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Chimpanzees, Blades of Grass and the Atheist Argument

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posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

Spoken like a true pseudo-skeptic debunker. :/




posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 10:02 PM
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Umm... How did this turn into a debate about the definition of agnostic atheism, exactly?


No one does. That's the agnostic part of "agnostic atheist". The atheist part is the "lack of belief" or the "belief that there isn't".


The meanings aren't separated. If you're an agnostic atheist, you don't claim absolute knowledge but you don't find the evidence for deities compelling to justify either a positive or negative belief.


Nope.
We sure don't.
But we can argue anyway if you'd like.
XD

It'll be fun.


You're right. By saying that you don't believe there are any gods, you are asserting it in the same way as you would be if you said you do believe in a god. It has a completely different meaning than not finding the evidence compelling. Imagine that you are raised on an island by people who spoke of a legend of a distant far off land called America. They say it is a wonderful place (obviously this would be BEFORE the Europeans discovered it) full of wonders to behold. If you affirmatively claim that you don't think it exists, it is completely different from saying it's possible that it might exist, but you don't find hearsay a compelling enough reason to think it actually does exist. (good for you)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 10:28 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule


Approaching a branch of science should start with the college textbook, imo. Have you read the parapsychology textbook?


I agree. Approaching a branch of science should start with a college textbook. What does that have to do with parapsychology? The fact that it has psychology in the title doesn't mean that it is a science. When you explore a hypothesis repeatedly and evidence for it fails to turn up, scientists move on to other phenomena. When you look at something for over a century and never come up with anything conclusive and repeatable, you're just wasting your time.

This is one of the same reasons that atheists find religion to be superstition. The inability to conclusively prove any aspect of your religion and when evidence to the contrary of your religion is the foundation of the last two centuries of progress within society, it's time to face the facts.

This is not necessarily meant to discourage parapsychological research. ANY conclusive and thoroughly controlled study into parapsychology would easily get the publicity that one hundred years worth of scientists were fighting so hard (in vain) to get for themselves and their discipline. Not only would it do that, it would implore a lot of public organizations to fund more research into the particular effect with evidence. If a parapsychologist succeeded in providing that evidence, any government who found out about it would be completely irresponsible to not fund it with all of their billions of taxpayer dollars. It could be weaponized and used for all sorts of other things.


Let's say for the sake of argument that psi is real. Connecting the dots between psi and religion is an easy task. This sheds a whole new light on mysticism, which then sheds a whole new light on religion, which in turn sheds a whole new light on atheism.


Connecting the dots between shoe size and intelligence is also quite easy, and it makes the proposition that clowns aren't the smartest people on the planet a category of thought, a pattern of thought, which does not accommodate reality.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 10:51 PM
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This thread has the most holes I've ever seen in a post before. Where to start?

Atheists don't believe there's no free will.
Other animals decorate themselves in order to appeal to mates (bowerbirds), which kind of supports evolution.
Developing a new level of thinking is indicative of evolution, not creationism.
Most Christians don't believe animals have souls, invalidating your whole thesis.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 11:43 PM
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a reply to: darkbake

I. The evidence for no soul is that there is no free will, and that means that everything happens for the purpose of evolution.

You have so many misplaced assumptions I don't know if I can find them all. The evidence for the non-existence of souls is more or less the same as the evidence for the non-existence of religions. There are thousands of years that have spanned between the time that the soul was thought of and there has been no evidence of a "soul" other than "my religion says so". Alternative explanations from the social sciences have shown that human beings, for some reason or another, are persistent in their superstitious beliefs.
Evolution is not your "therefore God did it" alternative explanation for the reason of everything. Evolution is a scientific theory on how life changed over time to get to how complex it is today. Humans don't "wear clothes" for the explicit purpose of making them evolve into different lifeforms. It also doesn't imply there is such a thing as free will. A large part of evolution is random mutation of genes, which causes the "unlucky" individuals to display erratic behavior due to their different wiring. Those genes do not go on to reproduce because their potential suitors will recognize their erratic behavior and find them unattractive due to the bad genes below them. It very well could be that monkeys have a "culture" or it could be that a certain number of primates close together evolved an erratic trait and the genes of the other nearby primates evolved a sexual selection for those erratic traits. This is classic correlation-causation confusion.


II. The Chimpanzees are doing something arbitrary that has no purpose for evolution. Therefore they must have free will.

OR they got an unlucky roll of the genetic dice and that is reflected in their behavior. Maybe there are females that sexually select FOR the particular genes that cause that particular behavior. There is no way of telling. The fact that you are suggesting it has no purpose does not make it so.


III. The definition I made of a soul (because I am not relating it to anything religious) is that it is the originator of free will.

If you're going to make definitions up, that's just fine and dandy as long as you make up new words to go along with them. I recommend "brain" for "soul" and "attitudes/behaviors/cognitions" for "free will". That's not metaphysics, though, it's psychology and neurology.

IV. If free will exists, it has to have an origin.

V. Therefore, by my definition of a soul, a soul has to exist.

Your conclusion is logically unsound.

Souls are the origin of free will.
If free will exists, souls have to exist.

WAIT... I can't believe I just put all of this work into this post. You're telling me that ANY possible source of free will is arbitrarily called a soul? I'm done. I'm able to jump through a LOT of cognitive hoops, but I reach my limit just like any other person.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 05:49 AM
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a reply to: zackli

What would you recommend naming a source of free will if that source also was able to perceive reality?

I see that you choose "brain," however new research suggests that there are quantum fields in our brain that are responsible for our being. While the brain is able to store memories and functions, what is the engine behind that? A computer can run a program, but the program was programmed by a programmer.

Also - religions do exist, there is evidence for it.
edit on 30amMon, 30 Jun 2014 05:53:15 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 05:53 AM
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originally posted by: CB328
This thread has the most holes I've ever seen in a post before. Where to start?

Atheists don't believe there's no free will.
Other animals decorate themselves in order to appeal to mates (bowerbirds), which kind of supports evolution.
Developing a new level of thinking is indicative of evolution, not creationism.
Most Christians don't believe animals have souls, invalidating your whole thesis.




I'm not a Christian. I am an atheist who is proposing taking a scientific look at the possibility of a soul-like entity. And it would be included in animals, probably anything living, at least in part.

There are some atheists, Determinists and the like, who don't believe in free will. I am aiming at specific atheists.
edit on 30amMon, 30 Jun 2014 05:55:26 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 05:58 AM
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a reply to: zackli

Before writing my thesis paper in psychology on a Quantum Theory of Mind, I completed a math minor, physics minor, computer science minor, psychology major and then corresponded with famous scientists both in parapsychology and regular cognitive psychology and read their reading lists.

After doing this, I compounded what I found into a thesis paper that explored, among other things, the nature of perception and the mind.I will read the paperback books after getting my foundation in textbooks, of which I have a collection.
edit on 30amMon, 30 Jun 2014 06:00:08 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 06:02 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

Thanks for the more precise definition of atheist, best one I've seen posted on here so far.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 06:04 AM
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a reply to: grainofsand

Here is are some links for you:

Wikipedia: Orch OR

Wikipedia: Quantum Mind

I recommend reading "Parallel Universes" by Fred Alan Wolf because it explains quite well the science behind those and how they could relate to the mind.

In case the idea of parallel universes is too much, Proving Parallel Universes - BBC

The parallel universes are important because choice plays into them - what we choose determines where we go.

Parallel Universes - BBC

Take a look at the picture at the bottom of the page, that scientist is one of the leading scientists involved in String Theory research.

This is important, because it looks like it is possibly tied into how the mind works.

-----

I am not making any assertions about Gods, or Demons, or Pixies or the like. Those would be entirely different subject matters. If I was going to explore the idea of a God, it would be heavily influenced by psychology.
edit on 30amMon, 30 Jun 2014 06:15:43 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 08:25 AM
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originally posted by: zackli
The meanings aren't separated. If you're an agnostic atheist, you don't claim absolute knowledge but you don't find the evidence for deities compelling to justify either a positive or negative belief.


Then why have the word "atheist" in there at all? If you don't claim knowledge OR a belief either way, seems "atheist" (a disbelief in a deity) would be misplaced.

Here's the reason I separate them:

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 09:01 AM
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a reply to: darkbake
Hmm, thank you for the interesting read, but your OP statement "many more advanced studies that show evidence of that kind of thing existing" still appears to be somewhat of an exaggeration when relating to evidence of a soul.

From your first link>> en.wikipedia.org...


The Penrose–Lucas argument about the implications of Gödel's incompleteness theorem for computational theories of human intelligence has been widely criticized by mathematicians,[8][9][10] computer scientists,[16] and philosophers,[11][12][13][14][15] and the consensus among experts in these fields is that the argument fails,[26][27][28] with different authors choosing different aspects of the argument to attack.[28][29]


Hameroff's theory is criticized at every level,[17][19] and considered to be a poor model of brain physiology.[19] Primarily, Hameroff requires tubulin electrons to form either a Bose–Einstein or Frohlich condensate, both of which have been experimentally disproven.[40][41]


Several other criticisms regarding biology have come to the fore over the years. Papers by Georgiev, D.[19][54] point to a number of problems with Hameroff's proposals, including a lack of explanation for the probabilistic firing of axonal synapses, an error in the calculated number of the tubulin dimers per cortical neuron. Nevertheless Hameroff insisted on a 2013 interview that those falsifications are invalid, including the assertions made by this Wikipedia article.[61]


From your second link>> en.wikipedia.org...


This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. This article lends undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. (January 2012) The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. (March 2012) This article may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. (June 2014)

Regarding the BBC links, they in no way support your claim in the OP that 'many more advanced studies that show evidence of that kind of thing existing' (souls).
I agree that this is an interesting subject and there are many intertwined ideas and research into such things, BUT, I asked for details of the specific evidence you claimed in the OP to support the assertion that souls exist.

If you don't have any specific links which refer to souls that's OK, just admit that the inference in the OP is inaccurate, but please don't present wider general subjects as advanced studies to support claims of souls.
Studies have conclusions usually, so you need only refer me to a particular study of 'the many' you stated and I can find the paper/s myself on an academic journal database.
I must say, for such bold claims regarding scientific research, I am disappointed that you chose Wiki and the BBC as your supporting 'sources'



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: grainofsand

The whole field of parapsychology is basically a comic-book science. They do not even know what they are looking for, which is ironic considering that everyone is supposedly psychic. They cannot even develop a proper experiment due to the fact that they do not know what they're testing.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 12:07 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

If parapsychology is not worth taking seriously, then I doubt that some 90 scientists and academics would have co-signed a letter, which was recently published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, that calls for more mainstream support of open and honest investigation of parapsychological topics.

Six points are stressed in that letter:


1) Research on parapsychological phenomena (psi) is being carried out in various accredited universities and research centers throughout the world by academics in different disciplines trained in the scientific method (e.g., circa 80 Ph.D.s have been awarded in psi-related topics in the UK in recent years). This research has continued for over a century despite the taboo against investigating the topic, almost complete lack of funding, and professional and personal attacks. The Parapsychological Association has been an affiliate of the AAAS since 1969, and more than 20 Nobel prizewinners and many other eminent scientists have supported the study of psi or even conducted research themselves.

2) Despite a negative attitude by some editors and reviewers, results supporting the validity of psi phenomena continue to be published in peer-reviewed, academic journals in relevant fields, from psychology to neuroscience to physics.

3) Increased experimental controls have not eliminated or even decreased significant support for the existence of psi phenomena, as suggested by various recent meta-analyses.

4) These meta-analyses and other studies17 suggest that data supportive of psi phenomena cannot reasonably be accounted for by chance or by a “file drawer” effect. Indeed, contrary to most disciplines, parapsychology journals have for decades encouraged publication of null results and of papers critical of a psi explanation. A psi trial registry has been established to improve research practice.

5) The effect sizes reported in most meta-analyses are relatively small and the phenomena cannot be produced on demand, but this also characterizes various phenomena found in other disciplines that focus on complex human behavior and performance such as psychology and medicine.

6) Although more conclusive explanations for psi phenomena await further theoretical and research development, they do not prima facie violate known laws of nature given modern theories in physics that transcend classical restrictions of time and space, combined with growing evidence for quantum effects in biological systems.


Bolding is mine, so as to ensure it does not escape the attention of our intrepid OP.

Pseudo-skeptical anti-psi activists/debunkers are going to have to start getting up earlier in the morning if they want to continue suppressing the truth. It's coming out, whether they like it or not.

journal.frontiersin.org...


edit on 815MondayuAmerica/ChicagoJunuMondayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 12:16 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule
a reply to: grainofsand

Spoken like a true pseudo-skeptic debunker. :/






Spoken like someone who truly desires less discussion and more blind acceptance. The instant anyone questions you beyond your capacity to effectively explain your stance, they become a pseudo-skeptic and a "debunker", which I gather is code for critical thinker.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: AfterInfinity

Discussion, you say? Might this be an example of your discussion skills?

www.abovetopsecret.com...

If that's your idea of discussion, I'll pass. Thanks anyway. I find your attitude offensive.

As for grainofsand, I gave him a chance and he decided it would be more fun to be snide and dismissive. I find his attitude offensive too. Neither you nor he are worthy conversation partners.

So, I'll wait for HarbingerofShadows, should he decide to come back, and in the meantime I'll continue to deny Aphorisms ignorance in the best tradition of ATS.



edit on 830MondayuAmerica/ChicagoJunuMondayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 02:01 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule
a reply to: AfterInfinity

Discussion, you say? Might this be an example of your discussion skills?

www.abovetopsecret.com...

If that's your idea of discussion, I'll pass. Thanks anyway. I find your attitude offensive.


Me diplomatically turning down an opportunity to be disrespectful toward your difference of opinion? Yes, I'd have to say that's a very important skill to employ during discussions. I can't tell if you're trying to goad me into saying something stupid, or you're just that pompous regarding your own position in the matter.


As for grainofsand, I gave him a chance and he decided it would be more fun to be snide and dismissive. I find his attitude offensive too.


Pot, meet kettle.


Neither you nor he are worthy conversation partners.


I rest my case.


edit on 30-6-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 03:16 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMuleAs for grainofsand, I gave him a chance and he decided it would be more fun to be snide and dismissive.
Nope, I merely asked for links to source references regarding claims of 'psi'. You continued to refrain from providing such links until the quoted letter in your previous post as found on journal.frontiersin.org...

That was a most excellent start, as it led me to www.koestler-parapsychology.psy.ed.ac.uk..., the parapsychology bit of Edinburgh University. On further investigation, the PSi Research front page of this site states:


Our approach does not assume that psi exists, but treats the existence of psi as a hypothesis that can and should be tested scientifically.
That all seems reasonable, and certainly much less emotionally charged than this, as quoted from your good self:


Pseudo-skeptical anti-psi activists/debunkers are going to have to start getting up earlier in the morning if they want to continue suppressing the truth. It's coming out, whether they like it or not.


So, to continue, I found the links in the letter which you selectively quoted, then had a look at the actual peer reviewed studies Edinburgh University usefully provide in their database. Many are null results, which to their credit they do not hide, and others seem only indicative enough to state 'statistically important'.

I've just read through "Does Psi exist? Lack of replication of an anomalous process of information transfer" by Milton J, Wiseman R, 1999, (Here>> www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov... and Here>> www.richardwiseman.com...) and it shows:


the authors found that D. J. Bem and C. Honorton were mistaken in describing the original effect as being statistically significant. The authors conclude that the ganzfeld technique does not at present offer a replicable method for producing ESP in the laboratory.


...very interesting reads even though I have found nothing from your links to justify your insistence that psi has verifiably been established through research, just that there are sometimes anomalies that warrant further investigation.

Now, you are clearly the well read scholar of such things, so now I have found this font of online papers relating to psi (which you refrained from sharing with me) I ask again, could you refer me to a specific paper which supports passionate claims of psi as you present? ...or do I really have to read through tens of null results before I find something even statistically significant? Throw me a bone eh, lol



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 03:24 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

Oh, so you mean my earlier assertions WEREN'T completely off-base. Good to know. I had a feeling that Blue wasn't being completely honest regarding his research...particularly given that if psi really was as sure a bet as he claims, scientists would be crawling all over it in an attempt to fit their name somewhere on the discovery thesis. I mean, who doesn't want to go down in history for having revolutionized the bridge between quantum mechanics and consciousness?
edit on 30-6-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 03:56 PM
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a reply to: AfterInfinity
Haha, I've agreed with pretty much everything you have posted in reply to our resident champion of psi!
I'm all for assertions...with referenced sources of course, just a pity ol' blue refused to help point the way to published studies...we got there in the end although more null results than one would expect from blue's passion regarding the subject.



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