Things that don't make sense are probably wrong

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Jared Alesi's picture
Things that don't make sense are probably wrong

When an idea is tested scientifically, argued logically, and rigorously probed for any intellectual value, and still makes no sense, it's probably wrong. I won't say always, as that is a surefire comeuppance, but usually. New age mysticism has zero scientific or logical merit. It's fake. All of history's gods are unproven, and most are nonsensical in nature. The safe bet is that they're fake. The same goes for conspiracy theories, most of which are unsubstantiated and ridiculous. They're false. Alternative medicine is no more effective than placebo. Fake. The list goes on.

It's simple. Is it factual in nature? (Making an objective, non-opinionated claim) Then apply the scientific method! For example: The claim that the Christian God exists is a factual claim. There's no verification of this, and scientific discovery tends to suggest otherwise. Even one discrepancy between it and reality means it's wrong.

Is it philosophical in nature? (Seeking to find a framework for how one or all should behave in certain situations) Then apply to the standard of human empathy. For example: Social Darwinism states that people with genetic imperfections are holding back humanity, so we should stop helping them because it's stalling the progress toward higher existence. Does it fit in with an empathetic worldview? No! Not even close. In other words, don't be Hitler.

Is it an argument to make a point? Examine it syllogistically. If the premises contain logical fallacies, it's wrong! Does the argument make sense? No? Scrap it. For example: The universe is complex. A watch is complex. A watch has a designer. Therefore, the universe has a designer as well. Therefore, God exists. This argument contains the following fallacies: false correlation, non sequitur, special pleading, argument from ignorance/personal incredulity, and a few others. Can you find them all? Regardless, the argument is trash.

Believing in falsehoods is pretty easy to avoid using these methods. The great thing about logic and science is that if used properly, they'll only ever make life better. Never in the history of humanity has ignorance solved problems better than knowledge. The more you know that is true, the better off you'll be.

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jonthecatholic's picture
Is the scientific method the

Is the scientific method the only way to verify a fact?

[edit] fact as you have defined it.

xenoview's picture

Science has done a great job of proving facts. You are using a computer to reply at AR, that is due to science. Can you use science to prove your god? Can any evidence you have pass peer review?

jonthecatholic's picture
I don’t disagree with you

I don’t disagree with you when you say that science has done a great job of proving facts. But it isn’t actually the only way one can come to know facts.

The OP seems to imply that science is the only way. How about Philosophical reasoning?

chimp3's picture
@JoC: For millennia

@JoC: For millennia philosophers asked "What is mind ?" Not one philosopher discovered a synapse or the frontal cortex. Scientists did! The human mind studying the human mind with mind alone has not bore valuable fruit.

jonthecatholic's picture
You seem to not understand

You seem to not understand the difference between philosophy or science. Were philosophers even interested in finding the synapse of the frontal cortex? That is something scienctists answer. Philosophy aims to answer a different set of questions.

Jared Alesi's picture
No, he's got it fine. You've

No, he's got it fine. You've made an equivocation fallacy. Fact has two definitions here; an objective statement, and a truth statement. Philosophers make the first, scientists discover the latter. Philosophy doesn't search for truth, it searches for comfort, a reason to live, subjectivities. Science searches for the government of the universe, the rules of nature, unchanging truths. Logical and scientific facts are quite different. Philosophy cannot find scientific facts, as it has nothing to do with them. Empiricism is not a part of its repertoire.

Jared Alesi's picture
Philosophy doesn't carry

Philosophy doesn't carry factual value, per se. You can be logically wrong, but not necessarily right. Just because something seems to be one way from a logical or philosophical standpoint, doesn't mean that it really is that way. Gravity wasn't proven logically, it was observed scientifically. Logic didn't lead Leuwenhoek to the existence of protozoa. They were observed scientifically. One could guess, and perhaps arrive at a valid conclusion, but never be certain without scientific evidence.

Jared Alesi's picture
Well, the way I defined fact

Well, the way I defined fact in the post was an objective statement. The definition used in logic. The truth value or validity of a claim is irrelevant to this definition. However, the common use of fact as any true statement, can only be found accurately by science. Dumb luck might allow you to guess correctly how toast will land on the floor, but the scientific method will reveal how and why. The scientific method is the only system we have that accurately and reliably finds facts.

jonthecatholic's picture
Okay then. Can you please

Okay then. Can you please provide the scientific proof that the scientific is the only system we have that accurately and reliably finds facts?

chimp3's picture


For years I cooked for a living. I know that if I cook beef bones in the oven until brown I can obtain a much richer stock. This is a fact. An aesthetic fact.

A scientific explanation of why the stock is richer is based on a different standard.

jonthecatholic's picture
Facts refered to by the OP

Facts refered to by the OP are objective truths. Not whether you like chocolate or vanilla better.

