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A Theory of God
Neoperspectives ^ | 1/23/05

Posted on 01/23/2005 12:39:01 PM PST by traviskicks

A metaphysical exploration of Religion, Consciousness, Free Will, Randomness, and, ultimately, the nature of God. Neuroscience, networking (of man, God, and governments), and AI computing are all discussed.

A Theory of God

God has never been defined to the satisfaction of rational man. Indeed, even His very existence has never been universally acknowledged. From Thomas Aquinas's famous '5 proofs of God' (3) and the writings of other great philosophers of the catholic church, to the tautological hierarchical constructions of modern philosophers (1), there has never been a logical argument strong enough to force all the atheists and agnostics of the world to believe.

It has been said that men are only truly passionate about things that are not innately obvious to everyone. (2) The bitter and acrimonious debate over the curvature of the earth that took place in the 15th Century would today be met with laughter and derision because the fact that the earth is a sphere is so obvious to nearly everyone. Although any one religion, or even God Himself, is not universally accepted in the same way, a large majority of people across the world profess a belief in God (over 90% of Americans believe in God (68), (69) ).

However, we must also consider that the vague definitions of God may contribute to His apparent non-universal acknowledgement. If we can't define what something is then how can people communicate their belief in it? It is most interesting is that this lack of definition is present across nearly all the world's religions:

Christianity/Judaism: I am that I am. (Exodus 3, 14) You cannot see my face; for man shall not see me and live. (Exodus 33:20)

(Excerpt) Read more at neoperspectives.com ...


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: buddhism; christianity; computerprocessing; conscious; consciousness; network; religion; theoryofgod; volition
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Thought some folks might find this interesting... and/or have some feedback.
1 posted on 01/23/2005 12:39:02 PM PST by traviskicks
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To: snarks_when_bored; kipita; Travelgirl; Valin; dutchess; D-fendr; DB; JenB; kanawa; ...

ping


2 posted on 01/23/2005 12:41:08 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/blackconservatism.htm)
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To: traviskicks
However, we must also consider that the vague definitions of God may contribute to His apparent non-universal acknowledgement. If we can't define what something is then how can people communicate their belief in it?

I guess he never read the bible ...
3 posted on 01/23/2005 12:45:54 PM PST by John Lenin (We used to shoot horse thieves)
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To: traviskicks

Greetings to you traviskicks!

I'm looking forward to reading your Theory via your website. I frequently read Kurzweilai's (Kurzweilai.net) work and therefore have the feeling there will be parallels.

Take care!


4 posted on 01/23/2005 12:51:05 PM PST by kipita (Rebel the proletariat response to Aristocracy and Exploitation.)
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To: traviskicks

many things have vague or unagreed upon definitions. Try to give a concise definiton of what existence is, or what time is, or even what love is. No easy task. Yet we all know when something exists, we all understand the passage of time, and we all recognize the power of love. We can't define these things, but they are indispensible to our whole conception of reality. I don't see why God is any different.


5 posted on 01/23/2005 1:00:39 PM PST by sassbox
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To: sassbox

Another intellectual lightweight exposes himself.


6 posted on 01/23/2005 1:16:14 PM PST by John Lenin (We used to shoot horse thieves)
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To: kipita

Kursweil's claims, although possible, are not supported by evidence and frequently rely on an oversimplification of intellience, consciousness, and human ability. I, too, once believed his claims for the future. Then I challenged his premises.


7 posted on 01/23/2005 1:16:47 PM PST by jdhighness
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To: John Lenin

umm...is that comment referring to my post or the author of the article?


8 posted on 01/23/2005 1:19:54 PM PST by sassbox
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To: traviskicks
I'll randomly latch on to one thing: randomness

This concept is a human abstract thinking tool to deal with the unknown or unknowable, but truly random forces don't actually exist, and therefore neither does free will. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle refers to our inability to observe a subatomic particle without disturbing it. If we *could* observe without disturbing then we could understand and calculate everything that happens using math. The true definition of random is what is currently unknown, and possibly unknowable to humans.

