ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags !MOD BOX WARNING! , consciousness

Reply
Old 31st December 2017, 04:52 AM   #121
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 70,796
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Science cannot explain consciousness, therefore....
...consciousness isn't what we thought. It's a process of the brain, not a separate thing.

Of course, the premise isn't true. Science can.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 04:58 AM   #122
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 70,796
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
So there are only two other competing models of reality if materialism fails: dualism and theism. Theism gets a huge boost if you knock out materialism.
No, that's not how it works. Eliminating one hypothesis does not make the other more likely.

Quote:
Nobody just throws up their hands and says "to hell with it, if materialism can't answer it, I guess we'll just have to give up". What happens is, you look for a conventional explanation. When that doesn't pan out, you start looking at unconventional explanations. When those don't pan out, you start to look at really out-there explanations.
All of those explanations have to be testable, however.

Quote:
Everything is unproven, before it is proven.
A pointless truism.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 05:01 AM   #123
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 70,796
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I think we should leave it at: you have faith in the scientific track record; and I think past performance is no guarantee of future results.
That's nothing but a rationalisation to hang on to your own faith.

Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
For mine, conciousness is something I experience. It exists, and I don't much care why. If it didn't exist, well we would not be having this discussion.
I think we would. We'd just be unaware bio-machines pretending to be conscious.

And maybe we are.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 05:12 AM   #124
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 80,246
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
This is wasted on me, I'm not a theist. My point is that materialist-based science has failed on this. Some people are hypothesizing a possible consciousness field that permeates the universe. Research along those lines might turn up interesting results.
Something that we now know cannot exist. Your problem really is that you consider others are limited by your ignorance and inability to understand the world around you. Your understanding of the world seems to be stuck back in the 1950s.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 05:18 AM   #125
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 80,246
Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
...consciousness isn't what we thought. It's a process of the brain, not a separate thing.

Of course, the premise isn't true. Science can.
This is the key.

I would be very surprised if fudbacker will supply us with a definition of counciousnes that isn't self referential.

In everyday speech we use our old folklore when we talk about thinking and counciousnes, like we all talk about the sun rising in the morning even though we now know that the sun does not rise nor set. The meaning of sunrise has had to change to accommodate our better understanding of the world.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 07:39 AM   #126
baron
Philosopher
 
baron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,464
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
If materialism is true, then consciousness arising from a lump of meat is an ongoing miracle...
A correction:

If materialism is true, then consciousness arising from a lump of meat and only that particular lump of meat is an ongoing miracle...

Materialism is as absurd as fundamentalist religion. Indeed, it is a religion, just without the god.
__________________
"I am a liar as well as a dwarf!"
baron is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 07:41 AM   #127
baron
Philosopher
 
baron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,464
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Something that we now know cannot exist.
I haven't read most of the thread, but has evidence of this been linked to?
__________________
"I am a liar as well as a dwarf!"
baron is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 10:02 AM   #128
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 15,440
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
How do you plan researching it without involving materialism?
This of course is FUD's conundrum. The suggestion that these things are transcendent and 'out there' eliminate any actual investigation leaving us with no path to discovery.

To my knowledge, i only have interacted with material phenomena and have no way to know that I have interacted with the immaterial so how the hell do we even begin to investigate it? Conduct seances? Pray? Throw chicken BONES? Question a yogi?

Also, EVERYTHING that is immaterial is totally hypothetical and the moment it ceases to be hypothetical, it becomes material. Gods, spirits, demons, fairies, universal minds etc, and anything else that provides no credible proof of its existence is no more than a thought. None of which has any more validity than the other.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 10:09 AM   #129
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 15,440
Originally Posted by baron View Post
A correction:

If materialism is true, then consciousness arising from a lump of meat and only that particular lump of meat is an ongoing miracle...

Materialism is as absurd as fundamentalist religion. Indeed, it is a religion, just without the god.
Nonsense. If there is anything outside the material, PROVE IT, If tthere is any so called consciousness outside a material object, PROVE IT.

You can't. But don't feel bad. No one else can either. All you are doing is making castles in air. The immaterial is only real in your mind and your mind doesn't exist without that living piece of meat it is associated with.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 10:18 AM   #130
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 29,910
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
This of course is FUD's conundrum.

