Author Topic: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth  (Read 2591 times)

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2012, 04:05:04 PM »
^^^^Exactly. We are willing to change our minds if the evidence shows us that we are wrong. The day a god-being shows up is the day we all become theists.[1]Theists are not willing to change their minds, or, in many cases, even to consider the evidence. Even when the evidence is something that they use and benefit from every day of their lives like the Theory of Evolution.
 1. Now whether we will happily bow down and worship the being is a different story.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2012, 04:29:17 PM »
But if you can't point to some 100% validation, and if you can't demonstrate that the product of your thinking is somehow more valid than mine (remembering that your brain has no external, ultimate intelligence backing it up) then can you really claim the high ground in our differences?
I used this as a signature for some time:

“All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.” Douglas Adams

The argument that you put forward is commonly heard from Christians. It's error is in line with Adam's quote:

A: "I don't know why X happens but I suggest it is caused by the metal contracting as the temperature drops, which allows air to enter. I will do a few experiments at varying temperatures."
B: "I don't know why X happens but I suggest it is a goblin entering the laboratory at night and releasing the seal. Someone told me that goblins do that sort of thing, so I don't need to check anything."
A: "???"
B: Well if neither of us know, either of us could be correct."

Jean Piaget, the first person to study children's development, once asked his two daughters, then aged about 4 and 6 to take pebbles out of a stream and look at them. The bottom of the pebbles were black with algae. Piaget asked what they thought the black stuff was. Charmingly, the younger daughter said, "It is where the darkness hides when it is daytime." This was a better answer than it might seem as Piaget was Swiss and the stream was on the side of the mountain that was hidden from the sun, so that is where it became dark first.

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At what point, then, is it possible to consider somebody 'foolish' for believing something to be true?
The point at which there is demonstrable reason to believe that the thing is false. This is usually, "On the balance of probabilities"

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If person A is convinced at point 4, and person B is convinced at point 6 or 7, but nobody has gotten to point 10 ( 100% validation ), then is person B really entitled to act all superior, as if they are more rational?
It is not the point at which the conviction occurs, it is the strength of the evidence - it is the point at which the average person would say, "Yes, that seems a well-supported argument."

If you have ever argued with a fundamentalist, you will know that no amount of proof would shake his absolute belief in all manner of things that we know are wrong.

I had correspondence with Dr J L Wile http://www.christiananswers.net/creation/people/wile-j.html who claims that he can prove the earth is 6000 years old from data on the diffusion rate in Helium4. The data is flawed and the experiment has never been able to be repeated. His conclusions are based upon a massive change in the rate of decay, so massive that (he agrees that) Noah and all the animals would have been fried within minutes.

What is he doing? He is "looking into that matter." I asked if he would not be better looking into the original sample and seeing what might have caused it. "No. I am happy to believe the earth is 6,000 years old." is his reply.

"Why, during the flood, did other civilisations survive?" I asked.

"We are looking into that too." He replied.

Should he have been convinced that his data was flawed? Should a reasonable person have been convinced that he has not proven anything about the earth being 6,000 years old? Dr J L Wile is deluded.





Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2012, 05:18:59 PM »
Thankyou for the responses. I don't have the time today to give them my full attention. I might be able to spend some of my Saturday morning respondng (Friday evening USA)
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2012, 07:42:57 PM »
Every religion has a base in which it must start,so in turn EVERY religion has a creation STORY. While you dismiss other's creation stories as just stories,what makes you hold on to your story as true?

 Your "God" and "Creator" of your universe was just a God of one small tribe that he chose. Your God has parents and siblings as per the stories,yet you choose to ignore these writings and dismiss them. How is your story true while others,who never even heard of your God til the late 19th century not true.

 Your creation story is no more real than the stories of all the other tribes that made up the world in their own image.
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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2012, 08:15:52 PM »
MM, maybe I’m misinterpreting, but your argument seems to work equally well reversing the roles of person A and B  in pursuit of truth.  After all, it is usually the atheist , a vast minority in most places these days, persecuted (or worse) for their view of truth, and that is why for myself, I can hardly judge a theist, atheist, or any belief as any more right or wrong than mine, because I do not know the truth.  I'm just asking that christians don't kill me because I'm not certain of the truth.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2012, 05:30:33 AM »
In the other thread, I asked the question "How was the universe created", and the consensus amongst you was pretty much 'We don't know, but we’re getting closer to knowing, and you can't logically say it was God'.
This is a fair representation of what an atheist might say. But it is an answer that calls out for an explanation; but an explanation of the answer rather than an explanation of the creation of the universe.

