5/29/2007 1:23am, #11
The only remaining condition is a valid understanding of "sufficiency" of evidence, which never seems to have a clear and convincing definition. Still, Popper and others have done well with falsifiability/testability. Those things certainly can be applied in the ship owner's situation; his theory that providence will protect a ship from being wrecked can be tested by examining the history of shipwrecks for instances of undeserving people dying in them. His theory that a boat's seaworthiness is constant and unrelated to wear, tear, and age can be tested through the same kind of investigation; search for ships that have sunk, after many successful voyages, due to poor maintenance.
In this analysis, "sufficiency" is defined through the application of a crucial and unbiased test, or through the examination of such evidence as already exists from earlier tests (whether those were practical tests or instructive examples from real situations).
The infinite regression spiral for this particular philosophical tangent begins right about when we start to try to define "crucial" and "unbiased." But the fact that a perfect definition eludes us is not an excuse for lazy thinking.
And Deadmeat, I think we're going to like you too.
5/29/2007 1:33am, #12
5/29/2007 6:16am, #13
good article deadmeat!
as far as evidence goes: most people who start at some form of martial arts simply dont know what to look for,they can only indentify the most outrageous claims as bs.
I think thats the problem.
5/30/2007 12:56am, #14
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I don't get the point of this thread. If you're wanting to establish some sort of criteria for belief, look no further than the scientific method, which results in no belief without empirical evidence.
There is absolutely no need whatsoever to bring morality into the equation, and honestly it taints much of the claimed logic of the argument. Morality is an inherently relative idea, and for someone to write or speak about any subject in which they directly state or even imply that the moral status of a person, action, or idea is fixed and not completely dependent on an individual's own belief system is to demonstrate that the speaker/author does not himself have a firm grasp of objectivity and empiricism, and therefore is in danger of reaching a conclusion via emotional rather than logical means in some other area of life.
Put more succinctly: Are you making a claim? If so, prove it, otherwise recognize that it's at best an idea and at worst a delusion.
5/30/2007 3:27am, #15
What an emotional post.
5/30/2007 6:23pm, #16Originally Posted by Glaive
"Ethics of Belief"essentially supports the scientific method. "The ethics of belief" is a concept based on empiricism. and it's not about morality in the traditional sense. To be honest, I don't see a conflict of interest between the ethics of belief and skepticism. The criteria for belief according to this approach actually IS the scientific method - as discussed at the end of the original post.
Originally Posted by Glaive
Is not Fairness an ethical standpoint? is not a lack of bias THE ethical standpoint? How can a dispassionate observer, relying solely on the evidence and critical reasoning, be cosntrued to be making an emotional decision about somehting?
The philosopher William James argued that Clifford's interpretation was wrong, NOT because of any chance that emotions would potentially taint an individual's perception, but because it is too black and white - no spectrum of right or wrong, just a bifurcate path. Clifford's failure to identify a spectrum of morality, renders it a little too rigid. exactly as DAYoung pointed out.
I agree with you when you say that morality is a relative concept. But the ethics of belief are not about cultural or personal ethical standards.
Ethics, according to Wikipedia, for example is:
the study of values and of a person or group. It covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right and wrong, good and evil, and responsibility.
In this way, if you told me that the forteenth digit of Pi is a 6, it would be unethical for me to take your word for it unless I had sufficient evidence to support the claim. How is that an emotional standpoint exactly? According to Clifford it is an ethical one, and a logical one though.
Also, ethically, it shouldn't matter whether or not the fact that a rectangle has four sides and a triangle has only three pisses me off. my emotional response doesn't change the fact that in the light of reason I must admit that the two shapes are what they are.
I think kohadril said it best:
Originally Posted by kohadril
Originally Posted by Glaive
Pretty much everything is at best an idea and worst a delusion, according to Socrates.
But in the event that you do want proof, please, by all means give me a scenario in which you believe that the scientific method would preclude an ethical judgement. Bear in mind that the "Ethics of Belief" applies to the investigator just as much as, if not more than to the target.
Originally Posted by DAYoung
Pure gold. I give that two thumbs up.
Edit: fixed a couple of typos and a formatting error.
Last edited by Deadmeat; 5/30/2007 6:28pm at .
5/30/2007 6:49pm, #17Originally Posted by Deadmeat
5/30/2007 7:34pm, #18
Oh I see - hence the term "succinctly" :D
Well, that makes perfect sense. It seems that the only difference between Glaive's assertions and mine is a question of Semantics around the implications of the term "ethics"
Thanks for pointing that out. It should have been clear to me from the outset.
edit:fixed a couple of typos
5/30/2007 8:44pm, #19
What you're talking about is also called "normative epistemology." I admit to having an interest in the subject myself. While I agree with the sentiments of your post, I do find some aspects troublesome:
(1) What constitutes "sufficient evidence" for a claim?
(1a) What about constant underdetermination of the evidence?
(1b) What about non-evidentiary support for a proposition, such as deductive reasoning?
(2) If it is morally wrong to fail in one's epistemic duties, shouldn't we expand culpability on the point of this failure to include the failure to be rational at all?
(2a) If so, mightn't there be cases where one is still rational and yet believes in the truth of a proposition with "insufficient evidence?" Consider typical Gettier cases -- has the Gettier-style reasoner committed a moral breach?--
5/30/2007 9:01pm, #20
I don't see why it would be immoral to believe stupid things. I can see why it would be foolish, though."Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." – Voltaire.