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Rise of atheism: 100,000 Brits seek 'de-baptism'

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If anyone saw the part I edited out of the previous post, please disregard it. I was posting in a hurry and obviously a bit forgetful.



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Has anybody here (besides me) read the Meno by Plato? In particular the part on Meno's Paradox is a lot of fun.

Also, some of you might to dwell on this; what is the difference between saying:

1. I doubt it's true.
2. I don't think it's true.
3. I don't believe it's true.

Then maybe we could get into some etymology.

Epistemology is fun until you drive down into the heart of what Descartes was saying, then it's a lot of work.



Final-Fan said:

Main Issue

    I found your preamble fairly clear. If we could stick to that specific terminology that would be great, except instead of using “justification” we might just say “prove”, simply because it will be easier to relate my contention against it that way.

    The bit you mention about math seemed a little strange though. I thought what I said on it already in 5.B was clear and I hope you’re relaying the same thing in so many words. The ‘knowledge’ of math (or the particular theorem) “justifies” itself because “the math works out” – in that math is, by itself, something in the mind and is true by virtue of meaning. Two and two mean what I mean by “four” and that’s just something within my conception of amount (This is opposed to a notion that the abstraction “two” is something I’m literally taking in the world and smashing it together with another “two” and then *tada*, by virtue of the laws of the natural world we may or may not understand, out pops four). Thus such analytical truth (along with statements of definition) is not what we’re attempting to establish, as we are talking about the knowledge of the world (reality) (what exists outside our mind/meanings).

 

My problem goes away if you say, "fine it can't exist, BUT IF IT DID then (whatever)".  [edit:  I think I'd better expand on that.  It seems to me that you're suggesting revelation as a method whereby one is given absolute knowledge that lacks justification (proof)

[Edit:  I notice that in your response to (3c) (etc.) you keep saying "absolute knowledge (truth)".  Am I to understand that you are defining "knowledge = truth"?? 

 

    I can’t make sense of that first sentence in relation to the contention between us as I’ve seen it develop. But it seems the misunderstanding is cleared up in the edits.

    Just as the definition I gave already stated: “what I’ve meant by absolute knowledge is that it is knowledge of the truth. And as if the further qualification must be added, it means its “undoubtable” when you have it.”

    Yes, every time I’ve said absolute knowledge I’ve meant what you’ve at least once called here “justified belief” – really actually really real knowledge of the truth.

    I was so sure we went through a process of establishing that already. As you can see in Wikipedia when one refers to simply “knowledge” in epistemology it already refers to that which is justified. I was reluctant to use the term “absolute knowledge” in the beginning and I only started putting “absolute” in front of “knowledge” because I thought I saw you taking mere “knowledge” to mean something less than what it was (in epistemic terms).

 

    So this leads us to the real contention. You say one must prove (justify) a belief for it to be considered knowledge (epistemological meaning) (what I’ve meant by absolute knowledge or what you’ve meant by justified belief).

    If we can agree that this is the clear issue at this point then I’ll go on to offer why I see this as meaningless request or at least one that “defeats” itself.

 

Everything Else

It's perfectly coherent and logical as a tautology that is not proved or justified by anything but itself.  That is fine for defining something:  "I got input.  I shall call it "a penny".  I got a penny."  But if you say "pennies are made of copper" or "pennies are made of zinc" or "absolute knowledge is true justified belief" then you have to back it up with more than the tautology itself. 

 

    Logic is a tautology. (In fact that’s my very point in criticizing rationalism as a method of truth. Logic derives implications (by way of the meaning of words) but has nothing to do with what we are calling “proving” or “justifying” a belief in the first place (since you’d have to start with a belief [premise] that represented truth to derive necessary implications that represented truth).

    Anyway, the point was the hypothetical argument you posed of my position was logical as opposed to whatever was meant in the accusation of “assuming the conclusion”. Even if you meant something else by it, you posed a logical hypothetical argument too perfectly with your words and I couldn’t possibly be blamed for taking it that way.

 

    Yes, anything that is not analytical (pennies are made of copper) falls into the realm of which we are trying to establish – knowledge of the world (reality) (what exists outside our mind/meanings) .

