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Thread: Underlying Presuppositions

  1. #81
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    So designed creatures can be programmed to have false views of reality? So much for the idea that theism would result in rationality...
    People believed many false things throughout history: The earth is flat, the sun goes around the earth, You could transmute lead into gold, disease was caused by bad air and humors, aether, spontaneous generation, evolution.

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    No Carp, if epiphenomenalism is true conscious beliefs play no causal role. Evolution does not care about beliefs.
    Evolution doesn't "care" about anything. However, as I noted, if our perception/reasoning does not align with reality, our probability of survival is diminished. This is what Plantinga ignores. A brain/reasoning process that does not reflect reality, does not perceive and/or reason accurately, exposes us to dangers in a way that accurate perceptions/reasoning do not. Unless you want to suggest that someone with a distorted perception of reality or reasoning is better able to survive daily exposure to cliffs, stairs, roads, carnivors, judge the speed of oncoming objects, reason to the cause/effect results of grabbing a knife by the blade, pointing a gun at one's own head, or drinking/eating any number of poisonous things, etc. Because accurate perception/reasoning increases odds of survival - natural selection will tend to select those that perceive and reason accurately. Since those ar ethe same functions that we use to form beliefs, they then have the same impact there. Plantinga ignores this reality to make his argument.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

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  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Evolution doesn't "care" about anything. However, as I noted, if our perception/reasoning does not align with reality, our probability of survival is diminished. This is what Plantinga ignores. A brain/reasoning process that does not reflect reality, does not perceive and/or reason accurately, exposes us to dangers in a way that accurate perceptions/reasoning do not. Unless you want to suggest that someone with a distorted perception of reality or reasoning is better able to survive daily exposure to cliffs, stairs, roads, carnivors, judge the speed of oncoming objects, reason to the cause/effect results of grabbing a knife by the blade, pointing a gun at one's own head, or drinking/eating any number of poisonous things, etc. Because accurate perception/reasoning increases odds of survival - natural selection will tend to select those that perceive and reason accurately. Since those ar ethe same functions that we use to form beliefs, they then have the same impact there. Plantinga ignores this reality to make his argument.
    Look at it this way, most animals survive just fine without beliefs of any kind. And if epiphenomenalism is true, which is now widely accepted, beliefs play NO CAUSAL role in your choices or decisions. Those are biologically predetermined. Your neurology is all that counts, conscious beliefs play no part.

    To quote Patricia Churchland:

    Boiled down to essentials, a nervous system enables the organism to succeed in the four F's: feeding, fleeing, fighting, and reproducing. The principle chore of nervous systems is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive.... . Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing is advantageous so long as it is geared to the organism's way of life and enhances the organism's chances of survival. Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost.

    Or to quote Darwin:

    But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?"
    Last edited by seer; 02-09-2018 at 04:24 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...

  4. Amen Adrift amen'd this post.
  5. #84
    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer
    Evolution 'cares' about anything that affects reproductive ability.
    So what? It still does not care about true beliefs as long as you reproduce.
    As long as you reproduce. If your beliefs affect your ability to reproduce, evolution 'cares'. Cf Heaven's Gate.
    Well according to epiphenomenalism neurology, not beliefs, drive everything. Our conscious thought have no causal effect. ... if epiphenomenalism is true conscious beliefs play no causal role.
    If epiphenomenalism is true. Do you have any evidence or argument that it is?

    You're begging questions.
    Mountain Man: A skin cell is a skin cell. It doesn't grow, it doesn't organize, it doesn't adapt, it doesn't self-sustain, it doesn't metabolize, it doesn't respond to stimuli.

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    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    People believed many false things throughout history: The earth is flat, the sun goes around the earth, You could transmute lead into gold, disease was caused by bad air and humors, aether, spontaneous generation,
    So? Do you not realise that people who lack those beliefs now outnumber people who hold them? Evolution in action
    evolution.
    You misspelt 'Christianity'.
    Last edited by Roy; 02-09-2018 at 04:39 PM.
    Mountain Man: A skin cell is a skin cell. It doesn't grow, it doesn't organize, it doesn't adapt, it doesn't self-sustain, it doesn't metabolize, it doesn't respond to stimuli.

  7. #86
    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    . . . (yes, I am assuming there is a flaw in his reasoning because his conclusions are not consistent with mine. . . .
    This explains everything.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  8. Amen Adrift amen'd this post.
  9. #87
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    If epiphenomenalism is true. Do you have any evidence or argument that it is?

    You're begging questions.
    Well as dualist I don't believe that epiphenomenalism is true, you need to show how beliefs have a causal effect apart from dualism... Science seems to be clearly moving that way. But you do agree that if epiphenomenalism is true then beliefs play no causal role - correct?


    A large body of neurophysiological data seems to support epiphenomenalism. Some of the oldest such data is the Bereitschaftspotential or "readiness potential" in which electrical activity related to voluntary actions can be recorded up to two seconds before the subject is aware of making a decision to perform the action. More recently Benjamin Libet et al. (1979) have shown that it can take 0.5 seconds before a stimulus becomes part of conscious experience even though subjects can respond to the stimulus in reaction time tests within 200 milliseconds. Recent research on the Event Related Potential also shows that conscious experience does not occur until the late phase of the potential (P3 or later) that occurs 300 milliseconds or more after the event. In Bregman's auditory continuity illusion, where a pure tone is followed by broadband noise and the noise is followed by the same pure tone it seems as if the tone occurs throughout the period of noise. This also suggests a delay for processing data before conscious experience occurs. Popular science author Tor Nørretranders has called the delay the "user illusion", implying that we only have the illusion of conscious control, most actions being controlled automatically by non-conscious parts of the brain with the conscious mind relegated to the role of spectator.

    The scientific data seem to support the idea that conscious experience is created by non-conscious processes in the brain (i.e., there is subliminal processing that becomes conscious experience). These results have been interpreted to suggest that people are capable of action before conscious experience of the decision to act occurs. Some argue that this supports epiphenomenalism, since it shows that the feeling of making a decision to act is actually an epiphenomenon; the action happens before the decision, so the decision did not cause the action to occur.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphenomenalism
    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...

  10. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    So? Do you not realise that people who lack those beliefs now outnumber people who hold them? Evolution in action.
    And more people by far believe in some form of Divinity, atheist are a minority. Now what?
    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...

  11. #89
    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    And more people by far believe in some form of Divinity, atheist are a minority. Now what?
    Now that minority is increasing.
    Mountain Man: A skin cell is a skin cell. It doesn't grow, it doesn't organize, it doesn't adapt, it doesn't self-sustain, it doesn't metabolize, it doesn't respond to stimuli.

  12. #90
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    So? Do you not realise that people who lack those beliefs now outnumber people who hold them? Evolution in action
    I guess that is why theists outnumber atheists by over 10 to 1.

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