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How Facts Backfire

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Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
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Cylcowizard said:
The bottom line is that science can never disprove the existence of a deity.
Science, on other had has shown that any such of a deity doesn't exist and it so unlikely that for all intents and purpose does not exist.

Cylcowizard said:
nor does any current scientific theory disagree with the principal tenets of major world religions.
Well, Evolution, Abiogenesis, The Speed of Light are incompatible with the old testament. I'd also suspect that Modern Medicine disagrees with the virgin birth as well as the resurrection.

Cylcowizard said:
I have very few political beliefs, so I have no dog in most fights.
Right. Aside from your several year history on the forum and intent debates on Gay Marriage, Abortion and your other political comments it's painfully obvious that you do.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,873
460
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Some of you may have noticed that I don't really visit P&N anymore. This probably makes most of you very happy, as my approach here was never popular (except, perhaps, with the largely silent minority). I attempted, however unsuccessfully, to bring facts and logic to the argument. SNIP
From your linked article:
In 2005, amid the strident calls for better media fact-checking in the wake of the Iraq war, Michigan’s Nyhan and a colleague devised an experiment in which participants were given mock news stories, each of which contained a provably false, though nonetheless widespread, claim made by a political figure: that there were WMDs found in Iraq (there weren’t), that the Bush tax cuts increased government revenues (revenues actually fell), and that the Bush administration imposed a total ban on stem cell research (only certain federal funding was restricted). Nyhan inserted a clear, direct correction after each piece of misinformation, and then measured the study participants to see if the correction took.
Just to take the first two items:
There were in fact WMDs found in Iraq.
http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/Iraq_WMD_Declassified.pdf
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200499,00.html
Two artillery shells were also used as IEDs, one of which was successfully detonated but without fatalities or serious injury. What we did NOT find in Iraq were the WMDs manufactured after 1991, which almost certainly never existed. This however is not the question asked and graded.

Government revenues did in fact decline after the Bush tax cuts - or did they? Even proponents of tax cuts admit there will be an immediate decline in tax revenue, but argue that the increased economic growth will eventually increase government revenues. Bush cut taxes in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Here's the actual data on income tax revenue from 1996 through 2007, with projections beyond, from USgovernmentrevenue.com: http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/downchart_gr.php?chart=10-total&state=US&local=
This shows government revenue from income tax as dropping in 2001, 2002, and 2003 (anyone remember anything major that happened in 2001?) but actually increasing in 2004 (first fiscal year on the Bush-revised tax codes) and increasing again in 2005, 2006, and 2007. But we also know that, absent any changes in the economy or the tax code, revenue would have gone up, if only from our growing population sending new people into the workforce. So the question then becomes did income tax revenue decrease from what it would have been absent the tax cuts? This is a much harder question because it is inevitably subject to spin and interpretation. Here's the pro-tax cuts spin http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2007/01/Ten-Myths-About-the-Bush-Tax-Cuts
and the anti-tax cuts spin. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=692 Note that neither side can absolutely know this. The conservative Heritage Foundation takes its baseline from projected 2006 income taxes before the tax code revisions, then assumes that any increase is due to the economic effect of the tax cuts. The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities takes actual tax receipts and works backward to derive the revenue lost to government, a method which will never register any economic benefit to tax cuts. So where does the fact, the economic affect of the Bush tax cuts, actually lie? You tell me.

These are the first two test items mentioned in your quote, and neither is completely true. Half-truths and exaggerations like this are one reason people find it so hard to change their minds or admit they were wrong. As a fellow engineer I'm irritated when people use words and concepts imprecisely. I have no problem admitting I'm wrong - I've had to do it a couple of times on these forums - but the quality of "facts" varies wildly, and it can take a lot to convince me I'm wrong. (Or sometimes just a little, as I've deferred to Legendkiller and Darwin among others for simply knowing so much more about a subject.) But proclaiming a fact, even giving a link to a fact, doesn't necessarily make it so. Really very little in this world can be measured and known, accurately and with repeatability. Thus very few things we believe are truly facts.

Personally I had no problem with your posting, logic or opinions, although I didn't always agree with your conclusions or even necessarily your facts. I appreciate logic, but then logic, like facts, can lead one astray too.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
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Science, on other had has shown that any such of a deity doesn't exist and it so unlikely that for all intents and purpose does not exist.
sorry science has not proved nothing....
Science cannot disprove there is a diety nor can it prove their is a diety.....

don`t bother to go find links to disporve what i just said because we both know that we both can find links to back up what we stated...so here we are at an impasse...

You see the main difference between myself and people like you is I have no problems with you not believeing in a diety!!
But you have a shit load of problems with my beliefs...so go figure!
 

cwjerome

Diamond Member
Sep 30, 2004
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most people simply accept tidbits which agree with their predisposed positions while summarily rejecting all other information as bogus. When confronted with facts, most of you will actually cling tighter to your position which is in direct opposition to those facts rather than adapting your position to bring it into line with reality.

In any case, here are some key points from the somewhat lengthy (4 page) article that about three of us will read.
This is a good article and the gist of which has been known to many people for some time. The reality is, most facts reinforce people's own mistaken beliefs, and usually people start with opinions and seek (and twist) facts to support them. Our political discourse in this country is so dysfunctional it's like things are now completely scripted with actors from central casting and the audience feeding off meaningless snippets.

Politicians don't give speeches anymore, they give talking point arguments. Politician A doesn't need to give a real speech, he can make a list and just say "Argument 3," then everyone could save a lot of time... and Politician B could come along and say, "I trump your Argument 3 with my Argument 12!" That's basically where we're at, and everyone loves it.

Very very few are saying anything of consequence. This is frightening. The right answer to the wrong question is the wrong answer to the right question. We are missing the boat in a bad way. John Jay said, "The Constitution was created for an intelligent people." Knowledge is the model of governance for our system of government. Individuals govern themselves according to knowledge. Deductive and inductive logic, reason, FACTS. Not beliefs. Not certainty.

Today people are belief oriented (not knowledge oriented) and those people can never be free. And I mean free in every sense of the word.

Aristotle said 'Ignorance of the mind is tyranny of the state.' You must look at good ideas AND bad ideas... be open to honest inquiry, build knowledge with facts and based opinions on reality. It's a good topic OP but 95% of P&N will not get it because they have no real, in-depth training in history, civics, and philosophy. You see, everyone is an expert around here.
 

CallMeJoe

Diamond Member
Jul 30, 2004
6,938
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There were in fact WMDs found in Iraq.
http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/Iraq_WMD_Declassified.pdf
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200499,00.html
Two artillery shells were also used as IEDs, one of which was successfully detonated but without fatalities or serious injury. What we did NOT find in Iraq were the WMDs manufactured after 1991, which almost certainly never existed. This however is not the question asked and graded...
What were found were degraded chemical stores, not usable WMDs. Abandoned remnants of the Iran-Iraq war, not stockpiles. This is akin to finding a large pile of termite droppings and proclaiming it lumber because it was 2x4s twenty years ago.
 

Tab

Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
12,145
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sorry science has not proved nothing....
Science cannot disprove there is a diety nor can it prove their is a diety.....

don`t bother to go find links to disporve what i just said because we both know that we both can find links to back up what we stated...so here we are at an impasse...

You see the main difference between myself and people like you is I have no problems with you not believeing in a diety!!
But you have a shit load of problems with my beliefs...so go figure!
Please go back to grammar school, thanks.
 

LumbergTech

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2005
3,622
1
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Other than the fact that atheists incorrectly assume science has discovered everything there is to know, and therefore there must be no God, yeah, they sure seem like a bunch of open-minded sponges.
I don't know a single atheist who assumes that science has discovered everything there is to know. Can you find me one?
 

LumbergTech

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2005
3,622
1
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This would be completely off topic if you weren't simply validating everything I mentioned in the OP. I know plenty of people who have become religious after growing up in non-religious households and vice versa. You have simply decided that your viewpoint is true and will flap at anyone who argues to the contrary. You have decided that atheists are open-minded, all the while acknowledging that their reasons for their positions are disparate and based largely on emotion rather than facts or logic. The bottom line is that science can never disprove the existence of a deity, nor does any current scientific theory disagree with the principal tenets of major world religions. The only reason people suspect disagreements between science and the major religions are a combination of ignorance and misunderstanding. I have started other threads about that in P&N and got just about the same response you're giving: no, it can't be!
You are arguing based on a bunch of assumptions that you claim he was making.

He was not making those assumptions.
 

OrByte

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2000
9,299
137
106
The article in the OP described exactly why you view me in this light. I have very few political beliefs, so I have no dog in most fights. Instead, I like to point out the idiocy on both sides. I have even argued stances opposite the one I truly hold simply to see if anyone could make a decent argument in the opposite direction. It's relatively easy to see the good and bad of most political arguments if you aren't tied down with party affiliations or allegiance to a certain candidate, especially since most political arguments come down to a matter of opinion. The one thing I believe absolutely (and I doubt anyone can provide a fact to the contrary, though please feel free to do so if you can find one) is that government is horribly, horribly inefficient. Repeatedly pointing this out has pissed off Obama and Bush supporters alike. This reality is the reason I am so pissed off at our politicians, as all of the presidential candidates since I was old enough to vote (indeed, probably further back than that even) have done nothing but try to grow government as fast as they can.
How's the weather up there?
 

