• Dfpolis
    907
    Consider the sentence "Animals eat in order to survive". How is this different from saying "survival tends to follow eating"?sime

    Each formulation projects the same fact set into a different conceptual subspace. As these conceptualizations do not contradict each other, there is no reason to reject one in favor of the other.

    Is there a reason to keep both? I think there is. It is not merely that "survival tends to follow eating," there is a dynamic reason that not eating leads to death. "Tends to follow" speaks of correlation, not causality -- ignoring the dynamics of starvation. What it adds is the fact that survival is a correlate of nutrition.

    "Animals eat in order to survive" speaks to a dynamic relation between eating and survival, telling us why eating is a "good thing." What it does not make explicit is that survival is an actual correlate of nutrition.

    a given situation, to predict a person's motives is to predict their behaviour.sime

    I must disagree. We may have desires whose satisfaction we choose either to defer or not to satisfy at all. So, while motives and behavior my be correlated, there is no determinate relation between them.

    Also, I am unsure how one would even start to predict all of a person's motives.

    Teleology should therefore be considered true, or at least meaningless.sime

    I do not understand this sentence. Is there a misprint?
  • Christoffer
    543
    As the unmoved mover, uncaused cause, ultimate meta-law, etc., philosophically, God is the-end-of-the-line of explanation. To be the-end-of-the-line, God needs to be self-explaining.Dfpolis

    The conclusion of the uncaused cause could mean anything, it could be a substance of particles that are unbound by spacetime and in that higher dimension produce our dimensional universe. It could therefore just be a dead "nothing". In order to draw the conclusion of the ontological argument, ignoring the general objections to it, you must also prove that the conclusion isn't some "dead nothing" or accept that this "dead nothing" can be defined as God.

    In this case, God means nothing and you proved nothing to be God. How then is that different from "there is no God"? You can arrive at that conclusion as well with the ontological argument.

    So, for God to do any possible act, He must know all reality -- including us.Dfpolis

    Therefore, by the most logical conclusions of the only arguments that try to point to a God with pure deduction, the ontological argument, it doesn't point to there being any God aware of us. There is no other evidence for any interaction between God and us or God and the universe.

    That is a very peculiar claim, given that we can only know that there is no evidence for x is to know that there is no x.Dfpolis

    Teapots in space.

    Before we understood finger prints and DNA, a crime scene might be rife with evidence identifying the culprit, but investigators were unaware of it. Evidence is only evidence for those able to recognize and use it. So, if you know of no evidence for x, and do not know, independently, that there is no x, the most you can only claim rationally, "I see no reason for believing in x." Thus, using the non-recognition of evidence to categorical deny x is an argumentum in cirulares.Dfpolis

    We can only conclude what can be proven. If we yet have the capacity to prove there is a God, we have no reason to conclude there is one otherwise... there would be teapots in space.

    What you are also saying is that because crime scenes had evidence that we earlier couldn't see, your analogy is that there is, therefore, evidence for God that we have not yet found and ignoring this not-yet-found evidence means concluding there is no God based on not seeing this evidence. This is flawed in its reasoning. You cannot have "not-yet-found" evidence as the evidence for the existence of God.

    The burden of proof demands that people prove the existence of something before someone can start attempting to disprove it. Otherwise... there will be Teapots in space.

    In the present case, the continuing existence of any and all reality is definitive evidence for the existence of God for those able to see its implications.Dfpolis

    No it is not, in what way is this in any form evidence for that conclusion? This is ridiculously flawed reasoning, no evidence at all.

    What is here and now cannot actualize its potential existence at another space-time point, because it is here, not there. Thus, on-going existence requires a concurrent, on-going source of actualization for its explanation. This source is either explained by another or is self-explaining -- the end of the line of explanation. If it is explained by another, then, to avoid an infinite regress, we must have a self-explaining end of the line. This has been explicitly known for two and a half millennia -- since Aristotle formulated the unmoved mover argument in hisDfpolis

    And it proves nothing of the existence of God. Because God as an entity is not defined and the conclusion also assumes there to be an unmoved mover. But what if time is circular? What if after heat death we have a collapse that restarts time at the big bang? Then there is no unmoved mover, only circular time.

    Aristotle didn't have modern physics and even so, the conclusion doesn't have data about where it ends up, meaning that it proves nothing, only the process of causality and existence after big bang.

    The concept of a telos (end) is that of the reason a process is undertaken. This could be a final state, or it could be for someting that occurs before the final state, with the final state occurring only incidentally. Thus, spiders spin webs to catch prey, not to have the broken by random events.Dfpolis

    As I was saying, there can be a final form within the current system, but the maximum final form isn't what spiders are now, its where all energy ends up at heat death. Until then, everything is changing, through evolution and distribution of energy through entropy. There is no final form applied outside of closed systems and those systems are defined by us in order to understand form and function around us.

    Still, knowing creation's final physical state says nothing of what will become of its intentional aspects. I have shown in another thread that physics has nothing to say about intentionality.Dfpolis

    You cannot prove any intention of a creator without proving there to be a creator with intention. First things first.

    This makes the assumption that intermediate states are unintended. Do you have an argument for this?Dfpolis

    You must first prove there to be an intention by a creator and before that the existence of a creator with intention, before putting forth an argument that intermediate states are intended before I can create a counter-argument.

    My conclusion there is based on normal biology and evolutionary science about how we evolve. No biologist would say that we have a static form as we are now, we are constantly evolving, like the rest of nature. So there is nothing that points to our existence and form now to be intended in any way, biology points to evolution being constantly in progress. You must prove the above about a creator and creator intention and then disprove biology in order to conclude us as we are now to be intentional.

    It seems clear to me, from reflecting on the art of story telling, that as much thought and intentionality can be put into the early and intermediate chapters and acts as into the climax. In fact, when I write, I am more interested in the psychology and dynamics that set the characters on a track than I am in where that track leads them. As a result, I have many unfinished stories.

    An even more telling example is the work of a machine designer. She may well know that, eventually, her machine will on the scrap heap, but that is not her purpose in designing it. Her purpose revolves around what the machine can do between its production and its decommissioning.

    Thus, there is no reason to think the purpose (telos) of the cosmos is its physical heat death.
    Dfpolis

    I am a storyteller by profession so I also know storytelling.

    There is no evidence for any purpose to the cosmos and just saying there is purpose to the cosmos is not proof for there being one.

    I agree, texts should be read as a whole. Still, the reasoning behind a holistic movement of thought is found in individual sentences. So, we need to examine its parts.Dfpolis

    Your entire answer here does the same thing again. You babble around specific sentences and you drift in thought without a solid formulated argument. This means that your entire writing falls apart.

    Trust me, from a storyteller who works with storytelling, to someone who rarely finishes stories, you need to clean your text up and make clearer arguments because right now I'm paddling through incoherent text that muddies that water and makes most of it incomprehensible.

    I think that this assumes something you are the verge of rejecting -- namely, the existence of an optimal state.Dfpolis

    You do understand that I criticized the notion that God would allow evolution if he had the power to create perfection and final forms directly. The oxymoron of him.

    (This is the problem with all forms of utilitarianism -- the assumption that there exists a well-defined utility function that can be optimized.)Dfpolis

    This has nothing to do with what I said.

    So, in order to make sense of this claim, there must exist an single optimum. What, precisely, is being optimized? And, how are the required trade-offs done?Dfpolis

    You don't seem to understand in what context I wrote that, so you take it as a statement in of itself. This is what happens when you take everything in a text line by line and not care for the entire argument as a whole.

