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Creation Vs 'materialistic' Evolution


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#21 Ron

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:24 AM



Two things real quick Miles, and you may want to pay close attention, so as NOT to further equivocate AND continue to stay from the OP's questions:

First – Did you NOT read post# 13

Second – Are you attempting to insinuate that ALL the words I provided CANNOT be considered as synonymous (i.e. “having an implication similar to the idea expressed by another word”) with NONPHYSICAL.

YOU may want to consider carefully prior to answering the above questions with anything but factual answers.


Yes I read #13, and if you read the post I wrote you'll note that I address your questions in the OP at the bottom.



No Miles, if you would have actually addressed the OP at the bottom of post# 14, you you would not have failed to do so in accord with the OP (but you have failed). The OP asked for a “naturalistic/materialistic evidence based explanation” for “origins”, not your mere opinion on macroevolution as if it were fact (which, of course runs contrary to forum rules).

As I stated, “YOU may want to consider carefully prior to answering the above questions with anything but factual answers.”. But, instead, you side-stepped the actual OP questions with prevarications.


I'm not insinuating that at all, all the words you listed could definitely be synonyms with non-physical.


Then thanks Miles, because you have made my point; as Supernatural, metaphysical, otherworldly, preternatural, transcendent, transcendental, ethereal, abstract, nonphysical are ALL synonymous within the context of the conversation.


I'm apparently not permitted to expand on 2 in this thread so I'll ask if it would be acceptable to attempt to explain further in a separate thread?



If you cannot FACTUALLY expand on # 2 in this thread, you cannot FACTUALLY expand on it elsewhere, because without using facts, you are merely opinion and attempting to pass it off as facts. But you are fully free to start any thread you wish, as long as you realize:

The primary goal of this forum is to provide a place for honest, educational, civil, and fun debate on the topic of origins. Given the heated nature of the creation vs. evolution debate, this is not an easy goal to achieve so we will require members to follow the stringent set of guidelines below. To make life easier for the moderators, our goal is to weed-out the troublemakers early, which should also lessen interaction from moderators. We want to have as little editing or deleting of posts as possible, so instead we will seek to edit people

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum/forum_rules.htm

#22 Teejay

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

I have been thinking, are atheists really hard-core materialists, or do they merely adhere to materialism when it is convenient? They have to know that logic, language, and emotion are non-material. I don't think it is a rejecting of everything that is non-material, mostly just God. What are some of the logical dilemmas that this leads to? I have been trying to delve into this area of apologetics, but I don't know where to begin.


JS,

A good place to start is Google "The Great Debate" between the late, great Christian apoligist Dr. Bahnsen and atheist Dr. Stein. Dr. Bahnsen, of whom it is said that he never lost a debate with an atheist, sliced and diced Dr. Stein using the argument that the atheist can't account for or justify the immaterial laws of logic within his worldview. The atheist uses logic, but he can't justify his use of logic. Since laws of logic are not part of the physical universe, they can't come from reasonless, lifeless matter. The laws of logic are invariant, universal, and absolute. Now the atheist/materialist uses laws of logic, but when he does this, he is being inconsistent with his worldview. Basically, he uses God's laws of logic to argue that God does not exist. This is like believing that air does not exist, and then breathing in air to make his argument.

And it's not just laws of logic that present conundrums for the atheist. The atheist can't account for rational thought. Thought is not physical, and is not the motion of chemicals in the brain. The brain is a physical organ. If thought were simply the motion of chemicals in the brain (physical), we could not know that anything was true--not even that our brain was composed of chemicals.

The atheist can't justify logic apart from logic; thus, circular reasoning.

Nor can the atheist account for or justify anything to be moral or immoral. Absent God, who is above man (the Moral Prescriber), nothing can be declared moral or immoral. Yet they are first to become righteously indignant at any injustice or immoral behavior they encounter. When they do this, they are being inconsistent within their worldview. And their beliefs that there can be the immaterial laws of logic or morality in an atheist worldview are arbitrary in that they have no rational reason to believe that the immaterial laws of logic or morality should exist. If you believe something for no good reason, then that belief is an arbitrary belief. If you believe something arbitrarily, then you can't really know that what you believe is true.

The atheist can't accont for or justify any of the abstracts such as liberty, justice, dignity, and so forth.

The atheist can't account for uniformity of nature--that the physical laws will remain constant and will not change tomorrow. Apart from God, his belief that the laws of nature will remain law-like tomorrow as they have today is an arbitrary belief.

TeeJay

#23 Teejay

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:45 PM

The materialist will attempt to render everything (no matter how illogical and unscientific) to the physical. For example, they will argue that “Man is nothing but matter in motion.” Of course, anyone would agree that ‘physically’ human beings are matter in motion, but this in no way means that we aren’t far more than this.

These materialists will also attempt to assert a thought nothing but electrons firing across the synapse, or nothing but chemical reactions.

The problem with all these reductive fallacies is that these “nothing-but” statements imply a “more-than” knowledge. For example; how could I know that I was nothing but “matter in motion” unless I was more than just a physical body?


Ron, "How could I know that I was nothing but "matter in motion" unless I was more than just a physical body? That is such a good logical argument. Do you mind if I use it, say when I'm on ToL?

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#24 Teejay

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:51 PM

I've had a chat with one of my class mates on this and he proposed that immaterial things exist but this doesn't mean supernatural things exist ie- God... I did try to say that they are one and the same, but it seems we were at an impasse.


Gilbo, I would have asked him where did the immaterial laws of logic, rational thought, morality, emotion, dignity, justice, liberty come frome. These things can't come from lifeless, reasonless, amoral matter. Matter can't give you what it does not have to give. And if matter can't be the source, then we have to look outside the physical.

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#25 Teejay

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:44 PM

The materialist gets hung up on the word "Supernatural", which actually means "more than natural", or "other than natural" (from the Medieval Latin supernaturalis “super- + natura”); which is why I make it clear what the word means (as it is synonymous with metaphysical, otherworldly, preternatural, transcendent, transcendental, ethereal, abstract, nonphysical etc…).

They get hung up on it, using it as a crutch for themselves, and as a club to swing at theists; but they don't really understand the meaning of it.

This is why I prefer to use words like metaphysical, transcendental, ethereal, and abstract when dealing with non-materialistic phenomena such as thoughts, altruistic love, the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, and the scientific method (etc…). This forces the strict materialist to come face to face with the fact that “Materialism” is not all there is, just as solipsism is not all there is; BOTH are extremist philosophies that are self-stultifying.


Ron, I don't know if you ever read C.S. lewis' book Miracles? In Chapte 2, he keeps it simple and clear the difference: "Some people believe that nothing exists except Nature; I call these people Naturalists. Others think that, besides Nature, there exists something else; I call them Supernaturalists. In Chapter 3, titled "The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism," he writes: "If Naturalism is true, every finite thing or event must be (in principle) explicable in terms of the Total System [by this he means all that is material]. I say 'explicable in principle' because of course we are not going to demand that naturalists, at any given moment, should have found the detailed explanation of every phenomenon. Obviously many things will only be explained when the sciences have made further progress. But if Naturalism is to be accepted we have a right to demand that every single thing should be such that we see, in general, how it could be explained in terms of the Total System. If any one thing exists which is of such a kind that we see in advance the impossibility of ever giving it that kind of explanation, then Naturalism would be in ruins. If necessities of thought force us to allow to any one thing any degree of independence from the Total System--if any one thing makes good a claim to be on its own, to be something more than an expression of the character of Nature as a whole--then we have abandoned Naturalism." And he shows very conclusively that nature can't account for our ability to Reason.

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#26 gilbo12345

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:45 PM

Gilbo, I would have asked him where did the immaterial laws of logic, rational thought, morality, emotion, dignity, justice, liberty come frome. These things can't come from lifeless, reasonless, amoral matter. Matter can't give you what it does not have to give. And if matter can't be the source, then we have to look outside the physical.

TeeJay


You didn't read what I said.....

I said my class mate acknowledged the immaterial laws of logic etc, however said that this doesn't mean that supernatural things exist.

