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#60140 - 10/17/11 03:53 PM Re: Atheism [Re: dust-e sheytoon]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2516
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: dust-e sheytoon
Regarding actual biological waste, poop-generated methane gas is a viable energy source for large scale projects, and some people are trying to create "digesters" for single-family energy use.

Meanwhile we can use mushrooms to clean up existing contamination.

Staying with the main thread topic, this could also be grounds for a new religious cult of fungi-worship [as the true savior of humanity]. HPL has already laid the groundwork with assorted fungoid deities. Also, for those who miss eating the body of Christ in church every Sunday, these new gods can be added to pizza, made into soup, sauteed, etc. The theological implications are succulent.

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#60141 - 10/17/11 04:09 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Diavolo]
Iskander Offline
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Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 70
Loc: Berlin, Germany
 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
That's irrelevant. You are speculating on an "external" mind.


No. I`m talking about different angles of view.

 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
The mind is an phenomenon of the brain. Damage the brain and you damage the mind. If the mind was independent, it would not be affected by anything happening to the brain. We know damage to the brain affects the mind because there are loads of people evidencing this.


I totally agree: The mind is a phenomenon of the brain. But it is not the brain itself. While natural science might explain how all neuronal activities in the brain work someday (i hope so), it will not explain how the mind works.

To use an allegory: Can you explain the meaning of a painting by analyzing the physical structure of the particles it is made of?


Edited by Iskander (10/17/11 04:09 PM)

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#60142 - 10/17/11 04:14 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Dan_Dread]
Iskander Offline
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Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 70
Loc: Berlin, Germany
 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
 Quote:
The rational fundation of drawing this line is given in the oservance that natural science has a limited potential of explanation. Which is totally common, for all scientific paradigms have a limited area of expertise.


Exactly, again, argument from ignorance. We don't know what causes X, which means we can't prove that Y didn't cause X, therefor Y caused X

This is just piss poor logic.


There was no Y (in the sense of a proven cause) in my argumentation. I just said that mental conditions do not fit in the explanation-system of natural science. It goes like this:

X explains natural phenomenas. Y is a phenomenon X cannot explain. Therefor, Y is not natural.


Edited by Iskander (10/17/11 04:16 PM)

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#60143 - 10/17/11 04:32 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Iskander]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3810
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Still an appeal to ignorance boss. You are arguing that because we do not yet understand consciousness, it is therefor unnatural. The same argument could have once been applied to such phenomenon as thunder or even fire. Just because we can't currently explain a thing does not mean therefor - unnatural. Again, that is the exact same reasoning as god of the gaps, and is an argument from ignorance.

How many times does this need to be said? Are you a bit retarded or something?
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#60144 - 10/17/11 04:42 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Iskander]
Gattamelata Offline
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Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 44
Iskander: you start in the wrong end, by lumping together different neurological, cognitive and neuropsychological processes under the banner of 'mind', which you then proceed to bestow with imagined metaphysical properties that elude scientific explanation.

But the various processes and functions constituting this 'mind' are in no way immune to scientific and empirical investigation.
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#60145 - 10/17/11 05:52 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Iskander]
The Zebu Offline
senior member


Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 1640
Loc: Orlando, FL
 Quote:
Yes, because hard materialistic positions are reducible. To the materialistic paradigms, the mind is an anomaly.


"Anomaly: (deviation from the norm) abnormality, deviance, deviation, exception, inconsistency, irregularity"

How exactly does the existence of the mind "contradict" materialism? And hardly anything is ultimately reducible in science- we can only come up with a series of testable theories of why things function the way they do. Heat, magnetism, gravity, entropy, etc, cannot be "reduced" by your criteria. So far, our neurological models of biology have held up decently well. I think you just might be playing word games at this point.


Edited by The Zebu (10/17/11 05:53 PM)
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#60146 - 10/17/11 05:53 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Dan_Dread]
Iskander Offline
pledge


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 70
Loc: Berlin, Germany
 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Still an appeal to ignorance boss. You are arguing that because we do not yet understand consciousness, it is therefor unnatural. The same argument could have once been applied to such phenomenon as thunder or even fire. Just because we can't currently explain a thing does not mean therefor - unnatural. Again, that is the exact same reasoning as god of the gaps, and is an argument from ignorance.

How many times does this need to be said? Are you a bit retarded or something?


No. I just argue that natural science is the wrong place to explain the mind and the intentional conditions it bears. That would be like explaining gravity via psychology.

Besides, you should work on your manners. I have no interest in interacting with someone who lacks the basics in civilized discussion.

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#60147 - 10/17/11 06:00 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Iskander]
Diavolo Offline
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Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
Again, there's nothing special about the "mind", about every living creature has it. It's simply a degree of awareness. I think what you are talking about is that what we consider the "self" which is again a phenomenon of the mind and not even uniquely human.

But the lack of understanding in how it all exactly functions does not imply it is not natural or can't be explained naturally.

If I damage you brain, and that damages your mind and thus self, evidently it has some natural cause and as such, can be explained with natural science. Being currently incapable does not imply something to be beyond it.

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#60148 - 10/17/11 06:11 PM Re: Atheism [Re: The Zebu]
Iskander Offline
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Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 70
Loc: Berlin, Germany
 Originally Posted By: The Zebu
 Quote:
Yes, because hard materialistic positions are reducible. To the materialistic paradigms, the mind is an anomaly.


"Anomaly: (deviation from the norm) abnormality, deviance, deviation, exception, inconsistency, irregularity"

How exactly does the existence of the mind "contradict" materialism? And hardly anything is ultimately reducible in science- we can only come up with a series of testable theories of why things function the way they do. Heat, magnetism, gravity, entropy, etc, cannot be "reduced" by your criteria. So far, our neurological models of biology have held up decently well. I think you just might be playing word games at this point.


