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281  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: BFL fucked us over again on: November 01, 2014, 05:40:35 PM
After Josh's trophy wife leaves him - because the IRS has taken his house, his car, and all his other belongings - I wonder how long it will take him to forget her birthday.

Trophy wife?

I give her a 5 out of 10.
282  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Hi!, me wanna try what is Bitcoin mining! on: November 01, 2014, 01:41:47 PM
The one with the higher hash rate will obviously be better. 1Gh/s = 1000 Mh/s.

What the heck?  No, it's not "obviously" better.  Don't give people poor advice if you're not sure what you're talking about.
283  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: November 01, 2014, 07:19:58 AM
In the same way there is no possible way for an ant to conceptualize our galaxy, we do not have ability to know the mind and ability of an omnipotent being. This is basically agnosticism in a nutshell.

Lower-order levels of logic are essentially the exact same as higher-order ones, just infinitely smaller. It's my opinion that this is what is meant in the Bible when it says man was made in God's image.  I believe that our logic and mind functions exactly the same as god, except at an infinitely-smaller level.  Logic is a closed system, and inasmuch as we use logic as the only basis to rationalize about the Universe, it is possible to construct a perfectly self-contained logical theory of the Universe which would essentially equate to a God-level theory of reality.  The only criteria is that it must be self-contained and consistent throughout, and must be capable of explaining not only everything the Universe contains, but also itself.  Therefore, its structure must be self-reinforcing and circular such that any attempt to deny it only reaffirms its existence.  

An example of such a self-reinforcing and circular argument is the argument for absolute truth, for any attempt to deny absolute truth, e.g. "There is no absolute truth" automatically invokes the unspoken assertion, "It is the absolute truth there is no absolute truth."  Of, if someone said, "There is more than one truth," or, "Truth is relative," it is the same as saying "It is the absolute truth there is more than one truth," or, "It is the absolute truth that truth is relative."
284  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: November 01, 2014, 06:56:57 AM
You could call God the limit of theorization, i.e. a theory that explains the Universe at the highest possible level of generality.
Exactly! This is the point! If god can appear as a man in the sky, or a burning bush, or (forgive the pun) god knows what, then god can also appear as a teapot, FSM, as well as every hair on your head, all at the same time. God theoretically assumes every possible form, however seemingly impossible they may seem, meaning god can assume every imaginal form and infinitely more unimaginable forms, all at the same time beyond anyone's comprehension or judgment, omnipotently.

<edit> Taken from, "A creed indeed."

Quote
FSM is ageless, timeless and all-encompassing...
FSM has created all there is for our entertainment and sustenance, and has given unto us the mental capacity to adapt the mythologies of This Universe to aid and comfort us here, until that day we are able to join together at the foot of the Beer Volcano and enumerate our specifications at the Stripper Factory so that happiness and contentedness and good cheer be present for all, forever and forever.

R'Amen.

It's the "beyond anyone's comprehension or judgment" part that I'm having trouble with here.  I would agree that in a literal sense, this omnipotent ability is beyond comprehension.  But in a conceptual sense, it isn't.

Something interesting I've learned about logic is that it is hologrammatic in structure, e.g. in the same way that spatial dimensions are holographic in structure.  For example, the third dimension is the infinite sum of possible combinations of the second dimension, the fourth dimension is the infinite sum of all possible combinations  of the third dimension, etc.  Similarly, logic can be conceptualized as operating similarly on higher- and lower-order dimensional planes.  For example, a higher-order logic can be used to explore a lower-order logic function because it yields a vantage point from which one can comprehensively view everything going on in the lower-order level.  Conceptually, God, if it exists, operates at the highest possible, prime level of logic.  We need a way to occupy the same vantage point to talk about God rationally, and this is possible.

Imagine if I draw a tesseract on a piece of paper, which would be the representation of a 4th-dimensional structure on a 2nd-dimension piece of paper interpreted by 3rd-dimensional beings, us.  By taking a higher-order dimension (i.e. the 4th dimension) and literally thrusting it down into the 2nd-dimension (i.e. the piece of paper), we can gain insight into the 4th-dimension even though we are only 3rd-dimensional beings who have no direct ability to perceive the 4th-dimension from the appropriate vantage point.  Accordingly, we had to 'pretend' that we were 5th-dimensional beings analyzing the 4th-dimension in the same way that we as 3rd-dimensional beings analyze the 2nd-dimension.  

If we can do this with logic, i.e. by 'pretending' that we already occupy a higher vantage point by thrusting higher-order levels of logic below us in the same way that we thrust the 4th-dimensional tesseract onto a 2nd-dimensional plane on paper, then we have it made -- we then have a method to rationalize about God.
285  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: November 01, 2014, 12:03:22 AM
Using your own argument, that would mean that 'god the father' could not exist since he would first need to make the universe and then his son (to be a father). Regardless, I can equally assert that spaghetti exists only because the FSM created it in his own image, the same way christians insist they are created in god's image. No more contradiction. Bottom line is, that when it comes to god, there's no (scientific) way to (prove or) disprove it's existance, regardless of which god(s) your are talking about, which is the whole premise behind Russell's teapot. (Just for sake of argument, you cannot view the entire solar system through the Hubble telescope at once, nevermind a teapot god that may wish to remain undiscovered.)

With all due respect, this discussion only digressed somewhat to semantics since you were implying these terms mean something they do not. I am not arbitrarily saying anything and have already linked sources to the validity my assertions. If you insist you can arbitrarily give words their meanings, then I suppose I have nothing left say.

I'm hardly arbitrarily giving words meaning when I quote the definition of 'god' from a dictionary reference and then apply that definition in context.  But, then again, I'm not attempting to prove the existence of God, I'm simply arguing that the FSM is a bad analogy.  It's a bad analogy specifically because analogies only work if the characteristics of the things being compared are similar.

Am I missing the point of the analogy? I thought these things were always brought up in the same abstract vein; that is, you can't prove god exists any more than you can disprove there is a teapot/FSM/whatever-else. The analogy isn't about which mythical creature exists or what properties and powers it may or may not have, it's about the existence of mythical creatures period. From this view, I think the analogy is fine.

It's not fine because god is not a 'creature.'  Again, the problem with the analogy is that it tries to back a theist into a corner that doesn't exist by assuming that empiricism is the only means by which you can prove the existence of God when what we're really exploring is a totally abstract concept.  It simply doesn't work.  Imagine if I likened, for example, the abstract laws of mathematics to a "mythical creature" or the FSM or a space teapot.  Would you let me get away with such an analogy?
How can you be so sure what is GOD? Have you met him/it/she? It is impossible to tell.

You could call God the limit of theorization, i.e. a theory that explains the Universe at the highest possible level of generality.
286  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 31, 2014, 11:57:07 PM
Using your own argument, that would mean that 'god the father' could not exist since he would first need to make the universe and then his son (to be a father). Regardless, I can equally assert that spaghetti exists only because the FSM created it in his own image, the same way christians insist they are created in god's image. No more contradiction. Bottom line is, that when it comes to god, there's no (scientific) way to (prove or) disprove it's existance, regardless of which god(s) your are talking about, which is the whole premise behind Russell's teapot. (Just for sake of argument, you cannot view the entire solar system through the Hubble telescope at once, nevermind a teapot god that may wish to remain undiscovered.)

With all due respect, this discussion only digressed somewhat to semantics since you were implying these terms mean something they do not. I am not arbitrarily saying anything and have already linked sources to the validity my assertions. If you insist you can arbitrarily give words their meanings, then I suppose I have nothing left say.

I'm hardly arbitrarily giving words meaning when I quote the definition of 'god' from a dictionary reference and then apply that definition in context.  But, then again, I'm not attempting to prove the existence of God, I'm simply arguing that the FSM is a bad analogy.  It's a bad analogy specifically because analogies only work if the characteristics of the things being compared are similar.

Am I missing the point of the analogy? I thought these things were always brought up in the same abstract vein; that is, you can't prove god exists any more than you can disprove there is a teapot/FSM/whatever-else. The analogy isn't about which mythical creature exists or what properties and powers it may or may not have, it's about the existence of mythical creatures period. From this view, I think the analogy is fine.

It's not fine because god is not a 'creature.'  Again, the problem with the analogy is that it tries to back a theist into a corner that doesn't exist by assuming that empiricism is the only means by which you can prove the existence of God when what we're really exploring is a totally abstract concept.  It simply doesn't work.  Imagine if I likened, for example, the abstract laws of mathematics to a "mythical creature" or the FSM or a space teapot.  Would you let me get away with such an analogy?
287  Economy / Economics / Re: Was Bitcoin actually just a Pump and Dump? on: October 31, 2014, 03:57:10 AM
Bitcoin is a farce. The "free market economy" in miniature. There is nothing new, it isnt "decentralized" or whatever you thought. It is nothing more then a big scam, initiated by some inteligent guyz, but let me explain this to you:

The mining pools are the governmental institutions, they create BTC out of nothing (federeal reserve). The exchangers are the banks, they trade with BTC like shares. That means there is no consideration for those who "believe" in Bitcoin, early birds do their profit, all the others have to pay the bill. If you guys would know what I know... All exchangers manipulate the prize (because there is no regulation), yea you hear right, they can write whatever they want on their website! Bitcoin has no value, exact as FIAT. Its only the people who believe it has! Exchanger make $$$ out of nothing because of high-speed trades between each other. At the end there is the blackmarket (silk road). And all is controlled by a very very little amount of people, but there have their fingers in..
You guys should stop supporting it.

