Michael S

  • ***
  • 2606 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2012, 06:20:12 pm »
Thanks for the responses guys, I just got back from a camping trip, so I'll get back to this in the next day or two. I'm knackered, and my energy levels are < RF, but > Skyrim.
There are many things in life worth taking seriously. You and I are not among them.
The Dalai Llama walks into a Pizza shop and says "Can you make me one with everything?"

1

Michael S

  • ***
  • 2606 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2012, 04:30:32 pm »
Sorry about the delay, I got a bit distracted in the last few days, returning to work and all that jazz.

SueDoeNimm wrote:

Quote from: Question 2
(2) SueDoeNimm: Your argument includes the proposal of an unembodied mind.  Considering that billions of embodied minds are known to exist and no unembodied mind has ever been shown to exist why should your proposition be given serious consideration?


I would say that in a debate to consider the possibility that God exists, stating the lack of unembodied minds as evidence against theism is simply begging the question.


It is quite the contrary I believe.  My question is a question.  It is one of the questions begged by positing an unembodied mind.

And the premise of the question is true, is it not?  Prior to your argument no unembodied mind has been shown to exist.  Are you going to demand we unquestioningly accept the possibility of an unembodied mind because you need it for your conclusion.

An unembodied mind would be pretty special thing, wouldn't it?  Why should we believe such a thing is possible?


Unquestioningly accept? No. Not immediately discount? Yes.

When I say question begging, I don't mean that because you are skeptical of an unembodied mind, that's somehow problematic.

What I mean is, I've presented a dichotomy of, at this point, conscious and not conscious (I haven't brought in the 'Mind vs Mechanism' phrase yet. For you to then immediatley counter with 'Ah, but we have no evidence for an unembodied consciousness!' seems a bit contrary, as I'm currently presenting an argument for an unembodied mind.

It almost seems like that, because there are no other arguments (ish) for unembodied minds, you want to use that fact itself as evidence against this one.

SueDoeNimm wrote:

Effectively, this does not deal with the 'Mind vs Mechanism' problem, and does not show how an unconscious cause can, without prior input, initiate a sequence of events.


Which is a false dichotomy that we deal with below.


Let's trim this from future discussions, as we'll deal with it below. To stop this convo from turning into quote tapestries.

SueDoeNimm wrote:

For extra context, the origin of the causation argument was actually part of an argument demonstrating the probability that an unembodied mind can exist. It was only after the argument continued that I realised I was looking at (with a bit of minor tweaking) a decent argument for God that preempts the common objections to the Kalam, and deals with them in the core argument.


Maybe you should present that previous argument too.


Sure, let me see if I can find it.

SueDoeNimm wrote:

Quote from: Question 3
(3) SueDoeNimm: I found your characterization of the hypothetical unconscious cause as 'mechanism' as being pejorative and question begging. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to simply refer to it as the 'unconscious cause' rather than the loaded term 'mechanism'?


I found your characterisation of my thought experiment as 'perjorative' to be pejorative (For those following at home, 'perjorative' is simply a fancy word for 'condescending' or 'belittling'). Food for thought, never use a long word when a sententious one will do.


ad hom.  Don't do that, dude.  For one thing, when you say someone has used a 'fancy' word, i.e. one you are unfamiliar with, you raise the possibility that it is actually you who is undereducated.

Also consider the language differences.  You are in Australia (a country that I hope to have the good fortune to visit someday).  We both speak English but there are differences.  In the US 'pejorative' is not an all together uncommon word.  In fact it is perfectly cromulent.

I met a young lady in Germany.  They teach British English in Germany.  She said she had worked as an au pair in the US.  She said that she once used the word 'trousers'.  The children laughed at her.


Oh snap. My penchant for comedy bites me in the arse.

Fair enough, and thanks for being both gracious and educating.

Essentially I saw the word 'pejorative', and immediatley thought of the words 'asanine', 'solopsism' and a few others that many internet atheists (Don't want to seem unfair there, I have only seen atheists uses these words) like to throw out (actually, are these also words in common usage in America? I'd hate to make that mistake a second time!), and decided to have a good tongue in cheek dig in the ribs.

Anyway, thanks again for handling it so well. Onwards and upwards!

SueDoeNimm wrote:

Moving onto the substance of the question, the purpose of an analogy is to use an image provoking comparison to highlight a given point, problem, or idea. In my analogy, I wanted to highlight the problem of an unconsious cause of change self initating the change.


And it is a fallacious analogy.  You originally raised it as part of a dichotomy, conscious vs not-conscious.  But then you substituted 'mechanism' for not-conscious.  That is equivocation. "Mind vs. Mechanism" is a false dichotomy.

The 'problem' you 'highlighted' is actually your bias which you insert with the loaded term 'mechanism'.


Could you explain for me how the analogy is fallacious in the context of the example I gave? It'd better help me to either (a) explain it better, (b) reform the argument.

I'm considering the possibility of 'Personality vs Process' (gotta have that alliteration, right?), but at the moment I still believe that 'mechanism' better illuminates the issue of the 'starting conditions not yet met' bit.

SueDoeNimm wrote: I'll posit a self initiating not-conscious non-mechanism first cause to the universe.  What argument do you have against that?  Am I making a special pleading?



Can you give me an example of what a 'self initiating not conscious non-mechanism' might be? At the moment, I'd say you're using 'non-mechanism' in the literal sense, meaning an unembodied process (like physics) of sorts, which means that you're not really positing anything particularly new. If you're going to posit such a cause, I'd be happy to discuss it with you, though maybe in another thread.
There are many things in life worth taking seriously. You and I are not among them.
The Dalai Llama walks into a Pizza shop and says "Can you make me one with everything?"

2

SueDoeNimm

  • **
  • 457 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2012, 10:47:55 pm »
Michael wrote: Sorry about the delay, I got a bit distracted in the last few days, returning to work and all that jazz.

Quote from: SueDoeNimm


Quote from: Question 2
(2) SueDoeNimm: Your argument includes the proposal of an unembodied mind.  Considering that billions of embodied minds are known to exist and no unembodied mind has ever been shown to exist why should your proposition be given serious consideration?


I would say that in a debate to consider the possibility that God exists, stating the lack of unembodied minds as evidence against theism is simply begging the question.


It is quite the contrary I believe.  My question is a question.  It is one of the questions begged by positing an unembodied mind.

And the premise of the question is true, is it not?  Prior to your argument no unembodied mind has been shown to exist.  Are you going to demand we unquestioningly accept the possibility of an unembodied mind because you need it for your conclusion.

An unembodied mind would be pretty special thing, wouldn't it?  Why should we believe such a thing is possible?


Unquestioningly accept? No. Not immediately discount? Yes.

When I say question begging, I don't mean that because you are skeptical of an unembodied mind, that's somehow problematic.

What I mean is, I've presented a dichotomy of, at this point, conscious and not conscious (I haven't brought in the 'Mind vs Mechanism' phrase yet. For you to then immediatley counter with 'Ah, but we have no evidence for an unembodied consciousness!' seems a bit contrary, as I'm currently presenting an argument for an unembodied mind.



