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The correct logical position on any unproven, posited concept/entity/phenomena.

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posted on Aug, 9 2010 @ 12:18 PM
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In this thread I want to examine the correct, and most logically sound position to have on unexplained and/or unproven phenomena, concepts and entities.

That description could cover a number of subjects that are discussed on ATS; extra terrestrials, ghosts, psychic abilities, deities, alien visitation, cryptozoological animals, even Santa Claus.


The following is my view on what the most logical position to hold is:

Many people believe something to be true, without categorical material or empirical evidence to back up their belief.
There is nothing wrong with this, and there are a number of valid reasons as to why people come to these beliefs, but from a purely impartial, objective standpoint, it is illogical to believe in something without corroborative data and evidence to support it.

On the other hand, there are many people that believe that something doesn't exist because there is no evidence to support it, such as ''I'm sure that ghosts don't exist''. This is patently illogical, as it is the Argumentum ad Ignorantiam logical fallacy.

In fact, due to the fact that it's impossible to prove a negative in most cases, it is illogical to believe that any posited concept doesn't exist, within reason ( For example, I can prove that there are no monkeys in my bedroom ).

Thinking that something doesn't exist because it sounds preposterous or ludicrous is also clearly illogical, as it's the Argument from incredulity logical fallacy.


So, it's illogical to believe in a premise without any evidence to support it, but at the same time it's illogical to disbelieve in just about any posited idea or concept.

Logically, how open minded should you be towards any proposition ?
I suggest that someone has to be equally open-minded on everything.

One of the things that irritates me is when you see someone attempting to argue from a logical standpoint, yet mix up their own personal belief with their comments, such as:

''I don't think it's very likely that aliens have visited earth'' or ''I'm 99% certain that bigfoot doesn't exist''.

Those above comments are entirely personal belief, and are no different to someone saying: ''I'm 99% sure that bigfoot exists''.

There's no likelihood, percentages or probabilities involved in something's existence/non-existence.

Bigfoot, for example, is either 100% true or 100% false. You can never find out whether it's 100% false, and you'll never know whether it's 100% true until there's empirical and indisputable evidence to support it.


Therefore, I consider the correct, logical position on any posited concept is to have no bias whatsoever in the possibility of the said concept existing/not existing.


I'd like to sum up by giving the example of Santa Claus:

There is no evidence to support Santa Claus' existence.
We can't say that Santa Claus doesn't exist, based on this lack of evidence.
We can't say that he doesn't exist because ''it's preposterous, and he's only a character to please children''.
We can't say that it's 99.999999% certain that he doesn't exist, because that makes no sense whatsoever.

It seems that one's logical position on the existence of Santa Claus should be non-committal and unbiased.
Neither favouring his existence or not.

Even so I personally believe that Santa Claus doesn't exist, surely my disbelief is as illogical as a child believing in him ?




What do you think ?

Is this the correct and logical position to have on any unproven ideas, concepts or phenomena ?

Am I completely off the mark ?

Have I over-simplified or made erroneous conclusions ?

I'd be interested to hear any input from other people on this.




posted on Aug, 9 2010 @ 12:21 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
Even so I personally believe that Santa Claus doesn't exist, surely my disbelief is as illogical as a child believing in him ?


No. Belief or disbelief in Santa Claus is not the default logical position. Indifference is. You are not born with innate knowledge of Santa. You have to be told there is a Santa. At that point you have a choice to make. Will you believe it, or not?



posted on Aug, 9 2010 @ 01:25 PM
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Logic in itself has been proven to be very illogical. Belief in logic as a correct system from which to determine a belief is in itself illogical because it is a personal belief.

Your position that there is a correct logical position to take is also illogical in that believing in logic is a belief system, much the same as your belief or non belief in Santa Clause. Therefore you cloud your own concept with a personal bias in believing in this logic system.

I have stated the above twice to bring home the point. Logic is illogical. Therefore no belief can be right or wrong or correct or incorrect.



posted on Aug, 9 2010 @ 08:51 PM
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Responsibe extrapolation is the proper tool when dealing with beliefs.

What is responsible extrapolation? Here, this is a simple example.

A man sits in a room. Outside the closed window, the sun is shining, and he has a clear view of the trees that are arranged across the neighborhood and down the street. He has his radio on, and between the closed window and the sound of the music from the radio, his only means of perceiving the world beyond the glass is with his eyes.

He looks to the scene out his window and he suddenly notices a small branch, high in one of the trees, and the leaves on this branch seem to be waving to him. Not frantically, but they are waving as if to say hello from nearly fifty feet in the air. Now, no other lower branches are moving, and from what he can see, it’s not a windy day, but still, that small branch persists in waving to him. As someone who engages in responsible extrapolation, what can this man assume is occurring outside his window and fifty feet above the street before him?

1. The tree is waving hello
2. Only the branch and its leaves are waving hello
3. God is waving hello by moving the tree’s highest branch
4. There is a small, localized wind current – high above the other branches – that is causing that small branch’s leaves to wave

Personally, I like the idea that the tree might be waving hello, but that’d be some seriously irresponsible extrapolation if I chose #1 as my answer. Of course, #4 is the correct answer, and it seems silly to have to detail why #4 is the only possible answer, and yet when it comes to philosophy and theology, then the choices really start to open up.

