Your belief system is wrong and I can prove it.

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by wil, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    What if?

    Your belief system is wrong and I can prove it.

    I'm not saying it is, I'm not saying I can, I'm contemplating and wondering.

    If someone said this to me, and it was a fact..I would want to know.

    Would you?

    Now what is truly interesting is I don't know if I would give it up. As it works for me. Now if I was shown something that would work better, and didn't have the issues that just pulled the rug out from under my house of cards. I would probably be inclined to study it.

    But currently because what I study not only provides avenues for positive change in my life and others, also provides comfort regarding the future, even if I found it lacking in historical fact, that I had been duped in someway...I may just stick to what I was doing...if the results continued to remain.

    I can say this as there are portions of my conventional belief system where I don't believe as others...portions that have much potential to pull the rug out from under us...and those have no issues with my understanding or belief.

    So my question is...if someone came to you and said...

    Your belief system is wrong and I can prove it.

    Would you want to know?
    Would you ask for more information?
    Would you explore their critique or go into a defensive mode?
     
  2. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    I would always want to know. I would listen. I might or might not go into defensive mode, but I would hope I could deal with it rationally.

    The proviso is, of course, that whether they think they have repudiated it or not, it is my decision that weighs for me.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Namaste Brother...yours is another name that I have challenges...like seat legal's for the longest time I read pope yes ays...and then one day popeye says.

    Such is the nature...
     
  4. Blizzardry

    Blizzardry Atheist Messiah

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    Oh God, yes! I wouldn't have got where I am today if people hadn't gone pulling the rug out from under my house of cards many many many times. I thank the many people throughout history who have challenged every belief and philosophy I've ever had.

    In my head, it's a case of survival of the fittest thought, or at least the one that shows practical benefits for my life and well-being. It's not empirical proof that you can show other people, but all that tearing down and rebuilding from scratch has left me with an unshakeable philosophy and way of life. Unshakeable for the present, anyway...
     
  5. Matt Langley

    Matt Langley Objectivist Christian

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    I've faced this many times before (as I'm sure others have). I am proud to say that I faced it (most of the time, I admit there were times I wasn't so proud of my reaction) with rational thought and an open mind.

    The problem is most people don't say what you saying, usually it comes in the form of:

    "Your belief system is wrong"

    Sometimes without anything further, just that it is wrong. Other times people append something along the lines of:

    "because this is what is right"

    Thinking that simply because they beleive something else that it must prove that everything else is incorrect. The one the strikes me the most these days is appending it with a "I can prove it" yet they try and prove it completely misunderstand what they are proving. I've faced these most often with fellow Christians that spread false information about teaching of Jesus Christ. I'm sure others can relate when someone who claims to be of your same beleif says things that are outrageous and you know to be very different than the source.

    In any case:

    "Would you want to know? "

    Yes, though depends on how the person phrases it and what kind of person I know them to be.


    "Would you ask for more information?"

    Yes, if it seems they know what they are talking about.


    "Would you explore their critique or go into a defensive mode?"

    I would explore their critique with rational thought and reason. I would challenge my own beleifs with their arguments and see whether or not they withstand.


    I strongly beleive that you can never truly "beleive" in anything unless you challenge it. Otherwise you are just "accepting" something.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    touche'
     
  7. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Wil,

    thank you for the post.

    well.. the first thing i would try to do is educate them about what proofs are and how they are not applicable to the discussion of religious views. Proofs are part of formal like maths and logic and their proofs flow deductively from their framework and have little to do with external reality.

    secondly... i would say that regardless of their arguments, i form my views and beliefs predicated on my own experience and intellect. as such, i value the views of others but rely not upon them for forming my views.

    anyway.. Hero's is about to start, so i gotta run :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  8. Matt Langley

    Matt Langley Objectivist Christian

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    The thing is if you "educate" them on this then that would be the same as me trying to "educate" you that Jesus is your Lord and savior. There are many religious beleifs that flow from logic and reason, not all ignore the rules of the reality that we know of and can be sure of.


    Math is but a language. This language can represent many things, some things other languages have a very hard time doing so, or are nearly impossible to. On the other hand math can represent very common things. Take a Game Engine for example. It uses pure math to represent life-like environments. To say logic is a tool limited to math is like saying using your feet is limited to walking, yet it could be used to stand, run, jump, etc.

    I agree with somewhat you say about an "external" reality. But assuming there is an "external" reality then it's not unlikely it would be defined by rules like this reality is as well but different rules. In any case since it's "external" there is no way to "prove" it as you say; however, in most of these "external" realities that religions are based on there often is part of the reality linked to this reality. Prophets for example, divine inspiration, divine conviction, as well as any other "spiritual" link. This would mean that part of this "external" reality would most likely be subject to this realities rules (which this realities rules can be heavily defined by the tool of logic and reason, such as physics, brain activity, psychology, etc)... so by using tools of this reality you can discover the validity of the "external" reality within this reality, in the end thats what matters while we're in this reality, otherwise you are spending all your time for a future reality while ignoring and wasting time in this.

