Morality vs. Legalism
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24-09-2015, 08:11 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(24-09-2015 08:03 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And you can't distinguish the difference been eliminativism and emergence, since you think the difference is primarily one of practicality.

We've been over this before. Whatever definition you are using, when I say "emergence", I am talking about behavior which is technically reducible, but which is complex enough that talking about the individual components is largely useless.

In the same way, you wouldn't talk about the way a computer works by talking about the behavior of individual bits. You don't examine a car by talking about the way metal reacts under pressure. And you don't try to analyze the human brain by talking about individual neurons, because doing so doesn't tell you anything practically useful.

No individual neuron "wants" anything. A brain, constructed of neurons, can want whatever it likes - and yes, that includes truth.

You seem to be determined, however, to equivocate between an individual neuron and the brain itself, and to draw conclusions on what the latter is like based on the former. You also seem determined not to understand the whole idea of intelligence and the desire for truth being survival traits in humans, and this entire thing is just a monstrous tu quoque red herring because you can't actually provide any justification for your assertion that the existence of minds indicates design.

It's getting to the point where I'm tempted to call this a Gish gallop, really.

(24-09-2015 08:03 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Either way appealing to emergence here, doesn't answer any of the questions being posed to you.

You haven't posed any coherent questions.

"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."
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24-09-2015, 08:59 AM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2015 09:59 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(24-09-2015 08:11 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(24-09-2015 08:03 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And you can't distinguish the difference been eliminativism and emergence, since you think the difference is primarily one of practicality.

We've been over this before. Whatever definition you are using, when I say "emergence", I am talking about behavior which is technically reducible, but which is complex enough that talking about the individual components is largely useless.

In the same way, you wouldn't talk about the way a computer works by talking about the behavior of individual bits. You don't examine a car by talking about the way metal reacts under pressure. And you don't try to analyze the human brain by talking about individual neurons, because doing so doesn't tell you anything practically useful.

No individual neuron "wants" anything. A brain, constructed of neurons, can want whatever it likes - and yes, that includes truth.

That's a strawman. I never talked about a single neuron, in the way we might talk about the way metals react under pressure on a car. In this case we are talking about our chemicals brains, the sum of it's neurons, and neural pathways, but not necessarily the entire body of a person. But rather all the sensations experienced by these bodies and the corresponding impact on the chemicals in the brain, and the abstract pictures they form for us of an external object, we call reality.

Quote:You seem to be determined, however, to equivocate between an individual neuron and the brain itself, and to draw conclusions on what the latter is like based on the former. You also seem determined not to understand the whole idea of intelligence and the desire for truth being survival traits in humans, and this entire thing is just a monstrous tu quoque red herring because you can't actually provide any justification for your assertion that the existence of minds indicates design.

The mind doesn't indicate design. In fact I have more of an affinity towards an eliminative position on the mind, than you would like to think I do, a lot more in common with the materialist project that you would like to believe. I'm eager to facilitate it any chance I get. You may not understand why, but that's besides the point.

Quote:It's getting to the point where I'm tempted to call this a Gish gallop, really.

No, the exact opposite. I'm trying to keep the focus on just one or two questions and that's it. I'm trying to be fairly plain spoken, and clear as I possibly can at every turn. Even sometimes working out answers for my own questions, that perhaps we both can agree on.

Quote:No individual neuron "wants" anything. A brain, constructed of neurons, can want whatever it likes - and yes, that includes truth.

Does pretty much all brains, constructed of neurons, want truth? The way we might say pretty much all brains constructed of neurons, want friendships, love, food, and water?

Or is the wanting of truth, more like a manufactured desire, like desiring Coke, or a pair of Jordans? Perhaps we can think of the scientific establishment, the way we might of the NBA to a child. A desire can get manufactured in us to be a part of it, even as laypeople. We may not want be scientist, but can at least take on the air of a scientist, by imagining ourselves thinking, and moving around reality the way they do in those beautiful professional spaces of theirs. It's like a child acquiring a desire to be a basketball player. They may never actually become a basketball player, but they can enjoy playing the game, cheering on their home team, and living vicariously through actual NBA players.