I don't know what you mean by "at this point".  You've already repeated equated mind/mechanism with conscious/not-conscious.  In fact you virtually instantaneously shifted to the equivocal false dichotomy in your initial statement.  "Now then, we have two possibilities. A conscious cause, existing outside of time and space, which I shall refer to as a 'mind', and an unconscious cause, existing outside of time and space, which I shall refer to as a 'mechanism'."

As for presenting an argument for an unembodied mind, you have not.  You assumed the possibility as a premise of your TCA.  I have repeatedly asked you to give argument for an unembodied mind.  I asked, "why should your proposition be given serious consideration?"  I asked, "An unembodied mind would be pretty special thing, wouldn't it?  Why should we believe such a thing is possible?"  Your response has been an argument from ignorance.  Paraphrasing: "You can't discount it."



It almost seems like that, because there are no other arguments (ish) for unembodied minds, you want to use that fact itself as evidence against this one.


SueDoeNimm wrote:
Quote

Effectively, this does not deal with the 'Mind vs Mechanism' problem, and does not show how an unconscious cause can, without prior input, initiate a sequence of events.


Which is a false dichotomy that we deal with below.


Let's trim this from future discussions, as we'll deal with it below. To stop this convo from turning into quote tapestries.

SueDoeNimm wrote:

For extra context, the origin of the causation argument was actually part of an argument demonstrating the probability that an unembodied mind can exist. It was only after the argument continued that I realised I was looking at (with a bit of minor tweaking) a decent argument for God that preempts the common objections to the Kalam, and deals with them in the core argument.


Maybe you should present that previous argument too.


Sure, let me see if I can find it.



Yes, 'above' asked about it too.



SueDoeNimm wrote:

......

Also consider the language differences.  You are in Australia ....

I met a young lady in Germany.  ......


Oh snap. My penchant for comedy bites me in the arse.

Fair enough, and thanks for being both gracious and educating.



No problem.  And as the Germans like to say (in their accented English): "Nobody is perfect."

Just for grins I looked up the prevalence of the word 'pejorative' in http://www.wordcount.org/main.php
The word 'pejorative' is number 31339, right after 'brothel' and right before 'foolishness'.  (There's a joke in there somewhere but I'll leave that as exercise for the reader.)




SueDoeNimm wrote:
Quote

Moving onto the substance of the question, the purpose of an analogy is to use an image provoking comparison to highlight a given point, problem, or idea. In my analogy, I wanted to highlight the problem of an unconsious cause of change self initating the change.


And it is a fallacious analogy.  You originally raised it as part of a dichotomy, conscious vs not-conscious.  But then you substituted 'mechanism' for not-conscious.  That is equivocation. "Mind vs. Mechanism" is a false dichotomy.

The 'problem' you 'highlighted' is actually your bias which you insert with the loaded term 'mechanism'.


Could you explain for me how the analogy is fallacious in the context of the example I gave? It'd better help me to either (a) explain it better, (b) reform the argument.



What part of "Substituting 'mechanism' for 'not-conscious' is equivocation" don't you understand?



I'm considering the possibility of 'Personality vs Process' (gotta have that alliteration, right?), but at the moment I still believe that 'mechanism' better illuminates the issue of the 'starting conditions not yet met' bit.



Switching to a new equivocation still leaves you with an equivocation.



SueDoeNimm wrote: I'll posit a self initiating not-conscious non-mechanism first cause to the universe.  What argument do you have against that?  Am I making a special pleading?



Can you give me an example of what a 'self initiating not conscious non-mechanism' might be? At the moment, I'd say you're using 'non-mechanism' in the literal sense, meaning an unembodied process (like physics) of sorts, which means that you're not really positing anything particularly new. If you're going to posit such a cause, I'd be happy to discuss it with you, though maybe in another thread.


What do you mean 'example'?  A real, empirically observable example?  Why should I have that burden if you don't have the burden of providing an example of an unembodied mind?  You can't cite God as an example.  The object of your TCA was to prove God or a deity.  If you cite God you render the whole TCA to be question begging.

I'll posit a self initiating not-conscious non-mechanism without example as you posit an unembodied mind without example.

Before deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.  After deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.

3

Michael S

  • ***
  • 2606 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2012, 06:35:33 pm »
SueDoeNimm wrote: I don't know what you mean by "at this point".  You've already repeated equated mind/mechanism with conscious/not-conscious.  In fact you virtually instantaneously shifted to the equivocal false dichotomy in your initial statement.  "Now then, we have two possibilities. A conscious cause, existing outside of time and space, which I shall refer to as a 'mind', and an unconscious cause, existing outside of time and space, which I shall refer to as a 'mechanism'."

As for presenting an argument for an unembodied mind, you have not.  You assumed the possibility as a premise of your TCA.  I have repeatedly asked you to give argument for an unembodied mind.  I asked, "why should your proposition be given serious consideration?"  I asked, "An unembodied mind would be pretty special thing, wouldn't it?  Why should we believe such a thing is possible?"  Your response has been an argument from ignorance.  Paraphrasing: "You can't discount it."


Yes, I did move very quickly to 'mind vs mechanism', didn't I? Having said that I use those terms to help people grasp a particular analogy. I'm aware you think that the analogy is fallacious, let's deal with that at a certain point.

In this case, I think it's question begging to assume that all minds are embodied or, more specifically, . The dualism/physicalism debate has raged for a long time now, and I wouldn't consider the matter even close to closed.


Quote from: SueDoeNimm
What part of "Substituting 'mechanism' for 'not-conscious' is equivocation" don't you understand?


How about the part where I laid out an example demonstrating how my analogy can be used to describe how a disembodied process like gravity can be equated to the universe generating machine?

It sounds to me, at the moment, like you are trying to avoid dealing with the analogy directly, but are simply attempting to dismiss it out of hand.

Can you please explain to me how my example of gravity as a demonstration of the analogy at work is fallacious and equivocating?

Quote from: SueDoeNimm
What do you mean 'example'?  A real, empirically observable example?  Why should I have that burden if you don't have the burden of providing an example of an unembodied mind?  You can't cite God as an example.  The object of your TCA was to prove God or a deity.  If you cite God you render the whole TCA to be question begging.

I'll posit a self initiating not-conscious non-mechanism without example as you posit an unembodied mind without example.


Again, you're presupposing physicalism. To my mind, and to many other minds, an example of a disembodied consciousness is anybody after death. To the theist, a consciousness exists apart from the body, but merely inhabits it for a time.

Even if you discount this as non proven nonsense, I can still cite it as a model on which to base my posited entity. Can you do something similar for a non-conscious self initiating non-mechanism?
There are many things in life worth taking seriously. You and I are not among them.
The Dalai Llama walks into a Pizza shop and says "Can you make me one with everything?"

4

Tetelestai

  • **
  • 222 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2012, 05:44:19 am »
Sjeesh Michael, I really preferred the facepalm avatar!


