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I believe that "truly conscious agents" can exist in terms of being self aware, but I don't view it as a deterministic process, the laws of QM indicate nothing is truly deterministic, but that doesn't mean we're more than a collection of particles.
Sorry, once again I was interpreting amoral as immoral. Although I would argue that something as simple as drinking a glass of water could be immoral. What if it was the last reserves of water and that person has already had many glasses of water that day?
Even something typically seen as a good thing, such as child birth, could be an arguably immoral act. What if abortion was made illegal world wide, then using a time machine you saw our planet die from the ravages of overpopulation a few hundred years later, would you come back and argue mothers should have a choice to kill their unborn babies if it could save our species?
I predicted this response, but we both know it was an analogy for your external objective morality which is hard coded into the fabric of reality.
There's very little difference, people look to the bible as an external source of ethics to tell them what is right and wrong, which is clearly not a very good way to develop ones morality unless you want to be a bigot.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to[d] them,[e]” declares the Lord. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Yet many people place all their faith in the bible and believe it without question, proving my last point that people have a hard time deciding their ethical stand points and disagree a lot on what is wrong or right, especially when it comes to gray areas, we tend to seek out answers from external sources.
There's no reason you could not come to that conclusion if your brain was a complex information processing machine capable of integrating new information. The same thing would be true of a complex A.I., just because it's nothing more than electrical signals going through a circuit doesn't mean it must have no capacity to learn or build an understanding and opinion of the world around it.
The intrinsic value of a $100 note would be the value of the paper and ink, it's based on the actual physical composition of the thing, not the nature.
What I'm saying is, it's impossible to place any form of objective value onto any collection of particles, it's an entirely subjective exercise.
No, I'm saying that attempting to assign any form of "value" to a human life is a completely futile exerciseThinking of humans in terms of instrumental value is even worse than thinking in terms of intrinsic value because the life of a person is valued based on how much they can be used by others, which leads to all sorts of moral contradictions.
So the life of the person has a value proportional to how much their family comes to visit? Ok let me put this another way, what if the person was severely disabled, lived by themselves, and had a carer which despised their job... so the person is just sucking money from the welfare system and taking much more than they give, even if you factor in the happiness their existence gives to that one family memory who visits once a year. In other words, the personal clearly has a negative instrumental value, then according to your logic, would it then be ok to kill that person because their life has no positive value? This is where talking in terms of intrinsic and instrumental value will get you...
No, the problem is you're making a general statement which doesn't always apply. Maybe there's a sentient species out there which develop into adults in just 5 years, would you try telling them they're too young for sex even though their bodies are completely mature and it's been their way of life for hundreds of years?
1. If an external standard of morality does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist(Premiss)
2. Objective moral values and duties do exist (Premiss)
3. It is not the case, that objective moral values and duties do not exist (Double negation, 2)
4. Therefore, it is not the case that an external standard of morality does not exist (Modus tollens, 1, 3)
5. Therefore, an external standard of morality exist(Double negation, 4)
The probability wave of an electron, which is derived from Schrodinger's equation, is the shape of the electrons wave. Max born came up with the probability wave as a possible interpretation of that shape. That is take the square of what is derived from Schrodinger's equation and you will get the probability of finding that electron in a particular location at a particular instant.
Definition: The word philosophy is derived from Greek roots that mean “love of wisdom.” As used here, philosophy is not built on acceptance of belief in God, but it tries to give people a unified view of the universe and endeavors to make them critical thinkers. It employs chiefly speculative means rather than observation in a search for truth.
How can any of us acquire true knowledge and wisdom?
Prov. 1:7; Ps. 111:10: “The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge . . . [and] of wisdom.” (If the universe were not the product of an intelligent Creator but only of some blind, irrational force, then no unified view of the universe would be possible, would it? Nothing that would qualify as wisdom could result from a study of something that was itself irrational, could it? Those who attempt to understand the universe or life itself, while endeavoring to leave God and his purpose out of account, meet with constant frustration. They misinterpret what they learn and misuse facts that they glean. Leaving out of account belief in God destroys the key to accurate knowledge and makes impossible any truly consistent framework of thought.)
Prov. 2:4-7: “If you keep seeking for it as for silver, and as for hid treasures you keep searching for it, in that case you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God. For Jehovah himself gives wisdom; out of his mouth there are knowledge and discernment. And for the upright ones he will treasure up practical wisdom.” (Jehovah provides needed help through his written Word and his visible organization. An earnest desire and personal effort, including the use of one’s thinking ability in a constructive manner, are also necessary.)
