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Offline HAL

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Critical Thinking Class
« on: October 11, 2009, 06:39:25 PM »
Since I have been debating Fran, this topic was started for he and I, but all are welcome to join in, because the topic is one of the most important that will be discussed on this forum. It in fact can determine whether or not you will be or are an atheist or a theist.

Fran,

With all due respect, I have to point out to you what critical thinking is and what it entails. I'm sure you think you know, but I have highlighted parts of the explanation from Wikipedia, that in my opinion, you are not applying or are weakly applying as regards Jesus and the supernatural. Others apply, but the most important ones I think you are not applying properly are bolded.

Critical thinking gives due consideration to the evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making the judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming the judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the nature of the problem and the question at hand. Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance and fairness.[1]

You have no theoretical construct for understanding the nature of the claims you support, i.e. a supernatural entity living on Earth and being resurrected. No, the Bible is not the theoretical construct that explains how what you claim works.

Critical thinking is about being both willing and able to evaluate one's thinking. Thinking might be criticised because one does not have all the relevant information - indeed, important information may remain undiscovered, or the information may not even be knowable - or because one makes unjustified inferences, uses inappropriate concepts, or fails to notice important implications. One's thinking may be unclear, inaccurate, imprecise, irrelevant, narrow, shallow, illogical, or trivial, due to ignorance or misapplication of the appropriate skills of thinking. [2]

I would say that the bolded apply to your claims. There could be important information left to be discovered that would clear up the issue so as to not require a supernatural explanation, thus removing an unjustified inference to the supernatural. Since you cannot go back in time and view the unfolding events, or to make sure you aren't missing information, you should never reach a conclusion that supernatural forces were in play at that time. I have already told you that.

and -

One should become aware of one's own fallibility by:

   1. accepting that everyone has subconscious biases, and accordingly questioning any reflexive judgments;
   2. adopting an ego-sensitive and, indeed, intellectually humble stance;
   3. recalling previous beliefs that one once held strongly but now rejects;
   4. tendency towards group think; the amount your belief system is formed by what those around you say instead of what you have personally witnessed;
   5. realizing one still has numerous blind spots, despite the foregoing.
[3]

I think this applies because you have not personally witnessed the events, so reaching  the conclusion that supernatural forces were at work, something no one can verify or witness today, is unjustified and a massive overreach.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

Now, I invite you and others to discuss critical thinking and why you think I am wrong about you, and why you might think I or other atheists on WWGHA are not critical thinkers.
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking
 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking
 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 06:50:21 PM by HAL »

Offline Alkan

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2009, 06:56:44 PM »
Quote
One should become aware of one's own fallibility by:

   1. accepting that everyone has subconscious biases, and accordingly questioning any reflexive judgments;
   2. adopting an ego-sensitive and, indeed, intellectually humble stance;
   3. recalling previous beliefs that one once held strongly but now rejects;
   4. tendency towards group think; the amount your belief system is formed by what those around you say instead of what you have personally witnessed;
   5. realizing one still has numerous blind spots, despite the foregoing.

I was trying to explain this to the absolute materialists. I'm kind of a materialist in that I think that it is very possible that everything is material. But I'm not really defined. Defining yourself in one of these regards limits your scope of reasoning options.

So, I go "Hmm... I don't really know and I accept that."

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2009, 06:57:24 PM »
Bookmark.

I'm going to follow this, but not necessarily participate.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2009, 07:02:13 PM »
diddo
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline HAL

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 10:22:47 AM »
While we're waiting to see if Fran is interested in this topic...

According to fran -

Quote
No past history, especially ancient history, can be verified first hand by anyone alive today

It depends on what you mean. Certainly we can't actually go back in time to verify it firsthand as in viewing it with our own eyes. But there are other ways to verify things that happened from history are either possible or not - are either sensical or non-sensical. For example, if a battle was conducted between opposing armies, and claims were made about how certain events occurred in the battle, we could analyze the claims knowing the capabilities of humans, the capabilities of the weapons of the day (we could re-create the weapons and verify how they worked and how effective they were), and the terrain where the battle took place, etc. Not only is this a possible way to test whether the claims of the battle were realistic, it uses science to verify historical claims.

Another way is to reconstruct ancient buildings to figure out if it was possible that humans could have built them or, as some claim, were assisted by extraterrestrials. Take the Pyramids. Some have claimed in the past the Egyptians were somehow assisted by aliens in building the Pyramids. However, we can test whether or not buildings of this type could have been made by man alone by actually trying to make the blocks and calculating the time required to put them together, different methods of getting the blocks to the top (I recently saw a good explanation of how this was done using ramps internal to the pyramid), etc. So now I don't think there is any reason to think that humans couldn't have built them with no assistance from "outside". This was an analytical way to determine if an historical event (building a pyramid with man's knowledge alone) was possible. It can be tested, effectively, firsthand.

Now, when it comes to claims of historical supernatural happenings, we should not abandon critical thinking or the ability to verify historical events in the manner I've shown. All you have to do is approach it the same way. If you are a critical thinker, how else would you? When presented with the claim of supernatural forces in play, we first have to use our methods on the claim. Is this claim something that we know how to duplicate in any way for testing? No it is not. There is no known way to reconstruct an event from history involving supernatural forces. If you are a critical thinker, this is a bad sign to start off with. All your alarm bells should be going off.

Now someone might say that supernatural acts cannot be tested at all, because they are not subject to testing. Then I would have to ask, how you even know such a thing exists, if it isn't subject to testing? Because someone claims it? If you know it yourself, how did you come to know it? Even today a person might claim that, but even today it is a baseless claim because it has no effective means of verification. Something must have taken place to make a person say supernatural forces exist, but yet what has taken place cannot be shown to have taken place at all. Something happened because they said it happened. But even suppose a group of people make a claim of a supernatural act. Is that any better? If that is accepted as verification of the true existence of things, and nothing else, then everything people or groups of people say about mystical, unnatural, ethereal things could possibly be true. Any group can now claim any supernatural event is true, because they say it is. According to you, if they write it down, and it is even several people or a large group that attests to it, it rises to the level of acceptance to a critical thinker. If they claim they are witnesses to a supernatural event, it's Ok for a critical thinker to accept as true. I have to say - no.

