossibility for humans. We cannot eliminate our own biases.

zorro wrote:

3) they have inserted their personal views into the equation.

Which everybody does. That is why you don't have just one jurror in a jury. Each person on the jury will filter the data through their own experience. That's what humans do.

zorro wrote:

caseagainstfaith wrote:

Subjective:
4 a (1) : peculiar to a particular individual : PERSONAL (2) : modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background

These are synonyms of the definition I gave.

No its not. Your definition said that it connoted purely emotional without logical basis. Affected by personal views, experience or background doesn't mean without logical basis.

zorro wrote:

When you begin to modify conclusions because of your personal views, they are no longer the conclusions of the argument (criteria), but the conclusions of your personal views. Why even do the investigation in the first place? If you are just going to change it to suit your views, investigation is not necessary. You already know what your views are!

You are making the same straw-man of subjective. Like in Todangst example of, "my computer is a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 of ease of use". If I make that statement, I didn't come to that conclusion before using the computer, I didn't make that number up because of my feelings about the vendor of the computer. Rather, I have experience using other computers and found that computer to be better than average but not best. But if I had different experience with different computers I'd probably have a different view of the ease of use the particular computer in question.

zorro wrote:

Now, you may say that math is different and personal views shouldn’t affect it. But who are you to say when personal views can or cannot be used to draw conclusions.

Dude, you answered your own questioner earlier:

zorro wrote:

Because a person can never have all the data for anything in science, law or history, .

We never have all the data, so how do we fill in the blanks? From our experience.

zorro wrote:

If you want to stay with the definition you quoted, I guess we will be done.

I will remind you of the section of Gottschalk, where he says the essentially the same thing:

Gottschalk wrote:

Sometimes objects like ruins, parchments and coins survive from the past. Otherwise, the facts of history are derived from testimony and therefore are facts of meaning. They cannot be seen, felt, tasted, heard or smelled. They may be said to be symbolic or representative of something that once as real, but they have no objective reality of their own. In other words, they only exist in the observer's or historian's mind, and thus they may be called "subjective." To be studied objectively, a thing must first be an object; it must have independent existence outside the human mind; and most of history is based upon recollections -- that is written or spoken testimony. (p 42)

And I don't forget that you are the guy that gave me the recommendation for Gottschalk's book. Had you even bothered to read it before recommending it?

Ironically, you keep complaining about the insertion of personal views, but that is all you have been doing. And when presented with expert opinion, even opinion that *you* recommended, you ignore it and keep repeating your refuted opionions.


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zorro wrote:todangst

zorro wrote:
todangst wrote:
zorro wrote:

Allow me to give you my definitions of objective and subjective. These are the same definitions I have been using all along, for the purposes of our discussion. You can find them in the Harper Collins Dictionary of Philosophy:

Subjective is often used to connote privately arrived at judgments based on emotional and prejudiced grounds without the support of objective, logical analysis.

Your definition of 'subjective' has nothing to do with how the term is defined in historical or psychological research. Subjective data result from an individual's personal opinion or judgement and not from some external measure. There is nothing to the term 'subjective' that implies that it is necessarily a decision made on emotionality or prejudiced grounds - this is only a possible bias, not the grounds for the decision. There is nothing to the term subjective that implies without the support of logical analyis. Again, judgements need not be irrational. Yet you imply that irrationality is necessarily included in the term "subjective". This is false.

Here is an example of how the terms are actually used, by educated researchers ( a group you clearly cannot number yourself among):

Examples of qualitative and quantitative data taken in research:

Objective
"The chip speed of my computer is 2 GHz"

"Yes, I own a computer"

Subjective

"On a scale of 1-10, my computer scores 7 in terms of its ease of use"

"I think computers are too expensive"

example taken from:
http://www.userfocus.co.uk/articles/datathink.html

Subjective and/or qualitative data can be collected by using a Likert scale, which is a researcher-approved metric.

Dude, Paul and I are not discussing ways to collect subjective data,


'Dude', that last part was just for your edification, to help clarify the meaning of subjective data. You're only focusing on that secondary detail as an excuse to dodge the rest of my post which deals directly with your attempt to define 'subjective'.

As per what I quoted here, you're talking about the definitions of subjective and objective. See:

Quote:
Allow me to give you my definitions of objective and subjective.

...and I demonstrated that you've got them all wrong.

Isn't it amazing that I have to remind you of your own post, and the words that you yourself quoted here?

Again, I must remind you that you wrote this in what I quoted, above:

Quote:
Subjective is often used to connote privately arrived at judgments based on emotional and prejudiced grounds without the support of objective, logical analysis.

And again, for the second time, this is wrong, for the reasons I just gave above... reasons that you totally ignored, because you have no choice but to ignore them, or concede your error.

The examples above demonstrate precisely why your 'definition' is wrong. And your inabilty to recognize this just demonstrates how little you actually know about the subject your attempting to debate. And your blatant dishonestly in your response just shows us how you deal with this reality - by dodging it.

Quote:

BUT using one’s personal (i.e. subjective) views as a criterion for drawing conclusions about the facts of history.

Actually, what I quoted above deals with how you defined "subjectivity'.

However, I've also already explained how subjectivity even enters into objective measures, no matter how 'objective' one is able to be, when you are operationalizing your terms. So even your attempt to dodge the point backfires!

I've also pointed out that there are matters where objectivity is not possible. But all of these issues go over your head, because you simply don't know what you're talking about.

Quote:

You got the wrong conversation.

No, if you had any honesty in yourself at all, you'd see that I was correcting your erroneous conception of the term 'subjective'.

But what choice do you have but to close your eyes to the post and pretend otherwise? You have to tell yourself that, so that you can avoid dealing with your basic errors regarding the definition of 'subjectivity' that I quoted here.

You attempted to define the words 'subjective' and objective' as they relate to research, and you got it wrong.

You can't deal with this, so you have to run from it.

You also seem to lack any awareness that subjectivity necessarily enters into even an objective analysis, at the point of operationalizing terms.

Finally, you can't even seem to figure out that reference to historical artifacts is an inductive process not a deductive one!

Seriously, you really don't have any idea what you're talking about, and it shows. And your dodges are just pathetic. Everyone can see that I quoted your attempt to define 'subjective' and corrected it. Even you can see it. But you dare not admit it.

Thanks for demonstrating Case's points for us.....

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written to case zorro

written to case

zorro wrote:
You really have no idea of what you are talking about, do you?

Seriously, you can't even work out how to properly use the terms 'inductive' and 'deductive'.

Quote:

Let me explain this to you. The 15th century Mongolian, when adding 2+2, will get the same sum as the 21st century American.
Why? Because mathematics is objective.

Let me explain this to you, slowly. The statement 2+2 remains a constant truth because mathematics deals in qualities/definitions... i.e. it is a deductive process akin to logic. We define 2+2=4, ergo that is what it equals.

You keep using the words 'objective' and 'deductive' incorrectly, because you don't seem to have any understanding of what they actually mean.

I'll try this again, seeing as you seem to have a serious problem with even the very basics.

What is deduction? What is induction? How do they differ?

Deductive arguments are akin to mathematical equations: they present a series of categories or definitions in a series of equivalencies. For this reason, the conclusion of a deductive argument necessarily follows from its premises, in the same way that "4" follows from the "premises" of "2+2=".

We can call a deductive logical system an a priori system. This means that we can make up such a system without any observation or experimental examination. We can create a set of categories like squares or circles or letters, and a set of self consitent rules that follow a set of definitions, all without having to ever experience such "things". Philosophers like to say that a "brain in vat" set apart from the rest of the universe could create an a priori system.

