Sunday School

Sunday School 9th May 2021

This topic contains 71 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Autumn 1 month, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 72 total)
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  • #37619

    Unseen
    Participant

    Re: “China’s carbon pollution now surpasses all developed countries combined,”…

    it’s time for China to feel some consequences. The US, for example, could incentivise manufacturers currently using China for production or as a source for ready-made products to move their business to other countries.

    #37620

    Andrew Sveda’s argument is a reworking of a common one. An initial cursory read showed some major flaws.

    The question itself is flawed. Sveda has presupposed that “God” exists. If he had asked “Does a god exist” or “Do any gods” exist he would have a stronger foundation to argue from.

    If he wants us to debate with him about the existence of (his) God, then he needs to define what he means by the term “God”.  I have yet to hear an apologist define their god in a meaningful way.  Anytime they try to, it falls apart after some elementary scrutiny.

    It is like asking me to “Imagine there’s no Heaven”. Sorry John but that is the wrong question to ask me. You are assuming I know what you mean by “Heaven”. You should have asked me to “Imagine there is a Heaven” because my default position is that there is not. It is not something that exists as a concept in my mind. You have presupposed that it exists and assumed I understand what you mean by “Heaven”.

    It is this failure to start at “square one” in their arguments and define what they mean by God and offer some evidence as to how they “know” this god of theirs exists in the first place. Then they can move their argument to “the next square” so we will know something about the god they are talking about. But as I have said before, the God of their belief is never the god of their argument.

    His point about Nietzsche is wrong and the link provided is for a poor argument by Alvin Plantinga.

    I never wonder if God (as in the Christian God) exists. It is not a question I ask myself. It would be dismissed in my head before my thoughts got to finish the question. I have considered “Does a god exist” and that can have some merit in certain conversations.

    He states that “atheism is unable to ground objective moral values and duties” which, in a sense is correct. But only because it is not what atheism is. A lack of belief in his (undefined) god is all that Atheism is. It is certainly not a code of ethics or a guide to the behaviour of atheists.  I am always amused with how Christians start off with their own subjective view of God only to launch into how that allows for objective morality from an absolute authority or that faith is a tool used to discover Truth. It is similar to apologists who try to argue that Evolution does not explain how life on Earth began. This is because how life on Earth began is not part of the Theory of Evolution. It is covered under the study of abiogenesis. A common fallacious argument.

    Then he talks about “unguided evolution” so he reveals his true colors. The statement that “Our ability to reason and use logic requires that God exists, so when we wonder if God exists, we must implicitly assume that He does before we can even ask the question” is just terrible. If Sveda could understand how flawed it is, he might even be embarrassed. I almost feel embarrassed for him.

    Then I read “It reminds us that God’s existence is intuitive and known by everyone” and I am no longer feeling embarrassed for him.

    Sorry if there are grammar errors in this as I wrote in very quickly and posted as I am away for a few hours.

    #37621

    Unseen
    Participant

    Re: “SCIENTISTS CLAIM THEY DISCOVERED THE “GATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS,”…

    Knowing where consciousness occurs doesn’t solve the philosophical problems related to consciousness. I think everyone, philosophers included, would grant that it had to relate to somewhere in the brain, so discovering where that is isn’t exactly earthshaking, though it’s nice to know.

    “What problems?” you may ask. How about these?

    “What is consciousness, really?” must have a better answer than “Consciousness is what you have when you’re conscious.”

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #37623

    Davis
    Moderator

    I see more books and philosophy journal articles arguing for free will than against it. 99% of philosophers arguing against free will is one of the most ludicrous statements I’ve heard about what philosophers believe in a long time. It is simply not true. It is one of the most contentious topics in philosophy at the moment. The claim:

    Free will exists

    or

    Free will is impossible

    Are both arguments that cannot possible be backed up at the moment.

    The only arguments worth taking seriously are:

    This is a compatibilist argument for how free will could exist worth taking seriously

    or

    This is why I consider the existence of free will to be very unlikely

    Literally any other statement is bullshit and the words of a philosopher who is very flawed (at least on some topics).

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Davis.
    #37625

    Unseen
    Participant

    @davis

    I’m hearing “free will of the gaps.”

    #37626

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    A lack of belief in his (undefined) god is all that Atheism is. It is certainly not a code of ethics or a guide to the behaviour of atheists.

    That’s true, but I think the point that Sveda is making, is that since there are two possibilities on the table for how morality originated: 1) God did it; 2) evolution and natural selection: it’s down to evolution and natural selection to provide as complete an answer as 1).

    The fact is, that the theistic version of morality does work very well, albeit it is open to abuses of its own making, like self-delusion, charlatanism and hypocrisy.  I think this is because the structure of religion: promoting morality and punishing offenders, reflects the structure of morality itself, and it suffers from the same inherent dark sides (inter-group hatred, and moral anger).

    #37627

    Davis
    Moderator

    I’m hearing “free will of the gaps.”

    Nice try Unseen. I’m not biting. But nice try.

    #37628

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    If there is 100% agreement among any human beings, philosophers or otherwise, that would be either a proof of the existence of miracles and/or every totalitarian wet fever dream has been fulfilled.

