Is it me or is this site in its death throes?

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Bowser, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Isn't there a forum rule that calling for someone to be banned is, in itself, a banning offence?
    ISTR there was a couple (or more:5-6?) years ago.
     
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  3. The God Valued Senior Member

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    Poor attempt to disparage MR.

    Just because he took on your Christian affiliation, you retorted with his faith and belief in ghosts?

    And by the way, there is a poor attempt to justify your argument on believe and know.
     
    dumbest man on earth likes this.
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  5. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    What, pray tell, is the difference? What was disparaging? I merely made a comparison - I have a personally held theological belief, one that has centuries of history and written documentation, dating back to the supposed times of many of the original events.

    Per Magical Realist:
    Thus, he seems to be stating that history is what was written, by those who were there to witness it.

    My contention was simple - those who were there to witness it were not always aware of just WHAT they were witnessing... hence why things like Solar Eclipses were considered harbingers of misfortune or ill omens, etc. People came up with their best explanation with the data available at hand. This does not mean it is the CORRECT explanation - as my example (which you claim is a "poor attempt to justify my argument") explained. The original quote explained this as well... at one time, everybody KNEW the Earth was flat. At one time, everybody KNEW the Earth was the center of the universe. Those things, that people KNEW were FACTS were proven demonstrably incorrect as technology and science continued to advance ever onward.

    Imagine, if you will, what we will learn in the future, and how much of what we KNOW now will be proven wrong.

    I made no attempt to disparage MR - he is the one that made the personal attack:
    My response is perfectly valid - MR is saying the standards of evidence he listed above are sufficient for what he believes to be true... yet are supposedly insufficient for a theological claim. That is, simply put, a rather obvious double standard.


    Prove it wrong, then. Prove to me that our knowledge is not limited by our ability to perceive the universe around us. Prove to me that what we know as fact is not, in actuality, what we perceive as fact.
     
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  7. The God Valued Senior Member

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    Ref your post #57.

    History is people of past era knew. That was the intent of MR. People of few centuries ago knew that the earth was flat, that's a historical fact and knowledge of that time or even belief of that time....but that's history. It is immaterial for the argument whether it is right or wrong.

    Then he brought in your religion, that was bad on his part, he is known for that, but why did you counter blast by referring to his belief in ghosts etc? That was my point.
     
  8. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    At least I base my belief in the paranormal on tons of eyewitness accounts, photos, and investigations into said phenomena. You otoh found your belief in the events of the Bible on nothing but faith that it is the inspired word of God. Now who is being more objective?

    You claimed people used to know falsehoods. You can't know a falsehood. You can only believe them. That was your mistake and I corrected you. EOS.
     
    cluelusshusbund likes this.
  10. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    • If what you are going to post contributes nothing to the thread, perhaps it would be best not to post it at all?
    Grok'd!
     
  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    The gospels certainly seem to be. It's all the word of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Assuming that the authors are correctly identified, they are still basically just names.

    Then we get Paul's and the other writers of the epistles' sometimes iconoclastic spin on ancient Jewish tradition.

    The OT is even more difficult, since we don't have a clue who wrote most of it, who subsequently edited it, or how they supposedly knew all the things they supposedly knew.
     
  12. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    There's certainly a far larger body of evidence for the existence of ghosts or the more extraordinary kind of ufos than for the resurrection of christ, let alone for any theological theories of salvation that interpret that supposed resurrection.

    If we define 'knowledge' as 'justified true belief', as I'm inclined to do, it's impossible to know something that's not true. The best we can do is believe it, for what may or may not seem like good reasons to us at the time.

    Regarding history and 'anecdotal accounts', it's often surprising how much of what we think we know, especially about events in ancient times, is based on extremely fragmentary evidence. The testimony of a single ancient writer perhaps. Even regarding more recent history, lots of it derives from the memoirs and letters of the people involved. It's true that historians do try to find corroborating evidence for the content of these accounts. But if that isn't forthcoming, I don't think that historians will flatly reject the historical sources simply on the grounds that they are 'anecdotal'.

    So I'm inclined to agree with MR that once again we are seeing some bad philosophy here on Sciforums. A few months ago we were informed that eyewitness testimony should be rejected as bullshit merely because it's eyewitness testimony. And now that rather incredible line of argument is back, under the guise of rejecting anecdotal evidence merely because it's anecdotal.

    This is one (of many) reasons why I typically assign my beliefs informal weights. An uncorroborated anecdotal report won't be weighted as highly as one that's corroborated. If the report violates how I believe the universe operates, I'll weight it less heavily. If the information comes from a source that I believe is biased or unreliable, then I'll give it a lower weight. Stuff like that.

    I think that professional historians do that too.
     
  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    You're confusing knowing with believing.
     
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    You're confusing history with mythology.
     
  15. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    What eyewitnesses reported isn't exactly mythology but it isn't necessarily reality either. They only reported their perceptions.
     
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    It's history. Deal with it.
     
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm inclined to agree with sideshowbob on that one.

    Those present at historical events certainly had beliefs about what was happening around them. Their beliefs may (arguably) have had very good justification. But they weren't necessarily true just because they were believed by people present at the time. Maybe those present misinterpreted things or based their beliefs on distorted and biased reports that everyone was talking about and repeating.

    Part of the problem that we face is that there isn't some phenomenological tag on our experiences or on beliefs generated on the basis of those experiences that marks some of them out as truth-bearers. Our beliefs, even beliefs based on strong personal experiences, are always going to be defeasible. They can always start to look wrong in the face of subsequent evidence.

