• Agnosticism is Irrelevant and Untenable, Part 3

    You can read Part 1 of this series here and Part 2 here.

    Why agnosticism is irrational
    You need to understand two things to see how agnosticism is fundamentally irrational. The first is cognitive scale blindness, our human inability to parse phenomena or objects with values that vary too greatly. The second is closely related: what do we mean by true ? The former will inform on how to think about the plausibility value of god and the latter, what word really corresponds to that value.

    Cognitive Scale Blindness
    In the previous posts I have argued that agnosticism is a kind of special pleading, and in one comment I referred to “cognitive scale blindness”. I postulate that cognitive scale blindness is why rather smart people like Richard Dawkins get it wrong: it’s a sort of cognitive illusion. What is scale blindness? Let’s try a thought experiment.

    Imagine a ping pong ball. You can think of it resting in your palm. How many could you hold? Perhaps 8 or 12 without elaborate stacking, you might guess and you’d be close to correct. How many could fit in a gumball machine? Here you might guess 40 or 80 or even 100 depending on how large a machine you’ve envisioned. You probably got it a bit off, but not by too much. Reasoning about these objects and answering my silly questions is hardly challenging.

    Next, I ask how many ping pong balls would fit in an elevator. Now your guess is harder, and likely far less accurate. How about the number of such balls to displace the volume of the Golden Gate bridge? How about North America? Planet Earth? The Sun? The Solar system? The Milky Way? The local galactic cluster? What if I asked you to compare (sans mathematical calculations) these various quantities, could you in any sense tender an intelligible answer? Or would you just be totally guessing?

    Our brains evolved to deal with scales and quantities necessary to our adaptive problems and the ecological stage we’ve lived on. We have no intuitive grasp of super-massive scales. Our language reflects this truth as well. What words would you use to compare the size of the ping pong ball and gumball machine? “It’s bigger”. OK, then how do you describe (relative to the same ball) the size of a bridge? “Much bigger” maybe? You can add modifiers but they lose their meaning quickly as you try to cover the differences between a ping pong ball and a planet, star, solar system, etc.., We simply don’t have words that can uniquely describe these relationships.

    We’ve invented scales called logarithmic scales which reduce massive state spaces to small numbers that we can understand. Familiar examples include the Richter Magnitude Scale and the decibel scale. We need them, too. A given earthquake could have released energy equivalent to 480 grams of dynamite. Another might have the force of 240 trillion grams. These are a bit hard to intuitively compare, which is why on the Richter scale, these are 0.5 and 8.8 magnitudes respectively. People can readily grasp 6.6 versus 7.5, but have a much harder time trying to chew on millions versus billions or trillions of tonnes of TNT.

    Sizes of large objects are often described in terms of familiar objects people have experienced. This is also to avoid large numbers which mean nothing to people: Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is the size of 2-3 Earths; The average aircraft carrier is as long as 4 football fields. Would it be more meaningful to tell you the Great Red Spot is 40,000 kilometers wide, or that  an average carrier is 1092 feet? Probably not.

    I’ve been discussing physical phenomena such as objects and energy, which have a range of values so vast we have no intuitive ability to handle them. We should predict people will have trouble with any state space which can be populated by salient items varying from each other by enormous amounts. There are at least two non-physical state spaces; one is the number line itself, another is the perceived plausibility of constructs.

    The Plausibility Scale

    The things that humans are capable of imagining are probably innumerable. They can vary in character nearly or literally infinitely, as well. This has no doubt been important to our evolution. You can’t invent a new tool without being able to imagine something which you’ve never seen in the world, something which might be possible or might not be. Since there are an infinite number of wrong ideas, and you don’t have an eternity to waste, our brains should come equipped with rough, but functional plausibility gauges to assign some likelihood to ideas. This faculty can be imperfect, as long as it tends to prevent us from wasting our time on beliefs or pursuits which can be ruled out with available evidence, inference, or prior knowledge.

    So it is, we feel that some notions are wrong and we similarly feel that some notions are true. What does true mean, exactly? We know that it isn’t absolute truth, even at a cognitive level, because the plausibility feeling is just a filter that could only work probabilistically, at best. Moreover, people can change their minds even about things they used to feel certain of. We know from the previous section that we’re built to reason about a relatively simple & local scale of state spaces. We also know that since there are infinitely varying notions, there is an infinite expanse of potential plausibility values that those notions might have.

