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Second guessing has it's place in anyone's life, and it can be a good means of correcting ourselves and our philosophies.  However doubt has no foundation to build on.  What it's good at is tearing down a person's convictions, trust, and even hopes down until there is nothing left.

 

If the doubt has merit so be it.  But what about the times when doubt doesn't have merit.  When a person doesn't act on a relationship because "how do I know, really know, that they love me..."  Or when a person is crippled with indecision, "I just can't be sure which is the right choice..."  Or even a question of what they see, hear, taste or any other measure of our senses. Like telling a witness "memories are unreliable are you sure this is the man you saw?"  The last example could potentially let a guilty man walk free if a convincing lawyer made a witness question their own testimony to the point they question if they know what they had for breakfast last week.  My point is that there are times when doubt holds no cause and no merit.

 

Yet when it comes to things people disagree with the doctrine of doubt is usually one of the first tactics that come up.  "Are you sure," "how do you know," "there's no way to validate that..."  Or even to go to the point of ridiculous hypotheticals to try to make a point and seed some doubt in a person's mind.  I hear some wacky ones around voting time to say what might happen if the other guy gets into office.  

 

The doctrine of doubt (and it can be considered a doctrine because often the same lines are used over and over again, just applied to different a subject matter) can have merit though as well.  To point out a real falsehood by looking at real inconsistencies, or to help a person out of blind love and see the person in front of them for who they really might be instead of who you imagine them to be, or several other situations that are common but not too common.

 

Nonetheless there is one thing I have to say.  More often then not doubt is used opportunistically and hypocritically.  Creating a standard to doubt that nothing can live up to, and applying the standards of doubt only to things they disagree with or to people they want to be rid of.  (Think of a man or woman seducing another person while also trying to convince them that their current spouse is no good for them).

 

To sum it up, my thoughts are that you can not build on anything with doubt.  It is not a foundation.  Therefore if you apply doubt it will either tear down everything, or it will be used with a measured restraint, only applied when you see a cause for it.  Or it will be used hypocritically when there's an opportunity.

 

In other words a person needs to find the things in the world that are reliable and a solid foundation.  People or ideas that they can depend on and rely on.

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An interesting line of thought - but is it wise to start another topic while one is in full swing? 

 

If only one or two of us were engaging with you at once it would be ok. However, I think you are carrying on something in the order of 7 conversations in the other thread - not going to stretch yourself too thin?

 

On a quick note about doubting memories being potentially bad. Memory is fairly unreliable. This is not a remarkable claim. One only has to have played Chinese whispers as a child to understand the truth of the statement. And if one is observant during their adult life they will note peoples memories do not match actual recorded events. Again this is well documented. So we have every reason to draw into question a witnesses testimony. 

 

One area this topic pops up is regarding the reliability of the Gospels. Can these eyewitness testimonies be counted as reliable? Well not really. They are not eye witness testimonies for one. They are at best second or third hand retelling of stories. They are not written in the form of Paul's letter where he say's "I heard the lords voice," or John the revelator where he said "I was on the Isle of Patmos". So if we have good reason not to trust eyewitness memory shortly after an event, then something written down decades after the events, quite possibly by people who were not eye witnesses and you have the perfect Chinese whisper... or Judaic whisper... or Christian whisper. 

 

On doubt I'm not sure I agree with you. Something is off about what you are saying. I prefer to have, as one of my life tools, a healthy dose of skepticism. (Which incidentally, should not be confused with cynicism.) Being skeptical of claims employs doubt to an extent, but its not the same as just saying "I doubt that". We employ doubt all the time, and it helps keep us alive, and from believing stupid shit.

 

Out of time for now. 

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Back up a step.  It sounds like you are assuming that people who do not believe as you do are “building on a foundation of doubt.”  Rubbish.  Our beliefs are based on what we perceive.  We see lots of falsehoods and contradictions in the bible, for example.  We see that prayers are answered at random, without any evidence of divine providence.  We do not see any miraculous healing of IED victims that are blown to pieces.  So we do not believe as you do.


If you were accosted in the street by hare krishnas who insisted that total devotion to krishna was the path to salvation, would you have any doubt?  Now you know what it is like for us to be preached to by you.


p.s.  You are free to respect or disrespect whatever you want.

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1 hour ago, LogicalFallacy said:

An interesting line of thought - but is it wise to start another topic while one is in full swing? 

 

 

Perhaps your right.  However I feel strongly that a person should offer more to a conversation then just doubt.  If they do not intend to do so in that other conversation then I think they should be pointed out the pitfalls of that hypocritical and opurtunistic stance.

1 hour ago, LogicalFallacy said:

On a quick note about doubting memories being potentially bad. Memory is fairly unreliable.

 

I disagree.  Memory might not get all the details correct but I'd argue that it gets the job done fairly well, most of the time.  One other interesting point I heard once was that nowadays holding a reliable memory has becoming a lost skill.  Back before the printing press, and mass produced ink and paper, people had to remember more just because there wasn't an alternative.  I don't know if that claim could ever be tested, but it is interesting and thought provoking.

