Saturday, June 09, 2007

Dumb And Dumberer

Loftus’ Turn:

Okay, so originally John Loftus made this claim:

Loftus’ Original Claim: “Whatever we believe we should demand evidence for that belief, and historical evidence in the past simply isn't good enough. What we need is evidence."

Me now: To which I, naturally of course, asked for the evidence he had for *that* belief. I then said that if he believed his evidence then he would have new beliefs, and I would demand evidence from them, as well.

But then Touchstone came barging in and said that my infinite regress argument against the claim that ALL beliefs had to have evidence fro them was wrong.

This lead to me dismantling his arguments.

To avoid the force of my arguments he made the claim that Loftus was making an inductive generalization about all beliefs, and that Loftus could answer the regress argument. To this day I don’t think he’s answered my post, but that is besides the point for now. The point here is that T-stone asked Loftus to side with him and say that I had misunderstood him. To which Loftus, seeing himself unable to back up his original assertion, happily obliged.

But, I must say, and I do not say this lightly, I think Loftus is flat out lying through his teeth. Let’s look at his claims and my reason for this accusation. I doubt a more plausible story than mine can be given. In fact, the *only* story that I will accept is that Loftus is perhaps the second dumbest individual on the planet. That would be the only excuse. But, since I don’t think he is said person, that option is not open to him. But, he is free to take it if he so chooses. And so let’s look at the situation:

John Loftus: "Touchstone, once again you are correct. Mine is not a deductive argument."

Reply: First off, why should I believe an admitted liar? Why wouldn't you lie especially since you saw your position get sliced and diced?

Second, I never said that it was a "deductive argument."

John Loftus: "And I think what I said should be placed in its context. I wrote:

Whatever we believe we should demand evidence for that belief, and historical evidence in the past simply isn't good enough. What we need is evidence.”

Reply: Right, Gotcha. John's Thesis looks like this:

(JT) All beliefs are things that should have evidence demanded of them.

So, let's flesh this out:

1. All beliefs are things that should have evidence demanded of them

2. (*) is a belief.

3. Therefore (*) is a thing that should have evidence demanded of it.

But, amazingly, John didn’t mean for (JT) to read how it most naturally reads. Says John,

John Loftus: "What am I referring to when I use the word "believe"? Believe what? I was referring to worldviews--whole systems of thought--although I didn't spell that out too clearly.”

My reply: You said "beliefs." You said, "WHATEVER we believe we should demand evidence for that belief. So, as we now have it, John meant "worldviews" but instead wrote "beliefs." That's a pretty big blunder. I mean, yeah, I always write "belief" when I mean "worldview."

So Loftus does the debunkers shuffle, stop, stammer time. So, "belief" meant "worldview."

And, you ask, "believe what?" Well, you told us! You said... "WHATEVER." So you're saying that you ONLY had 'worldviews' in mind when you wrote 'WHATEVER??' C'mon, I was born at night, but not last night, John.

I don’t buy this. Here’s why:

In response to his claim I said:

**********

ORIGINAL RESPONE TO (JT) BY ME

Paul Manata said:

John said,

"Whatever we believe we should demand evidence for that belief..."


Paul: I demand evidence for that belief.

best,

~PM

P.S. Just so I don't have to post again, if you give me evidence for that belief then I assume you'll believe that evidence supports your original belief. So, while I'm here I'll demand the evidence for all your beliefs about the evidences you've provided. Ad infinitum. So get busy John, you don't have all day.

6/06/2007 8:53 AM

**********

And so it is OBVIOUSLY clear that I assumed that John meant actual *beliefs.* That is, I OBVIOUSLY assumed that Loftus meant positive cognitive attitudes towards propositions.

Furthermore, T-stone then came in and tried to argue against my Original Claim.

Said T-stone: “I don't know who got you into your van-Tillian-Humean Frankenstein Approach to thinking, but they were pulling your chain. At some point (an usually quite quickly) the regression bottoms out at raw perception and experience; people value evidence because their most basic experiences suggest through trial and error that having some evidence for what you believe aids in survival, and maintaining beliefs without empirical support is a good way to get killed quick (or starve to death slowly, or, insert your favorite method of demise here...).”

Reply: Okay, so it is OBVIOUS that T-stone understood John the way I did, and me the way I meant for my post to be taken.

But the problem is that **John Loftus never comes in to straighten this mess out!** He let’s T-stone and I spend thousands of words on debate over it!

But this isn’t the only evidence I have. If it were, I may not be warranted in my harsh accusation that Loftus is a lying weasel. So, here’s more evidence:

Not only was my response CLEAR that I understood Loftus to mean “beliefs” and not “worldviews,” Loftus actually responded to my claims and gave no indication that we were equivocating, which was PLAIN to see, remember. So, Loftus responded to my Original Claim by saying:

**********

JOHN’S ORIGINAL RESPONSE TO MY ORIGINAL CLAIM:

John W. Loftus said:

Paul, how do we guarantee that our assumptions are not viciously circular? They must be grounded in some evidence, correct?

Best to you too.

6/06/2007 1:04 PM

**********

Reply: So, rather than correct me by saying, “Paul, I didn’t mean what you clearly thought I did, I meant 'worldviews' but said 'beliefs' instead." No, he didn’t do that. That would require being helpful. Rather, he went on and responded to my CLEAR understanding of (JT) that it was a claim that all *beliefs* (not “worldviews”).

Not only *that,* but Loftus doesn’t use “worldviews” again! He rather uses a synonym for *belief!* And so am I now to assume that "assumptions" meant "worldview????" In what world has "belief" or "assumption" ever meant "worldview." And, one can understand being terribly unclear once, but to continue on making unclear statements which 99.99% of readers would construe in the prima facie and intelligible way is a bit much to swallow. For a mistake, this is too big!

On top of that, T-stone continued to understand John as I and every other normal human did. Here are some gems from T-stone:

=================

T-stone Gems:

  • That's doesn't obtain from what John said, by my lights. Beliefs rest on concepts which rest on perceptions. That doesn't imply that *perceptions* are beliefs. They are predicates for concepts which are predicates for beliefs. So when John says "We should demand evidences for our beliefs", there's nothing more complicated to it than saying that predication should hold: perceptions -> concepts -> beliefs.
  • I *should* base my beliefs on evidence (derived from experience) because this same experience shows that I can accomplish my goals much more surely and effectively by demanding evidence for my beliefs than divorcing my beliefs from any evidential basis.
  • (Paul Manata clearly asked) Further, how does this prove that ALL BELIEFS "should" have evidence demanded of them?
    (T-stone responds) It's a truism, Paul. Don't be pedantic. Our experience is evidence for the belief that evidence is a beneficial underwriter for our beliefs. We SHOULD demand evidence for beliefs, and this belief is based on our experience.

====================

And so are we to believe that T-stone meant “worldviews” here? No! Of course not. It is therefore likewise OBVIOUS that both T-stone and I were on the same page at least. We knew what we were debating. We were using terms the same way. These gems show that the thread makes clear that both T-stone and I were not talking about “worldviews” but had (if John is telling the truth) been talking about *beliefs.* This is plain as day. But nary a word from Loftus. He lets to people continue to debate a subject, when it is CLEAR that they have misunderstood him, without saying a single word.

But, it gets worse. T-stone asked John a point blank question:

T-stone’s undeniably clear point blank question: “My understanding of what John wrote/is saying is that his experience -- which includes the view he has of others and their experiences on the same question -- is evidence in support of the value of evidence as a basis for belief.”

And so given the context of the ENTIRE thread, where we made it painfully clear how we were using the term belief, John replies:

John Loftus’ unconscious admission: “Yes, indeed.”

My reply: Got that? Loftus point blank agrees with T-stone that his position had been about BELIEFS, not worldviews. Why didn’t he correct T-stone and say, “Oh, I meant ‘worldviews’ and not ‘beliefs?’ I mean, this was at the end of the discussion when it was CLEAR that both T-stone and I had been using the term differently than John.

No, I’m afraid John Loftus is making up a story to get out from under the critiques I leveled at him. This is a tacit admission of defeat on his part.

Furthermore, his response to T-stone supplies more evidence that he was lying (or maybe he really is dumb). That is because if John is correct and he meant ‘worldview’ for ‘belief’ then he also meant that “historical evidence” was not “good evidence” for a “worldview” but he admits to T-stone that “past experience” (I.e., historical evidence!) is good support for his “worldview!”

And for those reasons I claim that John is a liar and a snake. But, this is to be expected when one defends such a shoddy position as atheism.


However, I'm a gracious fellow and I will now accept your admitting that not all *beliefs* should have propositional evidence in their favor. Unfortunately for T-stone, he had been arguing for your claim as understood by all normal people. Therefore, T-stone was ALSO wrong (if John is correct) about John's interpretation. In fact, since T-stone was wrong about John's interpretation, then John is lying in saying that T-stone is correct if John also holds to his song and dance that "beliefs" meant "worldviews." All this will turn out quite unfortunate for T-stone and his responses covered with bravado and chest thumping. Let's now look at Loftus' new claim:

Remember, beliefs = worldviews:

Loftus: "Whatever we believe we should demand evidence for that belief,"

Reply: Restated: "Whatever worldviews we believe we should demand evidence for that worldview,"

Translated:

(*') All worldviews are things we should demand evidence for.

Now, since (*') is not a worldview, then the regress won't work here. But, we immediately want to know how John knows (*')?

The problem here, though, is that worldviews *determine* what counts as "evidence!" So any evidence he gives for his worldview assumes that his worldview is true! Say that John's worldview says that evidences from the senses are allowed. To give evidence from the senses in support of his worldview assumes his worldview! Thus rather than the regress with have a vicious circle!

And, furthermore, how would something like empirical evidence falsify a worldview? The arrow of modus tollens points both ways! If my worldview included the belief that Apollo was a god, all gods are immortal, and then I see Apollo die in battle, what element of my worldview would be falsified? Well, the belief I am less committed to, of course. Assuming my worldview allows the evidence of the senses to count as evidence, then if I was more committed to Apollo being a god I could say his death falsified the idea that all gods are immortal. Or, if I was committed to the latter, I would then give up my belief that Apollo was a god!