And this affection, creates this desire in you, where you don't feel comfortable holding anything as true, unless you feel you can give it a scientific seal or approval. Like a man who when he sits back in his den, only feels comfortable with a certain genre of music. Would this work to help explaining your desire for (scientific) truths?

Or do you think we're biology predisposed to wanting to know the truth, the way that a child might want to know his father and mother. That we desire to know that external object, that ultimately gave us life, and brought us into being?

"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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24-09-2015, 09:30 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
And unless you think that reducing consciousness, and thoughts, to the neurochemistry of the brain, constitutes as a fallacy of composition, then it doesn't apply.

"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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24-09-2015, 10:19 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(24-09-2015 08:59 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  That's a strawman.

It's a simple illustration of your earlier statement:

(23-09-2015 11:24 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  So it follows that since the external object isn't, and the neurons in your brain aren't, that no one is.

No one is interested in the truth. Not even you. We just want a film to play in our heads.

The chemicals don't give a damn. The mind they produce does.

A single bit doesn't do any computation. The computer does.

(24-09-2015 08:59 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The mind doesn't indicate design.

Funny. You've spent quite a long time arguing for just that in other threads.

That aside, if your argument is not that the mind indicates design, what is your point?

Your arguments are incoherent and seem to have no internal consistency. I am beginning to suspect that this is because you do not actually have any clue as to what it is that you are arguing for, and are simply determined to play devil's advocate to everything, no matter how obtuse you have to be to do so.

(24-09-2015 08:59 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:No individual neuron "wants" anything. A brain, constructed of neurons, can want whatever it likes - and yes, that includes truth.

Does pretty much all brains, constructed of neurons, want truth?

Does it matter?

"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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24-09-2015, 01:10 PM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(22-09-2015 10:23 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(22-09-2015 09:54 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  "Objectively wrong" is a nonsense phrase if there are no objective wrongs. However, there are.

And we're back to bare assertion.

Around and around and around we go...

We are not back to bare assertion. We are left with the fact that you will in no way make a definitive statement as to whether rape is wrong (and murder, adultery, etc.) as opposed to making dismissive "I guess sometimes, for some people, rape might be wrong" statements.

I've cited how theists, theists being most people, resent the atheist and relativist claims that objective morals do not exist. Stand up, show some backbone and call something wrong "wrong" unless you are so convinced that proving absolutes implies an absolute first cause/creator...

Thanks.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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24-09-2015, 01:28 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2015 01:43 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(24-09-2015 10:19 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  The chemicals don't give a damn. The mind they produce does.

A single bit doesn't do any computation. The computer does.

The computer’s computation are done by the preconfigured circuitry and hardware, and the electric currents that run through them, electric currents that are moved around by a variety of input devices in some cases, like a mouse and keyboard, a camera, voice detection etc…..

We don’t say the chemicals in our brain, produced a mind, particularly if your don’t subscribe to some sort of dualism here. The mind is the brain. But perhaps the sort of thing you mean by the mind, is that thing we refer to as “I”. That first person perspective. But that’s just an illusion. Akin to lens of a camera imagining that since it’s the one taking in the appearance of reality around it, it’s the one choosing what parts matters in regards to it, and that it it has the ability to care and desire things itself.

I see cookies at a grocery store, and I want them, so I buy it. Who really wanted the cookies? Was it my eyes? Was it my first person perspective of reality? Or the neurochemistry in my brain, acting upon a variety of sensory inputs, like the visual appearance of the candy bar, and that neural chemical craving for something sweet, moving the strings of the puppet called I into purchasing it to satisfy it’s craving.

I’m not sure why you read this as implying a single neuron is doing all of this, as if a single string moves a puppet.

