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Why Neil DeGrasse Tyson Should Stick To Science

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  • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    But historically, no philosophical claim has been shown to be true. Okay, I accept that that does not mean no philosophical claim can be, but it is pretty damning, none the less.
    I disagree entirely. Some have not accepted some claims to be true, but so what? There are claims in every field not accepted to be true. Philosophy just requires a whole different way of doing the data. Furthermore, philosophy gives me tools like laws of logic, the mode of thinking that I use, and truths of virtue. These in fact are claims I place far more confidence in and find far more relevant.
    What exactly do you "disagree entirely" with? That no philosophical claim has been shown to be true? If so, all you have to do is give an example of a philosophical claim has been shown to be true. I note that you have failed to do that.

    Or are you saying "truths of virtue" has been shown to be true?

    What exactly do you mean by "truths of virtue", and why do you hold to them with more confidence than, say, the theory of relativity? If you can show me why we can be more confident of these things 9or just as confident), then I will admit defeat.

    In some cases, sure. In other cases, no. In fact, this is a philosophical claim that the field that supposedly gives us more confidence is the one that we should put our trust in with the idea that fields that earn confidence are those that it is wiser to trust, but that itself is a philosophical claim and not a scientific claim.
    It would seem to me to be common sense that if we have a high confidence that a claim is true then we can trust it more than a claim we do not.
    Somehow, this is supposed to be relevant to the charge? The problem is that these are not scientific observations but based on knowing through other means, perhaps sociology or personal experience. For all the talk about how science is the most trustworthy system, no one has done any science in the thread. All the debates have been about epistemology ultimately, which is a field of philosophy.
    Are you saying that we cannot trust our observations (whether scientific or otherwise)? Or what exactly? This looks like rhetorical trickery to me, to be honest.
    But that is still better than philosophy; it does give us a high level of confidence in some areas (and we know what areas) and it is self-correcting, self-improving.

    Suggest a philosophy that does that.
    Sure. All of them. Philosophers are constantly reading one another's papers and critiquing them and learning from them and rejecting false systems and taking up new ones.
    Please pick one and show how it gives a high level of confidence in a specific area.
    No philosopher will bat 1,000. I think Plantinga is wrong on the ontological argument, but I did bring out that I think he is right on the logical problem of evil as most of his critics if not all have agreed with.
    You claimed "The ontological argument can be shown to be faulty", and have switched around to arguing that actually "No philosopher will bat 1,000". Do you still stand by your claim that "The ontological argument can be shown to be faulty"? If so, please keep your response relevant to the ontological argument. if not, please have the honesty to just admit it, rather than trying to drag the discussion into other areas.

    In other words, it was a consensus opinion.

    Or can you find proof that Arianism is wrong?
    This still assumes that science deals in matters of fact since it deals with the material and since religion doesn't always, then it doesn't. THis is a philosophical claim and not a scientific claim. Why should I believe it? I could just as well say evolution is based on consensus opinion. You would then point to data to show otherwise.
    The point is that I can point to data - textbooks, peer-reviewed articles - that support evolution. Evolution makes various predictions, and testing has shown them to be good. There is a consensus about evolution because the evidence overwhelming shows evolution happened.

    Can you do that for Arianism?
    Well I'd do the same with Arianism to show that it is false and use the data that is accepted as well be it philosophy or revelation.
    Please do. Tell me what evidence convinced the experts that Arianism is false.

    In fact, why not start a thread about Arianism, and I will do my best to argue for it. If you are right, you should be able to prove it with no trouble at all.
    All of them! It's just a different kind of data. It could rely on our own thoughts, our experience, and it often includes observation of the world around us. It all depends on the field you're arguing in, but all fields use data.
    Different kind of data. Or opinions.
    THis is false. There are people who look at the arguments from the outside and come to believe just as there are people who look at atheist arguments from the outside and come to disbelieve. If the case is that the data can only convince those who already believe, then I could just as well say your position will only convince people who already believe that you can only convince people who already believe.
    Okay, yes. I am guilty of generalising.
    The same is true in any other field. People are convinced by the arguments. That's why someone like Antony Flew abandoned atheism. He said he was following the evidence where it led.
    Sadly, Flew was an old and confused man when he converted to Christianity. Plenty of people have followed the evidence the other way.

    And that is the problem. The evidence is scant and ambiguous, and it comes down to how you choose to inteprete it. Opinion, in other words.

