2
 
   
 

Once again… it comes down to faith

 
 
Avatar
 
 
Traces Elk
Total Posts:  5591
Joined  27-09-2006
 
 
 
07 August 2009 08:32
 
John Brand - 07 August 2009 12:16 PM

But there are still aspects of consciousness that are opague to observation such as the concept of intentionality (see Dennett).

Is there any basis for taking “intentionality” seriously as a physical phenomenon other than as an aspect of human behavior? Pedophilia is also a human behavior somewhat opaque to observation, since it is usually very private, until the kid is involved, but Dennett doesn’t write about that aspect in quite the right tone, so I guess it’s not very important, since Dennett is being treated here like fucking God. Pedophilia and intentionality are both barriers to living without conflict; let’s keep our eye on the ball here.

 
 
 
Avatar
 
 
John Brand
Total Posts:  340
Joined  30-10-2007
 
 
 
07 August 2009 10:57
 
goodgraydrab - 07 August 2009 11:14 AM

Perhaps your point is true to some extent with regard to reason. Regardless of motivation, failure to acknowledge the harm that is caused and doing nothing about it, either in word or deed, is worse.

Agreed. But how useful the words or actions are is determined by the scope of consideration before the words and actions.

For example, take the case of a bowl of cold soup served at your favorite restaurant.  You know the chef and you, also, know that he would not be happy to know that the soup he has made is being served cold.  You determine that something must be done even it amounts to a complaint to the management about the service being below par.

Your concern here is with the chef as well as your enjoyment of what the chef has made up in his head and, then, created in the form of a bowl of soup. 

Someone else might simply say, ‘its dreadful!’ and leave the restaurant without eating the soup or paying for it.  “It is just water, meat and vegetables, anyway; I can get that anywhere.”   

Talking about religion as the creation of someone to fulfill a specific need is something like this illustration.  A theist is concerned about the design in the mind of the chef, etc..  If an atheist can overcome the nonexistence of the chef and think about the various ends and the means to them, he will be a tremendous asset in the critical enterprise. 

When I think of the critique of religion from Dennett, Dawkins, and Harris, I think of them as deconstructionists:  The soup is nothing.  It is water, meat and vegetables.  I think that they are missing a vast component in the whole matter of religion.  For example, Dennett thinks that the mind is no different from a Coke machine (See Evoltion, Error and Intentionality and especially, Section 2: “The Case of the Wandering Two-Bitser”).  His analysis doesn’t answer the question:  How does the program get into the Coke machine?  This is the oapacity of consciousness that I think we should acknowledge and, then, concentrate on the dysfunction of the machine when compared with its design.  As opposed to saying:  “Its just metal and plastic, anyway.”

I thought of you today, believe it or not.

I thought of you a couple of days ago when I was wondering where everybody went. Good to see you Johnny.

Its good to experience the welcome.  Thanks.

 
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  13960
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
07 August 2009 11:01
 
John Brand - 07 August 2009 09:11 AM
burt - 07 August 2009 01:40 AM

Welcome back John, always enjoy your posts. As for your comments here, I think there is also and issue of who holds the faith, what is their moral status, how do they handle their faith, do they hold it in restraint with critical thought?

Hi, Burt. Thanks for the welcome.  Isn’t Chinese Madyamaka theory an example of holding to a form with critical thought?  In the west, the philosopher Karl Popper advocates both orthodoxy and unorthodoxy being held in a tension so that each can allow for fasification of their own structure. Of course, the pragmatic value of a theory or the moral status of the adherant of a faith is the whole point.  Getting at the essence, in each case, can only enhance the pragmatic value.  I would agree that we should always recognize our own dysfuntion (the Madyamaka theory) and move toward better and better ways of doing what we are trying to do: ‘we learn to do things by doing the things we are learning to do’ (Aristotle).

This reminds me of the verse from Dante, (Paradisio)
“As my sight by seeing learned to see/the transformations which in me took place/transformed the single changeless form for me.”

 
 
Avatar
 
 
John Brand
Total Posts:  340
Joined  30-10-2007
 
 
 
07 August 2009 11:03
 
Traces Elk - 07 August 2009 12:32 PM

Pedophilia and intentionality are both barriers to living without conflict; let’s keep our eye on the ball here.

This statement doesn’t make any sense.  Dennett says it is ‘aboutness.’ How are you defining intentionality?

