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Thread: NTs and God

  1. #331
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Since what the nature of "consciousness" is so far from consensus as to render the term nearly meaningless, I'll address free will:
    You bring up some interesting points, Mycroft.

    "Free Will" is a fuzzy term for me.

    "Freedom" of thought suggests an ability to consciously adapt and translate incoming cognitive variables against an internal filtration system to arrive at an intimate impression of the world. This unique signature implies vast monitoring of one's complete psychological profile and, after this consideration, a thoughtful response to said external stimuli, without sacrificing native control over the ultimate decision --to-- the considered stimuli. Such a sequence offers the individual as an entity of absolute agency, to the extent that he is able to make decisions irrespective of external/intrinsic influence and arrive at a singularity that is inclusive of his fundamental wishes/demands.

    This doesn't seem feasible to me. Things like neurochemistry; subconscious motivational stimuli (one's emotional health; upbringing; culture; gender; etc...) seem too opaque a collection of instruments to meaningfully arrange into measured sound from what is otherwise an infinite cacophony of noisy, uncontrollable quantum banging.

    For my dime, Free Will is a way to describe the collective interchange between environment and physiology into the hands of the individual. A rubberstamp description of impossibly complex methodology.

  2. #332
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    You bring up some interesting points, Mycroft.

    "Free Will" is a fuzzy term for me.

    "Freedom" of thought suggests an ability to consciously adapt and translate incoming cognitive variables against an internal filtration system to arrive at an intimate impression of the world. This unique signature implies vast monitoring of one's complete psychological profile and, after this consideration, a thoughtful response to said external stimuli, without sacrificing native control over the ultimate decision --to-- the considered stimuli. Such a sequence offers the individual as an entity of absolute agency, to the extent that he is able to make decisions irrespective of external/intrinsic influence and arrive at a singularity that is inclusive of his fundamental wishes/demands. In short, his thoughts are never really his. Even if he believes them to be.

    This doesn't seem feasible to me. Things like neurochemistry; subconscious motivational stimuli (one's emotional health; upbringing; culture; gender; etc...) seem too opaque a collection of instruments to meaningfully arrange into measured sound from what is otherwise an infinite cacophony of noisy, uncontrollable quantum banging.

    For my dime, Free Will is a way to describe the collective interchange between environment and physiology into the hands of the individual. A rubberstamp description of impossibly complex methodology.
    See, I don't think it really needs to go that far. Just because I don't have complete control of the mechanisms and machinery that comprise thought and action, doesn't mean I am not able to employ whatever thoughts or actions my conscious mind desires. Now, if you're saying [and I did have a little difficulty reading your post] is that what my mind desires is not the result of my will, but by uncontrollable, inevitable stimuli, I suppose that is correct, but personally difficult for me to accept.



  3. #333
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    See, I don't think it really needs to go that far. Just because I don't have complete control of the mechanisms and machinery that comprise thought and action, doesn't mean I am not able to employ whatever thoughts or actions my conscious mind desires. Now, if you're saying [and I did have a little difficulty reading your post] is that what my mind desires is not the result of my will, but by uncontrollable, inevitable stimuli, I suppose that is correct, but personally difficult for me to accept.
    Well, then is it really accurate to label this process "free" if we are unable to directly choose what we wish to accept/reject?

    Perhaps "freedom" is a statement of awareness that we possess intellectual fog that impossibly obscures our ability to ever truly reason.

  4. #334
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Thanks for your answers, Mycroft and Dar(J)ur. 'scuse about that error.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  5. #335
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    You bring up some interesting points, Mycroft.

    "Free Will" is a fuzzy term for me.

    "Freedom" of thought suggests an ability to consciously adapt and translate incoming cognitive variables against an internal filtration system to arrive at an intimate impression of the world. This unique signature implies vast monitoring of one's complete psychological profile and, after this consideration, a thoughtful response to said external stimuli, without sacrificing native control over the ultimate decision --to-- the considered stimuli. Such a sequence offers the individual as an entity of absolute agency, to the extent that he is able to make decisions irrespective of external/intrinsic influence and arrive at a singularity that is inclusive of his fundamental wishes/demands.

    This doesn't seem feasible to me. Things like neurochemistry; subconscious motivational stimuli (one's emotional health; upbringing; culture; gender; etc...) seem too opaque a collection of instruments to meaningfully arrange into measured sound from what is otherwise an infinite cacophony of noisy, uncontrollable quantum banging.

    For my dime, Free Will is a way to describe the collective interchange between environment and physiology into the hands of the individual. A rubberstamp description of impossibly complex methodology.
    Very valid points. The complexity inherent to the cognitive system, as manifested succinctly, one might say, by the unconscious is indeed an important consideration when developing any sort of theory or model.

    I have personal theories, but none of these are fleshed-out to a degree that I would feel comfortable posting about them just yet.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  6. #336
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erudur View Post
    Mycroft, now you're being snarky again.

    And again you are assigning a moral high ground to your incomplete theory than to intelligent design theory. My argument is no more "from incredulity" than yours is.

    I can give you books. I'm not finding online articles that complete the circle well enough. But I'm guessing you aren't ready to spend coin on the subject yet.

    The incomplete theories are not the problem, its the theories with impossible gaps.

