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The Scientist and The Philosopher

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posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 06:00 AM
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The Scientist: I employ the scientific method to gain knowledge about the world around me. In order to confirm any belief/theory/hypothesis as correct, it needs to be testable, observable and falsifiable. I do not trust any information that was not gathered using the scientific method and therefore cannot confirm its authenticity if the experiment was not conducted under strict scientific conditions.

The Philosopher: Does that only include physical matter?

The Scientist: Only physical matter exists; nothing non-physical can be proven to exist.

The Philosopher: So what of phenomena such as energy, gas and sound waves, for example?

The Scientist: They all have a physical basis. They can all be observed, via the scientific method, using different instruments.

The Philosopher: Then your definition of “the physical” would include “all phenomena that can be measured and observed, and not necessarily only that which can be seen and touched?”

The Scientist: Yes...that is correct. Although, do remember that the “to be seen” can mean using the naked eye, an everyday instrument or a powerful machine. As long as it can be measured in some form.

The Philosopher: We didn't always have access to microscopes. Didn't that mean that once upon a time microbes did not exist?

The Scientist: No, they always existed. We just didn’t always have the technology to measure them, and therefore confirm their existence.

The Philosopher: But surely the common consensus among people at the time (before its invention) was that microbes didn't exist?

The Scientist: Yes, but science does not care about “common consensus” but rather whether something can be proven using the scientific method. Therefore, your statement that microbes didn't exist just because technology at the time did not exist to measure them is incorrect.

The Philosopher: But science is concerned with “common consensus” when it comes to commenting on results derived using the scientific method? After all, how many times do we hear the phrase “peer reviewed” within the scientific community? Rather often.

The Scientist: So? There is a difference between “common consensus” based on superstition and faith compared to “common consensus” based on the scientific method.

The Philosopher: How so? Don't they both rely on a third party's confirmation to validate their beliefs?

The Scientist: What are you getting at?

The Philosopher: Never mind. Back on topic: isn't it possible that phenomena that science does not recognise — such as spirits, angels and the existence of deities — could theoretically exist, but we just lack the tools to measure them?

The Scientist: It's possible, but incredibly unlikely those things exist. You should only place absolute trust into that which can be proven to exist and not base your life around trusting in the existence of things that cannot.

The Philosopher: Let's imagine that, while utilising the scientific method, we were able to confirm the existence of angels. Would you then classify them as existing?

The Scientist: It won't ever happen, but yes I would have to trust the scientific method's accuracy in that particular case.

The Philosopher: If it did happen, would you classify their existence as physical?

The Scientist: Hmm, I suppose...if it can be both measured and observed then it has to be physical.

The Philosopher: Is it not reasonable then to comment that modern debates between proponents and opponents of Materialism are troublesome for the very reason that definition of the word “physical” has not been properly agreed upon?

The Scientist: Yes, it would be reasonable to make such a statement. Some people believe “physical” only means that which can be seen and touched, whereas the actual definition is that which can be measured and observed — or that which exists.

The Philosopher: So what I am saying, overall, in our conversation is this: just because something has not been proven to exist — yet — doesn't mean it doesn't exist. (Go back to the microbe example.) And when most people speak of non-physical phenomena, they are really referring to that which cannot be measured to exist CURRENTLY. For example, if God's existence could be proven, he would be known as a physical entity — not a non-physical one.

The Scientist: I can now see where you are coming from. I enjoyed our discussion. How about a beer?

The Philosopher: Thanks, friend. I will oblige!

----------------------

Hopefully nobody feels dumber having read that and can take something out of the above dialogue. I welcome any criticism or questions. While not a complicated exchange, I do feel it demonstrates how common ground can be arrived at between hard-line materialists and outspoken non-materialists alike.




posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 06:03 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

This is why I subscribe to Empirism.




posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 06:37 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost


What a well thought out exchange...well done!

www.marxists.org...


It may appear to some scientists that they are using the logical and methodological means evolved strictly within the framework of their particular speciality. But this is a profound delusion. In reality every scientist, whether he realises it or not, even in simple acts of theoretical thought, makes use of the overall results of the development of mankind's cognitive activity enshrined mainly in the philosophical categories, which we absorb as we are absorbing our own natural that no man can put together any theoretical statement language, and later, the special language of theoretical thought. Oversimplifying the question a little, one may say without such concepts as property, cause, law or accident. But these are, in fact, philosophical categories evolved by the whole history of human thought and particularly in the system of philosophical, logical culture based on the experience of all fields of knowledge and practice.



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 06:44 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

All you've done is mischaracterize science, scientists and the scientific method in such a way as to make it easier for you to defeat. This is perhaps the longest strawman argument I've ever read.



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 06:47 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Your scientist is not a very good scientist. Scientists do not positively reject the non-material, they simply try to avoid teleology.



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 07:08 AM
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The OP does not have a valid concept of "peer review".
See quote:


The Philosopher: But science is concerned with “common consensus” when it comes to commenting on results derived using the scientific method? After all, how many times do we hear the phrase “peer reviewed” within the scientific community? Rather often.

