Belief in God is NOT Irrational

jeffreyalex
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Belief in God is NOT Irrational

 

I will argue that belief in God is not irrational. 

To show that belief in God is not irrational, I must show that there are reasons to believe in God. 

(I would like to suggest, before moving on, that I am not required to definitively prove the existence of God. I need only show that belief is not irrational—that is, not without plausible reason.)

 

I will now present what will amount to a Cosmological Argument. I know you've all heard it, but bear with me.

 

             Until recent cosmology suggested a beginning to time and space in the Big Bang, many people held that the universe was simply infinitely old. Suppose the state of the universe today is called S5. S5 could be explained in terms of the state of the universe yesterday, S4, and the laws of nature that acted on it. In turn, S4 could be explained by a previous state, S3, and so on. In an infinitely old universe there would be no first cause, so to speak, and so the very existence of the universe would be unexplained, as every cause is also an effect and there is no cause outside the set of effects. It's existence and the existence of the apparent laws of nature (physical laws) could be taken as a "brute fact". 

             However, it does not seem obvious that an actual infinity is possible. In fact, actual infinities lead to some very strange contradictions. If actual infinities do not exist in the world then the the series of states of the universe (S99, ..., S57, S56, ...) is not endless back in time, and there would be a first state—a state without a cause. And modern science does suggest the universe began to exist approximately 15 billion years ago.

 

The two points above are meant to demonstrate that it is not irrational to hold that the physical universe did, in fact, have a beginning. The alternative hypothesis—that it never had a beginning—is weaker, and possibly demonstrably false. And so, it is actually more rational to believe that the universe began. 

 

             Next, it is reasonable to wonder: if it began, why? Did it pop into existence from nothing? What caused it? 

             If you hold that it is impossible or unlikely that a universe would appear from the profoundest no-thing, you could reason as following:

             The cause could not be a physical thing, because it created physical things. It created time, so the cause is non-temporal. It seems to have tremendous power and knowledge, and a will, and it cannot be mechanical, or comprised of parts. It would appear, then, that this cause is some sort of mind.

 

We are therefore above asked to consider two options: the universe just began without explanation or reason, or the universe began with explanation and reason. It is at least not more reasonable to assert that it simply began, from nothing and by nothing. That would run contrary to every single observation and experience of the world and the universe that any individual or science as a whole has or ever could make. So it is at least as reasonable to hold that time and space were created—and, if so, by a being that is non-spatial and non-temporal. 

 

1) I think that I have shown that a) it is perfectly reason to believe the universe began and b) it is also reasonable to hold that a universe cannot appear from nothing. 

2) I think that I have also shown that given a) and b) it is reasonable to figure that the cause of the universe is non-temporal and non-spatial.

 

From here, I recognize that there is room to discuss the coherence of the idea of a non-spatial, non-temporal mind, and of the nature of causality and time at or "before" the Big Bang, etc.

Those are complex issues that must be rigorously treated, with intricate arguments on both sides, and I will not treat them here, nor do I have to for my purpose. 

 


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As a rule

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

What I wanted to discover is where the average (militant) atheist sees the case for God as blatantly irrational. 

 

I think skeptical empiricists are at a disadvantage when discussions head for the conceptual stratosphere. As some one posted up-thread early on, we tend to reach for 'I don't know' when faced with something that cannot be proved true and are not otherwise motivated to seek for, what seems to us to be, reasons that cannot ever be proved to be more than less true. 

We also often face wild assertions of magical happenings, lakes of fire, rebirth after death and a whole range of other curios that are hung like bunting from epistemological mastheads, as if somehow the impossibility of defining exo-god out of all ever existence frees up all manner of earthly improbabilities not similarly protected from empirical enquiry.  

Given we often have sophisticated christians sidle into discussion using the sorts of arguments we've considered here, it's not easy to step away from the barricades. To our disadvantage at times, perhaps. I think if pressed we'd most all say we did not know what the truth of most things was, and we'd for the most part be prepared to alter our positions on the basis of what we felt was worthwhile new empirically-based evidence.  

I don't think we have too many militant atheists here. This label is a misnomer pasted on by either media or church. To firmly disagree with a theist who says one was born evil and deserves to be incinerated for eternity on the basis of no cogent earthly proof is hardly militant when honestly compared with the ungilded doctrine of the soldiers of the cross. 

 

 

 

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


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Do you think there could be

Do you think there could be empirical evidence that would make you rethink, and if so, what sort of evidence?

Could a novel philosophical argument persuade you that some questions are not answerable by science, and that God is not an improbable explanation of the universe? And if science genuinely threw up its hands (hypothetically, I don't know this would happen in this area) and said it simply could not see how life could start from dead matter, for example, would you still hold that the answer is definitely material, and we just haven't gotten to it, yet? Would holding to that belief not be the equivalent of simple a priori total unwillingness to consider the possibility of a non-scientific explanation (on not in terms of matter and it's properties)?


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Brute fact

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

Where it would come in, though, would not be in assigning a numerical probability value, it would not be in a mathematical sense. It would be useful in saying only what is more probable: the existence of the universe as a brute fact, or the existence of the universe given a creator god. Swinburne explains how such probability calculations would work in a very clear and simple way at the beginning of his book, which I have mentioned previously, The Existence of God.

 

Of course the existence of the universe is, as far as we will ever know, a brute fact, and you'd need to define 'nothing' and to prove nothing ever existed and that nothing could house a god, etc, to convince me that it made more sense that before this actual universe began to exist; in a state of timeless, matterless nothing; their existed an undefinable 'mind', equipped with force.

I have no trouble with such a thing being honestly asserted but saying it is more probable than something we already know exists opens up additional questions for me. I wonder if things like cause and effect even apply in a timeless state. At which point in this timelessness did the cause have an effect? Personally, I don't believe the human concept of nothing can be applied to what we know of this universe or to what existed before it. Nothing cannot ever have existed. 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

But would you agree here, at this point, that for us to say to a theist (or deist, I suppose, as far as my arguments go) "you're beliefs are utterly irrational" and be justified in making that claim, we would have to be familiar with a lot more than a few chapters of The God Delusion?

 

 

No careful and reasoned position can be fairly called irrational, leave alone utterly irrational. You don't seem to me in the least bit irrational - much the opposite. 

It's a shame about The God Delusion. I think Dawkins' Selfish Gene and Ancestors Tale are both superb biological unpicks of biological history and weighing in on theological philosophy without much ammunition has take away from these other works. I think his new The Magic of Reality is an acceptance of this error and represents a new approach and valuable from Dawkins.

Nevertheless, I think he was quite entitled to vent over the bigotry and venom of monotheism. Much of what he said was legitimate criticism of theologies whose claim to own the peak of morality is only equally by their failure to attain it. In any case, no - you could not read a few chapters of Delusion and imperiously insist a reasoned deistic position was utterly irrational. As I've said elsewhere, I think it's supported more by questions than answers but the questions exist. 

