What is Faith?

Komodo

Well-known member
Yes, but if determinism is true, then the content is irrelevant as long as you get the right stimulated response.
Determinism does not imply that our thoughts and feelings are irrelevant to how we act, that there is only unthinking stimulus and unthinking response. It implies that our thoughts and feelings cause our acts, but that those thoughts and feelings are themselves caused.

He could have yelled POTS! and maybe he would have stopped. If there is no free will it doesnt matter the content of language, it can just be sounds as long as you get the right response from the hearer.
You don't actually believe that, I'm sure. And neither do determinists, because it is plain and observable fact that people respond differently to some words and sentences than they do to other words and sentences, depending on their content.

That is why you would be wasting your time developing a complex argument.
If you're not wasting your time shouting "stop!" (and again, you don't actually think that would be a waste of time), then you're not wasting your time saying "your argument is incorrect, because..."
 

El Cid

Active member
Yes, but not of their own free will.
But the point you were trying to make was that you'd be wasting your time, and you would not.
Yes, because without a free will you are like an animal just instinctively responding to stimuli. So the content of what you say is irrelevant, it is only if you produce the right sounds that stimulates the right response to the hearer. So all these abstract arguments are a waste of time.
El Cid said:
Irrelevant if all those things are imposed on someone who was not responsible for doing anything wrong. How can someone without a free will be affected by deterrence?
See directly above. Exactly for that same reason. Just because there might not be free will doesn't mean people are affected by outside events. A cue ball has no free will but is affected when the cue hits it.
Ok I agree they may be affected, but see above about all it has to be is the right stimuli to produce the right instinctive response.
El Cid said:
All moral actions have to be freely chosen, there are meaningless if they are predetermined.
A moral action is merely some actions we decide to group together because they share some characteristics and we slap a label on them. This is going to wind up to be merely a semantic point. OK, don't call some actions moral, call them schmoral. We'd still have laws, mothers will still love their children, parents would still want to raise their children a certain way, etc.
Actually without a free will mothers would not love their children, they would just be responding to the stimuli that the children produce. The same with raising their children, it would just be programmed into the parents just like animals instinctive actions.
El Cid said:
And science requires the weighing of evidence and logical reasoning. If your conclusions are predetermined then such things cannot occur.
Why can such things not occur?
Because the conclusion would just be based on the previous cause and effect chains which may or may not have anything to do with evidence or logic. They would just be the result of how the scientist was stimulated by certain things he encountered and his instinctive behavior.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
Yes, because without a free will you are like an animal just instinctively responding to stimuli.
On a certain level, yes, I think the word you're looking for is that our decision are deterministic: they are determined by our current brain state and by the stimulus.

So the content of what you say is irrelevant, it is only if you produce the right sounds that stimulates the right response to the hearer. So all these abstract arguments are a waste of time.
But the content is part of what makes the right sounds that *may* produce the response you want. So abstract arguments are not a waste of time.

Ok I agree they may be affected, but see above about all it has to be is the right stimuli to produce the right instinctive response.
See above, same considerations.

Actually without a free will mothers would not love their children, they would just be responding to the stimuli that the children produce.
That's only true if you define love as requiring free will. It's possible to define love as a large group of responses ranging from verbal behavior, other behavior, as well as internal feeling states, without losing anything that we call love except, as previously noted, the free will aspect. But then your proposed reason for why there can't be free will - because without free will mothers would not love their children - becomes a circular argument.

The same with raising their children, it would just be programmed into the parents just like animals instinctive actions.
See above, same considerations.

Because the conclusion would just be based on the previous cause and effect chains which may or may not have anything to do with evidence or logic.
We first need to extract what might be your first reason - because the conclusion would be deterministic ("based on previous cause and effect chains" - because that would be circular logic. We're then left with the deterministic conclusion may or may not be logical. But that means it is possible, then - it MAY have to do with logic. If you want to claim that it cannot have anything to do with logic, then you still have to show that.