Nest, why "should" we offer propositional evidence for our worldview? What is supposed to happen to me if I don't? I mean, I "should" not murder. if I do, I very well may be put to death. But, what happens if I do not have propositional evidence in support of my worldview (this is all rather silly because some beliefs of a worldview will have propositional evidence, while other beliefs will not, but we'll play along). Perhaps the worldview police will torture me? Perhaps they will make me wear a cowboy hat for a year? What? What is wrong with me, or my worldview, if I don't offer propositional evidence in support of it?

Perhaps John will says, "well then you'll have no reason to believe that it's true!" But of course this means:

"If a belief(s) does not have evidence for it, then there is no reason to believe that it/they is true."

Well we can't have that, otherwise we're back at the regress.

So, perhaps Loftus means,

"If a *worldview* does not have evidence for it, then there is no reason to believe that it is true."

But why suppose a thing like that? What justifies the move that only worldviews are things that need evidential support? Why them and not the individual beliefs? Is it entire worldviews that need evidence for them, but John's particular belief in Santa Clause doe snot need evidence for it? No, I'm afraid that it's nothing but mere sophistry and special pleading to argue thus. So, we're back at the regress.

Moving on....

John Loftus: "I do think with Paul that there are some things we believe without evidence, but this in no way can apply to a whole system of thought like Paul probably wants it to."

My reply: This is ridiculous. Now it's not just T-stone who can't understand and misrepresents me, but Loftus joins the fun too. (a) I know there are some things we believe without evidence. The issue here is, "should" we believe anything without evidence? Or, is a belief *warranted* or *justified* if it does not have evidence in its favor? Therefore, the fact that we may have some beliefs that have no evidence, the question arises: "If I come to reflect on this belief, and realize that I have no propositional evidence in its favor, should I reject it?"

(b) Above I said that some of the constituent beliefs in a worldview do and should have evidence for them, but not all. And the ones that don't, if they are the appropriate ones, can nevertheless be warranted, justified, or items of knowledge. Does Loftus agree with this? if not, we have the evidentialist constraint. If so, he disagrees with T-stone; along with allowing Christians warranted knowledge of God!

Continuing....

John Loftus: "He believes (or presupposes) his whole system of thought and uses that system of thought to look for evidence. That's like putting the cart being before the horse. With such a system I liken his belief to the paranoid schizophrenic, although in no way do I think this is any diagnosis of him as a person. I'm arguing there isn't anything different between what he does and what that schizophrenic does. That's what I mean. We need evidence before we believe any whole system of thought."

My reply: (i) Presuppositions and systems determine what will and what will not count as evidence. Who died and made John Loftus king of decreeing what kind of evidence is acceptable? Who told Loftus that he gets to determine how much evidence will suffice? John Loftus himself said “historical evidence is not good.” Well, in my worldview it is. See, John’s view of history, man, etc., are determinative in his not allowing historical evidence. Hence, ones worldview determines the evidence accepted and allowed.

(ii) John is free to “liken my system to a paranoid schizophrenic,” though he must realize that that is an argumentum ad baculum. Schizophrenics will *build* an entire paranoid outlook from various bits of evidence, John. Schizophrenia doesn’t determine or give anyone a *worldview.* It’s not a *worldview* a schizophrenic gets from his disease, it’s cognitive malfunction. If this is “exactly what I do,” then where’s the argument for *that* controversial thesis.

(iii) Schizophrenics act on evidence, John. Ever seen “Beautiful Mind?”

(iv) Before someone accepts a system of thought he had another system of thought. So, he had to have evidence for that system. How did he get that one? If he changed from a previous one then he had to get evidence for that one. How did he get that one? If you say that at one point the had *no* worldview, just bare facts, then I ask for an argument. I don’t believe that there are bare and brute facts. Uninterpreted data.

John Loftus: I'd also argue that the fewer things we believe without evidence the better. And those things which we believe without evidence are limited to those things which by their nature are evidence translucent, that is, the need for evidence doesn't apply to said beliefs.”

My reply: See, again, the main point is missed. No one denies that people can or do believe things without propositional evidence, the question is *should* they. So, if it is “better” to believe “fewer things” without evidence, then certainly it is “the best” to believe “nothing” without evidence. Hence it looks like Loftus is now affirming his original statement!

Second, this isn’t an inductive generalization, but a *normative* constraint placed on the epistemic enterprise.

Third, what are some things that are “evidence translucent?” Who determines what they are? Why doesn’t evidence “apply” to them? How does a “thing” have a “nature” that makes it “evidence translucent?”

John Loftus: “And in this scenario the question is whether or not the God belief is one of those beliefs which doesn't require evidence. I think it does. But let's say it doesn't. Then what? All one can do is presuppose the "god of the philosophers," or the deistic God, which is a far cry from a full blown Calvinistic Christianity. One cannot rationally presuppose a trinity, or the God of the Bible, otherwise Mormons and Muslims can do likewise with their whole system of thought, and within such a system of thought there are only Kuhnian anomalies, not full blown refutations.

Reply: Why can’t one “rationally presuppose a trinity?” One whose view of “rationality?” Does wearing a cowboy hat mean you’re the sheriff and can lay down and enforce laws? Why can someone rationally believe in a deistic god in a warranted way? What view of warrant? How does it work? Explain it and show us how they can do so. What is a presupposition? How am I using the term? Based on this usage, why can’t I presuppose that Christianity is true? Or, take someone like Plantinga. On a Plantingian model, why cannot he believe in God and “the great truths of the gospel” in a basic way? Please don’t tell us that you’ve rested your atheological hopes and dreams on a list of unargued assumptions? Please tell us you’ve thought through all of these things. Given my model, my view of epistemology, the testimony of another person is non-propositional evidence in support of a belief, and it has warrant for me if it does for the testifier. So, when I believe in, say, the doctrine of election I believe it on the testimony of another - Christ speaking in the Scriptures - and hence am warranted in believing it even though I have no propositional evidence in its favor. How does your argument defeat this? How does it defeat it on my terms? Surely you didn’t mean to thump your chest and say that “Because John Loftus disagrees with a Christian approach to epistemology, then it must be false,” right?



Touchstone’s Turn:

Okay, so now I have proven that if Loftus is correct then BOTH T-stone and I misunderstood him. But, rather than thinking through how stupid Loftus made himself look, T-stone supports this and uses it as evidence to bash me. Unfortunately, it only serves to bash him. In response to John’s admission T-stone had this to say,

T-stone: John,

Thanks for clearing that up.

Paul,

There you go. You spanked me again with the "misunderstood the basic argument" gambit. Didn't see it coming... masterful.

For my part, I don't suppose that an argument like John's exhausts the *possibility* of warranted beliefs that derive their warrant from something other than an evidential foundation. But the empirical observations we do accumulate give rise to the understanding that evidence is *good*, generally speaking, and a lack of evidence represents epistemic *risk*. That's just not controversial, which is why it's strange to see you pull out your regress gun on.

Chalk it up to the hair-trigger, I guess.

-Touchstone

My reply: LOL! T-stone obviously misunderstood John’s argument as well! He wasn’t defending John’s claims EITHER, then. But, this does nothing to get T-stone off the hook of his defense of Loftus original position that we both had been arguing. I’m still right there and falling back on Loftus’ debunkers shuffle doesn’t meant that I was wrong in *our* debate given the context we *both* understood.

But, again, I must point out that I have, since day one, admitted that “evidence is good generally speaking.” I mean, this is vague and ambiguous, but I go along. I have always maintained, as is CLEAR from my posts, that the idea that EVER SINGLE ONE OF OUR BELIEFS should have propositional evidence in its favor is irrational and subject to serious arguments, including the regress argument. This was clear from my post, and so why didn’t they just admit that I was right? If they don’t want to, well we’re back at the original debate. At best, therefore, all they can get me on (and T-stone failed here too) is that I thought John Loftus meant “beliefs” when he says “beliefs” and not “worldviews” when he said “beliefs.” Okay, you got me there. My mistake. How stupid can I be, right?

Continuing….

T-stone: “Paul, you've just gone done parachuting in with your regress gun pip-pip-pipping away against an inductive argument. I suggest the statement in question was inductive in nature, you insist it wasn't. Now the author of the statement weighs in and affirms it *was* made on inductive grounds. And you are telling me *I* don't understand what's being said here?”

My reply: LOL! Uh, T-stone, did you read Loftus’ response? Your “suggestion” of the statement was WRONG TOO!

At any rate, as far as the debate T-stone and I had, I falsified the inductive argument. I posted actual beliefs that do not have propositional evidence in their favor, and they are perfectly warranted beliefs.

I had asked: So, would you and John admit that I can be justified and warranted in a belief that has no propositional evidence in its favor?

T-stone replied: I hope so, as I'm confident that some beliefs I hold would probably qualify under that distinction, even and especially in the view of Loftus.

My reply: Amazing. This is what I had been arguing for the ENTIRE time. It is CLEAR that I had been arguing for this. Now T-stone admits that he has beliefs that are warranted and or justified without propositional evidence in their favor.

If he is correct, then he is wrong that ALL beliefs should have propositional evidence in their favor for one to be justified or warranted in believing them.

Lastly, please tell me *which* beliefs you hold qualify as warranted and justified in the absence of propositional evidence in their favor, and how do they receive their warrant?

T-stone: “John made claim on inductive grounds. From the specific to the general. Remember the talk about gravity? Specific to the general. Well, just as we can't rule out the possibility that gravity may not work the same everywhere (translational symmetry), we can't preclude the possibility of true beliefs that obtain without evidential bases.”

Reply: Uh, T-stone, maybe you can’t rule out the claim that gravity may not work the same everywhere, you didn’t say that true beliefs obtain without evidential basis though, you said they DID occur. You said, ‘you had them.” So, to make an accurate analogy, you’d have to say that we HAVE FOUND a place where gravity (given the same factors) did not hold!

T-stone: “That's how induction works; it's implicit in going from the specific to the general. So, if you are just figuring out that an inductive doesn't nuke your (or my) room for possible exceptions, all I can tell you is to take another look at what the probabilistic nature of induction means. We haven't tested gravity everywhere, and we never we be able to. Nevertheless, we look askance at someone who says "gravity doesn't apply here" without some explanation and demonstration.”

