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Author Topic:   Is there a legitimate argument for design?
Percy
Member
Posts: 15913
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 631 of 638 (737436)
09-24-2014 7:18 AM
Reply to: Message 630 by New Cat's Eye
09-23-2014 9:20 PM


Re: why is the sky blue?
Cat Sci writes:

And that his insistence that the "why" questions must be ones of ultimate purpose is just Begging the Question.

Am I not correct?

I don't know if you're correct relative to RAZD because I don't understand his position. Is he perhaps dividing questions into two types, why and how? And is he saying that regardless how a question is worded, that it is one or the other? If so, that would mean that "How come he had to die?" would usually be a why question, while "Why did the plane crash?" would usually be a how question.

But I don't really know. I was having trouble following the discussion. NoNukes brought me part of the way up to speed, but he has nuances I don't get.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 630 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-23-2014 9:20 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 633 by NoNukes, posted 09-24-2014 1:03 PM Percy has responded
 Message 636 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-25-2014 9:43 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 2964
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 632 of 638 (737439)
09-24-2014 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 630 by New Cat's Eye
09-23-2014 9:20 PM


Re: why is the sky blue?
Cat Sci writes:

And that his insistence that the "why" questions must be ones of ultimate purpose is just Begging the Question.

Am I not correct?

I think you are correct, yes.

We must accept the ability to string words together in the form of a question that just doesn't make sense.
If there is a 'why' question that science is not fit to answer... then it is highly likely that it just doesn't make sense to ask the question.

For example: Why is the sky blue? In the context of 'ultimate purpose' may very well be a nonsense question that simply does not have an answer. (Or the answer is "because that's the way it is" or "there is no purpose for the sky to be blue" or some other ultimate finale).

Edited by Stile, : Adding something I've been forgetting


This message is a reply to:
 Message 630 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-23-2014 9:20 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9919
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 633 of 638 (737447)
09-24-2014 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 631 by Percy
09-24-2014 7:18 AM


Re: why is the sky blue?
Is he perhaps dividing questions into two types, why and how?

He is certainly saying this.

And is he saying that regardless how a question is worded, that it is one or the other?

No idea. Surely there are questions of types what where, when, and who. In any event he thinks that asking why the sky is blue or why Picasso used funny shapes is sufficient to let us know that he is asking an ultimate purpose type why question. To the extent he maintains that position he's simply wrong not subtle.

We hardly ever ask ultimate purpose type question. I doubt that even the toddler who keeps asking 'why' would stop doing so if his parents gave him such an answer right off the bat.

I think the safest assumption is that the word 'Why' is always an insufficient method of letting us know you are asking a why question outside of very specific contexts.

How come he had to die?" would usually be a why question

And what would be a satisfactory response that I could not claim was just another how answer? God took him to heaven to avoid further suffering? All men are mortal? He contracted Ebola while attempting to help? His heart stopped? His time was up? Stuff happens.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 631 by Percy, posted 09-24-2014 7:18 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 634 by Percy, posted 09-24-2014 1:44 PM NoNukes has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 15913
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 634 of 638 (737450)
09-24-2014 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 633 by NoNukes
09-24-2014 1:03 PM


Re: why is the sky blue?
That helps, so I guess I can say this about my own stance. When talking to those who divide existence into the mundane and the intangible, I would tend to assume that questions about the mundane are how questions, while those about the intangible are why questions. It won't always be clear from context whether a question is mundane or intangible.

When talking to those who prefer to view reality as a continuum from the well known to the completely unknown, I would tend to assume that they see all questions as how questions, it's just that some questions invite more speculation than others.

An aside: this isn't something I've ever given much thought to, so I invented terminology on the spot (e.g., mundane and intangible, etc.). Suggestions welcome.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Typo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 633 by NoNukes, posted 09-24-2014 1:03 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 635 by NoNukes, posted 09-24-2014 3:13 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9919
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 635 of 638 (737451)
09-24-2014 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 634 by Percy
09-24-2014 1:44 PM


Re: why is the sky blue?
It won't always be clear from context whether a question is mundane or intangible.

