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What is Your Story?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Fooloso4
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Re: What is Your Story?

Post by Fooloso4 » July 22nd, 2018, 9:40 pm

The term ‘skepticism’ as it was originally used by the Greeks meant to inquire or seek. It stands in opposition to the assumption that one knows. It is not a denial of the possibility of knowledge but rather a way of revealing the pretense of those, including oneself, who proclaim to know but do not. It is related to the term ‘zetetic’ which means to proceed by way of inquiry, to seek to know, to question, to examine. The philosopher, the “lover of wisdom”, desires and pursues wisdom but is not wise except to the extent that he or she knows that they do not know.

Most instructive in the context of our discussion is Plato’s Euthyphro. By questioning Euthyphro Socrates makes it clear that Euthyphro is not the self-professed expert on the gods and piety he claims to be. Only we are left wondering whether Euthyphro himself realizes this. He certainly does not acknowledge it to Socrates.

One problem that both Plato and Aristotle had to deal with is that our lack of knowledge is seen by some as an opportunity to make or accept claims about gods, the soul, meaning, purpose, etc. Dark Matter may hide behind claims of “possibilities” but betrays his intentions when he calls this type of groundless speculation “understanding” and “answers”.

Science, as distinct from scientism, is a mode of zetetic skepticism, an inquiry in which proposed theories and answers are treated tentatively rather than dogmatically, demand supporting evidence, explanatory power, and be subject to confirmation. It emphatically does not think of this mode of inquiry as “the gateway to reality”. Reality is not in need of a gateway. The perceived need for a gateway to reality is the result of confusion and mystification. Reality is not something hidden from us that we need access to, as if life is something other than what is real. The assumption that there is a gateway to reality betrays an inability to be at home here and now, a dissatisfaction with the world that engenders stories of an escape from it to something better. It is an inability to feel wonder and awe in the world around us and so posits a fantasy world that one retreats from this world to.

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Thinking critical
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Re: What is Your Story

Post by Thinking critical » July 23rd, 2018, 7:07 am

Dark Matter wrote:
July 22nd, 2018, 3:34 pm
Thinking critical wrote:
July 22nd, 2018, 3:40 am


There will always be a frontier to the scientific endeavour. If science is unable provide answers to our questions it maybe that we are asking the wrong questions.
There may very well be limits to the depth off what our minds can comprehend, It won't be the science that fails us, but our own ability to even fathom what may be right in front if us.
I agree 100% I just don't limit understanding to physical phenomena.
There is no knowledge of the physical reality to be gained, beyond the limits of the framework which describe physical reality. In order to gain an understanding of something in the absence of prior knowledge, the line of reasoning to reach a conclusion must follow a logical discourse. We can do this mathematically or logically.
In the sequence 2,4,6,.... we can reasonably attempt to deduce the next numbers by way of logic. However, if upon emperical observation the physical reality of the sequence did not match the pattern, we can logically demonstrate that pure reason alone does not necessarily represent reality nor make accurate predictions.

The problem with metaphysical claims, is they could very well lay beyond the spectrum of formal logic and we would have no way of knowing, we are building conclusions based on assumptions.
By abandoning the physical evidence you are faced with the epistemological problem of having no logically valid premise to build an argument from.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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Re: What is Your Story?

Post by Dark Matter » July 23rd, 2018, 8:18 am

Greta wrote:
July 22nd, 2018, 7:09 pm
You can believe what you like but others have no reason to believe you. Do you understand this at all??
I do, but do you?
Effectively you are denying the validity of normal scepticism: https://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_skepticism.html
Skepticism (or Scepticism in the UK spelling), also known as Pyrrhonism or Pyrrhonic Skepticism after the early proponent Pyrrho of Elis, is the philosophical position that one should refrain from making truth claims, and avoid the postulation of final truths. This is not necessarily quite the same as claiming that truth is impossible (which would itself be a truth claim), but is often also used to cover the position that there is no such thing as certainty in human knowledge (sometimes referred to as Academic Skepticism) ...

The early Greek Skeptics criticized the Stoics, accusing them of dogmatism, and argued that the logical mode of argument was untenable, as it relied on propositions which could not be said to be either true or false without relying on further propositions (the regress argument), so that every proposition must rely on other propositions in order to maintain its validity. In addition, the Skeptics argued that two propositions could not rely on each other, as this would create a circular argument.

Such logic, they argued, was thus an inadequate measure of truth which could create as many problems as it claimed to solve. However, they believed that truth was not necessarily unobtainable, but rather an idea which did not yet exist in a pure form. So, rather than denying the possibility of truth, the Greek Skeptics merely claimed that logicians had not yet discovered truth, and intentionally remained tentative and continued their inquiry. They also questioned accepted knowledge, and viewed dogmatism as a disease of the mind.
Instead of being open-minded, you are effectively dogmatically skeptical; I.e., everyone “guesses.”

