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Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
#31
RE: Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
The idea of God can't even be considered rational or irrational until it's defined properly. Just because people use the same word, it doesn't mean it's the same concept. And clearly, it isn't. It's just a vague collection of weird ideas with not even one necessary component.

Is the idea of a generic intelligent creator rational? Sure, yes. Is belief in one rational? I'd say no. Is belief that there is no such creator rational? Maybe not, if nothing about the creator has been specified. I wouldn't assume that "we" would be of any interest to such a creator. It would most likely be a simulation or something. I'd say at this point, it really doesn't matter. This potential creator is irrelevant in all practical respects.

Is an intelligent creator plus [word salad drivel] a rational idea? Probably not. But I'll listen to each case. And the intelligent creator part isn't even a given, either.
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#32
RE: Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
(11th December 2016, 05:11)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: But the thing is, one claim is abstract, and the other posits a claim about reality. When we're talking about the existence of a being in reality, it is not an abstraction, and cannot be evidenced by simple words.
"Being" is an abstraction.  What I perceive in reality are conglomerations of colors and shapes.  When one of these shapes is examined *very closely*, one discovers that it is a conglomeration of more shapes.  In other words, that it -- this particular shape -- is individuated in my mind as as a distinct unit with its own existence which is independent from everything else -- but that it also shares "properties" which I identify through common terms -- is an abstraction.  "I," "self," etc., are similarly concepts that are abstract and presumed to be beings in reality, but these represent a more difficult, or, at least ethereal, case.  I think theists would rightly contend that if a God exists, he/she/it cannot be dismissed on the grounds that it is like downbeatplum's claim of seeing a dinosaur lurking behind a bush; it must instead be accepted or dismissed on the grounds that it is more like an entity such as a self or a soul.

(Not sure how much this is related, but as a side note, "Being," "one," "thing," are included in what Bertrand Russell called "metaphysical terms." See p. 473 here: http://www.ntslibrary.com/PDF%20Books/Hi...osophy.pdf).

(11th December 2016, 07:41)bennyboy Wrote: Yep.

What if I do not believe the senses can arrive at any kind of existential truth-- that they can be known to be true only in their own context?  What if I ask for evidence, as per your OP, that experiences CAN be used to validate metaphysical truth claims at all?

In short, what if I ask for evidence that evidence is the right way to go about proving philosophical or metaphysical truths?  Since said cannot be provided without caveat ("Oh it's the best we have so far, of course we can revise it later because science. . . "), then does it negate itself in paradox and disappear in a puff of smoke called "pragmatic assumption"?
I would agree that metaphysical truth cannot be validated by experience alone, although I see no reason why pure "abstractions" and "beings in reality" (to borrow from Thumpalumpacus' distinction) should not on some level be intertwined given that all of our notions, including those of "metaphysical truth," are "corrupted" (if you will) by the fact that we are but a "bundle of impressions" in and about this world. Or, if we are something, and this does not include either our experiences of external or internal states, I do not know what it is that this "something" is meant to suggest.  But certainly there might be some truths that we can only know through reason and not experience, such as the knowledge that there are other minds which exist and operate independently of my own, and I think you would be right to demand evidence that all philosophical or metaphysical truths demand evidence.  And yes, at the end of the day, if there is no perfect solution to a problem, I see nothing irrational with going with the one that is most pragmatic.

...Did that answer your question?  Think
He who loves God cannot endeavour that God should love him in return - Baruch Spinoza
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#33
RE: Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
(11th December 2016, 11:54)Mudhammam Wrote:
(11th December 2016, 05:11)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: But the thing is, one claim is abstract, and the other posits a claim about reality. When we're talking about the existence of a being in reality, it is not an abstraction, and cannot be evidenced by simple words.
"Being" is an abstraction.  What I perceive in reality are conglomerations of colors and shapes.  When one of these shapes is examined *very closely*, one discovers that it is a conglomeration of more shapes.  In other words, that it -- this particular shape -- is individuated in my mind as as a distinct unit with its own existence which is independent from everything else -- but that it also shares "properties" which I identify through common terms -- is an abstraction.  

This is an assumption that doesn't bear up to scrutiny. The fact is that you and I can both examine an object and come to agreement about its properties based on our perceptions and where those perceptions overlap. We can thereby ascertain that the object is material and not an abstraction. Simply because the event of perceiving happens in the mind doesn't mean that what is perceived is an abstraction. You're equivocating "abstraction" and "mental event".

