Eliminative Materialism

Paisley
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Eliminative Materialism

Eliminative materialism is the view that qualia (i.e. subjective experience or phenomenal consciousness) does not exist and should be "eliminated" from our vocabulary. Self-professed atheist Daniel Dennett is a prominent proponent of this view. I cannot think of anything more irrational. I trust that the "Rational Response Squad" will issue an intellectual citation to any individual on this forum peddling such a ridiculous idea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliminative_materialism

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Quote:

1) Events are happening uncaused (which is unintelligible).

 

Hold up there cowboy, since when is our intelligence an important factor in what is true of nature?  What I mean is that we evolved in what can be considered the classical realm of physics.  There is a limit in the quantum world where the classical world arises (chaos theory tries to understand this), so if we developed in the classical realm, our 'intelligence' will be purely based on the notions we gathered from the classical realm, i.e. determinism.  Just because we think deterministically doesn't mean that the universe is.  This is obviously a potential nightmare for our attempt to understand the universe, but is a consideration that COULD be true (despite our intuition saying otherwise).

It's only a nightmare for proponents of materialism. If quantum indeterminacy is true, then materialism is false. Why? Because materialism cannot explain how physical events are occurring without physical causation.

Quote:

materialism: 1 a : a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter

(source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: materialism)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/materialism

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


Paisley
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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The reference frame at issue here is the one that looks at the natural process as a whole. On the materialist worldview, the natural process as a whole is viewed as a completely mechanical process (not unlike the executing of a deterministic computer program).  As such, the natural process does not have a purpose.  To argue that it does is to make a teleological argument for the existence of some kind of God. Why? Because you are implying that the entire natural process is an intelligent one or is designed or "programmed."

 

That is NOT what I am saying. I am saying that I do not know whether or not there is a purpose for existence.  What I AM saying is that there is a PURPOSE for my lungs, which is to allow me to breathe.  I am trying to make a distinction between the two ways you are using the word. 

On the materialist worldview, the lungs do not have a purpose! They are the byproducts of the evolutionary process which is completely and wholly nonteleological. Therefore, any sense of purpose that a materialist has must be deemed purely ILLUSORY! That you are clearly struggling with this implication is symptomatic of the spiritually-impoverished worldview that is atheistic materialism.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Every choice that is made is ultimately determined by the entire causal nexus, which extends from the beginning of time to the moment  each choice is made. (IOW, the Big Bang is ultimately determining each choice.) So either the entire causal nexus is intelligent or any intelligence in the universe must be deemed purely illusory. These are the only two options available to you as a materialist. The former invalidates your worldview; the latter renders your worldview absurd.

 

The quantum world is putting determinism on shaky ground.  Consequently, I do not agree with your causal nexus.  This may have been the root of our disagreement.

Whether you acknowledge it or not does not change the fact that quantum indeterminacy is clearly invalidating the materialistic worldview. And that you believe that you have free will (which you are implying with your response above) is only bolstering my argument. 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

Your worldview doesn't have the problem if you take the tack of the eliminative materialist - just pretend that the problem (i.e. subjective awareness) does not exist. I am sorry, but that is not a very compelling argument.

Subjective awareness and subjective experience are NOT the same thing.  Stop equating them.

Yeah, what's the difference?

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

My belief is based on evidence.

Evidence that is completely useless to someone without your subjective experiences.  It is by no means scientific.

This is the same tack that the eliminative materialist takes: "There is no scientific evidence for the existence of subjective experience (which is true). Therefore, subjective experience does not exist!" This is more than irrational. It's complete and utter stupidity.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The vast majority of human beings support my view, not yours.

 

This is useless to point out, because I can point out views on the flatness of earth etc etc; there are many examples of the majority being wrong.

There is evidence that the earth is not flat. There is no evidence that consciousness is physical. Therefore, your analogy is moot.

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

consciousness is nonphysical!

In the sense that it is a property of a physical system, not an actual 'substance' itself. 

Case closed. You agree with me that consciousness is not physical.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

It is self-evident.

Not in a scientific sense. Your argument necessitates the supernatural without fully comprehending the physical system it is supposedly intertwined with (I would think it silly for dualism to deny a mind-body connection).   Consequently, you are ignoring the potential for a physical solution by asserting the necessitation of the supernatural.

Here, let's try a logical argument for the rationality of materialism. 

The materialistic perspective is more rational because, despite the presupposition of only the material, there exists the potential to describe the interactions of a purely physical system, and consequently an explanation of the mind.  Dualism, on the other hand, offers no way to explain how the material and immaterial interact, and consequently offers no coherent explanation of mind.

I have already provided you with a link to a quantum mind theory proposed by physicist Henry Stapp which is characterized as INTERACTIVE dualism. Evidently, you chose to ignore my previous post.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mind

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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The fact that you can remove

The fact that you can remove or change our perceived consciousness physically is evidence that it is physical.  The fact that everything else about human beings is physical lends weight to the idea that it is physical.  The fact that we can theoretically explain it physically is evidence that it is physical.

And the scientists working on this stuff might agree with you...consciousness is not something you can detect with a brain scan, because it is emergent.  It is not a heart beating or a lung oxygenating blood.  The is just semantics.  "Living" is not something that can be detected by a scientific instrument either, but the individual actions that make up the state of living can be tested.  They are saying that consciousness is probably the same way, it is lots of little things that can be measured that combine to form the function of being 'conscious'.  We can already do brain scans and see many parts of the process...when someone sees someone they love, we can see the brain doing a certain thing.  When someone is happy, we can see the brain doing a certain thing, and so on.  This is progress and supports our idea, and the ability to detect the individual components of the process will continue to refine.

What evidence do you have?  All you have is a flat denial without proof.  We are providing evidence for our hypothesis and you are putting your fingers in your ears and saying, "nyah-nyah-nyah, you're totally wrong!".

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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This whole thing is silly

This whole thing is silly though, one of the above posters had it right...you are willing to claim victory based on word games.  This is not a genuine debate, nor has it been since your first post.  You didn't come here to learn or convince, you came here to say, "ah-HAH!"  and shake your finger at us while ignoring what we say .

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Quote:On the materialist

Quote:

On the materialist worldview, the lungs do not have a purpose!

 

Are you denying that lungs allow us to breathe?  That is highly irrational of you.

 

Quote:

That you are clearly struggling with this implication is symptomatic of the spiritually-impoverished worldview that is atheistic materialism.

 

And as you'll see in a few more lines I have never claimed to BE an atheistic materialist.

 

Quote:

Whether you acknowledge it or not does not change the fact that quantum indeterminacy is clearly invalidating the materialistic worldview.

 

Not necessarily.  Why can't randomness be natural?

 

Quote:

Yeah, what's the difference?

 

Subjective awareness requires only you.  Subjective experience requires sensory input of some sort.  There wouldn't be two words if they were the same thing, you know.

 

Quote:

This is the same tack that the eliminative materialist takes: "There is no scientific evidence for the existence of subjective experience (which is true). Therefore, subjective experience does not exist!" This is more than irrational. It's complete and utter stupidity.

 

But I don't agree that subjective experiences don't exist.  They do exist.  They just have a natural explanation.  You again boldly assert that there isn't and cannot be evidence.

 

Quote:

There is evidence that the earth is not flat. There is no evidence that consciousness is physical. Therefore, your analogy is moot.

 

Ah, except that, at one point, there wasn't.  You think we are at that point now in regards to consciousness.  You fail to see that the evidence can exist.

 

Quote:

Case closed. You agree with me that consciousness is not physical.

 

No.  I agree that consciousness isn't made of matter.

 

Quote:

I have already provided you with a link to a quantum mind theory proposed by physicist Henry Stapp which is characterized as INTERACTIVE dualism. Evidently, you chose to ignore my previous post.

 

I didn't ignore it.  I just didn't feel like commenting on it.  And btw, quantum mind theory invokes quantum mechanics.  I don't see the point in labeling unknown quantum effects as supernatural.  It is, yet again, the god of the gaps.

 

Quote:

It's only a nightmare for proponents of materialism. If quantum indeterminacy is true, then materialism is false. Why? Because materialism cannot explain how physical events are occurring without physical causation.

Quote:

materialism: 1 a : a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter

(source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: materialism)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/materialism

 

Oh shit Paisley!  You figured me out!  I am NOT a materialist, for the reason that all that is physical does NOT equal just matter.  I am a physicalist, and as such, physical properties exist in nature, are natural, and are not caused by the supposed 'supernatural.'  My philosophy is based on the truth I gather from nature, and nowhere else.  The biggest reason I do this is because of the trend that science has been able to explain things that were once supernatural were actually natural.  'Supernatural,' as a concept, doesn't even make sense to me, on the grounds that we exist in nature, so ANYTHING we experience is natural too.  I see no reason to label it all as supernatural; just call it natural for fuck's sake.  The same goes for straight Pantheism, why call nature 'god?'  It is entirely pointless to do so.


