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A question for Materialists/Atheist/ Humanists and their allies

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  • #16
    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    Jorge - the simple answer is that no-one knows the answer. And I don't see why anyone would need to claim we do. Perhaps if one's philosophy required that self-awareness be a purely physical phenomenon one might feel obligated to produce a purely physical answer, but that is not necessary in my case.

    Jim
    Ya could'a fooled me ... in fact, you HAVE fooled me many times. If not for your proclamation that, "I'm a Christian", I would not have been able to tell you apart from, say, Tiggy (Beagle Boy).

    In Materialism, you may not know, everything is either matter (mass-energy) or results from the interactions of matter - there is no other cause, explanation or reality. That includes life, consciousness and morality. The subject is consciousness/self-awareness. How does inert matter become self-aware? Just stand back and watch them stew in their own juices as they try to answer that one. And don't ever forget, these are your ideological allies in many areas including in agreeing with you that Genesis is "myth/allegory/primitive writings".

    Jorge

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Roy View Post
      No, you don't. Even if you were right - which you aren't - you still don't have the faintest idea how your god caused such emergence.

      Nor can you answer the question your own OP. Even if YEC is 100% correct, you still don't know what causes self-awareness. Calling it a "soul" or a "spirit" doesn't help if you can't define what a soul or spirit is composed of.

      You are merely pitting your own ignorance against the supposed ignorance of others. That's a no-win proposition.

      Roy
      Wrong you are (again!).

      The attributes of God are clearly listed throughout the Bible. Equally clear was that God created man in His image. From Scripture we are able to put two and two together to come up with "four" - our self-awareness, our intellect, our creativity, our ability to communicate, our capacity to have compassion and to forgive ... on and on .. all of these are quite easily seen to proceed from our spiritual link with the Creator.

      But I am reminded -- again from Scripture -- that spiritual things (some of which are written above) are sheer nonsense to those that are grounded in "this world". Ergo, I expect that you will not grasp a single syllable of what I've just said.

      Jorge

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by rwatts View Post
        Oh is that what you were asking Jorge? Why didn't you say so?

        Just like you have no idea, so we have no idea.

        To my mind, self-awareness is one of these things we call an "emergent phenomenon", you know, something like a white crystalline life sustaining substance called "salt", naturally deriving from two poisonous amorphous elements, one a green grass called "chlorine" and the other a soft explosive metal called "sodium". Mix those two dissimilar, poisonous, amorphous elements together and "pop", out comes a life sustaining crystalline substance. So combine matter and energy in certain complex ways and "pop", out comes self-awareness.

        But beyond offering salt as an example of an emergent phenomenon and suggesting that self-awareness is like that, I have no explanation.

        What about you?
        Simple! See my last post before this one.

        Jorge

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Jorge View Post
          Simple! See my last post before this one.

          Jorge
          Well yes, you have no explanation in the sense you want us to explain. We understand that.

          Thus, the attributes of emergent phenomena are somewhat understood as well.

          But you wanted explanation as opposed to assertion Jorge, even if those assertions are ancient ones.
          Last edited by rwatts; 03-31-2015, 06:29 AM.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Jorge View Post
            No, you don't. Even if you were right - which you aren't - you still don't have the faintest idea how your god caused such emergence.
            Wrong you are (again!).

            The attributes of God are clearly listed throughout the Bible. Equally clear was that God created man in His image. From Scripture we are able to put two and two together to come up with "four" - our self-awareness, our intellect, our creativity, our ability to communicate, our capacity to have compassion and to forgive ... on and on .. all of these are quite easily seen to proceed from our spiritual link with the Creator.
            I'm not wrong at all. Nowhere in the above is there any explanation as to how your god produces self-awareness.
            But I am reminded -- again from Scripture -- that spiritual things (some of which are written above) are sheer nonsense to those that are grounded in "this world". Ergo, I expect that you will not grasp a single syllable of what I've just said.
            It's trivial to grasp. You've made some empty claims about unverified and unverifiable phenomena, and totally failed to support your original contention of knowing how human self-awareness came about.

            Try explaining how your supposed spiritual link is set up, and how it leads to human self-awareness. If you can't, you have no case.

            Roy
            Jorge: Functional Complex Information is INFORMATION that is complex and functional.

            Mountain Man: First of all, the Bible is a fixed document.
            Mountain Man on covid-19: We're talking about an illness with a better than 99.9% rate of survival.
            Mountain Man on climate change: Looking at the historical temperature data in my region over the past ten years shows that temperatures have been stable ...

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Jorge View Post
              Ya could'a fooled me ... in fact, you HAVE fooled me many times. If not for your proclamation that, "I'm a Christian", I would not have been able to tell you apart from, say, Tiggy (Beagle Boy).
              That's not true and you know it Jorge. There is no way to tell a Christian from a non-Christian as regards pure physics or mathematics. The fact I agree with people of other philosophical persuasions on matters of science is simply to be expected. However, you have seen literally hundreds if not thousands of posts where I have demonstrated my Christian faith in and around the discussions of science. You just are too proud to admit that another point of view on science which differs from your own is possible while holding to a sincere and well founded Christian faith.