He was implying that immaterial things can still obey the laws of nature and thus are natural, rendering them not supernatural...

There is some sense in this since the Laws of Logic are natural to this world or to our brains etc...


However I do not agree with this sentiment entirely, it does make for a good ponder.

#27 Ron

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:19 AM


The materialist will attempt to render everything (no matter how illogical and unscientific) to the physical. For example, they will argue that “Man is nothing but matter in motion.” Of course, anyone would agree that ‘physically’ human beings are matter in motion, but this in no way means that we aren’t far more than this.

These materialists will also attempt to assert a thought nothing but electrons firing across the synapse, or nothing but chemical reactions.

The problem with all these reductive fallacies is that these “nothing-but” statements imply a “more-than” knowledge. For example; how could I know that I was nothing but “matter in motion” unless I was more than just a physical body?


Ron, "How could I know that I was nothing but "matter in motion" unless I was more than just a physical body? That is such a good logical argument. Do you mind if I use it, say when I'm on ToL?

TeeJay


Not at all TJ, it's not mine... It's common sense and logic (therefore I do not own it)!

In fact, I challange you (a friendly challange as a learning experience) to expound upon it by putting it in your own words and come up with a few simple examples of your own. This will help you to use the argument with more confidence. :)

#28 Rhodri123

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:25 AM

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum (and online forums in general) so apologies if I'm committing an online faux pas by interjecting in this debate.

The materialist will attempt to render everything (no matter how illogical and unscientific) to the physical. For example, they will argue that “Man is nothing but matter in motion.” Of course, anyone would agree that ‘physically’ human beings are matter in motion, but this in no way means that we aren’t far more than this.

These materialists will also attempt to assert a thought nothing but electrons firing across the synapse, or nothing but chemical reactions.




The problem with all these reductive fallacies is that these “nothing-but” statements imply a “more-than” knowledge. For example; how could I know that I was nothing but “matter in motion” unless I was more than just a physical body?
In what way is rendering everything to the mere physical/material illogical? As there is no evidence to suggest anything 'beyond' the physical, surely it is more fallacious to posit the immaterial as an alternative? The notion that materialism cannot explain consciousness is predicated on nothing more than God of the Gaps and argumentum ad ignorantiam. Although a fully comprehensive model of consciousness has not yet been fully formulated, it does not mean that it will not. Indeed, recent neurological studies are proving the unconscious as ever more prevalent, thus precluding the idea of free will (to a certain degree). Surely current neurological studies are more in favour of scientific materialism (as a tenable model) than of other philosophical/religious alternatives?

#29 Ron

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:56 AM


I have been thinking, are atheists really hard-core materialists, or do they merely adhere to materialism when it is convenient? They have to know that logic, language, and emotion are non-material. I don't think it is a rejecting of everything that is non-material, mostly just God. What are some of the logical dilemmas that this leads to? I have been trying to delve into this area of apologetics, but I don't know where to begin.

Jay, from my experience, it would definitely be the latter. No one could possibly live their life as a strict materialist BECAUSE of the nonphysical (immaterial, metaphysical, supernatural etc…) character of phenomena such as the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, altruistic love, a thought (etc…) and their abject failure at a cogent “materialistic” explanation for such phenomena. Further, it’s the lack of said explanations that has the (less than materialistic) atheist running from logic as they prevaricate on their definitions in order to somehow conjure a materialistic basis for the nonphysical.

Further, the materialistic atheist struggles mightily with the reconciliation of the physical and the metaphysical. So they attempt to divorce themselves from answering the hard questions, instead of tackling them head on. For example:

Question – What is a factually materialistic based answer to the question of our origins (the universe, life, intelligence)?
Answer – The atheist has NONE! The atheist will pride themselves on “rational thought” and “Critical Thinking”, but they provide neither for ANY of the hard questions! They will side step even attempting to answer with statements like “science is still working on that” (Argumentum ad Futuris), or “It just is” (Assertum Non Est Demonstratum), but ultimately, any materialistic answer to the posited question leads to the untenable “something coming from nothing”.

Materialistic atheism provides absolutely NO adequate answer as to why ANYTHING exists; and materialistically (or from a materialistic standpoint) it is not necessary for anything at all to exist (bear with me for a moment). Logically, Nonexistence of everything in the world is possible, yet the world does exist! Which begs the question WHY??? If there is no cause for its existence, there is no reason why the universe (the world, life intelligence etc…) exists! (A good place to look for more answers along these lines of logic would be to research the “Cosmological Argument”).
If there is no cause for its existence, there is no reason why the universe (the world, life intelligence etc…) exists (see the law of cause and affect).

We can extend this out-and-out to other questions the materialistic atheist has absolutely NO materialistically tenable or cogent answers for:

What is the basis for morality? Atheists have the ability to believe in morality, but they have NO justification for such a belief. Why should we be good unless there were an initial Definer of goodness who will hold us accountable? It is one thing to say that hate, racism, genocide, and rape are wrong. But if there is no ultimate standard of morality (i.e., God), then how can these things be wrong? A moral prescription implies a Moral Prescriber (A good place to look for more answers along these lines of logic would be to research the “Moral Argument”).

What is the basis for meaning? We find that most atheists believe life is meaningful and worth living. But how can it be if we are but “matter in motion”, or “mere animals” and there is no purpose for life, nor destiny AFTER this life? Logically, purpose implies a “Purposer”. But if there is no “Purposer”, there is no objective or ultimate meaning. Yet most atheists live as if there were.

What is the basis for truth? We find that most atheists believe that atheism is true and theism is false. But to state that atheism is true implies that there is such a thing as objective truth. Most atheists do not believe that atheism is true only for them. But if atheism is true, there must be a basis for objective truth. Truth is a characteristic of a mind, and objective truth implies an objective Mind beyond our finite minds.

What is the basis for reason? We find that most atheists pride themselves on being rational. But why be rational if the universe is the result of irrational chance? There is absolutely NO reason to be reasonable in a random universe. Hence, the very thing in which atheists most pride themselves is not possible apart from God. (A good place to look for more answers along these lines of logic would be to research the “Transcendental Argument”).

#30 Ron

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:43 AM


Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum (and online forums in general) so apologies if I'm committing an online faux pas by interjecting in this debate.

Not at all, but you might be better served to read the entire conversation for contextual accuracy prior to interjecting (just a suggestion).



The materialist will attempt to render everything (no matter how illogical and unscientific) to the physical. For example, they will argue that “Man is nothing but matter in motion.” Of course, anyone would agree that ‘physically’ human beings are matter in motion, but this in no way means that we aren’t far more than this.

These materialists will also attempt to assert a thought nothing but electrons firing across the synapse, or nothing but chemical reactions.

The problem with all these reductive fallacies is that these “nothing-but” statements imply a “more-than” knowledge. For example; how could I know that I was nothing but “matter in motion” unless I was more than just a physical body?


In what way is rendering everything to the mere physical/material illogical?

Because; due the fact that there ARE “metaphysical” phenomena, the attempt to render everything as physical is not only egotistical, but it is hypocritical, and illogical as well. If there were no “metaphysical” phenomena, the materialists would have an argument; but “metaphysical” phenomena do indeed exist (the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, thoughts, altruistic love etc…) therefore the materialist has no argument.


As there is no evidence to suggest anything 'beyond' the physical, surely it is more fallacious to posit the immaterial as an alternative?

To easily refute your attempt at argumentation here, I request that you perform but one experiment.

Take one thought, and measure its height, weight, length and width, then spray-paint it purple and provide it here for us to see.


The notion that materialism cannot explain consciousness is predicated on nothing more than God of the Gaps and argumentum ad ignorantiam .

One thing you’re going to find very quickly here Rhodri, is that we are about honest debate. Equivocation, and misinterpretation is not allowed here. Further, if you are going to make an assertion as if it were fact, it is incumbent upon YOU to provide factual evidences to support your assertions. If you are going to assert mere opinion, don’t pretend it is fact. Further, if you are going to make a factual-like claim (i.e. “The notion that materialism cannot explain consciousness is predicated on nothing more than God of the Gaps and argumentum ad ignorantiam”) it is , it is incumbent upon YOU to provide the logical ties that reconcile your premises, otherwise you are committing nothing more than the “non sequitur” logical fallacy.

