Materialism and Consciousness: an atheist talks

Materialism and Consciousness: an atheist talks


Consciousness makes evolutionary sense only if one does not start far enough back; if, that is to say, one fails to assume a consistent and sincere materialist position, beginning with a world without consciousness, and then considers whether there could be putative biological drivers for organisms to become conscious. This is the only valid starting point for those who look to evolution to explain consciousness, given that the history of matter has overwhelmingly been without conscious life, indeed without history. Once the viewpoint of consistent materialism is assumed, it ceases to be self-evident that it is a good thing to experience what is there, that it will make an organism better able so to position itself in the causal net as to increase the probability of replication of its genomic material. On the contrary, even setting aside the confusional states it is prone to, and the sleep it requires, consciousness seems like the worst possible evolutionary move.

If there isn’t an evolutionary explanation of consciousness, then the world is more interesting than biologists would allow. Read more
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No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

No, you’re not entitled to your opinion


This ties directly to my last post “Can opinions be wrong?” and the point I was trying to make about all sorts of people trying to criticize the Bible.

Every year, I try to do at least two things with my students at least once. First, I make a point of addressing them as “philosophers” – a bit cheesy, but hopefully it encourages active learning.

Secondly, I say something like this: “I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion.’ Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself, maybe to head off an argument or bring one to a close. Well, as soon as you walk into this room, it’s no longer true. You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.” Read more

Lets define ownership: is stealing food – not stealing?

Lets define ownership: is stealing food – not stealing?


Hey guys, I got some interesting feedback on my last article Lets define ownership: a lesson in morality and logic

Jeff from the caveat lector thinks there are problems in my argument and he disagrees with my point. You can read his response to my original post here Jeff’s response.

Now you can go on and read the Jeff’s response and my responses on Jeff’s post, to it; but for the sake of you guys, I thought I’d share this with you too. I am just going to copy past a few lines from Jeff’s response which I believe are his main points, you can read the rest yourself.  I believe Jeff made two points. Read more

Let’s define ownership: a lesson in morality and logic

Let’s define ownership: a lesson in morality and logic


Image source: Wikimedia Commons

So the other day I was engaged in an argument with a fellow poster. A nice guy who knew what he was talking about. So we come to the old question about Morality. His responses are in Italics.

I think subjectivity is simply inconsistent so I rejected subjective morality early on. He however was in the opposite corner. In between our conversation, I said “Stealing is wrong”. Now listen to this, he says:

If I define stealing as ‘wrongfully taking what doesn’t belong to you’, then it’s wrong by definition. Then, the problem is reduced to our theory of good or our idea of what makes something right or wrong. And also, it helps to establish what qualifies as ownership. Read more

Why Atheism is not more moral than religion

Why Atheism is not more moral than religion


Ok guys, I admit, I was having fun with atheists in my last “The Atheist Morality: A Parasitical Existence”

https://johnadavid.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/the-atheist-morality-a-parasitical-existence

I got some very interesting feedback from it. I would also like to apologize as it offended some people that I took a funny shot at the atheists, accusing them partially (some of it was serious and true enough) and misrepresenting their position (actually not all positions I listed were my own or derived, most of them are held by eminent modern atheists).

One particular response I got was from Mr. Joseph Nevard, while you can read his comment on my previous post, he invited me to visit his blog. I do not know Mr. Nevard otherwise and it would be wrong of me to make assumptions but I think he believes in atheism (I could be wrong but that would not affect the following) and read his post he had directed me towards.  Read more