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Thread: The Great Contradiction

  1. Top | #111
    Veteran Member Wiploc's Avatar
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    Responding to Remez, in post 104:

    Originally Posted by Wiploc

    “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


    It seems to me immensely unlikely that my mind is a mere product of magic. For if my mental processes were determined wholly by a magic, eccentric, and self-contradictory stranger, I would have no reason to suppose my beliefs are true. They might be sound magically, but that wouldn't make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be the product of a magic-throwing god.
    Your presented interpretation does not reflect theistic reasoning. It slightly hints of a Calvinistic structure painted by your disparaging imagination.
    I'm skewering Haldane's reasoning. I can be said to be skewering Christian reasoning only to the extent that some Christians reason like Haldane.

    I don't know what Calvin has to do with it.




    Originally Posted by Wiploc

    Originally Posted by remez

    Freewill is assumed and yet argued against in atheistic reasoning.



    Many atheists argue for free will. Many theists argue against it.



    Obviously concur with both.
    But
    My point there was the contradiction that there are atheists that do indeed exercise their assumptive free will to argue against free will. Clear?
    Your points, I believe, are as follows:

    • 1. There's something screwy about assuming that free will exists in order to argue against the existence of free will.
      2. Atheists--at least some atheists--do that screwy thing.



    1. I can grant you that item 1 seems screwy on its face. I'm not familiar with that happening, and I'm only familiar with your side of the argument, but, yes, that seems screwy.

    2. I'll have to take your word for this. There are a lot of atheists. There are even a lot of screwy atheists.

    3. I don't see what points 1 and 2 have to do with my pointing out that Haldane's argument is garbage.






    Originally Posted by Wiploc

    Don't characterize arguments against free will as "atheistic."


    Again that was presented in the context of the OP. I even quoted it. A search for a materialistic (brain simply lacks the neural connections) or naturalistic explanation (natural selection). Read it.
    Okay, I read the OP of this thread. Several times. I retain none of it.

    I don't think it bears on the issue of whether Haldane's argument is garbage.

    Haldane's argument is garbage.


    -

    So, now, because of the glitch, and because the QUOTE button is off the top of the screen, which makes doing these tripple quotes awkward, I'm going to what I've got here, and I'll probably be back with another post responding to more of your post.

  2. Top | #112
    Senior Member remez's Avatar
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    Very very briefly……………

    When I read the OP….. it immediately stuck me as being blind, arrogant and self-refuting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    Your points, I believe, are as follows:


    • 1. There's something screwy about assuming that free will exists in order to argue against the existence of free will.
    2. Atheists--at least some atheists--do that screwy thing.

    1. I can grant you that item 1 seems screwy on its face. I'm not familiar with that happening……..
    Thank you and Thank you.
    But
    That is exactly what was happening in the OP by way of assuming context of materialism…..neural nets…natural selection….etc. The OP assumes All is materially determined (no free will) but then blindly askes for the reasoning (free will) for the blind spot of his theistic straw man.

    Thus…………
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    1. There's something screwy about assuming that free will exists in order to argue against the existence of free will.
    ….is the real contradiction in the OP.

    I grant that he was not directly arguing against free will,
    But he….
    Was operating from an assumption that did…..
    While
    At the same time asking us all to exercise our free will.
    Hence…..
    The real…………great contradiction.

  3. Top | #113
    Senior Member remez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    But specifically here is the contradiction of trusting your reasoning when from a naturalistic paradigm it is totally deterministic thereby rendering reasoning itself an illusion. Yet you believe your reasoning.
    So……
    Instead of creating straw men of the theistic position, why not address the contradiction from the book of Haldane.
    This is the proposition you and Haldane are apparently arguing: The workings of human minds and the conclusions they reach cannot be considered trustworthy if human minds are solely made up of atoms and nothing else. Or more generally, "if human minds were solely constituted from matter/energy interacting in ways that we understand, or have the potential to understand using naturalistic principles". Please clarify if my understanding of your argument is incorrect.

    These are apparently the premises you are basing this argument on (I have no idea what premises Haldane used):

    1. Humans have free will (and you need to define free will in the context of your argument).
    2. The universe is deterministic if we base our epistemology on naturalistic principles.

