pitt0162: September 2011 Archives

Protection from the Abstract

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One of the most important concepts that have been introduced in Psychology 1001 so far is the idea that there are "metaphysical claims" (Lilienfeld, Psychology From Inquiry to Understanding, 9). We must separate these claims from our scientific thinking in order to protect ourselves from accepting false truths. Metaphysical claims are assertions or arguments that confront issues and beliefs that we cannot see or test in order to prove them right or wrong. A few examples of metaphysical claims include the existence of god, ideas about the soul and thoughts about the afterlife. These metaphysical claims are very often held close to people's hearts. Important aspects of one's life like religion, values and morals usually rely strongly on metaphysical claims. However, in order recognize the validity of science and studies we must separate metaphysical claims from scientific claims.

Take a look at this video clip: http://youtu.be/glRAN_8CkvQ . It seems like the speaker has some degree of try-hard "logic" that accompanies his argument that God does, indeed, exist. This is a kind of metaphysical claim that someone sought to prove and has provided "evidence" to that fact that their argument is correct. Obviously, God is outside the realm of human understanding. Being able to realize that a video like the one you just watched has assertions that cannot be proven will help protect you from being sucked into ploys and phony beliefs that the people of this world are trying to spread.

Keeping in mind the Scientific Thinking Principles, (Lilienfeld, Psychology From Inquiry to Understanding, 22) you can easily pick out these metaphysical claims when you come across them. For example, Metaphysical claims cannot be proven wrong, or right for that matter; the claims are usually very extraordinary and would require very extraordinary evidence (which the video clip absolutely did not have). The only question that still arises in my mind is how people can be SO SURE on their own metaphysical claims? If we are to think scientifically, how can people, without a doubt, rely on such ideas?

*For the record, I do believe God exists and I am a very strong Christian. I simply used the "existence of God" as an example to provide a better understanding about what a metaphysical claim is.

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