Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
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06-01-2015, 12:59 AM
Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Brownshirt has kindly agreed to meet me in this venue for an enlightening game of Q & A.

The rules are simple:
  • I will ask a single question. Brownshirt will answer.
  • Then Brownshirt will ask a single question and I will answer.
  • Any and every topic is fair game.
  • "I don't know," "I can't answer that," and similar replies are acceptable. "I would rather not say," is also acceptable but a good reason should be given.
  • Play continues until one of us is satisfied, bored, banned, hospitalized or otherwise indisposed.
  • Neither player shall make any statement regarding the other player's replies until the final round.
  • Once a player has decided that enough questions have been asked and answered they may take the final round to summarize any flaws in the other player's responses. The other player will then have a similar opportunity.
Do you understand and accept these rules Brownshirt?

Kudos to Mathilda for her pioneering work with this format.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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06-01-2015, 02:11 AM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Yep let's go.
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06-01-2015, 02:31 AM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Thank you.

This first question is longish but I dislike making assumptions and a backgrounder should help with that. I'll try and keep the the ones that follower shorter.

Q1: Could you give us a brief outline of your background?

And as it seems only fair that I do likewise:

Born (1972) and raised in Nova Scotia. Both parents were school teachers. Dad's an atheist, mom's a liberal Christian (UCC). Grandparents were all lapsed Christians of one variety or another. I went to church as a kid but my beliefs in god never matured much beyond my beliefs in Santa Claus. I got out in my teens when it came time to be Confirmed in the church. I'm tickled whenever a fundie suggests that I must be an atheist because of a bad experience that I had in church. I sang in the choir, went to church camp and joined the youth group. Church accounts for some of my fondest memories of my early years.

I have a rather disgraceful BSc in Biology, a more reputable BSc and MSc in Geology and some PhD work that I never finished. I'm a hard rock geologist with talents in mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry and geochronology. If you think that diamonds are forever then you've never dated a zircon. I am a mineral exploration geologist. We're the lucky people they send to get bitten to bug shit and determine if there's enough metal in the ground to make a mine feasible.

I am married. We don't have children yet. We have a beagle named Darwin. My hobbies include hiking, biking, camping, geocaching, some dabbling in astronomy and raising carnivorous plants.

I am an agnostic atheist, a scientist and an enormous geek.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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06-01-2015, 11:29 AM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Please be aware this debate is between Paleophyte and Brownshirt only. If you wish to comment please feel free to begin a companion thread in a different section. All other remarks will be deleted.

Thank you for your attention,
Moms


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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06-01-2015, 05:59 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2015 06:08 PM by Brownshirt.)
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Ok, brought up in a non-religious homes by two non practicing catholics. Was an atheist until the age of 25, but as getting older and thinking critically about my decision i became an agnostic.

One point of note is i live in a fairly secular country.

I will omit other details about myself possibly due to the lack of warmth directed towards me.

Wink
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06-01-2015, 06:53 PM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Fair enough. Your question.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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06-01-2015, 07:14 PM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Do you think philosophical naturalism can be validated, and if so why?
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06-01-2015, 08:00 PM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
(06-01-2015 07:14 PM)Brownshirt Wrote:  Do you think philosophical naturalism can be validated, and if so why?

I hope you'll excuse me but I dropped out of that thread around page 6. Would Metaphysical Naturalism be what you are asking about? If not, fire me a link.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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06-01-2015, 08:44 PM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Page 6? you crazy.

Yes that link is good for me
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06-01-2015, 10:44 PM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
I suspect that we should have worked up to this more gradually. It seems an awfully large chunk to bite off all in one go.

(06-01-2015 07:14 PM)Brownshirt Wrote:  Do you think philosophical naturalism can be validated, and if so why?

Maybe.

Philosophical naturalism basically says that nature is all that is. A single instance of the supernatural would prove this false. Like the scientific theories it is so closely related to, philosophical naturalism is falsifiable, not provable. In this instance my answer would have to be "No".

However...

In trying to answer this question I have come across the following statement in a few different locations.

Quote:With neoplatonic and medieval scholastic origins, the metaphysical considerations can be difficult to approach as an exercise in philosophy or theology because any dependencies on its antithesis, the natural, will ultimately have to be inverted or rejected.

I've been unable to get any further with this and as I'm not a philosopher, much less a metaphysician (metaphysicist? metaphysic?), I won't pretend to understand the finer nuances. I suspect that 'rejecting or inverting' the natural could cause Problems.

If the natural and the supernatural cannot coexist, and since we've pretty conclusively demonstrated some of the natural does exist then philosophical naturalism would be shown to be true and my answer would have to be "Yes".

As I said, we probably ought to have worked up to this.

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Q3: Why do you feel that the term "atheist" does not apply to you when "agnostic atheist" appears to be an accurate description?

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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