I Like the Atheist Life (OT)

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Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Oct 14, 2012 - 01:49pm PT
I hear what you're sayin' and respect your sort of perspective.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 14, 2012 - 03:53pm PT
Oh boy,

The question would be, Where to start?

The time, energy and interest are not infinite. :(

.....

But here's just one, re: what the materialists supposedly believe...
reality is fundamentally a material machine - with random and chaotic elements tossed in for "flavah," - but entirely "knowable" and quantifiable, and predictable.

No. This supposition is incorrect. At best, it is a gross approx or caricature. As usual.

.....

How's this for one variation... For starters, it is an idea.

Everything in our observable Cosmos is entirely caused (link: causation, causal dynamics) in terms of energy structures and forms some of which manifest in ways our evolved brains perceive or recognize as material.

Secondly, it is an "idea" (a) supported by science and (b) worthy of support - and defending - for getting on in our lives.

Some of those who support this idea, find it useful, astonishing, etc, - yes, like me - might identify with such appellations as... causalist, causal dynamicist, mechanist, physicalist, mechanistic naturalist, mechanistic evolutionist, etc. ( Which beats having no identification at all.)

Today, Felix Baumgartner successfully jumped from 130k feet, broke world records and pushed the proverbial envelope. The whole effort by Felix and his RedBull team succeeded because of their commitment in space and time to this idea.

Causality (aka causal dynamics or causal mechanics) rules. Get with it. It's the source. It rocks. :)

Maybe most importantly, at least for some discussions, we humans are a constituent part of nature and not "above the law" of these causal dynamics - e.g, in the ways many a traditional Abrahamic theist (whether a Frank Graham or a Taliban militant serving his warrior God) has believed for centuries upons centuries.

Now of course if you don't like it, or this declaration, you don't have to accept it. Of course you don't. Not as an idea. Not as a model. Not as a mode or norm of thinking. ( But, p.s., you'd be smart if you did.)

So what's useful here, where's the practical import? A commitment to this idea, for example could be helpful in contributing to a mode (or model) of thought in opposing this "dork" if you're a citizen with a mind to.

"Lies straight from the pit of hell," huh?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rikEWuBrkHc

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Broun



FYI: He's on the the House Science committee. (Yeah, you read it right.)

So people are liars or simpletons (or maybe just disinterested apathetic ninnies) who say beliefs concerning how the world works don't matter; or beliefs concerning how life works don't matter. To lives. To the health of democracies. To human performance.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Oct 14, 2012 - 03:56pm PT
The time, energy and interest is not infinite. :(

especially not on a Sunday afternoon with all the NFL games on the tube
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 14, 2012 - 04:11pm PT
Largo,

Here's an example of what I mean. Maybe you really understand biological evolution, and maybe you don't. The "laws" or component parts of evolution are fairly simple. They are things like survive, reproduce, get bombarded by cosmic rays that very occasionally change a bit of DNA which is usually a bad thing but sometimes is a good thing. When it's the good thing, it is typically because it confers either some better way to survive or something that gives YOU that extra something (say, with the ladies) so that the genes in your DNA preferentially survive. That's it. All of these parts are fundamentally mechanical (I much prefer the word, natural).

But from this simple natural model, the whole tree of life has come forth. Trillions of species and (I'm, guessing quintiillions of individual lives). There are all sorts of interesting things that we have found out about this. Things like that eyes and wings have evolved separately many times. There is nothing magical that needs to be invoked to explain these processes.

Consciousness is clearly part of this whole thing, and you probably never had a dog if you think it is exclusively in the realm of humans. I'm a geologist, not a neuroscientist, although I read books on all facets of science. The theory of evolution perfectly explains why we have "more consciousness" than dogs. How consiousness arises is a super-interesting scientific problem whose ultimate solution will not involve navel-gazing philosophy. It will turn out to be entirely consistent with the edifice of scientific knowledge and human understanding that came before it.

Edit: To answer your question about what it is you don't understand. It's this. Novel and complex things can seemingly come out of nowhere even with a "mechanistic" starting point. That's what you underestimate, IMO.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 14, 2012 - 05:45pm PT
a super-interesting scientific problem

Splitting hairs here (why preach to the choir? boring) but if the problem of consciousness is solved someday... I think it will be in the context of...

a super-interesting analytical bioengineering problem... and it will be solved at the hands of analytical bioengineering wonks. :)

We are each of us...
 a multitude (of cells), Sagan
 an analytical bioengineering marvel, hfcs.

Even this praying mantis outside my window right now eating a cricket bite by bite is a bioengineering marvel in its own style, lol.

.....

