Do humans have a soul?

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Dubious
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Re: RC

Post by Dubious » Thu May 23, 2019 11:02 pm

Justintruth wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 12:06 pm
If Hitler is dead and Mozart is dead it's the same?
Exactly so! Even if you compare Hitler to St. Francis or Jesus himself; dead means dead as if you were never alive in the first place. Nature doesn't owe you more than what you had...and to be precise, didn't even owe you that much.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon May 27, 2019 4:45 pm

Justintruth wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:43 am
We seem not to be making progress because of a lack of focus. So let's focus.
Actually, I was finding our discussion quite useful. However, I am willing to focus on something more particular.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:34 pm
Now, you ask why we need to posit an entity other than the material. The answer is straightforward: because none of the materialist attempts to explain consciousness are any good.
Anesthesia is a great counter example. Here is the theory: Introducing a general anesthetic into the brain causes loss of consciousness. Note that the action is what you call "merely physical" and the effect is a loss of experiencing

Now that works. Why do you say none of our attempts are any good?
Because of the old axiom, "correspondence is not causality." When two things happen together, it does not signal to us which one is "causing" the other, or even that either is.

There's an old joke to illustrate this principle:

A woman walks into her doctor's office, and says, "Doctor, every time I drink tea my right eye hurts."

And he says, "Well, take the spoon out of the cup." :D

The woman was correct to say that "tea drinking" and "pain' were exactly correlated. She was wrong to cite "tea drinking" as the cause of the pain. There was nothing inherent to tea, or to the conjunction of tea and pain that conduced to her conclusion. There was, in fact, a third thing involved in the situation.

Anaesthesia shows that in the presence of certain chemicals, the physical body becomes inert and the mind becomes somnolent. That does not really tell us what's happening there, or what's causing what to happen. The state of the physical body is complete paralysis: but what is the state of the mind, there? We do not really know: we call it unconsciousness, but distinguish it both from normal cognition and death. What's safe to say is only that two very different kinds of effect ensue: one physical, and a different one that's mental.

Two articles in the most recent PN may interest you on this: one on Panspiritism, and one on cognition in dragonflies. Both raise significant problems inherent to trying to answer the question "what is mind" with reference to nothing but the material.
What do you need for an attempt to be "successful"?
I think a good minimum is that an explanation cannot be successful if it fails to account for important phenomena that are generally acknowledged and necessary for intellectual activity in the first place. It can only be even presumed possibly to be successful if it does no obvious violence to such phenomena.

For example, the existence of something called "mind" is not controversial; in fact, you're using yours right now, as am I. The problem is in trying to make the assumption "everything is made up of materials" adequate to explain the existence of mind. But in that case, the fault is with the assumption: for why should we believe, prior to all knowledge, that there can be only one kind of entity or substance operative in the universe (material ones) -- particularly when even posing the question requires us to utilize the very entity (i.e. mind) that the Materialist explanation is trying to dismiss? :shock:

That looks obviously self-defeating. So my suggestion is that we need to be less obdurate than the Materialists in insisting that there can be only one kind of entity in the universe.

And in return, I would pose the question to you that I asked last time: "Given the Materialist explanation of origins -- namely, that at one time there was nothing but simple "materials" in the universe -- by what specific process did this group of mere "materials" sprout consciousness?" That looks like a question that no Materialist explanation is good at answering: in fact, it's so bad that we have to feel driven to look for a better theory than Materialism.

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Speakpigeon
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Speakpigeon » Tue May 28, 2019 7:39 pm

Belinda wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 9:36 am
Your elbow joint, Immanuel, is directly experienced and also objectively observed in action by yourself.
Unlike your elbow joint your brain has no proprioceptors so you cannot observe your own brain in action.
If your brain had proprioceptors you would no more attribute a spirit to your physical brain than you attribute a spirit to your elbow.
Yet, our mind can be taken as our perception of our brain. Our mind not only is what our brain does, it is also a perception that tells us what our brain does. That's full-blown proprioception.
In reality, our brain is the part of our body that we know most intimately.
So, there's nothing in the whole universe we know better than our brain.
Unless you think your mind is not the activity of your brain.
Funny how we could have such a skewed perspective on things. Even very simple things.
EB

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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Belinda » Tue May 28, 2019 11:14 pm

Speakpigeon wrote:



Our mind not only is what our brain does, it is also a perception that tells us what our brain does. That's full-blown proprioception.
We cannot directly perceive what our own brain does .

You go to the doctor with a broken wrist. You say to the doctor "I thought it might be broken because it's not only painful I can see it's not the right shape." You have not only felt the pain you have also seen the signs of the fracture.

You go to the doctor with double vision. You say to the doctor "I see everything double." N.B. you cannot in truth say to the doctor " I thought my brain must be broken because I can see it's not the right shape." You are unable to see signs of the broken brain although you can tell the doctor your symptom.

Justintruth
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Justintruth » Wed May 29, 2019 12:50 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 4:45 pm
Now, you ask why we need to posit an entity other than the material. The answer is straightforward: because none of the materialist attempts to explain consciousness are any good.
Justintruth wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:43 am
Anesthesia is a great counter example...so why...?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 4:45 pm
Because of the old axiom, "correspondence is not causality." When two things happen together, it does not signal to us which one is "causing" the other, or even that either is.
Ok, but that can happen with mind too, right? The issues you raise with causality can be discussed. But let us say that we take "post ergo propter" as refuting all causal claims. We still have the fact that once we describe the properties of being aware, even if they, like everything else, do not allow us to assert that causality occurs we still do not have a need to posit a mind in order to describe the correspondence. And the correspondence still exists, and we are assuming no ghosts, no zombies. So even absent a causal theory we have a scientific fact based on induction. So we can just rephrase something like, "Whenever an anesthesiologist enters a certain chemical into that vein consciousness will be lost". Now there is no causal claim but still the same facts and we still have a good theory. The theory is not expressed as a correlation by induction and results in a prediction without any assertion of causality. So the facts themselves don't change and you still have to answer why you think the theory that the anesthesiologist has is incorrect. After all, it will be used today all over the world to perform surgery!

(Under anesthesia) ....The state of the physical body is complete paralysis: but what is the state of the mind, there? We do not really know: we call it unconsciousness, but distinguish it both from normal cognition and death.
I was put under a couple of times and can report to you that consciousness is lost. Now memory is a problem but there is no evidence that I was conscious but don't remember. It is so obviously distinct from normal cognition that I won't go into it. As for death it is very similar and the only thing that separates the two is the possibility of being revived. If that were absent then the person would be able to be declared dead.

When I went to the operating room they asked me to count backward from 100. I reached like 97 and immediately woke. It was, in fact, hours latter but there was no intervening experience of any kind.

What's safe to say is only that two very different kinds of effect ensue: one physical, and a different one that's mental.
Sure! Two effects! But we are not talking about whether those effects occur, nor are we talking about whether they are different kinds of effects, nor are we talking about whether, under the current physics, we can say that the mind effects are accounted for - they are not. We are talking about whether we can say that it is the brain that is conscious and then when anesthetized is rendered unconscious. I think we can say that. Further, if we introduce a separate entity, a "mind" we have increased the number of posits without explaining anything more. In fact we explain less because that way there is no reason that there are not ghosts or zombies. With one posit you can't have either. On the others side, if we could demonstrate that the no ghost / no zombie hypothesis was wrong, then we would need the additional posit.
I think a good minimum is that an explanation cannot be successful if it fails to account for important phenomena that are generally acknowledged and necessary for intellectual activity in the first place. It can only be even presumed possibly to be successful if it does no obvious violence to such phenomena.
All of the phenomena are accounted for. No violence is done. The brain experiences and whenever, or however, you build one it experiences.
For example, the existence of something called "mind" is not controversial; in fact, you're using yours right now, as am I.
Whether is its controversial is irrelevant. Many non-controversial truths have been subsequently shown to be false. I am not "using my mind", I am merely thinking. Now I am using my brain in a sense (and in another not). I am "using my brain" in the sense that if you took a sledge hammer to it my thinking would cease.
The problem is in trying to make the assumption "everything is made up of materials" adequate to explain the existence of mind.
If materials can experience, think etc they why do you need anything else to explain the existence of experiencing, thinking, etc. Why do you need a separate second thing?
But in that case, the fault is with the assumption: for why should we believe, prior to all knowledge, that there can be only one kind of entity or substance operative in the universe (material ones)
You cannot do it prior to all knowledge. But go look in a mirror. Why do you think this primate is staring back at you. Don't you see that there are facts already known? Many. Anesthesia, the need to point your eye to see, etc etc.

Basically because of the fact of no ghost no zombie and the other correlations we see like looking in a mirror, or loosing an arm and finding yourself still there but having a slight change to your brain and you are not experiencing at all. To sum it it is the observed facts that lead to the conclusion. It is a matter of proper description of what is experienced. It is the minimum posit we need to explain the facts. If those facts are wrong or if they change in certain ways then we would need to posit "mind". But you need a reason in the facts. And there doesn't appear to be one.

BTW being "material" is not equivalent to being "physical". Even current physics is not material in many ways. Look at mass-energy conversion, pair production, Bell's principle, quantum indeterminacy, the relativity of time, for examples.
-- particularly when even posing the question requires us to utilize the very entity (i.e. mind) that the Materialist explanation is trying to dismiss? :shock:
The materialist explanation is not trying to dismiss anything. The POINT is that matter can experience so experience is not dismissed. Do you see that means that no facts are dismissed? Experiencing occurs. I am stipulating that. Why don't you see that?
That looks obviously self-defeating. So my suggestion is that we need to be less obdurate than the Materialists in insisting that there can be only one kind of entity in the universe.
I am being obdurate? Isn't that a little ad hominem? OK, I'll bite. Let's say I want to not be obdurate. I just want to advance the opinion that the facts show that matter experiences. How do I do that without being obdurate?
...I would pose the question to you that I asked last time: "Given the Materialist explanation of origins -- namely, that at one time there was nothing but simple "materials" in the universe -- by what specific process did this group of mere "materials" sprout consciousness?"
By the process of assembly. Some will call it evolution but that is not relevant. The facts seem to indicate that it is an assembly that is required for consciousness. The way the assembly evolved has been described in biology and further back by the evolution of the universe. The way consciousness is caused is by assembling ordinary matter into a brain. How can that happen? Because matter experiences. We can do that now via sex. There does not seem to be a problem doing it in other ways once we gain technical control.

If, as we continue to learn, we find that the no ghost / no zombie hypotheses does not work, or if we find some way we could make two identical brains and only one is conscious and oh, let's say we use "pixie dust" to cause the consciousness to disappear in one and arise in another, facts like that, they are hypothetical, but if we find them I yield and what you are saying would be needed. But they don't seem to be there.
That looks like a question that no Materialist explanation is good at answering: in fact, it's so bad that we have to feel driven to look for a better theory than Materialism.
Might want to say, again, why bad? The theories we have work. They are not complete and need modification but we already know enough to anesthetize for example.

Can we focus? Why, if we posit that matter can be made to experience by assembling it into a brain, do we need to posit something else? Remember that nothing is missing. Saying the brain thinks, for example, does just as good as saying that the brain has a mind that things and has the benefit of one less posit. So why?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed May 29, 2019 1:57 pm

Justintruth wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 12:50 pm
Ok, but that can happen with mind too, right?
Yes, absolutely.
The issues you raise with causality can be discussed. But let us say that we take "post ergo propter" as refuting all causal claims.
Not "refuting all causal claims," but certainly "casting doubt upon all easy presumptions" in that regard.
So we can just rephrase something like, "Whenever an anesthesiologist enters a certain chemical into that vein consciousness will be lost". Now there is no causal claim but still the same facts and we still have a good theory.
We have a theory about what will happen observationally, but none whatsoever about what is causing this observation. So we can keep doing anaesthetics, but we cannot deduce from it that the brain is the mind.
I was put under a couple of times and can report to you that consciousness is lost. Now memory is a problem but there is no evidence that I was conscious but don't remember. It is so obviously distinct from normal cognition that I won't go into it.

Yes, I've been "under" too. Unlike in the dream state, there seems to be no memory...at least for me. And that's also interesting. But here's another interesting thing: if a person has sleep apnea, anaesthesia is especially dangerous. The reflex governing breathing independently may be slow to restart, and the patient can suffocate. So is the consciousness necessary to the activation of the reflex, or does the reflex produce the consciousness? It looks like the former is more plausible. But if all we are is physiology, it should be the other way round...we just don't know.
As for death it is very similar and the only thing that separates the two is the possibility of being revived.
Oh, we certainly don't know that. How do we decide whether or not the mind persists beyond death? Of course, we have those "back to life" anecdotes from people who have had visions, but surely those are not very strong data for us. On the other hand, we have absolutely no way to show that they are not genuine.

Again, it looks like we have two coordinated issues, not merely one that explains everything about the other.
Further, if we introduce a separate entity, a "mind" we have increased the number of posits...
Two things: we're not "introducing" anything, if it needs to be part of a complete explanation. But secondly, there is no axiom to the effect that having fewer "posits" is a good thing. As I was suggesting before, it's quite possible to have explanations with far too few posits. For example, I could "explain" water as consisting of merely hydrogen, instead of H2O. I would have fewer posits, but a bad explanation. So the number of posits is actually irrelevant to the value of the explanation. What needs to be shown is that the "oxygen" is not a necessary part of explaining the constitution of water...and then the "hydrogen" explanation would be superior. But not until then.

We have no way to say that "materials" or "physicalities" are the complete explanation of the human entity. We can't just blithely assume it, because it allows us only one posit, and especially not when such an explanation appears to do obvious violence to phenomena upon which we all depend even to have the discussion, like "identity," and "mind."
I think a good minimum is that an explanation cannot be successful if it fails to account for important phenomena that are generally acknowledged and necessary for intellectual activity in the first place. It can only be even presumed possibly to be successful if it does no obvious violence to such phenomena.
All of the phenomena are accounted for. No violence is done. The brain experiences and whenever, or however, you build one it experiences.
Well, as you can see, I think that's not so. I think that the "we are a brain" sort of explanation can only be sustained by ignoring many things that human beings accept as quite routine phenomena...cognition, intelligence, mind, consciousness, identity, rationality....and so on.
For example, the existence of something called "mind" is not controversial; in fact, you're using yours right now, as am I.
Whether is its controversial is irrelevant.
Oh, I think not. It's true that truth isn't an opinion poll. But when a phenomenon is truly universal, and is so general that people are able to deny it only by departing from ordinary language use and normal assumptions, I think it merits our attention. And I think a good explanation should answer the concerns, not merely deny they exist.
If materials can experience, think etc
We have to presume they cannot. We can see that mere materials cannot. If they could, then rocks could think.
But go look in a mirror. Why do you think this primate is staring back at you.
I don't. But even were it a "primate" looking back, that would not solve the problem: for "primates" have consciousness. For your objection to work, I would have to look in the mirror and see something non-sentient, like a rock.

But then, "I" couldn't "see" it at all, or "recognize" it, if I did.

See how quickly we need the language of mind to return?
Basically because of the fact of no ghost no zombie
The thing "ghosts" and "zombies" have in common is having one dimension without the other. But they're not a concern here, because of two things: firstly, they're fictive, of course, but secondly and more importantly, that my point would be that we are two-dimensional. I'm not interested in defending the idea of the two dimensions existing separately, but of the coordination between the two.
... loosing an arm and finding yourself still there but having a slight change to your brain and you are not experiencing at all.
Actually, this is one of the interesting arguments against monist physicalism: that whereas the body is divisible, the mind is not. Locke pointed that out.
The POINT is that matter can experience so experience is not dismissed.
I think that's obviously untrue. You would need some kind of panspiritism or panpsychism to believe that, and that's surely harder to show empirically than is the existence of mind.
That looks obviously self-defeating. So my suggestion is that we need to be less obdurate than the Materialists in insisting that there can be only one kind of entity in the universe.
I am being obdurate?
No, not at all. I was not implying that, so please don't feel insulted.

I said, "less obdurate than the Materialists." I did not place you among them. If I thought you obdurate, why would I want to discuss with you at such great length? I wouldn't. As it is, I find this conversation very stimulating. I would not benefit by insulting my conversation partner.
...I would pose the question to you that I asked last time: "Given the Materialist explanation of origins -- namely, that at one time there was nothing but simple "materials" in the universe -- by what specific process did this group of mere "materials" sprout consciousness?"
By the process of assembly.
Well, in truth, that really not an answer. I can "assemble" as huge an complex a pile of inert materials (rocks, molecules, whatever) as I want, and there will be no consciousness there. Moreover, they may be "collected together" by random forces, but to "assemble" them will take my intelligence being involved. There again, "mind" leaps back into the situation.
...an assembly that is required for consciousness....
Complexity is certainly necessary: but it is not sufficient. I'm sure you are familiar with that formal distinction. Something needs to be complex in order to be sentient, but just being complex is not enough to make something sentient. A pile of molecules or snowflakes has complexity, but no consciousness.

As for "assembly," it requires design. A pile of molecules is not per se "assembled" into anything but a pile. So now your explanation would be tacitly importing intelligence and design into the description. Would you be content with that?
How can that happen? Because matter experiences.
If this is your basic supposition, we need proof for it. I believe it's not true. We certainly do know that not all matter "experiences." That would be some kind of panpsychism, as I was saying, and I don't think you're into that.

So how does it actually come about that some, no matter how compiled or complex, does not, and some does? It looks like some has "design" and "assembly," but some does not. And those terms require "plan" and "design," which themselves require intelligence, which is the thing we're trying to explain...so the whole thing turns badly circular.

Belinda
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Belinda » Wed May 29, 2019 6:42 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
my point would be that we are two-dimensional. I'm not interested in defending the idea of the two dimensions existing separately, but of the coordination between the two.
Then you need to learn from a layman's introduction to Einstein's theories of relativity for that explains the relation between time and space.Then read how a cosmology is what cultural beliefs and values are based on.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri May 31, 2019 1:18 am

Belinda wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 6:42 pm
...cosmology is what cultural beliefs and values are based on.
"Ontology." Not "cosmology."

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henry quirk
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Do humans have a soul?

Post by henry quirk » Fri May 31, 2019 2:50 am

I do.

You?

Belinda
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Belinda » Fri May 31, 2019 9:34 am

Immanuel, I said cosmology and I mean cosmology.

The favoured ontology (i.e. theory of existence) of the day depends on the cosmology of the day. E.g. the Creation story in Genesis explains the cosmology of that time and place.

Univalence
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Univalence » Fri May 31, 2019 11:42 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:18 am
"Ontology." Not "cosmology."
Cosmology is a type of ontology.
Chemistry is a type of ontology.
Biology is type of ontology.
Classical physics a type of ontology.
Quantum physics is a type of ontology.

The set of abstractions/concepts which you allow to 'exist' (e.g talk about (e.g define)) in a particular context. That's your ontology.

Ontology is the output of the process of contextualization.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri May 31, 2019 1:50 pm

Univalence wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:42 am
Cosmology is a type of ontology.
Chemistry is a type of ontology.
Biology is type of ontology.
Classical physics a type of ontology.
Quantum physics is a type of ontology....
I don't disagree, in one sense. Ontology is primary, and one's entire episteme depends on it. The genuine First Principles are ontological: until one decides "what exists," or "what is real," there is no logical basis on which subsequent conclusions can rest. But I do recognize that each of the areas you list addresses a different question or issue, once it has launched beyond ontological suppositions, as I'm sure you would too.

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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Univalence » Fri May 31, 2019 1:52 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:50 pm
I don't disagree, in one sense. Ontology is primary, and one's entire episteme depends on it. The genuine First Principles are ontological: until one decides "what exists," or "what is real," there is no logical basis on which subsequent conclusions can rest. But I do recognize that each of the areas you list addresses a different question or issue, once it has launched beyond ontological suppositions, as I'm sure you would too.
Yes, but the question produces the ontology.
The ontology doesn't produce the question.

If you are asking "what is the boiling point of water?" you aren't going to adopt a cosmological ontology...

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri May 31, 2019 2:02 pm

Univalence wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:52 pm
Yes, but the question produces the ontology.
The ontology doesn't produce the question.
Ontology precedes the question, and allows or informs its generation.

The question you are going to ask always takes its assumptions from ontology. "What is the boiling point of water?" already assumes the existence of a thing called "water," and of its "boiling point." You could not ask a coherent question about things in which you do not ontologically believe, such as "How many unicorns flounce in Valhalla?"

But our ontologlcal assumptions are usually tacit, and often not even apparent to us in asking the question. One doesn't ordinarily bother to ask, "Before I ask about boiling points, do I really believe in water?" Rather, one just presumes the ontological reality of water, and moves right along.

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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Justintruth » Fri May 31, 2019 2:28 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 1:57 pm
So is the consciousness necessary to the activation of the reflex, or does the reflex produce the consciousness? It looks like the former is more plausible. But if all we are is physiology, it should be the other way round...we just don't know.
But if all we are is physiology, it should be the other way round? Why? Sleep is physiological and so is breathing. Just a non sequitur I think. A "reflex" is usually defined so that no conscious action is required. It is an autonomous sensor to motor response that occurs without the need to route to the brain. At least that is my understanding. So consciousness is not playing in a reflex at all. What are you thinking?

How do we decide whether or not the mind persists beyond death?
Well, remember we need evidence to believe that something is happening. And while the absence of evidence is not strictly evidence for absence it is usual to leave out all those things the "could" abstractly be and focus on what can be established on factual evidence. Given the fact that the slight chemical disruption you suffered under anesthesia caused a loss of consciousness, don't you think a complete rotting of your brain might also? It is possible for life to continue but we have no evidence of it. And as one of my teachers pointed out by asking "How do you know when you are dead?" if in fact we do, we aren't - dead that is. So you are really asking whether death occurs. Given the evidence of anesthesia, the fact that we know our consciousness can cease, and the fact that it requires some reason to posit the existence of something, I think we have no need to posit the existence of life after death. If it does exist we could be in trouble as our sensation of external events are physical and will cease and we could be left completely isolated in sensory deprivation. We might not even have the dark to comfort us.
Of course, we have those "back to life" anecdotes from people who have had visions, but surely those are not very strong data for us. On the other hand, we have absolutely no way to show that they are not genuine.
We have know way of knowing a lot of things are not genuine. But there is a lot of evidence suggesting that they are not and we have no hard evidence that they are so again, it requires evidence that stands up in a certain way to investigation for a claim to be considered factual.
Two things: we're not "introducing" anything, if it needs to be part of a complete explanation. But secondly, there is no axiom to the effect that having fewer "posits" is a good thing. As I was suggesting before, it's quite possible to have explanations with far too few posits. For example, I could "explain" water as consisting of merely hydrogen, instead of H2O. I would have fewer posits, but a bad explanation. So the number of posits is actually irrelevant to the value of the explanation. What needs to be shown is that the "oxygen" is not a necessary part of explaining the constitution of water...and then the "hydrogen" explanation would be superior. But not until then.
Ok, let's think this through. We could posit that water is a form of hydrogen. When we perform electrolosis on the water we obtain two test tubes of gases which we presume are both hydrogen. Isolating the gases we find that paper will not burn in one gas but will in another. So the hypothesis fails and we posit a second gas is involved, then work out the molecular weight etc and find its place in the periodic table. So there are facts that lead to believing that water is made of oxygen as well as hydrogen and those facts are usually demonstrated, not just explained, but demonstrated to most high school chemistry students.

Now, the point here is that evidence like that is absent in a no-ghost/no-zombie world.

You must remember that we are assuming no-ghost/no-zombie is true because we can't seem to reliably produce ghosts or zombies. We can reliably produce oxygen and we can reliably produce children by producing their bodies. I think if you could reliably show that there were ghosts, or zombies you would get a Nobel. But we can't, so your water analogy is false.

Do you think there are ghosts or zombies? Are you agnostic on the issue? If so, let's set it aside and ask first whether *if* there were no ghosts and no zombies, that would mean that there would be no need for two separate entites. So do you agree that *if* that were true, and there were no ghosts or zombies, that it would be possible to posit that brains are conscious, and based on that posit explain all the facts. Remember we are not trying to prove that brains are all that is. Only that by introducing the posit that brains are conscious, that no other posit is needed to explain all the facts.
We have no way to say that "materials" or "physicalities" are the complete explanation of the human entity.
Remember we are not trying to explain that material human entities experience we are trying to add a posit to material science - that matter, properly assembled will experience. Once we add the posit, then we can explain why having a child causes experiencing and executing a convict removes one. But you need the posit. I am not saying you can derive from current physics even on principle, that experiencing will occur. No matter what the device, if it only does what the current physics says matter can do, then it is not going to experience. The current physics predicts zombies. That is why it needs to be fixed. David Chalmers championed this view.

Be we are not saying that in addition to those posits that another type of entity, a mind, is required to be the one that experiences. We are saying that it could be that the matter itself so assembled experiences.
We can't just blithely assume it, because it allows us only one posit, and especially not when such an explanation appears to do obvious violence to phenomena upon which we all depend even to have the discussion, like "identity," and "mind."
This is just wrong. It's more non sequitor. If we assume that brains experience then we can have all the conversations you are implying we cannot have. There is no violence done to any phenomena because experiencing is accounted for. For example I could say that that brain is experiencing the validity of the Pythagorean theorem. Or that brain is experiencing its identity as a Catalan patriot.

It allows only one posit because it requires only one posit. Can you show even one phenomena that could not occur in a brain capable of experiencing?
Justintruth wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 12:50 pm
Whether is its controversial is irrelevant.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 1:57 pm
Oh, I think not. It's true that truth isn't an opinion poll. But when a phenomenon is truly universal, and is so general that people are able to deny it only by departing from ordinary language use and normal assumptions, I think it merits our attention. And I think a good explanation should answer the concerns, not merely deny they exist.
Merits our attention? Perhaps. But once given we can see it does not merit credence because it is not based on fact. There is no denial of fact in what I am saying. All the facts are accounted for. Name one that isn't. There are plenty of instances where normal assumptions are proven to be false. The earth for example is round. In fact the current universe may be round. You can't base a claim based on it's popularity or the fact that it can be expressed in ordinary language. The opposite of your claim can also be expressed in ordinary language: "That man over there sees" expresses by my pointing at a body that it is that body over there that is the person. Most people will object to the destruction of their bodies and will save their brains by abandoning an arm. So your argument is not only fallacious in that it is a non sequitor, but even if I subscribe to the argument most people can be show to act in a way that suports the argument that their bodies are them. If I ask everyone one in a room to point to themselves and then ask them to point to someone who is not themselves watch what happens!
If materials can experience, think etc....We have to presume they cannot. We can see that mere materials cannot. If they could, then rocks could think.
Another repeated straw-man and a non sequitur. No, I do not think that rocks are conscious. No, the fact that they are not conscious does not mean that the matter in them could not, in principle be broken down and reassembled as a functioning brain and then it would be conscious.
Justintruth wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 12:50 pm
But go look in a mirror. Why do you think this primate is staring back at you.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 1:57 pm
I don't.
What? You do see a primate when you look in the mirror?!!! What do you see? A zebra? Look at your ears and nose and mouth man! You are a homo sapien sapien as they classify you. Go to a zoo for God's sake and look at the similarities with gorillas, chimps etc. Check the fossil evidence that other primate species once lived. You need to get situated in the facts.
But even were it a "primate" looking back, that would not solve the problem: for "primates" have consciousness. For your objection to work, I would have to look in the mirror and see something non-sentient, like a rock.
Another straw-man! Do you really think that my position is that there is something non-sentience about matter? That I do not see what sees, but rather I see what does not see?

I am merely saying that what you are looking at in a mirror is light reflected off of the body back to the eyes over the optic nerve to the back of the head and into the brain where the seeing by the brain occurs! I am not saying that there is no seeing happening!

Ok, I have now told you that many times I think I will call that "Mistake 1" and from now on just say that whenever you make it.
But then, "I" couldn't "see" it at all, or "recognize" it, if I did.
Mistake 1
See how quickly we need the language of mind to return?
Mistake 1
The thing "ghosts" and "zombies" have in common is having one dimension without the other. But they're not a concern here, because of two things: firstly, they're fictive, of course
Fictive. Hmmm. Just a moment ago you were saying that possibly a ghost is the what survives death. I am merely saying that if in fact there are none then it looks like we need only assume that matter can experience and develop the details of what states in the brain are associated (will leave off "cause" for you) with which types of experiencing. But I do agree there is no evidence that they are not fictive.
Justintruth wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 12:50 pm
The POINT is that matter can experience so experience is not dismissed.
I think that's obviously untrue. You would need some kind of panspiritism or panpsychism to believe that, and that's surely harder to show empirically than is the existence of mind.
You don't need panpsychism if it requires a certain type of assembly. Those assemblies not in the right class are not aware. Therefore no panpsychism required. Another non sequitur. I would say "Mistake 1" as it is but it takes a little to see why.
Well, in truth, that (assembly) really not an answer. I can "assemble" as huge an complex a pile of inert materials (rocks, molecules, whatever) as I want, and there will be no consciousness there. Moreover, they may be "collected together" by random forces,
Mistake 1

Remember that whenever someone has a child they are "assembling a pile" of molecules. All of the matter that went into your mom and dad making you came from food that they and you ate. And that food came from photosynthesis - from the material in the air and food the plants eat. Sure we need a little more like water and oxygen and vitamins but again, all inert rocks. And they are in fact assembled ... into you for example!
...but to "assemble" them will take my intelligence being involved. There again, "mind" leaps back into the situation.
Check out Dan Dennet on this. He is a terrible philosopher but he has it right on "design" and "evolution". Evolution, without a mind, has been conclusively shown to be able to cause entities that are equivalent in function - sometimes better than - designed. Right now they are building a bridge in Holland that will be both designed and buit automatically by and algorithm that, presumably, is not aware.

They have done experiments on evolving algorithms and even got nocturnal species developing because they went home and left the light out.

Our bodies are a result of evolution.

Let's call this Mistake 2 - that complex competent function requires a designer.
Complexity is certainly necessary: but it is not sufficient.
Yes. So? I am not claiming that all complex assemblies are conscious. Just a subset. Mistake 1
As for "assembly," it requires design. A pile of molecules is not per se "assembled" into anything but a pile. So now your explanation would be tacitly importing intelligence and design into the description. Would you be content with that?
Mistake 2
If this is your basic supposition, we need proof for it.
Let's call this mistake 3, that you need to prove your assumptions.
So how does it actually come about that some, no matter how compiled or complex, does not, and some does?
Because the arrangements are different. The devices that are not conscious are not the same as those that are. If there were one instance of a set of identical assemblies, and one was conscious and the other was not, then we would have a zombie case which we are excluding by assumption.
It looks like some has "design" and "assembly," but some does not. And those terms require "plan" and "design," which themselves require intelligence, which is the thing we're trying to explain...so the whole thing turns badly circular.
Mistake 2

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