Intelligent Design

WJM is on a Roll

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All that follows is from a comment WJM posted that deserves its own post:

KF said: “RVB8 is free to believe whatever he wants to believe…”

To which RVB8 said: “True.”

As a materialist, RVB8 should have said: “No, I believe whatever happenstance chemical interactions cause me to believe.”

RVB8 then spends some time trying to purchase some separation between his belief and faith and the belief and faith of the religious, as if they are two different things and come from two entirely different foundations, when – as an atheistic materialist – RVB8 must assume that his views, faith, beliefs and knowledge, and that of a religious person, are exactly the same and come from exactly the same source: they are the effects of happenstance chemical interactions generating a sensory or thought effect.

RVB8’s sensation that his views are not faith-based from a “religious mould” is just a sensation produced by happenstance chemical interactions in his body – which is exactly what is going on, from an atheistic/materialist perspective, in the religious believer. Such sensations have nothing to do with what is rationally or categorically true or accurate; they are just the sensations and words produced by whatever chemicals happen to be interacting in whatever particular manner in the physical body we call RVB8.

So, his attempt to distinguish himself, thoughts and views as something categorically different from the motivations and mind of the religious occurs in contradiction to his own worldview. Categorically, RVB8 believes and says and thinks what he does for exactly the same reason as the religious: happenstance chemical interactions that may or may not reflect anything “true” or “factual” about the world and/or ourselves.

He then posts what he thinks is an argument against the scientific legitimacy of ID theory, but why? He has no way of actually knowing of ID is scientifically legitimate or not, because “he” is, and “he” thinks, whatever happenstance chemical interactions dictate. His “knowledge”, from the atheist/materialist perspective, comes from exactly the same source as the IDist’s knowledge that ID is science – happenstance chemical interactions put those thoughts and sensations in his head.

Why is RVB8 arguing with IDists and the religious? Does he consider the effect of what chemistry and physics has produced in those people to be an erroneous result? How can the natural result of physics and chemistry be “erroneous”? They say and believe what they say and believe because of chemistry and physics – nothing more, nothing less – the same reason RVB8 says and thinks what he does.

So, every time RVB8 and other atheistic materialists argue with an IDist or the religious, they are actually arguing with chemistry and physics. One might as well attempt to argue a river out of its course or attempt to argue rain out of a cloud as argue a physical body into changing its physical course/output.

Every time an atheistic materialist argues, they are putting on display the self-contradictory, reason-annihilating inanity of their worldview for all to see. It doesn’t even matter what they are arguing about – to argue at all (for such a person) is an exercise in existential futility.

It is only under the assumption that RVB8’s worldview is incorrect that any argument can have any value. It is only under the assumption that humans have access to a supernatural mediator of truth and a supernatural capacity to override physical processes and effects into accordance with that truth that such arguments can possibly have any meaningful effect.

Make no mistake, RVB8 will continue to argue as if truth can be discerned in spite of physical system resistance, and as if that truth can forced upon our physical states, even while denying that any such commodity or capacity exists. He will argue as if knowing true things makes some sort of difference even while insisting that physics and chemistry don’t care about such things.

RVB8 is Don Quixote, ranting and raving at storms and earthquakes that their effects are wrong, wrong, wrong, begging the volcano not to erupt and the wind to stop blowing as if such appeals and arguments matter one bit to the physics and chemistry generating such behaviors.

33 Replies to “WJM is on a Roll

  1. 1

    WJM is absolutely correct.

  2. 2
    rvb8 says:

    I would like to thank ‘Uncommondescent’.

    In my life, I never dreamed of fame, but here I am, in several posts, the title inspiration.

    My thinking is not particularly deep; my rationalizations for my actions, not particularly sound; my arguments rather common sense and scientifical; and yet, deep thinkers, of the quality of Barry Arrington, and WJM, think it wise to refute me; as if I am a, peer!?

    Wow, this site is in deep, deep, trouble.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    rvb8:

    In my life, I never dreamed of fame, but here I am, in several posts, the title inspiration.

    The fate of every fool, here at UD.

  4. 4
    harry says:

    Materialists can’t really be certain about anything, they just have the experience of certainty due to the entirely deterministic electrochemical activity of their brains.