So, let me get this straight.  It's unregulated, but it isn't decentralized?  It's open source, but it's a scam?  Mining pools are government institutions, but that's where most of the individual miners mine?  It's like the Federal Reserve, but the supply is mathematically predictable and capped?  Exchanges make "$$$," but that's from sending their own money back and forth to themselves (uh, what?)?
288  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 31, 2014, 03:40:26 AM
Using your own argument, that would mean that 'god the father' could not exist since he would first need to make the universe and then his son (to be a father). Regardless, I can equally assert that spaghetti exists only because the FSM created it in his own image, the same way christians insist they are created in god's image. No more contradiction. Bottom line is, that when it comes to god, there's no (scientific) way to (prove or) disprove it's existance, regardless of which god(s) your are talking about, which is the whole premise behind Russell's teapot. (Just for sake of argument, you cannot view the entire solar system through the Hubble telescope at once, nevermind a teapot god that may wish to remain undiscovered.)

With all due respect, this discussion only digressed somewhat to semantics since you were implying these terms mean something they do not. I am not arbitrarily saying anything and have already linked sources to the validity my assertions. If you insist you can arbitrarily give words their meanings, then I suppose I have nothing left say.

I'm hardly arbitrarily giving words meaning when I quote the definition of 'god' from a dictionary reference and then apply that definition in context.  But, then again, I'm not attempting to prove the existence of God, I'm simply arguing that the FSM is a bad analogy.  It's a bad analogy specifically because analogies only work if the characteristics of the things being compared are similar.

You cannot simply substitute one for the other in the same way that you're criticizing my suggestion to arbitrarily slap the term "absolute truth" onto "God," which, by the way, was more of a rebuttal against your original position which wields the FSM as the counterargument to the assertion that God exists.  However, I can slap "absolute truth" onto "God" more easily than you can slap FSM onto God.

The FSM has 'spaghetti' and 'monster' in its title, both of which are forms, thereby invoking constraint and eliminating the possibility of omnipresence.  Same thing goes for the space teapot.  Both of these are things that are assumed to be capable of being observed, but for which we simply have no idea where to look.  Conversely, 'god,' whose title invokes no form or condition -- but does invoke omnipotence -- would be able to place constraints upon itself and become an FSM, for example.  This is also why God is referred to as 'infinite,' and it's because infinite quite literally means "a lack of definition."   God as a whole, by definition, is incapable of being observed, which again would refer to a posteriori knowledge.  Instead, God's existence can only be argued for/against based upon a priori knowledge, or knowledge that is independent of observation and experience.  As a result, invoking the FSM and space teapot is irrelevant because they're simply inapplicable -- a priori knowledge tells us that invoking an analogue of god requires invoking a formless entity, so you might as well just stick with the word 'god' and argue against that (else you're the one making arbitrary, irrelevant word substitutions).
 
You mention semantics, and a semantic argument is not necessarily unsound.  The reason is because language is not only a descriptor, but it is also that which is descripted -- always.  Absolutely anything that is described with language is also a language unto itself as it meets all criteria of the algebraic structure of language (i.e rules of syntax/law, content, and grammar that mediates between the two to make information meaningful).  Semantic arguments are simply a different type of argument, and they remain valid if consistent and applied in the appropriate context.  

To this end, again, you would be better off not trying to find an analogy to the 'god' concept at all.  Also, remember that all of this is only an argument for why the FSM and teapot are poor counterarguments to the assertion God exists, and not an argument for God's existence itself.

TL;DR: In a sentence, the FSM and teapot are invalid despite what you think of Russel because the proposition depends solely on observation, i.e. being able to prove the thing exists through empiricism, a method that's off-the-table for exploring the concept of God.

The semantic debate began over your definition of mono/polytheistic, but unfortunately you keep bastardizing and broadening your misuse of terminologies and concepts over the course of this debate to further your argument, therefore I decline to debate this any further.

Disappointing, for I'm sure you'll continue to use your invalid cliches far into the future.
289  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 31, 2014, 03:16:31 AM
Using your own argument, that would mean that 'god the father' could not exist since he would first need to make the universe and then his son (to be a father). Regardless, I can equally assert that spaghetti exists only because the FSM created it in his own image, the same way christians insist they are created in god's image. No more contradiction. Bottom line is, that when it comes to god, there's no (scientific) way to (prove or) disprove it's existance, regardless of which god(s) your are talking about, which is the whole premise behind Russell's teapot. (Just for sake of argument, you cannot view the entire solar system through the Hubble telescope at once, nevermind a teapot god that may wish to remain undiscovered.)

