Intelligent Design

The Inane Beliefs of Atheists/Materialists

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1. Climate Alarmism – why do Atheists/Materialists think they can recognize and understand true climate facts and extrapolate them into valid theories about the future of Earth’s climate? Do they not realize all of their mental processes have no top-down, supernatural control/override authority? They think whatever happenstance chemical interactions cause them to think, and believe whatever chance forces cause them to believe. Under such a paradigm, they believe what they do about the climate for exactly the same reason non-believers hold their non-alarmist views: chemical interactions have caused such beliefs. “Facts” and “truths” are nothing more than sensations that unintelligent, undirected physical processes cause us to attach to particular thoughts. They might eat some particular ingredient or smell something and a chaotic cascade change their mind about the climate. Why bother worrying about something one has no capacity to meaningfully understand in any significant way?

2. Globalism – why do A/M’s promote a global society? Do they expect to be able to coerce the enormously chaotic chemical interactions and physics that drive humanity into a particular, preferable pattern of behavior? I guess it makes sense that atheistic materialists who think a massively chaotic system like climate can be controlled into preferred future outcomes also think humanity can be homogenized into thought and behavior patterns to produce preferred global society outcomes. It makes sense because, under atheistic matieralism, A/M’s can be programmed by chemistry and physics to believe and say any inane nonsense whatsoever by chance physical interactions. In light of how happenstance chemical interactions generate beliefs and views and attach the sensation of “fact” or “truth” to them, how can any A/M hold that globalism would be any better in any way for humanity? They have no means by which to meaningfully reach such a conclusion.

3. Progressivism – Why do they advance and promote such concepts as “rights” for various subcategories of the human population, when surely they realize that no such rights exist under atheistic materialism – at least, they do not exist as anything other than feelings attached to thoughts. Under A/M, nobody possesses any “metaphysical” or “supernatural” or “natural” rights; they exist as physical sensations driven by happenstance chemical interactions. If these interactions happen to drive a person or a culture to kill or torture or enslave certain sub-groups, so what? That’s just nature at work, the ongoing drive of chemistry and physics. That’s just part of the evolutionary process. Since “rights” are just sensations, an abused group has no more claim to any “right” than their abusers, who have the sensation of a right to commit the abuse. A proclaimed “right” to “equality” or “healthcare” cannot be logically claimed by atheistic materialists to be superior to the “rights” of those who prefer inequality, or prefer not to provide healthcare or anything else some group wants.

40 Replies to “The Inane Beliefs of Atheists/Materialists

  1. 1
    asauber says:

    Why bother worrying about something one has no capacity to meaningfully understand in any significant way?

    The indoctrinated prog on the street might actually worry about it, because they are too dumb to think their way to an assessment of the evidence, or in this case the lack thereof.

    The prog in leadership doesn’t worry about it, because the climate scare story is the means to the end. That’s why people like Al Gore still get afternoon massages in their climate-controlled beachfront mansions, while dumb prog on the internet stares at colored squiggly lines.

    Andrew

  2. 2

    asauber @1:

    I agree that most A/M’s on the street just haven’t really considered how they come to their beliefs nor considered the lack of foundation for any such beliefs if A/M is true.

    However, it’s my view that it is important to point out such issues. I’ve found that there are reasonable A/M’s who have never been sufficiently informed or properly challenged.

  3. 3
    asauber says:

    However, it’s my view that it is important to point out such issues.

    WJM,

    I fully agree.

    Andrew

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Silver Asiatic says:

    A number of good questions raised here in the OP. I will give them my best shot at it (this is going to sound harsh so I apologize in advance and therefore don’t read if you’re squeamish):

    Climate Alarmism – why do Atheists/Materialists think they can recognize and understand true climate facts and extrapolate them into valid theories about the future of Earth’s climate?

    They are shallow, ignorant, downright stupid, drugged, blinded by lust and/or basically incapable and unwilling to understand their own beliefs which they profess and want to force on society. Or more simply and kindly – they either can’t (don’t have the brainpower) or don’t want to recognize and understand this obvious fact.

    Do they not realize all of their mental processes have no top-down, supernatural control/override authority?

    Some do, but dishonestly ignore it. Others don’t for reasons of stupidity and bad education. Virtually none will ever admit this or have any argument against it.

    Why bother worrying about something one has no capacity to meaningfully understand in any significant way?

    Their goal seems to be to steal, unjustly and illogically, all the benefits of the theistic worldview, while at the same time retaining the excitement and egoism of being the bold rebel against God. It’s an addiction to moral liberation for most.

    Globalism – why do A/M’s promote a global society?

    A lot can be said here, but basically misery loves company. The rebels against a divine order need an army of support. It’s “all of us” against God. “Everybody’s doing it” – populism. If you can force the whole world to live by your laws, all the better. A restless conscience seeks comfort from friends. They search for meaning (which power over others gives), while denying that there is any real meaning.

    Do they expect to be able to coerce the enormously chaotic chemical interactions and physics that drive humanity into a particular, preferable pattern of behavior?

    As above, they dishonestly ignore this contradiction. Instead, they co-opt the attitude of the moral prophet and reformer. Like everything they do and think, this is totally irrational. But that doesn’t stop them. Is it rational to shed tears about the fate of a squirrel caught in a trap and yet gleefully promote late term abortion of human children? Obviously, no. Again as above, stupid, blind – I forgot to add, in many cases, clinically insane … etc.

    Thus the hardships and frustration of anyone (like ourselves) who take on the challenge of trying to discuss anything with these A/Ms. There are people in mental institutions who are more logical, coherent and rational. This is not something to laugh at but to feel compassion and sorrow for them.