As if that wasn't bad enough, from a historical perspective, we can't even talk directly to the claimants of these types of events. Perhaps they had a way of showing how supernatural events actually work, and it's lost to history. Perhaps it didn't happen and the story was made up. Perhaps all the goings on, documentation, writings, etc. ended up a confusing mess. Maybe this and maybe that. We don't have enough information for a critical thinker to trust in these things of which we have never see and of which we cannot verify as possible ourselves (see methods explained above). We can't abandon critical thinking on this subject just because we are presented with a new type of event never before seen and never since duplicated, nor can be duplicated. We have to say, we just don't know.

My opinion is that you - Fran - are abandoning critical thinking, because you desire that your belief in your deity is not shattered.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 12:08:20 PM by HAL »

Offline kin hell

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 10:56:13 AM »
Quote
According to fran -

Quote
No past history, especially ancient history, can be verified first hand by anyone alive today


Hal mentions the pyramids.

The pyramids themselves are verifiable evidence of pyramids being built back in ancient history.
They offer current first hand verification, for any of us, of the fact that they were built.(not how they were built)

World effecting supernatural events should leave verifiable evidence of having occurred.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 10:58:28 AM by kin hell »
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all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline Grimm

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2009, 12:03:45 PM »
To offer a bit of an illustration of Hal's point, from a biblical perspective - one of the best points to use is the 10 Plagues.

Everyone knows the story:  Egypt won't let the Israelites go, YHVH steps up and does a whole bunch of horrible things until Pharoah relents, and then the Israelites go through some seawater and end up wandering the desert for 40 years.  

How do we go about verifying this event historically?

You could:

 - Prove that the Israelites were in bondage during the reign of one of the appropriate Pharoah, and that they were as a race completely emancipated, all at once, throughout the enslaving culture.
 - Prove that the Egyptians went through a series of natural disasters within a very short period that were practical improbabilities (poisoned water, frog rain, locusts, skies going black, culminating in a plague that killed the children of Egypt in a generation).
 - Prove that there are segments of Israelite culture heavily influenced by Egyptian methodology, say a tradition of writing, archetecture, or other techniques taken out of the land and used elsewhere by an unusual people to know them.

I'm sure anyone could think of others.

You can do these from various vectors:  do the Egyptian carvings on Pharoah's tombs that detail the triumphs and tribulations of the Pharoah in question (or his predecessors) show any boast about conquering the Israelite nation?  Do any surviving Egyptian records confirm the veracity of any of the events surrounding the plague?  Do neighboring societies record the misfortune of their neighbor?  Are there relics of the passage of the Israelites through the desert?  Are there indications that the Pharoahs had a disasterous military campaign in the upper Sianai peninsula at that appropriate point in history?   Were any Pharoahs killed by drowning in the ocean.. on a chariot.. in that section of the Kingdom?

In other words- is there even a hint of corroboration that the events in question took place?

If there is not - what's the logical conclusion to draw?  If there is, is it enough to prove at least that something happened, even if it didn't quite happened as mentioned?

THat's what this is.  It's not presuppositional that nothing happened, it is instead looking for corroboration in connection to your primary source to prove the veracity of that source.   Heck, if the modern Bedouin told stories of the plagues of the great ancient kingdom, that would be something, wouldn't it?  It's not proof, but it's a hopeful sign...

« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 12:05:25 PM by Grimm »
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Offline MadBunny

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2009, 12:21:14 PM »
A supernatural event, is by definition not a natural occurence.
This means that it is the supernatural is the least probable explanation possible.

So lets look at this picture for a moment.


There are a variety of natural explanations for this and an infinite variety of supernatural ones.
Using our critical capacities, how do we figure out what happened in this picture?[1]
 1. hint it is not photoshopped.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2009, 12:22:21 PM »
Gas leak,

vortex
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2009, 12:36:05 PM »
A supernatural event, is by definition not a natural occurence.
This means that it is the supernatural is the least probable explanation possible.

So lets look at this picture for a moment.


There are a variety of natural explanations for this and an infinite variety of supernatural ones.
Using our critical capacities, how do we figure out what happened in this picture?[1]
 1. hint it is not photoshopped.

OK... I'm not an expert in the study of fires.  In fact, I'm not even sure what that field is called, although I know it exists (pyrology?)  But here's my "guesstimate", based on what I do know about other areas:

We see that the "funnel" is orange at the base, turning red as you get further up and finally turning black.  This indicates that it is a flame emerging from the fire, rather than something coming down from above and striking the fire.  The detail in the photo isn't clear enough to tell for sure, but it appears that the funnel is a spinning vortex; at least, we assume it would be, since all other similar phenomena also rotate.

I would initially be tempted to say that perhaps a house had caught fire and then happened to be hit by a very small tornado, but that would be one heckuva coincidence, and the firefighter standing there casually would probably not be standing there casually if a tornado were approaching, even if it were only a very small one.

More likely, therefore, is that the heat of the fire has somehow stirred up a narrow circular wind pattern on a very small scale, and the flames in that circular pattern are traveling up the tunnel created by the wind.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2009, 01:35:23 PM »
 Both explanations seem possible from what we know about fires and vortexes, and fit a natural explanation.  Both are actually testable.   We can for example set up similar conditions and see if we can replicate the effect.

Whereas a supernatural explanation, lets say... a Genie escaping from his bottle, could not be tested.
The Genie idea, while potentially popular, should be given less credence than a testable, naturalistic explanation.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline bertatberts

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2009, 01:48:33 PM »
Or a can of flammable liquid or gas that exploded sending it skyward, spinning like a bullet out of a gun but with less impetus.  Hence the erratic plume of flames.
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Offline HAL

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2009, 02:55:53 PM »
A few more sources on critical thinking while we wait for Fran -

Critical thinking is...

Using logic, reason and the scientific method over abstract theories and emotional judgements.
Awareness of heuristics (shortcuts) and biases (errors) that influence human thinking.
Using these abilities systematically on everything in your life. From that, using the results to make improvements.[1]

Throwing out the scientific method is throwing out critical thinking.

Dark Side of Knowledge

Another bias is the hidden side of knowledge. That we tend to focus on what we know, as opposed to what we don’t. This is a point brought up by Nassim Nicholas Talib in his book, The Black Swan. As information processors, we necessarily focus on information we have, believing it to be evidence despite the information we lack. Here are some examples of errors due to hidden knowledge:

An employer boasts about his ability to select suitable candidates for employment. The problem is that he does not include the potential applicants that would have done well, but he rejected.
A pigeon relieves itself on the nice blue suit of a Wall Street broker. The broker curses that pigeons seem to aim at him instead of on the street. Here the hidden knowledge is the amount of times he could have been hit, but wasn’t.
A person visits a therapist and starts to feel less depressed. Here the missing evidence is whether that person would have recovered spontaneously without the doctors help (there is evidence to show depression goes up and down in cycles).