They would just be the result of how the scientist was stimulated by certain things he encountered and his instinctive behavior.
The question is whether being stimulated and exhibiting such behavior cannot be logical. Merely saying that it would be the result is not a reason why the result could not be logical.
 

El Cid

Active member
If a Christian prays for their headache to go away, and it goes away, did Yahweh grant the prayer?
Prove it.
I cant prove it but He is the only one that has a lot of evidence for His existence.
El Cid said:
No, Yahweh did. Allah does not exist.
Yahweh grants prayers to other gods?
Why be Christian, then?
Because He is the only one that actually exists and rewards you with an abundant life in this world and the next.
El Cid said:
Yes, He determines if the drug will work.
Prove it.
See above.
 

El Cid

Active member
You said we need to explore the events to determine if they are supernatural. But two of my examples of supernatural events occurred in the deep past. The BB and the resurrection of Christ. How do you explore events in the deep past?
With the same principles you determine the factual situation about anything, it's just a bit more difficult. But you still don't draw a conclusion unless the evidence is sufficient to make that conclusion.
In science you often make tentative conclusions, like my black hole example. We can do the same with supernatural events.
El Cid said:
But the problem is that mainstream science has a philosophical bias against the possibility of the supernatural.
You're using the ostensible fact of a philosophical bias from science as a reason for a more favorable evaluation of the possibility of the supernatural. So when I say that you have to now support your claim that science has this bias, please don't offer as evidence the current position of science that there is no supernatural, as that would be circular reasoning (science doesn't accept the supernatural because they have a bias, and they have a bias because they don't accept the supernatural).

Do you have any evidence of some bias in mainstream science against the supernatural? It will have to be pretty widespread, by definition (of "mainstream" science).
The book I referenced below provides many examples of scientists being discriminated against because they believe in a supernatural origin to life.
El Cid said:
Read Jerry Bergman's book "Silencing the Darwin Skeptics". It applies to cosmology as well.
I'm here for conversation. If you'd like to talk about what's in that book, that would be great. Otherwise, we won't be able to talk about it.
I dont have a copy of the book but he provides many examples of scientists being discriminated against because they believe in a supernatural origin to life.
El Cid said:
The astrophysicist Sara Seager says that we often have phenomena that remain unexplained. That is the career protective way of saying that it could be laws of physics violating, ie supernatural.
Again, you've put forward another claim - that unexplained phenomenon are merely a way to protect careers - that you will have to support and not just say it is so, and do so in a way that isn't circular. I await the non-circular evidence you present to support your claim.
I think if someone interviewed her and asked her to elaborate, I think she would admit that they violated the laws of physics.
El Cid said:
That is not what most scientists say.
If you have something from scientists in general that says that something merely "appearing" to be the case, as distinct from actually being evidence that supports some claim, is evidence we can throw on the pile to conclude that X is the case, please present it. Otherwise, basic logic and definitions of words argues otherwise. Things that appear to be the case can easily not be the case, and how could science work if they accepted "appear" to be?
See above about tentative conclusions, which is done in science all the time, but never tentatively supernatural because of the potential job loss or persecution.
El Cid said:
I agree we dont have a confirmed conclusion, but it is evidence.
Sure, it's evidence, but not enough evidence to reach a conclusion about the UFO, so the "U" in UFO remains.
I think we do have a tentative conclusion it is supernatural.
 

Komodo

Well-known member
@El Cid
What are you referring to? There's an account in Luke about Thomas coming to believe in the bodily resurrection when he touched the wounds of the risen Christ. But that is not "an account written by Thomas himself," obviously.
The account of Doubting Thomas was in John, of course, not in Luke. Sorry.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
In science you often make tentative conclusions, like my black hole example. We can do the same with supernatural events.
....
See above about tentative conclusions, which is done in science all the time, but never tentatively supernatural because of the potential job loss or persecution.