    On the article you posted. I am also not saying that the research doesn't demonstrate an increase in complexity and an addition of information, the article isn't detailed enough. But, reading between the lines, it doesn't look like it does. That is THE definitive step.
    Just forget about any theories we may subscribe to. They don't matter, they aren't relevant. What does matter, is the evidence in support of your theory. It isn't a direct competition. It's not like boxing where evidence for one theory is equivalent to a punch to another. It's more like a race, where evidence for one theory doesn't directly affect any others. That is why I am an atheist, it's not that I saw abiogenesis and evolution and decided they were better (though I do that think), but rather, that I took a look at theistic explanations, and found the evidence for them lacking.

    That said, if only books explain the evidence well enough, then that's fine. I'd rather not pay money, but if it's available at a library somewhere perhaps I'll check some out. What books specifically, and could you give me a summary of them?

  7. #337
    Senior Member Samurai Drifter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erudur View Post
    Allow me to translate - "I don't know enough about the subject to speak to it. I am too lazy and sloppy to learn enough to do so."
    I am an honors student in Biology, I recognize fully the poor attempt to disguise pseudo-science as a supportable theory.

    Says who? And frankly, I don't care. I've heard enough wild speculation from many otherwise intelligent people that it doesn't matter who says it. The short of it is this. Because of the blind faith of many biologists in their own cosmology, those same biologists show themselves completely blind to gaping flaws in their own hypotheses.
    Says the scientific community, the people who have modeled the probable conditions on the young Earth, biologists, geologists, etc.

    And as far as I'm aware, no blind faith is needed to make hypotheses and then test them in controlled environments, and then base assumptions about the natural world upon those tests.

    If you are one of them, you are clearly doing it too. If you are not, you are blindly putting your own faith in their logical leaps.
    In any case where I'm not individually educated about a subject, you could indeed say I put "faith" in the opinions of the community of people who are highly educated about that subject.

    So, if one scientist has an opinion completely contradictory to the rest of the scientific community, and I am not particularly educated on the subject, I'll take the lone scientist's opinion with a grain of salt (though I will analyze both sides of the debate).


    You should too. PLEASE do. And make sure you have your brain turned on so you really understand the assumptions they are making but not testing. And then take the time to look into the plausibility of those assumptions.
    I assure you, their assumptions are far more based in reason, and testable, than an all-powerful invisible creator. For one I'll refer to the Miller Urey experiment above, though for some reason you seem to "not care" about an experiment so directly contradictory to your argument.

    That, my friend is philoso-babel.
    Care to respond to the actual point?



    I see you've spent some time reading the ad hominem and straw man responses to Dembski. Good for you. I am impressed that you've actually read something on the subject. Up to this point, the content of your posts convinced me otherwise.
    There was no ad-hominem attack on Dembski made whatsoever. His so-called "theory" was the only thing criticized. As for whether or not it's a straw-man... his argument has been so utterly devastated by the scientific and mathematical community that no straw-man is even necessary.

    Like I've said earlier, I respect your right to hold to that position. I challenge you to open your eyes to your own bias when looking at things from that perspective.
    And I challenge you to consider that my viewpoint is based on observations gained through experimentation and the scientific method, whereas yours is not based on any evidence and is not even testable.

    One of the primary points I made in my last post, which you seem to have conveniently omitted from your rebuttal, is that finding "holes" in evolutionary or abiogenesis theory does not constitute positive evidence for design. Even if all current scientific knowledge were somehow proven wrong, your viewpoint is not the only alternative.

    Currently, you're attempting to say "evolution is wrong therefore Intelligent Design is correct," and there are two problems with it. The first is that evolutionary theory is supported by all current data. The second is that even if evolution were proven wrong, that would not automatically mean that ID is correct.

    In the same way, I find the explanation that the world and the life that we observe within it came about by billions of incremental steps that include leaps like:

    - "raw organic materials" transforming into amino acids

    - amino acids somehow "becoming" more complex chains of RNA

    - RNA then somehow "becoming" able to replicate

    - replicating RNA then somehow "becoming" DNA that constitutes some form of life

    - DNA then, by leaps and bounds, extending to new larger AND usable forms that interact with the existing usable segments to reproduce more complex forms of life.

    (are we still claiming random mutations and natural selection as the driver here, or have we come up with a different driving force?)

    ....continue with a multitude of steps like these, every step more complicated and more complex than the most complex engineering and designs ever devised by man....

    eventually resulting in a state of life where you and I are contemplating the subject on an internet thread.

    That I find unconvincing.

    So I guess we both remain unconvinced.
    Well, seeing as how we both remain superficially unconvinced, I suppose now we should both examine the data. You can flip through the Biology textbooks and journals of the National Academy of Sciences while I grab a Bible.
    Hands in the air, it's a robbery.

  8. #338
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    So. What I'm thinking?

    What if what the scientists discover is actually what everybody has been calling "God?" Because it is, you know. Whatever it is that makes everything run.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  9. #339
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    The problem, from my perspective, is that most people's definition of "God" is too small.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  10. #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    So. What I'm thinking?

    What if what the scientists discover is actually what everybody has been calling "God?" Because it is, you know. Whatever it is that makes everything run.
    What's your motivation here, Anja? Is it to convince the scientifically minded there's a mysterious force behind everything, which is completely undetectable? That's not likely to happen.

    I happen to appreciate the mentality of the religious (And more than I used to, believe me) as long as they handle it a certain way...Like avoiding trying to tell me how real things with real explanations work, supernaturally.

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