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The Dawkins Challenge
Catholic Things ^ | June 13, 2012 | William E. Carroll

Posted on 06/14/2012 6:58:55 AM PDT by C19fan

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To: spunkets

“No. It is built on the scientific method, which requires observables.”

Yes, you are essentially stating methodological naturalism, which is exactly what I was referring to.

“Do these gods know they’ve been defined by the humans?”

I’m not talking about “gods”, I’m talking about God, the omnipotent, omniscient creator of the universe. So, yes, he certainly knows everything that we do. More importantly, we didn’t define Him, He defined Himself, and graciously provided us with some methods to gain at least a partial understanding of His nature. Science, however, can only ever be tangentially related to those endeavors.

“Why do they hide behind some human’s definition to avoid introducing themselves?”

He didn’t. Humans defined science to exclude any examination of the kinds that would lead to direct knowledge about God.

“Do they have schizoid, avoidant, or dependent personalities?”

To even ask that question is to descend into ludicrous anthromorphism.


41 posted on 06/17/2012 6:07:42 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman
Re: science: It is built on the scientific method, which requires observables.

"you are essentially stating methodological naturalism, which is exactly what I was referring to."

Science is built on the scientific method, not methodological naturalism. Naturalism is not science. Naturalism is a philosophy based on the logical conclusion that the laws of nature are sufficient to govern the world. It's claims may depend on science, but is in no way science itself, nor is science based on it.

"I’m not talking about “gods”, I’m talking about God, the omnipotent, omniscient creator of the universe."

Which one?

"we didn’t define Him, He defined Himself

One can not define themselves.

"Humans defined science to exclude any examination of the kinds that would lead to direct knowledge about God."

No, see above. What god, muhumed's?

Re: Do they have schizoid, avoidant, or dependent personalities?

"To even ask that question is to descend into ludicrous anthromorphism."

No. It's a legitimate question to ask about any person someone else claims exists, but never shows up to introduce themselves.

42 posted on 06/18/2012 7:21:08 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: C19fan
Krauss is the author of the much heralded, A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing, in which he argues that it is highly plausible that we will soon be able to understand how the entire universe, including the fundamental laws of physics, can start from “absolutely nothing” without any need to appeal to a creator or supernatural agency.

So, does this mean we can quit worrying about "social justice," "equality," "homophobia," "speciesism," and all those "problems" and "evils" we allegedly face? Does this mean the World Totalitarian State is no longer a necessity to "solve" all these "problems" and "correct" all these "evils?"

Didn't think so.

43 posted on 06/18/2012 7:38:35 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu!)
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To: spunkets

“Science is built on the scientific method, not methodological naturalism. Naturalism is not science. Naturalism is a philosophy based on the logical conclusion that the laws of nature are sufficient to govern the world.”

You just don’t know what you are talking about. You’re confusing philosophical naturalism with methodological naturalism. Methodological naturalism is not a philosophy, it’s a philosophical assumption that underpins the very scientific method that you refer to.

Perhaps this will help you understand:

“Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses. To avoid these traps scientists assume that all causes are empirical and naturalistic; which means they can be measured, quantified and studied methodically.

However, this assumption of naturalism need not extend beyond an assumption of methodology. This is what separates methodological naturalism from philosophical naturalism - the former is merely a tool and makes no truth claim; while the latter makes the philosophical - essentially atheistic - claim that only natural causes exist.”

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism

“Which one?”

To quote Highlander, there can be only one.

“One can not define themselves.”

More anthropomorphism.

“No. It’s a legitimate question to ask about any person someone else claims exists, but never shows up to introduce themselves.”

No, it’s not. You are falsely assuming that God, if He did exist, would have some personality or psychological traits that we observe in humans. That’s classic anthropomorphism.

Here’s some more help for you:

“Anthropomorphism or personification is any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to other animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities. ... In contrast to this, conventional Western science, as well as such religious doctrines as the Christian Great Chain of Being propound the opposite, anthropocentric belief that animals, plants and non-living things, unlike humans, lack spiritual and mental attributes, immortal souls, and anything other than relatively limited awareness.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropomorphism


44 posted on 06/18/2012 8:18:25 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman
"Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses. To avoid these traps scientists assume that all causes are empirical and naturalistic; which means they can be measured, quantified and studied methodically.

The scientific method requires no assumptions. The writer of this screed confuses conclusions with prior assumptions.

"...essentially atheistic - claim that only natural causes exist.”

These claims stand w/o evidence. The scientific method requires evidence.

"To quote Highlander, there can be only one."

What is this man's evidence? Why isn't muhumed's character the one?

Re: “One can not define themselves.”

" More anthropomorphism.

