Rationality

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Rationality

Postby BadgerJelly on July 18th, 2017, 4:38 am 

How do we tell people they are wrong without telling people they are wrong?

As an example I was watching a video clip with someone arguing for the existence of God because he asks "How can order be created from an explosion?" I guess he is referring to the Big Bang?

How do you proceed from here when someone clearly has a false impression of the information he thinks he possesses?
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Re: Rationality

Postby mitchellmckain on July 18th, 2017, 2:46 pm 

BadgerJelly » July 18th, 2017, 3:38 am wrote:How do we tell people they are wrong without telling people they are wrong?

What I am constantly explaining to people like this is even if what you are arguing for is correct, it doesn't mean the argument itself is correct. In this case the argument is wrong. Scientists like myself who believe God exists will still tell this person that he is wrong!

BadgerJelly » July 18th, 2017, 3:38 am wrote:As an example I was watching a video clip with someone arguing for the existence of God because he asks "How can order be created from an explosion?" I guess he is referring to the Big Bang?

First of all, the big bang was not an explosion. Such a comparison is all wrong. This was not something blowing apart into empty space. There is no previous order reduced to chaos. But with this part of the comparison removed the argument/comparision falls apart because aside from that initial transformation of order to chaos, an explosion DOES result in order as the product of the explosion cool down.

Furthermore arguments from "order" are all highly subjective because their notions of "order" are vague and ill defined. According to the only mathematical definition as the opposite of entropy there is no global increase of order but only decrease. BUT such a global increase allows for the increase of order locally. But it is highly unlikely that this person's notion of order has much correspondence with this mathematical definition anyway.

BadgerJelly » July 18th, 2017, 3:38 am wrote:How do you proceed from here when someone clearly has a false impression of the information he thinks he possesses?

Well there is a question of whether he even cares. Does a used car salesman, politician or lawyer really care whether his argument is valid? It is all about the sale or winning for them, right? So I suppose you can confront him on this and ask him point blank whether he cares about whether his argument is valid or if it is just about pushing his beliefs? You can also explain that proving correct things with false arguments means accepting and pushing false beliefs in the process and it might be the case that you end up pushing more that is wrong or even harmful in doing such a thing. There are a lot of theists doing some really wrong and nasty things in the world and it might very well be because they have done something very similar to this.
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Re: Rationality

Postby BadgerJelly on July 19th, 2017, 12:49 am 

There is a very interesting discussion that Dawkins has with a guy who simply cannot grasp what evolution is and makes some quite funny conclusions and poses some bizarre questions to Dawkins which he is quite clearly baffled by given the nature of their utter ignorance.

I imagine it would take a great degree of schooling to explain such an idea to someone. The Big Bang theory follows the same lines I guess. When you tell people we can literally see the aftermath of the big bang people without basic schooling simply won't understand. If people don't have the concepts available to them what can we do to introduce them?

You are correct above. A lot of this is seen on these kinds of forums too. People want to push their beliefs and "win a debate" rather than explore other ideas and views. If we are only pushing our beliefs instead of trying to expose and deal with the possible faults of our beliefs then I don't see the use of speaking other than to enforce my will on others.
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Re: Rationality

Postby mitchellmckain on July 19th, 2017, 4:40 am 

Well 90% of the time what they are doing is going by what they are told these theories consist of rather than having looked at them honestly for themselves. For 80% of Christians, they are doing the same thing with the Bible also. Once they are told what these things say then this often becomes a filter even when they do take a look at it themselves making them nearly blind to anything which doesn't fit with what they have been told.

In fact since psychologists have demonstrated the role of belief in perception, this is just part of how the human mind works so I wouldn't assume that this is just something these theists do. We all most likely do it to some degree -- with rare exceptions perhaps. Take me for example, I wasn't raised Christian or religious, but by two extremely liberal psychology majors. The findings of science have thus always been a filter for me, even when reading the Bible.
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