    How did you reach this conclusion?

    I conclude that there are sound proofs by working though their data and logic, answering all the objections I read as well as my own.
    Dfpolis

    There is no proof. Where is the proof? Do you think that there would even be a discussion if there was proof of the existence of God? All deductive arguments about God reach a conclusion that is then formed into assumptions based on what the person in question "wanted" the conclusion to assume. The conclusion to all deductive arguments only points to a truth that has no relation to the existence of God.

    The relation between the conclusion and a concept of God is invented by those who want the argument to prove the existence to be true. There is nothing within the actual argument to conclude any relation to the concept of God.

    You are making assumptions about logic and data, they are in no way proof of any creator, god or intentions by any creator. That is your invention, your assumption and it is flawed reasoning to use that as your "proof".

    This is an ad hominem. You have presented no rational objection to any specific proof, let alone a methodological argument that would rule out any possible proof. You have only made the faith claim that there is no evidence for the existence of God.Dfpolis

    I cannot object to any proof that isn't there, because there is no proof. Burden of proof demands you to have real proof but all you have are assumptions. I can agree with the ontological argument for example to logical through a deterministic view, but it never proves any existence of God, therefore I don't have to disprove anything.

    You have faith in God and argue that I use faith against it. Flawed reasoning.

    Where is the proof?

    To be skeptical is to require adequate reasons for believing a proposition true. To be open is to require adequate reasons for believing a proposition false. So, to any fair minded person, they are one and the same mental habit -- what is called a scientific mindset. Such a mindset requires us to reject a priori commitments such as your faith claim that there is no God.Dfpolis

    It is not a faith claim when you base your argument about the existence of God on faith in the first place. You have not presented any, and especially not in any scientific method, proof of Gods existence.

    Do not point out flawed reasoning when you have flawed reasoning yourself.

    It has been proven for two and a half millennia. What rational objection do you have to Aristotle's unmoved mover argument? What objection do you have for the meta-law argument in my evolution paper?Dfpolis

    No it hasn't. Aristotle's argument doesn't prove a thing about the existence of God. There is no relation between the conclusion and God, the relation isn't there, how do you even see a relation between the concept of God and Aristotle's conclusion? It only proves there to be "something" in the beginning and it also assumes that there are no chance for circular time and great collapse hypothesis.

    So there is no deductive conclusion that has any truth value because the reasoning is flawed. You assume a conclusion based on another conclusion without relation.

    The analogy is:
    Mass of humans : Mass of supporting cosmos :: Mass of capstone : Mass of the supporting pyramid.
    Dfpolis

    What does this prove?

    There are two errors here: (1) there is no claim that we are the sole point of creation and (2) there is no reason to think that God needs to skimp on existence to effect His ends.Dfpolis

    Exactly, so you counter your own point from earlier about intentional form and purpose.

    Many see the elegance of a few simple laws causing a singularity to blossom into the complex beauty of the cosmos.Dfpolis

    Seeing elegance in anything proves nothing.

    You miss the point: mass ratios are not an argument against intentionality.Dfpolis

    Then write so people don't miss the point, because you are all over the place, seemingly not even coherent with your own writing.

    There is no doubt that this is a reason some people believe in gods. There is no evidence that it is either the sole or the main reason.Dfpolis

    It is more proven than any other idea about how religion raised up. Backed up by the sciences and analysis of those texts, by how we function psychologically in groups. It is more solid than anything you are presenting and yet you are dismissing it because... you simply don't agree.

    The prophet Jeremiah believed in fixed laws of nature as well as a God relating to humans.Dfpolis

    So? Proves nothing.

    Aristotle based his philosophy on empirical observation, but saw the logical necessity of an unmoved mover or self-thinking thought.Dfpolis

    Aristotle also didn't have modern methods of science which exclude the subjective from the process. He also was influenced by the time he lived in and while some of his arguments have valid points and are still relevant, there are many flaws because we know things now in science that he didn't. And ignoring this, taking it word by word as truth is ignoring everything we know about the world and universe today. If you can't realise that your process of argumenting has serious flaws because of this then you are stuck in your own reasoning ignoring anything outside your own assumptions.

    Cherry picking explanations, instead of acknowledging the complexity of human thought, is an indication of biasDfpolis

    And what are you doing? You aren't biased towards the idea that God exist and you twist the conclusion of arguments in order to fit your narrative. Get of your high horse, your argument is full of holes and you cherry pick sentences out of a whole and dissect things without caring for the context they were written in.

    Really? What is so unique about the 20th century?Dfpolis

    Are you for real? Are you seriously saying that we haven't reached a much more effective way of studying the facts of the world today because of things like, say, falsifiability?
    Do you think the device you are writing on is the result of no progress in science and our understanding of the world and universe? Doesn't the sum of the knowledge we now know about the world and universe, that we've been able to gather with modern scientific methods, have an impact on how to much more truthfully reach conclusions than people before this time-period who were influenced by their limitations in their time? Just the fact that dissections were done on animals in order to draw conclusions on human anatomy shows just how distorted knowledge was before more modern methods. If you can't see how things changed drastically during the enlightenment and 20th century, then you seem blind to the history of science and philosophy. There has been a lot happening since Aristotle and Aquinas you know, should that be ignored? Should all science be ignored because you are "right" in your assumptions about your conclusions?

    No, I pointed out the
    Was not the recognition of fixed laws by Jeremiah, the foundation of mathematical physics by Aristotle, the discovery of inertia and instantaneous velocity by the medieval physicists, the astronomical work of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and Laplace, and Darwin's theory real contributions to our understanding of nature? Or are you claiming that we now have a final understanding of physics? How can we when we have no theory of quantum gravity and do not understand ~95% of the mass of the cosmos?Dfpolis

    I'm saying that everything has led up to a sum of knowledge in which we dismiss the errors, modify when finding new evidence and work with scientific methods far more effective and immune to corruption today than we have ever done in the entire history of man. I am not dismissing anything but you are cherry picking old conclusions to fit your narrative and ignore everything that is problematic for your argument throughout history.

    If you cannot use the knowledge that you have and through modern methods that exclude your opinion from your conclusion, reach a conclusion that is valid, you are biased towards the assumed idea of an existing God.

    So, you think matters of fact should be decided by examining the motives leading people to study a subject?Dfpolis

    Stop making things up in order to counter them, you are doing serious fallacies all the time. I said that it's easy to see how ideas that have no scientific truth, form out of the comfort of needing meaning and purpose when the notion of it not existing appears.

    What you are saying is about motive in studies. Why are you answering in a way that has nothing to do with what I wrote, it looks like the ramblings of a delusional man.

    you have offered no rational argument, logical objection or shred of evidence to support your faith claim.Dfpolis

    You have not offered any rational argument, logical conclusion or shred of evidence for the existence of God. If you really had that, bullet proof, you'd be on TV right now and people and scientists would study your findings, but you aren't because you haven't proved a single thing.

    Therefore, I cannot argue against anything that hasn't been proven.
    The burden of proof is on your shoulders, just because you think you have proven something doesn't mean that you have. Do you get it?

    I'm still waiting for an actual logical objection. Where and what is yours? I have suggested two simple arguments for you to "deconstruct" -- Aristotle's unmoved mover, and the argument in my evolution paper. Have at it and forget the ad hominem hand waving you seem to find comforting.Dfpolis

    I'm still waiting for a logical argument for the existence of God. You need to provide it first, burden of proof. You need to get in the game of modern scientific methods or live in your fantasy land.