    Compare to science, which has good and unamgiuous evidence to support its strong claims.
    Oh it is fine to say we all have opinions, which can be said in the matter of science as well as there can be disagreements, but there is a problem with saying it's all just opinion. Some opinions are wrong and some are not. If you wish to point to disagreements in philosophy and theology and then say that shows that we all have opinions, then I just ask that you do the same with science.
    But there is no disagreement on the theory of relatively. It has plenty of supporting evidence, evidence that is not ambiguous.

    This is what Neil DeGrasse Tyson is talking about. In science we do have things like the theory of relativity that are well-established.
    And how do we know when philosophy is right with any confidence? We do not.
    We study them. How else do we know in any other field?
    Cool. Give an example, just one, of something we know with a high degree of confidence from philosophy. Please explain how we can be so confident it is true.
    But this is not a scientific statement but a philosophical one. Since it is philosophical, by your standard, I should not put any confidence in it.
    Ah, yes, more of that rhetorical trickery.

    But wait, you say we can be confident in philosophy, so as far as you are concerned, my statement is good!
    In philosphy we know there is an answer, we just do not know what it is.

    In science, we can have a high degree of confidence that we do know what it is.
    I can't help but wonder how much philosophical reading has been done to make statements like this. This is especially so since all you've made so far is philosophical statements that you seem to place great confidence in the answer to the claims, all the while saying we should not put trust in philosophical claims.
    Please, give me the wisdom of your great reading and give an example of something we know with a high degree of confidence from philosophy. Please explain how we can be so confident it is true.
    WHich I could say then is obviously why creation and evolution are no longer debated at all today!
    They are not debated among scientists. All the evidence points to evolution. All of it.

    On the other hand, certain interpretations of the Bible point to creationism. It depends on whether you follow the evidence or faith.

    This is what was behind Neil DeGrasse Tyson's comment, I guess. It does not matter whether or not you think God created a flat world with a firmament in six days; science tells us the universe is billions of years old, the world is round and orbits the sun, and the diversity of life is due to evolution.
    My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Pixie
      Flew was an old and confused man when he converted to Christianity.
      Flew never converted to Christianity. He became a deist.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        Um. a simulation is not reality, kinda by definition.
        If the simulation is what is, then the simulation is the reality. But lets not nit pick about that.


        I would not say nothing exists. The hardware the simulation is run on exists. The software exists, the data exists.
        True, but like you expressed it in the previous post, we would exist as data in the simulation.

        Not sure what you are saying. Are you claiming that the simulated universe would be governed by the same physical laws as the real universe that the simulation is being run in? If so, then no. When you play a video game, are the physical laws necessarily the same as in our universe? They could be modeled after them, or not. Up to the programmers. And the programmers could update things at any time, and we would never know it, if we are just part of the simulation. Tomorrow they might decided it would be cool to have two suns and have them orbit the earth. We would then remember that as though it always was so, if they programmed us to remember it that way. But in any case, neither us nor the "sun" actually exist other than just bits in some computer.
        Yep, seems you have a good point there.

        The point is, science claimed it was RIGHT, and if you lived then, you would have accepted them as being right because that is what you do. You accept what scientists tell you is true, and do not have the skill to check it out for yourself. You merely have faith in them. But guess what? They were WRONG. The facts never changed, but what science said was the facts did change. And it can continue to change. In fact, I guarantee it will continue to change. Science is not stagnant. But facts ARE.
        No one is saying that science is always correct. In the case of the stationary earth, as in many other instances, science gets it wrong, but science unlike any other methodology can correct itself and get it right, just as it did in this same case. I guess I am thinking in terms of the universe being real in which case ultimately science can prove the laws by which it is governed, or at least as Tass puts it, one can reasonably assume them to be true. There is no other way to come to such a reasonable assumption. I guess if one believes the universe to be a simulation they can believe anything they want, but I don't think that to be a reasonable assumption in the first place and even if it were true, then we don't even exist and aren't even having this conversation, so who cares?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Tassman View Post
          For all practical purposes you are correct. But ALL scientific Laws (even the most established of them like Gravity) are referred to as “theories”, not proven facts, because in principle they can be falsified. Science cannot prove anything because it must begin with unproven assumptions, such as that the laws and constants of the universe in the future will resemble the past. There’s no reason to think they won’t, but it’s not proven that they will - although it’s a reasonable assumption that they will.