Not. A definition is a blueprint for form and function, or essence of something. It's a logical conclusion that one can not draw up a blueprint for their form and function prior to their existence. No "human qualities" were attributed, or considered to draw hte conclusion.

Re: No. It’s a legitimate question to ask about any person someone else claims exists, but never shows up to introduce themselves.

"No, it’s not. You are falsely assuming that God, if He did exist, would have some personality or psychological traits that we observe in humans. That’s classic anthropomorphism.

I assumed nothing. The fact that any intelligent sentient, rational being has a personality is a conclusion based on the fact that they must be sentient rational machines. Sentience requires sensing of the surroundings, one's own machinery and to one's own thoughts. That is the nature of feelings and emotion. Without the sentience, their can be no interaction with the environment and no self awareness. ie. no personality. If there is no capacity for rational processing/thought, then likewise there can be no sentience. Sentient rational machines are persons, which must display the chacteristics of personality, because of the very functionality that is contained in their essence.

If some being chooses to always stay hidden, or simply appears to, then either the being doesn't exist, or there is some reason that he chooses to hide. His choice to hide and his reasons are quantifications of his outward personality. Consider the historical Baal for instance, he's either an inept cowardly nacissist, or he doesn't exist.

45 posted on 06/18/2012 2:20:37 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets

“The scientific method requires no assumptions. The writer of this screed confuses conclusions with prior assumptions.”

Every method requires assumptions. Every human intellectual endeavor is based on assumptions, and refusing to acknowledge them is not helpful to understanding the proper scope or application of those endeavors. Also, methodological naturalism cannot be a conclusion of the scientific method, since it would not be demonstrable through the scientific method, simply because you cannot prove a negative. Go ahead and try, I’ll be waiting.

“These claims stand w/o evidence. The scientific method requires evidence.”

Which is irrelevant, since those claims were about philosophical naturalism, which has does not stand or fall based on the scientific method. Moreover, the statement is from a summary description of a well known philosophy, not an attempt to prove or defend that philosophy, so expecting evidence or support for the statement is silly. If you want to examine the arguments in favor of philosophical naturalism, go out and read a book on the subject.

“What is this man’s evidence? Why isn’t muhumed’s character the one?”

I didn’t say his wasn’t. I intentionally did not answer that question in your previous post, because this isn’t a theological discussion, so I see no point in confusing the issue by descending into that. It would not be fruitful, but only serve to distract from the crux of the conversation, which is about your attempt to deny that methodological naturalism is a required assumption of the scientific method, and therefore the scientific method limits itself only to examining natural phenomena. I thought that, by quoting Highlander, you might take the hint that I was making a silly rejoinder to your equally silly attempts to drive the discussion into an only tangentially related direction.

“Not. A definition is a blueprint for form and function, or essence of something. It’s a logical conclusion that one can not draw up a blueprint for their form and function prior to their existence.”

Your very definition of “definition” is anthropomorphic as well as being self-serving. My original use of the word had nothing to do with a blueprint, but rather a description. A blueprint implies that the definition exists before the thing it describes, whereas it is much more common for the thing to exist before it is described, and of course, almost every definition in existence is created by men, to express our necessarily limited understanding of the things we are defining. Therefore, any human definition of a deity can only hope to be an incomplete and probably insufficient description. This is why I say that God defines himself, because only He would be able to do so in a truly accurate manner. We simply are not equipped with the tools to make more than a partial description of such a phenomenon.

“No “human qualities” were attributed, or considered to draw hte conclusion.”

By assuming that a God would conform to the limitations of humans, yes, you are ascribing human qualities to a deity, hence anthropomorphism.

“I assumed nothing. The fact that any intelligent sentient, rational being has a personality is a conclusion based on the fact that they must be sentient rational machines.”

How can you follow the one statement with the other? The second sentence is full of assumptions (all intelligent, sentient, rational beings will conform to your previous experience, sentient beings all have personalities, their personalities will be similar to human ones, they will be machines, etc). The fact that you don’t see the anthropomorphism fairly dripping from the statement demonstrates you are either very uncritical of your own thinking, or you simply don’t understand what anthropomorphic assumptions are. The rest of your “logic” following that statement is just more bad assumptions heaped on the previous ones, amounting to no useful information.


46 posted on 06/18/2012 9:07:36 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman
"Every method requires assumptions. Every human intellectual endeavor is based on assumptions,"

No.

"and refusing to acknowledge them is not helpful to understanding the proper scope or application of those endeavors."

You are free to play with assumptions all you want, but you can not force them on, or into logical schemes that never contained them. The scientific method requires only that a hypothesis be formulated and then supported by hard evidence if it is to stand and become theory. There are no assumptions contained therein.