The word “creation” itself carries baggage that is not helpful. We associate the verb “to create” with an agent – “The bull created a mess in the china shop.” – i.e. that (i) there is an agent and that (ii) the agent is something exterior to the thing that has been created. In the case of the universe, there is the implication that the agent would have to be a massively intelligent source because, as Creationists say, “otherwise, what else could account for the complexity?”

Complexity is “Something that is hard to grasp and understand because it is made up of difficult propositions.”

This idea that "mankind should be able, without effort, to understand everything" was a natural thought in the time before the scientific method opened up the universe’s secrets – at that time, mankind thought everything was very simple and we could know everything. At that time in history, it was valid to say, “It’s obvious, isn’t it?”

We can no longer say, “It’s obvious, isn’t it?” We know we cannot say this because there are university courses dedicated to learning all manner of complicated knowledge – knowledge that the vast majority of us simply cannot grasp – admit it, 99% of us are neither intelligent or capable enough to understand the proof of Fermat’s last theorem, although it has been resolved.

Q: Does “The Solution to Fermat’s Last Theorem” then fall into the category of “Things an atheist takes on faith.”?

A: No. It does not.

It falls into the category of “Those things that we know that mankind can do.” And that does not mean “All of us can do” it means one or two from amongst us who has satisfied a group of well qualified persons who, in turn, agree that each step is the truth. They say this based upon being able to show that each proposition is based upon a solid truth itself. This proof goes all the way back to 1+1=2[1]

If we are serious about finding the origins of our present and observable universe, there are several questions about events preceding the present and observable universe’s first appearance. Questions to which, at the moment, there is no definitive answer.

However, what there is, is a vast amount of knowledge of the way that matter[2] behaves. It is from this knowledge that we can say that “Something happened 10-42 seconds before the universes came into existence but we don’t know what, but whatever it was will be in line with the knowledge we now have and, unfortunately for the Creationist, that knowledge - even at its present level - is of a physical nature and excludes a deity.

We can explain the formation of the universe from 10-42 seconds before it came into existence without having to introduce a deity.

Those who cling to the idea of a deity are stuck in denial at a time before the Enlightenment. Why are they stuck there? Because to admit otherwise would be traumatic to their lifetime of learning.

Q: Why is it so difficult for the deist to admit that knowledge has expanded and why is it difficult for them to say that the old explanations of huge physical events are no longer valid, whereas atheists accept this to be the case?

A: As we learn, we build up neural pathways. These pathways (in simple terms) are investments and lead our experiences to become conclusions. The conclusions help us cope with daily life – nettles sting; eating stops you feeling hungry; some things are dangerous, some things are nice; some things are nice but dangerous, etc.

These conclusions are very deeply seated; the brain does not want the trouble of re-learning, especially in an area where the knowledge is not critical to our daily life – and you must admit that belief in a deity is not essential to daily life, otherwise there would be no atheists and we would all believe in one god.

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I then asked 'is it possible there is some intelligence behind the universe' and the consensus seems to be 'it's possible, in the sense ANYTHING is theoretically possible, but highly unlikely'.
This is a very fair representation of one type of atheist philosophy. This is the atheist’s open-mindedness. The best an atheist will day is “Everything points towards XYZ, and we can show each step, right up to the final conclusion. However, tomorrow, someone might come up with something we have missed.” So, we should not fear saying, “I don’t know.” The Bible-inerrancy[3] deist does seem to fear this, as his personal God should have explained everything and everything should confirm His existence.

The deist therefore looks to things that give confirmation bias to his poorly sourced beliefs. He receives information input and converts that to an Experience he can assimilate and that fits the pathways that are filtered through his belief system.

Magicmiles:
you are not persuaded by a Hindu or Jewish version of a great event. You dismiss the animist beliefs of many people as pure, misguided ignorance and superstition - missionaries are sent to put them right. You may well think they are deluded. But your own system is quite normal... Why might that be?