 

 

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


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To begin with, having a

To begin with, having a belief isn't something that could be considered as rational or not.  I mean, it would be just fine to go about and believe in anything that you want because belief totally lies on what you think for yourself and not actually something that is to be considered something that people should go about and start proclaiming.  But people could also find something heavy with what they have to say about their religion.


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

Where it would come in, though, would not be in assigning a numerical probability value, it would not be in a mathematical sense. It would be useful in saying only what is more probable: the existence of the universe as a brute fact, or the existence of the universe given a creator god. Swinburne explains how such probability calculations would work in a very clear and simple way at the beginning of his book, which I have mentioned previously, The Existence of God.

 

Of course the existence of the universe is, as far as we will ever know, a brute fact, and you'd need to define 'nothing' and to prove nothing ever existed and that nothing could house a god, etc, to convince me that it made more sense that before this actual universe began to exist; in a state of timeless, matterless nothing; their existed an undefinable 'mind', equipped with force.

I have no trouble with such a thing being honestly asserted but saying it is more probable than something we already know exists opens up additional questions for me. I wonder if things like cause and effect even apply in a timeless state. At which point in this timelessness did the cause have an effect? Personally, I don't believe the human concept of nothing can be applied to what we know of this universe or to what existed before it. Nothing cannot ever have existed. 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

But would you agree here, at this point, that for us to say to a theist (or deist, I suppose, as far as my arguments go) "you're beliefs are utterly irrational" and be justified in making that claim, we would have to be familiar with a lot more than a few chapters of The God Delusion?

 

 

No careful and reasoned position can be fairly called irrational, leave alone utterly irrational. You don't seem to me in the least bit irrational - much the opposite. 

It's a shame about The God Delusion. I think Dawkins' Selfish Gene and Ancestors Tale are both superb biological unpicks of biological history and weighing in on theological philosophy without much ammunition has take away from these other works. I think his new The Magic of Reality is an acceptance of this error and represents a new approach and valuable from Dawkins.

Nevertheless, I think he was quite entitled to vent over the bigotry and venom of monotheism. Much of what he said was legitimate criticism of theologies whose claim to own the peak of morality is only equally by their failure to attain it. In any case, no - you could not read a few chapters of Delusion and imperiously insist a reasoned deistic position was utterly irrational. As I've said elsewhere, I think it's supported more by questions than answers but the questions exist. 

 

 

 

So, what you would like to see is a clearer conception of God, that responds to your sense that God may not be a coherent notion, right?

Do you see, though, that whatever response would satisfy an account of God's relation to time and space, it would definitely not give any sort of scientific account of how God works, for the very fact that it is not matter and does not have parts? The question of how God could have "force" isn't obviously a question you can ask, because our conception of force is by its definition related to matter.


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As far as the God Delusion,

As far as the God Delusion, I'll give it that it was in many places beautifully written and eloquent. I agree with you, he was right, and Hitchens and Harris were right, to denounce our three monotheisms.


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nlozano wrote:To begin with,

nlozano wrote:

To begin with, having a belief isn't something that could be considered as rational or not.  I mean, it would be just fine to go about and believe in anything that you want because belief totally lies on what you think for yourself and not actually something that is to be considered something that people should go about and start proclaiming.  But people could also find something heavy with what they have to say about their religion.

If I held that I'm the Queen of England, that would be an example of having an irrational belief, would it not? If I held that my professor will be giving a final exam tomorrow, given that he told us so last week, would that not be a rational belief?


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God concepts

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

So, what you would like to see is a clearer conception of God, that responds to your sense that God may not be a coherent notion, right?

 

I don't think there is a clear conception of god that we can know. No arguments I've had have ever included a viable definition of god and all too often the inexplicability of god is claimed to be the central characteristic of god's being. 

It's curious too, that the shape of god changes as we know more. God climbs into ever higher conceptual levels as our understanding of reality increases, or so it seems to me. 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

Do you see, though, that whatever response would satisfy an account of God's relation to time and space, it would definitely not give any sort of scientific account of how God works, for the very fact that it is not matter and does not have parts? The question of how God could have "force" isn't obviously a question you can ask, because our conception of force is by its definition related to matter.

 

Yes, I see that in a place without time or matter there could be no account of the character of the place or any occupant of the place. It's at this point I tend to default to the position that any comment on the nature of the unknowable motivator is bald assertion. 

 

 

 

 

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


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Yes...but...

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

Do you think there could be empirical evidence that would make you rethink, and if so, what sort of evidence? 

 

Sure - but I'm not sure how the evidence would look. The omnipotent god is often claimed to be limited in his general visibility - forced to conform to the laws of his creation if you like. This is interesting, I think. Sitting in church I used to wish instead of turning water into wine at some random wedding party, jesus had stood the pyramids of Giza on their points and left them there. On a less whimsical note I think that if a god did create the universe then there should be some way to show that was the case. Of course, given everything we don't know, it's hard to fathom the sort of evidence the unknown and possibly unknowable might leave behind. 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

Could a novel philosophical argument persuade you that some questions are not answerable by science, and that God is not an improbable explanation of the universe? And if science genuinely threw up its hands (hypothetically, I don't know this would happen in this area) and said it simply could not see how life could start from dead matter, for example, would you still hold that the answer is definitely material, and we just haven't gotten to it, yet? Would holding to that belief not be the equivalent of simple a priori total unwillingness to consider the possibility of a non-scientific explanation (on not in terms of matter and it's properties)?

 

I don't think a philosophical construct would persuade me. I tend to think that philosophy proven true is science. I already believe there are some things science cannot tell us - those things that exist outside the universe for instance. Will the SKA show magnetic bruising of the 'cellular' layout of the posited multiverse? Who knows. Such findings would be thrilling, no doubt of it. 

I think life is an emergent property of biochemical systems, many of which we barely understand, that are based on relationships between the molecules and compounds that make up the surface of the earth in this particular energy-rich, oxygen-jazzed environment. Transferred to the everyday, we are made of bananas, tang and jam sandwiches, hydrogen and oxygen, not the divine breath of the lord. Our cells are oblivious to us and operate using their own strategic reasoning yet keep us alive in a seething microscopic ecosystem our flimsy conceptions only ever momentarily penetrate.

I think Eukaryote cells are symbiotic alliances and that multicellular life is similarly colonial on a vast scale. I think the truth of our existence is far more complex than the necessarily empty assertions of scientifically uninformed theology. I find Lovelock's post-abiogenesis theory powerfully compelling. Whatever the central truth of life is, it must be deep, vibrant, co-operative, as material as the food we eat.  

 

 NB: 'Material' is a concept well worth further discussion. Theists argue material is 'dead' and without energy yet the intense reactions within and between molecules in our energy-loaded environment show this is demonstrably not the case. 

