RE: Hypostases (was: Natural Order & Belief)

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 13:05:53 +1100

Tom Caylor writes:
> > Anyway, I don't see how you could deny you are a machine any more than you
> > could deny a car is a machine. You are made up of tiny little components all working
> > together smoothly, and if something breaks, you break. God could have made us solid
> > like a potato animated by an immaterial soul, or left out the solid part altogether, but
> > instead he made every part function in accordance with the basically very well understood
> > chemistry of a handful of elements. It's amazing that these chemical reactions give rise to
> > walking, talking humans, but then I'm still pretty impressed that my car can take me to places
> > in quiet comfort while thousands of explosions are occurring in the engine.
> >
> > Stathis Papaioannou
> > _________________________________________________________________
> This is going to be fun exercise. "I am not a machine." There, I just
> denied it, even though you don't see how. But you now have some
> empirical evidence. Unless you don't consider me as a valid part of
> the population. Just kidding, my point is that we can't use science to
> answer these questions. You and Bruno already are hypothesizing that
> we are machines. It's fun to see where it leads, but after a finite
> number of steps I want to stop (not "it is the case that I will stop
> independently of what I want", whether or not that is true) because I
> *believe* I am not a machine. By the way, a car cannot do what I just
> did (in a finite number of steps), unless it is preprogrammed to do it,
> but then that isn't the real thing.
> Tom
If a machine is a device made of moving parts which interact according to the laws of physics,
then I am a machine. The evidence certainly seems to suggest that having the right parts in the
right configuration is *sufficient* to give rise to a conscious human (whether it is also *necessary*
is another question, discussed many times on this list). Do you doubt that placing carbon, hydrogen,
oxygen etc. atoms together in just the right way would result in a living organism?
Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Mon Dec 04 2006 - 21:06:10 PST

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