And as an aside: The following is an amazing coincidence! True story:
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In a nutshell, here's what’s been troubling me:

There are varying degrees by which we can validate the truth of something. For instance, we can be told that there is a wardrobe in a room. We might believe this even without validation, if we have no obvious reason to doubt the person telling us. We could ask somebody not privy to the conversation to walk into the room and tell us what it contains. If they say "a wardrobe ", we can pretty much take that to the bank.  Or we can validate it 100% by walking into the room and seeing it for ourselves.
 
I have just returned to UK from having taken my son to Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Prior to his departure, my wife packed his stuff and had seen a picture of his room – it is not particularly large… in fact it’s quite small. In the photo, you could see the bed, a bookcase and a desk and chair. My wife said, “Shall I pack coat-hangers?”
I asked why she was asking – “Well, I can’t see a wardrobe.”
My son and I both said, “Well there must be a wardrobe! All bedrooms have wardrobes!  Who would build a flat (US = apartment) without a wardrobe or if they did, who would furnish a bedroom with desk, chair, bookcase but not a wardrobe?”

Anyway, we arrived in Maastricht and saw the room… I will not say if it has a wardrobe or not – I will just say, “'it's possible, that it does not have a wardrobe, in the sense ANYTHING is theoretically possible, but highly unlikely'.” ; )
 1. which, if you are interested, you should Google; that proof takes something like 300 pages
 2. It is probably more accurate to say, “Fundamental particles”
 3. also substitute “Koran”, “Vedas”,”Torah” “Book of Mormon” or any other holy book.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2012, 05:38:26 AM »
....if I thought long enough and had the time I'm sure I could come up with an example where there were 10 or more ways of validating something, with a progressing level of certainty leading up to the point of 100% validation.

At what point, then, is it possible to consider somebody 'foolish' for believing something to be true? If person A is convinced at point 4, and person B is convinced at point 6 or 7, but nobody has gotten to point 10 ( 100% validation ), then is person B really entitled to act all superior, as if they are more rational?

With the point, I presume, being that everybody would be convinced about "X" if only ALL the information were available to them?  Well, good luck with humanity then.  There are people out there why believe that the earth is hollow, or on the inside of a sphere.  Millions of people of (not-your-god) believe that (not-your-god) is real and does miracles.  Should we call them foolish for not believing?  Well, the BIBLE says we should..... ;D

It seems to me the answer lies with what we experience. That seems to me a good validation of truth. Our brain might tell us one thing, when experience tells us different. So doesn't it make sense to go with what you personally experience, even if your experience is at odds with somebody elses, or seems contrary to what somebody's elses brain tells them?

Does it?  How do you diagnose hallucinations, MM?  Shouldn't we accept that what a person SAYS they experience, IS actually what they experience?

How do judges and juries decide, MM?  If one person says "I saw him take the gems", and another says "I watched him, and he DIDN'T take the gems", are they both correct?  Should we treat them both as correct - and if so, how?

When you look at Hal's optical illusion, are the lines REALLY wobbly?  When you look at all the studies on how easily eye-witnesses unconsciously embellish their stories, add bits, change them when asked leading questions.....I'm interested in how you can say that "what I done think happened" is a position we should just accept, and not worry about changing.  If Sarah says she saw fairies, great!  She saw fairies, and that's all there is to it.

Clearly that would be an impossible world to live in, even if everyone kept their beliefs to themselves.  But they don't, and those beliefs have real and often dramatic effects on the world itself.

Its why letting people alone with their unverifiable viewpoints is not an option.  Its why we treat people who see things that aren't there.  Its why we use CCTV to see who REALLY took the gems.  Its why we don't build ships based on what some guys "believes" would make a damn good floaty thing, but on carefully observed and tested principles.  The guy who is convinced that sponge and lead would be good things to build a ship from is firmly shown the door.

But how do we tell who we should listen to when we are thinking about building a ship?  Well, when someone says:

The conslusion I reach? My brain and my experience convince me 100% of God's existence. It's a lock, for me. I took it to the bank years ago.

...we say to them okay - SHOW us.  Demonstrate it.  Show us how your experience can be verified, how we can repeat it, how we can be empirically sure that your experience matches up with the reality of what happened.  Especially when the experience that person is asserting is contrary to all the things that we CAN show we should expect.

You're telling me that your brain, and presumably your expereince, tells you that God does not exist.
But if you can't point to some 100% validation, and if you can't demonstrate that the product of your thinking is somehow more valid than mine (remembering that your brain has no external, ultimate intelligence backing it up) then can you really claim the high ground in our differences?

