Author Topic: Searching for GOD...  (Read 1959722 times)

Stranger

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36775 on: October 09, 2019, 08:34:27 AM »
But my freedom is what allows me to consciously choose to contradict you, and my posts are evidence of this freedom.

Assuming you are referring to your own explanation of "freedom", rather than the experience, you are lying again.

As I explained before (and you ignored for what seems like the ten thousandth time): just because you find one explanation for our abilities and experiences unconvincing, does not make said experiences and abilities evidence for yours.

Nobody is disputing human experience and human abilities.

What's more evidence for your impossible contradiction is, even in principle, impossible too. You can't have evidence for something as self-contradictory as a square circle.

Your short sighted logic...

Once again you just assert that it's short-sighted but are completely unable to point to any part of it that is wrong.

...can't take away this freedom.

Nobody is trying to take away anything Alan, this is all about how human freedom works.

You have once again just gone back to repeating the same old nonsense that people have addressed countless times before, rather than continuing with the exchanges which were in progress just a few posts back. It really does look as if you decide at a certain point that it's too hard for you to answer, so you ignore it and just go back to the start of your script.

Quite apart from the blatant dishonesty of claiming our experience as evidence, this is not an honest and open way to engage in discussion. Sure, you get a lot of answers and I could understand if you dropped one or two lines of argument by accident a few times but you do this with everybody all the time, over and over and over again.
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Stranger

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36776 on: October 09, 2019, 08:38:17 AM »
But can you not see that a conscious choice is resolved at the conscious level, under the overriding control of our conscious awareness? We are consciously aware of our desires, but they do not dictate our choice.  We have conscious control - not automated subconscious reaction.

The degree of consciousness vers. unconscious makes no difference to the logic.

How are you "consciously" going to make the final choice? Unless it's partly random, in the end it must be because it is what you want most (after considering all the factors). You cannot decide what your wants are because that's an infinite regress (what you want to want the most, what you want to want to want the most...).
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Outrider

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36777 on: October 09, 2019, 12:34:31 PM »
It is not distaste for the consequences - I am questioning the presumption that everything we choose to do, think or say can be predetermined before we are consciously aware of these choices.

Fair enough, although going back that's not how it reads.  Nevertheless, you are questioning this, which is fair enough - which bit of the experiments showing it do you think were methodologically weak, or do you disagree with the interpretation of the findings?

https://www.nature.com/news/2008/080411/full/news.2008.751.html
https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/yet-another-experiment-eroding-free-will/

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I quoted a link recently which cast doubt on the validity of the investigations into brain activity which came up with this presumption.

I recall the link, I think I commented on where I though it failed to address the findings.

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And I question the ability of nothing but pre determined physically defined material reactions to generate all our thought processes.

Again, based on what? Neurons activate in response to fairly easily defined phenomena depending on the background hormonal state. In order to question the determinism of thinking you'd need to either establish that something other than brains (and the associated bodily mechanisms to support them) were involved in thinking, or that our understanding of neuron activity was missing something.

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I consider my ability to consciously question such presumptions is, in itself, evidence against this presumption of all my thoughts being physically predetermined.

Except that the evidence suggests that your 'consciously questioning' activity is you becoming aware of brain activity that has already happened without you.

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The analogy to pre programmed software is not fully justified because all computer software is designed by humans.

Analogies, naturally, have limitations, but for me this analogy only breaks-down when you introduce a human programmer if you presume that the human has free will.  Otherwise the deterministic consequentialism just continues in a different medium.

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Any results from the software reflect the conscious intent of the programmer and his/her abilities to drive their own conscious thoughts to achieve their intended goal. This is not evidence of human thought processes being defined outside our conscious awareness.

Well, they reflect the actions of the programmer, and arguably the conscious decision not to go back and review the original decision in the programming.  Of course, it's not supposed to be evidence, it's an analogy to explain how it happens, not why.

O.
Universes are forever, not just for creation...

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Sebastian Toe

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36778 on: October 09, 2019, 12:37:54 PM »
But can you not see that a conscious choice is resolved at the conscious level, under the overriding control of our conscious awareness? We are consciously aware of our desires, but they do not dictate our choice.  We have conscious control - not automated subconscious reaction.
A fine post to demonstrate the workings of a biological brain, using entirely determinustic principles.
No soul required.
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torridon

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36779 on: October 09, 2019, 12:53:31 PM »
But can you not see that a conscious choice is resolved at the conscious level, under the overriding control of our conscious awareness? We are consciously aware of our desires, but they do not dictate our choice.  We have conscious control - not automated subconscious reaction.

