How is the FSM any more absurd than the Christian God?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by wynn, May 7, 2012.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    The reason being that unfalsifiability was the key point behind Henderson's letter. He wrote it with the intention of addressing that point.
    Why do you think it odd that it is then the focus of comparison when the FSM is raised in a thread?
    Because unfalsifiability was the reason the FSM was raised by Henderson. It was the specific intent. Everything else is more to do with the accompanying religions, and the attributes they ascribe to the deity.

    Would you prefer we focus on something for which the concept was not intended?

    Perhaps you're more wondering why the discussion hasn't moved on to comparisons of the religions?
    What do you mean by "dismiss"? Dismiss from what? From things to believe as true? Sure, for me. To dismiss as false? No.
    And how would such be "semi-rational"?
     
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  3. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I was trying to offer you an invitation to bury the hatchet, but if you'd rather be standoffish, that's your business. If you wish to reconsider, just be aware that the offer comes with the condition of an apology. And I don't just mean from you to me, but that is a part of it.

    Nor were your lamentations for being rude to Geoff on several previous occasions, in threads entirely unrelated to this one.

    Look, I appreciate the concern, but where you had previously offered some friendly advice, you're going overboard now. The rules of the site don't change just because Geoff and I swapped a couple of private messages after your incident, and I don't need you condescending me out of some misplaced sense of duty.

    Okay, that's your perspective. But I don't need you badgering me if I take a different tack.

    You're grossly misrepresenting what has happened here. He was not some wounded animal backed into a corner, he was seeking this argument just as much as we were, and he did just as much coal-raking.

    And nobody was attacking him because of his faith, or trying to force atheism upon him. His arguments were being attacked, and his excuses were being attacked. If he was uncomfortable, then why did he keep attacking our arguments? It's not as if he said "Alright, agree to disagree" or something similar. If someone made a point for our side, he jumped on it. You call that being raked over the coals? You call that being forced? Please.

    I don't know you enough to dislike you or be mad at you. I don't like what you said about me, and I don't like that you weren't disciplined for it. I don't like that you never apologized. I had simply figured it was just because you were one of those people who didn't care what others think, but this episode makes me reconsider. And that bugs me even more, because in all these lamentations about your war with Geoff, you don't even mention that you said things to me that couldn't be taken back. I don't know, perhaps it's a trifling detail, but I noticed it, and it stuck.

    For one, there are plenty of ways he could have admitted he was wrong without having a crisis of faith. There's always the possibility that he simply doesn't like to be wrong, and he was debasing himself to that end, rather than trying to protect his spiritual integrity.

    For two, you presume too much on his behalf. Geoff is a big boy, and he did some big boy debating. The only thing getting ravaged were his arguments, not his person or his sensibilities.

    You can't force unbelief on someone anymore than you can force belief on them. Seriously, give it a rest.
     
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  5. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    And if Henderson jumps off of a bridge, we must do so too?


    Henderson might have penned the farce, but that doesn't absolve those who refer to the FSM from taking responsibility for what they say.
    IOW, when we talk about the FSM, we are not bound by Henderson's intent. We can look past Henderson's use and see what other things mentioning the FSM could imply, in each instance of use.


    Yes.


    There's a thin line between dismissing something from things to believe as true, and to dismiss as false.


    Rational, because you put in some effort.
    Semi-, because you chose an unfalsifiable way to make your point.
     
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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    We can. But the thread has not gone there, possibly because it was sidetracked into a discussion of what falsifiability actually meant. And being the core issue in question it rightly gets the focus of discussion, and it is rather important that people who wish to discuss it understand what it means. If they don't understand then they miss the point of the comparison and such ignorance derails threads.

    Just try not to read too much into why there is the focus: discussions are hard to move on to other areas when they gain momentum.

    Why should I believe something as true for which there is no possibility of falsifying? At best I can arrive at a subconscious assessment of probability based on the evidence at hand. But believe as true? Why?
    But it might depend on what you think it means to "believe as true"?

    The width of the line is a matter of perspective. I find it quite wide. It's called agnosticism.