    Fortunately, the number of possible combinations of connections between neurons across dendrites makes that impossible for any two humans, now or ever.  Carl Sagan, I believe it was, put the number of possible combinations at some number times 10 to the 27th power.

    Individuality is our doom and our pride…and it makes for a fun, edifying forum.

    #37629

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg,

    There is indeed an element of Woo in these MRA/MGTOW/TradCon forums. There a certain of their number who get into things like Conspiracy-ology, Monastic Religions and this thing called NoFap (which strikes me as highly emasculating.)  When exploring such forums, I always skip those topics.

    But, on the flip side, it is equally conspiratorial woo of this article’s implicit assumption that all toxic behavior in need of a solution is masculine.  Elizabeth of Bathory, Lucretia Borgia, Lizzy Borden, Valerie Solanos, and Aileen Wournos are some noteworthy exemplars of toxic femininity.

    Women’s involvement in the White Feather campaign sent untold thousands of boys into the meat-grinder of World War I.

    Women’s involvement in the Temperance/Prohibitionist movement turned our streets into zones of gang warfare and was a prelude to our present “War On Drugs” street gang warfare.

    The Female Genital Mutilation practiced in some Islamic nations and sometimes found in the West is backed and implimented enthusiastically by Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters, and Cousins of the female victims.

    There is plenty of toxicity to go around on this Big Blue Marble and putting all on one gender only assures none of it gets washed away.

    #37630

    Autumn
    Participant

    @autumn One of the biggest problems of “free will” in any context is WTH does “will” mean?

    I think this is part of why the debate irks me. This is one of those cases the ordinary dictionary definitions of ‘will’ give us a meaningful concept worthy of having a word to describe it. It deals with a macro level, appreciable concept relevant to human experience.

    When the question is approached from a psychological/ neurological approach, I am usually on board. When we look at what underpins decision making, rational and conscious deliberation may play less of a role than many of us are comfortable with. Certainly, that can present a challenge to what we define as ‘will’.

    But when the conversation gets to the point of getting stuck on mere idea that causality applies to the mechanics of decision making, that’s when we’ve hit a level of tautological wankery that makes me think an English class is more in order than a philosophy class.

    #37633

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen, If there is 100% agreement among any human beings, philosophers or otherwise, that would be either a proof of the existence of miracles and/or every totalitarian wet fever dream has been fulfilled. Fortunately, the number of possible combinations of connections between neurons across dendrites makes that impossible for any two humans, now or ever. Carl Sagan, I believe it was, put the number of possible combinations at some number times 10 to the 27th power. Individuality is our doom and our pride…and it makes for a fun, edifying forum.

    If we find a small number of “physicists” who deny the inverse square law, is that just ordinary disagreement or should we be breaking out the straitjackets?

    BTW, the number given in Reg’s quote wasn’t 100%, it was 98%.

    If 98 doctors recommended a certain treatment but 2 disagreed, how much weight would you give to the 2 doctors, assuming it was just dueling opinions and the 2 doctors didn’t present conclusive evidence for their position? All things being equal, you’d probably go with the 98 doctors, right? Going with the 98% isn’t giving in to arguments from authority or popularity, at least not in any toxic sense. It’s just using abduction, which is the reasoning we use for most decisions in life.

    Basically, abduction is decision-making based on the preponderance of the evidence, which can be evidence for something or the lack of evidence for it.

    That 98% of philosophers believe that there’s no free will isn’t proof that there’s no free will. Rather, it means that after looking at the problem 98% find no compelling evidence FOR it. I’m sure most of them arrived at that conclusion abductively, too, not inductively or deductively.

    Abduction can also be based on the nonsensicality of the assertion, and free will is nonsensical because it would require that, in addition to behavior due to deterministic or random causes, which don’t rescue freedom, there is a third kind of cause called “will,” which would have to operate independently of the rules of the universe we use do everything from fry an egg to design a space station.

    #37634

    Unseen
    Participant

    But when the conversation gets to the point of getting stuck on mere idea that causality applies to the mechanics of decision making, that’s when we’ve hit a level of tautological wankery that makes me think an English class is more in order than a philosophy class.

    There are only two ways things might happen, Autumn: 1) due to immediately antecedent conditions or 2) a miracle happens.

    I’m not sure an English class, even on the graduate level, will get us past that dichotomy.

    #37635

    Autumn
    Participant

    There are only two ways things might happen, Autumn: 1) due to immediately antecedent conditions or 2) a miracle happens. I’m not sure an English class, even on the graduate level, will get us past that dichotomy.

    You appear to be responding to a point I am not making.

    It makes no sense to define a term in a way that is self-defeating. ‘Will’ depends on causal relationships. To determine it is not free because it is restricted by the thing that enables it is circuitous, linguistic fuckery. You don’t need a graduate degree in English to find that the problem there is semantics and an ability to define terms sensibly.

    #37636

    Autumn
    Participant

    …the problem there is semantics and an inability to define terms sensibly.

    #37637

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I get the causality problems with making ‘real choices’. The one path to free will in my mind depends on the answer to the following question. Have biological systems harnessed quantum weirdness to increase survival chances (via choices.)?  Life is just so ‘different’ than inanimate matter.

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