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Old 1st January 2018, 01:52 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
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...
If it's not a behaviour of science you've ever encountered, then science isn't doing that, and I don't see what your problem is.

...ah, unless you want there to be souls, of course.
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Old 1st January 2018, 01:53 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Materialism is not, never has been, and never will be "a fad"

I have another name for it, I call it "actualism"
That's nice...

Quote:
Materialism doesn't require the assumption of anything else other than itself for it to be reality
As does every other ontology. A bit like a religious person claiming that you only have to assume the bible to be true for said beliefs to become real to you, whilst ignoring that this just as well holds for any other religion and their texts.
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Old 1st January 2018, 01:58 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
If it's not a behaviour of science you've ever encountered, then science isn't doing that, and I don't see what your problem is.
I have no problem, and I was not debating science, I was debating acbytesla.

For the record, materialism is not a scientific term nor is it a scientific concept. It sits squarely in the realms of philosophy. Scientists who declare themselves materialists (an increasingly small number) are simply defining the framework in which they view the world, not aligning themselves with a particular scientific theory.
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Old 1st January 2018, 02:00 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
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?

That second paragraph directly contradicts the first.

Quantum mechanics is part of the fabricated mental model made of electrical impulses from which we extrapolate the external universe.

If our minds are too feeble to process a complete or accurate description of the universe as your first paragraph claims, then we either cannot fully process quantum mechanics either, or quantum mechanics is not a complete and accurate description. Either way, your claim that quantum mechanics tells us what reality is fundamentally like contradicts your premises.
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Old 1st January 2018, 02:03 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I am trying to get at why games are being played here with the name "materialism" without any sensible replacement being mooted.
I know the answer to this. Its the game of trying to keep the argument going.

If you keep changing the meaning of what is being debated, you can keep your options open by redefining the debate... that way, you can avoid ever being pinned down to a position.

This is called the "slippery eel" technique, something that solipsists and other airy-fairy types are really good at.
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Old 1st January 2018, 02:05 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
That second paragraph directly contradicts the first.
And this one directly contradicts yours.

Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Quantum mechanics is part of the fabricated mental model made of electrical impulses from which we extrapolate the external universe.
I don't know what that means.

Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
If our minds are too feeble to process a complete or accurate description of the universe as your first paragraph claims, then we either cannot fully process quantum mechanics either, or quantum mechanics is not a complete and accurate description. Either way, your claim that quantum mechanics tells us what reality is fundamentally like contradicts your premises.
You're getting confused. We cannot directly perceive quantum events. We can build machines to do so and read their output. We can also do the maths that predict aggregate quantum outputs and compare them with experimental results. We can perceive macro events. None of these points contradict any of the others.
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Old 1st January 2018, 02:27 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I know the answer to this.
And I didn't ask that.

Quote:
If you keep changing the meaning of what is being debated, you can keep your options open by redefining the debate... that way, you can avoid ever being pinned down to a position.
My position is simple: asserting any ontology is worse than asserting no ontology, essentially by Occam's razor. And that materialism is, indeed, a fad.
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Old 1st January 2018, 02:36 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
You're getting confused. We cannot directly perceive quantum events. We can build machines to do so and read their output. We can also do the maths that predict aggregate quantum outputs and compare them with experimental results. We can perceive macro events. None of these points contradict any of the others.

No confusion. This is crystal clear.

Is quantum mechanics an aspect of the world or not?

If it's not, then it's hardly relevant to anything.

If it is, well...