    Not quite how I would define rational.
    And which point are you referring to, and how in your view has it been made in an unfalsifiable way?
     
  8. Bells Staff Member

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    23,435
    Firstly, you brought it up. I had not. My point was that if you are still angry with me, that really is fine.

    Off-topic here, but fine.

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    Look, just do whatever. I give up.

    Carry on, as they say. Just keep away from the personal aspects of this particular debate.
     
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Why are you asking this?

    Can you tell?
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Yes: you criticised that I use falsifiability as a "semi-rational and easy" way to dismiss the concept of God as something to believe in.
    My response, in the form of question, is to turn it back on you and ask why I should believe in something that is unfalsifiable.
    Your criticism implies that I should be believing... so I ask again: Why should I believe something as true for which there is no possibility of falsifying?
     
  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I was trying to think of what else besides doctrine establishes that a fact is unfalsifiable. Modeling this as a quality control problem, such a doctrine would be classified as defective and rejected. A second error downstream may not only fail to incorporate the change, but suppose it starts building defenses around the defective parts. That seems kind of like dogma.

    That leads me to imagine a simulator, one that models religiosity as a social phenomenon. If such a thing could be devised, it would seem to model doctrine with a random number generator, the criteria for falsifiability as a error detection and correction algorithm. The two resultants--false and corrected--would feed into something that models an immune system, only in this case one that preserves the pathogen. And that would seem to be dogma.

    Suppose next you are standing outside of such a simulation. I think what you'e saying is, what would motivate a person to reach in and select the bad parts from the good and take them away as a standards of quality.

    Error is the simplest description that comes to mind.
     
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    And I'm asking you why you are asking this.


    No, it doesn't. I'm more interested in hearing why you think my criticism implies that.


    Again: Why are you asking this?



    You see, my main issue with atheists is that they tend to be merely reactive; they tend to have this martyrdom/victimhood about them - and I just can't stand that.

    If a preacher approaches me in the street and tells me that I should believe in God/Jesus etc., my reply isn't to ask him "Why should I believe in God?"
    If anything, I will ignore him or I might reply with indignation - who does this guy think he is to treat my spirituality as something he can just casually poke into?! Or if he'd insist, I demand that he lift a building on his left little finger - or he can just bugger off.

    But I would not ask "Why should I believe something as true for which there is no possibility of falsifying?"
     
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,808
    Because you seem to think that something being unfalsifiable is not reason to "dismiss" an idea. Why do you think this?
    You criticised my position and apparent focus on unfalsifiability as "a semi-rational and easy way to dismiss" concepts (clarified later as meaning to dismiss from things to hold as true) and that my aim "is to dismiss God".
    If you criticise then you must disagree... and I am trying to find out what it is exactly that you disagree with - hence the question: Why should I believe something as true for which there is no possibility of falsifying?
    You criticise that I do this, and so must think differently... so please explain why I should not.

    Atheism, as a conscious position, IS a reaction... to theism.
    Minorities generally are perceived as having that, but it is generally in relation to the level of oppression they are under.
    But this is not the streets.
    This is a specific forum geared to the discussion of such very issues (although actual preaching is not allowed).
    If someone goes onto a board discussing Justin Beiber and starts preaching about God - they would undoubtedly get the same short shrift that you espouse above.
    But we are here specifically to discuss such matters.

    So I fail to see the analogy, or indeed your actual point here.
     
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Given that we are not omniscient, falsifiability is an inapplicable criterion.

    Depending on one's aim (and standards), any proposition can be relegated either into the domain of the falsifiable or the unfalsifiable.
    It comes down to what one wants, not what is falsifiable and what isn't.


    Is this not your aim? Even if it isn't, the focus on falsifiability inclines you into the direction of dismissing God.


    More below.


    And this is the major weakness of atheism. (And my main reason for not specifying myself as an atheist.)

    A position worth holding is one that is proactive, not one that is reactive.

    Even atheists seem to realize this, so they are proactive in their atheism, even though their atheism itself is originally a reactive position.


    The victimization and martyrdom I am referring to are those coming from within, the internal replies to external phenomena.


