Friday, April 27, 2012

New God Argument: God on the Brain

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As with all my God arguments this one does not claim to prove God's existence, but to demonstrate that bleief is rationally warranted and thus meets a reasonable prmia facie burden.

Argument:

(1) Studies of religious experience and brain reveal a sense that there is an innate idea of a God cocnept in human brain.

(2) The brain structures seems to be organized in such a way that this concept of "the divine" is so much at the center of the way it works that's actually good for us to ponder it.

(3) Innate ideas are impossible and genes can't ponder ideas. This would seem to indicate that these ideas are somehow purposely implanted by some higher form of mind that understands them and wants us to have them. The fact that they are good for us to think about indicates that we are "designed" to know God.

Analysis:
Science doesn't recognize innate ideas. Many people might think it does, they are fooled into thinking by the nature of genetic disposition. Genes determine many things in our behavior and of course everything about our physical endowment. Those are not ideas. Behavior is not an idea and we call "instinct" is not an idea. That is to say we don't' have fully formed concepts that we are born with, we are born with urges and drives to pursue certain things. We don't have fully formed ideas of these things, they have to be discovered and the ideas must be developed.

It seems now that we are born with a certain idea of God. That seems to stretch the credibility of evolutionary theory and marks the game as fixed. That's like finding the fifth ace up someone's sleeve. Beginning about mid 90's the media began talking about "the God part of the Brain." They ran stories on scientists stimulating people's brains and producing religious feelings. Here's a quote from one of those early stories:

by Steve Connor
Science Correspondent
Sunday Times,UK 11/02/97


SCIENTISTS believe they have discovered a "God module" in the brain which could be responsible for man's evolutionary instinct to believe in religion. A study of epileptics who are known to have profoundly spiritual experiences has located a circuit of nerves in the front of the brain which appears to become electrically active when they think about God. The scientists said that although the research and its conclusions are preliminary, initial results suggest that the phenomenon of religious belief is "hard-wired" into the brain.Epileptic patients who suffer from seizures of the brain's frontal lobe said they frequently experience intense mystical episodes and often become obsessed with religious spirituality.
A team of neuroscientists from the University of California at San Diego said the most intriguing explanation is that the seizure causes an overstimulation of the nerves in a part of the brain dubbed the "God module". "There may be dedicated neural machinery in the temporal lobes concerned with religion. This may have evolved to impose order and stability on society," the team reported at a conference last week. The results indicate that whether a person believes in a religion or even in God may depend on how enhanced is this part of the brain's electrical circuitry, the scientists said. Dr Vilayanur Ramachandran, head of the research team, said the study involved comparing epileptic patients with normal people and a group who said they were intensely religious. Electrical monitors on their skin – a standard test for activity in the brain's temporal lobes – showed that the epileptics and the deeply religious displayed a similar response when shown words invoking spiritual belief.
[1]

Since that time researchers (notably Andrew Newberg) have discovered that there is no one area that is stimulated by religious behavior. There are several areas, different areas for different activities such as meditation or prayer. These areas are mainly in the parietal lobe and the temporal lobe.

two arguments:

I. Innate idea:

the same basic set of ideas about the ultimate or the top of the metaphysical hierarchy are found around the world. There is some variation between personal or impersonal but essentially they all refer to the notion of some kind of Ground of being or Transcendental Signifier. They all center on the notion of a "divine" or "Holy" referent. These are actual ideas not merely instincts and their nature as ideas, our reactions to them which the same world over, seem to indicate this is more than an instinct and yet it shouldn't be more than that.

that gives us pause to think that it's a clue. It's something we are meant to have in order to find the higher reality. More than just evolutionary because evolution can't give you full blown ideas.

Those who try to explain religion away as a by product of the way our minds work, nevertheless help illustrate the innate idea in God awareness.

Mind Power News
Original Source is Michael Brooks
in New Scientist

That's not to say that the human brain has a "god module" in the same way that it has a language module that evolved specifically for acquiring language. Rather, some of the unique cognitive capacities that have made us so successful as a species also work together to create a tendency for supernatural thinking. "There's now a lot of evidence that some of the foundations for our religious beliefs are hard-wired," says Bloom.
Much of that evidence comes from experiments carried out on children, who are seen as revealing a "default state" of the mind that persists, albeit in modified form, into adulthood. "Children the world over have a strong natural receptivity to believing in gods because of the way their minds work, and this early developing receptivity continues to anchor our intuitive thinking throughout life," says anthropologist Justin Barrett of the University of Oxford.

Even though this is an atheist trying to explain away God belief,we must ask why do our minds work in such a way as to produce the idea of God? More on this below under objections.

