Comment by Radu Andreiu on December 23, 2010 at 5:40am

I agree that we shouldn't use only empiricism for supporting hypothesis, but philosophy? It seems such a wide term that it could encompass almost everything. For me, the belief that something is true is equivalent to the conclusion that this particular something is more likely to be true than to be false. Because there are only two possibilities here, the probability has to be greater than 50%. Because of that, I rely on probabilities, not some general philosophy when I consider the veracity of hypotheses. In fact, we don't need to estimate the exact probability, but only if this probability, based on our current data, is closer to 1, or to 0.

 

For example, since every single human (in our knowledge) who jumped on Earth was attracted by it and so he/she didn't leave the atmosphere, without knowing anything about the nature of gravity, we can estimate the likelihood of the next human being who will jump to come back down to be extremely close to 100%. Similarly, we can estimate the likelihood of an event to be natural (thus, not supernatural) at almost 100%, since every single event known was natural. Therefore, it is only reasonable, mathematically, not philosophically, that events are not supernatural, thus neither is the existence of our world. Of course, because we have a limited amount of data, this conclusion could be wrong, but, for the time being, it is the most likely scenario.

 

Philosophy doesn't inspire much confidence to me, because it is not clearly defined how conclusions should be reached and why.

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