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Man Under Materialism

 
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Sep, 2013 10:40 am
@Frank Apisa,
The form of Intelligent Design which you are proposing is very different from the Intelligent Design which is actually being presented by those who seek Irreducible Complexity as the indicator for their form of Intelligent Design. This is the form that has been in our courts and is trying to squeeze its way into our classrooms.

You are arguing for a form of Intelligent Design which is so far down in the roots of the Universe that it essentially becomes the Universe. I don't have a problem with the logic of that argument, but it still revolves around the pre-existence of an Intelligence which is counter to Occam's Razor and therefor less probable.

In general, I don't think it terms of what's possible, I think in terms of what's probable. None the less I think there are some things which are so improbable that they can be effectively dismissed except in philosophical discussions. And Intelligent Design in its common form is one of them. Intelligent Design in its more generic form in which the actions of the Creator are expressed purely as the Creation itself are more likely than the specific form, but I believe they are still only useful as an academic exercise precisely because they will never reveal themselves as anything more than components of nature. Thus the generic argument is ultimately unimportant.
ZarathustraReborn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Sep, 2013 11:37 pm
I can't begin to fathom the sheer tenacity of the members on this forum for even momentarily indulging their intellectual energies toward such colossal brick wall of monumental ignorance.

But I respect it. I really, really do.
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 03:25 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

The form of Intelligent Design which you are proposing is very different from the Intelligent Design which is actually being presented by those who seek Irreducible Complexity as the indicator for their form of Intelligent Design. This is the form that has been in our courts and is trying to squeeze its way into our classrooms.

You are arguing for a form of Intelligent Design which is so far down in the roots of the Universe that it essentially becomes the Universe. I don't have a problem with the logic of that argument, but it still revolves around the pre-existence of an Intelligence which is counter to Occam's Razor and therefor less probable.

In general, I don't think it terms of what's possible, I think in terms of what's probable. None the less I think there are some things which are so improbable that they can be effectively dismissed except in philosophical discussions. And Intelligent Design in its common form is one of them. Intelligent Design in its more generic form in which the actions of the Creator are expressed purely as the Creation itself are more likely than the specific form, but I believe they are still only useful as an academic exercise precisely because they will never reveal themselves as anything more than components of nature. Thus the generic argument is ultimately unimportant.



Ros...there are people discussing the question of Intelligent Design in a way that promotes the existence of a GOD. I grant that unconditionally.

There also are people, however, discussing the issue in a way that demeans and ridicules the notion that there may be a GOD.

I have no problem with people who promote either of those positions...but I also have no problem with me reminding people that there is another way of looking at the issue that recognizes the difficulty of "knowing" which is more likely.

In my opinion, Occum's Razor is one of the most absurd philosophical notions ever to be proposed...and one of the most misused. For you to assert that the "pre-existence of an Intelligence" is "less probable" than a non-pre-existence of an Intelligence (essentially, it is more likely that there is no GOD than that there is one) is self-serving and gratuitous...as self-serving and gratuitous as the many arguments that there has to be a GOD made by theists.

There is a purpose in my comment, Ros...and I stand by it.

IF there is the possibility of a GOD...there is the possibility of intelligent design. The only way that I can see to assert that intelligent design is not possible...is to first assert the existence of a GOD is not possible. (I'm asking if others see defects in that to offer their reasons so I can consider them.)

And if the problem resolves to "it is less likely that there is a GOD than that there is one"...we go to another argument entirely.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 04:22 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
Thats because the very quotes that the Cretinists take from scientists are usually doctored, or are merely argument introductory phrases where a topic is introduced as a negative phrase.


And you see nothing profoundly silly in that sentence fm?

BTW--the topic is Man Under Materialism. Rather evading that subject aren't you?

Quote:
Ignoring it is like ignoring magnetism.


You're in no position to talk about Ignore.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 04:57 am
@ZarathustraReborn,
Quote:
I can't begin to fathom the sheer tenacity of the members on this forum for even momentarily indulging their intellectual energies toward such colossal brick wall of monumental ignorance.