Quote:
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?
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Old 1st January 2018, 02:38 PM   #169
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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.
I've never been a materialist so for me it ain't even about letting go a childhood favourite, it's just about being pragmatic. What materialism refers to of course changes over time, but that is indeed its strength. I've often thought materialism would be better named stuffism I. e. the stuff that exists regardless of what that stuff is.
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Old 1st January 2018, 02:41 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
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.
Please define your use of consciousness. I'm asking because it appears that you are making the same "error of assumption" you claim those that postulate a physical material world make.
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Old 1st January 2018, 02:43 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
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.
How does that lead to consciousness? And why doesn't it always lead to consciousness assuming it ever does?
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Old 1st January 2018, 02:50 PM   #172
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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.
I think what you have here (is as ever) folk using different definitions for "materialism". Some are using the classical philosophy definition, some are using the modern useage which is not really a philosophical position in the same way. That means we seem to be disagreeing with one another whereas if we each reread our exchanges with the definition the poster was using I suspect we would have less disagreement about "materialism".

I'm happy to agree that classical materialism was disproved by science a long time ago, the world truly isn't made of little solid particles.
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Old 1st January 2018, 03:04 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
No confusion. This is crystal clear.

Is quantum mechanics an aspect of the world or not?

If it's not, then it's hardly relevant to anything.

If it is, well...
Try extending your bolding by four words. You're right, though, you can't possibly be confused about what I said, so clearly you're being argumentative for the sake of it.
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Old 1st January 2018, 03:11 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I've never been a materialist so for me it ain't even about letting go a childhood favourite, it's just about being pragmatic. What materialism refers to of course changes over time, but that is indeed its strength. I've often thought materialism would be better named stuffism I. e. the stuff that exists regardless of what that stuff is.
'Stuff exists' is probably as far as you can take it, although even then I wouldn't hang my hat on it (literally or conceptually). For day to day parlance it is of course useful to acknowledge that stuff exists, but in the quantum realm I'm not sure it even has meaning. After all, can something with no size be considered stuff? What about something with no mass? What about something with no directly observed attributes whatsoever? Is gravity stuff? Is an electromagnetic field stuff? Is time stuff? That's the thing with the quantum world, none of the attributes of 'stuff' is applicable to the mathematics which describe it.
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Old 1st January 2018, 03:15 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Try extending your bolding by four words. You're right, though, you can't possibly be confused about what I said, so clearly you're being argumentative for the sake of it.

That extends the bolding to "the world as we observe it."

Are we not observing the world and/or "fabricating mental models" using our limited faculties when we do these things:

Quote:
We can build machines to do so and read their output. We can also do the maths that predict aggregate quantum outputs and compare them with experimental results. We can perceive macro events.

You are clearly implying (whether you mean to or not) that while all other observations and mental models of the world are unreliable and incomplete due to our limited faculties, quantum mechanics is somehow not subject to those same limitations. But you've presented no justification for such a view.
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Old 1st January 2018, 03:24 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
That extends the bolding to "the world as we observe it."

Are we not observing the world and/or "fabricating mental models" using our limited faculties when we do these things:
Yes, of course.

Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
You are clearly implying (whether you mean to or not) that while all other observations and mental models of the world are unreliable and incomplete due to our limited faculties, quantum mechanics is somehow not subject to those same limitations. But you've presented no justification for such a view.
I didn't say our direct observations were unreliable in terms of their limited scope, I said they are unreliable (more accurately, useless) in describing fundamental reality.

Quantum mechanical processes cannot be directly observed by humans, only their aggregates, and those tell us nothing about the fundamentals.
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Old 1st January 2018, 03:39 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post

You are clearly implying (whether you mean to or not) that while all other observations and mental models of the world are unreliable and incomplete due to our limited faculties, quantum mechanics is somehow not subject to those same limitations. But you've presented no justification for such a view.
He's definitely engaged in special pleading where the understanding of quantum mechanics is the exception to his perception rule. He also seems to be arguing The Matrix phenomenon of solipsism which I consider to be the most useless concept.

Somebody, please, please take the bong away from him.
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Old 1st January 2018, 03:50 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
He's definitely engaged in special pleading where the understanding of quantum mechanics is the exception to his perception rule. He also seems to be arguing The Matrix phenomenon of solipsism which I consider to be the most useless concept.
That bears not even a passing relationship to what I posted.
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Old 1st January 2018, 04:00 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What materialism refers to of course changes over time, but that is indeed its strength.
That's just silly, words mean things. If your preferred ontology changes then you use a new name for it. It's what everyone else does...