    If these interactions happen to drive a person or a culture to kill or torture or enslave certain sub-groups, so what?

    Many feel threatened – by God, by rational society, by their own conscience – many things. So, they use moral outrage, illogically, to claim they’re more noble, more caring, more progressive, more morally sensitive – than anyone else. Of course, that’s just huge egoism talking again – echoing in the void of their spiritually deadened souls. We hear it so often. Instead of calmly answering this question about murder and torture, they’ll get angry and attack. A more cold-hearted guy like Zachriel, who came close to believing his own nonsense, would say that evolution caused us to “prefer” not to torture. He was too dishonest to admit that “preferring to torture and murder” is also perfectly acceptable in the evolutionary view. He couldn’t quite handle that much.

    In the A/M view there are no rights, no freedoms, no responsibilities.

    We read a rare philosopher last week here who admitted all of that, but then went on to cover it up and deny it in the end (writing an article to educate people is a contradiction to the A/M view that he admitted).

    The unfortunate thing (among many) is that this argument is the nuclear option against atheism. There’s really nothing – zero, to say when encountering it.

    To even start defending, arguing, using reason and logic to uphold atheistic materialism is to be self-refuting.

    In the end, there’s nothing that can be said. That’s evolutionary nihilism. Everything is nothing.

  6. 6
    Origenes says:

    William J Murray: Do they [the Atheists/Materialists] not realize all of their mental processes have no top-down, supernatural control/override authority? They think whatever happenstance chemical interactions cause them to think, and believe whatever chance forces cause them to believe.

    There is no basis whatsoever for rational debate with atheists/materialists. How can one engage those who hold that happenstance chemical reactions direct thoughts? Or worse … that thoughts are not about anything.

    … when consciousness assures us that we have thoughts about stuff, it has to be wrong … Physics has ruled out the existence of clumps of matter of the required sort. There are just fermions and bosons and combinations of them. None of that stuff is just, all by itself, about any other stuff. There is nothing in the whole universe—including, of course, all the neurons in your brain—that just by its nature or composition can do this job of being about some other clump of matter…
    These neurons are just a clump of matter. They are not intrinsically about your mom. They don’t look like your mom. They are not like a picture of her. They can’t be interpreted or decoded by some other part of your brain into a picture or description of your mom. There is nothing that distinguishes them from any other reinforced synaptically connected neurons in your brain, except their history of being wired up as a result of early-childhood development and firing regularly under the same circumstances throughout your life.
    None of these sets of circuits are about anything. And the combination of them can’t be either. The small sets of specialized input/output circuits that respond to your mom’s face, as well as the large set that responds to your mom, are no different from millions of other such sets in your brain, except in one way: they respond to a distinct electrical input with a distinct electrical output. That’s all packages of neural circuits do in the rat and the sea slug. That’s why they are not about anything. Piling up a lot of neural circuits that are not about anything at all can’t turn them into a thought about stuff out there in the world. [Rosenberg]

    Or even worse … that no person exists.

    FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.
    Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates.
    The physical facts fix all the facts. The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live. …
    BUT INTROSPECTION is making you respond, “It can’t be an illusion.” It may grant that the brain is so fantastically complex that it can navigate the world even while looking through the rearview mirror. And for all it knows, maybe conscious acts of will are not what cause the body to move. Maybe the brain stores information in neural circuits that aren’t really about stuff. But surely, the thoughts I am conscious of right now have to be about something. These conscious thoughts aren’t just input/output circuits, empty of content. I can be tricked by the movies into the illusion of motion. But introspection can’t be tricked into the illusion that its thoughts are about stuff, even if the thoughts are illusory. Right now, I am thinking about the problem of how conscious thought can be about stuff. Introspection is telling me, firsthand, exactly what I am thinking about. How can anyone deny that?
    No matter how hard it is to deny, we have to do so. Appearances to the contrary, it’s no easier a trick for conscious thoughts to be about stuff than for nonconscious thoughts—brain circuits—to be about stuff. [Rosenberg]

  7. 7
    mike1962 says:

    No matter how hard it is to deny, we have to do so. Appearances to the contrary, it’s no easier a trick for conscious thoughts to be about stuff than for nonconscious thoughts—brain circuits—to be about stuff.

    Unless, of course, consciousness is “other.”

    Rosenberg cannot brook that possibility.

    What do you do with people who deny the sun’s existence when they can see it right up there in the sky? In this case, the “sun” is the primary, unavoidable and intractable fact about themselves.

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    1. Climate Alarmism – why do Atheists/Materialists think they can recognize and understand true climate facts and extrapolate them into valid theories about the future of Earth’s climate?

    Do you have any reason for thinking that only a/mats are warning about AGW or is this just another piece of anti-science propaganda? Is there something in the Bible I missed which makes it blasphemous to suggest that human activities could have a cumulative adverse effect on the Earth’s climate?

    2. Globalism – why do A/M’s promote a global society?

    Again, what make you think it’s only a/mats “promoting” global society? I would point out the North Koreas is about as a/mat a society, in your terms, as you’ll find on this planet and they’ve done just about everything they can to isolate themselves from the outside world. The reality is that globalization is happening inexorably whether we like it or not, what with the Internet, telecoms, international trade and the ease of global travel.

    I’ve often thought that if you were able to transport someone from the year 1017 forward in time to today they would probably be horrified and terrified by what we take for granted and be desperate to get back to their own era. The same would probably be true if one of us were transported forward to the year 3017. Supposing we found that humans had become a Borg-like society in which everyone was permanently plugged into a vast Matrix-like AI network. Would you like that?

