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Personal truth and equality of options





Ankhanu
Personal truth has been touted around here a lot and has been placed on some sort of reverent pedestal as the height of what one might aspire towards. Often it is accompanied by the idea that two (or more) competing hypotheses/explanations for something are of equal weight, that if it can be thought of, it's just as valid as any other idea.

I find this laughable and intrinsically flawed.

There is a pond. The people who live near this pond have never caught a fish from it, and there is a lot of debate amongst the people as two whether there are/is fish in the pond at all (Fish is handy as it's both singular and plural). Obviously one camp believes that there simply are no fish in the pond; they've never managed to catch one, they haven't seen one, by all accounts and ways they have of measuring, there are no fish. The second camp are those who believe there are fish in the pond… or at least that there is a fish in the pond, even though they've never seen one. Amongst those who believe there are fish in the pond, there are then those who believe there are many fish in the pond, and those who believe there is but one fish in the pond. Within each of these two groups there is debate as to what kind of fish are/is there. So, within the "there are/is fish" camp, there are many possible explanations for the type of fish they mean.

Evidence seems to point towards the "no fish" camp being correct, however, it does not intrinsically mean that they are. Likewise, the fact that the "no fish" camp hasn't been proven correct does not intrinsically mean that the other camp is correct. Does this put both theories on equal footing? Not really, either one camp is correct or the other is; they cannot both be correct, can they?

The people living around the pond decide that the question must be answered and begin to cast out hooks, drag beach seines and trawl nets, hang gill nets, use fish-finding depth sounders, and do anything else they know to do to find fish. With the effort, there are two outcomes: Fish are found, or fish are not found.

If even one fish is found, that means the "no fish" camp was wrong, and they have to admit their defeat. The fish camp was right.

If no fish are found the story is a little more complicated. It either means that there are no fish, and the "no fish" camp was right, or it means that the fish detection methods we have aren't sufficient to find fish, and the question remains. However, the likelihood of fish escaping detection, particularly if many methods have been used, is pretty low; it can be quite reasonable to say that there are no fish… one just has to remain open to the idea that, in the future there may be a detection method that eventually finds fish in the pond, however unlikely.
For all intents and purposes, there are no fish in the pond.

Even if one fish is caught, the same issue remains for those who believed there would be fish; is there just one fish, or was only one fish of several caught? If only one fish is caught, it is possible that there may be many more in the pond; the poly-fishists and the mono-fishists would still have their quarrel. Can the mono-fishists really say with any more certainty than the non-fishists had that there is only one fish? No, of course not.

The only outcome with absolute certainty, with a final answer, is if multiple fish are caught. This would conclusively show that there are more than one fish.

So, of the original options: 1) there are no fish, 2) there are fish (2a) there is one fish, 2b) there are multiple fish, and 2adinfinitum) there are specific fish species), are all of the options equally possible to be true? No. One option is true and the others are not, this does not make your personal belief of equal footing to the other belief options. It's not the number of options that determines quality, but their merits and flaws.

In the end, personal truth as some great echelon of aspiration is ludicrous. Spend some time really considering the issues and weighing the merits of the various stances you could take, and take the stance that most closely resembles what is likely to be true within the context of reality.
Bikerman
The real irony is that it is generally proposed by theists in order to defend against criticism for some nonsense they believe. In fact Christianity does not support the notion of 'personal truth'. It is absolutist about truth - truth is Jesus. You can have a personal 'relationship' with Jesus, but the truth is fixed and eternal.
The problem is that theists mix-up the christian notion of 'moral truth' - which is indeed relative - with verbal/written truth - which in absolute. it is another example of theological sophistry invented to 'save the appearance' (ie invented so that immoral actions could be later defended as moral.
Here's how the Catholics define it:
Quote:
Moral truth, on the other hand, exists whenever the speaker expresses what is in his mind even if de facto he be mistaken, provided only that he says what he thinks to be true. This latter condition however, is necessary. Hence a better definition of moral truth would be "the correspondence of the outward expression of thought with the thing as conceived by the speaker". Moral truth, therefore, does not imply true knowledge. But, though a deviation from moral truth would be only materially a lie, and hence not blameworthy, unless the use of words or signs were intentionally incorrect, moral truth does imply a correct use of words or other signs.
Semantic sophistry. If you say what you think is true then it is morally true....baloney. It takes no account of the duty on the person to inform him/herself BEFORE speaking. It therefore justifies ignorance.
uzeed
Mother Teresa said "I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, 'How many good things have you done in your life?' rather he will ask, 'How much love did you put into what you did?" i so much believe that the love we share with others will help us live and enjoy being human here on earth..
uzeed
Fyodor Dostoevsky said also " We're always thinking of eternity as an idea that cannot be understood, something immense. But why must it be? What if, instead of all this, you suddenly find just a little room there, something like a village bath-house, grimy, and spiders in every corner, and that's all eternity is. Sometimes, you know, I can't help feeling that that's what it is." hahahahah can you imagine that? the Bible says that the streets of heaven are made of gold... somebody tell him.
ocalhoun
uzeed wrote:
the Bible says that the streets of heaven are made of gold...

