Author Topic: nature of truth  (Read 7504 times)

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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #58 on: December 24, 2012, 05:25:58 PM »
mhaberling, 3Sigma has it right. Wheels and Bertaberts are asking the right questions too. It is fine to start out with a hypothesis, but you don't just get to make something up, declare it true, and then start looking for confirmation.


You said:

OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence... I would look then to what would also be true, we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world, But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible. So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics... So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God...


I could hypothesize that, as the old joke goes when told poorly, that strawberry fields have lots of elephants in them and that the reason you can't see them is because elephants paint their toenails red. Then I could claim that we should assume this is true and start looking for what also would be true. But at least I could specify that some of the strawberries would be real hard and heavy or something. You don't have enough information about the god you profess to make a similar claim. And too, you have to be able to say which conditions would contra-indicate a god. In the case of the elephant/strawberries question, if we picked all of the strawberries, and none were hard and heavy, then my theory would go right out the door. But you have to be able to describe what would be true with a god and without a god so that we can tell the difference, and as far as I know, you don't have any way to make either claim.


What is the difference between your approach and one I might take. Where the first assumption is that there is no god, and that we should be able to the lack of affects that non-deity has on the world. Is my job, if I set it up that way, any harder or easier? Nope. It is all about the same. Luckily for my side, we don't need to include a god any of our hypothesis and yet we keep finding conditions that match the a variety of hypotheses and none of them seem to require your god.


kaziglu bey was saying recently that if there is a terrible accident but some people survive, the religious are going to claim that the survivors are a miracle from god. Now I know miracles are not the same as proof, but keep in mind the wide range of outcomes the religious are willing to label as a miracle. As kaziglu said, it doesn't matter if only 10% died or 99% died, it is still often times called a miracle when not everyone does. God saved that one child. Or, as in the case of a plane crash, everyone dies but people that could have died on the ground survived then it is still a miracle.


Religious standards tend not to be too high (it gets so bad that some people just stand there and look at the world and declare it beautiful and then claim that beauty is proof of a god), which seems to indicate a lack of knowledge about the scientific method and statistics and such. And unless you can provide a better method than the scientific one to prove things, you are sort of going to have to go along with the current standard.


If we don't seem to be getting your point, you might try restating it, but from here, is appears that you assuming that you can overcome the faith requirement so many christians use as the reason that there is no proof.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #59 on: December 24, 2012, 05:28:18 PM »
Now this is getting a little out of hand... Read the OP, any arguments I made about the existence of a god were to entertain the idea of applying what anfauglir and I were discussing about truth... You don't need to jump on this like I'm trying to give you an ultimate reason to believe in god... I'm just having a conversation....

edit... parking places on your post... i dont think it is harder or easier to start with your base assumption

this also has little to do with the op, as i stated its a bit off topic but i was interested so entertained the idea
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 05:50:21 PM by mhaberling »
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #60 on: December 24, 2012, 05:52:44 PM »
Now this is getting a little out of hand... Read the OP, any arguments I made about the existence of a god were to entertain the idea of applying what anfauglir and I were discussing about truth... You don't need to jump on this like I'm trying to give you an ultimate reason to believe in god... I'm just having a conversation....
Then you haven't answered his question. This is all we are telling you.
His question was  "So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?" (note the bold) And your answer was to use an assumption.
How does that possible answer his question let alone establish a truth. all we were saying was you failed.
You need to give a better answer then the one you had given, tis all.
I'm certain Anfauglir will tell you the same.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Online Azdgari

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #61 on: December 24, 2012, 05:55:05 PM »
As I've said in the past, it's not all that impressive for an argument to arrive at a conclusion when that conclusion was also used as a premise.

It is called "circular reasoning" and mhaberling, you have embraced it here as some sort of intellectual holy grail.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #62 on: December 24, 2012, 06:06:04 PM »
As I've said in the past, it's not all that impressive for an argument to arrive at a conclusion when that conclusion was also used as a premise.