    We can then expect our minds to carve the plausibility state space into a handful of groups, the same way we think of objects’ sizes: minuscule, tiny, small, slight, large, massive, colossal. We should expect that this scale only really describes notions at plausibility levels close to those that matter to humans. This is to say, those which correspond to probability levels which are  relevant to our choices. It would make no real difference to you whether the weatherman said that today the chance of rain is 1/1000 or 1/10000000: you’re not bothering with the umbrella. This table illustrates how our intuitions might carve up a state space of infinitely varying values into useful bits that correspond to our implicit understanding of veracity. (and I’m calling it the Sagan Plausibility Scale).

    As the index increases, the plausibility drops. Note that it expands downward infinitely without ever reaching any absolute end, just as physical sizes spiral up beyond human concern or native understanding. The scale is also logarithmic in nature, even though plausibility isn’t mathematically determinate, of course.  Somewhere between 2 and 4 is the bullshit line of demarcation (LOD). When an idea has evidence or backing in reason, it gets bumped above the LOD- this is the case even if it fails to reach 1.0. Ideas that require many dubious contingencies, seem to self-contradict, to contradict existing knowledge, or face other forms of counter-evidence get pushed downward below the LOD.

    Our concepts about veracity and the words we use to represent them can now be precisely defined. Words like true, right, correct, valid, truth, factual, and reality all describe words above the LOD with stronger terms for concepts further above the line. Concepts near the line are described by terms (and associated mental confidence levels) such as possible, perhaps, maybe, might, could, etc.., Finally, concepts below the LOD are nonsense, false, untrue, invalid, wrong, incorrect, nonsense, bullshit, etc.., and again concepts further away from the LOD get the stronger terms. NOTE: I am not assigning these values; I am observing the correspondence between perceived plausibility and concepts/words that people actually reflect in their thinking. This perfectly matches the poverty of words for physical size scale, as one idea can be “nonsense” based on it being a 6.0 on the scale, but a much more implausible notion, say occupying 30 has no language to describe it, it’s still just “nonsense” the same way that California is “large” and Jupiter is “large”.

    I’ve labelled the God hypothesis 67 on the scale. This is arbitrary; perhaps it should be 6.4 or 39.4. None of this makes any difference, because as long as it’s below the LOD, the word and concept we use to describe it is the same: nonsense. Agnosticism is therefore irrational because it corresponds to some value well below the LOD. The specific value is irrelevant. You may object that the God hypothesis is in the 2-4. In the next part I will present evidence that it is not. For now, let us turn back to Dawkins’ own scale.

    Dawk’s Eye View

    In his book polemic The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins admits to his agnosticism “in practice”. He provides the following scale to describe belief about God.

    1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C. G. Jung, ‘I do not believe, I know.’
    2. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. ‘I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.’
    3. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. ‘I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.‘
    4. Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. ‘God‘s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.’
    5. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically  agnostic but leaning towards atheism. ‘I don’t know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be sceptical.’
    6. Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’
    7. Strong atheist. ‘I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung “knows” there is one.’

    By now, I hope the psychological and philosophical errors Dawkins (and almost everyone) tends to make are obvious.  First, his scale is linear. 4 is just as far from 1 as it is from 7. As I have shown, a % is not an appropriate way to describe a measure of plausibility, just as we don’t use a percentage scale for decibels or earthquakes; that would do injustice to the description and ignore key information. Second, it reads as if there is a difference between 6 and 7. There literally is no difference. 6 is described as low, “but short of zero” but as we’ve seen all notions are short of zero. 1 and 7 are short of zero, too, which is why people are quite commonly known to convert and de-convert from and to religion. Third, Dawkins fails to justify the variance between how he (or people generally) describe beliefs about scientific ideas and God ideas. About evolution Dawkins says,

    You cannot be both sane and well educated and disbelieve in evolution. The evidence is so strong that any sane person has got to believe in evolution.

    and

    It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane.