I think we do have a tentative conclusion it is supernatural.
I've already addressed your point about tentative conclusions here, perhaps you missed it:

“A tentative conclusion” means nothing. What actually matters is whether we have a conclusion that is confirmed and accepted, or not. A tentative conclusion is merely the latter, one that has not been accepted nor confirmed.

Science is nowhere near concluding that the supernatural is real.

Then,
The book I referenced below provides many examples of scientists being discriminated against because they believe in a supernatural origin to life.

I dont have a copy of the book but he provides many examples of scientists being discriminated against because they believe in a supernatural origin to life.
If you don't have the book and can't be bothered to get it to find a specific example to talk about - because the details of a particular scientist's case will be crucial - then neither should I, so now there's nothing to discuss.

I think if someone interviewed her and asked her to elaborate, I think she would admit that they violated the laws of physics.
When that scientist is on record somewhere about a violation of the laws of physics, then we'll have something to discuss. Until then, this is just you speculating.
 

El Cid

Active member
An existing God, you can't have a relationship with an idea of God.
Of course you can. Isn't that what you think of adherents of other religions?
You may think you are having a relationship with an idea of god, but actually you are not. In addition, people in some religions may be having a relationship with other spiritual beings, Satan or demons.
 

El Cid

Active member
Hardly. No other religious book teaches these things. If they are not surprisingly arrived at, then there would be other religions that would teach these things.
Yes, Muslims claim similar things for the Quran.
Not really.
El Cid said:
Those things are not relevant to the message of the Bible so it is unlikely He would have revealed those things. God only revealed things that reveal who the creator of the universe is.
That the universe had a beginning only shows, in your view, that the universe had a creator. It doesn't show that creator is Yahweh.
See my earlier posts about the structure of the universe matching the nature of only the Christian God.
El Cid said:
Evidence? And if they actually do, they probably plagiarized it from the Bible, remember the Koran was written long after the Bible.
Big Bang .. The Qur'an says that "the heavens and the earth were joined together as one unit, before We clove them asunder"

Expansion of Universe .. "The heavens, We have built them with power. And verily, We are expanding it"
That appears to confirm what I stated above, though I am not sure who We is. Allah is a singular being.
El Cid said:
No, foreigners and strangers were to be treated just like hebrews, read Exodus 22:21-24 and Leviticus 19:33-34. So that verse above refers to them selling themselves to hebrews as in Leviticus 25:47.
Nowhere in that verse does it indicate they sell themselves. They are referred to as slaves, not free people selling themselves as slaves.
Fraid so,
Lev 25:47

“If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him becomes poor and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner with you or to a member of the stranger’s clan,"
Because of the verses that I reference above about how strangers and foreigners being identically treated like hebrews, they can also sell themselves to the wealthy when they are in economic distress.
El Cid said:
No, not being able to even break the skin, hardly is beating them within an inch of their lives. If their masters beat them too much or for trivial matters, they could flee to a sanctuary city and the master could not retrieve them.
Beating so that it takes a couple days before you can recover is beating to within an inch of their lives. Even so, do you think it's a moral edict from a God of love to permit such a beating?
No, according Exodus 21:26-27, the master cannot do any permanent bodily damage so plainly it is not within an inch of their lives. But if the slave does die it means they probably had a pre-existing condition unrelated directly to the beating. Therefore, the master should not be punished because he is not the direct cause of the death. God is also a God of justice, if the master was a good one, the beating was probably justifed.
El Cid said:
From the description, it plainly fits a trial marriage or a wife apprenticeship.
Exodus 21:7 .. “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do". The word used is slave, not wife nor apprentice, so it plainly isn't.
No, it is obvious in verse 8 that she is designated as a potential wife and she is trying please her potential husband, but if she doesnt she is set free without the father having to pay for her freedom unlike other slaves.
 

El Cid

Active member
Hardly. No other religious book teaches these things. If they are not surprisingly arrived at, then there would be other religions that would teach these things.
Yes, Muslims claim similar things for the Quran.
Not really.
El Cid said:
Those things are not relevant to the message of the Bible so it is unlikely He would have revealed those things. God only revealed things that reveal who the creator of the universe is.
That the universe had a beginning only shows, in your view, that the universe had a creator. It doesn't show that creator is Yahweh.
See my earlier posts about the structure of the universe matching the nature of only the Christian God.
El Cid said:
Evidence? And if they actually do, they probably plagiarized it from the Bible, remember the Koran was written long after the Bible.
Big Bang .. The Qur'an says that "the heavens and the earth were joined together as one unit, before We clove them asunder"

Expansion of Universe .. "The heavens, We have built them with power. And verily, We are expanding it"
That appears to confirm what I stated above about borrowing from the Bible, though it is not clear who We is. Allah is a singular being.
El Cid said:
No, foreigners and strangers were to be treated just like hebrews, read Exodus 22:21-24 and Leviticus 19:33-34. So that verse above refers to them selling themselves to hebrews as in Leviticus 25:47.
Nowhere in that verse does it indicate they sell themselves. They are referred to as slaves, not free people selling themselves as slaves.
Fraid so,
Lev 25:47

“If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him becomes poor and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner with you or to a member of the stranger’s clan,"
Because of the verses that I reference above about how strangers and foreigners being identically treated like hebrews, they can also sell themselves to the wealthy when they are in economic distress.
El Cid said:
No, not being able to even break the skin, hardly is beating them within an inch of their lives. If their masters beat them too much or for trivial matters, they could flee to a sanctuary city and the master could not retrieve them.
Beating so that it takes a couple days before you can recover is beating to within an inch of their lives. Even so, do you think it's a moral edict from a God of love to permit such a beating?
No, according Exodus 21:26-27, the master cannot do any permanent bodily damage so plainly it is not within an inch of their lives. But if the slave does die it means they probably had a pre-existing condition unrelated directly to the beating. Therefore, the master should not be punished because he is not the direct cause of the death. God is also a God of justice, if the master was a good one, the beating was probably justifed.
El Cid said:
From the description, it plainly fits a trial marriage or a wife apprenticeship.
Exodus 21:7 .. “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do". The word used is slave, not wife nor apprentice, so it plainly isn't.
No, it is obvious in verse 8 that she is designated as a potential wife and she is trying please her potential husband, but if she doesnt she is set free without the father having to pay for her freedom unlike other slaves.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
You may think you are having a relationship with an idea of god, but actually you are not. In addition, people in some religions may be having a relationship with other spiritual beings, Satan or demons.
So how do you know you're not one of those? Those that falsely think they're having a relationship with Allah don't think it's false, just like you don't think yours is false.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
No, if naturalism is true, then there is no such thing as logic. The laws of logic are not physical entities. Naturalism doesnt allow for the existence of nonphysical entities.
If there are Laws of logic, to be laws they must be absolute. If they are absolute they would pertain in any worldview. If they didn't, they wouldn't be laws.

Also, I think you are confusing naturalism with materialism.

 

El Cid

Active member
I offered an argument to show that even if naturalism was true, we could indeed still think rationally and come to rational conclusions. You didn't challenge the premises. You didn't challenge the logic. You just flatly restated the very assertion I was challenging. If that's how you're going to "answer" questions and challenges, then what's the point in continuing this exchange?
How could we think rationally?
All you are saying is "we (generally) try to catch ourselves when we are reasoning, in order to avoid logical fallacies." But this doesn't at all answer the question of what it means to say "the non-physical mind operates according to the laws of logic." What happens in the mental process? What's the beginning? What's the middle? What's the end? Where do "laws of logic" fit in?
As I think I stated before, we don't know exactly how it happens.
 

Komodo

Well-known member
How could we think rationally?
Again: I offered an argument to show that if naturalism was true, we could indeed still think rationally and come to rational conclusions. You didn't challenge the premises. You didn't challenge the logic. You are just saying "If naturalism is true we couldn't think rationally, because if naturalism is true, we couldn't think rationally." I suggest we stop here.
 

