C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

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SEG
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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Wed May 15, 2019 7:27 am

Og3 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:27 am
You don't like people being struck dead for condemning their sisters-in-law to starvation?
Where in the Bible does it say that? While you are looking that up, how did Judah or anyone else know that the prostitute that he screwed using a goat for collateral was his daughter-in-law - whom he wanted burned? This was the son of a patriarch right, the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Judah?
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by Og3 » Wed May 15, 2019 7:39 pm

Refusal to allow a woman to bear children meant that in her old age there would be no one to provide for her, and she would likely starve.

And you illustrate perfectly, by invoking Judah, a Patriarch, that there is none righteous, no, not one (Ro. 3:10). Which was the point of the story of Judah and Tamar: We know what is right, and we do the opposite. Which was also what C.S. Lewis was telling you before you went off on a ranting tangent.
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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by Og3 » Wed May 15, 2019 7:52 pm

So, since SEG has abandoned any pretense of honest discussion on the point, and instead resorted to incoherent ranting, I will offer a short outline of Lewis thus far, in case anyone wishes to take up SEG's mantle:

Lewis begins by posing some inductive observations:
1. We seem to have conscience (Og's amendment: Those of us who are neurologically typical).
2. Conscience does not seem to merely be a biological herd-instinct, because sometimes it tells us to defy the herd.
3. Conscience does not seem to merely be a survival instinct, or even a group survival instinct, because sometimes it tells us to defy survival.

Lewis then notes that we seem, in any moral dilemma, to have three separate sets of instructions:
1. The demands of loyalty, herd-instinct, and love
2. The demands of survival
3. A third thing telling us which of the first two sets to follow.

Lewis uses as an example a man who is drowning. We have an impulse to save him, even if we are weak swimmers; we have an impulse to remain safe. A third impulse tells us which of those two to do.

I (Og) posed a variant for SEG: Imagine a man on a ship who opens a scuttle and sees a shipmate collapsed on the deck below. Does he climb down the ladder to save him? NO, because then there will be two sailors to save instead of one (it is likely that a hazardous gas is loose in the space).

In this example we see the first impulse: That's my buddy, my friend, my shipmate; I need to save him. We see the second impulse: What killed or injured him might kill or injure me. We see the third impulse: Training demands that we alert others, don appropriate rescue gear, and return in a planned and organized rescue operation.

Lewis then argues that this third impulse appears to be some sort of a natural law, which we perceive as conscience, but which inanimate objects, such as rocks, perceive as an irresistible force (for example, as gravity demanding that a dropped rock fall). He also points out that an outside observer (an alien perhaps) would not see the effects of conscience upon us, but would only see the resultant action, as we see a rock that falls.

Lewis finally points out that science cannot speak to "conscience" because science requires repeatability and measurement, neither of which apply to conscience.

That is Book 1 in a nutshell. Qualified discussion on-point is welcome.
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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Thu May 16, 2019 7:18 am

Og3 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:39 pm
Refusal to allow a woman to bear children meant that in her old age there would be no one to provide for her, and she would likely starve.

And you illustrate perfectly, by invoking Judah, a Patriarch, that there is none righteous, no, not one (Ro. 3:10). Which was the point of the story of Judah and Tamar: We know what is right, and we do the opposite. Which was also what C.S. Lewis was telling you before you went off on a ranting tangent.
What ranting tangent? This story doesn't even make make sense. Why did God kill Er? For being wicked? It seems that someone was just setting up this story. Then Onan practised coitus interruptus on his own brother's wife because he strangely thought via Genesis 38:9 that the child would not be his? Of course genetically it would be, but that's probably a cultural thing.

Certainly pulling out wasn't a capital offence! How would you know that she would have starved to death anyway? Tamar had no trouble getting a paid gig, she just whipped on a veil and stood on a corner and waited for the first dirty old bastard to come along.

Guess who it was, Righteous Judah! When I asked, "how did Judah or anyone else know that the prostitute that he screwed using a goat for collateral was his daughter-in-law - whom he wanted burned?" was because she was wearing a veil. If this supposedly righteous patriarch got horny and paid to have sex by giving up his goat as collateral (you would think it would be cheaper to use the goat) how did he work out that it was his nubile sister-in-law?

Even if he did eventually work it out, why burn her to death when she was pregnant to him? He should have known by your logic that there would be someone to provide for her, and she would not likely starve.

These are terrible moral stories Og. No wonder they don't tell them at Sunday School!
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Thu May 16, 2019 7:45 am

Og3 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:52 pm
Lewis finally points out that science cannot speak to "conscience" because science requires repeatability and measurement, neither of which apply to conscience.
There is no need to take up my mantel, but all other opinions are very welcome.