Inductive arguments are not like mathematical equations at all, they are akin to predictions - i.e. they are probable claims. They don't work with abstract entities like categories or definitions, they work with empirical claims from the physical world outside of our imaginations. The "real world" outside of our imaginations does not give us a set of abstract categories, it gives us a set of imprecise entities that exist along an imprecise continuum. For this reason, inductive arguments do not posses the certainty of deductive arguments. All inductive arguments are uncertain and open to questioning.

Inductive processes would include arguments based on signs or evidence - i.e historical artifacts.

You really, seriously, don't have a clue to what you're talking about.

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caseagainstfaith wrote: ...

caseagainstfaith wrote:

... is because history isn't mathmatics, Einstein.

The reason Lenardos confuses math for history is because he simply has no idea what 'deductive' and 'inductive' actually mean....

zorro wrote:

One way of doing that is to eliminate personal likes, dislikes, prejudices and preferences.

Quote:

That's the theory, but an impossibility for humans. We cannot eliminate our own biases.

This is another basic point of research that he stumbles over.... even an 'objective' measure like a count is based on a criterion, or an operationizable term, that itself is influenced by some preconception.

We do our best to reduce bias, but you never eradicate it... instead, you control for it....

again, if he had even the slightest clue about research methodology, he might stumble upon this eventually....

zorro wrote:

caseagainstfaith wrote:

Subjective:
4 a (1) : peculiar to a particular individual : PERSONAL (2) : modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background

These are synonyms of the definition I gave.


Quote:

No its not. Your definition said that it connoted purely emotional without logical basis. Affected by personal views, experience or background doesn't mean without logical basis.

Wow. This guy doesn't even seem able to follow his own posts, let alone ours!

You are right, Case. Again, he imports all sorts of biases in to the definition of 'subjectivity' itself, when in fact the term 'subjectivity' does not demand irrationality.

zorro wrote:

When you begin to modify conclusions because of your personal views, they are no longer the conclusions of the argument (criteria), but the conclusions of your personal views. Why even do the investigation in the first place? If you are just going to change it to suit your views, investigation is not necessary. You already know what your views are!

Quote:

You are making the same straw-man of subjective.

Even after being corrected!

Quote:
Like in Todangst example of, "my computer is a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 of ease of use". If I make that statement, I didn't come to that conclusion before using the computer, I didn't make that number up because of my feelings about the vendor of the computer. Rather, I have experience using other computers and found that computer to be better than average but not best. But if I had different experience with different computers I'd probably have a different view of the ease of use the particular computer in question.

Right. It is contextual, it is a judgement. But its subjectivity does not render the judgement 'irrational'.

Gottschalk wrote:

Sometimes objects like ruins, parchments and coins survive from the past. Otherwise, the facts of history are derived from testimony and therefore are facts of meaning. They cannot be seen, felt, tasted, heard or smelled. They may be said to be symbolic or representative of something that once as real, but they have no objective reality of their own. In other words, they only exist in the observer's or historian's mind, and thus they may be called "subjective." To be studied objectively, a thing must first be an object; it must have independent existence outside the human mind; and most of history is based upon recollections -- that is written or spoken testimony. (p 42)

Quote:

And I don't forget that you are the guy that gave me the recommendation for Gottschalk's book. Had you even bothered to read it before recommending it?

He doesn't even evidence the ability to follow his own posts, or to properly examine the posts here... if he dared to actually read that, he'd have to toss his entire argument in the trashcan where it belongs.... I'd fail a freshman for turning in the sloppy work he presents here.

Quote:

Ironically, you keep complaining about the insertion of personal views, but that is all you have been doing.

At best, his arguments are personal views... I'd say "bizarre non sequiturs'

Quote:

And when presented with expert opinion, even opinion that *you* recommended, you ignore it and keep repeating your refuted opionions.

What choice does he have? If he actually learned what the words 'subjective' or 'objective' or "inductive' or 'deductive' meant, he'd have to concede that he doesn't even have a grasp of the very basics of what he thinks he's arguing over... his best option is to remain ignorant, and then use his vast ignorance as a shield from refutation.... you 'can't' be refuted in your mind if you don't have the ability to recognize that you've been refuted....

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zorro wrote: You really have

zorro wrote:

You really have no idea of what you are talking about, do you?

caseagainstfaith wrote:
You might get half a clue before thowing ad hominems, okay?

It is not ad hominem, if it is true. So where is the fuzzy logic formula that you plan to use to determine historical reliability? As I said before, you really have no idea of what you are talking about, do you?

zorro wrote:

Let me explain this to you. The 15th century Mongolian, when adding 2+2, will get the same sum as the 21st century American.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
No shit, Sherlock. The reason why I made mention of the fact that the definition didn't emphasize that point is because....(wait for it)

zorro wrote:

Because mathematics is objective. It doesn’t matter if either of them likes the answer or not.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
... is because history isn't mathmatics, Einstein.

zorro wrote:

Because a person can never have all the data for anything in science, law or history, none of these conclusions can reach the 100% certainty of math and formal logic.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
Ergo, it is not objective.

Simply because you don’t have all possible data, doesn’t make the methodology not objective. It just means your conclusions are probable conclusion. The methodology is not the conclusion. You misunderstand Gottschalk (once again) in the quotation you provided. The process is being done in your head; in that sense it is subjective, but that is not what we are talking about and is a trivial use of “subjective,” because all thoughts are done in your head, including 2+2=4; which is something you admit is objective, but in this sense 2+2=4 can also be said to be subjective. Why? Because “objective” and “subjective” are not being used in the same sense. I made it clear in our debate and my articles that this is a very different meaning of “subjective“ than using your likes, dislikes and preferences as part of the methodology to determine historical facts. When Gottschalk talks about objective and subjective in your quotation, he is not talking about using your preferences to determine fact. He is talking the testimony itself. When you read in the NT that the apostles got into a boat, you have no physical (objective) boat in front of you. The words bring to mind a concept of a boat in our head (subjective). The point is this sort of “subjective” and “objective” is not what we are arguing about. You are equivocating on the term “subjective” here. I bring you back once again to your “Ford vs. Chevy” illustration. For, even though the process is going through your head it doesn’t mean that the methodology used to come to a conclusion must include your prejudice to determine the historical facts. We could create a computer program to analyze the evidence. At that point the process would be objective in both senses of the word. It would not be happening in your head, nor would your personal views be part of the criteria that would effect the conclusion.

At this point you have quoted Gottschalk using the words “subjective” and “objective” a few times. In those quotes he has used those words properly in a couple of different senses, talking about a couple of different things. But the only place he has come close to using those words as we are using them in our debate is when he talks about inventing narrative for the purposes of helping the reader understand the facts that did take place. In all the other quotes he refers to “subjective” and “objective” in senses that we are not talking about.

zorro wrote:

One way of doing that is to eliminate personal likes, dislikes, prejudices and preferences.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
That's the theory, but an impossibility for humans. We cannot eliminate our own biases.

You just flip-flopped back to another meaning of subjective. Above it meant “not having all possible data and not having 100% certainty,” now it means "biases,” and in the quote from Gottschalk it means “having the image of a thing in your head, rather than having the physical object before your eyes.” This is what I mean by equivocation. Every time you are backed into a corner, you equivocate on the term to try to get out of the obvious conclusion. At this point this should be very clear to the readers and too you.

zorro wrote:

3) they have inserted their personal views into the equation.