    3. Progressivism – Why do they advance and promote such concepts as “rights” for various subcategories of the human population, when surely they realize that no such rights exist under atheistic materialism – at least, they do not exist as anything other than feelings attached to thoughts

    What’s so hard to understand about the idea that rights – or moral codes – are what people can agree amongst themselves by a process of inter-subjective agreement should be the case? Why do you think that only a God is entitled or able to decide these things?

    And apparently, I also need to point out, yet again, that you and just about everyone else here is accusing a/mats of committing the fallacy of the single cause, defined in Wikipedia as follows:

    The fallacy of the single cause, also known as complex cause, causal oversimplification, causal reductionism, and reduction fallacy,[1] is a fallacy of questionable cause that occurs when it is assumed that there is a single, simple cause of an outcome when in reality it may have been caused by a number of only jointly sufficient causes.

    It can be logically reduced to: X occurred after Y. Therefore, Y caused X (although A,B,C…etc. also caused X.)[1]

    Causal oversimplification is a specific kind of false dilemma where conjoint possibilities are ignored. In other words, the possible causes are assumed to be “A or B or C” when “A and B and C” or “A and B and not C” (etc.) are not taken into consideration.

    Yes, a human being can be described as a bag of water and chemicals but no one claims that is all they are, any more than describing a computer as a box of silicon, glass, metals and plastics is an exhaustive explanation of everything a computer is and can do. There are many more things involved in making a human being or a computer what they are. A/mats know that just as well as you do. We just don’t see any reason to think a god is one of them.

  9. 9

    Computers require intelligently designed software to operate (digital coding). Humans likewise require software to operate (chemical coding).

    We know the source of computer software, but we can only guess the source of human software. I think it is God based on what I believe to be reasonable faith. A/mats say nature based on what they believe to be reasonable faith.

    Both are faith-based beliefs. We just have faith in different things. I in God. A/mats in nature.

    Whose faith is more reasonable? Depends on who you ask. There are brilliant minds on both sides, so intelligence and logic are certainly not the determining factors.

  10. 10
    J-Mac says:

    Can someone please give me the synopsis of the “climate change issue”, as I have not been following it at all…
    Just need to basics who claims what and why…please

  11. 11

    It’s good to see seversky give us an example of the inability of many A/Ms to be rational.

    Seversky appears to believe that I have said something that warrants thee following in response:

    Do you have any reason for thinking that only a/mats are warning about AGW or is this just another piece of anti-science propaganda? Is there something in the Bible I missed which makes it blasphemous to suggest that human activities could have a cumulative adverse effect on the Earth’s climate?

    I neither said nor implied that a/mats were the only ones that believed in AGW. Nor have I said anything about the Bible; I’ve never even read the Bible. Perhaps this is indeed evidence that many a/mat responses are merely the firing of happenstance chemical interactions. His response makes no sense in relation to my post.

    He continues with his unconnected “response”:

    Again, what make you think it’s only a/mats “promoting” global society?

    Nowhere in my post did I say or imply that only a/mats promoted a global society. He then goes on to make several claims of fact that have no foundation for warrant under a/mat views, which is what the entire post is about.

    He continues:

    What’s so hard to understand about the idea that rights – or moral codes – are what people can agree amongst themselves by a process of inter-subjective agreement should be the case?

    Of course, there’s nothing hard about understanding that concept; what is hard is explaining how one warrants the conclusion when that any inter-subjective agreeements have been reached at all when all of our thoughts and sensations are dictated by happenstance chemical interactions. What is also hard in such a paradigm is justifying one’s moral position when it is different from the interpersonal agreements of the culture around you and explaining why one should fight for or promote a different moral agreement when there is no means by which to claim one agreement is better than another, if in fact morality is nothing more than an agreement to behave a certain way.

    And apparently, I also need to point out, yet again, that you and just about everyone else here is accusing a/mats of committing the fallacy of the single cause, defined in Wikipedia as follows:

    What “cause” other than chemistry and physics, which is what I referred to, generates any thoughts or feelings in humans, Seversky – according to a/mats? It’s only a fallacy if in fact there are other potential causes.

    Yes, a human being can be described as a bag of water and chemicals but no one claims that is all they are, any more than describing a computer as a box of silicon, glass, metals and plastics is an exhaustive explanation of everything a computer is and can do. There are many more things involved in making a human being or a computer what they are. A/mats know that just as well as you do. We just don’t see any reason to think a god is one of them.

    Seversky apparently has no idea what my post was about. Waving his hands and saying that humans and computers are complex and so act in ways that is more than what we otherwise expect from constituent parts in no way answers the challenge of how an a/mat perspective provides a rational warrant for the expectation that they can deliberately discern true facts about the world and then generate and accept a valid theoretical model for such things as globalism and climatism.

    If you program a computer to spit out errors an false statements, that is what it will do every time, seversky. Correct?

    What is the nature of the physics or chemistry involved, seversky, that differentiates between true and false beliefs? Is there some sort of DNA, biological or chemical quality by which you can discern a true statement from a false one?

    If not, then how exactly does an entirely material automaton programmed by chemistry and physics know what is delusion and what is not, what is true and what is simply a chemical reaction that makes them think a false statement is true?

    Can you be programmed by chemistry and physics to believe that AGW is true even if it is false? Of course. Do you have some other commodity other than that which programmed you to appeal to in order to undo that faulty programming? What other cause can you appeal to?

  12. 12

    WJM @ 11: “What ’cause’ other than chemistry and physics, which is what I referred to, generates any thoughts or feelings in humans…?”

    My guess is that Seversky will say that human thoughts, feelings, etc. arose purely by natural, unguided chemical and physical processes. This, of course, reveals his FAITH in nature’s ability to create such things and his FAITH that science will one day prove him right with empirical evidence.

