My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

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default My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by rombomb on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:13 pm

My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dbh5l0b2-0o

> The human brain is a network of approximately 100 billion neurons.

Its interesting that he didn't mention the number of connections. Each neuron has thousands of connections to other neurons. So, the more interesting number to ponder is the number of connections between neurons, which is on the order of 700 trillion.

Note that as we create new ideas, we are creating new connections. So the more we solve problems, the more connections we make.

Its interesting to me how neuroscientists focus on neurons and neuroplasticity but not on philosophy.


> Different *experiences* create different neural connections which bring about different emotions.

Notice that he says experiences. What does he mean by that? It seems that he's saying that one's experience is only a result of one's environment. But that is false. One's ideas play a causal role too, and a more important one. And more importantly, one's ideas also plays a causal role in the manifestation of his emotions.


> And depending on which neurons get stimulated, certain connections become stronger and more efficient, while others may become weaker. This is what's called neuroplasticity.

This is true, though I don't think its important. Whats happening is that when an axon has a signal pass through it, that stimulates a response that causes more mylen sheath to be added to the axon. Mylen sheath acts as an electric insulator allowing for the signals to pass through faster.

The reason I think its not important is that it relies on exterior factors rather than on one's free will. It hints at the idea of habits and how habits form. And that habits can change. And it implies that habits can be hard to change, because of this extra mylen sheath effect. But the reality is that with better philosophy, one can change his habits more effectively, more effortlessly, more quickly.

I'd like to say something that is consistent with the author's explanation. He says that we can get good at what we put effort in. This is true, but not always, and his explanation doesn't explain why sometimes it doesn't work. And the reason it can't explain that is his explanation is void of philosophy.

He's saying that our talents are created by us -- that we are not born with them. I agree. But why this is true the author doesn't explain.

We are born with zero talent. All we have is the capacity to guess and criticize. (More on this later.)

As we live, we create interest in things. And those interests are the reasons for which we spend time thinking about those things.

And the more we think about something, the more we are solving problems in that field. From as far back as I can remember, I was interested in knowing how the world works. From as far back as my mom can remember, she was interested in knowing how to express people and the world in art (drawing, painting, etc.). So with years of thinking (aka problem solving) about our interests, we improved our skill (aka talent). We were not born with talent. We created talent.


> Specific neurons and neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, trigger a defensive state when we feel that our thoughts have to be protected from the influence of others.

(Side note: Sounds like Cognitive Dissonance theory, which is fundamentally flawed.)

That implies that a brain chemical causes this defensive state. But that is false. The cause is one's ideas. And if a person has certain bad ideas, then the norepinephrine gets triggered.


> If we are then confronted with differences in opinion, the chemicals that are released in the brain are the same ones that try to ensure our survival in dangerous situations.

Again this only happens with people who have the bad idea that these situations are bad. They fear the experience of having a conflict of ideas. Why do they fear that? The author doesn't explain. They fear it because they lived a life of conflicts of ideas (aka disagreements) that didn't end well. They disagreed with their parents and their parents coerced them to conform, rather than trying to persuade them. If one lives his whole childhood like this, he doesn't have much knowledge about how conflicts of ideas (aka disagreements) should be approached, and how they can be pleasant, even sought after for fun. Note that I do it for fun. I post my ideas knowing that some people will disagree and those disagreements are fun to me because it leads to me learning something new -- e.g. some new perspective that I've never thought of before. Sometimes the hair on my arms stands when I learn something new.

The reality is that the only difference between me and others is our philosophy (aka worldview). Anybody can learn this philosophy and thus change his attitude towards conflicts of ideas (aka disagreements).


> In this defensive state, the more primitive part of the brain interferes with rational thinking and the limbic system can knock out most of our working memory, physically causing 'narrow-mindedness'. We see this in the politics of fear, in the strategy of poker players or simply when someone is stubborn in a discussion. No matter how valuable the idea is, the brain has trouble processing it when it is in such a state. On a neural level, it reacts as if we're being threatened, even if this threat comes from harmless opinions or facts that we may otherwise find helpful and could rationally agree with.

I agree. But again, its one's ideas that causes that "defensive state".


> But when we express ourselves and our views are appreciated, these 'defense chemicals' decrease in the brain and dopamine neurotransmission activates the rewards neurons, making us feel empowered and increasing our self-esteem.

Again that is true *if and only if* one has the idea that causes that -- namely the idea that social acceptance is important. Note that I do not have a goal of social acceptance. If people like me (aka my ideas), then we can be friends, coworkers, etc. If not, then we don't need to be friends/coworkers. And I have no negative feelings if that happens.


> Our beliefs have a profound impact on our body chemistry, this is why placebos can be so effective. Self-esteem or self-belief is closely linked to the neurotransmitter serotonin. When the lack of it takes on severe proportions, it often leads to depression, self-destructive behavior or even suicide.

Notice the author admits that our ideas (aka beliefs/values/philosophy/worldview) have a profound impact on our body chemistry. He's right, but I don't think he understands this well (as evidenced by the fact that he didn't mention this previously with respect to whether or not our ideas cause us to create the "defensive state").


> Social validation increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain and allows us to let go of emotional fixations and become self-aware more easily.

No. That only happens with people who have the idea/belief/value/worldview/philosophy that social validation is important.

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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Alethia on Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:18 pm

OK coming back to you on this...you have saturated your part one with so much information to take in..it will take some time for me to read and absorb this.....Do you realize that sometimes in your own processing space and share..others might not be able to comprehend so much information in one go..or they may lose interest quickly..because its overloaded?
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Dreamspace on Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:22 pm

Rombomb, I think you're eventually going to have to come to the realization that the direction of causation seems to be indicating that our conscious self, or Ego, is actually extremely limited. I'm going to be very straightforward here and I apologize if the tone if it comes across as derogatory, but I want to give you my honest assessment. If I were to say "I'm just trying to help" you would likely dismiss this as condescension, but I'm going to go ahead and give you my rational 'building blocks' so you can hopefully eventually come to the same conclusions. You seem to be good with building towers with such blocks… but are arbitrarily selective with these blocks — to your own detriment.

I'm sure you've been told countless times by now that neurochemical events precede their resultant thoughts by up to full seconds. I think rather than deciding things must be wrong because they don't fit into your subjective logical world, you should consider the arguments presented to you and, at least temporarily, suspend your own world for a while to see things on other people's terms. You are currently filtering everything through a lens and altering its meaning in relation to your own subjective definitions, ideas and overall paradigm, and unfortunately the overlap between the outer world and your own is at current very shallow.

Sam Harris, an author you had also criticized, is remarkably talented at simplifying an otherwise recondite subject and making it perspicuous for a general audience, yet you had nitpicked certain statements he made by supposedly denying his premise… but really rather what had occurred was you denied to consider or examine his premise to begin with. Of course his statements would be incongruous when plucked from objective reality and contorted to mesh into a subjective world with a rigid logical structure. You're operating on a different premise, yes. Unfortunately… Sam Harris' foundation is empirical, quantifiable neuroscience and a logical continuity out in the external realm all can see, examine assent to. It is no wonder why you question neuroscientists remaining within the purview of concretistic science rather than the abstract realm of philosophy. I am wondering if you don't understand why falsifiable experimental data isn't selectively honored or interpreted to match a particular doctrine you personally find suitable.

You had told me you didn't like "this Ti stuff" because it was "dehumanizing", yes? Effectively what I was attempting to tell you with that system was the same as what I am telling you now; however, it may be quite interesting to note that Athene's theory also seemed to be telling you precisely the same thing, only using neuroscience. The first section of Athene's theory describes how the left brain, which deals with more linear reasoning, attempts to preserve beliefs held against conflicting incipient information by using noradrenaline to simply block it out. Unfortunately, this chemical reaction is likely occurring before your conscious mind had time to render the offending data, precluding any notions that thoughts are causes for chemical reactions and not vice versa. You purport not to desire to shield your ideas from criticism… but I believe you're shielding your ideas from your own eye.

In fact, your entire critique of Athene's theory seems to be an example of selectively denying certain statements because they go against your current beliefs about the conscious self somehow not being a result of the machinations of the brain, but see it as an engine thralled by the strings of a ghostly puppeteer. Causality, in your world, is different from the causality demonstrated by evidence generated with the scientific method. And without the empirical realm to keep you grounded, you are at risk of eventual full-on dereism.

Yes, it is possible for conscious thoughts to feed back into the system in a somewhat roundabout way as they can be treated as objective events or stimuli for the unconscious self (in the long-term picture) or adaptive unconscious (more immediate context) to respond to, but they are not the preponderant causal force at play by any stretch. However, you can still consciously contemplate this and choose to fight against it, and eventually you will condition yourself not to shut out others readily and then use (coincidentally another concept covered by this video) backwards rationalization to claim this is merely because somebody else's arguments are illogical… when rather they're only illogical according to your own fine-tuned rules.

Every single one of your criticisms are based upon a conflict with your own philosophy.

Notice the author admits that our ideas (aka beliefs/values/philosophy/worldview) have a profound impact on our body chemistry. He's right, but I don't think he understands this well (as evidenced by the fact that he didn't mention this previously with respect to whether or not our ideas cause us to create the "defensive state").

For example… what you just pointed out was implied and yet you had missed this. Or perhaps the manner in which he implied they did you simply did not like. But everything he had spoken of, you have managed to illustrate perfectly. That's the irony: your entire post served to prove his point. Your beliefs and world-view are responsible for this action when they collide with inbound information which does not align. This mechanism ensures a person will not be so labile he will be credulous and erratic in behavior, but when taken to the other extreme your beliefs will fail to ever be in agreement with the outer world even if many of your beliefs are objectively false.

Rombomb, I implore you to really try your best to understand the argument, the logical rules, presented to you here… or anywhere else for that matter. It could be really trying to understand what's attempted to be explained to you with Athene's video — which I don't consider infallible and actually have my own criticisms of — or it could be what Sam Harris tried to say, what anybody here on this or another forum have really attempted to convey to you… but really you need to recognize that you haven't fully apprehended what people have presented to you; everything you read is misconstrued with this bizarre objectivist (or whatever you'd label your personal philosophy) eisegesis.
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Alethia on Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:07 am

bounce


Last edited by Alethia on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Alethia on Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:14 am

I think I am short of around 999,000 billion neurons..I feel sad in this moment...how do you get to be so smart...I just cant get my wiring to fit things how you fit and think about things.....both of you!!!
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Riana on Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:56 am

You're not the only one, Alethia ^^ I need to reread every single sentence for the meaning to sink in a little and after a while I feel a fog filling my head and nothing can enter anymore. Ah well, we all have our talents I suppose!
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by rombomb on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:55 am

Dreamspace wrote:Rombomb, I think you're eventually going to have to come to the realization that the direction of causation seems to be indicating that our conscious self, or Ego, is actually extremely limited.
No. The only limit is the laws of physics. All other limits are superficial -- by that I mean that better knowledge removes the "superficial" limit.