    I agree. He’s right. Of course, Richard Dawkins knows that since a trickster deity can’t be ruled out, there is a nonzero chance evolution is wrong, right? Even so, he feels confident enough to declare evolution to be, simply put, true. Absolution is neither relevant nor necessary for him to have that conviction of truth. If that can be true about evolutionary theory, then it can be true about atheism, too. You protest, though, evolution is a science with solid evidence and atheism has none! You’re wrong. In the next installment I will speak to that point. But I will let Richard himself tell you just how I will do it, by way of talking about how biologists did the same for evolution:

    Category: Critical ThinkingFeatured Incsecularismskepticism

  • Article by: Edward Clint

    Ed Clint is a bioanthropology graduate student at UCLA, cofounder of Skeptic Ink, and USAF veteran.

    5 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

    • xtog42

      I appreciate learning from your posts, but again I’d like to politely challenge your thesis.

      The fact that you are spending so much time and effort on agnosticism is evidence for its relevance. If you didn’t think it relevant, than why spend time commenting on it? Clearly there is SOME relevance there that you are responding to.

      Agnosticism is also relevant because it is the natural bridge from theism to atheism. If you wish to see theists turn to atheism agnosticism would appear to be a helpful scaffold.

      It is also relevant because what atheism and agnosticism have in common (non-belief in God) is much much more important than their differences. Therefore politically and practically the two groups are for all intent and purpose the same to the public at large.

      Also, the pure numbers of agnostics vs atheist makes the case for relevance.
      Number of Agnosticism followers in the world:11.77% (799,190,323 people). Number of Atheist in the world: 2.32% (157,529,444 people).
      Any data I have seen on the above distinctions shows agnostic numbers dwarf atheists. Does relevance have nothing to do with popularity?

      And just listing the prominent intellectuals that are agnostic as opposed to atheist also argues for agnosticism’s relevance AND rationality.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_agnostics

      These are just a few reasons for someone to reject your thesis, despite your providing some terrific commentary about psychology and probability.

      I am actually more concerned with the irrelevancy of the thesis itself. Why is this topic itself relevant? Atheist and agnostics are for all intents and purposes the same. And any attempt to call one rational and relevant and the other not is bound to be a Herculean task with dubious benefits since agnostics for all practical effect are atheists to the public at large and even within the two groups. So this really just seems to be an intellectual exercise and therefore not all that relevant itself.

      Being “Skeptic Ink” one might address whether a skeptic should consider themselves one or the other. Since theists and atheists are declaring knowledge, it would seem they would both be challenged by skeptics. It would be an easy argument to make to say that the skeptical way is the agnostic way. I understand that you may assert that agnostics are being declarative,….but they most certainly do not have to be.

      If I say I do not know what you mean by the term God,… I am not declaring knowledge of anything except my inability to know clearly what you are talking about.

      If I say that there are so many different definitions of God that I may be atheist to some and agnostic to others, again I am not declaring knowledge of anything. What would you call someone like that? atheist or agnostic?

      If I say that I cannot prove there is no God therefore I am agnostic, then as famous skeptic Michael Shermer has asserted ‘you cannot prove a negative’ so the skeptical position is according to him (probably the most important skeptic commentator on the planet today) is the agnostic position.

      You may be able to try to make the argument that atheism is MORE rational than agnosticism,….or MORE relevant than agnosticism, but making the case that agnosticism is neither relevant or rational is simply a task that has no relevance itself beyond intellectual curiosity.

      Neil Degrasse Tyson has an interesting take on this subject you might also want to include on any further posts.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CzSMC5rWvos

      I do appreciate your review of cognitive scale blindness and the plausibility scale, but in my honest opinion agnosticism is the skeptical stance.

      Shermer writes,…”The word “atheist” is fine, but since I publish a magazine called Skeptic and write a monthly column for Scientific American called “Skeptic,” I prefer that as my label. A skeptic simply does not believe a knowledge claim until sufficient evidence is presented to reject the null hypothesis (that a knowledge claim is not true until proven otherwise). I do not know that there is no God, but I do not believe in God, and have good reasons to think that the concept of God is socially and psychologically constructed.”

      Agnostics cannot reject the null hypothesis of the atheists knowledge claim, because you cannot prove a negative. QED Agnosticism is the skeptical position.

      But in all honesty the difference itself is what is not relevant. Is there any practical reason why this topic itself is relevant?

      • Hello Again, Xtog. Thank you for taking time to respond again.

