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The Soul Argument and God

GeoLaureate8
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7/13/2010 2:22:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I was watching a debate between Land Craig and an Atheist, and the Atheist argued against God by disproving the notion of a soul and mind/body dualism. I thought to myself that this is a fail argument because the soul has nothing to do with God. It's possible that souls exist or not exist regardless of Gods existence.

But the Atheist explained at the end of that argument that disproving a soul and mind/body dualism is evidence against God because a soul is a detached consciousness which is what God is, who also made us in his image and gave us a soul.

So it is certainly a successful argument against the traditional monotheist God (just not the Deist God; but who cares. Not many people are Deists and most never even heard of the word.)

However, Ive seen Theists argue for the existence of a soul to prove God, but this fails for them because having a soul does not prove God (non-sequitur).

Arguments agaisnt a soul come from Neuroscience and Psychology. Neuroscientists have concluded that there is no soul because of their observations of the brain and how certain parts of the brain correlate with certain thoughts. Also, if there was a soul, how come damage to the brain affects ones personality and how they act. If the immaterial mind was separate and controlled the body, a person should still be able to function normally because their mind remained unharmed.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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7/13/2010 2:27:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 2:22:24 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I was watching a debate between Land Craig and an Atheist, and the Atheist argued against God by disproving the notion of a soul and mind/body dualism. I thought to myself that this is a fail argument because the soul has nothing to do with God. It's possible that souls exist or not exist regardless of Gods existence.

But the Atheist explained at the end of that argument that disproving a soul and mind/body dualism is evidence against God because a soul is a detached consciousness which is what God is, who also made us in his image and gave us a soul.

So it is certainly a successful argument against the traditional monotheist God (just not the Deist God; but who cares. Not many people are Deists and most never even heard of the word.)


No this is not a strong argument.

How do you go about disproving the soul? If you do so it can not be applied to imaginary beings.

However, Ive seen Theists argue for the existence of a soul to prove God, but this fails for them because having a soul does not prove God (non-sequitur).


True.

Arguments agaisnt a soul come from Neuroscience and Psychology. Neuroscientists have concluded that there is no soul because of their observations of the brain and how certain parts of the brain correlate with certain thoughts. Also, if there was a soul, how come damage to the brain affects ones personality and how they act. If the immaterial mind was separate and controlled the body, a person should still be able to function normally because their mind remained unharmed.

Because the soul is consciouness. The mind is memory, personality, thoughts... which are all matter. The consciouness, the passenger if you will, remains the only thing that could possibly be the soul. Thats the theory I like to entertain anyway.
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GeoLaureate8
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7/13/2010 2:35:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
@Cerebral

P1: The God that is most widely believed, gave us souls.
P2: People dont have souls.
C: The God who gives souls to people, does not exist. (Given that P2 has been proven.)

So if P2 can be demonstrated, it IS a successful argument.

Regarding your other point, you didn't really make a case. If an separate, immaterial mind controls the body, how come brain damage affects peoples behavior and personality.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Cerebral_Narcissist
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7/13/2010 2:46:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 2:35:55 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@Cerebral

P1: The God that is most widely believed, gave us souls.
P2: People dont have souls.
C: The God who gives souls to people, does not exist. (Given that P2 has been proven.)

So if P2 can be demonstrated, it IS a successful argument.

It's a pointless one as well. I am not interested in solely considering the most popular views of God.



Regarding your other point, you didn't really make a case. If an separate, immaterial mind controls the body, how come brain damage affects peoples behavior and personality.

It does not control the body.

Lets try again, I am not always that successful at explaining this.

Your consciouness, as in the part of you that experiences, not the experience, not the emotional reaction to that, not the intellectual understanding, not the personality. But the part of you that receives, the passenger inside your head if you will. That to me is the only part that could be termed a soul. It's potentially a soul of the gaps theory. Does that make sense?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Yvette
Posts: 859
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7/13/2010 2:57:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 2:46:39 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 7/13/2010 2:35:55 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@Cerebral

P1: The God that is most widely believed, gave us souls.
P2: People dont have souls.
C: The God who gives souls to people, does not exist. (Given that P2 has been proven.)

So if P2 can be demonstrated, it IS a successful argument.

It's a pointless one as well. I am not interested in solely considering the most popular views of God.