"Also, methodological naturalism cannot be a conclusion of the scientific method, since it would not be demonstrable through the scientific method, simply because you cannot prove a negative. Go ahead and try, I’ll be waiting."

Proof only applies to mathematics, all other claims, contentions, ect... are supported by evidence. the measure of truth is the measure of the evidence and ogic supporting it.

I said methodological naturalism is based on conclusions from the scientific method. The main one is that the laws of physics are consistent and sufficient to govern the world. No external arbitrary fifth force is needed. The conclusion is based on all the reproducible evidence obtained to date. To date, there is no to refute that conclusion. The god of the gaps is that arbitrary and necessary fifth force that is never observed. Thus methodological naturalism is based on conclusions drawn using the scientific method, but nevertheless phil nat is not science, nor does science assume it.

Re: Why isn’t muhumed’s character the one?”

" I didn’t say his wasn’t. I intentionally did not answer that question in your previous post, because this isn’t a theological discussion, so I see no point in confusing the issue by descending into that.

The topic of the thread is "The Challenge". The challenge to what- theology. In particular, you brought up supernatural causal relationships, which are the fruits of theology. A scientist can determine the probability that muhumed's character is real. The scientist does not assume, he looks at the evidence for the contention. If there's no evidence, then the calculation of probability for the hypothesis, contention, claim is zero. Then the best that can be said about the "person" the theologal claim refers to is that he's hiding. One can and should also judge what is claimed about the claimed diety. Logic and the scientific method apply.

"Your very definition of “definition” is anthropomorphic as well as being self-serving. My original use of the word had nothing to do with a blueprint, but rather a description.

Nonsense, a definition is required to be the simplest accurate, precise blueprint for a thing, or concept as possible. It is an embodiment of the essence, not a mere arbitrary description.

"you simply don’t understand what anthropomorphic assumptions are.

You don't understand science, nor what a sentient rational beings are. There's no anthropromorphism in the science of sentient rational machines. In order to understand that, you'll have to drop the assumption and anthropromorphic nonsense and learn some science.

47 posted on 06/19/2012 12:10:07 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets

“The scientific method requires only that a hypothesis be formulated and then supported by hard evidence if it is to stand and become theory. There are no assumptions contained therein.”

Of course there are assumptions required by the scientific method, just as there are axioms in mathematics that one must accept without proof. The requirements you state are the process of the scientific method, which are completely different from the underpinning assumptions. You can pretend the assumptions are not there, but that does not make them go away, it merely reveals your ignorance of the subject you are trying to pontificate about. You seem to be falling prey to a phenomenon that Einstein spoke about:

“Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origin and accept them as invariable.”

The scientific method has a human origin, it is not absolute truth, so it is based on human assumptions, and quite a few at that.

Methodological naturalism isn’t even the only a priori assumption of the scientific method. For example, the scientific method also incorporates objectivist assumptions, such as that there is an objective reality that is consistent for all, and that there are physical laws which govern that reality which we can discover. There are many other assumptions, such as, that those physical laws can be sufficiently described by mathematics, or that a subset of a phenomenon can represent accurately all the properties of a larger set of that phenomenon.

All these assumptions are so universally agreed upon by scientists that they are hardly ever spoken. They “go without saying”, so I can see how you might be ignorant of them, but your ignorance doesn’t make them go away.

“I said methodological naturalism is based on conclusions from the scientific method. The main one is that the laws of physics are consistent and sufficient to govern the world.”

That isn’t a conclusion of the scientific method, it’s an another a priori assumption. If it’s not, then whose theory is it? Whose theory is methodological naturalism, for that matter? If they are conclusions of the method, then they are theories, so it should be easy for you to show which scientists posited those hypotheses and how they demonstrated them in an observable, repeatable, and falsifiable experimental manner.

“The topic of the thread is “The Challenge”. The challenge to what- theology. In particular, you brought up supernatural causal relationships, which are the fruits of theology.”

I only reference the supernatural to point out the limitations of the scientific method. I’m not making an argument in favor of supernatural causes, although you have tried to bring that matter into the discussion. I’m not going to discuss it, because it’s not relevant to my original statement, and would require an entirely different discussion. Confusing the two issues isn’t productive. I don’t care what the topic of the thread is, I made one point, which you responded to, and the ensuing discussion is what I was referring to, not the thread as a whole.

“Nonsense, a definition is required to be the simplest accurate, precise blueprint for a thing, or concept as possible.”

Again, you use the word blueprint, which is completely different from the meaning of definition. A blueprint is a techical schematic, or more broadly used, a plan or symbolic representation of some key elements of a thing. The sense of the word is different than that of a definition in important ways. If you are looking for precision and accuracy, you should at least be aware of the proper definition of the words you use, perhaps starting with the word definition.

