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Wow. Panpsychism gets a respectful hearing at Scientific American

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Can you imagine that years ago? But the fact is, materialists are out of ideas about consciousness and don’t know where to go. So they can’t just keep saying “That’s nuts!” They need an argument against it. Alternatively, they could give up and buy themselves yoga mats:

Essentially, panpsychists solve the conundrum of consciousness by ascribing consciousness to everything. Yes, consciousness remains a mystery but it is now subsumed into the mystery of “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Examining questions like that from a science perspective takes us away from practical research programs and into the dark interior of theoretical physics.

Make no mistake, panpsychism—as Goff elucidates it—is a purely naturalist view (“nothing supernatural or spiritual”). But, unlike the village atheist, he goes on to ask, but then what IS nature? Matter is all there is? But what IS matter? It turns out, no one really knows.

Scientific American explores panpsychism respectfully” at Mind Matters News

Further reading on panpsychism:

Why materialism fails as a science-based philosophy: I don’t believe that either panpsychism or cosmopsychism is true. But I have some sympathy with people who hold those views (Michael Egnor)

Are electrons conscious? If they are, the uncertainty principle means that they will never make up their minds. 😉 (Michael Egnor)

Panpsychism: You are conscious but so is your coffee mug. Materialists have a solution to the problem of consciousness, and it may startle you.

and

Why some scientists believe the universe is conscious

39 Replies to “Wow. Panpsychism gets a respectful hearing at Scientific American

  1. 1
    Truthfreedom says:

    PHILOSOPHICAL MATERIALISM SHOULD BE ON ITS DEATH BED

    ‘Philosophical materialism, the foundation of Western academia, is showing ever-widening cracks’.

    ‘Materialistic evolutionists believe that life began and emerged on earth as a result of unguided purposeless processes. It makes little difference whether we call them materialists or metaphysical naturalists. To the materialist, only matter (with its governing laws) is real. In other words, to the believer in philosophical materialism, reality cannot exist beyond physical objects in a space-time universe governed by the laws of science. He allows no room for intelligent purpose, guidance, design, or final cause. To a metaphysical naturalist, observable events are explainable only by natural causes that are, in principle, discernable using the scientific method –i.e. scientifically testable (or falsifiable). This view has also been called “scientism”. These philosophical positions are all similar, and all atheistic. No supernatural agency is allowed’.

    ‘As the basic philosophical foundation for secular education and research in Western academia, philosophical materialism has reigned supreme for about 150 years. If any academician working in a secular educational institution were to challenge this foundation, his challenge would be deemed unacceptable –a forbidden taboo –by most who hold the reigns of power in Western secular education at all levels’.

    ‘But philosophical materialism is now showing ever-widening cracks in its here-to-for monolithic foundation. And there are good reasons why it should no longer reign supreme’.

    http://web.csulb.edu/~mbiedeba/ch1.html

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this quote,

    “Human beings have a very rich and complex experience; horses less so; mice less so again. As we move to simpler and simpler forms of life, we find simpler and simpler forms of experience. Perhaps, at some point, the light switches off, and consciousness disappears. But it’s at least coherent to suppose that this continuum of consciousness fading while never quite turning off carries on into inorganic matter, with fundamental particles having almost unimaginably simple forms of experience to reflect their incredibly simple nature. That’s what panpsychists believe.”
    GARETH COOK, “DOES CONSCIOUSNESS PERVADE THE UNIVERSE?” AT SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (JANUARY 14, 2020)

    OK, if electrons are supposedly conscious, and all the matter and energy of the universe was created approx. 14 billion years ago, then does not it stand to reason that some incredibly powerful conscious being, i.e. God, brought all those conscious particles into existence? 🙂 It seems to me that, at the origin of the universe at least, panpsychists suffer an even bigger conundrum than Darwinian materialists do in explaining the origin of consciousness since panpsychists have already conceded the existence of consciousness at the origin of the universe itself. And therefore it necessarily follows, via the necessity of causal sufficiency, that for panpsychists to explain the origin of all those conscious particles at the origin of the universe, that panpsychists are forced to postulate a cause, i.e. God, that is sufficient within itself to explain the effect in question, i.e. namely, a universe full of conscious particles.

    Thus, whilst panpsychists apparently believe that they may have the upper hand on Darwinian materialists in explaining the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness, in that they claim consciousness is already present in the elementary particles, never-the-less, their supposed solution turns around and bites them big time at the origin of the universe since they have already conceded the existence of consciousness.

    i.e. Any cause sufficient to bring about the effect in question, namely a universe full of conscious particles, must necessarily already have the ability within itself to impart consciousness into all those material particles., i.e. God!

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this quote from the article:

    “Yes, physical science has been incredibly successful. But it’s been successful precisely because it was designed to exclude consciousness. If Galileo were to time travel to the present day and hear about this problem of explaining consciousness in the terms of physical science, he’d say, “Of course, you can’t do that. I designed physical science to deal with quantities, not qualities.”
    GARETH COOK, “DOES CONSCIOUSNESS PERVADE THE UNIVERSE?” AT SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (JANUARY 14, 2020)

    Although the experience of qualia itself, i.e. ‘qualities’, is forever beyond the scope of physical measurement,

    As Frank Jackson made clear in his philosophical argument ‘Mary’s Room’, no amount of scientific and physical examination on Mary’s part will ever reveal to Mary exactly what the inner subjective conscious experience, i.e. qualia, of the color blue actually is until Mary actually experiences what the color blue is for herself.

