Friday, September 26, 2014

THE STUPIDITY OF PLANTINGA REVISITED- Jersey Flight



"The theist has an easy time explaining the notion of our cognitive equipment's functioning properly: our cognitive equipment functions properly when it functions the way God designed it to function." Plantinga essay: Theism, Atheism, and Rationality

It would seem we could not be direct enough: how could Plantinga possibly know this! Further, there is a major equivocation here, Plantinga falters on his use of the word "explain." If the theistic appeal to an imaginary God counts as an explanation, then how can Plantinga legitimately criticize any explanation (unless of course his argument is one of special pleading)? 

The theist has an "easy time explaining," which amounts to a vague appeal to God. The entire notion of "proper function" is taken from a Naturalistic framework and then directed back at the justification of theism. But how is this possible? Naturalism does not end in theism. He that starts in Naturalism (with the authority of Naturalism) cannot simply usurp this axiom for one he likes better. Behold the arbitrary and convenient procedure of theism! 

"Our cognitive equipment functions properly when it functions the way God designed it to function?" 

How in God's name could Plantinga possibly know anything about God, let alone God's so-called design? (Not to mention Plantinga accepts the process of evolution). It would seem Plantinga is true to the fallacy of metaphysics: because a material object exists, therefore a non-material thing (which is still a kind of object) must exist. [you can contrive it however you want.]

Cognitive equipment exists. Function does occur. "Proper function," which is something that can only be deduced in contrast, most certainly has a probable existence. The Plantinian fallacy is to add some other component to these realities, in other words, because the physical component exists, "therefore there is a supernatural component as well..." BECAUSE (and this is the vital point) we, as Naturalists, have such a hard time surmounting the objections of skepticism in relation to the physical, hence theism's justification of the supernatural!

This can easily be seen in the case of morality. No one denies that morality exists, the problem occurs when the theist tries to bring in his strange notion of "objectivity." In other words, he tries to deduce the existence of "objective morality" from the existence of morals. The way he does this is to attack morals from the false vantage of objectivity. It is no different with Plantinga. In order to establish, that belief in God is rational, he begins with a generic concept of God (which is the only safe concept of God)... thereby insinuating that this vague notion qualifies as an answer to all the questions left blank by Naturalism. Plantinga's justification of God is contingent on equivocation; it is an argument from silence; it is a god-of-the-gaps fallacy. Where Naturalism is said to provide a deficient answer (because according to the theist it fails to meet a set of epistemological standards) the theist simply exempts himself from these standards, which is to say, he evades his own burden of proof! The theist's answer is not really an answer at all! This is easily proven: how exactly does God qualify as an explanation of our cognitive equipment's functioning properly? [Here we must remember that Plantinga demanded a specific answer from Naturalism.] Not to mention, the entire notion of cognitive equipment (as well as that of function) is itself deduced from the premise of Naturalism.  

In order for our cognitive equipment to function properly it must function the way God designed it to function (which Plantinga knows because?), therefore we know it is functioning properly when men believe in God. 

We know it is functioning properly when it affirms a belief, that in any other respect, we would normally have to prove.        

          

    

              

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

JUNG'S PRIMITIVE PSYCHOLOGY- Jersey Flight



"The psychologist must also remember that certain religious convictions not founded on reason are a necessity of life for many persons." Carl Jung, The Basic Postulates of Analytical Psychology, Chapter IX of Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Published by Routledge & Kegan Paul 1933, translated by Cary Baynes.

While this concept of necessity has a legitimate psychological function, the function itself is primitive and short-sighted. What Jung fails to see is that man is a product of evolution inasmuch as he is a participant in evolution. The entire basis of Jung's approach to psychology is easily refuted by noting the difference between Neanderthals and modern Europeans. Essentially, Jungian psychology seeks to crystallize the primitive (it cannot move forward)! This means Jung is focused on preserving that which is out-dated as a means of stabilizing the individual's psychology... Jung would condemn a man to the past (as he has no way of bringing him into the future).

The cultural superstitions of the Neanderthal (which were at one time so essential to their survival) have long gone extinct. They have been surpassed. Indeed, is it not fitting to ask: did Neanderthal go extinct because he could not transcend these superstitions? What Jung tries to do is preserve these instincts, but the problem with this is that they are hostile to the future; they clash with the transformation of evolution. (One can only wonder if this can even be called psychology)?
 
"General conceptions of a spiritual nature are indispensable constituents of psychic life." Ibid.

We can only ask the question; in what sense are these emotive precepts indispensable? Perhaps they are destructive? (It would seem Jung has no foresight of the future).

"Their relative absence or their denial by a civilized people is therefore to be regarded as a sign of degeneration."
Ibid.

This is the exact opposite of the case. Their preservation is a sign of degeneration in the historical context of evolution. Jung has no power to help men into the future; he would preserve the childishness of the child. He would affirm the superstition of the past, which is to say, leave men in their delusion. (One can only wonder if this can even be called psychology)?

"Whereas in its development up to the present psychology has dealt chiefly with psychic processes in the light of physical causation, the future task of psychology will be the investigation of their spiritual determinants."
Ibid.

Again, this is completely backwards. Where does Jung get this idea that the future task of psychology must be the investigation of superstition? A healthy psychology must move in the opposite direction. Freud seeks to expose superstitions; Jung seeks to affirm them. [But then again, perhaps man's irrational beliefs do hold a key to his psyche?]

"The spiritual aspect of the psyche is at present known to us only in a fragmentary way."
Ibid.

So far as I know there is no spiritual aspect (whatever the fu*k Jung means by this) to the psyche aside from that of delusion. What are these fragments? Can they be stated in the form of propositions?

"We have learned that there are spiritually conditioned processes of transformation in the psyche which underlie, for example, the well-known initiation rites of primitive peoples and the states induced by the practice of Hindu yoga. But we have not yet succeeded in determining their particular uniformities or laws. We only know that a large part of the neuroses arise from a disturbance in these processes."
Ibid.

Here Jung seems to assume that these so-called neuroses are negative. (Though I am willing to admit their immediate negative effects, one might think of a child who is learning to swim... such a transformation is a kind of crises). A culture sustained by religious belief will be shattered by the fall of that religious belief (the same is true of individuals)... What Jung cannot do is provide us with a theory of transformation [re-birth], instead, Jung simply affirms nihilism unto the immaturity and despair of the individual. His is not a transformative psychology, but a psychology of primitive preservation. (One can only wonder if this can even be called psychology)?

"The cognitive illusion of an ever-present and keenly observant God worked for our genes, and that's reason enough for nature to have kept the illusion vividly alive in human brains. In fact, the illusion can be so convincing that you may very well refuse to acknowledge it's an illusion at all. But that may simply mean that the adaptation works particularly well in your case."
Jesse Bering, The Belief Instinct, pg.196

Where a discussion on this topic might lead:

One can try to explicate the positive psychological features of religious belief, but in all reality, in order for our analysis to have some type of value, we must not state the obvious conclusion from the religious person's perspective, confirmation bias. If religion plays a part in psychology it plays a negative part, which is precisely the direction of our analysis. To merely view the positive aspect is to remain within the patient's psychosis. A good psychologist must do more than simply affirm a man's delusions (though I admit delusions have their place).

Religion certainly plays a role in psychology, but the positive aspect only arises if one remains within the patient's psychosis. To stand back and view religion from the outside is to see a mind conditioned by authority. So far from remaining within; a good psychologist should go after the circuits which account for the patient's lack of resistance to authority. The infrastructure before Jung (which is the infrastructure he merely assumed) is precisely the infrastructural which must be unlocked and challenged. Not religion, but the conditioning which necessitates the psychological need for religion, is the thing we must go after.

Friday, September 12, 2014

JERSEY FLIGHT'S DEFINITION OF CHRISTIANITY

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Christianity is teaching your children to bring love into the world so as to make it a better place. It is the exact opposite of materialism (as in teaching your children to amass goods), it is instead, teaching them to give and be content with little or nothing at all. It means teaching your children to love those that society has thrown away... it means forgiving and rising above the petty squabbles of a fading earth; Christianity [should be] the ultimate in social maturity as a testimony to the love of God. But this is precisely what Christianity is not! A petty squabble is precisely what Christianity is.

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