Neural networks and physical systems

God is a necessary precondition for reason: Steve’s closing statement
Full-size image (115 K) Continued from my closing statement «

Steve has now posted his closing statement. As usual, I’m reproducing it here for ease of reference. This  is the final part of our debate. My thanks to Steve for an interesting and thought-provoking exchange.

What I wanted to achieve in this debate was to explain how what we call reasoning in humans can arise without any involvement of God. When we observe a human taking in information, interpreting it, and responding, do we need to involve a deity? I have shown why we don’t with a clear explanation of how the interaction of neurons in the human brain can give rise to what we call “reasoning”.

What I had to achieve to win the debate was far, far simpler. All I had to show was that an alternative to the Christian God would have fitted my opponent’s arguments just as well, so showing that the Christian God was not necessary.

I’ll do that now: Suppose, hypothetically, I assume that my opponent was correct in every respect including the trinitarian nature of the deity. However, as he has provided no justification for which trinity is necessary, other than it be somehow supernatural and universal, I’ll go for the Wyrd Sisters, the Norns of Norse mythology: the Fates. I claim this is far more compatible with the reality we observe, as there is no theodicy required. The Fates can be nasty. There - debate over. Actually, it is far simpler than that. Non-theistic dualism is logically consistent. Therefore, by definition, God is not necessary for dualism (“necessary” means required in all logically possible worlds). I could have dismissed your entire argument and won the debate in two sentences. But, that would not have given me the chance to investigate the nature of reasoning in physical systems, which I believe has been a truly fascinating subject to explore.

Source: Dominic Bnonn Tennant

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