Saturday, 16 May 2020

Admins and a flawed argument against an afterlife

I attempted to submit a post (scroll down to under dashed line) to a private Facebook Group called Science, Philosophy, and Psychology Discussion that currently has a staggering 65,508 members. It was rejected.

I sent the following (in blue) to the moderating thread in that group:
I submitted a post concerning a flawed argument by a certain Matthew Alpe against an afterlife. My post has not been permitted. The following "reason" was given:
to see the blog post one must be a member. this is not going to fly. the mature (sic) of the post is already problematic as it assumes a god and a heaven and is trying to be persuasive that this is true. this is akin to preaching.
My post has absolutely nothing to do with any "God", it is pertaining to an argument by a certain Matthew Alper against the afterlife. His argument is an attempt at a reductio ad absurdum -- namely by assuming the existence of an afterlife, this leads to an intractable problem about what it is that actually survives. My argument in turn essentially is that he is question-begging. I don't want to reiterate the arguments here though. The point being is that to claim I'm assuming either a God or an afterlife displays a complete lack of understanding of my post.

Nor of course do counter-arguments constitute "preaching". Of course, the admins may not agree with my argument. But not allowing an argument to be seen by labeling it as "preaching" is truly deplorable. Is this a group for those who subscribe to the modern western metaphysic and will allow no dissent? It seems so to me. Which contradicts what it says in the description of the group where it states "[t]he entire range of science and philosophy are open to analysis and discussion" and "[t]he administrators of this group pride themselves on free speech and will never censor posts or comments on the grounds of disagreement". To put it mildly, this appears to be contrary to the reality.

If one is an admin and their responsibility is to judge the suitability of posts, they really need to establish what the post is actually about. This involves reading and attempting to understand the content. Being an admin should also involve the capacity to understand arguments. The admins should especially have the capacity to distinguish between demonstrating an argument is flawed, and preaching.

Anyway, here is the post full of preaching about God and Heaven!

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An interview with Matthew Alper author of The "God" Part of the Brain: A Scientific Interpretation of Human Spirituality and God.  In the interview he says:

So I have people say, “When I die I’m going to be in heaven with my family.” So I’ll say like, “Okay, you’ll be in heaven. Let’s even assume that’s true. You’re going to go to heaven. Who you are is going to live forever. You, Joe, is going to be around for eternity.” But then I say, “But let me ask, what if Joe gets dementia, Alzheimer’s tomorrow, and then you die a year into it, where your last self didn’t know whether to go to the bathroom or eat an apple, you didn’t know the difference between the two. You didn’t remember the names of your own children, your wife, let alone your own self. So is Joe the demented going to be floating around in this eternal headspace for eternity, or do you have this idealized version that it’s you, Joe, now as you’re talking to me?
Dementia is due to an impaired brain. Now, if there is an afterlife, the self/soul would have to be an entirely distinct entity from the brain. Hence, the impaired brain would be an irrelevance to our cognitive abilities. Consider if one has on a pair of eyeglasses. The lenses might be cracked, hence affecting one's vision. But that has no implications for one's vision when we take the eyeglasses off.

Immediately after the above Matthew goes on to say:
Or maybe is it going to be Joe 10 years ago, or Joe when you were five? We’re all chameleons. We’re a thousand different people in our lifetimes based on our periods of life.
We might have a 1000 different pairs of eyeglasses we could wear, all affecting our vision in differing characteristic ways. But our unaided vision is unaffected and perhaps our vision is different from the vision from all of the eyeglasses.

The real self is that which makes one the same self from childhood to adulthood, the same self regardless of whether one is drunk or sober etc. Go into all this in more detail in a blog post.

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I often seem to have problems with moderators both with facebook groups and various discussion boards as I also discuss here.

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