I have a fire breathing dragon in my garage (1 Viewer)


Jan 19, 2009
Current Location
Your mothers house

"A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage"​
Suppose I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!
"Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle -- but no dragon.
"Where's the dragon?" you ask.
"Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."
You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.
"Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."
Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.
"Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."
You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.
"Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick." And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work.

Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so. The only thing you've really learned from my insistence that there's a dragon in my garage is that something funny is going on inside my head. You'd wonder, if no physical tests apply, what convinced me. The possibility that it was a dream or a hallucination would certainly enter your mind. But then, why am I taking it so seriously? Maybe I need help. At the least, maybe I've seriously underestimated human fallibility. Imagine that, despite none of the tests being successful, you wish to be scrupulously open-minded. So you don't outright reject the notion that there's a fire-breathing dragon in my garage. You merely put it on hold. Present evidence is strongly against it, but if a new body of data emerge you're prepared to examine it and see if it convinces you. Surely it's unfair of me to be offended at not being believed; or to criticize you for being stodgy and unimaginative -- merely because you rendered the Scottish verdict of "not proved."

Imagine that things had gone otherwise. The dragon is invisible, all right, but footprints are being made in the flour as you watch. Your infrared detector reads off-scale. The spray paint reveals a jagged crest bobbing in the air before you. No matter how skeptical you might have been about the existence of dragons -- to say nothing about invisible ones -- you must now acknowledge that there's something here, and that in a preliminary way it's consistent with an invisible, fire-breathing dragon.

Now another scenario: Suppose it's not just me. Suppose that several people of your acquaintance, including people who you're pretty sure don't know each other, all tell you that they have dragons in their garages -- but in every case the evidence is maddeningly elusive. All of us admit we're disturbed at being gripped by so odd a conviction so ill-supported by the physical evidence. None of us is a lunatic. We speculate about what it would mean if invisible dragons were really hiding out in garages all over the world, with us humans just catching on. I'd rather it not be true, I tell you. But maybe all those ancient European and Chinese myths about dragons weren't myths at all.
Gratifyingly, some dragon-size footprints in the flour are now reported. But they're never made when a skeptic is looking. An alternative explanation presents itself. On close examination it seems clear that the footprints could have been faked. Another dragon enthusiast shows up with a burnt finger and attributes it to a rare physical manifestation of the dragon's fiery breath. But again, other possibilities exist. We understand that there are other ways to burn fingers besides the breath of invisible dragons. Such "evidence" -- no matter how important the dragon advocates consider it -- is far from compelling. Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion.

~by Carl fucking Sagan

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Mar 5, 2014
Current Location
We believe what we want to believe. And sometimes the universe will even mold to our deeper desires. If you wanna find evidence of conspiracies you will. If you want to believe in God you will probably eventually find some "proof" for it. If you dont want to believe in God or an afterlife, you will find evidence not to.

Quantum mechanics is kinda confirming spiritual ideas of tye ages through the observer effect multiple dimensions/realities and such.

I'll have to say though that secular folks claim people believe in an afterlife because its a comforting idea. But i would say quite the opposite. See, when i was atheistic and almost sure of oblivion after death, it was actually comforting to me. I was more prone to suicidal thoughts at that point. When i couldnt deny a god/spiritual reality because of certain subjective experiences ( at times objective even, except not gonna arguw to convince; you believe what you want to believe), well i was forced to confront the possibility of an afterlife a la Tibetan book of the Dead. Reincarnation isnt a consolation to me. Judgment isnt a consolation. These are very serious matters and can frighten one if not tempered with mercy. Hence why ita imperative to be merciful for any religious person. For with what measure you judge others, you will be judged yourself.

Anyways, what are you really getting at? Are you tryin ti ridicule religious people? Convert them to a secular viewpoint? Or are you generally inquisitive and seeking whether there is something to this whole God thing?


Jan 8, 2018
Current Location
San Luis Obispo
At what point do you just get a better hobby, and move on? If you're mad at mass hallucinations, why not take it out on the one that actually matters: money. If you're obsessed with religious experience, why not engage with it in a meaningful way? (Carl Sagan seems to be a very competent individual who, oddly, makes a lot of noise in public about something entirely outside his competence. Imagine if I learned Greek and aramaic and studied the Dead Sea scrolls and then got on the table at applebees to rant about quarks)


Jan 8, 2018
Current Location
San Luis Obispo
You goofies are trying it. You do know that the phrase "turtles all the way down" was the invention of western philosophy nerds illustrating the problem of induction? That it was falsely attributed to "hindu's" as some kind of world myth, but that it fundamentally illustrates the impossibility of formulating a comprehensive theory of everything, which is strongly corroborated by the continual discovery of new types of matter and weird quirks of space time, and just saying "turtles all the way down" as if it's a good example of the type of ridiculous thing a religious person would say makes you an ignorant goober? You did this with pascal's wager too, just strung the words together in a way that makes it clear you aren't familiar with the concept. What are you getting out of this?


Jan 8, 2018
Current Location
San Luis Obispo
"Every scientific man in order to preserve his reputation has to say he dislikes metaphysics. What he means is he dislikes having his metaphysics criticized." Alfred Whitehead, coauthor with Russell of principia mathematica

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