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How To Evaluate Sources

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How To Evaluate Sources

Postby violetstar » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:43 am

Applying critical thinking to any sources listed.


http://library.ucsc.edu/help/research/e ... ur-sources
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Desecrated » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:00 pm

This is a serious concern for me, and not just a counterargument to what you just posted.

How do we reconcile this with 'argumentum ad verecundiam' - 'Appeal to authority' argument.
"My argument is right because "authority" said so.

My own experience is to try and find more than 1 source saying it. If 2-3 different authoritative sources shares the same conclusion, you have at least some strength behind your argument. But it still isn't a good argument. It's just a normal argument backed up by other. It's not like the argument itself becomes any better because some professor at oxford aggress with it.

What is your thoughts about this?

Also, how do we approach this when many people in the occult simply don't recognize what people outside might see as safe sources. Arguing astrology and using anything NASA has said feels pretty hopeless. Hell, some on this site might think that the entire scientific community is just a reptilian conspiracy to keep us tied to the matrix.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby violetstar » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:00 pm

I feel your observations are correct.Indeed,just because some Professor out there agrees with the essence of your argument that does not mean the whole is correct.However,if that Professor is recognised by others in the specific subject as an 'authority' then you are on safer ground.

An example is an argument about the Restoration is supported by Ronald Hutton that in itself may suffice.If there is another source from say,Harvard or Cambridge that also supports the argument,it will be very difficult to compose a counter argument unless you have information not known to Hutton or the other cited sources.

I tend to look for at least two verifiable and reliable sources at the highest level of scholarship and perhaps use a web source that is recognised within the Academies.I believe this to be the foundation of a well constructed argument.A mistake often made is to exclude any counter arguments from say,lesser authorities.By doing so you risk those sources being used against you as you defend your paper or argument.Be aware of any counter argument that may have been composed with new information that has come to light since the sources you quote.They may be so recent your sources may not have had chance to address the new argument which leaves you in a sticky situation.

I realise that much of the Occult community today are more likely to have recourse to New Age/Conspiracy type material in their search for sources which will possibly lead them into factual error.An example is a link posted on this forum that takes you to a site containing information that suggests the author has little actual experience or knowledge of the topics they are keen to advise others about.Its one of the reasons I post up academic instruction type links in the same way you post videos containing worthwhile instruction for Beginners.

Everyone here should remember that some of the most famous Occultist-such as Crowley were also academics.Similarly,some of the greatest Scholars past and present also held/hold an interest in the Occult.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Stukov » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:12 pm

If you look at this from a scientific point of view, it isn't so much more sources = more authority = more right, as much as in theory, if multiple INDEPENDENT people observe the same or similar phenomenon, it gives credibility that such a phenomenon exists. However it doesn't "prove" it exists, it simply increases the probability that it may exist.

You shouldn't just accept it because you read it, you should observe it for yourself. In the same way you can do experiments and run formulas for the theory of gravity, you can practice and observe phenomenon to discover for yourself what extent it exists.

To me the tricky parts is that some phenomenon of the occult are quantifiable in addition sometimes nonsensical, similar to quantum mechanics (ugh I hate the use of the word quantum in the occult as its soooo over and misused, but here I mean it literally where the nature of reality in QM often goes against the natural view we have of the world, and exits in a counter-intuitive fashion). There is also the issue that what may be true and work now, may not work later, depending on variables that are very difficult to control (hard to have control or null experiment).
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Desecrated » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:28 pm

violetstar wrote:An example is an argument about the Restoration is supported by Ronald Hutton that in itself may suffice.If there is another source from say,Harvard or Cambridge that also supports the argument,it will be very difficult to compose a counter argument unless you have information not known to Hutton or the other cited sources.


As sane as that sounds, there is a huge danger in doing this.
It's called the halo effect. It's basically just another form of confirmation bias where we don't see the problems in people we like, and only see problems in people we don't like.

How do we REALLY know that Hutton is right? For all we know, he is pulling stuff out of his ass just to keep his job, or he is a compulsive liar, or he is insane.
It's not unheard of for people who are the "leading" authority to be a complete sham. And many have gone down with the ship, fighting for a theory that turns out to be wrong.

AND, how do I know that Hutton is right just because I happen to agree with his research? For all I know, I'm agreeing with him out of my own conformation bias, simply because I think Wiccans are annoying, and I hope that they are wrong.

Everyone here should remember that some of the most famous Occultist-such as Crowley were also academics.Similarly,some of the greatest Scholars past and present also held/hold an interest in the Occult.


And Crowley was too far up his own ass to realize when he was completely and utterly wrong.
And some of the greatest scholars in the past believed in The Four Humors, Geocentricity and that lobotomy was a good idea...
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Shawn Blackwolf » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:30 pm

Desecrated , you surprise me here most pleasantly... [thumbup]

Please do not take it wrong , or take any statement back , but we actually agree here...

And Stukov , astute statement regarding the quantum dynamic , though I do understand it's overuse...

As I do not depend on academic sources , and actually avoid them , and just "do the Work" ,
or "practice and achieve adeptship in the Craft" , I feel an insistence on utilizing those sources as the
only validity , to be abusive to those who follow an oral path of Tradition , non documented , often
purposefully hidden , and thus "truly occult"... [thumbup]
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby violetstar » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:14 pm

Stukov wrote:If you look at this from a scientific point of view, it isn't so much more sources = more authority = more right, as much as in theory, if multiple INDEPENDENT people observe the same or similar phenomenon, it gives credibility that such a phenomenon exists. However it doesn't "prove" it exists, it simply increases the probability that it may exist.

You shouldn't just accept it because you read it, you should observe it for yourself. In the same way you can do experiments and run formulas for the theory of gravity, you can practice and observe phenomenon to discover for yourself what extent it exists.

To me the tricky parts is that some phenomenon of the occult are quantifiable in addition sometimes nonsensical, similar to quantum mechanics (ugh I hate the use of the word quantum in the occult as its soooo over and misused, but here I mean it literally where the nature of reality in QM often goes against the natural view we have of the world, and exits in a counter-intuitive fashion). There is also the issue that what may be true and work now, may not work later, depending on variables that are very difficult to control (hard to have control or null experiment).

Thats an empirical example that could not be for example,applied to an event in history.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Desecrated » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:28 pm

Shawn Blackwolf wrote:I feel an insistence on utilizing those sources as the
only validity , to be abusive to those who follow an oral path of Tradition , non documented , often
purposefully hidden , and thus "truly occult"... [thumbup]


That is because 99% of the time "oral tradition" is incorrect.

I can't write anything more than that, because then I'm violating the rules of this forum.
But I can't have an conversation with you. We are too far apart.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Desecrated » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:33 pm

Stukov wrote:
To me the tricky parts is that some phenomenon of the occult are quantifiable in addition sometimes nonsensical, similar to quantum mechanics (ugh I hate the use of the word quantum in the occult as its soooo over and misused, but here I mean it literally where the nature of reality in QM often goes against the natural view we have of the world, and exits in a counter-intuitive fashion). There is also the issue that what may be true and work now, may not work later, depending on variables that are very difficult to control (hard to have control or null experiment).


What happens in quantum stays in quantum. Nothing that goes on down there has anything to do with us up here. It's like living in Alaska and worry about tigers. Just because something can happen in India that doesn't mean it will happen in Seattle.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby violetstar » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:32 pm

Desecrated wrote:
violetstar wrote:An example is an argument about the Restoration is supported by Ronald Hutton that in itself may suffice.If there is another source from say,Harvard or Cambridge that also supports the argument,it will be very difficult to compose a counter argument unless you have information not known to Hutton or the other cited sources.


As sane as that sounds, there is a huge danger in doing this.
It's called the halo effect. It's basically just another form of confirmation bias where we don't see the problems in people we like, and only see problems in people we don't like.

How do we REALLY know that Hutton is right? For all we know, he is pulling stuff out of his ass just to keep his job, or he is a compulsive liar, or he is insane.
It's not unheard of for people who are the "leading" authority to be a complete sham. And many have gone down with the ship, fighting for a theory that turns out to be wrong.

AND, how do I know that Hutton is right just because I happen to agree with his research? For all I know, I'm agreeing with him out of my own conformation bias, simply because I think Wiccans are annoying, and I hope that they are wrong.

Everyone here should remember that some of the most famous Occultist-such as Crowley were also academics.Similarly,some of the greatest Scholars past and present also held/hold an interest in the Occult.


And Crowley was too far up his own ass to realize when he was completely and utterly wrong.
And some of the greatest scholars in the past believed in The Four Humors, Geocentricity and that lobotomy was a good idea...

There is no danger.These are the methods used by every academic on earth.Cognitive bias is irrelevant in citing sources in a professional manner.

Your line of thinking could be applied to anything.For example,how do I know you are located in 'The North' or why should your views be accepted by anyone here as they may be victims of the Halo effect if they do so.And so on ad infinitum

This type of argument and Shawn Blackwolfs response to it is constructed within the parameters of what we call the 'Gaslight Effect' where attempt is made to manipulate and undermine widely accepted views,formats and procedures.In this case the methodology,protocol and overall universally accepted value of source material and citation is under attack.

Your example using my own example forms a weak argument.Firstly,you argue that Crowley was " too far up his own ass to realize when he was completely and utterly wrong." I merely stated that some of the most famous Occultists such as Crowley were also academics.I did not suggest he was anything other than that.You tell us Crowley was completely and utterly wrong but show no example of why so I take this to be a personal opinion.

Then you form a counter argument to my statement that "Similarly,some of the greatest Scholars past and present also held/hold an interest in the Occult" by asserting that "some of the greatest scholars in the past believed in The Four Humors, Geocentricity and that lobotomy was a good idea.",
This relies upon a further assertion that those beliefs were forwarded by scholars who held an interest in the Occult.Even if examples were to be given,I will counter argue that through modern research we have progressed.This is the value of academia.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Stukov » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:44 pm

Desecrated wrote:
Stukov wrote:
To me the tricky parts is that some phenomenon of the occult are quantifiable in addition sometimes nonsensical, similar to quantum mechanics (ugh I hate the use of the word quantum in the occult as its soooo over and misused, but here I mean it literally where the nature of reality in QM often goes against the natural view we have of the world, and exits in a counter-intuitive fashion). There is also the issue that what may be true and work now, may not work later, depending on variables that are very difficult to control (hard to have control or null experiment).


What happens in quantum stays in quantum. Nothing that goes on down there has anything to do with us up here. It's like living in Alaska and worry about tigers. Just because something can happen in India that doesn't mean it will happen in Seattle.


I'm aware, I meant it only as a comparative simile.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Stukov » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:46 pm

violetstar wrote:Thats an empirical example that could not be for example,applied to an event in history.


Then did I misread your OP, I didn't see it specifying history (which as you point out is quite a bit different in terms of research)?
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Stukov » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:52 pm

Desecrated wrote:That is because 99% of the time "oral tradition" is incorrect.


Is that quantifiable? In terms of saying its 99%, I was just reading some anthropology that talks about the apparent accuracy of some larger events, I think it had to do with Aborigines?

I can't write anything more than that, because then I'm violating the rules of this forum.


In what way? As long as you aren't going after someone, you are fine? There is a difference between I think your points of x, y, and z are wrong because of a, b, and c and saying "you're wrong because you are a monkey whose head is up their ass". Otherwise I'm not understanding your hesitation. Feel free to speak your mind without repercussion (as in give him the response you wanted to give) and I will tell you which parts are ok and which aren't for future guidance.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby violetstar » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:55 pm

Stukov wrote:
violetstar wrote:Thats an empirical example that could not be for example,applied to an event in history.


Then did I misread your OP, I didn't see it specifying history (which as you point out is quite a bit different in terms of research)?

Well.my example was based on history ie Hutton on the Restoration but the overall point was to illustrate how sources are used in response to a request from Desecrated.

As you can see my OP was how to apply critical thinking which Desecrated failed to do in his argument against it.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Stukov » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:01 am

violetstar wrote:
Stukov wrote:
violetstar wrote:Thats an empirical example that could not be for example,applied to an event in history.


Then did I misread your OP, I didn't see it specifying history (which as you point out is quite a bit different in terms of research)?

Well.my example was based on history ie Hutton on the Restoration but the overall point was to illustrate how sources are used in response to a request from Desecrated.

As you can see my OP was how to apply critical thinking which Desecrated failed to do in his argument against it.


Yeah I was responding to your OP, not to your second post at the time.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby violetstar » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:15 am

Yeah I was responding to your OP, not to your second post at the time.[/quote]
Just to clarify,and as far as my own opinion goes,Science along with the many ideas sheltering under the Occult umbrella must be tested empirically,Academic text can support or demolish but within practical Occultism it must take second place to actual experience even if that experience cannot be quantified or is subjective.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby blindwake » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:57 am

Simple, anything that isn't known first hand must be assumed to be false until it is tested first hand. Until then, all you're doing is making bets on what you are biased to think is right.
Even if a book has lots of citations, you've got to look for circular dependencies. I could make a book called "the earth is flat" then a book called "the earth is round", and have both books back each other up as citations (by bashing each other).

Until you have first hand experience, you must try to absorb as many lies as possible (using as many different perspectives as possible). Then you can choose the best lies to become truths once you've gained relevant experience. Even what you decide is "true" has to eventually be invalidated when you find a better truth.

Even if you assume everything is wrong, you still want to take the fastest route to truth. Use reductive reasoning. If there are five books on cooking, see if one book works, then use that little bit of experience to judge the other books's methods, decide which ones are worth trying, and which ones aren't. If one is rated higher than others, give it a shot first. It's all a gamble until you get that first hand experience.

It's not really important if things like history books are accurate or not, because you can learn just as much from fiction as you can from non-fiction. Take everything with a grain of salt. Besides, history is written by the victor.

Another key thing for evaluating sources is to figure out what the author's motive is. If the author's book is called, "Cure cancer with holy water roftlmao," or has some other very clickbait title designed for advertising, you know that the primary motive is money. Lots of people don't care about people if they're making money, so they don't care if their information is correct. Sort of like how an opensource project will often care more about its users than a commercial product. In this line of thinking, it would be reasonable to assume that what you hear on the news is at least somewhat wrong, because part of the purpose of the news it to change society's opinions (for voting, commercial reasons, etc.)

One of the real funny things about truth is that it doesn't actually have to be constant. It'd be perfectly possible for the laws of physics, for example, to just randomly change. In the same way, you have to make sure you check if your information is up to date.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Desecrated » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:02 pm

violetstar wrote:There is no danger.These are the methods used by every academic on earth.Cognitive bias is irrelevant in citing sources in a professional manner.


I don't agree. here is why: I believe that every action is cognitive, therefore every action has the ability to be compromised by cognitive bias.
When we cite a source, we choose that particular source, out of several different sources.
How do I know that I'm choosing the right one?

Your line of thinking could be applied to anything.For example,how do I know you are located in 'The North' or why should your views be accepted by anyone here as they may be victims of the Halo effect if they do so.


Exactly!

This type of argument and Shawn Blackwolfs response to it is constructed within the parameters of what we call the 'Gaslight Effect' where attempt is made to manipulate and undermine widely accepted views,formats and procedures.In this case the methodology,protocol and overall universally accepted value of source material and citation is under attack.


It was not my intent to undermine it, but I do think it is important to question and evaluate the strength of the source.

So let me rephrase that. How do we really evaluate a source without outside support?
Is there some way me (the separated individual) can retain information from the source without believing in the source?
Can the liar tell the truth? And how do I know if he is telling the truth or telling a lie? Or how do I know that he is telling the truth, but I think it is a lie?

Your example using my own example forms a weak argument.Firstly,you argue that Crowley was " too far up his own ass to realize when he was completely and utterly wrong." I merely stated that some of the most famous Occultists such as Crowley were also academics.I did not suggest he was anything other than that.You tell us Crowley was completely and utterly wrong but show no example of why so I take this to be a personal opinion.


I thought it was so well known that Crowley had faulty ideas that I simple didn't think it was important to include sources. It's like saying George Washington was an American president. Sometimes a statement is so obvious that sources isn't needed. But I'll include sources for both of that at the end of this.


Then you form a counter argument to my statement that "Similarly,some of the greatest Scholars past and present also held/hold an interest in the Occult" by asserting that "some of the greatest scholars in the past believed in The Four Humors, Geocentricity and that lobotomy was a good idea.",
This relies upon a further assertion that those beliefs were forwarded by scholars who held an interest in the Occult.Even if examples were to be given,I will counter argue that through modern research we have progressed.This is the value of academia.


No, you are missing the point. I'm not saying that those interested in the occult was also interested in faulty assumptions, or that those interested in faulty assumptions where interested in occult. My point is that science has been proved (by science itself) to be wrong. And if something has happen in the past it will probably happen in the future (not always, but probably, Barack Obama will not be born again, but we might see another black president). So if scientist have been wrong in the past, and leading scientists have been wrong in the past, and leading scientist holding leading theories have been wrong and even the theory have been wrong.

How do we know that scientist today aren't wrong?



--------

Sources
Richard Kaczynski - Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley
https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/preside ... washington
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Desecrated » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:07 pm

Stukov wrote:
In what way? As long as you aren't going after someone, you are fine? There is a difference between I think your points of x, y, and z are wrong because of a, b, and c and saying "you're wrong because you are a monkey whose head is up their ass". Otherwise I'm not understanding your hesitation. Feel free to speak your mind without repercussion (as in give him the response you wanted to give) and I will tell you which parts are ok and which aren't for future guidance.



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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Desecrated » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:10 pm

blindwake wrote:Simple, anything that isn't known first hand must be assumed to be false until it is tested first hand.


What if it is something that can't be tested first hand?
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby violetstar » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:40 pm

How do we know that scientist today aren't wrong?

This type of reasoning is shown here:


Whereas facts about what is actual are facts about how things are, facts about modality (i.e., what is possible, necessary, or impossible) are facts about how things could, must, or could not have been. For example, while there are in fact eleven players on a soccer team, there could have been thirteen, though there couldn’t have been zero. The first of these is a fact about what is actual; the second is a fact about what was possible, and the third is a fact about what is impossible. Humans are often disposed to consider, make, and evaluate judgments about what is possible and necessary, such as when we are motivated to make things better and imagine how things might be. We judge that things could have been different than they actually are, while other things could not have been. These modal judgments and modal claims therefore play a central role in human decision-making and in philosophical argumentation. This entry is about the justification we have for modal judgments.Most of the time, we encounter what might be called ordinary modal judgments, such as the following:

Although I am a philosopher, I could have been a musician.
Not only does 2 + 2 = 4, it is necessary that 2 + 2 = 4.
Not only is it the case that nothing is red and green all over at the same time, it impossible for something to be red and green all over at the same time.
Although the table is not broken, it could have been broken.
Even though the cup is on the left side of the table, it could have been on the right side.

Anand Vaidya- Whereas facts about what is actual are facts about how things are, facts about modality (i.e., what is possible, necessary, or impossible) are facts about how things could, must, or could not have been. For example, while there are in fact eleven players on a soccer team, there could have been thirteen, though there couldn’t have been zero. The first of these is a fact about what is actual; the second is a fact about what was possible, and the third is a fact about what is impossible. Humans are often disposed to consider, make, and evaluate judgments about what is possible and necessary, such as when we are motivated to make things better and imagine how things might be. We judge that things could have been different than they actually are, while other things could not have been. These modal judgments and modal claims therefore play a central role in human decision-making and in philosophical argumentation. This entry is about the justification we have for modal judgments.Most of the time, we encounter what might be called ordinary modal judgments, such as the following:

Although I am a philosopher, I could have been a musician.
Not only does 2 + 2 = 4, it is necessary that 2 + 2 = 4.
Not only is it the case that nothing is red and green all over at the same time, it impossible for something to be red and green all over at the same time.
Although the table is not broken, it could have been broken.
Even though the cup is on the left side of the table, it could have been on the right side.
Anand Vaidya - Whereas facts about what is actual are facts about how things are, facts about modality (i.e., what is possible, necessary, or impossible) are facts about how things could, must, or could not have been. For example, while there are in fact eleven players on a soccer team, there could have been thirteen, though there couldn’t have been zero. The first of these is a fact about what is actual; the second is a fact about what was possible, and the third is a fact about what is impossible. Humans are often disposed to consider, make, and evaluate judgments about what is possible and necessary, such as when we are motivated to make things better and imagine how things might be. We judge that things could have been different than they actually are, while other things could not have been. These modal judgments and modal claims therefore play a central role in human decision-making and in philosophical argumentation. This entry is about the justification we have for modal judgments.Most of the time, we encounter what might be called ordinary modal judgments, such as the following:

Although I am a philosopher, I could have been a musician.
Not only does 2 + 2 = 4, it is necessary that 2 + 2 = 4.
Not only is it the case that nothing is red and green all over at the same time, it impossible for something to be red and green all over at the same time.
Although the table is not broken, it could have been broken.
Even though the cup is on the left side of the table, it could have been on the right side.