    As I commented earlier, my theistic philosophical worldview is based on what I believe to be reasonable faith in a Creator, and specifically in Christianity. Seversky’s atheistic philosophical worldview is based on what he believes to be reasonable faith in nature’s unguided creative powers.

    The vast majority of these debates end at an impasse, with both sides thinking that their faith is more reasonable. Every once in awhile a convert is made to either side, but I find that to be very rare.

  13. 13
    Origenes says:

    Truth Will Set You Free: My guess is that Seversky will say that human thoughts, feelings, etc. arose purely by natural, unguided chemical and physical processes.

    So, your guess is that Seversky will claim that happenstance chemical reactions direct his thoughts, and by doing so, admit that he has no capacity to meaningfully understand anything in any significant way?
    My guess is that Seversky will not return to the discussion.

  14. 14

    Truth Will Set You Free said:

    …my theistic philosophical worldview is based on what I believe to be reasonable faith in a Creator, and specifically in Christianity. Seversky’s atheistic philosophical worldview is based on what he believes to be reasonable faith in nature’s unguided creative powers.

    The problem for Seversky, though, is that the shared terminology (I believe, he believes”) hides two entirely different things. When I say “I believe”, it means something conceptually very different from what Seversky means when he says it, based upon what the term “I believe” relies upon in each worldview.

    In my worldview, the statement “I believe” references the assumption of (1) a top-down, independent supernatural capacity to override the happenstance processes of chemistry and physics, and (2) a supernatural capacity for recognizing and understanding facts and truths and deliberately installing them into my thoughts and behaviors, thus overriding whatever happenstance ideas and habits chemistry and physics would result in.

    In the a/mat worldview, “I believe” doesn’t reference any such capacity. “I believe” literally means the same thing as a computer programmed to say “I believe” preceding whatever nonsense it then continues with; it means nothing more than a barking of programmed utterances or programmed sensations and thoughts.

    For the a/mat, “I believe” is nothing more than a happenstance quality of a thing – the markings on a leaf, the pattern of a snowflake, the geometry of wave rolling into shore. For the theist, “I believe” is a statement of supernatural free will and capacity beyond the confines of physical cause and effect. Without that, the term “I believe” is nothing more than the sound of a rustling leaf – physics and chemistry producing noises.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    TWSYF, while I admire your charity in allowing that Seversky may be exercising a ‘reasonable faith’ in his Atheistic philosophy, I have to disagree with you. Seversky’s faith, whatever it may called, is not a faith born out of reason. Seversky, in my many years of dealing with him, refuses to be reasonable. He uses what I term the ‘throw it on the wall and see if it sticks’ defense for his arguments.

    In my experience with him, he refuses to engage in honest discussion of the evidence. If a piece of evidence is irreconcilable with his Atheism, he simply ignores it and moves on the next piece of evidence where he thinks he may find some leeway.

    IMHO, he is thoroughly disingenuous towards the noble purpose of following the evidence wherever it may lead and, again IMHO, is only interested in defending his atheistic worldview no matter what it takes.

    He really doesn’t care that his worldview is false but only cares that he wants, for whatever severely misguided reason, it to be true.,,, Evidence be damned for all he cares for the actual truth of the matter.

    With Seversky, it is not a problem of his intellect but it is a problem of his heart.

    Alas, none of us mere mortals can reach down and change the desires of his heart, we can only do what we try to consistently do and present the evidence fairly and accurately.

    I find it to be a crying shame that Seversky has chosen this path for himself because, from the best I can tell from the best scientific evidence we have, there certainly IS a God, all of us do indeed have an eternal soul, there is a heavenly dimension and a hellish dimension, and Jesus Christ certainly is who He claimed to be.

    Personally, I’m very much delighted that modern science has born out the core precepts of Christianity and has, as a result, shown atheism to be false.

    But alas, for Seversky, it never was about the scientific evidence. It was only about defending his atheism no matter what the evidence says to the contrary.

    Barring some unforeseen change in his heart, I don’t see his attitude changing in regards to the evidence at hand.

    Again, it is a crying shame, for the consequences are, from the best I can tell from the scientific evidence, truly terrible for Seversky and his atheistic brethren.

  16. 16
    groovamos says:

    Seversky: Is there something in the Bible I missed which makes it blasphemous to suggest that human activities could have a cumulative adverse effect on the Earth’s climate?

    Is there something in the textbooks that I missed which makes it blasphemous to suggest skepticism that bad FORTRAN programmers’ activities can be the main basis for a scientific theory?

    Oh btw, Earth turns out to be not only pretty intelligent but quite tolerant of human economic activities, taking in CO2 and cranking out ever faster growing forests. What a concept. A non-human concept apparently, Planet Earth not needing computers to implement: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci.....ected.html

  17. 17
    rvb8 says:

    WJM,

    I read in the comments about the stupidity, and indeed blindness of AM to the true facts of climate change. I have read university reports, wikipedia entries, NGO coverage, and government studies, that all say it is humanities’ 21st century do or die challenge; I accept their conclusions, you do not.

    The title of this post is telling, ‘The Inane Beliefs of A/M’, in that it explains the mentality of you and your supporters.

    I also read the comments of J-Mac @10. S/He has not heard of the debate on climate change, and would like to be brought up to speed; really? Where has J-Mac been living these past thirty years? In an unpowered cabin, near, ‘Coonskin River’, on the deepest northern slopes of the Appalachins?

    If this is the level of your support on the complex topic of climate change I would seriously reconsider what I know to be fact.

