Theist Challenge met: I conceive of something that doesn't exist

Sapient
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Theist Challenge met: I conceive of something that doesn't exist

Upon editing a show today I stumbled across a funny short segment.  I'm digging through almost 60 hours of unedited content, and working on having around 100 hours of fresh content available by years end.  Subscribers, please stick with us as I work to bring you tons of new material. 

Here is the short clip... meet the Furger Argorock...

http://www.rationalresponders.com/files/Furger-Argorock.mp3


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LMFAO!!!

LMFAO!!!


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But that doesn't

But that doesn't exist!....FAIL!


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I tak it that guy wasn't

I tak it that guy wasn't very bright....


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that was

that was pretty damn funny!


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Where are the tshirts?!

Where are the tshirts?!


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I think Sapient just PWNED

I think Sapient just PWNED C.S. Lewis!


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Priceless!

Discovering a big flying shark with no teeth and fur like a camel: Priceless

 

 

 

"I can't even hear you, it's too broken up".... bwaha-ha-ha-haaaaaa!


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*Kicks pet furger-argorok

*Kicks pet furger-argorok into the closet and closes door*

Yeah!


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I want a Furger Argorock

I want a Furger Argorock plush toy!


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We need to make

We need to make furger-argorock t shirts!


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Sapient wrote:Upon editing a

Sapient wrote:

Upon editing a show today I stumbled across a funny short segment.  I'm digging through almost 60 hours of unedited content, and working on having around 100 hours of fresh content available by years end.  Subscribers, please stick with us as I work to bring you tons of new material. 

Here is the short clip... meet the Furger Argorock...

http://www.rationalresponders.com/files/Furger-Argorock.mp3

 

"But it doesn't exist!"

LOL


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In defense of C.S. Lewis

In defense of C.S. Lewis (cause I like him and his stories) and 'conceivability to possibility' in the argument from reason; the Furger Argorock is a conception of existing things -toothlessness, flying, sharks, camel fur, appetites, rejuvenation methods.. these all exist. I would contend that this is the key point of the original arguments, that conception of things that have no existing referent isn't something we humans do, the caller was using it in ignorance, but in a curious coincidence I was just yesterday discussing something really similar to this question of conceivability here.

Anyhow, for the record when he said "but it doesn't exist" and Brian retorted "and I'm conceiving of it" I laughed so hard, that was a total pwning.

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Eloise wrote:In defense of

Eloise wrote:

In defense of C.S. Lewis (cause I like him and his stories) and 'conceivability to possibility' in the argument from reason; the Furger Argorock is a conception of existing things -toothlessness, flying, sharks, camel fur, appetites, rejuvenation methods.. these all exist. I would contend that this is the key point of the original arguments, that conception of things that have no existing referent isn't something we humans do, the caller was using it in ignorance, but in a curious coincidence I was just yesterday discussing something really similar to this question of conceivability here.

So God also is conceived of existing things.  He has emotions, hands, face, a physical form, etc...  Just to be fair.  C.S. Lewis was a horrible philosopher.  Substandard.

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Eloise wrote:In defense of

Eloise wrote:

In defense of C.S. Lewis (cause I like him and his stories) and 'conceivability to possibility' in the argument from reason; the Furger Argorock is a conception of existing things -toothlessness, flying, sharks, camel fur, appetites, rejuvenation methods.. these all exist. I would contend that this is the key point of the original arguments, that conception of things that have no existing referent isn't something we humans do, the caller was using it in ignorance, but in a curious coincidence I was just yesterday discussing something really similar to this question of conceivability here.

Anyhow, for the record when he said "but it doesn't exist" and Brian retorted "and I'm conceiving of it" I laughed so hard, that was a total pwning.

Well, okay. I concieve of the Shootle. The Shootle is gratooshed of spittacles, yumcore, lyhelm and aphostakoom.

 

So the Shootle is concieved of, and is barren of sensible qualities or definition. Thereby, according to Lewis, the Shootle exists! It must've revealed itself to me just now!

Quick, Rook; help me find them! I'll bet the yumcores it's gratooshed of will be a hot item on the commodities market!

 

EDIT: Yumcore is now my most favorite word.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Rook_Hawkins wrote:So God

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

So God also is conceived of existing things.  He has emotions, hands, face, a physical form, etc...  Just to be fair.  C.S. Lewis was a horrible philosopher.  Substandard.

The point being, Rook, that by this logic all which is thought in relation to God must be based on something conceivable and therefore existing. We know hands and face exist and we know in what manner they exist but there are still things that God stories represent such as, angelic message or revelation, and in what manner they exist is left wholly to the imagination of the believers, unfortunately. They were originally conceived of and so by the conceivability argument represent something existing, we would do well to figure out what that is, whether it be a projection of some human sense of inadequacy or some real perceptible phenomenon. We have the choice to dismiss it as nothing, sure, but it may be erroneous to do so.

