"Who to believe?" I would answer this question with- at the very least, believe the one that lines up with reality as we know it. IOW believe the truth.GregD wrote:Case 2. Suppose some humans experience divine revelation. We know for certain that an awful lot of people have claimed to experience divine revelation, and we know that a very large fraction of these alleged revelations inconsistent with each other. Humans have come up with an extraordinary number and variety of religions going back to pre-history and taken together they say a lot of crazy and conflicting stuff. It appears to be an impossible task to discriminate the valid claims of divine revelation from all the invalid claims. Who to believe? Further, the scientific method has provided an experiment of what happens if humans systematically exclude divine revelation as a source of "truth". The result of that experiment is that humans are extraordinarily successful in figuring out the true nature of our reality when they reject divine revelation.
"Further, the scientific method has provided an experiment of what happens if humans systematically exclude divine revelation as a source of "truth". The result of that experiment is that humans are extraordinarily successful in figuring out the true nature of our reality when they reject divine revelation."
I'd like to see this experiment. Please provide a reference to the work.
I'd like to see the evidence you are referring to.GregD wrote:In my view the evidence is overwhelming<emphasis mine>: regardless of whether there is, in fact, a god or two or four million floating around our reality somewhere, humans are far more successful when they assume there is none, and rely entirely upon their own best efforts to guide their actions.
That is a philosophical argument. Is that argument wishful thinking?GregD wrote:"Philosophical arguments" are often, in my experience, little more than wishful thinking.
That is not an accurate assessment of Hawking Radiation. According to Wikipedia (feel free to get your definition wherever you choose), "Hawking radiation is blackbody radiation that is predicted to be released by black holes, due to quantum effects near the event horizon."GregD wrote:2. Current theory indicates that in space where there is nothing, matter will spontaneously form from nothing, and then disappear into nothing (look up Hawking radiation)<emphasis mine>. It hasn't been experimentally observed yet, so it is still a bit uncertain.
1. Even in what appears to be empty space, there is NOT nothing (double negative intended). Space, by definition, is not nothing.
2. Being "released by black holes, due to (<or, if you will, caused by>) quantum effects" is not "spontaneously forming from nothing".
You say philosophy is not calibrated with objective observations. I disagree. Philosophy, done correctly, is entirely based on objective observations, such as the causal principle. As is science, by the way. Science is wholly dependent, let me emphasize- WHOLLY DEPENDENT on the causal principle. Without cause and effect, science is worthless and frankly undo-able. Name one experiment, one predictive model, one theory of science that does not rely on the principle of cause and effect. Were you to find such an example, I would argue that it is not science.GregD wrote:Philosophical arguments often sound profound and certain. They make sense. The problem is that our reality in some situations does not make sense to us. We often lack the experience and imagination to identify all of the possibilities. We really want things to make sense, to have a purpose, to happen for a reason. Philosophy appeals to these desires. However, it isn't calibrated with objective observations (experiments), and consequently we cannot see when it goes wrong. So it does go wrong, and we don't notice, not at first.
I'm going to stop there, as that is quite enough to be going on with at this point. Probably more than enough.