Regarding your other point, you didn't really make a case. If an separate, immaterial mind controls the body, how come brain damage affects peoples behavior and personality.

It does not control the body.

Lets try again, I am not always that successful at explaining this.

Your consciouness, as in the part of you that experiences, not the experience, not the emotional reaction to that, not the intellectual understanding, not the personality. But the part of you that receives, the passenger inside your head if you will. That to me is the only part that could be termed a soul. It's potentially a soul of the gaps theory. Does that make sense?

Geo's first post makes sense, his second post just doesn't work. However I don't agree with you, either.

This is the common idea of a soul: http://en.wikipedia.org...

The essence of a person. It IS the person. Except everything about a person is completely dependent on biology and genetics and environment.

Without a soul, the Judeo-Christian mythology is proved wrong because it depends on it. Does it disprove God? I'm not entirely sure. I agree that it is evidence against the existence of a supernatural. We know that emotions have a biological basis, this doesn't mean FOR SURE that souls cannot exist without biology however it makes it very unlikely that a humanlike personality would exist without the biology to go along with it.
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
Rusty
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7/13/2010 3:00:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 2:35:55 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@Cerebral

P1: The God that is most widely believed, gave us souls.
P2: People dont have souls.
C: The God who gives souls to people, does not exist. (Given that P2 has been proven.)

So if P2 can be demonstrated, it IS a successful argument.


Regarding your other point, you didn't really make a case. If an separate, immaterial mind controls the body, how come brain damage affects peoples behavior and personality.

To me, that seems like a silly argument. If you were at a point where you could evaluate non-physical things for existence, couldn't you just cut to the chase?
GeoLaureate8
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7/13/2010 3:09:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 2:57:00 PM, Yvette wrote:
At 7/13/2010 Cerebral posted:
Geo's first post makes sense, his second post just doesn't work. However I don't agree with you, either.

This is the common idea of a soul: http://en.wikipedia.org...

The essence of a person. It IS the person. Except everything about a person is completely dependent on biology and genetics and environment.

I agree with that version of a soul. Even Dawkins said he has a soul in that sense of the word.

The soul that I am referring to, which I made clear is the separate, immaterial consciousness. It's the eternal, transmigrating soul of monotheism that leaves the body after death.

Without a soul, the Judeo-Christian mythology is proved wrong because it depends on it. Does it disprove God?

It certainly disproves the soul-giving God. See my syllogism above.

I'm not entirely sure. I agree that it is evidence against the existence of a supernatural. We know that emotions have a biological basis, this doesn't mean FOR SURE that souls cannot exist without biology however it makes it very unlikely that a humanlike personality would exist without the biology to go along with it.

Pretty much agree, but I think our observations are more conclusive than that.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Valtarov
Posts: 136
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7/13/2010 3:10:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 2:35:55 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@Cerebral

P1: The God that is most widely believed, gave us souls.
P2: People dont have souls.
C: The God who gives souls to people, does not exist. (Given that P2 has been proven.)

So if P2 can be demonstrated, it IS a successful argument.


Regarding your other point, you didn't really make a case. If an separate, immaterial mind controls the body, how come brain damage affects peoples behavior and personality.

How exactly does one go about proving that a non-physical entity does not exist?
"We are half-hearted creatures,
fooling about with drink and sex and
ambition when infinite joy is offered us,
like an ignorant child who wants to go on
making mud pies in a slum because he
cannot imagine what is meant by the offer
of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily
pleased."—C.S. Lewis, "The Weight of Glory"
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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7/13/2010 3:15:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 2:22:24 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I was watching a debate between Land Craig and an Atheist, and the Atheist argued against God by disproving the notion of a soul and mind/body dualism. I thought to myself that this is a fail argument because the soul has nothing to do with God. It's possible that souls exist or not exist regardless of Gods existence.


Yup.

But the Atheist explained at the end of that argument that disproving a soul and mind/body dualism is evidence against God because a soul is a detached consciousness which is what God is, who also made us in his image and gave us a soul.


It would be.

So it is certainly a successful argument against the traditional monotheist God (just not the Deist God; but who cares. Not many people are Deists and most never even heard of the word.)

However, Ive seen Theists argue for the existence of a soul to prove God, but this fails for them because having a soul does not prove God (non-sequitur).


