<

Are We Just Molecules in Motion?

How can humans be just molecules on motion? How could this explain consciousness or morality?

Christian apologists object to what they see as the consequences of the naturalistic view—that humans are nothing more than machines. Can this mechanistic outlook explain the facts of consciousness and morality?

In the first place, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle makes clear that we’re not living in a clockwork universe where, if we could only understand the state of things precisely enough, we could in theory predict the future. Quarks are not like billiard balls. Heisenberg states that there is unavoidable randomness at the quantum level, and things are not deterministic. Naturalists agree that a deterministic, molecules-in-motion worldview doesn’t work.

This caricature refuses to go beyond the simple laws governing our molecules. No, consciousness, morality, and other complex human traits don’t follow directly from fundamental quantum laws, but they are examples of emergent phenomena.

Consider water molecules. At a quantum level, the forces are pretty straightforward—electrostatic forces hold things together and heat drives them apart; the strong force keeps the nucleus intact and the weak force governs when it breaks apart; and so on.

The diagram above shows a water molecule, with the bonding angle and distance between nuclei shown. Imagine conveying all this information about water to quantum physicists in another galaxy that doesn’t have water. They would know everything about water but only at the nano scale.

From this, could they deduce the existence of whirlpools, turbulence, erosion, or waves on the shore? Would they anticipate rainbows, clouds, snowflakes, fog, and frost? Could they predict that water self-ionizes or expands as it freezes? No single water molecule possesses the properties of wetness, fluidity, pH, salinity, or surface tension, but these and other properties emerge when trillions of trillions of water molecules are put together.

Wetness isn’t a property of a water molecule; it emerges. Individually it’s not there, but it appears collectively.

Take alloys as another example. If you add water to alcohol, you get dilute alcohol. But if you add tin to copper, you get bronze. Add carbon to iron to get steel. The resulting alloys can be more useful than the elements that make them. Sometimes 1 + 1 = 3.

Take the human brain. Our brains have roughly 100 billion (that’s 1011) neurons. A single neuron doesn’t think 10–11 times as fast; it doesn’t think at all. Thinking is another emergent phenomenon.

Similarly, consciousness doesn’t reside in any one neuron or in any section of the brain; it emerges from an entire working brain. Same with morality. If there’s no need to imagine a mind separate from the brain to explain consciousness in a mouse, why would it be necessary for humans?

Compare a human brain with a lizard brain. A lizard doesn’t have a poorly developed sense of humor (or wit or irony), it has none at all. Humans’ extra brain cells don’t make us a super lizard, they makes us something completely new and different, something emergent.

Denigrate the brain with “we’re just molecules in motion” if you want, but consciousness is like wetness—it emerges out of the whole. There is no need to imagine an objective morality grounded outside the human brain, or a mind to provide consciousness, or a soul to provide personality. All evidence points to their simply being properties of the brain.

Clay is molded to make a pot,
but it is in the space where there is nothing
that the usefulness of the pot lies.
Cut out doors and windows to make a room,
and it is in the spaces where there is nothing
that the usefulness of the room lies.
— Chinese Classic Tao Te Ching

Photo credit: Wikimedia

About Bob Seidensticker
  • Jason

    I guess molecules in motion are not nearly as mechanical as we thought. It seems like a lot of fundamentalist Christians and hardline Atheists miss this in debates. One argues that matter cannot explain the universe and the other that matter is all there is, but both seem to be stuck in a Newtonian view of the universe, in which matter is some kind indivisible stuff. Yes, ‘atom’ means indivisible, but nothing could be father from the truth. There’s not even any ‘stuff” to speak of. There are just whirls of energy that we experience as ‘stuff’ in our daily lives. Then again, just because matter is not really matter is no reason to get superstitious. I think there is a real danger of using poorly understood scientific principles to argue for or explain God. The best we can do is point to things like the uncertainty principle to emphasize the mysterious nature of our universe. Something is happening and we’re a part of it, but who knows what ‘it’ is? I don’t see an obvious God principle in all of this either.

  • DrewL

    This argument could be lifted directly from C.S. Lewis. I think you’ve read Christian apologists so long you’re starting to sound like them.

    Generally you will meet many atheists who don’t understand the concept of emergence and will argue for what Lewis calls “nothing-buttery”: we’re nothing but molecules/atoms/subatomic particles/string theory etc. This is a form of reductionism that plagues a lot of science. You don’t meet many religious folks who go in that direction.

    Now your challenge would be to put your last paragraph in conversation with this wikipedia article:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism
    Mainly, is there even a need to imagine an objective reality outside the brain, if you argue we don’t need an objective morality outside the brain?

    • Matti

      Is there more substance to your argument than “well then, you might as well go for solipsism! ha!” ?

      If you have a killer argument against solipsism that can only be derived from your worldview, you should add it to the wikipedia page. As it stands, there seem to be many potent responses/criticisms to it but no fatal ones so could be a lot of fame to be won there.

      If on the other hand you have no such argument, you might re-consider flinging solipsism in the face of others as if it were some powerful refutation.

      • DrewL

        You misunderstood my post: Bob’s argument against scientific reductionism is fine, but the connection to morality seems hastily done. I would just like to see him develop that connection further less he be susceptible to charges of solipsism. That would mess up some of his other epistemological commitments quite severely.

        You seem to want an argument here, sorry to let you down.

    • Matti

      I mean, I’ve gathered that your whole shtick is trying to pin discredited/outdated philosophical views on your opponents and then trying to look like the most intellectually rigorous person in the room by informing everyone that no philosopher espouses those views any more, but for once I’d like to see you refute something, for example solipsism, in your own words.

    • Darren

      I do not think Bob is going for Solipsism, but instead Physicalism.

      “Outside” may not have been the best choice of words, as I read it metaphorically, not literally. An alternate might be along the lines of, “Since we need not look to some (outside) agency in addition to physical processes to explain cognition and consciousness, we likewise need not look to some (outside) agency in addition to physical processes to explain morality (to the extent that morality could be said to actually exist).”

      Not that I think you need this explanation, but I hope it might contribute to the discussion.

    • Bob Seidensticker

      Drew:

      This argument could be lifted directly from C.S. Lewis.

      Interesting. I hadn’t seen Lewis argue that nature is sufficient to explain things like consciousness.

  • Richard S. Russell

    An excellent analysis.
     
    One tangent I’d like to just mention briefly is that opening observation about “Christian apologists object to what they see as the consequences of the naturalistic view—that humans are nothing more than machines. Can this mechanistic outlook explain the facts of consciousness and morality?”
     
    You make the case that simple mechanics isn’t all we have to draw upon, but let’s say it were. So what? So what if we DID live in a Newtonian clockwork universe, and absolutely everything could be predicted from a long chain of prior causes. What difference would it make? We’d still FEEL as if we were drawing our own conclusions, and indeed it’s that powerful sense that we are captains of our own destinies that provides those Christian apologists with their motivation. A deterministic universe just doesn’t FEEL right, either to them or to us. But what if it were? Again, so what? If that’s where our quest for truth leads us, so what if it makes us uncomfortable?
     
    As George Bernard Shaw pointed out, “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one.”
     
    I leave you with this wry observation: “I behave as if I have free will, because, really, what choice do I have?”

    • Bob Seidensticker

      Richard:

      I love that last quip!

      The whole free will thing is a black hole that I don’t have strong opinions on or the time to wrestle with. But let me just toss out one idea for your consideration.

      I had thought that Heisenberg rescued free will. That is, if things are random at the atomic level, then any determinism must have an inherently limited range. The predictability runs out after the random quantum fluctuations bubble up to our macro level, like the butterfly that chaotically “causes” a hurricane years after it flapped its wings.

      So if that’s the case, determinism is gone. And, I thought, free will was salvaged. But then I realized that you’ve simply added randomness as a cause of one’s actions. My actions are caused by prior states plus cosmic particles or quantum fluctuations changing my brain. Yes, determinism is gone, but you haven’t regained free will and personal responsibility.

      • Jason

        I agree that free will is key to this discussion. I just want to add that I think the whole notion of free will largely depends on some kind of dualistic framework. The ‘free’ in free will means that there must be something in each person that is not subject to the normal chain of material cause and effect. In other words, there must be something isolated from nature as a whole and able to make choices freely. I don’t see how randomness at the atomic level could account for this. Random is not free. It’s just unpredictable. In terms of what we know about the universe, the only thing that suggests free will is the subjective experience of feeling like you make your own decisions. Claiming to be a materialist (or even an emergent phenomena materialist) and believe in free will is trying to have your cake and eat it too.

        • Darren

          “Claiming to be a materialist (or even an emergent phenomena materialist) and believe in free will is trying to have your cake and eat it too.”

          Oh, I never claimed to have free will. I just claim that the math required to work out my state vector to a sufficiently precise error is _really_ hard. :)

          I have always suspected the Theistic concept of Free Will was just an anti-Calvinist Sophistry:

          It is unjust for God to send innocent people to Hell.

          God sends people to Hell.

          Therefore people are not innocent. Free Will, Original Sin, take your pick.

          As a Materialist, I have never been troubled by the Free Will question. I see it as more of a problem for those insisting upon the Theistic trinity of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence. This leads, by my reading, inescapably to the specter of Predestination and God being responsible for every bad thing that ever happened, Hitler, Stalin, and all those souls born and fated for Hell. This used to be just fine, God saved the Elect, the rest where screwed. It was only when the Post-Enlightenment concept of Justice backflowed into the Church that Christians started to get a little uncomfortable with the idea.

          IMO.

        • Jason

          Vectors of any kind are out of my league. Actually, I’m not sure about the details, but I agree that our inability to escape free will as a matter of fact assumption is largely a product of Judeo-Christian debates. Free will helps explain suffering and why God’s punishments are just. Actually, it’s rather funny how we deal with the concept of free will from a legal perspective. If someone commits a crime while mentally ill or temporarily insane, we say that they were not as responsible for their actions. In other words, their will was not free because we can identify some external force that caused them to make their bad decisions (and thus not be responsible for them). But that whole framework assumes that our normal way of making decision is in isolation from external forces. But really, don’t all of us who accept mainstream science believe that all people and their actions are a product of genetic and cultural forces not subject to one’s will?

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Jason:

          Free will helps explain suffering and why God’s punishments are just.

          We act as God designed us to act and so we’re consigned to hell forever? God’s “justice” is pretty messed up and certainly unlike what we have in the dictionary.

        • Darren

          “We act as God designed us to act and so we’re consigned to hell forever? God’s “justice” is pretty messed up and certainly unlike what we have in the dictionary.”

          Exactly. Thus, the need for Free Will. God created us as perfect beings, which of course requires Free Will, since anything less would be Less Perfect, and with that Free Will we chose to rebel against God. That our conception of Justice is different than this is only indicative that our conception of Justice is flawed, not God’s. (I could go on with this Christian Turing emulation, but I do have work to do this morning, and I would just be parroting answers given by others). How our conception of Justice is flawed depends on whom one asks: A Fundamentalist will tend to say that we are just wrong, and need to change back to the Golden Days of Yore when Washington and Adams and all the loyal Patriots frolicked in a magical land of the Ten Commandments and things were Good; A Thomist will likely come up with a convoluted, though plausible sounding, argument to show that God’s plan is Just, and always has been, and never could be anything else, and how when you examine our modern sense of Justice in the proper context you will see that there is no conflict and never was – these are not the droids you are looking for…

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Darren:

          God created us as perfect beings, which of course requires Free Will

          I imagine heaven is a perfect place. Will we have free will there? If so, why will it work out nicely there–I presume there are no serial killers or rapists in heaven–but it doesn’t work out here?

          That our conception of Justice is different than this is only indicative that our conception of Justice is flawed, not God’s.

          Our conception of justice is what we’ve put down in the dictionary. If God diverges from this, then God is not just. Pretend that it’s some sort of superior justice that we simply can’t fathom if you want, but don’t call what God does “justice.” It’s pretty simple.

        • Darren

          Just to clarify, I did point out I was emulating the Christian arguments, not espousing my own…

        • Jason

          Hey Bob, I think you took my statement out of context. I said “Free will helps explain suffering and why God’s punishments are just” in order to show that the concept of free will is in part an inheritance from Christian debates trying to justify God’s punishment of the wicked (i.e. bad people make bad decisions based on free will and therefore retribution is just). I’m not endorsing such a statement. Personally, I don’t really believe in free will or God.

          Also, you confused me with JohnH below!

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Jason:

          Also, you confused me with JohnH below!

          I’m easily confused! Thanks for the correction.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Darren:

          Just to clarify, I did point out I was emulating the Christian arguments, not espousing my own…

          Sorry! Looks like another misunderstanding.

      • chris buchholz

        the problem is, even with uncertainty, that is just randomness, it is no better for free will than straight determinims. Am I any freeer if at a base level my thoughts are determined randomly? Not really, because whether random or a chain of causality, my brain is still controlling me, not the other way around

        I think the key here is to just get people to understand consciousness as emergent behavior, which could be true even without the uncertainty principle. Maybe that should be saved for a free will discussion, since it apparently has gotten us off track.

        I did not really even understand emergent behavior until I delved a lot more deeply into game theory, which necessarily involved math and modelling via computers. Then I saw how you can make patterns emerge with simple rules that are not related to the patterns at all (as far as purpose). The flying V of geese is the most famous example in nature.

        And we’ve used the same modeling to prove that evolution towards increasing complexity is an emergent property of any system that has replication with randomness and also selection. Despite people throwing the 2nd law of thermodynamics in our faces.

  • jose

    The “just” part annoys me. Just as well it could be said your post is just pixels on a screen, therefore it doesn’t deserve any attention.

  • JohnH

    I believe that spirit is matter which doesn’t obey all the same laws as normal matter, so saying we are matter in motion is a non-issue. The issue is the claim that we are emergent phenomena which I don’t believe is true. Of course, I also believe that mice have souls as do subatomic particles and lizards so the post doesn’t even begin to address my beliefs.

    Of course not even beginning to address my beliefs might be closer to hitting the target you were aiming for then what you have done for two theories on the concept of soul each of which you have essentially given arguments in favor of them. DrewL is right, this could have been lifted nearly without edits from some Christian apologetic websites excluding the last paragraph.

    • Jason

      “I believe that spirit is matter which doesn’t obey all the same laws as normal matter, so saying we are matter in motion is a non-issue.”

      Normal matter? Can you give an example of matter that is not normal? Which matter is spirit and which is not? It seems like you want to give up ways of talking about the universe that we can ground in scientific data and opt instead for something less clear and less well founded. Why do that?

      • JohnH

        Dark matter appears not to be normal matter. Neutrinos are not normal matter. As are photons. Whether any of them are spirit matter is something that I don’t know.

        It isn’t a scientific theory, but something that is revealed in my scriptures the point of which was not to give an explicit testable treatment of the subject but was on a different subject entirely.

      • Mr. X

        Normal matter? Can you give an example of matter that is not normal? Which matter is spirit and which is not? It seems like you want to give up ways of talking about the universe that we can ground in scientific data and opt instead for something less clear and less well founded. Why do that?”

        Actually there’s a very good reason for not talking about the mind in scientific ways: the early scientists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries essentially defined science as the study of the natural world in terms of mind-independent phenomena. Obviously one cannot get a full account of the mind by studying only mind-independent phenomena, so it’s impossible even in principle to have a proper scientific account of the mind.

        • machintelligence

          While it is true that science has ways of recognizing and correcting observer effects, it is incorrect to state that the mind is “magical” and immune to scientific study. It is incredibly complicated, of course, but we are nibbling away at the edges of the phenomenon. Given enough time and effort, the mind will be understood and electronic equivalents produced. People (and all living things) are basically moist robots (thanks Dilbert). Richard Dawkins summed it up nicely: “We are survival machines, robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.”

        • JohnH

          I don’t think it is “magical” or that it remains forever beyond the realm of scientific study; I just don’t have a good scientific theory to back up what my scriptures say on the subject yet. I am perfectly willing to take us being meat robots as the working hypothesis as I imagine that perusing that line of research will eventually better expose what it is that we actually are and how that is different from a finite state machine (Turing approximation).

          Of course, excluding coming up with what it is that we are saying that we are Turing machines is just as unfalsifiable and unscientific as saying anything else. If in 1o years (or however long it is that the prophets of the singularity currently claim it will happen now (or 100 years or 1000 year)) we don’t have human like AI it will always be possible for one to claim that it just because we don’t have the right design or right hardware.

        • Richard S. Russell

          John, I’m curious as to why you give a rip WHAT your scriptures say on the subject. Surely real-world experience with high-precision instruments and the benefit of centuries of advanced thinking counts for more than some ancient blathering on matters the writers knew little about.
           
          If your scriptures said the world was flat, had 4 corners, and could be seen in its entirety from the top of a mountain peak (which, curiously, could not itself be seen from anywhere), why would you pay the least attention to them?

        • JohnH

          First, the scripture that I am referring to isn’t all that ancient.

          Second, you make the assumption that there wasn’t a revelation from God that led to the scripture, which directly contradicts the claim of how the scripture was received. Not that I imagine you care about that but the fact that I believe that my scriptures are true combined with believing that God knows everything that is knowable answers your question.

