What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Discuss the April 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
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Sushan
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What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Sushan »

This book can be considered as an effort to compare science and spiritual concepts, while challenging the unholy practices of the church. Apparently the author's intention is to prove the presence of a supreme being scientifically (as I see).

Should this sort of a book be unbiased, or should the author first have a solid stand in his opinion and defend it? What do you think?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Alias »

Better for what?
It depends on the author's intention. If he's trying to prove something, he should state the premise and then make clear and well-supported arguments. If he's trying to make the reader examine his own beliefs, he should present the evidence in terms as unbiased as possible. If he's telling a true story in first person, he should be honest.
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Sushan wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 3:23 pm This book can be considered as an effort to compare science and spiritual concepts, while challenging the unholy practices of the church. Apparently the author's intention is to prove the presence of a supreme being scientifically (as I see).

Should this sort of a book be unbiased, or should the author first have a solid stand in his opinion and defend it? What do you think?
There is no such thing as an unbiased book which deals with matters that are not purely logical, scientific or mathematical. But even then all books take a direction which is the preference of the author.
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

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Alias wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 11:26 pm Better for what?
It depends on the author's intention. If he's trying to prove something, he should state the premise and then make clear and well-supported arguments. If he's trying to make the reader examine his own beliefs, he should present the evidence in terms as unbiased as possible. If he's telling a true story in first person, he should be honest.
You have made it quite simple. Yes I agree. It depends on the author's intention.

Yet, can you actually provide a totally unbiased book. The author is a human being with his/her own ideas and opinions, so inevitably the book will reflect them. And if the author's intention was to prove something, then this will be for his/her benefit. But if the author wanted to make the reader to think further and get into his/her own conclusions, then this will not be very helpful.

If we think from the reader's perspective, what will be the better way to present a book like this, is it the form of biased nature or the unbiased nature?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

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Sculptor1 wrote: April 4th, 2021, 5:53 pm
Sushan wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 3:23 pm This book can be considered as an effort to compare science and spiritual concepts, while challenging the unholy practices of the church. Apparently the author's intention is to prove the presence of a supreme being scientifically (as I see).

Should this sort of a book be unbiased, or should the author first have a solid stand in his opinion and defend it? What do you think?
There is no such thing as an unbiased book which deals with matters that are not purely logical, scientific or mathematical. But even then all books take a direction which is the preference of the author.
I agree. Authors too are humans. They have their own ideas and beliefs. So inevitably what they write reflect their thoughts. This is clearly seen in this sort of philosophy related books, since they are mostly based on arguments. But the books that are based on mathematics cannot reflect authors' thoughts since the subject is a objective field rather than being a subjective one. So such books can be expected to show the actual thing rather than showing what the author thinks or believes
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Hoggy »

Being solid.
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Sushan wrote: April 6th, 2021, 3:44 am
Sculptor1 wrote: April 4th, 2021, 5:53 pm
Sushan wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 3:23 pm This book can be considered as an effort to compare science and spiritual concepts, while challenging the unholy practices of the church. Apparently the author's intention is to prove the presence of a supreme being scientifically (as I see).

Should this sort of a book be unbiased, or should the author first have a solid stand in his opinion and defend it? What do you think?
There is no such thing as an unbiased book which deals with matters that are not purely logical, scientific or mathematical. But even then all books take a direction which is the preference of the author.
I agree. Authors too are humans. They have their own ideas and beliefs. So inevitably what they write reflect their thoughts. This is clearly seen in this sort of philosophy related books, since they are mostly based on arguments. But the books that are based on mathematics cannot reflect authors' thoughts since the subject is a objective field rather than being a subjective one. So such books can be expected to show the actual thing rather than showing what the author thinks or believes
But, as I said, even the content and direction of "objective fields" inevitably represent the personal preferences of the author.
By commission and omission such books can produce ideosyncratic and partial views on such topics.
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Alias »

Sushan wrote: April 6th, 2021, 2:45 am [If he's trying to prove something.... examine his own belief ... he should present the evidence in terms as unbiased as possible. ]

Yet, can you actually provide a totally unbiased book.
Obviously not. Nobody expects that. But the reader has a right to expect the author to state his position at the outset. That's what prefaces are for: to tell the reader why and how the book came about and what it hopes to achieve.
If we think from the reader's perspective, what will be the better way to present a book like this, is it the form of biased nature or the unbiased nature?
Depends on what each reader wants from each book. For example, I'm often content to learn what someone who is very different from me thinks and feels; their subjective experience of a significant event. That's the objective of fiction and biography.
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

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Hoggy wrote: April 6th, 2021, 5:46 amBeing solid.
Being solid can be named as 'being biased' in other words. This particular book, the author has attempted to show his views on the corrupted church system. In such a strong as well as an 'asking for problems' topic, is it good to be solid and rigid? Or is it better to be flexible while conveying your own thoughts?