    11.2.1 Qualia – Perception (“The Hard Problem” )
    Philosopher of the mind Frank Jackson imagined a thought experiment —Mary’s Room— to explain qualia and why it is such an intractable problem for science. The problem identified is referred to as the knowledge argument. Here is the description of the thought experiment:
    “Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. She specializes in the neurophysiology of vision and acquires, let us suppose, all the physical information there is to obtain about what goes on when we see ripe tomatoes, or the sky, and use terms like ‘red’, ‘blue’, and so on. She discovers, for example, just which wavelength combinations from the sky stimulate the retina, and exactly how this produces via the central nervous system the contraction of the vocal cords and expulsion of air from the lungs that results in the uttering of the sentence ‘The sky is blue’. (…) What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a color television monitor? Will she learn anything or not?”
    Jackson believed that Mary did learn something new: she learned what it was like to experience color.
    “It seems just obvious that she will learn something about the world and our visual experience of it. But then is it inescapable that her previous knowledge was incomplete. But she had all the physical information. Ergo there is more to have than that, and Physicalism [materialism] is false.”
    https://www.urantia.org/study/seminar-presentations/is-there-design-in-nature#Emergence

    Although the experience of qualia itself, i.e. ‘qualities’, is forever beyond the scope of physical measurement, there are other attributes of the immaterial mind that do lend themselves to physical measurement, or more exactly, ‘reveal themselves’ to physical measurement.

    Dr. Michael Egnor, who is a neurosurgeon as well as professor of neurosurgery at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, states that there are six properties of immaterial mind that are irreconcilable with materialism, They are, “Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,”

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Michael Egnor – 2008
    Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: –
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....13961.html

    Likewise, J. Warner Wallace has a very similar list, (but not an exact match to Dr. Egnor’s list), of six properties of immaterial mind that are irreconcilable with reductive materialism.

    Six reasons why you should believe in non-physical minds – 01/30/2014
    1) First-person access to mental properties
    2) Our experience of consciousness implies that we are not our bodies
    3) Persistent self-identity through time
    4) Mental properties cannot be measured like physical objects
    5) Intentionality or About-ness
    6) Free will and personal responsibility
    http://winteryknight.com/2014/.....cal-minds/

    And again, while the attribute of qualia itself appears to forever be beyond the scope of physical measurement I find that the attributes of Persistence of Self-Identity through time (which may also be termed ‘the experience of ‘the Now”), and of free will do reveal themselves in physical measurement. Specifically reveal themselves in the ‘measurement’ of quantum mechanics.

    I go over how those particular attributes of immaterial mind reveal themselves to us in ‘physical measurement’, i.e. in quantum mechanics, in the following video:

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0hL3Nrdas

    Moreover, due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either precedes all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    And here are eight intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness must precede material reality (Double Slit, Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, validation of Wigner’s Friend thought experiment, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect, Quantum Information theory, and the closing of the Free Will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company):

    Here are a couple of examples from that list.

    First, via Wheeler’s Delayed Choice experiment, ““It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    and secondly, via Leggett’s inequality, “Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.”

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Supplemental note:

    December 2019 – Although each of those (eight) experiments are very interesting in their own right as to proving that the Mind of God must precede material reality, my favorite evidences out of that group, for proving that the Mind of God must be behind the creation of the universe itself, is the Quantum Zeno effect and Quantum Information theory. This is because the Quantum Zeno effect and Quantum Information theory deal directly with entropy. And, entropy is, by a VERY wide margin, the most finely tuned of the initial conditions of the Big Bang. Finely tuned to an almost incomprehensible degree of precision, 1 part in 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. As Roger Penrose himself stated that, “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/big-bang/sabine-hossenfelder-physicists-theories-of-how-the-universe-began-arent-any-better-than-traditional-tales-of-creation/#comment-690210

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    Can you imagine that years ago? But the fact is, materialists are out of ideas about consciousness and don’t know where to go.

    That goes for pretty much all of us.

    Make no mistake, panpsychism—as Goff elucidates it—is a purely naturalist view (“nothing supernatural or spiritual”). But, unlike the village atheist, he goes on to ask, but then what IS nature? Matter is all there is? But what IS matter? It turns out, no one really knows

    The thing about matter is that, if you kick it, it hurts your toe. Hard to do that with the immaterial like souls or ghosts or even heaven or God. You can’t kick something that just isn’t there

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev:

    “if you kick it, it hurts your toe.”

    Says the subjective experience of your mind in all its glory.

    Moreover, who is this ‘you’ that ‘you’ keep referring to that gets his toe hurt? Remember, ‘you’ are an atheistic materialist. Ergo, ‘you’ are an illusion, “You” do not exist!

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.”
    – A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    “I’m not arguing that consciousness is a reality beyond science or beyond the brain or that it floats free of the brain at death. I’m not making any spooky claims about its metaphysics. What I am saying, however, is that the self is an illusion. The sense of being an ego, an I, a thinker of thoughts in addition to the thoughts. An experiencer in addition to the experience. The sense that we all have of riding around inside our heads as a kind of a passenger in the vehicle of the body. That’s where most people start when they think about any of these questions. Most people don’t feel identical to their bodies. They feel like they have bodies. They feel like they’re inside the body. And most people feel like they’re inside their heads. Now that sense of being a subject, a locus of consciousness inside the head is an illusion. It makes no neuro-anatomical sense.”
    Sam Harris: The Self is an Illusion

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

    “(Daniel) Dennett concludes, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.”
    J.W. SCHOOLER & C.A. SCHREIBER – Experience, Meta-consciousness, and the Paradox of Introspection – 2004

    The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness – STEVEN PINKER – Monday, Jan. 29, 2007
    Part II THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL
    Another startling conclusion from the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion.
    http://www.academia.edu/279485.....sciousness

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: Barr rightly observes that scientific atheists often unwittingly assume not just metaphysical naturalism but an even more controversial philosophical position: reductive materialism, which says all that exists is or is reducible to the material constituents postulated by our most fundamental physical theories.
    As Barr points out, this implies not only that God does not exist — because God is not material — but that you do not exist. For you are not a material constituent postulated by any of our most fundamental physical theories; at best, you are an aggregate of those constituents, arranged in a particular way. Not just you, but tables, chairs, countries, countrymen, symphonies, jokes, legal contracts, moral judgments, and acts of courage or cowardice — all of these must be fully explicable in terms of those more fundamental, material constituents.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

  6. 6
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Says the subjective experience of your mind in all its glory.

    Moreover, who is this ‘you’ that ‘you’ keep referring to that gets his toe hurt? Remember, ‘you’ are an atheistic materialist. Ergo, ‘you’ do not exist!

    Option 1: address the issue.
    Option 2: declare the opposition as sub human and avoid addressing the issue.

    Yup. That’s a strategy. A lame, moronic one, but still a strategy.

