Saturday, October 12, 2013

Discussion with Darth Pringle on miracles

 No his real name is not Darth Pringle. He's a poster on CARM and one of the better atheists. He had a different name for a long time, I've known him for years. He's very intelligent and I'm not putting this up to put him on the spot or show how uninformed he is. This is an example a good challenging discussion.

I had accidentally misspoke and said something to the effect that it was his burden of proof to show that there  is no mind behind the universe. Of course I know better than that I'm not sure what the original statement was. It was probably brought on by having twenty five yapping  idiots criticizing my personality and saying I never went to school that made me just blurt something out without thinking.

Originally Posted by Darth Pringle View Post
Response to (a):

No, we wouldn't have to demonstrate that there is no mind behind the universe. The person claiming that there is a mind behind the universe must demonstrate it. That is how the burden of proof works. We don't believe in things merely because they're possible and put forward to explain something.

Yes that's right. I misspoke. I went beyond my usual incomprehensibility and actually said something totally stupid. I meant to say you have to show that there no good reaosn. even that's not true, I'm just getting polarized form the animosity.

guess I've been doing this too long.


There are several reasons for rejecting such a notion also. You argue yourself that it is a fallacy to take a known contingent (eg, a rabbit) and place it in the position of a necessity simply to furnish the answer to a problem (eg, where the universe came from) because it creates an arbitrary necessity. It can simply be argued that you are doing the same thing when you place "mind" in the position of a necessity to explain where the universe came from because minds (like rabbits) are only known to exist contingently. Like a rabbit, we have no clue how a mind could be thought to exist outside of time. It results in incoherency and for that reason, it can be dismissed. Now you could reply (as you have done) with "You can't prove that a mind can't exist necessarily" but that is an argument from ignorance and is just as fallacious as me responding with, "You can't prove a rabbit doesn't exist necessarily" to defend the other claim. It isn't a valid objection.

Interject an editorial comment: This is not such a brilliant idea. Trying to elinate mind by turning into an arbitrary necessity by showing analogy between that and other arbitrary necessity. There's a lot wrong with that idea.

(1) I never said God is a great big Human mind up in the sky. I said God is analogous to mind itself. The concept of mind. That's not arbitrary necessity at all because it's not putting a contingency in place of a necessity it's putting the concept on a Platonic scale appealing to it as an ideal. Obviously it's not just a big human mind but only analougs to a mind.

(2) I have long ago and many times said that all God Talk is analogy. So clearly it's not saying God is a big human mind but that God is in some sense like mind, or in some way we can appraoch the notion of God by relating it to mind. Not a mind or anyone's mind but mind itself. The concept of generating thought, organizing, planing, purposing, perceiving and generating thought.

(3) It's not an arbitrary necessity to liken a universal or ultimate ideal to some analogs thing we can understand. tha'ts not the same as putting a contingency in place of a necessity. An example of that is oscillating universe. Each big bang/crunch is a contingency, it's in nature, it's made up of contingent things, and it's asserting that this is on the eternal level. That's hardly the same as positing the idea that God is in some way analogous to mind.

DP's Response to my piont (b).

Mind is a property. If God is not a property then he cannot be identical with mind (which he can't be if he is being itself because being is not a property). Also, see response to (a).
Right. I am not saying that mind is property I'm saying the evdience that people use to argue that mind is a property can also be used to show there's mind behind it all. It's not a property of nature but the "brains behind Nature."

that's for pointing that out. I must remember to be clear about that.

More commentary:  I don't know why I let him get away with that I guess I was tried of posting. The above answer about analogs takes out that first line.

P1. For any X, if X is a property then God is not X.
P2. Mind is a property.
C. Therefore, God is not mind.
that has been sorted out.

That's a formal, prima facie disproof of your position. But again, "You can't prove minds can't exist necessarily" is an invalid argument from ignorance (so you can't use it to defend your position.
Commentary:  That's not a proof of anything. He's just asserting that mind and that God  can't be a property. If light can be a wave and a particle why can't God be a property?
That's not really even my position. I've said that the relation of God to mind is metaphor. Everyone one says about God is metaphor.

Response to (c).

Time can't emerge from non-time. Either time is eternal (it has always existed) or it began to exist uncaused. Events can be thought to happen in any order unless they are in a casual relationship. Some the cause of time would have to exist before time and that's impossible. Placing minds in the position of necessities does not solve that problem either. 

you are assuming causes can only be time bound.


we know causse can only be time bound! I have in past shown a huge array of physicists and other thinkers who say this. Its' a standard assumption in sophists no change in a timeless void. Where there is no sequential order there be no cause and effect.
So when time emerges it has to be written in at the level of a rules change. What could do that but the thing that writes the rules in the first place?

moving to the miracles.

We no more have to disprove every single miracle prior to disbelieving than we have to prove there are no unicorns on any planets anywhere prior to making a belief that they don't exist our working assumption. That's simply fallacious. You've been presented with this counterargument before ... 
that's right I didn't mean to imply that. I don't think that's what I said. I said cast doubt on the process is what I meant.


1. If miracles do occur, they are statistically unlikely events.
2. Natural events are very likely (we see them occurring constantly).
3. Some miracle claims are mistaken.
4. Therefore, any particular miracle claim is more likely to have an unknown and natural cause.
you can't assume that it does and write off all miracles claims on that basis that's begging the question. If natural law is just s descriptive then the fact that some people different descriptions has to alter your description somewhat.
Meta: Commentary

All the miracles claims connected with Lourdes exceed this criteria. They are well documented, they examined by experts they backed by modern diagnostic equipment and so on. Atheists are sweeping them aside based upon past examples of sweeping them aside.

you can't just assert any particular event you can't explain can be written off becuase it's not in line with your preconceived notion of probability.

