Thursday, January 29, 2009

Concerning Dialogues, Evidence and Proof

Concerning Dialogues, Arguments, Evidence, Proofs

First, let me say that I am an atheist, an agnostic, a non-believer---all of these. So, I have no religious fantasies to defend.

Second, for some reason unknown to me, I have developed the habit of approaching all new ideas (new to me) with skepticism. I use whatever skills I have to analyze, reason and search for evidence. By “evidence” I mean that which can not be disputed by the vast majority of rational beings. That said, I realize that there will always be some who will dispute what I accept as evidence and who still think of themselves as rational. All of which goes to show that even concepts like “reason” and “rational” are somewhat subjective, thus leading to the conclusion that “evidence” comes down to that which most people believe is true. In this light, can there be proof of anything?

Third, All philosophical concepts begin with one or more premises. Since premises can not be proved to everyone’s satisfaction, it seems we are left with only the option of compromise to enable us to get along together.

Fourth, perhaps the only premise on which there is any possibility that most of us can agree is that nothing is certain. Those, who insist on maintaining that some things are certain, have their own problems to deal with.

Labels: ,


At Sunday, February 15, 2009 , Anonymous W. E. Messamore said...

Stumbled across your blog and thought I'd leave this answer:

"In this light can there be proof of anything?"

If by "proof" you mean that we all have to agree, then probably not. I would solve this problem by saying that proof doesn't require our consensus- truth is not subject to a vote. An assertion is true if it accurately corresponds to the reality it describes, even if we all believe the assertion is wrong (in such a case we would all be wrong).

The best thing we can do is try is much as we can to ensure that our view of reality corresponds as closely as possible to the thing itself (i.e. to reality itself). Can we be 100% certain that it does? Of course not, which is why it is in our best interest to be as open-minded as possible and for our belief system to be in a dynamic process of challenge and revision as we learn more about the world and perfect our reasoning.

As far as that goes, I don't know that man's fallibility and finitude is a problem. You won't be perfect, but you can do your best, and makes a difference to do so, it's worthwhile and morally imperative to you as a rational creature.

PS: It seems that you're not using blogger's comment system (am I mistaken about that?)- may I ask what you are using?

At Sunday, June 14, 2009 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

proof is the classical use of the word by mathematicians, scientists and lawyers. We prove gravity by things not floating off. We prove electricity by a flow of current measured or a series of sparks generated from the dynamo. But believers have no proof for their alleged deity. Believers have only the blind irrational claims of Jeebus this or Jehovah that or Ghost Holes explain it all? What a crock. We can know the rationality of a definition and examine the evidence in support of any attribute for any alleged deity. Accordingly, no prayer has ever been answered or ever will be because the Jehovah of the King James Bible is a fiction of phantasmagoria & silly childish braggarts claim. Larry 843-926-1750


Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home