Please list your evidence for God

Whatsisface

Well-known member
What you've failed to answer is how it could be anything more than molecules bumping into molecules, which is another way of saying the interaction of matter and energy? Can you provide a coherent illustration of how our thoughts are anything more than the interaction of matter and energy?
I did answer this, evolution gave us consciousness as a survival advantage. I can't give the explanation as to how that works, but that doesn't mean there isn't an explanation.
Here's my reason to believe under a naturalist worldview our thoughts are nothing more than the interaction of matter and energy. In a naturalist worldview, there is nothing but matter and energy.
This isn't an explanation of your point. You have to say why matter and energy can't evolve into a thinking brain, which you haven't done.

You still haven't explained how you you know all you think you've been thinking isn't just brain fizz.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
Can you point me to some of this evidence that consciousness is a result of random mutations resulting in a survival advantage? You can point to consciousness, and you can tell me a story about how it results in a survival advantage, but a story isn't evidence, it's speculation about why this thing we're observing is here.
Yes. This isn't a simple subject mind, and this is an in depth article.....found here.

Here is a more accessible article....here.
 

sbell

Active member
That is not at all what compatibilism says. It is definitely not about breaking free of or becoming removed from cause and effect. Compatibilism rather argues that the only kind of freedom we need or should even want is a freedom that remains entirely compatible with everything being causally determined.
Perhaps that's Dennett's argument for compatibilism, again, I'm not familiar with it. But some other compatibilist argue that the everything is causally determined, but that doesn't have any bearing on our freewill and our ability to choose other wise when making a decision.

If we can choose to do other wise, we have broken free from cause and effect. If we our familiar with laws governing the thing we are observing a common cause will cause an identical effect every time. To be able to choose different outcomes for a common cause would result in a common cause resulting in multiple unpredictable effects.
 

sbell

Active member
I did answer this, evolution gave us consciousness as a survival advantage. I can't give the explanation as to how that works, but that doesn't mean there isn't an explanation.

This isn't an explanation of your point. You have to say why matter and energy can't evolve into a thinking brain, which you haven't done.
Do you think there is more to the universe then matter and energy, like at some point matter and energy also become a third type of thing in the universe call consciousness?
You still haven't explained how you you know all you think you've been thinking isn't just brain fizz.
The same way you do. Consciousness and identity are things we know because we know them, and although we can play thought games such as "What if everything you think you're experiencing was actually created 5 minutes ago, and the whole universe was created with the illusion of being around 13 billion years ago, but in reality is only 5 minutes old?", in reality, to move forward with any meaningful conversation, we have to assume things like consciousness and identity are real.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
Perhaps that's Dennett's argument for compatibilism, again, I'm not familiar with it. But some other compatibilist argue that the everything is causally determined, but that doesn't have any bearing on our freewill and our ability to choose other wise when making a decision.

If we can choose to do other wise, we have broken free from cause and effect. If we our familiar with laws governing the thing we are observing a common cause will cause an identical effect every time. To be able to choose different outcomes for a common cause would result in a common cause resulting in multiple unpredictable effects.
I think you would benefit from looking into compatibilism a bit more. What I expressed was not specific to Dennett, but common to any version of compatibilism. The position does indeed argue that causal determination has no bearing on our freedom (other than making it possible), but it does not claim we ever break free of cause and effect. The tagline is not freedom from causation, but rather freedom because of causation. In terms of being able to choose otherwise, compatibilism argues that we don't need to have been able to have chosen otherwise under the exact same conditions, but rather that what matters is whether we would have chosen otherwise under relevantly similar but slightly different conditions. The more a system is sensitive and responsive to variations in initial conditions, the more freedom it has - even if that system is fully deterministic.
 

sbell

Active member
I think you would benefit from looking into compatibilism a bit more. What I expressed was not specific to Dennett, but common to any version of compatibilism. The position does indeed argue that causal determination has no bearing on our freedom (other than making it possible), but it does not claim we ever break free of cause and effect.
I'm not arguing that it says we break free of cause and effect. I'm arguing that to have real libertarian free will, we do break free of cause and effect.
The tagline is not freedom from causation, but rather freedom because of causation. In terms of being able to choose otherwise, compatibilism argues that we don't need to have been able to have chosen otherwise under the exact same conditions, but rather that what matters is whether we would have chosen otherwise under relevantly similar but slightly different conditions. The more a system is sensitive and responsive to variations in initial conditions, the more freedom it has - even if that system is fully deterministic.
On the surface, it sounds like philosophical gobbledy gook, and is one of the reasons I rejected Calvinism. Determinism/predestination seems to indicate I have no choice, the path is set. Although it looks like I had a free choice and could have chosen otherwise, it's an illusion, because the determinism/predestination results in what it was going to result in, which means I didn't really have a choice, I was just fooled into believing I did.
 

sbell

Active member
Yes. This isn't a simple subject mind, and this is an in depth article.....found here.

