Junaman thread – Empiricism vs. Rationalism – Pt 4

A continuation of part 3 (reposted for readability, loading time, and the fact I knew it would be intially filtered by akismet). Topics include the probability of mass hallucination (ref: 1st century Christianity | apologetics), Junaman’ s atheistic generalization of rationalism, the scientific method, the fallacy of “rational knowledge”, and reasons why “objectivism” is a fallacy (with brief mention of why the Nobel Prize exists).

Sorry for taking so long to reply…

It’s fine, I suppose. But the longer it takes, the more disingenuous your pursuit of “exposing incompetence”, as it were, will look (recent post(s) nonwithstanding).

First of all, not all religious people claim they have “seen” or “experienced” god,

This is true, but…

secondly the ones who have can all claim they saw different things,

…this is a generalization, which leads you to inaccurately conclude…

no one’s belief is truly identical to another’s, hence is it really a “mass hallucination”, or just different people hallucinating different things.

Take a look at the genesis of first century Christianity (comment from another site | Acts and letter to Corinthians. Then the explosive growth).

Others still, can pass it off as if they see god, and not random voices, to avoid being classed as a schizophrenic.

Now if you want to debate on whether Christianity in Rome was the result of a conspiracy, that’s another thread…

That is an “idea” of god based on rationalism, not proof that he exists…

“‘idea’ of god”: rationalism:: Evolution: theory (refer to my comment halfway down). See here why “theory” is the appropriate scientific relegation for evolution. It is a “rational proof”, similar to a theorem in geometry insofar as you’re dealing with hypotheticals.

A: Define “scientific evidence” in terms of empiricism and rationalism.

J: Well, objective empiricism where something is witnessed through experimentation… and rationalism that can be explained by reason, without actually experiencing it work… Both of these are present in the case of a television.

If that’s your definition of “objective empiricism”, it’s flawed. “Scientific evidence” in the scientific method is best defined as being the repeatedly verified hypotheses/theory through the experimentation of a number of qualified people. Secondly… there is no such thing as rational “scientific evidence” (I extrapolate on this closer to the bottom of the post). This is called, in scientific terms, a hypothesis.

J: Obviously it’s possible to gain knowledge through subjective empiricism – people have done it before… A: Yep – people like Satre, Kant, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Hume, etc. J: I don’t see the need for this celebrity endorsement…?

It’s a counter to the [read: your] basic idea [read: what seems to be your understanding] that empiricism (vs. the “rationalism of science”) is inherently fallacious. It also serves to demonstrate your level of understanding since I first used the terms in the thread.

A: Define “objective and rational knowledge”. I believe a rationale exists, but not “rational knowledge”. I believe objectivism exists, but not “objective knowledge”. What is your rationale for the existence of the two? If you can’t explain it, give it to me in an example. J: Probably a poor choice of words on my part… Not really sure what you mean?

Bad wording on my part as well – to restate: what is your definition of “objective and rational knowledge”?

Reagrdless, I believe that objective and rational knowledge is more credible

I said:

I believe a rationale exists, but not “rational knowledge”. I believe objectivism exists, but not “objective knowledge”.

To explain: “rational” means, basically, “consistent with or based on or using reasoning” (reference). “Knowledge”, on the other hand, can be defined as

the awareness and understanding of facts, truths or information gained in the form of experience or learning (a posteriori), or through introspection (a priori)… an appreciation of the possession of interconnected details which, in isolation, are of lesser value. (reference)

This means that the two are mutually exclusive. Hence, “rationale”. Secondly, about the non-existence of objective knowledge, I argue this for the following reason: in order to truly qualify as being “objective” through the lens of science (which I presume you’re basing this on), you’d have to have known all factors (down to the spacial orientation of atoms and molecules, even superstring “RPM”) which definitely have contributed to such-and-such situation. Ignoring “concrete” physical hypotheticals such as dark matter, social scientists rely on making tentative explanations (see the scientific method: google | my layman’s definition of process) to explain social phenomena. Hardly conclusive, wouldn’t you think? In short, true objectivism occurs when all macro and micro-causes to an effect are known. It cannot, nor ever will, occur – mark my words. This is one reason why the Nobel Prize in science still exists.


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