The Atheist Experience

Oswlek

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We may already he there.

HOW DO YOU KNOW!?

LOL! Alright, you win.

What you are describing are axioms. For better or for worse, some things simply must be accepted in order to operate in reality as we experience it. Things like:

* There are other minds.
* There is an objective, external reality.
* My senses are reliable.
* A cannot be A and not A at the same time.

That kind of stuff.

So, yes, we can't disprove that we're a brain in a vat or in the Matrix (note: an inability to demonstrate impossibility does not demonstrate possibility :) ), but this is a limit for all humans and all experiences of the outside world. If "faith" means accepting fundamental axioms, then only internal concepts avoid it ("I think therefor I am", "I'm thinking of what I mean by 'dog'", etc.) and the term ceases to have any utility. :toast:
 

Jaric

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My take on the "brain in a jar" is that I can't really see any benefit to trying to work it out. If I am a brain in jar there's likely nothing I can do about it. If I'm not, I'm right here where I started.

Either way I've wasted quite a bit of time I could spend pondering more useful things.

I just find the concept fun to interject into these kind of conversations. Probably because I have a penchant for mischief.

Edit: I see we're more or less in agreement on the utility of BIAJ
 

Oswlek

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My take on the "brain in a jar" is that I can't really see any benefit to trying to work it out. If I am a brain in jar there's likely nothing I can do about it. If I'm not, I'm right here where I started.

Either way I've wasted quite a bit of time I could spend pondering more useful things.

I just find the concept fun to interject into these kind of conversations. Probably because I have a penchant for mischief.

What makes it more useless is that, even if you did find out you are a brain in a jar, you still couldn't disprove that you weren't actually a different brain in a different jar. :)

That said, I'm glad you brought it up because apologists will often conflate philosophical impediments to absolute certainty with "faith."
 

Jaric

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What makes it even more useless is that, even if you did find out your were a brain in a jar, you still couldn't disprove that you weren't actually a different brain in a different jar. :)

That said, I'm glad you brought it up because apologists will often conflate philosophical impediments to absolute certainty with "faith."
Man, I hadn't even thought about that. That's some diabolical shit lol.

HOW FAR DOES THIS RABBIT HOLE GO?
 

TipRoast

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Why do I have the sudden urge to start a trolley car thread?

 

tehmackdaddy

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But you just said that my "complete trust or confidence" in the fact that I ate cereal for breakfast was only partly faith. What else was it if not faith?
I'm sure you have some sort of evidence to confirm or deny your claim. Routine. Memory. Receipts. Stool analysis. Eye witness accounts.

Or you could just be a brain in a jar.
 

Oswlek

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We agreed upon, "complete trust or confidence in someone or something."

What does this response have to do with this brains in vats?

Going back to this....

I'm sure you have some sort of evidence to confirm or deny your claim. Routine. Memory. Receipts. Stool analysis. Eye witness accounts.

Does this mean that when you have evidence you don't have faith?
 

tehmackdaddy

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Does this mean that when you have evidence you don't have faith?
I think it's more accurate to think of faith as future-looking and evidence as past-looking. The two certainly seem to be able to coexist even though the definition appears to indicate mutual-exclusivity.

For example, I have an entire lifetime of evidence to use as confirmation that I am a real-live-boy, but it's always possible I wake up tomorrow to a broken matrix and find out I'm just a battery for my AI-overlords. I "hope" this won't the case, I have "faith" this won't be the case, and I have "evidence" that this won't be the case. Faith seems to step in with uncertainty.

Love isn't measurable. There are measurable events that can show evidence for love, but the results of those measurements aren't really a measurement for love. I can feel love, and I can use both evidence and faith to come to the conclusion that someone else loves/has loved/will love me too.
 

Oswlek

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I think it's more accurate to think of faith as future-looking and evidence as past-looking. The two certainly seem to be able to coexist even though the definition appears to indicate mutual-exclusivity.

For example, I have an entire lifetime of evidence to use as confirmation that I am a real-live-boy, but it's always possible I wake up tomorrow to a broken matrix and find out I'm just a battery for my AI-overlords. I "hope" this won't the case, I have "faith" this won't be the case, and I have "evidence" that this won't be the case. Faith seems to step in with uncertainty.

Love isn't measurable. There are measurable events that can show evidence for love, but the results of those measurements aren't really a measurement for love. I can feel love, and I can use both evidence and faith to come to the conclusion that someone else loves/has loved/will love me too.

Thanks for clarifying. Isn't this the same thing as lacking absolute certainty?
 
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