The philosophy is pretty sharp if you ask me... Eye-wink

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Kevin R Brown wrote:Eloise

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Eloise wrote:

In defense of C.S. Lewis (cause I like him and his stories) and 'conceivability to possibility' in the argument from reason; the Furger Argorock is a conception of existing things -toothlessness, flying, sharks, camel fur, appetites, rejuvenation methods.. these all exist. I would contend that this is the key point of the original arguments, that conception of things that have no existing referent isn't something we humans do, the caller was using it in ignorance, but in a curious coincidence I was just yesterday discussing something really similar to this question of conceivability here.

Anyhow, for the record when he said "but it doesn't exist" and Brian retorted "and I'm conceiving of it" I laughed so hard, that was a total pwning.

Well, okay. I concieve of the Shootle. The Shootle is gratooshed of spittacles, yumcore, lyhelm and aphostakoom.

 

So the Shootle is concieved of, and is barren of sensible qualities or definition. Thereby, according to Lewis, the Shootle exists! It must've revealed itself to me just now!

Quick, Rook; help me find them! I'll bet the yumcores it's gratooshed of will be a hot item on the commodities market!

 

EDIT: Yumcore is now my most favorite word.

That's cool, but it's still based on something which I can point out as <strike>conceivable</strike> sorry, existing - quasi-sensibly ordered syllables,  conveying the conceivability of meaningless words. ....meaninglessness exists.

And to make my point clearer it's perfectly within reason to suggest that such is all the reality which exists behind the things which are relating to god concepts, however, they might not be. In any case, there is a conception in what humans construct, conceptions refer to something real.

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For the record

Eloise, it's not the blue shirt and pouting (as many of my so called christians friends wear blue and pout Sticking out tongue) but it's the hat, the fact that you have a hat with the colour black on it make you a closet atheist Laughing out loud


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Quote:That's cool, but it's

Quote:
That's cool, but it's still based on something which I can point out as <strike>conceivable</strike> sorry, existing - quasi-sensibly ordered syllables,  conveying the conceivability of meaningless words. ....meaninglessness exists.

Okay. So we've established nonsensical concepts can exist as words, inescapably retaining the trait of meaninglessness (which is hardly a positive trait. Sticking out tongue )

So, where does this leave us now? At the same dead end, I'd argue.

 

'God' being able to at least exist as a word and be meaningless, in my opinion, doesn't exactly score big points for the deity. Sticking out tongue

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

 doesn't exactly score big points for the deity. Sticking out tongue

Not trying to score points,  just shedding light on the argument that Brian's caller mangled beyond all recognition.

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Kevin R Brown wrote:So,

Kevin R Brown wrote:

So, where does this leave us now? At the same dead end, I'd argue.

Sorry I sort of skimmed this before,  but on second thought it deserves an answer.

I'd argue that we have a dead end and a road at this point. If theology is just a string of intentionally meaningless syllables, that is the dead end, it would be easy to just dismiss any and all Gods and God things the instant it's established that theology is just a clever ruse illustrating humanity's ability to cobble together random symbols for the sake of cobbling random symbols.

On the other hand if that's not what theology is, then it must instead be an exercise in constructing symbols in representation of something real. 

So it is one or the other, and either way there is clear value in identifying what that extant behind the conception exists as in more logically accessible terms.

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Very funny.

Yep, the caller had obviously never thought about the argument.

Anyone who uses that argument should really read more science fiction/fantasy.

(Richard Morgan is a good start).

I understand what you are saying Eloise, but i still think it is a bunk argument.

Like many arguments on god it makes a random assumption: god (his message, whatever) could not be conceived by humans.

Really, just what is it about god that is so out there that no one could make it up.

To paraphrase the little girl from "Dan in Real Life", "I'm in 4th grade now, I can think up stuff by myself."

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ronin-dog wrote:Yep, the

ronin-dog wrote:

Yep, the caller had obviously never thought about the argument.

Anyone who uses that argument should really read more science fiction/fantasy.

(Richard Morgan is a good start).

I understand what you are saying Eloise, but i still think it is a bunk argument.

Like many arguments on god it makes a random assumption: god (his message, whatever) could not be conceived by humans.

That's definitely how it is generally interpreted and even how it might come off as originally written, but I think the best part of the argument is lost in the rush to prove God outright, which is a wasteful and foolish use of the careful logic that came before which is, in itself, enough to show that whether or not humans could have conceived of God out of thin air, we probably didn't.

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Quote:... the careful logic

Quote:

... the careful logic that came before which is, in itself, enough to show that whether or not humans could have conceived of God out of thin air, we probably didn't.

 

Probably didn't?

 

Where on earth did you get that from? In as much as the "logic" can even be deemed "logical" that you refer to, there is absolutely nothing in it that infers probability or improbability on anything. And if a human conception isn't a human conception, whose conception is it?

 

A really silly assertion, I submit, and one that only makes sense to theists and schizophrenics, both of whom have problems with taking responsibility for their own thought processes and like the notion that a bit of their brain is committed to another personality altogether.

 

 

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Eloise wrote:That's

Eloise wrote:

That's definitely how it is generally interpreted and even how it might come off as originally written, but I think the best part of the argument is lost in the rush to prove God outright, which is a wasteful and foolish use of the careful logic that came before which is, in itself, enough to show that whether or not humans could have conceived of God out of thin air, we probably didn't.

Depends on what you mean by "thin air."

