Introducing rational thinking

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posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 03:38 AM
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Common sense is most welcome in my book.

Glad you stopped by. Hope you will stay a while and do battle.

See you on the jousting court.




posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:30 AM
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Originally posted by Amagnon

Originally posted by jimmyx
"""Until people can realize that nothing is universally true, and therefore all belief is unfounded then true understanding can never be achieved by them - they will be perpetually ignorant. Whether your belief is religious, or that 911 was a conspiracy, or that it wasnt - or ET's are real and visiting or they are not - it doesnt matter which side of an argument you are on - if you believe it - then you are always wrong. """"
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my response:

your first sentence is a direct contridiction of itself.

1..."nothing is universally true"---you offer no proof.
2..."true understanding can never be achieved---"never" is a long time

it appears as if you do understand something, but everyone else is ignorant, because they fail to understand that nothing is true. but somehow you believe what you say to be true.

therefore, if anyone believes anything on any side of an arguement, they are always wrong...hhhmmm


You say I believe what I say is true - not so, I am presenting an idea that has practical application - if you apply it, some understanding may result - that does not imply it is true, nor does it imply that it will be applicable and give the same results in different applications - I don't believe it, I understand it - understanding stems from practical application of an idea, from seeing how it works - it is not necessary for me to believe.

There is no contradiction. I offer no proof, because proof implies some kind of universal truth. I can't prove anything, neither can anyone else - proof is simply a way of saying 'present a bunch of evidence that causes people to believe something, so they create some new truth'. I am not trying to supply you with any truth, but an idea that true and false are very limiting ways of viewing things.

Beliefs inhibit understanding - for simplicity, you could say they are opposite - though it is more complex than that, understanding encompasses belief but is not constrained by it. Understanding is the boundary of belief, truth, reason and logic - but it is external to them - it also encompasses possibility, falsehood, fantasy, intuition and imagination.

If you say there is only night, or only day - then you are limiting yourself to a small part of the picture - how can a person who only exists in the night, relate to someone who only exists in the day? If you acknowledge both you have understanding, rather than having to chose one.

With respect to the question of being wrong or right - lets address the question of their being a god or not. If I say there is, or is not - then I have a chance of being wrong in either case. If I say that either case is possible - then I can never be wrong.

I am suggesting not that people are wrong - but that the entire concept of choosing one thing or another as an absolute is very prone to failure (in terms of practical application) considering how little we actually know, experience and can sense.

[edit on 28-9-2009 by Amagnon]


You're a fence sitter. I suppose you don't accept gravity yet?



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:35 AM
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Originally posted by jimmyx
the brain can be trusted, for example: to "see" stairs, and then decide to lift our legs one at a time to climb them, rather than tripping and falling down. the brain, through research and testing in our early years as a child, came to that conclusion, and for that particular brain, it is now a "known"
[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]


I would disagree. Until we have machines that do not process the signal integrated into our heads, we can't trust our eyes. What we see IS a processed image, not simply a pixel-for-pixel display like on a computer screen. By definition, it's an approximation based on past experience.

You know yourself the "autopilot" mode when driving to work or doing other regular activities. It's almost entirely subconscious and uses a fraction of the energy of a new route because we are using heuristics and prior knowledge to save having to relearn every experience. In other words, we predict what's coming up to save on energy.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 07:23 AM
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Claims require proof. Proof must be repeatable under controlled conditions. What's so hard about this concept?


Nothing hard about it all. But let's say we are told by a professor to both go out and individually collect 10 things that have meaning for us and return them to the professor. what are the chances those 10 things will be identical?

Now let's say the professor asks us to go out and collect 2 different sets of evidence to prove 2 different theories. One of us is given a well researched but highly debated topic to collect evidence on, and the other is given a little known, obscure, overlooked but seemingly fairly well supported topic. Does the amount of available and popularly accepted information on a subject legitimize it? I'd think about that before you answer it.

[edit on 5-10-2009 by undo]



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 07:27 AM
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Be very carefull while you filtering your information in here.
Cultivate a peacefull mind, and evolve your consciousness.
Do not let yourself mind trip.

Love



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 07:29 AM
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Yeah its getting ridiculous here lately, I called someone's thread out on their lack of logic the other day, ... only to be called a D-bag.

they always defend their stupidity by saying " well isn't this ATS, maybe your on the wrong forum" ..... yes this is ATS, ... but that doesnt mean people should post anything, ... devoid of logic and reasoning.

