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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2020, 04:03:14 pm »
Do you consider the possibility your views might be due to incorrect wiring?

Of course, however it's important to recognize a few important facts:

1) Theism doesn't require a brute set of facts which could account for anything.
2) The majority of people now and through the ages have been theists and thus if theist belief is due to a certain wiring it is probably based of the optimal wiring of natural selection (even if God was not involved in human brain wiring this would tend to be the case).
3) Theism is far more meaningful than the meaning of life obtained from atheism, and thus even if we made a mistake in selecting theist wiring (i.e., after doing our best to avoid such a mistake) then there is still a pragmatic benefit that justifies a theist belief.

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kurros

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2020, 07:07:01 pm »
Do you consider the possibility your views might be due to incorrect wiring?

Of course, however it's important to recognize a few important facts:

1) Theism doesn't require a brute set of facts which could account for anything.
2) The majority of people now and through the ages have been theists and thus if theist belief is due to a certain wiring it is probably based of the optimal wiring of natural selection (even if God was not involved in human brain wiring this would tend to be the case).
3) Theism is far more meaningful than the meaning of life obtained from atheism, and thus even if we made a mistake in selecting theist wiring (i.e., after doing our best to avoid such a mistake) then there is still a pragmatic benefit that justifies a theist belief.

That all seems irrelevant to the OP question. In fact now I'm just confused as to the point of the OP. What exactly are you trying to probe here?

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Fred

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2020, 07:43:48 pm »
Do you consider the possibility your views might be due to incorrect wiring?

Of course, however it's important to recognize a few important facts:

1) Theism doesn't require a brute set of facts which could account for anything.
2) The majority of people now and through the ages have been theists and thus if theist belief is due to a certain wiring it is probably based of the optimal wiring of natural selection (even if God was not involved in human brain wiring this would tend to be the case).
3) Theism is far more meaningful than the meaning of life obtained from atheism, and thus even if we made a mistake in selecting theist wiring (i.e., after doing our best to avoid such a mistake) then there is still a pragmatic benefit that justifies a theist belief.
So would you take the pill, and risk losing your basis for meaning in life?  IOW, even if belief in theism were to be shown to be demonstrably a product of a brain defect, would you would want to keep the defect?  i.e. because of the defect, you perceive meaning in life.  Surely you'd want to retain that, wouldn't you?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 10:29:28 pm by Fred »
Fred

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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2020, 10:45:51 pm »
So would you take the pill, and risk losing your basis for meaning in life?  IOW, even if belief in theism were to be shown to be demonstrably a product of a brain defect, would you would want to keep the defect?  i.e. because of the defect, you perceive meaning in life.  Surely you'd want to retain that, wouldn't you?

If theism wasn't true I wouldn't want to believe it. But, if given 1-3 of course I want to believe in God and stick with theist wiring. Everyone ought to prefer theism for those reasons, of course.

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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2020, 11:13:37 am »
 @nobody in particular
RE: "we already have drugs that effect mood and disposition"

While this is certainly true, I think the point of the thought experiment here is to think about a specific propositional attitude and how a drug could neutralize our disposition towards it.  Saying "we have drugs for mood" is like saying "we can nuke the city to eliminate the bad guys." Of course we can nuke the city, but what we're asking for here is a cruise missile that can zero in on a specific building and eliminate the bad guys without impacting anyone else.
Ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament (PCUSA)
Regent University, Master of Divinity (Chaplain Ministry)
US Navy (Active 2004-2009, Reserves 2012-2018)

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Fred

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2020, 02:11:23 pm »

If theism wasn't true I wouldn't want to believe it.
But, if given 1-3 of course I want to believe in God and stick with theist wiring. Everyone ought to prefer theism for those reasons, of course.
Do you therefore realize that those advantages to theism (giving life meaning etc) do not provide a reason to believe God exists?  You get those benefits even if God doesn't exist, and yet you wouldn't want to believe in it unless you had otherwise good reasons to believe it
Fred

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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2020, 02:24:42 pm »
Do you therefore realize that those advantages to theism (giving life meaning etc) do not provide a reason to believe God exists?  You get those benefits even if God doesn't exist, and yet you wouldn't want to believe in it unless you had otherwise good reasons to believe it

Well, there is a pragmatic theory of truth, but the PTT cannot be used to warrant someone else to believe but such arguments can act as reasons for us to believe in certain beliefs.

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Jabberwock

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2020, 03:41:15 pm »
But, there is still something called red which exists even if it is subjective. The same thing for the taste of an apple. That taste exists. So, a neuron that prevents us from "seeing" that argument should be disabled. Why would we want a neuron that prevents us from seeing truth?

Obviously, I meant belief that colors are objective. And the neuron does not prevent us from seeing truth, it allows us to see it.
First learn to spell "ironic discussion"...

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Fred

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2020, 11:05:13 pm »
Do you therefore realize that those advantages to theism (giving life meaning etc) do not provide a reason to believe God exists?  You get those benefits even if God doesn't exist, and yet you wouldn't want to believe in it unless you had otherwise good reasons to believe it

Well, there is a pragmatic theory of truth, but the PTT cannot be used to warrant someone else to believe but such arguments can act as reasons for us to believe in certain beliefs.
You said, "If theism wasn't true I wouldn't want to believe it".  Extend that reasoning to someone who doesn't think theism (not to be confused with deism) is believable.  If theism isn't believable (as it seems to me), then it doesn't seem like it could be true - so the fringe benefits of believing  doesn't really enter into the analysis. 
Fred

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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2020, 11:45:56 pm »
You said, "If theism wasn't true I wouldn't want to believe it".  Extend that reasoning to someone who doesn't think theism (not to be confused with deism) is believable.  If theism isn't believable (as it seems to me), then it doesn't seem like it could be true - so the fringe benefits of believing  doesn't really enter into the analysis.

Again, if we consider 1-3 there are more justified reasons to be a theist over an atheist. In case of the PTT we look at the pragmatic benefits that we experience and that adds to the probability of theism being true if pragmatic truth is tied to cogent truth. Of course, by itself PTT might not be reliable enough to identify cogent truth so it should be used in conjuction with traditional epistemic arguments.

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Fred

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2020, 09:24:06 am »
You said, "If theism wasn't true I wouldn't want to believe it".  Extend that reasoning to someone who doesn't think theism (not to be confused with deism) is believable.  If theism isn't believable (as it seems to me), then it doesn't seem like it could be true - so the fringe benefits of believing  doesn't really enter into the analysis.

Again, if we consider 1-3 there are more justified reasons to be a theist over an atheist...
Harvey - I'm truly just  trying to help you understand an atheist viewpoint.  #1 could be considered as a reason to accept deism (not theism). but #2 and #3 have zero persuasive power. They may help you feel good about your belief, perhaps they might even give someone a reason to WANT to believe (just like the myth of an afterlife), but wishful thinking is not  rationally compelling.
Fred

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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #41 on: August 04, 2020, 10:17:09 am »
Harvey - I'm truly just  trying to help you understand an atheist viewpoint.  #1 could be considered as a reason to accept deism (not theism).

No, because many of the properties of a brute fact are also meant to explain "just so" features that apply for a personal God. For example, human level consciousness where we understand our own existence and can have discussions such as this are better explained by a personal God who wanted conscious creatures with free will such as ourselves. The naturalist response is that this type of consciousness is due to the "just so-ness" of the ontic bedrock state.

Quote from: Fred
...but #2 and #3 have zero persuasive power. They may help you feel good about your belief, perhaps they might even give someone a reason to WANT to believe (just like the myth of an afterlife), but wishful thinking is not  rationally compelling.

#2 provides justification as to why we ought to think that an atheist wiring does not represent a possible improvement since it wasn't based on the improvements that natural selection instituted over the past million years  If atheist wiring brought about cognitive improvements then surely natural selection would have selected for that kind of wiring. #3 says that if the cogent reasons are better for theism then we would be a fool to infect our minds with a harmful set of memes that harm our ability to find meaning in life. This actually becomes a health issue.

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Fred

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2020, 10:23:16 am »

#2 provides justification as to why we ought to think that an atheist wiring does not represent a possible improvement since it wasn't based on the improvements that natural selection instituted over the past million years  If atheist wiring brought about cognitive improvements then surely natural selection would have selected for that kind of wiring. #3 says that if the cogent reasons are better for theism then we would be a fool to infect our minds with a harmful set of memes that harm our ability to find meaning in life. This actually becomes a health issue.
Your nonsense never ceases to amaze me. Again, I was just trying to help you understand an atheist viewpoint, but you are so stuck in your own set of beliefs that you are unable (perhaps unwilling) to understand.
Fred

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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2020, 10:25:32 am »
Your nonsense never ceases to amaze me. Again, I was just trying to help you understand an atheist viewpoint, but you are so stuck in your own set of beliefs that you are unable (perhaps unwilling) to understand.

We'll see who is right once we complete our time on this planet.