Things for atheists to think about

Author: Fallaneze ,

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Fallaneze
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Reality is comprised of mental properties. Mental properties are features that only exist within your consciousness. Some examples of mental properties include colors (red, blue, yellow, etc.), textures, sizes, shapes, weight, tastes, sounds, and anything else that you can observe. Anything that you can observe is represented by an assimilation of mental properties that have no independent existence. We have no reason to believe that there's any feature of observable reality that doesn't depend on consciousness in order to exist. This should make you question your assumption that consciousness emerged from the material world. The material world's very existence depends on consciousness. The better assumption is that consciousness is fundamental and the material world is just a manifestation of consciousness.

Let's take two competing hypothesis:

(Hypothesis #1) the external world is the product of mind

(Hypothesis #2) the external world is the product of mindlessness

Let's examine (Hypothesis #1). What qualities or characteristics would we expect the external world to exhibit if it derived from a mind? Let's see what qualities our minds exhibit:

(1) intellect 
(2) creativity/beauty
(3) humor
(4) intelligibility
(5) purposiveness
(6) rationality
(7) orderliness
(8) moral aspects
(9) complexity
(10) cohesiveness

Now let's examine (Hypothesis # 2) what qualities or characteristics would we expect the external world to exhibit if it derived from mindlessness? Let's examine what we could logically expect:

(1) blank
(2) unimaginative, distorted
(3) dull
(4) unintelligible, obscure
(5) aimless
(6) absurd
(7) chaotic, haphazard
(8) unprincipled
(9) plain
(10) disjointed, fragmented

If we take a look at the universe and examine our conscious interactions with the external world, it's much, much more indicative of (Hypothesis #1).

In the most concise way possible, the information-richness inherent in the external world infers the handiwork of mind instead of being the byproduct of mindlessness.

Mopac
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--> @Fallaneze
If you look up the word "universe" in a merriam-webster dictionary, the first definition is...



"the whole body of things and phenomena observed or postulated"

Just thought you would find that interesting given what you are saying.

TheRealNihilist
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Intelligent design argument kind of.

Let's examine (Hypothesis #1). What qualities or characteristics would we expect the external world to exhibit if it derived from a mind? Let's see what qualities our minds exhibit:

(1) intellect 
(2) creativity/beauty
(3) humor
(4) intelligibility
(5) purposiveness
(6) rationality
(7) orderliness
(8) moral aspects
(9) complexity
(10) cohesiveness
and
If we take a look at the universe and examine our conscious interactions with the external world, it's much, much more indicative of (Hypothesis #1).
Argument of ignorance as well.
The better assumption is that consciousness is fundamental and the material world is just a manifestation of consciousness.


keithprosser
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--> @Fallaneze
You wrote that the existence of the material world depends on consciousness, but I would say it is only the perception of the world that requires consciousness.  The only consciousnesses we know exist are bound up with very complex material objects (brains).  Roughly, my view is that 14 billion years purely physical universe came into being, and much later some of that matter became organised as brains and thus bringing consciousness into being.   I don't say that is provable - it is my 'working hypothesis'.  So I don't go for 'an external world' but I think about two complementary worlds - u1 the physical/material universe and u2 the mental universe

secularmerlin
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--> @Fallaneze
What qualities or characteristics would we expect the external world to exhibit
If you begin with an expectation and make the evidence fit you are no longer observing scientific method just confirming your own bias. Also most of the qualities you have proposed are qualified not quantified. Things like beauty, humor and purpose do not belong on yoir list since they are entirely opinion based (in the eye of the beholder).

keithprosser
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--> @secularmerlin
I 'sorta' get his attribute lists, but I see them applying to the u1 (physical) and u2 (mental) realms of my model.  I suppose rocks live in u1 only, but we humans live with a foot in both u1 and u2.  
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--> @keithprosser
If I understand you properly then only u1 is quantifiable and measurable. By contrasy u2 is subjective and immeasurable.
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That could well be so, but it's not my main intent.  My point is that things like atoms, gravity and inertia are aspects of u1 and things like love   , duty and desire are appcts of u2 - IE they didn't exist until consciousness existed.  As creatures of u2 duty and desire are 'forces', possibly more important than the physical forces of u1.,
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--> @keithprosser
Is there any reason to think that u2 is not entirely composed of brainstate?
keithprosser
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--> @secularmerlin
My view is u2 is built on u1, not u2 on u1 as fallaneze contends.   Many people argue reality is u1 or that it is u2, but I think reality is both,  at least for conscious entities.   U1 is mindless and pointless and is the nihistic void some people find distressing.  But ,u2 - brought about by the advent of consciousness - is what gives the universe meaning.   

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--> @keithprosser

And my argument is that u2 is u1. That the distinction is artificial. That the physicality involved is merely brain chemistry is (you'll pardon the pun) immaterial.
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--> @secularmerlin
U2 is not u1 because u2 did not exist until consciousness arose.  
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--> @keithprosser
This does not logically follow. Hydrogen was not always a part of u1. It did not exist until conditions arose that would support the formation of atoms so clearly not having always existed does not preclude inclusion in u1.

Unless of course you have another reason for making this distinction.

zedvictor4
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--> @Fallaneze
Ring a ring a roses and eventually all theories fall down. Simply because they never start anywhere.

It's very easy to predict the circle, but impossible to break the circle.

Something for theists as well as atheists to think about.


secularmerlin
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--> @zedvictor4
You are confusing theories with hypotheses again.
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--> @Fallaneze
Now let's examine (Hypothesis # 2) what qualities or characteristics would we expect the external world to exhibit if it derived from mindlessness? Let's examine what we could logically expect:
Did question give you ten dollars and a coffee when you begged it?


zedvictor4
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--> @secularmerlin
Hypothesis is a synonym for theory and vice versa.

Knit picking, lexical semantics are unnecessary.

I could quite easily suggest that you are confusing confusing with confusing.
secularmerlin
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--> @zedvictor4
In science a hypothesis is not directly equitable with a theory and I find that if I am not strict in observing the difference there us liable to be a tendency in my interlocutors to conflate the colloquial usage of theory, which is a synonym for hypothesis, with the scientific usage of theory, which is not.

When that happens, whether the conflation is purposeful or the result of ignorance, I find I am liable to hear inanities like "evolution is just a theory". Better to be clear on the difference at the outset and I appreciate your cooperation in clear communications here on the thread.

zedvictor4
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--> @secularmerlin
Very few words have that level of exclusivity. Theory nor hypothesis nor science for that matter, certainly do not.

Academic institutions nor secularmerlin, have no authority to monopolise words or to monopolise definition. 

Theory is synonymous with hypothesis and vice versa.

And theory and hypothesis are also synonymous with a dozen or more other words.

And secularmerlin is as secularmerlin does and words are variable and I am confident that my use of language is more than adequate for an online debating forum.

And nit-picking is pedanticism or overscrupulousness or punctiliousness or...……. 

And conflation can be as positive as it can be negative. 





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--> @zedvictor4
In science a theory is the closest to a fact you can get and a hypothesis is just an idea that needs to be further tested. These are the only usages I will recognize for clarity sake. If you wish to be imprecise in your conversations that is your business, and good luck with those who will refuse to acknowledge a scientific fact in light of your policy, I will not. 

In that way you can be certain what I mean when I use the two terms. 

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--> @zedvictor4
conflation can be as positive as it can be negative. 
Positive and negative in this context are largely subjective but for my stated goal of clear precise communications that do not muddy the waters of a discussion a conflation of terms is almost always negative.

zedvictor4
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--> @secularmerlin
A fact is either a fact or not a fact. Therefore a wild guess could be just as "close" as theory or hypothesis.

And just as you seek to monopolise language it would also seem that you also wish to monopolise science.

Science is not exclusive.
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--> @zedvictor4
Scientific language is both exclusive and precise, theory in no way equates with hypothesis. Hypothesis is basically a guess that needs clarification and study to verify or unverify it's truthfulness. A theory has been verified as much as anything can be verified, see Theory of Evolution also Gravity Theory and Germ Theory it's not possible to seriously question these Theories with any veracity.
A wild guess can possibly be hypothesis in science but it can never be a theory in science.
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--> @secularmerlin
This does not logically follow. Hydrogen was not always a part of u1. It did not exist until conditions arose that would support the formation of atoms so clearly not having always existed does not preclude inclusion in u1.

Unless of course you have another reason for making this distinction.
Consider a rafia fruit bowl.  it is a rigid shape that can serve as an effective container.   However it consists of strips that are neither rigid nor bowl shaped.   A random arrabhenent ifria dtrips would not serve as a fruit bowl - there is a theory of rafia that eplains which arrangements ofstrips produve an effective bowl.

The state of play with consciousness is that people assert that consciousness emerges from the compleity of the brain, but Ithink its obvious that most arrangements of rain matter would not produce a conscious mind, just as random rafia strips wouldn;t produce a fruit bowl.   At a trivial level, u2 is a sunset of u1, but the specifics of the difference is barely explored.
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--> @zedvictor4
There is a difference between theory the way you mean it and theory when speaking of the theory of gravity or the theory of germ medicine. A scientific theory is a fact. A casual theory is not. If you cannot differentiate the two then I'm not sure we can have any effective discussion. My personal recomendation is that you only use the word theory when reffering to a scientific theory (fact) and not a casual/weak/conspiracy theory (not a fact). Otherwise you will have to explain which you mean EVERY SINGLE TIME you use the term.