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  1. #91
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    First you fell back on the old "separate providences" argument. When I countered that, you moved on to questioning the role of ration in the scientific endeavor. When I countered that, you moved on to questioning my definition of science.

    Parry, parry, parry, never taking a stance.

    Now you resort to splitting semantic hairs. (A tactic I can't help but note that ENTPs seemingly universally share a fondness for.)

    I'm satisfied with my definition. Those who will take it will take it, those who will leave it will leave it.
    Basically what I get from this post is that you realize that your definition is inferior, but you are unwilling to change because it would invalidate the "34 unconvincing arguments". However this whole discussion has proved my original point which is that a rational debate on this topic is usually impossible, because the two sides don't even agree on common assumptions (or in this case a common definition). This is why the "34 arguements" are only convincing to people who are already athiest. Both sides cannot even agree upon a common starting point.

    In regards to your straw man about me never taking a position, this can clearly be shown to be false. I have said repeatedly that science is dependent upon data. Therefore data (or empiricism or a similar idea) should be included in any relevant definition of science. What you call "splitting hairs", I would call actually trying to get a precise working definition. A reasonable definition is not something that simply feels good. It should precisely define what something is in reality, rather than what something is in an ivory tower ideal.
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  2. #92
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This is why the "34 arguements" are only convincing to people who are already athiest.
    Well, I will readily concede that, yes, only people who form their beliefs upon the basis of objective, quantifiable evidence will be inclined to buy into arguments based on objective, quantifiable evidence.

    So your definition of an atheist is someone who forms the basis of his beliefs upon objective evidence alone? I can live with that label.

    In regards to your straw man about me never taking a position, this can clearly be shown to be false. I have said repeatedly that science is dependent upon data. Therefore data (or empiricism or a similar idea) should be included in any relevant definition of science.
    How is it you believe I've not done that?

    Edit: I'll also just come right out and point out that we are more or less arguing Ti versus Te at this point. As a Te user, the notion that "data" can be separated from rational thought is... abstract. I've refrained from bringing this up because, while I have a certain respect for you as a "sparring partner", it seemed all but inevitable that doing so would lead to someone availing him or herself of the opportunity to launch into another "poverty of extraverted thinking" digression.

    What you call "splitting hairs", I would call actually trying to get a precise working definition. A reasonable definition is not something that simply feels good. It should precisely define what something is in reality, rather than what something is in an ivory tower ideal.
    "Words" are nothings. I'm not interested in trying to find the most "correct" combination of throat-and-mouth noises.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

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  3. #93
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Well, I will readily concede that, yes, only people who form their beliefs upon the basis of objective, quantifiable evidence will be inclined to buy into arguments based on objective, quantifiable evidence.

    So your definition of an atheist is someone who forms the basis of his beliefs upon objective evidence alone? I can live with that label.
    Well now you've stumbled upon the meat (whether you realize it or not). For example my natural preference is actually to draw conclusions using formal logic rather than quantifiable evidence. On the other hand I also realize that in the context of science conclusions drawn from objective evidence is the most appropriate method. However logic is the most appropriate tool for drawing conclusions in the context of pure mathematics or philosophy. Anecdotal evidence is not appropriate in any of these contexts, and yet it is most important in the context of a courtroom.

    In short I would say that the method of drawing conclusions depends on the context of what you are doing. A fair amount of athiests try to treat everything like it's science. I would say, "No, only science should be treated like science." There is a saying that goes, "when your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail". A problem I see with "science athiests" is that they seem to have only one tool and, they try to apply it to everything even though it is often inappropriate based on the context.

    How is it you believe I've not done that?

    Edit: I'll also just come right out and point out that we are more or less arguing Ti versus Te at this point. As a Te user, the notion that "data" can be separated from rational thought is... abstract. I've refrained from bringing this up because, while I have a certain respect for you as a "sparring partner", it seemed all but inevitable that doing so would lead to someone availing him or herself of the opportunity to launch into another "poverty of extraverted thinking" digression.
    I think this is a valid point, and I'll leave it at that. It's obvious that we process things differently, so a fair amount of this discussion is merely misunderstanding the other person's perspective.
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  4. #94
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    All that really means is that in this realm, we are dependent on our physical brains to receive input from the physical world, and run our physical bodies (i.e. involuntarily).
    What it really means is we cannot directly perceive the influence of the vast network of interconnected neurons. If you study artificial neural networks you get an appreciation for how amazing the brain is. An ANN can be trained to do something like facial recognition with a very small network of neurons. I use the ANN example because it is directly modeled on the brain, but Statistical Kernel methods are much more effective.

