A Flaw in Epistemological Arguments?

Atheistextremist
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A Flaw in Epistemological Arguments?

 

Annoying epistemological arguments suggest the very nature of knowledge - the ability to know you know - somehow proves the existence of the mighty one and suggest that knowledge of knowledge is loaded in at an immaterial bios level. It's at this pre-sense data level that we are given the template to consider the truth at all, they say, and without it we could reason about nothing. 

Trouble is, kids are not born with the ability to reason in an epistemological way. Instead they project a consciousness stream made more irritating by their ability to recall their entire day in almost perfect detail. The point here is that epistemology is learned, not an inherent property. It takes many years for the human brain to develop the spatial and lateral capacity to juggle concepts like epistemology.

The mental structures required for this sort of thinking clearly take time to develop - and they are developed by a child's brain's interaction with the real world. Epistemological arguments in support of god, in my opinion, are just another example of the reification of human mental concepts.

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


harleysportster
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Well said

Well said. thumbs up  clapping

 


Atheistextremist
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Hi Harley

 

Last year I read of a study that showed thinking about thinking was one of the most complex mental tasks humans undertake, lighting up a whole series of networks across the brain.

The study also found that epistemological thought processes are the province of the more than usually smart. This and ruminations over a long standing debate I have with my cleverer-than-me phd epistemologist christian brother got me wondering how it was that this standing-to-one-side-of-knowledge thought process could possibly be a baseline of any kind for all human brains from birth.

Of course the study implies that epistemologist superheros like our very own human bowtie Paisley tend to be clever little puppies whose brains are able to conceive of themselves better than most. P'raps this facility makes their imaginations so vivid it's hard for them to face the tedium of reality. Most epistemologists in my experience, worship quite personal gods and don't tend to be literalist fundamentalists.

 

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


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 Annoying epistemological arguments suggest the very nature of knowledge - the ability to know you know - somehow proves the existence of the mighty one

The assumes that without a god, we would not experience anything more than once.

That's a complete non sequitur.

Atheistextremist wrote:
... and suggest that knowledge of knowledge is loaded in at an immaterial bios level.

Non sequitur.

We have not experienced anything in the world outside of the womb, ourselves, prior to birth.

Atheistextremist wrote:
It's at this pre-sense data level that we are given the template to consider the truth at all, they say, and without it we could reason about nothing. 

Another non sequitur.

We have no reasoning at birth. We don't even recall our birth. We can't have knowledge till we develop recollection.

Why does every child ask "Mommy, where did I come from?"

 

FFS, who's talking this drivel anyways?.

Did they graduate grade school?

Are they literate

Atheistextremist wrote:
 The point here is that epistemology is learned, not an inherent property. It takes many years for the human brain to develop the spatial and lateral capacity to juggle concepts like epistemology.

Exactly.

One needs to learn to walk, before they can run.

Atheistextremist wrote:
 The mental structures required for this sort of thinking clearly take time to develop - and they are developed by a child's brain's interaction with the real world.

A parent is an infant's most valuable asset, from birth. As the infant gains consciousness, it reflects on how helpless it is, and begins to see a pattern of it's parent providing it with what it wants and needs, and it begins to see patterns.

This is the origins of 'knowledge'.

It begins to understands patterns.

It begins to analyze 'cause and effect', and sees patterns.

Things that are consistent, are comforting, things that are not, are discomforting.

Constants are comforting.

Non constants are discomforting.

We become tuned (as we evolve) to resonate with constants, because they afford us the ability to make 'predictions' that become 'true'.

 

Our ability to learn language is based on recollection, patterns, correlations (cause and effect), and constants.

 

Atheistextremist wrote:
Epistemological arguments in support of god, in my opinion, are just another example of the reification of human mental concepts.

It's the only logical answer I can think of.

I started reading the encyclopedia before kindergarten. There was a special 3 book section strictly about science and technology, biology, and the arts.

. My mother made me read that first, because she knew that science and technology were where the future was headed, and wanted me to get an early jump on that, so I'd be more experienced than other kids, and therefore have an advantage in the world.

It was full of pictures and illustrations on the origins, and 'evolution' of things. It was full of pictures and illustrations on the origins, and the 'evolution' of the universe. It was full of pictures and illustrations on the origins, and evolution of life, ....of music....of art, ....of civilization.

Everything started from a simple beginning, and evolved to a more complex thing.

There was a 'pattern'

This pattern was a 'cycle'.

The development of everything in the universe had a 'pattern' and a 'cycle' of starting simple, and gaining in complexity.

Even our 'knowledge'

Our 'understanding'.

Evolution.

It was logical.

 

Then some kid at school started to talk some gibberish about a 'god' who lived in the sky, who was really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really old, who could never die, would made all the stuff that we see, and was everywhere, all at the same time, and watched everyone, and listened to everyone, and remembered everything, and could make us live forever, in some other place in the sky, or he could make us burn if he thought we were bad.

Ummmm.....ya, that seemed perfectly 'logical' to me.

About as logical to me, as my alcoholic uncle was, when he'd visit, and get drunk...

 

I seriously walked away from that kid, thinking he was retarded, and would be like those kids you see parents walking around with helmets on their heads, talking nonsense, and behaving weird and possessed.

I'm not even trying to be funny. That's really what I thought. Severely retarded kids, behave like their possessed.

I was creeped out, because those kids with the helmets on, were really weird and scary to me, and I thought he was one of them, but without the helmet on, because he was having a 'good day'.

Diehard religious people, are no different to me. They even claim to be possessed. They claim that 'god' is 'in' them. They know that a 'god' exists because they can feel a god inside them.

That's a very 'passionate' statement. That they feel a god 'in' them.

WTF??