II. Good for us to think about.

Because it's good for us that would indicated we are fitted for it. We are made for it, it is there for a purpose. It's more than just survival of the fittest mechanism there's no indication that it's genetic, that is the positive aspects of thinking about it.

Newberg:Random House
Excepts of How God Changes Your Brain

In Why God Wont Go Away I demonstrated that the human brain is unquely constructed to perceive spiritual realities....spiritual practices even when stripped of religious beliefs enhase the neural functioning in ways that improve phsyical and emtional health... long term contemplation of God and other spiritual values appears to permanently change the structure of those parts of the brain that control our moods, give rise to our conscious notions of self, and shape our sensory perceptions of the world. Contemplative practices strengthen a specificc nuerologial circut that generates peacefulness, social awareness, and compassion for others.
(website by Random House with excepts from Newberg's book)

III. objections and answers

A. Naturalistic origin Turnaround

Skeptics argue that the idea of stimulating the brain and getting religious proves that religion is just a naturalistic part of genetic endowment. That is proof enough for them that God is not involved. I argue quite the contrary it actually makes a dandy God argument (it meets the prima facie burden on rational warrant--gives us a reason to believe in God).

Newberg doesn't believe that naturalistic mechanisms rule out God. He says the skeptic is too hasty in assuming this:

Newberg, Why God Won’t God Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. (New York, Ballentine Books), 2001, pp. 157-172.

A skeptic might suggest that a biological origin to all spiritual longings and experiences, including the universal human yearning to connect with something divine, could be explained as a delusion caused by the chemical misfiring of a bundle of nerve cells. But …After years of scientific study, and careful consideration of the a neurological process that has evolved to allow us humans to transcend material existence and acknowledge and connect with a deeper, more spiritual part of ourselves perceived of as an absolute, universal reality that connects us to all that is.

…Tracing spiritual experience to neurological behavior does not disprove its realness. If God does exist, for example, and if He appeared to you in some incarnation, you would have no way of experiencing His presence, except as part of a neurologically generated rendition of reality. You would need auditory processing to hear his voice, visual processing to see His face, and cognitive processing to make sense of his message. Even if he spoke to you mystically, without words, you would need cognitive functions to comprehend his meaning, and input form the brain’s emotional centers to fill you with rapture and awe. Neurology makes it clear: there is no other way for God to get into your head except through the brain’s neural pathways. Correspondingly, God cannot exist as a concept or as reality anyplace else but in your mind. In this sense, both spiritual experiences and experiences of a more ordinary material nature are made real to the mind in the very same way—through the processing powers of the brain and the cognitive functions of the mind. Whatever the ultimate nature of spiritual experience might be—weather it is in fact an actual perception of spiritual reality—or merely an interpretation of sheer neurological function—all that is meaningful in human spirituality happens in the mind. In other words, the mind is mystical by default.5

5 Ibid., p37
The medieval German mystic Meister Echkart lived hundreds of years before the science of neurology was born. Yet it seems he had intuitively grasped one of the fundamental principles of the discipline: What we think of, as reality is only a rendition of reality that is created by the brain. Our modern understanding of the brain’s perceptual powers bears him out. Nothing enters consciousness whole. There is no direct, objective experience of reality. All the things the mind perceives—all thoughts, feelings, hunches, memories, insights, desires, and revelations—have been assembled piece by piece by the processing powers of the brain from the swirl of neural blimps. The idea that our experiences of reality—all our experiences, for that matter—are only “secondhand” depictions of what may or may not be objectively real, raises some profound questions about the most basic truths of human existence and the neurological nature of spiritual experience. For example our experiment with Tibetan mediators and Franciscan nuns showed that the events they considered spiritual were, in fact, associated with observable neurological activity. In a reductionist sense this could support the argument that religious experience is only imagined neurologically, that God is physically ‘all in your mind.’ But a full understanding of the way in which the brain and the mind assemble and experience reality suggests a very different view.7

7 Ibid. pp. 35-36





B. God works through natural


God created nature and can work in it all the time. Tielhard de Chardin believed that the strong force was God's presence holding the universe together. There's no reason to reject God from the natural, unless one is a skeptic and searching for an excuse not to believe. The only problem with this answer is that there must be something one can point to that determines a difference between God being involved and not involved. Without that it can't be a rational warrant for God belief. That difference need not be a naturalistic biological mechanism. Otherwise there's a tie, and we need tie breakers.

