Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Monday, June 21, 2021, 08:52 (124 days ago) @ David Turell

A.N. Whitehead
DAVID: I don't accept Whitehead either, but Whitehead doesn't describe an active God as you do.

dhw: I'm not sure how active his God is, but why is my active God weak, namby-pamby and wishy-washy, whereas you regard an inactive God as equal to yours?

DAVID: It is the image your God presents to me, as you describe His probably wishes and works.

I describe different possibilities – experimenting to get what he wants, designing new things because he enjoys designing them, creating a free-for-all to see what will happen. All are active and condemned by you as weak, namby-pamby and wishy-washy. You say Whitehead’s “becoming” God is inactive but equal to yours, who specially designs everything and knows everything in advance. I don’t understand your criteria for “equality”.

Even our White matter is different
DAVID: But I've got a villa on the Riviera and you are living on the dole.

dhw: Our extra white matter has led to our intellectual superiority, as in your analogy. That does not make the dollars or the white matter different. We simply have more of them/it.

DAVID: All I meant is our amount is different.

Yes, we have more of it, but it is not different. The heading is wrong. Thank you.

Human evolution: no time for chance
dhw: There are no precedents or analogies. Nobody knows how speciation happened, and “current mutation rates” won’t help us to know what happened millions of years ago. However, you and I are agreed that all these organs and organisms – whether human or animal – are too complex to be the result of pure chance, regardless of time. We are therefore left with the same choices we have been left with since we began our discussions over 13 years ago: 1) there is a supermind (God) without a source who is simply there and designed it all; 2) the first cells were possessed with an intelligence that enabled them to rearrange their own structures as and when conditions required or allowed; 3) the source of that intelligence was the sourceless supermind, chance (not to be dismissed in an infinite and eternal universe which produces an infinite number of combinations of materials), or an innate rudimentary intelligence in materials (a form of panpsychism). Although I find cellular intelligence the most likely explanation of evolution itself (see above), the source is an absolute sticking point for me, and I find NONE of the explanations credible. Hence my agnosticism.

DAVID: An excellent review of your thoughts.

Thank you. Perhaps you will bear it in mind during future discussions, especially when you claim that my alternative theories are attempts to get rid of God. I have left my review here in its entirety as it answers one of your non-arguments on the “Possible God” thread.

We learn to see
DAVID: Just as we learn to walk we learn to see, and obviously we learn to feel, to hear, to taste, etc. Our brain is designed as quite helpful to build up an encyclopedia of recorded knowledge to help us navigate living. This is the blank slate aspect of the newborn brain, I have referred to in the past. What is not blank is our congenital inheritance and our experiences as we develop from infanthood.

dhw: I can only add that even newborn babies react differently to their immediate surroundings, so we have no idea oF the extent to which our reactions are governed by our “congenital inheritance”. This is an important factor in our discussions on free will. […]

DAVID: I can only agree. we do that now and then!

Always a pleasure!


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