Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Fortress of Belief


I've been arguing with Joe Hinman on the topic of my previous post.  The issue at hand was the accusation that atheists employ "God of the Gaps" reasoning, as espoused by Mikey at Shadow to Light.  I concluded that Mikey's assertion is just a case of "I know you are but what am I?"  My major point is that if a naturalist becomes convinced that God is real, it would be because of undeniable evidence that can't be explained by naturalism.  God of the Gaps belief, on the other hand, relies on a lack of evidence,  It simply assumes that God as the default explanation for anything where a full scientific explanation is lacking.  There doesn't have to be any evidence of supernatural phenomena to support God of the Gaps belief.

Hinman has taken issue with much of what I had to say about this topic.  To respond in detail to what I said, he has made a post of his own in one of his many blogs, called Atheistwatch.  I would like to answer all of the points he raises, but his posts are so long and rambling, lacking in cogency, and filled with fallacies and misunderstandings, that it is impractical for me to address them all.  I could spend all week trying, but I have a life.  So I'll limit myself to some of the most salient points that he makes.

The central theme of Hinman's response is that atheists have a gross misunderstanding of what science is.  This is what he calls the "Fortress of Facts", and in fact Hinman has written about this previously, here (part 1) and here (part 2).  It is the notion that atheists don't understand science.  They think of science as simple a pile of facts, and don't realize that it involves testing hypotheses.
Most scientifically inclined observers know that science is not merely the accumulation of a pile of facts. Science is not about proving facts or manufacturing a pile of facts so much as it is about testing hypothesis in a systematic fashion. Science is more about disproving than about proving. There are aspects of reality that beyond the ability of science to disprove. God is one of these. Yet, even though atheists will deny the words “fortress of facts” if we observe the way they argument this is undeniable consequence of their logic and their approach.
I honestly don't know where he gets this notion.  He fancies himself as being much more scientifically literate than the average atheist.  He even thinks real scientists like Richard Dawkins and Victor Stinger [sic] are less scientifically literate than himself, apparently for no other reason than they are outspoken atheists.  As a prime example of his thesis, Hinman cites Stenger's book God: The Failed Hypothesis, in which Stenger proposes testing the existence of the Judeo-Christian God as a scientific hypothesis.  But this is the exact opposite of what Hinman claims is the "Fortress of Facts".  It is fully in keeping with the concept of science, as opposed to theistic belief, which relies upon many unsubstantiated and completely unverifiable assertions about God and his supposed properties, that they treat as a pile of facts.  Hinman contradicts himself at every turn.  He has done nothing to substantiate his assertions about atheists' supposed misunderstanding about science.  But he himself relies heavily on myth, unverifiable hearsay, and emotional experiences as a source of "facts" in support of his own theistic beliefs.  This is what I call the "Fortress of Belief".  It is indeed a fortress, because it can't be penetrated by science or logic.

About me, Hinman says:
It ought to be embarrassing to him because it shows that he really doesn't understand science. Carl Popper said science is not about proving things it;s about disproving things this guy is talking about an actual pile of facts growing in the atheist column.
I have to ask, what makes him think that I subscribe to his straw man "Fortress of Facts"?  I have previously argued against the notion that science must prove things.  And where on earth does Hinman get the idea that he understands science better than I do?  Is it because he read some Popper somewhere in the course of his education in theistic mumbo jumbo?  I'll tell you one thing that Hinman has never read: a real science book.  He loves to tout his Almost PhD (the degree that he doesn't have), and he seems to assume that the atheists he interacts with are less educated than he is, so he can get away with claiming that they don't understand science.  I don't like to tout my own degrees,  but let me just say to Joe that I'll put my knowledge of science, based on real science education (with degrees), up against his lack of scientific education, based on whatever it took to earn his his bible college degrees, any day.  Joe, unless you have spent years studying real science (not just reading some Popper), you'd best keep quiet about who knows it better.  The only one you reveal as being ignorant is yourself.