    Of course this is just my own conjecture and opinions, just like yours.


    Are you saying you don't take influences of others within this reality? That sounds to me (just to me that is) that this is the saying as you would ignore influences in an external reality, since they are but influences just in different realities.
     
  9. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Matt,

    thank you for the post.

    whilst that may seem to be the same, it actually is not. Proof is a formal statement with definition in scientific nomenclature and has a specific meaning. What is meant by the lay person is something more akin to evidence than proof. Further, this definition is somewhat different in the various philosophical disciplines.

    Far more consistent and compelling is evidence, in my view.

    Interesting. I would disagree that mathmatics is a language, it is a way of representing ontological reality that, however, does not make it a language, in my view.

    you misunderstand. I said that Logic is a formal system, like mathmatics. Further that the idea of "proof" is only applicable within such formal systems. though mathmatics depends on logic, they are not the same and should not be confused as such.

    anything which exists outside of your mind is external reality :)

    correct. we can, however, provide copious amounts of evidence which is, of course, different than a proof.

    you misunderstand. external reality is the reality which exists outside of your mind... this is the ontological reality we all, to lesser or greater degrees, experience.

    i think that, perhaps, you are confused by some of my terminology. humans experience two sorts of realites... the internal reality which is not shared by anyone and the external, ontological reality which all beings share. maths is based on external, ontological reality and dealing with and understanding it in within a certain framework and, since this is so, their deductions flow from their stated premisis.

    i am, like most beings, influenced by a great many things. that, however, is insufficent for me to substitute their experience for mine.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  10. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Hi,

    In varying degrees we are presumably all open to mental adjustment, how else did we get from our newborn mind to the one we have in this moment?

    A firmer set of beliefs is more stable and less open to change. A looser set of beliefs is less stable and more open to change.

    I try not to be attached to such things. Recently I underwent extensive Trial by Jehovah’s Witness; I did not feel defensive or threatened but neither did I feel influenced. People and views influence me regularly. I listen, read, consider, discuss, assimilate, reject, put on hold, remould…

    My internal reality began at my birth. It changes moment by moment, and will cease when I cease.

    s.
     
  11. Matt Langley

    Matt Langley Objectivist Christian

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    The problem I have with this statement:

    "Further, this definition is somewhat different in the various philosophical disciplines."

    Is that it is basically an escape route. That you may in fact be defining "proof" and "prove" wrong but since you said the definition is "different" to different "philisophical disciplines" you have an escape to being wrong. To me this is worse than saying a falsehood unintentionally. It's the same as saying something but refusing to admit it may in fact be incorrect. If you don't allow yourself open for being incorrect then you truly don't allow yourself to be correct. Just like you can't truly beleive something unless you challenge it, otherwise that is simply acceptance. You are trying to protect your "view" and deeming that there are different definitions of the same terms. The problem with that concept is if there are different definitions (that is definitions that can contradict) then the language we are using is failing at being a language... when I looked "proof" up on dictionary.com it says this (here are the first 8):


    Now "evidence" is used quite a bit in the more common of these definitions.

    After reviewing the "evidence" I would have to say that that statement of yours is in fact false. The overwhelming evidence shows that proof is merely a collection of evidence, enough evidence to make you accept the subject as true. Instead of using escape route statements, such as "in my view", maybe you should face the possibility that your definition of the word proof is incorrect. If you do so then you must accept your arguments against proof may be incorrect as well since you possibly had defined it incorrectly.

    Don't get me wrong... I respect that you like to say "in my view" also as a way to seem less threatening. To not imply that your fiew is definately correct but that it is simply your view. I agree with that, because in truth all I say and all you say is just in our own "view" or its what we "think" is true. Though abusing a mentality like that can cause one to fail to look at things objectively at times and realize that there are such things as truths, some things are truths despite our personal views (what you consider our internal


    I find this interesting since we can use mathematic to communicate. For example in another thread you mentioned binary... binary is a number system. When you use binary with something such as mathematics you can see mathemetatics as a language. In fact how could would deny it is a language when the computer you are typing on uses the language of mathematics to communicate the information you type to the web server, which then uses another language based on mathematics to translate it to a human readable language.

    How is mathematics different than english and binary different than the english alphabet. English being the way we decipher the alphabet, math being the way we decipher binary. Considering my job heavily consists around Programming (mainly Game Programmer) I use the language of math every day to convey concepts and ideas, much the same as we are using english right now.