    You assume the existence of God out of the conclusions. That is not evidence or proof.
    Get it?

    In the next bit you falsely accuse me of giving no logical argument for the existence of God. I give one in my evolution paper, and add another in my book. I have also referred you to a number of arguments by other thinkers.Dfpolis

    I will not read your book just because you say that I cannot argue against the existence of God because I haven't read your book.

    If you cannot present your argument here, plain and simple, the logic behind it, without convoluted drawn out text that makes your entire point incoherent I cannot counter argue it.

    Right now you make the argument like this: "You cannot prove that I'm wrong because you haven't read my book".

    Make the argument here, right now. What is the argument plain and simple. So far you have incoherent text and make connections between conclusions and premiesses that have nothing to do with eachother before making a conclusion that comes right out of your assumptions. If this is how you try and communicate your argument in your book, then it's Depaak Chopra level of arguing.

    X is Y because of the fundamentals of X has been proved by Z to correlate with Y in such ways that no one can object because of T.

    You are confused.Dfpolis

    No, you are, a lot. If you weren't, as I said, you would be on every television with the news "God proved to be real". If you sit on the high horse believing you have proven Gods existence and you reject objections by saying "you are confused", while not convincing anyone of any rational mind that you are in fact proven right, it is you who are confused.

    I called the concept of God you reject a straw man because it is not that of classical theism, but your personal construct -- which I reject as well. A straw man argument occurs when one ignores the actual opposing position and substitutes one more easily attacked. That is what you have done.Dfpolis

    Like you straw man every line I've written in my argument? Substituting your own convoluted interpretation of what I wrote instead of what I actually wrote in the context of my entire text?
    While not proving any concept of God other than one that is so open to interpretation that there isn't any definition that can create a precise concept at all. The arrogance when you try to explain what a straw man is, without looking at your own text and how you change my text into twisted interpretations.

    Really?

    Have you any documented examples of this? You seem operate in a Trumpian faerie land in which facts don't matter or are manufactured on whim.Dfpolis

    And you talk about Ad Hominems? Are you for real?
    Church and institutions have changed their stance on everything from where the sun is in the solar system in relation to earth, how we are created by God to trying to shoe-horn in evoution into explaining creation. Do you not know about the history if science?

    Lay of the Trump-like Ad Hominems, it's downright disgusting and an insult to my intellect. Maybe you should look in the mirror and realize that you write exactly in the way you try and criticize others for.

    Here is another example of manufactured facts. The scientific method, including the need for controlled experiments, was fully and explicitly outlined and applied by Robert Grosseteste (1175-1253), Oxford professor, teacher of Roger Bacon, and later bishop of Lincoln, in his works on optics (c 1220-35). He emphasized that we needed to compare theory with experiment. So, Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) did his work long after the scientific method was established.Dfpolis

    You describe the historical development of scientific methods. Stop making straw man arguments as you don't want others to do it.

    Do you have falsifiability established there somewhere? You know, the most important part of modern science that we have? And the one which took us from the problem of not seeing what is pseudoscience and what is real science, uncorrupted by the scientist's influence.

    In his The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, James Hannam makes clear that that the Church not only tolerated but promoted science -- seeing God as revealing Himself not only in Scripture, but in the Book of Nature. Thus, by better understanding nature, we better understand God.Dfpolis

    The historical process of how we ended up with our modern science does not counter the enormous improvements that happened from the enlightenment period to our modern day.

    This is why you can't prove the existence of God, because we have much more strict ways of demanding falsifiability and peer review to such claims. If you can't prove exactly the conclusion you make, then you haven't proven anything and if someone counters your findings you cannot just dismiss it and tell them they are confused.

    My, my. The ad hominems continue. In my evolution paper I cite well over 50 authors, many of whom are atheists -- some quite militant. The bibliography of my book is 24 pages of 10 pt. type and contains works by many who strongly disagree with me. You would be more credible if you verified your facts before attacking my character and methods.Dfpolis

    And you aren't making Ad Hominems?

    You haven't proven the existence of God and you haven't provided an actual argument for the existence of God.

    Your reference is your own book and if we don't read your book, you are right. That is essentially your argument.

    I want you to present your argument for the existence of God. Right now. Aristotle's unmoved mover does not conclude with "God exists" because that is an assumption and invention out of the actual conclusion. So what is left is your argument and you have not presented it. You have straw manned my text into shreds while calling out straw mans on me, you have conducted ad hominems yourself but complained about getting them yourself.

    Your text is incoherent and lack a thread of thought, so it's impossible to track your actual argument or line of thought.

    Make the argument, plain and simple instead of demanding people to read your book and if they do not you are right. That is not how you conduct a dialectic.
  • S
    10.6k
    Plato and Aristotle were familiar with Democritus's ideas, and fought against them. They did so on behalf of other ideas, some of which were later, for centuries, to create obstacles to the growth of knowledge. Both insisted on rejecting Democritus's naturalistic explanations, in favour of trying to understand the world in finalistic terms - believing, that is, that everything that happens has a purpose; a way of thinking that would reveal itself to be very misleading for understanding the ways of nature - or in terms of good and evil, confusing human issues with matters which do not relate to us.

    Aristotle speaks extensively about the ideas of Democritus, and with respect. Plato never cites Democritus, but scholars suspect today that this was out of deliberate choice and not for lack of knowledge of his works. Criticism of Democritus's ideas is implicit in several of Plato's texts, as in his critique of 'physicists', for example. In a passage in his Phaedo, Plato has Socrates articulate a reproach to all 'physicists' which will have a lasting resonance. He complains that when 'physicists' had explained that the Earth was round, he rebelled because he wanted to know what 'good' it was for the Earth to be round; how its roundness would benefit it. Plato's Socrates recounts how he had at first been enthusiastic about physics, but had come to be disillusioned by it:

    "I had expected to be first told that the Earth was flat or round, but also that, afterwards, the reason for the necessity of this shape would be explained to me, starting from the principle of the best, proving to me that the best thing for the Earth is to have this shape. And if he had said that the Earth was at the centre of the world, then to show me how being at the centre was of benefit to the Earth".

    How completely off track the great Plato was here!
    — Reality Is Not What It Seems, by Carlo Rovelli

    Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to the physics of space and time. He has worked in Italy and the US, and is currently directing the quantum gravity research group of the Centre de physique théorique in Marseille, France.

    'The world's most inspirational physics teacher'
    Daily Telegraph
  • sime
    371
    a given situation, to predict a person's motives is to predict their behaviour.
    — sime

    I must disagree. We may have desires whose satisfaction we choose either to defer or not to satisfy at all. So, while motives and behavior my be correlated, there is no determinate relation between them.
    Dfpolis

    Yes, in own case I cannot understand my desires in terms my personal behavioural history. But if my attribution of motives to others is considered to be objective , then the motives of others must be describable in terms of behavioural regularity, for the personal feelings I have regarding other people's behaviour is subjective.

    So I can accept the reason/cause/motive distinction, but only if the subjective-objective distinction is rejected. Otherwise I cannot see how these distinctions can be maintained.
  • Dfpolis
    907
    The conclusion of the uncaused cause could mean anything, it could be a substance of particles that are unbound by spacetime and in that higher dimension produce our dimensional universe.Christoffer

    Not if you are logical. To be the end of the line of explanation, something must be self-explaining. That means that what it is entails that it is. Consequently, its essence cannot limit the unspecified ability to act which its existence. So, the end of the line must be omnipotent, which means it is not limited by space and time, or in any other way. It must be able to perform any possible act.

