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  • bob b
    replied
    I find it quite interesting that so little has been said so far about Bob's lengthly 10th round posting.

    Leave a comment:


  • August
    replied
    Aussie Thinker wrote:
    " And the binomial theorem
    stemmed from the Human Brain.. which last time I checked was made of material."

    You are assuming that the mind is equivalent to the brain, which an assumption that I, and many others, do not accept. IMO, the brain is a biological computer for interpreting sensory input and for storing data, but it has no capacity for decision making or for innovative thinking. There is experimental evidence that the mind exists independently of the brain, but a materialist would never accept the evidence. So I can't prove it to you, but you can't prove that it isn't true.

    A.T. also wrote:
    " I won’t ridicule the concept but it is pointless to argue about anything if this is true.

    It’s like the matrix situation.. an interesting concept but one we MUST ignore as reality if we
    are to bother with anything at all !"

    It is pointless only to a materialist. For one who experiences a spiritual existence apart from the physical, it is the physical world that must be ignored as reality, in the fullest sense. It's only significance is whatever the perception of it contributes to the life of the spirit. Naturally, as long as your mind is closed to the concept of a world of spirit, you can't accept that. But for one who can accept it, he can at least acknowledge that any meaning that the physical world has is, at most, temporal; whereas the spiritual world - not being subject to physical laws of time and entropy - is eternal.

    IMHO, if we are to bother with anything at all, we should not waste time attempting to unravel the meaning of posts that utilize words in an unconventional way. If we have to reject accepted scientific meanings for basic concepts such as "matter", and accept H/A's definitions, we are approaching a situation where dialogue becomes meaningless. You can always win any argument if you have the freedom to define terms your own way.

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  • attention
    replied
    Originally posted by August
    Aussie Thinker wrote:
    "Huesdens/Attention has raised a most cogent argument against God that has not really been ever addressed by Bob.

    That is that everything we know is material or stems from material."
    As far as I understand Mr Bob Enyart's position, he realy does not want to have a discussion taking place on that kind of issues, since it is there he can not proof his case.

    A.T. destroys his own credibility when he ascribes anything other than inanity to H/A's posts. H/A can hardly write one sentence that makes sense
    in English. "everything we know is material"?? I know the binomial theorem. Is that material? What he clearly meant was "everything we perceive through the 5 senses appears to result from matter or energy". This ultimately reduces to the perception of mass, because the original source of energy is the conversion of mass to energy. To say that matter stems only from matter is the same as saying that matter always existed. We know that this mass can't have always existed because of the Einstein/Asimov entropy arguments cited by Enyart. Furthermore, various observations and calculations point to a "big bang" type of beginning.
    I hope you can read and both understand these sentences.
    I agree my english could be better, yet this is the level of english I master, so you would have to do with that.

    Point 1.

    You have the wrong concept of matter. Partly it is my fault, because I should state exactly what I mean with matter. In some posts I do, but not all of them.
    Firstly: matter is a philosophical term and is defined in materialism as that category of existence that exists outside, apart and independend of our mind. It is the objective material world so to say.

    Now physics has it's own concept of matter. Which is cleary something different, cause it is only the physical components, and is that kind of physical existence that is discontinuous. So matter in physics denotes particles and stuff. In classical physics we would say point masses. Nowadays we would describe them as wave packets or use a quantum mechanical description.
    There are also contibuous forms of matter, like gravitational or electro magnetic field.

    Matter as a philosophical term denotes not only all forms of physical existence but all other categories of objective existence too. Like I explained in some other post, a school institution is also something objective and therefore material.
    But please take care, that I do not mean here to say that the school institution is material, because a school institution has a school building which indeed exist in the form of atoms and molecules and stuff. That is undeniable the case, but as of yet hardly relevant to the existence of the school institution, since that has nothing to do with the way in which a school institution exist. Like for instance, in the case the school building would be totally destroyed, the school board could decide to give classes in another building or even in open air. The way a school institution exist, is not reducible to the existence of physical matter.

    In the same way, when approaching material existence forms like for instance computer programs or consciousness, we have to approach that on a suitable level. It is obviously the wrong approach to think of these things in terms of physical matter.

    Our thoughts simply do not exist in the forms of atoms.

    Something aside of that is of course the fact that our consciousness neither would exist, if there was no physical brain. We obviously can connect our mental processes with physical processes going on in our brain.


