Atheism and the paranormal

KathieG
KathieG's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: 2008-06-12
User is offlineOffline
Atheism and the paranormal

Do you think that an interest in critical investigation of the paranormal is compatable with atheism? Am I a bad atheist because I occasionally watch Ghost Hunters? I enjoy the debunking aspect of it, and I do find that it has some entertainment value for me because I like "spooky" things.


Jello
Posts: 223
Joined: 2007-06-19
User is offlineOffline
It depends on how skeptical

It depends on how skeptical you are. Atheists can believe in ghosts if they want. But they'd be WRONG!!!! WRONG!!!!

Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which one fills up first.


phooney
phooney's picture
Posts: 385
Joined: 2007-02-07
User is offlineOffline
KathieG wrote:Do you think

KathieG wrote:

Do you think that an interest in critical investigation of the paranormal is compatable with atheism? Am I a bad atheist because I occasionally watch Ghost Hunters? I enjoy the debunking aspect of it, and I do find that it has some entertainment value for me because I like "spooky" things.

 

Absolutely.  Everything except belief in a god is compatible with atheism.  You could believe in ghosts, the loch ness monster and a living Elvis and still be an atheist.

It just so happens that many atheists take the same critical approach to other extraordinary claims as they do to god, which results in less belief in these other phenomena as well.

I've always liked scary movies too, and having a good fright.  As a young'n I read lots of books about cryptozoology as well.  Mostly complete crap of course, but very entertaining and you do get the occassional giant squid and coelacanth cropping up. Smiling


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Ghosts ? absolutely NOT ,

Ghosts ? absolutely NOT , but there is you     

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8l4c2yOM4s

Shout at the ghosts/Devil  ((((( superstition  .....

Mötley Crüe Shout at the Devil 1997 American Music Awards

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BWEJChh69A

 

  

 

 

   


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Don't forget Bigfoot.That

Don't forget Bigfoot.

That shit's real.


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
Watcher wrote:Don't forget

Watcher wrote:

Don't forget Bigfoot.

That shit's real.

Damn straight it's real.

I love Bigfoot research. It's the best of what can go wrong with science. The people researching it want it to be true (hell, I want it to be true), and so there's nothing you can do to dissuade them. But they do come up with some great (and fun!) evidence.

I want to go Bigfoot hunting one day. I think it'd be a great family trip.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
atheism is simply the lack

atheism is simply the lack of belief of god

 

I am a materialist, which pretty much implies that I have no belief in the paranormal, magic, supernature, "psychic powers"; to be concise, I reject roughly 1/5th of the definitions in the dictionary.

 However, I do believe there is the possibility of there being "little green men" somewhere in the universe.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Everyone has answered very

Everyone has answered very well, but I figured I'd chime in and agree.  Atheism is literally a non-philosophy.  There are no tenants whatsoever.  Atheism is simply the answer, "NO," to the question, "Do you believe in God?"

I am a rationalist and a materialist, so my position on anything paranormal is "Show me the evidence, and then I'll consider it."  So far, I have seen no convincing evidence, but the beauty of rationalism is that any belief is mutable.  Incidentally, that includes the existence of a god.  So, rationalism doesn't come from atheism, for me.  (And, it's worth noting, as a philosophical argument, it can't.  Strictly speaking, atheism can be derived from rationalism, but the reverse is not true.)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


FulltimeDefendent
Scientist
FulltimeDefendent's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: 2007-10-02
User is offlineOffline
Skepticism is the key thing.

Skepticism is the key thing. There's no list of qualifications that you sign to be an atheist. The "supernatural" should be investigated. Investigation of the so-called supernatural is the best way of finding rational, naturalistic explanations for previously unexplained phenomenon. In other words, what scientists do.

However, I don't think ghosts should be investigated using taxpayer money. UFOs, I can see a more reasonable argument for serious investigation, for although I don't believe in alien visitations, if I happened to be wrong it could be a serious nation- hell, global- security issue. There was a time when I wanted to grow up to be a skeptical UFOlogist, disproving claims of alien encounters.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


iluvc2h5oh
iluvc2h5oh's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: 2006-12-12
User is offlineOffline
KathieG wrote:Do you think

KathieG wrote:

Do you think that an interest in critical investigation of the paranormal is compatable with atheism? Am I a bad atheist because I occasionally watch Ghost Hunters? I enjoy the debunking aspect of it, and I do find that it has some entertainment value for me because I like "spooky" things.

 

Good and bad are adjectives that really cannot apply to being atheist.  Its not like a good driver or a bad cook...there are not really levels of atheism.

 

But I think you are a bad person for watching ghosthunters Smiling lol

 

 

"When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the Land and the Missionaries had the Bible, They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the Land and we had the Bible." - Jomo Kenyatta


DamnDirtyApe
Silver Member
DamnDirtyApe's picture
Posts: 666
Joined: 2008-02-15
User is offlineOffline
I actually recommend an

I actually recommend an interest in the paranormal or pseudoscientific to other atheists.  Shows like Bullshit are a good place to start, though I prefer to get my stuff straight from the tinfoil headed horse's mouth, because it's not like it's hard to find in the internet age.  Sometimes you just need fluff to entertain yourself, and if you can learn about the motivations of the average raisincake, it's all for the good. 