How can he distinguish between things that exist but are immaterial and things that don't exist?
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 10:29 AM   #131
Porpoise of Life
Illuminator
 
Porpoise of Life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,792
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
How can he distinguish between things that exist but are immaterial and things that don't exist?
Same way he just knows that he's too special to be the product of physical processes: feelings.
Porpoise of Life is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 10:45 AM   #132
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 15,440
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
How can he distinguish between things that exist but are immaterial and things that don't exist?
Makes you go hmmmm.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 10:47 AM   #133
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 15,440
Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Same way he just knows that he's too special to be the product of physical processes: feelings.
Feelings. Nothing more than feelings.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 11:47 AM   #134
smartcooky
Philosopher
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 7,367
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
But it produces marvellously detailed descriptions of the Emperor's feathered hat. It might even finally answer the question of what colour Russell's teapot is.
No to mention the color and size of Sagan's dragon!
__________________
► 9/11 was a terrorist attack by Islamic extremists; 12 Apollo astronauts really did walk on the Moon; JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald,who acted alone.
► Never underestimate the power of the Internet to lend unwarranted credibility to the colossally misinformed. - Jay Utah
► Heisenberg's Law - The weirdness of the Universe is inversely proportional to the scale at which you observe it, or not.
smartcooky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st December 2017, 11:53 AM   #135
Donn
Philosopher
 
Donn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: In my head.
Posts: 7,758
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
How do you plan researching it without involving materialism?
The same way you'd sing without notes.
__________________
"If I hadn't believed it with my own mind, I would never have seen it." - thanks sackett
"If you stand on a piece of paper, you are indeed closer to the moon." - MRC_Hans
"I was a believer. Until I saw it." - Magrat
Donn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 04:54 AM   #136
baron
Philosopher
 
baron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,464
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Nonsense. If there is anything outside the material, PROVE IT, If tthere is any so called consciousness outside a material object, PROVE IT.
If you had any concept of science you would know it was proved over 100 years ago. Materialism is an absurdity. Matter does not exist. Maybe you're a bit behind the times and still think atoms are little balls that bounce around, just like tennis balls except smaller. Drill down into a macro object and at the quantum scale you find there are no objects, only forces and potential. There is no determinism, only probability that coheres on macro scales. Materialism suits the ignorant and unimaginative very well until even they have to acknowledge the tenuousness of their position and compensate by frantically equivocating, inventing dozens of different flavours of materialism in a desperate attempt to cling to their non-evidential worldview.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You can't. But don't feel bad. No one else can either. All you are doing is making castles in air. The immaterial is only real in your mind and your mind doesn't exist without that living piece of meat it is associated with.
Oh, my mistake, you don't even know what materialism is.

Have a good new year.
__________________
"I am a liar as well as a dwarf!"
baron is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 05:04 AM   #137
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 70,796
Originally Posted by baron View Post
A correction:

If materialism is true, then consciousness arising from a lump of meat and only that particular lump of meat is an ongoing miracle...

Materialism is as absurd as fundamentalist religion. Indeed, it is a religion, just without the god.
Is it a miracle that "60 km/h" arises from a functioning car? Because there's no difference between "going 60" and "experiencing". The only difference is one that you imagine because you want consciousness to be special.

And how can the absence of belief be a religion? Make sense, man.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 05:06 AM   #138
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 70,796
Originally Posted by baron View Post
If you had any concept of science you would know it was proved over 100 years ago.
It should be easy for you to support that claim, then.

Quote:
Materialism is an absurdity. Matter does not exist. Maybe you're a bit behind the times and still think atoms are little balls that bounce around, just like tennis balls except smaller. Drill down into a macro object and at the quantum scale you find there are no objects, only forces and potential.
And that's what we call matter.

And as we've shown in the past your grasp of quantum mechanics is lacking.

Quote:
Oh, my mistake, you don't even know what materialism is.
Given the above, that's quite an ironic statement.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 06:12 AM   #139
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 10,114
The idea that getting a better understanding of what matter consists of disproved materialism is ... odd. I sort of understand what baron is getting at, but I don't think it really stands up.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 08:57 AM   #140
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 80,246
Originally Posted by baron View Post
I haven't read most of the thread, but has evidence of this been linked to?
Been linked to in a few other threads but not this - this thread just seems to be for flat assertions so I didn't think necessary to relink.

