The Inherent Superiority of Answering "I don't know"

Author: Discipulus_Didicit ,

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  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    Imagine a conversation from ancient times...

    Alex: Huh, ever notice how wood floats?

    Beth: Yep. Sure did notice that.

    Alex: You ever wonder why it floats though?

    Beth: God done do it.

    Alex: Yeah I guess you are right. Why did he make it like that though?

    Beth: Oh, uhh... I don't know. Wait, I got it! He made it like that so we could build structures from wood to help us cross water!

    *Wooden ships invented*

    Many years later...

    Charlie: These wooden ships are nice and all but I would like something a bit harder like rock or metal. That would be nice.

    Daisy: Yeah but rocks and metal don't float, stupid. God done only made wood float.

    Charlie: yeah you are right.

    Meanwhile on the other side of the world...

    Edward: These wooden ships are nice and all but I would like something a bit harder like rock or metal. That would be nice.

    Fred: Yeah but rocks and metal don't float, stupid. God done only made wood float.

    Edward: I'm not convinced. There has to be more to it than that. I'm going to look into this further.

    Fred: You are just wasting your time. The answer is god done do it. Quit yer yammering and help me build this ship.

    Edward: Well I have some experiments here showing that the reason wood floats is because it is less dense. I knew there was more to it!

    Fred: God done did it less dense so it could float so we could make ships. No need to look further.

    Edward: I wonder why less dense things float though. What causes that to happen?

    Fred: God done causes it to happen so that we can make ships. Stop questioning things.

    Edward: But I have some new experiments that show that the reason less dense objects float is because the water pressure exerted on an object is affected by volume and the gravitational forces exerted on an object is affected by mass. Therefore due to the relationship between mass, volume, and density the water pressure exerted on less dense objects overcomes the gravitational forces. That is what causes wood to float! What a remarkable discovery!

    *Buoyancy discovered*

    Fred: I don't understand all yer fancy talk but really it ain't all that impressive. God done planned this buoyancy thing from the get-go so that wood could float so that we could make wooden ships. What a waste of time. How does knowing about this buoyancy thing help us?

    Edward: That does make sense. Maybe I should just give up.

    Fred: Of course it makes sense. God wants wooden ships. How he makes the wood float don't matter none.

    Edward: Wait, I just had a thought! If we were to make a ship from steel that had enough empty space inside it to reduce the effective density to less than that of water then we could have a ship made of steel! This is going to change everything!

    Fred: Uhh steel don't float, dummy. Steel sinks. Remember that steel nail I dropped in the water and hour ago? It sunk. Don't matter why it sunk, God just done made it so that steel sinks.

    Edward: But it all makes sense now. The reason things float is because of their density, the reason less dense things float is because of buoyancy, we can make buoyancy work to make a steel ship float!

    *Steel ships invented*

    Fred: I don't understand any of that jibber jabber but I tell you what, if you can make a steel ship float it's because god gone did whatever density-buoyancy hocus-pocus just for us so that we can make steel ships. You should just leave it at that. All yer investigatin' and experimentin' and what has it gotten us? Nothin'.

    Edward was able to invent something new because when he had a question for which he did not know the answer he said "I don't know, let's find out." as opposed to Alex, Beth, Charlie, Daisy, and Fred who all responded to unknowns by saying "God". Even when there was no obvious immediate practical application to the investigation continuing on led to positive practical results. 
  • PressF4Respect
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    BUT WHAT CREATED THE WOOD, THE ROCKS, THE PEOPLE, AND THE PERSON TELLING US THIS STORY?
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    I don't know.

    Let's find out =)
  • PressF4Respect
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    Yeet

    I love Scientolo... I mean science!
  • zedvictor4
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    BUT WHAT CREATED THE CREATOR?
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       / \
      /👁\
    /____\

18 days later

  • secularmerlin
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    This is an interesting treatise on why claiming some creator being doesn't so much solve mysteries like why are we here and how did the universe come about as simply appealing to a greater mystery. Whether such a being existed or not faith has observably less efficacy informing our understanding than science has shown.
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    Thanks. The practical positive effects of asking questions and seeking the answers is an incredibly simple concept I admit, but sometimes presenting simple concepts in more detailed ways gets people that might at first disagree to actually think about it for themselves rather than just dismissing it out of hand as a knee-jerk reaction. As an example it is often rightly point out that the internet and related technologies would not exist if not for scientists and engineers making an effort to understand, for instance, how electrons work. The knee-jerk reaction (parodied by F4 in post 2 of this thread) is usually to just say "but goddid the 'lectrons" without actually thinking about it the implications of what the former speaker is trying to say. By taking a point and slowing the explanation down I hope to force the reader to think for themselves by not triggering such knee-jerks. The difficult part is in balancing it so that the OP does not become needlessly verbose.

    I remember I took this approach a few times on DDO, most notably regarding the anthropic principle (though naturally I did not use that term). Perhaps I will dig through the old DDO archives and repost some of those here.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    Cool story. A theist can also make a story like yours because it is an anecdote so...
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    One that leads to the conclusion that uncritically accepting unverified answers to questions produces superior practical results to seeking the actual answers without making the unjustified assumption that said unverified answers happen to be true?

    I look forward to reading such a story.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    One that leads to the conclusion that uncritically accepting unverified answers to questions produces superior practical results to seeking the actual answers without making the unjustified assumption that said unverified answers happen to be true?
    Tell me are you a scientist researching said thing or are you simply parroting from a qualified scientist?