Therefore:

First – You claimed that materialism can indeed “explain consciousness”, and yet you have provided absolutely NO evidence to do so.

Second – You claimed that this argument is “predicated on nothing more than God of the Gaps”, which is incorrect (as it does not follow “non sequitur”), as the argument is predicated on the FACT that metaphysical phenomena (such as the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, thoughts, altruistic love etc…) ARE NOT PHYSICAL phenomena! This no only renders your attempt at argumentation as a “non sequitur”, but as “Argumentum ad Ignoratio Elenchi” because your conclusion is not pertinent and quite different from that which was intended or required, AND “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” (i.e. False Cause, in that your fallacy was committed when your argument mistakenly attempted to establish a causal connection).

WARNING: You will not be allowed to continue such misrepresentations in this forum.


Although a fully comprehensive model of consciousness has not yet been fully formulated, it does not mean that it will not.

This is what’s known as the “Assertum Non Est Demonstratum” logical fallacy, as you are making a claim that you have ABSOLUTELY NO proof for (no substanciation) because to state a belief, or to state it repeatedly, vigorously, or sincerely is somehow to demonstrate or to substantiate the veracity of that belief.

It can also be considered the “Argumentum ad Futuris” logical fallacy where you are asking us to "Accept this because future evidence will support it." (or you are demanding it). Anyway, it is basically the atheists prayer for future evidences.



Indeed, recent neurological studies are proving the unconscious as ever more prevalent, thus precluding the idea of free will (to a certain degree). Surely current neurological studies are more in favour of scientific materialism (as a tenable model) than of other philosophical/religious alternatives?

The entirety of the above is nothing more than opinion based upon the faith that materialistic thought (which is actually an immaterialist phenomena) will render metaphysical phenomena as physical phenomena.

As I said Rhodri, you are opining with faith statements based upon what you want the future to hold.

#31 Teejay

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:55 AM

[quote] name='gilbo12345' timestamp='1334382320' post='83171']
You didn't read what I said.....

I said my class mate acknowledged the immaterial laws of logic etc, however said that this doesn't mean that supernatural things exist.[/quote]

But the laws of logic are not physical and can't owe their existence to matter. I never let an atheist deny the Source of all that exists and then use the immaterial, invariant, universal laws of logic to argue that the Source does not exist. As I've posted often, this is like someone denying that gravity exists and then stand on the ground and using gravity to argue against its existence.

[quote]He was implying that immaterial things can still obey the laws of nature and thus are natural, rendering them not supernatural[/quote]

Absent God, the atheist has no rational reason to believe that there can be laws of nature. Laws are not physical. And absent God, he can't just simply arbitrarily assume that the laws of nature will function tomorrow as they have today.

[quote]There is some sense in this since the Laws of Logic are natural to this world or to our brains etc.[/quote].

Rational reasoning involves the use of the laws of logic. Therefore, a rational worldview must be able to account for the existence of such laws. Why should there be laws of logic or any laws of reasoning? The Christian can answer these questions. For the Christian there is an absolute Standard for reasoning; we are to pattern our thoughts after God's. And we know (in a finite, limited way) how God thinks because He has revealed some of His thoughts through His word.

Laws of logic are conceptual in nature. They do not really describe aspects of nature and are not natural to nature. Rather they describe the correct chain of reasoning from premises to conclusions. Second, if laws of logic were descriptions of the physical universe, then we might expect different regions of the universe to have different laws of logic. Asserting that the laws of logic are simply natural to our brains will not save the day. I have heard atheists assert that the laws of logic are simply descriptions of how the brain thinks. But if this were true, then why would we need laws of logic to correct the way the way the brain thinks:


Simply positing that the laws of logic are natural to the world and to our brains is to argue: "Laws of logic exist because they exist." This is nothing more than an arbitrary assertion. Arbitrary assertions should not be allowed in logical discourse.

.
[quote]However I do not agree with this sentiment entirely, it does make for a good ponder.
[/quote]

Absent God, laws of logic, morality, rational thought, uniformity of nature (nature will remain law-like), reliability of our senses, and anything abstract (dignity, justice, liberty) can be justified or accounted for in an atheist worldview.

TeeJay

#32 gilbo12345

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:38 AM

1.But the laws of logic are not physical and can't owe their existence to matter. I never let an atheist deny the Source of all that exists and then use the immaterial, invariant, universal laws of logic to argue that the Source does not exist. As I've posted often, this is like someone denying that gravity exists and then stand on the ground and using gravity to argue against its existence.



2.Absent God, the atheist has no rational reason to believe that there can be laws of nature. Laws are not physical. And absent God, he can't just simply arbitrarily assume that the laws of nature will function tomorrow as they have today.

.

3. Rational reasoning involves the use of the laws of logic. Therefore, a rational worldview must be able to account for the existence of such laws. Why should there be laws of logic or any laws of reasoning? The Christian can answer these questions. For the Christian there is an absolute Standard for reasoning; we are to pattern our thoughts after God's. And we know (in a finite, limited way) how God thinks because He has revealed some of His thoughts through His word.

4. Laws of logic are conceptual in nature. They do not really describe aspects of nature and are not natural to nature. Rather they describe the correct chain of reasoning from premises to conclusions. Second, if laws of logic were descriptions of the physical universe, then we might expect different regions of the universe to have different laws of logic.

5. Asserting that the laws of logic are simply natural to our brains will not save the day. I have heard atheists assert that the laws of logic are simply descriptions of how the brain thinks. But if this were true, then why would we need laws of logic to correct the way the way the brain thinks:


6. Simply positing that the laws of logic are natural to the world and to our brains is to argue: "Laws of logic exist because they exist." This is nothing more than an arbitrary assertion. Arbitrary assertions should not be allowed in logical discourse.

.


7. Absent God, laws of logic, morality, rational thought, uniformity of nature (nature will remain law-like), reliability of our senses, and anything abstract (dignity, justice, liberty) can be justified or accounted for in an atheist worldview.

TeeJay


1. Being a naturalist doesn't automatically conform to materialist. As I already said, my class mate said that laws, (that he acknowledged as immaterial), are natural.

2. See point 1, you are confusing atheism with automatic materialism... Some are materialists, some are naturalists... like my class mate.

3. And? So the proof of God bringing about the laws of logic is solely the Bible.... that doesn't bode well for those who do not believe in it. Therefore it is merely a matter of faith, rather than one of evidence. If it were a matter of evidence then the evidence of this would be that all people would convert to Christianity since there is absolute evidence of its superiority. The fact that this is not so, and that there are many faiths puts doubt into this sentiment. This cannot be denied, it is pure logic.

Perhaps there are other reasons for natural laws that we cannot fathom at the moment.... As we say, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", it does work both ways...

4. And? This is not an argument. Being natural doesn't mean it is required to be describing something material.

"not natural to nature".... how so? you need to support your assertions

5. And? It would be natural for a brain to rely on a logical process, since the world conforms to laws of nature and such can be understood via logic. Therefore in order for a brain to understand anything, or to comprehend anything or to even do anything the laws of logic must be applied via the brain. Hence your question is answered.

I'd like to ask how such an argument is not enough.... Just saying so doesn't make it so. Your words are not golden.

6. This is a strawman... I never made such a claim and I ask you to take your words out of my mouth.

7. Glad you agree :P

Seriously. I'd like to ask, how? I have heard the argument alot and assumed it had good backing but the other week I was pondering it and I didn't really know where it stemmed from. Is it merely just an umbrella claim as you've used it as, or is there something behind it.
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#33 Teejay

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 03:34 PM

[quote] name='gilbo12345' timestamp='1334428687' post='83203']
1. Being a naturalist doesn't automatically conform to materialist. As I already said, my class mate said that laws, (that he acknowledged as immaterial), are natural.[/quote]

Your first sentence is not logical possible. It is impossible to be a naturalist (atheist materialist) and be a Chiristian creationist at the same time and in the same way. For it is either true that all that exists is matter or it is true that there is something that exist outside of matter and is not physical.

Your class mate can say that, but it is not true. They can't be material and immaterial at the same time. Laws are not physical. They can't be smelled, felt, eaten, inhaled, touched, or as Ron pointed out, spray painted.

[quote]2. See point 1, you are confusing atheism with automatic materialism... Some are materialists, some are naturalists... like my class mate.[/quote]

This is what this thread is all about. The atheist, who denies a Creator God, can't then account for or justify anything that is not physical within his wolrdview. Reasonless, lifeless, amoral matter can't give you life, laws of logic, rational thought, morality. Matter does not have these things to give.

[quote]3. And? So the proof of God bringing about the laws of logic is solely the Bible.... that doesn't bode well for those who do not believe in it. Therefore it is merely a matter of faith, rather than one of evidence. If it were a matter of evidence then the evidence of this would be that all people would convert to Christianity since there is absolute evidence of its superiority. The fact that this is not so, and that there are many faiths puts doubt into this sentiment. This cannot be denied, it is pure logic.[/quote]

Yes, the Christian creationist Standard is God and His word. But at least we can account for what we believe and see in reality. Our worldview matches what we encounter in the real world. Our belief is not arbitrary. The atheist has not reason to believe that laws of logic should exist within his wolrdview. When at atheist uses laws of logic, he is being inconsistent, arbitrary, and irrational. He denies the Source of the laws of logic but then uses laws of logic to argue against the Source of logic.

The test of whether something is true does not hinge on whether it is believed to be true. it is not just a matter of blind faith. The Christian worldview can account for the existence of laws of logic in that the Source of all rational thought is a rational God. The proof of God is the impossibility of an alternative. The alternative is that matter is the source of laws of logic and rational thought--absurd on the face of it. You simply asserted that there is no evidence, but there is, and man is without excuse (Romans 1:18-22).

Let's examine this pure logic: "If it were a matter of evidence then the evidence of this would be that all people would convert to Christianity since there is absolute evidence of its superiority." Not true. Lazarus the rich man posited this to Abraham. But Abraham replied, "... if they do not believe Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead" (Luke 16:31). There is self-deception that Paul wrote about in Romans 1:18-22 and Jesus said that "Man's heart is deceitful above all things."

Gilbo, I must ask you a question: You, as a participant on this website, have been presented with tons of evidence from all manner of disciplines by Christians; yet, none of these arguments have affected you. You are living proof that your argument here is false. No?


[quote]Perhaps there are other reasons for natural laws that we cannot fathom at the moment.... As we say, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", it does work both ways...[/quote]

But we can know that some beliefs are false. Can't we know, for example, that reasonless matter can't give something that it does not have to give? Can't I further know that reasonless matter which is incapable of producing rational thought, can never in a gazillion years produce it?

[quote]4. And? This is not an argument. Being natural doesn't mean it is required to be describing something material.[/quote]

So what you are arguing here is that the physical is not physical?

[quote]"not natural to nature".... how so? you need to support your assertions[/quote]

Are the laws of logic part of matter?

[quote]5. And? It would be natural for a brain to rely on a logical process, since the world conforms to laws of nature and such can be understood via logic. Therefore in order for a brain to understand anything, or to comprehend anything or to even do anything the laws of logic must be applied via the brain. Hence your question is answered.[/quote]

Why, in your worldview, would you expect it be natural for the braion to rely on logical process? Your worldview can't even account for the existence of laws of logic. The fact that the atheist uses logic to understand anything, is proof that his worldview is false and the creationist's worldview is true.

The lawsof nature: The Christian can expect the universe to conform to and obey the physical laws because God created all that exists and has promised us in His world that He will "uphold all things with the word of His power." The atheist does not. The atheist has no rational reason to believe that the laws of gravity, say, will function tomorrow as it has today. Absent God, his belief that the physical laws will function tomorrow as they have today is an arbitrary belief.

"Understanding" and "comprehending" are not physical functions of the brain. The motion of chemicals in the brain will not let you know anything.

[quote]I'd like to ask how such an argument is not enough.... Just saying so doesn't make it so. Your words are not golden.[/quote]

If what I say is untrue, then refute it.

[quote]6. This is a strawman... I never made such a claim and I ask you to take your words out of my mouth.[/quote]

I will get back to you on this.

[quote]7. Glad you agree :P[/quote]

Tiypo. Please "can" to "can't."

[quote]Seriously. I'd like to ask, how? I have heard the argument alot and assumed it had good backing but the other week I was pondering it and I didn't really know where it stemmed from. Is it merely just an umbrella claim as you've used it as, or is there something behind it.
[/quote]

Why don't you pick one and try and justify it. Take your choice: laws of logic, morality, uniformity of nature, reliability of senses, etc. See if you can justify any of these things coming from lifeless, reasonless, amoral matter. If you can, you will be the first one I have met who can.

TeeJay

#34 Rhodri123

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 01:21 AM

Not at all, but you might be better served to read the entire conversation for contextual accuracy prior to interjecting (just a suggestion).

Because; due the fact that there ARE “metaphysical” phenomena, the attempt to render everything as physical is not only egotistical, but it is hypocritical, and illogical as well. If there were no “metaphysical” phenomena, the materialists would have an argument; but “metaphysical” phenomena do indeed exist (the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, thoughts, altruistic love etc…) therefore the materialist has no argument.
To easily refute your attempt at argumentation here, I request that you perform but one experiment.

Take one thought, and measure its height, weight, length and width, then spray-paint it purple and provide it here for us to see.

One thing you’re going to find very quickly here Rhodri, is that we are about honest debate. Equivocation, and misinterpretation is not allowed here. Further, if you are going to make an assertion as if it were fact, it is incumbent upon YOU to provide factual evidences to support your assertions. If you are going to assert mere opinion, don’t pretend it is fact. Further, if you are going to make a factual-like claim (i.e. “The notion that materialism cannot explain consciousness is predicated on nothing more than God of the Gaps and argumentum ad ignorantiam”) it is , it is incumbent upon YOU to provide the logical ties that reconcile your premises, otherwise you are committing nothing more than the “non sequitur” logical fallacy.

Therefore:

First – You claimed that materialism can indeed “explain consciousness”, and yet you have provided absolutely NO evidence to do so.

Second – You claimed that this argument is “predicated on nothing more than God of the Gaps”, which is incorrect (as it does not follow “non sequitur”), as the argument is predicated on the FACT that metaphysical phenomena (such as the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, thoughts, altruistic love etc…) ARE NOT PHYSICAL phenomena! This no only renders your attempt at argumentation as a “non sequitur”, but as “Argumentum ad Ignoratio Elenchi” because your conclusion is not pertinent and quite different from that which was intended or required, AND “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” (i.e. False Cause, in that your fallacy was committed when your argument mistakenly attempted to establish a causal connection).

WARNING: You will not be allowed to continue such misrepresentations in this forum.

This is what’s known as the “Assertum Non Est Demonstratum” logical fallacy, as you are making a claim that you have ABSOLUTELY NO proof for (no substanciation) because to state a belief, or to state it repeatedly, vigorously, or sincerely is somehow to demonstrate or to substantiate the veracity of that belief.

It can also be considered the “Argumentum ad Futuris” logical fallacy where you are asking us to "Accept this because future evidence will support it." (or you are demanding it). Anyway, it is basically the atheists prayer for future evidences.


The entirety of the above is nothing more than opinion based upon the faith that materialistic thought (which is actually an immaterialist phenomena) will render metaphysical phenomena as physical phenomena.

As I said Rhodri, you are opining with faith statements based upon what you want the future to hold.