5

Michael S

  • ***
  • 2606 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2012, 06:08:01 am »
That is my warrior face, with my warrior beard, for the warrior dash.
There are many things in life worth taking seriously. You and I are not among them.
The Dalai Llama walks into a Pizza shop and says "Can you make me one with everything?"

6

SueDoeNimm

  • **
  • 457 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2012, 12:13:18 am »
Michael wrote:
Quote from: SueDoeNimm
I don't know what you mean by "at this point".  You've already repeated equated mind/mechanism with conscious/not-conscious.  In fact you virtually instantaneously shifted to the equivocal false dichotomy in your initial statement.  "Now then, we have two possibilities. A conscious cause, existing outside of time and space, which I shall refer to as a 'mind', and an unconscious cause, existing outside of time and space, which I shall refer to as a 'mechanism'."

As for presenting an argument for an unembodied mind, you have not.  You assumed the possibility as a premise of your TCA.  I have repeatedly asked you to give argument for an unembodied mind.  I asked, "why should your proposition be given serious consideration?"  I asked, "An unembodied mind would be pretty special thing, wouldn't it?  Why should we believe such a thing is possible?"  Your response has been an argument from ignorance.  Paraphrasing: "You can't discount it."


Yes, I did move very quickly to 'mind vs mechanism', didn't I? Having said that I use those terms to help people grasp a particular analogy. I'm aware you think that the analogy is fallacious, let's deal with that at a certain point.

In this case, I think it's question begging to assume that all minds are embodied or, more specifically, . The dualism/physicalism debate has raged for a long time now, and I wouldn't consider the matter even close to closed.



I don't assume all minds are embodied.  I observe that no unebodied mind has ever been shown.  I have repeatedly asked you to support the idea of an umembodied mind. You might show an example or give a logical argument.  So far, and once again, you have offered an argument from ignorance.  You offer that dualism hasn't been disproven.  That is an argument from ignorance.

And furthermore dualism is actually in wide disrepute these days.  Indeed, the prevalent view among philosophers (that aren't specifically theologians) is that mind is essentially mechanism/physical.

Let me illustrate the argument from ignorance.  Suppose I suggest that an invisible pink unicorn exists.  You then observe that no invisible pink unicorn has been shown to exist.  If I then say you must accept the possible existance of an invisible pink unicorn because you haven't disproved it then I would be making an argument from ignorance.



SueDoeNimm wrote: What part of "Substituting 'mechanism' for 'not-conscious' is equivocation" don't you understand?


How about the part where I laid out an example demonstrating how my analogy can be used to describe how a disembodied process like gravity can be equated to the universe generating machine?

It sounds to me, at the moment, like you are trying to avoid dealing with the analogy directly, but are simply attempting to dismiss it out of hand.

Can you please explain to me how my example of gravity as a demonstration of the analogy at work is fallacious and equivocating?



Yes, I had not addressed the chair illustration.  That was because I viewed it as essentially the same argument.  But let's talk about it.

One good thing is that you seem to allow 'mechanism' to include the laws of physics.  That certainly makes the term less question begging and less equivocal.

But my objection remains that you assume mechanism/physics must have a 'button', that it cannot be self initiating.  The accusation you leveled at me then applies to you.  It is question begging to assume no mechanism/physics can be self initiating.




SueDoeNimm wrote: What do you mean 'example'?  A real, empirically observable example?  Why should I have that burden if you don't have the burden of providing an example of an unembodied mind?  You can't cite God as an example.  The object of your TCA was to prove God or a deity.  If you cite God you render the whole TCA to be question begging.

I'll posit a self initiating not-conscious non-mechanism without example as you posit an unembodied mind without example.


Again, you're presupposing physicalism. To my mind, and to many other minds, an example of a disembodied consciousness is anybody after death. To the theist, a consciousness exists apart from the body, but merely inhabits it for a time.



How is positing a self initiating not-conscious non-mechanism 'physicalism'?

So theists already accept the idea of an unembodied mind.  And apparently that is necessary in order for one to accept your TCA.  But theists also already believe in a deity.  So isn't your TCA just preaching to the choir?  (i.e. question begging.)



Even if you discount this as non proven nonsense, I can still cite it as a model on which to base my posited entity. Can you do something similar for a non-conscious self initiating non-mechanism?


I must not be understanding the question correctly.  Are you asking if I can cite non proven nonsense on which to base a non-conscious self initiating non-mechanism?  Well, yeah.  Of course.  But I'll give you time to clarify the question first.
Before deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.  After deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.

7

Michael S

  • ***
  • 2606 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2012, 09:00:19 pm »
SueDoeNimm wrote: I don't assume all minds are embodied.  I observe that no unebodied mind has ever been shown.  I have repeatedly asked you to support the idea of an umembodied mind. You might show an example or give a logical argument.  So far, and once again, you have offered an argument from ignorance.  You offer that dualism hasn't been disproven.  That is an argument from ignorance.

And furthermore dualism is actually in wide disrepute these days.  Indeed, the prevalent view among philosophers (that aren't specifically theologians) is that mind is essentially mechanism/physical.

Let me illustrate the argument from ignorance.  Suppose I suggest that an invisible pink unicorn exists.  You then observe that no invisible pink unicorn has been shown to exist.  If I then say you must accept the possible existance of an invisible pink unicorn because you haven't disproved it then I would be making an argument from ignorance.


However, if you then offered that either (a) An invisible pink unicorn can exist, or (b) An invisible pink unicorn can not exist, and then proceed to show how (b) is false, then to simply state that (a) is a rare or special phenomenon does not address the argument.

In fact, I think I can now answer your question simply, and I'm actually mentally kicking myself for not seeing it earlier.

You ask "Seeing as no disembodied minds have yet been shown to exist, why should we take your argument sersiously?" (Possibly not quite verbatim, but decent enough to my memory).

I respond "Because the argument is valid, and the premises are true".

Of course, you're disputing some of the premises, so let's book mark this point, and come back to it once we've finished discussing the premises.

SueDoeNimm wrote:
Yes, I had not addressed the chair illustration.  That was because I viewed it as essentially the same argument.  But let's talk about it.

One good thing is that you seem to allow 'mechanism' to include the laws of physics.  That certainly makes the term less question begging and less equivocal.

But my objection remains that you assume mechanism/physics must have a 'button', that it cannot be self initiating.  The accusation you leveled at me then applies to you.  It is question begging to assume no mechanism/physics can be self initiating.


You'll have to forgive me if I'm coming across as obtuse here, can you help me to understand why this premise is begging the question?

Again, I'd have to point you back to my chair example, and ask you to directly deal with it. If you consider that the laws of thermodynamics suggest that systems move towards an overall equilibrium of heat and energy, it seems perfectly reasonable for me to assume that, unless I decide to get up (mind), or someone pulls the chair out from under me, and therefore giving gravity the button push it needs to pull me crashing to the ground (mechanism), that I will sit in that chair indefinitely.

Again, I can only stress that you will need to engage with the argument in detail, and show how it is flawed, if you wish to have me retract it.