If I couldn't?  No.  If I couldn't in any way show you that my hypothetical wardrobe exists, then I probably COULDN'T claim to be any more sure it was there than you were it was not.

But I'm confident I can.

I don't just disbelieve in gods on a whim.  I do not believe they exist because when I test the propositions of what should happen if they exist, those propositions fail.  Sometimes that definition of the goddess in question becomes so vague and woooly that it becomes completely untestable - but when I reach THAT stage in a conversation, when the "does it? doesn't it?" is completely unanswerable, then frankly I no longer give a toss.  When the purported goddess is so intangible that it has no demonstrable effect on the world then it is completely irrelevant and may just as well not exist.

So go ahead, MM - as several others have asked you in this thread.  You have become "100% convinced" that your particular god exists.  I look forward to seeing the several aspects of verifiable, testable, and repeatable evidence that you can point to as support that your conviction is not simply the result of chance, coincidence, and wishful thinking.  This is the SCIENCE section of the forum, after all.  So let's see the SCIENCE behind your assertions.

Or is your god really one of those ones that is so irrelvant to the world that it may just as well NOT exist?

« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 05:43:02 AM by Anfauglir »
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2012, 09:51:58 AM »
can hardly wait for the response from MM
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Offline HAL

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2012, 10:34:56 AM »
can hardly wait for the response from MM

Yea, but I will predict something -

All this will mean absolutely nothing to him.

Offline BornAgainAtheist

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2012, 10:51:27 AM »
 :blank:
My hair is a bird.  Your argument is invalid.

Offline JeffPT

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2012, 01:13:39 PM »
can hardly wait for the response from MM

Yea, but I will predict something -

All this will mean absolutely nothing to him.

Even though the logic is sound in all the arguments against him, his belief isn't based on logic.  So you're probably right. 

If his belief were based on logic, he'd finally realize just how bad the Christian argument is.  Of course, the same could be said of so many people.   
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline inveni0

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2012, 04:31:04 PM »
can hardly wait for the response from MM

Yea, but I will predict something -

All this will mean absolutely nothing to him.

Even though the logic is sound in all the arguments against him, his belief isn't based on logic.  So you're probably right. 

If his belief were based on logic, he'd finally realize just how bad the Christian argument is.  Of course, the same could be said of so many people.   

You're absolutely right.  Yesterday, I had an old church friend tell me this:

"To determine the truth, all you use is man's way of recording history and man's way of conducting science experiments.  I use the Bible."

Needless to say, I had to explain that the Bible is just man's way of recording history WITHOUT the science...  Which is the wrong way to learn.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #41 on: August 17, 2012, 11:23:38 PM »
Apologies to all, but my Saturday has been busier than usual and there is too much to digest for me to be able to respond properly just yet.

I might still have some time this evening, if not will have to wait a day or so still.

There will be a response - have faith confidence.
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Offline Aspie

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #42 on: August 18, 2012, 02:21:44 AM »
It seems to me the answer lies with what we experience. That seems to me a good validation of truth. Our brain might tell us one thing, when experience tells us different. So doesn't it make sense to go with what you personally experience, even if your experience is at odds with somebody elses, or seems contrary to what somebody's elses brain tells them?

And finally, it seems to me the absolute validation of truth is when what your brain tells you is true and what experience tells you is true meet. If that happens, how the hell can somebody tell you that you're wrong?

The conslusion I reach? My brain and my experience convince me 100% of God's existence. It's a lock, for me. I took it to the bank years ago.

Your innocent until proven guilty approach to human judgment is not borne out by the science. From The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker:

Quote from: Page. 31
One of the most dramatic demonstrations of the illusion of the unified self comes from the neuroscientists Michael Gazzaniga and Roger Sperry, who showed that when surgeons cut the corpus callosum joining the cerebral hemispheres, they literally cut the self in two, and each hemisphere can exercise free will without the other one's advice or consent. Even more disconcertingly, the left hemisphere constantly weaves a coherent but false account of the behavior chosen without its knowledge by the right. For example, if an experimenter flashes the command “WALK” to the right hemisphere (by keeping it in the part of the visual field that only the right hemisphere can see),the person will comply with the request and begin to walk out of the room. But when the person (specifically, the person's left hemisphere) is asked why he just got up, he will say, in all sincerity, “To get a Coke” rather than “I don't really know” or “The urge just came over me” or “You've been testing me for years since I had the surgery, and sometimes you get me to do things but I don't know exactly what you asked me to do.” Similarly, if the patient's left hemisphere is shown a chicken and his right hemisphere is shown a snowfall, and both hemispheres have to select apicture that goes with what they see (each using a different hand), the left hemisphere picks a claw (correctly) and the right picks a shovel (also correctly). But when the left hemisphere is asked why the whole person made those choices, it blithely says, “Oh, that's simple. The chicken claw goes with the chicken, and you need a shovel to clean out the chicken shed.

