I appreciate your effort to educate me, but here is what my feeble understanding of your words comes out to be. It is an analogy. We humans have hands and the only way to truly dig is to use our hands, but using a tool like a shovel now that's good and all, but it is not the essence of digging.
Do you understand my analogy? Your study of how people perceive and how they form concepts should be and is a scientific endeavour. This tool we call science has something to say about everything in existence, including how us animals form concepts.
Our five senses are our only way of interacting with the world. What our senses deliver to our brains is used by our brains to form ideas, concepts, and feelings about those ideas and concepts.
Can our 5 senses be augmented for better perception? If we end up with better perception, would not that mean our concepts are better formed? Does the formation of those concepts depend on "laws" (rules imposed by humans without the improved perceptions)?
I agree that the laws and rules of logic and philosophy are useful, but I do not believe that they by themselves can prove or disprove anything. I think that they can only affect the belief of whether something is true or not. And the belief of something is a religious endeavour.
@August Heim: Could you be more specific about vitriol? There's plenty of disagreement, but I don't really see much in the way of vitriolic comments.
(of course there are over 90 pages and I haven't read them all)
Also what does carbon nanotubes to the moon have to do with anything?
He is referring to the theoretical , but reachable scientific goal of a space elevator using carbon nanotubes to make up the tether the elevator would climb. I think, but do not know, that his contentions are that science as well as religion is fanciful.
@ August Heim: I disagree with you when you degrade science. You are not being accurate. What is your goal with such a vitriolic statement?
Omniscience is impossible. Not probably, certainly. And if you think that I cannot properly be certain of this, then that is evidence that you don't understand these issues. I know how reality and cognition work well enough to know that I can have knowledge, science helps with this, and that reason is the only path to knowledge. No reason to attack the concept of god? Ridiculous, considering all of the evil in this world perpetrated on behalf of and on the basis of mysticism and other forms of the denial of reality. By any measure, reason and logic have proven wrong what the ancients just made up. And by that same measure, we live our lives, learn more about the world and live or die by our understanding of our world with the knowledge we gain from this process. People who believe in god are willfully ignoring the same process that they would use to verify anything with validity. Everyone knows that feelings are not a sufficient criteria for knowledge. You must check what you think against reason. And the impossible just doesn't cut it. Reason and logic have never made this world worse, only when people don't use them or use them incorrectly does it have a negative effect. People are strong and happy, in the long run, because of their reason, despite their superstition and mysticism. And the scientific method is hardly made up to make someone feel better about their life and death, it is a rigorous method of repeated measurement and verification using reason and logic. How dare you compare it to just making shit up. If you think that plate tectonic isn't a good theory, then you must use reason and logic to show that it isn't. And if you have a problem with someone's opinion about nanotubes, then find out where there science is faulty. Don't blame people who know that god is impossible. Whichever claim is made, it is always reason and logic that must be used to verify it. What vitriol are you referring to? I call what is on this thread a debate about certainty. Sure there are ad hominems, but I don't see lots of mudslinging. Would you prefer everyone just be nice to each other and agree while blowing smoke up each others' asses?
"Humans make up things to explain what they don't understand. That is the same thing as the scientific method."
It is shocking that anybody on Atheist Nexus would make such a claim. August, if you think there's no difference between scientific explanations and religious explanations, what in the world are you doing here? If you don't understand that the attacks on plate tectonics were overcome with evidence and reason, then you don't understand the scientific method. Your comment just insults the intelligence of those who understand and value the scientific method.
Considering how much damage it has done to civilization and to the planet as a whole, there is every reason to attack the concept of god. Again, what in the world are you doing here if you think the concept of god is benign?
As far as I can tell, nobody on this thread is suggesting that science has discovered all there is to discover, or that anybody knows everything, or that theists should be treated disrespectfully. But ridiculous ideas deserve ridicule. Ridicule is a perfectly valid and useful tool against the ridiculous. There is a huge difference between attacking an idea and attacking a person. Ideas are absolutely fair game (else debate is stifled), and if people are so emotionally invested in their ideas that they perceive attacks on their ideas as attacks on their person, then the delusion runs pretty damn deep. Even where that is the case, there is no reason to accord any deference whatsoever to ludicrous (or indeed, impossible) concepts. There is reason to have some sympathy for the afflicted, but respecting bad ideas to spare hurt feelings is a recipe for intellectual suicide.