Author Topic: Searching for GOD...  (Read 1519507 times)

Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31975 on: October 19, 2018, 09:58:36 AM »
It was an extreme example of a failed leaving announcement: you announced your departure and then posted again a few minutes later and for the next hour or so - and here you are back this morning...

Perhaps you should try harder next time?
Now why did I silently read that back with the voice of Alec Guiness?

Stranger

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31976 on: October 19, 2018, 10:04:20 AM »
Sorry Vlad, I missed this...

You know that evolution has left no accommodation for relativistic events or phenomenon and yet here you are trying to introduce them into a debate about neurology.

I really have no idea what point you're trying to make here. What relevance do you think relativity has to evolution? It doesn't attempt to use some special notion of the present to try to escape from determinism - which is what Alan is doing and why the subject came up.

It isn't a discussion about neurology (or even neuroscience), it's about Alan's bizarre ideas.

Secondly you are talking about a theory of time as if it is cut and dried.

We have an extremely well tested theory of space-time and one that has, to date, been 100% successful in predicting the outcomes of experiments and observations. That's as good as it gets in science.

Your failing is completely due to looking at the world in terms of previous levels of organisation namely the time taken for light and information to travel between atoms. Not at all a feasible working framework for neuroscience.

Again: I was addressing Alan's ideas, which have absolutely nothing to do with neuroscience.
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Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31977 on: October 19, 2018, 10:43:22 AM »
Sorry Vlad, I missed this...

I really have no idea what point you're trying to make here. What relevance do you think relativity has to evolution? It doesn't attempt to use some special notion of the present to try to escape from determinism - which is what Alan is doing and why the subject came up.

It isn't a discussion about neurology (or even neuroscience), it's about Alan's bizarre ideas.

We have an extremely well tested theory of space-time and one that has, to date, been 100% successful in predicting the outcomes of experiments and observations. That's as good as it gets in science.

Again: I was addressing Alan's ideas, which have absolutely nothing to do with neuroscience.
Sorry, but I thought we were discussing the processes which Neuroscience investigates which is why I have no idea where the absolutely miniscule, as to be negligeable, time differences between atoms comes in or the block theory of time for that matter.

I'm sure there is a debate to be had on how we can measure last tuesday and even ask where it's being hidden.

Alan Burns

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31978 on: October 19, 2018, 12:13:35 PM »
Alan

If you can't accept that the brain itself is pulling all this information together and choosing what to write, how do you envisage the soul doing it?  Does it fly in when needed or is it inside your brain permanently? 

You seem to agree that it has to use the physical brain's stored away memories, but does it live inside that organ or float around outside?

You see, I can't understand how you can be convinced that something supernatural is going on without having some idea of how it does it.  It would be illogical to be convinced of one scenario that is a complete mystery to you, but dismiss out of hand the explanation that all those working in the field, day after day, give for it. 

As has been pointed out to you, numerous times, you can't have free will if this supernatural entity is doing the choosing and not Alan Burns - unless your 'soul' is just another name for you - which is, surprise surprise, no other part of your body but your brain!
jjohnjil,
Just to save repeating lots of things I have already posted, here is a link to the thee page article I had published in Mensa magazine which should answer some of your points:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/135283340@N03/albums/72157699355958882
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

wigginhall

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31979 on: October 19, 2018, 12:58:00 PM »
AB,

One of your various problems AB is that of semantics. Your complaint isn’t that a deterministic model of consciousness cannot be “free”, but rather that it cannot satisfy your definition of the term “free”. That’s because your definition would require freedom to be arbitrary, random, independent of prior events etc. “Free” though is a much more nuanced term than that: I’m free in the sense that I’m not in jail, but at the same time I’m not free to murder someone or to fly by flapping my arms. 

Does that mean that I’m not free after all, or does it actually mean that I’m perfectly free in one sense but not at all in another?

Is this sinking in yet?   

That’s flatly not true. What they fail to explain is your concept of freedom, which cannot be explained by any means because it’s fundamentally contradictory and therefore irrational.

A position that has been shown countless times to be flawed at the most basic level of reasoning…

Wrong again – as I’ve just explained to you (again), all it fails to do is to explain your personal concept of freedom, which is itself impossible.