Beliefs can be weird, but they don't have to be.



posted on Aug, 9 2010 @ 09:24 PM
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Oh dear, I really wanted to add something logical to this thread but after reading the replies, I wonder if it`s really worth my while, because it`s certainly got me thinking. I would really have to go away and plan out a reply, and I have other things to do.


However, not entirely off topic as it was mentioned in the OP, I`d like to draw attention to the propensity many people have to believe and claim to be fact, something which they have simply had regurgitated to them. Recently, I have really come to realise how ignorant people are because of this "follow the flock" kind of thinking. I often discuss things like this with my girlfriend and she has started to refer to me as a mad empiricist, which I am not by the way, I simply claim not to know enough about a subject to either believe or disbelieve it if that is the case and won`t pretend I do. (Well most of the time, I am working hard on that trait of ignorance)lol

As an example of my original point though, my girlfriend mentioned tonight, while we were discussing bugs under the skin (dont ask! lol) brought up the, ahem, "common knowledge" fact that people eat "X" amount of spiders in a lifetime.

I asked, how she know this, and she replied that it was just a fact, to which I argued "even if it was a fact, you have to ask what the frame of reference for such a bold claim would be. How many people were studied to come to the conclusion, and for how long were they studied?"

Of course she saw reason and agreed, but it really goes to show how people and indeed society as a whole, is misinformed because of the propensity to consume and accept as fact things that they hear based on the fact that many other people assume it to be true so it must be a safe bet at truth, and, of course, the seemingly unconscious act of just not bothering to collect empirical data for one`s self.

I think if anything, the OP highlights the need to find out whether or not one should believe something to be true or false before choosing one outcome or the other to be fact. And I almost 100% agreed with everything you said in the OP, but subsequent replies (namely that of John Phoenix) left me unsure of anything. Arrrgh!!


The best part of it is that the logic paradox is utterly inescapable by it`s very definition.

My solution? T&C prevent me from saying.

S&F to the OP though, very provocative thread, thank you.



posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 05:12 AM
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Originally posted by Adevoc Satanae
No. Belief or disbelief in Santa Claus is not the default logical position. Indifference is. You are not born with innate knowledge of Santa. You have to be told there is a Santa. At that point you have a choice to make. Will you believe it, or not?


But once you're aware of the positive claim, shouldn't indifference continue to be the logical position ?

I can't see how one can logically make a case for the existence or non existence of Santa Claus, without letting personal belief cloud their logical judgement ?

I can no more make a logical case for disbelieving in Santa Claus, then a child can for believing in Santa Claus.



posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 05:19 AM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


I agree with you.

It is very difficult to justify rules of logic without using circular reasoning, which in itself is deemed illogical by the aforementioned rules of logic.

My question about the correct logical position, is about the correct logical position within the generally accepted rules of logic.



posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 05:33 AM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes

I can't see how one can logically make a case for the existence or non existence of Santa Claus, without letting personal belief cloud their logical judgement ?

I can no more make a logical case for disbelieving in Santa Claus, then a child can for believing in Santa Claus.






there was a movie made titled:
'Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus'

personal belief was not a factor in this story which included a court drama, 'evidence' was established which proved the individual was who he claimed...Santa Claus



posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 05:34 AM
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Originally posted by NorEaster
1. The tree is waving hello
2. Only the branch and its leaves are waving hello
3. God is waving hello by moving the tree’s highest branch
4. There is a small, localized wind current – high above the other branches – that is causing that small branch’s leaves to wave


1. and 2. would have to rely on proving trees had consciousness first.
3. Would have to rely on proving that God exists first.
So, with our current knowledge, 4. can be the only logical answer to that.

However, that example allows a reasonable answer that can be made within our current knowledge base.

The logical answer should not preclude or alter one's original position on the existence of conscious trees or God.

Something like alien visitation can not be answered with ''reasonable extrapolation''.
Some individual UFO incidents can, but not the broader concept of ETs existing and visiting earth.



posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 05:56 AM
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reply to post by psilo simon
 


You are correct at how many people will accept something as fact without actually checking the authenticity of it, but just because it's ''generally accepted knowledge''.

To go slightly off-topic too, it shows how worryingly easy it is for governments to manipulate the people with ''information'' that would hardly pass any rigorous or thorough standard of testing.


Yes, my thread was designed to look at what the most logically sound position is to hold, the paradoxes it promotes, and to highlight how many people ( normally logical ) will let personal belief, disbelief get in the way of an objective assessment.

As I state, there is absolutely nothing wrong with personally believing or disbelieving in something, but that shouldn't cloud one's logical position on the matter.


That's why I chose Santa Claus; something that 99% of grown-ups would probably categorically state as non-existent.

Yet, for the life of me, I can't think of any proper logical basis to form an opinion that Santa Claus doesn't exist.




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