The spooky part is that we have no reason to think that the baloney-generator in the patient's left hemisphere is behaving any differently from ours as we make sense of the inclinations emanating from the rest of our brains. The conscious mind - the self or soul - is a spin doctor, not the commander in chief.

As psych research such as split brain cases, eyewitness studies, and conformity experiments demonstrate the human brain isn't an engine of pure rationality that actively works to sift fact from fiction, but a system of functioning that interprets information in a way that's most useful towards maintaining both healthy functioning and a healthy ego. Everything we absorb and experience is filtered through the lens of our own biases, and any gaps in between are painted over by our brain's craving for a consistent narrative. Just like with the examples above your brain could very well be using your interpretation of events to simply tell you a story with a teleological spin that fits neatly with your belief in God. That is how the mind works - it streamlines what the brain tells you and what experience tells you so that they will usually meet. This is why defense mechanisms such as cognitive dissonance and projection come into play in order to filter out worldview-challenging material from circulation. In summation, your brain is about as impartial as Fox News.

This is why facts and evidence are of such great importance when determining truth; with minds that function by processing information subjectively we need static elements in the world around us to appeal to in order to cultivate greater understanding. The scientific method has proven itself a most useful tool precisely because the object is to remove as much subjectivity from the equation as possible by testing everything. Yet if our minds are as capable of objectivity as you believe yours is then why should this be the case? By your logic sufficient conviction and a lack of decisive evidence to the contrary should be all that's necessary to yield fruit in the pursuit of truth.

Your approach leaves out one important aspect in matters of assessing truth - reasonable doubt. Just as controls are crucial to any scientific study, so must all factors be accounted for when considering our own judgment; our motives, our biases, our expectations. magicmiles, the fact that what your brain tells you and what your experience tells you meet is not sufficient grounds to consider your position as reasonable because there is evidence that it's what the brain does with even the most absurd of positions. Of course, reasonable doubt alone isn't enough to declare you wrong, but it's enough to warrant skepticism.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 03:40:01 AM by Aspie »

Offline kcrady

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2012, 04:27:02 AM »
If one assumes that the human brain has no external intelligence behind it, as you all do, then how can you ever say that the beliefs you form are more valid than those formed by somebody else, using their brain? In other words, how can you trust your brain to be interpreting things correctly? What is correct, what is true, ultimately? How could you say for sure?

>snip<

(remembering that your brain has no external, ultimate intelligence backing it up) then can you really claim the high ground in our differences?

You seem to be operating on the premise that, unless there is "an external, ultimate intelligence" to act as Supreme Author and Arbiter of Truth, a kind of metaphysical referee, then there's no way for one person to be wrong and another to be right.  Solipsism is true, and the only reason we live in a shared, orderly reality is because there's one Intelligence who's the boss, and he imposes a coherent, ordered reality on the rest of us.  In a nutshell: Monarchy as the Grand Unified Theory.

In ancient times, it was a common mythic trope for cultures to envision the primordial state of Existence as a metaphysical and ontological chaos, until a Somebody or other showed up and put things to rights, like a mother stepping in to clean up her children's messy playroom.  It makes intuitive sense.  People in ancient times could tell that when there was a strong king on the throne, the nation had law and order, but if the king was assassinated and the priests and nobles squabbled amongst each other in the game of thrones, there was chaos.  However, applying this to cosmology and ontology is a mistake.  We look at Existence through human-colored glasses, and it is far easier for us to imagine "Amun-Re" as the explanation for the Sun, than to figure out and calculate the equations for nuclear fusion and celestial mechanics.  Without the human-colored glasses though, "Amun-Re" is far more complicated.  We can program a computer to produce a fairly accurate model of solar fusion, magnetic fields, plasma currents and so on, and the celestial mechanics of the Solar System.  We are presently nowhere near being able to produce an accurate software emulation of an intelligent, personal Sun God.  Even if we could emulate the intelligence and personality of a Sun God, we would still need to incorporate all the equations for solar fusion and celestial mechanics in order for our model to be accurate.  So rather than being simple and parsimonious as an explanation, Divine Intelligence is actually a gigantic, unnecessary add-on.  Personal intelligence is extremely hard.  It only seems simple because each of us already has one, and looks at Existence through it.

"But how can you have laws of physics if there isn't a Physics Lawgiver?"

First of all, what we mistakenly call "laws" of physics aren't Royal Decrees that asteroids and rivers obey because they'd get sent to Hell if they didn't.[1]  They're descriptions of how things do behave.  Is a Physics Lawgiver necessary for such regularities to exist?  No.  In fact, that question is completely bass ackward.

Try to imagine Existence as the primordial ontological chaos of the ancient creation myths.  There's no natural regularities, no logic, math doesn't work, and so on.  2 + 2 can be whatever it likes at any given moment, A can be Non-A at the same time and in the same respect, the Chicago Cubs can win a World Series...you get the picture.  As in the myths, a Supreme Intelligence tries to appear or emerge and put things to rights.  But how can it?  Since there's no logic, there's no way for this Intelligence to be what it is and not something else: Yahweh rather than Atum or the Great Mother or Brahman or...etc..  There's no regularities, so there's no way for an Intelligence to actually work; no way for it to think or perceive or speak its orders and expect to be heard.  That would require something like sound (or electromagnetic waves, or whatever would transmit the Intelligence's words), with the ability to form a coherent pattern that remains consistent with its own identity once it is emitted.  The things receiving the Divine command would have to be "things" in the first place, and have some capacity to receive and obey the command.  This argument is like saying, "Math could not work unless there was a Supreme Computer to make all the calculations.  If there wasn't a Supreme Computer, how would a billiard ball know which way to bounce and how far to roll when it's hit with a cue ball?"  To the contrary, it is only possible to construct a computer (Supreme or otherwise) if reality behaves in such a way that computation (i.e. math) already works.

In other words: the natural regularities are necessary for intelligence (or Intelligence) to exist, not the other way around.  Furthermore, human-like personal "Intelligence" of the sort you're talking about here can't even exist by itself.  If there was one, solitary Intelligence, who would teach it how to talk?  If it has no words and there are no other objects outside of itself, how could it think?  It would have no way to arrange its thoughts and nothing to think about.  How could it even form a concept of order or disorder, or decide that Force ought to equal Mass times Acceleration or that there ought to be an Uncertainty Principle or anything that behaves according to the Schrodinger Wave Equation?  A baby raised in a sensory deprivation tank would never become "intelligent," much less supremely so.  "Intelligence" as we know it is something that only develops in communities of intelligence-capable beings, in the context of an external reality.  Just as a watch found in a forest is proof not of a single Watchmaker, but of an entire civilization,[2] any argument in favor of a god is an argument for a pantheon.

Since natural regularities are ontologically prior to intelligence, intelligence cannot be posited as an explanation for why there are natural regularities.  Therefore, not only do we not need gods as an explanatory mechanism for how intelligences like ourselves can figure out how reality works (the ability to do so is what makes us "intelligent" in the first place), gods are a non-parsimonious excrescence that exists only because we look at reality through human-colored glasses and expect it to have a human face.
 1. The use of the word "laws" in this context is another example of our human-colored glasses tinting our perceptions of reality.
 2. A solitary, feral individual would never need to tell time precisely (no appointments to miss!) or have written numbers or a system of hours, minutes, and seconds, much less be able to construct the watch alone from scratch.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline JeffPT

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2012, 07:06:47 AM »
To wit:

If triangles had a god, they would give him three sides. - Charles Louis De Secondat Montesquieu
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #45 on: August 18, 2012, 07:18:02 AM »
Well.

I use my work notebook to post on the forum, and earlier today when I logged on there were error messages galore, basically saying the C drive was critically damaged, driver sector not found, and about 1000 other nasty looking messages. I have no idea whats going on, but I suspect the IT department won't be thrilled. A lot of my work is done on a shared drive (virtual desktop), but I also download many photos to the local drive ( I'm a Loss Adjuster ) and I am freaking out I've lost them all. All I can access on here right now are IE and Word.

