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#1 ModusTollens

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 05:40 AM

I'm a new member. This section is for new members. I put two and two together. :rolleyes:

#2 Seek123

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 03:16 PM

I'm proud of your deduction :rolleyes:
Welcome to the forum!

#3 Ron

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 04:49 PM

Welcome to the forum :rolleyes:

#4 MamaElephant

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 06:29 PM

Hi! Posted Image

#5 AFJ

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 12:14 PM

I'm a new member.  This section is for new members.  I put two and two together. :rolleyes:

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Hi Modus Tollens,

I saw in one of your posts you are an anthropologist. I may have some questions for you. Anyway, glad you joined the forum. AFJ

#6 ikester7579

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 03:48 AM

Hi, welcome to the forum.

#7 Mankind

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:26 PM

Welcome to the forum, but I have a serious question. You claimed to use logic in the OP, yet there is no foundation for logic in the atheist worldview. In your worldview there is no reason for your perception of logic to have any correspondence with objective reality. All you have is firing neurons in your brain and they could still be evolving to produce different perceptions of logic. Can you explain this apparent contradiction?

#8 Mike Summers

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:59 PM

Welcome to the forum, but I have a serious question.  You claimed to use logic in the OP, yet there is no foundation for logic in the atheist worldview.  In your worldview there is no reason for your perception of logic to have any correspondence with objective reality.  All you have is firing neurons in your brain and they could still be evolving to produce different perceptions of logic.  Can you explain this apparent contradiction?

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Now come on mankind, you have to have faith that a human being comes packaged with a brain, software to run it an and the ability to communicate with the rest of us. Whether they choose to agree as to how they got here makes no more sense than saying we have to know how to repair a car if we are going to drive it. All this is said somewhat tongue in cheek. :D He said nothing about logic in his post.

Next time I drive through McDonalds I am going to ask why they do not give me written instructions on how to use the straw they include with my drink. I shall threaten to sue. But then the atheistic evolutions worldview does portend lots of magic. I fear you are justified in your questions. We shall just have to wait and see how he responds.

Oh! By the way, welcome to the forum ModusTullens!

#9 MamaElephant

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 07:33 AM

Next time I drive through McDonalds I am going to ask why they do not give me written instructions on how to use the straw they include with my drink. I shall threaten to sue.

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:D :D

#10 Mankind

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 12:51 PM

Now come on mankind, you have to have faith that a human being  comes packaged with a brain, software to run it an and the  ability to communicate with the rest of us.  Whether they choose to agree as to how they got here  makes no more sense than saying we have to know how to repair a car if we  are going to drive it. All this is said somewhat tongue in cheek.  B)  He said nothing about logic in his post.

Next time I drive through McDonalds I am going to ask why they do not give me written instructions on how to use the straw they include with my drink. I shall threaten to sue. But then the atheistic evolutions  worldview does portend lots of magic. I fear you are justified in your questions.  We shall just have to wait and see how he responds.

Oh! By the way, welcome to the forum ModusTullens!

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You have a good point, I might have jumped to a conclusion. What I was thinking is there are laws of logic and laws of thought, such as the law of non contradiction, and the OP mentioned that they “put two and two together”. If atheists want to use the absolute laws of logic without having a foundation for them then that is fine, I just think that it is a contradiction because from their worldview there is no foundation for laws of logic. I have a foundation for them with is God who created them.

#11 ModusTollens

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 10:45 AM

Welcome to the forum, but I have a serious question.  You claimed to use logic in the OP, yet there is no foundation for logic in the atheist worldview.  In your worldview there is no reason for your perception of logic to have any correspondence with objective reality.  All you have is firing neurons in your brain and they could still be evolving to produce different perceptions of logic.  Can you explain this apparent contradiction?

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First of all, sorry to have taken so long to reply. I forgot I had posted my little introduction, and so I haven't checked it in all this time. :lol:

Bertrand Russell is a man who I reference fairly often, both in this forum and elsewhere. As I have said before, I think that he is perhaps the single greatest mind of the 20th century. In his book The Problems of Philosophy, he spends the first 5 chapters meticulously going over precisely what the human brain can be certain of knowing. He then devotes a sixth chapter solely to establishing inductive logic. The reason I mention this is to say that it would be impossible for my non-Betrand Russell intellect to answer this very fundamental question succinctly and in a short space, at least not with the kind of brilliance with which Russell attacks the problem, so I'd refer you to Russell's book, which in my opinion should be read by everyone before they are allowed to graduate from any serious institution of learning.