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mellestad wrote:The fact

mellestad wrote:

The fact that you can remove or change our perceived consciousness physically is evidence that it is physical.

No. This does not qualify as evidence (at least not scientific evidence). It merely provides evidence that the physical influences the nonphysical (i.e conscious states). But I also have evidence that consciousness can influence the physical - namely, the evidence provided by my first-person experience of free will.

mellestad wrote:

The fact that everything else about human beings is physical lends weight to the idea that it is physical.

No. It merely lends credence to the idea that the body is physical. Bodies can be viewed objectively. Minds cannot.

mellestad wrote:

The fact that we can theoretically explain it physically is evidence that it is physical.

No. There is no scientific evidence that consciousness exists! Moreover, the materialist cannot explain why consciousness (which, on the materialist view, is a causally-inert property) was naturally selected by evolution. I posed this as a question in another thread. No answer was forthcoming - not even a "materialism of the gaps" argument. But now I am digressing.

mellestad wrote:

And the scientists working on this stuff might agree with you...consciousness is not something you can detect with a brain scan, because it is emergent.

I agree that consciousness is not something that can be detected by science. But what exactly do you mean by the term "emergent?" The subject matter of this thread is "eliminative materialism," not "emergent materialism." Eliminative materialism is non-emergent because it denies the reality of qualia (i.e. subjective experience).

Quote:

The other main group of materialist views in the philosophy of mind can be labeled non-emergent (or non-emergentist) materialism, and includes identity theory (reductive materialism), philosophical behaviorism, functionalism, and eliminativism (eliminative materialism).

(source: Wikipedia: Emergent materialism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergent_materialism

 

mellestad wrote:

Th[is] is just semantics.

Well, semantics are concerned with the meaning of words and there is a semantical difference between the terms "objective" and "subjective." The body is objective; the mind is subjective. Apparently, you would have us simply disregard this distinction.

mellestad wrote:

"Living" is not something that can be detected by a scientific instrument either, but the individual actions that make up the state of living can be tested.  They are saying that consciousness is probably the same way, it is lots of little things that can be measured that combine to form the function of being 'conscious'. 

This is bascially the same argument that Dennett made  - comparing qualia (i.e. subjective experience) to vitalism (see link below). And the implications are the same. There is no scientific evidence for the existence of life; therefore, we should conclude that life does not exist.

http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/chalmers.htm

The fact is there is no consensus in the scientific community on what constitutes life (or death).  Also, dying is a process like living. Where does one process end and the other begin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life

mellestad wrote:

We can already do brain scans and see many parts of the process...when someone sees someone they love, we can see the brain doing a certain thing.  When someone is happy, we can see the brain doing a certain thing, and so on.  This is progress and supports our idea, and the ability to detect the individual components of the process will continue to refine.

But the fact still remains that there is no scientific evidence that consciousness (i.e subjective awareness) is physical. More to the point: Materialism is a metaphysical position, not a scientifically-established fact.

mellestad wrote:

What evidence do you have?  All you have is a flat denial without proof. 

What evidence? Answer: Self-evidence. That consciousness is subjective (not objective) is self-evident.

mellestad wrote:

We are providing evidence for our hypothesis and you are putting your fingers in your ears and saying, "nyah-nyah-nyah, you're totally wrong!".

No. I am saying that your hypothesis is not supported by scientific evidence. You have failed to provide me with scientific evidence that proves that the subjective is actually objective.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


Paisley
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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

On the materialist worldview, the lungs do not have a purpose!

Are you denying that lungs allow us to breathe?  That is highly irrational of you.

Materialism only permits explanations based on efficient causation, not ones based on final-causation or teleology. So, the purpose of the lungs is not to "allow us to breathe." The development of the lungs (or any other feature a living organism may have)  is the result of evolution, which operates by genetic variation and natural selection. There is no purpose in evolutionary theory.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

That you are clearly struggling with this implication is symptomatic of the spiritually-impoverished worldview that is atheistic materialism.

 

And as you'll see in a few more lines I have never claimed to BE an atheistic materialist.

The same applies to the atheistic physicalist.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Whether you acknowledge it or not does not change the fact that quantum indeterminacy is clearly invalidating the materialistic worldview.

Not necessarily.  Why can't randomness be natural?

That consciousness collapses the wave function may qualify as a natural explanation depending on how one defines naturalism. If you define naturalism as interchangeable with materialism (a.k.a. physicalism), then you have no explanation whatsoever.  

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Yeah, what's the difference?

Subjective awareness requires only you.  Subjective experience requires sensory input of some sort.  There wouldn't be two words if they were the same thing, you know.

Okay. But subjective experience presupposes subjective awareness. Right? So, if you deny the reality of subjective experience (which the eliminative materialist does), then you deny the reality of subjective awareness by default.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

This is the same tack that the eliminative materialist takes: "There is no scientific evidence for the existence of subjective experience (which is true). Therefore, subjective experience does not exist!" This is more than irrational. It's complete and utter stupidity.

 

But I don't agree that subjective experiences don't exist.  They do exist. They just have a natural explanation.  You again boldly assert that there isn't and cannot be evidence

Well, I am stating the fact that there is no scientific evidence that consciousness (i.e. subjective awareness) is physical. If it is, then you have to provide me with a physical property.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

There is evidence that the earth is not flat. There is no evidence that consciousness is physical. Therefore, your analogy is moot.

 

Ah, except that, at one point, there wasn't.  You think we are at that point now in regards to consciousness.  You fail to see that the evidence can exist.

I do not believe there will be any scientific evidence forthcoming to prove that subjective-awareness is objective. I don't see how there logically could be because the subjective is beyond the purview of science. Hitherto, you have failed to provide with any kind of counterargument that would lead me to believe otherwise.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Case closed. You agree with me that consciousness is not physical.

No.  I agree that consciousness isn't made of matter.

Mass (matter) and energy are interchangeable. I believe Einstein established this.

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

I have already provided you with a link to a quantum mind theory proposed by physicist Henry Stapp which is characterized as INTERACTIVE dualism. Evidently, you chose to ignore my previous post.

 

I didn't ignore it.  I just didn't feel like commenting on it.

You stated in your previous post that I did not provide you with any account of how mind and body could interact. This was not true. I did. BTW, I only did it as a courtesy.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

And btw, quantum mind theory invokes quantum mechanics. 

No kidding?

v4ultingbassist wrote:

I don't see the point in labeling unknown quantum effects as supernatural.  It is, yet again, the god of the gaps.

Because the materialistic worldview does not offer any explanation whatsoever while denying the reality of our first-person experience of free will.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

It's only a nightmare for proponents of materialism. If quantum indeterminacy is true, then materialism is false. Why? Because materialism cannot explain how physical events are occurring without physical causation.

Quote:

materialism: 1 a : a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter

(source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: materialism)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/materialism

 

Oh shit Paisley!  You figured me out!  I am NOT a materialist, for the reason that all that is physical does NOT equal just matter.  I am a physicalist, and as such, physical properties exist in nature, are natural, and are not caused by the supposed 'supernatural.'  My philosophy is based on the truth I gather from nature, and nowhere else. 

Your materialistic/physicalistic philosophy is based on faith. You have already conceded this. The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence that proves that consciousness is physical or can be explained by physics (not unless, of course, you are ascribing the collapse of the wave function to consciousness).

v4ultingbassist wrote:

The biggest reason I do this is because of the trend that science has been able to explain things that were once supernatural were actually natural.  'Supernatural,' as a concept, doesn't even make sense to me, on the grounds that we exist in nature, so ANYTHING we experience is natural too.  I see no reason to label it all as supernatural; just call it natural for fuck's sake.  The same goes for straight Pantheism, why call nature 'god?'  It is entirely pointless to do so.

I believe we already had this discussion in the early posts of this thread. I asked you if you equated the "natural" exclusively with the "physical." You answered: "Yes." Moreover, you characterized any belief in a nonphysical reality as a form of supernaturalism. It would now appear that you are attempting to change your tune. Pantheism is the view that consciousnesss (which is nonphysical or immaterial) is a brute fact of existence - as fundamental or more fundamental than the physical (i.e. space-time/mass-energy). It is present in all the major mystical traditions known to humanity (e.g. Kabbalah Judaism, Sufism (Islamic mysticism), Christian mysticism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, shamanism, New Age movement, etc.) 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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"no purpose in evolutionary

"no purpose in evolutionary theory"? you mean besides the continued survival of the species?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Quote: Materialism only

Quote:

Materialism only permits explanations based on efficient causation, not ones based on final-causation or teleology. So, the purpose of the lungs is not to "allow us to breathe." The development of the lungs (or any other feature a living organism may have)  is the result of evolution, which operates by genetic variation and natural selection. There is no purpose in evolutionary theory.

