comment by adefinitemaybe ·
2010-01-02T23:58:42.202Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I shall assume that you are human (which I think is virtually certain) and speaking in good faith (which I shall simply assume for the sake of the conversation).<
Why wouldn't you just take it as read that I'm speaking in good faith? You've used a lot of words in attempting to paint me as a country bumpkin, not fit to tie your intellectual sandals. That you preface all that with a comment about having to overtly assume my good faith makes me think you're not that sure about the bumpkin thing.
You can't just assume I'm human. If that were valid, we could all just assume whatever we wanted here, and claim we had won our arguments.
You say "I don't know if I am human, in the generally accepted sense", but I do not believe you.<
Apart from your beliefs being entirely irrelevant, how is it possible for you to form an opinion about what I claim not to know, that is not entirely founded on your emotion? Since the greatest philosophers have struggled over the ages with the question "Am I?", I don't see how "Am I human?" will likely ever have a cut and dried answer.
These being so, evidence that you will die and not live again, and that you did not exist before you were conceived, lies in such observations as these:
- The tendency of every human body to stop working within a century and then disintegrate. Not merely the observation that people die, which is as old as there have been people, but the extensive knowledge of how and why they die.<
How many human bodies have you personally witnessed stop working and begin disintegrating, within 100 years? I don't grant that that is a tendency at all. We only have information about those who have died. If we are to examine the chances of my immortality, we must look for those who haven't died. Do you have any relevant input with respect to people who haven't died? If not, does the fact that you, personally, don't, constitute evidence of anything? If not, does the same apply to all other individuals? If so, may we say that there is no reliable evidence that humans all die?
- The absence of any reliable evidence of survival of the mind in any form thereafter.<
Do you have any reliable evidence for the existence of the mind at ANY time? If so, can you present it to me. That you purportedly think will not convince me. Isn't it true that the existence of mind can only ever be hearsay (and, no, I'm not singling you out here)?
- The absence of any reliable evidence of existence of that mind before conception.<
Oh! please. What an entirely stupid thing to write. It's fundamental that evidence can't be produced for the non-existence of a thing. What are you going to say "It isn't there, none of us present can experience it, so it can't exist"?
- The absence of any reliable evidence of a mind existing independently of the physical body; the existence of much reliable evidence to the effect that the mind is a physical process of the brain.<
Again, you have no reliable evidence for the existence of mind (in the form it is widely thought to exist, i.e., one each, inside our bodies somewhere, etc.). For all you know, you're plugged into the Matrix.
Of course, many have argued otherwise. Not merely books, but whole libraries could be collected arguing for the existence of souls independent of the body and their immortality.<
Wow, is that what got your backs up? The idea that I might be trying to prove the existence of God? Is that what all the witch-hunting is about? My other prediction is future formation of an Atheist Inquisition, as Atheism gradually takes the classic form of a religion.
But even if the matter were seriously contendable, that would not alter the existence of the evidence I have given, merely put up other evidence against it.<
I resent your framing the debate (which you, contradictorily, have felt the need to participate in at length) as not seriously contendable. You've given no such evidence. Everything you've said relies on the definite prior existence of things as yet not proven to exist, and the definite non-existence of certain other things. Your arguments then, are entirely untenable.
So there is the evidence that you asked for. I am of course only summarising things here. But what else is possible? If someone who knows no mathematics at all starts babbling to me about the 4-colour theorem, what can I do but advise them to study mathematics for a few years?<
"If someone who knows no mathematics at all starts babbling to me about the 4-colour theorem..." Do you ever even think a little bit before you type something? Or do you just copy and paste from your Bumper Book of Insults for Use by the Pompous?
That being said, however, you might indeed be immortal!<
That's not being argued. The challenge is for you to present me with evidence of my mortality. So far, you've listed a lot of irrelevancies about what you personally believe about "human beings". All your evidence stands or falls on a) human beings all having died in the past (which, of course we KNOW they haven't, or we wouldn't be having this conversation), b) all human beings being conventional, and c) my being a conventional human being too. For it to carry any weight at all (and I suspect it wouldn't ever), you'd first have to prove that there is only one kind of human being, that those human beings all die (and have all died, say, within 200 years of being born), and that I am a human being (and not just in one physical shape and form either, but entirely).
Had you been born two centuries ago, you would certainly be dead today, drowned in the river of time.<
Certainly? Does that word have a special meaning here I don't know about? Can you list any other certainties? If you can make the list long enough, we can dispense with any further musing here. For my part, I know of nothing that is certain. Of course, I'm only a humble child amongst knowledgeable adults here.
The challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to stay alive long enough to benefit from medical advances that will enable you to swim upstream, and perhaps even overtake the current. That is the only route to immortality there is...<
Are you the Omnipotent One they said we should seek out? You could be in the running for Atheist Pope one day.
"I'm taking the time to construct original arguments here."
You are not. You began with a bare demand for evidence of your mortality. (Why? Why that question, and why here?) When you didn't like the answers, you demanded more loudly, then threw a tantrum.<
I didn't. I began by making a prediction on a prediction thread. I didn't ask for responses. I was then challenged on that prediction and have since defended it. Can we say in light of that, that your "Why that question, and why here?" question is silly (or is it something someone in a synod of atheists is bound to ask)? When I didn't "like" the answers, I showed how they were inadequate. My responses never got "louder". That you think they did, probably has more to do with faulty wiring in your brain, and perhaps your own tendency to try to shout people down. Have your speakers checked. And I didn't throw a tantrum. I merely questioned the rationale of corrupting the voting system by using it to put down supposed "heresy". To censor. To maintain group integrity. To encourage Groupthink.
"Mommy, the geeks won't let me sit at their table!"
You intended that ironically, but it exactly describes your situation: a child who has wandered into a conversation among adults and understands nothing.<
I understand that you are a pompous windbag who can't form a coherent thought, due to his brain being fogged by a fantastic hubris. Was that "3. The absence of any reliable evidence of existence of that mind before conception." part of the adult conversation? What about ""If someone who knows no mathematics at all starts babbling to me about the 4-colour theorem..."? I may be a child, but those statements seem stupid to me.
My statement re "the geeks table" had more to do with the sad reality that complete censorship and ideas control is more assured here than at any Medieval synod.
You do not even understand that there is something for you to understand.<
Oh well, that settles it. You win. You now move on to the quarter-final round against the guy who thinks he's Napoleon at Bedlam Hospital. It should be a cracker!
But the remedy is easy: read every post linked to here. It's about the size of a book. Post nothing until you have finished. If you understand what you read there -- not agree with, but understand -- then there will be enough of a common background to have a useful conversation.<
Groupthink gone wild. "Will you confess your heresy, and bow down and kiss the ringI If you do, all this torture will stop." I don't have to read and regurgitate other people's ideas. My brain makes its own ideas. Ideas, apparently, that encourage you to respond in long diatribes. Do you mean you'd write MORE if I first read the articles before posting again? Please feel free not to respond at all.