CycloWizard

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
12,348
1
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Science, on other had has shown that any such of a deity doesn't exist and it so unlikely that for all intents and purpose does not exist.
That is not English - I have no idea what you were trying to say here. I know that you're attempting to argue something about proving a negative, which is logically impossible - that's all I need to know to say you're wrong.
Well, Evolution, Abiogenesis, The Speed of Light are incompatible with the old testament. I'd also suspect that Modern Medicine disagrees with the virgin birth as well as the resurrection.
That's only true if you interpret them literally, which is not how they were written. Only idiot fundamentalists interpret it in that way, and they exist only in the US because we have enough idiots who don't realize that the books in question weren't originally written in English.
Right. Aside from your several year history on the forum and intent debates on Gay Marriage, Abortion and your other political comments it's painfully obvious that you do.
Do you know where I really stand on any of these issues? I can argue both sides of any of these arguments easily and am pretty well acquainted with the facts. Unlike you, however, my opinion on some of them have changed since I started here as a result of discussions on this forum.
 

MJinZ

Diamond Member
Nov 4, 2009
8,192
0
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This would be completely off topic if you weren't simply validating everything I mentioned in the OP. I know plenty of people who have become religious after growing up in non-religious households and vice versa. You have simply decided that your viewpoint is true and will flap at anyone who argues to the contrary. You have decided that atheists are open-minded, all the while acknowledging that their reasons for their positions are disparate and based largely on emotion rather than facts or logic. The bottom line is that science can never disprove the existence of a deity, nor does any current scientific theory disagree with the principal tenets of major world religions. The only reason people suspect disagreements between science and the major religions are a combination of ignorance and misunderstanding. I have started other threads about that in P&N and got just about the same response you're giving: no, it can't be!
What the fuck are you talking about? All of this is in relative terms. Atheists are open minded... RELATIVELY. About as open minded as a child molester is a fucking saint when compared to a rape-murderer.
 

MJinZ

Diamond Member
Nov 4, 2009
8,192
0
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sorry science has not proved nothing....
Science cannot disprove there is a diety nor can it prove their is a diety.....

don`t bother to go find links to disporve what i just said because we both know that we both can find links to back up what we stated...so here we are at an impasse...

You see the main difference between myself and people like you is I have no problems with you not believeing in a diety!!
But you have a shit load of problems with my beliefs...so go figure!
That's not surprising. Atheists or Agnostics do not generally purport to subscribe to any judgmental moral standpoint - like all faggots are supposedly going burnz to crisp in hell yo.

Yes, I have problems with both Jesus cocksuckers and towelheads like you. You are indoctrinated into a hateful vindictive and punitive belief system, and unfortunately it's too fucking late for your brain to learn anything new after the fact.

This is excessive, even for P&N. Please see PM. -Admin DrPizza
 
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JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,659
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What the fuck are you talking about? All of this is in relative terms. Atheists are open minded... RELATIVELY. About as open minded as a child molester is a fucking saint when compared to a rape-murderer.
No atheists are very closed minded!! They deny the existance of a god or a deity and will never ever even if lets say it was proved there was a God.....atheists would still deny it!

yet they call themselves Atheists, when not even science can prove there is no God....
so what does science do? They say because we cannot prove it therefore there must be no God.....lol......

Yet there are scientists who believe in a God.....
 
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JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
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That's incorrect. You don't even deserve an explanation.
of course he does not deserve an explanation!!!!!
You cannot give him an explanation even if you wanted too......thus he doesn`t deserve an explanation!!! How convenient....lolol
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
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Please go back to grammar school, thanks.
If thats the best you can do your a complete moron!!
I speak fluently 6 different languages....engrish is not my main language so stop with the stoopidity on your part!!
 

MJinZ

Diamond Member
Nov 4, 2009
8,192
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No atheists are very closed minded!! They deny the existance of a god or a deity and will never ever even if lets say it was proved there was a God.....atheists would still deny it!

yet the call themselves Atheists when not even science can prove there is no God....
so what does science do? They say because we cannot prove it therefore there must be no God.....lol......

Yet there are scientists who believe in a God.....
Yea, I used to be a scientist who believe in a God, just not your dumbass God.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
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That's not surprising. Atheists or Agnostics do not generally purport to subscribe to any judgmental moral standpoint - like all faggots are supposedly going burnz to crisp in hell yo.

Yes, I have problems with both Jesus cocksuckers and towelheads like you. You are indoctrinated into a hateful vindictive and punitive belief system, and unfortunately it's too fucking late for your brain to learn anything new after the fact.
you see thats where you and I differ...
What I believe is my own belief and i don`t push what I believe on others!!!!

You on the other hand are very judgemental and closed minded!!!

You just proved you were with your response!

cocksuckers and towelsheads?? You really need to grow up and quit proving how childish and closed minded you really are!!


the God I believe in is a Loving God....so you don`t believe in the God I believe in???

How do you know what I believe??
 
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TridenT

Lifer
Sep 4, 2006
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of course he does not deserve an explanation!!!!!
You cannot give him an explanation even if you wanted too......thus he doesn`t deserve an explanation!!! How convenient....lolol
Even if your English was any good, you'd probably still say the same stupid shit. Some people do deserve an explanation when one doesn't exist, vice versa...

Anyway, no. He doesn't deserve an explanation and neither do you. You'll both reject it with your feeble one-sided minds, and thus it is more pointless than my nihilistic view on life.
 

MJinZ

Diamond Member
Nov 4, 2009
8,192
0
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you see thats where you and I differ...
What I believe is my own belief and i don`t push what I believe on others!!!!

You on the other hand are very judgemental and closed minded!!!

You just proved you were with your response!

cocksuckers and towelsheads?? You really need to grow up and quit proving how childish and closed minded you really are!!
Which one are you? Do you kneel before Jesus or Muhammad?
 

MJinZ

Diamond Member
Nov 4, 2009
8,192
0
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Even if your English was any good, you'd probably still say the same stupid shit. Some people do deserve an explanation when one doesn't exist, vice versa...

Anyway, no. He doesn't deserve an explanation and neither do you. You'll both reject it with your feeble one-sided minds, and thus it is more pointless than my nihilistic view on life.
LOL, you make no sense. True nihilists would have slit their own throat. Jugular, not the wrist. Arteries, not veins.
 

TridenT

Lifer
Sep 4, 2006
16,810
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LOL, you make no sense. True nihilists would have slit their own throat. Jugular, not the wrist. Arteries, not veins.
Well, I am a true nihilist. But I am also human, and I have a voice/feeling/series-of-stupid-events-that-occur in my head that makes it hard for me to commit suicide willingly. It's actually kinda scary how comfortably numb I am with the idea of committing suicide. like... I could do it right now... :hmm:
 

CycloWizard

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
12,348
1
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That's not surprising. Atheists or Agnostics do not generally purport to subscribe to any judgmental moral standpoint - like all faggots are supposedly going burnz to crisp in hell yo.

Yes, I have problems with both Jesus cocksuckers and towelheads like you. You are indoctrinated into a hateful vindictive and punitive belief system, and unfortunately it's too fucking late for your brain to learn anything new after the fact.
Wow... Thanks for absolutely and definitively proving my point.
 

Ozoned

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2004
5,578
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Some of you may have noticed that I don't really visit P&N anymore. This probably makes most of you very happy, as my approach here was never popular (except, perhaps, with the largely silent minority). I attempted, however unsuccessfully, to bring facts and logic to the argument. In this way, I changed my own mind much more often than I influenced anyone else's opinions. People on both sides of the aisle hate me because I don't have a side. I could never figure out why anyone would align themselves with one side or the other as neither side was aligned with reality. After talking with a friend (who is also an engineer) working on his MBA, he said that the hardest thing about managing people as an engineer is that he's used to working with other engineers who consider things logically and reasonably. With most people, that's simply not the case. Things started to click into place.

After years of beating my head against the wall that is the vocal majority of P&N posters, I finally found an article that explained what I already knew: most people simply accept tidbits which agree with their predisposed positions while summarily rejecting all other information as bogus. When confronted with facts, most of you will actually cling tighter to your position which is in direct opposition to those facts rather than adapting your position to bring it into line with reality. This is why conservatives prefer Fox News, why Rand Paul makes liberals so uncomfortable when he says that the poor here don't really have it so bad, and why most of you have never and will never change your opinions on any political issues.

In any case, here are some key points from the somewhat lengthy (4 page) article that about three of us will read.
Facts can be bent, twisted, reshaped, built up, torn down, etc. etc.

~Fact is, I don't hate you.
 

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