    I have often wondered why anybody should take seriously the argument of those who believe they have no choice but to make that argument even if their assertion contradicts that which is objectively true.

  5. 5

    The meatbot known as RVB8 outputs more haphazardly programmed nonsense in its post above, errantly thinking that being used as an example of foolish ideological commitments is the equivalent of presenting an argument which requires “refutation”.

    RVB8’s posts never rise above the mark of “a lot of people I believe are really smart think X, and X is in line with my physical emotions and tendencies, so I have faith that X is true”. Even while the content of his posts admit this, he denies it and utterly ignores the necessary logical consequences of his ideology, which completely undermines his capacity to meaningfully express any true statements whatsoever – even about his own physical and mental states.

    All RVB8 can be writing is whatever happenstance interactions of chemistry and physics produce, whether what he writes is true or not, even about his own mental states and programmed views. But the meatbot continues writing things in its programmed confidence that what it says has intrinsic rational and purposeful value, when by its own ideology it cannot. It can only every be the happenstance effect of intrinsically purposeless, undirected, brute physics and chemistry.

    RVB8 might as well be a rock that is proud of where it landed at the base of a mountain after being dislodged by the wind, as if gravity was acting in response to a “good argument” the rock made in the noises it emitted on the way down.

    It’s so nonsensical and insane all one can do with it is use it as an example of the obscene nature of atheistic materialism.

  6. 6
    Origenes says:

    Funny for rvb8 to suggest, in post #2, that ‘common sense’ and (naturalistic) ‘science’ go hand in hand. Here is atheistic philosopher A. Rosenberg on that topic:

    WHY SCIENCE TRUMPS COMMON SENSE, EVEN WHEN ITS CONCLUSIONS ARE BIZARRE

    There is, however, a much more convincing argument that needs to be put on the table before we really begin turning common sense upside down. It is the overwhelming reason to prefer science to ordinary beliefs, common sense, and direct experience. …

    It’s hard to give up the insistent assertions of introspection that common sense endorses. Even those who are prepared to let science trump common sense when the two conflict would rather find some acceptable compromise between them. In particular, scientists and philosophers have sought a way to reconcile science to the aboutness of thoughts and the feeling of purposefulness that fill up our lives. Among philosophers, this quest has come to be known as naturalism: the late-twentieth- and early-twenty-first-century attempt by philosophers to reconcile natural science with as many of common sense’s answers to the persistent questions as possible. It’s not for lack of trying that none of them have succeeded (by their own standards) in their effort to naturalize the self, the will, the purposes, projects, and plans that seem to guide people’s lives, along with their moral, aesthetic, and other values. …

    TAKE TWO PROZAC AND CALL ME IN THE MORNING

    The brain can’t have thoughts about stuff. It’s got lots of beliefs and desires, but they are not thoughts about things. They are large packages of input/output circuits in your brain that are ready to deliver appropriate or inappropriate behavior when stimulated. There is no reason in principle why the noises that your therapist makes, or that someone else makes (your mother, for example), shouldn’t somehow change those circuits “for the better.” Some of the changes may even result in conscious introspective thoughts that seem to be about the benefits of therapy. Of course, science shows that it is almost never that simple. It also shows that when talking cures work, they usually do so as part of a regime that includes medicine working on the neural circuitry. The meds reach the brain by moving through the digestive system first, without passing through the ears at all.
    Even when talking cures have an effect, they almost never have the same effect on different patients. Imagine that everyone with the same complaint went to the same therapist, who said the same things to them. Just for starters, the noises would be processed by vastly different “speech recognition” neural circuits in all those brains. The slight and the not so slight differences between these circuits in each person’s head would result in different outputs to the rest of each person’s (also quite different) neural circuitry. And the differences in the rest of the circuitry would amplify the different effects. Even the therapist would begin to see differences in how the same therapy was affecting the patients on the couch differently. Some might remain deep in thought, while others might nod in agreement. Still others might grimace. And some just might get up and walk out.
    On those comparatively rare occasions when people’s behavior actually changes after therapy, with or without the benefit of psychotropic drugs, scientism is not completely surprised. After all, what has been changed—reprogrammed—are the input/output circuits in the brain. Talk alone probably won’t change much. Still less will any change come from introspection’s awareness of the “meaning” of the noises coming out of the therapist’s mouth. When changes in brain circuitry and behavior do come, they may be accompanied by changes in conscious experience, even the feeling of willpower exercised. But they won’t be caused by these experiences. (Remember your Libet.)
    The play of silent markers across your conscious mind as you listen to the noises the therapist makes can’t be thoughts about how the therapist wants you to modify your behavior. That’s because thoughts can’t be about anything. Your neural circuits, and so your behavior, may get modified as a result of the therapy, but it is an illusion that the change results from thinking about what the therapist said and consciously buying into his or her diagnosis. In therapy, as in everything else in life, the illusory content of introspective thoughts is just along for the ride.
    [The Atheist’s Guide To Reality’, Ch. 8]