I've told you this before Fran, you don't know everything that happened back then. You have some historical writings that you think are evidence for supernatural forces and beings. But there could be errors you don't know about, missing data, or some other explanation that is lost to history. You weren't there. There is no way you can jump to a conclusion that a god was involved from historical writings alone. The answer when faced with incredible stories and claims of gods that can't be verified is "I don't know", not "a God did it". I can say it, I wonder why you can't? I believe it's because you dearly want the information to be enough to know, when it's just stories about incredible goings-on that can't be verified by any of us today, just like all religions have. You want to "know", but you really don't.

Narrative Bias

People have a tendency to prefer anecdotal over statistical evidence. We like stories. A single, personal and emotional story about the benefits of a particular method will sway people far more easily than a graph or set of data points. This preference for subjective accounts rather than the cold, hard facts can lead to errors in thinking. Your Aunt Matilda informing you about the need for chicken soup or echinacea to cure a cold sits more firmly in your mind than a double-blind scientific study which says it won’t work.

I think this one is self-explanatory.

I don't know what you think of me and my fellow critical thinkers here. For all I know you think we are some kind of test put forth by Satan so god can make sure you are a true believer. I really believe you might think that. But I can assure you I am not, and I have no bias towards or agaist any deities. At this time I don't know, because there is no good evidence that my critical thinking skills have uncovered.
 1. http://howto.lifehack.org/wiki/Critical_Thinking
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 04:44:14 PM by HAL »

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2009, 06:37:59 PM »



So it could have been a gas leak and a vortex.
It could have been a fire combined with a small tornado.
It could have been a Genie escaping from his bottle.
It could have been a gas can exploding and shooting off.

We can't prove any of these didn't occur.
All we can do is to look at the most probable explanation and go from there.

If I had to conjecture from looking at the picture, I'd say it's a self generated vortex combined with some rare wind conditions.

I've seen enough fire that I've seen vortexes more than a few times.  I know roughly why and how they occur. 
http://ultimatechase.com/Video_Library/Fires/Fire_Vortex_Stream.wmv <--A great video of it occuring in nature.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8kQbGa72tM[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiO475D0Syc[/youtube]

Being able to replicate this event, and understanding the basic physics behind it remove virtually any supernatural gap that may have existed.  We can effectively write off the Genie idea.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline voodoo child

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2009, 11:31:57 PM »
this is the last thing I have to say to Fran. since he has never answered anything I have said. I guess I am a jerk.

Since we walked out of the jungle over 30thousand years ago..

  The human mind has evolved to the point of boredom. So, we make shit up to explain the universe. Along the way, we put away our silly superstitions.

Your basing your life on a culture that has no provable evidence, it is no better than a Harry potter novel or lord of the rings. about as amazing and colourfully, as following a Japanese tea ceremony.

Following guide lines from an ancient culture, is pointless, and comical to say the least. it is no better than putting on a snuggy and sharing worship too ???    with thirty of your friends.

Wasting your life, paying servitude to a bully and a trickster, made up by man is a waste of a life, that could have done something better. you are investing in an unknown. as a human...  what a waste of an interesting mind.

The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow, you are not understanding yourself. Truth has no path. Truth is living and therefore changing. Bruce lee

Offline Alkan

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2009, 11:36:13 PM »
Religion can't survive critical thinking.

Offline HAL

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2009, 08:15:07 AM »
I don't think Fran is interested in my topic. I sent him a PM but he hasn't shown up. That's too bad because this topic really lies at the heart of the whole dispute over religion. But I'll add another thought on the of chance that he shows up here.

First some quotations from Fran:

Quote
I'm not saying there is scientific evidence for God.. at least none that I'm aware of. I don't understand how you could scientifically prove a God.

Quote
I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is no law of physics which says an outside, transcendent, "supernatural" agency or force cannot "supersede" or "impinge upon" or "effect" any of the known laws of physics. All that science can do is try and understand and observe and describe and measure the NATURAL world and the forces that operate NATURALLY in our world, and in some cases manipulate them.

Quote
God wants followers who are genuinely searching for him... not followers who have to be dragged kicking and screaming and complaining into heaven to spend all of eternity with Him.


Quote
I don't think miracles have ceased to exist anywhere.

I posit that supernatural effects on the natural world are testable, recordable, and repeatable within the measurement capabilities and bounds of the natural world. The only part missing would be having it explainable.

Take the story of Jesus. He was (supposedly) put to death, placed in a tomb, rose again, and then disappeared. Placing yourself back to that era as an observer, how would you have known all that happened? You would have seen it with your eyes and you could have physically verified his body was either existing or not existing with your hands. So the "instruments" you are using for this verification are your eyes and hands. Pretty basic stuff, but that's all they had back then. Even though they existed in the natural world, the people were inclined to attribute what they saw to the supernatural.[1]

Here's the point - if it happened using supernatural effects, then it was observable. If it wasn't observable, then people couldn't have witnessed it and recorded it, and if they hadn't have done that, the whole Christian religion wouldn't exist. So we have the assertion (if we accept Fran's point that supernatural forces exist) they can cause observable/unexplainable effects people can see. If that is the case (and the historical story Fran bases his belief on fails if it isn't so) then observational effects are a means of testing the supernatural, and a means of testing if other supernatural entities (god, et al.) are real. Supernatural powers can cause perturbations in the natural world (see story of Jesus) that ordinary people can see but not explain. This contradicts fran's assertions that the supernatural can't be tested.

In order to do a test, using the effects that supernatural forces can do to the natural world, as I've shown above (all this assuming they exist) you would simply observe a series of identical effects on the same set of natural objects, we'll use a microwave oven and a live chicken, as I used in another post elsewhere. All you would have to do would be to get a cooperative supernatural entity, say Jesus, and ask it to repeat a series of supernatural acts; we'll ask him to turn a microwave into a chicken. Since there is no known natural way to do this, and since we have a cooperative entity assisting us, we'll have to assume it has the powers it claims it has.

We would set up a suite of instruments. A scale to measure the weight of the microwave and chicken, a video camera, and a temperature probe. We first record the weight of the cold, unplugged microwave, it's temperature, and set the video camera going. Then we ask our supernatural friend, in this case Jesus, to turn the microwave into a live chicken. We then observe that the temperature probe rises and indicates the temperature of a chicken, the weight has changed on the scale, and the video camera has recorded the event. We ask him to then turn the chicken back into a microwave oven, and repeat all this 10 times.