    It could therefore just be a dead "nothing".Christoffer

    This is an irrational hypothesis. To be an explanation, it must act to effect what is explained.

    So, for God to do any possible act, He must know all reality -- including us. — Dfpolis

    Therefore, by the most logical conclusions of the only arguments that try to point to a God with pure deduction, the ontological argument, it doesn't point to there being any God aware of us.
    Christoffer

    You are confused. When we speak of lines of explanation, there is an empirical datum to be explained. For example, Aristotle's unmoved mover is the end of the line of explanation for observed change. My meta-law argument explains the observed persistence of physical objects.

    Ontological arguments use no data, and therefore can only show how we must think of something to be consistent, and not that what is thought of actually exists.

    There is no other evidence for any interaction between God and us or God and the universe.Christoffer

    You may repeat your faith claim as often as you wish, but doing so is irrational unless you are going to argue you case.

    You did not look at either Aristotle's argument for an unmoved mover or mine for a self-conserving meta-law. Thus, you objections do not address either the truth of the premises or the validity of the logical moves. These are the only two ways to show that a proof fails. When you address one or the other, I will continue the discussion.
  • Dfpolis
    907

    Both insisted on rejecting Democritus's naturalistic explanations, in favour of trying to understand the world in finalistic terms - believing, that is, that everything that happens has a purpose; a way of thinking that would reveal itself to be very misleading for understanding the ways of nature - or in terms of good and evil, confusing human issues with matters which do not relate to us. — Reality Is Not What It Seems, by Carlo Rovelli

    Obviously, Carlo Rovelli is not very familiar with Aristotle. Aristotle explicitly states that not everything that happens, happens for an end. Rather he sees final causality as one of four distinct modes of explanation, and does not shy away from any of them. Among his many achievements was being the first mathematical physicist. (He correctly formulated the power law, P=Fv, and had a better understanding of motion in viscous media than Newton.)
  • Dfpolis
    907
    But if my attribution of motives to others is considered to be objective , then the motives of others must be describable in terms of behavioural regularity, for the personal feelings I have regarding other people's behaviour is subjective.sime

    That is the stance that behaviorists took. It shows the limits imposed on natural science by its Fundamental Abstraction. I discussed the FA in detail in https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/4732/intentional-vs-material-reality-and-the-hard-problem.

    We know subjectivity in others by analogy with our own experience, not by any sort of direct observation. Observing their behavior leads us to hypothesize their intentional state in analogy with our own. The problem with this is that there may be no analog for mental aberrations in our own subjective experience, and so we may utterly fail to understand irrational behavior.

    So I can accept the reason/cause/motive distinction, but only if the subjective-objective distinction is rejected. Otherwise I cannot see how these distinctions can be maintained.sime

    Knowledge is inescapably a subject-object relation. There is invariably a knowing subject and a known object. However, the object is more complex than one might think. In experience we are informed not only of the objective object, of what we are we are looking at, but of the subjective object, of ourselves as looking at the objective object. For example, in seeing an apple. we are not only informed by and about the apple, but by and about ourselves, e.g. that we can see, be aware of what we see, etc. These are facts about the knowing subject, given to us as objective.

    This is a point completely missed by Ryle in The Concept of Mind when he criticizes the notion of introspection. He fails to see that there are not two separate acts in knowing the other and in knowing our self knowing the other. Rather there is one act of knowing with a complex object that can be resolved by subsequent reflection.

    Or, have I completely missed your point?
  • S
    10.6k
    No, not obviously at all. It seems more like you've taken what he said out of context. As per The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, "Aristotle is adamant that, for a full range of cases, all four causes must be given in order to give an explanation. More explicitly, for a full range of cases, an explanation which fails to invoke all four causes is no explanation at all". Moreover, "Aristotle recognizes the explanatory primacy of the final cause over the efficient and material cause".
    (Source).

    That's consistent with what Carlo Rovelli was talking about. He was talking about explanations. Both Plato and Aristotle were wrong on this one.
  • Christoffer
    543
    Not if you are logical. To be the end of the line of explanation, something must be self-explaining. That means that what it is entails that it is. Consequently, its essence cannot limit the unspecified ability to act which its existence. So, the end of the line must be omnipotent, which means it is not limited by space and time, or in any other way. It must be able to perform any possible act.Dfpolis

    You are attaching attributes to what's at the end which is assuming you know what it is and how it works, which isn't a logical conclusion to the argument. And if there's a possibility that time is circular, if the cosmic collapse has a probability of being true, then there is no first mover or cause. A deductive logical argument cannot be false and if it can be false you cannot claim it as truth, evidence or logic. Period.

    Any attribute you attach in your reasoning does not have any logical argument for them. Nothing of what you say here proves any God whatsoever.

    This is an irrational hypothesis. To be an explanation, it must act to effect what is explained.Dfpolis

    No, because you don't know the answers physics is trying to answer. You don't know the unification theory. You cannot conclude anything about what came before the big bang without knowing and you can't do it with your deduction.

    Stop just believing your own words and flawed reasoning and put your argument in front of falsification methods.

    Nothing of what you say prove any form of God, that is your invention out of confusing yourself with the logic. You don't seem to see the forest burning because you only look at individual trees.

    You are confused. When we speak of lines of explanation, there is an empirical datum to be explained. For example, Aristotle's unmoved mover is the end of the line of explanation for observed change. My meta-law argument explains the observed persistence of physical objects.

    Ontological arguments use no data, and therefore can only show how we must think of something to be consistent, and not that what is thought of actually exists.
    Dfpolis

    Then stop being confusing, you are confusing yourself into not even seeing your own flawed reasoning.

    Let me ask you, have you put your argument to peer review among physics? Because your argument seems to involve a lot of physics in its reasoning, so you need to put your argument through falsification methods. Aristotle's unmoved mover isn't God. That is your invention, that is not the conclusion. There is nothing confusing about this.

    If you are using data, then you are making a scientific theory, if so, I'd like to look at the peer reviews of your theory. I'd like to hear what physicists have to say about your use of the data.

    You may repeat your faith claim as often as you wish, but doing so is irrational unless you are going to argue you case.Dfpolis

    You haven't presented a logical argument yet, burden of proof is on you, and you haven't presented a solid argument for the existence of God. You think you have, but you haven't. I've pointed out the flaws and you ignore them and say that I'm confused and that I have a "faith claim".

    You have no argument, so stop pushing convoluted empty arguments. As I said, if you had proven the existence of God, you would now be a celebrity, but you haven't, because only you think you are correct.

    You did not look at either Aristotle's argument for an unmoved mover or mine for a self-conserving meta-law. Thus, you objections do not address either the truth of the premises or the validity of the logical moves. These are the only two ways to show that a proof fails. When you address one or the other, I will continue the discussion.Dfpolis

    Aristotle's argument for the unmoved mover as support for the existence of God has been refuted by me and many more, much more brilliant minds than mine and you ignore them all. I did it many times and you just ignore it.