    I have said many times before, but I will just reiterate here for the, ‘slow minded’ among the readers:

    ‘Let’s say climate change is a man made myth, let’s say it’s rubbish, let’s say it’s a hoax, lets say all of that! Why, oh why, do you not think an economy based upon non-depleting, or depletable fuel is in any way a bad thing? We could raise the middle finger to Russia and Saudi Arabia, surely a good thing, at lest for the west, and indeed the world. Our rivers, oceans, and forrests would be protected, as we no longer needed to rape them. Tell me, I want to know, where is the bad part of this transition from carbon based fuel, to renewables?

    I think for you it comes down to God; am I right? Man can not fix things with out God, hence when we stumble upon the right thing to do, switch to renewables from carbon based fuels, you howl, ‘God did not ordain this!’

    Am I wrong?

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    “Where has J-Mac been living these past thirty years? In an unpowered cabin, near, ‘Coonskin River’, on the deepest northern slopes of the Appalachins?”

    Asked the illusion by no will of its own.

  19. 19

    rvb8 said:

    I read in the comments about the stupidity, and indeed blindness of AM to the true facts of climate change.

    Where? I don’t see such comments.

    The point of the post – which most have addressed in the comments and which you seem to have missed in your zeal to defend your climatist views after apparently being triggered – is the utter inability of the a/mat worldview to provide a basis for any confidence whatsoever in their beliefs regardless of what those beliefs are – pro or con with regard to climate alarmism, progressivism and globalism.

    I think for you it comes down to God; am I right? Man can not fix things with out God, hence when we stumble upon the right thing to do, switch to renewables from carbon based fuels, you howl, ‘God did not ordain this!’

    Am I wrong?

    Yes, you are wrong. Your response is about what one would expect from a bad artificial intelligence machine that has been programmed with certain responses according to certain trigger words and phrases or according to a programmed template.

    Why don’t you try to address the actual point of the post? Under A/M, what does it mean to think a thing is true, or to think a thing is a fact, in terms of physical causation? How are true beliefs and false beliefs physically or chemically different?

    All beliefs held by a/mats with conviction are inane, rvb8, because they have do not have a worldview system that provides any warrant for confidence in any belief. According to the a/mat system, we all believe whatever our individual, happenstance chemistry and physics cause us to believe whether true or moronic. Our conviction in those beliefs, our assignment of things as “true” or “facts”, our sense of valid reasoning – all nothing more than sensations caused by happenstance interactions of chemistry and physics, whether those interactions cause us to say and believe a true thing or a moronic thing.

    Under that system, rvb8, why should any of us assign any importance whatsoever to anything we think or believe when we have no way of assessing the validity of thoughts except through the very same haphazard physical system that manufactured them in the first place?

    Here is the a/mat answer to a couple of your off-topic questions:

    Why, oh why, do you not think an economy based upon non-depleting, or depletable fuel is in any way a bad thing?

    Nothing is good or bad, it’s just chemistry and physics – nature – doing whatever it does.

    Tell me, I want to know, where is the bad part of this transition from carbon based fuel, to renewables?

    Nothing is good or bad, it’s just chemistry and physics – nature – doing whatever it does.

    Do you really think something a completely natural world happens to generate through happenstance cause and effect can be “good” or “bad”? Do you mean “which is preferable to William J. Murray”? What does that matter? My preferences are programmed by the same haphazard chemistry and physics. Right? I’ll prefer and do whatever physics and chemistry programs me to prefer and do, right?

    You argue as if you expect other people to have some sort of supernatural, top-down control over the thoughts and beliefs and sensations their particular chemistry produces, rvb8.

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sev

    Yes, a human being can be described as a bag of water and chemicals but no one claims that is all they are …

    Origenes @6 provides excerpts from atheist philosopher Rosenberg.

  21. 21
    asauber says:

    I have read university reports, wikipedia entries, NGO coverage, and government studies

    rvb8,

    But have you examined any evidence?

    Andrew

  22. 22
    groovamos says:

    rvb: I have read university reports, wikipedia entries, NGO coverage, and government studies, that all say it is humanities’ 21st century do or die challenge; I accept their conclusions, you do not.

    That’s right you accepted the conclusions and the suffer and die predictions of a huge spate of hurricanes which never happened. You accepted the predictions of all kinds of calamities which have not panned out. Heck you may even be one of those people who were disappointed in Hurricane Matthew for not being more destructive. Poor babies, the planet just doesn’t seem to be cooperating with your politics now does it, boo hoo.

    I must say that if you had told me as a kid that there would be a future political movement hoping for more destructive hurricanes, I would have told you in hell you say. http://www.investors.com/polit.....snt-worse/

  23. 23
    J-Mac says:

    Thank you bornagain77.

    You are very helpful as usual…

    Just a side note, there was a much warmer climate on the Earth before…if you believe the Bible…

  24. 24
    Origenes says:

    Seversky: Yes, a human being can be described as a bag of water and chemicals but no one claims that is all they are …

    Materialism holds that all of reality consists of impersonal indivisible fundamental elements — fermions and bosons.

    At macro-level a rock may present itself to us as one indivisible thing, however its oneness is an illusion; in fact it is nothing over and beyond fundamental elements. The fundamental elements that make a rock don’t have the rock in mind. They don’t care if they are part of a rock or any other conglomerate.

    Similarly a robot, made from Lego blocks, which cleans the porch, may present itself to us as one indivisible thing which wants porches to be clean, but in fact there is nothing over and beyond Lego blocks which care about neither robots nor porches. The illusion of a sympathetic personal robot is produced by indifferent impersonal Lego blocks. To be clear, wrt the robot, there is no person and there is no sympathy.