Quite frankly in many cases we won't know until you reject/accept an answer. For example, take the question 'why am I having difficulty solving algebra problems'? Is that question about intangibles associated with grasping mathematical concepts or is it about poor study habits? An eighth grader who asks that question may have no idea in what realm the answers will lie.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 634 by Percy, posted 09-24-2014 1:44 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11706
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 636 of 638 (737489)
09-25-2014 9:43 PM
Reply to: Message 631 by Percy
09-24-2014 7:18 AM


Re: why is the sky blue?
I don't know if you're correct relative to RAZD because I don't understand his position. Is he perhaps dividing questions into two types, why and how?

Well, he's not eliminating 'where'

What he's doing is defining a question so that science is unable to answer it. A "Free Speech Zone", if you will.

I don't have a problem with that. With the word 'why', we can ask about purpose. And science cannot test it.

But things also happen without purpose, and we often use the word 'why' in a search for how they happen.

Why is the sky blue?

Because the atmosphere screws up the light.

No, not how. For what purpose is the sky blue?

Oh, I dunno. Science can't answer it.

Well, maybe its because... skreeetch

Hold on. If you're gonna step outside of science-land. You're gonna hafta go into that "Free Speech Zone". That's Begging the Question.

That was my first point to RAZD:

quote:
If you're simply pointing out that science is unable to identify any purpose behind the way things are, then you're just begging the question of having any need to identify a purpose in the first place.

Here's the problem:

We can make progress into how things work by using the word 'why' (that's why two year olds do it).

but if we keep going back through all the how-answers to the fundamentals of the universe,

and then you ask the question of purpose, you may arrive at something like Deism (or even Intelligent Design) through this.

but you've ended up finding yourself at some ultimate purpose by applying the same why question again to the answer,

and meaning purpose instead of how,

the path doesn't actually end there.

You could then ask why did god do it? And why is it so, that god does it that way? And why is it so, that it is so that god does it that why? And why is so, that it is so that it so that god does is it that way.

Wait. That's an infinite regress, let's go ahead and stop. Note that doesn't necessarily mean that deism is wrong.

What it means is our path to getting there was flawed. Our language and logic don't allow us to answer those questions that way.

That might have something to do with why Begging the Question is a logical fallacy.

Now that I look back, its sort of a nitpick point out that looking for a purpose of the universe is a logical fallacy. But I enjoy writing this stuff way more than the logic puzzles I used to play with as a kid.

I just didn't like RAZD's claim that "science can't answer why questions", because it can.

He finally acknowledged.

But that doesn't mean we can't talk about it. Go ahead.

ABE:

An aside: this isn't something I've ever given much thought to, so I invented terminology on the spot (e.g., mundane and intangible, etc.). Suggestions welcome.

Makes sense to me.

The topic is "Is there a legitimate argument for design?"

If you put one out there, I'll be around to check it.

Edited by Cat Sci, : see ABE


This message is a reply to:
 Message 631 by Percy, posted 09-24-2014 7:18 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 637 by NoNukes, posted 09-26-2014 1:26 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9919
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 637 of 638 (737493)
09-26-2014 1:26 AM
Reply to: Message 636 by New Cat's Eye
09-25-2014 9:43 PM


Re: why is the sky blue?
I don't have a problem with that. With the word 'why', we can ask about purpose. And science cannot test it.

I largely agree with you. But I would suggest that some purposes are testable. Scientifically. We can test the purposes of humans and animals that are capable of forming intent and even of animals that act entirely out of instinct.

RAZD argues that we cannot test Picasso's intent because we cannot obtain enough information to provide an input that would make him repeat one of his paintings. That is malarkey in my opinion. If that is indeed true, then we cannot test supernova or planet formation theory either so those things must be non-scientific. We never get the same supernova twice nor do we get the same planet.

It is only the ultimate purpose, what is the meaning of 42 type questions that science cannot answer. And surely simply using the word why does not let us know that you want such an answer.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 636 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-25-2014 9:43 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 638 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-26-2014 11:59 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11706
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 638 of 638 (737511)
09-26-2014 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 637 by NoNukes
09-26-2014 1:26 AM


Re: why is the sky blue?
I think there exists a "purpose" that stems from sentience, that is non-deterministic, and is unable to be tested in any way by science. I suppose that can be boiled down to some kind of duality that is, in itself, unscientific. But there it sits.

And I think that's what RAZD might be limiting the word 'purpose' to.

That may be a little short sighted, but I don't have a problem using it to talk about things like that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 637 by NoNukes, posted 09-26-2014 1:26 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
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