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Thread: Can Atheism Account For Rationality

  1. #721
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    We feel as though we immaterial beyond the material brain, there is no reason to believe that we actually are. The evidence suggests otherwise.
    Tass, science itself does not know how "mind" arises from "brain." You cannot find "mind" in a single neuron, as far as we can tell. You cannot find "flocking behavior" in a single bird or even a couple of birds. You and Jim are working very hard to suggest that the immaterial does not exist. However, you have little cause for making this assumption. As I said to Jim, you folks are as polarized to the "material" realm as Seer and those like him are polarized to the immaterial one. The difference, from where I sit, is that they give immaterial primacy over material. You (and those like you) deny the immaterial even exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    Yes, the evidence suggests the mind stops when the brain stops. Therefore the ‘mind’ can be best viewed as the brain (or “collection of neurons” if you prefer) in action. No brain, no mind.
    Agreed with the latter: the mind is linked with the activity of the brain, cannot exist without it, and is impacted by changes to the brain. The evidence all points in that direction.

    Disagreed with "mind can be best viewed as brain." Mind transcends brain - and we do not know how this transcendence occurs. We just know that "mind" is more than the sum of the parts of "brain." In general, we know very little about emergent properties.
    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. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  2. #722
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    And this last is the crucial point, I think. There's no evidence of anything 'supernatural' having existed outside of the minds of our species.
    I share that belief. As best I can tell, the realm of the supernatural "came into existence" when primitive man sought to explain observed physical phenomena and lacked the tools to investigate. It gained ascendancy when human societies grew beyond the size where everyone in the community knew one another and the concept of a "punisher god" could be used to maintain social order. I was just wandering through the Museum of Civilization in Quebec City and was struck by the role the Catholic (and sometimes Anglican) church played in partnering with the civic authorities and maintaining social order in a fledgling Canada. That theme repeats itself in countries around the world throughout history.

    At its root - a religion is another political entity that can exert political power. It can do so for great good, or for great ill, and the power is immense because it speaks in the name of the creator-god that is perfect, all-powerful, and all-just. Who could question such a being? This is the theme repeated over and over again. Perhaps, someday, humanity will be able to let go of its gods and leave them in the past. That will not be in my lifetime - and I doubt it will be in our children's lifetimes.
    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. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  3. #723
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Tass, science itself does not know how "mind" arises from "brain." You cannot find "mind" in a single neuron, as far as we can tell. You cannot find "flocking behavior" in a single bird or even a couple of birds. You and Jim are working very hard to suggest that the immaterial does not exist. However, you have little cause for making this assumption. As I said to Jim, you folks are as polarized to the "material" realm as Seer and those like him are polarized to the immaterial one. The difference, from where I sit, is that they give immaterial primacy over material. You (and those like you) deny the immaterial even exists.
    I don't see that in seer's position at all. Where do you see him polarized to the immaterial in spite of the material? One of the well known advantages of theism is that it's a worldview willing to accept both material and immaterial in equal measures.

  4. #724
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    I don't see that in seer's position at all. Where do you see him polarized to the immaterial in spite of the material? One of the well known advantages of theism is that it's a worldview willing to accept both material and immaterial in equal measures.
    Yet it is the human soul that gets primacy - has immortality - and is the seat of the "self." As Chrawnus has argued continually, the mind is not only independent of the brain, but has primacy over it (in his view). The brain is merely a tool used by the mind to express itself. This is the kind of thinking I was referring to. The point of my post was to affirm that, while both views are problematic to me, the "immaterial doesn't exist" view is even more extreme than the "immaterial has primacy" view.
    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. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  5. #725
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    I disagree. Supernatural things don't have to have an actual existence to be categorized. The category "mythical beings" is an entire category about things that don't exist. Indeed, that's pretty much the definition. "Unicorn" is a category related to a thing that does not exist (as best we can determine). There's no problem with terms that refer to a category that does not have elements that exist in the universe.

    As best I can tell, Seer wants to preserve the possibility that the universe arising from a god is perfectly natural. There is nothing about the definition of the terms that precludes that, but he doesn't see it. He's somehow stuck on not liking the definitions of the terms and seeing them as somehow "different" from the definitions of any other terms. I've tried every way I can to get him to see the problem with his reasoning, but he's apparently not going to see it from me. I doubt he'll see it from you either.
    Seer simply believes that the world was created by a god and therefore should be seen as being supernatural rather than natural. It's just a semantical game meaning nothing.

  6. #726
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    The terms "natural" and "supernatural" are not exactly opposing one another, despite our using them that way in this discussion. Supernatural is definitively about "not investigatable by science." "Natural," would then seem to suggest "investigatable by science," but language is sometimes a bit fuzzy. The term also means "not created/done by human hands." So it rather depends on which definition you are using for any given conversation.
    It is not fuzzy language Carp, it has no objective basis. Or logical justification. You (we) have no idea if the supernatural can be investigate or not. Nor do we have any idea if all that is natural can be investigated.
    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 Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Yet it is the human soul that gets primacy - has immortality - and is the seat of the "self." As Chrawnus has argued continually, the mind is not only independent of the brain, but has primacy over it (in his view). The brain is merely a tool used by the mind to express itself. This is the kind of thinking I was referring to. The point of my post was to affirm that, while both views are problematic to me, the "immaterial doesn't exist" view is even more extreme than the "immaterial has primacy" view.
    As an orthodox Christian, Chrawnus believes that both the body and soul will be glorified and receive immortality. Body and soul are intrinsically linked in the Christian worldview; You may have one without the other, but it's not the natural state of affairs. And viewing the mind as independent and having "primacy" over the brain is no more polarizing than the view that a conductor is independent and has primacy over his orchestra. You're finding a problem with seer and Chrawnus' view that isn't really there, and that I'm certain they would reject as gnostic heresy.

  8. Amen Chrawnus amen'd this post.
  9. #728
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    It is not fuzzy language Carp, it has no objective basis. Or logical justification. You (we) have no idea if the supernatural can be investigate or not. Nor do we have any idea if all that is natural can be investigated.
    Whether or not the “supernatural” can be investigated or not begs the question. We have NO idea whether or not the “supernatural” even exists in the first place.
    “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.

  10. #729
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    Whether or not the “supernatural” can be investigated or not begs the question. We have NO idea whether or not the “supernatural” even exists in the first place.
    You have no idea if the natural exists in the first place since the very definition begs the question.
    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. #730
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    You have no idea if the natural exists in the first place since the very definition begs the question.
    This is the silliest argument I think you have ever made seer. All you mean by supernatural is god created. Your argument is basically the same old argument of did god do it. But even if god did it, we would still call the created world natural, because only the creator of it would be what you would call supernatural. Unless of course your a pantheist and think they are both, god and the creation, one and the same thing.

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