The Scientist: So? There is a difference between “common consensus” based on superstition and faith compared to “common consensus” based on the scientific method.

The Philosopher: How so? Don't they both rely on a third party's confirmation to validate their beliefs?

Because peers in science base their review on a knowledge with a higher level than the average joe.

The OP does not have a valid concept of science, too.
See: about the rest of OP's posting.
It sounds more like a child defining a "noun" -> which is all what can be touched. Can a tiger be touched? yees, but carefully. Can the sun be touched? No! Therefore not a noun? Weeeell, it should be?..

In reality, science does have a lot of concepts and ideas and items which are not really physical. Virtual particles on the edge of a black hole, producing Hawkins radiation, for example. And don't start with higher dimensional strings..

No, science does not work if simplified like that.

Say.... Is the anti-scientific movement not only a myth, but reality over there in the USA? Because this smells like it..



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 07:42 AM
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It's disappointing, albeit unsurprising, that science fanatics would take offence to the opening post and try draw a further wedge between materialists and anti-materialists when the purpose of the post was to do the opposite. Anyway, you can only try...


edit on 21/4/2016 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Me thinks you tried to draw that wedge by showing how much "better" the non-physical side seems to explain life, universe etc.

What the "science fanatics" (what a nonsense) tried, was to show that your analogy does not work.


So, in light of a fair discussion, what do you say to "peers are reviewing papers in a way joe average can not do"?


Or to my point of science being capable of discussing non-physical phenomena, too? As long as they are explainable by maintaining entropy, space-time-continuity, as much as possible of old-fashioned and documented other phenomena, etc?



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 09:27 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

In this exchange your "scientist" accepts that science cannot account for the non physical. As it has not/ cannot be confirmed. One step further, It is utterly impossible to confirm the non physical. It is a paradox of an idea from the get go. Another step, the non physical cannot exist, by definition. If it were ever confirmed, it would logically have been misdefined as nonphysical, as it would have necessarily needed a physical attribute to have affected the detectors and therefor confirmed.

Your "philosopher" cannot grasp this and still presses the point because... He feels, instead of studies. He is unable/unwilling to admit that what he accepts as valid ideas are impossible to reconsile with a physical world where things work in a very particular way. He holds this fantasy that since science is not able to understand his beliefs, that science must be faulty and scientists are all colluding against his ideas. He wants his "what ifs?" To hold the same weight as valid scientific theories.

A nonphysical being, force, item, or event, are all paradoxes because it would negate it's own definition. There cannot be a nonphysical effect on physical objects or forces.




edit on 21-4-2016 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-4-2016 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 09:43 AM
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It would seem already that those who have a problem with your story have neglected to realize that some scientific theories by mainstream scientists propose multiple universes that we can never know about... hm.

And how about Quantum Physics? A reality based upon abstract probability instead of certainty?

These aren't material concepts, but immaterial concepts. How something works is not Why it works.

Wonder if any of your detractors are scientists? Besides, I have yet to meet a good scientist that isn't also a philosopher. You must hypothesize before you perform an experiment. If you can't ask the right questions, you'll only ever end up with okay answers to bad questions.

Being robotic about the scientific method seems fine. Being fanatic about the interpretation of results, which are like a microscopic view of a plant cell, missing the tree, seems like the job of one who specializes, but not one who understands the big picture.

It takes a mindful individual to be able to draw a tree from an understanding of its cells without ever having seen the result before.

Philosophers attempt to do what some scientists refuse to try, and that's fine. You're a brick maker, not an architectual planner, though. Better if you were both.



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 10:47 AM
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GetHyped: Your opening post displays a painful misunderstanding of the scientific method and is riddled with logical fallacies.

Dark Ghost: Wow, you are totally correct, you really are the greatest poster ATS has ever seen.

GetHyped: I'm also very handsome.

Dark Ghost:: Yes, it is as if you were chiseled from the marble of gods.

GetHyped: Don't forget intelligent.

Dark Ghost: Of course, no one is as smart and amazing as you.

It's easy to put words into people's mouths. Doesn't mean it has any basis in reality.
edit on 21-4-2016 by GetHyped because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 11:59 AM
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Absence of proof is not proof of absence



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 01:12 PM
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I think the above posters missed the point of the OP. It was about people finding common ground, despite having different beleifs and concepts its better to have common ground and have a friendly debate than drive wedges between people, its exactly what is wrong with people in this world.

Thumbs up for effort OP.


The world is full of people that drive wedges between people, the world needs more people that find common ground.



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 02:15 PM
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originally posted by: ParanoidCovKid
I think the above posters missed the point of the OP. It was about people finding common ground, despite having different beleifs and concepts its better to have common ground and have a friendly debate than drive wedges between people, its exactly what is wrong with people in this world.

Thumbs up for effort OP.


The world is full of people that drive wedges between people, the world needs more people that find common ground.
So it's fine if we let people believe whatever they want? And nobody can be proven wrong because ...... Feelings? Even dangerous behavior? Or where do you draw the line?



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Existiential crisis? They should have meetings like AA.