I think scientists have worked out pretty well most functions of the brain. We certainly know that consciousness requires a brain to exist. But even if science hasn't worked out entirely what it is, it's not proof that any gods exist - and certainly not proof that the Christian god exists.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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SEG
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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Thu May 16, 2019 10:07 am

Btw, I have just noticed that there is an hilarious background noise just after Jeffrey's question "are you sure" at around the 7 min mark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGecYM8S1r0
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

Og3
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:41 am

Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by Og3 » Thu May 16, 2019 7:48 pm

SEG wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 7:18 am
Og3 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:39 pm
Refusal to allow a woman to bear children meant that in her old age there would be no one to provide for her, and she would likely starve.

And you illustrate perfectly, by invoking Judah, a Patriarch, that there is none righteous, no, not one (Ro. 3:10). Which was the point of the story of Judah and Tamar: We know what is right, and we do the opposite. Which was also what C.S. Lewis was telling you before you went off on a ranting tangent.
What ranting tangent? This story doesn't even make make sense. Why did God kill Er? For being wicked? It seems that someone was just setting up this story. Then Onan practised coitus interruptus on his own brother's wife because he strangely thought via Genesis 38:9 that the child would not be his? Of course genetically it would be, but that's probably a cultural thing.

Certainly pulling out wasn't a capital offence! How would you know that she would have starved to death anyway? Tamar had no trouble getting a paid gig, she just whipped on a veil and stood on a corner and waited for the first dirty old bastard to come along.

Guess who it was, Righteous Judah! When I asked, "how did Judah or anyone else know that the prostitute that he screwed using a goat for collateral was his daughter-in-law - whom he wanted burned?" was because she was wearing a veil. If this supposedly righteous patriarch got horny and paid to have sex by giving up his goat as collateral (you would think it would be cheaper to use the goat) how did he work out that it was his nubile sister-in-law?

Even if he did eventually work it out, why burn her to death when she was pregnant to him? He should have known by your logic that there would be someone to provide for her, and she would not likely starve.

These are terrible moral stories Og. No wonder they don't tell them at Sunday School!
It's not meant as a moral story, SEG.

It's meant to tell what happens when you DON'T follow the Morals.

Here's the story:
1. Er married Tamar, and then died. He was struck dead for wickedness, we don't know specifics, they are not relevant.
2. By custom Onan married Tamar, and should have made children who would have been considered Er's sons and heirs (so they would take precedence over Onan for Judah's estate). But he refused to finish the whole thing, even though this would leave Tamar with no one to provide for her old age. Yes, she could have gotten by as a harlot in the present time, but have her try that when she's seventy.
3. Onan was struck dead for refusing to give Tamar children. Who would have been Er's children, and preceded him for Judah's estate.
4. Judah refused to marry Tamar to his third son, because it didn't work out so well for the first two.
5. This was unfair. Tamar set out to get her own justice by doing the whole Prostitute trick (she set Judah up). The old goat promised her a goat.

A side note here: No one ever called Judah "Righteous Judah." He is not meant as a Moral Example. Only one person in the entire Bible is meant to be a moral example. And that is Jesus. You atheists always get this wrong: The reason Bible heroes fail so often is because they are not good role models. "Put not your faith in princes," the Psalmist tells us, "Neither in the sons of man." (We just talked about this with Samson... Honestly?)

6. As a pledge for the goat, he provided his staff and signet ring. This would be like you handing over your watch and driver's license. So when he got up on his high horse because she was pregnant, she simply said, "The man who owns these is the man who knocked me up." And so she got off for free.

and, fun trivia fact: Tamar and one of her bastard twins by Judah are in the direct lineage of Jesus Christ.

It's a messed up story, worthy of a TV talk show. But it demonstrates what happens when you don't act justly -- Onan wasn't willing to treat Tamar fairly, and died, Judah wasn't willing to treat Tamar fairly and wound up helping her anyway. No morals are involved here: This is one of the very many bad moral examples in the Bible.
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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by Og3 » Thu May 16, 2019 7:56 pm

SEG wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 7:45 am
Og3 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:52 pm
Lewis finally points out that science cannot speak to "conscience" because science requires repeatability and measurement, neither of which apply to conscience.
There is no need to take up my mantel, but all other opinions are very welcome.

I think scientists have worked out pretty well most functions of the brain. We certainly know that consciousness requires a brain to exist. But even if science hasn't worked out entirely what it is, it's not proof that any gods exist - and certainly not proof that the Christian god exists.
Ignoratio Elenchi.

First, we're talking about CONSCIENCE, not CONSCIOUSNESS.