 

I am trying to distinguish the way we use the word 'purpose.'  There may not be a teleological reason as to why the lungs exist, but to deny that their inherent purpose is to breathe is ridiculous.

 

Quote:

That consciousness collapses the wave function may qualify as a natural explanation depending on how one defines naturalism. If you define naturalism as interchangeable with materialism (a.k.a. physicalism), then you have no explanation whatsoever. 

 

Quote:

The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence that proves that consciousness is physical or can be explained by physics (not unless, of course, you are ascribing the collapse of the wave function to consciousness).

 

Quote:

I believe we already had this discussion in the early posts of this thread. I asked you if you equated the "natural" exclusively with the "physical." You answered: "Yes." Moreover, you characterized any belief in a nonphysical reality as a form of supernaturalism. It would now appear that you are attempting to change your tune.

 

What I am trying to tell  you, paisley, is that, throughout history, there have have been plenty of people who could not, logically, perceive how a certain phenomenon could have any physical/natural explanation.  Yet, throughout history, there have become countless accounts on how, despite being illogical to many, there arose a physical explanation.

 

Quote:

I do not believe there will be any scientific evidence forthcoming to prove that subjective-awareness is objective. I don't see how there logically could be because the subjective is beyond the purview of science. Hitherto, you have failed to provide with any kind of counterargument that would lead me to believe otherwise.

 

And, as I've said, this has been the case with numerous phenomenon that were once believed to be subjective.  For example, emotions stand out as an excellent example.  Will you deny the physical explanations developed on what was once a purely subjective subject, untouchable by science?

 

Another problem we may have is our view on logic.  If you've been watching some of the threads with Fortunate_Son, you'll see that many do not agree that logic is a priori, insofar as it, to us, is something humans developed as they evolved.  As such, I see no reason to think logic is infallible.

 

Quote:

Pantheism is the view that consciousnesss (which is nonphysical or immaterial) is a brute fact of existence - as fundamental or more fundamental than the physical (i.e. space-time/mass-energy). It is present in all the major mystical traditions known to humanity (e.g. Kabbalah Judaism, Sufism (Islamic mysticism), Christian mysticism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, shamanism, New Age movement, etc.)

 

That is panentheism.  Pantheism is simply Nature = God.

 

Oh and as for naturalism and physicalism goes, if it is natural, there will always be someone trying to understand it physically, i.e. a physical explanation will arise.  So wave functions collapsing does not go against physicalism, because the collapse may occur naturally, and therefore not need a supernatural explanation.  I see naturalism and physicalism as compatible (because physicalism inherently adapts its view to our understanding of nature).


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jcgadfly wrote:"no purpose

jcgadfly wrote:

"no purpose in evolutionary theory"? you mean besides the continued survival of the species?

Continued survival of the species is not the purpose of evolution. Materialist evolution is not driven by any purpose whatsoever.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

"no purpose in evolutionary theory"? you mean besides the continued survival of the species?

Continued survival of the species is not the purpose of evolution. Materialist evolution is not driven by any purpose whatsoever.

and what useful purpose does your belief in magic serve again?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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I assume you're going back

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

"no purpose in evolutionary theory"? you mean besides the continued survival of the species?

Continued survival of the species is not the purpose of evolution. Materialist evolution is not driven by any purpose whatsoever.

 

To the purposeless of the components of living cells when you say evolution has no purpose but observation clearly shows evolution of living creatures does have a purpose - abiogenesis aside. That purpose is survival and procreation. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Paisley
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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

"no purpose in evolutionary theory"? you mean besides the continued survival of the species?

Continued survival of the species is not the purpose of evolution. Materialist evolution is not driven by any purpose whatsoever.

and what useful purpose does your belief in magic serve again?

Why can't you simply admit that you were mistaken? Materialist evolution is not driven by any purpose whatsoever.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

"no purpose in evolutionary theory"? you mean besides the continued survival of the species?

Continued survival of the species is not the purpose of evolution. Materialist evolution is not driven by any purpose whatsoever.

and what useful purpose does your belief in magic serve again?

Why can't you simply admit that you were mistaken? Materialist evolution is not driven by any purpose whatsoever.

I have no problem admitting I'm wrong...when I am. All I have at present is your fervent insistence that I'm wrong without any kind of backing.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Paisley
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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Materialism only permits explanations based on efficient causation, not ones based on final-causation or teleology. So, the purpose of the lungs is not to "allow us to breathe." The development of the lungs (or any other feature a living organism may have)  is the result of evolution, which operates by genetic variation and natural selection. There is no purpose in evolutionary theory.

 

I am trying to distinguish the way we use the word 'purpose.'  There may not be a teleological reason as to why the lungs exist, but to deny that their inherent purpose is to breathe is ridiculous.

No, you're not. You're not seeking to distinguish between definitions of the word "purpose." What we have here is an individual who doesn't understand the basics of evolutionary theory and is now vainly engaging in spin-doctoring in order to "save face." The lungs have no inherent purpose whatsoever. Based on the viewpoint of materialist evolution, there is no inherent purpose whatsoever in nature - either as a whole or in part.  The materialist can speak only of purpose in figurative terms, not literal ones.

A strictly materialist scientist can say that evolution has naturally selected this or that feature. But he doesn't actually mean that evolution (or nature) has the inherent capacity to make choices. He is merely speaking figuratively, not literally.  Failure to distinguish between the two is to ascribe sentience to nature. And that is exactly what you are doing with the term "purpose."

Quote:

A teleological explanation accounts for phenomena in terms of their purpose or goal-directedness. Thus, the whiteness of the polar bear's coat is explained by its purpose of camouflage. The direction of causality is the other way round from materialistic science, which explains the consequence in terms of a prior cause. Most modern biologists now reject this functional view in terms of a material and causal one: biological features are to be explained not by looking forward to future optimal results, but by looking backwards to the past evolutionary history of a species, which led to the natural selection of the features in question.

(source: Wikipedia: Life)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:
 

I believe we already had this discussion in the early posts of this thread. I asked you if you equated the "natural" exclusively with the "physical." You answered: "Yes." Moreover, you characterized any belief in a nonphysical reality as a form of supernaturalism. It would now appear that you are attempting to change your tune.

What I am trying to tell  you, paisley, is that, throughout history, there have have been plenty of people who could not, logically, perceive how a certain phenomenon could have any physical/natural explanation.  Yet, throughout history, there have become countless accounts on how, despite being illogical to many, there arose a physical explanation.

Yes, I know what you are trying to tell me here. But you have already conceded earlier in this thread that your belief in materialism is based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence or no evidence at all).

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I do not believe there will be any scientific evidence forthcoming to prove that subjective-awareness is objective. I don't see how there logically could be because the subjective is beyond the purview of science. Hitherto, you have failed to provide with any kind of counterargument that would lead me to believe otherwise.

And, as I've said, this has been the case with numerous phenomenon that were once believed to be subjective.  For example, emotions stand out as an excellent example.  Will you deny the physical explanations developed on what was once a purely subjective subject, untouchable by science?

Emotions presuppose consciousness (i.e. subjective experience). Since there is no evidence that consciousness is physical, then it logically follows that there are is no evidence that emotions are physical. 

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Another problem we may have is our view on logic.  If you've been watching some of the threads with Fortunate_Son, you'll see that many do not agree that logic is a priori, insofar as it, to us, is something humans developed as they evolved.  As such, I see no reason to think logic is infallible

Each and every time you make an argument (which you are doing here now) you are presupposing some form of logic. If you deny this, then you forfeit your right to rational discourse.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisely wrote:

Pantheism is the view that consciousnesss (which is nonphysical or immaterial) is a brute fact of existence - as fundamental or more fundamental than the physical (i.e. space-time/mass-energy). It is present in all the major mystical traditions known to humanity (e.g. Kabbalah Judaism, Sufism (Islamic mysticism), Christian mysticism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, shamanism, New Age movement, etc.)

That is panentheism.  Pantheism is simply Nature = God.

Unfortunately, there is a movement afoot (i.e. The World Pantheist Movement) which is apparently attempting to co-opt the term "pantheism" (a term which literally means the belief that all is God ) in order to promote atheistic materialism. This is leading to widespread confusion. Why do atheist materialists feel the need to promote their worldview by employing a term that suggests a belief in God?

I understand the term pantheism to mean that all is either consciousness or the projection of consciousness. It is compatible with philosophical idealism or dual-aspect monism.

Panentheism is basically a combination of pantheism (which emphasizes the immanent aspect of divinity) and classical theism (which emphasizes the transcendent aspect of divinity).

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Oh and as for naturalism and physicalism goes, if it is natural, there will always be someone trying to understand it physically, i.e. a physical explanation will arise.  So wave functions collapsing does not go against physicalism, because the collapse may occur naturally, and therefore not need a supernatural explanation.  I see naturalism and physicalism as compatible (because physicalism inherently adapts its view to our understanding of nature).

