Case Against Faith

todangst
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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)

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

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zorro wrote:Hi Shaun, thanks

zorro wrote:
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.

It appears to you to have little to do with your arguments, because you don't really understand this subject. His post actually goes right to the very heart of these topics, and to your errors.

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?

Quote:

That is because “objective” and “subjective” are being used in two different ways in the above sentences.

Then you need to demonstrate that... but I don't think you can. Because you don't really have a firm grasp of the concepts.

Quote:

An objective methodology is simply a methodology that does not include a personal preference or bias as part of the method.
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.

You've been warned, over and over, about this strawman. I notice that you studiously avoided dealing with the parts of Shaun's post that deal with this error.

I will repost some key parts from Shaun's post:

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.

Quote:

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.

What level of obtuseness is required to post an argument that just was refuted in the argument you replied to?!

Look above, and read what is printed again for you! It already refutes your false dilemma. Please don't waste the board's time with your strawmen, when they've already been refuted. Your claim relies on a false dilemma - either 'objective' knowledge as you misunderstand it, or none at all... This error in turn is based on your misunderstanding of the terms you use. Your definitions of 'objective' and 'subjective' themselves are flawed, as already demonstrated.

Look: No one is interested in your repeating the same errors, and the fact that you continue to dodge the key points illustrates that you're a waste of our time.

Reread Shaun's post, and deal with all the parts that you ran from previously.. his post is a fine refutation of your errors.

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

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zorro wrote: In my next

zorro wrote:

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.

Do you have any plans on posting something that hasn't been refuted ad nauseum?

zorro wrote:

It is what we call a self-stultifying position.

Is this the royal "we"? You seem to have abandoned even giving the pretense that expert opinion is on your side. All of your assertions are completely unsupported.


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zorro wrote:An objective

zorro wrote:
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.

I'm going to say this as clearly and unambiguously as I can.

There is no such thing as an action done by the human brain that is objective in this way. Everything we do must (that is, it is necessary) be subjective.

Ever read Kant? Familiar with his idea that there are some structures of the mind that interpret ideas automatically? Now, while I don't think Kant had it quite right, perhaps studies in neuroscience, which tell us about all of the subjective (because our brain is doing it) processing of the information going on, can extend this Kantian notionto help you understand that objectivity as you see it is simply impossible for us..

That is, before we are really even fully conscious of what we have seen to analyze--before we even have a chance to apply any methodology at all--the information is already skewed.

Perhaps this means we cannot have actual objective knowledge (with the possible exception of a priori truths, but I would hesitate to cal these properly objective).

Again, how can we use an objective methodology when it is impossible for us to be objective? Clear as many biases away that you are capable of doing, but there will always be some subjective influences on any methodology because most of them are automatic and unconscious.

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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Hi Shaun, I wanted to keep

Hi Shaun,

I wanted to keep the data gathering and method of analyzing the data as two separate issues, because each does have its own problems for us to discuss. But, since you insist:

ShaunPhilly wrote:
I'm going to say this as clearly and unambiguously as I can.

The point is, if your position is true, no matter how “clearly” or “unambiguously” you try to communicate something, the reading of it (i.e. data gathering) is going to be skewed and the analyzing of it (i.e. the method used to draw conclusion about what is written) is going to be tainted by biases. So, the conclusion (i.e. the understanding of what is read) may or may not have much to do with what you wrote or meant, no matter how clear or unambiguous you tried to be. Moreover, if your position is true there is no way for me to know how close I have come to understanding what you meant and there is no way for you to ever know if your meaning has gotten through.

You see, if your position is true, even if I do a tell back, your reading of the tell back will be skewed and your analyzing of what I wrote will also be tainted by your biases.

Did I really understand you? There is no way for either of us to know; therefore, any real communication becomes impossible.

So, if you believe your position is true, why did you write? I know why I write: I believe that your position is false and real communication can exist. But you really can’t believe your position is “true,” because, if your position is true, you can't know that anything is true. But if you say, “I can’t know if anything is true,” aren’t you saying that you know that is true?

Let me give you another example:

ShaunPhilly wrote:
Ever read Kant? Familiar with his idea that there are some structures of the mind that interpret ideas automatically? Now, while I don't think Kant had it quite right, perhaps studies in neuroscience, which tell us about all of the subjective (because our brain is doing it) processing of the information going on, can extend this Kantian notion to help you understand that objectivity as you see it is simply impossible for us..

That is, before we are really even fully conscious of what we have seen to analyze--before we even have a chance to apply any methodology at all--the information is already skewed.

So, when you read Kant (and yes, I have), did you read Kant or did you just read your biases into Kant? Since the information is skewed automatically and subconsciously, how could you possibly know?

Your position is completely self-stultifying and makes any and all knowledge impossible.

Will you respond to this post? If so, why? Are you trying to share with me some truth? Or are you just trying to impose on me your biases?

G. Brady Lenardos


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zorro wrote:Your position is

zorro wrote:
Your position is completely self-stultifying and makes any and all knowledge impossible.

Although I think that Shaun and Todangst will be able to give a more precise answer, I will give you my short answer.

Indeed, I cannot read your mind or anybody else's mind. I cannot know *for sure* what meaning I get from the words you speak or write are what you intended to impart. No doubt times we misunderstand each other and don't know it.

All knowledge is tentative, the best explanation. And the best explanation that I am able to discern from communicating with other people is that language is an imperfect, yet useful communication tool. I believe that Todangst would say that I use inter-subjectivity to tune my language skills. Imperfectly, and at least conceivably, completely incorrectly -- but it is all I got.

But, as has been stated here already, the subjectivity of knowledge isn't justification to throw it out, it is just justification to hold it tentatively.


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I think my response has

I think my response has already been predicted. And the fact that it has been predicted so well is exactly the type of example I would need to show how you are making hyperbole out of my position.

The fact that we cannot have absolute and direct knowledge of things does not mean that we cannot use the limited amount of information to gain some tentative understanding. And in combination with other tentative and incomplete information, our general picture can become clearer. Still, you are right, we can never have real complete knowledge.

You seem to be trying to hold the line on this all or nothing epistemology. This is sophomoric. Just because you don't understand the neurolinguistic complexities of the word "sophomoric" as they exist for me, you have a shared (I'll avoid the word "intersubjective") definition of the word that allows you to glean some understanding of what I meant. Did I mean it snidely/ Did I mean it playfully? You don't know. Does that mean you didn't understand the word in the context I used it? Even your ability to guess among some set of possible subtle meanings means that some communication is possible even if complete understanding is not conveyed.

So, if you're right, you'll have to explain either how you are able to understand the subtle complexities of my subjective neurolinguistic aspects of the words I use, or you'll have to explain how you seem to be responding to what I say when without this complete understanding, you seem to be communicating with me.

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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ShaunPhilly wrote:I think my

ShaunPhilly wrote:
I think my response has already been predicted.

But did you mean the same thing I said? Eye-wink

ShaunPhilly wrote:
So, if you're right, you'll have to explain either how you are able to understand the subtle complexities of my subjective neurolinguistic aspects of the words I use, or you'll have to explain how you seem to be responding to what I say when without this complete understanding, you seem to be communicating with me.

thumbs up


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Quote:Quote:ShaunPhilly

Quote:
Quote:
ShaunPhilly wrote:

I think my response has already been predicted.

But did you mean the same thing I said? Eye-wink

Yes, it's exactly what I meant (I think).

Perhaps we are the same person

(Spooky sci-fi music starts to play)

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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ShaunPhilly wrote: The fact

ShaunPhilly wrote:

The fact that we cannot have absolute and direct knowledge of things does not mean that we cannot use the limited amount of information to gain some tentative understanding. And in combination with other tentative and incomplete information, our general picture can become clearer. Still, you are right, we can never have real complete knowledge.

Shaun, we are not talking about “complete knowledge” or “absolute knowledge.” It is not my position that you must be omniscient in order to know anything. We are talking about taking necessarily skewed data, processing it through a necessarily biased analysis, and then consistently reaching accurate conclusions. It seems clear and distinct to me that if you have necessarily skewed data, and you process it through a necessarily biased methodology, you will get a skewed and biased conclusion. It may be skewed and biased a little or it could be skewed and biased a lot. Regardless, you will never be able to figure out which it is, because any attempts at clarification will also be skewed and biased.

If the skewed data and biased method do not adversely affect the conclusion, why even bring it up? If they have no effect, then your data and method will in essence be objective. But isn’t the whole point of this to say that your subjectivity does have an effect on both the data and the process?

Here is the problem for you: You believe your conclusions are highly accurate. You also believe that your subjectivity skews the data and biases the process. So, you believe that both can be true, because you already believe both. The truth is that they are contradictory. If your conclusions are highly accurate, your subjectivity cannot skewing the data and biasing the process. If your subjectivity is skewing the data and biasing the process, your conclusions can’t be consistently highly accurate, and if by accident some of them are, you could never know it.

Regards,

G. Brady Lenardos


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I don't remember claiming

I don't remember claiming that any of my conclusions were highly accurate. If you are referring to the conclusions of Paul, then i cannot comment, and I'll let him do so if he so pleases. I'm not even sure how much accuracy would be "high" and how much would be "low," but that's besides the primary point.

Admittedly, we've strayed from the original intent of this thread, and thus I will avoid further straying to talk about linguistics and epistemology to any more complexity that has already been discussed. However, the primary function of this thread, since you (Brady) began posting here to debate the topic, has been this false dichotomy of objective/"no value" (as todangst put it early on). I agree with this criticism, and have tried to support why this dichotomy must fail for reasons based in epistemology. I feel like I've made my point, but for whatever reason you (Brady) do not seem to agree.

zorro wrote:
We are talking about taking necessarily skewed data, processing it through a necessarily biased analysis, and then consistently reaching accurate conclusions.

Yes, you are correct, we are. I think that he simple way to say it is that despite the necessary skewed and biased nature of epistemology, and therefore the subsequent effects on our interpretation of data and how it is collected into a conclusion, accurate conclusions are still possible.

That is, concerning a specific question (say, the existence of Jesus as an historical figure), we can possibly determine which is the more accurate historical position to take. The lack of certainty here has more to do with lack of data, but the interpretation of extant data will also play a part. It is simply plain that someone of faith may more likely interpret data x differently than someone else.

But this is a dire oversimplification.

We, of course, will not always have the most accurate conclusions (from this theorretical "objective" point of view, anyway). The point is to take the data we have and apply it in such a way as we reach what seems like the best explanation or answer. It is at this point where our biases can influence our conclusions. You are very aware of this, I believe.

zorro wrote:
Here is the problem for you: You believe your conclusions are highly accurate. You also believe that your subjectivity skews the data and biases the process. So, you believe that both can be true, because you already believe both.

Notice how you didn't say absolutely accurate or even simply "accurate"? That's the point. Despite the biases and skewing (which may be small or large in terms of their influences, the exact amount is never really known), we can still often have a highly accurate conclusion.

Thus, when you say

zorro wrote:
The truth is that they are contradictory. If your conclusions are highly accurate, your subjectivity cannot skewing the data and biasing the process. If your subjectivity is skewing the data and biasing the process, your conclusions can’t be consistently highly accurate,

you are incorrect. Again, this critique is based on this dichotomy which is the basis for this disagreement.

You finish by saying

Quote:
...your conclusions can’t be consistently highly accurate, and if by accident some of them are, you could never know it.

Well, do we ever really fully know if our conclusions are correct (especially in historical matters)? You said that "we are not talking about “complete knowledge” or “absolute knowledge,” yet you seem to be talking as if the problem with my points are that we might not be correct. That is, while you say "highly accurate," it seems like you mean to say "(absolutely) accurate." That is, you would be right if you were saying that the skewing and bias makes it impossible to be absolutely accurate (and you would be right), but that is not my claim.

My claim is that we can have highly accurate conclusions despite bias. How high our accuracy is may never be known, but the real question is how high is the accuracy compared to other conclusions (based on the data we have, skewed or not). The fact that there are disagreements only shows that the skewing and bias must exist, otherwise we would all come up with the same answers. Debate has to do with (intersubjectively) trying to get to the best answer possible, given our limited ability to be perfect.

So, we might have biased and skewed conclusions, but are your more skewed and biased or are mine more skewed and biased. That's the question. The fact that we may not be able to be sure one way or the other does not bother me so much as the fact that the people who tend to be sure about their conclusions tend to base that certainty on faith rather than skewed evidence.

Skewed evidence is better than faith any day.

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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ShaunPhilly wrote:I don't

ShaunPhilly wrote:
I don't remember claiming that any of my conclusions were highly accurate. If you are referring to the conclusions of Paul, then I cannot comment, and I'll let him do so if he so pleases. I'm not even sure how much accuracy would be "high" and how much would be "low," but that's besides the primary point.

Of course you feel your conclusions are highly accurate (we will see an example of this later). If you didn’t you wouldn’t continue to press them. People don’t press ideas that they think are inaccurate or could go one way or another; at least not in honest conversation. They may sometimes do so to test a point, but then it is done as a hypothetical, until they feel more assured of the position or reject it.

However, you are quite right that from your position it is impossible to determine the accuracy or inaccuracy of any position. Why? Because, from your position all data gathering is skewed and all analysis is biased.