“There’s no anthropromorphism in the science of sentient rational machines.”

I never stated there was. I stated there was anthropomorphism in your assumption that you could apply properties of “sentient rational machines”, as you call them, to a deity. The science is not anthropomorphic, your misuse of it is.


48 posted on 06/19/2012 1:09:35 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: spunkets
"Every method requires assumptions. Every human intellectual endeavor is based on assumptions," No. "and refusing to acknowledge them is not helpful to understanding the proper scope or application of those endeavors." You are free to play with assumptions all you want, but you can not force them on, or into logical schemes that never contained them. The scientific method requires only that a hypothesis be formulated and then supported by hard evidence if it is to stand and become theory. There are no assumptions contained therein. "Also, methodological naturalism cannot be a conclusion of the scientific method, since it would not be demonstrable through the scientific method, simply because you cannot prove a negative. Go ahead and try, I’ll be waiting." Proof only applies to mathematics, all other claims, contentions, ect... are supported by evidence. the measure of truth is the measure of the evidence and ogic supporting it. I said methodological naturalism is based on conclusions from the scientific metho.

I think you are being too hard on Spunkets. There are, in fact, several assumptions which science makes regarding the scientific method. Science is actually built on philosophy. Science is a slave to philosophy and cannot be done without philosophy. Philosophical assumptions are utilized in the search for causes, and therefore cannot be the result of that search. For example scientists, by faith, that reason and scientific method allow an accurate understanding of the world around them. The scientific naturalist cannot prove the tools of science-the laws of logic, the Law of Causality, the Principle of Uniformity or the reliability of observations by running an experiment. The scientist simply has to assume those things are true in order to do the experiment. The physicalist cannot epistemologically account for logic, reason, or rational thought-they are metaphysical concepts and not made of matter or energy. If materialism is true, then reason itself is impossible. For if mental processes are nothing but chemical reactions in the brain, then there is no reason to believe that anything is true, including the theory of materialism. Chemicals cannot evaluate whether or not a theory is true. Chemicals do not reason-they react. If materialism were true then determinism is true and what goes on inside your head would be the same as what goes on inside Spunkets head. But is seems, from the reading, they are not the same. Reason itself requires faith because a defense of reason by reason is circular and therefore worthless.

"you simply don’t understand what anthropomorphic assumptions are. You don't understand science, nor what a sentient rational beings are.

Do you really understand the question you put forth-do you understand what a sentient rational being is? I would simply ask you the following: Why and how would brute matter which is not sentient, not conscious of surroundings give rise to conscious, sentient beings. How can it give what it does not have to give. Perhaps this is what Spunket was referring to regarding the reference to a theistic universe. I think he was referencing the metaphysical..that which is after physics. I am sentinent, Spunket is sentient, you are sentient....three minds which behave differently. As I have said several times, if the scientific naturalist, atheist is devoted to physicalism and the exclusivity of scientific method, then for you to tell your wife that you love her has no more meaning than for you to tell her that you have a gastrointestinal pain or an itch,...and is therefore meaningless.

I did not mean to interject into your conversation with Spunket. Forgive the interruption, please.

49 posted on 06/19/2012 1:14:55 AM PDT by Texas Songwriter (Ia)
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To: Texas Songwriter
"For example scientists, by faith, that reason and scientific method allow an accurate understanding of the world around them"

Faith is belief in what someone says, w/o, or with little evidence supporting the claim. Sentience is what allows for an accurate knowledge aquisition and rational capacity provides for organization and understanding. There are no assumptions required, philosophical, or otherwise.

"The scientific naturalist cannot prove the tools of science-the laws of logic, the Law of Causality, the Principle of Uniformity or the reliability of observations by running an experiment.

The scientist can. A scientist is not a scientific naturalist, although a scientific naturalist may be a scientist in some instances. Logic contains proofs. The reliablity of observations depends on the fact that A=A, the identity concept in logic. It applies to reality, because if it is not true, then something would contradict itself, or become what it is not arbitrarily.

Causality depends on the conservation of energy and the action integral. There are no assumptions needed.

"The scientist simply has to assume those things are true in order to do the experiment.

No. They can be and are tested without assumption and they're used w/o assumption.

"The physicalist cannot epistemologically account for logic, reason, or rational thought-they are metaphysical concepts and not made of matter or energy."

Logic, reason and rational thought are functions of rational machines, which are physical configurations of energy. Sentience is also a function of a rational machine, which is dependent on physics to provide for the machinery.

"For if mental processes are nothing but chemical reactions in the brain, then there is no reason to believe that anything is true,"

That's a ridiculous conclusion.

"Chemicals cannot evaluate whether or not a theory is true"

Machines can and the most common are composed of chemicals. Sentient rational machines can sense, percieve, create and provide for rational processing.

"If materialism were true then determinism is true and what goes on inside your head would be the same as what goes on inside Spunkets head."

No. Although the brains are different networks and hold different beliefs, one of the characteristics of sentient rational machines is free will.

"Reason itself requires faith because a defense of reason by reason is circular and therefore worthless."

Faith is simply a belief in what someone says based on trust. Faith is not required to reason, although it's usuful to minimize the man hours spent on trying to know, or understand something. Also, the defense of anyhting requires reason, otherwise it's just arbitrary BS.

"Why and how would brute matter which is not sentient, not conscious of surroundings give rise to conscious, sentient beings."

Obviously you're not aware that the various forms and particles of energy have properties, which are sentient. What makes you think that the interactions between particles should be referred to as brutish, rather than the fundamental elements of sentience and perception?

"I think he was referencing the metaphysical..that which is after physics."

The physics is sufficient. No metaphysics is needed.

"As I have said several times, if the scientific naturalist, atheist is devoted to physicalism and the exclusivity of scientific method, then for you to tell your wife that you love her has no more meaning than for you to tell her that you have a gastrointestinal pain or an itch,...and is therefore meaningless."

This is ridiculous. You claim it has no meaning, therefore it has no meaning! Rubbish!

50 posted on 06/19/2012 2:34:51 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: Boogieman
"there are assumptions required by the scientific method, just as there are axioms in mathematics that one must accept without proof.""The scientific method has a human origin, it is not absolute truth, so it is based on human assumptions, and quite a few at that."

It is used by all sentient rational beings to know and understand reality. It does not depend on who they are, or where they exist.

"I only reference the supernatural to point out the limitations of the scientific method."

If phenomena that carry a probability of being true that is zero is a limitation, then that is a good thing.

"Again, you use the word blueprint, which is completely different from the meaning of definition. A blueprint is a techical schematic, or more broadly used, a plan or symbolic representation of some key elements of a thing. The sense of the word is different than that of a definition in important ways."

Not of some key elements; it's a plan, or symbolic representation of the key elements of a thing.

Webster's: "2a : a statement expressing the essential nature of something"
2c : a product of defining.

"I stated there was anthropomorphism in your assumption that you could apply properties of “sentient rational machines”, as you call them, to a deity."

Deities are sentient rational beings, else they are inanimate objects like the sun, or moon. There is no other possibility.

51 posted on 06/19/2012 3:04:18 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets

“It is used by all sentient rational beings to know and understand reality. It does not depend on who they are, or where they exist.”

If they’re using the same method that man does, which is pure speculation, then they are making the same basic assumptions.

“If phenomena that carry a probability of being true that is zero is a limitation, then that is a good thing.”

Being true, and being demonstrable by the scientific method are not the same thing. To say otherwise is hubris.

“Not of some key elements; it’s a plan, or symbolic representation of the key elements of a thing.”

It may represent all the key elements, or it may not. The definition of a blueprint does not imply that it represents every key element.

“Webster’s: “2a : a statement expressing the essential nature of something”
2c : a product of defining.”

I’m glad Webster’s agrees with me, they don’t mention anything about a blueprint either. They mention a description (”a statement expressing”), exactly as I said. If you want a description of the essential nature of a deity, and it is beyond the scope of human knowledge to know the essential nature of such a thing, then naturally, the definition must come from the deity, not from man. Any other definition would, by necessity be imcomplete and insufficient.

“Deities are sentient rational beings, else they are inanimate objects like the sun, or moon. There is no other possibility.”

Again, this is anthropomorphism, trying to assign qualities of man to deity. We only have a very limited ability to know the nature of sentient, rational beings, since we only have a very limited variety of them to observe. So, you are essentially saying that God must be like us, which is anthropomorphic.


52 posted on 06/19/2012 6:33:55 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: spunkets
Faith is belief in what someone says, w/o, or with little evidence supporting the claim. Sentience is what allows for an accurate knowledge aquisition and rational capacity provides for organization and understanding. There are no assumptions required, philosophical, or otherwise.

So you write a vacuous definition of the word faith. Then you make a declaration of what sentience allows for, but fail to provide an epistemological explaination of how sentience can be accounted for from brute matter and energy. You simply assert without accountablility. My question was not to request a definition of a word, but the epistemic explaination....and you offer no explaination. You have not, by scientific method, accounted for scientific method. You have not accounted epistemologically for sentinece, but you lay claim to the fact that it exists. You lay claim to accurate knowledge without giving any warrant for that acquisition. You lay claim to a term, 'rational capacity' but cannot materially account for rationality using scientific method. All of your assumptions are affirmed then you deny that they are assumed. YOu seem to be saying that 'only science is rational'....only science can give us this 'accurate knowledge' (I assume you mean warrants knowledge). You seem to be asserting that everything else is faith or belief and opinion. But if something cannot be quantified or tested by scientific method cannot be true or 'rational'. You seem to be saying only science is the only procurator of truth. So when I ask you to account for sentience...what is it made of...you give me an action which you assert is its exclusive domain. I ask you to physically account for rationality and logic, claiming it is the exclusive domain of science, but will not then, by scientific method account for these tools. So your basis for your 'belief' that science can prove these tools of science, in your next paraagraph, you simply assert "Yes they can" (scientist can prove the tools of science-the laws of logic, the Law of Causality, the Principle of Uniformity or the reliability of observations by running an experiment. So, now that we know that you believe you can prove the laws of logic, please do so. Remember in order to prove something you cannot use that 'something' to prove itself...that is what is called circular reasoning,...and as we all know circular reasoning or begging the question has no meaning at all. I am very interested in your claim to be able to do this regarding, not only logic, but the Law of Causality, the Principle of Uniformity and the scientific methodological explaination for the reliability of observation which you claim can be explained. Please no tautologies.

You then claim logic contains proofs. But I did not ask what logic contains,...I asked what the physical makeup of logic is. You are the scientific naturalist, not me. Then you tell me what the act of observation relies on, saying, A=A (Law of Identity). But I did not ask you what observation relies on...I asked you what that law of logic physically is. You offered none. You did however prove my point by affirming that science relies on a law of logic. But, unless you prove otherwise you just said that science relies on a Philosophical concept (the Law of Identity) which you had previously denied that science relied on. Then you affirm that scientific observation applies to reality. If you affirm a physicalist worldview, and you presume a cloak of rational thought, but cannot account for rationality itself, by what scientific application or observation do you believe anything at all? How do you know your observations are warranted and true? I do not think you have thought through your assertions because, at your bedrock, physicalism or scientific naturalism cannot prove the laws of logic, yet you claim them for your very own even as you deny others the same....but, but, but 'I am doing it in the name of science', that is your only claim of validation and I am afraid you come up lacking in the epistemological department. In other words, just because you say it is so, does not make it so. Explain yourself without contradicting yourself is all that I have asked you to do.

Then you say, Causality depends on the conservation of energy and the action integral. There are no assumptions needed. I simply ask you, 'What causese you to say this?" Regress this assertion all the way back to mind, not just to neurotransmittors. I have no interest any longer in GABA or dopaminergic receptors or prostaglandin receptors....take it to mind and account for mind. What causes mind? The laws of physics and chemistry cannot account for mind or consciousness. Consciousness is perhaps the most important fact of our existence apart from that indefinable term life, itself. Matter is completely governed by the laws of physics and chemistry. Yet you are free to make your free will assertions as am I. But if everything is governed by the laws of nature should not the neurosynapses in your brain fire exactly the same as mine. Yet we have divergent conclusions regarding logic, reason, and rational thought and those epistemologies. That needs to be explained by the scientific naturalist,....not defined, I know the definintion,....it needs to be epistemically accounted for by the materialist...and if he cannot explain it he needs to abandon that conviction of mind. Your consciousness, your sentience, your self-introspection is a very private thing. I cannot force myself into it. However if it were governed by the laws of physics we should be able to devise an experiment which would allow such. A neuroscientist can know much more about my brain than I do, but he cannot possibly know more about my mind than I know. They are two different things.

Then you say the scientist assumes nothing. Quiet a bold and unambiguous statement. Does the scientist assume that logic will lead to a correct conclusion? Does the scientist assume that reason will guide him to a correct understanding? Does the scientist assume the Law of Identity as you stated just a few paragraphs prior to this one?

Then your next assertion is that machines made of matter we see represented on the periodic table can be sentient....they (machines) are capable of logic, reason, and rational thought. You say machines are sentient or are capable of selfintrospection and have the power of perception. You are basically saying what Ray Kurzweil said in the book, "The Age of Spiritual Machines". Yours and Kurzweils notions are the logical extension of the idea of Darwinian evolution. You basically say that when a machine becomes complex enough,...its structure becomes diverse enough it will 'evolove' to consciousness....that is they suddenly develope subjectivity, feelings, hopes, self-awareness, and introspection. All of those 0's and 1's take on what it means to be alive....a sort of Space Odessy 2001 notion. But you can give a machine all of the powers all of the 0's and 1's you wish that machine will only shuffle the symbols which mind had programmed into that machine. You and Kurzweil are peddling bad science and bad philosophy. Machines of the sort which you reference only perform directed algorithm. That is not thought. That is not sentience. That is not introspection, and it certainly is not rational that a thinking person make such a claim. Yes, you can place a blood sample in a sequential multiple analyzer and with the proper reagents get a chemical reaction and then photometrically or colorimetrically or use any other meter to determine a chemical level and then have that machine perform its preprogrammed function and asssign a number to that test. But that is not sentience. Those are not rational thoughts.

Now comes the most interesting questions of all regarding your statement, Obviously you're not aware that the various forms and particles of energy have properties, which are sentient. What makes you think that the interactions between particles should be referred to as brutish, rather than the fundamental elements of sentience and perception? Yes, I am unaware of particles and fundamental elements of sentience and perdception. I know of no neuroscientist, psychologist, neurologist, or cosmologist who is aware of such notions, so I am very, very interested in your explication of these particles and elements. I have spent the better part of 35 years studying these very notions and have not read nor spoken to anyone who makes these assertions as warranted true belief (knowledge). So, please, enlighten me.

Your next paragraph references faith, the defence of faith, and then you claim without reason is BS. Of course it is a tautology to assert being unreasonable is unreasonable (or BS). That type of circular reasoning gets us nowhere. In your attempt to disparage faith you only achieve disparaging your assertions with feckless tautologies waisting 'man-hours'.

Next you assert that physics is enough to assert explanation of your positions. Yet you use that little metaphysical tool called mind. It seems physics is not suficient. Your claim the use of that metaphysical tool of rational thought. It seems physics is not enough. You use numbers in science. Numbers, as you must know, are metaphysical concepts. It seems physics is not enough. You use abstract thought and sentience. Its seems physics is not enough. You seem to assert that you know what is right and what is wrong...what is a waist of time and what is prudent use of time...a product of mind. It seems physics is not enough. You assert free will in making your claims. What is the physical makeup of free will. It seems physics is not enough. You seem to make many truth claims. But truth is a metaphysical abstract concept. It seems physics is not enough. You concluded that the logical extension of physicalism where I said that in accordance with metaphysical naturalism (physicalism) to say you love your wife is no different than saying you have an itch, is "ridiculous". So in order to make that assertion you must know what 'love' is. But what is the physical makeup of love? It seems that physics is not enough. To assert that it is ridiculous implies that you know it is wrong and not right. Yet in the physicalists worldview what is 'wrong' and what is 'right' requires a spatial extension of matter. So what is right and what is wrong in the physicalists world. What is your standard. Is it every man to his own view. Is it as Dostoyevsky said, all things are permitted. Is there no right or wrong without a metaphysical standard? If so, what is the standard. Is there no standard to measure right and wrong? If you asset there is what is its temporal-spatial makeup?

This is ridiculous. You claim it has no meaning, therefore it has no meaning! Rubbish!

So this is what you have? You call names, give silly definitions, claim elements and particles are sentient...and I am ridiculous. Make an argument. Give me your epistemic explainations. What are the ontologies of your proclaimations. Or are you just throwing it all in a pot and stirring and seeing what you come up with? While you claim reason, logic, and rational thought as your very own you cannot account epistemically for any of those tools which you profess to be the keeper of. All of those out here who examine metaphysical reality are ignorant and illinformed, yet you give no single logical defence of your position. Your tool of calling names..ridiculous....irrational....arbitrary BS....and the rest. Those are your terms of scientific aprobrium. Those represent your explication of your warranted belief in scientific method?

Cogito ergo sum.

Cogito, ergo Deus est.

53 posted on 06/19/2012 9:58:17 AM PDT by Texas Songwriter (Ia)
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To: Boogieman
"The definition of a blueprint does not imply that it represents every key element."

Yes it does.

"I’m glad Webster’s agrees with me"

No, they don't. You said your god defined himself and I pointed out that he could not have, because one must exist before they define themselves. Note 2c, which you just posted to me: "2c : a product of defining."

"the definition must come from the deity, not from man."

Description, not definition. Point out where your deity described himself as being supernatural.

"We only have a very limited ability to know the nature of sentient, rational beings, since we only have a very limited variety of them to observe"

Limited is relative, nevertheless the limits are not sufficient to prevent them from being known, understood and being made.

"you are essentially saying that God must be like us, which is anthropomorphic."

Which god? Muhumed's character?

54 posted on 06/19/2012 10:40:12 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets
"Yes it does."

No it doesn't.

"1: a photographic print in white on a bright blue ground or blue on a white ground used especially for copying maps, mechanical drawings, and architects' plans "2: something resembling a blueprint (as in serving as a model or providing guidance); especially : a detailed plan or program of action "

from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blueprint

Nothing in there saying that it must represent every key element of a thing. Try again.