And what's so great about that?
The glare off of them would be awful, and I bet they'd be very slippery when wet... hell to drive, or even walk, on.
And after all... If gold was that common, it would be basically worthless... except as a conductor and/or paving material.
Ankhanu
ocalhoun wrote:
And after all... If gold was that common, it would be basically worthless... except as a conductor and/or paving material.


Fantastic conductor... terrible paving material Razz You covered some of the reasons, but it's also so damn soft! It would constantly need repair.


Also, I think the point of the thread's been lost Wink
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
Personal truth has been touted around here a lot and has been placed on some sort of reverent pedestal as the height of what one might aspire towards. Often it is accompanied by the idea that two (or more) competing hypotheses/explanations for something are of equal weight, that if it can be thought of, it's just as valid as any other idea.
Perhaps the reason why the thread has been lost is that you are not specific about the motivation for the thread. Is it possible to clarify what you are referring to in the first paragraph? How has personal truth been touted around and how has it been placed on a "reverent" pedestal?
Ankhanu
Yeah, I'll nab some sample thread links later on... but a quick perusal of the P/R forum should clarify Razz
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
Yeah, I'll nab some sample thread links later on... but a quick perusal of the P/R forum should clarify Razz
Exactly why it would be prudent to be more specific. Smile
Ankhanu
deanhills wrote:
Ankhanu wrote:
Yeah, I'll nab some sample thread links later on... but a quick perusal of the P/R forum should clarify Razz
Exactly why it would be prudent to be more specific. Smile


Actually, it's exactly why clarification here should not be necessary Razz Specific examples surround the thread in the forum Razz

But, without taking too much time out of my day...
This thread, which was created after this one was originally posted is a fine example of placing personal truth above objective truth; This Book is Not Real.

The various threads on whether or not evolution occurs (such as Who All Believes in Evolution?, there are many more examples) are riddled with people choosing personal truth over objective truth.

So, there are two... I can't recall the specific thread that "broke the camel's back" so to speak and prompted me writing this one, but it was of similar ilk, calling for people to say "While I might not agree with your stand point, I will concede that it has equal merit to the other options."
deanhills
But won't this just be the old discussion of who is right and who is wrong? Or is this more like a philosophy of investigating different possibilities, and once investigated there can only be one possibility that is right, they could never all be equal?

So how about that we are living in a Universe that we can't completely fathom on an evidence basis, as we don't live long lives in comparison with the Universe, are limited in our senses, can't see the end of the world, can't even reach it because of our lack of longevity, so one of the possibilities will always have to be that we do not know for sure. We can make a hypothesis, but may not have evidence that can prove that hypothesis.

You had an easy case, as the pond is finite. You can dredge it, and finally get to no fish. Or to dead fish. But in real life, we can't see our limits. We can't even really visualize them. So I would find it very arrogant to say that we could ever be 100% sure about anything that evidence is needed for. For those of faith no evidence is obviously needed. For those of no faith, evidence will be needed. So this makes it a bit impossible for those of faith to debate those of no faith.

Anyway, in the threads you mentioned, specifically which truths were regarded as equal, as I did check through them, and could not recognize the problem that you identified.
Bikerman
You keep repeating that we can't know everything - as if this is somehow a point in favour of theism or against science. It is neither - it is the classic apologist attempt to play down science by employing argument from ignorance and the God of the Gaps fallacy.