As you can now see, the effects of the supernatural could hypothetically be tested using simple human logic and methods. We then ask the scientists if there is any known scientific theory to account for what happened. They will say "no". Then we are left with recorded data of a force we can't explain which was repeatable and was directly attributable to an entity that claimed it could do as we ask. We could then form the conclusion that it had the powers it claimed, we would be forced to admit what we saw happened, because we had the scientific data to support it, observed with impartial (even hostile) witnesses, and since Fran says this:

Quote
I believe (and God wants us to do this) TO TEST EVERYTHING. Especially about a belief that has eternal consequences.

We are doing what god wants us to do. We are testing everything, and we are observing the effects of the supernatural on the natural just as claimed in the Bible when Jesus was resurrected and they were able to come to the conclusion he had supernatural powers. Now all we need to do is get god to cooperate.

I will PM this link to Fran, to make sure he gets a chance to comment, because this is very important.
 1. No Fran, I'm not conceding that it did happen, because nobody can go back and make sure, this is a hypothetical means of testing the supernatural
« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 08:18:39 AM by HAL »

Offline oogabooga

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2009, 08:18:18 AM »
bm
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Offline Fran

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2009, 01:24:10 PM »
Hello HAL...

Quote
Fran,
With all due respect, I have to point out to you what critical thinking is and what it entails. I'm sure you think you know, but I have highlighted parts of the explanation from Wikipedia, that in my opinion, you are not applying or are weakly applying as regards Jesus and the supernatural. Others apply, but the most important ones I think you are not applying properly are bolded.

Critical thinking gives due consideration to the evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making the judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming the judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the nature of the problem and the question at hand. Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance and fairness.[1]

I think I have done that which all enabled me to reach the reasoned conclusion that God exists as evidenced by the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  But the problem is that you KEEP saying I am not using critical thinking BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE you even asked why I think what I did and before we went over why I believe the NT to be reliable historical documents.

In fact, we NEVER... NEVER... NEVER... NEVER debated the issue of the methodologies imployed in analysing the NT as historical documents, or ANYTHING OF THAT SORT.  

You just blurted out that i was not a "true critical thinker".  And on what basis?  ON NOTHING but simply because I reached a different conclusion about whether the NT were reliable historical documents than you do.   And your entire and sole reason (so it seems to me because you have given me no other reasons to think otherwise) for discounting the NT as reliable historical documents is because the writers wrote saying they are giving an accurate portrayel (from their perspective as being involved in that time period and with the main characters) of Jesus Christ... which included the resurrection.

IT IS THAT BIAS of yours which has led you to apriorily dismiss any intellectual discussion about whether these NT were reliable or not.  Your BIAS and PREJUDICE made sure that we couldn't even discuss the issue of reliability of these documents beacuse you already made up your mind beforehand that they were unreliable.  In your worldview, mIracles cannot happen, and thus if someone says they witnessed a miracle, then in your BIASED AND PREJUDICED eyes and point of view, that can ONLY mean they were either lying or nuts or NOT TRUE CRITICAL THINKERS.

If this is not being closed minded and extremely prejudiced... then I honestly don't know what it is.  At least for me, if someone says they saw pink unicorns at such and such a place... I might understandly be skeptical... but I will at least investigate the evidence they give before I will blurt out that they are lying or nuts or say that they are not true critical thinkers.  You didn't even have the courtesy of saying I might be mistaken.  You just blurted out that I was not a "TRUE CRITICAL THINKER"...  BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE  you even investigated and asked why I believe the NT documents to be historically reliable.  You did not employ ANY of the criteria listed above from Wikipedia.. the criteria that are the hallmarks of critical thinking.  You simply dismissed my reasons without even looking at them because you are biased and prejudiced.

That is the issue that started this whole thing.  And when I was brave enough to suggest that because you employed the uncritical assesment of my critical thinking skills to unjustly attack me (by employing the fallacy of begging the question), and commented that might indeed mean that it is YOU who is not the "true critical thinker"... you want to start a class in critical thinking because you think I am not a true critical thinker.....

I mean... if you look at the meaning of that phrase based on what you've pasted, and if you look at your past statements to me... side by side... then it is clear that it is you who would be guilty of the charge of not being a true critical thinker.  

Think I'm wrong?  Then let's look at your statements to me... side by side to what you've pasted from Wikipedia:

The following is from Wikipedia which you've pasted:

Critical thinking is assumed to be the purposeful and reflective judgement about what to believe or what to do in response to observations, experience, verbal or written expressions, or arguments. Critical thinking may involve determining the meaning and significance of what is observed or expressed, or, concerning a given inference or argument, determining whether there is adequate justification to accept the conclusion as true. Hence, Fisher & Scriven define critical thinking as "Skilled, active, interpretation and evaluation of observations, communications, information, and argumentation."[1]   Parker & Moore define it more narrowly as the careful, deliberate determination of whether one should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim and the degree of confidence with which one accepts or rejects it.[2]

AND

Critical thinking gives due consideration to the evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making the judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming the judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the nature of the problem and the question at hand. Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance and fairness.

Now let's look at your statements to me:

... true critical thinkers would never accept a supernatural event in some previous era even if it was historically documented. No Fran, the game isn't played like that. Historical claims of normal humans doing normal things humans do is fine, but if you suggest a critical thinker should accept a historical claim of supernatural goings-on - it won't fly. That's not critical thinking - that's religion.

Now let's look at my previous reponse to you for the above:

I think you beg the question when you make the claim (a hyperbole one at that in my opinion) that "true critical thinkers would never accept a supernatural event in some previous era even if it was historically documented".   Your definition of what is a "true critical thinker" is different than mine obviously.  So the question now becomes, how do we recognize a "true critical thinker" when the very criteria you use is in dispute?  You now can't fall back on your own criteria without begging the question.  You would have to demonstrate why your criteria and definition is the norm or why it is unbiased without question begging.

To me.. a true critical thinker will always follow the evidence wherever it leads.. .not matter even if it means he has to make a major paradigm shift in his worldview to accomodate the evidence in front of him.


Now let's look at what "begging the question" is... from Wikipedia (since you are using that source for critical thinker):

Begging the question (or petitio principii, "assuming the initial point") is a logical fallacy in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in the premise.

