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The "What probably is = what is" fallacy - Page 2

User Thread
 34yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
Since you don't know how to get rid of it, it frightens you, and so you try to construct a reality around yourself that makes any sort of suggested solution impossible, since there "are no absolute truths".


When did I say I believed there were no absolute truths?

quote:
And your failure to acknowledge this is in itself proof of your emotional investment in that idea. You are constructing a theory that is self-defeating in an effort to legitimize your own defeats.


I hope you have considered that it could in fact be YOU who is too emotionally invested in this BELIEF you have about probability that you fail to acknowledge MY BELIEFS.

When confronting the unknown do I make a mathematical probability? ...no. Not Possible. I go with my gut - which may be the only way to confront it.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 34yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I agree that probability exists in this world and that the nature of this world is indeed mathematical, but at the same time I do not agree that you can truly use probability to determine the non existence of things outside of our direct experience and/or universe.

Does that make sense?

I do believe there are certain things that are simply unknown to us at this point in time and that we cannot say for certain whether they exist or not.

What probably is = What probably is.

Not what is definite. There is always a chance that God and fairies and ghosts do or have existed, as improbable as it seems.

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 36yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Of course, it is a common logical fallacy to attack the person and not the argument proffered; and the analysis of our pyschologies is damnedly, as well as insistently, simplistic; full to the brim with commonplaces; teeming with crudities laced in an undiluted pathos that reflects more about yourself than the people you purport to analyse; and, most of all, you seem to fancy, when you take it upon yourself to appraise the world, that all is sweetness and light, that all problems, previously legion, can be shook to air, melted to vanishing point, and that all you need do is pronounce from on high the laws, etched on the tablets of eternity, which govern with invariance, the universe; and anybody who fails to see them is either a fool, mad or - in our case - a liar, to himself as well as those around him. But I'm not going to do precisely what I accused you of doing. I don't know you. I barely know myself, so how could I condescend to limn out your psyche on the basis of a few posts?

All I'm trying to say is that reality is not as fine-grained, nature does not yield her secrets as freely, as you seem to think. Just because I - we - cast doubt on the universal provenance of probability doesn't in any sense mean that we're dyed-in-the-wool relativists who renounce truth in place of an intellectual free for all where anything goes and nothing matters. Though I can't speak for Chris, I consider myself a rationalist.

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 36yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I never said, nor did I mean to imply, that probability could be dispensed with altogether. In fact it is central to my argument that I say precisely the opposite. To go back to my previous example: handling a dice, I can say that, to the best of my knowledge, there is a 1 in 6 chance of it landing on 1. But to God, such talk is otiose, if not literally senseless. The conditions leading up to the throw, comprising, to name but a few, my state of mind, air pressure, temperature, imperfections on the surface of the dice, and so on, uniquely determine what the dice will land on. To repeat: probability is a function of man's ignorance. It is meaningful, indeed useful, from a time- and space-bound human perspective. But it is not an objective feature of the world in the same way size and speed are.

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 34yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I think (maybe) I understand the reason for our misunderstandings with each other. We've been arguing about different things. This whole time I've been arguing that we can't make meaningful probabilities about things unknown to us. The reason the roullette challenge is bunk is because the game of roullette IS known to us. I know that the ball will land on any one of some predetermined set of numbers. I know the relationship between the different parts of the game. The only thing I don't know about a game of roullette is the final outcome (which I believe is because I don't have enough time during the spin, energy or means to calculate it with any precision)

But when we deal with things we haven't perceived or experienced either directly or indirectly, I don't understand how anyone could form a meaningful probability about them. There is nothing to base it on. The reason we can form a meaningful probability about a game of roullette is because we perceive and understand its boundaries and rules.

Imagine this: A room full of statisticians is placed in a room and asked to come up with a probability for the likely frequency of the pictures and symbols that will appear on a screen. They will be shown 5 pictures.

The first comes up as the number 27. The second comes up as a red dot with a blue center. The third comes up as a real life picture of a lady bug. The fourth comes up as the number 1,376,443. And the fifth comes up as 27 again.

In another room a man is spinning a 53,666,666.3 slot roullette table which has a mix of many different symbols and pictures both abstract and familiar. Once a spin is complete and the ball has landed on a slot, the image is broadcast to the statisticians in the other room.

How can the statisticians form a meaningful probability in their given circumstances?

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 34yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
Admitting that probability is simply "what's most likely" is the first step. The second is to admit that this is the best we can do.

It is an admission that yes, the true truth is obscure, but for us humans, this idea is just theoretical. We live our lives, and must subscribe to probability for any productivity or success.


When it comes right down to it, this is what I believe in.

However, I do believe that the reason I personally feel the need to state that the unknown cannot be given a probability, is because of my own personal experience. I do genuinely feel as though I have had a profound and meaningful connection at one point of time in my life with some kind of entity. I remain unsure as to who or what it was exactly, so I don't feel that it gives me enough surety to subscribe to any religious viewpoints, but I do feel the need to respect and defend the possibility of what may exist in the unknown, especially when it comes to beliefs about God.

I suppose it makes me feel like I am truly stuck right in the middle of belief and disbelief, so i do not feel that I can follow the route of probability in this matter.

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 34yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
This probability issue still isn't resolved as evidenced by your recent dealings with Brother - but you're using the same argument we'd been debating about. Did you overlook my last post? Can you answer the question I concluded with?

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 34yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
But when we deal with things we haven't perceived or experienced either directly or indirectly, I don't understand how anyone could form a meaningful probability about them. There is nothing to base it on.


I have come to accept that insufficient evidence is a basis that can be used to form a probability about ideas related to the unknown. Just like insufficient evidence that you murdered someone forms a probability that you were not involved in their murder.

Any ideas about the unknown are not impossible ideas, but if you have not experienced things that validate their existence, they simply become improbable ideas to you purely because you have had no proof/experience that you feel validate them. It is a logically placed doubt about an idea, it is not a conclusive statement of it.

Ultimately I believe the unknown remains unknown to me. Ideas about the unknown have probability, but everyone is free to determine different probabilities in view of their experiences.

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[  Edited by vigil at   ]
 34yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
Any ideas about the unknown are not impossible ideas, but if you have not experienced things that validate their existence, they simply become improbable ideas to you purely because you have had no proof/experience that you feel validate them. It is a logically placed doubt about an idea, it is not a conclusive statement of it.


So tell me, if I get a hint or vague idea of something which is almost completely unknown to me (like a small waft of a peculiar scent that traveled to me through the air from some far off thing) and do nothing more than consider the idea in my head, I can form a probability as to whether it exists or not?

Here's my stand on this: A meaningful probability can only be formulated through sincere investigation. Without it you're just blowing smoke or hopping on the band wagon.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 34yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
With something that is almost completely unknown to you, unless you perceive that there is some clear way for you to go and obtain the evidence that it exists beyond evaluating your current experiences, then it is as Decius says; forming a probability using the knowledge and experience currently available to you, is simply the best that you can do for now.

If you feel the need to investigate it further and do feel that there is a clear way in which to gain reasonable proof, then that is your own prerogative. Forming a probability about an idea does not take that freedom from you. If anything, it aids you in acting like a scale that measures what is and isn't solid evidence.

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 34yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
A more scientific approach would be to withhold judgment until you can gain sufficient information in order to make a conclusion of value. Probability requires information. What you're arguing for is a hypothesis or guess. If scientists investigated phenomena and made their conclusions with the rigor you two are suggesting we'd still be hunters and gatherers.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 34yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
So, now you're saying people shouldn't explore new and seemingly unlikely ideas?


I don't follow. I'm not sure how you deduced that from what I wrote. Could you explain?

---

I suppose if an idea seemed unlikely to someone, there's very little chance that that person would investigate it. It would probably be like one of those self-fulfilling prophecies you hear about in sociology.

In your arguments thus far, you keep muddling the issue by referencing and making outrageous and superstitious claims that have no scientific basis or generous witness testimony on things that have a scientific basis. This is clearly different than something that has generous witness testimony but no scientific basis.

Let's make a distinction here.

There is a difference between unlikely ideas and seemingly unlikely ideas - as you used in your last post. You had to use seemingly because of the unknown quality we are dealing with. Another way of saying your last post would be:

"So, now you're saying people shouldn't explore ideas that are new and MIGHT be unlikely."

It sounds much more precarious that way, doesn't it? By that we can infer that you, Decius, don't know with any certainty whether the idea is likely or unlikely.

Food for thought...
Is it possible for something that doesn't exist in reality to be conceived of as an idea?

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 40yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that pupa ria is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
i'm sorry off topic, you where always off topic too. but decius when you scrutinize people do you do it with a good intention, as ironic as it may sound? do you hope to hammer their walls of ignorence? do you think that hate is the only way to that? we are hated already by few so many...advice...humanize and relate

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"I'm the mirror that will make you invisible"
 40yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that pupa ria is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
then why are you hurtful so much? do you do it intentionaly? Is hate your only means of communicating what you what to really say? there is so much pleasure gained by being hateful but there is so much spirit gained when you try to see through. understanding is not judging by your own parameters but becoming that other person and try to see through. there is some self forgetfulness in communication, it doesnt have to be an annihilation of the other

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"I'm the mirror that will make you invisible"
 40yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that pupa ria is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
true. i only now see it...good luck

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"I'm the mirror that will make you invisible"
The "What probably is = what is" fallacy - Page 2
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