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Thread: Reasons and Causes

  1. #61
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Materialism is a metaphysical position that requires an argument to justify its acceptance. Again, a profession of belief in a metaphysical position is not an argument. A methodology is not a metaphysical position; that is why theists can consistently be practicing scientists, ie they can subscribe to methodological naturalism, while not subscribing to metaphysical naturalism.
    I would add: Physicalism (Materialism) based on objective verifiable evidence and causal closure concerning the nature of our physical existence is supported by Methodological Naturalism, and the link of interwoven circumstances of cause and effect events within the possible limits of outcomes.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  2. #62
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    No, you don't need metaphysics to do the things you cite, because those things only require a methodological commitment. The problem is that you are making a metaphysical commitment when you say that you are a physicalist and that physicalism requires no arguments to justify it.
    The scientific method is warranted by ‘metaphysical naturalism’ and its correlate of ‘methodological naturalism’; this is universally accepted. And the scientific method postulates hypotheses, deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments or empirical observations based on those predictions.

    The predicted scientific hypothesis regarding 'consciousness' as a purely physical activity of the brain has been shown to be true. Several decades of empirical scientific evidence have discredited the intuitive understanding of the mind-body relationship and have found that our thoughts are physical, neurophysiological events.
    “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.

  3. #63
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    The scientific method is warranted by ‘metaphysical naturalism’ and its correlate of ‘methodological naturalism’; this is universally accepted. And the scientific method postulates hypotheses, deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments or empirical observations based on those predictions.

    The predicted scientific hypothesis regarding 'consciousness' as a purely physical activity of the brain has been shown to be true. Several decades of empirical scientific evidence have discredited the intuitive understanding of the mind-body relationship and have found that our thoughts are physical, neurophysiological events.
    Once again, scientific method is warranted by methodological naturalism. Metaphysical naturalism is not required for instrumental, methodological success. A metaphysical thesis requires a metaphysical argument for its justification.

    We have gone over the issue concerning mental events many times. I can conclude only two things:

    You are either intellectually incapable or ideologically unwilling to grasp the point I've made again and again. And to be clear: I am not asking you to agree with my point; only to make some indication that you have comprehended it, which you have, up to now, made no indication of.

    With that, I leave this thread to you.

  4. #64
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Once again, scientific method is warranted by methodological naturalism. Metaphysical naturalism is not required for instrumental, methodological success. A metaphysical thesis requires a metaphysical argument for its justification.

    We have gone over the issue concerning mental events many times. I can conclude only two things:

    You are either intellectually incapable or ideologically unwilling to grasp the point I've made again and again. And to be clear: I am not asking you to agree with my point; only to make some indication that you have comprehended it, which you have, up to now, made no indication of.

    With that, I leave this thread to you.
    I believe everybody has comprehended it. The problem is that it is not objectively supportable outside the scientific perspective. Alternative explanations represent a philosophical/theological perspective

    I believe in God, and I believe the nature of consciousness, and human 'thought and intellect' and the chains causes and reasons can be understood through science and neuro chemistry with out any alternative explanation'
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 06-03-2020 at 03:42 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  5. #65
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Once again, scientific method is warranted by methodological naturalism. Metaphysical naturalism is not required for instrumental, methodological success. A metaphysical thesis requires a metaphysical argument for its justification.
    We’ve already been through this: “In response to the charge that methodological naturalism in science logically requires the a priori adoption of a naturalistic metaphysics, I examine the question whether methodological naturalism entails philosophical (ontological or metaphysical) naturalism. I conclude that the relationship between methodological and philosophical naturalism, while not one of logical entailment, is the only reasonable metaphysical conclusion…”

    https://infidels.org/library/modern/...aturalism.html

    I am not asking you to agree with my point; only to make some indication that you have comprehended it,
    We have ALL comprehended it - as was stated above. Your problem is that whilst scientific methodology has the ability to empirically examine its predictions and arrive at objective conclusions, metaphysical solutions do not have that ability. They merely have competing academic arguments with which to make their case.
    “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.

  6. #66
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    We’ve already been through this: “In response to the charge that methodological naturalism in science logically requires the a priori adoption of a naturalistic metaphysics, I examine the question whether methodological naturalism entails philosophical (ontological or metaphysical) naturalism. I conclude that the relationship between methodological and philosophical naturalism, while not one of logical entailment, is the only reasonable metaphysical conclusion…”

    https://infidels.org/library/modern/...aturalism.html
    It says right there in your quote: "while not one of logical entailment..." And the article you link to is a lengthy philosophical argument defending the position of why the author thinks it's the only reasonable metaphysical conclusion. Recall that you said that it requires no philosophical argument? Was Newton unreasonable? Or Einstein? Or any of the other tens of thousands of distinguished and highly successful scientists who did not embrace metaphysical naturalism or physicalism?