It's usually framed as an argument to the best explanation and if you accept that "disproving" the soul would provide evidence against God's existence then "proving" the existence of the soul should provide evidence for God's existence.

Arguments agaisnt a soul come from Neuroscience and Psychology. Neuroscientists have concluded that there is no soul because of their observations of the brain and how certain parts of the brain correlate with certain thoughts.

That's a terrible reason to do so. Correlation isn't reducible to identity. Even if you say thoughts supervene on specific brain states it still doesn't follow that the thoughts are (or a function of) those brain states.

Also, if there was a soul, how come damage to the brain affects ones personality and how they act. If the immaterial mind was separate and controlled the body, a person should still be able to function normally because their mind remained unharmed.

Uh, no. Even Rene Descartes thought the relationship between the body and soul was so close it almost a new type of substance. Dualists (depending on which kind they are) view the body as a conduit for the mind or soul. If you destroy or tamper with the conduit obviously it won't function as well.

It'd be like a tribe of people who had no contact with modern technology finding a radio with music coming out of it, destroying the radio or messing with the frequencies, and then concluding that therefore the music was simply the same thing as the radio.
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GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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7/13/2010 3:17:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:10:23 PM, Valtarov wrote:
At 7/13/2010 2:35:55 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@Cerebral

P1: The God that is most widely believed, gave us souls.
P2: People dont have souls.
C: The God who gives souls to people, does not exist. (Given that P2 has been proven.)

So if P2 can be demonstrated, it IS a successful argument.


Regarding your other point, you didn't really make a case. If an separate, immaterial mind controls the body, how come brain damage affects peoples behavior and personality.

How exactly does one go about proving that a non-physical entity does not exist?

Because the non-physical interacts with the physical, in which case we should see traces of its interaction.

And like I said, if an immaterial consciousness controls the body, then brain damage should not affect our behavior and personality because the mind remains unharmed and thus, operate the body unaffected by physical brain damage.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Yvette
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7/13/2010 3:19:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
That's a terrible reason to do so. Correlation isn't reducible to identity. Even if you say thoughts supervene on specific brain states it still doesn't follow that the thoughts are (or a function of) those brain states.

Hormones, brain damage, genetics, triggering specific parts of the brain...all of these change mental states, produce different personalities, even create "spiritual experiences". Therefore the latter are the result of the former.
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
Paris
Posts: 36
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7/13/2010 3:19:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 2:57:00 PM, Yvette wrote:
Without a soul, the Judeo-Christian mythology is proved wrong because it depends on it. Does it disprove God? I'm not entirely sure. I agree that it is evidence against the existence of a supernatural. We know that emotions have a biological basis, this doesn't mean FOR SURE that souls cannot exist without biology however it makes it very unlikely that a humanlike personality would exist without the biology to go along with it.

Yes it does disprove god it seems. If the whole purpose of god is to explain how you can go to heaven after you die then without a soul there's no heaven. No heaven equals no god.
Sam_Lowry
Posts: 367
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7/13/2010 3:20:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 2:57:00 PM, Yvette wrote:
The essence of a person. It IS the person. Except everything about a person is completely dependent on biology and genetics and environment.

Have you ever heard of P-zombies?
Yvette
Posts: 859
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7/13/2010 3:23:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:20:22 PM, Sam_Lowry wrote:
At 7/13/2010 2:57:00 PM, Yvette wrote:
The essence of a person. It IS the person. Except everything about a person is completely dependent on biology and genetics and environment.

Have you ever heard of P-zombies?

Yes, and?
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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7/13/2010 3:33:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
@popculturepooka

You bring up a good point that the brain is the conduit for consciousness, though very recently I also believed that as well.

You said that if disproving a soul is evidence against God, then proving a soul is evidence for God. This is utterly false. Here's why.

If it is proven that people don't have souls, then a soul-giving God absolutely does not exist. Why? Because people don't have souls, yet God gives souls to people, so a soul-giving God doesn't exist. I already conceded that it doesn't apply to the Deist God.

If a soul is proven to exist, it does not prove that a soul-giving God exists. The soul could have always been there, it could have been an alien implant, so it does not necessitate a God. That is a non-sequitur.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Freeman
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7/13/2010 3:38:41 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:20:22 PM, Sam_Lowry wrote:
At 7/13/2010 2:57:00 PM, Yvette wrote:
The essence of a person. It IS the person. Except everything about a person is completely dependent on biology and genetics and environment.

