Bible vs. Science or something like that.....

[B. Thalhammer (990212 3:00CST)]

In response to, for example:
<Kenny Kitzke 9902012.1000EST>
<Rick Marken (990207.1130)>

Dear All,

I have posted before, but very warily. Once, when the discussions got to
be truly offensive (in a professional sense), I wrote that people ought
to not bait one another, and to stick to the PCT topic. Even though one
may be controlling for the perception of the other squirming or doing a
slow burn, that should be kept off the net, in my humble opinion.

Again, I have to post: This is a scientific discussion group, and not
really a place to debate two disparate ways of thinking, science vs. the
Bible, or something like that.... Science cannot disprove belief, and
belief (do not read "conjecture") has no part in the scientific method. I
would think that is wasting the space provided or our focus of the matters
at hand.

While I wish to be cordial about this matter, I would ask people not to
bait others on issues of belief vs. the scientific method, and I would ask
people not to quote scriptures in a forum where conjecture and refutation
is supposed to be the method of inquiry. It would be nice if those
discussions on such peripheral matters could occur privately. But if they
disappeared, what would remain? That is what I fear.

I realize I have chimed in without reading much of the foregoing. For
that, I apologize to the writers who may have touched on this better than
I could have in these few moments.

But, let us focus on the central developmental issues of PCT, eh?

However, as a hint to my self-system and what it controls, I can say I
have read some hilarious examples of unethical behavior from Genesis
lately on the net. And I also have recently witnessed equally unethical
or uncharitable behavior from self-proclaimed Christians (present company
excepted or aside for the moment). The correlation is amazing....., but
doesn't prove a thing. And I do not like the trend I seem to be
seeing on the news and elsewhere concerning incivility.

Sincerely,

Bryan Thalhammer

[From Bruce Gregory (990212.1658 EST)]

B. Thalhammer (990212 3:00CST)

Again, I have to post: This is a scientific discussion group, and not
really a place to debate two disparate ways of thinking,
science vs. the
Bible, or something like that.... Science cannot disprove belief, and
belief (do not read "conjecture") has no part in the
scientific method. I
would think that is wasting the space provided or our focus
of the matters
at hand.

While I sympathize, I think you are missing an important point.
Christianity _is_ based on an understanding of PCT. If you want to
produce reorganization, first create serious and persistent error
(eternal damnation is certainly persistent). Next offer a alternative
organization that eliminates the error (accept Jesus as your personal
savior). Neat, no?

Bruce Gregory

[From Rick Marken (990213.0930)]

B. Thalhammer (990212 3:00CST)--

This is a scientific discussion group, and not really a place to
debate two disparate ways of thinking, science vs. the Bible, or
something like that....

This is a scientific discussion group but the science is _about_
human nature. One aspect of human nature is that people _think_.
In PCT terms, this means that they control (via the environment or
in imagination) "higher level" perceptual variables -- like programs,
principles and system concepts. So I think CSGNet is, indeed, the
place to discuss (debate) _how_ and _what_ people think: their
programs, principles (values) and system concepts.

Science cannot disprove belief

Actually, I think it can. I think what you mean is that science
can't stop people from believing nonsense. This is certainly true,
but, I think, it's no reason to stop pointing out that certain
beliefs (like the belief in the benefits of using rewards and
punishments to control behavior) are demonstrable nonsense.

and belief (do not read "conjecture") has no part in the
scientific method.

It depends on what you mean by "belief". I believe that people
control their perceptions. I can translate this belief into testable,
quantitative beliefs (hypotheses) about the behavior I will observe
in certain situations. I test these beliefs (hypotheses) by seeing
whether or not I observe what I believe I will observe. If I
consistently do observe what I believed I would observe I maintain
(provisionally, subject to further test) my belief. If not, I
abandon the belief and try something diffenent -- something that
is consistent with the facts.

While I wish to be cordial about this matter, I would ask people
not to bait others on issues of belief vs. the scientific method

What is "baiting"? Is it "baiting" when we try to show that
consequences are _selected by_ and do not _select_ behavior? Was
Galileo "baiting" the Pope when he tried to show that the Earth
is not in the center of the solar system? Just because people
have good data and models doesn't mean that they are baiting
the people who don't.

But, let us focus on the central developmental issues of PCT, eh?

I think that all these discussions are relevant to PCT, though
they may not relate to what you think is "central". But all you
have to do to fix the problem you see is to bring up a "central
developmental issue of PCT" for discussion and watch us run with it.

The "Biblical" discussion started because I was interested in
discussing "morality" from a PCT perspective. I think PCT offers
some very intersting insightsinto the nature of moral behavior.
But the fact is that much of Western thought about morality is
influenced by religious belief. So it's not surprising that the
Bible would be mentioned in a discussion of morality. The religious
approach to morality is worth discussing because it is clearly
something that _many_ people _do_ (they justify their principles
by reference to words in the Bible) so it is an important human
behavior that PCT can help us understand.

Best

Rick

···

---
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken/

[From Bruce Gregory (990213.1318 EST)]

Rick Marken (990213.0930)

B. Thalhammer (990212 3:00CST)--

> Science cannot disprove belief

Actually, I think it can. I think what you mean is that science
can't stop people from believing nonsense. This is certainly true,
but, I think, it's no reason to stop pointing out that certain
beliefs (like the belief in the benefits of using rewards and
punishments to control behavior) are demonstrable nonsense.

Thanks for a post I can disagree with! PCT shows me why it is a waste of
time to point out that certain beliefs are "demonstrable nonsense." Beliefs
exists because they lower total system error. No matter how bizarre a belief
appears to be, someone holds it because it reduces their system error.
Telling someone that their beliefs are nonsense is _very_ unlikely to be
productive because you are asking them to _increase_ system error. In order
to promote reorganization, you need to provide an alternative that reduces
system error even more than the belief you want to supplant. This is no mean
feat, as we all know.

Bruce Gregory

[From Rick Marken (990213.1110)]

Me:

Actually, I think it can. I think what you mean is that science
can't stop people from believing nonsense. This is certainly true,
but, I think, it's no reason to stop pointing out that certain
beliefs (like the belief in the benefits of using rewards and
punishments to control behavior) are demonstrable nonsense.

Bruce Gregory (990213.1318 EST)--

Thanks for a post I can disagree with!

You're welcome. Unfortunately, however, I don't think there
is that much disagreement. I'll keep trying;-)

Telling someone that their beliefs are nonsense is _very_ unlikely
to be productive because you are asking them to _increase_ system
error.

I agree with this completely, of course. I was not suggesting that
we do this (continue to point out that certain beliefs are
demonstrable nonsense) with the goal of changing the beliefs of
those who believe this nonsense. Rather, I think we should do this
for the sake of those who are not already committed to these nonsense
beliefs (most of whom are probably members of future generations).
Galileo may have been foolish to think that the Pope would change
his beliefs about the earth's position in the universe based on
data and models. But Galileo was wise to make his work available
to future generations. I know that my own research is not going
change conventional psychologist's beliefs about how to study
behavior; but, though I am no Galileo, I think it's worth making
my work available to future generations (and maybe someone will
even pick up on it before I die and get tortured for eternity by
God for disparaging His treatment of Pharoah and the Canaanites;-))
so I continue to do research and try to publish it.

Best

Rick

···

--

Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken/

[From B. Thalhammer (990213 12:45CST)]

  Rick Marken (990213.0930) mostly, and
  Bruce Gregory (990212.1658 EST), but no quotes.

This is a scientific discussion group but the science is _about_
human nature. One aspect of human nature is that people _think_.
In PCT terms, this means that they control (via the environment or
in imagination) "higher level" perceptual variables -- like programs,
principles and system concepts. So I think CSGNet is, indeed, the
place to discuss (debate) _how_ and _what_ people think: their
programs, principles (values) and system concepts.

Yes, I agree that the subject of beliefs can be the content of our
discussion, that is, these are perceptions that people may control. I may
have not been clear about my objection: Beliefs are whatever people
control, but the tools sounded as if they were being mixed up? I felt that
way, anyhow.

Science cannot disprove belief

Actually, I think it can.....

Again I can see where you are going with this. But, I said that the tools
of science can bring evidence to an argument, but are not intended as a way
of proving/disproving anything (my understanding of "science"?). As Kenny
laments, there is never gonna be 100% proof of anything. Science reduces
doubt, I said, but cannot remove it. Belief, I think, is supposed to
*remove* doubt, but it may be strange to say that belief *reduces* doubt.
Gotta think about that last sentence, but I leave it as is.

and belief (do not read "conjecture") has no part in the
scientific method.

It depends on what you mean by "belief"....

Again I agree with you. Beliefs are valid perceptions that people control,
and they can be studied scientifically as perceptions. Oh, boy, can they!
Just try using the Test with anyone convinced of Divine Design. Watch the
opposition and correction. But after doing that once or twice with
someone, and getting evidence that they do control for this or that, other
principles that *I* maintain control for a less confrontational
relationship, something like "be charitable." (That last point not being a
recommendation, only what I think I would do to reduce error.)

While I wish to be cordial about this matter, I would ask people
not to bait others on issues of belief vs. the scientific method

What is "baiting"? Is it "baiting" when we try to show that
consequences are _selected by_ and do not _select_ behavior? Was
Galileo "baiting" the Pope when he tried to show that the Earth
is not in the center of the solar system? Just because people
have good data and models doesn't mean that they are baiting
the people who don't.

Yes, I guess that my reaction shows my sensitivity to strife/conflict.
That's *my* self-system I was talking about. You are absolutely right to
use the art of refutation, which I hastily called "baiting." My tack (this
not as a recommendation as before, but my own way) would be to find out
where agreement exists and define the areas of disagreement, which you
undoubtably do very well. No argument.

But, let us focus on the central developmental issues of PCT, eh?

I think that all these discussions are relevant to PCT, though
they may not relate to what you think is "central". But all you
have to do to fix the problem you see is to bring up a "central
developmental issue of PCT" for discussion and watch us run with it.

