First, let’s begin by noting a remarkable fact: Panpsychism seems to have triumphed in the area of theories of consciousness:
At Nautilus, evolutionary biologist Tam Hunt asks us to consider the “General Resonance Theory of consciousness,” which he has been developing with psychologist Jonathan Schooler — “a framework with a panpsychist foundation. It may, he thinks, “at least in theory, provide more complete answers to the full array of questions the hard problem of consciousness poses.”
He’s quite clear about the panpsychism (the view that everything in the universe participates in consciousness)…
Before we get to the Hunt–Schooler theory itself, first, let’s note that panpsychism seems to have triumphed in the area of theories of consciousness.. Christof Koch’s well-regarded theory of consciousness is also panpsychist. No one blinks.News, “New theory of mind offers more information, less materialism” at Mind Matters News
Takehome: Are there materialist theories of consciousness out there any more? Yes. But it is unclear how many of them are taken seriously. Except in pop science mags.
You may also wish to read: How a materialist philosopher argued his way to panpsychism. Galen Strawson starts with the one fact of which we are most certain — our own consciousness. To Strawson, it makes more sense to say that consciousness is physical — and that electrons are conscious — than that consciousness is an illusion.
9 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: New theory of mind offers more information, less materialism”
Panpsychism is logically unavoidable. There’s no logical place to draw a line. As we learn more about smart plants and smart cells, the boundary moves ever outward..
Rather disappointing. There’s nothing here even putting a dent in Chalmer’s Hard Problem. This new Hunt-Schooler “resonance” theory of consciousness is essentially just another albeit more sophisticated materialistic theory of mind. It boils down to these words from the article:
As with all the other materialist theories of mind, this still proposes that the activities of neurons in the brain somehow constitutes the essence of “immaterial” consciousness, of course making consciousness ultimately material itself.
Totally ruled out of course is even the possibility of the many types of paranormal psychical phenomena such as the existence in veridical NDEs of a separate mobile center of consciousness that can verifiably leave the body temporarily and make observations that are later confirmed. As usual for materialists, conveniently and complacently throwing out reams of solid empirical evidence in order to hew to the materialist/naturalist reductionist paradigm.
In this case, giving this theory the designation of “panpsychist” seems to me to be giving it a false label in order to give the (false) impression of having something new, somehow bridging the gap between materialist theories and theories proposing spirit in one form or another.
This seems to me to be only a tiny step forward in consciousness research. It seems to be more related to the EM field type of theories of mind, which are also basically materialist and fundamentally wrong.
It doesn’t sound to me either as if this hypothesis is much of a step forward but, given that Chalmers’ Hard Problem is clearly such a tough nut to crack, we can’t afford to rule anything out.
The problem with NDE’s is that, while they appear to be genuine experiences, I think their veridicality is way overstated by their supporters. There are reams of data in the form of these accounts but does it amount to evidence of an afterlife?
In that connection, the question arose before of, if Christians truly believe in an afterlife that is so much better than this one, why don’t they simply commit suicide and save themselves a lot of time and trouble. Please note that I am not recommending that they do it, I’m just asking the question.
By coincidence, I found a trailer on YouTube for a recent Anglo-American movie called The Discovery which I hadn’t heard of before. The plot concerns a scientist who is able to measure some sort of energy field leaving bodies at the time of death. He concludes this is evidence of something like a spirit or soul leaving the body and moving to some form of other afterlife. When word of his discovery gets out, it triggers a massive wave of suicides which is what I would expect in the event of such a discovery. It reinforces the question of why, if people truly believe in an afterlife, they stay here.
Seversky, as I stated in the other thread, there is a rather glaring hypocrisy in the ‘evidentiary standards’ of Darwinian atheists when it comes to them accepting the reality of Near Death Experiences compared to them wholeheartedly accepting the ‘extraordinary’ claims of Darwinian evolution.
As brain surgeon and professor Dr. Michael Egnor explains in an article subtitled, “Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test”, “Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,”
Indeed, Darwinists simply do not have one shred of empirical evidence that unguided Darwinian processes can create any meaningful information over and above what is already present in life, (and/or already present in computer programs),,,
And whereas Darwinian atheists have not one shred of empirical evidence that unguided Darwinian processes are capable of creating any meaningful information over and above what is already present in life, (and/or as is already present in computer programs), on the other hand Christians can validate every major facet of their beliefs.