Man Under Materialism is a very interesting subject and well worth the expenditure of intellectual energy.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 07:54 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
In my opinion, Occum's Razor is one of the most absurd philosophical notions ever to be proposed...and one of the most misused. For you to assert that the "pre-existence of an Intelligence" is "less probable" than a non-pre-existence of an Intelligence (essentially, it is more likely that there is no GOD than that there is one) is self-serving and gratuitous...as self-serving and gratuitous as the many arguments that there has to be a GOD made by theists.

Occam's Razor is not based on self-serving or gratuitous emotions, it is based on a logic. If you object to the basic premise of the Razor then I would like to understand your objections to the logic of the argument and not to the emotional symbolism you attach to it.

Frank Apisa wrote:
IF there is the possibility of a GOD...there is the possibility of intelligent design.

I take this as a truism given that the common usage of "God" is an unlimited supernatural entity. But I would point out that following this argument, if God is possible, then anything is possible (not just Intelligent Design) and therefor the entire point of trying to understand anything is rendered academic by an infinity of possibilities.

You seem to be interested in promoting the theme that "Anything is Possible and that we cannot know anything for certain". But I already understand that. I'm moving beyond that and pointing out that exploring that world view is academically wasteful and that it's better to focus on what's Probable, not what's Possible.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 09:02 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:
In my opinion, Occum's Razor is one of the most absurd philosophical notions ever to be proposed...and one of the most misused. For you to assert that the "pre-existence of an Intelligence" is "less probable" than a non-pre-existence of an Intelligence (essentially, it is more likely that there is no GOD than that there is one) is self-serving and gratuitous...as self-serving and gratuitous as the many arguments that there has to be a GOD made by theists.

Occam's Razor is not based on self-serving or gratuitous emotions, it is based on a logic. If you object to the basic premise of the Razor then I would like to understand your objections to the logic of the argument and not to the emotional symbolism you attach to it.


I've written my objections to Occum's Razor (in my opinion one of the least useful philosophical "tools") on several occasions. If I can dig up one of the pieces, I'll post a link to it...although I am not going to give it much effort. Occum's Razor leads to dead ends as often as it leads to any kind of enlightenment.


Quote:

Frank Apisa wrote:
IF there is the possibility of a GOD...there is the possibility of intelligent design.

I take this as a truism given that the common usage of "God" is an unlimited supernatural entity. But I would point out that following this argument, if God is possible, then anything is possible (not just Intelligent Design) and therefor the entire point of trying to understand anything is rendered academic by an infinity of possibilities.

You seem to be interested in promoting the theme that "Anything is Possible and that we cannot know anything for certain". But I already understand that. I'm moving beyond that and pointing out that exploring that world view is academically wasteful and that it's better to focus on what's Probable, not what's Possible.



Yeah...but then you want to assign probabilities that are not logically obtainable...in a self-serving, gratuituous way.

With all the respect in the world, Ros, that is my problem with where are heading. It goes only where you want it to go.

rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 09:45 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
Yeah...but then you want to assign probabilities that are not logically obtainable...in a self-serving, gratuituous way.

With all the respect in the world, Ros, that is my problem with where are heading. It goes only where you want it to go.

With all due respect Frank, you say that, but you can't back it up. Just because you don't like Occam's Razor doesn't invalidate it. In my opinion (and it's only my opinion) you have an emotional attachment to your theme of "not knowing" and I believe you are rejecting obviously logical valid arguments like Occam's Razor in a desperate attempt to support the theme you want to push. So before you start imagining self-serving and gratuitous actions on my part, I think you should recognize them in your own behavior first.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 09:59 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:
Yeah...but then you want to assign probabilities that are not logically obtainable...in a self-serving, gratuituous way.

With all the respect in the world, Ros, that is my problem with where are heading. It goes only where you want it to go.

