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John Jones

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  • College Major/Degree
    Bsc Chemistry, MA analytic philosophy

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  1. The idea that all possibilities "actually" happen can realise no greater possibility than the situation that is described by what we imagine might "actually" happen. It follows that if we can't imagine the actuality of ONE possible world, then we cannot support "any" possible world as being actual.
  2. How is p->q, ~q, ~p an argument? An argument for what? It's a given, one we work by, the basis of conducting an empirical observation. OK. So it's: rationality/functionality vs. rhetoric/appeasement. Would it be too hasty to say that there is no overlap? or that one cannot be subsumed in the other? An argument is made toward achieving a functional, useful, needed, outcome. But the way we conduct an argument is independent of the nature of that outcome. We can argue for a murder as well as a mercy killing. The technique of arguing isn't "rational" because "rationality" describes an aim, but the technique of argument is independent of the arguments aims. BUT MY MAIN POINT, yet to be addressed fully, and it was a technical, self-evident point, is that 1) there is no prospect in logic or the sciences of describing an argument other than in terms of appeasement. This is because - 2) facts - the substance of argument - are either in full view or they are not. If facts are half-revealed then all we have is our ability to persuade others in our attempt to reveal them. You might want to expand the discussion by considering the rules or methods by which facts are assembled. I have left this up to you. I can give some pointers on this but am waiting for an attempt of some sort.
  3. In this forum, and in quantum science, any analysis of the meaning of the term "quantum" is considered a threat to quantum science. This poverty of definition allows "quantum" science to employ mismatched metaphors and colloquialisms in an abortive, though accepted, attempt to bring some semblance of meaning to a dry, meaningless, pragmatic-only quantum mathematics. I don't have any more to say on it as this situation disgusts me.
  4. There are three (possibly four) types of object in the world, two of which are the subject of physics. Of these three objects, one is a material object, another is an object of experience (like colours and sounds), and the third type of object is a quantum object. Material objects obey the laws of material objects: they do not vanish and appear but they can be hidden and revealed. Perceptual or experiential objects obey the laws of experience: they vanish and appear but cannot be hidden or revealed. But what are the laws of quantum objects? Quantum objects seem, or are claimed, to vanish and appear like experiential objects, yet also can be hidden and revealed like material objects. Such a juncture of object behaviours brings the quantum object close in description (perilously?) to that fourth class of objects deemed as "superstitions". A superstitious object is an object of experience made material (mind over matter, animism, etc), or a material object made experiential ("vanishing", miracles, etc). But a quantum object doesn't quite fit the bill as a superstitious object - even though the quantum object is affected by mind or an "observer" according to some interpretations of quantum theory. This is because the quantum object isn't taken to be merely "material" or "experiential". We give the quantum object some conceptual leeway in this regard. However, the only option that offers a description of the quantum object is the one already given - that it is that class of objects that, unlike material objects, both vanish and appear and, unlike experiential objects, can be hidden and revealed. This makes quantum objects different from the superstitious object which can change its objectual status from material to experiential and vice versa.
  5. I agree, that is pretty much what I said and meant. If Reason is about facts, then all facts are on display anyway, so Reason is not needed. Reason must, then, be about persuasion - persuasion through the way we choose our facts. If argument is about assembling facts, and as you re-iterate, these facts are not assembled scientifically but are assembled according to our values and functional needs, then argument is persuasion. Ultimately, argument seeks its own position. The explosion is one such argument, but there are polite ways of arguing for its detonation. This empirical basis for falsification would not be a logical argument.
  6. Experimentation is also the basis for truth. You can do this experiment now by carefully reading and understanding what I wrote, or else deny experimentation itself.
  7. The beginning of all physical objects was not a physical event because it does not occur at any particular time. There are two reasons for this: 1. Physical objects began when Time began. However, Time did not begin as there was no event prior to Time that would announce, or could present, a start. 2. It is physically possible to reach the beginning of the universe - at ANY time whatsoever. By travelling at the speed of light - and some objects can do that - we become one with the conditions present at the beginning of the world.
  8. How does one conduct a rational argument in the logical sciences? First, let us make some useful technical observations: There are no "logical" arguments. Tautologies, contradictions and deductions show nothing, or else show facts that are already in full view. There are no "scientific" arguments. Science deals in facts. Then let us be square, for argument's sake. Argument is about raising voices, descending fists, and lighting fuses. On the other hand a '"rational" argument' is the technique of being persuasively polite - telling your opponent where the bomb is, and when it will go off.
  9. You make a threat. I am sorry. There is no point of equivalence here. But in premise #1. you use the word "advantageous". My question is, "advantageous to what"? Regarding premise #2, I never said that animals were machines. Also, a machine is only called a machine by virtue of the goals we see it perform for us. Where there is a machine, there is, necessarily, life and purpose.
