Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

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Kuznetzova
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Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by Kuznetzova »

:arrow: Human beings bodies are composed of molecules.

:arrow: Human beings are the products of billions of years of natural selection.

:arrow: The primary purpose of the human brain is the survival and sustenance of the human body in an environment.

We have a number of trained academics here now on the forum who do not believe in the three propositions above. Unfortunately, they are too clever, too trained, too cowardly, and too passive-aggressive to simply come out and challenge these propositions on factual grounds. Instead they have been trained in the art of sneering and jeering these propositions from the sidelines. They paint them with "Dog-Whistle Phrases" whose purpose is to deride and denigrate the propositions through institutional smearing.

e.g. user Hobbes' Choice referred to them with his dog-whistle: "hard materialism"
e.g. user hammock referred to them as, quote, "becoming trapped in a particular narrow view".
user hammock then dog-whistled these three propositions as "speculation-stifling prejudice"

No doubt, in the course of our interactions here we will see even more of the academically-inspired dog whistles that are common tactic of woo-woo peddlers. .

e.g. we will hear of "Eliminative Materialism"
e.g. we will hear of "the Materialist paradigm"
e.g. we will hear of "naive Physicalism"
e.g. we may even see "logical positivism" used as a sneer.

These phrases certainly appear to be academic. They sound "official" and "jargony." But in all cases these dog whistle phrases are not used to clarify nor denote a philosophical position. Rather their use in academia has become to be sneers that the "cool in-crowd" uses to wink at and acknowledge each other across the room.

Their underlying, unspoken, motivations is to use the ruse of philosophical authority as a tool to peddle mystical woo-woo. And when called out on this in the light of day, when challenged, their passive aggression kicks in to save them and they excuse their own behavior as, "Well -- our trade is to be open to alternative possibilities". Don't buy this crap. They are snake oil salesman and crackpots. Do not buy their goods. Their "trade" in praxis is to proselytize mysticism and spirituality, and do it in a sneaky underhanded way by prettying it up with academic-sounding jargon.
jackles
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by jackles »

Kz can we take it from this that you are a none believer then.
Andy Kay
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by Andy Kay »

Kuznetzova wrote: :arrow: Human beings bodies are composed of molecules.

:arrow: Human beings are the products of billions of years of natural selection.

:arrow: The primary purpose of the human brain is the survival and sustenance of the human body in an environment.
I grant you all three points, but it seems impossible to find a place for phenomenal consciousness (conscious experience) in that model of the world. As Chamlers notes: "Most existing theories of consciousness either deny the phenomenon, explain something else, or elevate the problem to an eternal mystery" ( http://consc.net/papers/facing.pdf ). It contributes nothing to dismiss the problem as "woo-woo" and bury one's head in the sand.
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Arising_uk
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by Arising_uk »

Kuznetzova wrote:...
e.g. we will hear of "Eliminative Materialism"
e.g. we will hear of "the Materialist paradigm"
e.g. we will hear of "naive Physicalism"
e.g. we may even see "logical positivism" used as a sneer.

These phrases certainly appear to be academic. They sound "official" and "jargony." But in all cases these dog whistle phrases are not used to clarify nor denote a philosophical position. Rather their use in academia has become to be sneers that the "cool in-crowd" uses to wink at and acknowledge each other across the room.
Huh!? They exactly were and are academic philosophical positions. If you think the user is just parroting the phrase then asking what they mean seems the best approach.
... Their "trade" in praxis is to proselytize mysticism and spirituality, and do it in a sneaky underhanded way by prettying it up with academic-sounding jargon.
:) And praxis is what?
Impenitent
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by Impenitent »

atoms are mostly space

molecules are made of atoms

.: molecules are mostly space

molecules are mostly space

*Human beings bodies are composed of molecules

.: human beings bodies are mostly space

mystical woo woo cannot exist in space

...wait a minute

-Imp
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Kuznetzova
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by Kuznetzova »

Andy Kay wrote:I grant you all three points, but it seems impossible to find a place for phenomenal consciousness (conscious experience) in that model of the world. As Chamlers notes: "Most existing theories of consciousness either deny the phenomenon, explain something else, or elevate the problem to an eternal mystery" ( http://consc.net/papers/facing.pdf ). It contributes nothing to dismiss the problem as "woo-woo" and bury one's head in the sand.
Andy Kay, thank you for reading and thank you for your response. If I may take your time just a little more, I would like your opinion on the following question:

How can the traditional discipline of philosophy continue to thrive in an age of Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biochemistry, and neuroscience? Does it just become permanently relegated to a kind of "consciousness studies"?
jackles
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by jackles »

Consciousness studies is what philosophy started out as.and the funny thing is after all these years it consciousness is still at its core.awareness has allways been the theme and aim of philosophy to enlighten others for the good.not for evil.regs jackles
Andy Kay
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by Andy Kay »

