Showing posts with label reason. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reason. Show all posts

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Imaginary Reality

But until we have good evidence of their existence, they don't exist for us. The best an example can be is in the 'probably real' subset of the set of 'imaginary things'.

Thus for any specific candidate, like a real Donald Duck, a real teapot in orbit beyond Mars, a real Higgs boson or (if only we knew what a god is) a real god, it doesn't exist until we have good evidence of its existence. Blü

I would as usual include in the existence category any imaginary thing that is consistently describable by any rational human who has been exposed to the imaginary concept.  Donald Duck is an imaginary thing that is a charicature of a duck, which wears a naval themed vest and hat and speaks aphorisms of determinable levels of satirical, ironic, and metaphorical truth.  Therefore, Donald Duck objectively exists.   The teapot was not adequately described even by Russell to be consistently describable by any rational human and therefore remains in the set of imaginary things with no real existence. 

A real God may exist for a group of people but generally the description is about as defined as Russell's teapot so that for the rational human must remain in the category of imaginary thing.  As an example Zeus may be considered a real God for the ancient Greeks.  Uniformly describable as a charicature of a human man, wielding lightning bolts as a weapon, and speaking aphorisms of determinable levels of satirical, ironic, and metaphorical truth.  He was even clearly described enough to be made into statues recognizable by any rational Greek as Zeus.  

The problem with God in the thread title, is that all believers describe Herm differently if they describe Herm at all in recognizable terms, and therefore the rational human has no consistent evidence to determine any sort of existence even as an imaginary thing. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

AKA Gödel's theorem in English.

Lavengro:  Assume for a moment that reason may be flawed (pace: see my response to your next point); then no "check" which uses reason can be used to validate reason, and I can't imagine a check which doesn't use reason. Certainly, "my conclusions are consistent with reality therefore my premises and my reasoning are correct" does: the "therefore" gives it away.

Suppose a computer program were written that checked any computer program for bugs. If it checked itself and reported "No bugs" would that mean it was flawless? No, because its own bugs may have missed its own bugs.  So with using reason to check reason. (As an aside, it is trivially easy to prove that no program can be written which will exhaustively check programs for infinite loops.)

"Besides, since you and I have agreed on my assumptions, reason IS a valid tool as far as this conversation's concerned."

But what if reasoning from your assumptions leads you to a conclusion that your assumptions are false? Then either your assumptions are indeed false or your reasoning is flawed (or possibly both). Your reasoning has led you to the conclusion that "reason is the product of quantum-random or deterministic brain events."

Do you maintain that a conclusion can be valid (except by coincidence) if there's any randomness in the reasoning-process that produced it?  If not, your assumption about reason being valid is not true.  If you do, please justify this position.

To see that a conclusion must (except by coincidence again) be invalid if it's the product only of determinism is not quite so easy. I usually try to demonstrate it by saying, "You only think that because of the way your brain's wired."  I also point out that the man who sees pink elephants at the foot of his bed also has a (n alcohol-rotted but) deterministic brain; and that the woman who thinks she's a fried egg has a deterministic brain which is affected by the tumour growing against it.  Both these (admittedly pathological) brains illustrate that reason may not always be a "valid tool."L

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What is Reality

beliefnet et al
I find it useful to distinguish between

  1. Mythical reality (including religions) which is a widely recognized group of mythical characters and situations that are generally accepted as being real and useful by a culture.  It is not necessary to have read the Brothers Grimm to know about Little Red Riding hood.
  2. Fictional reality which is a group of fictional characters and situations which those wishing to suspend disbelief for the duration of the fictional events, or the discussion of them are treated as real. 
  3. Observable reality which are characters and situations that can be shown to be real to all rational observers.  Note that truth values are not a given in observable reality.  

Feb 9, 2015 -- 7:09AM, Blü wrote:

That Christianity's propositions accord with reality.

Ah. So when you say Christianity is 'true', you mean it accords with imaginary reality, not objective reality.

Further thanks for clearing that up.

I think a better word per Shermer would be accord with belief reality. 

The brain has objectively observable belief centers that interpret reality in ways that enhance survivability.  On the savannah interpreting certain patterns in the windblown grass as a tiger, may have survival benefits even though the reality is that they are only wind effects. 

In a society controlled by vuvuzelas mediating for a vicious, vengeful God it may be a survival benefit to believe in a vicious, vengeful God even though reality is that it is vicious, vengeful vuvuzelas that should be feared. 
Feb 9, 2015 -- 8:09PM, Blü wrote:
As for all other "realities", while the brain and its functions are part of objective reality, the contents of its concepts do not necessarily have objective counterparts ie don't refer to things with objective reality. Examples are 'unicorn', 'two', 'supernatural being', 'justice', 'Donald Duck', 'some chairs' and so on.

Rationaist BS is no different from other BSNo matter how many times you explain that 'Donald Duck' is a real fictional character, the realities of which can be discussed by anyone familiar with Disney™ movies, tv shows, comic books, etc. a rationalist will insist that 'Donald Duck' is imaginary with no objective reality. 

As Blü himself has discussed 'Donald Duck' has three fingers and a thumb on each 'wing,' is anthropomorphic, talks English in English speaking countries but is multilingual, generally wears a blue sailor hat, a blue man's shirt, and a red bow tie.  This is factual information that exists independently of any person's mind and can in fact be verified by a search of Donald Duck images.

I might suggest that 'Donald Duck" is real for a majority of the people in the world, whereas something like a benzene ring exists only in the imagination of a few chemists SEMs are fakes, and frequently involves a snake biting its own tail even for chemists. 

'Donald Duck©' is so real that if someone imagines a similar anthropomorphic duck and tries to publish a comic book based on the character hesh would have a major legal battle on herm hands to establish that the imagined duck was sufficiently different in reality to not infringe on the Disney Copyright. 

Feb 11, 2015 -- 9:53AM, Blü wrote:


a rationalist will insist that 'Donald Duck' is imaginary with no objective reality.

We have descriptions and images and impersonations of Donald Duck. However, no real Donald Duck exists outside of imagination. He's a fictitious being.

No one has ever maintained that Donald Duck is a being.  Just that he is a fictitious reality.  A reality that exists and is independently verifiable by any rational person independent of anyone's imagination. 

Please note the working of the conceptual block which changes "reality" into "being."  It doesn't really change anything but provides a mental fig leaf to cover the "reality" of the fictional "being" as "being" can be interpreted as a once or presently living touchable, interacting entity.  All of which is critically important to denying God as a Mythical (religious) reality.   

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Trascendence and Reason.

But you've had 'transcendental' moments, how do you make 'sense' of them.

I'm sure you dont just think 'rationally' all the time so how do you deal with these experiences?

Transcendental moments are the brain's way of saying: Stop. Pay attention.  Something important is happening here.  Neurotransmitters flood certain areas of the brain depending on the nature of the transcendence and essentially cause the whole brain to focus on the experience.  Some are purely a reward for being alive.  Rainbows and halos are one trigger for me.  They are my brain's way of telling me that I am the focus of all the beauty and wonder in the world.  Rational thought is not excluded, indeed one of the purposes of transcendent experiences is to explore why the brain is calling my attention to the experience.  At the very least rain and sun are necessary for life, and although rain may be an annoyance when it stops and the sun comes out I am rewarded by the brain for being outside in the unpleasant but necessary rain, and enjoying "My moment in the sun."   

The experience is far, far older than modern man, and indeed should be unremarkable for one whose only worry is that the car won’t skid on the wet road, but the brain remembers our ancestors who were out planting, weeding and otherwise getting sustenance for the family in the “bad” weather.   

Religion tries and generally succeeds in capturing transcendence and slaving it to the service of God, e.g. a rainbow is God's promise that Hesh won't kill all "that has the breath of life" ever again, with the not so veiled threat that Hesh could if Hesh wanted to.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Reason" to be Proud.

Intuitive vs. Rational thinking - Beliefnet Forums: "It is our ability to reason that is our major evolutionary advantage over animals that are instinctively more vicious, stronger, faster, and more agile than we are."

Reason and Moral Dilemmas.

Intuitive vs. Rational thinking - Beliefnet Forums: "To take Hauser's example, the decision to sacrifice the one on the siding to save the 5 on the main track, is not amenable to reason. If the five on the main track are fighting a gang war, and the one on the siding is a police officer trying to call in assistance or use his authority to end the fighting, reason cannot override the decision to divert the trolley to kill the officer."