Certainly science is not complete, and may never be so. It has, however, given us an amazingly complex and complete description of the universe. There will always be more to learn, but we know quite a bit already and there is no sign of any benign Deity anywhere we look.

The loudest critics of science are generally those who know the least science, I find. Experience tells me that this, although a generalisation, is a very good first approximation on this forum in particular.
SonLight
deanhills wrote:
For those of faith no evidence is obviously needed. For those of no faith, evidence will be needed. So this makes it a bit impossible for those of faith to debate those of no faith.


I have to respectfully disagree. Perhaps for some of faith it is really only a matter of what they've been taught, but even then that is based on evidence of a sort. If they have been exposed to propaganda that affirms one side only and never acknowledges any weaknesses in the argument, then they have evidence that would not stand up under careful examination, but it is still all the evidence they have, and it all points to the way they believe.

For others, there is an experience that is very convincing. Unfortunately the essence of it is totally personal and cannot be shared, although people who have had a similar experience can perhaps recognize their own experience as "the same" based on somewhat poetic descriptions.

As a rational, scientific oriented person I recognize that such an experience could be somehow "programmed into" me. As a human, I really can't "prove" hardly anything about myself. Perhaps I live in the Matrix, or am fundamentally a robot programmed so that my true nature is concealed from me. There could be no evidence to confirm or deny such a proposition.

Because I wish to share my faith with others in a way they can understand, and to reassure my rational mind that I haven't entered the twilight zone, forensic and scientific evidence which affirms that my beliefs are at least possible are important to me. If I didn't value such self-examination, I could as likely as not end up in a sociopathic cult or adapt nihilism (basically, inability to know) as my philosophy and perhaps commit suicide because of it.
Ankhanu
deanhills wrote:
But won't this just be the old discussion of who is right and who is wrong? Or is this more like a philosophy of investigating different possibilities, and once investigated there can only be one possibility that is right, they could never all be equal?

So how about that we are living in a Universe that we can't completely fathom on an evidence basis, as we don't live long lives in comparison with the Universe, are limited in our senses, can't see the end of the world, can't even reach it because of our lack of longevity, so one of the possibilities will always have to be that we do not know for sure. We can make a hypothesis, but may not have evidence that can prove that hypothesis.

You had an easy case, as the pond is finite. You can dredge it, and finally get to no fish. Or to dead fish. But in real life, we can't see our limits. We can't even really visualize them. So I would find it very arrogant to say that we could ever be 100% sure about anything that evidence is needed for. For those of faith no evidence is obviously needed. For those of no faith, evidence will be needed. So this makes it a bit impossible for those of faith to debate those of no faith.

Anyway, in the threads you mentioned, specifically which truths were regarded as equal, as I did check through them, and could not recognize the problem that you identified.


This doesn't necessarily have to go into WHO is right and who wrong… simply the fact that not all alternatives are created equal. There isn't always a single correct answer, sometimes there may be more than one, but again, the validity of all possibilities are not equal.

Yeah, you're right, there is a lot we do not understand, and for which we have no evidence. Those things for which we have no evidence, we can't say anything other than speculation.

Yes, I used an easy, finite case. That was intentional for ease of concept and clarity. I could have used another, more conceptual, less concrete concept, but clarity would have suffered considerably. Even with a finite, concrete sort of example, I obviously haven't managed clarity, as you, for example, have confusion.
If you'll notice, I was quite careful in the original post to relate that 100% certainty is never possible, however, we can have a high degree of certainty without being 100%.
I wasn't necessarily saying that evidence is the only way to know or understand (though it would be a realistic stance, it was not espoused in this context), simply that opinions/views/ideas can be simply right or wrong, and that perspective and belief don't necessarily have ANY influence on this classification.