It is called "circular reasoning" and mhaberling, you have embraced it here as some sort of intellectual holy grail.

which i agree with, this isnt a proof as much as an excersize in reasoning l... not to determine if there is a god but to determine where to look for one
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 06:08:50 PM by mhaberling »
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #63 on: December 24, 2012, 06:09:52 PM »
As I've said in the past, it's not all that impressive for an argument to arrive at a conclusion when that conclusion was also used as a premise.

It is called "circular reasoning" and mhaberling, you have embraced it here as some sort of intellectual holy grail.

which i agree with, thos isnt a proof as mucha as an excersize in reasoning l... not to determine if there is a god but to determine where to look for one
No! As you starting from a false premise, any conclusion is worthless.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Nam

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #64 on: December 24, 2012, 06:16:40 PM »
mhaberling,

If your OP is an honest attempt of knowing the "nature of truth" then I retract, however, I still do not perceive it as such. I still feel there is an underlying view here that you are attempting to get the gist of from us.

Also spelling is more important on a forum rather than not. Not everyone on here has English as their primary language. So, when you misspell a word or words then they do not understand, sometimes, what you are saying. They don't know if the word is supposed to be spelled that way or if it is an error on your part. There are many forms of English, in many areas of the world where it is readily used. Speaking coherently as possible is better than not, in such cases.

-Nam
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 06:30:28 PM by Nam »
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #65 on: December 24, 2012, 06:19:00 PM »
No! As you starting from a false premise, any conclusion is worthless.
at some point human flight would have been a false premise...
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 06:25:07 PM by mhaberling »
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Online Azdgari

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #66 on: December 24, 2012, 06:20:30 PM »
mhaberling,

If your OP is an honest attempt of knowing the "nature of truth" then I retract, however, I still do not perceive it as such. I still feel there is an underlying view here that you are attempting to get the gist of from us.

Also spelling is more important on a forum rather than not. Not everyone on here has Engflish as their primary language. So, when you misspell a word or words then they do not understand, sometimes, what one is saying. They don't know if the word is supposed to be spelled that way or if it is an error on your part. There are many forms of English, in many areas of the world where it is readily used. Speaking coherently as ypossible is better than not, in such cases.

-Nam

Quoted for irony.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Online Azdgari

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #67 on: December 24, 2012, 06:22:20 PM »
which i agree with, this isnt a proof as much as an excersize in reasoning l... not to determine if there is a god but to determine where to look for one

And once we've taken on that premise as a belief, we end up "finding" one by way of our own adopted bias, no matter what reality says.  It does make a difference.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Online Azdgari

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #68 on: December 24, 2012, 06:26:55 PM »
Aww, I got a -1 for that?  Well it was worth the chuckle anyway.  Seriously Nam, if you're going to bitch about someone's spelling, the least you can do is run spell-check on the post you're using to do it.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Nam

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #69 on: December 24, 2012, 06:28:38 PM »
Azdgari,

I do not know your problem with me, and frankly I don't give a shit. But, I reread everything I post, especially since I am on a phone, and I modify when I see errors.

So, fuck you very much, and get off my back. 2 words in that whole comment and that is "ironic"?

Please.

-Nam
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 06:33:41 PM by Nam »
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #70 on: December 24, 2012, 06:31:27 PM »
No! As you starting from a false premise, any conclusion is worthless.
at some point human flight would have been a false premise...
beyond your ability is not false premise
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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #71 on: December 24, 2012, 06:35:14 PM »
Yes, that is ironic, Nam.  Humorously so.  Now simmer the hell down, I posted it mainly for humor and you're taking it way too personally.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Nam

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #72 on: December 24, 2012, 06:40:29 PM »
Yes, that is ironic, Nam.  Humorously so.  Now simmer the hell down, I posted it mainly for humor and you're taking it way too personally.

Seeing how you haven't responded to anything I have said on here in a very long time, and this is the post you decide to respond to, I think it's more out of spite than humor. So please with your rhetoric about it being "humorous".

2 words does not make irony, especially when they are corrected in a timely fashion.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #73 on: December 24, 2012, 06:52:50 PM »
which i agree with, this isnt a proof as much as an excersize in reasoning l... not to determine if there is a god but to determine where to look for one

And once we've taken on that premise as a belief, we end up "finding" one by way of our own adopted bias, no matter what reality says.  It does make a difference.
i think were talking about different things... i'm only offering this as a starting thougt process you are offering it as a means to an answer 
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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #74 on: December 24, 2012, 06:53:15 PM »
Well, you'd know my feelings and intentions better than I would, wouldn't you, Nam?