    This is just my view, but I think their is overwhelming enough evidence to be proof... on the other hand that is just what I "think".


    I don't misunderstand. I strongly beleive Logic is a tool... not a formal system.

    here is the definition of logic (from dictionary.com)...:

    and here is the defintion of "inference" (in reference to logic)

    I beleive these two sum it up nicely. Which is why I beleive logic is a tool.

    For example:

    Say you touch a hot stove burner (at a young age before you know what it is), it burns you. The next time you see the hot stove burner you don't touch it. You made a logical decision based on previous consequences. Logic governs the most basic decisions we live by. It is simply a tool of inference... which in definition is "the process of deriving the strict logical consequences of assumed premises." You see a red stove you assume its hot and you don't touch it because that would be illogical.


    To me (based on the general definitions of proof) this would mean that you are saying certain concepts aren't subject to "proof" because it is impossible to gather enough evidence to be estabilshed as proof. To me this sounds like avoiding the possibility that you could be proved wrong. It seems like a safe guard to ensure you don't ever have to admit that certain concepts could be incorrect, when in fact they can only be correct if there's a possibility of them being incorrect otherwise "correct" loses it's definition and simple becomes exists.


    Not it isn't... at least not the general definition. To deny the general definition would serve no purpose to safeguard your own pride. What you say is in fact the general definition of proof...

    "copious ammounts of evidence"


    Ahh thanks for the clarification... I in fact was confusing your terminology. What you say is not far from what I beleive (which stems from Objectivism)... However, I do not beleive the same. In fact Objectivism is defined in the dictionary as:

    I beleive the same. I don't beleive in two realities... one inside and outside of us. I beleive there is in fact just one reality and it is external (as you say). I also beleive we can use reason, logic, and rational thought to discover this one reality. I beleive we have our own personal perceptions of this one reality but that there is in fact only one reality.

    To me, saying there is two realities is a contradiction. Since a reaity is something that is real... whereas if we have two realities that can and possibly do conflict then there is indeed really only one reality. I do beleive we have our own perception of that reality and most likely none of our perceptions match perfectly to the reality. Though I beleive we can govern our perception by reason and rational thought.
     
  12. Matt Langley

    Matt Langley Objectivist Christian

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    btw just wanted to add I mean no offense. You expressed some strong views that I disagree with and I posted some strong views you probably disagree with. I meant everything in a respectful but interested manner. I am enjoying our conversation and find your viewpoint extremely interesting.
     
  13. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Matt,

    thank you for the post.

    it is, however, simply a statement indicating that various philosophical schools have a different understanding and criteria for what they consider "proof". that these philosophical view points have different views is not my doing :)

    whilst this may seem to be the case it actually is not. in terms of the sort of "proof" that i am talking about, there are several different understandings depending on ones point of view. from the Popperian model, it is clear that only intersubjective evidence can ever be considered as valid evidence. it is from this point of view that my views of evidence are derived.

    strange point of view, but if it works for you :)

    there are, however, different definitions for the same word. I'll give you a wonderful example. what does the word "boot" mean?

    In mathematics, a proof is a demonstration that, assuming certain axioms, some statement is necessarily true. A proof is a logical argument, not an empirical one. That is, one must demonstrate that a proposition is true in all cases before it is considered a theorem of mathematics. An unproven proposition for which there is some sort of empirical evidence is known as a conjecture. In virtually all branches of mathematics, the assumed axioms are ZFC (Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory, with the axiom of choice), unless indicated otherwise. ZFC formalizes mathematical intuition about set theory, and set theory suffices to describe contemporary algebra and analysis.

    Proofs employ logic but usually include some amount of natural language which usually admits some ambiguity. In fact, the vast majority of proofs in written mathematics can be considered as applications of informal logic. Purely formal proofs are considered in proof theory. The distinction between formal and informal proofs has led to much examination of current and historical mathematical practice, quasi-empiricism in mathematics, and so-called folk mathematics (in both senses of that term). The philosophy of mathematics is concerned with the role of language and logic in proofs, and mathematics as a language.

    Regardless of one's attitude to formalism, the result that is proved to be true is a theorem; in a completely formal proof it would be the final line, and the complete proof shows how it follows from the axioms alone. Once a theorem is proved, it can be used as the basis to prove further statements. The so-called foundations of mathematics are those statements one cannot, or need not, prove. These were once the primary study of philosophers of mathematics. Today focus is more on practice, i.e. acceptable techniques.

