Author Topic: Natural Explanation Vs Magical  (Read 9915 times)

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Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #261 on: April 06, 2014, 02:46:57 PM »
If we cast our eyes back through history, many things were thought to be caused by a magical invisible being; thunder, lightning, volcanoes, storms, comets, the motion of the planets, to name but a few. Every time, without exception, when a magical being was thought to cause something to happen and the phenomenon was investigated to the point of being explained, it was found to be a natural, non-magical being explanation.

That's a 100% track record in finding things aren't caused by magical beings when previously they were thought to be.

So why would the formation of the universe be an exception to this? What theory, what facts, what method are theists using to presume that in this instance a magical being WAS involved?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #262 on: April 06, 2014, 03:58:54 PM »
The issue is, as least for myself, not science itself; it is the assumption that science proves naturalism (the philosophy that everything is part of the spatiotemporal universe) and therefore, everything is reducible to being detected by our senses and defined by scientific theories.
I find that opinion quite amazing. You are suggesting a set of physical and behavioural laws that are quite different from the ones we know, and yet, at the same time, this second set somehow has no effect of the set we know or so small is the effect that it has remained undetectable.

Those of a realistic mind investigate and demonstrate and others repeat and establish. What theory, other than magic, has the theist? What repeatable experiments have they done to establish their "eternal truth." How does your conjecture fit with what we know?

Are we to believe that all that we do not know is the work of a deity but all that we do know is in accordance with science? Such a view has presentational difficulties as our knowledge expands, doesn't it?

Nevertheless, you seem to have thought this one through and will be able to explain. Your thoughts would be welcome.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #263 on: April 06, 2014, 04:27:06 PM »
Simpler than you think, theists fear death, theists want a nice afterlife where all animals are vegetarian, everyone is young and healthy, kids all lovd their parents and are well behaved, you never get dysentry, god pays all yr bills and everythi.g is just swell. to have that you need god, if you have god youneed a religion if you have a religion you need it to say something so you write a bible. if you write a bible you need it to be correct when something like science or other religions differ from yr bible you have to say they are wrong.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #264 on: April 06, 2014, 05:29:57 PM »
If we cast our eyes back through history, many things were thought to be caused by a magical invisible being; thunder, lightning, volcanoes, storms, comets, the motion of the planets, to name but a few. Every time, without exception, when a magical being was thought to cause something to happen and the phenomenon was investigated to the point of being explained, it was found to be a natural, non-magical being explanation.

That's a 100% track record in finding things aren't caused by magical beings when previously they were thought to be.

So why would the formation of the universe be an exception to this? What theory, what facts, what method are theists using to presume that in this instance a magical being WAS involved?

Something I've said many times.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #265 on: April 06, 2014, 08:26:33 PM »
If we cast our eyes back through history, many things were thought to be caused by a magical invisible being; thunder, lightning, volcanoes, storms, comets, the motion of the planets, to name but a few. Every time, without exception, when a magical being was thought to cause something to happen and the phenomenon was investigated to the point of being explained, it was found to be a natural, non-magical being explanation.

That's a 100% track record in finding things aren't caused by magical beings when previously they were thought to be.

So why would the formation of the universe be an exception to this? What theory, what facts, what method are theists using to presume that in this instance a magical being WAS involved?

It doesn't actually have to be the creator of the universe that we have to worship. It could be some other tyrant that mastered the universe 13 billion years ago.  Both physicists and theists are flexible about possible things that we don't know. Also, people who want an quick explanation, have to look at current physical theories and current religions. All they know is that we don't know now, and that they will likely die before we do know. Death is a deadline. The current thinking says that you have to come up with something before you die, or you lose the game. Also, there's an assumption that you need to win the game.

The current scenarios being discussed by scientific philosophers are
- we are probably in a VR, which may or may not block our investigation of deeper layers of it
- the universal laws are an infinite layered onion, with who knows what at the bottom of it. This is a form of acceptable denial within official physics.
- we are in a multiverse, that splits at every opportunity, and nothing is definable
- the Copenhagen interpretation requires an observer, so either some big thing is observing us, or we are creating ourselves.

Inductive opinion that we will discover natural explanations (because we have before) only works in, oh, none of the scenarios I just mentioned.

Given that you have to win the game, and you have to make a bet before you die, what option do you pick?
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #266 on: April 06, 2014, 08:34:43 PM »
Who says they are the only options? A bit arrogant don't you think.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #267 on: April 06, 2014, 10:06:37 PM »
Who says they are the only options? A bit arrogant don't you think.

I invite you to supply other options. Are you inherently supplying an option that nobody knows about?
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #268 on: April 06, 2014, 10:22:00 PM »
there are other people with opinions on these issues other than scientific philosophers, none more or less relevant when it comes to a question of philosophy....choose whatever philosophy rocks yr boat, or choose none, or make one up, it's just philosophy.

I could make up some philosophical theory just now if you really want it (which I doubt), it will crude as I will be making it up as I write but it would refute yr insinuation that we are somehow limited to pick from YOUR  list or even that we have to pick at all.



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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #269 on: April 06, 2014, 10:30:17 PM »
I could make up some philosophical theory just now if you really want it (which I doubt), it will crude as I will be making it up as I write but it would refute yr insinuation that we are somehow limited to pick from YOUR  list or even that we have to pick at all.

To understand why theists think with magical explanations, you have to think like a theist, with the options available. Panic now!

The options I supplied aren't even theistic ones. A theist would object that I supplied only those options, yet you are getting annoyed, as if you are a theist.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #270 on: April 06, 2014, 11:00:17 PM »
no i am not getting annoyed, GODDAMITT......just kiddin.


i was merely pointing out that you are providing a set of options and asking people to choose from them as if they are the only options available...i say, says who.

if my fledgling logic serves me correct you are providing a straw man fallacy??..or not?

i may have just completely misread what you meant, i tend to do that, no biggie.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #271 on: April 06, 2014, 11:23:46 PM »
i was merely pointing out that you are providing a set of options and asking people to choose from them as if they are the only options available...i say, says who.

Some of them aren't options. Whatever you come up with, there is no way you can demonstrate logically, that we are not in a VR. Gnostic Christians invented it, and then it was made into a Hollywood film, called The Matrix.

Whatever universal laws you come up with, there is no way you can demonstrate logically, that there won't be a deeper law that created it.  It's almost the same as VR. That's where the onion idea comes from. If you genuinely have a new way of looking at the universe, that rules out the options I gave, then we would like to hear about it, because your Nobel prize awaits.

It's not a matter of thinking up another option.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #272 on: April 06, 2014, 11:32:00 PM »
I doubt you can get a nobel prize for yet another unverifiable theory.


you border on solipism i mean you could just be my internal thoughts and vice versa.  me or you can not prove another mind exists or even yr own. hardly intetesting or productive.
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Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #273 on: April 06, 2014, 11:40:17 PM »
If we cast our eyes back through history, many things were thought to be caused by a magical invisible being; thunder, lightning, volcanoes, storms, comets, the motion of the planets, to name but a few. Every time, without exception, when a magical being was thought to cause something to happen and the phenomenon was investigated to the point of being explained, it was found to be a natural, non-magical being explanation.

That's a 100% track record in finding things aren't caused by magical beings when previously they were thought to be.

So why would the formation of the universe be an exception to this? What theory, what facts, what method are theists using to presume that in this instance a magical being WAS involved?

It doesn't actually have to be the creator of the universe that we have to worship. It could be some other tyrant that mastered the universe 13 billion years ago.  Both physicists and theists are flexible about possible things that we don't know. Also, people who want an quick explanation, have to look at current physical theories and current religions. All they know is that we don't know now, and that they will likely die before we do know. Death is a deadline. The current thinking says that you have to come up with something before you die, or you lose the game. Also, there's an assumption that you need to win the game.

The current scenarios being discussed by scientific philosophers are
- we are probably in a VR, which may or may not block our investigation of deeper layers of it
- the universal laws are an infinite layered onion, with who knows what at the bottom of it. This is a form of acceptable denial within official physics.
- we are in a multiverse, that splits at every opportunity, and nothing is definable
- the Copenhagen interpretation requires an observer, so either some big thing is observing us, or we are creating ourselves.

Inductive opinion that we will discover natural explanations (because we have before) only works in, oh, none of the scenarios I just mentioned.

Given that you have to win the game, and you have to make a bet before you die, what option do you pick?

1. Obviously we don't HAVE to worship anything.
2. SOME theists are flexible, many are not!
3. 'we are probably in a VR,...' Probably?! 'Maybe' is perhaps a better word.

In none of these explanations do I see a magical all good omnipotent being. Should the cause of volcanoes be found that one in a thousand had been caused by an angry magical deity, theists would have a leg to stand on when believing the universe also may be caused by a magical deity. As it is, I fail to see why theists believe the universe was caused by a magical deity when nothing previously thought to have been caused by magic was caused by magic.

On what are theists basing this assumption?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #274 on: April 07, 2014, 02:13:53 AM »
Science has demonstrated itself to be extremely useful in revealing the natural world. Any thoughtful theist is not opposed to science. What I am opposed to is the philosophical assumptions or extrapolations that are made and declared scientific, primarily, naturalism.