"You said your god defined himself and I pointed out that he could not have, because one must exist before they define themselves."

So, your real argument is just that you don't think a God can exist, and therefore He couldn't define Himself? That's a belief, not a truth.

"Note 2c, which you just posted to me: "2c : a product of defining.""

So what? God defines Himself, producing the definition, the product of His defining.

"Description, not definition. Point out where your deity described himself as being supernatural."

No, because again, you're just trying to shift the argument to a theological one in order to avoid addressing the original point. It's getting tiring.

"Limited is relative, nevertheless the limits are not sufficient to prevent them from being known, understood and being made. "

It's necessary to know the limits of any endeavor to gain knowledge, otherwise you may assume that you can know things through those means which are beyond the scope of your investigation. That's the whole crux of my original point. Science can only study one type of sentient, rational machine, and can only assume that any knowledge gained from that study will apply to anything else (again, another assumption of the scientific method, that properties of a subset reflect all the properties of a larger set). That places a definite limit on the type of statements and conclusions that you are trying to draw.

"Which god? Muhumed's character?"

Again, I've already said I'm not going to take your bait and shift to a theological argument, stop trying to confuse the issue.

55 posted on 06/19/2012 10:58:14 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Texas Songwriter

OPPROBRIUM - sorry. Misspellers of the world - UNTIE!!!!!!!!


56 posted on 06/19/2012 11:02:12 AM PDT by Texas Songwriter (Ia)
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To: spunkets

Let’s make this simple, since our discussion is devolving to discussing things only tangential to the original dispute. You seem to have a problem with the word God, so let’s simply talk about supernatural vs natural phenomenon. I’ll rephrase my original point as an either/or proposition, so there should be no confusion or need to argue semantics.

Either:

A. It is within the scope of science to demonstrate evidence of the supernatural.
or
B. It is not within the scope of science to demonstrate evidence of the supernatural.

Pick one or the other, no arguing semantics or dancing around the issue. I pick B.


57 posted on 06/19/2012 11:09:09 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Texas Songwriter
"Does the scientist assume that logic will lead to a correct conclusion?

No. No assumptions are made. Science is based on Bayesian probabilities.

"Does the scientist assume that reason will guide him to a correct understanding?

No. He knows it.

" Does the scientist assume the Law of Identity as you stated just a few paragraphs prior to this one?

No. He knows and understands it and chooses to believe it based on the logical consequences of not believing that it is absolutely true.

"I have no interest any longer in GABA or dopaminergic receptors or prostaglandin receptors....take it to mind and account for mind. What causes mind? The laws of physics and chemistry cannot account for mind or consciousness."

Why ask for an answer which you reject a priori? Mind is a machine that provides for the functions of mind. The machine is based on the physics of the world it exists in-whether you like it, or not.

Re: "This is ridiculous. You claim it has no meaning, therefore it has no meaning! Rubbish!

"So this is what you have? You call names, give silly definitions, claim elements and particles are sentient...and I am ridiculous.

Particles are sentient. They are observers, whether you like it, or not. If they are brutes, it's because they threaten your worldview. Notice that you left out what you said that my reply referred to. It was your logic I referred to as rubbish, not you.

"So you write a vacuous definition of the word faith."

No it's not vacuous, you just don't like it.

58 posted on 06/19/2012 11:12:58 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: Boogieman
"Nothing in there(blueprint) saying that it must represent every key element of a thing. Try again."

You are not a very good engineer.

"So, your real argument is just that you don't think a God can exist, and therefore He couldn't define Himself? That's a belief, not a truth. "

No. I believe that men define gods, because they don't know any. Besides that, no one can define themselves. they can describe themselves, but not define themselves.

Re: Point out where your deity described himself as being supernatural."

" No, because again, you're just trying to shift the argument to a theological one in order to avoid addressing the original point.

You brought up the deity, supernatural, god, ect..., you just refuse to acknowledge it.

Re: "Which god? Muhumed's character?"

" Again, I've already said I'm not going to take your bait and shift to a theological argument, stop trying to confuse the issue.

You're tangled in your own net.

59 posted on 06/19/2012 11:25:59 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: Boogieman
"A. It is within the scope of science to demonstrate evidence of the supernatural."

Which supernatural, pink elephants, or little greys?

"B. It is not within the scope of science to demonstrate evidence of the supernatural.

Science doesn't generate, or demonstrate evidence for something. Either it's observable, or it's not.

"Pick one or the other, no arguing semantics or dancing around the issue. I pick B."

:)

60 posted on 06/19/2012 11:32:35 AM PDT by spunkets
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