Yes, yes. What Runkel calls strife, as I read it, the simultaneous control
of a variable (words are variable, fer sure) for which two self-systems
control differently. Maybe we see the actions differently, but the
perceptions we may each be trying to maintain could be along the same
lines.

The "Biblical" discussion started because I was interested in
discussing "morality" from a PCT perspective. I think PCT offers
some very intersting insightsinto the nature of moral behavior.
But the fact is that much of Western thought about morality is
influenced by religious belief. So it's not surprising that the
Bible would be mentioned in a discussion of morality. The religious
approach to morality is worth discussing because it is clearly
something that _many_ people _do_ (they justify their principles
by reference to words in the Bible) so it is an important human
behavior that PCT can help us understand.

Yes. I just got spooked by all the scriptural citations, illuminating
(entertaining?!) as they were. Didn't want to go there any more than I
wanted to go back to the coercion discussion the way it went. I am still
controlling for a scientific discussion. The chapter/verse citations,
statements about being saved/not saved became great distubances to my
reading the net: Ah: Look, Ma, I'm controlling my perceptions!!!!!

OK, but now I'm gonna disappear for a while. Please disturb away!

Thanks for your reponses,

Bryan

···

Best

Rick....

[From Kenny Kitzke (990215.2600EST)]

<B. Thalhammer (990212 3:00CST)>

Hello infrequent visitor and contributer to the CSGNET.

<Once, when the discussions got to be truly offensive (in a professional
sense), I wrote that people ought to not bait one another, and to stick to
the PCT topic.>

I agree with you. You would hope that members could be professional enough
and gentlemanly enough to not have to use offensive, gutter language or
call people names and hurl insults at individuals or groups of people.
But, in fairness, it is only a few people who do that and even then only
when a topic or response hits their "hot" references.

<Again, I have to post: This is a scientific discussion group, and not
really a place to debate two disparate ways of thinking, science vs. the
Bible, or something like that....>

I have a similar sentiment. However, disparate ways of thinking are part
of the science of behavior, aren't they?

<Science cannot disprove belief, and belief (do not read "conjecture") has
no part in the scientific method.>

Sorry to disagree here. Both statements are not true in all cases.

<I would think that is wasting the space provided or our focus of the
matters at hand.>

It may be for you. BTW, I would be pleased to have you bring to the
attention of the group some focus on PCT other than etiquette.

<While I wish to be cordial about this matter, I would ask people not to
bait others on issues of belief vs. the scientific method, and I would ask
people not to quote scriptures in a forum where conjecture and refutation
is supposed to be the method of inquiry. It would be nice if those
discussions on such peripheral matters could occur privately. But if they
disappeared, what would remain? That is what I fear.>

Here Bryan, I think you suffer from a lack of facts as a PT lurker. A lack
of knowledge can be dangerous whether it is about the CSGNET and how topics
begin and grow, or about PCT or about high-level beliefs (references).

Rick's response to you I think already acknowledged that he initially
wanted to probe the area of moral beliefs. This was after a long tirade
about how Mr. Bill was being unfairly railroaded by those Repulbicans and
right wing Christian conservatives. I listened in disgust for a long time
with Rick explaining to everyone what he thought about the matter. I'm
sure you would agree that the Impeachment of the first elected President
was not a PCT topic?

But, eventually Rick snookered me into responding to his bait. Then we
explored beliefs, especially moral beliefs. I suggest to you that these
are highly relevant to PCT. In fact, far more worthy of consideration to
understanding human behavior than another tracking experiment or a study on
how baseballs get caught or jugglers juggle. And, compared to another rat
experiment, well, rats just aren't humans.

Next it turned to specific moral beliefs and the systems concepts that help
establish them. Here, unfortunately, I let Rick turn this into a rout
about my personal Christian beliefs. They annoy him apparently. So he
keeps asking me about them. He even reads the Bible to find some cute put
downs.

I was pounded on by everyone for responding to Rick and sometimes in the
baiting and sarcastic manner that you so rightly condemn. I did promise to
give people an answer, if they asked. This is a Christian belief,
unfortunately. When the questions stop about the Bible, the answers will
too. I pray for the day. There are far better forums for those topics if
that is what a person wants to talk about. I hope you also agree.

<However, as a hint to my self-system and what it controls, I can say I
have read some hilarious examples of unethical behavior from Genesis
lately on the net.>

Well, if you laughed, then you satisfied one of your references reading
CSGNET.
<And I also have recently witnessed equally unethical or uncharitable
behavior from self-proclaimed Christians (present company excepted or aside
for the moment).>

Please, Bryan, I hope that excludes me. :sunglasses:

<The correlation is amazing....., but doesn't prove a thing. And I do not
like the trend I seem to be seeing on the news and elsewhere concerning
incivility.>

Would this perception of yours be appropriate for the CSGNET? It might
help us understand your own behavior if not societies. We do have
accomplished sociologists who drop by and chime in.

Good luck to you. Remember, along with the rain comes the sun. I won't
tell you where that concept comes from. 8=)

kenny & pat