Ron wrote: (Note that I don't hold meme theory to be True at all) Nothing there conflicts with Occams razor, nor illustrates any intellectual hypocrisy which seems to be what you're looking for. Unless you assume that I hold meme theory to be True and presuppose an alternative, simpler, theory that I was simultaneously refusing to consider. Are you making those assumptions or do you still not get OR?
On the other hand, if we're looking at a choosing between a universe model with supernatural functioning and one without, the latter is simpler and OR applies. Do you see the difference?
And do you still agree with the cat's point that there are no supernatural happenings in the universe, only natural ones that we don't yet understand?
Ron, well since you asked me twice about LeChat's point, I thought you deserve some sort of answer. I got tired of the discussion being turned into a pointless argument. (Maybe that's obvious?)
But the answer to you, this thread (and maybe even different kinds of discussions/arguments) is "set theory". [You remember from grade school - set theory. The set of all whole numbers, containing subsets of even and odd numbers. Some sets are exclusionary, others are subsets within a larger set.]
The thing about arguing pointlessly was brought home to me the other night when I was visiting an older friend, a guy I really like and admire. Well somehow, after a glass or two of wine the conversation drifted into war - I think re. the middle-east. He was arguing for the beauty, inevitability and rightness of war - any war. All I did was piss off a friend until his wife convinced me to drop it. But we did come to a meeting of minds as I was leaving when I told him that I thought war provided a unique oppurtunity for people to find out somethings about the depth of who they are. He liked that idea, and the damage to the friendship was repaired in an instant, because he knew that I was trying to understand his truth no matter how difficult.
I have other friends who I can discuss very difficult topics. The discussions are wonderful. One thing that sets them apart is that the people don't have a need to always be right, but will drop their understanding in favor of someone else's. Egos are nicely contaned.
You argue poorly. You use strange terms like "big Truth, little truth - without explaining what that's supposed to mean, or "the question is broken" (I've heard of moot, invalid, etc. but not broken.) You also make too many assumptions about things that you clearly know nothing about, like what mysticism is - if you think it's about obtaining comfort, or that you assume I don't understand what Occam's is saying. (I offered to explain how your understanding of Occams is inadequate and the offer still stands.) And why would you bring something like meme theory into the discussion unless you think it's true and applicable?!!
And yes I do think you suffer from intellectual hypocrisy. We all do. It is the human condition. One of the best ways to find our hypocrisy is through those around us who can reflect ourselves back to us.
Oh fuck it. I'll just explain this thing about Occams real quick. First off, Occam's as written is really about the process of forming theories or models, not necessarily anything in it's statement about comparing one theory to another. Reread the definition. It has 2 portions, (dependent clauses). One reductionist and the other expansive (the "beyond necessity" bit.) What it's saying is that your theory or model shall be at least big enough to encapsulate whatever it is that you're trying to describe, (but not too
big so that it becomes cumbersome and unwieldy.) To use an example, if you want to go after whales, are you going to try to use a child"s minnow net (or conversely are ya gonna nuke the whale)? It's about casting a big enough net to do the trick. So Rob's point about the complexity of god should have prompted him to conclude simply that he could not produce a theory or model about God. Therefore trying to apply Occam's is an impossibility.
So extrapolate off of that understanding of Occam's into set theory and you'll start to understand my meanings about the pointe du chat. And I'll leave it by saying that I've learned to operate in sets that you have no direct knowledge of yet.
(and Ron, when you post replies that contain multiple sections of "Dana said" with your response following each one - it looks like you're too desperate to win an argument.)[/u]