  7. 7
    harry says:

    William J Murray @ 5

    The meatbot known as RVB8 outputs more haphazardly programmed nonsense in its post above, errantly thinking that being used as an example of foolish ideological commitments is the equivalent of presenting an argument which requires “refutation”. …

    It’s so nonsensical and insane all one can do with it is use it as an example of the obscene nature of atheistic materialism.

    Yet atheistic materialism dominates the institutions of society. It is as though there is a very intelligent being behind it all, albeit one that is ultimately very evil and irrational, one who might be called the father of lies, who dupes the unenlightened into serving his purposes.

  8. 8
    Armand Jacks says:

    O:

    Funny for rvb8 to suggest, in post #2, that ‘common sense’ and (naturalistic) ‘science’ go hand in hand. Here is atheistic philosopher A. Rosenberg on that topic:

    But what we consider to be common sense changes with knowledge. At one time it was common sense that the sun, moon and stars circle the earth. Now it is common sense that the earth circles the sun.

    As has been noted here before, evolution does not necessarily favour our brain being able to discern truth. It will favour our brain being able to discern what will enhance our ability to reproduce. In many cases (if not most) they will be one and the same.

    For example, anything that enhances social cohesion and cooperation will enhance survival and the potential for reproduction. Therefore, if our brains evolved in a way that our perception of reality was flawed but still resulted in enhanced social cohesion, it might become fixed as long as the flawed perception of reality was not seriously detrimental. The propensity for religion might be an example. There is no argument that it promotes social cohesion. And it would be difficult to argue that it is seriously detrimental.

    But as with the geocentric theory, it is quite possible that as knowledge increases, religion may go the way of the dodo. It won’t happen in any of our life times. But in the distant future, we can only hope.

  9. 9

    The meatbot known as Armand provides us with a series of examples that demonstrate the bizarre nature of output guided by happenstance (unplanned) chemical interactions.

    It said:

    But what we consider to be common sense changes with knowledge. At one time it was common sense that the sun, moon and stars circle the earth. Now it is common sense that the earth circles the sun.

    Considering that under atheistic materialism, knowledge and common sense as terms that are defined however happenstance chemical interactions dictate in each individual meatbot, all Armand has really said here is “blah blah blah blah blah”. Just the sounds any physical thing might generate as it goes bumping along its happenstance path.

    As has been noted here before, evolution does not necessarily favour our brain being able to discern truth. It will favour our brain being able to discern what will enhance our ability to reproduce. In many cases (if not most) they will be one and the same.

    How would a meatbot say any of this with any conviction, since the premise of the statement undermines the both the basis for the truth-value of the statement and the conclusion of the statement? Who knows why the chemicals in a particular meatbot might produce whatever sounds it produces? Who knows if what the meatbot thinks about and calls “reality” has anything at all to do with reality? Who knows if what a meatbot thinks it is doing is not at all what it is actually doing, and that reality demands he thinks and believes and perceives things that are 100% untrue?

    For example, anything that enhances social cohesion and cooperation will enhance survival and the potential for reproduction. Therefore, if our brains evolved in a way that our perception of reality was flawed but still resulted in enhanced social cohesion, it might become fixed as long as the flawed perception of reality was not seriously detrimental. The propensity for religion might be an example. There is no argument that it promotes social cohesion. And it would be difficult to argue that it is seriously detrimental.

