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Why do atheist try to convert Christians

 
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 08:37 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Similarly, the facts of neuropsychology leave any immaterial soul with nothing to do.

Leaving the notion of a soul aside, isn't our experience immaterial? For example our picture of the world is made of colours and those cannot be found in the material world because light only reaches the retina, as you know that's as far as it gets!

This personal 'picture' of the world we have cannot be found by others nor detected by instruments. Don't we live in an immaterial non-scientific place and try to do science as if we were directly in contact with the material outside world but in reality we never are?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 08:51 am
@igm,
igm wrote:
Leaving the notion of a soul aside, isn't our experience immaterial? For example our picture of the world is made of colours and those cannot be found in the material world because light only reaches the retina, as you know that's as far as it gets!

The signals representing light in our brains are patterns of material electrical pulses, travelling through a network of material nerves. Our experience of light works by comparing those signals with memories of earlier signals. The memories and comparisons are both realized in material nerve cells. Hence, although our retinas absorb all light coming in, they merely transform it from one material thing into a chain of others. There's nothing going on inside our brains that we cannot understand in terms of material, but can understand by postulating the existence of immaterial soul-stuff.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 09:11 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

igm wrote:
Leaving the notion of a soul aside, isn't our experience immaterial? For example our picture of the world is made of colours and those cannot be found in the material world because light only reaches the retina, as you know that's as far as it gets!

The signals representing light in our brains are patterns of material electrical pulses, travelling through a network of material nerves. Our experience of light works by comparing those signals with memories of earlier signals. The memories and comparisons are both realized in material nerve cells. Hence, although our retinas absorb all light coming in, they merely transform it from one material thing into a chain of others. There's nothing going on inside our brains that we cannot understand in terms of material, but can understand by postulating the existence of immaterial soul-stuff.

How do you explain colour? Can we have a material memory of it? Have we ever seen for example the landscape of the outside world? The sensation of 'red' is not to be found in the outside world nor are all of the colours making up our picture of the world. That picture is the only one we have isn't it?

We can only do science from a subjective inner world unseen and unknown by anyone but the subject. I don’t think science has gotten round to explaining ‘qualia’ or consciousness and I am referring to these. Do you believe science has explained ‘qualia’ and conciousness (they appear to be immaterial entities)? How do you explain them?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 09:24 am
@igm,
igm wrote:
I don’t think science has gotten round to explaining ‘qualia’ or consciousness and I am referring to these. Do you believe science has explained ‘qualia’ and conciousness (they appear to be immaterial entities)?

That's an interesting question, and the answer tends to depend critically on what one means by seemingly-plain English words like "explain". For purposes of this thread, though, we needn't go into this. We can simply observe that theology hasn't explained it, either. Hence, although we cannot explain everything, natural science can explain everything that we can. There is no area of human understanding to which supernaturalism adds value.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 09:34 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

igm wrote:
I don’t think science has gotten round to explaining ‘qualia’ or consciousness and I am referring to these. Do you believe science has explained ‘qualia’ and conciousness (they appear to be immaterial entities)?

That's an interesting question, and the answer tends to depend critically on what one means by seemingly-plain English words like "explain". For purposes of this thread, though, we needn't go into this. We can simply observe that theology hasn't explained it, either. Hence, although we cannot explain everything, natural science can explain everything that we can. There is no area of human understanding to which supernaturalism adds value.


OK if you want to leave it there! By the way I do not believe in souls and could not and would not defend the notion but the questions I raised about 'qualia' and consciousness do raise doubts about what exactly physics is studying.

Also thanks for your posts I found them informative.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 09:49 am
@igm,
igm wrote:
OK if you want to leave it there!

I've been in threads where I didn't leave it there. They all ended up in a maze of definitions, some of them circular, and with participants insisting that others use their definition. After these experiences, I doubt that online discussions like this can do justice to the science and philosophy of personal experience. For the record though, I am satisfied that Daniel Dennett's book Consciousness Explained actually does explain consciousness on a material basis. I wouldn't be surprised if other philosophers have done it in other books, too.

Quote:
Also thanks for your posts I found them informative.

Sure, no problem!
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 10:05 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

igm wrote:
OK if you want to leave it there!

I've been in threads where I didn't leave it there. They all ended up in a maze of definitions, some of them circular, and with participants insisting that others use their definition. After these experiences, I doubt that online discussions like this can do justice to the science and philosophy of personal experience. For the record though, I am satisfied that Daniel Dennett's book Consciousness Explained actually does explain consciousness on a material basis. I wouldn't be surprised if other philosophers have done it in other books, too.

Finally, thanks for your link. I tend to agree with some of his critics e.g. Searle (John Rogers Searle) says that on Dennett's view, there is no consciousness in addition to the computational features, because that is all that consciousness amounts to for him: meme effects of a von Neumann(esque) virtual machine implemented in a parallel architecture and therefore implies that conscious states are illusory, but Searle points out: "where consciousness is concerned, the existence of the appearance is the reality."
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 10:34 am
@igm,
Fine with me. John Searle doesn't think Daniel Dennett is wrong to be a materialist. He thinks Dennett is wrong to be a Dennett-style materialist rather than a Searle-style materialist. Whichever philosopher wins the argument between them, it's going to be a win for materialism. Supernaturalism isn't even competing. (Not in this particular contest, anyway.)
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 10:46 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Fine with me. John Searle doesn't think Daniel Dennett is wrong to be a naturalist. He thinks Dennett is wrong to be a Dennett-style naturalist rather than a Searle-style naturalist. Whichever philosopher wins the argument between them, it's going to be a win for naturalism. Supernaturalism isn't even competing. (Not in this particular contest, anyway.)

