Rational Thought
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02-04-2016, 05:44 PM
RE: Rational Thought
DerFish

Of course, you may not have a brain at all. You might be a blue ten-tentacled being with a cortical sac of fluid, plugged into a computer somewhere.
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02-04-2016, 05:46 PM
RE: Rational Thought
ClydeLee

Yes, I presumed you didn't believe you operated on faith. Mea culpa, and apologies for the assumption. I'm not convinced I made any other presumptuous claims though?
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02-04-2016, 05:54 PM
RE: Rational Thought
Actually the thing I found pressumptious in that was that you claim only you "accept it" in the way you phrased things. Where I wouldn't use the word faith, the intended idea of the comment if meant kindly isn't far off.

(02-04-2016 05:35 PM)diversesynergy Wrote:  ClydeLee. Maybe no-one here is a thinking atheist, I just came here with the hope of getting a logical answer to what is a bit of a paradox of a question.

I actually genuinely came here with goodwill to begin with, but no-one has been particularly welcoming (as in genuinely, rather than sarcastically) and I feel a bit set upon to be honest. I would have more respect if just one person had said "yeah, great question - I don't know the answer, it is a logical problem that you have to rely on your own brain to interpret this universe. Thanks for kicking off an interesting debate, I hold a different worldview to you but I can respect we are both searching for meanings and answers in this universe." That would at least have been scientifically authentic, not to mention respectful.

If atheism is supposedly the shining beacon for "tolerance", in a world supposedly made so "intolerant" by religion, then some of the posters on these forums are far from paragons of that vision.

Well the problem here is still a lot of presumptions being thrown out on your end instead of just open kindness as well. Such as, I wouldn't say such a thing especially since, I am not searching for meanings and answers in this universe...

You're coming out with points acting like one has to be searching for meaning & understanding. My whole point is no we don't. We might accept we don't know, accept its absurd, or just down right now care that we don't understand things to some uniformed efficiently laid out proclamation. Atheists don't have to be nor are all concerned at all about being scientifically authentic.

It's hard to be treated back with respect when right away you are literally making assumptions at people.

Also, plenty people think you may need to earn respect, not just given respect for showing up as a person. Even with just asking a question in the intro to a thread you kinda quickly stepped off on the wrong foot because of your wording, phrasing, and intent behind the words.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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02-04-2016, 05:55 PM
RE: Rational Thought
(02-04-2016 05:17 PM)diversesynergy Wrote:  Mathematics is a human approximation in any case, and yes of course you rely on your own brain to derive "meaning" out of mathematics.

Take something supposedly "simple" - like 2 + 2.

You'd say, 4 of course. But is it?

What makes "2" of something?

I will take this as a "yes" to the question of whether or not you believe mathematics is "self-referential".

And this is where your entire argument collapses into blithering meaninglessness.

You ask how anything can be rational if brains are the product of what is essentially a random process. You are answered by an explanation that rationality does not depend on the origins of the entity making a statement, but whether or not that statement follows the rules of logic.

You then ask how anything that is "stardust" can create anything rational or meaningful. You are answered by an explanation that, again, rationality is independent of the statement's origins, and that meaning is likewise independent so long as a formal system (that is, language) is defined.

You follow this up by demanding to know what the "benchmark" for defining logic is, and claiming that, since it is the brain, all logic is therefore circular. And so, apparently, is mathematics. You also go off on a rather irrelevant and nonsensical tangent regarding math and poorly-defined terms, but this is beside the point right now.

The point is that, again, you are wrong. The benchmark for defining "logical" is, as with defining mathematics, English, and any other operative language, semantics. It is a matter of creating coherent definitions. There is nothing circular about defining terms and then seeing if certain entities meet those definitions. The fact that humans are the ones both creating and using the definitions is irrelevant.

Now, you could (in theory) argue that the definitions in play within the system of formal logic are inadequate, that there is some sort of flaw that makes it a poor system for analyzing and thinking about the universe. But you have not done so thus far. You have attempted, instead, to try and reject semantics in its entirety.

That leads nowhere but solipsism. And there is a reason that no one takes solipsism seriously.

"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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02-04-2016, 05:57 PM
RE: Rational Thought
ClydeLee

I just apologised for my one assumption. You say I "keep making them" - could you give me examples of the others? And where I have used loaded wording, phrasing and intent?

Maybe it is something I can work on. I appreciate the feedback.
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02-04-2016, 05:57 PM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2016 06:00 PM by jennybee.)
RE: Rational Thought
(02-04-2016 05:39 PM)diversesynergy Wrote:  Jennybee

Give me something you consider you have concrete "evidence" of. Say your brain is really plugged into a computer mainframe somewhere (a la "The Matrix") - or your consciousness was just a projection and you're actually an entirely different being in an entirely different dimension (a la "Avatar"). How would you know?