9 posted on 01/23/2005 1:22:01 PM PST by Reeses
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To: traviskicks
...there has never been a logical argument strong enough to force all the atheists and agnostics of the world to believe.

There never will be. They make their own choice, despite all the evidence, both internal and external. Much of their search is simple rationalization to making and affirming their own idols.

This article comprises a lot of highfalutin arguments strung together here, assuming "nobody" has the truth but only a piece of it and therefore we can somehow search it out through our own intellect and understanding. We can't.

But, in a sense, you're right. Man cannot fully understand God, His purposes or his methods. However, the Bible (not the Koran, not other religious scriptures) does reveal what we need to know and we can therefore act by faith on that knowledge - both historical and spiritual. God has already revealed Himself to us in full measure through His Word and by His Son. God has already done all the work for us and doesn't require us to discover Him by our intellectual or moral efforts.

Most religions try to "find" God. So do rationalists, if they choose to attempt the effort rather than simply being cynical. Those on either avenues are wasting their time. God has done the work for us. He doesn't require us to do it. All this exercise is fuss and feathers. Interesting, maybe, but unnecessary to know all about God - or that part of Him we can understand and need to know. In fact, our vain minds probably throw us off His revealed Truth and onto false rabbit trails wherein we think we can intuit and somehow "discover" Him by our own efforts and reasoning. We needn't bother. The work has been done. By Him. It is freely available to the most simple or the most cerebral. It need not be "discovered" through our further efforts.

Nice try, but no cigar!

10 posted on 01/23/2005 1:23:45 PM PST by Gritty ("the Enlightenment has degenerated to a state religion cult with none of the eternal truths-Mk Steyn)
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To: jdhighness
Kursweil's claims, although possible, are not supported by evidence and frequently rely on an oversimplification of intellience, consciousness, and human ability.

I tend to agree but is he doing so to explain the complexities in simplistic terms so the masses would "get it". Jesus the intellectual spoke in parables so the masses would understand. Confucius was no different. And let's not forget Albert's words of keeping it simple.......but not to simple.

11 posted on 01/23/2005 1:33:01 PM PST by kipita (Rebel the proletariat response to Aristocracy and Exploitation.)
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To: traviskicks

Have any of you clicked on the link and looked over the entire article? Look at all that gibberish! Whoever wrote this is is need of a long vacation. His brain is scrambled from excessive intellectualism.


12 posted on 01/23/2005 1:35:28 PM PST by marsh_of_mists
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To: traviskicks
Nice article, and I do not have time to read it all or comment on it right now, but there are several parts that are technically off-base. Points worth bringing up:

- The notion of "free will" is well-defined to the satisfaction of just about every rigorous theorist. We can prove mathematically that every algorithmically finite system will perceive itself to have something exactly analogous to "free will", it is a simple consequence of mathematics. The internal uncertainty is mathematically required in any context, but a context always exists in which there is no uncertainty for the same system.
- The human mind is algorithmically finite by every mathematical test for such things. These tests work on "black box" systems; their efficacy does not rely on having any knowledge of the system internals. There is no test for the opposite -- the best one can assert is that the nature of a system is inconclusive -- but this inconclusivity does not seem to be a necessary assertion in this case.
- The brain is computationally inferior to modern silicon in every aspect except one: memory reference rates, which the human brain outstrips silicon by about three orders of magnitude for conventional hardware. The mathematical definitions of general intelligence (see Hutter et al) that have been proven in the last few years and are generally accepted proscribe an implementation that is bound by effective reference rates. We can reengineer silicon to address this, but until very recently not much effort has gone toward this outside of narrow supercomputing domains; a lot of this is the result of basic architectural differences between the human brain and silicon process technologies.
- Among rigorous theorists (i.e. not philosophers playing semantic games and waxing eloquent), consciousness is generally agreed to be a necessary emergent property of all large-scale systems capable of algorithmic induction (the generally proven architectural model of intelligence in mathematics). This is not the "big question" that it used to be, but you dismiss it out of hand and assert that it is something extra and mysterious. Since the architecture of the human brain is a very good match for algorithmic induction (its structures and behaviors map very well into what is expected in that model), it should not be surprising then that the human brain expresses consciousness. Note that quantum mechanics is orthogonal to intelligence and therefore consciousness; QM is purely time-domain, intelligence is purely space-domain, and you cannot translate time-complexity into space-complexity (though you can go the other direction).