    So I'm going to try to stake out a position midway between the idea that personal eye-witness testimony is bullshit simply because it's personal eye-witness testimony, and the idea that personal eye-witness testimony must be accepted as true. Much of the time we can't be sure whether what's being reported is true or not. That's why we are stuck having to assign plausibility-weights.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  18. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    History is a combination of individual perceptions and objective documentation.
     
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I disagree. There is a noticable modern bias against eyewitnesses of the past as somehow dumber and less perceptive than modern humans. But living in the world for at least 18 years requires a certain minimal level of skill and adeptness at seeing and knowing what is happening right in front of you. People in the past experienced all sorts of things that they described as eyewitnesses. Wars, eclipses, earthquakes, plagues, revolutions, crusades, fires, and what not. They knew what they were experiencing. We can rely on these accounts in terms of accuracy and veracity, which in fact historians do. One's belief system does not greatly affect one's perceptions of what is going on right in front of you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  20. The God Valued Senior Member

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    Individual perceptions of those who witnessed the happenings?

    If so then you must state the mechanism of transfer of this 'perception' from individual to individual, till it got documented.
     
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I'm afraid you're quite wrong.

    Suppose a 13th century monk looked up at the sky and saw Halley's comet glowing brightly. What would he make of it? How would he report it? If he wrote something about it, what would he write?

    I think he'd write something like this:

    "Tonight I again observed the miraculous appearance of the new star in the firmament. Over the past month it has become progressively brighter, and it appears to me moving against the background stars. This star is strange indeed. I deduce that it must be lower than the moon, because as everybody knows the heavenly bodies above the moon are eternal and unchanging. This star moves across the sky from night to night like one of the 6 known wandering stars, but faster - a fact that also suggests it is closer to us than the moon. In appearance, it is somwhat fuzzy, like the wandering star Saturn. However, this new star appears to be growing hair! Over time, I have observed that there is a kind of fuzzy streak emanating from the star, but it does not point in the direction the star is moving, or in the opposite direction.

    I do not know what the appearance of this new star signifies. Perhaps it is an ill omen sent by God to warn mankind of an impending disaster. Or perhaps it is a sign, like the holy star that appeared in Bethlehem prior to the birth of our Lord.

    Brother Aloysius has fallen ill with a fever again. I fear he may not recover from this latest illness. I hope that the new star is not bringing pestilence upon us."

    ---
    Clearly, this monk would not know what he was seeing. Moreover, his belief system greatly influences his perceptions of what is in front of him.
     
  22. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    Apologies for the absence - did not get home yesterday until after midnight and basically crawled right into bed... anyway.

    It is history, yes - that doesn't mean it is ACCURATE... as the examples I previously provided demonstrated quite clearly, as does James' example above. Just because something is written down does not necessarily mean it is logically/scientifically sound, or even factually true (I believe a great example of this would be the various propaganda machines through history).

    It is "immaterial" hm? By that odd string of logic, one can make the claim we should accept what was written as fact, regardless of if we now know that it cannot possibly be accurate.

    Thank you, however, for acknowledging my point - that it is, in fact, possible for people to "know" a falsehood and hold it to be truth.

    Simple - it was an easy comparison to make as an example. The fact that it ALSO demonstrated MR's consistent moving of the goalposts where standards of evidence are concerned was simply a lovely bonus. If our neighbor hadn't a long and sordid history of intellectual dishonesty, I would not have felt the need to drive the point home in such a fashion.

    You have just demonstrated your distinguished quite nicely... thank you for providing such a grand example of it.

    There are tons of eyewitness accounts, historical records, and even archaeological evidence to support the events in the Bible... not to mention the staggering similarities between major religions world-shaping events (such as the Great Flood story, that exists in virtually every major religion in some form or another).

    Of note, the fact that we are talking about documents written over two millennia ago, documented by religious scholars, non-religious historians, and others...
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...cal-evidence-that-jesus-christ-lived-and-died
    http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/...bible/jesus-historical-jesus/did-jesus-exist/
    Lets just stop and think about that for a second: we have a Roman Senator (who is also considered to be one of the greatest Roman Historians - URL) saying, quite bluntly:
    The founder of this name, Christ [Christus in Latin], had been executed in the reign of Tiberius by the procurator Pontius Pilate
     
  23. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    Additionally, we have this account from the Jewish priest (and former commander in Galilee) Josephus:
    The first mention:
    This is relevant because:

    Now, if you wish to suppose that we have some grand conspiracy, sure - but you would have to explain why high ranking Roman Officials are being willingly complicit in this conspiracy, despite the fact that it ran quite contrary to everything the Roman empire stood for at the time.

    It is also worth noting that, despite the length of time these written accounts have existed, and how many cultures make reference to them, they are incredibly consistent across multiple beliefs, geographic locations, cultures, etc. Again, if you want to hand-wave this away as some grand conspiracy, then you have to explain why you are willing to dismiss this stunningly consistent body of evidence from so many sources, yet are willing to accept at face value the many inconsistencies in Paranormal accounts.

    Hardly End of Story - rather, you attempted to move the goalposts.
    You said, and I quote:
    and
    Sideshowbob countered:
    You based your claims on what was recorded. The point I (and others) have made is that, just because those accounts are written down, it does not mean that their analysis of what was going on is accurate. The fact that you are willing to acknowledge that fact where Religion is concerned, yet are determined to cling to it for your personal preferences, just demonstrates your incredible ability to twist your logical processes into pretzels to attempt to justify your own intellectual dishonesty (which is compounded by how many times you simply abandon a conversation or ignore other members when presented with questions you cannot answer without going against your own desired narrative).
     

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