    I will tell it again. The unmoved mover is the conclusion, it does not have any relation to the concept of any God. That is truth, that is fact. You CANNOT take that conclusion and say it concludes there is a God because there is nothing that connects between unmoved mover and God in any logical way. To connect that conclusion with God, means that you need to assume that God is the unmoved mover, there is nothing in the argument that logically deduce God to be the unmoved mover.
    Your logic in trying to connect them has no connection. It also assumes that other hypothetical explanations for what happens before Big Bang, like that the end of heat death ends up in a cosmic collapse and that time starts over, or that multiverse models are true or that Big Bang was a quantum anomaly from nothing because of infinite possibilities within infinite nothing.

    You cannot conclude with deductive logic, a truth if there are any possibilities outside that conclusion and you cannot apply attributes to the conclusion outside of the logic. This is the whole reason why Aristotle's argument has never been accepted as any proof for the existence of God, no one takes that assumption seriously because it is flawed in its reasoning. Just because you want it to be true doesn't mean it's true. Your argument must be hundred percent logical and the deduction must mean it cannot be false but it can and therefore you cannot say it's proof. Period.




    Now, present your argument as a bulletproof logical deduction that God exists. Stop convoluting your writing into an incoherent mess. I want the argument, plain premisses and the conclusion, like everyone else does it. If you have a scientific paper on it I want to see the peer-reviewed comments on it. You are aiming for undeniable proof of the existence of God, act like it. I cannot put forth an argument if I only have your self-confused logic as a source.
  • aporiap
    156

    I don't think that the idea that agents act for ends requires that they only act for one end.

    Also, I think part being a free agent is our ability to confer new value by re-purposing objects and capabilities. It is part of what Aquinas calls our participation in Divine Providence by reason. That is why I object to a narrow natural law ethics that does not allow for the legitimate creation of new ends.
    Well so conferring new value via re-purposing is something different than instrinsic purpose/teleology. Are you implying here that the ends of things [e.g. the end of an enzyme - to catalyze reaction, the end of a seed is to become a plant] are human designated?


    Of course. That is one reason free will is possible. There are multiple paths to human self-realization.
    I don't understand this since we are speaking about objects here and not people. I also think, if anything, a teleological framework would necessarily be limiting compared to a teleologically blank humanity since it rigidly identifies some set of ends as natural to an object/person. Humans wouldn't have the freedom to not self realize if their nature was to self-realize, for example.

    This has to do with physical determinism vs. intentional freedom. If no free agent is involved, physical systems have only a single immanent line of action and so act deterministically. If there are agents able to conceive alternative lines of action, then multiple lines of action are immanent in the agents, and so we need not have deterministic time development.
    I'm unsure what free will has to do with teleology. Secondly this is a human specific thing, free will doesn't have anything to do with physical systems, they cannot choose actions because they lack brains

    Are you thinking that the existence of ends entails determinism? I don't.
    Well my point in that excerpt was to just highlight that ends are not intrinsic to objects alone. A gene, for example, can NOT give rise to a protein all by itself, despite the function [or end] of a gene being to give rise to a protein. It's the gene plus the cellular machinery which gives rise to a protein.

    But I think teleology definitely entails determinism or at least 'probabilistic determinism' [given initial conditions + context A --> 80% chance of P]. How else would ends be reproducibly met?
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    Imagine there's a jigsaw puzzle making machine x. x is given a set of rules y it must follow and then allowed to construct pieces of a puzzle. x constrained by y will produce, say, n number of pieces. Now it is possible that none of the pieces fit together but, more important to the issue we're discussing, there's also a chance that some pieces will fit perfectly. Let's call such instances of perfect fit between two pieces as T's.

    Now imagine a person A who comes across T's. What would be the rational thing to do? To consider two explanations:

    1. Coincidence
    2. Teleology

    You're ignoring option 1 in favor of 2 and that's a mistake. Isn't it?
  • Dfpolis
    907
    "Aristotle is adamant that, for a full range of cases, all four causes must be given in order to give an explanation. More explicitly, for a full range of cases, an explanation which fails to invoke all four causes is no explanation at all". Moreover, "Aristotle recognizes the explanatory primacy of the final cause over the efficient and material cause".S

    It is quite true that, when there is a final cause, it is, as the Scholastics insist, the cause of causes. If I chose to build a house, all of the other explanatory factors (form, materials and workers) are contingent on my end.

    None of this contradicts the point I made, namely, that Aristotle explicitly states that some events have no final cause. He gives as examples an eclipse, and the meeting of a lender and debtor in the market where each has come for other reasons. You would have seen this if you read a few more sentences in the SEP article:

    Aristotle is not committed to the view that everything has all four causes, let alone that everything has a final/formal cause. In the Metaphysics, for example, Aristotle says that an eclipse of the moon does not have a final cause (Metaph.1044 b 12). What happens when there is no final/formal cause like in the case of an eclipse of the moon? ... The interposition of the earth, that is, its coming in between the sun and the moon, is to be regarded as the efficient cause of the eclipse. Interestingly enough, Aristotle offers this efficient cause as the cause of the eclipse and that which has to be given in reply to the question “why?” (Metaph. 1044 b 13–15).

    Somehow, you missed the part of the article rebutting Rovelli. Note also that this corrects the misimpression created when Andrea Falcon wrote (without textual reference), that "an explanation which fails to invoke all four causes is no explanation at all." Clearly, this is not to be taken literally, but in the sense that such an explanation is defective.

    That's consistent with what Carlo Rovelli was talking about. He was talking about explanations. Both Plato and Aristotle were wrong on this one.S

    You have not made your case. Let's revisit Rovelli's text.

    Plato and Aristotle were familiar with Democritus's ideas, and fought against them. They did so on behalf of other ideas, some of which were later, for centuries, to create obstacles to the growth of knowledge. — Reality Is Not What It Seems, by Carlo Rovelli

    I have no desire to defend Plato, only to show that Rovelli's view of Aristotle is quite mistaken. Democritus was wrong, and wrong, inter alia, for the reasons Aristotle gave. Democritus argues against Zeno that we cannot divide distances in half indefinitely because there are atoma, "uncutable" particles. This confuses a mathematical operation, which Zeno is considering, with a physical operation. Even is there were atoma, they would not prevent us from reflecting on line segments shorter than their diameter. So, Democritus hypothesis fails in its primary function, which was to rebut Zeno.

    Having made the atoma hypothesis, Democritus goes on to postulate that atoma are separated by nothing. Aristotle correctly showed that (1) Zeno's problem was mathematical rather than physical, and (2) that if there were atoma separated by nothing, they would be in contact.

    Modern physics has vindicated Aristotle and rejected Democritus. The locality postulate of quantum field theory is a restatement of Aristotle's principle that remote action requires mediation because agents only act where they are. There are no indivisible atoma. The atoms of modern chemistry are composed of divisible parts. All of the elementary quanta of high energy physics can be transformed into other kinds of quanta. Space is not nothing. Rather, it is, in Dirac's electron theory, a plenum of negative energy electrons; in quantum field theory, filled with all possible quantum fields; and in general relativity the bearer of observable fields described by the energy-momentum and the metric tensors.

    Thus, Democritus was wrong on every essential point, while the continuous media and local action views of Aristotle command the field.

    Now for Rovelli's claim that some of Aristotle's ideas "were later, for centuries, to create obstacles to the growth of knowledge." The text you cite gives no examples, so I will address the commonly cited example, which is the idea that bodies fall with a speed proportional to their mass. A fair reading of the text shows that the context for this claim was the behavior of bodies in viscous media -- not in a vacuum. Further, the equilibrium speed of a similarly shaped body in a viscous medium is, according to Stoke's law, proportional to its mass -- just as Aristotle said.