Kuznetzova wrote: How can the traditional discipline of philosophy continue to thrive in an age of Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biochemistry, and neuroscience? Does it just become permanently relegated to a kind of "consciousness studies"?
Curiosity is a mode of behaviour that has utility in survival and reproduction, and is instinctive in many species including ours. We humans instinctively seek explanations by thinking about the way the world is. That means making up stories, firstly in order to understand our environment better (conducive to survival and reproduction), secondly to control others and other groups (much of religion seems this way to me), and thirdly simply to scratch that instinctive itch of demanding an explanation (mostly leads to superstitions). When our stories are (or become) testable we can do science with them. What is left for philosophy is the activity of taking a step back from that process of thinking and asking about that process itself -- whether we are thinking about things in the best way or in a questionable way. That's how we get so many branches of philosophy -- philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of knowledge, moral philosophy, political philosophy, etc.
Ginkgo
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by Ginkgo »

Andy Kay wrote:
Kuznetzova wrote: How can the traditional discipline of philosophy continue to thrive in an age of Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biochemistry, and neuroscience? Does it just become permanently relegated to a kind of "consciousness studies"?
Curiosity is a mode of behaviour that has utility in survival and reproduction, and is instinctive in many species including ours. We humans instinctively seek explanations by thinking about the way the world is. That means making up stories, firstly in order to understand our environment better (conducive to survival and reproduction), secondly to control others and other groups (much of religion seems this way to me), and thirdly simply to scratch that instinctive itch of demanding an explanation (mostly leads to superstitions). When our stories are (or become) testable we can do science with them. What is left for philosophy is the activity of taking a step back from that process of thinking and asking about that process itself -- whether we are thinking about things in the best way or in a questionable way. That's how we get so many branches of philosophy -- philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of knowledge, moral philosophy, political philosophy, etc.

In so far as the philosophy of mind is concerned I would just like to add that it is the scientists that dictate the direction of philosophy of mind. In other words, philosophy becomes the handmaiden of science. Now it is the scientists that are doing the philosophy. But it is still philosophy none the less.

Having said that I would point out there are still some philosophers with a non-scientific background contributing to the debate. For example, Jess Prinze makes use of Chalmers and Bayne in his neuroscience.
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hammock
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by hammock »

Kuznetzova wrote:How can the traditional discipline of philosophy continue to thrive in an age of Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biochemistry, and neuroscience? Does it just become permanently relegated to a kind of "consciousness studies"?

"One thinks of French philosophy that it aspires to the condition of literature or the condition of art, and that English and American philosophy aspires to the condition of science. French philosophy [or continental philosophy movements in general], one thinks of as picking up an idea and running with it, possibly into a nearby brick wall or over a local cliff, or something like that." --Ted Honderich

That is, Anglophone philosophy has already largely demoted itself to being a pack of smitten puppies that follows the enterprise / output of natural methodology around. But scientists really have little use for such an orbiting entourage of groupies. It's not like physicists, biologists, etc, are rock star entertainers who would feed upon the admiration exhibited by philosophers trying to emulate them, or care a whit about the work of those latter contemporary thinkers.

Aside from a few brief moments in philosophy of mind, and public mediators still indolently referring to this or that philosophy of science tract when asked "What is science?", perhaps the last glittering era philosophers enjoyed a segment of scientists paying attention to them was:

"The disasterous impact of behaviorism, operationalism and pragmatism on 20th century social science came about, in large part, because some psychologists actually believed what philosophers told them about the 'scientific method'." --Jerry Fodor

Even Daniel Dennett is given slaps on the back because he's viewed as a kind of Benedict Arnold by the scientific establishment, not because they relish any of his ideas that are not rip-offs of their own.

"We are backing the philosophers into a corner and giving them less and less to talk about. In some sense, Dennett is cooperating with the enemy by helping us back the philosophers into a smaller and smaller corner, and I like that." --W. Daniel Hillis

The question thus arises of what you're even doing at a philosophy forum site instead of a science forum. Are you seriously advocating that philosophy modify itself fully into some kind of "para-science", as if "official science" could actually use / need its help? (ROTFLMAO) Or are you just dancing to dirge pipes around what you believe is the unoccupied grave of philosophy, trying to persuade a reluctant zombie that it's time to close down shop and hop into its final resting place? Either way or whatever your goal is, your efforts provide quite a hoot for some of us "woo-woo peddlers". [The latter sort of like Barack Obama being called a "white guy" in your bizarro way of construing people arse-backwards.]

"It is just that philosophical principles have not generally provided us with the right preconceptions. In our hunt for the final theory, physicists are more like hounds than hawks; we have become good at sniffing around on the ground for traces of the beauty we expect in the laws of nature, but we do not seem to be able to see the path to the truth from the heights of philosophy. Physicists do of course carry around with them a working philosophy. For most of us, it is a rough-and-ready realism, a belief in the objective reality of the ingredients of our scientific theories. But this has been learned through the experience of scientific research and rarely from the teachings of philosophers." --Steven Weinberg

Again, I hope you are just a sadistic foot-tapper and bell-jingler prancing around philosophy's grave instead of actually thinking that some "un-traditional" version of philosophy (whatever in hell that would be) demoting itself in an even further groveling stance to science could be a useful bedfellow to the above chaps. Maybe acquiring job security as what? Cheerleaders on the sidelines, an on-demand applauding audience in the background, or providing a roadie-crew of sycophants that also scoop up the canine poop of dog-owning physicists at CERN? Science does not need help in its endeavors, and certainly doesn't need it from wandering disciples rooting around like lost talent scouts in philosophy forums (of all places!). Might as well spray paint a notice on your back that you got banned in all the online science groups, which wouldn't be the first time I saw the Mother Rabbit eat its own young because the latter picked up a stray, alien scent from the wrong side of the tracks.
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by QMan »

Having now been on PN forums for a while it's become evident that the typical secular (as opposed to theistic) contributor has primarily a singular line of reasoning in trying to win the turf battle. S/he up front disqualifies, denigrates, and denies the theist's position even before it is made known. It defies all rules of a debate and suggests that there is an inherent weakness in the secular argument that needs to be protected from being exposed a priory. That takes the form of the woo-woo factor that's been cropping up lately (innocent me had to Google what the heck the woo-woo factor actually is). It is often applied redundantly like above "mystical woo-woo" since by definition it's referring to mystical or similar subject matter to start with. In other words, it is intended to be disrespectful towards that segment of the population that thinks that there is more to life than just atoms and molecules.

Given that a priori attitude it becomes questionable whether one really should or even could engage in a fruitful debate with a person with this type of bias. The reason why I am commenting here is not in the hope of finding present a rational attitude but because I do not want to cede to irrationality without having juxtaposed my point of view, facts, and insight. These are actually available from the threads I participated in that can be viewed just by doing an author search for Qman.

From those it is clear that the secularist does not have a leg to stand on because the probability of just accidentally inhabiting a world without woo-woo is infinitesimal and unprovable by the secularist (which makes them rather desperate). From my appends you would see that the existence of a woo factor by comparison has a much greater likelihood (and in life you should go with the greater likelihood). Let me forestall the secular counter argument right here. The burden of proof is on you as well and my probabilities based on historical records and SCIENTIFIC investigations and conclusions concerning woo-woo are significantly greater than yours. Read my appends.
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Kuznetzova
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by Kuznetzova »

QMan wrote: In other words, it is intended to be disrespectful towards that segment of the population that thinks that there is more to life than just atoms and molecules.

I will say this once again.. and what I am about to say to you has not been challenged or detracted by anyone on this forum, academic or non. It has not found any challenges outside this forum or anywhere else.

When it comes to the daily life of a human being on planet earth, molecular dynamics and chemistry is sufficient physical explanation of all the phenomenon . DAILY LIFE. We don't live on the surface of stars and we don't live near black holes and we don't dwell near bose-einstein condensates and we don't interact with plasmas. We live in humid air that is near room temperature. Molecular dynamics is a sufficient and exhaustive account of what is going on in the room and on your drive to work and elsewhere.


Having now been on PN forums for a while it's become evident that the typical secular (as opposed to theistic) contributor has primarily a singular line of reasoning in trying to win the turf battle. S/he up front disqualifies, denigrates, and denies the theist's position even before it is made known. It defies all rules of a debate and suggests that there is an inherent weakness in the secular argument that needs to be protected from being exposed a priory. That takes the form of the woo-woo factor that's been cropping up lately (innocent me had to Google what the heck the woo-woo factor actually is). It is often applied redundantly like above "mystical woo-woo" since by definition it's referring to mystical or similar subject matter to start with. In other words, it is intended to be disrespectful towards that segment of the population that thinks that there is more to life than just atoms and molecules.

Given that a priori attitude it becomes questionable whether one really should or even could engage in a fruitful debate with a person with this type of bias. The reason why I am commenting here is not in the hope of finding present a rational attitude but because I do not want to cede to irrationality without having juxtaposed my point of view, facts, and insight. These are actually available from the threads I participated in that can be viewed just by doing an author search for Qman.

From those it is clear that the secularist does not have a leg to stand on because the probability of just accidentally inhabiting a world without woo-woo is infinitesimal and unprovable by the secularist (which makes them rather desperate). From my appends you would see that the existence of a woo factor by comparison has a much greater likelihood (and in life you should go with the greater likelihood). Let me forestall the secular counter argument right here. The burden of proof is on you as well and my probabilities based on historical records and SCIENTIFIC investigations and conclusions concerning woo-woo are significantly greater than yours. Read my appends.
The word "secular" is being used above as a sneer and a dog whistle. You are doing precisely the thing which I described in the original post of this thread. Thank you for proving me right.
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Kuznetzova wrote::arrow: Human beings bodies are composed of molecules.

:arrow: Human beings are the products of billions of years of natural selection.

:arrow: The primary purpose of the human brain is the survival and sustenance of the human body in an environment.
.
All the result of the Western Philosophy that you denigrate
QMan
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by QMan »

Kuznetzova wrote:
QMan wrote: In other words, it is intended to be disrespectful towards that segment of the population that thinks that there is more to life than just atoms and molecules.

I will say this once again.. and what I am about to say to you has not been challenged or detracted by anyone on this forum, academic or non. It has not found any challenges outside this forum or anywhere else.

When it comes to the daily life of a human being on planet earth, molecular dynamics and chemistry is sufficient physical explanation of all the phenomenon . DAILY LIFE. We don't live on the surface of stars and we don't live near black holes and we don't dwell near bose-einstein condensates and we don't interact with plasmas. We live in humid air that is near room temperature. Molecular dynamics is a sufficient and exhaustive account of what is going on in the room and on your drive to work and elsewhere.


Having now been on PN forums for a while it's become evident that the typical secular (as opposed to theistic) contributor has primarily a singular line of reasoning in trying to win the turf battle. S/he up front disqualifies, denigrates, and denies the theist's position even before it is made known. It defies all rules of a debate and suggests that there is an inherent weakness in the secular argument that needs to be protected from being exposed a priory. That takes the form of the woo-woo factor that's been cropping up lately (innocent me had to Google what the heck the woo-woo factor actually is). It is often applied redundantly like above "mystical woo-woo" since by definition it's referring to mystical or similar subject matter to start with. In other words, it is intended to be disrespectful towards that segment of the population that thinks that there is more to life than just atoms and molecules.

Given that a priori attitude it becomes questionable whether one really should or even could engage in a fruitful debate with a person with this type of bias. The reason why I am commenting here is not in the hope of finding present a rational attitude but because I do not want to cede to irrationality without having juxtaposed my point of view, facts, and insight. These are actually available from the threads I participated in that can be viewed just by doing an author search for Qman.

From those it is clear that the secularist does not have a leg to stand on because the probability of just accidentally inhabiting a world without woo-woo is infinitesimal and unprovable by the secularist (which makes them rather desperate). From my appends you would see that the existence of a woo factor by comparison has a much greater likelihood (and in life you should go with the greater likelihood). Let me forestall the secular counter argument right here. The burden of proof is on you as well and my probabilities based on historical records and SCIENTIFIC investigations and conclusions concerning woo-woo are significantly greater than yours. Read my appends.
The word "secular" is being used above as a sneer and a dog whistle. You are doing precisely the thing which I described in the original post of this thread. Thank you for proving me right.
As I expected, no sensible reply, just shadowboxing.

No one has argued that we are not living in a world that sustains life. Please don't avoid but address the issue that the vast majority of humanity thinks there is more to life than just atoms and molecules and the right environmental conditions. And you are only capable of addressing that as woo-woo? Not very astute, wouldn't you agree?

You know of course exactly what the word secular refers to. It is you continuing with your derogatory attitude that imputed a derogatory meaning to it. Of course, it is very difficult to act differently from who we are, but it is essential that we do or all may be lost, so let me encourage you to at least try.
Ansiktsburk
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Re: Discourse of the woo-woo peddlers.

Post by Ansiktsburk »

Kuznetsova, the problematic one of your the "cornerstones" is the last:

The primary purpose of the brain is ....

To talk about purposes is not fruitful. It's too much Platon and Aristoteles, to try to find purposes. I don't say that I do not believe in natural selection, but to take it as far as "purposes", well, that's kind of too much. Science is more concerned with "function", and further on, is very careful talking about things as "truths" (Kuhn, paradigms and so on).

To say anything about purpose of the brain, and keeping that totally separate from statements about "how you should live your life" seems kind of naive.

And that' also why philosophy makes as much point now as ever. Science tells you just what it does, nothing more. Since I started take a more active interest in philosophy, I have always liked the notion of "First Science". Take Platon. You can sneer at his "ideal horses", and his purposes(!), but I find them highly intelligent and fruitful in the context he was living in. With the knowledge he had. It is curiosity that leads us to new fields of knowledge, where Science later will give us better answers.

Actually, the third of your commandments sounds a lot Nietzsche...
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