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Brain workings and freedom

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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LuckyR
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by LuckyR » May 3rd, 2018, 12:41 pm

Eduk wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 12:35 pm
Self deception is normally detrimental though.
I don't disagree, if you are looking at it from the intellectual development point of view, which unfortunately is an uncommon perspective at this time.
"As usual... it depends."

CIN
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 3rd, 2018, 7:11 pm

Eduk wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 12:10 pm
Now pretending you know more than do could be a means of deceiving others (which is normally not great but can be depending on exact circumstances) or of deceiving yourself (which is even less likely to be justifiable than deceiving others).
In the case of religion, it usually starts with the believer being deceived by their parents, and ends with them deceiving their children.

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Belindi » May 4th, 2018, 2:34 am

CIN wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 10:08 am
Belindi wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 5:27 am
I can see that God is an explanation among other ontological explanations
As I indicated earlier, I strongly disagree with this. God is not an explanation, because we do not know how he is supposed to do what he is supposed to do.

Many people seem to think that God counts as an explanation because he is omnipotent. However, this is not true. Consider this:

Task: explain how the bicycle came to move.
Answer 1: it moved because the cyclist pressed his foot down on the pedal, which transmitted energy to the pedal, this energy then being transferred by means of the chain to the wheels, which were then caused to revolve, which, because of friction between the wheels and the ground, caused the bicycle to move across the ground.
Answer 2: it moved because the cyclist was bicycle-potent (i.e. had the power to move bicycles).

Answer 1 is an explanation. Answer 2 is not. Saying that someone has the power to do something, which is all that can ever be said about God, is not explanatory.
Believers usually attribute to God that God is the creator and the sustainer. For non -believers nature is the creator and the sustainer. So God is an ontological level above nature such that nature could not exist without God. And for most believers God not only transcends nature as pancreator but is also immanent in nature . I'm not making this up. It's standard Christian theology.

Your bicycle example of causal sequence of events is naturalistic. If you think of all the contributory causes of one bicycle event you arrive at nature itself. Nature itself is the uncaused cause(cause of itself) . For God-believers God is the uncaused cause(cause of itself) .

Personally I don't understand what God-believers mean when they say that God is omnipotent. I doubt if most God-believers know what they are talking about. Most God-believers are neither theologians or philosophers.

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Eduk » May 4th, 2018, 2:46 am

So if God is omnipotent but you have no idea what that means then what have you learnt?
Unknown means unknown.

Belindi
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Belindi » May 4th, 2018, 3:06 am

Thinking critical wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 7:36 am
Belindi wrote:
May 3rd, 2018, 6:44 am

Nothing is absolutely known to us. All we have are narratives. Some people like the narrative which involves an all powerful being who has intentions towards the world which this all powerful being created.
so essentially each person can simply create their own god, as all theists do and abide by their own narrative?
I suppose that churchgoers of the same tradition believe much the same narrative as each other as regards God and stuff. Many people such as myself take a lot of trouble to find a narrative that makes sense, and have to revise and sometimes discard narratives. I don't like being preached to and don't go to church mainly because ministers preach a set doctrine and sometimes even pretend to have right answers to the big questions.

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Belindi » May 4th, 2018, 3:08 am

Eduk wrote:
May 4th, 2018, 2:46 am
So if God is omnipotent but you have no idea what that means then what have you learnt?
Is God omnipotent? It's big word but what does it mean? What have I learned? Not a lot that is worth holding on to.

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 4th, 2018, 5:47 am

Belindi wrote:
May 4th, 2018, 2:34 am

Believers usually attribute to God that God is the creator and the sustainer. For non -believers nature is the creator and the sustainer. So God is an ontological level above nature such that nature could not exist without God. And for most believers God not only transcends nature as pancreator but is also immanent in nature . I'm not making this up. It's standard Christian theology.
I was made to go to church until I was able to escape to university to study philosophy, so I'm familiar with all this.
Your bicycle example of causal sequence of events is naturalistic. If you think of all the contributory causes of one bicycle event you arrive at nature itself. Nature itself is the uncaused cause(cause of itself) . For God-believers God is the uncaused cause(cause of itself) .
The point of my bicycle argument was to demonstrate that there are no non-natural or supernatural explanations.
Personally I don't understand what God-believers mean when they say that God is omnipotent. I doubt if most God-believers know what they are talking about. Most God-believers are neither theologians or philosophers.
I don't have a problem with 'omnipotent'. I think it means 'able to bring about any state of affairs that can be meaningfully described without logical error.'

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Eduk » May 4th, 2018, 7:01 am

I don't have a problem with 'omnipotent'. I think it means 'able to bring about any state of affairs that can be meaningfully described without logical error.'
That feels like a very limited and human centric definition of omnipotence (dare I say it lacks a little imagination). But lets say that definition was spot on. Would you then have a way of testing for omnipotence?
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Karpel Tunnel » May 4th, 2018, 7:27 am

CIN wrote:
May 4th, 2018, 5:47 am
I don't have a problem with 'omnipotent'. I think it means 'able to bring about any state of affairs that can be meaningfully described without logical error.'
Exactly. at some point omnipotent became 1) assumed to be what all theists believe and 2) a kind of infinite mathematical omnipotence - one not limited even by logic, rather than something like 'unimaginably powerful'. Of course certain theologians are to blame for this and all those theists who feel they have to defend the silly version of omnipotence, and hence we get these in fact largely irrelevant proofs and arguments over something not necessary at all to theism.

