Sometimes it feels like the religious pretty much have a lock on making stupid claims and ridiculous arguments. I know that’s not strictly true, but, at least from where I’m sitting, they seem to be a majority of really asinine claims.
But occasionally, you run across someone else without a clue.
Case in point, someone in a philosophy forum who is arguing the old adage “if a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?” He’s arguing no. Of course, he’s demonstrably wrong, we know what causes sound, it’s the movement of objects which cause a disturbance in a volume of air, thus causing sound waves that propagate to one’s ears. Of course, he doesn’t accept that. He demands that it be proven to him.
The problem is, he denies that any form of detector or gauge whatsoever can be used. No microphones. No pressure gauges. Nothing that could possibly tell us if there actually is a sound or not.
So how do we prove it?
Of course, his answer is that this is a classic thought experiment and we’re not supposed to be able to solve it, yet it is a question that we can, with very little difficulty, put to bed today. This is true of many old adages. When they were proposed there was no way of demonstrating them except for the theory. Today, that’s not true. Yet there are people who want to cling to the old way of thinking and keep believing outdated ideas just because they are familiar.
Sounds just like religion, doesn’t it?