"God" as a concept evolved from mystery. That is, we knew nothing about thunder and lightening, or why some years brought drought, and others brought flood. We saw the effect of the mystery, but not the cause, and so God became the symbol for all that was "unknowable." These things of power -- thunder, lightening, flood, and so on -- became symbols of God in return.

So, no, God as a concept didn't just pop into being. One thing has always stood as a singular attribute of God: He has always stood in for ignorance, for the  bits of reality we don't understand completely. As we have learned about nature and reality, we have pushed the concept of God back from one who controls the weather and our health, to one who controls our destiny, to one who simply exists as quantum events or as everything that exists or some other indefinable entity.

God has always been a "God of the gaps." As a species, we seem to turn to God every time we're stumped. Rather than simply saying, "Beats me; let's find out," we say, "This is the purvue of God," or, "This is an aspect of God."

The conception of God is the conception of mystery; and mystery is nothing more than ignorance.

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Kevin R Brown wrote:Eloise

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Eloise wrote:

In defense of C.S. Lewis (cause I like him and his stories) and 'conceivability to possibility' in the argument from reason; the Furger Argorock is a conception of existing things -toothlessness, flying, sharks, camel fur, appetites, rejuvenation methods.. these all exist. I would contend that this is the key point of the original arguments, that conception of things that have no existing referent isn't something we humans do, the caller was using it in ignorance, but in a curious coincidence I was just yesterday discussing something really similar to this question of conceivability here.

Anyhow, for the record when he said "but it doesn't exist" and Brian retorted "and I'm conceiving of it" I laughed so hard, that was a total pwning.

Well, okay. I concieve of the Shootle. The Shootle is gratooshed of spittacles, yumcore, lyhelm and aphostakoom.

 

So the Shootle is concieved of, and is barren of sensible qualities or definition. Thereby, according to Lewis, the Shootle exists! It must've revealed itself to me just now!

Quick, Rook; help me find them! I'll bet the yumcores it's gratooshed of will be a hot item on the commodities market!

 

EDIT: Yumcore is now my most favorite word.

 

  no, I mean REALLY...HELLLLLLLLPPPPP, my sides are splitting.


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Eloise wrote:In defense of

Eloise wrote:

In defense of C.S. Lewis (cause I like him and his stories) and 'conceivability to possibility' in the argument from reason; the Furger Argorock is a conception of existing things -toothlessness, flying, sharks, camel fur, appetites, rejuvenation methods.. these all exist. I would contend that this is the key point of the original arguments, that conception of things that have no existing referent isn't something we humans do, the caller was using it in ignorance, but in a curious coincidence I was just yesterday discussing something really similar to this question of conceivability here.

I will be the first to admit that I am not much of a philosopher, so forgive me if this question has an immediate answer which has not occurred to me:

What of the case where we can conceive of a thing which is impossible?  E.g., we can consider the idea for an equation to "square the circle", even though it has been proven to be impossible (i.e., it has been proven that no such solution can exist).  In this case, we have an existing referent (squares, circles, equations, etc.) for a process which has been proven to be impossible.  We can envision paradoxes and contradictions, even though the things which lead to them cannot exist, but we can consider for a moment that they do.  Does this qualify as envisioning something with no existing referent?

 

 

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Eloise wrote:The point

Eloise wrote:

The point being, Rook, that by this logic all which is thought in relation to God must be based on something conceivable and therefore existing. We know hands and face exist and we know in what manner they exist but there are still things that God stories represent such as, angelic message or revelation, and in what manner they exist is left wholly to the imagination of the believers, unfortunately.

 

We've conceived of Leprechauns too, for many years.  Do you drive around searching for the end of a rainbow to find a pot of gold?

 

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Dragons, vampires, ghosts,

Dragons, vampires, ghosts, etc.


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Sapient wrote:Eloise

Sapient wrote:

Eloise wrote:

The point being, Rook, that by this logic all which is thought in relation to God must be based on something conceivable and therefore existing. We know hands and face exist and we know in what manner they exist but there are still things that God stories represent such as, angelic message or revelation, and in what manner they exist is left wholly to the imagination of the believers, unfortunately.

 

We've conceived of Leprechauns too, for many years.  Do you drive around searching for the end of a rainbow to find a pot of gold?

 

Leprechauns are the Celtic fairy folk which basically represent the same thing as Genies, Loki, the fates, Discordia etc all purported to deal out fortunes to men with a twist, they are symbols with a meaning similar to that of the concept of Karma which is the idea that one's fortune is not dictated by circumstances but by their deeds in the moment, the key point in many of the myths being that a person can be fooled or outwitted by a mischievous or malignant spirit at some point in the cycle of deed and consequence. It's more clear what the mischievous spirit archetype represents in their individual stories if you'll read them, but generally the condition which traps a protagonist in the the snare of a "mischievous spirit" is their own weaknesses.

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I see the point Eloise is

I see the point Eloise is making.  Even the furgerargerock doesn't fit the mould of something conceived that doesn't exist.  It's made up of and based on things that do exist.  The shark, teeth, flying creatures etc are all things that exist.  However, just as the furgerargerock is an amalgamation of things that actually do exist, so is any god I've had described to me. 