 

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


KathieG
KathieG's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: 2008-06-12
User is offlineOffline
Thanks for the input. I'm a

Thanks for the input. I'm a skeptic...I don't believe in ghosts, but I do enjoy watching those types of programs on occasion for some reason. Most Haunted has a parapsychologist that likes to suck the wind out of everyone's sails. I haven't watched these shows in quite some time, but saw an ad for Ghost Hunters and it brought the issue to mind.

 

 


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
I'd say interest in a

I'd say interest in a "critical investigation of the paranormal" goes quite well with atheism. If I had to guess I woul think the majority of atheists consider "paranormal" things just as nonsensical as religion. Though there are certainly atheists - including one who participates on this site - that believe in all kinds of crazy shit.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
DamnDirtyApe wrote:I

DamnDirtyApe wrote:

I actually recommend an interest in the paranormal or pseudoscientific to other atheists.  Shows like Bullshit are a good place to start, though I prefer to get my stuff straight from the tinfoil headed horse's mouth, because it's not like it's hard to find in the internet age.  Sometimes you just need fluff to entertain yourself, and if you can learn about the motivations of the average raisincake, it's all for the good. 

Definitely.

As entertainment, all that stuff (UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, angels, etc) are fantastic fun (pun not originally intended, but whatever). As human psychology, it's also entertaining on a completely different level.

Then there's the whole drinking game of, "Spot the logical fallacy," or, "Spot the misuse of science." I'd stick to beer or wine, though, 'cause if you're doing shots, you'll be three sheets to the wind by the third commercial break. (That's a fairly good rule-of-thumb for those types of shows -- one sheet per commercial.)

I love all that stuff. Chemtrails are my current favorite.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Certain shows (like coast to

Certain shows (like coast to coast am on the radio usually) you would be dead from alcohol poisoning by the end if you used shots.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


KathieG
KathieG's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: 2008-06-12
User is offlineOffline
nigelTheBold wrote:Then

nigelTheBold wrote:

Then there's the whole drinking game of, "Spot the logical fallacy," or, "Spot the misuse of science." I'd stick to beer or wine, though, 'cause if you're doing shots, you'll be three sheets to the wind by the third commercial break. (That's a fairly good rule-of-thumb for those types of shows -- one sheet per commercial.)

LOL...love it!  

Of course, too much of that and by the end of the program those "logical fallacies" might actually start making sense.


shikko
Posts: 448
Joined: 2007-05-23
User is offlineOffline
nigelTheBold wrote:Then

nigelTheBold wrote:

Then there's the whole drinking game of, "Spot the logical fallacy," or, "Spot the misuse of science." I'd stick to beer or wine, though, 'cause if you're doing shots, you'll be three sheets to the wind by the third commercial break. (That's a fairly good rule-of-thumb for those types of shows -- one sheet per commercial.)

C'mon, people, cut free!  If you need a game to get sheetfaced, you're not taking your drinking seriously.  True aficionados need no excuse to lay waste to their cortices.

Quote:

I love all that stuff. Chemtrails are my current favorite.

Seeing people make public asses of themselves makes me physically uncomfortable: I start getting all antsy and squirmy, my stomach gets flip-floppy, the works.  In extreme cases, I'll be sitting on the couch practically wiggling, because some yokel on TV thinks there's a vengeful spectre in his bungalow.

Drinking might help this, but would also raise the chances me me making (more of) an ass of myself by starting to deride the person out loud, like they could hear my objections and choose to mend their gormless ways.

--
maybe if this sig is witty, someone will love me.


Nikolaj
Superfan
Nikolaj's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: 2008-04-27
User is offlineOffline
I love anything that has to

I love anything that has to do with the supernatural. I guess I'm an old-school nerd, in that I like Sci-Fi, fantasy, all that stuff, and from that it follows that aliens, ghost, angels, devils and so forth catch my fancy. But as much as I like all this fantastical stuff, I don't believe in it much.

One of my favortite settings of fictional stories, is the Atlantis-exists-universe (for lack of a better expression). That is, imagine that there are many huge secrets about the nature of human civilisation that has been lost in the mists (or is it midst?) of history, and which is lying out there ready to be discovered.

I saw a program on Discovery once about how there may have been a very advanced human civilisation before known history.

Now, on the face of it, this is a possible scenario: Homo sapiens; for all intents and purposes as capable as modern humans (since we are, biologically the same), have been around for a lot longer than the 6-7000 years that we consider the history of human civilisation. Someone in this program proposed that, we had gone through a long civilised history before this, but that some huge cataclysm destroyed the obvious continuation of progress, effectively "resetting" human progress back to sqaure one. The evidence of this, they said, was that as our current civilisation arose, it was as though they had advanced knowledge in place allready, as though some precursor civilisation had left behind some of their science and tradition, (that is, we weren't completely reset, we were back to square TWO, as it were).

 

Some "evidence" proposed:

 

The Sphinx was originally a lion, carved perhaps 10.000 - 12.000 years ago by these people, as "evidenced" by the fact that is has erosion on it's body that resembles rainwater erosion, implying that it was made at a time when the climate in Giza was very different. The human head was carved much later by the people who we know as the ancient Egyptians, as the rest body had been burried by the passage of time, and the lions head had eroded so much that it just looked like a natural rock. That is also why the head is so much smaller than the body, one guy told. (probably not true, this. The archeological evidence was sound in some cases, but the conclution drawn was very bold. But it's a cool story, regardless)

More "evidence":

There is a remarkable corrolation between several ancient buildings and various star-constalations, as though

1. Ancient humans had a remarkable knowledge of atronomy and mathematics (leftover knowledge, it was implied)

and

2. There was a "connecting" civilisation between Egyptians (the pyramids of Giza are aligned with the Belt of Orion), Vietnamese (that temple thing in Cambodia: the Ang something-or-other has some significant constalation-corrolation too) and the Middle Americans (some inca or aztec pyramids have similar stuff).