    Or, absolutely none of this may be true. A meatbot’s entire perception about the nature and requirements of its existence may be 100% fictional. Who knows? Atheistic materialism = physical solipsism. A meatbot’s experiential mind can as easily be nothing more than a complete fiction that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with anything real or factual.

    But as with the geocentric theory, it is quite possible that as knowledge increases, religion may go the way of the dodo. It won’t happen in any of our life times. But in the distant future, we can only hope.

    Even if we allow the meatbot some credit for reasoning, why would a meatbot “hope” that religion goes the way of the dodo? It’s equally possible that, for whatever reason, religion is essential to the long-term survival of the race (assuming an actual human race rally exists and has actually been evolving – quite a leap of faith there, given the pathetically solipsistic and unreliable nature of the premise).

    There’s not even any internal consistency between the meatbot premise, the worldview, and the sounds it utters or words it writes. Which, take not, is exactly what we would expect from a meatbot.

  10. 10
    Florabama says:

    Logical consistency must not have evolved in materialists. Or, maybe they evolved the ability to live in harmony with the huge holes in their thought processes in order to survive their schizophrenic thinking.

  11. 11
    OldArmy94 says:

    Armand Jacks “hopes” that religion goes the way of the dodo.

    Game. Set. Match. Armand Jacks has been defeated, decisively. His arguments are exposed as a matter of wishful thinking and not anything of substance. Otherwise, as WJM points out, why would a meatbot care if religion is extinct?

  12. 12
    Seversky says:

    If we want to ameliorate or block the sensation of pain, we administer chemical compounds with observed analgesic or anesthetic properties in the physical brain. In other words, a material treatment for a psychological sensation.

    The ingestion of chemical compounds such as hallucinogenic and narcotic drugs to modify conscious experience in the physical brain, induce hallucinations and create sensations of euphoria goes back thousands of years.

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation uses magnetic fields to influence the electrical activity in small areas of the physical brain both to diagnose and to treat various psychological and neurological disorders.

    Electrical stimulation of various parts of the physical brain can create visual and other hallucinations, stimulate various motor activities, influence proprioception, alter the perception of time, elicit memories amongst other phenomena.

    A blow to the head can cause a temporary or, if hard enough, a permanent loss of consciousness. Physical damage to the brain can alter personality or impairment of physical or psychological functions.

    Damage to the brain so severe that it suffers a complete and irreparable loss of electrochemical activity is invariably accompanied by and irretrievable loss of consciousness.

    Sneer about “meatbots” all you like but only an idiot would deny the massive evidence being accumulated for the physical basis of our conscious experience

  13. 13
    Dean_from_Ohio says:

    Fish in the ocean: meh.
    Fish in a barrel: here, hold my beer!

  14. 14

    Seversky says:

    Sneer about “meatbots” all you like but only an idiot would deny the massive evidence being accumulated for the physical basis of our conscious experience.

    No amount of physical evidence, nor any manner in which one interprets it, changes the logical consequence of atheistic materialism, Seversky.

  15. 15
    Armand Jacks says:

    WJM:

    No amount of physical evidence, nor any manner in which one interprets it, changes the logical consequence of atheistic materialism, Seversky.

    When you use flawed logic as WJM does, you can derive whatever consequences you want.

  16. 16
    Dean_from_Ohio says:

    For whatever reason, God has brought these atheists here. For some reason, they feel at home here, like the northerner who hangs out at the diner in Charlotte despite the abuse he gets from the good ol boys. And every time he shows up, they give him a plate of grits, chitterlings, collard greens and cornbread; they’ve got plenty. He never eats it, because that would be giving in. But he’s still hungry, and sometimes he slips some cornbread in his leather jacket pocket when no one’s looking. But that’s not really what he’s most hungry for. That, genuine conversation and a look straight in his eye, is why he comes, because it somehow feels like home. He rides away, humming a tune by Della Reese that was playing on the jukebox. He’ll be back tomorrow. And the good ol boys will see him coming and will say, “Hey, watch this!”

  17. 17

    Armandbot said:

    When you use flawed logic as WJM does, you can derive whatever consequences you want.