 

 

(4b) Are you saying that revelation could not provide a one true interpretation of a given pattern of sense data, even future replications of said pattern?

 

    No, I’m so sure I’ve said it over and over that revelation could tell you what sense data represented (i.e. the specific interpretation [the particular ‘potential’ belief] which is true) whether it be one time for one instance, one time for all [similar] instances, or at every instance. (If it was the case where a person met a particular blob of sense data and it happened to always represented the same thing every time he met it – yes, why not. Revelation could tell you that too.)

    My point always being… so what? Revelation is still giving you the interpretation like I’m posing it would and empiricism, the doctrine that states we gain knowledge of the world from sense data, is not.

 

 ...

    As for everything else, some of it I could respond to but much of it I found very confusing with the same criticism on the use of terms I gave last time, along with more distinctions between terms that bewilder me. In other things it just doesn’t even seem like you understood me. I’m not saying it’s your fault.

    Hopefully it’s all something to be scrapped now as I think it’s getting clearer what the main issue is.



Okami

To lavish praise upon this title, the assumption of a common plateau between player and game must be made.  I won't open my unworthy mouth.

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I believe your post is what's making the Rich Text Reply massively horizontal.
http://www.vgchartz.com/forum/post.php?id=2095450
Try editing out most of the --------------- spacer you put in.



Tag (courtesy of fkusumot): "Please feel free -- nay, I encourage you -- to offer rebuttal."
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My advice to fanboys: Brag about stuff that's true, not about stuff that's false. Predict stuff that's likely, not stuff that's unlikely. You will be happier, and we will be happier.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Sen. Pat Moynihan
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I have the most epic death scene ever in VGChartz Mafia.  Thanks WordsofWisdom! 

appolose said:
Final-Fan said:

Main Issue

    I found your preamble fairly clear. If we could stick to that specific terminology that would be great, except instead of using “justification” we might just say “prove”, simply because it will be easier to relate my contention against it that way.

(1)    The bit you mention about math seemed a little strange though. I thought what I said on it already in 5.B was clear and I hope you’re relaying the same thing in so many words. The ‘knowledge’ of math (or the particular theorem) “justifies” itself because “the math works out” – in that math is, by itself, something in the mind and is true by virtue of meaning. Two and two mean what I mean by “four” and that’s just something within my conception of amount (This is opposed to a notion that the abstraction “two” is something I’m literally taking in the world and smashing it together with another “two” and then *tada*, by virtue of the laws of the natural world we may or may not understand, out pops four). Thus such analytical truth (along with statements of definition) is not what we’re attempting to establish, as we are talking about the knowledge of the world (reality) (what exists outside our mind/meanings).

 

My problem goes away if you say, "fine it can't exist, BUT IF IT DID then (whatever)".  [edit:  I think I'd better expand on that.  It seems to me that you're suggesting revelation as a method whereby one is given absolute knowledge that lacks justification (proof)

[Edit:  I notice that in your response to (3c) (etc.) you keep saying "absolute knowledge (truth)".  Am I to understand that you are defining "knowledge = truth"?? 

 

    I can’t make sense of that first sentence in relation to the contention between us as I’ve seen it develop. But it seems the misunderstanding is cleared up in the edits.

(2)    Just as the definition I gave already stated: “what I’ve meant by absolute knowledge is that it is knowledge of the truth. And as if the further qualification must be added, it means its “undoubtable” when you have it.”

(3)    Yes, every time I’ve said absolute knowledge I’ve meant what you’ve at least once called here “justified belief” – really actually really real knowledge of the truth.

    I was so sure we went through a process of establishing that already. As you can see in Wikipedia when one refers to simply “knowledge” in epistemology it already refers to that which is justified. I was reluctant to use the term “absolute knowledge” in the beginning and I only started putting “absolute” in front of “knowledge” because I thought I saw you taking mere “knowledge” to mean something less than what it was (in epistemic terms).

 

(4)    So this leads us to the real contention. You say one must prove (justify) a belief for it to be considered knowledge (epistemological meaning) (what I’ve meant by absolute knowledge or what you’ve meant by justified belief).

    If we can agree that this is the clear issue at this point then I’ll go on to offer why I see this as meaningless request or at least one that “defeats” itself.

