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Humean Skepticism


Forums Forums General Discussion Humean Skepticism

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #315099
    Lausten
    Keymaster

    In internet discussions that reach a point where it’s obvious agreement can’t be found, often, the problem is just what can be questioned. Hume famously dealt with this, but it seems we have to revisit it, too often, IMO.

    Hume found 3 contradictions; 1) judgments are based on past experiences, ad infinitum, 2) trusting our senses vs knowing they are mental images, 3) causal reasoning vs consistent matter itself. In his early work, he seemed to be completely stuck. He no doubt realized he could never resolve all of these problems and was not about to just give up and be paralyzed by them.

    Those who wish to claim the existence of supernatural forces use these contradictions without naming them. They might claim evolution can’t be demonstrated because it occurs over centuries. Sometimes they will ignore part of a contradiction, claiming we can trust our senses when we see design and intention, but we can’t trust our minds if they work the way science says they do. Then they will flip that when you point it out, saying all of our available data on bacteria doesn’t show design that kills without reason and we should trust our feelings of a benevolent loving force.

    Hume’s solution was to reject the extreme skepticism, of the “it’s all a dream” type as expressed by the movie The Matrix. When this is brought up, it is as much an indicator of the end of a discussion as Hitler. Statements about scientists not really knowing anything are a variation. The second part of the solution was to be careful about what he called a fact and state when he was speculating.

    #315102

    Hume found 3 contradictions; 1) judgments are based on past experiences, ad infinitum,

    2) trusting our senses vs knowing they are mental images,

    3) causal reasoning vs consistent matter itself.

    Hmmm, am I mistaken or does that dance right along side this thesis:

    The missing key is appreciating the fundamental “Magisteria of Physical Reality,” and recognizing both science and religion are products of the “Magisteria of Our Mindscape.”

    Science seeks to objectively learn about our physical world, but we should still recognize all our understanding is embedded within and constrained by our mindscape.

    Religion is all about the human mindscape itself, with its wonderful struggles, fears, spiritual undercurrents, needs and stories we create to give our live’s meaning and make it worth living, or at least bearable.

    What’s the point?
    Science, religions, heaven, hell, political beliefs, even God, they are all products of the human mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down.

    {That’s not to say they are the same thing, they are not!
    Though I think they’re both equally valid human endeavors,
    but fundamentally qualitatively different.
    Religion deals with the inside of our minds, hearts and souls,
    Science does its best to objectively understand the physical world beyond all that.}

     

     

    #315103
    Lausten
    Keymaster

    Sure does. I was thinking of something similar, but didn’t want to grow the post any larger.

    Hume was pre-Darwin and in a time when science philosophy was saying we could discover everything. Our lifetime has seen what could be the end of that, with the failure of the ToE. But retreating into supernatural thinking is not the answer either. Science might have oversold itself, claiming it could solve the world’s problems, or maybe it was us, putting too much trust in it, so we’re seeing a backlash.

    We need new definitions for “soul” and “heart”. Definitions rooted in facts, but acknowledging the mysteries.

    #315116
    Widdershins
    Participant

    Sure does. I was thinking of something similar, but didn’t want to grow the post any larger.

    Are you making fun of me? 😉

    I’m not going to pretend to fully comprehend what you’re saying there, but it is interesting.  I can certainly see how this applies in recent conversations.  In the intelligent design conversation all the science in the world wasn’t enough to show evolution is a viable explanation, but the mere existence of the Cambrian explosion was irrefutable evidence of whatever magical conclusion was convenient.

    #315171

    In the intelligent design conversation all the science in the world wasn’t enough to show evolution is a viable explanation, but the mere existence of the Cambrian explosion was irrefutable evidence of whatever magical conclusion was convenient.

    Keen observation, that one.  Double standards and all that.

    It’s stuff like that which I believe needs to be pointed out more vocally, if not militantly.

     

    My thinking runs something like this,

    Since they never really want to talk about facts and constructive learning, why do we try arguing facts.  Why not spend more time dissecting their rhetorical fancy dancing, and then confronting them with that,

    and why not bring in ethics, morality and honestly representing others and such  considerations that seem to have been completely trashed in recent decades?

    #315180
    Lausten
    Keymaster

    Are you making fun of me?

    No. It was an additional point and I didn’t want to add it to the original point I was thinking of. I figured it could brought later in the thread. That’s just my style. No judging.

     

    #315181
    Lausten
    Keymaster

    Since they never really want to talk about facts and constructive learning, why do we try arguing facts.  Why not spend more time dissecting their rhetorical fancy dancing, and then confronting them with that,

    Have you been listening to the impeachment hearings? Democrats ask actual questions, clarifying the situation. Republicans keep repeating that they are locked out of the process (that’s right, the Republicans in the room), that the process is unfair, that it is shorter than other impeachment hearings, that they didn’t get to call witnesses. Some of these talking points I’ve seen refuted, some not. What’s there to dissect? It’s lies, so you can only expose a lie with facts. It’s dancing, but if you call it that, their audience (which is just Trump and a few MAGA hat wearers) will not hear that, in fact they’ll think it’s you who is dancing. There have been a few occasions where their morality has been addressed, but I really don’t know what it is your asking for CC. If you stop everything to address Jim Jordan, he’ll respond like the people in our Paranormal section, and he’ll win because you are addressing him and not the facts of the impeachment.

    #315224
    Xain
    Participant

    Well I don’t think religion really has any answers to give us about heart or soul (considering there isn’t anything to suggest a soul, or heart in the spiritual sense). It seems more like religion is a story that made humans feel better about the world but like all stories they are just that at the end of the day. Given the track record of what science has uncovered it’s safe to say there isn’t a place for religion anymore given it’s failures.

    #315341
    Lausten
    Keymaster

    @CC in particular, but also everyone:

    Why people resist science. I remember hearing the quote from about 100 years ago, someone asking rhetorically that if earth didn’t appear round, how did it appear? I still don’t understand how they believed that they intuitively looked at the landscape and figured out that we are on a big ball hurtling through space. I feel no sense of movement. Even our weather patterns are affected more by gravity and tilt, than by the motion of the earth. The person who said this was of course influenced by people around him who stated that the earth was round and did not express it as a belief, but as a fact.

     

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