It seems as if you refer to the mind as an emergent thing, to have your cake and eat it to, as sort of practical dualism. You seem to be trying to create a similar line between the mind and the neurochemistry of the brain, to argue as a dualists would, but even in a more inconsistent and problematic way.

The mind wants truth, is not much different than saying the mind makes choices. But that can’t be true in a deterministic universe. Your mind is not even puppet on a string controlled by your neurons, the neurons are the strings as Girlyman pointed out. So whose pulling the strings then? Not your mind. Not your consciousness, or your thoughts. But those external forces pushing on the neurochemistry of the brain.

And the laws of physics aren’t interested in it’s puppets recognizing the truth, only movement. It’s that inanimate God pulling the strings of it’s puppet through that meaningless story called life. Not you, not your mind, not your thoughts. Not even your neurons in your brain, they are just the strings, controlled by that inanimate puppeteer.

That’s the inevitable conclusion and closing of the materialist project, a faithful and consistent representation of life, and perhaps a bleak one for you. It’s the sort of reality Dennet warns scientist and philosophers from presenting to everyday people, because he worries it can have reprecussions, even though it’s true.

You may try to appeal to emergence, just like other people might appeal to property dualism, and others might appeal to cartesian dualism, just to avoid giving up that illusion, that you cherish so much. None of them work, whether you like it or not.

But for me, I don’t particularly mind the accuracy of this conclusion. It doesn’t make me as comfortable as it likely makes you.

Quote:That aside, if your argument is not that the mind indicates design, what is your point?

I state this is what I believe, and this is basis of it, you'll say that's not a supportable conclusion. Than I'll ask what's the alternative, and you'll have trouble answering that. So then I formulate that alternative myself, one supportable and consistent all the way down, with the materialist project.

The only hope of you ever even recognizing my point, would be deconstructing every piece of your worldview. Taking that abstract picture of reality that you have in your head, and pulling out the seams. If I fail to do that, then you’ll never get the point. Your picture of the world is just a distorted version of a true one. But to even begin to see the truth, you’d had to recognize the lie you rest your life upon.

Quote:
(24-09-2015 08:59 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Does pretty much all brains, constructed of neurons, want truth?

Does it matter?

Sure, it does.

"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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24-09-2015, 01:41 PM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
duplicate post

"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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24-09-2015, 01:52 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2015 02:00 PM by Unbeliever.)
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(24-09-2015 01:10 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  We are not back to bare assertion. We are left with the fact that you will in no way make a definitive statement as to whether rape is wrong (and murder, adultery, etc.) as opposed to making dismissive "I guess sometimes, for some people, rape might be wrong" statements.

I have already told you my stance on the subject multiple times. It is quite straightforward. At this point, I am fairly certain that you are just being deliberately obtuse to avoid actually having to respond to the points raised.

Rape is not objectively wrong, because "objectively wrong" is a nonsense phrase in the context of morality. I think it is wrong. I might even go so far as to say that it is wrong in every situation. But my opinion is not objective fact.

This is not complicated.

(24-09-2015 01:28 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  We don’t say the chemicals in our brain, produced a mind, particularly if your don’t subscribe to some sort of dualism here. The mind is the brain.

No. The mind is what the brain does.

The distinction is critical, and the fact that you fail to understand it is quite likely at the root of your confusion. I say "quite likely", however, because, once again, most of your post is an incoherent ramble with no actual point to it, so it's hard to tell.

(24-09-2015 01:28 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  But perhaps the sort of thing you mean by the mind, is that thing we refer to as “I”. That first person perspective. But that’s just an illusion.

No, it isn't.

(24-09-2015 01:28 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  You may try to appeal to emergence, just like other people might appeal to property dualism, and others might appeal to cartesian dualism, just to avoid giving up that illusion, that you cherish so much. None of them work, whether you like it or not.

None of this is an "appeal" to anything. It is, quite simply, pointing out to you that your arguments are worthless caricatures of actual materialist positions.