  7. 7
    Truthfreedom says:

    @6 Ed George:
    Option 3: appeal to emotions.

    Atheist materialists are in fact good Christians:
    Matthew 16:24
    ‘Then Jesus said to his disciples’: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves…”

  8. 8
    ET says:

    seversky:

    You can’t kick something that just isn’t there.

    That’s why no one kicks the evidence for materialism. I wonder if seversky has tried kicking sunlight? seversky thinks that you can block radio waves by kicking them

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed George,

    Option 1: address the issue.
    Option 2: declare the opposition as sub human and avoid addressing the issue.
    Yup. That’s a strategy. A lame, moronic one, but still a strategy.

    What in blue blazes are you talking about? Where in the world did I say that Sev was ‘sub human’? I said that if his philosophy of atheistic materialism were actually true then his sense of self, by logical necessity, is an ‘illusion”. For crying out loud, it is what HIS atheistic materialism itself declares. I even provided many quotes from leading atheistic materialists themselves to back up what I said. i.e. It is NOT me insulting ‘you’ and Seversky, it is your own atheistic materialism that is insulting ‘you’ and Seversky. If ‘you’ are going to be upset, then be rightly upset at your very own worldview, Darwinian materialism, that forces ‘you’ into such an insane position as denying that ‘you’ really exist as a real person. i.e. If you are going to call anything lame and moronic then rightly call your atheistic materialism lame and moronic since it is what is in fact insulting ‘you’ as, not only as being a ‘sub human’, (in that you have lost your divine dimension of being ‘made in the image of God’), but your philosophy is also insulting ‘you’ as a ‘non-person’ by denying that ‘you’ even exist!

    I can guarantee you that Christianity does not ‘insult’ you with the ‘lame and moronic’ claim that you are ‘sub human’ or that you a ‘non-person’ who does not really exist!

    In Christianity, you have infinite value in that God Himself died for you so that ‘you’ may inherit eternal life with Him!

    Why you and Seversky hold onto such an insane position as atheistic materialism I have no idea. The materialistic claim that our sense of self is an illusion is, simply, a blatantly self-refuting (pun intended) position. As David Bentley Hart succinctly put it, “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”

    The Illusionist – Daniel Dennett’s latest book marks five decades of majestic failure to explain consciousness. – 2017
    Excerpt: “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”
    – David Bentley Hart
    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-illusionist

    Supplemental note as to life after death:

    The Easter Question – Eben Alexander, M.D. – March 2013
    Excerpt: More than ever since my near death experience, I consider myself a Christian -,,,
    Now, I can tell you that if someone had asked me, in the days before my NDE, what I thought of this (Easter) story, I would have said that it was lovely. But it remained just that — a story. To say that the physical body of a man who had been brutally tortured and killed could simply get up and return to the world a few days later is to contradict every fact we know about the universe. It wasn’t simply an unscientific idea. It was a downright anti-scientific one.
    But it is an idea that I now believe. Not in a lip-service way. Not in a dress-up-it’s-Easter kind of way. I believe it with all my heart, and all my soul.,,
    We are, really and truly, made in God’s image. But most of the time we are sadly unaware of this fact. We are unconscious both of our intimate kinship with God, and of His constant presence with us. On the level of our everyday consciousness, this is a world of separation — one where people and objects move about, occasionally interacting with each other, but where essentially we are always alone.
    But this cold dead world of separate objects is an illusion. It’s not the world we actually live in.,,,
    ,,He (God) is right here with each of us right now, seeing what we see, suffering what we suffer… and hoping desperately that we will keep our hope and faith in Him. Because that hope and faith will be triumphant.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....79741.html

  10. 10

    .

    Option 1: address the issue.
    Option 2: declare the opposition as sub human and avoid addressing the issue.

    … says the guy who happily states his reasoning, then runs from its consequences.

    … says the guy who argues for a particular physical reality, then hides his eyes from the physics.

    (cognitive dissonance)

  11. 11
    Bob O'H says:

    Ed George,

    Option 1: address the issue.
    Option 2: declare the opposition as sub human and avoid addressing the issue.
    Yup. That’s a strategy. A lame, moronic one, but still a strategy.

    What in blue blazes are you talking about? Where in the world did I say that Sev was ‘sub human’?

    To be fair, that’s not what ba77 said, he said Sec doesn’t exist. Which is a step down from his usual argument that atheists are non-human, because they subscribe to some philosophy that neither they nor ba77 subscribe to.

  12. 12
    BobRyan says:

    Seversky @ 4
    “The thing about matter is that, if you kick it, it hurts your toe. Hard to do that with the immaterial like souls or ghosts or even heaven or God. You can’t kick something that just isn’t there.”
    The universe if filled with things that cannot be kicked, but we know they are very real. Space is a vacuum and cannot be kicked, but that does not mean astronauts should not wear clothing to protect them from what they cannot kick. Gravity exists, despite having very little knowledge as to how it works, cannot be kicked.
    I’m having a little fun at your expense, but all in good humor. If energy cannot be created or destroyed, which is the first law of thermodynamics, where did the energy come from?

  13. 13
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    To be fair, that’s not what ba77 said, he said Sec doesn’t exist.

    So you say but cannot demonstrate.

  14. 14
    Truthfreedom says:

    @11 BobO’H: ‘To be fair, that’s not what ba77 said, he said Sec doesn’t exist. Which is a step down from his usual argument that atheists are non-human, because they subscribe to some philosophy that neither they nor ba77 subscribe to’.

    Some evolutionist materialist ‘claims’:
    1. Humans are silly semi-evolved primates.
    2. The ‘self’ does not exist (sic). It is an ‘illusion’.
    3. Life is purposeless and nothing matters.

    And then the evolutionist materialist gets ‘angry’ because the theist uses the silly arguments the same evolutionist materialist has uttered. But ‘who’ is angry if ‘people’ are ‘illusions’?

    And then the evolutionist materialist appeals to emotions because he realizes his worldview makes no sense and can not find rational arguments.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Truthfreedom at 14, that pretty much sums up, more succinctly, what I would have said and saves me from having to respond.