C. Tie Breakers:

(1) The innate aspect of the idea refutes naturalistic assumption
There are still aspects of the innate God sense, such as it's nature as an innate idea, that argue agaisnt a totally naturalistic origin. If the atheist argument were true and universality is examined by human brain structure, we all have the same brain so we all have the kinds of religious experiences, then we should all have the same language and the same culture. On How stuff works (website) there's an explaination as to why we don't all have the same language.

One prominent theory about the development of the first languages relates to tools and resources. Teaching another person how to use tools requires a certain, agreed-upon vocabulary, as does the process of sharing and protecting resources like food and shelter. Small groups of people living in close quarters would therefore need to develop a way to understand each other, so they came up with a vocabulary and syntax that meant something to them. A group of people across the world from them, though, would probably need an entirely different vocabulary of words, so the languages would have developed differently in isolation. Think of the oft-quoted (but erroneous) example that Eskimos have 100 different words for snow because they have so much of it. While that common statement is wrong, there are cultures that have far more words for rice and camels than, say, English does.
If you think about it that's just another way of saying "becasue it's not pre-determined." We have different experiences and so we have different reactions. This would indicate that religous experiences are actual;u experience of something, which the same thing for all.



Objection to tie breaker 1:
Isn't generative grammar an innate idea?

Noman Chomsky says there is a "preprogramed" language organ in the brain.

Answer: Not really the same thing. We don't have fully formed concepts of grammar in our minds as we grow up. We know how to use grammar instinctive but we don't have to have grammatical theories fully formed in our heads. Yet people seem to respond to religious experinces with the sense taht there is this "thing" God, the divine, the transcendent. There's a concept to that that's already formed; the numinous.

tiebreaker
(2) The universality of the idea

Adrew Newrber
The Mystical Mind 199
In Western Religion and in Hinduism...God is conceived as the ultimate externaltiy (transcendent) the ultimate internatility (immanent) and sometimes as both...Often God is not perceived as simply a higher being but has been has been described as the Ground or substance of all being. Thus God is not only the higher being but also a state of higher being or ultimate realty. In fact, in the mystical traditions of Western religions, the goal of the practice of meditation is to become intensely untied with God...The important point is that no matter how this ultimate being or state of being is described, it's fundamental characteristics are remarkably similar across traditions and cultures. (on line page 4)
That correlates with Dr. Hood's findings that when one removes the specific names and doctrines, the nature of the experiences and the way people relate to them are the same across all cultural boundaries. (Hood, Ralph. W. Jr. (2006). The common core thesis in the study of mysticism. In P, McNamar (Ed.), Where God and science meet, Vol. 3, pp. 119-138. Westport, CT: Praeger.)

Hood States in German Psychological Journal
Elsewhere I have argued for reading James' treatment of mysticism in the Varieties as an example of the unity thesis in mysticism (Hood, 2003). The unity thesis is the view that both within and outside of the great faith traditions, is an experience that is essentially identical, regardless of interpretation. James put the issue thusly:

In Hinduism, in Neoplatonism, in Sufism, in Christian Mysticism, in Whitmanism, we find the same recurring note, so that there is about mystical utterances an eternal unanimity which ought to make a critic stop and think, and which brings it about that the mystical classics have, as has been said, neither birthday nor native land. Perpetually telling of the unity of man with God, their speech antedate language, and they do not grow old (James, 1902/1985, p. 332, emphasis mine)

The above quote clearly hints at two of the basic assumptions of those who support the unity thesis. First, it implies that a distinction can be made between experience and its interpretation. Second, it suggests that for at least some linguistic descriptions, an underlying uniform experience cuts across language differences (Hood, 2003, 2006). This position has been most systematically developed by Stace (1961) under the rubric of the common core thesis and is the basis of the most commonly used empirical measure of mysticism, the Mysticism Scale which has been used in numerous studies for more than a quarter of a century (Hood, 1975, 1997).(http://www.journal-fuer-psychologie.de/jfp-3-2008-04.html)




Atheist objection to no 2:
Human Brain Structure produces Universal Ideas?


This is the answer most often given to the universality argument for mystical experience and the God sense in the brain that seems to unite people across cultures. That would be their direct Answer to Tie barker number 2.

Answers:

(a) No scientific correlation between uniformity of brain structure and uniformity of experience

Clearly we don't all experience the same things just because we are human.

(b) Universal behavior is always assumed in scinece to be genetically based in some sense.

We must assume that ideas are from culture. Fully formed concepts are cultural constructs. These are not genetic the usually differ form culture to culture.

