Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tim McGrew Presents Doubts Relative to Richard Carrier

Here.

A redated post.

31 comments:

Matt DeStefano said...

Not to endorse the idea that mythicism is a wacky position (I really don't know enough to have an informed opinion), but this is pretty hilarious satire.

Cole said...

Hey Dr. Reppert,

I just wanted to stop by and thank you for your help that you have given me. I'm comming back full force now that I have found a solution to one of the main problems I was having with Christianity. I am now more confident and mature in my approach to difficulties. If this problem has an answer then I'm sure the others do too even if I don't know at the time what they are. I'm going to try to keep an open mind on these things. I have been decieved into believing that the God of the Bible is bloodthirsty just because He was pouring out His wrath (through the actions of evil men and Satan) on our sins that were laid on Christ at the cross. Granted this wasn't the only thing God was doing at the cross but I do believe the Bible teaches that God's wrath was being removed at the cross so that we can see and savor Divine Beauty in the face of Jesus Christ. That being said I want to focus in on the blood that was in the atonement. The Bible tells us that :

Yet it pleased the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief - Isaiah 53:10

Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God - Ephesians 5:2

Lev. 17:11 - For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.


The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death. When we sin we die spiritualy. It's also a fact that life is in the blood. When the blood of God was poured out it gave us spiritual life there by washing away our sins. God is pleased with the precious blood of Christ because it cleanses us of our sins. He's not bloodthirsty or sadistic. What God was pleased about when He allowed evil to murder the innocent Christ was what Christ was accomplishing in His death. Not the evil, suffering, and blood in and of itself. What Satan meant for evil God meant for good. God was pleased in the love and compassion of the Son and the good He will bring out of the most evil act ever commited by man. Anyway, thanks again for your help on other things. Keep up the good work!

Andrew Vella said...

Two years ago I started to doubt the existence of one of Richard's journal articles: http://ravingsandranting.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/is-this-journal-article-by-richard.html

BenYachov said...

Peace be with you Cole.

David B Marshall said...

Tim actually asked that his name not be used, as did some other writers. Here's another version of the conversation (I'm "Zhuang Zi"):

http://christthetao.blogspot.com/2012/04/carrier-myth-debate.html

Tim said...

David,

I'm cool with it either way. Hey, I got Socrates ... !

TheReviewish said...

Although slightly humorous, this blog posting seems like merely an example of a bad analogy.

Comparing the existence of a modern person who has videos, photos, and makes public appearances and publishes a blog to a religious figure found in 2,000 year old documents is kind of silly.

By this argument it would be ridiculous to question any figure in ancient writings, yet historians do.

BeingItself said...

I've gotten drunk with Richard Carrier. Therefore Richard Carrier exists.

Papalinton said...

Richard Carrier? Shiva?
Shiva? Richard Carrier?

Nahh! I'll stick with the reality of a Carrier any day, thank you.

Richard Carrier? Jesus?
Jesus? Richard Carrier?

Nahh! I'll stick with the reality of a Carrier any day, thank you.

Richard Carrier? Angel Moroni?
Angel Moroni? Richard Carrier?

Nahh! I'll stick with the reality of a Carrier any day, thank you.

Richard Carrier? Mithra?
Mithra? Richard Carrier?

Nahh! I'll stick with the reality of a Carrier any day, thank you.

In a general sense, how can one continue to be welded to such arcane nonsense as the jesus/god-of-the-bible myth other than through systemic, sustained and long-term inculcation and psychological conditioning of the intellect, to accept this primitive mytheme? If one applies the smallest scintilla of due diligence it should have been sufficient to dispel this preposterous and risible memeplex long ago. The actual existence of a jesus is irrelevant to the mythos of the christian memeplex. Paul says so. He knew of no real-live jesus that was physically born, and inhabited this temporal world. All that nonsense about James, the brother of jesus, is all apologetical syncretism and harmonizing. Period.

Dan Gillson said...

You've said all that before, PapaL. Clearly, either people don't find it convincing or they don't find you worth listening to. Why not try to sing a new tune?

im-skeptical said...

Let's see if I got this right.

The physical world is just a bunch of atoms and physical stuff. You can't find actual people there, so you have to look at the metaphysical world, where there are souls and other such non-physical stuff. Being an atheist, Richard carrier has no soul, so he doesn't exist in the metaphysical world, either.

Now you might ask how one knows what exists in the metaphysical world. Well obviously, you have to be tuned in to it. There is a little-known switch in the brain that causes perception to be tuned to either physical or non-physical phenomena. Clearly, atheists have theirs set wrong. Otherwise, they would be able to see all the non-existent stuff that theists take for granted.