    What can any meatbot do, one wonders, but use whatever logic it is compelled to by happenstance physical interactions, and draw whatever conclusions that individual meatbot has been programmed by chemistry and physics to draw? What does Armandbot expect a physical process like me to do?

    I wonder if Armandbot can put together even a single post where his point doesn’t assume that others have some sort of magical capacity to exceed their physical programming, use some magical form of logic that Armandbot apparently holds as a universal arbiter of truth, and then supernaturally override their personal physical processes to bring their thoughts into alignment with that truth?

    Oh, my. The silly things meatbots expect.

  18. 18

    The sad thing is, Armand probably doesn’t even begin to understand the quandary he’s put himself in. He really has no idea why everything he writes is an expression of hypocrisy, a denial of his worldview even as he insists upon it.

  19. 19
    rvb8 says:

    Hello WJM,

    rvb8, your resident ‘meatbot’ here; heh:)

    You are the only remaining ‘intellect’ who writes here. I don’t know if it was time or tide that erroded the other intellectual heavyweights, but here you are, the banner barerer of the ID community; ‘meatbots’, is beneath you.

    Life evolved over millions of years. It started, that is originated, in the oceans in conditions we have difficulty imagining, but which experimentation can imagine.

    You say, ‘God did it!’

    One of these positions is more likely than the other. Is it the one that says, life is possible with the ingredients and forces available now, and billions of years ago; or, is it the one that says a miraculous being, beyond the laws of science we know, did it?

    Up to you! All I know, thankfully, is that every university world wide, worth its salt, teaches, experiments upon, upholds, and debates, the former.

    Kairos,

    I apologize for not including you in the ‘remaining intellectuals’ category. But as my History professor explained to me in university; “Robert, length of argument does not replace quality of argument!’

  20. 20

    When evidence and reason no longer matter, you get the sales pitch.

    yawn

  21. 21
    rvb8 says:

    UB,

    well said, heh:)

    Your sales pitch would be what; KJV? Heh:)

  22. 22

    As anyone who has ever followed this blog can see for themselves, I discuss virtually nothing but science and physical observations. It is indeed a rare case for me to do otherwise.

    You, on the other hand, talk about virtually nothing but socio-politics and religion. And when someone like myself attempts to engage you in scientific discourse, you simply refuse.

    The fact of the matter is that you run from reason and evidence, leaving you with nothing but an apparently masturbatory need to bully and belittle the types of people you hate. Obviously, these things are meaningful to you.

  23. 23
    HeKS says:

    WJM,

    Very good comments, as usual. Every time this subject comes up here I never cease to be amazed by the utter failure of the materialists to realize just how fundamental and foundational a problem this is for them.

    If our minds are ONLY the chemical reactions dictated by chemistry and physics then there is NO good reason to think that ANY of our perceptions bear even the tiniest connection to whatever true reality might exist outside the boundaries of those chemical reactions themselves. Even our own apparent ongoing survival can’t count as any kind of evidence that our beliefs and perceptions reflect reality because we don’t even have any reason to believe that our perceptions of our own behaviour are accurate. It is just as likely that we are wrong in our perception of what we are doing in the world (if that amounts to anything at all) as it is likely that we are wrong about the world itself.

    Given the almost limitless ways a world outside the confines of our deterministic brain chemistry might be, the problem of a mind that is correctly attuned to the way reality actually IS (whatever that might be) is not unlike the problem presented by a universe that just happens to be fine-tuned for the allowance of intelligent life instead of being tuned to one of the countless other combinations that doesn’t permit intelligent life.

  24. 24

    The claim that the individual has no supernatural capacity to acquire universal truth or impose its will upon physical processes is the equivalent of arguing that language does not exist. The nature of the argument requires that the very thing which they deny exists must, in fact, exist – or else their argument can only be nonsensical.

    This simple, logically necessary consequence of atheistic materialism escapes them. Every post is a hideous marvel of self-refutation. They might as well be running around screaming: “I do not exist! You do not exist! Truth does not exist! Facts do not exist! Lanugage does not exist!”

