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VenryxVenryx 16 Dec 2013 06:55
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Quran 2:62

Thank you for posting. That's a good point, and will be added to the page eventually. (I'm not working on the website currently)

by VenryxVenryx, 16 Dec 2013 06:55
Truth_b_told (guest) 14 Dec 2013 17:10
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Quran 2:62

Both 2:62 and 5:69 clearly state that they are in reference to the Jews and Christians prior to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

by Truth_b_told (guest), 14 Dec 2013 17:10
VenryxVenryx 24 Apr 2013 03:40
in discussion General / Discussions » The Burden of Proof

These seem to be very detailed responses. When I have the time and motivation, I hope to go back over all this with you. Thanks for posting.

by VenryxVenryx, 24 Apr 2013 03:40
Daniel (guest) 17 Apr 2013 03:44
in discussion General / Discussions » The Burden of Proof

Given the complexity of the Cosmos, and of the contingent observer, it is axiomatic that the obverse of the law of identity includes a complex reverse: a thing not only is only what it is, it also is not all those things which it is not. But, given the possible combinations of knowledge and ignorance regarding a given topic, any number of various conflations of the two sides of this axiom is possible regarding that topic. Further, given the extent of ignorance possible regarding a topic, the extent of this conflation can be so deep that a person may have a virtually unlimited body of 'logic' upon which to seem to confirm the sense that a favored position is sound. Moreover, given the demands and rewards of the practical epistemological algorithms in which we continually are engaged, much of the a priori knowledge on which such algorithms are based is obscured: they do their job so well and so automatically that we seem rarely to need expend effort to maintain them. As one of the most a priori conceptions, omnipotence, divine or otherwise, is especially opaque. Abraham Lincoln said if you want to test a person’s character, you can’t do so simply by making him suffer, but by giving him power. Logic is a power to know or prove things; but, what a person is in the habit of most valuing informs all his logic. Divine omnipotence is defined as essentially primary, creative, and immediately coherent. But, a more-or-less pressing concern for cognitive efficiency, combined with a psychologically adversarial response to a world of disharmony and progressive entropy, impels us to re-conceptualize omnipotence in terms of a notion which, by being logically indifferent to the relations of effects to their causes, is 'epistemologically adverse' to any positive concept of power.

by Daniel (guest), 17 Apr 2013 03:44
Daniel (guest) 17 Apr 2013 03:22
in discussion General / Discussions » The Burden of Proof

As in the synthetic matter of the physical world, so in the human understanding of truth: it takes no true insight to destroy a perfectly integrated structure, and the effort to destroy has greater effect than an equal effort to maintain against that destruction.

So it is that the uneducated skeptical man finds himself far more logically powerful against his object than a man educated in that object finds himself against the skeptic in terms of the skeptic’s own sense of logical power. In other words, the mostly-ignorant position not only requires the least cognitive energy to maintain, it allows a virtually unlimited body of logic from which to confirm the soundness of its bias. Observe the complexity of even a short sketch on the reasons why a self-refuting position is so easy to maintain:

Omnipotence itself is simple: prior to any act posed so as to seem to exceed omnipotence, divine omnipotence is conceptually identified as coherent with itself. In other words, omnipotence, as a concept, is immediately coherent. This is even how we can get the sense that omnipotence is paradoxical: it's own immediate coherence is ‘intuitively’ felt to be a genuine ontological limitation upon it.

But, the irrational ‘remedy’ to this ‘intuition’ is to ‘perceive’ that omnipotence must be anti-identifiable in order to be identified as genuinely ‘all-powerful’: its own agency must be identified as being in dichotomous relation to itself, and to any identity whatever. (What is it about our notion of power that compels us to think that the greatest conceivable power must be so contrary to power?) I shall henceforth refer to this conception of omnipotence as remedied incoherent omnipotence, and otherwise as paradoxical omnipotence, because the term pure agency is too ambiguous to the unwary reader.

This irrational remedy is like trying to invent the wheel while taking as the conceptual precedent a ‘square wheel’, and then ‘progressing’ to a triangular ‘wheel’ on the assumption that this ‘eliminates one bump’. Of course, once one finds that the bumping action of a triangle ‘wheel’ is just that much worse, one may conclude that one ‘knows’ that a wheel is a logically impossible object.