 
 
Avatar
 
 
Traces Elk
Total Posts:  5591
Joined  27-09-2006
 
 
 
07 August 2009 11:50
 
John Brand - 07 August 2009 03:03 PM
Traces Elk - 07 August 2009 12:32 PM

Pedophilia and intentionality are both barriers to living without conflict; let’s keep our eye on the ball here.

This statement doesn’t make any sense.  Dennett says it is ‘aboutness.’ How are you defining intentionality?

It’s precisely because “intentionality” lacks a definition that it is a barrier to living without conflict. Stop playing dumb with people if you are not actually as dumb as a stone. Pedophilia is a problem precisely because not everyone accepts pedophilia as natural. “Aboutness” yields nothing except “intentionality”. That is in the nature of a tautology. Try to be less impressed by tautology, Johnny.

 
 
Lapin Diabolique
 
Avatar
 
 
Lapin Diabolique
Total Posts:  2015
Joined  10-11-2006
 
 
 
07 August 2009 12:58
 
Traces Elk - 07 August 2009 03:50 PM

“Aboutness” yields nothing except “intentionality”. That is in the nature of a tautology. Try to be less impressed by tautology, Johnny.

Not so fast, Mr. C. I think I know what JB is getting at.

There are plenty of reasons to take “aboutness” seriously as a phenomenon.
I know that you are familiar with physics, so the following analogy may prove useful.

Consider the inherent “mountainness” (if you will) of a common volcanic Devonian rock formation as they can been found in the Andes.
One can argue that its intrinsic structure has been compromised by erosion, various human endeavors, eons of tectonic pressures and so on.

However, lets view this from any non-human perspective . Let’s take any old critter that may frequent such a mountain range, like, say, a North Peruvian ground sloth. The sloth’s possible interpretations of “mountainness” could be equally valid constructs and they could very well blur any meaningful description of “mountainness” far beyond what we can possibly measure in a laboratory.

And yet, does the sloth perceive the “mountainness” of his environment differently merely because his diet of fruits and berries tends to draw his attention mostly groundwards ?  And if so, does that call into question the very reality of the mountain, or the whole universe for that matter ?

No, I think that it is safe to say that it doesn’t.

So I think I have illustrated the significant metaphysical trap-door* that one creates if these types of solid arguments are summarily dismissed without setting some concrete discussion parameters.

Similarly, can it not be said that the “inaneness” of some internet discussions about philosophy can morph,in a matter of hours, from a barely audible twitter to a deafening cacophony of shrills and shrieks, not unlike the cumulative audio output of 12 disgruntled tomcats forced together in a closed sack?


* For full disclosure; this isn’t (of course) my own thesis since I am a non-scientist. However, I am a fairly enthusiastic amateur and I can wholeheartedly endorse Mortimer Howitzer’s book on this subject; it is the first in a series of 14 volumes (so far I have only read 2 but they were both delightful and thought-provoking) in which Howitzer describes various attempts to climb up his own colon.

I must lie down now.

[ Edited: 07 August 2009 14:55 by Lapin Diabolique]
 
 
 
Avatar
 
 
Traces Elk
Total Posts:  5591
Joined  27-09-2006
 
 
 
07 August 2009 13:59
 
Bad Rabbit - 07 August 2009 04:58 PM

Mortimer Howitzer

LOL

I must lie down now. It has something to do with my slothness (not slothfulness, per se, but rather, slothness, sensu strictu).

I will deal with Devonianness later. It will be a dissertation on trilobiting satiricality. Or volcanicness, sometimes referred to as volcanicity. One hopes it will lead to effusive laughter and other eruptions.

Volcanitude? Slothication? Devonianicity?

There is a kind of flirtatious attempt to becloud the issue. I might call it “obfuskankin’”.

 
 
clayforHim648
 
Avatar
 
 
clayforHim648
Total Posts:  1221
Joined  16-09-2007
 
 
 
07 August 2009 18:56
 

First things being first, let me make the unprecedented announcement that I agree, at least in part, with Clay that this guy was not motivated by a love a jesus;

Wow, that is unprecedented teuchter…but I won’t let it go to my head. 

I read his journal from start to finish (the OP) and I thought it was pretty clear that faith had little to do with his “plan” to “end it all”.  This guy seems to have completely removed himself from society and listened to nothing but his own narcissistic thoughts and blog entries.  His inability to socialize with women or find satisfaction in his work and successes drove him to complete self-pity and despair…the shooting was just an elaborate suicide and fit of rage, based on his overly developed hatred of women and sense of hopelessness in life. 

No conspiracy theories or religious ties need to be read into this story at all.

 
 
2