Eliminative Materialism

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Eliminative Materialism

Eliminative materialism is the view that qualia (i.e. subjective experience or phenomenal consciousness) does not exist and should be "eliminated" from our vocabulary. Self-professed atheist Daniel Dennett is a prominent proponent of this view. I cannot think of anything more irrational. I trust that the "Rational Response Squad" will issue an intellectual citation to any individual on this forum peddling such a ridiculous idea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliminative_materialism

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:Again, I

mellestad wrote:

Again, I don't see why I need more argument than the fact that I can change or remove consciousness by physically changing the brain.  I'm not a neurobiologist so I don't feel the need to start a wiki-quoting tirade, why would it be more complicated than that?  Saying consciousness is supernatural is adding complexity without any benefit.  Again, your claim relies on nothing but your assumption.  My claim relies on the fact that what we do understand about the mind is physical.  There is no reason to think anything else is going on.  This is God of the Gaps, pure and simple.

My claim is based on my first-person evidence of my own subjectivity. Subjective experiences are not objective. That's why they are called subjective. Duh! If you believe they are objective, then you have to provide objective evidence that proves they are. Hitherto, you have failed to provide any evidence. (Behavioral and neural correlates do not constitute evidence because correlations do not establish identification. It's that simple.)

I quoted Wikipedia to support my arugment - namely, that there is no scientific test for the presence of consciousness and that scientific tests for consciousness are impossible in theory. Choosing to ignore this does not change the fact.

Quote:

As there is no clear definition of consciousness and no empirical measure exists to test for its presence, it has been argued that due to the nature of the problem of consciousness, empirical tests are intrinsically impossible.

(source: Wikipedia: Consciousness)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

mellestad wrote:

Are you asking me to explain emergent?  I believe I have, and you went off about qualia and vitalism.  I did not respond to that because you added nothing to the conversation, you simply tried to make it circle back to the original complaint about Dennett.  My idea of emergent is not novel, Google it if you are genuinely confused (but you probably aren't, you just want to play another word game).

Yes, I did ask you to explain emergent. And...NO...you haven't explained it. You simply asseted that consciousness is an emergent property. There are two types of emegence : weak emergence and strong emergence. Weak emergence is what is normally evoked in science. Strong emergence is invoked in philosophy of mind in regards to consciousness. There is no scientific evidence for strong emergence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_emergence

Furthermore, eliminative materialism (which happens to be the subject matter of this thread) is NON-emergent. (It is non-emergent because it denies the reality of subjective experiences). In fact, the only forms of "materialism" that posit that consciousness is an emergent property are supervenient-based physicalism and epiphenomenalism, which are actually DUALISTIC because they hold that consciousness is nonphysical or irreducible to the physical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphenomenalism

mellestad wrote:

You never addressed my point about the mind-body relationship being a voodoo ritual, but I am not complaining because I know you don't have an answer.

Do I have evidence that the mind and body interact? Most definitely. It's called my first-person experience of free will. I hardly think that constitutes voodoo. In fact, you are forced to presuppose free will in practice even if you deny it in theory.

mellestad wrote:

 You also never provided anyone with any reason to support your hypothesis besides, "My experiences are subjective" or "Because I think I'm right."

Do you want me to provide you with objective proof that consciousness is subjective? That consciousness is subjective (not objective) is the whole point! My first-person perspective provides me with evidence that consciousness is subjective, not objective. I am not the one here who is denying first-person experiences; you are. Therefore, you are saddled with the burden of proof, not me.

mellestad wrote:

Then you say things like this: "To reiterate: Emotions presuppose consciousness (i.e. subjective experience). Since there is no evidence that consciousness is physical, then it logically follows that there are is no evidence that emotions are physical. What you are led to conclude is irrelevant."  You are trying to argue for your logical construct in the face of reality...emotion *is* physical. 

No, emotions are not physical. Feelings presuppose consciousness. Without consciousness, there would be no feelings. That this is a difficult concept for you to grasp probably explains why you are an atheist.

Quote:

Emotion is subjective experience

(source: Wikipedia: Emotion)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotions

mellestad wrote:

We can demonstrate it, we can force it or take it away, we can measure it.  We can even do a brain scan and see the physical response to a religious epiphany.  Again, you push magic into something that is not that mysterious, but simply not fully understood.

To reiterate: Correlations do not necessarily imply causation. And correlations definitely do not imply identity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

mellestad wrote:

But since we cannot demonstrate every single facet of consciousness we need magic to explain all the remaining gaps.  Hmm, I think there is a phrase for that argument.

Yes, there is a phrase for that type of argument: It's a "promissory materialism" or "materialism of the gaps" argument.

mellestad wrote:

Let me pull a tactic from your playbook:  If you don't stop rehashing the same failed points over and over and accept my own viewpoint at face value, you'll be a childish ninny and I won't talk to you anymore!

The belief that consciousness is physical is based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient or no evidence...in your particular case....it's belief despite evidence to the contrary).

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:I just can't

mellestad wrote:

I just can't get over it.  We've spent pages listening to you try and make a 'logical' argument for...wait for it....

"I am magic, because I think I am magic."

I believe you are the one invoking magic (i.e. strong emergence) as an explanation for how insentient bits of matter in motion give rise to sentient ones.

Quote:

"It [strong emergence] is uncomfortably like magic." (Mark A. Badeau 1997)

(source: Wikipedia: Emergence)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Physical faith

Paisley wrote:

The belief that consciousness is physical is based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient or no evidence...in your particular case....it's belief despite evidence to the contrary).

Yet you in turn believe consciousness is spiritual without any evidence and based on faith. You point at our lack of evidence and say there, that's my evidence. But there's no evidence there at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Explain the

 

Pais, perhaps you could explain why it is that when patients have the corpus callosum, the link between the left and right brain hemispheres severed, they feel as if there are 2 individual minds inside their heads, not one? I'm also keen to hear your theory on why damage to the centromedian nucleous in the brain's thalamus leads to the complete loss of person's 'soul', a person's awareness. The same damage also causes loss of awareness in rats, dogs and monkeys. Clearly an operational thalamus is essential for consciousness in these social mammals. Why is this so?

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

You failed to respond to the question I posed in my previous thread: "What is your basis for making this judgment?"

 

Because I know I developed from the same thing that a squirrel did.  I know that squirrels and logic are exclusive.  Therefore, logic is something humans developed as consciousness developed.

Well, Dennett (eliminative materialist and prominent atheist) ascribed intentional acts to the first self-replicating molecular systems in the primordial soup. Also, I have already cited a source on this thread that provides evidence for the decision-making abilities of bacteria.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

I asked you this earlier, and you didn't reply:  Do you accept evolution as scientific fact?  If you do not, I will no longer discuss this shit with you, because it is an essential aspect of my understanding of, well, understanding.

I don't question evolution as a historical fact. But I do question neo-Darwinian evolution. And it would appear that several "atheists" on this thread are also skeptical of neo-Darwinism because they expressed the view that evolution is purpose-driven.

Incidentally, the materialist cannot explain why consciousness (which is causally-inert on the materialist view) was naturally selected by evolution. I posed this as a question in another thread. No answer was forthcoming...not even from RRS's resident science expert.

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

I will interpret this as your way of conceding the point. You cannot make a LOGICAL argument without presupposing  some principle or standard of logic. That's why I said you are "begging the question." You beg the question anytime you presuppose the very thing you are endeavoring to disprove. And if you "argue" that you are not presupposing some form of logic, then I will summarily dismiss your argument as illogical.

