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Thread: Argument from Reason

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    Argument from Reason

    Michael Peterson wrote about the views of C.S. Lewis on evolution and intelligent design. Here is the link to the article: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2010/PSCF12-10Peterson.pdf

    The following is a quote from Michael Peterson's article. He gives a summary of Lewis's argument from reason. What do you think of the argument?

    He also added some reasoning of his own, arguing in Miracles that, in order for human thought to be rational, it must be free: we must be able to
    form beliefs by a logical process that is not completely determined by physical processes in the brain. However, a naturalistic worldview, observes Lewis, assumes that matter and its operations are the foundation of all phenomena, including what we call rational thought. It is at this very point that he says Naturalism is self-defeating: it undercuts rational thought by subsuming it under physical causation and therefore removes any basis for regarding human thought as rational, and for regarding the naturalist’s belief in Naturalism as rational. Lewis further argues that finite rationality is best explained by something outside of nature which must be more like a Mind than anything else. This is Lewis’s “argument from reason”—not technically a design-type argument but a closely related consideration pertaining to a Transcendent Intelligence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornet View Post
    Michael Peterson wrote about the views of C.S. Lewis on evolution and intelligent design. Here is the link to the article: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2010/PSCF12-10Peterson.pdf

    The following is a quote from Michael Peterson's article. He gives a summary of Lewis's argument from reason. What do you think of the argument?
    I think that whether a thought is rational or irrational is not necessarily dependent upon the nature of the thinker. Rational ideas, logic, can just as easily come from a determined process than from a free process. That the thinker is determined, which Lewis here seems to take to mean the naturalistic or materialistic worldview, doesn't necessarily make it's output irrational, or that the thinker is free, which Lewis here seems to mean non-material, doesn't necessarily make its ouput rational.

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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornet View Post
    . . .
    . . . in order for human thought to be rational, it must be free: we must be able to
    form beliefs by a logical process that is not completely determined by physical processes in the brain.
    Well, I am not understanding that argument, how it is logically deduced. Our brains being subject to its physical processes. As it is, we do not, apart from belief in a revelation, do not have a logical basis for the distinction between our selves(soul) and our brain. Materialists presumably make no such distinction.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    Well, I am not understanding that argument, how it is logically deduced. Our brains being subject to its physical processes. As it is, we do not, apart from belief in a revelation, do not have a logical basis for the distinction between our selves(soul) and our brain. Materialists presumably make no such distinction.
    That is not the point, which is that rational thought is not possible with determinism. In other words, you don't have the freedom to choose between differing ideas or concepts. If you are determined to believe that A is true, you will believe that A is true whether it is or not. It may be true, but that is not why you believe it to be so.
    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...

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    tWebber firstfloor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    That is not the point, which is that rational thought is not possible with determinism. In other words, you don't have the freedom to choose between differing ideas or concepts. If you are determined to believe that A is true, you will believe that A is true whether it is or not. It may be true, but that is not why you believe it to be so.
    Being able to sort true from false is a matter of survival. But we are able to compartmentalise topics, such as religion, wherein the truth of an issue is relatively unimportant.
    “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
    “You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” ― Anne Lamott
    “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell

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    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    That is not the point, which is that rational thought is not possible with determinism. In other words, you don't have the freedom to choose between differing ideas or concepts. If you are determined to believe that A is true, you will believe that A is true whether it is or not. It may be true, but that is not why you believe it to be so.
    Libertarian free-will, as so often posited by you as a matter of faith, is logically incoherent. We have 'will', i.e. a desire or impulse to act, but mere “will” cannot be described as 'free will' because it directs nothing. It is shaped and formed by unconscious processes from inputs and memory function into thought and action. It depends upon how we were socialised and acculturated by the community in which we were raised as to whether we choose to do good things or bad things.
    “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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    I think that whether a thought is rational or irrational is not necessarily dependent upon the nature of the thinker. Rational ideas, logic, can just as easily come from a determined process than from a free process. That the thinker is determined, which Lewis here seems to take to mean the naturalistic or materialistic worldview, doesn't necessarily make it's output irrational, or that the thinker is free, which Lewis here seems to mean non-material, doesn't necessarily make its ouput rational.
    Let's say that ultimate reality is impersonal and that a thinker is determined by impersonal forces. If the conclusions he comes to are rational, would that be a matter of luck? If he actually is a rational personal, is it by luck or chance that he became rational? Impersonal forces are not necessarily directed toward truth and rationality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    Libertarian free-will, as so often posited by you as a matter of faith, is logically incoherent. We have 'will', i.e. a desire or impulse to act, but mere “will” cannot be described as 'free will' because it directs nothing. It is shaped and formed by unconscious processes from inputs and memory function into thought and action. It depends upon how we were socialised and acculturated by the community in which we were raised as to whether we choose to do good things or bad things.
    So all your thoughts are predetermined, and you have no choice in what you believe to be true or correct or not... Just as you had no choice in writing the above, whether it is true or not.
    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...

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    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    So all your thoughts are predetermined, and you have no choice in what you believe to be true or correct or not... Just as you had no choice in writing the above, whether it is true or not.
    And around we go again. I refer you to our previous discussions re combatabilism.

    What you cannot answer is how you make libertarian free-will decisions, when your decisions and choices have been shaped and formed by antecedent unconscious processes from inputs and memory function. Or do you deny that your subconscious memories and socialisation dominate your decision-making processes?
    “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.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    And around we go again. I refer you to our previous discussions re combatabilism.

    What you cannot answer is how you make libertarian free-will decisions, when your decisions and choices have been shaped and formed by antecedent unconscious processes from inputs and memory function. Or do you deny that your subconscious memories and socialisation dominate your decision-making processes?
    Tass, we are speaking about reason here - that topic excludes you....
    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...

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