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This. Oh, so very much THIS.
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It's sad that we need a Reason rally in the 21st century, but that being said I'm glad we have folks like him to fight on our behalf...
 
I actually didn't want to go for the same reason I quit CFI...I knew it'd be full of mean blowhards. Not the speakers so much, but the crowd.

As much as I'm perfectly happy as an atheist, I'm frequently ashamed of other atheists when they say stupid, nasty, bigoted things.

I love love love Adam's speech because he makes his points about rationality without being a dick.
 
It looks like the sun goes around Earth, so it is reasonable to assume that it does. or not.
 
Agreed, +Kimberly Chapman like-minded thinkers should rally around what they love, not against everyone else in the world. It shouldn't be atheists versus believers, but atheists fighting ignorance with knowledge.
 
I do love rationality. Not sure I love atheism. That'd make it more of a thing when it's pretty much the absence of a thing in my life.

But when science works, I mean when it REALLY works, like stuff comes together beautifully and facts line up...that makes me positively twitchy with nerdjoy.
 
I was there, and Adam's talk really resonated with me as well. I thought the crowd was really nice - I didn't see anyone being mean, and my cousin and I walked right through the middle of the group of Christian protesters who were there. Almost all of the raised voices I heard were people responding to the speakers.
 
Good to know. I am always happy to hear about well-behaved atheists. :)

I just know that my first CFI social thing was really nice and then it went downhill from there. It was made quite clear to me that those who are in any way tolerant of other people having religion aren't welcome. Well to be clear, the local leader was against that attitude, but the majority of the people were vehement about it. Ick.
 
Very nice speech indeed. And yes a "reason rally" does seem a little redundant in the 21st Century.
 
i couldnt of said it better :)
 
The Reason Movement doth protest too much. You're all sanctimonious idiots.
 
All well and good, but just tonight I stumbled on dozens of posts on Google+ in support of Creationism. Yes, Creationism. That'd be bad enough, but when you realize all the candidates for POTUS on the GOP side (save Huntsman, he dropped out) question Darwin and want to teach Creationism side by side with Evolution in the science classes of our public schools, it is difficult to remain hopeful about the future.
 
Wow. Is this really a rally for evolution vs creationism? You'd think it was for something that actually mattered with the way people are cheering.

Schools need to be returned to local control and the government needs to get the hell out of it. If the parents in the school want their kids to learn about creationism then fine. If they don't , then fine. Either way it doesn't matter. They're all going to hear about it at some point. The question is, did the 'adults' in their lives take the time to tell them what they think about it? I'm sick of everyone expecting me to raise their kids for them. It's up to you to explain to your kids about all this stuff. Celibecy IS a real form of birth control. If you ONLY teach that to your kids, then your an idiot. If you refuse to teach that to your kids, then your also an idiot. This isn't rocket science - just ask the fake scientist.
 
His faith in human reasoning is touching, although completely unfounded. One need only examine what man has done with this ability to fully understand how completely we have failed, and wasted this glorious opportunity. It is accurate to point out that organized religion is the work of man and consequently reflects all of man's flaws. But organized religion has nothing whatsoever to do with the divine. And to put man, with his parlor tricks, before the divine is not merely demented hubris and arrogance, it is just pathetically absurd.
 
this is so cool! I wish I was there!
 
ADAM SAVAGE, RUN FOR PRESIDENT! WHY? BECAUSE THE IDEA SOUNDS AWFUL TO YOU. People who want it, have questionable drives.
 
As a devout Christian, I can find much to like in his speech. (Not all, of course.)

I very much respect dialogue and open-mindedness.
 
quote "Schools need to be returned to local control and the government needs to get the hell out of it."

you're fucking kidding me, lol
 
I love this! Unfortunately, it's sickening that people must rally for reason! Reason by definition is The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic. It's so sad that we live in a world where this must be justified...
 
Great speech. Very accessible to the everyday listener and lacks the air of superiority some discussions in the same vein are victim to. I hope the general public in America opens their minds to reason and logic with the rest of the Western world!
 
For the record, anyone who says "your an idiot" automatically loses the argument on multiple fronts.
 
Thank you for shariiiiiing!!! This is very coooool!
 
Mr. Savage.... You sir, are a fucking genius.
 
+Christopher Waisanen, I am a little confused by your statement, "It shouldn't be atheists versus believers, but atheists fighting ignorance with knowledge." Are you saying Believers = Ignorant?
 
Teaching Celibacy as a contraception method is like teaching your kids to not play any physical sport in order to no get hurt.

Sex is still seen (contrary to everything that science and our instincts and emotions tell us) as something that is not essential to the this experience we call life, really i think is some kind of abuse or at least some sort of malice to want to avoid that our kids enjoys their sex life, when someone tells that he teach his kids to not have sex in order to nt get pregnant or a STD is should be looked as absurd as someone saying "I tell my kids to never get up from their bed so they can be safe"..
 
No its called the idea of morality and when you do not have any you have no foundation and if you have no foundation you have nothing to stand on but your own thoughts which have no premise except you feel that way because its "not right" in your opinion which means only something to you until you have a foundation.
 
I love it!!! "Facts are still facts weather you believe it or not."
 
+Gary S Hart no that is not what I meant, though my comment was poorly constructed. What I meant was this should never be about atheists vs. believers (there is room for everyone on this planet!) but about knowledge vs. ignorance. A truly reasonable, intelligent person (godless or devout) takes all information into consideration before making a decision or coming to a conclusion. A reasonable person doesn't discard things because it conflicts with or contradicts their view of the world.
 
Thanks for clarifying your comment +Christopher Woo, I agree 100% with you revision. Everyone has the right to their beliefs and disbeliefs without bigotry.
 
So let me get this straight: we shouldn't worship God because we have no reason to do so, but instead we should worship ourselves and our ability to execute rational operations in our minds? That's absurd. We are rational creatures, and that's cool, I agree. But doesn't it seem a little prideful to have a rally and flaunt our rationality?
If you need a reason to believe, here are three to consider: 1) the universe exists. 2) despite many, well-planned, concerted, devoted efforts by some of the most powerful, rationally equipped nations in the world over the last 10 millennia or so, Israel still exists. Many, many nations and ethnic groups have come and gone with much less pressure; yet Israel, God's chosen people, persists, just as the Bible promises. 3) the bible is the most well-preserved, complete, and archaeologically supported document of all time.
And two 800-lb gorillas that cast doubt on the value of reason: 1) an argument reliant on deductive logic is always only as good as it's presuppositions. You have to first assume some set of truths before you can draw conclusions based on them. So any beliefs one holds that are based on deductive arguments are ultimately as unfounded as their underlying presuppositions. 2) an argument reliant on inductive logic is only as good as its presuppositions, which always include that induction is a good way to make predictions and that the world will be fundamentally the same in the future as it was in the past. Consider that you can never show that inductive reasoning is a good method without first assuming it is a good method. You could say, "induction is good because it has always worked in the past," which is itself an argument reliant on the presupposition that induction works. So it's circular reasoning. The bottom line is that your beloved, sacred "reason" is utterly hopeless and baseless. It's sinking sand. It's only as good as God makes it. 
 
Fred Grant, the fact that you just used reasoning to try to refute reasoning... disturbs me.
 
To Fred:
1. Logical fallacy. Twist theories to suit facts, not facts to suit theories. The universe existing does not require an entity to create it.
2. Israel still exists because people want it to exist. People protect areas they find worth it. Once again, you're twisting facts to support your theory.
3. The Bible was written by man. It is not the oldest text. And it was written by many minds over very long periods of time long after the events that it was based on. A book is just a book and proves nothing.
In reality, no one knows. Stop trying to make it sound like you're right. The more you try, the more you get disproven.
 
Ryan, I agree, using reason to disprove reason is just as silly as using reason to prove reason. 
 
You can't disprove reason. You tried to discredit it to some degree, but it's difficult to wear something down with itself.
 
By the way, disproving reason would only make the bible/ Abrahamic God look better if you believed they lack it. Which I would agree with you on ;)
 
Derek, I wasn't trying to prove anything. I was merely stating some facts that often tend to influence people's beliefs. Beliefs are generally built by inductive reasoning. For example, most people believe the sun will come up tomorrow because it has come up so many other days in the past. Similarly, many people believe a creator must exist because everything we've experienced seems to have an origin, source, or cause; likewise, it seems to follow that since we experience the universe, it also ought to have a cause. It's not logical fallacy, it's an inductive argument. So is the existence of Israel. Just seems rather unlikely, unusual, or unnatural that this one group of people should survive while all others come and go. Seems to demand a special explanation. They claim to have one. It's not proof (whatever that is, exactly), but rather a bit of evidence that could reasonably be interpreted in favor of the existence of God. And I didn't say the bible was the oldest. I said it was the most complete and well-preserved. We have more extant copies from antiquity than any other document, and yet everyone wants to argue it's a fraud. Yet nobody challenges the authenticity of Plato or the Rosetta Stone or Pythagorus. I wonder why. 
 
Wasn't trying to disprove reason. I was showing it doesn't stand on its own. Its credibility is entirely reliant on whether some ultimate authority decreed it to be so. It's empty in and of itself. But the Abrahamic God endorses it. So it's cool, just don't worship it. 
 
Haha, sorry Fred, but that is the most circular reasoning I've ever heard. And a creator has nothing to do with it. Just because humans make watches doesn't
mean gods create worlds or logic.
 
So Ryan, if you can't disprove or discredit reason with reason, and you can't prove reason with reason, then what are we left with? How do we form beliefs? Where do we go from here? Most people give up at this point and just say, "forget it, let's go have a beer," or, "just do what feels right." 
 
And just because the sun rose for the last 12 billion years doesn't mean it will rise tomorrow. It's not proof, it's induction. 
 
You don't need to prove reason, every statement made with reason stands on its own.
Anyways, that's strangely nihilistic thought for a theist. I like it :3
 
Maybe you can follow that line of though and see if you spontainusly float if you jump from a building...
 
What I love about beliefs is that they are merely beliefs. There a very few real facts. The majority of human decision is based on assumptions. This is why the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution are such important documents. In simple, they guarantee they state that we have the right to believe whatever we choose and to live in accordance by those beliefs as long as they do not violate any laws or the beliefs of others. All of this debate about whether another's beliefs are right or wrong is mental masturbation and does nothing for the greater good.
 
I think anytime humans search for the truth through nonviolent discussion it's working towards the greater goodz.
 
The problem comes in how the person in question understands and more important act upon said beliefs.

Of course thinking or professing that everybody can believe or take anything they want as fact, would be extremely detrimental, since it would be impossible to have a consensus in anything at all
 
Search for truth is good as is intelligent discussion +Ryan Murdock. There is a foundation for quality debate, not to be confused with argument.
 
OMG you have no idea how much I'd love this to turn into a version of the Argument Sketch. My Nerdomination will be complete.
 
A consensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively what no one believes individually. Abba Eban
 
Evidence always leads to the truth. The simple fact that there is no evidence for any god is enough for any intelligent and rational person to come to the conclusion that no gods exist. Not believing in gods is not the same as worshipping oneself. It is simply the lack of worshipping something that has never been demonstrated to exist. There is no need to redirect worship toward something else since there is no need to worship anything.
 
+Bryan Ley, I would like to push back on your statement that "Evidence always leads to truth." Less than 100 years, the known universe was believed to be the Milky Way, 100,000 light years across. Hubble discovered the red shift and the universe grew in that one change of evidence 130,000 times to 13 billion light years. One discovery could change our belief of the universe's size by another 130,000 times.

How many truths based on evidence available at the time have been later overturned? How many bad decisions have been based on evidence available at the time? Science changes faster than school text books. Text books are purchased under multi-year contract, written years in a advance of printing. In many cases, the schools are teaching outdated information. Would you like to discuss evidence in legal cases and whether that leads to truth?

Always is infinite in scale and can only be used correctly in conjunction with fact.

We can say evidence sometimes leads to truth.
 
+Vince Allison
If you would like your life controlled by the government your in the wrong country. America was founded on the principle that PEOPLE have the power (and the responsibility) and the government does not. Socialized schooling was yet another government takeover of the private home. So no, I'm not 'fucking kidding'. The 10th amendment to the constitution guaranteed that any power not granted SPECIFICALLY to the federal government by the constitution belongs to the states and then to the people. Schools were intended to be ran at the local level with local control.Yet the federal government continues to apply mandate after mandate beyond it's intended reach. You may like it, but it doesn't make it right.
 
So Ryan, you said reason stands on its own and doesn't need any support or proof. So the. Reason is the one unprovable, unchangeable, immutable, final, and decisive arbiter of truth. Then you have raised reason itself to the status of God. You exalt it above him. I choose to do the opposite. I exalt God as greater than, and the creator of, reason. I say reason only holds sway insofar as God intended it to. 
 
+Bryan Ley, you said we shouldn't believe in god because we have no reasons to do so. Read my earlier statements. I gave three compelling reasons people believe. 1) the universe exists, 2) israel persists, and 3) the bible.
You may not find those reasons compelling or sufficient, but many do. And not because they're unreasonable. They are reasons, after all.
So, on the one hand, your argument fails because we do in fact have reasons. You just don't like them.
On the other hand, your argument fails because it refutes itself. If we ought to believe in nothing for which we don't have a reason, then we ought not to believe in logical induction, because we have no reason to believe logical induction is any good, except that induction has worked well in the past, which itself is inductive reasoning. So you base all your supposed truths on circular reasoning. I could, similarly, say that I believe the content of the bible to be true because it says it is true. Just like you would say you believe induction works because it has worked in the past. whether you agree with me doesn't matter, but do you understand what I'm saying?
 
+Ryan Murdock, nihilistic is an interesting label to put on what I'm saying. If you think about it, Jesus was rather nihilistic, wasn't he? He ran around telling people that, contrary to popular belief, most of what they considered essential and important was actually meaningless. Read the book of Ecclesiastes, it's a nihilistic manifesto.
 
+Gary S Hart There is a fine line between "belief" and "understanding". Understanding changes as new evidence is found. Belief does not change regardless of what new evidence is found. We did not "believe" the universe was the Milky Way and nothing more, we understood (based on our lack of knowledge that things existed outside the Milky Way) that the universe was the Milky Way. Once new evidence pointed to the contrary, our understanding was broadened.

+Fred Grant I've seen your earlier statements and I saw no evidence that specifically points to the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving god who, for reasons unknown (and frankly do not make logical sense) would send someone to an eternity of suffering for "thought crimes" committed during a finite lifespan. 1) The universe exists. This is only evidence to support the existence of the universe. In no way does the existence of the universe point to the existence of a higher power when its origins can be adequately explained through natural processes. 2) Israel persists - Someone else pointed out that Israel exists because people want it to exist. 3) The bible is evidence only that bronze age nomads wrote things down and people later cobbled them together into a single collection. If the bible is really divinely inspired, why does it contain so many contradictions and things that are obviously incorrect? If God actually exists as he is described by Christians (an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving being who sends non-believers to hell), his all-loving nature would cause him to be sufficiently motivated to do whatever was necessary to ensure that nobody goes to hell. By being all-powerful, he would be capable of doing whatever was necessary (including making hell nonexistent), and he would know exactly what was necessary so that everyone would believe (because he is all-knowing). The fact that there are non-believers who do not believe simply because there is no evidence to support that particular belief is proof that God, as described by Christians, cannot exist because the entity is logically inconsistent with its definition. If he does exist, then he is not all-powerful, all-knowing, or all-loving, he is a mean-spirited tyrant.

Why do you say we have no reason to believe in logical induction? I base all my truths on evidence, logical induction, and fact. It has led to the truth time and again. This is not circular reasoning and is in no way comparable to what you do when you claim the bible is true because it says it is. You derive your "proof" from within the thing you are trying to prove where I derive my proof from verifiable, testable, and repeatable observations. I completely understand what you are saying, but it is completely wrong. The reasons given are not unreasonable, they are irrational. While they may work for you, they do not work for everyone who may test them. On the other hand, if I observe evidence of falling rocks and logically induce that all objects tend to fall toward the ground and accept this as fact, it can be tested directly by people all over the world. As long as conditions are similar (they are not in a zero-gravity environment), they will experience the same observable results.

Default position: There is no god. This position holds until evidence that specifically and directly points to the existence of a specific god is presented, tested, and found to be fact. Until such time, there is no rational reason to maintain a belief in any god.
 
well said Bryan. I am going to steal this post (minus names)
 
+Bryan Ley, your use of all inclusive (always) words is unscientific. And now you are speking for everyone, the collective we, "We did not "believe."

You are right Brian and you will always be right because you believe you are. Best wishes to you.
 
+Gary S Hart Facts are all inclusive. They are true for everyone regardless of whether they are accepted by everyone or not. Nobody is entitled to their own facts. If I state only fact, I can safely speak for everyone because facts are universal.

I am right and I will continue to hold the position that I am right until such time as someone can demonstrate that I am wrong. At that time, I have no problem accepting the new evidence that is presented and expanding my understanding accordingly. There is no belief involved as belief is not necessary in the presence of knowledge.
 
Actually, Fred, those three statements you made were a direct attempt to persuade people to your side by logical reasoning. That is an attempt to prove your side is the more appropriate side. The problem with that idea is that you now gave someone ground to disprove you.
By the way, I would recommend avoiding using those specific three points as they are very easily countered. The theory of infinity is required for a transcending God to exist, but this same theory gives equal or more opportunity for God not to exist by have an infinite cycle of the universe. If God was not created, then he must always have existed and therefore be infinite. If God was created, then something must have created him which creates an infinite cycle of creators.
Once again, Israel still exists because we want it to exist. History shows Jerusalem falling several times, but people fight to rebuild it out of religious faith. On the other hand, London still stands. Berlin still stands. The pyramids still stand to false gods. Why?
I will not continue on the third point. I already stated enough facts on that part.
 
+Bryan Ley, we were discussing evidence, not facts. Not all evidence is fact. Here is a fact, you've been blocked <smile>
 
+Bryan Ley, believing that logical induction is a good method because it has worked in the past is itself inductive reasoning. Induction is making statements about the way things are now based on the way they've been in the past. You say you know induction works now because it worked in the past. But that is induction. It's circular reasoning. Do you see it now? You're using induction as your basis for claiming induction is valid or good. 
 
+Bryan Ley, let's stick to the first of my three reasons. You said people shouldn't believe in god because they have no reason to do so. I said one reason is the existence of the universe. Many would agree that the very existence of the universe in all it's complexity and beauty is sufficient evidence that God exists. Yet that's not sufficient for you because you can think of other ways that the universe might exist without a creator. So if you can devise an alternate feasible explanation then my explanation or evidence is debunked? Is that how reason works? One alternate possible explanation refutes all others? 
 
@Fred Grant First off, Argumentum ad populum, and second Occam's razor.
 
+Derek Schweigel
I wasn't making a persuasive argument for God's existence. I provided three examples of reasons that are commonly offered in persuasive arguments for God's existence. Someone had said that people ought not believe because they have no reason to do so. I was arguing that point specifically: my side of the argument is that believers do, in fact, have reasons supporting their beliefs. I won that argument. It's a clear victory. People do hold those reasons as support for their belief. Now, everyone is trying to counter those reasons. But that wasn't my intent. I wasn't claiming those are good reasons or bulletproof reasons or anything like that. My point is that believers usually have reasons.
If you want to talk about whether any one of those particular reasons is valid or whatever, that's a different argument. So all your stuff about infinity and people wanting Israel to exist is irrelevant. The fact is that people have reasons for believing in God's existence. 
 
+Ryan Murdock
If I were arguing those three reasons were good reasons on the basis that they are held by many people, that would be argumentum ad populum. But that's not what I'm doing. Please refer to previous post.
And Occam's Razor? What about it? Infinitely cycling universes with no beginning and no end is somehow simpler than one Almighty creator? I disagree!
 
+Fred Grant You don't get it. Are you claiming that at some point in the future, using logical reasoning (the method of seeing an effect and using empirical evidence to identify all possible causes, then finding the most plausible cause and investigating it) will, at some time, change in the future??? I would love to see your evidence that suggests this. Your claim that the existence of the universe is reason enough to support a claim that God exists is based on nothing but your own confirmation bias. With the amount of evidence you have to support your claim, I can claim that the universe was created by an invisible pink unicorn, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or claim that I created the universe in my own mind. Can you test your claim that the universe was created by a logically impossible god? No. Therefore, it is not, and never will be, an acceptable answer. Simply being able to devise an alternate, feasible explanation is all I need to debunk your claim that "goddidit". My explanation is feasible because it is based on scientific evidence that can be (and has been) verified by scientists all over the world. So yes, one feasible (and testable) explanation is sufficient to debunk claims that have no evidence and are completely untestable. That's how the scientific method works and it has a much better track record of finding answers than any religion ever has.
Don Mc
 
Circular Prayer: Dear God In Heaven, Please Save Me From Your Followers.
Don Mc
 
And now a commercial break for a message from a few of our anti-sponsors...

If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining.

God must love stupid people. He made SO many.

Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you're an asshole.

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.

Some people hear voices.. Some see invisible people.. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.
 
+Bryan Ley
It's clear you see the scientific method (whatever that really is) or logical induction as the best method for evaluating the truth of a proposition or the reasonableness of an explanation. Please explain to me how you determine whether the following statement is valid: "the scientific method is the best known method for evaluating whether a proposition is true." Can you tell me how or why that statement is true without using inductive reasoning?
 
+Fred Grant It's clear to me that you have no concept of what the scientific method is (you should actually look it up.... It's application in one way or another is singularly responsible for every scientific advancement of the past several thousand years). This discussion will go nowhere until you take the time to learn about what you're debating against. You're apparently hung up on the "logical induction" bit. Fine. Science relies on logical induction as a means of identifying what is true and what is false. Does this make you happy? Now before you run away claiming victory, kindly explain how inductive reasoning is the same as circular reasoning. They are opposites. Inductive reasoning draws from outside to find supporting evidence for a claim. My example of the falling rock is a perfect example. If I drop a rock, I can observe the direction it travels and come to the conclusion that there is some force involved in determining the direction the rock travels. This claim can be tested by anyone provided they recreate the conditions of my experiment and their results will be the same. Circular reasoning (your claim that the bible is true because it says it is) relies on nothing external. I can claim in this thread that I am right because I say I am. This would be circular reasoning. Instead, I've made a different claim in one of my earlier posts. I stated that I am right until someone provides evidence that proves me wrong. This evidence would be provided by an outside source external to me. Do you see the difference?

The scientific method is the best known method for evaluating whether a proposition is true. This is demonstrated by the long history of scientific discoveries that have furthered our understanding of the world around us. This understanding has been demonstrated to be correct because testable predictions made based on this understanding have occurred as expected. In instances where these predictions have failed, the evidence that led to these failed predictions has been re-evaluated and our understanding has been refined. Given this iterative process and its long and successful track record, the scientific method is the single best way to find the truth.
 
Fred, here are quotes from your original post.
"If you need a reason to believe, here are three to consider:"
This was stated right after: "we shouldn't worship God because we have no reason to do so...?"
This is a literary attempt to persuade the audience that there are reasons. If those reasons are proven fallible, then it casts doubt on the argument that there are reasons and offers up the possibility of falsification. This is directly related to the way you originally presented the points, and it is also directly related to why you should not try to provide reasons to indulge in a mental operation called faith. Faith, by nature, is completely unrelated to reason. Reason may trigger faith, but no reason is needed at any time for faith.
If you wish to stick to using those reasons to argue reason behind faith, you are indirectly arguing that one should forgo knowledge, curiosity, and intelligence. There are good reasons for faith, but more often you see the bad reasons. The best reason, however, is the very thing you're practicing. Faith. Faith that the people that told you the doctrine are right. Faith that there is hope.
My best way to make an analogy of this is a tree. You can't make a tree live forever just by nailing boards to it. Generally, you just hurt the tree. The boards will eventually come off and all that will be left is an injured tree. Why not just care for the tree in the first place? It's just fine the way it is.
 
+Bryan Ley,
I have studied the scientific method in depth in a focused manner for over a year (not this year, a few years ago). When I state "whatever that really is," I'm referring to the fact that there is no consensus on a standard definition. So, rather than argue the validity of a nebulously defined principle, I choose instead to focus on logical induction, which everyone agrees is an essential component of the scientific method without which it is impossible to do science. I'd prefer to not debate the definition of the scientific method because it will go on too long with no end.
Instead, I'm asking you to do something simple: tell me how or why you believe logical induction is a good method of developing understanding, forming beliefs, etc. I asked you to do this without using inductive reasoning. Because if you use inductive reasoning to support the validity of inductive reasoning, that's circular. And yet, despite the clear request, your support for inductive reasoning referred it's past successes. You said induction is good because it has been successful in the past. That is inductive reasoning. It's the same as if I were to say, "the sun will come up today because it has always come up in the past." Now, don't deflect my request by putting words in my mouth. I'm not claiming induction will stop working some day, and I'm not claiming the sun won't rise tomorrow. I'm just asking you to justify induction without using induction. Can you do it?

 
+Bryan Ley
Just to be clear, I'm not claiming inductive reasoning is the same as circular reasoning. I'm asking you to tell me why we should use inductive reasoning, but I don't want you to use inductive reasoning in your explanation. If you use inductive reasoning to justify using inductive reasoning, then that's a circular argument. 
 
+Derek Schweigel
I agree with most of what you wrote. I take issue with one point though: you said if the reasons for belief are found fallible then it casts doubt on whether there are actually reasons. This is where I was going originally, but first had to get someone to acknowledge that people do in fact have reasons for believing in God. Now, in order for your argument to be true, the believer must accept the counterargument against his reasons for belief. For example, if I say I believe because of the Bible, but then you say the Bible is worthless, then that only affects my belief if I accept your statement. Now, if we both were to agree that the scientific method is the best way to determine what's true, then you could try to demonstrate the Bible is worthless using science, and I would have to concede upon receiving scientific evidence that the Bible is worthless. So, what is essential for settling such a debate is initial agreement on method. If I don't hold your method to the same esteem as you do, then all your awesome rational counterarguments are rubber bullets - stillborn. If we disagree on method, then even when you think you've disproven my reason for belief, I still may hold that reason as valid, and thus will still have reasons for believing. 
 
+Fred Grant Inductive reasoning is useful because it leverages probability. With a large enough sample size, we can make fairly accurate predictions of future events. I think it was you, in a very early post, who said that we can use inductive reasoning to predict that the sun will rise tomorrow because it has happened that way for billions of years. While this is not proof that the sun will rise tomorrow, the probability of the alternative is infinitesimally small and would qualify as an extraordinary claim. Without extraordinary evidence, this extraordinary claim is nothing more than a wild guess and wouldn't be taken seriously by anyone capable of rational thought.

So applying this back to the original topic, the default position is that God does not exist. Since no evidence has ever been presented to demonstrate the existence of any god, there is no rational reason for anyone to believe in God. The only reason that anyone believes in God is because they have been indoctrinated before they developed the ability to think rationally by the people who raised them. This is why Christian parents have Christian children, Muslim parents have Muslim children, etc. Everyone is born an atheist (someone who does not believe in gods, which is not the same as someone who believes gods do not exist). Your claim was that people do have reasons for believing in God; however the reasons you presented break down to nothing more than arguments from ignorance (I don't understand how the universe could exist without a creator. Therefore "goddidit"), human activity (Israel still exists, therefore God exists (which is no different than saying Disney World exists, therefore Mickey Mouse exists)), or circular reasoning (I believe in God because the bible says it is God's word). None of these reasons is a solid foundation on which to build a defensible position. On the other hand, using science and the scientific method to provide testable predictions that verify or refute the validity of the initial claims has worked for thousands of years. This is a fairly substantial sample size which allows us to make accurate predictions based on probability. For you to claim that inductive reasoning is somehow invalid or will at some point cease to function as it has for thousands of years requires extraordinary evidence on your part.
 
I never implied the bible was worthless. I stated it was not all you said it was. You tried to state that it was accurate, but I countered. We both know it was written by man, and that man is fallible.
The problem with your argument is you're saying "N-N-No it's not." Ignoring the other side is an act of ignorance. It's the way most people keep their belief, and it is the wrong way. Faith by ignorance is worthless. You cannot disprove God so you shouldn't need to ignore others to keep your faith. Instead, use the logical functions of your brain God gave you. Take everything in and understand that everyone is just guessing, but don't try to prove your guess with things we know to be false, or can be easily disproven. That just hurts your argument.
Also, saying we have different perspectives is all well and good, but only until the point where you start ignoring basic truths. If you tell me my grass is blue, I can prove you wrong by proving that English, and almost everyone, defines that wavelength of light as green. If you tell me the Bible was written by God, I will look up the people that wrote it and facts about all the original errors and changes over time. If you, however, tell me the Bible tells a story about a man blessed by God that you believe, then I have nothing to counter that with except that it's a story that might be based on true events. But, when you tell me that story is true, that's where I can counter.
When it comes down to it, it's your choice to believe whatever you want, but don't give your reasons to others unless you have a way to back it up. If you wish to disbelieve my statement that the Bible was written by man, then I'm going to disbelieve your statement that the Bible is true. I can find the printing press each Bible was printed at. I could go to each scientist in the world and ask them if it's physically possible to turn water into wine. Using the gift God gave me, I know that means there's a chance the Bible has been altered greatly due to errors of man, and I know that the stories in the Bible were exaggerated, as all stories of the time were. It doesn't mean the Bible is worthless or wrong.
 
+Bryan Ley
I'm pretty confident I understand what you're saying. But I don't think you're addressing my point. I think you made a valiant attempt at justifying induction. But ultimately I don't think you gave justification for inductive reasoning, you just described it in terms of probabilities. I understand that larger sample sizes (with little variation) increase the probability of future occurrence (or at least the confidence in the prediction of such occurrence), but that's just a quantitative model of induction; it doesn't justify induction. Induction says what happened consistently in the past is likely to happen in the future. Throw in probability theory and you have a quantitative model. But the model doesn't tell you why the principle is good or true. Take Newton's laws as an analogy. Newton said force increases linearly with inertia and acceleration. The quantitative model is F = ma. But F = ma doesn't justify that force increases linearly with momentum, it just describes it in algebraic terms. Likewise, stating that the confidence in a future prediction increases with increasing sample size simply describes the inductive process in more quantitative terms, it doesn't justify induction.
So the challenge still stands. Can you tell me why induction is good? Without using circular reasoning and without simply restating the principle in probability terms?
 
+Bryan Ley
I'll pick up another interesting point you made. You said the only reason people believe in God is because they've been indoctrinated. This implies there's a cycle: generation after generation of parents indoctrinate their children with the beliefs they received from their parents, etc.
So, was it the chicken or the egg? If the origin of belief is parental indoctrination, then where is the origin of that belief, and so on? Were our hairy tree-climbing ancestors indoctrinating their children? Where'd they get the idea?
 
+Derek Schweigel
I didn't claim that you said the bible is worthless. It was an illustration. I said, "for example, if I said... and you said..." It was an illustrative example. The point of my whole comment was that people first need to agree on a method for resolving disagreements before they can resolve anything. Read it again. So, if we want to talk about whether the bible contains the thoughts of God or the thoughts of man, we ought to first agree on a method for evaluating those two opposing propositions. It seems these days everyone wants to run to science. Do you think science is an appropriate method for evaluating whether the bible is divine?
 
+Fred Grant I missed your 2nd post from yesterday morning. It's difficult to keep track of everything you're saying when they're in multiple posts strewn about the thread.

To address your first post, probability absolutely justifies inductive reasoning. You conveniently glossed over my statement about the requirement of extraordinary evidence to justify an extraordinary claim by simply calling it "valiant" and then asked the same question I just answered. If you're not going to accept valid answers to your questions, why ask? Only a fool would look at a pattern that has repeated for billions of years and come to the conclusion that tomorrow it would be different unless they had some kind of evidence that gave them specific reason to believe things would change. You said it yourself, "I understand that larger sample sizes (with little variation) increase the probability of future occurrence (or at least the confidence in the prediction of such occurrence)". What more evidence does someone need to justify the use of a process that relies on large sample sizes to reach predictable conclusions? Inductive reasoning is justified because it is supported by probability derived from very large sample sizes. To use your example about Newton's Law, the algebraic model is good and true BECAUSE IT WORKS. You can calculate the force of a moving object if you know its mass and acceleration. You can verify this by taking an object of known mass, accelerating it at a known rate, and slamming it into a force measurement tool and measuring the force. Do this enough times and a linear trend is clearly shown. If somebody, somewhere provides extraordinary evidence that at mass X and acceleration Y, F = 2ma^3, then Newton's Law would be disproved and a new algebraic model would take its place. Since Newton's Laws have been in place for over 300 years, I'm not holding my breath that they'll be disproved any time soon.

"So the challenge still stands. Can you tell me why induction is good? Without using circular reasoning and without simply restating the principle in probability terms?" Wow. So you want me to answer your question without using valid reasons... I've answered your question. If you're going to play intellectually dishonest games, you're going to have to find someone else to play with.

Regarding the origin of indoctrination, that's easy. Early humans didn't understand natural phenomena and invented gods and demons as a means of explaining such things as the Sun, fire, sickness, death, seasons - whatever they saw and could not explain. Over time, these superstitions changed and acquired a rich set of mythology to go with them. Eventually, Christianity came along, borrowed pieces from the various Jewish, Egyptian, and pagan beliefs and formed a new religion that could be attractive to a wide variety of people. After a few centuries, Christianity had grown to a level of influence where those in power had the ability to murder anyone who didn't accept it. This is documented historical fact. Perhaps you've heard of the Dark Ages or the Spanish Inquisition. Get enough people to follow your religion out of fear and do it for long enough and eventually the present population is indoctrinated simply because that's the only set of beliefs they've known. This trend is obvious if you spend about 15-20 minutes reading about ancient mythology and medieval history.
 
Your tangent did not help the discussion so I attempted to redirect it back on course.
Again, my point is that you should not use easily disproven facts. Ignoring facts is ignorance. Attempting to prove or disprove facts is intelligence. If you refuse to accept the evidence at hand, do so on your own. Stating it's still correct only hurts your belief structure in the eyes of others. This creates a vacuum that causes people to stop believing in general. If you want to follow the teachings, then attempt to spread belief through intelligence, not ignorance.
Science was never a part of this discussion between you and I. The only thing this discussion has been about is you stating fallible statements as reasons for faith.
 
+Bryan Ley
I'm discouraged that you still don't get what I'm saying. It's really pretty simple but maybe I'm not very good at stating it clearly. I'm getting tired of repeating myself and I'm sure you're getting tired of it too. But here's the problem I'm pointing out:

ANY proposition anyone makes about which method leads to truth, ultimately must be evaluated by that method to determine if it's true. For instance, someone could say, "true statements always include the word, 'fish'." (this is obviously just an illustrative example, so please don't argue with me about the fish method) Now, because the statement, "true statements always include the word, 'fish'" does itself contain the word "fish," then, according to that method of evaluating truth, that statement is clearly true. But you must be able to see the problem with this. The method proved itself. It's circular reasoning.
That's what you're doing with induction. Induction says, in essence, "true statements are compatible with past experience." And your method of evaluating whether that statement is true involves comparing it with past experience and confirming that in fact, true statements have consistently been compatible with prior experience. The problem with this is that you've used the statement, "true statements are compatible with past experience," to prove itself.
On probability: you missed my point about Newton. I wasn't discussing the truth or validity of F = ma. I was drawing an analogy: induction is to probability as "impulse varies with velocity change" is to F = ma. I was arguing that probability is only a quantitative tool used to do induction. Just like F = ma is a quantitative tool used to do problems involving forces and motion. You argued that probability somehow proved the validity of induction. If you're right, then F = ma proves newton's law. But it doesn't, and you're not. F = ma is just a restatement of Newton's law, and your probability argument is just a restatement of induction.
I'll give an example. Say I do an experiment with a billion samples all giving the identical result. You could then say with high confidence that the probability of obtaining the same result in the next experiment is 100% with astronomically high confidence. But, that probability statement is entirely reliant on the inductive principle that "past results are good predictors of future results." Which brings us back to square one: how do you prove the statement "past results are good predictors of future results"?
 
+Derek Schweigel okay so I should not state easily disproven facts. Fine. So which facts are easily disproven, and how do you disprove them?
 
Do I need to hold your hand, too?
I was under the assumption that you were a sentient being capable of logical functions. Unfortunately, I will not do all your thinking for you. You'll have to learn to think on your own. I don't have the time nor patience to teach you logical thinking and reasoning.
Here are the only hints I'll give you. Start asking what, why, how, when, and where to every question and statement.. Ask it on subsequent answers. Keep asking it until you truly understand everything you can. Then, after all that, you might have a good enough idea to make a call, but you will also realize that when someone calls you out on parts you didn't understand, you'll have to defer to a higher power.
 
Okay, +Derek Schweigel, so I asked how you disprove facts, and you gave a rather condescending, convoluted, and incomplete answer. But I'll run with it. I asked how, and you said we should ask questions, and then on subsequent answers we should ask more questions. So now I'll ask: how does asking questions like this disprove facts? How do you know when a fact is finally disproven, and how do you know that asking questions like this is the best way to disprove facts?
 
+Fred Grant I completely understand what you're saying and I've been trying to tell you for the past several posts that you do not have any understanding whatsoever of how the scientific method works. You claimed to have studied it for some time, but obviously you didn't learn anything if you think it relies solely on inductive reasoning to prove itself. You also haven't paid any attention to my analogies or examples, instead choosing to focus on your myopic idea that science relies only on inductive reasoning to prove itself. Is probability inductive reasoning? No. Is evidence inductive reasoning? No. Is independent experimentation inductive reasoning? No. While science relies on inductive reasoning to establish predictions based on evidence obtained through past observation, it verifies these predictions through more experimentation, more observation, and gathering more evidence, all evidence, not just specific evidence that validates the claim (as is done by anyone attempting to use logic, reason, intelligence, knowledge, or science to support what's written in the bible).

I know you weren't discussing the validity of F=ma. Had you paid attention to the content of what I wrote rather than a few specific words, you would have understood that I was using your example as an example of how the scientific method works and how it doesn't rely on logical induction to prove itself. Maybe using your analogy was too complicated for you to follow. I see you used a simpler analogy this time so maybe if I use it too, you won't get lost in the math.

To use your analogy about "fish" statements, If I were to pick a billion sentences that include the word "fish" and all of them were true, while I may be able to use probability to hypothesize the truthfulness of "fish" statements and publish papers for peer evaluation, further analysis by independent sentence builders would eventually uncover the statement, "all sentences that contain the word 'fish' are false." This discovery would completely unravel the foundations of my "hypothesis of fish statement infallibility".

Your last paragraph also shows that you do not have any understanding of statistics. Statistics cannot be used to prove anything to 100% accuracy. I've never claimed that the probability of success for any future experiment is 100%. While a sufficiently large sample size can reduce the possibility of error significantly, it can never reduce it to zero. I hope from the "fish" statement example you're able to see exactly why using inductive reasoning isn't the same as verifying a claim, nor does science rely on inductive reasoning as the only tool for finding what is true. Inductive reasoning is used to make predictions from observed evidence, not verify them.

I also noticed that +Derek Schweigel gave a very thorough and thoughtful answer which you took as "condescending", "convoluted", and "incomplete". You probably got the same impression from this post with my usage of words such as "myopic" and statements that my examples and analogies are too complicated for you to follow. I'm guessing that you find people speaking to you in condescending tones a lot. My advice, follow Derek's advice and start asking questions about the things you think you know. It's the only way you'll start to develop a big-picture view of the world which is something you clearly don't have.
 
If you can't figure that out, then you have no place here trying to argue reason. I suggest getting a dictionary and looking up the words: fact, prove, opinion, logic, reason, and just about every other word related to these. It's not that hard -.-
Or do you really mean that I need to do all your thinking for you?
 
+Bryan Ley You said I have a "myopic idea that science relies only on inductive reasoning to prove itself." To make sure I didn't erroneously say that, I went back and found this: "So, rather than argue the validity of a nebulously defined principle, I choose instead to focus on logical induction, which everyone agrees is an essential component of the scientific method without which it is impossible to do science." In other words, I'm claiming inductive reasoning is necessary to do science, but I'm not claiming it's sufficient by itself. So, no, I'm not saying "science relies ONLY on inductive reasoning to prove itself." But I am saying you can't do science without inductive reasoning.

I understood your explanation of F = ma and I understand your new illustration using the fish-truth illustration. But both of those seem to clearly rely on inductive reasoning, don't they? Once the sentence builders uncovered the statement "all sentences that contain the word 'fish' are false," then they will be able to say, "we have data showing that not all sentences containing the word 'fish' are true." They may ultimately conclude that whether a statement contains 'fish' has no bearing on its truthfulness. But that conclusion relies on their past experience. They are using inductive reasoning by saying, "in the past we have found both true and false 'fish' statements, therefore in the future we will also find both true and false 'fish' statements." That's induction.

So, if you do in fact understand what I'm saying, then will you finally answer my question? You and Derek are both suggesting that I should ask questions for clarification when I don't understand something. I don't understand the justification for using inductive reasoning to find truth. So I'm asking the question: Can you justify inductive reasoning without using circular reasoning and without just restating the inductive method in probabilistic terms?
 
+Fred Grant Do I have to be your dictionary too? By myopic, I meant that you are focusing on one detail of something, claiming that it is the entirety of the method, and then asking why that one detail is the entire thing you're asking about. You create a false premise, then claim victory because the premise is absurd. Your continued comments show that you are unwilling to accept the truth, that while inductive reasoning is a part of the scientific method, it is not the entire scientific method. Neither of my examples RELY on inductive reasoning, they merely use it as a tool for creating experiments that generate more observation and evidence. The observation and gathering of evidence (two things that don't have anything at all to do with inductive reasoning) are much larger components of why science finds the correct answer than are the predictions made using inductive reasoning. The conclusions have nothing to do with inductive reasoning. They have everything to do with evidence and observation. The statement, "in the past, we have found both true and false 'fish' statements" is an observation made by observing the EVIDENCE of both statements. It has nothing to do with inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning would only be useful if sentence writers wanted to plan new experiments on "fish" statements, such as experiments designed to validate a claim that "All positive statements that contain the word 'fish' are true".

If you can't figure that out after I've been spoon-feeding you these past several posts, then there is no hope for you... you're destined to live a life of ignorance. Nobody will ever be able to give you an answer that will be satisfactory to you when you misrepresent their words and completely ignore the content of what they're saying, instead choosing to focus on your faulty premise as if it were valid. I refuse to argue with an idiot.
 
+Bryan Ley, I'm sorry you're getting so frustrated with me on this. I'm being sincere, trying to avoid using condescension and pedantic tones (although I may not have done so perfectly), and really trying to get to the bottom of this. I recognize I'm not the best at putting ideas into words, and I may not catch every point you make the first time around. For that I apologize and hope you don't hold that against me. Not because I care personally about whether you think I'm an idiot, but because I sincerely think this is an interesting discussion and finally think we might be coming closer to a common understanding.

Continuing the discussion: it sounds like you're saying inductive reasoning isn't a necessary ingredient in the scientific method. I'm claiming it is. This is actually kind-of side-stepping my question about justifying induction, and getting more into the debate about what the scientific method really is. Can you give me an example of some real science that does not rely on inductive reasoning? The only things I can think of that might commonly be considered science that do not rely on induction are the parts of science that are solely concerned with observing and naming things in nature. Like large parts of astronomy and biology that just observe and classify species or stars. I would argue, though, that while these taxonomies are very helpful to science, they're not actually science. We can talk about that more if you agree with me that these are the only types or branches of science that don't rely on inductive reasoning. If you can think of others, I would be very interested.

But real science aside, let's go back to your fish example. I would argue that in order for that situation to be considered science, the sentence builders would have to be making testable predictions based on their observations. I think you've agreed that inductive reasoning is necessary to make predictions based on the observations. So if inductive reasoning is necessary to make predictions, and testable predictions are necessary for something to be scientific, then inductive reasoning is necessary for science, right? If I'm not right here, can you please point out which of my above statements are incorrect and tell me what's incorrect about it?

One other thing that bugs me a little is that you still haven't answered my question (can you justify using inductive reasoning without using circular reasoning and without simply restating it in terms of probability?) Just to give closure to that point, could you please reply with a simple yes or no? I just want to know if you know of any justification for inductive reasoning that doesn't rely on inductive reasoning. I understand that you stated probability is justification enough, but I thought I made a good counterpoint by showing that even probabilistic predictions rely on the principle that the future will be like the past, which is the crux of inductive logic. If you disagree with my counterpoint, please say so and tell me why. Otherwise, please give me a yes or no answer to my original question about whether you know how to justify inductive reasoning. 
 
Observations are just raw data. Evidence is when you claim an observation supports a theory. A theory is a construction or abstraction used to explain a set of observations AND predict future observations. If a theory doesn't predict future observations then it's dead, pointless, useless, and not science. I could, for example, create an elaborate story about how something took place, and incorporate every known fact to date, but if an event occurs or an artifact is discovered tomorrow that makes my story impossible then my theory is dead. If my theory cannot be disproven in this manner by future observations, then it is not a testable theory, is not "falsifiable" (in scientific method lingo), and is therefore not considered science. So then I'm claiming that in order for a theory to be scientific, it not only has to explain the set of known observations but also has to make predictions about future observations so that it is falsifiable. Therefore a scientific theory is based on past observations (it explains the set of known phenomena) and makes predictions about future observations. So science necessarily makes future predictions based on past observations. Therefore science necessarily uses inductive reasoning. Please point out which of the above statements are false and explain why. 
 
+Fred Grant I see nothing wrong with the statements made in your "Observations are just raw data" post; however that's not what you've been asking all along. You've been repeatedly making the claim that science relies ONLY on inductive reasoning and rejecting my answers that state the fact that it also relies on observations and evidence. This whole discussion started when you made a claim that people believe what's in the bible because the bible says it is true. It was pointed out that using the bible to support what the bible says is circular logic and so you tried to apply that same observation to science in an attempt to equate scientists' use of inductive reasoning to people believing the bible is true because the bible says it is true. You've spent the last several posts asking for a yes or no answer to a loaded question. "Does science rely on inductive reasoning?" If I answer "No.", I'm ignoring the fact that it does rely on inductive reasoning to formulate predictions based on theories. If I answer "Yes.", my answer will be taken by you as a justification of using the bible to prove the bible. It would be like me asking you, "Yes or no, do you still beat your wife?". If you answer "No.", then it is an admission that at one time you beat your wife and if you answer "Yes." it's an admission that you have in the past and still do. You're asking for a yes or no answer to a question that requires explanation because the structure of the question is flawed.

To answer your question as directly as possible, yes, science does rely on inductive reasoning, but only to formulate testable theories. Science doesn't rely solely on inductive reasoning as you do when you use the bible as evidence to support what the bible says. There is nothing outside the bible that directly proves that what the bible says true. In fact, all available evidence demonstrates that much of what the bible says is based on a blatantly wrong understanding of the world by bronze age nomads rather than the factual and correct description of the world that would be provided by an omniscient being. Science relies on inductive reasoning only to make predictions based on observable facts. The statement, "If X, Y, and Z are true, then it stands to reason that A is also true" proves nothing. The observed results of an experiment designed to determine whether or not A is also true is what science uses to obtain knowledge and verify facts.
 
+Fred Grant And I do disagree with your counterpoint regarding the use of probability as a justification for using inductive reasoning. As in all of our examples, we're basing our assumption that the future will be like the past on a sample size consisting of billions of observations. If you're asking me to suddenly reject the probability that the future will be like the past in favor of your assertion that the future will be different, you're going to need a hefty amount of evidence to support that assertion.
 
+Bryan Ley, I think we reached an important agreement: that science relies on inductive reasoning. To be clear: neither of us thinks science relies ONLY on inductive reasoning. I'm sorry if something I wrote caused confusion on that point. My intent the whole time was to make the claim that inductive reasoning is necessary for science, not that it is sufficient for science. In other words, you need inductive reasoning to do science, though it may not be all you need. I think we've reached agreement on this; am I right?
 
+Derek Schweigel, I'm not sure how to answer your question. No, I don't want you to do my thinking for me. But yes, I do want you to explain to me how one should go about disproving facts. I'm confused on two points: 1) a fact is defined as a true statement about reality. How do you disprove a true statement? And 2) if you weren't actually talking about disproving facts, but maybe instead talking about disproving suppositions or hypotheses or something like that, then I'm not clear on how you would propose disproving them. You said you wouldn't necessarily rely on the scientific method. So how would you do it? Common sense? Tradition? Referral to holy scriptures? Interpreting dreams? Reading the leaves? Logical deduction? Logical induction? Trial by jury? Democratic vote? Ask the authority? What?
 
+Bryan Ley, on using probability to justify induction, here's how I understand what you're saying:

We have billions of samples of inductive reasoning successfully producing accurate predictions. We can consequently conclude that the probability of logical induction producing accurate predictions in the future is very high.

If that's not an accurate restatement of your claim, please point out my error.

Here's where I disagree: the billions of samples are only raw data. They're statistics. You can classify them, create taxonomies for them, claim that they are evidence that supports some theory, and lots of other stuff, I'm sure. However, without using inductive reasoning, you cannot make predictions from your data. In other words, you need inductive reasoning to formulate probabilities of future events from statistics. Statistics and probability are not the same. Statistics are dead. They're only a record of what happened in the past. If you want to use them to make predictions about the future, you must first assume or conclude that the future data will show the same trends as does the past data. So the billions of samples in which induction worked only tell you something about the future if you first assume or conclude that the future will be the same as the past. If you don't first make that assumption, then the billions of samples only tell you what happened in the past, and say nothing about the future. Please identify which of the above statements are incorrect and why. 
 
+Fred Grant I can agree that inductive reasoning is useful for science.

Your disagreement on the validity of the probability that can be calculated using a sample size of 1 billion shows that you do not understand anything about statistics. I will attempt to inform you. In a vast majority of situations, data plotted on an X/Y axis will fall within a standard bell curve with a normal distribution. 68.2% of all results will fall within 1 standard deviation (std. dev.) of the mean. 95.2% of all results will fall within 2 std. dev. of the mean. 99.6% of all results will fall within 3 std. dev. of the mean. This is a fact of nature. Take people's height as an example. There are some people who are taller, some who are shorter, but a majority of people will fit within a fairly narrow range. With a sufficiently large sample size (anything greater than 100), one can reasonably predict the probability of an outcome within a given range. At only 100 samples, that range is fairly large, but not too large to make actionable predictions. As the sample size increases (say to 1 billion), that range becomes astronomically narrow. You may notice when the news media project which political candidate is leading in the polls, they will say, "Candidate X leads Candidate Y 56% to 44% with a margin of error of 1%" This margin of error is calculated using the sample size. The larger the number of people polled, the lower the margin of error. You'll probably find it very interesting that these polls can be so accurate when they have only polled 1,000 people. While statistics cannot be used to "prove" anything since proof implies 100% certainty, they can be used to show the likelihood of something with a very high level of confidence. If you're planning on rejecting the likelihood of an event that has happened 1 billion times prior, I would like to place a very large wager with you on that event.

Of course any probabilistic information that can be derived from data breaks down if the data are random and do not fall within a normal distribution, but then that randomness would make the data invalid for planning experiments.

Do you see now why inductive reasoning is not the same as circular reasoning?
 
Forgot about this topic.
Facts can be true or false. All they are are statements capable of being proven true or false, as opposed to opinions.
Fact: 3. a piece of information
I already gave you the method. Ask questions until you can't find an answer. Nothing can be completely proven true or false because we don't know everything. All we can do is ask questions until we get the closest answer we can.
 
+Bryan Ley "I can agree that inductive reasoning is useful for science." I didn't ask if it is useful. I asked if it is necessary. Why are you avoiding the question?

"Your disagreement on the validity of the probability that can be calculated using a sample size of 1 billion shows that you do not understand anything about statistics." You ignored that I pointed out the difference between probability and statistics. Statistics are about what happened. Probability is about what will happen. To go from statistics to probability you need inductive reasoning.

"With a sufficiently large sample size (anything greater than 100), one can reasonably predict the probability of an outcome within a given range. At only 100 samples, that range is fairly large, but not too large to make actionable predictions. As the sample size increases (say to 1 billion), that range becomes astronomically narrow." This is retarded. So with 100 samples, I can predict that the measurement of a person's height will probably be between 4'10" and 8'5", but with 1billion samples, that range is smaller? Seriously? Did you really just make that claim? And this is your attempt to inform me? If this is your understanding of probability, and you're so sure of it that you're going to try and use it to inform me, then maybe this discussion is futile. I work in probability and statistics everyday, doing probabilistic risk assessments, fragility analysis, probabilistic response analyses, performance-based engineering, so on and so forth. After reading that statement, I'm quite certain you can't teach me anything about probability or statistics, and I'm growing weary of trying to teach you because you're not listening.

"Do you see now why inductive reasoning is not the same as circular reasoning?" Again, I didn't say inductive reasoning is the same a circular reasoning. I said that if you use inductive reasoning to justify using inductive reasoning, then that's circular. I asked you to justify inductive reasoning without actually using any inductive logic in your justification, and you tried to give me a lesson on probability.

I can't tell if you're just being stubborn or if you really don't see what I'm saying here.

Let's try this illustration: say you collect statistics on people's height. You measure the height of every adult on the planet except for one. All the measurements were between 2'-0" and 10'-0" (statistics - information about the past). Now you want to measure the one remaining person, but first you are asked to predict the outcome. To make it easier, you're allowed to predict a range. If you assume future measurements will be the same as past measurements, then it would be reasonable to predict there is a 99.9999999999999999999% probability the outcome will lie somewhere between 2'-0" and 10'-0" (this is probability now - you see we first had to assume future measurements will follow the same pattern as past measurements - that's the difference between probability and statistics - the difference is inductive reasoning). So you make your prediction but it fails. Turns out the last guy is 30' tall. In fact, you go back and re-measure everyone else, and find that they're all 25' taller than they were before! Someone put something in the water and everyone grew 25'! So in order to make a prediction based on your statistics - in order to turn your statistics into probabilities - you need to first be confident that everything is the same as it was in the past. Without inductive reasoning, statistics is dead, and you can't make probabilistic predictions.

So, how do you know everything will be the same as it was in the past? You know it's the same because it always has been the same. People by and large have stayed the same height, and haven't grown spontaneously by 25'. I get that. Now, if you say people won't grow by 25' because they haven't grown that way in the past - that's fine because you're using inductive reasoning to justify a statement about people's heights. But if you say inductive reasoning will work because it's always worked in the past, that statement is in itself inductive reasoning, which means you're using the conclusion to prove the premise! It would be like saying people won't grow 25' because they won't grow 25'! That's circular!!
 
+Derek Schweigel "A fact (derived from the Latin factum, see below) is something that has really occurred or is actually the case." (Wikipedia)
"something that actually exists; reality; truth" (Dictionary.com)
"something known to exist or to have happened" (Dictionary.com)
"a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true" (Dictionary.com)

So you just 'proved" your own "ignorance" of the whole subject, Derek. Nice job.
 
+Derek Schweigel and if we can't completely prove anything true or false, then why did you say I'm presenting facts that are easily disproven? How can disproving my facts be impossible and also be easy?
 
+Fred Grant Inductive reasoning is not necessary for science. It is only useful for planning experiments on theories. It is completely possible to plan experiments without the use of inductive reasoning. These experiments would be open ended, "let's see what happens if we do this" experiments. They would help scientists gather more information about how things work. Action + Observation = Result. There is no inductive reasoning necessary in these cases.

You are not capable of having a discussion on the relationship between probability and statistics because you have no understanding of either. You pointed out what you think is the "difference" between probability and statistics and I gave you a free lesson on why your explanation lacks anything resembling knowledge on the subject. To go from statistics to probability, you simply need to do the math. Seriously.. take a statistics course sometime. You'll learn a lot if you pay attention. I guarantee it. Until you take the time to educate yourself, I'm going to have to conclude that I'm dealing with a complete moron. Your ignorance on the subject of statistics is astounding and yet you choose to call the comments of someone who has studied statistics - someone who actually KNOWS what they're talking about "retarded"??? Blah blah blah, you work in statistics and probability and you don't even know what they are??? I have an electrical engineering degree and I'm currently working on my MBA at one of the best MBA schools in the country... I could go on and on about my qualifications too, but it doesn't prove anything. You take what I say, twist it to something absurd and claim victory. I'm dealing with a complete moron. You have it in your head that you're right and no matter what verifiable evidence is presented, you just ignore it or create a ridiculous straw man argument in an attempt to look smart... You failed.

I have been explaining how inductive reasoning is not used to justify inductive reasoning for the past several posts. Go back and read. Idiot.

(BTW, I stopped reading your post after your 4th paragraph. It's clear to me that you will choose to ignore anything that refutes your viewpoint. This discussion is over. Enjoy your willfully ignorant life.)
 
+Bryan Ley so if people randomly select experiments to do without any theory or hypothesis, then that's science? I thought science had to be falsifiable. Where's the falsifiability in, "let's see what happens if..."?

You made a serious error in your "lesson" on probability and statistics. You can call me an idiot and moron all you want, but that doesn't change the widely known fact that a bell curve doesn't get more narrow with more samples. I'm happy for you that you've got an engineering degree and you're working on an MBA, and I'm sure you've taken a course in probability and statistics, but if you can't see the difference between probability and statistics, then your education hasn't served you very well. I still hold that statistics describes past observations and probability predicts future observations. If we can't agree on that simple point, then yeah this discussion's going nowhere. Funny that you couldn't give a counterargument or state your perspective and instead just resorted to name calling.
 
+Bryan Ley, I've read all your posts thoroughly, sometimes repeatedly, sincerely hoping to find a non-circular justification for inductive reasoning. The closest thing I saw was a vague claim that probability somehow justifies inductive reasoning. That claim ignores the obvious fact that probability relies on inductive reasoning to make predictions from past observations. So you failed at your attempt to form a non-circular justification. When I pointed that out you just repeated yourself a few times, called me some names, and then gave up. 
 
+Fred Grant "randomly" (your word) selected experiments that do not rely on theory or hypothesis are commonly called "exploration" and lead to "discovery". You need to think big-picture.

Just to put the record straight, my references to my mathematical, scientific, and statisical background were in response to your claims that you do statistical analysis for a living; however your previous statements have shown me that you don't know what you're talking about. Again, you took my statement completely out of context and twisted it into something it was not. I said it doesn't matter what your background is if you lack the understanding of how or why things work. It seems you almost got the definitions of statistics and probability in your one of your last posts, statisics are past observations; however probability allows us to predict future observations to a quantifiable degree of accuracy. The last part (bolded) is very important. My statement that the bell curve gets "narrower" wasn't stated as clearly as I wanted to. It's not the bell curve that gets narrower, it's the probability that the next observation will fall outside the range of that bell curve. I have neither the time nor the patience to spoon feed statistics lessons to people who take individual statements completely out of context, then proceed to make absurd claims (your ridiculous example about peoples' height being 30' tall) and completely disregard clarifiying statements (my explanation of how standard deviation relates to a normal distribution). You may have "read" my posts, but you didn't understand them. It's unfortunate that you think my usage of the word "moron" is meant to be name calling. I'm just calling it as I see it. I don't think there's a better word to describe someone who asks a question then ignores the answer even though it is given several times in several different ways. Probability doesn't rely on inductive reasoning at all. Probability relies on mathematics. If you actually used statistics and probability in your career, you would know these equations. The fact that you don't get it tells me that you are either a liar or confirms to me that you are, in fact, a moron. You claim to use something every day, but you don't understand how it works and ignore when people try to explain it to you... Your actions define you.

You never did address my observation that you are asking a loaded question then limiting the answer to yes or no and ignoring any possible explanation that needs to go with the answer.

For the last time, your comparison of using the bible to validate the bible to using inductive reasoning to validate the use of inductive reasoning in science is fundamentally flawed for the same reason you don't understand my posts. It ignores everything that surrounds the use of inductive reasoning in science (observations, experiments, facts, evidence, scientific methods, etc.) in a narrow-minded attempt to put the bible on equal footing with science. What else is there than the bible to validate the bible? Nothing. There is no evidence of God. There are no experiments that can be made to test the existence of God because those who believe say that God doesn't like to be tested (how convenient). All you have is a bunch of people who believe for whatever irrational reason they decide coincides with what they want to believe (confirmation bias). Going back to what +Derek Schweigel said in one of his posts, you need to start asking the right questions to discover how things fit together into the big picture. It's the only way to see things as they really are, not as how you want them to be.
 
So we agree that probability is used to make predictions, whereas statistics describes past observations. I understand the clarification that probability makes predictions with quantifiable confidence. But here's my question: how do you go from statistics to probability? How do you justify making predictions based on past observations? Why is that a good, acceptable way to make predictions? If I made a billion measurements that came out between 5 and 6, I would predict with very high confidence that the next measurement will also be between 5 and 6. I want to know why you think I'm justified in that prediction. So far it seems you've said things like, "the prediction is justified because of probability," or "the prediction is justified because of the evidence," or "the prediction is justified because of mathematics." But how, why? How does evidence or probability or mathematics justify making predictions from past observations?

You keep claiming my question is somehow loaded or a trick question or a flawed question or something. I disagree. I think it's a perfectly straightforward question. You keep trying to convolute it with additional concepts that are irrelevant to the question. You keep saying that i shouldn't ignore the concepts of evidence etc., but I'm not asking about science with this question. I'm just asking about how to justify induction. As a separate question, I'm asking if induction is necessary to do science. That separate question is discussed below, and that's where we should be talking about evidence, etc.

And I disagree strongly with your claim that you can do exploratory science or whatever without any theory or predictions. Give me an example of such science please. I'm confident I will be able to show you the underlying predictive theories it's testing. 
 
"How do you go from statistics to probability?" Mathematics. How is this justified? Because we aren't using the thing we're trying to prove to prove itself as you are when you claim that the bible is the word of God because the bible says so. Looking back on the probability of an outcome compared to a particular outcome actually happening, the calculated probability has been demonstrated empirically and quantifiably to be correct. Flip a fair coin 100 times. You will see heads and tails occur at nearly the same frequency (50%). Roll two unloaded dice 100 times and record the sum. You will see a clear trend as the occurrence of numbers forms a bell curve where 7 is the most common sum. Anyone, anywhere can do this experiment. Do it enough times and every result will be the same.

You can disagree all you want about asking loaded questions. When you ask a question and limit the answer to yes or no even though that answer requires an explanation, that is where your question becomes loaded (by definition). Going back to my example, "Yes or no, do you still beat your wife?" if you were to answer "No, I never did beat my wife" and I did what you are doing - only accepting the yes or no part of your answer, I would run away like a fool calling you a wife beater because "No." is an admission that while you may not do it now, at one point in time you admit that you did beat your wife. To your question, "Is induction necessary to do science", my answer is "yes, but it also relies on observable evidence, repeatable experiments, statistics, probability, independent verification, etc. to the point where inductive reasoning is such a small piece of the pie that it's a non-issue." While you could run away claiming victory because I said "yes", you would at the same time demonstrate that you're a fool because you fail to listen to the whole answer. Go back and re-read your initial question. You were equating using the bible to prove the bible to using inductive reasoning in science. You picked the comparison. I'm just explaining how it is not valid.

Exploratory science: Sailors attempting to sail around the world, astronauts going to the moon, astronauts living for extended periods of time on the space station, sending a probe to the outer edge of the Solar system. Scientists/explorers don't know what they will find. They can make predictions, but these predictions are based on little or no information so any predictive theory it may be testing is not a "theory" in the scientific usage of the term.
 
Have you guys agreed whether or not god exists yet? Because to everyone else, it's just hilarious that this "debate" is still going. Nobody else is reading it. But you all go ahead...let us know when you've resolved it. I'm sure you'll eventually all agree. The internet is good for resolving disputes like that.
 
+Bryan Ley
I don't understand how "mathematics" justifies deriving probabilities from statistics. Probability and statistics both are disciplines in mathematics. So if probability and statistics are both forms of mathematics then you're saying that one mathematical tool may be derived from another mathematical tool because, "mathematics." there's no substance to that explanation. You're just throwing the word mathematics out there and calling it a justification. Your subsequent examples of the coin flip and the dice rely on the presupposition that the future experimental results will follow the same pattern as did the past experiments. That's inductive reasoning. You're saying, in the past, coin flips have agreed well with prior data; in the past, probabilistic predictions that had been based on statistics agreed well with subsequent experiments. So you conclude, or induce, based on the past successful performance of probability, that probability will also perform well in the future. You are using inductive reasoning to justify going from statistics to probability. 
 
Your example of the loaded question about wife beating is a trick question because it assumes the recipient beats his wife, and then gives him two options to answer the question, both of which can be interpreted as having the same meaning. My question is not like that. If you answer yes, then you agree that inductive reasoning is NECESSARY to do science. If you answer no, then you're indicating that inductive reasoning is NOT NECESSARY to do science. So you have two clearly distinct options. It's important to clarify that I'm not asking whether induction is SUFFICIENT to do science, but rather I am only asking whether it is NECESSARY. You keep pointing out that there are other necessary ingredients to science. I agree with you. But that's not what I'm asking. I'm asking whether it is possible to do science without inductive reasoning. I thought you gave a clear answer to that question. You said it is not necessary. You said exploratory science can be done without inductive reasoning. You gave some examples. I still disagree with you. First, those examples could all be interpreted as tests of predictive theories. In every case, mankind had an expectation based on their prevailing worldview. When we went to the moon, we had expectations about how long it would take, whether ther would be an atmosphere, what the surface would look and feel like, how strong gravity would be there, etc. the expedition could be interpreted as a test that could have potentially falsified one or more of those prevailing theories. Outside of that interpretation, though, the exploration was not science according to the most common definition. The scientific method requires that an experiment tests a falsifiable claim. If it doesn't then it's not science.

But the question I thought we were referring to when we were talking about loaded questions was, "can you justify induction without using induction and without simply restating it in terms of probabilities." if you say yes, then that means you have a justification that is not dependent on the concept of probability and does not use inductive reasoning. If you say no, that means you can think of no justification for induction that relies on neither induction nor probability. Those are two clearly distinct options, so it's not a trick question. If you say yes, I will ask you to provide the alternative justification. If you say no, then we will stick with your justification based on probability, and I will continue to argue that probability is not independent of induction, but is rather fundamentally reliant on it. 
 
+Fred Grant It's clear to me now that you do not understand how probability and statistics are related. There's no further explanation than "mathematics" that is needed. Statistics are the data. Probability is the number that is reached when plugging the statistics into a formula to determine the frequency with which a specific outcome occurs. There's no induction involved. Mathematics is an exact science. You get the right answer or you get the wrong answer. 1+1 will equal 2 as long as the definitions of the numbers remain the same as they are now. If you flip a coin, there are only two possible outcomes. If you roll two 6-sided dice and add the total, there are only 11 possible outcomes. Because each side of each die has an equal probability of occurring (1/6), we can use mathematics to calculate exactly the probability that a total of 8 will occur given a large number of rolls. While the real number of times an 8 occurs may differ from the calculated probability, if we continue to roll the dice, eventually the occurrence of 8 will match, almost exactly, the normal distribution that we calculated. Probability formulas account for all possible variables and quantify them numerically. Yes, my examples rely on a presupposition of past outcomes, but it's because they are the ONLY possible outcomes. Earlier you claimed that you work with statistics in a professional environment. I'm beginning to think that in that professional environment you're responsible for making coffee. Do you honestly not understand how to calculate probability from a set of statistics? You can't seriously be that obtuse.