Besides, having materialism be some ever moving target means that by now you have to consider asserting the existence of the universal wavefunction as materialism, that's like completely on the other side of the ontological spectrum as the standard form of materialism. No wonder you get confusions.
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Old 1st January 2018, 04:02 PM   #180
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Old 1st January 2018, 04:18 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
That bears not even a passing relationship to what I posted.
Well then, perhaps you should be more clear.

You seem to be arguing that human's shared reality is an illusion and no more than electrical pulses. And what we experience is merely an illusion. And perhaps you are right. But you will never know from inside the matrix. You also seem to be arguing that quantum mechanics proves this. But from my perspective, that is just special pleading.

Feel free to clarify.
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Old 1st January 2018, 04:32 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I have no problem, and I was not debating science, I was debating acbytesla.
And he was talking about science. Nice try.

Quote:
For the record, materialism is not a scientific term nor is it a scientific concept.
You might want to freshen up on your physics.
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Old 1st January 2018, 04:35 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
And this one directly contradicts yours.
You're just being contrarian now.

Quote:
I don't know what that means.
QM is a theory. It is an approximation of the workings of reality. It is not reality itself. It is entirely possible that we may be unable to fully describe reality.
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Old 1st January 2018, 04:38 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
And I didn't ask that.
And I wasn't talking to you, I was answering Donn

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
My position is simple: asserting any ontology is worse than asserting no ontology, essentially by Occam's razor. And that materialism is, indeed, a fad.
Oh, I can invoke Ocham's Razor to support and explain my position too

If I can see it, touch it, smell it, hear it or taste it, or any combinations of these, or if I can see, or perceive or be shown its effects, e.g. quantum physics, gravity, etc, then its real. The simplest answer is that what we perceive is real; these things impact on my everyday life, so really, they are the only things that matter to me. Anything else is, e.g., solipsism, matrixism, universal minds etc, are AFAIC, meaningless philosobabble. As SG Collins would put it, "it demands a deep and abiding faith in things you can never know"
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Old 1st January 2018, 04:46 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
QM is a theory. It is an approximation of the workings of reality. It is not reality itself. It is entirely possible that we may be unable to fully describe reality.
THIS!

And just because this is so, does not mean the world is imaginary or a simulation.
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Old 1st January 2018, 05:05 PM   #186
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What our mere senses and internal electrical impulses appear from all available evidence to be very capable of doing is to create a "chunked" understanding of the external world in terms of an ongoing narrative of objects, beings (with intentions), and events.

Regardless of what it's ultimately made of, an apple tree is in every sense just as real as quantum fields. In fact, quantum fields are far from an adequate description of the nature of an apple tree. The quantum equations for even a single molecule of the cellulose of the wood of the tree are far too complex to calculate their outcomes directly. If our understanding of the external world were limited to direct perception of quantum fields and events, we'd be unable to even perceive the tree; branches, leaves, roots, germination, mitosis, transpiration, seeding, and evolution would all be unfathomable abstractions. I'd say that "a bunch of quantum wavefunctions interacting in complex ways" is a far, far less meaningful or informative explanation for the nature of a tree than "a bunch of electrical impulses interacting in complex ways" is for the generation of consciousness in the brain.

We do not experience any external material thing directly. But even so, only in a bizarre quantum version of mereological nihilism could quantum wave functions of the particles and fields that make up the tree be regarded as real, while the leaves, roots, wood, DNA, and apples are regarded as illusory.
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Old 1st January 2018, 05:44 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Well then, perhaps you should be more clear.

You seem to be arguing that human's shared reality is an illusion and no more than electrical pulses. And what we experience is merely an illusion. And perhaps you are right. But you will never know from inside the matrix. You also seem to be arguing that quantum mechanics proves this. But from my perspective, that is just special pleading.

