29 comments posted · 3 followers · following 3
11 years ago @ Godless Business - After the rapture · 0 replies · +1 points
11 years ago @ Godless Business - Sexist Preacher, Jack ... · 0 replies · +1 points
11 years ago @ Godless Business - William Lane Craig was... · 0 replies · +1 points
12 years ago @ Godless Business - The Source of Human Mo... · 9 replies · +1 points
You can argue all you like that consciousness cannot be necessarily reduced to only chemicals within the brain, however we do not fully 100% understand the brain. It is one of if not the most complex forms that we know of. And until you can fully understand it, then your assertions that something transcendental could be the cause is currently just wishful thinking.
“Regarding your comments about vehicular capability - I do understand what you're saying, it's just that I think you're comparing apples and oranges. (your distinction may well be 'simple' but it's a flawed comparison). If the question was about why some minds are 'smarter' than others, then your comparison might be apt. But I'm not talking about how fast the car gets from point A to B, but that it has the ability to do the 'getting' in the first place. It doesn't matter if you have a Ferrari or a VW, if the crank shaft is connected to the piston(s) etc. then it will move - how fast is irrelevant.”
I think it does matter how fast the car gets from A to B and this would relate to how fast we achieve results when we take actions that require the use of our brains to take out those actions. For example, you have two people tied to a chair, about to be set a light. Both subjects are conscious, however one is mentally retarded the other your normal coherent person. Both subjects able to talk if needed(not gagged). Now chances are only one will object out aloud to being set a light. The other, well who knows, they might just sit there smiling at you and not making any attempt or effort to stop you burning them to death. You can argue that both have brains, both have consciousness and both are functioning as brains would function, however one is a Ferrari saying please don't burn me and the other is a slow tractor not saying anything at all. In fact I am sure the tractor brain could easily scream out, but chances are it won't happen until the subject is on fire, it still gets there in the end, albeit rather slowly.
“So my question remains - if we have two brains that you agree are basically the same stuff (in the same way that a VW and a Ferrari are basically the same thing - chassis, engine, wheels, with different capacities but same essential ability) then why can one 'go' and the other not? Why does one brain have the 'ability' and the other not? (again, nothing to do with the speed at which they 'go'). If you have a chassis, engine, wheels and the crank shaft to connect it all - it will 'go'. So then why doesn't a brain 'guarantee' consciousness?”
As mentioned above with my analogy, both brains are functioning, both capable but not both able to complete the task in the relatively same time period. Also much like a brain car engines are complicated. They are full of wiring and components that have to work together. The brain works in the same way, it has neural pathways and electrical currents that work together in order to make perform a range of actions, and these actions in part perform an end result. As in my analogy above they yell out to stop being set a light. In the case of the car, the Ferrari takes of at a roaring speed, the tractor takes off at a lumbering slower speed or not at all. And in some cases all the wiring is there all the components are there but for some reason the vehicle goes no where. Why? Because these things happens within the brain and we do not always fully understand why. Sometimes it is obvious because of damage to the brain. Sometimes it is a degenerative disease like rust or putting the wrong fuel in your car that can cause it to stop functioning correctly.
“In fact, the real problem is that I don't think there really is anything analogous to consciousness - apart from the fact that there is still so much we don't know about how it works, and to what extent it's emergence is connected to the brain etc.”
Nice to see that you do acknowledge that although I have to wonder how honest you are about it.
“The question is, then, why doesn't a brain guarantee consciousness? What is the difference between a brain that gives consciousness and one that doesn't? If it is reducible to the brain ('capacity' for 'speed' is irrelevant as I showed), why doesn't a brain always give us consciousness? To say it doesn't guarantee it seems to betray the point that there's something else in the mix regarding consciousness, which isn't necessarily reducible to physics and chemistry.”
I think here you fail to realise the complexity of being conscious in the first place, that there are certain levels of consciousness and not all consciousness is at the same level. Much like a Ferrari is a car but not all cars are Ferraris. And again this hint toward the assertion that there is something else in the mix seems a little futile in the face of a lack of understanding of the brain and how it really does work.
“There's plenty of accounts of people have NDEs and OBEs while clinically dead, with no brain activity.
See here & here. (I'm not saying I necessarily accept that they are actual out-of-body experiences, I'm merely pointing out the difficulty such apparent consciousness - memories made while lacking brain activity - raises for your position).”