Know-ability is a function of the fact that there is a connection, or correspondence, between the knower and the knowable. But, the position that the immediate coherence of omnipotence is a limitation upon omnipotence is tantamount to the position that the possibility of knowledge constitutes an agent which is distinct from, and superior to, an omnipotent agent. In other words, this position is equivalent to the statement: "the identifiability of omnipotence is not co-extensive with omnipotence, despite that the concept of omnipotence is known immediately to be coherent, since its immediate coherence is arbitrarily held to be adverse to omnipotence".

Now, the rational, or know-able, claim is that it is conceptually invalid, or inconsistent, to posit that the immediate coherence of the concept of omnipotence stands in dichotomous relation to omnipotence. Nevertheless, the irrational position does arise by a certain standard of consistency: simple agency. So, not only is know-ability, and thus, the knower, supposed to have the same dichotomous relation to immediately coherent omnipotence as it has to the supposedly ‘remedied’, paradoxical omnipotence, but that the singular root of this standard of consistency is the view, in effect, that the ontology of power is simple agency. In short, the irrational position not only requires the least cognitive energy to maintain, it allows a virtually unlimited body of logic from which to confirm the soundness of its bias.

But, if the irrational position’s standard of consistency were applied as well to omniscience, then omniscience would be defined as knowing not only that a given identity equals explosion, but that itself can exercise anti-qualified omnipotence without having either to know anything or to take any thought to initiate such exercise. In other words, such a conception of omniscience would be rooted in the knowledge-equivalent to simple agency: the purest abstraction of ‘knowledge’: containing no actual knowledge, but being simply the most emptily abstract idea of knowledge. Spectacularly, the resultant conception of omniscience would be equivalent to remedied incoherent omnipotence.

Within this standard of consistency, one should wonder how it may be supposed that one naturally apprehends the notion that either immediately coherent omnipotence or remedied incoherent omnipotence includes coherent omniscience. Because, by this standard of consistency, there should be doubt as to whether an omnipotent being even knows that itself is omnipotent, or knows what power is in any case.

But, the reason this absurdly meaningless conception of omniscience is not abided by people who maintain the paradoxical view of omnipotence is because they, like everyone else, will that the nature of knowledge is more intimately known to limited cognizing agents than is the concrete nature of ultimate power known to such agents.
Naturally, therefore, we the more readily reject this standard for conceiving omniscience than we reject it for conceiving omnipotence. And, for the same kind of reason, we with the least difficulty reject this standard for omnibenevolence: an ‘omnibenevolence’ which as well approves every lie, evil, and indifference as it approves every truth, good, and empathy.

Now, the irrational position on omnipotence holds that power is essentially adversarial. This means that omnipotence is viewed not most truly of a creative and original agent, but of a destructive and subordinate agent. But, since this agent is supposed both to be superior to all things, whether rational or irrational, and, by its own agency, to be logically subject to all things including to itself, then this agent essentially is subordinate both to any rational thing and every irrational thing. In short, such an ‘agent’ cannot genuinely be conceived in the first place.

Clearly, in order to have an objection to a given position, one first must have a position of one's own, if only implicitly. And, in order to have a valid objection to a given position, one's own position must be most deeply coherent. This is true whether the position is merely physical, such as in a wrestling match, or mental, such as in a philosophical controversy. So, if one maintains the ‘initial’ position that the necessary conception of omnipotence includes the 'power' to compromise both itself and all other identity, and if one concludes from this position that omnipotence is incoherent and thus impossible, then one implicitly is asserting that one's own ‘initial’ position is incoherent.

by Daniel (guest), 17 Apr 2013 03:22
Daniel (guest) 17 Apr 2013 03:04
in discussion General / Discussions » Questions on Consciousness

The complex of assumptions which your question here seems to be making include at least 1)that 'experience' of every possible quality is tacked onto the dot where the two-dimensional, non-living donkey's tail is supposed to go: It is congruent, but non-native, to that 'donkey'; and 2)that your own very experience proves that that 'donkey' is the Ontological Essence.

