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Thread: Underlying Presuppositions

  1. #91
    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    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.
    Since you don't believe your own argument, and science is moving towards rejecting it too, I won't waste any time on it.
    Mountain Man:
    "...because the notion of "white privilege" is nothing more than a re-branding of failed Marxist ideologies. "

  2. #92
    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    I guess that is why theists outnumber atheists by over 10 to 1.
    It used to be much much higher...
    Mountain Man:
    "...because the notion of "white privilege" is nothing more than a re-branding of failed Marxist ideologies. "

  3. #93
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    Since you don't believe your own argument, and science is moving towards rejecting it too, I won't waste any time on it.
    No, actually they are not. Every study to date states that our decisions are made before we are ever conscious of them. My quote references three of them, and...

    Brain imaging spots our abstract choices before we do:

    When it comes to making decisions, it seems that the conscious mind is the last to know.

    We already had evidence that it is possible to detect brain activity associated with movement before someone is aware of making a decision to move. Work presented this week at the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) conference in London not only extends it to abstract decisions, but suggests that it might even be possible to pre-emptively reverse a decision before a person realises they’ve made it.

    In 2011, Gabriel Kreiman of Harvard University measured the activity of individual neurons in 12 people with epilepsy, using electrodes already implanted into their brain to help identify the source of their seizures. The volunteers took part in the “Libet” experiment, in which they press a button whenever they like and remember the position of a second hand on a clock at the moment of decision.

    Kreiman discovered that electrical activity in the supplementary motor area, involved in initiating movement, and in the anterior cingulate cortex, which controls attention and motivation, appeared up to 5 seconds before a volunteer was aware of deciding to press the button (Neuron, doi.org/btkcpz). This backed up earlier fMRI studies by John-Dylan Haynes of the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Berlin, Germany, that had traced the origins of decisions to the prefrontal cortex a whopping 10 seconds before awareness (Nature Neuroscience, doi.org/cs3rzv).

    “It’s always nice when two lines of research converge and to know that what we see with fMRI is actually there in the neurons,” says Haynes.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article...-before-we-do/

    https://www.wired.com/2008/04/mind-decision/
    I didn't know you were so anti-science Roy, and please link the studies where science is moving away from this...
    Last edited by seer; 02-09-2018 at 07:13 PM.
    "We can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever.” C.S. Lewis

  4. #94
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    I guess that is why theists outnumber atheists by over 10 to 1.
    I suspect that atheists have a mental defect...
    "We can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever.” C.S. Lewis

  5. #95
    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
    Actually, I think there is one attack that could be used on Solipsism from a presuppositional angle. If you can't even live as if your views are true, then why should we expect them to actually be true? The fact that it is unlivable, and no one holds to it ought to be a defeater for it as is anyway.
    That is a fair attack, though a radical skeptic would simple say that he is incapable of living according to what he believes and has voluntarily submitted to the 'human condition' as he experiences it.

    Though then again us Christians can't exactly lay claim to an ability to live according to the moral edicts of God in any consistent way either. So I'm not sure what is proved exactly.

    Solipsism would still be perfectly self-consistent.

  6. #96
    tWebber Leonhard'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, evolution.
    One of these is not like the others.

  7. #97
    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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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.
    This is I think perhaps one of the ways you can answer Plantiga's challenge. If you can show that there being some sort of correlation between beliefs, and our responses, in the way you say, and that this improves our chances of responding in more appropriate ways to new challenges. Then that would constitute a proper answer.

    I've yet to see someone develop it. Its a bit more challenging I think if you wanna put it down with the analytical precision that Plantinga put his arguments in.

    But I think you're missing the point. It is exactly this you need to answer: What is the value of our beliefs being truthy? You're casually dismissing the point that someone might be functionally insane. He believes the tiger is a friend, and his way of showing friendship is by running towards it. Certainly in this case, the functionally insane man, has his insanity help him survive.

    I, like you, speculate that maybe its the ability to keep on generating right reactions that require a tighter coupling between belief and action, and the ability of those beliefs to generate other expectations and ideas and theories which help you survive. But I've struggled a lot with showing it.

    So until such an answer exists I think Plantinga's argument is quite an interesting challenge to naturalists. I've only seen arm-waving criticisms of it so far.
    Last edited by Leonhard; 02-09-2018 at 08:25 PM.

  8. #98
    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Look at it this way, most animals survive just fine without beliefs of any kind.
    This is a very weak response. The history of humanity has been one of us surviving by our ingenuity, tool-making ability, weather reading, and development of agricultural technology. We survived a set of climate changes, adapting each time, not by evolution, but because we were intelligent enough. Could we have survived if we were simple strong, had claws, and filled a particular ecological niche? Maybe, but we didn't. Our ancestors survived for hundreds of thousands of years in changing environments due to their wit.

    So much is a fact, unless you want to deny evolution of course.

    And if epiphenomenalism is true, which is now widely accepted, beliefs play NO CAUSAL role in your choices or decisions. Those are biologically predetermined.
    I don't think we've yet to understand what sort of role conciousness plays in the brain. We've only begun to understand the sort of activity which needs to take place in order for us to be conscious.

    Most animals are conscious in one way or another. An ape, or a dog, are just as aware as you are of their surroundings. They're not as intelligent, and they certainly don't have our ability to think in abstract terms.

    The question is why? It takes a lot of energy for a brain to maintain such a state. This means there must be something this contributes to the survival of the organism, or it would most certainly have been atrophied away by natural selection. But they are in every appropriate sense of the word 'aware'. Some of them are even 'self-aware'.

    Its something I've wondered about a lot, though I don't have the answers yet. It does appear to serve some task of sorts in the brain. Its not just a whistle noise of electrical activity the brain is making. And there's a lot of discussion about what the experiments that demonstrate that you've decided on something before you become aware of that decision means.

    There's definitely no consensus on this yet seer.

    To quote Patricia Churchland:
    You're quote mining Patricia Churchland here. She is not talking about epiphenomenalism, and she is in fact not an epiphenomenalist at all.
    Last edited by Leonhard; 02-09-2018 at 08:29 PM.

  9. #99
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    One of these is not like the others.
    ...yet

  10. #100
    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    ...yet
    Unlikely.

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