With all due respect, this discussion only digressed somewhat to semantics since you were implying these terms mean something they do not. I am not arbitrarily saying anything and have already linked sources to the validity my assertions. If you insist you can arbitrarily give words their meanings, then I suppose I have nothing left say.

I'm hardly arbitrarily giving words meaning when I quote the definition of 'god' from a dictionary reference and then apply that definition in context.  But, then again, I'm not attempting to prove the existence of God, I'm simply arguing that the FSM is a bad analogy.  It's a bad analogy specifically because analogies only work if the characteristics of the things being compared are similar.

You cannot simply substitute one for the other in the same way that you're criticizing my suggestion to arbitrarily slap the term "absolute truth" onto "God," which, by the way, was more of a rebuttal against your original position which wields the FSM as the counterargument to the assertion that God exists.  However, I can slap "absolute truth" onto "God" more easily than you can slap FSM onto God.

The FSM has 'spaghetti' and 'monster' in its title, both of which are forms, thereby invoking constraint and eliminating the possibility of omnipresence.  Same thing goes for the space teapot.  Both of these are things that are assumed to be capable of being observed, but for which we simply have no idea where to look.  Conversely, 'god,' whose title invokes no form or condition -- but does invoke omnipotence -- would be able to place constraints upon itself and become an FSM, for example.  This is also why God is referred to as 'infinite,' and it's because infinite quite literally means "a lack of definition."   God as a whole, by definition, is incapable of being observed, which again would refer to a posteriori knowledge.  Instead, God's existence can only be argued for/against based upon a priori knowledge, or knowledge that is independent of observation and experience.  As a result, invoking the FSM and space teapot is irrelevant because they're simply inapplicable -- a priori knowledge tells us that invoking an analogue of god requires invoking a formless entity, so you might as well just stick with the word 'god' and argue against that (else you're the one making arbitrary, irrelevant word substitutions).
 
You mention semantics, and a semantic argument is not necessarily unsound.  The reason is because language is not only a descriptor, but it is also that which is descripted -- always.  Absolutely anything that is described with language is also a language unto itself as it meets all criteria of the algebraic structure of language (i.e rules of syntax/law, content, and grammar that mediates between the two to make information meaningful).  Semantic arguments are simply a different type of argument, and they remain valid if consistent and applied in the appropriate context.  

To this end, again, you would be better off not trying to find an analogy to the 'god' concept at all.  Also, remember that all of this is only an argument for why the FSM and teapot are poor counterarguments to the assertion God exists, and not an argument for God's existence itself.

TL;DR: In a sentence, the FSM and teapot are invalid despite what you think of Russel because the proposition depends solely on observation, i.e. being able to prove the thing exists through empiricism, a method that's off-the-table for exploring the concept of God.
290  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 30, 2014, 02:32:14 PM

The FSM is meant to be an analogue of a polytheistic god, not a monotheistic one.  There's a huge difference between the two.  Same thing goes for the teapot orbiting Venus.

Could you source your argument for me? I couldn't find anywhere that the FSM is a polytheistic god. As a matter of fact, what I found seems to describe it as being a monotheistic one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

This is from the wiki:

Quote
Because of its popularity and exposure, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used as a contemporary version of Russell's teapot

Now, referring to the teapot...

Quote
Russell wrote that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong. Russell's teapot is still referred to in discussions concerning the existence of God.

So, there you go.  Likening FSM to a monotheistic god is stupid because FSM is likened to a teapot, and likening a teapot to a monotheistic god is also stupid.
That argument is a logical fallacy. First of all, using your argument, there is no need to differentiate between monotheistic or polytheistic gods, since your argument is simply to state that "it's stupid". Second, if anything, Russel's Teapot and the FSM are true examples of monotheistic gods, whereby those theologies make no mention of there being any other gods in existance. On the other hand, the chistian god (which I assume you are using as your example) is actually a fine example for a polytheistic god, as it is made up of a Holy Trinity, being the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the majority of god worshipping people on this planet would agree that the chirstian god is a false god, since they believe the real one to be a different god such as Allah or Buddha. (Actually Buddha is not seen as being a god, but you get my meaning.)

What exactly do you mean that my argument implies that there is no need to differentiate between mono- and polytheistic gods?  Of course you need to differentiate between the two, which is exactly why using space teapots and flying noodles as analogues to a monotheistic god is invalid.  My argument wasn't that it's stupid, it's that the FSM is likened to a teapot (i.e. a conditional event) which is then likened to a monotheistic god (i.e. a unconditionally necessary event).  I'm not just using the word 'stupid' without explaining why.

