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Strad and Nagyvary on James Randi's website


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Well I've played quite a few different violins in my time (though not any great ones) and believe I can tell the difference between them. However, this is just a belief. I don't know whether this is really so because I certainly had expectations that some might sound better than others....which they did mostly. Also, although I as a player might detect differences in sound, it doesn't mean that I as a listener perhaps 20 feet away would be able to detect the difference. Also, the human ear has its own limitations.

Having said all that, the more I read here makes me realise that no rational argument is likely to persuade people who want to believe. I that sense its like arguing with somebody with a strong religious faith. Thats no disrespect to people here....it takes all sorts to make up the world. So, I'll shut up about it :-)

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quote:


Originally posted by:
DSutton

I am skeptical that science can even scratch philosophical

questions.


I am skeptical about this skeptical statement.

The universe at its absolute base form is all about molecules (down to atom or whatever its indivisible element is) fueled by energy. In other words, any thoughts, philosophical or otherwise, have its chemical basis. That is the reason why chemicals, e.g. Prosac, can alter a living being's mood--by manipulation of the amount of dopamine in binding receptors in the synapses. The end result, a depressed person can predictably have happier thoughts and brighter perspective on life. Disclaimer: I do not imply that there was/were no side effects (more often than not negative) involved physiologically.

The question, in our discussion, is what philosophical questions should a scientist (scientists) examine? For what purpose/application? Mind you, scientific research is costly; therefore, scientists rely on grants to conduct their researches. If these basic scientists (as opposed to engineers) are lucky enough, they will have an easier time to "sell" their research ideas for their potential commercial applications.

That said, how many philosophers can afford to provide grants for scientific research to "scratch" their philosophical questions? On the other hand, are all philosophical questions worth pursuing? In computer science, we might have to call most of the "thoughts" GIGO, garbage in garbage out.

Here's an article by ABC News regarding cloning in South Korea: Three dogs were cloned. Was cloning even thinkable in Einstein's time?

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=2733638

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Science, although many would like to deny the fact, depends on philosophical underpinnings which it cannot address without absurdity. (Watch out skeptics, there are inductive truths at work!)

There is no science without a knowable existence or the validity of logic, although attempts are made to use science to cut off its own feet with a regularity which would be comical were it not so dangerous.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Andres Sender

Science, although many would like to deny the fact, depends on philosophical underpinnings which it cannot address without absurdity. (Watch out skeptics, there are inductive truths at work!)


Would you please elaborate on this point, Andreas?

quote:


Originally posted by:
Andres Sender

There is no science without a knowable existence or the validity of logic...


What do you mean by "knowable existence"? Validity of logic and repeatability is the core of science, isn't it?

One needs to be weary of pseudo-XXXX, pseudo-science included.

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A C Graham is a famous sinologist. In front of me is his "Studies in Chinese Philosophy and Philosophical Literature". I also read his book on value, but have not read this title of his.

"My conclusion from reading it is that reason can be very effectively used to break down reason, and support "non-reason"." I wonder whether it has anything to do with a particular school of philosophy, Kung-sun Lung Tzu or Chuang Tzi for example. If so, I think I can understand why you would come to such conclusion.

Let's not forget what Clinton replied regarding his relationship with M. L., "Oral sex is not sex". I remember what my etymology professor said to the class over a decade ago, "If you like words, you can become a philosopher. If you don't have a sense of ethics (or moral???), you can become a lawyer." Clinton's reply certainly illustrates how one can use words/reason to break down reason. But is it valid for being classified as "reason"?

By the way, Clinton's reply echoed a famous quote from Kung-sun Lung Tzu, "A white horse is not a horse; a hard (as opposed to soft) stone is not a stone."

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Just as one can imitate the patterns of speech while saying nothing sensible, so it is not terribly difficult to imitate the patterns of reason while promoting the unreasonable. People have been doing so since long before Aristotle found it necessary to codify the common forms of distorted reasoning in 300-odd B.C.

Miles - the elaboration is the 2nd part of my post, otherwise I'm not sure what you're looking for.

A 'knowable existence' means: a reality which can be understood by the mind. Yes the validity of logic is part of the core, indeed it is prerequisite to science, which is why science cannot address the validity of logic.

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The answer is simple: What constitutes truth?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 In this case, most reasonable and qualified people have come

to the conclusion that some violins are better than others.

 Some even more reasonable people have come to the conclusion

that they, once in awhile, make a dud or sometimes a even a

klinker.  From this we can safely conclude that some violins

are more sought after than others.

That leaves us however with a harder question: how do you detect if

a person is reasonable and qualified?

Having a discussion, with someone who fails in either category is,

at best, an exercise in futility, and trying to make a person who

is lacking in either quality, sufficient,  is a long, arduous

and brave undertaking, that is bordering in some cases on

impossible !