 

Everything Else

It's perfectly coherent and logical as a tautology that is not proved or justified by anything but itself.  That is fine for defining something:  "I got input.  I shall call it "a penny".  I got a penny."  But if you say "pennies are made of copper" or "pennies are made of zinc" or "absolute knowledge is true justified belief" then you have to back it up with more than the tautology itself. 

 

    Logic is a tautology. (In fact that’s my very point in criticizing rationalism as a method of truth. Logic derives implications (by way of the meaning of words) but has nothing to do with what we are calling “proving” or “justifying” a belief in the first place (since you’d have to start with a belief [premise] that represented truth to derive necessary implications that represented truth).

(5)    Anyway, the point was the hypothetical argument you posed of my position was logical as opposed to whatever was meant in the accusation of “assuming the conclusion”. Even if you meant something else by it, you posed a logical hypothetical argument too perfectly with your words and I couldn’t possibly be blamed for taking it that way.

 

(6)    Yes, anything that is not analytical (pennies are made of copper) falls into the realm of which we are trying to establish – knowledge of the world (reality) (what exists outside our mind/meanings) .

 

(4b) Are you saying that revelation could not provide a one true interpretation of a given pattern of sense data, even future replications of said pattern?

 

(7)    No, I’m so sure I’ve said it over and over that revelation could tell you what sense data represented (i.e. the specific interpretation [the particular ‘potential’ belief] which is true) whether it be one time for one instance, one time for all [similar] instances, or at every instance. (If it was the case where a person met a particular blob of sense data and it happened to always represented the same thing every time he met it – yes, why not. Revelation could tell you that too.)

    My point always being… so what? Revelation is still giving you the interpretation like I’m posing it would and empiricism, the doctrine that states we gain knowledge of the world from sense data, is not.

  ...

(8)    As for everything else, some of it I could respond to but much of it I found very confusing with the same criticism on the use of terms I gave last time, along with more distinctions between terms that bewilder me. In other things it just doesn’t even seem like you understood me. I’m not saying it’s your fault.

    Hopefully it’s all something to be scrapped now as I think it’s getting clearer what the main issue is.

1.  As for (5b), I wasn't completely sure, and letting it pass without comment could have had ... consequences ... if I was wrong. 

2.  I discounted that time you defined it, because as I mentioned, if one looks at the context of the post you were responding to, I was misusing the word "knowledge" in that post to mean somebody's perception of what is true, so when you said "Yes." unless I'm much mistaken you were actually saying the opposite of what "Yes." would mean.  Also ... (3)

3.  It looks like you're defining "knowledge" as "knowledge of the truth", which would be stupid, because you are using a word to define itself.*  But you're positive that "justified true belief" (as those words are used in the Wikipedia article) is what you are talking about? 
*Unless the first "knowledge" is JTB and the second "knowledge" is JB ... 

4.  Yes, it seems to me that Wikipedia states that philosiphy has for millenia agreed that knowledge = JTB, until recently when the Gettier problem became widely realized.  So, do you agree that knowledge is (at least) composed of belief, truth, AND justification? 

5.  Are you or are you not suggesting that input regarding the world can justify itself as true belief and, if so, how?*  I do not think it can.  I think you can get B and maybe T but not J via input that is alleged to be revelation as I believe you have described it.  So I do not think that revelation could even hypothetically be true in the sense of "hypothetical" that means "this could possibly be true". 
*And if not ... ???

6.  So how could we prove that an alleged revelation was true, or alternately (and perhaps more precisely) how could an alleged revelation prove that it was a true belief about the world?  (Since a revelation is knowledge, it would have to provide all of J, T, and B by definition, right?) 

7.  I'm not convinced you have, at least clearly, but you have now so never mind.  Thank you.  I think that counts as empiricism, as I think any alleged revelation could be considered to be sensed.  (I have discussed this before in this thread.)  Therefore the interpretation is entirely based on sensed data ... i.e. "sense data". 

8.  In most threads I would fight you on this, but ... not at this time.  Although I suspect we may run into (3b2) again.  But maybe not, and if so then all the better.  I am almost literally holding myself back from something else, but I know it would only muddy the water mud so I'm going to post now.