          “the world was flat, had 4 corners, and could be seen in its entirety from the top of a mountain peak (which, curiously, could not itself be seen from anywhere)”

          I imagine you are referring specifically to Isaiah 40:22 (as I doubt that you are familiar with the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price)? Then I imagine that the reference is to the mountain of the Lord’s house and that the Spirit of the Lord had descended transfiguring the writer into another state of existence (possibly another fourth or higher dimensional frame of reference) where the writer was shown the whole earth in its entire S2-ness, not in Isaiah’s account (as he is clearly laying out temple endowment symbolism) but included in Moses’s account is the showing of the earth through all time. Of course the 4 corners are symbolic of completeness and it is a symbolism that we still use today with “the West”, the Middle-East, the Far East, and the Global South centered suspiciously enough (ie Middle) somewhere around Jerusalem.

        • Richard S. Russell

          “First, the scripture that I am referring to isn’t all that ancient.”

          OK, then, let’s not be coy about it. Which scripture ARE you referring to, and how old is it?

          “Second, you make the assumption that there wasn’t a revelation from God that led to the scripture, which directly contradicts the claim of how the scripture was received.”

          Yes, since there’s no evidence whatsoever that any scripture in all of history came from anywhere other than the mind or hand of some human being, I do indeed make that assumption. If you have any evidence whatsoever that the assumption is unfounded, this would be a swell time to trot it out, otherwise you’re just another god-botherer who has made a completely baseless and arbitrary choice as to WHICH of the many writings making similar unfounded (and mutually contradictory) claims he capriciously chooses to subscribe to.
           
          And you still haven’t responded to my question about why you pay attention to them at all. There are real scientists performing real science. If they come up with findings that contradict what your chosen scriptures say (as has happened several thousand times so far in the course of history), why would you prefer to believe the scriptures rather than the scientists? After all, the scientists can demonstrate what led them to their conclusions. The scriptures typically just make bald assertions without providing any supporting evidence, let alone citing reproducible experiments that can be used to confirm their outlandish claims.

        • JohnH

          “Which scripture ARE you referring to, and how old is it?”
          The Doctrine and Covenants is the book of scripture that contains what I am referring to; given your such inspiring of confidence I will leave it to you to take a minute or so on Google finding the exact reference, 1843 is when one of the revelations I am referring to was written.

          “no evidence whatsoever that any scripture in all of history”
          Completely disagree with you, for instance Deuteronomy 28-30 which speaks of the scattering and gathering of the Jews was enough to get Bob to barely admit that it was indeed evidence of God. Evidence doesn’t convert and if one is invested in a position that such and such book of scripture is not from God no amount of evidence will actually convince a person, they will always find something *anything* regardless of how flimsy to try and say that it is not convincing evidence.

          “you still haven’t responded to my question about why you pay attention to them at all.”
          Because they are from God, which is what I responded previously.

        • Richard S. Russell

          A dozen different books CLAIM to be “from God”. Why do you think YOURS really is? Why not any of the others? All of them make the same claim, so it can’t be JUST the claim alone that’s doing the trick. They can’t all be right. (But they CAN all be wrong, which is where the smart money is being placed.)
           
          but let’s go one step further and admit, for the sake of argument, that yours really and truly are the only books from God, and all the others (but not yours) were written by liars (or, to be charitable, deluded people). Why do you automatically assume that God’s giving you the straight scoop and not having a little fun with you?

        • Mr. X

          Machine Intelligence:

          “While it is true that science has ways of recognizing and correcting observer effects, it is incorrect to state that the mind is “magical” and immune to scientific study.”

          Good job I never actually said the mind is magical, then.

          “It is incredibly complicated, of course, but we are nibbling away at the edges of the phenomenon. Given enough time and effort, the mind will be understood and electronic equivalents produced.”

          I don’t think so. See my reply to Jason below.

          “People (and all living things) are basically moist robots (thanks Dilbert). Richard Dawkins summed it up nicely: “We are survival machines, robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.””

          Except that blindly programmed robots don’t have consciousness and free-will, making this a rather flawed analogy.

        • JohnH

          Richard:
          ” Why do you think YOURS really is?”
          Because I asked God and got an answer.

          “A dozen different books CLAIM to be “from God”.”
          Please clarify which books you are talking about here.

          “Why not any of the others?”
          You obviously are not familiar enough with my faith if you think we claim this.

          “They can’t all be right.”
          Let me see your list, but regardless, in their original form it is likely most were right and that the additions, subtractions, and mistranslations or transmitting either purposeful or not have rendered many corrupted in varying degrees.

          “only books from God”
          I believe that most religions texts are either inspired by God, based on something inspired by God, or based on revelation from God.

          “Why do you automatically assume that God’s giving you the straight scoop and not having a little fun with you?”
          God can not lie, as those particular scriptures were based on direct revelation from God and written down originally in English of which we have the original documents then there no chance for the revelation to have been mistranslated or corrupted.

        • Richard S. Russell

          God cannot lie, eh? Guess that pretty much wraps it up in the “all-powerful” department, then.
           
          Or does it? After all, don’t ALL liars start out with “trust me”? How do you KNOW he can’t lie? His word for it? Hmmmm.
           
          Or maybe you’re taking the word of people who CLAIM that they received their “revelation” directly from God, but that just pushes the question of who’s conning whom into murkier territory, doesn’t it?
           
          Rather than bore you with MY amateurish list of scriptures, I just looked up these 4 dozen on Wikipedia:
             http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_books
          See, divine revelation is a game any idiot can play; thousands have; no surprise that some of them were literate.

        • Richard S. Russell

          Sorry, should have written “any idiot OR CHARLATAN”.

        • JohnH

          Problem with your list of Holy Books is that it lists all holy books regardless of if they claim to be from God or not. For instance the classics of Confucianism do not, Buddhist texts do not, the writings of Ellen White, and a large portion of the rest of that list also do not claim to be from God. That was the entire reason that I asked to see your list as there are quite a lot fewer texts that actually claim to be from God then what you apparently think there are. Please try again, thanks.

          “you’re taking the word of people who CLAIM that they received their “revelation” directly from God”

          I don’t think you read my post very carefully, you are missing something highly important here, please re-read it and try again, thanks.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          I’d like to response to Richard’s comment:

          Why do you automatically assume that God’s giving you the straight scoop and not having a little fun with you?

          Indeed, why assume that it’s God at all? Messing with your mind is exactly what the Dark Lord® would do! How can any believer show that his god is a good guy and not a bad guy? Just through faith, I suppose (but that’s exactly what Satan would want you to do!).

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          Deuteronomy 28-30 which speaks of the scattering and gathering of the Jews …

          You pick and choose Old Testament fragments that support history and figure that it was impossible for this to happen without godly intervention? That’s a stretch.

          …was enough to get Bob to barely admit that it was indeed evidence of God

          And the statement “I have a unicorn in my garage” is evidence of unicorns. But not very compelling evidence.

          Evidence doesn’t convert and if one is invested in a position that such and such book of scripture is not from God no amount of evidence will actually convince a person

          So your argument devolves to “just believe”? You’re not even going to try to provide evidence that your religion is true? Just gonna throw in the towel? I applaud your honest appraisal of your position, but this is surprising.

        • JohnH

          ” You’re not even going to try to provide evidence that your religion is true?”
          I do in fact occasionally provide evidence that my religion is true as noted. I often don’t then defend the evidence nor do I provide all the evidence that I am aware of. Why should I? As noted you are emotionally invested in your position and have faith in it being true so any evidence provided will be discounted regardless of the gymnastics required to do so.

          “And the statement “I have a unicorn in my garage” is evidence of unicorns. But not very compelling evidence.”

          Really, Bob? I point to documented revelation that is at least 2500 years old (but claims to be something like 4000 years old) and the documented historical events of the fulfillment of the revelation, which you agreed did happen, and the best you can come up with is a unicorn rejoinder? I can show you my evidence again in regards to this point, you can not show me your unicorn.

          “You pick and choose Old Testament fragments that support history and figure that it was impossible for this to happen without godly intervention?”
          I picked the discourse of Moses where he gives the promise of the blessing and cursing of Israel and the eventual gathering of Israel and you think it was picking a fragment? Go look it up again.

        • Richard S. Russell

          Really, John, you’re going to play that silly little game? I aim you at a website that more than fulfills your request to name for you “some” books that claim to be “from God”, and you completely ignore all the ones that do to point out that a few of them do not? Okay, then, 2 can play this game. Here’s one holy text, The Sacred Book of Kush, that fulfills your requirement.
           
          So, to return to the question I originally asked, which you’ve been dodging ever since, why do you think that your “scriptures”, claiming to be “from God”, really are, but all of the many, many others are not?

          Incidentally, I must say I truly appreciate the irony of your earlier observation — “… if one is invested in a position that such and such book of scripture is not from God no amount of evidence will actually convince a person, they will always find something *anything* regardless of how flimsy to try and say that it is not convincing evidence.” — with its strategically placed occurrences of “not”.

        • JohnH

          “with its strategically placed occurrences of “not”.”
          You would actually need to reword it a little more then that.

          ” why do you think that your “scriptures”, claiming to be “from God”, really are, but all of the many, many others are not?”
          Two things, you appear to have completely ignored one of my posts, relatively few of those that actually claim to be from God have no basis in something that is not from God. Second, I prayed and asked God about if my scriptures were from him, as I already stated.

          “The Sacred Book of Kush”
          Considering as it claims that Kush doesn’t understand the law of economics yet is all knowing, this appears to be an internal contradiction which would appear to render the book false. Also, Kush can not be heard yet speaks to his prophet which also is apparently a contradiction, but not as fatal as the first.

          Second, based on the other sources that I know to be from God then it would appear that Kush is either a devil (or a figment of a lying mans imagination) as it makes claims such as everything written about the other claimant to Supreme Being-hood is false. Also given that Kush can’t be seen or heard or felt and is ever present would better fit the general description of the devil then of God.

          Even were I to assume the possibility that God is lying and Kush is not I would still follow God as even following the given command of sending $10 to the prophet of Kush does not mean that I will not itch per the text I will just learn if I am included in the itching apparently meaning I am predestined to itch or not regardless of sending the $10, making sending the $10 pointless. On the other hand the commands of God to love my neighbor as myself, to no murder, to not steal, to not lie, to honor my father and my mother, to not commit adultery or anything like unto it, and etc. would provably and demonstrably leave me and society better off then were I not to follow those laws. That is following God even if God were impossibly lying about His status blesses my life and the lives of those around me, following Kush does nothing for me even if true, therefore I will serve the Lord and trust that He is what He says He is.

        • Darren

          ”Considering as it claims that Kush doesn’t understand the law of economics yet is all knowing, this appears to be an internal contradiction which would appear to render the book false.’

          This is a common error based on a simple mistranslation from the original Archaic Kush, through Middle Kush, then into Aramaic, then Latin, then pig-Latin, then into Esperanto, then Fortran 77, then finally into English.

          The original sense of the verse was more in line with only the Lord Kush understanding economics, but no one else, except for Marx, but he was cursed so that no man could understand Marx, so it would be OK.

        • Richard S. Russell

          So you prayed TO GOD and asked him where your scriptures came from, right? Why TO GOD and not, say, Ahura Mazda or Quetzlcoatl? Or Kush? Did you phrase it as a true/false question or provide him with the opportunity for multiple choice? Did he fax you his answer or deliver it in person? (I’m guessing this was before e-mail, but maybe not.) And, not to trample too much on Bob’s already plowed ground, but how can you be sure your answer came from God and not some malevolent spirit trying to steer you down the road to perdition by making you believe in a FALSE God?
           
          I am pleased to see that you view internal contradictions in any holy book with suspicion, indeed, as a FATAL flaw. So, if there were internal contradictions in YOUR holy books, that would pretty well be the death knell for them, eh?
           
          If you think about it a little more deeply, you’ll realize that Kush is offering you a much better deal than God. Mess with Kush and he’ll only deliver an itchy back, whereas with God you don’t even have to mess with him, merely disappoint him and you’ll fry forever. You might want to rethink that $10 investment in your eternal future. Kush offers a pretty sweet deal if you think about it, and he’s not even as demanding as God.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Richard:

          I’m now a Kushite! Thanks for the timeless wisdom, my brother.

          (Tomorrow’s post is vaguely in the same direction. I hope you like it.)

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          you are emotionally invested in your position and have faith in it being true so any evidence provided will be discounted regardless of the gymnastics required to do so.

          If you say so. I’m surprised that you hang around if I’m so pigheaded.

          I point to documented revelation that is at least 2500 years old (but claims to be something like 4000 years old) and the documented historical events of the fulfillment of the revelation, which you agreed did happen, and the best you can come up with is a unicorn rejoinder?

          If you have some excellent biblical prophecy that meets the criteria that any of us would use for separating the truly supernatural from what could be easily explained with natural causes, please point them out to me. I’ve not seen such a thing in the Bible.

          I picked the discourse of Moses where he gives the promise of the blessing and cursing of Israel and the eventual gathering of Israel

          What are we talking about? The 1948 creation of the state of Israel? I don’t see this as a particularly remarkable event. Am I missing something?

        • JohnH

          ” TO GOD and asked him where your scriptures came from, right? ”
          Yes.

          “Why TO GOD and not, say, Ahura Mazda or Quetzlcoatl? ”
          Ahura Mazda is God, Quetzlcoatl could potentially have origins in Christ.

          ” Did you phrase it as a true/false question or provide him with the opportunity for multiple choice?”
          True/false.

          “Did he fax you his answer or deliver it in person? ”
          You have a highly elevated opinion of my age, regardless through the Holy Ghost so I guess it would be delivered it through a messenger.

          “making you believe in a FALSE God?”
          See post above, if false I am still blessed by following Him.

          ” that would pretty well be the death knell for them, eh?”
          Not for the Bible given the amount of transcription and translation involved in getting it to us. The Book of Mormon and D&C then sure, if there were an actual internal contradiction then sure.

          “merely disappoint him and you’ll fry forever”
          That isn’t what the scriptures say.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Jason:

          if false I am still blessed by following Him.

          We must be thinking about different definitions of “Him.” The dude in the Old Testament is a pretty nasty piece of work. I might worship him if sucking up would help me avoid hell, but it wouldn’t be with a song in my heart. Yahweh was an SOB.

        • JohnH

          Bob,
          “What are we talking about? ”
          I didn’t think you were old enough to have to worry about dementia.

          “What are we talking about? The 1948 creation of the state of Israel? I don’t see this as a particularly remarkable event. Am I missing something?”

          You are missing the Moses promised the Israelite that they would be scattered through out the whole earth, that there they would be killed and persecuted, and that eventually they would be gathered back to the original lands from which they came, in much more detail then that though. As he promised they were scattered, as promised they were persecuted and killed, and as promised they are again gathering to the land of Israel. As was mentioned in the other thread starting in the 1830′s there was a group of people that were predicting that this would occur within a generation of them and had absolutely no power with which to make the prophecy self fulfilling.

          “I’m now a Kushite! ”
          You sent the prophet of Kush the $10? Are you predestined to itch or not?

        • JohnH

          “I’m surprised that you hang around if I’m so pigheaded”
          If you are asking me to leave because you find such discussions uninteresting then I can, just let me know.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          You are missing the Moses promised the Israelite

          I haven’t tried to find the chapters you’re thinking of, but I don’t see anything supernatural. Are you saying that I can’t find in the OT a single false statement from the mouth of a prophet? If such statements exist, then why is it marvelous that a few turn out to be accurate and a few are not?

          Since God knew about Israel being formed in 1948, the aftermath of World War II from which it came, the Balfour Declaration, the first prime ministers, and a thousand other historical facts, he didn’t do a very good job in showing that Moses was accurately prophesying.

          If “Moses prophesied that they would be persecuted, scattered, and then reunited, and it happened!” is a compelling “prophecy” for you, I fear that you’re destined to be perpetually sucked in by tabloid claims of mystics and seers.

        • Darren

          Pretty sure the passages mentioned were referring to the Babylonian Exile, and were written or revised either during the exile or shortly after.

          Had they been about the Holocaust and the event thereafter, they certainly would have been a lot more useful if they had said something along the lines of, “If you happen to be living in Germany, Poland, or Hungary, make sure you leave _before_ 1938, when your visas are still good, not after, when you will all be gassed and burned”. And if you imagine Mel Brooks saying it, with a little shrug at the end, it is even more funny.

        • Darren

          BTW, it is Deuteronomy 4:27–31, and the claim that it applies to the 1948 establishment of Israel dates to 1830 with John Darby’s Rapture theory.

          This claim ignores both the Assyrian captivity of 722 BCE and the Babylonian exile of 586 BCE.

          Thanks to “Rapture Refuted”, http://www.bible.ca/premillennialism-rapture-replacement-theology-supersessionism-israeli-statehood-became-nation-1948.htm

          To the original point, what I think Bob would have agreed to, as would I, is that provided the prophecy in question could be shown to have actually been written _prior_ to the events, and was clear enough that it could have been used to predict the events _before_ hand, then it could be considered as one, single, data point in the “God Exhists” theorem. It could also fit into other models, though, and so would require many more data points to establish the truth of the God Model.

          This is the sort of thing that makes Theist cry, “Foul!” That we Rationalist ignore their most cherished ‘proofs’. They fail to understand that it is not a single piece of evidence, for or against, that establishes the truth or falsity of a model, unless that evidence is one humdinger doozy. Darwin did not ‘prove’ natural selection with one Finch beak, nor did the Higher Critics ‘disprove’ the bible solely on the improbably consumption of pigeons by the Levite priesthood. The stronger the data, the less is needed to establish truth or falsity. The weaker or more equivocal the data, the more that is needed.

