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#268667 - 09/02/07 06:44 PM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: Phoenix_Inferno]
Poetaster Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 2334
Loc: East Coast, USA.
 Quote:
The only person that can varify your experiences is YOU.


Unless you think that you're Napolean Bonaparte or Julius Ceasar.

Let's not be so dramatic. ;\)

Context is required, or this whole topic will start rolling down a giant slippery slope.






Edited by Poetaster (09/02/07 06:52 PM)
_________________________
"People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power. The only thing we should respect in a person’s faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next."

- Sam Harris





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#268668 - 09/02/07 06:51 PM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: The_Lightning]
Linguascelesta Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 2352
Loc: Europa
 Originally Posted By: The_Lightning

I know that God cannot be disproved. However, science has found simpler explanations to what has been considered "godly" once, and came up with proof that makes the existence of such being highly doubtful.

I know magic cannot be disproved. However, science found many simpler explanations to a person's success- which makes the existence of a supernormal force highly doubtful.


Exactly, Ockham's Razor.

Now, here's a premise for consideration:

Anything can be explained in a "magical" or "scientific" way.

So, we (if we are reasonable) apply Ockham's razor and go with the simplest explanation as being the most likely.

Now, let us say that I am at home one afternoon drinking tea and minding My own business, when suddenly there is a flash and a bang, and you appear in My living room. You display psychokinetic ability, levitating My teacup, and immolate an armchair using a conjured fireball, yea, like unto those conjured in fantasy RPGs. You then click your heels together three times, and vanish back to Kansas Israel.

Now, is this the kind of demonstration of magic that would convince a skeptic? Well, if that wouldn't, I certainly don't know what would.

But then one who has their mind made up already (like Randi) would say that I hallucinated your presence, and that this (by coincidence) occurred at the same time as a trick in which My teacup was lifted by unseen wires that I had not noticed while I was drinking from it (or maybe I hallucinated that too), and a hidden incendiary device ignited in My armchair.

All of a sudden, Ockham's Razor has been replaced with an electric razor. An explanation slightly less challenging to a belief system, slightly more complicated, and about equally incredible.

 Quote:
The only method a human being can trust to be real in common reality is the scientific one, since it constantly produces the same results.


And if you repeated the above display of magic ten times? Other than Me rapidly running out of furniture and getting nervous about My cup of tea, it would not achieve anything. The "magical" and "scientific" explanations are both repeatable.

 Quote:
However the application Satanic ritual actually suits human needs and has proved to empower persons using it, while the other proved the opposite.
So unlike using God's tools (aka- being religious) that gain me nothing, I would rather use the "supernormal" tools, that may not be objectively real, but I gain a lot from using them anyhow.


I'm all for pragmatic truth.

 Quote:
 Quote:
If I find proof of something, it is, ipso facto, science (Latin "scientia", knowledge).


This is not the full definition of what science means, as you probably well know;
3 a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method.
(Webster dictionary)

The word "general" would imply that personal truth is not science,


No it wouldn't. If the word "general" here implies that the general population must know it, and not just one person or a select few, then most people considered to be "leading scientists" are in fact practicing witchcraft, since they clearly cannot be dealing in science, since the stuff with which they're dealing is not known to the general public, and is a "personal truth" for the person who has just discovered it.

So "general" here does not mean "popular", it means "can be applied generally".

 Quote:
and the "especially as obtained and tested through scientific method" would imply that testing it by other means isn't scientific.


No it wouldn't. Note the use of "especially" rather than "exclusively".

 Quote:
Of course, once the scientific rules behind something are revealed, it is no longer magic. But until they are, it is only logical to stay highly skeptical of everything, don't you think?


So I should not trust My computer to work, for example, because the scientific rules behind it are not fully revealed to Me?

I accept that I do not know how it works, why it works, or whether it will continue to work. To that extent, I am skeptical.

However, I continue to type away, because, much as inductive reasoning may strictly speaking be an epistemological fallacy, it can be quite useful in terms of pragmatic truth.

The computer has always worked so far, never ceased to work yet (I love Macs), so I work on the assumption that it will probably continue to work. And lo, it does!

* Some would call it science (they understand how it works)
* I might call it magic (I don't understand how it works, and it remains unproven to Me)
- But the important thing is, it works, and I know how to use it! That is pragmatic truth.

 Quote:
And I'll bet you again, that if a human being demonstrated the application of scientific rules that Randi has yet to discover, he would be fair enough to give him/her the money before proceeding to turn the magic into science.


However, life is not fair, and nor is Randi's challenge ;\)

 Quote:
P.S
How can Dumbledore prove to Randi that magic is real if he is dead?? You silly goose -.-

;\)


You have Me there

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#268683 - 09/02/07 08:01 PM Re: A simple suggestion [Re: The_Lightning]
LordofDarkness Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 756
Loc: Tennessee, U.S.
 Quote:
Look at magic is a self-transformative psychodrama for a minute... it's meant to rid you of any emotions that might obstruct you from getting your goals. If you suddenly get all self-conscious, insecure, anxious and stressed when it comes to real life application of that psychodrama because you don't trust it worked- the whole point of it was totally lost!
I acknowledge the fact that there is no room for insecurity when it comes down to getting what I want and holding on to it...


That makes sense, however LaVey did say in the Satanic Bible that some of us will believe it is just applied psychology (hence the 'self-transformative psychodrama') until they come to an event that is based on no scientific finding. Wether you find the Satanic Magic as an actual dark force or you just see it as psychodrama is up to you. To each his own. ;\)

 Quote:
You're either the hunter or the hunted; weakness it not an option.


I Agree.
_________________________

"Any group or collective, large or small, is only a number of individuals. A group can have no rights other than the rights of its individual members." - Ayn Rand

"Laws are there for a reason. You may not agree with them but you gotta obey them. Nobody wants to be in court." - Sonic the Hedgehog

"Satanism is not a white light religion; it is a religion of the flesh, the mundane, the carnal - all of which are ruled by Satan, the personification of the Left Hand Path." - Magus LaVey

"Test Everything, Believe Nothing." -

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#268706 - 09/03/07 12:07 AM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: Linguascelesta]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10121
So, am I a true believer because I require proof of things?

You're not making sense. You're saying that a skeptic is taking something on faith, which is clever but bullshit.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#268711 - 09/03/07 12:49 AM Re: My answer. [Re: Nemo]
Unknown Offline
Unknown

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 1649
Glad to hear it Magister.

I think your book(s) are some results of very real magic working in your life! ;\)
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#268727 - 09/03/07 04:50 AM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: Linguascelesta]
The_Lightning Offline


Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1325
Loc: Israel
 Quote:
Now, let us say that I am at home one afternoon drinking tea and minding My own business, when suddenly there is a flash and a bang, and you appear in My living room. You display psychokinetic ability, levitating My teacup, and immolate an armchair using a conjured fireball, yea, like unto those conjured in fantasy RPGs. You then click your heels together three times, and vanish back to Kansas Israel.


I was thinking about it.
In that case, it comes back to how likely it is that you are not indeed hallucinating.
Maybe someone put something in your tea…?
It is less likely that you are crazy if more people around you see it too- since it lowers the possibility of it being merely neurological. (but then maybe someone put something in the water everyone's drinking? So all are delusional?!)

But your whole argument of "what if" isn't very fair in debate.
I mean…. Such arguments stray so far away from the likely- that it's really absurd.
We can just cut to the chase and rule everything out and say that you might be hallucinating me too- that there is nothing BUT the world you make up in your own mind.
But that's like debating with a wall, and it's no fun =P

 Quote:
No it wouldn't. If the word "general" here implies that the general population must know it, and not just one person or a select few, then most people considered to be "leading scientists" are in fact practicing witchcraft, since they clearly cannot be dealing in science, since the stuff with which they're dealing is not known to the general public, and is a "personal truth" for the person who has just discovered it.

So "general" here does not mean "popular", it means "can be applied generally".


 Quote:
No it wouldn't. Note the use of "especially" rather than "exclusively".


Oh my…. That was a really twisted argument.

The term science is *especially* used to refer to things proved by scientific methods.
Some people, like you, use it in a different meaning. THAT'S what it means.

Since scientists CAN prove what they do by scientific methods, that makes what they do objective (scientifically speaking). Just because most people can't understand what they do, it doesn't mean that it is subjective. It is a general truth, since it isn't s personal one.

 Quote:
So I should not trust My computer to work, for example, because the scientific rules behind it are not fully revealed to Me?


WHAT?!
There ARE rules, that where proved using the scientific method and are understood by some percent of the population which makes these computers.
I don't know how to build a car, but it's not magic to me- it's simply something I don't know how to do.
_________________________
There is no such thing as evolution - Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

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#268735 - 09/03/07 06:01 AM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: The_Lightning]
Jack_Lantern Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 2785
Loc: America
Are you a scientist?
_________________________
"If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." -Benjamin Franklin

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#268738 - 09/03/07 08:21 AM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: Phineas]
Evil_Eve Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 4234
Loc: 1313 Mockingbird Lane
 Originally Posted By: Phineas
"There is no worse a blind man (or woman) than one who chooses not to see." - Magister Sprague


My new favourite quote.

Thank you Magister!
_________________________
Satan LIVES!
If you could....would YOU?



"Our religion does not require martyrs."
Magistra Nadramia.

FEARED!
Revered.
YOU can be a voice for the voiceless.


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#268749 - 09/03/07 09:16 AM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: Jack_Lantern]
Poetaster Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 2334
Loc: East Coast, USA.
How does that damn question contribute to this discussion at all?

It's an interesting discussion all by itself; there's really no need to interject smart-ass comments. ;\)





Edited by Poetaster (09/03/07 09:20 AM)
_________________________
"People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power. The only thing we should respect in a person’s faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next."

- Sam Harris





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#268754 - 09/03/07 09:48 AM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: Jack_Lantern]
The_Lightning Offline


Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1325
Loc: Israel
 Quote:
Are you a scientist?


Why, do I have to be a scientist in order to understand the principles of the scientific method?


….
It's like asking someone who criticized a book he read if he is an author;
completely irrelevant.
_________________________
There is no such thing as evolution - Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

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#268758 - 09/03/07 10:15 AM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Linguascelesta Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 2352
Loc: Europa
 Originally Posted By: LeviathanXIII
You're saying that a skeptic is taking something on faith, which is clever but bullshit.


I said no such thing.

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#268760 - 09/03/07 10:25 AM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: The_Lightning]
Linguascelesta Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 2352
Loc: Europa
 Originally Posted By: The_Lightning
We can just cut to the chase and rule everything out and say that you might be hallucinating me too- that there is nothing BUT the world you make up in your own mind.
But that's like debating with a wall, and it's no fun =P


So, out of various possible explanations regarding the nature of reality, we will dismiss one possibility because in your opinion it isn't as much fun?

 Quote:
The term science is *especially* used to refer to things proved by scientific methods.
Some people, like you, use it in a different meaning. THAT'S what it means.


Dictionaries are based on how words are used.

 Quote:
Since scientists CAN prove what they do by scientific methods,


They can't prove it to others, due to the delusion / deception possibility. This brings us back to the necessity of personal experience to know something (as opposed to merely believe it or act on the pragmatic assumption that it is true).

 Quote:
There ARE rules, that where proved using the scientific method and are understood by some percent of the population which makes these computers.


Allegedly.

I don't know that, although I readily accept that it is almost certainly true. You may consider this being pedantic; I consider it being honest.

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#268764 - 09/03/07 10:59 AM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: The_Lightning]
Mr. Obsidian Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 3120
Loc: Ohio
[This isn't addressed to anyone in particular, but seemed to fit well at this point in the thread.]


Why must magic and science be mutually exclusive?

Where is there any shred of evidence which even tends to show that greater magic cannot function in the same reality we explain through science?

It seems very likely to me that magic could be a normal phenomenon or mechanism of the quantum reality which we are just beginning to almost understand.

In my opinion, those who use magic are ahead of the game. It's existence is proven to them by their personal success in employing it. Further consensus or external validation is after-the-fact, and irrelevant to the original event.

On the other hand, those pretentious know-it-alls who are somehow certain that magic does not exist(yet have NO way to back up this claim) are wasting time on a futile endeavor.

Why bother trying to disprove something which you cannot, when you are already completely removed from the possibility of that thing existing in the first place?

I don't even wish to "debate" with such minds, because they are so dead-set in their own cocksurety that any meaningful result which might normally be obtained from a challenging conversation is forever spoilt by their stubborn and counter-productive pride.


_________________________
~ Mr. Obsidian (JP)

Olio/Etcetera

Flesh and Bones
_______________

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
~ Charles Bukowski


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#268765 - 09/03/07 11:05 AM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: The_Lightning]
ShadowDragon Offline



Registered: 03/30/07
Posts: 327
Loc: Where I have Always Been
Because this is not (and I will refrain from breaking things down) the Forum for such discussions, I will keep things simple.

Real Results requires Real Effort.
_________________________
Hail Satan!
Shadow

To Light a Candle,is to Cast a Shadow.

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#268775 - 09/03/07 12:13 PM Re: Epistemology, and Magic. [Re: Linguascelesta]
The_Lightning Offline


Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1325
Loc: Israel
I didn't say I dismiss the possibility- I said it's no fun discussing it because it leads you nowhere.

 Quote:
Dictionaries are based on how words are used.


That's right. And it is especially used by people in a manner different than yours.

Anyhow, what are you arguing? That what you believe in is actually science?
Well, it's not. Trying to call it such is twisting the truth to fit your perspective.
A lot of lunatics may be a 100% sure that the little green men they see are scientific.
Well, they aren't.

You do indeed have a naughty use of language, Linguascelesta.

 Quote:
They can't prove it to others, due to the delusion / deception possibility. This brings us back to the necessity of personal experience to know something (as opposed to merely believe it or act on the pragmatic assumption that it is true).


One should see what works for him, and use it on a pragmatic level- nowhere in there is belief necessary. It is a lot wiser to doubt, and just do what works.

Now, because I can't know if magic works on some quantum-physical level, and I DO know that ritual works on a psychological level, I decide to use it.
My decisions of how to use my time and view my world are first of all logical.
If it happens to be that, unknowingly, I also use a scientific rule yet to have been discovered—yay for me.
Even if it is a caterpillar, you can't call it a butterfly until it has wings.

 Quote:
I don't know that, although I readily accept that it is almost certainly true.

Sure, because the simple explanation is most likely to be the right one.
_________________________
There is no such thing as evolution - Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

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