RE: [asa] scientific fact vs. ideology?

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Tue Mar 17 2009 - 16:36:44 EDT

It is clear that the purely physical cannot think; life is necessary but not sufficient. I understand C.S. Lewis as indicating that reasoning is not interlocked with the workings of Nature. It is above it. But the supernatural nature of reasoning does not self-exist as God does but is depended on God for its existence. I believe that this supernatural element underlies our ability to exercise our free will.
Moorad

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Schwarzwald
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 4:46 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] scientific fact vs. ideology?

I'm pretty sure C. S. Lewis was aware of the great scientific discovery that is 'drinking booze has a noticeable effect on subjective experience and reasoning.' More often, the scientifically inclined just don't know enough philosophy on the point.

Moreover, the idea that dualists of all varieties (or even most) don't see the brain as necessary for many/most mental operations doesn't ring true. Hylemorphic dualists would emphatically disagree. As would, I believe, very many dualists of cartesian, property, emergentist, and other varieties. A functioning brain could be a necessary but not sufficient requirement for thought, and 'the classical physical can do it all!' position is fraught with problems, some of which make the "but what about alcohol?" objection pale in comparison.

On Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 12:43 AM, Preston Garrison <pngarrison@att.net<mailto:pngarrison@att.net>> wrote:
""matter cannot think.""

It may depend on your definition of "think." Can computers "think?" They do make decisions. They can even "appear" to be sentient. It may be possible to have a conversation with a computer (over the internet) and not even realize it is not a real person.

...Bernie
'm articulating this well...)

There's a flip side to this. Read Dilbert today. Dilbert bemoans the fact that his boss keeps failing the Turing test. When our reason goes bad, do we cease to be human? Is God taking a coffee break? :)

Does Moorad think (by whatever mechanism) that the function of the brain is not necessary for reason? Then why do we get more and more confused as the alcohol concentration in the brain increases? I love C.S. Lewis, but I think he just didn't know enough science on the point.

Preston

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Received on Tue Mar 17 16:37:07 2009

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