Have you ever heard of P-zombies?

Have you ever heard of T-virus zombies?
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

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Freeman
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7/13/2010 3:44:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:33:16 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@popculturepooka

You bring up a good point that the brain is the conduit for consciousness, though very recently I also believed that as well.

You said that if disproving a soul is evidence against God, then proving a soul is evidence for God. This is utterly false. Here's why.

If it is proven that people don't have souls, then a soul-giving God absolutely does not exist.

There are Christian materialists, Geo (e.g. Peter Van Inwagen).
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
popculturepooka
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7/13/2010 3:57:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:19:33 PM, Yvette wrote:
That's a terrible reason to do so. Correlation isn't reducible to identity. Even if you say thoughts supervene on specific brain states it still doesn't follow that the thoughts are (or a function of) those brain states.

Hormones, brain damage, genetics, triggering specific parts of the brain...all of these change mental states, produce different personalities, even create "spiritual experiences". Therefore the latter are the result of the former.

Interactionist dualists accept that interaction happens between the mental and the physical in either direction (the physical causing mental changes and the mental causing physical changes).

What you said is compatible with dualism.
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popculturepooka
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7/13/2010 3:59:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:44:52 PM, Freeman wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:33:16 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@popculturepooka

You bring up a good point that the brain is the conduit for consciousness, though very recently I also believed that as well.

You said that if disproving a soul is evidence against God, then proving a soul is evidence for God. This is utterly false. Here's why.

If it is proven that people don't have souls, then a soul-giving God absolutely does not exist.

There are Christian materialists, Geo (e.g. Peter Van Inwagen).

Unfortunately. :)
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Yvette
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7/13/2010 4:15:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:57:34 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:19:33 PM, Yvette wrote:
That's a terrible reason to do so. Correlation isn't reducible to identity. Even if you say thoughts supervene on specific brain states it still doesn't follow that the thoughts are (or a function of) those brain states.

Hormones, brain damage, genetics, triggering specific parts of the brain...all of these change mental states, produce different personalities, even create "spiritual experiences". Therefore the latter are the result of the former.

Interactionist dualists accept that interaction happens between the mental and the physical in either direction (the physical causing mental changes and the mental causing physical changes).

What you said is compatible with dualism.

Where is evidence for the latter?
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
Yvette
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7/13/2010 4:18:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 4:15:59 PM, Yvette wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:57:34 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:19:33 PM, Yvette wrote:
That's a terrible reason to do so. Correlation isn't reducible to identity. Even if you say thoughts supervene on specific brain states it still doesn't follow that the thoughts are (or a function of) those brain states.

Hormones, brain damage, genetics, triggering specific parts of the brain...all of these change mental states, produce different personalities, even create "spiritual experiences". Therefore the latter are the result of the former.

Interactionist dualists accept that interaction happens between the mental and the physical in either direction (the physical causing mental changes and the mental causing physical changes).

What you said is compatible with dualism.

Where is evidence for the latter?

Another question. If it can go both ways, why can't the soul override genetics and brain damage and assert itself--why do we still see brain damage completely changing a personality in it's entirety?
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
popculturepooka
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7/13/2010 4:26:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 4:15:59 PM, Yvette wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:57:34 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:19:33 PM, Yvette wrote:
That's a terrible reason to do so. Correlation isn't reducible to identity. Even if you say thoughts supervene on specific brain states it still doesn't follow that the thoughts are (or a function of) those brain states.

Hormones, brain damage, genetics, triggering specific parts of the brain...all of these change mental states, produce different personalities, even create "spiritual experiences". Therefore the latter are the result of the former.

Interactionist dualists accept that interaction happens between the mental and the physical in either direction (the physical causing mental changes and the mental causing physical changes).

What you said is compatible with dualism.

Where is evidence for the latter?

Where is the evidence that mental activities simply are brain activities? Remember, neither correlation nor dependence of mental activties on brain activities established that mental activities simply are brain activities.

It'd be like noting that some brain states are correlated with me running and then concluding that therefore running is the same thing as that particular brain activity.