I think the bulk of it is coming from these pre-teens, who have absoloutely no idea, ... about anything, and are so gullible you could sell them air.

But I dont think ATS really cares, ... more members, more advertising, no integrity.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by undo

Claims require proof. Proof must be repeatable under controlled conditions. What's so hard about this concept?


Nothing hard about it all. But let's say we are told by a professor to both go out and individually collect 10 things that have meaning for us and return them to the professor. what are the chances those 10 things will be identical?

very small of course.


Originally posted by undo
Now let's say the professor asks us to go out and collect 2 different sets of evidence to prove 2 different theories. One of us is given a well researched but highly debated topic to collect evidence on, and the other is given a little known, obscure, overlooked but seemingly fairly well supported topic. Does the amount of available and popularly accepted information on a subject legitimize it? I'd think about that before you answer it.


Well, it depends on the subject entirely. Truth in science is by consensus opinion, because there's just no other feasible way to do it. If there is a new theory, it challenges the old, and is evaluated by peers in light of the new evidence. The model changes, or not depending on the outcome.

No one actually believes we know the absolute truth. But we *do* know we are closer now than in any time in recorded history.

Your original point, although strangely disconnected from point 2, is a good one. Statistically we are lucky that humans tend to come up with different explanations for the same phenomena. We come up with different experiments and explanations for those experiments. This is a strength, because over a period of time the scientific process moves us closer and closer to the true model. The different explanations here minimise the chance that we fall into a local minima (where the model is good but not right) because there is an element of randomness to our search for truth pattern.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 09:24 AM
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reply to post by xelamental
 


And if your search for truth differs considerably from someone else's, do you believe it is your duty to force them to accept your version? afterall, i'm not you and you are not me! all we can do is suggest and give reasons, free from the fetters of rhetoric and stereotypes. if there's nothing i hate more, it's stereotyping.




posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 09:32 AM
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Originally posted by undo
reply to post by xelamental
 


And if your search for truth differs considerably from someone else's, do you believe it is your duty to force them to accept your version? afterall, i'm not you and you are not me! all we can do is suggest and give reasons, free from the fetters of rhetoric and stereotypes. if there's nothing i hate more, it's stereotyping.


Well, the only reason I can think of for you not wanting to do "traditional" research is that you really just don't want to know what's real from the perspective of the human race. You would rather live in your own world, where you can make the rules.

That's not my version of truth. It may be yours, and if it is, that's your choice entirely. I respect that - it must be liberating.

I personally want to know whether what I believe is the most likely explanation for the evidence the human species has collected. After spending so many years of my life hindered by magical thinking, I prefer now to second guess myself just to make sure I'm not being stupid - according to me.

[edit on 5-10-2009 by xelamental]



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by xelamental
 


aren't you assuming an awful lot?
how much research is research? i have a sneaking suspicion that it isn't considered conventional research unless it doesn't have anything to add, in which case, you're just sitting around rehashing the same crap the other guy said.....with different words. i have a thesaurus too, but it doesn't do THAT much for me.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 09:55 AM
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OT (old testament) Lesson 101:

(capitalization is in deference to the english language. no case sensitivity in hebrew)

Enki = The Serpent, Satan, Lucifer, elohiym, etc
Enlil = Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohiym, etc

Both Enki and Enlil are depicted as God in the Old Testament. The god word, as I like to call it, came down from Sumer, and was integrated into the late akkadian language.

End of lesson. Now go forth, and re-read it.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by undo
aren't you assuming an awful lot?

No. Explain?


Originally posted by undo
how much research is research? i have a sneaking suspicion that it isn't considered conventional research unless it doesn't have anything to add, in which case, you're just sitting around rehashing the same crap the other guy said.....with different words. i have a thesaurus too, but it doesn't do THAT much for me.


What? The requirement for all phd and above research is that it adds to the body of scientific knowledge. The more "out there" the better the chance of a prestigious journal article, or even a nobel. I'm astounded you think that it's just rehashing!

Science is entirely about the challenging of mainstream theories.

You didn't answer my question: have you ever done conventional research? I suspect you would *love* it!

When I say conventional I mean through a research institution like a university.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by xelamental
 


It's archaeology and history, not quantum physics. just because it potentially can be explained to function with quantum physics, doesn't mean my research is from that angle. are you suggesting that any research that contains something that potentially works scientficially, should be given empirical process before discussing the archaeological and historical references?