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MattShizzle wrote:Dragons,

MattShizzle wrote:

Dragons,

based on legends which can probably be traced back to early sightings of dinosaur remains.

Mattshizzle wrote:

vampires,

Blood is nutritious and has also fascinated humans for millennia, vampire legends are likely to be amalgamated individual accounts of the vampire like wealthy recluses that are usually associated with them. They probably did mysteriously live longer than people expected, considering life expectancy was a lot shorter than it is now, centuries ago, by being wealthy therefore well fed and by acting 'vampirish' therefore avoiding the communicable diseases of the poor masses.

 

MattShizzle wrote:

ghosts,

I have seen a ghost. Chemicals were involved, but regardless, it's clearly possible to see Ghosts when chemicals are involved QED ghost sightings can be based on at least one real phenomenon.

 

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God is just a person,

God is just a person, another human, with attributes observed through human lifetimes. Invisibility is just being unseen, like children getting gifts from relatives they have never met. Children think their parents are omniscient because the parents have so much more experience, and omnipotent as their experience makes them excellent providers. Omnibenevolence is a loving parent. The power to create is a child seeing new tools fashioned in ways he or she does not yet understand.

So, god is on the same level as dragons, vampires, ghosts, Furger Argorocks, and Shootles.

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Nordmann wrote:Quote:... the

Nordmann wrote:


Quote:


... the careful logic that came before which is, in itself, enough to show that whether or not humans could have conceived of God out of thin air, we probably didn't.



 

Probably didn't?

 

Where on earth did you get that from? In as much as the "logic" can even be deemed "logical" that you refer to, there is absolutely nothing in it that infers probability or improbability on anything.



This is irrelevant but I've been meaning to mention, Nordmann, your demeanour on the forums as I've noticed of late is kinda unpleasant, you seem to me to be railing a tad excessively. Not that you need a reason to be a grouch towards strangers on an online forum whenever you feel like it, nor that you'd be obliged to tell a stranger on an internet forum if you did have one, but I do wonder if there's a reason...

Anyhow, as to where I get this from, I'll grant you that I am being generous by calling Lewis's logic careful, he was never so careful in recording it, but as a fan of his fictional works mostly I tend to believe him having been careful in coming to his reasons, I think it is evidenced there.

I see his line as being defensible thus:

1. The Aboutness argument seems mostly to point out that naturalism reduces to absurdity by the existence of intentionality in terms of human thought. In his words that it would seem "[nonsense] to talk of one bit of matter being true about another bit of matter". I personally think this quote makes a better point than is usually construed, ie:

a. If naturalism, then it would seem nonsense to talk of one bit of matter being true about another bit of matter since it should easily be taken for granted that they are each as true as each other.

and/or

b. if intentionality, then there are facts of the matter about what someone's thought is about - ie there is meaning.

So either intentionality - thought is meaningful reference or naturalism - thought is direct true reference or both - thought is direct true reference and meaning is direct true reference and they can be combined in direct true reference.

We don't fully understand the implications of each of these but the likelyhood that any one is going to demonstrate that the concept of God can have no true referent at all is virtually nil.


Nordmann wrote:

And if a human conception isn't a human conception, whose conception is it?

In the third possibility that thought is direct true reference and meaning is direct true reference and they can be combined, human conception is possible. In the other cases conception submits to teleological argument (!st), or it is not 'conception' at all (2nd).


Nordmann wrote:


A really silly assertion, I submit, and one that only makes sense to theists and schizophrenics, both of whom have problems with taking responsibility for their own thought processes and like the notion that a bit of their brain is committed to another personality altogether.

 


Nice.

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Nordmann wrote:Quote:... the

Nordmann wrote:

Quote:

... the careful logic that came before which is, in itself, enough to show that whether or not humans could have conceived of God out of thin air, we probably didn't.

 

Probably didn't?

 

Where on earth did you get that from?

Nah, I gotta voice a similar take to Nigel's on this one. The God-concept doesn't come out of thin-air, and it's not humanity conceiving of that which had existed in no form or idea previously. It's really very, very simple.

It's fear.

The origin of the god-concept is fear, and the parent. Our parents take care of us. They protect us. They protect us from animals, from strangers, from the dangers we learn to see and hear and understand.

But it's a BIG world, especially at night, and it's scary, and there's all those things I don't understand out there. Maybe if I ask the biggest thing I don't understand for help, it'll protect me. Maybe if I do what it says, like I did my parents, it'll keep me safe from the big scary unknown out there.

That, in some form, maybe the origins of the 'god' concept. First you get the 'parent/protector' concept, then you mix it with the scary unknown to produce the 'spirits' concept and then 'spirit protector' concept, and then you just keep reassuring yourself that YOUR patron that protects you from the unknown is stronger than that OTHER guy's, cuz if HIS spirit is stronger, then he might be able to take your stuff!

Really, it's all based on pre-existing concepts. You don't get 'God' until it's snowballed through a few levels and gained complexity.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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At the risk of being

At the risk of being irrelevantly accused of railing again, Eloise

Quote:

We don't fully understand the implications of each of these but the likelyhood that any one is going to demonstrate that the concept of God can have no true referent at all is virtually nil.
 