SueDoeNimm wrote: I must not be understanding the question correctly.  Are you asking if I can cite non proven nonsense on which to base a non-conscious self initiating non-mechanism?  Well, yeah.  Of course.  But I'll give you time to clarify the question first.


Clever use of my words there. I'm asking if you can cite some kind of graspable model upon which to describe your hypothesised immaterial, non-conscious, non-mechanism, self-iniating cause.

For example, the model for which I am basing my immaterial, conscious self-initiating cause is the concept of the human soul. Not necessarily proven, but philosophically graspable.
There are many things in life worth taking seriously. You and I are not among them.
The Dalai Llama walks into a Pizza shop and says "Can you make me one with everything?"

8

SueDoeNimm

  • **
  • 457 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2012, 11:51:57 pm »
Michael wrote:
Quote from: SueDoeNimm
I don't assume all minds are embodied.  I observe that no unebodied mind has ever been shown.  I have repeatedly asked you to support the idea of an umembodied mind. You might show an example or give a logical argument.  So far, and once again, you have offered an argument from ignorance.  You offer that dualism hasn't been disproven.  That is an argument from ignorance.

And furthermore dualism is actually in wide disrepute these days.  Indeed, the prevalent view among philosophers (that aren't specifically theologians) is that mind is essentially mechanism/physical.

Let me illustrate the argument from ignorance.  Suppose I suggest that an invisible pink unicorn exists.  You then observe that no invisible pink unicorn has been shown to exist.  If I then say you must accept the possible existance of an invisible pink unicorn because you haven't disproved it then I would be making an argument from ignorance.


However, if you then offered that either (a) An invisible pink unicorn can exist, or (b) An invisible pink unicorn can not exist, and then proceed to show how (b) is false, then to simply state that (a) is a rare or special phenomenon does not address the argument.




I didn't make that argument.  You've made up an addition.  My special pleading charge was to a different argument.

Does your comment mean that you believe an IPU can exist?

Did you get the explanation of argument from ignorance?  Once again, distilled further:  If you say "A" and I ask "why A?" and you say "nobody has proved not A" then you are making an argument from ignorance.  If you say "unembodied minds exist" and I ask "why do you think so" and you say "nobody has proved unembodied minds don't exist" you are making an argument from ignorance.

Note that this doesn't prove that unembodied minds don't exist.  It just means the argument from ignorance is inconclusive.





In fact, I think I can now answer your question simply, and I'm actually mentally kicking myself for not seeing it earlier.

You ask "Seeing as no disembodied minds have yet been shown to exist, why should we take your argument sersiously?" (Possibly not quite verbatim, but decent enough to my memory).

I respond "Because the argument is valid, and the premises are true".

Of course, you're disputing some of the premises, so let's book mark this point, and come back to it once we've finished discussing the premises.

SueDoeNimm wrote:
Yes, I had not addressed the chair illustration.  That was because I viewed it as essentially the same argument.  But let's talk about it.

One good thing is that you seem to allow 'mechanism' to include the laws of physics.  That certainly makes the term less question begging and less equivocal.

But my objection remains that you assume mechanism/physics must have a 'button', that it cannot be self initiating.  The accusation you leveled at me then applies to you.  It is question begging to assume no mechanism/physics can be self initiating.


You'll have to forgive me if I'm coming across as obtuse here, can you help me to understand why this premise is begging the question?



This is somewhat difficult to forgive.  Do you remember accusing me of question begging?  Do you remember your reasoning at that time?  If you aren't going to remember your statement and reasoning then reexplaining it to you would seem to be something of a fools errand.

Further, if you had addressed my statement and question in my previous post it should have given you further insight.  I'll repeat it here: "So [from your statements] theists already accept the idea of an unembodied mind.  And apparently that is necessary in order for one to accept your TCA.  But theists also already believe in a deity.  So isn't your TCA just preaching to the choir?  (i.e. question begging.)"



Again, I'd have to point you back to my chair example, and ask you to directly deal with it. If you consider that the laws of thermodynamics suggest that systems move towards an overall equilibrium of heat and energy, it seems perfectly reasonable for me to assume that, unless I decide to get up (mind), or someone pulls the chair out from under me, and therefore giving gravity the button push it needs to pull me crashing to the ground (mechanism), that I will sit in that chair indefinitely.

Again, I can only stress that you will need to engage with the argument in detail, and show how it is flawed, if you wish to have me retract it




There are a number of things wrong with that analogy.

First, it presumes that mind is different from the physical, i.e. dualism.  Dualism has not been shown to be true.  In fact over thousands of years of contemplation dualism has declined in acceptance and is now a fringe view in the philosophical community.  So a prefectly reasonable view of the analogy is that their is no non-physical 'mind' there.  It's all physical.

Another thing, all the minds in the analogy are embodied.  Certainly that doesn't aid your special pleading for an unembodied mind.  Do you want your analogy to be considered comprehensive, i.e. mapping all of the logic and covering all cases?  To the extent it is comprehensive it excludes unembodied minds.

The minds in the analogy need and only act on the physical.  The funny bugger needs nerves and muscle and bone.  He also needs gravity in order to make you fall.  Is your analogy comprehensive?  Did the conscious first cause need gravity or similar things in order to create the universe?

What if an earthquake knocked you out of the chair?  Now I know you will say that is just the end of a long mechanical chain reaction initiated by the conscious first cause.  But how do you know that?  How do you know the physical is a deterministic chain reaction?  It is an unstated assumption in the analogy.  Certainly much of the physical appears to be mechanically deterministic.  What reason do you offer that all of the physical or non-mind must be deterministic?





SueDoeNimm wrote: I must not be understanding the question correctly.  Are you asking if I can cite non proven nonsense on which to base a non-conscious self initiating non-mechanism?  Well, yeah.  Of course.  But I'll give you time to clarify the question first.


Clever use of my words there. I'm asking if you can cite some kind of graspable model upon which to describe your hypothesised immaterial, non-conscious, non-mechanism, self-iniating cause.

For example, the model for which I am basing my immaterial, conscious self-initiating cause is the concept of the human soul. Not necessarily proven, but philosophically graspable.


What do you mean 'graspable'?  Who decides graspable?  You?  Do you decide that an immaterial, conscious, non-mechanism, self-initiating cause is 'graspable' while an immaterial, non-conscious, non-mechanism, self-initiating cause in not 'graspable'?

Before deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.  After deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.

9

Michael S

  • ***
  • 2606 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2012, 01:13:13 am »
SueDoeNimm wrote:

I didn't make that argument.  You've made up an addition.  My special pleading charge was to a different argument.

Does your comment mean that you believe an IPU can exist?

Did you get the explanation of argument from ignorance?  Once again, distilled further:  If you say "A" and I ask "why A?" and you say "nobody has proved not A" then you are making an argument from ignorance.  If you say "unembodied minds exist" and I ask "why do you think so" and you say "nobody has proved unembodied minds don't exist" you are making an argument from ignorance.