David Deutsch argues that: "...everything that is not forbidden by laws of nature is achievable, given the right knowledge." See _The Beginning of Infinity_ for his explanation if you want to. Or if you want to criticize this by addressing your criticisms with me, thats good to. I'll be fun for me.

Dreamspace wrote:
I'm going to be very straightforward here and I apologize if the tone if it comes across as derogatory,
This indicates that you have the bad idea that disagreements are bad. I don't have that idea, thus I don't find disagreements derogatory.

Dreamspace wrote:
but I want to give you my honest assessment. If I were to say "I'm just trying to help" you would likely dismiss this as condescension,
No, the only people that would react that way are people who have the bad idea that disagreements are bad. I don't have that idea, thus I don't react to disagreements by thinking that the other person is being condescending to me. Thank you for giving me your criticism.

There is a problem though. You haven't given me your criticisms of some of my ideas that I presented to you in another thread, namely the one about morality being objective, and more generally that truth is objective. In this latest post, you are asserting again that I'm wrong but without criticizing my criticisms that I gave you in that other thread.

Dreamspace wrote:
but I'm going to go ahead and give you my rational 'building blocks' so you can hopefully eventually come to the same conclusions. You seem to be good with building towers with such blocks… but are arbitrarily selective with these blocks — to your own detriment.
But they aren't arbitrary. You asserted that without explanation in the other thread. And I asked you to explain why you think my ideas are arbitrary and you haven't replied. This is not a good approach for us to come to agreement. I can't change my mind without being persuaded that my idea is wrong. You'd have to persuade me. That means addressing my criticism and questions. So far you have evaded them.

Dreamspace wrote:
I'm sure you've been told countless times by now that neurochemical events precede their resultant thoughts by up to full seconds.
Yes. Whats the significance of that? Are you suggesting that a person cannot possibly discover and then change his subconscious ideas?

Dreamspace wrote:
I think rather than deciding things must be wrong because they don't fit into your subjective logical world, you should consider the arguments presented to you and, at least temporarily, suspend your own world for a while to see things on other people's terms. You are currently filtering everything through a lens and altering its meaning in relation to your own subjective definitions, ideas and overall paradigm, and unfortunately the overlap between the outer world and your own is at current very shallow.
You brought up this idea about my ideas being subjective, and I gave you criticism/questions, to which you did not reply. So at this point I think you should stop asserting that my ideas are subjective. But, if you want to maintain that my ideas are subjective, then I think its important for you to persuade me. How? By replying to my criticisms and questions in that other thread.

Dreamspace wrote:
Sam Harris, an author you had also criticized, is remarkably talented
That doesn't make his ideas true, so I don't know why you bring that up.

Dreamspace wrote:
at simplifying an otherwise recondite subject and making it perspicuous for a general audience, yet you had nitpicked certain statements he made by supposedly denying his premise… but really rather what had occurred was you denied to consider or examine his premise to begin with. Of course his statements would be incongruous when plucked from objective reality and contorted to mesh into a subjective world with a rigid logical structure. You're operating on a different premise, yes. Unfortunately… Sam Harris' foundation is empirical, quantifiable neuroscience and a logical continuity out in the external realm all can see, examine assent to. It is no wonder why you question neuroscientists remaining within the purview of concretistic science rather than the abstract realm of philosophy. I am wondering if you don't understand why falsifiable experimental data isn't selectively honored or interpreted to match a particular doctrine you personally find suitable.
You're asserting (without explanation) that I don't know Harris's premises, but I do.

Dreamspace wrote:
You had told me you didn't like "this Ti stuff" because it was "dehumanizing", yes? Effectively what I was attempting to tell you with that system was the same as what I am telling you now; however, it may be quite interesting to note that Athene's theory also seemed to be telling you precisely the same thing, only using neuroscience. The first section of Athene's theory describes how the left brain, which deals with more linear reasoning, attempts to preserve beliefs held against conflicting incipient information by using noradrenaline to simply block it out. Unfortunately, this chemical reaction is likely occurring before your conscious mind had time to render the offending data,
So you've assumed that I was speaking only of conscious ideas. Thats a mistake. I said that only people with the idea that disagreements are bad, will have that 'defensive state' occur, will feel bad, and will think less rationally as a result. In most people that idea is subconscious. Few people have succeeded in making that subconscious idea conscious. And even fewer have rid themselves of that idea.

The reality is that *everybody* has the capacity to rid themselves of this horrible idea. Do you agree?

Dreamspace wrote:
precluding any notions that thoughts are causes for chemical reactions and not vice versa. You purport not to desire to shield your ideas from criticism… but I believe you're shielding your ideas from your own eye.
Yes it is true that people can subconsciously shield their ideas from criticism. This is the theory of Cognitive Dissonance. This theory is fundamentally flawed for the same reason that Athene's theory is -- which is that they don't explain *why* people enter into that 'defensive state' when they are presented with a disagreement between their worldview and somebody else's idea.

That flaw has already been fixed by meme theory. People have anti-rational memes. One of the anti-rational memes is the idea that disagreements are bad. This meme makes people feel bad when they are in a disagreement (one where somebody's idea is conflicting with one of their core values). And in order to stop the bad feeling, people (subconsciously) react by rejecting the external idea, thus relieving the conflict (temporarily). But not everybody has that meme. And these people don't react that way because they don't feel bad when they have disagreements.

Meme theory is explained in _The Beginning of Infinity_, by David Deutsch.

Dreamspace wrote:
In fact, your entire critique of Athene's theory seems to be an example of selectively denying certain statements because they go against your current beliefs about the conscious self somehow not being a result of the machinations of the brain, but see it as an engine thralled by the strings of a ghostly puppeteer. Causality, in your world, is different from the causality demonstrated by evidence generated with the scientific method. And without the empirical realm to keep you grounded, you are at risk of eventual full-on dereism.
You are conflating science with morality (which includes the idea of responsibility). They are not the same field of study. Scientists are good at science. Few of them have good enough philosophical knowledge to cross into the field of morality without making huge mistakes. Athene and Sam Harris are bad at philosophy, so they mess up morality.

Actually, even with the field of science, many scientists make huge fundamental mistakes because their philosophy is bad. For example, how could a scientist know that *all* people who are presented with a disagreement go into that 'defensive state'? How did he come up with that theory? And how did he try to falsify it by experiment?

Its impossible. Why? Because no two people have the same ideas. We are not identical. We are not atoms that can be interchanged without consequence.

The reality is that 99+% of the human population have the bad idea that disagreements are bad. These are the people that go in to that 'defensive state' when they are presented with disagreements. And these are the people that Athene's used as test subjects. He didn't test any of the people of the <1% part of the population.

So these scientists fuck up the scientific method. They don't understand that you can't take a human behavior and generalize to the entire human population. Why? Because *all* human behavior is theory-laden. By "theory-laden" I mean affected by our ideas. And since no two people have the same ideas, that means that its a parochial mistake to take a human behavior in one person or one population and generalize it to the entire human population.

Dreamspace wrote:
Yes, it is possible for conscious thoughts to feed back into the system in a somewhat roundabout way as they can be treated as objective events or stimuli for the unconscious self (in the long-term picture) or adaptive unconscious (more immediate context) to respond to, but they are not the preponderant causal force at play by any stretch. However, you can still consciously contemplate this and choose to fight against it, and eventually you will condition yourself not to shut out others readily and then use (coincidentally another concept covered by this video) backwards rationalization to claim this is merely because somebody else's arguments are illogical… when rather they're only illogical according to your own fine-tuned rules.

Every single one of your criticisms are based upon a conflict with your own philosophy.
My own? No. It is the true philosophy. Its objective. I suggest that we continue that discussion identifying the difference between objective truth and subjectivity.

Note that here again you are asserting things without explaining why you think your assertions are true. If you don't give me an explanation for why you think your assertion is true, then how can I (1) be persuaded by your explanation, or (2) find a flaw in your explanation and explain it to you? The way it stands now is that you've asserted that I'm wrong and I'm asking you for your reasons that I'm wrong, and you haven't provided your reasons.

Dreamspace wrote:
Notice the author admits that our ideas (aka beliefs/values/philosophy/worldview) have a profound impact on our body chemistry. He's right, but I don't think he understands this well (as evidenced by the fact that he didn't mention this previously with respect to whether or not our ideas cause us to create the "defensive state").

For example… what you just pointed out was implied and yet you had missed this. Or perhaps the manner in which he implied they did you simply did not like. But everything he had spoken of, you have managed to illustrate perfectly. That's the irony: your entire post served to prove his point. Your beliefs and world-view are responsible for this action when they collide with inbound information which does not align. This mechanism ensures a person will not be so labile he will be credulous and erratic in behavior, but when taken to the other extreme your beliefs will fail to ever be in agreement with the outer world even if many of your beliefs are objectively false.
I think its bad to continue to assert without explanation that my beliefs are objectively false. Especially since I've asked you for your explanation and you haven't given it.

Dreamspace wrote:
Rombomb, I implore you to really try your best to understand the argument, the logical rules, presented to you here… or anywhere else for that matter. It could be really trying to understand what's attempted to be explained to you with Athene's video — which I don't consider infallible and actually have my own criticisms of — or it could be what Sam Harris tried to say, what anybody here on this or another forum have really attempted to convey to you… but really you need to recognize that you haven't fully apprehended what people have presented to you; everything you read is misconstrued with this bizarre objectivist (or whatever you'd label your personal philosophy) eisegesis.
Here you are asserting that I'm wrong without explanation. How do you know you're right if you don't address my criticism? How could I know whether I'm right or you're right if you don't address my criticism?

The only reason I believe what I believe is *because* I don't have any criticisms of my beliefs.