Anders Rassmussen Blog
"Universal Human Behaviors"
Friday, December 29, 2006


There is a trend amongst scholars in sociology and gender sciences to argue that more or less everything is social constructions. Relationships and roles in the society are constructed by humans in our conversations. Hence, they argue, there are almost no universal behaviors. Anthropologists writing about strange habits in different societies are often cited to show that there is great variability between people living in different places, and indeed there is. However, it is often overlooked that there are many similarities between different cultures as well. I argue that even though there are many differences between people in different societies that stand out, there are also many, more fundamental, behaviors which do not vary between different cultures. These behaviors seem so natural to us that we barely notice them...

Take beauty for instance. Is it true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Research suggests not! People from cultures all around the globe agree on what faces are beautiful and which are not beautiful. For example, symmetrical faces are seen as more attractive than non-symmetrical faces. Similarly, around the globe a 0.7 and 0.9 waist to hip ratio for women and men respectively, is considered the most attractive body shape. Preferences for the amount of fat on the body varies between cultures. In starving countries in Africa "wider" ladies are generally preferred whereas in western cultures almost anorectic women are seen as very attractive, but consistently it is found that people prefer 0.7 and 0.9 waist to hip ratios. We can do even better than this. For example, have you seen someone who becomes happy when faced with misfortune and sad when life is good? Have you heard of a society where there is neither love nor hate?

If there's a genetic disposition to the idea of God that's a pretty good reason to believe God had to put it there. Could a gene or a Spandrels really develop based upon an imaginary being in the sky? Or even based upon the ground of being? There would require ideas implanted in the gene structure, if they were false ideas that would be even more remarkable.

Either it's cultural in which case it shouldn't be universal or it's genetic in which case the geentic structure of an idea must be explained.

(more tie breakers)
(3) the "coincidence" of the idea

It just happens that this beneficial mutation or combination of genetic endowments happen to produce this confirmation of a full blown idea in the mind that is about not only something that doesn't exist but also the one thing of which atheists are terrified and spend their lives fighting, and it just happens to be this one thing. No other natural sense taht we have is about unreal things. We have an instinct for food, food exist. We don't have any other instincts that give us a mythology of fantasy about unreal things that happen to serve us better than reality.


(4) Problems with Evolutionary Assumptions



From O'Connor article above.
Evolutionary scientists have suggested that belief in God, which is a common trait found in human societies around the world and throughout history, may be built into the brain's complex electrical circuitry as a Darwinian adaptation to encourage co-operation between individuals.
Problems:

(a) why not just adapt to genetic trait for co-operation? why all the mystical and religious hubub just for that? It seems that would be more efficient and would have been more likely.

(b) in other endowments we don't mustache belief in fantasy and unreal things that just happens to work out to benefit us.

"Religion Is Not an Adaptation" 159
Lee A. Kirkpatrick
In Where God and Science Meet
ed Patrick McNamara
Preager
Finally, perhaps the biggest problem with religion-as-adaptation theories
is that, in virtually every example I have encountered, it seems clear that a
much simpler design could solve the (presumed) adaptive problem at least
as well as religion. Natural selection is a very conservative process that,
starting from the existing design, fashions new adaptations by changing as
little as necessary. Simpler designs are more evolvable designs. Consider, for
example, suggestions that religious beliefs are adaptive because they provide
relief from anxiety or other psychological benefi ts. In addition to other problems
outlined previously as to how religion could represent an adaptation
designed to produce such effects, it seems obvious that a much simpler way
for natural selection to reduce anxiety would be to simply tweak a parameter
of the anxiety system or mechanism to make it quantitatively less reactive
in response to threats or to simply recalibrate it to produce consistently
lower levels. Such a minor change in an existing anxiety system would be far
easier—and thus more likely—for natural selection to produce than all the
complex systems and mechanisms (not to mention group-level phenomena)
required to produce anxiety-reducing religion.





(c) that assumes that somehow our genes would know that religious is bound up with social cooperation. It just happened to develop as side stream of co-operation but that's assuming a lot. There's no reason why belief in God had work into a social thing. The individual aspects of belief indicates there's more to it than that.

(d) The full blown concept of TS, the top of he metaphysical hierarchy and the basis of all that is seems to be present in all God concepts, weather personal or impersonal. Evolution can't bestow a full formed idea. That has to be a cultural construct and a produce ot culture becuase it's sophisticated and consists of too many prior concepts.

Atheist Objection:
way the mind works

The argument (from Michael Brooks above) that a separation between animate and inanimate is created in infancy and childhood by the seeming disembodiment of dreaming and mind/body distinction.So we can project a mind in the sky.

This is pretty much begging the question, and does more assuming about religious ideas being fully formed. It just as easily confirms the innate idea of god. It's assuming a host innate concepts such as life after death are projections of the way the brain works, still means innate ideas.