 

This connecting civilisation should be the mysterious pre-cursors, which should also be the ones that was the foundation for the Atlantis myth. One guy even proposed that they had lived on modern day Antarctica, which according to him was not an icy wasteland during the last ice age 10.000 to 12.000 years ago. (he had a scientific theory for this. Can't remember the details, but again, the evidence was there, it was the conclution drawn from the evidence that was outlandish).

 

That's as detailed as I remember this stuff, but I really liked it, and immediatly started to work on the background universe for several novels, roleplaying games and such stuff that I wanted to write. I've had losts of fun fleshing out the details of such a world, including all sorts of references to surruptisious groups throughout history (the Illuminaty, Free Masons, Knights Templar and such) that have known some, or all of the story, and kept it hidden for nefarious reasons.

 

What I mean is, I loved this show, and found it really fascinating, but the science was clearly sound only when referencing specific things (star-corrolations and water erosion), and very unsound when the conclutions were drawn ("It's all a huge connected conspiracy-like revelation that nobody has ever noticed before!" ).

And when I see something with unsound scientific conclutions I don't believe it to be true. But it is wonderful fodder for the imagination, both for entertainment, and for contemplation about what it really means to be healthily skeptical.

 

Much like I am a pascifist who loves toyguns, and playing wargames, I am a materialistic atheistic skeptic who loves myth, magic, fantasy, conspiracies and romantic poetry. I think many people here can thoroughly agree that fantastical things are wonderfully fascinating, including some aspects of some religions (just look at the story some of the people here are writing in another thread). They are just not reality.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
Nikolaj wrote:I think many

Nikolaj wrote:

I think many people here can thoroughly agree that fantastical things are wonderfully fascinating, including some aspects of some religions (just look at the story some of the people here are writing in another thread). They are just not reality.

... and appreciating fictional entertainment is hardly a vice. In fact, I'd say a good imagination is a gift. Believing that your fantasies are real, however, may lead to social difficulties (to say the least).

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 4127
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

 

......Believing that your fantasies are real, however, may lead to social difficulties (to say the least).

So true!  Have you ever spent much time walking around and observing the fans at a sci-fi  convention ?  Creepy !

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
ProzacDeathWish wrote:So

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

So true!  Have you ever spent much time walking around and observing the fans at a sci-fi  convention ?  Creepy !

I've never been to a con. I really, really want to go to one, though. I'd not be the guy singing filk in the hallway, or dressed up in vulcan head-putty, but I'd really get into it.

Mostly I want to meet the publishers and whatnot. I've been writing since I was a wee tot (even have had some published), and would love to write for a living. Of course, that requires . . . uhm, whaddaya call it?

Oh, yeah. Talent.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


iluvc2h5oh
iluvc2h5oh's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: 2006-12-12
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle wrote:Certain

MattShizzle wrote:

Certain shows (like coast to coast am on the radio usually) you would be dead from alcohol poisoning by the end if you used shots.

 

I love Coast to Coast....

 

It is so out in left field I dont even think it is possible for ANYONE to believe everything on there...if it is a fruitloop idea....they bring in a specialist...

 

Beatles clones/secret msgs in the songs

Shadowpeople

Chemtrails

Mass prayer to power random number generators...

 

I love it

"When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the Land and the Missionaries had the Bible, They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the Land and we had the Bible." - Jomo Kenyatta


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Dawkins isn't a big fan of

Dawkins isn't a big fan of sci fi.  He thinks that it promotes a kind of atheist fallacy.  I call it "appeal to unknown science."  That's the kind of quackery that leads people to believe that anything is possible if only we have enough technology.  In recent weeks, I've been very annoyed by this fallacy, as in the thread where we were discussing the technical hurdles to deep space travel.  However, I have to admit, I love good sci fi.  I think the problem is not the sci fi, but the lack of good critical thinking.  As several have said, it's fun, and probably good for us to practice creative thinking.  I used to play dungeons and dragons back in the day, and it was a lot of fun inventing pantheons and wars between gods and such.

I get aggravated by Coast to Coast because there are a lot of people who believe it.  There ought to be disclaimers before and after every segment:  "This show is for entertainment only.  Don't believe any of it.  Seriously."

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
HELTER SKETLER

HELTER SKETLER

The Beatles - In My Life

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym0x3vTw6yc

                                  


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Once in a while they do have

Once in a while they do have something on Coast to Coast that isn't nonsense - but it's rare. About the only person on that's a regular that isn't promoting nonsense is the Bad Astronomer.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:In recent

Hambydammit wrote:

In recent weeks, I've been very annoyed by this fallacy, as in the thread where we were discussing the technical hurdles to deep space travel.

I'm sure that a lot of people were annoyed with that quack Jules Verne when he wrote books about humans actually making it to the moon.

The only thing keeping us on this planet is a lack of drive and a horrible lack of imagination in some people.  There is no scientific reason that perpetual human existence in space is not possible.