And the only reason I don't believe other ideas is *because* I have at least one criticism of each of those ideas.

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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Dreamspace on Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:30 pm

rombomb wrote:No. The only limit is the laws of physics. All other limits are superficial -- by that I mean that better knowledge removes the "superficial" limit.

Your take on cognition defies causality and therefore breaks the laws of physics. I wish you'd see that.

rombomb wrote:This indicates that you have the bad idea that disagreements are bad. I don't have that idea, thus I don't find disagreements derogatory.

You have misinterpreted the implications of that statement entirely… as well as the statement at face value. Disagreeing with someone's argument is one thing one thing, depreciating the individual making the argument is another. There's also something called an ad hominem which even logicians are quite familiar with.

rombomb wrote:There is a problem though. You haven't given me your criticisms of some of my ideas that I presented to you in another thread, namely the one about morality being objective, and more generally that truth is objective. In this latest post, you are asserting again that I'm wrong but without criticizing my criticisms that I gave you in that other thread.

To be honest, I find arguments where the other party fails to follow my reasoning — not agree with it, mind you, but simply understand what my argument even is to agree or disagree to begin with — to be thoroughly acerbating. (Truth being objective was never up for debate; it was whether or not your subjective 'truth' lined up with objective reality.) I'll see if I'm in the mood to go back over it later.

rombomb wrote:But they aren't arbitrary. You asserted that without explanation in the other thread. And I asked you to explain why you think my ideas are arbitrary and you haven't replied. This is not a good approach for us to come to agreement. I can't change my mind without being persuaded that my idea is wrong. You'd have to persuade me. That means addressing my criticism and questions. So far you have evaded them.

I hadn't bilked them any more than you did mine by failing to recognize them to begin with… or entirely misconstruing them. It's like you're straw manning without even being aware you've misrepresented your opponent to begin with. You appear to do this with everybody's posts, videos and books.

rombomb wrote:I'm sure you've been told countless times by now that neurochemical events precede their resultant thoughts by up to full seconds.
Yes. Whats the significance of that? Are you suggesting that a person cannot possibly discover and then change his subconscious ideas?

No, that is not the implication. Although you may want to look into the introspection illusion.

rombomb wrote:You brought up this idea about my ideas being subjective, and I gave you criticism/questions, to which you did not reply. So at this point I think you should stop asserting that my ideas are subjective. But, if you want to maintain that my ideas are subjective, then I think its important for you to persuade me. How? By replying to my criticisms and questions in that other thread.

Because you turn everybody's posts into a fantasy which do not match the original. The original posts and ideas are clear to everybody in touch with this world. It has become rather clear your version of reality differs quite a bit. You've become so accustomed to the mote on the lens that it is now integrated into your perception of reality, and you've no ability to differentiate. You ascribe tint to the world and not the glass. You don't understand what anyone says, although you think you do and somehow actually think you have found inconsistency with what is ontic when you have seemingly confused fantasy with ontology and therefore fantasy with truth. Moveover, it would seem I am the only one here who is capable of deciphering what you have to say to entertain it to begin with; you seem to speak the same language, yet are afflicted by an inchoate and circular thought process.

rombomb wrote:That doesn't make his ideas true, so I don't know why you bring that up.

And once again you missed the point entirely… and either don't realize how you had altered the meaning by cutting off the rest of the context or have intentionally straw manned. Either one is quite dismaying.

rombomb wrote:You're asserting (without explanation) that I don't know Harris's premises, but I do.

Then why is it you simply go back and reference your own line of logic, which is all at once internally consistent as well as skewed, but post a rebuttal which is impertinent and merely contradicts because your premises differ, but then fail to show any sign of acknowledging the originating premise as if only one of the iterative supporting premises is the entirety of his argument? Rather than start at the fork, you juxtaposed two segments of two separate branches and remarked upon how ridiculous the other branch segment was for not fitting in with the other; but it was the at the tip of the progenitorial branch that Harris had forestalled such logic to begin with.

rombomb wrote:So you've assumed that I was speaking only of conscious ideas. Thats a mistake. I said that only people with the idea that disagreements are bad, will have that 'defensive state' occur, will feel bad, and will think less rationally as a result. In most people that idea is subconscious. Few people have succeeded in making that subconscious idea conscious. And even fewer have rid themselves of that idea.

Assuming you live in a world where cognitive dissonance doesn't exist and hasn't had its aetiology mapped out by philosophers and neuroscientists alike.

The reality is that *everybody* has the capacity to rid themselves of this horrible idea. Do you agree?

If an individual is capable of recognizing his currently held model of understanding may not be objective truth and can identify when he is filtering out useful information to make decisions with to begin with and sees the trap, they can most certainly recondition themselves. (If they couldn't, I wouldn't be bothering with this.)

rombomb wrote:Yes it is true that people can subconsciously shield their ideas from criticism. This is the theory of Cognitive Dissonance. This theory is fundamentally flawed for the same reason that Athene's theory is -- which is that they don't explain *why* people enter into that 'defensive state' when they are presented with a disagreement between their worldview and somebody else's idea.

No, the way is there… meaning you can't even agree or disagree with the cause they had postulated because you just didn't listen.

rombomb wrote:That flaw has already been fixed by meme theory. People have anti-rational memes. One of the anti-rational memes is the idea that disagreements are bad. This meme makes people feel bad when they are in a disagreement (one where somebody's idea is conflicting with one of their core values). And in order to stop the bad feeling, people (subconsciously) react by rejecting the external idea, thus relieving the conflict (temporarily). But not everybody has that meme. And these people don't react that way because they don't feel bad when they have disagreements.

The man did nothing more than rephrase the symptoms… and actually rather than going deeper toward the underlying reason for this, he remained a layer below. Once again, somehow you have the direction of causation backwards. Furthermore, the reasoning is circular and jejune: A) The subject possesses the idea conflict is bad; B) the subject feels bad during during a disagreement; C) the subject rejects the ideas to put an end to the conflict.

The subject likely dislike conflict because of the stress hormone noradrenaline, meaning it is unpleasant because of the reaction rather than the reaction is because of this idea that disagreement is bad which seemingly arose out of the aether. If a person didn't put up some resistance to conflicting external ideas, he his worldviews would be so ever-changing he would have no constancy or sense of continuity in his life. That is why the brain protects beliefs, but still will allow for them to fold under the weight of significant newly acquired evidence so that they will evolve when there is ample reason. Then the subject avoids conflict for the time being by rejecting what others tell him — internal conflict, or cognitive dissonance; for by having that hormonal response and becoming incensed, he has created an external conflict by getting heated rather than nodding his head for the time being and risk having imparted ideas germinate and threaten the currently held belief paradigm.

rombomb wrote:You are conflating science with morality (which includes the idea of responsibility). They are not the same field of study. Scientists are good at science.

I was only talking about the science of cognition and not interpreting the possible moral implications of this. I'm not even talking about morality. You're denying empirical evidence simply because you find it unpalatable when you consider what the ethical implications may be.

rombomb wrote:Few of them have good enough philosophical knowledge to cross into the field of morality without making huge mistakes. Athene and Sam Harris are bad at philosophy, so they mess up morality.

And you are off in your own world again.

rombomb wrote:Actually, even with the field of science, many scientists make huge fundamental mistakes because their philosophy is bad.

So you're saying physical reality, or at least the quantifiable evidence provided by observation and experimentation, would better if everybody had confirmation bias due to dogma?

rombomb wrote:For example, how could a scientist know that *all* people who are presented with a disagreement go into that 'defensive state'? How did he come up with that theory? And how did he try to falsify it by experiment?

Please, do some independent research on the Internet regarding neuroscience. Or at least read some abstracts.

rombomb wrote:Its impossible. Why? Because no two people have the same ideas. We are not identical. We are not atoms that can be interchanged without consequence.

It's not a learned idea but rather the direct result of physiology and instinct. A person is not a tabula rasa; there is an inherited memory. You could make an argument that not everybody's heart beats the same way because not everybody's medulla could have the coded instructions to tell the heart to pump.

rombomb wrote:The reality is that 99+% of the human population have the bad idea that disagreements are bad. These are the people that go in to that 'defensive state' when they are presented with disagreements. And these are the people that Athene's used as test subjects. He didn't test any of the people of the <1% part of the population.

That sounds more like your reality. But perhaps to you, your reality is the reality.

rombomb wrote:So these scientists fuck up the scientific method. They don't understand that you can't take a human behavior and generalize to the entire human population. Why? Because *all* human behavior is theory-laden. By "theory-laden" I mean affected by our ideas. And since no two people have the same ideas, that means that its a parochial mistake to take a human behavior in one person or one population and generalize it to the entire human population.

I think you are trying to delude yourself that your behavior is entirely rational and coherent with your ideology. I hope you experience a rude awakening to dispel this illusion. You are far too emotionally invested in this idea. The decisions your make are unconscious, and your consciously understand philosophy doesn't permeate the unconscious as well as I'm sure you'd like to believe. The unconscious reigns supreme even in the most enlightened and self-aware.

rombomb wrote:My own? No. It is the true philosophy. Its objective. I suggest that we continue that discussion identifying the difference between objective truth and subjectivity.

You are even more far gone than I had imagined. What happened to "irrationally believing I have the truth"?

rombomb wrote:Note that here again you are asserting things without explaining why you think your assertions are true. If you don't give me an explanation for why you think your assertion is true, then how can I (1) be persuaded by your explanation, or (2) find a flaw in your explanation and explain it to you? The way it stands now is that you've asserted that I'm wrong and I'm asking you for your reasons that I'm wrong, and you haven't provided your reasons.

[…]

I think its bad to continue to assert without explanation that my beliefs are objectively false. Especially since I've asked you for your explanation and you haven't given it.

You wouldn't be able to identify the explanations if they were right in front of your eyes. I know because I've tested it with a few experiments by now.

rombomb wrote:Here you are asserting that I'm wrong without explanation. How do you know you're right if you don't address my criticism? How could I know whether I'm right or you're right if you don't address my criticism?

I'm asserting you cannot understand anything anyone is telling you. I say this because I can be making an argument ("It's not a good idea to write your dissertation in crayon") and you will give me some desultory response ("That says nothing about why Chicken McNuggets are the best fast food item; you can dunk them in both buffalo and ranch dipping sauces. You're confusing crayons with fast food restaurants; crayons don't even taste that good.")

rombomb wrote:The only reason I believe what I believe is *because* I don't have any criticisms of my beliefs.