        Clearly there is SOME relevance there that you are responding to.

        Agnosticism is also relevant because it is the natural bridge from theism to atheism. If you wish to see theists turn to atheism agnosticism would appear to be a helpful scaffold.

        There is relevance: it is a good exercise in critical thinking whereby we can see even the smartest and most skeptical of us can sometimes get it wrong. This series is not about converting theists, nor do I say my own arguments are useful in that capacity.

        Also, the pure numbers of agnostics vs atheist makes the case for relevance.

        I think you have taken me for saying that people who call themselves agnostics are not relevant, or that I wish to try to force them into the atheism nomenclature or some such. This is not the case at all. In fact, I’m not especially interested in describing myself as “atheist” either. Many things have social relevance, such as creationism, which have absolutely no relevance to the reality of where species came from. It is in this sense that I say agnosticism is irrelevant (intellectually and philosophically).

        It would be an easy argument to make to say that the skeptical way is the agnostic way. I understand that you may assert that agnostics are being declarative,….but they most certainly do not have to be.

        Skepticism applies to all positions amenable to inquiry. However, bear in mind that skepticism is not petulantly declaring that no position can ever be justified. It’s applying a rigorous scrutiny to a position or idea. Afterward, you have some sort of result that you add to your considerations about what is true and what isn’t. You need not every hour from now to the end of time repeat the analysis. “Climate skeptics” are not skeptics, they are denialists. No professional skeptic would fail to say that anthropogenic climate change is justified in scientific fact and passes skeptic muster. Ditto for evolutionary biology.

        If I say that I cannot prove there is no God therefore I am agnostic, then as famous skeptic Michael Shermer has asserted ‘you cannot prove a negative’ so the skeptical position is according to him (probably the most important skeptic commentator on the planet today) is the agnostic position.

        I do not know that he has asserted this, but I wrote a post dedicated to the fallacy that you cannot prove a negative: http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous/2012/08/23/can-you-prove-a-negative-positively/
        It is a fallacy, and I doubt very much that Michael Shermer would disagree.

        A skeptic simply does not believe a knowledge claim until sufficient evidence is presented to reject the null hypothesis (that a knowledge claim is not true until proven otherwise).

        I agree with this. I went further than you or Shermer or Tyson by showing in greater precision what we tacitly mean by the important terms “true” and “reject”. Tyson, for example, is squarely on my side. He says, without equivocation or stammer, that a distant star whose light we see died out long ago. How can this be proven as a knowledge claim? The statement is about an unobserved event in the past. No lab experiment can replicate it. He is making a deductive inference based on related knowledge about stars- not about anything anyone ever witnessed. Further, he doesn’t qualify that statement with “well maybe it did”. He says, simply, yes that is what happened. You’ll find no video of him explaining why we must refrain from judgment about this event that no one has seen, that happened before we existed. He is looking at the available evidence, and working out something unseen that must be true. Next, he is using plain language to say “this is a fact”.
        I am doing precisely the same thing.

        But in all honesty the difference itself is what is not relevant. Is there any practical reason why this topic itself is relevant?

        Clear thinking and advancing the level of skeptical discourse is important to me. That is why this topic is relevant to me. If it is not to you, then that is your prerogative.

      • jasonc

        With this line of reasoning, you can’t possibly believe *anything* is fact, regardless of proof.

        • I’m not really sure how you came away with that. I was trying to explain what we meant by “fact” not change anything about what is or isn’t a fact. Think of it this way; Do solid walls exist? Sure. But wait, according to physicists, the atoms that make up those walls are 99% empty space! How can something that is 99% empty space be “solid”? The answer is that “solid” actual refers to tight clusters of empty-space atoms whose electrons repel the electrons in your body strongly enough that you go SPLAT if you run into them.

          That explains how anything can be solid, from our POV, rather than disproves the idea that solid things exist.

          • jasonc

            I was replying to xtog42 ‘s comment

            • xtog42

              Actually it was Shermer you were replying to.

      • Tim Tian

        Dammit, for the last time, you can prove a negative. Why do thousands of people believe that you can’t?

    • Ohh, I can’t wait for you to post parts 4 and 5! I have very much enjoyed the series so far!