              In Materialism, you may not know, everything is either matter (mass-energy) or results from the interactions of matter - there is no other cause, explanation or reality. That includes life, consciousness and morality. The subject is consciousness/self-awareness. How does inert matter become self-aware? Just stand back and watch them stew in their own juices as they try to answer that one. And don't ever forget, these are your ideological allies in many areas including in agreeing with you that Genesis is "myth/allegory/primitive writings".

              Jorge
              I am an ally of Christ to the best of my ability Jorge. And also an ally of truth within the same parameters. Further, I am not mind-numbingly tribal in my approach to other ideas or philosophies. All mankind are loved by God, and God is Truth, and so I see no reason to try to demonize any and all persons that are not of my particular persuasion - as you do. Christians have no direct market on truth or kindness or goodness. Sometimes they abuse the grace given them and forget their lowly estate and become as bad as or worse than those their arrogance tells them they are better than. We are not saved by works Jorge. And grace is not given us that we might foolishly act as if we are somehow worthy of it!!

              Jim
              Last edited by oxmixmudd; 03-31-2015, 09:04 AM.
              My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. James 2:1

              If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not  bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless James 1:26

              This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; James 1:19

              Comment


              • #22
                A natural evolution of life, including a natural development of the brain, is not mutually exclusive with a supernatural origin of consciousness. Of course, the scientific method doesn't accept the line "we don't know how it could have happened, so God must have done it". Until we can identify and study any supernatural methods that could be involved, we will keep looking for natural answers. Science is a tool, and anyone can use it, whether religious or not.
                Middle-of-the-road swing voter. Feel free to sway my opinion.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Roy View Post
                  I'm not wrong at all. Nowhere in the above is there any explanation as to how your god produces self-awareness.
                  It's trivial to grasp. You've made some empty claims about unverified and unverifiable phenomena, and totally failed to support your original contention of knowing how human self-awareness came about.

                  Try explaining how your supposed spiritual link is set up, and how it leads to human self-awareness. If you can't, you have no case.

                  Roy
                  Personally I don't think it is necessary for 'awareness' to be a necessarily supernaturally endowed property of life in order for there to be what Christians would refer to as a soul or other element that would be a part of what we would consider our spiritual nature. Our religious teaching really gives no details as to how or why we are beings that have an eternal destiny and potential relationship with God, it simply tells us these exist and teaches us how we should respond to that fact. And so there is no reason to presume some or all elements of that quality of our being would be un-discoverable or inexplicable by scientific endeavor. It's just that what we believe to be true also does not REQUIRE that they be explicable through scientific endeavor.


                  Jim
                  My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. James 2:1

                  If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not  bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless James 1:26

                  This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; James 1:19

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post
                    Personally I don't think it is necessary for 'awareness' to be a necessarily supernaturally endowed property of life in order for there to be what Christians would refer to as a soul or other element that would be a part of what we would consider our spiritual nature.
                    Jim, nor do I. But the intent of this thread seems to be to argue that materialists cannot explain how self-awareness occurs therefore materialism is wrong. If there is no non-material explanation either, that intent is reduced to hypocrisy, double standards and special pleading.

                    Roy
                    Jorge: Functional Complex Information is INFORMATION that is complex and functional.

                    Mountain Man: First of all, the Bible is a fixed document.
                    Mountain Man on covid-19: We're talking about an illness with a better than 99.9% rate of survival.
                    Mountain Man on climate change: Looking at the historical temperature data in my region over the past ten years shows that temperatures have been stable ...

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Roy View Post
                      Jim, nor do I. But the intent of this thread seems to be to argue that materialists cannot explain how self-awareness occurs therefore materialism is wrong. If there is no non-material explanation either, that intent is reduced to hypocrisy, double standards and special pleading.
                      I dunno. The hypocrisy, double-standards, and special pleading seem to take a back seat to the fact that the whole notion is a really bad argumentum ad ignorantium fallacy in the first place. Even if Jorge was not being hypocritical or displaying double-standards or engaging in special pleading, his argument would still be fallacious.
                      "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                      --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                        I dunno. The hypocrisy, double-standards, and special pleading seem to take a back seat to the fact that the whole notion is a really bad argumentum ad ignorantium fallacy in the first place. Even if Jorge was not being hypocritical or displaying double-standards or engaging in special pleading, his argument would still be fallacious.
                        Yeah, I know. I'm concentrating on the deliberate fallacies rather than the accidental ones, though either sink the argument.

                        Roy
                        Jorge: Functional Complex Information is INFORMATION that is complex and functional.