[snip]

While many eyes roll instinctively at the mention of intelligent design, my point is not to provide  the case for ID. Rather, the intention is to illustrate that it is not science that discards intelligent design from being possible. Remember, the purpose of science is to examine what happens in the natural world. Nothing intrinsic to that statement makes design an anti-scientific possibility just as paleontology is not anti-scientific for using design to make discoveries. If intelligent design is being discarded as being anti-scientific or 'magical', it is on the basis of a naturalistic philosophy, not because of science.

You say sciences goal is to explain the natural world. By what non-natural method do you plan on doing this? Have you even demonstrated a reliable method for separating fact from fiction with is NOT natural? All this objection really sounds like is, "Well, I don't like the idea that nature (matter/energy) may be all there is. So, I want to bring in supernaturalism as a replacement for my ignorance." Sorry, that doesn't fly in science. It is unreliable.

Secondly, your example of 'houses on the moon' is a false analogy because it assumptions that the way we recognize design is just by our intuitions (or just by looking at it and saying, "Aha! Design!") but that is not how design is recognized at all. We contrast design with nature (that which is not designed by us). This design argument of yours is based in a logical fallacy (the argument from incredulity). We recognize human design because we have lots of examples of it, not because we just-look-at-it and say it's designed. I'm sorry, an argument from ignorance based in incredulity is not a sufficient justification for inserting supernatural explanations. The fact of the matter is, when we do not understand something about the reality in which we now find ourselves we do not have license to just jump to supernatural or "non-natural" explanations - b/c attempting to answer mysteries by even bigger mysteries moves the conversation nowhere. These attempts are non-answers and have no explanatory power.

Lastly, we aren't talking about what is merely (logically) possible. Science deals with what is actually demonstrable. You can posit all of the things you think are "possible" all day long and that won't do one iota to change what is actually known or demonstrable. For all you know, magic pink flying alien unicorns could be living on the back side of Pluto. So what! Just because you think something is possible doesn't mean it is actually science. If you think your hypothesis is science, then the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate it. And in case you haven't noticed, the scientific community at large (as well the courts and the legal system) have shown quite conclusively that ID is NOT science. In fact, Michael Behe himself admitted (under oath) that his personal definition of science would have to include astrology (and witchcraft etc) as science! FAIL.

This conspiracy theorist nonsense from you guys only serves to discredit you further and further. You're just trying to smuggle in your argument from ignorance fallacies (with magic) and it's not science in any way shape or form - never has been and never will be, b/c claiming magic, invisible mystery beings, or supernatural causes does absolutely nothing to further the enterprise of knowledge.

If we agree that science's goal is to explain the natural world, then science itself does not rule out ID as a possibility. It is a naturalistic philosophy that expels ID before even asking if it is a possible explanation. My point was to show that the possibility of a designer is not logically incompatible with the goals of science. To this extent, it seems you would agree with me.

I also agree with you that simply because ID is not logically contradictory to the goals of science, does not mean it should be considered seriously. However, I would contend that there are several phenomena that to which naturalistic answers are inadequate. Most pertinent is the presence of specified complexity in biological life. Design is not primarily a matter of intuition. Instead, the more objective measure of design detection is through specified complexity.

Specified complexity is an highly improbable arrangement that fits a specific pattern. A simple example is comparing the following five letter arrangement: hswif and hello. Both arrangements contain the same amount of informational space, namely, five spaces. Also, both arrangements are equally improbable if drawn at random. The difference is the second five letter arrangement fits a specific pattern, that being, the word 'hello'. Therefore, the second one exhibits specified complexity. On this basis, one is correct to infer that I didn't pound the keyboard randomly but, rather, intended to spell the word 'hello'.

If specified complexity is found, it invariably has an intelligent cause. The most common biological example is DNA. The extremely improbable arrangement of proteins and molecules along with the fact that that arrangement is also a specific code providing the necessary information for all of life easily qualifies as specified complexity. So if DNA exhibits signs of specified complexity and the only thing known to be causally sufficient to generate specified complexity, why not treat it as an actual case of design?

It wasn't long ago that scientists thought much of DNA was junk, residual leftover from our evolutionary past. If intelligent design is true, we should expect this 'junk' DNA would actually have some, as yet, unknown purpose. And that is exactly what is happening. The more we study this 'junk', the more we understand the depth of complexity a single cell has, let alone an entire human.

