Intelligent Design

Eigenstate Sends Hay to His Cows Up North

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The philosophical and scientific discussions on this site are interesting to be sure, but the psychology displayed by the materialists who comment here is nothing short of fascinating. It is a wonder to behold, and I would not have believed such a thing is possible if I had not seen it myself. Self deception is absolutely essential to maintaining the materialist worldview. Again, WJM’s dictum: No sane person acts as if materialism were true.

I was talking about this with my dad this afternoon and the following conversation ensued:

Barry: The discussions on UD are fascinating. I have never seen a materialist change his mind about anything even when the logical incoherence of his view has been established beyond the slightest doubt. How can they continue to believe this stuff.

Dad: That’s where you’re wrong son. They never believed it to begin with.

Barry: Say what?

Dad: They know the truth just the same as anyone else. But they lie to you and they lie to themselves, and they lie so often and so long they eventually become so invested in the lie that they act like they believe it is true.

Barry: Hmmmm, maybe you’re on to something.

Dad: It reminds me of the story of a farmer who was always bragging to his neighbors about all the cows he had on his property “up north.” Year after year he bragged about his cows up north until finally he started sending them hay.

An exchange between WJM and eigenstate in the thread to this post came to mind when I heard dad’s story. In the exchange they discuss whether on materialist premises the sensation of top-down, mind-over-body control over what one does or thinks is an illusion. In very brief summary, early in the thread eigenstate says in a dialogue with me:

The processes are all, at the core “just physics”.

WJM says:

If what is at stake is the characteristic of whether or not a thing has top-down, prescriptive control, that characteristic cannot exist under the assumption that all behaviors are causally generated by that which lies at the bottom.

IOW, if MELP (matter/energy/law/probability) causes all effects and phenomena, then no phenomena can have the characteristic of not being caused by MELP.

Eigenstate agrees:

Tautologically true. If all phenomena are products of STEM [space/time/energy/matter], then all phenomena are products of STEM, agreed.

WJM says:

If the bottom-up process generates a sensation that one has top-down, mind-over-body control of what one does or thinks, that sensation is necessarily, definitionally illusory because the materials and forces at the bottom dictate the behavior of thoughts of the aggregate.

Eigenstate responds:

I don’t see the relevance of complaining about “illusions”, here. If it’s illusory, it’s illusory.

WJM:

Acting in accordance with such illusions as if they were not illusions is called a delusion.

Eigenstate

What’s the problem with this, beyond any frustrations you or I may have in accepting that we’re mistaken?? [i.e., mistaken about whether our sensation of top down control mapped to anything real]

WJM

Do you really not know what the problem is in insisting in a debate that everyone, yourself included, is delusional?

I don’t know why eigenstate is so invested in materialism (actually invested in hating theism is more likely). But he has lied to himself so long and swallowed the logical incoherence of his worldview so often, he has started to send hay to his cows up north.

47 Replies to “Eigenstate Sends Hay to His Cows Up North

  1. 1
    Zachriel says:

    WJM: If the bottom-up process generates a sensation that one has top-down, mind-over-body control of what one does or thinks, that sensation is necessarily, definitionally illusory because the materials and forces at the bottom dictate the behavior of thoughts of the aggregate.

    Just because phenomena supervene on material doesn’t mean that material can’t be organized for top-down control, in which case the sensation of top-down control is not an illusion, but a sensation.

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zachriel,

    Unless you can provide an account of causality that amounts to something more than “it is all supervene-y and stuff” your statement is the rhetorical equivalent of “it’s magic!”

    As atheist Thomas Nagel says:

    To qualify as a genuine explanation of the mental, an emergent account must be in some way systematic. It cannot just say that each mental event or state supervenes on the complex physical state of the organism in which it occurs. That would be the kind of brute fact that does not constitute an explanation but rather calls for an explanation.

    If emergence is the whole truth, it implies that mental states are present in the organism as a whole, or its central nervous system, without any grounding in the elements that constitute the organism, expect for the physical character of those elements that permits them to be arranged in the complex form that, according to the higher-level theory, connects the physical with the mental. That such a purely physical elements, when combined in a certain way, should necessarily produce a state of the whole that is not constituted of the properties and relations of the physical parts still seems like magic even if the higher-order psychophysical dependencies are quite systematic.

  3. 3
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Unless you can provide an account of causality that amounts to something more than “it is all supervene-y and stuff” your statement is the rhetorical equivalent of “it’s magic!”