The other issue Hinman raises in his response that I'd like to address is his notion that naturalists rule out any possibility of the supernatural, a priori.  I have gone to considerable lengths to explain that this is simple not true.  We believe naturalism is true, because that's what the evidence tells us.  And if the evidence indicated something different, we would need to conclude that naturalism is not true.  This is something that most  theists, including Hinman, refuse to accept.  They want to paint themselves as being the open-minded ones, and atheists as being stubbornly dogmatic.
Of course ruling out the supernatural from ever having happened depends entirely upon how you define supernatural, He wants to make rules and what happened the distinguishing features and that;s begging the question. He is saying that we know its natural because it happens and we know that nothing  else happens. But if happening is really the issue then nothing else could happen but that it would be called natural, He's just begging the question. He wants to rule out a prirori anything that standse agakisnt his ideology.
Once again, what I said is "everything in our experience so far has been amenable to a naturalistic explanation."  That doesn't rule out the supernatural.  It simply recognizes that we have yet to see anything that can't be explained by naturalism.  This is what he calls begging the question.  Joe even accuses atheists of re-defining supernatural to mean something different from his own understanding of it.  Excuse me, but when I talk about supernatural phenomena, I mean it in a sense that is fully consistent with standard dictionary definitions.  Hinman, on the other hand, has his own peculiar definition for supernatural:
Nothing theistic says things happen without rules, There is no way to prove one way or the other that things happen because of some higher cause. There are only warrants for belief.  No proof either way. It's a total misconception to set up the distinction between naturalism = rules and supernatural = no rules. Supernatural is not anti-natural. It's not opposed to laws of nature.
In his mind, things that follow the laws of nature are in fact supernatural phenomena.  In other words, he thinks that God makes everything in nature happen, and for that reason, everything is supernatural, but there is no way to distinguish it from natural.  What Hinman is doing is precluding the possibility of any natural explanation, a priori.  At the same time, he still claims that there things like miracles (Lourdes), and phenomena that can't be reduced to a naturalistic explanation (consciousness).  He seems to be walking down both sides of the street.  If there are in fact things that have no natural explanation, then we should all be able to agree on that.  Did the miracles at Lourdes really happen?  There's no documented proof.  Just unsubstantiated stories.  Sorry, Joe, but we need better evidence than that.  Does consciousness really have no natural explanation?  Not according to scientists who study it, but only by the account of people who believe in the supernatural.  One thing they have yet to show is any convincing evidence that something is going on that doesn't follow natural laws.

And this brings us back to my discussion on God of the Gaps.  Why do theists continue to insist that consciousness is supernatural?  Because it's one of the remaining gaps in scientific understanding.  There isn't a comprehensive, widely accepted natural theory that fully explains consciousness - yet.  And lo and behold, this is the greatest remaining bastion of theistic belief.  A gap in scientific knowledge.  There is plenty of evidence to think that it is a purely physical phenomenon.  There are various naturalistic theories that provide at least partial explanations of consciousness.  And more importantly, there is not a shred of evidence that something supernatural is involved.  It is only supernatural belief without empirical evidence that keeps the theistic theory of a supernatural soul alive.  And this is precisely what we mean by the God of the Gaps.  A god on his deathbed, under intensive care - clinging to life within the Fortress of Belief.

25 comments:

  1. I'm going to answer this one over there too. But i'll make a few comments here.

    the first thing is all the generalizing to atheists is something you did, i did not do that. I said nothing about all atheists'

    fortress of facts is a fallacy that atheists commit by assuming they have a big pile of facts and that makes their view right.

    You may know better you may know about popper but there are obviously a lot of things that you said that imply otherwise, I think obviously you just parrot back what many atheists say (note the qualification "many") and you don't realize you are doing it.


    you said: "The central theme of Hinman's response is that atheists have a gross misunderstanding of what science is. This is what he calls the "Fortress of Facts", and in fact Hinman has written about this previously, here (part 1) and here (part 2). It is the notion that atheists don't understand science. They think of science as simple a pile of facts, and don't realize that it involves testing hypotheses."

    More or less. I certainly never said all atheists do that the fallacy is im thinking that having a vast array of facts while theists have supposedly have none or few makes their view righit that is the fallacy, lots of atheis think that way.

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  2. here are statements from your previous post taht show that yuo do make the FOF fallacy,You could have seen this if opened your eyes and look the quote's I used:

    :"They are well aware that theistic explanations are losing ground to science, and they don't have any good response. They turn to explanations that emphasize the hidden aspect of God's works. Instead of claiming that God designed animal species and placed them on the earth as is, they now tout "theistic evolution", which claims that God is still running the show, but in a way that is completely unobservable. Instead of claiming that God cast fire and brimstone at a sinful city, they say God caused a volcanic eruption by fully natural means under his control. The problem with explanations like this is the simple fact that nature alone is sufficient to explain these things, and there is no evidence and no reason to add God into the mix.

