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Everything posted by WalterP

  1. Well Edgarcito, I'm very glad that I can't and won't make your kind of leap of faith. I could never look myself in the mirror again if I did that. Writing off millions of drowning babies and pregnant women as evil and deserving of agonizing death... ...while loving, praising and excusing the 'pure, holy and eternally good' agent of their pain and suffering? No. Not for me.
  2. I can't help you can't keep up at your age....the mental leaps. We are subject to whatever...God, the Universe, something larger. Likewise, there are things subject to us. I'm just saying that within your own righteousness, you have probably killed an ant, as God has, some evil human. You understood the ant could sting, God understands the capabilities of man. The problem is you are projecting your moral subjectivity on to a larger... --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- According to the book of Genesis god DID step on every ant human in the world, except for Noah's family. I certainly can't keep up with the mental leap required to accept that this was within his righteousness.
  3. Leia, I wish you well. Thank you. Walter.
  4. Hello Leia. I hope you won’t mind my relating a true story to you. The story is true because its my story. Many years ago, I was betrayed by someone who was a very good friend and close confidant. His act of betrayal hurt me terribly and had very bad consequences for me on personal, familial and financial levels. I’ve never spoken to him again and I avoid all contact with him, even though we still live in the same area. Fast forward five years and I was working in a department of local government and I had access to confidential records and information about tens of thousands of people living in the area. One day the thought came to me to use my access privileges and interrogate the computer system about my ex-friend. Acting on a malevolent impulse I called up his details and covertly wrote them down in my pocket diary. “Perhaps I can (mis)use this data in some way to pay him back and hurt him as much (or more) as he hurt me?” I thought to myself. I made no changes to his data on the system and since I was allowed to access this kind of data, none of my colleagues or superiors were suspicious. Leia, by doing this I had become the very thing he was – a betrayer of trust. I had broken the Official Secrets Act, several Data protection laws and betrayed the trust placed in me by my employers. I’m not proud of this, btw. I’m ashamed of myself. Now let’s fast forward another five years. My marriage was going through a difficult time and my wife and I used the services of counselors, both separately and together. In one of my solo consultations my counselor Karen asked me if there were any baggage (secrets or burdens) from my past that might be weighing upon me and affecting my marriage. We dealt with several and then, on my last solo session with Karen, I put a piece of paper on her desk. This was the page from my diary with the stolen data about my old enemy written on it. I explained everything to her and said that I wanted to unburden myself of it. She understood and promised me that she would destroy it without looking at its information. I’m relating this story to you Leia, not to lecture or judge you, but to offer you a gentle warning about the effects that revenge can have upon a person. There’s an old Chinese proverb that goes something like this. “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig TWO graves. One for your enemy and one for yourself.” I sincerely and genuinely ask you to not walk down the road of revenge. Please do as I did and turn away before its too late. Turning away doesn’t necessarily mean forgiving or forgetting. I haven’t forgotten what was done to me, nor have I really forgiven him. But at least I’ve chosen not to repay the harm he did to me by hurting him back. There are other ways. Please reconsider your plans before you come to harm. Thank you. Walter.
  5. Edgarcito, Once again you've got the wrong end of the stick. Three times now I've explained to you, with quotes, that I, WalterP, an ordinary member of this forum, have no right or authority to limit inquiry in this forum. For your benefit, I'll try and explain again what is actually happening. You can believe anything you like, but when you submit evidence to support your beliefs, your evidence will be considered persuasive by us only if it falls within certain parameters. So we are limiting our belief, not yours. Do you see that now? Thank you. Walter.
  6. If the idea of controlling subjectivity is insanity to you, Edgarcito... Then there can't really be much point in you trying to remove it in your work, can there? Which is what you said you do for 60 hours a week. Posted Tuesday at 08:21 PM I understand that you are saying science is used to remove the subjectivity. I do this about 10 hours a day, six days a week......got that part. Outside of Ex-C, perhaps you should quit your job now, telling your employers that, because your human subjectivity can never be compensated for, everything you do for them is useless? Inside of Ex-C, perhaps if you once again accused me of being condescending to you, that might help to cover up the fact that you've contradicted yourself? How's your conscience, btw? Walter.
  7. Not so. The Moderators want the goalposts of this forum to be as wide as the ones successfully used in law and in science to manage and control subjectivity. That's why this thread now exists. To let visiting Christians and other believers that they can expect to find these entirely reasonable goalposts in this forum. But, putting that aside now Edgarcito, lets return to these questions. 1. In your life and in your work, do you use the same units as other people do? 2. Do you do this by conscious and deliberate agreement? Thank you. Walter.