Here is a more accessible article....here.
I just read the accessible one, and this stuck out to me.

Consider an unlikely thought experiment. If you could somehow attach an external speech mechanism to a crocodile, and the speech mechanism had access to the information in that attention schema in the crocodile’s wulst, that technology-assisted crocodile might report, “I’ve got something intangible inside me. It’s not an eyeball or a head or an arm. It exists without substance. It’s my mental possession of things. It moves around from one set of items to another. When that mysterious process in me grasps hold of something, it allows me to understand, to remember, and to respond.”

The crocodile would be wrong, of course. Covert attention isn’t intangible. It has a physical basis, but that physical basis lies in the microscopic details of neurons, synapses, and signals. The brain has no need to know those details. The attention schema is therefore strategically vague. It depicts covert attention in a physically incoherent way, as a non-physical essence. And this, according to the theory, is the origin of consciousness. We say we have consciousness because deep in the brain, something quite primitive is computing that semi-magical self-description. Alas crocodiles can’t really talk. But in this theory, they’re likely to have at least a simple form of an attention schema.



Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but isn't the author basically saying consciousness has a physical basis, and that physical basis lies in neurons, synapses, and signals, which is a more refined way of saying molecules bumping into molecules.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
I'm not arguing that it says we break free of cause and effect. I'm arguing that to have real libertarian free will, we do break free of cause and effect.
Obviously compatibilism does not argue for libertarian free will. It argues that such a thing would not be worth having even if it were possible.

On the surface, it sounds like philosophical gobbledy gook, and is one of the reasons I rejected Calvinism.
If that's how it sounds, then you should definitely look into it more to get a better understanding. Compatibilism is the dominant position in philosophy, and for good reason.

Determinism/predestination seems to indicate I have no choice, the path is set. Although it looks like I had a free choice and could have chosen otherwise, it's an illusion, because the determinism/predestination results in what it was going to result in, which means I didn't really have a choice, I was just fooled into believing I did.
Compatibilism argues that the real illusion is thinking that real choice would require or in any way benefit from being free of causality.
 

sbell

Active member
Obviously compatibilism does not argue for libertarian free will. It argues that such a thing would not be worth having even if it were possible.


If that's how it sounds, then you should definitely look into it more to get a better understanding. Compatibilism is the dominant position in philosophy, and for good reason.


Compatibilism argues that the real illusion is thinking that real choice would require or in any way benefit from being free of causality.
Do you know of any accessible resources that don't require a philosophy degree to read, or is it too complicated for a lay person?

Under compatibilism, are all events inevitable because the cause and effect chain reaction that was set off by the Big Bang will ultimately result in that event occurring because the free will actions of the humans are determined by the chain reaction of cause and effect from the first cause?
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
Do you know of any accessible resources that don't require a philosophy degree to read, or is it too complicated for a lay person?
The SEP is generally a good place to start: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/
The key point is that an uncaused event is necessarily random, and therefore even less under my control than a choice that is causally determined by my own character and prior deliberations. A choice that is 'free' from causality is no longer a choice that is mine.

Under compatibilism, are all events inevitable because the cause and effect chain reaction that was set off by the Big Bang will ultimately result in that event occurring because the free will actions of the humans are determined by the chain reaction of cause and effect from the first cause?
Compatibilism is consistent with that option, but technically remains neutral on the question of whether or not determinism is strictly true. Compatibilism can allow that there may be some undetermined events in the universe, but would say that these cannot contribute to making our actions free or morally culpable.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
I just read the accessible one, and this stuck out to me.

Consider an unlikely thought experiment. If you could somehow attach an external speech mechanism to a crocodile, and the speech mechanism had access to the information in that attention schema in the crocodile’s wulst, that technology-assisted crocodile might report, “I’ve got something intangible inside me. It’s not an eyeball or a head or an arm. It exists without substance. It’s my mental possession of things. It moves around from one set of items to another. When that mysterious process in me grasps hold of something, it allows me to understand, to remember, and to respond.”

The crocodile would be wrong, of course. Covert attention isn’t intangible. It has a physical basis, but that physical basis lies in the microscopic details of neurons, synapses, and signals. The brain has no need to know those details. The attention schema is therefore strategically vague. It depicts covert attention in a physically incoherent way, as a non-physical essence. And this, according to the theory, is the origin of consciousness. We say we have consciousness because deep in the brain, something quite primitive is computing that semi-magical self-description. Alas crocodiles can’t really talk. But in this theory, they’re likely to have at least a simple form of an attention schema.



Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but isn't the author basically saying consciousness has a physical basis, and that physical basis lies in neurons, synapses, and signals, which is a more refined way of saying molecules bumping into molecules.
To answer your question, yes.

My problem with the phrase "molecules bumping into molecules", is that it's deflationary, it seems to imply consciousness can't come from the brain because of it.

A confirming point that the brain gives rise to consciousness is that we know what area of the brain is responsible for particular functions, such as abstract thought, smell, sight etc. Thing is, if the brain suffers damage in a particular area, we loose the corresponding function.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
Do you think there is more to the universe then matter and energy, like at some point matter and energy also become a third type of thing in the universe call consciousness?
I think that there is an experience of consciousness that is perhaps neither matter or energy. But it needs the physical to give rise to it.
The same way you do. Consciousness and identity are things we know because we know them, and although we can play thought games such as "What if everything you think you're experiencing was actually created 5 minutes ago, and the whole universe was created with the illusion of being around 13 billion years ago, but in reality is only 5 minutes old?", in reality, to move forward with any meaningful conversation, we have to assume things like consciousness and identity are real.
Right, so why bring up brain fizz?
 

sbell

Active member
I'm combining my responses into one to simplify the responding.
I think that there is an experience of consciousness that is perhaps neither matter or energy. But it needs the physical to give rise to it.

Right, so why bring up brain fizz?
I don't remember bringing it up. The first mention I find of it is your post in #257, where you were disparaging my line of reasoning and reducing it to brain fizz. If I'm mistaken, I'm open to correction. My idea wasn't to reduce it to simply brain fizz, but to understand from a purely naturalistic point of view if anything we're discussing is ultimately meaningful, or if it's all just the result of the long chain of cause and effect, and at the core, we're very complex organisms but still bound to the laws of cause and effect, and the thoughts we're having, although very real to us, are ultimately just the next effect to occur in the long chain of cause and effect.

It's a very important question. I don't have a dog in the fight per se, I've gone from being an atheist, to Christian, to deist, so I'm very open to changing my worldview, I just want one I can honestly and intellectually follow. However, if the atheist worldview results in determinism, and my choices and actions are the ultimate result of the law of cause and effect, well, I'm as uncomfortable with that as I am with the Christian saying God foreordained everything, yet I have free will, thus I'm culpable for my choices that were ordained before I was even born. Foreordained and determined seem very much like similar concepts, and with my current understanding, I'm uncomfortable with them. So, my question was more about how someone with a purely naturalistic worldview can say any of our choices or thoughts are meaningful if the were determined from the get go.
To answer your question, yes.

My problem with the phrase "molecules bumping into molecules", is that it's deflationary, it seems to imply consciousness can't come from the brain because of it.
It wasn't meant to be deflationary. It was a rhetorical simplification of the idea that all physical interactions are at their root the interaction of matter and energy, including our thoughts and consciousness, which I've been arguing means our thoughts and consciousness are at their root the interaction of matter and energy. If matter and energy are subject to the laws of nature, then it follows that our thoughts and consciousness are subject to the laws of nature.
A confirming point that the brain gives rise to consciousness is that we know what area of the brain is responsible for particular functions, such as abstract thought, smell, sight etc. Thing is, if the brain suffers damage in a particular area, we loose the corresponding function.
I agree, and it causes more questions about what is this thing I call "I". Is it all illusory because if you take away the brain, you take away the "I", or is the "I" separate from the brain, or are we some sort of amphibian type creature that can't separate the "I" from the brain, but the "I" is not the brain. I don't have an answer.

Understand, any of my dismantling of ideas, atheist, deist, Christian, etc. is not because the idea doesn't have merit, I can see the merit in all of them, but because I want to get to the root of the idea and see if it's something I can hold fast to with integrity.
 

sbell

Active member
The SEP is generally a good place to start: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/
The key point is that an uncaused event is necessarily random, and therefore even less under my control than a choice that is causally determined by my own character and prior deliberations. A choice that is 'free' from causality is no longer a choice that is mine.
What in the world is an uncaused event? That one is escaping me, but maybe you have an example.
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
You have me thinking about empiricism as the means to learning truth.
How do you use empiricism to prove there is truth?
How do you use empiricism to prove rationality and logic?
The scientific method. Hypothesis, test, evaluate. If you think you understand the movement of the planets and physics then you use empirical evidence to see if you are right. If your ideas put a rover on Mars then empirical evidence has shown your ideas are true.

I know of no other way to prove what is real.

