Belief/evidence

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Simon Anders, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    Do you believe only in things/events/phenomena that there is sufficient evidence to prove their existence - or that they happened 'that way' - to others?

    Note: think in terms of both categories (in relation to things, events, phenomena) and specific cases. In other words you might belief a specific event happened without evidence you could provide for others that is in a category of experience for which there is evidence: for example, you experience a rape, but cannot provide evidence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
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  3. cato less hate, more science Registered Senior Member

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    the question is misleading, since we have no consensus about what constitutes sufficient evidence.

    that would be a good topic for a thread.
     
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  5. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    You are raising a good issue, but since we would not have consensus after that thread, I would like to see if we can tackle the issue here and now anyway.

    Work with your own sense of what sufficient evidence is.
     
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  7. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    Belief in an event is not a binary function. here is kind of a rough, off the cuff break down.

    a) If there is an actual thing/event/phenomena that I have direct experience of then I'm satisfied I have knowledge of it so long as there are no extenuating circumstances.

    b) If there is direct evidence/record of a thing/event/phenomena that I have access to then I'm satisfied I have well supported belief of it so long as there are no extenuating circumstances.

    c) If there is secondary/well documented evidence/record of a thing/event/phenomena that I have access to and that is collaborated and verified by other reasonable sources then I'm satisfied I have well supported belief of it so long as there are no extenuating circumstances.

    b and c can be elevated over time by further evidence and collaboration, but are never quite as good as a.

    Anything else which has expert speculation/tertiary evidence lands somewhere between a reasonable belief and speculation I favor.

    Below that is pretty much useless speculation, unfounded beliefs and pure fantasy.
     
  8. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    I was first struck by your use of the word 'actual'. This words seems to eliminate the need for any following explanations. Or....?

    That said...

    a) seems to be saying, given the context of this thread, that you would believe in something, even if you could not prove it to others, as long as you had direct experience of it.

    Given that this first interpretation my be off and will potentially mislead me down the line, I'll want for confirmation.
     
  9. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    I would say that the greater the claim the greater the evidence needs to be. If I saw a ufo that I felt was from another world, I could believe it but would not expect others to believe it without extrodinary evidence.

    If you say you had an experience with god for example, how would you go about providing evidence of your extrodinary claim. Could you ?

    In both of those circumstances we would be wise to keep such solid personal experiences to ourselves or realize that the subject would have to be discussed with some levity. If I saw an alien craft I could tell my best friend and we could have a good laugh because the first thing I would tell him is that there is no way I can prove it but I saw it. He might believe me because he knows I would not lie to him. But he might believe it more if he saw it too. (I have never seen a ufo by the way)

    If I told a stranger on the street they would think I lost my mind.

    There are many things that people accept as evidence that don't require personal hands on experience with, such as I know there are wolverines even though I have never seen one in the wild, others have and taken photos, written books on their behaviors and caught, killed, skinned etc. There is hard evidence the animal exists even though I personally have never seen one other than in film.

    Every new claim that has not been proven with evidence requires extrodinary evidence to establish it as a valid, one that does not take a leap of faith to believe in.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  10. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    In short; yes.
     
  11. draqon Banned Banned

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    I believe in things that dont have evidence as is required by science, but have evidence which is deductable by reasoning through probability analyses.
     
  12. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    So.. you mean as required by science.
     
  13. draqon Banned Banned

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    not really, I have beliefs that do not have scientific basis to them, just faith of me in them, were I see it is most likely to be true, based on probability analyses of what has happened and what I know so far.

    Faith in a belief that has no scientific basis. Faith.
     
  14. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    You didn't answer the question. I am asking you about your beliefs and if you only believe things that you feel you have sufficient evidence to prove to others that it occurred or exists.

    In other words, perhaps you have experienced something or believed something about another person or organization
    but cannot prove it to others. Or do you restrict every belief you have to something you could prove to others?
     
  15. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    In short, probably not. His answer is not quite on topic.
     
  16. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    Fair enough then.
    You should have mentioned that in your first post.
    As it stands, your first post clearly is in agreement with scientific definitions.

    Faith is fine, for those who choose to make use of it.
    But it hardly qualifies as evidenciary.
     
  17. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    Actually, I was replying to (your) OP.
     
  18. draqon Banned Banned

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    well glaucon...here is a scenario for you...

    you are in front of many roads before you and you must choose which road to take, some roads people before you suggest you take, some roads look like noone has walked on them, so roads have marks of blood on them, others are in mist...one of them is the road to take which will lead to were you want to go.

    Faith in the destiny, without enough physical proof (like marks on the road) to help you decide such destiny (road). So I choose faith based on moral values, close to me...letting my soul guide me and decide for me.
     
  19. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    Apologies, then.
    So you have no beliefs about a friend of yours that you could, if called upon, prove to others was true?
    For example.

    And everything that you believe has happened to you, you would be able to prove others that it happened?

    (using your own standards of evidence)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  20. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    Hmmm.

    Well, your position is entirely contingent upon this 'destiny' notion. Alas, as such, you're not really making any decision at all, and so any question of evidence is entirely moot.
     
  21. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    My initial reaction is to say 'yes'.

    I think the problem here is that, as someone else pointed out, we need to define what we mean by "evidence".
    For example (and this may clear up some of my non-answers to your questions..), it is my opinion that first-hand accounts qualify as evidence. And so, if I can recall an experience and then move to give an account of this experience to another, then this is evidence.
    Again, all of this is entirely contingent upon a definition of evidence.
     
  22. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    Use your own standards of evidence. IOW those other people would have your standards of evidence when evaluating your proof.

    But is a first person account sufficient evidence?
    And I realize that you can then say it depends on what is claimed to have happened.

    But let me get a foot in the door.

    If you make a claim about having been mugged, but you have no further evidence, shuold that belief be believed.

    IOW is not the set of things you believe larger than the set of things you expect others should believe because you said so.
     
  23. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    Evidence of what exactly?

    Ahh... now, this is two entirely distinct discussions.
    Belief doesn't necessarily require evidence (for proof of this.. visit the Religion forum). However, evidence necessitates belief.

    I would say so, by definition.
     

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