Sunday, March 27, 2011

Intelligent Design Creationism Isn't about God


David Klinghoffer, posting on the Discovery website, says that his worldview might be attractive to atheists [What Intelligent Design Offers to Agnostics].
Intelligent design has as much to offer to the unbeliever or the unorthodox searcher as to the confirmed traditional believer. It might even have more. Does that surprise you?

Could it be a trend, with critics of intelligent design and others outside the familiar world of ID's friends and advocates at last realizing that ID isn't merely NOT the same thing as creationism? More than that, a couple have noted lately, intelligent design isn't necessarily even theistic.
Wow! That's what I call real NEWS for evolution. The idea that intelligent design might actually have nothing to do with a creator is truly astonishing.

Let's see how this plays out later on in his posting ...
Every real solution to this problem of despair assumes a reality beyond our mundane, one-dimensional and material one. How could it not? We are in despair, or fear falling into it -- whether we're religious or otherwise -- over the limitations of our own lives.

The ultimate limit is imposed by death, which we fear as no generation in memory seems to have done despite the overwhelming safety of our existence. In the meantime, while we are still alive, the lack of a sense of ultimate purpose and meaning that goes with the culture of materialism feeds the anxiety that underlies so much of that culture.

Materialism corrodes the confidence we might otherwise have that any search for meaning that we undertake is not necessarily in vain. Intelligent design offers the hope, by the refutation of materialist science, that "something is out there," whatever it might be, capable of granting genuine purpose to our existence. An agnostic like James Kirk Wall or a -- I don't know what exactly -- like Jack Scanlan should easily appreciate this.
This is why philosophy is so confusing. Let's see if I've grasped the logic here. Intelligent design is anti-materialistic but not religious. It implies the existence of "something" that is out there that gives David Klinghoffer some sort of purpose in life and makes him feel less afraid of death. That "something" can't be God because intelligent design isn't necessarily theistic.

You can't make this stuff up. All you have to do is read what the IDiots, themselves, write on the leading Intelligent Design Creationist blogs.


73 comments :

  1. he couldn't have said it better: ID isn't not the same thing as creationism.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What David Klinghoffer has written is perfectly reasonable.
    I am not a creationist and I can relate to what he has said with no difficulty.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The idea of intelligent design could be scientific, but the only way that I can see it being so is if one considers the possibility of an extremely advanced extraterrestrial species that did the engineering. And try collecting evidence for that, might be almost as tough as the theistic proposal.

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  4. The ultimate limit is imposed by death, which we fear as no generation in memory seems to have done despite the overwhelming safety of our existence.

    Uh, what? Previous generations didn't fear death to the extent the current generation does? I think I would need to see some evidence to convince me of that; evidence that goes beyond a few cherry-picked quotations.

    The only possible saving part of the statement is "in memory" - after all, who can remember, even at the end of a long human life, more than a few generations?

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  5. You can't make this stuff up.

    I didn't read a single thing in the article that wasn't made up.

    You can't pay for entertainment this good.

    ReplyDelete
  6. anonymous says,

    What David Klinghoffer has written is perfectly reasonable.

    If you're opposed to materialism then what's the alternative?

    And how would this alternative appeal to a non-believer?

    Klinghoffer says, "Intelligent design offers the hope ... that "something is out there," ... capable of granting genuine purpose to our existence."

    What kind of thing could he be talking about that might appeal to a nonbeliever? Do you honestly think that he's talking about benevolent aliens from Betelgeuse?

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  7. Dr. Moran posted:
    "This is why philosophy is so confusing. Let's see if I've grasped the logic here. Intelligent design is anti-materialistic but not religious. It implies the existence of "something" that is out there that gives David Klinghoffer some sort of purpose in life and makes him fell less afraid of death. That "something" can't be God because intelligent design isn't necessarily theistic. ".

    That last sentence is incorrect.
    It should read:
    That "something" ISN'T NECESSARILY God because intelligent design isn't necessarily theistic.

    Why did Moran try to sneak that past us?

    ReplyDelete
  8. He is obviously not talking about intelligent extraterrestrials.

    (For those interested in that idea google "ancient astronauts". But he is not talking about that idea.)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tim says,

    he couldn't have said it better: ID isn't not the same thing as creationism.

    It's technically correct that the "intelligent designer" could be someone other than the traditional creator described in most religions.

    The only other possibility seems to be highly technological beings from another planet. I find it very strange that no IDiots have proposed any explanations based on this possibility. If they ever do advance that possibility as a serious idea, I like to ask them where they think the aliens came from.

    I bet there's a god under all those turtles.

