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An 'unwise contrast'[edit]

Never seen this site before, but I noticed an author has declared the contrast between rationalism and empiricism to be 'unwise'. This is an assertion which contradicts basically all philosophical thought... not very 'rational'. In the strict philosophical sense, the distinction is ubiquitous, and highly useful and important. The author has conflated this with the public perception... but laymen never really contrast 'rationalism' and 'empiricism' anyway, only those with good enough knowledge of the terms would ever distinguish them, and then they do it correctly.

There needs to be a clearer delineation between philosophy and unrelated fuzzy laymen's concepts. In defending 'fuzzy rationalism' (i.e. the subject of this Wiki), the author has mistakenly made negative statements about clear philosophy (an important part of fuzzy rationalism).— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

You are right. This whole page is just a bootload of incoherent twiddle. (((Zack Martin))) 05:54, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Says the person who made up their own religion. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:54, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Revelation, is the word for which you are looking. Anyway, it is far more coherent than this load of nonsense is. (((Zack Martin))) 06:57, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
And how do we know "revelation" is rational? What's the different between revelation and insanity? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:59, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I think this page does need a drastic re-write. It should be strictly divided into two sections for the philosophical and colloquial uses of the term. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:01, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
@Retard, how do we know it isn't rational? The difference between revelation and insanity is that revelation is much more coherent for starters. Have you read the output of schizophrenics in the midst of formal thought disorder? It's unintelligible. 07:03, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
All right, then: what's the difference between "revelation," and lying? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:06, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I would be lying if I did not really believe the things I say. I would have thought that, by now, the evidence would be suggesting that I actually believe the things I say, rather than that they are some kind of elaborate hoax. Remember the 300+ page book? Would I go to that much trouble if I didn't really believe this, if it was just all some kind of elaborate hoax? Seems like far too much work for hoaxing. (((Zack Martin))) 07:11, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Depends on your psychology; what's the difference between "revelation," and delusion? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:14, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
A delusion is defined as a false belief which is retained despite of all the evidence against it. What is the evidence against my beliefs? I supposing a key belief of mine here, is the very definition of "evidence" is open to question, and your concept of "evidence" may not match mine - who can say whose is right? (((Zack Martin))) 07:17, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
People much smarter than us. I'll guess that every one of them would disagree with your religion. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:19, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Argument from authority, an argument from the presumed opinions of anonymous authorities at that! (((Zack Martin))) 07:22, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
An argument from authority is not a fallacy, given that its everyday usage allows society function. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:28, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
If the authority is appropriately qualified, has actually spoken on the topic at hand, etc., etc., etc... none of those criteria apply to your invocation of the anonymous. (((Zack Martin))) 07:32, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
"What is the evidence against my beliefs? I supposing a key belief of mine here, is the very definition of "evidence" is open to question, and your concept of "evidence" may not match mine - who can say whose is right?" - you can't prove I'm wrong, therefore I'm right. OK, Prove you're not a bot. Rennie McGreet (talk) 10:20, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
The question "What is the evidence against my beliefs?" is simply a way of reversing the burden of proof. However, I know from previous experience that Maratrean is not keen on the use of "burden of proof" in these contexts.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:29, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
@Rennie McGreet, you can't prove I'm wrong, therefore I'm right — that was not my point. My point was that, you can't rely on reason and evidence indefinitely, you'll get to a point in the regress when it comes down to "I believe this, because this is what I choose to place my faith in". And at that point, you and I may well make different choices, we may well have different faiths — but in a sense than I have won, because faith/choice must play a role, you cannot answer everything through reason&evidence (((Zack Martin))) 23:25, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
yes, it was your point, that's what you said. stop denying the truth - that you want to argue logically that your made up goddess and that bat thing are real. you are insane. go see a psychiatrist. Rennie McGreet (talk) 23:36, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't claim you can create a purely logical argument for the truth of Maratreanism. Reason and evidence have some role to play, but you need faith also. Part of the role of reason is to justify faith in general as a potentially good thing - but the decision is still yours as to which particular faith to adopt, Maratreanism is only one option open to you. I'm not insane — having nonstandard religious beliefs is not in itself a sign of mental illness; to say otherwise is a recipe of psychiatric tyranny. Of course, I suppose there are some people (maybe even some people on this website) who think that all religion is a form of mental illness; but then again, go back a bit and many people would have said the same of atheists. It was only a few decades ago that mainstream psychiatry claimed that homosexuality was a mental illness; in the Soviet Union, psychiatry was frequently used as a weapon against dissidents. Psychiatry needs to be practiced in a way which respects religious freedom. (((Zack Martin))) 05:18, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
@BobM, but how do you know your theory about the burden of proof is correct? What if there are other competing theories about how to assign the burden of proof? How do you know which theory is right? What is the burden of proof for the burden of proof? A great way to demolish ideas is to try to apply them to themselves. (((Zack Martin))) 23:25, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm, you're right. We don't need burden of proof. Someone can just say something and we presume them to be right about everything. Screw contradictions, hypocrisy, lack of evidence, implausibility and inability to make a coherent statement, just believe them for the sake of believing them. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 00:24, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
We need some theory of the burden of proof, but which one? There are multiple theories which are reasonable, and no clear way to determine which is right. One approach then, is to accept any person who follows a reasonable theory of the burden of proof as being reasonable, even if it's not the theory you personally choose to follow. One could choose to see this as a matter of philosophical choice, a sort of exercise of faith (I choose to believe this because it seems most reasonable to me personally, even though I recognize that others see things differently, and there is no way for me to objectively prove that I am right and that they are wrong). (((Zack Martin))) 05:22, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure what point you are making. The burden of proof states that:
  • it is the obligation of somebody presenting a new or remarkable idea to provide evidence to support it
I understand that this is inconvenient for those who would like to introduce new gods or whatever but that's the situation.--BobSpring is sprung! 11:38, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Are you proposing that as a statement of what the "burden of proof" should be? Because, your rule doesn't work the way you likely think it does. Firstly, "remarkable" is a very subjective standard, what seems remarkable to you may seem obvious to someone else, and vice versa. The existence of God is remarkable to the atheist, but not at all remarkable to the convinced believer. Personally, I find the idea of death as non-existence to be remarkable, while I'm guessing most atheists would find the idea obvious, and its negation remarkable.
Secondly, if the standard is for "new" ideas, then the idea of the existence of God(s) is older than the idea of atheism (the earliest historical records of religious belief are older than those for religious unbelief, by centuries or even millennia); the idea of an afterlife is older than the idea of death as non-existence; the idea of there being some non-physical aspect to human beings (a soul or spirit) is older than the idea of human beings being purely physical/material entities. So, if we took your proposal (or that article's proposal) literally, we could conclude that the burden of proof is on the atheist, not the believer. Probably not the outcome you were planning on. (((Zack Martin))) 01:40, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Hey, you can make a career out of that. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:40, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