My reply: Incredible. T-stone has left the conversation and doesn’t even seem to know which way he’s going. I’m trying to take the kill shot but he’s bouncing all over the room. Stand still, wabbit.

I know how induction works. If someone says that “All x’s are y’s,” and then we find and x that is not a y, we have falsified the claim.

So, you had, granting you a lot, said that it is an inductive claim that “All beliefs should have evidence demanded of them.” But you now admit that you are “confident” that some of your beliefs are warranted and or justified without propositional evidence in their favor. Those types of beliefs are warranted and so “shouldn’t” have evidence “demanded” of them. Hence we have falsified “All x’s are y’s.” get it? Even your two-stepping, back-pedaling has been refuted…. Not just by me but by yourself as well

Lastly, you made the claim that “ALL beliefs SHOULD” have evidence demanded of them. And so I demand evidence of every single one of your beliefs. Infinite regress is back. Now, if you say that you hold some beliefs without propositional evidence, then you admit to doing things you shouldn’t. Like a person who says that you “shouldn’t” rape women, but nevertheless goes out and rapes women, no matter how scant the number of women is! So, perhaps you’ll now admit that you do not believe that “all” beliefs “should” have evidence demanded of them. Okay, fine. That has been *MY* argument. So, either you end up agreeing with me, or you look like a hypocrite on the intellectual level of the rapist!

By the way, you still have all those other arguments hanging over your head. So, given that what you argued, which was not in defense of Loftus since you misunderstood Loftus, was indeed representative of your position, I've still dismembered your position.

Glad I could clear all this up for you,

~PM

38 comments:

  1. Dr. Kavorkian6/09/2007 2:14 PM

    It looks like now Touchstone is saying that many of our beliefs should have evidence for them, but not all of them.

    Of course this is how Paul Manata started out the argument.

    It looks like Touchstone's original complaint wasn't warranted since he agrees with Paul, and his whittled away position is the position Paul actually stated with!

    This was a prime example of how to surgically pick apart an opponent and leave him with his vital organs strewn about the room.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Touchstone and Loftus,

    Your guys' comments actually make Tom Lykus look thoughtful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Paul, sometimes I insert comments here when I have not read everything that proceeded it. To be honest I don't find what you write to be worth trudging through most of the time for various reasons. If you would surprise me once then I would take the time and effort to do so.

    I placed a comment here. Then as I was skimming your debate with T-stone I saw where he asked me a question and I answered it. Then later I skimmed through what was being said and I placed the context to what I had said. If my context wasn't the same context as your discussion was about, then I apologize.

    You 'da man. I bow before your intellectual brilliance in exposing me for the dumb guy I really am. Thanks too, for your complete honesty about all things. I feel ashamed in your purity of your presence. I'll do better from now on.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, Paull, I did not read this post either. I briefly skimmed it. Sorry. I figure you must know what you're talking about and you have probably silenced me once again.

    And yet I still speak! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. John,

    The problem is that you answered my clear questions. You had to read *that,* at least.

    So, foiled again.

    Furthermore, you agreed with T-stone, and to agree with him you had to read what he wrote, and it was clear that he, as well as I, were not using 'belief' the way you were.

    So, you've been caught red-handed.

    And, I don't really care if you read my posts. they're not really for you, John. Sorry to bruise that ego. They are for brothers and sisters. Examples of how easy it is to expose apostates and atheologians. Examples of what happens when you leave the Lord of reason.

    And, lastly, you're equivocationg on being "silenced." Of course you can continue to open your mouth and serve re-heated and refuted objections, but that doesn't mean that they've been decimated nonetheless.

    The mere fact that a child can say he sees monsters under his bed at night doesn't mean the dad hasn't answered and rebutted his child's concerns. Who's yo daddy?

    Anyway, I hope all this has helped you. You and I both know that in your inner thoughts you know what is the case. I understand your having to show bravado and machismo in public, so I'm not that bothered by the song and dance routine. After all, I wouldn't expect anything different from a man with a cowboy hat. So, if it makes you feel better about yourself to say you don't read my posts, and trade substantive rebuttals in for sophistic and emotive responses, then consider it a gesture of good will on my part to allow you to do whatever you need to do to keep your image in tact.

    All the best to you and yours,

    ~PM

    ReplyDelete
  6. John Loftus' Inner Man6/10/2007 12:09 AM

    Duh, hey, Manata! Don't you know that I don't read the comments I respond to? What, are you stoopid or something? I justy skim down and pop off irregardless of whether it has anything to do with what anyone else is talking about.

    I mean us atheists get to do things like that, didn't you know. But that's 'cause we're better than you "believers." I mean, if a Christian ever pulled a stunt like that we'd tar and feather him. But I don't have to play by those rules since I got my lifetime membership card to the Atheological society.

    Oh, and never mind the arguments you offered against my revised statement, I don't have to read that either to respond. Want my response? Well who cares, you're getting it anyway: "That's just dumb. I am right because I am a cowboy. Bon Jovi made a song about me. And, I learned from Bill Criag. What have you done? Nothin. Nothin!

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Kavorkian" = Manata

    how sad....

    ReplyDelete
  8. 'Anonymous' = Manata trying to pretend he's someone picking on Manata to get Manata pity.

    ...how sad.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, so Dr. Kavorkian is me.

    The anonymous two comments above is me.

    And so maybe the anonymoys right above me is me?

    Get a life, guys.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Paul,

    This is comic:

    But, I must say, and I do not say this lightly, I think Loftus is flat out lying through his teeth.

    Let the record show that Manata's way out his troubles is to say "He's lying" -- Loftus didn't mean what he said he meant. I don't suppose you'd think much of responders to your posts that deny you the ability to state or restate what your intent was, yet you deny this of others. There's an "apologetic" of its in there from you if you look, Paul. Or maybe you don't expect others to operate from the assumption that you're not lying when you post?

    As for beliefs and worldviews, if the beliefs that are adopted as part of our worldview are *controlling* beliefs, than it would make sense that any insights John may have into the value of evidence as support for beliefs would be ALL THE MORE IMPORTANT for beliefs that were controlling beliefs. I have no idea why you think it would be surprising to me to read John's comments. I start from the understanding that John is usually speaking as an atheist to theists in these contexts, and that implicates clashing worldviews as a recurring feature of the discussion. I'd have been shocked if Loftus were to restrict his claim from the area of worldviews.

    You go on to say:
    The problem here, though, is that worldviews *determine* what counts as "evidence!" So any evidence he gives for his worldview assumes that his worldview is true! Say that John's worldview says that evidences from the senses are allowed. To give evidence from the senses in support of his worldview assumes his worldview! Thus rather than the regress with have a vicious circle!

    It's only circular in the sense that it's tautologous -- it's a proposition which is always true, which must be true. Evidence from the senses can't be rejected, else you wouldn't be able to "reject", or have any beliefs or concepts at all.

    Transcendentally, then, "evidence from the senses" is a brute fact; it cannot be denied, as *denying* it requires sense-data. That doesn't mean that we always form accurate concepts from our sense data or true beliefs from our concepts, but it does mean that our perpections are undeniable as perceptions, the raw evidence which we use to build concepts and beliefs.

    There is no worldview that can deny sense-data, as sense-data is necessary for interaction with the world. You can't "deny" or "have a worldview" without perception(evidence). So, if you have a worldview, you necessarily affirm evidence as an enabling element in your ability to adopt and deploy that worldview.

    All of which to say that "worldview" is nothing more than a restatement "relies on evidence" -- a tautology in other words. So you're "vicious circle" is only as vicious as any definition is. Not a problem here, Paul.

    Next you go on to say:
    And, furthermore, how would something like empirical evidence falsify a worldview? The arrow of modus tollens points both ways! If my worldview included the belief that Apollo was a god, all gods are immortal, and then I see Apollo die in battle, what element of my worldview would be falsified? Well, the belief I am less committed to, of course. Assuming my worldview allows the evidence of the senses to count as evidence, then if I was more committed to Apollo being a god I could say his death falsified the idea that all gods are immortal. Or, if I was committed to the latter, I would then give up my belief that Apollo was a god!

    You are assuming what can't be denied here, again Paul (sense-data must count as evidence), so you're on solid ground here, so far as that goes. As for your question, I think your answer is just fine -- to avoid contradictions, something in your worldview would have to change, either drop your belief that Apollo was a god, or drop your belief that all gods are immortal.

    Next:
    Nest[sic], why "should" we offer propositional evidence for our worldview?

    As a starting point, because evidence is what has gotten us to the point of even understand what a worldview is, and what it means to have a worldview. The beliefs we adopt through the perception->concept formation->belief chain are anchored to evidence. From the time we are infants, we learn to assimilate evidence (perceptions), conceptualize it, and hopefully harmonize it with our beliefs (new evidence can alter our beliefs, and our beliefs can alter our conceptualization of the evidence).



    What is supposed to happen to me if I don't? I mean, I "should" not murder. if I do, I very well may be put to death. But, what happens if I do not have propositional evidence in support of my worldview (this is all rather silly because some beliefs of a worldview will have propositional evidence, while other beliefs will not, but we'll play along).

    You will be mainting "controlling beliefs" that have no apparent epistemic foundation. As such, they represent a risk to your ability to make sense of the real world around you. That very well may not lead you to murder, but empirically, we observe that more accurate models of the world around us are assets in the pursuit of our goals, and less accurate models are liabilities in pursuit of same.

    Perhaps the worldview police
    will torture me? Perhaps they will make me wear a cowboy hat for a year? What? What is wrong with me, or my worldview, if I don't offer propositional evidence in support of it?


    If you are entertaining beliefs that have neither a) evidentialist support or b) any other kind of epistemic support, then such a worldview *would* result in a visit by the "worldview police", in the form of the real world being both practically and fundamentally unitelligible for you. And I think such a position would often lead to what can be called "torment" -- the inability to make headway against the challenges of the real word. Taken to its conclusion, you'd simply be taking on a "least fit" strategy for survival -- fodder for the scythe of Darwin's natural selection. You're success in pursuing goals and survival would be only attributable to good fortune statistically.