There simply isn't a gap left for such an unknown mechanism to work - we've only been able to say that with confidence in about the past 10 years - I find it awe inspiring what we now know. (I also find it very disappointing in a way as we now know there is no magic.)
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 08:59 AM   #141
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 80,246
Originally Posted by baron View Post
If you had any concept of science you would know it was proved over 100 years ago. Materialism is an absurdity. Matter does not exist. Maybe you're a bit behind the times and still think atoms are little balls that bounce around ...snip...
Ah I see your misunderstanding - what materialism means has changed since the 19th century. Catch-up with the modern usage and you'll see your objections to it are a tad silly.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 09:38 AM   #142
baron
Philosopher
 
baron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,464
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
The idea that getting a better understanding of what matter consists of disproved materialism is ... odd. I sort of understand what baron is getting at, but I don't think it really stands up.
'Matter' is a throwback term to when the subatomic world was thought a mirror the macro world and consist of tiny little balls bouncing around and interacting. We have known for decades that this is not the case. Any current definition of 'matter' cannot relate to all that can be observed, and indeed does not. The photon does not have mass, the quark does not even exist in three dimensional space, and that's before you even get onto the question of fields and forces, which have never been defined under the term, and have historically been ignored by materialists of all flavours. No attributes of macro objects are mirrored in the subatomic world and therefore the idea of 'matter' and 'material' as applied to the latter is literally not even wrong, it is moot; it has no meaning.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Been linked to in a few other threads but not this - this thread just seems to be for flat assertions so I didn't think necessary to relink.
About 20 years ago I bought a book titled 'The End of Science', a confused, attention seeking tome suggesting that we were approaching a time when we know everything there is to know about reality. Some elements of the scientific community have been bleating on in a similar vein for the past two thousand years. Perhaps once it was a valid avenue of speculation, now it is inexcusable. What should be clear is that statements such as "We know that X cannot exist" are unjustified and unscientific.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
There simply isn't a gap left for such an unknown mechanism to work - we've only been able to say that with confidence in about the past 10 years - I find it awe inspiring what we now know. (I also find it very disappointing in a way as we now know there is no magic.)
I don't know the article, and I've never heard of such a statement being made, but it smacks of sensationalism. That something of this magnitude is contained in single article is laughably unlikely. I certainly haven't encountered anything similar in the books I've read, even the ones published in the last 18 months.

In fact, 'unknown mechanism'? Consciousness, you mean? Consciousness does operate via an unknown mechanism. That's not even in serious dispute (unless you believe the title of Dennett's book 'Consciousness Explained', in which he waffles on about peripheral irrelevances before announcing he doesn't actually have a clue what consciousness is; I did consider getting a refund on the basis of false advertising). The general consensus, in my view, is that right now we know there is more we don't know that at any point in our history.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Ah I see your misunderstanding - what materialism means has changed since the 19th century. Catch-up with the modern usage and you'll see your objections to it are a tad silly.
Of course it's changed, that's my whole point! It changes every five years, when its followers realise the current flavour fails miserably to describe the prevailing scientific consensus yet don't have the wit or the honesty to admit they are wrong and re-evaluate their worldviews.

I was a materialist once, I have no qualms about admitting it. But then I did the research. Materialism wasn't a religion to me so I had no issues about letting it go.
__________________
"I am a liar as well as a dwarf!"

Last edited by baron; 1st January 2018 at 09:40 AM.
baron is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 10:59 AM   #143
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 15,440
Originally Posted by baron View Post
'Matter' is a throwback term to when the subatomic world was thought a mirror the macro world and consist of tiny little balls bouncing around and interacting. We have known for decades that this is not the case. Any current definition of 'matter' cannot relate to all that can be observed, and indeed does not. The photon does not have mass, the quark does not even exist in three dimensional space, and that's before you even get onto the question of fields and forces, which have never been defined under the term, and have historically been ignored by materialists of all flavours. No attributes of macro objects are mirrored in the subatomic world and therefore the idea of 'matter' and 'material' as applied to the latter is literally not even wrong, it is moot; it has no meaning.



