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Thread: Origin of the Mind/Mental States

  1. #21
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornet View Post
    Are there any good arguments in favor of the view that our minds or mental states are not physical entities and cannot come from something that is physical? I'm asking just out of curiosity.
    Well, if our minds and mental states are merely physical, totally caused by the motion of atoms in our heads, then we have no reason to trust our thoughts!

    See the argument from reason, notably by C.S. Lewis:

    Source: C.S. Lewis

    … those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Well, if our minds and mental states are merely physical, totally caused by the motion of atoms in our heads, then we have no reason to trust our thoughts!

    See the argument from reason, notably by C.S. Lewis:

    Source: C.S. Lewis

    … those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Blessings,
    Lee
    Or...

    1. No belief is rationally inferred if it can be fully explained in terms of nonrational causes.
    2. If naturalism is true, then all beliefs can be fully explained in terms of nonrational causes.
    3. Therefore, if naturalism is true, the no belief is rationally inferred.
    4. If any thesis entails the conclusion that no belief is rationally inferred, then it should be accepted and its denial accepted.
    5. Therefore, naturalism should be rejected and its denial accepted
    .

    http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/20...wiss-post.html
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

  3. Amen lee_merrill amen'd this post.
  4. #23
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Or...

    1. No belief is rationally inferred if it can be fully explained in terms of nonrational causes.
    2. If naturalism is true, then all beliefs can be fully explained in terms of nonrational causes.
    3. Therefore, if naturalism is true, the no belief is rationally inferred.
    4. If any thesis entails the conclusion that no belief is rationally inferred, then it should be accepted and its denial accepted.
    5. Therefore, naturalism should be rejected and its denial accepted
    .

    http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/20...wiss-post.html
    As Daniel Dennett, philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist superbly opines: "It continues to amaze me how attractive this position still is for many people. I would have thought a historical perspective alone would make this view seem ludicrous: over the centuries, every other phenomenon of initially "supernatural" mysteriousness has succumbed to an uncontroversial explanation within the commodious folds of physical science... The "miracles" of life itself, and of reproduction, are now analyzed into the well-known intricacies of molecular biology. Why should consciousness be any exception? Why should the brain be the only complex physical object in the universe to have an interface with another realm of being? Besides, the notorious problems with the supposed transactions at that dualistic interface are as good as a reductio ad absurdum of the view. The phenomena of consciousness are an admittedly dazzling lot, but I suspect that dualism would never be seriously considered if there weren't such a strong undercurrent of desire to protect the mind from science, by supposing it composed of a stuff that is in principle uninvestigatable by the methods of the physical sciences".

    Daniel C. Dennett, "Consciousness in Human and Robot Minds.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  5. Amen JimL amen'd this post.
  6. #24
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    As Daniel Dennett, philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist superbly opines: "It continues to amaze me how attractive this position still is for many people. I would have thought a historical perspective alone would make this view seem ludicrous: over the centuries, every other phenomenon of initially "supernatural" mysteriousness has succumbed to an uncontroversial explanation within the commodious folds of physical science..."
    Ah, but the explanation that thought itself is due solely to the mechanics of atoms in my head explains away thought as valid perception.

    "The 'miracles' of life itself, and of reproduction, are now analyzed into the well-known intricacies of molecular biology."
    Is he talking origin of life here? That is decidedly up in the air.

    Why should consciousness be any exception?
    Any proof of the validity of thought has to assume the validity of thought in order to make the proof! This won't do.

    Best wishes,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Ah, but the explanation that thought itself is due solely to the mechanics of atoms in my head explains away thought as valid perception.


    Is he talking origin of life here? That is decidedly up in the air.


    Any proof of the validity of thought has to assume the validity of thought in order to make the proof! This won't do.