 

 

 

 

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


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Atheistextremist wrote:  I

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

I don't think we have too many militant atheists here. This label is a misnomer pasted on by either media or church. To firmly disagree with a theist who says one was born evil and deserves to be incinerated for eternity on the basis of no cogent earthly proof is hardly militant when honestly compared with the ungilded doctrine of the soldiers of the cross. 

 

 

EXACTLY ! 

“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


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Probability outside the universe

 

Given you don't want to get into the probability side of this discussion, Jeff, I passed my earlier questions over to my Dr of Philosophy and christian epistemologist older brother for a response from the theist side. I don't think his is a definitive reply by any means, more a reiteration of what is not known and the extrapolation of related questions. 

 

 

BrotherDavid wrote:
 

 

These points are all interesting, and worth the deepest possible reflection.

Hmmm...in the first place, if we are prepared to think of probability as only available in a meaningful way with respect to something entirely measurable, then naturally there can be no probability where there is nothing measurable. However, several problems arise, I believe, which suggest this view of the question isn’t really adequate. Firstly, how is it if we define probability in this way, that we are not merely deciding certain difficult questions merely according to definition? What I mean is, who has actually established that measurement is all there is to meaningful probability? In our own experience, as I mentioned, there seem to be two general bases of this form of evaluation—one is associated with counting, the other is associated with the way things appear. I suggest even probability that seems to depend only upon sophisticated counting really depends on both these methods. And ultimately, probability by sophisticated counting seems to depend entirely on the other form. We seem only to trust sophisticated counting to reach probable general conclusions, because it appears to us that it works well enough to justify trust in it. It is on that basis, I think, that we are prepared to say the evaluation of probability by counting most probably works in a much broader way than we can really test according to any direct experience.

If this is so, however, why shouldn’t the universe as a matter of objective fact appear to us more as though it were the result of thought than as though it were not? After all, the physical universe answers in the most intimate way to number, yet number is a purely mental and ideal entity, while minds came into existence long after the physical universe did. That is, if probability depends ultimately on the way things appear, why should not such a consideration as the universe’s measurability allow us to say that one view of the question of the origin of such a universe is more probable than another? The universe is here, after all; it had an origin; and other than that we can’t directly perceive its origins, there does not seem much positive reason to think that its present condition does not resemble its origin in some meaningful ways.

(Regardless of whatever else I say here, I grant of course nevertheless that the whole issue of extra-universal existence is, when considered as a problem entirely distinguished from other questions, paradoxical.)

Another point worth raising, I suppose, is to that it is hard to see how can we function according to a view of probability which demands of it that to be meaningful it must be susceptible to measurement. Such a rule really seems to amount to saying that knowledge is only of what is physical, and measurable. After all, no general conclusion we possess squares exactly with the data for it—all go beyond their evidence’s scope. And really, in the end nothing that is not obviously physical seems to be measurable. But this seems to be an unworkable view of human cognition: we seem quite clearly to know much more than such a rule would allow us.

I suppose in the end, for what it’s worth, I would say myself that the basic model of probability can be applied to the question of the universe’s origin, and that it works in a meaningful way because the primitive form of probability is existential rather than numerical. Moreover, there are to my mind numerous items of evidence, like the universe’s measurability , for which there cannot be a worthwhile physical account at all, but for which a mental account is better. How according to purely physical processes could a universe arise into which a purely ideal and mental entity is intimately built, to the point that we can explain physical phenomena using that entity? There is, I think, no answer whatsoever to that question. Is it as unlikely that the universe’s origins lie at least up to a point in the mental, given this objective fact about its state? I suggest, no.

 
     

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


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This is a constant refrain -

 

BrotherDavid wrote:

 

 

How according to purely physical processes could a universe arise into which a purely ideal and mental entity is intimately built, to the point that we can explain physical phenomena using that entity? There is, I think, no answer whatsoever to that question. Is it as unlikely that the universe’s origins lie at least up to a point in the mental, given this objective fact about its state? I suggest, no.

 
  - that the existence of mind proves that the universe cannot arise from the inanimate offered together with probabilistic assertion that the universe's origins must relate to mind given BD says inanimate matter cannot have produced mind. It's a bit of a dog's breakfast if you ask me. The minds of lower classes of life are the same neurally as ours, even if they are not as tortured with our powers of projection.         

 

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


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I think I'd like to start

I think I'd like to start some new threads in the near future. This one has gone in several really interesting directions: What is a "mind"? Should we say that it is more likely that minds must be embodied? What would God's relation to time and space be? Is God, as an idea, coherent? What do I mean with regard to probability? And now, is there something to the suspicion that matter should not be able to give rise to the type of consciousness we experience?


 


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It may not be irrational---but

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

I will argue that belief in God is not irrational. 

To show that belief in God is not irrational, I must show that there are reasons to believe in God. 

(I would like to suggest, before moving on, that I am not required to definitively prove the existence of God. I need only show that belief is not irrational—that is, not without plausible reason.)

 

I will now present what will amount to a Cosmological Argument. I know you've all heard it, but bear with me.

 

             Until recent cosmology suggested a beginning to time and space in the Big Bang, many people held that the universe was simply infinitely old. Suppose the state of the universe today is called S5. S5 could be explained in terms of the state of the universe yesterday, S4, and the laws of nature that acted on it. In turn, S4 could be explained by a previous state, S3, and so on. In an infinitely old universe there would be no first cause, so to speak, and so the very existence of the universe would be unexplained, as every cause is also an effect and there is no cause outside the set of effects. It's existence and the existence of the apparent laws of nature (physical laws) could be taken as a "brute fact". 

             However, it does not seem obvious that an actual infinity is possible. In fact, actual infinities lead to some very strange contradictions. If actual infinities do not exist in the world then the the series of states of the universe (S99, ..., S57, S56, ...) is not endless back in time, and there would be a first state—a state without a cause. And modern science does suggest the universe began to exist approximately 15 billion years ago.

 

The two points above are meant to demonstrate that it is not irrational to hold that the physical universe did, in fact, have a beginning. The alternative hypothesis—that it never had a beginning—is weaker, and possibly demonstrably false. And so, it is actually more rational to believe that the universe began. 

 

             Next, it is reasonable to wonder: if it began, why? Did it pop into existence from nothing? What caused it? 

             If you hold that it is impossible or unlikely that a universe would appear from the profoundest no-thing, you could reason as following:

             The cause could not be a physical thing, because it created physical things. It created time, so the cause is non-temporal. It seems to have tremendous power and knowledge, and a will, and it cannot be mechanical, or comprised of parts. It would appear, then, that this cause is some sort of mind.

 

We are therefore above asked to consider two options: the universe just began without explanation or reason, or the universe began with explanation and reason. It is at least not more reasonable to assert that it simply began, from nothing and by nothing. That would run contrary to every single observation and experience of the world and the universe that any individual or science as a whole has or ever could make. So it is at least as reasonable to hold that time and space were created—and, if so, by a being that is non-spatial and non-temporal. 