How is a space teapot or the FSM like a monotheistic god?  I'm not sure why you think this would be the case.  Monotheistic gods are often described as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.  If that's the case, it would be akin to being a fly on an elephant such that, no matter which empirical angle you select, you will never be able to observe the whole elephant in it's entirety.  This is why monotheistic gods are beyond the scope of empirical study.  A space teapot/FSM, however, is not.  Point the Hubble towards the sun's orbit and you will conclusively be able to determine whether a teapot exists there (same goes for FSM).

And I'm not specifically talking about the Christian god.  I don't belong to any religion.  I'm mostly going by the "omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent" definition of God which I find to be most common.
The word monotheism comes from the Greek monos, which means one, and theos, which means god. Thus, monotheism is a belief in the existence of a single god. Polytheism, is the belief in many gods. Neither definition specifies whether such gods need be "omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent" as there is no need for them to be as such. Therefore the teapot and FSM do qualify as being monotheistic gods in this respect.

Also, there is no need to liken the FSM to the teapot, just as there is no need to liken either of them to any other gods any more than there is a need to make any comparisons between Buddha and Allah. It was your choice to do so, but it was incorrect to assume it necessary to define any of them. Therefore I'd just like to reiterate, that the teapot and FSM are indeed monotheistic gods. Now if you like you can argue that they aren't as impressive as an "omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent" god, but that in itself does not make them any less valid, just less appealing to worship. BTW, since it is stated that the FSM is the one and only god and it did create the universe, I do believe it is just as worthy of being worshipped as much as any other god you may have in mind.

<edit> Wow, it's late. Good night all.  Smiley

Dictionary definition of God:

Quote
(in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
synonyms:   the Lord, the Almighty, the Creator, the Maker, the Godhead; Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh; (God) the Father, (God) the Son, the Holy Ghost/Spirit, the Holy Trinity;...

See that "creator and ruler of the Universe" part?   Yes, there is nothing about 'monotheistic' or 'polytheistic' that speaks to this, but that's where the word "god" comes in.  There is nothing about space teapots that says anything about being ruler of the Universe, but the word 'god' does.  Referring to the FSM and asserting it to be "the one and only god and [creator of] the universe" as you did, let me point out the obvious which is that the FSM, made of spaghetti, would need to be spaghetti before creating a Universe that catalyzes spaghetti, thus invoking a contradiction.  That's not a poor rebuttal, either, it's just your fault for selecting a bad analogy for comparison.

But, if all you're talking about is a semantic difference, then I can play that game, too.  I'll just set the term 'absolute truth' equal to 'god,' and since the existence of absolute truth is easily proven, thus god is proven.  If you want to arbitrarily set FSM and space teapots to 'god,' then I can do the same with the term 'absolute truth' by your method of reasoning.  
291  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 30, 2014, 07:17:50 AM

The FSM is meant to be an analogue of a polytheistic god, not a monotheistic one.  There's a huge difference between the two.  Same thing goes for the teapot orbiting Venus.

Could you source your argument for me? I couldn't find anywhere that the FSM is a polytheistic god. As a matter of fact, what I found seems to describe it as being a monotheistic one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

This is from the wiki:

Quote
Because of its popularity and exposure, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used as a contemporary version of Russell's teapot

Now, referring to the teapot...

Quote
Russell wrote that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong. Russell's teapot is still referred to in discussions concerning the existence of God.

So, there you go.  Likening FSM to a monotheistic god is stupid because FSM is likened to a teapot, and likening a teapot to a monotheistic god is also stupid.

What is being highlighted by those analogies is the lacking falsifiability of the theory of "God" theists often espouse.

But it's not a sound analogy because, first of all, we already know that a monotheistic god is completely off the table as far as empirical study goes; the scope of empiricism doesn't extend that far.  Second of all, there are different types of falsifiability and the empirical kind differs from the logical kind. 

Science yields a posteriori knowledge, i.e. knowledge derived from experience and empiricism.  However, philosophy yields a priori knowledge which is independent of both experience and empiricism.  Scientists often forget this type of knowledge exists, and in fact scientists rely on a priori knowledge upon which the scientific method is founded.

Therefore, the question shouldn't be one in terms of empirical falsifiability, which, while great for the teapot and FSM, cannot be reasonably applied to a monotheistic god.  Instead, the question is whether we have access to enough a priori knowledge to formulate conclusions about the Universe/God. 

So long as a "God" is said to impact "His" world, "His" world will try that impact. If it cannot, "He" was not.

There's no need to make the unnecessary assumption that God "says" anything at all.  First, we need to establish a method of exploring the God concept to determine whether it must exist by logical necessity. You took it a step further by invoking a secondary characteristic.  