Apologies. I merely stumbled upon this after a cursory browsing, and joined without thinking. For that I apologize and will not do so again.
From reading, our disagreements can basically be reduced to whether or not abstract concepts such as love, mathematics etc are physical or immaterial. My argument is that they are concepts which have emerged from physical phenomena, and have had abstracted definitions imposed upon them. They only become difficult to explain when you assume that the universalized notions, or noumena of these terms exist, which obviously many do not.
Firstly, love. My opinion is that ‘love’ as we understand it is but a cultural construct. The notion of love as understood today differs enormously from love as even understood in chivalric/heroic ideologies, let alone the vast number of differences between more disparate (chronologically or geographically) cultures. As most on this forum are Christians, I understand that this opinion is unpalatable. This is not my opinion, however, but verifiable, as hopefully evidenced by the articles below.
http://www.anthroser...lationships.pdf. Decent article on the subject.

The same can be said for ‘happiness’, ‘hatred’, or other such abstract concepts.
http://web.ba.ntu.ed...ented%20SWB.pdf
Now I understand that this does not obviate the metaphysical. I’m using it as an example of how susceptible these definitions are to different cultural ethoi, and are therefore not immutable, thus corroborating the notion of them as developing from physical phenomena.

Furthermore, ‘love’ in my opinion (and that of many scientists) can be reduced to a series of biological phenomena.
http://en.wikipedia....ove#cite_note-0
I realized Wikipedia is not in itself a viable source, but there are links on there which can shed light on ‘love’ as we understand it.
http://www.azcentral...science-ON.html

Sorry for inundating the post with links, but as I was called out for providing no evidence on my last post, I’m just making sure that I substantiate all my statements.



On Mathematics, I’m sorry but how can you construe the laws of Mathematics as metaphysical? They boil down to a series of observable, material effects, surely? Consider quantum mechanics. Many of the effects observed at a quantum level seem merely dependent on nothing but chance. Not going to go in to the anthropic principle, God’s dice etc, ass I’m sure everyone on here is far better versed in the subjects as I am, but many scientists now believe that the laws that govern the universe are themselves a product of chance . I know I’m digressing a bit, but it brings me back to my earlier point: the laws of mathematics are not abstract laws, they are products of chance that have emerged from material phenomena, themselves not governed by any ‘laws’.
No offence, but I believe you are creating a false analogy with your posited ‘experiment’. Now certainly the thought itself cannot be measured, but the factors that led to the thought can certainly be. If thought can be reduced to certain processes, Neurons firing in the brain, biochemical impulses etc, then your analogy becomes spurious. I apologize for providing no links on my last post, but here’s some regarding the notion that free will may be an illusion.

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/6640273
Now I am aware that this does not obviate free will per se, but surely is a factor in support of a materialistic wordview? If not, I would like to hear why.
Apologies for my hasty earlier post. It was my fault for presenting my argument so loosely and without substantiation. I do believe, however, that in essence I was right. I disagree with your assertion that I committed Assertum Non Est Demonstratum and Argumentum ad Futuris. If you reread my post, I did not assert that scientific materialism will definitely be able to explain all factors of consciousness. Whether it was intentional or not, you misrepresented me by asserting that was my claim. What I stated was twofold: Firstly, that because science doesn’t currently have all the answers it does not immediately follow that someday it will not (this is not argumentum ad futuris, because I was not making a positive assertion); and secondly, that neuroscience is currently working towards understanding consciousness within a materialistic framework, and is making progress doing so.


Now, consider thought. Thought is contingent upon a plethora of factors. Mood, weather, temperature, room colour, music currently playing; all affect thought. My assertion that thought is a physical process is supported by this, along with the fact that chemicals, such as drugs or alcohol, affect thought. All of these elements are incontrovertibly physical. If thought is so susceptible to vicissitude within the material realm, then where is the space in which to locate the metaphysical?
Basically, then, disagreements (so far) pertaining to this exchange can be boiled down to the notion as to whether concepts such as love, logic etc can be reduced to physical phenomena. I believe I have, to a reasonable standard, demonstrated that they can. Can you assert (via corroborative evidence, or by your own logic) that they are not?
I believe that I have conducted my response in accordance with the outlined rules. If I have not, could you please tell me how as I assure you it has not been intentional and is something I will rectify.


#35 Teejay

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:40 AM

Rhodri,

Now, consider thought. Thought is contingent upon a plethora of factors. Mood, weather, temperature, room colour, music currently playing; all affect thought[


Thought is not physical. My brain is a physical organ composed of chemicals. If thinking were simply the motion of chemicals, why should the chemicals in my brain work the same way as the chemicals in your brain? If reasoning was simply the motion of chemicals in the brain, we could not know that anything was true—not even that your brain was composed of chemicals.

How do you know that these factors are affecting you? Does your brain tell your brain? While we need our brains to interact with the physical world around us, we do not reason and know truth with our brain (physical organ); we reason and know truth with our mind.

To the extent that I let the physical state of my mind (the brain) dominate my thinking, to that extent, it produces disorder. Man has to use his reason and will to overcome his mood, endure bad weather and temperature, paint the room with a favorite color, put on Larance Welk music and so forth.

Again, rational thought and laws of logic are not physical and can’t come from or be affected by the physical.





My assertion that thought is a physical process is supported by this, along with the fact that chemicals, such as drugs or alcohol, affect thought. All of these elements are incontrovertibly physical. If thought is so susceptible to vicissitude within the material realm, then where is the space in which to locate the metaphysical?


Drugs and alcohol are physical and can’t possibly affect the non-physical reasoning. Rather, it affects your brain. Perhaps before you proclaim that your thoughts are “incontrovertibly physical,” you should prove they are physical. Question: How do you know that this is true? The motion of chemicals in your brain will not tell you that two plus two are incontrovertibly four. A calculator which is physical can add two plus two and give a correct answer, but it does not know that it is true that two plus two is four. Further, you emotions are not physical. Drugs and alcohol affect your physical brain and do indeed affect your emotions through your brain, but do not create the non-physical emotions that are already present within you.

You asked where is the space for the meta-physical? Thoughts, laws of logic, emotions, information, mathematics, the abstract concepts of dignity, justice, liberty, are not physical and don’t occupy physical space. You can’t smell them, feel them, hear them, taste them or as Ron pointed out, paint them for all to see.

Basically, then, disagreements (so far) pertaining to this exchange can be boiled down to the notion as to whether concepts such as love, logic etc can be reduced to physical phenomena. I believe I have, to a reasonable standard, demonstrated that they can. Can you assert (via corroborative evidence, or by your own logic) that they are not?


Let’s just take laws of logic. Laws of logic can be accounted for and justified in the Christian/creationist worldview. (Our source is God and He is a non-physical entity.) They are not physical and are not part of the physical universe, and they are invariable, universal, and absolute. If reasoning to reach truth was simply the motion of chemicals in a person’s brain, how could there be laws for reasoning that are universal, invariable, and absolute? Why would all the chemicals work the same way?

Now the atheist uses laws of logic and is able to reach truth, but when he does so, he is being inconsistent and arbitrary within his worldview. He denies the Source of rational thought and logic, and then reasons using logic to argue against the very Source that gave him the ability to do so. Thus, he is being inconsistent with his worldview. He is also being arbitrary in that he has no rational reason to believe that there can be laws of logic and rational thought within his worldview. If the atheist worldview were true, that nothing but the material exists, he could not use immaterial logic and rational thought and he could not know anything.

TeeJay


#36 Rhodri123

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:32 AM

If possible, could I have the option to edit posts returned? I would like to edit my previous post

#37 Rhodri123

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:06 PM

Please delete the previous post. I have amended it in accordance with forum rules.




Thanks for the reply.


Thought is not physical. My brain is a physical organ composed of chemicals. If thinking were simply the motion of chemicals, why should the chemicals in my brain work the same way as the chemicals in your brain? If reasoning was simply the motion of chemicals in the brain, we could not know that anything was true—not even that your brain was composed of chemicals




Our brains work in similar ways because we are the same species, in the same way that they work far differently to those of dogs or cats.


How do you know that these factors are affecting you? Does your brain tell your brain? While we need our brains to interact with the physical world around us, we do not reason and know truth with our brain (physical organ); we reason and know truth with our mind.