 

1) I think that I have shown that a) it is perfectly reason to believe the universe began and b) it is also reasonable to hold that a universe cannot appear from nothing. 

2) I think that I have also shown that given a) and b) it is reasonable to figure that the cause of the universe is non-temporal and non-spatial.

 

From here, I recognize that there is room to discuss the coherence of the idea of a non-spatial, non-temporal mind, and of the nature of causality and time at or "before" the Big Bang, etc.

Those are complex issues that must be rigorously treated, with intricate arguments on both sides, and I will not treat them here, nor do I have to for my purpose. 

 

You haven't explained "your" God. And- if you're a Christian you have no basis for argument or input from a material claim or point of view. Christianity is a matter of the Spiritual not material. It's about "what" one's self is, or is about, not the universe. It's only rational to believe in a God if you can explain or know "what" It, He, Other- is

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.


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To the above post:I'm not

To the above post:

I'm not Christian. As far as an explanation of God, I'd like to offer that God is, at least, an omnipresent and omnipotent person (or mind or spirit, choose your word).

 

To atheistextremist:

I think your comment that you cannot imagine your mind disembodied is disingenuous.

First, we must admit that, at least, the whole body is not necessary for the mind. There are minds attached to bodies without legs or arms, an appendix, a kidney, intestines. It is only the brain that seems to be crucial for mind, as far as our experience goes. It should not prove difficult to at least imagine yourself as a floating head: first imagine yourself as only a head and a torso, then imagine the torso disappears (and then, as per floating, imagine you can fly! JK).

Second, there are incredibly strong dissociative drugs, such as dextromethorphan, or more common street drugs such as "Special K", which induce the experience of losing touch with the body—not to mention lysergic acid.

Under the influence of such drugs we can still experience music as more than just sound. As a matter of fact, with dissociative drugs music often becomes much more of an experience. You used that as an example so I bring it up here. Music aside, you must admit that you experience sound on a constant basis (car horn, door knob turning, speech) without any sort of hair-raising feeling. This leads me to observe that what you've really claimed with regard to music is something to the effect of "I can't imagine experiencing that feeling of hair-raising without experiencing that feeling of hair-raising". Yes, necessarily so.

Third, it's true that you and I are limited to our points of perception by the location of our bodies. We see from "in" our bodies, so to speak. But, even without bringing up the experiences people have during "trips" (of their minds being the things they're perceiving and of time distortion or extinction, etc.), we can easily imagine a different scenario. You must know the feeling of sitting in your own room and having an awareness or sense of what is behind you. It's not hard to imagine expanding that awareness to the next room, or the whole house. To suggest an omnipresent non-embodied mind would be a difference in degree.

 

These are not conclusive arguments toward anything. They are only to suggest that your belief that you are simply unable to imagine being disembodied is premature, and perhaps motivated by the conclusion you'd like to reach, as opposed to a genuine attempt at the thought experiment.


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And I think suggesting

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

I can't imagine not being inside my head. My mind is not just my mind but is associated with my body, skin and all. Music makes my hair stand up, I feel awe in my stomach. My mind is connected to my body. I can't think otherwise without eliminating some part of my self-hood. 

 

 

a person is being insincere for making the statement above in reply to another's assertion he can 'imagine what it feels like to be a ghost' is motivated reasoning. 

I cannot imagine what it feels like for my mind not to be connected to my body. Even in my dreams I have a body. I walk, drive, run, get intimate with girls I shouldn't, fly by arm flapping, get into fights and all the usual dream-weird. 

No, I can't imagine what it feels like to be a disembodied head. My position is squarely based on science which suggest the mind-body connect is so deep amputees continue to feel missing limbs. 

I think you simply imagine you can imagine what it might be like for your 'mind' to be isolated from your body. You cannot know how it really feels. At the most fundamental level your brain is electrically connected to all the nerves of Jeff.

It might even be fair to argue that the body imprints the environment onto the empty brain during youngest childhood in a way that it never quite lets go. Minds seem to be connected to matter. 

 

Here's a pull from an article of interest:

 

 

"In the US civil war, many soldiers suffered wounds that required doctors to amputate damaged limbs. Tens of thousands of soldiers returned home missing an arm or a leg but reported that they could still feel their amputated organs. I wish to stress this point: they were not imagining or fantasizing; they really felt the missing limb in the same manner that you and I can feel our arms and legs. 

Their stories, and similar cases in later years, were so weird that they might have been considered fake, if it wasn't for the fact that so many people reported the same phenomena. One woman said that when she approached a door, her phantom hand would try to grab the handle. A former professional tennis player described how his phantom hand would try to throw the ball into the air in an opening serve, or block his falls. Many patients felt real pains in their ghost limbs.

The first real insight about phantom limbs came only some fifteen years ago from research done by Dr. V.S. Ramachandran. His story (and many of the examples brought in this article) appears in his wonderful book, "Phantoms in the Brain"' which he co-wrote with Sandra Blakeslee.

Ramachandran discovered that in people who underwent an amputation, the area in the sensory cortex that was responsible for the now gone limb was invaded by the areas neighboring it. The facial area in the sensory cortex, for example, spread into the area that was once in charge of the missing arm, and the area governing the sex organs spread into the areas that used to control the leg. As a consequence, when the patient felt sexually aroused, for example, the brain mistook the sensory input as coming from the leg; or, to be more exact, from the area in the sensory cortex that the brain used to interpret as the leg area. When the patient moved his facial muscles, this movement was processed as an arm movement.

These ideas gave logical answers to cases in which phantom limbs appeared in other parts of the body, not only the limbs. Women who have had their breasts removed tell of phantom breasts. One patient insisted he could feel his appendix even after it was surgically removed. There is even a phantom penis, with ghost erections. One lucky patient described feeling his phantom leg coming to life only when having sex. He felt a sexual stimulation in his missing leg that was as strong as in his sex organs, and as a result had much more powerful orgasms than he had before he was injured."

 

http://thefutureofthings.com/column/1010/on-lobotomy-and-phantom-limbs.html

 

 

 

 

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


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Look

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

These are not conclusive arguments toward anything. They are only to suggest that your belief that you are simply unable to imagine being disembodied is premature, and perhaps motivated by the conclusion you'd like to reach, as opposed to a genuine attempt at the thought experiment.

 

I'm sitting here trying to imagine I can really imagine myself as pure mind, and in imagining really feel what it might like. I can focus on my mind and sharpen it but even that feels like a scalp flex. My seat hurts and the air conditioning is intruding. The tendonitis in my left elbow is buzzing. I keep thinking about my reptilian and mammalian brains underlying my neocortex busily getting about the business of sorting out my breakfast, assessing the passage of time, needing coffee. Perhaps I'm not imaginative enough. 