    Even aside from that, the perception of matter and energy is only that: perception, and NOT knowledge. You rely on matter in the form of the senses to tell you the truth about matter itself, and the only assurance that you have that it is telling the truth is "faith" in matter. Millions of people adhere to religions that hold that all of this mass and energy is nothing but illusion. You can ridicule this concept, but there is no way in the world that you can refute it.
    Since they only refute the physical form of matter, and not the material forms, as I just denoted in the philosophical meaning of the term matter, they refute something very different, and not materialism as such. Since materialism obviously does not say that all forms of objective (material) existence are reduceble to physical matter.

    I think this obvious confusion has to do with the fact that matter in the physical sense and matter in the philosophical sense are realy different things.

    Material existence is not based on faith, but on objective existence. There is hardly a point in denying that, or you would have to be convicted of solipsism (the point of view that only your mind realy exists, the rest is an illusion created by the mind).

    Want to see a rebuttal of that idea?
    Religion is just an extention of the solipsists idea. Instead of our own and personal minds, it is then only in the mind of God in which the world exists. Solipsism is a form of subjective Idealism. Religion is a form of objective Idealism. All forms of Idealism start from the idea that consciousness is the primary thing of the world, of which the rest is dependend. Materialism states that the world exists primary in material form, and only secondary in consciouss form.



    I hope that despite my poor english sentences you still get the right idea.
    Last edited by attention; August 21, 2003, 05:48 PM.

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  • Aussie Thinker
    replied
    August,

    A.T. destroys his own credibility when he ascribes anything other than inanity to H/A's posts. H/A can hardly write one sentence that makes sense in English.
    I admit sometimes H/A’s posts are hard to follow but surely you are astute enough to pick up the basic theme ?


    "everything we know is material"?? I know the binomial theorem. Is that material?
    No but if you finish my quote I also say “or stems from material”. And the binomial theorem stemmed from the Human Brain.. which last time I checked was made of material.

    What he clearly meant was "everything we perceive through the 5 senses appears to result from matter or energy". This ultimately reduces to the perception of mass, because the original source of energy is the conversion of mass to energy. To say that matter stems only from matter is the same as saying that matter always existed. We know that this mass can't have always existed because of the Einstein/Asimov entropy arguments cited by Enyart. Furthermore, various observations and calculations point to a "big bang" type of beginning.
    I think that my statement is far clearer and more to the point (and you claim H/A is indecipherable).

    Even aside from that, the perception of matter and energy is only that: perception, and NOT knowledge. You rely on matter in the form of the senses to tell you the truth about matter itself, and the only assurance that you have that it is telling the truth is "faith" in matter. Millions of people adhere to religions that hold that all of this mass and energy is nothing but illusion. You can ridicule this concept, but there is no way in the world that you can refute it.
    I won’t ridicule the concept but it is pointless to argue about anything if this is true.

    It’s like the matrix situation.. an interesting concept but one we MUST ignore as reality if we are to bother with anything at all !

    Leave a comment:


  • August
    replied
    Aussie Thinker wrote:
    "Huesdens/Attention has raised a most cogent argument against God that has not really been
    ever addressed by Bob.

    That is that everything we know is material or stems from material."

    A.T. destroys his own credibility when he ascribes anything other than inanity to H/A's posts. H/A can hardly write one sentence that makes sense
    in English. "everything we know is material"?? I know the binomial theorem. Is that material? What he clearly meant was "everything we perceive through the 5 senses appears to result from matter or energy". This ultimately reduces to the perception of mass, because the original source of energy is the conversion of mass to energy. To say that matter stems only from matter is the same as saying that matter always existed. We know that this mass can't have always existed because of the Einstein/Asimov entropy arguments cited by Enyart. Furthermore, various observations and calculations point to a "big bang" type of beginning.

    Even aside from that, the perception of matter and energy is only that: perception, and NOT knowledge. You rely on matter in the form of the senses to tell you the truth about matter itself, and the only assurance that you have that it is telling the truth is "faith" in matter. Millions of people adhere to religions that hold that all of this mass and energy is nothing but illusion. You can ridicule this concept, but there is no way in the world that you can refute it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stratnerd
    replied
    August,

    I checked a few pages back and I didn't see your comment on elephant evolution. Could you paraphrase what you said and also add in what those odds are along with the particular hypothesis that is being proposed?