  16. 16
    Truthfreedom says:

    @15 Bornagain77: My pleasure.
    I love your posts, btw 🙂

    Could you please help me with text format? I have looked everywhere and I can not find the options.

    Thanks in advance.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Here you go Truthfreedom

    Blockquote Vs. Q Vs. Cite
    https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/06/block-quotes-and-pull-quotes-examples-and-good-practices/

    HTML Tags
    https://htmldog.com/references/html/tags/

    Myself, I only use the blockquote and bold (b) options. Unfortunately I cannot give you a exact demonstration of how to do it since it hides the formatting code. But you start with the arrow to the left symbol then add the word blockquote then you end with the arrow to the right symbol. To end the blockquote you simply begin with the arrow to the left symbol again, then slashdash immediately after that, and then, after adding the word blockquote, you end as usual with arrow to the right symbol . For bolding text you simply use the letter b in place of the word blockquote and use the arrows and the slashdash as you did with blockquote, Hope that helps.

  18. 18
    Truthfreedom says:

    But you start with the arrow to the left symbol then add the word blockquote then you end with the arrow to the right symbol. To end the blockquote you simply begin with the arrow to the left symbol again, then slashdash immediately after that, and then, after adding the word blockquote, you end as usual with arrow to the right symbol .

    Thank you very much Bornagain77!

  19. 19
    Bob O'H says:

    ET @ 13 – nope, it’s easy to demonstrate. This is what ba77 wrote @ 5 –

    Moreover, who is this ‘you’ that ‘you’ keep referring to that gets his toe hurt? Remember, ‘you’ are an atheistic materialist. Ergo, ‘you’ are an illusion, “You” do not exist!

    Q.E.D.

    Truthfreedom @ 14 –

    And then the evolutionist materialist gets ‘angry’ because the theist uses the silly arguments the same evolutionist materialist has uttered. But ‘who’ is angry if ‘people’ are ‘illusions’?

    That’s the same tactic ba77 uses. Don’t try to use the actual argument that’s used, paraphrase it as a straw-man, then change the words and hence meaning, and claim that you’re reflecting someone else’s views. Does anyone actually claim that people are illusions? And if they do, is there any evidence that this is widely accepted?

    At least you, unlike ba77, hasn’t been repeatedly told that the views they are ascribing to people are not the views that these people hold. By the very people that ba77 is ascribing these views to.

    To be fair to you, you are demonstrating that at least some humans are silly evolved primates.

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    …this continuum of consciousness fading while never quite turning off carries on into inorganic matter, with fundamental particles having almost unimaginably simple forms of experience to reflect their incredibly simple nature.

    The basic commitment is that the fundamental constituents of reality—perhaps electrons and quarks—have incredibly simple forms of experience. And the very complex experience of the human or animal brain is somehow derived from the experience of the brain’s most basic parts.

    There’s a continuum of consciousness with particles having a simple form. Then the human brain “derives” consciousness from the particles “somehow”.
    I think the mathematics on that will be a challenge. There is “one consciousness per particle”. Therefore, how many consciousnesses does it require to “derive” a human consciousness? I guess it depends whether it’s a strict addition or if there’s a more complex formulation.
    It could be some kind of monist view: “there is one consciousness” and everything is a fragment of it.
    There is, however, “nothing supernatural” in this because … it’s impossible to think that God actually exists and this theory is easier to accept?

    Despite great progress in our scientific understanding of the brain, we still don’t have even the beginnings of an explanation of how complex electrochemical signaling is somehow able to give rise to the inner subjective world of colors, sounds, smells and tastes that each of us knows in our own case.

    That’s a good start. We don’t have “even the beginnings of an explanation” of what this is.
    However, we know for certain it all originated from blind, mindless evolution?

  21. 21
    Truthfreedom says:

    @19 BobO’H:

    Does anyone actually claim that people are illusions?

    Yes, imbecile evolutionary materialists. https://evolutionnews.org/2017/09/post-modern-science-the-illusion-of-consciousness-sees-through-itself/

    And if they do, is there any evidence that this is widely accepted?’

    I do not know. If people are illusions, I would not trust much what ‘they’ accept. Oh wait, ‘they’ do not exist. Nevermind.

    And you BobO’H: do you exist? Or do you follow Jesus’ teachings and ‘deny yourself’.

  22. 22
    ET says:

    LoL! @ Bob O’H- I know what bornagain77 wrote. YOU, as usual, refused to understand the explanation. Clearly you have reading comprehension issues, Bob.

  23. 23
    Bob O'H says:

    Truthfreedom @ 21 –

    Does anyone actually claim that people are illusions?

    Yes, imbecile evolutionary materialists. https://evolutionnews.org/2017/09/post-modern-science-the-illusion-of-consciousness-sees-through-itself/

    Err, who? That piece doesn’t point to anyone claiming that people are illusions.

    Can you do better with a second attempt, and point to someone who actually thinks people are illusions? With quotations where they actually say this?

  24. 24
    Truthfreedom says:

    @23 O’H:

    Err, who? That piece doesn’t point to anyone claiming that people are illusions

    Copied from the piece:
    The influential MIND group of philosophers argues that we are “simulacrums of reality,” always hallucinating. (Link provided in the piece).

    More mental mistreatment/pseudoscience/trash/shoddy philosophy:
    Who do you think you are? Why your sense of self is an illusion

    ‘Most of us are convinced that we’re coherent individuals who are continuous in time. There’s just one problem with this sense of self – it can’t exist’.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newscientist.com/article/mg24432601-000-who-do-you-think-you-are-why-your-sense-of-self-is-an-illusion/amp/

    I will copy+paste more links and quotations later.

  25. 25
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Quotes on self as an illusion in post 5 here.

  26. 26
    john_a_designer says:

    The first big problem for materialists is proving that matter exists. The second big problem is proving that matter is all that exists. In other words, the materialist can’t prove that matter and matter alone is sufficient to explain everything else that exists.

    The only thing that I really know is that I exist. I know that because I am conscious and I am conscious of my own existence. Everything else I know are beliefs based on logical inferences. Therefore, the logical place to begin is with consciousness.