The fact is that some of the founders of quantum physics have given a nonphysical explanation to the collapse of the wave function - namely, that consciousness collapses the wave function.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Continued survival of the species is

not

the purpose of evolution. Materialist evolution is

not

driven by any purpose whatsoever.

 

To the purposeless of the components of living cells when you say evolution has no purpose but observation clearly shows evolution of living creatures does have a purpose - abiogenesis aside. That purpose is survival and procreation. 

The materialistic theory of evolution is based on a mechanical explanation, not a teleological one. To argue that "observation clearly shows evolution of living creatures does have a purpose" is to undermine the materialist worldview.

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Yes Pais, I know but without understanding

Paisley wrote:

 

The materialistic theory of evolution is based on a mechanical explanation, not a teleological one. To argue that "observation clearly shows evolution of living creatures does have a purpose" is to undermine the materialist worldview.

 

 

abiogenesis this entire thread is pointless beyond you forcing us to say we don't know. It's obvious on this side of abiogenesis life has a general direction - replication. This doesn't mean life is not made up of fixed and observable matter - no matter how many buzzy bees are flying around in the centre of a neutron. On the other side of the cellular big bang who knows what the fuck happened. Look at viruses. They aren't even technically alive yet once inside a host cell they immediately power up and madly start to multiply. Fully 47 per cent of the entire human genome (and about 7 per cent of our working genes) have quasi-alive (I made this up but you know what I mean) viral origins. Maybe there's an answer to the questions of abiogenesis there. A 47 per cent viral content to the genome is a huge volume. Still - if viruses can't replicate outside a living cell it's back to chicken and egg so who knows.

In any case, no one is going to be able to touch you in your conceptual Orthanc until we understand the origins of life. And I'm sure there will be high ground to retreat to even then. Spirit, for instance. Pre-big bang prime mover. Congratulations, Pais. Apparently you're going to heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The materialistic theory of evolution is based on a mechanical explanation, not a teleological one. To argue that "observation clearly shows evolution of living creatures does have a purpose" is to undermine the materialist worldview. 

abiogenesis this entire thread is pointless beyond you forcing us to say we don't know. It's obvious on this side of abiogenesis life has a general direction - replication. This doesn't mean life is not made up of fixed and observable matter - no matter how many buzzy bees are flying around in the centre of a neutron. On the other side of the cellular big bang who knows what the fuck happened. Look at viruses. They aren't even technically alive yet once inside a host cell they immediately power up and madly start to multiply. Fully 47 per cent of the entire human genome (and about 7 per cent of our working genes) have quasi-alive (I made this up but you know what I mean) viral origins. Maybe there's an answer to the questions of abiogenesis there. A 47 per cent viral content to the genome is a huge volume. Still - if viruses can't replicate outside a living cell it's back to chicken and egg so who knows.

In any case, no one is going to be able to touch you in your conceptual Orthanc until we understand the origins of life. And I'm sure there will be high ground to retreat to even then. Spirit, for instance. Pre-big bang prime mover. Congratulations, Pais. Apparently you're going to heaven.

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that more than a few "atheists" on this forum still have vestiges of theistic thinking and therefore have not completed their deconversion process. Previously, you stated that the PURPOSE (emphasis mine) of evolution is "survival and procreation." This is a teleological (i.e. purposive or goal-oriented) explanation , not a mechanical one. Materialistic science seeks to give a mechanical explanation of physical phenomena. Therefore, the materialist theory of evolution has no purpose. To argue otherwise is to give tacit support to some kind of theistic evolution.

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The materialistic theory of evolution is based on a mechanical explanation, not a teleological one. To argue that "observation clearly shows evolution of living creatures does have a purpose" is to undermine the materialist worldview. 

abiogenesis this entire thread is pointless beyond you forcing us to say we don't know. It's obvious on this side of abiogenesis life has a general direction - replication. This doesn't mean life is not made up of fixed and observable matter - no matter how many buzzy bees are flying around in the centre of a neutron. On the other side of the cellular big bang who knows what the fuck happened. Look at viruses. They aren't even technically alive yet once inside a host cell they immediately power up and madly start to multiply. Fully 47 per cent of the entire human genome (and about 7 per cent of our working genes) have quasi-alive (I made this up but you know what I mean) viral origins. Maybe there's an answer to the questions of abiogenesis there. A 47 per cent viral content to the genome is a huge volume. Still - if viruses can't replicate outside a living cell it's back to chicken and egg so who knows.

In any case, no one is going to be able to touch you in your conceptual Orthanc until we understand the origins of life. And I'm sure there will be high ground to retreat to even then. Spirit, for instance. Pre-big bang prime mover. Congratulations, Pais. Apparently you're going to heaven.

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that more than a few "atheists" on this forum still have vestiges of theistic thinking and therefore have not completed their deconversion process. Previously, you stated that the PURPOSE (emphasis mine) of evolution is "survival and procreation." This is a teleological (i.e. purposive or goal-oriented) explanation , not a mechanical one. Materialistic science seeks to give a mechanical explanation of physical phenomena. Therefore, the materialist theory of evolution has no purpose. To argue otherwise is to give tacit support to some kind of theistic evolution.

 

Or it means that you're arguing "materialistic evolution" (a concept that seems to have been made up by creationists) before people who don't buy into creationist nonsense.

Why do things need to have a god before they have a purpose?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Paisley wrote:mellestad

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

The fact that you can remove or change our perceived consciousness physically is evidence that it is physical.

No. This does not qualify as evidence (at least not scientific evidence). It merely provides evidence that the physical influences the nonphysical (i.e conscious states). But I also have evidence that consciousness can influence the physical - namely, the evidence provided by my first-person experience of free will.

mellestad wrote:

The fact that everything else about human beings is physical lends weight to the idea that it is physical.

No. It merely lends credence to the idea that the body is physical. Bodies can be viewed objectively. Minds cannot.

mellestad wrote:

The fact that we can theoretically explain it physically is evidence that it is physical.

No. There is no scientific evidence that consciousness exists! Moreover, the materialist cannot explain why consciousness (which, on the materialist view, is a causally-inert property) was naturally selected by evolution. I posed this as a question in another thread. No answer was forthcoming - not even a "materialism of the gaps" argument. But now I am digressing.

mellestad wrote:

And the scientists working on this stuff might agree with you...consciousness is not something you can detect with a brain scan, because it is emergent.

I agree that consciousness is not something that can be detected by science. But what exactly do you mean by the term "emergent?" The subject matter of this thread is "eliminative materialism," not "emergent materialism." Eliminative materialism is non-emergent because it denies the reality of qualia (i.e. subjective experience).

Quote:

The other main group of materialist views in the philosophy of mind can be labeled non-emergent (or non-emergentist) materialism, and includes identity theory (reductive materialism), philosophical behaviorism, functionalism, and eliminativism (eliminative materialism).

(source: Wikipedia: Emergent materialism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergent_materialism

 

mellestad wrote:

Th[is] is just semantics.

Well, semantics are concerned with the meaning of words and there is a semantical difference between the terms "objective" and "subjective." The body is objective; the mind is subjective. Apparently, you would have us simply disregard this distinction.

mellestad wrote:

"Living" is not something that can be detected by a scientific instrument either, but the individual actions that make up the state of living can be tested.  They are saying that consciousness is probably the same way, it is lots of little things that can be measured that combine to form the function of being 'conscious'. 

This is bascially the same argument that Dennett made  - comparing qualia (i.e. subjective experience) to vitalism (see link below). And the implications are the same. There is no scientific evidence for the existence of life; therefore, we should conclude that life does not exist.

http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/chalmers.htm

The fact is there is no consensus in the scientific community on what constitutes life (or death).  Also, dying is a process like living. Where does one process end and the other begin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life

mellestad wrote:

We can already do brain scans and see many parts of the process...when someone sees someone they love, we can see the brain doing a certain thing.  When someone is happy, we can see the brain doing a certain thing, and so on.  This is progress and supports our idea, and the ability to detect the individual components of the process will continue to refine.

But the fact still remains that there is no scientific evidence that consciousness (i.e subjective awareness) is physical. More to the point: Materialism is a metaphysical position, not a scientifically-established fact.

mellestad wrote:

What evidence do you have?  All you have is a flat denial without proof. 

What evidence? Answer: Self-evidence. That consciousness is subjective (not objective) is self-evident.

mellestad wrote:

We are providing evidence for our hypothesis and you are putting your fingers in your ears and saying, "nyah-nyah-nyah, you're totally wrong!".

No. I am saying that your hypothesis is not supported by scientific evidence. You have failed to provide me with scientific evidence that proves that the subjective is actually objective.