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Those who are scientifically minded, might be shocked to hear that

"repeatability" is no longer considered valid as to determining the

truth of a matter.  This is not to say that "repeatability"

does not have its own significance, just that it is not to be

considered as having merit when it comes to determining the truth

of a matter which is scientific.

To some others, this too might come as a shock, discussions on

science, in the scientific field, are not open to

everyone.  A discussion is only performed by people of

equal standing, and can only take place, and be of any value if

both parties do so in "good faith".  Reasonable and Qualified

!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So when a reasonable and qualified, though perhaps poorly

mannered, person tells this guy (see jpegs)  that he

can't sing,  then should that person accept that as the truth

or should they look at records sales to decide the matter.

Better yet , what should someone who is deaf, use to determine the

truth in the above cases?

Oddly enough, the standard I use for detecting unreasonable people,

is that they spend most of there time running away from or dodging

evidence, some will even go so far as to contrive evidence, or they

will try to deliberately create confusion.  As to

qualification, just look to the persons credentials.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Andres Sender

Just as one can imitate the patterns of speech while saying nothing sensible, so it is not terribly difficult to imitate the patterns of reason while promoting the unreasonable. People have been doing so since long before Aristotle found it necessary to codify the common forms of distorted reasoning in 300-odd B.C.


Certainly agree. May I also add "spin doctor" to this equation?

quote:


Miles - the elaboration is the 2nd part of my post, otherwise I'm not sure what you're looking for.


Please pardon my inability to understand the elaboration. However, your previous post seem to be your conclusion to me with the firm belief that science cannot address philosophy.

quote:


A 'knowable existence' means: a reality which can be understood by the mind. Yes the validity of logic is part of the core, indeed it is prerequisite to science, which is why science cannot address the validity of logic.


The statement "A 'knowable existence' means: a reality which can be understood by the mind." is too vague for my "mind". Quantum mechanics and Relativity are difficult to understood by most minds I am afraid to say. So are quantum mechanics and relativity science or not?

The statement "science cannot address the validity of logic" is rather confusing. Logic is a set of rules, which is deployed to test a hypothesis. That is, logic is a set of tools (i.e. reasoning patterns), which one can utilize to support ones claims or PREDICTIONS. Logic itself, of course, needs to be tested before it can be established, and that's why we have so-called "fallacies" if my understanding is correct. One way logic can be tested is through experiements, or so-called scientific methods.

Before the establishment of genetics, there were two leading hypotheses in explaining inheritance, known as Lamarckism and Darwinism. The core of inheritance is genetics, which is not easily understood by "the mind", and that was the reason why Lamarckism was the leading thoughts, which was later disproved by science although Lamarckism may be logically valid...

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"Before the establishment of genetics, there were two leading

hypotheses in explaining inheritance, known as Lamarckism and

Darwinism. The core of inheritance is genetics, which is not easily

understood by "the mind", and that was the reason why Lamarckism

was the leading thoughts, which was later disproved by science

although Lamarckism may be logically valid..."

=================================

Remember Robert Hooke?  He was found to be wrong by Newton,

only to be found to be right by Einstein.

Remember the mysterious Ether Theory that was declared to be not

so, it's making a come back now.

If one takes a long range view of Science, then there is one

conclusion that is consistent, and that is that whatever they say

is so today, will not be so tomorrow. Science, it would seem,

is very good at finding out that it is wrong.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
NewNewbie

"Before the establishment of genetics, there were two leading

hypotheses in explaining inheritance, known as Lamarckism and

Darwinism. The core of inheritance is genetics, which is not easily

understood by "the mind", and that was the reason why Lamarckism

was the leading thoughts, which was later disproved by science

although Lamarckism may be logically valid..."

=================================

Remember Robert Hooke? He was found to be wrong by Newton,

only to be found to be right by Einstein.

Remember the mysterious Ether Theory that was declared to be not

so, it's making a come back now.

If one takes a long range view of Science, then there is one

conclusion that is consistent, and that is that whatever they say

is so today, will not be so tomorrow. Science, it would seem,

is very good at finding out that it is wrong.

That is the point! The "mind" may not understand something at a given point of time, but "science" will revise when sufficient evidence surfaces. However, the logic might not be invalid. Is light a wave or particle? Is the nervous system chemical or electrical in nature?

Blindly saying that "science cannot scratch philosophy" is what I disagreed with. Only the minds and funding are the limits.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
stevenwong

it seems that we have drifted pretty far away from Strad, Nagyvary and James Randi... lol....

You are so right. However, PHILOSOPHICALLY we are still talking about philosophy and science, which was the spirit of this thread, no?

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My apology, DSutton. You did say you were skeptical. When I wrote the previous post, I had Andreas's posts in mind, but remembered your sentence by heart (due to the length of the statement). Now I am waiting for Andreas to fire back. But from his other posts, I know he's a well-intended person as well. So it is only a mental exercise in the slow season...

So cheers!

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