There is no fallacy in that.

For one, there is no reason why humans have to really travel any great amount of distance any time soon.  It's just getting off Earth.  Not blasting off 1,000 light years away to land on some other planet.  We wouldn't even need to leave our solar system at first and we certainly would not need to settle on another planet.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


Kevin R Brown
Superfan
Kevin R Brown's picture
Posts: 3142
Joined: 2007-06-24
User is offlineOffline
Watcher wrote:Hambydammit

Watcher wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

In recent weeks, I've been very annoyed by this fallacy, as in the thread where we were discussing the technical hurdles to deep space travel.

I'm sure that a lot of people were annoyed with that quack Jules Verne when he wrote books about humans actually making it to the moon.

The only thing keeping us on this planet is a lack of drive and a horrible lack of imagination in some people.  There is no scientific reason that perpetual human existence in space is not possible.

There is no fallacy in that.

For one, there is no reason why humans have to really travel any great amount of distance any time soon.  It's just getting off Earth.  Not blasting off 1,000 light years away to land on some other planet.  We wouldn't even need to leave our solar system at first and we certainly would not need to settle on another planet.

We can, right now, burn the information from any person's genome onto a CD. If we manage to figure-out how human consciousness works, it's perfectly realistic to hypothesize that we could create software that could use the genome information to literally re-create a virtual, polygonal 'you' in a virtual environment, whom would live in perpetuity. Load-up our virtual persons into a virtual universe on a specially designed computer powered by solar panels and launch that sonofabich into outer space, and there you have it:

We'll be adrift in the cosmos for all of eternity (or the death of the universe, whichever comes first. Sticking out tongue).

No more food, water, pain (unless we still want it. We might), disease, etc. Just us, whatever other life we may come across, and the cosmic playground ahead.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
That would be fine for

That would be fine for giggles.  But we don't need to resort to that for the human species to leave Earth forever.  And it's not some future technology unknown to science.  We could do it now if we directed our resources toward that rather than war.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


HeyZeusCreaseToe
Superfan
HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture
Posts: 675
Joined: 2008-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Actually if scifi teaches us

Actually if scifi teaches us anything, its that an intergalactic war with alien species is inevitable...we need to increase warfare capabilities and space travel technologies!

Sarcasm aside, if humanity doesn't destroy itself in the next few hundred years, and if technology increases at the exponential rate it has since the industrial revolution, then I don't think leaving the earth or the solar system will be that unrealistic.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:Dawkins

Hambydammit wrote:

Dawkins isn't a big fan of sci fi.  He thinks that it promotes a kind of atheist fallacy.  I call it "appeal to unknown science."  That's the kind of quackery that leads people to believe that anything is possible if only we have enough technology.  In recent weeks, I've been very annoyed by this fallacy, as in the thread where we were discussing the technical hurdles to deep space travel.  However, I have to admit, I love good sci fi.  I think the problem is not the sci fi, but the lack of good critical thinking.  As several have said, it's fun, and probably good for us to practice creative thinking.  I used to play dungeons and dragons back in the day, and it was a lot of fun inventing pantheons and wars between gods and such.

I get aggravated by Coast to Coast because there are a lot of people who believe it.  There ought to be disclaimers before and after every segment:  "This show is for entertainment only.  Don't believe any of it.  Seriously."

It's a fallacy to imagine we can predict the knowledge we will gain, certainly, or to imagine that the knowledge will prove useful for a specific purpose.

But science is driven by irrationality. Any non-trivial hypothesis starts first as speculation, a shot in the dark, and is irrational until proven or disproven. Take the whole quantum mechanics debate, which has been beaten to death and its corpse sodomized in a couple of other threads. The reason there is a debate is because we don't know what's going on with QM, and everybody has their own pet philosophy based on what might be going on. String theory, RQM, and all the other "theories" are really just speculation. Until we can figure out a way to test these concepts against reality, they don't constitute knowledge (they are more a set of potential knowledge), and so it's irrational to suppose they do.

I think science is like this in general. There is so much we don't know. As we speculate about the potential knowledge that exists in that big blank spaces in our ontology, the spaces that say "here be dragons," our irrational ideas lead to testable hypothesis, which leads to the gradual sketching in, the slow completion of our understanding and knowledge.

I agree that it's irrational to suppose we'll know how to move between the stars in any significant way. There's no way to predict what we'll find in the next decade, or the next hundred years. In the quest for knowledge, when rationality fails, the only thing left is irrationality (again, using QM as a model of this). The irrational concepts must also be filtered and judged through the rational process of the scientific method, and most will prove unworthy in the end, and so the process is rational.

I guess I'm just saying, until we know everything, a certain amount of irrational thought helps drive the process forward.

And that doesn't even take into account the way that irrational thought (such as going to the stars) helps motivate many people into the sciences in the first place.

Addendum:

As I re-read this, I realize that "irrational" is a strong word here. What I'm advocating is semi-rational thought, that is, thinking about the irrational (going to the stars) in a rational way. I believe the attempt of going to the stars will lead to many discoveries, and drive our knowledge forward, whether we accomplish actually going there or not. And so I feel the attempt, the goal, is not completely irrational, even if we don't know whether or not we'll succeed.

That's not much of a rebuttal, I guess. But it's what I have, and how I feel (which is, of course, irrational).