With all due respect Frank, you say that, but you can't back it up. Just because you don't like Occam's Razor doesn't invalidate it. In my opinion (and it's only my opinion) you have an emotional attachment to your theme of "not knowing" and I believe you are rejecting obviously logical valid arguments like Occam's Razor in a desperate attempt to support the theme you want to push. So before you start imagining self-serving and gratuitous actions on my part, I think you should recognize them in your own behavior first.


Apply Occum's Razor to the "the sun comes up in the East and sets in the West."

Apply it to the (apparent) movement of the stars of other celestial objects across the sky.

Apply it to "How did the universe come into being?"

Apply it to "Is there a GOD?"

Apply it to "Is my desk actually there...and is it solid?"

C'mon, Rosborne...Occum's Razor is nonsense...and you can probably get a half million hits on it being nonsense in Google.

But be that as it may...there is no desperation in my attempts to indicate that I do not know the answer to Ultimate Questions about REALITY...except in the minds of people who want to be closed to the question.

And if you think your "probabilities" are not entirely self-serving and gratuituous...

...calculate the probability that there is no GOD (or that there is a GOD)...and let's discuss those calculations.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 12:07 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
With all the respect in the world, Ros,


How can you respect ros when he has people on Ignore whose input he cannot bear to read and in a science discussion too.

And posting this tripe--

Quote:
But I would point out that following this argument, if God is possible, then anything is possible (not just Intelligent Design) and therefor the entire point of trying to understand anything is rendered academic by an infinity of possibilities.


Quote:
I'm moving beyond that ..


Is this a cocktail party for school board members. The salt of the earth. In a Carthaginian sense I mean.

0 Replies
 
ZarathustraReborn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 01:19 pm
Probability is a rather silly thing to discuss apropos universal conception, and to even suggest it as being indicative of a higher power is even more of a intuitive leap over Creek Colossally Stupid than someone with my meager intellect could hope to imagine for existence. Every event which ever occurs throughout the universe has an almost unbelievably little chance of coming extant, but, strangely enough... it does.

An even apter analogy, for those of you a little to dense for elementary inferences, would be Professor J. Paulos' card proposition:

" ...so if, after the fact, we observe the particular evolutionary path actually taken and then calculate the a priori probability of its being taken, we will get the minuscule probability that creationists mistakenly attach to the process as a whole. Here’s another example. We have a deck of cards before us. There are almost 10 to the 68th power – a one with 68 zeroes after it – orderings of the 52 cards in the deck. Any of the 52 cards might be first, any of the remaining 51 second, any of the remaining 50 third, and so on. This is a humongous number, but it’s not hard to devise even everyday situations that give rise to much larger numbers.

Now if we shuffle this deck of cards for a long time and then examine the particular ordering of the cards that happens to result, we would be justified in concluding that the probability of this particular ordering of the cards having occurred is approximately 1 chance in 10 to the 68th power. This certainly qualifies as minuscule. Still, we would not be justified in concluding that the shuffles could not have possibly resulted in this particular ordering because its a priori probability is so very tiny. Some ordering had to result from the shuffling, and this one did."

So to even argue mathematics as a negating factor in terms of evolutionary development... well, I think the old maxim appropriately suffices in this situation: Figures never lie, but liars sometimes figure.

The density of the human mind is exponentially more and more astounding, yet as I live. Dea Mea! Ne supra crepidam sutor iudicaret!
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 01:45 pm
@ZarathustraReborn,
Well--let us concede your case, and the Prof's, and we live under materialism.

What will it be like? As a business proposition say. Which is where even the densest can understand.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 01:54 pm
@spendius,
A pig being fattened up can understand a business proposition when it hears a stick rattling in a bucket. It's getting fed for nothing. FDA approved grub as well.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 03:28 pm
@ZarathustraReborn,
Quote:
" ...so if, after the fact, we observe the particular evolutionary path actually taken and then calculate the a priori probability of its being taken, we will get the minuscule probability that creationists mistakenly attach to the process as a whole.


Which creationists? Those, one supposes, who mistakenly attach to the process as a whole the minuscule probability of a particular evolutionary path actually having been taken. And that assumes it is a mistake as well.

That assumption alone is a priori proof that the Prof's perspicacity is peachy.

It seems to me that the card proposition proves that to get to where we are when an asymptote of impossibility is demonstrated with a mere 52 playing cards, there must have been a guiding hand.

You might think it impertinent of me to ask this Zara but I think it relevant: were there any aspects of the Prof's personal life which might have caused him to lean towards one side in this debate rather than the other. I have looked him up on Wiki and there is nothing mentioned. Which is unusual.

My experience tells me that even a small lean in one direction can soon become, once it starts being defended, a bigger lean and it can easily end up horizontal from which position it will mount the defence much more stridently because pride has become the main factor by then and the cause of the little lean has faded from the memory.

A pub mate of mine claimed he was a communist. We had a few arguments about it and one night I asked him how he became enraptured by that futile doctrine. (I claim the right to use "futile" because "mistaken" was used by the Prof. But at least readers here can make up their own mind about whether the communist doctrine is futile or not. I'm not sure they could do that with the Prof's "mistaken".)

Anyway--he had found a communist lapel badge in the mud on the rugby field. A darting ray of sunshine had reflected off it, it hadn't been trodden in, and it caught his eye. He had no idea what it was except that it was a lapel badge so after cleaning it up he pinned it to his jacket.

His teacher of liberal studies noticed it and when he appointed boys to defend various political parties, an election was in the offing, in a debate, he gave the communist brief to my pal. And that's how he first started leaning. I used to accuse him of voting for Mrs Thatcher to get him mad. He did have a very swish conservatory. Tart's knickers curtains so you can imagine the rest.

I cured him though.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 06:58 pm
@Frank Apisa,
There are many forms of the Razor. The most useful statement of the principle for scientists is "when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.", and it is in this sense that I use it.

And as you can see, the example questions you have listed below do not apply to the Razor at all because they do not offer a choice between competing theories which make the same predictions.

If you apply the Razor to the choice between a Universe created by "God" (or a "God") versus an identical Universe which came about without a God, then it's clear that the one without the God has one less entity involved and is therefor simpler.

It's also interesting to note that given three choices among identical Universes:
1. A Universe created by a God
2. A Universe created by something Unknown
3. A Universe which came about without anything else

The Universe created by a God, is the least likely not only because it is more complex but because it is more specific, thus narrowing its range of probability.

Frank Apisa wrote:
Apply Occum's Razor to the "the sun comes up in the East and sets in the West."

Apply it to the (apparent) movement of the stars of other celestial objects across the sky.

Apply it to "How did the universe come into being?"

Apply it to "Is there a GOD?"

Apply it to "Is my desk actually there...and is it solid?"

spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2013 04:05 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
If you apply the Razor to the choice between a Universe created by "God" (or a "God") versus an identical Universe which came about without a God, then it's clear that the one without the God has one less entity involved and is therefor simpler.


That's ridiculous. If there was a rabbit in a conjuror's top hat in is much simpler to think the conjuror created it than any other explanation.

It is much simpler to believe that a city is "just there" than the true explanation for its existence. In fact the city being "just there" is so natural an explanation that most people go through life without any other view about it.

England's "green and pleasant land" is "just there" to most people. The fact that it was intelligently designed, like the city, destroys the magical effect it has.

What we wish to know is what Man Under Materialism is like. The determined avoidance by A2K's finest of the thread topic has a simple explanation and a bundle of less simple ones. Man Under Materialism is necessarily full on. No caveats. It's not partial materialism.

So get down to predicting the zeitgeist it entails.

And a desk is mostly space as Russell explained. It is only solid to the unscientific who think solid means what they think it means.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2013 06:13 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

There are many forms of the Razor. The most useful statement of the principle for scientists is "when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.", and it is in this sense that I use it.

And as you can see, the example questions you have listed below do not apply to the Razor at all because they do not offer a choice between competing theories which make the same predictions.