Or you just filtered them out. I'm not even sure I want to try and attempt to work out the logistics of how you have accomplished such a feat.

rombomb wrote:And the only reason I don't believe other ideas is *because* I have at least one criticism of each of those ideas.

You took a fragment of the ideas, yanked them from their context, and turned them into bizarre fantasy dummies.

I am running out of patience. I'm willing to meet you halfway by stepping through the gate and peering into your world, but you don't return the courtesy by looking into mine, anybody else's, or the world in which we all live in and share. You are standing in your subjective world and trying to pull everyone else in. You're in the middle of your bubble refusing to come out, yet inveigh against world's 'stubborn' resistance yielding to your philosophy and taking on the hue of your bubble's membrane.
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by rombomb on Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:50 pm

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:No. The only limit is the laws of physics. All other limits are superficial -- by that I mean that better knowledge removes the "superficial" limit.

Your take on cognition defies causality and therefore breaks the laws of physics. I wish you'd see that.
It doesn't. *You* believe that my theory does, but without having understood my theory. Before you assert that my theory defies the laws of physics, you should have an explanation for that, which includes having an understanding of my theory. You haven't asked me for that. I haven't explained it. So I don't know why you think my theory defies the laws of physics.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:This indicates that you have the bad idea that disagreements are bad. I don't have that idea, thus I don't find disagreements derogatory.

You have misinterpreted the implications of that statement entirely… as well as the statement at face value. Disagreeing with someone's argument is one thing one thing, depreciating the individual making the argument is another. There's also something called an ad hominem which even logicians are quite familiar with.
Typically, when somebody is concerned about somebody else having irrational reactions, that means that he's having irrational reactions. If thats not what happened, then great.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:There is a problem though. You haven't given me your criticisms of some of my ideas that I presented to you in another thread, namely the one about morality being objective, and more generally that truth is objective. In this latest post, you are asserting again that I'm wrong but without criticizing my criticisms that I gave you in that other thread.

To be honest, I find arguments where the other party fails to follow my reasoning — not agree with it, mind you, but simply understand what my argument even is to agree or disagree to begin with — to be thoroughly acerbating.
That is unfair. I tried to understand your view, as evidenced by the fact that I asked you clarifying questions about your view and I pointed out the flaws that I think your view has. How could I possibly do better than that? I can't read your mind. How could I possibly understand your view if I don't ask you questions and point out and explain the flaws that I see?

What would you have me do to understand you?

Dreamspace wrote:
(Truth being objective was never up for debate; it was whether or not your subjective 'truth' lined up with objective reality.) I'll see if I'm in the mood to go back over it later.
It became part of the debate when *you* brought it up as part of *your* explanation for why *you* think I'm wrong. If you don't want it as part of the debate, then I suggest that you refrain from using it in your criticisms of my ideas.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:But they aren't arbitrary. You asserted that without explanation in the other thread. And I asked you to explain why you think my ideas are arbitrary and you haven't replied. This is not a good approach for us to come to agreement. I can't change my mind without being persuaded that my idea is wrong. You'd have to persuade me. That means addressing my criticism and questions. So far you have evaded them.

I hadn't bilked them any more than you did mine by failing to recognize them to begin with… or entirely misconstruing them. It's like you're straw manning without even being aware you've misrepresented your opponent to begin with. You appear to do this with everybody's posts, videos and books.
So how do you think I should proceed? How should I go about trying to understand your view?

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:I'm sure you've been told countless times by now that neurochemical events precede their resultant thoughts by up to full seconds.
Yes. Whats the significance of that? Are you suggesting that a person cannot possibly discover and then change his subconscious ideas?

No, that is not the implication. Although you may want to look into the introspection illusion.
Ok so why did you bring it up? In other words, what problem does the neurochemical-event-precedes-thoughts solve? What does it say about morality or the brain/mind relationship or whatever?

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:You brought up this idea about my ideas being subjective, and I gave you criticism/questions, to which you did not reply. So at this point I think you should stop asserting that my ideas are subjective. But, if you want to maintain that my ideas are subjective, then I think its important for you to persuade me. How? By replying to my criticisms and questions in that other thread.

Because you turn everybody's posts into a fantasy which do not match the original. The original posts and ideas are clear to everybody in touch with this world. It has become rather clear your version of reality differs quite a bit. You've become so accustomed to the mote on the lens that it is now integrated into your perception of reality, and you've no ability to differentiate. You ascribe tint to the world and not the glass. You don't understand what anyone says, although you think you do and somehow actually think you have found inconsistency with what is ontic when you have seemingly confused fantasy with ontology and therefore fantasy with truth. Moveover, it would seem I am the only one here who is capable of deciphering what you have to say to entertain it to begin with; you seem to speak the same language, yet are afflicted by an inchoate and circular thought process.
Here you are saying that if I was smarter, I would know what you're saying. That is no argument. That doesn't persuade me that I'm wrong. Rand calls this *Argument by Intimidation*. That may sway people who feel stupid by your words, but it has no affect on me.

You also appealed to the authority of *everybody else*. But that is an invalid argument. As a counter-example, the first guy who theorized that the Earth was not flat, was right, even though *everybody else* believed that the true theory was that the Earth was flat.

Note that you're wrong about *everybody else*. Its not true that *everybody else* believes your theory. I don't know why you assume that I'm the only one with my view.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:That doesn't make his ideas true, so I don't know why you bring that up.

And once again you missed the point entirely… and either don't realize how you had altered the meaning by cutting off the rest of the context or have intentionally straw manned. Either one is quite dismaying.
I thought that you might be appealing to authority, as many people do. And instead of asking you whether or not you're appealing to authority, I left that part unstated and only said that I don't know any good reasons why you would say that Sam Harris is talented and what that has to do with your arguments.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:You're asserting (without explanation) that I don't know Harris's premises, but I do.

Then why is it you simply go back and reference your own line of logic, which is all at once internally consistent as well as skewed, but post a rebuttal which is impertinent and merely contradicts because your premises differ, but then fail to show any sign of acknowledging the originating premise as if only one of the iterative supporting premises is the entirety of his argument? Rather than start at the fork, you juxtaposed two segments of two separate branches and remarked upon how ridiculous the other branch segment was for not fitting in with the other; but it was the at the tip of the progenitorial branch that Harris had forestalled such logic to begin with.
I don't understand what you said there. Please rephrase it.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:So you've assumed that I was speaking only of conscious ideas. Thats a mistake. I said that only people with the idea that disagreements are bad, will have that 'defensive state' occur, will feel bad, and will think less rationally as a result. In most people that idea is subconscious. Few people have succeeded in making that subconscious idea conscious. And even fewer have rid themselves of that idea.

Assuming you live in a world where cognitive dissonance doesn't exist and hasn't had its aetiology mapped out by philosophers and neuroscientists alike.
I haven't said that Cognitive Dissonance doesn't exist. I said that the theory is flawed -- because it doesn't explain the difference between the people that do and the people that don't experience the bad feeling when they are presented with a conflict of ideas.

Dreamspace wrote:
The reality is that *everybody* has the capacity to rid themselves of this horrible idea. Do you agree?

If an individual is capable of recognizing his currently held model of understanding may not be objective truth and can identify when he is filtering out useful information to make decisions with to begin with and sees the trap, they can most certainly recondition themselves. (If they couldn't, I wouldn't be bothering with this.)
Great.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Yes it is true that people can subconsciously shield their ideas from criticism. This is the theory of Cognitive Dissonance. This theory is fundamentally flawed for the same reason that Athene's theory is -- which is that they don't explain *why* people enter into that 'defensive state' when they are presented with a disagreement between their worldview and somebody else's idea.

No, the way is there… meaning you can't even agree or disagree with the cause they had postulated because you just didn't listen.
Now you're asserting that I don't understand Cognitive Dissonance theory because I didn't listen? You don't even know how I learned of that theory. Thats ridiculous.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:That flaw has already been fixed by meme theory. People have anti-rational memes. One of the anti-rational memes is the idea that disagreements are bad. This meme makes people feel bad when they are in a disagreement (one where somebody's idea is conflicting with one of their core values). And in order to stop the bad feeling, people (subconsciously) react by rejecting the external idea, thus relieving the conflict (temporarily). But not everybody has that meme. And these people don't react that way because they don't feel bad when they have disagreements.

The man did nothing more than rephrase the symptoms… and actually rather than going deeper toward the underlying reason for this, he remained a layer below. Once again, somehow you have the direction of causation backwards. Furthermore, the reasoning is circular and jejune: A) The subject possesses the idea conflict is bad; B) the subject feels bad during during a disagreement; C) the subject rejects the ideas to put an end to the conflict.

The subject likely dislike conflict because of the stress hormone noradrenaline, meaning it is unpleasant because of the reaction rather than the reaction is because of this idea that disagreement is bad which seemingly arose out of the aether. If a person didn't put up some resistance to conflicting external ideas, he his worldviews would be so ever-changing he would have no constancy or sense of continuity in his life. That is why the brain protects beliefs, but still will allow for them to fold under the weight of significant newly acquired evidence so that they will evolve when there is ample reason. Then the subject avoids conflict for the time being by rejecting what others tell him — internal conflict, or cognitive dissonance; for by having that hormonal response and becoming incensed, he has created an external conflict by getting heated rather than nodding his head for the time being and risk having imparted ideas germinate and threaten the currently held belief paradigm.
But consider this. Have you had any emotions regarding our disagreements in this discussion? If yes, then you are reacting the way Athene explains. If no, then you didn't react in the way Athene explains. I didn't get that 'defensive state' in reaction to our disagreements. I don't see disagreements as a bad thing. I love criticism. I'm not the only one.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:You are conflating science with morality (which includes the idea of responsibility). They are not the same field of study. Scientists are good at science.

I was only talking about the science of cognition and not interpreting the possible moral implications of this. I'm not even talking about morality. You're denying empirical evidence simply because you find it unpalatable when you consider what the ethical implications may be.
My motivation is not that I "find [your theory] unpalatable". This is not an argument.

You shouldn't speak about my motivations. You don't know me well enough.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Few of them have good enough philosophical knowledge to cross into the field of morality without making huge mistakes. Athene and Sam Harris are bad at philosophy, so they mess up morality.