Summary:

What this argument does not do is establish God as a fact beyond dispute. We don't' want to do that. That would circumvent the personal search God wants us to conduit to internatlize the values of the good. What it does do is demonstrate that we have empirical data that can be used to extrapolate from logcially and in a valid way, to warrant belief in God in a ratinoal and verifiable way. These verifiable scientific facts about the effects of God concept on brain chemistry indicate that:

(1) We have God finder equanimity designed into us

(2) It's good for us to use it, indicates we are designed to have it. We are fit to be religous.

The atheist slogan will be employed "we don't arguments we want facts" I've already demonstrated that the same kind of extrapolations are used by scientists in support of theory.

(a) Neutrino

Scientists first proposed the neutrino based upon theory and the behavior of other particles They did not have any direct proof of a neutrino for 30 years but they continued to assume they were real based upon argument form theory!




(b) smoking as a cause of cancer

We went 40 years without knowing the mechanism for smoking causing cancer but we acted on the fact of a very tight correlation by itself. (
Website “Cancer Research UK,” URL http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/healthyliving/smokingandtobacco/, “Smoking and Cancer” visited March, 24, 2009.
See my page on Religious a priori, "Scientists Extrapolate to Argue for Theory" Where I present more evidence on the Neutrino argument.

26 comments:

Dave said...

What is the value of establishing "rational warrant"?

Metacrock said...

The value of rational warrant, what is the value of having a logical reason for something?

Dave said...

What specifically is the value of a rational warrant for belief in God? What is the value of a logical reason for such belief?

Tejas said...

"Science doesn't recognize innate ideas. " <- You had me at this. It's my #1 argument against anyone who denies God.

Metacrock said...

That God is an innate idea? Innate ideas were an idea way back in the 18th century. Even the 17th century. The concept of innate ideas assumes God.

Metacrock said...

People often confuse instinct with ideas. Intrinsic are innate for sure.Instincts are not ideas. Ideas are constructs. you have to explain them you have to think about them and you have to determine their truth and they can be argued against.

Instinct does not have to be thought about, you don't have to convince anyone to follow it and you can't argue with ti.

Atheists sometimes think ethics can be based upon instinct through genes.That is a violation of Hume's fork and it assumes that ethics are nothing more than fine feelings. That's really taking moral decision out of ethics.

Metacrock said...

Dave "What specifically is the value of a rational warrant for belief in God? What is the value of a logical reason for such belief?"

Toulmin says rational warrant is the logical step that all arguments must make in demonstrating something. Whatever is accepted as proved must first be warranted by logic.

If we value logical proof, the first step on the way to proof is to find a warrant for a proportion in logic.

Now if you ask "what is the value of proving something."I don't know. It just seems better to go by proof, logical proof when you can get it. If you can't then the next best thing would be to have a logical reason for agreeing with a propitiation.

It seems more rational (as in logical) to have a reason for something than not.

Dave said...

You are assuming that logical proof is always appropriate or valuable, that it is presumed to be superior. This needn't be the the case for all ideas and experiences. In fact, it can be counter-productive.

But other than your presumption that logical arguments are simply worthwhile in and of themselves, you still haven't provided any reason for trying to argue rational warrant for belief in God.

The question still stands -- what is the point?

Metacrock said...

Sure i have. I don't think that requries any big trick. it's a common of any argument. you are wrong. Read Toulmin. Rational warrant is necessary and required for any conclusion that's right. any time lgoic is invoked (and it is involved in empirical matters--you can't make sense of data with out logic) a reason for holding any idea has to be warranted.

"warrant" simply means' logic and coherent permits this as a valid reason.

If an idea or an argumnt is ratinally warranted it can't be called stupid or unimportant or arbitray. These are the things athists say about belief in God.

How many times do they do "there's no reason at all of any kind to believe in your God." YOUR GOD> (as opposed to Snuffy Smith's God).

IF it's rationally warranted then there is.

The reason for that level is becuase it's than actually proof. it doesn't take as much work to show that it's warranted as it does to show it's proved.

I had an article of a logician saying that logicians now accept the idea that we can place confidence in a partially proved hypothesis.

so logically we can place confidence in a rationally warrant hypothesis.

Dave said...

I didn't mention any big trick. I asked what the point is. You keep assuming rational warrant has value in and of itself, even when you try to explain the value of it. You presume the importance of explaining the utility of logic by saying that it wouldn't be logical otherwise.

That is beside the point. I am asking why that matters so much to begin with. What is the purpose of trying to make logical arguments for God?

Metacrock said...

Dave I think it's obvious to the point of being self evident. Sometimes hard to explain self evident propositions becuase they are so obvious.