To the extent that I let the physical state of my mind (the brain) dominate my thinking, to that extent, it produces disorder. Man has to use his reason and will to overcome his mood, endure bad weather and temperature, paint the room with a favorite color, put on Larance Welk music and so forth



I’m sorry, but I do not agree with your conclusion. In the same way, how can you reliably conclude that you have successfully decoded and understood the lessons divulged to you by the bible? We know that reason works because it is evidenced by the world we have created around us, not least the fact that we can have this conversation despite being thousands of miles apart.

I was not referring to my brain alone. That these factors affect the brain is an incontrovertible fact, attested by hundreds of experiments. I’ll just post one or two links to substantiate my claim, but there’s no real to go into that great detail.
http://phys.org/news148153021.html
http://ukpmc.ac.uk/a...XII5kOuCY9FSk.6





Drugs and alcohol are physical and can’t possibly affect the non-physical reasoning. Rather, it affects your brain. Perhaps before you proclaim that your thoughts are “incontrovertibly physical,” you should prove they are physical. Question: How do you know that this is true? The motion of chemicals in your brain will not tell you that two plus two are incontrovertibly four. A calculator which is physical can add two plus two and give a correct answer, but it does not know that it is true that two plus two is four. Further, you emotions are not physical. Drugs and alcohol affect your physical brain and do indeed affect your emotions through your brain, but do not create the non-physical emotions that are already present within you.


Can you provide veritable evidence of this mind/brain dichotomy? I’m a Physicalist and hold the view that they are one and the same.


Rational thought can indeed be affected by the physical. For evidence just look at people on drink or drugs. People are far less rational when drunk/on drugs. People respond differently to stimuli under their influence.

Again, they do affect reasoning because people reason differently under different stimuli.

I’m sorry, but I’m finding these analogies rather tenuous. That two and two equals four is attested by external demonstration of the sum. As to your statement about the non-physical emotions already in me: well yes, they can indeed be affected by the physical. Happiness or sadness can be induced by external stimuli, as can any other emotion. Take something as simple and beautiful as seeing a family member. There is indeed an innate desire within me to see a member of my family, but I have been conditioned to do so by years of positive experience. Had I not, then I would not have a desire to see them. I know for instance, plenty of people who never wish to see their family members again.

If you’re referring, however, to the very possibility that these emotions can exist, then I am sorry for digressing. Again, it is my belief that even such basic, innate emotions can be reduced to physical phenomena. I’m sure you would concur that a dog or a cat does not possess a mind, but can indeed feel happiness in a manner akin to our own.

You asked where is the space for the meta-physical? Thoughts, laws of logic, emotions, information, mathematics, the abstract concepts of dignity, justice, liberty, are not physical and don’t occupy physical space. You can’t smell them, feel them, hear them, taste them or as Ron pointed out, paint them for all to see.

Those abstract notions to which you refer, do not ‘exist’ in some sort of noumenal space (in my opinion). Rather, they are constructs of the mind (materialist definition). There is no such thing as a ‘universal’ sense of dignity. I’m sure even our conception of dignity differs somewhat, let alone the difference between ours and, for instance, the moriori people (who considered violence so unpardonable they were driven to near-extinction rather than engage in violence). This proves that the innate foundations of humanity and, to a degree, logic, which we consider sound, can be susceptible to vicissitude. The links I posted in my previous post show how these concepts can differ within different cultural milieux. This supports my materialist philosophy, as it indicates that such abstract concepts are products of physical phenomena/ situations.

Let’s just take laws of logic. Laws of logic can be accounted for and justified in the Christian/creationist worldview. (Our source is God and He is a non-physical entity.) They are not physical and are not part of the physical universe, and they are invariable, universal, and absolute. If reasoning to reach truth was simply the motion of chemicals in a person’s brain, how could there be laws for reasoning that are universal, invariable, and absolute? Why would all the chemicals work the same way?

Now the atheist uses laws of logic and is able to reach truth, but when he does so, he is being inconsistent and arbitrary within his worldview. He denies the Source of rational thought and logic, and then reasons using logic to argue against the very Source that gave him the ability to do so. Thus, he is being inconsistent with his worldview. He is also being arbitrary in that he has no rational reason to believe that there can be laws of logic and rational thought within his worldview. If the atheist worldview were true, that nothing but the material exists, he could not use immaterial logic and rational thought and he could not know anything.





The ‘laws of logic’ also fall into this category. Different cultures have different laws of logic, for instance. Can you define precisely what you mean by ‘laws of logic’, please, to prevent confusion, as the term is a bit slippery?

Logic is susceptible to development, as is everything else. A brief glance at the history of philosophy will attest to this. Laws which we have observed, taxonomized and explained, have been ascertained through rigorous scientific and philosophical study. For example, Newtonian mechanics are ‘observable’ at all levels down to quanta, and then do not apply. Same applies for most premises; they vary.

If you’re talking about the four ‘absolute’ laws of logic, then I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree. Ostensibly, yes, they do appear transcendental. My argument would be, however, that they have derived from observation and are merely a model which we have created in order to explain the world around us. They are conceptual models describing rational processes, all explicable within a materialist framework, as they have been derived through observation of the physical world. Even if our minds did not ‘create’ the physical factors that lead to these laws, the laws themselves are human constructs, used to describe physical processes.

I find your premise engaging, but I’m afraid I do not agree. Your argument is indeed relevant from a theistic perspective, and if I were a Christian I would completely concur. Obviously, though, I do not believe in a ‘source’. I believe God is a cultural construct, which can be discarded due to its (from an atheist perspective) irrelevancy. As I believe I have demonstrated, not all chemicals do work the same way, a fact evidenced by this exchange.
Here’s a decent link (sincere apologies for the mocking picture; I do not condone making fun of people’s beliefs, but the actual argument is quite compelling)

http://www.eadon.com/phil/godlogic.php

As I believe logic is a construct derived from the material, your point about ‘immaterial logic’ and the paradox you presented do not apply to me.

Again, the argument can be reduced to a core difference regarding the nature of logic. I’m pretty sure we’ve hit a disjunction here, as our belief regarding logic, reason, or any other abstract concept cannot be altered without first undergoing a complete overhaul.

#38 Tirian

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:16 AM

The ‘laws of logic’ also fall into this category. Different cultures have different laws of logic, for instance. Can you define precisely what you mean by ‘laws of logic’, please, to prevent confusion, as the term is a bit slippery? Logic is susceptible to development, as is everything else. A brief glance at the history of philosophy will attest to this. Laws which we have observed, taxonomized and explained, have been ascertained through rigorous scientific and philosophical study. For example, Newtonian mechanics are ‘observable’ at all levels down to quanta, and then do not apply. Same applies for most premises; they vary.

If you’re talking about the four ‘absolute’ laws of logic, then I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree. Ostensibly, yes, they do appear transcendental. My argument would be, however, that they have derived from observation and are merely a model which we have created in order to explain the world around us. They are conceptual models describing rational processes, all explicable within a materialist framework, as they have been derived through observation of the physical world. Even if our minds did not ‘create’ the physical factors that lead to these laws, the laws themselves are human constructs, used to describe physical processes.

I find your premise engaging, but I’m afraid I do not agree. Your argument is indeed relevant from a theistic perspective, and if I were a Christian I would completely concur. Obviously, though, I do not believe in a ‘source’. I believe God is a cultural construct, which can be discarded due to its (from an atheist perspective) irrelevancy. As I believe I have demonstrated, not all chemicals do work the same way, a fact evidenced by this exchange. Here’s a decent link (sincere apologies for the mocking picture; I do not condone making fun of people’s beliefs, but the actual argument is quite compelling)

http://www.eadon.com/phil/godlogic.php

As I believe logic is a construct derived from the material, your point about ‘immaterial logic’ and the paradox you presented do not apply to me. Again, the argument can be reduced to a core difference regarding the nature of logic. I’m pretty sure we’ve hit a disjunction here, as our belief regarding logic, reason, or any other abstract concept cannot be altered without first undergoing a complete overhaul.