Let’s take an example, Tom (who is a Christian) and Phil (who is an atheist) examine the same evidence and are given the same methodology to determine if the evidence at hand shows that God exists. Tom skews the data to his subjective likes and Phil skews the data to his subjective likes. In like fashion, Tom inserts his bias into the methodology and Phil inserts his bias into the methodology. Both come to different conclusions. Tom’s conclusion, based on the evidence and the analysis, is that God does exist. Phil’s conclusion, based on the evidence and the analysis, is that God doesn’t exist. How can we determine which is right? Even though we know that the method yields probability, we also know deductively that one of the two conclusions is 100% true and the other is 100% false. Now, even though we may never know with certainty which is right, the question is, what does the evidence and methodology show. We could bring in a number of other people and use intersubjectivity, but we would just get more of the same. Those who are biased in the same way as Tom will get the same results as Tom. Those who are biased the same way Phil is will get the same results as Phil.

You had an interesting phrase at the end of your post. It read, “Skewed evidence is better than faith any day.” Take a look at that example. From your position, your reliance on any conclusion based on skewed data and biased analysis is 100% pure blind faith. From your position there is no way to determine the truth or falsity of any conclusion, so all conclusions are accepted by faith alone. And that faith would be in one's own preconceived positions. From your position, the data and methodology becomes merely a farce to impose your own bias on others, while pretending that bias is rational.

ShaunPhilly wrote:
Admittedly, we've strayed from the original intent of this thread, and thus I will avoid further straying to talk about linguistics and epistemology to any more complexity that has already been discussed. However, the primary function of this thread, since you (Brady) began posting here to debate the topic, has been this false dichotomy of objective/"no value" (as todangst put it early on). I agree with this criticism, and have tried to support why this dichotomy must fail for reasons based in epistemology. I feel like I've made my point, but for whatever reason you (Brady) do not seem to agree.

So, you think you have a highly accurate conclusion when you say that “this dichotomy must fail.” It sure sounds like you think that is highly accurate. “Must” is a pretty powerful word. It usually means in this context 100% certainty. You didn’t say “it may fail” or “it could fail” or “it is probable it would fail.” You said, “it must fail.” So, must it fail? Is your conclusion 100% certain? All the support that you assert you have given to this conclusion is biased and skewed. You admit that freely. From your position, aren’t you just expressing faith in your bias? If a different bias was used or no bias at all, would the conclusion be the same? From your position, you can never know. For, from your position, any and all other conclusions will also be skewed and biased and we can ask the same question of all of them: If a different bias was used or no bias at all, would the conclusion be the same? From your position no answer is possible. Hence no knowledge is possible, just a bias that is forcefully assert as truth, as you have done in the words above.

Let’s take this one step further, given your position, your conclusion that all data will be skewed and all analysis will be biased is based on skewed data and biased analysis. You see, you are asserting as true something that your postion says you can't know to be true.

So, from my position, I can say with complete certainty that your position is 100%, necessarily, unavoidably self-stultifying, and therefore, via the laws of logic, false.

G. Brady Lenardos


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zorro wrote: So, from my

zorro wrote:

So, from my position, I can say with complete certainty that your position is 100%, necessarily, unavoidably self-stultifying, and therefore, via the laws of logic, false.

I was wondering how it is that the "laws of logic" show his position to be false, even if you are correct that it is "self-stultifying"? As far as I can tell, you've been raising claims of undesirable consequences of Shaun's position, and then saying that means it must be false. But showing undesirable consequences of a proposition doesn't make it false.


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I've snipped some of the

I've snipped some of the earlier parts to prevent this from becoming a novel, and because I think the points there have already been made. I apologize for what turned out to be a very long response.

zorro wrote:
Let’s take an example... (snipped for the sake of brevity, not to skew context).... Tom’s conclusion, based on the evidence and the analysis, is that God does exist. Phil’s conclusion, based on the evidence and the analysis, is that God doesn’t exist. How can we determine which is right? Even though we know that the method yields probability, we also know deductively that one of the two conclusions is 100% true and the other is 100% false. Now, even though we may never know with certainty which is right, the question is, what does the evidence and methodology show. We could bring in a number of other people and use intersubjectivity, but we would just get more of the same. Those who are biased in the same way as Tom will get the same results as Tom. Those who are biased the same way Phil is will get the same results as Phil.
.

There is another consideration here. I would say that the example partially failes because of the reasoning behind atheism is not really so much a positive assertion of any objective truth so much as a recognition (this word appears biased even to me) that the evidence for god(s) doesn't seem sufficient. If we were to frame the example in such a way as to say that Phil walked away from the evidence and found it lacking (that god(s) exist) while Tom found the evidence convincing (that god(s) exist), then I think your point might be the same, but the perspective shifts.

The significance of this shift is that we can ask what exactly is the difference between Tom and Phil that allows them to conclude differently concerning this question--a fascinating question I think. And if I'm interpreting your question correctly, your point is that in either case--whichever way we decide (with the Toms or Phils of all the questions) we cannot be sure, thus either decision is essentially faith-based.

This is one of the most common criticisms of atheism I have seen in my years of debate with theists. The simple answer is that Phil's lack of belief, his inability to accept the evidence as evidence for God, is simply a lack of belief. It cannot be faith because it doesn't assert anything, it merely rejects a proposition-a theory to explain data.

Faith, as I use it, is the belief in something despite lack of evidence for it. If Tom believes in god because of evidence, then there really is a discussion. I have never seen such evidence. The validity or truth of this definition of 'faith' might have to be addressed here, but right now I want to save it for later, so I'll continue.

If we were using another example, say of a question of mathematics, history, physics, etc, then we have a more interesting question. In science, we have the problem of theory choice which brings in Realism v. Instrumentalism/anti-Realism (I've never liked the latter term). But it all comes down, once again, to the question of an absolutist/nihilst dichotomy or a relativist/pragmatist view.

I am a relativist, obviously, but more appropriately a pragmatist. Your interpretation, as an objectivist/absolutist/whatever-you-call-your-philosophy-ist is that relativism makes it impossible to have any certainty and thus everything is equally valid; I get it. But as has already been said, a conclusion that you wouldn't desire does not make the conclusion correct. Further, this is not what is concluded from my view anyway, as my view only identifies the problem in epistemology, but does not say that this lack in our ability to gain information does not imply that there is not actuall a correct conclusion--only that it's really hard (and perhaps in some cases, impossible) to determine what that conclusion is.

Quote:
You had an interesting phrase at the end of your post. It read, “Skewed evidence is better than faith any day.” Take a look at that example. From your position, your reliance on any conclusion based on skewed data and biased analysis is 100% pure blind faith. From your position there is no way to determine the truth or falsity of any conclusion, so all conclusions are accepted by faith alone. And that faith would be in one's own preconceived positions. From your position, the data and methodology becomes merely a farce to impose your own bias on others, while pretending that bias is rational.

I've already addressed the question of faith. Again, the fact that bias exists does not mean that any conclusion is as valid as another. If I claim that my interpretation of history is that the Aztec defeated the Spanish, no amount of bias on the part of someone arguing the opposite would make my argument more valid. You are right that there is a standard that allows us to look past bias and determine, with some level of certainty, that certain events occured, certain ideas are better than others, etc. This doesn't mean the bias disapears, it just has less of an impact. The level of bias is one of the many relative factors. The amount of data, how well corroborated it is, etc are others. When we get into fine points about subtle questions, determining the "truth" of the matter becomes more dificult.

I think the best way to explain what I think is the crux of the matter is this; In many cases where a methodology is applied to data, the facts will ultimately lead to an agreeable conclusion. This is why the vast majority of people believe that Einstein actually existed and developed some brilliant physics theories, and why very few people believe that the Loch Ness monster exists. We believe these things with a very high level of certainty.

With some people, bias plays a large part in their decision making, and they believe things that the facts simply do not support. This is what this site calls being irrational. The extent to which this type of bias plays a part in people's lives differs in degrees. For some, this type of bias may be very small, and for most questions, plays a negligible part in their decision making. Ultimately, on a very precise level, everything they experienced will be colored by bias, but you are correct that the (what you call 'objective' and what I call 'intersubjective') facts will lead to the rational conclusion. Bias is still there, just not as prevalent.

For others, bias will play a mediocre role. Perhaps they are completly capable of good decison making for most things, but a few things simply stick due to some bias (such as fear or other strong emotion) and they simply cannot see the data as it relates to other data and make irrational conclusions.

For some others, being riddled with all kinds of issues, they believe that the CIA is reading their brainwaves, aliens take them to other galaxies, and Jesus talks to him at night while they play video games together. For them, the occasional rational decision will happen, but it's the exception.

But the crucial issue is what standard do we use to determine why the idea that Einstein is was a brilliant physicist is more rational thatn the late night cards sessions with Jesus, right? Well that's why we've been going on about intersubjectivity.

Do you know how peer-reviewed journals work? How do you get to be an editor, and how do you get published in one? Intersubjectivity works best to find answers when we allow the people who have studied the subject most, understand the most relevant data, and are able to circumvent their biases the best. So, how does this standard avoid infinite regression of how to choose the standard for 'objctivity'?

This process only appears to be infinitely regressive, in term of where we get the standards to chooose criteria for better 'objectivity,' when we insist on strong definitions of objectivity. If at every level of the process you need to have objective, unbiased, and certain information, you'll never get out of Descartes' chair. Every level of the process is a game of probability based in commonly accepted axioms and assumptions. If you demand your strong definition of objectivity, then you get bogged down by this impossobility to choose between options. If you accept, from the very beginning, that bias, skewing, and imperfect data will be something to deal with, you move on with the best theory we have, see if it works, and use it until it stops working.

Quote:
So, you think you have a highly accurate conclusion when you say that “this dichotomy must fail.” It sure sounds like you think that is highly accurate. “Must” is a pretty powerful word. It usually means in this context 100% certainty. You didn’t say “it may fail” or “it could fail” or “it is probable it would fail.” You said, “it must fail.” So, must it fail? Is your conclusion 100% certain? All the support that you assert you have given to this conclusion is biased and skewed. You admit that freely. From your position, aren’t you just expressing faith in your bias? If a different bias was used or no bias at all, would the conclusion be the same? From your position, you can never know. For, from your position, any and all other conclusions will also be skewed and biased and we can ask the same question of all of them: If a different bias was used or no bias at all, would the conclusion be the same? From your position no answer is possible. Hence no knowledge is possible, just a bias that is forcefully assert as truth, as you have done in the words above.

It was sloppy of me to use the word "must." I should say that it fails because it does not allow us to get off the ground. The dichotomy asks us to do something we cannot do. Objectivity is impossible. So if the only alternative to it is meaninglessness, then we can't do anything more. I'm not a nihilist, and I think the dichotomy overlooks the fact that despite our lack of objectivity, we do make progress. That is why I think it fails, because the evidence demonstrates that without objctivity we still go somewhere.

I am not having faith in my bias, I am checking my conclusions against the conclusions of others and seeing how it holds up. So far, I think my conclusions (say, that the evidence for god is insufficient) is holding up. I'm simply holding a position that seems most likely.

Quote:
Let’s take this one step further, given your position, your conclusion that all data will be skewed and all analysis will be biased is based on skewed data and biased analysis. You see, you are asserting as true something that your postion says you can't know to be true.

This is another way to state the classic criticism of relativism I've been talking about. "If nothing is true, then how can you say that the statement 'nothing is true' is true?" Relativists don't say nothing is true, they say that if things are true, our ability to know it seems limited, so we may never, in fact, know what's true. It makes no claim that the statement itself is true, just that it seems to be the best explanation to fit their experiences. The pragatist goes a step further and says that they'll accept whatever seems to work well.

Quote:
So, from my position, I can say with complete certainty that your position is 100%, necessarily, unavoidably self-stultifying, and therefore, via the laws of logic, false.

G. Brady Lenardos

If you still believe that, you are still looking at the issue through the tinted lenses of an absolutist. If you don't demand absolute certainty, you won't recieve absolute nihilism. If you demand a better theory, you'll (hopefully) eventually get one.

What you assume is what you conclude. If you assume the dichotomy of objectivity/meaninglessness, you'll one or the other. If you assume you don't have any possibility of objectivity, you may never conclude anything, but you'll find some interesting theories as you go along. Some of them may actually be true, as well.

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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Hi Shaun, ShaunPhilly

Hi Shaun,

ShaunPhilly wrote:

There is another consideration here. I would say that the example partially fails because of the reasoning behind atheism is not really so much a positive assertion of any objective truth so much as a recognition (this word appears biased even to me) that the evidence for god(s) doesn't seem sufficient. If we were to frame the example in such a way as to say that Phil walked away from the evidence and found it lacking (that god(s) exist) while Tom found the evidence convincing (that god(s) exist), then I think your point might be the same, but the perspective shifts.

That is fine, I think you will see as we go on this doesn’t change the problem. The example could have been about anything.

ShaunPhilly wrote:
The significance of this shift is that we can ask what exactly is the difference between Tom and Phil that allows them to conclude differently concerning this question--a fascinating question I think. And if I'm interpreting your question correctly, your point is that in either case--whichever way we decide (with the Toms or Phils of all the questions) we cannot be sure, thus either decision is essentially faith-based.

Yes, quite correct.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

This is one of the most common criticisms of atheism I have seen in my years of debate with theists. The simple answer is that Phil's lack of belief, his inability to accept the evidence as evidence for God, is simply a lack of belief. It cannot be faith because it doesn't assert anything, it merely rejects a proposition-a theory to explain data.

As I said before, it is not his atheism that is in question, but his conclusion. He is asserting that the evidence is insufficient. Since all conclusions are based on skewed data and biased methodology, that conclusion is based on skewed data and biased methodology. Therefore, his conclusion can’t provide us with knowledge, his conclusion becomes nothing more than his statement of faith.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

Faith, as I use it, is the belief in something despite lack of evidence for it. If Tom believes in god because of evidence, then there really is a discussion. I have never seen such evidence.