I can't tell if you are mis-interpreting Dennett's point on purpose or not.  The only arguments I see from you are vague issues with wording hidden in pedantry and the assertion that consciousness is magical because you think it is magical, and you think it is magical because you feel it must be so.  That is all you have, and I don't find it convincing.  You are drawing an arbitrary line by making certain parts of human behavior magical, when there is evidence they are physical.  When asked to explain how physical reality interacts with your magical claim you don't seem to have anything interesting to say.

You say it only proves that the physical can influence the non-physical...you literally just said that by cutting on a person's brain, or giving someone Prozac, we are taking part in a magical ritual.  Brilliant, I wonder what else I can do by performing the correct ritual?  If I do some squats it might signal God to tell my soul to tell my mind to tell my body to raise my testosterone levels, and then the testosterone, through my body, could tell my mind to tell my soul to be more aggressive and want more sex!

I don't get it, is it some insecurity thing that does not allow the concept of a physical mind to exist?  What is so scary about the idea that we are physical creatures?  If you found a way to rationalize our physical reality with your ideas about a magical afterlife/soul without resorting to the untenable claims you are making in this 'debate' you would be far more credible.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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And it's becoming increasingly clear to me

Paisley wrote:

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that more than a few "atheists" on this forum still have vestiges of theistic thinking and therefore have not completed their deconversion process. Previously, you stated that the PURPOSE (emphasis mine) of evolution is "survival and procreation." This is a teleological (i.e. purposive or goal-oriented) explanation , not a mechanical one. Materialistic science seeks to give a mechanical explanation of physical phenomena. Therefore, the materialist theory of evolution has no purpose. To argue otherwise is to give tacit support to some kind of theistic evolution.

 

That abiogenesis must have produced some sort of RNA-driven proto-cell with an intrinsic imperative to replicate. How this proves god, the bible, ratifies invisible flying men, heaven, hell and all the other products of the vivid human imagination escapes me.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Quote:Emotions presuppose

Quote:

Emotions presuppose consciousness (i.e. subjective experience). Since there is no evidence that consciousness is physical, then it logically follows that there are is no evidence that emotions are physical.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion#Neurobiological_theories

 

There is plenty of evidence as to why we experience emotions.  I am consequently led to conclude that there will eventually be evidence supporting a physical brain.

 

Quote:

Panentheism is basically a combination of pantheism (which emphasizes the immanent aspect of divinity) and classical theism (which emphasizes the transcendent aspect of divinity).

 

[panentheism is a] belief system which posits that God exists and interpenetrates every part of nature

Panentheism is distinguished from pantheism, which holds that God is synonymous with the material universe.[1]

-wiki (panentheism)

 

Quote:

Each and every time you make an argument (which you are doing here now) you are presupposing some form of logic. If you deny this, then you forfeit your right to rational discourse.

 

Oh bullshit.  This is pointless now.  Logic is not infallible.  I judge the validity of logic against external reality.  You judge its validity against your own beliefs about it. 

 


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Why can't you simply admit that you were mistaken? Materialist evolution is

not

driven by any purpose whatsoever.

I have no problem admitting I'm wrong...when I am. All I have at present is your fervent insistence that I'm wrong without any kind of backing.

I have already cited a source on this thread which states explicitly that materialistic science is based on mechanical explanations, not teleological ones. So, your accusation that I am making unsupported assertions is false. Materialist evolution is not driven by any purpose whatsoever. In fact, teleological explanations are anathema to scientific materialism.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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But

Paisley wrote:

I have already cited a source on this thread which states explicitly that materialistic science is based on mechanical explanations, not teleological ones. So, your accusation that I am making unsupported assertions is false. Materialist evolution is not driven by any purpose whatsoever. In fact, teleological explanations are anathema to scientific materialism.

 

But there is no god Pais, and behold, materialist evolution works. Regardless of all human definitions of shit they think up - in this case materialist evolution - god is apparently either not there or by far the best at hide and seek in the whole family.

At the same time evolution works. Perhaps the materialist/spiritual model is too simple?

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that more than a few "atheists" on this forum still have vestiges of theistic thinking and therefore have not completed their deconversion process. Previously, you stated that the

PURPOSE

(emphasis mine) of evolution is "survival and procreation." This is a

teleological

(i.e. purposive or goal-oriented) explanation , not a

mechanical

one. Materialistic science seeks to give a mechanical explanation of physical phenomena. Therefore, the materialist theory of evolution has no purpose. To argue otherwise is to give tacit support to some kind of theistic evolution.

Or it means that you're arguing "materialistic evolution" (a concept that seems to have been made up by creationists) before people who don't buy into creationist nonsense.

I am employing the term "materialist evolution" to distinguish it from "theistic evolution." 

jcgadfly wrote:

Why do things need to have a god before they have a purpose?

You're going off on a tangent. What I have argued here is that the materialist theory of evolution is nonteleological. Why? Because the task of science is to provide a mechanical explanation based on efficient causation, not a teleological one based on final causation.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Pais

Paisley wrote:

The task of science is to provide a mechanical explanation based on efficient causation, not a teleological one based on final causation.

 

I don't think this handy definition of science is any more than a question beggar with its hand a long way out. Science is not restricted to the material,  it's devoted to reproducible proofs supported by evidence. It's also devoted to wild theories that are unprovable for hundreds of years and left field theories that may be unprovable for all time. Pushing scientific thought into a materialist cage is a cheap shot.

Meanwhile, spirituality is the subjective experience of the owner of a brain. When we unpick the threads of spirituality it will be the work of neuroscientists, not the clergy.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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mellestad wrote:I can't tell

mellestad wrote:

I can't tell if you are mis-interpreting Dennett's point on purpose or not. 

I have not misrepresented Dennett's position. He denies the reality of qualia (i.e. subjective experience). And I am citing a source below which explicitly states that he does.

Quote:

The most common versions are eliminativism about propositional attitudes, as expressed by Paul and Patricia Churchland,[6] and eliminativism about qualia (subjective experience), as expressed by Daniel Dennett and Georges Rey.[2]

(source: Wikipedia: Eliminative materialism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliminative_materialism

mellestad wrote:

The only arguments I see from you are vague issues with wording hidden in pedantry and the assertion that consciousness is magical because you think it is magical, and you think it is magical because you feel it must be so.  That is all you have, and I don't find it convincing.  You are drawing an arbitrary line by making certain parts of human behavior magical, when there is evidence they are physical.  When asked to explain how physical reality interacts with your magical claim you don't seem to have anything interesting to say.

Flinging ad hominem attacks does not qualify as a counterargument. I believe we have already discussed this matter.

I never argued that consciousness (i.e. subjective awareness) is magical. I simply stated that it is nonphysical. And the only one here who is appealing to magic is you by asserting that consciousness is an emergent property. I specifically asked you in my previous post: "What exactly do you mean by emergent?" I see that you have chosen to ignore the question.

mellestad wrote:
 

You say it only proves that the physical can influence the non-physical...you literally just said that by cutting on a person's brain, or giving someone Prozac, we are taking part in a magical ritual.  Brilliant, I wonder what else I can do by performing the correct ritual?  If I do some squats it might signal God to tell my soul to tell my mind to tell my body to raise my testosterone levels, and then the testosterone, through my body, could tell my mind to tell my soul to be more aggressive and want more sex!

I don't get it, is it some insecurity thing that does not allow the concept of a physical mind to exist?  What is so scary about the idea that we are physical creatures?  If you found a way to rationalize our physical reality with your ideas about a magical afterlife/soul without resorting to the untenable claims you are making in this 'debate' you would be far more credible.

The only untenable claim being made here is by you. You are asserting that consciousness is physical. And yet you have failed to provide me with any scientific evidence to support your assertion. The fact is that there is no scientific instrument that can test for the presence of consciousness.

Quote:

As there is no clear definition of consciousness and no empirical measure exists to test for its presence, it has been argued that due to the nature of the problem of consciousness, empirical tests are intrinsically impossible.

(source: Wikipedia: Consciousness)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that more than a few "atheists" on this forum still have vestiges of theistic thinking and therefore have not completed their deconversion process. Previously, you stated that the PURPOSE (emphasis mine) of evolution is "survival and procreation." This is a teleological (i.e. purposive or goal-oriented) explanation , not a mechanical one. Materialistic science seeks to give a mechanical explanation of physical phenomena. Therefore, the materialist theory of evolution has no purpose. To argue otherwise is to give tacit support to some kind of theistic evolution.

 

That abiogenesis must have produced some sort of RNA-driven proto-cell with an intrinsic imperative to replicate. How this proves god, the bible, ratifies invisible flying men, heaven, hell and all the other products of the vivid human imagination escapes me.

Previously you stated that the PURPOSE of evolution is "survival and procreation." (This is clearly anathema to the materialist theory of evolution.) If the first self-replicating molecular systems were endowed with the "intrinsic imperative" to "survive and procreate," then you are making a teleological argument for the existence of God. Either that, or you are flirting dangerously close to pantheism (i.e. the belief that consciousness is simply a fundamental aspect of nature).