Just some thoughts on your (and the provided links) logic here :)

Do you believe that Logical Absolutes exists or not? I.e. does such things at the Law of Identity, Law of Non-Contradiction and Law of Excluded Middle exist or do they not exist?

The link you refer to makes this argument:

If a god is all-powerful then it follows that he cannot make another god who is more powerful than he already is. If he did then that must mean that he was not ALL-powerful after all, because by definition, an ALL-powerful god cannot create anything more powerful than himself. The paradox indicates that there can be no such thing as an all-powerful entity, in the same way that there cannot be a largest number


But this seems like a truly naive statement. It is a variant of som sort of omnipotence paradox. The problem is that omnipotence means to have unlimited power. So the argument could be rephrased like this:

God can not create a being that has more power than unlimited power.

And that does make sense, right? What would it mean that something has more power than unlimited power?

Another strange suggestion that the page tries to use is this :

A fallacy beloved of religious people is that "god" invented logic. This crazy argument implies that there was a "time" when this god "existed" in a "place" sans logic. If there was no logic then god cannot be said logically to have existed at all, as the state of existence is a logical one. If god could not be said to have existed then it is logically a fallacy to state that he did exist before logic existed. Therefore god could not have invented logic.


But God is logic. Logic is part of Gods essential being rather than something invented. And if you understand that, the above suggestion just seems illogical. It is just a product of somones irrational thought.

See John 1:1 in the Bible and remeber that logos (wich is usually translated to word) also have the meaning of reason.
For more info: http://www.trinityfo...urnal.php?id=16

#39 Rhodri123

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:31 AM

Cheers for the reply


Just some thoughts on your (and the provided links) logic here :)

Do you believe that Logical Absolutes exists or not? I.e. does such things at the Law of Identity, Law of Non-Contradiction and Law of Excluded Middle exist or do they not exist?



I do indeed believe that logical absolutes exist. It is my opinion, however, that they are concepts used to describe physical processes/phenomena, and are therefore explicable within a materialist framework. I do not believe they exist ‘in themselves’, as it were. They are constructs explaining natural laws, not reflections of the mind of God.


But this seems like a truly naive statement. It is a variant of som sort of omnipotence paradox. The problem is that omnipotence means to have unlimited power. So the argument could be rephrased like this:

God can not create a being that has more power than unlimited power.

And that does make sense, right? What would it mean that something has more power than unlimited power?



I don’t really adhere much to the omnipotence paradox. I think it’s pretty irrelevant, and is impeding progressive debate. I agree with you that that part of the argument was rather tenuous. I posted it more due to its content on logic


But God is logic. Logic is part of Gods essential being rather than something invented. And if you understand that, the above suggestion just seems illogical. It is just a product of somones irrational thought
See John 1:1 in the Bible and remeber that logos (wich is usually translated to word) also have the meaning of reason.
For more info: http://www.trinityfo...urnal.php?id=16



I’ve just been doing a bit of research on the subject of the transcendental arguments and its variations. These responses are pretty decent. If they do not cover what it was to which you were referring, then please outline it for me specifically so I can compose a thorough response.
http://wiki.ironchar...dental_argument
http://atheistexperi...l-argument.html
http://atheistexperi...ure-not-it.html



Thanks for the link. I read it and see that it refutes the link I earlier posted. It does not, however, refute my original argument. Invoking God to account for logic seems to me pretty circular, as it only applies if you actually believe in God. Logic does not inform existence; it emerges from it. To posit God, to me, is not necessary. What I think the argument does is conflate logical results with the discipline of logic. Absolutes are facts of nature, not God. Logic is used to describe nature. Therefore, positing God is unnecessary.

#40 Ron

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:47 AM

If possible, could I have the option to edit posts returned? I would like to edit my previous post



No... There are reasons for a time limit on postings. It keeps the poster honest (i.e. they cannot come back later, change someting in their post, then claim that the person is liar who caught them in their "less than honest" post.



Not at all, but you might be better served to read the entire conversation for contextual accuracy prior to interjecting (just a suggestion).

Because; due the fact that there ARE “metaphysical” phenomena, the attempt to render everything as physical is not only egotistical, but it is hypocritical, and illogical as well. If there were no “metaphysical” phenomena, the materialists would have an argument; but “metaphysical” phenomena do indeed exist (the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, thoughts, altruistic love etc…) therefore the materialist has no argument.
To easily refute your attempt at argumentation here, I request that you perform but one experiment.

Take one thought, and measure its height, weight, length and width, then spray-paint it purple and provide it here for us to see.

One thing you’re going to find very quickly here Rhodri, is that we are about honest debate. Equivocation, and misinterpretation is not allowed here. Further, if you are going to make an assertion as if it were fact, it is incumbent upon YOU to provide factual evidences to support your assertions. If you are going to assert mere opinion, don’t pretend it is fact. Further, if you are going to make a factual-like claim (i.e. “The notion that materialism cannot explain consciousness is predicated on nothing more than God of the Gaps and argumentum ad ignorantiam”) it is , it is incumbent upon YOU to provide the logical ties that reconcile your premises, otherwise you are committing nothing more than the “non sequitur” logical fallacy.

Therefore:

First – You claimed that materialism can indeed “explain consciousness”, and yet you have provided absolutely NO evidence to do so.

Second – You claimed that this argument is “predicated on nothing more than God of the Gaps”, which is incorrect (as it does not follow “non sequitur”), as the argument is predicated on the FACT that metaphysical phenomena (such as the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, thoughts, altruistic love etc…) ARE NOT PHYSICAL phenomena! This no only renders your attempt at argumentation as a “non sequitur”, but as “Argumentum ad Ignoratio Elenchi” because your conclusion is not pertinent and quite different from that which was intended or required, AND “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” (i.e. False Cause, in that your fallacy was committed when your argument mistakenly attempted to establish a causal connection).

WARNING: You will not be allowed to continue such misrepresentations in this forum.

This is what’s known as the “Assertum Non Est Demonstratum” logical fallacy, as you are making a claim that you have ABSOLUTELY NO proof for (no substanciation) because to state a belief, or to state it repeatedly, vigorously, or sincerely is somehow to demonstrate or to substantiate the veracity of that belief.

It can also be considered the “Argumentum ad Futuris” logical fallacy where you are asking us to "Accept this because future evidence will support it." (or you are demanding it). Anyway, it is basically the atheists prayer for future evidences.


The entirety of the above is nothing more than opinion based upon the faith that materialistic thought (which is actually an immaterialist phenomena) will render metaphysical phenomena as physical phenomena.

As I said Rhodri, you are opining with faith statements based upon what you want the future to hold.


Apologies. I merely stumbled upon this after a cursory browsing, and joined without thinking. For that I apologize and will not do so again.

No problem…


From reading, our disagreements can basically be reduced to whether or not abstract concepts such as love, mathematics etc are physical or immaterial. My argument is that they are concepts which have emerged from physical phenomena, and have had abstracted definitions imposed upon them. They only become difficult to explain when you assume that the universalized notions, or noumena of these terms exist, which obviously many do not.


The problem with your statement is that:

First – You have absolutely no evidence to substantiate your assertions, thus rendering them to mere opinion (regardless of who makes them), as you are merely stating them (and “Assertum Non Est Demonstratum”) and not providing factual basis for them.
Second – Phenomena such as altruistic love, the Laws of “Mathematics” and “Logic” (etc…) were not INVENTED by man, they were DISCOVERED by man. Therefore they are not CONCEPTS, they are PHENOMENA; and yet they are METAPHYSICAL.
Third – There is absolutely NO evidence that these Phenomena have not ALWAYS been as they are now. So, your “emergence” hypothesis has no foundation.
Fourth – If these phenomena could have “definitions imposed upon them”, they would be capricious in nature, and not be self-evident. And yet they ARE self-evident! For example: 1+2 can never equal 4! It is self-evidence that it will always be 3! And two tings cannot be contradictory AND the same, at the same time in the same sense. Again, man did not invent this like he did the rules of baseball, therefore you’re “imposition” fallacy is moot as well.
Lastly – “Universality” is only applicable in the fact that these phenomena are the same EVERYWHERE; thusly further damaging your attempt to assert that they are “Concepts” of man.


