Getting down to basics with thesists
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28-04-2014, 08:47 PM
RE: Getting down to basics with thesists
(28-04-2014 07:15 PM)avalon Wrote:  Given the above quoted beliefs concerning intuition, is there any reason to discuss secondary issues before resolving this one?

Yes, because it's not a fucking issue.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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28-04-2014, 09:00 PM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2014 11:02 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Getting down to basics with thesists
(28-04-2014 07:15 PM)avalon Wrote:  For hundreds of years theists and non-theists have debated a number of topics, things like the origin and nature of the universe, the existence of spirits and souls, the origin and nature of morality, etc... Despite all these discussions, there is still no agreement on these topics and the debates continue. Perhaps the reason for this is that these topics are secondary issues. There seems to be no point in debating secondary issues until the primary differences between theists and non-theists have been discussed.
One of the primary differences between non-theists and theists (actually, all supernatural belief systems) is how each group views the source, nature, and reliability of intuition. The scientific view of intuition is that it is ideas and emotions that come into our conscious mind from our sub-conscious. Joshua Greene, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, said, "The relevance of science then is that it can tell us how our ... intuitions work and where they come from." In the scientific view these ideas and emotions are sometimes less than reliable and should be subject to further scrutiny by conscious reasoning. "Education is to a large extent the development of one’s “cognitive” capacities, learning to think in ways that are abstract, effortful, and often either nonintuitive or counterintuitive." (Greene, The Secret Joke of Kant’s Soul)
The supernaturalist view of intuition is that it's source is outside the human brain and that it represents accurate knowledge that is not subject to scrutiny by conscious reasoning. Here's some quotes from various religious sources that show these common beliefs about intuition:

"There’s a third way of knowing, though, that needs no such justification: intuition. In fact, this way of knowing is so foundational that justification is impossible. That’s because knowledge by intuition is not gained by following a series of facts or a line of reasoning to a conclusion. Instead, we know intuitional truth simply by the process of introspection and immediate awareness."
"Intuitional truth doesn’t require a defense—a justification of the steps that brought one to this knowledge--because this kind of truth isn’t a result of reasoning by steps to a conclusion. It’s an obvious truth that no rational person who understands the nature of the issue would deny."
"Intuitional knowledge can’t be 'proved' because, on the level of intuition, no further analysis is possible. Analysis makes the complex simple, but if a thing is already simple, it cannot be broken down further. Once we understand the proposition in question, we just 'see' that the thing is true. It is self-evident after a little reflection."
(Intuition: A Special Way of Knowing by Greg Koukl)

"Intuition is an inner knowing ..."
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/spiritualdi...FHSVu.dpuf
"The role of intuition, as Craig mentions often, is that of knowing some premise to be true rather than showing that premise to be true. Once I understood this principle, along with the value of intuition as knowledge, I have come to recognize its power."
http://www.randyeverist.com/2011/10/role...ition.html

In my belief system, the intuition, or "knowingness," comes from a Higher Power (I call it "God" but the name is unimportant), and the information comes through me, not from me. "
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/one-...eally-know
"Intuition is a gift from God."
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/spiritualdi...FHSVu.dpuf
"Intuition, I believe, is God's voice."
http://www.byregion.net/articles-healers/Sensitive.html
"God does provide guidance through gifts which involve intuition. "
http://www.xenos.org/classes/papers/deci...gMuHA.dpuf
Q: How would you define the role of “intuition,” from a biblical perspective?
A: I would define intuition from a biblical perspective as “being led by Holy Spirit.”
http://www.berryblessed.org/2013/01/q-a-...rspective/

"It’s a gift that God gives to each of us."
http://www.somethingwithin.com/blog/?cat=100
"There is an intuition which comes from God. ...The Christian who is led by the Spirit of the Risen Christ also enjoys holy intuition (Rom. 8:5-9). "
http://edwardfudge.com/gracemails/intuition.html
"Whenever possible, guidance from such gifts is subjected to the objective test of scripture (I Cor. l4:29; I Cor. l2:l-3; I Jn. 4:l-3). "
http://www.xenos.org/classes/papers/deci...gMuHA.dpuf
"...one does well to follow such intuitive insights."
http://edwardfudge.com/gracemails/intuition.html
“Intuition ... will guide us unerringly..."
http://lynnrobinson.com/product/divine-i...prosperity

"We do not have to then show a particular intuition as true..."
http://www.randyeverist.com/2011/10/role...ition.html


&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&


Given the above quoted beliefs concerning intuition, is there any reason to discuss secondary issues before resolving this one?
While these beliefs concerning the supernatural quality of intuition may seem set in stone, there is reason to hope that theists may come to accept a naturalist view of intuition. These include:
1. There is evidence that these beliefs are learned:
"It seemed that prayer experts spoke as if what they were learning to do was to take their inner sensory world more seriously,to treat their thoughts and images and sensations as more meaningful, and to blur the line deliberately between what they might once have attributed to an internal cause and what they might now wish to attribute to an external one. That,after all is the point of experiential evangelical spirituality: to experience God—an external presence—interacting with one through phenomena one would ordinarily interpret as internal and often as simply distracting. It seemed as if these experts had learned to identify their own internal sensations as partaking in a spiritual realm that was external to them, even if it was not part of the material world.
http://www.luhrmann.net/wp-content/uploa...rption.pdf
2. Theists will already use critical thinking concerning the intuitions of other religions:
"To believe that something is true merely because you feel it to be so or because you are sincere in your belief does not make it true."
"A standard Mormon response is to resort to the subjective. He insists that he knows the Book of Mormon is true because he has a 'burning in the bosom'. "
(William Lane Craig on Mormons)
3. Theists already accept that their intuitions and senses can be wrong.
Example: When looking up to the sky, all our senses and intuitions tell us we are on a stationary planet at the center of the universe. Yet, we know the planet is actually spininng on it's axis at hundreds of miles per hour and orbiting the sun at thousands of miles per hour.

These beliefs about the supernatural nature of intuition raise a number of questions in the minds of those who use their critical thinking skills. Perhaps you all would post your questions here? And, of course, any theists are welcome to address them!

Actually, I think epistemology (where we get / how we arrive at knowledge) is a very good starting point. There is no reason at all to discuss other issues before we discuss intuition, for the simple reason that intuition can be swiftly evaluated for reliability and readily shown to be unreliable. Some examples of places that intuition fails:

The Gambler's Fallacy.
The Monty Hall Problem.
The human instinct to anthropomorphize (particularly telling when people look at the natural world and decide that there must be some sort of powerful person behind it all).
And on and on.

I'm not saying that intuition is ALWAYS wrong, mind you. But simple consideration of typical life experience shows it to be unreliable often enough that we should suspect its advice and verify or falsify what it tells us, rather than accepting it uncritically.

OH. LOOK. THAT'S WHAT WE WERE ALREADY DOING.

There. Addressed. Bing, bang, boom. Next?
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28-04-2014, 11:15 PM
RE: Getting down to basics with thesists
(28-04-2014 08:06 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(28-04-2014 08:03 PM)Sam Wrote:  Intuition is just a theist word meaning "a wild stab in the dark"...

Methinks not. I understand what you mean in the context of this thread, but intuition is a source for creativity, for ideas.

I know... I couldn't think how else to word it.

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29-04-2014, 02:25 AM
RE: Getting down to basics with thesists
I think we're misunderstanding what Avalon is getting at here, although I may be wrong because the tone of the post suggests that there is a real debate to have when there isn't.

What I got from the post is that we first have to convince theists that their intuition is actually coming from their own brain and isn't inspiration from God or some other external source of woo.

It's a good point, although we have plenty of examples of people turned onto science and critical thinking by showing them scientific evidence and pointing out the logical inconsistencies of their beliefs. Then the belief that their intuition comes from a source external to the brain starts to crumble.
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29-04-2014, 05:25 AM
RE: Getting down to basics with thesists
(28-04-2014 07:41 PM)Chas Wrote:  What questions? Intuition isn't knowledge or facts.

I agree. But how do we get theists to see that? That's where the questions come in.

For example, if intuition has a source outside the human brain:
1. what form does this intuition take? Is it some sort or energy? Could it be detected by a machine?
2. Why would one brain receive the intuition and another not?
3. How does the theist tell the difference between their own subconscious intuitions and intuitions from an outside source?


There are many more questions related to their beliefs, questions they've never considered. By asking them, the theist is confronted by the many assumptions they've made.
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29-04-2014, 05:43 AM (This post was last modified: 29-04-2014 05:53 AM by avalon.)
RE: Getting down to basics with thesists
(29-04-2014 02:25 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I think we're misunderstanding what Avalon is getting at here, although I may be wrong because the tone of the post suggests that there is a real debate to have when there isn't.

What I got from the post is that we first have to convince theists that their intuition is actually coming from their own brain and isn't inspiration from God or some other external source of woo.

It's a good point, although we have plenty of examples of people turned onto science and critical thinking by showing them scientific evidence and pointing out the logical inconsistencies of their beliefs. Then the belief that their intuition comes from a source external to the brain starts to crumble.

Thank you, Mathilda! You're dead on.
What we atheists need to understand is that theists have a very different meaning for the word "intuition". I had always assumed they understood it the same way I did (subconscious thoughts generated by the brain, a hypothesis in need of verification). Once I read what they really think of intuition I realized there was no point in debating other topics. If their intuition was considered a divine, infallible, source of accurate information; why would they listen to my 'merely-human' reasoning? If the theists admits to the possibility of all their intuitions coming from their own brain, it levels the playing field and allows our arguments to carry real weight. But until they do, we atheists are in effect debating with "the voice of God".

