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The Spectrum Of Knowledge On Existence


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Let us question the existence of an entity:

 

entity exists, entity may or may not exist, or entity does not exist (*)

 

Let us reword statement (*)

 

I know entity exists, I may or may not know entity exists, or I do not know entity exists (*)

 

or

 

I know entity does not exist, I may or may not know entity does not exist, or I do not know entity does not exist (**)

 

Let us combine (*) and (**)

 

I know entity does/not exist, I may or may not know entity does/not exist, or I do not know entity does/not exit (***)

 

Let us define a spectrum of knowledge based on (***)

 

I do not know <=======I may or may not know========> I do know

 

Let us assume that "the entity does not exist" but the persons in the scenarios below do not know this

 

Scenario #1

 

The person says I have the absolute correct experiment to test the existence

 

I do not know====> experiment has not started

I may/not ======> experiment in progress

I do know ======> experiment has finished

 

this person will eventually conclude an opposite of reality (the assumption above). and he thinks he knows it. the problems is in the experiment (the method). not the testing (collecting and interpreting information).

 

Scenario #2

 

The person says I have a method that may or may not be correct

 

I do not know====> experiment has not started

I may/not ======> experiment in progress or experiment has finished

I do know ======> arrogance

 

this person will eventually conclude that he may/not know it exists (continuously reinforces his learning). or he will eventually conclude that he does know it exists which is opposite of the assumption. and he thinks he knows it.

 

==============================================

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of both scenarios?

 

In the sense that the main goal is "discover the truth" about the existence of the entity.

 

==============================================

 

Is knowledge really a measure of believing in terms of probability?

 

That is

 

"I know it exists" is equivalent to 100% probability "I believe it exists"

"I know it does not exists" is equivalent to 0% probability "I believe it exists"

"I know it may/not exist" is equivalent to finite% probability "I believe it exists"

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I'm a bit confused. Is this the same as your other thread, or is this a different discussion? If it is a different one, I must admit I really can't see it? Is it that you wanted to do the same argument but with formal logic and probability instead?

 

And I see a problem with your argument, and that is that "knowledge" isn't really straight forward most of the time. And when it comes to god, we're talking about "belief" rather than "knowledge". So I can see that what you want to do is to argue that we can know if god exists or not, and not only believe god to exist or not.

 

The problem with creating an experiment to test if God exists, is that it has to involve processes and technology outside of the universe. We have to have knowledge and understanding of what is non-universe and not-natural and even be able to go there, or probe into it. How do you propose such a test? A supernatural telescope? Basically, to prove god we have to be able to step outside the "box" of existence. We have to be able to become non-human, and non-physical. I'm not sure how that is possible, and yet bring back "knowledge" or "test results" from the "other side". So what is your test?

 

--edit--

 

Another problem is that tests and experiments not always truly give you a definite answer. You make a proposition, do a test to confirm it, but it's easy to forget the alternative answers or explanations to the experiment. For instance a "miracle" can many times be explained with natural means instead of supernatural. But for someone that want to prove the supernatural, the miracles will be the experiments and tests that proves their hypothesis.

 

So we have to establish a very strong foundation for our hypothesis and establish good tests and experiments that undeniable would prove gods existence or not. Now, consider that people have tried to do this for thousands of years, I don't think anything new suddenly is available today that would make this different.

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Let us assume that "the entity does not exist" but the persons in the scenarios below do not know this

 

 

Scenario #1

 

The person says I have the absolute correct experiment to test the existence

 

I do not know====> experiment has not started

I may/not ======> experiment in progress

I do know ======> experiment has finished

 

this person will eventually conclude an opposite of reality (the assumption above). and he thinks he knows it. the problems is in the experiment (the method). not the testing (collecting and interpreting information).

Well done... you've just described yourself...
Scenario #2

 

The person says I have a method that may or may not be correct

 

I do not know====> experiment has not started

I may/not ======> experiment in progress or experiment has finished

I do know ======> arrogance

 

this person will eventually conclude that he may/not know it exists (continuously reinforces his learning). or he will eventually conclude that he does know it exists which is opposite of the assumption. and he thinks he knows it.