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Maybe Pantheism is right, who knows.

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that more than a few "atheists" on this forum still have vestiges of theistic thinking and therefore have not completed their deconversion process. Previously, you stated that the PURPOSE (emphasis mine) of evolution is "survival and procreation." This is a teleological (i.e. purposive or goal-oriented) explanation , not a mechanical one. Materialistic science seeks to give a mechanical explanation of physical phenomena. Therefore, the materialist theory of evolution has no purpose. To argue otherwise is to give tacit support to some kind of theistic evolution.

 

That abiogenesis must have produced some sort of RNA-driven proto-cell with an intrinsic imperative to replicate. How this proves god, the bible, ratifies invisible flying men, heaven, hell and all the other products of the vivid human imagination escapes me.

Previously you stated that the PURPOSE of evolution is "survival and procreation." (This is clearly anathema to the materialist theory of evolution.) If the first self-replicating molecular systems were endowed with the "intrinsic imperative" to "survive and procreate," then you are making a teleological argument for the existence of God. Either that, or you are flirting dangerously close to pantheism (i.e. the belief that consciousness is simply a fundamental aspect of nature).

 

I'm not endangered by it. I don't know what's going on. I don't think anyone really does. We're all just projecting, theists included. Is there any evidence that we can have a personal anthropomorphic relationship with the prime mover? I think not.

I know what I said earlier and I say again, there's no convincing evidence for god, yet there is evolution of living organisms. So somewhere along the line we're missing something. It's obvious that the earliest life forms would have to have a replication characteristic or they'd never have first replicated. Is this a mystery? Yes. Does it prove the existence of the bearded sky father of popular religion? No. Does it prove we have an invisible eternal soul that conveniently, takes form at our birth but does not die in the even more conveniently unprovable post-death realm? No. Does all this prove to an honest mind we don't know very much? Yes, it does.  

Maybe we are just part of nature. Maybe we're skyscrapers for viruses. Nothing with a natural explanation would surprise me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Emotions presuppose consciousness (i.e. subjective experience). Since there is no evidence that consciousness is physical, then it logically follows that there are is no evidence that emotions are physical.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion#Neurobiological_theories 

There is plenty of evidence as to why we experience emotions. I am consequently led to conclude that there will eventually be evidence supporting a physical brain.

To reiterate: Emotions presuppose consciousness (i.e. subjective experience). Since there is no evidence that consciousness is physical, then it logically follows that there are is no evidence that emotions are physical. What you are led to conclude is irrelevant.

Quote:

Emotion is subjective experience, associated with mood, temperament, personality, and disposition.

(source: Wikipedia: Emotions)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotions

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

Panentheism is basically a combination of pantheism (which emphasizes the immanent aspect of divinity) and classical theism (which emphasizes the transcendent aspect of divinity).

[panentheism is a] belief system which posits that God exists and interpenetrates every part of nature

Panentheism is distinguished from pantheism, which holds that God is synonymous with the material universe.[1]

-wiki (panentheism)

Yes, I know that there is a distinction between the two. Indeed, I just stated the distinction.  The "interpenetration" of every part of nature is the "immanent" (and hence, pantheistic) aspect.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

 

Paisley wrote:

Each and every time you make an argument (which you are doing here now) you are presupposing some form of logic. If you deny this, then you forfeit your right to rational discourse.

Oh bullshit.  This is pointless now.  Logic is not infallible.  I judge the validity of logic against external reality.  You judge its validity against your own beliefs about it. 

You're begging the question: What is your basis for making this judgment?

The bottom line is that you must presuppose at least one logical principle in order to engage in any type of rational argument. 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I have already cited a source on this thread which states explicitly that materialistic science is based on mechanical explanations, not teleological ones. So, your accusation that I am making unsupported assertions is false. Materialist evolution is not driven by any purpose whatsoever. In fact, teleological explanations are anathema to scientific materialism.

 

But there is no god Pais, and behold, materialist evolution works. Regardless of all human definitions of shit they think up - in this case materialist evolution - god is apparently either not there or by far the best at hide and seek in the whole family.

At the same time evolution works. Perhaps the materialist/spiritual model is too simple? 

You have already gone on record and explicitly stated in this thread that evolution is driven by purpose thereby providing support for some kind of theistic evolution. Ranting and raving will not change this.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The task of science is to provide a mechanical explanation based on efficient causation, not a teleological one based on final causation.

I don't think this handy definition of science is any more than a question beggar with its hand a long way out. Science is not restricted to the material,  it's devoted to reproducible proofs supported by evidence. It's also devoted to wild theories that are unprovable for hundreds of years and left field theories that may be unprovable for all time. Pushing scientific thought into a materialist cage is a cheap shot.

Meanwhile, spirituality is the subjective experience of the owner of a brain. When we unpick the threads of spirituality it will be the work of neuroscientists, not the clergy.

What relevance does your post stated below have to my comments stated above?

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Previously you stated that the PURPOSE of evolution is "survival and procreation." (This is clearly anathema to the materialist theory of evolution.) If the first self-replicating molecular systems were endowed with the "intrinsic imperative" to "survive and procreate," then you are making a teleological argument for the existence of God. Either that, or you are flirting dangerously close to pantheism (i.e. the belief that consciousness is simply a fundamental aspect of nature).

 

I'm not endangered by it. I don't know what's going on.

Agreed. You are clearly confused. You are bashing theism on the one hand while making a case for theistic evolution on the other.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Quote:The bottom line is

Quote:

The bottom line is that you must presuppose at least one logical principle in order to engage in any type of rational argument. 

 

Go look in the modal ontological argument thread.  There's no point in you and I debating what logic is, when it's already happened over there.

 

Quote:

To reiterate: Emotions presuppose consciousness (i.e. subjective experience). Since there is no evidence that consciousness is physical, then it logically follows that there are is no evidence that emotions are physical. What you are led to conclude is irrelevant.

 

To reiterate:  Evidence for emotion trumps what YOU are led to conclude on a basis of lack of evidence.


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that more than a few "atheists" on this forum still have vestiges of theistic thinking and therefore have not completed their deconversion process. Previously, you stated that the

PURPOSE

(emphasis mine) of evolution is "survival and procreation." This is a

teleological

(i.e. purposive or goal-oriented) explanation , not a

mechanical

one. Materialistic science seeks to give a mechanical explanation of physical phenomena. Therefore, the materialist theory of evolution has no purpose. To argue otherwise is to give tacit support to some kind of theistic evolution.

Or it means that you're arguing "materialistic evolution" (a concept that seems to have been made up by creationists) before people who don't buy into creationist nonsense.

I am employing the term "materialist evolution" to distinguish it from "theistic evolution." 

jcgadfly wrote:

Why do things need to have a god before they have a purpose?

You're going off on a tangent. What I have argued here is that the materialist theory of evolution is nonteleological. Why? Because the task of science is to provide a mechanical explanation based on efficient causation, not a teleological one based on final causation.

You're arguing a term that was made up by creationists (materialistic evolution) that is used to make evolution sound like a bad thing. It's supposed opposite "theistic evolution" was created by some folks to resolve their cognitive dissonance or so they can have their cake and eat it too.

There is only evolution. The only reason you're adding "materialistic" to it is so you can have a straw man to knock down.

I'm not sure why you can't handle that a process (or a person) can have a purpose without whatever magic you call God putting his fingers in.

It is clear that you can't.

 

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Paisley wrote:mellestad

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

I can't tell if you are mis-interpreting Dennett's point on purpose or not. 

I have not misrepresented Dennett's position. He denies the reality of qualia (i.e. subjective experience). And I am citing a source below which explicitly states that he does.

Quote:

The most common versions are eliminativism about propositional attitudes, as expressed by Paul and Patricia Churchland,[6] and eliminativism about qualia (subjective experience), as expressed by Daniel Dennett and Georges Rey.[2]

(source: Wikipedia: Eliminative materialism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliminative_materialism

mellestad wrote:

The only arguments I see from you are vague issues with wording hidden in pedantry and the assertion that consciousness is magical because you think it is magical, and you think it is magical because you feel it must be so.  That is all you have, and I don't find it convincing.  You are drawing an arbitrary line by making certain parts of human behavior magical, when there is evidence they are physical.  When asked to explain how physical reality interacts with your magical claim you don't seem to have anything interesting to say.

Flinging ad hominem attacks does not qualify as a counterargument. I believe we have already discussed this matter.

I never argued that consciousness (i.e. subjective awareness) is magical. I simply stated that it is nonphysical. And the only one here who is appealing to magic is you by asserting that consciousness is an emergent property. I specifically asked you in my previous post: "What exactly do you mean by emergent?" I see that you have chosen to ignore the question.

mellestad wrote:
 

You say it only proves that the physical can influence the non-physical...you literally just said that by cutting on a person's brain, or giving someone Prozac, we are taking part in a magical ritual.  Brilliant, I wonder what else I can do by performing the correct ritual?  If I do some squats it might signal God to tell my soul to tell my mind to tell my body to raise my testosterone levels, and then the testosterone, through my body, could tell my mind to tell my soul to be more aggressive and want more sex!