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance---
it is the illusion of knowledge."
~Daniel Boorstin, Librarian of Congress, 1984
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29-04-2014, 05:43 AM
RE: Getting down to basics with thesists
(29-04-2014 05:25 AM)avalon Wrote:  ...
3. How does the theist tell the difference between their own subconscious intuitions and intuitions from an outside source?
...

That's definitely a question for KC.

No wait, I can answer... the theist doesn't.
Nor does the thesist Dodgy

They seem to equate the two and not recognise the former.

That's the end of my theistic thesis.

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29-04-2014, 06:20 AM
RE: Getting down to basics with thesists
(28-04-2014 09:00 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(28-04-2014 07:15 PM)avalon Wrote:  For hundreds of years theists and non-theists have debated a number of topics, things like the origin and nature of the universe, the existence of spirits and souls, the origin and nature of morality, etc... Despite all these discussions, there is still no agreement on these topics and the debates continue. Perhaps the reason for this is that these topics are secondary issues. There seems to be no point in debating secondary issues until the primary differences between theists and non-theists have been discussed.
One of the primary differences between non-theists and theists (actually, all supernatural belief systems) is how each group views the source, nature, and reliability of intuition. The scientific view of intuition is that it is ideas and emotions that come into our conscious mind from our sub-conscious. Joshua Greene, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, said, "The relevance of science then is that it can tell us how our ... intuitions work and where they come from." In the scientific view these ideas and emotions are sometimes less than reliable and should be subject to further scrutiny by conscious reasoning. "Education is to a large extent the development of one’s “cognitive” capacities, learning to think in ways that are abstract, effortful, and often either nonintuitive or counterintuitive." (Greene, The Secret Joke of Kant’s Soul)
The supernaturalist view of intuition is that it's source is outside the human brain and that it represents accurate knowledge that is not subject to scrutiny by conscious reasoning. Here's some quotes from various religious sources that show these common beliefs about intuition:

"There’s a third way of knowing, though, that needs no such justification: intuition. In fact, this way of knowing is so foundational that justification is impossible. That’s because knowledge by intuition is not gained by following a series of facts or a line of reasoning to a conclusion. Instead, we know intuitional truth simply by the process of introspection and immediate awareness."
"Intuitional truth doesn’t require a defense—a justification of the steps that brought one to this knowledge--because this kind of truth isn’t a result of reasoning by steps to a conclusion. It’s an obvious truth that no rational person who understands the nature of the issue would deny."
"Intuitional knowledge can’t be 'proved' because, on the level of intuition, no further analysis is possible. Analysis makes the complex simple, but if a thing is already simple, it cannot be broken down further. Once we understand the proposition in question, we just 'see' that the thing is true. It is self-evident after a little reflection."
(Intuition: A Special Way of Knowing by Greg Koukl)

"Intuition is an inner knowing ..."
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/spiritualdi...FHSVu.dpuf
"The role of intuition, as Craig mentions often, is that of knowing some premise to be true rather than showing that premise to be true. Once I understood this principle, along with the value of intuition as knowledge, I have come to recognize its power."
http://www.randyeverist.com/2011/10/role...ition.html

In my belief system, the intuition, or "knowingness," comes from a Higher Power (I call it "God" but the name is unimportant), and the information comes through me, not from me. "
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/one-...eally-know
"Intuition is a gift from God."
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/spiritualdi...FHSVu.dpuf
"Intuition, I believe, is God's voice."
http://www.byregion.net/articles-healers/Sensitive.html
"God does provide guidance through gifts which involve intuition. "
http://www.xenos.org/classes/papers/deci...gMuHA.dpuf
Q: How would you define the role of “intuition,” from a biblical perspective?
A: I would define intuition from a biblical perspective as “being led by Holy Spirit.”
http://www.berryblessed.org/2013/01/q-a-...rspective/

"It’s a gift that God gives to each of us."
http://www.somethingwithin.com/blog/?cat=100
"There is an intuition which comes from God. ...The Christian who is led by the Spirit of the Risen Christ also enjoys holy intuition (Rom. 8:5-9). "
http://edwardfudge.com/gracemails/intuition.html
"Whenever possible, guidance from such gifts is subjected to the objective test of scripture (I Cor. l4:29; I Cor. l2:l-3; I Jn. 4:l-3). "
http://www.xenos.org/classes/papers/deci...gMuHA.dpuf
"...one does well to follow such intuitive insights."
http://edwardfudge.com/gracemails/intuition.html
“Intuition ... will guide us unerringly..."
http://lynnrobinson.com/product/divine-i...prosperity

"We do not have to then show a particular intuition as true..."
http://www.randyeverist.com/2011/10/role...ition.html


