Monday, August 21, 2023

God and materialism

 I have argued in defense of God by arguing against materialism. But what if God is just an unusual kind of material entity. After all, matter is just what science describes. If you include God as a theoretical entity in a scientific explanation, then God becomes a an unusal mateiral entity. No skin off the nose of  Christians, right? If we can predict the activitiies of God to some extent (and we can) we can form testable theories about God. 


Sunday, August 20, 2023

Behaviorism and the Paradox of the Thinking Behaviorist

 Arthur Lovejoy, in 1922, describes the Behaviorism of his time.

With this, of course, images and ideas, as well as 'mind;' 'consciousness,' and other familiar categories of the older psychology, are eliminated from the descriptive analysis of perception and thought. " I should throw out imagery altogether," writes Watson. " I believe we can write a psychology and never use the words consciousness, content, introspectively verifiable, imagery, and the like." 1 The researches of Angell and Fernald (aside from other considerations) "pave the way for the complete dismissal of the image from psychology." 2 And this does not mean that these things are merely to be excluded from consideration for reasons of methodological convenience; it means that we have no reason to believe in their existence, that they are not verifiable facts of experience. Those who "grope in a laboratory to discover the ' images ' that the in- trospective psychologist talks about " will find nothing but proc- esses in the larynx. " It is," Watson declares, " a serious misunderstanding of the behavioristic position to say," as one would-be expositor of it has said, "that of course a behaviorist does not deny that mental states exist. He merely prefers to ignore them." He ignores them, Watson explains, " in the same sense that chemistry ignores alchemy and astronomy ignores horoscopy. The behaviorist does not concern himself with them because, as the stream of his science broadens and deepens, such older concepts are sucked under never to reappear."

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Determinate meaning and the case for God.

 Here. A paper by Daniel Bonevac. This is similar to Ross. 

The early Church Fathers argued that the only answer is that there is a transcendent causal power making that relation possible. The power cannot be the forms themselves, or the form of the Good, as Plato thought, for our relation to them is precisely the point at issue. Nor can it be generated from finite minds themselves. The best explanation of our relation to the transcendent identifies the transcendent power with God. (17)

 a. If realism is true, then, given a content bearer b, among our possibilities are skeptical scenarios for b.

 b. Content bearers have specific contents.

 c. A content bearer b can have a specific content only by virtue of some fact.

d. If there were a fact by virtue of which b had a specific content, there would be grounds for discounting skeptical scenarios for b.

 e. There could be grounds for discounting skeptical scenarios for b only if b’s content is grounded in something transcendent. 

f. Something independent of individual, finite minds can ground content only if there is something with causal power, independent of individual finite minds, that makes such grounding possible.

 g. Only a transcendent causal power could make possible grounding in something transcendent. 

h. Nothing natural is transcendent.

 i. Anti-realism grounds content in some feature of a collection of finite minds.

 j. A finite collection of finite minds does not suffice to explain the grounding of content. 

k. An infinite collection of finite minds does not suffice to explain the grounding of content.

 l. The best explanation for the existence of a supernatural, transcendent causal power grounding content in the transcendent includes an infinite mind and, in particular, the existence of God. 

m. So, there is a God.