Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Ben Schuldt replies to Darek Barefoot

Darek Barefoot wrote a defense of the AFR against Carrier. This is Ben Schuldt's response.


shiningwhiffle said...

...the AfR given by Barefoot and company is basically: "Thoughts are supernatural, therefore naturalism must be false." One can also replace the term "supernatural" with "immaterial" or "magic" and get the same effect. This then is a philosophical Trojan horse that is meant to open the door for plausibility of other supernatural claims ...


1. That is not even a summary of the argument. It is the very last step. Most of the argument is explaining why thoughts are supernatural.

2. "Supernatural" has a very clear meaning in the context of the AfR. And the idea that "immaterial" is equivalent to "magic" displays a profound ignorance of the meaning of both terms.

3. If by "Trojan horse" he means "an argument that materialism is not true" and by "open the door for plausibility [sic] of other supernatural claims" he means, "refute an idea that, if true, would imply that such claims are impossible," then the AfR is guilty as charged.

You know what, if he can't even characterize his opponent's position adequately, I'm not wasting my time on this.

William said...

"Supernatural" has a very clear meaning in the context of the AfR.

Yes, and unfortunately it may have been the other connotations of this word that may have set Schuldt off :(.

The tone of the article seems to be one of self-righteous fury at those who would push all the ills Ben sees as consequence of supernatural (but he means illogical) thinking.

So the debate is more one of talking past one another again.

Ben said...

Well hello there. Someone finally found that article of mine.

"Most of the argument is explaining why thoughts are supernatural."

No, actually as I recall, the key portion of Barefoot's reply was the making up of arguments on behalf of Carrier that Carrier wasn't making. As though Carrier hadn't provided ample fodder to interact with, Barefoot defaulted to some other article on materialism that he thought would allow him to construct his syllogism.

The entire debate turns on how thoughts *seem* in contrast to the material world and I provide several quotes from Barefoot even in that intro (to a painstaking 75 page rebuttal to him) that shows this. I never bothered to finalize the massive response because I didn't feel that Barefoot had contributed anything particularly interesting that wasn't a matter of pointing out the irrelevancy or misrepresentation, simply unraveling strange contrived bits down to how thoughts seem, or me saying, "No, what Carrier said." If you hadn't already agreed with one party or the other given how much had already been said and laid out, my full response was only going to produce exponential more material to wade through. So what I did provide was to condense the relevant confines of Barefoot's position in an easily readable chunk.

"And the idea that "immaterial" is equivalent to "magic" displays a profound ignorance of the meaning of both terms."

Good luck getting beyond the mere assertion. I actually explain my connection there in the article which you don't bother to interact with.

Further, immaterial entities lack dimensionality by definition just like a literal singularity lacks dimensionality. It is logically impossible to actually be describing anything with those properties.

Thanks for the heads up on the typo, btw.

Unless things have changed in the last few years, we can't even get the Repperts and the Barefoots of the world to admit they are really making arguments from consciousness or arguments from experience (or from conscious experience). For some bizarre reason they focus on reason (despite obvious materialistic analogies in the computer world) rather than the myriad of other mental events that have the same relevant characteristics from their perspective.


Edward T. Babinski said...

Nicely pointed out Ben.

To which I might my post:

Especially the section of the post that begins:

"Concerning 2) Atoms cannot think logically nor rationally."