And you are off in your own world again.
Are you saying that I'm the originator of the philosophy I believe is true? I'm not.

Are you saying that I'm the originator of the refutation of the philosophy of Harris and Athene? I'm not.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Actually, even with the field of science, many scientists make huge fundamental mistakes because their philosophy is bad.

So you're saying physical reality, or at least the quantifiable evidence provided by observation and experimentation, would better if everybody had confirmation bias due to dogma?
No. And here you are implying that I am wrong *because of confirmation bias due to dogma*. What is your explanation for this assertion?

Do you think that all science evidence is infallible? Of course not. So how does one know which scientific evidence is true and which is false? One thing that should be done is to find out if the scientists used the scientific method properly. The scientific method involves two steps: (1) create a theory, (2) try to falsify it. As for theories involving human behavior, there is no way to falsify them. Why? Because no two humans have the same ideas, and all human behavior is theory-laden (meaning that all behavior is affected by a person's ideas). Athene's did studies on people who behaved a certain way upon being given a stimulus (disagreement), and then he generalized that observation to the whole human population. This is a parochial mistake that many scientists make.

A theory that cannot be falsified is not a scientific theory. Scientists that make this mistake do so because they don't understand Popper's *line of demarcation*.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:For example, how could a scientist know that *all* people who are presented with a disagreement go into that 'defensive state'? How did he come up with that theory? And how did he try to falsify it by experiment?

Please, do some independent research on the Internet regarding neuroscience. Or at least read some abstracts.
I have. You can point one out if you like so I can evaluate it.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Its impossible. Why? Because no two people have the same ideas. We are not identical. We are not atoms that can be interchanged without consequence.

It's not a learned idea but rather the direct result of physiology and instinct. A person is not a tabula rasa; there is an inherited memory. You could make an argument that not everybody's heart beats the same way because not everybody's medulla could have the coded instructions to tell the heart to pump.
The heart is controlled by a part of the brain that isn't part of the brain that the mind emerges from.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:The reality is that 99+% of the human population have the bad idea that disagreements are bad. These are the people that go in to that 'defensive state' when they are presented with disagreements. And these are the people that Athene's used as test subjects. He didn't test any of the people of the <1% part of the population.

That sounds more like your reality. But perhaps to you, your reality is the reality.
Are you thinking that I'm the originator? I'm not.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:So these scientists fuck up the scientific method. They don't understand that you can't take a human behavior and generalize to the entire human population. Why? Because *all* human behavior is theory-laden. By "theory-laden" I mean affected by our ideas. And since no two people have the same ideas, that means that its a parochial mistake to take a human behavior in one person or one population and generalize it to the entire human population.

I think you are trying to delude yourself that your behavior is entirely rational and coherent with your ideology. I hope you experience a rude awakening to dispel this illusion. You are far too emotionally invested in this idea.
Now you mistake me for having emotions in this discussion. I haven't.

Dreamspace wrote:
The decisions your make are unconscious, and your consciously understand philosophy doesn't permeate the unconscious as well as I'm sure you'd like to believe. The unconscious reigns supreme even in the most enlightened and self-aware.
Agreed. But that doesn't mean that there are subconscious ideas that are undiscoverable or unchangeable.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:My own? No. It is the true philosophy. Its objective. I suggest that we continue that discussion identifying the difference between objective truth and subjectivity.

You are even more far gone than I had imagined. What happened to "irrationally believing I have the truth"?
Irrationally believing I have the truth happens when, for example, I believe an idea without good reason.

All of the ideas I believe, are ideas that I don't have any criticisms of. All the ideas that I don't believe, are ideas that I have at least one criticism of.

If you present me with a criticism (of my idea) that I fail to refute, then I now label my idea as false.

Currently, I do not know of any refutations of Popperism.

What do you think is irrational about this?

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Note that here again you are asserting things without explaining why you think your assertions are true. If you don't give me an explanation for why you think your assertion is true, then how can I (1) be persuaded by your explanation, or (2) find a flaw in your explanation and explain it to you? The way it stands now is that you've asserted that I'm wrong and I'm asking you for your reasons that I'm wrong, and you haven't provided your reasons.

[…]

I think its bad to continue to assert without explanation that my beliefs are objectively false. Especially since I've asked you for your explanation and you haven't given it.

You wouldn't be able to identify the explanations if they were right in front of your eyes. I know because I've tested it with a few experiments by now.
Another argument by intimidation. This is not a valid argument.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Here you are asserting that I'm wrong without explanation. How do you know you're right if you don't address my criticism? How could I know whether I'm right or you're right if you don't address my criticism?

I'm asserting you cannot understand anything anyone is telling you. I say this because I can be making an argument ("It's not a good idea to write your dissertation in crayon") and you will give me some desultory response ("That says nothing about why Chicken McNuggets are the best fast food item; you can dunk them in both buffalo and ranch dipping sauces. You're confusing crayons with fast food restaurants; crayons don't even taste that good.")
If you're confused about my explanation, then one way to solve that problem is to ask me clarifying questions, e.g. "what problem does your position solve?".

Instead of doing that, you are assuming that my motivations are emotional. You're wrong. My motivation is to find the truth.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:The only reason I believe what I believe is *because* I don't have any criticisms of my beliefs.

Or you just filtered them out. I'm not even sure I want to try and attempt to work out the logistics of how you have accomplished such a feat.

rombomb wrote:And the only reason I don't believe other ideas is *because* I have at least one criticism of each of those ideas.

You took a fragment of the ideas, yanked them from their context, and turned them into bizarre fantasy dummies.

I am running out of patience. I'm willing to meet you halfway by stepping through the gate and peering into your world, but you don't return the courtesy by looking into mine, anybody else's, or the world in which we all live in and share. You are standing in your subjective world and trying to pull everyone else in. You're in the middle of your bubble refusing to come out, yet inveigh against world's 'stubborn' resistance yielding to your philosophy and taking on the hue of your bubble's membrane.
I've been meeting you closer to your end than you have my end. I've been answering your questions and trying to understand your position (by asking you clarifying questions and pointing out flaws and explaining them). But you haven't' done that with my view. And also haven't answered my questions and criticisms of your view, leaving me know way to understand your view.

You've assumed that I am the originator of my view (epistemology). I'm not. Karl Popper is. David Deutsch is his predecessor. Then Elliot Temple.


Last edited by rombomb on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:26 am; edited 2 times in total

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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Alethia on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:47 pm

I have to wonder..is your intention to slay the truth apart in others because you are not willing to see the truth in yourself..

If you want truth ....read up on attachment theories...I am feeling your attached to something not connected to yourself...which leads you to others....in ways where you then slay their truth apart with your machete...and try to make it fit your own truth.

Why slay..why not just listen sometimes...and just allow all truths to be present.

That and attachement can throw too many spanners in the works...and we all know, it doesnt matter how many spanners you might use......none can replace the hammers role when building a house or building anything really!!
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by rombomb on Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:56 am

Alethia wrote:I have to wonder..is your intention to slay the truth apart in others
No. My intention is to evolve my knowledge. I do that by guesses and criticism, which is how all knowledge is created.

Alethia wrote:
because you are not willing to see the truth in yourself..
That is too vague. What truth do you mean?

Alethia wrote:
If you want truth ....read up on attachment theories...I am feeling your attached to something not connected to yourself...which leads you to others....in ways where you then slay their truth apart with your machete...and try to make it fit your own truth.
No. I am trying to evolve my knowledge. The way all knowledge evolves, which is by guesses and criticism.

Alethia wrote:
Why slay..why not just listen sometimes...and just allow all truths to be present.
That doesn't work in science. Do you agree? If so, then why do you think it would work in any other sphere of knowledge?

All knowledge is created by guesses and criticism. Thats true for scientific knowledge and all other spheres of knowledge.

Alethia wrote:
That and attachement can throw too many spanners in the works...and we all know, it doesnt matter how many spanners you might use......none can replace the hammers role when building a house or building anything really!!
I don't know what you mean there.

I also don't understand why you're using metaphors of violence. Truth seeking is not violent, and violence has no place in truth seeking. They are mutually exclusive.


Regarding Athene's theory, I'd like to explain something that might clear up some things. This is my understanding of the causal chain of Athene's theory:

(1) A person is presented with a disagreement.

(2) His brain fires of some neurochemicals that causes it to enter the defensive state. And this is what people experience as emotion.

(3) That defensive state renders the brain less capable of rationality.

The result is that the person makes more thinking mistakes.

Did I understand him correctly? If not, please point out what I misunderstood (i.e. point out my flaw and explain why its flawed).


Now I'll explain the flaw I see in Athene's theory. Look at step (1). How does a person know there is a disagreement? He must think about the words that the other person said to him, and then realize that there is a disagreement. So what would happen if the person didn't realize that there is a disagreement? Nothing would happen -- no defensive state. This happens when for example a kid was made fun of by another kid but he didn't understand that he was being made fun -- so no defensive state. Athene's theory does not account for this, therefore it is flawed.

This is my understanding of the causal chain:

(1) A person is presented with a string of words (that he has not yet interpreted).

(2) He thinks about those words (aka interprets them). Most of this processing is subconscious and inexplicit.

(3) If (2) resulted in the understanding that there was a disagreement AND if the person has the anti-rational meme that disagreements are bad, then his brain fires neurochemicals that causes it to enter the defensive state. And this is what people experience as emotion.

(4) If (3) resulted in the defensive state, then the brain is now less capable of rationality while the brain is still in that defensive state.


What flaws do you see in what I said? (i.e. please give me criticism -- and by criticism, I mean the good kind -- a criticism is an explanation of a flaw in an idea.)

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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by rombomb on Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:15 pm

I sent this discussion to a friend of mine (whose a neurologist), and he gave me lots of good criticism!

Here's what he said and my reply. (My friend is the one with ">" and I'm the one with the ">>" and the no bracket.)

> > _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1:
> >
> > http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dbh5l0b2-0o
> > (this video has all the parts, not just Part 1)
>>
>> Note that as we create new ideas, we are creating new connections. So the
>> more we solve problems, the more connections we make.
>
> I don't know that this is established fact. The notion of creating new
> axonal pathways or new synaptic connections is useful as a paradigm for
> discussion, especially pertaining to human behavior and learning, but we
> don't actually know if this is true or not.