Now I want to highlight some more parts from the Wikipedia source you gave us concerning "critical thinking"... with the idea of seeing how logic is employed in "critical thinking"... because this addresses the "begging the question" issue:

"Knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning..."

"... to recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions, to draw warranted conclusions and generalizations, to put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives..."

As we can see, the use of logic, logical inquiry, logical relationships, and reasoning are all vital to "critical thinking".  So if you... and any other person who claims to be "true critical thinker"... is "begging the question"... which is logical fallacy... then they are not... at that point in time... being true critical thinkers.   At the very least, they are violating (knowingly or unknowingly) their own understanding of what is required for true critical thinking.

So, are you employing the logical fallacy called "begging the question" in your statements to me about whether the NT documents can be judged historically reliable when they contain a miracle or some other supernatural event?  I think you are.  Here is why:

Your statement is that:
"... true critical thinkers would never accept a supernatural event in some previous era even if it was historically documented. No Fran, the game isn't played like that. Historical claims of normal humans doing normal things humans do is fine, but if you suggest a critical thinker should accept a historical claim of supernatural goings-on - it won't fly. That's not critical thinking - that's religion.".

You are obviously of the opinion that NO TRUE CRITICAL THINKER would never accept a supernatural event (like Christ's resurrection) EVEN IF IT WAS HISTORICALLY DOCUMENTED!!!!!!!!

And I am saying and have repeatedly said to you:
"To me.. a true critical thinker will always follow the evidence wherever it leads.. .no matter even if it means he has to make a major paradigm shift in his worldview to accomodate the evidence in front of him."

Obviously, the issue of whether miracles (supernatural events) do really exist... is the crucial difference between us in terms of what it means to be a critical thinker.   And yet you are begging the question by using in your conclusion the very thing that is in dispute between us.  We both agree on everything Wikipedia says about critical thinking.  There is NOTHING in Wikipedia's definition that I am in disagreement with.  NOTHING!!!!!!

AND... AND... AND... AND... ALSO.... there is also nothing in Wikipedia's definition of "critical thinking" which even TALKS about or mentions miracles or supernatural events.  So this is  YOUR BIAS AND EXTREME PREJUDICE that is being imposed on Wikipedia's idea of what critical thinking.  It is YOU is making the PREMISE that critical thinking and supernatural events do not go hand in hand.  Not Wikipedia and not me.   It is YOU has taken that biased and prejudiced premise of yours, and INCLUDED into the conclusion and debate about critical thinnking... not Wikipedia and not me.  

You are clearly begging the question when Wikipedia never mentions miracles or supernatural events.. and yet that issue is the one that divides us and in question as to it's relationship with "critical thinking... and you use that premise in your conclusion to say that:

"... true critical thinkers would never accept a supernatural event in some previous era even if it was historically documented. No Fran, the game isn't played like that. Historical claims of normal humans doing normal things humans do is fine, but if you suggest a critical thinker should accept a historical claim of supernatural goings-on - it won't fly. That's not critical thinking - that's religion.".



Allright... That's one issue.  The other issue lies in the other words and expressions Wikipedia uses to describe "critical thinking"... in relation to what you have done in here in our discussion.

Not once... did we go over the methodologies or evidence or reasoning that goes behind the question of whether the NT documents can be considered historically reliable (surrounding the life, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus)... because you CUT THAT AVENUE off from either of us by your APRIORI statement and conclusion that a supernatural event cannot be considered as something that actually happening because "true critical thinkers" would never accept such claims... EVEN IF IT WAS HISTORICALLY DOCUMENTED!!!!!

You did this IN SPITE of the fact that Wikipedia says about critical thinking that it is a "purposeful and reflective judgement about what to believe or what to do in response to observations, experience, verbal or written expressions, or arguments".

You cut off this avenue in Critical thinking even though this is suppossed to be what critical thinking is about.

Neither did we engage in together (because you've cut us off from that avenue) any arguments or evidence or reasoning in "determining the meaning and significance of what is observed or expressed, or, concerning a given inference or argument, determining whether there is adequate justification to accept the conclusion as true" surrounding the NT documents because you've concluded BEFOREHAND that miracles are impossible even though that is the very question that we are debating.

Neither did we engage in together (because you've cut us off from that avenue) anything that Fisher & Scriven says that defines critical thinking as "Skilled, active, interpretation and evaluation of observations, communications, information, and argumentation"  because of your PRIOR bias and prejudice.

Neither did we engage in together (because you've cut us off from that avenue) what Parker & Moore defines more narrowly the idea of Critical Thinking  "as the careful, deliberate determination of whether one should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim and the degree of confidence with which one accepts or rejects it" because again of your PRIOR bias and prejudice.

Neither did we engage in together (because you've cut us off from that avenue) and give "due consideration to the evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making the judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming the judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the nature of the problem and the question at hand" because again of your PRIOR bias and prejudice.

Neither did we engage in together (because you've cut us off from that avenue) the employment of "not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance and fairness" because again of your PRIOR bias and prejudice.

All these processes that define Critical Thinking were thrown at the window by you because you were committed to a PRIOR bias and prejudice that miracles are impossible and cannot be documented bcause no amount of historical document would satisfy you.

You've set up the playing rules (which are nothing more than your bias and prejudice) to guarantee that you will win...  NO MATTER HOW MUCH HISTORICAL DOCUMENTATION THERE IS!!!!!!!!!!!

Well HAL... for the above reasons... I think it would be safer to say that it is you who is not a "true critical thinker"... not me.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 01:31:25 PM by Fran »

Offline HAL

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2009, 03:02:21 PM »
OK great! Fran decided to join in. That's good because being a critical thinker is what it all really comes down to.


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You just blurted out that i was not a "true critical thinker".  And on what basis?  ON NOTHING but simply because I reached a different conclusion about whether the NT were reliable historical documents than you do.

Ridiculous. I've explained why I think you aren't a critical thinker. Anyway, read on and you'll learn more.

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You just blurted out that I was not a "TRUE CRITICAL THINKER"...  BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE  you even investigated and asked why I believe the NT documents to be historically reliable.

There is no amount of "reliability" from historical documents that a critical thinker would accept as evidence of supernatural events - that's why. That's the main area where you fail as a critical thinker. It doesn't matter what you believe in the area of using historical documents to accept supernatural events - somebody taught you wrong - you have a erroneous belief that you can accept wild claims from historical documents as evidence of deities. That's a failure of critical thinking. You need to unlearn that particular class. Also, notice I said from historical documents. I am not saying there is no amount of evidence that would convince me of the supernatural --> Read,

I said from --> historical documents <--

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Neither did we engage in together (because you've cut us off from that avenue)...