Second, what experiment could possibly be done to prove that Consciousness requires a brain? Please make sure to list all of the control groups, i.e., unconscious brains, conscious brains, consciousness without brains, brains in vats... LOL.

Because lacking a fully qualified and proper scientific experiment, we can't know any such thing, can we? So this post is really jsut a declaration of your faith in "Scientists," isn't it?
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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Fri May 17, 2019 6:22 am

Og3 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 7:56 pm
First, we're talking about CONSCIENCE, not CONSCIOUSNESS.

Second, what experiment could possibly be done to prove that Consciousness requires a brain?
Both CONSCIENCE AND CONSCIOUSNESS both are relevant to brain processes. Scientists have known for centuries that you can slice bits off a brain and you will lose perception, to the point where none remains. There are a multitude of those types experiments that have been done over the years, including these ones dealing with Neuroscience of free will
Libet experiment
A pioneering experiment in this field was conducted by Benjamin Libet in the 1980s, in which he asked each subject to choose a random moment to flick their wrist while he measured the associated activity in their brain (in particular, the build-up of electrical signal called the Bereitschaftspotential (BP), which was discovered by Kornhuber & Deecke in 1965[35]). Although it was well known that the Bereitschaftspotential (sometimes also termed "readiness potential") preceded the physical action, Libet asked how the Bereitschaftspotential corresponded to the felt intention to move. To determine when the subjects felt the intention to move, he asked them to watch the second hand of a clock and report its position when they felt that they had felt the conscious will to move.[36]

Libet's experiment: (0) repose, until (1) the Bereitschaftspotential is detected, (2-Libet's W) the volunteer memorizes a dot position upon feeling their intention, and (3) then acts.
Libet found that the unconscious brain activity leading up to the conscious decision by the subject to flick their wrist began approximately half a second before the subject consciously felt that they had decided to move.[36][37] Libet's findings suggest that decisions made by a subject are first being made on a subconscious level and only afterward being translated into a "conscious decision", and that the subject's belief that it occurred at the behest of their will was only due to their retrospective perspective on the event.

The interpretation of these findings has been criticized by Daniel Dennett, who argues that people will have to shift their attention from their intention to the clock, and that this introduces temporal mismatches between the felt experience of will and the perceived position of the clock hand.[38][39] Consistent with this argument, subsequent studies have shown that the exact numerical value varies depending on attention.[40][41] Despite the differences in the exact numerical value, however, the main finding has held.[6][42][43] Philosopher Alfred Mele criticizes this design for other reasons. Having attempted the experiment himself, Mele explains that "the awareness of the intention to move" is an ambiguous feeling at best. For this reason he remained skeptical of interpreting the subjects' reported times for comparison with their 'Bereitschaftspotential'.[44]

Criticisms

Typical recording of the Bereitschaftspotential that was discovered by Kornhuber & Deecke in 1965[35]). Benjamin Libet investigated whether this neural activity corresponded to the "felt intention" (or will) to move of experimental subjects.
In a variation of this task, Haggard and Eimer asked subjects to decide not only when to move their hands, but also to decide which hand to move. In this case, the felt intention correlated much more closely with the "lateralized readiness potential" (LRP), an ERP component which measures the difference between left and right hemisphere brain activity. Haggard and Eimer argue that the feeling of conscious will must therefore follow the decision of which hand to move, since the LRP reflects the decision to lift a particular hand.[40]

A more direct test of the relationship between the Bereitschaftspotential and the "awareness of the intention to move" was conducted by Banks and Isham (2009). In their study, participants performed a variant of the Libet's paradigm in which a delayed tone followed the button press. Subsequently, research participants reported the time of their intention to act (e.g., Libet's "W"). If W were time-locked to the Bereitschaftspotential, W would remain uninfluenced by any post-action information. However, findings from this study show that W in fact shifts systematically with the time of the tone presentation, implicating that W is, at least in part, retrospectively reconstructed rather than pre-determined by the Bereitschaftspotential.[45]

A study conducted by Jeff Miller and Judy Trevena (2009) suggests that the Bereitschaftspotential (BP) signal in Libet's experiments doesn't represent a decision to move, but that it's merely a sign that the brain is paying attention.[46] In this experiment the classical Libet experiment was modified by playing an audio tone indicating to volunteers to decide whether to tap a key or not. The researchers found that there was the same RP signal in both cases, regardless of whether or not volunteers actually elected to tap, which suggests that the RP signal doesn't indicate that a decision has been made.[47][48]

In a second experiment, researchers asked volunteers to decide on the spot whether to use left hand or right to tap the key while monitoring their brain signals, and they found no correlation among the signals and the chosen hand. This criticism has itself been criticized by free-will researcher Patrick Haggard, who mentions literature that distinguishes two different circuits in the brain that lead to action: a "stimulus-response" circuit and a "voluntary" circuit. According to Haggard, researchers applying external stimuli may not be testing the proposed voluntary circuit, nor Libet's hypothesis about internally triggered actions.[49]