I don't get it, is it some insecurity thing that does not allow the concept of a physical mind to exist?  What is so scary about the idea that we are physical creatures?  If you found a way to rationalize our physical reality with your ideas about a magical afterlife/soul without resorting to the untenable claims you are making in this 'debate' you would be far more credible.

The only untenable claim being made here is by you. You are asserting that consciousness is physical. And yet you have failed to provide me with any scientific evidence to support your assertion. The fact is that there is no scientific instrument that can test for the presence of consciousness.

Quote:

As there is no clear definition of consciousness and no empirical measure exists to test for its presence, it has been argued that due to the nature of the problem of consciousness, empirical tests are intrinsically impossible.

(source: Wikipedia: Consciousness)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

Uh-huh.  Have fun casting spells to get your magic friend to shift the course of the universe so you can get a leg up on the rest of humanity (praying).

You are complaining because I don't have full, conclusive proof that I am right.  But I have evidence and a hypothesis.  You don't even have that, all you have is, "It is magic because I said so."  That is all this boils down to, regardless of how you try to pretty up your argument.  Oh right, not magic, *nonphysical*.  How is there a difference, besides the fact that magic is a honest word to describe the mysterious, supernatural process (that can be fully controlled physically, but isn't physical!)  you believe runs our bodies?

My side has a hypothesis, with incomplete evidence.  Your side has wish thinking.  Have fun with that.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The bottom line is that you must presuppose at least one logical principle in order to engage in any type of rational argument. 

 

Go look in the modal ontological argument thread.  There's no point in you and I debating what logic is, when it's already happened over there.

You failed to respond to the question I posed in my previous thread: "What is your basis for making this judgment?"

I will interpret this as your way of conceding the point. You cannot make a LOGICAL argument without presupposing  some principle or standard of logic. That's why I said you are "begging the question." You beg the question anytime you presuppose the very thing you are endeavoring to disprove. And if you "argue" that you are not presupposing some form of logic, then I will summarily dismiss your argument as illogical.

Now, Let us bring this point back to the subject matter of this thread - namely, the "irrationality of eliminative materialism." Consciousness (i.e. subjective experience or subjective awareness) is axiomatic (i.e. self-evident). Any attempt to deny it presupposes it. The bottom line is that Daniel Dennett presupposes the very thing (i.e. subjective awareness) he is attempting to deny. That's why eliminative materialism is an irrational position. And that's why your argument that some form of logic is not a priori (i.e. prior to experience) is illogical.   

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

To reiterate: Emotions presuppose consciousness (i.e. subjective experience). Since there is no evidence that consciousness is physical, then it logically follows that there are is no evidence that emotions are physical. What you are led to conclude is irrelevant.

 

To reiterate:  Evidence for emotion trumps what YOU are led to conclude on a basis of lack of evidence.

Emotions are subjective experiences. I cited your own source to substantiate this point. That you believe emotions are not subjective experiences probably explains why your logical thinking skills are so muddled. At any rate, there is NO scientific evidence that subjective experiences are physical. Therefore, we can  logically deduce that there is NO scientific evidence that emotions are physical either.

* Please note that I presupposed some standard or principle of logic in making the above argument. Also, we have already discussed that correlations do not establish identification.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:Uh-huh. 

mellestad wrote:

Uh-huh.  Have fun casting spells to get your magic friend to shift the course of the universe so you can get a leg up on the rest of humanity (praying).

You are complaining because I don't have full, conclusive proof that I am right.  But I have evidence and a hypothesis You don't even have that, all you have is, "It is magic because I said so."  That is all this boils down to, regardless of how you try to pretty up your argument.  Oh right, not magic, *nonphysical*.  How is there a difference, besides the fact that magic is a honest word to describe the mysterious, supernatural process (that can be fully controlled physically, but isn't physical!)  you believe runs our bodies?

That you are alleging to have a hypothesis implies that you don't have sufficient evidence to scientifically establish that consciousness is physical.

Quote:

hypothesis implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation

(source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothesis

And the fact is that no scientific hypothesis has ever been formulated to test for the assumption that consciousness is physical. In fact, most would argue that empirical tests for the physical presence of consciousness are not even possible in theory.

Quote:

As there is no clear definition of consciousness and no empirical measure exists to test for its presence, it has been argued that due to the nature of the problem of consciousness, empirical tests are intrinsically impossible.

(source: Wikipedia: Consciousness)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

I have asked you repeatedly to explain exactly what you mean by the term "emergent." No response was forthcoming. Therefore, I will conclude (and rightly so) that the term "emergence" (at least in relationship to the mind/body problem) is simply a euphemism for "magic." How do subatomic particles in motion give rise to consciousness? The materialist answer: "It is an emergent property." How exactly did it emerge? The materialist answer: "Well, it just magically emerged."

I have consistently replied to your arguments while you have consistently ignore mine. If you continue to engage in this childish practice, then I will simply conclude that this is your way of conceding the point.

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:mellestad

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Uh-huh.  Have fun casting spells to get your magic friend to shift the course of the universe so you can get a leg up on the rest of humanity (praying).

You are complaining because I don't have full, conclusive proof that I am right.  But I have evidence and a hypothesis You don't even have that, all you have is, "It is magic because I said so."  That is all this boils down to, regardless of how you try to pretty up your argument.  Oh right, not magic, *nonphysical*.  How is there a difference, besides the fact that magic is a honest word to describe the mysterious, supernatural process (that can be fully controlled physically, but isn't physical!)  you believe runs our bodies?

That you are alleging to have a hypothesis implies that you don't have sufficient evidence to scientifically establish that consciousness is physical.

Quote:

hypothesis implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation

(source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothesis

And the fact is that no scientific hypothesis has ever been formulated to test for the assumption that consciousness is physical. In fact, most would argue that empirical tests for the physical presence of consciousness are not even possible in theory.

Quote:

As there is no clear definition of consciousness and no empirical measure exists to test for its presence, it has been argued that due to the nature of the problem of consciousness, empirical tests are intrinsically impossible.

(source: Wikipedia: Consciousness)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

I have asked you repeatedly to explain exactly what you mean by the term "emergent." No response was forthcoming. Therefore, I will conclude (and rightly so) that the term "emergence" (at least in relationship to the mind/body problem) is simply a euphemism for "magic." How do subatomic particles in motion give rise to consciousness? The materialist answer: "It is an emergent property." How exactly did it emerge? The materialist answer: "Well, it just magically emerged."

I have consistently replied to your arguments while you have consistently ignore mine. If you continue to engage in this childish practice, then I will simply conclude that this is your way of conceding the point.

 

Again, I don't see why I need more argument than the fact that I can change or remove consciousness by physically changing the brain.  I'm not a neurobiologist so I don't feel the need to start a wiki-quoting tirade, why would it be more complicated than that?  Saying consciousness is supernatural is adding complexity without any benefit.  Again, your claim relies on nothing but your assumption.  My claim relies on the fact that what we do understand about the mind is physical.  There is no reason to think anything else is going on.  This is God of the Gaps, pure and simple.

Are you asking me to explain emergent?  I believe I have, and you went off about qualia and vitalism.  I did not respond to that because you added nothing to the conversation, you simply tried to make it circle back to the original complaint about Dennett.  My idea of emergent is not novel, Google it if you are genuinely confused (but you probably aren't, you just want to play another word game).

And quit being a prick:  "If you continue to engage in this childish practice, then I will simply conclude that this is your way of conceding the point."  Indeed.  You never addressed my point about the mind-body relationship being a voodoo ritual, but I am not complaining because I know you don't have an answer.  You also never provided anyone with any reason to support your hypothesis besides, "My experiences are subjective" or "Because I think I'm right."

Then you say things like this: "To reiterate: Emotions presuppose consciousness (i.e. subjective experience). Since there is no evidence that consciousness is physical, then it logically follows that there are is no evidence that emotions are physical. What you are led to conclude is irrelevant."  You are trying to argue for your logical construct in the face of reality...emotion *is* physical.  We can demonstrate it, we can force it or take it away, we can measure it.  We can even do a brain scan and see the physical response to a religious epiphany.  Again, you push magic into something that is not that mysterious, but simply not fully understood.

But since we cannot demonstrate every single facet of consciousness we need magic to explain all the remaining gaps.  Hmm, I think there is a phrase for that argument.

Let me pull a tactic from your playbook:  If you don't stop rehashing the same failed points over and over and accept my own viewpoint at face value, you'll be a childish ninny and I won't talk to you anymore!

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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I just can't get over it. 

I just can't get over it.  We've spent pages listening to you try and make a 'logical' argument for...wait for it....

 

"I am magic, because I think I am magic."

 

Every time I convince myself I live in the modern world, I get slapped in the face by reality.  Sad

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

You're going off on a tangent. What I have argued here is that the materialist theory of evolution is nonteleological. Why? Because the task of science is to provide a mechanical explanation based on efficient causation, not a teleological one based on final causation.

You're arguing a term that was made up by creationists (materialistic evolution) that is used to make evolution sound like a bad thing. It's supposed opposite "theistic evolution" was created by some folks to resolve their cognitive dissonance or so they can have their cake and eat it too.

There is only evolution. The only reason you're adding "materialistic" to it is so you can have a straw man to knock down.

I'm not sure why you can't handle that a process (or a person) can have a purpose without whatever magic you call God putting his fingers in.

It is clear that you can't.

Your diversionary tactic will not conceal the fact that you lack a basic understanding of evolution theory.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:evolution

Paisley wrote:
evolution theory.

 

Which, consequently, says NOTHING about how life began.

 

Quote:

You failed to respond to the question I posed in my previous thread: "What is your basis for making this judgment?"

 

Because I know I developed from the same thing that a squirrel did.  I know that squirrels and logic are exclusive.  Therefore, logic is something humans developed as consciousness developed.  I asked you this earlier, and you didn't reply:  Do you accept evolution as scientific fact?  If you do not, I will no longer discuss this shit with you, because it is an essential aspect of my understanding of, well, understanding.

 

Quote:

I will interpret this as your way of conceding the point. You cannot make a LOGICAL argument without presupposing  some principle or standard of logic. That's why I said you are "begging the question." You beg the question anytime you presuppose the very thing you are endeavoring to disprove. And if you "argue" that you are not presupposing some form of logic, then I will summarily dismiss your argument as illogical.

 

Yeah, I know I messed that up.  Either way, I have constructed an empirical argument for the development of logic.  It is based on the above point regarding evolution.

 

Quote:

And that's why your argument that some form of logic is not a priori (i.e. prior to experience) is illogical.  

 

Except that, through empirical investigation, knowledge presupposes experience.

 

Quote:

Also, we have already discussed that correlations do not establish identification.

 

Right.  But when my options are either there are a substantial number of correlates that are only coincidental or that they have a causal relationship, by sheer number of them, I'm going to go with there being a causal relationship.  It is merely coincidence that brain activity changes during sleep, when consciousness disappears.  Yeah, "this is only a coincidence" is certainly a rational position. 


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I think this is the first

I think this is the first time I've been involved in a Paisley thread.  I guess that taught me a lesson.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Dazed, not confused.

Paisley wrote:

Agreed. You are clearly confused. You are bashing theism on the one hand while making a case for theistic evolution on the other.

 

Pais, when we understand abiogenesis, if it is proved there was no possible way for it to have occurred by natural means then you will have a case. Until we understand abiogenesis you are simply making enormous claims about a thing you know nothing about because you are at liberty to do so. If this was 1500 you'd be insisting the observable universe revolved around the earth. The difference between us is not confusion, it's honesty. You claim to know something it's not possible to know. And you insist that on the back of that non existent knowledge it's possible to hang a great caravan of impossibilities - including the claim abiogenesis has a supernatural origin. Feel free to actually prove this anytime you like. In the meantime, enjoy your gap god while you can.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

You're going off on a tangent. What I have argued here is that the materialist theory of evolution is nonteleological. Why? Because the task of science is to provide a mechanical explanation based on efficient causation, not a teleological one based on final causation.

You're arguing a term that was made up by creationists (materialistic evolution) that is used to make evolution sound like a bad thing. It's supposed opposite "theistic evolution" was created by some folks to resolve their cognitive dissonance or so they can have their cake and eat it too.

There is only evolution. The only reason you're adding "materialistic" to it is so you can have a straw man to knock down.

I'm not sure why you can't handle that a process (or a person) can have a purpose without whatever magic you call God putting his fingers in.

It is clear that you can't.

Your diversionary tactic will not conceal the fact that you lack a basic understanding of evolution theory.

An insult! Yay I win!

Still doesn't change that you set up a straw man to knock down and are trying to blame me for telling you what it's made of.

The only place I have ever seen "materialistic evolution" brought up is on creationist sites. That doesn't bode well for your use of the term.

Do you think that might be why people here don't know what you're talking about?

Do you think all mechanisms are without purpose? I can think of several manufacturers that might disagree with you.

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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I think

Paisley wrote:

I'm not endangered by it. I don't know what's going on.

 

Looking around the universe with a human mind and senses and admitting you don't know what is going on is a good thing. Why are you so driven to claim to know what you don't?

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Agreed. You are clearly confused. You are bashing theism on the one hand while making a case for theistic evolution on the other.

 

Pais, when we understand abiogenesis, if it is proved there was no possible way for it to have occurred by natural means then you will have a case. Until we understand abiogenesis you are simply making enormous claims about a thing you know nothing about because you are at liberty to do so. If this was 1500 you'd be insisting the observable universe revolved around the earth. The difference between us is not confusion, it's honesty. You claim to know something it's not possible to know. And you insist that on the back of that non existent knowledge it's possible to hang a great caravan of impossibilities - including the claim abiogenesis has a supernatural origin. Feel free to actually prove this anytime you like. In the meantime, enjoy your gap god while you can.

What I do know is that you explicitly stated that  the materialist theory of evolution (i.e. neo-Darwinism) is driven by purpose thereby undermining the materialistic worldview while giving tacit support for a teleological argument for the existence of God. Employing diversionary tactics will not draw attention away from this fact.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Agreed. You are clearly confused. You are bashing theism on the one hand while making a case for theistic evolution on the other.

 

Pais, when we understand abiogenesis, if it is proved there was no possible way for it to have occurred by natural means then you will have a case. Until we understand abiogenesis you are simply making enormous claims about a thing you know nothing about because you are at liberty to do so. If this was 1500 you'd be insisting the observable universe revolved around the earth. The difference between us is not confusion, it's honesty. You claim to know something it's not possible to know. And you insist that on the back of that non existent knowledge it's possible to hang a great caravan of impossibilities - including the claim abiogenesis has a supernatural origin. Feel free to actually prove this anytime you like. In the meantime, enjoy your gap god while you can.

What I do know is that you explicitly stated that  the materialist theory of evolution (i.e. neo-Darwinism) is driven by purpose thereby undermining the materialistic worldview while giving tacit support for a teleological argument for the existence of God. Employing diversionary tactics will not draw attention away from this fact.

Now you're conflating terms. Neo-Darwinism is a name given (incorrectly) to describe modern synthesis, not current evolutionary theory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Darwinism

"Materialistic evolution" is a term thought up by creationists to scare people out of learning what evolution actually is.

Your are far too enamored of this strawman.

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Atheistextremist
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Purposelessness is subjective

I'm going to assume Pais, that you believe evolution as a force operating on living organisms over time has been proved, and that you're arguing specifically over the point at which a pile of atoms becomes a working cellular machine. If you do agree that evolution is a natural force active in living organisms as a direct result of interactions with their environment, why do you not believe that the simplest and most likely explanation for abiogenesis is a natural force? Why do you instead need a god, living outside this universe, who thus cannot be considered or conceived of by man except as an enormous guess? Why would you think in the case of abiogenesis, that a mighty unprovable god is more likely the cause than a natural force, the related evidence of which we can clearly see?

While I argue life is made of stuff, I don't agree with your theory that the material of such stuff has no 'purpose'. Whether it's the modulation of ion channels in neurons, capillary action, gravity, sugar's operation as a cellular comms path, oxygen's vital role in chemiosmosis, photo sensitivity, the passage of photons of light through matter, electron theory or the multiplicity of chemical reactions - all these things have a way of interacting and reacting with each other that when considered as a collection of systems in a living organism by a human mind, might be considered to be driven by some sort of purpose. But the definition of this purpose is entirely subjective and the systems inside the beast can be broken down into molecules. 

Of course, if you are completely convinced you are right, Pais, then you can go away happily, knowing you are correct and that you never have to wonder about any of this ever again. Bet you can't do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


kidvelvet
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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Previously you stated that the PURPOSE of evolution is "survival and procreation." (This is clearly anathema to the materialist theory of evolution.) If the first self-replicating molecular systems were endowed with the "intrinsic imperative" to "survive and procreate," then you are making a teleological argument for the existence of God. Either that, or you are flirting dangerously close to pantheism (i.e. the belief that consciousness is simply a fundamental aspect of nature).

 

I'm not endangered by it. I don't know what's going on.

Agreed. You are clearly confused. You are bashing theism on the one hand while making a case for theistic evolution on the other.

Nice out-of-context quote to make a point.  I am now convinced that you are intellectually dishonest.

Dolt:"Evolution is just a theory."
Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."