If I was out to get you then I would have replied to more posts of yours on the forum.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #75 on: December 25, 2012, 01:46:42 AM »
Ok I do want to hear alot of the arguments being made but I feel we got a little lost... The evidence of god was a requested example... This is what is really being debated...

Which is better for advancing human discovery, Assuming a truth and looking to see what that truth implies and if what it implies exists... or starting with know assumptions and trying to see if you can discern if something is true or false...
I lean towards the former...

Note (think this is necessary just so we can keep the conversation on track hope to see responses soon and Merry Christmas!)
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #76 on: December 25, 2012, 04:19:17 AM »
Which is better for advancing human discovery, Assuming a truth and looking to see what that truth implies and if what it implies exists... or starting with know assumptions and trying to see if you can discern if something is true or false...
I lean towards the former...

Sure.  So why not start with the assumption of truth being "there is no god" and see what that implies?  Let's see.....believers have no discernably different lives to unbelievers; studies show prayers have no effect; and no other testable proof of a god's existence has ever been put forward.

Seems pretty conclusive to me - unless, of course, you actually HAVE a testable proof of the existence of your assumed truth?

That's the whole point of working towards truth.  You come up with a hypothesis that you can demonstrate, that can be shown to be true or false, and then you test it.  And the results of the test will tell you whether that thing is true, or not.

WRT flight, its a fair point - but with flight we can come up with a different test as technology advances, so I see no problem with repeated tests using different criteria.  For example:

"Can I jump off a building and fly?"  - No, human flight is not possible under those conditions - therefore for practical purposes we assume it is NOT true.
"Can I jump off a building with feathers on my arms and fly?" - No, human flight is not possible under those conditions - continue to assume it is NOT true.
"Can I fly with a machine that uses a bouncing umbrella?" - No, human flight is still not possible under those conditions - continue to assume it is NOT true.
"Can I fly with a system of wings and forward propulsion?" - Aha, yes!  Under THOSE circumstances, we discover that human flight IS true.

The problem is that all tests I am aware of to detect a god simply repeat stage one with "fail" results - yet the assumption from believers is that despite the fails, it is logical to nevertheless hold the assumption to be true.

But, like I say, perhaps I'm missing a test.  So I repeat - do you have a testable proof of any god?  If not, I see no reason whatsoever to assume that "there is a god" is a Truth.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #77 on: December 25, 2012, 08:27:43 AM »
i think were talking about different things... i'm only offering this as a starting thougt process you are offering it as a means to an answer

That's the point, though.  Once you adopt the assumption as your starting point of your thought process, if it's an assumption you already favor, it tends to become your answer regardless of all other variables.  Rather than looking for truth, you start looking solely for things that validate the initial assumption.  Or such has been my experience.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #78 on: December 25, 2012, 10:09:19 AM »


Never been a good speller... Never really thought it necessary to make sure spelling is always correct... A forum is conversational in nature, so it should be taken more casually than formal literature... 12 monkeys, you start adding on topic intelligent arguments to my threads and stop trolling and I will stop questioning your intelligence... Also your question seems to imply that you think that a god would solely be focused on earth... Why would that be true?

Maybe you ought to get going with answering the points made to you, mhaberling. At the moment you seem to be stalling and avoid answering.

Oh, and spelling - something we all get wrong sometimes - try using a good browser that picks up wroing spelling and then correcting them.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #79 on: December 26, 2012, 01:06:38 AM »
wheels... Sorry, I have found that as a theist I do need to do a little conversation management or It becomes hard to keep a conversation on topic with so many replies... On your direct quote regarding 12monkeys question... As soon as you ask a question you take on the burden of the questions viability... I would be happy to answer 12monkeys question if he can tell me why the existence of a god implies what he is claiming in the first place....