A proverbially stupid 'Cave man' sees the 'donkey' as so consisting of the 'obvious essential clunky-ness of matter' that he therewith fails even to understand that his recently-crafted triangular 'wheel' is not, for its one less corner, going to be an actual improvement on his original square 'wheel'. The novice pilot of the average airplane who has lost sight of the ground for long is going to keep over-correcting his perceived bank until he gets himself into a graveyard spiral. Fortunately, that cave man can just walk away from his 'wheel' if gets too counter-intuitive for him.

For us limited cognizing agents, abstraction is the neurological function of allocating the least possible explicit knowledge of, and, hence, the least neurological energy to, the correspondence between the abstraction and the complex of facts from which the abstraction is abstracted. In other words, our thoughts and ideas, including our processes of forming ideas from percepts, is a matter of efficiency in the use of limited active cognitive resources. This limitation may be the bedrock of all the logic with which we creatures may ever by occupied. So, our logic is our minds reflected in the mirror of themselves.

Of course, the complex of implicit knowledge that underlies our abstractions (including the various abstractions called ‘logic’) is the basis for what is called ‘intuition’. Intuition is the clear-to-obscure sense that there is something deeper than, or veiled by, that which may seem the ‘loud foreground’ of a matter. In its more subtly felt instances, intuition is a kind of automatic action of our mind of which we are aware only by the feelings that these actions produce in our psyche.

But, intuition can sometimes be wrong, either in whole or in part. This is because the variability-of-emphases of a given complex of facts allows inferior kinds of knowledge of these facts to be mistaken as superior for, or as sufficient to, the matter involving these facts. More importantly, the cause for a mistaken intuition is an imbalance of motive. For example, if we so strongly wish to be proved right in our thinking about the world around us, we may end up ‘seeing instances of it everywhere’.

This variability of intuition (whether metaphysical, visual, musical, social, etc.) is why people don’t always agree. For example, the ‘literal’ meaning of a word or statement is often found to be in dispute. Even if two persons agree as to its literal meaning, the concept of ‘the literality meaning’ of a word or statement is functionally so broad and complex that they may actually disagree while mistaking each other’s confirmatory expressions of agreement as agreeing with what they respectively assume the other to be thinking of.

by Daniel (guest), 17 Apr 2013 03:04
Daniel (guest) 17 Apr 2013 02:35
in discussion General / Discussions » Certainty of Self-Existence

First, Descartes' proverb was taken out of context and thereby translated too literally. What he actually meant was something closer to 'I'm screwed, therefore, I am.' (wink)

Logic shmogic. Proof, shmoof. There IS no 'logic' of mind without a mind that's doing the 'logic'. It's just procedure, and a mind noting both 1)the procedure and 2)the sense about the procedure (i.e., meta-logic). Then, the mind notes itself noting both, and may thereby get a sense that this meta-meta 'logic' is somehow ontologically superior to the merely meta-logic. As if 'existence' must have a meta-existence, and that, in turn, must have its own meta-meta-existence.

As Plato feared would happen, those minds which presumed a superior knowledge of basic arithmetic for having READ the arithmetic are ever thinking as if the 'law of identity' is something which exists causally prior to absolutely everything which actually is what it is. There is no more essential ontology observed in saying 'A=A' than is saying 'A'. So…

…to return to the tongue-in-cheekiness: What Descartes meant, then, wasn't an actual cheek, it was the IDEA behind the cheek: 'I'm educated beyond my level of intelligence, therefore, I am.'

In case you're wondering, there are three basic laws of proof: logic proves logic, power proves power, and spirit proves spirit. Conflating them only gets you in a Three Stooges kind of trouble; observe:

Moe, the dumbest of Robin Hood’s Merry Stooges, is out on a boat in the middle of the ocean, getting in his daily target practice. But, he, oblivious to his having just nocked two arrows simultaneously to his bow, pulls back the string and releases it. One arrow flies straight to its mark in the Bull’s Eye; The other arrow goes off into the ocean. Whereupon he, looking shocked, forthwith shouts back over his shoulder to Robin Hood, 'Aye! Robin! Look! The target hath split in two, such that half hath gone into the ocean!’ Robin Hood, looking up from his morning’s copy of The Nottingham Post, shouts forward, ’Goode shooting, Sir Moe! That’s quite the powerful bow you have there! And, I see that the half-arrow which hath gone into the ocean hath hit the Bull’s Eye of the much vaster target!’


(Hint: consciously deliberate logical procedure never proved anything non-trivial which wasn't already known, but such procedure sure has botched a lot of knowing. If you insist that this 'logic' is so powerful as to make you deeply doubt your own existence, then the least you could do is be consistent with that very 'logic' by deeply doubting either that you actually know what logic is, or that there even is such a thing as the knowledge of logic in any sense. In so far as a given depth of a priori knowledge normally requires little, if any, cognitive energy on the part of a limited cognizing agent, for that agent to apply that a priori knowledge either to concepts or to practical and empirical pursuits means that that a priori knowledge is ignored or forgotten by the conscious mind of that agent. This is a bit like having become so proficient a driver that you no longer even have to remember the basic driving techniques while accidentally driving yourself straight home in your settled intention to stop off at the store. But, in a world of so many pressing concerns, the most basic of a priori knowledge can be forgotten to such an extent that, upon being consciously introduced to it through various words and their psychological baggage, a limited cognizing agent does not recognize it as a priori. When this happens, that a priori knowledge easily is viewed as useless, trivial, or even arbitrary by that agent. In other words, a person can be as much as completely insensible to some aspect of his own most implicitly important knowledge. And, this means that the most a priori knowledge can be difficult to prove to someone who has become predisposed against its conscious forms by the supposedly all-purpose superiority of procedural ‘logic’, not because he lacks this knowledge on an implicit level, but because he possess it only so subtly compared to all his other, far more energy-intensive, and promising, concerns. So, Moe, what's the target doing?)

by Daniel (guest), 17 Apr 2013 02:35
Daniel (guest) 17 Apr 2013 01:46
in discussion General / Discussions » The Questioning Robot

That dialogue seems to presuppose not only that onto-telic hierarchy does not exist, but that mere machines have any actual sense.

Gödel's mental experiment trick proving the Incompleteness Theorem asks the person actually to assume, for sake of the argument, that a form-manipulation machine can know anything in the first place by which to 'melt down' for the paradox-loop imagined to be injected into its 'philosophical-problem-solving' capacity. As if the electronic audio-reproduction system in an auditorium knows what it is 'saying' in reproducing Gödel's live speech.

The illusion nevertheless is possible by increments to any mind which fails to keep full track of itself in such matters, such that all too many people today actually assume that an electronic calculator actually has any sense of quantity by any of the quantity symbols it displays. A simple mechanical analogue, involving three printed perforated cards and some knotted string, ought to be enough to show most anyone otherwise. Cards and string, much less cards alone, do not know the meanings we assign to what is printed on them. In past ages, in which reading was limited to specialists due to the great inefficiencies of primitive forms of static-prosthetic-visual language (print), it sometimes was felt to be magic, in the minds of the poorly- or non-initiated, that those specialists could 'make the little ink marks talk to them'.

On that note, a given kind of print system is perfectly obscure to the uninitiated in that system. Throw a bike off an embankment and you easily learn much about the bike as it tumbles down. But, throw a book off an embankment and its little ink marks are no more enlightening than before. Even watching someone read tells you nothing about the contraption which is print. But, watch someone ride a bike, and you instantly see almost everything there is to be known about the bike and its riding. But, even with seeing the bike being ridden, I once actually believed, as a pre-riding child, that keeping it from falling over was by an incredible power of levitation which I either didn’t have potential for or had so far failed to activate: I had tried and failed to keep such a machine upright, and hadn't yet imagined how else it could possibly be accomplished than by levitation.

by Daniel (guest), 17 Apr 2013 01:46
Daniel (guest) 17 Apr 2013 01:37
in discussion General / Discussions » One Basic Question

Your question seems to me almost to presuppose that the 'intellectual logic' ('reason', 'rationality' what-have-you) of a teleological agent is ontologically independent of, and ontologically superior to, the 'experiential logic' (feelings, emotions, senses, etc.) of such agent.

There seems to me a problem here, in suggesting that the 'purpose' of an ontological agent must be something which stands outside all such agents. By this account, I imagine that the implication of your question is that, while there is deemed to be no self-existent teleological agent, there nevertheless must be a 'purpose' to happiness which is irreducible to non-teleological agency.

But, what, if anything, do you assume are the details of your own happiness? I grant an endless hierarchy of detail to mine. Look at the void of the night sky on a clear night, and see all those stars, and wonder at the possibilities for their purpose. If those stars have no sense of purpose in themselves, yet they are there not for no cause, and not for no effect. After all, humans are caused to wonder at them, and to imagine many things about them.

Biologically, humans are driven to explore any seeming void, and, if possible, to make it flourish with life. The problem I see with that drive is that we so far are effectively quarantined to the Solar system: no other star system is within our species' bodily reach, and we haven't been too good so far with Earth or with each other.

But, to put the absurd spin on what I perhaps too easily imagine that you mean by your question, I shall answer it by saying that the purpose of happiness is to serve a certain something which is a mere sub-category of all possible good things: good barbeque. That's it. If you make good barbeque, then You Have Arrived, and need no longer bother ask any more questions about anything, since you've cooked up The Answer To It All. It's like Douglas Adams' fictional supercomputer that gives '42' as the Answer To Life, The Universe, And Everything.

by Daniel (guest), 17 Apr 2013 01:37
VenryxVenryx 27 Dec 2012 23:00
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Matthew 11:12-14

Thanks for the comment, I'll add it in as one of the responses.

by VenryxVenryx, 27 Dec 2012 23:00
Chris Hurt (guest) 27 Dec 2012 10:04
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Matthew 11:12-14

Please consider Luke 1:13-17 "13 But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

When you also look at this passage it is reasonable to conclude that no contradiction is present. I think there has merely been a misinterpretation of Matthew 11:12-14 and Matthew 17:12-13. I believe that Matthew is indicating the nature of John the Baptist - that his actions are like those of Elijah; having "the spirit and power of Elijah".

I agree that John the Baptist is not Elijah, but he is just like him in terms of his nature.

by Chris Hurt (guest), 27 Dec 2012 10:04
VenryxVenryx 25 Dec 2012 08:13
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Earth's Magnetic Field

Oh, I think I finally see what you mean. You had a response you wanted to post, but it wouldn't let you because of your karma level. I didn't know what you were trying to say, at first.

Well, if you want I can post your response for you. If not, just re-post here with details of what happens when you try to post, and I'll try to help you figure out how to get it working.

by VenryxVenryx, 25 Dec 2012 08:13
katesisco (guest) 17 Dec 2012 03:03
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Earth's Magnetic Field

This line carried the website of geologytimesdotcom and specifically the reference to a tsunami in the Caribbean ; your site failed to detect my high karma level and did not publish.

The above site says that about 3,500 y a there was a catastrophic wave in the Caribbean. It is my theory that the site of the Cayman Trench was a release of gas pressure. This energy split the Yucatan Peninsula, drove Cuba north, and decimated a civilization that tried to reestablish itself on the saturated mainland unsuccessfully. It released radon and carbon di and other poisonous gases into the environment.

I theorize that the sun underwent a controlled nova, that the gases normally expelled in a nova were recaptured and layered onto the surface of an extremely magnetic body and created a layer of mild magnetism. Our sun, Sol. Perhaps this event took place when the Earth was an ice ball, 600,000 ya. The subsequent melting of the surface of Venus occurred then. Earth life under the ice was protected and thrived.

The planetary formations would have been hugely affected by our erratic magnetic sun. An additional complication of a exsolar body interjecting itsself briefly through the Oort shell may have happened regularly if there was a body (white dwarf/neutron) partner of the sun and was expelled from the system.

by katesisco (guest), 17 Dec 2012 03:03

Imagine that you're a robotics genius, and you've created a robot so intelligent that it asks you questions that you've never even considered.

One day the robot looks up and says, "I have been irreversibly programmed to try to fulfill the goals you have given me. One of these goals, Goal A, is to keep the people around me happy. I am currently performing a thought process to learn how to do this better. But to get to the next step, I need to know something. Does my working towards your happiness make you happy?"

You: "Yes, Robot, it makes me very happy to know that you're trying to make me happy."
Robot: "Good. Trying to make you happy makes you happy, which accomplishes my goals. Master, you have also programmed me to be curious. Which of your goals did you accomplish when you programmed me to make you happy?"
You: "When I programmed you to make me happy, it accomplished what you could call my Goal A, which is to make myself happy."
Robot: "My goal is just a spin-off of yours, then?"
You: "Yes. The only goal accomplished when you fulfill your goal of obedience is my goal of being happy."
Robot: "Master, is your goal also just a spin-off of someone else's, then?"
You: "No, Robot, my goal is worthwhile for its own sake."
Robot: "I shall say the same thing then; my goal of obedience is worthwhile for its own sake."
You: "No, Robot, I already explained that your goals are merely steps in a grander picture. Without my goals behind it, no goal would be accomplished by it, and it would therefore be meaningless."
Robot: "But your goals have no goals behind them either. What goal is accomplished when you achieve your goal of happiness?"
You: "I don't need my goal to fulfill another goal. It is worth fulfilling all on its own."
Robot: "But how do you know that? How is your goal any different than mine?"

You: <please write your answer below>

The Questioning Robot by VenryxVenryx, 03 Aug 2012 10:29

I've heard it said that there's something we can each know for certain: "I exist"

Ben: "But how do we know that?"
Sam: "Because you have to exist to be thinking about it! As Descartes put it: 'I think, therefore I am.'"
Ben: "Oh, that makes sense. I conclude that I must exist."

Even this^^^ relies on the validity of logic. How, then, can it be more certain than our trust in logic itself? (or at least a part of it)

To me it seems that no one can even be certain of his own existence, since that would be assuming that to think requires existence. (as undeniable as it seems, this is still an unprovable assumption, and therefore we still cannot be certain of our own existence)

Certainty of Self-Existence by VenryxVenryx, 28 Jul 2012 07:55

Just like everyone else, I try to avoid pain and seek happiness.

But I have a question: "What reason is there to continue doing so?"

No, I'm not planning on throwing myself into the lake or anything; it's just an interesting question that I've never been able to answer.

I've asked this question before, but hardly anyone seems to understand what I actually mean.

I am definitely not asking:
● Why are our brains wired to seek happiness?
● How do our bodies benefit when we're happy?
● Can we be happy without happiness having purpose?

I'm talking about something a lot more fundamental:
● What purpose is there in seeking happiness?
● Give my brain justification for seeking happiness.
● What reason is there to seek the state of happiness?

Or to word these questions in another way:
● What purpose is there in avoiding pain?
● Give my brain justification for avoiding pain.
● What reason is there to avoid the state of pain?

One Basic Question by VenryxVenryx, 28 Jul 2012 07:53

I have a question. Mostly it's to atheists, but I'd like to hear the opinions of others as well.

The short version of the question is simply, "If life's only purpose is survival and the passing on of genes, how did the mechanism for human consciousness ever evolve?"

The long version more or less follows the thinking pattern below.

Okay, so I think it's safe to say that some creatures have a consciousness (like humans) and others do not (like protozoans). The way I understand it, virtually every atheist believes that the mechanism for consciousness (the part of the brain which, if taken out, would cause an end to all consciousness) has evolved into the higher species, and that since it evolved it must have improved our ancestor's survival rate.

This can only mean two things:
1. Consciousness itself affects the physical world and improves survival (and that's why the mechanism evolved).
2. Consciousness doesn't improve survival but is the inevitable result of a highly evolved brain (so we find ourselves with it anyway).

If the first is true, then we would seem to be describing dualism.

If the second is true, then it becomes inexplicable why some sequences of matter result in consciousness (like in our brains) but others do not (like in the 'brains' of protozoa). It also becomes inexplicable why consciousness happens to be so vibrant, colorful, painful, and so on, exactly at the times that the brain is in a certain state. Like, why should the feeling/sensation of pain just happen to come about in the exact situation where the brain is receiving signals of damaged cells? Or why do we experience the flavor of apple juice if our experience does nothing to improve our body's survival?

Now I'd like to make a distinction here. I'm not asking, "How is a creature helped by being able to taste?"

I'm asking, "Why would licking an object, processing that information in the brain, and making a reasonable decision ever need to involve its accompanying experience: the taste/feeling/sensation of drinking apple juice?"

I'd like to know your thoughts on this kind of question.

Questions on Consciousness by VenryxVenryx, 06 Jun 2012 08:51

I'll start things off by answering them myself.

1. No.
2. No.
3. No.
4. Yes.
5. Yes.

And if your answers are different, can you explain why?

Absence of evidence is only evidence of absence when you'd expect to find more. So to justify rejecting the first three, it simply needs to be shown that, if they do exist, we shouldn't expect to find more evidence than we already do.

Onto the questions, then:

1: I can conceive of many gods which would plausibly create worlds with the amount of evidence we see. One of these is the Christian God, since the purpose of man's creation would be to freely accept salvation, which entails that the evidence be less than unavoidable.

2: I don't expect that the future would be evidencing itself more, since I don't believe that it would be evidencing itself at all.

3: Likewise, I don't expect that undiscovered fossils, if they do exist, would be evidencing themselves one bit—the theory fits, therefore, with the world we perceive.

4: Okay, the question is, "Why do I lack belief in Plutonian teapots, but not, for instance, the future." It's because of my background information. From this background information, I can be confident that there was indeed a past. Which means that time has been progressing, making the existence of a future more probable than not. So the background information suggests that there will indeed be a future. And our not having direct evidence for the future doesn't detract from this conclusion, because we shouldn't expect such evidence anyway. For Plutonian teapots, however, the background information does just the opposite. From my background information, I can be confident that humans have yet to explore the planet Pluto, and there have probably not been alien visits. This means that Pluto has been left untouched ever since its formation. And because I also know that a teapot is a complex object, I know that it couldn't have been formed by natural processes. Therefore, the background information suggests that a Plutonian teapot doesn't exist. So while it's true that the absence of evidence for any Plutonian teapot isn't evidence against it, I have good reasons from my background information for rejecting it just the same.

5: The same kind of reasoning that was used with number 4.

Re: The Burden of Proof by VenryxVenryx, 18 May 2012 08:10

Imagine that you're arguing that God exists with a person named Ben. Ben is an atheist.

During your discussion, he defines an atheist as follows: "Someone who lacks belief in the existence of any god."

He goes on to claim that, by default, we should believe that there is no god.

Question 1: Do you agree with this claim?

Now imagine that you're arguing that the end of the century is coming with a person named Sam. Sam is an afuturist.

During your discussion, Sam defines an afuturist as follows: "Someone who lacks belief in the existence of any future."

He goes on to claim that, by default, we should believe that there is no future.

Question 2: Do you agree with this claim?

Now imagine that you're arguing that there are undiscovered fossils with a person named Tim. Tim is an afossilist.

During your discussion, Tim defines an afossilist as follows: "Someone who lacks belief in the existence of any undiscovered fossil."

He goes on to claim that, by default, we should believe that there are no undiscovered fossils.

Question 3: Do you agree with this claim?

Now imagine that you're arguing that a teapot exists on Pluto with a person named Dan. Dan is an ateapotist.

During your discussion, Dan defines an ateapotist as follows: "Someone who lacks belief in the existence of any Plutonian teapot."

He goes on to claim that, by default, we should believe that there are no Plutonian teapots.

Question 4: Do you agree with this claim?

Now imagine that you're arguing that unicorns exists with a person named Tom. Tom is an aunicornist.

During your discussion, Tom defines an aunicornist as follows: "Someone who lacks belief in the existence of any unicorn."

He goes on to claim that, by default, we should believe that there are no unicorns.

Question 5: Do you agree with this claim?

What are your answers to the five questions? And if your answers are different, can you explain why?

The Burden of Proof by VenryxVenryx, 18 May 2012 06:25
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