    I just wish the IDiots would be as honest as Phillip Johnson, one of the founders of Intelligent Design Creationism. He says,

    For the fundamental disagreement is not over the age of the earth or the method of creation; it is over whether we owe our existence to a purposeful Creator or a blind materialistic process.

    [origninally published in First Things (1993, p. 8-14) and quoted in "Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics" R.T. Pennock ed. (2002, p. 438)]

    ReplyDelete
  10. I notice that people are misquoting what David Klinghoffer said:
    He did not say:
    ID isn't not the same thing as creationism.

    He said:
    ID isn't merely NOT the same thing as creationism.

    We have to wonder why it is necessary to misquote him.
    But go ahead. Make up some story why it is okay to misquote people.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mr. Klinghoffer, who is an orthodox Jew, is a member of the Dishonesty Institute. The director of that not august institution, John West, is a Holocaust revisionist. I would like Mr. Klinghoffer to explain how he can belong to an organization whose director is a Holocaust revisionist.

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  12. Dr. Moran posted:
    "This is why philosophy is so confusing. Let's see if I've grasped the logic here. Intelligent design is anti-materialistic but not religious. It implies the existence of "something" that is out there that gives David Klinghoffer some sort of purpose in life and makes him feel less afraid of death. That "something" can't be God because intelligent design isn't necessarily theistic."

    The third sentence is also incorrect. It should read:

    Intelligent design is anti-materialistic but not NECESSARILY religious.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Klinghoffer has a raging case of cognitive dissonance.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Even the first sentence of Dr. Moran's post is incorrect.
    Moran says:
    "David Klinghoffer, posting on the Discovery website, says that his worldview might be attractive to atheists [What Intelligent Design Offers to Agnostics]."

    But nowhere does David Klinghoffer say that his worldview might be attractive to atheists.
    He specifically gives the title:
    What Intelligent Design Offers to Agnostics.

    Moran's post contains quite a few incorrect statements.

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  15. Prof. Moran: "The only other possibility seems to be highly technological beings from another planet. I find it very strange that no IDiots have proposed any explanations based on this possibility.

    As I pointed out to you before, this "IDiot" proposed exactly that.

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  16. I just wish the IDiots would be as honest as Phillip Johnson

    Well, they are, so long as it's the "proper audience." Here're the 10 headings to Stephen Meyer's "Does God Exist?"

    1. Faith and Reason
    2. The Big Bang Cosmology: “The Finite Universe”
    3. The Big Bang Cosmology, Part 2: “In the Beginning”
    4. The Big Bang Cosmology, Part 3: “A Finely Tuned Universe”
    5. DNA by Design
    6. DNA by Design, Part 2: “Doing the Math”
    7. DNA by Design, Part 3: “Information and Intelligence”
    8. The Return of the God Hypothesis
    9. The Moral Necessity of Theism
    10. The Moral Necessity of Theism, Part 2: “We Need God”
    --Bonus Extra: The Toughest Test in College


    I especially like "The Moral Necessity of Theism." Science all the way. And don't forget what it's all about (as if you could):

    You will be equipped to defend your faith and become a world changer in an increasingly hostile culture.

    From Barnes and Noble's site

    Remember, Meyer's the head of the DI, the same ones who still try to claim that ID isn't religious, until they have a Christian audience, in which case it's all about religion.

    Klinghoffer just lies through his teeth. Gets paid to do it, too.

    Glen Davidson

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  17. Larry,

    I completely agree with you. I'm not fooled by the IDiots either; I know it's jesus (or yahweh at least) they're talking about.

    I was pointing out Klinghoffer's double negative.

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  18. Tim says,

    I was pointing out Klinghoffer's double negative.

    Sorry. I missed that.

    ReplyDelete
  19. anonymous says,

    But nowhere does David Klinghoffer say that his worldview might be attractive to atheists.

    He says that it has much to offer to the "unbeliever." Are you quibbling about "unbelievers" who may not be atheists?

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  20. anonymous says,

    The third sentence is also incorrect. It should read:

    Intelligent design is anti-materialistic but not NECESSARILY religious.


    It would help me a great deal if you could describe some worldview that is not materialistic and not religious/theistic. Give an example. Make sure it's compatible with intelligent design and not being afraid of death.

    ReplyDelete
  21. We know what we know, which is not everything. Sometimes common sense can come to our rescue. Do a search: The First Scandal. Then click twice.

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  22. It is becoming clear that Moran is not aware of the distinction between an agnostic and an atheist.

    And we have already seen that his statements fail simple logic (again and again).

