PLEASE HELP: Debating a Panentheist

Feredir28
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PLEASE HELP: Debating a Panentheist

Hi all. I am an atheist currently debating a panentheist (not a pantheist) who believes everything exists within the mind of a Cosmic Mind which he says is equated with God. I never knew what a panentheist was or even existed before I met him. I asked him several times to make it clear what kind of god he beleivse in, what are its characteristics, did it create time, everything! Still not given a satisfying answer. All he has described god is as follows:

*Omnipresent - via the definition Universal wave function (hence, everything in the Universe that can be defined in units of matter and energy possesses a collapsable wave-function - the reason why we have the Many-World Interpretation, as oppose to the 'many-atoms, or many -electrons interpretation.)

*(possibly) Omnipotent - via the Zeno effect. According to the Zeno effect, repeated observation(collapse) skews the probabily of the wave-function. Thus a self collapsing wave-function can skew it's own probability via the Zeno effect.

*Conscious - Since we already know that the wave-function of the universe is self-collapsing, it must be a cosmic mind (ie. God), since self-collapsing wave-functions are minds. According to Eugene Wigner and Roger Penrose.

 

However, when asked for his evidence for panentheism, he brings up Roger Penrose and the Orch-OR model. I have tried to look up this thing, but physics is not my field (mine is history). I cannot even find any source to explain the flaws in this model, so if ANYONE can help me PLEASE DO.

 

He gave me the following link: http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/penrose-hameroff/orchOR.html

 

However, as far as I know Penrose is not a physicist - he is a mathmetician. The panentheist I am debating does not think substance dualism is correct at all, he just has some weird beef with materialism. He says "Matter only exists as a construct of information. This is the main line of thought through out all digital physics(see, It From Bit) Information is conceptual, not physical, thus not matter is also derived from the conceptual and space and time are only mathematical relations between them. The entire category of physical, material units reduces to information. Thus, materialism is invalid....both quantum information theory and the holographic principle state that the Universe is composed from quantum information, rather than physical stuff. Everything we call matter is conceptualized information from the gravity level. Our minds just interpret this information as such."

 

Here is his argument:

1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality

This is based on the results of the Delayed Choice/Quantum Eraser and Wigner's proposition that measurement is ontological equal to conscious observation, which is also the basis for Universal Orch-OR. I'll can provide a video explaining this simply, if necessary.

 

I don't get quantum mechanics, and I probably never will, but the philosophy of panentheism to me seems wayyyyy tooooo much speculation - but I need to show why his "scientific" evidence is faulty, especially his hardcore view that consciousness must precede materialism (which means everything exists in a mind). Again I ask everyone/anyone for help. The more the better. Thank you.


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A stab

I don't understand it either, so I'll defer to physicists:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orch-OR#Criticism

It seems that Orch/OR is speculative at best and until proven by science the Panentheist theory is also at best speculative.

Seeing the name Deepak Chopra on that site also sounds alarm bells.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepak_Chopra#Criticism

 

"According to the book Skeptics Dictionary, Chopra's "mind-body claims get even murkier as he tries to connect Ayurveda with quantum physics.”

Chopra also participated in the Channel 4 (UK) documentary The Enemies of Reason, where, when interviewed by scientist Richard Dawkins, he admitted that the term "quantum theory" was being used as a metaphor and that it has little to do with the actual quantum theory in physics."

 

 

Still, until Panentheists start setting up Vice and Virtue Police they seem quite harmless.

 

I know this isn't much (any?) help, but nobody else has responded.

 


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Feredir28 wrote:Here is his

Feredir28 wrote:

Here is his argument:

1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality

This is based on the results of the Delayed Choice/Quantum Eraser and Wigner's proposition that measurement is ontological equal to conscious observation, which is also the basis for Universal Orch-OR. I'll can provide a video explaining this simply, if necessary.

 

Have him re-write the argument. He has created the Fallacy of Four, which I learned is a faux pas against the rules of debating/arguments.

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

And there are other fallacies... good grief the entire "argument" is a walking fallacy.

 

He has the following which need to be removed or modified:

1 - He has a double term in P1 (precedes or 'epi-phenomena')

2 - He has a double term in P2 (same two words)

3 - In P2 he has a (2) conclusions

4 - He has a third premise, which is also a conclusion

 

After he re-writes his argument then I'll give you more ammo against him.

 

(don't give this to him, but I'll show you how an argument should be setup)

I know this can be tweeked but this will give you the general idea.

 

P1. Consciousness is an awareness from the human mind

P2. The human mind is chemical and electrical impulses of the human brain.

C. Consciousness is a chemical and electrical result of the human brain.

 

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Good luck, a couple

Good luck, a couple years ago I had just a friendly chat here with girl I believe was something like a "panantheist"...whatever that is.  She was on this site and may still be and many may remeber her, named eloise.  She was clearly brilliant and extremely well spoken and I was genuinly interested in where she stood on the "god" position given she repped a thiest badge, i figured she was most likely way to smart to be dooped by Christianity or something as silly so it had to be something totally different.  But even when asked casually and respectfully out of genuine interest what exactly it is she believed, and reading through many long and some elequant explnations containing all kinds of physics jumbo confusing to a phisics layman,  I had a hard time pinning down what exactly it she was talking about, and was left thinking something like "ok, this abstract thinking but not thinking agent/non-agent concept of god thingy you speak of, it seems almost totally meaningless and irrellevant whether its true or not, and I certainly wouldn't call this thing you describe a "god" by any understanding I have of the word."  So...eh.  Brilliant girl, still have no idea what the heck she believes in. lol 


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This, of course, is not the

This, of course, is not the help or answer you are looking for, but only my view.-

All they are doing is trying to show that they have come up with something new.  The best way I can put it is "traditional philosophy gone Matrix".

A "cosmic mind" theory is no different from a "We are all one thru a collective consciousness" philosophy.

And philosophy is just was it is if you ask me. Just because you tangle scientific theory and mathematics to stretch the imagination doesn't necessarily make it rational.

From what i see, for him to claim that this theory could be reality, then it would also stand that all this could all be one big dream.

Why don't you ask him what happens when a dream is over?

Sometimes people that are trying to be Mr. Wizard can be stopped in their tracks with simple down-to-earth questions.

But llike "X" said I don't see any harm.

I don't think philosophy should ever be thrown out the window for good. But that's just my philosophy  Raised Brow   Anyone who has read any of many of my posts knows I would get bored without it.

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia


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Hey Opie

Opie,

A panentheist. Wow, that's rare. I studied Eastern Orthodoxy and found out that modern understanding of Eastern Orthodoxy is a kind of New-Orthodox (Karl Barth) and panentheistic.