Those are my off-the-cuff technical remarks without having read the entire article yet. We now have a fundamental understanding of intelligence and intelligent systems in mathematics that we have never had even five or six years ago. What is interesting is that our understanding now makes it patently obvious why everything we came up with previously was incorrect. The truth is far more elegant and slightly stranger mathematically than what has long been imagined. It surprises most people to discover that we never had a general mathematical basis for intelligence in the 20th century to work from.

You will be hearing a lot more about this in the next three years or so. It still has not filtered out of the hardcore research circles, though it IS moving into development phases.

13 posted on 01/23/2005 1:43:12 PM PST by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: Reeses
. . . . but truly random forces don't actually exist, and therefore neither does free will. . . .

In what way does free will depend on the existence of randomness?
14 posted on 01/23/2005 1:43:19 PM PST by Logophile
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To: Gritty; John Lenin; sassbox

um... I have a feeling that you all read the excerpt and not the full paper.

This is 'A Theory of God', not 'a theory of no God'. One cannot deny the difficulty in defining God. That is merely where this paper starts.

I suggest you all read the whole thing before making assumptions.

Gritty, I largely concur with what you wrote. I don't think it is in any way contradictory to the excerpt.


15 posted on 01/23/2005 1:43:36 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/blackconservatism.htm)
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To: Reeses
Two excerpts that deal with your point: In fact, it might be the case that the very predictability of a computer restricts it's ability to process the more abstract concepts that we Humans juggle daily. So a computer that needs to be told what to do, (in a specific manner via programming etc..) will be incapable, by definition, of abstract thought, Volition, and human type Consciousness, no matter how powerful it may be. And it will be impossible to construct a computer capable of fully simulating the abstract thinkings of a human being, without it being: 1. unpredictable 2. conscious in a human sense. 3. possessing Volition. From this analysis we see Zombies are impossible. This concept is reminiscent of the famous, Heisenberg 'uncertainty principal' regarding small particles; The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa. (26) As computers advance to the point where they are capable of human like functions they will becoming increasingly harder to control. It puts a bit of a limit on the power of conventional computing (as shown by the second Chart). Our discussions about predictability were very important in our analysis of computers, but have been since been somewhat ignored. Is this a mistake? The nature of randomness is as mysterious as Consciousness, Free Will, and God, and just as neglected by scientific study. (60), (61) Many of these mysterious entities seem correlated and linked together. Predetermination is a much simpler and logical concept to accept then any attained by delving into the instable nature of randomness. Is all randomness caused by Free Will, or elements thereof? In other words, might the same physical interactions that give rise to Consciousness, give rise to randomness? btw, an interesting book on this sort of thing is Wolfrom's 'A New Kind of Science'.
16 posted on 01/23/2005 1:49:45 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/blackconservatism.htm)
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To: jdhighness; kipita
Kursweil's claims, although possible, are not supported by evidence and frequently rely on an oversimplification of intellience, consciousness, and human ability.

Kurzweil is respected as a person in the AI community, but most core research theorists find his grasp of some fairly fundamental issues to be lacking. He makes a good pop-sci figurehead for more mundane aspects, but his understanding of the fundamental theoretical nature of the problem is quite poor. His theory is stuck in a 1980s era model, which we know is broken.