          Thus, the speed of light has been accurately measured for many decades and if its speed was not constant this would have been detected. Therefore the constancy of the speed of light is falsifiable in principle. And the same is true of all the constants and laws of the universe. The laws of nature do not appear to change over time and the principle of uniformity has so far been verified and probably always will be. But in principle ALL scientific theories are falsifiable. This is what distinguishes a true scientific theory from pseudo-science like ID.

          So, as the adage goes: It can’t be proven that the sun must rise tomorrow, but it can be inferred from observation and induction that it is highly probable the sun will rise tomorrow and it can even be predicted when and where. Science assumes the universe exists, and that our observations of it are accurate. It makes no attempt to prove that. Hence, this being the case, nothing will ever be, strictly speaking, proven.

          This doesn't diminish the value of science; its value is there for all to see. But acknowledging where it is coming from pre-empts the anti-science proponents who want to argue that science is “faith-based” just like religion.
          Perhaps if you could answer this question for me Tass I could better understand what you mean. If a scientific claim is able to be reproduced again and again, and so confirmed to be a true claim, it what sense is that not proof. Thanks.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by JimL View Post
            Perhaps if you could answer this question for me Tass I could better understand what you mean. If a scientific claim is able to be reproduced again and again, and so confirmed to be a true claim, it what sense is that not proof. Thanks.
            It is to all intents and purposes, although science will always say it is potentially falsifiable so it's not a "proof" in an absolute sense. The link gives a simple summary:

            http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physic...www/node8.html

            It’s more of a semantic issue than anything else. The word “proof” is the concern because the whole scientific enterprise is based upon the unproven assumption, that the universe exists, and that our observations of it are accurate. It makes no attempt to prove that. Nor does it argue that current scientific theories (regardless of the amassed evidence supporting them) will always hold true. Hence, nothing can ever be, strictly speaking, proven.

            Therefore science uses language such as: “empirically verified beyond reasonable doubt” and refer to even its most established knowledge – e.g. gravity and evolution - as scientific theories, not proofs. But that said scientific methodology has been the most successful means in human history of obtaining new knowledge of how the universe functions and our place in it.
            “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by JimL View Post
              If the simulation is what is, then the simulation is the reality. But lets not nit pick about that.



              True, but like you expressed it in the previous post, we would exist as data in the simulation.


              Yep, seems you have a good point there.


              No one is saying that science is always correct. In the case of the stationary earth, as in many other instances, science gets it wrong, but science unlike any other methodology can correct itself and get it right, just as it did in this same case. I guess I am thinking in terms of the universe being real in which case ultimately science can prove the laws by which it is governed, or at least as Tass puts it, one can reasonably assume them to be true. There is no other way to come to such a reasonable assumption. I guess if one believes the universe to be a simulation they can believe anything they want, but I don't think that to be a reasonable assumption in the first place and even if it were true, then we don't even exist and aren't even having this conversation, so who cares?

              You were the one who made that claim that science can PROVE the truth. But if it is subject to revision in the future, then it is not proof of anything. It could be a close approximation of the truth, or it could be pretty far off the mark. And there is no real way to know that.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by JimL View Post
                Perhaps if you could answer this question for me Tass I could better understand what you mean. If a scientific claim is able to be reproduced again and again, and so confirmed to be a true claim, it what sense is that not proof. Thanks.
                If I go back to the example I used before, about the geocentric model. They had formulas that could accurately predict the orbits of the sun and planets around the earth. It could be reproduced again and again, and would be completely accurate. So, going by your definition, it was proof that the earth was the center of the solar system. Yet we both know it was not.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                  What exactly do you "disagree entirely" with? That no philosophical claim has been shown to be true? If so, all you have to do is give an example of a philosophical claim has been shown to be true. I note that you have failed to do that.
                  It would be easy enough to just start with the laws of logic. The Law of non-contradiction has been shown to be true as to deny it is to affirm it.

                  Or are you saying "truths of virtue" has been shown to be true?

                  What exactly do you mean by "truths of virtue", and why do you hold to them with more confidence than, say, the theory of relativity? If you can show me why we can be more confident of these things 9or just as confident), then I will admit defeat.
                  Truths of virtue are truths of right and wrong. Love and justice are good. Murder and rape and torturing babies for fun are wrong. Do you seriously doubt any of these?


                  It would seem to me to be common sense that if we have a high confidence that a claim is true then we can trust it more than a claim we do not.

