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@alan

I think that's an interesting comparison with artists. In can see a couple of flaws in the analogy though.

Firstly, I suspect patrons of the arts see what they are getting before they pay for it. I guess punters with mediums could refuse to pay if they don't get what they expected.

Secondly, mediumship is, I thought, largely about evidence. Though there may be different ways of assessing its value, evidence either exists or it doesn't for the punter.

Finally, often the punters are vulnerable and potentially susceptible to fraud.

"The play is the thing".

"Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King."

"Aye, there's the rub".

"@ alan medium-ship has been exposed as fraud. all mediums are frauds now. cheesecloth is ectolplasm. Mu!! and other Spiritualismists think cheesecloth is ectolplasm. really.

Darryl"

This must be the funniest comment I've read on here!

the above post was quite amusing. I'm sure it wasnt meant to be, but that's how it came across :-)

I was sick for a couple of days and came back to find the blog overrun with ridiculous and offensive comments. I've deleted most of these, and am closing comments temporarily on all posts. I may have to institute a comment-approval procedure, which will slow down the conversations considerably, but will at least prevent idiots and schizophrenic nut jobs from seizing control of the comment threads.

I've decided to reopen comments, but with a new comment-moderation policy that will prevent a comment from being posted until I've reviewed it.

This appears to be the only way to discourage out-of-control commenting by whatever person or persons tried to hijack this thread.

Michael, I'm glad to know you're OK. It's possible that all this mischief has to do with the troll who posts as MU!!! He used to post at Skeptiko, but was banned. I think he's known for posting under a multitude of names, and it was his appearance here a few days ago that may well have led to this whole episode.

Hope you're feeling better. Thank goodness you're back - the comments were shameful.

Feedrus: If materialism is true, then there is nothing about our thought processes that can make one thought a rational justification of another; for their physical and causal relations alone, and not their semantic and logical relations, determine which thought follows which.

So if materialism is true, none of our thoughts ever is rationally justified.

But this includes the thoughts of materialists themselves.

So if materialism is true, then it cannot be rationally justified; the theory undermines itself.

I have seen this argument before, but it doesn't seem valid. Human beings evolved from lower forms. This evolution must have involved the evolution of thought itself, as an increasingly sophisticated problem-solving mechanism to allow coping with predictable and unpredictable situations. Rational thought presumably evolved as an elaboration of the thinking processes observed in present distant relatives of primitive human ancestors, such as chimps and gorillas. Reasoning of a sort is also observed in some other animals like certain birds. This is evidently evolutionarily developed as a general problem solving ability that in order to work has to respond rationally and logically to events in the external world based on the goals/desires of the animal.

Supposedly, the abstract thought and the higher mental faculties of man that allow concepts like materialism to exist are elaborations on these simpler forms of reasoning, produced by the greatly expanded capabilities of the enlarged frontal lobes.

This narrative and the rational thought that led to it are then to be expected given that the process of evolution applies to humans.

There is a related argument by proponents that the general materialist position of no free will (the mind is a deterministic machine) is self refuting, since having the argument itself implies the opposite. This seems to be invalid for the same reasons.

The content of three of Feedrus' posts has been stolen from other websites.

The content of the post from March 23, 2013 at 05:47 PM has been stolen from here: http://weilerpsiblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/the-real-meaning-behind-the-ted-controversy/

The content of the post from March 23, 2013 at 05:54 PM has been stolen from the same blog article.

The content of the post from March 23, 2013 at 07:18 PM has been stolen from here: http://ncu9nc.blogspot.de/2013/03/materialism-is-not-rational-philosophy.html

Feedrus has slightly modified the stolen contents, but 99 % of it is identical to the texts that one can find on the above mentioned websites.

Finally, the content of his last post on this page (the one from March 24, 2013 at 05:24 AM) is identical to the content of a private message that MU!! sent me on the mind-energy.net forum; I have a screenshot of that. Additionally, it was also posted by MU!! on Jon Donnis' BadPsychics forum. By now it has been deleted from the forum, but I also have screenshots that prove that it was posted there. Also, if you google for the second sentence of the post -- "The more we interact, the more you see that there are people who are not going to be won over to your argument because of its flaws in logic" --, you still get a result from the BadPsychics forum, which also proves that it was originally posted there.

I think the above pretty much establishes that Feedrus = MU!!, but whether or not you're convinced of that*, the fact that he plagiarizes other people's texts should be reason enough to "ban" him from here.

* MU!! usually uses the anonymity network "Tor", which allows one to have many different IP addresses, so it's quite possible that he and Feedrus have different IPs, despite their being the same person.

doubter wrote: "This is evidently evolutionarily developed as a general problem solving ability that in order to work has to respond rationally and logically to events in the external world based on the goals/desires of the animal."

doubter,

It's only "evident" if you have faith in philosophical naturalism. Science should search for truth wherever it leads, it should not be limited by philosophical bias.

You can't tell from the quote on this blog, but it is just a short part from a longer argument. If you are interested, you can find the full argument here:

Edward Feser: Popper contra computationalism

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