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems someone now wishes to question the core logic in our thinking. For those willing to follow a step by step case — as opposed to those who imagine that posing as selectively hyperskeptical mockers and dismissers of what and who they don’t like is good enough — I point here on in context where there is a discussion of first principles of right reason, using the concept that there are plumbline self-evident truths. Prediction, the mockers will not take that seriously either, but then it is an implication of evo mat scientism and its fellow travellers that we are locked up into blindly mechanical and/or stochastic computation rather than being able to carry out logical, meaningful contemplation, which of course utterly undermines rational, responsible freedom and so destroys the scheme of evo mat thought that ends up undermining its own ability to reason. Indeed, that is the point being underscored above: the logical, meaningful ground > consequent relationship is utterly, ontologically distinct from the GIGO-driven cause > effect bonds involved in the action of a computational substrate; cf. here on in context. But then, adherents of such self-refuting, amoral schemes tend to follow the sneering lead of the likes of a Dawkins, who dismisses opponents as ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. About what we can expect from a jumped-up ape and meat-bot driven by blind chance and mechanical necessity filtered through differential reproductive success that somehow magically defies the search challenge to generate copious quantities of FSCO/I within the span of 6 – 10 MY within the atomic resources of our planet. If you believe one statistical miracle of materialism, why not swallow the lot hook, line and sinker, I suppose. All the while putting on airs and sneering at those silly fundy BELIEVERS over there at UD. KF

    PS: Of course, the hyperskeptics will now oscillate between pretending that we have not answered to the issue and pretending that our arguments are nonsense, while studiously avoiding actually addressing such as have been linked on the substantial merits. That by itself suffices to show how sadly lacking in seriousness they are.

    PPS: Oh, one last point. Such objectors are usually so lacking in the underlying reading that they don’t realise how much has been distilled down over the years to what they are seeing.

  26. 26
    nkendall says:

    Materialism is the greatest intellectual canard in human history. And every theory derived from the assumption of materialism, such as neo-Darwinism is nothing but a massive fools errand. Human consciousness and intellect cannot possibly be purely the result of naturalistic brain chemistry–neural firing patterns.

    Aside from the obvious problems that consciousness and abstract thought do not seem to be in any way the result of physical processes there are profound intractable problems with the materialist mind-is-the-brain proposition that are impossible in principle and not susceptible to further scientific research. I will mention just six:

    – The Information Problem
    – The Continuity of Thought Problem
    – The Constancy of Self Problem
    – The Infinite Regress Problem
    – The Evolution Problem
    – The Knowledge Problem

    I have to skinny these down quite a bit in the interest of time.

    Regarding the Information problem…If the mind were reducible to the brain, one would not expect to be treated daily with massive amounts of new information–new thoughts–infused in our conscious awareness. One of the best and easiest to understand examples is our dreams. Dreams are rich in novel visual, auditory and even sensory information. The quantity of information content in a dream is staggering. There is no reason, no reason at all, to believe that a purely physical, deterministic system, which must abide by antecedent cause at each instant, could ever just happen to produce what amounts to a new set of short creative movies each night. This aside from the difficulty in explaining how it is that some part of the brain would just happen to have learned how to precisely emulate at least 3 of the 5 senses.

    Regarding the Continuity of Thought problem…If the mind were reducible to the brain, one would not expect to have a continuous stream of related and coherent thoughts. There are few if any gaps at all in our conscious experience and most of the time the stream of thoughts are novel and related conceptually to one another (at least until there is a topical shift or perceptual interruption). So how does a physical system, such as the brain, continuously deliver novel, related, abstract thoughts moment by moment over the life span of an individual? It can’t; it is not possible even in principle because there is no correlation between the causation at the physical brain chemistry level on the one hand and the relatedness at the subjective conceptual level on the other. This is especially true when we think of some of the great scientific discoveries. What physical process could just happen to assemble and deliver the streams of thought to Einstein’s conscious awareness related to relativity for example and further that these thoughts would just happen to reflect a fundamental truth about reality? There is no such physical process and no reason to believe such a thing is even possible.

