Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Great New Site: Atheism Analyzed

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It's new to me. It may not be new at all (the first copy I saw was dated December 2010). Atheism Analyzed doesn't tell us who authors the stie, but it does promise on the masthead "A former 40 year Atheist analyzes Atheism, without resorting to theism, deism, or fantasy."
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Apparently it's written by an atheist who is tired of the ideology and group think of atheism. He let's it all out too. He's contradicting all the standard bromides and propaganda slgoans from "atheist is not organized" to "atheism has no ideology."

The self-appellated “Skeptics” who cluster into skeptical societies are in no way skeptical of any of the extrapolations of “neuroscience”; these non-skeptical skeptics are all devout believers in the dogma of Atheism / Naturalism / Philosophical Materialism. So, are we non-believers in those dogmas entitled to be skeptical of Neuroscience, as presented under these dogmas?
The first issue I saw was about the atheist propaganda of neuro science: "Neuroscience and dogmatic reductionism." Neuro scinece as use by atheists is not about study of the nervous system but about an ideolgoical use of reductionism to write out of human experience anything that doesn't turn humans into machines. This is not science it's propaganda, but the atheists all assume it religious and refuse to hear a word against it. They believe it is scinece and it masquerades as science becuase it's reductionsitic and they have tome associate reductionism with scinece. He quotes Raymond Tallis [1]:

If you come across a new discipline with the prefix “neuro” and it is not to do with the nervous system itself, switch on your bullshit detector. If it has society in its sights, reach for your gun. Bring on the neurosceptics.

What passes for neuroscience among atheist is tracking bloodflow in the brain. The reason they do this is to accoaiate a part of the Brain with neurological activity. One example is the so called "god part of the brain." Even though he's not an atheist this the assumption Andrew Newberg makes it's the way he works. As the author, the former 40 year atheist puts it:

This practice of tracking blood flow in the brain is used to declare that certain cerebral functions are located in certain areas of the brain. Then other things which are NOT known are inferred and extrapolated, and come be part of a false knowledge base, one that is perpetuated by worldviews that require such. Some of the false knowledge is based on the idea that the blood flow increase is the only activity in the brain that is involved in the processing of that particular input function, and another is that a certain area of the brain does only one function – that which is being investigated. Another is that all brains are materially the same, wired alike and ready for fully caused, predetermined responses based on their history of causation.

None of this is proven or even suggested by the blood flow in the brain under cognitive stimulation. Every stitch of the determinist conclusion is extrapolation beyond existing facts, extending toward dogmatic conclusions.
He quotes Tallis at length:

There is an article in the NewHumanist of the UK site by a neuroscientist, Raymond Tallis [1], who attacks this practice of iconifying neuroscience with false extrapolations into dogmatic philosophy.
”There is a huge gap between the community of minds and animal quasi-societies. The vast landscape that is the human world has been shaped by the activity of explicit individuals who do things deliberately. Uniquely, the denizens of that world entertain theories about their own nature and about the world; systematically inquire into the order of things and the patterns of causation and physical laws that seem to underpin that order; create cities, laws, institutions; frame their individual lives within a shared history that is recorded and debated over; narrate their individual and shared lives; and guide, justify and excuse their behaviour according to general and abstract principles. Neuro-evolutionary theorists try to ignore all this evidence of difference and have even requisitioned the pseudo-scientific notion of the meme, the unit of cultural transmission, analogous to the gene that ensures its own survival by passing from brain to brain, to capture human society for quasi-Darwinian thought. Just how desperate is this endeavour to conceal the Great Ditch separating humans from other animals is evident from the kind of items that are listed as memes: “the SALT agreement”, “styles of cathedral architecture”, “faith”, “tolerance for free speech” and so on.”

If we were not at a great distance from the kind of activity revealed in our brains and, indeed, from the kinds of aggregations seen in the natural world, then the voluntary adoption of social policies, influenced or not by the latest whizz-bang neuroscience, would be impossible; for there would be no outside from which policies could be dreamed up, judged and tested. Indeed, there would be no outside of the organic world. This is illustrated by the pseudo-science of neuro-law. Supposing, for example, we really could assimilate jurisprudence into brain science, on the grounds that it is our brains that make us criminals or law-abiding, then, since our brains are causally wired into the remainder of the material universe, we would have to look beyond the brain for the ultimate source of our actions. They are objects, not subjects. The plea “My brain made me do it” would essentially be that of “the Big Bang made me do it”.
There are attempts by the Atheist/Philosophical Materialist community to present free will as somehow bimodal, that all brain activity is fully caused by our genetics coupled with our environments on the one hand, yet that we still do obviously have the apparent capability of decision making even though it has to be an illusion. (Never mind that the illusion has created complex societies with complex accoutrements which do not seem to be illusions or delusions.)
This degenerates into an arguemnt any kind of free will, since if mind is physical and all phyical phenomena require cause and effect, and if cause and effect is determinism, then all mind is determined. This would mean that computers and all other products of human thought are illusions and human thought is an illusion and humans are automatons.

Atheist seem to be automatons. they passionately believe that God should have made them incapable of sinning. The author of the blog doesn't' go that far into the matter. yet the blog promises to be a vital resource.






[1]Tallis’ research was mainly in the area of geriatric and rehabilitative neurology. He is listed as an author, philosopher, and “polymath”, as well as a retired MD and researcher.

2 comments:

Steven Satak said...

This is a good point: Determinism seems to be the focal point where atheists make it plain that they not only intend to have their cake, they intend to eat it as well. At the same time.

That this immediately results in a contradiction fatal to the idea of Materialism (which is, after all, now reduced to just another product of Evolutionary Determinism) does not bother the atheist at all.

They ignore the contradiction, choosing one side or the other as it suits their political purposes (most of which are directed towards personal power over others).

If you raise the issue, you meet ridicule or, if you are lucky, skin-deep sophistry that conceals yet more self-contradicting thought.

The point is, they are essentially worshiping Nothing, regardless of what they call it this week. And Nothing makes no demands on logical rigor or intellectual honesty. Nothing does not penalize contradictions - because they simply do not exist in the Void if the Atheist says so.

Atheists laugh at the idea of Hell. "Infantile and idiotic" are used by some, "fascist" or "patriarchal" by others. But of course, YMMV. My own personal take on Hell is that it is very much like the Nothing that Atheists are so at home with. Considering the things that have been said and written about the place, I do not find the resemblance at all surprising.

Metacrock said...

Glad you liked the article. Yes, it's no surprise they contradict their basic ideology. Really the ideology of atheism is that of a larger philosophy, "scientism" or "reductionism," or "materialism."

Another contradiction, their determinism and their to being "free thinkers."