Another “both/and” principle: Socrates


socrates_louvre

Intelligence directs the change that we see in the world around us every day. Let me illustrate with an analogy. Someone might see Socrates sitting in prison and seek to explain why he is there. One person says that he is sitting there because of the complexity of his muscles, ligaments, and joints and how they expand and contract. They have expanded and contracted in such a manner that has caused him to sit in prison and there he sits. Another, more correct, person would say that the reason Socrates is sitting in prison is that he has decided it better to accept the punishment of his government than to run away. In other words, Socrates’ intelligence has directed his joints and ligaments for the purpose of justice. But, it could have been otherwise. He could have decided to run and we would see his joints and ligaments expand and contract in just that way. It is precisely this kind of explanation that accounts for intelligence in the universe.

Why do things happen in our world in just the way they do? Why do they not happen another way? An egg turns into a chicken. But, why does not the egg turn into a goat? Why do trees produce leaves instead of budding into faeries? When I push my finger against metal it does not give. But, why does it not change color upon touch or vibrate? Why do I type here instead of doing the dishes? Why does a pumpkin go on being a pumpkin? Intelligence is the answer. For we know the universe could have been quite different. Things could have worked a totally different way. And we cannot explain these particularities without recourse to intelligence. A mind must be directing it all. To explain it all by saying, “Well, that’s just the way it all developed from the beginning of the universe”, is not an explanation. Moreover, it’s a lazy man’s explanation and completely redundant. If I ask someone why Socrates sits in prison and they tell me “because things just happened that way”, they just told me my own question. For that is the very thing I’m trying to explain: why it happened that way. Intelligence is the answer for Socrates and it is the answer for the universe.

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One thought on “Another “both/and” principle: Socrates

  1. Let me illustrate with an analogy.

    Uh oh. I have a bad feeling about this.

    “Blah blah blah blah complexity blah blah blah blah intelligence blah blah blah universe blah… And we cannot explain these particularities without recourse to intelligence. A mind must be directing it all.”

    No.6: ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN, a.k.a. GOD OF THE GAPS, a.k.a. TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)
    (1) Check out the world/universe/giraffe. Isn’t it complex?
    (2) Only God could have made them so complex.
    (3) Therefore, God exists.

    Things could have worked a totally different way. And we cannot explain these particularities without recourse to intelligence. A mind must be directing it all.

    No.98: ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN, a.k.a. GOD OF THE GAPS, a.k.a. DESIGN/TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (IV), a.k.a. ARGUMENT FROM PERSONAL INCREDULITY (III)
    (1) Isn’t X amazing!
    (2) I don’t understand how X could be, without something else (that I don’t really understand either) making or doing X.
    (3) This something else must be God because I can’t come up with a better explanation.
    (4) Therefore, God exists.

    To explain it all by saying, “Well, that’s just the way it all developed from the beginning of the universe”, is not an explanation. Moreover, it’s a lazy man’s explanation…

    No.51 ARGUMENT FROM INFINITE REGRESS, a.k.a. FIRST CAUSE ARGUMENT (II)
    (1) Ask atheists what caused the Big Bang.
    (2) Regardless of their answer, ask how they know this.
    (3) Continue process until the atheist admits he doesn’t know the answer to one of your questions.
    (4) You win!
    (5) Therefore, God exists.

    Fallacy of ID-False analogy

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