    In order for a logical argument to work, the following have to be accomplished:

    1. The premises supporting the argument have to be demonstrated as factual, or likely factual.
    2. The conclusion has to follow from the premises.

    You have done neither. You have not demonstrated that humans either possess or lack free will, however free will might be defined. You have not demonstrated that the universe is deterministic. And you have not explained how the conclusion (the inferences of human minds are unreliable) follows from the premises. In other words, all you offer is puffery, with no meaningful content.
    I’m not trying to present a formal argument here at all.
    I’m presenting a contradiction that occurs in the reasoning of the OP.
    Explained further in post 112.
    Happy New Year.

  4. Top | #114
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    ...
    I’m not trying to present a formal argument here at all.
    I’m presenting a contradiction that occurs in the reasoning of the OP.
    Explained further in post 112.
    ...
    Post 112:
    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    ...
    ... The OP assumes All is materially determined (no free will) but then blindly askes for the reasoning (free will) for the blind spot of his theistic straw man.
    ...
    You really ought to provide an argument for why reasoning requires free will.

  5. Top | #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    Lion I hope this helps.

    Let me first begin this response with an acknowledgement that I’m sure we both agree wtith…. that god of the gaps philosophy (gotg) does exist and is wrong. When you DON”T HAVE REASON for some gap of understanding you simply ASSUME god did it. It happens and has happened throughout history. But all should be aware that it is just as wrong and prevalent to assume a nature of the gaps (notg) philosophy.
    But
    It is also true that many skeptics have FALSELY accused theists of that errant reasoning. For if the skeptic ignores the inferences/reasons being provided by the theist and instead arbitrarily opts to mislabel or ignore the provided theistic reasoning as purely assumption then the error lies with the skeptic.

    This is important. For many false narratives by the skeptic toward the theist spin off this pseudo philosophy. Ex: You shut down science/understanding when you assume god into the gaps. God is not an understanding just an assumption. Skeptic epistemology is more virtuous because we can admit that we don’t know. Etc. I’m pretty sure several more examples are about to present themselves following this post.

    With that on the table let me begin…………

    Is it?
    Or
    Is it?

    Careful....Lion………Think about it.

    There are two levels of inference going on there that skeptics are lazily conflating.

    Level 1. Obviously it is honest at the level of not being certain, to assert we don’t know.
    Theists are not denying that.
    But ……
    To arbitrarily extend that honest level 1 admission
    To a level 2 pseudo philosophy …….that it then remains honest to arbitrarily deny/ignore all positive reasonable inference about what we don’t know…..is in no way honest. To charge gotg here in this thread, in the face of all the reasoning that has been provided, is pure ignorance and/or DISHONESTY.
    How can we formulate "positive reasonable inferences about what we don't know"? How can we test and verify these inferences?

    This is an honest question I have asked you more than once, and you have always dodged it. So set the atheists straight once and for all. Describe the epistemological tools we can use to learn about and test the unknown/supernatural world you claim exists, the world where gods create universes and intervene in their affairs.
    Last edited by atrib; 01-03-2020 at 09:28 PM.

  6. Top | #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    But specifically here is the contradiction of trusting your reasoning when from a naturalistic paradigm it is totally deterministic thereby rendering reasoning itself an illusion. Yet you believe your reasoning.
    So……
    Instead of creating straw men of the theistic position, why not address the contradiction from the book of Haldane.
    This is the proposition you and Haldane are apparently arguing: The workings of human minds and the conclusions they reach cannot be considered trustworthy if human minds are solely made up of atoms and nothing else. Or more generally, "if human minds were solely constituted from matter/energy interacting in ways that we understand, or have the potential to understand using naturalistic principles". Please clarify if my understanding of your argument is incorrect.

    These are apparently the premises you are basing this argument on (I have no idea what premises Haldane used):

    1. Humans have free will (and you need to define free will in the context of your argument).
    2. The universe is deterministic if we base our epistemology on naturalistic principles.

    In order for a logical argument to work, the following have to be accomplished:

    1. The premises supporting the argument have to be demonstrated as factual, or likely factual.
    2. The conclusion has to follow from the premises.

