Old 03-15-2009, 10:17 PM   #1
sethhersch
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Seth

Hey there all.



Two years ago I had a premonition that I would end up a Christian. It seemed in many ways counterintuitive that I should know the intellectual end without being apprised of the means, and every day since has been an interesting attempt to answer some really fundamental questions. It's not often that an epistemologist is faced with trying to reconcile premonitions with plausible substantive epistemic accounts -- it's also not that easy. But it is proving to be fruitful. I wonder what place other propositional attitudes have in epistemology?


I am here because I can't get good [or honest] debate edgewise out of most theists. Many are just too afraid of the repercussion of placing their religious beliefs under scrutiny. I wonder what the value is of a belief that hasn't been given such a trial...It's really too bad that we proponents of philosophy don't have the same bargaining chip -- "You must believe in the Uniformity of Nature thesis or you will be summarily relegated to the corner for eternity, wearing only a dunce cap..."

I am NOT here to end up a misquoted, poorly characterized punching dummy. Please take exception only with what I say, not what you think I am. It ought to be in virtue of the arguments used that debates are won or lost.


Thanks for reading, and I trust I will be put to the fire to really defend the things I think are true, and I relish the opportunity that awaits to discover those parts of my web of beliefs that are inconsistent. If I don't tease them out now, I may never do so.



-Seth
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
Tenspace
I Live Here
 
Tenspace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Rocky Mountains, USA
Posts: 10,218
Welcome to the forums, Seth.

He's all yours, Rhino... I can hardly spell epistomology.. epistemology..

"Science and Mother Nature are in a marriage where Science is always surprised to come home and find Mother Nature blowing the neighbor." - Justin's Dad
Tenspace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 01:20 AM   #3
Smellyoldgit
Stinkin' Mod
 
Smellyoldgit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Britland
Posts: 13,546
Welcome aboard.
Have fun.

Go easy on Rhino - the cold's been getting to him!

Stop the Holy See men!
Smellyoldgit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 04:53 AM   #4
Sternwallow
I Live Here
 
Sternwallow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 23,211
Quote:
sethhersch wrote View Post
Hey there all.



Two years ago I had a premonition that I would end up a Christian. It seemed in many ways counterintuitive that I should know the intellectual end without being apprised of the means, and every day since has been an interesting attempt to answer some really fundamental questions. It's not often that an epistemologist is faced with trying to reconcile premonitions with plausible substantive epistemic accounts -- it's also not that easy. But it is proving to be fruitful. I wonder what place other propositional attitudes have in epistemology?


I am here because I can't get good [or honest] debate edgewise out of most theists. Many are just too afraid of the repercussion of placing their religious beliefs under scrutiny. I wonder what the value is of a belief that hasn't been given such a trial...It's really too bad that we proponents of philosophy don't have the same bargaining chip -- "You must believe in the Uniformity of Nature thesis or you will be summarily relegated to the corner for eternity, wearing only a dunce cap..."

I am NOT here to end up a misquoted, poorly characterized punching dummy. Please take exception only with what I say, not what you think I am. It ought to be in virtue of the arguments used that debates are won or lost.


Thanks for reading, and I trust I will be put to the fire to really defend the things I think are true, and I relish the opportunity that awaits to discover those parts of my web of beliefs that are inconsistent. If I don't tease them out now, I may never do so.

-Seth
Welcome. A good start might be a statement of what your beliefs are. If they are only beliefs and have no substantive basis, how can you defend them? If they do have a basis in fact, why not call them knowledge?

I realize it is redundant to say so, but, given human brain electro-chemistry, your premonition could as easily have been that you would soon become a giraffe. You would have labeled it "only a dream" and gone on with your life, so why pick on this particular dream to take seriously?

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
Sternwallow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 08:52 AM   #5
Ellie Arroway
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Welcome aboard. This should be interesting...
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 09:01 AM   #6
Eva
Super Moderator
 
Eva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Puerto Rico
Posts: 9,775
welcome to our humble forum, Seth...

One of the most irrational of all the conventions of modern society is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected....That they should have this immunity is an outrage. There is nothing in religious ideas, as a class, to lift them above other ideas. On the contrary, they are always dubious and often quite silly.
H. L. Mencken
Eva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 09:57 AM   #7
Irreligious
I Live Here
 
Irreligious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Around the way
Posts: 12,641
Quote:
sethhersch wrote View Post
Hey there all.
Welcome to the forum, Seth.

Quote:
sethhersch wrote
Two years ago I had a premonition that I would end up a Christian. It seemed in many ways counterintuitive that I should know the intellectual end without being apprised of the means, and every day since has been an interesting attempt to answer some really fundamental questions. It's not often that an epistemologist is faced with trying to reconcile premonitions with plausible substantive epistemic accounts -- it's also not that easy. But it is proving to be fruitful. I wonder what place other propositional attitudes have in epistemology?
Please define premonition in the context that you are using it. It sounds vaguely supernatural to me, but that may not be what you mean to convey.

When this thought or feeling (what else is a premonition, after all?) came over you, was it also completely out of the realm of possibility that you could become a Christian?

I ask these questions, because I really don't understand what is supposed to be so special about your thoughts or feelings that you would want to label them premonitory.


Quote:
sethhersch wrote
I am here because I can't get good [or honest] debate edgewise out of most theists. Many are just too afraid of the repercussion of placing their religious beliefs under scrutiny. I wonder what the value is of a belief that hasn't been given such a trial...It's really too bad that we proponents of philosophy don't have the same bargaining chip -- "You must believe in the Uniformity of Nature thesis or you will be summarily relegated to the corner for eternity, wearing only a dunce cap..."
Well, good luck to you. I hope that we can accommodate you.

Quote:
sethhersch wrote
I am NOT here to end up a misquoted, poorly characterized punching dummy. Please take exception only with what I say, not what you think I am. It ought to be in virtue of the arguments used that debates are won or lost.
No one comes here to be misquoted or made a poorly characterized punching dummy, at least not consciously.

But please be aware that, while language may be our best available form of communication, it is not always precise. One can honestly misunderstand. There is a burden on all of us here to be as clear as possible and to demonstrate consistency in our arguments.

Quote:
sethhersch wrote
Thanks for reading, and I trust I will be put to the fire to really defend the things I think are true, and I relish the opportunity that awaits to discover those parts of my web of beliefs that are inconsistent. If I don't tease them out now, I may never do so.



-Seth
It looks like you're already aware that you are going to be dealing with a variety of personalities here. No doubt, you have gleened that some of them are quite irrascible. As such, it wouldn't be prudent to expect to be accorded any more civility or respect for your points of view than the rest of us here receives when we, as individual posters, cut against the grain.

This ain't a site for the weak-willed. I'm just letting you know the deal.

Have fun.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Irreligious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 10:32 AM   #8
sethhersch
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wow...

Thanks for all the great replies.



As for the giraffe case: excellent question. If a premonition shares important and relevant characteristics with a sort of daydream, then it oughtn't to be grounds for any sort of basic belief. It was not the sort of supernatural, GOD spoke to me crap that you often hear. I didn't feel drawn to the light of GOD, or any such nonsense. At the time, I was a non-believer for the most part, so it would be quite a trick for me to suddenly have a vision in regards to a being the existence of which was at least questionable; that boarders terrible mental health. No, the "premonition" was more like my snapping into connection with an intuition that something about theism would end up making sense if I did enough fact gathering. I call it a premonition and not an intuition mostly because it caught me off-guard. I am a doxastic foundationalist, as I have mentioned, and I regard that certain innate, basic beliefs exist which are utterly indubitable -- that is, merely in virtue of my having them they are true. This is pretty closely akin to Swinburne's account of epistemic architecture. Another interesting feature of these innate ideas is that I don't think that I am at once aware of all of them, as Leibniz thought. I think Descartes's dispositional account more accurately reflects what is at work here: I have innate ideas that I can come to know given the right circumstance, propositional attitudes, etc. This is why it's at least very unlikely that I could have an innate idea that I am actually a giraffe waiting for me to be in the right place epistemically to discover this fact. It sounds absurd because it is. I shall do my best to illustrate over time why I think that a particular kind of theism, when combined with doxastic foundationalism, is disanalogous to this and so does not share the same affliction.



Thanks so much for the warm welcome, and I look forward to being challenged. I appreciate the intillectual honesty I see here.

-Seth
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 12:01 PM   #9
Kate
Mistress Monster Mod'rator Spy
 
Kate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: The North Coast
Posts: 15,426

"I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death."
Some drink at the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle.
Kate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 12:03 PM   #10
Sternwallow
I Live Here
 
Sternwallow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 23,211
Quote:
sethhersch wrote View Post
Thanks for all the great replies.



As for the giraffe case: excellent question. If a premonition shares important and relevant characteristics with a sort of daydream, then it oughtn't to be grounds for any sort of basic belief. It was not the sort of supernatural, GOD spoke to me crap that you often hear. I didn't feel drawn to the light of GOD, or any such nonsense. At the time, I was a non-believer for the most part, so it would be quite a trick for me to suddenly have a vision in regards to a being the existence of which was at least questionable; that boarders terrible mental health. No, the "premonition" was more like my snapping into connection with an intuition that something about theism would end up making sense if I did enough fact gathering. I call it a premonition and not an intuition mostly because it caught me off-guard. I am a doxastic foundationalist, as I have mentioned, and I regard that certain innate, basic beliefs exist which are utterly indubitable -- that is, merely in virtue of my having them they are true. This is pretty closely akin to Swinburne's account of epistemic architecture. Another interesting feature of these innate ideas is that I don't think that I am at once aware of all of them, as Leibniz thought. I think Descartes's dispositional account more accurately reflects what is at work here: I have innate ideas that I can come to know given the right circumstance, propositional attitudes, etc. This is why it's at least very unlikely that I could have an innate idea that I am actually a giraffe waiting for me to be in the right place epistemically to discover this fact. It sounds absurd because it is. I shall do my best to illustrate over time why I think that a particular kind of theism, when combined with doxastic foundationalism, is disanalogous to this and so does not share the same affliction.



Thanks so much for the warm welcome, and I look forward to being challenged. I appreciate the intillectual honesty I see here.

-Seth
I wonder just what your foundational beliefs are that do not need justification. So far I have personally found no beliefs (not even Descartes's variously quoted "I think I think therefore I think I am") that do not demand thorough justification. This is partly why I reject belief itself for being both useless and misleading when compared to real knowledge and falsifiable hypotheses.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
Sternwallow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 12:05 PM   #11
Sternwallow
I Live Here
 
Sternwallow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 23,211
Quote:
Kate wrote View Post
There's no tree too tall for this guy!

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
Sternwallow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 12:07 PM   #12
Irreligious
I Live Here
 
Irreligious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Around the way
Posts: 12,641
Quote:
Sternwallow wrote View Post
I wonder just what your foundational beliefs are that do not need justification. So far I have personally found no beliefs (not even Descartes's variously quoted "I think I think therefore I think I am") that do not demand thorough justification. This is partly why I reject belief itself for being both useless and misleading when compared to real knowledge and falsifiable hypotheses.
According to Seth's personal profile, he identifies himself as Catholic.

Personally, I will try to not make any assumptions about what that is supposed to mean. Perhaps, he will explain.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Irreligious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 12:19 PM   #13
dogpet
Obsessed Member
 
dogpet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: The Mongrel Nation
Posts: 4,830
I love it so when they can't spell Intellectual.

thank goodness he's on our side
dogpet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 01:25 PM   #14
Kate
Mistress Monster Mod'rator Spy
 
Kate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: The North Coast
Posts: 15,426
Wiki says the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all land-living animal species, and the largest ruminant.

Aren't cows ruminants?

"I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death."
Some drink at the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle.
Kate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 01:39 PM   #15
psychodiva
I Live Here
 
psychodiva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 9,613
yes

'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what." Fry
psychodiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:42 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin - Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2000 - , Raving Atheists [dot] com frequency-supranational frequency-supranational