    Of course, later physicists over generalized Aristotle's physics just as they later over generalized Newton's.

    So, it is unclear which, if any, of Aristotle's ideas created "obstacles to the growth of knowledge."
  • Dfpolis
    907
    You are attaching attributes to what's at the end which is assuming you know what it is and how it works,Christoffer

    No, I am deducing attributes from the little that the proof shows us about the end of the line. We know that it is, In Aristotle's proof, the ultimate cause of change, or, in my meta-law argument, the ultimate conserver of the laws of nature. We also know that, to be the end of the line, it must explain itself. These are things the respective proofs allow us to know for a fact. So, no assumptions are involved.

    And if there's a possibility that time is circular, if the cosmic collapse has a probability of being true, then there is no first mover or cause.Christoffer

    You seem to have no idea that the proofs involve concurrent, not time-sequenced causality, so that the nature of time and/or the history of the universe are totally irrelevant. If you read the proofs, you may be able to make relevant objections.

    A deductive logical argument cannot be false and if it can be false you cannot claim it as truth, evidence or logic.Christoffer

    I have no idea what this sentence means. Deductive arguments can be unsound if (1) they have false premises, or (2) they involve invalid logical moves. If they have true premises and valid logic, their conclusions are invariable true. So, if you think the proofs fail you need to show either (1) they have false premises, or (2) they involve invalid logical moves. As you refuse to read the proofs, you can do neither.

    Please get back to me when you've read at least one of the proofs and think you can do (1) or (2).
  • Christoffer
    543
    No, I am deducing attributes from the little that the proof shows us about the end of the line. We know that it is, In Aristotle's proof, the ultimate cause of change, or, in my meta-law argument, the ultimate conserver of the laws of nature. We also know that, to be the end of the line, it must explain itself. These are things the respective proofs allow us to know for a fact. So, no assumptions are involved.Dfpolis

    You are making conclusions based on data that proves you "to know the truth", when in physics we still don't have data to complete a unification theory. You claim a deduced truth when there is no data that can support your concluded truth. We know that the universe expanded quickly, referred to the Big Bang, we don't know what came before, we have no data to conclude what the cause was so we don't know what was before. This is facts, real facts about the current state of knowledge about the causality of the universe. Your deduction is based on the interpretation of some data, cherry-picked to fit the narrative of your argument and its logic.

    If you are going to prove, without a doubt, a truth about the causality before Big Bang, you need to solve the physics that has not yet been solved and you need data that hasn't been gathered yet about Big Bang.

    Before this, you don't have an argument that can claim itself to be true, because you don't have the facts that support it.

    You seem to have no idea that the proofs involve concurrent, not time-sequenced causality, so that the nature of time and/or the history of the universe are totally irrelevant. If you read the proofs, you may be able to make relevant objections.Dfpolis

    What proof/data in physics are you using for your conclusion? I want references to the science that support your definition of proof. Without it, you are doing pseudoscience nonsense.

    So, if you think the proofs fail you need to show either (1) they have false premises, or (2) they involve invalid logical moves. As you refuse to read the proofs, you can do neither.Dfpolis

    Do you have data to prove something beyond what current physics don't have data to prove? If so, that is your flaw. You shoehorn some data into fitting your narrative, you do not have a deductive argument, you have a belief and you use flawed logic and insufficient data to support that belief.

    Please get back to me when you've read at least one of the proofs and think you can do (1) or (2).Dfpolis

    Please get back to me when you can combine your concluded truth with current understanding of the physics data we have to explain the universe at this time. You also need to prove what came before Big Bang in such a way that it combines all theories of physics into a unification theory.

    If you do not do that, you cannot claim God to exist, because you don't have sufficient data to explain what came before Big Bang, therefore you cannot explain the start of causality or the attributes of it. And you can also not dismiss other possibilities because you cannot prove any possibility without a unification theory and data that proves which possibility is true.

    What I said here, breaks your argument. You have burden of proof on your shoulders. You need to prove, without a doubt that your conclusion is true. If physics cannot prove it because of insufficient data at this time, then you cannot do it either. Period.
  • S
    10.6k
    None of this contradicts the point I made, namely, that Aristotle explicitly states that some events have no final cause.Dfpolis

    I'm not disputing your point, I'm disputing its relevance. I think that your interpretation of Rovelli was uncharitable.

    You would have seen this if you read a few more sentences in the SEP article. Somehow, you missed the part of the article rebutting Rovelli.Dfpolis

    More uncharitable assumptions. Thanks. But you're mistaken. I did read further, and I didn't miss anything.

    You have not made your case. Let's revisit Rovelli's text.Dfpolis

    I have made a point emphasising a particular part of the quote, a point which you haven't addressed, and I notice that you've conveniently left that part of the quote out of your "revisit".

    I have no desire to defend Plato, only to show that Rovelli's view of Aristotle is quite mistaken.Dfpolis

    And you've attempted to do so with an uncharitable interpretation of the Rovelli quote, which counts against you, not him.

    Democritus was wrong, and wrong, inter alia, for the reasons Aristotle gave. Democritus argues against Zeno that we cannot divide distances in half indefinitely because there are atoma, "uncutable" particles. This confuses a mathematical operation, which Zeno is considering, with a physical operation. Even is there were atoma, they would not prevent us from reflecting on line segments shorter than their diameter. So, Democritus hypothesis fails in its primary function, which was to rebut Zeno.

    Having made the atoma hypothesis, Democritus goes on to postulate that atoma are separated by nothing. Aristotle correctly showed that (1) Zeno's problem was mathematical rather than physical, and (2) that if there were atoma separated by nothing, they would be in contact.

    Modern physics has vindicated Aristotle and rejected Democritus. The locality postulate of quantum field theory is a restatement of Aristotle's principle that remote action requires mediation because agents only act where they are. There are no indivisible atoma. The atoms of modern chemistry are composed of divisible parts. All of the elementary quanta of high energy physics can be transformed into other kinds of quanta. Space is not nothing. Rather, it is, in Dirac's electron theory, a plenum of negative energy electrons; in quantum field theory, filled with all possible quantum fields; and in general relativity the bearer of observable fields described by the energy-momentum and the metric tensors.

    Thus, Democritus was wrong on every essential point, while the continuous media and local action views of Aristotle command the field.
    Dfpolis

    This is way off topic. My intention wasn't to discuss the general ideas of each philosopher, but only those ideas relevant to the topic of teleology.

    Now for Rovelli's claim that some of Aristotle's ideas "were later, for centuries, to create obstacles to the growth of knowledge." The text you cite gives no examples...Dfpolis

    That's no big deal. Within philosophy, the connection between teleology and Aristotle is well known, and its faults are well known also. In particular, the oak tree and bronze statue examples are well known, just like the apple with Locke, the shades of blue and golden mountain with Hume, the evil demon of Descartes, etc.

    So, it is unclear which, if any, of Aristotle's ideas created "obstacles to the growth of knowledge."Dfpolis

    The misguided emphasis on seeking teleological, or "final cause", explanations. The key word here is "explanation", by the way.
  • Dfpolis
    907
    Well so conferring new value via re-purposing is something different than instrinsic purpose/teleology. Are you implying here that the ends of things [e.g. the end of an enzyme - to catalyze reaction, the end of a seed is to become a plant] are human designated?aporiap

    Yes, it is different because insensate nature acts deterministically, while free-will creatures do not. Still, the new purpose also instantiates final causality

    No, I am saying that we can take something with an intrinsic purpose, like an eagle, which has its own finality, and make it a symbol serving the end of natural unity; or sexuality, which is naturally ordered to reproduction, and make it an expression of love.