    Regarding the Constancy of Self problem…If the mind were reducible to the brain, one would not expect the continuous subjective sense of one’s conscious sense of self and all that is entailed in that, throughout one’s life given the continuous underlying changes to the physical brain. To take an extreme case, one would not expect to see a resumption of the self once all molecular activity in the brain were halted for an extended period. But such is the case; the most well-known case is Pam Reynolds who under went the “standstill” procedure to correct an aneurysm. Her body was cooled to 60 degrees F and all the blood was drained out of her head for about 50 minutes. When she was resuscitated…same old Pam. This happened and she reports watching a good deal of the operation from the ceiling as many thousands of others have reported. Even if you discount the out-of-body experience, you are left with having to explain the resumption and constancy of self following a period when all molecular activity was halted. A purely naturalistic account would have to explain how the initial conditions for all the putative brain/thought process were restored and restored in a way that they interacted with one another in just the precise manner such that her sense of identify, self, her experiences and memories, beliefs, likes and dislikes, etc were all restored.

    Regarding the Infinite Regress Problem…When you think about how the brain must work if materialism were true, you often encounter an endless chain of dependent causes without any baseline cause to halt the chain of dependencies. Let’s take learning chess as an example. If knowledge of chess were nothing but a pattern of neural firing sequences as materialists claim, then as we acquire knowledge of the game of chess, some process in the brain would have to mediate that accrual of knowledge to transform it from one level of knowledge (KC1) to a higher level of knowledge (KC2). This means that this putative and required mediating process (MKC1) would have to interact with the neural processes that account for one’s knowledge of chess (KC1 at time1) in a very precise way so as to transform it to a new neural process that represents a higher level of understanding of chess KC2 at time2. Setting aside the profound difficulty in explaining how two neural processes could interact and yield anything meaningful–yield anything but chaos in fact–a materialist would have to explain where this very specific mediating process (MKC1) came from? This mediating neural process (MKC1) must itself be nothing but a pattern of neural firing sequences and therefore must also have arisen from some other neural process (MKC0). And for that transformation to have occurred (MKC0 to MKC1) some other mediating process MM1) must have been applied to it in order to accomplish the transformation. But where did that prior mediating process (MM1) come from? It must have arisen from a prior neural process and had been transformed by some other prior mediating process…and so on for an infinite regress.

    Regarding the Evolution Problem…A materialist needs to explain how consciousness and human thought arose and the only mechanism they have is neo-Darwinian evolution or something very much like it. But the genome does not contain anywhere near enough information to account for the complexity of the human mind, including consciousness, thought, memories, etc; it accounts for the construction of neurons. So how can neo-Darwinism account for the evolution of consciousness and human thought if the putative algorithms which materialist claim account for these subjective mental phenomena, are no where to be found in the genome? And even if they were found in the genome there is not nearly enough time offered to evolution to account the vast difference in the relative complexity of the mind of humans and the putative common ancestor between humans and chimps.

    Regarding the Knowledge Problem…The human mind’s capacity to learn seems infinite, limited primarily by death and decay of the material body. This capacity of human intellect encompasses all human knowledge, all human inventions and artifacts, all artistic renderings and all musings from the profane to the sacred. If the brain is all there is and if the brain is purely the result of the developmental process of the brain as materialists claim, then the information to produce the brain must then be in the DNA. So where is it? There is a vast–nearly infinite–gulf between the information in the DNA that encodes for the brain–about 20,000 genes–on the one hand and the information exhibited by the human mind on the other. Where is all the information to account for all human knowledge, all human inventions and artifacts and all artistic renderings? Modern computational theory of mind which I suppose is a variant of property dualism, would have to explain where these programs, the software that they claim account for consciousness and thought, reside in the DNA–an obviously impossible thing to do. Failing that they would have to explain how these programs arose during the developmental process; an equally impossible thing to do without resorting to magic words such as “emergence.”

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    NK, a nice summary there, care to elaborate a point or a few? Maybe, the computational theory of conscious mind? [I loved Plato’s point on the self moved, way back in The Laws Bk X, BTW.] Or play with say, what is it like to be a bat? Or . . . ? KF

  28. 28
    nkendall says:

    KF at 27…Thanks for the kind words sir. When I get a chance I can elaborate on my comments related to computational theory of mind. It may not be till tomorrow though.

    Be well.

  29. 29
    Armand Jacks says:

    WJM:

    The claim that the individual has no supernatural capacity to acquire universal truth or impose its will upon physical processes is the equivalent of arguing that language does not exist.

