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Comment Re:Religions and slavery (Score 1) 269

... but that part is settled *regardless* of what your religion says.

Curious, given that it is "settled", you can't come up with a single objective basis for this or any other ethical conclusion you have, from your worldview.

Settled? You haven't even gotten started. Refer to the last 2500 years on complete non-consensus in secular philosophy for that. Or to a naturalism notion of evolution--what wins, works. Period. Nothing more to say.

No justification whatsoever other than ones stolen from theism itself = "settled". Hmm...

Comment Re:there is no conflict between science and religi (Score 1) 269

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned--"

Why do you think you're a member of "people"?

Very specifically. Clear, non-arbitrary, scientific DNA-based justifications for what biological structures are in the realm of "ethics" and which are not, will be fine.

Comment Re:Is it really such a puzzle? (Score 1) 188

Both. I can translate the perceptions of the first into the perceptions of the second and vice versa. In each case, I can figure out the objective fact that there is $20 lying on the ground.

So, then, you acknowledge there is a domain of propositions that are contrary, that cannot be resolved empirically, that is, by science? That there is a domain outside of science's purview?

Apparently, your arguments depend on this perception.

Where? Have I asserted anywhere that "X is true because what I've personally perceived"? I don't believe so. Thus far I've presented only analytic objection to the "anthropic principle" and we have a semantic argument around whether we are for the purposes of discussion considering the concept "reality" to include, or disinclude, a God. Synonymousness of "reality" with "all of existence which includes a God" is just fine with me. Okay with you? That way we could skip the distinction between Pantheism and Panentheism entirely.

You're going to have to wait a while especially since logic and rationality may not be an evolutionary disadvantage.

Ah... so your descendants are you. Strange how many naturalists speak of "us" surviving and think they aren't speaking mystically. Every single one of us will be dead, within 200 years. The people who will be physically living in 200 years, note, will -not- be "us". You could even check the individual fingerprints, just to be sure. So, what actually survives? Information? Since no particular physical organisms actually do, it would appear so. Can you point to where that thing that survives is, exactly, so I can validate it in a material scientific sense?

Comment Re:Is it really such a puzzle? (Score 1) 188

Two men, a rich one and a poor one, are walking down a road. They see a $20 bill on the ground held down by a rock. The first sees a small amount of money on the ground. The second sees a large amount of money on the ground. Which perception is empirically validated?

Unless I'm approaching questions of science from a perspective other than methodological naturalism (philosophical naturalism not thereby required), I don't see why it is of any concern of yours.

I'm really not sure what is more poignant at this point--your recognition that I am utterly uncompelled to "justify" my perceptions to you, or the irony that simply by waiting silently, evolution will eliminate you and your inquiry, and make it completely irrelevant. Happily, this is the case per -both- of our stances.

Comment Re:Is it really such a puzzle? (Score 1) 188

The point of the anthropic principle is that you can't discount theories on the basis that they are unlikely to generate the present state.

The point is, yes you can. The "anthropic principle" is an erroneous word-game. As discussed in a different branch of my responses, it is merely a tautology reducible to "if things were different they would be different" and presents no evidence at all for the thing being argued for on the basis of it.

Merely insisting reality is divine is merely redefining what is meant by divine.

Or, one has experienced something in reality that is clearly divine. Empirically. Then contemplating the lines of demarcation become an item of marked interest.

And no, something does not have to be empirically demonstrated -for you- for it to be empirical.

Comment Re:Is it really such a puzzle? (Score 1) 188

Rather parallel to Panentheism which I do actually ascribe to.

Long discussion possible here, but essentially my objection was toward a particular popular "science versus religion" simplistic narrative of history. Occasionalism avoids framing events in terms of a "natural or supernatural" dichotomy in the first place. For the question of history, I think it fair to say that, for example, every single action of Jesus, such as simply walking from point A to B (or for that matter any other individual doing so) was not perceived as -equally- a unique demonstration of divine power. Still, we have a figure/ground type metaphysical question here, where some events are proximately clearly divinely-controlled, within a context of existence that is understood to also be divinely caused or created--with the causal "proximateness" of divine intervention a question that, as you've pointed out, is non-obvious and an issue of theological debate.

Personally, I think of the relationship between "reality" and "divine presence or action" as like a drop of ink in a glass of water. While the ink diffuses throughout, it is, initially at least, more concentrated and obvious at one place than another.

Comment Re:Is it really such a puzzle? (Score 1) 188

Jeez. Do you have to be so belligerent about being smarter than me?

I'm not prepared to conclude I am smarter than you, as I only have two data points (posts) to go by...

I don't remember saying it didn't...

Yes, it's intrinsic and not necessarily obvious in this type of argument. As is often the case, the underlying premises need to be surfaced to properly evaluate it.