To quote Dr. Richard Dawkins, "Science works."

:)
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
Since this is the atheist forum your core goal is to show there is no God.
This is a lie.

My core goal is to find out why you believe what you do and to make you prove your claims. I cannot prove there is no god - there is simply no way to prove something that exists outside of reality. That is futile and not my goal.

However, I can prove that Christians make claims of knowledge about the universe, what happens when we die, the meaning of life, how to live oyu life, the creation of reality, and of the existence of beings beyond out own reality with absolutely no way to back it up.

And that is interesting for me.

I have no issue with gods. I have issues with humans like you who claim to speak for gods without any compelling reason to think they do.

:)
You'll have to use your brilliant wit, finely tuned sarcasm and passive aggressive nature. Shouldn't be difficult for you.
Totally.

Let me know if you can show us any reason to think you are speaking for a god. Until then you are a normal mortal dude like me. You just claim to know literally everything.

And I ask, "why do you think that?"
 

sbell

Active member
The scientific method. Hypothesis, test, evaluate. If you think you understand the movement of the planets and physics then you use empirical evidence to see if you are right. If your ideas put a rover on Mars then empirical evidence has shown your ideas are true.

I know of no other way to prove what is real.

To quote Dr. Richard Dawkins, "Science works."

:)
I agree, science works, but science relies on an underlying belief in truth, logic, and reason, but I don't know how to use science to prove those beliefs.
 

Furion

Well-known member
This is a lie.

My core goal is to find out why you believe what you do and to make you prove your claims. I cannot prove there is no god - there is simply no way to prove something that exists outside of reality. That is futile and not my goal.
So you desire to attempt to disprove God by disproving others claims. Same coin, different side.

However, I can prove that Christians make claims of knowledge about the universe, what happens when we die, the meaning of life, how to live oyu life, the creation of reality, and of the existence of beings beyond out own reality with absolutely no way to back it up.

And that is interesting for me.

I have no issue with gods. I have issues with humans like you who claim to speak for gods without any compelling reason to think they do.

I like science, I've worked in science my whole life, but when I see atheists bloviating about science as if it explains life, I chuckle.

Christians tell you what Christ says, and you turn that into demanding it is placed in a test tube so you can analyze it.

You've not grasped the bible is not a science textbook, it is hopelessly mired in your mind.
:)

Totally.

Let me know if you can show us any reason to think you are speaking for a god. Until then you are a normal mortal dude like me. You just claim to know literally everything.

And I ask, "why do you think that?"
First off it is God, jackwagon.

I don't care what you think, you cannot deal with how you operate. If you just want to exchange blows, I will on occasion.

Ooooooookey Dooooookey
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
I agree, science works, but science relies on an underlying belief in truth, logic, and reason, but I don't know how to use science to prove those beliefs.
Science relies on results - not on a set of assumptions. The Mars rover is on Mars. If the rover went into the sun we would change our beliefs in physics - but instead we confirmed them. Again.

No other method does this. No other method rigorously tests its assumptions again and again and again and changes with the results.

You are trying to make empiricism as intangible as any other belief system. It just isn't. It is tested and retested and retested every day in a billion billion ways - and the results are continually confirmed.

That cannot be compared to faith or hope or guessing or any other approach. It just can't.

Empiricism is not based on assumptions - it is based entirely on the results. In that way it is unique. And it is the best way to understand what is real bar none.

If you can find a way to use faith or philosophy to tell us how dark matter works I am all ears :)
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
So you desire to attempt to disprove God by disproving others claims. Same coin, different side.
I am disproving you - not any god. But believe what you like.
Christians tell you what Christ says, and you turn that into demanding it is placed in a test tube so you can analyze it.
Christians claim to speak for a god. I ask them to prove it. They fail to do so. But I think it is fascinating to watch them try.
You've not grasped the bible is not a science textbook, it is hopelessly mired in your mind.
OK. You have yet to explain it or prove it.
First off it is God, jackwagon.
OK. You have yet to explain it or prove it.
I don't care what you think, you cannot deal with how you operate. If you just want to exchange blows, I will on occasion.
OK. Strange to say in a debate of ideas but ok - you do you.

"If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table."

You are slamming the table pretty hard right now - you've discarded facts and reason to defend your claims and are now in ad hominem and 'well I don't care what you think' territory. I imagine the Appeal to Force logical fallacy is next where you tell me I am going to hell if I do not listen to you. Because you have nothing else.

Good chat - I understand you quite well now and that was the goal. Have a good one.

PS: jackwagon is a great insult - I need to use that one more - not here of course because it is a failure of logic - maybe I'll call my teenager a jackwagon if she forgets to to do the dishes again :)
 
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