El Cid

Active member
But those are still physical properties.

Again those are physical properties. Mental properties are not physical.
I said "it is not self-evident that a physical property can emerge from a physical state, but a mental property cannot," and your reply is "mental properties are not physical." This is not even close to being a responsive answer. It's as if I said "it is not self-evident that a shield can be made of bronze, but spear cannot," and you replied "spears are not shields." Yes, they are different things (mental/physical, shield/spear). What isn't clear is why these particular differences create a "possible/impossible" dichotomy.
Because the difference between the physical and the non-physical is far greater than the difference between shields and spears. If you have evidence how such a thing can occur, I am all ears.
El Cid said:
Reasoning would not just be unreliable, it would be impossible.
This is also entirely non-responsive.

First, you're flatly refusing to answer my question, which was: do you, or do you not agree that 1) "it is impossible for reasoning to emerge from chemistry" and 2) "if it is not impossible, if reasoning actually does emerge from chemistry, then all reasoning is unreliable" are two different claims? I have no idea whether or not you recognize that they are in fact different claims.
See above about why it is probably impossible.
Second, even if you were just answering 2), that answer makes no sense at all. Statement 2) starts "if reasoning actually does emerge from chemistry..." and your answer is "then reasoning would be impossible." But obviously, if reasoning actually does emerge from chemistry, then reasoning exists. If reasoning is impossible, on the other hand, then reasoning doesn't exist. You're effectively saying that "if reasoning exists for this cause, then reasoning doesn't exist," which is of course absurd.

Third, you're completely changing your claim. You started by saying it was possible that naturalism was true, but that if it was, then we would have no reason to trust our judgments and conclusions. But if it is possible that naturalism is true -- that is, that everything is caused by physical events -- then it is possible that everything, including reasoning, is caused by physical events. You can't then say "if naturalism is true, reasoning is impossible." We know that reasoning is possible.
But if naturalism was true then your conclusions would be based on the ratio of chemicals in your brain, not based on logical reasoning based on premises and weighing of evidence.
El Cid said:
It could very well be that the mind uses the brain to interact with the outside physical world. It may be similar to half my keyboard not working and you would think that I was brain damaged.
No I wouldn't; I would think that half your keyboard wasn't working. Damage to your keyboard causing your typed messages to be distorted is straightforward empirical evidence that it is your keyboard which is responsible for your typed messages. Similarly, damage to the brain causing your thinking to be distorted is straightforward empirical evidence that it is your brain which is responsible for your thinking. You can't reasonably say "all empirical evidence goes against" the proposition that physical things can cause mental things, when there is straightforward empirical evidence that physical things can cause mental things.
No, none of that refutes the fact that it could be that the mind uses the brain to interact with the outside world so, if the brain is damaged it appears as if the mind is damaged but in fact it is not because it is not totally based on the physical brain.
El Cid said:
The will is part of the mind.
Again, I would like some sort of sequence of how this works. From the naturalistic perspective,
Certain neurons fire in certain patterns --> I experience the mental state, "wanting to know whether it will rain" --> I experience the mental state, "weighing evidence" (shape and color of clouds, etc.) --> I experience the mental state "reaching a conclusion" (the rain will probably hold off for a while).
What's the spiritual version of this, with mind and will and the laws of logic? What goes where?
The mind causes certain neurons to fire and you experience the various mental states.
 

Komodo

Well-known member
Because the difference between the physical and the non-physical is far greater than the difference between shields and spears.
Nobody possesses a "differencometer" which can tell which differences are surmountable in the emergence of new properties and which are not. More importantly, you apparently do not believe this is an unbridgeable difference at all! (See the end of this post.)

If you have evidence how such a thing can occur, I am all ears.
The fact that changes to the physical brain cause changes to the mind is evidence that physical events cause mental events. (Your denial of this below does not stand up.)

