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Re: Greetings from someone who considers himself a true skeptic

PostPosted: 10 Jun 2010, 04:14
by Indigo Child
Welcome Canis

Sorry for this late welcome, I only just stumbled onto this thread.

I would like add in addition to the other advice you got, remember
to appreciate the mystery behind everything. Nothing is ever proven,
everything is just a description from limited data. As soon as more
data comes in, our descriptions change. In science they predict that
more than 90% of our universe is made up of "dark matter" things that
we cannot see. There is a lot happening in this universe that we cannot

If you can keep that sense of mystery always intact you will be a true

Re: Greetings from someone who considers himself a true skeptic

PostPosted: 10 Jun 2010, 04:21
by caniswalensis
Thanks, IC! :)

Re: Greetings from someone who considers himself a true skep

PostPosted: 01 Aug 2010, 06:48
by Twain Shakespeare
I am newer here than you are, Canis, but I like your stuff.

I cannot imagine a circumstance in which I could conclude that everything was known. By my premises, some things even may be inherently unknowable, and not even real questions (“Who made sky?”)

To paraphrase rumsfield, there are questions we know we know the answer to, there are question we have asked but think we don't know the answer to, there are questions we haven't asked, but have the data to answer, and there are questions have not asked, have no data for, and possibly never can. So there will always be mysteries, if we look.

Canis, you said,

When something is truely unexplainable, it is just that. While some explanations may seem more likely, we are not allowed to then pick our favorite theory and proclaim it to be the answer. We need objective proof to do that.
I hope I am allowed to proclaim I operate on the basis of an unproven hypothesis, as long as we know it is unproven. I hope to always be willing to debate my hypotheses' plausibility and/or probability, and even more, I am willing to discuss the implications of hypotheses without committing myself to them.

An example, when I ceased to be on good terms with my perceptions of god, I intentionally stopped believing in everything that had persuaded me of the truth of my Xian experience, and looked for alternative explanations.

Two of the things I stopped believing in were “That jesuit creationist trojan horse, the big bang,” and relativity.

Since reexamining the evidence, I have decided that relativity is plausible, and even probable, but it reeks too much of mathematical idealism for my taste, and is in no sense “proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” In any case, it is currently largely irrelevant to the issues I deal with, so I have left it in the “I don't know” pile.

The Big Bang, on the other hand, lacks good evidence, has required new epicycles with each new discovery, and looks less plausible than Ptolemy.

Furthermore, I decided creation was ontologically absurd, and therefore assumed an eternal universe. Perhaps this was a hangover of dualistic attitudes, as my further critic of ontology, epistemology, and perception persuaded me to consider both hypotheses to be beyond the realm of reasonable evidence, and possibly inherently false questions.

Nonetheless I tend to operate on the hypothesis that the universe is open in the absence of what I consider to be even the possibility of conclusive evidence. I am predisposed to this belief in many ways, and I find it attractive because in an open universe, synergy is slightly stronger than entropy. This matches my experience on every level I have observed. From atoms to Galaxies, I perceive the universe complexifying, and becoming more conscious. The only plausible alternative to me is the steady-state universe, which has somehow always been this complicated.

I entertain this hypothesis fairly seriously, primarily because I am aware it benefits my psychic well-being, so I may be resistant to evidence against it, but I have even abandoned such treasured beliefs as my salvation when the evidence warranted.

“When something is truly unexplainable, it is just that”. I hope in that case, you allow people have the right, and sometimes the need, to place a bet somewhere in Pascal's wager, and even make a leap of faith (Something I have only done once, when I decided I would believe I was in touch with YHWH (but I am taking my meds now). More specifically, I hope you allow agnostics and skeptics to nonetheless adopt unprovable, and even unfalsifiable premises, especially if they have evaluated them carefully first.

My null is still materialism, but the null is usually what the experimenter wants to disprove.

Keep the experience groovy. I would love to hear from you.

Twain (and) Shakespeare (Shakey is the part of my mind I use to “Believe” and/or “grok” the unproven)