Is it realistic to expect to find absolute truth from this Source?
2 Tim. 3:16; John 17:17: “All Scripture is inspired of God.” “[Jesus said to his heavenly Father:] Your word is truth.” (Is it not reasonable that the Creator of the universe would have full understanding of it? In the Bible he has not told us everything about the universe, but what he has had recorded there is not speculation; it is truth. He has also stated in the Bible what his purpose is for the earth and for mankind and how he will accomplish it. His almighty power, superlative wisdom, flawless justice, and great love guarantee that this purpose will be fully accomplished, and in the best possible manner. His qualities thus assure us that his statement of purpose is completely dependable; it is truth.)
What is the origin of human philosophies?
They come from people who have limitations: The Bible informs us: “It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jer. 10:23) History testifies that trying to ignore that limitation has not produced good results. On one occasion, “Jehovah proceeded to answer Job out of the windstorm and say: ‘Who is this that is obscuring counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins, please, like an able-bodied man, and let me question you, and you inform me. Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth? Tell me, if you do know understanding.’” (Job 38:1-4) (Humans by nature have limitations. Additionally, their experience in life is relatively brief and is usually confined to one culture or one environment. The knowledge they possess is thus restricted, and everything is interconnected to such an extent that they constantly find aspects that they had not adequately considered. Any philosophy that they originate will reflect these limitations.)
They are developed by humans who are imperfect: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) “There exists a way that is upright before a man, but the ways of death are the end of it afterward.” (Prov. 14:12) (Because of such imperfection, human philosophies often reflect a basic selfishness that leads perhaps to momentary pleasure but also to frustration and much unhappiness.)
They are influenced by demonic spirits: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) “The one called Devil and Satan . . . is misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Rev. 12:9) “You at one time walked according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience.” (Eph. 2:2) (Philosophies that encourage people to disobey God’s wholesome and upright requirements reflect such an influence. No wonder that, as history testifies, human philosophies and schemes have often brought grief to large segments of humankind.)
Why is it an evidence of clear thinking to study the teachings of Jesus Christ instead of human philosophy?
Col. 1:15-17: “He [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth . . . All other things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all other things and by means of him all other things were made to exist.” (His intimate relationship with God enables him to help us to learn the truth about God. Furthermore, as the one through whom all other things were made, Jesus has a full knowledge of the entire created universe. No human philosopher can offer any of this.)
Col. 1:19, 20: “God saw good for all fullness to dwell in him [Jesus Christ], and through him to reconcile again to himself all other things by making peace through the blood he shed on the torture stake.” (Thus Jesus Christ is the one through whom God has purposed to bring all creation back into harmony with himself. To Jesus, God has also entrusted rulership over all the earth, as shown at Daniel 7:13, 14. So our life prospects for the future depend on getting to know him and responding favorably to his instruction.)
Col. 2:8: “Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry you off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.” (What a sad mistake it would be to choose such deceptive human philosophy in preference to acquiring true wisdom as a disciple of Jesus Christ, the second-greatest person in the universe, next to God himself!)
How does God view the “wisdom” offered by human philosophy?
1 Cor. 1:19-25: “It is written: ‘I will make the wisdom of the wise men perish, and the intelligence of the intellectual men I will shove aside.’ Where is the wise man? Where the scribe? Where the debater of this system of things? Did not God make the wisdom of the world foolish? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not get to know God, God saw good through the foolishness [as it appears to the world] of what is preached to save those believing. . . . Because a foolish thing of God [as the world views it] is wiser than men, and a weak thing of God [as the world may see it] is stronger than men.” (Such a viewpoint on God’s part is certainly not arbitrary or unreasonable. He has provided in the Bible, the most widely circulated book in the world, a clear statement of his purpose. He has sent his witnesses to discuss it with all who will listen. How foolish for any creature to think that he has wisdom greater than that of God!)
In the middle of the second century C.E., professed Christians were defending their faith against Roman persecutors and heretics alike. However, this was an era of too many theological voices. Religious debates regarding the “divinity” of Jesus and the nature and workings of the holy spirit caused more than just intellectual rifts. Bitter disagreements and irreparable divisions over “Christian” doctrine spilled over into the political and cultural spheres, at times causing riots, rebellion, civil strife, even war. Writes historian Paul Johnson: “[Apostate] Christianity began in confusion, controversy and schism and so it continued. . . . The central and eastern Mediterranean in the first and second centuries AD swarmed with an infinite multitude of religious ideas, struggling to propagate themselves. . . . From the start, then, there were numerous varieties of Christianity which had little in common.”
