Sunday, June 2, 2013

Evidence = Experience. Evidence is not objective!

A lot of conversations about God start out with a theist asking this:

"Do you have any EVIDENCE that God doesn't exist?"

And usually, the atheist will reply: "The onus is on you to provide evidence!"

The Christian then attempts to provide evidence, citing the "perfect" location of Earth within the goldilocks zone, or the "existence" of good and evil, or if they are like William Lane Craig, they will argue that existence itself means that there must have been a God to create it all.

Here is where the atheist balks. He realizes that the Christian DOES have "evidence" and he is making a case with that "evidence". The atheist has never actually sat down and analyzed these problems, defined the key terms in question, and reasoned his own conclusions, so he cannot possibly have an argument against the Christian, so he lands a cheap-shot. He says, "That's not really evidence for YOUR God..." or "that's insufficient evidence. we don't know what happened before the universe began."

They are open to the possibility that the universe began and that God could've possibly performed an action upon nothing, resulting in nothing becoming something. What nonsense is this? Usually when I do nothing, nothing happens. In fact, I shouldn't even bring up my experience of it because it's a conceptual issue. How could nothing at all possibly perform an action or have an action performed upon it? How can nothing morph or change when it's nothing? Nothing changed? Nothing morphed? Sounds like nothing happened to me.

But getting back to evidence. Evidence is defined by google as: "The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid."

Available means that a human needs to access it and evaluate it. Since propositions and beliefs are claims that particular events have actually occurred or will occur, they can only be evaluated by actually observing reality. Unlike Scientific Theories which are evaluated analytically.  Whether or not the proposition is "true" depends upon you verifying the claim with your sensory system. You see the paw prints of big foot, I see a prank. We both evaluated the "evidence" differently. It should be clear now that evidence is simply a type of persuasive experience. The real question in the case of the paw prints is whether or not you can tell me how bigfoot is a rational explanation for the prints. All of our conclusions about what's possible and not possible about reality are only conceived cognitively, using our brains only, separate from the auxiliary sensory system. This means that "the evidence", or "what you experience" will depend upon what conclusions you have arrived at in your mind. If those conclusions are irrational, then your evidence (experiences) will suggest some irrational shit. This is why people can get convinced they've seen ghosts, felt God, got abducted by aliens, ect.  Whether or not these controversial entities could possibly exist can be settled using critical thinking alone.

Evidence has no place in Scientific discussions, since Science is only about explaining phenomena, or determining the possibilities of reality. Science does not "prove" what happened or what will happen, it makes assumptions in order to explain phenomena. Fossils, for instance, are not evidence. They are assumed to exist in order to rationally, using our critical thinking skills only, explain why they were located deep underground and how they fit together to form skeletons of animals, ect.

But for those explanations to mean anything, we must first ASSUME that fossils exist. Evidence has nothing to do with Science at all, since Science is objective. But what do I mean when I use this crucial term, "objective"?

On the defining of terms:

Just to quickly justify the importance of strict definitions, I should quickly explain why all concepts are defined. All concepts are defined if they are to convey any meaning whatsoever. It is impossible for a term to both have meaning and be left undefined, since definitions limit the extent of a word's usage to a single unambiguous meaning. Without definition, the intended meaning of the term is unclear and it becomes impossible to understand how the term is being used.  Read more here:!all-concepts-are-defined/c1qzk

The definition of objective:

It is quite common for the term objective to be used as a qualifier for the popular and largely misconceived notions of truth, evidence, morality, ect. The implied meaning of this qualifier is that these concepts have the potential to be independent of observation.  This is the result of modern philosophers and scientists not defining their key terms, since if they had, it would be clear to them that truth, evidence, and morality are fundamentally relations dependent upon an observer, i.e. subjective concepts. These concepts directly contradict objectivity, so it's no wonder how difficult it is to find two philosophers who can agree on a SINGLE objective "truth" or "moral rule".

Objectivity applied:

We can now define objectivity as, "That which is independent of observation."

Objectivity is applied in Science in order to conclude whether or not explanations for events in reality are possible. Only possibilities can be determined objectively because explanations are evaluated using cognition only. We think critically and analyze explanations. Such conclusions can be considered objective since they require no observation. Truth, evidence, proof, ect. are all verified by the sensory system and so is dependent upon observation (i.e. subjective).
So the next time somebody attempts to convince you that their truths or moral opinions or evidence or whatever is objective, provide them with the simple explanation that subjective concepts cannot, by definition, be objective, and then enjoy their reaction.


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