Your original question is exactly like my wife-beating example. You asked if science relies on inductive reasoning (not to what degree does science rely on inductive reasoning) and you have ignored every explanation that goes along with that answer. If I answer "no", then I'm obviously being dishonest. If I simply answer "yes", then my answer is ignoring the fact that science doesn't rely solely on inductive reasoning for anything. Now you're trying to reframe the question into a justification of induction. There is no need to justify induction. It is simply one of many tools that have been demonstrated to be useful in achieving a goal. That's what I've been trying to explain all along, but you conveniently ignore those statements. If I observe an event and use inductive reasoning to formulate a hypothesis as to the cause of that event, it doesn't mean that my hypothesis is fact. It only gives me a starting point for creating experiments to verify that hypothesis. In your example, you look at the bible and using circular logic you conclude, "This book is the divinely inspired word of God. It says so right here on page 23." There is no starting point for further experimentation/verification/falsification that can be found from your claim. This is the fundamental difference between circular logic and inductive reasoning. Circular logic is a closed loop. Inductive reasoning is an open loop, part of a greater picture.

The simple fact that now you're reframing your question to exclude my use of probability tells me that you're trying to move the goal posts and will never be satisfied with any answer given to you by anyone. If you refuse to listen to people's answers, why do you even bother to ask questions??? What's next? Will you ask me to justify inductive reasoning without using probability, mathematics, statistics, evidence, and experimentation?

Feel free to have the last word... like Kimberly said, this thread has gone on forever. If I haven't gotten through to you yet, I never will. I just hope anyone who may bother to take the time to read it has a good sense of humor.
 
+Bryan Ley
My question isn't how do you compute probabilities from statistics; I know the formulas. My question is how do you know the formulas will give good predictions of the future.

I never said science solely relies on inductive reasoning. You keep saying that. Maybe you don't understand the difference between necessary and sufficient. I'm saying inductive reasoning is necessary, though it is clearly not sufficient, to do science. Science clearly doesn't solely rely on inductive reasoning, as you so adeptly keep pointing out. But I never said it did. I said inductive reasoning is necessary. That is, if you dot use inductive reasoning, then you're not doing science. That's important because if you can't justify inductive reasoning then that means one of the necessary ingredients to science is unjustified. But you won't answer the question. You keep avoiding it and telling me I'm asking a question I'm not asking. I'm not saying solely. I'm saying necessary.


 
Why do you keep saying circular logic is different from inductive reasoning? Who are you arguing with? I never said they were the same. What I said is that if you use inductive reasoning to justify inductive reasoning, then that's circular. 
 
You say I'm moving the goal posts but you started by saying induction is justified because it worked in the past, then you said it's justified by probability, which is justified by mathematics, which needs no justification, and just now you said induction needs no justification. So you really believe that? Induction needs no justification?
 
And I didn't reframe my question. They're two separate questions. One is on whether you can justify induction, and the other is whether induction is necessary to do science. Two simple questions from early on.
 
+Fred Grant Fine, it's necessary. But kindly notice that in none of my examples did I ever present a single instance where inductive reasoning was used to justify inductive reasoning. I'm not claiming that is what you're saying I did, I'm just stating that your claim of using inductive reasoning to justify inductive reasoning doesn't resemble reality and isn't even a topic worthy of discussion. Let's say one day I have a ton of free time and hypothesize that inductive reasoning does not lead to testable hypotheses. Inductive reasoning alone would be completely useless in testing that hypothesis. Only experimentation (attempting to use inductive reasoning to come up with a hypothesis that could be tested) would help me.

As for knowing that probability formulas will give good predictions in the future, we never really know because a different outcome could occur at any given time. On any given flip, a coin could land heads or tails. There is no way to know which will occur. All we can know is that the coin will land either heads or tails. With the rolling 2 dice example, we can never know what the next roll will be, but probability demonstrates that the most likely outcome is a 7. Using the rising sun example from earlier, if the sun rises every morning for billions of years and no other outcome has ever been observed, the probability that the sun would rise tomorrow morning is so high that unless you have special knowledge, it would be foolish to bet that the sun would not rise. There is no inductive reasoning necessary to expect the usual sunrise outcome unless you are equating inductive reasoning with common sense in which case this discussion is even more ridiculous than it seems. How do you justify common sense? LOL

Inductive reasoning needs no justification. Yes, I really believe that. It is not a tool that is used by itself to arrive directly at an outcome. Inductive reasoning is not used to justify inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning is used to create a hypothesis which would then be tested through experimentation.

Question:
"Can you justify induction?" (from early on)

Reframed question:
"Can you justify induction without using probability?" (from your post on 4/18)
 
+Bryan Ley So you accept inductive reasoning and common sense without justification. That's fine. You're free to make that decision. I'm glad you finally stopped trying to justify it.

And you also agreed that induction is necessary to do science. So your acceptance of induction without justification is critical to your acceptance of science as well. That is, if you accept induction, then you may also accept science; but if you reject induction, then you must also reject science. Your entire belief system - your whole network of beliefs that you hold to be true based on science - is reliant on your presupposition that induction works. If you decided one day to reject induction instead of accept it, then all your other beliefs that had been based in science would come crashing down. I understand that the notion of rejecting induction sounds crazy - it violates common sense, after all. And anything that violates common sense is by definition crazy. But strictly speaking, I think it's important to realize that the whole web of beliefs founded on science all hang on this linchpin of induction. And ultimately, it's a choice, or probably more of a custom or habit or instinct, that decides whether an individual accepts induction without justification.

And getting back to the main topic, which was whether people have reasons to believe in God: why is it necessary for people to have reasons to believe in God, while we don't need reasons to believe in induction? If you can accept induction without justification, then can't I accept God's existence without justification?
 
+Fred Grant ^ Gross misrepresentation of everything I've said. This is what I knew you would do and I told you that you would do it repeatedly in every one of my posts. If I acknowledge that induction is necessary for science and explain that it is but a tiny cog in a gigantic machine with many, many more important parts, you would focus only on the "yes", elevating it to "linchpin" status within the whole process and completely ignoring everything else that supports the fact that science leads to verifiable answers. This is why I called you an idiot earlier. You have just proven my assessment beyond any reasonable argument to the contrary. Thank you.

You are free to believe God exists without justification. I could care less what delusional nonsense you want to believe. However, it is impossible for you to "accept" the existence of God when you have zero evidence to accept. You can only believe based on nothing more than faith. Acceptance requires evidence and there is plenty of evidence to support the use of induction in science. Obviously logic, reason, evidence, and fact play no part in your understanding of the world. Ultimately, it's a choice, or probably more of a custom or habit or instinct, that decides whether an individual chooses to be as willfully ignorant as yourself or to learn the verifiable truth about the world as I am doing.
 
If induction is necessary for science, then it is a linchpin. You knew the argument I was making and yet you fought tooth and nail to avoid admitting the truth. You can call me ignorant if you want but at least I was being honest while you were trying to hide the truth the whole time by presenting false arguments like "induction is justified by probability," when you really believed all along that "induction needs no justification."

So yes, if you don't have a necessary component of a proposition then the proposition fails. If you need three points of contact to stabilize a structure and you only have two, then the structure is unstable. If you need induction to do science and you don't have induction then you can't do science. You can't deny that without being dishonest or misleading. The table falls no matter how much extra bracing you have on the two legs, and no matter what kind of pretty flowers you have on top of it. The other components of science are important. That's fine. But induction is necessary. Without it you can't do science.

And induction is far more important to science than you're claiming. Evidence only indicates whether an observation supports or refutes a theory at a given point in time. It only gives you information about the validity of a theory in the here and now. Without induction, you have no theories. And without induction, the evidence tells you nothing about what will happen in the future. Would science be interesting or important or useful or anything if it didn't make predictions about the future? You're downplaying the importance of induction because you know I'm right but don't want to admit it. If you accept that your beloved science is so critically reliant on morning more than faith in induction, your whole belief system falls apart. Good luck trying to piece it together without induction.

I don't know what you're trying to say when you make a distinction between accept and believe. 
 
You say there is plenty of evidence to support the use of induction in science. Are you trying to justify induction again? I thought you said induction needs no justification. Why are you trying to justify it with evidence? It doesn't really matter anyway because your justification fails just as your past attempts did. The evidence is information about the past. You would need to use induction to propose that induction will work in the future as it has in the past, and that would be circular. If you try to extend the pattern you see in the evidence to make predictions about the effectiveness of induction in the future, you're using circular argumentation. 
 
+Fred Grant This is so stupid. I'm embarrassed I didn't realize this earlier. All this time you've been babbling on and on about inductive reasoning and we've completely ignored deductive reasoning. When science uses deductive reasoning, it has absolutely no use whatsoever for inductive reasoning. By the way, most science uses deductive reasoning as it is much easier to test. Your "linchpin" is now a replaceable, inferior, and unimportant part. Educate yourself here: http://www.nakedscience.org/mrg/Deductive%20and%20Inductive%20Reasoning.htm. I didn't even bother to read your posts. After your gross misrepresentation of everything I wrote, I do not respect you or anything you have to say.
 
The conclusions drawn from deductive reasoning are only as good as the presuppositions upon which they're based. And you can't prove the presuppositions using deductive reasoning. You have to accept the presuppositions without justification, just like you have to accept inductive reasoning without justification. I'm glad you're learning all this for the first time. It must be enlightening for you. It would be more enjoyable and happen a lot faster if you weren't so resistant. 
 
Which of your statements did I misrepresent grossly?
 
And you still can't formulate testable theories with deductive reasoning. You can only design experiments to test the theories. Like your link pointed out, first you use induction to propose a general rule or law based on the pattern you observe in your experience, then you use deduction to formulate a hypothesis for a proposed experiment, then you perform the experiment to see if the hypothesis you deduced from your theory is upheld or refuted. So yes, induction is still a linchpin. Nice try though. 
 
+Bryan Ley, check out Section 4.2 of "On the Quantitative Definition of Risk," by Kaplan and Garrick, 1981, for a brief discussion on the distinction between probability and statistics.