Papalinton said...

"There is a little-known switch in the brain that causes perception to be tuned to either physical or non-physical phenomena. Clearly, atheists have theirs set wrong. Otherwise, they would be able to see all the non-existent stuff that theists take for granted."

A switch indeed. A theist is a person who is puzzled by the bleeding obvious, but knows everything about the non-existent.

ingx24 said...

And so the blithering idiots show up and prove, once again, their complete and utter lack of reading comprehension ability. Simply fascinating.

Karl Grant said...

Ingx24,

Did you expect anything less?

Papalinton said...

ingX24

I was once a supernaturalist. I know how difficult it is to let go the notion that somehow being human with the capacity for self-awareness and consciousness means there is a 'deeper' reality[?], variously ascribed to the supernatural or transcendence. This is simply a state of mind. The subjective mind is an echo chamber into which all our experiences, senses, emotions etc puddle together, out of which we find a 'me' and a 'you'. This is the nature of the human condition, of which consciousness is a naturally occurring part.

And yes there is a whole lot more than this, but it is not to be found in the 'supernatural' realm. To imagine oneself being so special, so unique as to believe that there is some grand agent or purpose out there, is a function of that echo chamber. That is an illusion. That is old-time thinking, old-time religious thinking. No amount of retrojecting old-time theology-laced philosophy into the equation is going to get us closer to the truth of reality. Harry Stottle gave us a process not a bloody conclusion of the meaning in life. Use it. Get with the program and stop beating yourself up over materialism/immaterialism, dualism/monism, final cause/efficient cause. It is all garbage in garbage out if it is not founded on empirical inquiry. There are only two kinds of philosophy, scientifically-informed philosophy and scientifically-uninformed philosophy.

Reference this:

"{C]onsider this passage from a summary by the highly‐
respected scientific journal Nature, titled “Evolution and the brain”, which 
appeared in the 14 June 2007 issue:   
"Moral philosophers often put great store by their rejection of the ‘naturalistic 
fallacy’, the belief that because something is a particular way, it ought to be that 
way.  Now we learn that untutored beliefs about ‘what ought to be’ do, in fact, 
reflect an ‘is’: the state of the human mind as an evolved entity.  Accepting this 
represents a challenge that few as yet have really grappled with."
"

This statement reflects a far broader application for scientifically-informed philosophy than that which classical philosophers have been prepared to engage in. Their truculent defiance against or their timidity to engage in science informed philosophy by virtue of their a priori supernatural worldview blinds them to the close and synergic relationship between science and philosophy. It is as if scientifically-uninformed philosophy is a valid enterprise of equal merit. This of course is just nonsense.
 

ingx24 said...

Papalinton,

You're a blithering idiot. Sorry. There's just no goddamn point in responding to anything you say. At all.

Glenn said...

For the record (I'd hate for people to think that I named people when they asked me not to as I would not have done so), as I noted in the blog entry, "Tim McGrew made me promise to tell the reader that his short article was written in a whimsical spirit for fun."

Papalinton said...

ingX24
Yes, ing, under your so painfully obtuse rendering of philosophistry how else would you be able to make any sense of the hokum you have trotted out without recourse to characterising those with a differing perspective as blithering idiots?

I cannot speak for the other 'blithering idiots' on this site but for me your behaviour towards others is that of a surly ungrateful child seeking only confirmation of one's own metaphysical stance no matter the countless times its tendentious and highly problematic 'reasoning' has been pointed out. Your behaviour is none better reflected than in anthropologist, Dr David Eller's observation:

"The first reaction to human difference is usually conversion or extermination. The second reaction is segregation. Only the last reaction is toleration."

For my part, even the reserve of toleration is ebbing logarithmically after millennia of competing sectional religious self-interests and pseudo-philosophical musings have ingratiated themselves onto an unsuspecting and guileless community.

ingx24 said...

No, the reason I call you a "blithering idiot" is because you constantly make blind assertions without argument, repeat the same dumb shit over and over again, constantly use pejorative terms like "woo" to refer to non-materialist positions, lump in everything except materialism in with theology, refuse to actually deal with anti-materialist arguments and instead resort to loudly proclaiming the waning of Christianity and the rise of a naturalist paradise (which, besides again conflating non-materialist positions with Christianity, says absolutely nothing about whether or not materialism is correct), and go on long-winded, off-topic rants that are made to seem intelligent and sophisticated but turn out to be completely meaningless rehashes of shit you've said in the past on closer inspection.

