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Old 12-27-2010, 03:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
It's generally accepted that mind is caused by the presence of structure and matter in the world. Will, intentionality, consciousness, or whatever mental structure you want to refer to is the product of mind.

Searle talks about this with respect to direction of fit.

But that's actually not really relevant here.

What's relevant is that, so long as we accept that individual behaviors are conditioned on the presence of circumstance and predisposition, neither of which the individual has agent-control over, which the entire practice of psychology, neurology and neuro-physiology does, then we are accepting that the force which underlies decision making is not the agent itself.
But we don't, not in absolute terms. Preconditions are just one of the factors influencing decision-making and choice. I'm amazed at how easily you try to make unproven philosophical standpoints sound like scientific fact. There have been no conclusive scientific studies saying one way or another, determinism and in-determinism are both unproven hypothesis, there is no way to spout them out as a "consensus" or "accepted" scientific explanation. They are just postulations about possible ways that the universe works.

Neurology and psychology are very shallow disciplines to deal with the depths of these answers, it's like asking a car mechanic to answer the questions behind the atomic and quantum theory of the particles composing the car.

Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
Great. So subatomic particles have free will. Clearly, we are still subject to circumstances and our preconditions.
The fact that chemicals, atoms, composing particles etc. affect our moods/thoughts doesn't preclude the possibility of us affecting the release of the those chemicals, controlling atomic behaviors etc. with our will. Because at the lowest level currently known to science, the quantum level, things are not deterministic at all and at best probabilistic. That means that things can ALWAYS be one way or another, and through as yet undiscovered means there could be a hypothetical link between the paths made on the quantum level and our own control over it.

Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
It's not an issue of being smug. It's an issue of what actual counts as evidence.

You can have an experience of the world that makes you believe a thing, but that doesn't mean your experience constitutes sufficient evidence to believe the thing is true. In some cases, we treat it that way, for practical purposes.

Clearly it's not totally without value. It has value for you. But it's still not evidence because it does not follow from your experience of the world that the particular state of affairs (God existing, the presence of free will, etc.) has any correspondence to reality.
At what point exactly did I try to admit that as scientific evidence, or even use the word "evidence" next to the personal content?

I was making an argument, and emotional/personal content is very much relevant in our decision making even though you may try to sound like a scion of logic (most of which is based on flawed premise and debunked theories like LaPlace's demon instead of true science anyway).

Yes, LaPlace's demon is a flawed theory, it bases it's conclusion on the flawed premise that the paths of particles and their starting conditions being known, an infinitely intelligent entity can calculate all of reality past/present/future in a linear way, thereby negating free will. But the basic premise is flawed, because the paths of particles cannot be fully known, according to quantum physics, only probabilistically known. Thereby, the whole argument is empty.

You would know this if you read the rebuttals section in your own wiki link. I'm amused that you keep saying "via LaPlace's demon" as if it's like saying "via Conservation of Energy" or some concrete scientific law instead of a flawed theory.

Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
A few of the guys you named in there aren't as devoted Christians as you think they are. But I'm not going to get into a debate about the value of being Christian. The reality is, the vast majority of Americans and Brazilians are Christian, and the vast majority of modern MMA fighters come from those two countries, so there are bound to be some good examples.
Well only 76% of Americans were reported as Christians in 08, and since that's been decreasing by about 1% a year I'd say it's about 74% right now. BUT, this is for the overall population the majority of which is skewed by the older age groups.

For adults under 35 (18-35) that compose "Generation Y" in America, only 64% are theists and less than 50% Christian. About 23% are absolutely non-religious/atheist. This is the reason you'll find a good majority of Atheist thinking in this and most online forums. Of those 50%, a big chunk are only nominal Christians and do not concern their day-to-day lives with that belief.

It is this generation Y that is competing in MMA today and relevant to the point that I made. According to pure probability, it should be about half and half for Christians and non Theists at any level of MMA... but what we see is maybe one or two Atheists like Mike Thomas Brown while almost ALL the other champs and top levels are fairly devoted Christians. You can add the latest UFC champs Dominick Cruz and Jose Aldo to that list too btw. And by devoted I mean they try to live their daily lives by those virtues, thank God in interviews etc. and are not just paper Christians by birth. If you want I can show quotes by each one of those fighters to that effect.

Also, as far as only America and Brazil being major competitors in MMA, that's not strictly true. You conveniently left out Japan, which is majority atheist/agnostic and a small percentage Buddhist etc., where arguably MMA and martial arts in general are even bigger than in America and Brazil. And yet, we see another statistical inconsistency ... no real consistent Japanese champ in MMA and most Japanese fighters getting destroyed and tossed out of the UFC, despite Japan having a THRIVING mma scene and arguably deeper historical martial arts base.

Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
There aren't a whole lot of professional fighters. The ones who are out and open about their atheism (Mike Thomas Brown, for instance) are also excellent role-models.