                  Are you saying that we cannot trust our observations (whether scientific or otherwise)? Or what exactly? This looks like rhetorical trickery to me, to be honest.
                  No. The thing is this is a philosophical claim about the nature of science and knowledge purporting to tell us why philosophical claims should not be reliable. It's interesting that for all we've heard about how science is more reliable, no one has scientifically demonstrated it. All we've seen are philosophical arguments on why philosophical arguments should not be trusted and no scientific demonstrations of the claim even though science is supposedly the best way to demonstrate something.

                  Please pick one and show how it gives a high level of confidence in a specific area.
                  Sure. Plantinga's work on the problem of evil. THis has given a high level of confidence that the logical problem of evil is not a defeater for theism. I can also point to critiques of logical positivism which led a movement that was once popular to be quite simply abandoned today.

                  You claimed "The ontological argument can be shown to be faulty", and have switched around to arguing that actually "No philosopher will bat 1,000". Do you still stand by your claim that "The ontological argument can be shown to be faulty"? If so, please keep your response relevant to the ontological argument. if not, please have the honesty to just admit it, rather than trying to drag the discussion into other areas.
                  Sure. I think it can be shown that way. Plantinga would disagree. That's fine. The biggest problem I have with the ontological argument is that you cannot get to an idea in the mind to a reality outside. Once you start with just ideas, you are stuck with just ideas. You need sense data as well.


                  The point is that I can point to data - textbooks, peer-reviewed articles - that support evolution. Evolution makes various predictions, and testing has shown them to be good. There is a consensus about evolution because the evidence overwhelming shows evolution happened.

                  Can you do that for Arianism?
                  The problem here is that it is assumed that science is the standard and if any field will be like science, it will have predictive power and be able to be repeatedly tested. Therefore, the underlying assumption is that whatever method has that will be the best method for finding truth. That underlying assumption is not scientific but philosophical and is in fact, false. We all believe many things that we cannot repeatedly test and have no predictive power. I believe I was married on July 24th, 2010. I believe that my wife and I went to a health talk last night. I believe that Shakespeare is great literature. I believe that I exist. In fact, most of our knowledge would not be scientific but come from a wide variety of fields.

                  Why should I assume the standard then that science itself does not pass?

                  Please do. Tell me what evidence convinced the experts that Arianism is false.
                  The data that they all accepted. They all accepted Scriptural revelation which is why the overwhelming majority said that it was false. This also included of course some philosophical reasoning, but for the most part, Scripture.

                  In fact, why not start a thread about Arianism, and I will do my best to argue for it. If you are right, you should be able to prove it with no trouble at all.
                  I might. Depends on the amount of time I have.

                  Different kind of data. Or opinions.
                  Data.

                  Okay, yes. I am guilty of generalising.

                  Sadly, Flew was an old and confused man when he converted to Christianity. Plenty of people have followed the evidence the other way.

                  And that is the problem. The evidence is scant and ambiguous, and it comes down to how you choose to inteprete it. Opinion, in other words.

                  Compare to science, which has good and unamgiuous evidence to support its strong claims.
                  Flew never converted to Christianity and there is no indication whatsoever that he was going senile or confused when he was older. That's just an excuse used to avoid dealing with the claim. I could point to several others who abandoned atheism and yes, you could point to those who abandoned theism. If someone abandons theism, it is because of data. If someone becomes a theist, it is the same way. You could question if the data is sufficient or good data or anything of that sort, but they do have some data by which they make the decision.

                  And as for science being unambiguous, I seriously question this. There can be many debates going on in the scientific community over how to read data, such as all the different theories we have on the origin of the universe. Some claims are more sure than others, but this is the same in philosophy. How many philosophers will argue that love is not a good? How many will argue that murder is okay? We might question whether we should do abortion or not for instance, but even an abortionist would likely agree that murder is wrong. They just don't agree that what they're doing is murder.

                  But there is no disagreement on the theory of relatively. It has plenty of supporting evidence, evidence that is not ambiguous.
                  Do you know anyone who disagrees that it is wrong to torture babies for fun?

                  This is what Neil DeGrasse Tyson is talking about. In science we do have things like the theory of relativity that are well-established.
                  Which is an epistemological claim which is science. Tyson's claim itself is not scientific. It's also problematic because it applies to everything else out there. Being well-established does not make something true. Heliocentrism was true even when geocentrism was well-established (And based on the scientific data of the time.)

                  Cool. Give an example, just one, of something we know with a high degree of confidence from philosophy. Please explain how we can be so confident it is true.
                  It is wrong to torture babies for fun. The Law of Non-Contradiction is true.