    No wonder he says philosophy is confusing.
    He approaches it with disregard for common concepts and disregard for logic. He is like a pamphleteer who says anything he thinks he can get away with.

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  23. I have pointed out the following LOGIC errors:

    That last sentence is incorrect.
    It should read:
    That "something" ISN'T NECESSARILY God because intelligent design isn't necessarily theistic.

    The third sentence is also incorrect. It should read:
    Intelligent design is anti-materialistic but not NECESSARILY religious.

    Moran pretends that he does not understand that these are LOGIC errors. Those statements cannot be made based on what Klinghoffer has said. Moran is distorting what Klinghoffer has said.

    Moran thinks that he can make statements that fail the test of logic and that nobody will call him on it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. For those who want to expand their thinking on this topic read up about "perennial philosophy".
    That would be a good start.

    ReplyDelete
  25. anonymous says,

    It is becoming clear that Moran is not aware of the distinction between an agnostic and an atheist.

    This is a case where Wikipedia gets it right.

    Demographic research services normally list agnostics in the same category as atheists and/or non-religious people. Some sources use agnostic in the sense of noncommittal. Agnosticism often overlaps with other belief systems. Agnostic theists identify themselves both as agnostics and as followers of particular religions, viewing agnosticism as a framework for thinking about the nature of belief and their relation to revealed truths. Some nonreligious people, such as author Philip Pullman, identify as both agnostic and atheist.

    So, you can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist. If you are an "unbeliever" then you could be an agnostic atheist or simply an atheist.

    When Klinghoffer refers to "agnostics" it's very unlikely that he's referring to agnostic theists. There's only one other kind of agnostic—those who don't believe in gods.

    Stop playing word games, "anonymous." You know as well as I do that Intelligent Design Creationism is about promoting religion and opposing science.

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  26. For what it's worth, the atheists of my acquaintance aren't particularly afraid of death, although they aren't in a hurry to leave the party.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Allow me to paraphrase the entire Klinghoffer article in two sentences:

    Intelligent Design has a lot to offer people who aren't sure what to believe. It offers something to believe!

    I'm quite sure that Mr. Klinghoffer thinks this is quite the compelling argument. That's one of the most amusing things about ID to me. There is this absolute need to distance itself from religion so as to squeeze as much credibility as they can from it. That's coupled with this absolute need to maintain a clear connection to religion so that they can then use whatever credibility they've been able to squeeze from it to convince people that it represents a scientific basis for belief.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous writes:

    For those who want to expand their thinking on this topic read up about "perennial philosophy".
    That would be a good start.


    A good start to what? A vague spirituality that claims to be consistent with science, but characterizes scientific explanations as "cold and utilitarian"? That offers "there is something bigger than us" as weak gruel to those hungry for the immanent?

    Learn something about science, you'll encounter the amazing every day.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "The only other possibility seems to be highly technological beings from another planet."

    Beings from a hypercube type fourth dimension could perform miracles - the premise of Flatland.

    The whole universe could be a holodeck, or we could be brains in a jar.

    Human time travellers from the future could be redrafting reality. Less competent time travellers could have crashed on primeval Earth and left their DNA and gut bacteria lying around.

    I don't think any of these things are true, thirty seconds on any ID site and it's obvious that the 'creator' they are talking about is the Christian God disguised by shaving his beard off.

    The question to ask is, obviously, 'is it thoroughly testable?'. Can we play this game without the 'he is ultimately unknowable' card in the deck, ready to be played the moment observed reality doesn't match up to what the ID guy has been passionately arguing for?

    I think there are interesting parallels between the belief there may be alien life in the universe and the belief there may be a God.

    But I think the *most* interesting aspect of that is that aliens, if they exist, are *entirely* scientific in nature. However much we stretch the definition of 'life', whatever exotic creatures we imagine, there's no need for special pleading.

    And I think the only important theological question is - 'theists, we can come up with at least some tests for the theory that four dimensional alien beings from another planet, made of stuff no known life form is made from, who have time traveled from the future and placed the universe in a holodeck ... why is your God impossible to detect using those techniques when he's also said to have lived in Israel for thirty three years and served people supper?'

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  30. "Materialism corrodes the confidence we might otherwise have that any search for meaning that we undertake is not necessarily in vain. Intelligent design offers the hope, by the refutation of materialist science, that "something is out there," whatever it might be, capable of granting genuine purpose to our existence."

    Some people are not content with materialism and materialist science. We intuitively feel "there is something out there".
    For people like us, Intelligent Design offers the hope, by the refutation of materialist science, that "something is out there," whatever it might be, capable of granting genuine purpose to our existence.

    And then the search and the adventure begins. That search is not anti-science. It is to understand science in a new and larger world-view.

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  31. If you need hope and you're fine believing in ID, by all means go for it. Just don't try to pass self-help literature as science.

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  32. Jud you used the phrase:
    "hungry for the immanent".

    What does that mean to you? Are you yourself "hungry for the immanent"?
    If you are not, then perhaps you do not understand it. Just as a blind man does not truly understand what others can see.

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  33. "Intelligent Design offers the hope, by the refutation of materialist science"

    As a cold, clinical materialist, let me just express what you just said as a formula:

    ID =/= Science.

    ID is clearly just a way of weaseling around laws preventing religious bias in education.

    In the end, it's just another 'brain in the jar' argument - 'sure, it *looks* like Y, but how do we know it isn't X, simulating Y?'. It's an argument that's impossible to answer, because if there were deceptive trickster gods doing this ... well, they're gods. They can deceive us perfectly.

    So the 'purpose' of which you speak: 'to be fooled by an omnipotent conman'. Great. Frankly, if the truth of the universe is that the best an omniscient, omnipotent being can do with his time is come up with reality shows starring shaved monkeys in which the scientists are wrong and the morons are right, then I'm happy to ignore him and work out the code of the simulation.

    Meanwhile, keep praying. As Ken MacLeod says, praying is the only known way we have of mounting a denial of service attack on God.

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  34. @Anonymous That search is not anti-science. It is to understand science in a new and larger world-view.

    That's just a dishonest way of saying that you are making stuff up.

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  35. anonymous writes:

    For people like us, Intelligent Design offers the hope, by the refutation of materialist science, that "something is out there," whatever it might be, capable of granting genuine purpose to our existence.

    And then the search and the adventure begins. That search is not anti-science. It is to understand science in a new and larger world-view.

    This is so very strange on so many levels.

    - Why do you feel there is no genuine purpose to your existence?

    - Why do you feel the prevailing theory of evolution of species affects the purpose of your existence?

    - Since it is the purpose of *your* existence we are purportedly discussing, why does what *others* understand about science in general or evolution in particular make any difference?

    - What do you define as "genuine purpose to [y]our existence"?

    - How is the precondition that whatever is "out there" grant purpose to *your* existence an enlargement of, rather than a restriction upon, science?

    - How is the precondition or requirement of granting purpose to your existence "science" at all? It seems to me that a search, or adventure, or science, in order to be genuine, must honestly take what comes, rather than defining the end result in advance.

    - It also seems to me that whether something "grants purpose to your existence" is rather subjective. Must we all agree that your life now has purpose, or is it OK so long as you yourself feel it has? If the latter, then once again, what does it matter what the scientific consensus is regarding evolution or any other subject?

    - What do you define as "materialist science"? What then is non-materialist science, and how does one determine, even provisionally, truth or falsity therein? Are these proofs capable of reliable repetition by anyone who wishes to examine them?

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  36. Klinghoffer refers to the idea of "an invisible reality behind the façade of the physical world".

    In fact, each of us is already intimately aware of a portion of that invisible reality.
    Each of us is aware ((can be) aware) of our own invisible self.

    Our own self, which is visible to each of us, but is invisible to everyone else.

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  37. Wherever ID is claimed to be unrelated to creationism "cdesign proponentsists" should be mentioned.

    Those unfamiliar with the phrase should google it.

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  38. anonymous writes:

    Jud you used the phrase:
    "hungry for the immanent".


    What does that mean to you?

    It means to me desiring a feeling of rapturous wonder.

    Are you yourself "hungry for the immanent"?

    Of course. That is one of the primary reasons - perhaps the biggest reason - why I love the things I love, because every so often they give me that feeling.

    One of the things I love is science. To me personally, science is far more effective at conveying that feeling than any alternative means of understanding the universe I'm aware of. A couple of comparisons:

    - Science says we're the stuff of unimaginably large star explosions. Western religious tradition says some unfathomable entity breathed on dust, then made a mate from a spare bone. ID says it couldn't have happened the way science says, so some unfathomable entity must have had something to do with it.

    - Science says the process of evolution took billions of years, and has elucidated the processes by which it occurred down to the molecular level. Western religious tradition says the same guy who breathed on the dust did all this in 6 days. (Then this all-powerful entity for some reason had to take a rest.) ID says although it took billions of years, the molecular-level processes were performed individually by some unfathomable entity.

    - Why an entity sufficiently knowledgeable and powerful to, e.g., glue little molecular motors to the rear ends of bacteria would take 3.5 billion years to accomplish the end results, rather than just getting it done as quickly as possible, I have no idea. Maybe he was working on a cost-plus contract.