Do you really think mind can exist apart from brains, brains/bodies? And what part of the linear-momentary thought process would mind be? Would it be a self awareness thought, would it be a collection of ideas? Does it include short and long term memory? If we were talking about mind as if it were disembodied, what would mind's conceptual parameters be?  

 

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


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In the book The Perplexities

In the book The Perplexities of Consciousness, the author, Eric Schwitzgebel, includes a chapter called "Do You Have Constant Tactile Experience of Your Feet in Your Shoes?" It begins with a quote from John Searle's The Rediscovery of Mind:

     "Up to this moment I have been focusing my attention on the philosophical problem of describing consciousness, and I have not been paying any attention to the feeling of the chair against my back, the tightness of my shoes, of the slight headache I have from drinking too much wine last night."

So, up until before you read the quote were you aware of the tightness of your shoes? I was puzzled by the chapter, at first. He introduced the problem—is consciousness "abundant" or "sparse"—and I stopped and figured out which side I was on. By the end of the chapter, I was more confused than when I started. I cut the quote short, actually. Searle continues:

     "Nonetheless, all of these phenomena are part of my conscious experience."

The follow up quote is from Mack and Rock's Inattentional Blindness:

     "There is no conscious perception without attention".

So here we see two opposite sides of an interesting debate.

I venture that, perhaps, trying to imagine yourself as a disembodied mind by 'feeling' what it would be like is to bite yourself in the butt. It's like when you're told "do not think of an elephant".

 

If I were trying to really imagine what it might be like I'd start just by paying attention to my mental experience of my surroundings. Then I might imagine my toes disappearing (and to be honest, until just now I had not been paying attention to my toes. I only just realized, after bringing them up and recalling the quote above, that my toes are kind of cold!), fading away, then my ankles, shins and calves, knees, etc. I have no problem imagining that up until the point where my eyes would disappear, then I stumble, but I don't fall. With a little imagination, I can imagine it, if vaguely. (What is a little easier to imagine, at least for me, is being a ghost. Then I can retain at least my own mental sense of my limits, in the form of my ghost appearance.)

 

Do I personally think mind can exist apart from body? I honestly don't know. There is no evidence that it is impossible, and I don't think there can be any. And the arguments for God at least hint that there might be some mind-like entity. I'm afraid I could hardly imagine what kind of mind that would even be.

As far as just imagining a person, an average Joe, mind disembodied, I think it's conceivable that it would have memory and self-awareness in some sense. It would perceive qualia, such as "red", and be able to will things, such as that it moves (for presumably it has no legs).


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

I can't imagine not being inside my head. My mind is not just my mind but is associated with my body, skin and all. Music makes my hair stand up, I feel awe in my stomach. My mind is connected to my body. I can't think otherwise without eliminating some part of my self-hood. 

 

 

a person is being insincere for making the statement above in reply to another's assertion he can 'imagine what it feels like to be a ghost' is motivated reasoning. 

I cannot imagine what it feels like for my mind not to be connected to my body. Even in my dreams I have a body. I walk, drive, run, get intimate with girls I shouldn't, fly by arm flapping, get into fights and all the usual dream-weird. 

No, I can't imagine what it feels like to be a disembodied head. My position is squarely based on science which suggest the mind-body connect is so deep amputees continue to feel missing limbs. 

I think you simply imagine you can imagine what it might be like for your 'mind' to be isolated from your body. You cannot know how it really feels. At the most fundamental level your brain is electrically connected to all the nerves of Jeff.

It might even be fair to argue that the body imprints the environment onto the empty brain during youngest childhood in a way that it never quite lets go. Minds seem to be connected to matter. 

 

Yeah, I really didn't realize what my last line sounded like until I just reread. I didn't want to suggest you were being insincere in any way. I'm not sure how to rephrase what I meant, though—maybe that conceiving of the mind as tied to the body in the first place is an obstacle to imagining it without the body. Anyway, accept my apology.

 

I think it's an interesting suggestion that I'm only imaging that I can imagine it. Then you say that that may not be how it really feels. My point here would be that I don't think "feels", the word, is very good when trying to talk about a disembodied mind. But my bigger point is that the whole question is whether or not there is something "it-is-like" to experience mind without body. There is the experience of "what-it-is-like" to experience red, for example. That seems like a pure mind experience, and I can imagine such experiences without the experiences of the body.


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jeffreyalex wrote:I think

jeffreyalex wrote:

I think it's an interesting suggestion that I'm only imaging that I can imagine it. Then you say that that may not be how it really feels. My point here would be that I don't think "feels", the word, is very good when trying to talk about a disembodied mind. But my bigger point is that the whole question is whether or not there is something "it-is-like" to experience mind without body. There is the experience of "what-it-is-like" to experience red, for example. That seems like a pure mind experience, and I can imagine such experiences without the experiences of the body.

 

Hello Jeff, welcome to the forum.

I like the way you are formulating your questions.  I have a few points to make, but firstly allow me a comment, the vast majority of us here are considering ourselves to be agnostic atheists.  Which basically describes what you have mentioned yourself to be.  I am an atheist because I do not believe in at least one deity, and I am an agnostic in that I entertain the extreme probability (slight though it may be) that such a deity be possible. 

Now, to address your OP, I believe your are (I want to say subtly conflating) the term theist with the term "believer in god".  I believe theists are irrational.  I don't believe that entertaining the extremely unlikely possibility of god existing is irrational.  Actually, negating that is irrational.  I think your whole argument is based on this assumed confusion.   Someone that defines oneself as a theist, and goes on to define their version of god, can easily be shown to be irrational by challenging their epistemic paradigm.  

As for the dualism of mind and body.  This is hardly a subject endured lightly.  Far be it for us to claim that we have all the answers, and I want to point out something that will make your mind scream "Begging the question".  Just go with me on this one.  

What is a mind? we could appeal to a number of definitions but the big elephant in the room is the fact that all those definitions imply a physical underlining infrastructure.  Not only is that infrastructure absolutely necessary (be it a human/computer/chains of self aware earthworms Smiling ) but also denying such an infrastructure is irrational.  It is irrational because it illogical dismisses rational explanations.  If an immaterial god exists he/she/it wouldn't have a mind that we would recognize, in fact it wouldn't be called a mind, it would be a new thing beyond our comprehension, let's call it a asdfjkl for the sake of the argument.  So you may say that the universe originated from asdfjkl , but you may not say that it originated from a mind.

First cause is a wonderfully attractive argument.  It's the ultimate puzzle that humbles us.  How can we, insignificant lifeforms that we are, conceive of a non-place and a non-time?  Our most fundamental epistemic experiences are all hard coded in the four dimensions.  Everything that we are, and everything that we can experience or imagine will be in four dimensions, if we think otherwise we're just deluding ourselves.  I agree that first cause is awesomely wondrous, but that doesn't make theism rational.  

