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Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
#26

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-02-2018, 03:22 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 05:38 PM)SteveII Wrote: If our brains are a product of time and chance and survival and NOT for ascertaining answer to questions about ontology and metaphysics, we automatically have a defeater for thinking our brains are a product of time and chance and survival.

Wrong. 
Brains are not a product of "chance". You don't understand probability and evolution ... you really should get an education. 
Better brains promoted survival. Pathetic sentimental attempt at the black and white thinking fallacy. 
Is there evidence that homo sapiens was trying to "answer questions about ontology and metaphysics" 100,000 yeas ago ? LMAO

It's strange that it takes a Christian on an atheist forum to explain that the mechanism of evolution that creates new traits in a population is natural selection of random mutations and genetic drift--both entirely governed by "chance".
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#27

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ The wise man says it to the world.” (Troy Witte) Consider
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#28

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-02-2018, 12:22 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(12-01-2018, 07:11 AM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 09:29 PM)SteveII Wrote: Then you are not understanding the original quote or my point. If our brains did not evolve to be effective at answering metaphysical questions (like is Naturalism true), then how can we trust it to answer metaphysical questions?

Because our brain does not have to evolve for the purpose of allowing us to answer metaphysical questions in order for us to be able to answer metaphysical questions. No teleology required. It's a non-sequitur in terms of logical validity, and if it were instead a premise, to say that teleology/design was required, then it's an unsound one if left to stand by itself without argument, as that would be to question-beg the very claim that is being made.

If you believe Naturalism and evolution are true, you are saddled with a defeater for your argument: the chances the brain would evolve to ponder the question is so, so, so low as to be difficult to claim.

Well, if you say so. But you don't seem to actually have a valid argument for that.


Quote:Any other argument postulating such 'long odds' would be dismissed.

Well, the way I see it is, any natural explanation is always going to be more probable, in principle, than a supernatural one. If I'm understanding the definition of "supernatural" correctly ... it means beyond the natural world, yes? So whatever we perceive, we are not perceving something supernatural, as natural beings, right?

Now we might be perceiving a natural clue that is an indication of a supernatural cause. The problem here is precisely what I suggest: That anything natural that may be believed to be a clue that is an indication of a supernatural cause on the surface ... always seems to have an alternative natural explanation that is more parsimonious and elegant.

Quote: The only reason it is believed is the presumption of Naturalism.

The only reason that evolution is believed?

I assume you at the very least believe in micro evolution though, right? (I would hope). So you just don't believe that species can evolve into each other? What do you mean by "evolution"?

Or are you talking about abiogenesis rather than evolution? Are you talking about how life itself came about or supposedly evolved from entirely non-conscious matter? Because if that's what you mean by 'evolution' then yes, I think that is incoherent. Which is why I am a very odd sort of naturalist. You'd probably think that I wouldn't qualify as a naturalist. But I'm what Galen Strawson would refer to as a "real naturalist". I don't believe in an eliminative approach to consciousness nor do I believe in an emergentist approach to consciousness. (And I keep going on and on about consciousness because I think that it is consciousness that ultimately makes something "alive", as it were. If we're talking about biologicality then that is a simply down to arbitrary classification and categorization. Just as there was no "first even chicken", "first ever human" or "first ever animal" that was different enough from its parents to be considered to truly be the first of its kind. And it's parents weren't different enough to be considered truly the first of its kind either. And so on. In exactly the same way, because it's micro evolution all the way down, there is no "first ever living thing" either. And it's consciousness all the way down. Or so I say.

Quote:'There is a name for presupposing your conclusion.

What conclusion do you think I'm presupposing without an argument? And if I do presuppose a conclusion, or rather, if I start with an unproven premise, the question is, is that premise more sound that your unproven premise? And if your premise is proven, then where is the non-fallacious argument for it?

Best wishes,

E
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#29

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
This universe, which is the same for all, has not been made by any god or man, but it always has been, is, and will be an ever-living fire, kindling itself by regular measures and going out by regular measures.
- Heraclitus
Sitting in the club car of the hell bound train.

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#30

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
Here are some awesome quotations from the philosopher, Schopenhauer:

“If God made this world, then I would not want to be the God. It is so full of misery and distress that it breaks my heart.”

― Arthur Schopenhauer

“The chief objection I have to Pantheism is that it says nothing. To call the world "God" is not to explain it; it is only to enrich our language with a superfluous synonym for the word "world".”

― Arthur Schopenhauer

“As a matter of fact, intolerance is only essential to monotheism: an only god is by his nature a jealous god, who cannot permit any other god to exist. On the other hand, polytheistic gods are by their nature tolerant: they live and let live; they willingly tolerate their colleagues as being gods of the same religion, and this tolerance is afterwards extended to alien gods, who are, accordingly, hospitably received, and later on sometimes attain even the same rights and privileges; as in the case of the Romans, who willingly accepted and venerated Phrygian, Egyptian, and other foreign gods. Hence it is the monotheistic religions alone that furnish us with religious wars, persecutions, and heretical tribunals, and also with the breaking of images, the destruction of idols of the gods; the overthrowing of Indian temples and Egyptian colossi, which had looked on the sun three thousand years; and all this because a jealous God had said: “Thou shalt make no graven image,” etc. To return to the principal part of the matter: you are certainly right in advocating the strong metaphysical needs of mankind; but religions appear to me to be not so much a satisfaction as an abuse of those needs.”

― Arthur Schopenhauer

“The Greeks looked upon the world and the gods as the work of an inscrutable necessity. A passable explanation: we may be content with it until we can get a better one. Again, Ormuzd and Ahriman are rival powers, continually at war. That is not bad. But that a God like Jehovah should have created this world of misery and woe out of pure caprice, and because he enjoyed doing it, and should then have clapped his hands in praise of his own work, and declared everything to be very good — that will not do at all!”

― Arthur Schopenhauer
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#31

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
Minimalist from AF has the best quote ever.

"Go blow Jesus out of your ass."
      On ignore: Shitty people not deserving of my time or attention.
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#32

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-03-2018, 04:47 AM)Joods Wrote: Minimalist from AF has the best quote ever.

"Go blow Jesus out of your ass."

I always hear him say it in this voice:

My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#33

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
I loved Carlin. He's one comedian I truly miss.
      On ignore: Shitty people not deserving of my time or attention.
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#34

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-03-2018, 04:52 AM)Joods Wrote: I loved Carlin. He's one comedian I truly miss.

He indeed is super awesome.

