• MikeL
    644
    I have been thinking a lot about proving God and proving intentionality with life, and have come to realise that even proving something is manmade is quite hard. Even Aristotle was only a little help. Is there some way we can prove that something is man made? Some method?

    In ancient times, BC, an Egyptian peasant boy and his father are going to the shore to inspect a net when they see washed up all over the beach and bobbing in the waves before them, plastic rubix cubes, most jumbled, some not.
    They have never seen plastic before, let alone a rubix cube. They take a handful home to determine if they are manmade or not. The boy thinks they are. Dad is not convinced. For the sake of argument we will say the colors are painted on, not on paper stickers.

    Material Cause: That out of which a thing comes to be and which persists (What its made out of)

    Boy:
    The plastic material is different to those materials in my known environment, suggesting it was manufactured.
    Father:
    I know of fine timbers, perfumes and precious metals we import into Egypt, and they are not laying around here either- doesn't mean they're manufactured.

    Formal Cause: The pattern structure or form that the matter realises in becoming a determinate thing. (The blue print, template)
    Boy:
    The object has symmetry. I know that manmade things have symmetry - houses, swords, chariots and clothes have symmetry.
    Father:
    Humans and animals have symmetry. There is a symmetry to day and night.
    Boy:
    It turns (twists), and natural things don’t turn. Wheels turn and doors swing open.
    Father:
    Papyrus reeds can be twisted, or water rung out from moss. That doesn’t imply a purpose.
    Boy:
    But even after twisting, the object remains as if in original condition.
    Father:
    Twisting Clay in one’s hands does not change the nature of the clay.
    Boy:
    Things can be manufactured in his world and they are identical, just like these cubes.
    Father:
    Even with the highest standard of manufacturing no two coins, swords or chariots are exactly alike.
    Boy:
    The item is unique and constrained suggesting craftsmanship.
    Father:
    A fish is unique in its way, and constrained.
    Boy:
    The identical nature between cubes in both form and function goes against what I know of nature and quantum mechanics.
    Father:
    Two bream can look identical. The function is not known, only the degree of freedom the object has.

    Efficient Cause: Topic of Enquiry The agent or entity responsible for the matter taking its specific pattern, structure or form (How was it manufactured)

    Final Cause: That for the sake of which a thing is done. (Purpose)

    Boy:
    There is a color matching game encoded in the cube.
    Father:
    That is not a game. It’s a pattern.
    Boy:
    The patterns on Pharoh’s wall are painted by man.
    Father:
    The patterns in the sky are painted by the Gods.
    Boy:
    But there is sense in the pattern that I can understand and manipulate.
    Father:
    There is sense in the pattern of the seasons that you can understand and manipulate for fine crops.
    Boy:
    I can easily find a use for the object, easily convert it into a game, especially if there are more than one cube. You could race other people for example.
    Father:
    Like you do when you float sticks down the river?
    Boy:
    It looks made for people and therefore must be made by people.
    Father:
    Like the conch shell we blow when an enemy is approaching?
    Boy:
    I cannot classify it against anything I have ever seen.
    Father:
    Wait until I take you to a volcano next month.
    Boy:
    It says, Made in Egypt right here.
    Father:
    Go to bed.
  • Galuchat
    810
    Is there some way we can prove that something is man made? Some method? — MikeL

    Great question.
    Does it help to define nature as: the universe not produced by human verbal modelling (recognising that humans, being part of nature, produce both natural and artificial things)? Artifice being human design.
  • MikeL
    644
    human verbal modellingGaluchat

    Hey, Galuchat, what do you mean by human verbal modelling?
    If we could figure out a system of classifying what it man made v natural, we could apply it to the God problem.
    I see symmetry, identical products, and the other things above. Can you think of any?
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    The god concept is clearly human made, the system I am using I like to call common sense.
  • MikeL
    644
    How does that work?
  • Galuchat
    810
    Hey, Galuchat, what do you mean by human verbal modelling? — MikeL

    Human beings are unique among all other organisms in nature in that they have the faculty of language. This faculty permits verbal conceptualisation (e.g., definitions like the one provided for nature, above) and verbal modelling (i.e., constructing a set of related verbal concepts, such as: natural, artificial, produce, manufacture, create, etc. arranged to represent a composite concept, situation, or system).
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k


    Somehow I am not surprised that common sense is a unknown concept to you.

    Let's see, do dogs talk about god? Can't say I ever heard dogs talk about god. How about cats? Do cats go door to door selling their worthless god theories? I have seen them go door to door for food, but I have never seen a cat go door to door to shove their religious beliefs down a stranger's throats.