Now then, I didn't cut off anything from you, I presented the most important aspects from my point of view. You did read this didn't you -

HAL:
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Now, I invite you and others to discuss critical thinking and why you think I am wrong about you, and why you might think I or other atheists on WWGHA are not critical thinkers.

That means you are free to post whatever you want to (which you did) - nothing has been cut off. I don't know why you went on that tirade, because I certainly didn't tell you what to or what not to post.

I'm going to cut to the chase on what I think is the main issues regarding critical thinking and why, in my opinion, you are not using it properly. You seem to think my mind is somehow closed to new ideas . No, it is not, but as you can see from my post about verification of supernatural forces (yes, it could be done - any comments on that post  Here?), it has to be verified and documented with unbiased tools, as you can read in my post. Not just people's opinion of what they may have thought they witnessed about something they could not explain. Why? Because a witness account is the worst kind of documentation there is, especially for forces which they know not the least about. Why would I accept an account of an event from somebody that didn't even know the first thing about how to explain what they saw? That's just asking for wild speculation and their own made-up stories that they will create to explain (in their minds) what happened. What you are going to get is their best explanation of it within the bounds their own personal worldview and experience. Not good evidence for a critical thinker. The answer for such events is not "god did it" or some other unverifiable explanation. It's "I don't know how that happened". In your own manner of shouting -

I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW

That's the answer

I don't care if 10,679 people witness a mountain supernaturally rising 4,000 years ago, and they all atested to it, and somebody dug up 5 different documents from different groups that all said the same thing - without any physical evidence, and just that historical testimony, and with no repeatable events ever happening again in the history of Earth - a critical thinker cannot accept it as a highly probable event. It would be called at best, an unexplainable event, and probably just a local cultural story dreamed up by the locals to explain something they could not otherwise understand. In order for a critical thinker to accept it as an actual factual event, you'd have to duplicate it today with all manner of instruments running. Duplication (verification) and unbiased tools (instruments), that's what you are leaving out of your toolbox. You've gone head-over-heels for a one-off supernatural (you think) event and based your whole worldview on it. IMHO, it's a big, big mistake and sloppy critical thinking. Sorry to have to say that. The other bad thing for you is, you have the entire burden of proof, and for what you are attempting to prove - it's about as hard a task as you can imagine.

So that's what I want to focus on, because it's the main thing that troubles me about how you use your critical thinking skills. That's not saying you can't focus on what you want to also, and I will address what you think is wrong with my skills. I also invite other to join in with comments.

Thank you for your participation.

Offline Kenect2

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2009, 03:56:36 PM »
Supernatural events are automatically special pleading fallacies.
"... for any consistent, effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths, there is an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory." - Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem

Offline Fran

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2009, 04:31:58 PM »
Hello HAL...

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Fran
You just blurted out that i was not a "true critical thinker".  And on what basis?  ON NOTHING but simply because I reached a different conclusion about whether the NT were reliable historical documents than you do.

HAL
Ridiculous. I've explained why I think you aren't a critical thinker. Anyway, read on and you'll learn more.

No you haven't.  You only keep repeating that since I believe in miracles, then I must not be a critical thinker.

That's been you're ENTIRE argument!!!!!

THAT IS BEGGING THE QUESTION!!!   That's ASSUMING the very thing that divides us about what critical thinking is BECAUSE THERE IS NO WHERE IN THE ENTIRE WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE ON CRITICAL THINKING ANYTHING ABOUT MIRACLES.

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Fran
You just blurted out that I was not a "TRUE CRITICAL THINKER"...  BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE  you even investigated and asked why I believe the NT documents to be historically reliable.

HAL
There is no amount of "reliability" from historical documents that a critical thinker would accept as evidence of supernatural events - that's why.


THAT IS BEGGING THE QUESTION!!!

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That's the main area where you fail as a critical thinker.

I"m not begging the question or refusing to look at the evidence together BEFORE we even start.  You are... not me.

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It doesn't matter what you believe in the area of using historical documents to accept supernatural events - somebody taught you wrong - you have a erroneous belief that you can accept wild claims from historical documents as evidence of deities.


There you go again.  You are ASSUMING beforehand that claims about miracles are wild and erroneous WITH NO DISCUSSION WHATSOEVER...  BASED ENTIRELY ON YOUR OWN BIAS AND PREJUDICE ASSUMPTION AGAINST MIRACLES!!!!!

That begs the question.

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That's a failure of critical thinking.

With all due respect, you need this class more than I do.  Your emotions have blinded you and preventing you from using every criteria listed in the Wikipedia article you pasted.

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You need to unlearn that particular class. Also, notice I said from historical documents. I am not saying there is no amount of evidence that would convince me of the supernatural.

Yes... and so?  Are you now saying that historical documents, if objectively deemed reliable, are not evidence?

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Fran
Neither did we engage in together (because you've cut us off from that avenue)...

HAL
Now then, I didn't cut off anything from you, I presented the most important aspects from my point of view. You did read this didn't you -

HAL
Now, I invite you and others to discuss critical thinking and why you think I am wrong about you, and why you might think I or other atheists on WWGHA are not critical thinkers.

That means you are free to post whatever you want to (which you did) - nothing has been cut off. I don't know why you went on that tirade, because I certainly didn't tell you what to or what not to post.

??????  You just don't get it do you?  You're making the same mistake Velkyn does.  Your invitation HAD NOTHING WHASOEVER to do with any needed discussion on the historical reliability of the NT documents!!!!   YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT CRITICAL THINKING IN RELATION TO YOUR CLASS!!!!

And not only that... but I NEVER said other atheists on WWGHA are not critical thinkers when we were discussing the issue about YOUR claim that dealt with whether or not you thought I was a critical thinker.   It may be true that others in here are making the same logical mistakes as you are, but I certainly didn't name names or point to other atheists in our discussion.  This is once again a false imposition by you on what the facts are.

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I'm going to cut to the chase on what I think is the main issues regarding critical thinking and why, in my opinion, you are not using it properly. You seem to think my mind is somehow closed to new ideas .

I never said any such thing.. so this is a red herring... not to mention it is just patently false.  Whether you made that false statement deliberately or unknowingly.. I can't say.