The M-W Dictionary Wrote:Definition of abstract


1 a : disassociated from any specific instance <an abstract entity>

b : difficult to understand : abstruse <abstract problems>

c : insufficiently factual : formal <possessed only an abstract right>

2 : expressing a quality apart from an object <the word poem is concrete, poetry is abstract>

3 a : dealing with a subject in its abstract aspects : theoretical <abstract science>

b : impersonal, detached <the abstract compassion of a surgeon — Time>

4 : having only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation or narrative content <abstract painting>

[Emphases added -- Thump]

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abstract
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#34
RE: Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
(11th December 2016, 12:30)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: This is an assumption that doesn't bear up to scrutiny. The fact is that you and I can both examine an object and come to agreement about its properties based on our perceptions and where those perceptions overlap. We can thereby ascertain that the object is material and not an abstraction. Simply because the event of perceiving happens in the mind doesn't mean that what is perceived is an abstraction. You're equivocating "abstraction" and "mental event".
I have to disagree with your framing here, though you're right that we can come to an agreement about the nature of physical objects using our perceptive faculties as interaction with external phenomena occurs in what you call a "mental event." But this is different from the faculties themselves, which involve abstractions, or definitions 2 and 3a in the M-W Dictionary. It is the mental event that translates objective existence into subjective experience, but without a process of abstraction (specifically, rationality) the content would possess no discernible meaning. One of the major problems since Plato is making headway on the following question: In what manner do the categories by which "mental events" organize themselves into a coherent or rational framework exist? Are these categories, which are abstractly related, "out there" in the world? or do they come from within ourselves? Must it be one or the other? When one makes a claim about the justification of belief, are they not stating a fact about such abstract relations, namely, the relation of truth to the individual and to the world? Does not "truth" exist in the purest sense of "being," and isn't this an abstraction and not only a mental event (as you delineated it)?
He who loves God cannot endeavour that God should love him in return - Baruch Spinoza
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#35
RE: Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
Yeah, that there's solipsism, essentially. But we cannot think something into reality, can we?

Truth is necessarily abstract. Facts are not.
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#36
RE: Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
(11th December 2016, 17:30)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Yeah, that there's solipsism, essentially. But we cannot think something into reality, can we?

Truth is necessarily abstract. Facts are not.
Okay, so let's parse it like this: Some claims about God purport to be true (God exists) but not factual in the sense of verification; others more specifically claim to be both (God came to earth, say, in the form a politician). Do you agree with me that an atheist is mistaken, perhaps naively so, to reply to the theist who is asserting God as a truth (nay, THE truth) in "necessarily abstract" terms (rather than as "a fact") with the statement that "claims demand evidence"?
He who loves God cannot endeavour that God should love him in return - Baruch Spinoza
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#37
RE: Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
I'm on my phone at work and cannot address this in depth right now. Apologies for the delay, but it'll have to wait until I'm home and on my laptop.
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#38
RE: Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
(11th December 2016, 17:54)Mudhammam Wrote:
(11th December 2016, 17:30)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Yeah, that there's solipsism, essentially. But we cannot think something into reality, can we?

Truth is necessarily abstract. Facts are not.
Okay, so let's parse it like this: Some claims about God purport to be true (God exists) but not factual in the sense of verification; others more specifically claim to be both (God came to earth, say, in the form a politician). Do you agree with me that an atheist is mistaken, perhaps naively so, to reply to the theist who is asserting God as a truth (nay, THE truth) in "necessarily abstract" terms (rather than as "a fact") with the statement that "claims demand evidence"?

No, I would not.  Any claim about the nature of a thing is meaningless without evidence of the existence of that thing.

Talk of the attributes of any god is meaningless drivel.
Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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#39
RE: Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
(11th December 2016, 11:54)Mudhammam Wrote: But certainly there might be some truths that we can only know through reason and not experience,
Is not reason the experience of mental coherence? Is there any component of reason which you consider to be more than that?

Quote: such as the knowledge that there are other minds which exist and operate independently of my own, and I think you would be right to demand evidence that all philosophical or metaphysical truths demand evidence.
This is an example of the kind of knowledge I was talking about, which can be said to be true, but only in context. In the context of living my life as a social animal, I can say that people say things I didn't already know, and exhibit emotions and so on, and that there are minds other than my own.

In an absolute context, I don't know that at all. Nor is it really an inference-- I don't think you can go from any amount of personal experience to arrive at an objective truth like that. It has to be a pragmatic assumption, based on a hunch.

Normally that's fine. There's nothing wrong with me living my life based on several pragmatic assumptions. It gives me a sense of purpose and lets me get out of bed in the morning. The problem comes if I use what I "know" (i.e. assume) with truth, and use it as the foundation for subsequent truths. All those truths are local-- they are true only in the context allowed by my assumptions.

It was pretty recently "known" (by a careful process of inference and evidential confirmation, mind you) that God was real and that the Christ was the saviour of humanity. Given this, all kinds of new truths were arrived at: the infallibility of the Pope, for example, or the divine right of kings to rule, etc.
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#40
RE: Is the statement "Claims demand evidence" always true?
A claim may be true regardless of lack of evidence. You would need evidence to convince those who are skeptical if that is your aim. An unsupported claim is useful only to those seeking to fool the foolish.
“God will endure for as long as the reasons that brought him into being;And so will those who deny him.” ― Michel Onfray





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