 

This sentence in itself encapsulates the extreme contortions undergone by theologians the world over in an attempt, almost as a despairing plea, to demand that their confusion be accepted as theory and that their ill-thought out "deductions" be treated as fact.

 

If you don't fully understand the implications of what is, after all, a barely intelligible attempt to describe human reasoning in a way that implies that it is subservient to a greater line of reasoning "somewhere out there", then fine. Don't draw any implications so. If I run into bullshit territory when attempting to indicate why white might indeed be black, then I would be compounding my problem too if, having admitted I might be talking crap, I then proceeded in any case to conclude something on that crap's basis.

 

You have ascribed a value of nil to a conjecture which you claim follows from a logic that you also claim implicitly might not be logic at all (and I would go further and say it is not), and this is the point where all my bullshit alarms start ringing at once. Tell me how you concluded this, step by step, and arrived at this figure of nil at the end. Theists can get by with simple assertion wthout proof, but I am afraid more reason-bound people like to see proofs, and proofs spelt out at that.

 

And, again at the risk of being accused - this time as being a semantic pedant - can you please analyse the sentence where you try to indicate how "conception" (in the sense of thinking and ideas) can be divorced from the brain and its functionality? It makes absolutely no sense to a person like me who, rather boringly perhaps, tends to regard words and specific meanings as a rather fundamentally important element of clear communication. Unlike theists, I don't allow myself the freedom to chop and change semantic meanings at will when it suits me, thereby making bullshit sound like it might actually mean something. So, I signally fail to see how a teleological implication can be derived from two very hairy "if"s composed of words whose simple meanings imply that they should not be in your sentence at all. Educate me.

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Nordmann wrote:A really

Nordmann wrote:

A really silly assertion, I submit, and one that only makes sense to theists and schizophrenics, both of whom have problems with taking responsibility for their own thought processes and like the notion that a bit of their brain is committed to another personality altogether.

A)I believe you mean MPD/DID sufferers. Schizophrenics generally have chemical conditions in the brain that slowly drive a wedge between their reality and their ability to coherently interact with it.

B)Even in cases of MPD/DID, there's usually an influencing factor outside the individual's control, be it a hormonal or chemical condition, or a severe developmental or emotional trauma. Either way, the vast majority of these people would very much like to be able to assume control and responsibility for the 'other', but are unable to do so.

And frankly, while some theists may use their theism as an escape from personal responsibility, far more that I have known have used it as a way to personify or anthropomorphise their obligation to shoulder that responsibility. Instead of a nebulous, hard to really grasp obligation to 'society', there is a distinct 'other' that holds the obligation, and who will hold them to it, preventing any chance of 'getting away with it' which might exist in society's purview.

Finally, especially in response to Eloise, who in her posts here has never shown any inclination to use her beliefs in any respect as a method to dodge personal responsibility, and with regard to the mentally ill, that kind of assinine and obnoxious contention is both insulting, which I expect it was intended to be, and completely uncalled for. That's right up there with 'God sent Sept 11 to punish us for tolerating gays'-level bullshit.

For shame, sir.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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BMcD, had I used the term

BMcD, had I used the term "taking responsibility for their behaviour", then your high horse would have indeed been worth the effort of climbing up on to. But I didn't, and responsibility for thought processes is a rather different concept.

 

Nor did I infer that Eloise, whose genuineness in attempting to explain her particular take on a supreme supernatural element governing the universe is something I recognise, has abandoned responsibility for hers. That is why I take issue with her for making statements which appeal to those however who have.

 

Ultimately my objection is nearly always to unfounded assertion and dodgy conclusion derived therefrom. Eloise makes a better stab at defining what she thinks applies to the universe than most, even if the evidence for it is often produced only after extremely intricate "explanations" that rely also at times on assertions without proof. It is these that I take issue with really, not the speaker.

 

So sorry, no shame from me, sir (madam?).

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Theist Challenge met: I conceive of something......

nigelTheBold wrote:

 

God has always been a "God of the gaps." As a species, we seem to turn to God every time we're stumped. Rather than simply saying, "Beats me; let's find out," we say, "This is the purvue of God," or, "This is an aspect of God."

The conception of God is the conception of mystery; and mystery is nothing more than ignorance.

 

I agree but I think one can add another component as well.  In Freudian terms god can also be a replacement father (or mother) figure  As a child you take for granted the all protecting, all providing, all loving, can do no wrong figure of your father.  But, as disillusion sets in bit by bit and dad turns out to be a drunken, womanizing lout, or whatever, his place is taken by an idealized version...i.e. god.  Just as you asked your father for things, and got them if you had been good, so with god...except "asking is called "praying".   

............................................................

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I love you all. GO GO

I love you all. GO GO communication. Bright science/philosopher goddess Eloise is a gifted messenger of the "ONE" we are !  All is connected.

Yeah Nordmann, Fuck dogma !