    However, even if the only thing I can be certain of is my own consciousness it does not follow that consciousness is the only thing that exists or I am the only being that exists. The starting point is epistemological not ontological.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    Too funny, Bob (and weave) O’Hara, (who, IMHO, is the reigning king of disingenuous argumentation on UD, although the competition has been fierce with Ed George), accuses me of, you guessed it, disingenuous argumentation

    That’s the same tactic ba77 uses. Don’t try to use the actual argument that’s used, paraphrase it as a straw-man, then change the words and hence meaning, and claim that you’re reflecting someone else’s views. Does anyone actually claim that people are illusions? And if they do, is there any evidence that this is widely accepted?
    At least you, unlike ba77, hasn’t been repeatedly told that the views they are ascribing to people are not the views that these people hold. By the very people that ba77 is ascribing these views to.

    Yet, I am not doing any of those things. So Bob (and weave) is either purposely lying or else he is severely deluded in his thinking about me.
    The fact that leading Darwinian/Atheistic materialists themselves deny the existence of ‘self’ was clearly pointed out in post 5, (A post which Bob (and weave) apparently did not bother to read). To repeat those quotes that were and are unaltered by me,

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.”
    – A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    “I’m not arguing that consciousness is a reality beyond science or beyond the brain or that it floats free of the brain at death. I’m not making any spooky claims about its metaphysics. What I am saying, however, is that the self is an illusion. The sense of being an ego, an I, a thinker of thoughts in addition to the thoughts. An experiencer in addition to the experience. The sense that we all have of riding around inside our heads as a kind of a passenger in the vehicle of the body. That’s where most people start when they think about any of these questions. Most people don’t feel identical to their bodies. They feel like they have bodies. They feel like they’re inside the body. And most people feel like they’re inside their heads. Now that sense of being a subject, a locus of consciousness inside the head is an illusion. It makes no neuro-anatomical sense.”
    – Sam Harris: The Self is an Illusion

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    – Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

    “(Daniel) Dennett concludes, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.”
    – J.W. SCHOOLER & C.A. SCHREIBER – Experience, Meta-consciousness, and the Paradox of Introspection – 2004

    The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness – STEVEN PINKER – Monday, Jan. 29, 2007
    Part II THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL
    Another startling conclusion from the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion.
    http://www.academia.edu/279485.....sciousness

    To add a few more quotes and articles for good measure,

    Who do you think you are? Why your sense of self is an illusion – Catherine de Lange – 11 December 2019
    Most of us are convinced that we’re coherent individuals who are continuous in time. There’s just one problem with this sense of self – it can’t exist
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24432601-000-who-do-you-think-you-are-why-your-sense-of-self-is-an-illusion/

    Ross Douthat Is On Another Erroneous Rampage Against Secularism – Jerry Coyne – December 26, 2013
    Excerpt: “many (but not all) of us accept the notion that our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.”
    Jerry Coyne – Professor of Evolutionary Biology – Atheist
    https://newrepublic.com/article/116047/ross-douthat-wrong-about-secularism-and-ethics

    Galen Strawson, – The Consciousness Deniers
    https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/03/13/the-consciousness-deniers/

    David Bentley Hart – The Illusionist – Daniel Dennett’s latest book marks five decades of majestic failure to explain consciousness.
    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-illusionist

    Bernardo Kastrup – Why Materialism is a Dead-End
    https://iai.tv/articles/why-materialism-is-a-dead-end-bernardo-kastrup-auid-1271

    Look the quotes up Bob, do whatever you want, but the quotes from Atheists are there in all there naked, unaltered, glory. In fact, I recommend that unbiased readers look them up for themselves to see that you basically flat out lied about me when you accused me of altering the quotes to reflect views that they do not hold.

    Moreover, there are also many leading Atheistic materialists claiming that consciousness itself is an illusion. Which is almost exactly the same thing as claiming that our sense of self in an illusion since there could be no sense of self without consciousness,

    There Is No Such Thing as Conscious Thought
    Philosopher Peter Carruthers insists that conscious thought, judgment and volition are illusions. They arise from processes of which we are forever unaware
    By Steve Ayan on December 20, 2018
    Excerpt: Peter Carruthers, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park, is an expert on the philosophy of mind,,,
    ,,, in 2017, he published a paper with the astonishing title of “The Illusion of Conscious Thought.”,,,
    Carruthers explains,,,, “I believe that the whole idea of conscious thought is an error. I came to this conclusion by following out the implications of the two of the main theories of consciousness.”
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/there-is-no-such-thing-as-conscious-thought/

    “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
    – Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    The Consciousness Deniers – Galen Strawson – March 13, 2018
    Excerpt: What is the silliest claim ever made? The competition is fierce, but I think the answer is easy. Some people have denied the existence of consciousness: conscious experience, the subjective character of experience, the “what-it-is-like” of experience.,,,
    Who are the Deniers?,,, Few have been fully explicit in their denial, but among those who have been, we find Brian Farrell, Paul Feyerabend, Richard Rorty, and the generally admirable Daniel Dennett.,,,
    http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2.....s-deniers/

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins ”If consciousness is an illusion…what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob (and weave) O’Hara, in the midst of disparaging me. asks these questions

    “Does anyone actually claim that people are illusions? And if they do, is there any evidence that this is widely accepted?”

    The answer to the first question is, YES! Leading Atheistic and/or Darwinian materialists claim, (as the quotes I provided make clear). that our sense of self is a ‘neuronal illusion’.
    The answer to the second question, “is there any evidence that this is widely accepted?”, is, “Of course it is not widely accepted”, it is a completely insane position for crying out loud. The fact that we really exist as real persons, (as Rene Descartes “I think, therefore I am!” pointed out), is, by far, the most certain thing we can possibly know about reality.

    That supposed atheistic intellectuals can deny the reality of the one thing they have the most direct access to, namely, that they really do exist as real persons, is a sure clue that they have been academia way too long. Such insanity on their part reminds me of this quote,

    “Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that one must be highly intelligent and educated to commit.”
    – J. Budziewski

    As to why supposed atheist intellectuals commit such a grave error in logic, indeed as to why they commit such a violent crime against common sense itself, so as deny the reality of their own personhood, is not really all that hard to figure out. Being committed to the paradigm of Darwinian materialism, (and/or to Reductive materialism, which is the same thing), forces them into the awkward position of having to deny the reality of all abstract immaterial objects. Abstract immaterial objects simply are not reducible to materialistic explanations. Thus, by definition, those objects must be illusory.

    Yet, here’s the rub, personhood itself is not reducible to materialistic explanation. Personhood, like an endless litany of other abstract immaterial objects, simply can find no basis within the philosophy of reductive materialism:

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: Barr rightly observes that scientific atheists often unwittingly assume not just metaphysical naturalism but an even more controversial philosophical position: reductive materialism, which says all that exists is or is reducible to the material constituents postulated by our most fundamental physical theories.
    As Barr points out, this implies not only that God does not exist — because God is not material — but that you do not exist. For you are not a material constituent postulated by any of our most fundamental physical theories; at best, you are an aggregate of those constituents, arranged in a particular way. Not just you, but tables, chairs, countries, countrymen, symphonies, jokes, legal contracts, moral judgments, and acts of courage or cowardice — all of these must be fully explicable in terms of those more fundamental, material constituents.
    In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    Indeed human thinking is distinguished and permeated by abstract immaterial concepts., as Dr. Michael Egnor points out, “Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.,,,”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....00661.html

    Again, the reason why leading Darwinian materialists are forced into the insane position of denying the reality of their own personhood is simply because personhood itself is an abstract immaterial concept of the immaterial mind that can find no grounding within reductive materialism.

    To add further weight to my claim that personhood itself is an abstract immaterial concept that can not be reduced to any possible materialistic explanation, I will now refer to hemispherectomies.

    If a person were merely the brain, as reductive materialists hold, then if half of a brain were removed then a ‘person’ should only be ‘half the person’, or at least somewhat less of a ‘person’, as they were before. But that is not the case, the ‘whole person’ stays intact even though the brain suffers severe impairment:

    A MAP OF THE SOUL by Michael Egnor – June 29 2017
    Excerpt: I’m a neuroscientist and professor of neurosurgery. The mind-brain question haunts me. Neurosurgeons alter the brain on a daily basis, and what we find doesn’t fit the prevailing view that the brain runs the mind as computer hardware runs software.
    I have scores of patients who are missing large areas of their brains, yet who have quite good minds. I have a patient born with two-thirds of her brain absent. She’s a normal junior high kid who loves to play soccer. Another patient, missing a similar amount of brain tissue, is an accomplished musician with a master’s degree in English.
    https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/06/a-map-of-the-soul

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives: – 1997
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining,,
    Dr. John Freeman, the director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Epilepsy Center, said he was dumbfounded at the ability of children to regain speech after losing the half of the brain that is supposedly central to language processing.
    ”It’s fascinating,” Dr. Freeman said. ”The classic lore is that you can’t change language after the age of 2 or 3.”
    But Dr. Freeman’s group has now removed diseased left hemispheres in more than 20 patients, including three 13-year-olds whose ability to speak transferred to the right side of the brain in much the way that Alex’s did.,,,
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study:

    “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”

    Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
    Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
    Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
    Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,
    http://www.scientificamerican......than-whole

    How Removing Half of Someone’s Brain Can Improve Their Life – Oct. 2015
    Excerpt: Next spring, del Peral (who has only half a brain) will graduate from Curry College, where she has made the dean’s list every semester since freshman year.
    http://www.mentalfloss.com/art.....their-life

    Discrepancy Between Cerebral Structure and Cognitive Functioning: A Review – 2017
    Excerpt: The aforementioned student of mathematics had a global IQ of 130 and a verbal IQ of 140 at the age of 25 (Lorber, 1983), but had “virtually no brain” (Lewin 1980, p. 1232).,,,
    This student belonged to the group of patients that Lorber classified as having “extreme
    hydrocephalus,” meaning that more than 90% of their cranium appeared to be filled with cerebrospinal fluid (Lorber, 1983).,,,
    Apart from the above-mentioned student of mathematics, he described a woman with an extreme degree of hydrocephalus showing “virtually no cerebral mantle” who had an IQ of 118, a girl aged 5 who had an IQ of 123 despite extreme hydrocephalus, a 7-year-old boy with gross hydrocephalus and an IQ of 128, another young adult with gross hydrocephalus and a verbal IQ of 144, and a nurse and an English teacher who both led normal lives despite gross hydrocephalus.,,,
    Another interesting case is that of a 44-year-old woman with very gross hydrocephalus described by Masdeu (2008) and Masdeu et al. (2009). She had a global IQ of 98, worked as an administrator for a government agency, and spoke seven languages.,,,
    ,,, , people who grew up with only one hemisphere developed all the neuronal foundations
    needed for ordinary cognitive and most motor skills. Even so, it seems additionally surprising that one hemisphere can accomplish this after the other has been removed or was isolated anatomically and functionally from the rest of the brain, as it is the case of surgical hemispherectomy.,,,
    It is astonishing that many patients can lead an ordinary life after this drastic procedure, having only minor motor disabilities that result from mild hemiplegia.,,,
    McFie (1961) was astonished that “not only does it (one hemishere) perform motor and sensory functions for both sides of the body, it performs the associative and intellectual functions normally allocated to two hemispheres” (p. 248).,,,
    ,,, most patients, even adults, do not seem to lose their long-term memory such as episodic
    (autobiographic) memories.,,,
    https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/360/2017/12/Discrepancy-between-cerebral-structure-and-cognitive-functioning-JNMD.pdf

    As should be needless to say, the preceding evidence from hemispherectomies is completely inexplicable for reductive materialists, whereas for Christian Theists who believe in an immaterial mind and in an immaterial soul, these findings, while surprising, are none-the-less, to be expected since we believe that the immaterial soul and immaterial mind live past the death of our material bodies.

    Luke 23:43
    Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

  29. 29
    Bob O'H says:

    Truthfreedom @ 24 – none of those quotes say that people are illusions, though. They say – rightly or wrongly – that the sense of self is an illusion, but that’s a rather different kettle of fish. My phone exists, but doesn’t have a sense of self (at least as far as I can tell).

    If you want to claim that some people say that the sense of self or consciousness are illusions, then that’s fine. Yes, people do claim that, and it might lead to interesting discussions. But it would reduce confusion if that’s what you actually claim.

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob says:

    “none of those quotes say that people are illusions, though. They say – rightly or wrongly – that the sense of self is an illusion, but that’s a rather different kettle of fish. My phone exists, but doesn’t have a sense of self (at least as far as I can tell).”

    Apparently Bob O’Hara has need for the law of non-contradiction in his arguments.

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    The claim that our sense of self is a neuronal illusion is far from to only ‘crime against common sense’ that Darwinian materialists are forced to commit because of their a-priori adherence to methodological naturalism and/or Darwinian materialism.

    Because of their unwarranted presumption of methodological naturalism (and more specifically the unwarranted presumption of reductive materialism within Darwinian evolution), the Darwinian materialist, as was already mentioned, ends up being forced to claim that he himself is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc.. etc.),

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    https://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-confidence-of-jerry-coyne/?mcubz=3

    Moreover, the Darwinian materialist, besides being forced to claim that he himself is merely a neuronal illusion, is also forced to claim that he is having the illusion of free will (Coyne, Harris, etc.. etc..),

    THE ILLUSION OF FREE WILL – Sam Harris – 2012
    Excerpt: “Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.”
    – Jerry Coyne
    https://samharris.org/the-illusion-of-free-will/

    The Darwinian materialist is also forced to believe that his beliefs about reality are unreliable, that is to say he is forced to believe that his beliefs are illusory, (Pearcey, Plantinga. etc.. etc..),

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.
    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    The Darwinian materialist is also forced to believe that his perceptions of reality are also illusory, (Novella, Hoffman, etc..),

    “the illusion that our brains evolved to have, a very compelling and persistent illusion – namely that the reality we perceive is real, rather than a constructed representation.”
    – Steven Novella – academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine

    The Darwinian materialist, since he has no real time experimental evidence substantiating any of his grandiose claims for Darwinian evolution, must also make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Gould, Behe, Sternberg, etc..),

    Sociobiology: The Art of Story Telling – Stephen Jay Gould – 1978 – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection.
    Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=tRj7EyRFVqYC&pg=PA530

    The Darwinian materialist is forced to make up these illusory “just so stories” so as to ‘explain away’ the overwhelming appearance of design, which is to say to ‘explain away’ the overwhelming illusion of design (Dawkins, Crick etc..),

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    – Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
    – Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit

    The Darwinian materialist also must make up illusory meaning and purposes for his life since the hopelessness inherent in his nihilistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Dawkins, Weikart, etc..),

    Dawkins’ Non-Answer to the Meaning of Life – Rev. Mr. Matthew Newsome – Jan 23, 2017
    Excerpt: For the benefit of those who like to skip ahead to the last page of a novel, Dawkins’ answer is that life has no meaning other than what you give it. It’s entirely subjective.
    https://testeverythingblog.com/dawkins-non-answer-to-the-meaning-of-life-e55ba6e99d79

    The Darwinian materialist is also forced to hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God Who is the source for all real and objective moral truths, (Kreeft, Craig, etc..).

    If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists: – Peter Kreeft – Prager University – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xliyujhwhNM

    The Darwinian materialist is also forced to hold, since beauty itself cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, that beauty itself is illusory (Darwin).

    “They believe that very many structures have been created for beauty in the eyes of man, or for mere variety. This doctrine, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.”
    (Charles Darwin – 1859, p. 199)

    Bottom line, without God nothing turns out to be truly real in the atheist’s worldview. Not even the atheist himself turns out to be real in his materialistic worldview. Much less are beauty, meaning, and purposes for his life to be considered real in his naturalistic worldview.

    Needless to say atheistic materialism, a worldview that is devoid of any real meaning, beauty or purpose, for life is a severely impoverished, even severely depressing, worldview for anyone to have to hold. (And indeed this plays out in quality of life studies which measure the happiness, health and longevity, etc. of atheists compared to Christians)

    Fortunately atheistic materialism is not true,

    It turns out that atoms themselves are now found to not be the solid indivisible concrete particles, as they were originally envisioned to be by materialists, but it turns out that the descriptions we now use to describe atoms themselves, the further down we go, dissolve into “abstract conceptual tools for describing nature, which themselves seem to lack any real, concrete essence.,,,”

    Physics Is Pointing Inexorably to Mind
    So-called “information realism” has some surprising implications
    By Bernardo Kastrup – March 25, 2019
    Excerpt: according to the Greek atomists, if we kept on dividing things into ever-smaller bits, at the end there would remain solid, indivisible particles called atoms, imagined to be so concrete as to have even particular shapes. Yet, as our understanding of physics progressed, we’ve realized that atoms themselves can be further divided into smaller bits, and those into yet smaller ones, and so on, until what is left lacks shape and solidity altogether. At the bottom of the chain of physical reduction there are only elusive, phantasmal entities we label as “energy” and “fields”—abstract conceptual tools for describing nature, which themselves seem to lack any real, concrete essence.,,,
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/physics-is-pointing-inexorably-to-mind/

    As Werner Heisenberg explained, “Atoms are not things.” and “the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”

    “The ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct ‘actuality’ of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range. This extrapolation, however, is impossible…Atoms are not things.”
    – Werner Heisenberg (1962). “Physics and philosophy: the revolution in modern science”, Harpercollins College Div.)

    “I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”
    Werner Heisenberg – Das Naturgesetz und die Struktur der Materie (1967), as translated in Natural Law and the Structure of Matter (1981), p. 34

    In fact, according to quantum theory, the most fundamental ‘stuff’ of the world is not even matter or energy at all, (as Darwinian materialists presuppose) but is immaterial information itself

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”
    Vlatko Vedral – Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College – a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics.

    “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information”
    (48:35 minute mark)
    “In the beginning was the Word”
    John 1:1 (49:54 minute mark)
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT
    https://youtu.be/s3ZPWW5NOrw?t=2984

    Thus, in irony of ironies, not even the material particles themselves turn to be are ‘real’ and concrete, (on a materialistic definition of what is suppose to be ‘real’ and concrete), but atoms themselves turn out instead to be “abstract” immaterial information.

    This puts the die-hard materialist in quite the conundrum because as Bernardo Kastrup further explains, to make sense of this conundrum of a non-material world of pure abstractions we must ultimately appeal to an immaterial mind. i.e. we must ultimately appeal to God!

    Physics Is Pointing Inexorably to Mind
    So-called “information realism” has some surprising implications
    By Bernardo Kastrup – March 25, 2019
    Excerpt: “To make sense of this conundrum,,, we must stick to what is most immediately present to us: solidity and concreteness are qualities of our experience. The world measured, modeled and ultimately predicted by physics is the world of perceptions, a category of mentation. The phantasms and abstractions reside merely in our descriptions of the behavior of that world, not in the world itself.,,,
    Where we get lost and confused is in imagining that what we are describing is a non-mental reality underlying our perceptions, as opposed to the perceptions themselves. We then try to find the solidity and concreteness of the perceived world in that postulated underlying reality. However, a non-mental world is inevitably abstract. And since solidity and concreteness are felt qualities of experience—what else?—we cannot find them there. The problem we face is thus merely an artifact of thought, something we conjure up out of thin air because of our theoretical habits and prejudices.,,,
    As I elaborate extensively in my new book, The Idea of the World, none of this implies solipsism. The mental universe exists in mind but not in your personal mind alone. Instead, it is a transpersonal field of mentation that presents itself to us as physicality—with its concreteness, solidity and definiteness—once our personal mental processes interact with it through observation. This mental universe is what physics is leading us to, not the hand-waving word games of information realism.
    – ibid

    Or to put it much more simply, as Physics professor Richard Conn Henry put it at the end of the following article, “The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.”

    The mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry
    The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.
    Excerpt: “The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.”
    – Richard Conn Henry is a Professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    I certainly can live happily and consistently knowing that God really does exist. The unanswered question is “why in blue blazes do atheists find the Theistic worldview, which is full of objectively real meaning, purpose, and beauty for their lives, to be so upsetting?”

    It simply makes no sense for atheists to choose a blatantly false nihilistic worldview that is devoid of any real hope for their lives.

    1 Corinthians 2:9
    However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–

  32. 32
    Truthfreedom says:

    @29 Bob O’H:

    They say – rightly or wrongly – that the sense of self is an illusion, but that’s a rather different kettle of fish.

    Bob O’H:
    If the sense of self is an ‘illusion’?
    What is having that ‘illusion’?

    @30 Bornagain77:

    Apparently Bob O’Hara has need for the law of non-contradiction in his arguments.

    According to atheist evolutionist materialists, only ‘material’ things are real. Since logic and laws are not ‘material’, they do not exist. Oh wait. They want to teach us (theists) how to be rational and get rid of ‘superstition’.

  33. 33
    Bob O'H says:

    If the sense of self is an ‘illusion’?
    What is having that ‘illusion’?

    The person.

    According to atheist evolutionist materialists, only ‘material’ things are real. Since logic and laws are not ‘material’, they do not exist. Oh wait.

    Oh wait, yes. Unless you can find an “atheist evolutionist materialist” who actually says laws and logic don’t exist, I’d suggest you don’t use this argument, as it suggests you might have mis-understood something. In particular, there is nothing wrong with the existence of concepts in a material world. As long as conscious entities exist, they can think about concepts. Of course, this implies that consciousness has a material basis, but the jury is still out on that, and we are a long way from getting to an answer, one way or another.

  34. 34
    Truthfreedom says:

    @33 Bob O’H:

    If the sense of self is an ‘illusion’?
    What is having that ‘illusion’?

    Bob O’H replied:

    The person.

    .
    Well, well, well.
    Bob O’H:
    How can a person have the ‘illusion’ he/she is a ‘person’?

    In particular, there is nothing wrong with the existence of concepts in a material world.

    Nothing wrong then with the concepts of soul and God.

    As long as conscious entities exist, they can think about concepts.

    Go tell imbeciles like dawkins, dennet and coyne who say consciousness is an ‘illusion’. Bob O’H, what is ‘illusory’ does not exist. Hence, ‘illusory consciousness’ (oh my) can not think about anything.

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    Truthfreedom

    “If the sense of self is an ‘illusion’?
    What is having that ‘illusion’?”

    Bob O’H replied:

    “The person.”

    Besides the law of non-contradiction, Bob apparently also needs access to a dictionary

    self
    noun
    Self is defined as the total being of a person, awareness of the individual or qualities of the individual.
    An example of a self is one person.
    An example of self is the individuality of a person.
    An example of self is a quality that one sibling has that the others don’t have.

  36. 36
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob O’H

    The person

    The person is the self.
    If the self is an illusion, so is the person.
    If the person is an illusion then the person does not exist.

  37. 37
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob O’H

    there is nothing wrong with the existence of concepts in a material world. As long as conscious entities exist, they can think about concepts. Of course, this implies that consciousness has a material basis, but the jury is still out on that, and we are a long way from getting to an answer, one way or another.

    I believe you’re saying “there is nothing wrong with the existence of concepts in the material world, except that there is something wrong with it since we don’t know if concepts are material or immaterial.” Right?

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob: “there is nothing wrong with the existence of concepts in a material world.”

    What material world?

    “as our understanding of physics progressed, we’ve realized that atoms themselves,,, lack any real, concrete essence.,,,”
    – Bernardo Kastrup

    “The ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct ‘actuality’ of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range. This extrapolation, however, is impossible…Atoms are not things.”
    – Werner Heisenberg (1962). “Physics and philosophy: the revolution in modern science”, Harpercollins College Div.)

    “I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”
    Werner Heisenberg – Das Naturgesetz und die Struktur der Materie (1967), as translated in Natural Law and the Structure of Matter (1981), p. 34

    “The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.”
    – Richard Conn Henry

    The Death of Materialism
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM0IKLv7KrE&list=PL1mr9ZTZb3TViAqtowpvZy5PZpn-MoSK_&index=3

    etc.. etc..

  39. 39
    Truthfreedom says:

    @33 Bob O’H:

    As long as conscious entities exist, they can think about concepts.

    Concepts are:
    a) material?
    b) or im-material?

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