 

Regarding the bible, I've heard that the bible is held to more scrunity then any other ancient text.   With that in mind it is held to higher standards and still comes out fairly well.  With that in mind that makes the bible more reliable then any other text that we have of ancient times.  If you want to doubt the gospels and the other texts in the bible, you should look for other reasons then the time it was recorded after the events.

 

1 hour ago, LogicalFallacy said:

On doubt I'm not sure I agree with you. Something is off about what you are saying. I prefer to have, as one of my life tools, a healthy dose of skepticism. (Which incidentally, should not be confused with cynicism.) Being skeptical of claims employs doubt to an extent, but its not the same as just saying "I doubt that". We employ doubt all the time, and it helps keep us alive, and from believing stupid shit.

 

Having skeptisism as a tool is something I can agree with.  But not skeptism to the point of blinding doubt or deafening cynicism.  It has it's place.  But no foundation can be built out of a person's doubt.  They need to have a foundation that they don't continually throw doubt at while they do the same thing throwing doubt at the things they disagree with.  It is with that observation that I call doubt a doctrine of opurtunistic hypocrisy.

 

1 hour ago, TEG said:

Our beliefs are based on what we perceive. 

 

Is that so?  And those who also base their beliefs on what they perceive?  No, they are deluded aren't they?  Rubbish indeed!

 

You our are also free to disrespect whatever you want.  Thank God we live in the US (for those of us that do) instead of China who polices everything, or in an Islamic country that actively hunts down people of different thoughts.

 

if you think I am accosting you though @TEG, you can always let the conversations with me go.  The Internet is full of things to focus on that could be a better use of your focus without me assaulting you as you see it.  Or you can go the extra measure and ask for me to leave.  See if that works too.

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It's funny.  Because every christian who comes here ends up getting backed into a corner, can't/won't answer our questions, and then tries to change the subject.  Here we have a whole new thread... right on schedule.

 

By the way, @Lost_more_then_Once, do you hate your father and mother; or do you honor them?

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The doctrine of doubt (as you call it, LmtO) is the basis of most of your life.

 

You may not agree with that statement, but here are just two ways that doubt profoundly influences your life on a daily basis.

 

LAW

The basis of all laws in properly functioning democracies is doubt, not certainty.   That's why, when someone accused of a crime, they are presumed innocent until the court reaches a verdict.  This presumption is not a state of certainty - it is a state of doubt.  The guilt or innocence of the defendant remains unknown to the court (i.e., in a state of doubt) until such time as the evidence decides the issue.  Then a verdict is pronounced and doubt is replaced by 'certainty'.  

 

Even then, this state of certainty is not absolute or perfect - it is provisional and tentative.  Why?  Because humans are fallible and their testimony can be warped by prejudice, conflict of interest, poor memory or simple error of judgement.  Another reason why a court's verdict is not an absolute certainty is that new evidence may overturn a previous judgement.  A court session that opens with the verdict already being decided (i.e., a state of certainty) is no more than a kangaroo court, conducting a show trial for its own ends. 

 

I assume that you live in the United States, LmtO?  If so, then if you were accused of a crime and put on trial, wouldn't your fate be in a state of doubt?  And isn't this state of doubt something that is guaranteed by your Constitution?  Isn't this a right enshrined in law for your protection?  And wouldn't you want your fate to be in a state of doubt until the court pronounces judgement upon you?  Or would you waive your right to be presumed innocent?  Somehow I doubt it.

 

SCIENCE

The basis of the scientific method is doubt, not certainty.  Scientists are never certain about anything they observe, test, measure or experiment on.  A common misconception about science is that it proves things.  This is false.  Only one discipline of science does that.  Mathematics.  No other branch of science proves anything.  Why?  There are a number of reasons.  Human error, instrumental error, insufficient data and poor methodology are just a few.  These links can describe why there are no proofs in science (aside from Math) much more eloquently than I can.  Please read them and understand that certainty (i.e., proof) is not the currency of science.  Doubt is. 

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200811/common-misconceptions-about-science-i-scientific-proof

http://theconversation.com/wheres-the-proof-in-science-there-is-none-30570

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/11/22/scientific-proof-is-a-myth/#7dca891e2fb1

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Proof

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_evidence#Concept_of_scientific_proof

https://www.nsta.org/publications/news/story.aspx?id=52402

 

Your life is influenced by science every moment of every day.  You are using technology (the fruit of the scientific method) right now to read these words.  Where you live, where you travel, the money in your bank and the decisions you make every day rely intimately upon science and technology.  You cannot get away from this fact and you'd be foolish to deny it.  But, as we have just seen, science is built upon a foundation of doubt, not certainty.  Therefore, everything that science has given you and that you rely upon is also built upon doubt and not upon certainty.  

 

 

 

LmtO, you may well be certain about things within your own life, your thoughts and your feelings.  That's fine.  But it would be a category error on your part to conclude that your private and subjective certainties apply to anyone else in any way.  Nor do they apply to the objective reality we all share in. That which is subjective is not that which is objective.  As I have demonstrated with my two above examples, we all (collectively) live in a state of doubt, not certainty.  