I don't disagree but it's the true nature of that naturalism that remains unknown and I believe that qualia and consciousness is a part of that naturalism and its true nature also remains unknown i.e. not supernatural but unexplained.
0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 02:27 pm
Thomas and Igm Thank you for your contributions to this thread this is the kind of information I like exposing theist, atheist and myself to. I call this critical thinking but I could be using the wrong term.

All I want people to do is question what they believe and be exposed to other view points than what they hold and to also be as intellectually honest with themselves so that they too can see as me that I am wrong often and I am not able to see this without being exposed to new ideas and information! Very Happy
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 03:25 pm
@reasoning logic,
Why do you like exposing this to others? So we will question ourselves? Huh? Why are you even interested in exposing anything to someone that doesn't believe as you do?
reasoning logic
 
  3  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 03:32 pm
@Arella Mae,
Because my ethical radius does not stop with my closest love ones!

0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 03:57 pm
@Arella Mae,
You do know AM that almost everyone on the planet did not picked thier faiths but was given it with their mother milk so in a way you are stating that it is wrong to interfere with this conditionings after adulthood.

Sorry I do not see a damn thing wrong with pointing out the logical failings of someone beliefs that they had been program into them as children before the age of reason.

Another way of expressing the title of this thread would be why do some atheists try to interfere with the religion brain washing of people done to them as defenseless children.

You have never impressed me as being a free thinker AM so if your parents was Hindus you would have manys gods not just the one in three god you worship now.
Chights47
 
  3  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 04:32 pm
@Arella Mae,
Arella Mae wrote:
Why do you like exposing this to others? So we will question ourselves? Huh? Why are you even interested in exposing anything to someone that doesn't believe as you do?
What's wrong with questioning yourself? How will you know whether you're right or not unless you do question what you think is real? What if I told you that little boys (very young) unconsciously want to kill there father so that they can have their mother all to themselves but are unconsciously afraid of their father because they think that they will cut off their penis? Would you just believe that or would you question it? Would you just completely disregard it as crap for the sole reason that you don't agree with it or goes against what you think you know?
farmerman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 04:38 pm
@reasoning logic,
Quote:
All I want people to do is question what they believe and be exposed to other view points
So you admit that this entire thread was a put-up
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 04:43 pm
@Arella Mae,
Arella Mae wrote:
So we will question ourselves?


I think this is something we should all do, all the time. Question our actions, our beliefs. If they are correct, they will stand up to the questioning and we can be stronger in our actions and beliefs.

I understand that questioning of ourselves and our beliefs can be frightening and that can make the questioning something people avoid.

Squinney and jpb's posts about their questioning of their belief systems have been very instructive to me. They verbalized things in a way I was never able to.

Not questioning is easier and more comfortable. I, personally, don't think it's better. Elastic waist pants are more comfortable than fly-front jeans. That doesn't make them better.
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 04:44 pm
@farmerman,
Ask any question you like but please use layman's terms because I am a layman!
put-up?
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 04:44 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

You do know AM that almost everyone on the planet did not picked thier faiths but was given it with their mother milk so in a way you are stating that it is wrong to interfere with this conditionings after adulthood.

Sorry I do not see a damn thing wrong with pointing out the logical failings of someone beliefs that they had been program into them as children before the age of reason.

Another way of expressing the title of this thread would be why do some atheists try to interfere with the religion brain washing of people done to them as defenseless children.

You have never impressed me as being a free thinker AM so if your parents was Hindus you would have manys gods not just the one in three god you worship now.


Let me get something perfectly straight with you, okay? I already know your views on this. I was asking reasoning the question. Didn't you see the @reasoning before the posts? Bill, I don't care what you think. I am not interested in whether you think I am a free thinker, a non-thinker, or a big thinker.

I have tried repeatedly to have decent discussions with you all to no avail. You have your mind already made up and that's that. You seem to think that is fine for you but do not want to afford me the same. I don't try to push my beliefs on you or anyone else. If I'm asked something I'll answer and I am answering for me, what pertains to me, and not anyone else.

You cannot hold a civil conversation. You feel you must be superior, demean, and berate no matter what. I don't think you want a discussion. I believe you want a battle. You aren't going to get one with me.

I don't like your morals. I don't like your filthy mouth. I don't like your personality. I am perfectly within my rights to have such feelings and express them to you, just as you are entitled to do the same with me. I honestly do not care what you think about me or anything else for that matter.
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 04:47 pm
@Chights47,
I didn't say there was anything wrong with questioning myself. I am saying "who are you or anyone else to tell me I should be questioning myself?" I don't have 100% of the 100% truth of God or anything else. But I believe what I believe and I won't make apologies for it. You believe what you believe and I don't expect you to apologize for it either. I merely asked reasoning a question as to why HE felt he should do that. I didn't mean anything nasty or mean by it. I think it's a pretty logical question to ask him in response to his post.
0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 04:48 pm
@Arella Mae,

This is specially for you Arella Mae!
I thought that you might like this!


 

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