That's very, very, very, very dissonant to me. And I mean that, in the very strictest sense of the word.

That's how I see theists.

That's how I've always seen theists.

They simply don't behave 'logically' and 'rationally' to me. Like they're 'driven' by something other than themselves. They behave like they're possessed.

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Actually, modelling the

Actually, modelling the thinking of others is a fundamental skill of humans, and to a lesser extent, our primate cousins.

Judging what others are thinking, and what they may be thinking about what we may be thinking about them, is thought to be a major reason for our large brains, allowing high level cooperation and interaction. The 'mirror neurones' are figured to be a prime focus of this activity.

I think neuroscience is much more useful in figuring how our minds/brains manage 'knowledge' is far more useful  than 'espistemology', IMHO.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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This thread... it formed a

This thread... it formed a question in my mind.
What, besides the scientific method, has philosophy given us? There are arguments for the existence of God and against his existence, isn't it a contradictory thing, then?
It also relies on propositions, assumptions that you can't prove, and therefore you can't find an absolute truth based on no assumptions at all.
Am I completely wrong here? It can't be that so many people spend so much time with philosophy if it were so much crap... Right?


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Thunderios wrote:This

Thunderios wrote:

This thread... it formed a question in my mind.
What, besides the scientific method, has philosophy given us? There are arguments for the existence of God and against his existence, isn't it a contradictory thing, then?
It also relies on propositions, assumptions that you can't prove, and therefore you can't find an absolute truth based on no assumptions at all.
Am I completely wrong here? It can't be that so many people spend so much time with philosophy if it were so much crap... Right?

As a University student (Engineering) I was pretty much into Philosophy. My favorite philosopher was Bertrand Russell, and I read his "History of Western Philospher" out of he University library.

As I have gone on, I have lost respect for most philosophy, and got far more into following Science and its progress, including speculations on the bleeding edge of research.

Whenever I have been able to compare scientific discussion on the Big Topics ( Origin of Life, and the Universe, etc ) with Philosophical discussions on much the same area.

Very sad contrast, sad for Philosophy, that is.

I see some value in some areas of philosophy, in tossing around ideas, and very open-ended speculation, but until any ideas they come up with are tested in soem way against empirical observation, that's all they are, ideas, not knowledge.

It has confirmed for me how essential empirical research into reality itself ultimately is, as the prime source of really new ideas and insights that you could never come up with by just thinking about things. This is where ideas like Quantum Mechanics and Relativity originate, from weirdness found in real research and experiment.

So, yeah, I agree.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


iwbiek
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Atheistextremist wrote:It

Atheistextremist wrote:

It takes many years for the human brain to develop the spatial and lateral capacity to juggle concepts like epistemology.

i don't know, man.  i can remember being as young as seven and having sort of periodic epiphanies when i thought, "why is there anything?"  indeed, i can remember a sort of "second chamber" (my own very inadequate terminology) opening in my mind and me sort of looking at my own conscious thought and thinking, "why is that there?"  i even remember mentioning to my mom once, "don't you ever think there should be nothing?" and her giving me a really weird look.

ironically enough, these phenomena stopped once i entered my teenage years and i have been unable to reproduce them in my adulthood, even though i have tried.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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harleysportster
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iwbiek wrote:i don't know,

iwbiek wrote:

i don't know, man.  i can remember being as young as seven and having sort of periodic epiphanies when i thought, "why is there anything?"  indeed, i can remember a sort of "second chamber" (my own very inadequate terminology) opening in my mind and me sort of looking at my own conscious thought and thinking, "why is that there?"  i even remember mentioning to my mom once, "don't you ever think there should be nothing?" and her giving me a really weird look.

I remember doing something very similiar to that myself.

Here was what I got out of the OP.

Often times, so many delusional theists seem to preach this idea of 'innate ideas of god". I have even had priests tell me "inside everyone is an idea of god" and I find that to be utter nonsense.

While people may have vivid imaginations, the sum of those imaginations are based on our own experiences.

For instance, as a short story writer, when I first started living in the South, I noticed that more and more of my short tales started to center around the South.

People that read some of my stories would compliment the work and say stuff like " Man, this is a whole lot like Faulkner and O'Connor, where did you learn to write like that ?,".

The answer is obvious, what you interact with and what you are in association with is what formulates imagination.

When I spent alot of time with musicians and death metal guitarists, I noticed that some of my stories were centered around the same.

These philosophical theists are making the bad mistake of stumbling across some ideal or feeling and incorrectly believing that the feeling must come from somewhere above, rather than realizing it is just their own deluded imaginations.

That was what I got out of the OP. Maybe I read it wrong.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


redneF
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harleysportster wrote:These

harleysportster wrote:

These philosophical theists are making the bad mistake of stumbling across some ideal or feeling and incorrectly believing that the feeling must come from somewhere above, rather than realizing it is just their own deluded imaginations.

The error they make when they make their presumptions about others is known as "Fundamental Attribution Error'.

Seeing 100 people reading the New York Times doesn't tell you anything more than, they're all reading the newspaper.

They could all be reading the same article, or they could all be reading completely separate articles.

Speculations on what they are reading, is just that. Speculations.

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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BobSpence1 wrote:Actually,

BobSpence1 wrote:

Actually, modelling the thinking of others is a fundamental skill of humans, and to a lesser extent, our primate cousins.

Judging what others are thinking, and what they may be thinking about what we may be thinking about them, is thought to be a major reason for our large brains, allowing high level cooperation and interaction. The 'mirror neurones' are figured to be a prime focus of this activity.

I think neuroscience is much more useful in figuring how our minds/brains manage 'knowledge' is far more useful  than 'espistemology', IMHO.

 

Well said brother Bob. That raised my oxytocin levels.

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