If there is any merit in a proposition being proved by logical argument, then there has to be merit to rational warrant and it would be same merit. The reason is it's it's the last step any logical argument must take to be proved; the step that give justification of logic to a proposition.

If you don't see merit in that then fine. It looks self evident to me. you have asking for something more, I don't know there has to be any more. What more do you need?

Metacrock said...

I meant to say the last step before the actual proof. It's the necessary ting that lines up an argument so it's in a position to have the proof; that is the justification for a proposition.

Metacrock said...

I do think that rational warrant is analogous or equivalent to proof.It's not proof and the burden it has to meet is less than that of actually proving an argument. It's easier to prove a reason to bleieve in God than to actually prove God exists.

I think they equivalent in that it's a level of "practical reason." In other words life is too short,it could take centuries to find a really good proof, given God's transcendent nature, so the next best thing is for practical reasons as good as proving it.

Dave said...

It isn't self-evident, and failure to be able to articulate a basic reason for doing something other than claiming that doing it has obvious value suggests a lack of a proper foundation for the endeavor.

Why do you see value in making logical arguments about belief in God?

Metacrock said...

I think you are being rather picky Dave. what's obvious is that a rational justification is a good valid reason to think something. that's what everyone wants. you never know anyone who says "I just want to be irrational and wrong?"

ratinoal warrant is basically saying "this is true, it makes logical sense."

you talk about articulating, I doubt that you can articulate for me why rational warrant is not on a par with practical proof.

"Why do you see value in making logical arguments about belief in God?"

don't you think that's the obvious bit? I mean in the world I grew up in most people that logic was proof and if you prove something its true and being true is a reason to believe it. Let's see if you can articulate a reason why it's not? anyone can ask "why" after everything.

Dave said...

Did you really grow up in a world where everyone actually assumed that logic was proof? And even if you did, how many everyday people actually constructed logical arguments for proof of things in there regular lives?

Did people ask others to marry them by offering a rational warrant for doing so? Did people decide on what they wanted to eat for dinner using differential diagnosis? How often did people construct syllogisms in discussing their appreciation of art?

People may have assumed logic was meaningful and useful, but hardly for everything. And even for the things which were considered amenable to logical assessment, most didn't employ it. Their practical beliefs about topics such as religion tended to have very little to do with formal logical arguments and citing various theologians and philosophers.

That still leaves the question, what do you personally see as the value of making logical arguments about belief in God. You are tap dancing around the issue. Saying that no one wants to claim to their beliefs are irrational is a dodge. Your superfluous challenges insinuating you know more about logical arguments are irrelevant. Do you have a reason for spending so much time trying to make these arguments or not?

If you don't know the motivation behind your activities, just say so. Just say that you do it and you can't explain why. Otherwise, say what the motive is. What is the value of these rational warrants? They don't have intrinsic value, so their worth must lie in their use. So what good are they? What are they for?

Metacrock said...

Did you really grow up in a world where everyone actually assumed that logic was proof?

see here we go with the super literalistic stuff again. you can't understand a common statement or assume common knowledge.

Did I say logic = proof? I said in a "practical sense." Have you ever read of the Critique of practical reason by Kant?


And even if you did, how many everyday people actually constructed logical arguments for proof of things in there regular lives?

Wait a minute, now it's not good enough to be logical and scholar I must also assume the common layman is the standard?

Yes people in the world that was believed that if an idea was logical that's a good resaon to hold it.


Did people ask others to marry them by offering a rational warrant for doing so? Did people decide on what they wanted to eat for dinner using differential diagnosis? How often did people construct syllogisms in discussing their appreciation of art?

Is understanding the nature of reality on a par with getting married? What do you want form an deicision making paradign.

good luck finding a paradigm that's totally appealing to the common person and that atheists will accept as intellectual and scientific.

while you are at why don't you explain how it is that 90% of people in the world bleieve in God but somehow they are not cool with a logical God argument?

of the common person is your standard of proof and truth then why bother with understanding all the Buddhist jazz?



People may have assumed logic was meaningful and useful, but hardly for everything. And even for the things which were considered amenable to logical assessment, most didn't employ it. Their practical beliefs about topics such as religion tended to have very little to do with formal logical arguments and citing various theologians and philosophers.

so what?

Metacrock said...

That still leaves the question, what do you personally see as the value of making logical arguments about belief in God.

You don't a contradiction here? you want me to tell you MY VALUE in something when I do then it's not good enough because the common man wouldn't understand it, then you go back to asking me my value.

which do you want to know? why ask my value if the common man is your standard? (or woman).


You are tap dancing around the issue.

every time I answer it directly you find some petty reason to disprove or keep asking "why?"



