A Rationalist's Argument for God
At the end of my last call to the Atheist Experience, show 878, co-host Tracie Harris confesses to her collegue, Russell Glasser, who hung up on me because I took too long getting to the point: "I was kind of interested to hear where he was going with this." This video will answer that question.
My point involved what I said from the beginning of the call: The Western world suffers from a defect in both logic and science, and both defects stem from the ancient Greece. I was going to continue to say tha both defects may influence leading one toward atheism.
So far I had Tracie agree that as far as the law of identity is concerned, everything is conceptuallly interdependent: opposition-wise or negation-wise. This extends upon what the Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, proposed when he conceived the laws of though. As I stated during the call, Aristotle only considered correlations as interdependent: those opposites which can be observed at the same time and in the same respect: e.g., double-half, parent-offspring.
So, in essence, Tracie agreed upon the fourth law of Aristotle's logic I was proposing, one implied by Aristotle's other three laws. It's a law that has already been recognized in the ancient East: the Law of Unified Opposition -- a law of complementarity, which can be formulated:
Everything x has a conceivable non-x, and everything non-x has a conceivable x.
The fact that unified opposition is implied by any contradiction or identity (as an implied premise) demonstrates this new law is more self evident than these other principles.
Overall, the new law is more inclusive, as well, and may assist in formulating propositions refer to non-physical worlds and even our own thoughts. **Opposites are the middle term for all conscious experiences.
At firsst, Russell disagrees with Tracie, but can offer no alternative answer to of how one can know anything without first recognizing what things are not. Actually, the only way in which Russell could have disagreed was to indirectly admit to God by implication.
That is, the only possible world in which one can have knowledge of things without knowing their opposite or negation is by absoluteness -- such would be God's thought by definition. So if a person rejects the principle of unified opposition, they must accept God -- and thus, agree to the law all the same, which is the only law in which such absoluteness is possible. But Alvin Plantinga was right to say, that if one such possible world may exist, then such a thing must exist in every possible world, if the thing is defined as God is: absolute (in all things).
As for science, Aristotle limited himself by thinking that all things _must_ consist of matter and form, and that the only way change can occur is through matter. To this day, we likewise still consider the brain as a container of thought in the same way the ancient Greeks thought the eye was a container of sight. The concept of such containment is known as hylomorophism.
So we should expand upon this ancient notion of mind, in conjunction with the unity of opposition, and by doing so: we can produce more intuitive possibilities concerning the universe, such as demonstrating complementarity, as well as comprehending a higher mind, if any.
As of now, however, there are many who still believe that the brain is a thinking thing, and all thought processes occur in our central nervous system, as though the brain is a closed system.
But this location issue merely serves as an unproven metaphysical presupposition of physics: the presuppostion that there exists a physical reality independent of our mental states.Meanwhile, its becoming increasingly realized by scientists that the brain is a channel of thought more than its source.
I called the AE show several times before about there being a mental universe from which the brain serves merely as a vantage point, not as a producer, and my claim was dismissed by the hosts out-of-hand, without evidence to the contrary. However, the description column of this video lists mostly peer reviewed documents verifying this claim.
But MIND is self-changing and self-validating. Furthermore, thoughts (what a mind does and creates) are about the world, not necessarily part of the world. None of this would apply to what we currently recognize as matter.
Concerning mind, we have three options: dualism, naturalism, and panpsychism. Dualism suffers from the interaction problem: how a seemingly non-physical mind could interact with a seemingly physical universe. Likewise, naturalism suffers from the introspective problem of thought (Chalmers' so-called hard problem of consciousness of qualia [sense data]), as well as the language paradox: **How could language have been responsible for allowing long term memory to evolve when language couldn't have developed without long term memory? From a stroke of luck? A genetic language component may have evolved, but how would that have occurred without design or LTM?