And just a few of the evidences would be qualia and intentionality.
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Yvette
Posts: 859
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7/13/2010 5:36:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 4:26:40 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/13/2010 4:15:59 PM, Yvette wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:57:34 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:19:33 PM, Yvette wrote:
That's a terrible reason to do so. Correlation isn't reducible to identity. Even if you say thoughts supervene on specific brain states it still doesn't follow that the thoughts are (or a function of) those brain states.

Hormones, brain damage, genetics, triggering specific parts of the brain...all of these change mental states, produce different personalities, even create "spiritual experiences". Therefore the latter are the result of the former.

Interactionist dualists accept that interaction happens between the mental and the physical in either direction (the physical causing mental changes and the mental causing physical changes).

What you said is compatible with dualism.

Where is evidence for the latter?

Where is the evidence that mental activities simply are brain activities? Remember, neither correlation nor dependence of mental activties on brain activities established that mental activities simply are brain activities.

It'd be like noting that some brain states are correlated with me running and then concluding that therefore running is the same thing as that particular brain activity.

And just a few of the evidences would be qualia and intentionality.

I see what you mean in the first paragraph, the second is a stretch. Please explain for the third--I am aware what qualia and intentionality are but I fail to see how qualia could be proof. As for intentionality, it's not really evidence either way because it could be the brain producing conscious thought, or conscious thought controlling the brain. How something supernatural could manipulate matter, however, I haven't a clue.

However, again, entire personalities change with brain damage. The damage changes the person's brain, and the person's personality and everything about their mental activity is changed. Something caused the brain damage, that was the force. What caused the change in mental activity? Is it linked or not?
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
popculturepooka
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7/14/2010 8:31:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 5:36:59 PM, Yvette wrote:

I see what you mean in the first paragraph, the second is a stretch.

Why is the second paragrah that much of a stretch? This essentially what I understand you be saying: "Whatever mental activity there is there seems to be a correlate/strong dependency on/with some specific brain activity so it is most likely that they are just the same activity or that the brain produces thought." Tell me if I have your position wrong.

What I was noting is that many activities have the same kind of relationship you take that thoughts have with specific brain events or states. Scientists can notice increased blood flow or nueronal synaspes firing whenever I run but it'd hardly fair to conclude from observing that that there is nothing more to running then brain activities. The brain might be necessary for running but it certainly isn't sufficient.

The brain might be necessary for thought to be physically realized but it certainly isn't sufficient.

Please explain for the third--I am aware what qualia and intentionality are but I fail to see how qualia could be proof. As for intentionality, it's not really evidence either way because it could be the brain producing conscious thought, or conscious thought controlling the brain.

Well, my answer depends on whether or not you are physicalist or a materialist. I'm assuming you are but I'm just making sure first.

How something supernatural could manipulate matter, however, I haven't a clue.

If you mean "how" in the sense of "by what process" I don't know either. Then again we really don't know how most material interactions work (see: "action at a distance") so we are all left in the dark, eh?

However, again, entire personalities change with brain damage. The damage changes the person's brain, and the person's personality and everything about their mental activity is changed. Something caused the brain damage, that was the force. What caused the change in mental activity? Is it linked or not?

Okay, so (most) dualists tend to view the brain as a medium for the soul. To go back to an earlier analogy I made to Geo it's kind of like an island tribe of people who are unfamiliar with modern technology suddenly coming across a radio that washed up on their shores. They hear music coming out of the radio. They notice that if they press certain switches and the music will go on and of or the music will be harder or easier to hear. Sometimes the music will even switch to different kinds. Surprisingly they notice that when they break the radio the music stops forever.

It might be understandable for these people to conclude that the radio produced the music and that it was the source of the music if they have never come across one before (like I stipulated) but I think knowing what we know that is a fallacious inference.

Dualists tend to maintain something like that happens with the brain and the mind/soul.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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popculturepooka
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7/14/2010 8:34:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:33:16 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@popculturepooka

You bring up a good point that the brain is the conduit for consciousness, though very recently I also believed that as well.

What changed your mind?

You said that if disproving a soul is evidence against God, then proving a soul is evidence for God. This is utterly false. Here's why.

If it is proven that people don't have souls, then a soul-giving God absolutely does not exist. Why? Because people don't have souls, yet God gives souls to people, so a soul-giving God doesn't exist. I already conceded that it doesn't apply to the Deist God.

