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Chapter 2: Science and hope 
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
stahrwe wrote:
Geo, your are engaging in poor arguing technique. Your are attempting to equate two circumstances which are not similar.

My challenge missionary story was told to me by a close friend of many decades whose integrity has been demonstrated to me over that time. And who was present at the event. To equate that a situation with the claims of an abductee who is totally unknown to me and ask if I believe that person's story is a familiar tactic but a poor one in argumentation.


No, the two situations are equal for everyone but you. I understand that you believe your friend (for a number of reasons, first among them that he is your friend). But for the rest of us, your friend's claim is the same as any alien abductee's claim. All of these claims are based on secondhand anecdotal "evidence" which is the lowest form of evidence because we know that people are easily led astray (by their senses, by suggestibility, by bias, by motivated reasoning, etc.).

Actually a good part of your friend's story does rely on strangers' testimony unless your friend was observing the frozen official for the entire 24 hour period. Your friend's story has all the earmarks of a story that gets embellished over time.


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Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:36 am
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
Stahrwe wrote:
Interbane, I knew you COULD NOT believe it because you are right - That is NOT how the world works. It defies Sagan's Chapter 2.


That's not my position. I COULD believe it. The events in your story are not something I consider impossible.

My uncle once told me that when he was younger, he could shoot a .12ga shotgun straight up, and catch the slug in a steel can as it fell back to Earth. I didn't believe him either. I don't simply believe the stories people tell me when they pass a certain threshold of unlikeliness. I ask for a bit of corroboration or evidence. In many cases, the story can be corroborated and I'll believe it. In many cases, it can't.

Stahrwe wrote:
The thing is, Sagan is pontificating. His Chapter 2 is a repetitious statement of his opinion. It is his philosophy. My story was a statement of events which I represent as being a true account of something told to me by an eyewitness to said events. It is not my opinion or my philosophy.


Are you truly trying to tell me that your anecdote is more trustworthy than Sagan's philosophy in Chapter 2? Your story has been critically analyzed by scholars all over the world, and his philosophy has not? Your story has been corroborated with interrogated witnesses, brain scans, with plentiful evidence from countless sources? You're comparing your grain of sand to Sagan's planet. What angle were you looking at this from to even think they were comparable?


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Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:11 am
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
Landroid, you are expressing opinions. I did not profess skepticism, merely the factual case that the circumstances of Jim's story and those of the stories Geo related are significantly different. I submit that Sagan is doing the same thing in Chapter 2 - he is expressing his opinion. Furthermore, he is repeating said opinion over and over. The issue is not where or how Geo's stories were related. The point is the circumstances of Jim's story. As fir George Washington's shootingS, would you please cite examples of people who have been shot 4 times, with 4 bullet holes through their uniforms, and were not injured, and for consistency let's stipulate the same general type of uniform Washingston was wearing (cloth or wool, no flack jacket, or pack).

I fear we have reached the unavoidable stage in my BT discussion where we are merely collecting. You must impeach my stories or admit Sagan wrong, I will assert the validity of my stories (in the case of the Geo. Washington's using his own testimony).


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Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:12 am
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
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Jim was a missionary with a major denomination in the United States. His primary focus was on mainland China. Churches, Christianity, Bibles, missionaries have been proscribed by that government for decades. The degree of difficulty Christians experience varies according to the communist official in charge in the particular area. Jim would visit the mainland for extended periods once each year. During one visit he planned to visit an area notorious for the iron fisted official. Jim and the local Christians had been praying for months in anticipation of the visit. Within hours of arriving in the area the official confronted Jim on a street corner and told him he and the Church members with him were under arrest. And that he planned to root-out all the Christians in his district by getting their names from the arrestees by whatever means necessary. Then, nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. Jim kept waiting for the official to order the police with him to take them into custody but he didn't say anything. Jim realized the official wasn't moving. The men with the official noticed it too and started asking for instructions but the official said nothing. They tapped him, nothing. Nothing they did got any response, verbal or physical. Finally the police wandered away and Jim and his friends left. The official stood frozen in place for over 24 hours. Birds landed on him and did what birds do to statues. The locals, who all feared him, came and laughed at him. After more than 24 hours the official unfroze and left the area.

Explain this.


Very simply, it didn't happen as described.

Let me propose an alternate story.

Your friend Jim the missionary met with a chinese official who threatened to have him and his friends arrested, but didn't order the arrest at that time. And indeed, took no action against them for a full 24 hours. Then your friend Jim was escorted out of a meeting when they heard the police were coming for them.

And during that 24 hour period that chinese official did what he did every day. Lived his life. Ate, slept, crapped, did paper work, had conversations, and most definitely did not stand still as a statue for a day straight while confounded police officers stood by, doing nothing. Having no concern for his health, they didn't call for an ambulance, or rush him to a hospitol themselves....

So, to spice up the story about Jim's (possibly) narrow escape from arrest he fabricated a magical jesus intervention. That happens all the time with religious people who would rather believe something magical has happened in their lives, rather than admitting they are being drizzled with bug excrement under god's "weeping tree".

The thing to discuss here, in my opinion, is not the obviously false story about a man being frozen in place for 24 hours, but how on earth you could give this the slightest credence.


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:20 am
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
Interbane, was your grandfather a missionary telling you a story about an event that happened at a time when he and his friends were threatened, or was he telling you a tall tale to amuse you? My grandfather used to do the same thing, especially stories he adapted from Robert Service's works (check out his Bessie's Boil - still a favorite of mine). But your implied objection still fails because the circumstances are different. They must be different because if they were the same you would believe the story.

