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Everything posted by Prometheus

  1. Now this interesting. So if we were to say something like an object cannot be black all over and white all over at the same time, it would be something we invented rather than discovered? It is difficult though to imagine that without minds that this would not be the case. I assume i am missing something? Also i have heard mathematical objects have been said to have an existence independent of the mind (Platonic). I have also heard it said that mathematics is a form of logic. If these are true would it not suggest that logics are discovered rather than invented? Are they true?
  2. I'm sure there is more than one path to success - depending on exactly what qualifies as success.
  3. 'In humanity we trust'?
  4. 'Cows eat grass' therefore 'the sky is blue', is not quite the same as 'no pre-marital sex' therefore 'less risk of divorce'. You must admit there is a agree of plausibility in the latter not in the former. However, i agree that if this is what it takes for a non-sequitur then both are indeed such. Then it is also a non-sequitur that Plasmodium causes malaria - there is no purely logical reason for it to be so, we had to observe it. In fact most of science would a non-sequitur for if something does logically follow then there is no need of observation or experiment, other than confirming the premise. So then i don't understand why you levelled this as a critique of the OP. If it does not logically follow, then we have to do experiments to find whether it is true, no? There are other research methodologies. A very quick look revealed some research around this subject has been done. Haven't read much myself, but it looks like a retrospective review of some type. Epidemiology has quite a few methods for investigating claims like these. If a 20 second search revealed this, i'm sure the OP could find more with some effort. Can you point out to me where the OP states his belief one way or the other, i can't see it: I can see an assumption that there is some evidence either way, but i can't see where he states his personal beliefs, let alone where he implies this evidence is in line with his (unstated) beliefs.
  5. Yes i agree, the conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from the premise. You would have to obtain evidence to prove or disprove it. The hypothesis in the OP asks whether pre-marital sex reduces the risk of divorce. Is that the same thing as determining something? Could it not be used on the basis that if true then such and such is true. The premise need not have any basis in reality for an argument to follow logically, does it? Anyway, my only point on this thread is to ask whether the question is one of logic or one of empiricism. In my opinion it is one of empiricism.
  6. An honest enough question, no? The OP goes on to say where this hypothesis came from: hearsay. Well, we have to get our ideas from somewhere. Rather than simply accepting this the OP asks for evidence either way. Is there really no plausible mechanism for it? I don't know a lot about psychology or sociology, but I could speculate about evolutionary mechanisms which select in favour of abstinence as a way of ensuring men do not waste their time raising young that are not their own. A very quick google revealed there is some research on the topic, but the links were all to sites advocating abstinence so I didn't bother looking at them. I wouldn't be surprised with a little more digging that someone has done somewhat credible research into it. I don't care enough to look. Anyway, i agree with you there may well be a correlation, probably via religiosity, linking the two but not causation. I just don't think it logically follows that pre-marital abstinence doesn't result in lower divorce rates. Or do i simply not understand what a non-sequitur is? I thought it was purely a logical fallacy that the conclusion does not follow the premise. It's a value judgement, not a non-sequitur, isn't it? I think many people believe divorce is generally undesirable, though there a people who don't see it as a problem. Either one is simply a choice of ethics. If it's a non-sequiter are not all moral choices non-sequiturs? Either way it is irrelevant to the original question which asked whether there is a causal relationship between pre-marital sex and divorce. Either it effects divorce rates or not, regardless whether you think divorce is good, bad or indifferent. Again, it doesn't logically follow either way, one would need evidence. So no non-sequitur fallacy has been made.
  7. I do not understand how the statement is a non-sequiteur. It may be true that populations with less pre-marital sex have lower divorce rates, it may not be true, but it you would have to actually look at the data wouldn't you? It doesn't logically follow one way or the other, does it?
  8. Prometheus


    I don't understand why you are happy to have something called 'god' exist but having never been created, but unhappy with something called an 'extremely small particle' existing without having been created.
  9. Doesn't this chart suggest there wiss something other than education causing this shift? If it were education and only education that decreased people's stock in religion you wouldn't expect there to be such a pronounced trend, you would expect it to remain fairly static? Or maybe it's the type of education itself changing - away from rote towards critical thinking? Edit: Scrap that, i misread the chart. I'd like to see that statistic.
  10. Rituals can be important in any aspect of life, not just religion. We all celebrate our birthdays/news years etc... Rituals just to mark the passing of time, and hopefully the accrual of wisdom. In religion, take the ritual of bowing. We might bow to remember certain ideas which we put above our sense of self. If i bow to a Buddha statue its because the statue represents the concept of compassion By bowing to it i remind myself i have chosen compassion to be important to me. The problem comes with empty rituals - performing something either in the hope of getting something in return or for no reason other than you were told to do so both speak about what you have chosen to be important in life.
  11. If people are sufficiently concerned for the welfare of animals that they are willing to delay medical advancements then so be it. It's got to be better than the campaign of terror some animal rights activists waged.
  12. Ha, maybe it is me. I wish i knew too much though - it would make studying easier. Good news is if we are the problem, we are also the solution.
  13. Surely it's not how much knowledge we have that is the problem. It's us.
  14. Well said. And the only category that should matter in this context is sentient or not sentient. I hope not, a bit of variety is nice. Maybe controversial but a would favour the colour-blind approach over the multicultural approach. I don't need to be sensitive to someone else's culture if i treat them as a human being from the start.