About 20 years ago I bought a book titled 'The End of Science', a confused, attention seeking tome suggesting that we were approaching a time when we know everything there is to know about reality. Some elements of the scientific community have been bleating on in a similar vein for the past two thousand years. Perhaps once it was a valid avenue of speculation, now it is inexcusable. What should be clear is that statements such as "We know that X cannot exist" are unjustified and unscientific.



I don't know the article, and I've never heard of such a statement being made, but it smacks of sensationalism. That something of this magnitude is contained in single article is laughably unlikely. I certainly haven't encountered anything similar in the books I've read, even the ones published in the last 18 months.

In fact, 'unknown mechanism'? Consciousness, you mean? Consciousness does operate via an unknown mechanism. That's not even in serious dispute (unless you believe the title of Dennett's book 'Consciousness Explained', in which he waffles on about peripheral irrelevances before announcing he doesn't actually have a clue what consciousness is; I did consider getting a refund on the basis of false advertising). The general consensus, in my view, is that right now we know there is more we don't know that at any point in our history.



Of course it's changed, that's my whole point! It changes every five years, when its followers realise the current flavour fails miserably to describe the prevailing scientific consensus yet don't have the wit or the honesty to admit they are wrong and re-evaluate their worldviews.

I was a materialist once, I have no qualms about admitting it. But then I did the research. Materialism wasn't a religion to me so I had no issues about letting it go.
How we define matter is different then what it was 150 years ago and the term materialism has evolved. Some people prefer physicalism, but I'm afraid somebody will get picky over that one as well.

What I am describing with the word materialism in this context is observable phenomena.

I don't believe a God or a universal mind exists, but if one can design a test for these concepts that is repeatable and verifiable, I would have no choice to concede the existential claim.

Holding such a philosophy doesn't make it a religion either. I don't pray to it or worship it either. It simply is the reality I interact with.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 11:33 AM   #144
smartcooky
Philosopher
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 7,367
A test for the existence of matter

a. push your keyboard (or laptop) back about a foot.

b. place your hands about a shoulder width apart on the front edge of the desk or table

c. smash your forehead down hard against the desk between your hands

If that hurt, then matter exists!
__________________
► 9/11 was a terrorist attack by Islamic extremists; 12 Apollo astronauts really did walk on the Moon; JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald,who acted alone.
► Never underestimate the power of the Internet to lend unwarranted credibility to the colossally misinformed. - Jay Utah
► Heisenberg's Law - The weirdness of the Universe is inversely proportional to the scale at which you observe it, or not.
smartcooky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 11:36 AM   #145
baron
Philosopher
 
baron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,464
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
How we define matter is different then what it was 150 years ago and the term materialism has evolved. Some people prefer physicalism, but I'm afraid somebody will get picky over that one as well.
Again, exactly my point. The definition branches and changes to fit the scientific consensus, becoming more convoluted and equivocal every time it is forced to accommodate fresh knowledge.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
What I am describing with the word materialism in this context is observable phenomena.
I'm not sure what observable phenomenon would be. If you're defining materialism as things we know then it's a pretty useless concept, although that would account for the way the definition changes on a regular basis. In any event, it's not a definition I'm familiar with, you could even say that the definition of 'phenomena' is diametrically opposed to the fundamental concept of materialism, which is centred on the solid stuff, not the process.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I don't believe a God or a universal mind exists, but if one can design a test for these concepts that is repeatable and verifiable, I would have no choice to concede the existential claim.
Well, unless you disbelieve in consciousness (as some people do, incredibly) then you already believe in a concept for which there is no scientific evidence whatsoever. Not only that, but for which there is not even a hypothesis on how such evidence might be obtained.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Holding such a philosophy doesn't make it a religion either. I don't pray to it or worship it either. It simply is the reality I interact with.
It's a religion in that people have faith in it despite overwhelming evidence that is it not true.

And I agree, the materialist world is the world you interact with, and me too, but our macro world is an illusion, as quantum mechanics so clearly demonstrates.
__________________
"I am a liar as well as a dwarf!"
baron is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 11:46 AM   #146
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 802
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post

There is no evidence of a universal consciousness or spirit. And more importantly, why would anyone think there is?
We only have evidence for 'a universal consciousness or spirit' - every experience and measurement occurs as an object in consciousness. We assume the existence of a shared physical material world. It's a rational assumption, but an assumption.
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 11:54 AM   #147
caveman1917
Suspended
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 5,364
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
The idea that getting a better understanding of what matter consists of disproved materialism is ... odd. I sort of understand what baron is getting at, but I don't think it really stands up.
The wavefunction exists. Which is an abstract mathematical structure and not a material object. That's more like platonic realism than materialism.
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 12:02 PM   #148
Donn
Philosopher
 
Donn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: In my head.
Posts: 7,758
If current physics are not labeled "materialism", what label should be used?
__________________
"If I hadn't believed it with my own mind, I would never have seen it." - thanks sackett
"If you stand on a piece of paper, you are indeed closer to the moon." - MRC_Hans
"I was a believer. Until I saw it." - Magrat
Donn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 12:11 PM   #149
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 15,440
Originally Posted by baron View Post
Again, exactly my point. The definition branches and changes to fit the scientific consensus, becoming more convoluted and equivocal every time it is forced to accommodate fresh knowledge.
This is what science does. It changes with new data. That's how you can distinguish it from a religion.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
I'm not sure what observable phenomenon would be. If you're defining materialism as things we know then it's a pretty useless concept, although that would account for the way the definition changes on a regular basis. In any event, it's not a definition I'm familiar with, you could even say that the definition of 'phenomena' is diametrically opposed to the fundamental concept of materialism, which is centred on the solid stuff, not the process.
Useless to you. But in terms of this conversation, it is entirely useful.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
Well, unless you disbelieve in consciousness (as some people do, incredibly) then you already believe in a concept for which there is no scientific evidence whatsoever. Not only that, but for which there is not even a hypothesis on how such evidence might be obtained.
Nonsense, there is evidence for it all around us.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
It's a religion in that people have faith in it despite overwhelming evidence that is it not true.
Its not Faith. 'faith' is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. No way does that describe the world we interact with. And if the repeatable verifiable almost universally shared perception of the world is not true, then nothing is.
Originally Posted by baron View Post
And I agree, the materialist world is the world you interact with, and me too, but our macro world is an illusion, as quantum mechanics so clearly demonstrates.
That the quantum world requires a different kind of understanding doesn't make the world we interact with an illusion.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume

Last edited by acbytesla; 1st January 2018 at 12:12 PM.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 12:13 PM   #150
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,703
Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
A test for the existence of matter

a. push your keyboard (or laptop) back about a foot.

b. place your hands about a shoulder width apart on the front edge of the desk or table

c. smash your forehead down hard against the desk between your hands

If that hurt, then matter exists!
The problem is the materialists who used to think in depth about this stuff (Pixymisa, Rocketdodger, Piggy, etc.) are gone, and so instead of SRIP and rope-brains and simulated consciousness, the above is what passes for discussion now. It was old during Berkeley's time and it hasn't aged well.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 12:16 PM   #151
caveman1917
Suspended
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 5,364
Originally Posted by Donn View Post
If current physics are not labeled "materialism", what label should be used?
Nothing. Physics does not rely on any ontological narrative, it never has. Just because materialism has been - and for some reason still is - a fad doesn't mean other ontologies (such as platonic realism, solipsism, "we live in a simulation", ...) are not just as good. Physics might exclude certain ontologies when they become inconsistent with it (such as materialism in its standard form pretty much has) but there's always still a ton of other ones available. All of which are inherently just as good as the rest, and it's basically just a fad which of them is popular.
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 12:25 PM   #152
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 70,796
Originally Posted by baron View Post
The definition branches and changes to fit the scientific consensus, becoming more convoluted and equivocal every time it is forced to accommodate fresh knowledge.
Reality sucks compared to comfortable fantasy, right?
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 12:56 PM   #153
Myriad
Hyperthetical
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 13,383
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
The problem is the materialists who used to think in depth about this stuff (Pixymisa, Rocketdodger, Piggy, etc.) are gone, and so instead of SRIP and rope-brains and simulated consciousness, the above is what passes for discussion now. It was old during Berkeley's time and it hasn't aged well.

Are you only here for the entertainment, then? Or do you have some insights to share, regarding the nature of consciousness, that can be gained via dualistic or theistic models?
__________________
A zømbie once bit my sister...
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 12:57 PM   #154
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,015
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post

If materialism is true, then consciousness arising from a lump of meat is an ongoing miracle which science has utterly failed to explain. And probably never will.