 

You may choose to deny this.  However, I very much doubt (there's that word again!) that you can make a case against the two examples I've described.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

 

To sum it up, my thoughts are that you can not build on anything with doubt.  It is not a foundation.  Therefore if you apply doubt it will either tear down everything, or it will be used with a measured restraint, only applied when you see a cause for it.  Or it will be used hypocritically when there's an opportunity.

 

In other words a person needs to find the things in the world that are reliable and a solid foundation.  People or ideas that they can depend on and rely on.

 

I tend to agree that radical skepticism isn't particularly helpful, but I think it's misleading to say that doubt must be used with "measured restraint". We do need to start our reasoning somewhere, and so I think it is correct to say that we need to identify certain foundational principles which we hold beyond doubt. Once these are identified, we can use them to reach further conclusions.  I've been trying to do this over here:

 

 

This kind of approach still leaves lots of room for doubt. It doesn't do with it at all,  it just provides a framework for answering certain kinds of skeptical questions. Another key thing to realize is that this kind of foundation does arise out of skepticism. We doubt everything that we can,  until we reach the things that we find it either impossible to doubt, or just impossible to do without in spite of our doubts. So I don't think you're correct when you say that you can't build anything out of doubt. 

 

One thing I will grant you is that it isn't particularly helpful to constantly be doubting the significant people in our lives. We need to be able to trust each other. Trust is earned,  however, and people who aren't trustworthy aren't the kind of people I want to have in my life.

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7 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

if you think I am accosting you though @TEG, you can always let the conversations with me go.  The Internet is full of things to focus on that could be a better use of your focus without me assaulting you as you see it.  Or you can go the extra measure and ask for me to leave.  See if that works too.

 

You are badly in need of an attitude adjustment.

 

Imagine an internet group of jazz aficionados, discussing jazz, passing on information about albums and concerts, and generally being friends.  Then imagine a fan of classical music who believes that classical is the “right” kind of music, joining the group, challenging the jazz fans’ preference for jazz, arguing that his belief in classical is correct, and clearly implying if not coming out and saying so that the jazz fans are wrong.  Appropriate responses:  “Who the f*** are you,” “What are you doing here,” “Get lost.”  It would be different if the classical fan were genuinely interested in jazz, even if he wasn’t sure he liked it, and was just trying to learn more about it, without ulterior motives.  But that is not the way it usually is, and the jazz fans are not as dumb as the classical fan thinks they are.

 

These forums exist for ex-christians, not christians.  It’s not a cocktail party.  Or a chick tract.  If someone wants to argue with you, fine; but it is the ex-christians who belong here.

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The hard truth of the matter is that everything is perceived through faculties which are flawed: our five senses, our subconscious,  etc.  Approaching anything without a healthy dose of doubt is just dumb.  This is as true for science as it is for religion (and philosophy, politics, social interactions, even choosing a new hair style).  For this reason, science recognizes, and makes provisions for, bias, systemic error, random error, technological development, new information, and so forth.  It is self-correcting.  Religion Is not; and that should be a big red flag.

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10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

Second guessing has it's place in anyone's life, and it can be a good means of correcting ourselves and our philosophies.  However doubt has no foundation to build on.  What it's good at is tearing down a person's convictions, trust, and even hopes down until there is nothing left.

 

My foundation is on reality. I dont doubt reality. I see it, other people see it. We can talk about what we see together and it's easily agreed upon. 

 

My confidence level of the existence of Zeus is pretty low. Same for Thor, all the pagan goddesses that I 'wish' existed, the Egyptian gods, Allah, Hindu Gods, etc. 

What is your confidence level for the existence of the above listed gods?

 

 

10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

 

If the doubt has merit so be it.  But what about the times when doubt doesn't have merit.  When a person doesn't act on a relationship because "how do I know, really know, that they love me..."  Or when a person is crippled with indecision, "I just can't be sure which is the right choice..."  Or even a question of what they see, hear, taste or any other measure of our senses. Like telling a witness "memories are unreliable are you sure this is the man you saw?"  The last example could potentially let a guilty man walk free if a convincing lawyer made a witness question their own testimony to the point they question if they know what they had for breakfast last week.  My point is that there are times when doubt holds no cause and no merit.

 

Doubt can be cripping, true. But being afraid of Hell or the God that sends you to Hell for not worshiping him can be crippling also. That's why I quit. Obsessive fear and guilt produced by the bible and my not wanting to follow idiotic scripture and inadequate reasoning given for following such scripture made me say goodbye to Christianity. Later on I came to this website and discovered how Christianity is illogical, unreasonable , and has no evidence of being true.

 

 

10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

 

Yet when it comes to things people disagree with the doctrine of doubt is usually one of the first tactics that come up.  "Are you sure," "how do you know," "there's no way to validate that..."  Or even to go to the point of ridiculous hypotheticals to try to make a point and seed some doubt in a person's mind.  I hear some wacky ones around voting time to say what might happen if the other guy gets into office.  