Which does pretty well describing most Agnostics/Atheists and indeed Theists... however...

 

If the method is to find a specifically defined entity, and the evidence for said entity contradicts itself... then it becomes:

 

I do not know====> experiment has not started

I may/not ======> experiment in progress

I do know ======> experiment has finished

 

since evidence that contradicts itself is very obviously wrong... hence said entity can be said to not exist. That doesn't mean that all entities in the broad and non-specific definition the specified entity is from don't exist... just the one that was specified.

In the scenarios given above, you fail to give any kind of specific definition for the entity being looked for... which also means that the evidence for it would be broad and non-specific, leading to an amazing number of conclusions.

 

No matter what the methodology you use, unless you have a SPECIFIC DEFINITION that you are testing, you will never get a final answer.

 

 

That is the reason I describe myself as an Agnostic Atheist... I don't believe in God/s but I don't know for sure. Where it comes to YHWH and Allah though... the evidence for them is self-contradictory, thus I conclude they don't exist.

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Hawking claims to be a positivist. He holds that something can possibly be true, until he has seen evidence that contradicts the possibility. Then the posit has to be wrong. His assertions of the likely hood of a god are he doesn't discount the idea, but he's finding less and less for one to do. He regards books such as the Torah, the Bible and the Quran as little more than documents of tribal cults (internally inconsistent and thus obviously unreliable) where in a Hittite war god, a sun god and a lunar god all vie for being the 'one true god'...

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I thought that Descarte took skepticism to it's most extreme when he declared that the only thing whose existence he could not deny was his own existence. Cogito, sum.

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One of the defining moments of Western civilisation... I told the soup joke on another thread...

I suppose so Gramps. I'm not sure that I've heard the soup joke.

 

About Descarte though, many have criticized the split between psyche and soma. And I tend to resonate with their criticisms.

 

The point is, take what is good from a teacher and leave the rest behind.

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Let us assume that "the entity does not exist" but the persons in the scenarios below do not know this

 

 

Scenario #1

 

The person says I have the absolute correct experiment to test the existence

 

I do not know====> experiment has not started

I may/not ======> experiment in progress

I do know ======> experiment has finished

 

this person will eventually conclude an opposite of reality (the assumption above). and he thinks he knows it. the problems is in the experiment (the method). not the testing (collecting and interpreting information).

Well done... you've just described yourself...
Scenario #2

 

The person says I have a method that may or may not be correct

 

I do not know====> experiment has not started

I may/not ======> experiment in progress or experiment has finished

I do know ======> arrogance

 

this person will eventually conclude that he may/not know it exists (continuously reinforces his learning). or he will eventually conclude that he does know it exists which is opposite of the assumption. and he thinks he knows it.

Which does pretty well describing most Agnostics/Atheists and indeed Theists... however...

 

If the method is to find a specifically defined entity, and the evidence for said entity contradicts itself... then it becomes:

 

I do not know====> experiment has not started

I may/not ======> experiment in progress

I do know ======> experiment has finished

 

since evidence that contradicts itself is very obviously wrong... hence said entity can be said to not exist. That doesn't mean that all entities in the broad and non-specific definition the specified entity is from don't exist... just the one that was specified.

In the scenarios given above, you fail to give any kind of specific definition for the entity being looked for... which also means that the evidence for it would be broad and non-specific, leading to an amazing number of conclusions.

 

No matter what the methodology you use, unless you have a SPECIFIC DEFINITION that you are testing, you will never get a final answer.

 

 

That is the reason I describe myself as an Agnostic Atheist... I don't believe in God/s but I don't know for sure. Where it comes to YHWH and Allah though... the evidence for them is self-contradictory, thus I conclude they don't exist.

 

 

thank you very much. this is the type of criticism i was expecting. something constructive that i can learn from and that can stimulate further arguments.

 

most of the comments here are an attack on my faith and my intentions rather than attack on the subject.

