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Old 11-23-2014, 11:53 PM   #6481
gonzaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captaincrunk
is that any less ridiculous than solipsism itself


Generally (I guess), solipsism is like the "basic" skepticism proposal to counter other arguments (for instance ones about empirism and whatnot). But when people use it, it's just as a thought experiment, like "Oh well, maybe reality doesn't exist and my brain is fabricating all of it!".

In those cases, solipsism makes it seem like solipsism is the theory with the least suppositions about reality, in contrast with whatever theory it's being talked about.
However, based on the above, solipsism implies new assumptions about reality (and the brain of the entity), which are even more ridiculous than whatever the other theory (empirism or others) is assuming.
show

So in that aspect, solipsism fails as a counter-argument for those theories, so using it in those instances is invalid.
And other than using it as a counter-argument for those kind of suppositions, I don't see anybody using solipsism at all. So.....it kind of makes it pointless
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Old Yesterday, 06:55 PM   #6482
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The account of the cosmos given by contemporary physicists has a place in it for hadrons, leptons, bosons, for strong and weak forces, for electromagnetism and gravitational attraction, and perhaps for strings and eleven dimensions. What is has no place at all for are physicists, nor indeed for any intentionally informed agents. If what contemporary physics asserts is true, it’s difficult to understand how physicists are even possible. Yet physicists are what at the end result for interactions of particles. And that’s not all. For physicists in the course of, say, bombarding protons and neutrons in order to verify the existence of quarks, alter the course of those particles so that they behave as the experimenters intentions require and not as they would otherwise have done. Intentionally affected agents recurrently restructure this or that small part of the order of nature in accordance with their intentions.

So here we have a story that begins and ends with fundamental particles but in which physicists themselves are the transforming agents. Science explains each of the steps in each of these stories. What it doesn't explain is why the stories have the structures and sequences that they do; why a universe that is at its physically fundamental level devoid of intentionality should, as it moves thermodynamically towards its own destruction, generate not just intentionality but such technicolour examples of intentionality as those provided by opera-loving, James-Joyce-quoting, equation-solving atheistic physicists. Whatever might explain this, no yet to be told story about fields, or forces, or particles, or strings, or anything as yet to be identified, will provide anything like what is needed, for the problem just is that of explaining how any physical agency whatsoever could produce such an outcome. And here of course atheists and theists diverge. For atheists insist that there’s no problem. They resolutely refuse to be amazed at their own existence. The atheist says “that’s just how it is”. When explanation by physicists terminates, explanation terminates. Theists retort that if when explanation of causal sequences in the physical world was first proposed long ago the response had been “that’s just how it is”, the scientific enterprise would never have been undertaken, and there is no more reason to be content with “that’s just how it is” now than there was then. And so theists finally insist, after a further round of argument, that nothing can explain such relationships of input to output, nothing can make the workings of nature intelligible, except the will and purpose of some being whose intelligence, like his other powers, is not limited in the way that the powers of finite beings are limited; a being with unbounded abilities to astonish us.

The disagreement of theists and atheists is in key part about explanation. About what it is that requires explanation, about what it is to provide an explanation, and about what it is for an explanation to be complete or incomplete. Disagreement about the existence of God is among other things a consequence of disagreement about explanation. Are such disagreements about explanation rationally resolvable? If we take this to mean “is there a prospect of atheists and theists agreeing upon what such a rational resolution would be?” then the answer is plainly “no”. But this is not to concede that the issue is not rationally resolvable. For atheism here involves a diminished and restrictive conception of explanation and understanding, and the onus is on the atheist to justify the restriction; to show that our astonishment of the transformation of particles into physicists is not just as much an expression of a legitimate demand for explanation as is our astonishment at the transformation of seeds into apple trees.

Note that I’m not here now advancing an argument against the atheist, let alone an argument from premises that the atheist would accept. What I’m pointing to is a disagreement about premises rooted in the atheist’s incapacity for a certain kind of wonder. Atheists have no difficulty in appreciating aesthetically what are sometimes called the “wonders of science”, such structures as those of the eye or the DNA helix, but they are quite inadequately astonished by some features of the cosmos. The 19th century painter, J. M. W. Turner, while walking in the Welsh mountains, suddenly and unexpectedly came upon a striking landscape. His response was to shout out: “Well done God!” That was very much my own response when I first came across Richard Dawkins. And it’s the capacity to respond to nature in this way that is at the heart of theism; a capacity that tends to disappear as a culture is secularised.
- Alasdair MacIntyre


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Old Today, 08:25 PM   #6483
magnus_maximus
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if yr not a physicist yr unlikely to get wut physics "is" or what physicists are
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