Saying that no one wants to claim to their beliefs are irrational is a dodge.

In the human era we thought that it was an indication that logic idea are a value. If an idea was proved in logical argument that's a good reason to hold it. Yes it was a common value. how old are you? This would be like from maybe 68-75? I'm sure no one every thought of it afer that.


Your superfluous challenges insinuating you know more about logical arguments are irrelevant. Do you have a reason for spending so much time trying to make these arguments or not?


O yea, what about your superfluous challenges pretending you know more about logic?

If you don't know the motivation behind your activities, just say so.

why do you not believe that being right is a motivation? Why do you not believe that logical coherence is a value vis "being right?"

do you actually want to be wrong?



Just say that you do it and you can't explain why.

so now you are trying brow beat me into accenting your philosophy?no answer is good enough unless it echos your ideas?


Otherwise, say what the motive is.


what's wrong with wanting to be right?

What is the value of these rational warrants?

they make me feel loved.


They don't have intrinsic value, so their worth must lie in their use. So what good are they? What are they for?

what in the hell are you labeling about? you don't have an actual reason to reject what I've said already?

I want to loved to like everyone else. is that what you are looking for in an answer?

I want a logical reason to hold to something because I think that's a good chance of it being true, it's logical. the fact that it dove tails with empirical data and my experiences is also a good added bonus on the truth score. What else can we do in terms of understanding things? Empirical, personal and logical, why is that not a good basis upon which to make a deicsion about placing confidence in a hypothesis?

You have not actually given me a reason why I should be distinguished with that as a reason?

Metacrock said...

They don't have intrinsic value,

I value them. who are you to say they don't have intrinsic value?

the fact of the experiences I've had is a high value for me. I feel that this is an insight into reality that I've had and I'm trying to figure out what it means and be consistent with it.

I really don't give a damn if others can't understand that.

Dave said...

Your numerous comments replying to my single comment are a demonstration of why you sometimes have problems communicating your ideas to people. Before you decide to get even more defensive, consider that you are going all over the map bringing up things that I never came close to mentioning. You have this whole set of things that simply erupt in your mind that color your perception and your reaction and lead to a number of tangents.

I only brought up examples from everyday life to highlight that people don't generally come to their beliefs or behaviors through rigorous philosophical inspection, and I only brought that up because you implied this was a social norm which explained your own behavior.

You managed to make some progress in answering my question while accusing me of pretending to know more about logic (I didn't) or browbeating you into accepting "my" philosophy (I haven't) along with other things that have nothing to do with what I actually wrote. How you managed to drag in the claim that 90% reportedly believe in God or why you are going off the common man versus the atheist is a mystery.

The reason I keep asking "Why?" is because it forces the responder to go deeper into her or his chain of assumptions and motivations, to levels that otherwise go unexamined. If that is uncomfortable for you, then you can decline to answer. But I will ignore the tangents and challenges and focus on the progress.

I will break it down for you from my point of view. You initially kept saying that rational warrants are valuable because they are logical. I asked why it matters if they are logical. Valuable and true things can be illogical, and useless and untrue things can be logical. Moreover, many people decide on things based on intuition and other non-logical processes and experience and only afterward try use to logic to give them a more academic sense of credibility.

Thus I pointed out that logical arguments have no intrinsic value. I did so as a pointer to deeper motivations for valuing such arguments. Something with intrinsic value does not need anything else, any activity or interaction, to have value. If people never read, pondered, or otherwise interacted with logical arguments, they would have no value.

Given that, the issue becomes how and why you interact with them. And in the midst of your tangents, you have said that you want "to be right" and you want "to be loved." You also mentioned wanting to understand the nature of the universe, which suggests that you believe that the universe can be reduced to the logic of the human mind, or else that such logic is the least problematic option available.

This leads naturally to the following questions:

1. By whose standard and in whose eyes do you want to "be right"? What would accomplishing this mean to you?

2. How does creating and defending logical arguments about belief in God make you "feel loved"?

3. Do you believe that the universe can be reduced to systems of human logic? What about those aspects that appear to be irrational to the human mind? Do you accept that there are logical systems explaining the universe that do not involve God?

Metacrock said...
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Metacrock said...

Maybe I don't understand logic in a formal sense either.I've tried to. I'm not saying you don't but you never seemed to be that into the ins and outs of formal logic.

Metacrock said...
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Metacrock said...

Your numerous comments replying to my single comment are a demonstration of why you sometimes have problems communicating your ideas to people.

NO I made simple starightforward obvious comments first and you would not accept them.