For instance, advances in quantum biology have now validated the Christian’s belief that there is a transcendent component to our being, i.e. a soul, that is capable of living past the death of our material bodies,,,,
Moreover, research in neuroscience has revealed that the immaterial mind, via its free will and intention, can have pronounced effects on the material brain, (i.e. brain plasticity).,,,
Moreover, whereas atheists have no observational evidence that the Multiverses that they postulated to ‘explain. away’ the fine tuning of the universe are real, nor do Atheists have any evidence that the ‘parallel universes’ that they postulated to ‘explain away’ quantum wave collapse are real, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to Special Relativity, General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics, (i.e. our most precisely tested theories ever in the history of science), to support their belief that God really does uphold this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in the reality of a heavenly dimension and in the reality of a hellish dimension.”
All in all, compared to the abject and sheer poverty in empirical evidence that Darwinian atheists have for validating their grandiose claims that unguided material processes can create meaningful, immaterial, information, Christians are literally ‘swimming in riches’ as far as empirical evidence is concerned in so far as validating their core beliefs.
Shoot, Christianity, (which just so happens to be the worldview that gave us modern science in the first place), even provides us with a very plausible, empirically backed, solution, (via the Shroud of Turin), for the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’:,,,
So thus in conclusion, we find, as far as science itself is concerned, that Atheists simply have no empirical evidence whatsoever for any of their grandiose claims that all life, and all of life’s facets, (in all of its amazing, and stunning, diversity), arose via unguided Darwinian processes. ,,,
Whereas on the other hand, and to repeat, Christians are literally ‘swimming in riches’ as far as empirical evidence is concerned in so far as validating their core beliefs.
The comparison between the two worldviews of Christianity and Atheism, in terms of ‘evidentiary standards’, (as Dr. Egnor termed it), is not even close.
As I’m sure Egnor knows full well, human beings have most likely had dreams throughout human history. That is a far larger body of data than that for NDEs but is anyone arguing that, because there are so many reports, all the experiences in dreams actually happened in real life as well? They are an interesting phenomenon and worth investigating but Egnor’s interpretation of them is just that, an interpretation, nothing more.
Seversky compared NDEs to dreams. But in comparing NDEs to dreams, Seversky proves that he did not even bother to read the link that I provided which addressed precisely that point,
i.e.,,, In the following study, materialistic researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences being real, set out to prove that Near Death Experiences were merely ‘false memories’. They tried to prove that they were merely false memories by setting up a clever questionnaire that could differentiate which memories a person had were real and which memories a person had were merely imaginary.
Simply put, they did not expect the results that they got (and indeed they tried to ‘explain away’ their results with rather flimsy excuses for why the results didn’t match what they had expected to find): To quote the headline ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real”
And here are a few quotes from people who have had Near Death Experiences that drive this ‘more real than real’ aspect of Near Death Experiences home,
Moreover, it is really not all that surprising that Seversky, a Darwinist, would ignore scientific evidence that contradicts his position and try to claim that NDEs are merely illusions. Time and time again, Darwinists claim that everything that they can’t explain within their Reductive Materialistic framework, (i.e. sense of self, free will, morality, meaning and purpose for life, beauty, etc.. etc..), must be an illusion.
In short, Seversky’s worldview turns out to be a denial of everything that normal everyday people regard as being unquestionably real.
Moreover, to add insult to injury, and as far as scientific evidence itself is concerned, Quantum Mechanics has now proven that it is Seversky’s belief in ‘realism’ that is false.
As the following falsification of ‘realism’, (i.e. ‘realism is the belief that reality exists when we are not observing it), found, “Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.
Thus in conclusion, if God is not real, then nothing else can possibly be real for Seversky. Seversky simply has no anchor for reality to ground his atheistic worldview on and save his worldview from drifting off into, (as Poe semi-prophetically put it), ‘a dream within a dream’.
I don’t think you’re seriously asking Christians why they don’t take their own life; for some, at least, it’s an unforgiveable sin. The afterlife they experience if they commit suicide won’t be a pleasant one in their perspective.
Personally, I didn’t/don’t commit suicide because of the unique opportunity this kind of experience gives me. Generally speaking, we don’t come here for the rainbows and lollipops; we come here to have hard, difficult, painful experiences that serve as a kind of extreme contrast to what we have in what we call “the afterlife” (which is where we came here from.) You can’t fully appreciate what you have until you experience the not-having of it.
#7: William J Murray
Personally, I’m here for the rainbows and lollipops. You can keep the rest…..
Even your namesake wouldn’t agree with that. He took some big risks, engaged in difficult work and carried it out diligently.
The struggle for virtue is the choice of the difficult good versus the easy bad.
We’d have very little science at all if our inventors and innovators were just here for lollipops and rainbows.