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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Odds of Evolution Are Zero. (Read 10,470 times)
Running Deer
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Re: The Odds of Evolution Are Zero.
Reply #290 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 8:47pm
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Frank1 wrote on Sep 2nd, 2017 at 8:25pm:
So basically evidence must be material?


So far, that seems to be the case.  We've tried for a long time to find mind-independent, verifiable, immaterial facts, and the string of failures is long.  Plato got the ball rolling with his Forms - which don't exist - and it's been a litany of failures ever since.

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Or could the definition of mind-independent be expanded to mean phenomena, both material and non-material, that are experienced by multiple minds (as multiple humans will see the apple as red)?


Probably not, but it's a fine question.

We know that we can agree on the color of the apple: it is red and not blue.

We know that we can disagree on the name of the color of the apple even if we agree that it's the same color: you might call an apple green that I would call yellow, but we would agree it's a greenish yellow or yellowish green apple.

But we don't know if your experience of red is the same as mine.  That is, you experience seeing a red apple, and I experience seeing a red apple, but we don't know if you and I have the same experience.  We can have the same label for the experience, but that's not the same thing as the same experience.  Perhaps we do have the same experience, perhaps not.  No one honestly knows.

This is the question that plagued European continental philosophy for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, for folks like Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Lacan.  Namely, what is it like to be something and not something else?  (Obviously, we haven't come up with a good answer.)
  

"If cousins, I would much prefer to marry one my Neanderthal relatives than a screeching chimpanzee which might bite my face off as has happened recently. Of course, chimps are not even a human species so procreation between humans and chimps is out of the question." - joe_christian, on sex
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Re: The Odds of Evolution Are Zero.
Reply #291 - Sep 6th, 2017 at 11:02am
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Running Deer wrote on Sep 5th, 2017 at 8:47pm:
So far, that seems to be the case.  We've tried for a long time to find mind-independent, verifiable, immaterial facts, and the string of failures is long.  Plato got the ball rolling with his Forms - which don't exist - and it's been a litany of failures ever since.


Probably not, but it's a fine question.

We know that we can agree on the color of the apple: it is red and not blue.

We know that we can disagree on the name of the color of the apple even if we agree that it's the same color: you might call an apple green that I would call yellow, but we would agree it's a greenish yellow or yellowish green apple.

But we don't know if your experience of red is the same as mine.  That is, you experience seeing a red apple, and I experience seeing a red apple, but we don't know if you and I have the same experience.  We can have the same label for the experience, but that's not the same thing as the same experience.  Perhaps we do have the same experience, perhaps not.  No one honestly knows.

This is the question that plagued European continental philosophy for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, for folks like Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Lacan.  Namely, what is it like to be something and not something else?  (Obviously, we haven't come up with a good answer.)


Actually we do know. We don't see the same colors as people are different in their abilities to distinguish between them. A friend of mine could tell blue and green apart but only from a short distance, the farther away an object of either color was the harder it was for him to tell if it was blue or green. It's likely that the perception of colors is at least slightly different from people to people as People who grew up in a brightly colored environment won't have the same affinity for those colors as people who grew up in pastel surroundings. At any rate, we know that some people have acute defect that makes them practically blind to some colors. People with night vision capabilities (nyctalopia) can differentiate between many more shades of blue than the average person.
  

Non sequitur:

The Wet Dreams of Mr Cousteau wrote on Mar 2nd, 2017 at 4:30am:
... that has less power than a hair dryer used by a eunuch.



Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Feb 5th, 2017 at 5:40pm:
...that makes me a moron.
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Limey
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Re: The Odds of Evolution Are Zero.
Reply #292 - Sep 6th, 2017 at 11:04am
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This is relevant to the question of evidence in court.

You might see some behaviour and honestly ascribe to it meaning that either isn't there or isn't the whole picture.

Witnesses need to be respected but not treated as infallible.

Look at this rather excellent 9 second clip:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=tv+advert+for+the+independent+newspaper&safe=s...
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Odds of Evolution Are Zero.
Reply #293 - Sep 6th, 2017 at 11:05am
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Ok how do you link a video???
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Odds of Evolution Are Zero.
Reply #294 - Sep 6th, 2017 at 11:12am
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I am sorry but your search links don't work.
  

Non sequitur:

The Wet Dreams of Mr Cousteau wrote on Mar 2nd, 2017 at 4:30am:
... that has less power than a hair dryer used by a eunuch.



Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Feb 5th, 2017 at 5:40pm:
...that makes me a moron.
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Re: The Odds of Evolution Are Zero.
Reply #295 - Sep 6th, 2017 at 11:13am
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Limey wrote on Sep 6th, 2017 at 11:05am:
Ok how do you link a video???


One of the icons says "insert media" when you move the pointer of your mouse over it.
  

Non sequitur:

The Wet Dreams of Mr Cousteau wrote on Mar 2nd, 2017 at 4:30am:
... that has less power than a hair dryer used by a eunuch.



Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Feb 5th, 2017 at 5:40pm:
...that makes me a moron.
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Limey
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Re: The Odds of Evolution Are Zero.
Reply #296 - Sep 6th, 2017 at 12:10pm
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BowHunter wrote on Sep 6th, 2017 at 11:13am:
One of the icons says "insert media" when you move the pointer of your mouse over it.


I am on a 3" screen phone...
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Odds of Evolution Are Zero.
Reply #297 - Sep 6th, 2017 at 12:28pm
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Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Odds of Evolution Are Zero.
Reply #298 - Sep 9th, 2017 at 7:24pm
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Running Deer wrote on Sep 5th, 2017 at 8:47pm:
So far, that seems to be the case.  We've tried for a long time to find mind-independent, verifiable, immaterial facts, and the string of failures is long.  Plato got the ball rolling with his Forms - which don't exist - and it's been a litany of failures ever since.