Note that this doesn't prove that unembodied minds don't exist.  It just means the argument from ignorance is inconclusive.



Firstly, I should point out (why I why don't I do things earlier?) that the premise of the TCA which says that a cause could be conscious or not concsious suggests that an unembodied mind is possible, not probable or true. It then goes on to assess the liklihood of that possibility being true or false against other liklihoods. The argument from ignorance says 'You cannot disprove x, therfore x is true'.

I would go so far as to flip your statement around, and suggest that you are the one who is attempting to say that, unless we can show otherwise, we should not consider the possibility of an unembodied mind.


SueDoeNimm wrote:

This is somewhat difficult to forgive.  Do you remember accusing me of question begging?  Do you remember your reasoning at that time?  If you aren't going to remember your statement and reasoning then reexplaining it to you would seem to be something of a fools errand.


You're right, of course. You will recall that I essentially retracted that earlier problem, and simply stated that 'the argument is valid', and 'the premises are true'. I believe that this defense is simpler, more elegant, and does not require the use of 'begging the question' as either attack or defense.

However, your objection is that it is question begging to assert that a non-conscious cause cannot self iniate. My question here is, why do you assert that? This is where I again come to the concept of a graspable model upon which to base your argument. I can assert a recognisable and graspable concept of a disembodied mind. Can you do the same for a non-conscious self initating cause?

Until then, I would claim that it is not at all question begging to assume that a non-conscious cause cannot self initate.

There's a lot of things to say in the next quote, so rather than get into a quote war, I'm just going to put red text into your quote, and see what I can see.

Quote from: SueDoeNimm


There are a number of things wrong with that analogy.

First, it presumes that mind is different from the physical, i.e. dualism. Keep in mind that this is an analogy. Can you think of a neater way to illustrate the difference between a conscious cause and a non-conscious cause in a simple thought experiment? If so, I'm happy to hear it, and possibly use it in later versions of the argument! Dualism has not been shown to be true.  In fact over thousands of years of contemplation dualism has declined in acceptance and is now a fringe view in the philosophical community
That's an appeal to authority, mate. Also, I think it's a highly presumptuous one, in which you can simply claim anyone agreeing with your position as 'mainstream' and anyone disagreeing as 'fringe'. Should we start listing peer reviewed journal titles and authors of articles on both sides of the arrangement? .  So a prefectly reasonable view of the analogy is that their is no non-physical 'mind' there.  It's all physical Or, that a cause can be 'conscious', or 'not-conscious'.

Another thing, all the minds in the analogy are embodied.  Certainly that doesn't aid your special pleading
lol for an unembodied mind.  Do you want your analogy to be considered comprehensive, i.e. mapping all of the logic and covering all cases?  To the extent it is comprehensive it excludes unembodied minds It's an analogy, dude. Do you know what we call something that describes an actual hypothesis? A description.

The minds in the analogy need and only act on the physical.  The funny bugger needs nerves and muscle and bone.  He also needs gravity in order to make you fall.  Is your analogy comprehensive?  Did the conscious first cause need gravity or similar things in order to create the universe?
Previous statement.

What if an earthquake knocked you out of the chair?  Now I know you will say that is just the end of a long mechanical chain reaction initiated by the conscious first cause
Bingo!.  But how do you know that? It's a logical extension of the original argument. How do you know the physical is a deterministic chain reaction? Because outside of a decidedly conscious cause, we are left only with unconscious causes. Unconscious causes implied determinism.  It is an unstated assumption in the analogy.  Certainly much of the physical appears to be mechanically deterministic.  What reason do you offer that all of the physical or non-mind must be deterministic? See previous comment.





Quote from: SueDoeNimm

What do you mean 'graspable'?  Who decides graspable?  You?  Do you decide that an immaterial, conscious, non-mechanism, self-initiating cause is 'graspable' while an immaterial, non-conscious, non-mechanism, self-initiating cause in not 'graspable'?


Yeesh dude. If you can mentally grasp something (IE, when I say 'disembodied mind' or 'conscious cause', you think 'God' or 'The human soul' even if you do not actually believe in such things) in response to some kind of intellectual stimulii, then it's 'graspable'.

And so yes, until you provive a 'graspable' image for an immaterial, non-conscious, non -mechanism, self-initiating cause, then I will decide that what I have posited is graspable, and what you have posited is not.
There are many things in life worth taking seriously. You and I are not among them.
The Dalai Llama walks into a Pizza shop and says "Can you make me one with everything?"

10

SueDoeNimm

  • **
  • 457 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2012, 11:17:00 pm »
Michael wrote:
Quote from: SueDoeNimm


I didn't make that argument.  You've made up an addition.  My special pleading charge was to a different argument.

Does your comment mean that you believe an IPU can exist?

Did you get the explanation of argument from ignorance?  Once again, distilled further:  If you say "A" and I ask "why A?" and you say "nobody has proved not A" then you are making an argument from ignorance.  If you say "unembodied minds exist" and I ask "why do you think so" and you say "nobody has proved unembodied minds don't exist" you are making an argument from ignorance.

Note that this doesn't prove that unembodied minds don't exist.  It just means the argument from ignorance is inconclusive.


Firstly, I should point out (why I why don't I do things earlier?) that the premise of the TCA which says that a cause could be conscious or not concsious suggests that an unembodied mind is possible, not probable or true. It then goes on to assess the liklihood of that possibility being true or false against other liklihoods. The argument from ignorance says 'You cannot disprove x, therfore x is true'.

I would go so far as to flip your statement around, and suggest that you are the one who is attempting to say that, unless we can show otherwise, we should not consider the possibility of an unembodied mind.



If you say, "not A is not shown, therefore possibly A" rather than "not A is not shown, therefore A" you are not making an argument from ignorance.
But A is still not "True".  It doesn't have an established truth value.  It is not a good premise.  You are making the argument.  You have the burden to make the argument persuasive.  If you don't offer further support I may reject the premise.  You are saying "possibly A" and I am saying "get back to me when you have more on A."




SueDoeNimm wrote:

This is somewhat difficult to forgive.  Do you remember accusing me of question begging?  Do you remember your reasoning at that time?  If you aren't going to remember your statement and reasoning then reexplaining it to you would seem to be something of a fools errand.


You're right, of course. You will recall that I essentially retracted that earlier problem, and simply stated that 'the argument is valid', and 'the premises are true'. I believe that this defense is simpler, more elegant, and does not require the use of 'begging the question' as either attack or defense. However, your objection is that it is question begging to assert that a non-conscious cause cannot self iniate.


My question here is, why do you assert that?



If you are retracting, "I would say that in a debate to consider the possibility that God exists, stating the lack of unembodied minds as evidence against theism is simply begging the question" then I retract my accusation.



This is where I again come to the concept of a graspable model upon which to base your argument. I can assert a recognisable and graspable concept of a disembodied mind. Can you do the same for a non-conscious self initating cause?



There are two things wrong here.

The first is the subjective and equivocal term 'graspable'.

The second is burden shifting.  You are making the argument.  You are making the claims that a deity created the universe and that the non-conscious cannot initiate.  You can't shift the burden and demand that I prove the opposite.