    This is from a Wikipedia article on Naturalism:
    According to Stephen Jay Gould, "You cannot go to a rocky outcrop and observe either the constancy of nature's laws or the working of unknown processes. It works the other way around. You first assume these propositions and "then you go to the outcrop of rock."[10][11] "The assumption of spatial and temporal invariance of natural laws is by no means unique to geology since it amounts to a warrant for inductive inference which, as Bacon showed nearly four hundred years ago, is the basic mode of reasoning in empirical science. Without assuming this spatial and temporal invariance, we have no basis for extrapolating from the known to the unknown and, therefore, no way of reaching general conclusions from a finite number of observations. (Since the assumption is itself vindicated by induction, it can in no way "prove" the validity of induction—an endeavor virtually abandoned after Hume demonstrated its futility two centuries ago)."[12] Gould also notes that natural processes such as Lyell's "uniformity of process" are an assumption: "As such, it is another a priori assumption shared by all scientists and not a statement about the empirical world."[13] Such assumptions across time and space are needed for scientists to extrapolate into the unobservable past, according to G.G. Simpson: "Uniformity is an unprovable postulate justified, or indeed required, on two grounds. First, nothing in our incomplete but extensive knowledge of history disagrees with it. Second, only with this postulate is a rational interpretation of history possible, and we are justified in seeking—as scientists we must seek—such a rational interpretation."[14] and according to R. Hooykaas: "The principle of uniformity is not a law, not a rule established after comparison of facts, but a principle, preceding the observation of facts ... It is the logical principle of parsimony of causes and of economy of scientific notions. By explaining past changes by analogy with present phenomena, a limit is set to conjecture, for there is only one way in which two things are equal, but there are an infinity of ways in which they could be supposed different."[15]


    We have ALL comprehended it - as was stated above. Your problem is that whilst scientific methodology has the ability to empirically examine its predictions and arrive at objective conclusions, metaphysical solutions do not have that ability. They merely have competing academic arguments with which to make their case.
    No, I'm afraid you have not. You betray your lack of understanding with your phrase "metaphysical solutions". This misconstruction goes to the heart of your ongoing, perhaps willful?, ignorance that has plagued this exchange from the outset. You have it fixed in your head that this is a matter of two competing empirical hypotheses, yours, which is science-based, and mine which is mired in medieval superstition. Perhaps conversation at this level of abstraction is not your strong-suit. You've never had a clue what I've been talking about, but more importantly, you've never cared to trouble yourself to try to find out because you're so certain you have the answers. I've said it before, but with that, I do leave the thread to you.

  7. Amen Chrawnus, MaxVel amen'd this post.
  8. #67
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Recall that you said that it requires no philosophical argument?
    What I actually said was that philosophy was the glue that held science together but that it cannot, as a discipline, generate new truths about nature. It can only expose and reformulate the truths contained in our models, theories and laws of the natural world as obtained via science in an effort to better understand them.

    This is from a Wikipedia article on Naturalism:
    In short (regarding your lengthy quote from Stephen Jay Gould et al) scientists arrive at models and theories via (among other processes) 'induction'. And while (as Gould says) ‘induction’ cannot "prove" its own validity, multiple empirical testing can assume that its conclusions are true – to the extent that science can put a man on the moon; metaphysics cannot. We may not be able to prove that the ‘speed of light in vacuum’ or the ‘gravitational constant’ (or the other physical laws and constants of the universe) are true. But sufficient testing can allow science to act as though they were true and, on this basis, develop a reliable understanding of how the physical universe functions – including the thoughts and consciousness consequent upon the physical activity of the brain.

    You have it fixed in your head that this is a matter of two competing empirical hypotheses, yours, which is science-based, and mine which is mired in medieval superstition.
    Interesting that this is the way you perceive the discussion given my only argument is that there is a total lack of evidence for thoughts and consciousness other than the physical activity of the brain. You want to argue that there is more, with talk of “sensations, intention, aboutness, etc.” But science is in a stronger position to arrive at factual knowledge about these things than the mere speculative conclusions of metaphysics, which has no tools at its disposal other than competing, unverified academic arguments to support its conclusions. Whereas, conversely, the cognitive sciences have many tools at their disposal - e.g. functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography et al with which to support their hypotheses.
    “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.

  9. Amen shunyadragon amen'd this post.

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