Tag (courtesy of fkusumot): "Please feel free -- nay, I encourage you -- to offer rebuttal."
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My advice to fanboys: Brag about stuff that's true, not about stuff that's false. Predict stuff that's likely, not stuff that's unlikely. You will be happier, and we will be happier.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Sen. Pat Moynihan
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The old smileys: ; - ) : - ) : - ( : - P : - D : - # ( c ) ( k ) ( y ) If anyone knows the shortcut for , let me know!
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I recalled while I was away that you wanted us to use "proof" instead of "justification"; I just forgot and used the Wikipedia terms. You may feel free to substitute the term mentally and in your response, along with "proven" for "justified".



Tag (courtesy of fkusumot): "Please feel free -- nay, I encourage you -- to offer rebuttal."
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My advice to fanboys: Brag about stuff that's true, not about stuff that's false. Predict stuff that's likely, not stuff that's unlikely. You will be happier, and we will be happier.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Sen. Pat Moynihan
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The old smileys: ; - ) : - ) : - ( : - P : - D : - # ( c ) ( k ) ( y ) If anyone knows the shortcut for , let me know!
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I have the most epic death scene ever in VGChartz Mafia.  Thanks WordsofWisdom! 

Well I am agnostic know.



Final-Fan said:

(I’ll use ‘proof’ instead of ‘justification’ once I present my case)

    Let me put the conclusion of this first: I just want to know if we’re at an understanding of your position: That belief must be justified to become knowledge. Once you’ve confirmed that I then wish to bring my case against the notion of justification in which you can bring up your specific disagreements point by point.

     Also, a mere side question here… as the “Gettier problem” is rather retarded to me, I must ask, do you see that basically they're posing a scenario in which the process of “justification” really didn’t justify? (Isn’t what we mean by justification already referring to the process of some infallible confirmation?) Thus the scenario doesn’t involve justification at all.
    Do you agree that what they are doing now is essentially asking for justification for their justification?

3.   Yes, I’m talking about “justified true belief”.
      I said “justified belief” because that’s how I saw you refer to this concept. Then I put “Knowledge of the truth” following to indicate that this was the way I’ve referred to it previously (as well as with ‘absolute knowledge’). Further, it’s an acceptable description as knowledge falls within the “circle” of truth. Thus knowledge is ‘of’ it yet, according to the little drawing (lol), not the essence (meaning) of truth. It’s a common way of referring to (epistemic) knowledge in ordinary terms anyway. Knowledge, knowledge of the truth, whatever. But let’s not argue semantics.
      After this you suggest a distinction between JTB and JB and I’m hoping you were only suggesting that out of confusion as to what I was saying. Otherwise the introduction of new terms/ideas and distinctions like that are going to annihilate the small grasp I had on your position. I’d hate to reinvent it in my mind any further or get caught up in arguing another distinction I find meaningless.
     The point we were at was clear. Your fundamental contention was that belief had to have justification to be knowledge.

But you're positive that "justified true belief" (as those words are used in the Wikipedia article) is what you are talking about?

So, do you agree that knowledge is (at least) composed of belief, truth, AND justification?


    So uniting with the question in point 4: Yes, I agree in the sense that I understand your position: that knowledge is ‘composed’ of belief, truth, and justification. I’m prepared to make nonsense out of justification so I can’t agree in that sense. If we’re at an understanding, I will attempt to bring my case.
    (The wikipedia article on the Gettier problem is great because of its clarity. Within it makes my contention against justification very exposed. Not that it intended to.)

5. Are you or are you not suggesting that input regarding the world can justify itself as true belief and, if so, how?*

    What? Do you see how I might not understand what you mean by “input regarding the world”? We’ve been speaking of specific terms: e.g. sense data and revelation. You also know I’ve suffered some confusion on your use of empiricism, input, and your categorization of revelation under these.
    Further, do you see how it’s hard to make a relevant or, rather, necessary relation from this (and the following) to my point about the hypothetical argument?

I do not think it can. I think you can get B and maybe T but not J via input that is alleged to be revelation as I believe you have described it.