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Ahem... I'm ignoring the

Ahem... I'm ignoring the posts that amount to "but... but... science is really awesome..."  Obviously, I know how cool science is and how many amazing things we've accomplished while using it.

Quote:
It's a fallacy to imagine we can predict the knowledge we will gain, certainly, or to imagine that the knowledge will prove useful for a specific purpose.

Yes.  Jules Verne was correct.  H.G. Wells wasn't.  Any science fiction writer's guess about a possible future is just that.  It's a guess.  Unless it's accompanied by an abstract, it doesn't count as a proposal of new technology.  Just a guess.  It should be rationally treated as nothing more than a guess until and unless there's reason to treat it any other way.  That's why it's called science fiction.  Some guesses, especially when proffered by a very intelligent science geek, turn out to be true later.  Maybe it's a self fulfilling prophecy, maybe it really was the course people were going to take.  Who knows?  It doesn't matter.  At the time a guess is made, it's a guess.

Quote:
I agree that it's irrational to suppose we'll know how to move between the stars in any significant way. There's no way to predict what we'll find in the next decade, or the next hundred years.

I'm not sure why this point is so difficult to grasp.  I don't say that we won't travel outside of the solar system (that is... humans in spaceships).  I say that the hurdles are immense, and attempts to predict future technology that far in the abstract are essentially useless.  As such, when someone has a conversation about "saving the planet" or something like that, it's pointless to interject, "Yeah... it won't matter because if we just do enough science, we can go to planet Xarb and start a new life in five thousand years."  Might as well say that if we pray enough, Jesus will come back.  [EDIT:  Ok... I know... there's no Jesus, and there is science... The point is, it's going to have exactly the same impact in the next 100 years, when we need real solutions, not imaginary ones.  Warp drive is imaginary until and unless we discover some mind boggling energy sources, etc...]

In any rational discussion, the only options that belong on the table are the ones that have reasonable chances of working.  Predicting scientific discoveries is historically VERY low probability.  Even within single generations, older scientists often are startled by just how wrong they were in their youth about where technology would go.

When I'm discussing environmentalism and someone offers the "leave the planet" option, I politely smile and suggest that in the intervening centuries, we might want to come up with an intermediate plan, just in case we're more like H.G. Wells than Jules Verne.

Quote:
I guess I'm just saying, until we know everything, a certain amount of irrational thought helps drive the process forward.

It's certainly helpful, and it's not irrational if it's put in the correct context.  In the case of deep space travel to escape earth if we fuck up the environment, the only rational position is that we have to table that idea until we invent warp drive, and we ought to focus on solutions that will work now. 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


DamnDirtyApe
Silver Member
DamnDirtyApe's picture
Posts: 666
Joined: 2008-02-15
User is offlineOffline
I really thought this

I really thought this bullshit was over with.  There you go, people, making me end a sentence with a preposition.  

 

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:Ahem...

Hambydammit wrote:

Ahem... I'm ignoring the posts that amount to "but... but... science is really awesome..."  Obviously, I know how cool science is and how many amazing things we've accomplished while using it.

That's a somewhat stinging rebuke Hamby.  It's also a mischaracterization of my post.  Don't belittle me.

Hambydammit wrote:

Yes.  Jules Verne was correct.  H.G. Wells wasn't.  Any science fiction writer's guess about a possible future is just that.  It's a guess.  Unless it's accompanied by an abstract, it doesn't count as a proposal of new technology.  Just a guess.  It should be rationally treated as nothing more than a guess until and unless there's reason to treat it any other way.  That's why it's called science fiction.  Some guesses, especially when proffered by a very intelligent science geek, turn out to be true later.  Maybe it's a self fulfilling prophecy, maybe it really was the course people were going to take.  Who knows?  It doesn't matter.  At the time a guess is made, it's a guess.

A good science fiction writer knows current technological achievements and physics.  They can then predict where our technology is going in the next couple generations.  This is what makes good science fiction so exciting.  It's not a wild eyed guess.  It's an educated prediction based on where we are now and where we are going.

Having said that I will repeat myself and say yet again that even at TODAY's technological level humanity has the ability to put into outerspace a space station that can support a population of humans without needing Earth.  That's not a guess about the future.  That's right now.  The only thing holding us back is piss poor use of our funds on defense and war instead.

Hambydammit wrote:

As such, when someone has a conversation about "saving the planet" or something like that, it's pointless to interject, "Yeah... it won't matter because if we just do enough science, we can go to planet Xarb and start a new life in five thousand years." 

I agree that we should focus on taking care of Earth.  These ideas are not mutually exclusive.  Even if humanity did decide to branch out through the galaxy we would most assuredly have plenty of people wanting to stay here.  And we all would most likely want to keep Earth around in as best of a shape as we could. 

Hambydammit wrote:

In any rational discussion, the only options that belong on the table are the ones that have reasonable chances of working.  Predicting scientific discoveries is historically VERY low probability.  Even within single generations, older scientists often are startled by just how wrong they were in their youth about where technology would go.

Technology can go whichever way it wants to.  It doesn't matter if the technology on the Space station is type A or a type not even imagined yet.  Either way it will assist us to better acclimate to life off this rock.

Hambydammit wrote:

When I'm discussing environmentalism and someone offers the "leave the planet" option, I politely smile and suggest that in the intervening centuries, we might want to come up with an intermediate plan, just in case we're more like H.G. Wells than Jules Verne.