Hi my name is Neitzche, its been one Planck time since I last scienced.

Hi Neitzche any philosophical wanderings?

Yeah I slipped this week the fall, which did not kill me made me stronger. Oh; and I killed God for not killing me... So, I suppose im back on the wagon again.

Thanks for sharing Fred, sorry you fell off it... try not to kill God next time ok? He called to cancel and said; if that bastard Fred is there, tell him he didnt die; that your aim was off from all the Stoli and he's also quitting PS... because he got this sweet North pole gig some guy named Klaus is bored with, says he already has the required beard to look the part and some guy named Joseph wants to crucify him for stealing his wife for those long cold nights... so he already split town.

Ralph... we havent seen you in awhile; hows that cabin coming along?



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 03:51 PM
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This video addresses the "Banach–Tarski Paradox". It discusses the issue of infinity as a physical expression.

The matter of what is physical and what is not is a measurement problem despite conclusions otherwise.

I recommend it highly for the purposes of this discussion.

It last about 24 minutes.

Here is a direct link to you tube.

www.youtube.com...


edit on 21-4-2016 by Kashai because: Added content



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 04:43 PM
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originally posted by: gosseyn
Absence of proof is not proof of absence
That statement is conditional. If you walk into my garage and don't see an elephant that is indeed proof of the absence of an elephant. It's not like there's anywhere it can hide. It depends on what you're looking for.

But in the OP example, if you don't have a microscope, absence of proving microbes exist doesn't mean microbes don't exist. They are harder to see than an elephant.

I watched several episodes of ghost hunters, and they were certainly trying to collect observable evidence of ghosts, but they never really found any on the episodes I saw, then I got tired of watching it. Science can't prove unicorns don't exist either, but I don't see how that helps enlighten us. Is that any reason to believe in unicorns? You can if you want I suppose.



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

it's obviously a comment that is made to describe a situation where direct proof is hard to find. An elephant in a garage is not exatcly that kind of situation. More generally, this is said in a debate about the existence or the non-existence of god : absence of proof is not proof of absence.



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 09:07 PM
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Yes, but the absence of proof does mean that there is no good reason to accept that it exists, and live your life as though it exists, and make others live their lives as though it exists, and get on the internet and pretend that it does exist, and make up all kinds of stories about what it likes and hates, and how you met it once after your car accident because you were on a three day meth bender.

You know who you are........



posted on Apr, 21 2016 @ 10:44 PM
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Argument from ignorance (from Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance represents "a lack of contrary evidence"), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that: there may have been an insufficient investigation, and therefore there is insufficient information to prove the proposition be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four,



Argument from ignorance (from Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance represents "a lack of contrary evidence"), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that: there may have been an insufficient investigation, and therefore there is insufficient information to prove the proposition be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four,

1.true
2.false
3.unknown between true or false
4.being unknowable (among the first three).[1]

In debates, appeals to ignorance are sometimes used in an attempt to shift the burden of proof.



Argument from ignorance (from Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance represents "a lack of contrary evidence"), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that: there may have been an insufficient investigation, and therefore there is insufficient information to prove the proposition be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four,

1.true
2.false
3.unknown between true or false
4.being unknowable (among the first three).[1]

In debates, appeals to ignorance are sometimes used in an attempt to shift the burden of proof.


As described in Schreuder's Vision and Visual Perception:[2]


Arguments that appeal to ignorance rely merely on the fact that the veracity of the proposition is not disproven to arrive at a definite conclusion. These arguments fail to appreciate that the limits of one's understanding or certainty do not change what is true. They do not inform upon reality. That is, whatever the reality is, it does not "wait" upon human logic or analysis to be formulated. Reality exists at all times, and it exists independently of what is in the mind of anyone. And the true thrust of science and rational analysis is to separate preconceived notion(s) of what reality is, and to be open at all times to the observation of nature as it behaves, so as truly to discover reality. This fallacy can be very convincing and is considered by some to be a special case of a false dilemma or false dichotomy in that they both fail to consider alternatives. A false dilemma may take the form:If a proposition has not been disproven, then it cannot be considered false and must therefore be considered true.If a proposition has not been proven, then it cannot be considered true and must therefore be considered false.

Such arguments attempt to exploit the facts that (a) true things can never be disproven and (b) false things can never be proven. In other words, appeals to ignorance claim that the converse of these facts are also true. Therein lies the fallacy.

— Duco A. Schreuder, Vision and Visual Perception

To reiterate, these arguments ignore the fact, and difficulty, that some true things may never be proven, and some false things may never be disproved with absolute certainty. The phrase "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" can be used as a shorthand rebuttal to the second form of the ignorance fallacy (i.e. P has never been absolutely proven and is therefore certainly false). Most often it is directed at any conclusion derived from null results in an experiment or from the non-detection of something. In other words, where one researcher may say their experiment suggests evidence of absence, another researcher might argue that the experiment failed to detect a phenomenon for other reasons.

en.wikipedia.org...

Further reading...

philosophy.lander.edu...



edit on 22-4-2016 by Kashai because: Added content



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