      • Thanks, David. I knew at least one person would like it, and that’s enough to make it worthwhile. Frankly, I’m surprised just how much crap I have to say about this. I’ll have to edit it into a book later on. It’ll be called “Your Agnosticism is bad and you should feel bad”. What do you think?

        • Ohh, looking forward to read it!! Don’t you think the title is a bit long?!? How about “Agnosticism is saving face”?!?

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    • frogbottom

      This is the most interesting blog post series I’ve read in, well, ever. Please continue.

    • Jason Clark

      A bullshit demarcation line? Why aren’t you fond of scientific demarcation?

      No testable/objective evidence = an unfalsifiable/subjective, unscientific, claim. Results: inconclusive; no belief as to the truth, or falsehood, of the claim; piss off and come back when you’ve got something testable.

      “I don’t know whether God exists or not. We may know how little we know, but this must not be turned or twisted into a positive knowledge of the existence of an unfathomable secret. There is a lot in the world that is in the nature of an unfathomable secret, but I do not think that it is admissible to make a theology out of a lack of knowledge nor turn our ignorance into anything like positive knowledge. Some forms of atheism are arrogant and ignorant and should be rejected, but agnosticism–to admit that we don’t know and to search–is all right.” ~ Karl Popper

      Sagan Plausibility Scale?

      “My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it. An agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.” ~ Carl Sagan

      Irrational = waving a Bible about claiming you can use it to prove “gods” exist, or waving a Bible about claiming you can use it to prove “gods” do not exist.

      • Science and knowledge are not the same thing. Many things that are not scientifically testable are nonetheless true. For example, the study of history is not directly experimental. You can’t make a series of 50 Earth’s, set the conditions, then let things happen as you watch the outcome. This is true of all historical sciences, like cosmology, paleontology, archaeology, etc.., but it would be silly to say there is nothing to learn here.

        Or, consider a situation in which you observe a murder. You know the culprit well, and recognize them easily. However, they are careful not to leave any sort of physical evidence behind. Now, there is no way to “scientifically prove” who the killer is. Would you say that since you can’t prove to others who the killer is, that *you* don’t know who it is?

        If there is something in a building you are desperate to get your hands on immediately, but you see people running out of it shouting FIRE, do you go in? You don’t see any smoke or fire. You smell nothing. You have zero scientific or hard physical evidence of any fire, just 70 people running out. Is your estimate of the likelihood that there is a fire 0%? After all, you have not run any experiments to prove there is or isn’t a fire. You have no direct empirical evidence (those people could all be trying to trick you). Or, do you raise the likelihood to some degree? Not “absolutely definitely true” but “much more likely than the other buildings”? The indirect, non-experimental, non-testable evidence does matter here, and in all these cases. So we each have some sort of plausibility scale, just to function in everyday life.

        There is plenty of evidence theism is wrong, just as there is evidence species evolved even ones we a) didn’t observe evolving and b) can’t prove that they would or did experimentally. We believe our Sun followed the formation and development pattern that we *infer* from other stars. Not observe, not test.

        • Jason Clark

          You’ve just, basically, argued that if someone has heard a voice from “God”, has had some kind of vision of “God”, or has a gut feeling “God” exists, then they actually have “knowledge” that gods exist. There’s a reason why Plato ruled out purely subjective experiences as “knowledge” thousands of years ago. I don’t think you’re describing a justified true belief, there.

          • I haven’t argued that at all. Do you believe there’s no difference between

            A. saw a person do a thing

            and

            B. saw a supernatural, inexplicable event that contradicts my existing set of knowledge and understanding?

            In both cases you do the same thing. You consider what you witness against your reason and knowledge. If there is reason to think you were impaired, hallucinating, etc.., then you should take that into account.

            You didn’t answer my question: Would you say that since you can’t prove to others who the killer is, that you don’t know who it is?

            • Jason Clark

              Knowledge is a justified true belief. Knowledge is not a single person’s subjective experience. Moses walks up a mountain, talks to a burning bush. Let’s say he honestly believes his experience. You are arguing that the man actually has knowledge, just because he thinks he saw/heard something. No, he had a subjective experience. And, yes, if he can’t prove that experience is an objective truth, then I should consider him not having actual knowledge.