What other way does the brain have to *create* new ideas? I mean, how
are ideas physically instantiated in the brain? If not by connections,
then how else?

If you don't have an answer (I mean if neurology and everybodyelse
doesn't have an answer), then this is the prevailing theory and it has
no rivals. In which case I consider it true (for now).


> What we can demonstrate scientifically is that the activity/behavior of the
> cerebral cortex is adaptable, depending on the stimulus or injury. This may
> be related to reorganization of neural networks and/or upward or downward
> regulation of chemical transmitters, their receptors, and the second
> messenger pathways that are involved in chemical signaling within each cell.
>
>> Its interesting to me how neuroscientists focus on neurons and
>> neuroplasticity but not on philosophy.
>
> There is probably a need for a better interface between neuroscience and
> philosophy, but that line between the two is already murky. What I often
> see is that amateurs invoke philosophical concepts to fill in the gaps of
> knowledge in neuroscience. In fact, I think that's what "Athene" has done
> in the first half of that video.

The interface is already figured out. All science uses philosophy. And
scientists that don't know the right philosophy, make more mistakes in
science than do the scientists that know better philosophy.

For example, in order for a scientist to do science, he must (1) guess
a theory and also (2) guess a way to do an experiment that could
falsify that theory. Knowing how to do this thinking process is
philosophy, not science. Some scientists mess this up by not knowing
that step (2) is about falsification not corroboration -- because no
amount of corroboration will show that a theory true. In other words,
step (2) must be a negative argument, not a positive one.

A scientific theory that is unfalsifiable, is not a scientific theory.
Why? Because by its very nature, one cannot do an experiment on it.
This is what Popper's *line of demarcation* is about.


>
>> Whats happening is that when an axon has a signal pass through it, that
>> stimulates a response that causes more mylen sheath to be added to the axon.
>
> Actually, myelination is essentially complete by the age of two in humans.
> Additional myelination would not only be ineffective at optimizing neuronal
> transmission, but it would also probably make it worse, due to the mechanism
> of saltatory conduction. Re-myelination does occur, but that's after an
> axon has been demyelinated due to injury of some kind.

So what is meant by the theory that people's brains are "developing"
beyond 25 y.o. or even later? What do they mean by "developing"? One
thing that I thought it meant is that more connections are being
created.


>> He's saying that our talents are created by us -- that we are not born with
>> them. I agree.
>
> I would disagree with this, at least partially. I think most research, in
> the field of cognitive/behavioral neuroscience, has shown that BOTH nature
> and nurture are important in human intellectual development.

I disagree with the nature/nurture debate. Both sides forget about free will!


> The pendulum
> has often swung from one being favored over the other in the past few
> decades, but there is strong evidence in favor of both. This probably
> reflects the early development of the cortical networks that happens in
> utero; this is driven largely by genetics, as has been born out in several
> twin studies. Obviously, whatever innate tendencies exist, an individual
> has the ability to modify those or create new ones through effort and
> experience. However, there will likely be limits to one's ability to do
> that, and those limits will be due to genetic predispositions or
> developmental variants.

In people that are able to guess and criticize, there are no limits.
This is a consequence of the universality of how our minds create
knowledge, which is by guesses and criticism.

Some people *are* limited. Those are the ones with incomplete brain
development (or brain damage) that renders them unable to guess and criticize.


>> From as far back as I can remember, I was interested in knowing how the
>> world works. From as far back as my mom can remember, she was interested in
>> knowing how to express people and the world in art (drawing, painting,
>> etc.). So with years of thinking (aka problem solving) about our interests,
>> we improved our skill (aka talent). We were not born with talent. We created
>> talent.
>
> One could make the argument that the "interest" is inherent within you.
> Therefore, the effort expended to create/increase skill in that area of
> interest was predetermined. I.e., we don't feel it a burden to spend time
> and energy on those tasks that we enjoy.

Sure, but that amount of "interest" is so tiny that we can say that
its negligible.

Also, that initial "interest" could be due to a random chance event
that happened on day 5 of a newborn's life -- meaning that its not
nature but (accidental) nurture.


> So, while the proximate cause of
> our talent is our effort, it may be that the drive/will to exert that effort
> was genetically present. I believe that this is the crux of Sam Harris'
> argument in his recent book "Free Will".

But drive and will are manifestations of our knowledge. Do you agree?

Here's a discussion on Akrasia that might clear up some of our
disagreements on that:

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/beginning-of-infinity/YlmEhzzaJtg/IL0_fEEmm9UJ


>> That implies that a brain chemical causes this defensive state. But that is
>> false. The cause is one's ideas. And if a person has certain bad ideas, then
>> the norepinephrine gets triggered.
>
> I think this is a "chicken or the egg" type of problem. Did the
> neurotransmitters create the emotional state or vice versa? Again, one
> could make the argument that pre-conditioning (or "bad ideas", as you said)
> is what allows an emotional state to be more likely. However, those bad
> ideas may have also arisen from a prior emotional state, which in itself may
> have been caused by bad ideas. It may be an endless regression, unless you
> can find a "first cause" for the current state.

I'm not sure what you're saying the significance of that is.

If I have a bad attitude towards disagreements, do you agree that I
can fix it? And if I fix it, do you agree that disagreements will no
longer cause me to go into that "defensive state" (aka get emotional)?


>
>> The reality is that the only difference between me and others is our
>> philosophy (aka worldview). Anybody can learn this philosophy and thus
>> change his attitude towards conflicts of ideas (aka disagreements).
>
> I really like this idea. I think it took me a long time to realize this in
> my own life, but it's so true.

This is something that Objectivism falls short on. Its a core idea in Popperism.


>> The first section of Athene's theory describes how the left brain, which
>> deals with more linear reasoning, attempts to preserve beliefs held against
>> conflicting incipient information by using noradrenaline to simply block it
>> out.
>
> This is a good example of what I said earlier..."Athene" is using a
> superficial or outdated understanding of neuroscience to making some
> sweeping statements. The notion of left vs right brain is simply not a good
> representation of the complexity of cortical interaction. The problem is
> that there is a kernel of truth to the idea, which is why it holds such
> fascination for the amateur neuroscientist. However, suggesting that
> complex higher brain function (cognition, emotionality, personality, etc)
> can be reduced to "left brain" vs "right brain" is just ridiculous.
>
>> This is my understanding of the causal chain:
>>
>> (1) A person is presented with a string of words (that he has not yet
>> interpreted).
>>
>> (2) He thinks about those words (aka interprets them). Most of this
>> processing is subconscious and inexplicit.
>>
>> (3) If (2) resulted in the understanding that there was a disagreement AND
>> if the person has the anti-rational meme that disagreements are bad, then
>> his brain fires neurochemicals that causes it to enter the defensive state.
>> And this is what people experience as emotion.
>>
>> (4) If (3) resulted in the defensive state, then the brain is now less
>> capable of rationality while the brain is still in that defensive state.
>
> I agree with the general outline of this sequence, but I would suggest that
> it might be even more complex. For example, the STYLE of communication can
> also affect the listener's emotional state.

Right. Instead of "words", I should have said something like *all the
various ways that people communicate, including words, body language,
facial expressions, etc.* or *words and social vibrations*.


> Consider loudly and
> aggressively yelling the words "I love you". The words themselves may be
> benign, or even desirable to hear, but the brain may create a "defensive
> state" prior to hearing the CONTENT of the words themselves. This is a
> minor point, which is likely covered by your comments in (2) about the
> subconscious processing of information.
>
> In summary, it was an interesting video and an interesting (and
> entertaining) exchange. I agree with your statement that scientists are bad
> at philosophy; I would humbly suggest that the converse is also true
> (philosophers tend to be bad at science).

Not Popperians! Popperism is the true philosophy, all others are
false. By that I mean that I (we) have no criticisms of Popperism and
I (we) have criticisms of all the others.


> Also, many "scientists" are bad
> at science, and I suspect many "philosophers" are bad at philosophy. Having
> a title does not an expert make. Personally, I just like to think of myself
> as a "truth-seeker", and a very inexpert one at that.

The vast majority of scientists and philosophers are justificationists. Thats why they are bad at philosophy and consequently why they are bad at science.

Popperians know that justificationism is bad philosophy.

Some people who call themselves Popperians do not know Popperism well.

Some people who have never been introduced to Popperism, already know
lots of ideas that are consistent with Popperism. For example, what
you just said there indicates that you are a fallibilist, which is
part of Popperism. I'm not saying that Popper created the idea of
fallibilism (it was created pre-Socrates), but Popper is the one that
first understood how fallibilism connects to the process of how knowledge
is created (in science and all other spheres of knowledge).

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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by RBM on Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:58 am

Athene's Theory is old news to me and I threw it out in a few seconds when I watched a video on it as it misses some major model elements that I had previously found and dived into deeply, to analyze of Tom Campbell's 'My Big TOE'.

but really you need to recognize that you haven't fully apprehended what people have presented to you; everything you read is misconstrued with this bizarre objectivist (or whatever you'd label your personal philosophy) eisegesis.

Asking a neuroscientist anything on this topic is a high probability of getting a reply of one form or another of Objectivity (philosophy), Physicalism or some such.

This aspect is more of a conventional mindset and there are a multitude of problems with it, as amply demonstrated by current global events.

I've barely browsed a couple comments and see lots of red flags with the OP's presentation. It's understandable why Athene's poor attempt is what is worthwhile enough to the OP to comment on.

It should be noted, explicitly, that it is good to be on this analysis journey, as it IS a learning process. The sign's I see you are early in the process are obvious, through your mistakes.

A quick note, about EGO(specific usage): it is a hindrance to the learning process, you would be well advised to quit feeding the ravenous beast, and go deeper to your higher self, to propel you down the path of the journey.

Good Luck.
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by rombomb on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:07 am

RBM wrote:
A quick note, about EGO(specific usage): it is a hindrance to the learning process, you would be well advised to quit feeding the ravenous beast, and go deeper to your higher self, to propel you down the path of the journey.
I believe this Ego-hindering-learning idea is a description of the same problem I'm trying to describe here:

http://funhsps.niceboard.org/t3433-hsps-resolutions-plans-and-letting-go#52734

Do you agree?


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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by RBM on Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:05 pm

That's like one grain of sand on a beach, but at least yes on that account.

I even find this a case of attachment:

When I "let go" of something, I'm not saying "I don't care," I'm just letting going of my attachment that a specific outcome MUST happen, or else my life will be "less," or "miserable" or some other less-than-ideal state.

There's nothing wrong with "wanting" or "wishing." Where we get in trouble and end up getting hurt is when can't accept ANY outcomes aside from our specific one.

The 'wrongness' is a matter that both 'wanting'/'wishing' are built on expectations - and that's the domain of the EGO:

Tom Campbell/Response to specific question wrote:"I am spirit having a human experience. How does this fit with the therory of the book?"

This statement fits perfectly with the theory of the book. Ego is perhaps used here a little differently than what you are used to. Ego is generated when the spirit/consciousness having the apparently physical human experience is ignorant of its true identity and purpose, and is of lower quality (has much to learn, understand and needs to evolve) -- it thus expresses fear, needs, wants, demands, expectations, desire, greed, in its attachment to, and manipulation of, the virtual physical reality. Ego is the sense of I manipulating the virtual physical reality to assuage its fear, and to secure and maintain its wants, needs, and desires -- it gives the physical more importance and exclusivity than it is due. Ego drives the action, when fear is the motivator. Ego and fear are the antithesis of compassion and love. Ego is the consciousness lost in a virtual physical reality manipulating the 10,000 things in a way to make itself feel better (less fearful). I hope this helps.

To 'BE, Spirit/Consciousness' in the physical reality is one achievement that is a culmination of lots and lots and lots of lives, typically.
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Dreamspace on Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:43 pm

RBM wrote:
but really you need to recognize that you haven't fully apprehended what people have presented to you; everything you read is misconstrued with this bizarre objectivist (or whatever you'd label your personal philosophy) eisegesis.

Asking a neuroscientist anything on this topic is a high probability of getting a reply of one form or another of Objectivity (philosophy), Physicalism or some such.

This aspect is more of a conventional mindset and there are a multitude of problems with it, as amply demonstrated by current global events.

I was referring to Romb's tendency to need to have everything be congruent with Ayn Rand's objectivist philosophy (or his personal philosophy derivative of this objectivism)… including the laws of physics. Insisting something cannot be true because it conflicts with philosophy and that science should submit to philosophy is… quite the consternating stance. If theory (or philosophy) and experiment don't agree… typically the former is thrown out, not the latter. This was the point I was getting at.

The type of objectivism you refer to would at least be germane to Athene's theory, so it's no wonder you were mistaken.

Anyhow, on the subject of physicalism: You find this theory to be provincial and flawed, but can you elaborate on this? Do you believe in some sort of noumenalism/dualism?
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by rombomb on Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:59 pm

Dreamspace wrote:I was referring to Romb's tendency to need to have everything be congruent with Ayn Rand's objectivist philosophy
You're mistaken. I don't make everything congruent to Objectivism. For example, Rand believed in induction. I don't -- because I have criticisms of it.

Dreamspace wrote:
… including the laws of physics. Insisting something cannot be true because it conflicts with philosophy and that science should submit to philosophy is… quite the consternating stance. If theory (or philosophy) and experiment don't agree… typically the former is thrown out, not the latter. This was the point I was getting at.
What you (and most scientists) have misunderstood is what constitutes an experiment.

An experiment cannot make a scientific theory true. In other words, no amount of corroboration can make a theory true (nor can it increase the probability that it is true).

An experiment can only make a scientific theory false. And by that I mean only fallibly. In other words, an experiment can be falsified itself, by for example, someone pointing out that the experiment has a design flaw, or the experimenter made a procedural mistake deviating from the experimental design.


I'll reexplain my position like so:

Here's my understanding of Justificationism and its rival known as Critical Rationalism (also known to non-Critical Rationalists as Popperism because of its originator being Karl Popper).


Justificationism

Justificationism says that positive arguments can make a theory true (or more probably true).

Some justificationists are also Bayesians. Bayesianism says that better (or more probable) truths can be calculated using arbitrarily-assigned initial values representing the "weight" of a positive argument.


Critical Rationalism

Critical Rationalism says that all knowledge is created by (1) guesses and (2) criticism:

(1) A guess is a new theory. Another name for this is a positive argument. Note that if the theory can be criticized using physical evidence, then we call it a scientific theory.

(2) A criticism is also a guess -- and it falsifies a theory. Another name for this is a negative argument. Note that if the negative argument uses physical evidence, then we call it a scientific experiment.

In other words, a theory is (conjecturally) true so long as there is no negative argument acting against it.

A consequence of this is that Justificationism is wrong, since positive arguments cannot make a theory true. All positive arguments can do is propose new theories. And a theory is true only so long as no negative argument is acting against it.


Critical Rationalism also says that:

Truth is objective. This means that truth exists independent of what people think about what the truth is. This is called Objective Knowledge.

People are fallible. This means that people cannot know which of their ideas are objectively true -- any one of their ideas could be wrong. What we do have is conjectural knowledge (aka fallible knowledge). A consequence of this is that people do not have access to infallible sources of knowledge (or more trust-worthy sources of knowledge), like intuition, emotion, justification, induction, etc.

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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Dreamspace on Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:48 pm

rombomb wrote:What you (and most scientists) have misunderstood is what constitutes an experiment.

An experiment cannot make a scientific theory true. In other words, no amount of corroboration can make a theory true…

I don't think most scientists would disagree with you here? You can rule out a theory, but testing predictions do not necessarily make the theory true.

rombomb wrote:… (nor can it increase the probability that it is true).

It's a mistake to say making predictions which check out is not compelling evidence. You simply submit them for a barrage of peer review and falsifiable experiments, but it's this corroborating evidence which will make the theory appear plausible enough for the scientific community to bother attempting to falsify to begin with. If it can stand up to a battery of falsifiable experiments, then it has passed the litmus test and is plausible.

rombomb wrote:Critical Rationalism also says that:

Truth is objective. This means that truth exists independent of what people think about what the truth is. This is called Objective Knowledge.

People are fallible. This means that people cannot know which of their ideas are objectively true -- any one of their ideas could be wrong.

I would agree as I already subscribe to this approach, which surprises me considering earlier since you seemed to be arrogating truth earlier:

rombomb wrote:My own? No. It is the true philosophy. Its objective. I suggest that we continue that discussion identifying the difference between objective truth and subjectivity.

No philosophy can be known to be objectively true for the same reason no theory can be absolutely proven to be objectively true.

It may be interesting to note that the way Ti types (like myself and Karl Popper) process information naturally lends itself to mindsets like critical rationalism and a preference for deductive rather than inductive reasoning. It doesn't surprise me a Te type like Rand would advocate inductive reasoning, either, as it is a type of thinking bound directly to objects.
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by RBM on Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:01 pm

noumenon (n`mənŏn'), in the philosophical system of Immanuel Kant

, a "thing-in-itself"; it is opposed to phenomenon
, the thing that appears to us. Noumena are the basic realities behind all sensory experience. According to Kant, they are not knowable because they cannot be perceived, but they must be thinkable because moral decision making and scientific investigation cannot proceed without the assumption that they exist.

No, to both.

I have yet to find an accurate label to capture my position which is adapted from Campbell's work. See this 15 min. clip. It will at least give you something to bounce off of:

Physicist Tom Campbell - MBT Questions #1

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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by rombomb on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:43 am

Dreamspace wrote:
It's a mistake to say making predictions which check out is not compelling evidence. You simply submit them for a barrage of peer review and falsifiable experiments, but it's this corroborating evidence which will make the theory appear plausible enough for the scientific community to bother attempting to falsify to begin with. If it can stand up to a battery of falsifiable experiments, then it has passed the litmus test and is plausible.
I don't understand what you're saying. When you say "corroborating evidence" do you mean evidence that is a result of an experiment? If so, was there a possibility that the experiment could have given a result that would falsify the experiment?

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Critical Rationalism also says that:

Truth is objective. This means that truth exists independent of what people think about what the truth is. This is called Objective Knowledge.

People are fallible. This means that people cannot know which of their ideas are objectively true -- any one of their ideas could be wrong.

I would agree as I already subscribe to this approach, which surprises me considering earlier since you seemed to be arrogating truth earlier:
Please quote the part of what I said that seemed that I'm claiming that what I know is Objective Knowledge. If I'm saying something misleading, I want to fix it. Or if I'm saying something wrong, I want to fix it.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:My own? No. It is the true philosophy. Its objective. I suggest that we continue that discussion identifying the difference between objective truth and subjectivity.

No philosophy can be known to be objectively true for the same reason no theory can be absolutely proven to be objectively true.
Right. We can only have conjectural (aka fallible) knowledge. AFAIK, there are no refutations of Critical Rationalism, so its (conjecturally/fallibly) true.

Dreamspace wrote:
It may be interesting to note that the way Ti types (like myself and Karl Popper) process information naturally lends itself to mindsets like critical rationalism and a preference for deductive rather than inductive reasoning.
Induction has been refuted. When people interpret their guesses as having induction as a source, what has actually happened is that the source was a substantive theory of theirs -- sometimes the very theory they say they have induced, sometimes a theory that they are not aware of having, sometimes a theory that they are shielding from criticism, etc, but always a theory that they already had. So the theory they had was the source -- induction wasn't the source.

Deduction has the same problem.

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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Dreamspace on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:09 am

[quote="rombomb"]I don't understand what you're saying. When you say "corroborating evidence" do you mean evidence that is a result of an experiment? If so, was there a possibility that the experiment could have given a result that would falsify the experiment?

Corroborating evidence could be anything which seems to agree with the hypothesis, whether it be simple observation of nature, replicable experiment, or perhaps even fit in well with rational evidence we have. Yes, this supporting evidence alone is not sufficient. Yes, a single experiment is falsifiable. This is pointing out the obvious. Once you have a theory or have created results from an experiment, you submit them for peer review. The work will then be scrutinized and attacked. But the supporting evidence will give it an appearance of plausibility to attract the attention needed to be challenged in the first place.

The scientific community employs criticism, trust me.

rombomb wrote:Right. We can only have conjectural (aka fallible) knowledge. AFAIK, there are no refutations of Critical Rationalism, so its (conjecturally/fallibly) true.

