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Socratic Method vs. Scientific Method?

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  • Socratic Method vs. Scientific Method?

    I'm unfamiliar with a lot of the logic rules people use here. When do you use the Socratic Method to prove things are true? When do you use the Scientific Method?

    It seems like the Scientific Method relies on empirical evidence - so if something exists in our universe then it can be tested. The Socratic Method is used for things you cannot test with empirical evidence like concepts, emotions, etc

    Is there a rule for what to apply when? Thanks for educating me
    Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta (Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds) - Zoroaster

  • #2
    The Socratic method is when you ask questions of someone and elicit a series of answers, then derive a contradiction from the answers given. This is the method used by Socrates in most of Plato's dialogues, which is where it gets its name. The Socratic method establishes that there is a contradiction in someone's worldview, but it doesn't usually tell you which of the beliefs leading to the contradiction is false (it could be just one or all of them).

    Science is systematic knowledge gained by the application of logic to observation. We first learn some obvious things about how the world works through uncontrolled observation, like "a ball will roll when I push it." This works for very simple things, but sometimes there are multiple alternative explanations that we can't narrow down just by looking. In these cases, we actively intervene in nature to control all of the variables that are irrelevant to the hypothesized causal connection, which is what we call an experiment.

    So, here's how I would sum it up: Science proves a theory about how the world works, and the Socratic method criticizes ideas by trying to find contradictions in them.
    "There is no singular thing in nature that is more useful to man than a man who lives according to the guidance of reason."
    ~ Spinoza, Ethics, 4p35c1

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Lighthearted Athiest View Post
      I'm unfamiliar with a lot of the logic rules people use here. When do you use the Socratic Method to prove things are true? When do you use the Scientific Method?

      It seems like the Scientific Method relies on empirical evidence - so if something exists in our universe then it can be tested. The Socratic Method is used for things you cannot test with empirical evidence like concepts, emotions, etc

      Is there a rule for what to apply when? Thanks for educating me
      Why do you think they're different?

      Comment


      • #4
        Occam has nailed it.

        The Socratic method is used in the context of discussion, and only to falsify claims/ideas. Roughly speaking, it challenges the truth of a certain proposition, presenting information in the form of arguments, logic or answers to questions which ultimately calls the truth into question.

        The Euthyphro dilemma is a classic example of this. A snippet taken from the Wiki entry:

        Euthyphro proposes (6e) that the pious is the same thing as that which is loved by the gods, but Socrates finds a problem with this proposal: the gods may disagree among themselves (7e). Euthyphro then revises his definition, so that piety is only that which is loved by all of the gods unanimously (9e).

        At this point the dilemma surfaces. Socrates asks whether the gods love the pious because it is the pious, or whether the pious is pious only because it is loved by the gods (10a). Socrates and Euthyphro both contemplate the first option: surely the gods love the pious because it is the pious. But this means, Socrates argues, that we are forced to reject the second option: the fact that the gods love something cannot explain why the pious is the pious
        The Socratic method can't be used to prove/validate/justify a proposition.
        Anyone who actually believes in the existence of sin will avoid lying about others and misrepresenting them.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Occam View Post
          The Socratic method is when you ask questions of someone and elicit a series of answers, then derive a contradiction from the answers given. This is the method used by Socrates in most of Plato's dialogues, which is where it gets its name. The Socratic method establishes that there is a contradiction in someone's worldview, but it doesn't usually tell you which of the beliefs leading to the contradiction is false (it could be just one or all of them).

          Science is systematic knowledge gained by the application of logic to observation. We first learn some obvious things about how the world works through uncontrolled observation, like "a ball will roll when I push it." This works for very simple things, but sometimes there are multiple alternative explanations that we can't narrow down just by looking. In these cases, we actively intervene in nature to control all of the variables that are irrelevant to the hypothesized causal connection, which is what we call an experiment.

          So, here's how I would sum it up: Science proves a theory about how the world works, and the Socratic method criticizes ideas by trying to find contradictions in them.
          Thanks
          Using your examples, the socratic method pushed Darwinism out the door in terms of it being a science in any way. Darwinism DOES NOT prove how evolution works. It just casts labels on it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Lighthearted Athiest View Post
            I'm unfamiliar with a lot of the logic rules people use here. When do you use the Socratic Method to prove things are true? When do you use the Scientific Method?