During that era, writers and thinkers who felt that it was imperative to interpret “Christian” teachings using philosophical terms began to flourish. To satisfy educated pagans who were new converts to “Christianity,” such religious writers relied heavily on earlier Greek and Jewish literature. Beginning with Justin Martyr (c. 100-165 C.E.), who wrote in Greek, professed Christians became increasingly sophisticated in their assimilation of the philosophical heritage of the Greek culture.
This trend came to fruition in the writings of Origen (c. 185-254 C.E.), a Greek author from Alexandria. Origen’s treatise On First Principles was the first systematic effort to explain the main doctrines of “Christian” theology in terms of Greek philosophy. The Council of Nicaea (325 C.E.), with its attempt to explain and establish the “divinity” of Christ, was the milestone that gave new impetus to interpretation of “Christian” dogma. That council marked the beginning of an era during which general church councils sought to define dogma ever more precisely.
Writers and Orators
Eusebius of Caesarea, who wrote at the time of the first Council of Nicaea, associated himself with Emperor Constantine. For slightly more than 100 years after Nicaea, theologians, most of them writing in Greek, worked out in a long and bitter debate what was to be the distinguishing doctrine of Christendom, the Trinity. Chief among them were Athanasius, the assertive bishop of Alexandria, and three church leaders from Cappadocia, Asia Minor—Basil the Great, his brother Gregory of Nyssa, and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus.
Writers and preachers during that age achieved high standards of eloquence. Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom (meaning “Golden-Mouthed”) in Greek as well as Ambrose of Milan and Augustine of Hippo in Latin were consummate orators, masters of the most respected and popular art form of their time. The most influential writer of that period was Augustine. His theological treatises have pervasively shaped the “Christian” thinking of today. Jerome, the period’s most distinguished man of letters, was chiefly responsible for the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible from the original languages.
However, important questions are: Did those Church Fathers adhere closely to the Bible? In their teaching, did they hold fast to the inspired Scriptures? Are their writings a safe guide to an accurate knowledge of God?
Teachings of God or Teachings of Men?
Recently, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Methodius of Pisidia wrote the book The Hellenic Pedestal of Christianity in order to show that Greek culture and philosophy provided the infrastructure of modern “Christian” thought. In that book, he unhesitantly admits: “Almost all the prominent Church Fathers considered the Greek elements most useful, and they borrowed them from the Greek classical antiquity, using them as a means to understand and correctly express the Christian truths.”
Take, for example, the idea that the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit make up the Trinity. Many Church Fathers after the Council of Nicaea became staunch Trinitarians. Their writings and expositions were crucial to making the Trinity a landmark doctrine of Christendom. However, is the Trinity found in the Bible? No. So where did the Church Fathers get it? A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge notes that many say that the Trinity “is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and ingrafted on the Christian faith.” And The Paganism in Our Christianity affirms: “The origin of the [Trinity] is entirely pagan.”*—John 3:16; 14:28.
Or consider the teaching of the immortality of the soul, a belief that some part of man lives on after the body dies. Again, the Church Fathers were instrumental in introducing this notion to a religion that had no teaching about a soul surviving death. The Bible clearly shows that the soul can die: “The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4) What was the basis for the Church Fathers’ belief in an immortal soul? “The Christian concept of a spiritual soul created by God and infused into the body at conception to make man a living whole is the fruit of a long development in Christian philosophy. Only with Origen in the East and St. Augustine in the West was the soul established as a spiritual substance and a philosophical concept formed of its nature. . . . [Augustine’s doctrine] . . . owed much (including some shortcomings) to Neoplatonism,” says the New Catholic Encyclopedia. And the magazine Presbyterian Life says: “Immortality of the soul is a Greek notion formed in ancient mystery cults and elaborated by the philosopher Plato.”*
The Solid Basis of Christian Truth
After even this brief examination of the historical backdrop of the Church Fathers, as well as the origins of their teachings, it is appropriate to ask, Should a sincere Christian base his or her beliefs on the teachings of the Church Fathers? Let the Bible answer.
For one thing, Jesus Christ himself ruled out the use of the religious title “Father” when he said: “Do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One.” (Matthew 23:9) The use of the term “Father” to designate any religious figure is unchristian and unscriptural. The written Word of God was completed about 98 C.E. with the writings of the apostle John. Thus, true Christians do not need to look to any human as the source of inspired revelation. They are careful not to ‘make the word of God invalid’ because of human tradition. Letting human tradition take the place of God’s Word is spiritually lethal. Jesus warned: “If . . . a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”—Matthew 15:6, 14.