Take a look at this, as likely relevant, whether or not you've thought about it in detail.

Carter's SAP and Barrow and Tipler's WAP have been dismissed as truisms or trivial tautologies, that is, statements true solely by virtue of their logical form (the conclusion is identical to the premise) and not because a substantive claim is made and supported by observation of reality. As such, they are criticized as an elaborate way of saying "if things were different, they would be different," which is a valid statement, but does not make a claim of some factual alternative over another.

That seems to be the core of this issue with what you are saying, and arguments of this type in general. Indeed, if things were different, they would have been different. But in fact things are they way they actually are. That we might not have perceived them in the same way, or at all, if things were different, doesn't actually matter.

Models like evolution?

Yes, and in fact evolution is -also- supported by the evidence of how things are. My point being that the anthropic argument doesn't actually argue for or against either that or "creationism" (another point of contention we'd probably have, and will avoid in the interests of brevity, but invariably arguments end up being of the form of "six day creation is unscientific, therefore... mumble mumble... all religion is unscientific") . I have no issue with "evolution occurs", but do with "-only- evolution occurs". The latter assertion is untestable and unscientific, and the fact atheists need to use that implication on a personal level when using the term "evolution" doesn't change that.

Again, not something I recall saying. Anyway, weren't some ancients pretty hot on the idea of direct intervention being required for all manner of other things, like the sun coming up in the morning, or the end of winter?

I inferred this in terms of your apparent basic stance of considering science to be a process of "closing gaps" of the erroneous notions of historical religions. I suggest actually reviewing the defining documents of presently-existing religions (the ones that you or I actually care about), would show this doesn't really characterize history. Events that were everyday events were written about as if they were, and miraculous events were considered so in the same way as we would today. That is, there hasn't been a broad change in viewpoint on whether a given event would be of a non-miraculous or miraculous nature between then and now. That doesn't change even if you don't believe miracles occur--the present-day response would likely be "yes, that would be a miracle, but I don't believe it actually ever happened" rather than "it makes sense that the ancients would think that turning water into wine would be a miracle, but now because of science we know it actually happened because of X, and nowadays we wouldn't even think of that as a miracle".

Never read him.

His "memes" have been particularly effective, then...

Why don't you try not being such a condescending dick to people just because you think you know better than they do?

Avoiding suboptimal advocacy, really, which is probably the best you've encountered due to "Christian niceness". You are one out of many people who will read this, and direct, or "aggressive", refutation is most memorable. By tomorrow, you will have forgotten my username, if you even took note of it in he first place. My argument, though, maybe not. The contention between you on I on a personal level for this post doesn't matter in the long run, and isn't even really relevant to my purposes or the purposes of an internet forum. Don't take it personally.

Comment Re:Is it really such a puzzle? (Score 1) 188

I despise these quasi "anthropic principle" arguments that explain precisely why they are wrong, and then triumphantly declare thereby they are right.

No, it remains the case that causality works forward. It remains the case that things existing means evidence for models of how they could get that way.

Note that reality, as well as empirical science, demonstrates that the results are not a lump of goo. You can correct your reasoning as needed from there.

And no, the "gap" exists only in your willfully irrational mind. That a detailed scientific understanding of a phenomenon exists, or does not exist, has zero relevance to whether or not there is -also- a broader causal sequence involved, god or otherwise. Nobody, ever, thought that a direct intervention of a god was needed for fire to cook their food, for water to roll downhill, or for a knife to cut something. No "gap" was filled, for anyone, at any point of scientific refinement of the particular physical processes involved in these, or any other scientific discovery. Fanciful revisionist history notwithstanding. Yes, we know more details. No, that has no relevance to one's view of how those details came to be.

"O, Almighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee!"
--Johannes Kepler

That's what a scientist and theist actually thinks about causal specifics. Try recognizing historical reality rather than parroting your Dawkins paperback.

As for "by whose standards", the answer is, yours. Before you misrepresent you own brain's evaluation, which you can't help confessing doing by your inability to remain indifferent about a question that, objectively, you should be indifferent about, if you actually considered the complexity unremarkable.

Comment Re:The human eye is proof God exists (Score 0) 187

You toss a powerful magnet at a brain and you can shut off emotions, shut off senses, distort them and induce them... what makes you think the brain dying is any less traumatic than changing the flow of electricity in one portion?

I made no claim it is less traumatic. What is relevant is the high specificity of the results of the trauma, as quantified by the study. If the perceptions were random, say in the case of LSD, hitting someone in the head repeatedly with a rock, or random magnetic stimulation, I would agree the evidence would be very weak. They are not random. They correlate strongly with exactly what the religion predicts.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.