Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Group 3: Arguments 13-14

The Argument from the Improbable Self:
This argument focuses on the unique conscious experience of each individual person. Since we know only what it is to be ourselves and not what it is like to be anyone else then there must be something special about our existence. since we are all unique entities, then there must be a creator that takes an interest in manufacturing one of a kind persons rather than assembly line humans. If god is the creator of all conscious creatures, then why create the psychopath. Psychopathy is easily explained when we look at developmental and social influences that could shape the brain of these people; invoking god does not. Many Buddhist would also disagree, arguing that our notion of self hood is an illusion. Even Sam Harris argues that a person can leave behind the sense of self by focusing on their attention through meditation, and is studying the effects meditation on the brain using magnetic resonance imaging. If it is possible for a person to temporarily leave the internal narrative that is our ordinary conscious experience, what happens to it in the interval?

The Argument from Survival after Death:
Many people report "crossing over" to the other side after flat lining and have comparable experiences that should be considered credible. Many people claim to have seen themselves while doctors are trying to resuscitate them, as well as dead relatives and white lights etc. Because poeple have had concious experience apart from their earthly form, then there must be a part of us that is imortal.....insert god for the existance of our having imortal souls. This is an easy claim to dispute since there is no empirical data to corroborate any of these claims. However; there would be an easy way to devise an experiment that would give us such evidence. In emergency and operating rooms around the world a 15 digit random number generator could be placed on top of a cabinet that could only be seen from above. Only the experimenters and a few staff would know of the devise. If anyone ever came to and said; "I was hovering over my body while you were performing CPR, and i saw the number 24180774156849 flashing in red on top of that cabinet." then we could start having a conversation about how serious we should take such claims. The occurrence of people seeing the same white light could be a result of the brain going through its shut down mode, analogous to what your laptop does when you turn it off.


  1. 1. Every snowflake is unique and special. Does that mean some deity has a hand in their individual creation? Perhaps so, as sparrows are surely higher up on the chain than snowflakes.

    2. Excellent idea on the experiment. It seems people consistently underestimate the power of human imagination. The brain "sees" far more than we are consciously aware of, and constructing dream sequences is something most of us do every night. Why is this so interesting when it happens in an ER?

  2. Argument 15- Basically, for me, this argument seems unsound because of lack of imagination. Simply because we do not know something that is inconceivable does not mean we should automatically accept the other possibility. There are plenty of things that I could not comprehend myself doing. I can't imagine myself killing innocent people, yet every year we hear about a colege campus shooting. Just because we cannot think about not thinking does not make a whole lot of sense about accepting that their is a god.

    Argument 16- This argument seems more logical than 15, but there are still somethings i do not agree with. We all have come to know there are certain things one does not do (kill for no reason, slavery, theft.) It is not until the fourth part that I encounter my dilemma. Assuming we as people could not come to our own moral standards seems to demean the human race. There are atheists I know that are extremely more moral than some of my christian friends. Even though they were not raised in a house that went to church, these people are still socially good. If God is the sole reason for our morals, then how can a non-believer be more virtuous than one who does believe? The fact that someone with lack of faith has higher morals than one raised in a church seems to tell me that God is not responsible for our moral standards