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No, it is not, but as you can see from my post about verification of supernatural forces (yes, it could be done - any comments on that post  Here?), it has to be verified and documented with unbiased tools, as you can read in my post.

And for you to apply this consistently and rigouresly, you would have to demonstrate that the NT writers were so biased that they were incapable of writing the truth... or at least get the important details correct.  

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Not just people's opinion of what they may have thought they witnessed about something they could not explain.

They weren't JUST GIVING opinions.. but they claimed that they were reporting facts as they saw it... facts that could easily have been supported or shown to be false by the people (friends and foes) who lived at that time and were directly involved in many of the events the documents talks about.

all the written material was done out in the open within the lifetimes of the people it spoke about.  The writers did not wait until everyone died off so that there could be no challenges to the veracity of what they wrote.

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Why? Because a witness account is the worst kind of documentation there is,

Sometimes that is all there is.  For example... I defy you to prove that Washington wasn't a real person without any witness accounts being used.  It's impossible!!!   Pictures?  How do you know it's really a picture of him?  Written material?  How do you know it's really his?  You see, you can't go back into history and interview everybody or anybody about George Washington.... so you are stuck with what people claim about Washington.  That is what historians do.

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especially for forces which they know not the least about.


I don't need to understand a force to describe an event or give testimony of what I saw!!!!  I may not know what caused the event and I may not be able to explain the event completely, but I certainly can give an account of what I saw.

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Why would I accept an account of an event from somebody that didn't even know the first thing about how to explain what they saw?


You assume they didn't know it was a miracle they were witnessing.  And who can explain a miracle?   Before black holes were understood, you could certainly describe them and take pictures of them (well... at least what is around them).  You can see the effects of the event and still not know why the event is occuring and how it is occuring.   But you can still observe it and describe it.  There are many things in the this world like that where an event wasn't understood, but still reported about.

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That's just asking for wild speculation and their own made-up stories that they will create to explain (in their minds) what happened.

Or it could be a statement of truth as to what Jesus told them.  Maybe you could argue that they couldn't explain or completely understand what was happening... but if that event can speak for itself (as Jesus could), then the listeners would understand.  A black hole can't tell us anything and so we have to figure it out on our own.  Not so with Christ's resurrection.  He didn't go into heaven mute... He explained what was happening before it happened.. .and after it happened.  Not made up stories were therefore necessary.

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What you are going to get is their best explanation of it within the bounds their own personal worldview and experience.

Sure.. if they are trying to explain something that doesn't speak back to them and explain things for them about what they are seeing.

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Not good evidence for a critical thinker. The answer for such events is not "god did it" or some other unverifiable explanation. It's "I don't know how that happened".


If we talking about an event that can't speak back to us.  Like radiation and sound waves and mircowaves and black holes and other phenomena encountered for the first time by man who has nothing in his history to prepare him for the event he is witnessing.  But that is not the case here.

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In your own manner of shouting -

I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW

That's the answer

I DO KNOW - I DO KNOW - I DO KNOW - I DO KNOW - I DO KNOW - I DO KNOW

That's the answer

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I don't care if 10,679 people witness a mountain supernaturally rising 4,000 years ago, and they all atested to it, and somebody dug up 5 different documents from different groups that all said the same thing - without any physical evidence, and just that historical testimony, and with no repeatable events ever happening again in the history of Earth - a critical thinker cannot accept it as a highly probable event.


This makes sense only if they think like you.. and that is to rule out apriorily that a God couldn't have done it... if those same people saw God do it.  You keep asking for physical evidence when there is no reason to assume there should be any in a particular event.

Not only that, but let's examine what you just wrote in light of your other statements.   Even if God was to repeat raising a mountain supernaturally over and over and over and over... SUPERNATURALLY... not using any known laws of physics... why would you accept what you are seeing when you will have to admit that you CAN'T explain how it is done?

You yourself said:
"Why would I accept an account of an event from somebody that didn't even know the first thing about how to explain what they saw?"  
 
and you said:
"Not just people's opinion of what they may have thought they witnessed about something they could not explain."

Well why would anyone accept your account (as you try to explain what you saw repeatedly) when there is no way you can use any known laws of physics to explain how it is done or explain what you saw?

See... I think you are asking of others what you yourself will not ask of yourself.

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It would be called at best, an unexplainable event, and probably just a local cultural story dreamed up by the locals to explain something they could not otherwise understand.


And how would you explain the mountain rising supernaturally if God is showing you that he is doing?  How would you explain what you saw to someone who did not see what you saw without sounding EXACTLY like the NT writers who saw Jesus' miracles?

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In order for a critical thinker to accept it as an actual factual event, you'd have to duplicate it today with all manner of instruments running.


And what if the event isn't duplicated?  Does that mean it never happened?  And what if the event happened, but you didn't have your instruments up and running because you had no idea when or where the event would occur?  Does that also mean it didn't happen?  And what if your instruments couldn't record what happened because of some kind of phenomena or effect the event had on the instruments?  Does that also mean it didn't happen?

And what events that happened in the past before these instruments existed?  Does that mean the past did not exist?  Infinite skepticism is philosophically untenable and unsustainable because no matter what you ask for, a person who was more critical and skeptical than you can say there was not enough evidence.   The real world does not work that way.

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Duplication (verification) and unbiased tools (instruments), that's what you are leaving out of your toolbox.

No... not all.  When it can be applied, that is wonderful.  When it isn't duplicated and if there were not instruments around, then I have to deal with what evidence is there.  And this is the situation for all of history, especially ancient history.    That's a fact i'm willing to live with.  And so do historians.  And critical thinkers.

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You've gone head-over-heels for a one-off supernatural (you think) event and based your whole worldview on it.

No.  That's an incomplete picture of what occurs in truly born again Christians.  There is the inner change and knowledge and assurance that occurs when you accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour which the Holy Spirit gives you.  Now... that cannot be verified independtly at all.  And I wouldn't even dream of you to accept that kind of personal testimony and evidence.  And so we don't.  

But I'm not having a discussion with you based on that kind of personal evidence.  I'm asking that you treat and challenge and test the NT documents as you would do with any documents that claim to be historical knowledge and factual.   That is the kind of evidence that can be handled and looked at and analyzed objectively and independently of any experiental evidence.

For me, the objective evidence came first.. .and then the experiential evidence came after and confirmed the former.

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IMHO, it's a big, big mistake and sloppy critical thinking. Sorry to have to say that.