Libet's interpretation of the ramping up of brain activity prior to the report of conscious "will" continues to draw heavy criticism. Studies have questioned participants' ability to report the timing of their "will". Authors have found that preSMA activity is modulated by attention (attention precedes the movement signal by 100ms), and the prior activity reported could therefore have been product of paying attention to the movement.[50] They also found that the perceived onset of intention depends on neural activity that takes place after the execution of action. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applied over the preSMA after a participant performed an action shifted the perceived onset of the motor intention backward in time, and the perceived time of action execution forward in time.[51]

Others have speculated that the preceding neural activity reported by Libet may be an artefact of averaging the time of "will", wherein neural activity does not always precede reported "will".[41] In a similar replication they also reported no difference in electrophysiological signs before a decision not to move, and before a decision to move.[46]

Despite his findings, Libet himself did not interpret his experiment as evidence of the inefficacy of conscious free will — he points out that although the tendency to press a button may be building up for 500 milliseconds, the conscious will retains a right to veto any action at the last moment.[52] According to this model, unconscious impulses to perform a volitional act are open to suppression by the conscious efforts of the subject (sometimes referred to as "free won't"). A comparison is made with a golfer, who may swing a club several times before striking the ball. The action simply gets a rubber stamp of approval at the last millisecond. Max Velmans argues however that "free won't" may turn out to need as much neural preparation as "free will" (see below).[53]

Some studies have however replicated Libet's findings, whilst addressing some of the original criticisms.[54] A recent study has found that individual neurons were found to fire 2 seconds before a reported "will" to act (long before EEG activity predicted such a response).[15] Itzhak Fried replicated Libet's findings in 2011 at the scale of the single neuron. This was accomplished with the help of volunteer epilepsy patients, who needed electrodes implanted deep in their brain for evaluation and treatment anyway. Now able to monitor awake and moving patients, the researchers replicated the timing anomalies that were discovered by Libet and are discussed in the following study.[15] Similarly to these tests, Chun Siong Soon, Anna Hanxi He, Stefan Bode and John-Dylan Haynes have conducted a study in 2013 claiming to be able to predict the choice to sum or subtract before the subject reports it.[55]

William R. Klemm pointed out the inconclusiveness of these tests due to design limitations and data interpretations and proposed less ambiguous experiments,[17] while affirming a stand on the existence of free will[56] like Roy F. Baumeister[57] or Catholic neuroscientists such as Tadeusz Pacholczyk. Adrian G. Guggisberg and Annaïs Mottaz have also challenged Itzhak Fried's findings.[58]

A study by Aaron Schurger and colleagues published in PNAS[59] challenged assumptions about the causal nature of the Bereitschaftspotential itself (and the "pre-movement buildup" of neural activity in general), thus denying the conclusions drawn from studies such as Libet's[36] and Fried's.[15] See The Information Philosopher[60] and New Scientist[61] for commentary on this study.

Unconscious actions
Timing intentions compared to actions
A study by Masao Matsuhashi and Mark Hallett, published in 2008, claims to have replicated Libet's findings without relying on subjective report or clock memorization on the part of participants.[54] The authors believe that their method can identify the time (T) at which a subject becomes aware of his own movement. Matsuhashi and Hallet argue that this time not only varies, but often occurs after early phases of movement genesis have already begun (as measured by the readiness potential). They conclude that a person's awareness cannot be the cause of movement, and may instead only notice the movement.
Show me one circumstance in an existent being that has had thought processes scientifically recorded without a material brain. No brain equals no CONSCIENCE, no CONSCIOUSNESS and no thought.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Fri May 17, 2019 10:20 am

Getting back to the book. In Book 3 Chapter 7 Lewis speaks of forgiveness. He says this:
Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment—even to death. If one had committed a murder, the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself up to the police and be hanged. It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy.
He neglects to say where the all merciful God's forgiveness is for crimes like when he kills a man picking up sticks on a Sunday or when he struck down Uzzah when he steadied the ark with his hand after the oxen stumbled.

Later in the chapter he wrote this revolting paragraph:
What I cannot understand is this sort of semipacifism you get nowadays which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do it with a long face and as if you were ashamed of it. It is that feeling that robs lots of magnificent young Christians in the Services of something they have a right to, something which is the natural accompaniment of courage— a kind of gaity and wholeheartedness.
So it's not good enough for a Christian soldier to kill someone with disinterest, you need to do it with gaity and wholeheartedness. What was he thinking?
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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