Argument from Logic

If anyone out there actually cares about this blog, then I apologize. It’s been like a month and half since I posted. Lately some things have captured my thoughts completely, and I only recently have started thinking about fun things again. This discussion is built off of a previous post that you can find here. There I attempted to demonstrate that free will cannot exist in a naturalistic universe. Well it’s not really built off it, but it is related and it would be good to keep in mind that free will doesn’t exist in naturalism.  Anyways. Here we go.

First we assume naturalism, or the idea that the natural world is the only thing that exists and that the laws of nature completely determine how the universe behaves. As with the free will post, this is not what I believe, I am assuming it because I want to show a consequence of it.

An obvious consequence of this is that consciousness and intellect are created entirely by the brain. There is no soul or mind or anything, just the brain. This may seem to be not a big deal at first, but it is huge. That means that every thought, every belief, every idea is merely a side-effect of how a brain’s atoms happen to be aligned at the moment. Not to mention all emotions, memories, and senses. For this post however, we will stick to thoughts and beliefs.

So all beliefs are now patterns of atoms in the brain. The problem with this is that it completely undermines epistemology. It is easily possible for the atoms of a brain to align themselves in way as to make a person believe two completely contradictory things, not realize it, and even think them to be beautifully compatible. Consider insane people. They can believe they are animals, they can believe everyone is out to get them, they can believe nothing at all, they can have two personalities that believe different things, any number of impossible things. And this is all a consequence of how the atoms of their brain align.

Now, most of us do not have a mental disease to screw up our notion of truth. I could say how do we know that, but I don’t need to do even that. Remember that even logic and math are part of someone’s beliefs. Things that are self-evident to us are that way only because our brain decides that they are, not because they actually are. This means that our brain could be wrong! That is gigantic. I’m talking about 2+2=5 kinda things. That statement becomes not false in actuality, it only does not agree with a certain set of atoms, our brain. This is hard to explain. Let me summarize.

Under naturalism, the only reason we believe things is because our brain’s atoms align a certain way. This means that our beliefs could easily not line up with reality, and even the most completely untrue statements could seem correct. There is absolutely no reason to trust even the most obvious truths. Calvin’s description of math may help you imagine this. Math is not an absolute truth, it is just what our brain decides to believe. It is completely arbitrary. That’s the word! Arbitrary!

“We are almost to the end of the post, get to your point!” Okay. A belief in the soul gets rid of this problem, kind of. With a soul, the intellect does not have to completely reside in a pattern of atoms, which must be arbitrary. I admit that the mind could just as well be arbitrary, but it doesn’t have to be, while the brain has to be. If God is around, it is even easier to imagine the soul having some notion of truth that is definitely true. And if Christianity is true, then we are made in His image, which I would assume means that we have a certain sense of self-evident truths. However, total depravity could take away some of that certainty. Hmm I hadn’t thought about that. Oh well. This is still worthy of posting, cause it’ll make people think.

Now for a final thought. I am tempted to declare that this is relativism, but it is not. People’s beliefs become arbitrary, but the truth can still be absolute. It is just impossible to know anything even a little bit for sure. Which I guess in practice could easily turn into relativism, but it is not in reality.

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