Furthermore, one can pragmatically define rationality as the consensus of "common sense".  In that to go "against the grain" one needs to be irrational.  Thus, in an earlier example you have mentioned Einstein.  Yes, he acted (conceptualized) irrationally for his pragmatical frame of reference.  It doesn't make him wrong, but at the time, the majority thought he was wrong.  As soon as the frame of reference expanded to include his paradigm, he became the rational one.  Point is, rationality is subjective and relative to the frame of reference.  

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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I can agree with some of

I can agree with some of what you say in your first two paragraphs: as a matter of whether knowledge is possible with regard to the question of God, I believe the answer is most likely "no"; as far as your use of the word 'atheist' to describe yourself as someone holding no belief in a deity, I understand that, as well.

However, I do not believe that there is any warrant to say that it is more improbable or unlikely that God exists than not. Regarding the term "theist", I take it to refer to someone who believes there is one God who created the universe and who sustains a relationship with his creation Man. I am going to remain silent on that. I would try to defend "deism", which I take to mean a being which caused the universe and possibly (by extension) man, to exist.

By "defend" I mean 'defend as rational', not 'defend as certainly true'.

 

I will definitely agree with you that dualism is a challenging thing to tackle. I will mention one argument in favor, just as something to think about. I can imagine myself (my "I&quotEye-wink existing while my body does not exist. I cannot imagine my body existing while my body does not exist, obviously so. So there seems to be a property 'I' have, that my body does not have. If there is a property that X has, that Y does not have, X and Y are not the same thing. Therefore, "I" and my body are not the same thing. Plantinga makes this argument and the argument relies on logic (philosophical logic, not common sense logic, of course), and logic is a whole monster of a subject we probably don't want to get into. Then there are the more imaginative creative cases for dualism, I'm thinking of Unger, for example. All interesting stuff to think about. And now I will "go with you" on your next paragraph.

 

I am not convinced that anything I define as mind implies a necessary physical base. Our mind seems profoundly non-material to our own experience. Even though our minds may be reliant on our brains, that does not make it necessarily so. And I certainly wouldn't need to see a brain to think that I am dealing with some sort of mind. Nor if I saw a brain would I necessarily assume there was mind attached to it.

I agree that I could not imagine what sort of being God is, and I do not think I have to. As Nagel pointed out, we can't even imagine what it would be like to be a bat. Nonetheless, there is some good likelihood that there's something-it's-like to be a bat.

 

I don't think I agree with your point re First Cause arguments. Rather, I do agree I cannot know that I could imagine being timeless, for example (though I have had some LSD trips that suggest otherwise!). I do NOT agree that it requires me to be able to experience what it is like to be higher dimensional or timeless in order to be a reasonable argument.

Finally, I'm interested in the point you brought up last. What does it mean for a belief to be rational, for a person to believe rationally? If it means, as so many new atheists have suggested, that you must have evidence for the belief for that belief to be rational and to be rational for holding it, then by it's own definition it is irrational to take a position against a metaphysical claim such as "There is a God".


 


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Also, two things:Thanks

Also, two things:

Thanks Xtulu for the welcome. I forgot to say that.

And I'm glad you brought up earthworms. I have a feeling that you might say, in response to my claim that atheism is irrational, that atheism escapes the requirement for evidence because the lack of strong evidence for deism makes atheism the default position.

First of all, let me digress an little bit. Like you said, it may well be subjective what constitutes "strong evidence". As an example, let me ask a rhetorical question to illustrate the subjectivity of evidence: is the fine-tuning of the universe evidence for God? Roger Penrose calculated that of the probability of the constants (I think he noted that there were 50 or so) of the universe being set in a manner that would allow for the chemistry of life were something like 1 out of 10^129. That was already within the similarly minute range of possible values that would enable a universe with low-entropy, one that didn't just instantly collapse on itself.

Let me do three things now. Let me put that in perspective. Let me address the Anthropic Principle that I foresee being thrown at me. And finally I'll come back to earthworms.

1) 10^129 is a colossal number. For comparison, note that the total number of elementary particles held to exist in the universe is only 10^80.

2) You may say, "Well, of course, we shouldn't be surprised though, because we should expect to find values conducive to life, since obviously we're living. If the values were different, we wouldn't be here to ask the question!".

    But imagine you are walked in front of a firing squad of a hundred men, and stood up against the wall. They are all pointing their guns at you. You hear the bangs go off, but you're still alive—they all missed. Of course, you should not be surprised to observe that you aren't dead. If you WERE dead, you wouldn't be observing anything, at all. Nonetheless, it seems you should, in fact, be very surprised that you're still alive.

You can disagree, but I detect that there is probably some kind of subjective analysis of the above argument for fine-tuning.

Finally 3) back to earthworms. It is true that many researchers hold that they are minimally conscious, but there is only very weak evidence for that belief. Given only weak evidence, we should ostensibly hold the negative position, that they are not conscious. We should not affirm the claim, given weak evidence, that they are conscious. So then take the claim "earthworms are not conscious". It can be paraphrased as 'the boundary between conscious and non-conscious creatures is above the level of earthworms’. However, there is no strong evidence for that claim, either. Facing a lack of strong evidence we should not affirm the positive, but instead take the default position: there is no such boundary, and earthworms are conscious. Clearly that is an absurd conclusion, not to mention a paradoxical one to the one that the principle of default positions gave us earlier. (This example is from Michael Antony's article in Philosophy Now, I don't want to take credit for it!).


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jeffreyalex wrote:

Also, two things:

Thanks Xtulu for the welcome. I forgot to say that.

Would you do us all a favor and ask the other guy using your account how to quote? Much appreciated.


 

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Oh god, forget it. I take

Oh god, forget it. I take back everything I wrote in this thread. Just pretend I was never here. Lol.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:Oh god,

butterbattle wrote:

Oh god, forget it. I take back everything I wrote in this thread. Just pretend I was never here. Lol.

Watchu talkin' bout?


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jeffreyalex wrote:By

jeffreyalex wrote:

By "defend" I mean 'defend as rational', not 'defend as certainly true'.

 

Ok, I can see why you would say that. 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I will definitely agree with you that dualism is a challenging thing to tackle. I will mention one argument in favor, just as something to think about. I can imagine myself (my "I&quotEye-wink existing while my body does not exist. I cannot imagine my body existing while my body does not exist, obviously so. So there seems to be a property 'I' have, that my body does not have. If there is a property that X has, that Y does not have, X and Y are not the same thing. Therefore, "I" and my body are not the same thing. Plantinga makes this argument and the argument relies on logic (philosophical logic, not common sense logic, of course), and logic is a whole monster of a subject we probably don't want to get into. Then there are the more imaginative creative cases for dualism, I'm thinking of Unger, for example. All interesting stuff to think about. And now I will "go with you" on your next paragraph.

