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Ch. 1: What is reality? What is magic? 
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Post Re: Ch. 1: What is reality? What is magic?
LokiMon wrote:
One thing I didn't quite agree with was when he talked about one of the three ways that we can detect what is real or not. He says that, "We can detect it directly, using our five senses (para. 1, p. 18)." However, what about in situations in which one is hallucinating? How is someone able to detect the difference between a hallucination and reality when the five sense can no longer be relied upon? Or Optical illusions. Or when two people are viewing the same object but perceive two different things, who is right and who is wrong in this situation? Both people would be relying on these same five sense, except that their individual senses would be functioning a little differently, I suppose. Another situation in which our senses might no be relied upon would be when our thoughts or opinions manipulate the way we actually see things, simply because that is what we want to see. Perhaps these are things he may address later on in the book though.


Dawkins would surely admit that your senses can deceive you, but in the context of scientific knowledge, it's not going to be based on one person's sense perceptions.



Fri May 10, 2013 5:37 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: What is reality? What is magic?
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but in the context of scientific knowledge, it's not going to be based on one person's sense perceptions.


you can't separate or contain the experimenters subjective lens and bias from any methodology completely.
you want badly to claim absolute Truth, even at the expense of honesty.

also, the fallacy of affirming the consequent will always be a tension within science. it is something people like you will always gloss over or completely ignore - PERIOD.



Fri May 10, 2013 10:37 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: What is reality? What is magic?
ant wrote:
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but in the context of scientific knowledge, it's not going to be based on one person's sense perceptions.


you can't separate or contain the experimenters subjective lens and bias from any methodology completely.
you want badly to claim absolute Truth, even at the expense of honesty.

also, the fallacy of affirming the consequent will always be a tension within science. it is something people like you will always gloss over or completely ignore - PERIOD.


Nobody but you, Ant, talks in terms of absolute truth or Truth. Or should I say people like you? You should address the argument, not your own strawmen.


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Fri May 10, 2013 11:03 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: What is reality? What is magic?
LokiMon wrote:
One thing I didn't quite agree with was when he talked about one of the three ways that we can detect what is real or not. He says that, "We can detect it directly, using our five senses (para. 1, p. 18)." However, what about in situations in which one is hallucinating? How is someone able to detect the difference between a hallucination and reality when the five sense can no longer be relied upon? Or Optical illusions.. . .

This question has been the core of philosophical debate dating back to the Greeks. What is the fundamental nature of reality? How do we know what is real? Is our belief of what is real based on sensory perceptions alone or can it be deduced from self-evident premises?

One of the main epistemological criteria used in the past was, does the belief conform to the Bible? Nowadays, we used more objective, scientific criteria. First and foremost, we understand that people can easily be fooled by their own sensory perceptions and by their own biases and other cultural influences. There is a difference between the subjective claim that I am having certain sensory experiences and the objective claim that an object exists independently of those sensory experiences.

But most of this is beyond the reach of Dawkins' book here. We recognize that our perception of reality is through our five senses. As Dawkins says, "We should always be open-minded, but the only good reason to believe that something exists is if there is real evidence that it does."

Can we justify our claims to have empirical knowledge of anything beyond our own subjective experiences? Well, most of us here would acknowledge that atoms exist without ever having seen one. Most of us believe the moon really exists though we can only see a pale image of it in the night sky. To doubt such things is to move into some very abstract territory.

Dawkins doesn't make any outlandish claims. He says: "Atoms have always existed, but it was only recently that we became sure of their existence, and it is very likely that our descendants will know about many more things that for now we do not. That is the wonder and joy of science: it goes on and on discovering new things."


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Fri May 10, 2013 11:18 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: What is reality? What is magic?
ant wrote:
you want badly to claim absolute Truth, even at the expense of honesty.


You want badly for someone to claim absolute Truth for science. Can you even find a single person in history to actually argue against? Congratulations for the ultimate strawman.



Fri May 10, 2013 6:03 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: What is reality? What is magic?
Dexter wrote:
ant wrote:
you want badly to claim absolute Truth, even at the expense of honesty.


You want badly for someone to claim absolute Truth for science. Can you even find a single person in history to actually argue against? Congratulations for the ultimate strawman.


Try the Wikipedia article on Science.

Wikipedia wrote:
The belief that all observers share a common reality is known as realism. It can be contrasted with anti-realism, the belief that there is no valid concept of absolute truth such that things that are true for one observer are true for all observers.


This common sense use of absolute truth just means we have a shared reality. It does not mean we claim to know everything. Science is based on the absolute truth of the existence of nature. If you say there is no absolute truth, you disagree with scientific realism.


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Sun May 12, 2013 3:38 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: What is reality? What is magic?
Robert Tulip wrote:
Try the Wikipedia article on Science.

Wikipedia wrote:
The belief that all observers share a common reality is known as realism. It can be contrasted with anti-realism, the belief that there is no valid concept of absolute truth such that things that are true for one observer are true for all observers.


This common sense use of absolute truth just means we have a shared reality. It does not mean we claim to know everything. Science is based on the absolute truth of the existence of nature. If you say there is no absolute truth, you disagree with scientific realism.


Yes, and as the vast majority of people probably are, I can be a realist and also acknowledge that current scientific theories are not absolute truth.



Sun May 12, 2013 4:07 pm
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