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Are Most Atheists Here Also Materialists?


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Showing 1376-1400 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on Nov 29, 2013, 12:38:49 PM PST
Kicking myself for trying to communicate with Sonic. duh!?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 12:21:07 PM PST
sonictemple says:
D. Thomas says:

"The heart, lungs and other internal organs do not require consciousness to operate."

Yes, they work by magic.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 12:19:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013, 12:51:32 PM PST
sonictemple says:
Rachel Rebecca Riordan says:

sonic: There is room for doubt, as these types of examples assign 'causal agency' to an inert substance, matter.

Rachel: Living systems are hardly "inert substances."

sonic: Your argument is circular as you're using your premise to prove your point, namely that consciousness is material. Matter is inert. Do computers perceive? Is the computer the actual causal agent of its 'thinking' processes? Does motion belong to a rock? All bodily parts are made of matter and matter does not possess the qualia of desire, aversion, volition, pleasure and pain. It is dead, inert, inanimate. The brain is made of the same thing as rocks, etc. and cannot think without a further causal agent imparting 'thinking' to it, like imparting 'thinking' to a computer' or 'motion' to a pebble. You might argue this by saying that the brain is a unique combination of material ingredients---a uniquely complex entity, from which, consciousness emerges, but if it is indeed unique, then there's nothing else with similar complexity to compare it to in order to verify the claim that it produces consciousness and, thus, the argument stands on very shaky ground. After all, one could simply reverse the argument and say that the brain's unique complexity is the very reason why it could not produce consciousness.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 12:14:38 PM PST
Ddms says:
The heart, lungs and other internal organs do not require consciousness to operate.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 12:10:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013, 12:11:15 PM PST
Beherit says:
I think everyone is materialistic to a certain extent.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 12:01:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013, 2:27:27 PM PST
sonictemple says:
D. Thomas says:

sonic: "Given that modern science grants eternal existence to matter as per Newton's famous statement: "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, etc.", why not allow the same for the self?"

DT: In an open system, when energy and matter dissipate, they become useless, as do our brains when we die. No system without an external energy supply can deliver an unlimited amount of energy to its surroundings. When the body dies, the brain loses its energy supply and ceases to function.

sonic: This may be true but I don't see what this says about the existence or non-existence of an eternal self.

DT: Besides, why on earth should Newtonian principles apply to consciousness? And to human beings any more than other "consciousnesses"?

sonic: If matter is eternal then why not consciousness? Furthermore, who said this is unique to humans?

st wrote: "The concept of harmony says nothing to validate eternal existence, however, it's hard to imagine how one could survive eternally, or for any long period of time, if harmony were absent."

DT: Or if harmony were present, for that matter. (What does "harmony" mean in this context?)

sonic: In this context 'harmony' simply means the ability to co-exist in a peaceful state.

st wrote: "One cannot guarantee.... that all will live happily ever after, but it still seems to be innate that we should strive to do so."

DT: There's nothing to be gained from striving for the unattainable. I can think of nothing more arrogant than an Evangelical who thinks he/she will live forever while everyone else is "left behind" to suffer and die.

sonic: Happiness may very well be attainable. Who said anything about living forever and leaving others to suffer and die---are you not familiar with the term, 'bodhisattva'? This is a straw man argument.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 11:56:58 AM PST
sonic: There is room for doubt, as these types of examples assign 'causal agency' to an inert substance, matter.

Rachel: Living systems are hardly "inert substances."

Posted on Nov 29, 2013, 11:39:16 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013, 11:40:17 AM PST
sonictemple says:
Rachel Rebecca Riordan says:

sonic: If I had said, "What is the source of the continued heart, lung, etc. activity?" or "What is responsible for the continued....?", this would still imply the concept of power. I certainly don't think of the brain or any other bodily part as a power source, as I would assign that role to consciousness.