    But I don't suppose you (or I) would claim that any evidence-free beliefs don't attach to some epistemic anchor. For my part, I don't claim "completely detached" knowledge, although I think even a charitable reading of Reformed presuppositionalism would suggest that's just the case in some instances. But that's a digressive point here. Simply put, if we don't point "evidence" as the basis for a belief, than what *do* we point to?

    You continue:
    Perhaps John will says, "well then you'll have no reason to believe that it's true!" But of course this means:

    "If a belief(s) does not have evidence for it, then there is no reason to believe that it/they is true."

    Well we can't have that, otherwise we're back at the regress.

    So, perhaps Loftus means,

    "If a *worldview* does not have evidence for it, then there is no reason to believe that it is true."

    But why suppose a thing like that? What justifies the move that only worldviews are things that need evidential support? Why them and not the individual beliefs? Is it entire worldviews that need evidence for them, but John's particular belief in Santa Clause doe snot need evidence for it? No, I'm afraid that it's nothing but mere sophistry and special pleading to argue thus. So, we're back at the regress.


    I don't know how John will answer this, but for my part, I see worldviews as an emphasizer for the idea that "we should demand evidence for our beliefs", simply because worldview beliefs are by definition *controlling* beliefs, and therefore are likely to have much greater impact.

    So that argues against any kind of special pleading; worldviews are subject to the general claim about beliefs because they *are* beliefs, and importantly, controlling beliefs.

    But as I side, I believe the powers of your regress gun are largely imaginary, so I don't have any problem with your threats to whip it out and start pip-pip-pipping away. Beliefs ultimately regress down to sense-data, which can only be questioned in the justificational sense by denying the tools one uses to deny. It simply ends up firing absurdities like "maybe this is all like the move the Matrix", which is nothing more than a capitulation to the idea that your regress gun is a philosophical toy you like to play with.

    Continuing:
    The issue here is, "should" we believe anything without evidence?

    I don't think that *is* an accurate statement of "the issue", if by "the issue" you mean John's claim that we should demand evidence for the things we believe. For example, I might restate John's claim like this:

    Evidence is an undeniable basis for beliefs, and empirically gives strong support for its utility in supporting true beliefs.

    Or, simply: "Evidence works".

    Now, that's a positive statement: evidence works. That does *not* preclude the possibility of other effective bases for belief formation. All it does is declare that "Evidence works".

    Given that, it's not correct to say that "the issue" is:

    Should we believe anything without evidence?

    I can nod and say: "Possible", without that response contradicting the assertion that "Evidence works". And it's precisely in the demonstrated *efficacy* of evidence as basis for belief that I can say "should" in "we should demand evidence for our beliefs". There may be other means of justifying beliefs with out evidence, but evidence is an undeniable, proven basis for belief formation. While there *may* be other bases for true belief formation, I await their *demonstration*. (Here's where you maybe want to play Plantinga's "other minds" card -- go right ahead!).

    It's the demonstrated efficacy of evidence as enabler for beliefs that gives warrant to the use of "should". Without denying that there may be other bases out there, they do not have the demonstrated efficacy of evidential basis. Saying "should" is to do nothing more than rely on what we can see in the record as effective.

    I think that's where you are jumping the rails here. You equate "Evidence works" with "Nothing else *can* work". That doesn't follow. It's perfectly plausible to hold that "Evidence works" as an actuality, and "non-evidence" *may* work, as well, if only as an undemonstrated potentiality.


    Or, is a belief *warranted* or *justified* if it does not have evidence in its favor? Therefore, the fact that we may have some beliefs that have no evidence, the question arises: "If I come to reflect on this belief, and realize that I have no propositional evidence in its favor, should I reject it?"

    That would depend on what basis you have, given you have no evidence available, for accepting it. If we know "Evidence works", and that's not available to us in this case, what is it that *works*, demonstrably, in supporting our belief?

    A bit further down...


    But, again, I must point out that I have, since day one, admitted that “evidence is good generally speaking.” I mean, this is vague and ambiguous, but I go along.


    That's very gracious of you to affirm, Paul, even with the qualifications. But I maintain this is the heart of John's claim -- evidence is good, generally speaking. That's why we *should* demand evidence: it's *good* to have, generally speaking.

    Conversely, if we accept that evidence is good to have (generally speaking), what is the rationale for beliefs that do not have evidence? What do we point to that is "good, generally speaking" in support of those beliefs?

    I have always maintained, as is CLEAR from my posts, that the idea that EVER SINGLE ONE OF OUR BELIEFS should have propositional evidence in its favor is irrational and subject to serious arguments, including the regress argument.

    You are equivocating on "should" here, Paul. If evidence is a good thing, generally speaking, in support of beliefs (right?) then it would be a good thing if we have evidence in support of every single on of our beliefs. Would you affirm or deny this statement:

    (A)It would be a good thing if every single one of our beliefs had evidential support.

    That is *NOT* equivalent to saying:

    (B)There cannot be any belief that is valid yet obtains without evidential support.

    (B) is not implied in (A). So I suggest you might look at John's claims as affirming (A), which you mistaken took to imply (B), and proceeded to use (B) as the shadow you went about boxing.

    Now, you wonder why I don't just agree with you about (B), and while I affirm there are good solid arguments to apply against (B) (while denying that the regress argument is one of them), it's irrelevant here, Paul. You might as well have come in and said "The grass on my lawn is green! Why won't Touchstone agree with me???" I have no problem agreeing, save for the suspicion that you think any agreement would attach to (A). (B) proceeds from (A) as logically as does "my lawn is green".

    That's all I've got time for just now.

    -Touchstone

    ReplyDelete
  11. Continuing with Paul...

    Paul said:
    My reply: LOL! Uh, T-stone, did you read Loftus’ response? Your “suggestion” of the statement was WRONG TOO!

    At any rate, as far as the debate T-stone and I had, I falsified the inductive argument. I posted actual beliefs that do not have propositional evidence in their favor, and they are perfectly warranted beliefs.

    I had asked: So, would you and John admit that I can be justified and warranted in a belief that has no propositional evidence in its favor?


    You might be. And your lawn might be green. I can't find anywhere in all this discussion where John or I have stated that you *cannot* possibly be justified in such a belief. It's simply your mistaken "restatement" "Evidence works, and there for we should ask for it" to mean "No true belief can possibly exist without evidence". This mistake on your part is what's causing the trouble here. You are trying to refute an argument that wasn't made. Your lawn *might* be green, but so what? You might as well think John was asserting that your lawn can't have green grass!

    Paul:
    My reply: Amazing. This is what I had been arguing for the ENTIRE time. It is CLEAR that I had been arguing for this. Now T-stone admits that he has beliefs that are warranted and or justified without propositional evidence in their favor.

    Well, it someone else named Tom came in and rejected John's statement based on the fact that his lawn was green, I think I'd have a problem with that rejection, even while having no trouble "conceding" that Tom's lawn might indeed be green. What has been CLEAR here is that you have misunderstood the argument that's being offered. I admit, freely, that you are a menace to straw men, OK? Will that suffice?

    Paul, again:
    If he is correct, then he is wrong that ALL beliefs should have propositional evidence in their favor for one to be justified or warranted in believing them.

    "Should" <> "must, exclusively", Paul, and I suggest that distinction is the key to your misunderstanding here. I'm sure you read it that way, and on a superficial basis, I can see how that might happen. But, once called to your attention, you should be able to see this misreading on your part, and correct it. Did John suppose that his statement denied the *possibility* of evidence-free true beliefs? Well, here's a quote from his comments at 6/08/2007 3:22 PM on the "Josh McTouchstone" thread:

    I'd also argue that the fewer things we believe without evidence the better. And those things which we believe without evidence are limited to those things which by their nature are evidence translucent, that is, the need for evidence doesn't apply to said beliefs.


    So here, in John's clarification, he's explicitly allowing for just such beliefs, saying they should be minimized, limited, etc. That's all you need to see, Paul, to understand that by "should", John is appealing to evidence as efficacious -- a better, proven basis than the alternatives.

    Your whole schtick here is tied to the goof of confusing an exclusive "must" for "should". Loftus gives you the clarification you need in his 3:22 PM comment. After that comment, it's just intransigence on your part to continue to demand that John actually meant something different than what he has said he meant.

    You'd have to resort to calling him a liar.

    Back to Paul:
    Lastly, please tell me *which* beliefs you hold qualify as warranted and justified in the absence of propositional evidence in their favor, and how do they receive their warrant?

    I don't maintain *any* that I'm aware of that are unjustified. But that simply begs the question of what "justified" entails. For a physicalist, my acceptance of an intuitive sense of moral law would be rejected as unwarranted. In my view, it's not clearly warranted -- or maybe more precisely, demonstrably warranted -- but on the whole my view is that I'd be less rational to reject or ignore that basic sense than to accept it as input that needs to be harmonized with everything else into a coherent model of the world.

    It's important to keep internal/external distinctions in mind here. I accept that sense as valid input, but freely admit that it is not available for examination and testing in the way, say, my vision, or other physical sense-data is. In that external sense, I don't an evidential warrant for my belief that a transcendent set of moral imperatives is a "built-in" part of man's constitution. The warrant I rely upon is the apprehension of moral law as a properly basic sense, a sense which is wholly internal.

    Would it be a good thing if I were to be furnished with propositional evidence for this? Yes. Should I demand evidence for this? I believe I should. However, none is forthcoming, so far as I can see. So I have to make an internal assessment: is this sense justifiable as input, or not? It's a judgement based on intution, which itself is equivocal; sometimes what is construed as "intuition" actually *is* irrational, and unfounded. Other intuitions are subconscious bits of reasoning that are made conscious in their conclusions, and actually have solid, if not-immediately-evident bases for them. A money manager friend of mine has an uncanny habit of sensing market moves before most of the market does, which is quite a profitable position for him to be in generally. On reflection, I don't think his "gut" -- his intuition -- is magic or supernatural, but rather just not fully conscious in its reasoning.

    T-stone: “John made claim on inductive grounds. From the specific to the general. Remember the talk about gravity? Specific to the general. Well, just as we can't rule out the possibility that gravity may not work the same everywhere (translational symmetry), we can't preclude the possibility of true beliefs that obtain without evidential bases.”

    Reply: Uh, T-stone, maybe you can’t rule out the claim that gravity may not work the same everywhere, you didn’t say that true beliefs obtain without evidential basis though, you said they DID occur. You said, ‘you had them.” So, to make an accurate analogy, you’d have to say that we HAVE FOUND a place where gravity (given the same factors) did not hold!


    I think that's far less accurate as analogies go, Paul. First, as I keep trying to get through to you, the possibility of true beliefs that do not obtain from evidence does *NOT* mean that evidene is not a powerful, demonstrated basis for belief. To make the analogy more explicit for you:

    1. gravity working according to our theory <==> evidence working to support belief.

    2. gravity NOT working according to our theory <==> evidence NOT working to support belief.

    So, there may be in principle cases where beliefs obtain without evidence, but that does not mean that evidence has thus stopped being effective as a basis for belief (gravity working).

    Paul goes on:
    I know how induction works. If someone says that “All x’s are y’s,” and then we find and x that is not a y, we have falsified the claim.

    So, you had, granting you a lot, said that it is an inductive claim that “All beliefs should have evidence demanded of them.” But you now admit that you are “confident” that some of your beliefs are warranted and or justified without propositional evidence in their favor. Those types of beliefs are warranted and so “shouldn’t” have evidence “demanded” of them. Hence we have falsified “All x’s are y’s.” get it? Even your two-stepping, back-pedaling has been refuted…. Not just by me but by yourself as well


    All I can do here is hope that reiteration wears you down to a point where it will get you to consider what's actually being interated: Your understanding of the intended meanings of both "should" and "demand" here are incorrect, and Loftus has told you so. If I have an evidence-free belief (EFB), that in no way diminishes the truth of the statement that we should seek evidential support for our beliefs, or the assertion that evidence is a demonstrably effective basis for forming true beliefs.

    If I have an EFB we call (B), it is true to say that we will benefit epistemically from the identification of evidence that supports (B). Either (B) is true or it isn't (assuming its a proposition), but in any case, the *addition* of evidential support can *only* increase its warrant. That's the "gravitational theory" here, that evidence increases warrant. And if we seek maximal justification for our beliefs, we should seek evidential support for all our beliefs, as that evidential support can *only* bolster the warrants for those beliefs.

    This really isn't controversial, Paul. Once you let go of your white-knuckled grip on your initial mistaken understandings of the claims that were and were not being made here, this isn't hardly an interesting claim, unless you are going to argue that somewhere gravity *doesn't* work, that evidence doesn't bolster warrant for a belief.

    Almost done, for now:
    Lastly, you made the claim that “ALL beliefs SHOULD” have evidence demanded of them. And so I demand evidence of every single one of your beliefs. Infinite regress is back. Now, if you say that you hold some beliefs without propositional evidence, then you admit to doing things you shouldn’t. Like a person who says that you “shouldn’t” rape women, but nevertheless goes out and rapes women, no matter how scant the number of women is! So, perhaps you’ll now admit that you do not believe that “all” beliefs “should” have evidence demanded of them. Okay, fine. That has been *MY* argument. So, either you end up agreeing with me, or you look like a hypocrite on the intellectual level of the rapist!


    Paul, is your lawn green? It is, OK, I'm agreeing with you? For the umpteenth time, I remind you that you have a basic mistake in your understanding of what John was claiming by "All beliefs should have evidence demanded of them". Remember this, from Loftus?:

    I'd also argue that the fewer things we believe without evidence the better. And those things which we believe without evidence are limited to those things which by their nature are evidence translucent, that is, the need for evidence doesn't apply to said beliefs.

    That doesn't jibe with your production from his claim that no true belief can obtain without evidence. He's allowing for just that, right here. Moreover, he's even allowing for translucency, meaning that there may be cases where evidence just doesn't apply, cannot apply in principle. That's as conservative as I think one may get with respect to the "law of gravity", the notion that evidence bolsters warrant wherever it's available. By his lights, there may be beliefs to which evidence would be *inert* in terms of warrant.

    That's just being practical from an epistemic standpoint. You, on the other hand, are committed to platonic extremes here, and *insist* that "All beliefs should have evidence demanded of them" is better translated as "There can be no true belief without supporting evidence", even though John's clarifying remarks contradict this!

    Incorrigible, I tell ya!

    Paul concludes:
    By the way, you still have all those other arguments hanging over your head. So, given that what you argued, which was not in defense of Loftus since you misunderstood Loftus, was indeed representative of your position, I've still dismembered your position.

    You are a legend in your own mind, Paul, I'll give you that. As for the "existence of other minds", earth is older than 5 minutes, etc... yawn. As for the "fiction of the substantial self" (#4 on your list, IIRC), this is just more fodder for the idea that you've got a problem in you inability to look critically at Hume's ideas. But that's another conversation.

    1. Other minds... best inference from the evidence.
    2. Earth is older than 5 minutes... best inference from the evidence.
    3. Nature is uniform... best inference from the evidence (assuming you mean physical laws here)
    4. Fiction of the substantial self... Hume fanboy philosophies are ill-advised! (Hume's distinctions between ideas and impressions are gratuitous).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Poor T-stone lost the original debate, and so he must try to find some other grounds to come out looking like he never got into a fight.

    "Let the record show that Manata's way out his troubles is to say "He's lying" -- Loftus didn't mean what he said he meant. I don't suppose you'd think much of responders to your posts that deny you the ability to state or restate what your intent was, yet you deny this of others. There's an "apologetic" of its in there from you if you look, Paul. Or maybe you don't expect others to operate from the assumption that you're not lying when you post?"

    Uh, T-stone, this is the fallacy of accent in the sense that you left out the whole section where I argued for this conclusion of mine. If people want to go through the trouble and explain *why* they think I lied, then I'm ready to objectively deal with objective arguments. You have made an argument from analogy minus the analogy. I didn't simply *say* that Loftus lied, I argued for it. So, you lost this round.

    "Transcendentally, then, "evidence from the senses" is a brute fact; it cannot be denied, as *denying* it requires sense-data."

    Yawn, when will the ignorance end? This blatantly begs the question. Someone can deny that the senses are reliable/valid/lead to truth in a dream world. To deny the senses in the matrix didn't mean that the *denier* was using his senses! We could be a brain in the vat, the scientist could send an electrical image to our brain where we thought an actual person denied our senses with his senses. T-stone's just showing us how much he doesn’t know about skepticism or how to answer the skeptic. Questioning the senses only presupposes *the ideas* we have *of* the senses, perception, etc. It does not in fact presuppose that some *has used* their senses to question anymore than a hallucination *has used* his mouth to sing you a song while you were close to dying in the desert! I mean, a hallucination could ask T-stone if his senses were reliable. T-stone could say, but would be wrong, "Well, you had to use your senses to ak me that." And, to say that it presupposes his ability to hear begs the question since T-stone's ears and the voices he "hears" could be impute from the scientist testing his brain. I mean, the more T-stone talks and tries to move away from the original question the more he stuff his foot in his mouth. Thus he *assumes* what he tried to prove in his very transcendental argument. Now, I believe in the reliability of the senses, but for better, more cogent, and more adequate reasons than T-stone's romper room arguments.

    "There is no worldview that can deny sense-data, as sense-data is necessary for interaction with the world."

    Trivially true. The question I raised was to the *evidence* that the senses may report as to any *truth* of the objective world. Worldviews can, and have, denied this and therefore wouldn't accept the so-called "evidence from the senses" as "evidence."

    I asked: "Next], why "should" we offer propositional evidence for our worldview?"

    T-stone replied: As a starting point, because evidence is what has gotten us to the point of even understand what a worldview is, and what it means to have a worldview.

    This doesn't tell me why I *should,* T-stone. Try again. This commits the is = ought fallacy. Oh, and I refuted your pragmatic argument twice now. Try to interact with substance instead of serving trashed arguments.

    "From the time we are infants, we learn to assimilate evidence (perceptions), conceptualize it, and hopefully harmonize it with our beliefs (new evidence can alter our beliefs, and our beliefs can alter our conceptualization of the evidence)."

    When I was an infant I pooped in my diapers too. Does this mean that I *should* do that? When I was an infant and a toddler I cried and pouted when i didn't get my way. I learned that that got me answers to my questions and requests. So, *should* I do those things today? Get real, T-stone. Come with some better stuff than this. You're wasting my time.

    I asked T-stoner and Loftus why I *should* have evidence for *all* my beliefs. T-stone tips his hand:

    "You will be mainting [sic] "controlling beliefs" that have no apparent epistemic foundation. As such, they represent a risk to your ability to make sense of the real world around you."

    Foundationalist, ha.

    And, why assume that a belief needs evidence to have an epistemic foundation, or be warranted? This is precisely what is at *issue!*

    So, T-stone says, "You should have evidence for all your beliefs because then you wouldn't be apparently warranted or justified in holding that belief." I say, "Why?" he says, "because you wouldn’t be justified or warranted in holding that belief." This is so kindergarten, T-stone.

    And, what about *this* belief *itself?* Does it have evidence? I've sliced and diced all the "evidence" T-tone thought to give. And, I also questioned his beliefs about his evidence. He then called me "pedantic."

    So, as it stands, T-stone has "no apparent" epistemic foundation or justification for this
    belief itself.

    “You are equivocating on "should" here, Paul. If evidence is a good thing, generally speaking, in support of beliefs (right?) then it would be a good thing if we have evidence in support of every single on of our beliefs. Would you affirm or deny this statement:

    Above he said that I “should” meant “that I wouldn’t have an epistemic foundation.” So, since I’m not an evidentialist or a classical foundationalist, I deny that my all beliefs without propositional evidence are without positive epistemic status in the absence of propositional evidence in its favor. And so I’m not equivocation on should. T-stone actually is! In one sense he means “it would be good” and in another he means “no apparent epistemological foundation.” So, the goof ball doesn’t even know when he’s equivocating yet calls me an equivocator! This is like Martin Luther King debating David Duke and Duke calling Kind a racist.

