0
   

Is reason and intelligence inherent in nature and reality?

 
 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 01:05 am
@prothero,
prothero;135235 wrote:
Well the one subset would be humans and maybe some higher animals and the other set would be the rest of the universe.
I dont know about that. What constitutes life, in the relevant sense, is a difficult question. An obvious candidate criterion would be goal directed behaviour, which, according to some philosophers, would bring in, at least, plants: http://philosophy.eldoc.ub.rug.nl/FILES/root/2009/Cognitioninplants/Cognition_in_plants_preprint.pdf However, even this notion has problems, have a look at this video and the pertinent paper: Chemotaxis | Latest News | Chemical & Engineering News http://dysa.northwestern.edu/Publications/papers/2009_Lagzi_mazes_JACS.pdf
prothero;135235 wrote:
Why do you think religon is so prevelant even in the age of science and reason?
I've no idea. Why do you think that determinism is so prevalent? In a recent survey at PhilPapers, compatibilism polled at about 60%. PhilPapers: Online Research in Philosophy
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 01:07 am
@prothero,
prothero;135250 wrote:
I hope.......thats what faith is hope and some trust in truth.


yes....But I should add that I think that the philosopher at least is drawn toward the truth like a moth to the flame, with a mathematical certainty. But that infinity sign on my triangle is spatial being w/ can slap a man down at any time. but give him time and desire/love for beauty-truth, and he will find it.

it does seem that some are more desirous of truth and beauty than others. but such is the nature of things. let those with ten talents invest & share with those with two. we can all enjoy bach, or euler's equation. i guess i just have to see it as justified, even though my philosophy as pure reason has a limited scope. if only because this messy world is the cradle of absolute truth.
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 01:16 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;135257 wrote:
yes....But I should add that I think that the philosopher at least is drawn toward the truth like a moth to the flame, with a mathematical certainty. But that infinity sign on my triangle is spatial being w/ can slap a man down at any time. but give him time and desire/love for beauty-truth, and he will find it.

it does seem that some are more desirous of truth and beauty than others. but such is the nature of things. let those with ten talents invest & share with those with two. we can all enjoy bach, or euler's equation. i guess i just have to see it as justified, even though my philosophy as pure reason has a limited scope. if only because this messy world is the cradle of absolute truth.


and billions of absolute truths , reasoned out
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 01:23 am
@north,
north;135261 wrote:
and billions of absolute truths


iin my opinion: there are billions of pragmatic truths. absolute truth is nothing but the primary structure of human thinking. that is all hegel meant by it. there are billions of faces but one (excluding birth-defects) general structure to a face.

do you know Kant? the transcendental is the heart of philosophy. do not understand it as the least bit mystical. it is not. it is the cutting conceptual edge of pure science. if you like Kant, move on to Kojeve's book on hegel. (i politely offer you my favorites Germans...hoping it's your cup of tea

Critique of Pure Reason - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 01:31 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;135265 wrote:
iin my opinion: there are billions of pragmatic truths. absolute truth is nothing but the primary structure of human thinking. that is all hegel meant by it. there are billions of faces but one (excluding birth-defects) general structure to a face.

do you know Kant? the transcendental is the heart of philosophy. do not understand it as the least bit mystical. it is not. it is the cutting conceptual edge of pure science. if you like Kant, move on to Kojeve's book on hegel. (i politely offer you my favorites Germans...hoping it's your cup of tea

Critique of Pure Reason - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


what I'm saying is that a tree is a tree because the cellular structure could nothing other than

same as water , frozen , could be nothing but ice and/or snow

meat is meat , vegatable is a vegatable

because the structure(s) could not be otherwise

concrete is concrete because of its atomic structure

etc.....

hence billions of truths
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 01:34 am
@north,
north;135268 wrote:
what I'm saying is that a tree is a tree because the cellular structure could nothing other than

same as water , frozen , could be nothing but ice and/or snow

meat is meat , vegatable is a vegatable

because the structure(s) could not be otherwise

concrete is concrete because of its atomic structure

etc.....

hence billions of truths



ok, well i'll grant you that. but there is another kind of absolute truth. maybe even more interesting, tho both are necessary for total philosophy. if the mind is a camera, then natural science is the picture, and transcendental idealism is the study of the camera.
:bigsmile:
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 01:58 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;135265 wrote:
iin my opinion: there are billions of pragmatic truths. absolute truth is nothing but the primary structure of human thinking. that is all hegel meant by it. there are billions of faces but one (excluding birth-defects) general structure to a face.

do you know Kant? the transcendental is the heart of philosophy. do not understand it as the least bit mystical. it is not. it is the cutting conceptual edge of pure science. if you like Kant, move on to Kojeve's book on hegel. (i politely offer you my favorites Germans...hoping it's your cup of tea

Critique of Pure Reason - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Reconstructo;135270 wrote:
ok, well i'll grant you that. but there is another kind of absolute truth. maybe even more interesting, tho both are necessary for total philosophy. if the mind is a camera, then natural science is the picture, and transcendental idealism is the study of the camera.
:bigsmile:


the thing is though is that we are made and have evolved within Nature

so for myself I see no dellusion as to what the camera see's
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:21 am
@prothero,
What interests me is the analysis of the relationship between Darwin's theories, and the rest of Western philosophy.

It is one thing to say that there is a conflict between evolutionary theory and the literal interpretation of Genesis. It is something else to say that evolutionary theory implies a purposeless universe.

But then, I think there is actually a big pay-off in purposelessness. I think it very much suits lassiez faire capitalism and philosophical individualism. The idea is that life is 'self-creating', that it bootstraps itself into existence 'for no particular reason' really is a very attractive philosophical principle. Life comes with no real obligation (other than the pursuit of happiness, I suppose.) Now this 'no particular reason' is itself presented as the scientifically-established basis for everything that has happened since the reaction started in the hallowed Warm Pond. There seems to be this easy acceptance that life is simply a biochemical reaction that started way back when, and then, the Principle of Adaptive Necessity kicks in, give us several billion years, voila. And at bottom, it happens for No Reason.

Now of course, the science advocates always complain that the religious advocates are irrational. But I am forming the view that this is the viewpoint that is actually irrational. I think the thing which motivates it, the underlying rationale, is the denial that 'God did it.' If you can imagine a culture in which there hadn't been a preceding mythology of creation, then I wonder if Science would be so confident about this 'absence of cause' as a cause. Indeed I wonder if the 'absence of cause' is only brandished as the argument of choice because it is the 'scientific' - as opposed to the 'religious' - account of the matter.

In other words, evolutionary theory, as a philosophy, is defined by what it denies. In this context, the absence of a cause is understood as a cause. We don't really need to grapple with the large idea of what might be understood as a 'first cause' or 'the ground of being', because, whatever it is that is behind it, it is not God. What is behind it, is the God that is not. The denial of the sufficient cause of being, is now the cause of being. Whatever argument traditional philosophy and religion comes up with, we deny it. And there is a plentiful supply of such arguments to deny.

So, given that everything developed for no particular reason, where then does Reason find a foothold? Sure we find reasons for any particular thing. We can find reasons why the Galapagos finches developed differentiated beaks, to return to our theme. In fact, given anything that exists, reasons abound for it. But the larger questions of why anything is the way it is are now met by the universal solvent of adaptive necessity. 'It is, because it survived. And it survived, because it is'. This is the Universal Principle which now replaces Ratio, Logos, The First Cause, Prime Mover, Moral Law, and any number of other superannuated religious and philosophical concepts which presumably are now confined to the last remnants of pristine wilderness prior to the woodchippers moving in. And furthermore, this principle is sufficiently elastic and non-specific to surmount any empirical obstacle that might appear to threaten it. That is one of the beautiful things about Darwinian theory: given that we lack the one real means of testing any of its hypotheses - namely, some other life-bearing planet - then whatever happens can easily be accommodated by a nip here, a tuck there. Easy, really.

After all, what is the evidence that the Theory of Evolution is the most successful scientific theory in the history of the Universe?

'Why, that would be you', comes the answer.

And what more could you want?
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:31 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;135300 wrote:
We can find reasons why the Galapagos finches developed differentiated beaks
I only know of theories that offer explanations of how different beaks evolved. Which theories give reasons for why they developed?
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 08:25 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;135167 wrote:
Maybe we should propose a more blunt hypothesis: that we can never ever prove that reason and intelligence is inherent in nature.

If we assume that it is beyond proof, then we may ask: what are the consequences of this inability to prove it?

One consequence would be that we are left permanently and utterly alone in the universe.

-


"I am alone and afraid in a world I never made" A.E. Houseman. Sartre called it "abandonment".
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 09:13 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;135349 wrote:
"I am alone and afraid in a world I never made" A.E. Houseman. Sartre called it "abandonment".
Isn't that part of the pragmatic value of religion to avoid that very "feeling" of being "alone" or estrangment in the universe, existential angst and substitute a feeling of relationship of man to creation and creator.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 09:46 am
@prothero,
prothero;135354 wrote:
Isn't that part of the pragmatic value of religion to avoid that very "feeling" of being "alone" or estrangment in the universe, existential angst and substitute a feeling of relationship of man to creation and creator.


For many. Of course, that has nothing to do with the truth of religion.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 09:53 am
@prothero,
Pythagorean wrote:

One consequence would be that we are left permanently and utterly alone in the universe.