Re: the threads linked
I suggest you read them a little more carefully with the context of this thread in mind. The first thread, in particular, is aimed specifically at opposing the stance I've offered in this thread. It's entire point is to share the idea that all stances on reality and belief are valid… based on (get this) quantum mechanics.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
Re: the threads linked
I suggest you read them a little more carefully with the context of this thread in mind. The first thread, in particular, is aimed specifically at opposing the stance I've offered in this thread. It's entire point is to share the idea that all stances on reality and belief are valid… based on (get this) quantum mechanics.
Thanks Ankhanu for taking the time to explain all of it to me. I can deal with specific subjects, but the abstract is a little beyond me. I'm sure there must be others though that can give this a good go. Smile
Bikerman
It is theoretically impossible to prove that we are not all part of some gigantic computer program, like the matrix. IF, however, we rule that out,* then we can start from the premise 'I think therefore I am', apply it globally to people in general and arrive at a notion of objective reality.
Objective reality would therefore be that which is observed AND which can be confirmed by measurement/experiment by others.
It isn't enough to stick with the first - that which an individual observes or believes they observe.
We should all be aware of how bad we are at observing, let alone recalling, factual information.
If anyone seriously doubts this then I recommend the following:

http://bigthink.com/ideas/23058

Now, given that we are so bad at this, and given that about 20% of the population will be suffering from a mental illness at any point in time, then it would obviously be foolish to simply accept personal testimony as persuasive evidence of some 'real' event or entity.
Science insists on much more. If the supposed 'reality' is personal and cannot be indpendently verified, then it isn't 'reality' at all. Certainly it may be that particular person's perception of reality, or belief about reality, but it isn't 'real' in any scientific sense.

* If we don't rule it out then, of course, people can always use the 'can't prove it for sure' type of argument. Whilst true, it offers no support at all for any position or counter-position they may be proposing and is actually the ultimate 'moot point' since it cannot lead to any meaningful conclusion.
tingkagol
I noticed the gorilla, but I lost count.
Bluedoll
The fact is
though we could certainly aspire to learn more and more about wonderful science all that we can desire to learn is not simply science.

The truth is that around here (this tiny little forum) there has also been a great deal of toot and tooting about science being the end all.
I do like science. It is really great in it’s place but not on every single subject would I put my assurance on it? Certainly this discipline has its pedestals too.
The truth is for certain subjects science falls completely on its face.

Reference:
http://www.frihost.com/users/Bluedoll/blog/vp-120583.html
Ankhanu
This thread isn't about science... it's about truth. The two are related, but separate.

If it appears that I was attempting to espouse science, I apologize for my lack of clarity. I'll put some thought into how to adjust my approach to head down the correct road.

But... *sigh* I can't help myself...
Bluedoll wrote:
Certainly this discipline has its pedestals too

It actually doesn't... well, I suppose it does if you count the process that defines it...
No tidbit of science is beyond scrutiny, is beyond being torn apart and replaced. The very hallmark of science is its self-correction, its self-improvement. If it is found that a current explanation no longer functions or no longer covers all aspects of an idea, it must be replaced with one that does. This can be a very slow, arduous process, however. Answers are rarely handed over, fully formed on a silver platter; they must often be toiled over time and time again. It's an iterative process with many pitfalls along the way, but, with time and attention, answers are found.

Science cannot explain everything, it's true, but it provides much with what it can. What it cannot explain, it strives to, but it does not jump to conclusions in the meantime (if taken seriously and properly); it's not afraid of "I don't know" as an answer.
Indi
Ankhanu wrote:
This thread isn't about science... it's about truth. The two are related, but separate.

If it appears that I was attempting to espouse science, I apologize for my lack of clarity. I'll put some thought into how to adjust my approach to head down the correct road.

But... *sigh* I can't help myself...
Bluedoll wrote:
Certainly this discipline has its pedestals too

It actually doesn't... well, I suppose it does if you count the process that defines it...

No, even the process is not sacred. It has been retooled several times. Most recently, it was updated in the 1930s or the 1960s, depending on your perspective. If you consider Kuhn's work an advancement, rather than just a new understanding, then 1960s. Either way, Popper's work on falsifiability totally rewrote the book on how science is defined and done, so the 1930s at the earliest.

NOTHING is sacred in science except the belief that there is no point in hypothesizing non-natural causes for natural effects... and even that is rationally justified by the observation of falsifiability (which is why it was such an important advancement).