          It is also not sufficient to just fit a model to the data, it requires the ability to make predictions that are then born out by later evidence that really establishes a model as true.

          A prophecy that may, or may not, have been referring to one of, at least, three historical events, and which may, or may not, have been written after one or two of those events, and which failed to allow a single person to recognize and take action against any of those events prior to their occurrence… That is a pretty weak data point.

        • JohnH

          Bob,
          “Are you saying that I can’t find in the OT a single false statement from the mouth of a prophet?”
          I am positive that you can find things that you think are false statements from the mouth of a prophet, I am not aware of any that are actually false, though I am aware of many that haven’t come to pass yet.

          “Since God knew about Israel being formed in 1948, the aftermath of World War II from which it came”
          Since you apparently haven’t actually read the passage in question then I don’t think you actually know what you are talking about. Since you aren’t familiar with the other prophecies on the subject both ancient and modern then you really don’t know what you are talking about.

          Darren,
          “Had they been about the Holocaust and the event thereafter, ”
          My church repeatedly sent letters to the Jews in Europe starting in the 1840′s warning them to flee to the land of Israel.

          ” it is Deuteronomy 4:27–31,”
          No, I know what I was referring to, that set of verses doesn’t give nearly the detail. There are similar verses in Leviticus, and similarly a chapter that gives more detail.

          “the claim that it applies to the 1948 establishment of Israel dates to 1830 with John Darby’s Rapture theory.”

          You got that exactly backwards, from the site:

          “For the 100 years after John Darby invented rapture in 1830 AD, more attention was paid to the pyramids and creative combinations of numbers to predict the second coming. None of them based their end of the world countdown clock on Israel becoming a nation in 1948.”

          What you are trying to say is that the Rapturists use things like Luke 21 and the retaking of Jerusalem on June 4 1967 to predict either when the world is going to end or when their “rapture” will happen. None of them prophesied of either event beforehand, they just use it after the fact. My church did prophesy of both events beforehand.

          “which failed to allow a single person to recognize and take action against any of those events prior to their occurrence”
          And again, I already pointed out that this is false. See for instance “A voice from Jerusalem , or, A sketch of the travels and ministry of Elder Orson Hyde ” especially the introduction, published in 1842.

        • Darren

          “Had they been about the Holocaust and the event thereafter, ”
          My church repeatedly sent letters to the Jews in Europe starting in the 1840′s warning them to flee to the land of Israel.”

          Interesting, if true. I presume you have copies of them? Certainly, if your church could produce documentation to the effect that it correctly anticipated the Jewish Holocaust of the 1940’s from a vantage of over a hundred years prior, and published this data, and took concrete steps to warn the Jewish people, then it would certainly count as a data point supporting the God hypothesis, and your Church’s God more specifically. I would be very interested, indeed, in seeing such evidence, as I am sure your Church would be eager to provide it.

          Just so we are paying attention, are there any contemporary genocides your Church is warning against? I would imagine the UN might be interested, to say nothing of speculators.

          “the claim that it applies to the 1948 establishment of Israel dates to 1830 with John Darby’s Rapture theory.”
          You got that exactly backwards, from the site:”

          Whoops, you are right about that. Certainly, if the Darby _had_ been predicting the 1940’s Holocaust from the 1830’s, that would have been very interesting. I did present it backwards, thanks for the correction.

          “which failed to allow a single person to recognize and take action against any of those events prior to their occurrence”
          And again, I already pointed out that this is false. See for instance “A voice from Jerusalem , or, A sketch of the travels and ministry of Elder Orson Hyde ” especially the introduction, published in 1842.”

          Well, anything other than a vague admonishment to the Jews that “God would restore them to Palestine”? In the 1840’s? When it did not even happen until 100 years later? Not big on the specifics, is he?

          Here is a simple test. Present us some documentation (evidence) of a level sufficient to say, oh for example, the level that you would require of a mutual fund that your mother was considering selling her house and investing the proceeds into. That is really not an onerous standard, surely. Would you advise her to invest in Yahweh Fund with a prospectus claiming, “We anticipate our fund will go up, some amount, at some time in the future.”

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          I am positive that you can find things that you think are false statements from the mouth of a prophet, I am not aware of any that are actually false, though I am aware of many that haven’t come to pass yet.

          That’s not much motivation for me to try to find any, unfortunately, since you’ll simply tell me that I’m mistaken.

          Since you apparently haven’t actually read the passage in question

          … then you probably ought to give it to me so I can do so.

          My church repeatedly sent letters to the Jews in Europe starting in the 1840′s warning them to flee to the land of Israel.

          Why? Just random fear mongering? If this is supposed to show that your church knew about the Holocaust, the dates show otherwise.

          My church did prophesy of both events beforehand.

          Wait–are you saying that your church made a prophecy that, if made by someone else’s church, you would take as coming from God? Tell me more.

        • Richard S. Russell

          I pretty well kissed off all thot of taking Biblical prophecy seriously when they couldn’t even get out of the very 1st chapter of the very 1st book of the New Testament without a giant whopper of prophecy failure. (Matthew 1:23 and 25, if you’re curious.) The amazing thing to me is that this passage gets read from the pulpit in virtually every Protestant church in the world every year at Christmas, and nobody ever notices! It just goes to reinforce what I’ve long said about the difference between education and indoctrination: It’s whether the person at the front of the room invites questions from the audience.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          I just came across this passage (Zeph. 2:5):

          Woe to you who live by the sea,
          you Kerethite people;
          the word of the Lord is against you,
          Canaan, land of the Philistines.
          He says, “I will destroy you,
          and none will be left.”

          Zephaniah is on a hateful rampage but, like God’s promise that he’ll wipe out the inhabitants of Canaan, these promises don’t seem to have been fulfilled.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Richard: I knew of that clash, but I didn’t realize that the contradiciton was made so plain in the NT.

          The Bible: Big Book of Irony.

        • JohnH

          Bob,
          Wikipedia has almost nothing on the Kerethite people, you would think that if such a people survived and some were left that more would be known about them, in particular who they
          are/were.

          Darren,
          “I presume you have copies of them?”
          The introduction to the book I mentioned contains a copy of the first such letter.

          “I am sure your Church would be eager to provide it.”
          Why would you think that?

          “are there any contemporary genocides your Church is warning against?”
          Not any specific genocide that I know of, there are other things.

          “I would imagine the UN might be interested”
          They have been informed, and are generally never interested.

          “anything other than a vague admonishment to the Jews that “God would restore them to Palestine”? In the 1840’s? When it did not even happen until 100 years later? Not big on the specifics, is he?”
          What Orson Pratt was told to say to the Jews in Europe:
          “Blow ye the trumpet in the land : cry,
          gather together ; and say, assemble yourselves, and let us go
          into the defenced cities. ‘ Let the standard be reared towards
          Zion. Retire ! stay not ; for I will bring evil from the north
          and a great destruction. The lion is come up from his
          thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way, he is
          gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate, and thy
          cities shall be laid waste without inhabitant.”

          Which seems fairly specific and accurate to me. Had a Jew in Europe at that time or during any of the other times mentioned below actually listened then they and their family would have avoided WW1 and WW2 and the Holocaust, which would appear to be a desirable outcome.

          Similar warnings to the Jews were given in 1855, 1871, and 1882. Eventually some Jews themselves gave similar warnings such as Vladimir Jabotinsky. There might be more that I am unaware of.

          I should mention that the prophecies on the subject are not all finished yet, eventually both the east and west bank of the Jordan will be part of Israel and there will be a temple in Jerusalem.

        • Darren

          Well, while I appreciate your being up to sharing a specific Church prophecy, I can see why the UN, for example, might be unimpressed.

          ” What Orson Pratt was told to say to the Jews in Europe: “Blow ye the trumpet in the land : cry, gather together ; and say, assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. ‘ Let the standard be reared towards Zion. Retire ! stay not ; for I will bring evil from the north and a great destruction. The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way, he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate, and thy cities shall be laid waste without inhabitant.”

          So, I suppose the first thing to note would be that 1842, 1855, 1871, and 1882 are a little remote from both 1918 and 1939. Was there anything particularly notable that happened to the Jews of Europe on any of those dates? This appears to be little more than a rather vague doomsday warning, written so as to sound suitably like the apocalyptic message in the King James Version of Revelations. Is this an unfair generalization? Let us look at the particulars, then.

          ”Let us go to the defenced cities…”

          Which cities would these be? Not sure there was such a thing as a defensed city in Zion on any of the dates mentioned.

          ”for I will bring evil from the north and a great destruction”

          What, in 50, 75, or maybe 100 years? And what are we to mean by “North”? North of where? Palestine? Germany? Poland? Again, sounds like cribbing from Revelations, where North would be the evil Roman empire in relation to Jerusalem. Hitler was from Austria, which would have been to the South of almost all the Jews killed in the Holocaust (except the Hungarian Jews).

          ”The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way, he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate, and thy cities shall be laid waste without inhabitant.”

          Yeah, well, again we are being pretty vague here. Who exactly is the destroyer of the gentiles? And the lion imagery? That is found a lot in Revelations, but to my knowledge none of the players in WWII used it, perhaps Mussolini? Certainly, Hitler killed a lot of Jews, but he killed even more Russians. Is it him? Then again, Roosevelt killed more Germans than Hitler killed Americans. None of the cities were literally without inhabitant, Stalingrad probably got it the worst, but it was hardly a city of the Jews to begin with.

          All this is trifling, though. If this is a representative prophecy, then I conclude it is no more evidence for the Mormon church’s prediction of the events surrounding the Jewish Holocaust and the establishment of Israel than the prophecies of Nostradamus accurately predicted the assassination of JFK. Read with a very generous amount of post-priori selection bias and maybe, just maybe, you can see how it might look a little like the events described, but not really.

          “I am sure your Church would be eager to provide it.”
          Why would you think that?”

          Why would I think the Mormon Church would want to publish evidence that it had correctly predicted one of the defining events of the 20th century? You are playing obtuse here, and I have seen enough of your postings to know otherwise. To make it plain, though, we have only to look to our own recent election and the saga of Nate Silver, the NYTimes statistician who, despite very public dust-ups with pundits pre-election, managed to correctly predict every single state result. There is not a Church alive that would turn down that sort of credibility (or has that sort of credibility, outside of the faithful).

          I have played fair. As a good Rationalist, I was willing to review any and all evidence presented and had the data supported the contention, I would have admitted the fact. The data does not support the claim. Thanks for presenting it, though.

        • JohnH

          Darren,
          I clipped out just the part about fleeing as I thought I had already established that they were to flee to the land of Israel and in particular Jerusalem. I am sorry if that was not clear.

          “Was there anything particularly notable that happened to the Jews of Europe on any of those dates? ”
          As noted in the prophecy the destroyer was “on his way” meaning it was for a future event and therefore no expectation that those particular dates are of any interest of themselves.

          ” None of the cities were literally without inhabitant”
          3 million Jews in Nazi occupied Poland were killed leaving a total of 300,000 remaining and completely destroying Polish Jewery and by the fall of communism there were less then 10,000 Jews. Their cities were literally left without inhabitant.

          ” Mormon church’s prediction of the establishment of Israel”
          One of our Articles of Faith has “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel”. Orson Hyde’s dedication of the Holy Land:
          “”Now, O Lord! Thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which Thou gavest him in his native land; and under the shadow of Thine outstretched arm, he has safely arrived in this place to dedicate and consecrate this land unto Thee, for the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy Prophets — for the building up of Jerusalem again after it has been trodden down by the Gentiles so long, and for rearing a Temple in honor of Thy name.”

          Now exactly what did Nostradamus say about JFK?

          “I have seen enough of your postings to know otherwise.”
          I am in no way representative of the church or general church membership.

          “I have played fair.”
          Mostly, you seem to take what I say in one post and then completely ignore the same in the next, which is better then the other commentators.

        • Darren

          JohnH;

          “I have played fair.”
          Mostly, you seem to take what I say in one post and then completely ignore the same in the next, which is better then the other commentators.”

          I assure you, I consider each point; nothing is ignored. Where I needle you over a weak answer, it is in the hope that a stronger answer will be forthcoming. It is neither my desire nor intent to disprove your beliefs or convert you to my view. I seek only to get at the heart of the matter, to dig out the strongest argument that can be made that the Mormon Church has some verifiable truth claim.

          If the Mormon church could show that it had accurately predicted world events prior to their occurrence, that would be a legitimate data point bolstering its truth claims. Would a single point prove the Mormon faith true and the Mormon God triumphant? Considering the counterevidence, I would think not, but it would provide one more argument in favor, and no other church can produce such confirmed prophecy.

          In regards to the documents you provided, to use a parlance from the Intelligence community, was it “Actionable”? Would a reasonable European Jew, reading such warnings in the 1800’s, have been in any better position to act on the events that would unfold in the 1930’s and 1940’s? Receiving warnings of a similar nature and quality, would it be a reasonable action for the entire LDS community to abandon Utah and relocate to Uruguay?

          We expect vague and unclear predictions from fallible human agents. To be evidence for divine, or even merely supernatural, agency, we are right to expect a higher standard of specificity and accuracy. I have read through the documents you kindly provided. They are, at extreme best, equivocal. They lack specifics which would allow a recipient to take effective action. If this is the best that the Mormon faith can offer, and that is what I have asked for, then it clearly fails to meet the standard of clear, unequivocal, and actionable prior-prediction.

          “I have seen enough of your postings to know otherwise.”
          I am in no way representative of the church or general church membership.”

          I must have been unclear. This was intended, if not a compliment, then a notification that I have seen sufficient intelligence and thought upon your part to conclude your occasional “Answer a question with a question” as a device, a ploy of some type. It does not meet my needs (see above, re finding the strongest argument to be made for Mormon truth claims), thus my ignoring them. This is all.

          ”Now exactly what did Nostradamus say about JFK?”

          And concerning Nostradamus and JFK?

          The great man will be struck down in the day by a thunderbolt,
          An evil deed foretold by the bearer of a petition.
          According to the prediction, another falls at night time.
          Conflict at Reims, London and a pestilence in Tuscany.

          JFK being the great man struck down by the thunderbolt in the day, his brother RFK killed at night. Taken from Top 10 Nostradamus Predictions.

        • Richard S. Russell

          Clearly, anyone who can assert that 10,000 LITERALLY equals zero, and furthermore that only Jews count as people, is not using the same language I am, and I fear that further conversation would just devolve into parsing of semantics instead of ideas. I wish I could say it’s been fun, but “instructive” is about as generous as I can get. Good day.

        • JohnH

          “anyone who can assert that 10,000 LITERALLY equals zero, and furthermore that only Jews count as people,”
          Did you miss the part that the revelation was directed to the Jews? In the case of the particular passage under consideration the Jews are the only ones that count. Given that there were over 3.5 million Jews at the start of WW2 in Poland with many Jewish Ghettos (essentially separate Jewish cities within the larger city) and that many of these Ghettos were actually left without inhabitant then the prophecy was right.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          As noted in the prophecy the destroyer was “on his way” meaning it was for a future event and therefore no expectation that those particular dates are of any interest of themselves.

          So the warning was of the form, “Hey [insert random people group here]! Something bad is coming at some point in the near or far future, so don’t be in wherever that bad thing is going to be!”

          Not very helpful, IMO.

        • JohnH

          Derren,
          “Receiving warnings of a similar nature and quality, would it be a reasonable action for the entire LDS community to abandon Utah and relocate to Uruguay?”
          To Missouri more likely, yes and we have done it before.

          “Would a reasonable European Jew, reading such warnings in the 1800’s, have been in any better position to act on the events that would unfold in the 1930’s and 1940’s? ”
          Obviously yes, had they gone to the land of Israel at that time then at the very least they and their family would have been spared, which given then percentage that were killed by the Nazi’s and the Soviets it is nearly certain that their children and grand-children and great grandchildren were in fact slaughtered because they did not listen.

          “If the Mormon church could show that it had accurately predicted world events prior to their occurrence”
          In regards to the gathering of the Jews, there are quite a lot more scriptures on the subject in the Book of Mormon and D&C. It would require more space then a comment thread takes and more time then it takes to write a comment to pull them all together.

          Other events predicted include the Civil War (1830′s), the World Wars and Cold War (1830′s), the fall of Communism (done in the early 70′s), the recession caused by the housing collapse (done starting in 90′s), the overthrow of dictators (done in 2008 and what I have is about the level of specificity in this one), and (assuming government has continued to grow and spend) a economic crisis that will make the Great Depression look like a happy memory of better days as the US dollar collapses (not actually talked about recently, though one of the mentions of this was mentioned recently so I assume it hasn’t been avoided) (admittedly everyone from the Council on Foreign Relations to Ron Paul now see this one as a real danger in our near future), and general tsunamis, storms, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, perplexity of nations, desolating sickness, signs in the heavens that are likewise found elsewhere and are unspecific as to where and when. Also, as noted, Israel expanding its borders, a Temple being built at Jerusalem, the battle of Armageddon and siege of Jerusalem, Jesus splitting the mount of Olives possibly all within the lives of the generation living as of June 4, 1967 assuming Luke 21 is correct and the Jews are correct in when they have retaken Jerusalem (the UN and the Palestinians both disagree with them).