    Mathematical proof - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Evidence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    perhaps you should continue to review the evidence, espeically the parts where i've indicated that my view comes from ;)

    since i was quite specific in my useage of the term and, subsequently, see that my useage was correct, perhaps you would like to consider the possibility that there is more than one understanding of the term "proof"?

    my argument against proof is that i want evidence as evidence and proof are not the same thing. Proof is, also, a measure of the % of alcohol in an alcoholoic beverage.

    then i fail to understand why you would chide me on this statement.

    i do not presume to be objective :) i am, as are most beings that i've met, quite subjective given that my experience of anything is coloured by my past experience, intellectual grasp of the subject and so forth. i would never advocate that my views are objective, i'll leave that for others.

    the only reason that this is so is due to the formalized nature of maths as they fit within their framework and, to understand the nomenclature, we have to be operating within the framework.

    i suppose that one could if they were so inclinded.

    i do not speak assembly nor do i speak machine code.

    Mathematics and computer science use artificial entities called formal languages (including programming languages and markup languages, but also some that are far more theoretical in nature). These often take the form of character strings, produced by some combination of formal grammar and semantics of arbitrary complexity.

    In logic and mathematics, a formal system consists of two components, a formal language plus a set of inference rules or transformation rules. A formal system may be formulated purely abstractly, for its own sake, or it may be intended to serve as a description of some domain of real phenomena or some aspect of objective reality.

    In mathematics, formal proofs are the product of formal systems, consisting of axioms and rules of deduction. Theorems are then recognized as the possible 'last lines' of formal proofs. The point of view that this sums up all there is to mathematics is often called formalism, but is more properly referred to finitism. David Hilbert founded metamathematics as a discipline for discussing formal systems.

    Any language that one uses to talk about a formal system is called a metalanguage. The metalanguage may be nothing more than ordinary natural language, or it may be partially formalized itself, but it is generally less completely formalized than the formal language component of the formal system under examination, which is then called the object language, that is, the object of the discussion in question.

    that something is classified as one thing does not mean that it cannot, also, be classified as something else. to wit, the defintion provided above.

    that is correct.

    really? how much evidence is "sufficient" for one to be pursuaded? nevertheless, one can provide a copious amount of evidence that i am incorrect in my views, which is not the same as proof.

    i think that you are projecting a great amount of your own views unto me and then arguing with them. i am interested in gathering evidence and determing what that evidence indicates, regardless of my personal views on the subject.

    would you speculate that since the informal defintion of theory is not accepted by the scientific process, that all scientists are engaged in protecting their ego?

    you have thorougly confused me now... do you or do you not hold to an Objectivism view point?

    that is not my view. it is quite clear that beings can experience a reality that is entirely subjective and within their own sense perceptions and has little correspondence with external reality. one only need see some severely mentally imparied beings to observe this, in my opinion.

    why is that so? there is more than one dimension to this ontological universe, correct? how have you determined that multiple dimensions in the ontological universe are ok but multiple experiences of said universe are not?

    metta,

    ~v
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Objective and polite...could be a dangerous combination...
     
  15. JosephM

    JosephM New Member

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    Great Thread Wil,

    Rigid belief systems in my view are the source of all conflict in the world. Truth may never change but our understanding of it can and must if we are to arrive at truth. After all each of us has a myriad of different viewpoints and experiences which only mature as we give way to more context and release our individual focus from our own content.

    Thanks again for a meaningful thread.

    Love and Peace,
    JM
     
  16. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I would say, that must make you feel better? I am happy for you, but still looking at it, I think I will carry on just the same.. Thank you, for showing me that you were right all along. I still feel no regret? Oh well.... Love you.
     
  17. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    :)
     
  18. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    SG: If you have found your way works sister... You are like happy.. You know you are not hurting anyone.... Would it really matter if someone could prove you wrong? about your faith? You think?
     
  19. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Well, sure. I guess. But my belief system isn't about what is wrong or right as much as it is about what furthers my spiritual growth and love for others. So even if my concepts are wrong, if they serve their immediate purpose of furthering my capacity to love and feel love, their inaccuracy is irrelevant to me. I don't see spirituality or religion as a way to understand reality as much as a way to experience divinity (and therefore, in my worldview, love). I tend to think all people aren't very accurate in their perceptions of divinity, the universe, etc. but that is OK so long as their belief system is leading them to growth in love, joy, peace...

    Why not? I'm a curious sort and I love hearing what other people think. I almost always ask for more information about everything! :D

    Oh, explore most definitely. But then probably exchange, dialogue, compare/contrast. I'm generally neither a defensive person about my beliefs (except when it comes to my right to practice any faith I choose without persecution, but that's more of a civil rights issue) nor am I very gullible just because someone has a fancy line of reasoning. My own beliefs are ever changing, but depend on my own experience and intellect. So most of my beliefs change over time not due to other religions' tenets or people's arguments, but rather due to my own spiritual experience. But I'm always up for exploration. If anything, this has made the core of my faith stronger with each passing year.
     
  20. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    A girl always reserves the right to change her mind. ;)
     

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