Need help with suspected New Age wooer
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11-09-2017, 04:06 AM
RE: Need help with suspected New Age wooer
Apologies, DLJ, I should have written it was my first thread- not my first post. Thank you for the links.
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11-09-2017, 04:08 AM
RE: Need help with suspected New Age wooer
Apologies, DLJ - I should have written "first thread", not "first post". Thank you for the links.
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11-09-2017, 04:28 AM
RE: Need help with suspected New Age wooer
(11-09-2017 03:50 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(11-09-2017 01:20 AM)Sushisnake Wrote:  ...
His first premise was: "Firstly, the ability to distinguish truth from falsehood is not necessary for survival"
...

His first premise is correct. Yes

(11-09-2017 01:20 AM)Sushisnake Wrote:  ...
he goes on to argue consciousness couldn't have evolved, it had to come from somewhere else
...

Argument from ignorance.

Consciousness is your self-monitoring systems's self-monitoring system and is a Virtual Machine.

To understand how this system software can have evolved have a look at Dan Dennett's register machine.


(11-09-2017 01:20 AM)Sushisnake Wrote:  ...
This is my first post, so I hope the forum community will help me out.

No it isn't. This is. It's your fourth post.

Apologies, DLJ. I should have said "thread", not "post". Thank you for the links.

Please ignore the two other posts where I've thanked you. The android window didn't offer a reply button and I've just switched to Firefox. I tried to delete the other two posts, but computer said no permission.
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11-09-2017, 04:43 AM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2017 04:50 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Need help with suspected New Age wooer
(11-09-2017 01:20 AM)Sushisnake Wrote:  His first premise was: "Firstly, the ability to distinguish truth from falsehood is not necessary for survival" and he goes on to argue consciousness couldn't have evolved, it had to come from somewhere else ( cue Quantum woo/ Consciousness of The Universe- insert your favourite New Age cosmic supernatural force or deity explanation here).

The first premise is correct. The success of millions of different unintelligent species is the evidence. However, the ability to distinguish truth from falsehood is now necessary for mankind's survival, since we have extended our powers.

As I see it, the consciousness confusion is a definitional issue. If consciousness is a being, like a soul, then evolution can't explain it. However, there's no reason to consider consciousness a being. All you need for consciousness is a physical body with a brain and a self-concept, which is an abstraction reified by the soul theory. The soul theory is overly complicated (requiring another level to reality), and unsupported by the evidence for the dependence of the mind on the brain -- studies about drugs, sleep and dreaming, brain injuries, dementia, brain growth and function and so on. The body is what is conscious, so the body is the real self, not consciousness.
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11-09-2017, 05:09 AM
RE: Need help with suspected New Age wooer
(11-09-2017 04:43 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(11-09-2017 01:20 AM)Sushisnake Wrote:  His first premise was: "Firstly, the ability to distinguish truth from falsehood is not necessary for survival" and he goes on to argue consciousness couldn't have evolved, it had to come from somewhere else ( cue Quantum woo/ Consciousness of The Universe- insert your favourite New Age cosmic supernatural force or deity explanation here).

The first premise is correct. The success of millions of different unintelligent species is the evidence. However, the ability to distinguish truth from falsehood is now necessary for mankind's survival, since we have extended our powers.

As I see it, the consciousness confusion is a definitional issue. If consciousness is a being, like a soul, then evolution can't explain it. However, there's no reason to consider consciousness a being. All you need for consciousness is a physical body with a brain and a self-concept, which is an abstraction reified by the soul theory. The soul theory is overly complicated (requiring another level to reality), and unsupported by the evidence for the dependence of the mind on the brain -- studies about drugs, sleep and dreaming, brain injuries, dementia, brain growth and function and so on. The body is what is conscious, so the body is the real self, not consciousness.

Thank you Thoreauvian. As soon as I read DLJ's first line, it clicked: of course you don’t need to distinguish truth/fiction to survive, because sea sponges. You don't even need consciousness, because sea sponges. But that doesn't mean you need a supernatural force for these abilities either, because virtual machines. And I read a little Steven Pinker about neuroscientists provoking out of body consciousness experiences in subjects.

Thank you so much for sending me up this learning curve, guys.

And now I can go back to the guy I was arguing with and apologise for my error and point out he's arguing from ignorance- god of the gaps stuff. Maybe after I check into what the sources he's quote mining actually have to say about godless consciousness first.
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11-09-2017, 05:41 AM
RE: Need help with suspected New Age wooer
I think there should be a group like AA where people deal with the problem of compulsively debating theists. (Or new age'ers)
After having seen how that goes I feel no need at all the engage with them. Zero.
Gotta say I feel much better.

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11-09-2017, 05:56 AM
RE: Need help with suspected New Age wooer
(11-09-2017 05:41 AM)BikerDude Wrote:  I think there should be a group like AA where people deal with the problem of compulsively debating theists. (Or new age'ers)
After having seen how that goes I feel no need at all the engage with them.

You could accurately consider me an ex-theistic wooer. Go back 20 years, and I was arguing the opposite side of the consciousness question.

So there is hope for some of us. It just takes time.
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11-09-2017, 06:04 AM
RE: Need help with suspected New Age wooer
(11-09-2017 05:41 AM)BikerDude Wrote:  I think there should be a group like AA where people deal with the problem of compulsively debating theists. (Or new age'ers)
After having seen how that goes I feel no need at all the engage with them. Zero.
Gotta say I feel much better.

I don't see any harm in
1. Learning how to debate
2. Learning the opposing arguments to inspire and further your own learning.

I've just been set on the path to learn about the evolution of consciousness because of a theist. I'm currently reading a book about the evolution of birdsong following a book about the evolution of birds, period, again thanks to a theist.

I suppose it comes down to what you're debating for: if you're in it to win or in it to learn.
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11-09-2017, 06:13 AM
RE: Need help with suspected New Age wooer
I see debating theists as a public service. Exposing the clown behind the curtain, ideally. Although some of them a slippery bastards.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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11-09-2017, 06:20 AM
RE: Need help with suspected New Age wooer
(11-09-2017 06:04 AM)Sushisnake Wrote:  
(11-09-2017 05:41 AM)BikerDude Wrote:  I think there should be a group like AA where people deal with the problem of compulsively debating theists. (Or new age'ers)
After having seen how that goes I feel no need at all the engage with them. Zero.
Gotta say I feel much better.

I don't see any harm in
1. Learning how to debate
2. Learning the opposing arguments to inspire and further your own learning.

I've just been set on the path to learn about the evolution of consciousness because of a theist. I'm currently reading a book about the evolution of birdsong following a book about the evolution of birds, period, again thanks to a theist.

I suppose it comes down to what you're debating for: if you're in it to win or in it to learn.

Obviously not.
Good luck with that.
Personally at this point I find the whole topic a sure fire bummer and I'm not interested in expending the energy because I'm content to let people be idiots.
There is a never ending supply. It seems a useless expense of energy and I'd rather relax.

But in the vein I give you Richard Dawkins' speech at TED Talks about "Militant Atheism".

https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_dawkin...anguage=en

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