        • JohnH

          I should point out that as I said earlier, evidence doesn’t convert. Even were I or the church to publish anything like a convincing list of signs and evidences it would merely convince people to the truth not convert them to the gospel. That is they would have knowledge of what of the truth but most would not change their behavior which would actually be damning, sinning in ignorance is much preferable to damnation per Mormon doctrine. Evidence and signs are for those that believe so that they are confirmed in their faith and are aware of what is happening, faith proceeds the miracle.

          The reason I feel comfortable with sharing some of what I know on the subject is that like it has in “A Voice form Jerusalem”, faithfully laying out such things may serve to open the eyes of some that they are not caught unawares and that to the rest I know that it likely will not convince as many could see the sun at noon and still say it is dark.

        • Darren

          JohnH;

          ”I should point out that as I said earlier, evidence doesn’t convert. Even were I or the church to publish anything like a convincing list of signs and evidences it would merely convince people to the truth not convert them to the gospel.”

          Disagree.

          1. Evidence does not convert only those whose beliefs are not based upon evidence. This is a subset of humans, which while large, is not comprehensive. Atheism correlates strongly with Rationalism. Rationalists will, when presented with convincing evidence, convert.

          2. Inadequate evidence does not convert. The Rationalist creed is, “Believe nothing more strongly than the evidence for it warrants.” The corollary to this would then be, “Believe anything to the extent that the evidence demands.” Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. I am a Rationalist, or at least aspire to be. I am also an Atheist. I was formerly an Evangelical and came to Atheism not through rebellion, not from anger at God, but because I found the evidence disproved Evangelical Christianity. My Atheism is just that; not-theism. I have investigated the major, and not so major religions, and found their evidence lacking. This includes The Book of Mormon. However, past conclusions are always provisional. Show me, or any Rationalist, new data, a revised model showing that Mormonism better explains the evidence, has better predictive powers than Physicalism and the scientific method, and I stand ready to convert.

          To fall back on that claim that “evidence doesn’t convert…” is simply to realize that you have no evidence that is convincing, yet be forced to resolve the resulting cognitive dissonance by impugning a willful disbelief in others.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          Other events predicted include the Civil War (1830′s), the World Wars and Cold War (1830′s), the fall of Communism (done in the early 70′s), the recession …

          Maybe believers don’t think this way, but when we’re talking about a prediction from an omniscient deity, atheists have high standards. Imagine writing a paragraph summary of any of these events with the most important specifics. That is what I want from God, except beforehand.

          Darren’s point about the information being actionable is a great way to put it. You can’t do anything with a bunch of spaghetti thrown against the wall. But precise dates for the start of the Civil War, major players (Lincoln, Grant, Lee), the outcome, side effects (emancipation), and so on is the minimum that we’d expect from God. Wouldn’t you, if it came from some other guy’s religion?

        • Richard S. Russell

          Kush is omniscient (Kush 2:1). Kush gives true prophecies (Kush 8:1-3). Do you doubt this? Kush foresaw that, too (Kush 7:2).
             
          All hail Kush! Beware cheap, tawdry, knock-off imitators (Kush 4:1-3).

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          I should point out that as I said earlier, evidence doesn’t convert.

          This is what someone who doesn’t have evidence says. If you did have evidence, you’d be shouting it from the rooftops.

        • JohnH

          Derren,
          To fall back on the claim that evidence doesn’t convert is to fall back on to scripture which says that repeatedly: such as Alma 32:17-19 or the story of Peter for instance.

          To say that evidence can possibly convert shows a lack of understanding of what conversion is.

          Atheism is actually a rationalist position, agnosticism sure, agnosticism with a prior in the direction of absence of God sure, but actual strict atheism isn’t rational.

          “Mormonism better explains the evidence, has better predictive powers than Physicalism and the scientific method, and I stand ready to convert.”

          Since the main difference between the materialism of Mormonism (did you miss that we are materialists?) and physicalism is the question of the afterlife and the existence of the soul (which is material), then the predictive power is pretty much the same except in those areas where people disagree over what it is that physicalism implies. Also, you are making the completely false assumption for Mormonism and most other Christians (including Catholics who were pretty much the ones to develop the scientific method in order to better understand the mind of God) that the scientific method some how contradicts religion or runs contrary to it.

        • Darren

          JohnH;

          ” Atheism is actually a rationalist position, agnosticism sure, agnosticism with a prior in the direction of absence of God sure, but actual strict atheism isn’t rational.”

          No, Atheism is a Rationalist position. Agnosticism, to be strict, would not be in that it claims that God is unknown and _unknowable_. For a Rationalist, anything that is unknowable, in principle, no matter the ultimate development of our means of knowing, does not (in any meaningful sense) exist. Thus, Agnosticism would be a violation of this since it posits a (possibly) existent thing that is yet beyond rational knowledge. Rationality does not require proving a negative, be it God, Fairies, Santa, or the cosmic Ether. If you like, call it Bayesian Atheism with a Theistic probability estimate that, while non-zero, is infinitesimal.

          ”Since the main difference between the materialism of Mormonism (did you miss that we are materialists?) and physicalism is the question of the afterlife and the existence of the soul (which is material), then the predictive power is pretty much the same except in those areas where people disagree over what it is that physicalism implies. Also, you are making the completely false assumption for Mormonism and most other Christians (including Catholics who were pretty much the ones to develop the scientific method in order to better understand the mind of God) that the scientific method some how contradicts religion or runs contrary to it.”

          Not much debate, from what I have seen, about what Physicalists think Physicalism means, other than that I originally learned it as Materialism, but know apparently it is changed to Physicalism lest people get confused about whether or not energy is included…

          So far as Physicalism and the Scientific Method: Take a Human. He has a body, a mind, and, according the Mormons and General Christians, a soul. Subtract out every bit of matter and associated energy, every molecule, every proton, every quark and gluon. A Physicalist and a scientist will say that the human is now gone. A Christian will say there yet lives on the immortal soul, with at least some amount of awareness, personality, what have you. That this soul is ‘real’ yet undetectable by any physical means. This is a direct contravention of both Physicalism and the scientific method.

          Positing a soul of some unknown type of subtle, exotic matter, within the Physicalist realm would be an unsupported hypothesis at best, more properly a wishful fancy. Certainly the scientific method would not preclude one from performing all the laboratory experiments one wished to establish the existence of such matter, but speculations about its as yet unknown properties and significance are just that, speculations, not science.

          And yes, we know about the Great Fudge Factors in modern cosmology, Dark Matter and Dark Energy. These, however, represent data looking for an explanatory theory. Souls are just the opposite, an explanatory theory looking for some data.

        • Darren

          JohnH;

          ”Also, you are making the completely false assumption for Mormonism and most other Christians (including Catholics who were pretty much the ones to develop the scientific method in order to better understand the mind of God) that the scientific method some how contradicts religion or runs contrary to it.”

          One more, an even quicker refutation. Religious faith of any kind is incompatible with the scientific method for one very simple, fundamental reason. The scientific method, as its core principle, requires that conclusions which are not supported by the evidence be discarded. It is quite ruthless in this regard. All religions, Faith by definition, is the inverse of this – where evidence contradicts an article of faith, then the evidence is wrong, or misunderstood, or contains errors.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          To say that evidence can possibly convert shows a lack of understanding of what conversion is.

          Who’s talking about conversion? IMO, the issue is removing obstacles to belief. When your supernatural claims look just like those from nutty religions, you become a nutty religion. Show that yours alone actually has evidence, and you’ve enabled someone who thinks based on reason to consider your claims.

        • JohnH

          Derren,
          Re: Scientific method: I see what you are saying though I think most people may perhaps also say that they haven’t understood their faith well enough.

          Physicalism resorts to emergent phenomena, meaning something happens for reasons that may not be understood but you have faith that it is physical. In the case of H2O if one had a complete description of the laws of physics and the given description of H2O then one should actually be able to predict how it would behave in any given state as those are all determined by the make up of the molecule and the laws of physics. In the case of humans there is the assumption that all our behavior is the same thing as with water, which is an unproven hypothesis (and as of yet untestable).

          I understand the distinction between Physicalism and Materialism is that Physicalism requires an additional reductiveness, everything is not only matter but all matter is describable by the basic physical units of measure. Saying that it is because of energy makes no sense as matter and energy are equivalent.

          “If you like, call it Bayesian Atheism with a Theistic probability estimate that, while non-zero, is infinitesimal.”
          In what sense infinitesimal as that actually makes a difference as to whether Bayesian anything has a solid footing in being used? Assuming you aren’t trying to undermine the basis of your belief system and we live in a measurable universe then this is a better rational description. If you are saying we live in a universe that is not measurable (in the math sense) and which contains hyper-reals then there are potential problems with using Bayes theorem and standard statistics as they only hold if non-measurable sets are not a possibility.

          Bob,
          “the issue is removing obstacles to belief. When your supernatural claims look just like those from nutty religions, you become a nutty religion.”
          Write another post on this particular subject if you want to continue the discussion.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Darren:

          it really now remains to solve the software problem

          Yes, this is the problem. I read Kurzweil’s The Age of Spiritual Machines and was baffled that this smart guy could cheerfully point to Moore’s Law as solving all the problems when we barely have a clue how to make the software (and have plenty of false starts in AI to show that it’s a really hard problem).

          … but this is off topic.

        • Darren

          One of my favorite quotes comes from French physicist Pierre-Gilles de Gennes as he was discussing the commercialization of fusion power, “We say that we will put the sun into a box. The idea is pretty. The problem is, we don’t know how to make the box.”

          So, yeah, all we have to do is solve the software problem, like all we have to do is make the box…

        • Jason

          Mr. X,
          I’m not sure that I understand your point exactly, but it seems to me that you would have to persuasively demonstrate that mind is in fact independent of matter before you can claim that there are these two categories of phenomena. I don’t think there is any doubt that throughout history various philosophers have approached the world from a mind-matter dualism (including Plato, most notably), but that doesn’t mean it makes any sense for us today. Are you saying that the mind is NOT part of the natural world? Are you using terminological distinction from psychology that distinguishes mind (our experience of consciousness) from brain (that goopy thing in your cranium)?

        • Mr. X

          “I’m not sure that I understand your point exactly, but it seems to me that you would have to persuasively demonstrate that mind is in fact independent of matter before you can claim that there are these two categories of phenomena.”

          I don’t think anybody claimed that the mind is *independent* of matter: even the most ardent Cartesian would say that the physical state of the brain has an effect on our mental states. But I don’t think the mind can be fully described by science as it is currently understood for one main reason. The people who invented what we think of as modern science in the seventeenth century pretty much defined it as the study of mind-independent phenomena: so, for example, sensations such as sound and temperature were to be studied in terms of the movements of inherently noiseless and temperature-less particles; sound and temperature *as they seem to us* were seen as beyond the remit of scientific study. Since it’s quite evidently ludicrous to think that we can explain the mind in terms of mind-independent phenomena, it’s impossible for science to fully explain the workings of the mind (barring some sort of paradigm shift, but in that case it would no longer be science as we understand it). Science has no place for consciousness and free will for the same reason that history has no place for string theory or psychology has no place for nuclear physics: not because they don’t exist, but because they’re by definition beyond the remit of that particular field of study. Claiming otherwise is like cleaning a room by sweeping all the dirt under a rug, and then saying that, since this method’s proven itself so successful, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be able to clean up the big pile of dirt you now have under the rug as well.

        • Darren

          Mr. X,

          ”The people who invented what we think of as modern science in the seventeenth century pretty much defined it as the study of mind-independent phenomena: so, for example, sensations such as sound and temperature were to be studied in terms of the movements of inherently noiseless and temperature-less particles; sound and temperature *as they seem to us* were seen as beyond the remit of scientific study.”

          Perhaps you have some specific 17th century folk in mind for this claim, but I think it would more accurate to say that science is predicate not on “mind-independent” phenomena, but rather on “observer independent”. This is a difference. It is difficult to see how it could have been otherwise, really. When studying, say, the equivalence of work and energy through the heat generated by the boring of cannons (which would have been around that time), one would certainly wish to use a thermometer, and not the subjective experience of, “warm, like a Summer’s day, but not like a hot kidney pie”.

          I fail to see that this sort of thing establishes the mind as forever beyond scientific inquiry. In the 17th century, an iPhone would have been inconceivably beyond scientific inquiry, yet in hindsight we see this as only a failure of vision. This is a glib example, but appropriate as an iPhone is pretty darn close to passing a Turing test, but is obviously (to us) _just_ an emergent phenomena comprising only atoms and energy. It is an open question whether the human mind will one day be similarly seen as obviously emergent, but there certainly is no plausible barrier preventing us from getting there from here, other than the philosophical objections of the Dualists. Perhaps the Dualists will be proven right after all, but given the evidence of some 2,000+ years of ‘scientific’ progress in resolving the issue, I would have to see some proven, or at least provable, mechanism by which a non-physical mind can exist and interact with a physical brain before I would bet against Physicalism.

        • machintelligence

          Mr. X:
          Except that blindly programmed robots don’t have consciousness and free-will, making this a rather flawed analogy.
          We are evolved organisms, programmed by natural selection. Are you claiming we do not have consciousness or free will? You seem to think these traits are mysterious and impervious to analysis. I beg to differ: the mind is an artifact of the brain, which is a material object with no supernatural elements.

        • Mr. X

          Darren:

          “Perhaps you have some specific 17th century folk in mind for this claim, but I think it would more accurate to say that science is predicate not on “mind-independent” phenomena, but rather on “observer independent”.”

          I’m happy to use the term “observer-independent” if you’d prefer, although I don’t think that makes much difference, since human minds observe things all the time, and so cannot be explained solely in terms of observer-independent phenomena.

          “In the 17th century, an iPhone would have been inconceivably beyond scientific inquiry, yet in hindsight we see this as only a failure of vision.”

          I’ve got no idea what you’re trying to get at here. Yes, 17th century people didn’t have iPhones, but I don’t see what that proves. IPhones don’t have consciousness or free will, unlike the human mind; the two things are fundamentally different.

          Machineintelligence:

          “We are evolved organisms, programmed by natural selection. Are you claiming we do not have consciousness or free will?”

          No, which is why I don’t think we’re blindly-programmed robots.

          “You seem to think these traits are mysterious and impervious to analysis.”

          No, I just think they’re not the sorts of things which science can fully describe.

        • Darren

          “In the 17th century, an iPhone would have been inconceivably beyond scientific inquiry, yet in hindsight we see this as only a failure of vision.”

          I’ve got no idea what you’re trying to get at here. Yes, 17th century people didn’t have iPhones, but I don’t see what that proves. IPhones don’t have consciousness or free will, unlike the human mind; the two things are fundamentally different.”

          But that is precisely the point; how can we say for certain that minds are fundamentally different until such a time as we have a better understanding of them. An iPhone, or something not much more advanced, displays properties that any 17th century observer would have positively identified as belonging only to minds – memory, speech, goal seeking, reasoning, etc. Though a 17th century scientist might have despaired of ever comprehending an iPhone, this would have been only a failure of his vision for the future state of scientific knowledge.

          Though I cannot say for _certain_, I see no reason to conclude that the human mind will not ultimately yield to science. Perhaps it will not, but after 2,400 years, every problem which has been insoluble to scientific inquiry has only been insoluble _at_the_time_. There are plausible reasons why science may never discover FTL travel, or ESP, or force fields; there are known ‘laws’ of physics which would need to be overthrown before that could happen. Considering the overthrow of Newtonian physics by Quantum physics only a century ago, such a revolution is certainly plausible, though predicting when or what form this revolution will take is beyond my ken.

          Human cognition, though, does not appear to be a problem of this sort. From my vantage, albeit as an educated lay person, human consciousness stands a very good chance of being figured out simply by another couple of decades worth of advances in brain imaging and computer simulation. Using known laws of physics, human equivalent computational _hardware_ should be here in a decade or so, assuming Moore’s law holds up such hardware should be common within 15 years. A real-time simulation of a human brain, scanned to the neuron level, should be possible within 15 – 20 years, then. If it turns out that, at that point, this simulated brain does not report subjective consciousness, then perhaps we will have evidence that consciousness is indeed non-material, not proof, but at least some evidence that here is a problem that cannot be solved by science.

          I, for one, well remember the days when evangelicals pointed to the fact that after centuries of searching, not a single planet outside of our solar system had been found. This, they said, was proof that God only created life on Earth, as he never bothered with planets anywhere else. People like Carl Sagan endured the mocking, in the hope and belief that once our instruments improved, the planets would come forth.

        • Richard S. Russell

          Arthur C. Clarke’s 3rd Law is well known and widely quoted: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

          Less well known is his 1st law: “When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.”

          Just to complete your set: “The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” —Arthur C. Clarke CBE (1917-2008), science fiction writer, Clarke’s 2nd Law

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Darren:

          I would quibble with your dates (promises of future advances in technology, like the computer chess champ in 1997, are notoriously optimistic), but in the longer term, those advances seem inevitable.

        • Darren

          Bob;

          “I would quibble with your dates (promises of future advances in technology, like the computer chess champ in 1997, are notoriously optimistic), but in the longer term, those advances seem inevitable.”