But even your beef stock example uses the scientific method.

Jared Alesi's picture
You doubt that the scientific

You doubt that the scientific method is the only system of finding facts. You're asking me to affirm that doubt using the scientific method. But the problem is that by finding any answer you'd want to hear (that there are other methods), I'd be discrediting the method I used to find the answer, thereby discrediting the answer as well.

Tell you what. You shifted the burden of proof onto me, so I'm shifting it back. You find me a better method for finding truth than the scientific method. But here's the thing: you'll have to prove its efficacy using a different standard than science altogether, as science always leads back to the scientific method by definition. You might find this to be difficult, so I'll give you some time.

jonthecatholic's picture
Actually, you simply proved

Actually, you simply proved my point with the first part of your answer. Saying that the scientific method is the only way to find facts reliably is what we call a self refuting proposition and therefore must be false.

You simply explained the self refuting proposition.

Actually I can give you another way of finding facts not using philiosophy or science. History. Historical records, artifacts, are all very useful in finding out facts about the past. You can’t actually devise a scientific experiment to prove that Julius Caesar walked the earth. But we know this fact thru historical records.

Jared Alesi's picture
Actually, history is pretty

Actually, history is pretty terrible at that. Herodotus claimed Xerxes' army shook the earth and drank rivers dry. People lie, misremember, get confused, etc. It's called the anecdotal fallacy. Forensics, a field of science, is actually much more accurate than human account of records.

As for science being self refuting, it isn't. It's framework, finding facts, is rooted in logic. Logically speaking, to fit the definition of scientific fact, an idea must always be true, and therefore must display repeatability. Right? So you experiment. If it's true in all cases, try changing one element of the experiment. Do a control, so you know that the change make a a difference or not. That's science. It's not self refuting, it works logically. Logic gave us science, in a way, but science gives us truths.

jonthecatholic's picture
You misquote me. I didn’t say

You misquote me. I didn’t say science was self refuting. Chech again.

And with history, that’s not how history works. You quote Herodotus. What you see there is obviously a hyperbole. You read and understand it as such. Also, we don’t conclude much from single sources of anything in history unless they are our best explanation for another phenomenon we know to have happened.

Even with numerous sources, we gather everything and we can see that some facts will actually float as truths that cannot be denied. I can’t comment on what Julius Caesar ate or how he died but I know he lived.

Jared Alesi's picture
What you requested was

What you requested was circular. Proving the Scientific method with itself would be like proving the bible by citing bible verses. The scientific method is proven logically. But to ask me to use a system that works perfectly to find a different system that would necessarily contradict it to complete the same task is not only unnecessary, but ridiculous. But even IF another method exists to find facts other than science, it would necessarily have to be proven to work logically, and produce the same answers that Science already provides.

jonthecatholic's picture
The fact that you admit that

The fact that you admit that you’ll have to appeal to something other than science to prove your statement proves that your statement is false. Meaning you’ll have to admit that other tools other than the scientific method are perfectly viable is finding facts reliably.

If it isn’t, please explain to me how you cane to know this fact of yours

Also though, I agree that using the Bible to prove God is non sensical. That’s why I never assert it.

Jared Alesi's picture
No, that's pretty much how

No, that's pretty much how every system is verified. Mechanics is verified by the Scientific method, the scientific method is verified by logic. Everything needs a basis upon which to be measured. A house needs a foundation, and one can't simply make the foundation the bottom of the house. Science has its foundation in logic. If its foundation was itself, it would crumble under the weight of unaccountability.

But since science is proven to work, why use anything else? Let me put it this way. You have a razor sharp knife, and you need to cut some carrots. After hours of efficient cutting and many perfectly cut carrots, you say, "You know, maybe there's another way." So you try a spoon. It's tough work, the results are unreliable, inconsistent, sub par. Do you go back to the knife, or rely the spoon?

jonthecatholic's picture
Let me ask then. Logic. Or at

Let me ask then. Logic. Or at least the basic rules of logic actually come from Philosophy. They don’t come from science. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself otherwise.

mykcob4's picture
Nope JoC you are wrong. The

Nope JoC you are wrong. The basic rules of logic come from science. They may have started out as a philosophical idea, but that is where it ended. The rules of logic come from science. I think you are confusing logic for common sense.

jonthecatholic's picture
You just admitted that logic

You just admitted that logic came from Philosophy when you said it started as a philosophical idea. You have scientific concepts based on logic. But logic still comes from Philosophy

algebe's picture
@JoC: "the basic rules of

@JoC: "the basic rules of logic actually come from Philosophy. They don’t come from science."

No. Science grew out of philosophy. The fields of study that we now call "science" used to be called "natural philosophy." The scientific method is logic applied empirically.