 

You consider the hypotheticals ridiculous because they challenge your rigid, unbending belief in God and you don't really want to face the possibility that God might not really exist. It is the thought that shall not be thought by a believing Christian. If God knew that you were considering that he might not exist...there would be Hell to pay...literally! lol. 

 

I dumped that irrational fear 20 years ago.  

 

 

10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

 

The doctrine of doubt (and it can be considered a doctrine because often the same lines are used over and over again, just applied to different a subject matter) can have merit though as well.  To point out a real falsehood by looking at real inconsistencies, or to help a person out of blind love and see the person in front of them for who they really might be instead of who you imagine them to be, or several other situations that are common but not too common.

 

Nonetheless there is one thing I have to say.  More often then not doubt is used opportunistically and hypocritically.  Creating a standard to doubt that nothing can live up to, and applying the standards of doubt only to things they disagree with or to people they want to be rid of.  (Think of a man or woman seducing another person while also trying to convince them that their current spouse is no good for them).

 

Doubt is but one tool that people use opportunistically and hypocritically to get their point across and try to sway someone to their way of thinking, true. But fear, guilt and shame are other tools of persuasion and the foundation for keeping people emotionally and mentally chained to a toxic belief system. Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding...", i.e., doubt yourself....Christianity is the doctrine of doubting your own thought processes and handing over control to a pastor, Jesus. 

 

 

10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

 

To sum it up, my thoughts are that you can not build on anything with doubt.  It is not a foundation.  Therefore if you apply doubt it will either tear down everything, or it will be used with a measured restraint, only applied when you see a cause for it.  Or it will be used hypocritically when there's an opportunity.

 

In other words a person needs to find the things in the world that are reliable and a solid foundation.  People or ideas that they can depend on and rely on.

 

I agree that people need to find things that are reliable and a solid foundation. Reality is a good foundation. Religion was not a solid foundation for me. Christianity was harming my mind. It was tearing down my sanity so I jettisoned it. 

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9 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

It's funny.  Because every christian who comes here ends up getting backed into a corner, can't/won't answer our questions, and then tries to change the subject.  Here we have a whole new thread... right on schedule.

 

I'll have to take you're word on that Christians have done here in the past or on the schedule of things.  But whether I'm into a corner or not, do my responses act as a person backed into a corner?

 

9 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

the way, @Lost_more_then_Once, do you hate your father and mother; or do you honor them?

 

I've already given you my assessment on your question, and told you to make your point honestly.  The question from there is why haven't you?  Here let me be clear, I assume that your point is to pit one verse in the bible against another, and see if I measure up to either.  But the open endedness of the question can go further then that and badger my relationship with my parents as a whole instead.  Asking what I should be doing and questioning any good qualities there are between my parents and myself.  

 

To to be clear I am not going to answer a sencere answer on how my relationship is with my parents if that is only a leading question to a theological point you could have made in the first place, nor on an open ended question that can be used to smear my relationship with my parents.

 

If I know this and don't actively choose to answer a deceitful question sincerely, they why pretend to answer it at all?  Thus again my standard.  Say what you want to say honestly, and if I see merit in it I'll respond in kind.

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8 minutes ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

But whether I'm into a corner or not, do my responses act as a person backed into a corner?

Given that you have ignored my question a total of 4 times, yes.  Given that you had to rephrase Walter's question in order to answer it, yes.  Given that you had to straw man your way through one of Logical Fallacy's questions, yes.  Given that Weezer had to withdraw a question because you would not address it, yes.

 

Given your responses, YES.

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16 minutes ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

I've already given you my assessment on your question, and told you to make your point honestly.  The question from there is why haven't you?  Here let me be clear, I assume that your point is to pit one verse in the bible against another, and see if I measure up to either.  But the open endedness of the question can go further then that and badger my relationship with my parents as a whole instead.  Asking what I should be doing and questioning any good qualities there are between my parents and myself.  

 

To to be clear I am not going to answer a sencere answer on how my relationship is with my parents if that is only a leading question to a theological point you could have made in the first place, nor on an open ended question that can be used to smear my relationship with my parents.

 

If I know this and don't actively choose to answer a deceitful question sincerely, they why pretend to answer it at all?  Thus again my standard.  Say what you want to say honestly, and if I see merit in it I'll respond in kind.

In short, you won't answer my question because you don't like where it might lead.  That's a big red flag.

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8 hours ago, WalterP said:

The doctrine of doubt (as you call it, LmtO) is the basis of most of your life.

 

You may not agree with that statement, but here are just two ways that doubt profoundly influences your life on a daily basis.

 

LAW

The basis of all laws in properly functioning democracies is doubt, not certainty.   That's why, when someone accused of a crime, they are presumed innocent until the court reaches a verdict.  This presumption is not a state of certainty - it is a state of doubt.  The guilt or innocence of the defendant remains unknown to the court (i.e., in a state of doubt) until such time as the evidence decides the issue.  Then a verdict is pronounced and doubt is replaced by 'certainty'.  