But truly, there is really only one good starting point from which you can begin to explore the God concept, and that is to start working on a theory of theories themselves.  Absolutely every single definition that we have for anything is actually a theory of that thing.  For example, if you look up "apple" in the dictionary, that is essentially a theory of the apple...of the things that gives an apple its apple-ness that allows it to be distinguished from everything else.  So, it's only logical that we must start with a theory of theories so that we can know how the theories we create in our minds are related to the things we form theories about.

My criticism speaks to what "is said" about "God," not what could be said thereabout.

To clarify, are you referring to the problem of putting the cart before the horse, i.e asserting a definition before exploration (which is similar to the scientific limitations resulting from the problem of induction)?

I'm speaking to the difficulties of evidencing one's fiction.

Okay, then yes, you are referring to the problem of induction.  I agree, it's a problem because it implies you already know what something is before you've explored it.

There's a better approach.  It's described here: http://ctmu.org/

Click on the link, and then click "here" in the first bullet point that says, "Christopher Langan's article on the Theory of Theories, can be viewed here."
292  Other / Off-topic / Re: What are you going as for Halloween? on: October 30, 2014, 07:04:22 AM
I'm taping rolls of smarties candy to my pants and going as a smarty pants.
293  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 30, 2014, 07:02:33 AM

The FSM is meant to be an analogue of a polytheistic god, not a monotheistic one.  There's a huge difference between the two.  Same thing goes for the teapot orbiting Venus.

Could you source your argument for me? I couldn't find anywhere that the FSM is a polytheistic god. As a matter of fact, what I found seems to describe it as being a monotheistic one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

This is from the wiki:

Quote
Because of its popularity and exposure, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used as a contemporary version of Russell's teapot

Now, referring to the teapot...

Quote
Russell wrote that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong. Russell's teapot is still referred to in discussions concerning the existence of God.

So, there you go.  Likening FSM to a monotheistic god is stupid because FSM is likened to a teapot, and likening a teapot to a monotheistic god is also stupid.

What is being highlighted by those analogies is the lacking falsifiability of the theory of "God" theists often espouse.

But it's not a sound analogy because, first of all, we already know that a monotheistic god is completely off the table as far as empirical study goes; the scope of empiricism doesn't extend that far.  Second of all, there are different types of falsifiability and the empirical kind differs from the logical kind. 

Science yields a posteriori knowledge, i.e. knowledge derived from experience and empiricism.  However, philosophy yields a priori knowledge which is independent of both experience and empiricism.  Scientists often forget this type of knowledge exists, and in fact scientists rely on a priori knowledge upon which the scientific method is founded.

Therefore, the question shouldn't be one in terms of empirical falsifiability, which, while great for the teapot and FSM, cannot be reasonably applied to a monotheistic god.  Instead, the question is whether we have access to enough a priori knowledge to formulate conclusions about the Universe/God. 

So long as a "God" is said to impact "His" world, "His" world will try that impact. If it cannot, "He" was not.

There's no need to make the unnecessary assumption that God "says" anything at all.  First, we need to establish a method of exploring the God concept to determine whether it must exist by logical necessity. You took it a step further by invoking a secondary characteristic.  

But truly, there is really only one good starting point from which you can begin to explore the God concept, and that is to start working on a theory of theories themselves.  Absolutely every single definition that we have for anything is actually a theory of that thing.  For example, if you look up "apple" in the dictionary, that is essentially a theory of the apple...of the things that gives an apple its apple-ness that allows it to be distinguished from everything else.  So, it's only logical that we must start with a theory of theories so that we can know how the theories we create in our minds are related to the things we form theories about.

My criticism speaks to what "is said" about "God," not what could be said thereabout.

To clarify, are you referring to the problem of putting the cart before the horse, i.e asserting a definition before exploration (which is similar to the scientific limitations resulting from the problem of induction)?
294  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 30, 2014, 06:51:28 AM

The FSM is meant to be an analogue of a polytheistic god, not a monotheistic one.  There's a huge difference between the two.  Same thing goes for the teapot orbiting Venus.

Could you source your argument for me? I couldn't find anywhere that the FSM is a polytheistic god. As a matter of fact, what I found seems to describe it as being a monotheistic one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

This is from the wiki:

Quote
Because of its popularity and exposure, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used as a contemporary version of Russell's teapot

Now, referring to the teapot...

Quote
Russell wrote that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong. Russell's teapot is still referred to in discussions concerning the existence of God.