Eloise , thanks for hanging with the theist badge .... you deserve better ..... as you serve as an invitation to theists , exposing the theist / atheist problem  ~~~~

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Nordmann wrote:You have

Nordmann wrote:

You have ascribed a value of nil to a conjecture which you claim follows from a logic that you also claim implicitly might not be logic at all (and I would go further and say it is not), and this is the point where all my bullshit alarms start ringing at once. Tell me how you concluded this, step by step, and arrived at this figure of nil at the end. Theists can get by with simple assertion wthout proof, but I am afraid more reason-bound people like to see proofs, and proofs spelt out at that.

Okay, well, to start by saying 'don't fully understand the implications' I was referring to full ontological implications, basic results can still be inferred from the information, for example in this part:

a. If naturalism, then it would seem nonsense to talk of one bit of matter being true about another bit of matter since it should easily be taken for granted that they are each as true as each other.

The implications of this are easy to infer put simply, both thoughts and things are understood as arbitrary points in a field of interacting matter, a thought can only appear in a field therefore has a true value in the field, it must, because a false value is equivalent to no thought. Thoughts as interactions of matter are always as true as the matter with which they interact. From this you can infer that we aren't likely to find the existence of baseless thoughts because a baseless thought is a thought without a field, this would prove interaction untrue in some place in the natural world. The chance that naturalism can be true while there is some place in the natural world that interaction just ends and existence continues = virtually nil. So although we can't be sure what it means for all thoughts to be true, we can at least infer that it doesn't mean that there is some place in the natural world where matter stops interacting.

And for this:

b. if intentionality, then there are facts of the matter about what someone's thought is about - ie there is meaning.

The implications of this were the basis of Lewis's and Tolkien's discussion on 'God Thoughts' if we simply say that thoughts are intentional ie directed at some matter, then who or what is doing the focusing.  The good thing is that this might be explainable by combining naturalism with intentionality but failing that you have a dualism where direction is given to thought outside of natural processes. However, regardless of what the implication might be found to be you can, again at least infer that we are unlikely to find teleologically directed thought directed at nothing. In an additional note, as much as I like Lewis and Tolkien, I think they chased rainbows in vain with this conjecture.

And that brings us to the combination -

thought is direct true reference and meaning is direct true reference and they can be combined in direct true reference.

So here we are saying that the 'lens' of intentionality is a naturalistic entity formed over interactions and we can have, in this stance, human conception in the manner that we would portray human conception exists as; a level of interaction contained within itself in a large bed of more interaction on a different level.

Aside:It is this that looks most like real human thought in my estimation.

Now consider this to be the analogue of thought being contained by polarising lens, a naturalistic entity somewhat equal to the physical brain, which allows only true values at a certain angle to enter the internal field. In this case the thought is in a partially isolated field of interaction, thus it can exist as long as it is a true value in the 'lens' even if it is not directly true in the field of the bed of matter that the lens is interacting with.  Now the implications of this aren't too dramatic, they are basically reassurance that we are living in the empirical universe we think we are living in. However, we must also notice that although a thought does not need a direct referent in the big bed of matter interaction, the lens does, from this we can infer the most clear likelyhood that all human conception has a referent in the real world, one, in point of fact, which returns a true value to the lens (before it can rotate it out of view).

 

Nordmann wrote:

And, again at the risk of being accused - this time as being a semantic pedant - can you please analyse the sentence where you try to indicate how "conception" (in the sense of thinking and ideas) can be divorced from the brain and its functionality?

Huh? sorry you may have to point out what sentence you mean because I don't know that I've said anything of the sort.

 

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Under that definition, how

Maybe I should actually listen to the posted link now..

[edit] Wow.. that was sad.  Sidenote: Can anyone point me to the book that C.S. Lewis makes this argument?


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Quote:Where on earth did you

Quote:
Where on earth did you get that from? In as much as the "logic" can even be deemed "logical" that you refer to, there is absolutely nothing in it that infers probability or improbability on anything. And if a human conception isn't a human conception, whose conception is it?

I just skimmed through one of Tod's articles that Hamby linked to in one of his threads.  So, my question is, doesn't inductive logic base itself, in part, on probabilities? i.e., infer probability?


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 Eloise wrote:MattShizzle

 

Eloise wrote:
MattShizzle wrote:

Dragons,

based on legends which can probably be traced back to early sightings of dinosaur remains.

 

MoreRationalEloise wrote:
hypotheticalsapient wrote:

Gods

based on legends which can probably be traced back to our early ignorance of how the world works

- Brian Sapient


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Eloise, your post is rather

Eloise, your post is rather esoterically written so I must admit that, without sharing your enthusiasm for "consider this ..." or "let's take it that ..." kind of arguments, I conclude from the logic within it that you are saying that human thought, when  focused on an intention, leads to conception.

 

Well, um, yes it does. It also leads to perception, misconception, misperception and a whole host of other internal visualisations of the "empirical universe", none of which - no matter how hard I try - can I bring to bear on the probability of god existing, or something similar. I've read Lewis, and I've read about Lewis, and I've found all his writings predicated on a subjective belief in deity. Anyone can construct a set of hypotheses that lead comfortably to a subjective belief, but it is quite another thing to construct a set of logical deductions that arrive at an objective finding. Lewis didn't do that, and he was rightly criticised by theologians in his day when he embarked on such follies - they were in the business of trying to produce convincingly portrayed pseudo-rational lines of logic pointing to the existence of a universal governor (they often hedged their bets on the god label), while he was justifying his cosy view of a benign hairy man in the sky.