The question remains regarding naturalism: How did inorganic matter unthinkingly become thinking things that think themselves with any degree of accuracy? In other words, how did subjective properties develop out of the same compoents that make up most of the inorganic universe.
Furthermore, it may be asked, without expectation of a reply: what chemical/circuitry components can be brought to a lab from which consciousness is sure to result?
Overall, for one to believe that consciousness evolved from a purely natural process isn't any different than for one to believe that Frankenstein's monster may currently exist among us. Atheists claim that theists might as well believe in unicorns. It looks as though atheists have their own fictional figures to play with, as well.
But with the unity of opposition, we resolve all the problems of naturalism, as well as the interaction problem: as mind and body are conceptually one. "Body" would involve all things as matter-energy, and so would mind. Concepts would be all of reality.
There are also some added benefits to this implication favoring panpsychism, as well. such as there being a means to certainty: If the mind merely evolved, there would be no certainty, only pragmatism at best. But, then, for anyone who believes what they perceive is real, they would be deluded. In general, if one has no certainty about the things that provides one with certainty, then one hasn't any certainty, nor any method of acquiring it. It's as though you have a ruler for making measurements that's as elastic as a piece of gum, providing no exact measurement.
It should be asked: How could one even attempt to prove supernaturalism with methodological naturalism -- limiting scientific research to natural causes, and assuring that all causes are empirical? What's the empirical evidence that everything has a natural cause? If you don't have any such evidence, by your own standard of evidence, all you have is an opinion against supernaturalism, and you've defined your atheism into existence.
According to skepticism, another attribute the show assigns to itsef, MIND would be the default position. Our VANTAGE POINT, after all, is an ability that comes to us naturally. Adaptation requires more skill. We can be more certain of the former CONSCIOUSNESS) than the latter (THE PHYSICAL WORLD).
Essentially, what's natural (consciousness) is more certain than what we adapt to, or acquire as a skill. Thus, the abstract of mind is the DEFAULT position [over the physical sciences] for that which is real. As Descartes has shown, if we are to doubt all things, the one thing we cannot is our own self as a thinking thing. We have priviliged access to our own mind. Consciousness is the only thing we can know without the medium of science.
Furthermore, only with the self-validation of individual minds is appearance and reality one and the same. Although this may sound solipsistic, mind wouldn't necessarily apply to the divisionary nature of the non-contradiction law. This is because, first-hand, minds appear to us as non-physical (so, thus, wouldn't necessarily apply to time), especially abstract notions without specific content: meaning and purpose, for instance.
This may sound like it may lead to delusion, as well, but all the world shares the same delusion that the mind appears non-physical; thus, not delusional by definition. Even in direct observation of the external world, there's a VEIL OF PERCEPTION that may be shared by an entire species.
Basically, we see contents, not the thoughts themselves. The thought of moving furniture, for example, wouldn't take up any more energy, space and time than the thought of moving a pencil.
Overall, any criticisms I've ever received againsst a non-physical mind may just as well support that the brain is a channel for thought, rather than its originator. Even such terms "variable rates" and "neural firing" better imply a channeling mind. For instance, only our means to access or interpret how we're receiving consciousness is affected by drugs, not consciousnessn itself. But how would it channel? Again: the UNITY OF OPPOSITION: external, internal.
MIND is non-extended because all other dimensions are extension themselves, and MIND need not apply to any of them (e.g., abstract thoughts, epiphanies). Actually, any and every vantage point of matter-energy makes mind the universe's fifth dimension. After all, length, width, height, and time are universally judged by subjective reference points.
So, with the unity of opposition in mind, we can see how panpsychism is realized: As God is purely a thinking thing that created everything else, this implies that everything is thought. The supernatural interacts with the natural world by the opposition: transcendence = imminance. Matter is simply lower hierarchies of conscious energy slowed down to the point of being lifeless. God, on the other hand, would be the highest in the hierarchy -- the source of all thoughts. The more free will a species would have to make change, the higher it would be in the hierarchy.