Well, I resolve my choices on the basis of which alternative I prefer, all things considered.  How do you do it ?

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36780 on: October 09, 2019, 05:00:45 PM »
AB,

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Another attempt at ridicule…

No, a fair description of your behaviour and – believe me – you need no help from me or from anyone else to look ridiculous.

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…for simply witnessing to the reality of my freedom to choose –

“Witnessing” is one of those stupid, insidious religious corruptions when they actually mean “give you my unqualified opinion” rather than "describe an objective fact".

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…and your consciously chosen words are yet more evidence of your own freedom to choose what form of ridicule to use.  Or did the words,  "la la la" just slip out from your physically predetermined subconscious brain activity before you knew it?

So here’s the problem. Nothing anyone says to you can ever make you think because your schtick is that the fact that people can say something is proof for your (logically impossible unless you invoke magic) claims. And that’s it. Job done. Keep saying that forever and the lid will forever remain tightly shut on any ideas at all that could show that argument to be wrong.

But here’s the thing: those ideas do show it to be wrong. The content of the box you must keep so assiduously locked explain to you why the fact that they can be expressed does not provide evidence for your assertions at all. So there you are, the guardian of the box of ideas you never dare open because, if ever you did, you’d be terrified that the great big padlock you use to keep it shut is entirely illusory.   

To be fair, you did tell us as much long ago when you insisted that no evidence could ever show you to be wrong (a working definition of a closed mind by the way, and in fact what you really meant was that no evidence could ever be allowed to prove you wrong, which is a very different thing) and from that day to this you’ve proved the point simply by never allowing yourself to consider what that evidence actually says. As long as you maintain the mantra “you’ve just said something, therefore free will operating by magic” the fact that the something that’s being said fundamentally detonates that “therefore” can never be given a hearing.

It’s actually worse than that by the way. Having decided that no evidence could ever falsify you by the simple expedient of never addressing it, you also convince yourself that your beliefs are thereby reinforced: “look, all those people trying to falsify me and they haven’t laid a glove on me. I must be even more right than I thought then!” when in fact the reasoning that falsifies you is as robust as ever it was, but you’ll never allow yourself to look in the box to find that out. Why? Because that, after all this time, would require you to be more honest and more brave than you could ever be.     
"To understand via the heart is not to understand."

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Stranger

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36781 on: October 09, 2019, 05:12:58 PM »
Nothing anyone says to you can ever make you think because your schtick is that the fact that people can say something is proof for your (logically impossible unless you invoke magic) claims.

They're logically impossible even if he does invoke magic. It's possible to claim that the magic is so very, very magic that it can make the logically impossible real but that doesn't change the fact that it's impossible within the bounds of what is logically self-consistent. The problem then, of course, is that it's logically impossible for there to be evidence for something that's logically impossible, so the whole fairytale collapses into a pile of utter nonsense...
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bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36782 on: October 09, 2019, 05:27:39 PM »
Stranger,

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They're logically impossible even if he does invoke magic. It's possible to claim that the magic is so very, very magic that it can make the logically impossible real but that doesn't change the fact that it's impossible within the bounds of what is logically self-consistent. The problem then, of course, is that it's logically impossible for there to be evidence for something that's logically impossible, so the whole fairytale collapses into a pile of utter nonsense...

Yes of course, but the magic part (or "soul" as he calls it) means logical consistency need no longer apply. With magic at your back up is down, triangles are round, and when A < B B is also < A. Anything goes. He can spout as much logically bolloxed nonsense as he likes because the escape clause is magical thinking so no rules at all need apply.   

Of course he won't apply the same "rule" to any other reason- and evidence-free claim so my leprechauns are out, but it's all fine and dandy apparently just for the faith claims in which he happens to believe.   
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 05:30:11 PM by bluehillside Retd. »
"To understand via the heart is not to understand."

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36783 on: October 09, 2019, 05:34:45 PM »
Stranger,

Yes of course, but the magic part (or "soul" as he calls it) means logical consistency need no longer apply. With magic at your back up is down, triangles are round, and when A < B B is also < A. Anything goes. He can spout as much logically bolloxed nonsense as he likes because the escape clause is magical thinking so no rules at all need apply.   

Of course he won't apply the same "rule" to any other reason- and evidence-free claim so my leprechauns are out, but it's all fine and dandy apparently just for the faith claims in which he happens to believe.   

I'm with Stranger on this one. I don't think the use of magic allows logical impossibilities. It's why the idea of omnipotence of a god is generally caveated by the idea of logically possible. So an omnipotent god can't make a four sided triangle.

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36784 on: October 09, 2019, 05:40:44 PM »
NS,

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I'm with Stranger on this one. I don't think the use of magic allows logical impossibilities. It's why the idea of omnipotence of a god is generally caveated by the idea of logically possible. So an omnipotent god can't make a four sided triangle.

But it does allow it for AB. That's the point. His explanations for consciousness and for free will are logically impossible, but by invoking magic (or "soul") about which he has no information whatever in his head that gets him off the hook of logical consistency. His faith beliefs are round triangles, but that doesn't matter to him because magical thinking makes the problem go away.   
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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36785 on: October 09, 2019, 05:46:32 PM »
NS,

But it does allow it for AB. That's the point. His explanations for consciousness and for free will are logically impossible, but by invoking magic (or "soul") about which he has no information whatever in his head that gets him off the hook of logical consistency. His faith beliefs are round triangles, but that doesn't matter to him because magical thinking makes the problem go away.   

Nope, that's why I used the omnipotence example. Even those who believe in magic have to live within that logic.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36786 on: October 09, 2019, 05:48:36 PM »
Just in case it isn't clear the caveating about omnipotence is done by those who believe in it, not those challenging it.

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36787 on: October 09, 2019, 05:51:09 PM »
NS,

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Nope, that's why I used the omnipotence example. Even those who believe in magic have to live within that logic.

Nope. In his head, AB doesn't care at all about any of that. Take the binary determined vs random problem. What problem? Just insert a magic "soul" and the problem goes away. And if you think magic can make that logical problem go away then (presumably) you think magic can make any other logical problem go away too, omnipotence included. All bets in other words are off. Anything goes.   
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 05:55:54 PM by bluehillside Retd. »
"To understand via the heart is not to understand."

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36788 on: October 09, 2019, 06:11:28 PM »
NS,

Nope. In his head, AB doesn't care at all about any of that. Take the binary determined vs random problem. What problem? Just insert a magic "soul" and the problem goes away. And if you think magic can make that logical problem go away then (presumably) you think magic can make any other logical problem go away too, omnipotence included. All bets in other words are off. Anything goes.

You're giving him too much credit, and in the process removing one of the problems from his thinking.

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36789 on: October 09, 2019, 06:22:24 PM »
NS,

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You're giving him too much credit, and in the process removing one of the problems from his thinking.

Hardly "credit" I'd have thought but in any case I'm potentially "removing" all of the problems with his thinking though I have no idea whether, having invoked magic, he thinks it can make certain classes of logical problem go away but not others. As I said, once you enter that domain all bets are I'd have thought properly off - unless of course they happen to arrive at faith beliefs other than his own. 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 06:31:14 PM by bluehillside Retd. »
"To understand via the heart is not to understand."

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Alan Burns

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36790 on: October 10, 2019, 10:41:38 AM »
Well, I resolve my choices on the basis of which alternative I prefer, all things considered.  How do you do it ?
You appear to be saying that it is your conscious self which is able to analyse, consider and resolve the choices you make.  I fully concur with this.

Yet in previous posts you have indicated that an apparent choice is determined within subconscious brain activity before we become aware of it.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32
Truth is not an abstraction, but a person - Edith Stein
Free Will is the highest truth about humanity - GK Chesterton

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36791 on: October 10, 2019, 10:45:04 AM »
AB,

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You appear to be saying that it is your conscious self which is able to analyse, consider and resolve the choices you make.  I fully concur with this.

Yet in previous posts you have indicated that an apparent choice is determined within subconscious brain activity before we become aware of it.

He's saying no such thing. Stop misrepresenting him.
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Michel de Montaigne

torridon

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36792 on: October 10, 2019, 01:42:48 PM »
You appear to be saying that it is your conscious self which is able to analyse, consider and resolve the choices you make.  I fully concur with this.

Yet in previous posts you have indicated that an apparent choice is determined within subconscious brain activity before we become aware of it.