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 4th, 2018, 9:11 am

Eduk wrote:
May 4th, 2018, 7:01 am
I don't have a problem with 'omnipotent'. I think it means 'able to bring about any state of affairs that can be meaningfully described without logical error.'
That feels like a very limited and human centric definition of omnipotence (dare I say it lacks a little imagination).
Well, I didn't say 'meaningfully described by humans.' For all we know, there may be beings capable of saying things that are meaningful but which we can't understand. But as for logic, I see nothing human centric about that.

If you have a more 'imaginative' definition of omnipotence, please bring it on.
But lets say that definition was spot on. Would you then have a way of testing for omnipotence?
Ah, hello, verificationism, long time no see.
No, I don't. I think a test for omnipotence is impossible. As is a test for omniscience, perfect benevolence, and probably all of God's other attributes. In fact I think even God himself would not be able to test himself for these attributes. Take omniscience; how could God ever be sure that there wasn't some corner of reality that had hitherto escaped his notice?

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Eduk » May 4th, 2018, 1:47 pm

One problem with logic is that logically the universe can't possibly exist. But it certainly appears to. Which makes me think that logic may well be perfectly suited to humans operating within human tolerances and it may even apply to quite a wide range of possibilities and it may even not be contradicted elsewhere but I don't suppose it's the whole story.
Karpel's comment is very appropriate. Very powerful is what omnipotence is normatively used to mean, which fits your description very well CIN. Omnipotence however can also be defined as boundless power which is infinitely far away from very. This is the definition of omnipotence which isn't defined.
Now it's ok to say ok well God is the very powerful version of omnipotence but in that case I see no reason to simply take Gods word for it that whatever God says is true.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by LuckyR » May 4th, 2018, 6:06 pm

Eduk wrote:
May 4th, 2018, 1:47 pm
One problem with logic is that logically the universe can't possibly exist. But it certainly appears to. Which makes me think that logic may well be perfectly suited to humans operating within human tolerances and it may even apply to quite a wide range of possibilities and it may even not be contradicted elsewhere but I don't suppose it's the whole story.
Karpel's comment is very appropriate. Very powerful is what omnipotence is normatively used to mean, which fits your description very well CIN. Omnipotence however can also be defined as boundless power which is infinitely far away from very. This is the definition of omnipotence which isn't defined.
Now it's ok to say ok well God is the very powerful version of omnipotence but in that case I see no reason to simply take Gods word for it that whatever God says is true.
I believe you meant "...the leaders of the group's word for it..." for the red phrase.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 4th, 2018, 7:18 pm

Eduk wrote:
May 4th, 2018, 1:47 pm
One problem with logic is that logically the universe can't possibly exist.
Why can't it?

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Karpel Tunnel » May 5th, 2018, 12:40 am

Eduk wrote:
May 4th, 2018, 1:47 pm
One problem with logic is that logically the universe can't possibly exist.
Logic is contentless. Conclusions that are logical depend on the truth of the premises, which in this case would include the metaphysics and current best understandings of how things arise. I think it makes more sense to say, if X and Y are true, as they are currently considered to be, then it would seem like the universe should not exist. Others will ask you to produce X and Y and show how logically if these are true one can deduce the universe should not exist.
Karpel's comment is very appropriate. Very powerful is what omnipotence is normatively used to mean, which fits your description very well CIN. Omnipotence however can also be defined as boundless power which is infinitely far away from very. This is the definition of omnipotence which isn't defined.
Now it's ok to say ok well God is the very powerful version of omnipotence but in that case I see no reason to simply take Gods word for it that whatever God says is true.
What better heuristic would there be? If I met a being that created the universe and my own conclusion was that this being was this being has not infinite, utterly infallible knonwledge but more knowledge, by far than any human on earth, it would wise to use such a being as an expert source. We depend on experts for all sorts of knowledge, from learning how to do things to facts, etc. Why not have the best possible golf instructor, gardening instructor, meditation instructor,s financial advice and so on. If I differed on moral grounds I might decide to defy God. And I might considered always possible such a deity was wrong about this or that, but in general to consider what such a being thought was true, was true, would be an excellent heuristic. If at some point I noticed that its golf advice was really not working, well, then I might switch to some golf pro.

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Eduk » May 5th, 2018, 3:04 am

CIN logically there cannot be an infinity of causes or an uncaused cause. Of course there must be some way round this problem and as Karpel notes that may indeed by logical. It's just unknown logic at this time.
So I guess it would be fairer to say that with current understanding of logic existence is impossible.
Karpel regarding hueristics the problem is not that a very powerful being should be discounted out of hand merely that a very powerful being can be incorrect and their intentions may be hard to judge. I would still require a standard evidence based approach even from a very powerful being.
Unknown means unknown.

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