12monkeys... I have read back and calling you stupid as much as I have is a bit uncalled for... I was still a little burnt by you hounding me on the SPAG thing so much (thread should be up on that tomorrow PM me if I forget) Anyways sorry,

Anfauglir... On your question Ill apply my reasoning that I supported earlier to both the existence and lack of existence of a god...

On existence, God is real... This being true what would have to be true, We would most likely see a belief system based around his existence(unnecessary but likely), We would see some evidence of a God at the base workings of nature ie physics,
We may see a record of his interaction with our species (also not required)...

Conclusion, we saw to things that suggested a god, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell... Inconclusive

On  non existence, God is not real... This being true what would have to be true? We would most likely see groups of people denying an existence(not required). We would see a complete explanation of the natural that does not require an intervention of intelligence.

Conclusion, we saw something that suggested a lack of a God, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell if intelligent intervention is required or not... Inconclusive


My assertion is that using my thought process It is not possible to possible to prove a god or lack there of but It does tell us where to look for the answer which as far as I could discern is the same place...


I also want to do the flight example...

Human flight is possible, If that is true then humans can be made as light as air. If humans can be made as light as air then there is a process by which humans can be made lighter than other fluids. A common fluid humans are made lighter then is water. Boats float on water by Bernoulli's principal.

Conclusion... To achieve human flight we should investigate the application of Bernoulli's principal


Azdgari.. Does my application answer your problems with the thought process???
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 01:09:06 AM by mhaberling »
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #80 on: December 26, 2012, 01:45:51 AM »
We do not become lighter than air or water,science explains this.....or are you just using the phrase to explain?
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #81 on: December 26, 2012, 01:50:24 AM »
We do not become lighter than air or water,science explains this.....or are you just using the phrase to explain?

More of just an explanation, I'm aware of this... It was more of just a lazy way to put it into words...
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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #82 on: December 26, 2012, 02:03:42 AM »
On existence, God is real... This being true what would have to be true, We would most likely see a belief system based around his existence(unnecessary but likely), We would see some evidence of a God at the base workings of nature ie physics,
We may see a record of his interaction with our species (also not required)...

Conclusion, we saw to things that suggested a god, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell... Inconclusive

At this point, we invent whatever attributes of the god are necessary in order for our observations of nature to yield a positive result.  That is what actually happens when people go looking for gods in the way you describe, but remain theists.  Do we find everything completely coherent?  Well then, only a divine mind could keep it so!  Do we find instead that space-time as we know it breaks down in some way at extremely small scales?  Well then, that proves <my version of> supernaturalism!  God is real!

This is a dishonest approach, because the result will only ever be about the so-called experimenter's biases, rather than about the topic being analyzed.  Again, this is what actually happens when people do what you describe.  The whole exercise is smoke and mirrors.

On  non existence, God is not real... This being true what would have to be true? We would most likely see groups of people denying an existence(not required). We would see a complete explanation of the natural that does not require an intervention of intelligence.

Conclusion, we saw something that suggested a lack of a God, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell if intelligent intervention is required or not... Inconclusive

Actually neither of those things suggest the lack, or presence, of a god.  Gods believed-in by intelligent believers are deliberately placed beyond the scope of analysis.  After all, they're safe as long as they stay there.

My assertion is that using my thought process It is not possible to possible to prove a god or lack there of but It does tell us where to look for the answer which as far as I could discern is the same place...

You have not shown a thought process that tells me how to figure out where to look for a god.  You have shown me your opinion of where to look for a god, and no results will ever be interpreted - by you - as a negative result in that department.

Unless, by "it does tell us where to look for the answer", you mean "it does tell us where to look for the answer yes".  That would be accurate.

I also want to do the flight example...

Human flight is possible, If that is true then humans can be made as light as air. If humans can be made as light as air then there is a process by which humans can be made lighter than other fluids. A common fluid humans are made lighter then is water. Boats float on water by Bernoulli's principal.

Conclusion... To achieve human flight we should investigate the application of Bernoulli's principal

If by "human flight" you mean solely lighter-than-air flight, such as by zepplins, then that makes sense.  It is not akin to what you have done above.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #83 on: December 26, 2012, 02:16:08 AM »
Anfauglir... On your question Ill apply my reasoning that I supported earlier to both the existence and lack of existence of a god...