Here's him on religion, as it's relevant to the thread:







And here's another quote on religion, from my favorite philosopher, again (I really think he makes an awful lot of good arguments on many topics):

“Thomas Nagel writes that “whether atheists or theists are right depends on facts about reality that neither of them can prove” [“A Philosopher Defends Religion,” Letters, NYR, November 8]. This is not quite right: it depends on what kind of theists we have to do with. We can, for example, know with certainty that the Christian God does not exist as standardly defined: a being who is omniscient, omnipotent, and wholly benevolent. The proof lies in the world, which is full of extraordinary suffering. If someone claims to have a sensus divinitatis that picks up a Christian God, they are deluded. It may be added that genuine belief in such a God, however rare, is profoundly immoral: it shows contempt for the reality of human suffering, or indeed any intense suffering.”

— Galen Strawson
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#35

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
Plato - The Laws - Book X


Cleinias. What shall we say or do to these persons?
Athenian Stranger. My good friend, let us first hear the jests which I suspect that they in their superiority will utter against us.

Cle. What jests?
Ath. They will make some irreverent speech of this sort:-"O inhabitants of Athens, and Sparta, and Cnosus," they will reply, "in that you speak truly; for some of us deny the very existence of the Gods, while others, as you say, are of opinion that they do not care about us; and others that they are turned from their course by gifts. Now we have a right to claim, as you yourself allowed, in the matter of laws, that before you are hard upon us and threaten us, you should argue with us and convince us-you should first attempt to teach and persuade us that there are Gods by reasonable evidences, and also that they are too good to be unrighteous, or to be propitiated, or turned from their course by gifts. For when we hear such things said of them by those who are esteemed to be the best of poets, and orators, and prophets, and priests, and by innumerable others, the thoughts of most of us are not set upon abstaining from unrighteous acts, but upon doing them and atoning for them. When lawgivers profess that they are gentle and not stern, we think that they should first of all use persuasion to us, and show us the existence of Gods, if not in a better manner than other men, at any rate in a truer; and who knows but that we shall hearken to you? If then our request is a fair one, please to accept our challenge."

---

The invention of natural theology. Proving God exists.  The beginning of the 2350 year wild goose chase.
Sitting in the club car of the hell bound train.

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#36

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-02-2018, 01:42 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(12-02-2018, 12:22 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(12-01-2018, 07:11 AM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: Because our brain does not have to evolve for the purpose of allowing us to answer metaphysical questions in order for us to be able to answer metaphysical questions. No teleology required. It's a non-sequitur in terms of logical validity, and if it were instead a premise, to say that teleology/design was required, then it's an unsound one if left to stand by itself without argument, as that would be to question-beg the very claim that is being made.

If you believe Naturalism and evolution are true, you are saddled with a defeater for your argument: the chances the brain would evolve to ponder the question is so, so, so low as to be difficult to claim.

Well, if you say so. But you don't seem to actually have a valid argument for that.

More of an observation about an argument (naturalism).

Quote:
Quote:Any other argument postulating such 'long odds' would be dismissed.

Well, the way I see it is, any natural explanation is always going to be more probable, in principle, than a supernatural one. If I'm understanding the definition of "supernatural" correctly ... it means beyond the natural world, yes? So whatever we perceive, we are not perceving something supernatural, as natural beings, right?

Now we might be perceiving a natural clue that is an indication of a supernatural cause. The problem here is precisely what I suggest: That anything natural that may be believed to be a clue that is an indication of a supernatural cause on the surface ... always seems to have an alternative natural explanation that is more parsimonious and elegant.

Depends on the miracle you are talking about. If it is Jesus telling a paralyzed man to walk and he does on command--there is no reasonable naturalistic explanation. If you are talking about someone got well from a battle of sickness, sure.

Quote:
Quote:  The only reason it is believed is the presumption of Naturalism.

The only reason that evolution is believed?

I assume you at the very least believe in micro evolution though, right? (I would hope). So you just don't believe that species can evolve into each other? What do you mean by "evolution"?

Or are you talking about abiogenesis rather than evolution? Are you talking about how life itself came about or supposedly evolved from entirely non-conscious matter? Because if that's what you mean by 'evolution' then yes, I think that is incoherent. Which is why I am a very odd sort of naturalist. You'd probably think that I wouldn't qualify as a naturalist. But I'm what Galen Strawson would refer to as a "real naturalist". I don't believe in an eliminative approach to consciousness nor do I believe in an emergentist approach to consciousness. (And I keep going on and on about consciousness because I think that it is consciousness that ultimately makes something "alive", as it were. If we're talking about biologicality then that is a simply down to arbitrary classification and categorization. Just as there was no "first even chicken", "first ever human" or "first ever animal" that was different enough from its parents to be considered to truly be the first of its kind. And it's parents weren't different enough to be considered truly the first of its kind either. And so on. In exactly the same way, because it's micro evolution all the way down, there is no "first ever living thing" either. And it's consciousness all the way down. Or so I say.

Not generic "evolution", the context of my point was the evolution of the mind. In spite of the seemingly impossible odds and the mystery of what it is are just assumed to have evolved because there is no choice for the naturalist. I am well aware of what evolution is and what it claims and the difference between in and abiogenesis. Someday in a different thread we can discuss details and your take on consciousness.

Quote:
Quote:'There is a name for presupposing your conclusion.

What conclusion do you think I'm presupposing without an argument? And if I do presuppose a conclusion, or rather, if I start with an unproven premise, the question is, is that premise more sound that your unproven premise? And if your premise is proven, then where is the non-fallacious argument for it?

Best wishes,

E

Sorry, we both start with an unproven premise. Both are inductive arguments.
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#37

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-02-2018, 12:56 PM)SteveII Wrote: It's strange that it takes a Christian on an atheist forum to explain that the mechanism of evolution that creates new traits in a population is natural selection of random mutations and genetic drift--both entirely governed by "chance".

But it's not at all strange that this (supposed) Christian is so ignorant of Probability and Genetics that he asserts mutations are governed by "chance".

The mutation can never be "governed by chance" as the mutation is happening in a specific environment and in a chemical conformation that already exists.
This "chance" BS is the (very common, street level) misunderstanding of how evolution works, (as well as Genetics and Probability).

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1...is-random/
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightat...nt-chance/

Please go get an education.
Here's a CHRISTIAN Biochemist (Dr. Kenneth Miller) on why you're totally wrong.

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#38

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-03-2018, 11:56 AM)SteveII Wrote: More of an observation about an argument (naturalism).

So, what is your primary problem with naturalism and what is it about supernaturalism that makes you think that it's a much better explanation of reality?

I'm aware that you find evolution problematic ... but I take it that you're not a young Earth creationist. I would be very surprised if that were true.

So how deep do your problems with evolution run?

Quote:Depends on the miracle you are talking about. If it is Jesus telling a paralyzed man to walk and he does on command--there is no reasonable naturalistic explanation.

A few problems that I have with that notion:

(1) How do we tell the apperance of Jesus being able to do that from a reality? (i.e. magicians can often make things look magical via magic tricks and sometimes it is only the magician that knows how the tricks are done. I'm talking about beyond simple stage magic like sawing a lady in half, etc, I'm talking about people like Derren Brown. How would we tell someone who does something like that apart from Jesus?)

(2) A related but slightly different problem that I've pointed out before (it's basically just a less specific version). You say that there's no naturalistic explanation but not only could there be many naturalistic explanations that we are unable to think of that would still not postulate a whole other realm to reality ... but what about the few I already suggested? Like, it's an alien from another planet with advanced technology that allows them to pose as a God in human form with God like powers. Or we're all in a computer simulation as at least that wouldn't postulate a whole other supernatural realm and a God with all-powerful attributes.

(3) When we become aware of something with our senses ... then how is that not an empirical matter and therefore naturalistic? It's like you said before, the concept of the supernatural seems almost ruled out by empiricism by definition. What's your solution to that? Would it to be to say something like "Okay let's not use the world supernatural let's just instead say that sometimes the natural world behaves very differently but that's only when God gets involved?" I could see how that would prevent God getting ruled out by definition ... but the problem then would still be the fact that it would be impossible to tell God from the appearance of God, right?

(4) So the biggest problem seems to be that even the most complex and improbable mass illusions seem to be less complex and more probable than God?

Quote:If you are talking about someone got well from a battle of sickness, sure.

I think the whole appearance vs reality thing is a problem here.

Quote:Not generic "evolution", the context of my point was the evolution of the mind.

Complex human minds or just consciousness in general? Including more simple consciousness in previous organisms? Are you asking for the origin of simple consciousness or are you saying that human consciousness didn't even evolve from more simple consciousness?

If you are to respond to ANYTHING in this post I would want it to be the paragraph above that I have colored blue Smile

Quote:Someday in a different thread we can discuss details and your take on consciousness.

Right now consciousness is one of my favorite subjects. If we don't just mean human consciousness but we mean ALL forms of consciousness. I'm not particularly interested in advanced human consciousness as I think science can deal with how that [i]works[/i[ ... that's just neuroscience.

But I would say that science CANNOT EXPLAIN CONSCIOUSNESS (ultimately speaking)

Note, this is a view that most of my fellow atheists would find to be wooey, unscientific or even crazy. I'm happy to laugh with them though because despite the fact that they're likely to find even the BEST interpretation of my view to be wacky and crazy ... they're very likely to make it seem even sillier by accidentally strawmanning my position (it's very difficult to get clear on EXACTLY what my position is) ... so I'm happy to laugh with them when it comes to cartoons of my viewpoint Big Grin

Anyway, I would say that my favorite subjects right now are: philosophy of consciousness/mind, philosophy of free will, metaethics, normative ethics, philosophical theories of truth, philosophical theories of time and temporality, and ... last but certainly not least: ontology and metaphysics in general ... but especially the metaphysics of personal identity and how it relates to phenomenology (which also relates to time), metaethics and normative ethics (I think different theories of personal identity are related to phenomenology and theories of time and I think all of those also affect one's ethical viewpoints. I don't think consciousness matters much here because 99% of people all ultimately agree that consciousness is real and matters to ethics (even when they think that science can understand consciousness more than it can  ... most of them still admit consciousness is real. Although fewer people do now than they did in the mid 20th century!  Confused ) ... only the eliminativists are totally blind in that regard. They're the 1% (although amongst neuroscientists today they may be much more common Sad). They're the only really deadly kind of reductionist. Because they're reductionism of the extreme form (the eliminativists that is. The reductionists about consciousness are missing an important point but they're not holding views that are as dangerous as they are crazy like the eliminativists are ... or, at least, like the eliminativists would be if they actually acted on the implications of their view. Thankfully, they tend to act as if their view is false anyway. Phew! Thank serendipity for that!)).

I guess most of all I'm interested in how different theories relate to each other!

I'm least interested in (when it comes to philosophy): Practical ethics, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of meaning, and metaphilosophy (although I still find some of these subjects interesting).  

Quote:Sorry, we both start with an unproven premise. Both are inductive arguments.

I agree 100% there. I was wondering what conclusion that you thought I was presupposing, though.

Unless you are saying something equivalent to "Oh, I thought that you were presupposing a conclusion but I now realize that it's your premise."

And yes, we both have axioms and we are both making inductive arguments from starting with those axioms.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#39

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-03-2018, 05:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(12-02-2018, 12:56 PM)SteveII Wrote: It's strange that it takes a Christian on an atheist forum to explain that the mechanism of evolution that creates new traits in a population is natural selection of random mutations and genetic drift--both entirely governed by "chance".

But it's not at all strange that this (supposed) Christian is so ignorant of Probability and Genetics that he asserts mutations are governed by "chance".

The mutation can never be "governed by chance" as the mutation is happening in a specific environment and in a chemical conformation that already exists.
This "chance" BS is the (very common, street level) misunderstanding of how evolution works, (as well as Genetics and Probability).

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1...is-random/
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightat...nt-chance/

Please go get an education.
Here's a CHRISTIAN Biochemist (Dr. Kenneth Miller) on why you're totally wrong.



Kenneth Miller is an old earth creationist as I believe Steve may be too.  As such Dr. Miller believes that evolution reflects the method of God's creation.  But most of these also believe that science can never detect the influence of God.  Most seem to regard intelligent design as charlatan science and YEC's as the victims of confused theology.  They will usually admit that ultimately belief requires faith and that no evidence exists to persuade anyone who believes otherwise.

Actually some might believe that there is evidence enough of the resurrection which most I think do believe.  I could ask.  What say you, Steve?  Is there sufficient evidence of the death and resurrection of Jesus that any fair minded person should be persuaded?
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#40

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-03-2018, 05:46 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(12-03-2018, 11:56 AM)SteveII Wrote: More of an observation about an argument (naturalism).

So, what is your primary problem with naturalism and what is it about supernaturalism that makes you think that it's a much better explanation of reality?

I'm aware that you find evolution problematic ... but I take it that you're not a young Earth creationist. I would be very surprised if that were true.

So how deep do your problems with evolution run?

I think naturalism has big explanatory gaps: First cause, fine tuning, abiogenesis, evolution, consciousness to name the big ones.

I think there are three different ways to use the word 'evolution'.

1. Evolution (defined as "decent with modification")
2. Evolution (defined as "the mechanism that accounts for evolutionary change")
3. Evolution (defined as "reconstructing evolutionary history")

I'm fine with one--which is nearly universally accepted. I don't think we understand the mechanism (2) enough to justify (3). BUT, my worldview does not live and die by the question--so I'm more free than most to accept the science where it leads and not have to deny 2&3 or operate on the assumption it must be correct. It's the best place to be.

Quote:
Quote:Depends on the miracle you are talking about. If it is Jesus telling a paralyzed man to walk and he does on command--there is no reasonable naturalistic explanation.

