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  1. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/30/2007 9:10pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Thaiboxerken
    I don't see why it would be immoral to believe stupid things.
    Not by necessity, i.e. not all cases of beliefs without sufficient evidence are immoral. But there are plenty that touch on moral qualities or consequences (depending on your bent, i.e. virtue or utilitarian).
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  2. Deadmeat is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/30/2007 10:35pm


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lane
    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:
    Quote Originally Posted by Lane
    What constitutes "sufficient evidence" for a claim?
    That is a difficult question to answer, and one that Iím sure wiser men than I have unsuccessfully tackled in the past. kohadril raised some good points in relation to this so Iíll quote his post rather than paraphrasing it poorly.

    Quote Originally Posted by kohadril
    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...
    And later in the same post:
    Quote Originally Posted by kohadril
    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).
    Personally, I lean towards Humeís statement that sufficiency of evidence should be proportionate to the nature of the claim. In the current context, letís assume an individual claims they can throw chi balls at will, and that only they possess that power. Well, the fact that there arenít any other people displaying this power raises the bar in relation to the volume of evidence required to satisfy the claim, I believe.

    Furthermore the scientific community has pretty clear standards in relation to what constitutes a valid experiment (although when you look at Gary E. Schwartzís research into the paranormal, for example that becomes less apparent unfortunately).

    Also, I suppose with hypothesis testing itís virtually impossible to ďProveĒ anything Ė only disprove. i.e. you can statistically disprove a null hypothesis of no difference between two test conditions, but you canít necessarily make a causative statement based on that with any real degree of legitimacy (hooray for Quantitative Analysis in Psychology, eh DAYoung?).

    Which boils down to a fancy way of saying, setting sufficient evidence to satisfy a claim is unfortunately a relative concept (Clifford would be spinning in his grave right now), but you can apply the good old reasonableness test Ė ďis x amount of evidence a reasonable expectation of what it would take to satisfy my doubts about this claim?Ē I feel that best way to establish an evidentiary benchmark is to have the claimant agree to a standard before conducting the experiment. A gentlemanís agreement if you will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lane
    (1a) What about constant underdetermination of the evidence?
    Well if there are an infinite number of possible explanations (and I know that this isnít a perfect response, but honestly, I think I would be beyond arrogant to assume I could solve the problem), Occamís razor is the guiding principle, isnít it? With infinite explanations, which is the easiest? If there are many explanations for and against a claim, which carry more weight? Obviously itís much more difficult in practice, but itís a step in the general direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lane
    (1b) What about non-evidentiary support for a proposition, such as deductive reasoning?
    Baudelaire said ďEverything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation." And I have to agree that truth is most likely to be through reasoning and argumentation. I suppose the question is whether evidence has to be tangible and observable, or whether logic can be used as an evidentiary tool. Houdini (or Penn and Teller, or James Randi for that matter) replicating the feats of mediums through mundane means is not necessarily evidence that the mediums are using those same mundane means, but it is demonstrable evidence of an alternate possibility that would satisfy Occamís razor as a simpler explanation would it not? I think that deductive reasoning is a necessity, but admittedly a tricky one to fit into a heuristic model based on Cliffordís propositions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lane
    (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?
    I could well be misinterpreting this point, but if I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that Cliffordís (and by proxy, my) assertion is that failure to behave rationally is a moral failing? If so, I suppose that is the subtle implication he is making Ė that as humans we have a responsibility to be rational and logical Ė obviously a pipedream, I admit Ė but perhaps itís important to step back for a moment and look at morality of the human race as a whole. Everyone at some stage in their life behaves in a way that is ďimmoralĒ I suppose. Christians believe that everyone is born with a burden of sin on their soul. While not being a Christian myself, I find that particular point interesting. I think itís a given that no-one is perfect, and by the same token in equating rationality with morality, no-one is completely rational all the time. Therefore the assertions about the ethics of belief are more of a yardstick or benchmark, with a disclaimer that we cannot always adhere to the standard set out, but we should endeavour to try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lane
    (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?
    I must admit that Iím not an authority on justified true belief, but when you take a statement like:
    Subject S knows that a proposition P is true iff (if and only if):
    1. P is true
    2. S believes that P is true, and
    3. S is justified in believing that P is true
    It seems like itís not particularly helpful is it? I suppose it can be rephrased as a syllogism:

