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Thread: Underlying Presuppositions

  1. #101
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    Unlikely.
    That's what they said about spontaneous generation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    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.
    Leonhard even tool making does not require beliefs. Have you ever seen how ingenious some birds are? There are many species, including ours in the early years, that do just fine without true beliefs or really any beliefs... Many primates survive just fine without related true beliefs/beliefs.


    You're quote mining Patricia Churchland here. She is not talking about epiphenomenalism, and she is in fact not an epiphenomenalist at all.
    Really? I was just reading an article by her today - she certainly does not believe in free will. She is an eliminative materialist, which I think clearly leads to epiphenomenalism, how could it not?
    “The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” C.S. Lewis

  3. #103
    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    That's what they said about spontaneous generation.
    There was never any evidence for spontaneous generation.

    In contrast almost no scientific field, with perhaps pure physics, has as well-developed a body of evidence as the Theory of Evolution.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    There was never any evidence for spontaneous generation.

    In contrast almost no scientific field, with perhaps pure physics, has as well-developed a body of evidence as the Theory of Evolution.
    Every major scientific theory that has been proven false has at one time been said to be unassailable. Famous last words are, "it's settled!"

  5. #105
    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Leonhard even tool making does not require beliefs.
    No animals in existence is as adept at tool making as we are. Some animals are amazing at it, but it still pales to our ability to make tools, teach their use to other people, improve on designs, etc... And it seems we can use our understanding of how these tool works, to make even better ones. Not that tool-making is all I claimed about us. There's also language, which allows to work together far more efficiently than any animal. Our ability to plan. To forecast. The list just goes on.

    Mental powers of these kinds simply don't exist to the same degree in any animal. And us having these powers was instrumental in our survival.

    Really? I was just reading an article by her today - she certainly does not believe in free will. She is an eliminative materialist, which I think clearly leads to epiphenomenalism, how could it not?
    Because in order to be an epiphenomenalist you have to believe that what we refer to as 'thoughts' actually correspond to reality. She considers these things part of a 'folk psychology', an understanding which doesn't quite match what is really going on, and she thinks the best approach is to base the next level of understanding on whatever comes out of neuro biology.

  6. #106
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    No animals in existence is as adept at tool making as we are. Some animals are amazing at it, but it still pales to our ability to make tools, teach their use to other people, improve on designs, etc... And it seems we can use our understanding of how these tool works, to make even better ones. Not that tool-making is all I claimed about us. There's also language, which allows to work together far more efficiently than any animal. Our ability to plan. To forecast. The list just goes on.

    Mental powers of these kinds simply don't exist to the same degree in any animal. And us having these powers was instrumental in our survival.
    ECREE!! How do you explain JimL then? Hmmm? He survived without any mental powers!

  7. #107
    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Every study to date states that our decisions are made before we are ever conscious of them.
    Doesn't matter, since the issue isn't whether decisions are made consciously, but whether beliefs affect them. The latter may be possible even if the former isn't.
    Starlight: "In America a lot of tap-water is contaminated with lead or chemicals from fracking, because the right-wing crazies are anti-regulation."
    Lilpixieoferror: "Another day another Starlight fable. What actually causes high lead levels in water is lead pipes or lead solder, not industrial waste from any source. Well, so much for this Starlight fable... I wonder what tomorrow’s made up story will be in his ‘I HATE AMERICAN CHRISTIANS!!!’ quest."

  8. #108
    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Every major scientific theory that has been proven false has at one time been said to be unassailable. Famous last words are, "it's settled!"


    There's a lot of things problematic with what you're saying. When something is disproven in science, its typically not replaced with something so utterly different that there's zero overlap. When Aristotelian mechanics, with its rough qualitative descriptions, was replaced with the mathematical precisions of Newtonian mechanics, it wasn't then false that rocks fell to the ground. That was explained in both. Now however, we understand that a thrown rock moves in a parabolic trajectory.

    Some things were incommensurable (not directly comparable) between the two. In Aristotelianism its the final cause of the rock that seeks a rest (which btw is a philosophical point of view which can be applied to modern physics, but that's another talk), in Newtonianism its the force between the masses that accelerate the rock, in the General Theory of Relativity, its the respective mass-momentum densities that warp the 4-space trajectories of the respective bodies...

    "A rock being thrown comes to an eventual rest." -> "The force between the earth and the rock, generated by their respective masses, forces the rock to move in a parabolic trajectory according to the following equation..." -> "The momentum-density of the two bodies, causes a warping of the rock's trajectory in a semi-parabolic trajector - as measured in the rest frame of the earth - according to the following equations..."

    Each layer introduced more complexity and a deeper understanding. Some things were incomparable, but the rock didn't start to move in a corkscrew spiral or to stand still.

    Same with the history of biology. Which is really not one, but dozens and dozens of very strongly evidence based theories. Some of them are updated, like above, as time goes on. So much more is being discovered, and our ignorance is outstripping our knowledge. However as the theories gets replaced, they're not replaced with something radically different like Bunnies existing five hundred million years ago. We learn of new species, we discover that one species descended from another instead of the one we thought. Times lines are changed for various things. We discover that some of the Neanderthal mated with Homo Sapiens, we update our understanding of migration patterns, we discover new ways for genes to spread rather than mating, we discover the importance of neutral drift, and punctuated equilibrium etc...

    But we don't suddenly discover that humans descended from a mating between pigs and apes (as a few pseudoscientists argued).

    The gap between what science shows, and what young earth creationists want the evidence to say, is extremely vast. It'd be a bigger gap than discovering that thrown rocks (in vacuum - hey I'm a physicist I love me some simplifications) actually move in broad visible corkscrew patterns instead semi-parabolic trajectories. It'd be like discovering that the Moon is actually made of Cheese. It'd be like discovering that Ancient Greece is completely fictional.

    I have respect for some young earth creationists. The ones who understand that its simple a faith position, that enjoys no evidence whatsoever, and that it is, and will remain, entirely against the continuing discoveries of natural science. I've seen a few honest creationists like that in my life. One of whom was a Catholic who became Eastern Orthodox, who had this belief out of a humble piety towards the Bible and the teachings of the Church Fathers. That I respect.
    Last edited by Leonhard; 02-09-2018 at 08:22 PM.

  9. #109
    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    ECREE!! How do you explain JimL then? Hmmm? He survived without any mental powers!


    A bit mean, but kinda funny.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    No animals in existence is as adept at tool making as we are. Some animals are amazing at it, but it still pales to our ability to make tools, teach their use to other people, improve on designs, etc... And it seems we can use our understanding of how these tool works, to make even better ones. Not that tool-making is all I claimed about us. There's also language, which allows to work together far more efficiently than any animal. Our ability to plan. To forecast. The list just goes on.

    Mental powers of these kinds simply don't exist to the same degree in any animal. And us having these powers was instrumental in our survival.
    Then you don't agree with Plantinga, that the evolutionary process wouldn't give us generally reliable beliefs, and in my link (post 67) he does link materialism/naturalism with epiphenomenalism.
    “The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” C.S. Lewis

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