Every few minutes the screen gets jammed with error boxes which i have to clear one at a time. It's a mess.

Long story short: I might be a while responding, because all we have at home is an IPAD and I hate the damn thing and never use it.

Sorry, but beleive me I am more annoyed than you.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #46 on: August 18, 2012, 07:33:54 AM »
I use my work notebook to post on the forum, and earlier today when I logged on there were error messages galore, basically saying the C drive was critically damaged, driver sector not found, and about 1000 other nasty looking messages. I have no idea whats going on, but I suspect the IT department won't be thrilled.....

IT Department?  Why not just pray?  After all, you are doing god's work in opening our minds, surely it would want you to be able to continue....?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline kcrady

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #47 on: August 18, 2012, 07:53:36 AM »
Why Won't God Heal Laptops? ;)
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline jetson

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2012, 09:00:38 AM »

Offline Garja

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #49 on: August 18, 2012, 10:30:49 AM »
Why Won't God Heal Laptops? ;)

You would think that the Almighty creator of all things would want MM here and debunking all the heathens on this site.
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #50 on: August 18, 2012, 02:28:21 PM »
Why Won't God Heal Laptops? ;)

God has no lap. But he is the ultimate top. ;)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2012, 07:25:07 PM »
Why Won't God Heal Laptops? ;)
Maybe it's a Job type/bet with the devil thing... &)
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline kin hell

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2012, 10:07:34 PM »
Why Won't God Heal Laptops? ;)

God has no lap. But he is the ultimate top. ;)

yes, ......when you stop the "spin" the whole thing falls over.
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline HAL

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #53 on: August 19, 2012, 07:09:15 AM »
Man!

Magicmiles sure does have a lot to respond to. Too bad his 'puter crapped out.

What will it be?

Will he really consider all the points we've made?

Will he deconvert?

Will be deny logic and ignore it all?

Will his internet go down?

Will he resort to quoting the Holy By-Bull?

Stay tuned for ...

As The Theist Turns

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #54 on: August 19, 2012, 12:25:29 PM »
Why Won't God Heal Laptops? ;)

God has no lap. But he is the ultimate top. ;)

yes, ......when you stop the "spin" the whole thing falls over.

Bada bing.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #55 on: August 19, 2012, 03:23:52 PM »
Man!

Magicmiles sure does have a lot to respond to. Too bad his 'puter crapped out.

What will it be?

Will he really consider all the points we've made?

Will he deconvert?

Will be deny logic and ignore it all?

Will his internet go down?

Will he resort to quoting the Holy By-Bull?

... And what about Naomi?
Quote

Stay tuned for ...

As The Theist Turns
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #56 on: August 19, 2012, 05:09:36 PM »
Thanks for your patience. Using a spare desktop PC until my laptop is fixed.

I've read through all the responses, and there are far too many to address them all, so I will make a few general follow up comments.

I think the biggest point I was trying to make was that we all rely largely on our brains to help us make sense of things, and we all have different brains. If person A's brain tells them one thing, which is in conflict with what person b's brain tells them, how do you know if person A or person B has it right?

A lot of the responses have addressed this by pointing out that we need to rely on the scientific method of verifiable proof. But that really doesn't answer the larger philosophical problem which arises from your assumption that there is no intelligence behind the brain ( I know most of you remain open to the possibility of an unexplained intelligence, but if I have understood correctly you consider it highly unlikely ). If there really is no intelligence behind the brain, then surely truth is no more than an illusion, or at best a majority decision. Every single thought you have is ruled by nothing more than whatever impersonal matter happens to comprise your brain. How is it that you can all look at the words on the screen in front of you and get the same message? Is it because thats just waht the words are, some sort of unquestionable truth? No - it is because we all agree that certain shapes are called letters, and different letters can be grouped together to form what we call words, and different words have been ascribed certain meanings, and when we put them all together we get a message we can all agree on. So if somebody read the words in this message and got a completely different message, could you say they are wrong on any other basis other than that certain arbitraty rules weren't being followed? Were they wrong on any level deeper than that? I don't think so.