(And note: the belief is that THERE IS NO POINT in hypothesizing supernatural effects... NOT that there are no supernatural effects.)
Bluedoll
In the end, personal truth as some great echelon of aspiration is ludicrous. -Ankhanu

We can contemplate the correct road but how can we be sure? No one can, if the premise is “I don’t know” to find of course, a truth. It is surely a driving force that makes us want to get know science better. Is this crazy elusive truth only for the elite thinkers of frihost forum? I doubt this. Is it rather for the highly educated attentive pursuers of science? It eludes them too.

Did we not say this about science itself? Seriously and properly, if we ask one question and arrive at a point, is there not a dozen more questions to ask and so on and so on? We express it as a process of correction or a no point exercise.

So then, what is done in practice, is that needed conclusions are drawn anyway. Yes they are. I am not saying science is not a good practice (for how else could science progress or apply itself to any problem) nor I am saying it is not a human thing to do. It is just that science is more related to discovery than truth. It can never be the absolute truth.

It is true then, when the philosopher seeks to find the truth on the really big questions, science is a big let down? So how to discover truth?

Truth does shine like a beacon. We are trapped in a world of aspiration but set free when we choose to seek the real truth.
Bikerman
All of which verbiage is entirely irrelevant to the point under discussion (the validity of personal truth).
It has been demonstrated, pretty rigorously, that the notion of 'personal truth' is nonsensical. Something which is true cannot be false, therefore 'personal truth' is a concept which contains an inherent contradiction.

Science is the only method we have that works. Other methods of 'determining the truth' - such as consensus, revelation & introspection - can easily be shown to have very limited value, in any objective sense, when trying to arrive at 'truth'.
'Religious truth' is essentially a meangless concept. Firstly you have to ask 'which religion?'. Then it is easy to show that, for any religion, 'truth' has changed over time - meaning it was never true in the first place. Finally, any statement which claims to be true should be testable - how else can you establish truth from delusion? No mainstream religious 'truth', that I know of, can be tested - and therefore 'religious truth' as a concept is pretty useless. Those religious truths which CAN be tested - particularly claims of creationists - HAVE been tested - they failed miserably.
Bluedoll
So to make note of this current topic, personal truth, allow me to demonstrate a personal reflection and ask this question.

Is this true?
Here is a summation of what I visually see before my eyes at this moment and is of course subject to revision. In other words, I could be wrong, but unless someone other than Bikerman (source of contention being challenged) tells me so, his post is a meaningless personal truth as he is suggesting all personal truths are?

I am looking at this from the perspective that these two paragraphs written by him have little merit nor contribution to this topic except to demonstrate that there is little truth in the paragraphs themselves. Am I wrong?

Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
All of which verbiage is entirely irrelevant to the point under discussion (the validity of personal truth).

I think he is saying that everything written is not valid to any discussion but would this not also make his verbiage not valid as well? Another way to say this is that either he lacks personal truths and can not bring verbiage to it or everything he writes must be true because it has been copied?
Quote:
It has been demonstrated, pretty rigorously,

Are we to all read truths by Bikerman to discover this . . . or should proof be provided within the context of these paragraphs?
Quote:
that the notion of 'personal truth' is nonsensical. Something which is true cannot be false,

Something that is hand written can not be printed makes as much sense to me. If revision is possible as science dictates it should be; then I would say this statement is not correct.
Quote:
therefore 'personal truth' is a concept which contains an inherent contradiction.

Not if the first statement was incorrect. Contradictions are everywhere including within these paragraphs? A truth whether it be personal or not is simply true. Some explain to me where does anyone get off telling people that personal truths are nonsensical using only nonsense to define it?
Quote:
Science is the only method we have that works. Other > . .

If this isn’t just a stick in the mud statement without any kind of objective reasoning, I’ll eat me shorts! Oh, it has been explained many times before in this forum by the Bikerman truths just doesn’t cut it for me as well. Nope, nope. Nope dope. The only true conclusion, I am coming to in these two paragraphs is that the wonderful tool of science is being tooted around like some ego testicle manipulation.
Quote:
'Religious truth' is essentially a meaningless concept.

Bla bla bla. So much for topic devaluation and on with the ranting!
Quote:
Firstly you have to ask 'which religion?'

