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Thread: When does proving one's truth claims come to an end?

  1. #251
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Jim it seems to me that you are just defining terms to support your position. So let's drill down, your reasons against torturing puppies for fun is grounded in the belief that needless suffering is wrong. So let's begin there - why is needless suffering wrong? If that is not a natural or culturally induced inclination, what is it? Exactly.
    Because needless suffering is a bad thing in general, as I've already gone over. It seems to be an objective fact that needless suffering is a bad thing, 'objective' meaning 'not depending for its truth on the subjective psychological states of any individual.' Do you not agree? Present an argument for why you would disagree? I think the burden would be on someone disagreeing with this proposition. Present an argument for why God would have to be invoked in order to ground such a truth. The need to invoke God seems to be such a needlessly extravagant solution to a quite simple matter. The matter is that reason, endowed by God, gives us the ability to think in abstract, general terms. So I am not just confined to experiencing MY suffering, as a dog would, but I can think in terms of suffering as a general property in the world. The same with badness and goodness, rightness and wrongness. We can detach concepts and properties from the particular instantiations of them. This gives us the ability to think morally, scientifically, logically, mathematically, and to post on message boards...Positing God as the ontological ground of all abstract entities, all morality, all math and logic, is just not necessary, IMO, and involves you in other difficulties.

    Maybe we're bogged down in this one topic? We've been over it a few times now. What did you think of the excerpt of the Nielsen article and the other arguments?

  2. #252
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    I didn't assume there is a reason. I assumed that they are legitimate matters to ponder about.
    And you are assuming without good reason that philosophy is better equipped than science to provide the answer to such matters.

    And you are providing a (possible) causal account of human cognitive capacity for thinking about meaning.
    Yes, with good reason.

    I was referring to the meanings themselves.
    “Meanings themselves” don’t exist in isolation from cognition.

    Causal reduction is not ontological reduction. And even your causal account is far from being established. You are representing one theory as if it is definitively established fact, so you are the one who once again begs the question.
    Science already knows a lot about consciousness without the need for such an ontology. Brain scans show a direct relationship between brain activity, thoughts and behavior. And this is not limited to the human animal alone, but to many creatures with evolved nervous systems.
    “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.

  3. #253
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Because needless suffering is a bad thing in general, as I've already gone over. It seems to be an objective fact that needless suffering is a bad thing, 'objective' meaning 'not depending for its truth on the subjective psychological states of any individual.' Do you not agree? Present an argument for why you would disagree?
    That is the point Jim, even if I agree that needless suffering is a bad thing, that is still merely our opinion. If one believes that needless suffering of others is an acceptable thing in the service of his goals (pleasure or power for instance) then that opinion is as valid as ours, even if it is a minority opinion. There can be no objective standard. It must depend on the subjective psychological states of the individual, because that is all there is. And that is exactly why we need God, for without Him there is no grounding for universal moral truths.


    What did you think of the excerpt of the Nielsen article and the other arguments?
    I will try and find that...
    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...

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  4. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    And you are assuming without good reason that philosophy is better equipped than science to provide the answer to such matters.
    Science just isn't in that line of work. It isn't equipped, the way it's presently constituted, to think about or consider values, meaning or purpose. It doesn't have a category for 'final causation,' or teleology. It considers cause in terms of antecedent conditions. So you're wrong, there are good reasons to think that philosophy is better equipped than science to do certain things, just as science is better equipped than philosophy to do certain things. Part of growing up intellectually is growing out of uncritical, unquestioning awe of fields and seeing them in terms of their capacities and their limitations. All human endeavors are characterized by form, ie definite defining characteristics.



    Yes, with good reason.
    Evolutionary psychology is very far from being established and still extremely controversial. (That doesn't mean I'm denying evolution, in case you need me to make that explicit!)



    “Meanings themselves” don’t exist in isolation from cognition.
    That's like saying that the Shakespeare Folio doesn't exist in isolation from the chemicals of the ink and paper making it up. They're distinct levels of explanation and description. Neuor-centrism risks losing the mind for the brain.





    Science already knows a lot about consciousness without the need for such an ontology. Brain scans show a direct relationship between brain activity, thoughts and behavior. And this is not limited to the human animal alone, but to many creatures with evolved nervous systems.
    We don't need that ontology if we restrict ourselves from the outset to a third-person perspective on the functions associated with consciousness. Just as we don't need to bother with the meanings and the aesthetic qualities of what Shakespeare wrote if we restrict ourselves from the outset to a purely physical analysis of his folio.

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  6. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    That is the point Jim, even if I agree that needless suffering is a bad thing, that is still merely our opinion. If one believes that needless suffering of others is an acceptable thing in the service of his goals (pleasure or power for instance) then that opinion is as valid as ours, even if it is a minority opinion. There can be no objective standard. It must depend on the subjective psychological states of the individual, because that is all there is. And that is exactly why we need God, for without Him there is no grounding for universal moral truths.
    I don't think you're going to seriously consider, or even hear, any answer other than 'God.' The general, universal properties that we all recognize are not subjective or psychological in nature. "Redness" and "the number two" and "being to the left of" are not subjective, psychological properties. My feeling my own suffering is psychological, but that there is this thing called 'suffering in the world' that I can confidently conclude is a general property based on inductive generalization is not subjective or psychological. That my own personal suffering is bad is psychological , but that there is this thing called 'badness' in general, just like there's this thing called 'yellowness,' and 'illness' isn't psychological. Yes, it has to be processed through my brain, but not everything that I process through my brain has to be psychological. Otherwise all of math and logic would be psychological.