 

But back to your post. Calling this intention a "lens" and then running away with the analogy so that by the end of your post it has assumed almost solid form and is merrily swivelling around on a metaphysical axis simply adds an extra layer of esotericism to your essay, so I am afraid that is yet another point where I, as a person who tries to think rationally, tend to jump off.

 

The sentence in your previous post was

Quote:

So either intentionality - thought is meaningful reference or naturalism - thought is direct true reference or both - thought is direct true reference and meaning is direct true reference and they can be combined in direct true reference.

which to me makes two whopping great suppositions (who says "intentionality" or "naturalism" are good descriptors for what followed in each case? And why?), and then proceeds to combine the two in order to produce no great insight at all. What is wrong with describing thought simply as a function of the human brain? It is a process that to some degree can be controlled, to another degree occurs without conscious control since it is simply what the organ does, and in no way lends itself as a process to be described with any definition that includes the word "true". Truth has nothing to do with it. Survival of the animal has, I would suggest, much more.

I feel you're trying to ascribe a value equating to cosmic worth to a rather mundane function. And I wonder why?

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Eloise wrote:Nordmann

Eloise wrote:

Nordmann wrote:

You have ascribed a value of nil to a conjecture which you claim follows from a logic that you also claim implicitly might not be logic at all (and I would go further and say it is not), and this is the point where all my bullshit alarms start ringing at once. Tell me how you concluded this, step by step, and arrived at this figure of nil at the end. Theists can get by with simple assertion wthout proof, but I am afraid more reason-bound people like to see proofs, and proofs spelt out at that.

Okay, well, to start by saying 'don't fully understand the implications' I was referring to full ontological implications, basic results can still be inferred from the information, for example in this part:

a. If naturalism, then it would seem nonsense to talk of one bit of matter being true about another bit of matter since it should easily be taken for granted that they are each as true as each other.

The implications of this are easy to infer put simply, both thoughts and things are understood as arbitrary points in a field of interacting matter, a thought can only appear in a field therefore has a true value in the field, it must, because a false value is equivalent to no thought. Thoughts as interactions of matter are always as true as the matter with which they interact. From this you can infer that we aren't likely to find the existence of baseless thoughts because a baseless thought is a thought without a field, this would prove interaction untrue in some place in the natural world. The chance that naturalism can be true while there is some place in the natural world that interaction just ends and existence continues = virtually nil. So although we can't be sure what it means for all thoughts to be true, we can at least infer that it doesn't mean that there is some place in the natural world where matter stops interacting.

And for this:

b. if intentionality, then there are facts of the matter about what someone's thought is about - ie there is meaning.

The implications of this were the basis of Lewis's and Tolkien's discussion on 'God Thoughts' if we simply say that thoughts are intentional ie directed at some matter, then who or what is doing the focusing.  The good thing is that this might be explainable by combining naturalism with intentionality but failing that you have a dualism where direction is given to thought outside of natural processes. However, regardless of what the implication might be found to be you can, again at least infer that we are unlikely to find teleologically directed thought directed at nothing. In an additional note, as much as I like Lewis and Tolkien, I think they chased rainbows in vain with this conjecture.

And that brings us to the combination -

thought is direct true reference and meaning is direct true reference and they can be combined in direct true reference.

So here we are saying that the 'lens' of intentionality is a naturalistic entity formed over interactions and we can have, in this stance, human conception in the manner that we would portray human conception exists as; a level of interaction contained within itself in a large bed of more interaction on a different level.

Aside:It is this that looks most like real human thought in my estimation.

Now consider this to be the analogue of thought being contained by polarising lens, a naturalistic entity somewhat equal to the physical brain, which allows only true values at a certain angle to enter the internal field. In this case the thought is in a partially isolated field of interaction, thus it can exist as long as it is a true value in the 'lens' even if it is not directly true in the field of the bed of matter that the lens is interacting with.  Now the implications of this aren't too dramatic, they are basically reassurance that we are living in the empirical universe we think we are living in. However, we must also notice that although a thought does not need a direct referent in the big bed of matter interaction, the lens does, from this we can infer the most clear likelyhood that all human conception has a referent in the real world, one, in point of fact, which returns a true value to the lens (before it can rotate it out of view).

Carl Sagan wrote:

We will not be afraid to speculate, but we will careful to distinguish speculation from fact.

Eloise, I say this with more respect than perhaps the words will imply; put-up or shut-up.

C.S. Lewis had excellent debating skills, but he was not a scientist. Frankly, antiquity-esque hand-waving and 'deep thought' are things I've run out of patience for. I haven't heard an original theistic argument routine in quite some time.

You've said to me that you believe science and the scientific method are indeed the most voracious tools we have for understanding the world. You've also said that God can be explored through science.

That's great: so let's go exploring.

 

Step 1 / Step 2: The Problem & Hypothesis

Eloise, explain what problem it is that you think God is a suitable explanation for. We'll have to break a scientific tenet in your favor here, since we're presupposing the hypothesis (God), but we'll go ahead and give you that one. Give God a definition (even if you have to be a little vague; afterall, it's only a hypothesis).