                  Ah, yes, more of that rhetorical trickery.

                  But wait, you say we can be confident in philosophy, so as far as you are concerned, my statement is good!
                  But my debate is not with philosophy. Yours is. You are the one saying science is the best way of knowing a claim but are giving no scientific evidence for that. You are saying philosophical claims cannot be shown to be true and only giving philosophical claims to show that.

                  Please, give me the wisdom of your great reading and give an example of something we know with a high degree of confidence from philosophy. Please explain how we can be so confident it is true.
                  Gave two above and if you need to be explained how the former is true, you don't need an argument. You instead need therapy.

                  They are not debated among scientists. All the evidence points to evolution. All of it.

                  On the other hand, certain interpretations of the Bible point to creationism. It depends on whether you follow the evidence or faith.

                  This is what was behind Neil DeGrasse Tyson's comment, I guess. It does not matter whether or not you think God created a flat world with a firmament in six days; science tells us the universe is billions of years old, the world is round and orbits the sun, and the diversity of life is due to evolution.
                  Not debating the nature of the evidence for evolution at all. It's a moot point. Yet I could just as well point to any group that disagrees with my claim and discount them entirely and say "See? Everyone else agrees!" A theist could just as well say "Well that's because of a precommitment to naturalism" (Which cannot be shown to be true scientifically.)

                  And again, the claim is philosophical and not scientific.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                    You were the one who made that claim that science can PROVE the truth.
                    Yes, it seems I was, from an absolutest position at any rate. But to deny such reasonable scientifically evidenced assumptions in favor of some fantisized hypothesis would be just dumb.

                    But if it is subject to revision in the future, then it is not proof of anything. It could be a close approximation of the truth, or it could be pretty far off the mark. And there is no real way to know that.
                    Well i would have to continue to disagree with that. In the example we have been discussing, i think it is reasonably certain that the geocentrism model has been put to rest. I would even say it has been proven to be false, if that is, we take the universe to be real.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                      If I go back to the example I used before, about the geocentric model. They had formulas that could accurately predict the orbits of the sun and planets around the earth. It could be reproduced again and again, and would be completely accurate. So, going by your definition, it was proof that the earth was the center of the solar system. Yet we both know it was not.
                      Many scientific theories are actually established as “fact” beyond reasonable doubt, e.g. Evolution, Relativity, Quantum Theory, Gravity, Electro-Magnetic Theory and etc. And given the huge body of observation-based, multiply-tested evidence supporting them, the many correct predictions arising from them and the sophisticated technology based upon them it is virtually impossible that they will ever be overturned. Conversely, cutting edge science by definition has a way to go before becoming established as “fact” to this degree of certainty.

                      And so the geocentric model was also based upon observation. It was the best data available at the time, namely that the Earth was the centre of the universe and that the heavenly bodies seemingly revolved around it. The theory was correct in that the heavenly bodies did appear to rotate but it was unable to explain subsequent data based upon observations made with a telescope. Thus a new theory was developed which incorporated the existing observations plus the new data. As a consequence, our astronomical knowledge is nowadays established as “fact” beyond reasonable doubt to the extent we can safely land people on the moon. And all indications are that the current crop of scientific hypotheses, e.g. the proposed multiverse, will in due course also become established as “fact” to all intents and purposes.

                      This is how science works.
                      Last edited by Tassman; 06-26-2014, 12:32 AM.
                      “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                        It would be easy enough to just start with the laws of logic. The Law of non-contradiction has been shown to be true as to deny it is to affirm it.
                        That is a good point. We have the laws of logic. Tyson should perhaps have acknowledged that.
                        Truths of virtue are truths of right and wrong. Love and justice are good. Murder and rape and torturing babies for fun are wrong. Do you seriously doubt any of these?
                        No I do not.

                        But the real question is: What philosophy proves they are true?
                        No. The thing is this is a philosophical claim about the nature of science and knowledge purporting to tell us why philosophical claims should not be reliable. It's interesting that for all we've heard about how science is more reliable, no one has scientifically demonstrated it. All we've seen are philosophical arguments on why philosophical arguments should not be trusted and no scientific demonstrations of the claim even though science is supposedly the best way to demonstrate something.
                        Are you saying that my argument is lacking because I have not shown that, for instance, the theory of relativity is true? I am happy to do that if you think it will help, but they are plenty of places on the web that already do that.