P.S. "underestimate" is an appropriate word, here, I think.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 14, 2012 - 06:14pm PT
The fact is, Dennett, Dawkins, Pinker and all the rest share a common view on causation providing a mechanistic and materialistic take on reality. My point is not that they don't extrapolate out from there with all manner of examples and sorties here and there - into history, ethics, biology, law, politics, etc. - but rather their entire tottering inductive edifice is built on the belief that reality is fundamentally a material machine - with random and chaotic elements tossed in for "flavah," - but entirely "knowable" and quantifiable, and predictable.


I must've missed that last line in the paragraph above from Largo's previous post. Entirely knowable, quantifiable, and predictable? What are you talking about? That's not what most scientists believe, not stated like that (particularly the predictable part)! No wonder you're so off-base on this subject. I've got a new book for you to read, Chaos, by James Gleick.

And more than anything, don't call me CRAIG!
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Oct 14, 2012 - 07:06pm PT


Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 14, 2012 - 07:08pm PT
You guys are still whiffing on the pitch. I laid out a basic definition that serves as a supposition to all that follows. I quoted someone saying reality is knowable - and I'm told I don't understand. This is not a serious inquiry at all. Nor has anyone supplied a single instance in which the basic assumptions of physicalism are challenged in any way.

What's more, Fruity insists that those basic assumption are in fact a caricature of true physicalism, but offers no definitive explanation. I remember hearing the old rants served up by determinists - that the rest of us were too simplistic to understand the mind-boggling implications of how complicated and fantastic the machinery is that produces reality and experience; but ultimately we and reality itself are entirely dtermined by antecedent, mechanistic causes. Of course there are randomness and chaos theory and so forth, but the linchpin for all of this is something close to if the equal of classical determinism.

This is a major subject and there are many versions: causal determinism, fatalism, eco, psycho, linguistic, social, and even techo determinism. While the "single cause fallacy" has weakened the hegemony of determinism amongst honest thinkers, the crux for Dennett, and all the rest is devotion to cause-and-effect. That is, "events and entities within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object or event) is completely determined by prior states."

Note that there is no mention of randomness or chaos theory or freaky quantum events which might bring in something from left field, not part of the main flow. In determinism, these left field offerings would be just one more prior event which "creates" the present, so determinism is still up and running despite random and chaotic factors.

This is not a caricature, nor does it become something else when we add in real world complexity because the basic tenets just quoted are in fact the basic tenets.

Note how the discursive mind cannot possibly square free will with determinism. They are mutually exclusive ideas. But nobody lives out this belief in the real world because we know it is merely a thought and a theory, not a fact. We know that we cannot go out and steal a car and tell the judge our grand theft was entirely caused by factors beyond our control - nothwithstanding that we stole the red and not the beige model because we like red.

JL


Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Oct 14, 2012 - 07:14pm PT
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 14, 2012 - 07:17pm PT
Largo, my wife says you are excruciating to read. I couldn't have said it better.

Edit:
You guys are still whiffing on the pitch. I laid out a basic definition that serves as a supposition to all that follows.

Actually, pompous and excruciating fits the bill a little better.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Oct 14, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Oct 14, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
Largo, my wife says you are excruciating to read.
He's adequate on juvenile stuff like Close Calls.
But don't expect the Great American Novel.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 14, 2012 - 08:55pm PT
Malemute,

Very cool video selection today!
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 14, 2012 - 08:59pm PT
I concur about Malemute's videos. That video that Splitter found is also good.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 14, 2012 - 09:10pm PT
I liked Gleick's book when I read it as a non-physics grad student ('85?). So many of us wanted to use the theory to explain many things (e.g., innovation, entrepreneurship). It turned out that to really get it, you had to be able to do the math--which is way advanced. Nonlinear dynamics and chaos are seriously hard subjects.

I think that illustrates the same problem that dilettantes have reading in multiple fields of study. Broad but shallow sampling of topics doesn't really get a person anywhere. It seems one needs to chose a very few and then dig way down.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 14, 2012 - 09:49pm PT
Largo

Please forgive my friends here, for they know not what they do

I MEAN, They know what they do, just not why!

Jus Apologize'in
BB
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 14, 2012 - 09:51pm PT
So, um, remind me MikeL what your background is such that you are presumeably not a dilettente on these subjects? What a completely imbecilic thing to say.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 14, 2012 - 10:05pm PT
lol,

hey I thought we all had an understanding on these threads at the fire that I was to play the Bad Cop in this drama!

you ARE ornery this week! or at least playing out of character.

funny sh!t, carry on!
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 14, 2012 - 10:07pm PT
You know, it's like on Friday, I woke up punk.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 15, 2012 - 01:57pm PT

Are you being bad cop or good cop now?

Somebody said it best earlier;

When a foolish man is confronted he either gets angry or laughs.

Think about it; see if this pertains to you...

Jus Bumm'in
BB


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