Welcome to TTA, btw. I wasn't sure you were a newbie because I didn't see an intro post or I would have welcomed you sooner.

Moving on to my response: You're right, we wouldn't know for sure. I agree with you there. The possibilities are endless. What if it's like the Matrix or Avatar? What if we were put here by an alien species to be harvested later on for organs? Wink There are lots of what ifs that we could talk about and ponder all day. I love thinking about questions like these for fun. However, at the end of the day, all we can do is the best we can to assess "truth."

If there is a magical being who created us: where is he? Why has he not provided us (other than via some ancient writings) evidence for his existence? Why so many different religions and gods and goddesses--which one is the right one? How would we know for sure if none are providing us with any evidence other than some handed down stories and the written word?

Why if God exists did he create us to be rational, logical beings and yet do everything in his power to hide his existence? I'm sorry but just have faith isn't a good enough answer.

Now we turn to science which has provided us with evidence for a great many things. Things we can analyze, test, and retest.

I have a really good video that showcases an example of evolution and why divine creation is not a good enough answer. I will post it for you when I get home as I am on my phone now. I do have to let you know ahead of time that it does involve the scientific dissection of an animal and it is a bit graphic.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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02-04-2016, 06:01 PM
RE: Rational Thought
Unbeliever

In my experience, those who demand empirical evidence to believe something are the only one's who don't take solipsism seriously - and it is because their entire worldview implodes with the fact that you cannot prove that you can trust your own brain/senses.

This is not semantics, it is a logical fact. All of your supposed "mathematics" and "logic" hinges on the assumption you are really here on Earth, and you can really count things, and that there really is such a thing as gravity etc.
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02-04-2016, 06:08 PM
RE: Rational Thought
(02-04-2016 05:42 PM)diversesynergy Wrote:  DerFish

See my post to Jennybee. If you were plugged into the Matrix, and a computer is stimulating your brain to believe you are here on Earth feeling the sun's heat. How would you know? Where is your evidence you can trust your brain/senses?

You should be aware that crazy people come here every once in a while with all manner of blather. You are not the first to speculate 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin', nor on the wisdom of 'I drink therefore I am' ( or what the hell ever it was.) Of course God made the universe and the multiverse and even he next million dimensions after that. I know because My brother said so, and he is an ordained minster! (or Minstrel, or monster or some such.)
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02-04-2016, 06:12 PM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2016 06:19 PM by ClydeLee.)
RE: Rational Thought
(02-04-2016 05:42 PM)diversesynergy Wrote:  DerFish

See my post to Jennybee. If you were plugged into the Matrix, and a computer is stimulating your brain to believe you are here on Earth feeling the sun's heat. How would you know? Where is your evidence you can trust your brain/senses?

Does that make that any less the sun though? Even if it's a simulation? If it is a simulation it does not impede you from being somewhat aware of it's very hotness.

This idea you added later that, "All of your supposed "mathematics" and "logic" hinges on the assumption you are really here on Earth, and you can really count things, and that there really is such a thing as gravity etc." isn't really valid at all. It doesn't hinge on us really being here on Earth.

Even if we are all in a shared simulation, we still may share that same simulation and it would still be the order and ways that are to the best of our examination of evidences. If it weren't real, doesn't really alter much of anything at all actually.

These ideas like the arguments hinge on these details or one would expect someone here to be scientifically authentic, asking why one thinks their "premise" gives meaning or rationality to the world(which presumes they have a premise that does) it's just a few things like that an use of phasing like random that led a rugged path. It just seems you came here with this view of logging the atheists you thought you would encounter here, and some may represent that, but certainly not all. Not all think they have to or can twist everything into a scientifically understood claim.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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02-04-2016, 06:16 PM
RE: Rational Thought
(02-04-2016 03:52 PM)diversesynergy Wrote:  Can someone talk me through the logic of this one please?

Say you conclude based on the available evidence that the universe "just exists", or somehow self-created itself or whatever, and that humanity is just a random by-product of a random chain of events within that universe, and ergo all of our brains are yet a further random by-product.

Could you ever truly declare that you had "rationally" arrived at that as a conclusion? Because surely such an argument is self-imploding, is it not?

If your very premise is that your own brain is ultimately just a random by-product, then how can you declare that anything you have concluded with your own brain is rational at all?

Evolution is not random. Your question lacks any basis.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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