    Also, I'm not familiar with bergson's paper. Could you provide a more complete reference? Why does he assume that a mutation is a liability?

    Leave a comment:


  • August
    replied
    Aussie Thimker wrote:
    " Richard Dawkins gives a long and detailed
    explanation of the advent of vision through quite simple and logical steps. ",etc.

    The steps may seem logical, but they are not always applicable when examined in the cold light of biological and statistical reality. For example, Bergson gives an example of a creature which has clearly evolved an eye-like organ from a more primitive version of it, but the change had to require the simultaneous mutation of more than one gene, because the mutation of any one of them alone would constitute a liability. Also, I mentioned in an earlier post the problems that statisticians have with the rapid evolution of the elephant.
    None of this refutes the concept of the evolution of animal forms, but it does indicate that there is a weakness in the "random variation" part of it. IMHO, biologists should address this problem as scientists, and not act like theologians and try to deny it through dogma and appeal to authority.
    Also, I see little reason to use this weakness in the evolution theory as reason to jump to the conclusion that God stepped in. There are other possibilities.
    As for the argument about complexity, it seems weird (IMHO) for Bob to ascribe complexity to God, as if complexity is a good thing. Why would God desire complexity?

    Leave a comment:


  • Aussie Thinker
    replied
    Bobs need to make an acceptance of victory was so pathetic it has prompted me to make a full response to his latest post.

    In regard to Higher Biological Functions

    I will deal with this issue based on the following:

    1. The overall concept of Irreducible Complexity (IC)
    2. The specifically mentioned IC issues of vision, flight and echolocation and the giraffes neck as good example so I will deal with how they can come about naturally
    3. The reverse of the argument why would a creator makes thing complex anyway ?

    1. The overall concept of Irreducible Complexity.

    This is the old creationist chestnut of Irreducible complexity. That there are biological functions which are too complex to have formed naturally.

    Whenever it is shown that IC things can function without certain parts but with reduced efficiency it is claimed they still need all the other parts.

    This highlights the general problem with IC, it is a "God of the Gaps" explanation. Each time we show that a supposedly IC system is not, by removing one part, a supporter can claim that our new system is now "irreducibly complex".

    2. The specifically mentioned IC issues of vision, flight and echolocation and the giraffes neck as good example so I will deal with how they can come about naturally

    Vision :

    I will provide a length reply for vision only (and even then it will be woefully to short).. otherwise I could go to about 10 pages.

    In his book Climbing Mount Improbable. Richard Dawkins gives a long and detailed explanation of the advent of vision through quite simple and logical steps. He also list a variety of current creatures which have all the intermediate steps of “eyes” that I am about to discuss.

    Fortunately for us many of the steps are still in existence today so it is easy to follow the progression of sight.

    The first step to sight was the advent of light sensitive cells. These occur in many creatures still today. Simple cells that can tell the difference between light and shade, etc night and day. They relay a message to the creature about light conditions. How did the cells come about ? It is a complex explanation but I will go into more detail if required. Suffice to say that all cells contain some light sensitivity.. where a creature had heightened light sensitivity in some cells it would be a distinct advantage (to tell the difference between night and day, the shadow of a predator, to find food (be a predator) etc. The cells would be retained and become more sensitive through natural selection.

    The cells would be on the surface of creatures as those inside would never be passed on through natural selection (no natural advantage). Those cells that where in a depression on the surface of the creature would also be more advantageous as they would get a more focused amount of light (like a convex lens or mirror). The more focused the more advantageous.

    The usefulness of this early “sight” would be significant and any natural advent or mutation that heightened this sense would be immediately taken up and reproduced. The next step would be a focusing mechanism. The more intense the focus the more easily interpreted would be the source. Creatures who had muscles near or around or that could alter the shape of the depression would have the clear advantage of focus. The best form of focus is a small hole that lets light in. Try this yourself with a piece of cardboard with a pinhole in it.

    Protection of this sensitive bunch of cells would also be a huge advantage. So if muscles could also close less sensitive skin over the cells it would confer the user a way of retaining vision even after attack or accident. Early creatures (and still many now) have much of their epidermis that is membranous and thin and clear so those that closed clear skin over their eyes would also have a big advantage over other creatures. They could still “see” and protect their eyes.