  8. Hmmm.... Edgarcito wants them as w---i---d---e as the entire universe. I only want them as wide as his part of west Texas. This wide... west Texas TF.... a small city, 100K folks....on the edge of the desert essentially that is far west Texas. Our natural trees reach ten to 30 feet where 100 miles west of here, they are 3 to 6 feet. We have a historic cavalry fort, Ft. Concho, that is part of our claim to fame. Big beer country.
  9. No, Edgarcito. I haven't imposed anything upon you. My argument is that in your work and in your life you use the same units as other people do and that you do this by conscious and deliberate agreement. But it looks like you want to deny and dispute that. So, I'll just go ahead and ask you for direct answers to these direct questions. 1. In your life and in your work, do you use the same units as other people do? 2. Do you do this by conscious and deliberate agreement? Thank you. Walter.
  10. You are missing the point, Edgarcito. Regardless of whether the units we have are entirely arbitrary, derived from something or set in stone, you abide by them in your work and in everything you do in your life. And if you abide by them outside of this forum, why won't you abide by them inside this forum? That's the elephant in the room. Why won't you?
  11. Ok Prof, I see where you're going. But there really is no wriggle room for Edgarcito to occupy. Whatever system of units he chooses to use, his choice stops right there. Inches, metres, furlongs, cubits... it doesn't really matter what measure he uses to gather evidence. First off, he didn't exercise any freedom of choice in determining what an inch or a centimetre actually is. That was chosen for him. Second, he can't choose how one system converts to another, he can't choose the ratios of the various units to each other and he can't choose how they relate to universal physical constants. Finally, his hands are tied in another way too. Part of his work is to share evidence with other people and to do that he has to surrender his unlimited personal choice and agree terms with others. If he reports things in units they can't understand or won't accept then he has to toe someone else's line and not his own. The same goes if he chooses to have 12 inches in a foot in today's report and 13 in tomorrow's. His evidence will be rejected and once again he'll have to toe some else's line and not his own. No choice! His belief in unlimited personal choice in evidence-gathering and evidence-sharing is a baseless fantasy. Thank you. Walter.
  12. I hear you Edgarcito and I know just what you're referring to. But please consider this. When we Ex-Christians and unbelievers hear people of different faiths say that they see scientific vindication of the Bible, whom are we to believe? Muslims can make just as good a scientific case as Christians for Allah being the true creator of everything. There are passages in the Quran that seem to agree very well with modern cosmology. As someone deeply into cosmology I've checked them out. So then, who is the creator? Jesus Christ or Allah the Compassionate and the Merciful? We Ex-Christians and unbelievers have no reliable way of deciding who has the better claim. Why? Because both the Christians and the Muslims are interpreting science through the lens of their faith. But science is totally agnostic when it comes to anything supernatural, theological or religious. It was never meant to be interpreted from a faith-based standpoint. Therefore, just as science is agnostic about this, so are we. Which means that we have no choice but to dismiss any and all faith-based interpretations of science. Because we cannot choose which of the many contenders is the right one, we opt to reject them all. Can you see, how, in the face of many competing claims we are obliged to reject them all until the conditions described by Christof Koch are met? https://alleninstitute.org/what-we-do/brain-science/about/team/staff-profiles/christof-koch/ Unless there is extraordinary, compelling objective evidence to the contrary, I see no reason to abandon this assumption. Extraordinary and compelling objective evidence, Edgarcito. Not anecdotal evidence. Not subjective evidence. Not a faith-based interpretation of science. Not the words of a holy book written long ago. Objective evidence. That's what we want to see. Thank you. Walter.
  13. But what I hear you saying is that we may not use anecdotal evidence as a tool in science, even for inquiry. Could you please elaborate? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ok Edgarcito, now I'll have a go at explaining this. Of course anecdotal evidence is a useful tool for science. What patients relate to their doctors is vital in the making of an accurate diagnosis. But anecdotal evidence on it's own, unsupported by other, independent evidence fails the twin tests of Relevance and Reliability. Please go to the sections on Relevance and Reliability in this thread. https://www.ex-christian.net/topic/83166-a-notice-to-christians-visiting-the-lions-den/ To continue the medical scenario, a doctor cannot directly feel a patients pain, but can establish that they are in pain by various means. He can listen to what they tell him and how they describe the sensation, he can observe them (are they pale, sweating, crying out, etc.) and he can also run various tests that might indicate they are in pain. But what he cannot do is to experience their pain as they experience it. Their subjective and personal experiences are only relevant to themselves, not to him and not to any other person. When it comes to reliability there are many problems when it comes to anecdotal evidence. Patients can be confused, suffer from memory loss, speak a different language to the doctor or be hiding certain symptoms. (My mother was notorious for this, btw.) Therefore, anecdotal evidence that isn't supported by independent indicators of reliability fails the test of Reliability. Independent indicators would be things like blood tests, brain scans and such like. These are independent of the patient themselves and so don't suffer from problems like confusion, memory loss, etc. So you see Edgarcito, anecdotal evidence is ok up to a point and is useful in many areas of science. But when it's subjective and intimately personal anecdotal evidence, it simply isn't relevant to anyone except the evidence-giver. Nor is it reliable because instead of being independent of the evidence-giver, it is totally dependent on the evidence-giver. Thank you. Walter.
