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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:26 AM

“I feel, therefore it exists”

It is quite extraordinary how religious people seem to be comfortable telling atheists that they are arrogant for asserting publicly that there is no god. Those on the liberal end of the political spectrum tend to be particularly prone to this failing, perhaps feeling the need to protect their flank with the ‘religious moderates’.

As part of this effort they sometimes equate atheists and religious fundamentalists.
One example I came across recently is Leonard Pitts, a syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald, who in 2011 expressed his displeasure with us atheists who annoyingly keep asking believers to produce credible evidence for the existence of god. He thinks we are arrogant for saying that god does not exist since no such evidence has yet been produced.

He begins his essay with a quotation from a 4th-century Christian philosopher named Gregory of Nyssa that pretty much tells you what his argument is going to be: “That which is without quality cannot be measured, the invisible cannot be examined, the incorporeal cannot be weighed, the limitless cannot be compared, the incomprehensible does not admit of more or less.” Or as Pitts puts it, “God is not proven. God is felt.”

Unsurprisingly, Pitts finds common ground with Marilynne Robinson whom regular readers of this blog will know that I find insufferable because of her wooly-headed thinking buried under layers of metaphors that obfuscate rather than clarify.

Both of them seem to not realize that there is no difference between the imperceptible and the nonexistent. They both seem to think that because they ‘feel’ god, that this makes god real, though how they know that this feeling is caused by an external agent and not by the same workings of the brain that give them other feelings is never explained. When Pitts ‘feels’ thirsty, does he think that some supernatural agent creates his desire for a glass of water? How would he know if this is the case or not?

http://machineslikeus.com/news/i-feel-therefore-it-exists


13 replies, 1124 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply “I feel, therefore it exists” (Original post)
cleanhippie Jan 2013 OP
trotsky Jan 2013 #1
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #3
trotsky Jan 2013 #4
mr blur Jan 2013 #6
tama Jan 2013 #7
rug Jan 2013 #2
Phillip McCleod Jan 2013 #9
rug Jan 2013 #10
tama Jan 2013 #5
dimbear Jan 2013 #8
tama Jan 2013 #11
Act_of_Reparation Jan 2013 #12
tama Jan 2013 #13

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:58 AM

1. Wow, does this hit the nail on the head! n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:26 AM

3. Sure does. Do you think it will hit close to home for some?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:28 AM

4. Nah, they'll ignore it.

As they appear to do with most facts that contradict their beliefs.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 05:15 PM

6. Evasions to follow...

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Response to mr blur (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 05:59 PM

7. ...in this subthread...

 

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:23 AM

2. Really?

Both of them seem to not realize that there is no difference between the imperceptible and the nonexistent.


If it cannot be perceived (the question, then, is by whom), it does not exist? A rather subjective view for a scientist.

"I do not sense it, therefore it does not exist."

It's the same statement that she's criticizing.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:27 PM

9. i read 'imperceptible' meaning 'cannot be perceived'

 

it does not say by what method. germs are imperceptible to the naked eye but not to the microscope-endowed.

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:29 PM

10. Since it's not modified, I read it as by any means.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:14 PM

5. Feelings are felt

 

...there is no difference between the imperceptible and the nonexistent. They both seem to think that because they ‘feel’ god, that this makes god real, though how they know that this feeling is caused by an external agent and not by the same workings of the brain that give them other feelings is never explained


Feel is a perception, obviously. Belief that brain gives feelings is a belief. And not very scientific one.*

Feeling good - or feeling bad - is real also in the sense that it affects world, it has causal power. Writers of the article feel frustrated about theists not believing like they do about brain and stuff, they write article, others read it, fingers move on the keyboard, electrons jump, bits move, etc.

When someone is feeling good, others feel more comfortable around that someone. When someone is feeling bad, others try to help that someone to feel better, or avoid that someone not to feel bad themselves. And sometimes also when people are feeling bad, they get irritated and frustrated about people feeling good instead of sharing their feelings.

*http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Heart,%20Mind%20and%20Spirit%20%20Mohamed%20Salem.pdf

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 07:00 PM

8. As neuroscientists continue to find electrochemical explanations for feelings, we can hope god will

recede even further. The tide is going out.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:49 PM

11. Explaining is not feeling

 

Explaining is not living. Explanations can be used to promote teaching and practicing compassion, or to hypnotize people to buy junk, or scare them to support war.

The heart’s magnetic field:
Research has also revealed that the heart communicates information to
the brain and throughout the body via electromagnetic field interactions. The
heart generates the body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic
electromagnetic field. The heart’s magnetic component is about 500 times
stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away
from the body. It was proposed that, this heart field acts as a carrier wave for
information that provides a global synchronizing signal for the entire body
(McCraty, Bradley & Tomasino, 2004)
Heart field interactions between individuals
There is now evidence that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or
‘energetic’ communication system operates just below our conscious awareness.
Energetic interactions possibly contribute to the ‘magnetic’ attractions or
repulsions that occur between individuals, and also affect social relationships. It
was also found that one person’s brain waves can synchronize to another
person’s heart (McCraty, 2004)

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Heart,%20Mind%20and%20Spirit%20%20Mohamed%20Salem.pdf

So if, as those studies suggest, also others can feel how you feel at heart, that how you feel is not separate and does not end at skin level, how would you like to feel? Or is it just a mind game?

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Response to tama (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:36 PM

12. Not to burst your bubble...

...but neotics is pure pseudoscientific quackery.

Read the paper. Notice the lack of empiricism. Discount and carry on.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:36 AM

13. It's field, not a bubble

 

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