    Bottom line, I was right that not all beliefs need propositional evidence in support of it to be warranted or justified or have proper status. Likewise, not every street requires me to go 25 MPH. On *this street* it would be “good” to and I “should” go 25. if I am on a street that doesn’t require 25, but, rather 45 MPH, then it is neither “bad” nor epistemically immoral for me to not go 25!!! So, no, if I can and do have positive epistemic status for beliefs without propositional evidence in their favor, then I deny the claim that I “should” have this evidence for all my beliefs. If I “should” not rape, then NO INSTANCE of rape is “good.” Therefore, if T-stone thinks this about beliefs then NO INSTANCE of beliefs without propositional evidence in their favor are “good” things. And thus we’re back at the regress.

    This is all really rather Sunday School material. These are immediate inferences and T-stone can’t even draw them. This is sad and I feel dirty participating in a discussion with an obviously ignorant person who nevertheless acts like he’s well-armed intellectually in this area.



    .....

    I was going to continue, but I'm done. This was enough for me. All I would be doing is dancing on T-stone's grave. My two posts have not been refuted, and T-stone’s latest attempt (above) has served to show me just how seriously he should be taken. I doubt he's ever thought hard about any of these issues before. He's such a wide-eyed innocent.

    So, you may have the last word, I’m bored now....

    ReplyDelete
  13. P.S. One more thing. This just shows T-stones illiteracy in this area. He said,

    "1. Other minds... best inference from the evidence.
    2. Earth is older than 5 minutes... best inference from the evidence.


    Uh, the evidence is THE SAME for both conclusions. That is, the SAME evidence points just the same to BOTH conclusions.

    That's the point in these illustrations. The *evidence* doesn't support the conclusion.

    I mean, he may agree with the guy, but read Plantinga's God and other minds and his warrant Trilogy.

    Most atheists even think he's right at least about what the *evidence* can tell us about other minds and an existent past.

    ReplyDelete
  14. P.P.S. One last thing, I promise.

    Here's what atheistic profession philosophers say on the subjectL

    7. Conclusion

    This article has been almost entirely concerned with the epistemological problem of other minds. What generates the problem has been carefully delineated. The standard solutions have been outlined and the various critical responses discussed. What is clear is that there does not seem to be what might be called a received solution to the problem. It has been argued that the problem cannot be removed, nor can it be made easier to solve, by embracing any particular philosophy of mind.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/other-minds/

    I mean, T-stone acts like I'm an idiot for mentioning these problems, this only is autobiographical on his part, though; telling us how much he *doesn't know* about pretty much anything.

    And, it is noted by most philosophers thjat the anological inference (T-stone's inference to the best explanation) is beset by problems:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/other-minds/#3.1

    And that's just the beginning

    ReplyDelete
  15. Paul, how many times are you going to declare yourself the winner and suggest that Touchstone is an idiot?

    The reality is Touchstone is a pretty smart guy. Your actions betray that you believe this as well, Paul. Nobody else has been the focus of more new threads here over the last month or two. If he was truly the moron you imply he is he would be ignored.

    He treats you like your not a moron either, and I certainly don't think you're a moron. I'm enjoying the conversation, but it would be even better if you (Paul) could refrain from all of the triumphant talk and just focus on argumentation. Can you give it a try?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Jon: I'm enjoying the conversation, but it would be even better if you (Paul) could refrain from all of the triumphant talk and just focus on argumentation.

    Vytautas: Would you say we are never warented to use insults in arguments?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jon,

    As many times as it takes to get through to him.

    My actions betray, and my posts demonstrate, that *on this subject* this is not his day. He may be smart in other areas for all I care, but not here, as my posts have demonstrated. Check the rather elementary blunders.

    Lastly, if you remember, his first comment to me was that I "make Peter Pike look thoughtful."

    Given his comments towards Peter, this was intended to be a slam at least at the level of "moron." Furthermore, he has engaged in numerous choice comments. Here's another:

    "Man just looks at the sneering Manata, transfixed by the shininess of new and alien philosophical gimmicks he thinks have some sort of transcendent power, and moves on, shaking his head."

    So, it's nice to see you adhere to Loftus' ideal of what a debunker should be: "Get pity for ourselves and slander the facts."

    If T-stone wants to open his mouth (and remember, he made through the slams *first*) and play tough-guy, then I'll oblige as well.

    So, what you need to do is see past the rhetoric *both sides* have used, distill the actual arguments, take your emotions out of it, and see the obvious conclusions everyone else has.

    Your comments show the severe bias you have and the blatent prejudice you hold against Christians/T-bloggers/me. That a fellow apostate can do those things but not get a "stern talking to" is indication that you weren't really being serious but just venting your frustration over friends getting their lunch served to them.

    best to you and yours,

    ~PM

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  18. vytautas, I do think it is inappropriate to use insults in argument. This isn't to say that I've never done it or that Touchstone hasn't done it, but that it should be avoided as much as possible.

    Paul, I don't deny that Touchstone has engaged in some insulting language, but it appears to me that this type of thing is far more common in your posts than in his. Even in your post to me you are again declaring yourself the victor. You just can't help yourself.

    It's as if you repeatedly kick Touchstone, over and over, and when he finally pushes you once in response you turn to me and say "He's doing it too." I suppose he shouldn't, but it's hard not to respond in kind to repeated insults and ad hominem argumentation.

    I happen to think that triabloggers do so much insulting because they want to drive thoughtful criticism out and away from this blog. Touchstone will probably get tired of the mud slinging and leave eventually. I think that is what you want, because his criticisms of you guys seem pretty substantive to me.

    So again I ask you to try to exercise just a little restraint with regards to your many ad hominem statements. This will make the conversation more enjoyable for me, and probably also for Touchstone. Which in theory would be what you want, because one would think that you like thoughtful conversation and intelligent criticism. If however you don't want that I guess I would expect the insults to continue.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jon,

    "It's as if you repeatedly kick Touchstone, over and over, and when he finally pushes you once in response you turn to me and say "He's doing it too." I suppose he shouldn't, but it's hard not to respond in kind to repeated insults and ad hominem argumentation."

    Jon, did you miss the part in my post where I mentioned that T-stone lobbed the *first* bomb?

    I do not and hardly ever use "ad hominem argumentation." I may make ad hominem *remarks,* but you'll note that I rest ZERO conclusions on ad hominem remarks.

    "I happen to think that triabloggers do so much insulting because they want to drive thoughtful criticism out and away from this blog."

    Or, perhaps we know that the remarks will ensure that guys like you, Loftus, and T-stone will stick around? Perhaps its because arrogant apostates need a talking to like that every once and a while.

    "Touchstone will probably get tired of the mud slinging and leave eventually. I think that is what you want, because his criticisms of you guys seem pretty substantive to me."

    We don't all hold to the same points, so it's not as if he has stock objections to "triabloggers." And, I don't know what "criticisms" you're referring to, but I actually think he's quite laughable. I mean, did you read our last exchange? The one where he said there would be no humans in heaven, only persons? So, T-stone draws no distinguishment between *divine* and *human* persons. Or, if you read this entire evidentialism debate from post 1 you'll note that T-stone hasn't interacted with over 75% of the substantive material I've posted. He says it *is* the case that infants learned that evidence for beliefs was good, therefore we *shouyld* have evidence for beliefs. Nevermind the doubtful cliam about infants, how is this not fallacious and absurd? Should Jon Curry still poop his pants and have mommy and daddy wipe him? I mean, to even say the things you just did is more indicative of your ignorance on these matters than it is representative of you actually being right about his "substantive critiques."

    And, hey, Jon, anytime you want to step onto the mat, you're welcome. Or, perhaps you're just engaging in emotional responses because you wants me to stop my substantive critiques of T-blog? Perhaps you think I'll grow tired of talking about the emotion and woe-is-me, poor T-stone and Loftus schtick, and go away?

    bye now,

    ~PM

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jon, did you miss the part in my post where I mentioned that T-stone lobbed the *first* bomb?

    The first bomb was lobbed prior to this subject coming up. If he made the first comment in this conversation, as I said, I agree with you that he shouldn't. But your use of ad hominem is far more common than his. He shouldn't either, but as I said, you do a lot more of this, and in so doing you invite it from Touchstone. It takes real mental fortitude to not respond in kind in the face of all of your bombastic comments. Look at the title of this thread you've started. It doesn't get much more blatantly fallacious than that.

    I do not and hardly ever use "ad hominem argumentation." I may make ad hominem *remarks,* but you'll note that I rest ZERO conclusions on ad hominem remarks.

    This is the same misconception about how ad hominem operates that Jason had. Of course you don't say "Touchstone is stupid, therefore Touchstone is wrong." But that is never the way ad hominem works. Nobody would be so foolish as to lay clear the logical underpinnings of their fallacy, because doing so would be counterproductive, exposing the illogical nature of the claim. Ad hominem works by subtely trying to create an impression in the mind that the opponent is foolish or wrong or somehow untrustworthy, and does so not on the basis of the actual argumentation, but by on the side making comments that are directed to the person. This is exactly what you do, and it is fallacious.

    I mean, to even say the things you just did is more indicative of your ignorance on these matters than it is representative of you actually being right about his "substantive critiques."

    Well, I'm not really commenting on who it is that has the upper hand in this particular debate you are having with Touchstone. I'm just requesting that you slow down with all of the ad hominem argumentation. You can ignore me of course and there's nothing I can do about it. Touchstone has put up with a lot of it already, and for that I am glad, because the conversation has been interesting. But I'm sure you will push him out of here if you keep it up and I'd hate to see that happen. Would you hate to see that happen?

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  21. Jon,

    Those are chastening remarks, and I appreciate them.

    Paul, I apologize for suggesting you are less thoughtful than Peter Pike. I should not have done that, and do not think that is true. Please forgive me, I'll work to be more disciplined about such comments in the future.

    -Touchstone

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  22. Jon,

    Your fine, brash hypothesis has died the death of a thousand qualifications. Perhaps you have quotes from *MY* dialogies with T-stone where *I* started with the pejoratives. Furthermore, the things he says and the way he phrases things are obviously meant to be insulting. That he doesn't use the *words* doesn't mean his *message* isn't the same. A perfumed pig is still a pig.