&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&


Given the above quoted beliefs concerning intuition, is there any reason to discuss secondary issues before resolving this one?
While these beliefs concerning the supernatural quality of intuition may seem set in stone, there is reason to hope that theists may come to accept a naturalist view of intuition. These include:
1. There is evidence that these beliefs are learned:
"It seemed that prayer experts spoke as if what they were learning to do was to take their inner sensory world more seriously,to treat their thoughts and images and sensations as more meaningful, and to blur the line deliberately between what they might once have attributed to an internal cause and what they might now wish to attribute to an external one. That,after all is the point of experiential evangelical spirituality: to experience God—an external presence—interacting with one through phenomena one would ordinarily interpret as internal and often as simply distracting. It seemed as if these experts had learned to identify their own internal sensations as partaking in a spiritual realm that was external to them, even if it was not part of the material world.
http://www.luhrmann.net/wp-content/uploa...rption.pdf
2. Theists will already use critical thinking concerning the intuitions of other religions:
"To believe that something is true merely because you feel it to be so or because you are sincere in your belief does not make it true."
"A standard Mormon response is to resort to the subjective. He insists that he knows the Book of Mormon is true because he has a 'burning in the bosom'. "
(William Lane Craig on Mormons)
3. Theists already accept that their intuitions and senses can be wrong.
Example: When looking up to the sky, all our senses and intuitions tell us we are on a stationary planet at the center of the universe. Yet, we know the planet is actually spininng on it's axis at hundreds of miles per hour and orbiting the sun at thousands of miles per hour.

These beliefs about the supernatural nature of intuition raise a number of questions in the minds of those who use their critical thinking skills. Perhaps you all would post your questions here? And, of course, any theists are welcome to address them!

Actually, I think epistemology (where we get / how we arrive at knowledge) is a very good starting point. There is no reason at all to discuss other issues before we discuss intuition, for the simple reason that intuition can be swiftly evaluated for reliability and readily shown to be unreliable. Some examples of places that intuition fails:

The Gambler's Fallacy.
The Monty Hall Problem.
The human instinct to anthropomorphize (particularly telling when people look at the natural world and decide that there must be some sort of powerful person behind it all).
And on and on.

I'm not saying that intuition is ALWAYS wrong, mind you. But simple consideration of typical life experience shows it to be unreliable often enough that we should suspect its advice and verify or falsify what it tells us, rather than accepting it uncritically.

OH. LOOK. THAT'S WHAT WE WERE ALREADY DOING.

There. Addressed. Bing, bang, boom. Next?

That's a good start. But we'll need to address the personal experience of the theist. The following quote pertains:
Two parties cannot come to an agreement on some issue, and one party is petitioning the other to participate in his "experience." The assumption here is the problem will clear up if the second party has access to a particular "experience." But the problem does not clear up where two different traditions are concerned, nor does it clear up when one party does not participate in a particular perspective.

The problem does not really have to do with experience, or a lack thereof, as much as it has to do with the "conflict of interpretations" and the multiplicity of perspectives -- with differing conceptual frameworks or systems of belief. This means that metaphysical views on the nature of intuition are more like articles of faith than propositional contents based upon some "verifiable" experience

So, the problem with the "experiential" approach, as it relates to the question of dialogue between theists and atheists, is that it creates an unequal field of inquiry -- between those with a "privileged access" to a particular view of reality, and those with a lack thereof. This access is "priviledged" insofar as it is not based upon a mutually agreeable and "neutral" means of knowledge, but upon the a priori acceptance of a certain set of beliefs. Once the conditions of inquiry are set out in this manner, they create a situation that is inherently circular, with a predetermined result that is unfalsifiable. And this invariably creates a situation that is anthema to actual dialogue or debate.
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29-04-2014, 06:23 AM
RE: Getting down to basics with thesists
(29-04-2014 05:43 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(29-04-2014 05:25 AM)avalon Wrote:  ...
3. How does the theist tell the difference between their own subconscious intuitions and intuitions from an outside source?
...

That's definitely a question for KC.

No wait, I can answer... the theist doesn't.
Nor does the thesist Dodgy

They seem to equate the two and not recognise the former.

That's the end of my theistic thesis.

Then how would they explain Craig's comments concerning Mormons?
"To believe that something is true merely because you feel it to be so or because you are sincere in your belief does not make it true."
"A standard Mormon response is to resort to the subjective. He insists that he knows the Book of Mormon is true because he has a 'burning in the bosom'. "
(William Lane Craig on Mormons)
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29-04-2014, 06:50 AM
RE: Getting down to basics with thesists
Abosolutely! And we should not even discuss avionics until we resolve gravitational attraction.

That was a Dodgy , by the way. Our kind of life is fueled by rapid oxidation, so to find the energy needed to debate this OP, I should be able to just light light myself on fire. Our kind of life also develops asshole first. Big Grin

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