On existence, God is real... This being true what would have to be true, We would most likely see a belief system based around his existence(unnecessary but likely), We would see some evidence of a God at the base workings of nature ie physics,
We may see a record of his interaction with our species (also not required)...

Conclusion, we saw to things that suggested a god, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell... Inconclusive

On  non existence, God is not real... This being true what would have to be true? We would most likely see groups of people denying an existence(not required). We would see a complete explanation of the natural that does not require an intervention of intelligence.

Conclusion, we saw something that suggested a lack of a God, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell if intelligent intervention is required or not... Inconclusive

My assertion is that using my thought process It is not possible to possible to prove a god or lack there of but It does tell us where to look for the answer which as far as I could discern is the same place...

Or, in other words, there is NO testable question you can come up with, and therefore no evidence that can be said to support the hypothesis.  As far as I understand it, your position ultimately is that at the point we have a full understanding of physics, we will be able to determine if there is, or is not, a god: only then will we know.

Well, fair enough.  But so freakin' what?  How does that help anyone now, today?  If that is the ONLY way we can determine the existence of a god - ANY god - then any particular religion is as valid as any other.  Christianity as valid as Hinduism, Odin as likely as Osiris.  What religion you follow is a matter of personal preference and whim (since there is NO evidence that would support one deity over another), and therefore there is NO reason at all for any special priviledge in law or government or society for any chosen faith.  It should be as legal and valid to be married by a Shaman of Tzeentch as by a Muslim Imam, as valid to offset tax against donations to a Christian church/charity as to a Satanist one.

Lack of testable evidence, and a scant "one day we MIGHT be able to answer the qustion" is a position that carries huge amounts of meaning, as I've noted above.  As a seeker after truth, I'm sure you would support everything I've said above?


I also want to do the flight example...

Human flight is possible, If that is true then humans can be made as light as air. If humans can be made as light as air then there is a process by which humans can be made lighter than other fluids. A common fluid humans are made lighter then is water. Boats float on water by Bernoulli's principal.

Conclusion... To achieve human flight we should investigate the application of Bernoulli's principal

Sure, go for it.  Keep a record of every test you do, every different mechanism and experiment.  Look at the way that each one, time after time, has failed.  And as the list of failures gets longer and longer, explain how support for the original theory should become stronger?  Because THAT is what you are saying here: come up with a theory, have every test and experiment for that theory fail, but continue to assert that the theory is correct regardless of the continued failure of every test and experiment.

How long is "enough"?  At what point, when your hypothesis is, time after time, shown to fail to work in real life, do you lose your dedication to it?  And I'm not talking about one person's life here, I'm talking about centuries of millions of people all trying to prove that humans can be made lighter than air.

If there were really people out there, large groups, established for centuries, asserting that "humans can become lighter than air, we just haven't found out how", we would be ridiculing them by now, as they continue to hold their theory in the face of centuries of failure.  We'd tease them if we met them, we'd vote against funding for continued experiments, we'd CERTAINLY be denying them charitable status or advantage in law.  So why would anyone suggest religion should be treated any differently?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #84 on: December 26, 2012, 02:22:12 AM »
On my way to bed... answer more tomorrow... according to the thought process I put forward on god the only defensible position is Agnostic... Nite!!
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Offline shnozzola

Re: nature of truth
« Reply #85 on: December 26, 2012, 07:47:42 AM »
   You know, Mhaberling, I'm agnostic only because, to follow logic, and the small limits of my mind, how could I be otherwise?  But that said, through my experiences, what science is learning, and what I have learned from  rational thinkers like those here at WWGHA, it really does seem as if this deity thing is just a leftover idea from civilization that should be past.   I can put up with harmless theists or deists, but frankly, the pieces in place for how the universe works and how we as a species could have gotten to where we are, make it obvious there is not or ever was any god of any kind.