Ironically, arguing that ID is simply borne of ignorance, does, indeed, reveal one's ignorance and philosophical bias. ID is beyond a mere logical possibilities and more than satisfies a burden of proof when understood correctly. It uses the mathematically developed idea of specified complexity to identify design (not unlike archaeology or forensic science). In 100% of the cases of specified complexity, an intelligence was the cause of this information. So to infer design when confronted with specified complexity is to form the most reasonable conclusion. Where is the ignorance or anti-science in that?

Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #275 on: April 07, 2014, 02:19:49 AM »
Science has demonstrated itself to be extremely useful in revealing the natural world. Any thoughtful theist is not opposed to science. What I am opposed to is the philosophical assumptions or extrapolations that are made and declared scientific, primarily, naturalism.

[snip]

While many eyes roll instinctively at the mention of intelligent design, my point is not to provide  the case for ID. Rather, the intention is to illustrate that it is not science that discards intelligent design from being possible. Remember, the purpose of science is to examine what happens in the natural world. Nothing intrinsic to that statement makes design an anti-scientific possibility just as paleontology is not anti-scientific for using design to make discoveries. If intelligent design is being discarded as being anti-scientific or 'magical', it is on the basis of a naturalistic philosophy, not because of science.

While I agree that some do misuse science for philosophical naturalism when all science does is use methodological naturalism, I'm sick to the back teeth of theists jumping all over this instead of getting off their fucking arses and providing an alternative method for falsifying supernatural claims. Yeah, that's right, this includes you. Yes, you have a point but all you are doing is exacerbating the issue. Why not put an end to all of this philosophical naturalism and provide your alternative methods which will falsify it?

And the natural world is restricted to natural explanations..... by definition. This does not eliminate some external influence to nature. All it means is that we perceive what has been changed in nature, not it being changed. We are plugged into the matrix and we cannot see the computer whiz kid sat in front of his screens altering the scrolling green code.

If I may address your second point first, in examining the natural world, there is no logical reason that discounts non-natural explanations from being a valid conclusion. As I have written, biological life is replete with examples of design that are far more advanced than our own designs. Given the fact of the extreme mathematical improbability of random mutations and natural selection to generate specified complexity and the fact that we experience the causal ability of intelligence to design analogous systems, the presence of a designing intelligence can only be discarded by willful ignorance or philosophical bias.

Your reply makes it unclear whether you are looking for reasons to think philosophical naturalism is false or how ID could been shown to be false. I suppose both are pertinent and interrelated.

Philosophical naturalism holds that the everything that exists does so within the spatiotemporal universe, that everything, in theory, is reducible to the language of natural science and explainable in scientific theories. In order to show naturalism false, all that is required is to demonstrate that it is plausible that at least one thing exist outside the spatiotemporal universe; in other words, if something that exists can not be reduced to mere physical properties, then naturalism is false.

I contend that the mind and mental states are different from the brain and brain states. In order to show that two things are different, I will use the law of the indiscernibility of  identicals which states that for x and y, if x and y are identical, then for any property P, P will be true of x if and only if P is true of y. Essentially, everything is identical to itself. If there is a property that is true of x but not of y, x and y are not identical and thus, two different things. Though there are more, three examples should demonstrate that mental states have different properties than brain states, and thus are two different things and not reducible to natural descriptions.

First, intentionality is a property of mental states and not brain states. This refers to the 'of-ness' or 'about-ness' of our mental states. Our thoughts are always about something. We think about tomorrow, or about that new car, or about our next forum post. On the other hand, intentionality is not a property of physical objects. Neurons are not 'about' the next bill payment. Physical objects can be in spatial or causal relation, but they are not about any thing the way that mental states are.

Second, mental states are incorrigible, that is, we cannot be mistaken about our mental state. We are incapable of not knowing what we are thinking. Explaining our thoughts can be difficult or we may be wrong in our thinking but we do not have to explain our thoughts to ourselves. We know our mental states incorrigibly. Certainly, we can be and often are wrong when it comes to knowing physical objects, including brain states. We do not know physical objects incorrigibly.

Third, personal identity is best explained through the existence of a mind. One does not have the same body as when one was younger and, yet, one is the still the same person. If our personal identity is explained in purely physical terms, we would have to admit we are a different person. Changing just one cell would create a new person. However, we know this is not the case. Introspectively, we are all aware that we have maintained our personal identity over time.  A mind best explains this continuity of personal identity over time.

Since I am sure it will come up, simply because changes to the brain can change one's mental state, it does not mean they are the same. The fact that mental states and brain states are causally connected in not sufficient to say they are identical. To be identical, tt is necessary so have the same properties. As I have shown, the mind and mental states have different properties than the brain and brain states. Therefore, they are not the same thing, the mind is not reducible to a physical description and thus, naturalism is found deficient.