What do you think "consciousness" is? What sort of processes do you think are occurring to produce the effect that you call "consciousness? ... what is the mechanism that is causing "consciousness"?

I'm asking you, because you seem to have automatically assumed that "consciousness" cannot be explained as simply the end result of a sensory system (sight, touch, smell, hearing etc.) that is rapidly exchanging "information" (i.e. chemical, electrical and other physical changes) with the brain, limbs, and other organs.

If I had to guess at a likely scientific explanation, I would say that all known evidence probably points to a mechanism similar to the above description. So that what may seem to us to be a seamless continuous "awareness" of our surroundings, is actually composed of hundreds/thousands/millions of individual "bits" of that information (i.e. electrical, chemical, physical changes) being exchanged very rapidly back and forth between the sensory system, the brain, and the limbs and other organs ... it's happening so rapidly, and being updated so rapidly with small alterations, that it seems to us like what we rather vaguely call consciousness ... but it is actually that rapidly updating back-&-forth exchange of millions of individual bits/snapshots of input-output information.

As I said - that's just my guess as to what's really happening. But I don't think anyone should be surprised if science finally decides that it's something very much like that.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 01:05 PM   #155
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 17,321
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
The problem is the materialists who used to think in depth about this stuff (Pixymisa, Rocketdodger, Piggy, etc.) are gone, and so instead of SRIP and rope-brains and simulated consciousness, the above is what passes for discussion now. It was old during Berkeley's time and it hasn't aged well.
Does Langton's Ant have a soul?
__________________
Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?
abaddon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 01:12 PM   #156
smartcooky
Philosopher
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 7,367
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
This is what science does. It changes with new data. That's how you can distinguish it from a religion.
This.

Religion's response to new data is

a. reject it out of hand if it does not accord with existing dogma*

b. Claim "God did it" and/or "God works in mysterious ways"

*(I saw a great example of this in a recent documentary called "The Jesus Strand: A Search for DNA". Here is a brief "about" for those who haven't seen it.

Now for the first time in history a man of faith and a man of science are teaming up to search for Jesus' DNA. Using the latest advances in DNA technology Oxford University geneticist George Busby and biblical scholar Pastor Joe Basile are investigating the world's most famous holy relics including the Shroud of Turin, The Sudarium of Oviedo and the newly discovered bones of Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist. Their journey takes them to holy sites around the world from Spain and Italy to Israel and the shores of the Black Sea. By extracting and analyzing samples of each of these holy relics they hope to retrieve a sample of DNA that possibly belongs to Jesus or a member of his family. They believe that if they can find a strand of Jesus' DNA it could help identify who among us today are descendants of Jesus and provide us with new insight into the man many consider to be the most important person in history, Jesus.

I approached it with an open mind (the scientifically correct thing to do), however, very early on, Pastor Joe Basile made a statement in narration that was so offhand, I almost missed it....

"any evidence we find must accord with the Biblical account"

For mine, this statement put an end to any pretence of it being a scientific study. No scientist would pre-emptively dismiss undiscovered evidence. A TRUE scientist is open to the possibility that their theory (no matter how dearly they hold it) might be wrong; they will go where the evidence, the testing and the results take them.
__________________
► 9/11 was a terrorist attack by Islamic extremists; 12 Apollo astronauts really did walk on the Moon; JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald,who acted alone.
► Never underestimate the power of the Internet to lend unwarranted credibility to the colossally misinformed. - Jay Utah
► Heisenberg's Law - The weirdness of the Universe is inversely proportional to the scale at which you observe it, or not.

Last edited by smartcooky; 1st January 2018 at 01:14 PM.
smartcooky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 01:13 PM   #157
Donn
Philosopher
 
Donn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: In my head.
Posts: 7,758
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Nothing. Physics does not rely on any ontological narrative, it never has. Just because materialism has been - and for some reason still is - a fad doesn't mean other ontologies (such as platonic realism, solipsism, "we live in a simulation", ...) are not just as good. Physics might exclude certain ontologies when they become inconsistent with it (such as materialism in its standard form pretty much has) but there's always still a ton of other ones available. All of which are inherently just as good as the rest, and it's basically just a fad which of them is popular.
That doesn't scan.

Materialism is not a fad or a competing hypothesis in the ring with gods, magic or navel-gazing. Materialism is a noun that groups the whole of what science has learned.

I am trying to get at why games are being played here with the name "materialism" without any sensible replacement being mooted.
__________________
"If I hadn't believed it with my own mind, I would never have seen it." - thanks sackett
"If you stand on a piece of paper, you are indeed closer to the moon." - MRC_Hans
"I was a believer. Until I saw it." - Magrat
Donn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 01:45 PM   #158
caveman1917
Suspended
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 5,364
Originally Posted by Donn View Post
That doesn't scan.

Materialism is not a fad or a competing hypothesis in the ring with gods, magic or navel-gazing. Materialism is a noun that groups the whole of what science has learned.

I am trying to get at why games are being played here with the name "materialism" without any sensible replacement being mooted.
No, the noun that groups the whole of what science has learned is science. Materialism is a fad which asserts a) the existence of matter and b) the non-existence of non-matter.
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 01:46 PM   #159
smartcooky
Philosopher
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 7,367
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Just because materialism has been - and for some reason still is - a fad...
Materialism is not, never has been, and never will be "a fad"

I have another name for it, I call it "actualism"

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
doesn't mean other ontologies (such as platonic realism, solipsism, "we live in a simulation", ...) are not just as good.
Materialism doesn't require the assumption of anything else other than itself for it to be reality, and as for "we live in a simulation", well, this is just nuts. It has to be just about the most ridiculous concept of them all. What about those who run the simulation? Are they in a simulation too? What about those who are running THAT simulation? Are they also in a simulation? This is almost as ridiculous as "turtles all the way down".
__________________
► 9/11 was a terrorist attack by Islamic extremists; 12 Apollo astronauts really did walk on the Moon; JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald,who acted alone.
► Never underestimate the power of the Internet to lend unwarranted credibility to the colossally misinformed. - Jay Utah
► Heisenberg's Law - The weirdness of the Universe is inversely proportional to the scale at which you observe it, or not.
smartcooky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2018, 01:48 PM   #160
baron
Philosopher
 
baron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,464
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
This is what science does. It changes with new data. That's how you can distinguish it from a religion.
It's bizarre you should ascertain that science, instead of discarding old hypotheses in favour of new ones, clings grimly to the same concept and tries to shoe-horn into it into the ever-changing evidential framework of reality. That's not a behaviour of science I've ever encountered but you know, it does ring a bell...

...of course, religion. There's even a phrase for it - 'the god of the gaps'. As evidential explanations become impossible to ignore so the opportunity for god's influence reduces, making a mockery of the whole concept, but that doesn't phase the religionists. God is still out there doing his thing despite having to revise on a regular basis what it is he actually does. It's exactly the same with materialists except instead of narrowing their definition of materialism they widen it.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Useless to you. But in terms of this conversation, it is entirely useful.
Unless you're having a conversation with yourself then by your own definition, it's useless.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Nonsense, there is evidence for it all around us.
Feel free to elucidate, I'm eager to see this evidence.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Its not Faith. 'faith' is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Are you seriously telling me that you rely on your own senses to form a full conceptual theory of reality?

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
No way does that describe the world we interact with.
No, it describes how materialists, and religionists, view it.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
And if the repeatable verifiable almost universally shared perception of the world is not true, then nothing is.

That the quantum world requires a different kind of understanding doesn't make the world we interact with an illusion.
What are you talking about? The world as we observe it is created in its entirety inside our heads from a vanishingly small set of electrical impulses. It is a wholly fabricated model, the sole purpose of which is not for us to understand the universe, but for us to survive in our limited environment long enough to reproduce. You think the real 'out there' world possesses attributes of colour, or sound, or solidity, or even movement in the strictest sense? You think we are capable of processing more than a crazy small fraction of the information around us?

Quantum mechanics tells us what reality is fundamentally like. You can't reasonably deny that. What you experience with your almost non-existent macro senses in your immediate environment is wholly irrelevant. Materialism, regardless of what contrived definition it is operating under today, must define the fundamentals of existence, otherwise why even invent the term?
__________________
"I am a liar as well as a dwarf!"
baron is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:42 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.