    Similarly a human being, made from fermions and bosons, may present itself to us as one indivisible thing with its own intentions, but in fact there is nothing over and beyond fermions and bosons which care about neither human beings nor their intentions. The illusion of an intentional personal human being is produced by unintentional impersonal fermions and bosons. To be clear, from a materialistic view point, wrt a human being, there is no person and there are no intentions.

  25. 25
    J-Mac says:

    Where has J-Mac been living these past thirty years? In an unpowered cabin, near, ‘Coonskin River’, on the deepest northern slopes of the Appalachins?

    Well… not really…but close…

    I don’t watch TV and hardly read any news… Once the so called climate change became an issue driving political debate I’ve lost interest in it…so I totally ignore any debates about it…
    I thought that there may have been something new or more interesting on the issue other than what I have already known…

    Anyone here posting on this blog is contributing to the ruining of the Earth… just like anyone driving a car, heating or air-conditioning his house and so on…And if this actually causes the climate change, then the majority of mankind are contributing to it whether they like it or not…

    It’s a large problem that mankind will never be able to fix.

    BTW: Antarctica once covered in palm trees, scientists discover

    So, the climate on the Earth must have been much warmer…just like the Bible with scientific accuracy states…

    http://www.foxnews.com/tech/20.....cover.html

  26. 26
    J-Mac says:

    “Yes, a human being can be described as a bag of water and chemicals but no one claims that is all they are, any more than describing a computer as a box of silicon, glass, metals and plastics is an exhaustive explanation of everything a computer is and can do. There are many more things involved in making a human being or a computer what they are. A/mats know that just as well as you do. We just don’t see any reason to think a god is one of them.”

    I would go even further; I would describe a human as a bag of specifically arranged particles into a precise quantum state. What makes each one of us unique is the information about the quantum state of the particles that make up our bodies.

    BTW: I know that some are going to try to bring into the picture a pagan teaching of the soul but I say to them this; where was Adam’s soul before he was created?

  27. 27
    Latemarch says:

    J-Mac said: BTW: I know that some are going to try to bring into the picture a pagan teaching of the soul but I say to them this; where was Adam’s soul before he was created?

    In the mind of the maker.

  28. 28
    J-Mac says:

    Latemarch

    J-Mac said: BTW: I know that some are going to try to bring into the picture a pagan teaching of the soul but I say to them this; where was Adam’s soul before he was created?

    In the mind of the maker.

    Well, the soul was actually invented in the ancient world and adopted into Christianity and Islam in many different forms. The many translations of the ancient writings appear to make the soul a separate entity from the body but it looks like the soul=life or the power to sustain life. If that’s true, evolutionists will never be able to recreate life. Never, ever.

  29. 29
    rvb8 says:

    [Edit: rvb8, when you say something that is an actual response and a contribution to civil discourse, I’ll let you comment further on this thread. – WJM]

  30. 30
    Querius says:

    Many Christians believe that humans comprise body, soul, and spirit. The soul is our personality. As the Jewish scholar Paul wrote to the church in Thessoloniki

    Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 5:23 (NASB)

    I’m not worried about God’s condemning me, and I’m filled with peace and joy despite the troubles in this world.

    “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” – Jesus as quoted in John 8:36 (NASB)

    The dark cloud over me is gone.

    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. – Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 8 (NASB)

    And I can rejoice continually!

    It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. – Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 5

    Imagine that! And this nothing to do with religious tradition and ritual, but everything to do with accepting God’s free gift of eternal life made possible by Jesus death for us on the cross. And because He lives, I too will live!

    -Q

  31. 31
    JDH says:

    WJM – You said

    I neither said nor implied that a/mats were the only ones that believed in AGW. Nor have I said anything about the Bible; I’ve never even read the Bible.

    If I have your background right, you were an a/mat who eventually figured out that you could not square the views of materialism with the observations that you have a will that is able to do ( among other things ) make truth claims.

    Let me say that I enjoy almost all of your posts and I am impressed with your ability to put into concise prose the unavoidable incoherency of the a/mat viewpoint.

    I am also aware that this is not a site for promoting one religion over another with regard to the designer, but I would encourage you to read the Bible. You have taken a big step to overcome the delusion of a/mat. I invite you to also read what I believe is the message the designer left for us, conveniently communicated through men over many years.

  32. 32
    john_a_designer says:

    WJM said in the OP:

    Progressivism – Why do they advance and promote such concepts as “rights” for various subcategories of the human population, when surely they realize that no such rights exist under atheistic materialism – at least, they do not exist as anything other than feelings attached to thoughts.

    Seversky@ 8 responded:

    What’s so hard to understand about the idea that rights – or moral codes – are what people can agree amongst themselves by a process of inter-subjective agreement should be the case? Why do you think that only a God is entitled or able to decide these things?

    The theist’s claim about basic human rights is that such rights transcend time and culture. The naturalist/materialist or the so-called secular progressive cannot make such a claim. Under naturalism/materialism “rights” are arbitrary human inventions. If man invents and grants human rights, he also has the power to take them away. That is not what the theist means by God given or naturals rights. That is a stark and significant difference.

  33. 33

    JAD @ 32: “Under naturalism/materialism “rights” are arbitrary human inventions. If man invents and grants human rights, he also has the power to take them away. That is not what the theist means by God given or naturals rights. That is a stark and significant difference.”

    Well said.

    Under Seversky’s a/mat model, “rights” change with whoever is in collective power. There is no true standard of what a “right” is. It is really just an opinion that can (will?) change with the winds of time; an ever changing “opinion” of what a “right” is.