  15. What is meant by authoritative moral code here? I only ask because Buddhism does not teach right and wrong in the same way as monotheistic religions. Instead of evil, Buddhists might speak of unskilfulness. Can a religion include man-made morality, or must it be allegedly divine? What differentiates the two? (I have heard the same of Taoists - is there a Christian analogue?). It's probably the most important question when determining what constitutes a religion. I am not sure if Buddhism in the west will ever coalesce into a coherent and distinct sect. Whichever culture Buddhism has encountered it has become assimilated into that culture, hence we see quite different sects of Buddhism. However, in the West instead of just receiving one form of Buddhism and assimilating it as in the past, we are exposed to various forms of Buddhism, into various places in the Western world. Anyway, this isn't a study of how religion spreads in the modern world. Bottom line there are some Buddhists who ignore the supernatural elements of Buddhism. Stephen Batchelor is probably the most famous example. Asked if religious, most seem to answer 'don't care'. So long as that religion endorses violence at some level. Or is it enough that the person believes themselves to be religious? I have similar thoughts, but it's an interesting movement none the less. I don't think this definition is broad enough to include Eastern religions. Even the most orthodox Buddhism doesn't fit this bill.
  16. So you would say that something which contains the supernatural could possibly be religious, but something which does not contain the supernatural cannot be religious? I can see that holding in most cases, but I still don't think it contains all world religions. There are Buddhists who would argue that rebirth (and other such beliefs) is not a necessary belief to qualify as Buddhist. This is a little controversial to orthodox Buddhists, though. This new sect of 'Western Buddhism', would occupy a strange place then, with all of the trappings of a religion, but not necessarily any supernatural beliefs. Regarding race, you're preaching to the choir. Regarding Nazi's trying to use science to support their position: In the same way you argue that it is an attempt to extend misunderstandings of evolution into the political arena (with which I agree it is), a religious person may claim a fundamentalist is attempting to extend misunderstandings of religion into the political arena. Of course, it's easy to find plenty of examples in the monotheistic texts which fundamentalists can use as templates for their behaviour, and it should be hard for a person of that faith to argue away such violence. But it is not necessarily so of all religions. For example I think a Jain would be quite justified if someone committed mass murder in the name of Jainism to say that person is not a true Jain - such is the emphasis of non-violence in their religion (i.e. non-violence is a defining feature of Jainism). I only came across the one true scotsman fallacy on this thread, but i think it would also be a fallacy to believe it extends to all religions, without first looking at each religion. However, I do take your point on science being descriptive (preferably predictive) rather than prescriptive. But this distinction only holds if we enforce it: people with political agendas will always be looking to exploit us, and science is as fair game as any other aspect of our lives. There is also a rising tide of good willed people who believe science can provide us with a moral framework, at which point science would make 'should' claims. It's far too rare to have an intelligent and enjoyable conversation with someone you disagree with on religious forums.
  17. I think i disagree with most people then. I know Buddhism, and i think Jainism, have no creator deities - and even though they both have plenty of other deities in them, neither are defined by them. Both religions would be unchanged by taking all mention of these deities out. Taoist belief of the Tao is so loosely defined it's difficult to know whether this thing is a higher power. It's defined to be unknowable, so giving it any properties such as higher power would contradict this. Therefore i would suggest that either religion is not defined by belief in a higher power (though it's present in most of them), or these particular religions aren't really religions. By the same token could Hitler's justification of the supreme race be based on 'science'? Regardless of whether those beliefs were truly scientific is irrelevant so long as his understanding is that it is based on science (social Darwinism in this case). I don't expect anyone here to say a true scientist could not also be a mass murderer, I just wish to illustrate that humans do these things, religious or not. It wouldn't be enough simply to get rid of religion to stop genocidal, misogynistic, homophobic teachings. Might be a start though.
  18. Been stuck on this question: show g is homogeneous of degree k and state the value of k. [latex]g(x, y)= x^3 +3xy^2/ \sqrt[3]{x^2-y^2}[/latex] So i've been trying to use: [latex]kg(x,y)=x\dfrac{\delta g}{\delta x}+y\dfrac{\delta g}{\delta y}[/latex] but i just can't seem to get a solution for k. Am i going about this the right way? I think i'm missing something obvious. Does anyone know of anywhere with worked examples of these types of questions? Thanks for any help.
  19. I agree with iNow. Having a sense that one can affect change in the world is an important lesson. There's nothing worse than watching someone go through life believing themselves to have nothing to contribute. All kids stories involve hyperbole. There are far worse influences in our media afoot.
  20. So the fact that disparate cultures have come up with a concept of a flat earth must mean the earth is in fact flat. Huh, who would of thought? Wait a minute... You mean like you did with Buddhist scripture? http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/same-faith-debates/142512-dharmic-only-buddhism-theistic-15.html
  21. No it doesn't, but we're not talking about whether gods actually exist but whether Buddhists believe in them. If you are unwilling to take the word of many Buddhists quoting from various sources that's your prerogative. There is a sufficient trail here now for any interested reader to know your views of Buddhism are not those held by Buddhists themselves, which is all i wanted to achieve, so i won't post anymore on this subject.
  22. If you think you could go to a hundred Buddhist forums, speaking to several Buddhists from each, and they tell you your understanding of Buddhism is lacking, do you not think it might actually be true? How many Buddhists need to tell you before you believe them?
  23. I take it you're not a fan of non-overlapping magisteria then? Does that mean to say you believe everything, at least in principle, can be understood empirically? If so, would you then see mathematical truths as empirical truths?
  24. So first they moved your thread out of the Buddhism section and then you've managed to get that thread suspended too. When I finally get a chance to comment on the thread I will have to apologise to them. Did you want to try one of the other Buddhist forums?
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