The "I" is simply a part of the whole.  I believe you are committing a fallacy of division where you are extending a property of the element of the set to the set itself.  For example, this piece of led is ugly, therefore a statue made of led is ugly.  I can imagine my left toe existing without my body also... but I can't imagine my right toe existing without my right toe.... I fail to see the coherency or relevance to dualism validity. 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I am not convinced that anything I define as mind implies a necessary physical base. Our mind seems profoundly non-material to our own experience. Even though our minds may be reliant on our brains, that does not make it necessarily so. And I certainly wouldn't need to see a brain to think that I am dealing with some sort of mind. Nor if I saw a brain would I necessarily assume there was mind attached to it.

well... I'm sorry you're not convinced, but you can simply point out one single instance, or shred of credible evidence where a mind existed without a brain, or was unaffected by damage to the brain, and I will conceded the point instantly.  To say that it "seems" so is sort of silly.  I say that the mind is nothing but an electro-chemical reaction of a live brain, much like software runs on a computer.  If you shut the computer off, the electrons dissipate using the path of least resistance, and so would your "mind".  Evolution has tricked you into believing that you are special, that you matter above all else, because earlier life forms that didn't put themselves instinctively above all others, did not survive to reproduce themselves.  If you don't instinctively assume some sort of physical necessity for a mind, pragmatically, you have bigger issues then philosophical misconceptions. 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I agree that I could not imagine what sort of being God is, and I do not think I have to. As Nagel pointed out, we can't even imagine what it would be like to be a bat. Nonetheless, there is some good likelihood that there's something-it's-like to be a bat.

no, I'm not sure have thoroughly considered your (our) inability to conceptualize non-temporal and non-physical entities.  Your bat example is a completely possible and tangible entity, it is something that you can relate to on a fundamental epistemological symbolism.  Saying that you can imagine god, without defining what god is equates to "I can imagine a lsdkfjyiu, everyone can... that's easy."  It is a categorical error on many levels.  The issue I have is the fact that you don't think it important...

jeffreyalex wrote:

I don't think I agree with your point re First Cause arguments. Rather, I do agree I cannot know that I could imagine being timeless, for example (though I have had some LSD trips that suggest otherwise!). I do NOT agree that it requires me to be able to experience what it is like to be higher dimensional or timeless in order to be a reasonable argument.

Let's look at this differently.  Let's assume that we agree on the current scientific narrative up to the singularity, moving forward Occam's razor will ask that we judge the worth of each hypothesis based on the number of assumptions that it makes.  I present to you the current far fetched, left field, scientific pet theories such as brane collision, infinite universes, zero sum energy, etc.  Take your pick, it doesn't matter.  And you come along and say... no no no, it's god who did it...

Now let's judge the worth of each hypothesis, and consider the ratio of facts/assumptions as a weight.  Any one of the scientific theories will have a mixture of assumptions and facts, and your god theory has nothing.  It has a big fat infinity symbol somewhere in the ratio on the assumption side screwing up your ratio.  Regardless of how you cut it, ANY theory based on empirical evidence is far more likely to be correct then your big question mark.

jeffreyalex wrote:

Finally, I'm interested in the point you brought up last. What does it mean for a belief to be rational, for a person to believe rationally? If it means, as so many new atheists have suggested, that you must have evidence for the belief for that belief to be rational and to be rational for holding it, then by it's own definition it is irrational to take a position against a metaphysical claim such as "There is a God".

I simply meant that example to show that it could be all reduced to a semantic argument.  

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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jeffreyalex wrote:Also, two

jeffreyalex wrote:

Also, two things:

Thanks Xtulu for the welcome. I forgot to say that.

And I'm glad you brought up earthworms. I have a feeling that you might say, in response to my claim that atheism is irrational, that atheism escapes the requirement for evidence because the lack of strong evidence for deism makes atheism the default position.

First of all, let me digress an little bit. Like you said, it may well be subjective what constitutes "strong evidence". As an example, let me ask a rhetorical question to illustrate the subjectivity of evidence: is the fine-tuning of the universe evidence for God? Roger Penrose calculated that of the probability of the constants (I think he noted that there were 50 or so) of the universe being set in a manner that would allow for the chemistry of life were something like 1 out of 10^129. That was already within the similarly minute range of possible values that would enable a universe with low-entropy, one that didn't just instantly collapse on itself.

Let me do three things now. Let me put that in perspective. Let me address the Anthropic Principle that I foresee being thrown at me. And finally I'll come back to earthworms.

1) 10^129 is a colossal number. For comparison, note that the total number of elementary particles held to exist in the universe is only 10^80.

2) You may say, "Well, of course, we shouldn't be surprised though, because we should expect to find values conducive to life, since obviously we're living. If the values were different, we wouldn't be here to ask the question!".

    But imagine you are walked in front of a firing squad of a hundred men, and stood up against the wall. They are all pointing their guns at you. You hear the bangs go off, but you're still alive—they all missed. Of course, you should not be surprised to observe that you aren't dead. If you WERE dead, you wouldn't be observing anything, at all. Nonetheless, it seems you should, in fact, be very surprised that you're still alive.

You can disagree, but I detect that there is probably some kind of subjective analysis of the above argument for fine-tuning.

Finally 3) back to earthworms. It is true that many researchers hold that they are minimally conscious, but there is only very weak evidence for that belief. Given only weak evidence, we should ostensibly hold the negative position, that they are not conscious. We should not affirm the claim, given weak evidence, that they are conscious. So then take the claim "earthworms are not conscious". It can be paraphrased as 'the boundary between conscious and non-conscious creatures is above the level of earthworms’. However, there is no strong evidence for that claim, either. Facing a lack of strong evidence we should not affirm the positive, but instead take the default position: there is no such boundary, and earthworms are conscious. Clearly that is an absurd conclusion, not to mention a paradoxical one to the one that the principle of default positions gave us earlier. (This example is from Michael Antony's article in Philosophy Now, I don't want to take credit for it!).

Well you can't argue with the self evidence of the Anthropic Principle.  And though I find it beautiful in the way that self sealed, sound logical arguments are, I have always found it a bit of a dodge.  

My shoot from the hip answer is, what's the alternative? I'll embrace your supposed unlikely-hood unquestioningly (not to say I wouldn't actually question the values, but for the sake of the argument).  Let's equate things out and see what's the more likely alternative here? 

On the one side of the scale you have 10^gazillion and on the odder side you have 10^infinity, I think the gazillion will balance upwards, what do you think?

 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Ktulu wrote: Well you can't

Ktulu wrote:

 

Well you can't argue with the self evidence of the Anthropic Principle.  And though I find it beautiful in the way that self sealed, sound logical arguments are, I have always found it a bit of a dodge.  

My shoot from the hip answer is, what's the alternative? I'll embrace your supposed unlikely-hood unquestioningly (not to say I wouldn't actually question the values, but for the sake of the argument).  Let's equate things out and see what's the more likely alternative here? 

On the one side of the scale you have 10^gazillion and on the odder side you have 10^infinity, I think the gazillion will balance upwards, what do you think? 

 

I'm not sure what you're talking about. Could you clarify? What's the alternative to what? What are these two numbers on the scale (what does 10^infinity represent)?


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Ktulu wrote:
Well you can't argue with the self evidence of the Anthropic Principle.  And though I find it beautiful in the way that self sealed, sound logical arguments are, I have always found it a bit of a dodge.

Only universes which produce intelligent life can produce speculation regarding an anthropic principle. Or arthropodic principle depending on the life form.

It does not differ from the one sperm in millions did not reach the right egg you would not be here to discuss the invented principle.


The fallacy is the constants involved are ASSUMED to be independent and able to assume arbitrary values. That is an unfounded assumption. Speculation which follows from the imagined is also imagined.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


jeffreyalex
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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Ktulu

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Ktulu wrote:
Well you can't argue with the self evidence of the Anthropic Principle.  And though I find it beautiful in the way that self sealed, sound logical arguments are, I have always found it a bit of a dodge.

Only universes which produce intelligent life can produce speculation regarding an anthropic principle. Or arthropodic principle depending on the life form.

It does not differ from the one sperm in millions did not reach the right egg you would not be here to discuss the invented principle.

 

The fallacy is the constants involved are ASSUMED to be independent and able to assume arbitrary values. That is an unfounded assumption. Speculation which follows from the imagined is also imagined.

I addressed the anthropic issue:

"But imagine you are walked in front of a firing squad of a hundred men, and stood up against the wall. They are all pointing their guns at you. You hear the bangs go off, but you're still alive—they all missed. Of course, you should not be surprised to observe that you aren't dead. If you WERE dead, you wouldn't be observing anything, at all. Nonetheless, it seems you should, in fact, be very surprised that you're still alive."

Your precious science suggests there is no reason that the constants cannot be other than they are. Here's a quote from Stephen Hawking, ""The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."


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jeffreyalex wrote:
Your precious science suggests there is no reason that the constants cannot be other than they are. Here's a quote from Stephen Hawking, ""The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."

Your ignorance of science is as boundless as your willingness to misrepresent what scientists have said. What is your point? You are a good Christian pretending to not be a bible-thumping believer trying to foist arguments discredited centuries ago. That you are ignorant of their discreditation only reflects upon you.

Scientists do not have theologians. Hawkings' opinions are his own business. Opinions are not science. This is unlike religion where delusional ravings are elevated to reality by dummies.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


jeffreyalex
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A_Nony_Mouse

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
Your precious science suggests there is no reason that the constants cannot be other than they are. Here's a quote from Stephen Hawking, ""The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."

Your ignorance of science is as boundless as your willingness to misrepresent what scientists have said. What is your point? You are a good Christian pretending to not be a bible-thumping believer trying to foist arguments discredited centuries ago. That you are ignorant of their discreditation only reflects upon you.

Scientists do not have theologians. Hawkings' opinions are his own business. Opinions are not science. This is unlike religion where delusional ravings are elevated to reality by dummies.

 

Lol, I can't take you seriously anymore. I wish you'd see the error of your ways, and come back into the embrace of the Lord, your one and only true saviour. It's clear that thou are losteth in confusion and darkness without the light of God. 


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jeffreyalex wrote:
Lol, I can't take you seriously anymore. I wish you'd see the error of your ways, and come back into the embrace of the Lord, your one and only true saviour. It's clear that thou are losteth in confusion and darkness without the light of God.

As I said, you are a crazy theist lover of the Virgin Jesus.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


jeffreyalex
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A_Nony_Mouse

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
Lol, I can't take you seriously anymore. I wish you'd see the error of your ways, and come back into the embrace of the Lord, your one and only true saviour. It's clear that thou are losteth in confusion and darkness without the light of God.

As I said, you are a crazy theist lover of the Virgin Jesus.

 

 

Yes, I love Virgin Jesus. I'm a crazy theist lover, and I'd like to be YOUR crazy theist lover, come over sometime. We can talk about Virgin Jesus and do some science. 


jcgadfly
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jeffreyalex

jeffreyalex wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
Lol, I can't take you seriously anymore. I wish you'd see the error of your ways, and come back into the embrace of the Lord, your one and only true saviour. It's clear that thou are losteth in confusion and darkness without the light of God.

As I said, you are a crazy theist lover of the Virgin Jesus.

 

 

Yes, I love Virgin Jesus. I'm a crazy theist lover, and I'd like to be YOUR crazy theist lover, come over sometime. We can talk about Virgin Jesus and do some science. 

After he taught it to 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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jcgadfly wrote:jeffreyalex

jcgadfly wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
Lol, I can't take you seriously anymore. I wish you'd see the error of your ways, and come back into the embrace of the Lord, your one and only true saviour. It's clear that thou are losteth in confusion and darkness without the light of God.

As I said, you are a crazy theist lover of the Virgin Jesus.

 

 

Yes, I love Virgin Jesus. I'm a crazy theist lover, and I'd like to be YOUR crazy theist lover, come over sometime. We can talk about Virgin Jesus and do some science. 

After he taught it to you?

 

This is the last time I'm going to off the topic of this forum. He has demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge in both math (for example, elementary probability) and science. It is actually almost the case that he would do poorer on a math and science multiple choice test than a mouse. So, fine. Go on talking like all of you are mathematicians and Einsteins. You're ignorance speaks for itself. 

 


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jeffreyalex wrote:jcgadfly

jeffreyalex wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
Lol, I can't take you seriously anymore. I wish you'd see the error of your ways, and come back into the embrace of the Lord, your one and only true saviour. It's clear that thou are losteth in confusion and darkness without the light of God.

As I said, you are a crazy theist lover of the Virgin Jesus.

 

 

Yes, I love Virgin Jesus. I'm a crazy theist lover, and I'd like to be YOUR crazy theist lover, come over sometime. We can talk about Virgin Jesus and do some science. 

After he taught it to you?

 

This is the last time I'm going to off the topic of this forum. He has demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge in both math (for example, elementary probability) and science. It is actually almost the case that he would do poorer on a math and science multiple choice test than a mouse. So, fine. Go on talking like all of you are mathematicians and Einsteins. You're ignorance speaks for itself. 

 

Complaining that another has shown a lack of knowledge while displaying none yourself does nothing for you. Do you have anything to put on the table that hasn't been utterly refuted?

My "ignorance" has done nothing but show your lack of science and logic. Dismissing my arguments isn't the same as denying them. Maybe you need to take that multiple choice science test as well.

"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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 You haven't refuted

 You haven't refuted anything. And at the very least, I know junior high probability. 


jeffreyalex
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 And as I said before: "God

 And as I said before: "God didn't make me invincible and indestructible and he didn't make it 75 degrees and sunny every day and I have one mouth" is not an argument.