And there is also reason to believe that these OBE's and NDE's happen within the brain in a compressed time period. i.e what seems like a long time for the patient is in fact mere seconds inside their brains. We all have dreams that seem to go on forever when in fact we just dozed off on the couch for fifteen short minutes.
“I suppose, assuming you don't just dismiss it out of hand, that you might argue that there is brain activity, the machines just didn't pick it up - possible, but pretty much a circular argument until you can show otherwise. I think, though, that it's reason to question reductionist assumptions - combined with the fact that, as I've said, there is so much we don't know about consciousness and how it works and how it emerges from the brain etc.”
A reductionist argument can only go so far when in relation to how the brain works. Why? Because we simple do now know yet fully how the brain works however just because we can only go so far with our argument does not mean that this hints toward there being something transcendental that is the ultimate cause.
And I doubt very much that consciousness emerges from the brain, that is like saying exhaust emerge from the cars exhaust pipe as a result of the inner workings of the engine, however once they emerge, they do not stick around
12 years ago @ Godless Business - 2.6 - Election time! · 1 reply · +2 points
Secondly, read briefly over the Secular Party website, and I think one of us ought to stand for election.
I would do it, but I get stage fright, or at least that is my excuse to get out of it. Besides who would vote for me anyway.
As for the same sex marriage deal. For those of you who do not understand the same sex marriage thing. First what Jim said is correct. Secondly no one really gives a shit about marriage, especially when referred to within the same meaning and confines of the traditional sense of the word. However as mentioned what the G&L community wants is the rights that are afforded a heterosexual couple, not the marriage part.
Penny Wong isn't being week I do not think, I think it is a gradual thing, especially in politics where not much happens over night,
I think it will happen. The government already recognises same sex couples for payments and the like.
Oh and lastly Sydney is Sydney and I don't really recommend it. Apologies to all who have to live in this place.
PS: May 22nd next year, I am busy that day.
12 years ago @ Godless Business - 1.7 - We Have Earned O... · 0 replies · +2 points
12 years ago @ Godless Business - Countering Atheism · 0 replies · 0 points
I am going to go with all three for you sir.
Let me point it out for you to read over and HOPEFULLY read and take in. ATHEISM is NOT a FAITH and does NOT require the BELIEF in something. It is the position of those that do NOT accept the claims of the FAITHFUL and therefore REJECT FAITH and all its claims as NON-VERYFIABLE or lacking in EVIDENCE.
If you can't even remotely grasp the basic meaning of the words themselves, how do you expect anyone at all to take you seriously.
And as for name calling? Well if you didn't come across as a complete fucking tool with seems to be awefully clueless about every word that you utter, then perhaps you wouldn't be such an easy target. On the upside, if you stick around and read some of the articles as well as do a little research yourself, you might actually learn something and then, and here is the big THEN, you might become something more than just a pile of atoms that were unlucky enough to get stuck with each other to live out your current existence.
Then again, maybe this is the best you can do in life?
12 years ago @ Godless Business - Dawkins Exposed Exposed · 0 replies · +1 points
hmm you know despite my awesome sense of humour, this is actually not a bad idea. I wonder if it has been done before? The Science Bible. Or The Reality Book. Yeah I like that. I copyright that title and the idea behind it. Now to get people to write chapters and versus for it.
12 years ago @ Godless Business - Dawkins Exposed Exposed · 1 reply · +2 points
I won't reiterate what Andrew said because he answered each point just fine.
But I will say this. We as atheist, we as skeptics do not like the idea of preaching what we think. It is not about that for us what so ever. Besides much like when the likes of yourself and your 2billion odd bretheren start to preach to the likes of us, your eye glaze over also when we do it in return, and the conversations lead no where.
Our purpose if you will, is to get people like you to question your faith and the way in which you view the world. Why? Because we believe that religion in almost all its forrms has over the centuries lead to the victimisation, torture, segregation and death of millions in its name. Because we believe that telling children they will burn in hell unless they believe in a particular god is paramount to child abuse.
The bible has plenty of good stories about morals and how to live a good life, for which anyone can do even without reading it, but it still has them, however it also has a lot of barbaric evil acts within it that completely contradict all the good parts, which to me, as the word of god himself, doesn't put a really good light on a being meant to be infallable and all powerful and all knowing. So you see when one thinks long and hard about ones faith, one can really only come to one conclusion about it, and that is that you can live without it you don't need to believe to be good and that it does do more harm than good.
But feel free to counter my argument with some kind of appologists retort.
12 years ago @ Godless Business - Dawkins Exposed Exposed · 0 replies · +1 points