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

  1. #261
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    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.
    ALL phenomena “are ultimately physical.” There is no good reason to posit the existence of NON-physical phenomena. All attempts in the past (e.g. animism, polytheism, the various monotheisms - and other attempts to promote subjective beliefs in non-physical entities) have failed, whereas the methodological naturalism of science has produced verifiable results.

    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....
    And how exactly do these ‘interpretations’ of yours (i.e. 'dual-aspect' theories, emergence etc.) definitively establish conscious experiences as ultimately non-physical? In short, they don’t – this again is an ‘argument from ignorance’.

    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.
    Consciousness among sentient creatures such as us, arises from brain states, it is not identical to them.

    Necessary conditions are not sufficient conditions.
    So, you keep saying. But, given that Shakespeare created his masterpieces, they obviously are sufficient.

    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?
    There is no good reason to think that computers/robots won’t be conscious when they equal and ultimately exceed human intelligence. Why would you think otherwise?
    “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.

  2. #262
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    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.
    So are you saying that we can tell exactly when something shifts from being red to being orange?


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  3. #263
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    So are you saying that we can tell exactly when something shifts from being red to being orange?

    Yes. The names of red and orange are a human construct, but science can measure the color of every pixel point on the picture.
    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.

  4. #264
    tWebber seer'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?
    This is why we have to camp here Jim, because you are relying on unprovable assertions. And this lies at the base of your argument. The color red is objective, our experience of it is subjective. We are experiencing an objective reality. Pain, though real, is always subjective (I don't feel pain when you cut yourself) and attaching a moral value to that experience is also subjective, personal. There is no moral value attached when one chimp kills another chimp. We invent and attach moral values. And we do not all have the same value system. Sorry, I don't see how you escape relativism apart from God. In other words, in the end Jim, something is good because we say it is good.
    Last edited by seer; 02-25-2020 at 05:03 AM.
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  5. #265
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    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.
    I wrote, "in the way I used it." Please work on reading comprehension.

  6. #266
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    ALL phenomena “are ultimately physical.” There is no good reason to posit the existence of NON-physical phenomena. All attempts in the past (e.g. animism, polytheism, the various monotheisms - and other attempts to promote subjective beliefs in non-physical entities) have failed, whereas the methodological naturalism of science has produced verifiable results.
    There MAY be good reason to posit non-physical phenomena if a given phenomenon does not conceptually fit the pattern of physical reduction. (Please note, for about the sixth time now, that I'm saying that the lack of fit is conceptual and not empirical for the reasons already stated. If it were an empirical lack of fit, then we would have every reason to think that our ignorance could be filled in, at least in principle, through empirical knowledge.) But first we have to try to define what the term 'physical' means. Is it a domain of reality or is it a certain kind of understanding? If you have an argument for why you think the lack of fit is not conceptual, please present it.



    And how exactly do these ‘interpretations’ of yours (i.e. 'dual-aspect' theories, emergence etc.) definitively establish conscious experiences as ultimately non-physical? In short, they don’t – this again is an ‘argument from ignorance’.
    No, those are theories for what the place of consciousness in the natural order could be. Those theories aren't related to the argument for irreducibility. The argument for irreducibility, once again, isn't an 'argument form ignorance.' "We don't know" or "We can't imagine" play no part in the argument. It's a positive, conceptual argument for why phenomenal concepts cannot reduce to physical concepts. No matter how much we learn about the mechanisms that perform the functions associated with consciousness, the basic explanatory gap remains unaffected.



    Consciousness among sentient creatures such as us, arises from brain states, it is not identical to them.
    But you said that conscious states are ultimately physical states. What other physical state would a conscious state be if not a brain state?



    So, you keep saying. But, given that Shakespeare created his masterpieces, they obviously are sufficient.
    Assuming your question-begging argument that mind=brain.

    Ink + Paper = Necessary Conditions for Folio, but Ink + paper =/= Sufficient Conditions for Folio.



    There is no good reason to think that computers/robots wonÂ’t be conscious when they equal and ultimately exceed human intelligence. Why would you think otherwise?
    You completely missed my point. I was saying that IF a robot were built with all the functions associated with consciousness but still lacked a "first-robot perspective" on the world, it would not be conscious. Ergo, the first-person perspective, ie subjectivity, is the sine qua non of consciousness.

  7. #267
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    This is why we have to camp here Jim, because you are relying on unprovable assertions. And this lies at the base of your argument. The color red is objective, our experience of it is subjective. We are experiencing an objective reality. Pain, though real, is always subjective (I don't feel pain when you cut yourself) and attaching a moral value to that experience is also subjective, personal. There is no moral value attached when one chimp kills another chimp. We invent and attach moral values. And we do not all have the same value system. Sorry, I don't see how you escape relativism apart from God. In other words, in the end Jim, something is good because we say it is good.
    Okay, we can camp here if you want or we can shift focus to the Nielsen and the other arguments. I think you're missing my points. Yes, when I see 'red,' it's a subjective experience, but there's this general experience of redness that isn't just my own. When the traffic light turns red, I assume anyone with normal vision would see it as 'red' and stop their vehicle. My pain is a subjective experience, but there's this property called 'pain' that isn't my own, that doesn't belong to me. It isn't even human. As far as chimps, other species lack the capacity for moral reasoning. We don't 'invent' moral values. Humans and other species have given needs for flourishing, so that there are severe constraints on what could count as a 'moral value' in the normative, not the descriptive, sense. Yes, there could be a society in which lying is permissible, or even encouraged, but it would soon break down into incoherence.