    The first statement you make at point 5 either asks for clarity, explanation, or asks something tongue-in-cheek regarding what I said in the previous post (I think).
    After that we have this statement, along with the following, which brings up your problem with what I’m proposing of revelation. A. You’re bringing up your case to a point that isn’t necessary for it to be brought up. This breaks up the attempt to keep things concise and united. This statement and the following should be addressed to the main contention, although B. it’s getting ahead of my request to merely come to an agreement regarding the main contention. I portrayed your fundamental contention in what you marked as point 4 and after confirmation was prepared to make a case against it, in which you could then bring up your particular issues with it as it arises. (Further, I’ve heard you say this basic statement of disagreement of yours already in so many words.)
    Do you know what this is like? Ignore the content of this example and just note the progression of the argument on one particular point: A: If we could just get to the store we could buy milk. B: Ya but we don’t have money or a car. A: Wait, we don’t have money? B: No, and besides we don’t have a car. A: Don’t we have some money in the jar upstairs? B: No, and besides we don’t have a car so how can we get there anyway? A: Well hold on, don’t we have a gift certificate for that store? B: We did, but it’s all used up and we don’t have a car so we can’t get there. A: I know about the car, can we address it in a moment? Don’t you have a debit card? B: Yes but I forgot the pin number and you can’t get to the store without a car.
   Whether you think certain times it’s related or not, it’s better to attempt to create some unity instead of addressing all the multiple splits in our discussion with the same addition.

So I do not think that revelation could even hypothetically be true in the sense of "hypothetical" that means "this could possibly be true".

    Do you notice how confusing that sounds? Let me rephrase what I think you meant: “Since I can demonstrate that your theory of revelation is impossible without exception I clearly cannot suggest it’s possible even hypothetically.” Clarify “demonstrate that your theory of revelation is impossible” as you’d like but that’s still a more concise wording.

6. This is doing the same thing I described above in point 5. You’re bringing up your case for a point that wasn’t asking for it. The point was about analytical statements. You could have affirmed it or denied it and explained why. Instead you introduce a contention/concern (in the form of a question) with revelation again.

7. You don’t see how ambiguous that is? You don’t see that this is not what the word empiricism has meant (I wouldn’t say “millennia” but long enough to make the point)? You can certainly stipulate that meaning if you want but it’s certainly confusing.
    But to defend the vital distinction either way: revelation (or even more clearly, aka ‘propositional revelation’) is clearly not what we mean by gaining interpretations of the world through the base experience of color, touch, etc (which is precisely what empiricism has meant).



Okami

To lavish praise upon this title, the assumption of a common plateau between player and game must be made.  I won't open my unworthy mouth.

Christian (+50).  Arminian(+20). AG adherent(+20). YEC(+20). Pre-tribulation Pre-milleniumist (+10).  Republican (+15) Capitalist (+15).  Pro-Nintendo (+5).  Misc. stances (+30).  TOTAL SCORE: 195
  http://quizfarm.com/test.php?q_id=43870 <---- Fun theology quiz

Your post at http://www.vgchartz.com/forum/post.php?id=2095450 , which I referred to earlier, is still, I believe, rendering the "Rich Text Reply" box EXTREMELY annoying to work with.



Tag (courtesy of fkusumot): "Please feel free -- nay, I encourage you -- to offer rebuttal."
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My advice to fanboys: Brag about stuff that's true, not about stuff that's false. Predict stuff that's likely, not stuff that's unlikely. You will be happier, and we will be happier.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Sen. Pat Moynihan
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The old smileys: ; - ) : - ) : - ( : - P : - D : - # ( c ) ( k ) ( y ) If anyone knows the shortcut for , let me know!
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I have the most epic death scene ever in VGChartz Mafia.  Thanks WordsofWisdom! 

Sorry, i'll get on that soon.



Okami

To lavish praise upon this title, the assumption of a common plateau between player and game must be made.  I won't open my unworthy mouth.

Christian (+50).  Arminian(+20). AG adherent(+20). YEC(+20). Pre-tribulation Pre-milleniumist (+10).  Republican (+15) Capitalist (+15).  Pro-Nintendo (+5).  Misc. stances (+30).  TOTAL SCORE: 195
  http://quizfarm.com/test.php?q_id=43870 <---- Fun theology quiz