I guess we better work on making sure a giant asteroid doesn't crash into Earth, eh?  Cause if that happens it really doesn't matter how much we litter, how much we pollute, or how many species we wipe out, now does it.  Let's not put all of our eggs in one basket.

Hambydammit wrote:

It's certainly helpful, and it's not irrational if it's put in the correct context.  In the case of deep space travel to escape earth if we fuck up the environment, the only rational position is that we have to table that idea until we invent warp drive, and we ought to focus on solutions that will work now. 

Why do we need warp drive?  Where are we trying to go?  We don't need that.  We just need a lazy old space station with slow thrusters to slowly move us this way or that to slowly avoid objects.  That's it.  We don't need to go 10 thousand miles a second.  Five miles an hour would work just fine.  We don't need to rush to another rock.  Planets are a pain in the ass and are a bad idea for us to try to leap immediately onto when we leave Earth.  Too many extra problems we don't need.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:Yes. 

Hambydammit wrote:

Yes.  Jules Verne was correct.  H.G. Wells wasn't.  Any science fiction writer's guess about a possible future is just that.  It's a guess. 

Let's see how far H.G. Wells missed the mark.

"Wells's first non-fiction bestseller was Anticipations (1901).  When originally serialised in a magazine it was subtitled, "An Experiment in Prophecy", and is considered his most explicitly futuristic work. Anticipating what the world would be like in the year 2000, the book is interesting both for its hits (trains and cars resulting in the dispersion of population from cities to suburbs; moral restrictions declining as men and women seek greater sexual freedom; the defeat of German militarism, and the existence of a European Union) and its misses (he did not expect successful aircraft before 1950, and averred that "my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocate its crew and founder at sea" ) . "

Looks like most of his misses were underestimating future technology.

I can live with that complaint.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


DamnDirtyApe
Silver Member
DamnDirtyApe's picture
Posts: 666
Joined: 2008-02-15
User is offlineOffline
Watcher wrote:Hambydammit

Watcher wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

Yes.  Jules Verne was correct.  H.G. Wells wasn't.  Any science fiction writer's guess about a possible future is just that.  It's a guess. 

Let's see how far H.G. Wells missed the mark.

"Wells's first non-fiction bestseller was Anticipations (1901).  When originally serialised in a magazine it was subtitled, "An Experiment in Prophecy", and is considered his most explicitly futuristic work. Anticipating what the world would be like in the year 2000, the book is interesting both for its hits (trains and cars resulting in the dispersion of population from cities to suburbs; moral restrictions declining as men and women seek greater sexual freedom; the defeat of German militarism, and the existence of a European Union) and its misses (he did not expect successful aircraft before 1950, and averred that "my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocate its crew and founder at sea" ) . "

Looks like most of his misses were underestimating future technology.

I can live with that complaint.

Yes.  And we can take his time machine back to 1901 and congratulate him about his farsightedness.  

It's quite simple, the point we're making here.  Earth isn't just a "rock" that we should attempt to leave because the solar system has a finite hospitality contract with us.  Earth is the best rock in the known universe.  It's suited to us.  There's no reason to think that the oxygen revolution that occurred on Earth as a result of photosynthesizing bacteria ever happened anywhere else.  There's also no reason to think that humans would ever want to live on a space station or a space ship indefinitely.  I won't dispute that we've made a mess down here in the bottom of the gravity well, but it's the height of silliness and irresponsibility to go play pioneer in a highly radioactive, zero degree Kelvin vacuum when there are starving kids in Africa.  

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
DamnDirtyApe wrote:Yes.

DamnDirtyApe wrote:

Yes.  And we can take his time machine back to 1901 and congratulate him about his farsightedness.  

It's quite simple, the point we're making here.  Earth isn't just a "rock" that we should attempt to leave because the solar system has a finite hospitality contract with us.  Earth is the best rock in the known universe.  It's suited to us.  There's no reason to think that the oxygen revolution that occurred on Earth as a result of photosynthesizing bacteria ever happened anywhere else.  There's also no reason to think that humans would ever want to live on a space station or a space ship indefinitely.  I won't dispute that we've made a mess down here in the bottom of the gravity well, but it's the height of silliness and irresponsibility to go play pioneer in a highly radioactive, zero degree Kelvin vacuum when there are starving kids in Africa.  

The Time Machine was more fantasy than Sci Fi.  It was also written in 1895.

The point I'm making is that of course the Earth is not "Just" a rock.  Nor am I mentioning anything about leaving our solar system in the foreseeable future.

Nor do we need to worry about any "oxygen revolution".  We can make oxygen quite easily from the elements in this solar system.  No reason to "hold our breath" and dive for another planet with oxygen on it.

There is no reason to think that humans would ever want to live on this planet indefinitely.

And please don't start with the old "There are starving people..." crap.  There will always be starving people.  The big problem with feeding those people is that the longer you keep them alive the more babies they make that you have to feed as well.  We can sit around and just hand food to humans for millenia and go nowhere and do nothing.  Obviously humanity is still making progress that has nothing to do with feeding those poor, starving souls.  The internet was created with money that could have fed starving children in Africa.  WWII was paid for with money that could have fed starving children in Indonesia.  The Apollo missions were paid for with money that could have fed starving children in (you name the location).

Let's all just sit around and whine about how hard it is and all of our little problems that will always be here or let's get off our asses and do something.

