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Offline Spycrab

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Problem with Empiricism
« on: March 06, 2018, 03:21:35 AM »
So, i have been reading through these forums for quite a while, it was fascinating, keep up the good work. However, I have noticed a little discrepancy, particularly with the reliance on empiricism. Its based on what one observes with ones senses, correct? One teeny tiny little problem. Our senses can lie. Optical illusions exist. Nose blindness, hallucinations, you get the idea. Compounding this, several Flat Earth Theory astronomical phenomena are explained away with said illusions and incorrect observations. Tom Bishop's wonderful, magical, all-purpose-theory-hole-sealant, 'perspective' for example. Anyone care to explain?
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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 08:38:23 AM »
Our senses can lie.
That's why nobody suggests you should only perform one experiment, or rely on a single observation. You build up evidence and rely on its preponderance. If, after collecting a reasonable amount of data points, this process leads you to believe that the Earth is a certain shape, then the conclusion should be easy.

It's not an easy process, and it's not meant to be one.

On a more philosophical note, if the majority of your experiences turn out to be illusions, perhaps you ought to rethink what an illusion is.
Read the FAQ before asking your question - chances are we've already addressed it.
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Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 11:32:57 AM »
The problem is not just illusion. The horizon DOES appear flat because a large enough curve and a straight line are not distinguishable. That is simply a limit of our visual acuity.
So looking at the horizon is not a sufficient observation to determine the shape of the earth, any more than observing the sun going round the sky is sufficient to determine that the sun is going round us as this is indistinguishable from the earth rotating.

I have yet to understand what empirical observations other than "the horizon looks flat" (flawed for the reasons I have outlined) have led to the conclusion of a flat earth.
If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

Nearly all flat earthers agree the earth is not a globe.

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Offline Spycrab

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Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 02:28:26 PM »
Okay, okay, fair enough Pete. You've go me there. However, is it really empirical to smooth out rough patches in the theory with things that rely on our senses not showing us what is really there? The vanishing point, for example where it is claimed humans have a fixed visual limit, despite being able to see farther from higher? Or the 'spotlight sun' that allegedly makes the earth look round? How about said sun somehow setting via 'perspective' when a receding light source would just shrink until it passed beyond the human limit? Sounds like rationalizing. Such as the convoluted mirrors and celestial cog work and all that bizarre nonsense apparently going on in the night sky. Personally, looks like inventing odd solutions to equally odd problems.

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Offline Frocious

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Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 02:53:43 PM »
Okay, okay, fair enough Pete. You've go me there. However, is it really empirical to smooth out rough patches in the theory with things that rely on our senses not showing us what is really there? The vanishing point, for example where it is claimed humans have a fixed visual limit, despite being able to see farther from higher? Or the 'spotlight sun' that allegedly makes the earth look round? How about said sun somehow setting via 'perspective' when a receding light source would just shrink until it passed beyond the human limit? Sounds like rationalizing. Such as the convoluted mirrors and celestial cog work and all that bizarre nonsense apparently going on in the night sky. Personally, looks like inventing odd solutions to equally odd problems.

That has always been a sticking point for both geocentrism and FET. They cannot usually follow the scientific method to achieve a consensus, as their hypotheses will rarely be accurate. Instead, they need to create a framework that works around their observations -- and when a challenge arises, they have to keep building, and these "solutions" often contradict one another.

In the round earth world (and this is a discussion Pete has completely ignored) we can create a hypothesis and see it proven true (example: Einstein's gravitational waves, which were found 100 years after they were hypothesized). We can accurately predict the exact timings of solar eclipses, and the exact paths of the totality.

I'll ask again: When has FET ever shown itself to be capable of the same?

Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2018, 08:12:50 AM »
the Flat Earther is the Ultimate Empiricist. What we see and experience of the world is the extent of our total knowledge. In order for an alternative explanation to have merit, it must be observed or experienced, and it is hard to argue against that.... Round Earth Theory is rationalized in many of its elements, while Flat Earth Theory is empirically determined.
I'm just struggling with the fact that so many Flat Earthers do not stick to this philosophy.

I mean they make statements about a Glass Dome, and weather balloons being up in the sky with satellites suspended, Ice Wall but they just rationalize as none of them has ever seen it felt it touched it.

There seem to be so many only nominal FE members. Who are the real FE-ers?

Maybe I need to revise my percentage down underneath my post!?!??
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 06:40:37 PM by Treep Ravisarras »
As the saying goes "The internet belongs to the lunatics in their walled gardens" - Xiang Yu

I see a Flat Earth. And I can't imagine anything else.

I got work to do. 0.00018% of Christians believe in a Flat Earth. Pls help

Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2018, 08:54:04 AM »
Our senses can lie.
That's why nobody suggests you should only perform one experiment, or rely on a single observation. You build up evidence and rely on its preponderance. If, after collecting a reasonable amount of data points, this process leads you to believe that the Earth is a certain shape, then the conclusion should be easy.

It's not an easy process, and it's not meant to be one.

On a more philosophical note, if the majority of your experiences turn out to be illusions, perhaps you ought to rethink what an illusion is.
Many data points of the angle of the sun and satellites have been collected, have you used them to prove the shape of the earth?

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Online Tumeni

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Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 10:00:54 AM »
Our senses can lie.
That's why nobody suggests you should only perform one experiment, or rely on a single observation. You build up evidence and rely on its preponderance. If, after collecting a reasonable amount of data points, this process leads you to believe that the Earth is a certain shape, then the conclusion should be easy.

It's not an easy process, and it's not meant to be one.


... but why are you doing this ONLY for the shape of the Earth, when you're happy to rely on the work of others, and take them at their word, in SO many other things in your daily life?

Why is science held up to be questionable with regards to the shape of the Earth, but trusted everywhere else?


Example/analogy 1; People should take the word of science when it declares that Chernobyl, and other nuclear accident sites, are highly radioactive, and not safe to enter. We have geiger counters to tell us this.

Or would you suggest that we send a control group of people in there, and wait until they show signs of sickness before we conclude something is wrong? Do you want to do this experiment yourself, just to make sure you are empirically satisfied?

Example/analogy 2: People should take the word of science with regards to hazardous gases, nerve agents and such.

Or do you advocate experimenting on them yourself, just to make sure you are empirically satisfied?

 

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Nearly all flat earthers agree the earth is not a globe.

Nearly?

Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 01:26:37 PM »
Yes I’m sorry but that’s how we work. Real FE-ers are Ultimate Empiricists. Unless we see it we don’t believe it.

But I can see someone else getting sick and then I know.

I can see a 14-story rocket go up in the sky but where does it go? I can assume it comes down, but what do I know. It might as well keep going
As the saying goes "The internet belongs to the lunatics in their walled gardens" - Xiang Yu

I see a Flat Earth. And I can't imagine anything else.

I got work to do. 0.00018% of Christians believe in a Flat Earth. Pls help

Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2018, 01:38:21 PM »
Yes I’m sorry but that’s how we work. Real FE-ers are Ultimate Empiricists. Unless we see it we don’t believe it.
Cool. So you don't believe that any country you've not been to really exists?
I've never been to Australia for example so what, all the footage from it is fake? All the people who claim to come from there are lying?
What a strange way to live life...
If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

Nearly all flat earthers agree the earth is not a globe.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2018, 01:41:09 PM »
No. Pay attention to what my dashingly-smiling and handsomely-named colleague has said. You can empirically observe things indirectly, and just because you haven't observed something doesn't mean it's false by default. You simply have no confirmation one way or another.

Not believing in something is not the same as believing the opposite.
Read the FAQ before asking your question - chances are we've already addressed it.
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Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2018, 01:52:56 PM »
No. Pay attention to what my dashingly-smiling and handsomely-named colleague has said.
I think this is just about the only thing I've seen you write that I whole-heartedly agree with.

Quote
You can empirically observe things indirectly, and just because you haven't observed something doesn't mean it's false by default.
What would you say is an acceptable way of indirectly observing something? So let's take Australia. I've never been but I see it the map, I've seen a load of photos and video from there.
Is that good enough? I mean, it is for me but I could say the same about the round earth. Never been into space, I've not observed it, but I've seen a load of photos and video and a round earth matches observations so that's good enough for me.
If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

Nearly all flat earthers agree the earth is not a globe.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2018, 02:29:12 PM »
So let's take Australia. I've never been but I see it the map, I've seen a load of photos and video from there.
This is a very personal thing to decide, and I'm in no position to dictate your epistemology. However, for my personal tastes, the answer would be "no". This is because I've seen a map and countless footage of Coruscant.

But, of course, this is an oversimplification. I have reasonable causes to doubt the existence of Coruscant, which I do not have for Australia. So, from a practical standpoint (limited resources, lack of time, desire to actually live a relatively simple life), I will take much more convincing to accept that Coruscant exists than that Australia does.

Again, note the separation between accepting something as likely to be true, and conceding it as an immutable fact. It doesn't have to be a binary yes-no question.
Read the FAQ before asking your question - chances are we've already addressed it.
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Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2018, 02:36:20 PM »
What I'm interested in is where your reasonable doubt came from when it comes to the shape of the earth.
You used to believe in the globe I guess because that is what we are all taught.
I'm wondering what things you started to think could not be explained by a globe which could be explained by a flat earth.
I mean, you might think the moon landings were faked. Fine, a relatively common view. A wrong one in my opinion, but fairly common.
But it's quite a leap from there to think that the whole shape of the earth is different to what we've been told.
Most* people who think the moon landings were faked don't see that as evidence for a flat earth

(*admittedly my opinion rather than a well researched fact, but I suspect this is highly likely to be so).
If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

Nearly all flat earthers agree the earth is not a globe.

Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2018, 09:59:47 PM »
Again, note the separation between accepting something as likely to be true, and conceding it as an immutable fact. It doesn't have to be a binary yes-no question.
If I may add to that again, please. This is also the reason why we don't have a something called a 'Flat Earth map'. Because if I draw a map of the earth, and someone from another place (say Japan, if it exists) looks at it, how can he accept the map if he doesn't even know if America exists or India or Australia.

I am fortunate enough to live in Australia for a few years now. I've seen a few countries in South East Asia, and Australia, but they are the only ones I accept as true.

So even if Pete drew a map (if he could, because noone seems to have been able to draw a map that matches the empirical evidence of Flat Earth), I could simply not accept it as being true for a fact. Sorry if you don't understand it.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 10:01:31 PM by Treep Ravisarras »
As the saying goes "The internet belongs to the lunatics in their walled gardens" - Xiang Yu

I see a Flat Earth. And I can't imagine anything else.

I got work to do. 0.00018% of Christians believe in a Flat Earth. Pls help

Offline Frocious

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Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2018, 10:13:46 PM »
Again, note the separation between accepting something as likely to be true, and conceding it as an immutable fact. It doesn't have to be a binary yes-no question.
If I may add to that again, please. This is also the reason why we don't have a something called a 'Flat Earth map'. Because if I draw a map of the earth, and someone from another place (say Japan, if it exists) looks at it, how can he accept the map if he doesn't even know if America exists or India or Australia.

I am fortunate enough to live in Australia for a few years now. I've seen a few countries in South East Asia, and Australia, but they are the only ones I accept as true.

So even if Pete drew a map (if he could, because noone seems to have been able to draw a map that matches the empirical evidence of Flat Earth), I could simply not accept it as being true for a fact. Sorry if you don't understand it.

Oh don't get it twisted -- I think we understand that (I'm writing this from the US -- is that enough for you to believe it exists?) as that's exactly how empiricism works.

The thing I don't understand is how much of FET relies on things people haven't seen. The ice wall, for example. I would imagine that you yourself will admit that it might not exist, but most of the FE believers here will insist that it does without having seen it for themselves.

Also, the map hasn't been drawn because it isn't possible.

Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2018, 08:38:34 AM »
Again, note the separation between accepting something as likely to be true, and conceding it as an immutable fact. It doesn't have to be a binary yes-no question.
If I may add to that again, please. This is also the reason why we don't have a something called a 'Flat Earth map'. Because if I draw a map of the earth, and someone from another place (say Japan, if it exists) looks at it, how can he accept the map if he doesn't even know if America exists or India or Australia.

I am fortunate enough to live in Australia for a few years now. I've seen a few countries in South East Asia, and Australia, but they are the only ones I accept as true.

So even if Pete drew a map (if he could, because noone seems to have been able to draw a map that matches the empirical evidence of Flat Earth), I could simply not accept it as being true for a fact. Sorry if you don't understand it.

You appear to be principled, do you not feel hypocritical then using technology that owes its existence to theoretical physics?

Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2018, 10:40:14 AM »
Actually I apologize, using the word hypocritical is negative.

I should say do you not feel any unease living in a society and using technology that would most probably not exist if we stuck solely to only building on knowledge we can verify through pure observation?

Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2018, 12:24:29 PM »
You appear to be principled, do you not feel hypocritical then using technology that owes its existence to theoretical physics?
You mean GPS? Yes, I am a pilot, and I have empirically determined that it just works. I'm not sure how, but it's approved as primary means of navigation for my profession, which includes descending in between mountains at night in cloud, with specimens of the general public on board. In total we had 4,000,000,000 passengers with zero deaths over 2017. That means something.

The fact that I don't yet understand how it works, or how it matches my observations of the earth being flat even from an airplane, doesn't mean that I am ignorant. (Not that you said that)

Planes used to navigate by NDB, and VOR, which both have considerable problems for navigation.
For example with the NDB and VOR we need to allow for 5 degree error. This is an 8 km error (!!!) if you are 60 miles from the beacon. I have seen this too, the needle on the instrument just waver, and for example if there is a thunderstorm nearby, the needle swings to the strike...

With a standard GPS system, we allow for a 1km error. That is valid anywhere, close to a waypoint, far from a waypoint, in mountains or over water, as long as the system does not give a warning in regard to position accuracy. (Aviation GPSes tell the pilot when their position is inaccurate). Once we go in to land, the allowed error drops down to 300 metres.

That is how precise we can use it, and there is no other navigation system available that comes close to how it performs.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 12:47:12 PM by Treep Ravisarras »
As the saying goes "The internet belongs to the lunatics in their walled gardens" - Xiang Yu

I see a Flat Earth. And I can't imagine anything else.

I got work to do. 0.00018% of Christians believe in a Flat Earth. Pls help

Re: Problem with Empiricism
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2018, 12:44:46 PM »
You are a pilot and you believe in a flat earth? Really?
You know your routes are planned using great circles, right?
If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

Nearly all flat earthers agree the earth is not a globe.