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How much time and effort should be spent on debate?

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Re: How much time and effort should be spent on debate?

Postby really? » 28 May 2010, 22:27

Craig Browning wrote:.

ProfWag hit on something I've always pondered... if we know rationally/analytically/scientifically that some people are born with a natural penchant to ask questions and not accept things at face value and that others are born with a propensity leaning towards the fantastic, WHY IN THE HELL do we keep on riding the bloody merrie-go-round?
[My bolding]
Speaking out for Skepticism and it's brother Rationalism allows the voice of reason to be heard. Irrationality runs the gamut from mere harmless silliness to self harm to horrible atrocities. We do what we do so that psychics are exposed for the frauds they are. Without it you have people believing *Aids is God's curse on homosexuals. That Jews run the world. That my white skin is superior to your black skin. So we don't burn women and other social outcasts as witches. So we don't have a false media frenzy of satanic ritual child abuse. So, I ask you this and all others reading too. Which world would you rather live in ? A world full of superstitions, beliefs and unproven ideas or a world full of reason, comprehension and knowledge ?

I see the New Age movements and it's fore runners as stagnant in it's ideas concepts and beliefs. Whereas skepticism as embodied by scientific method as the Renaissance of this modern and past ages. As an example of this stagnation. The History Channel has been running a show recently about ancient aliens. Believe it or not it's the same junk that's being rehash ever since Von Daniken wrote the book Chariots of the Gods and it's sequels 42 years ago. That's right 42 years ago. The book is still as popular as ever.

I hope you now have a better idea why we do what we do.


* This is not heresay. I actually heard someone that I knew say this.




Craig Browning wrote:I've had it proven to me more than a few times, the fact that either side is just as right as they are wrong. I can't help but feel that any HONEST human being that does the footwork and isn't letting the current Gospel (whatever that may be and from whichever source it exudes from) to be their only foundation upon which to stand. It's a matter of KNOWING not blind faith, that allows me to move through life with my head held up. I have the funny feeling that this is why most of the famed Martyrs in history endured the things they were put through; they simply knew something as truth and refused to deny it. Faith can be changed but knowledge of something perceived as proven (personal) fact cannot.


Assuming you mean faith in a general sense I don't see it changing.I see a persistence of faith in all manner of things. How does a person that has faith something is true change their point of view ? In what ways do faiths change?
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Re: How much time and effort should be spent on debate?

Postby ProfWag » 30 May 2010, 21:23

Craig Browning wrote:
... if we know rationally/analytically/scientifically that some people are born with a natural penchant to ask questions and not accept things at face value and that others are born with a propensity leaning towards the fantastic, WHY IN THE HELL do we keep on riding the bloody merrie-go-round?

Personal pride to be right.
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Re: How much time and effort should be spent on debate?

Postby babymathew » 12 Jul 2010, 13:35

I t will not need much time you just need to analyze the topic and then the posts written by other members and then accordingly you can give your view and ideas related to that topic.
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Re: How much time and effort should be spent on debate?

Postby jakesteele » 17 Jul 2010, 15:07

Debate is intrinsic to forums and human interaction in general. Without it, sites like these would be pretty boring and dry. In addition to debate you also have anything from differences of opinions to arguments to screaming matches, etc. Personally, I come here because the subject matter interests me, I learn a lot from friends and foes alike and I like stimulating sparring sessions with those I disagree with.

Without debate and any variation thereof, to me would be like, "I believe in remote viewing." "Me, too." "Ditto that." "I concur." You just get a bunch of mutual 'Yes Men' stroking each other. Example, Randi's site is one where the people spend most of their time JREFing each other off. They curse and attack woo, but the irony is, if they didn't have people like me and several others who will disagree with the party line and play the Devil's Advocate, that site would be ever so boring.

Debate is good, let's rock!
Debunkers think all UFO photos are fake,
especially the real ones.
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Re: How much time and effort should be spent on debate?

Postby Craig Browning » 17 Jul 2010, 22:41

You are very much on mark Jake, the human animal has an innate need to challenge things, even those most susceptible to blindly accepting things as genuine have some level of questioning things, but they don't seem to ask the "right" questions when faced with a given circumstance. Too, the majority of those that embrace things "blindly" are in states of vulnerability when that "embrace" occurs. I'm not saying depression or a sense of loss per ce, just a psychological presence of mind that weakens their defenses. We see it in those 18-25 year olds first heading out into the world as well as our senior citizens, both of whom have similar "needs" -- fellowship/companionship, people that can relate to them and vice-versa. Women enduring Postpartum mental states, especially if the child is ill or didn't survive the birth process, are very much 'available' to such things... the point being, defenses are down and the critical thinking transmission is out of gear. If it stays out of gear for a reasonable period of time the subject is easily indoctrinated (programmed) and thus, when the rational mind re-engages, it will not question happenstance, it's blindly accepted as fact.