[ME}: First, you're flatly refusing to answer my question, which was: do you, or do you not agree that 1) "it is impossible for reasoning to emerge from chemistry" and 2) "if it is not impossible, if reasoning actually does emerge from chemistry, then all reasoning is unreliable" are two different claims? I have no idea whether or not you recognize that they are in fact different claims.
See above about why it is probably impossible.
You are still flatly refusing to answer my question! I didn't ask whether "it" was possible or impossible, for any value of "it." I asked whether these were two different claims or not. Why is it impossible for you to say?

But if naturalism was true then your conclusions would be based on the ratio of chemicals in your brain, not based on logical reasoning based on premises and weighing of evidence.
I've addressed this claim again and again and you simply make no effort to show why my counter-arguments are wrong: you just repeat and repeat the claim. Tell me, please, which of the following premises you dispute.

1. If naturalism is true, then chemical reactions cause logical reasoning based on premises and weighing of evidence.
2. If it is true that chemical reactions cause logical reasoning based on premises and weighing of evidence, then it must be true that logical reasoning based on premises and weighing of evidence is real.
3. If logical evidence based on premises and weighing of evidence is real, then logical evidence based on premises and weighing of evidence can be the real cause of our conclusions.
Therefore, if naturalism is true, then logical evidence based on premises and weighing of evidence can be the real cause of our conclusions.

If you can't dispute any of the premises, and you can't dispute the logic, you can't dispute the conclusion, and the conclusion is that your claim -- that if naturalism is true, our conclusions are not caused by logical reasoning and weighing of evidence -- is false.

And again, "but how can chemical reactions cause logical reasoning?" is NOT a legitimate objection to claim 1. Claim 1 is a claim about what naturalism is asserting, not about what is the truth of that assertion. It can be true that "naturalism asserts X," even if naturalism is wrong to assert X.

No, none of that refutes the fact that it could be that the mind uses the brain to interact with the outside world so, if the brain is damaged it appears as if the mind is damaged but in fact it is not because it is not totally based on the physical brain.
People who have damage to a particular area of the brain lose the ability to acquire short-term memories (Korsakoff Syndrome). You are asserting that the mind is not damaged when this happens, which is absurd.

The mind causes certain neurons to fire and you experience the various mental states.
And with that, you have entirely abandoned your own thesis.

First, if the mind is the cause of neuron firings, then something non-physical is the cause of something physical. But you were asserting, just now, that these two things are too different for one to cause the other! That was your only argument for saying naturalism could not be true.

Secondly, either you are saying that neurons firing is the cause of the mental states -- in which case you are explicitly agreeing that physical events can cause mental events, and your thesis is fully out the window -- or you are saying that the mind causes the neuron firings, but those neuron firings do... what, exactly? You can say "interact with the outside world," but that's basically a meaningless phrase unless you can say specifically what you think they accomplish, what they cause.
 

El Cid

Active member
Here's the point we were discussing:

But computers can operate according to the laws of mathematics, which are part of logic. It doesn't matter where the programming for the computer came from. Your point was about the substrate: either the purely physical, or something else. The substrate of a computer is purely physical, there is no spirit in a computer, yet the purely physical substrate can do math.
Computers are bound to the flowchart of the program, humans are not bound by a flowchart thereby allowing them free will and the ability to come up with things never discovered before. Digital processing is best understood as the use of syntactical rules to manipulate symbols rather than anything semantical. Semantics is needed for logic based on language, such as Aristotelian logic and abstract reasoning. Only personal beings can do this.
 

El Cid

Active member
All of your points above are not arguments that a lack of free will is impossible, they are arguments that we are autonomons if there is no free will. For instance, whether the response is to the content or it’s just an automatic response, the response still happens because of the stimulus, so it still makes sense to do the stimulus.
I am not arguing that a lack of free will is impossible, though there is evidence against it. I was arguing that if we dont have free will then it makes no sense to debate people using evidence and complex arguments. All you need is the right stimulus to get the right behavioral response just like animals. Without a free will we become animals.
 
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