No you do not! To learn about truth, any kind of truth all you need to do is seek it. We all know where the rant is going! Alternatively, let us look at finding the truth regarding these paragraphs.
Quote:
any statement which claims to be true should be testable


In conclusion, these paragraphs contain very little truth. They are merely little angry personal truths without much logic or proof to them and in that context anything logical which might be derived from this person truths are self declared, miserably presented statements. If it was true that all personal truths are nonsense, the paragraphs would negate themselves.
Bikerman
Well, firstly you should quote what is written, not what you think was written.
I did not say that 'all personal truths are nonsense'. I said that the notion of personal truth - referring to the OP - is nonsense.
This is not simply my own 'personal truth' since it has been demonstrated rigorously.
If:
person A believes X to be true and
person B believes NOT X to be true
then they cannot both be right unless X is both true and not true at the same time - and you have already said that this is not the case:
Bluedoll wrote:
A truth whether it be personal or not is simply true.

In fact your statement above is a nice summary and supports what I said - something is either true or not, and to confuse that with some notion of 'personal truth' is nonsensical.
It is interesting that you agree whilst apparently trying so hard to disagree.....

In fact there are a class of statements which could be called 'personal truths'. Those would be things like 'I feel happy', or 'this depresses me'. Those are statements about ones own emotional state and it is very difficult to objectively measure such things (not impossible, perhaps), so we normally take such statements at face value and accept them.

As for science being the only tool that works - that is not opinion, that is demonstrably true. Your computer WORKS. Your phone WORKS. The technology that surrounds you, and is the result of scientific 'truths', works.

Compare and contrast with religious 'truth'.
The Christian account of creation is nonsense. The 'truth' that prayer works is, at best, questionable.

A more fundamental objection would be that IF there IS such a thing as a 'religious truth', then it follows that most religion is a lie, since different religions believe different things to be true.
Take an example : 'Jesus is your Lord and Saviour'. If that is true then it follows that all non-Christian religion is false, or at least based on false premises.
So how do we tell which religious statements are true? That's the point - religious 'truth' is quite deliberately phrased so as to be non-testable, and so any claim to 'truth' cannot be verified.
Can anyone give an example of any religious 'truth' that can be tested?
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
Science is the only method we have that works. Other methods of 'determining the truth' - such as consensus, revelation & introspection - can easily be shown to have very limited value, in any objective sense, when trying to arrive at 'truth'.

i gotta call you out on that. ^_^;

There is another way to find truth besides science, and yes it's not consensus, revelation or introspection. Reason can lead you to truths. Reason can lead to truths that science can't, or is an alternate route to truths that science can lead to. As an example of the first case, science can't lead to mathematical truths but reason can. As an example of the second case, reason can lead to the conservation laws just as well as science.

Science is the best method of learning truths about reality, but not the only method, and science is lousy or useless at learning truths in other domains (like finding the value of π: you can do it scientifically or logically, but the scientific method sucks). Consensus, revelation and introspection are not methods of learning truth about reality, or anything else for that matter.

Both science and reason must be applied properly to work: half-assed applications of either lead to nonsense. Half-assed applications of science lead to bullshit like "intelligent design". Half-assed applications of reason lead to bullshit like "personal truths".
Bikerman
LOL....I was wondering whether anyone would Smile
I accept the correction, of course. In fact, having spent the first half of this debate arguing that the only 100% solid 'truths' are logical/mathematical proofs, then it would be perverse of me not to do so.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
LOL....I was wondering whether anyone would Smile
I accept the correction, of course. In fact, having spent the first half of this debate arguing that the only 100% solid 'truths' are logical/mathematical proofs, then it would be perverse of me not to do so.
So does this mean then that what appears to one person as "rational" would be acceptable to everyone else as "rational". Descartes arrived at his theory/"truth" that God does exist, through rational thinking.
Ankhanu
More evidence with which to consider rationally has come forth since Descartes' time.
Indi
deanhills wrote:
So does this mean then that what appears to one person as "rational" would be acceptable to everyone else as "rational".

Only if it is rational, without the quotation marks. If it is rational, it is rational, always and for everyone.

deanhills wrote:
Descartes arrived at his theory/"truth" that God does exist, through rational thinking.

No, Descartes arrived at his theory/"truth" through "rational" thinking... in other words, his thinking was not rational.

