Reasons why ID must be considered (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 08:47 (220 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I had drafted this post before seeing David’s latest one on the conscious universe, which also deals with panpsychism. For you, reblak, as an atheist, the operative paragraph would be:

"Although we still know very little about quantum nonlocality, it's hard to believe it has something to do with a cosmic-wide mind. As far as we know, nonlocal quantum effects don't show any sort of purpose, satisfying instead well-known physical laws such as the conservation of total rotation in a pair of particles (or spin). One could even say that quantum nonlocality is nature's way of preserving such conservation laws at the level of elementary particles, hardly a sign of some deeper volition. Indeed, a defender of pansychism would be hard-pressed to explain how quantum nonlocality would act as the "messenger" for some kind of cosmic purpose. Or, even harder, to propose a test or mechanism for such."

I take issue of course with the last two sentences. It is perfectly possible to envisage an atheistic form of panpsychism in which there is no cosmic purpose but only a zillion individual purposes, as individual intelligences pursue their own ends. Faith is still required (and I remain agnostic): namely, that rudimentary intelligence can be present or can evolve in matter, but that demands considerably less credulity than the belief that a know-it-all intelligence can exist without any source at all.

DAVID: You are totally skipping the issue that the universe is inorganic, as far as we know, accept for this planet. Where does 'individual' purpose come from except for here where life has appeared? Are you hoping for inorganic purpose? On the other hand non-locality and the obvious interconnectedness of the universe suggests an existing quantum/consciousness underpinning the universe as its cause and director.

I devoted a whole section of my post to the problem of how inorganic matter could turn into organic cells, and stated categorically that nobody knows. Of course individual purpose is only known to us through living beings. The concept of rudimentary consciousness evolving in materials is purely hypothetical, as is the concept of a single conscious mind causing and directing the universe. However, you and I have already discussed these hypotheses at great length, and I was only repeating the panpsychist proposal as a response to reblak’s post, as it would be interesting to get a response from an atheistic standpoint.

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