In fact, Timothy Ware in his scholarly book on Eastern Orthodoxy said that Eastern Orthodoxy is panentheistic. I've studied this pretty deeply and I believe if I remember it is also discussed in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy volume 7 I believe.

Wow, that's gonna be a weak  and hilarous debate between you two, an "atheist" who doesn't know that he is actually not an atheist, and anpanentheist that makes arguments that one can clap with one hand.

Have fun Opie. lol.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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Oh look, jeans trollin

Oh look, jeans trollin again. Mildly amusing.

My approach to this guy would take a different tack. Assuming everything this guy says is true, what impact does the existence of this definition of god have on anything? At all? If the universe is a giant life form, then it is as unaware of us as we are of it; as we are generally unaware of the microscopic creatures who inhabit our bodies, and vice versa. Worshipping it is completely pointless and unproductive. It alters nothing of importance to the scientific questions of origin beyond raising the question of where the universes parents are.

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Hey

hey,

Very good creeper guy.

Also, being that his body is finite and his head is finite (cannot escape space and time) then he cannot know anything. And he cannot know you nor can he know anything.

creepy guy was right, it's kind of a schismatic offshoot of deism though not directly.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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Feredir28, howdy! I like

Feredir28, howdy!

I like your friend. I didn't read anything that was way against anything I believe in. Actually he talks about stuff which I picked up here and there... quite intersting stuff indeed.

I'd like to meet your friend, I'd learn a thing or 2.

Funny thing is how many of you will quickly run to find a whole on something that you don't belive in, even refuse to. Which proves my point that barely no one is impartial.

But anyway...

I think you should see these documentaries on cosmology:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHgi6E1ECgo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tB1jppI3fo&feature=relmfu

Penrose is a Mathematical physicist. He believes conscience has some sort of quantum nature. He has some books and articles published. He was "cuttingly criticised by Stephen Hawking" though. Nevertheless this doesn't mean anything... in the past Einstein cuttingly criticised the uncertainty principle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f477FnTe1M0

I would like to see http://www.rationalresponders.com/user/eloise or FurryCatHerder make some comments on this... as long as they don't use nerd babble that I don't understand 

For you I'd recomend getting an opinion from BobSpence, Answers in Gene Simmons or butterbattle

 

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Oh my stars, jean agreed

Oh my stars, jean agreed with me. I should recheck my argument to see if I fucked something up.

...

...

Nope. This is officially the first time Jean said something that was even remotely accurate. He deserves a capitalisation for taking time off from trolling stupidly. I give him a gold star.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Teralek wrote:Feredir28,

Teralek wrote:

Feredir28, howdy!

I like your friend. I didn't read anything that was way against anything I believe in. Actually he talks about stuff which I picked up here and there... quite intersting stuff indeed.

I'd like to meet your friend, I'd learn a thing or 2.

Funny thing is how many of you will quickly run to find a whole on something that you don't belive in, even refuse to. Which proves my point that barely no one is impartial.

But anyway...

I think you should see these documentaries on cosmology:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHgi6E1ECgo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tB1jppI3fo&feature=relmfu

Penrose is a Mathematical physicist. He believes conscience has some sort of quantum nature. He has some books and articles published. He was "cuttingly criticised by Stephen Hawking" though. Nevertheless this doesn't mean anything... in the past Einstein cuttingly criticised the uncertainty principle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f477FnTe1M0

I would like to see http://www.rationalresponders.com/user/eloise or FurryCatHerder make some comments on this... as long as they don't use nerd babble that I don't understand 

For you I'd recomend getting an opinion from BobSpence, Answers in Gene Simmons or butterbattle

 

My friend has some of the lousiest defintions of god I have ever seen - its like he barely has a clue. For he knows, he exists within the mind of an alien. If I did no know better, I would say this guy was borderline Buddhist or something. But he is not religious, rather he despises it a lot (which I admit Im glad we agree both agree on that).

I invited him to chat online with Victor Stenger (author of Quantum Consciousness) and I also told him about the work of Antonio Damasio about consciousness arriving through material means. I am familiar with Davies, but his work does not seem that helpful for the god hypothesis.

As for Penrose, he was not only criticised by hawking, but by practically by his whole peers. Same thing with Michael Behe - and guess what, he is still full of crap to this day. I did not know much about Penrose at the time I posted this (and would still like to learn a bit more) but this guy looks like he is acting like some big shot because he helped Hawking write a book.

As for the panentheist argument for consciousness, his premises and conclusions are mixed up and assume way too much. Take this for example, he admits the "Cosmic Mind" is a sentient being. Here is a response I could give,

1. Anything with sentience has a cause

2. God/Cosmic Mind, by defintion, has sentience

3. Therefore, God/Cosmic Mind has a cause

All logical arguments presented by the panentheist can be turned on its head in many ways, all I need help with is why the heck does he attach some spiritual woo-woo to quantum mechanics - but frankly he is not alone who try to use this wild card. I would recommend Victor Stenger to everyone for starters on quantum mechanics. His belief in panentheism cannot even provide all the answers he wishes it did, such as does his Cosmic Mind have a beginning or emotions; did this thing create time; and is this thing evil? Panentheism destroys objective reality because it invokes this God as an immaterial mind (and yet we exist as a material universe within an immaterial mind). This would basically translates to: everything is meaningless since objective reality does not exist.


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Feredir28 wrote:My friend

Feredir28 wrote:

My friend has some of the lousiest defintions of god I have ever seen - its like he barely has a clue. For he knows, he exists within the mind of an alien. If I did no know better, I would say this guy was borderline Buddhist or something. But he is not religious, rather he despises it a lot (which I admit Im glad we agree both agree on that).

This is so cool! I'm like that too! 

The difference is that I'm not so much sure of the nature of "God" and it's attributes that I can call myself an Panentheist... yet.

Feredir28 wrote:
I invited him to chat online with Victor Stenger (author of Quantum Consciousness) and I also told him about the work of Antonio Damasio about consciousness arriving through material means. I am familiar with Davies, but his work does not seem that helpful for the god hypothesis.

Yes but it helps with the first cause hypothesis. Or in your friends case... the "first mind" hypothesis 

Feredir28 wrote:
As for Penrose, he was not only criticised by hawking, but by practically by his whole peers. Same thing with Michael Behe - and guess what, he is still full of crap to this day. I did not know much about Penrose at the time I posted this (and would still like to learn a bit more) but this guy looks like he is acting like some big shot because he helped Hawking write a book.

Well he made a lecture in Google... that usually means something to me. I for one give him credibility.