In point of fact, Descartes used an argument that philosophers had known was wrong for 500 years at the time. And, since then, it has been completely and unequivocally shot down by Kant about 100 years after Descartes. Even at the time, many philosophers pointed out flaws in Descartes' argument, such as Hobbes.

Ankhanu wrote:
More evidence with which to consider rationally has come forth since Descartes' time.

Descartes didn't use evidence in his argument for God. (In fact, he "proved" God, then used God to prove the validity of evidence.)

Descartes used a couple of a priori arguments that went something like this:
  1. I am an imperfect being.
  2. I imagine God as a perfect being.
  3. An imperfect being cannot generate a perfect idea.
  4. Therefore this idea must have come from outside of me.
  5. And it must have come from something perfect.
  6. Therefore, God exists.
And:
  1. I imagine God as a perfect being.
  2. Perfection includes existence.
  3. Therefore, God exists.
Arguments of that form had been known since the 11th century, and had been shown to be foolish even then.
Bluedoll
1. Truths can be dynamic(changing in time) as well as static (basic fundamental truths).
2. Philosophers can debate on both sides of any debate.
3. Everything is possible.
4. Anything can exist.
5. Truth can be made claim of.
6. Truth can be illusive.
7. I exist.
8. God can exist.
9. God can establish truth.
10. Those in opposition of the existence of God seek reasons to refute.
11. If established truth is refuted then what has been established is refuted.

Tic Talk
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
1. Truths can be dynamic(changing in time) as well as static (basic fundamental truths).
No, they can't. You previously said that something was either true or not. Now you say that something can be true at one time and false at another. Inconsistent.
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2. Philosophers can debate on both sides of any debate.
Statement of the obvious.
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3. Everything is possible.
Not in THIS universe. What is possible is constrained by fundamental laws of physics.
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4. Anything can exist.
Not in THIS universe.
Quote:
5. Truth can be made claim of.
Incomprehensible.
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6. Truth can be illusive.
Trivially obvious
Quote:
7. I exist.
Prove it.
Quote:
8. God can exist.
Pixies and faeries 'can' exist. They don't, however.
Quote:
9. God can establish truth.
Since you haven't established that God exists then this is entirely hypothetical.
Quote:
10. Those in opposition of the existence of God seek reasons to refute.
Wrong. One does not need a 'reason' to refute. Refutation is how science and, to some extent, philosophy function. Since you cannot 'prove' an inductive statement then the best way to proceed is to try to refute it.
Quote:
11. If established truth is refuted then what has been established is refuted.
Established truth cannot be refuted otherwise it was never true.
Bluedoll
Bikerman wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
1. Truths can be dynamic(changing in time) as well as static (basic fundamental truths).
No, they can't. You previously said that something was either true or not. Now you say that something can be true at one time and false at another. Inconsistent.
Quote:
2. Philosophers can debate on both sides of any debate.
Statement of the obvious.
Quote:
3. Everything is possible.
Not in THIS universe. What is possible is constrained by fundamental laws of physics.
Quote:
4. Anything can exist.
Not in THIS universe.
Quote:
5. Truth can be made claim of.
Incomprehensible.
Quote:
6. Truth can be illusive.
Trivially obvious
Quote:
7. I exist.
Prove it.
Quote:
8. God can exist.
Pixies and faeries 'can' exist. They don't, however.
Quote:
9. God can establish truth.
Since you haven't established that God exists then this is entirely hypothetical.
Quote:
10. Those in opposition of the existence of God seek reasons to refute.
Wrong. One does not need a 'reason' to refute. Refutation is how science and, to some extent, philosophy function. Since you cannot 'prove' an inductive statement then the best way to proceed is to try to refute it.
Quote:
11. If established truth is refuted then what has been established is refuted.
Established truth cannot be refuted otherwise it was never true.

no
Bikerman
The above is not really helpful to debate. Quoting an entire posting and simply adding 'no' to a highlighted word is hardly adding anything new, and is in contravention of TOS
(specifically m.4 which forbids.
Quote:
Posting quoted material, even if properly marked, without providing any original content of your own.
)
It is possible that you were unaware of this, so I haven't referred it, trusting that you will take this on board for future postings.
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