*HELP* Addressing an argument (partially); Freethinking Argument Against Naturalism
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07-09-2015, 09:23 AM
RE: *HELP* Addressing an argument (partially); Freethinking Argument Against Naturalism
(07-09-2015 08:31 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(07-09-2015 07:26 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Free-thinker vs. thinking freely...

Oh! C'mon Tommy, you can do better than that.

Equivocation is unbecoming. You're stooping so low we can see your bum-crack.

Not a pretty sight.

No

I'm just fiddling around, trying to play the devil's advocate here to kill some time.

But what's the difference between "free-thinking" and "thinking-freely"?

Nothing much.

You might want to re-read what I wrote ... the devil deserves better.

Drinking Beverage

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07-09-2015, 09:43 AM
RE: *HELP* Addressing an argument (partially); Freethinking Argument Against Naturalism
(07-09-2015 08:31 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I'm just fiddling around, trying to play the devil's advocate here to kill some time.

But what's the difference between "free-thinking" and "thinking-freely"?

Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that there is none.

The argument still collapses, because "freethinking", as in rationality, has nothing to do with "freethinking", as in free will.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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08-09-2015, 06:09 AM
RE: *HELP* Addressing an argument (partially); Freethinking Argument Against Naturalism
(07-09-2015 09:43 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  The argument still collapses, because "freethinking", as in rationality, has nothing to do with "freethinking", as in free will.

What does freethinking mean than? How do I tell whose freethinking and not?

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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08-09-2015, 06:27 AM
RE: *HELP* Addressing an argument (partially); Freethinking Argument Against Naturalism
(07-09-2015 07:08 AM)epronovost Wrote:  Free thinker is a label atheists sometime use for the following reason. A free thinker, in that context, is an individual that doesn't hold a dogma. A dogma, in that specific context, is a principle or set of principle laid down by a superior authority that is completely true no matter the circumstances and that doesn't need to be demonstrated. Thus, the free thinker is person who isn't specifically religious, but not necessarily atheist, and isn't part of a congregation. In that context, his argument is a strawmen. Furthermore, I don't think the absence of God disprove the existence of souls neither the existence of God proves it. His greatest failure was not to address what was free thinking/free thinker, what was the soul, what was God and how all those thing are necessarily related. It's very easy to make a valid argument (he pretty much failed at that). It's another thing to make one that is both valid and sound.

Okay I'll accept your definition.

I'm not too sure what being a part of a congregation has to do with anything, but I do have some questions about the dogma part. Would dogma amount to a belief one holds with absolutely certainty, therefore cannot be false no matter what circumstance?

If I was an atheists that believed elimantivism, or materialism were true with absolute certainty would that mean that I couldn't be a freethinker?

I always though freethinking, is a sort of thinking free of certain impairments to the thinking, an ability to think free void of certain strong biases, to navigate the world. Dogma is rejected because it's believed to impose a greater degree of bias than anything else it seems. But I guess not?

It seems that man who couldn't recognize his own mother when she was in front of him, could still be classified as a freethinker, provided he wasn't a part of a religious congregation, and held to no official dogmas?

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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08-09-2015, 06:38 AM
RE: *HELP* Addressing an argument (partially); Freethinking Argument Against Naturalism
@Tomasia

No the dogma part in this needs to be considered absolutly true and unchanging without demonstration of its truth. This means that «the sky is blue» isn't a dogma, it's a fact. The theory of evolution isn't a dogma because it's both demonstrable and not absolutly true and neither is it unchanging. Materialism is broad, constantly evolving and isn't enforced on any person by a congregation. Thus it's not a dogma. Its a philosophy. Religion isn't a dogma either, but all of them have at their core sevral dogma (Islam has five, Chatholics have four, etc.). Indeed, a mentaly impared person for exemple the man who suffer from prosopagnosia can considered a free thinker.
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08-09-2015, 06:46 AM
RE: *HELP* Addressing an argument (partially); Freethinking Argument Against Naturalism
(08-09-2015 06:09 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  What does freethinking mean than? How do I tell whose freethinking and not?