So, there you go.  Likening FSM to a monotheistic god is stupid because FSM is likened to a teapot, and likening a teapot to a monotheistic god is also stupid.
That argument is a logical fallacy. First of all, using your argument, there is no need to differentiate between monotheistic or polytheistic gods, since your argument is simply to state that "it's stupid". Second, if anything, Russel's Teapot and the FSM are true examples of monotheistic gods, whereby those theologies make no mention of there being any other gods in existance. On the other hand, the chistian god (which I assume you are using as your example) is actually a fine example for a polytheistic god, as it is made up of a Holy Trinity, being the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the majority of god worshipping people on this planet would agree that the chirstian god is a false god, since they believe the real one to be a different god such as Allah or Buddha. (Actually Buddha is not seen as being a god, but you get my meaning.)

What exactly do you mean that my argument implies that there is no need to differentiate between mono- and polytheistic gods?  Of course you need to differentiate between the two, which is exactly why using space teapots and flying noodles as analogues to a monotheistic god is invalid.  My argument wasn't that it's stupid, it's that the FSM is likened to a teapot (i.e. a conditional event) which is then likened to a monotheistic god (i.e. a unconditionally necessary event).  I'm not just using the word 'stupid' without explaining why.

How is a space teapot or the FSM like a monotheistic god?  I'm not sure why you think this would be the case.  Monotheistic gods are often described as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.  If that's the case, it would be akin to being a fly on an elephant such that, no matter which empirical angle you select, you will never be able to observe the whole elephant in it's entirety.  This is why monotheistic gods are beyond the scope of empirical study.  A space teapot/FSM, however, is not.  Point the Hubble towards the sun's orbit and you will conclusively be able to determine whether a teapot exists there (same goes for FSM).

And I'm not specifically talking about the Christian god.  I don't belong to any religion.  I'm mostly going by the "omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent" definition of God which I find to be most common.
295  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 30, 2014, 06:38:50 AM

The FSM is meant to be an analogue of a polytheistic god, not a monotheistic one.  There's a huge difference between the two.  Same thing goes for the teapot orbiting Venus.

Could you source your argument for me? I couldn't find anywhere that the FSM is a polytheistic god. As a matter of fact, what I found seems to describe it as being a monotheistic one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

This is from the wiki:

Quote
Because of its popularity and exposure, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used as a contemporary version of Russell's teapot

Now, referring to the teapot...

Quote
Russell wrote that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong. Russell's teapot is still referred to in discussions concerning the existence of God.

So, there you go.  Likening FSM to a monotheistic god is stupid because FSM is likened to a teapot, and likening a teapot to a monotheistic god is also stupid.

What is being highlighted by those analogies is the lacking falsifiability of the theory of "God" theists often espouse.

But it's not a sound analogy because, first of all, we already know that a monotheistic god is completely off the table as far as empirical study goes; the scope of empiricism doesn't extend that far.  Second of all, there are different types of falsifiability and the empirical kind differs from the logical kind. 

Science yields a posteriori knowledge, i.e. knowledge derived from experience and empiricism.  However, philosophy yields a priori knowledge which is independent of both experience and empiricism.  Scientists often forget this type of knowledge exists, and in fact scientists rely on a priori knowledge upon which the scientific method is founded.

Therefore, the question shouldn't be one in terms of empirical falsifiability, which, while great for the teapot and FSM, cannot be reasonably applied to a monotheistic god.  Instead, the question is whether we have access to enough a priori knowledge to formulate conclusions about the Universe/God. 

So long as a "God" is said to impact "His" world, "His" world will try that impact. If it cannot, "He" was not.

There's no need to make the unnecessary assumption that God "says" anything at all.  First, we need to establish a method of exploring the God concept to determine whether it must exist by logical necessity. You took it a step further by invoking a secondary characteristic.  

But truly, there is really only one good starting point from which you can begin to explore the God concept, and that is to start working on a theory of theories themselves.  Absolutely every single definition that we have for anything is actually a theory of that thing.  For example, if you look up "apple" in the dictionary, that is essentially a theory of the apple...of the things that gives an apple its apple-ness that allows it to be distinguished from everything else.  So, it's only logical that we must start with a theory of theories so that we can know how the theories we create in our minds are related to the things we form theories about.
296  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 30, 2014, 05:54:00 AM

The FSM is meant to be an analogue of a polytheistic god, not a monotheistic one.  There's a huge difference between the two.  Same thing goes for the teapot orbiting Venus.

Could you source your argument for me? I couldn't find anywhere that the FSM is a polytheistic god. As a matter of fact, what I found seems to describe it as being a monotheistic one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

This is from the wiki:

Quote
Because of its popularity and exposure, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used as a contemporary version of Russell's teapot

Now, referring to the teapot...

Quote
Russell wrote that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong. Russell's teapot is still referred to in discussions concerning the existence of God.