Feredir28 wrote:
As for the panentheist argument for consciousness, his premises and conclusions are mixed up and assume way too much. Take this for example, he admits the "Cosmic Mind" is a sentient being. Here is a response I could give,

1. Anything with sentience has a cause

2. God/Cosmic Mind, by defintion, has sentience

3. Therefore, God/Cosmic Mind has a cause

Yes this is the problem I was trying to address by showing you the Paul Davies talk. Like him I don't like the infinite regress problem or as Hawking put it: Turtles all the way down. I think a First Cause is a more logical one.

Feredir28 wrote:
All logical arguments presented by the panentheist can be turned on its head in many ways, all I need help with is why the heck does he attach some spiritual woo-woo to quantum mechanics - but frankly he is not alone who try to use this wild card. I would recommend Victor Stenger to everyone for starters on quantum mechanics. His belief in panentheism cannot even provide all the answers he wishes it did, such as does his Cosmic Mind have a beginning or emotions; did this thing create time; and is this thing evil? Panentheism destroys objective reality because it invokes this God as an immaterial mind (and yet we exist as a material universe within an immaterial mind). This would basically translates to: everything is meaningless since objective reality does not exist.   

woo-woo?! well I think saying that when Moses got to the Red Sea and the waters separated is woo-woo... here I don't see any woo-woo. Just honest research. I don't think your friend can prove anything, but I like his idea.

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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reply

Teralek wrote:

Feredir28 wrote:

My friend has some of the lousiest defintions of god I have ever seen - its like he barely has a clue. For he knows, he exists within the mind of an alien. If I did no know better, I would say this guy was borderline Buddhist or something. But he is not religious, rather he despises it a lot (which I admit Im glad we agree both agree on that).

This is so cool! I'm like that too! 

The difference is that I'm not so much sure of the nature of "God" and it's attributes that I can call myself an Panentheist... yet.

Feredir28 wrote:
I invited him to chat online with Victor Stenger (author of Quantum Consciousness) and I also told him about the work of Antonio Damasio about consciousness arriving through material means. I am familiar with Davies, but his work does not seem that helpful for the god hypothesis.

Yes but it helps with the first cause hypothesis. Or in your friends case... the "first mind" hypothesis 

Feredir28 wrote:
As for Penrose, he was not only criticised by hawking, but by practically by his whole peers. Same thing with Michael Behe - and guess what, he is still full of crap to this day. I did not know much about Penrose at the time I posted this (and would still like to learn a bit more) but this guy looks like he is acting like some big shot because he helped Hawking write a book.

Well he made a lecture in Google... that usually means something to me. I for one give him credibility.

Feredir28 wrote:
As for the panentheist argument for consciousness, his premises and conclusions are mixed up and assume way too much. Take this for example, he admits the "Cosmic Mind" is a sentient being. Here is a response I could give,

1. Anything with sentience has a cause

2. God/Cosmic Mind, by defintion, has sentience

3. Therefore, God/Cosmic Mind has a cause

Yes this is the problem I was trying to address by showing you the Paul Davies talk. Like him I don't like the infinite regress problem or as Hawking put it: Turtles all the way down. I think a First Cause is a more logical one.

Feredir28 wrote:
All logical arguments presented by the panentheist can be turned on its head in many ways, all I need help with is why the heck does he attach some spiritual woo-woo to quantum mechanics - but frankly he is not alone who try to use this wild card. I would recommend Victor Stenger to everyone for starters on quantum mechanics. His belief in panentheism cannot even provide all the answers he wishes it did, such as does his Cosmic Mind have a beginning or emotions; did this thing create time; and is this thing evil? Panentheism destroys objective reality because it invokes this God as an immaterial mind (and yet we exist as a material universe within an immaterial mind). This would basically translates to: everything is meaningless since objective reality does not exist.   

woo-woo?! well I think saying that when Moses got to the Red Sea and the waters separated is woo-woo... here I don't see any woo-woo. Just honest research. I don't think your friend can prove anything, but I like his idea.

I guess I'll start off with the "First Cause" piece. Aristotle, who came up with the term, was troubled by it because causation alone brings forth an infinite regression. He believed motion was infinitely moving. If one invokes that everything has a beginning, but then excludes even one thing (like a deity), then their original argument blows up in their face. Therefore, we could say that the universe is eternal, and Occam's Razor would side with this argument over the claim everything was created by a mysterious eternal entity. Likewise, if there was a first "mind" - how did that mind come to be. For that matter, how can there be one "mind" when there are practically an infinite number of universes? And if everything in our universe did exist within a mind of a god, then this god is indeed evil since evil exists within the universe and anything that happens in this universe has to be a preconcieved concept in this gods mind. One of my first thoughts upon hearing about panentheism - that our minds exist within a bigger cosmic mind - does that mean that this cosmic mind exists within a greater cosmic mind? And so on. See the problem?

For the record, having a lecture on Google does not add much credibility. You can find plenty of Muslim scholars giving lectures on Google. Likewise, Lawrence Krauss has a lecture on Google about a "Universe From Nothing" - which I do not fully embrace (yet, I still have much more to learn), I think the only logical answer is that the universe is eternal. This excludes the need for a deity.

Miracles like parting the seas people call miracles, I call it magic. Magic, by definition, is impossible. Other people have a different perspective on magic, such as the simple ability of influence and manipulation. People calling energy and its properties "magic" and believe this magic can manipulate people (yes I actually know people like this) I call energy what it really is: energy. We know what it is, and there is no reason whatsoever to attach some supernatural label to it. I call the people who makes this unnecessary leap "wishful thinkers." Same with those who insist that some magical being exists transparent to matter and objective reality.


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panentheism has always

panentheism has always struck me as nothing more than certain indian philosophies repackaged--particularly the vijnanavada school of mahayana buddhism and the vishistadvaita vedanta of ramanuja, which are respectively buddhist and hindu sides of the same coin.  i only read a little of that dense muck quoted in the preceding posts, and i have to say, its one great accomplishment is that it makes vasubandhu seem damn near transparent.

i don't like all the pseudo-physicist rhetoric, because it tries to give the false impression that these conclusions were reached inductively, through observation and experimentation, when in reality what we're seeing is a much more subtle and sophisticated version of the same religious trend that gave birth to "creation science."  people who have a vested interest in a certain spirituality seek to justify and propogate it by encouching it in "scientific" jargon--it also helps, in the case of people like dipshit chakra, to sell books and tapes.  unlike their fundy christian counterparts however, they have learned the value of obfuscation: if one's postulates cannot be adequately communicated, they cannot be adequately challenged.

also, let me add that i hate the current truism that indian religions are somehow "verified" by modern science.  yes, it's true that there are a few interesting parallels between some indian beliefs and modern scientific theories.  there's the indian idea of an extremely old universe that is cyclically destroyed and created anew ("kalpas and metakalpas&quotEye-wink.  there's the interesting correspondence between the conception of the phenomenal world held by the (long extinct) sautrantika school of early indian buddhism and modern quantum theory.

but those things don't automatically prove metaphysical theories like reincarnation, dependent arising, etc., etc., and there are plenty of ideas in indian religiobns that don't jive with our knowledge of the universe at all.  most buddhist and hindu cosmologies, for example, are very similar to ancient hebrew and iranian cosmologies, and consist of a flat earth with an enormous central mountain and an encircling ocean.  now, just like jews and christians with the cosmology of the hebrew bible, there are plenty of hindus and buddhists who are ready to spiritualize the whole thing and say they are allegories, but it's obvious they weren't considered allegories by the authors of the texts or their audience.

it's also important to realize that most of what we in the west know of indian religions is the product of a huge religious revival in 19th century india--the rise of "neo-hinduism" and the "back to the original teachings" movement in buddhism, for example--and the contact around the same time between representatives of indian religions and naive westerners who had very little prior knowledge of those religions.  since then, indian religions have pretty much been given carte blanche in europe and the US to put their best foot forward, and the fact that most hindus, buddhists, etc., are just as mired in superstition and ecclesiastical corruption as any christian or muslim is largely, even willfully, ignored.  

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I said, 'Father change my name.'
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Feredir28 wrote:
Hi all. I am an atheist currently debating a panentheist (not a pantheist) who believes everything exists within the mind of a

Cosmic Mind

which he says is equated with God.


Old stuff. All is a dream in the mind of the sleeping Vishnu.

 

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Feredir28 wrote:Teralek

Feredir28 wrote:

Teralek wrote:

Feredir28 wrote:

My friend has some of the lousiest defintions of god I have ever seen - its like he barely has a clue. For he knows, he exists within the mind of an alien. If I did no know better, I would say this guy was borderline Buddhist or something. But he is not religious, rather he despises it a lot (which I admit Im glad we agree both agree on that).

This is so cool! I'm like that too! 

The difference is that I'm not so much sure of the nature of "God" and it's attributes that I can call myself an Panentheist... yet.

Feredir28 wrote:
I invited him to chat online with Victor Stenger (author of Quantum Consciousness) and I also told him about the work of Antonio Damasio about consciousness arriving through material means. I am familiar with Davies, but his work does not seem that helpful for the god hypothesis.

Yes but it helps with the first cause hypothesis. Or in your friends case... the "first mind" hypothesis 

Feredir28 wrote:
As for Penrose, he was not only criticised by hawking, but by practically by his whole peers. Same thing with Michael Behe - and guess what, he is still full of crap to this day. I did not know much about Penrose at the time I posted this (and would still like to learn a bit more) but this guy looks like he is acting like some big shot because he helped Hawking write a book.

Well he made a lecture in Google... that usually means something to me. I for one give him credibility.

Feredir28 wrote:
As for the panentheist argument for consciousness, his premises and conclusions are mixed up and assume way too much. Take this for example, he admits the "Cosmic Mind" is a sentient being. Here is a response I could give,

1. Anything with sentience has a cause

2. God/Cosmic Mind, by defintion, has sentience

3. Therefore, God/Cosmic Mind has a cause

Yes this is the problem I was trying to address by showing you the Paul Davies talk. Like him I don't like the infinite regress problem or as Hawking put it: Turtles all the way down. I think a First Cause is a more logical one.

Feredir28 wrote:
All logical arguments presented by the panentheist can be turned on its head in many ways, all I need help with is why the heck does he attach some spiritual woo-woo to quantum mechanics - but frankly he is not alone who try to use this wild card. I would recommend Victor Stenger to everyone for starters on quantum mechanics. His belief in panentheism cannot even provide all the answers he wishes it did, such as does his Cosmic Mind have a beginning or emotions; did this thing create time; and is this thing evil? Panentheism destroys objective reality because it invokes this God as an immaterial mind (and yet we exist as a material universe within an immaterial mind). This would basically translates to: everything is meaningless since objective reality does not exist.   

woo-woo?! well I think saying that when Moses got to the Red Sea and the waters separated is woo-woo... here I don't see any woo-woo. Just honest research. I don't think your friend can prove anything, but I like his idea.

I guess I'll start off with the "First Cause" piece. Aristotle, who came up with the term, was troubled by it because causation alone brings forth an infinite regression. He believed motion was infinitely moving. If one invokes that everything has a beginning, but then excludes even one thing (like a deity), then their original argument blows up in their face. Therefore, we could say that the universe is eternal, and Occam's Razor would side with this argument over the claim everything was created by a mysterious eternal entity. Likewise, if there was a first "mind" - how did that mind come to be. For that matter, how can there be one "mind" when there are practically an infinite number of universes? And if everything in our universe did exist within a mind of a god, then this god is indeed evil since evil exists within the universe and anything that happens in this universe has to be a preconcieved concept in this gods mind. One of my first thoughts upon hearing about panentheism - that our minds exist within a bigger cosmic mind - does that mean that this cosmic mind exists within a greater cosmic mind? And so on. See the problem?

For the record, having a lecture on Google does not add much credibility. You can find plenty of Muslim scholars giving lectures on Google. Likewise, Lawrence Krauss has a lecture on Google about a "Universe From Nothing" - which I do not fully embrace (yet, I still have much more to learn), I think the only logical answer is that the universe is eternal. This excludes the need for a deity.

Miracles like parting the seas people call miracles, I call it magic. Magic, by definition, is impossible. Other people have a different perspective on magic, such as the simple ability of influence and manipulation. People calling energy and its properties "magic" and believe this magic can manipulate people (yes I actually know people like this) I call energy what it really is: energy. We know what it is, and there is no reason whatsoever to attach some supernatural label to it. I call the people who makes this unnecessary leap "wishful thinkers." Same with those who insist that some magical being exists transparent to matter and objective reality.

I think infinite regress causes unecessary complexity. Thus I think Occams's razor applies better to a FC scenario! We simply don't know what this FC is... we are merely insignificant humans on an insignificant planet thinking about it. This is why I invoked Paul Davies who much better than I defends some sort of FC on a cosmological scale. You have to remember something important though that many seem to forget somehow... a FC doesn't necessarily implies a deity!

You can call me an "wishful thinker" for intents and purposes I am that too you. But from my world perspective which is not transmissable, because it is part of who I am, I believe to be right given the odds...

Thinking that the Universe is "eternal" not only goes against the current thinking on cosmology but also poses problems of it's own...

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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iwbiek wrote:panentheism has

iwbiek wrote:

panentheism has always struck me as nothing more than certain indian philosophies repackaged--particularly the vijnanavada school of mahayana buddhism and the vishistadvaita vedanta of ramanuja, which are respectively buddhist and hindu sides of the same coin.  i only read a little of that dense muck quoted in the preceding posts, and i have to say, its one great accomplishment is that it makes vasubandhu seem damn near transparent.

i don't like all the pseudo-physicist rhetoric, because it tries to give the false impression that these conclusions were reached inductively, through observation and experimentation, when in reality what we're seeing is a much more subtle and sophisticated version of the same religious trend that gave birth to "creation science."  people who have a vested interest in a certain spirituality seek to justify and propogate it by encouching it in "scientific" jargon--it also helps, in the case of people like dipshit chakra, to sell books and tapes.  unlike their fundy christian counterparts however, they have learned the value of obfuscation: if one's postulates cannot be adequately communicated, they cannot be adequately challenged.

also, let me add that i hate the current truism that indian religions are somehow "verified" by modern science.  yes, it's true that there are a few interesting parallels between some indian beliefs and modern scientific theories.  there's the indian idea of an extremely old universe that is cyclically destroyed and created anew ("kalpas and metakalpas&quotEye-wink.  there's the interesting correspondence between the conception of the phenomenal world held by the (long extinct) sautrantika school of early indian buddhism and modern quantum theory.

but those things don't automatically prove metaphysical theories like reincarnation, dependent arising, etc., etc., and there are plenty of ideas in indian religiobns that don't jive with our knowledge of the universe at all.  most buddhist and hindu cosmologies, for example, are very similar to ancient hebrew and iranian cosmologies, and consist of a flat earth with an enormous central mountain and an encircling ocean.  now, just like jews and christians with the cosmology of the hebrew bible, there are plenty of hindus and buddhists who are ready to spiritualize the whole thing and say they are allegories, but it's obvious they weren't considered allegories by the authors of the texts or their audience.

it's also important to realize that most of what we in the west know of indian religions is the product of a huge religious revival in 19th century india--the rise of "neo-hinduism" and the "back to the original teachings" movement in buddhism, for example--and the contact around the same time between representatives of indian religions and naive westerners who had very little prior knowledge of those religions.  since then, indian religions have pretty much been given carte blanche in europe and the US to put their best foot forward, and the fact that most hindus, buddhists, etc., are just as mired in superstition and ecclesiastical corruption as any christian or muslim is largely, even willfully, ignored.  

Hey Comrade! 

You will find paralels everywhere I don't see any problem with that... Penrose can be right but that doesn't make the whole Hinduism correct!! Your whole argument revolves around: "What you're saying can't be true because my schizophrenic friend said the same thing"... but that's ok, you can think whatever you like... it's your free will... 

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:Hey

Teralek wrote:

Hey Comrade! 

i'm not your fucking comrade.

Teralek wrote:

Your whole argument revolves around: "What you're saying can't be true because my schizophrenic friend said the same thing"

no, my whole argument revolves around the "schizophrenic friend" putting on a labcoat and horn rims and pretending to be niels fucking bohr.  the panentheism of penrose's variety is no different from the creationism of dwayne gish's variety: they both start from subjective presuppositions--indian mystical and/or neoplatonic in the former case, fundamentalist christian in the latter--and wrap them up in the jargon of mainstream science to lend them an air of cheap respectability and make the public ooh and ah.  and usually they don't even succeed in that.

i never said panentheism can't be true.  point out where i said that.  nobody can say that definitively, since panentheism, just like indian mysticism, is non-falsifiable.  i did say, however, that the physicist jargon of panentheists like penrose and chopra is dishonest.  if you recall, one of the above posts cites chopra basically admitting to that in a debate with dawkins.

you're absolutely right i'm "free" to think whatever i want, but at least get my fucking arguments right before you address them.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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iwbiek wrote:i'm not your

iwbiek wrote:

i'm not your fucking comrade.

I love you man!  It's not everyday that we find an outdated Avatar like yours!

Teralek wrote:

Your whole argument revolves around: "What you're saying can't be true because my schizophrenic friend said the same thing"

iwbiek wrote:
no, my whole argument revolves around the "schizophrenic friend" putting on a labcoat and horn rims and pretending to be niels fucking bohr.  the panentheism of penrose's variety is no different from the creationism of dwayne gish's variety: they both start from subjective presuppositions--indian mystical and/or neoplatonic in the former case, fundamentalist christian in the latter--and wrap them up in the jargon of mainstream science to lend them an air of cheap respectability and make the public ooh and ah.  and usually they don't even succeed in that.

i never said panentheism can't be true.  point out where i said that.  nobody can say that definitively, since panentheism, just like indian mysticism, is non-falsifiable.  i did say, however, that the physicist jargon of panentheists like penrose and chopra is dishonest.  if you recall, one of the above posts cites chopra basically admitting to that in a debate with dawkins.

you're absolutely right i'm "free" to think whatever i want, but at least get my fucking arguments right before you address them.

Actually Penrose is an atheist. He has a career that shadows your own and mine to shame if the fields of mathematics and physics. Some other people took Penrose ideas about conscience and said that there is a possibility that conscience can survive death if it can maintain quantum coesion since is it doesn't have a biological base. With all the paradoxes I find about the qualia of awareness like the Touring test; the chinese room; The zombie paradox and the seemingly impossibility of mimic a human brain in the incredibly powerful computers we have today tells me that there is no algorithm that can reproduce human conscience. So I endorse this idea.

To put Penrose in the same bag as Chopra is just being ignorant... Since I know that Penrose is far from being schizophrenic I still maintain what I've said. Dawkins is a biologist, when it comes to quatum mechanics he should be quiet. Same thing with Chopra, he is an MD not a physicist.

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:I love you

Teralek wrote:

I love you man!  It's not everyday that we find an outdated Avatar like yours!

pardon me all to hell.  next time i'll make sure to take my cue from cap and use a picture of katie perry or taylor swift.

Teralek wrote:

Actually Penrose is an atheist.

oh shit, then i guess i should automatically agree with him since he's in the club.

Teralek wrote:

Since I know that Penrose is far from being schizophrenic I still maintain what I've said.

you're the one who started throwing the word "schizophrenic" around.  i'm certain most panentheists are not schizophrenic.  most people in general are not schizophrenic.

and once again you miss the whole point of my argument.  i'm starting to think it's deliberate.  my argument has nothing to do with penrose.  in fact, you are also the one who brought penrose up.  if you'll look closely, you'll see his name doesn't appear anywhere in my initial post.  my argument addresses the jargon of the person the OP is arguing with, and it consists of my opinion that panentheists hijack scientific terminology in order to give the impression that panentheism can be verified scientifically.  that is my only argument.  if you refuse to address it, kindly fuck off and pester someone else.

in fact, you seem to verify it by telling me that penrose was not a panentheist at all and that his theories are being twisted by panentheists to suit their own ends.  thank you for making my point for me.

Teralek wrote:

Dawkins is a biologist, when it comes to quatum mechanics he should be quiet.

and hawking is a mathematician, so i suppose he should be quiet about quantum and astrophysics.

please, experts in all fields work across disciplines all the time.  they might defer to their colleagues when they're unsure about something, but they can also correct their colleagues at times, since an outsider's perspective can often see things an insider would miss.  only dilettantes insist on disciplinary isolation.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Well, comrade, Addressing

Well, comrade, Addressing your point heads on... I don't see any problem with the jargon of the OP's friend. I just see a possible interpertation of Penrose thoery. He could be right or wrong, I don't know, but I don't passionately jump on him like many of you who seem to have it all figured out... he didn't say anything that is blatantly wrong! His words are way far from the common hindu or Budist.

For anyone interested I'm viewing the 2 main ideas about the "qualia" of conscience. David Chambers and Daniel Dennett who oppose each other

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48ol4sHasA8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo

 

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:His words are

Teralek wrote:

His words are way far from the common hindu or Budist.

his words, yes.  his meaning, no.

well, notwithstanding the fact that the "common" hindu or buddhist knows as much about vishistadvaita vedanta or vijnanavada as the common catholic knows about thomism.

and i don't have everything figured out.  i've only figured out that a., panentheists can and often do dishonestly represent their beliefs as much as any monotheist, and b., you're a smarmy asshole. 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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iwbiek wrote: his words,

iwbiek wrote:
his words, yes.  his meaning, no.

well, notwithstanding the fact that the "common" hindu or buddhist knows as much about vishistadvaita vedanta or vijnanavada as the common catholic knows about thomism.

and i don't have everything figured out.  i've only figured out that a., panentheists can and often do dishonestly represent their beliefs as much as any monotheist,

I seem to remember your praised fondness of a well known panentheist that used to hang around this forum by the name of Eloise... I don't think she was ever dishonest. Actually there are many honest people who for some logical reason believe there was a creator to the Universe... like me!

I think that there's an obvious difference between the general troll and the curious philosopher who just wants their ideas to be heard and put into a good argument...

The way the OP's friend seems to talk and the way Eloise talks has some similarities...

iwbiek wrote:
and b., you're a smarmy asshole. 

I'm quite on the left spectrum as well... just ask anyone here.

Although I'm more of an eco-socialist... I think...

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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I'm a physics grad student,

I'm a physics grad student, so I'll see if I can clear some of this up for you.

 

On Omnipresence: 

First off, quantum mechanics kills the classical notion of an object's position.  "Position" in QM works differently than "position" in classical physics.  Your friend is first going to have to figure out what "omnipresence" means in QM before he can use QM to show that something is omnipresent.

Secondly, arguing that the universe is omnipresent is like arguing that space is omnipresent (after all, spacetime is a part of the universe).  True, but useless.

 

On Omnipotence:

The Zeno effect can change the time-evolution of some systems in very particular ways.  So even if we grant the assumption that the wavefunction is self-collapsing (and where the fuck did that come from?) it's still a far cry from omnipotence.

 

On Consciousness:

The works of Wigner and Penrose on consciousness are HIGHLY SPECULATIVE (and when physicists say this they tend to mean "complete guesswork" ).  Moreover, I don't think either of these guys has any degree in biology or neuroscience.  They are wildly guessing at what the resolution to the "mind-body problem" is going to be.

Furthermore, the collapse of a wavefunction need not involve a mind at all, so the fact that the object in question can collapse a wavefunction does not make it a mind.  Your friend basically commits a converse error here.  Even if all minds are self-collapsing wavefunctions, this would not necessarily mean that all self-collapsing wave functions are minds.  This is like saying that since all chickens are birds, I only need to demonstrate that this eagle is a bird in order to prove that it is a chicken.

 

On Orch-OR

I've never heard of the Orch-OR model.  A quick wiki-peruse shows that there's not really any evidence.  I think "model" is being used very pseudoscientifically here, as in physics models tend to make very quantitative predictions and I'm not seeing any in Orch-OR.  As best I can tell, it's closer to philosophy than neuroscience or physics.

Also, from the wiki:

Wikipedia wrote:

The main objection to the Hameroff side of the theory is that any quantum feature in the environment of the brain would undergo wave function collapse (reduction), as a result of interaction with the environment, far too quickly for it to have any influence on neural processes. The wave or superposition form of the quanta is referred to as being quantum coherent. Interaction with the environment results in decoherence otherwise known as wave function collapse. It has been questioned as to how such quantum coherence could avoid rapid decoherence in the conditions of the brain. With reference to this question, a paper by the physicist, Max Tegmark, refuting the Orch-OR model and published in the journal, Physical Review E is widely quoted.[36] Tegmark developed a model for time to decoherence, and from this calculated that microtubule quantum states could exist, but would be sustained for only a femtoseconds (fs) timescale at brain temperatures, far too brief to be relevant to neural processing. A recent paper by Engel et al. in Nature does indicate quantum coherent electrons as being functional in energy transfer within photosynthetic organisms, but the quantum coherence described lasts for 660 fs[37] rather than the 25 milliseconds required by Orch-OR, and this is compatible with Tegmark's calculations. More recent papers involving Guerreshi, G., Cia, J., Popescu, S. and Briegel, H.[38][39] are looking to improve their model of entanglement in protein, a test which could falsify theories of non-trivial coherence or entanglement in protein.

Since you don't speak physics, I'll summarize.  A physicist named Max Tegmark calculated that coherence in a brain-like environment would last something around 1/1,000,000,000,000,000th of a second, whereas Orch-OR apparently requires coherence lasting about 1/100th of a second.  This is an enormous discrepancy.

 

On the Argument

Premise 1 is a false dichotomy.  An alternative possibility is consciousness being a functional phenomenon, the result of interactions between material objects.  For example, my shirt today is blue.  However, no elementary particles constructing my shirt are blue. This does not mean that blueness precedes elementary particles, nor that blueness is an epi-phenomenon of material reality (which basically means "something concurrent with but existing outside of material reality" ).  Rather, the blueness comes from the interactions of the particles which make up my shirt.  Similarly, consciousness could come from the interactions of particles making up the mind, which would render it neither a predecessor of matter nor an epi-phenomenon.

Premise 2 makes no sense.  Why is it impossible for an epi-phenomenon to have a special role in material processes?

Premise 3 is just plain false.  Wavefunction collapse can and indeed does occur all the time without consciousness involved.  I did it myself in my senior year of undergrad - I used a photomultiplier tube to collapse wavefunctions.  The photons whose wavefunctions I collapsed never even entered my own eyes (that would have been quite dangerous with the lasers I was using).  I even did this while performing the Quantum Eraser experiments your friend cites as evidence.  Come to think of it, in that particular experiment some of the photons' wavefunctions were collapsed using beam blocks.  Those aren't even electronic, much less conscious.

 

Hope that helps.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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Zaq wrote:First off, quantum

Zaq wrote:

First off, quantum mechanics kills the classical notion of an object's position.  "Position" in QM works differently than "position" in classical physics.

The more I read about true NDE reports the more I think that they are reporting an existence in some sort of quantum world rather than our common day bt day classical physics... 

Zaq wrote:
 On Omnipotence:

I believe anything that can be said on this chapter is just a waste of time, presumptuous and laughable. So it's a non subject for me... but don't mind me!

Zaq wrote:
On Consciousness:

The works of Wigner and Penrose on consciousness are HIGHLY SPECULATIVE  

 

True. I like them though, they have some charm. Maybe it's true maybe it's not. I have a strong conviction that quantum computers can potentially prove Penrose right or wrong. It is the only possible way to create a true indistinguishable AI anyway.

More and more my conviction is that quantum AI is going to answer many questions, awesomely, that many here are so sure to have answers!

Zaq wrote:
Premise 1 is a false dichotomy.  An alternative possibility is consciousness being a functional phenomenon, the result of interactions between material objects.  For example, my shirt today is blue.  However, no elementary particles constructing my shirt are blue. This does not mean that blueness precedes elementary particles, nor that blueness is an epi-phenomenon of material reality (which basically means "something concurrent with but existing outside of material reality" ).  Rather, the blueness comes from the interactions of the particles which make up my shirt.  Similarly, consciousness could come from the interactions of particles making up the mind, which would render it neither a predecessor of matter nor an epi-phenomenon.
 

I can imagine a society where electromagnetic energy was not discovered yet. Then some "alien" comes and sells these people TV sets. I can imagine lots of scientists saying that it's impossible that the image comes from a spooky source outside the TV. After all if we smash the TV with a hammer that image goes away! I know, I know. I'm still making a leap of faith. Well I can say that my leap is not based on the Bible. It's based on a life time experience of research on books and first hand experiences keeping an open mind. It became obvious to me that what we think we know about "us" and about "reality" it's far from being the truth.

What is false is dismissing the subject saying that conscience HAS TO BE an exclusive neurological phenomenon, period, and not allowing or subsidizing valid research as I've seen much too often! When the subjective experience of conscience is hard to explain in light of current knowledge, as it it brilliantly explained by David Chalmers.

Zaq wrote:
Premise 3 is just plain false.  Wavefunction collapse can and indeed does occur all the time without consciousness involved. 

I don't know... the more I look at the poor Shrodinger's cat the more I'm convinced that we never solved the paradox. Copenhagen interpretation and others are just running away or dismissing the paradox.

Unless we can find a way to make classical physics compatible with QM we are never going to solve this. We are having a hard time doing this because I smell something wrong in the way we see the world as such... maybe something promising is coming out of the "Holographic principle"?

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:Unless we can

Teralek wrote:

Unless we can find a way to make classical physics compatible with QM we are never going to solve this. We are having a hard time doing this because I smell something wrong in the way we see the world as such... maybe something promising is coming out of the "Holographic principle"?

Classical physics is compatible with QM.  If it wasn't, physicists would never have taken QM seriously.

If you take the limit as plank's constant approaches zero, QM becomes classical mechanics.  This tells us that classical mechanics is a good approximation of quantum mechanics which happens to break down in some more extreme situations.  It isn't that there's some scale where QM occurs and some scale where CM occures.  QM occurs everywhere, and CM is just a good (but not perfect) approximation of that QM at certain (typically macroscopic) scales.

You should look into something called a "Path Integral," which does a great job of explaining how CM accurately approximates QM at large scales. In many situations, QM tells us that the classical solution matters much more for an object's behavior than any non-classical shenanigans.  This is why CM had such a successful run, even though it's just an approximation.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


Ekstasis
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BeachBum,In

BeachBum,

In Aristotle’s Term Logic, a Categorical Syllogism by definition must have exactly three categorical terms in order to be formally valid. Consider the classic argument: 1. All men are mortal. 2. Socrates is a man. Therefore, 3. Socrates is mortal. The three categorical terms or labels here are: Men, Entities that are Mortal and Socrates. The conclusion logically follows from relationship between categories.

Now consider this argument: 1. All men are mortal. 2. Socrates is a man. So, 3. All ducks are mortal.

That argument is not a valid categorical syllogism because it has more than three categorical terms and an argument with more than three categorical terms is not a categorical syllogism at all. Even though there are three lines in this argument, there are four categorical terms. They are: 1. Men. 2. Entities that are mortal. 3. Socrates and 4. Ducks . . . Also, the conclusion does not follow logically from the relationship between the  categories listed. Here, it is appropriate to say that the argument commits the fallacy of four terms. Usually, arguments that fall under the fallacy of four terms employ equivocation where the same word is used in two different senses and are not as obvious as my example.

However, just because an argument is not a valid categorical syllogism does not mean that it is not a valid argument at all. If an argument does not fit the definition of a categorical syllogism then it cannot by definition be a valid categorical syllogism what so ever. However, an argument does not need to be categorical syllogism at all let alone a valid one to be a valid argument . . .

Rather an argument is valid just in case it is impossible for the premise or premises to be true and the conclusion false. It need not rely on the logical relationships between categories at all. There are other sorts of logical relationships you can rely on.

Consider this argument where the logical relationships between categories don’t matter so much:

1. All fairyflies are insects in the order of hymenoptera.

Therefore,

2. All fairyflies are insects in the order of hymenoptera OR all ducks are sex perverts made out of toast.

Here there are four categorical terms: 1. Fairyflies 2. Insects in the order of Hymenoptera. 3. Ducks and 4. Sex Perverts made out of Toast.

Clearly this is not a valid categorical syllogism. It is not a categorical syllogism at all. It has four categorical terms. Clearly the conclusion does not follow from the logical relationship between the categorical terms.

However it is still a valid argument and the conclusion does follow logically from the premises. Let’s consider what it means for the conclusion to be false while the premise is true . . .

Lets assume the premise is true: All fairyflies are insects in the order of hymenoptera. That shouldn’t be hard to imagine. It is actually the case. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairyfly (I really like chalcid wasps) Let’s also assume that the conclusion is false: All fairyflies are insects in the order of hymenoptera OR all ducks are sex perverts made out of toast.

For the conclusion to be false it would have to be false that all fairyflies are insects in the order of hymenoptera and it would also have to be false that all ducks are sex perverts made out of toast. On the other hand the disjunction in the conclusion is true if just one of the atomic sentences on either side of the word OR is true. Clearly it is contradictory to assert that it is true that all fairyflies are insects in the order of hymenoptera (ppremise 1) while at the same time it is false that all fairyflies are insects in the order of hymenoptera (from the negation of the conclusion). The argument is valid. It is logically contradictory for the premise to be true and the conclusion false.

If you want to understand why this argument is valid and follows logically from the premise forget about the logical relationships between categories and start thinking about binary truth values, atomic sentences, and the logical connective OR. It should be pretty obvious.

This particular argument has no valid form in Aristotle’s Term Logic. However, it has a valid form in the standard zeroth order Sentential Logic (SL) aka the Propositional Calculus. Modern SL is more like ancient Stoic Logic than ancient Aristotelian Logic.

Anyhow, the argument’s form in SL is:

1. P Therefore 2. PvQ

The name of the argument form is Disjunction Introduction

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

Criticizing an argument in the form of  Disjunction Introduction because it isn’t a valid categorical syllogism is similar to an umpire removing a player from a baseball game because the player isn’t properly following the rules of chess. Sure, it is true that they aren’t properly following the rules of chess. But, so what? They aren’t playing chess. Who cares? It just isn’t appropriate to apply the rules of chess to baseball. That, I think, is analogous to what you are doing with the argument in the OP.

Let’s forget about Aristotle’s Categorical Logic for the time being and analyze the argument in the OP in terms of Sentential Logic . . .

There are a few things I should point out before I begin . . .

In Sentential Logic and first order Predicate Logic and every other modern formal system of logic that I am aware of, “if then” statements can appear as single premises in argument and as conclusions. Usually they are understood in terms of “material implication” Material implication is usually represented with the arrow symbol: ->

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_implication_(rule_of_inference)



Also, the second premise in the argument from the OP contains more than what is required to run a valid argument in SL. All that is needed is the first “if then” statement from premise 2 and not the conjunction of the two "if then" statements in premise 2. So, I deleted  the unneeded “if then” in my reworking of the argument from the OP. I want to run this through a proof checker. If I don’t delete the unneeded “if then statement” I’ll have to do more steps to get the proof checker to okay the argument. I’m drunk and lazy and taking the easy route.

Finally, the person who wrote the argument in the OP did not show their work and left out a step. I included the step on line 4 of my reworking. However, the argument is valid whether or not you show the step. I included it so that folks can follow the reasoning required to reach the final conclusion.

Here is my informal reworking of the argument:

1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality. (premise)

2. If consciousness is an ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. (premise)

3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality. (premise)

So,
4. Consciousness is not an ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality. (from 2,3 by Modus Tollens)

Therefore,
5. Consciousness is found to precede material reality (from 1,4 by Disjunctive Syllogism)

Here is my formalization of the argument in Sentential Logic:

 
Let C denote: Consciousness preceded all of material reality.
Let E denote: Consciousness is an epiphenomena of material reality
Let N denote Consciousness has no special position within material reality.


        1.    CvE        (premise)        
        2    E->N        (premise)       
        3.    ~N        (premise)       
        4.    ~E        ( from 2,3 by Modus Tollens)   
        5.    C        (from 1,4 by Disjunctive Syllogism)    


Here are some wikis on the two rules of inference used to arrive at the conclusion C:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modus_tollens
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disjunctive_syllogism

You can use a proof checker to see if my formalization of this argument is valid.  Don’t take my word for it!

Here is a link to a good proof checker:

http://logic.tamu.edu/daemon.html

In the box labeled “premises” paste: CvE,E->N,~N

In the box labeled “conclusion” paste: C

In the box labeled “enter your proof below” paste:

        1    (1)    CvE        A        
        2    (2)    E->N        A        
        3    (3)    ~N        A        
        2,3     (4)    ~E        2,3MTT   
        1,2,3    (5)    C        1,4vE    

Make sure line 1 starts at the very first line in the proof box and not any other line. It won’t work if there are any empty lines above “1 (1) CvE”         

Then click on check proof.


The proof checker should congratulate you because your proof is correct (valid). That is what it did for me.

The argument is valid in the standard SL. But that doesn’t tell us whether or not the conclusion is true. We’d have to know that the three premises are true to infer that the conclusion is true. Your approach of challenging the argument’s validity using the rules of Aristotle’s logic I think is very wrong headed. The proper approach here is to question the truth of the premises.

Also, I apologize if my prose is unclear or if I am blathering or if I am being pedantic. You see, I am very drunk and it is only 10 am(ish)! When I am drunk I find it very difficult to stop talking and rambling or in this case typing. I came across this thread while running a google search on some issues related to Max Tegmark’s Mathematical Universe Hypothesis.  I couldn’t stop my self from posting a response to some of the things I read in this thread . . .
 

Men are animals with the peculiar vocation of becoming Gods


FurryCatHerder
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 Debating a panentheist can

 Debating a panentheist can be a bit like trying to convince a cat that YOU are actually its owner, and not the other way around.

Someone up above said that things happen in the Universe with no active consciousness involved.  I'd disagree -- even in QM (and the rest of the Q's) there are rules which exist, within varying probabilities of their happening.  While QM says that a fully formed toaster oven could magically appear in the middle of my den, the probability of that happening is sufficiently low as to be ignored.

What can't be ignored is that something like an electron-positron interaction is going to result in annihilation of both particles and the release of some amount of energy.  What also can't be ignore is why that happens, or why it's a good thing that that happens.

To a panentheist, the answer is "Because G-d made it work out that way".

When you come up with the operating manual for either electrons or positrons which explain all of their possible modes of operation, and the cost-benefit explanation for why those modes of operation are in the best interests of the Universe, you let me know.  Me, I'm just glad that every time a collision between those particles happens a new toaster oven doesn't appear in the middle of my den, because my den isn't large enough to hold them.  And I don't want to sell them all on eBay, either.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."