You focus on the problems.  I focus on the solutions.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


HeyZeusCreaseToe
Superfan
HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture
Posts: 675
Joined: 2008-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Watcher...easter egg...up

Watcher...easter egg...up your ass!


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Watcher hands Zeus a cookie.

Watcher hands Zeus a cookie.


HeyZeusCreaseToe
Superfan
HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture
Posts: 675
Joined: 2008-02-27
User is offlineOffline
*Zeus eats cookie that

*Zeus eats cookie that tastes mysteriously like manure and egg yolks*


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
watcher wrote:That's a

watcher wrote:
That's a somewhat stinging rebuke Hamby.  It's also a mischaracterization of my post.  Don't belittle me.

It wasn't pointed at you.

I'm baffled by the rest of your response because it doesn't address my position at all.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Yes.  And we can take

Quote:
Yes.  And we can take his time machine back to 1901 and congratulate him about his farsightedness. 

I'm glad somebody got it.

Quote:
I won't dispute that we've made a mess down here in the bottom of the gravity well, but it's the height of silliness and irresponsibility to go play pioneer in a highly radioactive, zero degree Kelvin vacuum when there are starving kids in Africa. 

I won't dispute this point, but it's not really germane.  My point is extremely simple, and for some reason, watcher and kevin insist on making it into something it's not.  Let me spell out what I'm not saying:

1) I'm not saying it's impossible to travel into deep space.

2) I'm not saying sci fi doesn't sometimes get things "prophetically" right.

3) I'm not saying that imagination isn't great and that we need to be allowed the freedom to dream "the impossible" dream as scientists.

4) I'm not saying that we don't have some really neato technology that might have implications for much more neato technology.  We're really awesome and science is great.  I love it.  That's why every book I've read this year has been a science book.

 

This is really simple.  Appeal to future discoveries to solve a current problem is fallacious. 

I'm not talking about something like saying, "Well, in two years, we'll have computers that are twice as fast as the ones we have now.  That's talking about tweaking existing technology.  I mean, when you say, "Yeah, in the future, we're probably going to discover a way to get terawatts of energy from a thimbleful of water, and all the apparatus necessary to produce it will weigh ten pounds and be insulated so that no radiation escapes.  With that technology, we'll be able to travel to the outer solar system and mine ore from Pluto to make up for there being none on earth."

People are humans, and human nature is what it is.  Evolution is not forward looking.  Because of these facts, science is limited by humanity.  When we start imagining futures where humans have progressed past war and everyone has enough to eat, and nobody's upset with their job because we've made a super egalitarian society where everybody works together to make huge multi-trillion dollar missions to send people into space, we're imagining fiction.  It's fun.  I love the movies.  But it's fiction.  Until it's anything other than fiction, it doesn't belong in rational discussions of real, current problems.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Nikolaj
Superfan
Nikolaj's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: 2008-04-27
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote: ...but

Hambydammit wrote:
...but it's fiction.  Until it's anything other than fiction, it doesn't belong in rational discussions of real, current problems.

 

Firstly, I agree with you Hampy, for the most part. You are a very observant poster, as usual.

 

But, to the above quote: it depends on what we are discussing.

 

Here, we oftentimes discuss things of an abstract nature. Things like hopes and fears for the future for example.

 

If someone asks me: "How do I solve the very real, and very present problem of unemployment in country X?"

and I answer: "Well, why do they have to work? In Iain M. Banks' "Culture" novels we see clearly that nobody has to work, and yet everyone is happy and safe, because their amazing technology solves all their problems. All we have to do is develop the same kinds of technology, and everything will be hunky-dory."

 

If I answer like that, I am contributing absolutely nothing to the discussion, and moreover, I'm being a complete idiot.

 

But if someone asks me: "How can we possibly be good and kind, and how can we have any hope for the future, if we can't put our faith in religion X, but only in human kind and there own accomplishments?"

 

and I answer: "Well in Iain M. Banks' "Culture" novels people get along just fine. Better than fine actually, they have an almost utopian society, and while they are only fictional characters, they are believable characters. They are the products of a real human being's imagination, someone who is as good at observing human nature as you and I, perhaps better even, and when I read it I get hope for the future.

Not because I believe it will happen the way it's described in the books (indeed the utopian "culture" of Banks' books are not humans from earth at all, so it wouldn't happen exactly the way it is in the books, because it is not a vision of  the future of Earthling humans), but because I observe believable mechanisms of how people can act towards eachother under different circumstances. They are believable to me, not because I "buy" some unknown scientific proposition by Banks, but because I too am an observer of human nature, as is everyone, and it is readily apparent to me when I read these books, that technological advancement can better the lives of humans, and, by extention, better their behavior towards eachother."

 

That if a reasonable enough argument I think. It doesn't stand well on it's own, but it is okay to appeal to some outlandish Sci-Fi concogtion, if you are not advacating that it is the solution to a given problem, but rather advocating that humans it is reasonable to assume that humans can act differently (and sometimes smarter, kinder, more morally et.c.) under varying circumstances, and appealing to Sci-Fi for that (along with any other kind of fiction) is perfectly reasonable to me.

 

but then again, I am a humanities student, and not a Scientist, and I am drawn to Sci-Fi for the same reason I am drawn to Fantasy: the colourfulness of the human imagination, and the human stories at the center of any good novel, regardless of its genre. I don't care about the potential for prophetic observations in Sci-Fi (I read Space Opera after all, not dry, Hard Sci-Fi).

