Painful. Closing our religion coverage for the week (a bit late, as it is the Labour Day weekend) from Rabbi Moshe Averick, in his Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused World of Modern Atheism:
Atheists are prepared to deny our very grasp on reality
Atheists are prepared to burrow very deep down the materialist rabbit hole in order to avoid any possible confrontation with the spiritual. How deep? Deep enough to cast doubt on our very connection with reality. The skeptic claims that a scientific investigation of the brain leads us to the conclusion that there resides within us a separate “executive self” is an illusion. Leaving totally aside the issue of whether or not that assessment of the data is accurate, there is a much more fundamental question that must be addressed: By what unique entitlement, privilege, or faculty does the skeptic confidently disavow as illusory the all-pervasive notion of a separate “self,” yet simultaneously justify hi absolute trust in his own perceptions and analysis regarding the “scientific” examination of the brain that led him to reach that conclusion in the first place? (p. 189) Good question. Unfortunately, the best answer I ever heard was from mid-twentieth-century Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis, in Abolition of Man:
But what never claimed objectivity cannot be destroyed by subjectivism. The impulse to scratch when I itch or to pull to pieces when I am inquisitive is immune from the solvent which is fatal to my justice, or honour, or care for posterity. When all that says “It is good” has been debunked, what says “I want” remains. It cannot be exploded or “seen through” because it never had any pretentions. The Conditioners*, therefore, must come to be motivated simply by their own pleasure.
I am not here speaking of the corrupting influence of power nor expressing the fear that under it our Conditioners will degenerate. The very words corrupt and degenerate imply a doctrine of value and are therefore meaningless in this context. My point is that those who stand outside all judgements of value cannot have any ground for preferring one of their own impulses to another except the emotional strength of that impulse.
* Today, we would call them progressives. They have been learning this for decades at U’s and putting it into practice. It helps us understand, for example, the war on falsifiability in science, in favor of the unfalsifiable multiverse, and the endless attacks on the concept of free will. See also: Easy to be an atheist if you ignore science and Yet another “myth of free will” claim: These claims come in many varieties but their outcome, if not their purpose, is transparent: No one, including the naturalist atheist, is responsible for what he does. Consider what that means for issues like intellectual freedom and responsible government. Follow UD News at Twitter!
15 Replies to “Rabbi Moshe Maverick on atheists’ grasp of reality”
The attitude of today’s atheists has been with us since the days of Plato and his Cave. Platonism essentially postulates that our grasp on reality is fundamentally flawed, rendering impossible certainty on anything of importance. But how, exactly, can the Platonist know that what we perceive is illusory? If he perceives the same thing, he has no evidence that what we perceive is illusory; if what he perceives is different, then it is incumbent upon him to explain why the authority of his senses should supersede our own; and no, “It’s because I’m a clever dick” is not an adequate explanation.
Our current civil rights discourse is rife with the same chatter. If you believe the “wrong” things, it’s because your capacity for discerning truth and justice is fundamentally flawed by race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. But people of the exact same race, gender, religion or sexual preference who believe the the “right” things are somehow free of these disabilities.
You’ll never be out of a job when bad writing, and obscurantism reign supreme.
Are you willing to deny the inadvertently revealing force of say this from Provine at the 1998 Darwin Day event at U Tenn?
Given the necessity of responsible, rational freedom simply to be able to freely, logically think — instead of being bound up in the GIGO-ruled consequences of computation on a wetware substrate (allegedly programmed by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity) — we have to focus on this matter as pivotal.
And, as revealing the irretrievable self-referential incoherence of evolutionary materialistic scientism and its consequences for logic and epistemology.
That is, we see here reason to hold evolutionary materialistic scientism as utterly self-falsifying. (Cf here: http://iose-gen.blogspot.com/2.....ml#slf_ref )
Regardless of the unwillingness — there, we see the significance of freedom again — of many to face the issue.
So, whatever real or imaginary infelicities of style you may wish to point to, News is not exhibiting obscurantism.
Just the opposite, News is highlighting a key foundational crack in the dominant ideology of our day.
One, many have consistently failed to face squarely.
One obvious answer was that this conclusion was reached by a self that was not separate, but a part of their body.
Of course, another response is to wonder where the problem is. Even if there is no “executive self”, why can’t I (as a whole person) make judgments?
BO’H: Do you not see the implied self referential incoherence? [Cf. here on, for a 101.] For one instance, if our conscious self is an illusion, especially when that is tied to views that reduce thinking to effectively mechanical computation on a wetware substrate driven by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity and further constrained by GIGO, this lets grand delusion loose on our mental lives, undermining responsible rational freedom. Indeed, you cannot appeal to yourself as a whole person, a unified self if the point you are defending is that that sense of self is an illusion. Which is exactly where the implication of grand delusion gets let loose. That is fatal. Fatally self-referentially incoherent. I suggest, a rethink is in order. KF
PS: Start with J B S Haldane:
as to “M. Averick on atheists’ grasp of reality”
The following study finds that Atheists have no grasp of reality whatsoever 🙂
After years of debating internet trolls, I certainly agree that atheists have no grasp of reality! 🙂
Atheism has nothing of value to offer the world, and Its most vocal adherents sound more like raving lunatics than rational beings seeking truth. Lawrence Krauss, in particular, is completely unhinged, and the rest of his ilk (Dawkins, Harris, etc.) are merely sad, pitiful caricatures at this point.