            It seems like the Scientific Method relies on empirical evidence - so if something exists in our universe then it can be tested. The Socratic Method is used for things you cannot test with empirical evidence like concepts, emotions, etc

            Is there a rule for what to apply when? Thanks for educating me
            I see little actual purpose to the Socratic method. Just a way to obfuscate what someone wants to claim, usually with loaded and leading questions.

            It can be useful as a henpeck device, if that is your purpose, to just annoy.
            "The beautiful cry of 'Death to America' unites our nation."
            Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran

            “An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no God.”
            Carl Sagan

            God is love.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nouveau View Post

              Thanks
              Using your examples, the socratic method pushed Darwinism out the door in terms of it being a science in any way. Darwinism DOES NOT prove how evolution works. It just casts labels on it.
              It can't be repeated or witnessed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CrowCross View Post
                It can't be repeated or witnessed.
                It's component parts can be, which is all that science requires.
                "It is a kindness neither to science nor religion to leave unchallenged inadequate arguments for the existence of God... Belief cannot be alive & relevant unless it is responsive to the most serious criticism that can be mustered against it." - Sagan

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CrowCross View Post

                  It can't be repeated or witnessed.
                  The process of evolution can be witnessed.

                  Tests on the evidence the process left behind over deep time can be both witnessed and repeated.

                  Another science FAIL for the Creo.
                  Last edited by Tim H; 10-12-17, 10:53 AM. Reason: typo
                  "We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day." - Gregg Popovich

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nouveau View Post

                    . Darwinism DOES NOT prove how evolution works.
                    How is it someone with a claimed 5 science PhDs doesn't understand science doesn't prove things but merely provides supporting evidence?
                    "We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day." - Gregg Popovich

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CrowCross View Post

                      It can't be repeated or witnessed.
                      No event can be exactly repeated; and scientists don't "witness", they observe. Observations need not be made with the naked eye, or from close-by in space and time. Didn't we just observe the merging of two black holes, an event which happened a billion years ago ?

                      And witnesses must be present for cross-examination. Reading what was written 2000 years ago is not a listening to a witness, it is a rather indirect and unreliable method of observation.
                      Regards, HRG.

                      "The universe doesn't care what happens to its inhabitants, but its inhabitants do" (Tyrrho).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spacemonkey View Post
                        It's component parts can be, which is all that science requires.
                        No it can't. nice try though.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Occam View Post
                          The Socratic method ...[snip]
                          Thanks Occam - that makes sense. What confuses me is when people use logic arguments to prove God is real. It seems like the scientific method is appropriate to prove if anything exists, I do not understand how apologetics like Cosmological argument or Teleological argument are even the right tools to prove if something is real.

                          So I am confused. When I ask for evidence that God is real why do people answer with the Teleological argument instead of empirical evidence?

                          It feel like we are using the wrong tool for the job.

                          Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta (Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds) - Zoroaster

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lighthearted Athiest View Post
                            Thanks Occam - that makes sense. What confuses me is when people use logic arguments to prove God is real. It seems like the scientific method is appropriate to prove if anything exists, I do not understand how apologetics like Cosmological argument or Teleological argument are even the right tools to prove if something is real.

                            So I am confused. When I ask for evidence that God is real why do people answer with the Teleological argument instead of empirical evidence?

                            It feel like we are using the wrong tool for the job.
                            A deductively valid argument establishes its conclusion if there is sufficient evidence for the premises. Science uses deductive arguments to make predictions about what will happen in the future, to explain known phenomena, and to figure out what must have happened in the past.

                            If that doesn't convince you, notice that when you reject the claim that God exists, you're making a deductive argument:

                            1. Every claim requires evidence. (The Burden of Proof Principle)
                            2. There is no evidence for God.
                            3. Therefore, we should reject the claim that God exists.

                            So there's nothing sinister about deduction.

                            If you take issue with the evidence for the premises of the arguments for God, then that's something you would address with whoever is making the argument.
                            "There is no singular thing in nature that is more useful to man than a man who lives according to the guidance of reason."
                            ~ Spinoza, Ethics, 4p35c1

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CrowCross View Post

                              No it can't. nice try though.
                              Let's see. The components of evolution are:
                              1. Mutations: observed. Check.
                              2. Selection: observed. Check.
                              3. Genetic drift: observed. Check.
                              4. Speciation: observed. Check.
                              5. Symbiosis: observed. Check.
                              6. DNA exchange (for bacteria and archaea): observed. Check.
                              Regards, HRG.

                              "The universe doesn't care what happens to its inhabitants, but its inhabitants do" (Tyrrho).

                              Comment

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