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I thought that Descarte took skepticism to it's most extreme when he declared that the only thing whose existence he could not deny was his own existence. Cogito, sum.

Correction, I think it is: cogito, ergo sum. But anyhow, I think Descares was kind of wrong. If "thinking" is a premise to exist, then trees don't exist. I think the reverse is more true, that I think because that I exist. "I exist, therefore I think". But of course that doesn't hold either, because that would mean trees must be able to think, since they exist. Anywho, it all boils down to the issue of what awareness and cognition really is, and as long as we don't fully understand that, how can we claim anything to be really such or such. Something is only true within its framework and context.

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Let's cut to the quick. It seems to me (and I may be reading into it) that this discussion really revolves around the mis-use of "atheist" to mean a positive assurtion that "god" does not and cannot exist (ie atheists are claiming absolute knowledge about something that cannot be assertained absolutely).

 

In fact, except for the most extreme cases, "atheist" would be better defined as: "I don't know if there's a god or not, but I have yet to see any evidence strong enough to support such a claim."

 

Like mentioned before, it goes back to definitions. "God" is a very broad term concept and as such cannot be completely falsified. Yahweh or Zues are specific in their characterists, etc so you can test against these to see if they hold water.

 

So far: Christian God = 0-1% certainty in my estimation (notice it's NOT "0%", there's always the possiblity).

 

Only fundamentalists (of any stripe) would assume they know anything to 100% certainty.

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I thought that Descarte took skepticism to it's most extreme when he declared that the only thing whose existence he could not deny was his own existence. Cogito, sum.

Correction, I think it is: cogito, ergo sum. But anyhow, I think Descares was kind of wrong. If "thinking" is a premise to exist, then trees don't exist. I think the reverse is more true, that I think because that I exist. "I exist, therefore I think". But of course that doesn't hold either, because that would mean trees must be able to think, since they exist. Anywho, it all boils down to the issue of what awareness and cognition really is, and as long as we don't fully understand that, how can we claim anything to be really such or such. Something is only true within its framework and context.

I've been corrected several times on this. Some say it was "Cogito, sum." Some say it was "Cogito ergo sum." I have no basis on which to judge one correct over the other.

 

I agree with your assertion that an understanding of mind is both important and lacking. What entails mind? What does mind entail and why? What is consciousness? I don't believe we really know at this point. I've heard one theoretical biologist that I admire say, "Life is to organism as mind is to brain."

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The point is, take what is good from a teacher and leave the rest behind.

Words of wisdom! :17:

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I've been corrected several times on this. Some say it was "Cogito, sum." Some say it was "Cogito ergo sum." I have no basis on which to judge one correct over the other.

The only main difference is that one say "I think, I am" and the other "I think, therefor I am".

 

(edit) I just looked it up, and someone said that Descartes first stated "cogito sum" and then later "cogito ergo sum". So I guess both works. :)

 

I agree with your assertion that an understanding of mind is both important and lacking. What entails mind? What does mind entail and why? What is consciousness? I don't believe we really know at this point. I've heard one theoretical biologist that I admire say, "Life is to organism as mind is to brain."

Yup. And that's why I can't understand even a statement that assert that we have some kind of ability to figure out (or test) if there is a god or not. It's like a person that lived his whole life inside a box, and never seen the outside of the box, and you would ask him: "what color is the box on the outside?" How can he know? How can he even begin to figure out a way to get that knowledge? Even worse, lets say it is a blind person living his whole life in that box. Now tell him that the box is blue and you have proof for it. Should he believe you or not? Can he even experience blue, and a blue-ness of the outside of the box he's never been outside of?

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thank you very much. this is the type of criticism i was expecting. something constructive that i can learn from and that can stimulate further arguments.

 

most of the comments here are an attack on my faith and my intentions rather than attack on the subject.

 

You just didn't ask the right question, or had difficulty expressing your thoughts.

 

This is more in line with scientific discovery, however, as stated before in the thread, it's still too vague to come up with any valuable information. A worthy excersize, but nothing of real value will come without more specific information.

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