A man with some very interesting ideas, although I do not necessarily agree with all of his. (((Zack Martin))) 05:22, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

There is something very deeply wrong with this Wiki. I've only commented in two articles. In the first it was in opposition to some rather rampant bias and anti-intellectualism in a different article... this 'Retard' member appeared and linked me to some horrid page about how new editors who make such claims are probably trolls. That rather took me aback. Now he pops up under my second comment with a totally irrelevant ad hominem aimed at some other member, and derails the whole talk page into a stupid fight about theism. Is this what counts as rational here?

Anyway, in all of that mess there appear to be two consenting members and nobody against; this article needs a rewrite. -- (talk) 12:58, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Rationalwiki is not devoted to rationalism[edit]

I suggest deleting this line:

RationalWiki is devoted to this sort of rational analysis of empirical evidence to form conclusions

Based on this discussion it's clearly not true; or at least, not understood by that sample of editors. Klortho (talk) 05:28, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

Needs better self-criticism under "where rationalism can fail" and to break up the unbroken text at the bottom section.[edit]

1. I am seriously trying to learn about rationalism, and the lack of objective self-reflection and lack of serious criticism is making it hard for me to take it seriously. I want to see their point of view, but most rationalist arguments as to why they are not more popular seem to be "we are are so smart and right that other people are angry and jealous" or "we think about things so rightly that we don't think about the simple little things". I am not trying to be snide, but I want to see actual self-reflection so I am not lost on this. Zavvnao (talk) 00:02, 9 August 2018 (UTC)Zavvnao

2. The last, gigantic paragraph needs to be broken up into more manageable and readable ones as info IS being lost to readers like me who have bad vision. Zavvnao (talk) 21:15, 7 August 2018 (UTC)Zavvnao

On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 21:21, 7 August 2018 (UTC) Zavvnao (talk) 00:02, 9 August 2018 (UTC)Zavvnao (I hope that is signed right this time. I did this last time also. Zavvnao (talk) 00:02, 9 August 2018 (UTC)Zavvnao

The 'where rationalism can fail' section looks like it was written by a 14 year old Empiricist. Why do we need it, anyway? 2601:190:580:18:D4DD:553E:46FE:32B3 (talk) 03:50, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

I'm not even sure why it exists, it's neither funny nor useful. Flameoguy (talk) 19:53, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Fine. I'll do it you lazies. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:09, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Defects in the Empiricism versus Rationalism section[edit]

The Empiricism versus Rationalism section is quite poor. It states: “A serious problem for the Innate Knowledge thesis remains, however. We know a proposition only if it is true, we believe it and our belief is warranted.” Really? How do we know that this definition of knowledge is the right definition? Because that’s the only definition of knowledge that makes rational sense? So, basically, this definition was derived not empirically but rationally? I see. Go on. “How can these beliefs be warranted if they do not gain their warrant from the experiences that cause us to have them or from intuition and deduction?” Rationally — that’s the whole point of rationalism. We know that knowledge is justified true belief because that’s the only rational definition. We know that truth exists because the claim “Truth does not exist,” rationally incoherent. Similarly, empiricist claims such as “The only way to know whether grass is green is to go out and look at some grass” is essentially a rationalist argument for empiricism. Is there no empirical argument for empiricism?Zosimus (talk) 18:01, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

Misrepresenting Philosophy[edit]

In philosophical contexts, 'rationalism' still indicates the prioritization of reason over experience. In my experience, the term 'continental rationalism' is not widely used, and the SEP article even makes clear that when it is used, it is used to refer to the combination of rationalism with a belief in substance dualism. The claim that this is the state of philosophical discourse should be removed, and it should be made clearer that the rest is referring to colloquial usage. Also, I'm not sure that this even is common colloquial usage, and not just insular (and rather self-serving) jargon imported from LessWrong. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 13:23, 18 April 2022 (UTC)