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Messages - hatsoff

1
Separately, I am saying that you are mistaken in your characterisation of Aristotle's 'scientific' method, how he went about investigating the natural world: it wasn't a "pure thought" methodology, a merely 'syllogistic' one. We know this from simply reading Aristotle's 'scientific' works, and seeing that methodologically they seem in large part to conform to how modern science is carried out, with a definite focus on empirical inquiry. This is presumably how Aristotle got so much about the natural world right even without the extraordinary technological advances made since, and why Darwin respected him so highly.

As I tried to say here:

Quote
You have to observe Venus to know anything about Venus, right?  I never suggested that Aristotle didn't rely on observation (sense perception) at all. The issue is the method to acquire scientific knowledge was syllogistic which is what I mean by "pure thought."

So, there is definitely an inductive component and then a deductive component to his methodology as I understand it. I don't know why you keep trying to twist what I'm saying to act as if I deny the inductive component to all of this. Perhaps my choice of words haven't been the best, but I thought I've been clear so not sure why you ridicule what I'm saying.

As you can see from my prior post, I'm not trying to ridicule you, but correct a misunderstanding of Aristotle that I have to assume comes from a lack of familiarity with (at least very large parts of) his work.

If your point now is merely that "there is definitely an inductive component and then a deductive component to his methodology", then that's true, as all truisms must be. But it's also very uninteresting, as all truisms must also be.

I'm so glad you're back.

2
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: I am what I am but why?
« on: October 02, 2020, 05:25:13 pm »
I think you misspelled your username.  Q is always followed by U.  So it really should be QUERTY.

3
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Critical Pimp Theory
« on: September 18, 2020, 10:07:08 am »
^ The claim that a disproportionate number of black people fall victim to police brutality is something that seems verifiably true. The manner in which some of these well-known incidents played out, seems to point to a systemic problem. It is the kind of problem that could indeed be called "institutional racism". I also think that racism is subconsciously habitual, which is the root that could be addressed by virtue of changing society's perceptions (and thus environmental feedback). The same thing has happened with women liberation.

This is all very vague. You have given no real reason to think there is "institutional racism".

Innocent black people *just aren't* being hunted by white cops.

And as I said, "disproportionate" by itself doesn't mean much, so it doesn't matter whether it's verifiable or not.

So, you're correct that this isn't very good evidence for institutional/systemic racism.  However, you also seem to think this means something like, innocent black people being hunted by white cops.  Wouldn't that just be overt racism?  My understanding is that systemic racism happens when a system operates so as to oppress or discriminate against a certain race.  So, for instance, a policy that resulted in hiring white cops who hunt innocent African Americans would be an example of systemic racism, but the hunting itself would not be.

4
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What argument has most intrigued you?
« on: September 16, 2020, 03:08:35 pm »
But then you proposed the general principle that things are "factually necessary" whenever they're a "matter of fact".  That has nothing to do with time t_0.  And in any case, it's trivial, so that couldn't be what Swinburne meant---unless Swinburne is an even worse philosopher than I imagined!

Maybe you misunderstood me, but the reason t_0 is key here is because it doesn't have a cause. In that scenario we have two possible accounts for what dictates the structure of this t0 reality: metaphysical necessity or factual necessity. So, necessity or contingency. If Kurros is right that God cannot be assumed to be metaphysically possible, then something metaphysically necessary about reality at t0 requires God cannot exist. Does Kurros really want to commit to metaphysical necessity? If so, then he's made quite a concession to the theists who think God is metaphysically necessary since if something non-theistic is metaphysically necessary then why not accept God's metaphysical necessity?

Well, I just wanted to be clear about what 'factual necessity' is in the first place.  It can't be what you said it was---those things that are matters of fact---because that would make the concept out to be trivial.

5
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What argument has most intrigued you?
« on: September 11, 2020, 05:41:23 pm »
to?

t-zero. The beginning.

Why are numbers small on this forum? A1B2C3?  Christ the lord...

Okay, so yes you were talking about that at first.  But then you proposed the general principle that things are "factually necessary" whenever they're a "matter of fact".  That has nothing to do with time t_0.  And in any case, it's trivial, so that couldn't be what Swinburne meant---unless Swinburne is an even worse philosopher than I imagined!

6
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What argument has most intrigued you?
« on: September 11, 2020, 04:47:09 pm »
That can't be.  For instance, it's a matter of fact that I'm typing this response to you, but surely it's not 'necessary' in any nontrivial sense.

But, we're talking about t0.

to?

7
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What argument has most intrigued you?
« on: September 11, 2020, 04:20:35 pm »
Your answer shows how powerful conceptual schemes are and why it is that we are unlikely to ever break through those boundaries.

My answer has more to do with my low view of philosophy than my low view of theism.  All the arguments *against* theism are pretty awful, too---in my experience anyway.

8
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What argument has most intrigued you?
« on: September 11, 2020, 04:07:09 pm »
I'm not sure what you are talking about here. I generally understand "a priori" and "a posterior" in an epistemic sense, which is irrelevant to discussions of metaphysical possibility. If you mean them in some other way then I am not familiar with it.

So, in the case of Richard Swinburne, he does not think God exists by metaphysical necessity but simply exists as a matter of fact (usually called factual necessity). One view is a priori necessity and the other is a posteriori necessity.

That can't be.  For instance, it's a matter of fact that I'm typing this response to you, but surely it's not 'necessary' in any nontrivial sense.

9
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What argument has most intrigued you?
« on: September 11, 2020, 03:49:09 pm »
Is there any argument that has grabbed your attention/ generally inspired a sense of awe and interest in you? My favourite argument is cosmological arguments. While I obviously don't trust them, they are very interesting to me, so much so that I picked up Dr. Craig's "The Cosmological Argument From Plato to Leibniz" which is an excellent read.

TAG, without a doubt.  All God arguments are nonsense of course, and TAG is no exception.  But at least TAG gets me thinking about other things I actually find interesting, like epistemology and abstract objects.

10
I once had a business major make fun of me in college when he saw me holding several philosophy books under my arm. 

"Philosophy!" he chided.  "What is the real world usefulness of studying that?"

"By asking that question, you are doing philosophy," I replied.

I don't think that really captures the criticism though.  It's not as if we shouldn't ever consider 'philosophical' questions.  And if you enjoy delving deep into philosophy (like many of us do) then by all means, go ahead.  But, we shouldn't kid ourselves into thinking it's any more than recreation.  What we do is for ourselves, not for others.

11
Ahead of provincial government inspections, local authorities ordered to eliminate crosses from the roofs of Protestant and Catholic venues from April through June.

by Wu Xishan

On May 20, more than ten local government officials, including the heads of the United Front Work Department and Religious Affairs Bureau, supervised the cross removal from the Great Wall Church, a Three-Self church in Lanling, a county in the prefecture-level city of Linyi. The cross was toppled for being “too eye-catching.”

In a village administered by the county’s Jinling town, the roof cross and a statue of the Virgin Mary were forcibly removed from a Catholic church on May 19. Local officials said that the reason for the move was that the cross was taller than the village committee building.

Two crosses were removed from a Three-Self church in Linyi’s Tancheng county also in May. “Officials said that the order came from higher authorities,” the church deacon told Bitter Winter. “If the crosses were not removed, the church would be shut down, its land confiscated, and all facilities destroyed or taken away.”

Read more:
https://bitterwinter.org/crosses-removed-from-churches-across-shandong-province/

Yeah I mean, that's awful and everything I agree.  But I'm just wondering why, with of all the hideous human rights abuses going on in China right now, you decided to focus on this?

12
No

Hmm.  Okay, but then we're back to square one.  Let me recap the conversation, if you don't mind.  It all started with this claim (emphasis mine):

A constant value that is not zero has no reason being that value (that we know of) compared to millions of other apparently possible values. Yes, there could be some ultimate naturalistic reason it is exactly such a small value and couldn't have been a few orders higher, but that seems very unlikely.

This seems to be a key claim---your argument seems to hinge on it in a crucial way.  And yet when I go to consider whether it's true, I find myself puzzled as to what your claim even means.  That's what I've been asking you to explain to me, and what I wish you would address. ...I want to know how to make sense of your claiming that it's 'very unlikely' that the constants are what they are, or that they are life-permitting, or whatever it is that you were trying to say.