If a soul is proven to exist, it does not prove that a soul-giving God exists. The soul could have always been there, it could have been an alien implant, so it does not necessitate a God. That is a non-sequitur.

I was careful to say it provides evidence for God. Not proof. It could also provide evidence for absolute idealism. At any rate if an immaterial soul exists it would provide evidence any position that asserts there is an immaterial reality - that would include theism as well.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Yvette
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7/14/2010 9:13:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/14/2010 8:31:16 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/13/2010 5:36:59 PM, Yvette wrote:

I see what you mean in the first paragraph, the second is a stretch.

Why is the second paragrah that much of a stretch? This essentially what I understand you be saying: "Whatever mental activity there is there seems to be a correlate/strong dependency on/with some specific brain activity so it is most likely that they are just the same activity or that the brain produces thought." Tell me if I have your position wrong.

You do a little. The thing is, they do not simply correlate. If you change your hormones, your mental state follows predictably. Your hormones do not follow your mental state. Etc, etc.

What I was noting is that many activities have the same kind of relationship you take that thoughts have with specific brain events or states. Scientists can notice increased blood flow or nueronal synaspes firing whenever I run but it'd hardly fair to conclude from observing that that there is nothing more to running then brain activities. The brain might be necessary for running but it certainly isn't sufficient.

Except running produces certain hormones, which produce certain sensations and feelings. You cannot infer just from running that only the brain is required to make the body run, however, there is no evidence for anything else.

The brain might be necessary for thought to be physically realized but it certainly isn't sufficient.

Why not? Give me a reason.

Please explain for the third--I am aware what qualia and intentionality are but I fail to see how qualia could be proof. As for intentionality, it's not really evidence either way because it could be the brain producing conscious thought, or conscious thought controlling the brain.

Well, my answer depends on whether or not you are physicalist or a materialist. I'm assuming you are but I'm just making sure first.

Never heard of the first.

How something supernatural could manipulate matter, however, I haven't a clue.

If you mean "how" in the sense of "by what process" I don't know either. Then again we really don't know how most material interactions work (see: "action at a distance") so we are all left in the dark, eh?

Except we have evidence matter exists and interacts with matter. We have no evidence of anything supernatural, let alone that it interacts with matter. There is a quote I like, something along the lines of, "Not only are you saying that Bigfoot exists but you are claiming to know how it's social structure works". You need to provide some evidence for anything supernatural or non-material going on before we can even consider it.

However, again, entire personalities change with brain damage. The damage changes the person's brain, and the person's personality and everything about their mental activity is changed. Something caused the brain damage, that was the force. What caused the change in mental activity? Is it linked or not?

Okay, so (most) dualists tend to view the brain as a medium for the soul. To go back to an earlier analogy I made to Geo it's kind of like an island tribe of people who are unfamiliar with modern technology suddenly coming across a radio that washed up on their shores. They hear music coming out of the radio. They notice that if they press certain switches and the music will go on and of or the music will be harder or easier to hear. Sometimes the music will even switch to different kinds. Surprisingly they notice that when they break the radio the music stops forever.

Okay, except there's no evidence. You mentioned intentionality before but if the brain and thought are linked (as the evidence shows) then that proves nothing. You need to show that thought is supernatural first.

It might be understandable for these people to conclude that the radio produced the music and that it was the source of the music if they have never come across one before (like I stipulated) but I think knowing what we know that is a fallacious inference.

Dualists tend to maintain something like that happens with the brain and the mind/soul.

This is a good example, actually. The problem is however, there's just no evidence of "radio waves". You can find evidence of actual radio waves, see their effect when you move the radio, etc. There's zero evidence for the supernatural. That's not to say the supernatural doesn't exist because we don't have evidence for it, it's certainly possible, but to support a theory with no evidence behind it doesn't make any sense.
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
popculturepooka
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7/17/2010 1:53:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/14/2010 9:13:26 PM, Yvette wrote:
At 7/14/2010 8:31:16 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/13/2010 5:36:59 PM, Yvette wrote:

I see what you mean in the first paragraph, the second is a stretch.

Why is the second paragrah that much of a stretch? This essentially what I understand you be saying: "Whatever mental activity there is there seems to be a correlate/strong dependency on/with some specific brain activity so it is most likely that they are just the same activity or that the brain produces thought." Tell me if I have your position wrong.