  10. (This looks as though you are working toward getting me banned. You will succeed, if not now, then probably quite soon, if you are not a moderator already. Nevertheless, I will politely respond.) It is no contrived technical artifact or coincidence that the term "survival", in its ordinary usage, has been tagged to the descriptions of the inanimate chemical reactions and physical positions of the anthropomorphised chemicals we care to call "genes". Why is this? The "survival" metaphor was needed to serve a popular predeliction for using the facts of science to make some moral stand, in this case a stand on life and its forms. Thus, an antidote to the selfish behaviour that evolutionists believe attended any object that "survives" was offered in Dawkinian "altruism". Such imaginative moral ventures fall at the very point at which they appear to be justified. For example, an evolutionary antidote for selfish behaviour is only necessary if an object adjusts its behaviour to survive its own death. Such behaviour evolutionists call "passing on" or similar. Yet, it is clear that genes, life-forms, or more generally "survival-objects", do not survive their own deaths in the chemicals (genes, etc) that they produce, nor can be expected to. These are consequences of their being physical, chemical facts. It was for moral reasons that the "selfish" evolutionary "metaphor" was invented. This invention has been passed off as a technical ellipsis, or as "art-literary" metaphor. And its invention is also illustrative of a need that even scientists have - transcendence; in this case to construct a system where death appears to be transcended, or at least a contortion of it. These needs have tainted the language of the physical study of evolution. It is regrettable that such careless, extravagent, moral ventures for the most part go unnoticed, and even more regrettable that they are promoted when they are noticed.
  11. Yes, I know that is true. But if the facts are interpreted as values then the social impact of science - its place in our society, changes. Now my claim was that science should stick to the facts and not falsely promote itself as a movement or cause or as an arbiter of human values. That was what my post was about. I am NOT arguing against the facts of evolution. I am arguing against the value-ridden, anthropomorphic, animistic, supernatural interpretations we place on those facts. Perhaps you see these interpretations as essential to the theory. I agree. It does not affect the facts, as you said at the start. But it does make illogical proposals (like the process of copying or "passing on", and "survival") even if doesn't draw illogical conclusions. This affects the way we think about ourselves and life in general. For example, it is entirely inappropriate for some evolutionists to justify altruism on the back of the facts of evolution. I don't know Shintoism, but at least I would hope that if they are animists then they would say so.
  12. The copy does not survive. It was created, not "passed on", and continues to exist in a number of places until it decays. That is the physical reality. There is no process of getting "passed on". You say that the functional gene does the same thing when it gets passed on. But the physical gene does not get passed on to anything. And "does the same thing" isn't survival. Again, there is nothing that receives, and so nothing that gets "passed on". Survival doesn't just mean being alive. Survival is survival from some catastrophe or threat. In this case, the threat is death, and "getting passed on" or "copying" is claimed to be the means to survive it. If the bacteria lives for ever (does anything do that?) then it does not "survive", unless you want to say that being alive is survival. But survival is survival OF something. Evolution theory claims that it is survival across the boundary of death through "copying" and getting "passed on". But these are supernatural claims, if not entirely logically coherent.
  13. This is what I am objecting to. Neither I nor the copy survives. Both will die. The copy is not a survival of anything. My genes do not get passed on. My genes die. If I make another gene like them, then that is not survival. And "passing a gene on" is a supernatural event. To what do I pass on a gene? I was hoping that the idea that making a copy is making something "survive" across the boundary of death would be understood as a supernatural process. If a bacterium divides into two then the bacterium dies and its substance is used to make two others. But if a bacterium creates another like it then that would not help either of them survive. That also is my objection. By seeing the inanimate world as providing a source of human actions and significances then we practice anthropomorphic animism. Science is muddied with supernaturalism, animism etc. Science is about facts and must stick to the facts and not embellish them with non-scientific values.
  14. Is modern evolution theory, by promoting survival, promoting supernaturalism? I am a hard-nosed scientist and analytic philosopher. I have noticed that evolution theory denies yet promotes supernaturalism. It is this two-facedness that I object to. 1) I am told that "copying" is the key to survival. Surely, this is nonsense. If I make a copy of myself do I survive if I, the original, dies? Of course not. Neither do my genes survive. New ones might have been made along the way but that is not "survival" of anything. But, I hear the objection, it isn't the physical form that survives death, it is the pattern of the physical form that survives. Well, no. No - unless we want to promote animism by saying that patterns survive, like souls, across the boundary of death. So is modern evolution theory, by promoting survival, promoting supernaturalism? Yes. 2) We are also occasionally told that life forms are blind machines. But this is animism if it isn't just a plain contradiction. A machine is a humanly-defined set of objects employed for a particular task. The very fact that there is a machine/task indicates a non-material agency that defines the physical limits of a machine. My conclusion? It looks to me as though much of modern evolution theory has mucked up the facts of evolution by giving them a religious gloss in its talk of selfishness, machines and "survival". As a scientist I find this two-faced and objectionable.
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