  14. Hello Edgarcito. For the record, I never said that. Furthermore, I have no right and no authority to say what may or may not be used as evidence, either in this forum or outside of it. You've accused me of doing that more than once and each time I've pointed out that I cannot and will not do that. https://www.ex-christian.net/topic/83166-a-notice-to-christians-visiting-the-lions-den/ If you look at my opening post of the above thread you'll read these words. Hello and welcome to the Lion’s Den. This message is designed to help visitors with how this part of the forum functions and it covers some issues that frequently crop up here. These are the Burden of Proof, the test of Relevance and the test of Reliability. Visiting Christians and people of other faiths can expect to encounter these issues in the Den, so please read on and learn about them. Thank you. If you look at my May 7 post of this thread you'll read these words. Posted May 7 For the sake of transparency, clarity and the understanding of my fellow members I'd just like to explain the purpose this notice. If you go to the Lion's Den main page you'll see that the list of threads is topped with six pinned threads. Three of them were initiated by me, WalterP. I can say nothing much about the other three, but I can say this about mine. The Failed Cosmology of William Lane Craig and William Lane Craig and the BGV were pinned by the Moderators because their content was deemed to have an ongoing relevance to the members of this forum. The Notice to Christians Visiting the Lions Den was pinned because its content was also deemed to have an ongoing relevance to the members. As I have been at pains to explain, the notice is simply an advisory and nothing more. Even though it was pinned with the blessing of the Moderators it does not give them (or me) any special power or authority to limit or control anything written by anyone in the Den. I hope this is now clear. Thank you. Walter. That covers matters inside this forum. When it comes to matters outside this forum I can assure you that I have no right or authority to enforce anything, anywhere. So, please, can you stop accusing me of trying to limit what evidence is submitted in Ex-C. Christians and other religious people can submit whatever they like as evidence. All that advisory is doing is ADVISING them that we expect their evidence to meet certain standards. It's up to them to heed or ignore that advice. Thank you. Walter.
  15. Your point is well made and well taken, TRNP. Thank you for making it. What I was trying to do (however well or badly) was to make Edgarcito aware that when it comes to evidence-gathering and evidence-sharing in science he doesn't have unlimited personal choice. Even taking American Exceptionalism into account he still has no choice but to use the units of measurement that his job requires. He has no choice when it comes how many ounces there are in a pound, how many degrees there are in the Fahrenheit scale, where boiling point and freezing point are on that scale, how that scale converts to other scales, what the ratios are between inches and feet, and so on. He can't exercise unlimited personal choice and choose have 13 inches in a foot today, 9 tomorrow and 14 next week. Nor can he choose how he records these units and how he reports them to others, varying the quantities and ratios, hour by hour or day by day. I was trying to get him to see that, every day, in his life and in his work, he doesn't have a completely free hand to choose how to record and report evidence. But when he arrives here he passionately pleads to be allowed to freely choose what constitutes evidence - in total contradiction to the way he works and thinks outside of Ex-C. I really can't say if he sees that now or if seeing it, he can't accept that the rules of evidence apply just as much in this forum as they do outside of it. Anyway, i hope this clarifies what I was trying to do, Prof. Thank you. Walter.
  16. No offence taken, Edgarcito. I like Devon, especially Salcombe, and after this lockdown is fully lifted my wife and I might be driving down that way. For the record, in this thread I'm taking the same approach as I did in this one. https://www.ex-christian.net/topic/83166-a-notice-to-christians-visiting-the-lions-den/ I don't have the power or authority to enforce anything. If asked questions I will respond accordingly. It's up to others if they are persuaded by my replies, or not. I'm sorry if you dislike my attitude. I don't discuss with ardent fervour - I try to confine myself to the facts, to reason and to logic. Thank you. Walter.
  17. Ok Myrkhoos. I see that now and I have no quibble with your point. If anything, we agree. Since humans share a great deal in common and occupy the same 'bubble' as each other, it's hardly surprising that two different people can relate to one another empathically. Even with our limited, biased and flawed senses one person can readily empathize with another. Our evolution has supplied us with this latent ability and some people can express it better than others. Our natural capacity for empathy is a powerful argument for the unity and commonality of all humans. Thank you. Walter.