A few problems that I have with that notion:

(1) How do we tell the apperance of Jesus being able to do that from a reality? (i.e. magicians can often make things look magical via magic tricks and sometimes it is only the magician that knows how the tricks are done. I'm talking about beyond simple stage magic like sawing a lady in half, etc, I'm talking about people like Derren Brown. How would we tell someone who does something like that apart from Jesus?)

(2) A related but slightly different problem that I've pointed out before (it's basically just a less specific version). You say that there's no naturalistic explanation but not only could there be many naturalistic explanations that we are unable to think of that would still not postulate a whole other realm to reality ... but what about the few I already suggested? Like, it's an alien from another planet with advanced technology that allows them to pose as a God in human form with God like powers. Or we're all in a computer simulation as at least that wouldn't postulate a whole other supernatural realm and a God with all-powerful attributes.

(3) When we become aware of something with our senses ... then how is that not an empirical matter and therefore naturalistic? It's like you said before, the concept of the supernatural seems almost ruled out by empiricism by definition. What's your solution to that? Would it to be to say something like "Okay let's not use the world supernatural let's just instead say that sometimes the natural world behaves very differently but that's only when God gets involved?" I could see how that would prevent God getting ruled out by definition ... but the problem then would still be the fact that it would be impossible to tell God from the appearance of God, right?

(4) So the biggest problem seems to be that even the most complex and improbable mass illusions seem to be less complex and more probable than God?

You are missing my point I have made several times: context. If Jesus told a paralyzed man to walk as a way to prove who he was, and he did at that very instant there is no ambiguity over what our senses are telling us. This happened in the context of 3 years of similar acts, novel instructions on how to live, tremendous knowledge/insight of the OT, and claiming to to be God/have the power of God. Additionally, we have the advantage of knowing the whole story--strengthening the context significantly. Postulating other alternatives starts to become irrational. EITHER it did not happen of Jesus is who he said he was. There is no rational middle ground.

Since most all of you are going to go with 'didn't happen,' you have to be careful in your reason why you say that. If you say miracles don't happen/vastly improbable, therefore these were not miracles, that is clear question begging (this is extremely common). Mass illusion theory comes with mass deception. Jesus could not have done it alone. That then saddles you then with 50 years of people lying with never a mistake and a tremendous amount of effort (missionary journeys, writing books, voluntary hardships, martyrdom) for a core that knew it was a lie. Way more complex than what accepting what it says it is. Same with computer simulation and aliens, you adding layers of complexity.

Quote:
Quote:If you are talking about someone got well from a battle of sickness, sure.

I think the whole appearance vs reality thing is a problem here.

Quote:Not generic "evolution", the context of my point was the evolution of the mind.

Complex human minds or just consciousness in general? Including more simple consciousness in previous organisms? Are you asking for the origin of simple consciousness or are you saying that human consciousness didn't even evolve from more simple consciousness?

If you are to respond to ANYTHING in this post I would want it to be the paragraph above that I have colored blue Smile

I like the intro to the Wikipedia article and have this idea when I use the word:

Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness or of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.[1][2] It has been defined variously in terms of sentience, awareness, qualia, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood or soul, the fact that there is something "that it is like" to "have" or "be" it, and the executive control system of the mind.[3] Despite the difficulty in definition, many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is.[4] As Max Velmans and Susan Schneider wrote in The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness: "Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

I am saying that naturalists gloss over the difficulty of explaining the presence of the above in humans. Their worldview tells them it evolved--not any kind of science.

I'll get to the rest later, goto go.
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#41

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-03-2018, 05:50 PM)Mark Wrote:
(12-03-2018, 05:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(12-02-2018, 12:56 PM)SteveII Wrote: It's strange that it takes a Christian on an atheist forum to explain that the mechanism of evolution that creates new traits in a population is natural selection of random mutations and genetic drift--both entirely governed by "chance".

But it's not at all strange that this (supposed) Christian is so ignorant of Probability and Genetics that he asserts mutations are governed by "chance".

The mutation can never be "governed by chance" as the mutation is happening in a specific environment and in a chemical conformation that already exists. This "chance" BS is the (very common, street level) misunderstanding of how evolution works, (as well as Genetics and Probability).

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1...is-random/
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightat...nt-chance/

Please go get an education.
Here's a CHRISTIAN Biochemist (Dr. Kenneth Miller) on why you're totally wrong.



Kenneth Miller is an old earth creationist as I believe Steve may be too.  As such Dr. Miller believes that evolution reflects the method of God's creation.  But most of these also believe that science can never detect the influence of God.  Most seem to regard intelligent design as charlatan science and YEC's as the victims of confused theology.  They will usually admit that ultimately belief requires faith and that no evidence exists to persuade anyone who believes otherwise.

Actually some might believe that there is evidence enough of the resurrection which most I think do believe.  I could ask.  What say you, Steve?  Is there sufficient evidence of the death and resurrection of Jesus that any fair minded person should be persuaded?

I'm not so sure Miller is an old earth creationist, or really what he is. In the final chapters of "Finding Darwin's God" he finds a tiny aperture (at the quantum level) in which he finds it could be possible for the divine to be operational. In 2018 any one who says they "find evolution to be problematic" is SO totally out of step with current science as taught in EVERY major university in the world that every thing else they say can just be dismissed.
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#42

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-04-2018, 03:07 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(12-03-2018, 05:50 PM)Mark Wrote:
(12-03-2018, 05:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: But it's not at all strange that this (supposed) Christian is so ignorant of Probability and Genetics that he asserts mutations are governed by "chance".

The mutation can never be "governed by chance" as the mutation is happening in a specific environment and in a chemical conformation that already exists. This "chance" BS is the (very common, street level) misunderstanding of how evolution works, (as well as Genetics and Probability).

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1...is-random/
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightat...nt-chance/

Please go get an education.
Here's a CHRISTIAN Biochemist (Dr. Kenneth Miller) on why you're totally wrong.



Kenneth Miller is an old earth creationist as I believe Steve may be too.  As such Dr. Miller believes that evolution reflects the method of God's creation.  But most of these also believe that science can never detect the influence of God.  Most seem to regard intelligent design as charlatan science and YEC's as the victims of confused theology.  They will usually admit that ultimately belief requires faith and that no evidence exists to persuade anyone who believes otherwise.

Actually some might believe that there is evidence enough of the resurrection which most I think do believe.  I could ask.  What say you, Steve?  Is there sufficient evidence of the death and resurrection of Jesus that any fair minded person should be persuaded?

I'm not so sure Miller is an old earth creationist, or really what he is. In the final chapters of "Finding Darwin's God" he finds a tiny aperture (at the quantum level) in which he finds it could be possible for the divine to be operational. In 2018 any one who says they "find evolution to be problematic" is SO totally out of step with current science as taught in EVERY major university in the world that every thing else they say can just be dismissed.


I know another scientist online, an astro physicist as well as a Christian, who also points to the quantum level phenomenon as providing a backdoor by which God can act indirectly on the world.  It sure seems odd to keep looking for little gaps to make room for gods, I'll grant you.  But this guy will argue with other theists that there is no way science ever could verify God's existence and that there is no need to look for God's foot prints in the fossil record - they won't be there or we would not know them as such.  He is a very sharp guy.  That he holds on to religious faith puts him in the minority, but it doesn't seem to interfere with his ability to do science.

Oh and Miller is definitely an OE creationist.  I'm less sure about Steve.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#43

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-03-2018, 05:50 PM)Mark Wrote: Kenneth Miller is an old earth creationist as I believe Steve may be too.  As such Dr. Miller believes that evolution reflects the method of God's creation.  But most of these also believe that science can never detect the influence of God.  Most seem to regard intelligent design as charlatan science and YEC's as the victims of confused theology.  They will usually admit that ultimately belief requires faith and that no evidence exists to persuade anyone who believes otherwise.

Actually some might believe that there is evidence enough of the resurrection which most I think do believe.  I could ask.  What say you, Steve?  Is there sufficient evidence of the death and resurrection of Jesus that any fair minded person should be persuaded?

Yes, I believe God created the universe around 13 billion years ago.

Persuaded? No. Reasonable, yes.

Christians are by-in-large are the only ones who believe the NT is true. Why do Christians think it is true? I think this is very important. I contend that it is not that someone looked at the fact (original language, dating, biography of the author, formation of the canon, etc.) and decided they were true and then believed. I think that while one has to review the facts for a basic level of confidence (reasoned, consistency, lack of plausible alternative theories, etc.), the real reason is the message of Jesus spoke to them personally. They then expressed a desire to God and God reached out to them (personal experience). The personal experience reinforces the NT (that's what was promised). So, lacking compelling objections, the NT is accepted. Christianity becomes a cumulative case with your experience, other's related experiences, the NT, and natural theology all playing parts. No two people will have the same exact process or reasons.
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#44

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-04-2018, 05:18 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(12-03-2018, 05:50 PM)Mark Wrote: Kenneth Miller is an old earth creationist as I believe Steve may be too.  As such Dr. Miller believes that evolution reflects the method of God's creation.  But most of these also believe that science can never detect the influence of God.  Most seem to regard intelligent design as charlatan science and YEC's as the victims of confused theology.  They will usually admit that ultimately belief requires faith and that no evidence exists to persuade anyone who believes otherwise.

Actually some might believe that there is evidence enough of the resurrection which most I think do believe.  I could ask.  What say you, Steve?  Is there sufficient evidence of the death and resurrection of Jesus that any fair minded person should be persuaded?

Yes, I believe God created the universe around 13 billion years ago.

Persuaded? No. Reasonable, yes.

Christians are by-in-large are the only ones who believe the NT is true. Why do Christians think it is true? I think this is very important. I contend that it is not that someone looked at the fact (original language, dating, biography of the author, formation of the canon, etc.) and decided they were true and then believed. I think that while one has to review the facts for a basic level of confidence (reasoned, consistency, lack of plausible alternative theories, etc.), the real reason is the message of Jesus spoke to them personally. They then expressed a desire to God and God reached out to them (personal experience). The personal experience reinforces the NT (that's what was promised). So, lacking compelling objections, the NT is accepted. Christianity becomes a cumulative case with your experience, other's related experiences, the NT, and natural theology all playing parts. No two people will have the same exact process or reasons.


So then you are granting that what evidence there may be for the resurrection and a personal afterlife isn't a slam dunk case for pulling the lever for faith.  I can grant that especially if it doesn't require you to put a limit on how much science you will allow, I see no reason why you shouldn't believe whatever it is that helps you make sense of your life.  Everyone who has an operational theory about who and what they are has to go at least part of the way on hunch.  I don't agree with your Christian metaphysics but I have no objection to people making choices different than my own.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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(12-04-2018, 12:14 PM)SteveII Wrote: I think naturalism has big explanatory gaps: First cause,

I think that supernaturalism has an equally big problem with this ... as if the first natural cause is the universe then God becomes the first cause instead. It just means the first cause is supernatural and that that cause is an agent and creator of the universe that caused the first natural cause (the universe) that then developed as a process (the universe expanded once God got the bal rolling).

Quote: fine tuning,

I think Sean Caroll destroyed William Lane Craig on that topic. He showed that the fine tuning problem not only ISN'T a problem for naturalism but that it is a far bigger problem for supernaturalism.

Quote: abiogenesis,

I both agree and disagree that abiogenesis makes no sense depending on what we mean. I do think that the idea of the first ever biological organism is incoherent as the idea of the first ever chicken ... but I also think that scientists can simply arbitrarily categorize that like they do with the categorization of different species. It's not really a problem in that sense as then all that means is that science is trying to figure out more about the beginings of biology rather than trying to find out when the "first ever organism" developed.

Quote:consciousness to name the big ones.

I agree that the idea that consciousness evolved is incoherent. I think consciousness has been around in some form since the very beginning or reality. I just don't think human or even animal consciousness has. I think that consciousness at the beginning is reduced to such a degree that it's almost zero ... but it's still not zero. I don't see how it's possible to get to zero without needing some sort of radical emergence of one kind of substance from another ... which just seems totally incoherent and absurd from a logical point of view when the alternative is so much more parsimonious: There's one kind of substance in the world that is both physical and mental but it's on a spectrum that becomes increasingly more conscious the more complex the organisms made up of that substance becomes.

If God exists then he would be just some sort of super mind and we'd all be modes of God ... and the quantum fundamental particles would be extremely tiny modes that were so simplistic that they were so close to zero in consciousness that they were basically zero. As God was in all things then those particles for him would be almost like one of our neurons for us.

That view that I am describing there is very much like Leibniz's view:

Wikipedia Wrote:Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (sometimes spelled Leibnitz) (/ˈlaɪbnɪts/;[10] German: [ˈɡɔtfʁiːt ˈvɪlhɛlm fɔn ˈlaɪbnɪts][11][12] or [ˈlaɪpnɪts];[13] French: Godefroi Guillaume Leibnitz;[14] 1 July 1646 [O.S. 21 June] – 14 November 1716) was a prominent German polymath and philosopher in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. His most notable accomplishment was conceiving the ideas of differential and integral calculus, independently of Isaac Newton's contemporaneous developments.[15] Mathematical works have always favored Leibniz's notation as the conventional expression of calculus, while Newton's notation became unused. It was only in the 20th century that Leibniz's law of continuity and transcendental law of homogeneity found mathematical implementation (by means of non-standard analysis). He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685[16] and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is the foundation of all digital computers.