    What I'm saying is if you remove the physical tissue, you still need some way to encode the information. Your talk of "physical realms" seems to indicate you are too caught up on Star Trek. Let go. Star Trek died with DS9. There is still some hope for the movies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    It also receives commands to either think, or to move our bodies. What is giving it these commands? If it gets back into that "well, there might not really be free will or consciousness" suggestion, then we are back to the last question posed, about life being imaginary.
    Encoded in the massive interconnected network of neurons. Consciousness is the software, the brain is the hardware. Maybe someday someone will figure out how to get the human brain running Linux or the future equivalent. That would be awesome.

  5. #95
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    It's not based on Star Trek, but was supported by superstring theory (at one point; now they're not talking abut it as much anymore). But then many scientists slam that as hard as they do Intelligent Design (saying it's so far out there because of lack of testability; "it's not even wrong!" The tests would come with bigger particle accelerators).

    Still, if consciousness is the software; where does it come from? Or, how does it translate to what we call an "individual"? If we mix up the code, then is an individual's consciousness spread around and inhabiting a body with another, simultaneously?
    APS Profile: Inclusion: e/w=1/6 (Supine) |Control: e/w=7/3 (Choleric) |Affection: e/w=1/9 (Supine)
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  6. #96
    THREADKILLER Prototype's Avatar
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    If you want to prove that "God" exists then you need to have an unconditional understanding,... without having that, you couldn't comprehend the existence of a higher force in the first place... First we would need to prove if we really do exist,... On a universal perspective, and not just in a human one. Succeed at that before we can imagine a higher force.
    ... They say that knowledge is free, and to truly acquire wisdom always comes with a price... Well then,... That will be $10, please!

  7. #97
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demigod View Post
    If you want to prove that "God" exists then you need to have an unconditional understanding,... without having that, you couldn't comprehend the existence of a higher force in the first place... First we would need to prove if we really do exist,... On a universal perspective, and not just in a human one. Succeed at that before we can imagine a higher force.
    I think, therefore I am. Regardless of whether our consciousness are individual identities or part of one big thing, we can safely say we exist. To define what exactly is consciousness, humanity and higher powers though is a different issue. There is no solution as of this point.

    I forgotten where I've read it from... but a theorist envisioned consciousness and cognition to be like a hologram. There are no "memories" stored... there's just the whole. And the individual details "recalled" are synthesized on the fly. Therefore consciousness is not an object, but a process. The self-awared thermostat which turns itself on or off depending on its monitored state. The act of self-regulation is consciousness.

  8. #98
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    I like the consciousness as a process theory, but I don't agree that we don't store memories. Clearly we do, and our memories are often activated in response to some stimulus which would seem to support this consciousness as a process theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demigod View Post
    If you want to prove that "God" exists then you need to have an unconditional understanding,... without having that, you couldn't comprehend the existence of a higher force in the first place... First we would need to prove if we really do exist,... On a universal perspective, and not just in a human one. Succeed at that before we can imagine a higher force.
    Depends how you define God. Personally I tend to define God as representing the unknown. In that sense God does exist since we can know with 100% certainty that we don't know a lot of things. I don't believe anyone on earth has any clue what that unknown actually is. For that reason I don't like the term God. It implies something defined in terms of our limited existence, and possibly even in terms of our limited range of perception.

  9. #99
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    why would we even have a thread about this? What's one person's oppinion going to have on another person? It's all internal, it's what YOU believe, and it's ridiculous to tell people that there is or isn't a god. Just keep it to yoursel, who cares who you tell..it doesn't mean anything at all.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  10. #100
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneWithSoul View Post
    why would we even have a thread about this? What's one person's oppinion going to have on another person? It's all internal, it's what YOU believe, and it's ridiculous to tell people that there is or isn't a god. Just keep it to yoursel, who cares who you tell..it doesn't mean anything at all.
    The OP was "WHY are people so keen on this discussion despite the lack of concrete support either for or against the existence of god?" Then it drifted off into other things.

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