          And you would be right to do so. Another safe bet in science is that anyone who proposes hard dates for AI will almost certainly be wrong. The dates were only rhetorical devices; the key concept is that without a known physical limitation barring our path (speed of light, minimum computation entropy), we should assume the problem will eventually be resolved, whatever “eventually” means.

          And we do not necessarily need real-time AI. If we drop the effective clock speed, human equivalent hardware is already available, it really now remains to solve the software problem (including emulation of the physical level neurons). Assuming such a simulation of a human mind could be built, and there is no known barrier to doing so, asking that simulation whether or not it was ‘conscious’ would prove very interesting for our overall understanding of human consciousness.

          But, will our religious friends believe it, should it answer, “Yes”?

        • Richard S. Russell

          Indeed, I’ve known actual people who are so constrained by tradition, habit, and conditioning that it’s dubious whether they qualify as conscious themselves. They’d probably just be perplexed if you asked them. This is a notoriously ill-defined concept.

      • JohnH

        I recently ran across http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orch-OR which, as far as I understand the proposal, fits fairly well with what is in my scriptures. Given that it isn’t the accepted theory and it appears that there is quite a bit of criticism of it (and the fact that the only part that I understand very well is the Penrose-Lucas argument) then I don’t believe that I am in a position to lay any bets as to whether this is the right theory.

        • Jason

          JohnH, it would be helpful if you could briefly explain what any scientific theory (the one you linked or otherwise) has to do with your belief based on scripture. If I understand you correctly in general, you are saying that there are scientific theories that tentatively suggest the truth of your religious/spiritual beliefs. If that turns out to be the case, then great! But I think one can quickly fall into a trap looking around for scientific studies that are simply compatible with religious beliefs or seem to subtly point in their direction. I have observed westerners in the yoga scene who demographically/politically are non-religious liberals but who have bought in to religious views through the yoga sutras, etc. Since they are on the left and pro-science, they don’t deny scientific findings, but due to their interest in traditional eastern philosophy, they want to assert certain metaphysical truths that have nothing to do with science. So instead of acting like Christian fundamentalists who deny scientific findings, they look around for vague scientific facts or theories that loosely connect to their beliefs so that they can say, “well, science is heading in that direction, but it just hasn’t caught up with our spiritual founders,” etc.

        • JohnH

          I am in many senses conservative and in most others libertarian and in pretty much no sense on the left or liberal. I am very much in favor of science; you are making a characterization based on views of policy (of all things) as to how in favor a person is to science. That you think everyone that is liberal is pro-science and everyone that is not liberal is anti-science says a lot more about you then it does about any conservative regardless of their acceptance or not of science.

          Science and religion approach problems differently and not all religions even have the same approach. I know my faith to be true and I know that truth will agree with truth. If there is an apparent disagreement between science and religion then either I do not understand the science well enough, I do not understand what God has said well enough, or the science really isn’t developed enough to address the question fully. Science works off of theories based on the available evidence, religion works off of revelation, if the revelation is true then eventually the science will catch up to what has been revealed, if it isn’t a true revelation then eventually science may be able to overturn it.

          Science gives me lots of stuff that is nice to have, religion helps me see what is really important in life, both do well in what their purpose is.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          I know my faith to be true and I know that truth will agree with truth. If there is an apparent disagreement between science and religion then either I do not understand the science well enough, I do not understand what God has said well enough, or the science really isn’t developed enough to address the question fully.

          So when there is today a conflict between science and scripture, you go with scripture?

          What present consensus views within science do you reject for this reason?

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          I know my faith to be true and I know that truth will agree with truth. If there is an apparent disagreement between science and religion then either I do not understand the science well enough, I do not understand what God has said well enough, or the science really isn’t developed enough to address the question fully.

          So when there is today a conflict between science and scripture, you go with scripture?

          What present consensus views within science do you reject for this reason?

        • JohnH

          Bob,
          As far as I am aware the consensus view is that humans are Turing machines, something I reject and as the consensus view is not yet provable (in either direction) it isn’t a big problem. Also, this is my interpretation of the scriptures, I know of others that don’t have a problem with us being Turing machines.

          Another is the consensus view that there were no refugees from Jerusalem that came to the Americas in 600 BC that inhabited a small segment of likely central America. I am intimately familiar with the state of archeology in that area of the globe, not having evidence yet of such a group isn’t even a problem.

          Those are the two that I can think of.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John:

          As far as I am aware the consensus view is that humans are Turing machines

          I’ve never heard this, but I might simply be out of touch on this matter.

          not having evidence yet of such a group isn’t even a problem.

          You’re well aware of the arguments against the Mormon historical claims but you find them unconvincing? The Mormon claims that I’ve read sounded completely without foundation, so I go with the consensus, but I’m no expert here.

        • JohnH

          “You’re well aware of the arguments against the Mormon historical claims but you find them unconvincing? ”
          Mostly they are arguments against the historical claim that early church members made despite the internal evidence in the Book of Mormon. Based on the time it takes various groups to walk across the entirety of the lands being talked about it is easy to estimate the size with some simple assumptions as to walking speeds and if one does this then the internal evidence is that they were a really small group located somewhere in southern central America.

          I am also quite willing to make arguments against the current common view of many Mormons that they were the pre-classic Maya. To list a few problems I have with that thesis: the geography doesn’t match, the time periods only sort of match, the writing doesn’t match, as far as we are aware the Maya didn’t have metallurgy (while there are groups in South America that did), the Yucatan is limestone and therefore has a lack of ores contrary to the description found in the Book of Mormon, Stella that are claimed to have similarities to Book of Mormon events are actually readable and don’t have anything to do with what the tour guides trying to sell their services claim.

          That said I have no problems with the claims found in the Book of Mormon because there really isn’t much archeology that has happened, not even for pre-classic Maya and hardly anything in southern central America. Ruins of civilizations from the last thousand years are still being discovered so a relatively small civilization that may not have had lots of ceremonial architecture from nearly two thousand years ago is not likely to have been found (and would be very hard to find even if one knew where to look).

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John: I heard something about horses being in North America, though archeology shows that they came with the Spanish in the 1500s.

        • JohnH

          Horses were in America at ~10000 BC and there is some possible evidence of survival as late as 4000 BC though the accepted theory explaining that evidence is mixing of sediments. There are other singular data points which appear to be generally ignored by archeologists but hotly debated by Mormon apologetics and anti-Mormons. Others claim that it isn’t really talking about horses but some other animal that received the name horse. I don’t know or really care which possible theory is correct with regards to horses; either some horses survived until their time period and later died out and we just haven’t found archeological evidence of such, or they brought over horses and they later died out or they called some other creature a horse which isn’t actually a horse all of them are possible. I think finding and identifying positively their civilization’s remains is the best way of answering the question and as I said, archeology is a long way from being able to do that.

    • chris buchholz

      JohnH, the arguments against what you believe are found in neuroscience. We know that brain damage changes who people are fundamentally. This damage can come from strokes, tumors, or getting hit in the head.

      Apart from the problems that causes for morality and the idea of a judging god (which I suppose is probably not what you believe) it also causes problems for mind body dualism. How can we say the mind and body are separate when every change you make to the body affects the mind?

      The only way around it that I can think of is that the brain is an “interface” to the mind, so when the interface gets broken it only appears that the mind is broken or changed. But I doubt that, since our very thoughts get changed due to brain damage, or medicine, not merely our perception of reality. And even in a healthy body, our thoughts change due to hormone levels.

      There are much better arguments, maybe you’ve read them.

    • John Evans

      Does this spirit matter that does not obey the laws of normal matter interact with normal matter in any measurable way?

      If so, then we will be able to measure its impact on the world and confirm whether or not it exists.

      If not, then it will result in functionally the same result as it not existing at all.

      Also: Photons and Neutrinos are normal matter. Just not Baryonic matter.

      • JohnH

        “Does this spirit matter that does not obey the laws of normal matter interact with normal matter in any measurable way?
        If so, then we will be able to measure its impact on the world and confirm whether or not it exists.”

        Obviously, yes. It is possible that we have already encountered spirit matter but are not aware of it yet.

        “Photons and Neutrinos are normal matter. Just not Baryonic matter.”
        Normal matter is things that we encounter daily in our existence, pretty much all of which are made of Baryons and electrons. We see with photons but we don’t see the photons, which are mass-less and move faster then anything else possibly could.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          John: This is trivia, but photons may not be as fast as you imagine. The speed of light varies based on the medium, just like the speed of sound. Neutrinos, by comparison, don’t need a medium. In a vacuum, photons are faster, but not by much. In a medium (water, say) where photons slow, neutrinos are faster.

  • Pingback: Absolute Zero

  • Darren

    Nicely written, one of your best. Shows how being a Reductionist does not preclude the wonder of emergent phenomena.

  • smrnda

    I recall I once read a pamphlet which ‘explained’ that the Qur’an got a bunch of scientific facts correctly – they would find some passage, and then make a huge stretch that somehow, it *fit* a later scientific theory, just it was phrased in different words or poetically. The problem was that none of these alleged ‘scientific facts’ sounded any different than the rest of the mumbo-jumbo – it seemed similar to looking at the sky and saying ‘hey, that cloud looks kind of like a whale.’ I have never seen ANY religious text provide any scientific findings beyond what would be reasonable to assume at the time. I mean, King James I of England (of the King James Bible) wrote a pamphlet regarding the negative health effects of smoking tobacco. He happened to reach the correct conclusions using faulty, intuitive reasoning, but I can’t say he proved smoking was harmful. Sometimes people guess right.

    But on the topic, to say people are ‘just molecules’ is like saying a building is ‘just bricks’ – true, but not true in any meaningful way.

  • Darren

    Wait, when did Deuteronomy 28-30 convice Bob that Jehovah really was the God of the Jews?!

    • JohnH

      Did I say convince? I said it was enough to get him “to barely admit that it was indeed evidence of God”. The Prayer experiment week 1 was the post.

  • RandomFunction2

    To Bob the fabulous atheist,

    According to Michael Ruse, our moral instinct is nothing but an aid to survival and reproduction. It does not give any grand truth but is another trick of natural selection. Morality is thus meaningless. A meaningless illusion.

    Morality only works if it is believed to be objective. It’s like God belief. If morality is not objective, we can just as well say that it does not exist.

    • Bob Seidensticker

      Yes, it’s a result of natural selection. No, it’s not meaningless. Just because there is no absolute meaning doesn’t mean that we can’t assign meaning.

      • RandomFunction2

        To Bob,

        Lol! You replaced “broken” with “fabulous”.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          :)

    • smrnda

      If we value survival, then it’s at least a useful guide for what helps us survive. To me, this fits in with a this-world vision of morality where it’s supposed to help humans survive and flourish. It also means that we may have instincts that *used* to help us survive but, due to changing circumstances, they are no longer a good idea.

  • smrnda

    On the Turing machines remark. I do commercial applications of artificial intelligence, and I do not think anybody who knows both computer engineering and neuroscience who would characterize the human mind as a Turing machine. The idea that ‘people are Turing machines’ might have come about from early ideas that since Turing machines could *do everything a computer could do* that a Turing machine could potentially replicated the functions of the human mind. The ‘mind as computer’ analogy gained a lot of traction in cognitive psychology, but decades of research have shown this to be not such a valid comparison.

    Given that Turing machines are theoretical entities that cannot actually exist (they require infinite memory capacity) the comparison seems even less valid. The other problem is *if* a Turing machine could replicate the functionality of the human mind, it still does not mean that the mind is anything like a Turing machine.

    My take on human intelligence is that we’re simply a way more complicated sort of machine, but that’s because we’ve been ‘programmed’ by millions of years of evolution.

    • JohnH

      I should have put Turing approximation, clearly if we are anything it is a finite state machine which is actually less powerful then a Turing machine. A Turing machine is a theoretical limit on what can be computed by a machine, if we are machines then we are Turing approximations or the Church-Turing thesis is wrong.

      • smrnda

        I think that the comparison is just totally off, as off as if I said that airplanes were mechanical birds. I don’t specifically have much training in neuroscience, but the way that a computer *works* and the way the brain *works* just seems so vastly different that our brains cannot said to be Finite State Machines. In fact, the ‘brain as a computer’ analogy isn’t supported well by findings in cognitive science and as we learn more about neuroscience, we learn that a lot of this is because our brains aren’t physically organized like computers.

        Another issue is that though computers can be thought of as Finite State Machines, FSMs are actually abstract mathematical entities and real world problems with hardware prevent actual computers from behaving according to a strict FSM model.

        Another thing to keep in mind is the limited amount of data being handled by a machine. Our brains emerged as an answer to how to best handle and exploit that messy data.

        On the Church-Turing thesis, keep in mind that Turing was a formalist who regarded mathematics as a useful formal system, not something that models some Platonic Essence of Forms out there. The Church-Turing thesis – that a Turing Machine can do everything a computer can do, is that by extending the memory you avoid a hardware limitation of the Finite State Machine, so you can do proofs without having to add the caveat that ‘memory limitations might impair operation.’ Turning Machines still are stuck with some limitations that I can’t think of analogs for for humans – are human minds susceptible to the halting problem? No, but our mental processes are just nothing like what goes on in machines.

        • JohnH

          “Turing Machine can do everything a computer can do”

          That isn’t what the Church-Turing thesis states at all.

          “Turning Machines still are stuck with some limitations that I can’t think of analogs for for humans – are human minds susceptible to the halting problem?”

          Finite state machines are not susceptible to the halting problem either.

          Computer is a type of finite state machine, which is a Turing approximation, regardless of what inputs, outputs, or whatever we put into a computer it still falls under the umbrella of a finite state machine.

          The Church-Turing thesis says that a Turing machine is able to solve all problems that are solvable by any possible algorithm. It says nothing about computers and says nothing about having to be organized based off of the Von Neumann architecture or of using electrons or anything else. One could use tinker toys to build a Turing machine and if physics are Turing computable then of necessity one would be able to simulate a human thinking using ones tinker toy Turing machine. One can also show that anything solvable by a perfectly parallel set of Turing machines is able to be solved by a single Turing machine.

          Trying to say that we are not Turing machine approximations means that one does not believe that we are able to be simulated on a computer, also means that physics is non-computable, also means that one thinks we are some sort of hyper-computer, also means that we are not programmed in any meaningful way that one talks about programming currently.

        • smrnda

          Um, I have a PhD in computer science, so congrats for wrangling over the CS 101 definitions. When I explained the Church-Turing thesis I was going with the basic ‘layman’s definition.’ The phrase ‘solvable by algorithm’ just means solvable by a program, and if we’re taking a ‘computer’ as a programmable machine, the definitions are more or less the same.

          I note that you keep pointing out that the architecture doesn’t matter since computers are just machines that solve things by algorithms. There isn’t much evidence that human minds ‘solve’ things in any ways that can be mapped onto algorithm, which is why I don’t think the comparison is apt. The human mind does not appear to be a machine that solves problems by the use of algorithms, though our understanding of how it works is still limited, that doesn’t seem to be the way the mind works.

          Do you know of or have any evidence that the human mind solves things by using algorithms?

        • JohnH

          First, PhD in Computer Science doesn’t necessarily mean that one understands anything about the Church-Turing thesis. It is quite possible to get a PhD in Computer Science with having had a single class in which the thesis was discussed and extremely likely that it was discussed in exactly two classes in the entire college career and is very unlikely that a PhD thesis had a thing to do with the Church-Turing thesis. Second, the class that talks about it is often a Junior level class called Theory of Computation, the Church Turning thesis is never talked about in freshmen level computer science classes, and it is quite possible to pass Theory of Computation without ever actually understanding much of anything of the Church-Turing thesis, same with most Graduate level classes on the theory of computation.

          “Do you know of or have any evidence that the human mind solves things by using algorithms?”
          You do realize that I agree with you in that I do not think that humans are Turing approximations nor are we Turing computable? What you might not realize is that if we are not Turing computable then we can not be machines in any sort of sense, one may as well say that we have a soul or spirit or daemon as saying we are not Turing computable (without also falsifying the Church-Turing thesis) is equivalent to saying that there are indescribable (or non-mechanical) processes taking place in Human decision making.

  • Richard S. Russell

    To JohnH:

    This is a new top-level post, because the old one had dead-ended its threading at Level 5.

    It appears that your approach to religion can be reduced to this:

    I believe in X.
    I can’t give you any reasons for believing in X, but I do, anyway.
    God has confirmed that X is true, and that’s good enuf for me.
    How do I know it was God? My holy writings say so.
    How do I know they’re right? God told me.
    Again, how do I know it was God? I just do, OK?
    Anything that agrees with X is true.
    Anything that’s kind of like X, even if advocated by a different religion, is simply a garbled version of X.
    Anything that disagrees with X, no matter how much scientific support it has, is wrong.
    X is entirely internally consistent.
    Any contradictions within X aren’t really contradictions, they’re mistranslations or misunderstandings.
    To the extent that X makes predictions, they will all come true.
    The ones that haven’t come true yet will do so eventually.
    Anything you can’t understand can be chalked up to God working in mysterious ways.

    I hope you can see that the above structure holds up to all external criticism regardless of the content of X! Thus it does not constitute any better reason to believe your particular version of X than it does anybody else’s version of X. In the absence of any external verifiability of the truth claims of your religion, you’re just blowing smoke.

    • JohnH

      “Anything you can’t understand can be chalked up to God working in mysterious ways.”
      Not this one.