    Your second comment commits the intentional fallacy. Furthermore, ad homs frequently work like this:

    Debate on economics: "Well, you're a Commie, so what do you know?"

    Or, "Christians are big meanies, therefore Christianity is false."

    I say it again, THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE ARGUMENT OF MINE THAT RESTS ON AD HOMINEM REMARKS.

    The remarks are *fillers.* And they come *after* the *showing* of the *stupid* comments.

    As for your last comment, T-stone is continuing in the same vein I am, right up to his last comment:

    "You are a legend in your own mind, Paul, I'll give you that."

    So, the fact that you had to come here and play moral police with *me* is indicitive of your blatent prejudices and double standards. Keep the whinning to a minimum and read the convo.

    ReplyDelete
  23. More examples of thick-headesness:

    JL claims: "I'd also argue that the fewer things we believe without evidence the better. And those things which we believe without evidence are limited to those things which by their nature are evidence translucent, that is, the need for evidence doesn't apply to said beliefs.

    T-stone claims: That doesn't jibe with your production from his claim that no true belief can obtain without evidence. ....

    Paul PREVIOUSLY claimed: This is ridiculous. Now it's not just T-stone who can't understand and misrepresents me, but Loftus joins the fun too. (a) I know there are some things we believe without evidence. The issue here is, "should" we believe anything without evidence? Or, is a belief *warranted* or *justified* if it does not have evidence in its favor? Therefore, the fact that we may have some beliefs that have no evidence, the question arises: "If I come to reflect on this belief, and realize that I have no propositional evidence in its favor, should I reject it?"

    ***********

    You can't get much more clear than this. T-stone blatently and violently misrepresents statements I make explicitly contradicting his straw man assumption of what I'm arguing. He's too busy pip-pip-pipping away with his Anti-triablogue ray gun that he can't slow down to actually make sure he's shooting at a real T-blogger rather than one of the straw men aboard our ship.

    I have explicitly said, at least 3 times now, that I know one can *have* true beliefs without evidence (lucky guesses are examples), the question is SHOULD WE if we wanted to be warranted or justified, or maintain positive epistemic status. If we should (in this sense) for all our beliefs, then I want it for *that* belief.

    Now, T-stone can say that he doesn't have propositional evidence for this belief but is nevertheless warranted, justified, or in positive epistemic status. Fine, he grants my position and therefore we "shouldn't" have propositional evidence for *all* our beliefs.

    Or, he may say, "Yes, I have evidence, my senses." Well, this is sloppy, but he's resorting to *beliefs about* what he *remembers* his senses reporting. Okay, give me evidences for *those* beliefs. Give me propositional evidence supporting the reliability of memory. If T-stone says, that he "doesn't have propositional evidence for this belief but is nevertheless warranted, justified, or in positive epistemic status." Fine, he grants my position and therefore we "shouldn't" have propositional evidence for *all* our beliefs.

    If he denies this, then he's saying that he is doing something he shouldn't. If one "shouldn't" do something, then they never should. Rapists shouldn't rape, and never should. Same with murderes. Same with thiefs &c. A rapist *should not* rape. Likewise, T-stone then *should not* hold to his belief that has no evidence. he needs to 8drop it.*

    This is all very basic. Read Clifford, then James, then Plantinga, then Wood, then Williams, et al. I would have at least thought T-stone would have done his homework on this subject before jumping in pip-pip-pipping away with his anti-triabloguer ray gun. I mean, he's acting like Buzz Lightyear fighting the evil emperor Zurg. he just doesn;t realize that he's a toy and I'm playing with him.

    Thanks for the fun, T-buzz.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "Your lawn *might* be green, but so what? You might as well think John was asserting that your lawn can't have green grass!"

    So now the claim is:

    "It might be the case, at least its inductively highly probable, that all beliefs should have evidence for them!!!'

    John never said, "might."

    If John had said:

    "All lawns have brown grass."

    And I said mine has green grass."

    T-stone would have came in and said:

    "You're so sta sta stoooopid, Paul. John didn't say that *all* lawns are brown, it was an inductive generalization based off his experience in po dunk Iowa. Quite being so pedantic."

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  25. hostus twinkius6/11/2007 2:09 PM

    Hey, isn't Loftus in Po Dunk, Indiana? Not that there's any difference, mind you.

    And Jon, upon what basis would you assert that ad hominems are wrong? Given your world view, what's wrong with them?

    Paul, I love you man...

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  26. And Jon, upon what basis would you assert that ad hominems are wrong? Given your world view, what's wrong with them?

    The problem with them is that they just make it difficult to have a conversation. I enjoy challenging my beliefs and subjecting them to scrutiny. I suppose that's partly because I recognize as true some of the arguments Touchstone has made here. We've learned through experience that having more accurate models of the world are beneficial for us in various ways that I probably don't need to explain. Insofar as I believe what is false, I know that that is not good for me. For me debate is a great way to help turn my false opinions into true ones. Debates that descend to insults usually make it difficult for participants to be involved. That stifles inquiry and lessens my chances of learning something.

    That's what I'm here for. I'm not here to convert anybody. I'm here for my own benefit. I've learned a lot, but I've had to hold my nose through insult in a lot of cases. If Paul chases Touchstone out of here with repeated insults you will suffer for it, because you will learn less.

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  27. T-stone,

    I do forgive you, but I did not take offense.

    Paul

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  28. "That's what I'm here for. I'm not here to convert anybody. I'm here for my own benefit. I've learned a lot, but I've had to hold my nose through insult in a lot of cases. If Paul chases Touchstone out of here with repeated insults you will suffer for it, because you will learn less."

    But T-stone might chase me out of here because he called me a legend in my own mind.

    Aren't you concerned about that? You might "suffer" for it.

    Or, is this just an outlet for you to take out your prejudices on Christians?

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  29. Jon,

    "We've learned through experience that having more accurate models of the world are beneficial for us in various ways that I probably don't need to explain."

    No I must call you names too! :-)

    Are you the ray Charles of Atheology?

    Where have I denied the above? Do you even know my position?

    You have not really read through the discussions, have you? You're just here to throw pebbles into my shoe by focusing on the emotional problems your having here. You're tryiong to take away from the discussion and draw the focus on to a suibjective debate where no one can win.

    Anyway, this assumes that you *already know* what the world is like to say that your model is "more accurate" than the next model. To say it's been "beneficial" for us, ore has helped us "acheive" certain ends, is to resort to a pragmatic argument. This doesn't lead to *truth,* though.

    In fact, my model that the world is a giant video game where I must work, avoid cars, avoid deadly creatures, etc., allows me to survive as well. But, all my beliefs are false.

    " Debates that descend to insults usually make it difficult for participants to be involved. That stifles inquiry and lessens my chances of learning something."

    What are you, a fundamentalist or something? Don't drink, don't smoke, don't dance.

    Look the convo. has been about 95% substance and 5% "descended to insults."

    ReplyDelete
  30. Where have I denied the above? Do you even know my position?


    Where did I say that you denied the above?

    ReplyDelete
  31. hostus twinkius6/11/2007 3:49 PM

    Jon said:

    "I'm here for my own benefit."

    No surprises there, it's the natural(ist) way.

    Translation:

    "I'm here to buttress my prejudices against Christianity with the opponent's arguments"

    When have you been on the T-blogger side?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Look the convo. has been about 95% substance and 5% "descended to insults."

    That's a very charitable interpretation of the discussion. Not because there were so many more insults, but for the most part, this has been a futile exercise in connecting you with the claims you thought you were objecting to. In other words, so much wasted "substance" over the mistaken view that (A) does implies (B) (see above).

    Even at the end here, you offer this:


    "It might be the case, at least its inductively highly probable, that all beliefs should have evidence for them!!!'

    John never said, "might."


    If you understand the nature of an inductive argument, you know that "might" doesn't need to said: it's inherent in the argument! Reading this, I'm convinced you still have a basic misunderstanding of what's been offered here, and either by misunderstanding, or simple intransigence, do not face the substance of the argument: an empirical argument, going from the specific to the general, cannot logicall *avoid* a "might". It is necessarily tentative to some degree (even if it is vanishingly small).

    So, I read this from you and conclude that my original hypotheis, based on the text of your first comment to Loftus, was correct: the "substance" of John's argument wasn't important on it's own, but only useful as a catalyst for your itchy regress gun trigger finger. It isn't hard to understand the elements of induction that are being applied here, and it's trivially understood that an inductive argument comes with a necessary element of tentativity -- the "might" is built in, and in fact can't be dismissed unless all possible nodes in the phase space are examined (and even then, temporal dynamics may not eliminate the "might"!).

    Since this *isn't* hard to understand, and you are more than capable of understanding, the "this can be target for my regress gun!" hypothesis performs a lot better than "engaging on the substance".

    When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail, as they sail. When you're a regress gun-slinger...

    Anyway, the real "noise" in the channel - worse than the ad hom stuff - is the skirmishing over what it was John was *saying* and what basis it rested on. Forget the "merits" here, we couldn't get past the basic facts. I need only point to your choice of "John is a lying snake" as your response to establish the poverty of the discussion in terms of "substance"; there isn't much more noise and less signal than those kinds of postures.

    It happens, but no point in kidding ourselves. This was a wasteful exercise in trying to get Paul to consider what was actually being argued. If we ended up with Paul complaining that John never said "might", then I conclude it was a nearly substance free exchange, at least with respect to where we started.

    As an aside, I happened to be watching "Dumb and Dumber" a few nights ago with my kids, and with the caveat that this doesn't mean you are "dumb", Paul, there is a scene in there that is apropos for this discussion. In the movie, Jim Carey's character makes an awkward appeal to a woman he's enamored with, and it finally boils down to: what are my chances with you, honey?

    The woman's response is "one in a million", offered as a way to let Jim Carey's character down easy, yet get the point across. Jim Carey's character doesn't get the message, though, and exalts in his good fortune: "So you're saying I have a chance!!!!". The woman never said "might" either, but it was implied in her answer.