Materialism does not posit that consciousness is an illusion or that things like desire do not exist. If it did, it would be demonstrably false. Rather, it posits that these things are material in nature - and, yes, emergent behaviors fall under this heading, whether you like it or not. Again, I point you to the rules of economics; it is technically possible to reduce these to the laws of physics, but it is practically useless to do so.

If you prefer another example, we have the entire field of fluid mechanics. It is an entirely physical field of study, and is thus technically reducible to the basic laws of physics - but doing so is useless, and it's much easier to handle using its specialized theories and rules.

And, again, we have computers. Computers are entirely physical, and everything that they do is just the natural consequence of the laws of physics on certain systems. They accept inputs and process them, nothing more. Yet they compute.

The human brain is entirely physical. Everything that it does is just the natural consequence of the laws of physics on certain systems. It accepts inputs and processes them, nothing more. Yet it thinks, and desires, and, yes, is perfectly capable of desiring truth.

You really don't seem to have any argument against this, except to say that "nuh uh, that can't happen if everything is entirely physical" without ever bothering to establish why it can't, and then attempting to equate emergent properties to dualism because you don't understand what either of those terms mean.

It's not particularly convincing.

(24-09-2015 01:28 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The only hope of you ever even recognizing my point, would be deconstructing every piece of your worldview. Taking that abstract picture of reality that you have in your head, and pulling out the seams. If I fail to do that, then you’ll never get the point. Your picture of the world is just a distorted version of a true one. But to even begin to see the truth, you’d had to recognize the lie you rest your life upon.

Ah. So you don't have one, then, and are simply determined to run the conversation around in circles for the sake of stroking your overblown ego.

Wonderful. At least we're all clear on the fact that this is a complete waste of time.

"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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24-09-2015, 02:17 PM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(24-09-2015 01:52 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  No. The mind is what the brain does.

Analogous here to the relationship between the software and hardware of a computer?

Quote:Materialism does not posit that consciousness is an illusion or that things like desire do not exist.

The illusion is not consciousness. The illusions is a belief that consciousness is a driver, rather than a passenger. Do you agree it’s a passenger here?

Quote:or that things like desire do not exist.

Of course desires exist, just like feeling like love, hate, disgust exist.

The question is when you say you have desire for truth, where did it come from? Where you born with it? Like the desire to know who your parents are? Was it a manufactured desire, the sort of like our desires for a pair of Jordans?

Quote:Ah. So you don't have one, then,

Except the one we’ve been arguing over the last several post.

"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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24-09-2015, 02:24 PM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(24-09-2015 02:17 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Analogous here to the relationship between the software and hardware of a computer?

Essentially.

(24-09-2015 02:17 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The illusion is not consciousness. The illusions is a belief that consciousness is a driver, rather than a passenger. Do you agree it’s a passenger here?

In many ways, yes, but the brain is not so simple as that. Much of what people think of as conscious decision-making is done subconsciously, it's true, but conscious reasoning does have several points in the cycle where it is capable of stepping in and overriding things. That is, in fact, what many hypothesize as its entire purpose from an evolutionary standpoint. The ability to put the brakes on instinct can come in very handy.

So, essentially, you need to set clear criteria for what you mean by "passenger" before anyone can give a definitive answer.

(24-09-2015 02:17 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The question is when you say you have desire for truth, where did it come from? Where you born with it? Like the desire to know who your parents are? Was it a manufactured desire, the sort of like our desires for a pair of Jordans?

Does it matter?

And, because you missed the point last time that I asked this question, the answer is "no". It could have come from any one of those. It could have come, in part, from every one. It doesn't matter, because no answer changes the fact that it is perfectly accounted for from a materialist standpoint.

(24-09-2015 02:17 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:Ah. So you don't have one, then,

Except the one we’ve been arguing over the last several post.

We haven't been arguing over anything for the past few posts. I've just been pointing out your failure to understand the terms in play, the incoherence of your "arguments", and trying to get an actual explanation out of you.

But you're determined to run this in circles rather than to just come out and present a point.

"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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