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Re: What is Your Story

Post by Gertie » July 23rd, 2018, 11:14 am

Thinking critical wrote:
July 23rd, 2018, 7:07 am
Dark Matter wrote:
July 22nd, 2018, 3:34 pm

I agree 100% I just don't limit understanding to physical phenomena.
There is no knowledge of the physical reality to be gained, beyond the limits of the framework which describe physical reality. In order to gain an understanding of something in the absence of prior knowledge, the line of reasoning to reach a conclusion must follow a logical discourse. We can do this mathematically or logically.
In the sequence 2,4,6,.... we can reasonably attempt to deduce the next numbers by way of logic. However, if upon emperical observation the physical reality of the sequence did not match the pattern, we can logically demonstrate that pure reason alone does not necessarily represent reality nor make accurate predictions.

The problem with metaphysical claims, is they could very well lay beyond the spectrum of formal logic and we would have no way of knowing, we are building conclusions based on assumptions.
By abandoning the physical evidence you are faced with the epistemological problem of having no logically valid premise to build an argument from.
Quite.

There is no guarantee that ultimate reality conforms with our notions of physical empiricism - or metaphysical logic. But if we abandom them then there's no guarantee ultimate reality conforms with our psychological biases either.

We can work with the tools we have, and when we step beyond that, we should examine our biases rather than be lead by them. That's the value of scepticism.

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Re: What is Your Story?

Post by Fooloso4 » July 23rd, 2018, 12:44 pm

Greta:
We can work with the tools we have, and when we step beyond that, we should examine our biases rather than be lead by them. That's the value of scepticism.
If one is motivated by the skeptic’s search for truth then a critical examination of one’s biases leads, but some are motivated by stories that comfort them and give them cosmic significance and thus seek only confirmation of their biases, ignoring everything that threatens them. But not everyone who is led by their biases seek theological comfort. Anti-theological biases can lead as well, although it is not as clear what it is they seek other than the elimination of all bias but their own.

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Re: What is Your Story?

Post by Gertie » July 23rd, 2018, 1:18 pm

Fooloso

Gertie, not Greta - I should have checked and picked a distinctive username!
We can work with the tools we have, and when we step beyond that, we should examine our biases rather than be lead by them. That's the value of scepticism.
If one is motivated by the skeptic’s search for truth then a critical examination of one’s biases leads, but some are motivated by stories that comfort them and give them cosmic significance and thus seek only confirmation of their biases, ignoring everything that threatens them.
Yes, I think this is very human. And I don't knock it on principle, if it works for you and does no harm, then seeking comfort where we can isn't such a bad thing in the scheme of things.

Of course there's a flip side side to believing stuff which confirms your own psychological bias, and when that influences the shared public realm of policy and how you treat others, it's a real danger. We only have to look at contemporary theocracies to see that.

Private freedom to believe what works for you is one thing, but secularism in the public square is essential imo.
But not everyone who is led by their biases seek theological comfort. Anti-theological biases can lead as well, although it is not as clear what it is they seek other than the elimination of all bias but their own.
That's just being human :).

But if you believe that we can do better than just being led by our individual biases (the way the world seems to be going at present) , then we can develop strategies which ameliorate the negatives associated with that. Scepticism, self-reflection, empathy and rationalism can help us muddle through I think. Personally and, socially and politically.

Philosophically, scepticism is a fundamental tool of the trade.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: What is Your Story?

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 23rd, 2018, 1:20 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 9:53 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 5:17 pm


Maths and physical tells us nothing of the kind.
In fact they tell us very little in and of themselves.
They are means by which we try to describe the universe.
If they are telling us wrongly then there is a problem with the narrative.
Exactly. There’s a problem with the narrative because the narrative tells us the universe shouldn’t exist.
It is not so simply because you repeat yourself.
DEMONSRATE!

Fooloso4
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Re: What is Your Story?

Post by Fooloso4 » July 23rd, 2018, 2:32 pm

Gertie:
Yes, I think this is very human. And I don't knock it on principle, if it works for you and does no harm, then seeking comfort where we can isn't such a bad thing in the scheme of things.
I agree. In the Phaedo Plato makes a distinction between those who desire stories to charm away their childish fears of death and those who desires the truth. He obliges the former with stories but poses a danger for those who desire the truth - the truth is we do not know the truth of the fate of the soul, which can lead some whose desire is strong to come to hate philosophy because it does not provide them with the truth they seek and hoped to find in philosophy. But he also undermines the stories of the soul and its fate by revealing their confusion and incoherence. To use one of Dark Matter’s favorite phrases, which he thinks is a decisive criticism: “I don’t know, but not that”.

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Greta
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Re: What is Your Story?

Post by Greta » July 23rd, 2018, 7:47 pm

Gertie wrote:
July 23rd, 2018, 1:18 pm
Gertie not Greta wrote:We can work with the tools we have, and when we step beyond that, we should examine our biases rather than be lead by them. That's the value of scepticism.
Gertie, not Greta - I should have checked and picked a distinctive username!

I'd said something quite similar earlier on and at first thought the quote was mine.

Bugger, I was thinking that I'd expressed myself especially well there! :lol:

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