    My sense of Paul's position on this thread is similar to Jim Carey's character's here; "See, you are conceding that I *might* have a chance at this whole beliefs-without-evidence thing." It's true, it can't be ruled out, any more than "one in a million", but triumphalism on this "concession" makes no more sense than Jim Carey's character doing a dance at the woman concede he might have a "one in a million" chance. To make *that* the focus really is to miss the point of the discussion, which is that our experience provides a deep and broad set of evidences for the utlitity and efficacy of evidence as the basis for belief.

    In any case Paul, you can rest assured that neither I, nor Loftus (as I read him) has denied you the "might", the "one in a million". You have steadfastly maintained what wasn't questioned here to begin with. But just like Jim Carey's character in the movie, I don't think you are really hearing what is being said -- the major point: that evidence works, and demonstrably so. It may not be a firm requirement in 100% of all cases, but there's enough support for its efficacy that one should not eschew it as a resource lightly.

    It really isn't controversial, which is why my assessment of this discussion leans much more toward "trainwreck" than "95% substance". If that's substance, it's a very thin gruel, indeed.

    -Touchstone

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  33. No surprises there, it's the natural(ist) way.

    It's not that I wouldn't like to see people abandon Christianity and face the world as it really is, it's just that I have no expectation of that happening here. I say that to anybody that would want to post here. Don't expect anyone to change their view. That doesn't happen with T-bloggers. Note that Touchstone admitted his mistakes and apologized for them, yet Paul, who in my opinion is guilty of far more egregious ad hominem statements, simply cannot bring himself to concede that he is guilty of anything. It's the triablogue way. Steve once accused me of being an atheist, and when I replied that I wasn't he simply re-defined the word atheist to include Mormons, Muslims, etc. Anything but concede error. Anything but admit mistakes. I do not expect anyone here to change their view. If I want to talk with Steve, I don't do it in hopes that he will get something out of it. I will do it if I get something out of it or I think a lurker might get something out of it. I don't expect him to learn anything from me.

    When have you been on the T-blogger side?

    Well, I am on the Christian side in a lot of cases, and I spend time defending them against false charges. For instance I have Muslim colleagues at work and I debate with them all the time. Right now we're discussing the Quran. They think it is superior to the NT in that there are no textual variants amongst the manuscripts, whereas the Bible has many. I defend the Bible against that charge, saying that it is preferable to have a variety of readings. That way doing textual criticism you have a better chance of having confidence that you have successfully reconstructed the original reading. Muslims because they don't have textual variants, must simply trust that Caliph Uthman was successful in developing the text (presuming this is in fact what occurred) and don't have the variant readings to compare with that. If they had the variant readings they could test the Uthmanic revision and revise it if necessary. I prefer the Biblical method.

    I also defended James White against criticisms from RC's at Dave Armstrong's blog regarding the Beckwith situation. I am also pro-life. So I find myself in agreement with T-bloggers all the time.

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  34. hostus twinkius6/11/2007 4:38 PM

    Jon,

    I stand corrected.

    --twinkie

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  35. Jon,

    "Where did I say that you denied the above?"

    When you intimated that you *sided* with "T-stone's" argument. If you thought we *both* agreed with that premise, then why not say that we were *both* right? And, that wouldn't have been what we were *debating* since you only debate what you *disagree* and you were telling us about how you viewed the *debate.*

    Typical. You, like Loftus and T-stone, can't seem to grasp the logical implications of your position.

    ReplyDelete
  36. T-stone,

    "That's a very charitable interpretation of the discussion. Not because there were so many more insults, but for the most part, this has been a futile exercise in connecting you with the claims you thought you were objecting to. In other words, so much wasted "substance" over the mistaken view that (A) does implies (B) (see above).

    Interesting revision. Too bad that anyone who reads the actual debate in the various threads will fail to see this. This is simply your *assertion* that I have addressed numerous times and you have never fully responded to my first post, this post, or the majority of my comments.

    "If you understand the nature of an inductive argument, you know that "might" doesn't need to said: it's inherent in the argument! Reading this, I'm convinced you still have a basic misunderstanding of what's been offered here, and either by misunderstanding, or simple intransigence, do not face the substance of the argument: an empirical argument, going from the specific to the general, cannot logicall [sic] *avoid* a "might". It is necessarily tentative to some degree (even if it is vanishingly small)."

    No, my position has been made clear. You've failed to interact with it or show me where I'm wrong.

    JL claims: "I'd also argue that the fewer things we believe without evidence the better. And those things which we believe without evidence are limited to those things which by their nature are evidence translucent, that is, the need for evidence doesn't apply to said beliefs.

    T-stone claims: That doesn't jibe with your production from his claim that no true belief can obtain without evidence. ....

    Paul PREVIOUSLY claimed: This is ridiculous. Now it's not just T-stone who can't understand and misrepresents me, but Loftus joins the fun too. (a) I know there are some things we believe without evidence. The issue here is, "should" we believe anything without evidence? Or, is a belief *warranted* or *justified* if it does not have evidence in its favor? Therefore, the fact that we may have some beliefs that have no evidence, the question arises: "If I come to reflect on this belief, and realize that I have no propositional evidence in its favor, should I reject it?"

    ***********

    You can't get much more clear than this. T-stone blatantly and violently misrepresents statements I make explicitly contradicting his straw man assumption of what I'm arguing. He's too busy pip-pip-pipping away with his Anti-triablogue ray gun that he can't slow down to actually make sure he's shooting at a real T-blogger rather than one of the straw men aboard our ship.

    I have explicitly said, at least 3 times now, that I know one can *have* true beliefs without evidence (lucky guesses are examples), the question is SHOULD WE if we wanted to be warranted or justified, or maintain positive epistemic status. If we should (in this sense) for all our beliefs, then I want it for *that* belief.

    Now, T-stone can say that he doesn't have propositional evidence for this belief but is nevertheless warranted, justified, or in positive epistemic status. Fine, he grants my position and therefore we "shouldn't" have propositional evidence for *all* our beliefs.

    Or, he may say, "Yes, I have evidence, my senses." Well, this is sloppy, but he's resorting to *beliefs about* what he *remembers* his senses reporting. Okay, give me evidences for *those* beliefs. Give me propositional evidence supporting the reliability of memory. If T-stone says, that he "doesn't have propositional evidence for this belief but is nevertheless warranted, justified, or in positive epistemic status." Fine, he grants my position and therefore we "shouldn't" have propositional evidence for *all* our beliefs.

    If he denies this, then he's saying that he is doing something he shouldn't. If one "shouldn't" do something, then they never should. Rapists shouldn't rape, and never should. Same with murderers. Same with thieves &c. A rapist *should not* rape. Likewise, T-stone then *should not* hold to his belief that has no evidence. he needs to *drop it.*

    This is all very basic. Read Clifford, then James, then Plantinga, then Wood, then Williams, et al. I would have at least thought T-stone would have done his homework on this subject before jumping in pip-pip-pipping away with his anti-triabloguer ray gun. I mean, he's acting like Buzz Lightyear fighting the evil emperor Zurg.

    You see, I fully understand the nature of the debate. You're not getting the proper conclusions which to draw from the statements.

    Furthermore, I have *proven* that there are beliefs with no evidence that are warranted and therefore my beliefs have positive epistemic status. I am flouting no duties. Therefore, I *shouldn't* have to produce evidence that one may "demand" of me. So, all this talk about the inductive argument is *moot!* It's been refuted.

    Furthermore, his claim *logically* implies this claim:

    "No beliefs are things that should not have evidence demanded of them."

    And,

    "All things that should not have evidence demanded of them are not-beliefs."

    And so I demand evidence for these beliefs. Furthermore, I've addressed ad nauseum your resting the beliefs on *beliefs about* your past experiences. Guess what, *those* beliefs "should" have evidence demanded of them. So I demand it. Give it to me. If you don't have it, drop the belief since you're doing something you *shouldn't* do.

    "So, I read this from you and conclude that my original hypotheis [sic], based on the text of your first comment to Loftus, was correct: the "substance" of John's argument wasn't important on it's own, but only useful as a catalyst for your itchy regress gun trigger finger."

    The regress still works. You've not interacted with my posts decimating all your reasons why the regress doesn't work. In fact, it *can't* be used in defense of Loftus since he said "historical evidence" is "not good." Therefore, since "past experience" is "historical evidence" then "past experience" is "not good" evidence. So, try again.

    You see, I could keep going but all I'm doing is re-typing my un-refuted defeaters. You're all talk and no action. All machismo. All bark and no bite. you keep re-asserting the same objections while not recognizing the answers that I'VE ALREADY GIVEN YOU. That is to say, you're basically saying, "Don't bother me with the facts, my mind is made up."

    If my regress argument does not work, then don't say that ALL beliefs should have evidence demanded of them. If ALL should, then *this belief* should. If *this belief* (or ANY OTHER BELIEF) should not, then IT IS NOT THE CASE that ALL beliefs "should have evidence demanded of them."

    It's actually quite sad that you can't draw these elementary inferences from yours and John's claims. Slow down and re-read the thread. Perhaps you could drop it by your local colleges logic professor and have him point this all out to you. Seriously, this is like arguing with someone who denies that 2 + 2 = 4.

    ~PM

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  37. http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/06/evidentialism_11.html

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  38. JON CURRY SAID:
    vytautas, I do think it is inappropriate to use insults in argument. This isn't to say that I've never done it or that Touchstone hasn't done it, but that it should be avoided as much as possible.

    Paul, I don't deny that Touchstone has engaged in some insulting language, but it appears to me that this type of thing is far more common in your posts than in his. Even in your post to me you are again declaring yourself the victor. You just can't help yourself.

    It's as if you repeatedly kick Touchstone, over and over, and when he finally pushes you once in response you turn to me and say "He's doing it too." I suppose he shouldn't, but it's hard not to respond in kind to repeated insults and ad hominem argumentation.

    ***********************************************

    With all due respect, apostates like Curry and Loftus belong in a Soviet-style gulag or penal colony in N. Korea. They should be on the receiving end of secular ethics.

    They whimper and whine about how mistreated they are. Actually, living in a nominally Christian country like the US, they are positively coddled.

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