 

Even then, this state of certainty is not absolute or perfect - it is provisional and tentative.  Why?  Because humans are fallible and their testimony can be warped by prejudice, conflict of interest, poor memory or simple error of judgement.  Another reason why a court's verdict is not an absolute certainty is that new evidence may overturn a previous judgement.  A court session that opens with the verdict already being decided (i.e., a state of certainty) is no more than a kangaroo court, conducting a show trial for its own ends. 

 

I assume that you live in the United States, LmtO?  If so, then if you were accused of a crime and put on trial, wouldn't your fate be in a state of doubt?  And isn't this state of doubt something that is guaranteed by your Constitution?  Isn't this a right enshrined in law for your protection?  And wouldn't you want your fate to be in a state of doubt until the court pronounces judgement upon you?  Or would you waive your right to be presumed innocent?  Somehow I doubt it.

 

SCIENCE

The basis of the scientific method is doubt, not certainty.  Scientists are never certain about anything they observe, test, measure or experiment on.  A common misconception about science is that it proves things.  This is false.  Only one discipline of science does that.  Mathematics.  No other branch of science proves anything.  Why?  There are a number of reasons.  Human error, instrumental error, insufficient data and poor methodology are just a few.  These links can describe why there are no proofs in science (aside from Math) much more eloquently than I can.  Please read them and understand that certainty (i.e., proof) is not the currency of science.  Doubt is. 

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200811/common-misconceptions-about-science-i-scientific-proof

http://theconversation.com/wheres-the-proof-in-science-there-is-none-30570

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/11/22/scientific-proof-is-a-myth/#7dca891e2fb1

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Proof

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_evidence#Concept_of_scientific_proof

https://www.nsta.org/publications/news/story.aspx?id=52402

 

Your life is influenced by science every moment of every day.  You are using technology (the fruit of the scientific method) right now to read these words.  Where you live, where you travel, the money in your bank and the decisions you make every day rely intimately upon science and technology.  You cannot get away from this fact and you'd be foolish to deny it.  But, as we have just seen, science is built upon a foundation of doubt, not certainty.  Therefore, everything that science has given you and that you rely upon is also built upon doubt and not upon certainty.  

 

 

 

LmtO, you may well be certain about things within your own life, your thoughts and your feelings.  That's fine.  But it would be a category error on your part to conclude that your private and subjective certainties apply to anyone else in any way.  Nor do they apply to the objective reality we all share in. That which is subjective is not that which is objective.  As I have demonstrated with my two above examples, we all (collectively) live in a state of doubt, not certainty.  

 

You may choose to deny this.  However, I very much doubt (there's that word again!) that you can make a case against the two examples I've described.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

Awesome answers!  👍

 

Both science and the law use doubt as an active tool in what they do.  However in both cases I would still say that in both cases the doubt that is used is a means to tear away the things that are not true, or to protect the innocent from being found guilty without a good reason.  Neither case do you build on the doubt to create a foundation.  

 

With the courts the assumption is innocent until proven guilty.  That can be considered doubt on believing the prosecutor (from the prosecutor's point of view) but just as easily it can considered assumed innocence towards the defendant (from the defendant's point of view).  In that situation the assumption is there to protect the defendant.  But it isn't built on or added to it.  The assumed doubt toward guilt has no foundation to sentence the defendant and thus has no foundation for the court system except to be an means of tearing down unreasonable accusations.  It should be noted that the doubt assumed towards the prosecutor does not mean doubt assumed towards both the prosecutor and the defendant.  The addumption is in favor of the defendant from the start.

 

In science likewise, doubt is in the the stage of testing, and double checking hypothesizes and already made conclusions.  You don't build on that doubt but you use that doubt as a tool to tear down the things that might be untrue or fail a test that measures it's claim.

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14 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

[snip]

     Doubt is a part of the religion.  Just an example:

 



Matthew 28

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

     It's right there from the very beginning even with our supposed eye witnesses.  If they're in doubt it seems strange that we should be without.

 

          mwc

 

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20 minutes ago, mwc said:

     Doubt is a part of the religion.  Just an example:

 

 

 

     It's right there from the very beginning even with our supposed eye witnesses.  If they're in doubt it seems strange that we should be without.

 

          mwc

 

 

I wouldn't say it's 'part of the religion'. People who doubted were admonished or otherwise made to look bad. Doubting Thomas is probably the best example where he's told that because he has seen (has evidence) he believes, but blessed are those which have not seen yet believe. Thus belief without evidence is encouraged... contrary to what Christians oft try to claim. In short you are not suppose to doubt, you are supposed to have faith and believe. Shame on you brother! :D 

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12 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

Perhaps your right.  However I feel strongly that a person should offer more to a conversation then just doubt.  If they do not intend to do so in that other conversation then I think they should be pointed out the pitfalls of that hypocritical and opurtunistic stance.

 

We do. No one here simply says I doubt that and walks away. Extensive reasons for a persons position are often given. You just seem to be lumping everything into one or to catch phrases.

