Author Topic: Skeptic here! bring on the flames witches!  (Read 3463 times)

Fatass
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Re: Skeptic here! bring on the flames witches!
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2010, 07:02:55 PM »
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Science knows exactly the ways in which the human brain is fallable
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You couldn't have said something further from the truth... Scientists know only that they don't understand completely how the brain works. That alone makes your statement invalid. And even so, it's all theories, you can't say science disproves anything relating to magic, since science itself can't even be proved.

So the question can't be answered, really. On one side, you have magic users claiming they practice magic, a system based on the belief that supernatural and paranormal phenomena can occur, while one the other you have scientists saying they can't. The problem is none can prove tat their opinion is right or wrong; it all turns out the same: it's just an opinion and even if you back it with millions of theories, it's still just an opinion.
That wasn't even a particularly important part of my argument. I'm not saying scientists know everything about the human brain, because they obviously don't. But we do know about various cognitive biases that can explain misconceptions and fallacies. And more importantly, scientists know that human intuition is fallable, and that what's believable is often different to what is true. The whole point of science is to make that irrelevant. The scientific method exists to find physical proof to back up claims, and remove human fallability from the picture.

And there's the problem. If something is proven under laboratory conditions, then it stops being considered magic, and becomes science. Research has gone into a lot of so-called paranormal phenomena and claims of magical ability, and a lot of it hasn't been accepted as science for whatever reason. This is why comparing magic to science is incorrect. If magic relied on empirical evidence as Ladygriffin said, it would be accepted by science. If it isn't accepted by science, there's obviously something wrong with your evidence. There's my point. Magic isn't comparable to science.

KubeSix

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Re: Skeptic here! bring on the flames witches!
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2010, 10:56:40 PM »
That wasn't even a particularly important part of my argument.

I know; it just struck me when I read it and had to reply.

I'm not saying scientists know everything about the human brain, because they obviously don't. But we do know about various cognitive biases that can explain misconceptions and fallacies. And more importantly, scientists know that human intuition is fallable, and that what's believable is often different to what is true. The whole point of science is to make that irrelevant. The scientific method exists to find physical proof to back up claims, and remove human fallability from the picture.

True, but there are still things science can neither back up, explain or deny properly. When it comes to this, most scientists will go "[Insert theory here] disproves it." Note that I used the word "theory". Telekinesis is a great example. It completely disregards a few major laws of physics, such as linear momentum.

Nobody's managed to scientifically prove telekinesis, yet it's been researched countless times by scientists because in some cases, it simply could not be explained through bias. They can't explain it and everyone has a different idea as to what could cause it, but they still haven't managed to disprove it either, since they base the denial of telekinesis on theories.

And there's the problem. If something is proven under laboratory conditions, then it stops being considered magic, and becomes science.

Really, now? Magic is not by definition something that can't be proven; it's an arcane art that goes beyond what the common folk would define as the boundaries of a human being. If yu can prove it's humanly possible, all you're doing is pushing the known boundary further, not removing it.

Research has gone into a lot of so-called paranormal phenomena and claims of magical ability, and a lot of it hasn't been accepted as science for whatever reason. This is why comparing magic to science is incorrect. If magic relied on empirical evidence as Ladygriffin said, it would be accepted by science.

I agree with that; magic tends to rely more on belief than proof. Doing that, not taking the time to try and explain it and basing everything on belief is called fluff in the psychic community (don't now about other paranormal communities...) and we all dislike the fluffers.

If it isn't accepted by science, there's obviously something wrong with your evidence. There's my point. Magic isn't comparable to science.

Maybe, but in some cases, it's simply because our current understanding of science can't accept it by following it's current theories. Therefore it bends over time, with research, and we eventually manage to accept those things as science because they can finally be proven. Alchemy is such an example; alchemists thought they could create silver with a certain reaction (I don't remember the involved materials) Now we know that the said reaction is nothing but basic redox involving silver oxide. But at the time, their current scientific system couldn't explain it.

So yes, maybe there's something wrong with the evidence but not "obviously"; the problem could also lie in the scientific part of the equation.
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Fatass
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Re: Skeptic here! bring on the flames witches!
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2010, 11:31:41 PM »
Really, now? Magic is not by definition something that can't be proven; it's an arcane art that goes beyond what the common folk would define as the boundaries of a human being. If yu can prove it's humanly possible, all you're doing is pushing the known boundary further, not removing it.
That's an incredibly vague explanation, but surely that's exactly what I said. Once something is proven to exist, the common folk's boundaries (whoever they are) are pushed to accomodate it. Therefore it's no longer beyond the boundaries, and no longer magic.

Making it by definition something that's not proven. Not necessarily unfalsifiable (although I can't imagine disproving something would discourage some people), but certainly not proven to exist.

And as for the last bit, I'd like to think that scientists are rational enough people to acknowledge proof even if they can't yet explain what's happening. That's a fairly common scientific viewpoint, "I don't know what's going on here, but it's definitely going on". It may be a while before someone comes up with a testable theory, but I don't think the scientific community would just be sticking their fingers in their ears saying "nananananananana" up until that point.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 11:40:08 PM by Fatass »

KubeSix

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Re: Skeptic here! bring on the flames witches!
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2010, 12:56:37 AM »
Hmmm... Hey, you're right, I did just repeat what you said, in a different way... :| Dammit I'm to tired for this XD

You're right, it's certainly not a proven thing and probably won't be for a long time...

Yeah, I like to think most scientists out there have more sense in their heads than to just ignore something like that, but a lot, if not the majority, do so. If you ask a scientist what he/she thinks of magic, they'll probably think you're crazy... If you show them, then maybe. But most people never come in contact with it (Or at least, know when they come in contact with it.)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 01:00:05 AM by KubeSix »
Seek not beauty in battle. Seek not beauty in death. Consider not your own life. If you wish to protect that which must be protected, then strike when your opponent's back is turned.