Good place to start is to let the evidence lead you to a conclusion , not come up with the conclusion and then try to guide the evidence to support it.

. . . ................................ ......................................... . [Image: 2dsmnow.gif] Eat at Joe's
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08-09-2015, 07:05 AM
RE: *HELP* Addressing an argument (partially); Freethinking Argument Against Naturalism
(08-09-2015 06:46 AM)Slowminded Wrote:  Good place to start is to let the evidence lead you to a conclusion , not come up with the conclusion and then try to guide the evidence to support it.

The problem is folks will imagine that the evidence lead them to a conclusion, when in fact they guided the evidence to support it. That's basically how biases operate, and to make the problem even worse, is the fact that we can remain completely unaware of our own biases, completely oblivious to the fact that we guided the evidence to support our conclusions.

Take a common position like religion does more harm than good. Is that a product of evidence leading you to that conclusion, or an example of guiding the evidence to support it? Let's say you've had a bad experience with religion growing up, and are tainted by a disgust at a variety of religious types. How would you distinguish between person who driven to this conclusion by his negativity bias, as opposed to someone who was lead to this conclusion by the evidence?

If you've had such a traumatic, or difficult experience with religion, is it even really possible to puts those feelings aside, when attempting to understand religion? Or is it always going to be a constant weight.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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08-09-2015, 07:27 AM
RE: *HELP* Addressing an argument
The problem is folks will imagine that the evidence lead them to a conclusion, when in fact they guided the evidence to support it. That's basically how biases operate, and to make the problem even worse, is the fact that we can remain completely unaware of our own biases, completely oblivious to the fact that we guided the evidence to support our conclusions.

Theist are the perfect example for that, and yes, that is a problem.

Take a common position like religion does more harm than good.
Is that the common position? It is among atheists, not sure that it is for general population.

Is that a product of evidence leading you to that conclusion, or an example of guiding the evidence to support it? Let's say you've had a bad experience with religion growing up, and are tainted by a disgust at a variety of religious types. How would you distinguish between person who driven to this conclusion by his negativity bias, as opposed to someone who was lead to this conclusion by the evidence?

You can tell by the way they present their position, if he is offering evidence or his own experience to support his claim.
Of course it may be the case that his own experience and the evidence support the same conclusion.


If you've had such a traumatic, or difficult experience with religion, is it even really possible to puts those feelings aside, when attempting to understand religion? Or is it always going to be a constant weight.

It may be a constant weight, depends on a person, I try to not let my personal experiences interfere with my conclusions.


mine is bolded

. . . ................................ ......................................... . [Image: 2dsmnow.gif] Eat at Joe's
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08-09-2015, 07:59 AM
RE: *HELP* Addressing an argument (partially); Freethinking Argument Against Naturalism
I think I figured out the problem with his line of logic: he didn't have an atheist asshole philosophy professor anecdote. All apologists must have one, I think it is in the union bylaws.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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08-09-2015, 08:04 AM
RE: *HELP* Addressing an argument (partially); Freethinking Argument Against Naturalism
(06-09-2015 04:07 PM)JoeC.Meadow Wrote:  Salutations! I have recently sparked a conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be an apologist with an masters degree in apologetics from Biola University.

He has been doing research for 3 years on his thesis and has formulated a rather short argument against naturalism, which can be read here; http://freakengministries.com/freethinki...-oxymorons

I have objections to most of his premises and of course his conclusion, and I did post a brief comment about the first premise. I would like a second opinion on my objection and maybe a little insight to his responses to my objection and if I may be missing the point entirely or committing a fallacy.

My comment and his which are much shorter than the argument itself I will just post in this thread starting with mine following his.

Me - Hey XXXX! I've really enjoyed reading and thinking about this argument! But, of course I have few objections. I'll only address the first premise here as to maintain brevity. And, please please let me know if I am attacking any kind of straw man!

1- If naturalism is true, the immaterial human soul does not exist.

I feel, that you may need to establish what you mean by ''immaterial human soul'' just a bit more. Granted, I am only addressing this blog version so feel free to point me in the direction of a more detailed version if one does exist!

