Togo1 wrote:Hm.. Well previously were talking about whether statements were testable, and now you've slipped into talking about things or events. That's a very different topic, and one that doesn't really touch on the point I was making, which was that something that can be meaningful without having an unambiguous truth value. I'm not sure why we've suddenly gone to physical events?
You may have got me there. I will think about this, as I believe that statements as such have no meaning... if you remove the action, idea, happening, prediction, etc. whatever they describe.
A statement by itself is not testable. Its meaning is, and a statement's meaning is connected to reality, physical or metaphysical and its corresponding accuracy is what I'd call truth. That's what get tested: the statement's congruity of meaning to whatever it is about.
Now it seems to me that "statements" as such can't be tested at all... only their meaning.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
-- Updated 2017 March 29th, 6:32 pm to add the following --
togo1 wrote:You appear to have a position that relies on declaring large sections of universe 'off limits', 'invalid' or 'meaningless'.
Imagine my surprise reading this. Because all along I had figured this was your position. How else would it be possible that things can be rendered "undetectable" or "meaningless" or "off limits for knowledge", and they can be rendered by sheer declaration?
I don't know how I could have made this impression.
-- Updated 2017 March 29th, 6:50 pm to add the following --
Togo1 wrote: wrote:
Hm.. "That may be good, but it's not Art."
There's a lot of disagreement as to what constitutes art, and what does not. Absent of an aboslute agreement over what is art and what is not, it's not possible to test whether something is or is not Art, even if all possible definitions of Art would in themselves be testable.
-1- wrote:Unfortunately I can't use this example. Art is defined. Many different definitions exist. Whether a work is art or not, is decided by comparing it to the definition.
togo1 wrote:Which is why I specifically asked you about a statement that does not supply a definition (see bold above). You can add information to the statement, and then test the bit you've added, yes. But the statement itself is not verifiable.
Well,well. I asked for a REAL life example, but I may have not been clear that I wanted a real life example. You did not supply a real life example; you supplied yet one more example where an arbitrarily chosen untrue restriction has been placed on the topic. "Absent of an absulute agreement over what art is or what is not" is not the same as no definitions exist. I think I was clear enough to point that out in my reply. However, this is just one more example where you make a make-belief scenario in which the conditions don't parallel reality. This may work as a working model to show how the undefined truth impresses the scenario, I can't argue that. But I wanted you to please describe a real-life scenario. Sorry if I did not make that clear enough.
Your example on art deals with a real-life scenario, but it departs from real life when you claim that no definitions exist of art. "No universal definitions" anyhow. And you from there proceeded to prove your point, which did not take into consideration the existence of definitions, despite your own declaring that definitions exist.
But the statement itself is not verifiable.
-- what do you mean? The semantics, the structure, the grammar, the syntax, the words? Because I can only relate the argument to semantics, and semantics involve meaning. Meaning is impossible without applying it to reality or metaphysical reality. So again, like once before already, you talk about statements, I talk about meaning of statements as they relate to reality.
It's time for me to ask the question: what do you mean "Statement is verifiable" when it does not concern itself with its conveyed meaning? I said "events", "things" are verifiable; you countered that we are not talking about events, things, etc. when we talk about statements.
So WHAT are we talking about when we talk about statements, according to how you see it? This is an important question which I need to ask you.
-- Updated 2017 March 29th, 6:59 pm to add the following --
Togo1 wrote:Because trying to prove something that you're already assuming to be the case would be a fallacy, specifically petitio principii or begging the question.
Actually, this is not what happened, as I see it. I am not trying to prove that things have a cause-and-effect relationship. I started with invoking the truth or premiss that things have a cause-and-effect relationship, but it was not part of my QED. I showed that whenever we see an effect, which has a cause missing in our detection, then we can safely assume that a cause exists. And if the cause exist then we can eventually realize what it is, by process of elimination.
This is to counter your argument, that causes exist that can't be pinpointed out to exist. I retorted that then they don't have an effect.