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    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Science just isn't in that line of work. It isn't equipped, the way it's presently constituted, to think about or consider values, meaning or purpose. It doesn't have a category for 'final causation,' or teleology. It considers cause in terms of antecedent conditions. So you're wrong, there are good reasons to think that philosophy is better equipped than science to do certain things, just as science is better equipped than philosophy to do certain things. Part of growing up intellectually is growing out of uncritical, unquestioning awe of fields and seeing them in terms of their capacities and their limitations. All human endeavors are characterized by form, ie definite defining characteristics.
    I’ve not argued that philosophy has no place in helping science reach such conclusion, philosophy is very useful – as I’ve said repeatedly. But, again, ALL mental phenomena are ultimately physical phenomena. To deny this is to claim a non-material component to the natural world. Is this what you are claiming?

    Evolutionary psychology is very far from being established and still extremely controversial. (That doesn't mean I'm denying evolution, in case you need me to make that explicit!)
    I’m talking about the standard materialist position that consciousness is a byproduct of the brain – NOT “evolutionary psychology.”

    That's like saying that the Shakespeare Folio doesn't exist in isolation from the chemicals of the ink and paper making it up. They're distinct levels of explanation and description. Neuor-centrism risks losing the mind for the brain.
    Nevertheless the Shakespeare Folio cannot have existed in isolation from the physical phenomena of his conscious mind.

    We don't need that ontology if we restrict ourselves from the outset to a third-person perspective on the functions associated with consciousness. Just as we don't need to bother with the meanings and the aesthetic qualities of what Shakespeare wrote if we restrict ourselves from the outset to a purely physical analysis of his folio.
    Nor can one restrict oneself purely to a third-person perspective on the functions associated with consciousness. Both are necessary for a complete understanding.
    “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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    I don't think you're going to seriously consider, or even hear, any answer other than 'God.' The general, universal properties that we all recognize are not subjective or psychological in nature. "Redness" and "the number two" and "being to the left of" are not subjective, psychological properties. My feeling my own suffering is psychological, but that there is this thing called 'suffering in the world' that I can confidently conclude is a general property based on inductive generalization is not subjective or psychological. That my own personal suffering is bad is psychological , but that there is this thing called 'badness' in general, just like there's this thing called 'yellowness,' and 'illness' isn't psychological. Yes, it has to be processed through my brain, but not everything that I process through my brain has to be psychological. Otherwise all of math and logic would be psychological.
    Jim, we have been over this. Redness is a physical property, pain is a physical property attaching a moral consideration to that is subjective. It is like attaching a moral quality to redness or yellowness or the law of excluded middle.
    Last edited by seer; 02-24-2020 at 05:04 AM.
    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...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqgC1tqifV8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    I’ve not argued that philosophy has no place in helping science reach such conclusion, philosophy is very useful – as I’ve said repeatedly. But, again, ALL mental phenomena are ultimately physical phenomena. To deny this is to claim a non-material component to the natural world. Is this what you are claiming?
    And as I've said repeatedly, you have to establish that 'mental phenomena are ultimately physical phenomena' through a very strong convincing argument. Otherwise, it's a mere assertion made from a faith in science. No one knows what a "physical phenomenon" ultimately means, other than as a working methodological concept, so no one can confidently say what the phrase "a non-material component to the natural world" actually means. As I've said, all I have to do to demonstrate irreducibilty is to show how physical reduction fails for conscious experiences. Period. As far as what follows from that failure, there are many ways to interpret it. We would first have to understand what 'physical' means. There are 'dual-aspect' theories. There are various kinds of emergence. There's non-reductive physicalism, and yes, there is the possibility of non-physical particulars, and so forth....



    I’m talking about the standard materialist position that consciousness is a byproduct of the brain – NOT “evolutionary psychology.”
    What you've been saying sounds a lot like evo psych, that everything about human culture is ultimately explainable by and reducible to a physical evolutionary vocabulary. And how can consciousness both be caused by and be identical to brain states? Which is it? If A causes B, A cannot be identical to B.



    Nevertheless the Shakespeare Folio cannot have existed in isolation from the physical phenomena of his conscious mind.
    Necessary conditions are not sufficient conditions.



    Nor can one restrict oneself purely to a third-person perspective on the functions associated with consciousness. Both are necessary for a complete understanding.
    I think you meant to say 'first-person perspective.' Yes, both are necessary for a complete understanding, 'complete' meaning from first AND third-person perspective. My point, though, is that the first-person is the essential, the sine qua non, of conscious experiences. Imagine if neuro-scientists built a robot that had ALL the functions associated with consciousness and yet somehow they knew that it lacked first-person experience. Would it be conscious?

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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Jim, we have been over this. Redness is a physical property, pain is a physical property attaching a moral consideration to that is subjective. It is like attaching a moral quality to redness or yellowness or the law of excluded middle.
    Yes, we've been over this. Redness is not a physical property the way I was using it; it's a phenomenal property, an item of experience. Pain is a phenomenal property. It's something that's experienced. Badness and goodness are attached to experiences. They are valuations. They become generalized and detached from their particular instantiations, as do rightness and wrongness. Maybe we should move on to the Nielsen excerpt and the other arguments?

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Yes, we've been over this. Redness is not a physical property the way I was using it; it's a phenomenal property, an item of experience. Pain is a phenomenal property. It's something that's experienced. Badness and goodness are attached to experiences. They are valuations. They become generalized and detached from their particular instantiations, as do rightness and wrongness. Maybe we should move on to the Nielsen excerpt and the other arguments?
    Redness is a physical property that can be measured in minute degrees. The human perception of the subjective values of redness for qualitative aspects of the color.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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