If a mind exists in a non-spatiotemporal state, intelligent design is all the more likely. In fact, the existence of a mind is more explainable, perhaps even expected, if ID is true.

Regarding the falsification of ID, as with all scientific theories, it is not logically possible to falsify. One can always posit logical possibilities to overcome obstacles. More appropriately, ID can be refuted easily by producing a clear, defined and demonstrable naturalistic pathway to generate specified complexity. If random mutation, natural selection, and lots of time were adequately capable or even marginally possible of such a task, I don't think intelligent guys like Stephen Jay Gould would be submitting theories such as punctuated equilibrium or Crick's directed panspermia?

In the end, philosophical naturalism is unlikely and natural explanations have been insufficient. Alternatively, the exist of a mind is plausible and intelligence is the only known cause of specified complexity. Why must every conceivable naturalistic possibility be examined before intelligent design gets a fair hearing? Why not assume apparent design is actual design?

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #276 on: April 07, 2014, 02:23:16 AM »
Let me guess the intelligent designer. is yaweh?
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #277 on: April 07, 2014, 02:30:57 AM »
What would be your experimental methodology and hypothesis to start a research program to prove the existence of an intelligent designer, you write the grant application and get the funding from an ever shrinking funding pool and I'm in.


you might have to demonstrate profit potential in yr app and link it to emerging markets, patent considerations, jobs growth.


good luck.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #278 on: April 07, 2014, 02:52:19 AM »

 biological life is replete with examples of design that are far more advanced than our own designs.

Are you inferring that this life is an example of a design that could only have come from an intelligence? Please state these designs.


Given the fact of the extreme mathematical improbability of random mutations and natural selection to generate specified complexity and the fact that we experience the causal ability of intelligence to design analogous systems, the presence of a designing intelligence can only be discarded by willful ignorance or philosophical bias.


I understand the odds of holding a particular deck of shuffled cards is around 8.1 x 10^67. Am I to assume that an intelligence is at work ordering the cards for me simply because the chances of it happening randomly are so small?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 03:05:03 AM by Ron Jeremy »
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #279 on: April 07, 2014, 02:58:37 AM »

One does not have the same body as when one was younger and, yet, one is the still the same person. If our personal identity is explained in purely physical terms, we would have to admit we are a different person. Changing just one cell would create a new person. However, we know this is not the case. Introspectively, we are all aware that we have maintained our personal identity over time.  A mind best explains this continuity of personal identity over time.


I am a vastly different person than I was thirty years ago, I doubt I'd get on very well with my younger more easier going self. My body has changed; my mind has changed.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #280 on: April 07, 2014, 03:04:11 AM »
PhilosoB; you have yet to show how a magical intelligent all good being explanation is a more likely explanation than a natural one, given that magical intelligent all good being explanations of phenomenon have proved so far to be 100% incorrect.

On what do you base your assumption that the reason for our current universe's existence will turn out to be more likely caused by a magical intelligent all good being?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #281 on: April 07, 2014, 03:34:10 AM »
Philo id was argued by early philosophers and they lost interest. it has only re-emerged to try and look like science to get gods foot in the science door and to try and force a pretense at a scientific debate re creationism. creationists can't play real science so they want real science to play creationism.

why don't creationists just focus on feeding the poor and helping the needy like jesus would have liked you to instead of going around pretending to be scientists.

creationists really have no morals.

i will be watching you fella.
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #282 on: April 07, 2014, 03:49:24 AM »
If I may address your second point first, in examining the natural world, there is no logical reason that discounts non-natural explanations from being a valid conclusion.

What does a non-natural explanation even look like?

Anyway, you have failed to grasp my point. If you want to create a separation of nature and non-nature, where the natural is that which is contained within the world one perceives and the non-natural is anything external to that perception, then I agree that a non-natural explanation cannot be discounted..........but for the simple reason that you cannot falsify it.

The next question is whether it is reasonable to believe that a natural phenomenon is, at root level, due to a non-natural explanation? We have a method for investigating and testing nature so that we can predict future outcomes. We can formulate a natural explanation and cover all the bases for that phenomenon. However, no matter how much we investigate using this method, no matter how much of a consistent, coherent explanation we have, a non-natural explanation can still be behind that natural explanation. Just because the door isn't shut on the non-natural (due to a naturalistic methodology being insufficient for investigating it), doesn't mean we have reasonable justification for beleiving there is a non-natural explanation. To justify that, you need an alternative method, one which you, like everyone before you, have failed to provide.

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As I have written, biological life is replete with examples of design that are far more advanced than our own designs. Given the fact of the extreme mathematical improbability of random mutations and natural selection to generate specified complexity and the fact that we experience the causal ability of intelligence to design analogous systems, the presence of a designing intelligence can only be discarded by willful ignorance or philosophical bias.