Before you decide to get even more defensive,

gee why would I be defensive just because you sound like a public prosecutor?

consider that you are going all over the map bringing up things that I never came close to mentioning. You have this whole set of things that simply erupt in your mind that color your perception and your reaction and lead to a number of tangents.

I have a set of things in my mind? don't you? I think that comes out when you keep badgering about the same points becuase you want accept a simple answer.

I only brought up examples from everyday life to highlight that people don't generally come to their beliefs or behaviors through rigorous philosophical inspection, and I only brought that up because you implied this was a social norm which explained your own behavior.


I'm not other people

You managed to make some progress in answering my question while accusing me of pretending to know more about logic (I didn't) or browbeating you into accepting "my" philosophy (I haven't) along with other things that have nothing to do with what I actually wrote.

what?

I don't understand why a reason that's good enough for me isn't all the progress I need? why do you get to the be decider of progress?



How you managed to drag in the claim that 90% reportedly believe in God or why you are going off the common man versus the atheist is a mystery.

that's clear. just read it again. you are the one who say "most people don't decide this this way." so the standard of a norm is valid when you use it but not valid when it works against you.

is that how most people do it?

Metacrock said...

The reason I keep asking "Why?" is because it forces the responder to go deeper into her or his chain of assumptions and motivations, to levels that otherwise go unexamined. If that is uncomfortable for you, then you can decline to answer. But I will ignore the tangents and challenges and focus on the progress.


the reason people don't think small children are cleaver when they do that is becuase a point after which it comes tiresome and unnecessary and coutner productive.

I will break it down for you from my point of view. You initially kept saying that rational warrants are valuable because they are logical. I asked why it matters if they are logical. Valuable and true things can be illogical, and useless and untrue things can be logical.

No they can't. I don't of anything that is valuable and illogical. Ok for example diamonds are only valuable because people say they are, but it's not necessarily illogical to pick out some thing of that nature and decide to value it. If people value it for its beauty then it has value in that sense. Maybe not so much.


Moreover, many people decide on things based on intuition and other non-logical processes and experience and only afterward try use to logic to give them a more academic sense of credibility.


I can just see myself using "intuition" in this discussion and what you would say about it.

Thus I pointed out that logical arguments have no intrinsic value.

those are two different things. saying that intuition is valid or a value and saying that logic has no intrinsic value are two different things. intrinsic vs extrinsic and saying "no value" are two different too.

I did so as a pointer to deeper motivations for valuing such arguments. Something with intrinsic value does not need anything else, any activity or interaction, to have value. If people never read, pondered, or otherwise interacted with logical arguments, they would have no value.

I don't know that I need deep motivations to make God arguments. I think simple direct motives are a good enough reason. the reason for making them does not have to line up with the reason why I believe in God.

Metacrock said...

Given that, the issue becomes how and why you interact with them. And in the midst of your tangents, you have said that you want "to be right" and you want "to be loved." You also mentioned wanting to understand the nature of the universe, which suggests that you believe that the universe can be reduced to the logic of the human mind, or else that such logic is the least problematic option available.

NO it doesn't. Logic is obviously one tool for understanding. We have no understanding without logic. Even intuitive sorts of understanding if not enunciated and developed through logical means go away and soon become forgotten veg impulses that mean nothing.

This leads naturally to the following questions:

1. By whose standard and in whose eyes do you want to "be right"? What would accomplishing this mean to you?

my own of cousre. what would it accomplish? this is a case where you keep going with the why it's going to become counter productive. I want to be right so I wont be wrong. I don't want to be wrong becuase I don't want ot be false and untrue. I don't to be false and untrue because I associate that with dishonesty if you know you are false and you don't care. I don't want to be dishonest because it's not right. I want becasue right becuase it's true. here we have a circular rationing. so in the end it breaks down and nothing meaning and there's no reason to be right.

so lets' say I want to be wrong? can't you do the same circular thing starting form the desire to be wrong? and that breaks down?

so there has to be a stopping out and being right seems intuitively to be more valid than being wrong.


2. How does creating and defending logical arguments about belief in God make you "feel loved"?

it reminds me that God is real and thus the feeling of God loving me is all the more valid.

3. Do you believe that the universe can be reduced to systems of human logic?

of course not but that's one of the major checks we have agaisnt deception and one of the major tools we have for understanding. I see it as a parallax view with the intuative.

What about those aspects that appear to be irrational to the human mind? Do you accept that there are logical systems explaining the universe that do not involve God?

that I don't know. I have an intuitive sense that God and logic are inextricably bound up together and that doing logic can be a trigger for mystical experience.I think that's why some of those big math guys were mystics.

I don't think that relationship is as crass as bad pervayers of the TAG argument make it seem.