Probably not, but it's a fine question.

We know that we can agree on the color of the apple: it is red and not blue.

We know that we can disagree on the name of the color of the apple even if we agree that it's the same color: you might call an apple green that I would call yellow, but we would agree it's a greenish yellow or yellowish green apple.

But we don't know if your experience of red is the same as mine.  That is, you experience seeing a red apple, and I experience seeing a red apple, but we don't know if you and I have the same experience.  We can have the same label for the experience, but that's not the same thing as the same experience.  Perhaps we do have the same experience, perhaps not.  No one honestly knows.

This is the question that plagued European continental philosophy for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, for folks like Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Lacan.  Namely, what is it like to be something and not something else?  (Obviously, we haven't come up with a good answer.)


So you acknowledge we can have different perceptions to some extent.  As a musician I see this all the time; it is clear to me that many people simply do not perceive music the same way that I, as a trained musician with good relative pitch, perceive it, for instance. 

So what do you say to those who assert that some people perceive non-material realities, like, for instance, Plato's forms?  Maybe, as with something like perfect pitch, some humans have these intellectual intuitions that take them beyond the material and some do not?

In fact, a high level of intuition was traditionally seen as belonging to the most intelligent class of people and was seen as being above rationality.  That is, intuition, like Plato's intuition of the forms, informed his lower rational faculty, and in fact traditional metaphysics gets its ultimate authority from intellectual intuition, conceived as some type of perception of higher immaterial realities.

From this viewpoint, the bane of Western thinking, especially since the enlightenment, is a denial of intellectual intuition in favor of rationality, and what's more in favor of a rationality that denies all non-material evidence.

So now, back to the question of evidence: the fact that all around the world it is traditionally asserted that people are capable of apprehending 'higher' non-material realities, is, in itself, strong evidence that such realities exist.

Now, you can take the progressive viewpoint that for some reason basically the whole human race was living in delusion on these points, prior to the European enlightenment.  But this seems untenable.  First off, if human intelligence has not changed over all the millennia of history, why would it take us so long until it was discovered that in fact the only legitimate form of thought was rationality informed by material observation?

Considering the above, the Enlightenment worldview, which still dominates in the West today, seems untenable.


*By the way, thanks for the thoughtful dialogue.   Wink
  


To say homo sapiens, is to say Homo religiosus; there is no man without God. ~Frithjof Schuon
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Re: The Odds of Evolution Are Zero.
Reply #299 - Sep 11th, 2017 at 8:06pm
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Frank1 wrote on Sep 9th, 2017 at 7:24pm:
So what do you say to those who assert that some people perceive non-material realities, like, for instance, Plato's forms?  Maybe, as with something like perfect pitch, some humans have these intellectual intuitions that take them beyond the material and some do not?


The problem is that we can't verify those perceptions.  If others can't verify whether you've truly perceived the Form of Chair, it's not useful evidence.  Of course, there is no Form of Chair: we call things chairs because others in our society do.  "Chair" is a social construct.

In a less silly example, many people claim to have experienced God, Great Mind, Great Spirit, Para Brahma, Paramatma, and so on.  That includes people that I know and who I think have no particular reason to lie to me.  All of these folks talk about a loss of a sense of the division between the self and the world, a feeling of bliss and ecstasy, and the feeling of a deep connection with something fundamental to existence.  It sounds great!

The problems are twofold: difficult to verify and unclear what useful information they can give us.  Supposedly, if I undergo the same practices of meditation, austerities, ascetic living, prayer, and worship, than I can also experience it.  But perhaps not, since religious societies don't tend to talk about all their washouts (and there are many).  Anyone who can see can verify a chair.  Verifying the boundary breaking/ego death is difficult and rare, if even possible.

The other problem is what those experiences can actually tell us.  The practices used to reach the boundary breakings differ substantially.  There is the path of meditation, of guru worship & submission, of prayer, of austerities, of drug use, and so on.  One group says guru worship is a grave sin, another says there is no other way but guru worship.  (Compare the Sufis and Tibetan Buddhism, for example.)  Which path is right, and do they actually all lead to the same boundary breaking experience?  We just don't know.

Moreover, the theologies differ.  One group says that the boundary breaking proves the existence of God, the Great Spirit that underpins reality.  Another group says that the boundary breaking proves that all things lack an inherent, permanent nature.  (Advaita Vedanta vs. Zen Buddhism.)  These are exact opposites.  Which useful fact does the boundary breaking convey?  We just don't have a good answer.

Quote:
So now, back to the question of evidence: the fact that all around the world it is traditionally asserted that people are capable of apprehending 'higher' non-material realities, is, in itself, strong evidence that such realities exist.


I would say, instead, that it's evidence that humans can experience something that can be labelled higher, but that does not, in itself, actually make it evidence that there are higher realities, for the reasons I discussed above.

Question: many people have reported experiencing higher realities through LSD.  Is that perception as equally valid as, say, repetition of the Jesus Prayer?

Quote:
First off, if human intelligence has not changed over all the millennia of history, why would it take us so long until it was discovered that in fact the only legitimate form of thought was rationality informed by material observation?


It is definitely not the only form of legitimate thought.  "I love my wife" is not a rational thought, and it's perfectly legitimate.  The question is what we can use as evidence to construct a view of what reality actually is.
  

"If cousins, I would much prefer to marry one my Neanderthal relatives than a screeching chimpanzee which might bite my face off as has happened recently. Of course, chimps are not even a human species so procreation between humans and chimps is out of the question." - joe_christian, on sex
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