Feel free to clarify.
Perhaps tomorrow I will, as I haven't got the time right now.

However, I don't need much time to deal with this:

Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
And he was talking about science. Nice try.
I was not debating science. Thank you.

Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You might want to freshen up on your physics.
Thanks for posting a link to the Wiki entry on 'matter' when the word under discussion was 'materialism'. That's what happens when you argue for the sake of it, you post rubbish like that.
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Old 1st January 2018, 05:56 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Oh, I can invoke Ocham's Razor to support and explain my position too
No you can't. Suppose we let go off an object (L) and observe it to fall down (F) then some data we could have would be: LFLFLFLF. We get a law of gravity: L -> LF and can compress the data to:
"L -> LF, LLLL"

So far for the science. Now any ontology you're going to assert here is going to make this compressed data larger, such as:
"L -> LF, LLLL, and L is a really real thing" (ie materialism)

but also
"L -> LF, LLLL, and L is a simulated thing" (ie matrixism)
or
"L -> LF, LLLL, and L is a product of my mind" (ie solipsism)
and so on

Quote:
Anything else is, e.g., solipsism, matrixism, universal minds etc, are AFAIC, meaningless philosobabble. As SG Collins would put it, "it demands a deep and abiding faith in things you can never know"
All of which applies just as well to materialism.
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Old 1st January 2018, 06:13 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
How does that lead to consciousness? And why doesn't it always lead to consciousness assuming it ever does?

It doesn't "lead" to consciousness. Instead what I'm suggesting (it's only a suggestion), is that, that is what consciousness actually is. That is ...

... what we call "consciousness" is just that continuous rapidly updating set of sensations and responses that we experience/undergo as a result of the chemical, electrical and physical changes from the sensory input, to reactions in the brain, to signals going back from the brain to the muscles and other organs and back to the sensory system in a continuous cycle ... the effect of that is what we call "consciousness".

If you don't understand how that could be what you think of as consciousness as you perceive it in your own daily life, then that may simply be because the effect has become so refined and so efficient in humans after billions of years of evolution, that to us as functioning apes, it now seems like “magic” … as if there must be some other reason different from the purely physical/chemical reactions that define how all living things function …

… but since all known evidence is against such “magic”, I expect the explanation for the effect that we call “consciousness”, is indeed just a highly evolved and very efficient (seemingly “very efficient” on out time scale at least, and where we are unaware of the underlying chemical, electrical processes that go on all the time in our cells and nerves etc.) sequence of perfectly natural chemical and electrical changes that occur in all “living things” (they occur to different extents, and with more or less complexity going from simple organisms such as plants, to the most complex such as mammals inc. apes and humans).

You could think about it another way – if you were able to travel back to the time when the first living things appeared on the Earth (e.g. you are the only human alive, but you actually know nothing about modern science or the modern world … all you can detect is what your senses see, hear, smell etc., and what your thinking human mind says to you about the single-celled “life” before you and the landscape of the planet that you perceive), then you would probably think it was impossible, even completely unimaginable, that a process of evolution would lead eventually (after billions of years) to humans that could make aircraft, computers, discover quantum field theory, develop language etc., or indeed experience an effect that we call “consciousness” …

… but the explanation for how humans came to have all those characteristics & abilities today (inc. “consciousness”), is certainly that it has been the inevitable result of 3 billion years of evolving life becoming more and more highly developed, more sophisticated, refined and more capable in everything associated with our life and existence.
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Old 1st January 2018, 06:19 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
But even so, only in a bizarre quantum version of mereological nihilism could quantum wave functions of the particles and fields that make up the tree be regarded as real, while the leaves, roots, wood, DNA, and apples are regarded as illusory.
You mean as in "the wavefunction exists"? I meant that as "the universal wavefunction exists", like in asserting the Everett interpretation applied to the universe as a whole. Not sure how you get nihilism from that. And it's not about the other stuff being illusory but about it not being fundamental, just like a classical materialist wouldn't call a car illusory merely because it reduces to more fundamental atoms.
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Old 1st January 2018, 06:42 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I was not debating science. Thank you.
Of course you are. You mentioned science several times during the discussion.