There's just no point in talking to you at all. There are much more worthy opponents to debate with than you - people that can actually be debated with.

Of course, you'll just ignore this and take it as a concession of defeat. Which would just prove my point.

Papalinton said...

How does one "... refuse to actually deal with anti-materialist arguments " materially? The immaterial is, well ... immaterial. I can't be fairer than that. So far your argument for immaterialism has fallen rather dismally short of materializing.

I think you are reading the wrong kind of literature. You need to get into some of the primary source material from neuroscientists such as THOSE ON THIS LIST". So far I have read Gazzaniga, Ramachandran, David Marr, Sam Harris, Stephen Pinker and David Richardson. Richardson wrote "The Emotional Life of Your Brain". Dan might be interested in reading Dr Richardson's neuroscientific work on meditation and transcendence.

I can only lead you to water, ing, but I can't make you drink. So if it looks the 'same dumb shit' to you, it's because you are using the same dumb shit for brains to do the assessing. No offense intended. Just a gentle nudge to steer you out of the Harry Stottle rut you seem to have driven into. If you're an immaterialist then you will have heard of George Berkley, the father[?] of immaterialism. Here is an excellent critique of immaterialism that should at least get you to ponder, although you seem to have already reached a conclusion.

ingx24 said...

Again: There's no point in arguing with someone so committed to scientism that he thinks that neuroscience can solve a philosophical question, and that nothing can exist except what is scientifically observable. You're stuck in an ideology, Papalinton, and nothing anyone could possibly say will get you out of it. You're just blind.

Maybe this will help. Probably not though.

Papalinton said...

That was a fine article, ing. But it rather reflected more an argument from personal incredulity than a piece of substantive argumentation. Simply because you personally cannot envision yourself as just a naturally occurring product of biological evolution, but of a 'substance' [?] of some immaterial grander higher order of intentional telos, is to demonstrate your predilection for the unknowable, inexplicable and the unseen. What it demonstrates is the marvelous intrinsic capacity for the brain to sustain an illusion about the self as being special, unique and apparently transcendent, imagining something above and beyond the mortality of which we are so painfully and consciously aware. Such thinking of course is a survival skill, a product of having to emotionally, physically and psychologically cope with our own mortality. And as neuroscience is discovering there are many illusory ruses the brain is capable of conjuring in the interest of survival of the organism. Your intransigence towards reading up on brain and mind studies however, is simply a reactive belligerence expressed by someone who refuses to accept guidance and recommendations from others. What you are demonstrating is a rattling around inside the vast echo chamber of your own neural network. And while our thoughts are generally a reasonable guide to most things with which we experientially make contact in life, it is by no means infallible, and in some cases a downright disadvantage.

Did you bother to read the critique on immaterialism ? That was not neuroscience. It was unadulterated philosophy.

ingx24 said...

That was a fine article, ing. But it rather reflected more an argument from personal incredulity than a piece of substantive argumentation. Simply because you personally cannot envision yourself as just a naturally occurring product of biological evolution, but of a 'substance' [?] of some immaterial grander higher order of intentional telos, is to demonstrate your predilection for the unknowable, inexplicable and the unseen.

So you agree with Dennett that the mind doesn't really exist, then. Interesting.

What it demonstrates is the marvelous intrinsic capacity for the brain to sustain an illusion about the self as being special, unique and apparently transcendent, imagining something above and beyond the mortality of which we are so painfully and consciously aware. Such thinking of course is a survival skill, a product of having to emotionally, physically and psychologically cope with our own mortality. And as neuroscience is discovering there are many illusory ruses the brain is capable of conjuring in the interest of survival of the organism.

I sure hope you have a translation guide so all this mental vocabulary can be translated into details about electrical impulses and releases of chemicals, then. Since according to you, none of it is literally true.

Your intransigence towards reading up on brain and mind studies however, is simply a reactive belligerence expressed by someone who refuses to accept guidance and recommendations from others. What you are demonstrating is a rattling around inside the vast echo chamber of your own neural network.

No, the reason I don't care to read up on neuroscientific studies is that they are completely irrelevant to the mind-body problem. It is NOT an empirical issue. Explaining how the brain produces behavior based on environmental inputs does NOT get you to an explanation of why this activity is accompanied by consciously experienced mental states. You have to either A.) explain away our conscious experience by showing that our belief in it is based on conceptual confusions and that all there is to the mind is the production of behavior, or B.) postulate an ad-hoc identity between mental states and brain states despite them seeming absolutely nothing like each other. You can't just say "oh let's just keep doing neuroscience, and eventually we'll figure it out". You have to actually do some philosophy.