    No one is offering the irruption as proof of anything. We don't have two competing scientific hypothesis,we have a scientific hypothesis that checks out and that's proximate cause. Then have a distal cause which a totally different concept and can;t be
    compared as a scientific hypothesis.,


    "That's nice, but if we're talking about what theory provides the best explanation for the things we observe in our world, then invariably, the naturalistic explanation is superior. Nature is simpler than nature plus God. And nature without guidance answers more questions satisfactorily
    they don't answer the same kinds of questions Christian theology dosed not ask why did the volcano blowup? we don't care.Just because an OT passage can be interpreted to have marginal relevance is not an issue, that doesn't mean that text poses a scientific hypothesis,

    "than nature with God's intelligent guidance. Theists need to face up to the fact that the evidence does not point to any kind of supernatural influence in our world"

    that is is fortress or rather it's a derivation of the fallacy, you are extending from the premise :we have a bigger pile of facts: to argue fro specific application.

    the Coyne quote

    "'There are so many phenomena that would raise the specter of God or other supernatural forces: faith healers could restore lost vision, the cancers of only good people could go into remission, the dead could return to life, we could find meaningful DNA sequences that could have been placed in our genome only by an intelligent agent, angels could appear in the sky. The fact that no such things have ever been scientifically documented gives us added confidence that we are right to stick with natural explanations for nature. And it explains why so many scientists, who have learned to disregard God as an explanation, have also discarded him as a possibility.'" -Coyne

    aat the vry heartof the FOF that's what he;s saying our pile of facts is bigger

    here's a major one

    "The fact is that everything in our experience so far has been amenable to a naturalistic explanation."

    that's derivative of the FOF. it is assertiveness that with the bigger pile of facts we get trith

    "But theists insist that there are supernatural things, yet they can't show us any evidence of it. We just need to see evidence for what we believe. If a frustrated theist like Mikey tells us that our demand to see evidence is just god-of-the-gaps reasoning, he should be reminded that his God of the gaps is not based on any empirical evidence. It is a God that hides in the shadows, refusing to be seen. His accusation is nothing more than a child's retort: "I know you are but what am I?" The gap is between his ears."

    Obviously at tyhe heart of tye fortress

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    1. pick up one more point from this one:

      Skeptical:
      Once again, what I said is "everything in our experience so far has been amenable to a naturalistic explanation." That doesn't rule out the supernatural.

      your concept of with constitutes SN is wrong that was one of my major points you did not seen to get. your statement is wrong itself, I gave three examples of issues that prove SN (the right version) you do not deal with it.


      It simply recognizes that we have yet to see anything that can't be explained by naturalism.

      yes we do those three examples
      (1) The universal nature of Mystical experience
      (2) Lourdes miracles
      (3) irritability of mind to braim


      This is what he calls begging the question. Joe even accuses atheists of re-defining supernatural to mean something different from his own understanding of it. Excuse me, but when I talk about supernatural phenomena, I mean it in a sense that is fully consistent with standard dictionary definitions.

      That;'s the problem. you shouldn't use a standard \dictionary because the damage was done so long ago all the dictionaries go by the hi jack concept, The real issues are historical we need historical evidence


      Hinman, on the other hand, has his own peculiar definition for supernatural:

      real peculiar I by the guy who made up the word, how strange,

      Joe:
      "Nothing theistic says things happen without rules, There is no way to prove one way or the other that things happen because of some higher cause. There are only warrants for belief. No proof either way. It's a total misconception to set up the distinction between naturalism = rules and supernatural = no rules. Supernatural is not anti-natural. It's not opposed to laws of nature."

      "In his mind, things that follow the laws of nature are in fact supernatural phenomena."


      Wrong! nwever said that ,why don't don';t go by what Isaid. It's the power of god to raise us to a higher level of being,ie mystical experience.

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    2. In other words, he thinks that God makes everything in nature happen, and for that reason, everything is supernatural,

      that is sure as hell not what I said.why can't you just read the words?

      but there is no way to distinguish it from natural. What Hinman is doing is precluding the possibility of any natural explanation, a priori.

      Nope

      At the same time, he still claims that there things like miracles (Lourdes), and phenomena that can't be reduced to a naturalistic explanation (consciousness). He seems to be walking down both sides of the street.

      there is absolutely no contradiction. God raises our consciousness to a higher level though experience and God raises nature to a hither level and produces healing, no contradiction there,



      If there are in fact things that have no natural explanation, then we should all be able to agree on that. Did the miracles at Lourdes really happen? There's no documented proof. Just unsubstantiated stories.

      wrong there';s a ton of documented proof you totally willfully ignored the evidence I gave, I said a journal article team of medical historians exampled the evidence which was documented,and said it can;t be explained the documentation has been collected by major medical researchers and doctors in the European community through the medical committee of the church,
      Sorry, Joe, but we need better evidence than that.

      then go look up thye journal article genius don't you know what foots notes are for?

      Does consciousness really have no natural explanation? Not according to scientists who study it,


      Yes according to the major researchers say we do not know. I didn;t say there is no answer I said we don;t know it, the answer is not reduce to brainfunction,

      but only by the account of people who believe in the supernatural. One thing they have yet to show is any convincing evidence that something is going on that doesn't follow natural laws.

      I have not quoted any brain mnid people wh believein SN, Ryan M spancked you and showed you have no understanding of the hard problem.

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    3. We don't have two competing scientific hypothesis,we have a scientific hypothesis that checks out and that's proximate cause. Then have a distal cause which a totally different concept and can;t be compared as a scientific hypothesis.
      - What we have is a scientific hypothesis and a religious hypothesis that makes assertions about reality, but has proven to be wrong over and over again. Every time that occurs, the religious hypothesis is eventually pruned down. It still makes claims about souls an the immaterial nature of mind, but those claims will be pruned away in due time. What's left after all that is the simple assertion of a God who has been stripped of any explanatory role in the workings of nature. A God that can't be observed or detected. A God for which we have no remaining reason to believe.

      they don't answer the same kinds of questions Christian theology dosed not ask why did the volcano blowup? we don't care.
      - The only reason they don't answer the same kind of questions is because science has shown the religious answer to be wrong over and over again. Religion has been forced to retreat into the gaps of scientific knowledge. But those gaps are closing.

      that is is fortress or rather it's a derivation of the fallacy, you are extending from the premise :we have a bigger pile of facts: to argue fro specific application.
      - When it comes to facts vs. unsubstantiated belief, I'll take facts. You can go on living in your fortress of belief.

      aat the vry heartof the FOF that's what he;s saying our pile of facts is bigger
      - You completely fail to see the point of Coyne's statement. At the very heart if it is epistemology. Empirical evidence gives us warrant for belief. You are crying in your beer because naturalists have empirical facts on their side and you don't. So you try to make that out to be a bad thing. Here's something for you to consider. If you had the facts on your side, you would be shouting it from the mountaintops.

      yes we do those three examples [of the supernatural]
      (1) The universal nature of Mystical experience
      (2) Lourdes miracles
      (3) irritability of mind to braim

      - (1) is just emotional feelings that reveal no knowledge of any kind. They simply reinforce what people already believe.
      (2) is unsubstantiated hearsay. Your panel of experts are nothing but yes-men for the church.
      (3) is what you believe, not what is true.

      That;'s the problem. you shouldn't use a standard \dictionary because the damage was done so long ago all the dictionaries go by the hi jack concept, The real issues are historical we need historical evidence
      - All your examples are natural events or unsubstantiated stories. What Coyne asked for is something observable, as I explained. What part of that don't you understand? We just want to see the evidence. We are not so gullible as to believe unverifiable stories. We need something real.

      Yes according to the major researchers say we do not know. I didn;t say there is no answer I said we don;t know it, the answer is not reduce to brainfunction,
      - The vast majority of people in the cognitive sciences believe that mind and consciousness are purely physical. While you can come up with a few names of scientists who are not naturalists, you certainly can't claim they hold the consensus position.

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    4. your arguments are not good, totally fail to come to term with my analysis.

      Delete
    5. Joe:We don't have two competing scientific hypothesis,we have a scientific hypothesis that checks out and that's proximate cause. Then have a distal cause which a totally different concept and can;t be compared as a scientific hypothesis.


      - What we have is a scientific hypothesis and a religious hypothesis that makes assertions about reality, but has proven to be wrong over and over again.

      Nonsense it;s wrong about physical things because prior to modern science religion and accident since were closer together, As human though has matured we have split the tow religion is right about things of its domain, science has nothing to say a out religion,

      Every time that occurs, the religious hypothesis is eventually pruned down. It still makes claims about souls an the immaterial nature of mind, but those claims will be pruned away in due time. What's left after all that is the simple assertion of a God who has been stripped of any explanatory role in the workings of nature. A God that can't be observed or detected. A God for which we have no remaining reason to believe.

      No that's bull shit, as with my book and the subject of it, mystical experience, We refined the research techniques and proved it more valid than ever, , It's far better proven than y of the wavy gravy physics that atheists count on big time

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    6. Joe:We don't have two competing scientific hypothesis,we have a scientific hypothesis that checks out and that's proximate cause. Then have a distal cause which a totally different concept and can;t be compared as a scientific hypothesis.


      - What we have is a scientific hypothesis and a religious hypothesis that makes assertions about reality, but has proven to be wrong over and over again.

      Nonsense it;s wrong about physical things because prior to modern science religion and accident since were closer together, As human though has matured we have split the tow religion is right about things of its domain, science has nothing to say a out religion,

      Every time that occurs, the religious hypothesis is eventually pruned down. It still makes claims about souls an the immaterial nature of mind, but those claims will be pruned away in due time. What's left after all that is the simple assertion of a God who has been stripped of any explanatory role in the workings of nature. A God that can't be observed or detected. A God for which we have no remaining reason to believe.

      No that's bull shit, as with my book and the subject of it, mystical experience, We refined the research techniques and proved it more valid than ever, , It's far better proven than y of the wavy gravy physics that atheists count on big time

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    7. Joe:We don't have two competing scientific hypothesis,we have a scientific hypothesis that checks out and that's proximate cause. Then have a distal cause which a totally different concept and can;t be compared as a scientific hypothesis.

      - What we have is a scientific hypothesis and a religious hypothesis that makes assertions about reality, but has proven to be wrong over and over again. Every time that occurs, the religious hypothesis is eventually pruned down. It still makes claims about souls an the immaterial nature of mind, but those claims will be pruned away in due time. What's left after all that is the simple assertion of a God who has been stripped of any explanatory role in the workings of nature. A God that can't be observed or detected. A God for which we have no remaining reason to believe.

      Joe:Both sides have things they can;t make good omn ,'string theory is unprofitable. we have demonstrated miracles happen, religious repentance is the presence o 'god and many other things,of course I speak in temrs of prima facie evidence not absolute proof.still a hell of a lotbetter tahn anythiung you woilladmit.

      youdid not answer my three argumemnts om AW.


      they don't answer the same kinds of questions Christian theology dosed not ask why did the volcano blowup? we don't care.

      - The only reason they don't answer the same kind of questions is because science has shown the religious answer to be wrong over and over again. Religion has been forced to retreat into the gaps of scientific knowledge. But those gaps are closing.

      Joe:No that is shitty analysis the reason kinds because they deal deals with totally different kinds of issues sickness deals with empirical,l only because it;s te physical reoigion dealswoiti metaphysical thats mcuhi harder


      that is is fortress or rather it's a derivation of the fallacy, you are extending from the premise :we have a bigger pile of facts: to argue fro specific application.
      - When it comes to facts vs. unsubstantiated belief, I'll take facts. You can go on living in your for

      Joe:yes you will take them from bull shit and lie about them.you have not answered my three issues,not anywhere close I kicked your ass i notice you ha e not been back.


      Joe:at the very heart of the FOF that's what he;s saying our pile of facts is bigger

      - You completely fail to see the point of Coyne's statement. At the very heart if it is epistemology. Empirical evidence gives us warrant for belief.

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    8. Joe:you don;t have it you have empirical evidence from science about things that have nothing to do with God, you have no empirical evidence abouit god, we do have empirical evidence that lends support to belief,we have it in spades you can't touch it. like the three you have not answered, you have no ability to answer, you can't deal with the facts,you have no real facts as they pertgain to religion,

      You are crying in your beer because naturalists have empirical facts on their side and you don't.

      Joe:is that why you haven't answered my three arguments? you don't even know what the M scale is much less can you answer it,.

      So you try to make that out to be a bad thing. Here's something for you to consider. If you had the facts on your side, you would be shouting it from the mountaintops.

      Joe:I am that is why I wrote my book genius, but unlike you I make careful well thought out statements not blundering in alleging I have big pile of facts, look you are arguing for the pile of facts, get it? you just said it, you are arguing the fortress of facts, this is one of my better job of baiting,

      yes we do those three examples [of the supernatural]
      (1) The universal nature of Mystical experience
      (2) Lourdes miracles
      (3) irritability of mind to braim
      - (1) is just emotional feelings that reveal no knowledge of any kind. They simply reinforce what people already believe.

      Joe:that's disproved by the research I point that out in the book (Trace of God by Joseph Hinman on /amazon)

      (2) is unsubstantiated hearsay. Your panel of experts are nothing but yes-men for the church.

      Joe:you are just refusing to accept the evidence becauise it disproves your ideology, youh have no argunent you are dogmatically rejecting it,

      (3) is what you believe, not what is true.

      That;'s the problem. you shouldn't use a standard \dictionary because the damage was done so long ago all the dictionaries go by the hi jack concept, The real issues are historical we need historical evidence

      - All your examples are natural events or unsubstantiated stories. What Coyne asked for is something observable, as I explained. What part of that don't you understand? We just want to see the evidence. We are not so gullible as to believe unverifiable stories. We need something real.

      Joe:my authority figure says os that;s not proof, that fallacy of appeal to authority, improper appeal to authority, Cyone has expertise in researching mystical experience,

      Yes according to the major researchers say we do not know. I didn;t say there is no answer I said we don;t know it, the answer is not reduce to brainfunction,

      - The vast majority of people in the cognitive sciences believe that mind and consciousness are purely physical. While you can come up with a few names of scientists who are not naturalists, you certainly can't claim they hold the consensus position.

      Joe:you have no proof of that quote your study,

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    9. As human though has matured we have split the tow religion is right about things of its domain, science has nothing to say a out religion,
      - So say the religionists who desperately want to keep science from whittling away at religion.

      as with my book and the subject of it, mystical experience, We refined the research techniques and proved it more valid than ever,
      - Whatever you think you have "proved", it only serves your own bias. No serious scientist accepts this bunkum.

      Both sides have things they can;t make good omn ,'string theory is unprofitable. we have demonstrated miracles happen, religious repentance is the presence o 'god and many other things,of course I speak in temrs of prima facie evidence not absolute proof.still a hell of a lotbetter tahn anythiung you woilladmit.
      - Your "miracles" are in your head. Clouds part to reveal the sun and Christians go nuts over it. Or some deluded fool recovers from an illness, and claims "It's a miracle". Bullshit. Show me some REAL evidence.

      the reason kinds because they deal deals with totally different kinds of issues sickness deals with empirical,l only because it;s te physical reoigion dealswoiti metaphysical thats mcuhi harder
      - I still say religion retreats whenever science steps in with better explanations. Metaphysics is no different. The old metaphysics of Aristotle (largely adopted by Christianity) is utterly obsolete, because of science. Metaphysics must be in harmony with science, or it's just bullshit.

      you have not answered my three issues,not anywhere close I kicked your ass i notice you ha e not been back.
      - Yes, I did: July 7, 2016 at 10:30 AM.

      you don;t have it you have empirical evidence from science about things that have nothing to do with God, you have no empirical evidence abouit god, we do have empirical evidence that lends support to belief
      - The fact that there's no empirical evidence about God is precisely why we have no reason to believe that crap. What you have is your pseudo-scientific M scale that no serious scientist would agree provides valid evidence to believe anything. All it proves is how gullible you are, or how enclosed you are in your fortress of belief.

      that's disproved by the research I point that out in the book (Trace of God by Joseph Hinman on /amazon)
      - You think your book proves something? It does. It proves how deluded you are.

      my authority figure says os that;s not proof, that fallacy of appeal to authority, improper appeal to authority, Cyone has expertise in researching mystical experience,
      - I'm trying to explain what Coyne said, and you call that an appeal to authority. In epistemology, observation is a basis for believing something. Your mystical experience in not objectively observable, and never provides any knowledge that the subject didn't already have. I don't see how you can think this provides warrant for belief in God. It is just your bias at work.

      you have no proof of that quote your study
      - "The field regards itself as compatible with the physical sciences and uses the scientific method as well as simulation or modeling, often comparing the output of models with aspects of human cognition." - Wikipedia
      - "Some people (but not cognitive scientists) would still argue that the mind is something that cannot be studied scientifically" - http://www.indiana.edu/~gasser/E105/cogsci.html
      - "One of science's last great frontiers isn't light years away on another planet or miles below the ocean. It isn't so tiny it's visible only through an electron microscope. It's right here with us every day, guiding our every action and producing our every thought: the mind and the physical substrate that gives rise to it, the brain." - https://cogsci.cas2.lehigh.edu/

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  3. It's "Karl", not "Carl". I don't know why Joe keeps misspelling his name. Popper's philosophy of science is very outdated at this point, so I would personally hesitate to cite him much.