The usual response to this is, "You're just biased against the supernatural!" The best response to that I've seen is, "Why are you biased against the natural, especially when natural events can be observed to be involved with just about everything going on around us?" 

Not just biased but actually losing the phenomena writing past evidence on the basis that we didn't accept it before so it must not be true now. that shows you have a deterministic notion of probability. You can't go case by case.


I think it was Kant who said (or was it Hume?), it is only reasonable to accept a miracle has occurred when the only other explanations would all be more miraculous still.

It would be more miraculous to assume that Charles Ann's lung grew back over night by an act of nature alone without divine intervention. But I dont Believe that Kant said that because it doesn't make sense and it's stained with the kind of bravado as the BS ECREE idea.
Everyone rejects miracles all miracles which do not correspond to their beliefs. For example, a dispensationalist would reject the Lourdes miracles and put them down to error or Satanic influence. A non-catholic would reject claims that Mary has appeared to certain individuals and so on. You must reject the idea that God hasn't fooled lots of people miraculously and only fooled them into thinking that we have viewed miracles. 

(1) irrelevant

(2) not true. I'm not a Catholic. I don't Mary is the immaculate conception.

Commentary: this is moving into the discussion of my argument from epistemic judgement. Is say we habitually use certain criteria to judge the reality of experiences and religious experience fits that criteria.

Yes, they did Meta. Experiences that are known to be false are known to fit the criteria. For example, the sensation that you are still when laying on a bed is ... 

doesn't make any kind of difference becuase it's the only criteria we have and what we use. you can't pick and choose when you go by the rules and when you don't.

b) consistent
d) shared (inter-subjective)
c) enable navigation in the world or in life


With regard to C, how do you think you would cope if you had the sensation that you were spinning on a globe (which is what is actually happening) every time you tried to lay down to sleep? The sensation that you are still remains an inaccurate perception of reality. 

 commentary: that is really very irrelevant and odd that he should say that. It makes no sense becuase the criteria applies to experiences we have not hypothetical one's we don't have. It's not a matter of conviencing anyone ot have an experience they could have that we don't have.

Not only that but people are always trying to say that the criteria might lead to accepting wrong things. We use it anyway. It's the way we do understand reality so if there is a harm to using it it's not unique. It's not as though I'm trying to urge to accept a new criteria.

Given the perceptions of past centuries before Columbus nothing illogical about assuming flat earth. When get the information to un do that and understand what's really going con we an see that it doesn't violate the criteria to move into a paradigm with a round earth. round earth is not irregular, inconsistent nor does it contradict shared perceptions.

such an odd way to argue, trying to undermine the basis for epistemic judgement which undermines scinece and the reason you are so proud of waving about like a badge man of reason smart atheist can think and reason but without that criteria that reason is nothing.
you can't make a single assumption based upon science or reason without assuming the validity of the criteria.

when it supports what you don't like you say "O that could justify belief in aliens." when it doesn't support your ideas then you rare a man of reason.

Science could support aliens! it could it could support Bigfoot. you better abandon scinece.

Furthermore, assuming that something is caused by God when it possibly isn't, isn't enabling navigation of the world / life.
yet RE does enable navigation so it must be caused by God hu? Navigation is enabled by the experiences so we must assume it's from God. that it might not be is of no consequence since the navigation is enabled.

Go with what works. truth works.

Your argument assumes that we are better able to navigate the world when we have a better understanding of it. If we agree with this then finding a natural explanation for spiritual experiences (if they have one) is the best thing we can do, not simply assume that it must be God and question no further.
that makes no sense. those who don't have the experiences fare worse across the board. you are trying to cover up the fact that the experiences work. when you dont' have them you don't do as well that means attributing everything to nature is always for the best.


Meta, this is another argument from ignorance. Even if someone else can't explain a phenomena, this is not proof that your explanation is the correct one. Yours still has to be corroborated and objections to it dealt with. But this is just appeal to RE again. If a person has an experience and there is no verifiable external cause then we are right to be skeptical of anyone who claims there is one.
This is another argument from ignorance. none of them are. not one. you have demonstration that they are. you have no reason to think so.
Commentary: All he says here is that RE must be intrinsically wrong. Why? I guess because it's religious. If the explains we take to those experiences (RE is not the explanation it's the phenomena that needs explaining) explains them and more then that's the explanation to use. I've eliminated naturalistic explainations. They don't work for RE. So this is the logical thing to use.

The strength of your position does not rest upon someone else's failure! If you are making the claim that natural phenomena can't have infinite causal regression then it is down to you to demonstrate it. Most appear to be based on misunderstandings of infinity and a failure to grasp that a God would suffer the same problem (X is supernatural is not a magic word that somehow sweeps away conceptual difficulties in an argument).
Commentary: I don't know what means by someone else's failure. I think he's just saying just because we have not answered yet it doesn't mean we wont some day. Faith in scinece to someday save us form the angry God. He's supposed to using reason. I'm the faith guy remember? He's expressing faith in his ideology!


X is supernatural is the atheist kings X. it's a way of saying "we get to abolish x because it's sanctioned by our ideology." The same circular reasoning as your argument against miracle. we covered up the claims in the past with this assumptino that the one's before weren't true so those weren't true so these aren't' true.

btw Darth most of these arguments you made did not come out in the previous threads. This is a case of how dialectic brings out new ideas. I forced you to dig for new material. 
 There at the last he's assuming I use his version of the SN becuase doesn't understand the real on, the one I harp on all the time.

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