 

Yeah, I know I messed that up.  Either way, I have constructed an empirical argument for the development of logic.  It is based on the above point regarding evolution.

Well, yeah...you messed up. You didn't answer the question because you realized that it would entail an infinite regress. And I'm afraid that your so-called "empirical argument" does not resolve that issue.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

And that's why your argument that some form of logic is not a priori (i.e. prior to experience) is illogical.  

 

Except that, through empirical investigation, knowledge presupposes experience. 

An "a priori" proposition is one that does not depend upon experience (i.e. empirical observation) to recognize its validity. For example, "All bachelors are unmarried."

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Also, we have already discussed that correlations do not establish identification.

 

Right.  But when my options are either there are a substantial number of correlates that are only coincidental or that they have a causal relationship, by sheer number of them, I'm going to go with there being a causal relationship. 

Well, correlation does not necessarily imply causal relationships either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

Be that as it may, the present evidence suggests that consciousness is subjective, not objective. So, you believe that consciousness is objective, despite evidence to contrary.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

It is merely coincidence that brain activity changes during sleep, when consciousness disappears.  Yeah, "this is only a coincidence" is certainly a rational position. 

Consciousness does not disappear during sleep. I am very much aware while I am sleeping. I am aware during dreaming. I am also aware during dreamless sleep.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:I think this

mellestad wrote:

I think this is the first time I've been involved in a Paisley thread.  I guess that taught me a lesson.

Hopefully, you will learn from your rookie mistakes.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Agreed. You are clearly confused. You are bashing theism on the one hand while making a case for theistic evolution on the other.

Pais, when we understand abiogenesis, if it is proved there was no possible way for it to have occurred by natural means then you will have a case. Until we understand abiogenesis you are simply making enormous claims about a thing you know nothing about because you are at liberty to do so. If this was 1500 you'd be insisting the observable universe revolved around the earth. The difference between us is not confusion, it's honesty. You claim to know something it's not possible to know. And you insist that on the back of that non existent knowledge it's possible to hang a great caravan of impossibilities - including the claim abiogenesis has a supernatural origin. Feel free to actually prove this anytime you like. In the meantime, enjoy your gap god while you can.

Ranting and raving well not change the fact that you explicitly stated that evolution was driven by purpose thereby giving support to some form of theistic evolution. 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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I'm not sure what I'm saying qualifies as

 

ranting and raving. I guess the key thing here is that you are positioned on the head of a pin and will not be budged from it to consider a general weight of evidence that calls into question the vacuity of your one great proof - our inability to understand the ignition of life and our failure to explain the nature of consciousness. On this basis - absolutely no clear evidence - you build your case. And you do it while ignoring the fundamental that life exists here, in this natural sphere. It can't be an enjoyable place for a bright mind to find itself.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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jcgadfly wrote:Do you think

jcgadfly wrote:

Do you think all mechanisms are without purpose? I can think of several manufacturers that might disagree with you.

If you think evolution is based on a purposive mechanism designed by a "manufacturer," then you are clearly making a case for theistic evolution. I suggest you refrain from making anymore drive-by comments. You're hurting the cause of atheistic materialism.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Chuckle

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Do you think all mechanisms are without purpose? I can think of several manufacturers that might disagree with you.

If you think evolution is based on a purposive mechanism designed by a "manufacturer," then you are clearly making a case for theistic evolution. I suggest you refrain from making anymore drive-by comments. You're hurting the cause of atheistic materialism.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

What I do know is that you explicitly stated that  the materialist theory of evolution (i.e. neo-Darwinism) is driven by purpose thereby undermining the materialistic worldview while giving tacit support for a teleological argument for the existence of God. Employing diversionary tactics will not draw attention away from this fact.

Now you're conflating terms. Neo-Darwinism is a name given (incorrectly) to describe modern synthesis, not current evolutionary theory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Darwinism

"Materialistic evolution" is a term thought up by creationists to scare people out of learning what evolution actually is.

Your are far too enamored of this strawman. 

The Wikipedia article says that Neo-Darwinism is a term used to refer to contemporary or current evolutionary theory. I suggest you actually read the article.

What's the strawman argument? That I referred to the theory of evolution as the "materialist theory of evolution?" What kind of stupidity is this? Whether I called the scientific theory of evolution the "materialist theory of evolution" or "neo-Darwinism" or the "contemporary theory of evolution" is a moot point. You're simply trying to divert attention away from your public display of ignorance concerning the theory of evolution.

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Atheistextremist wrote:I'm

Atheistextremist wrote:

I'm going to assume Pais, that you believe evolution as a force operating on living organisms over time has been proved, and that you're arguing specifically over the point at which a pile of atoms becomes a working cellular machine. If you do agree that evolution is a natural force active in living organisms as a direct result of interactions with their environment, why do you not believe that the simplest and most likely explanation for abiogenesis is a natural force? Why do you instead need a god, living outside this universe, who thus cannot be considered or conceived of by man except as an enormous guess? Why would you think in the case of abiogenesis, that a mighty unprovable god is more likely the cause than a natural force, the related evidence of which we can clearly see?

While I argue life is made of stuff, I don't agree with your theory that the material of such stuff has no 'purpose'. Whether it's the modulation of ion channels in neurons, capillary action, gravity, sugar's operation as a cellular comms path, oxygen's vital role in chemiosmosis, photo sensitivity, the passage of photons of light through matter, electron theory or the multiplicity of chemical reactions - all these things have a way of interacting and reacting with each other that when considered as a collection of systems in a living organism by a human mind, might be considered to be driven by some sort of purpose. But the definition of this purpose is entirely subjective and the systems inside the beast can be broken down into molecules. 

Of course, if you are completely convinced you are right, Pais, then you can go away happily, knowing you are correct and that you never have to wonder about any of this ever again. Bet you can't do it. 

If you have a need to believe that everything (or anything) is driven by purpose (which you clearly do), then you need to postulate a God to give some basis for this belief. Why? Because in a world governed soley by material causes, there is no purpose - none, NADA! And if you're not willing to accept the logical conclusions of the materialistic worldview, then you forfeit your right to call yourself rational.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Quote:Incidentally, the

Quote:

Incidentally, the materialist cannot explain why consciousness (which is causally-inert on the materialist view) was naturally selected by evolution.

 

See my below post about the convoluted definition of consciousness.

 

Quote:

I posed this as a question in another thread. No answer was forthcoming...not even from RRS's resident science expert.

 

Who, me?  The badge says 'freak,' not expert.  I just like science and happen to know more of it than the average person.  Off the top of my head BobSpence, Eloise, AnswersinGeneSimmons and natural all seem to have more knowledge regarding science than I do.

 

Quote:

An "a priori" proposition is one that does not depend upon experience (i.e. empirical observation) to recognize its validity. For example, "All bachelors are unmarried."

 

But even that sentence first requires a language that was created with logic.  I don't know if you saw my post in the other thread regarding evolution and a priori knowledge; I argued that instincts are a priori, but were learned behaviors of the previous generations of species.  This is why I think experience always comes before knowledge.

 

Quote:

Well, correlation does not necessarily imply causal relationships either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

Be that as it may, the present evidence suggests that consciousness is subjective, not objective. So, you believe that consciousness is objective, despite evidence to contrary.

 

You can repeat this all you want.  Medication can change mood and consequently emotion.  Varying levels of seratonin can affect depression.  People with mild depression can use medication that helps govern how these neurotransmitters interact in the brain.  As a result, they feel less depressed when on the medication.  This, in conjunction with some of the things that AE has brought up, has led many to conclude that a lot of these 'correlates' are more than mere correlation.

