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The Uselessness Of The Rational Method


shalamabobbi

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We know that the rational method denies a purpose for life.

We know that acting in certain ways makes us feel guilty, unworthy, ashamed.

We know that rationalizing these kinds of activities makes us feel no better.

Now it is revealed that happiness is the purpose of our existence.

We know that our happiness depends upon feeling good about ourselves.

We know that feeling good about ourselves depends upon making right choices.

We know that the rational method has nothing to say about what is right.

Therefore of what utility is the rational method in addressing the greatest issues in life?

This post is merely a spoof of another recently closed thread (can you guess which one?) and no replies are solicited and the mods may close this one as well at will..

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We know that the rational method denies a purpose for life.

What in the world is the "rational method"?

We know that acting in certain ways makes us feel guilty, unworthy, ashamed.

Sure.

We know that rationalizing these kinds of activities makes us feel no better.

Incorrect. You are, as a matter of fact, factually wrong. People deceive themselves all the time to feel better all the time. There is quite a lot of research about this.

Now it is revealed that happiness is the purpose of our existence.

..I...guess...

We know that our happiness depends upon feeling good about ourselves.

Nope. Do you think the process of remorse and repentance in general isn't part of "the purpose of our existence"? Surely not in the long run (you shouldn't feel bad about yourself all the time) but suffering is NOT against happiness in the long run. I point this out because feeling bad about oneself or our own actions isn't bad in itself.

We know that feeling good about ourselves depends upon making right choices.

indeed.

We know that the rational method has nothing to say about what is right.

What the...

OK, buy this book and read it:

http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/0495808776

Therefore of what utility is the rational method in addressing the greatest issues in life?

You just showed the role of rationality ("rational method" is something I don't know what you mean). You take a set of facts and try to make sense out of them using logic. That's what thinking rationally is.

This post is merely a spoof of another recently closed thread (can you guess which one?) and no replies are solicited and the mods may close this one as well at will..

ops!

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This post is merely a spoof of another recently closed thread

That said, I will continue my train of thought from that thread. Completely figuring out the spiritual process has not yet proven to be a scientific exercise. Science can identify and measure physical processes that are associated with self-identified spiritual processes, and identify and measure the impact of manipulated physical processes on self-identifying what is spiritual, but not precisely how the spiritual process themselves impact the physical.

I see no problem with attempts to use science to investigate spiritual things. We evidently don’t yet have the resources to explore spiritual processes physically, but granted, such efforts can stretch our capacity and may eventually lead to the needed technology.

God’s existence and influence is excepted from scientific inquiry only by the limits of the science being applied, but they are not by other means. It is not improper to employ a variety of disciplines in making the inquiry.

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What elguante can't seem to comprehend is that he doesn't have the instruments or faculty to measure or judge spiritual influence and levels. He wants some kind of rational absolutist value he can place when everyone knows that without the proper instruments, such values can't be measured, cannot be verified, and certainly cannot be made manifest. Like the color yellow to a blind man, elguantepoco cannot measure its impact or even its existence. He has shut down the instruments available to him for that classification of our overall reality.

Or as "the fancy books" say: Meta-reality/metarealism (hats off to Ephstein)/metaconscience

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Jeff K,

That was the conclusion I came to last night on a bike ride with my 2 year old. You have to be ever so certain of your ability to order the likelihood of the events in your life, which, in my opinion, places you on the same footing as the believer. In both cases you're using your best judgment to figure out what's real and what's not.

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Therefore of what utility is the rational method in addressing the greatest issues in life?

Of course we need both. The scriptures tell us we will know in our "mind and our heart" when something is right. God expects us to use the minds he gives us but when we come to that impasse he can help us over the hurdle.

That is why I think atheism is so limited. If they only use their 5 senses they limit their knowledge. I don't believe they do this anyway. Even a scientist has to have faith that what he is theorizing will work. Else why put in the effort.

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We know that the rational method denies a purpose for life.

We know that acting in certain ways makes us feel guilty, unworthy, ashamed.

We know that rationalizing these kinds of activities makes us feel no better.

Now it is revealed that happiness is the purpose of our existence.

We know that our happiness depends upon feeling good about ourselves.

We know that feeling good about ourselves depends upon making right choices.

We know that the rational method has nothing to say about what is right.

Therefore of what utility is the rational method in addressing the greatest issues in life?

This post is merely a spoof of another recently closed thread (can you guess which one?) and no replies are solicited and the mods may close this one as well at will..

Is this a rational argument? Using a Rational method?

If so it must be useless...

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What in the world is the "rational method"?

The scientific method multiplied by plank's constant over two pie..

The post was meant to mirror yours.. it is flawed on purpose..

Yours was shut down so I opened this one.

I guess the best obvious example that comes to mind (refering back to your post) about the usefulness of personal revelation would be the situations where it saves somebody's life. These are all 2nd hand accounts but you were discussing *personal* revelation.

An example would be the Haun's Mill massacre - the boy with the shot out hip. The mother inspired on how to save him.

Then if you are merely discussing the *best* explanation (whether or not it is the correct explanation) revelation to two separate individuals that correlates comes to mind. I personally have had experience with this type.

If you were merely criticizing the tendency of some members to *seek* to be *told* what to do in every little decision without thinking it through for themselves I applaud your intention.

But I would agree with Deborah's post.

Nathair's post is right on, binaries or false dichotomies are running rampant..

Liked CV75's thoughts also..

For the record I am not anti-science, but then neither am I anti-faith.

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What in the world is the "rational method"?

You are, as a matter of fact, factually wrong. People deceive themselves all the time to feel better all the time. There is quite a lot of research about this.

Do you think the process of remorse and repentance in general isn't part of "the purpose of our existence"? Surely not in the long run (you shouldn't feel bad about yourself all the time) but suffering is NOT against happiness in the long run. I point this out because feeling bad about oneself or our own actions isn't bad in itself.

You just showed the role of rationality ("rational method" is something I don't know what you mean). You take a set of facts and try to make sense out of them using logic. That's what thinking rationally is.

I was very sorry to see that your entirely valid questions and reasonable discussion on your recently terminated forum, "The Uselessness of Personal Revelation: Why It Doesn't Matter, But Faith Does," were nearly completely misunderstood. However, you may have been expecting too much from participants who were unable to focus on the (many times repeated) main point: Faith usually entails going with what is probably the less logically (or scientifically) likely of possible explanations for a personally experienced "miraculous" phenomenon -- revelation. Otherwise it would not be faith. I hope you don't mind my putting it in my own words.

We should all be embarrassed that your interlocutors became abusive and substituted ad hominems for logical and meaningful engagement with you. You maintained a very courteous and high level of discussion throughout. The dialogue need not have deteriorated so quickly.

One question which should have been addressed is: What does one do with a revelatory experience which results in direct evidence? I mean by that true realia. How, for example, should Joseph Smith Jr deal with the fact that he has recovered actual gold plates from a stone box on a hill not far from his house? This is the culmination of a series of personal angelic revelations for him. Provided that his experience (as described) is not delusional or a deliberate hoax, how is he to rationalize his experience -- despite the apparently unlikely and even irrational nature of the event?

Given the disappearance of the tangible primary evidence of the plates themselves (along with the spectacles and breastplate), is there something we might logically do to examine the circumstances surrounding what now constitutes a "cold case"? Could we "verify" or "falsify" the circumstantial evidence still remaining from that legendary event? Could we learn something from standard archeological or modern crime scene investigative method in order to ferret out the "truth"? What sort of research design would you recommend?

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Faith entails many things, including the use of the most logical and rational conclusion as well as sometimes what is not seemingly rational or logical. Faith is the belief in things that cannot necessarily be seen or felt but are true. Faith is equally good at helping us have confidence in what some call a logical process even if there is room for doubt in the conclusion.

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Faith entails many things, including the use of the most logical and rational conclusion

Not at all! This is a misunderstanding of what faith is. Probability calculations are not a matter of "confidence" or "trust" neither is going with the best option you can see; they are just the best you have. If you are going to buy a car and you have two options, car A and car B, and both cars are CLEARLY different in quality (let's say car B is better), miles per gallon in city and highway each gives you, etc... then it isn't faith that car B is better; that's a statistical fact (it tends to be much better). Sure, it could happen that this specific car B happened to be made horribly, but that doesn't mean you made a bad move based on the information available. Faith would be going with something you realize isn't the best option like choosing car A but you trust in that this will be a good one when they tend to be made with low quality materials.

as well as sometimes what is not seemingly rational or logical.

OK, so if you want I can grant for the sake of argument that ALL moves when you don't know the future with certainty are also "faith". Does this mean that all faith is equal? It doesn't seem to me. You can pick the name you want for whatever the base for uncertain moves is but that doesn't mean they are all equal in reliability, parsimony, consistency, etc.

Faith is the belief in things that cannot necessarily be seen or felt but are true.

Then prove your belief is true (not just state it or "verify" it but prove it with certainty so as to say it is true) so as to say that it is faith. If it isn't shown to be true then it isn't shown to be faith with this definition.

Faith is equally good at helping us have confidence in what some call a logical process even if there is room for doubt in the conclusion.

Is any belief ever NOT faith-based, according to you?

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Jeff K., on 27 May 2011 - 12:02 PM, said:

Faith entails many things, including the use of the most logical and rational conclusion

Not at all! This is a misunderstanding of what faith is. Probability calculations are not a matter of "confidence" or "trust" neither is going with the best option you can see; they are just the best you have. If you are going to buy a car and you have two options, car A and car B, and both cars are CLEARLY different in quality (let's say car B is better), miles per gallon in city and highway each gives you, etc... then it isn't faith that car B is better; that's a statistical fact (it tends to be much better). Sure, it could happen that this specific car B happened to be made horribly, but that doesn't mean you made a bad move based on the information available. Faith would be going with something you realize isn't the best option like choosing car A but you trust in that this will be a good one when they tend to be made with low quality materials.

It appears you are the one with a lack of understanding regarding faith. How can you possibly know about something you have no ability to foster?

Probability tables are something you have your faith on, and yet they often lead to the wrong conclusions. We see people imprisoned based on such probability tables. People who have spent years in prison because they likely carried out a crime, only to be resolved later. And yet, with such errors we still have faith in our probabiliity tables. ;)

Faith would be going with something you realize isn't the best option like choosing car A but you trust in that this will be a good one when they tend to be made with low quality materials

That is one aspect of faith, but not the only one. You seem to have a very myopic and limited view. I suggest you read up on the subject. Faith also leads to confirmation that a choice is right, regardless of probability. Now the gutsy faith based position that goes against the grain gets all the press, and like reading tabloids, its exciting, but doesn't begin to appraoch what faith is all about. I suggest you don't hang your hat on the tabloid faith and consider the many distinct approaches beyond that.

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Quote

as well as sometimes what is not seemingly rational or logical.

OK, so if you want I can grant for the sake of argument that ALL moves when you don't know the future with certainty are also "faith". Does this mean that all faith is equal? It doesn't seem to me. You can pick the name you want for whatever the base for uncertain moves is but that doesn't mean they are all equal in reliability, parsimony, consistency, etc.

People have different levels of faith much as distinct objects have different levels of gravitational attraction. Would you say Jupiter and Mercury are equal, or to they exhibit distinct levels of the same gravity?

Quote

Faith is the belief in things that cannot necessarily be seen or felt but are true.

Then prove your belief is true (not just state it or "verify" it but prove it with certainty so as to say it is true) so as to say that it is faith. If it isn't shown to be true then it isn't shown to be faith with this definition.

The question is when must it be shown to be true? Since when is faith on a time schedule as a proof. Especially if we have limited instrumentation by which to measure it?

Quote

Faith is equally good at helping us have confidence in what some call a logical process even if there is room for doubt in the conclusion.

Is any belief ever NOT faith-based, according to you?

Why should it matter to you if you don't have the ability to measure or judge it. Like dark matter, to you it doesn't exist unless you can see or measure it. Now that is indeed a lack of faith.

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What elguante can't seem to comprehend is that he doesn't have the instruments or faculty to measure or judge spiritual influence and levels. He wants some kind of rational absolutist value he can place when everyone knows that without the proper instruments, such values can't be measured, cannot be verified, and certainly cannot be made manifest. Like the color yellow to a blind man, elguantepoco cannot measure its impact or even its existence. He has shut down the instruments available to him for that classification of our overall reality.

Or as "the fancy books" say: Meta-reality/metarealism (hats off to Ephstein)/metaconscience

I repeatedly stated that I'm not a science-absolutist. That position is ridiculous. I'm also not speaking of "our overall reality" if you mean by that something like the "purpose of life" or some other value. If you say God moved a rock then you need evidence for that since that explanation seems rather unwarranted. If you say God is physical or God is material and so our souls... then, why not test and see if they indeed exist? I'm NOT speaking of your "experience of God" or of how great you feel "the love of God" to be in your life. I'm speaking of actual stuff you say exists but don't bother to test. Religious people make an exception when it comes to "spiritual" matters for good reason.

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People have different levels of faith much as distinct objects have different levels of gravitational attraction. Would you say Jupiter and Mercury are equal, or to they exhibit distinct levels of the same gravity?

Same gravity, different intensity.

The question is when must it be shown to be true? Since when is faith on a time schedule as a proof. Especially if we have limited instrumentation by which to measure it?

Look at your definition and realize that if you don't show something to be true (and with certainty) then it isn't shown to be faith. Do you realize that? Until you show that God is true (with certainty) you can't say you have faith at all. Change it or deal with the consequences of it.

Why should it matter to you if you don't have the ability to measure or judge it. Like dark matter, to you it doesn't exist unless you can see or measure it. Now that is indeed a lack of faith.

No, you just said we all use faith and it seems by your definition that anything that is uncertain is faith. I'm not certain of my position and, therefore, it is faith (though using another definition of it since with yours it has to be shown to be true to be shown to be faith).

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It appears you are the one with a lack of understanding regarding faith. How can you possibly know about something you have no ability to foster?

You just implied a moment ago that I do have faith in many (if not most) of the decisions I make. Are you going to change your view on faith?, because you aren't making any sense here.

Probability tables are something you have your faith on, and yet they often lead to the wrong conclusions. We see people imprisoned based on such probability tables. People who have spent years in prison because they likely carried out a crime, only to be resolved later. And yet, with such errors we still have faith in our probabiliity tables. wink.gif

Probability does NOT tell you who the winner is. It tells you who is more likely to win. How can you not even get that?

That is one aspect of faith, but not the only one. You seem to have a very myopic and limited view. I suggest you read up on the subject. Faith also leads to confirmation that a choice is right, regardless of probability. Now the gutsy faith based position that goes against the grain gets all the press, and like reading tabloids, its exciting, but doesn't begin to appraoch what faith is all about. I suggest you don't hang your hat on the tabloid faith and consider the many distinct approaches beyond that.

No reasons here.

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I repeatedly stated that I'm not a science-absolutist. That position is ridiculous. I'm also not speaking of "our overall reality" if you mean by that something like the "purpose of life" or some other value. If you say God moved a rock then you need evidence for that since that explanation seems rather unwarranted. If you say God is physical or God is material and so our souls... then, why not test and see if they indeed exist? I'm NOT speaking of your "experience of God" or of how great you feel "the love of God" to be in your life. I'm speaking of actual stuff you say exists but don't bother to test. Religious people make an exception when it comes to "spiritual" matters for good reason.

Speaking of "rocks moving". Mysterious Sliding Rocks

Can you tell me how our "all knowing" science can "test" G-d when that same science can't even explain how rocks slide across the desert? pardon.gif

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Speaking of "rocks moving". Mysterious Sliding Rocks

Can you tell me how our "all knowing" science can "test" G-d when that same science can't even explain how rocks slide across the desert? pardon.gif

You guys are presenting a caricature of the view of science I have when I have directly said what my position is. I don't believe science "knows it all" nor that it can know it all (actually, it has been proven - and here we can use the word "proof" properly - that that can't be accomplished). I already said, also, that science doesn't prove anything to be true (well, probably that some theories, somewhere, are false but that's it). You have a great misunderstanding of what faith is. In the now-closed thread I wrote a post explaining why this is the case. You may look for it if you want.

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You guys are presenting a caricature of the view of science I have when I have directly said what my position is. I don't believe science "knows it all" nor that it can know it all (actually, it has been proven - and here we can use the word "proof" properly - that that can't be accomplished). I already said, also, that science doesn't prove anything to be true (well, probably that some theories, somewhere, are false but that's it). You have a great misunderstanding of what faith is. In the now-closed thread I wrote a post explaining why this is the case. You may look for it if you want.

Dark matter has already been mentioned. Scientists cannot directly measure it or detect it, even though it seems to constitute the bulk of the universe.

What I would like to know is whether scientists have "faith" that Dark matter really exists based on inferences drawn from circumstantial evidence? Or is it no longer "faith" once the scientific, rational extrapolations have been made that it exists? Even in the absence of direct evidence. Is this simply a matter of probability? Would the same apply to string theory?

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I was very sorry to see that your entirely valid questions and reasonable discussion on your recently terminated forum, "The Uselessness of Personal Revelation: Why It Doesn't Matter, But Faith Does," were nearly completely misunderstood. However, you may have been expecting too much from participants who were unable to focus on the (many times repeated) main point: Faith usually entails going with what is probably the less logically (or scientifically) likely of possible explanations for a personally experienced "miraculous" phenomenon -- revelation. Otherwise it would not be faith. I hope you don't mind my putting it in my own words.

You got it! Put it in your own words, that's good.

We should all be embarrassed that your interlocutors became abusive and substituted ad hominems for logical and meaningful engagement with you. You maintained a very courteous and high level of discussion throughout. The dialogue need not have deteriorated so quickly.

So quickly?! It seemed like a whole week in there!

One question which should have been addressed is: What does one do with a revelatory experience which results in direct evidence? I mean by that true realia. How, for example, should Joseph Smith Jr deal with the fact that he has recovered actual gold plates from a stone box on a hill not far from his house? This is the culmination of a series of personal angelic revelations for him. Provided that his experience (as described) is not delusional or a deliberate hoax, how is he to rationalize his experience -- despite the apparently unlikely and even irrational nature of the event?

I would have thought there was something really wrong with my mind. Why with something close to my house? I would ask them to give me a whole list of things I would encounter in a trip to Argentina that are so uncommon and unlikely to be there at the exact moment in which I go by, that then I would have much MUCH better evidence to corroborate that they were real. But a written list, not just a spoken list. You might think this is a little too much but, for heaven's sake! it's my mind that seems to be going off the rails! If they (the angels) tell me to keep it all quite and stuff then I would tell them that if they know me then they know my intentions are good.

Given the disappearance of the tangible primary evidence of the plates themselves (along with the spectacles and breastplate), is there something we might logically do to examine the circumstances surrounding what now constitutes a "cold case"? Could we "verify" or "falsify" the circumstantial evidence still remaining from that legendary event? Could we learn something from standard archeological or modern crime scene investigative method in order to ferret out the "truth"? What sort of research design would you recommend?

So for modern times all it takes to falsify Joseph Smiths incredible claims is one false claim in the BoM or of some revelation he made. Of course, you have an army of lawyers to indefinitely reinterpret "God's words" (apologists) so I don't hold my breath for that to happen. Until then, however, JS and the apologists' words are blown by the wind for me and have no relevance.

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Just let me say that you have very good questions, Robert! I like you.

Dark matter has already been mentioned. Scientists cannot directly measure it or detect it, even though it seems to constitute the bulk of the universe.

I have a lecture specially for you that I watched yesterday by this guy. You'll love probably it as I did:

What I would like to know is whether scientists have "faith" that Dark matter really exists based on inferences drawn from circumstantial evidence? Or is it no longer "faith" once the scientific, rational extrapolations have been made that it exists? Even in the absence of direct evidence. Is this simply a matter of probability? Would the same apply to string theory?

I'm going to pass on answering this one, brother. I don't know enough to answer this question. What I do know but won't answer this question is that hypotheses and theories in science are ALWAYS tentative and, no matter how much evidence in their favor you get, they are never "proven" true... never; it doesn't matter what you hear scientists say and think, they can't do it by the very nature of their logic. Theories are corroborated when you test their very risky predictions and they come out victorious or are very very precise. Your question, however, is "what happens when you just aren't able to falsify something right now?" and that's a much more problematic question. As far as I see, we just make hypotheses that fit the data better and explain them better (over other hypotheses), have terms that we are more familiar with, are "economically" better (parsimony), etc. That's the best we have figured out to do.

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