I'll repeat to you like I do with all ID proponents - evolution via natural selection does not falsify ID. All you are doing here is saying that this intelligence wasn't intelligent enough to create the process of evolution via natural selection, and had to intervene in it's own creation to make "complex" life possible. You have defeated your own argument.

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Your reply makes it unclear whether you are looking for reasons to think philosophical naturalism is false or how ID could been shown to be false. I suppose both are pertinent and interrelated.

I understand that my "search" for a falsification of either is futile. My point is to show people like yourself that it is also futile, and that your pandering to beating up philosophical naturalism is a shifting of the burden of proof, when you hold an equally unjustifiable position in "philosophical non-naturalism".

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Philosophical naturalism holds that the everything that exists does so within the spatiotemporal universe, that everything, in theory, is reducible to the language of natural science and explainable in scientific theories.

Almost correct. It's the idea that everything that exists does so within the world you perceive and that everything in that perceived world has the potential to be investigated and understood. The scientific method is currently the "best" method used to gain that understanding.

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In order to show naturalism false, all that is required is to demonstrate that it is plausible that at least one thing exist outside the spatiotemporal universe; in other words, if something that exists can not be reduced to mere physical properties, then naturalism is false.

Wrong. You are conflating philosophical naturalism here with philosophical materialism - a common mistake.

It may be possible to demonstrate that something exists outside of space-time and once/if that is demonstrated, it gets swallowed up and added to the ever increasing understanding of nature. I don't see how such a demonstration of this would lead you to split it off into a new category labelled "non-natural".

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I contend that the mind and mental states are different from the brain and brain states. In order to show that two things are different, I will use the law of the indiscernibility of  identicals which states that for x and y, if x and y are identical, then for any property P, P will be true of x if and only if P is true of y. Essentially, everything is identical to itself. If there is a property that is true of x but not of y, x and y are not identical and thus, two different things. Though there are more, three examples should demonstrate that mental states have different properties than brain states, and thus are two different things and not reducible to natural descriptions.

First, intentionality is a property of mental states and not brain states. This refers to the 'of-ness' or 'about-ness' of our mental states. Our thoughts are always about something. We think about tomorrow, or about that new car, or about our next forum post. On the other hand, intentionality is not a property of physical objects. Neurons are not 'about' the next bill payment. Physical objects can be in spatial or causal relation, but they are not about any thing the way that mental states are.

Second, mental states are incorrigible, that is, we cannot be mistaken about our mental state. We are incapable of not knowing what we are thinking. Explaining our thoughts can be difficult or we may be wrong in our thinking but we do not have to explain our thoughts to ourselves. We know our mental states incorrigibly. Certainly, we can be and often are wrong when it comes to knowing physical objects, including brain states. We do not know physical objects incorrigibly.

Third, personal identity is best explained through the existence of a mind. One does not have the same body as when one was younger and, yet, one is the still the same person. If our personal identity is explained in purely physical terms, we would have to admit we are a different person. Changing just one cell would create a new person. However, we know this is not the case. Introspectively, we are all aware that we have maintained our personal identity over time.  A mind best explains this continuity of personal identity over time.

Since I am sure it will come up, simply because changes to the brain can change one's mental state, it does not mean they are the same. The fact that mental states and brain states are causally connected in not sufficient to say they are identical. To be identical, tt is necessary so have the same properties. As I have shown, the mind and mental states have different properties than the brain and brain states. Therefore, they are not the same thing, the mind is not reducible to a physical description and thus, naturalism is found deficient.

You could've saved yourself a lot of finger bashing time and just made the nuclear point that there is no defeater to "hard" solipsism. Ok, so what? We have a phenomenon here that occurs in nature - one which we cannot know whether it is an emergent product of the world that is perceived, or whether it exists external to the world that is perceived. A monist believes the former while a dualist, like yourself, believes the latter. There is no justification for believing either. People like you have the task of providing evidence of a mind existing unembodied - that is, being able to exist without being seated in natural phenomena (eg brain/body) and how that mind manages to make manifest things external to itself without the aid of other external implements. However, even if you managed to do this, this demonstration would also be swallowed up into the understanding of nature.

However, you have made the add problem of minds being able to exist without a continuum. Please explain how a mind manages to function without a procession of events?

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If a mind exists in a non-spatiotemporal state, intelligent design is all the more likely. In fact, the existence of a mind is more explainable, perhaps even expected, if ID is true.

Please, there is no way of calculating the probability of ID. It is "not even wrong".

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Regarding the falsification of ID, as with all scientific theories, it is not logically possible to falsify. One can always posit logical possibilities to overcome obstacles. More appropriately, ID can be refuted easily by producing a clear, defined and demonstrable naturalistic pathway to generate specified complexity. If random mutation, natural selection, and lots of time were adequately capable or even marginally possible of such a task, I don't think intelligent guys like Stephen Jay Gould would be submitting theories such as punctuated equilibrium or Crick's directed panspermia?

Correct, it isn't falsifiable. This means you can fully accept that evolution via natural selection is a viable natural explanation for the diversity and complexity of life and still believe in ID. Like I said above, if you think nature isn't capable of producing complex life, then this intelligence was too stupid to be able to create evolution via natural selection as a mechanism.

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In the end, philosophical naturalism is unlikely and natural explanations have been insufficient. Alternatively, the exist of a mind is plausible and intelligence is the only known cause of specified complexity. Why must every conceivable naturalistic possibility be examined before intelligent design gets a fair hearing? Why not assume apparent design is actual design?

I hear your assertion and I reject it point blank. Philosophical naturalism isn't unlikely to be true because we have no means of assessing the probability.

ID doesn't get a fair hearing (in science at least) because it isn't science. ID reduces the intelligence of this supposed designer to something that can't use evolution via natural selection as a mechanism, while simultaneously saying it has the power to use it.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 03:51:18 AM by Ataraxia »
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #283 on: April 07, 2014, 04:01:02 AM »
In 100% of the cases of specified complexity, an intelligence was the cause of this information. So to infer design when confronted with specified complexity is to form the most reasonable conclusion.

Who designed all the different snowflakes and ice crystals which freeze on your car window so you can't see where you are going?

Who designed the bacteria which has killed most humans who have ever lived, often in their first year of life?
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #284 on: April 07, 2014, 04:03:42 AM »
What's so intelligent about dysentry?
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #285 on: April 07, 2014, 04:14:44 AM »
If I may address your second point first, in examining the natural world, there is no logical reason that discounts non-natural explanations from being a valid conclusion. As I have written, biological life is replete with examples of design that are far more advanced than our own designs. Given the fact of the extreme mathematical improbability of random mutations and natural selection to generate specified complexity and the fact that we experience the causal ability of intelligence to design analogous systems, the presence of a designing intelligence can only be discarded by willful ignorance or philosophical bias.

Your reply makes it unclear whether you are looking for reasons to think philosophical naturalism is false or how ID could been shown to be false. I suppose both are pertinent and interrelated.

Philosophical naturalism holds that the everything that exists does so within the spatiotemporal universe, that everything, in theory, is reducible to the language of natural science and explainable in scientific theories. In order to show naturalism false, all that is required is to demonstrate that it is plausible that at least one thing exist outside the spatiotemporal universe; in other words, if something that exists can not be reduced to mere physical properties, then naturalism is false.

I contend that the mind and mental states are different from the brain and brain states. In order to show that two things are different, I will use the law of the indiscernibility of  identicals which states that for x and y, if x and y are identical, then for any property P, P will be true of x if and only if P is true of y. Essentially, everything is identical to itself. If there is a property that is true of x but not of y, x and y are not identical and thus, two different things. Though there are more, three examples should demonstrate that mental states have different properties than brain states, and thus are two different things and not reducible to natural descriptions.

First, intentionality is a property of mental states and not brain states. This refers to the 'of-ness' or 'about-ness' of our mental states. Our thoughts are always about something. We think about tomorrow, or about that new car, or about our next forum post. On the other hand, intentionality is not a property of physical objects. Neurons are not 'about' the next bill payment. Physical objects can be in spatial or causal relation, but they are not about any thing the way that mental states are.

Second, mental states are incorrigible, that is, we cannot be mistaken about our mental state. We are incapable of not knowing what we are thinking. Explaining our thoughts can be difficult or we may be wrong in our thinking but we do not have to explain our thoughts to ourselves. We know our mental states incorrigibly. Certainly, we can be and often are wrong when it comes to knowing physical objects, including brain states. We do not know physical objects incorrigibly.

Third, personal identity is best explained through the existence of a mind. One does not have the same body as when one was younger and, yet, one is the still the same person. If our personal identity is explained in purely physical terms, we would have to admit we are a different person. Changing just one cell would create a new person. However, we know this is not the case. Introspectively, we are all aware that we have maintained our personal identity over time.  A mind best explains this continuity of personal identity over time.