You have already admitted that your viewing of the evidence is skewed and any analysis of it is biased. How do you know the evidence is not their in front of your very eyes? Given your position you have no way of knowing. The idea that there can be real evidence and that you have the ability to recognize it, comes from my position. It is called “an objective viewing of the evidence.” There is no equivalent in your position.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

I am a relativist, obviously, but more appropriately a pragmatist. Your interpretation, as an objectivist/absolutist/whatever-you-call-your-philosophy-ist is that relativism makes it impossible to have any certainty and thus everything is equally valid; I get it.

Actually, it makes everything equally invalid, loosely speaking. I say that because valid and invalid are deductive terms, but I think we understand each other.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

But as has already been said, a conclusion that you wouldn't desire does not make the conclusion correct. Further, this is not what is concluded from my view anyway, as my view only identifies the problem in epistemology, but does not say that this lack in our ability to gain information does not imply that there is not actually a correct conclusion--only that it's really hard (and perhaps in some cases, impossible) to determine what that conclusion is.

I have already agreed that someone can come to a correct conclusion by accident. I would disagree with the second part of your statement. It is not only hard to determine if the conclusion has any truth value, it is impossible. For, any attempt to evaluate the truth value of a conclusion will be skewed and biased itself and can do no more than produce another skewed and biased conclusion.

I understand that you may not like that implication, but your position makes is necessary. For if any of your conclusions can be not skewed and unbiased, then any and all of them can and we wouldn’t need to mess around with the skewed and biased ones in the first place.

Zorro wrote:
You had an interesting phrase at the end of your post. It read, “Skewed evidence is better than faith any day.” Take a look at that example. From your position, your reliance on any conclusion based on skewed data and biased analysis is 100% pure blind faith. From your position there is no way to determine the truth or falsity of any conclusion, so all conclusions are accepted by faith alone. And that faith would be in one's own preconceived positions. From your position, the data and methodology becomes merely a farce to impose your own bias on others, while pretending that bias is rational

ShaunPhilly wrote:

I've already addressed the question of faith. Again, the fact that bias exists does not mean that any conclusion is as valid as another. [C] If I claim that my interpretation of history is that the Aztec defeated the Spanish, no amount of bias on the part of someone arguing the opposite would make my argument more valid. [C] You are right that there is a standard that allows us to look past bias and determine, with some level of certainty, that certain events occured, certain ideas are better than others, etc. [C] This doesn't mean the bias disapears, it just has less of an impact. [C] The level of bias is one of the many relative factors. The amount of data, how well corroborated it is, etc are others. When we get into fine points about subtle questions, determining the "truth" of the matter becomes more difficult. [C]

Shaun, in the above paragraph you have a number of assertions. I will assume that you think you have reasons for them, so I will call them conclusions. I have marked them with a [C]. From your position, all of them are just as skewed and biased as any and all other conclusions. Their truth value remains unknown. Any of them that are true are so accidentally and can never be known to be true. Your position asserts that all conclusions are skewed and biased, that includes ALL of yours.

Here is the bottom line: From your position every point you make is biased, every fact you present is skewed and the truth value of any conclusion you draw is unknowable. This takes us to the next level: Your position, if true, makes communication impossible. You see, from your position, every time I read one of your conclusions, I necessarily read my own bias and skewing into it. There is no way for me to know if anything I read of yours is correctly understood by me. And, of course, the same is true vice versa.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

I think the best way to explain what I think is the crux of the matter is this; in many cases where a methodology is applied to data, the facts will ultimately lead to an agreeable conclusion. This is why the vast majority of people believe that Einstein actually existed and developed some brilliant physics theories, and why very few people believe that the Loch Ness monster exists. We believe these things with a very high level of certainty.

Surely you are not saying that 50,000 Frenchmen can’t be wrong? Your position already tells us why all those people believe the same as you: They hold the same skewing and bias as you do. Consensus doesn’t make a conclusion true; it doesn’t even make it more likely. But do they really agree with you or are you just skewing your reading of them? You can never know.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

With some people, bias plays a large part in their decision making, and they believe things that the facts simply do not support.

This assumes that someone somewhere can objectively view the facts and then objectively compare them to someone else’s conclusions. Your position says no such person exists. And if such a person did exist, you would have no way of knowing who it is. It would also be the case that any conclusion he came to would be skewed by you and you would add your own bias when you read it. Therefore, you have no possible way of knowing if your above statement is true.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

This is what this site calls being irrational. The extent to which this type of bias plays a part in people's lives differs in degrees.

So you say, from your skewed and bias position.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

For some, this type of bias may be very small, and for most questions, plays a negligible part in their decision making. Ultimately, on a very precise level, everything they experienced will be colored by bias, but you are correct that the (what you call 'objective' and what I call 'intersubjective') facts will lead to the rational conclusion. Bias is still there, just not as prevalent.

So you say, from your skewed and biased position.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

For others, bias will play a mediocre role. Perhaps they are completly capable of good decison making for most things, but a few things simply stick due to some bias (such as fear or other strong emotion) and they simply cannot see the data as it relates to other data and make irrational conclusions.

So you say from your skewed ad biased position.

I think you get the picture.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

It was sloppy of me to use the word "must." I should say that it fails because it does not allow us to get off the ground.

So, in your world is “it fails” any less certain than “it must fail”?

ShaunPhilly wrote:

The dichotomy asks us to do something we cannot do. Objectivity is impossible.

Do you know that objectively or are you merely expressing your bias?

ShaunPhilly wrote:

So if the only alternative to it is meaninglessness, then we can't do anything more. I'm not a nihilist, and I think the dichotomy overlooks the fact that despite our lack of objectivity, we do make progress. That is why I think it fails, because the evidence demonstrates that without objectivity we still go somewhere.

You haven’t proven that “without objectivity we still go somewhere,” or “Objectivity is impossible.” You simply assert them. They are part of your statement of faith. And as we have seen , from your position you can’t prove them, because, from your position, you can’t prove anything.

Zorro wrote:
Let’s take this one step further, given your position, your conclusion that all data will be skewed and all analysis will be biased is based on skewed data and biased analysis. You see, you are asserting as true something that your position says you can't know to be true.

ShaunPhilly wrote:
This is another way to state the classic criticism of relativism I've been talking about. "If nothing is true, then how can you say that the statement 'nothing is true' is true?" Relativists don't say nothing is true, they say that if things are true, our ability to know it seems limited, so we may never, in fact, know what's true. It makes no claim that the statement itself is true, just that it seems to be the best explanation to fit their experiences.

The problem is, if you go over your own post, you have made dozens of truth claims. In the above couple of paragraphs you have declared as true “without objectivity we still go somewhere,”, “Objectivity is impossible,” and regarding my position, that “it fails.” Nowhere do you ever state, “I really don’t know if this is true, it’s just my best guess based on my skewing of the data and imposing my biases.”

But you can’t get out of the dilemma. You write, “Relativists don't say nothing is true, they say that if things are true, our ability to know it seems limited, so we may never, in fact, know what's true.” Is that statement true?

ShaunPhilly wrote:
If you still believe that, you are still looking at the issue through the tinted lenses of an absolutist.

Is that statement true and do you know its true?

ShaunPhilly wrote:
If you don't demand absolute certainty, you won't receive absolute nihilism

Is that statement true and do you know its true?

ShaunPhilly wrote:
What you assume is what you conclude.

From your position, that includes everyone, including yourself and that statement.

G. Brady Lenardos


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caseagainstfaith wrote:zorro

caseagainstfaith wrote:
zorro wrote:

So, from my position, I can say with complete certainty that your position is 100%, necessarily, unavoidably self-stultifying, and therefore, via the laws of logic, false.

I was wondering how it is that the "laws of logic" show his position to be false, even if you are correct that it is "self-stultifying"? As far as I can tell, you've been raising claims of undesirable consequences of Shaun's position, and then saying that means it must be false. But showing undesirable consequences of a proposition doesn't make it false.

A self-stultifying position violates the law of non-contradiction and the law of excluded middle.

You still affirm the laws of logic don't you?


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zorro wrote:You haven’t

zorro wrote:
You haven’t proven that “without objectivity we still go somewhere,” or “Objectivity is impossible.” You simply assert them. They are part of your statement of faith. And as we have seen , from your position you can’t prove them, because, from your position, you can’t prove anything.

That was what my very first post was all about. You seem to have missed the point.

If we are subjects, thus have a subjective point of view, how do we get objectivity? Where does it come from?

We communicate (that is, we actually do. Look, I'm doing it right now). Therefore, we can call this intersubjectivity. It is the communication of multiple subjects, thue the "inter-" part of the word.

We do have answers. Whether they are actually true or not is irrelevant; we actually have them. All of my conclusions and your s are evidence of this. We don't have evidence that they are correct, at least not absolutely. But using communication and our subjective powers, we can figure out which ones work better.

You keep insisting on this objective method and objective (biasless) perspective. My simple question is where it comes from. Who has it. What person, or group of people, are not subjects?

Until you can answer that, the statement taht we get somewhere without objectivity holds. That is, it must hold until some objective perspective is demonstrated. That is, until the statement "objectivity is impossible" is disproven, the other statement ("we get somewhere without objectivity") holds.

Your whole response to me was a continuation of the misunderstanding of the position of relativism. ou still insist that the statements it makes are supposed to be absolute/true. You still insist that I say so from my own biased and skewed point of view.

That's exactly the point. taht's all I can do. But we still have answers that make more sense than others, not from an objective point of view, but one based on imperfect methodologies. It's all we have. Wanting more won't get them for you.

Sorry.

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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ShaunPhilly wrote: We

ShaunPhilly wrote:

We communicate (that is, we actually do. Look, I'm doing it right now).

Since the necessary implication of your position is that you can't know if communication is happening, any communication that you claim is happening is a demonstration that your position is false.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

Therefore, we can call this intersubjectivity. It is the communication of multiple subjects, thus the "inter-" part of the word.

That’s a nice story. To bad it is based on bias and skewed data, and therefore unknowable.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

We do have answers. Whether they are actually true or not is irrelevant; we actually have them. All of my conclusions and your s are evidence of this. We don't have evidence that they are correct, at least not absolutely. But using communication and our subjective powers, we can figure out which ones work better.

Well, thanks for sharing your skewed and biased opinion, but from your position, there is no reason that I or anyone else should accept it as anything other than your skewed and biased opinion.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

You keep insisting on this objective method and objective (bias less) perspective. My simple question is where it comes from. Who has it. What person, or group of people, are not subjects?

Once again you equivocate on the meaning of subjectivity. The word has numerous meanings. You insist on skewing two of those meanings. The fact is, you have used other words that have more than one meaning in this thread, and you have kept those meanings separate. So, why do you insist on skewing together two of the meanings of this word? There is no necessary connection between you being a subject and you imposing your bias on a conclusion.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

Until you can answer that, the statement taht we get somewhere without objectivity holds. That is, it must hold until some objective perspective is demonstrated. That is, until the statement "objectivity is impossible" is disproven, the other statement ("we get somewhere without objectivity") holds.

Once again, here we have truth claims that insist on certitude. Actually, none of that is logically necessary, and from your view it is just a skewed and biased statement that has no knowable truth value. So, forgive me if I completely and utterly reject it.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

Your whole response to me was a continuation of the misunderstanding of the position of relativism. You still insist that the statements it makes are supposed to be absolute/true. You still insist that I say so from my own biased and skewed point of view.

I have only repeated what you have written on several occasions in this thread.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

That's exactly the point. that’s all I can do. But we still have answers that make more sense than others, not from an objective point of view, but one based on imperfect methodologies. It's all we have. Wanting more won't get them for you.

In these last few lines you made no less than four assertions of certain truth, while insisting there is no certain truth.

Let me help you with this: There is nothing you can write that, given your position, can not be completely dismissed as skewed and biased. That is the heart of your position. Next all assertions are assertions of truth. The statement, you can’t know any truth with certainty, is a truth statement with certainty. It is a universal negative statement. That means it must be true in all instances or it is false. But the statement itself is an instance where it is not true.

In other words, your position is self-stultifying. Self-stultifying positions are irrational positions of the worse and most obvious kind.

So, you have a choice: hold on to an irrational position or discard the irrational position. The choice is yours


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Here is how I look at it,

Here is how I look at it, though perhaps I'm over-simplifying. Say we were both looking at an analog spedometer of a car. I say it says 58 mph, Bob says it says 57 mph. Which is right? Or is it maybe between the two, 57.5 mph? And say we were to look at the speedometer with a more and more precise microscope to where we get it down to, say, 57.55556 mph. Is that right? What if we get an even finer microscope? Eventually, we will hit upon quantum limitations to where we can't say exactly where the needle is. There literally is no EXACT answer as to what the speedometer reads.

But, some answers are better than other answers. If we ask 100 people, and 90 of them say 57 or 58, and the other 10 say it is somewhere between 55 and 60, it is fair to say an answer of 57 is a lot better answer than if one odd person somehow says 22. We can use probability and statistics to determine some answers are better than others even if there isn't any one exact answer.

That's the way I see it.


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zorro wrote: : ShaunPhilly

zorro wrote:
:

ShaunPhilly wrote:
I'm going to say this as clearly and unambiguously as I can.