Which everybody does. That is why you don't have just one juror in a jury. Each person on the jury will filter the data through their own experience. That's what humans do.

And that’s why many black men were lynched, six million Jews died in ovens, and almost a hundred million Soviets died under Stalin. That’s what humans do when we allow our personal prejudices and opinions to enter the equation and become part of the process. There were a lot more than 12 people involved in all those decisions.

Oh, by the way, ever been on a jury? I have been on several. Each time, the Judge instructed us to base our verdict on the evidence. At the beginning of the trial, the court even has a process for eliminating jurors that might have a prejudice, bias, a personal view or opinion on the case one way or the other.

In our situation, I am not trying to eliminate the juror; I am just asking him to set aside prejudice, bias, a personal view or opinion on the case. You are encouraging him to bring it in with him.

Why would either of us hold to these positions? In my case, it is quite clear; I have stated it several times: If one examines the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus using a methodology that does not include one’s prejudice, bias, personal view or opinion, the answer is clear, Jesus rose from the dead.

I think you understand that and so you insist on inserting prejudice, bias, a personal view and opinion.

caseagainstfaith wrote:

Subjective:
4 a (1) : peculiar to a particular individual : PERSONAL (2) : modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background

zorro wrote:
These are synonyms of the definition I gave.

caseagainstfaith wrote:

No its not. Your definition said that it connoted purely emotional without logical basis. Affected by personal views, experience or background doesn't mean without logical basis.

Carl Rove and Howard Dean both think that their personal view, experience or background has a logical basis, as do you. The problem is that when they apply those personal views, experiences or backgrounds to what has and is happening in Iraq, the conclusions are radically different.

By “logical basis” do you mean “deductive certainty” or “you have some reason you like?”

zorro wrote:

When you begin to modify conclusions because of your personal views, they are no longer the conclusions of the argument (criteria), but the conclusions of your personal views. Why even do the investigation in the first place? If you are just going to change it to suit your views, investigation is not necessary. You already know what your views are!

caseagainstfaith wrote:

You are making the same straw-man of subjective. Like in Todangst example of, "my computer is a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 of ease of use". If I make that statement, I didn't come to that conclusion before using the computer, I didn't make that number up because of my feelings about the vendor of the computer. Rather, I have experience using other computers and found that computer to be better than average but not best. But if I had different experience with different computers I'd probably have a different view of the ease of use the particular computer in question.

That is exactly my point. If you are using that 7 as one of the basis for a conclusion, the conclusion will change with the number. Someone using an old IBM 486 (remember those?), DOS based machine will give your late model, Windows computer a 10 for ease of use. Someone using a hot, new Apple will give it a 3. So, we have three users, three (what you would call) “logical based” experiences, three different conclusions. You might say that they are all right from their individual perspectives. But then the conclusion tells us only something about the persons and their perspectives and very little or nothing about the computer in question.

The same is true about the resurrection. I don’t care about your perspective on the resurrection; I want to know if there is sufficient evidence to affirm the event happened. To do that I need to get away from the subjective perspectives you or I may have and deal with the evidence in an objective way.

zorro wrote:

Now, you may say that math is different and personal views shouldn’t affect it. But who are you to say when personal views can or cannot be used to draw conclusions.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
Dude, you answered your own questioner earlier:

zorro wrote:

Because a person can never have all the data for anything in science, law or history, .

caseagainstfaith wrote:
We never have all the data, so how do we fill in the blanks? From our experience.

How about if we don’t fill in the blanks at all when determining the facts. Where the evidence speaks, we speak. Where the evidence is not clear, we keep an open mind. Where the evidence is silent, we are silent.

When you want to make the reading easier for the reader, you can create a narrative. But that doesn’t mean that you change the facts to suit YOUR opinion, based on YOUR experiences.

I don’t know how much farther we can go with this. I think that our positions are now abundantly clear to the readers. So, if you would like to move over to epistemology, I have a position paper at: http://www.home.earthlink.net/~gbl111/atheism1.htm

G. Brady Lenardos


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Lenardos, you obviously

Lenardos, you obviously don't know what you're talking about, you aren't even able to define your terms correctly. Please deal with all the errors I pointed out in your posts. The board IS reading your comments, and anyone who's actually informed on the matter is just shaking their head at your posts.

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You want a response, OK.

You want a response, OK. Let's get something straight before we go on.

You seem to fawn over Paul's writtings, both here and in our debate and articles. I don't know if you have actually read our debate, you might want to before you answer. Paul's position is that we allow our personal biases and personal experiences to become part of the inductive process (those are his words from our last round) used in drawing conclusions. We are not talking about gathering subjective data, but the process of drawing conclusions. My position is that we should eliminate personal biases and personal experiences from the inductive process used in drawing conclusions whenever they appear.

Do you agree with me or Paul? (Let me give you a tip, the position you choose is what I will apply to your postings and mine.)

G. Brady Lenardos


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zorro wrote:You want a

zorro wrote:
You want a response, OK. Let's get something straight before we go on.

Why don't you just stop dodging all your errors? I've pointed out that you don't seem to know what the terms 'subjective' and "objective' mean as used in research.

I've shown that you don't even grasp what the terms induction and deduction mean...

Quote:

You seem to fawn over Paul's writtings,

You seem to need to find a way to write off everything that goes against you, rather than just deal with the fact that you're clearly in error time and time again.

What I like about Paul's writing is how he points out the flaws in your argument. So let's stick to that.

Quote:

both here and in our debate and articles. I don't know if you have actually read our debate, you might want to before you answer.

I'm dealing with the gross errors of misunderstanding in your claims. They are right here for you to deal with.

Stop Dodging.

Quote:
Paul's position is that we allow our personal biases and personal experiences to become part of the inductive process (those are his words from our last round) used in drawing conclusions.

I think what he's actually saying is that it is unavoidable.

Quote:
We are not talking about gathering subjective data, but the process of drawing conclusions. My position is that we should eliminate personal biases and personal experiences from the inductive process

Of course we should, but it's impossible to eliminate entirely. I've already addressed this issue above, and it has to do with processes such as categorization and operationizing your terms.

You'd already know all about this, if you actually had any idea of what you were talking about.

Seriously, you can't even work out what induction is, so you might want to stop here and correct all the errors I've already demonstrated for you.

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zorro wrote:So where is the

zorro wrote:
So where is the fuzzy logic formula that you plan to use to determine historical reliability?

I used the term "fuzzy logic" in colloquial sense, rather than a technically accurate sense. I regret the error.

It is ironic you trying to hold my feet to the fire on using "fuzzy logic" technically correct, given that you continually conflate the colloquial and technical definitions of objective and subjective. Colloquially speaking, when we say an "objective" report on the news or in a history report, we mean that the author has endeavored to minimize his/her own bias and emotions in the report. And in that sense, we all want "objective" historians, reporters, jurrors, etc.

Therefore, in that sense, you are correct to wish for "objective" historians. Your problem is that you refuse to see that doesn't mean "objective" in the technical sense.

zorro wrote:

The process is being done in your head; in that sense it is subjective, but that is not what we are talking about and is a trivial use of “subjective,” because all thoughts are done in your head, including 2+2=4; which is something you admit is objective, but in this sense 2+2=4 can also be said to be subjective.

So, why exactly did Gottschalk find it worth the time to point out this "trivial" usage of subjective?

I'll continue with more quote from Gottshalk:

Gottschalk wrote:

A vlugar prejudice existes against "subjective" knowledge as inferior to "objective" knowledge, largely because the word "subjective" has come to mean "illusory" or "based on personal considerations" and hence are "untrue" and "biased". Knowledge may be acquired, however, by a judicially detached investigation of mental images, processes, concepts and precepts that are one or more steps removed from objective reality. (p 43)

In other words, you should try to study history "objectively" in the colloqual sense, but it is still indeed "subjective".

zorro wrote:
When Gottschalk talks about objective and subjective in your quotation, he is not talking about using your preferences to determine fact. He is talking the testimony itself.

But he indeed also discusses the fact that the historian will need to use their own judgment. Some of the other quotes of Gottschalk:

Gottschalk wrote:
The historian is frequently required to imagine things that must have happened. For the exercise of the imagination in history it is impossible to lay down rules except very general ones. It is a platitude that the historian who knows contemporary life best will understand past life best. Since the human mentality has not changed noticeably in historic times, present generations can understand past generations in terms of their own experience. (p. 50)

Notice his use of "their own experience". Sounds like *subjective* to me.

zorro wrote:

And that’s why many black men were lynched, six million Jews died in ovens, and almost a hundred million Soviets died under Stalin.

If you are saying that its not a perfect system, you got me there. Its not a perfect system.

zorro wrote:

Oh, by the way, ever been on a jury? I have been on several. Each time, the Judge instructed us to base our verdict on the evidence.

And how does one evaluate the evidence? From our own experience.

zorro wrote:

At the beginning of the trial, the court even has a process for eliminating jurors that might have a prejudice, bias, a personal view or opinion on the case one way or the other.

The goal is to eliminate someone with an *overt* bias, someone so biased that they won't be "fair". But, what is "fair" and what is an overt bias are themselves subjective. We try to eliminate people that we subjectively judge to have an overt bias. We can't eliminate all bias. If you are on a murder trial, if you yourself have known someone close to you be murdered, it might be deemed that you have an overt bias. But what if you've known a friend of a friend get murdered? Is that an overt bias? Would you be fair?


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zorro wrote:You want a

zorro wrote:
You want a response, OK. Let's get something straight before we go on.

Just so you know, Todangst is a doctoral pychology student. You can be faily confident that he has a good deal of experience in evaluating research.


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My understand of the

My understand of the Philosophy of History is as follows:

The most solid evidence we have are the scientific based ones.
Artifacts from Archealogical Digs, dated using scientific methods so we know what evidence came from where.

This gives us a solid background to base a less solid 'interpretation' of the evidence. Here we read a bit more into the artifacts. E.g. a painting will give us clues for the fashions of the time.
Written documents are likewise studied but from a psychological perspective. We interpret what they say within a scientific background.
e.g. If two competing empires both record victories in their clashes then we get the idea that they liked to paint glory more than truth.

So any 'interpretation' we make on writings/pictures/artifacts from the time are to be viewed through a scientific lense. That's why if someone claims to have seen something supernatural then we deduce that there was an illusion or they exadurated etc...
Scientific facts is more certain than an 'interpretation' of evidence so if an 'interpretation' contradicts scientific facts we know then something's gone wrong...


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todangst wrote:

todangst wrote:

Why don't you just stop dodging all your errors? I've pointed out that you don't seem to know what the terms 'subjective' and "objective' mean as used in research.

I've shown that you don't even grasp what the terms induction and deduction mean...

Perhaps you feel there are a lot of errors, but that is just in your mind. Just as Paul insists that his personal opinion should be part of the methodology for determining history, you have allowed your personal opinion to become part of the process for determining what is logical, rational and erroneous. Once a person gets past all your snide, arrogant and self-serving remarks, there is very little of substance to your posts. Simply saying that someone has committed errors doesn’t mean he did. Simply saying someone doesn’t grasp terms like induction and deduction doesn’t mean he doesn’t; and it sure as heck doesn’t mean you do!

If you can get over yourself, perhaps we can have a real conversation. Let’s start here:

Zorro wrote:

Objective refers to the ability to make an evaluation of a situation without being affected by feelings, emotions, and preconceived notions, and to the support of a statement with proof and evidence based on actual events.

todangst wrote:
This is too strong...

I’ll be sure to send the memo to the people who print the Merriam-Webster, Webster’s Unabridged and the Oxford Dictionaries.

The fact that you are able to differentiate between objective and subjective in your previous comments proves that it is not too strong. If the definition was weaker and allowed for subjective elements, you would not be able to make the subtle distinctions you do.

todangst wrote:
objective data may be quantifiable, but even when researchers work with objective data, their preconceptions play a role! What exactly is "one" 'emotional outburst". Where exactly does one 'war' begin and end? Categorical decisions require the preconception of what the 'category' actually is...

Here you confuse the creation of the process (or criteria) that the researcher will use to draw a conclusion with the actual implementation of the process (or criteria) by the researcher onto the data and reaching a conclusion. The terms of the definition or criteria must be precise before any cogent conclusion can be drawn. You can go out and gather objective or subjective data all day long, but if the terms aren’t defined, any conclusion drawn by you will be meaningless, because the terms are meaningless.

I think you will agree that the more precise the definition of the terms (or criteria) is, the more consensus will occur among researchers. Why? Because, fewer definitions are left up to the researcher’s own imagination, personal feeling, and bias.

Let’s take one of your examples: A team of 10 researchers are to look at a short film of a man in conversation with another man. They are to determine it the man in question had an emotional outburst. If you give no definition of the term or criteria for determining if the emotional outburst occurred, all you will get is 10 personal opinions. Some will say yes, some will say no and some will come up with unrelated answers. This will tell us something about the researchers, but it will tell us very little about the question at hand.

Next we provide the researchers with a clear definition and a clear criteria for determining an emotional outburst (we can talk about how the definition is determined latter, that has its own problems; for right now we are just working with the implementation of a particular definition and criteria). We now ask the researchers once again if the man had an emotional outburst. All, except one, says that given that definition, criteria and what is witnessed on the film, the conclusion is that the man had an emotional outburst. What of that last man? Well, it turns out that he believes in materialistic determinism. To him everything is merely matter in motion, acting as it must, due to antecedent causes. For him there is no such thing as emotions, “emotions” are merely an illusion. So, he concludes that that the man in the film did not have an emotional outburst, because, for that researcher, no such thing exists.

This last researcher added his own personal view to the criteria as a new element of the criteria. When it is suggested to him that he eliminate his own personal view from the mix, and try to come to an objective conclusion, he insists that since there is an element of subjectivity in everything, the insertion of his personal view of materialistic determinism should also be allowed in. He further asserts that his conclusion is just as cogent, in fact more so, than the other nine who disagree. For this 10th researcher there is no such thing as an objective conclusion, because, for him, there is no such thing as objective criteria.

In case you haven’t notice, this 10th researcher holds to the same form of the argument as Paul does. Yes, the substance is different, but the form is the same.

Todangst, would you vie for the job of becoming this 10th researcher’s Patron Saint and defender? If not, why so for Paul? Could it be that you are letting your own personal feelings become part of the “rational” criteria? Paul is an atheist; therefore anything Paul says is good. Brady is a theist; therefore anything Brady says is bad.

You’re not fooling anyone. It will be obvious to anyone reading the debate and articles between Paul and myself what our positions are. My position is that Paul’s personal view regarding the resurrection should not be a part of the criteria for determining the truth or falsity of the matter. Paul’s position is that his personal views should be part of criteria. This is what our dispute boils down to. Your attacks on me merely are attempts to obfuscate the issue.

Here is another way of stating my poition:

1) Can we determine anything about what happened in the past?
2) If the answer is yes, can we do it without Paul’s (or insert your name here) personal views being part of the criteria?
3) If the answer is yes, then let’s do that.