Rachel: You would be wrong in that conclusion. For example: each individual cell in the heart can beat on its own. It's a quality that anatomists call "automaticity." But there are nodes which regulate the heart rate and depth of contraction, like the sinoatrial (SA) node or the atrioventricular (AV) node. These are also regulated by the autonomic nervous system. This is why you don't need to be conscious to be able to breathe or to have your heart beat.

sonic: There is room for doubt, as these types of examples assign 'causal agency' to an inert substance, matter.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 11:38:01 AM PST
Ddms says:
st wrote: "Given that modern science grants eternal existence to matter as per Newton's famous statement: "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, etc.", why not allow the same for the self?"

In an open system, when energy and matter dissipate, they become useless, as do our brains when we die. No system without an external energy supply can deliver an unlimited amount of energy to its surroundings. When the body dies, the brain loses its energy supply and ceases to function.

Besides, why on earth should Newtonian principles apply to consciousness? And to human beings any more than other "consciousnesses"?

st wrote: "The concept of harmony says nothing to validate eternal existence, however, it's hard to imagine how one could survive eternally, or for any long period of time, if harmony were absent."

Or if harmony were present, for that matter. (What does "harmony" mean in this context?)

sc wrote: "One cannot guarantee.... that all will live happily ever after, but it still seems to be innate that we should strive to do so."

There's nothing to be gained from striving for the unattainable. I can think of nothing more arrogant than an Evangelical who thinks he/she will live forever while everyone else is "left behind" to suffer and die.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 11:36:05 AM PST
Rubedo says:
Lawrence B. Jeffery says:
Certainly complexity is a primary factor. Because the brain it biological is can rewire itself as when part of the brain is damaged and it figures out ways to enable a hand to move for example or a new way to play piano.

Rubedo:
And yet we would usualy say that is done unconsiously even though a productive process is at work. Is that process guided by sheer inanimate chemistry or is the chemistry itself no so inanimate.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 11:06:10 AM PST
sonic: If I had said, "What is the source of the continued heart, lung, etc. activity?" or "What is responsible for the continued....?", this would still imply the concept of power. I certainly don't think of the brain or any other bodily part as a power source, as I would assign that role to consciousness.

Rachel: You would be wrong in that conclusion. For example: each individual cell in the heart can beat on its own. It's a quality that anatomists call "automaticity." But there are nodes which regulate the heart rate and depth of contraction, like the sinoatrial (SA) node or the atrioventricular (AV) node. These are also regulated by the autonomic nervous system. This is why you don't need to be conscious to be able to breathe or to have your heart beat.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 11:05:20 AM PST
Ddms says:
The baskets are wrapped in colored cellophane, so no "begging bowl" is needed. Leftovers are given to the poor.

Cooked meals are left on the steps of the Temple.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 11:00:07 AM PST
Ddms says:
So much for YOUR understand of cosmology.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 10:59:23 AM PST
Ddms says:
FM wrote: "Who incentivates Earth to move?"

The Fickle Finger of Fate.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 10:58:12 AM PST
sonictemple says:
Lawrence B. Jeffery says:

"randomly "invented" as competition drives change, ever see a model T? Very simple by todays standards.

BTW your response ignores my answer to your question. I see that a lot, switch and attack never answer."

I have, in fact, answered your question. Saying that functions are 'automatic' is question-begging and unenlightening.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 10:51:15 AM PST
sonictemple says:
Michael Altarriba says:

"If the brain is no longer functioning and not generating electricity, then what is the power source for the continued heart, lung, etc. activity?"

Are you under the impression that the brain is a power source?

If I had said, "What is the source of the continued heart, lung, etc. activity?" or "What is responsible for the continued....?", this would still imply the concept of power. I certainly don't think of the brain or any other bodily part as a power source, as I would assign that role to consciousness.

Posted on Nov 29, 2013, 10:48:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013, 10:49:20 AM PST
randomly "invented" as competition drives change, ever see a model T? Very simple by todays standards.

BTW your response ignores my answer to your question. I see that a lot, switch and attack never answer.