This is only true if I'm doing what you claim.. but since I'm not, this statement of yours is irrelevant in my case.

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The other bad thing for you is, you have the entire burden of proof, and for what you are attempting to prove - it's about as hard a task as you can imagine.

But as difficult as it maybe... I think it is still very persuasive and compelling for the open mind.

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So that's what I want to focus on, because it's the main thing that troubles me about how you use your critical thinking skills.


I'm not the one who is begging the question and who was cutting off any discussion over evidence and facts by apriorily dismissing my argument because you've already assumed in your conclusion the very thing in quesion.  It is your use of your claimed critical thinking skills that I find troubling.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 04:34:36 PM by Fran »

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2009, 04:43:55 PM »
If you claim special inner changes that can't be documented in any way, that is not evidence of anything but your personal feelings. No measures show that christians, or muslims, or hindus live any better than anyone else. In fact as we have pointed out many times, religious societies are often worse off in most of the ways people care about (life span, income, education, infant mortality, crime, health, etc).

So what can demonstrate to a critical thinker that anything has really happened to a group of people who claim to be born again in the holy spirit or whatever? If there is no measurable difference in their lives compared to a control group of non-born agains, atheists, and people of other religions?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline HAL

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2009, 04:56:29 PM »
Supernatural events are automatically special pleading fallacies.

Yes, I knew it was coming, just not that much! Most of that comes down to this simple sentence -

Quote
And what if the event isn't duplicated?  Does that mean it never happened?

No, it means we don't know, like I've told you a hundred times already. You don't know Fran. You don't.

Before I address what is mainly a special pleading rant from you (I'm going to have to condense all that special pleading somehow), you are going to have to respond to this -

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=9647.msg217490#msg217490
« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 05:08:55 PM by HAL »

Offline Fran

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2009, 05:38:42 PM »
Supernatural events are automatically special pleading fallacies.

Yes, I knew it was coming, just not that much! Most of that comes down to this simple sentence -

Quote
And what if the event isn't duplicated?  Does that mean it never happened?

No, it means we don't know, like I've told you a hundred times already. You don't know Fran. You don't.

Before I address what is mainly a special pleading rant from you (I'm going to have to condense all that special pleading somehow), you are going to have to respond to this -

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=9647.msg217490#msg217490


I'm not special pleading.  I'm asking you to treat the testimony of the NT writers as you would ALL documents that purport to be historical and factual.    There is no special pleading on my part, to treat the NT documents any differently.  Christians... and God want the evidence to be tested.  God says to TEST EVERYTHING.

I'm not asking that favorable details be introduced or that unfavorable details be excluded in anyway.  Only a fair and impartial analysis of the NT documents as you would use on any other documents... especially those from ancient history.

I am not asking or alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations... only a fair and impartial search of the NT documents as you would with any historical documents.

And the statement: "And what if the event isn't duplicated?  Does that mean it never happened?"... how is this an example of special pleading.   ALL HISTORY is an example of this.  The signing of the Declaration WILL NEVER be duplicated.   So I don't understand why you would use this statement as an example of special pleading when it's impossible for any history.

And this is what we are talking about... HISTORY!  

But you're insistent request for events to be repeated (before they will be accepted) is spurious and disingenious for other reasons as well.

The creation of the universe is a one time event... and you can't point to anything in history to suggest that it will happen again.  And that's a real physical, natural phenomena that follows the law of physics.   Also, you had no instruments to measure it and you can't repeat it.

So does that mean because we can't repeat it... measure it... duplicate it.. mean it didn't happen?  There are other examples like this... but I hope you get the point.

Anyway, in any forthcoming reply... please take into consideration what I've just said.

special pleading essentially involves someone attempting to cite something as an exemption to a generally accepted rule without justifying the exemption.  I'm not asking for any exemption to any rule of logic or any excemption to any principle of honest investigation with an open mind.

What generally accepted law of physics says that supernatural forces don't exist?  What generally accepted law of physics says that these are all that exists?   What generally accepted law of physics says that these laws themselves cannot be influenced by a supernatural force?  There are none.

Natural events and miracles (supernatural events) are not the same.  To demand the same criteria from each... to demand that we treat one like the other... is itself a category fallacy.

And for HAL to keep assuming that miracles are impossible because miracles are impossible... is begging the question.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 05:46:19 PM by Fran »

Offline HAL

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2009, 05:49:47 PM »
Fran,

I'm not going to write up any more responses until you address the logic and critical thinking exercise in this post -

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=9647.msg217490#msg217490

You just jumped right over on over it for some reason. The answers you give are going to be a big part of my critique of your faulty use of critical thinking. I spent a lot of time on it, and unless you address the post I can't fully show you why you are failing as a critical thinker.

I will check here over the next day to see if you can muster a response that addresses the thought problem I posed. Be as honest and accurate as you can be please.

Also, I suggest we both attempt to condense our responses in the following way - rather than 22 quotes and 22 responses under each post, I suggest a summary or a couple of pertinent quotes from the opposite viewpoint and then a summary response. All these tit-for-tat quote/responses is very tedious and doesn't make for good reading for either us or the audience. Is that acceptable?

Thanks.


Offline Kenect2

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2009, 05:54:29 PM »
Quote from: Fran
What generally accepted law of physics says that supernatural forces don't exist?

/facepalm
"... for any consistent, effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths, there is an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory." - Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem

Offline HAL

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2009, 05:59:28 PM »

Quote from: Fran
What generally accepted law of physics says that supernatural forces don't exist?

/facepalm

I know, I know. I knew the mindset I was dealing with when I started this thread.

Patience grasshopper...

Offline Kenect2

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Re: Critical Thinking Class
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2009, 06:32:38 PM »
Fran, if you want to say that some natural forces caused Jesus to be resurrected, then there is room for discussion. But to admit that it was caused by supernatural forces, is to commit a special pleading fallacy. It isn't a law of physics that rules out supernatural forces. It is a law of logic. Since we cannot understand or even discuss this thing outside of nature, then the thing is removed from any logical discussion. It is therefore inherently illogical.

I could just as easily claim that some supernatural force has tricked you into falsely believing the Resurrection, and my claim would be as valid as yours. If I were to make the claim that you had been tricked by supernatural forces, you would not be able to employ logic against my argument, because those supernatural forces are beyond logic and physics. At that point, there isn't any logical discussion available to us. It's your opinion versus mine. And I suppose that is where we will stay.
"... for any consistent, effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths, there is an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory." - Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem