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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It's logically impossible to reason with these people

The 'these people' with whom it is logically impossible to reason being the so-called atheists one encounters on the internet. And the 'when' of it is *whenever* the topic is clearly seen as related to God, or "religion", or the logical implications of denying the reality of the Creator-God.

Consider this exchange --

Ilíon: "While there are certainly 'atheists' who are *generally* honest, no 'atheist' is honest with respect the very question that defines them.

Even if there were no positive arguments for the reality of God, the obvious inescapable logical entailments of denying God prove that atheism is false. SInce there is no excluded middle, as "God is not" is false, then "God is" is true.

There is no way around this.

JDHuey: "Nobody on this blog has ever shown that there are any logical entailments resulting from God not existing. People here state that they have, but they are mistaken.
If God does not exist then the world is exactly like it is. We simply have no need for that hypothesis.

The AFR is flawed and certainly not obvious. Everything we know about how the mind works indicates that it is derived solely from our embodied selves - there are no ghosts in the machine.

Victor Reppert: "The entailments would have to be from the fact that mental states are not fundamental to the universe. This doesn't entail theism directly, though it does rule out the philosophies of mind that most atheists hold. Nagel would be an exception."

Victor Reppert: "In fact, one atheist on this site defended a Nagel-type atheist position, and two of his fellow atheists suspected him of being a Christian in disguise."

JDHuey: "This is the rub. I do not remember that anyone on this blog has really demonstrated that a mental process as envisioned by an atheist philosophy of mind has been ruled out. It has been asserted many times but never demostrated.

The arguments put forward by Searle are hardly convincing. In fact, when I read books that cover research in consciousnes by people like Stanislas Dehaene or Antonio Damasio, it becomes evident that a lot of the objections by Searle are based on faulty conceptions of how the brain works.

Even you seem to have a faulty concept of a 'brain state'. It seems to me that you use that term as if the brain were a static system that transitions from one state to another. But the brain is a continuously dynamic system with massively interacting networks. You can say that the brain is in a state of paying attention or is asleep or is aroused or is calm but those states are processes not configurations.

Victor Reppert: "Perhaps I can put this as follows. Suppose I say that I can build a cat out of legos. I mean a real cat, not something that looks like a cat. And, I have lots of legos, and can put those legos into many interesting configurations. Perhaps they even function dynamically, as opposed to statically. It seems to me that no matter how complex these lego-formations are, it won't produce a cat, simply because there is a fundamental difference in kind between legos and cats.

It seems to me that no matter how much detail you use to specify the state of the brain, so long as you don't fudge categories, no mental state is entailed by all the physical state-descriptions. The physical always leaves the mental underdetermined. Now we can project the mental into the physical, but then we are going to need a mind to do the projecting, and so we aren't really going from the physical to the mental in the required way.

JDHuey: "The problem is not that Legos are not like cats but that Legos are not like atoms. A cat is not the same kind of thing as an atom but it is composed of atoms.

If you have something that can serve the same function as an atom and you configure them into the same visual and functional configuration that we call a 'cat'. And the results looks like a cat and acts in all ways like a cat, then in what way is it not a cat?

This "dialogue" could continue forever, and while JDHuey will certainly contradict himself (increasingly so as it continues), he will *never* admit to anything. He will make all manner of assertions (never backing them up) that are false, but need to be true for atheism to be the truth about the nature of reality, demanding Victor Reppert prove them false, and never admitting when Reppert has done so.

It is logically impossible to reason with people who do that sort of thing.