Posted on Nov 29, 2013, 10:39:08 AM PST
sonictemple says:
Lawrence B. Jeffery says:

"Surely you know the answer to that Sonic. The solarplexis and various nodes in the spinal column from the brain stem down provide "power" for major organs some "power" or "function instruction" is inherent to the organ, some comes from the automatic response to various hormones. Similar to a car when a automatic light sensor will turn up the lights or a heat regulator will increase cooling all sorts of peripheral functions separate from the engine and its controls."

So, automatic light sensors and heat regulators invent themselves and then turn up lights and increase cooling without any prior programming/instruction/guidance? The engine, controls, light sensors, heat regulator are the result of conscious intervention, not that of a random process.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 10:30:53 AM PST
"If the brain is no longer functioning and not generating electricity, then what is the power source for the continued heart, lung, etc. activity?"

Are you under the impression that the brain is a power source?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 10:24:50 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013, 10:27:26 AM PST
Surely you know the answer to that Sonic. The solarplexis and various nodes in the spinal column from the brain stem down provide "power" for major organs some "power" or "function instruction" is inherent to the organ, some comes from the automatic response to various hormones. Similar to a car when a automatic light sensor will turn up the lights or a heat regulator will increase cooling all sorts of peripheral functions separate from the engine and its controls.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 10:20:58 AM PST
No the meme's, the learning of millennia most of it loaded like software by parental units, peers, culture etc become part of the mind. Take a couple with PHD's in New York and a couple from the rain forest and switch the babies. How different are the minds after 5 years?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 10:20:23 AM PST
sonictemple says:
Ataraxia says:

"You can have a car in which all the parts are intact, and yet the electrical system is not functioning. It wouldn't work.

Isn't that what happens in a dead brain? No electrical activity. In fact, as physicians know, you can have a body where there is a heartbeat, respiration, etc... and a physically intact brain- but no electrical activity in that brain. That's what they would call "brain dead". For all practical purposes, that person is considered dead- medically and legally. So it seems my analogy still holds."

If the brain is no longer functioning and not generating electricity, then what is the power source for the continued heart, lung, etc. activity?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 10:16:12 AM PST
Life is the activity of a complex collection of atoms.

Consciousness is the activity of a complex set of neurons.

There is no sign of some "secret ingredient" for either.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013, 10:09:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013, 10:10:01 AM PST
Ataraxia says:
You can have a car in which all the parts are intact, and yet the electrical system is not functioning. It wouldn't work.

Isn't that what happens in a dead brain? No electrical activity. In fact, as physicians know, you can have a body where there is a heartbeat, respiration, etc... and a physically intact brain- but no electrical activity in that brain. That's what they would call "brain dead". For all practical purposes, that person is considered dead- medically and legally. So it seems my analogy still holds.

Posted on Nov 29, 2013, 10:05:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013, 10:11:51 AM PST
sonictemple says:
sonic: "However, if you give the mother the dead body of the baby, even if well preserved, then the mother might very well be repulsed---why? The person, consciousness or the self has left the body, and what once made the mother happy is no longer there."

Ataraxia: "Let's take a slightly different example, using the same logic you use here. If you give someone a car that works, they will be happy. If you give them a car that doesn't, they might very well be repulsed. But does that necessarily mean that there is some kind of eternal soul in the car?"

sonic: "If a car doesn't work it should be possible to understand what's missing or what doesn't work. However, sometimes death occurs and nothing physical can be identified as missing or identified as a contributor to the malfunction, i.e. all bodily parts are intact, yet life or consciousness is absent. We can elaborate upon this by saying that most or nearly all qualia of the body and other physical entities (colour, etc.) are found to belong to them as long as they exist, therefore it is improbable that consciousness, which is always missing in a dead body, is a quale of the body. Unless a materialist can come up with a non-question begging explanation of why consciousness is always missing in a dead body in spite of being a quale of it, it follows that probably consciousness is not a quale of the body. Of course, a materialist may object by claiming that some of the causes that produce conscious states are no longer available in a dead body, e.g. a lack of vital processes such as blood circulation, respiration, etc. but then the argument would be circular, as it would rely upon the bone of contention as the evidence."
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