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Thread: The Great Contradiction

  1. Top | #91
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    For those who haven’t read it, here is the essay (ie the context for the quote):

    http://jbshaldane.org/books/1927-Pos....html#Page_204

    Arguably quite clearly pantheist, I think it’s fair to say?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks
    For those who haven’t read it, here is the essay:

    http://jbshaldane.org/books/1927-Pos....html#Page_204

    Arguably quite clearly pantheist, I think it’s fair to say?

    I don't know. I read 7 or 8 paragraphs, and it indicates he's an atheist and has no belief in the spiritual. Again I agree with everything he said (of what I just now read on that webpage).

    Which isn't a problem for the quote remez presented us. If Haldane... emphasis on IF... if Haldane didn't believe that thinking and brain activity are the same, that does not work as a proposition for spirits.

    Will you help me understand what the interest in Haldane is?

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    Earlier I couldn't quote posts. Now I can't edit them either, in any browser. Is anyone else having problems with posting?

  4. Top | #94
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post

    Will you help me understand what the interest in Haldane is?
    Remez introduced a quote from Haldane's work (to support his strawman) assuming that all atheists take his work as our 'bible' and agree with everything he wrote.


    Oh, and I don't seem to have any problem at all with the "reply with quote" option or with editing those quotes. It must be a problem with your system... you may try re-booting.

  5. Top | #95
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks
    For those who haven’t read it, here is the essay:

    http://jbshaldane.org/books/1927-Pos....html#Page_204

    Arguably quite clearly pantheist, I think it’s fair to say?

    I don't know. I read 7 or 8 paragraphs, and it indicates he's an atheist and has no belief in the spiritual. Again I agree with everything he said (of what I just now read on that webpage).

    Which isn't a problem for the quote remez presented us. If Haldane... emphasis on IF... if Haldane didn't believe that thinking and brain activity are the same, that does not work as a proposition for spirits.

    Will you help me understand what the interest in Haldane is?
    I think the general interest in Haldane, from theists (or from remez at least) is because of the scent of woo, and woo from an atheist/scientist authority figure.

    Whether relevant to an OP or, as here, not.

    I would not be surprised to see Anthony Flew cited next.

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    For what it’s worth, this (below) seems to be the key, if somewhat off-topic section of the essay, at least as regards the woo whoops I mean pantheism:

    “Without that body it [my mind] may perish altogether, but it seems to me quite as probable that it will lose its limitations and be merged into an infinite mind or something analogous to a mind which I have reason to suspect probably exists behind nature. How this might be accomplished I have no idea.”

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    The existence of everything has to be explained. The existence of my creator being does not have to be explained.
    Just to go right back on topic, would it be more accurate, I wonder, to call this The Great Exception, rather than The Great Contradiction?

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    The existence of everything has to be explained. The existence of my creator being does not have to be explained.
    Just to go right back on topic, would it be more accurate, I wonder, to call this The Great Exception, rather than The Great Contradiction?
    Possibly Moogly was referring to a typical theist/atheist exchange such as:

    T... If science explains everything then how did life begin?
    A... There are several theories as to how abiogenesis happened but we can't know which, if any, of them actually happened.
    T... If science can't explain it then how could science discount god as doing it?
    A... For science to take god as the answer, there would first have to be some evidence of a god with such a power.
    ...etc.
    ...etc.

    Theists, in many such 'debates', insist that someone supporting science must explain in detail how and why something happened or they take science as merely anti-god. However, they seem quite comfortable in accepting some poorly defined, magic entity performing miracles. They seem to take god as a given that has so need of explanation.

  9. Top | #99
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Yes, I think I’m just being pedantic.

    I think I was partly just trying to steer the thread back from its detour. 🙂

  10. Top | #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Ad hominem.
    What's your point?
    My point is your reasoning for rejecting Haldane’s assertion is fallacious. It is called an ad hominem attack. You attacked his political and personal beliefs rather than his unrelated assertion.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
    And
    Just to get another one out of the way….
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Haldane most likely reasoned from unstated premises he absorbed by osmosis from the Christian culture he grew up in.
    That is a classic example of the genetic fallacy.
    The genetic fallacy is a fallacy of irrelevance that is based solely on someone's or something's history, origin, or source rather than its current meaning or context.
    Like this one, for instance?

    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    Perhaps in my haste to respond I shouldn't have assumed that the quote I cited was well known. I thought it to be common knowledge, and that is my fault. But your reply does not reflect that you knew this quote and why it fits this context.

    I say that because your reply sort of seems to be making my point and your charge of my reasoning being a non sequitur does not seem to fit.

    So here is the quote........properly stated..........

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.”

    ― J.B.S. Haldane, Possible Worlds
    Care to change your thoughts?
    You offered the circumstance of the argument coming from Haldane rather than from some random internet user, to Bilby, as a reason to change his thoughts about its merit. In the words of the master, "That is a classic example of the genetic fallacy."

    As your link says, "Fallacious ad hominem reasoning is categorized among informal fallacies, more precisely as a genetic fallacy, a subcategory of fallacies of irrelevance." An ad hominem is usually a fallacy, because the characteristics of the arguer are usually irrelevant to the merit of the argument. But that's not what's going on in this case. In this case, you made an argument from authority. An ad hominem is perfectly relevant to the authoritativeness of a purported authority. The fact that Haldane was an idiot is irrelevant to whether his argument is logical, true; but it's entirely relevant to whether Bilby should care to change his thoughts on account of you telling him Haldane was the source of the argument. What, is "someone's or something's history, origin, or source" relevant when you appeal to it but irrelevant when I appeal to it? When you make an argument from authority, you open your alleged authority up to non-fallacious ad hominems.

    ...If determinism is the way of the universe then you don’t have the free will to think or reason at all. Choice does not exist. Think about it. ...

    You have attempted to make your case that my belief in substance dualism is assumed. Yet I’ve addressed all of the concerns you presented so far. Thus I have reasonably demonstrated to you my position is not assumed. Your baseless allegations there are quite insulting.
    Oh, come off it. How dare I suggest you made an assumption; but it's perfectly fine for you to suggest I haven't thought about it? Dude, we come here to argue -- to tell other people why they're wrong. That means telling them they relied on false premises, or telling them they made reasoning errors, or telling them they didn't think. If you're going to feel insulted whenever others don't just roll over and accept you as their patronizing professor and themselves as your respectful students, you're going to feel insulted a lot.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    What bibly offered seemed to be a non sequitur that then went on to actually support my contention to begin with.
    Not at all. Bilby simply pointed out that Haldane had not made a logical argument. Haldane's conclusion does not follow from his stated premises.
    And I countered his charge of it being a massive non sequitur. Which you have failed the reason into your assertion there. Simply repeating bibly’s error does not make it correct. ... Before you reply, you may want to first go back and read my reply to bibly on that.
    Stop calling him bibly. He's bilby.

    bibly:

    1. Adj. Of or relating to the Christian religion.
    2. Adj. Zealously religious.
    3. Adj. Having reverence or, for that matter, any positive feelings for the Bible.

    bilby:

    either of two burrowing nocturnal bandicoots (Macrotis lagotis and M. leucura) having a long tapered muzzle and large pointed ears



    I'll address our substantive dispute over substance dualism when I have more time...

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