Yes, that's a fine starting point. Although I hope you realize you're using critical rationalism to examine critical rationalism here. "Ah, if we invoke critical rationalism, we can see critical rationalism passes the critical rationalist test." The reasoning is circular, and not the best case you could make for an epistemological system.

rombomb wrote:Induction has been refuted. When people interpret their guesses as having induction as a source, what has actually happened is that the source was a substantive theory of theirs -- sometimes the very theory they say they have induced, sometimes a theory that they are not aware of having, sometimes a theory that they are shielding from criticism, etc, but always a theory that they already had. So the theory they had was the source -- induction wasn't the source.

Deduction has the same problem.

I'm not understanding that point you're trying to make. So long as the hypothesis is sound and valid, what significance does the origin have? Critical rationalism is a form of deductivism. In fact, it's pretty much just pure deductive reasoning used to root out any inductions.
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by rombomb on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:23 am

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:I don't understand what you're saying. When you say "corroborating evidence" do you mean evidence that is a result of an experiment? If so, was there a possibility that the experiment could have given a result that would falsify the experiment?

Corroborating evidence could be anything which seems to agree with the hypothesis, whether it be simple observation of nature, replicable experiment, or perhaps even fit in well with rational evidence we have.
Those are all things that have the possibility of falsifying (aka refuting) the theory. Do you agree?

Dreamspace wrote:
Yes, this supporting evidence alone is not sufficient.
They are not "supporting" evidence. They are explanations that are consistent with the theory (i.e. they don't conflict with the theory). They don't criticize/refute the theory. They also don't "add" to the truthness of a theory. They don't make a theory more probably true. They are neutral. They don't add nor subtract.

Dreamspace wrote:
Yes, a single experiment is falsifiable. This is pointing out the obvious. Once you have a theory or have created results from an experiment, you submit them for peer review. The work will then be scrutinized and attacked. But the supporting evidence will give it an appearance of plausibility to attract the attention needed to be challenged in the first place.
Wait, which supporting evidence? You mean the results of an experiment that has the possibility of falsifying the theory?

Dreamspace wrote:
The scientific community employs criticism, trust me.
Yes, I explicitly said so.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Right. We can only have conjectural (aka fallible) knowledge. AFAIK, there are no refutations of Critical Rationalism, so its (conjecturally/fallibly) true.

Yes, that's a fine starting point. Although I hope you realize you're using critical rationalism to examine critical rationalism here. "Ah, if we invoke critical rationalism, we can see critical rationalism passes the critical rationalist test." The reasoning is circular, and not the best case you could make for an epistemological system.
Are you saying there is another way to create knowledge? What is it?

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Induction has been refuted. When people interpret their guesses as having induction as a source, what has actually happened is that the source was a substantive theory of theirs -- sometimes the very theory they say they have induced, sometimes a theory that they are not aware of having, sometimes a theory that they are shielding from criticism, etc, but always a theory that they already had. So the theory they had was the source -- induction wasn't the source.

Deduction has the same problem.

I'm not understanding that point you're trying to make. So long as the hypothesis is sound and valid, what significance does the origin have? Critical rationalism is a form of deductivism. In fact, it's pretty much just pure deductive reasoning used to root out any inductions.
No. Deduction is a top-down approach of creating knowledge from first principles. Critical Rationalism says that one can create knowledge from any starting point. There is no need to start from first principles. Note that babies create knowledge by guesses and criticism. They don't do deductive reasoning.

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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by Dreamspace on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:53 am

[quote="rombomb"]Those are all things that have the possibility of falsifying (aka refuting) the theory. Do you agree?
rombomb wrote:t;rombomb"]They are not "supporting" evidence. They are explanations that are consistent with the theory (i.e. they don't conflict with the theory). They don't criticize/refute the theory. They also don't "add" to the truthness of a theory. They don't make a theory more probably true. They are neutral. They don't add nor subtract.

If a theory can account for several natural phenomena and is logically economical then it will have a certain appeal. I'd probably want to criticize and attempt to falsify such a theory before wasting my time on one which did not.

rombomb wrote:Wait, which supporting evidence? You mean the results of an experiment that has the possibility of falsifying the theory?

Critical rationalism states that supporting evidence is useless. It prefers to attempt to falsify a theory, and if no logical error can be found, it will be considered ostensibly true. The problem is such a method is rather exhaustive and so you must be selective when it comes to choosing which theories to place under the microscope if you are going to adhere to such a rigorous approach. You need some heuristics to work out how you will divide your attention.

rombomb wrote:Yes, I explicitly said so.

Then why were you complaining about most scientists failing to use a true scientific method?

rombomb wrote:Are you saying there is another way to create knowledge? What is it?

I'm saying the reasoning you used was circular. I'm not criticizing rational criticism, but rather the logic you just used.

rombomb wrote:No. Deduction is a top-down approach of creating knowledge from first principles. Critical Rationalism says that one can create knowledge from any starting point. There is no need to start from first principles. Note that babies create knowledge by guesses and criticism. They don't do deductive reasoning.

Deduction first starts from a premise which needs to be true. From then on, deductive syllogisms can only determine things to be false rather than create truths. Seeing how critical rationalism makes such heavy use of such deductions, I don't see how it is free from this limitation.

But let's double-check the Internet just to see if others have this same idea about critical rationalism:

http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/jors201258a.html

Critical rationalism (CR), the philosophy originated by Karl Popper, attempts to eliminate all inductive, justificatory and merely subjective claims by the ruthless application of deductive logic.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:Bn_1c3Fc-CkJ:www.as.miami.edu/phi/haack/just%2520say%2520no%2520to%2520logical%2520negativsm%2520%2520August%25204%25202012.doc+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjvTpIBklniY0lKejHyo7uhEcSxMXMsELUTiThyGnhCjIGgQiyN-OmrAMXzenZTSd_JdaDUJBhTg-783EnTtVn0GHsexjbvFu-AnC3IJ4eIgRLZbZG1jfoMTFWqPwXWeIWTP6gD&sig=AHIEtbSXurdhQdDg5-iQRlNFUuo1O5NYTA

So, turning Logical Positivism on its head,19 Popper proposed falsifiability as a criterion of demarcation of science from non-science, and a purely deductive account of scientific method.

[…]

This label, though very apt, is not the most usual one: Popper’s position is more often called “Critical Rationalism,” “falsificationism,” or “deductivism.”

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/44718745/The-Problem-of-Induction-and-Popper%E2%80%99s-Deductivism-Issues-I-Problem-of-Induction-II-Popper%E2%80%99s-rejection-of-induction-III-Salmon%E2%80%99s-critique-of-deductivism

[quote]Popper's solution: deductivism

http://jrp.icaap.org/index.php/jrp/article/view/64/63

Karl Popper’s (1935/1961, 1963, 1972) critical rationalism is probably the most widely respected model of the logic of research today. It appears to have influenced many researchers. It is generally considered to offer a sound critical response to logical positivism, and in many respects it does. In particular, it seeks to lead us beyond positivist research practice by replacing the method of “verification,” a process of empirical validation of hypotheses based on systematic observation and inductive reasoning, with the method of “falsification,” a process of empirical elimination of hypotheses based on systematic testing of hypotheses and deductive reasoning.

I could go on, but I've proven my point: Branding critical rationalism as a deductive approach is at the very least a widespread misnomer. But I'm thinking it's just that it actually is a deductive method.
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default Re: My thoughts/criticisms of _Athene's Theory of Everything_ Part 1

Post by rombomb on Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:19 pm

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Those are all things that have the possibility of falsifying (aka refuting) the theory. Do you agree?
They are not "supporting" evidence. They are explanations that are consistent with the theory (i.e. they don't conflict with the theory). They don't criticize/refute the theory. They also don't "add" to the truthness of a theory. They don't make a theory more probably true. They are neutral. They don't add nor subtract.

If a theory can account for several natural phenomena and is logically economical then it will have a certain appeal. I'd probably want to criticize and attempt to falsify such a theory before wasting my time on one which did not.
Me too. But I wouldn't call such a theory to be "supported" by evidence. I'd say such a theory is yet unrefuted.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Wait, which supporting evidence? You mean the results of an experiment that has the possibility of falsifying the theory?

Critical rationalism states that supporting evidence is useless. It prefers to attempt to falsify a theory, and if no logical error can be found, it will be considered ostensibly true. The problem is such a method is rather exhaustive and so you must be selective when it comes to choosing which theories to place under the microscope if you are going to adhere to such a rigorous approach.
Huh? If you're a scientist with a scientific theory (that hasn't been experimentally tested), and a refutation has been published of your theory, and you read it, what do you do?

If you disagree with the refutation, that means you see a devastating flaw in it. At this point your theory is still unrefuted (as far as you know), so you should do experiments on your theory to try to refute it with physical evidence.

But if you agree with the published refutation, that means you know your theory is wrong, in which case you wouldn't do any experiments to refute a theory that is already refuted (as far as you know).

Dreamspace wrote:
You need some heuristics to work out how you will divide your attention.
Yes, like I described above, right?

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Yes, I explicitly said so.

Then why were you complaining about most scientists failing to use a true scientific method?
Because they create unfalsifiable theories.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:Are you saying there is another way to create knowledge? What is it?

I'm saying the reasoning you used was circular. I'm not criticizing rational criticism, but rather the logic you just used.
The only knowledge available to me is conjectural knowledge. I don't know how to do any better than that. I don't know what you mean.

Dreamspace wrote:
rombomb wrote:No. Deduction is a top-down approach of creating knowledge from first principles. Critical Rationalism says that one can create knowledge from any starting point. There is no need to start from first principles. Note that babies create knowledge by guesses and criticism. They don't do deductive reasoning.

Deduction first starts from a premise which needs to be true. From then on, deductive syllogisms can only determine things to be false rather than create truths. Seeing how critical rationalism makes such heavy use of such deductions, I don't see how it is free from this limitation.
Critical Rationalism does not start with a premise which needs to be true. That mistake is part of Justificationism.

Its impossible to know that a premise (aka idea) is objectively true. The best we can do is have conjectural truths/premises/ideas/principles/theories.

Dreamspace wrote:
But let's double-check the Internet just to see if others have this same idea about critical rationalism:

I could go on, but I've proven my point: Branding critical rationalism as a deductive approach is at the very least a widespread misnomer. But I'm thinking it's just that it actually is a deductive method.
If deduction requires an objectively true premise, then Critical Rationalism is not deductive reasoning, since Critical Rationalism says that we can't possibly know which of our ideas are objectively true. None of my ideas *ever* get the status of objective truth.

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