As for Sagan being wrong, this book is not an empirical work. It is his opinion and its primary consumers are readers who agree with him and often idolize him - NDT for example. In that regard, it is not subject to proof per we, but some of his statements are subject to falsification, and I have provided two instances doing that.


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Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:29 am
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
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As fir George Washington's shootings, would you please cite examples of people who have been shot 4 times, with 4 bullet holes through their uniforms, and were not injured, and for consistency let's stipulate the same general type of uniform Washingston was wearing (cloth or wool, no flack jacket, or pack).

I'll put it this way: please review the opening sequence to the movie Saving Private Ryan where Allies attack the beaches on D-Day or consider the type of island fighting in the Pacific theater. I consider anyone surviving that (much more hot lead and high explosives than Washington could imagine) to have experienced a "miracle".

Where are you going with this, Jesus protected George Washington from the British? All highly unlikely events such as a 24 hour standing paralysis or 4 bullets through a jacket are supernatural? What type of evidence is required to prove a supernatural event? That's part of what the book is about.



Last edited by LanDroid on Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:35 am
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
Johnson1010, I appreciate your situation and your need sustain your belief system. I suppose you have an alternate story for GW as well. Be sure to account for those present who thought Washington had been killed


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Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:36 am
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
Landroid, PR showed a time tested strategy for an assault against a fortified location. Advance on the location unless you are dead or uncompassitated. Either the advancing force will be wiped out, or some still make it through. That is not a miracle. Now, if some of the advancing forces were shot multiple times through their uniforms to their skin but not wounded (ala George Washington) that would be a miracle.


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Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:44 am
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
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The importance of this historical story of George Washington, being erased from government school (they call it public school) textbooks, is immediately understood. God intervened, on behalf of George Washington, because He knew that George Washington would be pivotal to us winning the war against King George!

http://www.therealamericanhis-story.com/gw

Perhaps this guy is saying what you decline to clarify. Since you consider this a strong counter-factual claim to the scientific world view, how would you explain some of our enemies miraculously surviving a battle to continue fighting against us? Godwin's Law prevents me from naming a prominent example. :o OK I gather you would say again none of those are miracles, that GW was literally a one time supernatural rescue in military history. All this implies what others claim as miracles are subject to skeptical review, but your claims are not.



Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:36 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
Stahrwe wrote:
Interbane, was your grandfather a missionary telling you a story about an event that happened at a time when he and his friends were threatened, or was he telling you a tall tale to amuse you? My grandfather used to do the same thing, especially stories he adapted from Robert Service's works (check out his Bessie's Boil - still a favorite of mine). But your implied objection still fails because the circumstances are different. They must be different because if they were the same you would believe the story.


It was my uncle, and he genuinely believed his own story. Despite the differences in our stories, the same epistemological stance is taken. We shouldn't simply believe stories because the person telling them believes them to be true. There is no appeal that overcomes this, even if the person is widely known to never tell a lie. This is not hyper-skepticism. It may seem this way because most people don't understand how much skepticism is required to keep false accounts and beliefs at bay.

In fact, this is the entire thrust of Sagan's book. We need to raise the height at which we set our skeptical bar, because there are countless instances where a lower bar simply fails to sort the wheat from the chaff. This necessarily leads to a number of false negatives, and that's entirely acceptable. The world is full of people who have a small handful of false positive beliefs that entirely alter their worldview. This is what leads to the vast spectrum of false belief we see all across society. The only way to be sure your worldview isn't altered by a rogue false positive is to accept a few false negatives. It's the only position that is tenable.

Stahrwe wrote:
As for Sagan being wrong, this book is not an empirical work. It is his opinion and its primary consumers are readers who agree with him and often idolize him - NDT for example. In that regard, it is not subject to proof per we, but some of his statements are subject to falsification, and I have provided two instances doing that.


You compared Sagan's writing to your anecdote. If your objection to Sagan's work is that it isn't empirical, the same objection applies to your anecdote. Neither of the two are required to be empirical for them to be critically analyzed.

For what it's worth, your attempts at falsification have no traction to begin with, as the multitude of posts by myself and others clearly show.


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Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:07 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
Landroid, I don't see how Godwin' s law PREVENTS you from citing support for you claim. As I understand it Godwin is just an prediction, if it is even that.

As far as Sagan goes, he made a specific claim in Chapter 2 in response to which I have presented two events which seem to contradict him. I asked for an explanation for said events which was consistent with his claim. I point out that citing additional examples of soldiers who survived being shot without even an injury would further dimish Sagan's position.

I had a relative who thought she was a lighthouse. She really believed she wad but that had no bearing on my belief of Jim's story.

Is there any point in further posts soliciting an explanation from me how the circumstance is unrelated?


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Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:39 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
Stahrwe wrote:
you are creating gaps in order to justify your disbelief and you are missing my point.


this seems a strange accusation coming from you Stahrwe.

you are quoting inane stories in order to justify your belief and you are missing the point.



Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:49 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Science and hope
the bullets for George thing reminded me of that story about Orwell

where Orwell took a bullet through the neck which "miraculously" missed all the important stuff like arteries, spine, nerves etc and just grazed the voice box so Orwell got away with being shot in the neck with only a slightly raspy voice as a result.

"how lucky you were" his friends said, "nonsense" responds Orwell "if i were lucky i wouldn't have been shot in the neck at all" :lol:

i transpose to "how fortunate you were to avoid jail for speaking the truth, nonsense, if i were fortunate the charge would not exist.

"we don't know how lucky we are" :-D



Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:01 pm
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