The Atheist Experience 21.23 for June 11, 2017 with Matt Dillahunty and Don Baker.
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Zach and I have no idea where you're calling from because there looks like a weird is Indiana is it generally this is from Idaho I'd uh Hagerman okay there's a slash in it so I thought it said hag slash German by ID and who knows Haggar man Idaho yeah yeah thanks for having me on I've been listening for a little while seeing some of the videos and stuff since about probably 2013-2014 this is the first time I called in what do you got for us I think that the idea that faith cannot be a valid mode of knowledge is III guess I disagree with that idea is there anything that you couldn't believe and attribute it to faith is there anything that I couldn't believe and attributed is there anything I'm one could not believe and just attribute to I'm taking this on faith I I guess not sure could could somebody believe something that is false and attributed to faith they could attribute it to faith sure so if somebody says I believe this and their attribution is faith how do we tell whether or not it's true I don't think we can as outsiders I don't think I'm going to take it on faith I'm going to take it on faith that when I let go of this bottle of coke zero that it's going to fall to the table right either going to call or it's not right I'd say that I'd say that that's not something that's taken on faith generally but I mean if somebody says they're going to take that on faith you know I mean we don't have any mechanism for determining whether or not that's valid and there we do I would like let me let go that it falls that's how we find out whether or not something is true by investigation not my thing right that's that's a right that's through evidence but sorry right is it is if you if you can believe anything on face and it doesn't give you a guide to what's true or not right what you could believe everything on say I think I think that we're using faith in two different terms here when when a lot of believers talk about faith they use it as you guys have described and as I've heard other colors sometimes described as you know the evidence for things unseen you know is that sort of thing and just didn't just take that on faith but but I want to look at it and it's slightly different light like as it sort of has another sense experience or another possible sense experience okay if you the problem Zack the probably going to run into and I'll let you do this but now we've got two different definitions of faith which are fundamentally different one you're going to describe as a sense experience and the other one is belief namsom evidence right and i think and i think it's two are often confused and i think that they're they're often I think that's why wide hallway why they're there Zack Zack why call a sense experience faith if faith is used in another way and we already have the term sense experience because I don't think that that's because I think often when when people hear the word faith sometimes they can think you know evidence you know you know reason for belief in the absence of evidence and other times when they hear it they they can think this sort of other sense experiences you know possibly spiritual realities what is this sense experience and how do you know that it's real well the same way we could know any sense experience is real and is as valid as any other sense experience cool you know it to the person who has it it's it's a valid not cool not cool at all you just you just said we could validate it the same way we would any other sense experience and we validate no other sense experience by merely taking the person at their word that they that they their understanding but since experiences it's independent verification that validates the other reliability is the idea of a ESP and that's been well tested and found to be bogus ESP sure yeah I realize that for me is and I'm not talking about and I'm not talking about the explaining it to another person being able to have some sort of shared belief in something how do I said I'm not in it then I am absolutely then I am absolutely not interested I'm not interested in claims to personal truth truth is truth the way we validate things is by independent confirmation because the person who is suffering from delusion so we have to lock up they have what they're going to call their personal truth if we're not going to care about the facts about a shared reality I don't know why we're wasting time discussing it okay but let me ask you this if everybody if 90% of the world is blind and 10% saw would it be valid or even less than that you know say one in a million or something like that we're able to see okay would it be valid for those people to claim that they saw today that they had knowledge of something that the others did not to convince them not to convince the blind people but would for the person who believes it would it were for the person who sees would it be valid for that person to say he sees well first of all I'm not keen on using the word valid here because it has a specific meaning and logic but can they be around here or can they be when they can they be rationally justified in believing that they can see yes and the blind people can eval 'add the justify is not believing it until they have it and and they can they can engage in particular with other people who can see to validate that they're seeing correctly and this is something that you can teach and demonstrate to people who cannot see no miracle I mean you you can you can demonstrate you know things like being able to perceive things at a distance in things like that you can't you can't explain color to a person who can't see there's no there's no so first of all I'm not I'm not convinced that that is true what you're what you're getting to is this notion of qualia which there's something experiential about it there's something that we can describe and demonstrate for example I can identify colorblindness in people and I can find out who's not colorblind and we can consistently demonstrate that some people are not colorblind it doesn't change if the people who are colorblind are totally blind the way to demonstrate this doesn't change it's about being able to consistently produce results is this possible using the faith sense senses given autos whatever it is you're getting to I not probably not in the same way then why are we talking about it because you said that you weren't interested in whether or not other people believed it so it becomes a matter of personal experience and personal truth and yet when we talk about these other senses we're talking about independent verification and how we might demonstrate it to somebody who doesn't have those senses and we pointed out already that those things are possible with other senses so what is it about your special faith sense that even remotely compares to the things we discussed III have to say like with with color blind tests you know and stuff like that you know there's no reason for a blind person to you know suspect that a person actually is it can see color or that a person can't you know I mean if I mean yes there is there's the evidence for it we could render I guess octogram addenda Braille for example there's a there's a cool experiment with a tribe they can see a distinction between two different colors of blue that I can't see a distinction between so oh yeah yeah the tetrachromatic yeah I'm willing to accept that they can see that distinction because the evidence consistently demonstrates that that's the case I don't have to be able to see that distinction to be convinced reasonably that they can if people if people of faith even if they want to consider it a sense wanted – if they if their faith was a path to truth and understanding first of all we wouldn't have thousands of denominations all appealing to faith but if they wanted to demonstrate reliably that they have access to some truth that the rest of us don't that is at least theoretically possible and yet it doesn't happen what we get is varied revelations that are in conflict okay well we could see we could imagine you know a sense experience maybe not color but but I don't know some sort of sense experience that can't be you know independently verified okay if we first of all we can imagine whatever the hell we want but if there was a sense experiment experience that couldn't be independently verified how could you ever have warrant to trust it how is it distinguishable from a delusion if you can't independently verify it it is indistinguishable from a delusion okay oh I guess that's I guess that's true but I mean but I mean I mean if we have so you so you're saying that if we had those kind of sense experience if people actually had those kind of sense experiences they would you know they would not be able to they would not be rationally justified in actually trusting those experiences yes because for example if I see a vision appear in this room and I'm the only one who can see it I have to question my own sanity I have to question whether I'm seeing a vision or whether my brain is playing tricks on me and if there's no way for me to investigate to determine if I've actually seen something real or if I've just perceived this then I cannot have evidential warrant to believe that I saw it I can believe that I had an experience because I did I mean that that the properly basic thing is that I had some experience but whether or not my mind's understanding of that experience maps to something about reality that requires independent verification I see I see all right that's why we won't have like that's why we end up locking people up because there are some people who experienced strong delusions that too them based on the reports and the studies are functionally real as almost anything else they experience and yet these things are not perceptible to the rest of us we've identified in some cases problems of the brain but its own case we don't know why but we do know that they're dangerous and so we put them in protective custody I see I see so I mean for example if God if God talks to you and people say God talks to them all the time and I usually ask did they hear it audibly or is this a feeling or an impression or something happens in their brain but in all of those if God talks to you and tells you something how can you be sure the God spoke to you and that this wasn't just a creation of your brain uh I don't have an answer for that right now I'm going to have to I don't even have to consider that and call you guys back now I'm reminded of you know when you when you go read about comic books and and you know spider-man gets a special power of some sort then you know the first thing he does is he is he you tries it out a bunch of times and make sure it's real and then at some point he starts to use it and starts to benefit by it and starts to you know go off and do things and and you know the the fact that he's out saving the world or whatever becomes evidence that other people can see so right that might mean it like if there might be a path right but I mean if Spidey had some sort of sense of something that I don't know how it's happening beyond the doors of I has the available universe spider-man has spidey sense the sense of danger in a number of the comic books and the way that we know that it's reliable is he consistently finds the danger that he sensed right right okay because if any religion errs actual you know you can compare it to other senses in its intersect you can validate it by appeals to you know things that happen around us and things we can affect yeah right but now we're a confirmation bias I I'm in complete agreement I just need to if if there was some religious sense it would need to have some demonstrated reliability and I'm going to step one right by which we could confirm it and so far I've got nothing okay all right thanks Zach oh that that's that's I guess all I had if I'm going to think about what you guys have said and possibly call back sure thank sec right as a reminder anybody who wants to a theist or atheist friendly person who wants to join us for dinner will be going to star of India we're on the air for another 20 minutes or so and then we'll be heading over you're welcome to join us fun yeah I I you know when I hear these things in religious philosophy there's this thing called the census debe notice the divine sense it is essentially relates to getting direct revelations from God and what some people Zack didn't do this I'm not going to fault him for it what some people talk about he did start to go down this road of hey there's one in a million people who aren't blind those people can verify with each other but he seemed to imply that they couldn't verify to anybody else and that's just not true let's say that only Southern Baptists are actually getting information from God and that information that they get from God with God being perfect is accurate that woody be easy to demonstrate most of these religions think the prayer intercessory prayer is useful and yet we've tested it an intercessory prayer works at the rate of chance or I should say doesn't work we had anything better than the rate of chance it's exactly what you'd expect yeah they wouldn't need tax breaks they could just go win the lottery every time they wanted some money not only that but if there was a single christian denomination or obstacle christian if there was a single christian denomination that had access to the truth and and the power of god the world would be fundamentally different this would be easy to demonstrate either there's a God that interacts in reality in some demonstrable detectable way or there's not and if there's not I think you'll find that the world we live in is exactly what you'd expect if that God doesn't exist people have asked me to defend the hard atheist position that there are no and I will do it with very specific definitions but the book that I'm working on is fundamentally about how this world is exactly what we'd expect if there is no God we would expect confusion we would expect people who believe things but cannot offer evidence for them we would expect people making appeals to special ways of knowing that they couldn't reliably demonstrate we would expect conflicting revelations that tend to agree with the person and the biases and the prejudices that they have and we would expect if there was a God for a God to perhaps step in and correct all this hang on a second you guys have got it all wrong and this is important so let me get you the correction but if we live in a world without a God that doesn't happen as far as I can tell that doesn't happen