  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    Are you a scientist researching said thing or are you simply parroting from a qualified scientist?

    It is quite obvious that I am neither of these things. It is quite obvious that I am merely a guy making a philosophical point.

    Still, tell me your story. I will listen.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    Your point doesn't even help your case. You look to others when you need evidence just like thiests. 

    My story,
    What is consciousness?
    Sam: I don't know. Not really bothered by the answer.
    Jack: I don't know either but I am dedicated into finding out what it is.  

    20 years later

    Sam is happy doing what she likes not spending time on things she can't answer whereas Jack spent most of his time trying to find an answer to the detriment to his hapiness. 

    The story is really short but it highlights I can also make anecdotes. One that makes theists look better. Don't ponder things you can't understand. Live with not knowing or you will spend time on things without a sufficient answer. Sam can be a theist but I didn't really make that clear. Mainly because I used her to state what most people would do about the question. Move on.

  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    Your point doesn't even help your case.

    What is my case?
  • TheRealNihilist
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    What is my case?

    Edward was able to invent something new because when he had a question for which he did not know the answer
    In this case Jack didn't invent anything new instead found nothing and was unhappy during that time.

    Your other case was the philosophical point you made which wasn't even all that good given the same argument can be levied back at you. 
  • ebuc
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit @PressF4Respect
    There exists no cosmic source { @ } only cosmic ignorance. { * ??? * }


    ..."These Swirls of Light Could Be Signs of a Previous Universe Existing Before Ours"...

    .."If our Universe happened to be locked in an eternal heartbeat of expansion and collapse, black holes would leave an impression. And it could look just like a number of swirls recently detected in the faint echo of light at the edge of space."......


    ...."Buddhism has no creator god to explain the origin of the universe. Instead, it teaches that everything depends on everything else: present events are caused by past events and become the cause of future events.
    Indian religions often see space and time as cyclical, such that world-systems come into being, survive for a time, are destroyed and then are remade. In Buddhism this happens naturally without the intervention of gods."...

    Heavenly This Dance, That Swirls Around,  *)(*...^v^v...*)(*

    Inward and Outward, Finite the Bounds. >>>(<  *)(*  >)<<<<

  • crossed
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    I would love to talk about that thing. I can not talk about because of our bet.



    But someone brought to my attention something Similar



    How do you counter this:

    • Rain will fall from clouds
    • Plants need rain to live
    Therefore Zeus made it so plants could drink rain. 

    It is true if water did no turn into gas and have the ability to clump up into clouds.No life could exist because we would not have rain.

  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    I would love to talk about that thing. I can not talk about because of our bet.

    You mean the fact that water expands when it freezes? You can talk about anything you want to talk about so long as you acknowledge that it has been shown to be - by your own standard - not a logical reason for believing in god.

    As for your example here I have my own reasons for thinking that the existence of rain and clouds is not a good reason to believe that Zeus exists and I will gladly explain them to you. First however, do you think this is sufficient reason to believe that Zeus exists? Why or why not?
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    I am saying that there are hundreds of thousands of practical applications for various real inventions that came about as a result of trying to learn about the world. Do you deny this?

    There are those that are content to let the mysteries of the universe remain mysteries. I have met many of them. I doubt they are in the majority though, if they were then we would still be a hunter-gathering species.
  • bsh1
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    Edward: But I have some new experiments that show that the reason less dense objects float is because the water pressure exerted on an object is affected by volume and the gravitational forces exerted on an object is affected by mass. Therefore due to the relationship between mass, volume, and density the water pressure exerted on less dense objects overcomes the gravitational forces. That is what causes wood to float! What a remarkable discovery!
  • crossed
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    You seem to think that the process's that science have discovered on how the universe works disproves god. Which it does not.. Telling me the complex manner in which gas turns into a solid or liquid does not disprove god it only promotes it since it is so advance. Telling me how how advance atoms are does not disprove god made them. it in Facts prove that he created the because it is so advance. Telling me how my heart and brain work. does not disprove god created them it only promotes it. Because they are so advance. Telling me how advance DNA is is not going to disprove god made it is only going to promote god made them since it is so advance.

  • crossed
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      I said if clouds did not exist life could not exist and claimed god created clouds and water with there properties so plants can drink. Telling me the complex formula in which water turns into gas is not going to disprove it. Because i believe this advance method was his way of doing it.


    I am saying that there are hundreds of thousands of practical applications for various real inventions that came about as a result of trying to learn about the world. Do you deny this?

    I do not deny man creates things.Gods are just so much better


    computer vs brain which is more advance. The brain by miles

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    You seem to think that the process's that science have discovered on how the universe works disproves god.

    I do not think this at all, I have never said this at all, and I think that anyone who does think this is stupid. Since your post relies on me thinking this and I don't, your post is in error.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    I said if clouds did not exist life could not exist and claimed god created clouds and water with there properties so plants can drink. Telling me the complex formula in which water turns into gas is not going to disprove it.

    I have not referred to any complex formulas in this thread whatsoever. You posted a quote claiming to prove that Zeus exists and you asked me to respond to it. I told you that I would give my response to it and explain why I think it does not prove that Zeus exists after you give your response explaining why you think it does not prove that Zeus exists. I already have my response ready and I promise that it will not involve any complex formulas, but I would like to hear yours first. Why do you think the water cycle providing water to plants is insufficient to prove that Zeus exists?
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    --> @bsh1