    (a=b) P is true
    (b=c) S believes that P is true
    (∴ a=c)Therefore: S is justified in believing that P is true

    Still not much help I supposeÖ although itís starting to look more like an evidentiary model.
    The subtle question is whether Knowing is relevant. Does the fact of belief alter the reality of something? Thatís a whole other debate, though isnít it?

    So in order to say that claim ďCĒ is true ďAĒ (i.e. that c=a), b must become something other than a question of belief. B must become whatever the evidence level is required. For example a successful result in a standard experiment agreed upon by both the claimant and the skeptic.

    (a=b) Claim is put forward
    (b=c) Claim is tested against criteria
    (∴ a=c)Claim meets criteria


    I know that this is all largely meaningless, and I regret that I canít give a better answer. Itís definitely food for thought. Iíll be thinking about it, and no doubt going nowhere with it, but itíll keep me occupied. Thanks for posting Ė youíve definitely value-added significantly. I just wish I was less of an arm-chair philosopher so I could perhaps respond in a better fashion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bosco
    Ethics and Martial Arts.
    To me it's all common sense. My coach tells everyone this when they begin. "Don't misuse what is being taught". Use it for training, competition or defense of you have to. But don't use it as a means to show-off. That's all there is to it.
    Canít argue with that. I agree with you completely.

    *edit* fixed some typos.
    Last edited by Deadmeat; 5/30/2007 10:45pm at .
  3. Bladesinger is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/30/2007 11:23pm


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadmeat
    I just wish I was less of an arm-chair philosopher so I could perhaps respond in a better fashion.
    Isn't the whole point of Philosophy to find a comfortable armchair from which to think, and to find someone to reward you for said thoughts?
  4. Deadmeat is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/30/2007 11:25pm


     Style: Mixed Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bladesinger
    Isn't the whole point of Philosophy to find a comfortable armchair from which to think, and to find someone to reward you for said thoughts?
    I stand corrected :laughing7
  5. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/30/2007 11:48pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bladesinger
    Isn't the whole point of Philosophy to find a comfortable armchair from which to think, and to find someone to reward you for said thoughts?
    DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW FUCKING HARD IT IS TO FIND A COMFORTABLE ARMCHAIR?
    Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness
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  6. Bladesinger is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/31/2007 12:34am


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by DAYoung
    DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW FUCKING HARD IT IS TO FIND A COMFORTABLE ARMCHAIR?
    Let it be said that the path to philosophical enlightenment is not easy.
  7. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/31/2007 12:45am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Whorian Gracie
    Take some muscle relaxers and half a bottle of red wine. Everything will be comfortable my friend. Everything.
    Hemlock? On ice?
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  8. Deadmeat is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/31/2007 1:18am


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Spider Baseball
    God this is pretentious. Anyways, it doesn't matter if its immoral. Morality is just another way to assign blame, which is ultimately useless. If someone is teaching useless ****, their **** is useless. Why assign additional labels?
    yup. That about hits the nail on the head I guess. It is pretentious, and it doesn't matter whether it's immoral or not...

    But it beats discussing ninja invisibility tactics, doesn't it?
  9. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/31/2007 1:51am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Spider Baseball
    God this is pretentious.
    What do you mean by 'pretentious'?

    'Cause I suspect you're mistaken.
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  10. Phrost is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/31/2007 6:42pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Bah, it's not pretentious. It's just verbal sparring at a higher level than we usually see around here.

    Nice change of pace.
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