Cases against Teleological Arguments

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 14th, 2018, 4:01 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 3:47 am
ThomasHobbes wrote:
June 11th, 2018, 5:42 am


And your objections simply re-rail the thread.
Then the issue of the appendix,which you raised, was derailing the thread. And then, yes, whether you were correct or not - incorrect in this case - also does not matter.
Suggesting the appendix has a purpose is a teleology. But then suggesting that the heart has purpose is also.
The question really is whether or not saying these things is meaningful or simply an abuse of language.
The key question being whether or not humans and other living things have been intentionally designed is at stake.

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Felix
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Felix » June 14th, 2018, 5:49 am

Thinking critical: As for Universes spontaneously appearing from nothing, first we would need to define nothing, Lawrence Krauss has a very interesting and coherent explanation of "nothing" and secondly......what do you mean by spontaneously? If by spontaneous you're referring to an uncaused cause, by what method have you deduced that an uncaused cause is NOT allowed in nature?
Well, science studies physical phenomena, anything outside of that arena, e.g., uncaused causes, is totally beyond it's ken. I mean, I can guarantee you that you will never see a Nobel prize awarded for the discovery of a causeless cause.

And isn't that one definition of an atheist: someone who asserts that a causeless cause cannot exist in Nature?
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

Alias
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Alias » June 14th, 2018, 12:55 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 4:01 am
Suggesting the appendix has a purpose is a teleology. But then suggesting that the heart has purpose is also.
Yes, that would be the case, were we to assert any such thing. However, saying that organs have function is not the same as saying that they were created on purpose. We can say that machines have both function and purpose, because we know they were created.
The key question being whether or not humans and other living things have been intentionally designed is at stake.
Not really.
Both advocates of the poor maligned appendix are fully cognizant of the vagaries, misfires and redundancies, as well as the successes, of evolution and steadfastly reject intelligent design.

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Belindi » June 14th, 2018, 1:53 pm

Alias asked:
Where is the Mind when not in play?
Same place as the brain when not in play. Inside a skull.

Where is the pianist's skill when she ceases to play? In the kitchen putting the kettle on.
Where is the skill of the hands when they are at rest? Same as when they were in motion.

Physicists agree that there is potential energy and kinetic energy. The potential energy pertains to the same event/thing as its kinetic energy.

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Alias » June 14th, 2018, 3:15 pm

Belindi wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 1:53 pm
[Where is the Mind when not in play?]
Same place as the brain when not in play. Inside a skull.
Felix wasn't talking about a human mind. He was talking about the cosmic concept of "Mind", which doesn't reside anywhere tangible.
The brain that resides in a skull is always "in play". The living brain is never inactive: even when we are unaware or unconscious, it keeps the circulation, enzymes, organs and receptors fully functional, as well as carrying out background data processing and cross-referencing.
Where is the pianist's skill when she ceases to play? In the kitchen putting the kettle on.
No. Any specialized skill when not active is on call, It's not required for other activities.
Physicists agree that there is potential energy and kinetic energy. The potential energy pertains to the same event/thing as its kinetic energy.
That may be so, but does not relate to the notion of the Universe purposefully creating creating Live through intelligent Nature in order to become aware of itself, sometimes.

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Felix
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Felix » June 14th, 2018, 5:18 pm

Me: Where is the Mind when not in play?
Belindi: Same place as the brain when not in play. Inside a skull.
Well, as Swami Rama said: "All of the brain is in the mind but not all of the mind is in the brain." As good a summation as any I'd say.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 14th, 2018, 6:35 pm

Alias wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 12:55 pm
Not really.
Both advocates of the poor maligned appendix are fully cognizant of the vagaries, misfires and redundancies, as well as the successes, of evolution and steadfastly reject intelligent design.
Yes, really. Since there are those that despite the obvious evidence still insist that humans are designed by the big sky fairy.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 14th, 2018, 6:37 pm

Felix wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 5:18 pm
Well, as Swami Rama said: "All of the brain is in the mind but not all of the mind is in the brain." As good a summation as any I'd say.
The Swami can say as many crazy things as he can think of. But no matter how clever they might sound does not make them right.
In fact this sort of nonsense is beyond empirical verification, or even ontological security, being basically meaningless.

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Alias » June 14th, 2018, 7:12 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 6:35 pm

Yes, really. Since there are those that despite the obvious evidence still insist that humans are designed by the big sky fairy.
Fine. And there are those who choose not to reconsider entrenched habit in the light of fresh evidence.
But "function" still doesn't mean "purpose" and the scientific inquiry into the present and past functions of organs you don't happen to prize still doesn't amount to an endorsement of intelligent design, a disagreement over the evolutionary role of a vestigial caecum serves neither.

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Felix
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Felix » June 14th, 2018, 10:50 pm

ThomasHobbes: The Swami can say as many crazy things as he can think of. But no matter how clever they might sound does not make them right. In fact this sort of nonsense is beyond empirical verification, or even ontological security, being basically meaningless.
The swami's "crazy idea" was in fact empirically verified, to the degree that such is possible, under controlled laboratory conditions at the Menninger Foundation: he stopped his heart, altered his brain waves at will, produced a temperature differential of several degrees at points only a few centimeters apart on his hand, etc. The study was published in a scientific journal and book, but I don't recall where, I used to have a copy of it.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Alias » June 14th, 2018, 11:03 pm

Felix wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 10:50 pm
... he stopped his heart, altered his brain waves at will, produced a temperature differential of several degrees at points only a few centimeters apart on his hand, etc. The study was published in a scientific journal and book, but I don't recall where, I used to have a copy of it.
Yogis may show impressive control over their bodily functions, but that doesn't translate to anything like ""All of the brain is in the mind but not all of the mind is in the brain." unless they do it with at least part of the brain removed from their skull.

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Felix
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Felix » June 14th, 2018, 11:16 pm

I think that's an unreasonable demand, Alias, like saying scientists should be able to verify their conclusions without any equipment.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Belindi » June 15th, 2018, 5:02 am

Alias wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 3:15 pm
Belindi wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 1:53 pm
[Where is the Mind when not in play?]
Same place as the brain when not in play. Inside a skull.
Felix wasn't talking about a human mind. He was talking about the cosmic concept of "Mind", which doesn't reside anywhere tangible.
The brain that resides in a skull is always "in play". The living brain is never inactive: even when we are unaware or unconscious, it keeps the circulation, enzymes, organs and receptors fully functional, as well as carrying out background data processing and cross-referencing.


Where is the pianist's skill when she ceases to play? In the kitchen putting the kettle on.
No. Any specialized skill when not active is on call, It's not required for other activities.
Physicists agree that there is potential energy and kinetic energy. The potential energy pertains to the same event/thing as its kinetic energy.
That may be so, but does not relate to the notion of the Universe purposefully creating creating Live through intelligent Nature in order to become aware of itself, sometimes.
The Universe purposely creating is a good poetic idea if it leads people to allegiance to the good. I do wish however that it was widely agreed that the true is a necessary subcategory of the good. The true is partly accessible to human reason.

I admit to being confused about that kinetic and potential energy thing.

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Belindi » June 15th, 2018, 5:16 am

Alias wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 3:15 pm
Belindi wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 1:53 pm
[Where is the Mind when not in play?]
Same place as the brain when not in play. Inside a skull.
Felix wasn't talking about a human mind. He was talking about the cosmic concept of "Mind", which doesn't reside anywhere tangible.
The brain that resides in a skull is always "in play". The living brain is never inactive: even when we are unaware or unconscious, it keeps the circulation, enzymes, organs and receptors fully functional, as well as carrying out background data processing and cross-referencing.


Where is the pianist's skill when she ceases to play? In the kitchen putting the kettle on.
No. Any specialized skill when not active is on call, It's not required for other activities.
Physicists agree that there is potential energy and kinetic energy. The potential energy pertains to the same event/thing as its kinetic energy.
That may be so, but does not relate to the notion of the Universe purposefully creating creating Live through intelligent Nature in order to become aware of itself, sometimes.
The Universe purposely creating is a good poetic idea if it leads people to allegiance to the good. I do wish however that it was widely agreed that the true is a necessary subcategory of the good. The true is partly accessible to human reason.

I admit to being confused about that kinetic and potential energy thing.

Felix wrote:
Well, as Swami Rama said: "All of the brain is in the mind but not all of the mind is in the brain." As good a summation as any I'd say.
Out of body experiences are misnamed. They are probably due to hallucinations and misreporting.

Mind

Even if mind is a different Cartesian substance from extended matter e.g. brain there is no evidence for mind's separability from brain. On the other hand there are a lot of correlations between mind(subjective) and brain(objective). And many of these correlations are used therapeutically in surgery and medicine. And these correlations are even used occasionally as extenuating circumstance in criminal law.

Even if you were writing a science fiction story about disembodied mind you would be puzzled how to invent a means by which the disembodied mind would be viable, unless you introduced a deus ex machina such as daleks , or transferrable souls.

' Mind' as universal mind , if it is true, has the same problem as individuals' disembodied minds. Universal mind needs the physical world of time and relativity to actualise itself. The vermiform appendix would not exist without its physical, causal, and time dependent existence. Order in the Universe is not teleologically ordered.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 15th, 2018, 10:24 am

Alias wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 7:12 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 6:35 pm

Yes, really. Since there are those that despite the obvious evidence still insist that humans are designed by the big sky fairy.
Fine. And there are those who choose not to reconsider entrenched habit in the light of fresh evidence.
But "function" still doesn't mean "purpose" and the scientific inquiry into the present and past functions of organs you don't happen to prize still doesn't amount to an endorsement of intelligent design, a disagreement over the evolutionary role of a vestigial caecum serves neither.
If you consult a dictionary you shall find that function does imply purpose. Such is the power of the human mind to see purpose where it does not exist. A word adopted by biological sciences to avoid teleology is still employed in exactly teleological ways.
Worst still some of the BBC's best natural history programmes use cheap teleology when a more functional approach would make more sense.
If only it would stop there - biologists and so-called "evolutionary psychologists" can't be bothered to modify their language one jot to avoid false teleology.

Just last night a famous TV scientist described the strawberry as offering us red sweet fruit so that it could spread its seeds.

Obviously a more natural selection description though clumsy grammatically would be more accurate. Sadly this laziness panders to the intelligent design twits, who can watch the same program without their precious ideas of god as designer being challenged.

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