Firstly, love. My opinion is that ‘love’ as we understand it is but a cultural construct. The notion of love as understood today differs enormously from love as even understood in chivalric/heroic ideologies, let alone the vast number of differences between more disparate (chronologically or geographically) cultures. As most on this forum are Christians, I understand that this opinion is unpalatable. This is not my opinion, however, but verifiable, as hopefully evidenced by the articles below.


The same can be said for ‘happiness’, ‘hatred’, or other such abstract concepts.
http://web.ba.ntu.ed...ented%20SWB.pdf
Now I understand that this does not obviate the metaphysical. I’m using it as an example of how susceptible these definitions are to different cultural ethoi, and are therefore not immutable, thus corroborating the notion of them as developing from physical phenomena.

Furthermore, ‘love’ in my opinion (and that of many scientists) can be reduced to a series of biological phenomena.
http://en.wikipedia....ove#cite_note-0
I realized Wikipedia is not in itself a viable source, but there are links on there which can shed light on ‘love’ as we understand it.
http://www.azcentral...science-ON.html
Sorry for inundating the post with links, but as I was called out for providing no evidence on my last post, I’m just making sure that I substantiate all my statements.


Once again, neither you, nor your link provides anything but opinion on the subject. Nor does simply providing links with nothing more than more opinions, in anyway substantiate/validate these claims.

In order to substantiate your assertions, you MUST provide FACTUAL evidence (historic AND extant) to prove that altruistic love, or hate has somehow evolved (and that they have evolved from nothing for that matter).

Further, saying that you agree with “many scientists” is nothing more than “Argumentum ad Populum”.


On Mathematics, I’m sorry but how can you construe the laws of Mathematics as metaphysical?


Quite simply actually… When you can touch, taste, smell, see, or in any other manner “Measure” ANY of the Laws of Mathematics, then you have the empirical scientific right to call them physical and not metaphysical. But the problem you’re going to run into right away is this: You can ONLY “touch, taste, smell, see, Measure” the effects of mathematics, NOT the laws themselves. Therefor your argument fails.


They boil down to a series of observable, material effects, surely?


Exactly my point Rhodi… Thanks! The “EFFECTS” are measureable; and ONLY the effects. The laws themselves are not (unless you can do the impossible and provide how they are?).


Consider quantum mechanics. Many of the effects observed at a quantum level seem merely dependent on nothing but chance.


Yep… Once again THANK YOU, you make my point once again! The EFFECTS may be observable, the hypothesis, model, theory or law IS NOT!


Not going to go in to the anthropic principle, God’s dice etc, ass I’m sure everyone on here is far better versed in the subjects as I am, but many scientists now believe that the laws that govern the universe are themselves a product of chance .



First – The anthropic principle itself is metaphysical (it is a philosophical argument based upon many precise constraints that make life on earth possible, and not random), but therefore NOT something you can observe. The only phenomena you CAN observe are the effects of said principle! You keep using examples that prove my case, and destroy yours. Again, thank you…
Second – I am very well versed on it.
Third – Your “many scientists” argument (once again) is nothing more than “Argumentum ad Populum”, as they provide nothing more than mere opinion.
Fourth – The “Gods Dice” comment was a little condescending, as it, in no way, fairly describes the “tight constraints” that the theist point out concerning this argument (which, by the way weaken the “chance” argument).


I know I’m digressing a bit, but it brings me back to my earlier point: the laws of mathematics are not abstract laws, they are products of chance that have emerged from material phenomena, themselves not governed by any ‘laws’.
Now I am aware that this does not obviate free will per se, but surely is a factor in support of a materialistic wordview? If not, I would like to hear why.


Once again, you could NOT be further from the truth. Therefore, it is incumbent upon YOU to provide factual evidence that the Laws of Mathematics are random AND physical.
First – I would suggest that you look up the definition of Random (and its antonyms).

Second – I would suggest that you somehow attempt to reconcile how something as rigidly inflexible and deliberate in its foundation of truth as the Laws of mathematics could possibly come about from something as chaotic as randomness. Keeping in mind that these laws were discovered not invented; that they are not capricious; they are true EVERYWHERE; and there is absolutely NO evidence that they are not as they ALWAYS have been.


No offence, but I believe you are creating a false analogy with your posited ‘experiment’. Now certainly the thought itself cannot be measured, but the factors that led to the thought can certainly be. If thought can be reduced to certain processes, Neurons firing in the brain, biochemical impulses etc, then your analogy becomes spurious. I apologize for providing no links on my last post, but here’s some regarding the notion that free will may be an illusion.



No offence taken, as I know for a fact that you haven’t provided an iota of evidence where I have offered any ‘false analogy’ of any sort. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to provide how it is so (since you leveled the accusations).


Apologies for my hasty earlier post. It was my fault for presenting my argument so loosely and without substantiation. I do believe, however, that in essence I was right. I disagree with your assertion that I committed Assertum Non Est Demonstratum and Argumentum ad Futuris. If you reread my post, I did not assert that scientific materialism will definitely be able to explain all factors of consciousness. Whether it was intentional or not, you misrepresented me by asserting that was my claim. What I stated was twofold: Firstly, that because science doesn’t currently have all the answers it does not immediately follow that someday it will not (this is not argumentum ad futuris, because I was not making a positive assertion); and secondly, that neuroscience is currently working towards understanding consciousness within a materialistic framework, and is making progress doing so.



Firstly – I did read your post, and I factually supported ALL of my assertions in post # 30. You really should re-read said post before you levy anymore accusations.

Secondly – Argumentum ad Futuris IS hope, not proof. It is argument by anticipation, not demonstration; regardless of whether or not you attempt to use the “positive assertion” claim. A claim is a claim!

Example of the Argumentum ad Futuris fallacy:

"Missing links may yet be found to support evolution."

"Scientists may soon find a natural cause for the origin of life."
"Archeology will one day disprove the Bible."

You are once again prevaricating on your assertions by attempting to claim that you didn’t make a “positive claim”. But, once again a claim is a claim. Further, you are attempting to use your less that “positive claim” to support your “positive claim” that the Laws of Mathematics, Laws of Logic, Altruistic Love, or Thought are physical rather than metaphysical.

You cannot have it both ways…


Now, consider thought. Thought is contingent upon a plethora of factors. Mood, weather, temperature, room colour, music currently playing; all affect thought. My assertion that thought is a physical process is supported by this, along with the fact that chemicals, such as drugs or alcohol, affect thought. All of these elements are incontrovertibly physical. If thought is so susceptible to vicissitude within the material realm, then where is the space in which to locate the metaphysical?


Once again, you attempt to reconcile a thought, with physical phenomena. But, until (and only until) you can catch one and paint it green (or any such color), you totally fail in your attempt to provide thought as physical. And until you do, you do nothing more than equivocate on the definition. Which begs the question: Are you going to continue to equivocate on the definition? Or are you going to provide where a thought can possibly be physical.


Basically, then, disagreements (so far) pertaining to this exchange can be boiled down to the notion as to whether concepts such as love, logic etc can be reduced to physical phenomena. I believe I have, to a reasonable standard, demonstrated that they can. Can you assert (via corroborative evidence, or by your own logic) that they are not?
I believe that I have conducted my response in accordance with the outlined rules. If I have not, could you please tell me how as I assure you it has not been intentional and is something I will rectify.



Actually, I have provided over-and-over when your attempts have failed. Therefor you have not, to any standard, demonstrated that the laws of mathematics, the laws of logic, altruistic love, OR a thought, can be anything other than metaphysical. And I have basically done so on a line-per-line base.

Further, NO you have not “conducted my response in accordance with the outlined rules”, as you have continually equivocated on definitions and terms (i.e. conversion by definition”) amongst other things. Further, you asserted that I “misrepresented” you claims, when in fact, I addressed each claim individually, with concise and succinct dialogue. I might suggest that you provide the actual examples where I misrepresented you!




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