So, there you go.  Likening FSM to a monotheistic god is stupid because FSM is likened to a teapot, and likening a teapot to a monotheistic god is also stupid.

What is being highlighted by those analogies is the lacking falsifiability of the theory of "God" theists often espouse.

But it's not a sound analogy because, first of all, we already know that a monotheistic god is completely off the table as far as empirical study goes; the scope of empiricism doesn't extend that far.  Second of all, there are different types of falsifiability and the empirical kind differs from the logical kind. 

Science yields a posteriori knowledge, i.e. knowledge derived from experience and empiricism.  However, philosophy yields a priori knowledge which is independent of both experience and empiricism.  Scientists often forget this type of knowledge exists, and in fact scientists rely on a priori knowledge upon which the scientific method is founded.

Therefore, the question shouldn't be one in terms of empirical falsifiability, which, while great for the teapot and FSM, cannot be reasonably applied to a monotheistic god.  Instead, the question is whether we have access to enough a priori knowledge to formulate conclusions about the Universe/God. 
297  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 30, 2014, 05:13:40 AM

The FSM is meant to be an analogue of a polytheistic god, not a monotheistic one.  There's a huge difference between the two.  Same thing goes for the teapot orbiting Venus.

Could you source your argument for me? I couldn't find anywhere that the FSM is a polytheistic god. As a matter of fact, what I found seems to describe it as being a monotheistic one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

This is from the wiki:

Quote
Because of its popularity and exposure, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used as a contemporary version of Russell's teapot

Now, referring to the teapot...

Quote
Russell wrote that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong. Russell's teapot is still referred to in discussions concerning the existence of God.

So, there you go.  Likening FSM to a monotheistic god is stupid because FSM is likened to a teapot, and likening a teapot to a monotheistic god is also stupid.
298  Other / Meta / Re: I think trust system default should be set at 3 on: October 29, 2014, 09:19:15 PM
But them being inactive doesn't invalidate all their previous feedbacks. Some people who were marked as scammers could then be neutralised or even become green trusted. With regards to the negative left by Luke on bipolarbob, it was arguably a valid warning at the time, but it seems that his deals have been confirmed to be legit so it probably should be removed, but that's obviously up to him. Has anyone asked him to reconsider the feedback?

But a strong account that goes AWOL for a year and then returns is likely hacked or stolen.  And, if the account actually was abandoned for a year, then it could imply that the account isn't very important or strong after all, or at least that its owner doesn't seem to think so.  Additionally, the more that time goes on, you could argue that feedback isn't as applicable anymore as it's possible to imagine all sorts of things that could happen to a person to change they way they behave towards others.  I would naturally be suspicious of any strong account that goes offline for any significant period of time and suddenly reappears.  Accordingly, I would no longer trust them by default.
299  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 29, 2014, 08:43:10 PM

The FSM is meant to be an analogue of a polytheistic god, not a monotheistic one.  There's a huge difference between the two.  Same thing goes for the teapot orbiting Venus.
300  Other / Off-topic / Re: Scientific proof that God exists? on: October 29, 2014, 08:01:38 PM
These texts go deeper into Life, the Universe, and Everything, than just morality.

Not really.  When the bible was written people didn't know very much about the universe or anything else.   Wink

I actually seriously doubt this idea.  People 2000 years ago weren't dumb, and I'm guessing that, much in the same way that blind or deaf people compensate for their handicap in other ways, people likely had strong methods of learning and interpreting information in the absence of the scientific method.

Take, for example, the fact that the overwhelming majority of pharmaceutical information is obtained by Western researchers who obtain information about the medical properties of various plants from indigenous tribal cultures in isolated parts of the world.  These cultures don't utilize the scientific method but resort to more esoteric means of learning. The mystery as to how these cultures gained the knowledge is baffling to many professional academics.  

I dispute your "fact." I think the overwhelming majority of pharmaceutical information is obtained through chemistry and research, not from information from the medical properties of various plants used be indigenous tribal cultures in isolated parts of the world. I think you've taken a few isolated cases of that happening, and are now presenting them to be the norm. They're not.

I pulled that fact from The Cosmic Serpent which is a book written by a Stanford anthropologist who lived with these tribes for many months.  He was very skeptical at first but was convinced by the end that the means of knowledge acquisition adopted by these tribes is stunningly valid and accurate.  Specially he notes the number of Amazonian plant species (over 20,000) from which the tribes are somehow able to understand which plants ingredients to combine in order to produce a specific effect, such as in the discovery of MAOIs which are necessary in order for DMT drinks, e.g. ayuhuasca, to produce their desired hallucinogenic effects.  The chance randomly selecting the correct plants to combine is insanely improbable.

Edit:  Briefly edited for sloppiness due to iPhone
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