 

Quote:

Consciousness does not disappear during sleep. I am very much aware while I am sleeping. I am aware during dreaming. I am also aware during dreamless sleep.

 

Well this is a new argument to me.  While dreaming we are conscious, I will agree with that.  But to claim that you are self-aware in anything other than R.E.M sleep is, well, ridiculous.  But I suppose that could do with what you actually posted, that consciousness has no clear definition.  BTW, it seems to me that this is why eliminative materialists want to do away with qualia and other terms, because concepts like consciousness have become convoluted in their definition.


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

What I do know is that you explicitly stated that  the materialist theory of evolution (i.e. neo-Darwinism) is driven by purpose thereby undermining the materialistic worldview while giving tacit support for a teleological argument for the existence of God. Employing diversionary tactics will not draw attention away from this fact.

Now you're conflating terms. Neo-Darwinism is a name given (incorrectly) to describe modern synthesis, not current evolutionary theory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Darwinism

"Materialistic evolution" is a term thought up by creationists to scare people out of learning what evolution actually is.

Your are far too enamored of this strawman. 

The Wikipedia article says that Neo-Darwinism is a term used to refer to contemporary or current evolutionary theory. I suggest you actually read the article.

What's the strawman argument? That I referred to the theory of evolution as the "materialist theory of evolution?" What kind of stupidity is this? Whether I called the scientific theory of evolution the "materialist theory of evolution" or "neo-Darwinism" or the "contemporary theory of evolution" is a moot point. You're simply trying to divert attention away from your public display of ignorance concerning the theory of evolution.

 

 

The straw man - You use the term "materialistic evolution" or the "materialist theory of evolution" and attack a position that no one holds (because it doesn't exist in the minds of those who operate in the field).

You then conflate it to "Neo Darwinism" (a term that is used but not in the way you claim) and attach it to the attack name that you and other magic-believers created to make the change in allelic frequency over time sound like a bad thing. I know change scares you because so many of you need an unchanging god figure but get over yourselves.

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The Wikipedia article says that Neo-Darwinism is a term used to refer to contemporary or current evolutionary theory. I suggest you actually read the article.

What's the strawman argument? That I referred to the theory of evolution as the "materialist theory of evolution?" What kind of stupidity is this? Whether I called the scientific theory of evolution the "materialist theory of evolution" or "neo-Darwinism" or the "contemporary theory of evolution" is a moot point. You're simply trying to divert attention away from your public display of ignorance concerning the theory of evolution.

The straw man - You use the term "materialistic evolution" or the "materialist theory of evolution" and attack a position that no one holds (because it doesn't exist in the minds of those who operate in the field).

Are you seriously attempting to argue that the theory of evolution (as generally held by the scientific community) is not a materialistic theory? The task of science is to give a materialistic explanation, not a teleological one. (Granted, there is a minority of scientists who would give evolution a teleological explanation. But this would be consider heresy to mainstream science. And this is one of the reasons why I am employing the term "materialist theory of evolution" - to distinguish it from minority theories which employ some element of teleology.)  Therefore, characterizing the theory of evolution as a materialistic theory is simply stating a fact. All this "much to do about nothing" is simply a diversionary tactic employed by you in order to conceal the fact that you are the one here who is attacking the scientific theory of evolution (and therefore attacking the materialistic theory of evolution) by implying that it is purpose-driven.

jcgadfly wrote:

You then conflate it to "Neo Darwinism" (a term that is used but not in the way you claim) and attach it to the attack name that you and other magic-believers created to make the change in allelic frequency over time sound like a bad thing. I know change scares you because so many of you need an unchanging god figure but get over yourselves. 

Well, apparently Richard Dawkins and the scientific community are misusing and conflating the term "Neo-Darwinism" because they are employing it to refer to the current theory of evolution. Please not that I am citing a source below to back up my claim.

Quote:

Publications such as the Enyclopaedia Britannica, [8][9] use this term [i.e. neo-Darwinism] to refer to current evolutionary theory. This term is also used in the scientific literature, with the academic publishers Blackwell Publishing referring to "neo-Darwinism as practised today",[10] and some figures in the study of evolution like Richard Dawkins[11] and Stephen Jay Gould,[12] using the term in their writings and lectures.

(source: Wikipedia: Neo-Darwinism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Darwinism

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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kidvelvet wrote:Paisley

kidvelvet wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Agreed. You are clearly confused. You are bashing theism on the one hand while making a case for theistic evolution on the other.

Nice out-of-context quote to make a point.  I am now convinced that you are intellectually dishonest.

Quit being lazy. Do you homework and get your facts straight instead of driving by and taking cheap shots.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The belief that consciousness is physical is based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient or no evidence...in your particular case....it's belief despite evidence to the contrary).

Yet you in turn believe consciousness is spiritual without any evidence and based on faith. You point at our lack of evidence and say there, that's my evidence. But there's no evidence there at all.

My belief that consciousness is nonphysical is based on evidence - namely, the evidence provided to me by my first-person perspective of my own subjective experiences.  Clearly, subjective experiences are subjective, not objective. Also, I have evidence that consciousness can interact with the physical based on my first-person experience of free will. We both know these facts. I am simply acknowledging them while you choose to deny them.

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The Wikipedia article says that Neo-Darwinism is a term used to refer to contemporary or current evolutionary theory. I suggest you actually read the article.

What's the strawman argument? That I referred to the theory of evolution as the "materialist theory of evolution?" What kind of stupidity is this? Whether I called the scientific theory of evolution the "materialist theory of evolution" or "neo-Darwinism" or the "contemporary theory of evolution" is a moot point. You're simply trying to divert attention away from your public display of ignorance concerning the theory of evolution.

The straw man - You use the term "materialistic evolution" or the "materialist theory of evolution" and attack a position that no one holds (because it doesn't exist in the minds of those who operate in the field).

Are you seriously attempting to argue that the theory of evolution (as generally held by the scientific community) is not a materialistic theory? The task of science is to give a materialistic explanation, not a teleological one. (Granted, there is a minority of scientists who would give evolution a teleological explanation. But this would be consider heresy to mainstream science. And this is one of the reasons why I am employing the term "materialist theory of evolution" - to distinguish it from minority theories which employ some element of teleology.)  Therefore, characterizing the theory of evolution as a materialistic theory is simply stating a fact. All this "much to do about nothing" is simply a diversionary tactic employed by you in order to conceal the fact that you are the one here who is attacking the scientific theory of evolution (and therefore attacking the materialistic theory of evolution) by implying that it is purpose-driven.

jcgadfly wrote:

You then conflate it to "Neo Darwinism" (a term that is used but not in the way you claim) and attach it to the attack name that you and other magic-believers created to make the change in allelic frequency over time sound like a bad thing. I know change scares you because so many of you need an unchanging god figure but get over yourselves. 

Well, apparently Richard Dawkins and the scientific community are misusing and conflating the term "Neo-Darwinism" because they are employing it to refer to the current theory of evolution. Please not that I am citing a source below to back up my claim.

Quote:

Publications such as the Enyclopaedia Britannica, [8][9] use this term [i.e. neo-Darwinism] to refer to current evolutionary theory. This term is also used in the scientific literature, with the academic publishers Blackwell Publishing referring to "neo-Darwinism as practised today",[10] and some figures in the study of evolution like Richard Dawkins[11] and Stephen Jay Gould,[12] using the term in their writings and lectures.

(source: Wikipedia: Neo-Darwinism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Darwinism

They use it to describe current theory - you use it to describe "materialistic evolution" (which only exists in the minds of magic believers like yourself - should I use "evolutionism" to make you feel better?).