Until then, I would claim that it is not at all question begging to assume that a non-conscious cause cannot self initate.

There's a lot of things to say in the next quote, so rather than get into a quote war, I'm just going to put red text into your quote, and see what I can see.

SueDoeNimm wrote:

There are a number of things wrong with that analogy.

First, it presumes that mind is different from the physical, i.e. dualism.



Keep in mind that this is an analogy. Can you think of a neater way to illustrate the difference between a conscious cause and a non-conscious cause in a simple thought experiment? If so, I'm happy to hear it, and possibly use it in later versions of the argument!



You are asking me to fix your analogy?  You are asking me to come up with a convincing analogy for something that is fallacious?




Dualism has not been shown to be true.  In fact over thousands of years of contemplation dualism has declined in acceptance and is now a fringe view in the philosophical community



That's an appeal to authority, mate. Also, I think it's a highly presumptuous one, in which you can simply claim anyone agreeing with your position as 'mainstream' and anyone disagreeing as 'fringe'. Should we start listing peer reviewed journal titles and authors of articles on both sides of the arrangement? .  



Indeed it is an appeal to authority.  And therefore it is not logically conclusive.  But I do offer it as evidence.

I will cite this reference: http://philpapers.org/surveys/results.pl
(Search for 'physicalism'.)




So a prefectly reasonable view of the analogy is that their is no non-physical 'mind' there.  It's all physical



Or, that a cause can be 'conscious', or 'not-conscious'.



Seems like a non-sequitur.



Another thing, all the minds in the analogy are embodied.  Certainly that doesn't aid your special pleading




lol



Bad form, man.



for an unembodied mind.  Do you want your analogy to be considered comprehensive, i.e. mapping all of the logic and covering all cases?  To the extent it is comprehensive it excludes unembodied minds



It's an analogy, dude. Do you know what we call something that describes an actual hypothesis? A description.



You talk tough about me addressing the analogy and then when I do you say, "Oh, well, it's just an analogy."?



The minds in the analogy need and only act on the physical.  The funny bugger needs nerves and muscle and bone.  He also needs gravity in order to make you fall.  Is your analogy comprehensive?  Did the conscious first cause need gravity or similar things in order to create the universe? Previous statement.

What if an earthquake knocked you out of the chair?  Now I know you will say that is just the end of a long mechanical chain reaction initiated by the conscious first cause.



Bingo!



Yes, I know your arguments including their faults.



But how do you know that?



It's a logical extension of the original argument.



All I see is an unsupported assertion.



How do you know the physical is a deterministic chain reaction?



Because outside of a decidedly conscious cause, we are left only with unconscious causes.



I was having trouble seeing how that statement related until I realized that you assume there are no unconscious causes.  I say you have no basis for that assumption.



Unconscious causes implied determinism.  It is an unstated assumption in the analogy.  Certainly much of the physical appears to be mechanically deterministic.  What reason do you offer that all of the physical or non-mind must be deterministic?



See previous comment.





SueDoeN
   imm wrote:

What do you mean 'graspable'?  Who decides graspable?  You?  Do you decide that an immaterial, conscious, non-mechanism, self-initiating cause is 'graspable' while an immaterial, non-conscious, non-mechanism, self-initiating cause in not 'graspable'?


Yeesh dude. If you can mentally grasp something (IE, when I say 'disembodied mind' or 'conscious cause', you think 'God' or 'The human soul' even if you do not actually believe in such things) in response to some kind of intellectual stimulii, then it's 'graspable'.

And so yes, until you provive a 'graspable' image for an immaterial, non-conscious, non -mechanism, self-initiating cause, then I will decide that what I have posited is graspable, and what you have posited is not.


Burden shifting.
You are saying, "If you can't give and support a B, then A."  You presented your TCA.  The burden is on you.  I may challenge your premises and logic.  I am not required to present an alternative argument or premise.  For example: To show the luminiferous aether theory was faulty it was not required to provide the theory of relativity.

Before deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.  After deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.

11

Michael S

  • ***
  • 2606 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2012, 05:04:40 pm »
SueDoeNimm wrote:

If you say, "not A is not shown, therefore possibly A" rather than "not A is not shown, therefore A" you are not making an argument from ignorance.
But A is still not "True".  It doesn't have an established truth value.  It is not a good premise.  You are making the argument.  You have the burden to make the argument persuasive.  If you don't offer further support I may reject the premise.  You are saying "possibly A" and I am saying "get back to me when you have more on A."


You are correct in acknowledging that I am not making an argument from ignorance in acknowledging the possibility of an unembodied mind for the purpose of the argument. However, you seem to be confusing the point where I push the possibility of an unembodied mind based on the lack of arguments against it, then then the point where I apply that possibility against other possibilities to see if it is a probability.

I am not saying 'Possibly A', I am saying 'Possibly A or possibly B. Not B, therefore A'.

Even if we don't have anything on A, we can still show it as a probability over B, based on the unliklihood of B.

SueDoeNimm wrote:
If you are retracting, "I would say that in a debate to consider the possibility that God exists, stating the lack of unembodied minds as evidence against theism is simply begging the question" then I retract my accusation.


Awesome. Something else to trim from the ever-growing walls of quotes!

SueDoeNimm wrote:

This is where I again come to the concept of a graspable model upon which to base your argument. I can assert a recognisable and graspable concept of a disembodied mind. Can you do the same for a non-conscious self initating cause?


There are two things wrong here.

The first is the subjective and equivocal term 'graspable'.

 
 I explained the term 'graspable', showing it to be a fairly simple use of the word. You almost seem to be running from this point.

SueDoeNimm wrote:
The second is burden shifting.  You are making the argument.  You are making the claims that a deity created the universe and that the non-conscious cannot initiate.  You can't shift the burden and demand that I prove the opposite.

 
 Burden shifting? Not at all, my friend. For you posited a disembodied, non-conscious, non-mechanism, self initiating first cause in response to my conscious one. I am simply asking you to further clarify the nature of what you have posited, so I can better understand it.

But you have set the counter position. This is not simply 'lack of belief' in my position. This is a positive claim, positing an actual cause. That means burden of proof. It's not shifting, friend, it's sharing!

SueDoeNimm wrote:

Keep in mind that this is an analogy. Can you think of a neater way to illustrate the difference between a conscious cause and a non-conscious cause in a simple thought experiment? If so, I'm happy to hear it, and possibly use it in later versions of the argument!



You are asking me to fix your analogy?  You are asking me to come up with a convincing analogy for something that is fallacious?



It was a rhetorical question. But it's curious that you appear to have already established that the argument is fallacious, hence your incredulity at being offered a chance to make it stronger. That seems a bit backwards to me.

SueDoeNimm wrote:

Another thing, all the minds in the analogy are embodied.  Certainly that doesn't aid your special pleading


lol


Bad form, man.