Papalinton said...

"So you agree with Dennett that the mind doesn't really exist, then. Interesting."

The mind is what the brain does. It does not possess a separate existence. Consciousness is That should be obviously clear with even a cursory reading of brain/mind studies.

The only mind-body problem is only a problem if misconstrued as a dualist entity. Dualism is a concept from historical happenstance in the absence of and ignorance about the unitary relationship of brain and mind that science is currently coming to grips with. It is indeed an empirical question and your denial that neuroscience has no relevance bespeaks of a muddle-headed attempt to contrive an outcome through scientifically-uninformed philosophy.

The logic is quite straight forward really. Your final A and B points are a characteristic of the confused and befuddled state of understanding of the workings of the brain/mind perpetuated by quasi-philosophical musings from those that imagine philosophy constituting some elevated sub-stratum of higher-order thinking and of rationalization, beyond the mundane, replete with a separate complementary belief structure of its own, independent of the reality of the natural world.

And yes, you do have to do some philosophy, but not the kind you imply. At least read and watch this BIT. And read the variety of ensuing comments.

ingx24 said...

There's just no point in talking to you at all. You're so caught up in scientistic nonsense that you can't even grasp simple conceptual points.

I recommend reading this. Chalmers is an atheist, and still recognizes that materialism is pretty much untenable when it comes to the mind.

ingx24 said...

Good point that Chalmers is an atheist and dualist (of sorts), but his arguments shouldn't convince a materialist. I admit he has some poetry to his words, even if the semantic arguments are actually warmed-over Kripke and a well-known poor route to ontology.

They are not semantic arguments, and the fact that you keep calling them that shows that you do not understand them at all. Sometimes I wonder if you really are just a materialist diguising yourself as a dualist so that your trashing of dualist arguments gains more credibility.

INGX have you ever seen an argument for dualism that you didn't believe? I see with many dualists a kind of credulity, willingness to accept any old turd that hits them in the face. Chalmers included.

Yes, in fact I find a very good number of anti-materialist arguments unconvincing. For example, I don't really buy the traditional knowledge argument (largely because it uses perceptual qualia rather than more obviously subjective mental phenomena such as thoughts or mental images), and I'm not quite sure the argument from intrinsic vs. relational properties goes as far as some think it does (because it doesn't touch identity theory).

ingx24 said...

To clarify: I think the most effective argument against materialism is going to be a combination of an "apples and oranges" argument against identity theory (mental states and brain states have none of the same properties, and so cannot be identical) and an argument from intrinsic vs. relational properties against behaviorism/functionalism. This is, in a way, the strategy Chalmers uses: the zombie argument is a way of trying to demonstrate that mental states are not the same as physical states since the latter can be conceived to exist without the former, and the distinction between the easy and hard problems is basically a distinction between relational (functional) phenomena and intrinsic (experiential) phenomena. The reason Chalmers uses so much linguistic analysis is because of the nature of contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, which tends to try to analyze everything through language.

ingx24 said...

Zach:

When all you do is trash arguments for your own position, you can't blame people for wondering whether you actually endorse that position after all.

I think the intrinsic/relational distinction works well against functionalism and behaviorism, but it doesn't touch identity theory - at least if the identity theorist claims that the intrinsic nature of the brain is revealed in observation.

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ingx24 said...

Yeah, functionalism and behaviorism are ridiculously easy to refute - I've always thought identity theory was the only version of materialism that even made sense, largely because of the distinction between intrinsic and relational properties. If you're going to say that mental states are physical, at least identify them with physical structures rather than relations.

Papalinton said...

Zach
"John Loftus, for instance, has never met an argument against Christianity he didn't like. His standards are so low that he has zero credibility and has loss the critical eye necessary for those hungering after truth rather than persuasion."

This is neither right nor fair. Loftus smelled, smoked, breathed and ate Christian pie for decades before reaching Gestalt about the paucity of its claims. He did what believers are reluctant to do. He sought a higher standard by rejecting the miserably low standards of the claims of the Christian mytheme. Indeed it was the highly questionable and problematic nature of the purported "evidence", "facts" and "proofs" trotted out by apologetical rhetoric that simply did not match the claims. He cast an even more forensic and critical eye over Christian claims and found them grievously wanting.

To the believer his credibility is zero. To the community at large his credibility is unimpeachable.