  18. Science accounts for (but does not eliminate) the subjectivity of humans by the process I've already explained, Edgarcito. By collective and common agreement. Science can only address and investigate the natural universe. Therefore it is agnostic regarding to the existence of a human soul. Science acknowledges the existence of faith, hatred, longing, sadness and joy, but as Koch eloquently described, it works under the assumption that all these things are natural products of the workings of the human brain. I'm not asking you to buy anything, btw. You've made it abundantly clear that you will not accept my reasoned and reasonable arguments as a matter of personal choice, not because my arguments are flawed. But aren't you going to try and argue that science isn't historically successful and reliable in your life and in your work? Thank you. Walter.
  19. That is, more or less, Edgarcito's approach, midniterider. He won't accept the framework that science successfully uses to get reliable results. So he rejects it.
  20. Your body will come to the same repeatability/reproducibility as mine will in the following scenario. If I try to fly by jumping off the Empire State Building I will die. If you try and do the same, you will die in the same way. We both performed the same experiment and the same result was reproduced. There are many, many examples where you and I, doing the same things, will achieve the same results. Your claim is therefore false. Thank you. Walter.
  21. Science standardizes evidence-gathering by the use of SI units and by every scientist agreeing to use common standards and common methodologies. It also standardizes evidence-sharing by using SI units, peer review and agreement among scientists to all use common standards and common methodologies. Because all scientists are (metaphorically) singing off the same hymn sheet in evidence-gathering and evidence-sharing, subjectivity is not eliminated, but managed and controlled. I shouldn't have to keep making this point over and over again, Edgarcito. Just look at the history of science and look at how science influences your life every day. It's clearly successful, clearly gets results and is clearly reliable. So, I'll ask you this. Would you like to argue against these historically proven facts? Well?
  22. You are not following the argument, Edgarcito. I'm sorry, but this is not a condescending comment on my part, it's a realistic description of what's happening in this thread. I do have an answer and I have answered ALL of your points and questions so far. Subjectivity is not removed in science - that would be impossible. Instead, science manages and controls subjectivity by the use of common agreement. I am sorry that you just can't seem to see that. Thank you. Walter.
  23. Edgarcito, Despite your accusation, in fact, I HAVE demonstrated how science controls and manages subjectivity. It does so by common agreement among scientists. I've also demonstrated that this method works by alluding to the history of science and the ongoing successes of it in our lives. The methodology of common agreement clearly works - it's just that you can't accept that it does. Your inability (or unwillingness) to accept what is plainly obvious to us all is very sad. But if you can argue that science doesn't or can't successfully deal with subjectivity, good luck with that. Thank you. Walter.
  24. I've just answered Mykhoos and there was nothing dismissive in my reply. The term 'soft' is not a disparagement but a way of differentiating between those sciences that can measure reality using SI units and those that can't. Thank you. Walter.
  25. You raise an excellent point, Myrkhoos. What about the 'soft' sciences of archaeology, anthropology, psychology, economics and sociology? What they attempt to describe cannot be readily measured in SI units. Nor can empathy. Please give me a little time to find what I need and I'll get back to you on this. Thank you. Walter. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello again Mykhoos. The June edition of Scientific American features an article on Near Death Experiences by Christof Koch. https://alleninstitute.org/what-we-do/brain-science/about/team/staff-profiles/christof-koch/ I won't go into the meat of the article, but instead draw your attention to how Koch approaches NDE's, which are, of course, things that can't be measured by SI units. I accept the reality of these intensely felt experiences. They are as authentic as any other subjective feeling or perception. As a scientist, however, I operate under the hypothesis that all our thoughts, memories, percepts and experiences are an ineluctable consequence of the natural causal powers of our brain rather than of any supernatural ones. That premise has served science and its hand-maiden, technology, extremely well over the past few centuries. Unless there is extraordinary, compelling objective evidence to the contrary, I see no reason to abandon this assumption. The challenge, then, is to explain NDEs within a natural framework. His approach would probably be very similar if he were investigating the human capacity for empathy. Koch would proceed on the scientific assumption that empathy is real to those feeling it, but empathy itself originates in the entirely natural processes within the human brain. His approach would probably be the same for anthropologists, sociologists and other practitioners of the 'soft' sciences. They would probably acknowledge the personal and subjective reality of what was being related to them. They would not dismiss these things as false, because they couldn't be measured by a machine. Does that help, Myrkoos? Thank you. Walter.
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