The short answer, however, is along these lines: our perception of objective reality is not just likely flawed but certainly flawed. This is evidenced by the fact that when you move your head around an object you do not see the platonic form of the object, but a series of slightly differing shapes that give you the impression of depth and distance, but are more representations of the object than the object itself (I actually touch on this phenomena with a different purpose in mind in my own article "A Note on the Meaning and Significance of Social Science") Therefore, Russell argues, we can't really be certain of the shape of the object, but of the impression our senses give us, which he terms "sense-data."

The relationship between the object and the image of the object that our brain sees is unknowable, but because of the relative consistency of experience that we observe in day-to-day life, we have good reason to believe that, at least, the patterns we can discern in our sense-data are accurate. For example, I can be pretty confident that when I hit a ball, it flies away in some motion that is correlated to the way my eyes tell me it is moving, even if they don't actually show me what is fundamentally happening.

Russell then goes on to use this basis to build up a good proof of inductive logic. Deductive logic is, if I remember correctly, forgone in that particular book, but elsewhere he handles it in much the same way. I don't want to go into it exactly, because it is difficult to handle in anything shorter than a full-fledged chapter, but in lieu of an attempt doomed not to do the idea justice, I will again refer you to Russell.

Now at no point does Russell prove any of this with certainty. Indeed, he (and all proponents of philosophy and science who actually understand the fundamentals thereof) are acutely aware that the human brain cannot prove anything with absolute certainty*. Philosophers and scientists, then, start to talk about proving things "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is a concept which has translated into the legal system well, but not really into many other parts of human understanding. This, then, is the lynch pin of the atheists' use of logic. We have lots of reason to believe that our logic is sound. Of course we can't be certain, but there is not enough doubt to keep me from voting against conviction if I were on a jury. It's the best we can do, and it could be wrong, but there isn't much reason to believe that it is incorrect.

Another example: Mankind, you have faith, your post tells me, in the Abrahamic God...now, given that the human brain is run by chemicals that CAN be distorted, it is technically possible that we are literally living in the "matrix" (as in the movie). It is possible, and I really don't think you can deny this, that every human and supernatural interaction you've ever had has been a chemical hallucination caused by some malevolent outside keeper and that God is a figment of this keeper's imagination meant to give you something to believe in. There just is not sufficient (or any) reason to believe this is the case. So you don't believe it, and neither do I. But, it is an alternative that you (or I) cannot technically rule out because, if it were the case, you would have absolutely no way of knowing that you were in this "matrix."

Our mutual ruling out of the "matrix" scenario is similar to the basis of the atheist's belief in the reliability of logic. Of course our logic could be completely skewed, and if that is so, we'd be completely unable to discern that this is the case. But without a good reason to believe our logic is faulty (and in the presence of lots of experiential evidence that it is more or less sound ), the best position to take is that it does work.


*That's really too bold a claim; we can be more or less absolutely certain of the fact that we are experiencing some stimulation of the senses, and some fundamental proofs such as "something cannot both be and not be" seem pretty absolute, but in real-world proofs like evolution or gravity, my statement holds true.

#12 ModusTollens

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:00 AM

Hi Modus Tollens,

I saw in one of your posts you are an anthropologist.  I may have some questions for you.  Anyway, glad you joined the forum.  AFJ

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:lol: Feel free to shoot any questions you may have. I will say, for clarity's sake, that I am a cultural anthropologist and a sociologist; my technical specialties are the history and significance of sociology/anthropology, the sociology of stand-up comedy, the interface between science and the public, and applied statistics in the social sciences. However, I do have some training in physical anthropology (human origins and forensic anthropology), archaeology, and linguistics...I am, however, not an expert in those fields by any means.

So with that qualification, have at! :D

#13 Mike Summers

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:14 PM

First of all, sorry to have taken so long to reply.  I forgot I had posted my little introduction, and so I haven't checked it in all this time.  :rolleyes:

Bertrand Russell is a man who I reference fairly often, both in this forum and elsewhere.  As I have said before, I think that he is perhaps the single greatest mind of the 20th century.  In his book The Problems of Philosophy, he spends the first 5 chapters meticulously going over precisely what the human brain can be certain of knowing.  He then devotes a sixth chapter solely to establishing inductive logic.  The reason I mention this is to say that it would be impossible for my non-Betrand Russell intellect to answer this very fundamental question succinctly and in a short space, at least not with the kind of brilliance with which Russell attacks the problem, so I'd refer you to Russell's book, which in my opinion should be read by everyone before they are allowed to graduate from any serious institution of learning.