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by xelamental
 


Yeah, i had a few semesters of humanities
and so forth, in college. my first research paper in humanities was the similarities between horus/isis vs. jesus/mary. funny, i wrote it almost 20 years ago. i don't believe that jesus actually WAS a rip - off a horus, just latched onto the mother-son thing that the roman catholic church focused on so heavily



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by undo
reply to post by xelamental
 


It's archaeology and history, not quantum physics. just because it potentially can be explained to function with quantum physics, doesn't mean my research is from that angle. are you suggesting that any research that contains something that potentially works scientficially, should be given empirical process before discussing the archaeological and historical references?


No, I don't believe it does. But it seems you are convinced there was a stargate, surely there is other evidence that would build a case for an advanced civilisation capable of building a star gate. You could make hypotheses such as: they must have had the capability of advanced mathematics, metalurgy, precision engineering etc, and look for those in the historical record. Etc etc... there are many ways to approach the problem by saying "if this is true, what else would we see".

I don't believe there was a stargate. But you are making a big claim, and if it's true would re-write the history of the world. Surely you would want to determine whether it's likely or not?



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 10:20 AM
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I've found myself that the most important thing we have to include when we're thinking about things is a sense of personal honesty. We have to be able to separate what we know to be true from what we believe to be true, and of course, the most dangerous of them all, what we WANT to be true.

You have to ask yourself a very important question - am I searching for truth, or do I just want the satisfaction of "being right". A true seeker of truth will set down long held beliefs once evidence shows them to be wrong. Others cling hold of ideas and beliefs that "must" be true. If you enter into a problem with a list of possible answers already crossed out, you are not seeking truth. If you're saying "That can't be true because I don't believe in...", you're not seeking truth, and you won't find it.

Once we do go through our core beliefs and test them, we soon realise that we have far fewer facts than we thought, and that can scare some people. Even scientific "facts" are subject to this, because what we call facts are actually our current best guess based on all available data. We cannot rule out the possibility that new data that we either didn't have or couldn't have will change our viewpoint entirely.

The existence of God is a major black and white area. Most people are of one of 2 camps - you either believe in God or you don't. This is good, because God either exists, or he doesn't. There's not really any halfway grey area. Belief in God doesn't make him real, and a lack of belief in God doesn't make him pop out of existence in an ethereal puff of smoke either. Believers of God go into their research with that bias, and those who don't believe have their own bias too. We are in a state of not having any physical proof for the existence of God, but that doesn't logically and rationally mean he doesn't exist.

Evolution is another sticking point. But what are the facts? We have a fossil record that we can physically see and prove. It's existence is a fact. Our scientists over the years have strung that fossil record together to try to back up their claims of evolution, but all of their work is based on many assumptions - the main one is how the fossil record came about. We have a best guess, but there are anomolies in the data that don't fit the best guess. Evolution is an attempt to explain the existence of life on earth when you've already crossed out the possibility of an external creating intelligence, and that's something we cannot prove or disprove, making evolution a belief (and a widely held one), but not a proven fact.

The ancient astronaut theory is another big one, but again, it's based on guesses and interpretations. Our archeology has turned up some artifacts that certainly raise eyebrows, and show us technology that cannot be accounted for in our interpretation of humanity's history. When we look across the ancient writings and records of early man, we see a common thread of beings who came down from the heavens with their amazing knowledge and technology, but who were they talking about? Advanced aliens? The last members of a previous incarnation of mankind that had outgrown this little planet, but some remained behind to make sure the new guys got established before they left to explore the universe? Angels who rebelled against God and taught the humans things that were forbidden? All beliefs and interpretations, not facts.

We spend so much time arguing over who's interpretation is true, but in reality, any and all of our theories can be swept off the table with a single new discovery.

Does this mean it's pointless trying to work things out? I don't believe so, I believe it's very important that we challenge ourselves and try to work out everything we can, but the most effective way of doing that is to be honest with ourselves about what is fact and what is interpretation and guesswork.



[edit on 5-10-2009 by TheIrvy]



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 10:33 AM
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Once we do go through our core beliefs and test them, we soon realise that we have far fewer facts than we thought, and that can scare some people. Even scientific "facts" are subject to this, because what we call facts are actually our current best guess based on all available data. We cannot rule out the possibility that new data that we either didn't have or couldn't have will change our viewpoint entirely.