    You have done neither. You have not demonstrated that humans either possess or lack free will, however free will might be defined. You have not demonstrated that the universe is deterministic. And you have not explained how the conclusion (the inferences of human minds are unreliable) follows from the premises. In other words, all you offer is puffery, with no meaningful content.
    I’m not trying to present a formal argument here at all.
    I’m presenting a contradiction that occurs in the reasoning of the OP.
    Explained further in post 112.
    Happy New Year.
    Happy New Year.

    Post 112 doesn't answer any of the questions I have asked.

    Call it what you will, a formal argument, or a casual discussion. The fact remains that you have made the assertion I outlined in my post. You have quoted Haldane directly, and have elaborated on his assertion further using your own words, thereby testifying to your support of Haldane's position. I am asking you to explain how the argument works: namely, to elaborate on the premises and support them with facts, and then show us how the premises lead to the conclusion. Considering how many times you have repeated this naked assertion in this thread, I find it strange that you are apparently not willing to support it any further, or at all, really, for that matter.

    Or are you now conceding that your argument is flawed?

  7. Top | #117
    Senior Member remez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    I’m not trying to present a formal argument here at all.
    I’m presenting a contradiction that occurs in the reasoning of the OP.
    Explained further in post 112.
    Happy New Year.
    Happy New Year.

    Post 112 doesn't answer any of the questions I have asked.

    Call it what you will, a formal argument, or a casual discussion. The fact remains that you have made the assertion I outlined in my post. You have quoted Haldane directly, and have elaborated on his assertion further using your own words, thereby testifying to your support of Haldane's position. I am asking you to explain how the argument works: namely, to elaborate on the premises and support them with facts, and then show us how the premises lead to the conclusion. Considering how many times you have repeated this naked assertion in this thread, I find it strange that you are apparently not willing to support it any further, or at all, really, for that matter.

    Or are you now conceding that your argument is flawed?
    Is the OP asking for us to reason for a materialistic explanation as to why the brains of theists are so blind to their damaged reasoning?

  8. Top | #118
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    ...
    I’m not trying to present a formal argument here at all.
    I’m presenting a contradiction that occurs in the reasoning of the OP.
    Explained further in post 112.
    ...
    Post 112:
    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    ...
    ... The OP assumes All is materially determined (no free will) but then blindly askes for the reasoning (free will) for the blind spot of his theistic straw man.
    ...
    You really ought to provide an argument for why reasoning requires free will.
    Reasoning by its very method presumes an open-mindedness to competing answers to the same question. If you lack free will, how can you be open-minded?
    You aren't deciding anything.

  9. Top | #119
    Senior Member remez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post

    How can we formulate "positive reasonable inferences about what we don't know"? How can we test and verify these inferences?

    This is an honest question I have asked you more than once, and you have always dodged it. So set the atheists straight once and for all. Describe the epistemological tools we can use to learn about and test the unknown/supernatural world you claim exists, the world where gods create universes and intervene in their affairs.
    I have not dodged you. I have told you that again and again that all belief should be based on sufficient reasoning. Philosophically reason through the evidence and alternatives. Again you are hinting at philosophically limiting sufficient reason to only scientific reasoning. Which as I have pointed out to you many times is self defeating.

    So again.........
    Is the OP asking for us to reason for a materialistic explanation as to why the brains of theists are so blind to their damaged reasoning?

  10. Top | #120
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    ...
    You really ought to provide an argument for why reasoning requires free will.
    Reasoning by its very method presumes an open-mindedness to competing answers to the same question. If you lack free will, how can you be open-minded?
    You aren't deciding anything.
    Exactly the way I'd describe reasoning. But the brain isn't just a mass of chemical reactions. It has structure and intricate feedback mechanisms that allow ideas to compete. In order to evolve in size and complexity you have the need for support mechanisms to limit runaway heat generation. The brain has evolved over millions of years in order to survive by making choices (i.e.; making decisions). Evolution is all about competition. Think of the mind as an ecosystem where randomly generated connections increase or decrease the level of energy requirements. This provides your open-mindedness as well as creative impetus. The brain has everything it needs for open-minded decision making. What could free will add to this method of reasoning that isn't already provided? I assume that reasoning means seeking the logical choice, right?

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