You say in support of the premise (I assume).

"By far, the most common worldview of the atheist persuasion is that of naturalism (that nature is all there is). If they hold that things outside of nature exist, they would be admitting that naturalism is false, and in effect, agreeing with the theist that not only does nature exist, but so does the “supernatural” (things other than nature). This is a move the committed atheist does not want to make because God, if He exists, falls into the supernatural category. By admitting the supernatural exists, they tacitly admit the plausibility of God’s existence.

Like the Biblical view of God, the human soul, by definition is not a physical or material type of thing. It is an immaterial aspect of our existence, which if it does exist, leads to some tremendous conclusions. However, if the soul does not exist, that leads us to our second premise."

The Merriam-Webster's New World College Edn. definition of soul is an entity which is regarded as being the immortal or spiritual part of the person and, though having no physical or material reality, is credited with the functions of thinking and willing, and hence determining behavior.
The definition of mind is;
1a - the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills and especially reasons.
1b - the part of a person that thinks, reasons, feels, and remembers.

I do recognize that each one of the terms has it's own distinctive meaning and cannot be used interchangeably, although that is why I think it is necessary for you and I and whoever would object, to agree upon a set definition of the word soul.

What P1 makes me think, is that you believe the soul is some aspect of our existence that isn't identical or produced within the body. I think this because of the wording of the premise. I don't see why a soul couldn't exist if naturalism were indeed true. The seemingly common trend in today's neuroscience is that the brain produces consciousness or our minds. But, that of course doesn't entail what a soul is exactly. If the soul is distinctly different from our minds then I don't understand how you can establish the first premise at all. If mind ≠ soul, then what exactly is a soul? The immaterial disembodied essence of thinking and willing? Well, if that is the case I feel you may need to reword the premise to reflect as much.

RP1 - "If naturalism is true, the immaterial human soul independent of the body does not exist." but feel free to reword in any way you see fit.

I'll stop here for fear that I may be attacking a position or argument that you aren't putting forth! Have a good day and I'm looking forward to your reply!

Him - Oh my goodness! Joe it's really good to hear from you but you just missed the party! I just had a three day debate on this very topic here on my Facebook wall. Finally the objector admitted my argument was valid and sound. However at that point he deleted his entire post.

I've spent the last two days debating a physicist on another page. That debate went fantastic as well but now my brain is fried and I'm ready for the weekend and to be with my family.

Although the original objector deleted the long thread after admitting my argument was sound, I did save the entire conversation on a Word Doc.

Perhaps I can send it to you?

This is as you noted, just a pop-level blog based on 3 years of research. My thesis is in the process of being published.

The one thing I think you might be missing is that my argument is focused on what is needed to infer the best explanation based on the laws of logic to possess justified true belief. While consciousness seems to play a role, my argument says nothing about it. It's all about libertarian free will.

I do realize he claims to have defeated my objection in another /debate/ but since it isn't Monday yet I haven't sent him my email and I haven't received the transcription of the other conversation. However, I do feel he didn't quite understand my objection fully, granted he claimed he was "fried" at he moment. He said that i was missing that his argument is focused on what is needed to infer the best explanation based on the laws of logic to possess justified true belief. In my mind, that means I didn't address the evidences that his argument is using to establish his premises and that the objection I raised has nothing to do with his argument. I don't think that is right because I feel that the objection I raised shed light on some necessary topics he needed to discuss or provided evidence for in order to establish his first premise, which consequently has nothing to do with "libertarian free will". However, I may be confused thusly I seek the help of this fine community.

Thanks!
- Joe

This argument's first premise is an unargued assertion and it assumes the very thing that the argument seeks to prove, that the supernatural exists. It is circular. Your friend wasted three years of his life. The argument is invalid. Also how could one ever prove that the soul is supernatural and not an emergent property of biology. It can't be proved therefore the assertion is arbitrary and should be dismissed without further consideration. If by soul your friend means consciousness then it is clear that consciousness is biological in nature and we need not look to the supernatural for an explanation of consciousness. In all cases consciousness is an attribute of biological organisms.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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