              It may be frustrating to have people not believe you, but no I do not have “knowledge”. But, as I pretty clearly implied, I just subjectively think I know I saw something. While we may base a lot of our life experiences on thinking we know, we don’t actually have knowledge if those experiences aren’t corroborated by others. We toss around the words “I know” quite a lot, when we are actually only thinking we know.

              “Science and knowledge are not the same thing”

              Science:

              1 : the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding

              2

              a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study

              b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge

              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

              b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena

              http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science

              Science is all about trying to discover objective truths. So, yes, science kind of is how we attain actual knowledge. Knowledge has to be true and you have to provide justification for believing it’s true. Subjective experiences don’t cut it.

            • Subjective experience is the only way we get information of any kind (beyond our own imagination). You argue we should accept some other account of reality as evidence a thing is knowledge, but that’s just A) someone else’s subjective experience being related to you via B) your subjective experience. Each of which can be faulty, every bit as faulty and wrong as Moses on the mount.

              And this is not even considering the fact you’ve not experienced any significant fraction of the observations researchers publish papers about. You’re assuming, based on nothing “objective”, those accounts are reliable.

              We decide about what is reliable and justified by reasoning about likelihoods of evidence we think (not know, think) we have. So, when study number 500 by the 500th different team reports that cigarettes cause cancer, we do the math that the Academy seems too robust for negligent or fraudulent work to be so numerous (a supposition, not an objective fact). We examine how well the evidence fits with other, pre-existing knowledge we have, in this case, about how a substance can damage DNA and cause a cell to become neoplastic.

              And we then decide that it is knowledge.

              For Moses it would be no different. But you are using an extreme example of someone who is clearly lying or mentally deranged. In either case, he should not be believed. But that is not the only possible scenario. What if there is no reason to think a person is lying or deranged?

              It may be frustrating to have people not believe you, but no I do not have “knowledge”.

              I don’t believe you. I think you wish to maintain a rhetorical point and will go so far that you now insist you do not know something you clearly saw. Well, seeing/hearing is the only way to read a scientific paper. So if you can’t “know” what you see, you’ve no reason to think any bit of science is knowledge.

            • Jason Clark

              Right, all that consensus forming is intersubjectivity. Enough people witnessing the same thing, is a higher and higher indicator that the thing that’s being witnessed is independent of a single human mind, and is therefore more likely to be an objective truth.

              You can choose not to believe me all you want. Like I said, Plato ruled out a single personal experience as actual “knowledge” a long time ago. A single personal experience is not an indication of a justified true belief.

              The best way we’ve decided to try and show things are objectively true, is a justification process we call the scientific method, and intersubjective consensus forming, based on that method. We try and use tools that give readings and measurements independent of human minds. We go out of our way not to base conclusions on a single personal experience. You’re arguing against all that.

              Plato also ruled out hearsay, as actual “knowledge”. So, no, just reading about something, or hearing about it, isn’t having actual “knowledge”, either. That’s also thinking you know something. Just having directions from point A to point B isn’t actually “knowing” how to get from point A to point B. It’s thinking you know how to get from point A to point B. The directions could be accidentally, or intentionally, wrong. “Knowledge” requires the thing be true. You can’t know it’s true, until you actually do it yourself. Only by following the directions, and arriving at point B, as intended, do you actually “know” how to get from point A to point B. Only then has both your mind, and other minds, verified the process.

              Take a look at numerous crimes, or other events, where they gather witnesses after the fact. Plenty of times, witnesses have different takes on what happened. When more witnesses agree, then we have a better understanding of what actually happened. When more witnesses disagree, we have less of an understanding of what actually happened. One witness, isn’t very good.

              For example, the arrest of those militia members in Oregon. The one witness came out saying the police and FBI shot at them hundreds of times, and gunned down a man in cold blood. A video camera, a tool that doesn’t have a human mind, captured a completely different chain of events. Even with such a tool, you can find all kinds of people watching the same police videos, and seeing totally different stories.

              Your subjective experiences validated by other subjective experiences is how we try and achieve actual “knowledge”. You are setting the bar really low, if you think “knowledge” should be considered a single subjective experience.

    • Roderick Tamney

      Nothing in science requires or show any gods. Jason Clark does not trust science. He says God is hiding from science beyond the edge of the universe. Lol.

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