In philosophy, Leibniz is most noted for his optimism, i.e. his conclusion that our universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one that God could have created, an idea that was often lampooned by others such as Voltaire. Leibniz, along with René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, was one of the three great 17th-century advocates of rationalism. The work of Leibniz anticipated modern logic and analytic philosophy, but his philosophy also looks back to the scholastic tradition, in which conclusions are produced by applying reason to first principles or prior definitions rather than to empirical evidence.

Leibniz made major contributions to physics and technology, and anticipated notions that surfaced much later in philosophy, probability theory, biology, medicine, geology, psychology, linguistics, and computer science. He wrote works on philosophy, politics, law, ethics, theology, history, and philology. Leibniz also contributed to the field of library science. While serving as overseer of the Wolfenbüttel library in Germany, he devised a cataloging system that would serve as a guide for many of Europe's largest libraries.[17] Leibniz's contributions to this vast array of subjects were scattered in various learned journals, in tens of thousands of letters, and in unpublished manuscripts. He wrote in several languages, but primarily in Latin, French, and German.[18] There is no complete gathering of the writings of Leibniz translated into English.

One of the best philosophers, matematicians, logicans and polymaths that ever lived. And if I were to believe in a God then this is the God that I would believe in.

Here his the relevant view of his windowless monads that I described:

Wikipedia Wrote:Leibniz's best known contribution to metaphysics is his theory of monads, as exposited in Monadologie. He proposes his theory that the universe is made of an infinite number of simple substances known as monads.[66] Monads can also be compared to the corpuscles of the Mechanical Philosophy of René Descartes and others. These simple substances or monads are the "ultimate units of existence in nature". Monads have no parts but still exist by the qualities that they have. These qualities are continuously changing over time, and each monad is unique. They are also not affected by time and are subject to only creation and annihilation.[67] Monads are centers of force; substance is force, while space, matter, and motion are merely phenomenal.

Leibniz's proof of God can be summarized in the Théodicée.[68] Reason is governed by the principle of contradiction and the principle of sufficient reason. Using the principle of reasoning, Leibniz concluded that the first reason of all things is God.[68] All that we see and experience are subject to change, and the fact that this world is contingent can be explained by the possibility of the world being arranged differently in space and time. The contingent world must have some necessary reason for its existence. Leibniz uses a geometry book as an example to explain his reasoning. If this book was copied from an infinite chain of copies, there must be a some reason for the content of the book.[69] Leibniz concluded that there must be the "monas monadum" or God.

The ontological essence of a monad is its irreducible simplicity. Unlike atoms, monads possess no material or spatial character. They also differ from atoms by their complete mutual independence, so that interactions among monads are only apparent. Instead, by virtue of the principle of pre-established harmony, each monad follows a preprogrammed set of "instructions" peculiar to itself, so that a monad "knows" what to do at each moment. By virtue of these intrinsic instructions, each monad is like a little mirror of the universe. Monads need not be "small"; e.g., each human being constitutes a monad, in which case free will is problematic.

Monads are purported to have gotten rid of the problematic:

interaction between mind and matter arising in the system of Descartes;
lack of individuation inherent to the system of Spinoza, which represents individual creatures as merely accidental.

I hope you find this view interesting if you are unfamilar with it. This view could of course be interpreted from a Christian perspective as it's not quite Spinozian. Leibniz isn't simply saying that God is nature. It's similar to Spinoza but it has more emphasis on the idea of God being present in everything and us all being part of him rather than emphasis on the idea that God is entirely natural, etc. In many ways I think that Spinoza and Leibniz largely agreed from a purely descriptive perspective but because they put the emphasis differently it made Spinoza's pantheism get seen as a lot more atheistic than it should have been ... as I think that Spinoza, when looked into more, was technically a panentheist and not a pantheist (the idea that despite God is present in all of nature he's also somewhat outside of it as well) ... Leibniz's views do seem more compatible with Christianity though and I think that Spinoza was far more critical of, at least, main stream Christianity. For a start, Spinoza didn't believe in free will but Leibniz very much did.

Here is Leibniz's take on how God created the best possible world, if you're interested:

Wikipedia Wrote:The Theodicy[70] tries to justify the apparent imperfections of the world by claiming that it is optimal among all possible worlds. It must be the best possible and most balanced world, because it was created by an all powerful and all knowing God, who would not choose to create an imperfect world if a better world could be known to him or possible to exist. In effect, apparent flaws that can be identified in this world must exist in every possible world, because otherwise God would have chosen to create the world that excluded those flaws.

Leibniz asserted that the truths of theology (religion) and philosophy cannot contradict each other, since reason and faith are both "gifts of God" so that their conflict would imply God contending against himself. The Theodicy is Leibniz's attempt to reconcile his personal philosophical system with his interpretation of the tenets of Christianity.[71] This project was motivated in part by Leibniz's belief, shared by many conservative philosophers and theologians during the Enlightenment, in the rational and enlightened nature of the Christian religion as compared to its purportedly less advanced non-Western counterparts. It was also shaped by Leibniz's belief in the perfectibility of human nature (if humanity relied on correct philosophy and religion as a guide), and by his belief that metaphysical necessity must have a rational or logical foundation, even if this metaphysical causality seemed inexplicable in terms of physical necessity (the natural laws identified by science).

Because reason and faith must be entirely reconciled, any tenet of faith which could not be defended by reason must be rejected. Leibniz then approached one of the central criticisms of Christian theism:[72] if God is all good, all wise and all powerful, how did evil come into the world? The answer (according to Leibniz) is that, while God is indeed unlimited in wisdom and power, his human creations, as creations, are limited both in their wisdom and in their will (power to act). This predisposes humans to false beliefs, wrong decisions and ineffective actions in the exercise of their free will. God does not arbitrarily inflict pain and suffering on humans; rather he permits both moral evil (sin) and physical evil (pain and suffering) as the necessary consequences of metaphysical evil (imperfection), as a means by which humans can identify and correct their erroneous decisions, and as a contrast to true good.

Further, although human actions flow from prior causes that ultimately arise in God, and therefore are known as a metaphysical certainty to God, an individual's free will is exercised within natural laws, where choices are merely contingently necessary, to be decided in the event by a "wonderful spontaneity" that provides individuals an escape from rigorous predestination.

Quote:I think there are three different ways to use the word 'evolution'.

1. Evolution (defined as "decent with modification")
What do you mean here? Did you mean "descent and modification" and you typoed and missed out the letter "s" by accident?

if so, then I assume you are referring to natural selection + mutation.

Quote:2. Evolution (defined as "the mechanism that accounts for evolutionary change")

How does this differ from the first definition? It seems to be a paraphrasing to me ... as surely natural selection + mutation, when taken together, is considered the mechanism for evolutionary change.

Quote:
3. Evolution (defined as "reconstructing evolutionary history")

Historical evolution? Would this be the so-called theory of "memetics"?



Quote:I'm fine with one--which is nearly universally accepted. I don't think we understand the mechanism (2) enough to justify (3).