  34. 34
    john_a_designer says:

    Retired Notre Dame Professor of philosophy, Alvin Plantinga has said that he considers the moral argument to be the best argument for the existence of God. C.S. Lewis would have agreed, but he actually takes the argument one step further. In Mere Christianity Lewis claims it was the moral argument that caused him to reconsider Christian theism and abandon atheism. He writes:

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

  35. 35
  36. 36
    john_a_designer says:

    Thankyou TWSYF,

    Here are a few more thoughts:

    Not all atheists would agree that God is necessary to ground moral values and duties, and that objective moral values can exist without God. The question they need to answer is, how?

    For example, Sam Harris, one of the so-called “new atheists”, has written a book entitled, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values.

    In an interview with Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, a few year ago, Harris laid out some of his reasons for writing his book.

    “I think the biggest challenge we’re facing is finding some way to create a global civilization based on shared values. We have to converge on the same kind of economic and political and social goals and so forth. We have to begin giving similar answers to the most important questions in human life; and the only way forward to do that I see is to begin to talk about morality and human values very much in the context of our growing scientific understanding of ourselves in the world….”

    Well those are commendable goals. They all sound very reasonable and they all pull at our heart strings. But how is Harris going to accomplish those goals?

    “Morality and value clearly relates to human and animal well-being,” Harris explains, “and our well-being emerges out of the laws of nature; it depends on the way the universe is…. all of these domains fall within the purview of science.”

    However, right out of the gate Harris is in trouble. He begins making the same mistakes others have made by trying to base a system morality on nature. He does not do the proper philosophical due diligence to even get his argument off the ground.

    For example, Harris does not explain how our morals and ethics can be grounded by a purposeless natural process. By definition naturalistic Darwinian evolution is purposeless. But a universal and objective moral or ethical sense cannot be explained without purpose. So, how then does a purposeless process give rise to purpose? When Harris says that “our well-being emerges out of the laws of nature; it depends on the way the universe is…” he is making the claim that the universe has a goal and a purpose, namely, human well-being. That simply doesn’t fit with the kind of atheistic naturalism he professes to believe in.

    Harris also stumbles, maybe out of ignorance, on the problem first identified by David Hume, of ‘how one derives an ought from an is?’ Darwinian evolution is about survival of the fittest– the strong dominating the weak. So, on the one hand, you have a will-to-power ethic where the powerful make up all the rules; or on the other, anarchic kind or moral relativism. If survival of the fittest is the only real goal of natural evolution then obviously the former, will-to-power ethic, is the better choice. So if the powerful make up the rules so that they can freely exploit the weak who is to say that is wrong?

    Thirdly as a committed materialist Harris is also a committed determinist. But he is not just your typical garden variety determinist he is an absolute determinist who rejects not only freewill but any kind of compatibilism. But with such a view Harris has not just dug himself into a hole, but he has fallen into a bottomless pit from which there is no escape. “Ought” implies can. But if all my thoughts, desires, beliefs and actions can be reduced neurophysiology that allows no room for any kind of intentionality or free choice, how can I be held morally responsible for any of my actions or behavior? I don’t see that Harris has any way out.

    Finally, Harris concedes that his proposal is still a work in progress. In other words, someday science may be able to define human morality. Internet blogger Richard Deem observes, “Contrary to the book’s subtitle, Harris doesn’t even attempt to show how science could be used to determine moral values. Instead, he is constantly referring to possible future scientific research that might aid in such a determination.” In other words, someday science might able to ground moral values. For now, I guess, you will just need to accept it by faith.

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD & Truth, I actually incline to the issue of the root of being in a world where we are responsibly free and rational, contingent creatures. That brings to bear the ontological and moral issues as only in the root of being can such be grounded, and that in an is that simultaneously grounds ought. As I have often noted, after centuries of debates, there is but one serious candidate: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our nature. KF

    PS: Objectors, to dispute this on the merits rather than the distractions simply put forth a viable alternative, understanding that this goes straight to the issue of our being able to reason, warrant and know also.

  38. 38
    john_a_designer says:

    If God did not exist could human beings create human rights?

    Human rights are moral obligations. That means I am obligated to recognize and respect the God given rights of my fellow man. If God is the source of our rights then there is no question that we have a moral obligation both to Him and our fellow man? But is God the only source of our rights? Is it possible for us to create our own rights? But if we can are other humans obligated to respect those rights? What obligates them?

    Whether or not we as humans can actually create our own rights that hasn’t kept some of us from trying. However, some of the more recent attempts represent a cautionary tale.

    For example, over the past few decades “a right to not-be-offended” has evolved on public tax payer supported college and university campuses. This has resulted in speech codes that ban certain insensitive, hurtful or non-inclusive words and phrases. Of course very few Americans question the fact that racial and ethnic slurs can be used in an objectively bigoted or discriminatory way. And certainly we should strive to keep speech and conversation civil and respectful—especially on college campuses and in the classroom. However, the politically correct speech codes which began in the 1980’s have now become even more over reaching—so over-reaching in fact that they fall into the “we can’t make this up” category. Not only are words like “retarded” and “insane” deemed insensitive but so are “crazy’, “gypped,” “ghetto,” and “illegal alien.” One school banned the word “freshman” (don’t ask me to explain why) while at another school the phrase “man up” was considered inappropriate.

    If that is as far as political correctness ever went it would be little more than an annoyance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. For example at UCLA the students “staged a sit-in to protest… a professor [who] corrected a student’s decision to spell the word indigenous with an uppercase I.” In other words, even though the professor was grammatically correct, he was politically incorrect and deserved to be punished for it.

    Of course, it’s not just radicalized students who are trying hammer out social justice with their political correctness hammers. A lecturer at North Carolina State University warned her students that their “[g]rades will be docked for sexist language in assignments.”