G. Brady Lenardos


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zorro wrote:todangst

zorro wrote:
todangst wrote:

Why don't you just stop dodging all your errors? I've pointed out that you don't seem to know what the terms 'subjective' and "objective' mean as used in research.

I've shown that you don't even grasp what the terms induction and deduction mean...

Perhaps you feel there are a lot of errors, but that is just in your mind.

No, actually I've demonstrated your errors in this thread. Please respond to them. Your definitions of 'subjective' in regards to research is way off the mark. Your definitions of 'deduction' and 'induction' are equally error-riddled. These errors speak to your lack of understanding of the basics. Please respond to these points. Then we can really move on.

Quote:

If you can get over yourself,

No way. That love affair will never end.

But I really think that you shouldn't be so bothered by my high opinion of myself, given your own overbloated ego.

Zorro wrote:

Objective refers to the ability to make an evaluation of a situation without being affected by feelings, emotions, and preconceived notions, and to the support of a statement with proof and evidence based on actual events.

todangst wrote:
This is too strong...

Quote:

I’ll be sure to send the memo to the people who print the Merriam-Webster, Webster’s Unabridged and the Oxford Dictionaries.

Good. You do that.

And I'll again point out that the definition you've given here is too strong vis research methodology. I've already pointed out how preconceptions enter the process at the stage of categorization.

Quote:

The fact that you are able to differentiate between objective and subjective in your previous comments proves that it is not too strong.

It is too strong because it assumes that there is no subjectivity in the process at all, when that is demonstratably false. There's no way to look at the world at all without a preconception. The world would be a meaningless stream of nonsense without preconceptions.

Yet your 'defintion' rules out preconception. Ergo it is too strong.

todangst wrote:
objective data may be quantifiable, but even when researchers work with objective data, their preconceptions play a role! What exactly is "one" 'emotional outburst". Where exactly does one 'war' begin and end? Categorical decisions require the preconception of what the 'category' actually is...

Quote:

Here you confuse the creation of the process (or criteria) that the researcher will use to draw a conclusion with the actual implementation of the process (or criteria) by the researcher onto the data and reaching a conclusion.

No. What I demonstrate is that the actual implementation of the process is dependent upon the creation of the category.

Oddly enough, you're forced to agree with me here. But you can't quite bring yourself to do that, so you seek to create some artificial barrier between categorization and measurement. But oftimes, the same researcher makes both decisions - the measure, and what is being measured. And even when they do not, even when they work with pre-existent categories, there is the matter of operationalizing the terms. In all cases, the 'objective measure' itself is always based on the creation of a category.

Categories are something we create - they exist as a priori concepts. The real world's a continuum. Yes, there are some very simple categories to create - but there is always some subjectivity to them.

Quote:
The terms of the definition or criteria must be precise before any cogent conclusion can be drawn.

Agreed. But notice what you are referencing here - intersubjectivity!, not objectivity.

You are calling upon intersubjective agreement as the measure for fine tuning the definition, the category. Intersubjective agreement helps define the category.

Quote:

You can go out and gather objective or subjective data all day long, but if the terms aren’t defined, any conclusion drawn by you will be meaningless, because the terms are meaningless.

You overstate things. The terms wouldn't be necessarily 'meaningless' - but they might simply fail to meet a pre-chosen level of inter-rater agreement amongst the observers.

Oh, and look: another criteria which itself is chosen intersubjectively .

Again, you call upon intersubjectivity without realizing it.

Quote:

I think you will agree that the more precise the definition of the terms (or criteria) is, the more consensus will occur among researchers.

Yes. Consensus. Which itself is an inter-subjective measure. Where all sorts of philosophical level arguments may come into play - i.e. subjectivity.

And the standards of consensus themselves are intersubjective, usually with pragmatism as the overarching guide.

Quote:

Why? Because, fewer definitions are left up to the researcher’s own imagination, personal feeling, and bias.

Right. We want to avoid mere unjustified opinion - i.e. your own strawman for 'subjectivity' , and instead reach a level of inter-subjective agreement.

I.e. the actual, real meaning of the term 'subjective' when used in research.

Quote:

Let’s take one of your examples:

OK, but later. I have a rule against refuting the same person too many times in one post. Seriously, I have to do a few things, might be back later.

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todangst wrote:

todangst wrote:

No, actually I've demonstrated your errors in this thread. Please respond to them. Your definitions of 'subjective' in regards to research is way off the mark….

And I'll again point out that the definition [of objective] you've given here is too strong vis research methodology. I've already pointed out how preconceptions enter the process at the stage of categorization.

There are two wrong assumptions here on your part:

1) Your assumption of complete objectivity for yourself and your “demonstrations” of my supposed errors.
2) You’re limiting of these definitions to “research methodology.”

The problem with the second assumption is that you don’t seem to recognize that research methodology is simply the same methodology we use for everything else, only a little more limited. It is based on inductive principles. You can’t limit your preconceptions to entering solely into research methodology. If you can’t keep your preconditions out of research methodology, you can’t keep them out of anything.

This brings us to the first assumption. I tried to warn you several times of where Paul was leading you. I suggested that you read the debate and articles, so you could see where this path ended. I really think that you are an intelligent guy and that you would have caught on before it was too late. But you let your arrogance get the best of you. I tried to warn you that there was a trap lying ahead, but you allowed your over inflated ego to block your vision. I am willing to bet that even now that you are sitting at the bottom of a pit, you have no clue of where you are. I will try and clear things up for you. Thankfully, there is a way out for you, but I doubt if you will take it. It requires you saying you were wrong.

Let’s take a look at this pit and measure its depth. In the above quotation from you and in other parts of this thread you make statements about demonstrating my arguments wrong and you accuse me of committing fallacies. Let take a look at a few more quotations:

“So saying it is 'often used' is a red herring”
“Your errors are the sort of basic errors a freshman makes.”
“I demonstrated that you've got them all wrong.”
“Please deal with all the errors I pointed out in your posts.”
“It is an excellent expose of some of the flaws in your reasoning, particularly your strawman definition of 'subjective'”

What do all these conclusions and accusations have in common? Well, given your definition of “objective,” they all have the element of your preconceptions as part of the mix that’s used to bring about those conclusions. We can say, in all fairness, that if another set of preconceptions (let’s say mine) were exchanged for yours, the mix would be different and the conclusions would be different and the accusations would be non-existent. Anyone who shares my preconceptions may also differ with your conclusions and anyone who agrees with your preconditions may come to your conclusions. Que sera sera.

If you remember, a couple of posts ago, I asked you choose between Paul’s position and mine. I said I would go with which ever one you chose. You choose the position that says there is no such thing as an objective methodology; that personal views, biases and preconceptions taint the outcome. So, here we are.

Now you may try to write a response to counter this position, to which I will respond (as I now do to all your so-called demonstrations of my supposed errors), “Thanks for sharing, but I reject your conclusions. Because my preconceptions are different from yours, they automatically counter yours and the conclusions to which they lead.

Gee, if only there was such a thing as a real objective argument (my definition), we could solve this problem. We could get rid of our preconceptions and come to an unbiased answer. Too bad.

So, I can tell you with all conviction that given the position you have chosen, the only rational position is that God exists and that Jesus rose from the dead. Given my preconceptions, the conclusion is cogent. You can reject it, but you do so simply because your preconceptions are different than mine, not because my position is not true. You have no counter that is any more demonstrative than my conclusion.

Given this problem, the word “truth” also becomes a useless word. If by “truth” we mean, statements that accurately reflect reality, then any conclusion we reach that happens to be true is so accidentally. We can never objectively (my definition) know it, because accurate objective knowledge is impossible.

Oh, before I forget, I did mention that there was a way out. You could admit you were wrong about the definitions of “objective” and “subjective” and that there is real objectivity (my definition). Of course, in doing so, you would be admitting that you were wrong not only about that, but about most of your allegations against me, since most of them pivot on this point. You would also be admitting that Paul is wrong too, and that his articles that you so lovingly praised are fallacious.

The choice is yours.

G. Brady Lenardos


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If you don't mind me butting

If you don't mind me butting into this conversation to make some comments, read on. Otehrwise, simply ignore me. Eye-wink

I think everyone here is aware that the fundamental issue at question here is the nature of epistemology and how it relates to the words objective and subjective. Brandy insists that an objective methodology, and therefore an objective epistemology, is possible. I assume this because it seems to me that a methodology must be based upon our ability to know, and not on some theoretical perspective without consideration of our epistemological limits. If some methodology is to be considered objective while our ability to observe the world (collectively or individually) is not considered objective, then I see a puzzle I am unable to solve. How do subjective beings use a method taht depends on a tool set they don't have? The only way conceivable is some sort of Platonism, which I consider to be silly (somewhat off-topic, perhaps it can be discussed elsewhere).

In essence, I agree with todangst that the process is fundamentally inter-subjective, rather than subjective or objective.

This danger, as Brandy has just presented, is the inability to reach any possible objective (non-biased) truth or agreement without objectivity. This is indeed a problem. However, it's like saying that our lack of a unified physics theory means we cannot come to any conclusions about how the world works. That is, our lack of a purely objective methodology makes it technically impossible to come to any absolute answers or agreement. However, our ability to use communication, intersubjectively, does allow us to move from many purely subjective perspectives towards an intersubjective worldview; we start to get a glimpse of how other subjectivities see the world through language, memory, and our ability to abstract information into general ideas(what I have called, in the past, "metaphysicalization" when dealing with my problems with Platonism). The method is imprecise, but it's simply all that we have.

This danger of epistemological and therefore methodological relativism, however, is overstepping. A pragmatic approach, for example, allows us to weed through the many interpretations to see which agree most with more perspectives. Yes, your perspective may say X, and mine may say Y, but through communication and intersubjectively determined axioms and assumptions, we can move towards what we colloquially call "objectivity" but which is actually intersubjectivity. The claim is not that objectivity does not exist, but that due to the nature of our actual seperateness and a limited tool of language, we are necessarily not objective. In fact, the concept of an objective being seems to me to be absurd. if it is a specific being, it would either have subjective experiences or no experiences at all; the very nature of experience/consciousness is necessarily subjective.

Our subjectivity creates a necessary relativity, but it does not imply that each perspective is valid. One's contention that they know God, for example, can be shown, from their own subjective point of view, to be one of many conclusions from their own subjective experiences. All one needs to do is show that the experience might have other rational explanations to show that the conclusion, while possibly valid, is ultimately arbitrary. Through further communication and understanding of the functioning of other similar subjective beings, we can come to a better understanding of what is much more likely, if not what is "objectively" true. This ideal of objective truth may be impossible, so for now we are forced to deal with intersubjectivity.

If you really want real objectivity, I'm afraid your SOL.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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zorro wrote:todangst wrote:

zorro wrote:
todangst wrote:

No, actually I've demonstrated your errors in this thread. Please respond to them. Your definitions of 'subjective' in regards to research is way off the mark….

And I'll again point out that the definition [of objective] you've given here is too strong vis research methodology. I've already pointed out how preconceptions enter the process at the stage of categorization.

There are two wrong assumptions here on your part:

1) Your assumption of complete objectivity for yourself and your “demonstrations” of my supposed errors.

That's sorta cute, actually... but it also shows that you're getting desparate. I don't assume 'complete objectivity' on my part. That's precisely why I don't just insist you are wrong: That's why I demonstrate where you are wrong.

In turn, you just run from the points I make. And try to skirt them with silly claims like this.

My inductive claims all come with the patented Todangst Falsifiability Guarentee (tm). You're free to demonstrate where I go astray.

But please, don't refer to the concept of inductive uncertainty itself as a reason to reject any claim. That's a logical fallacy. Inductive uncertainty is a reason to hold to claims tenatively, not a reason to reject claims, in of itself.

In short, I've given you reasons why you are wrong, stop whining and deal with the points I've made.

Quote:

2) You’re limiting of these definitions to “research methodology.”

LOL

First of all, research methodology is an inductive enterprise, it relates to any matter of induction. This would include historical research, so I'm not 'limiting' the discussion. You're just revealing that you don't know what the term 'research methodology' means or covers.

The fact that you don't realize this just again points to how little you know about this subject.

Second, your definitions of 'subjective' and 'objective' are wrong no matter what context you might try to dream up. Your definition of subjective is too weak and your definition of 'objective' is too strong. You also tend to misuse the concepts of deduction and induction. I pointed this out as well, but you've chosen to just ignore that.

Quote:

The problem with the second assumption is that you don’t seem to recognize that research methodology is simply the same methodology we use for everything else, only a little more limited.

I don't seem to realize this?

I just pointed out that it's your own error.

Which you even seem to realize, because you decided to toss in the words "only a little more limited' - in some desparate realization that you now have to separate the two concepts somehow, or you're refuted.

So, care to explain how it's 'a little more limited'. You can't, can you?

Coz it aint, partner.

So you're the one with the false assumption.

Quote:

It is based on inductive principles.

Yep. Which means it speaks to matters of induction. Which would include historical research. So the defintions I've given you apply.

Welcome to refutation city, population: You.

Quote:

You can’t limit your preconceptions to entering solely into research methodology.

As already demonstrated, the concepts of research methodology would cover any inductive enterprise just as you are stating here. So there's no 'limit' in the first place. Ergo you are just revealing that you don't have much of a clue as to what research methodology entails...

In other words, you're agreeing with me, at the top of your voice.

Which means that the proper definitions I have given to you do apply.

Which means that you are not only wrong, but that you agree that you're wrong.

But you just don't realize it.

Quote:
“So saying it is 'often used' is a red herring”
“Your errors are the sort of basic errors a freshman makes.”
“I demonstrated that you've got them all wrong.”
“Please deal with all the errors I pointed out in your posts.”
“It is an excellent expose of some of the flaws in your reasoning, particularly your strawman definition of 'subjective'”

What do all these conclusions and accusations have in common?
Well, given your definition of “objective,” they all have the element of your preconceptions as part of the mix that’s used to bring about those conclusions.

But you've just agreed, without realizing it, that the definition of objective there does apply to any inductive endeavor.

So what they all have in common is that they refute your errors, based on the standard understanding of the terms, and your agreement that they do apply to this context.

Quote:

We can say, in all fairness, that if another set of preconceptions (let’s say mine) were exchanged for yours, the mix would be different and the conclusions would be different and the accusations would be non-existent.

Very true. if you define the words incorrectly, and stand by your errors, then your incorrect defintions would apply.

Your post was just a desparate attempt to avoid dealing with your mistakes, but seeing as you don't have any idea of what you are talking about, you actually ended up refuting yourself: research methodlogy has to do with induction.

And your definitions here are incorrect. Quit running from reality by trying to create an alternate universe to hide in, your definitions are in error.

This was actually pretty funny.. so thanks...

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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zorro wrote:Let’s take

zorro wrote:

Let’s take one of your examples: A team of 10 researchers are to look at a short film of a man in conversation with another man. They are to determine if the man in question had an emotional outburst. If you give no definition of the term or criteria for determining if the emotional outburst occurred, all you will get is 10 personal opinions. Some will say yes, some will say no and some will come up with unrelated answers. This will tell us something about the researchers, but it will tell us very little about the question at hand.

Next we provide the researchers with a clear definition and a clear criteria for determining an emotional outburst

You use and re-use the word 'clear' as if there's some platonic real that can be reached, but in reality, it's never totally, perfectly, 'clear'. But we usually do end up with a 'good enough' definition with pragmatic utility. And this standard is 'good enough' for our needs.

Quote:

(we can talk about how the definition is determined latter, that has its own problems; for right now we are just working with the implementation of a particular definition and criteria).

No, we need to talk about it now, as it's the key point here.

The definition would be created by the research team with input from the researchers, as well as reference to standard measures available in the field - i.e. standards created by other researchers used in succesful experiments.

The means of assessing reliability in the experiment will be based on inter-rater reliability. Agreement across the raters. There need not be, and never is, 100% agreement.

Now let's see how you strawman the situation into absurdity:

Quote:

We now ask the researchers once again if the man had an emotional outburst. All, except one, says that given that definition, criteria and what is witnessed on the film, the conclusion is that the man had an emotional outburst. What of that last man? Well, it turns out that he believes in materialistic determinism. To him everything is merely matter in motion, acting as it must, due to antecedent causes. For him there is no such thing as emotions, “emotions” are merely an illusion.

Then why is he involved in research of emotions if he's going to just naysay anything he witnesses? Sounds like you're just building a strawman of a skeptic - not an actual, rational skeptic. Your 'subjective' person isn't actually employing the real meaning of the term 'subjective' - i.e. a judgement. He's employing your bizarre strawman of 'subjective' - irrationality, whimsey, combined with intransigience.

By the way, as per the example given, his opinions about the inner workings of the subject wouldn't matter anyway... he would only need to agree that a specified behavior occured.... i.e. if an emotional outburst is defined as behaviors x, y and z, he only needs report when these behaviors occur, so your points commit several errors at once!

Quote:

This last researcher added his own personal view to the criteria as a new element of the criteria.

Incorrect. All 10 of them do. It's just that in the case of 9 of them, it co-aligns with definition being used by the group.

See how your own erroneous preconceptions lead to your errors?

Quote:

When it is suggested to him that he eliminate his own personal view from the mix, and try to come to an objective conclusion...

...he reminds the researchers that they themselves are using an inter-subjective criterion?

Because that is what they are doing.

You think you are comparing an objective measure to a subjective one. You are not.

You are comparing an intersubjective measure to a bizzaro world definition of 'subjective' that you've pulled from your vast pool of ignorance on the matter of research methodology.

Free from actually knowing what the terms mean, you're free to enter into the very sort of 'subjectivity' that you are decrying: making shit up, and sticking to it, no matter what.

Quote:

he insists that since there is an element of subjectivity in everything, the insertion of his personal view of materialistic determinism should also be allowed in.

A rather bizarre statement from a materialist determinist!

Are you sure you don't want to make him a theist?

Quote:

He further asserts that his conclusion is just as cogent, in fact more so, than the other nine who disagree. For this 10th researcher there is no such thing as an objective conclusion, because, for him, there is no such thing as objective criteria.

They'd probably just shake their heads and tell him that they are using an inter-subjective criterion anyway.

Although I think they'd be far more puzzled as to how a materialist determinist was also a post modernist. Or why a materialist would have any problem at all in just measuring the behavior as per the operationalized measure, and just ignoring his own subjective views, seeing as materialists are the ones who invented the concept of focusing on behaviors and ignoring subjectivity, even when present.

Quote:

In case you haven’t notice, this 10th researcher holds to the same form of the argument as Paul does.

LOL

No, he does not. You're utterly confused as to what both Paul and I are saying, concering how the terms 'subjective' and 'objective' are actually defined by us humans here on earth.

Your terms are all bizarre strawmen of the actual terms used. You see 'subjectivity' as mere personal whimy, combined with intransigience, and 'objective' as something akin to deductive certainty!

This just shows that you simply don't know what you're talking about, and it shows more and more whenever you speak.

Quote:

Todangst, would you vie for the job of becoming this 10th researcher’s Patron Saint and defender?

Only if I were able to build a time machine so that I could enter into this bizarro alternate/reverse universe. But then again, I'd probably be too busy talking to the well informed, bizarro Lenarados.

Quote:

If not, why so for Paul?

Because your analogy isn't demonstrative of anything Paul holds to. It's just demonstrative of your utter inability to understand what the terms 'subjective' and 'objective' actually mean.

You basically reduce the term 'subjectivity' to near insanity, and reify 'objective' into a platonic real of absolute certainty.

Quote:

Could it be that you are letting your own personal feelings become part of the “rational” criteria? Paul is an atheist; therefore anything Paul says is good. Brady is a theist; therefore anything Brady says is bad.

It could be - this is why it's important that I give an argument to support my claim. And I have. You're free to stop running from them any time now.

Now, seeing that I've pointed out error after error in your posts, could it be that you're refusal to even deal with them might be do to your own personal feelings, combined with the sort of intransigience you've focused on in this post?

Quote:

Here is another way of stating my poition:

1) Can we determine anything about what happened in the past?

Yes.

Quote:

2) If the answer is yes, can we do it without Paul’s (or insert your name here) personal views being part of the criteria?

No. But fortunately, personal views do not equate with insane intrasigience, or irrational whimsy. Once you correct this error, you'll be on your way through your first class in research methodology 101.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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zorro wrote: Could it be

zorro wrote:

Could it be that you are letting your own personal feelings become part of the “rational” criteria? Paul is an atheist; therefore anything Paul says is good. Brady is a theist; therefore anything Brady says is bad.

Just so you know, Todangst isn't known for agreeing with people just because they are atheist. Ask around in the InfidelGuy forum. In fact, I've had some heated disagreements with him, though that seems to be in the past.


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caseagainstfaith wrote:zorro

caseagainstfaith wrote:
zorro wrote:

Could it be that you are letting your own personal feelings become part of the “rational” criteria? Paul is an atheist; therefore anything Paul says is good. Brady is a theist; therefore anything Brady says is bad.

Just so you know, Todangst isn't known for agreeing with people just because they are atheist. Ask around in the InfidelGuy forum. In fact, I've had some heated disagreements with him, though that seems to be in the past.

Thanks, but even Lenarados knows that that was just a desparate attempt to write off my refutations as a bias.

Notice that he doesn't even copy and past the corrections, let alone respond to them.

His posts are nothing more but an endless repetition of the same errors.... subjectivity is just irrational whimsy to be eliminated, objectivity leads to stone cold certainty.

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ShaunPhilly wrote:If you

ShaunPhilly wrote:
If you don't mind me butting into this conversation to make some comments, read on. Otherwise, simply ignore me. Eye-wink

Hi. Welcome aboard.

Quote:

I think everyone here is aware that the fundamental issue at question here is the nature of epistemology and how it relates to the words objective and subjective. Brandy insists that an objective methodology, and therefore an objective epistemology, is possible. I assume this because it seems to me that a methodology must be based upon our ability to know, and not on some theoretical perspective without consideration of our epistemological limits. If some methodology is to be considered objective while our ability to observe the world (collectively or individually) is not considered objective, then I see a puzzle I am unable to solve. How do subjective beings use a method taht depends on a tool set they don't have?

A very fine question for our Mr. Lenardos to dodge!

Quote:

The only way conceivable is some sort of Platonism, which I consider to be silly (somewhat off-topic, perhaps it can be discussed elsewhere).

How interesting that the concept of platonic reals came to your mind as well!

Quote:

In essence, I agree with todangst that the process is fundamentally inter-subjective, rather than subjective or objective.

This danger, as Brandy has just presented, is the inability to reach any possible objective (non-biased) truth or agreement without objectivity. This is indeed a problem. However, it's like saying that our lack of a unified physics theory means we cannot come to any conclusions about how the world works. That is, our lack of a purely objective methodology makes it technically impossible to come to any absolute answers or agreement. However, our ability to use communication, intersubjectively, does allow us to move from many purely subjective perspectives towards an intersubjective worldview; we start to get a glimpse of how other subjectivities see the world through language, memory, and our ability to abstract information into general ideas(what I have called, in the past, "metaphysicalization" when dealing with my problems with Platonism). The method is imprecise, but it's simply all that we have.

Excellent point. Lenardos presents us with a false dilemma: either we have objective 'certainty' or we fall into some sort of subjective nihilism.... either platonic reals or the ravings of madmen.

The reality is that we live within the extremes of these dichotomies: Pragmatism, utility.

To me, the real world is a continuum... we use categories to help make sense of the world, but the very process of categorization itself is the end result of a 'divide and conquer' mentality - useful, practial reductionism, simplification, to help us understand the world. But to confuse this label, born of utility, for a true dichotomy in nature itself is an error.

Quote:

This danger of epistemological and therefore methodological relativism, however, is overstepping. A pragmatic approach, for example, allows us to weed through the many interpretations to see which agree most with more perspectives.

I comment as a read along, so I have to say that I find it interesting how we not agree, but come to the same conclusions at the same time.

Quote:

Yes, your perspective may say X, and mine may say Y, but through communication and intersubjectively determined axioms and assumptions, we can move towards what we colloquially call "objectivity" but which is actually intersubjectivity. The claim is not that objectivity does not exist, but that due to the nature of our actual seperateness and a limited tool of language, we are necessarily not objective. In fact, the concept of an objective being seems to me to be absurd. if it is a specific being, it would either have subjective experiences or no experiences at all; the very nature of experience/consciousness is necessarily subjective.

I think it may be as I have implied above - a mistaken belief that the category actually represents a true dichotomous phenomena in nature.... when nature is actually a continuum.

Quote:

Our subjectivity creates a necessary relativity, but it does not imply that each perspective is valid.

Agreed.

Quote:

One's contention that they know God, for example, can be shown, from their own subjective point of view, to be one of many conclusions from their own subjective experiences. All one needs to do is show that the experience might have other rational explanations to show that the conclusion, while possibly valid, is ultimately arbitrary. Through further communication and understanding of the functioning of other similar subjective beings, we can come to a better understanding of what is much more likely, if not what is "objectively" true. This ideal of objective truth may be impossible, so for now we are forced to deal with intersubjectivity.

If you really want real objectivity, I'm afraid your SOL.

Shaun

This was the best post of the thread, in my opinion.

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todangst wrote: Thanks, but

todangst wrote:

Thanks, but even Lenarados knows that that was just a desparate attempt to write off my refutations as a bias.

I understand the want to believe. When I was a theist, or at least a fence-sitter, I wanted to believe that there was a deity that would give a escape hatch from death. But I suppose I was never a "real" theist, for I was always willing to admit that things didn't add seem to add up. I would try to find a way to make them add up, but they wouldn't. Which is, of course, among the reasons I'm now an atheist. But my point was, as many times as I see behavior such as Lenardos, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge reality, it still amazes me. Wanting to disbelieve reality, I understand. Refusing to acknowledge reality when it smacks you in the face I don't understand.


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caseagainstfaith

caseagainstfaith wrote:
todangst wrote:

Thanks, but even Lenarados knows that that was just a desparate attempt to write off my refutations as a bias.

I understand the want to believe. When I was a theist, or at least a fence-sitter, I wanted to believe that there was a deity that would give a escape hatch from death. But I suppose I was never a "real" theist, for I was always willing to admit that things didn't add seem to add up. I would try to find a way to make them add up, but they wouldn't. Which is, of course, among the reasons I'm now an atheist. But my point was, as many times as I see behavior such as Lenardos, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge reality, it still amazes me. Wanting to disbelieve reality, I understand. Refusing to acknowledge reality when it smacks you in the face I don't understand.

That is precisely why he must remain ignorant - if he actually learned anything about the things he argued over, he'd see his errors..... as long as he remains ignorant of what these terms mean, he's free to assert whatever he wants.

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Hi Shaun, thanks for

Hi Shaun, thanks for writing. There are two things that I appreciate in your post: your sincerity and your desire to really think through this issue.

My point would be that “intersubjective” has little to do with subjectivity and objectivity as used in this discussion. “Intersubjective” simply means that there is something shared between two or more people. Some examples would be something like a language, the concept of mathematics or the rules of Basketball. So, everything that I or you do with others is intersubjective. This also means that something can be totally subjective and intersubjective, such as talking to your friends about your favorite ice cream being Rocky Road. And it also means that something can be completely objective and intersubjective, such as teaching your young niece that 1+1=2. You will notice that the intersubjective element of these examples have no effect on the conclusions; your favorite ice cream would still be Rocky Road, regardless of your sharing that with everyone or no one, and 1+1=2 could be no other, regardless of how large the group or what their opinions are.

ShaunPhilly wrote:
If some methodology is to be considered objective while our ability to observe the world (collectively or individually) is not considered objective, then I see a puzzle I am unable to solve. How do subjective beings use a method that depends on a tool set they don't have?

That is because “objective” and “subjective” are being used in two different ways in the above sentences. An objective methodology is simply a methodology that does not include a personal preference or bias as part of the method. Your subjective ability to collect data simply means that it is done in your head. The collecting of data presents its own separate issues. The issue we are dealing with here concerns the methodology. Is it possible to come to a conclusion without inserting our own biases as an element of the methodology? Paul and Todagnst say no, I say yes.

ShaunPhilly wrote:
This danger, as Brandy has just presented, is the inability to reach any possible objective (non-biased) truth or agreement without objectivity. This is indeed a problem. However, it's like saying that our lack of a unified physics theory means we cannot come to any conclusions about how the world works. That is, our lack of a purely objective methodology makes it technically impossible to come to any absolute answers or agreement

Shaun, in the above, you assume that there is a unified theory that actually explains reality and we can know it, I do too. You also assume that there is a real world and that we can come to accurate conclusions about it, I do too. The problem is, if Paul and Todagnst are right, we can never know if any of our conclusions about this world or the unified theory are accurate. If any of our conclusions are accurate, it is just by accident, because all of our conclusions are necessarily tainted by our personal biases, if Todangst's view is correct. To accept their view of reality is to give up any real knowledge of reality.

You also mention agreement. Agreement can only become a factor if the methodology is objective. Agreement under their view simply means that you started out with the same bias as someone else.

In my next post, I will begin to answer the alleged errors that Todangst says I have committed. These will be examples on how Todangst’s position is completely unsustainable by showing that knowledge is impossible if one holds to his position. This is the rub, Togangst says he knows something about reality (i.e. that there is no such thing as a completely objective methodology, that bias always enters in as part of the methodology), but his position dictates, that if true, he can know nothing at all. It is what we call a self-stultifying position.

G. Brady Lenardos