Breaking the spell?
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23-04-2015, 08:37 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 08:32 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 08:29 AM)Chas Wrote:  It is neither. No species on earth was inevitable, all are contingent on previous conditions and contingencies.

Why do you think humans were inevitable? There is no evidence to support that idea.

Aren't all uncanny flukes all contingent on previous conditions and contingencies?

I don't get how you can say it wasn't an uncanny fluke, by appealing to previous conditions and contingencies?

Because it's neither uncanny nor a fluke.

Uncanny - strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.

Fluke - unlikely chance occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck.

All organisms are unlikely. Are elephants an uncanny fluke?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-04-2015, 08:48 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 08:29 AM)Chas Wrote:  Why do you think humans were inevitable? There is no evidence to support that idea.

Because I don't find it very believable to assume we are an uncanny fluke.

I don't find the existence of creatures conscious, and aware of their predicament, able to navigate the world, and make sense of their existence, to be an uncanny fluke, it appears from common sense to have been intentional, rather than unintentional.

We're also creatures of values, able to perceive a moral Good, which we often aim for, perceive goals and values, we direct ourselves toward it. We can conceive a world made right, and acknowledge that the world we live in is far from that.

We don't particular believe life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing. There seems to be a faint tune of significance to the whole thing, that is for me quite undeniable. Believing otherwise, would require that I lie to myself.
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23-04-2015, 08:52 AM (This post was last modified: 23-04-2015 09:02 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 08:37 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 08:32 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Aren't all uncanny flukes all contingent on previous conditions and contingencies?

I don't get how you can say it wasn't an uncanny fluke, by appealing to previous conditions and contingencies?

Because it's neither uncanny nor a fluke.

Uncanny - strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.

Fluke - unlikely chance occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck.

All organisms are unlikely. Are elephants an uncanny fluke?

Is there anything that did happen, that you consider an uncanny fluke?

Quote:Uncanny - strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.

Fluke - unlikely chance occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck.

Yes, I consider it both of these things. It's strange and mysterious than a nothingness produced this grand somethingness. I also believe that if we were not intended, that we are sort of a product of an unlikely chance occurrence, an especially surprising piece of luck. I guess the same can be said of elephants as well, but of humans even more so.

It's one thing to imagine a physical process producing merely physical objects, but the fact that such a process produced mental objects, conscious beings, is a thing of astonishing wonder.
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23-04-2015, 08:55 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 08:48 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 08:29 AM)Chas Wrote:  Why do you think humans were inevitable? There is no evidence to support that idea.

Because I don't find it very believable to assume we are an uncanny fluke.

You are misusing those words to make a straw man. We are not an uncanny fluke, but we are a contingent product of evolution.

Quote:I don't find the existence of creatures conscious, and aware of their predicament, able to navigate the world, and make sense of their existence, to be an uncanny fluke, it appears from common sense to have been intentional, rather than unintentional.

Still with the false dichotomy. Your common sense is not trustworthy, this is why we have science.

Quote:We're also creatures of values, able to perceive a moral Good, which we often aim for, perceive goals and values, we direct ourselves toward it. We can conceive a world made right, and acknowledge that the world we live in is far from that.

No, we don't perceive any gods, they are products of human imagination.

Quote:We don't particular believe life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing. There seems to be a faint tune of significance to the whole thing, that is for me quite undeniable. Believing otherwise, would require that I lie to myself.

Any significance must be of our own making because there is no evidence of any external cause.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-04-2015, 08:57 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 08:52 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 08:37 AM)Chas Wrote:  Because it's neither uncanny nor a fluke.

Uncanny - strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.

Fluke - unlikely chance occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck.

All organisms are unlikely. Are elephants an uncanny fluke?

Is there anything that did happen, that you consider an uncanny fluke?

No - see the definitions above. I see fortuitous or disastrous events happening, and unlikely events happen all the time.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-04-2015, 09:09 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 06:41 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Nah, that's not really how common sense works. It's involves an awareness of one's intuitive assumptions, typically serving as a baseline truth, until revealed otherwise. An intuitive assumption would have been that the sun revolved around the earth, that's what our sensory perceptions seem to suggest, and we would likely continue to believe that until we encounter reasons to doubt them.

Intuitive assumptions about life, are teleological as well, as has been observed even in young children, even among children not raised in religious homes. We tend to intuitively believe that we are here as the result of some intention and purpose, it's only when many of us acquire reasons to doubt this, that we believe otherwise.

Well, I guess people are inherently superstitious. I still wouldn't call that common sense, though.
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23-04-2015, 09:15 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 08:57 AM)Chas Wrote:  No - see the definitions above. I see fortuitous or disastrous events happening, and unlikely events happen all the time.

I guess this probably explains our problem, in your view there's no such thing as an uncanny fluke occurrence?
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23-04-2015, 09:22 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 06:41 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 06:04 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  God of the Gaps =/= common sense. Just because people didn't know why the sun rose in the east and set in the west doesn't mean that "common sense" would dictate that a god did it. Common sense would involve admitting what you don't or can't know. Otherwise, we call it "horseshit".

Nah, that's not really how common sense works. It's involves an awareness of one's intuitive assumptions, typically serving as a baseline truth, until revealed otherwise. An intuitive assumption would have been that the sun revolved around the earth, that's what our sensory perceptions seem to suggest, and we would likely continue to believe that until we encounter reasons to doubt them.

Intuitive assumptions about life, are teleological as well, as has been observed even in young children, even among children not raised in religious homes. We tend to intuitively believe that we are here as the result of some intention and purpose, it's only when many of us acquire reasons to doubt this, that we believe otherwise.

And now that our intuitive assumptions *know better* and are backed by facts, we can rely on common sense (and physics, geology, archaeology, history, anthropology, etc.) that there was no great flood, no burning bush, no humans living until 500 years old, no giants walking the earth, no talking serpents, no talking donkeys, no Exodus, no demons causing disease, no firmament, no storehouses of snow and hail for God to throw down when he gets angry etc. etc. etc.

Michael Shermer talks about evolution and religion on his Skepticblog: Why We Are Hardwired For Belief In God--What caused religion and belief in God evolve? He mentions a passage from Darwin's book, The Descent of Man:

"There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection (of the group)."

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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23-04-2015, 09:36 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 09:15 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 08:57 AM)Chas Wrote:  No - see the definitions above. I see fortuitous or disastrous events happening, and unlikely events happen all the time.

I guess this probably explains our problem, in your view there's no such thing as an uncanny fluke occurrence?

There is no such objective event in nature, it is an interpretation of an event - entirely subjective.
See the definitions of the words.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-04-2015, 09:42 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 08:37 AM)Chas Wrote:  Because it's neither uncanny nor a fluke.

It would only be an uncanny fluke if you assume that there was goal. If humans were a desired result then the fact that evolution produced them would be an incredibly uncanny fluke. The problem is that calculating probabilities based on looking back at what actually happened is pretty meaningless.

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