Mod+ 269. DR. MICHAEL SHERMER, SKEPTICAL SCIENCE REPORTING

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    I've been participating in the forum for many years and one thing I've learned is that it's easy to misconstrue where other people are coming from. It's easy to assume someone is trolling/posing/bull-shitting/manipulating only to find out they have real questions/opinions.

    don't know if this applies to any of the discussions on this thread... just saying.
     
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  2. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Yes -you do get a bit paranoid. I'm trying. Thanks.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
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  3. bishop

    bishop Member

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    It is very difficult for me to understand how someone could believe these things are not available to materialists, or atheists. I think one thing that's been highlighted here in the forum recently, and for good reason, is going around and saying that materialists are robots with no meaning in their lives is a dead end road. It's a weak starting point for any kind of real engagement.
     
  4. Alex

    Alex New

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    I didn't mean it in that way, B... just saying it's sometimes trickier than it seems... and sometimes is not :) that's why we have MOD+ :)
     
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  5. malf

    malf Member

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    Posters getting insulted when another poster's worldview doesn't precisely match their own?

    Who took all the fun out of discussing this stuff?
     
  6. DasMurmeltier

    DasMurmeltier New

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    Well i dont expect just fun and games but i believe everyone here is capable to create a worthwhile and interesting discussion while accepting other opinions. Thats what this should be all about, right? Everyone here is capable of that.
     
  7. Alex

    Alex New

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    ok, but we've got a lot of posts on why you and others were asked to stay clear of the Mod+ threads. I mean, the NAR still applies... there are people who's opinions/posts are not worth the clutter.

    for those uninitiated to the NAR: http://www.amazon.com/The-Asshole-Rule-Civilized-Workplace/dp/0446698202
     
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  8. malf

    malf Member

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    I am well persuaded that classical materialism cannot satisfactorily describe our conscious experience.

    I am aware that there is mystery in the universe and our existence in it.

    I have a good knowledge of the parapsychology papers.

    I have explored various philosophical perspectives, and have sympathies with several.

    I have listened to every show you have produced.



    To avoid being an asshole, what else does one have to pledge?
     
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  9. politicaljunkie

    politicaljunkie New

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    Well, the new joining rules are that you sign your name in blood, and perform an animal sacrifice on the alter of Lord Malachi.
     
  10. Dominic Bunnell

    Dominic Bunnell New

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    Yes, theists often forget to tell you that their world view has just as many problems of its own when it comes to values and morality. They need to deal with Galen Strawson's critique of libertarian free will and moral responsibility, with Nagel's argument that ultimate purpose/meaning is an incoherent idea, with the Euthyphro problem, with the problem of evil, and on and on.

    Both theists and materialists just end up saying, "There must be answers to all these problems on my world view, and someone will figure it out eventually."
     
  11. Alex

    Alex New

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    sorry. none. maybe you're confirming my earlier post about misreading intentions :)
     
  12. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    Malf, have you changed your mind that Mind=Brain? Just curious. (That's all that I gather MOD+ means.)
     
  13. Dominic Bunnell

    Dominic Bunnell New

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    Am I the only one who hates this Mind=Brain slogan? Nobody thinks that a brain lying on the floor is a mind. So whatever it is that materialists actually believe, it's not Mind=Brain.

    I know I'm probably just being a pedant here, but it does annoy me.
     
  14. Raimo

    Raimo New

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    What is that exactly? There isn't any problem of evil in any theistic, atheist, spiritual or materialistic worldview.
     
  15. malf

    malf Member

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    It is a silly question... Particularly if one expects a "yes" or "no" answer. IMO, anyone convinced either way is making assumptions... Hand-waving is not confined to one "side" or the other, as we are seeing in the new show thread with respect to how reincarnation might work.

    And that's before I try and nail down exactly what you mean by "mind" (or "brain" for that matter).
     
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  16. Alex

    Alex New

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    silliness.
     
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  17. malf

    malf Member

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    How so?

    I'm really not saying anything different to what you are saying here:

    Given the three points of your premise, how can we decide which ideas to have any sort of confidence in?
     
  18. Alex

    Alex New

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    I missed the part where you acknowledged the crackpot-ed-ness of Krauss.
     
  19. malf

    malf Member

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    I'm no defender of Krauss... But again if we accept your 3 point premise (and I do) doesn't everyone's ideas look crackpot? You're dodging this question.

    (Heh... Wasn't Galileo considered a crackpot?)
     
  20. Spanky

    Spanky New

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    I'm quite interested in Dawkins' selfish molecule thought experiment, and the way it was referenced in this interview. It seems to me that it is paradoxical. "Imagine you were a molecule, what would you do to to survive?" Shermer says.

    It seems to me that, under Dawkins' own materialist paradigm, the answer would have to be, 'nothing', because a molecule has no consciousness. Because surely, the desire to survive must be based on an entity valuing itself, then directing itself (assuming the means to do so) to preserve this valued self; and surely to value itself it needs to be aware of itself; which is to say it needs to be conscious, even if at only some dim atavistic level. Thus it seems to me that Dawkins' thought experiment can only work under a metaphysical schema that Deepak would agree with wholeheartedly. So I'm confused. Maybe someone can explain to me how supposedly inert matter acts to preserve itself, and why the dead aren't rising out of their graves to continue the struggle for survival.

    Paradoxically the same camp correlates the phenomenon of consciousness to complexity of interconnectivity. For them, consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain's inconceivably complex neurological interactions, just as one day our computers are going to turn on us, when they suddenly develop their own sufficient complexity to emerge into consciousness. And yet a molecule is already sufficiently complex to be be an actor in its own struggle for survival.

    Doesn't Dawkins' thought experiment presuppose that a.) a molecule is not conscious, because it is not complex; b.) but it still values itself, (despite not being conscious); and c.) it can still somehow somehow direct itself to create new situations or maintain serendipitous situations favourable to its continued existence (despite not being conscious)?
     
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