Hm, perhaps i was not precise enough here.

I refered to materialists like Paul Churchland, who want to eliminate mental concepts in science.

Mental phenomenas contradict natural science in so far as they cannot be described accurate in terms of natural science like physics or chemistry. Sure, you can analyze the brain waves of a person, but does this tell you something of his or her beliefs, wishes, emotions and so on?

Natural science deals with physical structures, laws, actions and reactions. There is no place for intentionality in natural science.

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#60149 - 10/17/11 06:24 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Diavolo]
Iskander Offline
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Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 70
Loc: Berlin, Germany
 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
Again, there's nothing special about the "mind", about every living creature has it. It's simply a degree of awareness. I think what you are talking about is that what we consider the "self" which is again a phenomenon of the mind and not even uniquely human.


Ok, we can call it "self". I think the human self is something very unique. Nothing else has produced a language so far that enables it to articulate self-reflection.

 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
But the lack of understanding in how it all exactly functions does not imply it is not natural or can't be explained naturally.

If I damage you brain, and that damages your mind and thus self, evidently it has some natural cause and as such, can be explained with natural science. Being currently incapable does not imply something to be beyond it.


Explaining changes of the self caused by actions on the material level is not enough. This strategy tells us nothing about how a personality is established and how it works. If natural science could explain the mind, it should allow prognoses on how people will act and why, how it feels to do X etc.

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#60150 - 10/17/11 07:09 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Iskander]
Diavolo Offline
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Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
Actually the human "self" isn't that unique and other animals have it too, although in a "lesser" developed form, which is why this whole "gift" of Set is a silly idea. Is he discriminating the other apes or what?

I don't understand this "explaining" on the material level isn't enough. That's like saying that explaining how we are able to pronounce a word like "Aum" isn't enough when we can't explain how each "hears" it. After all, since every human has a somewhat unique physical build, there's no guarantee they hear, or see, or smell, or feel anything exactly identical as another.

So what was your point?



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#60151 - 10/17/11 07:15 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Iskander]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2516
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Iskander
Ok, we can call it "self" ...

You're doing a valiant job here, but you're basically arguing with self-conscious beings who believe that they really don't exist except as stimulus/response mechanisms. Ironically, since atheists cannot otherwise comprehend or define the ba/psyche/soul, their denial of it is necessarily an act of faith, hence for them Atheism is a de facto religion. And that is why your arguments and explanations won't dent their shell [and also why they will become even angrier having this pointed out].

All of which brings to mind the story of the philosophy student who, after listening to a lecture on Descartes, became more and more agitated until, at 4 AM, he finally telephoned the professor and screamed into the phone: "Tell me - I've got to know! DO I EXIST?!" The prof yawned, "And who wants to know?"
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#60153 - 10/17/11 08:03 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Diavolo Offline
RIP
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Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
Well Iskander, you better listen to Mike. I'm just a dude who picked up his stuff here and there but Mike, god talked to him you know, so he must know this stuff.

I can't compete there.

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#60154 - 10/17/11 08:10 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Gattamelata Offline
stranger


Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 44
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
 Originally Posted By: Iskander
Ok, we can call it "self" ...

You're doing a valiant job here, but you're basically arguing with self-conscious beings who believe that they really don't exist except as stimulus/response mechanisms. Ironically, since atheists cannot otherwise comprehend or define the ba/psyche/soul, their denial of it is necessarily an act of faith, hence for them Atheism is a de facto religion. And that is why your arguments and explanations won't dent their shell [and also why they will become even angrier having this pointed out].



But then again, almost everything requires some investment of belief – but to reduce every position as such to a religious one empties the term ’religion’ of any explanatory significance.

The point is simple: the soul, the mind, the ba, the psyche, the whatever you want to call your favorite metaphysical construct, is – from the point of experimental science – completely dependent upon the activity of various neurological, neuropsychological and cognitive circuits.

Now, perhaps Gurdjieff was right: a soul is not something given, but something created through effort by the initiate. And perhaps the Dalai Lama will laugh as his physical envelope dies, as that was just one amongst many ephemeral projections set in motion by his true transcausal mind.

But the point still stands. Any such ’soul’ is not accessible for science to investigate, as it goes in the bin with any other such subjective constructs and/or metaphysical claims.
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#60155 - 10/17/11 08:16 PM Re: Atheism [Re: Iskander]
Goliath Offline
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Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 93
 Originally Posted By: Iskander
Mental phenomenas contradict natural science in so far as they cannot be described accurate in terms of natural science like physics or chemistry. Sure, you can analyze the brain waves of a person, but does this tell you something of his or her beliefs, wishes, emotions and so on?


This question seems misconceived to me.

The distinction you're making here is the distinction between what medical doctors call "signs" and "symptoms". Signs are those things which are observed by the physician. Symptoms are those things which are observed by the patient.

Doctors don't use signs to understand symptoms, or symptoms to understand signs. Rather, they use both signs and symptoms to help them understand the underlying condition.

Similarly, neuroscience (as I understand it) does not use brain waves to tell us something about a person's beliefs and wishes. Rather, it uses both to help us understand how the brain (and the mind) actually work.

The best example I can think of would be Benjamin Libet's experiments, which involved both EEG scans (signs) and reports from test subjects (symptoms). These experiments showed fairly clearly, as the Wikipedia article explains, that unconscious electrical processes in the brain precede conscious decisions.

 Quote:
Natural science deals with physical structures, laws, actions and reactions. There is no place for intentionality in natural science.


Actually, I'm pretty sure there is--just as there is a place for symptoms in medicine, along with signs.


Edited by Goliath (10/17/11 08:19 PM)
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