Please stop. I know that evolution scares you (you might actually do it someday) but there is no reason to lie about it.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Paisley wrote:mellestad

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Again, I don't see why I need more argument than the fact that I can change or remove consciousness by physically changing the brain.  I'm not a neurobiologist so I don't feel the need to start a wiki-quoting tirade, why would it be more complicated than that?  Saying consciousness is supernatural is adding complexity without any benefit.  Again, your claim relies on nothing but your assumption.  My claim relies on the fact that what we do understand about the mind is physical.  There is no reason to think anything else is going on.  This is God of the Gaps, pure and simple.

My claim is based on my first-person evidence of my own subjectivity. Subjective experiences are not objective. That's why they are called subjective. Duh! If you believe they are objective, then you have to provide objective evidence that proves they are. Hitherto, you have failed to provide any evidence. (Behavioral and neural correlates do not constitute evidence because correlations do not establish identification. It's that simple.)

I quoted Wikipedia to support my arugment - namely, that there is no scientific test for the presence of consciousness and that scientific tests for consciousness are impossible in theory. Choosing to ignore this does not change the fact.

Quote:

As there is no clear definition of consciousness and no empirical measure exists to test for its presence, it has been argued that due to the nature of the problem of consciousness, empirical tests are intrinsically impossible.

(source: Wikipedia: Consciousness)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

mellestad wrote:

Are you asking me to explain emergent?  I believe I have, and you went off about qualia and vitalism.  I did not respond to that because you added nothing to the conversation, you simply tried to make it circle back to the original complaint about Dennett.  My idea of emergent is not novel, Google it if you are genuinely confused (but you probably aren't, you just want to play another word game).

Yes, I did ask you to explain emergent. And...NO...you haven't explained it. You simply asseted that consciousness is an emergent property. There are two types of emegence : weak emergence and strong emergence. Weak emergence is what is normally evoked in science. Strong emergence is invoked in philosophy of mind in regards to consciousness. There is no scientific evidence for strong emergence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_emergence

Furthermore, eliminative materialism (which happens to be the subject matter of this thread) is NON-emergent. (It is non-emergent because it denies the reality of subjective experiences). In fact, the only forms of "materialism" that posit that consciousness is an emergent property are supervenient-based physicalism and epiphenomenalism, which are actually DUALISTIC because they hold that consciousness is nonphysical or irreducible to the physical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphenomenalism

mellestad wrote:

You never addressed my point about the mind-body relationship being a voodoo ritual, but I am not complaining because I know you don't have an answer.

Do I have evidence that the mind and body interact? Most definitely. It's called my first-person experience of free will. I hardly think that constitutes voodoo. In fact, you are forced to presuppose free will in practice even if you deny it in theory.

mellestad wrote:

 You also never provided anyone with any reason to support your hypothesis besides, "My experiences are subjective" or "Because I think I'm right."

Do you want me to provide you with objective proof that consciousness is subjective? That consciousness is subjective (not objective) is the whole point! My first-person perspective provides me with evidence that consciousness is subjective, not objective. I am not the one here who is denying first-person experiences; you are. Therefore, you are saddled with the burden of proof, not me.

mellestad wrote:

Then you say things like this: "To reiterate: Emotions presuppose consciousness (i.e. subjective experience). Since there is no evidence that consciousness is physical, then it logically follows that there are is no evidence that emotions are physical. What you are led to conclude is irrelevant."  You are trying to argue for your logical construct in the face of reality...emotion *is* physical. 

No, emotions are not physical. Feelings presuppose consciousness. Without consciousness, there would be no feelings. That this is a difficult concept for you to grasp probably explains why you are an atheist.

Quote:

Emotion is subjective experience

(source: Wikipedia: Emotion)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotions

mellestad wrote:

We can demonstrate it, we can force it or take it away, we can measure it.  We can even do a brain scan and see the physical response to a religious epiphany.  Again, you push magic into something that is not that mysterious, but simply not fully understood.

To reiterate: Correlations do not necessarily imply causation. And correlations definitely do not imply identity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

mellestad wrote:

But since we cannot demonstrate every single facet of consciousness we need magic to explain all the remaining gaps.  Hmm, I think there is a phrase for that argument.

Yes, there is a phrase for that type of argument: It's a "promissory materialism" or "materialism of the gaps" argument.

mellestad wrote:

Let me pull a tactic from your playbook:  If you don't stop rehashing the same failed points over and over and accept my own viewpoint at face value, you'll be a childish ninny and I won't talk to you anymore!

The belief that consciousness is physical is based on faith (i.e. belief without sufficient or no evidence...in your particular case....it's belief despite evidence to the contrary).

 

I'm not going to respond to all of what you wrote because you did not write anything new, you just repeated yourself.  However...

Causing or removing emotion is not correlation, it is causation.  Incorectly using correlation would be, "When we analyze the brains of smokers, this area is often less active.  Smokers are often sad.  When this area is less active, it means people are sad.".  Causation would be, "When we dope someone with drug X, we see emotion Y.  When we remove brain bit A we see loss of emotion B."

In the real world, when you deny the brain oxygen you get a state of anoxia.  Once anoxia has set in for a few minutes 'you' are gone and you are never coming back.  We can keep your body alive forever, but since the physical process of consciousness has been disrupted you're done.  In your world, anoxia would literally have to be an exorcism of the soul, because youa re using a physical behavior to drive our the magic that attaches itself to our bodies.  Again, magic ritual.  Pure woo.

If you are going to ignore the basic point that emotion is ruled by the physical then there is no hope for this discussion, because you are simply shouting your defiance om the face of real, actual evidence with nothing to back your opinion up.  For example, you will disagree with my post and as evidence cite....your personal opinion.  Congratulations.  You do have a talent for writing verbosely about the same point over and over though...like if you make it sound technical it will have more merit.  Maybe you can say I am avoiding your crushing intellectual points, call me a child and refuse to write anymore?

Maybe this is applicable: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=brain-surgery-boosts-spiritual

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, apparently Richard Dawkins and the scientific community are misusing and conflating the term "Neo-Darwinism" because they are employing it to refer to the current theory of evolution. Please not that I am citing a source below to back up my claim.

Quote:

Publications such as the Enyclopaedia Britannica, [8][9] use this term [i.e. neo-Darwinism] to refer to current evolutionary theory. This term is also used in the scientific literature, with the academic publishers Blackwell Publishing referring to "neo-Darwinism as practised today",[10] and some figures in the study of evolution like Richard Dawkins[11] and Stephen Jay Gould,[12] using the term in their writings and lectures.

(source: Wikipedia: Neo-Darwinism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Darwinism

They use it to describe current theory - you use it to describe "materialistic evolution" (which only exists in the minds of magic believers like yourself - should I use "evolutionism" to make you feel better?).

Please stop. I know that evolution scares you (you might actually do it someday) but there is no reason to lie about it.

 

This may come as a surprise to you but both Richard Dawkins and  Daniel Dennett are materialists - given to the dogma of scientific materialism (an ideology which considers teleological explanations anathema to the scientific enterprise). The reason why the term "materialist evolution" is spooking you is because you are actually operating under the misconception that the theory of evolution relies on a teleological explanation rather than a materialistic one.  That you continue to whine about my description of the theory of evolution as materialistic only serves to reinforce in my mind your appalling ignorance on the basics of evolutionary theory. I suggest that you educate yourself on the basics of evolutionary theory before posting your thoughts. This way you will save yourself from further embarrassment.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, apparently Richard Dawkins and the scientific community are misusing and conflating the term "Neo-Darwinism" because they are employing it to refer to the current theory of evolution. Please not that I am citing a source below to back up my claim.

Quote:

Publications such as the Enyclopaedia Britannica, [8][9] use this term [i.e. neo-Darwinism] to refer to current evolutionary theory. This term is also used in the scientific literature, with the academic publishers Blackwell Publishing referring to "neo-Darwinism as practised today",[10] and some figures in the study of evolution like Richard Dawkins[11] and Stephen Jay Gould,[12] using the term in their writings and lectures.

(source: Wikipedia: Neo-Darwinism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Darwinism

They use it to describe current theory - you use it to describe "materialistic evolution" (which only exists in the minds of magic believers like yourself - should I use "evolutionism" to make you feel better?).

Please stop. I know that evolution scares you (you might actually do it someday) but there is no reason to lie about it.

 

This may come as a surprise to you but both Richard Dawkins and  Daniel Dennett are materialists - given to the dogma of scientific materialism (an ideology which considers teleological explanations anathema to the scientific enterprise). The reason why the term "materialist evolution" is spooking you is because you are actually operating under the misconception that the theory of evolution relies on a teleological explanation rather than a materialistic one.  That you continue to whine about my description of the theory of evolution as materialistic only serves to reinforce in my mind your appalling ignorance on the basics of evolutionary theory. I suggest that you educate yourself on the basics of evolutionary theory before posting your thoughts. This way you will save yourself from further embarrassment.

Oh, I'm so embarrassed that I know more about evolution than you do. I humbly apologize for asking questions you are too scared to answer.

This may come as a bigger surprise to you - They are materialists but evolution is not. Evolution is a change, an action, on a material. It is not material in itself.

This does not automatically mean that a magic you call God did it. You use your finger to flip on a light switch - is the "flip" itself material? Did God create the "flip" just for you?

Are you feeling masochistic lately Paisley? Is that why you're letting me slap your arguments around? Or are you just lying for your version of Jesus and I called you on it?

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Pais, perhaps you could explain why it is that when patients have the corpus callosum, the link between the left and right brain hemispheres severed, they feel as if there are 2 individual minds inside their heads, not one?

That an individual  feels "as if there are 2 individual minds, not one" indicates to me that the individual is conscious of something. Right? Besides, how does this prove that consciousness is physical? The fact is that science is incapable to detecting the presence of consciousness in one mind, let alone two.

Atheistextremist wrote:

I'm also keen to hear your theory on why damage to the centromedian nucleous in the brain's thalamus leads to the complete loss of person's 'soul', a person's awareness. The same damage also causes loss of awareness in rats, dogs and monkeys. Clearly an operational thalamus is essential for consciousness in these social mammals. Why is this so?

This is simply a diversionary tactic. Besides, you could have merely stated that dead people do not appear to be conscious. Duh! The bottom line is that science is incapable of detecting the presence of consciousness. Therefore, you have no objective proof that subjective phenomena are objective.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley, is "diversionary

Paisley, is "diversionary tactic" your synonym for "Oh no, I've been asked a question that I can't answer."?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:
 

ranting and raving. I guess the key thing here is that you are positioned on the head of a pin and will not be budged from it to consider a general weight of evidence that calls into question the vacuity of your one great proof - our inability to understand the ignition of life and our failure to explain the nature of consciousness. On this basis - absolutely no clear evidence - you build your case. And you do it while ignoring the fundamental that life exists here, in this natural sphere. It can't be an enjoyable place for a bright mind to find itself.

Actually, we are discussing consciousness, not life - but no doubt they are inextricably-linked. And I take issue with your assertion that I have absolutely no evidence to build my case. I most certainly do have evidence based on my first-person experience. Subjective experiences are clearly SUBJECTIVE (hence the qualifier), not objective. And since the physical must be described in objective terms, you have absolutely no evidence that subjective experiences are objective. Indeed, this is the very rationale that eliminative materialism (the subject matter of this thread) employs - namely, that subjective experiences do not exist because only the objective (i.e the physical) is real. All other forms of materialism do not really qualify as materialism because they uphold the reality of the subjective (i.e. the nonphysical).

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:
 

ranting and raving. I guess the key thing here is that you are positioned on the head of a pin and will not be budged from it to consider a general weight of evidence that calls into question the vacuity of your one great proof - our inability to understand the ignition of life and our failure to explain the nature of consciousness. On this basis - absolutely no clear evidence - you build your case. And you do it while ignoring the fundamental that life exists here, in this natural sphere. It can't be an enjoyable place for a bright mind to find itself.

Actually, we are discussing consciousness, not life - but no doubt they are inextricably-linked. And I take issue with your assertion that I have absolutely no evidence to build my case. I most certainly do have evidence based on my first-person experience. Subjective experiences are clearly SUBJECTIVE (hence the qualifier), not objective. And since the physical must be described in objective terms, you have absolutely no evidence that subjective experiences are objective. Indeed, this is the very rationale that eliminative materialism (the subject matter of this thread) employs - namely, that subjective experiences do not exist because only the objective (i.e the physical) is real. All other forms of materialism do not really qualify as materialism because they uphold the reality of the subjective (i.e. the nonphysical).

I guess if we take your subjective opinion as fact that means we have to take Luminon's subjective opinion as fact, that everything metaphysical is real, because he can experience it...then where will we be??!?!!  Dogs and cats living in harmony, unicorns eating my rose bushes...chaos!

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Incidentally, the materialist cannot explain why consciousness (which is causally-inert on the materialist view) was naturally selected by evolution.

 

See my below post about the convoluted definition of consciousness.

Okay.

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

I posed this as a question in another thread. No answer was forthcoming...not even from RRS's resident science expert.

Who, me?  The badge says 'freak,' not expert.  I just like science and happen to know more of it than the average person.  Off the top of my head BobSpence, Eloise, AnswersinGeneSimmons and natural all seem to have more knowledge regarding science than I do.

Everyone who participated in my previous thread regarding evolutionary theory and the emergence of consciousness. This would include resident science expert "BobSpence."

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

An "a priori" proposition is one that does not depend upon experience (i.e. empirical observation) to recognize its validity. For example, "All bachelors are unmarried."

 

But even that sentence first requires a language that was created with logic. 

Well, you are still presupposing some element of logic in order to create language.

v4ultingbassist wrote:

I don't know if you saw my post in the other thread regarding evolution and a priori knowledge; I argued that instincts are a priori, but were learned behaviors of the previous generations of species.  This is why I think experience always comes before knowledge.

No, I didn't. And I don't want to vary too far off topic here. We really aren't discussing the evolution of logic per se, but how insentient bits of matter in motion give rise to sentient bits of matter in motion. But the point I was making earlier was as follows: If you define consciousness in strictly functional terms (as Daniel Dennett was predisposed to do), then he was left with two alternatives: Either he must acknowledge that the first self-replicating molecular systems exhibit some kind of rudimentary intelligence (which he clearly did in his book entitled "Consciousness Explained" ) or he must deny the reality of subjective experiences itself (which he clearly did also in the same book.)

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

Well, correlation does not necessarily imply causal relationships either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

Be that as it may, the present evidence suggests that consciousness is subjective, not objective. So, you believe that consciousness is objective, despite evidence to contrary.

 

You can repeat this all you want.  Medication can change mood and consequently emotion.  Varying levels of seratonin can affect depression.  People with mild depression can use medication that helps govern how these neurotransmitters interact in the brain.  As a result, they feel less depressed when on the medication.  This, in conjunction with some of the things that AE has brought up, has led many to conclude that a lot of these 'correlates' are more than mere correlation.

And I don't care what you are led to believe. I only care what you can prove objectively, because that is your challenge at hand. Correlation does not prove identification.

Incidentally, a study indicated that 75% of the causal-efficacy of antidepressant treatment is due to the placebo effect (which is based solely on subjective belief or faith). I have already discussed the healing power of faith thoroughly in a previous thread.

Quote:

A meta-analysis in 1998 found that 75% of the effectiveness of anti-depressant medication is due to the placebo effect rather than the treatment itself. [118]

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo effect)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo_effect#Depression

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Consciousness does not disappear during sleep. I am very much aware while I am sleeping. I am aware during dreaming. I am also aware during dreamless sleep.

Well this is a new argument to me.  While dreaming we are conscious, I will agree with that.  But to claim that you are self-aware in anything other than R.E.M sleep is, well, ridiculous.  But I suppose that could do with what you actually posted, that consciousness has no clear definition.  BTW, it seems to me that this is why eliminative materialists want to do away with qualia and other terms, because concepts like consciousness have become convoluted in their definition.

We are conscious during dreamless sleep. In fact, when we enter dreamless sleep we experience pure consciousness or awareness (turiya in Sanskrit). Contemplatives experience pure consciousness on a regular basis. Those who practice meditation on a regular basis are more liikely to experience lucidity during dreamless sleep.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turiya

In the "YouTube" video provided below, Ken Wilber (prolific writer, contemplative, transpersonal psychologist) demonstrates "lucid" dreamless sleep as made evident by EEG brain waves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFFMtq5g8N4

The defining characteristic of consciousness is awareness. I think that is a simple definition. Do you not know whether or not you are presently experiencing awareness?

Quote:

Consciousness is subjective experience or awareness

(source: Wikipedia: Consciousness)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:Paisley

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Actually, we are discussing

consciousness

, not

life

- but no doubt they are inextricably-linked. And I take issue with your assertion that I have absolutely no evidence to build my case. I most certainly do have evidence based on my first-person experience. Subjective experiences are clearly SUBJECTIVE (hence the qualifier), not objective. And since the physical must be described in

objective

terms, you have absolutely no evidence that subjective experiences are objective. Indeed, this is the very rationale that eliminative materialism (the subject matter of this thread) employs - namely, that subjective experiences do

not

exist because only the objective (i.e the physical) is real. All other forms of materialism do not really qualify as materialism because they uphold the reality of the subjective (i.e. the nonphysical).

I guess if we take your subjective opinion as fact that means we have to take Luminon's subjective opinion as fact, that everything metaphysical is real, because he can experience it...then where will we be??!?!!  Dogs and cats living in harmony, unicorns eating my rose bushes...chaos!

Do you not know whether or not you are presently experiencing subjective awareness? If not, then there is really not point in continuing this discussion/debate. Clearly, you are not mentally equipped to continue it.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:mellestad

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Actually, we are discussing

consciousness

, not

life

- but no doubt they are inextricably-linked. And I take issue with your assertion that I have absolutely no evidence to build my case. I most certainly do have evidence based on my first-person experience. Subjective experiences are clearly SUBJECTIVE (hence the qualifier), not objective. And since the physical must be described in

objective

terms, you have absolutely no evidence that subjective experiences are objective. Indeed, this is the very rationale that eliminative materialism (the subject matter of this thread) employs - namely, that subjective experiences do

not

exist because only the objective (i.e the physical) is real. All other forms of materialism do not really qualify as materialism because they uphold the reality of the subjective (i.e. the nonphysical).

I guess if we take your subjective opinion as fact that means we have to take Luminon's subjective opinion as fact, that everything metaphysical is real, because he can experience it...then where will we be??!?!!  Dogs and cats living in harmony, unicorns eating my rose bushes...chaos!

Do you not know whether or not you are presently experiencing subjective awareness? If not, then there is really not point in continuing this discussion/debate. Clearly, you are not mentally equipped to continue it.

 

mellestad wrote:
Maybe you can say I am avoiding your crushing intellectual points, call me a child and refuse to write anymore?

 

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

This may come as a surprise to you but both Richard Dawkins and  Daniel Dennett are

materialist

s - given to the

dogma

of

scientific materialism

(an ideology which considers teleological explanations

anathema

to the scientific enterprise). The reason why the term "materialist evolution" is

spooking

you is because you are actually operating under the misconception that the theory of evolution relies on a

teleologica

l explanation rather than a

materialistic

one.  That you continue to whine about my description of the theory of evolution as materialistic only serves to reinforce in my mind your appalling ignorance on the basics of evolutionary theory. I suggest that you educate yourself on the basics of evolutionary theory before posting your thoughts. This way you will save yourself from further embarrassment.

Oh, I'm so embarrassed that I know more about evolution than you do. I humbly apologize for asking questions you are too scared to answer.

This may come as a bigger surprise to you - They are materialists but evolution is not. Evolution is a change, an action, on a material. It is not material in itself.

Well, if evolutionary change is not the result of a material (i.e. natural) cause, then you are implying that it is the result of a nonmaterial (i.e. supernatural) cause.

Think before you post or you will continue to publicly embarrass yourself.

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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mellestad wrote:Paisley

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Do you not know whether or not you are presently experiencing subjective awareness? If not, then there is really not point in continuing this discussion/debate. Clearly, you are not mentally equipped to continue it.

 

Maybe you can say I am avoiding your crushing intellectual points, call me a child and refuse to write anymore?

The more honorable and mature response is to graciously withdraw and concede the debate.

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:mellestad

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Do you not know whether or not you are presently experiencing subjective awareness? If not, then there is really not point in continuing this discussion/debate. Clearly, you are not mentally equipped to continue it.

 

Maybe you can say I am avoiding your crushing intellectual points, call me a child and refuse to write anymore?

The more honorable and mature response is to graciously withdraw and concede the debate.

 

 

and I'm waiting on you to do that.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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mellestad wrote:I'm not

mellestad wrote:

I'm not going to respond to all of what you wrote because you did not write anything new, you just repeated yourself.  However...

Then I will summarily dismiss your post. Quit wasting my time.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

This may come as a surprise to you but both Richard Dawkins and  Daniel Dennett are

materialist

s - given to the

dogma

of

scientific materialism

(an ideology which considers teleological explanations

anathema

to the scientific enterprise). The reason why the term "materialist evolution" is

spooking

you is because you are actually operating under the misconception that the theory of evolution relies on a

teleologica

l explanation rather than a

materialistic

one.  That you continue to whine about my description of the theory of evolution as materialistic only serves to reinforce in my mind your appalling ignorance on the basics of evolutionary theory. I suggest that you educate yourself on the basics of evolutionary theory before posting your thoughts. This way you will save yourself from further embarrassment.

Oh, I'm so embarrassed that I know more about evolution than you do. I humbly apologize for asking questions you are too scared to answer.

This may come as a bigger surprise to you - They are materialists but evolution is not. Evolution is a change, an action, on a material. It is not material in itself.

Well, if evolutionary change is not the result of a material (i.e. natural) cause, then you are implying that it is the result of a nonmaterial (i.e. supernatural) cause.

Think before you post or you will continue to publicly embarrass yourself.

 

 

You're an occasionalist, then? Your finger doesn't flip the light switch. Instead God moves your finger and moves the switch as soon as they touch?

Do you move your hand with a piece of silverware towards the food to put it on there or does God push the food from the plate to your fork as soon as he moves it close enough?

The process of change is not material - the results of the change are.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Paisley wrote:mellestad

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Do you not know whether or not you are presently experiencing subjective awareness? If not, then there is really not point in continuing this discussion/debate. Clearly, you are not mentally equipped to continue it.

 

Maybe you can say I am avoiding your crushing intellectual points, call me a child and refuse to write anymore?

The more honorable and mature response is to graciously withdraw and concede the debate.

You are right, you should have done that a long time ago.

 

Your memories are physical and your emotions are physical.  We can prove that.  Your behavior and thoughts are based on your memories and your emotions, which are the sum of the physical workings of your brain.  We can prove that.  I fail to see where you have made any kind of case for any part of the process being mystical.

All you have is this logical argument that you think is internally consistent, but that does not match up with reality in any way.  What does your theory prove that ours does not?  What does it predict that ours does not?  Does your theory explain *anythying* that ours does not?  To an outsider, you have an obvious interest in inventing a non-physical system, since materialism or naturalism invalidates your core dogma.  Unless you are willing to doubt your core beliefs, and you are not, you cannot even objectivly analyze the issue, and your central argument is not based on anything but a thought problem that I don't even think is applicable.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Paisley wrote:mellestad

Paisley wrote:

mellestad wrote:

I'm not going to respond to all of what you wrote because you did not write anything new, you just repeated yourself.  However...

Then I will summarily dismiss your post. Quit wasting my time.

 

Translation:  "I don't have any answer to any of the questions being asked, and no-one is accepting my opinion just because I repeat it louder and longer....I know, I'll plug my ears!"

I'm not even doing this so you will change your mind, you come into these debates with concrete viewpoints.  I'm doing this so that anyone who wants to argue this same point can come to this thread and know they need to bring an actual argument to keep from looking like a ninny.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, if evolutionary change is not the result of a material (i.e. natural) cause, then you are implying that it is the result of a nonmaterial (i.e. supernatural) cause.

Think before you post or you will continue to publicly embarrass yourself. 

The process of change is not material - the results of the change are.

Agreed. However, materialists (at least, those who espouse that consciousness is an emergent property) claim that consciousness is a process (an abstraction). Therefore, I trust that you will agree that consciousness is not material because clearly an abstract process is not.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, if evolutionary change is not the result of a material (i.e. natural) cause, then you are implying that it is the result of a nonmaterial (i.e. supernatural) cause.

Think before you post or you will continue to publicly embarrass yourself. 

The process of change is not material - the results of the change are.

Agreed. However, materialists (at least, those who espouse that consciousness is an emergent property) claim that consciousness is a process (an abstraction). Therefore, I trust that you will agree that consciousness is not material because clearly an abstract process is not.

Processes can be emergent - I thought you knew wikipedia (look up emergence)

Just because consciousness is a process does not automatically make it a supernatural one. Unless of course, you really are an occasionalist.

If that's the case, what's next for you? Geocentrism or alchemy?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

The process of change is not material

- the results of the change are.

Agreed. However, materialists (at least, those who espouse that consciousness is an emergent property) claim that consciousness is a process (an abstraction). Therefore, I trust that you will agree that consciousness is not material because clearly an abstract process is not.

Processes can be emergent - I thought you knew wikipedia (look up emergence)

I see. You are now changing your tune. Previously you stated that the term "process" implied something that was immaterial (mainly because you thought this somehow discredited my characterization of the theory of evolution as a materialistic one). Now, the term "process" is materialistic (mainly because you don't want to acknowledge that this would imply that consciousness is immaterial).

By the way, I have already covered the topic of emergence in this thread. There are two types of emergence: weak and strong. Weak emergence is reductionistic and is invoked by science. Strong emergence is nonreductionistic and is invoked in philosophy of mind to account for consciousness. There is no scientific evidence for strong emergence. Invoking strong emergence is tantamount to invoking magic. Besides, emergent forms of "materialism" (e.g. supervenient-based physicalism and/or epiphenomenalism) are actually dualistic because they hold the view that the mind is actually nonphysical!

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Quote: If you define

Quote:

If you define consciousness in strictly functional terms (as Daniel Dennett was predisposed to do), then he was left with two alternatives: Either he must acknowledge that the first self-replicating molecular systems exhibit some kind of rudimentary intelligence (which he clearly did in his book entitled "Consciousness Explained" ) or he must deny the reality of subjective experiences itself (which he clearly did also in the same book.)

 

But I don't agree with either of those alternatives.  It seems perfectly fine to me that what is subjective is the internal viewpoint, and what is objective is the external viewpoint.  You can look at something from different angles, and, to me, that is the only way subjective differs from objective.

 

Quote:

And I don't care what you are led to believe. I only care what you can prove objectively, because that is your challenge at hand. Correlation does not prove identification.

Incidentally, a study indicated that 75% of the causal-efficacy of antidepressant treatment is due to the placebo effect (which is based solely on subjective belief or faith). I have already discussed the healing power of faith thoroughly in a previous thread.

 

Please watch this video :

 

(it's from jonathanBC in another thread)

 

While I think that some of its arguments rely too much on semantics (non-physical substance?) it does bring up some good examples of brain physicality.  To your source, it is over 10 years old.  Also, what is there to say about the other 25%?  They just randomly had positive effects?  There was some impact there, and that is my point.  It is clear in the study of neuroscience that personality, emotion, etc are causally linked to the physical brain.

 

Quote:

We are conscious during dreamless sleep.

 

I am sorry paisley.  It is self-evident to me that I am NOT aware of myself when I am asleep.

 

Quote:

Do you not know whether or not you are presently experiencing awareness?

 

What I mean by the convoluted definition is touched upon in the video.  I would like to add that I cannot accept your definition of consciousness, because I am NOT aware when I am asleep.  With the exception of dreams, the very essence of sleep is non-awareness.

 


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

The process of change is not material

- the results of the change are.

Agreed. However, materialists (at least, those who espouse that consciousness is an emergent property) claim that consciousness is a process (an abstraction). Therefore, I trust that you will agree that consciousness is not material because clearly an abstract process is not.

Processes can be emergent - I thought you knew wikipedia (look up emergence)

I see. You are now changing your tune. Previously you stated that the term "process" implied something that was immaterial (mainly because you thought this somehow discredited my characterization of the theory of evolution as a materialistic one). Now, the term "process" is materialistic (mainly because you don't want to acknowledge that this would imply that consciousness is immaterial).

By the way, I have already covered the topic of emergence in this thread. There are two types of emergence: weak and strong. Weak emergence is reductionistic and is invoked by science. Strong emergence is nonreductionistic and is invoked in philosophy of mind to account for consciousness. There is no scientific evidence for strong emergence. Invoking strong emergence is tantamount to invoking magic. Besides, emergent forms of "materialism" (e.g. supervenient-based physicalism and/or epiphenomenalism) are actually dualistic because they hold the view that the mind is actually nonphysical!

 

 

[/quote}

so, you agree that nonphysical properties need not have a supernatural origin?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

If you define consciousness in strictly functional terms (as Daniel Dennett was predisposed to do), then he was left with two alternatives: Either he must acknowledge that the first self-replicating molecular systems exhibit some kind of rudimentary intelligence (which he clearly did in his book entitled "Consciousness Explained" ) or he must deny the reality of subjective experiences itself (which he clearly did also in the same book.)

 

But I don't agree with either of those alternatives.  It seems perfectly fine to me that what is subjective is the internal viewpoint, and what is objective is the external viewpoint.  You can look at something from different angles, and, to me, that is the only way subjective differs from objective.

But you didn't say whether or not you agree with the premise - namely, that consciousness, on the eliminative materialist view, can only be defined in strictly functional terms.

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

While I think that some of its arguments rely too much on semantics (non-physical substance?) it does bring up some good examples of brain physicality.  To your source, it is over 10 years old.  Also, what is there to say about the other 25%?  They just randomly had positive effects?  There was some impact there, and that is my point.  It is clear in the study of neuroscience that personality, emotion, etc are causally linked to the physical brain.

I never stated that the body does not influence the mind. That being said, I know also that the mind influences the body. But more to the point, the speaker doesn't present any objective evidence that subjective awareness is actually objective.

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

We are conscious during dreamless sleep.

 

I am sorry paisley.  It is self-evident to me that I am NOT aware of myself when I am asleep. 

Oh, so you never had the experience of sleeping welll? 

v4ultingbassist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

Do you not know whether or not you are presently experiencing awareness?

What I mean by the convoluted definition is touched upon in the video. I would like to add that I cannot accept your definition of consciousness, because I am NOT aware when I am asleep.  With the exception of dreams, the very essence of sleep is non-awareness.

No, you don't have a problem with my definition of consciousness. You know exactly what I mean by the term "awareness." The problem is that you simply do not believe that you are experiencing consciousness during some stages of your sleep cycle.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:kidvelvet

Paisley wrote:

kidvelvet wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Agreed. You are clearly confused. You are bashing theism on the one hand while making a case for theistic evolution on the other.

Nice out-of-context quote to make a point.  I am now convinced that you are intellectually dishonest.

Quit being lazy. Do you homework and get your facts straight instead of driving by and taking cheap shots.

You were the one that cut off the entire point and took a cheap shot.  You were the one being lazy.

Dolt:"Evolution is just a theory."
Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


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Quote:But you didn't say

Quote:

But you didn't say whether or not you agree with the premise - namely, that consciousness, on the eliminative materialist view, can only be defined in strictly functional terms.

 

I don't agree with that, on the basis that you can describe just about anything in any way you want.  To me, consciousness is entirely functional processes, but I see no point in eliminating the word 'subjective,' because what you experience is just another angle of the event that seems totally different from the functional view, like the video touched on.

 

Quote:

Oh, so you never had the experience of sleeping welll?

 

No, because I am not experiencing ANYTHING when I am asleep.  That is the point.  And 'sleeping well,' for me, means I feel good when I wake up.  The experience happens after sleep.

 

Quote:

You know exactly what I mean by the term "awareness." The problem is that you simply do not believe that you are experiencing consciousness during some stages of your sleep cycle.

 

No I honestly don't know what the hell you are talking about now.  I've never been aware of anything when I've slept with the exception of dreams.


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I see. You are now changing your tune. Previously you stated that the term "process" implied something that was immaterial (mainly because you thought this somehow discredited my characterization of the theory of evolution as a materialistic one). Now, the term "process" is materialistic (mainly because you don't want to acknowledge that this would imply that consciousness is immaterial).

By the way, I have already covered the topic of emergence in this thread. There are two types of emergence: weak and strong. Weak emergence is reductionistic and is invoked by science. Strong emergence is nonreductionistic and is invoked in philosophy of mind to account for consciousness. There is no scientific evidence for strong emergence. Invoking strong emergence is tantamount to invoking magic. Besides, emergent forms of "materialism" (e.g. supervenient-based physicalism and/or epiphenomenalism) are actually dualistic because they hold the view that the mind is actually nonphysical!

so, you agree that nonphysical properties need not have a supernatural origin?

Well, that depends on how you define "natural." If you define natural as being interchangeable with the physical, then the nonphysical qualifies as being supernatural because it is beyond the physical.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Pais, perhaps you could explain why it is that when patients have the corpus callosum, the link between the left and right brain hemispheres severed, they feel as if there are 2 individual minds inside their heads, not one?

That an individual  feels "as if there are 2 individual minds, not one" indicates to me that the individual is conscious of something. Right? Besides, how does this prove that consciousness is physical? The fact is that science is incapable to detecting the presence of consciousness in one mind, let alone two.

 

 

Actually Pais - why don't we rely on the subjective evidence of the 2 individuals that feel like they are inhabiting the same corpus callosum-severed skull...that's what's you're relying on isn't it?

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I see. You are now changing your tune. Previously you stated that the term "process" implied something that was immaterial (mainly because you thought this somehow discredited my characterization of the theory of evolution as a materialistic one). Now, the term "process" is materialistic (mainly because you don't want to acknowledge that this would imply that consciousness is immaterial).

By the way, I have already covered the topic of emergence in this thread. There are two types of emergence: weak and strong. Weak emergence is reductionistic and is invoked by science. Strong emergence is nonreductionistic and is invoked in philosophy of mind to account for consciousness. There is no scientific evidence for strong emergence. Invoking strong emergence is tantamount to invoking magic. Besides, emergent forms of "materialism" (e.g. supervenient-based physicalism and/or epiphenomenalism) are actually dualistic because they hold the view that the mind is actually nonphysical!

so, you agree that nonphysical properties need not have a supernatural origin?

Well, that depends on how you define "natural." If you define natural as being interchangeable with the physical, then the nonphysical qualifies as being supernatural because it is beyond the physical.

I define natural as "coming from/being a part of nature"

Do you define "nonphysical" as "it must come from <fill in whatever you call god>"?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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The actual point here

 

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Pais, perhaps you could explain why it is that when patients have the corpus callosum, the link between the left and right brain hemispheres severed, they feel as if there are 2 individual minds inside their heads, not one?

That an individual  feels "as if there are 2 individual minds, not one" indicates to me that the individual is conscious of something. Right? Besides, how does this prove that consciousness is physical? The fact is that science is incapable to detecting the presence of consciousness in one mind, let alone two.

 

The point here is that changes to the physiology of the brain have a direct impact on subjective experience - to the point of allowing the number of apparent awarenesses inside a head to be doubled by physical intervention. Weird, eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Pais, perhaps you could explain why it is that when patients have the corpus callosum, the link between the left and right brain hemispheres severed, they feel as if there are 2 individual minds inside their heads, not one?

That an individual  feels "as if there are 2 individual minds, not one" indicates to me that the individual is conscious of something. Right? Besides, how does this prove that consciousness is physical? The fact is that science is incapable to detecting the presence of consciousness in one mind, let alone two.

 

The point here is that changes to the physiology of the brain have a direct impact on subjective experience - to the point of allowing the number of apparent awarenesses inside a head to be doubled by physical intervention. Weird, eh?

 

 

Good luck.  This point has been made many times to him in this thread, and his only response has been to get snooty.  I don't see how you can avoid the point...reality is not matching up with the logical model he proposes, so he scraps reality and clings to his model tighter.  How can you discuss anything with a person who is willing to cheerfully abandon reality?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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elminative materialism

Seems to me that most of our internal lives are subjective experiences that can be quantified by science in terms of neurons firing.  Once those patterns are objectively quantified (if they ever can be since we are all individuals with different sets of neurons), then the subjective becomes objective and the term will be eliminated.  I think that science just hasn't progressed to the point where this can be done until some kind of implant is put into our heads that can measure the effects of single person observation on the brain and quantify the neurological response.  The qualification of the response is a different matter altogether and will always be subjective based on the person's experiences which have shaped their brain patterns and will always be tempered by biology such as in the case of total psychopathology where the frontal lobe just doesn't work due to genetic mutation.  The subjective can become objective if the science is there to measure it.