    “You may NOT use ‘he’ or ‘him’ or ‘man’ to refer to both men and women,” she wrote in the syllabus for the class. And “mankind” must be replaced with “humans or humankind,” and…“she or he” must be used instead of just “he.”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....rd-mankind

    But wait! It gets even worse than that. In a recent article in The Atlantic entitled, The Coddling of the American Mind, co-authors Greg Lukianoff and Jonathon Haidt, write that “Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, wrote an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education describing a new campus politics of sexual paranoia—and was then subjected to a long investigation after students who were offended by the article and by a tweet she’d sent filed Title IX complaints against her.”

    Kipnis is not the only academic to be confronted with a Title IX complaint. Anika Smith of the on-line news analyst site The Stream has an article about “Robert Oscar Lopez… a tenured humanities professor at California State University, Northridge… In August 2012,” Smith writes, Lopez “published “Growing Up with Two Moms” in Public Discourse, which described his life growing up with a lesbian mother and her partner. Because he argued that, in his experience, being raised by two lesbian was a poor substitute for having a mother and father, he was labeled a homophobe and became the target of a silencing campaign that worked to keep him off the air and off college campuses.

    So far that campaign has failed, but because of a new provost at his university and a student who has filed a Title IX discrimination charge, Lopez may lose his job.”

    But professors and administrators have been fired. For example, in 2015 at the University of Missouri a PC inspired student protest resulted in the resignation of University president Tim Wolfe, because of some insensitive things he had said. The demonstrations caught nationwide attention when an assistant professor of mass communication tried to physically stop a student reporter from video-taping a demonstration on the university commons. Apparently she was okay with students exercising first amendment rights to demonstrate their opposition to Wolfe, and what they perceived to be discriminatory university policy, but not okay with a student using his first amendment rights to document the demonstration. Ironically the student reporter said that he was actually sympathetic towards the protesters. But let’s not rush to judgement. Maybe the professor had justifiable reason for trying to stop the student videographer. (I can’t imagine what that would be, but for the sake of argument, let’s give the professor the benefit of the doubt.) It’s what happened next that should raise the proverbial red flag.

    When asked about the above incident the “Mizzou” student body vice president Brenda Smith-Lezama told MSNBC “I personally am tired of hearing that First Amendment rights protect students when they are creating a hostile and unsafe learning environment for myself and for other students here. I think it’s important for us to create that distinction and create a space where we can all learn from one another, and start to create a place of healing rather than a place where we’re experiencing a lot of hate like we have in the past.”

    According to a follow-up report by Real Clear Politics:

    ‘Smith-Lezama said the treatment of a student journalist who was accosted on Monday should be a “teachable moment” for those who approach the protestors with “hostility.”’

    But how is a sympathetic student reporter covering a student demonstration being hostile in the first place? And would it necessarily be hostile if he did not share their beliefs? The point being that hostility, at least apparently from the perspective of students like Smith-Lezama’s, is based on their own subjective perceptions of it. “I feel it’s hostile, therefore, it is hostile.” And all this they do in the name of ”inclusion and tolerance.”

    October and November of 2015 saw similar demonstrations on other well-known campuses—Yale, Princeton and Dartmouth—with similar responses.

    My point here is that the so-called “right-to-not-be-offended” directly conflicts with the first amendment rights of others. It’s also self-contradictory. What about the people who disagree with you, who are the source of the so-called offence? Don’t they have an equal right not-to-be-offended? For example, I’m offended when someone tries push his PC morality on me. Does the right to not-be-offended allow for peaceful coexistence? (Frankly, I don’t see how it ever could.) If it doesn’t, how is that tolerant? How is it consistent with ideals of a free and open democratic society?

    The truth is that without mutual respect any kind of freedom or human right is impossible. Human rights cannot exist unless they are based on the golden rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31 NIV) Obviously then, if I exercise my free speech rights I have to extend the same right to those who disagree with me. I don’t see how the so-called right-to-not-be-offended can be exercised in a similar, reciprocal and mutually respectful way.

  39. 39
    J-Mac says:

    The origins of the doctrine of the “immortality of the soul”

    We have seen in the article: “Resurrection or life immediately after the death?” that the Bible clearly and unanimously presents the dead as sleeping and having no consciousness. Just to give again some of the related passages:

    Daniel 12:2 says:
    “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

    Everlasting life starts not with death but with the resurrection! Till then those who have died are presented as “sleeping in the dust of the earth”. See that God did not tell Daniel “and many of them whose souls are now in heaven”.

    Same also with Paul: when speaking to the Thessalonians about the dead and the hope we have in the resurrection he spoke about those “sleeping”: In every verse of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 he mentions the dead. See the terms that he uses:

    https://www.jba.gr/The-origins-of-the-doctrine-of-the-immortality-of-the-soul.htm

  40. 40
    Querius says:

    J-Mac,

    It’s actually more complicated than that, and it might have something to do with the nature of time. See Luke 23:39-43, John 2:19-22, 1 Peter 3:18-20, and Revelation 6:9-11 . . . also Revelation 20:4-6.

    Jesus encourages us not to be afraid of the first death–but rather that it’s the second death that bites. (loosely translated).

    Quantum physicists now estimate that there’s reasonable chance that we’re living in a simulation. If so, then both our true existence and a different reality and time dimension exists outside our own experience, and we (our consciousness) would survive the transition, although our bodies wouldn’t. See

    http://www.space.com/32543-uni.....ebate.html

    A particularly strong argument for our reality being a simulation is the demonstration in quantum mechanics that information is the fundamental reality of our universe.

    My point is not whether the immaterial part of us is immortal (or not), but rather that the immaterial part of us isn’t necessarily tied to our physical bodies.

    For example, think of a video game. When your character gets “killed,” you don’t die as well. Or is that why you’re afraid to play video games. 😉

    -Q

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