Jared Alesi's picture
I never claimed that logic

I never claimed that logic came from science. Go back and read. I said that the scientific method was proven logically, and therefore science has its foundation on logic. Logic is an aspect of philosophy. Logic is a concept. The scientific method is a system supported by that concept. The scientific method is a system that finds objective truths about the universe. We know that the scientific method works because logic proves it works, and we also know that everything gleaned from it is valid.

jonthecatholic's picture
Myk was the one who said that

Myk was the one who said that logic came from science. Not you.

Logic is a concept? It has rules and ways of applying the rules. Like, if the statement, "If A then B" true and logically, it follows that "If Not B then Not A". No, my friend. It's not simply a concept. It has a methodology you use called logical reasoning. Which does not come from science but from Philosophy. A way to find facts which complements the role of science.

Am I somehow not saying this right? I never said that science can't prove many things. All I'm saying is it can't prove everything we know. It can't even prove that rape is wrong. For this truth, we need to look at yet another source of knowledge - Ethics.

Jared Alesi's picture
Am I somehow saying this

Am I somehow saying this wrong? OBJECTIVE. Get a fucking dictionary and look it up. Ethics is SUBJECTIVE. Not factual. And even still, rape isn't wrong in the animal kingdom. It's the mechanism for most animal reproduction and sustainability. Your refusal to understand basic definitions does not make you correct. It makes you an ignoramus with a complex.

I don't disagree that logic is a functional methodology. Where I disagree is that logic can not find concrete facts. Logic gets you part of the way. You can deduce that X exists based on Y evidence. That's logic. But logic surrenders to the scientific method in finding out what the fuck X is and why it's there. Logic is great, and definitely has its place in things, but logic doesn't deal in facts. That's science. Science is the only known method for discovering objective, universal truths.

algebe's picture
@Jared Alesi: "rape isn't

@Jared Alesi: "rape isn't wrong in the animal kingdom"

Even in "civilized" countries, rape within marriage only started to be seen as wrong and criminal quite recently.

jonthecatholic's picture
I think you misunderstand

I think you misunderstand when I say that rape is wrong. You seem to think I say that rape is wrong and everyone knows it. I’m saying that rape is wrong regardless if people know it, regardless if people agree with it.

Just like the fact that the earth is round. Just because some people don’t believe it doesn’t mean that it’s a subjective truth. Also your response on animal “rape” doesn’t work because other animals don’t have free will. So you can’t say that someone had sex with them against their will. You see?

Jared Alesi's picture
Rape has nothing to do with

Rape has nothing to do with free will, it's about consent. Most animals don't give consent, the male takes through domination. If that isn't rape to you, you scare me. And just how do you figure animals don't have free will and you do? What makes us so special?

On rape being wrong, we only think it's wrong now. It's our perspective. From the standpoint of continuance of a species, it's not wrong at all. It boosts the chances that a strong make will pass on his genes. From the perspective of human rights and a woman's right to privacy and security, then it's utterly detestable. It violates those rights. But here's the thing: those rights aren't in place universally. Animals don't have them, because they're not naturally guaranteed. It's a man-made construct. Not a universal truth, and not an objective fact. While I agree that rape is wrong, it's still not objective.

jonthecatholic's picture
You said rape has nothing to

You said rape has nothing to do with free will but with consent. With what kind of will are you able to give consent? Other animals really don't have a free will. Does this need to be debated? The fact that we, as a species are able to deny ourselves our desires is what sets us apart. Other dogs aren't able to decide for themselves that forcibly having sex with another dog is something it should not do. They simply do not have that concept. Instinct is what drives them. For humans, it's different. Even if a man is horny as hell, he still is able to decide against raping another person.

Do we have free will okay? okay. So since animals don't have free will, they aren't able to say no to being "raped". They're not even saying yes. Or no. Therefore the idea of consensual sex and rape does not apply at all to animals. Also saying "rape is wrong" is subjective means you really can't say anything is objectively wrong at all in this world. War isn't objectively wrong. Terrorism isn't objectively wrong. Murder isn't objectively wrong. Having sex with other people knowingly spreading STDs isn't objectively wrong. It's simply something you dislike.

It seems to me though that you so desperately need science to be the only way one can find truth so you dismiss anything that might threaten that view. Would you agree however that scientists have devised unethical or inhumane experiments in the past?

Btw, I'm still waiting on the scientific experiment which proves that science is the only way to find objective truths. Because what you're asserting is an objective truth. Unless you say no it's subjective. In whichi case, let's simply agree to disagree.

CyberLN's picture
1. Define ‘free will’.

1. Define ‘free will’.
2. You wrote, “Other animals really don't have a free will.”. Please demonstrate this.


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