0
   

Is reason and intelligence inherent in nature and reality?

 
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:14 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;135609 wrote:
Are you actually arguing that because many major scientific discoveries were made by theists, theism is true? Please tell me you aren't. Of course, you ought to give some reason to believe that dubious premise too.
No I am just saying that some forms of theism are not inconsistent with or incompatible with science.

I am saying that the notion that the universe does not have reason and intelligence behind its structure and order: that the notion that nature is blind, indifferent, purposeless and perhaps ultimately without meaning is not a scientific hypothesis, or supported by science, reason or experience any more than the converse claim.
0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:22 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;135603 wrote:
But to argue that because there is no evidence to refute some proposition, that proposition is true, is to commit the fallacy of the argument from ignorance. Look it up. Would you accept the following argument: There is no evidence to refute the existence of The Spaghetti Monster. Therefore we have reason to think that there is a Spaghetti Monster? I hope not!


octopus:rolleyes:
Twirlip
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:28 pm
@prothero,
In response to the interesting OP, and echoing Deep Thought: I'm really going to have to think about this one! But my first impulse is to answer yes, and for the very simple (perhaps too simple) reason that we are in nature, and we have reason and intelligence, therefore reason and intelligence are in nature. (This raises the question: who are we? Are we God?)

I am also still waiting for someone to explain the evolutionary function of consciousness, as opposed to some zombie correlate of consciousness which would serve the gene machines just as well (and involve a lot less discomfort for us all). An evolving universe full of things and stuff is still only full of things and stuff, no matter how far it evolves, or how long it evolves for. Where (and when, and why, and how) does actual conscious experience come into it?

Excuse me for sounding off about that (perhaps tending to nudge the thread off course), but this is one of those problems which evolutionary theorists seem to pretend to explain, without ever actually explaining, so it does at least have some tangential relevance to at least some of the posts in the thread.
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:29 pm
@north,
look reason and intelligence is inherent in Nature

look , 100,000 yrs ago we have the same mental thinking as we do now ?

no

reason , intelligence evolves
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:33 pm
@north,
north;135612 wrote:
I don't
You do not what?
north;135612 wrote:
explain further
Why does

Reason and intelliegence are inherent in nature and reality sound like an unscientific and irrational hypothesis to you

but

the Universe is blind, indifferent, innert, insensate and ultimately without purpose or meaning= does not sound like an unscientific and irrational hypothesis to you?

Is the bias against any form of theism that strong?
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:35 pm
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;135624 wrote:
In response to the interesting OP, and echoing Deep Thought: I'm really going to have to think about this one! But my first impulse is to answer yes, and for the very simple (perhaps too simple) reason that we are in nature, and we have reason and intelligence, therefore reason and intelligence are in nature. (This raises the question: who are we? Are we God?)


Quote:
I am also still waiting for someone to explain the evolutionary function of consciousness, as opposed to some zombie correlate of consciousness which would serve the gene machines just as well (and involve a lot less discomfort for us all). An evolving universe full of things and stuff is still only full of things and stuff, no matter how far it evolves, or how long it evolves for. Where (and when, and why, and how) does actual conscious experience come into it?


so your comparing consciouness to a zombie

no we are in deep , deep , deep , trouble

Quote:

Excuse me for sounding off about that (perhaps tending to nudge the thread off course), but this is one of those problems which evolutionary theorists seem to pretend to explain, without ever actually explaining, so it does at least have some tangential relevance to at least some of the posts in the thread.


explain further
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:35 pm
@prothero,
prothero wrote:
Are you saying all these indiviudals were being irrational, or violating some rule or principle of the educated person when they engaged in philosophical specualtion about the source of the rational structure and mathematical expressiblity of the nature and natural law?


If they kept their justified beliefs separate from their speculation, they weren't being irrational, I don't think. As long as they admit there is no evidence that this intelligent design exists.

Quote:
Still the notion that there is rational intelligence in the universe and that our reason and our science permits us to glimpse the truth, is comforting (at least to me) as opposed to the notion that nature is primarily inert, insensate, lifeless, mindless, blind, purposeless indifference. In fact I do not know how or why one would choose the latter over the former.


That makes sense, seeing as you are admittedly comforted by believing this. But perhaps you should consider that others do not feel the same sense of abandonment, and do not seek to believe things simply on the basis of how it makes them feel. In fact, some of us feel pretty horrible picturing ourselves believing things for no good reason.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:46 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;135629 wrote:
. As long as they admit there is no evidence that this intelligent design exists.
Of course, they all thought there was good evidence, just not scientific evidence, and the question was not scientifc to begin with.

Zetherin;135629 wrote:
. That makes sense, seeing as you are admittedly comforted by believing this. But perhaps you should consider that others do not feel the same sense of abandonment, and do not seek to believe things simply on the basis of how it makes them feel. In fact, some of us feel pretty horrible picturing ourselves believing things for no good reason.
But there is evidence, I would say. Futhermore what is the evidence that the universe is blind, indifferent and purposeless or are you just neutral on all such questions?

Mind you I have no trouble with atheism except when it sort of blindly attacks any and all forms of theism as being unscientific and irrational. You are certainly entitled to those beliefs and they are neither denied nor confirmed by science.

I am just trying to argue that both systems of belief are philosophic speculations and metaphysical assumptions. That atheists are not being more scientific or more rational; that science, reason and experience does not support the atheist view over the most fundamental of theist views (reason and intelligence as the basis for the universe).
0 Replies
 
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:51 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;135629 wrote:
If they kept their justified beliefs separate from their speculation, they weren't being irrational, I don't think. As long as they admit there is no evidence that this intelligent design exists.



That makes sense, seeing as you are admittedly comforted by believing this. But perhaps you should consider that others do not feel the same sense of abandonment, and do not seek to believe things simply on the basis of how it makes them feel. In fact, some of us feel pretty horrible picturing ourselves believing things for no good reason.


Pointless. Off topic. Tendentious. Theo-Phobic. Irrational. Cruel.
0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:57 pm
@prothero,
prothero;135626 wrote:
You do not what?
Quote:


Quote:
Why does

Reason and intelliegence are inherent in nature and reality sound like an unscientific and irrational hypothesis to you


it doesn't

Quote:

but

the Universe is blind, indifferent, innert, insensate and ultimately without purpose or meaning= does not sound like an unscientific and irrational hypothesis to you?

Is the bias against any form of theism that strong?


I just look at life as an energy in and of its self

its just that life needs the Universe more the Universe needs life
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:59 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;135613 wrote:
He never claimed that his proposition was true. Read the beginning of the thread. He is constructing a circumstantial case. And one would have to be blind or prejudical to miss the elegance and consistency of his case.


Hmmm. Could you say a little more so that I will be able to understand what you are talking about? That there is no reason not to believe that P is true is no reason to believe that P is true.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 05:06 pm
@prothero,
Pythagorean wrote:
Pointless. Off topic. Tendentious. Theo-Phobic. Irrational. Cruel.


I see. Well, thank you for the constructive criticism. I can almost see you mashing the keys on your keyboard while writing this post. Calm down a bit, there's no reason to be mad at me. Your personal beliefs are safe, you can feel comforted, it's ok.

prothero wrote:
I am just trying to argue that both systems of belief are philosophic speculations and metaphysical assumptions. That atheists are not being more scientific or more rational; that science, reason and experience does not support the atheist view over the most fundamental of theist views (reason and intelligence as the basis for the universe)


Which systems of belief are you speaking about when you say "both systems"?
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 05:09 pm
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;135595 wrote:
That puts me in a quandary, because although I want to agree with part of what you are saying here, and I think it's important, I first have to say that, at least according to my vague understanding of the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution by genetic inheritance, random genetic mutation, and natural selection, the scientific theory (a) is true (although it may not tell the whole story), and (b) does not in any way depend upon any hypothesis of a theological character, such as the non-existence of some specified kind of 'God'. It seems to me like an extremely well-supported and extremely important piece of genuine science. I'm almost 100% with Dawkins et al. on that

That's the bit I agree with. I'm quite sure there is a kind of atheistic, scientistic pseudo-religion, in which the absence of a God is worshipped, and an evolutionary dogma is applied as a universal solvent to all problems. If the solution isn't intellectually very substantial, why then, the problem was no good in the first place, so there's no need to worry. All praise to the absent God, and let no infidel dog dare question His Divine Absence!

So, you are absolutely right; but so is evolutionary theory, as I see it. It's not perfect, but it's a good scientific theory, which deserves defending, or else the whole of science falls, and with science, the whole of reason - not because science is the whole of reason (it isn't), but because it is part of reason (although as a social institution science, like religion, can be quite irrational - just as with 'God', we need to be careful as to what we are talking about when we talk about 'science').


Don't get me wrong, I love the story of evolution and think that it is a first class scientific theory and substantially correct in most particulars. I grew up as a child reading dinosaur books and the still-excellent Time Life series on biology and evolution, it is all second nature to me. And I have never thought that the Biblical story of creation was anything other than an allegory, albeit a profoundly significant allegory containing deep moral insights.

But I can't stand Dawkins and his ilk. They have a kind of backwards religiosity. I am sure it is a deep-seated complex of some kind. - hence the undercurrent of anger in the whole thing. Have a look for a Routledge Classics title called Evolution as a Religion by Mary Midgley. Takes them all to pieces in crisp Oxbridge prose. And she certainly has no religious axe to grind, she is a thoroughly secular philosopher. Lovely piece of work.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 05:15 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;135645 wrote:

Which systems of belief are you speaking about when you say "both systems"?

Blind, pitiless, indifference
vs.
Reason and intelligence foundational or inherent (by implication some purpose)

There are of course countless variations on both but in general atheists tend towards the former for the universe and basic theists towards the latter.
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 05:17 pm
@prothero,
prothero;135652 wrote:
Blind, pitiless, indifference
vs.
Reason and intelligence foundational or inherent (by implication some purpose)

There are of course countless variations on both but in general atheists tend towards the former for the universe and basic theists towards the latter.


and where does astrology come into this ? or does it ?
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 05:20 pm
@north,
north;135654 wrote:
and where does astrology come into this ? or does it ?
explain, I do not see that "astrology" was mentioned.
Were you trying to imply that the notion that "reason and intelligence are inherent in nature" is comparable to astrology? Why would you think that? I gave reasons for thinking "reason and intelligence are inherent might be" true.
No one has offered a counter argument for why
1. The universe is rationally intelligible to its depths.
2. The laws of nature are mathematically expressible.
3. Creatures with the power of mind and reason who can probe, understand, predict and manipulate nature have arisen .

Why is blind, pitiless, purposeless, indifference so easy to absorb and this is so difficult?
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 05:22 pm
@prothero,
prothero;135657 wrote:
explain, I do not see that "astrology" was mentioned.


I just did mention astrology
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 05:28 pm
@north,
north;135659 wrote:
I just did mention astrology
Why? How is does it relate to the question?
0 Replies
 
Twirlip
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 05:29 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;135648 wrote:
But I can't stand Dawkins and his ilk. They have a kind of backwards religiosity. I am sure it is a deep-seated complex of some kind. - hence the undercurrent of anger in the whole thing. Have a look for a Routledge Classics title called Evolution as a Religion by Mary Midgley. Takes them all to pieces in crisp Oxbridge prose. And she certainly has no religious axe to grind, she is a thoroughly secular philosopher. Lovely piece of work.

Although I haven't read that particular work of Midgley's, just part of her Can't We Make Moral Judgements? (Wickedness is on my "read soon" pile, Evolution as a Religion is on my shopping list - she should definitely have an avatar here!), I agree warmly with everything you say here.

---------- Post added 03-03-2010 at 11:32 PM ----------

north;135628 wrote:
so your comparing consciouness to a zombie

No. Please re-read.
north;135628 wrote:
no we are in deep , deep , deep , trouble

In our different ways, no doubt we are.
north;135628 wrote:
explain further

I see no need, nor any point.
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 05:39 pm
@Twirlip,
prothero;135657 wrote:
explain, I do not see that "astrology" was mentioned.
Were you trying to imply that the notion that "reason and intelligence are inherent in nature" is comparable to astrology? Why would you think that? I gave reasons for thinking "reason and intelligence are inherent might be" true.
No one has offered a counter argument for why
1. The universe is rationally intelligible to its depths.
2. The laws of nature are mathematically expressible.
3. Creatures with the power of mind and reason who can probe, understand, predict and manipulate nature have arisen .

Why is blind, pitiless, purposeless, indifference so easy to absorb and this is so difficult?


astrology just gives a different perspective on life enegry and the Universe thats all
0 Replies
 
 

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