    We now have an effective eye already. While vastly more primitive than a modern human eye it has much of the same function. It can open and close and focus and it can determine all sort of light and dark shade.

    The most significant development after this was the interpretation of the light signals. The creatures that better interpreted the light would have a massive advantage over others and this ability would always increase according to evolution theory. The simple fact is out “eyes” are still just a bunch of light sensitive cells.. Evolution of interpretation of what hits those cells provide us with modern vision.

    Flight.

    Several Dinosaurs were capable of flight. The Pterodactyl etc. There flight evolved from smaller version ability to glide aided by membranes that spread from arm to body. Natural webbing that many reptiles already have. Those with more and more ability to glide would have been successful.

    Suffice to say it is difficult to show evolution of modern flight as the first “birds” would have been forest climbers and jumpers. both of which are guaranteed to leave very bad fossil records (little animal + acidic forest soil = no remains).

    But we do have clear fossils like archaeopteryx primitive bird like reptiles which have feathers. Feathers could have evolved as a highly efficient lightweight insulation method. The reduction in weight would also aid any gliders and leapers to maintain their “flight”

    Suffice to say the flight itself is a huge advantage and any creature than can leap of into the air (from a tree or a cliff) has a huge survival advantage over others. Squirrels leap from trees and some species of possum in Australia can leap prodigious distance using a membrane like early reptiles may have employed.

    I promised to be briefer on this topic.

    Echolocation

    Many thing came together to for this to work but most of them are simple steps.

    Hunting at night would have the advantage of avoiding daytime predation and open up all the creatures that are active at night.

    Night hunters with better hearing would have an advantage.

    Echolocation is just a matter of super sensitive hearing. Make a noise and have hearing good enough o interpret the return (echo) sound. Like sight evolved from mere light sensitive cells, the interpretation of what is heard becomes important and therefore a selected trait.

    Giraffes neck.

    A giraffes neck has the same number of vertebrae as all mammals.

    Simple human breeding could make longer necked creatures in a few hundred years. It is a small stretch to say evolution could do it in millions of years.

    Zakaths Disappearance.

    I was disappointed that Zakath retired from the debate. I understand if it was due to the inane way Bob kept asking ridiculous question or claimed they were unanswered.. but the sad thing is it reinforces Bob’s own delusion that he has “won” and proven God’s existence.

    Argument against God from materialism

    Huesdens/Attention has raised a most cogent argument against God that has not really been ever addressed by Bob.

    That is that everything we know is material or stems from material.

    Therefore it makes no sense to extrapolate an immaterial thing like God.

    Sincerely Steve Ryan

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob Enyart
    replied
    Attention, did your post meet Knight's length guidelines?

    Leave a comment:


  • attention
    replied
    Knight,

    Why aren't the 2 contributions simply posted, and have Bob answer them in round 10?

    After all, I posted my contribution two days before monday's deadline.

    I see no much use in having Bob post a 9-th round and a 10-th round, without an opponent post in between.
    Last edited by attention; August 16, 2003, 04:36 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Knight
    replied
    Flipper check your PM's.

    Leave a comment:


  • Flipper
    replied
    That, I don't know. It's up to knight.

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  • attention
    replied
    Originally posted by Flipper
    attention:

    I left your post as is. You had a dialetical thing going. Best not to interfere, say I. Also, I was over enough as it was so it would have been poor form to have tweaked with your post.

    Ok.

    When does round 10 start?

    Leave a comment:


  • Flipper
    replied
    attention:

    I left your post as is. You had a dialetical thing going. Best not to interfere, say I. Also, I was over enough as it was so it would have been poor form to have tweaked with your post.

    Leave a comment:


  • attention
    replied
    Originally posted by Corky the Cat
    Thanx guys I know you mean well.

    My post about there being no eternal life is in response to some of the, "you're gonna burn in hell buddy" remarks I've been getting everytime someone on these boards takes exeption to something I post.

    Please accept: every ounce of commen sense in my my being tells me there is no supernatural or mystical elements in existance. Not just God(s) but astrology, and other paranormal and occult stuff. All nonsense in my worldview. I didn't learn this from any book. I see it clearly for my self.

    I'm not resisting or denying anything. For me and many, many others, it simply is not there.

    All the best and thanx.

    Corky

    I subscribe to that point of view.

    Leave a comment:

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