Yes, there could be some ultimate naturalistic reason [for fine-tuning of the cosmological constant that] it is exactly such a small value and couldn't have been a few orders higher, but that seems very unlikely.  ...the inductive probability of such a theory existing is very low.

By "such a theory", I take you to mean a scientific theory that provides a naturalistic explanation for why the constants fall within the life-permitting range.  Is that correct?  And then, you think it's unlikely that such a theory could ever be true.  Correct?

Yes, that's correct. Just one clarification. It's always theoretically possible to adjust the current background theories such as GRT that the cosmological constant becomes zero (or is eliminated altogether), but that revision to the background theories (such as GRT) will result in an overly complicated and unconvincing background theories (not to mention it wouldn't work for fine-tuning of other constants other than the cosmological constant). But, in absence of modification to a current background theories it is very unlikely to find such a ~M theory that would cancel out 119 (or so) orders of magnitude that meets conditions C1 and C2.

And here are C1 and C2, according to you:

C1) some sort of symmetry or adjustment mechanism would need to exist to make Pv vanish. In addition, C2) such a fundamental physical theory would need to dictate a non-zero value for Pv that happens to be comparable to the cosmic mass density Po at this particular moment in the history of the universe.

So, this is all very puzzling to me.  It could be that I'm just too dense to see what you mean.  But you might want to also consider the possibility that perhaps you aren't very clear yourself on what you're trying to say.

13
As kurros has already pointed out, there's no reason to think this is a consensus among cosmologists.  Indeed, I would be surprised if very many at all thought such a thing.  And the quotes you regularly provide from cosmologists like Weinberg don't say anything like that either, as far as I can tell.

This is why I put the quotes in the OP. As MSW said:

Quote
As far as we know, the only way to understand a value of Pv to Po is based on a weak form of the anthropic principle.

And by Weinberg (1989) referring to competing ~M theories:

Quote
Intriguing as these results are, they have not been taken seriously (even by the original authors) as a solution of the cosmological constant problem.

Hmm, but this doesn't address my concern.  And then I noticed you also asked kurros (who has the same concern) what he was referring to.  So, it seems you've forgotten what the current topic of conversation is right now.  I suppose that can happen when the conversation is strewn out over multiple days.  So, let me remind you.

You claimed that it's unlikely for there to ever be a true scientific theory, compatible with single-universe naturalism, that explains why the constants in physics take on life-permitting values.  This is the same claim that kurros called "pure speculation on your part".  I for one would like to know what's your basis for this claim.

If you don't have any good argument or evidence, then you could instead appeal to authority, which is what it seems like you want to do.  In this context, an appeal to authority might be appropriate, so long as we're careful.  But none of the authorities you've quoted say anything like what you've claimed.  Again, that could just be because you were giving the wrong quotes since you lost track of the topic over the course of several days.  Now that you've been reminded, what do you think?

14
This just seems like pure speculation on your part. I don't see any reason to believe that a theory that removes all fine tuning completely is impossible or even unlikely. And indeed I think it would be a very severe mistake to believe that we will never make any modifications to the "background theories" like general relativity or quantum field theory. In fact all progress in quantum gravity points to the exact opposite conclusion.

Don't shoot the messenger of what the top notch cosmologists are saying.

As kurros has already pointed out, there's no reason to think this is a consensus among cosmologists.  Indeed, I would be surprised if very many at all thought such a thing.  And the quotes you regularly provide from cosmologists like Weinberg don't say anything like that either, as far as I can tell.

15
In this thread there was an objection to my statement:

Quote
Yes, there could be some ultimate naturalistic reason [for fine-tuning of the cosmological constant that] it is exactly such a small value and couldn't have been a few orders higher, but that seems very unlikely.

I guess this is a response to my question.  But remember, I was only asking you what you meant by your claim, not for a justification.  After all, I can't evaluate any attempted justification until I first understand what exactly it is that you're claiming in the first place.  So, quotes from cosmologists aren't going to help with that.

But you did say this, which gives me a clue:

Quote
the inductive probability of such a theory existing is very low.

By "such a theory", I take you to mean a scientific theory that provides a naturalistic explanation for why the constants fall within the life-permitting range.  Is that correct?  And then, you think it's unlikely that such a theory could ever be true.  Correct?

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