   It is our species collective inability to be objective that prevents us from getting past this.  The idea that we as a species need a purpose is probably what currently drives it - I mean, science has explained lightning, disease, etc. - theists may argue over details, but you must almost force your head to stay in the sand to think any type of god is responsible for anything .  The continuing evolution of the type of life that has evolves on our little planet may not seem enough, but it really is all the purpose we have.   We need to get past this "god" idea, and concentrate on what we as a species need to do to progress.  Unfortunately, you look at what is going on in the world, and the fervor with which people practice the religion of their parents - I mean, if an intelligent mind wants to investigate all the world's religions before choosing what seems logical - atheists win!  :)

   Another thing, and probably the most dangerous, that keeps religion in the picture is emotion. We can get all fired up over someone questioning the very core of what we were taught.  What audacity to question the very creator - these atheist people must be stopped!  They are evil!  They are exactly what jesus said would happen with the seeds spread on rock. 

   Anyway - stay with these arguments and your intelligence will begin to force you to think about the ideas you get at WWGHA.   We are not evil.  There really isn't evil.  There is bad, but not evil.  I hope the idea that 'your' god will be angry with you for trying to discover the truth will not stop you.  I believe that is a very sad reality for some theists that are afraid of their interpretation of a god that was never there.  What mind games we are taught to play.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 07:53:22 AM by shnozzola »
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Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #86 on: December 26, 2012, 10:02:18 AM »
On my way to bed... answer more tomorrow... according to the thought process I put forward on god the only defensible position is Agnostic... Nite!!
I think there needs to be a little bit of clarification here. Agnosticism is a position of knowledge. To say that one is agnostic about God is to say that one realizes that they can not know whether or not God is real. One can be an agnostic evangelist or an agnostic atheist. I think that most non-believers here would describe themselves as agnostic atheists, in other words, we can't know for sure, but we do not believe that there is a God. I would agree that agnosticism is the only defensible position in terms of knowledge, but in terms of belief, atheism is the only defensible position, because it is the only position for which there is not contradicting evidence.

One can believe in Odin all they want, but they are deceiving themselves if they think that there is evidence to support the Odin hypothesis. The default in the face of no evidence to support the claim is that there is no reason to believe that the claim is true. If it could be conclusively, irrefutably demonstrated that a man named Jesus Christ was born on a virgin, was tortured to death, and three days later was alive again, and all of the best available evidence supported this, and none of the best available evidence refuted it, then I would conclude that Jesus Christ was in fact born of a virgin and raised from the dead. But, as Hitchens put it, "A resurrected person who was also the son of a virgin could still be talking nonsense. There's no logic that says he must be right".

In other words, even if such a person was demonstrated conclusively to have existed (2000 years later, this still has not occurred) it would be a complete non-sequitur to conclude that this person was in fact the son of capital G God, supreme ruler and creator of the universe, as described in the Bible. Plenty of stories of heavenly persons born of virgins or by means other than natural conception and/or were resurrected from death were present in the human mind way before Jesus. Were all of those people the direct progeny of the supreme overlord of the universe? If your answer is no, then you must see why no one can make the same claim about Jesus. No special pleading allowed. Either people born of virgins, resurrected from the dead are divine offspring, or they are not.

And the problem is that Christians insist that Jesus MUST be for real precisely BECAUSE he was born of a virgin and rose from the grave. If those are the conditions necessary and sufficient for someone to be of divine paternity, then there are plenty of "for real" gods and goddesses out there, and Christians are ignoring them (at their peril, according to Pascal's wager).

Note that the same people who think that it is entirely plausible and believable that a person was born of a virgin, cured blind people, fed thousands with a McFish value meal, turned water into wine, raised people from the dead, and was himself raised from the dead are the same people who don't think it at all possible that human beings are the result of hundreds of millions of years of very tiny changes in genetic composition, IN SPITE OF the OVERWHELMING evidence to support the theory of evolution. Hell, my 8 year old son was looking through a book of prehistoric mammals, and when it presented nearly a dozen variations of the early hominid, was able to see, on his own, the subtle changes in jaw structure, the slow change of shape from "more like apes" hominids to "more like human" hominids, and concluded, on his own, that the best explanation is that modern humans are evolved from more ape-like ancestors. He's EIGHT, and possesses better critical thinking skills than BILLIONS of adults. When presented with the evidence, he was able to see how the evidence supported the theory. Is it really so much to ask that grown ups have the same level of intellectual honesty as a third grader?
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?