The short answer, however, is along these lines: our perception of objective reality is not just likely flawed but certainly flawed.  This is evidenced by the fact that when you move your head around an object you do not see the platonic form of the object, but a series of slightly differing shapes that give you the impression of depth and distance, but are more representations of the object than the object itself (I actually touch on this phenomena with a different purpose in mind in my own article "A Note on the Meaning and Significance of Social Science")  Therefore, Russell argues, we can't really be certain of the shape of the object, but of the impression our senses give us, which he terms "sense-data."

The relationship between the object and the image of the object that our brain sees is unknowable, but because of the relative consistency of experience that we observe in day-to-day life, we have good reason to believe that, at least, the patterns we can discern in our sense-data are accurate.  For example, I can be pretty confident that when I hit a ball, it flies away in some motion that is correlated to the way my eyes tell me it is moving, even if they don't actually show me what is fundamentally happening. 

Russell then goes on to use this basis to build up a good proof of inductive logic.  Deductive logic is, if I remember correctly, forgone in that particular book, but elsewhere he handles it in much the same way.  I don't want to go into it exactly, because it is difficult to handle in anything shorter than a full-fledged chapter, but in lieu of an attempt doomed not to do the idea justice, I will again refer you to Russell.

Now at no point does Russell prove any of this with certainty.  Indeed, he (and all  proponents of philosophy and science who actually understand the fundamentals thereof) are acutely aware that the human brain cannot prove anything with absolute certainty*.  Philosophers and scientists, then, start to talk about proving things "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is a concept which has translated into the legal system well, but not really into many other parts of human understanding.  This, then, is the lynch pin of the atheists' use of logic.  We have lots of reason to believe that our logic is sound.  Of course we can't be certain, but there is not enough doubt to keep me from voting against conviction if I were on a jury.  It's the best we can do, and it could be wrong, but there isn't much reason to believe that it is incorrect.

Another example:  Mankind, you have faith, your post tells me, in the Abrahamic God...now, given that the human brain is run by chemicals that CAN be distorted, it is technically possible that we are literally living in the "matrix" (as in the movie).  It is possible, and I really don't think you can deny this, that every human and supernatural interaction you've ever had has been a chemical hallucination caused by some malevolent outside keeper and that God is a figment of this keeper's imagination meant to give you something to believe in.  There just is not sufficient (or any) reason to believe this is the case.  So you don't believe it, and neither do I.  But, it is an alternative that you (or I) cannot technically rule out because, if it were the case, you would have absolutely no way of knowing that you were in this "matrix." 

Our mutual ruling out of the "matrix" scenario is similar to the basis of the atheist's belief in the reliability of logic.  Of course our logic could be completely skewed, and if that is so, we'd be completely unable to discern that this is the case.  But without a good reason to believe our logic is faulty (and in the presence of lots of experiential evidence that it is more or less sound ), the best position to take is that it does work.
*That's really too bold a claim; we can be more or less absolutely certain of the fact that we are experiencing some stimulation of the senses, and some fundamental proofs such as "something cannot both be and not be" seem pretty absolute, but in real-world proofs like evolution or gravity, my statement holds true.

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I have been sensitized to all things philosophical. So, I really enjoyed reading your post. I must confess I do “think” I see some incongruence’s in your logic. I have heard of Bertrand Russell but never seriously considered reading him. Your sales job has convinced me to give him a shot.

My concern over “knowing” is your choice to disallow God as the “best” decision. Considering all the things you said there would seem no justification for the concept “best” answer as the answer simply would be what you chose according to your matrix scenario.

If I follow your logic where did good (best) and evil come from? It does not seem that you are inferring they are sentient beings? Moreover, simply saying someone does not exist would not stop that being from existing. So saying there is no God would be the equivalent of saying there is no other being on the earth other than you. The problem with that is that we do not function as such.

We acknowledge the existence of other beings when we meet them. We do not generally argue that other beings cannot exist. You know many people that I do not know. However I see no need of telling you because I do not know them they do not exist. I imagine you feel the same way. Correct me if I am wrong. I see no reason to argue over the existence of said people. I say I know God. So why does God get discriminated against by you by your making a decision to be an atheist? That would be like saying you have a friend named Leonard and me launching into argument why I think Leonard can not exist. If you choose to respond I would certainly be interested in you pointing out the errors in my logic..


Welcome to the forum.




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