Anand Vaidya The Epistemology of Modality 2015 in Stanford University Library: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby Stukov » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:41 pm

Desecrated wrote:
Stukov wrote:
In what way? As long as you aren't going after someone, you are fine? There is a difference between I think your points of x, y, and z are wrong because of a, b, and c and saying "you're wrong because you are a monkey whose head is up their ass". Otherwise I'm not understanding your hesitation. Feel free to speak your mind without repercussion (as in give him the response you wanted to give) and I will tell you which parts are ok and which aren't for future guidance.



"Discouragement/Discrimination of Practice: This includes but isn't limited to paradigm-bashing, any form of supremacy, irrelevant discouragement of another member's ideas and/or beliefs, and other related bad behavior not already listed in the above points."

"Anyone speaking down on any paradigm without context and/or with aggressive intents will be warned and repeated warnings will lead to banishment from Occult Forum."

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I would read that to mean, you shouldn't say "all x believers are goat fuckers" or "those who practice x religion are evil cannibals and are the scum of the earth". Far as something "malicious or designed to offend". Do you have a different interpretation?

The second part is discrimination, which applies a little less as you can't really discriminate per se on the board, except as an admin or a mod deleting or banning someone for those protected classes.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby blindwake » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:18 pm

Desecrated wrote:
blindwake wrote:Simple, anything that isn't known first hand must be assumed to be false until it is tested first hand.


What if it is something that can't be tested first hand?


Then it's a hypothesis, not a fact. First hand can mean using a measurement device, etc. The point is that you aren't playing telephone with "facts". If you can't test something first hand, for example, you can't redo a study you're looking into, you can test the conclusions of said study yourself. For example, if you have a study that says red makes people angry, you could first hand test the study by painting your bedroom red, and checking to see if being in said room makes you feel angry (without actually redoing the study).

It's the same reason scientists draft precise experiments and see if other people get similar results. If something is true, it will likely be repeatable. Otherwise, if you just assume that a second hand source is true, you're just taking their word for it.
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby violetstar » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:23 pm

blindwake wrote:
Desecrated wrote:
blindwake wrote:Simple, anything that isn't known first hand must be assumed to be false until it is tested first hand.


What if it is something that can't be tested first hand?


Then it's a hypothesis, not a fact. First hand can mean using a measurement device, etc. The point is that you aren't playing telephone with "facts". If you can't test something first hand, for example, you can't redo a study you're looking into, you can test the conclusions of said study yourself. For example, if you have a study that says red makes people angry, you could first hand test the study by painting your bedroom red, and checking to see if being in said room makes you feel angry (without actually redoing the study).

It's the same reason scientists draft precise experiments and see if other people get similar results. If something is true, it will likely be repeatable. Otherwise, if you just assume that a second hand source is true, you're just taking their word for it.

How does your own hypothesis apply to say, historical research? If we approach it as in your example,as scientists what precise experiments do you suggest? As it stands,if we accept your line of thinking we must believe that all of world history is a hypothesis as it cannot be tested first hand.

Is this correct?
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Re: How To Evaluate Sources

Postby blindwake » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:46 pm

That is correct.

History is written by the victor anyway, so you can't expect it to be accurate. As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason why history even has to have happened. This world could be a virtual reality where all the history was designed. Does it really matter if history is correct though? You still learn from it either way. What people think happened in the past is often invalidated by further research anyway, but not always.

I'd go as far as saying that even memory cannot be trusted for reasoning. It's entirely possible that you could wake up one day with a new set of memories, or that brain damage could erase existing memories.
What is in your memory is also a hypothesis: a best guess.

But on a realistic note, you have to take a leap of faith somewhere.
If all brains are made roughly the same, then why do I perceive through my own? What special characteristic places me in this skull?
I do not move throughout the world. The engines do not move the ship, but the universe.
The law of synonyms: my experience is synonymous with my brain, I change my experience to change my brain. so I change the physical with my thoughts.
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