    - Also, apparently, the entity allows random evolution to take place within species, but not from one species to another. What the entity does when what was a single species is reclassified as two, or vice versa, I have no idea.

    - Since people and other living things are subject to genetically caused diseases, and lack genetic immunity to other diseases, either the entity lacks competence (strange for something supposedly capable of making molecular-level changes in all the species on Earth over billions of years), or causing millions of babies and small children to suffer and die each year is just part of its unfathomable plan.

    - Science is beginning to understand aging and death in individuals on a cellular and molecular level, and on an overall level as part of the planet's ecology. The dominant Western religious tradition says the unfathomable entity caused a virgin to bear a child that was at once human and divine and that this child's death caused the sins of all believers to be forgiven. The believers still suffered and died, though, so the dead child, having already risen from the dead, is coming back again at some point (whether when most needed but not deserved in order to save the planet from wickedness, or when not needed but deserved because the planet has ceased to be wicked, is unclear). There are also those who accept at least some part of the biological and ecological science, but want a "better" science that will give their lives the type of meaning and purpose religious tradition offers. (Since the entity's purposes are unfathomable to mere mortals, I don't claim to know what that meaning and purpose are.)

    Do you begin to see why, for me, science offers opportunities for rapture and amazement, while the "explanations" of religious tradition and ID aren't worthy of even a moment's credence, let alone a sense of discovery and awe?

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  39. "Just as a blind man does not truly understand what others can see."

    Nice analogy. Here's a better one: usually, if you can see and hear things that most people don't, the problem isn't that those people are blind and deaf, it's that you've got something very, very wrong with your brain.

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  40. "Our own self, which is visible to each of us, but is invisible to everyone else."

    http://youtheducatehealthforkids.org/images/MRI%20Brain.jpg

    It's there, look. Now, I've shown you my 'self', feel free to show me the image from Hubble of God parting the waters of the deep.

    The Tulip Nebula's 6000 LY away, so that might be the place to look.

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  41. Anonymous - you have shown us a picture of a brain.
    I am talking about you - your invisible self.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Jud.
    You posted:
    "That is one of the primary reasons - perhaps the biggest reason - why I love the things I love, because every so often they give me that feeling.
    One of the things I love is science. To me personally, science is far more effective at conveying that feeling than any alternative means of understanding the universe".

    Could you show that to me please?
    What instrument should I use to observe that feeling? That feeling that you have that is invisible to the rest of us?
    While you are at it, could you show me yourself that is having that feeling please? What instrument should I use to observe that?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anonymous you posted:
    "Just as a blind man does not truly understand what others can see."
    Nice analogy. Here's a better one: usually, if you can see and hear things that most people don't, the problem isn't that those people are blind and deaf, it's that you've got something very, very wrong with your brain."

    You can hear your own thoughts.
    But none of the rest of us can hear them.
    Does that mean there is something wrong with you?

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  44. anonymous writes, regarding my pleasure and awe in learning things through science:

    Could you show that to me please?

    What instrument should I use to observe that feeling? That feeling that you have that is invisible to the rest of us?

    The instruments are your eyes, ears, and brain, and the feeling is not invisible. My wife certainly knows when I have it, just as I know and am smitten when she experiences the things that give her special pleasure. (For her, it's usually cooking, clothes and dancing rather than science and sports, as it is for me. Though she does share my love of the New York Football Giants. Hooray!)

    If you'd like to be more precise about it, then for a fair amount of money you can have machines observe increased activity in various parts of my brain, and monitor releases of hormones and neurotransmitters. Science hasn't parsed things down to the level of finding which individual neurons are transmitting which thoughts, but there's nothing in principle barring this ability from being developed in the future.

    While you are at it, could you show me yourself that is having that feeling please? What instrument should I use to observe that?

    Oh, it's not hard to observe myself. There's rather more of me here to observe than there should be! (I work out, but my work is sedentary and I eat too much of the wrong stuff.) But again, if you want to be a bit more precise, my "self" is that lump of gray meat between my ears. Try getting responses from "me" without involving that lump of meat and you're fresh out of luck. Try the wrong lump of meat and you might get a response like "How 'bout them Dallas Cowboys!", a dead giveaway it's not "me" you're talking to.

    There's nothing in principle unknowable about that lump of meat and what it does. Learning about cutting-edge research into its complex and currently mysterious capabilities and operations is wonderfully exciting. Gibberish about "immortal souls" and claiming it's all some mystery that is even in principle unknowable makes things dreadfully boring IMHO.

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  45. Jud, you have been telling me about your brain and about your body.
    I am asking about YOU.
    The you that has that brain and has that body.

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  46. Jud, you posted:
    "Gibberish about "immortal souls" and claiming it's all some mystery that is even in principle unknowable makes things dreadfully boring IMHO."

    I did not say that in principle it is unknowable.
    It is eminently knowable.
    Just as you know your own thoughts.
    Just as you know (or can know) your own invisible self.

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  47. Anon:
    "And then the search and the adventure begins."
    But the adventure doesn't begin. How can you have a quest without some rules for it? How can you search for something that, even if you looked literally everywhere but never found it, just just threw your hands up and said, 'well, its in the great beyond'?

    Thats quixotic. A pyrex flask makes for a better grail.

    Anon:
    "Are you yourself "hungry for the immanent"?
    If you are not, then perhaps you do not understand it. Just as a blind man does not truly understand what others can see."

    The problem is that in a non-materialistic world, you /are/ blind. Science removes the veil.

    Anon:
    "Our own self, which is visible to each of us, but is invisible to everyone else."

    Whoops, sorry, Didn't realize I was dealing with an actual nutcase here.

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  48. Schenck, you posted:
    "How can you search for something that, even if you looked literally everywhere but never found it, just just threw your hands up and said, 'well, its in the great beyond'?"

    I never suggested that you could not find it and that you throw up your hands.

    Why are you making up things?
    You are not actually responding to me, and what I said, but to some picture you have in your mind.

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  49. "You can hear your own thoughts.
    But none of the rest of us can hear them.
    Does that mean there is something wrong with you?"

    My thoughts are not sounds echoing around my brain, though.

    I can see things other people can not currently see - I'm here alone in my study, with a bookshelf in front of me. None of the rest of you can see that. This does not mean my bookshelf is made from magical substances.

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  50. Anonymous, I did not say that thoughts were sounds echoing around your brain. What I said is that you can hear your thoughts. And the rest of us cannot. And we never can.

    If we were in your room, we could see the objects in your room and hear the sounds.
    But we can never hear your thoughts.
    Only you can.

    You have a body, you have a brain. But you are not your body, you are not your brain.

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  51. "What I said is that you can hear your thoughts. And the rest of us cannot. And we never can."

    So nothing else, at all, can hear my thoughts? Interesting. Perhaps I can accept that there is absolutely nothing else that can ever read my thoughts? First, could you just confirm that your argument depends on there are no exceptions and collapses if there's just one being that can?

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  52. Anonymous, I did not say "read your thoughts". I said "hear your thoughts".
    Can you hear your own thoughts?
    Are you those thoughts or do you hear those thoughts?
    Are you your brain or do you have a brain?
    Are you your body or do you have a body?

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  53. I guess Anonymous lost interest when I did not fall for his trap.
    Pity.
    Does anyone understand that they are not their brain? That they are not their body?
    Has anyone had a moment of awakening from that misconception.

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  54. "I guess Anonymous lost interest when I did not fall for his trap."

    Answer the question. Hear your thoughts, read your thoughts. Whatever. Do you accept that no other being has access to/can hear/can read your thoughts?

    "Does anyone understand that they are not their brain? That they are not their body?"

    Activating standard atheist infallible theology woo killing statement ... in 5,4,3,2,1:

    Please show me one piece of evidence supporting that statement you just made.

    Run, run: it's a trap!! I'm going to trap you in the realm of facts and actual things! No God can live more than a few seconds in such an environment! Run!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Anonymous, only you can verify that you can hear your own thoughts.
    And only you can experience the fact that you are the one hearing your own thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  56. "Anonymous, only you can verify that you can hear your own thoughts.
    And only you can experience the fact that you are the one hearing your own thoughts."

    Which excludes God knowing my thoughts. Which excludes all models of the Christian God. Trap sprung, no God, checkmate. Thanks for playing.

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  57. Anonymous - you are so pleased with your trap.
    What I was getting at is that none of the rest of us can hear your thoughts.

    You can hear your thoughts - right?
    I am not approaching this from a religious point of view.

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  58. > You can hear your thoughts -
    > right?

    This discussion is non-fascinating, but here goes: no. You can only hear sounds, in the same way you can only smell smells. My thoughts do not make sounds, so I can't hear them.

    I have self awareness. I am aware of myself. I can explain this completely in entirely mundane terms - bits of my brain assemble sense data, other bits of my brain interpret that data, other bits of my brain decide how to react to it. My 'awareness' exists entirely within meat, no magic or ghost required.

    If you have evidence to the contrary, cite it.

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  59. Who is the self who is self-aware?
    Who is the "I" that is aware of himself?

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  60. > Who is the self who is self-aware? Who is the "I" that is aware of himself? <

    Someone who is now profoundly bored of your wittering.

    Here's what I believe: my thoughts are a function of electrical signals running through meat. If you want to call that a 'soul', knock yourself out. I mean that literally because if you do it hard enough, your sense of self will disappear. If you also do it in a way that damages the meat in the right ways, your mind will cease to function as well.

    If you believe it's a magical ghost who's on a short holiday from Heaven, great. Provide some evidence, we'll discuss your scientific theory. Otherwise, bye.

    You possibly think you sound very wise. I would like to disabuse your 'self' of this notion. You sound like the opening paragraph of the worst pop 'spirituality' book ever written, on repeat.

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  61. I definitely don't want to want to call the electrical signals running through meat a 'soul'.

    I have not used the word "soul" but if you wish to use it that is your call.

    I have been talking about "you" - the "you" that can hear the thoughts. The "you" that has thoughts, that has a body, that has a brain. The "you" that has the first-person experience.

    But if you are bored and wish to stop that is fine as well.

    Most people are not interested in thinking and exploring along these lines.

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  62. "Most people are not interested in thinking and exploring along these lines."

    Well, most people like the lines of an argument to be more than vague squiggles.

    "I have been talking about "you" - the "you" that can hear the thoughts."

    Yes, I know. The reason I know is you've said that ten times, now. I can't hear thoughts. There is no 'me' separate from the meat and electricity. I get the sense that your argument is less like a Socratic dialogue and more like a knock knock joke. You need me to say 'oh yes, I see what you mean, invisible self, pray continue'. No. Fuck that. I don't have an 'invisible self', in any sense, whatsoever. I understand the question. It is your failure to grasp my answer, the only possible right answer, that is the problem here.

    Please proceed with your actual argument. I admit I am intrigued about just how deeply stupid what you will eventually say is.

    Let me guess ... seeing as there's clearly a wonderful invisible world of the imagination, where is that world? the Empyrean! God's Brain! Plato's Cave! Somewhere science can't touch it! Somewhere immanent and transcendent where we can play forever with the fairies! Yay!

    You're going to say something shit like that, aren't you?

    Please just skip the next ten stages of your 'argument' and cut to the chase. Abstract concepts must preexist material reality, therefore Jesus?

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  63. Well Anonymous does not seem interested.
    Anyone else? If not we can probably call it a day.

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  64. Anonymous thinks that because he is not aware of his invisible self that it does not exist.

    Very few people are aware of their invisible self.
    This shows the difficulty in dealing with this subject.

    Those who are not aware of their invisible self, generally become quite angry at the idea that there could be something that exists that they do not perceive.

    They want evidence. But the only evidence that is possible is through their own experience. And they do not have that experience.
    And they reject the experience of others as "imagination" because they do not have that experience themself.

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  65. The "invisible self" is not the content of experience. It is the experiencer.
    It is you.

    This is not a religious idea. It is a scientific idea. Something that can be experienced and observed.

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  66. "Those who are not aware of their invisible self, generally become quite angry at the idea that there could be something that exists that they do not perceive."

    Sigh.

    And theists often confuse 'exasperated laughing at' with 'anger'.

    OK. For sake of argument, let me concede I have an invisible self and that the fact I can't detect it is a failing on my part (the entire premise of your argument has changed, because before my inevitable detection of it was the basis of your argument, but meh). So, let's do this thing:

    'Oh, great Anonymous, where *is* this invisible self?'

    'Why yes, you raise an interesting question. When we talk of a "triangle" or the number 3, surely these things also exist independently of actual triangles?'

    'Why yes, great and awesome Anonymous, what a brilliant point. The idea of a triangle must have existed before any actual triangles.'

    'And (drumroll) the idea of a mind before any brains. '

    'You have like *totally* caught me offguard with that literally irrefutable piece of brilliant reasoning.'

    'Thanks. There is clearly a realm where such transcendent concepts exist.'

    'Oh, great Anonymous, take me now, for I must render my whole body to such wisdom. '

    'And blah blah greatest being possible, this is where God lives.'

    'Any God, oh great one? All of them, perhaps?'

    'No. The one that I believe in, and only that one.'

    Was that where you were planning to steer this?

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  67. "But the only evidence that is possible is through their own experience."

    OK ... there's your problem. One of the very worst sources of evidence is 'my own experience'.

    When my cat was sick, I clapped my hands and said a poem and my cat got better. So ... my 'experience' is that some combination of clapping hands and reciting a poem cures cats.

    I very precisely do not need my own personal experience, or anecdotes about yours. Give me something I can use, let's use it.

    But if all you have is vague sense there must be more than 'just' the material universe, then with the best will in the world, you have a laughable idea of the wonders of the material universe. The vast, ancient, rich, strange universe that modern science is slowly uncovering would be far less, not more, if it was something faked up by a grumpy Bronze Age sky God and his swivel-eyed Iron Age son.

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  68. You haven't experienced your invisible self yet.
    I am not saying that you can never experience it.

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  69. "When my cat was sick, I clapped my hands and said a poem and my cat got better. So ... my 'experience' is that some combination of clapping hands and reciting a poem cures cats."

    You are telling me about the content of a particular experience.
    I am talking about the experiencer.
    I am talking about you.

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  70. "You haven't experienced your invisible self yet.
    I am not saying that you can never experience it."

    Well, you did say,

    "In fact, each of us is already intimately aware of a portion of that invisible reality."

    So, you know, your position is the exact opposite now of your opening gambit.

    Look, you're clearly not going to get to your punchline. I suspect this is because you're an idiot. Not an IDiot, just someone who is plain stupid. I've tried to push you to where you're going, but you show no willingness to.

    So, OK:

    You invoked Klinghoffer. From the Discovery Institute. Great start. He says that creationism offers hope that there's some purpose in the universe. That's the 'invisible reality' he's talking about.

    Now ... forgive me, but 'I am aware of my thoughts and I might be inclined to call that "an invisible reality" is not, in any way shape or form the "invisible reality" of Biblical literalism, which is 'the world got broken when a talking snake made a naughty naked lady eat an apple'.

    Klinghoffer's argument is that at least creationism gives 'purpose' to existence. It doesn't matter what this 'purpose' is, which is just as well, as the being that gave us this purpose has, at no point, communicated it to us, and it's probably beyond our ken anyway.

    But we've got a *purpose*. When your baby dies, it's all part of God's plan, and for the best in the long run. Raped by your uncle and pregnant - a baby! A wonderful gift! All part of the plan. Miscarry! Part of the plan. Raped by your uncle, not pregnant? All part of the plan! Raped by your uncle, beaten every day? Fuck, are you really so stupid you can't see the 'invisible reality' of God's beautiful plan and his infinite love for you?

    'It's all part of God's invisible plan' is not an answer. It's ridiculous.

    The 'nihilistic' atheist vision of the world is that Shit Happens. The theist version of the world is An Infinitely Powerful Being MAKES Shit Happen. That's *worse*. That your invisible, intangible, silent, unknowable, undetectable, God's plan IS INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM SHIT HAPPENING should have clued you up: if your God exists HE'S SHIT. He's really, really, really shitty at his job.

    You get a choice: this universe is run by a shit God, or that it's not. If it's not, that's *better*.

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  71. Here is what I said earlier;

    "In fact, each of us is already intimately aware of a portion of that invisible reality.
    Each of us is aware ((can be) aware) of our own invisible self".

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  72. OK ... Anonymous.

    You're doing it very badly, but here's what you're trying to do:

    It's a standard creationist /evangelist technique, and so presumably works on the feeble-minded.

    You ask very simple yes/no questions.

    Here's an example:

    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/

    Another example was to be found in the recent Harris/Craig debate - 'do you believe some actions are objectively good or evil?'.

    But Harris trounced Craig by just not buying the first premise. Craig was left flapping around saying 'he didn't go down my rabbit hole, why not? wah, wah, I got nothing'.

    The Klinghoffer argument is a stupid one. It leads from 'we have an imagination' to 'creationism' in five steps. But they're stupid steps.

    But all these arguments start from the same point - ask a set of simple yes/no questions phrased in such a way that you sound like a monster if you say 'no'.

    Do you agree you live somewhere? Do you agree that all creatures live somewhere? Do you agree that most creatures live in the sea? Do you agree that some things are yellow? Can people breathe underwater? Why ... you're admitting we all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, yellow submarine.

    Yours is not an argument, it's a series of trick questions. Craig, at least, is not *so stupid* that he started performing his trick without realizing that.

    Don't cry that you lost your argument - it was, after all, a shit one.

    Thank you for your time, oh brave limbless black knight. Now I must be on my way.

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  73. Anonymous thinks I am trying to trick him. I am not out to trick anyone.

    Most people are not interested in exploring the idea and cultivating the experience of their own invisible self.

    Those who are not interested, feel they need to go to great lengths to avoid doing so.

    This is not a religious subject and I am not approaching it from that angle.

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