Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Philosophy, frankly, is a lousy tool to analyze the world..."

Commentor oleg has a knee-slapper that beautifully sums up the philosophical Luddism of atheists/materialists. We were discussing theories of free will and of the mind.

oleg's comment, with my commentary:

... Philosophy, frankly, is a lousy tool to analyze the world.
That's a philosophical assertion. Self-refuting, I might add.
And you are pitting one philosophical position against another.
That's a traditional way of sorting out the truth.
Nothing will be decided on philosophical grounds.
Another philosophical assertion. Self-refuting. On a par with the liar's paradox: "This sentence is false".
At this time, however, the materialist position has a crucial advantage: it has neuroscience on its side.
Neuroscience is natural philosophy-- the application of logic and inference to natural phenomena. Materialism is gibberish, and can't withstand even rudimentary logical scrutiny. The notion that neuroscience provides evidence for materialism is nonsense. The fundamental problems of materialism-- intentionality, qualia, persistence of personal identity, incorrigibility, restricted access, free will-- utterly defy materialist reduction. The assertion that neuroscience provides a materialist explanation for the mind is akin to the assertion that chemical analysis of paper and ink provides a materialist explanation for Hamlet.
Insights into the properties of mind will come from neuroscience, not philosophy.
Neuroscience is philosophy, oleg. It investigates neurological phenomena in a limited way-- examining material and efficient causes of brain function-- and does a nice job if one keeps the limitations in mind. It provides no meaningful insight into fundamental problems of the mind, such as intentionality and qualia, which are addressed with metaphysical insight and are beyond its purview.

The only philosophical hammer atheists have is materialism, so all the world looks like a nail.
Get busy organizing a scientific enterprise if you want an upper hand. That would be a hoot: scientists studying soul...
Clueless dogmatic materialists speculating on the soul is a hoot. Learn some rudimentary logic, oleg-- 'philosophy is bunk' is philosophy, and is self-refuting-- and we can discuss these issues intelligently.


  1. Michael,

    I agree with Oleg. Deductive reasoning is a lousy method for ascertaining the truth. Inductive reasoning is much better. If you're just starting with an unproven premise and using logic to arrive at a conclusion, then all you're doing is telling a story.

    Your essay on 'Evolution News' that you link to, starts with the initial premise that the mind will never be explained to your satisfaction by materialistic means, and arrives at the same conclusion, so it's just circular reasoning.

  2. @bach
    ... it's just circular reasoning.

    What about the fittest survive because those who survive are the fittest?

    Or what about we don't know how life started but it must have started naturally (e.g. by itself) because it is here obviously?

    Is that what you call clear thinking?

    Materialist scientists remind me of The Frog Who Aspired to Become as Big as the Ox!

  3. Wow, Luddites abound. Bachfiend is another clueless new atheist git. Bachfiend is totally oblivious of the problem of induction, yet he gladly tells us that inductive reasoning is better than deductive reasoning. It is knee-jerk comments like these that makes it quite clear that the new atheists are idiots. Athiots.

  4. intentionality, qualia, persistence of personal identity, incorrigibility, restricted access, free will

    And you have evidence supporting none of these. Which makes all of your appeals to philosophy so much mental masturbation with no substance.

    Yawn. Just Egnor doing his clown act again.

  5. @Mike,
    ""Philosophy, frankly, is a lousy tool to analyze the world...""
    One of the best one liners yet.
    I'll stick to my original comparison:
    "Air is a lousy thing to breath, if you're a fish"

  6. Socrates said it best. If such paradoxes rock your boat, happy sailing.