The point is, if your position is true, no matter how “clearly” or “unambiguously” you try to communicate something, the reading of it (i.e. data gathering) is going to be skewed and the analyzing of it (i.e. the method used to draw conclusion about what is written) is going to be tainted by biases. So, the conclusion (i.e. the understanding of what is read) may or may not have much to do with what you wrote or meant, no matter how clear or unambiguous you tried to be.

And here we have lenardos's false dichotomy:

Either we have 'objective certainty' or complete nihilism

Lenardos is incapable of moving past this childish dichotomy, because he lacks any understanding of what 'subjectivity' and 'intersubjectivity' actually mean.

What he thinks is 'objective' is actually intersubjective. If and when he ever works this out for himself, he'll be able to realize his errors here.

Quote:

Moreover, if your position is true there is no way for me to know how close I have come to understanding what you meant

Pick up a dictionary and look up the word 'clarification' Lenardos.

Quote:

So, when you read Kant (and yes, I have), did you read Kant or did you just read your biases into Kant? Since the information is skewed automatically and subconsciously, how could you possibly know?

Your position is completely self-stultifying and makes any and all knowledge impossible.

LOL And here we have his priceless repetition of his error....

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ShaunPhilly wrote:...the

ShaunPhilly wrote:
...the primary function of this thread, since you (Brady) began posting here to debate the topic, has been this false dichotomy of objective/"no value" (as todangst put it early on).

Yes. His entire argument is based on his flawed understanding of what the terms subjective and inter-subjective actually mean. As long as he holds to the false dichotomy of 'obejctive certainty' or 'absolute chaos" he'll continue to make the same errors here.

Quote:

I agree with this criticism, and have tried to support why this dichotomy must fail for reasons based in epistemology. I feel like I've made my point, but for whatever reason you (Brady) do not seem to agree.

I don't think he's able to agree because that would require him to actually learn a bit about what he's arguing over...

zorro wrote:
We are talking about taking necessarily skewed data, processing it through a necessarily biased analysis, and then consistently reaching accurate conclusions.

Quote:

Yes, you are correct, we are. I think that he simple way to say it is that despite the necessary skewed and biased nature of epistemology, and therefore the subsequent effects on our interpretation of data and how it is collected into a conclusion, accurate conclusions are still possible.

based on the fact that we humans don't need 'perfect' answers.

If I want to determine whether a new desk will fit in my office, I don't need a perfect measure, I only need a measure within a certain margin of error.

This is how most human problems work: we only need meet a specified criteria - not 'perfection'

Brady's error is akin to holding to the idea that there is either perfection of measure, or utter and complete inability to know anything at all about the measure.

The mere fact that inductive statements are in doubt is not a reason to reject an inductive statement. This is basic error put forth by theists time and time again. Here we see yet another version of the same old error. The fact that we can doubt a conclusion is confused as a need to doubt everything entirely. The fact that we cannot be certain is confused as the belief that we cannot know anything.

Quote:

That is, concerning a specific question (say, the existence of Jesus as an historical figure), we can possibly determine which is the more accurate historical position to take. The lack of certainty here has more to do with lack of data, but the interpretation of extant data will also play a part. It is simply plain that someone of faith may more likely interpret data x differently than someone else.

Precisely. Hence here is the value of considering and examining bias in research.

zorro wrote:
Here is the problem for you: You believe your conclusions are highly accurate. You also believe that your subjectivity skews the data and biases the process. So, you believe that both can be true, because you already believe both.

Quote:

Notice how you didn't say absolutely accurate or even simply "accurate"? That's the point. Despite the biases and skewing (which may be small or large in terms of their influences, the exact amount is never really known), we can still often have a highly accurate conclusion.

Thus, when you say

zorro wrote:
The truth is that they are contradictory. If your conclusions are highly accurate, your subjectivity cannot skewing the data and biasing the process. If your subjectivity is skewing the data and biasing the process, your conclusions can’t be consistently highly accurate,

Quote:

you are incorrect. Again, this critique is based on this dichotomy which is the basis for this disagreement.

Well put.

Quote:

You finish by saying

Quote:
...your conclusions can’t be consistently highly accurate, and if by accident some of them are, you could never know it.

Well, do we ever really fully know if our conclusions are correct (especially in historical matters)? You said that "we are not talking about “complete knowledge” or “absolute knowledge,” yet you seem to be talking as if the problem with my points are that we might not be correct. That is, while you say "highly accurate," it seems like you mean to say "(absolutely) accurate." That is, you would be right if you were saying that the skewing and bias makes it impossible to be absolutely accurate (and you would be right), but that is not my claim.

Right. He continually overstates the situation... his definition of 'objective' is too strong, his definition of 'subjective' is too weak. His understanding of induction is flawed - he overstates its abilities.

And he vastly overstates the concept of inductive uncertainty as if it implied utter epistemological chaos.

Quote:

My claim is that we can have highly accurate conclusions despite bias. How high our accuracy is may never be known, but the real question is how high is the accuracy compared to other conclusions (based on the data we have, skewed or not). The fact that there are disagreements only shows that the skewing and bias must exist, otherwise we would all come up with the same answers. Debate has to do with (intersubjectively) trying to get to the best answer possible, given our limited ability to be perfect.

So, we might have biased and skewed conclusions, but are your more skewed and biased or are mine more skewed and biased. That's the question. The fact that we may not be able to be sure one way or the other does not bother me so much as the fact that the people who tend to be sure about their conclusions tend to base that certainty on faith rather than skewed evidence.

Skewed evidence is better than faith any day.

Precisely.

Until lenardos works out his errors, we'll see the same errors posted and reposted ad nauseum.

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

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zorro wrote:caseagainstfaith

zorro wrote:
caseagainstfaith wrote:
zorro wrote:

So, from my position, I can say with complete certainty that your position is 100%, necessarily, unavoidably self-stultifying, and therefore, via the laws of logic, false.

I was wondering how it is that the "laws of logic" show his position to be false, even if you are correct that it is "self-stultifying"? As far as I can tell, you've been raising claims of undesirable consequences of Shaun's position, and then saying that means it must be false. But showing undesirable consequences of a proposition doesn't make it false.

A self-stultifying position violates the law of non-contradiction and the law of excluded middle.

This just demonstrates your error: you've created a false dichotomy.

I won't even get into your 'understanding' of logic, seeing as you've just made it clear by your statements that you never studied it....(for those who want to know why, just ask in PM)

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

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I wrote:You keep insisting

I wrote:
You keep insisting on this objective method and objective (bias less) perspective. My simple question is where it comes from. Who has it. What person, or group of people, are not subjects?

zorro wrote:
Once again you equivocate on the meaning of subjectivity. The word has numerous meanings. You insist on skewing two of those meanings. The fact is, you have used other words that have more than one meaning in this thread, and you have kept those meanings separate. So, why do you insist on skewing together two of the meanings of this word? There is no necessary connection between you being a subject and you imposing your bias on a conclusion.

Sigh, this is getting really tiresome.

Let's try to put this little semantic quibble behind us and move on. If you were being honest, you would admit you know what I mean (or that you don't!) and address the issue (or ask what I mean). By "subject" here I mean an individual, a person, a being with conscious perspective, etc. This is how the term is used in philosophical language, especially existentialism. But, for the sake of argument, and to avoid this equivocation, let's call this being an individual.

Because this 'individual' is epistemologically separated from the rest of the world--that is he/she is not able to see phenomena from the perspective of other beings--it has a unique and limited source of information about the world. Due to imperfect hardware (the brain and its neural interconnections, icluding connections to sense organs), this being's unique, individual, spacio-temporally located processing mechanism for doing things like methodologies and inductive reasoning is simply flawed. It does not process the information from the world directly; that is, without the influence of pattern-creating, mistake-prone, and illusion/delusion-prone processes.

To a large degree, however, it does allow us to view the world relatively accurately. Otherwise, it probably would not have allowed us to survive the process of evolution, and we would be extinct. We know it works well enough to represent reality around us sufficiently to navigate the world. At the same time, there are some things the brain does that makes us conclude things erroneously. These are related to pattern-recognition processes gone in over-drive, and seeing, for example, purpose and intent in the non-animated world. It allows us to project our own experiences of consciousness onto non-embodied things, as well. Nietzsche also talked about how the concept of truth is based in error. With this I agree. If you are not familiar with Nietzsche, we'll just leave that alone as it involves too much explanation.

So that's the individual (or what I was calling the "subject" earlier).

The experience of being an individual among other individuals allows us to percieve that our conscious experience must differ from that of other similar beings. We can then conclude that what it is like to be me is not what it is to be like you. It simply seems like a safe bet. My brain is slightly different, I have different experiences, thus there would be differences. My set of experiences at time t would be called my conscious state, and my general experiences might be called, say my own personal individual experiences. For short, lets call it subjective experience. Call it whatever you want.

With our ability to make sounds, gestures, and marks on paper in addition to our ability to hear, see, and even feel, we can come up with symbols, signs, etc to stand for simple concepts. As we get better at it, we can get more refined at this "language" (we have to call it something). This process is also subject (and this time I am using the term in a different manner, I hope you are able to make the distinction) to these flaws in our brain-based perception, and we sometimes do not communicate very well. But when dealing with epistemologically separated individual symbol-based interaction (we could all this, say "inter-individualization" or something like that; perhaps "intersubjectivity" is better yet).

You cannot, and still be intellectually honest, avoid the fact that in no experience of any person on any planet in any galaxy that there is a possibility of objectivity. Even if telepathy were possible, this only extends the boundary of the subjective experience, If the whole universe shared one single consciousness, this would still be a subjective experience.

Objective experience is an absurd concept. It's like saying my perspective of my not-perspective. A does not equal ~A. My perspective cannot be that of something outside of myself. If it were, it would be part of me.

So if you hold that without objectivity, no communication or certainty is possible, then that must mean that you are not communicating nor are you even capable of even the least certain of conclusions. I might go as far as to say any perception of the world might even be impossible. You must be imagining your own thoughts. Descartes would be ashamed of you.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

Until you can answer that, the statement taht we get somewhere without objectivity holds. That is, it must hold until some objective perspective is demonstrated. That is, until the statement "objectivity is impossible" is disproven, the other statement ("we get somewhere without objectivity") holds.

zorro wrote:
Once again, here we have truth claims that insist on certitude.

Um, no. It is simply based on an imperfect methodology. It is not a truth claim so much as it is an observation of some function of the world metaphysicalized (that is, by use of our mental powers of abstraction and projection) into an idea about how to explain what the world does.

It's just like saying that a scientific theory tries to explain the world rather than identify universal laws. In fact, that is almost perfectly analogous to the point in this discussion.

zorro wrote:
Actually, none of that is logically necessary, and from your view it is just a skewed and biased statement that has no knowable truth value. So, forgive me if I completely and utterly reject it.

Youa re allowed to reject anything you like. But if you are going to reject it, reject it on its merits, not on the fact that you are continually trying to make this cute point about whatever I say being simply my own bias. The point is moot because it misunderstands what I'm saying. Your smarmy deflections of the actual question is not fooling me (or anyone else, methinks).

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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Well, I think we are likely

Well, I think we are likely at an impasse, where Lenardos won't budge from his all-or-nothing position, and I don't think he's likely to change our positions.

What might be interesting, though it might be a different thread, would be to discuss, say, the historical evidence for the crucifixion of Jesus. And assume that "objective" means to minimize one's bias, whether or not it can be eliminated. Lenardos has this habit of insisting that my arguments along the lines used in this thread are just some kind of smoke screen to avoid admitting that there is good evidence for the Resurrection. But that isn't true. Even if we limit the discussion to the natural events, thereby bypassing the issue of validation of the supernatual, I believe an "objective" (meaning minimal bias) review of the data shows that there isn't good evidence of even the crucifixion.

Now, this point is, I concede, more debatable. There are indeed many skeptics that would disagree with my position, and would insist that there was a historical Jesus that was crucified for his teachings. After all, they might say, the Gospel stories must have come from somewhere. And crucifixions did occur. So, there is basic plausibility to the idea. Yet, I argue that is still not sufficient to say that the crucifixion is "well attested to". In other wods, there is sufficient reason to doubt the crucifixion of Jesus was a historical event.


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ShaunPhilly wrote:You keep

ShaunPhilly wrote:
You keep insisting on this objective method and objective (bias less) perspective. My simple question is where it comes from. Who has it. What person, or group of people, are not subjects?

zorro wrote:
Once again you equivocate on the meaning of subjectivity. The word has numerous meanings. You insist on skewing two of those meanings. The fact is, you have used other words that have more than one meaning in this thread, and you have kept those meanings separate. So, why do you insist on skewing together two of the meanings of this word? There is no necessary connection between you being a subject and you imposing your bias on a conclusion.

ShaunPhilly wrote:
Sigh, this is getting really tiresome.

I agree. The reason it is getting tiresome is because you just keep making the same assertions without showing how you get from point A (your preconditions) to point B (your conclusions). Take the following for example:

ShaunPhilly wrote:
Let's try to put this little semantic quibble behind us and move on. If you were being honest, you would admit you know what I mean (or that you don't!) and address the issue (or ask what I mean). By "subject" here I mean an individual, a person, a being with conscious perspective, etc. This is how the term is used in philosophical language, especially existentialism. But, for the sake of argument, and to avoid this equivocation, let's call this being an individual.

Because this 'individual' is epistemologically separated from the rest of the world--that is he/she is not able to see phenomena from the perspective of other beings--it has a unique and limited source of information about the world. Due to imperfect hardware (the brain and its neural interconnections, including connections to sense organs), this being's unique, individual, spacio-temporally located processing mechanism for doing things like methodologies and inductive reasoning is simply flawed. It does not process the information from the world directly; that is, without the influence of pattern-creating, mistake-prone, and illusion/delusion-prone processes.