                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_...ral_relativity
                        http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/as...s/980327b.html
                        http://physics.stackexchange.com/que...nsteins-theory
                        Please pick one and show how it gives a high level of confidence in a specific area.
                        Sure. Plantinga's work on the problem of evil. THis has given a high level of confidence that the logical problem of evil is not a defeater for theism. I can also point to critiques of logical positivism which led a movement that was once popular to be quite simply abandoned today.
                        So you can find examples where we can be reasonably sure something is wrong. Can you find any examples where we can be sure something is right?

                        See, science can give us positive knowledge. The theory of relativity is right.

                        Philosophy can give us negative knowledge, such-and-such is wrong, but can it tell us what is right with any confidence?
                        Sure. I think it can be shown that way. Plantinga would disagree. That's fine. The biggest problem I have with the ontological argument is that you cannot get to an idea in the mind to a reality outside. Once you start with just ideas, you are stuck with just ideas. You need sense data as well.
                        You think one thing, Plantinga disagrees. Opinion.

                        Still wondering about your claim "The ontological argument can be shown to be faulty." Can I assume you now accept that that was wrong?
                        The problem here is that it is assumed that science is the standard and if any field will be like science, it will have predictive power and be able to be repeatedly tested. Therefore, the underlying assumption is that whatever method has that will be the best method for finding truth. That underlying assumption is not scientific but philosophical and is in fact, false. We all believe many things that we cannot repeatedly test and have no predictive power. I believe I was married on July 24th, 2010. I believe that my wife and I went to a health talk last night. I believe that Shakespeare is great literature. I believe that I exist. In fact, most of our knowledge would not be scientific but come from a wide variety of fields.
                        You are talking about two different things, and I was clear to make the distinguish right from the start:

                        "I am talking here about general truths, by the way. For specific facts, like what I ate for breatfast, clearly the senses are best. But if you want to know about generalities, science wins."

                        When you were married and what you did last night were events you experienced, not general truths.

                        Back to general truths, as you say science has predictive power and repeatability. That puts it on a level above philosophy. If you want to say that predictive power and repeatability are not essential, then that is fine - all you have to do is show how a philosophy can give us a general truth about the world without them. A positive truth, and one we can be highly confident is true.
                        The data that they all accepted. They all accepted Scriptural revelation which is why the overwhelming majority said that it was false. This also included of course some philosophical reasoning, but for the most part, Scripture.
                        What scripture supports it exactly? As far as I am aware precious little. See here for example:
                        http://www.gci.org/God/3Bible

                        Even today, plenty of people who consider themselves Christians reject the trinity, Jehovah's Witnesses for example.
                        Flew never converted to Christianity and there is no indication whatsoever that he was going senile or confused when he was older. That's just an excuse used to avoid dealing with the claim. I could point to several others who abandoned atheism and yes, you could point to those who abandoned theism. If someone abandons theism, it is because of data. If someone becomes a theist, it is the same way. You could question if the data is sufficient or good data or anything of that sort, but they do have some data by which they make the decision.
                        Good point. I thought so when I made it too:

                        "And that is the problem. The evidence is scant and ambiguous, and it comes down to how you choose to inteprete it. Opinion, in other words."
                        And as for science being unambiguous, I seriously question this. There can be many debates going on in the scientific community over how to read data, such as all the different theories we have on the origin of the universe. Some claims are more sure than others, but this is the same in philosophy. How many philosophers will argue that love is not a good? How many will argue that murder is okay? We might question whether we should do abortion or not for instance, but even an abortionist would likely agree that murder is wrong. They just don't agree that what they're doing is murder.
                        The difference is that science will come to a consensus when the evidence is great enough. And will be clear when the evidence is not.
                        Do you know anyone who disagrees that it is wrong to torture babies for fun?
                        No, I do not.

                        But I know philosphers disagree alot on why it is wrong.
                        Which is an epistemological claim which is science. Tyson's claim itself is not scientific. It's also problematic because it applies to everything else out there. Being well-established does not make something true. Heliocentrism was true even when geocentrism was well-established (And based on the scientific data of the time.)
                        As I have said, science gives us a lot of confidence that somethings are true. It does not give a guarantee, and it is clear about that.
                        Cool. Give an example, just one, of something we know with a high degree of confidence from philosophy. Please explain how we can be so confident it is true.
                        It is wrong to torture babies for fun.
                        Now explain how you can be confident it is true.

                        Otherwise, it is just your opinion (even if it is an opinion I agree with).

                        Remember, this is about you showing how we can know something using philosophy. If you cannot show how we know this using philosophy, then it does not support your argument.
                        The Law of Non-Contradiction is true.
                        Fair enough. Tyson should have said:

                        "The good thing about science and logic is that they're true whether you believe in them or not."
                        But my debate is not with philosophy. Yours is. You are the one saying science is the best way of knowing a claim but are giving no scientific evidence for that. You are saying philosophical claims cannot be shown to be true and only giving philosophical claims to show that.
                        Great, so you have no problem with philosopical claims. So why are you objecting to philosophical claims then?
                        Not debating the nature of the evidence for evolution at all. It's a moot point.
                        No it is not. It happened.

                        If you do not want to discuss it, that is fine. The great thing about science is that it is true, whether you want to label it "moot" or not.
                        Yet I could just as well point to any group that disagrees with my claim and discount them entirely and say "See? Everyone else agrees!" A theist could just as well say "Well that's because of a precommitment to naturalism" (Which cannot be shown to be true scientifically.)

                        And again, the claim is philosophical and not scientific.
                        Sure you can do that, but you wold be expressing your opinion. When it comes to evolution, however, I can point to evidence of a precommitment to a specific interpretation of the Bible by creationist. There are universities out there that require professors to sign a pre-commitment to creationism, for example, and these are available on-line. That does not happen in science. There is no precommitment to naturalism (which is not claimed by science), and indeed plenty of scientists are religious.

                        An ancient Earth was first proposed by Christians who had hitherto believed in a six day creation. They were forced to revise their beliefs because of the evidence. Science is led by evidence.
                        My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by The Pixie View Post

                          To: Apologiaphoenix.

                          The Law of Non-Contradiction is true.
                          Fair enough. Tyson should have said:

                          "The good thing about science and logic is that they're true whether you believe in them or not."
                          Logic, in my view, is secondary to science in that it cannot generate new truths about the natural world whereas science can. Logic is a tool of science in that it can ensure its self-consistency and hold the scientific edifice together - an important contribution certainly, but only one component of science among many. Presumably Tyson took this for granted when he made his comment.
                          “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                            That is a good point. We have the laws of logic. Tyson should perhaps have acknowledged that.
                            And those are philosophical. Science only works because it has philosophical commitments that it accepts prior that are not dependent on the science.

                            No I do not.

                            But the real question is: What philosophy proves they are true?
                            For my part, Aristotelianism and Thomism really do the best part since they all have a definition of good and can explain the nature of goodness. Naturalism is utterly bankrupt on this regard.

                            Are you saying that my argument is lacking because I have not shown that, for instance, the theory of relativity is true? I am happy to do that if you think it will help, but they are plenty of places on the web that already do that.

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_...ral_relativity
                            http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/as...s/980327b.html
                            http://physics.stackexchange.com/que...nsteins-theory
                            No. No one has doubted that science can demonstrate some things, but the claim that science is the best tool we have to demonstrate truth claims or even more bizarre, Jim's strange claim that without science you cannot prove anything to be true, has not been proven or demonstrated scientifically. We're all making philosophical arguments with one side saying philosophy does not demonstrate anything and only science does.

                            So you can find examples where we can be reasonably sure something is wrong. Can you find any examples where we can be sure something is right?

                            See, science can give us positive knowledge. The theory of relativity is right.

                            Philosophy can give us negative knowledge, such-and-such is wrong, but can it tell us what is right with any confidence?
                            Absolutely. The laws of logic for instance. Also, in cases of morality, the reason we believe and teach some things are good and some things are evil is because of philosophy. We are convinced that there is a real world outside our minds and we can know it because of philosophy. Other areas are debated, but they are held with high certainty in philosophy by various people.

                            You think one thing, Plantinga disagrees. Opinion.
                            Different opinions about matters of fact. Some opinions are closer than others. Why should I think that facts are not being dealt with? We might as well say that if there are different theories on the origins of life and one person thinks one thing and another another thing, then everything in the field is an opinion.

                            Still wondering about your claim "The ontological argument can be shown to be faulty." Can I assume you now accept that that was wrong?
                            No. I still don't accept the argument.

                            You are talking about two different things, and I was clear to make the distinguish right from the start:

                            "I am talking here about general truths, by the way. For specific facts, like what I ate for breatfast, clearly the senses are best. But if you want to know about generalities, science wins."

                            When you were married and what you did last night were events you experienced, not general truths.

                            Back to general truths, as you say science has predictive power and repeatability. That puts it on a level above philosophy. If you want to say that predictive power and repeatability are not essential, then that is fine - all you have to do is show how a philosophy can give us a general truth about the world without them. A positive truth, and one we can be highly confident is true.
                            Laws of logic. SOme actions are good and some are evil. Some things are beautiful and some are not. There is a real world outside of our minds and we can know it.

                            What scripture supports it exactly? As far as I am aware precious little. See here for example:
                            http://www.gci.org/God/3Bible
                            Did you read the link? It's actually arguing my position and if you're talking something that states it explicitly, not much. If you're talking about ideas that would have been caught by the original readers familiar with the thought of Second Temple Judaism, it would be extensive.

                            Even today, plenty of people who consider themselves Christians reject the trinity, Jehovah's Witnesses for example.
                            Yep. I know about them. That's one reason I debate them regularly.

                            Good point. I thought so when I made it too:

                            "And that is the problem. The evidence is scant and ambiguous, and it comes down to how you choose to inteprete it. Opinion, in other words."
                            Once again, why this strange idea that if you have opinions, you're not dealing with matters of fact?

                            The difference is that science will come to a consensus when the evidence is great enough. And will be clear when the evidence is not.
                            Like when philosophy came to a consensus that the logical problem of evil is not a problem for theism or that logical positivism is not a valid approach?

                            No, I do not.

                            But I know philosphers disagree alot on why it is wrong.
                            Sure. There are various theories of morality, so we compare them to one another, just like there are various theories on the origin of life.

                            As I have said, science gives us a lot of confidence that somethings are true. It does not give a guarantee, and it is clear about that.

                            Now explain how you can be confident it is true.

                            Otherwise, it is just your opinion (even if it is an opinion I agree with).
                            I would start with the nature of the good and realize that if there is no such thing as something being really good or even perceived as good, life becomes utterly unlivable and impossible. I would then go on to demonstrate that humanity is a good thing and particularly innocent humanity and to end the life of innocent humanity is therefore wrong. This is of course a brief summation.

                            Remember, this is about you showing how we can know something using philosophy. If you cannot show how we know this using philosophy, then it does not support your argument.
                            Actually it includes that, but is not limited to that. My argument is simply that what Tyson said is not unique to science. It applies to every field. We could talk about truths known through literature, economics, sociology, etc.

                            Fair enough. Tyson should have said:

                            "The good thing about science and logic is that they're true whether you believe in them or not."
                            No. Still missing it. Anything that is true is true whether you believe it or not. It doesn't matter what field it is or if it can be known or known with certainty or demonstrated or demonstrated with certainty.

                            Great, so you have no problem with philosopical claims. So why are you objecting to philosophical claims then?
                            I'm not. I'm objecting to inconsistency of saying philosophy cannot show us anything to be true and only using philosophy to do that.



                            Sure you can do that, but you wold be expressing your opinion. When it comes to evolution, however, I can point to evidence of a precommitment to a specific interpretation of the Bible by creationist. There are universities out there that require professors to sign a pre-commitment to creationism, for example, and these are available on-line. That does not happen in science. There is no precommitment to naturalism (which is not claimed by science), and indeed plenty of scientists are religious.
                            Indeed, and plenty of atheists are anti-religious and have their conclusion before they start. No one in any field relies totally on rationality as we are not just rational beings.

                            An ancient Earth was first proposed by Christians who had hitherto believed in a six day creation. They were forced to revise their beliefs because of the evidence. Science is led by evidence.
                            And the Christians changed their mind because of the evidence. I also am led by evidence. Once again, why this strange idea that science is led by evidence and other fields are not?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                              But my debate is not with philosophy. Yours is. You are the one saying science is the best way of knowing a claim but are giving no scientific evidence for that. You are saying philosophical claims cannot be shown to be true and only giving philosophical claims to show that.
                              Great, so you have no problem with philosopical claims. So why are you objecting to philosophical claims then?
                              Seriously?

                              Comment


                              • Pixie are you honestly asking for something that philosophy can prove to be true?

                                Here it is

                                If X is necessarily true then it is impossible for X to be false.

                                Do you agree or disagree?

                                If you agree then you just conceded to a philosophical claim making a truth claim about how things really are

                                If you disagree then please explain your point, whilst advising me whether or not you think your rebuttal is necessarily true or not, in the sense that your rebuttal is telling me something about how things really are.

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