Since I am sure it will come up, simply because changes to the brain can change one's mental state, it does not mean they are the same. The fact that mental states and brain states are causally connected in not sufficient to say they are identical. To be identical, tt is necessary so have the same properties. As I have shown, the mind and mental states have different properties than the brain and brain states. Therefore, they are not the same thing, the mind is not reducible to a physical description and thus, naturalism is found deficient.

If a mind exists in a non-spatiotemporal state, intelligent design is all the more likely. In fact, the existence of a mind is more explainable, perhaps even expected, if ID is true.

Regarding the falsification of ID, as with all scientific theories, it is not logically possible to falsify. One can always posit logical possibilities to overcome obstacles. More appropriately, ID can be refuted easily by producing a clear, defined and demonstrable naturalistic pathway to generate specified complexity. If random mutation, natural selection, and lots of time were adequately capable or even marginally possible of such a task, I don't think intelligent guys like Stephen Jay Gould would be submitting theories such as punctuated equilibrium or Crick's directed panspermia?

In the end, philosophical naturalism is unlikely and natural explanations have been insufficient. Alternatively, the exist of a mind is plausible and intelligence is the only known cause of specified complexity. Why must every conceivable naturalistic possibility be examined before intelligent design gets a fair hearing? Why not assume apparent design is actual design?

Most people who read this can identify your mental state as delusion. I bet you cannot identify your own mental state as delusion in this post. Read this post again and explain to yourself why it is delusion. I bet you cannot explain why it is delusion.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #286 on: April 07, 2014, 04:18:39 AM »
I wonder if someone figured out who the intelligent designer was if the designer would give them s reward or make them promise not to tell anyone??
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #287 on: April 07, 2014, 04:29:07 AM »
If specified complexity is found, it invariably has an intelligent cause. The most common biological example is DNA.

Congratulations for exposing your circular reasoning and bias. In attempting to show that the complexity of life is down to ID, you use DNA as an example of ID. Great own goal.

I'd also like to ask you how complex something has to be before it can be said to be designed? Where is the cut-off point where you can go, "A-ha! This is just complex enough to say that it needs an intelligence to design it" and, "Oh no, this isn't quite complex enough so it just occurred naturally"? Of course, we have to remove your belief that nature was itself intelligently designed, which you conveniently do anyway when arguing for ID.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #288 on: April 07, 2014, 04:58:56 AM »
[I made a stupid mistake with Weinberg's name.  Despite the way it may look it was not intentional.  I was not trying to mock him.]

....pretend.....dogmatic....

I am not suggesting you made this mistake on purpose. It is just one of the signs of what happens when a theist turns off his brain to protect his beliefs. When this happens statements become irrational and there are often factual mistakes. I have seen it often enough to recognise. You probably don't know you are doing it, but look at posts by Lukvance to see how irrational his statements are.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #289 on: April 07, 2014, 10:16:57 AM »
I think Foxy this is what I'm trying to get at.
Use science to explain how a rocket motor works. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how electricity is generated. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how the tides work. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how the universe was formed. Theist will not accept a scientific explanation.
Use science to explain how aircraft fly. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how magnetism works. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how clouds form. Theist accepts science.

Why is the formation of the universe different? Why does that have to have a magical explanation?


Ron

The beginning (origin) is in a completely separate category to anything that came after it.

Something from nothing is not science unless the 'nothing' 'prior' to the universe's formation is redefined as containing some inherent potential to manifest a universe (or universes) - and in that case we are no longer at the beginning (origin).  If that redefinition of 'nothing' is allowed then the beginning shifts to the origin of that potential, or else that eternal potential itself.

[an eternal origin is still the ultimate origin - it makes no difference whether or not the ultimate origin is eternal]

The origin of reality cannot be scientific.  Everyone on this website needs to learn this.  This is known by scientists.  This is known by philosophers.  This has been known for thousands of years.  It has only recently been 'forgotten' because our educational systems are now pathetic.

I will explain it again.  It is not very complicated.

The ultimate origin is that which did not arise from something else.  If X arose from something else then X is not the origin.

Once you have in mind this concept you should quickly realise that it is completely outside of the bounds of science because -

- the ultimate origin has no cause (by definition that is what origin means)
- the origin has no scientific explanation since it has no cause
- any explanation offered for the origin will simply become the new origin

[for Foxy's benefit, if non causality gave rise to causality then the origin is non causality and so on back until the ultimate origin whether that was sudden or eternal.]

Science cannot address the ultimate origin.  Science cannot address anything that is uncaused.  There is no scientific test for an ultimate uncaused origin.  I don't mean we haven't yet thought of one.  I mean there cannot be one.

This is not a failure of science.  Science was never intended to deal with or address an ultimate uncaused origin.

Science is designed to deal with anything that has a cause ie everything following the ultimate origin.