  8. #268
    tWebber Anomaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    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.
    You're failing to make Chalmers' distinction of the 'hard problem' of consciousness, which is what Jim is talking about. Any physical property that can be measured is a 'third person' perspective. Experiencing redness subjectively is a first person experience. Third person measurements are great for certain things like learning how to block pain so surgeons can operate. But third person physical measurements run into a brick wall explanatorily when it gets down to the "what it's like to experience x".

    I equate being and existence with information. All empiric information is valid, but that's not all the information there is. The experience of redness provides information to apprehension that leaves third party empiricism out in the cold. So the hardcore empiricists (atheists) have a workaround: Let's only include things that can be measured in our list of what is real. The theist prefers to include more information in his/her epistemic library than only measured information. So be it, but at least be aware that the argument that "only things that are measure are real" is a circular argument. You can ignore non-measured information in public arguments, but you are well aware subjectively of the large amount of qualia information you experience, whether you'll admit it or not shunya.

  9. #269
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    There MAY be good reason to posit non-physical phenomena if a given phenomenon does not conceptually fit the pattern of physical reduction. (Please note, for about the sixth time now, that I'm saying that the lack of fit is conceptual and not empirical for the reasons already stated. If it were an empirical lack of fit, then we would have every reason to think that our ignorance could be filled in, at least in principle, through empirical knowledge.) But first we have to try to define what the term 'physical' means. Is it a domain of reality or is it a certain kind of understanding?
    “A certain type of reality” or a “conceptual” notion is meaningless without being empirically tested. It is merely an unsubstantiated belief system e.g. Aristotle’s notion of ‘celestial spheres. This too was a “certain type of reality”, but Aristotle’s conceptual notion of the universe was completely wrong. It took empirical science to understand the reality of a heliocentric solar system.

    No, those are theories for what the place of consciousness in the natural order could be.
    No, your 'dual-aspect' theories and 'emergence theory' etc are no more than fanciful guesses on a par with Aristotle’s celestial spheres.

    Those theories aren't related to the argument for irreducibility. The argument for irreducibility, once again, isn't an 'argument form ignorance.' "We don't know" or "We can't imagine" play no part in the argument. It's a positive, conceptual argument for why phenomenal concepts cannot reduce to physical concepts. No matter how much we learn about the mechanisms that perform the functions associated with consciousness, the basic explanatory gap remains unaffected.
    The argument for irreducible complexity is wrong. Just because certain things in nature appear very complicated there is no good reason to assume that the “explanatory gap” will never be bridged.

    But you said that conscious states are ultimately physical states. What other physical state would a conscious state be if not a brain state?
    “Conscious states” would be the byproduct of “brain states” NOT the actual brain state itself

    Assuming your question-begging argument that mind=brain.
    You do not have a substantive alternative other than wishful-thinking dressed up as an academic argument.

    You completely missed my point. I was saying that IF a robot were built with all the functions associated with consciousness but still lacked a "first-robot perspective" on the world, it would not be conscious. Ergo, the first-person perspective, ie subjectivity, is the sine qua non of consciousness.
    It is reasonable to assume that such a condition for consciousness would be an essential quality of a robot with “consciousness” – just as it is for all sentient biological life-forms such as us
    “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.

  10. #270
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Okay, we can camp here if you want or we can shift focus to the Nielsen and the other arguments. I think you're missing my points. Yes, when I see 'red,' it's a subjective experience, but there's this general experience of redness that isn't just my own. When the traffic light turns red, I assume anyone with normal vision would see it as 'red' and stop their vehicle. My pain is a subjective experience, but there's this property called 'pain' that isn't my own, that doesn't belong to me. It isn't even human. As far as chimps, other species lack the capacity for moral reasoning. We don't 'invent' moral values. Humans and other species have given needs for flourishing, so that there are severe constraints on what could count as a 'moral value' in the normative, not the descriptive, sense. Yes, there could be a society in which lying is permissible, or even encouraged, but it would soon break down into incoherence.
    Jim where does pain exist apart from a personal subjective experience? How is it a property? The color red would exist in nature even if there were no minds to experience it. How does that work with pain? And yes there could be societies that enslave or exploit the minority without breaking down into incoherence, so coherence or lack of can not be the standard. And moral values are helpful for human flourishing, but that would be just as true if relativism was the case.
    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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