 
 Personally, I think it's bad form to refer to most if not all of your opponents arguments, premises, and analogys as 'fallacious', 'eqivocational', 'special pleading', 'burden-shifting' etc etc, when it is your job to demonstrate why it is.

It's almost as if you're trying to sneak these adjectives in as 'common knowledge', to strengthen your position.

All that, and you're going to call me out on a good natured 'lol', showing that I find it mildly amusing at the way you're using your adjectives?

Yeah, I'm thinking bad form at this point too.

SueDoeNimm wrote:

It's an analogy, dude. Do you know what we call something that describes an actual hypothesis? A description.

You talk tough about me addressing the analogy and then when I do you say, "Oh, well, it's just an analogy."?

 
 If you're going to nit-pick details of the analogy that do not pertain to the point it's making, then yes I am.

Curiously, if I'd included an unembodied mind into the analogy, you'd have likely called me out on 'special pleading' or 'begging the question'. But I decided to keep the analogy grounded in concepts less favourable to the conclusion I'm arguing for, and you then call me out on that.

I hope you can see here, why I'm starting to feel like this conversation is never going to make any headway. You seem more interested in proving me wrong by any means neccessary than you do in engaging me in some kind of intelligent discussion.

SueDoeNimm wrote:
Yes, I know your arguments including their faults.

 
 It's faulty to suggest that an earthquake knocking someone out of their chair shouldn't then be traced back through a series of causal events? And then using this to highlight the problem of infinite causal regress of unconscious causes, or a conscious cause?

SueDoeNimm wrote:

It's a logical extension of the original argument.


All I see is an unsupported assertion.

 
 I see an assertion supported by Aristotlean logic. Remember that bit about it being impossible to traverse an infinite series of events?

SueDoeNimm wrote:

Because outside of a decidedly conscious cause, we are left only with unconscious causes.


I was having trouble seeing how that statement related until I realized that you assume there are no unconscious causes.  I say you have no basis for that assumption.

 
 Not at all. When a glass smashes against the ground, that's gravity and physics in play. The momentum of the glass pushing against the denser and larger surface of the floor forces the rearrangement of matter in the glass, and the susequent distribution of the water within to an outwardly spread pattern on the floor.

I'm simply pointing out the problem in pointing out how the glass came to be falling in the first place. It's either reacting to something (say, a thrown ball, which then begs the question, how did the ball come to be in motion?) knocking it off the desk, or I pushed it.

SueDoeNimm wrote:
Burden shifting.
You are saying, "If you can't give and support a B, then A."  You presented your TCA.  The burden is on you.  I may challenge your premises and logic.  I am not required to present an altern
   ative argument or premise.  For example: To show the luminiferous aether theory was faulty it was not required to provide the theory of relativity.


As I stated above, you posited a disembodied, non-conscious, non-mechanism, self initiating cause. Man up, bucko, and accept that thar burden of proof.

__________________________


Now, we can go back and forth like this for another ten pages, if you like. I'm certainly both stubborn enough, and enjoy logical debates enough, that for every objection you throw up, I'll likely have the means to show it to be some kind of logical fallacy, or misunderstanding of the argument. Ergo, we can do this until one of us drops dead from old age (and I'm only in my late twenties, in ever increasingly good shape), or we can start looking at other ways to finalise this.

Seeing as Sparkling didn't really deliver the goods in a formal debate, do you want to try picking up the torch for your fellow skeptics instead?
There are many things in life worth taking seriously. You and I are not among them.
The Dalai Llama walks into a Pizza shop and says "Can you make me one with everything?"

12

SueDoeNimm

  • **
  • 457 Posts
    • View Profile
Debate: Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2012, 11:07:29 pm »
Michael wrote:
Quote from: SueDoeNimm


If you say, "not A is not shown, therefore possibly A" rather than "not A is not shown, therefore A" you are not making an argument from ignorance.
But A is still not "True".  It doesn't have an established truth value.  It is not a good premise.  You are making the argument.  You have the burden to make the argument persuasive.  If you don't offer further support I may reject the premise.  You are saying "possibly A" and I am saying "get back to me when you have more on A."


You are correct in acknowledging that I am not making an argument from ignorance in acknowledging the possibility of an unembodied mind for the purpose of the argument. However, you seem to be confusing the point where I push the possibility of an unembodied mind based on the lack of arguments against it, then then the point where I apply that possibility against other possibilities to see if it is a probability.

I am not saying 'Possibly A', I am saying 'Possibly A or possibly B. Not B, therefore A'.



But that is not the case.  That is not the structure of your argument.  You started out presenting a dichotomy but instantaneously equivocated it into a false dichotomy.  You started with conscious/non-conscious and without taking a breath mutated it into mind/mechanism.  You started with A/~A and immediately jumped to C/B, a false dichotomy.  Then you added D, i.e. that A is unembodied.  Then you added the premise that mechanism can't initiate and conclude "not B therefore A and D".  It doesn't follow.  And I don't accept your 'not B'.



Even if we don't have anything on A, we can still show it as a probability over B, based on the unliklihood of B.



With this last statement you have introduced "probably not B" and the comparison of probabilities.  How do you establish these probabilities?  Your original claim was that "theism is true".  Do you want to modify your claim to "theism is more probably true"?



SueDoeNimm wrote:
If you are retracting, "I would say that in a debate to consider the possibility that God exists, stating the lack of unembodied minds as evidence against theism is simply begging the question" then I retract my accusation.


Awesome. Something else to trim from the ever-growing walls of quotes!

Quote from: SueDoeNimm


This is where I again come to the concept of a graspable model upon which to base your argument. I can assert a recognisable and graspable concept of a disembodied mind. Can you do the same for a non-conscious self initating cause?


There are two things wrong here.

The first is the subjective and equivocal term 'graspable'.


I explained the term 'graspable', showing it to be a fairly simple use of the word. You almost seem to be running from this point.



You have given an explanation of the term.  It is still subjective and equivocal.

You have announced your intent to be the exclusive authority in deciding what is 'graspable'.  That is not making an argument.  You can just decide that any objection is not 'graspable'.  So why bother with the long argument?  Why not just say 'not God' is not 'graspable'?

I'll also note that you weren't concerned with graspability when you first presented the argument.  You were quite happy to conclude "a conscious being, that exists outside of time and space, that created a universe consisting of both".  You first presented it as simply a necessary logical conclusion.

Graspability is a poor criterion for truth.  A thousand years ago the idea of a spherical Earth orbiting the sun was not graspable to the bulk of humanity.  It would be nice if the cause of the universe were graspable but do we have good reason to believe that it must be graspable?




SueDoeNimm wrote:
The second is burden shifting.  You are making the argument.  You are making the claims that a deity created the universe and that the non-conscious cannot initiate.  You can't shift the burden and demand that I prove the opposite.


Burden shifting? Not at all, my friend. For you posited a disembodied, non-conscious, non-mechanism, self initiating first cause in response to my conscious one. I am simply asking you to further clarify the nature of what you have posited, so I can better understand it.

But you have set the counter position. This is not simply 'lack of belief' in my position. This is a positive claim, positing an actual cause. That means burden of proof. It's not shifting, friend, it's sharing!