These models are like religion for many researchers, and once they latch on they never let go. Part of the problem is that there are many theoretical paths to intelligent implementations, but very few tractable paths. Yet once a path is proved to be intractable, many researchers continue on that path, neither addressing the intractability nor switching to a better model. Human nature I guess.

17 posted on 01/23/2005 1:51:23 PM PST by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: marsh_of_mists

Look at all that gibberish! Whoever wrote this is is need of a long vacation. His brain is scrambled from excessive intellectualism.
---

LOL thnx. Yea, I think your right in that if you over analyze some things you can end up worse than if you don't analyze it at all. Hopefully that is not the case here.... :)


18 posted on 01/23/2005 1:53:18 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/blackconservatism.htm)
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To: Gritty
But, in a sense, you're right. Man cannot fully understand God, His purposes or his methods.

I tend to agree but how do we know God is a he, she or something we can't understand?

19 posted on 01/23/2005 1:53:32 PM PST by kipita (Rebel the proletariat response to Aristocracy and Exploitation.)
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To: Logophile
In what way does free will depend on the existence of randomness?

It doesn't. It only depends on subjective uncertainty (limits on predictive accuracy in some context), which looks similar to "randomness" but is not.

20 posted on 01/23/2005 1:54:44 PM PST by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: Gritty
Most religions try to "find" God. So do rationalists, if they choose to attempt the effort rather than simply being cynical. Those on either avenues are wasting their time. God has done the work for us. He doesn't require us to do it. All this exercise is fuss and feathers. Interesting, maybe, but unnecessary to know all about God - or that part of Him we can understand and need to know. In fact, our vain minds probably throw us off His revealed Truth and onto false rabbit trails wherein we think we can intuit and somehow "discover" Him by our own efforts and reasoning. We needn't bother. The work has been done. By Him. It is freely available to the most simple or the most cerebral. It need not be "discovered" through our further efforts.

This is just the sort of arrogant mumbo jumbo I've come t expect from some Christians. It's my fault I can't figure it out. It's all so simple so I'm the chucklehead and the problem. Thanks, friend. You make a body feel good.

Well, guess what. For some of us it's not so obvious as you imply. We're not god hating satan whippers either. You really need to take a breath. Everybody ain't you.

21 posted on 01/23/2005 2:01:45 PM PST by laredo44 (Liberty is not the problem)
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To: traviskicks

I mean, I think a healthy theological discussion as much as anyone, but the man acutally has a graph purporting to illustrate the Consciousnesses of Man and God (which looks like it was done on the Paint program, btw). The article not only seems pretentious and overanalytical, it also smells of quakery.


22 posted on 01/23/2005 2:02:27 PM PST by marsh_of_mists
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To: traviskicks
>If we can't define what something is then how can people communicate their belief in it?

Well, an issue here
is that rationality
is a tool that helps

us exist, it's not
the bounds of our existence.
We are not our tools.

23 posted on 01/23/2005 2:26:54 PM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: tortoise

---
- The notion of "free will" is well-defined to the satisfaction of just about every rigorous theorist. We can prove mathematically that every algorithmically finite system will perceive itself to have something exactly analogous to "free will", it is a simple consequence of mathematics. The internal uncertainty is mathematically required in any context, but a context always exists in which there is no uncertainty for the same system.
---


I had not heard of any 'mathamatical' description of free will. Do you have any links to this?

I find it interesting that the 'internal uncertainty is mathematically required' in any context. That goes along with the two excerpts I posted in post 16.

I don't quite follow how the same system can then have a different context wherin there is no uncertainty. It seems to me that if someones actions are entirely predictable then one can suppose they don't have free will? (although I guess you could construct some scenarios like something with lab rats where their environment pushes them down very predictable paths)

"Note that quantum mechanics is orthogonal to intelligence and therefore consciousness; QM is purely time-domain, intelligence is purely space-domain, and you cannot translate time-complexity into space-complexity (though you can go the other direction)."



Well, so you are concuring with what is in this paper, in that consciousness arises from physical interactions. I am unaware that it is universally agreed upon that quantum mechanics is responsible for Consciousness, rather that it is thought that it has to be a part of any explanation. And I believe at a singularity it is theorized that it might be possible to go in the other direction (space/time). Could be wrong about this...?

I don't know what memory reference rates are (memory I assume), or how they are calculated, but it seems to me that there are a great deal of problems with HOW these computing rates are calculated. (see my example on babies and the chess graph) Because they operate in different ways.

You admit that almost everything that was previously constructed to explain Consciousness has been incorrect, and that a lot has still not been worked out, yet find fault in that I find Consciousness very mysterious. I don't think the issue is very clear cut in mainstream science at all.

However, obviously you are well versed in these issues, I would appeciate your comments on the computing section of this paper...







24 posted on 01/23/2005 2:32:27 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/blackconservatism.htm)
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To: marsh_of_mists

hmm... well, besides that graphic, does anything else bother you about it? What is quakeryish about it? You seem to be pulling the classic liberal ploy of questioning intentions. :) Keep in mind the disclaimer says:

Disclaimer: This paper reflects only ideas and theories, not necessarily my personal opinion, and is only intended to encourage discussion and thought. It is not an attempt to proselytize, criticize, or demean any faith or belief.


25 posted on 01/23/2005 2:42:43 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/blackconservatism.htm)
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To: kipita
how do we know God is a he, she or something we can't understand?

God is referred to in the Bible numerous times (both Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek, Old/New Testaments) as a "he", and "Father" as well as "Son" and "King", all masculine terms. God is not referenced in feminine terms any place I am aware of. Jesus, of course, is a man, not a woman, and is a historical figure and fully man and God.

As far as "understanding" Him, if you know the Son, you know the Father.

26 posted on 01/23/2005 2:48:34 PM PST by Gritty ("the Enlightenment has degenerated to a state religion cult with none of the eternal truths-Mk Steyn)
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To: kipita

I never heard of that site! thnx for that link. wow, there is a lot of cool stuff there. I will go through it and see how similar (or different) it is.


27 posted on 01/23/2005 3:25:42 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/blackconservatism.htm)
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To: laredo44
This is just the sort of arrogant mumbo jumbo I've come t expect from some Christians.

I'm sorry if my attempts to make an explanation toward the article come across as "arrogant mumbo jumbo". I don't mean to demean you. You certainly aren't a "chucklehead" if you don't understand. In fact, I was once in your shoes myself and totally failed to understand. In fact, I was happy to stand back and mock.

What I am trying to say is, God's Plan of Salvation is very simple and pretty straightforward. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand it - only the common human understanding available to most of us, despite our varied intellectual capacities, cultures and backgrounds.

Boiled down, it is this:

...man is a sinner by nature, all of us, no exception
...we are unable to overcome our sin nature by our own efforts
...Still, God loves us anyhow (now, there's a mystery), much like we still love our own wayward children
...God, being sinless, cannot put up with sin in his presence
...God is just, but the only acceptable just penalty for sin is "death"
...so, rather than give us the penalty we richly deserve (death), God has provided someone else to stand in our individual places and take on our death sentence - Jesus
...Jesus is God come to earth in the flesh in human form, yet without sin, which makes him the "perfect" sacrifice to take our sin on Himself which is done through His death on the Cross
...Jesus is resurrected from death as "proof" He is God and now intercedes on our behalf
...if we accept His free gift by His assuming the just death penalty for our sins, we are then forgiven for them - yesterday, today, forever - and become adopted sons (or daughters), fit for fellowship with God in Heaven.
...the downside is, those who refuse to accept the free gift of Jesus must ultimately pay their own penalty on their own behalf - death and eternal separation from God

It's oddly simple and is meant to be easy to understand, but quite profound in concept (and will always be a bit of a mystery). The above brief words don't do it anything like complete justice. The Bible takes hundreds of pages and many centuries of history to play out this tableau into our experience so we can understand what is going on. In the end, it is up to us to either accept it or reject it. We are free to do either.

For a bit longer version of the explanation without reading the entire Bible, I would direct you to the Gospel of John and then read the Book of Romans, both New Testament. Neither takes that long to read.

I hope this clears it up.

28 posted on 01/23/2005 3:34:12 PM PST by Gritty ("without God, man can only organize the world against man - Father de Lubac)
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To: Logophile
In what way does free will depend on the existence of randomness?

First, think of a random number from 1 to 10 and remember it. If random forces don't exist then all energy in the universe has one preordained future. In theory this could be calculated ahead of time. Since we are made of this energy, we also have one preordained future that cannot be changed. Knowing this we could change a decision, though this modification was preordained. So our sense of free will is just our imagination. Is the number you picked three? We are not so random after all.

29 posted on 01/23/2005 3:48:02 PM PST by Reeses
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To: traviskicks
So a computer that needs to be told what to do, (in a specific manner via programming etc..) will be incapable, by definition, of abstract thought, Volition, and human type Consciousness, no matter how powerful it may be.

I used to think computers were becoming a type of life form but now that I've studied electronics and how clocked logic works it's not so mysterious. It's nothing more than signals flipping switches on and off. With enough switches it can do a convincing job of simulating thought, but it is still just a simulation and is not alive. 30 years from now computers will simulate thought so well we’ll have a hard time believing they are not conscious, but still they never will be alive in their current digital form no matter how powerful. With super-human computer help it may be possible to build machines that are alive, but they won’t be binary based machines.

30 posted on 01/23/2005 4:36:41 PM PST by Reeses
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To: kipita

Good question. His simplicity is one of ignorance to the actual complexity, not the distilling of complex reality. His God is a machine whose feasibility is locked in the distant future, if ever. That machines/AI software will be so great within his lifetime is his faith.

BTW I am familiar with his book "The Age of the Spiritual Machines" and his appearances on unscientific and "scientific" television specials.


31 posted on 01/23/2005 5:37:02 PM PST by jdhighness
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To: tortoise

Very enlightening post!

Kursweil is a Noah Chomsky. Very good, as you said, at the fundamentals (although I find Chomsky's "revolutionary thesis" that humans have an innate capacity for language to be fairly obvious). But when they overreach the basic, they discredit themselves.

I have not read his latest books, but they all seem to be clones of his early 90s and 80s material, the Age of the Spiritual Machines being one example. I say this based on what he states in his interviews.


32 posted on 01/23/2005 5:43:07 PM PST by jdhighness
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To: Gritty

Very succint truth.


33 posted on 01/23/2005 5:44:50 PM PST by jdhighness
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To: jdhighness

But when they overreach the basic, they discredit themselves.
---

Such as when they get into politics and the Middle East. :)
Chomsky is very respected as a linguist. I believe he is one of the most cited scientists EVER. Besides that german mathematician, Arros? or Orros? Eros? I believe they did networking experiments on his papers with who cited them.

Steve Pinker's 'the language instict' is a great read which is easy for the lay person to understand. It is largely a continuation of Chomsky, although i seem to recall Pinker critiquing him on some things. Most interesting is some of the research on Creol - it never became a language until the children spoke it, most probably becasue of the 'learning primed' structure of their brains. A similar phenomena took place with sign language in an isolated deaf school in south america.

Also of interest was the fact that 'hood speak', African American Ebonics type slang is actually more gramatically correct then regular english (if viewed from a certain more fundemental linguistic perspective).

Pinker says the most ungrammatical speech in the world is found at academic conferences!


34 posted on 01/23/2005 6:22:08 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/blackconservatism.htm)
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To: sassbox

Sorry, I should have made the post to post #1 so it wouldn't have been taken personally by you.


35 posted on 01/23/2005 6:39:51 PM PST by John Lenin (We used to shoot horse thieves)
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To: tortoise

you equivocate between a narrow definition of intelligence and consciousness.

your "faith" requires that consciousness be material.


36 posted on 01/23/2005 6:49:10 PM PST by WriteOn
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To: traviskicks
This guy is positively ignorant! The Bible makes contradictory statements about God's visibility. A few verses mention that He is invisible God (Ex 33:20, Jn 1:18, Jn 6:46, 1 Tim 1:17, 1 Tim 6:16, 1 Jn 4:12).

But references that God can be seen are prevalent (Gen 12:7, 17:1, 18:1, 26:2, 26:4, 32:30, 35:1, 35:7, 35:9, 48:3, Ex 3:16, 4:5, 6:3, 24:9-11, 33:11, 33:23, Num 14:14, Dt 5:4, 34:10, Jg 13:22, 1Kg 22:19, Job 42:5, Ps 63:2, Is 6:1, 6:5, Ezek 20:35, Am 7:7, 9:1, and Hab 3:3-5).

But that's irrelevant. We don't see gravity; we don't see radio waves. God is not "natural" so naturally He cannot be seen or detected naturally. Our concepts of justice, mercy and love do not stem from physics or the stone-cold universe we live in. Besides, Christianity can visualize God through the icon of Jesus. It is the only religion that has a personal connection with God on a human level, so his claim that all religions worship something unknown is only partially true.

Theology is a little more complicated than basic Philosophy 101 this individual spouts. We will never know the essence of God (how can a tool know its maker?), but we recognize God through His energies (manifestations). Traviskicks simply doesn't even measure up to the subject.

As for atheists and agnostics, who cares! If they think this world just happened to come into existence by itself -- and I mean not just the tiny little earth but all of the Universe -- let them. It's not their intellect that stops them but their pride and a western love-affair with humanity that has been elevated to deity.

37 posted on 01/23/2005 7:24:12 PM PST by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: traviskicks
This guy is positively ignorant! The Bible makes contradictory statements about God's visibility. A few verses mention that He is invisible God (Ex 33:20, Jn 1:18, Jn 6:46, 1 Tim 1:17, 1 Tim 6:16, 1 Jn 4:12).

But references that God can be seen are prevalent (Gen 12:7, 17:1, 18:1, 26:2, 26:4, 32:30, 35:1, 35:7, 35:9, 48:3, Ex 3:16, 4:5, 6:3, 24:9-11, 33:11, 33:23, Num 14:14, Dt 5:4, 34:10, Jg 13:22, 1Kg 22:19, Job 42:5, Ps 63:2, Is 6:1, 6:5, Ezek 20:35, Am 7:7, 9:1, and Hab 3:3-5).

But that's irrelevant. We don't see gravity; we don't see radio waves. God is not "natural" so naturally He cannot be seen or detected naturally. Our concepts of justice, mercy and love do not stem from physics or the stone-cold universe we live in. Besides, Christianity can visualize God through the icon of Jesus. It is the only religion that has a personal connection with God on a human level, so his claim that all religions worship something unknown is only partially true.

Theology is a little more complicated than basic Philosophy 101 this individual spouts. We will never know the essence of God (how can a tool know its maker?), but we recognize God through His energies (manifestations). That author simply doesn't even measure up to the subject.

As for atheists and agnostics, who cares! If they think this world just happened to come into existence by itself -- and I mean not just the tiny little earth but all of the Universe -- let them. It's not their intellect that stops them but their pride and a western love-affair with humanity that has been elevated to deity.

38 posted on 01/23/2005 7:25:30 PM PST by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50

Apologies for double post. Also please notice change from traviskicks to 'that author'.


39 posted on 01/23/2005 7:26:28 PM PST by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: traviskicks
God has never been defined to the satisfaction of rational man.

Intellectuals will never understand that if you could define God to the satisfaction of rational man ...then it would not be God. Any god you can put into a box is not God. He who does not accept Jesus Christ as Savior is already condemned.

40 posted on 01/23/2005 7:31:44 PM PST by Luke (CPO, USCG (Ret))
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To: tortoise; traviskicks

let me be precise: the "hard problem" should've been better called "a hard problem." While Chalmer's offered up a softball for the Godless self-flagellating academics, "the hard problem" is the discovery of God and personal faith.

Come back when your mathematics proves the existence of God and you act on that faithfully. Because until then, you're just unconscious. You cannot understand until you have faith, i.e. nothing makes sense until it all makes sense.


41 posted on 01/23/2005 7:32:22 PM PST by WriteOn
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To: kosta50

You really don't put much effort into understanding the Bible.

Try to read it hermeneutically, meaning in context. Also, get a Bible that does not compress 60,000+ foreign words into a mere 16,000 English ones (in the case of the New Testament).

You will never understand the truth in the Bible until you put in decent effort. I have found many things that seem contradictory at first later become entirely synergistic. A ridiculously simple, juvenile example is "peace through war." The immature says, "of course you cannot have peace with war!"


42 posted on 01/23/2005 7:46:20 PM PST by jdhighness
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To: kosta50; Luke

This excerpt is misleading because apparently it is leading people to believe that the author is creating a theory against God - which is not the case. If you read further you will find it is a theory FOR God, not against God.

kosta50, in truth someone can find evidence for just about anything they want to in quoting from the bible. You're right that that's not the main point.

In fact, the point being made is identical to the one you made in your post. Having God as undefinable should not be a negative - it should be a positive. So, I don't see what your main disagreement is.

The fact that we can't know God's nature shouldn't stop us from theorizing what it might be most like and constructing patterns and extrapolations towards it. That is really all this piece appears to do.


43 posted on 01/23/2005 7:48:52 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/blackconservatism.htm)
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To: traviskicks

I understand what you are saying and you are technically correct.

I still don't need Chomsky to tell me children/humans have an innate capacity for language. To me, that is an axiom.

My point about Chomsky is that he is well-respected for very basic points in his field, but then he reaches, like Kursweil, into fantasy and his credibility in linguistics is not enough to support his other arguments. For Chomsky, it is politics and history; for Kursweil, it is autonomous, intelligent, conscious AI.

I am intriqued...could you briefly state Pinker's thesis on ebonics as gramatically correct. I look at the morals, work ethics, and apparent of those who speak ebonics and behave thuggish and view it as lazy-man's English.

I do find that professors are often circumlocutous and wordy. Thankfully I am a biochemistry major!


44 posted on 01/23/2005 7:51:55 PM PST by jdhighness
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To: traviskicks

there has never been a logical argument strong enough to force all the atheists and agnostics of the world to believe.


Any number of reasons (good and otherwise) for not believing that God exists, and only one for believing....


45 posted on 01/23/2005 8:06:36 PM PST by Valin (Sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield)
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To: kosta50

As for atheists and agnostics, who cares!


God does.


46 posted on 01/23/2005 8:07:57 PM PST by Valin (Sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield)
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To: traviskicks

I'm not trying to say it's trying to demean anyone's faith or proselytizing. Maybe I'm too stupid or lazy, I can't even figure out what the heck it's trying to argue! But all the charts and high-falutin pseudo-scientific jargon just make it seem sort of bogus. It's like he's trying to mathematize metaphysics.

The answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42.


47 posted on 01/23/2005 8:17:56 PM PST by marsh_of_mists
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To: kipita; traviskicks
I know of Kurzweil. I raise you one Dr. Michael Persinger.

This Is Your Brain on God

48 posted on 01/23/2005 8:32:20 PM PST by endthematrix (Declare 2005 as the year the battle for freedom from tax slavery!)
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To: sassbox

Excellent points.


49 posted on 01/23/2005 9:17:02 PM PST by TheBrotherhood (Have you ever stopped and think why these Darwinists want a debate?)
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To: traviskicks

All the writer has to do is be in Washington tomorrow among the throngs.


50 posted on 01/23/2005 9:20:22 PM PST by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
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