Quote:
Thanks for posting a link to the Wiki entry on 'matter' when the word under discussion was 'materialism'.
Maybe you should tell this guy:

Originally Posted by baron View Post
Materialism is an absurdity. Matter does not exist.
...because apparently he thinks that one has to do with the other.

Materialism is about matter, something science quite assuredly concludes exists. Ergo, science espouses the materialist philosophy.

Quote:
Oh, my mistake, you don't even know what materialism is.
Heal thyself.
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Old 1st January 2018, 07:13 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
No you can't. Suppose we let go off an object (L) and observe it to fall down (F) then some data we could have would be: LFLFLFLF. We get a law of gravity: L -> LF and can compress the data to:
"L -> LF, LLLL"
Yes. For me, this is actualism.

I see the object fall
I understand why it falls.

This is all that is relevant.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
So far for the science. Now any ontology you're going to assert here is going to make this compressed data larger, such as:
"L -> LF, LLLL, and L is a really real thing" (ie materialism)

but also
"L -> LF, LLLL, and L is a simulated thing" (ie matrixism)
or
"L -> LF, LLLL, and L is a product of my mind" (ie solipsism)
and so on
This is philosobabble, and I cannot even begin to parse it, let alone understand how any of it has relevance to actualism.
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Old 1st January 2018, 08:41 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
... what we call "consciousness" is just that continuous rapidly updating set of sensations and responses that we experience/undergo as a result of the chemical, electrical and physical changes from the sensory input, to reactions in the brain, to signals going back from the brain to the muscles and other organs and back to the sensory system in a continuous cycle ... the effect of that is what we call "consciousness".
But my point is simply that we also call that unconsciousness. So how does it explain consciousness?
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Old 1st January 2018, 09:09 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
It doesn't "lead" to consciousness. Instead what I'm suggesting (it's only a suggestion), is that, that is what consciousness actually is. That is ...

... what we call "consciousness" is just that continuous rapidly updating set of sensations and responses that we experience/undergo as a result of the chemical, electrical and physical changes from the sensory input, to reactions in the brain, to signals going back from the brain to the muscles and other organs and back to the sensory system in a continuous cycle ... the effect of that is what we call "consciousness".

If you don't understand how that could be what you think of as consciousness as you perceive it in your own daily life, then that may simply be because the effect has become so refined and so efficient in humans after billions of years of evolution, that to us as functioning apes, it now seems like “magic” … as if there must be some other reason different from the purely physical/chemical reactions that define how all living things function …

… but since all known evidence is against such “magic”, I expect the explanation for the effect that we call “consciousness”, is indeed just a highly evolved and very efficient (seemingly “very efficient” on out time scale at least, and where we are unaware of the underlying chemical, electrical processes that go on all the time in our cells and nerves etc.) sequence of perfectly natural chemical and electrical changes that occur in all “living things” (they occur to different extents, and with more or less complexity going from simple organisms such as plants, to the most complex such as mammals inc. apes and humans).

You could think about it another way – if you were able to travel back to the time when the first living things appeared on the Earth (e.g. you are the only human alive, but you actually know nothing about modern science or the modern world … all you can detect is what your senses see, hear, smell etc., and what your thinking human mind says to you about the single-celled “life” before you and the landscape of the planet that you perceive), then you would probably think it was impossible, even completely unimaginable, that a process of evolution would lead eventually (after billions of years) to humans that could make aircraft, computers, discover quantum field theory, develop language etc., or indeed experience an effect that we call “consciousness” …

… but the explanation for how humans came to have all those characteristics & abilities today (inc. “consciousness”), is certainly that it has been the inevitable result of 3 billion years of evolving life becoming more and more highly developed, more sophisticated, refined and more capable in everything associated with our life and existence.
IIUYC, then your idea is that consciousness is the inevitable result of our sensory inputs to our brain. The brain interprets those inputs as its environment. Not only does this explain consciousness, but if true, no other explanation is even necessary.

I like this.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:17 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
That's just silly, words mean things. ...snip...
And the meaning of words change over time. Sometimes older labels get redefined or co-opted to mean something else.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:19 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
THIS!

And just because this is so, does not mean the world is imaginary or a simulation.
Or that anything is "possible".
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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:28 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
But my point is simply that we also call that unconsciousness. So how does it explain consciousness?
This is not me trying a "aha but what does 'is' mean?" But to be able to answer your question properly you need to provide the definition you are using for "consciousness" in your question.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:31 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And the meaning of words change over time. Sometimes older labels get redefined or co-opted to mean something else.
Gay - once meant happy, now means homosexual.

Egregious - Once meant distinguished or eminent, now means conspicuously bad.

Terrible - originally meant inspiring great fear, now means harsh or excessive.

Naughty - originally meant you had nothing, then it came to mean evil, now it means badly behaved.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:51 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
But my point is simply that we also call that unconsciousness. So how does it explain consciousness?

Why do we need to talk now about how we can become unconscious? I thought we were asking how it could be possible to experience the effect that we call "consciousness", i.e. being intellectually aware of our surroundings etc., and having the ability to think in a useful way about that, so as to make decisions on how we act etc. ... I thought we were looking for a possible explanation for how that might be occurring, not just in humans because it clearly occurs not just in other apes but in pet cat's and dogs as well ... why do we now have to change the problem to ask also for an explanation of what it means to say we are "unconscious"?

But if by "unconscious" you are thinking of humans who are, say, in a vegetative state after major brain injury (as opposed to, say, plants that also react in a very obvious way to their surroundings, and they also do that through a fundamentally similar use of sensory cells (afaik)), then afaik all that has happened to make us "unconscious" is that the brain has stopped processing the input data from the sensory organs (sight, hearing, smell etc.) ... so why is that difficult to understand?

Incidentally, a better/clearer example than my previous off-the-cuff scenario of a human observer watching the first life-forms appear 3 billion years ago, might be just to think about the human eye and think about how we could possibly experience the sensation of what we call “vision”, such that we form a very clear and rapidly updating really accurate picture of the world around us (so clear that we can react very quickly to changes such as objects that we might collide with etc.) … how could that possibly happen? … the eye might react to light in complicated ways with different specialised cells, but that alone would not explain how we then instantly experience a very accurate “vision” of what is actually all around us … so how could that occur without some magical mystical explanation of “conscious awareness”? … I think the answer is just the same one that I already described before about that constant exchange of impulses and reactions between the input from the eyes to the brain, and back to the eyes and other organs etc., in a continuous rapidly updating cycle ..

… I'm not trying to give a total full explanation of exactly how all of that occurs and exactly why that inevitably leads to an effect that we call “consciousness”, that would probably require decades or even centuries of research on every aspect of the way our sensory system interacts with the brain. But I think it should be fairly easy to understand how it may all be occurring in that way, simply as a result of the sensory system interacting with the brain and with all the other associated organs of the body (without the need for anything mystical, and certainly without the need for, or any evidence for any supernatural ideas such as a “soul” placed into us by an intelligent God).


Anyway, that's my suggestion. And I do not think it is a big mystery, and certainly not what philosophers like to present as what they call "the hard problem of consciousness", as if to imply that science cannot explain it ... well, one thing is for sure - neither philosophy or religion is likely to adequately explain either consciousness or anything else ... but science is very likely to explain it, and in fact science clearly has already produced a very considerable understanding of such things as "consciousness".

Last edited by IanS; 2nd January 2018 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:57 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Donn View Post
If current physics are not labeled "materialism", what label should be used?
Reality.

Non-woo.
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