    Of course. That is one reason free will is possible. There are multiple paths to human self-realization.

    I don't understand this since we are speaking about objects here and not people.
    aporiap

    I am speaking of natural, empirically accessible, beings. Some have a deterministic finality, others do not.

    I also think, if anything, a teleological framework would necessarily be limiting compared to a teleologically blank humanity since it rigidly identifies some set of ends as natural to an object/person. Humans wouldn't have the freedom to not self realize if their nature was to self-realize, for example.aporiap

    It is not that we can't reject our natural end, it is that doing so is ultimately self-destructive. Some people choose self-destructive behavior, which can be implicitly or explicitly suicidal.

    As an aside, I see the notion of self-realization as fundamental to a natural law based ethics. What contributes to self-realization is morally good, what runs counter is morally bad. As social animals, self-realization has a strong social component.

    I'm unsure what free will has to do with teleology. Secondly this is a human specific thing, free will doesn't have anything to do with physical systems, they cannot choose actions because they lack brainsaporiap

    They are intimately related. Purely physical systems acting deterministically means that they are ordered to a single end. Free agents have a choice of ends. Most of the ends we choose are means to further ends, but ultimately we have a fundamental option that our intermediate ends are ordered to. We can opt for our natural (God-given) end of self-realization -- or we can opt against it, choosing an end that is (naturally) disordered -- for example, to acquire the greatest possible wealth.

    A brain is a physical organ, subject to the deterministic universal laws of nature unless it is augmented by a subsystem capable of intentional operations such as awareness and commitment. (See my OP in https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/4732/intentional-vs-material-reality-and-the-hard-problem.) So, animals that have brains, but lack an intentional subsystem also act deterministically.

    Let's think about this in a different way. Teleology has been criticized for supposedly seeing a future state (the telos) as acting backward in time, pulling the present state into its future realization. Of course, that is not how it works. Rather, it works concurrently. My intention to get to the store acts at each moment of progress to guide my action in that moment. In the same way, the telos of a seed is a potential, not an actual state, and so not yet operational. So, it can not act here and now. Rather, the telos is immanent in the laws of nature operating on the present state. So, the laws of nature act like committed intentions.

    The parallel structure of laws of nature tending to a determinate end and human intentionality tending to its committed end is the key to understanding problems ranging from the mind-body problem to Divine Providence.

    Well my point in that excerpt was to just highlight that ends are not intrinsic to objects alone. A gene, for example, can NOT give rise to a protein all by itself, despite the function [or end] of a gene being to give rise to a protein. It's the gene plus the cellular machinery which gives rise to a protein.aporiap

    Of course. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Aristotle would seen substances (ostensible unities) as having ends, not their potential parts. He would see the potential parts of organisms as being ordered to the good of the whole.

    But I think teleology definitely entails determinism or at least 'probabilistic determinism' [given initial conditions + context A --> 80% chance of P]. How else would ends be reproducibly met?aporiap

    As intrinsic, the accomplishment of ends are subject to the vagaries of accidental interactions with other beings working toward their own ends. Aristotle makes this point in his discussion of accidental events, using the example of a lender and debtor meeting, not because they intend to, but as the result of each going to the market for his own ends.

    That said, a common objection to teleology is that it is anthropomorphic -- projecting human experience into mindless nature. You seem to be taking a contrary position, seeing ends in nature, but not in free human positions. Am I misreading you?
  • Dfpolis
    907
    Now imagine a person A who comes across T's. What would be the rational thing to do? To consider two explanations:

    1. Coincidence
    2. Teleology

    You're ignoring option 1 in favor of 2 and that's a mistake. Isn't it?
    TheMadFool

    I am not ignoring coincidence. I agree that there are coincidences in nature. The question is, what constitutes a coincidence? If we are to apply the term objectively, we need a good, empirically applicable definition.

    It is clear, both in your example and in nature that the coincidences we see are not ontologically random, but deterministic. In nature, physics is deterministic with the possible except ion of quantum observations -- and they could not occur before the advent of intelligent observers. In your example, the machine is constrained to act according to the set of rules y. Thus, in neither case are the "coincidences" ontologically random.

    Another possible approach to distinguishing coincidences from end-driven events might be to look at success rates. This also fails. In the generate and test strategy of AI, "random" solutions are generated, many of which fail. Still the generation of every solution serves the end of finding one that will satisfy the test criteria.

    So, what makes events coincidences? It seems to me that what makes an event a coincidence is quite subjective, namely that we are unable to predict them. Our inability to predict them is not an objective property, and does not mean that they are not part of a larger plan. It is logically possible, for example, that the engineer who wrote the set of rules y did so intending that some pieces would fit and others not.

    So, unless you can provide an objective definition of "coincidence" that logically excludes the possibility of more complex ends, it is unclear that being a "coincidence" is logically incompatible with serving an end.
  • Dfpolis
    907
    I'm not disputing your point, I'm disputing its relevance. I think that your interpretation of Rovelli was uncharitable.S

    That is possible. What would a charitable reading be?

    You would have seen this if you read a few more sentences in the SEP article. Somehow, you missed the part of the article rebutting Rovelli. — Dfpolis

    More uncharitable assumptions. Thanks. But you're mistaken. I did read further, and I didn't miss anything.
    S

    I was being charitable -- assuming you did not read Andrea Falcon's rebuttal of Rovelli's claim.

    Other than saying that I am uncharitable, in some unspecified way, in my interpretation of Rovelli, what point do you wish to make?

    My intention wasn't to discuss the general ideas of each philosopher, but only those ideas relevant to the topic of teleology.S

    I understand that that was your intention, but your execution was much broader. The Rovelli quotation did not focus on teleology, but on broad and unnamed errors, somehow related to the rejection of Democritus, that slowed, in some unspecified way, the advance of knowledge. And, as it turns out, Democritus was wrong, and Aristotle right.

    Within philosophy, the connection between teleology and Aristotle is well known, and its faults are well known also.S

    Alleged faults. I dealt with many in my OP. If you wish to argue some, have at it.

    So, it is unclear which, if any, of Aristotle's ideas created "obstacles to the growth of knowledge." — Dfpolis

    The misguided emphasis on seeking teleological, or "final cause", explanations. The key word here is "explanation", by the way.
    S

    An actual, historical example of which would be? I am fairly conversant with the history of medieval and modern science and I can think of no glaring example. Rather, what I see is that with once the non-logical works of Aristotle became available in West in the latter 12th c., there were rapid advances in physics. Grosseteste studied optics and laid down the canons of the scientific method by 1235. Others developed the ideas of inertia and instantaneous velocity, developed the vector decomposition of forces, discovered what we now call Newton's first law and wrote standard texts on mathematical physics.

    So, precisely who was delayed by this alleged "obstacle"?
  • Dfpolis
    907
    You are making conclusions based on data that proves you "to know the truth", when in physics we still don't have data to complete a unification theory.Christoffer

    This is a very confused claim. First, physics uses the hypothetico-deductive method, not strict deduction. So, physics never knows with the kind of certainty that strict deduction brings. Second, we are not doing physics, so what physics does or does not know is totally irrelevant.

    As I keep repeating, there are only two valid forms of objection to a strict deduction: (1) show that a premise is false, or (2) show that a logical move is invalid.