I'm not sure what is meant by (3) ... I don't see how (1) and (2) differ. Can you elaborate?

At this point i thought it was important for us to mention a note of agreement so we don't waste time debating something that we already agree about: We agree that consciousness hasn't evolved. We only disagree on the form in which it originally took: You believe that consciousness ultimately comes down to the mind of God and God's presence within anything (I assume, please correct me if I've misinterpreted you here) ... whereas I think that consciousness is ultimately present within reality itself and it just becomes more complex and more like what we think of as consciousness once you get to biological level. Who fucking knows what it's like to be a quantum particle. One can simply say it's obviously nothing like it is to be a person or even anything like it is to be an ant or amobeba. Once you get down to the really really simplistic level then the level of consciousness is so simplistic that it's so close to zero that it's almost zero. And effectively zero. Just technically not as I think there is only one substance within reality.

I assume that as you believe God is present in all things then to you the most simple aspects of nature, such as atoms, are like one of God's nerons. Of course, God is also separate from the natural and physical universe as well as being present in it: and God therefore has his own separate and human-like (or rather, humans are God-like, as they were made in his image) mind as well. But as God is present in everyhting and his intelligence and mind is omnipresent as well ... then I take it that the simplest aspects of nature would also be like very very tiny aspects of his mind as it presents itself through nature, as well. Correct me if I'm wrong, please! I want to make sure I characterize your view as fairly as possible.

TL;DR: We both agree that consciousness did not evolve and is fundamental to reality in some way regardless of whether we agree that consciousness is ultimately something that God is present within or not and regardless of whether we agree that the original mind was God's mind or not.


When it comes to consciousness ... I'm what is known as a panpsychist. And despite the fact that both atheists and theists will generally see my view as pseudoscientific or wooey ... here are some arguments for panpsychism:

RationalWiki Wrote:Modern proponents of panpsychism argue in favour on this view with the following arguments:

1. Genetic argument: The idea that “ex nihilo, nihil fit” - i.e. you cannot create a substance from nothing, you need to already have it in some form in advance, and since we have mental/immaterial substances in physical systems like brains we need to have them also in the building blocks.
2. Intrinsic nature argument: Physics just describes behaviour and "dispositions" to behave of systems, it provides a formal description but dispositions and behaviours are supposed to come from "intrinsic" properties and these properties can be supposed to have a nature similar to our mental properties. “Physics is the knowledge of structural form, and not knowledge of content. All through the physical world runs that unknown content, which must surely be the stuff of our consciousness.” (Eddington, 1920, 200).
[...]
In contemporary philosophy, panpsychism is offered as a naturalistic solution to various problems inherent in classical physicalism[3];

1. Eliminativism denies internal existence (including qualia; such as the redness of red, or the specific taste of an apple, as distinct from the neural processes/information representing these experiences). While popular amongst some philosophers, eliminativism goes against human intuition; existing beliefs regarding the sentience of intelligent biological systems (given that the agent/"software" encoded in the brain has evolved to believe that it is conscious; see self-directed theory of mind).

2. Reductive physicalism reduces mental properties to physical properties, such as the firing of individual neurons. This prospect is becoming increasingly unlikely based on neuroscientific research concerning how information processing mapped to specific mental events is distributed across neural networks (multiple physical events).

3. Non-reductive physicalism assumes that mental reality supervenes on physical reality; that although there is a correspondence between mental and physical events, their mapping is not 1 to 1. Mental properties under non-reductive physicalism are seen to be emergent, that given the right physical conditions they will arise (see Chalmers on strong emergence). Emergent mental properties are however redundant to the evolution and function of the physical system (see Jaegwon Kim on overdetermination[9]).

Panpsychism 1. does not attempt to deny internal existence (eliminativism), 2. takes into account current neuroscientific findings regarding the distribution of information (unlike classical reductive physicalism), and 3. does not suffer from the problems (barring teleology) inherent in the emergence of redundant mental properties at specific points in space-time. It may be that we need to reconceptualise physical properties to facilitate their reduction to mental properties however (in the case of panpsychism/the combination problem), or at the very least; to reduce mental properties to physical properties[...]




Quote:If Jesus told a paralyzed man to walk as a way to prove who he was, and he did at that very instant there is no ambiguity over what our senses are telling us.
How so? How does Jesus being able to do all those things mean he is necessarily being honest about his abilities being supernatural and from God?

Here is the key point I am referring to:

(09-29-2018, 05:05 PM)Matt Dilahunty Wrote: The "What would change your mind" question came up again in e-mail. I've provided an answer many times, but the following version might be worth thinking about:

"I don't know what would change my mind, and I don't need to know. In fact, it would be arrogant for me to presume that I could even come up with an answer, because that presumes that I'm sufficiently knowledgeable that I can tell the difference between 'a vastly superior technology that is beyond my understanding' and 'the powers of a god'.
But, if there is a god, that god should know exactly what it would take to change my mind...and that god should be capable of doing whatever it would take.
The fact that this hasn't happened can only mean one of two things:
1. No such god exists.
2. Whatever god exists doesn't care to convince me, at this time.
In either case, it's not my problem and there's nothing I can do about it. Meanwhile, all of those believers who think that there is a god who does want me to know that he exists - are clearly, obviously, undeniably... wrong."

I have added bold to the specific part but the whole quote is relevant here. This is why empiricism does indeed rule our the intelligibility of God by definition (it doesn't mean that God is IMPOSSIBLE by definition ... but it does rule out KNOWLEDGE of God by definition).

Quote:Postulating other alternatives starts to become irrational. EITHER it did not happen of [sic: I assume you meant "or"] Jesus is who he said he was. There is no rational middle ground.

Here the disagreement is over whether the alternatives are less irrational than the supernatural explanation. It seems that we both agree that all explanations are describable and coherent ... we just disagree on which explanation is the most sound.



Quote: If you say miracles don't happen/vastly improbable, therefore these were not miracles, that is clear question begging

I'm not sure if that would qualify as question-begging but that WOULD qualify as an argument for ignorance on my part as just beause God is improbable doesn't mean that God is impossible. Being ignorant of evidence doesn't mean that there can't be any evidence or that it's impossible for there to be any evidence.

To elaborate on why I'm unsure as to whether it is question-begging or not it does depend on if the improbability of God is a sound premise or not. I would argue that it is only a sound premise if it is also a conclusion that is justified from another premise (if my reasoning in favor of the improbability for God has already succeeded) ... however, taken in isolation and merely starting from the presupposition that God is improbable WOULD INDEED be begging the question. As without an argument for God's improbability that would be basically saying "God is improbable because he's improbable" which is indeed question-begging.

I wouldn't say that God was improbable or impossible because he's improbable though. I wouldn't say he was impossible at all (unless we're talking about a specific version of God that is logically contradictory or incoherent) ... and I wouldn't say he was improbable just because it seems that way to me. I would say that he is improbable because I think that even if a person called Jesus really [i]did seem to be performing miracles ... alternative naturalistic explanations are always more reasonable if only because of the advantage of parsimony[/i].

To me it's rather like: Either someone has amazing seemingly supernatural powers ... or they seemingly have supernatural powers + they actually have supernatural powers + those supernatural powers come from a being that created the universe + that being is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent (what I would call the OOOO God) ... and to me, all other things being equal, any naturalistic explanation is going to be equally implausible but minus these extra redundancies.

Quote:Mass illusion theory comes with mass deception. Jesus could not have done it alone.

Why not? If Jesus is ultimately the son of God and the son is merely the father in human mortal form ... then how is he not doing it alone?

Unless you mean: Jesus could not have done it alone if he was a non-supernatural being. Is that what you mean?

Quote: That then saddles you then with 50 years of people lying with never a mistake and a tremendous amount of effort (missionary journeys, writing books, voluntary hardships, martyrdom) for a core that knew it was a lie.

I think for sake of argument it would help if we ignore whether it actually happened or not and simply give you your premise that people really did experience what seemed to be happening to them. This should be a deceptive illusion vs reality debate ... let's assume that no one was lying or mistaken about what they experienced ... (or rather, let's say that the only person who could have been lying was Jesus himself).

I don't think that Jesus was a liar. But let's make this easier by giving your premise that Jesus really did those things and really said that he did.

Quote: Way more complex than what accepting what it says it is.

I don't think so.


Quote: Same with computer simulation and aliens, you adding layers of complexity.

I still don't see how that's more complex than adding a supernatural layer + a creation of the universe + OOOO attributes (I shall use "OOOO" to refer to omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence and omnibenevolence).





Quote:I think the whole appearance vs reality thing is a problem here.

Appearance vs reality is indeed what we're disagreeing on here

Quote:I like the intro to the Wikipedia article and have this idea when I use the word:[...]

Wikipedia Wrote:Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness or of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.

I like this too.

Wikipedia Wrote:[1][2] It has been defined variously in terms of sentience, awareness, qualia, subjectivity,[...]

Absolutely.


Quote:I am saying that naturalists gloss over the difficulty of explaining the presence of the above in humans.

I agree with you that the vast majority of naturalists do do this. I am Galen Strawson's "real naturalist" or "realistic physicist", as is he. And both me and Strawson think that SCIENCE CANNOT EXPLAIN CONSCIOUSNESS.

If you want to see a video take on my view, here is Strawson in video form on the topic:



My guess is that although you are no panpsychist and you are against Strawson's views on the topic of free will... I am sure you agree with both him and me that science cannot explain consciousness.

Yes, many naturalistic scientists are glossing over consciousness as they think that all there is to consciousness is neurons in the brain when, although OBVIOUSLY neurons are relevant to complex human consciousness: consciousness runs much deeper than that ... and supposedly brain dead people and people in comas have been shown to still have some sort of activity ... and even when their brains are so damaged that no activity can be found: it's an argument from ignorance on the part of the naive materialist to say that just because they can't find anymore conscious activity from a scientific perspective that therefore it no longer exists. No. Reduced consciousness to the point of undetectability of science =/= zero conscious activity.

Quote: Their worldview tells them it evolved--not any kind of science.

YES! We agree here. There is NOTHING in science that implies that the fundamental nature of matter is wholly non-conscious.  

Quote:I'll get to the rest later, goto go.

I look forward to it.

TL;DR: If you are to read any part of my post I would like it to be the green text within my post.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#46

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
Got to say @EvieTheAvocado, I wish you'd convey an idea at a time. It just overwhelms any kind of back and forth for me at least. Rather than communicate everything you have on a given subject why not single out the bit which best links to and builds from whatever the other person has said. No need to speculate everywhere the conversation might go from there. Let it play out.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#47

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-04-2018, 06:32 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: ... both me and Strawson think that SCIENCE CANNOT EXPLAIN CONSCIOUSNESS ...

To make that supposition requires you know enough about what consciousness is that you can rule out science's potential to explain it - that is, what you know about X you can't know.  That's an absurdity.

There may be attributes of the universe opaque to science, but that very opaqueness makes it impossible to even identify what they are.  We can suppose all kinds of attributes, but such suppositions are nothing more than suppositions.  Consciousness is an observed attribute of the universe whose existence is not supposition; we know certain attributes of consciousness that are not supposition (all defined via science), but there is no reason at all to suppose our partial knowledge is enough for us to say science won't get us any further.

And what alternative to science is there?  If such an alternative were viable we'd be using it already as a companion to science.  I don't see any such thing in the milieus of effective engines of generating understanding.
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#48

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-04-2018, 08:10 PM)airportkid Wrote: To make that supposition requires you know enough about what consciousness is [...]

Everyone knows precisely what consciousness is just in having it. Knowledge of other things is not absolute ... but knowledge of what consciousness is is.

We could be brains in vats and the whole of the physical world could be an illusion.

But the fact that we are aware of our conscious experience and we know what that is like cannot be doubted.

This is the whole point of the quote:

"I think, therefore I am."—Descartes

Do we have knowledge of how human or animal consciousness functions or works just by having conscious experience? Of course not. Knowing that is a job for neuroscience.

But the question was not "How does consciousness function/work?". The question was "How can we know what consciousness is?". Well, as you can—literally—see, literally with your own eyes ... we can be at best extremely certain based of the strongest possible evidence ... when it comes to external reality. We cannot have absolute knowledge of such things. But what consciousness is is something that we can know with an absolute certainty even if the rest of reality is an illusion.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#49

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-04-2018, 05:18 PM)SteveII Wrote: Yes, I believe God created the universe around 13 billion years ago.

Persuaded? No. Reasonable, yes.

Totally meaningless. The phrase has no meaning.
"Created" is an active verb ... an action *in time*.
There was no space-time until the universe existed, (if indeed, ... and you have no evidence ... it "began" 13 billion years ago).
To say a deity "created" something in a timeless environment IS Special Pleading, and that doesn't account for it "doing" something in an eternal past and an eternal (timeless) future. which puts a boundary on both ... which is also meaningless. Whatever you say about this god, you can employ NO temporal reference. "Created" is a temporal reference, (as is getting angry, loving, sending his son, etc etc ).
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#50

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-04-2018, 08:05 PM)Mark Wrote: Got to say @EvieTheAvocado, I wish you'd convey an idea at a time.  It just overwhelms any kind of back and forth for me at least.  Rather than communicate everything you have on a given subject why not single out the bit which best links to and builds from whatever the other person has said.  No need to speculate everywhere the conversation might go from there.  Let it play out.

I don't understand because quoting someone's points and responding to them point by point is exactly how debating is done on a forum, right?
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply




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