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Atheism, Slavery, And The Moral High Ground...

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  • Originally posted by seer View Post
    Why would we expect bigger brains to do more than act instinctual?
    Bigger brains (more neurons in the cerebral cortex, to be more specific) allow us to better foresee the consequences of our actions. They also allow us to learn complicated behaviors from our parents.

    Monkeys have opposable thumbs, and bigger brains than birds yet they both operate on instinct. As a matter of fact some bird species seem more clever than apes.
    I would argue that any behavior that has to be taught is not instinct.

    For many species, that would include how to hunt their prey.


    Comment


    • Originally posted by Stoic View Post
      Bigger brains (more neurons in the cerebral cortex, to be more specific) allow us to better foresee the consequences of our actions. They also allow us to learn complicated behaviors from our parents.
      Complexity need not need lead to either conceptual thinking nor greater self awareness nor foreseeing anything. You are taking that as a given.

      I would argue that any behavior that has to be taught is not instinct.

      For many species, that would include how to hunt their prey.
      I'm not sure what you mean, a wolf or bear does not have to be taught to hunt and kill. They do it instinctively.

      Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

      Comment


      • Originally posted by seer View Post
        Complexity need not need lead to either conceptual thinking nor greater self awareness nor foreseeing anything. You are taking that as a given.
        The number of neurons in the cerebral cortex is pretty well correlated with what we think of as intelligence. Plus, there is the analogy with modern computers and neural nets, where more is better.

        But if you prefer to think there is just something magical about humans, go ahead.

        I'm not sure what you mean, a wolf or bear does not have to be taught to hunt and kill. They do it instinctively.
        First, I didn't say ALL species. Second, I think you are wrong about wolves and bears. Wolves have stalking and pouncing as instinctive behaviors, but they need to learn how to hunt in a pack from their elders. And bears learn how to hunt and fish by observing their mothers.

        But the species I had in mind are lions and killer whales.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Stoic View Post
          The number of neurons in the cerebral cortex is pretty well correlated with what we think of as intelligence. Plus, there is the analogy with modern computers and neural nets, where more is better.

          But if you prefer to think there is just something magical about humans, go ahead.


          First, I didn't say ALL species. Second, I think you are wrong about wolves and bears. Wolves have stalking and pouncing as instinctive behaviors, but they need to learn how to hunt in a pack from their elders. And bears learn how to hunt and fish by observing their mothers.

          But the species I had in mind are lions and killer whales.
          Let me ask you Stoic, do you believe that humans have freedom of the will? Or are we all, man and beast, locked in the eternal dungeon of determinism?
          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

          Comment


          • Originally posted by seer View Post

            Let me ask you Stoic, do you believe that humans have freedom of the will? Or are we all, man and beast, locked in the eternal dungeon of determinism?
            I don't believe libertarian free will exists.

            I doubt that the world is deterministic.

            If the world is deterministic, I don't consider that a "dungeon".

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Stoic View Post

              I don't believe libertarian free will exists.

              I doubt that the world is deterministic.

              If the world is deterministic, I don't consider that a "dungeon".
              Well if libertarian free does not exist then in fact everything we think, do or say is determined by antecedent conditions. And I think dungeon, or prison, perfectly reflects a condition where all your choices are determined or predetermined. Biological automatons...
              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

              Comment


              • Originally posted by seer View Post
                Well if libertarian free does not exist then in fact everything we think, do or say is determined by antecedent conditions.
                That's not necessarily true, but we can assume it is for the sake of this discussion.

                And I think dungeon, or prison, perfectly reflects a condition where all your choices are determined or predetermined. Biological automatons...
                Well, I disagree. Being outside of a dungeon, or prison, seems quite different to me than being inside one, whether or not libertarian free will exists. The difference is the degree to which I can do what I want to do.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Stoic View Post

                  You are right, it's a little more complicated than that.
                  exactly. so just increasing the complexity of a computer program or neural network will not be enough to make an AI conscious.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Stoic View Post

                    That's not necessarily true, but we can assume it is for the sake of this discussion.
                    What is the wild card that makes that untrue? Either libertarian free will is true or it is determinism all the way down, as far as our behavior.



                    Well, I disagree. Being outside of a dungeon, or prison, seems quite different to me than being inside one, whether or not libertarian free will exists. The difference is the degree to which I can do what I want to do.
                    The prison is the universe, and the master is the laws of physics. And of course you can do what these laws dictate that you do, and also what you want to do.
                    Last edited by seer; 06-21-2021, 03:04 PM.
                    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by seer View Post
                      What is the wild card that makes that untrue? Either libertarian free will is true or it is determinism all the way down, as far as our behavior.
                      A world that is not deterministic because of quantum randomness would not necessarily provide us with libertarian free will.

                      So it's possible to have neither libertarian free will nor determinism.

                      The prison is the universe, and the master is the laws of physics. And of course you can do what these laws dictate that you do.
                      You are implying that if there is anything that you would like to do but cannot do, that is equivalent to being locked up in a small room.

                      So if it turns out that you can't jump over the moon, then you should be just as unhappy as if you were locked up in a small room.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Sparko View Post

                        exactly. so just increasing the complexity of a computer program or neural network will not be enough to make an AI conscious.
                        No, but it could easily make it smarter.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by seer View Post

                          Well if libertarian free does not exist then in fact everything we think, do or say is determined by antecedent conditions. .
                          So, are you are saying that you can make decisions completely free of your inherited genetic make-up, your social-conditioning from infancy onwards and long-forgotten sub-conscious memories - yes, or no?


                          “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Stoic View Post

                            A world that is not deterministic because of quantum randomness would not necessarily provide us with libertarian free will.

                            So it's possible to have neither libertarian free will nor determinism.
                            I have no idea what that means as far as our behavior goes. Either we have the ability to do otherwise, or our behaviors are determined.


                            You are implying that if there is anything that you would like to do but cannot do, that is equivalent to being locked up in a small room.

                            So if it turns out that you can't jump over the moon, then you should be just as unhappy as if you were locked up in a small room.

                            OK, so we are locked in a big room! The analogy points to the fact that everything we do, think or say is dictated by the laws of physics. And you have no choice in the matter. Actually you would have more freedom in a prison with LFW.
                            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                              So, are you are saying that you can make decisions completely free of your inherited genetic make-up, your social-conditioning from infancy onwards and long-forgotten sub-conscious memories - yes, or no?

                              Yep, and we do it all the time. Not always completely free but human rationality can and does rise above such things.
                              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by seer View Post
                                I have no idea what that means as far as our behavior goes. Either we have the ability to do otherwise, or our behaviors are determined.
                                If our behaviors are determined, then what's going to happen depends entirely on what has already happened.

                                If there is some randomness, then what's going to happen depends at least in part on events that have not already happened, and our behaviors are not determined. But that doesn't get us libertarian free will, because no one thinks that random (or partially random) decisions are any better than forced decisions. (Dennett uses the term "mechanistic" to describe such a universe, since "deterministic" was already taken.)

                                It's kind of a nitpick, which is why I said we could ignore it for the sake of this discussion.

                                OK, so we are locked in a big room! The analogy points to the fact that everything we do, think or say is dictated by the laws of physics. And you have no choice in the matter. Actually you would have more freedom in a prison with LFW.
                                It's not true that we have no choices. We can make choices, and those choices can help us get what we want (at least to a greater extent than if we were locked in a prison). It's just that ultimately we are not in control of what we want.

                                I don't think it's so terrible that we don't have ultimate control over what we want, and I've never seen a cogent explanation of how we could possibly have ultimate control over what we want (i.e. how libertarian free will could possibly exist).

                                Comment

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