 

12 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

I disagree.  Memory might not get all the details correct but I'd argue that it gets the job done fairly well, most of the time.

 

Yes - most the time, for ordinary mundane day to day stuff. Once extraordinary claims of any ort are introduced we are wise to question. You apply this to every extraordinary claim you are ever presented with... except your own.

 

12 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

Regarding the bible, I've heard that the bible is held to more scrunity then any other ancient text.   With that in mind it is held to higher standards and still comes out fairly well.  With that in mind that makes the bible more reliable then any other text that we have of ancient times.  If you want to doubt the gospels and the other texts in the bible, you should look for other reasons then the time it was recorded after the events.

 

Most other ancient texts don't make huge claims that have a massive following of people that insist on you believing what they believe. I don't have a bunch of Zoroastrians knocking on my door asking if I know Jesus and have accepted him as my saviour. Context LMTO, context.

 

12 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

Having skeptisism as a tool is something I can agree with.  But not skeptism to the point of blinding doubt or deafening cynicism.  It has it's place.  But no foundation can be built out of a person's doubt.  They need to have a foundation that they don't continually throw doubt at while they do the same thing throwing doubt at the things they disagree with.  It is with that observation that I call doubt a doctrine of opurtunistic hypocrisy.

 

I think you are once again straw manning our positions. I've only seen one member here express cynicism to the degree you are talking about and he's no longer here, and it wasn't regarding religion. If I told you there was nothing, absolutely nothing you could say or do to change my mind then you'd be warranted in your position. But in fact I've given a very clear way where you can change my mind but you conveniently ignored it. Ask yourself why?

 

12 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

You our are also free to disrespect whatever you want.  Thank God we live in the US (for those of us that do) instead of China who polices everything, or in an Islamic country that actively hunts down people of different thoughts.

 

And thankfully control of society has been wrested away from the church and become mostly secular in the western world. (Apart from the US who have religion and politics mixing like blood and water. I feel sorry for the non religious in the US.) 2-300 years ago I'd be hung in England. There are Christians today, who would impose a totalitarian theocracy if they could. I've read their manifestos, it's as scary as any Islamic fundamentalist talking about imposing Sharia law.

 

The bible doesn't state that all men should be free to believe what they want, or not, but that all should worship Jesus or go to hell. It's not the bible that gave us religious freedom, its secular ideals. Happily most Christians support these ideals and thus I am happy to live alongside them.

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5 hours ago, disillusioned said:

I tend to agree that radical skepticism isn't particularly helpful, but I think it's misleading to say that doubt must be used with "measured restraint". We do need to start our reasoning somewhere, and so I think it is correct to say that we need to identify certain foundational principles which we hold beyond doubt. Once these are identified, we can use them to reach further conclusions.  I've been trying to do this over here:

 

 

This kind of approach still leaves lots of room for doubt. It doesn't do with it at all,  it just provides a framework for answering certain kinds of skeptical questions. Another key thing to realize is that this kind of foundation does arise out of skepticism. We doubt everything that we can,  until we reach the things that we find it either impossible to doubt, or just impossible to do without in spite of our doubts. So I don't think you're correct when you say that you can't build anything out of doubt. 

 

One thing I will grant you is that it isn't particularly helpful to constantly be doubting the significant people in our lives. We need to be able to trust each other. Trust is earned,  however, and people who aren't trustworthy aren't the kind of people I want to have in my life.

 

@LogicalFallacy also directed me to this discussion.  It looks interesting.  I don't know if I can add anything to it without my bring a Christian becoming an issue to derail the topic.  It's a point from seeing the replies of @TEG leads to the issue that my presence , regardless of my intentions, will be assumed as a negitive with negitive intentions.  So perhaps I should leave on my own terms before the sentiment grows and people are reaching for their torchs and pitchforks.

 

Nonetheless, while I haven't finished reading it, I have one thing to add to it.  In my opinion there are around three tiers of measuring what is true and what isn't.

 

The first tier is the lowest authority on measuring what's true from what isn't and that is our own ability to reason.  Throughout history there have been some great thinkers that just through thinking hard on a matter (such as using a shadow measured twice in two locations as the means to use trigonometry and estimate the circumference of the earth), as well as in modern days with inductive and deductive logic used as a tool for solving crimes.  What we are able to solve through logic and reasoning is a big aspect in measuring what's true and what's not.  To give logic the best case it can, I will say our combined and collective reasoning makes this an awesome tool for finding the truth.  

 

Nonetheless, people don't always agree; and sometimes we can still be wrong, even if we agree and use the collective wisdom of great thinkers in the past and the present.  So the next tier abou even our own reasoning is based on our senses and our observations.  Our experiences will either confirm or correct our perspectives.  But just as doubt doesn't say what is actually true, neither does experience say what the right answer is when we realize we were wrong.  No matter what we will still need to process everything we learn from experience from the first tier of our ability to reason.  Thus experience trumps philosophy in my opinion and has more weight and authority in determining what is true and what isn't.

