Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Wednesday, September 08, 2021, 12:59 (45 days ago) @ David Turell

New amphibious whale
dhw: Why is it more difficult and cumbersome for God to invent a single mechanism which will be capable of autonomously making each decision, performing each operation, coping with each new situation, than for him to keep popping in and doing it all himself "hands on"?

DAVID: In human designing. if you do it yourself it is much easier than telling someone else how to do it and reach the proper desired result. I've been there as previously described.

dhw: Telling someone else means giving them instructions! I agree with you completely. In the theistic theory of cellular intelligence, your God has given cells the ABILITY to do the designing all by themselves, i.e. first-hand! “Much easier” for him than having to pop in and give them lessons on how to deal with every single new situation and on how to invent every innovation. Thank you for this excellent argument.

You have repeated your irrelevant comment about telling people what to do, so please just answer the bolded question.

DAVID: I haven't changed from an analyzing your God's "works" as indicating a human-style imagined God.

dhw: I was quoting your own guesses as to why we are here. I find them very feasible. Why are you now dismissing your own ideas as “human-style”? And what’s wrong with your own supportive theory that we “mimic him in many ways”?

DAVID: Old ground. I've told you I've made guesses at your behest. Just guesses.

And why is it OK for you to make humanizing guesses, but it’s not OK for me to say I find them feasible, just as I agree with you that if he exists, we are likely to mimic him in many ways. This is a strange discussion, as with the theme of time. We agree, but you don’t agree that we agree.

Introducing the brain
DAVID: I think He dabbled hominin neurons to fit our consciousness needs.

dhw: So does that mean he gave them the ability to make their own decisions, or that he preprogrammed all their decisions 3.8 billion years ago, or that he pops in to give them instructions for every single decision?

DAVID: I said dabble the neurons' current abilities, so they can work on their own. I'd better add, following God's implanted instructions.

dhw: How can they work on their own if they follow instructions?

DAVID: By following instructions, as discussed before. They cannot invent new ways of acting beyond the instructions.

dhw: So every time there is a new problem he pops in to increase the neurons’ ability to follow the instructions he laid down 3.8 billion years ago? This is getting just a little confusing. […]

DAVID: The neurons were designed with full instructions to cover the abilities we are now discovering they have in the previously study entry.

What do you mean by "instructions to cover" the abilities? Either they have the autonomous ability to solve problems, or they are given instructions on how to solve them. We are back in your Wonderland, where your definition of AUTONOMY was obeying instructions.

Feser on dualism
QUOTE: “… in our moods and feelings we are not often sure what part is physical and what not. There is no sharp dividing line between. The life of flesh and blood is particularly focused about the feelings and emotions. So long as there is no adequate conception of the concrete or lived body, our theories of mind cannot deal adequately with the life of feeling."

I have read the article twice, and this is the only section that makes any kind of coherent sense to me in the context of materialism versus dualism. In brief, we do not know the source of our emotions, because we do not know how physical cells can produce consciousness, emotion etc., and we do not know if there is some kind of immaterial being within us that does the thinking etc. for us. This is hardly new. The article is headed “make-believe matter”, which only adds to my confusion. For the record, I am convinced that the apple, my house, my family and my arms and legs are all truly existing matter, even if my perception of them is subjective. I truly believe that animals have a degree of consciousness, but I also truly believe that my desk and chair do not. And I haven’t a clue what this is supposed to teach me about the possibility of there being an immaterial me, or of my various cell communities producing all my thoughts and feelings.

DAVID: Pure materialism tries to tell us the way our sensations are converted into charged ions interpreted by our brain, they are not really what we feel. But Feder argues common sense has to play a role in our theories.

I agree that common sense should play a role in our theories. And common sense tells me my emotions are as real as my leg, but it doesn’t tell me whether my emotions are produced by parts of my body/brain and relayed through to (other parts of) my brain, or by some immaterial form of “me” which also relays them through to my brain. I fear I am none the wiser for reading this article, but thank you for editing it!


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