                        Mountain Man: First of all, the Bible is a fixed document.
                        Mountain Man on covid-19: We're talking about an illness with a better than 99.9% rate of survival.
                        Mountain Man on climate change: Looking at the historical temperature data in my region over the past ten years shows that temperatures have been stable ...

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Jorge View Post
                          What chemical reaction is it that allows a chemical
                          reaction to become aware that it is a chemical reaction?



                          Anticipated answer: It's not "a" chemical reaction, it's a "set" of chemical reactions.

                          Okay, so what was the original set of chemical reactions that allowed that set
                          of chemical reactions to become aware that it was a set of chemical reactions?

                          Anticipated answer:
                          "Duhhhh, no one knows but we "do know" that it happened because here we are!"

                          Jorge
                          That's like asking me: What chemical reaction is it that allows a bunch of chemical to become a planet?

                          It's a nonsensical question. For at least 2 reasons: levels of scientific explanation, and multiple realizability.


                          The main problem here has to with levels of scientific explanation. There are various levels of scientific explanation. To help illustrate the point, imagine using a microscope or telescope. Depending on your level of magnification, you'll observe different processes, phenomena, and so on. We deal with the different levels by using have different sciences for different levels. For example, sub-atomic physics deals with lower-level phenomena than does astronomy.

                          Now, if you want to address a given phenomena, you need to select the science that addresses the level at which that phenomena emerges (or a science which addresses a level close to that phenomena's level). For example, it would be foolish to try and use sub-atomic physics to explain the motion of planets. Sub-atomic physics operates at way too low a level, the scientific tools of sub-atomic physics won't be of much help to you in dealing with large-scale planetary motion, etc. You instead need the tools of astronomy, especially in terms of discussing gravitational effects of large bodies. Now, does that show that there's some dualism between atoms and planets, that planets are made out of non-material substance, etc. No. It simply shows that it's often hard to explain a phenomenon that occurs at one level (ex: a planet's orbit around a star) with a phenomenon that occurs at a very different level (ex: a planet's sub-atomic constituents), even if you already know that (in some sense) the features/processes occurring at one level are constituted by (or emerge from) the features/processes occurring at another level.

                          This is one issue you're trying to take advantage of. You're trying to act as if people need to explain a psychological process ("aware[ness]") at one level, by using a chemical explanation from a much different level (a "set" of chemical reactions). I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. It's as ridiculous as asking me to use quantum mechanics to explain what a "cat" is. If you want an actual explanation of psychological processes, then please choose a science that operates at the right level of description. The obvious choice would be a psychological science (such as experimental psychology). Or you could opt for a science that deals with processes that occur at a level very close to that of psychological processes. For example: neuroscience or cognitive science. If you do that, then you'll find various naturalistic accounts of "aware[ness]" (ex: Jesse Prinz's).


                          On to the other problem: multiple realizibility. Roughly, X is multiply realizable with respect to Y, if there are many configurations of Y such that those configurations constitute X. For example, "houses" is multiply realizable is respect to "arranged building material", since houses can be made out of different configurations of building material. So all the following could count as a house: a skyscraper made out of steel, a cabin made out of wood, a hut made out of mud, etc. It would therefore be absurd to ask me:
                          What building material is it that allows an arrangement to become a house that it is a chemical reaction?
                          as if there was only one building material or set of building materials that explains the presence of houses. Instead, the feature referred to by "being a house", can be realized in multiple material arrangements.

                          So how does that apply to your OP? Well, psychological states like "aware[ness]" are typically taken to be multiply realizable with respect to their material constituents / reactions. So two organisms can have different chemical reactions going on in their heads, even if both organisms are aware. Which means the question you asked is just as absurd as the above question regarding houses and chemical reactions.



                          It's for these two reasons (amongst a number of other's) that your questions would not be taken seriously by serious cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind. Your questions are just absurd gotcha! questions.
                          "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                            It's for these two reasons (amongst a number of other's) that your questions would not be taken seriously by serious cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind. Your questions are just absurd gotcha! questions.
                            You've never met Jorge AKA Clucky the YEC dancing before, have you?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
                              You've never met Jorge AKA Clucky the YEC dancing before, have you?
                              Nope.
                              "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                To make a long story short, Jorge is so pigheadedly set against evolution and "millions of years" that God Themself could tell him that modern science is right and he wouldn't believe a word of it. He'd ignore everything God has to say, accusing Them of being drunk/on drugs all the way.
                                Last edited by Duragizer; 04-05-2015, 12:09 AM.
                                "When the Western world accepted Christianity, Caesar conquered; and the received text of Western theology was edited by his lawyers…. The brief Galilean vision of humility flickered throughout the ages, uncertainly…. But the deeper idolatry, of the fashioning of God in the image of the Egyptian, Persian, and Roman imperial rulers, was retained. The Church gave unto God the attributes which belonged exclusively to Caesar."

                                — Alfred North Whitehead

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