 

There is a third tier as well, (potientially just a category  of more sources to measure the truth by), and that is anything that we hold as having more authority then our own life experiences, observations and measurable tests.  If anything fits that category such as faith in a religion, or trust in tradition (because it's lasted this far whiteout falling apart), or it's something else entirely, this would be a catagory that you trust something in spite of not understanding it or not having it confirmed in your experience.  This category should be very cautious before agreeing to trust it inspite of your understanding and observations.  Perhaps nothing would fit in this category, or perhaps there are some things but they need to be chosen very carefully.

________________

 

As for doubt, I will still matin that you don't build anything from doubt.  In the case of using doubt to see what's left it sounds like a refining process that uses intense fire and heat to melt away any imperfections from gold or glass.  If you use it as a tool and part of a process that is great.  But if doubt is on it's own, without measure and without purpose then it is like a wild fire.  Sure you will see what is left, but you won't be able to build anything from it.  (Or what you do build is very limited and of little value).

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48 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

I wouldn't say it's 'part of the religion'. People who doubted were admonished or otherwise made to look bad. Doubting Thomas is probably the best example where he's told that because he has seen (has evidence) he believes, but blessed are those which have not seen yet believe. Thus belief without evidence is encouraged... contrary to what Christians oft try to claim. In short you are not suppose to doubt, you are supposed to have faith and believe. Shame on you brother! :D 

     It's a part of the religion in that it is in the text.  Doubt is there from the start.  Doubt from all angles.  In G.John we have Pilate asking "What is truth?"  We have in G.Matthew, besides the part I already posted, the cover-up of the resurrection (the Jews and soldiers conspiracy), the story of Doubting Thomas you mention, and so on.  Doubt is built right in.  I'd almost question whether blind faith truly works without doubt to put aside or to phrase it a bit differently you have to simply put aside all doubt a just believe.  Without that doubt to there's nothing really to "overcome" (as it were) with belief.  In that sense belief is less belief and more knowledge.  If I know this story is all true beyond a shadow of a doubt then it's not really a belief in the sense of "things hoped for" and so on and so forth anymore.  That's where "believers" are however.  They're not believers but, rather, knowers.

 

         mwc

 

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59 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

Yes - most the time, for ordinary mundane day to day stuff. Once extraordinary claims of any ort are introduced we are wise to question. You apply this to every extraordinary claim you are ever presented with... except your own.

 

I assure you I do question my conclusions and the claims that are in them.  It is from several observations in my life that I have have reached the conclusions that I have regarding God being real.  The question of what counts as coming from God and what doesn't, I take seriously.  Some people say they can hear God, and I hope they really can.  But I don't believe them without more information.  At best I usually let their claim fall on the conclusion that it might be possible, and leave it there.  Sometimes I go farther then that because I have reason to doubt them, or what they say I can tell are off in some way or another.

 

that said though, I think that with somethings the only way to tell if they are correct is if you give them a chance.  Regardless of doubt or otherwise, suspend the doubt long enough to give it a chance.  For example, look at a person who is trying a new food, that they think they won't like.  If they never try it they could be right that they won't like it.  But if they want yo really find out, they have to give it a chance anyways and actually try it.  This concept I think is true in both mundane things like trying new foods, and extraordinary things like an expensive piece of equipment that hasn't been tested in real life (outside of a lab setting).

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1 hour ago, mwc said:

     Doubt is a part of the religion.  Just an example:

 

 

 

     It's right there from the very beginning even with our supposed eye witnesses.  If they're in doubt it seems strange that we should be without.

 

          mwc

 

 

1 hour ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

I wouldn't say it's 'part of the religion'. People who doubted were admonished or otherwise made to look bad. Doubting Thomas is probably the best example where he's told that because he has seen (has evidence) he believes, but blessed are those which have not seen yet believe. Thus belief without evidence is encouraged... contrary to what Christians oft try to claim. In short you are not suppose to doubt, you are supposed to have faith and believe. Shame on you brother! :D 

For me, the part that really strikes me about the story is that jesus did provide the evidence Thomas required.  But, speaking strictly for myself, jesus never did for me, despite my fervent prayers and my earnest fasting.  Had I solid, concrete evidence, there would be no room for doubt.

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13 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

Regarding the bible, I've heard that the bible is held to more scrunity then any other ancient text.  

Where have you heard it? Did you verify it? 

13 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

With that in mind it is held to higher standards and still comes out fairly well.  

Can you point me to some scholarly articles that discuss this? Preferably ones that are objective. 

13 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

With that in mind that makes the bible more reliable then any other text that we have of ancient times.  If you want to doubt the gospels and the other texts in the bible, you should look for other reasons then the time it was recorded after the events.

So should you. Have you read what scholars actually have to say on the veracity of the Bible, or how well it all hangs together? Or read the arguments made by historians with the proper training and a more objective unbiased take on the Bible? 

 

13 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

You our are also free to disrespect whatever you want.  Thank God we live in the US (for those of us that do) instead of China who polices everything, or in an Islamic country that actively hunts down people of different thoughts.