    I think claiming naturalists rule out supernaturalism a priori is an odd thing to claim. While I'm sure some do by means of question begging arguments (We saw this recently at the SO with a guy arguing against theism by using the truth of materialism as a premise), I suspect most naturalists prefer a posteriori arguments. The whole backlash naturalist epistemology usually gets is that it is deeply grounded in empiricism. Naturalists, largely, probably reject a priori reasoning outside of cases where things can be deduced from definitions alone.

    I can't tell you why many theists insist consciousness is supernatural because I don't see why they would need to believe that.

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    1. It is consistent with the concept of the soul. The soul must be non-physical because it lives after the body dies. Human mind is attributed to the soul by religious believers. It supposedly has properties that are explainable under naturalism, such as contra-causal free will.

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    2. But some theists oddly do not even believe in contra causal free will (Many Calvinists), though that probably does motivate theists to reject physicalism about the mind.

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    3. I honestly don't get their reasoning, either. One of the main arguments seems to be that argument from reason, with its many variants. CS Lewis asserts that rational thought can't proceed from matter that is fundamentally irrational (or non-rational). This is a baseless assertion. Plantinga asserts that evolution can't produce reliably true beliefs, and therefore belief in naturalism is ungrounded and irrational. My reply to that would be that belief is grounded in empirical observation, without which, belief in anything would be unwarranted. But these arguments, I suspect, are nothing more than a post hoc attempt to justify their a priori belief in the supernatural.

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    4. Dyslexics are taught to spell prophetically. So it doesn't matter if it is k or C it's "Cc"sound that is what matters to a dyslexic.I associate with C more thanK thanwhy i don't know.

      Popper is not outmoded you are not a historian of science I am I know. that kind thing changes easily and quickly 10 years ago Kuhn seemed forgotten now hes back again.

      The papers I've read disparaging Popper are nothing to brag about. No real substance ot the criticisms.

      i have enjoyed a lot of you analysis in the past this one time it;s subpar

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    5. I think claiming naturalists rule out supernaturalism a priori is an odd thing to claim. While I'm sure some do by means of question begging arguments (We saw this recently at the SO with a guy arguing against theism by using the truth of materialism as a premise), I


      one would think you never read any thing by an atheist, i know they do a lot of talk about how they don't rule it out but obviously they do. Every single claim is met with "this has never been true before so it's not tire now. Hume made a great big circular argument and naturalism is just gown up in thiat cirlce., theycan't think any other way.

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    6. It's all about evidence, Joe. It's about what we have seen and what we haven't seen. EVER.

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  4. An aside: I highly recommend Sean Carroll's new book, "The Big Picture". He covers many of the same topics you often address. An excellent read.

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    1. I've read articles by Carroll, nut not this book. I'll look for it.

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    2. From the table of contents:
      Part 1: cosmos
      Part 2: understanding
      Part 3: essence
      Part 4: complexity
      Part 5: thinking
      Part 6: caring

      If nothing else, the book is worth reading for the concept that Carroll calls "poetic naturalism": one reality but many valid ways to talk about that reality.

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  5. He;s a phony, he doesn't jack shit about religion he;s just Dawkins Jr.

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    1. Carroll has been praised for being more attuned to philosophical issues than Krauss, and in fact argues against many atheists scientists on those issues. You obviously don't know the first thing about him except that he's an atheist.

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    2. Have you read any of Carroll's book, listened to any of his talks or followed his blog? Carroll is far different from Dawkins. Carroll has a healthy relationship with philosophy, and imo could fool almost anyone into thinking he has a BA in the subject. Even if he didn't know "Jackshit" about religion, he is still a physicist which is far more impressive. I'd definitely rather talk to someone with Carroll's background than someone like Karen Armstrong.

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    3. I have read some Csrroll he may be good to philosophy but he very hateful to theology, I think very scientistic

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