TWSYF: That seems to go over a reasonable limit. I suggest you moderate your tone. KF
” Even if there is no “executive self”, why can’t I (as a whole person) make judgments?”
Nothing prevents you from making judgments, but if there is no immaterial intellect which is the core of oneself as a personal agent, then those judgments will have nothing to do with reality. Here is why:
All judgments are propositions as to whether or not something is true, and therefore making a judgment is an exercise in reasoning. But reasoning depends on applying the laws of logic. And the laws of logic are known from our apprehension of existence i.e., the law of identity, for example, is derived from the immediate knowledge that “being is”. But being or existence is a universal, not a particular, and therefore the apprehension of existence is known via abstraction from sense-experience. To put it in other words, our apprehension of existence, being an act of the intellect, is a mental state which has semantic content. But no physical process, not even logic gates, can have semantic content. A logic gate in itself involves only the movement of electric current through diodes, and of itself has no meaning. It is we who give meaning to a certain configuration of such semiconductors by using them as symbols of AND, NOT, OR, NAND and other mental operations. Ergo, the operations of our intellect can have no physical basis, though the intellect is dependent upon the brain for the supply of sense-data and memory without which it cannot perform the task of abstraction.
Anyone who claims that intellection has a (completely) material basis is thus saying that he is placing his trust in physical processes which in themselves have no semantic content, and thus has got nothing to do with the laws of logic.
Computational substrates are GIGO-limited cause-effect machines (that will happily churn out rubbish if ill-organised or ill-programmed . . . ), even wetware ones. Not, ground-consequent, meaningful inference entities.
That — based on CS Lewis’ argument from reason later elaborated by Victor Reppert, but also coming from practical experience with troubleshooting such substrates — is what points to the issues highlighted by Eng Derek Smith in his two-tier controller model of bio-cybernetic systems.
“The other creature has behavior only tuned to its, and the environment’s, fitness function. The second creature could care less about what’s really going on in reality.”
This is nuts.
The “fitness function” has nothing to do with reality?
But it has influenced the real biology of hundreds of thousands of real species, over hundreds of millions of real years?
And real people pretend to believe this?
“The first is tuned to respond directly to objective reality — the actual independent reality out there. The other creature has behavior only tuned to its, and the environment’s, fitness function.”
Secondly, how does evolution, driven by a fitness function, produce a creature NOT “tuned” to that fitness function?
How could the first creature ever possibly exist, if evolution explains all creatures?
Incoherence has been raised to the Nth power …
Although materialists-atheists, without one shred of evidence that anything material can be conscious, deny the fact that they really exist as real persons, (which is the most sure thing they can know about reality), and insist that they are merely neuronal illusions. Besides that insane denial from atheists that they really exist as real persons, Theists, besides having the overwhelming subjective experience of being a real person every waking moment of their lives, also have compelling scientific evidence to support the fact that they really are ‘persons’ and are not just merely ‘neuronal illusions’:
For example, in direct contradiction to the atheistic claim that our thoughts are merely the result of whatever state our material brain happens to be in, ‘Brain Plasticity’, the ability to alter the structure of the brain from a person’s focused intention, has now been established by Jeffrey Schwartz, as well as among other researchers.
Moreover, as alluded to in the preceding video, and completely contrary to materialistic thought, mind has been now also been shown to be able to reach all the way down and have pronounced, ‘epigenetic’, effects on the gene expression of our bodies:
Then there is also the well documented placebo effect in which a person’s beliefs have pronounced effects on their body
Moreover, If the mind of a person were merely the brain, as materialists hold, then if half of a brain were removed then a ‘person’ should only be ‘half the person’, or at least somewhat less of a ‘person’, as they were before. But that is not the case, the ‘whole person’ stays intact even though the brain suffers severe impairment:
In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study:
Here is a a fairly moving example of ‘personhood’: Although the girl in the following videos was written off as hopelessly retarded by everyone who saw her, eventually a breakthrough was made that gave her the ability to communicate with the outside world. A breakthough that revealed there was/is indeed a gentle intelligence, a “me”, a “soul”, a “person”, within the girl that was and still is trapped within her body. And that that “me” was not able to express herself properly to others simply because of her neurological disorder not because she did not have a ‘mind’ that was not fully functioning.
i.e. If she, as a ‘person’, was merely a neuronal illusion, i.e. if she, as a ‘person’, was merely the result of the chemistry of her brain as atheists hold, then the preceding breakthrough that finally reached ‘her’, and allowed her to communicate in spite her neurological disorder, should have been impossible.
Then there is the whole Near Death Experience line of evidence:
In the following study, researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences (NDEs) being real, set out to prove that they were merely hallucinations by setting up a clever questionnaire that could differentiate which memories a person had were real and which memories a person had were merely imaginary.
They did not expect the results they got:
Exactly how does something become ‘more real than real’ in an NDE unless this reality is just a mere shadow of the heavenly reality that awaits us after death?
Moreover, in the atheists insane denial that they really exist as real persons, and their insistence that they are merely neuronal illusions with no free will, atheists, in doing so, also, by direct implication, deny that we have any transcendent component to our being that lives past the death of our material, temporal, bodies. Yet, contrary to their belief, transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale (in every DNA and protein molecule).
Thus, whereas the atheist has no evidence whatsoever that anything material can be conscious, the Theist is more than justified, scientifically, in his belief that his conscious mind is separate from matter, and also more than justified in his belief that he has a ‘soul’ that lives past the death of his material body.
Quote and Verse: