Exploration of the Religious Thinker: Interview #3 - Press(F4Respect)

Author: RationalMadman ,

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  • RationalMadman
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    Welcome, one and all, to the ERT!

    Today, on our show, we have someone who isn't religious but who wishes to speak on religion, he's an agnostic and an atheist (which he refers to as agnostic atheism) who goes by the name Press.

    Since he has left very little in terms of his beliefs or thoughts on reality, it would be best to let him introduce himself and his stance.
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @PressF4Respect
    Who are you and what is your stance on Theism and God/god(s)?
  • PressF4Respect
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    Thank you RM for having me here today.

    Who are you
    I am a member of the 7 billion+ group of organisms – who collectively identify themselves as homo sapiens – that identifies himself as PressF4Respect on this particular websiteYou can just call me Press. 

    and what is your stance on Theism and God/god(s)?
    My particular stance on Theism is that it isn't inherently bad. I have a live-and-let-live attitude towards different faiths, that is, I respect those from all different religions as long as they are willing to reciprocate that respect. As for God/god(s), I believe that we (meaning humanity as a whole) do not yet have sufficient evidence to prove or disprove their existence. I do not accept, nor deny, the existence of any particular deity. 
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    --> @PressF4Respect
     I do not accept, nor deny, the existence of any particular deity. 
    It is interesting that you say this, since this alienates you from hardline antitheists too.

    What would you say about people who are very devout in their faith and takes on reality? Should we avoid being too sure of anything or is it specifically about God that we should avoid being sure?

    Leading on from that, what are you sure about with regards to reality?
  • PressF4Respect
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    It is interesting that you say this, since this alienates you from hardline antitheists too.
    I am well aware of this.

    What would you say about people who are very devout in their faith and takes on reality?
    On a personal level, I have no problem with them at all. They can believe whatever they want, so long as their beliefs don't harm others. 

    Should we avoid being too sure of anything or is it specifically about God that we should avoid being sure?
    I base my stance on the fact that if you make a claim, you must back it up with non-fallacious reasoning and/or irrefutable concrete evidence for it to be valid. Only at that point can you be sure of your claim.

    Leading on from that, what are you sure about with regards to reality?
    I am sure that I exist. I base this surety on the Cartesian principle of cogito ergo sum
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @PressF4Respect
    If we combine your answers of you believing you exist as you know you think and you also firmly believing that without irrefutable proof, we should never believe in something, we'd conclude that no one except you exists, yes?
  • PressF4Respect
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    If we combine your answers of you believing you exist as you know you think and you also firmly believing that without irrefutable proof, we should never believe in something, we'd conclude that no one except you exists, yes?
    Well, no. Let me rephrase my statement to clarify it. I believe that my perception of existence is real because I have the capability of pondering about it. The same would apply to anyone else capable of thinking about their own existence. This is the essence of cogito ergo sum.
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @PressF4Respect
    How do you know that others think at all?

    I am genuinely asking you, as this will link very strongly back into your conclusion that there is no God or souls.
  • PressF4Respect
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    How do you know that others think at all?
    I don't. In my day-to-day life, the perception of other real people is within the sphere of my consciousness, which I know is real (from my argument above). It could be the case that I live in a simulation, and everyone I converse with is simply pseudo-sentient automata, but I wouldn't definitively know either way. 

    this will link very strongly back into your conclusion that there is no God or souls.
    That's not my conclusion. I'm not saying that there is no God or souls, but only that we currently do not have conclusive evidence to say that there is/isn't.
  • RationalMadman
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    Is it the anxiety of not being sure or rather a principle against deduction based on clues that makes you so vehemently stand against concluding without concrete, irrefutable evidence?

    Theism aside, crimes are usually solved using the type of concluding and hedging bets that you are against.
  • PressF4Respect
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    Is it the anxiety of not being sure or rather a principle against deduction based on clues that makes you so vehemently stand against concluding without concrete, irrefutable evidence?
    Neither. It is a core tenet of rationalism (the idea that reason is the chief source and test of knowledge), an epistemological concept so important that without it, there would only be blind faith and dogmatic beliefs. 

    Theism aside, crimes are usually solved using the type of concluding and hedging bets that you are against.
    The one key distinction between forensic criminology and academic discourse is the standard that they are beholden to. As you implied, there are often many holes in the deductive reasoning of a criminal investigator, which leaves their case neither 100% concrete nor irrefutable, and false positives can and do occur. However, in a court of law, those holes are acceptable as the prosecution only requires enough evidence and deductive reasoning to find the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This meant that all you have to do is convince the judge/jury that your case is more solid than that of the defence.

    This is not the case in argumentation. In constructing a logical proof, one must ensure that each premise is valid and that they all connect to the conclusion, as any holes would instantly render the whole thing moot. 
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    Similar to the case of solving crime, we cannot always be certain beyond any doubt of the truth in philosophy. All we can do is pursue it based on the clues available.

    More being at stake can't just make our ability to reason and conclude disappear, or does it?
  • PressF4Respect
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    Similar to the case of solving crime, we cannot always be certain beyond any doubt of the truth in philosophy. All we can do is pursue it based on the clues available.

    More being at stake can't just make our ability to reason and conclude disappear, or does it?
    Again, it's about the two different standards that they have. In almost every single criminal case, certain pieces will be missing. If we used the same standards for court cases as we do for debates, then 99+% of cases will perpetually result in a hung jury. This is obviously an undesirable outcome, so the standards are lowered to beyond a reasonable doubt (in the eyes of the jury/judge).

    Conversely, if you are missing things in logical proofs, then they instantly become non-sequiturs.
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    No, they don't. This is why I pushed on your assertion that anyone even has consciousness other than you. Of course it's insane to think of true solipsism as reality but the reason that it's insane is that the clues strongly imply others have volition and thoughts independent of our own and unfeigned in nature.

    Everything about reality is garnered via clues that our senses and thought structure allow us to have, is it not?


  • PressF4Respect
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    No, they don't.
    Is this for my point of there being two different standards or my point on non-sequiturs?

    Everything about reality is garnered via clues that our senses and thought structure allow us to have, is it not?
    Everything that we perceive about our reality is. This does not mean that what we perceive amounts to concrete evidence itself. The placebo/nocebo effect proves this.

    This is why I pushed on your assertion that anyone even has consciousness other than you. Of course it's insane to think of true solipsism as reality but the reason that it's insane is that the clues strongly imply others have volition and thoughts independent of our own and unfeigned in nature.
    To discredit true solipsism, you would need to show how it is impossible. To illustrate my point, I will ask you: How can you determine the difference between a real being and a sufficiently advanced NPC (Non-Playable Character) who thinks and responds conditionally? How do we know that a sufficiently advanced AI won't be indistinguishable from an actual human being? How do we know that the said human being isn't a sufficiently advanced AI? To discredit true solipsism (which I neither support nor deny), you would need to be able to answer such questions.

  • Stephen
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    I find it incredibly interesting how the author wishes to delve  into  and explore  the minds and thoughts of others but when it comes to his own >>>>  #9