If the author is quite strong and has a lot of support from behind, then I think being solid won't be a big issue.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Sushan »

Sculptor1 wrote: April 6th, 2021, 8:54 am
Sushan wrote: April 6th, 2021, 3:44 am
Sculptor1 wrote: April 4th, 2021, 5:53 pm
Sushan wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 3:23 pm This book can be considered as an effort to compare science and spiritual concepts, while challenging the unholy practices of the church. Apparently the author's intention is to prove the presence of a supreme being scientifically (as I see).

Should this sort of a book be unbiased, or should the author first have a solid stand in his opinion and defend it? What do you think?
There is no such thing as an unbiased book which deals with matters that are not purely logical, scientific or mathematical. But even then all books take a direction which is the preference of the author.
I agree. Authors too are humans. They have their own ideas and beliefs. So inevitably what they write reflect their thoughts. This is clearly seen in this sort of philosophy related books, since they are mostly based on arguments. But the books that are based on mathematics cannot reflect authors' thoughts since the subject is a objective field rather than being a subjective one. So such books can be expected to show the actual thing rather than showing what the author thinks or believes
But, as I said, even the content and direction of "objective fields" inevitably represent the personal preferences of the author.
By commission and omission such books can produce ideosyncratic and partial views on such topics.
Well, That I cannot disagree. A mathematical or scientific book which has to be totally objective can still reflect the author's personal preferences. Simply the author can omit the content which are not in agreement with his own opinions. So the book can appear as biased, and that will appear as being idiosyncratic. Thank you for the valuable opinion
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Sushan »

Alias wrote: April 6th, 2021, 10:35 am
Sushan wrote: April 6th, 2021, 2:45 am [If he's trying to prove something.... examine his own belief ... he should present the evidence in terms as unbiased as possible. ]

Yet, can you actually provide a totally unbiased book.
Obviously not. Nobody expects that. But the reader has a right to expect the author to state his position at the outset. That's what prefaces are for: to tell the reader why and how the book came about and what it hopes to achieve.
If we think from the reader's perspective, what will be the better way to present a book like this, is it the form of biased nature or the unbiased nature?
Depends on what each reader wants from each book. For example, I'm often content to learn what someone who is very different from me thinks and feels; their subjective experience of a significant event. That's the objective of fiction and biography.
That is quite true. The author can use the preface wisely in that manner. So the reader can start the book with the knowledge of how the author thinks and what to expect from the book.

Different readers will expect different writing styles. Some will prefer biased writings and some will expect balanced writings. The problem that can occur with the biased books is that the reader may hate the book as well as the author if the content is completely against his/her own thoughts.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Alias »

So what? There are lots of other books. Everybody doesn't like everything.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Sushan »

Alias wrote: April 12th, 2021, 9:24 am So what? There are lots of other books. Everybody doesn't like everything.
That is correct. Anyone can read whatever they prefer. This is a free world and we all have free will.

Yet, my point was, we are bound to discuss a particular book because this is the forum to discuss a chosen book as the philosophical book of the month, and for this month Wilderness Cry by Dr. Hilary L. Hunt is chosen as the book for discussion. So, either we have to discuss it or not, other than that I do not see any options.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Alias »

Sushan wrote: April 13th, 2021, 2:24 am Yet, my point was, we are bound to discuss a particular book because this is the forum to discuss a chosen book as the philosophical book of the month,
OK. What's the philosophical contents you wish to discuss?
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Re: What is better? The author remaining unbiased or having a solid stand?

Post by Sushan »

Alias wrote: April 13th, 2021, 3:55 am
Sushan wrote: April 13th, 2021, 2:24 am Yet, my point was, we are bound to discuss a particular book because this is the forum to discuss a chosen book as the philosophical book of the month,
OK. What's the philosophical contents you wish to discuss?
I have forwarded five topics to the main forum, and I think at least three of them can be considered fully philosophical and the rest are at least partially philosophical. You are welcome to discuss any of those topics.

Seemingly you have commented on few, and there are few more remaining topics. So you can put in your your valuable thoughts, and I highly appreciate such a contribution.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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