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  • Darwins +1134/-27

Wayne's never seen Anfauglir and I going at it with hammer and tongs over the concept of free will, I take it.

I think the reason he's making this claim of "corporate evil" is because some people are making "slanderous and profane accusations", and the rest of us aren't challenging them on it.  Presumably, these are calling his god a fantasy and accusing him of confirmation bias, based on a later post of his.

The thing is, though, it's up to him to show that his god isn't a fantasy of his.  He's tried to do this by compiling a series of anecdotes, but anecdotal evidence isn't convincing in its own right.  He's also claimed that his god must be hiding the evidence that would prove that his god really exists, which doesn't help his case at all.

As for confirmation bias, I'm reasonably convinced that he is engaging in it - and he's done most of the convincing by how he reacted to it.  He accused other members of suffering from confirmation bias (which might be true, but he didn't back up these accusations with anything that would support his argument), he's steadfastly denied that he could be suffering from it (indicating that he's not even willing to consider the possibility that he might be), and he's absolutely certain that his episodes are the work of his god (without providing evidence that would back up that certainty to someone not directly involved, as he's tacitly admitted by saying it would be wrong of me - and others, presumably - to be certain about his episodes).

So, in short, it's no more unreasonable to consider Wayne's god a fantasy until he provides verifiable evidence back up that claim (and not something that can easily be attributed to coincidence) than it would be to conclude that the Wookees from Planet Kashyyyk, or Klingons from Planet Qo'noS, are also a fantasy when one can provide no proof of their existence.  Indeed, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to support their existence, in the form of stories written about them, television shows and movies produced about them, etc.  Far more anecdotal evidence than Wayne has.  For all we know, they're secretly communicating via telepathy with the people who wrote those stories, but it would be up to them to show evidence if this were the case.

I'm sure Wayne would say that those are obviously fictional races that don't actually exist.  However, there have been people who have claimed to be in telepathic contact with space aliens, or even that they were abducted by space aliens, yet who have been able to provide nothing more than anecdotal stories - that they nonetheless firmly believe to be true and convincing evidence of the existence of these space aliens, just as Wayne does - to support their claims.  Wayne's argument is essentially that we should accept those anecdotes as evidence - as well as the certainty of the ones providing them - if we couldn't prove them wrong, as he's argued that we should accept his anecdotes and his certainty as evidence because we can't prove him wrong.

This is not a valid approach to determining whether claims are true or not.  It would force us to accept many claims which were probably false, but which we couldn't be sure about.  While that would be convenient for the people advancing those claims, it would be practically useless for any other purpose; we would have to waste a huge amount of time and energy following up on claims which were probably false, because we couldn't rule them out due to the dubious evidence provided to support them.

What we do, which is to assume such claims false until a person can provide verifiable evidence to support them, results in much less wasted time and effort.  It's true, we may end up ruling out claims that could be true for lack of evidence, but better to do that and have the ones advancing those claims come up with additional evidence which may well prove their claim is true, than have to follow up on any number of dubious claims which are probably not true.

In short, Wayne, your job now is to find us some verifiable evidence that we can actually test out for ourselves to support your claim that your god is responsible for your episodes (rather than a purely natural cause which has nothing to do with any god at all).  Until you can do that, you're just wasting your time and ours.  And while I don't particularly mind the wasted time (posting here is a leisure activity for me), you aren't doing yourself any good by being stubborn and insisting that we should accept what you say anyway.
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nogodsforme Well put. March 11, 2013, 03:42:02 PM