Here you have set out your precondition or working premise, if you prefer.

ShaunPhilly wrote:
To a large degree, however, it does allow us to view the world relatively accurately.

Here we have you conclusion. You will notice that there is no in-between. You have not shown how you get from flawed reasoning and mistake prone, illusion and delusion laden data to us having conclusions about the world with some good degree of accuracy.

But you try to offer some explanation:

ShaunPhilly wrote:
Otherwise, it probably would not have allowed us to survive the process of evolution, and we would be extinct. We know it works well enough to represent reality around us sufficiently to navigate the world.

The problem is that this doesn’t connect your precondition to your initial conclusion. This explanation is only an extension of your conclusion.

Let me simplify your above position:

1) Our data is flawed and our process for coming to conclusions is mistake prone and delusion/illusion prone.
2) Given 1) we can come to generally accurate conclusions.
3) We can tell our conclusions are accurate because if they weren’t we wouldn’t have survived.

If you feel I have misrepresented your above writings, please let me know.

You will notice that there is no argument connecting 1) to 2). Throughout this thread you have not given one, and there is no necessary or natural connection between 1) and 2). One might even say that as it stands, there is a disconnection. At first blush, it might occur to a reader that it is unreasonable to say that if all our data is flawed and our process is mistakes and delusion prone that any accurate conclusion, other than one accidentally occurring, would be possible.

Now, let’s take another precondition and exchange it for yours:

1) It is possible to limit the skewing of data to where it has no effect on the conclusion and it is possible to limit our bias to where it has no effect on our conclusion (this we call objectivity).
2) Given 1) we can come to generally accurate conclusions.
3) We can tell our conclusions are accurate because if they weren’t we wouldn’t have survived.

You will notice that regardless of the precondition, the extension of the conclusion still follows from the conclusion. There is no difference in either example, because the extension is not based on the precondition, but on the conclusion. So, the extension cannot be evidence of the truth of the precondition, it can only be evidence of the truth of the conclusion (if it can even do that).

You will notice something interesting about this second example. It seems that the conclusion flows from the precondition. If the data was not adversely skewed and the process used to reach a conclusion was not adversely biased, one would expect to have fairly accurate conclusions. If you were to apply Ockham's Razor to the above, which precondition would you say would win the day?

The second problem with your above position is that any case you make to bridge the precondition and the conclusion will self-stultify. As I have stated before if all data is flawed and all arguments are mistaken prone and delusion/illusion prone, so will your argument be. You can never know if your argument really gets you to your conclusion. Even if by chance some of your data is not flawed, you have no way to know which data is and which is not; your precondition does not allow you to know. If by chance your argument is not mistaken, you have no way to know that; your precondition does not allow you to know.

Simply because you believe your precondition and you believe your conclusion, doesn't mean that your conclusion actually follows from your precondition. In fact, it does not (or at least you can never know if it does).

The only real method you have to get from 1) to 2) is fideism.

Let’s stop here. I will address the rest of your post later, but I think if we can work through these two points we could actually make some progress.

G. Brady Lenardos


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ShaunPhilly wrote:I

ShaunPhilly wrote:
I wrote:
You keep insisting on this objective method and objective (bias less) perspective. My simple question is where it comes from. Who has it. What person, or group of people, are not subjects?

zorro wrote:
Once again you equivocate on the meaning of subjectivity. The word has numerous meanings. You insist on skewing two of those meanings. The fact is, you have used other words that have more than one meaning in this thread, and you have kept those meanings separate. So, why do you insist on skewing together two of the meanings of this word? There is no necessary connection between you being a subject and you imposing your bias on a conclusion.

Sigh, this is getting really tiresome.

It was tiresome two pages ago.

Quote:

Let's try to put this little semantic quibble behind us and move on. If you were being honest, you would admit you know what I mean (or that you don't!) and address the issue (or ask what I mean). By "subject" here I mean an individual, a person, a being with conscious perspective, etc. This is how the term is used in philosophical language, especially existentialism.

Lenardos wouldn't know that.... he doesn't even know how to use the terms properly at all.

Quote:

But, for the sake of argument, and to avoid this equivocation, let's call this being an individual.

Because this 'individual' is epistemologically separated from the rest of the world--that is he/she is not able to see phenomena from the perspective of other beings--it has a unique and limited source of information about the world. Due to imperfect hardware (the brain and its neural interconnections, icluding connections to sense organs), this being's unique, individual, spacio-temporally located processing mechanism for doing things like methodologies and inductive reasoning is simply flawed. It does not process the information from the world directly; that is, without the influence of pattern-creating, mistake-prone, and illusion/delusion-prone processes.

To a large degree, however, it does allow us to view the world relatively accurately.

This is Lenardos' sticking point.... he's not capable of grasping that it's not an either/or dichotomy, because he's simply not versed in this subject matter.

Quote:

Otherwise, it probably would not have allowed us to survive the process of evolution, and we would be extinct. We know it works well enough to represent reality around us sufficiently to navigate the world. At the same time, there are some things the brain does that makes us conclude things erroneously. These are related to pattern-recognition processes gone in over-drive, and seeing, for example, purpose and intent in the non-animated world. It allows us to project our own experiences of consciousness onto non-embodied things, as well. Nietzsche also talked about how the concept of truth is based in error. With this I agree. If you are not familiar with Nietzsche, we'll just leave that alone as it involves too much explanation.

So that's the individual (or what I was calling the "subject" earlier).

The experience of being an individual among other individuals allows us to percieve that our conscious experience must differ from that of other similar beings. We can then conclude that what it is like to be me is not what it is to be like you. It simply seems like a safe bet. My brain is slightly different, I have different experiences, thus there would be differences. My set of experiences at time t would be called my conscious state, and my general experiences might be called, say my own personal individual experiences. For short, lets call it subjective experience. Call it whatever you want.

With our ability to make sounds, gestures, and marks on paper in addition to our ability to hear, see, and even feel, we can come up with symbols, signs, etc to stand for simple concepts. As we get better at it, we can get more refined at this "language" (we have to call it something). This process is also subject (and this time I am using the term in a different manner, I hope you are able to make the distinction) to these flaws in our brain-based perception, and we sometimes do not communicate very well. But when dealing with epistemologically separated individual symbol-based interaction (we could all this, say "inter-individualization" or something like that; perhaps "intersubjectivity" is better yet).

You cannot, and still be intellectually honest, avoid the fact that in no experience of any person on any planet in any galaxy that there is a possibility of objectivity. Even if telepathy were possible, this only extends the boundary of the subjective experience, If the whole universe shared one single consciousness, this would still be a subjective experience.

Objective experience is an absurd concept. It's like saying my perspective of my not-perspective. A does not equal ~A. My perspective cannot be that of something outside of myself. If it were, it would be part of me.

So if you hold that without objectivity, no communication or certainty is possible, then that must mean that you are not communicating nor are you even capable of even the least certain of conclusions. I might go as far as to say any perception of the world might even be impossible. You must be imagining your own thoughts. Descartes would be ashamed of you.

This all goes over his head.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

Until you can answer that, the statement that we get somewhere without objectivity holds. That is, it must hold until some objective perspective is demonstrated. That is, until the statement "objectivity is impossible" is disproven, the other statement ("we get somewhere without objectivity") holds.

zorro wrote:
Once again, here we have truth claims that insist on certitude.

Quote:

Um, no. It is simply based on an imperfect methodology. It is not a truth claim so much as it is an observation of some function of the world metaphysicalized (that is, by use of our mental powers of abstraction and projection) into an idea about how to explain what the world does.

It's just like saying that a scientific theory tries to explain the world rather than identify universal laws. In fact, that is almost perfectly analogous to the point in this discussion.

zorro wrote:
Actually, none of that is logically necessary, and from your view it is just a skewed and biased statement that has no knowable truth value. So, forgive me if I completely and utterly reject it.

Quote:

Youa re allowed to reject anything you like. But if you are going to reject it, reject it on its merits, not on the fact that you are continually trying to make this cute point about whatever I say being simply my own bias. The point is moot because it misunderstands what I'm saying. Your smarmy deflections of the actual question is not fooling me (or anyone else, methinks).

Lenardos isn't capable of any other tactic here, because he doesn't understand any of the concepts he attempts to debate....

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

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caseagainstfaith wrote:Well,

caseagainstfaith wrote:
Well, I think we are likely at an impasse, where Lenardos won't budge from his all-or-nothing position,

Because he doesn't know any better. His posts have proven your points Case: lenardos doesn't have a clue as to what he's talking about....

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

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zorro wrote:Here we have you

zorro wrote:
Here we have you conclusion. You will notice that there is no in-between. You have not shown how you get from flawed reasoning and mistake prone, illusion and delusion laden data to us having conclusions about the world with some good degree of accuracy.

Yes, he has shown this, and so has everyone else in this thread. The point has been made to you, ad nauseum. It just goes over your head. I'll try yet again:

The fact that our conclusions may be imperfect is immaterial because our standards for 'correct' do not require perfection to begin with. So you operate from a false presumption.

We live in a world where 'good enough' more than suffices. Therefore, your continued error here is to assume that the 'imperfection and error' in the inductive process can be equated with "hopeless chaos' - utter nihilism, complete lack of utility. You continually reassert this childishly dichotomized version of the concepts of subjectivity and objectivity, as well as induction and deduction and you continually fail to see that the standards you've set are what keep you from recognizing the true picture here.

There is no need for a 'perfect' result, so the fact that induction is imperfect does not matter. What matters is 'good enough' as per human need, which itself is defined by humans.

If, for example, I need a stick of wood '3 feet long' and through my imperfect ways come up with a stick that is actually 2.99939393939939 feet long, this stick will still suit my puproses, just as a stick that is actually 3.0000010101 feet long will suit them as well.

So your problem here is that you are unable to recognize that your question has been answered, and your inability to see this again stems back to your flawed conceptualization of terms like subjective and objective as well as terms like deductive and inductive.

So you'll notice that the supposed 'missing connection' actually only exists in your flawed presumptions.

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todangst wrote: Because he

todangst wrote:

Because he doesn't know any better. His posts have proven your points Case: lenardos doesn't have a clue as to what he's talking about....

Yeah, well, I knew that... Eye-wink


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zorro wrote:Let me simplify

zorro wrote:
Let me simplify your above position:

1) Our data is flawed and our process for coming to conclusions is mistake prone and delusion/illusion prone.
2) Given 1) we can come to generally accurate conclusions.
3) We can tell our conclusions are accurate because if they weren’t we wouldn’t have survived.

I don't want to keep up this idiocy. I just wanted to say that this attempt to crystalize my point was very off the mark. These are disconnected because I wa snot arguing that they were. i was saying that despite our imperfect perception of the world, we also happen to stil have relatively accurate conclusions. i was not saying that one led to the other.

It would be a waste of my time to try and explain. I really feel like I'm talking to some know-it-all teenager who thinks that because he understands some sophomoric and unsophisticated idea that if I say differently, I'm simply misunderstanding his point. I know this because I work with teenagers.

It's like trying to explain non-euclidean geometry to someone who just discovered geometry and is insisting that all triangles have a total of 180 degrees of internal angles.

"Yes you are correct, unless you consider something beyond the limit of scope you are willing to consider...." I might say. But they'd pound the table and insist, and insist, and insist.....

If we want to shift and discuss something else, I'll contribute, but I'm done with this topic. Thanks for the conversation, gentlemen.

Shaun

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ShaunPhilly wrote: I'm going

ShaunPhilly wrote:
I'm going to say this as clearly and unambiguously as I can.

zorro wrote:
The point is, if your position is true, no matter how “clearly” or “unambiguously” you try to communicate something, the reading of it (i.e. data gathering) is going to be skewed and the analyzing of it (i.e. the method used to draw conclusion about what is written) is going to be tainted by biases. So, the conclusion (i.e. the understanding of what is read) may or may not have much to do with what you wrote or meant, no matter how clear or unambiguous you tried to be.

todangst wrote:

And here we have lenardos's false dichotomy:

Either we have 'objective certainty' or complete nihilism

I bet when you wrote that you thought to yourself, “Boy, that sure sounds good!” And it does sound good. It is just too bad it has nothing to do with reality. When all you have is a self-stultifying position all you can do is either lie about your position or lie about my position. In this case you chose to lie about my position. “Objectivity” and “objective certainty” are two different things. The former deals with how we approach an argument or a study, the latter has to do with the quality of the conclusion. I have never said anything about objective certainty, except perhaps the implication of it in math. I have certainly (he he) never used it in connection with inductive studies.

On the other hand, the positions you have proposed here does, in principle and in fact, lead to nihilism.

todangst wrote:

Lenardos is incapable of moving past this childish dichotomy, because he lacks any understanding of what 'subjectivity' and 'intersubjectivity' actually mean.

What he thinks is 'objective' is actually intersubjective. If and when he ever works this out for himself, he'll be able to realize his errors here.

The problem is it is a childish dichotomy that you made up. My position has been clearly stated. You just don’t like it. Too bad, get over it. You can’t defend your position, so you misrepresent mine and attack that made up position. This fallacy is called, “ A Straw man argument.” This is the kind of nonsense you find in freshmen debate club.

zorro wrote:

Moreover, if your position is true there is no way for me to know how close I have come to understanding what you meant

todangst wrote:

Pick up a dictionary and look up the word 'clarification' Lenardos.

And which dictionary would that be? The last time we looked at a dictionary, you told me that all the dictionaries were wrong! I am beginning to see how your subjectivity affects you view of dictionaries. This is a perfect example for all to see of how you allow your subjective view to influence your conclusions. Let me put it is simple language:

When a dictionary agrees with todangst, his conclusion is, “Dictionary good.”
When a dictionary disagrees with todangst, his conclusion is, “Dictionary bad.”

I guess when dictionaries agree with you they are an unimpeachable source; and when they disagree with you, they are easily disposed in the nearest trash can.

But let’s get back to your position and its big, big problems. Even with all your many pages of writing, you failed to provide the link that Shaun could not provide. Show how skewed data and a biased process produce an accurate conclusion and not a skewed and bias conclusion. There is an old saying among programmers: GIGO, Garbage In, and Garbage Out. I guess they found out that if you input bad data or have a bad program, the results are going to be bad. Who would have thought it?

Oh, by the way, when we are talking about “skewed data,” we are not talking about sense perception limitations. That is another discussion. You are the one who insisted on the example of the Likert scale. It’s kind of hard to screw up that data collecting scale, even with bad vision and you don’t need a tape measure that measures to the 15th decimal place.

G. Brady Lenardos


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zorro wrote: On the other

zorro wrote:

On the other hand, the positions you have proposed here does, in principle and in fact, lead to nihilism.

Well, if you mean that we can't know anything *for certain*, you are correct. I don't know if you are a Presuppositionalist or not, but some of your arguments sound like Presuppostionalism. I'm a "presuppostonalist" of sorts, I believe that we all presuppose that our senses give us usable information about our world, even knowing that they have faults and limitations. Can I prove it? No, I can't. I can't prove I'm not a brain in a vat. I assume or presuppose that I'm not.

But, of course, neither can you. You can't prove you're not a brain in a vat either. You can't prove that your senses give any useful information at all. Yet it seems to be the best answer given the evidence. The apparant effectivess of using my senses to navigate my world is sufficient evidence that it is probably the case that my senses are a useful tool. But I am mindful that my senses can be fooled. But its all I've got for "data input".

If you wish to insist that my lack of certainty of my environment leads to nihlism, so be it. But you have nothing else yourself. Every time you've been challenged to show how you can be "objective" in they way you've claimed, you've had no answer. You just insist that otherwise leads to nihlism. That isn't an answer as to how you get your alleged true objectivism.


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zorro wrote: On the other

zorro wrote:

On the other hand, the positions you have proposed here does, in principle and in fact, lead to nihilism.

zorro wrote:

On the other hand, the positions you have proposed here does, in principle and in fact, lead to nihilism.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
Well, if you mean that we can't know anything *for certain*, you are correct.

No, Paul, that is not what I mean. I mean that given your position you can know nothing at all. Given your position, if anything you say you “know” has any correspondence to reality, it is merely an accident.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
I don't know if you are a Presuppositionalist or not, but some of your arguments sound like Presuppostionalism. I'm a "presuppostonalist" of sorts, I believe that we all presuppose that our senses give us usable information about our world, even knowing that they have faults and limitations. Can I prove it? No, I can't. I can't prove I'm not a brain in a vat. I assume or presuppose that I'm not.

It sounds like a presuppositional argument because TAG and the problem we have been dealing with here have atheistic self-stultifying positions in common.

Please, we are not talking about brains in a vat; we are discussing the necessary implications of your “presupposition.” You and your colleagues have stated over and over that all data is necessarily skewed, all methods are necessarily biased, and that somehow, magically, the conclusions based on skewed data and biased methods turn out to be extremely accurate. I say “magically,” because, based on your premise, it would seem that the conclusion would be skewed and biased (i.e. inaccurate), but in your scenario, the opposite is true. And just like a magician, none of you can or will explain how the magic works. The other problem would be that any explanation would be based on skewed data and biased methods, which makes the explanation suspect. And of course any further attempt to “clarify” (todangst’s word) the initial explanation would also be suspect for the same reasons, and on and on it goes. Do you get the picture?

The only way to demonstrate your position is true is to do it from my position. But if you CAN do it from my position, your position must be false, for they are contradictory positions. This is what is known in logic as an indirect derivation. By proving a contradiction at the heart of a position contradictory to my own, my position is proved. If you have never studied sentential (propositional) logic, this might seem difficult to understand, but I assure you the conclusion follows necessarily.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
You can't prove that your senses give any useful information at all. Yet it seems to be the best answer given the evidence.

The difference is that my position allows for the possibility of knowledge, your does not. Therefore, any evidence for knowledge is evidence for my position, and evidence against your position.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
If you wish to insist that my lack of certainty of my environment leads to nihlism, so be it. But you have nothing else yourself. Every time you've been challenged to show how you can be "objective" in they way you've claimed, you've had no answer. You just insist that otherwise leads to nihlism. That isn't an answer as to how you get your alleged true objectivism.

Actually, I have answered your question on numerous occasions, you just didn’t like the answer. Let’s look at our positions side by side:

Paul: Objectivity does not exist. Only subjectivity does exist.
Brady: Both objectivity and subjectivity exist.

Paul: All data must be skewed.
Brady: Data may or may not be skewed.

Paul: All methods of analysis must be biased.
Brady: Methods may or may not be biased.

Paul: Our conclusions are generally and mostly accurate, regardless of skewing and bias.
Brady: Conclusions where the data is not skewed and methods are not biased are accurate. The more skewing and bias that occurs, the more inaccurate the conclusion. Once again, it is possible to have an accurate conclusion with much skewing and bias, but the conclusion in this case is accurate by mere accident.

You have already admitted that your position is false when you admitted that math was objective. You admitted that adding 2+2=4 had no skewed data, and the method was not biased. You may say, “Oh, that is just math!” But it does prove that not ALL data must be skewed and ALL methods must be biased. That is all I need to show, in order to show your position false.

From my view, the rules of induction in the disciplines of Science, Law and History are there to help eliminate skewing and bias. The rules of induction are there to bring us to objectivity. From my position, there are times (far too many) when data is skewed and methods are biased, but they don’t have to be. The more skewing we get rid of and the more bias we eject from the mix, the more purposefully accurate the results.

Objectivity also does not mean the necessary elimination of all skewing and all bias. It just means that skewing and bias are sufficiently suppressed, so they will not effect the conclusion in any way.

This has been my position in all my writings to you. I believe that it is possible for you to collect and view the evidence for the resurrection without skewing it, and I believe you can use a method of analysis of that evidence that is unaffected by your bias or the bias of others. I believe I know what the conclusion of that process will be. That is all that I have asked you to do.

Up until now you have denied that was possible. I think I have proven your position is necessarily false. I hope you will reconsider.

G. Brady Lenardos


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zorro wrote:

zorro wrote:

If you have never studied sentential (propositional) logic, this might seem difficult to understand, but I assure you the conclusion follows necessarily.

I took one semester, 20 years ago. If I ever have lots of free time (yeah, right) I'd like to go back and take more logic and philosophy.

zorro wrote:

Please, we are not talking about brains in a vat;

Basically you just proved my points! You dismissed the "brain in a vat" hypothesis without consideration. You assume it isn't true, even though you cannot prove it. Which means you have the same "presuppostions" I do. Which means you agree with me despite your protestation to the contrary. If you disagree with me, then go ahead, prove you are NOT a brain in a vat. You have to either do this, or concede that I am correct. Or dodge.

zorro wrote:

I mean that given your position you can know nothing at all. Given your position, if anything you say you “know” has any correspondence to reality, it is merely an accident.

So you assert again and again, despite being shown to be incorrect over and over again. Re-read my speedometer analogy again -- which you so far haven't responded to at all. The fact that there is no EXACT reading on the speedometer does not mean that there is no information available at all. You can't deal with this, other than to assert the contrary.

zorro wrote:

Actually, I have answered your question on numerous occasions, you just didn’t like the answer.

And then you did the same thing again, attacking my position rather than prove your position. How can subjective beings eliminate subjectivity?

zorro wrote:

The more skewing we get rid of and the more bias we eject from the mix, the more purposefully accurate the results.

Exactly. Of course. Absolutely.

zorro wrote:
Objectivity also does not mean the necessary elimination of all skewing and all bias. It just means that skewing and bias are sufficiently suppressed, so they will not effect the conclusion in any way.

wtf :ROTF:

Which, accroding to you, if you don't eliminate *all skewing* and *all bias*, you can never know if it effects the conclusion in any way! Which means, according to you, utter nihlism.

Ding. Thanks for playing. Come back when you've got a new game to play.


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zorro wrote: Please, we are

zorro wrote:

Please, we are not talking about brains in a vat;

caseagainstfaith wrote:

Basically you just proved my points! You dismissed the "brain in a vat" hypothesis without consideration. You assume it isn't true, even though you cannot prove it. Which means you have the same "presuppostions" I do. Which means you agree with me despite your protestation to the contrary. If you disagree with me, then go ahead, prove you are NOT a brain in a vat. You have to either do this, or concede that I am correct. Or dodge.

This is what is called a red herring. The answer to the brain in a vat question, regardless of which way it goes, it does not solve your problem. So, since you can’t give an answer to your problem, you try to change the subject. I’ll tell you what, I’ll hypothetically ascent to any position you want regarding the brain in a vat. Now show how skewed data and bias methods yield anything other than a skewed and biased conclusion.

If you go with the brain in vat theory, skewed data and biased methods won’t yield accurate conclusions, because there is no such thing as data, methods or conclusions. If nothing actually exists as we know it, your position is necessarily false.

If you go with the position that says we are not brains in vats, you still have to provide the proof. Something you cannot do. So, either way you lose.

And yes, if we are just brains in a vat, then I am wrong too! Where does that get you? Is this where your position forces you to go? Must you deny all reality in an attempt to redeem your position? An attempt that in the end still falsifies your position?

It seems that if the options are, Brady is right or we are all just brains in vats, you would happily embrace the latter. And this you believe is the “rational response.”

zorro wrote:

I mean that given your position you can know nothing at all. Given your position, if anything you say you “know” has any correspondence to reality, it is merely an accident.

caseagainstfaith wrote:

So you assert again and again, despite being shown to be incorrect over and over again. Re-read my speedometer analogy again -- which you so far haven't responded to at all. The fact that there is no EXACT reading on the speedometer does not mean that there is no information available at all. You can't deal with this, other than to assert the contrary.

You just don’t get it. When we are talking about skewed data, we are not talking about sense perception limitations. Go back to the beginning of this discussion and read what we are talking about in regards to skewed data, its not sense perception limitations.

You can easily solve your problem by getting a digital speedometer.

zorro wrote:

Actually, I have answered your question on numerous occasions, you just didn’t like the answer.

caseagainstfaith wrote:

And then you did the same thing again, attacking my position rather than prove your position. How can subjective beings eliminate subjectivity?

How many times do I have to point out the equivocation? I tell you what, instead of using the words “subjective” and “subjectivity” in the above sentence, write out and replace them with what you mean by those words. Then read it back. See if it doesn’t sound as stupid to you, as it does to me, and if you can’t immediately see the answer.

zorro wrote:
Objectivity also does not mean the necessary elimination of all skewing and all bias. It just means that skewing and bias are sufficiently suppressed, so they will not effect the conclusion in any way.

caseagainstfaith wrote:

Which, accroding to you, if you don't eliminate *all skewing* and *all bias*, you can never know if it effects the conclusion in any way! Which means, according to you, utter nihlism.

Actually, you are once again wrong. In my view objectivity is possible. In my view a conclusion may be skewed and biased, but it doesn’t have to be. Even if a conclusion is biased, in my view, it is still possible to objectively analyze an argument, spot any skewing or bias and remove it.

The problem lies in your position. All conclusions must be skewed and bias and so must any analysis. This leads to utter nihilism.

G. Brady Lenardos


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zorro wrote: This is what is

zorro wrote:
This is what is called a red herring.
The answer to the brain in a vat question, regardless of which way it goes, it does not solve your problem.

From Mr. Red Herring himself! The relevancy of the brain in a vat theory is it deals with the limits of what we know, and what we must assume. And if we are wrong in our assumptions, there is nothing we can do. But, we should endeavor to assume as little as possible, and not assume things which don't warrent being assumed.

zorro wrote:

If you go with the brain in vat theory, skewed data and biased methods won’t yield accurate conclusions, because there is no such thing as data, methods or conclusions. If nothing actually exists as we know it, your position is necessarily false.

If I'm a brain in a vat, my assumptions are wrong, and therefore the I arrive at eroneous conclusions. My position is not rendered "false", more like inapplicable. But so is your position. Its just as inapplicable as my posiition, if not more so. For my position acknwedges the reliance on the assumption that I'm not a brain in a vat. Your position relies on "magic knowledge" (one of your terms) that you are not a brain in a vat. (I do enjoy refuting you with your own phrasings...)

zorro wrote:

You just don’t get it. When we are talking about skewed data, we are not talking about sense perception limitations.

Its not all of it, but it is part of it. The rest of it is the interpretation of those sensory input. What does, for example, Zorro mean when he says, "we are not talking about sense perception limitations." We have shared, though not identical, understandings of these words.

zorro wrote:

You can easily solve your problem by getting a digital speedometer.

Brady, the universe is analog. The digital speedometer doesn't change that fact, it just does the "subjective" (I'm meaning impefect) judgement of the speed instead of you. There is some wiindow where whether it will say "57" or "58" is indeterminate. But the fact that it is imperfect doesn't mean it is no information at all.

zorro wrote:

Actually, you are once again wrong. In my view objectivity is possible. In my view a conclusion may be skewed and biased, but it doesn’t have to be. Even if a conclusion is biased, in my view, it is still possible to objectively analyze an argument, spot any skewing or bias and remove it.

After having opened the proverbial Pandora's Box, you are trying to shove it closed again. You have stated over and over again that if you have subjectivity or bias, then the results are necessarily unreliable, only accurate by pure coincidence. But in your prior post, you said it could have some bias, as long as it was minimal enough that if didn't affect the results. Which isn't all that terribly different from what we've been saying all along. So, which is it?

You said it required having "magic knowledge" to get accurate results from skewed data. So, where is your "magic knowledge" for how you can know that the bias is sufficiently minimal to prevent it from affecting the results?


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caseagainstfaith wrote: If

caseagainstfaith wrote:

If you wish to insist that my lack of certainty of my environment leads to nihlism, so be it.

Is Lenardos STILL repeating that error?

Unbelievable....

No, I take that back.. completely believable. Case, this guy doesn't have a clue as to what he's talking about....

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

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zorro wrote:ShaunPhilly

zorro wrote:
ShaunPhilly wrote:
I'm going to say this as clearly and unambiguously as I can.

zorro wrote:
The point is, if your position is true, no matter how “clearly” or “unambiguously” you try to communicate something, the reading of it (i.e. data gathering) is going to be skewed and the analyzing of it (i.e. the method used to draw conclusion about what is written) is going to be tainted by biases. So, the conclusion (i.e. the understanding of what is read) may or may not have much to do with what you wrote or meant, no matter how clear or unambiguous you tried to be.

todangst wrote:

And here we have lenardos's false dichotomy:

Either we have 'objective certainty' or complete nihilism

I bet when you wrote that you thought to yourself, “Boy, that sure sounds good!” And it does sound good.

It does. Now, can you figure out that this DOES apply to your argument?

Quote:
The positions you have proposed here does, in principle and in fact, lead to nihilism.

No, the reality is that your oversimplified, overly dichotomized misunderstandings of the terms are what lead you to this error.

You tend to oversimply issues to the point of error.

todangst wrote:

Lenardos is incapable of moving past this childish dichotomy, because he lacks any understanding of what 'subjectivity' and 'intersubjectivity' actually mean.

What he thinks is 'objective' is actually intersubjective. If and when he ever works this out for himself, he'll be able to realize his errors here.

Quote:

The problem is it is a childish dichotomy that you made up. My position has been clearly stated. You just don’t like it.

Lenardos, notice how you again oversimplify the situation. I do not simply 'dislike' your points. In fact, I've demonstrated why your definitions of the terms are in error, and all you've done is avoided dealing with what I've said. In addition, Sean has pointed out your false dichotomy for you. I advise you to read his post again.

zorro wrote:

Moreover, if your position is true there is no way for me to know how close I have come to understanding what you meant

todangst wrote:

Pick up a dictionary and look up the word 'clarification' Lenardos.

Quote:

And which dictionary would that be? The last time we looked at a dictionary, you told me that all the dictionaries were wrong!

I was ready to call you a liar here, but I am prepared to believe that you honestly, don't understand what I actually said. What I told you was that it was an error to use a definition that was out of context with the current topic.

Quote:

I am beginning to see how your subjectivity affects you view of dictionaries.

Again, you don't understand what the word 'subjective' actually means. You confuse it for chaos, irratioalism or intransigence.

Quote:

When a dictionary agrees with todangst, his conclusion is, “Dictionary good.”
When a dictionary disagrees with todangst, his conclusion is, “Dictionary bad.”

When Lenardos isn't able to follow the actual point, he bastardizes it into some oversimplified dichotomized version that loses the actual point entirely.

At first I thought you were simply being intransigent... but at this point, I'm fully prepared to accept that you are forced to boil things down to such childish simplicity. So, for posterity, I will merely repeat the obvious: What I said was that it is a basic error in scholarship to apply an out of context definition to a discussion. We can call this a fallacy of equivocation.

Quote:

But let’s get back to your position and its big, big problems.

You've failed to point out any problems in my posts to you. In fact, you've failed to demonstrate even a basic understanding of any of the terms used here. You still don't know what the terms 'subjective' and 'objective' actually mean.

Finally, you've failed to even attempt to deal with the corrrections I've presented to you.

You really don't know what you're talking about, and it shows.

And that's what we are all saying to you here. We're not disagreeing with you out of some personal intransigence, we're pointing out to you that you don't have a clue as to what you're talking about. That's the point you keep missing....

Now go and oversimplify that....

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

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caseagainstfaith wrote:zorro

caseagainstfaith wrote:
zorro wrote:
This is what is called a red herring.
The answer to the brain in a vat question, regardless of which way it goes, it does not solve your problem.

From Mr. Red Herring himself! The relevancy of the brain in a vat theory is it deals with the limits of what we know, and what we must assume.


Isn't it painful having to point out the very point of your arguments to him?

zorro wrote:

You just don’t get it. When we are talking about skewed data, we are not talking about sense perception limitations.

Quote:

Its not all of it, but it is part of it. The rest of it is the interpretation of those sensory input. What does, for example, Zorro mean when he says, "we are not talking about sense perception limitations." We have shared, though not identical, understandings of these words.

Right, because perfection is not required.... a concept that alludes mr. Lenardos.

zorro wrote:

You can easily solve your problem by getting a digital speedometer.

Quote:

Brady, the universe is analog. The digital speedometer doesn't change that fact, it just does the "subjective" (I'm meaning impefect) judgement of the speed instead of you. There is some wiindow where whether it will say "57" or "58" is indeterminate. But the fact that it is imperfect doesn't mean it is no information at all.

Yes. Again and again the 'painfully obvious' must be presented to Mr. Lenardos.

zorro wrote:

Actually, you are once again wrong. In my view objectivity is possible. In my view a conclusion may be skewed and biased, but it doesn’t have to be. Even if a conclusion is biased, in my view, it is still possible to objectively analyze an argument, spot any skewing or bias and remove it.

Quote:

After having opened the proverbial Pandora's Box, you are trying to shove it closed again. You have stated over and over again that if you have subjectivity or bias, then the results are necessarily unreliable, only accurate by pure coincidence. But in your prior post, you said it could have some bias, as long as it was minimal enough that if didn't affect the results. Which isn't all that terribly different from what we've been saying all along. So, which is it?

LOL Very nice, Case. Now watch and see who's the one being intransigent here....

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zorro wrote: This is what is

zorro wrote:
This is what is called a red herring.
The answer to the brain in a vat question, regardless of which way it goes, it does not solve your problem.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
From Mr. Red Herring himself! The relevancy of the brain in a vat theory is it deals with the limits of what we know, and what we must assume. And if we are wrong in our assumptions, there is nothing we can do. But, we should endeavor to assume as little as possible, and not assume things which don't warrent being assumed.

The problem has always been with what you assume and the necessary implications of those assumptions. The BIAV theory and your necessarily skewed and biased conclusions have the same necessary implications: nihilism. The assumption of objectivity does not lead to nihilism, but allows for knowledge.

The logic is simple, if you want to maintain BIAV or your necessarily skewed and biased conclusions theory, then you can’t know anything. If you assert that you know something, then BIAV and your necessarily skewed and biased conclusions theory is necessarily false. That doesn’t change because you don’t like it.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
If I'm a brain in a vat, my assumptions are wrong, and therefore the I arrive at eroneous conclusions. My position is not rendered "false", more like inapplicable. But so is your position. Its just as inapplicable as my posiition, if not more so. For my position acknwedges the reliance on the assumption that I'm not a brain in a vat. Your position relies on "magic knowledge" (one of your terms) that you are not a brain in a vat. (I do enjoy refuting you with your own phrasings...)

Actually, if you are a BIAV, only your position could be wrong. I wouldn’t exist and neither would my position. You would be doing nothing more than talking to yourself. So, you haven’t refuted me. But, if you aren’t a BIAV, then I have forced you into taking the utterly stupid position that being a BIAV is a real option and for some reason you think it is your only way out.

What is your real position? Do you think that if I can’t somehow prove that you are not a BIAV, that your skewed and biased conclusion theory is somehow redeemed? Do you think that the inability to disprove BIAV means that all epistemic positions are equally true? Do you think that this is a rational response?

zorro wrote:

You just don’t get it. When we are talking about skewed data, we are not talking about sense perception limitations.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
Its not all of it, but it is part of it. The rest of it is the interpretation of those sensory input. What does, for example, Zorro mean when he says, "we are not talking about sense perception limitations." We have shared, though not identical, understandings of these words.

You just keep stepping in it don’t you? How do you know our understanding is not identical? In order to know that, you would have to know exactly what your understanding is and exactly what my understanding is and you would have to be able to objectively compare those understandings to conclude that our understandings were not identical. But according to you, your data is skewed and your comparison is biased. So, your conclusion that “We have shared, though not identical, understandings of these words” is skewed and biased. But, it is really worse than that. You didn’t use any data or method to draw that conclusion, it is just a blatant assertion, based on what you already believe to be true.

zorro wrote:

You can easily solve your problem by getting a digital speedometer.

caseagainstfaith wrote:
Brady, the universe is analog. The digital speedometer doesn't change that fact, it just does the "subjective" (I'm meaning impefect) judgement of the speed instead of you. There is some wiindow where whether it will say "57" or "58" is indeterminate. But the fact that it is imperfect doesn't mean it is no information at all.

Here we go again! What is this, the fifth definition of “subjective?” You change your definition of “subjective” more often than a newborn baby changes diapers, and for the same reason. I tell you what, why don’t you, Todagnst and Shaun (if he wants) get together and figure out what you mean by “subjective” in the context of our discussion. When you do, send me an email, let me know and we will continue. Until then, my point has been proven. Since you have to change the definition of the subject being debated, it is obvious that it is done because the current definition has been defeated. In your case, it has been defeated and changed up to about five times.

Adios

Z


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zorro wrote: I tell you

zorro wrote:

I tell you what, why don’t you, Todagnst and Shaun (if he wants) get together and figure out what you mean by “subjective” in the context of our discussion. When you do, send me an email, let me know and we will continue. Until then, my point has been proven.

I figured that sooner or later you'd get tired of having your ass handed to you and would pick a lame excuss to leave. I just didn't quite expect it to be *that* lame. You did notice I put "subjective" in quotes, which is a standard methodology to indicate you are going to using the word in a figurative manner. You know that, I know that. It was the cheapest, silliest excuse to pack up your marbles and run home I've seen in a long time.

And, for the record, while me, Shawn and Todangst generally agree on the subject of this thread, none of us are responsible for the others and have no obligation to present a consistent argument. It so happens that I believe that we generally have done so, but we have no obligation to do so.

zorro wrote:

Actually, if you are a BIAV, only your position could be wrong. I wouldn’t exist and neither would my position. You would be doing nothing more than talking to yourself.

Oh come now, you know what was meant. The meaning was that if I was a BIAV, and held your position, it would be at least as wrong if not more wrong than being a BIAV and holding my position. For I acknowledge that I have the assumption of not being a BIAV and acknowledge that my conclusions are based on that assumption, rather than relying on "magical knowledge" that I'm not a BIAV.

So long, Zorro. Bring your whip next time.


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I suppose Brady would like

I suppose Brady would like me to say that we can't discuss what we mean by subjective because of the problem of subjectivity. This way he could come back with something like "see, you don't even know what you mean by subjective, so you can't accuse me of being obtuse by not understanding it."

Of course, that would completely miss the point, and the rest of us would be (figuratively) sitting around looking at one-another with looks of amazement on our faces.

I thnk the fact that we're having so much trouble communicating, which happens in most conversations, is even more to the point that our imperfect methods and epistemological states have to rely on variably accurate impressions of the world.

I mean, it's not like we are saying that the world does not actually exist and that we are not able to have any perception of it, only that we have imperfect perceptual gear. All you have to do is look at how the brain actually handles the data it processes, and you'd see there is a lot of pre-conscious interpretation, filling in, and leaving out. That, and the fact that our methodologies are ultimately based on a limited knowledge of how the world works leads to a necessary incomplete picture of the world.

[sarcasm]
But yeah, he's right. We must be nihilists. Now that we've admitted we can't know anything, we might as well accept the most ludicrous claims; like Christianity.

[/sarcasm]

Anyway, I can't wait to see what falls off the cart next.

Shaun

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todangst wrote: And here we

todangst wrote:

And here we have lenardos's false dichotomy:

Either we have 'objective certainty' or complete nihilism

zorro wrote:
I bet when you wrote that you thought to yourself, “Boy, that sure sounds good!” And it does sound good.

todangst wrote:

It does. Now, can you figure out that this DOES apply to your argument?

So, the question today is, is todangst permanently stuck on stupid or did he intentionally misrepresenting my position? Yes, I agree that the above false dichotomy is indeed false, but it is your false dichotomy, not mine; as I explained in the very next two sentences of my post that you didn’t quote, that is not my position.

So, is this what is thought to be “rational” here at the rational response squad? Since you can’t defeat my argument, you misrepresent it, then cherry pick half a quote out of context and say I agree with you?

Well, I think I have the answer to the question of the day. For you to intentionally misrepresent my position in both of the above cases, you would have to be beyond stupid, because anyone can go back, read the thread and see that false dichotomy was not my position and that I wasn’t agreeing with you on the second point.

If all you can do is misrepresent positions, you can play that game with someone else; you’re not worth talking to. If this is the apex of the rational thought at the rational response squad, then Christianity has nothing to worry about.

Z


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zorro wrote:

zorro wrote:

So, the question today is, is todangst permanently stuck on stupid or did he intentionally misrepresenting my position? Yes, I agree that the above false dichotomy is indeed false, but it is your false dichotomy, not mine; as I explained in the very next two sentences of my post that you didn’t quote, that is not my position.

He didn't quote any more as it wasn't terribly enlightening. But, I'll go ahead and quote the section I believe you are speaking of:

zorro wrote:
I bet when you wrote that you thought to yourself, “Boy, that sure sounds good!” And it does sound good. It is just too bad it has nothing to do with reality. When all you have is a self-stultifying position all you can do is either lie about your position or lie about my position. In this case you chose to lie about my position. “Objectivity” and “objective certainty” are two different things. The former deals with how we approach an argument or a study, the latter has to do with the quality of the conclusion. I have never said anything about objective certainty, except perhaps the implication of it in math. I have certainly (he he) never used it in connection with inductive studies.

On the other hand, the positions you have proposed here does, in principle and in fact, lead to nihilism.

This is the section you refer to, right? I am aware that you have said that "objective" form of study does not lead to certainty of conclusion. What you don't get is that it is you that aren't keeping your definitions straight. If by using an "objective" approach to a study you mean that you have endeavored to mininize the bias in a subjective area of study, you don't get exactly one answer for you never can remove all bias.

What you are doing is taking an attribute of an actually objective measure, that there is exactly one answer, and expecting that attribute to stick to subjective studies by magically applying "objectivity".

Really, its not that complicated. Seriously. Its not that complicated.


caseagainstfaith
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zorro wrote: So, the

zorro wrote:

So, the question today is, is todangst permanently stuck on stupid or did he intentionally misrepresenting my position?

P.S. Todangst is a doctoral student and is anything but stupid. Granted, there have been times when I felt his communication could stand improvement--but, in this particular case, the communication problem seems to be on your end as I don't think anybody else is having any trouble understanding.


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ShaunPhilly wrote:I suppose

ShaunPhilly wrote:
I suppose Brady would like me to say that we can't discuss what we mean by subjective because of the problem of subjectivity. This way he could come back with something like "see, you don't even know what you mean by subjective, so you can't accuse me of being obtuse by not understanding it."

Of course, that would completely miss the point, and the rest of us would be (figuratively) sitting around looking at one-another with looks of amazement on our faces.

I thnk the fact that we're having so much trouble communicating, which happens in most conversations, is even more to the point that our imperfect methods and epistemological states have to rely on variably accurate impressions of the world.

I mean, it's not like we are saying that the world does not actually exist and that we are not able to have any perception of it, only that we have imperfect perceptual gear.

Precisely, but this simple point will always go over Lenardos' head, because of his inability to define the terms 'subjective' and 'objective' correctly.

Quote:

All you have to do is look at how the brain actually handles the data it processes, and you'd see there is a lot of pre-conscious interpretation, filling in, and leaving out.

Precisely, and this influences the creation of categories, which in turn influences our ability to be 'objective'

Quote:

That, and the fact that our methodologies are ultimately based on a limited knowledge of how the world works leads to a necessary incomplete picture of the world.

[sarcasm]
But yeah, he's right. We must be nihilists. Now that we've admitted we can't know anything, we might as well accept the most ludicrous claims; like Christianity.

[/sarcasm]

Anyway, I can't wait to see what falls off the cart next.

Shaun

Lol

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todangst wrote, zorro dodged

zorro wrote:
todangst wrote:

And here we have lenardos's false dichotomy:

Either we have 'objective certainty' or complete nihilism

zorro wrote:
I bet when you wrote that you thought to yourself, “Boy, that sure sounds good!” And it does sound good.

todangst wrote:

It does. Now, can you figure out that this DOES apply to your argument?

So, the question today is, is todangst permanently stuck on stupid or did he intentionally misrepresenting my position?


Or.. here's a third option: that you don't know how to properly define the terms 'subjective' and 'objective' and that your flawed conceptualizations of those terms actually do lead you to a conclusion that even you, yourself recognize as ridiculous.

Allow me to demonstrate my point:

Either we have 'objective certainty' or complete nihilism

Your sense of the term 'objectivity' is more akin to 'objective certainty' than the actual reality of inter-subjectivity - that's the point of the 'scare quotes' around 'objective certainty' - i.e. that your definition basically leads you to something akin to certainty.

Here, just look:

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.

But your definition is too strong. Objective processes themselves rely on processes such as categorization or operationizing - processes that are intersubjective. The way you phrase the concept does lead to a sort of 'certainty' that objective processes do NOT actually grant! We can't even make sense of the world at all without some preconception - some set of categories to break down the stream of consciousness into something sensible!

PS: 'Proofs' have to do with deductive processes.

And as for your sense of the term 'subjectivity' - your sense of the term just leads to nihilism.... So without realizing it, you are in fact affirming 'either 'objective certainty' or nihilism'

So this is where your error stems from. Let's continue:

Quote:

Yes, I agree that the above false dichotomy is indeed false, but it is your false dichotomy, not mine; as I explained in the very next two sentences of my post that you didn’t quote, that is not my position.

First of all, YOU complaining about anyone else on earth ignoring your argument is hypocrisy. You've done nothing BUT dodge every refutation given to you! You didn't even concede any of the false dichotomies I demonstrated in your post... you just ran from them.

As for your claims, I didn't quote all of them, but I dealt with all of them. I'll post them all this time to prove it, to show that nothing changes.

Quote:

So, is this what is thought to be “rational” here at the rational response squad? Since you can’t defeat my argument, you misrepresent it,

No one has misrepresented your position. Allow me to prove it here. I will post your entire post, and demonstrate how nothing changes - perhaps you'll even come to see your error - that your claims DO lead to the ridiculous conclusion that even you yourself balk at...

Quote:

I bet when you wrote that you thought to yourself, “Boy, that sure sounds good!” And it does sound good. It is just too bad it has nothing to do with reality. When all you have is a self-stultifying position all you can do is either lie about your position or lie about my position.

You have not demonstrated that my position is self-stultifying. You merely assert it, based on your flawed understanding of the term 'subjective'. If you correct your erroneous perception of the term, the supposed 'self stultifying' nature of the concept disapears.

Quote:

In this case you chose to lie about my position. “Objectivity” and “objective certainty” are two different things. The former deals with how we approach an argument or a study,

I am not lying about your position, but actually showing you that your own misperceptions of the terms lead to the very error I've declared.

We have demonstrated over and over how you define the term incorrectly. Your definitions imply a level of certainty that no inductive process can actually give. Again, your error is at the level of category conceptualization - you fail to realize that processes like categorization and operationizing are inter-subjective.

Quote:

the latter has to do with the quality of the conclusion. I have never said anything about objective certainty, except perhaps the implication of it in math. I have certainly (he he) never used it in connection with inductive studies.

Our discussion has to do with historical artifacts. In this case, there is no such thing as 'objective certainty'. Any inductive claim is necessarily tentative. The only certaintly we have is deductive certainty, so I am glad that you realize that inductive processes cannot lead to certain conclusions. Bully for you.

However, none of this helps you, because again your definition of objective is still too strong as I have already demonstrated above, and your flawed definition does lead you to a conclusion that you yourself do not like. Furthermore, your error is based not only on getting the term 'objective' wrong, but in getting the term 'subjective' wrong as well.

Your definition of 'objective' was in fact too strong - as both Sean and I have pointed out for you, ad nauseum, but your real error comes from the fact that your definition of 'subjective' is too weak, as already pointed out to you numerous times. So it is your flawed understanding of both terms that leads you to your erroneous conclusions. You want to eradicate 'subjectivity' by calling it self stultifying... well, what's left then?

The reality is that what is left is what already actually does exist: the proper understanding of 'intersubjectivity'.

Quote:

But let’s get back to your position and its big, big problems. Even with all your many pages of writing, you failed to provide the link that Shaun could not provide. Show how skewed data and a biased process produce an accurate conclusion and not a skewed and bias conclusion. There is an old saying among programmers: GIGO, Garbage In, and Garbage Out. I guess they found out that if you input bad data or have a bad program, the results are going to be bad. Who would have thought it?

Again, for the 100th time, your error is that you create a false impression of subjectivity... interestingly enough, the terms 'flawed' and 'biased' themselves are subjective... and we can denote this simply by asking "how flawed' and "how biased"... questions that you yourself ought to have asked, for they would have given you the answer you seek:

what matters is how flawed or how biased the process is... whether the flawed, biased process is good enough for helping us solve our current problem. This is basic pragmatism, something a college freshman would know, so I would have forgiven you for not knowing it... except for the fact that both Sean and I have told you about this a dozen times by now.

Again, for the 100th time, here is the example that refutes you - just as it goes sailing over your head: human beings DO NOT REQUIRE PERFECT RESULTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. What we need is 'good enough' as per a current human need. A flawed, biased process may still be good enough.

Pragmatism rules the day - what solves problems is what 'works'

I do not need a measure of perfection - just something good enough.

So your entire argument DOES rest on a childish false dichotomy.... either perfection, or chaos. I am glad that you seem to at least be somewhat aware of your error, as per your acceptance of inducitive uncertainty - but you have not come far enough away from your errors as of yet. The reality is that 'good enough' is what we really need.

So you are not only wrong, but now owe me an apology. NOTHING in my argument has changed. ZERO.

Quote:

Oh, by the way, when we are talking about “skewed data,” we are not talking about sense perception limitations. That is another discussion. You are the one who insisted on the example of the Likert scale. It’s kind of hard to screw up that data collecting scale, even with bad vision and you don’t need a tape measure that measures to the 15th decimal place.

But a Likert scale itself is a subjective measure! And the numbers in such a scale are not even ratio data!! You really don't know what you're talking about here at all.

PS IN the future, be thankful that people don't quote your posts entirely, it actually goes worse for you if they do.

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caseagainstfaith wrote:zorro

caseagainstfaith wrote:
zorro wrote:

So, the question today is, is todangst permanently stuck on stupid or did he intentionally misrepresenting my position?

P.S. Todangst is a doctoral student and is anything but stupid. Granted, there have been times when I felt his communication could stand improvement--but, in this particular case, the communication problem seems to be on your end as I don't think anybody else is having any trouble understanding.

I can understand why he needed to lash out... he at least understands that inductive processes are tentative and that only deductive processes can be certain, so he finds is rather jarring to hear that what he's said here implies either 'objetive certainty' or complete nihilism.... but this basically represents his error vis-a-vis his erroneous understanding of subjectivism

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caseagainstfaith wrote:zorro

caseagainstfaith wrote:
zorro wrote:

So, the question today is, is todangst permanently stuck on stupid or did he intentionally misrepresenting my position? Yes, I agree that the above false dichotomy is indeed false, but it is your false dichotomy, not mine; as I explained in the very next two sentences of my post that you didn’t quote, that is not my position.

He didn't quote any more as it wasn't terribly enlightening. But, I'll go ahead and quote the section I believe you are speaking of:

zorro wrote:
I bet when you wrote that you thought to yourself, “Boy, that sure sounds good!” And it does sound good. It is just too bad it has nothing to do with reality. When all you have is a self-stultifying position all you can do is either lie about your position or lie about my position. In this case you chose to lie about my position. “Objectivity” and “objective certainty” are two different things. The former deals with how we approach an argument or a study, the latter has to do with the quality of the conclusion. I have never said anything about objective certainty, except perhaps the implication of it in math. I have certainly (he he) never used it in connection with inductive studies.

On the other hand, the positions you have proposed here does, in principle and in fact, lead to nihilism.

This is the section you refer to, right? I am aware that you have said that "objective" form of study does not lead to certainty of conclusion. What you don't get is that it is you that aren't keeping your definitions straight. If by using an "objective" approach to a study you mean that you have endeavored to mininize the bias in a subjective area of study, you don't get exactly one answer for you never can remove all bias.

Agreed. But notice that while Lenardos gives lip service to inductive uncertainty that his statements about 'objectivity' do in fact speak lead to something akin to 'objective certainty' i.e. the ability to think without preconceptions, the ability to eliminate bias... all of this would lead one to the 'one right answer'.... and the ability to know the 'thing in of itself' in a literal Kantian sense.

Quote:

What you are doing is taking an attribute of an actually objective measure, that there is exactly one answer, and expecting that attribute to stick to subjective studies by magically applying "objectivity".

Yes, which basically implies 'objective uncertainty'

And we both already know that he's defined subjectivity as a form of nihilsim.

So he has actually employed the dichotomy that I have accused him of employing, and yet his revulsion in response to learning that his claims logically lead to this dichotomy is promising....

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verisimmilitude

Paul indirectly answers" I don't have enough Faith to be an Atheist." Could anyone else here add to his commnent directly about the historiography of that book? The book has plenty of nonsense that fundamentalists use that ought to be discussed here also .

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skeptic griggsy wrote:

skeptic griggsy wrote:
Paul indirectly answers" I don't have enough Faith to be an Atheist." Could anyone else here add to his commnent directly about the historiography of that book? The book has plenty of nonsense that fundamentalists use that ought to be discussed here also .

The line, "I don't have enough Faith to be an Atheist" is a popular catch-phrase of Christians. Its the title of a book, as you note, but I've also heard Christians say that to me as sort of an "F-U atheist!"

I haven't read that specific apologetic. I took a look at the customer reviews on amazon, and it basically sounds like "same old, same old". But, no, I can't give any direct specific information about the book or its claims.