I didn't say it is specifically my conscious self where choices are made.  You make too much of the subtle difference between conscious and pre/sub/unconscious.  If I choose a beer rather than a wine that defines beer to be my preference in that moment of choice.  However I cannot and do not choose which preference to prefer, this claim makes no sense.  We act on our preference and this is the act of making a choice. The exact sequence of neurological processing leading up to full awareness is not really the issue, it is still true that in the end we act on our preference and we cannot choose which preference to prefer.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36793 on: October 10, 2019, 02:08:34 PM »
If I choose a beer rather than a wine that defines beer to be my preference in that moment of choice.

If you're buying, Torri, my preference is for a pint of Old Determinism  :)

torridon

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36794 on: October 10, 2019, 02:14:33 PM »
When the penny eventually drops for Alan, we can all go out and celebrate I think

 ;D ;D

Alan Burns

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36795 on: October 10, 2019, 09:55:08 PM »
I didn't say it is specifically my conscious self where choices are made.  You make too much of the subtle difference between conscious and pre/sub/unconscious.  If I choose a beer rather than a wine that defines beer to be my preference in that moment of choice.  However I cannot and do not choose which preference to prefer, this claim makes no sense.  We act on our preference and this is the act of making a choice. The exact sequence of neurological processing leading up to full awareness is not really the issue, it is still true that in the end we act on our preference and we cannot choose which preference to prefer.
But as I have pointed out before, the gift of human free will involves far more than a trivial choice between wine or beer.  It is the driving force behind all human endeavours - the work of artists, poets, novelists, scientists, explorers, astronomers, composers …. Without our freedom to consciously control our thoughts, words and actions, none of these human achievements would be possible.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 10:39:10 PM by Alan Burns »
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32
Truth is not an abstraction, but a person - Edith Stein
Free Will is the highest truth about humanity - GK Chesterton

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36796 on: October 10, 2019, 10:41:03 PM »
torri,

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When the penny eventually drops for Alan...

I have to say, I admire your optimism.
"To understand via the heart is not to understand."

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torridon

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36797 on: October 11, 2019, 06:40:48 AM »
But as I have pointed out before, the gift of human free will involves far more than a trivial choice between wine or beer.  It is the driving force behind all human endeavours - the work of artists, poets, novelists, scientists, explorers, astronomers, composers …. Without our freedom to consciously control our thoughts, words and actions, none of these human achievements would be possible.

We pare it back to simple examples in order to expose the core principles of how minds make choices.  If you cannot understand how mind resolves a simple choice between tea and coffee then what chance is there of understanding the more complex choices, of career, marriage, politics etc ?  Minds evolved to resolve choice through weighing the relative emotional content of options available and they do this consistently across all individuals across all situations across all species and in humans the choices may be more complex but the ultimate resolution of choice still comes down to a weighing up of the emotional content of rival possibilities.  This principle would simply not work if minds were not deterministic, or if we could somehow choose what emotional content to attach to options, if we could choose to like something we don't like for instance. Determinism is a foundational prerequisite for a functioning mind; without it, minds would be debilitated, utterly unable to resolve choices simple or complex.  Free will, in its most fundamental sense, is a logical impossibility that would be instant catastrophe to any species that somehow managed to evolve it. However complex humans may be, we still need to resolve choice in a way that is ultimately consistent with principles of logic.

Stranger

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36798 on: October 11, 2019, 08:09:32 AM »
But as I have pointed out before, the gift of human free will involves far more than a trivial choice between wine or beer.  It is the driving force behind all human endeavours - the work of artists, poets, novelists, scientists, explorers, astronomers, composers …. Without our freedom to consciously control our thoughts, words and actions, none of these human achievements would be possible.

Your assertion is the exact opposite of the truth. The way in which you define "freedom" is impossible because it is self-contradictory. It cannot be the basis of all those things because it can no more exist than a triangular circle.

Yours is one "explanation" for the human mind that we can be 100% sure isn't true. It is falsified by failing the test of logical self-consistency.
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Alan Burns

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Re: Searching for GOD...
« Reply #36799 on: October 11, 2019, 08:34:34 AM »
AB,

He's saying no such thing. Stop misrepresenting him.
I was just pointing out that the use of words such as "prefer" and "considered" are indicative of conscious rather than subconscious brain activity.

As for being misrepresented -
I am constantly bombarded with the mantra "if it is not determined it must be random" despite me never having claimed that human choice is not determined.

My contention is simply that what determines a conscious choice involves more than physical reaction.  And from this I get accused of invoking magic!
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32
Truth is not an abstraction, but a person - Edith Stein
Free Will is the highest truth about humanity - GK Chesterton