There is of course, known chemical and biological reasons why one person will be an ardent believer in the "fantasiful" and another his exact opposite. I don't believe a pill has been made yet to 'cure' said "problem" but it is a matter of curious (not to mention "wise") debate given how such knowledge could quickly get abused, robbing us all of our free will.

Debate allows us to learn and when debates happens amongst people with genuinely open minds and the desire to learn, good things come as the result. I've frequently taken on the mantle of the Devil's Advocate, arguing for an idea or concept I actually don't buy into, just so I can learn from those that do believe it. It's a wonderful exercise that benefits everyone when done properly and with respect. But that's the rub... some (as has been expressed) simply want to be "right" and thus, learning swiftly leaves the body of a debate which transmutes into an argument; NO ONE WINS IN AN ARGUMENT!

Discussions can be perpetual, consuming years IF the debaters from either position are looking at things as a "friendly' conflict, either taking their time to do actual research... footwork tied to their views and the topic. It's a healthy hobby, so to speak. It can be fun, energizing and even priceless but, when ego creeps in (as it frequently will) the many positive factors seem to run away.

Hope I've made some sense here :?
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Re: How much time and effort should be spent on debate?

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 30 Jul 2010, 00:05

Craig said "Faith can be changed but knowledge of something perceived as proven (personal) fact cannot."

I have changed fundamental beliefs when evidence no longer warranted them. I have also changed what I consider to be knowledge on the same basis. This relates to what I took to be the meaning of this thread, when do you end debate?, or at what point does one deem the evidence sufficient for a conclusion?

In Statistics there are clear guidelines for when to accept a hypothesis, or to reject it favor of a less falsifiable null. But, as my namesake said, there are lies, then there are damned lies, then there are statistics.

That much is accepted by the scientific method. In law, you have the found guilty verdict, and the null hypothesis, not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. What is reasonable doubt? I have been refused a place on juries because, in my opinion, it is better to let nine guilty go free than to falsely punish one innocent, and the courts consider that "unreasonable doubt."

Then there are extraordinary claims that require extraordinary evidence.

For example, before I came to believe I had drunk some Jew's blood and nibbled his flesh, i had to first come to concede internal logical consistency to Christianity, if one granted certain premises, then I had to come to see the plausibility of the premises, then I had to apply this picture to the universe I perceived and fail to spot awkward facts, and finally, I had to hear the voice I will call der Teufal im Himmel (since YHWH is offensive to some) which told me I could do as he said or go to hell. In other words, it took not only an extraordinary accumulation of evidence but extraordinary personal experience to convert me, and even then it wasn't completely accomplished without appeals to the heart, ie, threats of hell versus a chance at poontang. ("But I am taking my meds now....")

In turn, giving it up involved 1. failure of the world to end on schedule, 2 my wife leaving me, 3 Der Teufal in Himmel telling me he was through with me and I could do as I pleased, 4 taking meds (then got me below the 50% plausibility mark) an 5 watching the truly disgusting behaviors of self-described 21st century Christians "judge a tree by its fruit."

Faith, I think, is believing something you know isn't proven, or, if one is better trained in logic, can't be falsified. Knowledge, however is only probabilistic.

What is truth? Two things, at least, are called by that word, Physical facts of the phenomenal world, "realfact" as they called it on Babylon 5, and rationalizations, mindfacts, epiphenomena, heartfelt truths, or, as Marx called them, ideological super-structure. Note that these "truths" are all based on postulates, assumptions unprovable within the system they establish, but necessary for the system to work. Note also, as Godel said, all systems inherently contain contradictions. Logically, then, logic can be construed as being valid only on its own terms.

So, when do we end debate? I am a solipsist by inclination of my right-brain/heart, but I keep bruising my shins. IThat's a fact I will still debate. I'm stubborn. As for mindfacts, I am satisfied if I can understand another's terms, or am understood. Groking is gravy, and conversion is something I seldom accomplish. I am more likely to be converted, as I have a strong tendency to "believe" anything I read while I am reading it, in order to grok.
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
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