And that is why I was making the point that experience needs to validate what your brain tells you. I think they need to be linked.  Because experience is an entirely personal thing. Can anybody truly deny that somebody had a certain experience, no matter how unlikely? If I said to you right now that I floated off my chair and bumped my head on the ceiling, you wouldn't believe me. And fair enough. If there was video of me sitting at my desk typing at the same time I claimed I was floating in the air, you would say it was verifiable that I did not float anywhere. But you could not verify that I had not had the experience, even if my experience was some type of unexplained hallucination. So would I take that experience and live by it? Would I walk off a cliff, believing that I would float? No - because my brain tells me that what I experienced was not reality.

And thankyou to Hal for the diagram of the parallel lines, a good point raised there with regard to verification. As he states, when we look at that our brain first tells us the lines are not parallel. To determine that they are we need to verify it with some sort of measureemnt. But does that not simply lead back to the problem of trusting our brain again? We use our brain to tell us that the lines are parallel because they measure the same distance at every point along them. But our brain first told us they were crooked. Why do we trust our brain when it tells us the measureemnts are the same when we don't trust it for mere visual verification? The answer is experience. We might measure train tracks and believe we have verified they are equal distance apart all the way, but it's not until a train has successfully travelled along those tracks that it is truly verified.

The point I am making is that experience and logic need to co-exist. And here is where I will personalise the discussion. For me, it makes absolute logical sense that a world full of what we perceive as design has been designed. It makes logical sense to me that at some point our universe was set in motion by a force of some type.  I cannot believe that this force was impersonal, and that the world we experience was arrived at in infinitesimal stages of randomness. My mind simply won’t allow it, and I can tell you honestly that I have played ‘devil’s advocate’ and assumed the position of atheist and tried to convince myself that the argument of random creation makes sense. It doesn’t to me, no matter how many peer reviewed scientific journals are published which point out the evidences in favour of it. My brain looks at those evidences and rejects them. Why? Because it isn’t what I experience AND because my brain sees the evidences for God and those do ring true for me. I know you all love to point out there is no evidence for God, but that simply isn’t true. I don’t often link to apologetics sites, but I will here:

http://carm.org/apologetics

if for no other reason than to put some evidences on the table. These evidences ring true to me. They don’t to you, apparently, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, any more than my rejection of the scientific evidences for random creation eliminate their existence.

Seems to me I need to validate my belief with experience, and I do. Remembering that experience is personal. Love is a good example. If you have experienced love, you know what I mean. It’s a personal experience, an abstract concept that often defies logic but nonetheless real. When I read the bible, something inside me which I simply cannot deny or ignore tells me that I am reading the word of God. I get a sense that God is real. And that is all of the bible, every bit of it, even the stuff which makes me recoil in horror, as it does for you. I don’t pretend to understand it all, and I cannot explain God’s actions in every single event detailed. But the overall message makes absolute sense to me, and rings truer than anything else I know. I would outline that message, but I’d end up getting carried away and likely be preaching.

My experience matches what my brain tells me is real. It’s not just my brain giving me data without the backing of experience, and my experience is not devoid of logic to give it credence.

So why would I reject that? Because others tell me it’s illogical? I might – if I examined everything afresh and some part of me ‘awoke’ and seemed to tell me that I was indeed ignoring verifiable proofs. But that hasn’t happened. Would I reject it because I can’t make sense of everything God has done, such as the problem of suffering? No. Not liking or understanding what you are convinced is real is no reason to pretend that you don’t find it real. Ultimately I have faith, yes FAITH, that God really has loved this world in a way which will prove in the end to be the greatest way possible, and that the suffering we see and experience is not meaningless and allowed to exist out for no good reason. As a parent I experience despair almost daily with the way my kids treat my wife and I and our authority. But my love for them trumps it all.

That’s it. I can’t respond to all personally. I hope I have at least made my position clear, and I hope this post isn’t too rambling or nonsensical. I don’t have time to proof read it.

And I can’t commit to any more time on the thread. I hope that doesn’t anger you. I will read the responses to this post, and if you have something you really badly want me to respond to please send me a PM.  Please try to understand that I really am busy, and spend more time than I should on the forum as it is. I’m sure I’ll participate further, but not for a while. 
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Your brain, logic and ultimate truth
« Reply #57 on: August 19, 2012, 05:16:29 PM »
One quick question. Does god appear to be designed, according to the apologist criteria you use to say that  things in the universe appear to be designed? Criteria like complexity, organization, intelligence, intention, function,  etc.

I think you can figure out where I am going with this. ;)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.