    My point is the same here as it is to a street preacher: one must maintain one's boundaries and not passively endure when others transgress those boundaries.
    One must maintain a sense of virtue and personal ethics when discussing anything.

    IMO, asking a theist a question like "Why should I believe something as true for which there is no possibility of falsifying?" one transgresses one's own boundaries and betrays one's own ethical principles.

    I think that question ought to be reconceptualized (depending on what one actually inquires after), or not asked at all.
     
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    15,058
    Sarkus -

    This is what the Buddha said on asking questions and answering questions:


    On answering questions:

    "There are these four ways of answering questions. Which four?
    There are questions that should be answered categorically [straightforwardly yes, no, this, that].
    There are questions that should be answered with an analytical (qualified) answer [defining or redefining the terms].
    There are questions that should be answered with a counter-question.
    There are questions that should be put aside.
    These are the four ways of answering questions."



    On asking questions:

    All those who ask questions of another do so from any one of five motivations. Which five?

    "One asks a question of another through stupidity & bewilderment.
    One asks a question of another through evil desires & overwhelmed with greed.
    One asks a question of another through contempt.
    One asks a question of another when desiring knowledge.
    Or one asks a question with this thought,[1] 'If, when asked, he answers correctly, well & good. If not, then I will answer correctly [for him].'




    It is with this in mind that I approach this topic here.


    Can "Why should I believe something as true for which there is no possibility of falsifying?" really be considered as "asking a question of another when desiring knowledge"?
    It seems more a case of the other four possibilities.
     
  16. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    It's theoretical falsifiability, not practical falsifiability.
     
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,808
    It is applicable, and we do not need to be omniscient to determine if something is falsifiable or not.
    Bear in mind the term is "falsifiable" - i.e. it must have the possibility - no matter how remote - of being falsified.
    Then you misunderstand what it means to be falsifiable.
    It is not my aim but it is a consequence.
    I would not see it as a weakness of atheism per se but of the label, and especially of one's expectations of labelling.
    But not everyone holds your views, and expect nothing from a label other than as a descriptor in places it can be of use.
    And you accused me of projection.

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    Unless I am missing your point entirely, I am not sure how you can possibly know the internal replies of those you see having an air of victimisation and martyrdom.
    Agreed, although I don't see the relevance to the discussion in hand.
    I disagree - which is why I don't see the relevance of the above. At least I disagree when one is in a forum where such topics are the very reason for being there.
    Why? I see it as a valid question as it is.
     
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,808
    I don't deny that it is a reactionary question... but in context it is twofold: asking the person exactly what they have issue with when someone "dismisses" an idea for being unfalsifiable; and also with the latter option in mind. I.e. if the person responds with "you shouldn't" then all well and good etc, even if they qualify it such as "you probably shouldn't, but others might not think the same way..." etc.
     
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Then you misunderstand what it means to be a human agent.


    Because they state them.


    There is even a branch of philosophical research called virtue epistemology.

    Virtue is always pertinent whenever something is discussed.


    And sometimes, the point of being at such forums is to reconceptualize one's questions.
     
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,808
    Does it mean being able to defy logic? Because falsifiability, at least on the theoretical level, is a logical position, not subjective.
    You claim they are internal replies... yet you say they are now external? :shrug:
    Again, I fail to see the relevance given that VE, as I understand it, is with regard intellectual/cognitive virtues, not personal - and your comment here is with regard personal.

    Sometimes. Possibly. Rarely, in my opinion. And not in this case.
    And how would you suggest such a question is reconceptualised, without it being nothing more than altering the premises and effectively avoiding one question and asking an entirely different one?
     
  21. scifes In withdrawal. Valued Senior Member

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    the FSM is a god we know doesn't exist.

    you can't compare a god we know doesn't exist to a god we're equally uncertain if he exists or not. and even if it isn't "equally", then it it isn't to the same degree as the FSM.
     
  22. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    You don't know that FSM doesn't exist, that's the point.
     
  23. Sock puppet path GRRRRRRRRRRRR Valued Senior Member

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    Your mind seems to struggle with logic. You just said "can't compare 2 equals"

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    Doesn't that make you a mushrik or some other arabic word?
     

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