    We know that the universe expanded quickly, referred to the Big Bang, we don't know what came before, we have no data to conclude what the cause was so we don't know what was before.Christoffer

    Again, if you read the proofs, you would know that this entire line of objection is equally irrelevant. As I said last time, these proofs use concurrent, not time-sequenced, causality. So, as I also said last time, the nature of time and the history of the cosmos are irrelevant. If you actually read the proofs you would see that no assumption is made about how the universe began, or even that it did begin.

    Since you are still not making proper objections because you have not read the proofs, I will wait until you have read the proofs to continue.
  • Christoffer
    543
    This is a very confused claim. First, physics uses the hypothetico-deductive method, not strict deduction. So, physics never knows with the kind of certainty that strict deduction brings. Second, we are not doing physics, so what physics does or does not know is totally irrelevant.Dfpolis

    Physics has proven theories and they haven't proven anything to support any unification theory.
    If you can't combine physics with your conclusion, you are essentially ditching science for your own belief. Physics is not irrelevant, your claim is irrelevant since you are supporting it with your belief, nothing more.

    (2) show that a logical move is invalid.Dfpolis

    Your logic is invalid since you base it on an assumption that hasn't been proven yet, i.e what happened before Big Bang.

    Again, if you read the proofs, you would know that this entire line of objection is equally irrelevant. As I said last time, these proofs use concurrent, not time-sequenced, causality. So, as I also said last time, the nature of time and the history of the cosmos are irrelevant. If you actually read the proofs you would see that no assumption is made about how the universe began, or even that it did begin.Dfpolis

    No physicist will agree with you because you are working with belief, not science.
    You cannot prove anything because science demands much more strict focus on actual proof and logic, but you act within the realm of belief. So there is no truth to your argument, you claim there to be but have nothing to back it up with.

    Since you are still not making proper objections because you have not read the proofs, I will wait until you have read the proofs to continue.Dfpolis

    You are not making proper arguments that actually proves a truth so there's nothing to object to. You cannot demand counter-arguments to arguments you haven't proven.

    Prove that you know what happened before the Big Bang before demanding counter-arguments. You say you have the truth about the start of causality but you haven't shown it and no physicist would ever accept your claims just because you "say you are right".

    You cannot demand people to object to you before you have followed burden of proof. You need to realize this fact first. You cannot prove your conclusion because people can't object when you haven't even presented a clear case for your argument and science shows you are wrong.

    Prove your argument first and stop avoiding your obligation to do so, jeez.
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    So, unless you can provide an objective definition of "coincidence" that logically excludes the possibility of more complex ends, it is unclear that being a "coincidence" is logically incompatible with serving an end.Dfpolis

    Coincidence means an absence of causality. Teleology requires a causal connection.
  • Dfpolis
    907
    Physics has proven theories and they haven't proven anything to support any unification theory.Christoffer

    What has this to do with what we are discussing? Nothing!

    If you can't combine physics with your conclusion, you are essentially ditching science for your own belief.Christoffer

    You continue to wander in the wilderness of self-imposed confusion. My meta-law argument is based on the laws of nature studied by physics, but you do not realize that because you are not open enough to even read a proof.

    I am tied of wasting my time on someone who refuses to make any effort to inform themselves.
  • Dfpolis
    907
    Coincidence means an absence of causality. Teleology requires a causal connection.TheMadFool

    As physical determinism requires that all purely physical events be caused, by this definition, there are no coincidences.
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    As physical determinism requires that all purely physical events be caused, by this definition, there are no coincidencesDfpolis

    You've heard of the maxim "correlation doesn't mean causation".
  • Dfpolis
    907
    You've heard of the maxim "correlation doesn't mean causation"TheMadFool

    Yes, I have. We do not have mere statistical correlation between initial and final states in physics. They are completely determined (caused) by the laws of motion.
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    Yes, I have. We do not have mere statistical correlation between initial and final states in physics. They are completely determined (caused) by the laws of motion.Dfpolis

    The laws of physics govern everything. Do you mean to say that everything is causally connected? I once read a book on logic that showed, as an example of coincidence, the correlation between priesthood and murder rates - both seemed to have increased. The author then went on to say that this is simple coincidence i.e. there was no causality in the data.

    So, coincidences do happen even in a deterministic world. Teleology would have that there be no coincidences - the beak is meant for the nut, the web is meant for insects, etc. in a way that is purposeful and therefore NOT a coincidence.
  • Christoffer
    543
    What has this to do with what we are discussing? Nothing!Dfpolis

    It has everything to do with this. It has been pretty clear that we've been discussing proving God's existence and to do that you need to apply scientific facts and theories. If there are none, you can't prove anything with a logic that then has assumptions slapped on top of the conclusions.

    You continue to wander in the wilderness of self-imposed confusion. My meta-law argument is based on the laws of nature studied by physics, but you do not realize that because you are not open enough to even read a proof.

    I am tied of wasting my time on someone who refuses to make any effort to inform themselves.
    Dfpolis

    I'm unable to see your proof within published scientific papers. Can you link to publications in which your "proof" has been peer reviewed?

    At the moment you are doing an appeal to authority fallacy, with the authority being yourself. And as I said, if you base your argument on physics, your proof need to have gone through a peer review, verification and falsification process before it can be considered proof for anything.

    It's easy to write a book and refer to it as proof, it's an entirely different beast to have actual proof that can survive verification and falsification through peer reviews. You need to step down from that high horse and realize this fact. But if you have links to your scientific publications, go ahead and link them, please.

    Or else you are just doing pseudoscience and that's it.
  • Dfpolis
    907
    The laws of physics govern everything. Do you mean to say that everything is causally connected? I once read a book on logic that showed, as an example of coincidence, the correlation between priesthood and murder rates - both seemed to have increased. The author then went on to say that this is simple coincidence i.e. there was no causality in the data.TheMadFool

    Recall that I asked you to define "coincidence," and you replied that "Coincidence means an absence of causality." So, we're discussing what "coincidence" means.

    Since you brought up correlation, I assume that you do not mean that no causality is involved, but that two events are coincident if neither causes the other. I don't think that's enough. Many species of flowers bloom in the Spring with no species causing another to bloom. Still, this is not a coincidence because they all bloom in response to common causal factors. So, for events to be coincident, it is not enough for them not to cause each other, they can't result from a common cause.

    The problem is, all purely physical events are the result of the laws of nature operating on the initial state of the cosmos. Futher, quantum entanglement shows that they continue to be related. So, strictly speaking, there are no coincidences. Still, it is meaningful to speak of "coincidences" because we do not mean to trace events back to their ultimate causes, but to more proximate cases that are apparent to us.

    This means that being "coincident" is inescapably subjective. We decide how far back we wish to trace the causal chain. If the common causes are not apparent to us, then we call events "coincident." While this is fine for common purposes, it is inadequate for philosophical analysis -- for we know that all purely physical events are the result of common causal factors.
  • Dfpolis
    907
    It has been pretty clear that we've been discussing proving God's existence and to do that you need to apply scientific facts and theories.Christoffer

    No, we don't. If you had read either of the proofs I suggested, you would know this.
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    So, strictly speaking, there are no coincidencesDfpolis

    This I find hard to believe. You mean to say that the asteroid that hit the Earth 65 million years ago and annihilated the dinosaurs was not a coincidence? You'd have to say no because you think teleology is truth and that means the asteroid had a purpose - the purpose of making mammals, more specifically humans, the dominant species on the planet.

    Can you explain further...
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