Does a Christian need any revelation besides the word of God as contained in the Bible? No. The book of Revelation cautions against adding anything to the inspired record: “If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll.”—Revelation 22:18.
Christian truth is embodied in the written Word of God, the Bible. (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 John 1-4) The correct understanding of it does not hinge on secular philosophy. Regarding men who tried to use human wisdom to explain divine revelation, it is fitting to repeat the apostle Paul’s questions: “Where is the wise man? Where the scribe? Where the debater of this system of things? Did not God make the wisdom of the world foolish?”—1 Corinthians 1:20.
Moreover, the true Christian congregation is “a pillar and support of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15) Its overseers safeguard the purity of their teaching within the congregation, preventing any doctrinal pollutant from creeping in. (2 Timothy 2:15-18, 25) They keep out of the congregation ‘false prophets, false teachers, and destructive sects.’ (2 Peter 2:1) After the death of the apostles, the Church Fathers allowed “misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons” to take root in the Christian congregation.—1 Timothy 4:1.
The consequences of this apostasy are evident in Christendom today. Its beliefs and practices are a far cry from Bible truth.
*: For a detailed discussion of the Bible’s teaching on the soul, see pages 98-104 and 375-80 of Reasoning From the Scriptures
“The Orthodox Church . . . has a particular reverence for the writers of the fourth century, and especially for those whom it terms ‘the three Great Hierarchs,’ Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great, and John Chrysostom,” states the writer Kallistos, who is a monk. Did these Church Fathers base their teachings on the inspired Scriptures? Regarding Basil the Great, the book The Fathers of the Greek Church states: “His writings show that he retained a lifelong intimacy with Plato, Homer, and the historians and rhetors, and they certainly influenced his style. . . . Basil remained a ‘Greek.’” The same was true of Gregory of Nazianzus. “In his view the victory and the superiority of the Church would best be shown in its complete adoption of the traditions of classical culture.”
Regarding all three of them, Professor Panagiotis K. Christou writes: “While they occasionally caution against ‘philosophy and empty deception’ [Colossians 2:8]—in order to be in harmony with the commandment of the New Testament—they, at the same time, eagerly study philosophy and the relevant disciplines and even recommend the study of them to others.” Obviously, such church teachers thought that the Bible was not enough to support their ideas. Could their seeking other pillars of authority mean that their teachings were foreign to the Bible? The apostle Paul warned Hebrew Christians: “Do not be carried away with various and strange teachings.”—Hebrews 13:9.
CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA—A CONTROVERSIAL CHURCH FATHER
One of the most controversial figures among Church Fathers is Cyril of Alexandria (c. 375-444 C.E.). Church historian Hans von Campenhausen describes him as “dogmatic, violent, and cunning, permeated by the greatness of his calling and the
CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA—A CONTROVERSIAL CHURCH FATHER
One of the most controversial figures among Church Fathers is Cyril of Alexandria (c. 375-444 C.E.). Church historian Hans von Campenhausen describes him as “dogmatic, violent, and cunning, permeated by the greatness of his calling and the dignity of his office,” and adds that “he never considered anything as right unless it was useful to him in the furtherance of his power and authority . . . The brutality and unscrupulousness of his methods never depressed him.” While he was bishop of Alexandria, Cyril used bribery, libel, and slander in order to depose the bishop of Constantinople. He is considered responsible for the brutal murder in 415 C.E. of a renowned philosopher named Hypatia. Regarding Cyril’s theological writings, Campenhausen says: “He initiated the practice of deciding questions of belief not solely on the basis of the Bible but with the aid of appropriate quotations and collections of quotations from acknowledged authorities.”
Don't try so hard to sound clever by overcomplicating the obvious with fancy terminology such as "non sequitur". Just say, the conclusion doesn't follow the statement or argument if your intention is to explain things to people who you describe as making "themselves out to be champions of logic, and then call things that simply don't make sense to them illogical"..."but most of them will have no idea how to form an argument and follow thru the argument using the 9 laws of logical inference. If you don't know what these are you cannot even properly evaluate a logical argument, much less deem it invalid or not sound." (if that is how you feel about these people that you're trying to educate or reach I suggest keeping it simple and not using vague references to things you think people don't understand.
I think most people can get pretty far on common sense alone though without having to 'show off' ("demonstrate" has perhaps a better ring to it, not making any implications here) their knowledge of terms like "non sequitur" or "premise" or "the 9 laws of logical inference", or completely understanding these terms.
Colossians 2:8 8 Look out that no one takes you captive by means of the philosophy and empty deception according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ;
These vague references to QM to defend your position isn't very convincing to me. Maybe you can elaborate on how consciousness as an emergent property of matter doesn't amount to determinism ?
Then I would say lets make the distinction between me drinking a bottle of water I bought out of my fridge, and drinking the last reserves of water. The point here is you can conceive of the two classifactory devices, and if your position on morality was correct that would be impossible.
So your position is if a child will inconvenience us we ought to murder it?
If the Bible were the external source of morality, then some property of the Bible would have to be the very paradigm of goodness.
Christians teach Christ death gives you forgiveness of sin and salvation. We teach now the the knowledge of right and wrong is not known from scripture but from the law God implanted in our minds the greatest of which is to love your God and your neighbor as yourself.
No computer program can do anything outside the bounds of its limited source code, and every action of the machine could be traced back to some pattern of electrical signals in the machine.
Paper and ink don't have intrinsic value either. I mean just do a quick google search of intrinsic value. You'll see it has to do with nature not composition.
I agree, but I don't think human beings are just a collection of particles. If that is all they were then you would be right they would lack intrinsic value and there was nothing wrong with the Armenian genocide or the Holocaust.
I don't think of humans this way, but if your position is correct instrumental value is all humans have...so I could kill someone solely on the basis that it brings me pleasure, i.e. there death had instrumental value to me the killer. I agree its atrocious to think of humans that way and we have a moral obligation not to think of humans that way.
Changing the argument with slight variation every time I refute your examples is getting a little old.
All I'm saying is, if true randomness is a property of QM then nothing is completely predictable. That's not to say we really have some type of free will just because our future isn't set in stone. I've previously written a thread related to this subject which does a good job of explaining my position: Existential Musings - Part 1: Determinism & Free Will.
It would absolutely not be impossible, my brain has spent many years developing a concept of morality based on my life experiences. I simply understand that taking more than what others get is not nice because I wouldn't want some one to do that to me and I don't want others to view me as a selfish person, it comes down to ego and empathy.
1) If eating animals is wrong then eating panda bears is wrong. 2) Eating animals is wrong. 3) Eating panda bears is not wron
Some property? Oh let me think... I'm pretty sure the fact people think it's the word of god qualifies it to have the same capacity as the actual god you talk of.
Don't generalize, we both know that's just your camp, plenty of Christians claim the bible to be a source of moral guidance, the bible makes many crystal clear claims about what we should and should not do in this life, some of which are completely absurd and don't align with my sense of morality at all.
This comes back the idea of randomness being necessary for consciousness because otherwise we're just a series of predictable operations.
However I will note that even if our brain is completely deterministic just like a classical computer, it's still possible for deterministic systems to do very complex things, so complex they become completely chaotic.
Really this comes down to philosophical crap but a common definition is the "underlying perception of its true value".
When a person speaks about the value of an old coin they may say it's made of a cheap metal so it has a low intrinsic value (underlying value in terms of physical composition), but it has a high historical value. People say that paper money has no intrinsic value because there's nothing real like gold backing it, there's nothing physical backing it. However even paper has some intrinsic value which is why they don't usually give it out free. Despite the fact it's very abundant it still has some small intrinsic value.
The intrinsic value of something is said to be the value that that thing has “in itself,” or “for its own sake,” or “as such,” or “in its own right.” Extrinsic value is value that is not intrinsic. Many philosophers take intrinsic value to be crucial to a variety of moral judgments.
I just don't understand this need for things to have some sort of transcendental meaning beyond the meaning we ascribe to it as conscious beings. Is the fact most people think it was a tragedy not enough?
If the universe thought it was so wrong then it would have never happened. News flash, the universe doesn't have an opinion, an entire planet full of living creatures probably went extinct due to their star going super nova in the time I took to write this response.
How is it my position, you're the one who wanted to assign some sort of objective value onto humans and started down these slippery slopes. I completely disagree that humans have any type of objective value as I've already stated several times, at the end of the day we're just a collection of particles. That doesn't mean I cannot deeply care for some of those collections of particles.
Yes it is getting old because it's really not the important point of the debate, the point is just because most people agree something isn't moral doesn't mean there must be some transcendent form of morality which agrees with us, nor do we need such an external form of morality in order to care about morality. I don't believe in god or any form of objective morality, and I'm quite certain I view many things as moral where you would see them as immoral. But that doesn't mean I have to think all morality is pointless and I don't have to obey the law, which is what your line of logic seems to be hinged on.