But I don't feel alone. In fact, I'm planning on getting together with some friends later this evening.

Perhaps those of us who don't feel alone, don't feel the urge to beg the question.
0 Replies
 
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 10:07 am
@kennethamy,
jeeprs wrote:
If you can imagine a culture in which there hadn't been a preceding mythology of creation, then I wonder if Science would be so confident about this 'absence of cause' as a cause. Indeed I wonder if the 'absence of cause' is only brandished as the argument of choice because it is the 'scientific' - as opposed to the 'religious' - account of the matter.

In other words, evolutionary theory, as a philosophy, is defined by what it denies.


I don't like to just pick out a small piece to critique (the point about the philosophical appeal of darwinism can stand on its own), but didn't many of the scientists who formulate evolutionary theory struggle to find a compromise between it and their faith in god? In other words they wanted god as the cause, but had to push him farther back down the line because they believed in what they found. That seems like the opposite of what you are saying.

There is certainly a strain of philosophy that is defined by it's rejection of religion and christianity though. Satanism comes to mind.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 10:13 am
@prothero,
Jebediah wrote:

I don't like to just pick out a small piece to critique (the point about the philosophical appeal of darwinism can stand on its own), but didn't many of the scientists who formulate evolutionary theory struggle to find a compromise between it and their faith in god? In other words they wanted god as the cause, but had to push him farther back down the line because they believed in what they found. That seems like the opposite of what you are saying.


It is a common misconception that evolution seeks to explain the first cause. It does not. And it does not seek to explain why humans exist in this world, but only how, through evolutionary patterns, humans came to exist in this world.

In other words, someone can both accept evolution and believe God was the first cause, and not contradict themselves.

Quote:

There is certainly a strain of philosophy that is defined by it's rejection of religion and christianity though. Satanism comes to mind.


Perhaps I am wrong, but isn't Satanism a religion? It seems at least to be a cult. What you may be referring to is the "Atheist Movement".
0 Replies
 
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 10:19 am
@prothero,
prothero;135354 wrote:
Isn't that part of the pragmatic value of religion to avoid that very "feeling" of being "alone" or estrangment in the universe, existential angst and substitute a feeling of relationship of man to creation and creator.


Why does God then, leave us so unprotected? When we get sick we don't go to a priest we go to a medical doctor. Look at the suffering in those parts of the world that are unaffected by the scientific movement. Are we created by God in order to suffer so much?

God does not help the sick, he does not provide material comfort. The creator must not be related to his creation directly, or so it seems. If there is divinity there is also an important seperation between it and us. If reason and intelligence are inherent in the universe, then scientific progress may be precisely the means that would reduce the seperation between any universal intelligence and human minds.

---------- Post added 03-03-2010 at 11:27 AM ----------

kennethamy;135349 wrote:
"I am alone and afraid in a world I never made" A.E. Houseman. Sartre called it "abandonment".


So, now we can see that there are very real consequences to holding this position. And this is what makes the discussion a worthy one.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 10:51 am
@prothero,
Pythagorean wrote:
So, now we can see that there are very real consequences to holding this position. And this is what makes the discussion a worthy one.

Yes, some people have to believe in some sort of being in order to not feel alone. It's a personal thing, very emotional. Perhaps it even improves some people's mental health to believe in a God.

But none of that supports the claim that God exists, as long as we're clear on that.
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 11:25 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;135389 wrote:
Yes, some people have to believe in some sort of being in order to not feel alone. It's a personal thing, very emotional. Perhaps it even improves some people's mental health to believe in a God.

But none of that supports the claim that God exists, as long as we're clear on that.


If it rescues them from lonliness and is such a personal, very emotional thing, and could even help their 'mental health', then what is so wrong about them constructing arguments that support the claim?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 11:30 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;135402 wrote:
If it rescues them from lonliness and is such a personal, very emotional thing, and could even help their 'mental health', then what is so wrong about them constructing arguments that support the claim?


What claim do you mean? You don't mean that we should invent plausible arguments to support the claim that God exists that we do not believe are sound, do you. Or do you?
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 11:46 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;135402 wrote:
If it rescues them from lonliness and is such a personal, very emotional thing, and could even help their 'mental health', then what is so wrong about them constructing arguments that support the claim?


I was talking about the belief in God, not about any arguments for God.

Listen, we all have own set of irrational beliefs, or at the least, beliefs we do not have justification for, even if we try to be as rational as possible. But the key is being wise enough to distinguish these from our rational beliefs, the beliefs we do have justification for.

In other words, we should not mistake our faith in God, if we have any, for a sound argument for God. It seems some people do.
 

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