I don't see your actual reasoning of naming this a "beggin the question" fallacy. I see my reasoning, and I find nothing wrong with it. It is a short argument, true, but it does not prove itself; it relies on the fact that causes have effects. That is not part of what I tried to prove; that was a given.
-- Updated 2017 March 29th, 7:06 pm to add the following --
All sensory data is illusion. Test that?
Strawman. You have committed a Strawman fallacy by your changing the field of reference.
I don't think so. A strawman is something very specific, an argument that demolishes a point that differs from the one actually presented. You're claiming that all statements are either verifiable or meaningless, so surely 'all sensory data is illusion' is a statement, and must be verifiable. Where's the straw?
You are right that sensory data can't be tested against reality; but sensory data can be tested against other sensory data.
Sure it can, but that doesn't test the proposition that 'all sensory data is illusion', because all you're testing is that sensory data is consistent.
You know what? I called it a Strawman because I WHOLLY misunderstood your point.
Your point was expressed with a question. I don't do well with rhetorical questions. I normally and always ask my debating partners to avoid stating their opinions in question forms. I let this one go, and I did not ask you to please state your point in a declarative form, and then BANGG
it blew up in my face as I really must have grossly misunderstood your point.
So if you wish to revisit this part of the conversation, then please express your point you made with declarative sentence(s), not with questions.
-- Updated 2017 March 29th, 7:22 pm to add the following --
Are you saying that Keates' poems are verifiable, in which case I'd like to hear how?
They can be verified to be Keats' poems, by style, by word choice, by rhythm, by rhymes, by topic, by subject matter, by characters.
That's lovely, but not what I asked. What I asked was how are they verifiable, not how their identity is verifiable. If you need to add any information to answer the question, you havn't answered the questions.
'Ode to a Greacian Urn' is a statement. How is this statement verified?
If you remember back to how this started, you claimed that if you removed the meaning from Keats' poetry, and gave it to students, then if there was no meaning, or the poem was unverifiable, then how come the students could still guess correctly that this was a Keats poem, which they did.
It is not the poem that needs verification in your example. What needed verification was the elements of examined parts through which students were able to identify the author. That is verified by the things I listed: rhyme, cadence, topic, similes, etc. I countered with the claim that though semantics may have been destroyed, some meaning was indeed conveyed after the "removal of all meanings".
Your argument somehow got lost in the shuffle, and you slowly but surely, it seems to me, forgot what I was challenging there. I was challenging the fact that this was an example where all meaning was removed. I counter charged that meaning was conveyed, and by that meaning I meant the recognized features of Keats' poetical style.
The mistake I made was I used the word "meaning" instead of "information".
This is not an easily grasped concept, I do realize that. And I admit to have made that mistake in choosing the wrong word.
-- Updated 2017 March 29th, 7:25 pm to add the following --
Amen to that. My bad for faltering there for a moment.
Steady on. We've got this far without casting aspirations on each other's motivations or making personal comments. I'd hate to lose that.
-- Updated 2017 March 30th, 1:32 am to add the following --
I think we are now playing ping-pong on several tables, so to speak: we broke up the main argument into smaller points, and are squabbling about the smaller points. Not that they are small, they are indeed incredibly germain to the main topic, but I am afraid we (I for one, and I fear you as well) have lost sight of the main issue.
I wish to propose that at this point we both revisit the main issue, and restate our positions on it, incorporating as needed the arguments we have presented so far.
The main issue at hand being, if you agree, the quality of unverifiability.
That's Proposal A. Proposal B is (I offer you the choice between A and B, while stating my preference) that we agree that we have done our best, either of us individually, to present our arguments in the best possible way we can, and therefore further discussion to convince the others is futile, inasmuch as examining the points of the other in an honest fashion ought to create a resolution, even if it does not. What I mean, is that we can agree (under Proposal B), that we assume that the other made his or her points well, and examining those points of the other potentially presents a valid argument; we are not under obligation to examine those points and accept them, but we are under obligation to accept that we both made our best efforts to present our points, and it is possible and highly likely that the other made good points.
My preference is Porposal B, but I let you decide between A and B proposals, or else, I'm willing to hear your alternative proposal(s).