    Best wishes,
    Lee
    "If a philosopher or social scientist were to try to encapsulate a single principle that yoked together the intellectual process of civilization, it would be a gradual dismantling of presumptions of magic. Brick by brick, century by century, with occasional burps and hiccups, the wall of superstition has been coming down. Science and medicine and political philosophy have been on a relentless march in one direction only -- sometimes slow, sometimes at a gallop, but never reversing course. Never has an empirical scientific discovery been deemed wrong and replaced by a more convincing mystical explanation. ("Holy cow, Dr. Pasteur! I've examined the pancreas of a diabetic dog, and darned if it's NOT an insulin deficiency, but a little evil goblin dwelling inside and he seems really pissed off!") Some magical presumptions have stubbornly persisted way longer than others, but have eventually, inexorably fallen to logic, reason and enlightenment, such as the assumption of the divine right of kings and the entitlement of aristocracy. That one took five millennia, but fall it did." -- Gene Weingarten

    So, as Professor Dennett says: "Why should consciousness be an exception? Why should the brain be the only complex physical object in the universe to have an interface with another realm of being?" IOW: Why would one assume, in the light of the history of science, that anything lies outside the realm of having a natural, rational explanation?
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  8. Amen JimL amen'd this post.
  9. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Ah, but the explanation that thought itself is due solely to the mechanics of atoms in my head explains away thought as valid perception.
    Why? How do you expect that your immaterial mind thinks? You want to argue that "thinking can't be a function of the physical brain" but do you have an explanation as to how your believed "immaterial mind" does it, i.e. how it thinks?

    Any proof of the validity of thought has to assume the validity of thought in order to make the proof! This won't do.
    Not following. I don't think the above makes sense, perhaps you could re-word it, make your meaning more clear.

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    "Brick by brick, century by century, with occasional burps and hiccups, the wall of superstition has been coming down. Science and medicine and political philosophy have been on a relentless march in one direction only..." -- Gene Weingarten
    I would point to the scientists such as Fazale Rana, who was convinced of the existence of a Designer by the complexity of the cell, and of Antony Flew, who became a Deist by regarding the start of the universe from nothing, among other things.

    So, as Professor Dennett says: "Why should consciousness be an exception? Why should the brain be the only complex physical object in the universe to have an interface with another realm of being?" IOW: Why would one assume, in the light of the history of science, that anything lies outside the realm of having a natural, rational explanation?
    Because if thought has a mechanistic explanation, you have explained away the validity of thought. Every brain, every mind is a point of supernatural activity, if reason is valid.

    Best wishes,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Why? How do you expect that your immaterial mind thinks? You want to argue that "thinking can't be a function of the physical brain" but do you have an explanation as to how your believed "immaterial mind" does it, i.e. how it thinks?
    No more than I can tell you how my physical brain operates!

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill
    Any proof of the validity of thought has to assume the validity of thought in order to make the proof!
    Not following. I don't think the above makes sense, perhaps you could re-word it, make your meaning more clear.
    All proofs have to assume the validity of thought from the outset. This would include any proof of the validity of thought! So such a proof would involve circular reasoning.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  12. #29
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    I would point to the scientists such as Fazale Rana, who was convinced of the existence of a Designer by the complexity of the cell, and of Antony Flew, who became a Deist by regarding the start of the universe from nothing, among other things.
    The vast majority of scientists do not.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...and_technology

    Because if thought has a mechanistic explanation, you have explained away the validity of thought.
    Why have you "explained away the validity of thought" by positing a mechanistic explanation. Everything else in the Natural Universe has a "mechanistic explanation", why not consciousness?

    Every brain, every mind is a point of supernatural activity, if reason is valid.

    Best wishes,
    Lee[
    Who says that "Every brain, every mind is a point of supernatural activity"? Many animals have self awareness, i.e possess consciousness. Are they too at a point of alleged "supernatural activity"?
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  13. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    No more than I can tell you how my physical brain operates!
    But you already did explain it from the physical perspective, it's mechanistic. Then you make the assertion that thought is itself something other than the mechanistic functioning of the brain. In other words you are first making the assumption as to what thought is, i.e that it is non-physical, and thereby concluding that it isn't mechanistic. It's true we can't explain exactly how the brain works, but assuming there is something else, an immaterial thinking thing, and having no idea how that would work, or even how such a thing could interact with the physical brain, is not only not evidential, but useless.

    All proofs have to assume the validity of thought from the outset. This would include any proof of the validity of thought! So such a proof would involve circular reasoning.
    You seem to have a preconcieved notion of what thought is from the outset. I think that's clouding your thinking!

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