Step 3: The Prediction

After you've done the above, go ahead and make your predictions about how God will operate under certain conditions, and explain how you think God works. Here you'll need to be far less vague; your predictions will be what we'll be testing later.

 

Get these steps done (this is easy stuff), then we'll move on to checking the veracity of your hypothesis.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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thingy wrote:I see the point

thingy wrote:

I see the point Eloise is making.  Even the furgerargerock doesn't fit the mould of something conceived that doesn't exist.  It's made up of and based on things that do exist.  The shark, teeth, flying creatures etc are all things that exist.  However, just as the furgerargerock is an amalgamation of things that actually do exist, so is any god I've had described to me. 

But conceiving of something isn't just about the parts involved. It's also about the specific intended interplay between those parts. Does an architect design simply by thinking of the list of materials and that's it?

 

Instead of a Blog

Think this can't work? - Think again.

"...what we always meant by socialism wasn't something you forced on people, it was people organizing themselves as they pleased...And if socialism really is better...then it can bloody well compete with capitalism. So we decided, forget all the statist shit and the violence: the best place for socialism is the closest to a free market you can get!" - Ken MacLeod's The Star Fraction


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Eloise wrote:MattShizzle

Eloise wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

Dragons,

based on legends which can probably be traced back to early sightings of dinosaur remains.

Mattshizzle wrote:

vampires,

Blood is nutritious and has also fascinated humans for millennia, vampire legends are likely to be amalgamated individual accounts of the vampire like wealthy recluses that are usually associated with them. They probably did mysteriously live longer than people expected, considering life expectancy was a lot shorter than it is now, centuries ago, by being wealthy therefore well fed and by acting 'vampirish' therefore avoiding the communicable diseases of the poor masses.

 

MattShizzle wrote:

ghosts,

I have seen a ghost. Chemicals were involved, but regardless, it's clearly possible to see Ghosts when chemicals are involved QED ghost sightings can be based on at least one real phenomenon.

 

 

You seem to be arguing the very concept that an atheist would try to convey about god. You think that dragons aren't a good example because they are derivative. But that ignores the idea of synergy and the specific arrangement of parts. Do you think dragons as they are in their current symbolic form exist? Then why can't you see that god could easily be the same thing?

What about god is such that you find it impossible to fall into a derivative line of thought?

David Hume wrote:
What peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call thought, that we must thus make it the model of the whole universe?

 

Instead of a Blog

Think this can't work? - Think again.

"...what we always meant by socialism wasn't something you forced on people, it was people organizing themselves as they pleased...And if socialism really is better...then it can bloody well compete with capitalism. So we decided, forget all the statist shit and the violence: the best place for socialism is the closest to a free market you can get!" - Ken MacLeod's The Star Fraction


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See how many theists would

See how many theists would be willing to pay to go for a ride on a furger-argorok. Just tell them we don't know when it will come to be ridden but we know it will someday - just like Jesus returning.

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Nordmann wrote:BMcD, had I

Nordmann wrote:

BMcD, had I used the term "taking responsibility for their behaviour", then your high horse would have indeed been worth the effort of climbing up on to. But I didn't, and responsibility for thought processes is a rather different concept.

Except that so far as we are able to determine, the input is just as skewed as the output, which means the thought processes that result do so through the prism of the chemical imbalance. The brain is just another organ. If a man whose leg was irreparably damaged by circumstances beyond his control isn't responsible for not being able to walk properly, then how is someone whose brain function has been irreparably damaged by circumstances they had no control over responsible for the resulting impaired function of it?

To suggest otherwise is to argue a mind/body duality that the very condition you refer to would seem to disprove.

Quote:
 

Nor did I infer that Eloise, whose genuineness in attempting to explain her particular take on a supreme supernatural element governing the universe is something I recognise, has abandoned responsibility for hers. That is why I take issue with her for making statements which appeal to those however who have.

Perhaps you did not mean to infer such, but the implication was there, I'm afraid.

Quote:

So sorry, no shame from me, sir (madam?).

Sir, just to clear that up. Eye-wink

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Thank you, sir. I stand

Thank you, sir. I stand corrected (well I'm sitting actually, but who's to know?)

 

The brain actually depends quite a bit on chemical imbalances to function, well, poorly or indifferently, but I take your point.

 

In fact I have been trying to iterate more or less the same point as yourself in my posts directed to Eloise. The brain, as you say, is just another organ and everything it produces by way of product - be it called thought, feeling or memory - has a mundane reason for existing, albeit many exciting applications to which it can be put (the excitement, of course, being one of the feelings mundanely manufactured by the same thought processes). People whose brains manage to produce a stream of thoughts in which it is imagined that the reason for their thinking emanates from a cosmic source are simply doing that other thing the brain is eminently capable of achieving, namely getting things wrong.

 

Science and rationality are both, in their ways, attempts to counter this tendency by imposing rigid logic and a dependency on empirical evidence on the brain's functionality. If, after applying this methodology, one finds one still favours the "cosmic creator" type of belief then one must choose whether it means the creator exists or one has simply applied logic poorly. I favour the latter explanation - it makes more logical sense.

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy