Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

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Bernard
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by Bernard »

Thanks for bringing it up. It's the next obvious stage necessary in seeing if I can hold this bull to the ground. Chaz brings this up in more down to earth terms by stating confidently that
the universe is everything
. I am a little under the weather so forgive if this is a bit brief when it deserves a longer reply (I'm not at best a man of many words anyway).

Not to say that either you or Chaz are materialists, but this is certainly the most irrefutable stand point of the materialist: all that we normally perceive is only ever able to be proved to be of a physical nature, and that the sovereign detectable item of this is the universe itself, in that it contains all else that we can percieve and that it virtually determines the fact that we perceive at all outside of the fact that we will (it is unknown whether or not the universe itself wills, much less that it wills us into willing - the major ingredient lacking it would seems that distinguishes it in our thoughts from the concept of God).

I just need to go back to your three point summation of my last response before proceeding with an answer:
1. You do not claim the existence of many Everythings ("cosmoses"), but the existence of many "universes".
When what we have regarded as everything becomes superseded by a larger delineation of things it becomes a thing. Example: Your family may mean everything to you as a child, but later when an adolescent 'friends and family' will be everything, and later still, all of humanity will mean everything to you. My argument is for the existence of many universes.
2. A universe would be an observable whole; or maybe a physical whole; or maybe a space-time whole.
A physical thing, whether part of a physical whole or portion of it. Space-time whole is certainly a more accurate way of describing it physically
3. And you think argue our universe is just a very big physical thing. And that if there is one such thing, there are bound to be many such things (or just that there might be?).
My argument says not just might be, but must be.


So, this irrefutable standpoint of materialists (what's the better word?) leaves us with nowhere to go if we stay true to their idea that the universe is only physical. That aside, it would be a very far stretch to say that a materialist doesn't speculate that there are many universes, and so we can allow ourselves to investigate on their behalf if this may be more than speculation. This will require a further investigation of the nature of things in general. So far I've said that where there is one of a thing there are invariably more of like kind, and like good materialists we have to accept that there is no opposite observation to this, and that therefore the existence of solitary one-off things is as unreal as flying pink elephants. Another observation of things is that from our perspective the larger things are to us the less there are likely to be; there are less galaxies than stars, less stars than dust, less dust than atoms. Also, the further things are in size from our perspective, the less easy they are for us to observe: atoms and galaxies need the aid of instruments, except for a few faint galaxies that can be seen unaided. Thus it is logical to say that due to the fact the universe is so very large it is likely that we only see one, all be it only from within. On the other end of the scale, we have so far seen (or likely seen) only one Higgs boson, but in this instance we don't conjecture that there is only one Higgs Boson in existence because we would not have enough of them to associate the property of matter to the important particles that make the universe. It is in our practical interest to assume this but not in our practical interest to assume there are many universes.

The fact there is a decreasing scale of the numbers of things the larger things are to us from our perspective is a concern for my argument; because if the number of things in a group of any given type of thing reduces with increasing, scale then eventually we would get groups of things with only a few in number , or only one, or perhaps none.

To be cont...
Ram
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by Ram »

chaz wyman wrote:
The universe is, by definition, everything. The clue is in the word.
Bernard here just uses the word in a somewhat different way.
chaz wyman wrote: It does not need a location to have an identity- where is 'politics'? ; where is "Englishness"
Never said otherwise. I just argued that the physical universe does not have the same kind of identity as a physical thing (particular) does.
chaz wyman wrote: TO follow your reasoning to its conclusion - nothing is physical because physical is conceptual 
I said nothing about concepts. And I didn't argue that the universe isn't physical. Just that it's not a physical thing (a physical particular).
Ram
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by Ram »

Bernard wrote: So far I've said that where there is one of a thing there are invariably more of like kind, and like good materialists we have to accept that there is no opposite observation to this, and that therefore the existence of solitary one-off things is as unreal as flying pink elephants
Why? There was only one Albert Einstein, and only one will be. There was only one Isaac Newton, and only one will be. And so on.

You seem to talking about types, or about common names, not about things (particulars).
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Bernard
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by Bernard »

Yeh, I meant:

and that therefore the existence of solitary one-off things that do not have like things to them, in the sense that they can be almost identical, is as unreal as flying pink elephants
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Bernard
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by Bernard »

Anyway, that the universe can't be said to occupy a particular spacetime co-ordinate is not necessarily an argument against it being a thing, because if the first observation that things invariably come in multiples of like kind is given the true regard it deserves then one can consider possibilities such as that other universes are other fields of spacetime and that betwixt universes there are spacetime gaps of some sort as is if these universes of spacetime floated about in some sort of unrealised spacetime sort of stuff. As an anology: despite being evolved conscious beings we are not capable - nor is any other living organism - of surviving alone in interstellar space. Stars, planets, and galaxies are capable of such - in the sense that this is the environment they are native to (whether they are conscious or not of this or anything is another matter). In the same way then that we are not native to interstellar space, neither would stars and galaxies be native to inter-universal space, if universes are defined as fields of spacetime, because they need space time as we need oxygen. One might consider blackholes to be windows through which stars can peer inter this sea speculative sea of other universes, as we do telescopes, and postulate the existence of other stars within them.
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Bernard
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by Bernard »

Also, I am not confident that the things we perceive in life are all physical. It would be perfectly legitimate in some materialist minds that the universe could exist without self aware beings - all a matter of the laws of physics acting themselves to form things without any consciousness at all. But we do have things with consciousness and that these are identifiable as separate from things that don't. When an organism dies its substance is left but no consciousness; therefore consciousness is a separate thing to physicality. Now unless we say that the universe is a physical as well as a conscious thing; or a thing at least that has the ingredients of consciousness, we can't say that it is everything.

This raises the question of: how is consciousness observable? what are its ingredients? Is it necessary to regard the universe as conscious if we continue to regard it as absolutely everything - and not just as one thing that is subject to the observation, common to conscious and purely physical things, that where there is one of a thing there is bound to be many more of like kind to it.

An interesting side point here, that brings us back somewhat to Dawkins, comes via Lamark whose theory suggests that
evolution is based on an ‘instructive,’ cooperative interaction among organisms and their environment that enables life forms to survive and evolve in a dynamic world.
If this is the case then we may have a reason as to why living things are essentially so numerous, and also the suggestion that where we see a multiplicity of things we have a an indicator of the existence of consciousness among those things, either directly or indirectly related to consciousness. I say directly or indirectly because conscious things make use of things that are not conscious in themselves for the processes involved in being conscious, such as evolution. A question here may be subtly noticed: whether purely physical things exist because of consciousness, rather than the ordinary train of thought which says that conscious things arise because of the existence of physical things?
chaz wyman
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by chaz wyman »

Ram wrote:
chaz wyman wrote:
The universe is, by definition, everything. The clue is in the word.
Bernard here just uses the word in a somewhat different way.
chaz wyman wrote: It does not need a location to have an identity- where is 'politics'? ; where is "Englishness"
Never said otherwise. I just argued that the physical universe does not have the same kind of identity as a physical thing (particular) does.

You have not established that - that is the point. All you are saying is that it is different because bigger.

chaz wyman wrote: TO follow your reasoning to its conclusion - nothing is physical because physical is conceptual 
I said nothing about concepts. And I didn't argue that the universe isn't physical. Just that it's not a physical thing (a physical particular).


You said it was 'non-physical' which is the same as 'isn't physical'. Make up your mind!

Obviously you don't know what you are talking about. Maybe you should read what you say?

Either it it physical,(as you deny), or it is conceptual, you need to make up your mind,
chaz wyman
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by chaz wyman »

Bernard wrote:Anyway, that the universe can't be said to occupy a particular spacetime co-ordinate is not necessarily an argument against it being a thing, because if the first observation that things invariably come in multiples of like kind is given the true regard it deserves then one can consider possibilities such as that other universes are other fields of spacetime and that betwixt universes there are spacetime gaps of some sort as is if these universes of spacetime floated about in some sort of unrealised spacetime sort of stuff. As an anology: despite being evolved conscious beings we are not capable - nor is any other living organism - of surviving alone in interstellar space. Stars, planets, and galaxies are capable of such - in the sense that this is the environment they are native to (whether they are conscious or not of this or anything is another matter). In the same way then that we are not native to interstellar space, neither would stars and galaxies be native to inter-universal space, if universes are defined as fields of spacetime, because they need space time as we need oxygen. One might consider blackholes to be windows through which stars can peer inter this sea speculative sea of other universes, as we do telescopes, and postulate the existence of other stars within them.
The fact of the universe is what make 'having a space-time co-ordinate' possible. The universe is the ground of that possibility- it is not ground for criticism, nor suggesting it is non-physical or any other such nonsense. Nor is it ground for postulating other universes- in fact it is a contradiction.
Either is it a universe or it is part of the universe - there is no 'betwixt'.
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Bernard
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by Bernard »

Not saying the universe isn't physical, but wondering if it is a thing of more import than that owing to the directions my thinking and deductions take me. It feels that it has feeling to me, indeed it feels conscious...

I agree in many senses that the universe need not be looked beyond, but that is somehow too reminiscent to me of how God has to be left alone, never questioned. I feel a need to break boundaries of thinking in this regard. I realise it has been postulated before that there are many universes, why not examine how real these postulations may be by way of simple observation of the general nature of things rather than through overly abstract ideas.
chaz wyman
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by chaz wyman »

Bernard wrote:Not saying the universe isn't physical, but wondering if it is a thing of more import than that owing to the directions my thinking and deductions take me. It feels that it has feeling to me, indeed it feels conscious...

I agree in many senses that the universe need not be looked beyond, but that is somehow too reminiscent to me of how God has to be left alone, never questioned. I feel a need to break boundaries of thinking in this regard. I realise it has been postulated before that there are many universes, why not examine how real these postulations may be by way of simple observation of the general nature of things rather than through overly abstract ideas.
The reason it feels conscious is that YOU are conscious. What you have here is pure anthropomorphism.
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Bernard
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by Bernard »

I'm not sure its not the case that I feel conscious because its conscious? :shock:
chaz wyman
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by chaz wyman »

Bernard wrote:I'm not sure its not the case that I feel conscious because its conscious? :shock:
You said the universe 'feels' conscious.
Whilst I can accept that you feel what you feel like, I doubt you can have any idea of how the universe might feel- nor could you have any evidence that such an idea were even meaningful.
You can't even be sure what your best friend feels.
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Bernard
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by Bernard »

That's interesting in the sense that I have no doubts what my friend looks like but as to how he/she feels is a different matter altogether. Its with the latter that all my greatest concerns and interests in regard my friend lie, and this extends to other friends, family and humanity in general. This raises the point that what matters in our lives is primarily non-physical; things to do with feelings or relationships. I personally feel happier in regarding that this is the rule rather than the exception throughout the cosmos.
chaz wyman
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by chaz wyman »

Bernard wrote:That's interesting in the sense that I have no doubts what my friend looks like but as to how he/she feels is a different matter altogether. Its with the latter that all my greatest concerns and interests in regard my friend lie, and this extends to other friends, family and humanity in general. This raises the point that what matters in our lives is primarily non-physical; things to do with feelings or relationships. I personally feel happier in regarding that this is the rule rather than the exception throughout the cosmos.
I'll paraphrase using honesty:
"I have no doubts what my friend looks like but as to how he/she feels is a different matter altogether.... for the way they feel it is not only doubt but complete ignorance."
You can only image another's feelings you can always look to see what they look like.
What you imagine is there feeling is a mental process exactly as seeing is.
You cannot avoid being locked inside your own perceptions.

But how dare you claim to know what pertains throughout the cosmos- how arrogant can you get?
You are just stuck in your own petty anthropomorphic delusion.
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Bernard
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Re: Richard Dawkins as 'Anti-Philosopher'

Post by Bernard »

Whether its anthropomorphic or not depends on whether or not you regard the origins of consciousness as being of man, if so we are now anthropocentricism.
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