    I have never rabbits write a book about gods, I have never seen a bird preaching about its messiah on TV. There is only one animal on this planet who cannot shut up about god, and strangely enough the collective conceptualize of god is a reflection of the narcissistic human mind. Because only humans are egotistical enough to actually believe, that not only do they know how everything was created, but that creator actually gives a shit about them.
  • MikeL
    644
    constructing a set of related verbal concepts, such as: natural, artificial, produce, manufacture, create, etc. arranged to represent a composite concept, situation, or systemGaluchat

    A composite concept, situation or system? Still not sure what you mean. Juxtaposition? Can we apply it to figuring out how to distinguish is something is manmade or not?
  • MikeL
    644
    Somehow I am not surprised common sense is a unknown concept to you.Jeremiah

    Sorry, do we know each other?

    Can't say I ever heard dogs talk about god. How about cats? Do cats go door to door selling their worthless god theories? I have seen them go door to door for food, but I have never seen a cat go door to door to shove their religious beliefs down a strangers throats.

    I have never rabbit write a book about gods, I have never seen a bird preaching about its messiah on TV.
    Jeremiah

    You've never seen those things? You need to get out more.

    There is only one animal on this planet who cannot shut up about god, and strangely enough the collective conceptualize of god is a reflect of the narcissistic human mind.Jeremiah

    Yes, that's right. When I think of God, I think of the person I see whenever I look in the mirror Jeremiah. I figure he must of got out his tools one day and set to work sculpting me in his image.

    I think you could argue that narcissism: the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one's own attributes - may actually stem from ones belief that we're such hot stuff we don't need to invoke a god to explain the profound mysteries around us.

    Because only humans are egotistical enough to actually believe, that not only do they know how everything was created, but that creator actually gives a shit about them.Jeremiah

    Well, if you've been paying attention to the OPs, the God v Science debate is running pretty hot. Again though, claiming to know how everything was created is a science claim, not a god claim.

    As for the creator actually giving a shit, If I were to personify him I would prefer to think of him as a poet who has planted a seed and watches with intense fascination as life blooms in a myriad of fascinating and unexpected directions.
  • MikeL
    644
    Well, not a science claim, but it would fall on that side. They're working toward it.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    This is nothing but an attempt to create a no true scotsman fallacy.
  • MikeL
    644
    What is? Are you able to answer a simple question like proving that something was man-made Jeremiah? Come on, turn on that Common Sense for me. Let's see what you've got.
  • Galuchat
    810
    A composite concept, situation or system? Still not sure what you mean. — MikeL

    A domain ontology is a verbal model.
    And a new building is a verbal model before it becomes blueprints, then bricks and mortar.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    Some of us live with the fact that we can't explain everything.
  • MikeL
    644
    OK, I'm with you now.
    So if we could backward construct the object into a blueprint and verbal model, we might have an insight into the creator of it?
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    It would be a case by case assessment based on what we know about humans and the thing in question, obviously conceptual items differ from the tangible, so they would need a different assessment.

    Your thoughtless attempt to make absolute standards is a straw-man and a vain attempt to create a no true scotsman fallacy.
  • MikeL
    644
    Your thoughtless attempt to make absolute standards is straw-manJeremiah

    A strawman fallacy is when you deliberately create a weaker form of the argument so you can attack it. I am trying to build a framework so I can build on it.

    As to your no true Scotsman, you're getting ahead of the game. I admire your enthusiasm, but for now I would like to focus on how we might go about proving something is man-made. Saying it depends doesn't quite cut the mustard, common sense or not.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    My use a straw man is a bit flexible, but I am not getting ahead of the game, that is where the creation of such silly standards lead. Also I clearly addressed your topic, you know the part you left out.
  • MikeL
    644
    you know the part you left outJeremiah

    About the talking rabbits?
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    case by case. . .
  • MikeL
    644
    Oh I see, well in this particular case of the rubix cube, what would you suggest?
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    And it was writing rabbits.
  • MikeL
    644
    You're a funny guy Jeremiah. Any suggestions on the cubes?
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    Already addressed that in that same post.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    Does plastic grow on trees? Or is it a known human made material?
  • MikeL
    644
    Back in Egyptian days it was neither, which is why I chose that era. But now we're getting somewhere with our analysis. What else?
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    Reread my post case by case based on what we know about humans.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    And you are very much building a straw man.
  • MikeL
    644
    Yeah, I'm not following you there. I never was the best student. You talking about narcisism? I can't find anything else.
  • MikeL
    644
    And you are very much building a straw man.Jeremiah

    Not at all.
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