Sunday, September 16, 2007
A Bad Argument (for atheism)
A famous sceptical scenario, BIV, asks you to imagine a disembodied brain (otherwise just like yours) in an alien scientist’s laboratory, being stimulated in such a way that that person (who’s brain it is), say X, seems to be in a world just like the one around you... and then asks, how do you know that you are not that person, X? The scenario is regarded as a sceptical one because it seems (the brain being disembodied) that X would not have real hands. But I think that X would have real hands if X was you; what would not be so real (as the things around us, by reference to which we all correctly interpret the word “real,” within our language) would be your brain (the one in the alien’s laboratory)—and so your brain might rightly, were you X, be thought of more or less as you now think of your soul (about which we know little). To ask, are you in such a BIV world? is to ask, do you have a soul? And to ask, does this Universe have a Creator? is to ask, is there such an alien scientist? But not even Dawkins would argue that since our hands do exist, therefore God doesn't!