Just reading some old posts, and I thought that this was a good summary.  Alan has an impossible view of freedom, as something not in nature, but of course, he feels it, so it must be true!   It seems to represent a horror about the physical world, with its limitations, from which he craves his escape.   I suppose it does show how the supernatural is a kind of hiding place for some people.  Meanwhile, cognitive science and neuroscience make headway in their research.   File under vitalism and phlogiston.
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Gabriella

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31980 on: October 19, 2018, 01:34:53 PM »
Wiggs, I read the article Alan just posted. I’m not getting any impression of a horror of the physical world so I disagree with you on that. I just see a bunch of questions around how humans have self-awareness and can consciously overcome instincts and control reactions because we are self-aware. He says in the article that he believes this ability is down to something other than just the atoms and molecules of the brain, as atoms and molecules can’t explain self-awareness - and he has decided to ascribe this feature to an unevidenced, unexplained soul.

I’m not clear about his take on determinism and free will. He mentioned overcoming your instinct to eat and refusing food even when hungry. I fast for religious reasons - and fasting for religious reasons is pretty easy - I don’t feel hungry - whereas refusing food all day just because I want to see if I can,  I find very hard and feel hungry and I get cravings for carbs or sugar. But my decision to fast for religious reasons is determined by past events - I read the Quran, became a Muslim, fasting is a religious obligation during certain times, the rest of the family is fasting etc etc so not getting the point Alan is trying to make about free will in that scenario. Hope he’ll explain.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 01:37:52 PM by Gabriella »
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bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31981 on: October 19, 2018, 01:37:10 PM »
Hi Wiggs,

Quote
Just reading some old posts, and I thought that this was a good summary.  Alan has an impossible view of freedom, as something not in nature, but of course, he feels it, so it must be true!   It seems to represent a horror about the physical world, with its limitations, from which he craves his escape.   I suppose it does show how the supernatural is a kind of hiding place for some people.  Meanwhile, cognitive science and neuroscience make headway in their research.   File under vitalism and phlogiston.

Quite. Specifically, the trick he tries (wittingly or otherwise) is to assert that a materialistic model of consciousness would deny “any form of” freedom when what he actually means is that it would deny only “my personal conception" of freedom. Materialism perfectly well allows for AB’s experience of freedom, but it cannot allow for an explanatory concept for it that’s both fundamentally irrational and entirely non-investigable, which is what he has.     
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Stranger

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31982 on: October 19, 2018, 01:38:58 PM »
Just to save repeating lots of things I have already posted, here is a link to the thee page article I had published in Mensa magazine which should answer some of your points:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/135283340@N03/albums/72157699355958882

There you go, conclusive evidence (as if it were needed) that being able to do well in IQ tests for Mensa is no indication of rationality. The promised "logical analysis" is nowhere to be seen, just your usual obvious fallacies (personal incredulity in a starring role), and a lot of baseless assertions.

I'm actually shocked that this sort of nonsense could get published by an organisation that is supposed to be about intelligence.
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Alan Burns

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31983 on: October 19, 2018, 01:41:45 PM »
Wiggs, I read the article Alan just posted. I’m not getting any impression of a horror of the physical world so I disagree with you on that. I just see a bunch of questions around how humans have self-awareness and can consciously overcome instincts and control reactions because we are self-aware. He says in the article that he believes this ability is down to something other than just the atoms and molecules of the brain, as atoms and molecules can’t explain self-awareness - and he has decided to ascribe this feature to an unevidenced, unexplained soul.

I’m not clear about his take on determinism and free will. He mentioned overcoming your instinct to eat and refusing food even when hungry. I fast for religious reasons - and fasting for religious reasons is pretty easy - I don’t feel hungry - whereas refusing food all day just because I want to see if I can,  I find very hard and feel hungry and I get cravings for carbs or sugar. But my decision to fast for religious reasons is determined by past events - I read the Quran, became a Muslim, fasting is a religious obligation during certain times, the rest of the family is fasting etc etc so not getting the point Alan is trying to make about free will in that scenario. Hope he’ll explain.
Gabriella,
My point about our consciously controlled choices is that they are not absolutely determined by past events.  At any present moment in time we are consciously aware of reasons or past events, but our choice is not dictated by them - we still have freedom to make the final choice.  A freedom which exists, but can never be defined within the constraints pf physically controlled determinism.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 02:03:45 PM by Alan Burns »
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bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31984 on: October 19, 2018, 01:43:03 PM »
AB,

Quote
jjohnjil,
Just to save repeating lots of things I have already posted, here is a link to the thee page article I had published in Mensa magazine which should answer some of your points:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/135283340@N03/albums/72157699355958882

Tried the first few paras but they were so full of mistakes that I gave up. Does the magazine have a replies section where more rational minds took it apart?
“One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn't require religion at all.”

Arthur C. Clarke

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31985 on: October 19, 2018, 01:45:17 PM »
Stranger,

Quote
I'm actually shocked that this sort of nonsense could get published by an organisation that is supposed to be about intelligence.

Ditto. It's even published under the section name "Philosophy"! Gee whizz - if that's philosophy then so's the back of a packet of cornflakes. 
“One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn't require religion at all.”

Arthur C. Clarke

Gabriella

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31986 on: October 19, 2018, 01:54:03 PM »
Vlad: 31977

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

https://bullyonline.org/index.php/bullies/21-the-need-for-attention
This is a forum about religion and ethics. Not surprisingly therefore discussions can encompass very controversial topics that can lead to disagreement and can become heated because of conflicting strongly held views that are sometimes intrinsic to a poster’s sense of who they are and the values they stand for.

If some posters are going to get infuriated and upset by these discussions, maybe it is an indication that they need to gain some maturity and learn some self-control. I see lots of people interacting with, for example, Vlad, who you kept addressing as Troll boy etc, who do seem to display maturity and self-control - so clearly it can be done.

If you keep finding yourself infuriated and upset and it’s worrying you, maybe just scroll past the posts that infuriate and upset you and ignore them.
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bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31987 on: October 19, 2018, 01:54:12 PM »
AB,

Quote
My point about our consciously controlled choices is that they are not absolutely determined by past events.  At any present moment in time we are consciously aware of reasons or past events, but our choice is not dictated by them - we still have freedom to make the choice.

There isn't an "any present moment in time" (because no matter how briefly you stop the clock I can sub-divide that moment into a past and a future) and if you think that choice isn't "dictated" (as you put it) by prior events then it must be random.

How would that work other than chaotically?   
“One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn't require religion at all.”

Arthur C. Clarke

Stranger

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31988 on: October 19, 2018, 01:58:32 PM »
My point about our consciously controlled choices is that they are not absolutely determined by past events.  At any present moment in time we are consciously aware of reasons or past events, but our choice is not dictated by them - we still have freedom to make the choice.

The baseless assertions just keep coming. How about you answer the contradiction at the heart of your illogical assertions?

"Forgotten" again? See: #31931

ETA: And YET AGAIN - nobody is suggesting that you don't have freedom to make choices. You would do well to stop misrepresenting what other people are saying.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 02:05:52 PM by Stranger »
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Gabriella

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31989 on: October 19, 2018, 01:59:55 PM »
Gabriella,
My point about our consciously controlled choices is that they are not absolutely determined by past events.  At any present moment in time we are consciously aware of reasons or past events, but our choice is not dictated by them - we still have freedom to make the choice.
That’s not how it feels to me - though my feelings don’t prove anything one way or the other. It feels to me like the decisions I make are based on my perceptions of things that happened in the past - it could be the recent past, even a second ago, but still my perceptions and beliefs are based on past events.

ETA: All the stuff I read about Islam alters my perceptions - those are past events - so for example what I haven't learned yet logically can't influence my current choice. That's all that "determined by past events" means. Are you arguing something different when you say our choices are determined by past events?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 03:52:38 PM by Gabriella »
“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.” Rumi

Alan Burns

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31990 on: October 19, 2018, 02:08:09 PM »
AB,

Tried the first few paras but they were so full of mistakes that I gave up. Does the magazine have a replies section where more rational minds took it apart?
It did generate many replies, but the editor could not publish them all
I can copy and link the published replies.  I will add it to the original link and let you know when it is done..
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

Sebastian Toe

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31991 on: October 19, 2018, 02:19:44 PM »
AB,

Tried the first few paras but they were so full of mistakes that I gave up. Does the magazine have a replies section where more rational minds took it apart?
I think for my part, once I read sentence number 5 then I didn't think it worth reading any more!
Should I ?
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends.'
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Stranger

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31992 on: October 19, 2018, 02:39:08 PM »
I think for my part, once I read sentence number 5 then I didn't think it worth reading any more!
Should I ?

If you've been reading his posts here, there isn't much point. Looks like he wrote this in 2013 and he's been regurgitating parts of it here virtually word for word - bizarre phrasing and all. For example: "[molecules and atoms] do not perceive, because science does not define what perception comprises of."
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Alan Burns

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31993 on: October 19, 2018, 03:41:19 PM »
AB,

There isn't an "any present moment in time" (because no matter how briefly you stop the clock I can sub-divide that moment into a past and a future) and if you think that choice isn't "dictated" (as you put it) by prior events then it must be random.

How would that work other than chaotically?
I do not live in the past.
Whatever physical events I consciously invoke to facilitate my chosen actions take place in my conscious present.
I live and exist in my conscious present, as do my thoughts, words and actions - none of which are random, neither are they entirely predetermined by the past.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

Alan Burns

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31994 on: October 19, 2018, 03:46:15 PM »
The baseless assertions just keep coming. How about you answer the contradiction at the heart of your illogical assertions?

"Forgotten" again? See: #31931

ETA: And YET AGAIN - nobody is suggesting that you don't have freedom to make choices. You would do well to stop misrepresenting what other people are saying.
It is not that I have forgotten any of your replies.  I just can't agree with your concept of a freedom which is entirely predetermined by past events.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

Stranger

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31995 on: October 19, 2018, 03:53:18 PM »
Whatever physical events I consciously invoke to facilitate my chosen actions take place in my conscious present.
I live and exist in my conscious present, as do my thoughts, words and actions...

Meaningless waffle. No action or word can exist in "the present" for reasons already outlined and which you have just ignored.

...none of which are random, neither are they entirely predetermined by the past.

That is a self-contradictory statement.

Why are you simply ignoring what has been said to you about this? If you disagree, then why aren't you engaging with what has been presented to you?

It is not that I have forgotten any of your replies.  I just can't agree with your concept of a freedom which is entirely predetermined by past events.

I know you can't - but either that is because of blind faith, in which case admit it, or it's because you think my argument is flawed, in which case argue against it.

What do you think the point is of just ignoring what has been said to you and continuing to repeat your assertions without any supporting evidence or arguments?
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bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31996 on: October 19, 2018, 03:53:54 PM »
AB,

Quote
I do not live in the past.

Yes you do. We all do. The moment you try to freeze time into a "present" time has passed.

Quote
Whatever physical events I consciously invoke to facilitate my chosen actions take place in my conscious present.

But your "conscious present" as you put it isn't an actual present, any more than your "conscious touching the keyboard" is actually touching the keyboard.

Quote
I live and exist in my conscious present, as do my thoughts, words and actions -...

You might "live in it" as a matter of perception, but if you thought about it you'd grasp that there's actually a deeper reality at play.

Quote
...none of which are random, neither are they entirely predetermined by the past.

What third option do you propose? 
“One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn't require religion at all.”

Arthur C. Clarke

jjohnjil

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31997 on: October 19, 2018, 04:47:15 PM »
jjohnjil,
Just to save repeating lots of things I have already posted, here is a link to the thee page article I had published in Mensa magazine which should answer some of your points:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/135283340@N03/albums/72157699355958882
[/quote 

Alan

Thanks for the article but, having read it, I tells me that you attribute the human ability to make choices to something that cannot be investigated and ignore all the research that is going on, including in your own field - computers.  Stephen Hawking said he envisaged computers outdoing the human brain within 100 years and I agree with that view.

 To say that you can't understand how something works and so attribute it to something that you also can't understand seems to me to be going down a one-way street to nowhere.  Some ancients attributed thunder to the wrath of Thor, precisely because they didn't understand it.  As they had no way of investigating Thor, someone defied those religious beliefs and began studying the phenomenon itself and got to the truth - that's what experts in the brain are doing all over the world.

This is why I believe religions, of all varieties, stifle research, simply because they are happy to put everything that is a complete mystery at the moment down to God.  All the great thinkers of yesteryear were persecuted for even suggesting that there were other explanations to be had, but through their perseverance we have made giant leaps forward.

So try to look at the problem, without jumping on an unevidenced explanation for it, and you may see things differently. 






l

Alan Burns

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31998 on: October 19, 2018, 04:48:20 PM »

I know you can't - but either that is because of blind faith, in which case admit it, or it's because you think my argument is flawed, in which case argue against it.

Your argument is obviously flawed.
If everything is entirely predetermined by past events, there can be no concept of conscious freedom to choose.  If something is entirely predetermined, it can be nothing but an unavoidable reaction.  Our freedom to make consciously driven choices must have a definable source which has the freedom to determine the choice.  But in an entirely physically controlled scenario there can be no such source.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

Gordon

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #31999 on: October 19, 2018, 05:08:28 PM »
But in an entirely physically controlled scenario there can be no such source.

Brains.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 05:13:28 PM by Gordon »