You do a little. The thing is, they do not simply correlate. If you change your hormones, your mental state follows predictably. Your hormones do not follow your mental state. Etc, etc.


That is strict correlation. Also have you heard of the placebo affect. In fact, common sense intuition tells us that mental states affect brain states. It seems rather obvious to me that me willing that I type this response is what causes my response.

What I was noting is that many activities have the same kind of relationship you take that thoughts have with specific brain events or states. Scientists can notice increased blood flow or nueronal synaspes firing whenever I run but it'd hardly fair to conclude from observing that that there is nothing more to running then brain activities. The brain might be necessary for running but it certainly isn't sufficient.

Except running produces certain hormones, which produce certain sensations and feelings. You cannot infer just from running that only the brain is required to make the body run, however, there is no evidence for anything else.


Yes, and it also requires that you have a working spinal cord and muscles and legs and....etc. You can't reduce running to simply certain brain activities.

The brain might be necessary for thought to be physically realized but it certainly isn't sufficient.

Why not? Give me a reason.


Because thought and sensations have certain properties that it's impossible for anything physical to have.

Please explain for the third--I am aware what qualia and intentionality are but I fail to see how qualia could be proof. As for intentionality, it's not really evidence either way because it could be the brain producing conscious thought, or conscious thought controlling the brain.


Qualia is proof that certain seemings or "what it is like's" (i.e. what it is like to see the color red; what it is like to be in pain or a bat) disprove materialism. If materialism is true by, in principle, knowing all physical facts about a person you should be able to, in principle, know everything about a person or animal. But, by drawing on a series of thought experiments (like Nagel's bat or Jackson's Mary), it it shown that even if we were somehow to gain knowledge of all physicals facts about a person or animal we would not know everything about them. In fact we'd be missing some crucial knowledge - we wouldn't know what it is like to be a bat. Mary would gain new knowledge about what it is like to see red even if she knew all the relevant brain workings and visual processings. That is a very short non-rigorous version of the argument.

As for intentionality I'm talking about this: http://plato.stanford.edu...

It's uncontroversial that some thoughts are about other things. I can think about my mom, or the world, or breakdancing or whatever.

The basic problem here is that when you try to apply this "aboutness" to physical things it becomes incoherent. Does it make any sense to say my brain my mom, the world, or breakdancing? Not when you consider that my brain is made of the same basic physical stuff as everything else in the universe. You know, rocks, trees, suns, etc. It's all intentionaless matter. Can a rock be about the sun?

How something supernatural could manipulate matter, however, I haven't a clue.

If you mean "how" in the sense of "by what process" I don't know either. Then again we really don't know how most material interactions work (see: "action at a distance") so we are all left in the dark, eh?

Except we have evidence matter exists and interacts with matter. We have no evidence of anything supernatural, let alone that it interacts with matter. There is a quote I like, something along the lines of, "Not only are you saying that Bigfoot exists but you are claiming to know how it's social structure works". You need to provide some evidence for anything supernatural or non-material going on before we can even consider it.


And I'd just say and we have evidence that the immaterial interacts with the materials. Case in point our thoughts seeming to cause our actions. And that wasn't the point of that paragraph. It was this: we have NO IDEA how matter interacts with matter especially now that action a distance is factored in. If we have no idea HOW the natural interacts with the natural how does it somehow become a crippling problem that we can't explain how the supernatural interacts with the natural when we naturalist have the exact same problem?

And you seem to be think that all evidence must be scientific evidence which is mistaken.

However, again, entire personalities change with brain damage. The damage changes the person's brain, and the person's personality and everything about their mental activity is changed. Something caused the brain damage, that was the force. What caused the change in mental activity? Is it linked or not?


I thought I said that mental activity is linked with brain activity.

Okay, except there's no evidence. You mentioned intentionality before but if the brain and thought are linked (as the evidence shows) then that proves nothing. You need to show that thought is supernatural first.


See above.


This is a good example, actually. The problem is however, there's just no evidence of "radio waves". You can find evidence of actual radio waves, see their effect when you move the radio, etc. There's zero evidence for the supernatural. That's not to say the supernatural doesn't exist because we don't have evidence for it, it's certainly possible, but to support a theory with no evidence behind it doesn't make any sense.

Again I would disagree. See the above points on qualia and intentionality.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!