    Since KF gets his panties in a wad when someone says bullshit, I will simply say bovine excrement. If humans have a supernatural capacity to acquire “universal truth” (Not that the term has any real meaning), they certainly do a very poor job at it. You don’t have to look any further than your much hyped objective morality and the world around you to know this is the case.

    If you are saying that we have a capacity to perceive the world in a way that is consistent with multiple observations, and be able to predict the physical consequences of us acting on the real world, I would tend to agree with you for the most part. There is nothing supernatural about that.

    There is little argument that the ability of our brains to perceive “reality” as it exists would generally provide a strong adaptive advantage. But more interesting are the numerous instances where our brains do not perceive “reality” accurately, but the way we do perceive it still provides a survival advantage. Evolution explains both of these quite well. How does the supernatural explain it?

    The nature of the argument requires that the very thing which they deny exists must, in fact, exist – or else their argument can only be nonsensical.

    Nonsense. The concept of materialism is nothing more than a high level model of how the universe works. Over the centuries, supernatural explanations have fallen to materialist explanations. And the rate of this trend is increasing, not decreasing.

    It is quite possible that the supernatural exists (how’s that for a self falsifying term?) but at present, the best model to explain what we see around us is a materialist one. And even if it does exist (heh, still makes me laugh), it either does not have any impact on the physical universe, in which there is no point discussing it, or it does act on the physical universe, in which case it part of the physical universe (I.e., physical).

    ID based its entire theory on the as yet unproven ability to identify designed structures in nature. The argument always goes along the lines of ‘the only known causes of blah, blah, blah is intentional design’. Using the same argument, the only known causes of everything we have ever seen in the entire universe are material causes. But they never bring this little fact up.

  30. 30
    Barry Arrington says:

    Armand Jacks, how many times have you been shown the exit from these pages under various guises, 15? 20? You are warned. There will not be another.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm: To dismiss the significance of FSCO/I as a sign that per empirical evidence reliably points to design, sock-puppet no 15 to 20 provided yet another case in point of how FSCO/I in the form of meaningful textual strings is produced by design. All we need to do is to point to the copious meaningful textual information in DNA and highlight the search challenge involved in blind search. KF

  32. 32

    Armand Jacks said:

    The concept of materialism is nothing more than a high level model of how the universe works.

    You might want to google “materialism” before you make idiotic statements like this.

    I doubt you’ll be able to comprehend this, Armand, but the entire argument is flying well over your head. You are responding to words and terms you recognize in a way that you think is appropriate, but is utterly unresponsive to the in-context concepts being addressed. This is why KF keeps telling you that you are not actually addressing the points he keeps reiterating. This is why I’ve decided to simply use you as an example of meatbot materialism.

    Seriously. You think you’re providing intelligent responses; you’re not even in the ballpark of what is being discussed. This is made obvious by your breathtakingly inane characterization of “the concept of materialism”, among other things.

    BTW, Armand: there are no materialist explanations; there are descriptions of behaviors that are erroneously characterized as materialist causes (see other thread). I really wish you could get past your defensive materialists/atheist talking points and do some deep, critical self-examination of the superficial things you think and say. I’m not holding my breath, though.

  33. 33
    Armand Jacks says:

    WJM:

    You might want to google “materialism” before you make idiotic statements like this.

    Again with the insults. At least you are consistent.
    So, you are saying that materialism isn’t a model of how the universe works? Here is papa Wiki on materialism:

    the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications

    Now model:

    a simplified representation of a system or phenomenon, as in the sciences or economics, with any hypotheses required to describe the system or explain the phenomenon, often mathematically.

    By these definitions, materialism is certainly an attempt to model the universe.
    Or are you suggesting that a philosophy cannot be a model for a system?

    BTW, Armand: there are no materialist explanations;

    That might come as a surprise to the thousands of people who work in physics, chemistry, geology, etc.

    I really wish you could get past your defensive materialists/atheist talking points and do some deep, critical self-examination of the superficial things you think and say. I’m not holding my breath, though.

    Ouch. If those words came from someone who does not have a history of childish behaviour, those words would hurt.

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