Have you given any thought to what it's like for athiests who live in the US, in the Bible belt in particular? There are many, many in your country who would abolish the separation of church and state. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

 

For me, the part that really strikes me about the story is that jesus did provide the evidence Thomas required.  But, speaking strictly for myself, jesus never did for me, despite my fervent prayers and my earnest fasting.  Had I solid, concrete evidence, there would be no room for doubt.

     Only in the story of Thomas.  The verses I posted from G.Matthew there appears to be more than a single doubter and nothing is done for them.  So you're in good company.

 

          mwc

 

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27 minutes ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

 

I assure you I do question my conclusions and the claims that are in them.  It is from several observations in my life that I have have reached the conclusions that I have regarding God being real.  The question of what counts as coming from God and what doesn't, I take seriously.  Some people say they can hear God, and I hope they really can.  But I don't believe them without more information.  At best I usually let their claim fall on the conclusion that it might be possible, and leave it there.  Sometimes I go farther then that because I have reason to doubt them, or what they say I can tell are off in some way or another.

 

that said though, I think that with somethings the only way to tell if they are correct is if you give them a chance.  Regardless of doubt or otherwise, suspend the doubt long enough to give it a chance.  For example, look at a person who is trying a new food, that they think they won't like.  If they never try it they could be right that they won't like it.  But if they want yo really find out, they have to give it a chance anyways and actually try it.  This concept I think is true in both mundane things like trying new foods, and extraordinary things like an expensive piece of equipment that hasn't been tested in real life (outside of a lab setting).

 

I tried Jesus for 10 years. Left a bad taste in my brain. 

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1 hour ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

 

 

Nonetheless, while I haven't finished reading it, I have one thing to add to it.  In my opinion there are around three tiers of measuring what is true and what isn't.

 

The first tier is the lowest authority on measuring what's true from what isn't and that is our own ability to reason.  Throughout history there have been some great thinkers that just through thinking hard on a matter (such as using a shadow measured twice in two locations as the means to use trigonometry and estimate the circumference of the earth), as well as in modern days with inductive and deductive logic used as a tool for solving crimes.  What we are able to solve through logic and reasoning is a big aspect in measuring what's true and what's not.  To give logic the best case it can, I will say our combined and collective reasoning makes this an awesome tool for finding the truth.  

 

Nonetheless, people don't always agree; and sometimes we can still be wrong, even if we agree and use the collective wisdom of great thinkers in the past and the present.  So the next tier abou even our own reasoning is based on our senses and our observations.  Our experiences will either confirm or correct our perspectives.  But just as doubt doesn't say what is actually true, neither does experience say what the right answer is when we realize we were wrong.  No matter what we will still need to process everything we learn from experience from the first tier of our ability to reason.  Thus experience trumps philosophy in my opinion and has more weight and authority in determining what is true and what isn't.

 

There is a third tier as well, (potientially just a category  of more sources to measure the truth by), and that is anything that we hold as having more authority then our own life experiences, observations and measurable tests.  If anything fits that category such as faith in a religion, or trust in tradition (because it's lasted this far whiteout falling apart), or it's something else entirely, this would be a catagory that you trust something in spite of not understanding it or not having it confirmed in your experience.  This category should be very cautious before agreeing to trust it inspite of your understanding and observations.  Perhaps nothing would fit in this category, or perhaps there are some things but they need to be chosen very carefully.

 

I think if you read carefully you'll find that at least some of this is addressed there. What you raise are propositions regarding how we measure or ascertain truth. I would say that this actually had more to do with knowledge than truth per se,  but it's still interesting and relevant to the topic at hand. 

 

I don't have a huge issue with what you said,  except that I want to reverse the order of the first two tiers. Logic and reason,  on my view,  are just things that humans do when they are trying to think clearly. Our capacity for reason is an evolved trait at the species level,  and our ability to actually engage in reason in based in experience at the individual level. I think both of these must ultimately be grounded in sensation and experience. Even the example you give demonstrates this: one cannot use a shadow which has been measured twice to estimate the circumferwnce of the eartg without measuring the shadow, ie, without falling back on experience/ sensation.

 

However, our capacity for reason, evolved as it is,  can sometimes give us cause to doubt our individual experiences, and we need to take this seriously. You say that experience trumps philosophy.  I don't agree. I think our capacity for philosophy/reason is born out of experience, but once we have the capacity we can sometimes use it to generate significantly more certainty than we could gain from experience alone.

 

The third tier you mention is often practically useful, but we need to be careful. There are many cases where we find it expedient to claim knowledge on the basis of information gleaned from some trusted authority. I want to point out once again, however, that this is a claim about knowledge,  not truth, and also to emphasize that I think this kind of knowledge is somewhat tenuous. On my view, after all, knowledge is just firmly held belief. We believe many things on the basis of authority. Some of these beliefs are held fairly firmly, and so may qualify as knowledge. If we're being careful,  though, we won't hold beliefs of this type too firmly. So in a way I think that this is the weakest form of knowledge.

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