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Thread: Deism

  1. #261
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    Re: Deism

    Quote Originally Posted by ataraxia View Post
    Hmmm. I'm going to have to go with: no.

    Here's one possible way it could be wrong: The phenomenon you see as "color" could just be a feigned novel stimulus to your brain, just to test out some of its circuitry, being experimented on by some aliens or evil scientists in a lab. The experience of color sensations could just be a result of some particular pattern of firing of neurons in response to some of the stimuli they are giving you. Perhaps they themselves are trying to figure out what it is you are experiencing as "color". Sure you can have a whole science of trying to explain the phenomenon to yourself. But no one else clearly understands what it is you are experiencing, because in the "real world", no such thing exists.

    Improbable? Wildly fanciful? Sure. But possible?

    As long as that's even a possibility, it shows you cannot escape the pragmata. Everything is contingent. There is no path out of Plato's cave, even conceptually. Or so it seems to me.
    I do not see any evidence that woudl be possible.
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    Re: Deism

    Quote Originally Posted by ataraxia View Post
    ...

    Here's one possible way it could be wrong: The phenomenon you see as "color" could just be a feigned novel stimulus to your brain, just to test out some of its circuitry, being experimented on by some aliens or evil scientists in a lab. The experience of color sensations could just be a result of some particular pattern of firing of neurons in response to some of the stimuli they are giving you. Perhaps they themselves are trying to figure out what it is you are experiencing as "color". Sure you can have a whole science of trying to explain the phenomenon to yourself. But no one else clearly understands what it is you are experiencing, because in the "real world", no such thing exists.

    Improbable? Wildly fanciful? Sure. But possible?

    As long as that's even a possibility, it shows you cannot escape the pragmata. Everything is contingent. There is no path out of Plato's cave, even conceptually. Or so it seems to me.
    Possible, yes, in philosophical sense, I suppose. But the possibility of the brain-in-a-vat scenario stems, as I understand it, from the irrefutability of solipsism. And the irrefutability of solipsism follows from the persuasiveness of subjective idealism as an epistemology. But subjective idealism, rather persuasive in the hands of a Bishop Berkley, can lead to an inference to God with as much or more probability as to alien experimenters, it seems to me. Since God is a premise we wish to avoid in a discussion of what may be reasonably inferred about the reality behind our experience of the world -- the inference to the world-in-itself, as we've been calling it -- both alien experimenters and God are better avoided as explanatory hypotheses.

    Accepting the contingency of all knowledge of the world, can we not also accept as contingent inferences to the world-in-itself?
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  3. #263
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    Re: Deism

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    Possible, yes, in philosophical sense, I suppose. But the possibility of the brain-in-a-vat scenario stems, as I understand it, from the irrefutability of solipsism. And the irrefutability of solipsism follows from the persuasiveness of subjective idealism as an epistemology. But subjective idealism, rather persuasive in the hands of a Bishop Berkley, can lead to an inference to God with as much or more probability as to alien experimenters, it seems to me. Since God is a premise we wish to avoid in a discussion of what may be reasonably inferred about the reality behind our experience of the world -- the inference to the world-in-itself, as we've been calling it -- both alien experimenters and God are better avoided as explanatory hypotheses.

    Accepting the contingency of all knowledge of the world, can we not also accept as contingent inferences to the world-in-itself?
    Not really. Just because I can come up with a laundry detergent which cleans the clothes better without taking out the color, doesn't mean I have to make any inferences about Ultimate Truth.

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    Re: Deism

    Quote Originally Posted by ataraxia View Post
    Not really. Just because I can come up with a laundry detergent which cleans the clothes better without taking out the color, doesn't mean I have to make any inferences about Ultimate Truth.
    Rather than laundry detergent, ataraxia, wouldn't the fairer analogy be to coming up with the theories of special and general relativity or quanta, which we do take contingently as justified inferences to physical reality?
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  5. #265
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    Re: Deism

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    Rather than laundry detergent, ataraxia, wouldn't the fairer analogy be to coming up with the theories of special and general relativity or quanta, which we do take contingently as justified inferences to physical reality?
    You mean the best current models we currently have of phenomena as they present themselves to us? Sure.

    As Ultimate, Unquestionable, Immutable Truth? No. Not really.

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    Re: Deism

    Quote Originally Posted by ataraxia View Post
    You mean the best current models we currently have of phenomena as they present themselves to us? Sure.

    As Ultimate, Unquestionable, Immutable Truth? No. Not really.
    Yes, that's a fairer analogy, I think.
    And yes, as you say, contingent knowledge, pragmata, which a hundred years from now may well be replaced by different models, the best then-current models of phenomena as they present themselves to others.
    Empiricism, a stratagem worked out with the sensorium, cannot yield "Ultimate, Unquestionable, Immutable Truth."
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  7. #267
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    Re: Deism

    Is Deism a religion or just a philosophy?

    I've never bought into religion. Never. I do feel there are too many coincidences required for life to exist in all it's complexity just here on this planet for there not to be some designer involved. Call it nature or God or whatever. There is no way random chance put together the human body nor the amoeba for that matter. I have no doubt life exists everywhere throughout the universe. Life is so adaptable there would have to be a design. Call it mathematics or fractal sets or God. Their would have to be a designer somewhere way, way, way back before the beginning of what we call time. In the before time before this universe existed. There had to be a designer.

    Deism allows me to wrap my head around the existence of life.

    My father must've been a deist too. He respected all life even plants. He taught us to have respect for life.
    “People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”Alan Moore, V for Vendetta


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