      “I can’t give you any reasons for believing in X, but I do, anyway.
      God has confirmed that X is true, and that’s good enuf for me.”

      Self contradicting, if God told me then that is a reason for believe in X and a reason for believing in God.

      “How do I know it was God? My holy writings say so.”

      Wrong, I know it was God because it was good, as each of us can judge good from evil despite what Bob claims.

      “Anything that disagrees with X, no matter how much scientific support it has, is wrong.”
      Also not actually correct.

      ” external verifiability of the truth claims of your religion”
      Pew studies as to effects of Mormonism, Population surveys as to the health and well being benefits of Mormonism, and other such statistics are apparently not externally verifiable? Of course there is the claim that anyone is capable of reading the Book of Mormon and asking God about its truthfulness and if one sincerely wants to know the answer that God will manifest the truth.

      • Bob Seidensticker

        John:

        Wrong, I know it was God because it was good, as each of us can judge good from evil

        Yes, we can. What’s weird is your seeing something bad (baby born with some hideous birth defect, say) and your not saying, “Whoa, God–big problem here. This is definitely not good.”

        When you find much bad in God’s “perfect” creation, why continue to imagine that it’s perfect?

        • JohnH

          Who said creation was perfect?

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Don’t call it perfect then. Do you call it good?

          I look at the hodge-podge that is the universe, nicely explained by unfeeling natural laws, and wonder how you can see God’s hand. You could just as well see the hand of the Demiurge.

        • JohnH

          I call it Fallen.

        • Bob Seidensticker

          I call it Fallen.

          Then perhaps we agree. When we look around, we see good stuff (puppies, beautiful sunsets) and bad stuff (Guinea worm, birth defects). “God did it” explains things as well as “Satan did it.”

      • Richard S. Russell

        “if God told me then that is a reason for believe in X and a reason for believing in God.”

        But DID God tell you? That’s what the next couple of points were about.

        Or you can come at it from the other side. I personally herewith tell you that God does NOT exist. Do you now have a reason for NOT believing in God? Yes, you do, by a particularly perverse definition of “reason”, namely “I’m taking somebody else’s word for it.” But I was referring to a REAL reason, such as “Look, here it is, I can touch it, and so can you.”

        “How do I know it was God? My holy writings say so.”

        Wrong, I know it was God because it was good, as each of us can judge good from evil despite what Bob claims.

        So then why were you quoting your scriptures at us as some kind of authority, if all you do to determine truth is apply your own personal standards of what constitutes “good”? Is the Red Cross good, by your standards? If so, does that make them holy or divine? This is a preposterous standard, and (I trust you will realize) a highly idiosyncratic one.

        “Anything that disagrees with X, no matter how much scientific support it has, is wrong.”
        Also not actually correct.

        So something that disagrees with X can be correct — and X incorrect — is that what you’d now have us believe? Or what would you have us believe, since the bald statement “also not actually correct” doesn’t explain itself very well?

        Pew studies as to effects of Mormonism, Population surveys as to the health and well being benefits of Mormonism, and other such statistics are apparently not externally verifiable?

        I will cheerfully concede that Mormons as a group may be healthier than other Americans. I will also cheerfully concede that all the atheists in Scandinavia have longer life spans and express greater personal happiness than people almost anywhere else on the planet. These are externally verifiable facts, you are correct. They also don’t have diddly to do with anything supernatural, and I am frankly astonished that you would even mention them in the context of “externally verifiable” evidence of deities.
         
        Are you here on Bob’s discussion list to see just how far you can push Poe’s Law before somebody calls you on it?

        • JohnH

          “Are you here on Bob’s discussion list to see just how far you can push Poe’s Law before somebody calls you on it?”
          No, I am expressing what I actually hold.

          “I am frankly astonished that you would even mention them in the context of “externally verifiable” evidence of deities.”
          You and Bob both have this insane fixation on miracles and not results. If someone were able to produce miracles on demand but taught doctrine that led to a life expectancy of about 30 with the inclusion of whatever abhorrent act one can think of then would you convert to that religion? If following it made ones life brutish, miserable, and short but one got to see constant minor miracles would you have the desire to follow it?

          “Or what would you have us believe”
          Since I had given an answer at length to that particular point I assumed you would be intelligent enough to understand it, however given your constant use of bold and capital letters I may have been mistaken as to your level of civility and intelligence.

          “So then why were you quoting your scriptures at us as some kind of authority, if all you do to determine truth is apply your own personal standards of what constitutes “good”? ”
          Scriptures are very authoritative in terms of what I believe, you don’t understand what I am talking about and clearly only have the desire to try and make fun of me and my beliefs so I have little incentive to give a serious response to you; Get Derren or smrnda to ask the question and I will answer.

          “Is the Red Cross good, by your standards? If so, does that make them holy or divine?”
          The Red Cross practices half of pure religion which makes them good and those that participate in the Red Cross holy assuming they also practice the other have of pure religion.

          “But I was referring to a REAL reason, such as “Look, here it is, I can touch it, and so can you.””
          Here is my suggestion, why don’t you go read the entire Book of Mormon, then follow the directions of Moroni 10:3-5, and then get back to me and we can continue the conversation? That is, I can not share with you my knowledge of God, but I can share with you how to get a knowledge of God if you care to.

        • Richard S. Russell

          “… you don’t understand what I am talking about and clearly only have the desire to try and make fun of me and my beliefs …”

          I don’t want to make fun of you. I feel sad for you, the same way I did for a really smart HS classmate of mine who fried HIS brain with alcohol instead of religion.

          Your beliefs, tho? That’s a totally different story. People who don’t want their beliefs laffed at shouldn’t believe such funny things, and I’m delighted to be able to poke fun at yours. Indeed, they practically beg for it.

          I say that as a serious science-fiction fan. Years of reading SF have enabled me to tell the difference between the “science” part and the “fiction” part, and most SF humor is intentional. The most hilarious part of the incredible crock of BS you subscribe to is how deadly serious you are about it.

  • http://www.wiics.org John W. Morehead

    One can accept this idea, and a monist rather than dualist anthropology involving a spirit or soul without the reductionism of materialism. A position called non-reductive physicalism has been argued for by philosophers like Nancy Murphy advocating for this view: http://www.amazon.com/Neurons-Make-Philosophical-Neurobiological-Responsibility/dp/0199568235/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1352951175&sr=8-3&keywords=nancy+murphy

  • http://theophor.us Ignatius Theophorus

    Pardon my asking, but I just want to make sure I understand. The argument here is that quantum improbability means that free will is possible. But how does non-determinism emerge from this improbability? Isn’t the only difference that instead of a Newtonian, clockwork universe where everything was determined billions of years ago without your input, you have a randomized and improbable universe determined right now (without your input)? What control does improbability yield?

    • Bob Seidensticker

      IT:

      Are you talking to me? My hypothesis is that quantum indeterminacy means that determinism is gone, but I don’t argue that this rescues free will. Indeed, that’s precisely my point.

      • http://theophor.us Ignatius Theophorus

        I don’t argue that this rescues free will

        Ok. Thanks. I was confused by that.

  • smrnda

    JohnH, since you would prefer I ask the question, I guess I could ask a similar one. Also, your position that divine revelation should produce positive results in this world is different from most other theists I run into, particularly most Christians. Many of them tell me that if god gave out commandments that led to widespread destruction and misery, then the commandments of god should be followed and are right regardless of their results. I do have to commend you that it’s much more rational to think that following a true religion revealed from god should lead to better results in this world, or at least, outside of that, god would be indifferent to humans and would be merely using them as toys.

    – you believe certain scriptures to be divinely revealed since following them produces results in terms of better health and welfare. But here is an interesting case that does have to do with health.

    King James I (the King James Bible King James) wrote an essay where he argued that smoking tobacco was unhealthy. He used a lot of intuitive reasoning that has absolutely nothing to do with why smoking is harmful, but he ended up reaching the correct conclusion. King James did not claim this was divine revelation, but he happened to be correct. Now, King James could have claimed divine inspiration and even known himself to be lying, but would his claim and the fact that we now have evidence that smoking is harmful be evidence that it was? Do you think people would actually then believe he was a prophet, and not just a king who commissioned a Bible translation? To me, the question of whether something was divine revelation is just fundamentally not answerable, at least not (in my opinion) beyond speculation.

    • JohnH

      “you would prefer I ask the question”
      Your questions are generally very interesting and relevant and not completely disrespectful of others.

      “the commandments of god should be followed and are right regardless of their results”
      The commandments of God might not always be understood at first and the results might not be apparent for some time, however man (the race not gender) exists that we might have joy (which is not the same thing as happiness and neither happiness nor joy are the same thing as pleasure). If one knows that and knows that the commandment come from God then just because the reason and results of a commandment are not known beforehand doesn’t mean that one should not follow the commandment.

      “you believe certain scriptures to be divinely revealed since following them produces results in terms of better health and welfare. ”
      That is only part of it: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

      “would his claim and the fact that we now have evidence that smoking is harmful be evidence that it was? ”
      Why wouldn’t it be?

      ” divine inspiration ”
      I have to wonder how you are using this term, it doesn’t fit with how I use it. I would say that Socrates, Confucius, King James, Einstein, the writers of the constitution etc were divinely inspired and that an individual does not necessarily need to be aware of their being inspired. This is different from revelation.

      “Do you think people would actually then believe he was a prophet, and not just a king who commissioned a Bible translation?”
      I think that really depends on what is being meant by prophet: if one is using it as one that is divinely inspired then King James already fits that, if one means it as one that has received revelation then we would have to look at what type of revelation is being claimed by King James, if one means one that has authority to speak in God’s name then no King James would still not be a prophet, and if one means one that has spoken with God directly the again no King James would still not be a prophet.

      “To me, the question of whether something was divine revelation is just fundamentally not answerable, at least not (in my opinion) beyond speculation.”
      Outside of one consulting the Divine then I think you are right and I believe that this is likely highly intentional on the part of God. Isaiah 6:9-10 for instance appears to say that, and I know of lots of other places where knowledge is withheld, sealed up, the interpretation of it sealed up, taken, or removed. Romans 1 both says that we know the gospel because of faith, but that men are left without excuse for not having faith. Since it says faith but not knowledge then means that speculation would appear to be possible.

  • smrnda

    I thought I would re-address my thoughts on why I don’t consider the brain a computer.

    A computer is a machine for executing a program (roughly speaking) – it would make sense to say that the programs existed before the existence of actual computers; you can come up with an algorithm and prove that it is correct but it can be completely infeasible to use it because humans can’t do arithmetic fast enough. Computers were machines made to do this work – in the end, the type of hardware isn’t always important, so long as it can execute a program. So for computers, there’s a distinction between hardware and software.

    The human mind, however, is the legacy of millions of years of evolution. It’s hardware, but I don’t see a software level. It’s kind of how if I turn on the engine on my chainsaw (yes, I have one) my chain saw works because of properties of the machine – it doesn’t have ‘software’ that tells it to turn on when I pull the cord. To me, the brain is more like that sort of machine.

    Now and then someone tells me that *if* we fully understood the workings of the brain, we would be able to abstract some program. We haven’t done this yet, and making a machine that replicates functions of the mind doesn’t imply that it’s working by the same mechanisms. I’m skeptical that they work in any way that’s similar, and I feel that making machines to do what people do will require hardware closer to what people have.

    But overall, I don’t see materialism as some curse of meaninglessness, but perhaps it’s also because I think enough theistic visions are about as nihilistic as it gets. Calvinism is about the most meaningless view of human life I’ve ever encountered, so god to me doesn’t necessarily solve the problem of meaning.

    I’m also skeptical that most religious people are really finding meaning in their religions and not in the ordinary, every day things that make my life meaningful – having a social life and a reasonable standard of living, a decent job, entertainment in the evening, good tasting food and drink, a chance to make life better instead of worse.

    • Jason

      Thanks smrnda, that’s really clear and helpful for idiots like me who don’t understand computers. Your post reminds us that a materialist view of the brain doesn’t take away all the mystery.

      What about things like video games and similar electronics? Do they have software. Is a computer by definition a combo of software and hardware?

      Also, this may be a ridiculous hypothetical (and please tell me if it is), but could we ask many of the questions we are asking in this forum by considering what a computer would think of itself if it “woke up.” In other words, would a computer consider its hardware its brain but be mystified by and deify the software aspect? Or, would some computers posit a dualist framework (e.g. “our hardware is our brain but our souls are immaterial!”)? Maybe there is another way to ask this?

      • Richard S. Russell

        For a book-length explanation of this, written in fairly accessible terms by a leading light of the atheist movement, check out Consciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett. I’ll throw in these caveats up front: Dennett is a philosopher, not a neuroscientist; the book is 20 years old now; and some of what he cites isn’t 100% accurate, tho it represented our best thinking at the time. Also, I think it does a better job of explaining what consciousness is NOT than what it IS. Still, it gets the basics right, is an accessible read, and is certainly considered one of the foundational works in the field.

      • JohnH

        In computation hardware and software are logically equivalent; A complete description of the entire system is possible with software only, hence the reason that one is able to emulate whatever gaming system or type of computer one could wish for fairly easily on a computer. Theoretically one could emulate the computer emulating the gaming system on a scientific calculator but that would be pretty silly and require way to much work to accomplish. Also theoretically possible is building a computer on minecraft and emulating a gaming system on that computer, that would require making a modification to the game so that all the needed chunks stayed loaded.

        If a computer woke up there would be some truth to them thinking their software was immaterial; there would likewise be some truth to them thinking that their software was of a finer material then their hardware. Since there is a unique description for each computational machine then there would actually be some truth if they were to think that they had an immortal soul that endured forever because as long as the laws of physics were the same someone making that unique description would have that exact same entity. There is a reason that there are many Christians of all varieties that agree that we might be similar to such entities. I however find a lot wrong with this description.

        • smrnda

          John H, You might want to look up Conway’s Game of Life (if you aren’t already familiar with it) as it’s an interesting game-like version of what is actually a Turing complete programming language. (I actually once wrote a “Turing Machine Emulator” which was a good demonstration of how much easier life is with higher level programming languages, but doing something more fun but less efficient is a good experience.) You might have some fun with that one.

      • smrnda

        Some incredibly surprising things have software in them – toasters, power tools, wood burning stoves. Even though one of my jobs is developing software, I’m usually opposed to its use in these things since adding a little computer just adds one more point of possible failure and usually doesn’t enhance the functionality of the device.

  • http://quinesqueue.blogspot.com/ Q. Quine

    Nice explanation of “emergence” and reply to the old “Just Fizzing” argument.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I searched a bit for the “just fizzing” argument. This is just a synonymous caricature to “molecules in motion”?

      • http://quinesqueue.blogspot.com/ Q. Quine

        Yes. Pops up in debates often, e.g. here.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I don’t think I’d heard of it before; thanks.

  • Pingback: hefalimp cardijon

  • Pingback: duct cleaning houton

  • Pingback: cialis internet

  • Pingback: how last longer in bed for men

  • Pingback: online slots

  • Pingback: hyperlink,

  • Pingback: cialis levitra

  • Pingback: apple products

  • Pingback: divorce lawyer

  • Pingback: prix du cialis avec ordonnance

  • Pingback: generique cialis en ligne

  • Pingback: payday loans lenders

  • Pingback: cialis 5 mg scheda tecnica

  • Pingback: cialis 10mg ou 20mg

  • Pingback: goat sex

  • Pingback: acheter cialis pas cher

  • Pingback: buy youtube subscribes

  • Pingback: cialis modalitГ  assunzione

  • Pingback: viagra

  • Pingback: buy youtube likes

  • Pingback: lawyer

  • Pingback: San Antonio attorney Alex Begum

  • Pingback: New Songs

  • Pingback: nujet tech

  • Pingback: Pension

  • Pingback: cialis modo d'uso

  • Pingback: Orlando vacation rentals

  • Pingback: thai massage dublin

  • Pingback: sex massage

  • Pingback: porn massage

  • Pingback: Penis enlargement

  • Pingback: Shaahin

  • Pingback: Bitcoin casino

  • Pingback: lawyer

  • Pingback: hills home market complaints

  • Pingback: www.floridasupremecourt.org

  • Pingback: westwood college reviews

  • Pingback: cupboards

  • Pingback: kitchens

  • Pingback: www.law.fsu.edu

  • Pingback: best wireless speakers

  • Pingback: stop premature ejaculation video

  • Pingback: Richard McArthur Reid Real Estate

  • Pingback: raptor bumper

  • Pingback: brides of ukraine agency

  • Pingback: Penis enlargement

  • Pingback: buy likes

  • Pingback: Viagra

  • Pingback: PLAYA DEL CARMEN REAL ESTATE

  • Pingback: cialis principio attivo

  • Pingback: raleigh wedding videographers

  • Pingback: buy ayahuasca

  • Pingback: more info

  • Pingback: garage doors san francisco

  • Pingback: ed maldonado

  • Pingback: how can i last longer during intercourse

  • Pingback: is online dating destroying love

  • Pingback: Madden 15 glitches

  • Pingback: booter

  • Pingback: بفركس احتيال

  • Pingback: emily bronte everyman

  • Pingback: emily bronte biography

  • Pingback: Carey Martell

  • Pingback: Inner Circle

  • Pingback: vacation rental travel insurance

  • Pingback: greenberry shakeology review

  • Pingback: just click the following internet site

  • Pingback: Illinois Process Server

  • Pingback: Knockdown Texture

  • Pingback: bakersfield cpr

  • Pingback: custom wordpress theme design

  • Pingback: Appliance Repair Albuquerque NM

  • Pingback: kvar energy

  • Pingback: dryer vent cleaning Northern Virginia

  • Pingback: magic

  • Pingback: mortgage broker

  • Pingback: Best online auction sites

  • Pingback: los angeles traffic ticket attorney

  • Pingback: dryer vent cleaning Alexandria

  • Pingback: renta de autos en cancun

  • Pingback: the best forex robot

  • Pingback: renta de autos en cancun

  • Pingback: Assistir Filmes

  • Pingback: Afford a Home with these tips...

  • Pingback: sell my own house

  • Pingback: Illinois Process Server

  • Pingback: Buy Viagra

  • Pingback: Sara Schwartz-Gluck

  • Pingback: www.vbosystems.info

  • Pingback: online pharmacy

  • Pingback: spam

  • Pingback: labor day meaning

  • Pingback: Free android games

  • Pingback: Viagra

  • Pingback: young adult fantasy

  • Pingback: cheap caribbean

  • Pingback: Whatsapp Hack

  • Pingback: probate homes

  • Pingback: eset nod32 trial keys

  • Pingback: superbahis kayit

  • Pingback: Sterling Heights

  • Pingback: paying for college debt

  • Pingback: labrador training

  • Pingback: appliance repair near Bronx

  • Pingback: IT Support

  • Pingback: Yonkers appliance repair

  • Pingback: easy sausage recipes

  • Pingback: poultry processing

  • Pingback: Best whatsapp status

  • Pingback: Downey Gum Graft

  • Pingback: Bar Tables

  • Pingback: Essential Oils

  • Pingback: mac data recovery

  • Pingback: uae business directory

  • Pingback: openappmkt

  • Pingback: does working out help you last longer in bed

  • Pingback: Surprise appliance repair

  • Pingback: porn videos

  • Pingback: cheap viagra

  • Pingback: Baltasar sanchez haz

  • Pingback: slot machines free

  • Pingback: izmir escort

  • Pingback: DUI Lawyers Denver

  • Pingback: emotional intelligence training

  • Pingback: carpet cleaning pretoria

  • Pingback: m?s informaci?n

  • Pingback: click here

  • Pingback: emotional intelligence training

  • Pingback: instant tax solutions

  • Pingback: Hjemmesider firma

  • Pingback: buy hydrocodone

  • Pingback: click here

  • Pingback: used cars in dubai

  • Pingback: buy adipex online

  • Pingback: abonnés au téléphone Français

  • Pingback: voyage de noce ile maurice

  • Pingback: BTCRumor - Cryptocurrency News Portal

  • Pingback: dalaman airport transfers

  • Pingback: click here to find out more

  • Pingback: Glass Replacement in Tempe

  • Pingback: CPCS Answers

  • Pingback: sites

  • Pingback: caramoan package

  • Pingback: Washtenaw County locksmith

  • Pingback: abc chauffeurs

  • Pingback: tarot si o no

  • Pingback: buy tramadol online

  • Pingback: natural face masks

  • Pingback: website design macon ga, macon web design, web design macon

  • Pingback: click here

  • Pingback: umbrella

  • Pingback: Exterminator Service Houston Texas

  • Pingback: learn to fly

  • Pingback: best pay day loans

  • Pingback: badmintonschläger test

  • Pingback: air conditioning sherman oaks

  • Pingback: notepad bluebox

  • Pingback: WordPress Themes en Español

  • Pingback: Knoxville Plumbing

  • Pingback: DIRTY ARMY

  • Pingback: anarkali

  • Pingback: instant online auto insurance quotes

  • Pingback: online drugstore

  • Pingback: suboxone detox diary

  • Pingback: Winchester sunroom

  • Pingback: houses to buy in cardiff

  • Pingback: perimeter intrusion detection system

  • Pingback: cialis original en ligne

  • Pingback: compare home insurance quotes

  • Pingback: bail bonds orange county

  • Pingback: centreville sunroom

  • Pingback: arlington sunroom

  • Pingback: wiki insurance

  • Pingback: kitchen stores

  • Pingback: free slot game online

  • Pingback: nether hack

  • Pingback: White Tights

  • Pingback: macchina fotografica reflex prezzi pazzi

  • Pingback: Colusa DUI Defense Attorney

  • Pingback: springfield sunroom

  • Pingback: Sinisterly - Hack Wordpress, XSS RCE

  • Pingback: iPad Case For Hiking

  • Pingback: drive a nascar

  • Pingback: yorktown sunroom

  • Pingback: Child abuse

  • Pingback: bloodydecks

  • Pingback: freelance

  • Pingback: buy xanax

  • Pingback: buy ambien

  • Pingback: yacon

  • Pingback: banana blue

  • Pingback: no fault divorce

  • Pingback: Designer wallet

  • Pingback: pussy

  • Pingback: legal separation

  • Pingback: travail a domicile

  • Pingback: How Much Mortgage Can I Get

  • Pingback: Aspergers Quiz

  • Pingback: musical meditation

  • Pingback: awaken kundalini

  • Pingback: payday loans

  • Pingback: online pharmacy

  • Pingback: facebook advertising poster

  • Pingback: Cialis

  • Pingback: kundalini pain

  • Pingback: Toronto Criminal Lawyer

  • Pingback: travel greece

  • Pingback: Viagraaustraliaau

  • Pingback: penis enlargement

  • Pingback: iphone 5c dots case

  • Pingback: tworzenie stron www lódz

  • Pingback: canciones para bodas

  • Pingback: stock markets

  • Pingback: seo optimization cost

  • Pingback: strona firmy

  • Pingback: easy meditation for stress

  • Pingback: cerrajero urgente murcia

  • Pingback: App Reviews

  • Pingback: Payday loans

  • Pingback: free netflix account

  • Pingback: wilnel verdu

  • Pingback: Chung cu ct2c Nghia Ðô

  • Pingback: soundcloud buy plays

  • Pingback: pulseras de gomitas

  • Pingback: Currency Trading

  • Pingback: hecigarette review

  • Pingback: cerebral palsy disability types

  • Pingback: dr. gerald buchoff

  • Pingback: Real Music Promotion

  • Pingback: cavaleiros do zodiaco

  • Pingback: viagra

  • Pingback: plymouth bjj

  • Pingback: Alternative Holidays Turkey

  • Pingback: loan finance

  • Pingback: Diabetes mallitus

  • Pingback: Pomsky

  • Pingback: Betsey Hapner

  • Pingback: how to make money on facebook

  • Pingback: Call Center VOIP

  • Pingback: alcachofas de laon

  • Pingback: xlovecam generator

  • Pingback: Elizabeth L Hapner

  • Pingback: how to make a game

  • Pingback: descuentos peru

  • Pingback: hearthstone arena guide

  • Pingback: learn more

  • Pingback: camfly

  • Pingback: penis extender

  • Pingback: boost my likes

  • Pingback: Dryer Service

  • Pingback: autobahnvignette 2014

  • Pingback: Awesome Self publishing blog

  • Pingback: Service Company

  • Pingback: kurtyny PCV

  • Pingback: Guia de negocios

  • Pingback: Guia de negocios

  • Pingback: arkitekter kobenhavn

  • Pingback: easy 100 reviews

  • Pingback: garden shed plans

  • Pingback: pulseras de gomita

  • Pingback: kasur busa

  • Pingback: stopthestresstoday.com/about-me

  • Pingback: scandal news

  • Pingback: whmcs free

  • Pingback: our website

  • Pingback: pulseras de gomitas

  • Pingback: cheap porn

  • Pingback: bolatangkasnet

  • Pingback: personal trainer

  • Pingback: newport beach

  • Pingback: uk seo

  • Pingback: Newport Beach

  • Pingback: online flashcards

  • Pingback: Lolita Beaumier

  • Pingback: online flashcards

  • Pingback: Baltasar

  • Pingback: betboo

  • Pingback: drysol reviews

  • Pingback: buy drysol

  • Pingback: binary options trading system

  • Pingback: Guide to miniature golf construction

  • Pingback: betboo

  • Pingback: betboo

  • Pingback: betboo

  • Pingback: aluminium gutters

  • Pingback: betboo

  • Pingback: بفركس احتيال

  • Pingback: chelsea ferguson gets tits out,

  • Pingback: fashion tips for men

  • Pingback: league of legends coaching

  • Pingback: Zebra Printer Repair

  • Pingback: builders in jaipur

  • Pingback: abacus

  • Pingback: portable atm hire

  • Pingback: aluminium guttering

  • Pingback: here

  • Pingback: Oakland County locksmith

  • Pingback: Kocaeli Evden eve Nakliyat

  • Pingback: WP Profit Builder Review

  • Pingback: alaska fishing trips

  • Pingback: Aspergers Quiz

  • Pingback: foreclosure listings

  • Pingback: alaska fishing

  • Pingback: visit this site

  • Pingback: Alarme maison

  • Pingback: TRADEMARK LAW

  • Pingback: the plumbing cure

  • Pingback: homepage here

  • Pingback: wake up now products

  • Pingback: uprawnienia sep katowice

  • Pingback: sell house with flyinghomes.co.uk

  • Pingback: canary islands property

  • Pingback: smith kandal

  • Pingback: Link Fun88

  • Pingback: unfollowers

  • Pingback: fifa 15 ultimate team coins

  • Pingback: Source

  • Pingback: Woodlow Locksmith

  • Pingback: CCNP BANGALORE

  • Pingback: retader éjaculation

  • Pingback: kangen

  • Pingback: M88.Com

  • Pingback: Julefrokost

  • Pingback: ripoff

  • Pingback: soigner éjaculation précoce

  • Pingback: Mogul PR

  • Pingback: amazon

  • Pingback: online casinos

  • Pingback: compounding

  • Pingback: homes for rent

  • Pingback: how to build backlinks

  • Pingback: list of registered domain names

  • Pingback: Pressplay

  • Pingback: Sondage

  • Pingback: Wirral airport service

  • Pingback: Preston Byrd Memphis

  • Pingback: venue for birthday

  • Pingback: Earn Money at home

  • Pingback: Condensateketel gas

  • Pingback: livestreamvoetbal.tv

  • Pingback: Online Data Entry Jobs Can Earn Extra Cash

  • Pingback: Cheap Christian Jewelry

  • Pingback: women weight loss

  • Pingback: Coupons

  • Pingback: language tuition london

  • Pingback: Potty Training

  • Pingback: seattle web design

  • Pingback: Kalamazoo

  • Pingback: Jeffrey Arsenault Old Greenwich CT

  • Pingback: product Reviews

  • Pingback: supra tk society shoes

  • Pingback: fake reviews

  • Pingback: Plexus Slim

  • Pingback: computer accessories

  • Pingback: Phoenix Barter Company

  • Pingback: vimax tablety

  • Pingback: New Ebay Coupon Codes in September 2014

  • Pingback: Click

  • Pingback: ktet answer key 2014 sept

  • Pingback: free rap beats

  • Pingback: online flashcards

  • Pingback: 8bets10

  • Pingback: bed bugs

  • Pingback: fake sunglasses

  • Pingback: fake sunglasses

  • Pingback: wikipedia

  • Pingback: dr gerald buchoff

  • Pingback: Reklamówki

  • Pingback: strona firmy

  • Pingback: Tiffanie Craddock

  • Pingback: nelson rolihlahla mandela

  • Pingback: funko mystery minis game of thrones list

  • Pingback: jns

  • Pingback: kliknij link

  • Pingback: kliknij

  • Pingback: all govt jobs

  • Pingback: Bluebird Botanicals CBD

  • Pingback: gopro guide

  • Pingback: ติว tu-get

  • Pingback: cell phone spy app for android

  • Pingback: alkaline water

  • Pingback: slupy ogloszeniowe

  • Pingback: ติว toeic

  • Pingback: vimax

  • Pingback: søgemaskineoptimering

  • Pingback: vimax

  • Pingback: Professional Logo Design

  • Pingback: sell your house fast

  • Pingback: Pocket folders

  • Pingback: WebForum

  • Pingback: Lit tiroir à prix discount

  • Pingback: simply essentials tweezers for ingrown hair

  • Pingback: sell house fast

  • Pingback: osbournes

  • Pingback: sell my house fast

  • Pingback: Tekstu rasymo paslaugos

  • Pingback: Cialis online

  • Pingback: electronics

  • Pingback: lawsuit xarelto

  • Pingback: buy ambien

  • Pingback: ombud

  • Pingback: how to get rid of bed bugs

  • Pingback: Forums

  • Pingback: Aprender ingles

  • Pingback: work at home edu reviews

  • Pingback: Online Jobs For College Students

  • Pingback: cheap pest control

  • Pingback: Monitoring Software

  • Pingback: most effective vitamins for endurance training

  • Pingback: windenergie

  • Pingback: legit reviews

  • Pingback: China Kosher Certificate

  • Pingback: szkolenia bhp poznan

  • Pingback: HTML5 Video

  • Pingback: pick up artist london

  • Pingback: live sex

  • Pingback: dr. Hatem Elhagely

  • Pingback: click here

  • Pingback: viagra

  • Pingback: cars history

  • Pingback: dr duke

  • Pingback: customer service

  • Pingback: continental movers

  • Pingback: home instead reviews

  • Pingback: Synergy Boiler

  • Pingback: NavyRailway Jobs

  • Pingback: cheap cialis online

  • Pingback: superbahis

  • Pingback: Free Viagra

  • Pingback: Online Gambling

  • Pingback: superbahis

  • Pingback: süperbahis

  • Pingback: Social Media Strategy

  • Pingback: happy diwali greetings

  • Pingback: online sports betting

  • Pingback: melanotan

  • Pingback: Mayday Games

  • Pingback: Website

  • Pingback: Mayday Games Review

  • Pingback: click here

  • Pingback: Car Tours

  • Pingback: schlüsseldienst düsseldorf

  • Pingback: luigi wewege

  • Pingback: buy youtube views

  • Pingback: blog template

  • Pingback: Mayday Games

  • Pingback: beneficios de la garcinia cambogia

  • Pingback: web cordoba prices

  • Pingback: Dentist Chantilly

  • Pingback: pastillas de cambogia en venezuela

  • Pingback: showbox download

  • Pingback: Oceanfront Condos Grand Strand South Carolina

  • Pingback: sexshop

  • Pingback: kos dekat stp

  • Pingback: pebble tile

  • Pingback: cheap viagra

  • Pingback: vision boards

  • Pingback: poker system

  • Pingback: viagra - pirater-fb-gratuit.fr

  • Pingback: cheap tramadol

  • Pingback: molotov mitchell

  • Pingback: cerrajeria valencia

  • Pingback: http://www.bypassicloudlock.net/

  • Pingback: Argireline

  • Pingback: alkaline water machine

  • Pingback: sexy emails

  • Pingback: cabanaboy42

  • Pingback: Canadian steroids

  • Pingback: teen fuck

  • Pingback: seo

  • Pingback: chirurg plastyk wroclaw

  • Pingback: wakaf produktif indonesia

  • Pingback: dzianiny lodz

  • Pingback: Santa Clara News

  • Pingback: penn foster exam answers

  • Pingback: number reverse

  • Pingback: file

  • Pingback: Forum dla ciezarnych

  • Pingback: sklep karpiowy

  • Pingback: Opciones binarias

  • Pingback: philadelphia student trips

  • Pingback: gurtoertil

  • Pingback: Darian Braun Coco Amo

  • Pingback: Up and Coming Rap Blog

  • Pingback: RE consultant

  • Pingback: noze tokarskie

  • Pingback: larkston

  • Pingback: best money lender

  • Pingback: seo training

  • Pingback: Dedicated Servers Los Angeles

  • Pingback: Cris Barros

  • Pingback: kindle phone

  • Pingback: Cheap Escorts London

  • Pingback: right treadmills

  • Pingback: buy musical instruments for sale

  • Pingback: quality contemporary jewelry on sale

  • Pingback: szambo ekologiczne

  • Pingback: wakacje

  • Pingback: Moda y Hollywood

  • Pingback: online poker

  • Pingback: Derron Sanders of SG Capital Group Mi

  • Pingback: cheap Prom Dresses

  • Pingback: traducator consulat

  • Pingback: süperbahis

  • Pingback: managed hosting

  • Pingback: sylwester góry

  • Pingback: buy gift

  • Pingback: Earl Carter

  • Pingback: Flipkart Review for Online Shoppers in India

  • Pingback: tf fitness

  • Pingback: juku

  • Pingback: www.pfhelp.us

  • Pingback: real estate marketing

  • Pingback: over to this site

  • Pingback: cancun taxi

  • Pingback: how to jump higher

  • Pingback: Chad Conley Bail Bonds

  • Pingback: www.explainitvideos.com

  • Pingback: chiavetta usb rotta

  • Pingback: system rulety

  • Pingback: Hats

  • Pingback: discount diamond jewelry

  • Pingback: radarandlaserforum

  • Pingback: cyst inside ovary

  • Pingback: süperbahis

  • Pingback: hell in a cell live stream 20914 justin tyv

  • Pingback: l?s upp modem

  • Pingback: psycholog warszawa

  • Pingback: pieczatki

  • Pingback: cheap oil painting reprodcution

  • Pingback: cigars

  • Pingback: merchant account

  • Pingback: Hostgator coupons

  • Pingback: plumbing contractors

  • Pingback: Sena

  • Pingback: social anxiety

  • Pingback: vender y comprar

  • Pingback: online poker

  • Pingback: Leptin Supplement

  • Pingback: car accidents attorney

  • Pingback: Web Forum

  • Pingback: free gold maps

  • Pingback: nail salon scottsdale

  • Pingback: Politics and News Updates

  • Pingback: Rape videos

  • Pingback: generic viagra

  • Pingback: nether

  • Pingback: Acculogy

  • Pingback: cheapest MBA

  • Pingback: cpr classes in san antonio

  • Pingback: my yoga hong kong website design

  • Pingback: Tony Abbott

  • Pingback: bus tours to new york from saint john

  • Pingback: emran hashmi kiss

  • Pingback: click for more

  • Pingback: site

  • Pingback: fowllowme

  • Pingback: business financing

  • Pingback: credit repair letters

  • Pingback: credit repair kit

  • Pingback: Supplement For Weight Loss and Fat Burning

  • Pingback: top wedding filmmakers in vancouver

  • Pingback: reverse directory

  • Pingback: bad credit car loan

  • Pingback: Portable Directory

  • Pingback: Spyhunter

  • Pingback: Telephone Directory UK Free

  • Pingback: http://jubileuszowe.blogi.pl

  • Pingback: fdpod

  • Pingback: Whitepages

  • Pingback: business cash advance

  • Pingback: Liberty Tax Franchise Reviews

  • Pingback: best internet service providers

  • Pingback: cheap hair extensions

  • Pingback: life insurance rates

  • Pingback: lab tests

  • Pingback: Naturkosmetik

  • Pingback: Arvind Pandit

  • Pingback: internet services in my area

  • Pingback: cheapest auto insurance

  • Pingback: Locksmith OKC

  • Pingback: yellow october

  • Pingback: personal trainer coventry

  • Pingback: best way to consolidate debt

  • Pingback: PHP Booking Engine

  • Pingback: mandai foodlink

  • Pingback: phone services

  • Pingback: furniture online singapore

  • Pingback: alarm services

  • Pingback: flat coated retriever hodowla

  • Pingback: ego battery 900 mah

  • Pingback: Illinois For Sale By Owner

  • Pingback: nap the vcoin

  • Pingback: superbahis

  • Pingback: indienationblog

  • Pingback: generic viagra

  • Pingback: CAR LOAN

  • Pingback: demenagement paris

  • Pingback: best foreclosure sites

  • Pingback: http://admediacash.com

  • Pingback: wypozyczalnia samochodow Gliwice

  • Pingback: devis demenagement

  • Pingback: best show live

  • Pingback: Welding consumables

  • Pingback: electric scooter for kids

  • Pingback: electric scooter for kids

  • Pingback: affiliate marketing amazon

  • Pingback: Self-publishing

  • Pingback: devis demenagement

  • Pingback: best wordpress theme free magazine

  • Pingback: las vegas video production

  • Pingback: devis demenagement

  • Pingback: beste datingside

  • Pingback: devis demenagement

  • Pingback: egg surprise

  • Pingback: devis demenagement

  • Pingback: garden |

  • Pingback: list your startup

  • Pingback: free credit bureau

  • Pingback: affordable car insurance

  • Pingback: how to make 1000

  • Pingback: find my credit score

  • Pingback: lainaa heti

  • Pingback: easy money

  • Pingback: Registered Chicago Sex Offender

  • Pingback: funeral programs

  • Pingback: peluche robado

  • Pingback: medical coding jobs

  • Pingback: x ray technician salary

  • Pingback: como cuenta cuenta hackear

  • Pingback: The Orient

  • Pingback: charter capt jason shilling

  • Pingback: designer

  • Pingback: Favorite Quotes

  • Pingback: kliknij tutaj

  • Pingback: Parenting

  • Pingback: ekspres moto kurye

  • Pingback: play time management games

  • Pingback: David Turbyfill

  • Pingback: Emergency Survival

  • Pingback: new orleans flights

  • Pingback: Locksmith Oklahoma City

  • Pingback: canvas print innovate or die

  • Pingback: Celebrity Videos

  • Pingback: aaron levie tshirt get shit done

  • Pingback: tina fey tshirt whatever the problem be a part of the solution

  • Pingback: ip valuations

  • Pingback: signal classification

  • Pingback: ninja master prep

  • Pingback: ???? ??????

  • Pingback: click for binary options software

  • Pingback: Healthy dinner ideas

  • Pingback: ofermedia

  • Pingback: Free Messaging Software

  • Pingback: Catcare

  • Pingback: Flavon kids

  • Pingback: buy pr 9 backlinks

  • Pingback: telechargement film legal

  • Pingback: how to make money online

  • Pingback: simple online jobs

  • Pingback: internet casino

  • Pingback: xarelto attorneys

  • Pingback: 5-htp max

  • Pingback: gambling casino

  • Pingback: Maltese puppies for sale in Ohio

  • Pingback: Gifts for him

  • Pingback: advanced warfare hacks

  • Pingback: Viagra

  • Pingback: ???? ??????

  • Pingback: learn more

  • Pingback: kinder surprise

  • Pingback: colombian brides

  • Pingback: Høm huse

  • Pingback: wypozyczalnia lawet

  • Pingback: The Best Marketing Solution for Social Media Professionals

  • Pingback: buy facebook post likes

  • Pingback: plastic surgery pittsburgh

  • Pingback: Tablets

  • Pingback: printable coupons

  • Pingback: radarandlaserforum

  • Pingback: diabetes miracle

  • Pingback: Chef Murph K.T

  • Pingback: booking

  • Pingback: MatthewJustice

  • Pingback: videos porno

  • Pingback: walk-in clinic

  • Pingback: Usenext kostenlos

  • Pingback: gps personal tracking devices

  • Pingback: Online Reputation Expert

  • Pingback: Kosmetik online shop

  • Pingback: water ionizer

  • Pingback: motivation for life

  • Pingback: penis stretchers

  • Pingback: how to build muscle fast

  • Pingback: agree with this

  • Pingback: mobile apps

  • Pingback: link

  • Pingback: pokazy kulinarne

  • Pingback: Remove Fake Facebook Likes

  • Pingback: consultores ecommerce

  • Pingback: Porno

  • Pingback: Car repair Atlanta

  • Pingback: blue inc schaumburg

  • Pingback: Gabinet rehabilitacji

  • Pingback: Pueraria Mirifica

  • Pingback: xxxcams.mobi

  • Pingback: Motor Club Of America

  • Pingback: web directory

  • Pingback: the holistic sanctuary reviews

  • Pingback: spiritual life coaches

  • Pingback: aimboting

  • Pingback: TV Uzivo

  • Pingback: Taimur Khan is a co-founder of Blueberry

  • Pingback: Taimur Khan is a co-founder of Blueberry

  • Pingback: see this website

  • Pingback: click

  • Pingback: the venus factor

  • Pingback: sell my house privately

  • Pingback: go here

  • Pingback: value stocks

  • Pingback: trade

  • Pingback: Serrurier Bezons

  • Pingback: Vitrier 75003

  • Pingback: iherb codes

  • Pingback: web url

  • Pingback: Urgence plombier Paris

  • Pingback: water ionizers

  • Pingback: this

  • Pingback: Schottland '96 Fort William

  • Pingback: Celebrity Sexy Images

  • Pingback: Alquiler de furgonetas

  • Pingback: kliknij link

  • Pingback: Autoapprove List

  • Pingback: instant payday loans

  • Pingback: click here

  • Pingback: Cleaner

  • Pingback: brinks home security systems

  • Pingback: community help

  • Pingback: Quantenheilung Berlin

  • Pingback: buy viagra

  • Pingback: muslim marriage events

  • Pingback: how to fuck

  • Pingback: Home Careers

  • Pingback: viagra pills

  • Pingback: hostgator discount

  • Pingback: hostgator coupon code

  • Pingback: hanford barbershop

  • Pingback: (424) 201-2788

  • Pingback: washer and dryer repair

  • Pingback: hostgator promo

  • Pingback: Hostgator Coupon Codes

  • Pingback: Dr. Elhagaly

  • Pingback: auto repair shops near me

  • Pingback: youth sports fundraising ideas

  • Pingback: pretty little liars season 5 episode 17

  • Pingback: eau parfum

  • Pingback: scopate con animali

  • Pingback: joseph chinnock scam

  • Pingback: bimbo

  • Pingback: truffa in rete

  • Pingback: Celebrity Pictures

  • Pingback: how to hack google serp

  • Pingback: timo

  • Pingback: Residual Income

  • Pingback: witryna www

  • Pingback: Windows 8 themes free download

  • Pingback: gta 5 next update

  • Pingback: free drugs online $$$

  • Pingback: Online pharmacy

  • Pingback: Claims you are a winner

  • Pingback: free slots

  • Pingback: colombian brides

  • Pingback: zalando kortingscode

  • Pingback: blog mode marseille

  • Pingback: cialis order now

  • Pingback: modded controller

  • Pingback: MOT YORK

  • Pingback: MOT YORK

  • Pingback: Life Insurance Quotes

  • Pingback: MOT YORK

  • Pingback: fashion with a purpose

  • Pingback: TAMIL Channel Express - Timeline | Facebook

  • Pingback: rape

  • Pingback: we buy portland houses

  • Pingback: Jokes And Pictures

  • Pingback: series youwatch

  • Pingback: streaming exashare

  • Pingback: mattress singapore

  • Pingback: Ciri Ciri Penyakit Kanker Hati

  • Pingback: storage auction

  • Pingback: canopies

  • Pingback: Storage Auctions

  • Pingback: (734) 782-2411

  • Pingback: voip providers

  • Pingback: make 100 a day with clickbank

  • Pingback: place to get business insurance in Flat Rock

  • Pingback: canon dslr

  • Pingback: fisher price big action dig n ride

  • Pingback: Viagra Nevada

  • Pingback: way to make money online

  • Pingback: clowns

  • Pingback: private jet charter rome

  • Pingback: austria veranstaltungen planen

  • Pingback: related site

  • Pingback: express estate agency manchester

  • Pingback: cast resin transformers

  • Pingback: sex toys

  • Pingback: http://www.binaryoptionstradingx.com

  • Pingback: how to make money online from home

  • Pingback: Build-a-Bear Workshop

  • Pingback: blood tests

  • Pingback: oakland county homes for sale

  • Pingback: perth limo

  • Pingback: personal trainer singapore

  • Pingback: afspraakjes

  • Pingback: Hospital marketing

  • Pingback: ???? ???? ???32

  • Pingback: appliance service

  • Pingback: vinyl repair

  • Pingback: cushion for dogs

  • Pingback: Teragon labs

  • Pingback: binary options strategies

  • Pingback: google sniper

  • Pingback: sun glasses

  • Pingback: xtube

  • Pingback: masöz istanbul

  • Pingback: photographe paris ethiopie ethiopia harar harrar

  • Pingback: landscaping in pittsburgh pa

  • Pingback: Perfumes Importados baratos e outros

  • Pingback: masöz izmir

  • Pingback: vw wedding cars

  • Pingback: Vacation St.lucia

  • Pingback: celeb gossip

  • Pingback: News

  • Pingback: www.ihd-wallpaper.com

  • Pingback: Vacation St.lucia

  • Pingback: best high end full coverage foundation

  • Pingback: promote my facebook page

  • Pingback: Epson & Sons Appliance Repair, Epson & Sons, Epson and Sons, Epson and Sons Appliance Repair, Epson & Sons Appliance Repair (562) 200-0545, (562) 200-0545, Epson and Sons (562) 200-0545, appliance repair in Long Beach, Long Beach appliance rep

  • Pingback: Sell my hair

  • Pingback: health insurance

  • Pingback: pain pills

  • Pingback: storage auctions

  • Pingback: psn code generator

  • Pingback: snow cone maker

  • Pingback: Web Design Dubai

  • Pingback: despedida toledo

  • Pingback: CPA Firm

  • Pingback: training course site

  • Pingback: SEO Tools

  • Pingback: washer repair in Alhambra, dryer repair in Alhambra

  • Pingback: Redondo Beach appliance repair

  • Pingback: refrigerator repair

  • Pingback: Tax Prep Pompano

  • Pingback: gas heat service

  • Pingback: oplichterij

  • Pingback: trap er niet in

  • Pingback: donate money

  • Pingback: crochet shawl pattern

  • Pingback: buy viagra online

  • Pingback: www.tampabay.com/news/health/john-morgan-the-bombastic-omnipresent-lawyer-fueling-floridas-2014-election/2154748

  • Pingback: choosing an affiliate network

  • Pingback: canasta dealing

  • Pingback: western boots orlando florida

  • Pingback: list building

  • Pingback: shop

  • Pingback: small metal buildings

  • Pingback: make money from home

  • Pingback: training

  • Pingback: fmtrader احتيال

  • Pingback: fmtrader احتيال

  • Pingback: sell my san diego house

  • Pingback: pinganillos

  • Pingback: escape room singapore

  • Pingback: colon cleanse womens formula

  • Pingback: Anonymous

  • Pingback: wooden hot tubs

  • Pingback: masöz antalya

  • Pingback: videos de sexo

  • Pingback: porno

  • Pingback: jokes

  • Pingback: what you need to know about interviews

  • Pingback: Dragon Cheats

  • Pingback: Zynga Poker Tips

  • Pingback: Alex Grey

  • Pingback: How to earn more money

  • Pingback: strona firmy

  • Pingback: FCPX Effects

  • Pingback: search

  • Pingback: water ionizers

  • Pingback: iraqi dinar affiliate

  • Pingback: professional brushes

  • Pingback: blankets and throws gifts

  • Pingback: casino

  • Pingback: sex scandal

  • Pingback: Best Beers

  • Pingback: Anonymous

  • Pingback: best youtube proxy

  • Pingback: R?sultats CAN 2015

  • Pingback: Make it come true!

  • Pingback: generic viagra

  • Pingback: Used pallet racks for sale Atlanta

  • Pingback: promotii laptop

  • Pingback: buy quality backlinks

  • Pingback: flyambu

  • Pingback: Porno

  • Pingback: maduras

  • Pingback: joanna shields london stock exchange

  • Pingback: buy phen375 online

  • Pingback: orjinal lida

  • Pingback: Instagram private profile viewer

  • Pingback: income protection insurance

  • Pingback: wreck this journal ideas

  • Pingback: Para

  • Pingback: Santa Clarita, CA News Paper

  • Pingback: buy viagra online

  • Pingback: peter beck

  • Pingback: erotic stories by madam

  • Pingback: Lake Norman custom home builder

  • Pingback: dormire a Ferrara

  • Pingback: Pure Garcinia Cambogia Extract

  • Pingback: Crime scene clean up

  • Pingback: SINGORAMA

  • Pingback: Tungsten Heavy Alloy Supplier

  • Pingback: Enjoy Kerblotto

  • Pingback: chicago sex crimes lawyer

  • Pingback: buy traffic

  • Pingback: muslim marriage events

  • Pingback: sql server improve query performance

  • Pingback: Farming simulator 15 mods

  • Pingback: JVZoo

  • Pingback: epoxyclean

  • Pingback: chicago dental implant

  • Pingback: The Flow at East Coast

  • Pingback: government business grants

  • Pingback: Suffolk SEO

  • Pingback: area rug cleaning

  • Pingback: masaj

  • Pingback: teeth whitening app

  • Pingback: bdswiss youtube

  • Pingback: zbita szyba

  • Pingback: interior design singapore

  • Pingback: Videos Gays

  • Pingback: Nootropic Herb

  • Pingback: USB Collar ID

  • Pingback: USB Dog Tag

  • Pingback: Anonymous

  • Pingback: race

  • Pingback: porno

  • Pingback: Small Company Loans Clarkston

  • Pingback: Small Company Loans Clarkston Michigan

  • Pingback: villa designs

  • Pingback: no deposit bonus

  • Pingback: Moving company Burbank

  • Pingback: Wixom, MI Small Company Loans

  • Pingback: Best Natural Hair loss Treatment

  • Pingback: hd porn

  • Pingback: penis enlargement pills

  • Pingback: free porn

  • Pingback: pharmacy savings

  • Pingback: url shortener

  • Pingback: four corners alliance group presentation

  • Pingback: Merry Christmas from Poker Automatics

  • Pingback: stoppen roken tips

  • Pingback: alkaline water

  • Pingback: treadmills for sale

  • Pingback: colorful contemporary living room designs

  • Pingback: hitachi hot and cold window ac

  • Pingback: see more

  • Pingback: second hand cars for sale

  • Pingback: THINSPO

  • Pingback: data recovery

  • Pingback: kik friend

  • Pingback: kik friend

  • Pingback: commercial

  • Pingback: company

  • Pingback: read more about

  • Pingback: Fullerton roofer

  • Pingback: MP45 review

  • Pingback: www.reclaimanyppi.com

  • Pingback: buy steroid

  • Pingback: love spells

  • Pingback: How to cure cracked heels

  • Pingback: cheap levitra

  • Pingback: residual income advantages disadvantages

  • Pingback: secrets revealed on the talk this week

  • Pingback: linnexuk

  • Pingback: northpark Residences

  • Pingback: Gmail correo


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X