To know anything you have to assume that things are knowable. Your position asserts the opposite, kind of like saying the laws of the universe could change at any moment. That's true, but useless, because truth from my perspective is the ability to be useful.



The existence of God is a major black and white area. Most people are of one of 2 camps - you either believe in God or you don't.

Most athiests I have talked to do not do this. They simply assert that in the absence of evidence for a god, they cannot assign a probability. The only assumptions we make is that the universe is real and we are in it.

I am more than willing to accept a god if he provides me evidence. But in the absence of any, there is no benefit to assigning a probability.



Evolution is another sticking point. But what are the facts? We have a fossil record that we can physically see and prove. It's existence is a fact. Our scientists over the years have strung that fossil record together to try to back up their claims of evolution, but all of their work is based on many assumptions - the main one is how the fossil record came about.

The alternatives are that a god made it look perfectly like evolution happened exactly like scientists say. Do you think we should assign a high probability to this?


We have a best guess, but there are anomolies in the data that don't fit the best guess.

There are anomalies in gravitational theory. It doesn't mean that it's not mostly correct.



Evolution is an attempt to explain the existence of life on earth when you've already crossed out the possibility of an external creating intelligence, and that's something we cannot prove or disprove, making evolution a belief (and a widely held one), but not a proven fact.

Sorry. Start with abiogenesis (evolution says nothing about it). Given all the evidence, what theory fits the data? Molecular, physical, mathematical, geographical, chemical etc. The thing that fits is evolution.



The ancient astronaut theory is another big one, but again, it's based on guesses and interpretations. Our archeology has turned up some artifacts that certainly raise eyebrows, and show us technology that cannot be accounted for in our interpretation of humanity's history.

Not really. The antikethra mechanism, baghdad batteries are really the only things we don't understand. Pictures are pictures, fiction has existed from the dawn of time. Or do you think all men back in the day had 2 foot penises?



When we look across the ancient writings and records of early man, we see a common thread of beings who came down from the heavens with their amazing knowledge and technology, but who were they talking about?


Agreed. Does this mean that this actually happened? Joseph campbell has the answers I suspect.



We spend so much time arguing over who's interpretation is true, but in reality, any and all of our theories can be swept off the table with a single new discovery.

Yes, but in most cases with established theories, the evidence would have to be very compelling! E.g. to dispel gravity.

[edit on 5-10-2009 by xelamental]

[edit on 5-10-2009 by xelamental]



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 10:35 AM
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We make assumptions about ourselves as well. We view ourselves as physical beings, which we clearly are, but beyond that it gets a bit blurry. I know for myself that I have experienced many things that I cannot explain, and science cannot explain. For example, every night i lie down and loose 8 hours, but sometimes I have memories of a complex and intricately detailled other world which defies the natural laws and anything is possible. In that realm, I can fly, I can talk to dead relatives, I can turn into a dolphin and swim. That we dream is a fact, how or why it happens is a complete unknown. And when there's no answer, anything's possible.

We also classify what is "normal". Our studies have shown us that there are marked differences between the brain of the males of our species and the brain of females of our species. A qualified doctor can easily distinguish between the 2. We have also discovered that the brain of an autistic individual is different again. The amygdula is larger, and the mini columns that connect to the brain are thinner but no less powerful, and less insulated, allowing a freer exhange of data between them (forgive me if I got that wrong, it was off the top of my head based on my own memory). We classify autism as a disorder, but that's not proven. I myself am a high functioning autistic person, and I can assure you, there's nothing disabled about me. I have a different set of things that come naturally to me, just as men and women have their own areas where they better each other, and I have a different set of things that really don't come naturally to me and must be worked at harder to learn. Again, exactly the same as between men and women. Could our species be far more complicated and diverse than our medical sciences allow?

We cannot rule things out based on our own desires of what we want to be true or not true. We cannot force theories onto each other that are unproven and unobserved. In order to find the truth, we must seek the truth, and that means not ruling anything out until we've absolutely proven that it can be.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by TheIrvy
We make assumptions about ourselves as well. We view ourselves as physical beings, which we clearly are, but beyond that it gets a bit blurry. I know for myself that I have experienced many things that I cannot explain, and science cannot explain. For example, every night i lie down and loose 8 hours, but sometimes I have memories of a complex and intricately detailled other world which defies the natural laws and anything is possible. In that realm, I can fly, I can talk to dead relatives, I can turn into a dolphin and swim. That we dream is a fact, how or why it happens is a complete unknown. And when there's no answer, anything's possible.