No, it is not a claim.  I did not and am not claiming that an unembodied non-conscious, non-mechanism, self initiating first cause exists or created the universe.

The possibility of such a thing is implied in the various properties you proposed.  You proposed conscious/non-consciouse, mechanism/non-mechanism, self intiating/non-self initiating, etc.  An unembodied, non-conscious, non-mechanism, self initiating first cause is an implied permutation of properties that you posited.  You have implied the possibility of an unembodied non-conscious, non-mechanism, self initiating first cause.

Positing something is not necessarily the assertion that it is true.  It is not a claim.
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/posit :
  "2. Propose for consideration or study; to suggest."
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/posit
  "2. To put forward, as for consideration or study; suggest"

You have made a claim. (Two actually.)  Would you say that if there isn't a successful counter claim your claim therefore succeeds?  That would be an argument from ignorance.  You would be saying "not A is not shown, therefore A."


SueDoeNimm wrote:

Keep in mind that this is an analogy. Can you think of a neater way to illustrate the difference between a conscious cause and a non-conscious cause in a simple thought experiment? If so, I'm happy to hear it, and possibly use it in later versions of the argument!









Here is another way of explaining the weakness of that analogy.  The analogy is basically:

1. In this scenario a mind initiates and causes something.
2. It wouldn't have happened if the mind hadn't initiated it.
3. Therefore only minds can initiate.

3 doesn't follow from 1 and 2.  3 was just your original assumption.




SueDoeNimm wrote:

Another thing, all the minds in the analogy are embodied.  Certainly that doesn't aid your special pleading


lol


Bad form, man.


Personally, I think it's bad form to refer to most if not all of your opponents arguments, premises, and analogys as 'fallacious', 'eqivocational', 'special pleading', 'burden-shifting' etc etc, when it is your job to demonstrate why it is.



I have repeatedly explained the fallacies.  You basically acknowledged the conscious/not-conscious to mind/mechanism equivocation.  I carefully explained the argument from ignorance.  In the case of the unembodied mind you understood and responded by altering your stance.  We hadn't gotten into the special pleading but I was ready to explain it.  I have explained burden shifting to you.

I'll give you another example regarding the placement of burden.  You are probably familiar with the legal process analogy.  The prosecution has to make the case.  The prosecution has the burden to show what happened.  The defense only needs to challenge the prosecution's case.  The defense is not require prove to a particular alternative.



It's almost as if you're tr
   ying to sneak these adjectives in as 'common knowledge', to strengthen your position.



These terms are common knowledge among people experienced in logical arguments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy



All that, and you're going to call me out on a good natured 'lol', showing that I find it mildly amusing at the way you're using your adjectives?



If your 'lol' was 'good natured' then my "Bad form" was 'good natured' too.



Yeah, I'm thinking bad form at this point too.

SueDoeNimm wrote:

It's an analogy, dude. Do you know what we call something that describes an actual hypothesis? A description.

You talk tough about me addressing the analogy and then when I do you say, "Oh, well, it's just an analogy."?


If you're going to nit-pick details of the analogy that do not pertain to the point it's making, then yes I am.

Curiously, if I'd included an unembodied mind into the analogy, you'd have likely called me out on 'special pleading' or 'begging the question'. But I decided to keep the analogy grounded in concepts less favourable to the conclusion I'm arguing for, and you then call me out on that.



Hasty generalization is not a nit.  It is pertinent to the analogy.  It undermines the analogy, as I have explained.  The analogy doesn't make the point you have in mind.

If you want to make a logical argument you have to make sure it doesn't contain logical fallacies.  If you don't I'm going to call you on the key fallacies.  You can challenge my logic or you can fix the argument or you can withdraw the argument.



I hope you can see here, why I'm starting to feel like this conversation is never going to make any headway. You seem more interested in proving me wrong by any means neccessary than you do in engaging me in some kind of intelligent discussion.



Actually I think this discussion, at least the first 80% of it, has been more intelligent than most on RFF.

I imagine the better part of your frustration is in the difficulty of disproving the possibility non-conscious cause.  I have posed a number difficult questions too. :

Do you want to modify your claim to "theism is more probably true"?

Why not just say 'not God' is not 'graspable'?

It would be nice if the cause of the universe were graspable but do we have good reason to believe that it must be graspable?

Would you say that if there isn't a successful counter claim your claim therefore succeeds?


Are you interested in proving something?  Which means are acceptable?  Which means are not?



SueDoeNimm wrote:
Yes, I know your arguments including their faults.


It's faulty to suggest that an earthquake knocking someone out of their chair shouldn't then be traced back through a series of causal events? And then using this to highlight the problem of infinite causal regress of unconscious causes, or a conscious cause?



It is faulty to exclude possibly multiple non-causal contributions to the event without giving logically sound reasons.



SueDoeNimm wrote:

It's a logical extension of the original argument.


All I see is an unsupported assertion.


I see an assertion supported by Aristotlean logic. Remember that bit about it being impossible to traverse an infinite series of events?



That wasn't the question.  The question was how do you know no event can have a non-conscious cause.



SueDoeNimm wrote:

Because outside of a decidedly conscious cause, we are left only with unconscious causes.


I was having trouble seeing how that statement related until I realized that you assume there are no unconscious causes.  I say you have no basis for that assumption.


Not at all. When a glass smashes against the ground, that's gravity and physics in play. The momentum of the glass pushing against the denser and larger surface of the floor forces the rearrangement of matter in the glass, and the susequent distribution of the water within to an outwardly spread pattern on the floor.

I'm simply pointing out the problem in pointing out how the glass came to be falling in the first place. It's either reacting to something (say, a thrown ball, which then begs the question, how did the ball come to be in motion?) knocking it off the desk, or I pushed it.



Once again you are saying "Here is an example of a conscious cause therefore there are no non-conscious causes."  It is a faulty generalization.  Now that doesn't mean there definitely are non-conscious causes, it  just means your analogy doesn't show there aren't.



SueDoeNimm wrote:
Burden shifting.
You are saying, "If you can't give and support a B, then A."  You presented your TCA.  The burden is on you.  I may challenge your premises and logic.  I am not required to present an alternative argument or premise.  For example: To show the luminiferous aether theory was faulty it was not required to provide the theory of relativity.


As I stated above, you posited a disembodied, non-conscious, non-mechanism, self initiating cause. Man up, bucko, and accept that thar burden of proof.

__________________________


Now, we can go back and forth like this for another ten pages, if you like. I'm certainly both stubborn enough, and enjoy logical debates enough, that for every objection you throw up, I'll likely have the means to show it to be some kind of logical fallacy, or misunderstanding of the argument.



Sounds good to me.



Ergo, we can do this until one of us drops dead from old age (and I'm only in my late twenties, in ever increasingly good shape), or we can start looking at other ways to finalise this.

Seeing as Sparkling didn't really deliver the goods in a formal debate, do you want to try picking up the torch for your fellow skeptics instead?
Before deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.  After deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.