 

I'll end this on what I suppose is the closest thing I've got to a motto:

 

"There is no such thing as "the future". Tomorrow doesn't exist until it comes around, and by then it is today, and nolonger the future. The present is all we have. deal with it."

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:They are believable to

Quote:
They are believable to me, not because I "buy" some unknown scientific proposition by Banks, but because I too am an observer of human nature, as is everyone, and it is readily apparent to me when I read these books, that technological advancement can better the lives of humans, and, by extention, better their behavior towards eachother."

I would never disagree with the general statement that technology can help make life better in specific ways.  I would certainly argue that technology can change human nature.  It is human nature to treat each other better when everyone is affluent and happy.  If technology makes that happen, it is working with human nature, not changing it.  Human nature is the limiting factor.

(Of course, if we invented a future technology that allows us to completely control the human genome in all births, we could do it... so... um....)

Anyway... that's a great example of an appeal to future technology.  No developing technology that I'm aware of has even a remote hope of actually engineering the entire human race in a predictable way.  Appealing to such a thing to blunt the effect of the previous statement is a fallacy.  Technology cannot change human nature now, and there is no apparent hope of it doing so in the future.  Therefore, the statement that one day things might be different is nothing but an emotional appeal.

Quote:
"There is no such thing as "the future". Tomorrow doesn't exist until it comes around, and by then it is today, and nolonger the future. The present is all we have. deal with it."

Pretty good motto, I think. 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:This is

Hambydammit wrote:

This is really simple.  Appeal to future discoveries to solve a current problem is fallacious. 

No appeals to future discoveries are necessary to get humans into a permanent establishment off of Earth.

Therefore no fallacy.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:I'm not

Hambydammit wrote:

I'm not talking about something like saying, "Well, in two years, we'll have computers that are twice as fast as the ones we have now.  That's talking about tweaking existing technology. 

Actually yes you are Hamby.  You just don't realize it.  We don't have to invent some imaginary new technology.  We have the technology NOW to do this.

No future "prophetic" type of technology.  Todays' technology. Right now.  2008.  We can do this right now.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:People are

Hambydammit wrote:

People are humans, and human nature is what it is.  Evolution is not forward looking.  Because of these facts, science is limited by humanity.  When we start imagining futures where humans have progressed past war and everyone has enough to eat, and nobody's upset with their job because we've made a super egalitarian society where everybody works together to make huge multi-trillion dollar missions to send people into space, we're imagining fiction.  It's fun.  I love the movies.  But it's fiction.  Until it's anything other than fiction, it doesn't belong in rational discussions of real, current problems.

Yeah.  A super egalitarian society.  Just like the one that put men on the moon.

Such entertaining fiction to imagine a human walking on the moon isn't it?  Great movie.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Honestly, watcher, if you

Honestly, watcher, if you don't see a difference between sending three men in a tin can to the moon and sending a colony to another solar system, I don't think I can explain it to you.  Seriously, dude.  Take a step back and look at what you're saying and what I'm saying.

ME: Appealing to unknown technology is a fallacy when talking about current problems.

YOU: We have awesome technology now.

We aren't talking about the same things.  You keep talking about how awesome our technology is, and I grant you the point.  Gladly.  I love it.  Why is it so hard to grasp the idea that appealing to technology that isn't even proposed yet is a fallacy?

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2038
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
Let me get this straight

On one hand we are talking about sending a group of people to colonize a new planet, on the other we are talking about solving our current problems of global warming, food shortage and pollution as well as the ever increasing human population and the destruction of this planet in the loing run? One can be addressed currently the other is still in the halls of science fiction (you know the lack of proper speed to go to another planet outside of our solar system suitable for habitation for a large scale human popluation, the ability to deal with dangers of interstellar travel such as radiation, fuel shortage and there really isn't an interstellar garage for space ships somewhere out there if something breaks down, because we know our technology never breaks down). So I agree with Hamby on this one, we should focus on helping the now, but at the same time, it doesn't hurt to imagine the future (and having those dreamers attempt to make it possible, at a slower pace than trying to solve our current problems with practical possiblities) however our current technology cannot and will not get us to colonize another planet anytime in the near future.

 


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Manufacture water ? Hell,

Manufacture water ? Hell, why not !  Instant food too !   

Hey, "atom manipulation" !                   Go science. MIND POWER !


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:This is

Hambydammit wrote:

This is really simple.  Appeal to future discoveries to solve a current problem is fallacious. 

Ah. We are definitely in agreement.

I believe I was arguing a point you were not making, concerning the role of irrationality in science. Sorry about that.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:Honestly,

Hambydammit wrote:

Honestly, watcher, if you don't see a difference between sending three men in a tin can to the moon and sending a colony to another solar system, I don't think I can explain it to you.  Seriously, dude.  Take a step back and look at what you're saying and what I'm saying.

ME: Appealing to unknown technology is a fallacy when talking about current problems.

YOU: We have awesome technology now.

We aren't talking about the same things.  You keep talking about how awesome our technology is, and I grant you the point.  Gladly.  I love it.  Why is it so hard to grasp the idea that appealing to technology that isn't even proposed yet is a fallacy?

Obviously you are not talking to me.  Because I haven't mentioned anything about future technology or leaving this solar system.  So I guess I was arguing to myself.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci