Wednesday, March 11, 2015

571: Is Intelligent Design an answer?

If  ontological arguments for the existence of a god don’t work out that well, we need another approach, more contemporary. Intelligent Design theory is such an attempt.
Intelligent design (ID) is an anti-evolution belief asserting that naturalistic explanations of some biological entities 
are not possible and such entities can only be explained by intelligent causes. 
A naturalistic worldview holds the hypothesis that the natural world is a closed system in the sense that nothing that is not a part of the natural world affects it.
As such, naturalism implies that there are no supernatural entities, such as gods, angels, demons, ghosts, or other spirits, or at least none that actually exercises its power to affect the natural world.
However, advocates of ID maintain that their belief is scientific too and provides empirical proof for the existence of a god or super-intelligent aliens. 
ID maintains, that evolution  and natural selection is wrong and therefor Intelligent Design is right. One example from Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black Box (1996), Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University
His argument hinges on the notion of "irreducibly complex systems," systems that could not function if they were missing just one of their many parts. 
”Irreducibly complex systems ... cannot evolve in a Darwinian fashion," he says, because natural selection works on small mutations in just one component at a time. 
He then leaps to the conclusion that intelligent design must be responsible for these irreducibly complex systems.
Typical for ID reasoning is, that rather than provide positive evidence for their own position, they mainly try to find weaknesses in natural selection.
But there is another more serious questionable point of view. ID  protagonists say….it is either evolution (which is wrong) or Intelligent Design.
We all understand the statement “It is either red OR  green”. We know it can not be both at the same time, so red excluded green and visa versa.
This dichotomy Intelligent Design versus evolution and natural selection also refers to such a dichotomy, but in this care it is a logical  fallacy. Why should they be mutual exclusive?
There is no evidence of design beyond what some people perceive there to be. In addition, given that we have evolved with an innate ability to recognize patterns, 
it is expected that we will find design all around us, but nothing suggests that anything about it was designed in any way. 
The "appearance of design implies a designer" is an argument from incredulity. The person making the claim, that something looks designed and so can not have come about from evolution, 
is relying on their own lack of imagination and understanding of evolutionary process, rather than it being an inherent fault in the theory. 
The reasoning is something like this. 
I can’t imagine or have not imagined how the world can be the result of a random process of evolution; thence evolution is not true.
What is not said here is the assumption, that if the world is the result of a random evolutionary process, then we could imagine  or would have imagined why this is the case.
However, if a state of affairs is impossible to imagine, it doesn't follow that it is false; it may only mean that imagination is limited. 
Moreover, if no one has yet managed to imagine how a state of affairs is possible, it doesn't follow that no one will ever be able to.
Last but not least there is the question of the relation between the Designer and our reality and the question who designed the Designer
or the question “What was the Designer doing before he actually designed the world” and last but not least,
what kind of designer designs a world where your child dies young of leukemia and you yourself can get the most horrible diseases yourself?
Thank you again….the floor is yours.. ^_^

The Discussion

Bejiita Imako: hmm indeed, dont believe in ID either
Daruma Boa claps
herman Bergson: I had to mention it because they fight atheism with a lot of energy
Bejiita Imako: who would create disease and such by will , unless it is a bug in their design that is not possible to correct
Bejiita Imako: a mistake in their design
Daruma Boa: but imagination is limited I do not think that...
herman Bergson: They went at least 50 time to court in the US to get ID in the educational program
CB Axel: It drives me crazy that people want ID taught in schools.
Bejiita Imako: dont make sense indeed
herman Bergson: But the most remarkable I find is that kind of reasoning....
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why fight the atheism? aren't we free to believe what we want?
CB Axel: Keep it in church school!
Daruma Boa: Sorry I guess I missed something. What is ID
Daruma Boa: Identity card?^^
herman Bergson: When you see something complex, it necessarily presupposes a designer....
CB Axel: In the US we have freedom of religion as long as that religion is Christian. :(
herman Bergson: Intelligent Design....
Bejiita Imako: ID , the idea that aliens made us, not evolution
Daruma Boa: ahh ok . thxs herman
herman Bergson: yes indeed CB....
herman Bergson: for that Designer is always and only the Christian god.....never Allah or Krishna or Brahman
Bejiita Imako: Prometheus movie is good example of ID, but this designer then tries wipe us out again
herman Bergson: Ahhh I watch that one twice now Bejiita....
Daruma Boa: the christians made a better marketing...
CB Axel: So the God in Prometheus is Shiva?
Daruma Boa: that was brutal power in the dark ages
herman Bergson: No...some aliens :-)
herman Bergson: But ID never has come up with a scientific explanation for the existence of this designer....
herman Bergson: and assuming the existence of the designer is a real leap of faith
Daruma Boa: ;-)
Bejiita Imako: closest we can get to this I think is what comes out of LHC when it runs at full power
herman Bergson: besides....on Facebook someone has shown us the origine of the world...:-)
Bejiita Imako: we can se building blocks but no designer
CB Axel: I'm looking forward to that, Bejiita.
Bejiita Imako: me to
herman Bergson: Gustav Courbet's L'Origine du Monde :-))
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is LHC?
Bejiita Imako: they are in start up phase
CB Axel: Large Hadron Collider.
herman Bergson whispers: and what do we see there Bejiita?
Bejiita Imako: more power, better detectors, i really hope something unexpected and big comes out
Bejiita Imako: that explain some stuff to me
Bejiita Imako: like why cant anything go faster then light, does dark matter exist, what is it
Bejiita Imako: and so
Bejiita Imako: but chasing alien designers i think we can forget
herman Bergson: oh dear....hard stuff!
herman Bergson: But all explanations will be within the laws of physics....
Bejiita Imako: hard stuff indeed, makes my head spin when i think of it until i find out why cause it doesn’t make sense
Bejiita Imako: yet it is so
Bejiita Imako: wanna know why
herman Bergson: Keep us informed Bejiita :-)
Bejiita Imako: I will
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): if we look at the universe , it is sooo large, why should anybody create us so tiny, we are in fact nothing
herman Bergson: next time I'll discuss the question whether we can prove the non existence of something and of course in particular a god...
herman Bergson: To play with, Beertje ^_^
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
herman Bergson: Lat night I watched the movie Dark Skies (2013)
Bejiita Imako: ok
herman Bergson: The plot is really that a normal family is invaded by aliens....just to be used for experiments ....and at the end to abduct a child
herman Bergson: The Greys are they called....those aliens.....
herman Bergson: Why do we come up with such stories...?
Bejiita Imako: cause there have een questions all time, are we alone and are they friendly or hostile
herman Bergson: All debate, especially among atheists is that the existence/non existence of a god is already assumed
Bejiita Imako: if there are other intelligent life
Bejiita Imako: in movies aliens are often hostile since it makes for a more interesting film,
Bejiita Imako: thats how it works
herman Bergson: Nobody asks the question...where did we get this god idea...?
herman Bergson: Some neuroscientific research is working on it, I have read tho
herman Bergson: Well if we cant make anything fo the existence of a god or designer...
herman Bergson whispers: let's see next Thursday if we can make something of the non existence :-)
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe in very early times when people count’s answer things they saw, they must have been thinking that there was a powerful force that made the thunder or something like that
Bejiita Imako: ah lets start up LHC and find out what we can
Bejiita Imako: hehe
Bejiita Imako: thats the best tool iI have at my hands anyway
herman Bergson: that is a general approach of the question indeed Beertje....
Bejiita Imako: alien chasing seems well a bit to tricky
herman Bergson: But the issue is that it seems so be so deeply entrenched in our cultures....
Bejiita Imako: SETI have not sound anything so far
Bejiita Imako: found
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it became a force of power over people
herman Bergson: The believers in a god are cheering Bejiita...
CB Axel: I remember reading that there is a part of our brain that makes us want to believe in a god.
Daruma Boa: No we only learned that over thousands of years
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: Well...there has been research on religious thoughts....
Daruma Boa: But scientist found now - that the bible is really a fantastic story.
Daruma Boa: But it will be really hard to change in the world
Daruma Boa: A compete industry will break down.
herman Bergson: What I read was that when asked questions about belief the same brain areas as when asked about normal social activity were involved....
Daruma Boa: complete
CB Axel: I think the world is changing. I think every generation is becoming more skeptical about the existance of a god.
herman Bergson: I think so too CB....
Daruma Boa: and getting sceptic also in every thing in live. Straing with good, ending with media.
herman Bergson: The observation is pretty obvious....
Bejiita Imako: hope so, it just lead to war, well we have of course Putin destroying Ukraine at moment too
Daruma Boa: I hope peeps will not follow anything they get toldin the future
CB Axel: The believers are fighting that skepticism.
herman Bergson: when you go to the doctor you canbe treated....when you pray..that has no effect
Bejiita Imako: but IS and similar organizations would vanish at least
herman Bergson: yes Bejiita
CB Axel: They'd just find some other ideology to fight about.
herman Bergson: marxism and communism behave like religions
CB Axel: Exactly
CB Axel: And consumerism.
Daruma Boa: shopping for shoes also...
CB Axel: LOL
Bejiita Imako: ehehe
herman Bergson: and the free market
Daruma Boa: ja i really think that sometimes
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: One last remark about fighting religion....:-)
Bejiita Imako: and Ayn Rand is the god
Bejiita Imako: lol
herman Bergson: In China the government takes measures to ban Western influences from education....
herman Bergson: Then someone remarked....but your Marxism isnt that a 100% Western ideology?
CB Axel: And then he was murdered, I'll bet.
herman Bergson: I liked this observation.....
herman Bergson: can't say that in China CB...:-)
herman Bergson: Is NOT funny ^_^
Bejiita Imako: china is a nasty place in general
CB Axel is glad she's not in China.
Bejiita Imako: not far from north Korea
CB Axel: The only good things about China are their cuisine and they only have one time zone. °͜°
Bejiita Imako: hehe
herman Bergson: Well...then let me invite you to SL and the lecture next Thursday :-))
Daruma Boa: and they have nice lamps...
herman Bergson: camps
herman Bergson: Thank you for your attention and participation ^_^
Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
Bejiita Imako: this was good
Daruma Boa: danke herman.
herman Bergson: Class dismissed
Daruma Boa: was leuk as always
CB Axel: Thank you, herman
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): zeker Daruma:)
Daruma Boa: ;-)
herman Bergson: To be honest...
Daruma Boa: so Thursday 1 hour earlier?
herman Bergson: the whole atheism is a kind of funny subject to me ...
herman Bergson: Yes Daruma....we stick to the SL time....
Daruma Boa: we must see the hole world a bit funnier
Daruma Boa: also with the bad things
Daruma Boa: we can not change everything
herman Bergson: indeed we should..I agree!
Daruma Boa: but we can be the light to do it better
Daruma Boa: *GIGGLES* :)~~~~
Bejiita Imako: yes¨
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: yeah it is a slow process.....
Daruma Boa: so hope to see u Thursday again
Daruma Boa waves goodbye
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Daruma
herman Bergson: I'll be there at 1 PM SL-time Daruma :-))
Bejiita Imako: cu soon
Bejiita Imako: bye all

CB Axel: Bye, bye.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

570: The Ontological Argument evaluated

This whole debate on the Ontological Argument is a bit peculiar. iIt is not the question “Where does this god - idea come from among the many ideas in my mind?”
Like Thomas Aquinas said. God is self-evident. The only problem is to prove his existence.
For that we have a well tested scientific method. Take, for instance, Higgs particles. Scientists logically deduced from known data, that these particles should exist.
That means, they described these particles by defining its properties. If they would discover a particle with those properties they would say : “The Higgs particle really exists”
That doesn’t mean, that in their tests they had discovered existence, but they discovered that something instantiated the predicted properties.
which means that the expression “The Higgs particle exists” does say nothing else but “The Higgs particle properties are instantiated”;
that means that every scientist on this earth who performs the same experiments will observe the same result: instantiation of the Higgs-particle properties.
A strong ontological argument, I would say. What tests do we have to reveal the god particle? So far, only language.
Language is our tool to describe our reality and language has a certain structure. In some way it must reflect the structure of our reality. At least it works…
This structure is mainly that of attributing properties to objects and based on that observation we act on the object.
The  traffic light is red, so we stop. It is an example of red and being a traffic light, an instantiation of red. In “the traffic light is red and it exists” nothing more is said than that it is red.
Aristotle already realized, that existence can not be regarded as a property, but the scholastics needed to assume the opposite to be able to deduce the existence of god.
However, they forgot to come up with a proper test, to confirm this deduction. The reason is, that this “proof” is not a scientific conclusion, but just a way of using language.
Our question is whether existence is instantiated and, if so, whether it is instantiated by individuals like Obama, my car, and the tree in my backyard. 
Do individuals, in addition to ordinary properties like being human, being comfortable to sit in, and needing more water, instantiate a property expressed by the English verb ‘exists’? 
Hume  (1711 - 1776) argued, that there is no impression of existence distinct from the impression of an object, which is ultimately on Hume's view a bundle of qualities. 
As all of our contentful ideas derive from impressions, Hume concluded that existence is not a separate property of an object. 
Two philosophers of our time, who had strong arguments to show that “existence” is not a property like red or green were Gottliob Frege (1848 - 1925) and especially Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970).
Both Frege and Russell maintained that existence is not a property of individuals but instead a second-order property—a property of concepts, for Frege, and of propositional functions, for Russell. 
What is the difference between a red tomato and a red existing tomato? To be red it must already exist, as only existing things instantiate properties.
Saying it is red and a tomato and furthermore exists is to say one thing too many. The thought seems to be that instantiating any property whatsoever 
presupposes existence and so existence is not a further property over and above a thing's genuine properties. 
Here we are talking about first-order properties, the thing we observe and its properties. Does the tomato exist?.
We can point at the red round object and say, due to its defining properties. So the statement is true.
Now we say “god exists”. What should we point at? Yet people attribute a lot of properties to this god. The answer is, that we are not talking about properties we observe in reality,
but to say that the statement is true, refers only to the fact that the concept is present in someone’s mind.  So it seems that the existence of god doesn’t get much further than
that the statement “god exists” just means something like “There is some thought in my mind which contains a concept, which I call god”.
Thank you again….the floor is yours

The Discussion

Max Chatnoir: The inter-observer reliability on the properties of God is also not very high.
herman Bergson: Is there any Max?
Max Chatnoir: Like, how do you measure omniscience?
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): so we still do not have a clear definition of existance
herman Bergson: IN soem way we have Gemma...
herman Bergson: it is a precondition to be able to talk about properties of things
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): true
Max Chatnoir: So you can only attribute properties to things that exist.
herman Bergson: no....
herman Bergson: No...
Max Chatnoir: Oh, right, unicorns.
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
Bejiita Imako: hehehe
herman Bergson: Yo can also attribute properties to dragons and ghosts
CB Axel: So all things that exist have properties, but not everything with properties exist.
herman Bergson: the only problem is...these properties will never be instantiated...
Max Chatnoir: So having properties is necessary but not sufficient?
herman Bergson: that is right CB
Bejiita Imako: aaa yes thats true
herman Bergson: To put it in a simple way...
herman Bergson: you define an object by its properties....
herman Bergson: so...
herman Bergson: go look for it...
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): that i know
Bejiita Imako: we can imagine certain properties on a ghost for ex but these properties will also be just fantasy since the ghost is non exixtent and thus also just fantasy
herman Bergson: But here is the catch!!!!
herman Bergson: the method of looking for it...!!!!!
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): right
Bejiita Imako: yes
Bejiita Imako: exactly
herman Bergson: The empiricist says...uses your senses....
Bejiita Imako: thats how you look for higgs for ex because you know it have certain properties
Bejiita Imako: looking for these confirms the particle
Bejiita Imako: sort of
herman Bergson: But some others say that we have more ways to acquire knowledge...
Bejiita Imako: if you find the properties you find the object
herman Bergson: hold on Bejiita....
herman Bergson: !!
herman Bergson: That is a serious issue....
Max Chatnoir: Yes, that's the hole in the scientific argument.
Bejiita Imako: ah
herman Bergson: We never have seen higgs particles like we have seen tomatos....
herman Bergson: we have only seen readings of instrumetns....
Max Chatnoir: Two different objects might have similar properties.
herman Bergson: but you could say that these readings WERE predicted...
herman Bergson: Careful Max........similar properties..not the SAME properties
Bejiita Imako: higgs are more complex indeed, you can directly observe a tomato and taste / see its properties but you can never observe a higgs boson directly
Max Chatnoir: same measurements, then?
herman Bergson: if the measurements are the same we are talking about the SAME objects
herman Bergson: not different objects
Bejiita Imako: yes
Max Chatnoir: I'm not sure about that.
Max Chatnoir: For example two different things might be the same size, color, weight, but not be the same thing.
Bejiita Imako: can there be 2 objects with 100 % identical properties
herman Bergson: two tomatoes...
Max Chatnoir: Probably not if you consider all properties, but have we measured all properties of the Higgs?
Bejiita Imako: 2 tomatoes never for ex have exactly same shape
herman Bergson: but they are totally different in their space coordinates
Max Chatnoir: Yes, there is that also.
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): wants a fresh tomato
Bejiita Imako: aaa yes coordinates can never be same for 2 different things
Bejiita Imako: then they are 1 and the same
herman Bergson: in SL two prims might occupy the same XYZ values....tell that to two tomatoes :-))
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ;-)
herman Bergson: mee to gemma :-)
Bejiita Imako: hehe
herman Bergson: It is impossible that two objects have 100% the same properies...
Max Chatnoir: So we have to decide which ones matter.
herman Bergson: What do you mean Max?
Max Chatnoir: An interesting feature of the God argument.
Max Chatnoir: What is the essence of tomatoness.
Max Chatnoir: For organisms, you can always appeal to DNA markers.
herman Bergson: for tomatoes too..isn’t it?
Max Chatnoir: But before DNA..  type of fruit, edibility, etc.
Max Chatnoir: Yes, so you can make that a criterion for defining a tomato.
Bejiita Imako: shape taste
herman Bergson: an individual tomato?
Max Chatnoir: But what is the equivalent of a DNA marker for something that isn't an organism?
Bejiita Imako: the important thing is there is a range you need to have for the properties since they are never 100 % identical
Bejiita Imako: the tomato range for shape taste color etc
herman Bergson: even when it has the dna similar to the other has its ow spacial coordinates
Max Chatnoir: Yes, that's the "essence of tomatoeness"  :-)
CB Axel: Max, chemical makeup?
Max Chatnoir: Yes, you could do some kind of chemical profile.
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): now wants a tomato more
herman Bergson: But what is your point Max?
Bejiita Imako: hehe
herman Bergson: To prove that god is a tomato?
Bejiita Imako: hahahahaa
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): oh dear
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what about electricity?...we can't see it but we use it every day, does it exist?
herman Bergson grins
Max Chatnoir: Oh, I was wondering how you would apply that principle to God, where even the properties are at issue.
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): i think to prove a tomato is a tomato
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): yes me too max
Bejiita Imako: it exist cause if u touch it you get a lethal shock
herman Bergson: such ...the idea of properties is rather irrelavant....
Bejiita Imako: and lighthing as well is visible electricity
herman Bergson: Already fro the scholastics it was important to regard existence as a property...
Bejiita Imako: and most important if it didn’t exist, what the power computers motors ect
herman Bergson: But it didn’t work out...
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and magnetism?
herman Bergson: so the idea of a god with all its ..whatever you like...
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we can't see that either
Max Chatnoir: Is is there any good argument for God?
herman Bergson: except that it lacks real existence except in a mind
Bejiita Imako: ah
Max Chatnoir: If you decide you want to call a tomato an apple.
Max Chatnoir: Well, bad example, because I think maybe they used to be apples?
herman Bergson: then your thesis is immediately falsified Max
Bejiita Imako: hmm interesting idea
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): relatives anyway
Max Chatnoir: If you can apply any properties you like to God then how can you tell an apple from a tomato?
herman Bergson: go to the supermarket....
herman Bergson: buy some apples...
Bejiita Imako: but we know what a tomato is but we don’t know what god really is
Bejiita Imako: and those don’t know the properties a god would have
Bejiita Imako: so could be anything
herman Bergson: and check the bill ...and be surprised it says you bought tomatos...
Max Chatnoir: Well, that's THEIR opinion, isn't it?
Max Chatnoir: But we don't have much trouble agreeing about tomatos.
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): no
Bejiita Imako: no
herman Bergson: you would say that the cash register malfunctioned...
Bejiita Imako: i know what a tomato is and what it taste like and also what u can make of them, ketchup for ex
Max Chatnoir: Because a lot of people have been around tomatoes, and they have some experience of it.
herman Bergson: there are apple s in your basket...not tomatoes
Bejiita Imako: yes everyone have seen and tasted tomatoes i guess
Max Chatnoir: Then the cash register is miscoded or something.  :-)
Bejiita Imako: not same about god
herman Bergson: guess so :-)
Max Chatnoir: no interobserver reliability.
herman Bergson: so far the "property" existence" doesn’t add anything to the concept of god except that you can have this concept in your mind...
Bejiita Imako: no
Bejiita Imako: exactly
Max Chatnoir: Now, if tomatoes became extinct, and we just had old books describing tomatoes, then there might be disagreement about what a tomato was.
Max Chatnoir: Tomatoes are Dead.
herman Bergson: Not if the books describe them accurately, I would say
Bejiita Imako: and u can not use a particle accelerator or similar to find god either plus for that to even be possible we need to have properties to look for before we smash out god with LHC
Max Chatnoir: True, if all the books gave the same description, there might be agreement.
Bejiita Imako: otherwise we have no known things to look for
Max Chatnoir: But what if you didn't have pictures?
Max Chatnoir: Nobody has pictures of God, and indeed in some cases such pictures are forbidden.
herman Bergson: The Dodo is extinct....and we have descriptions of it...but they differ in degrees
Bejiita Imako: dinosaurs we know existed because we found skeletons
Max Chatnoir: Well, there is that stuffed Dodo in the British Museum.
herman Bergson: Oh my, are running ten miles ahead of the herd!
herman Bergson: :-))
herman Bergson: Pictures of god....:-)
Bejiita Imako: hehe
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i'm already lost in this discussion.....
herman Bergson: Is there. MAx...never
Max Chatnoir: Well, we were discussing properties...
herman Bergson: Anyway...existence can not be a property, is my conclusion...
Max Chatnoir: I would agree.
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): got that
CB Axel: This reminds me of the child who told her mother that she was going to draw a picture of God. When the mother said, "But no one knows what God looks like" the child answered, "They will when I'm finished."
herman Bergson: The scholastics used the Subject - Predicate relation to come up with the ontological argument...
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): :-)
herman Bergson: but is doesnt hold...
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: One interesting observation....
Bejiita Imako: classic image of god, old man with a beard sitting on a cloud
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: Bertrand Russell, who showed that existence is not a property said, that it also is impossible to prove that god does NOT exist...
Max Chatnoir: patriarch
CB Axel: Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Bejiita Imako: hehe
Max Chatnoir: Well, I guess it might also be impossible to disprove unicorns.
herman Bergson: I have to think about that remark :-)
Bejiita Imako: Pastafarians
Bejiita Imako:
Bejiita Imako: hehe
herman Bergson: yes Max...that is what crossed my mind too! when I read it
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): actually i think they found bones of a creature similar to a unicorn
herman Bergson: Well I guess we did our best again today to deserve a pleasant weekend....:-)
Max Chatnoir: But if I can raise this again, unicorns might have been a conclusion based on some observation.
Bejiita Imako: might be
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): or might have been very skinny rhinos
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): once upon a time
Max Chatnoir: So on what observations is the conclusion of God based?
herman Bergson: As I said ..^_^ I guess we did our best again today to deserve a pleasant weekend....:-)
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): yes
herman Bergson: So..thank you all again ..:-)
Max Chatnoir: The odd goat gets born with a single horn.
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
CB Axel: Thank you, herman.
Bejiita Imako: nice again
Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
Bejiita Imako: and my head is into overload again
Bejiita Imako: hehe
Bejiita Imako: but that s good
CB Axel: I think I'll go make a nice tomato salad.
Max Chatnoir: Thank you, Herman.  Do you know what is the next topic?
Bejiita Imako: hehe
Bejiita Imako: sounds tasty
herman Bergson: Do so CB..will taste godly...
Max Chatnoir: I had caprese for lunch today!  The tomatoes are just getting edible.
Bejiita Imako:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

569: Does god exist?

Harvard neuroscientist Peter Ulric Tse in  his new book “The Neural Basis of Free Will” (2013) :Why has philosophy been unable to make substantial progress in solving the mind–body problem? 
The root of philosophy’s impasse is that its main tools—logical argumentation, “thought experiments,” “intuition pumps,” and persuasion—are inadequate to the task.
By themselves, these tools are incapable of settling basic debates between scholars with conflicting views rooted in incompatible starting assumptions.”
He is right there. As Bertand Russell already remarked in  “The Problems of Philosophy” (2012), if you ask a scientist about truths ascertained by his science, he’ll give you a long list.
“But if you put the same question to a philosopher, he will, if he is candid, have to confess that his study has not achieved positive results such as have been achieved by other sciences.”
However, “…to a great extent, the uncertainty of philosophy is more apparent than real: those questions which are already capable of definite answers are placed in the sciences, 
while those only to which, at present, no definite answer can be given, remain to form the residue which is called philosophy.”
As Tse continues:”Science, in contrast, has nature to falsify theories and models, and the scientific method of experimentation and model-correction/
abandonment that forces scientists to stand on the shoulders of giants. Whether or not scientists concede that they were wrong does not matter in the long run. 
Nature forces their concessions. Scientists who dogmatically maintain a position despite concrete evidence to the contrary are left behind. (…)
Science makes astonishing progress year after year, whereas philosophy makes slow progress over centuries (…)
because debates can be objectively settled in science but cannot be objectively settled in philosophy.”
This is an interesting attitude regarding the meaning of science and philosophy, but it didn’t help him to solve the mind - body question.
Consciousness seems to be as elusive as god in the philosophical discourse. Just imagine, that we had scientific proof of the existence of god.
Since the very beginning a number of philosophers have tried to proof the existence of god. There is one drawback.
They spent all their philosophical power on attempts to proof only one type of god, the god of christianity. That is, that is the god our atheists fight against in particular.
So, arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others for thousands of years. 
In philosophical terms, such arguments involve primarily the disciplines of epistemology (the nature and scope of knowledge) 
and ontology (study of the nature of being, existence, or reality) and also the theory of value, since concepts of perfection are connected to notions of God. 
The hottest item here is of course the concept of existence. Let’s start with taking the epistemological route.
Our way of describing reality is by referring to some object, e.g. my car and attribute to it all kinds of properties: blue, old fashioned model, seriously dented, and so on.
Thus our language structures our reality as a set of objects or state of affairs, which have properties. Because of properties we can tell the difference between a car and a bike.
And here the philosophical problems begin. Is ‘existence’ just like ‘old fashioned’ or ‘dented’ a property of my car?
Or think about this….can there BE a car, say, my car, which lacks this property of “existence”?? 
Now, look at my car. When I say to you “Yes, my car exists!” you might be puzzled. “What are you telling me…there it is,  old fashioned and dented…I see it?!”
I frown. The sentence “The car is old fashioned” and “The car exists” have the same form: they both attribute an property to an individual object.
But indeed, the statement “The car exists” doesn’t add a thing to my car. But suppose you say, while looking at my car “That car does not exist”.
Does that mean that some property is absent? We really need another lecture to figure this out….^_^
Thank you….. the floor is yours…:-)

The Discussion

Corona Anatine: is this not an aspect of language
Max Chatnoir: So if everybody sees your car but you, which of you doesn't exist?
Bejiita Imako: hmmm now it gets complicated!
Bejiita Imako: hehe
herman Bergson: That is not what I really meant Max....
Corona Anatine: also there are several aspects to the concept 'exists'
Max Chatnoir: Sorry, I was being frivolous.
Corona Anatine: exsits at waht level of conceptual thought
Max Chatnoir: Existence seems to need some aspect of interobserver reliability.
herman Bergson: What I menat was the idea...can there be objects which you can describe by their attributes but lack the atttribute "existence":-)
Ciska Riverstone: your car on the tv screen?
Max Chatnoir: It seems that you have to have existence to HAVE attributes.
Corona Anatine: it is safe to say that there is an indepentent reality of some form which encapsulates 'existence '  regradless of what that true reality actually is 
herman Bergson: other words...does the attribute "existence" really says something about an object
Bejiita Imako: well thats one thing, if you describe the picture of the car as properties of the colors in the screen
Bejiita Imako: then i guess it could work
Max Chatnoir: On the other hand, unicorns have attributes, but don't exist.
Max Chatnoir: at least I don't think they do.
Max Chatnoir: So I guess what I said was wrong.
herman Bergson: Yes MAx....
herman Bergson: Let me put it this way...
Bejiita Imako: aaa yes, fantasy objects is one thing
Corona Anatine: the modern of unicorns,  that we cant easily identify which one doe snot matter]
herman Bergson: Corona came in as an ignosticist...:-)
Corona Anatine: oh the bible has nothing to do with 'god'
herman Bergson: one of the points of ignosticism is that it demands clear definitions of concepts...
Max Chatnoir: But fantasy objects have attributes that allow identification of the object.
Corona Anatine: yes indeed
Bejiita Imako: same goes for me, Im a saiyan, saiyans exist only as a property of different colors in manga books,
Max Chatnoir: So existence must be something other than an attribute.
herman Bergson: and one of the defining attributes of unicorn is that it has no physical existence
Bejiita Imako: but they are no physical real beings
Corona Anatine: not now perhaps but when the word was originally used it likely referred to a real species
herman Bergson: speculation Corona...
Max Chatnoir: I guess a negative attribute is an attribute.
Corona Anatine: that the meaning has shifted to = fantasy animal is not the original users fault
Bejiita Imako: so yes i guess you can have existence only by property in that way
herman Bergson: Max says existence must be something other than an attribute
herman Bergson: You also could say...
Ciska Riverstone: is existence in that context temporal?
Bejiita Imako: depend on how it is defined
herman Bergson: We should have a closer look at the statements which use the verb "exist"
Bejiita Imako: i guss
Bejiita Imako: guess
Barby Seda: physical attributes can be modified to form other attributes
Corona Anatine: non temporal existence would be a very strange state
herman Bergson: Are they really of the subject - predicate structure?
Max Chatnoir: So is God like a unicorn, which has more or less defined attributes, but maybe not existence?
herman Bergson: Will be the subject of our next lecture as I promised :-))
Bejiita Imako: now this can be interesting
Corona Anatine: did you mean the IPU just then max?
Bejiita Imako: existence only by property
herman Bergson: is green...small with big ears....and comes from Mars....:-)
Max Chatnoir: IPU?
Bejiita Imako: haha
Corona Anatine: invisible pink unicorn
Ciska Riverstone: in the moment i watch a film with herman’s car it might already been burried and no longer have the attribute of existence - does it still because its on film?
Bejiita Imako: or a way to old and therefore green of mold mars bar
herman Bergson: I can describe an individual in its you see
Bejiita Imako: lol
Bejiita Imako: ok
herman Bergson: you see a film Ciska, not a car...
Ciska Riverstone: yes - so the car has no existence any longer and the car in the film has the existence of pictures in a row
herman Bergson: I guess you all notice that this "attribute" existence behaves rather weird
Bejiita Imako: eeeh indeed
herman Bergson: indeed Ciska...
Bejiita Imako: never thought about it in this way
Corona Anatine: [ are we heading towards the concept of the 'holographic' universe?]
herman Bergson: It is rahter confusing indeed :-)
Ciska Riverstone: so there is no relation between the two in terms of existance?
Bejiita Imako: yes you can say
Bejiita Imako:
Max Chatnoir: What if you had a hard deist position that could prove that god exists but that nobody can communicate with him/her?
herman Bergson: No Ciska...a movie doesn’t prove that something exists ....
Corona Anatine: then just a word would have little value or point for humanity surely
herman Bergson: We habve tons of UFO movies for instance :-)
Corona Anatine: word=god
Ciska Riverstone: but are the car in the movie and the real car which no longer exists related or not?
Bejiita Imako: the thing is that you can also say fantasy creatures like unicorns are just myths and therefore not exist
Corona Anatine: if you include time in the concept then yes the car exists
herman Bergson: Related....I guess so yes....
Bejiita Imako: and then existence with only property become impossible
herman Bergson: one day it was in front of the camera
Ciska Riverstone: so the relation does not say anything about the existence.
Bejiita Imako: because then something need to actually exist for real to hold the properties
herman Bergson: It says everything about the properties of the car....color, shape and so on....
Corona Anatine: aslo cna we say with certainty that unicorns dont exist somewhere within a radius of 15 billion light years
herman Bergson: but you don’t record a property that you can point out to be existence
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no need to have it in front of the camera it could be created in a 3d program
herman Bergson: It could indeed Beertje
Ciska Riverstone: so maybe existence is no property after all?
herman Bergson: PIXAR is a master in "creating" worlds
Max Chatnoir: It seems different somehow from other kinds of properties.
herman Bergson: Indeed Ciska.....
Bejiita Imako: i would say existence is a placeholder of different properties but properties alone im unsure of
herman Bergson: But yet we talk about thing, that they what do we mean then?
Bejiita Imako: in case of the 3d program you have existence in the form of the file that then holds properties
Bejiita Imako: without the file you have no properties
Corona Anatine: also are we referring to our own existence or just to external things
herman Bergson: You come close to modern ideas about the issue Bejiita!!!!
Bejiita Imako: this can get complicated for sure
Bejiita Imako: it depend on how you define existence
herman Bergson: You make me think of Descartes Corona....
Bejiita Imako: i d say
Corona Anatine: for sure
herman Bergson: He said...I think so I am....
herman Bergson: but this I am didn’t add anything to his I think....
herman Bergson: it was not en EXTRA ....
Bejiita Imako: however properties also exists by themselves, if it don’t exist there is nothing there whatever it is
Corona Anatine: and can thought be said to exist in any clear way - all that exists there is a flow of electric current
herman Bergson: He just could have said...I think...period...:-)
Bejiita Imako: red have to exist for it to be red at all
Bejiita Imako: or green
herman Bergson: Very good are almost close to Plato now :-))
Max Chatnoir: but you need a perceiver of redness.
Bejiita Imako: also we know that there only exist a small number of base colors and when they mix we get all other
Corona Anatine: thing is tho can attributes exist indepenent of the thing they are attributes of?
Corona Anatine: they are after all just descriptive labels
Bejiita Imako: yes thats also true, we se red cause our brain tell us that, in reality everything is pitch black, its only when the brain get the signals we see it as light
herman Bergson: That has been a philosophical issue indeed Corona...
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): if you mix all colors together you get white
Barby Seda: people suffering from Daltonism can't see the red color
herman Bergson: as I said...Plato discussed it
herman Bergson: As Aristotle did
Bejiita Imako: same with sound, its just vibration, its all insidethe brain
Bejiita Imako: without a listener all is quiet even at 120 db
herman Bergson: The main issue here is DOEs GOD EXIST.....
Corona Anatine: but colour has a definitive basis in the reflectivity of wavelength - the concept could be broadacst to aleins and be understood by them
herman Bergson: and as you now notice....
Max Chatnoir: I think you could have gods with different attributes.
herman Bergson: this "attribute" of existence behaves quite problematic in our way of describing reality
Max Chatnoir: without any of them existing.
Max Chatnoir: Like unicorns.
Bejiita Imako: the only way id know for god to exist would be as dark matter or energy since these 2 things are invisible and unmeasurable even they seem to exist
herman Bergson: We have tons of such gods Max....
Corona Anatine: yes the mental equivalent of sculpting water
herman Bergson: From Allah to Vishu....
herman Bergson: and Amon R to Zeus
Max Chatnoir: I wonder if monotheism is just increasing generalization of attributes?
Max Chatnoir: one size fits all.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think God is someone like an unseen friend is for a child
Bejiita Imako: ah
herman Bergson: makes it easier, Max :-))
Corona Anatine: do we have monotheism ?
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): just to feel safe
herman Bergson: I am not sure, Corona :-))
Bejiita Imako: yes, cristans muslims ext have one god while hinduism have many
Corona Anatine: a lot of these modern monotheism include 'satan' which makes them at least partly dualist
Bejiita Imako: so hinduism is not a monotheism
herman Bergson: ok...add Satan to the story...
Bejiita Imako:
Corona Anatine: and then there are angels and saints and mary and lots of other stuff
herman Bergson: Well, I think have enough to think about before the next lecture now :-))
Bejiita Imako: hehehe
Max Chatnoir: I don't think that Satan counts as a god -- wasn't he supposed to be an angel?  Or is that just Milton?
Bejiita Imako: (head spinning faster then a particle beam in the LHC at moment)
Corona Anatine: maybe all religions are polytheist and just have differing steepness to the angle of the hierarchical pyramid
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: he is a fallen angel as far as I know :-)
Ciska Riverstone: heheheh bejiita
Max Chatnoir: @Corona:  There's a thought!
Bejiita Imako:
Max Chatnoir: Normal curve approaching a line.
herman Bergson: I'd better thank you all again for your save bejiita from overload...:-)
Corona Anatine: indeed because all religions include a variety of levels of power between humans and the single 'god' or ruler of gods
Bejiita Imako: hehe i need to think this through a bit
Bejiita Imako: but this is interesting concept indeed
herman Bergson: See you next Tuesday.....class dismissed :-))
Max Chatnoir: Herman, you always raise more and more questions.
Bejiita Imako:
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he loves to do that Max:)
Bejiita Imako: thats the point
Bejiita Imako: hehe
herman Bergson: Yes Max...that is my intention...:-)
Corona Anatine: maybe bejita should expand her mind so it has more capacity and less risk of overflow
herman Bergson: you would fall asleep when I just came up with all answers :-)
Corona Anatine: are you able to do that Herman ?
Bejiita Imako: hehe, well this is what makes it fun, find new ways to think about stuff
Max Chatnoir: Yes.
herman Bergson: silly remark, know better....^_^
Corona Anatine: do you have all the answers to everything ?
Corona Anatine: yeh i do
herman Bergson smiles
Bejiita Imako: hehe
herman Bergson: The main goal of my class is to make you THINK....:-)
Corona Anatine: I aslo can give an answer to everything -just cant guarantee to give a true/right answer
herman Bergson: if you need answers...go to Wikipedia ^_^
Bejiita Imako: hehe
Corona Anatine: maybe - but first we need to get the questions right
herman Bergson: oh...I got lots of such answers too, Corona ^_^
Corona Anatine: : )
herman Bergson: That is a good point Corona....
herman Bergson: We first have to get the question right!
herman Bergson: That is why we have to understand the use of "exist"....
herman Bergson: How it works in our language...what it denotes....
Max Chatnoir: I got ONE answer in Wikipedia.  the two central figures in the picture are Plato and Aristotle.
herman Bergson: Very nice, Max :-))
herman Bergson: I'll put a little URL script in the wall....
Max Chatnoir: Oh, that would be good.
herman Bergson: when you click it it refers to the Wikipedia page then
Max Chatnoir: I looked to see if there was one.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i am tired now..nobody can see that or feel that..does that mean tired does not exist?
Corona Anatine: ar e they ?
herman Bergson: this was the URL:
Max Chatnoir: That's the one!
Corona Anatine: plato and aristole existed - are pictures of them actaully those men
herman Bergson: no...:-)
Corona Anatine: at best they are accurate images - butr even that is uncertain
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: Yor condition exists for you Beertje....undeniable :-)
Corona Anatine: probably about as accutrate as images of jesus or the sistine chapel
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but does it for other people?
herman Bergson: in the sense that you go to bed, yes :-))
Ciska Riverstone: for me too beertje - but i do not know it it is the same ;)
Corona Anatine: [ tanya departed because the topic was too deep for her - so overalod is infective it would appear
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ok..goodnight then :))
Bejiita Imako:
Bejiita Imako: cu next time
Ciska Riverstone: welterusten beertje
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): welterusten allemaal
herman Bergson: sweet dreams Beertje :-))
Bejiita Imako: bye beertje
herman Bergson: one down ...six to go....^_^
Max Chatnoir: Donatello and Raphael and Leonardo are in there too.
Bejiita Imako: the entire TMNT
Bejiita Imako: lol
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: TMNT?
Max Chatnoir: representations anyway.
Corona Anatine: teenage mutant nija turtles
Bejiita Imako: yep
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: lol
Bejiita Imako: hehe
Max Chatnoir: Teenage mutant ninja...
herman Bergson: I never liked those cartoons
Bejiita Imako: the new movie was really good btw
Bejiita Imako: recommend it
Bejiita Imako:
herman Bergson: I find those turtles such silly characters
Bejiita Imako: hehe its a bit special but hey it works
Bejiita Imako: then i grew up with them so
Max Chatnoir: Well, thank you as always, Herman.
Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman thanx everyone
Max Chatnoir: Hope to see you Tuesday!
Bejiita Imako: cu all then
bergfrau Apfelbaum: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
bergfrau Apfelbaum: ***** *********** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE
Bejiita Imako:
bergfrau Apfelbaum: thx herman & class!
Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
Corona Anatine: oh btw a quick plug - my book 'idunns orcahrd the musician of the heliopause ' is out now on e book - ISBN 978-4969-9705-9 [e]
Barby Seda: good night Herman and everybody
herman Bergson: Bye BArby
Corona Anatine: by barby
Max Chatnoir: Thanks, Corona.
Corona Anatine: yw max
herman Bergson: Illegal advertising in my class Corona !!!!!! lol