We also classify what is "normal". Our studies have shown us that there are marked differences between the brain of the males of our species and the brain of females of our species. A qualified doctor can easily distinguish between the 2. We have also discovered that the brain of an autistic individual is different again. The amygdula is larger, and the mini columns that connect to the brain are thinner but no less powerful, and less insulated, allowing a freer exhange of data between them (forgive me if I got that wrong, it was off the top of my head based on my own memory). We classify autism as a disorder, but that's not proven. I myself am a high functioning autistic person, and I can assure you, there's nothing disabled about me. I have a different set of things that come naturally to me, just as men and women have their own areas where they better each other, and I have a different set of things that really don't come naturally to me and must be worked at harder to learn. Again, exactly the same as between men and women. Could our species be far more complicated and diverse than our medical sciences allow?

We cannot rule things out based on our own desires of what we want to be true or not true. We cannot force theories onto each other that are unproven and unobserved. In order to find the truth, we must seek the truth, and that means not ruling anything out until we've absolutely proven that it can be.


Firstly, dreams aren't magic.
Secondly, just because autism is classified as a disorder doesn't mean that you aren't functioning. It just means you share a lot of commonalities with people that can't function as the majority of the population (which by definition, defines normality for better or worse).



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 10:53 AM
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To know anything you have to assume that things are knowable. Your position asserts the opposite, kind of like saying the laws of the universe could change at any moment. That's true, but useless, because truth from my perspective is the ability to be useful.


We only have data from our part of the back yard. Are the laws of physics different closer to the centre of a galaxy than on it's rim? We don't know until we get there and study it. We do not understand what the laws of the universe are yet. We preceive the universe from our own perspective, and we assume that what is constant here is also constant everywhere.



Most athiests I have talked to do not do this. They simply assert that in the absence of evidence for a god, they cannot assign a probability. The only assumptions we make is that the universe is real and we are in it.


We've clearly spoken with very different athiests.



The alternatives are that a god made it look perfectly like evolution happened exactly like scientists say. Do you think we should assign a high probability to this?


There's plenty of alternatives. One theory that I particularly like is that the physical realm is created by the spiritual. Life does evolve, but according to a pattern, it's not random. Apparently we have plenty of DNA options that haven't yet turned on. We're only just at the beginning of how complicated our bodies will be.



There are anomalies in gravitational theory. It doesn't mean that it's not mostly correct.


Absolutely, it doesn't mean that at all. It also doesn't mean it's anywhere near right. That's my point.



Sorry. Start with abiogenesis (evolution says nothing about it). Given all the evidence, what theory fits the data? Molecular, physical, mathematical, geographical, chemical etc. The thing that fits is evolution.


Again, you're missing my point. You also don't know enough about evolution or you'd know the glaring problems with the theory. Evolution just takes God out of the equation and replaces him with long periods of time and a heck of a lot of random occurances, all tying together to make an ordered planet with an interdependant eco system.



Not really. The antikethra mechanism, baghdad batteries are really the only things we don't understand. Pictures are pictures, fiction has existed from the dawn of time. Or do you think all men back in the day had 2 foot penises?


When it comes to things that happened thousands of years ago, all we have is guesses and interpretations based on our perspective. We don't know who built the sphinx or why or how, all we know is that it's there.

How do you know that fiction has existed since the dawn of time? Where you there? It's equally possible that after the invention of writing, a very powerful tool, that only true accounts were deemed worthy of being immortalised in stone. We just don't know.

You don't have a 2 foot penis? (sorry, bad, couldn't resist!)



Agreed. Does this mean that this actually happened? Joseph campbell has the answers I suspect.


No, it doesn't mean it happened. The commonalities between them all make it unwise to discount them though. At best I'd say that the writers recorded either who they thought the entities were, or who they were told they were (which may or may not have been true), or they just happened to make up the same stories as so many other cultures everywhere else. Again, I'm not trying to say what did happen, just that it's a conceit to believe that we've got it right thousands of years later at a guess.



Yes, but in most cases with established theories, the evidence would have to be very compelling! E.g. to dispel gravity.


Gravity won't likely be dispelled, but it may have a nature unlike anything we have imagined.





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