If you apply the Razor to the choice between a Universe created by "God" (or a "God") versus an identical Universe which came about without a God, then it's clear that the one without the God has one less entity involved and is therefor simpler.


I do not even agree that the latter is "simpler" nor any "less involved" than the former.

In fact, one of the problems I have with the used of Occum's Razor is that an objective decision about which of alternatives is less complex has to be made...and, as you did here, the decision is often self-serving toward the bias of the person making the decision.

I have no idea of how you come to the conclusion that "the universe just came into being" is less complicated than "a GOD always was and created a universe in which to play." Neither seems less complicated than the other to me.

In any case, even if we were to grant what you are saying...often the more complicated and involved reason is the actual reason and the less complicated and less involved is simply wrong.

The geocentric view of celestial motion is much, much, much less complicated and involved than the Copernican model…but the geocentric model is totally wrong…and the Copernican model is much closer to the actuality.

As Spendius points out…the “the desk is solid” versus “the desk is mostly (perhaps totally) space and energy” tells you almost all you need to know about the usefulness of Occum’s Razor in these kinds of discussions.
ZarathustraReborn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2013 12:43 pm
I am not sure which direction I lean to as of yet, but allow me to chime in with the my flavored two cents for a moment, if you would all be so allowing.

Either way, despite the circuitous forms of disagreements throughout this topic, we KNOW that something was either created by nothing, or always been something. We KNOW that the universe exists. We see it, touch it, experience it daily, empirically and intuitively. So if we can accept the fact that something had to be made out of nothing (id est, either a god or a universe), why wouldn't we naturally assume it would be the universe? We already know that it exists. How is it in any way logical to create a God, all in order to explain this phenomena of existence, ex nihilo? It seems a bit like introducing another corpse in order to explain an already dead body.

We obviously, whether materialists or theists, subscribe to the notion that something can "always be", or be created from nothing-- it is immensely more complicated to conceive of a thing, necessarily more complicated than its production, having formed (or infinitely maintained) its own existence. Follow through the thought to it's logical outcomes:

Belief (A) God always has been.

Which means we have both an immensely complicated universe, controlled by an immensely complicated being whose physical powers lay outside of physical reality. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, therefore the probabilistic chance of chaos (i.e., complication), increase in equal turn.

Belief (B) God came from nothing.

To even go down this route (as it should be logically apparent) is almost a waste of time, but I'll throw out the cliff notes (at great expense to my patience and bitter annoyance). If God came from nothing, we have to explain not only the chaos of a universe we know, but the indeterminable chaos of a nothing being able to create, at will, an infinitely powerful something.

Either way, whether you want to get lost in a tiring dialectic about Occam's Razor or not, it is irrelevant in the face of s=k log w. More variables, more chaos.
0 Replies
 
ZarathustraReborn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2013 12:55 pm
Not that a lack (or presence of) chaos proves or disproves Occam's theora, but I say this in sheer argument towards simplicity of material evolution. Simple is not always correct, granted, but that is not to say the reverse as well. And in situations like this, it is not important to prove a ZERO case of probability in the case of God through "infinite-combustion" (on the sole merit of higher complication), but it does serve to show a similar, if not lower, case of probability in regards to materialistic imminence in the universe. Which seems both the logical, and intuitive measure in these situations.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Sep, 2013 05:04 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
I do not even agree that the latter is "simpler" nor any "less involved" than the former.

In fact, one of the problems I have with the used of Occum's Razor is that an objective decision about which of alternatives is less complex has to be made...and, as you did here, the decision is often self-serving toward the bias of the person making the decision.

I shouldn't have used the word "simple" in my definition. The Razor is more succinctly effective as "among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected.". Ockham stated the principle in various ways, but the most popular version "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity" is probably closer to the original.

The point being that it's not "simplicity" which is being evaluated by the Razor, it's the number of assumptions or "entities".

Also, the example of a desk being solid or empty space doesn't apply because the Razor is only used to break a tie between two theories which propose exactly the same result, not two completely different results. Theories which propose different results are verifiable by tests other than the Razor.
 

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