I notice that you left out a few Christians who aren't particularly good role models (Matt Hughes is generally treated that way) but it doesn't particularly matter. Even if Christians were better people, generally, than non-Christians (which, studies have shown, is absolutely not the case) it still wouldn't constitute evidence for the truth of the proposition.[/font]
c'mon MTB might be a nice guy, but he isn't exactly a shining role model in terms of mma achievement... like barely touches the belt then gets destroyed in his first title defense and pummeled back down the ladder by Manny. I'm talking some of the most dominant champs in MMA history and you give me Mike Thomas Brown?

I'm not saying Christianity guarantees perfection or goodness, I'm very much aware of less than ideal or hypocritical Christians like Hughes (even though I feel he's become a better person, not worse, since his conversion).

I even think that religious or not, a virtuous person will still reap the rewards of virtue (the humble, hard-working, respectful and virtuous family man, but not openly religious as far as I know, Cain Velasquez) ... I'm just saying that, by Christian thought, a connection to God will help you stick to virtue better in the face of temptation and adversity.

Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
If I accepted Aristotle as authoritative at all, that would be fine. I don't, because I think that (a) his theological arguments are crap and (b) his moral arguments are seriously disturbing.

Like Plato, Aristotle is a quasi-fascist who supports a number of institutions that basically all modern people reject, most notably, slavery.

Guilt and theories of virtue are not different things. Apart from the fact that we have no record about the internal states of cavemen, virtue ethics is totally different.

Firstly, there is no philosophical definition of God.

Secondly, the philosophical definition of virtue is laid out by Aristotle. So what's wrong with attributing it to him.

If I made up a term and then, subsequently, used it to define an ethical theory, I hope it would be attributed to me. Otherwise, it would be plagiarism.

Again, Aristotle used the term, he wrote the texts, so we credit him with doing both of those things. When someone pioneers a theory, the presence of similar theories in other parts of the world doesn't undermine the significance of the innovator who influences later thinkers.

Those Egyptian and Babylonian thinkers have their ideas in later remnants, though much less pronounced. If I was talking about ideas descended from theirs, I'd have made reference to them. But Christianity clearly takes virtue ethics from Aristotle, not from any thinking in Egypt.
This is an irrelevant tangent rant, it doesn't matter what you think of Aristotle, I wasn't using him as proof of anything ... I was just having some fun using his Rhetorical theory back at you since you're the one who brought him up. I don't care for Aristotle either way, Slavery was pretty much the norm back then and I don't credit Aristotle with "inventing" virtue anyway or even being the first to codify it into a Virtue Ethics theory. You can go back into ancient Hindu philosophy for Karma, or ancient Confucian philosophy, far predating Aristotle for that. In addition to the Babylonian and Egyptian scrolls I mentioned. If anything, Aristotle is the plagiarist here.

So basically, Aristotle is completely irrelevant to this discussion. You brought him up, you keep him.

And my argument is that Virtue ethics has existed since time immemorial, even predating Hindu and Confucian philosophy, so Christianity has no worries about "stealing" it ... it just is, there's no patent on truth. Christianity just helps clarify it.

Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
You're welcome to try it. It was just me trying to give you a heads up. It has nothing to do with smugness.

By the way, attacking demeanor is ad hominem. And it's a little irritating, especially since you can't read tone of voice through the internet.
Fine, you dislike ad hominem, you can keep the scorn out of your tone. I find it hard to believe someone with as good control of language as you can't tell the difference between a smug statement like "oh TRUST ME, your argument sucks" and a polite logical rebuttal such as "I don't think that line of thought is very useful or holds up to much scrutiny".

Originally Posted by IronMan View Post

Where does it say that Jesus abhorred ritual? That's a pretty strange claim.
Mark 7:5-7 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'

Matt 23:1-5 "Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men."

Matt 15:1-3 "Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?"

Matt 23:25-26 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
Tito was arrogant when he was the greatest fighter in the world. Tito is arrogant now.

Your argument is that Tito is bad now because he's arrogant? Have you watched his fights? It has nothing to do with being arrogant and everything to do with being old and not having evolved as a fighter. Both of those things happen to humble fighters, too.
Yes exactly. My argument is that lack of virtue will destroy even the fruits of talent, hard work and previous virtue whereas those focused on virtue to some degree will continue to reap the benefits of happiness or success.

Tito is not that old, he is 35, far younger than any of the other "fallen champs", and hasn't won a fight since age 31 o boot. Yeah, the outward reason is that he hasn't evolved, but what allows the like of GSP, Fedor etc. to continually evolve and stay focused while the likes of arrogant Ortiz eat dust?

Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
That's great, but you haven't addressed my critique about circularity at all.
What are you talking about? You said Moderation is based on circular logic, as in "what is the right amount? why it's what the right amount is!" kinda thing. I said it's not circular, the basis lies in biology / the human body, in terms of what is "too much" food/drink. You're throwing up from drink, that's excess. That's your body's red flag. Where's the circularity?
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