    A computer is an example of a deterministic device that exhibits top-down control; hence, top-down control is not necessarily illusory just because the system is deterministic.

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zachriel @ 3:

    A computer is an example of a deterministic device that exhibits top-down control . . .

    Are you insane? Do you really think you’ve solved the hard problem of consciousness by pointing to a computer? Thousands of philosophers for hundreds of years have agonized over the problem. Too bad none of them ever thought to compare the brain to a computer.

    You really should think about what you write before you put it on the internet. No, Z, a computer’s output can be traced down to the very last iota to bottom-up computation. Everyone on both sides of the argument (except, apparently, for you) acknowledges this.

    I know this comment is harsh, but I am trying to shame you into doing better. Think man.

  5. 5
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Do you really think you’ve solved the hard problem of consciousness by pointing to a computer?

    We didn’t make any such attempt. Rather, we showed an example of a deterministic system that exhibits top-down control; hence, being deterministic doesn’t preclude top-down control.

    Barry Arrington: No, Z, a computer’s output can be traced down to the very last iota to bottom-up computation.

    That’s exactly the point. Top-down control can result from a bottom-up computation.

  6. 6
    Barry Arrington says:

    Z @ 5:

    Top-down control can result from a bottom-up computation.

    God help us. And I bet you’ve called theists irrational.

    Let me try again to help you out. When it has been pointed out that you’ve said something incredibly stupid, doubling down on the stupid statement is not an optimal strategy.

  7. 7
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: God help us.

    You’ve already indicated that computers are a bottom-up computation. Are you now saying they can’t work as top-down control systems?

  8. 8
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    zac said,

    A computer is an example of a deterministic device that exhibits top-down control; hence, top-down control is not necessarily illusory just because the system is deterministic.

    I say,

    It’s statements like this that prove that the other side has absolutely no idea what we are talking about.

    Friends, Materialists live in a different universe than we do.

    There is simply no way to get there from here. Without some Top Down help 😉

    peace.

    PS I’m a determinist so I believe that top down control is not incompatible with determinism.

    It is however incompatible with materialism as the example of a computer demonstrates.

  9. 9
    Barry Arrington says:

    Z, seriously, you are embarrassing yourself. Stop it.

  10. 10
    Upright BiPed says:

    The computer makes a rather poor counter-example.

    The computer only functions because of the representationalism given to its contingent organization.

    This means it has a medium being translated into physical effects that are (as a matter of physical neccesity) discontinuous to the medium. In other words, the very thing that distinguishes it as a system and allows it to function – the very thing that the entire system is organized around – is inert to the physical dynamics of the matter its made of.

    This doesn’t make for a particularly strong argument in favor of materialism.

  11. 11

    Zachriel said:

    Just because phenomena supervene on material doesn’t mean that material can’t be organized for top-down control, in which case the sensation of top-down control is not an illusion, but a sensation.

    1. How, under materialism, is the supervening phenomena’s matter and energy causally discontinuous from the bottom’s natural law and mechanical probability?

    2. If top-down control is not itself orchestrated by matter and energy operating according to natural law and mechanical probability, then what is orchestrating it?

  12. 12
    Zachriel says:

    Upright BiPed: The computer makes a rather poor counter-example… This doesn’t make for a particularly strong argument in favor of materialism.

    It’s not an argument in favor of materialism, but just shows how a deterministic bottom-up system can act as top-down control.

    William J Murray: 1. How, under materialism, is the supervening phenomena’s matter and energy causally discontinuous from the bottom’s natural law and mechanical probability?

    A computer is a material deterministic system. Why would or should it be discontinuous?

    William J Murray: 2. If top-down control is not itself orchestrated by matter and energy operating according to natural law and mechanical probability, then what is orchestrating it?

    A computer is a material deterministic system. The top-down control is orchestrated from the bottom-up.

  13. 13
    gpuccio says:

    Zachriel:

    “It’s not an argument in favor of materialism, but just shows how a deterministic bottom-up system can act as top-down control.”

    Let me understand: why do you say that a computer is “a deterministic bottom-up system”?

    A computer is designed. Top down designed. It is a machine which executes instructions inputted by a conscious being. And in no way it is aware of what it is doing.

    The of the computer certainly obey natural laws, but its configuration is the output of inner conscious representations and purposes. Am I missing something?

  14. 14

    Zachriel said:

    A computer is a material deterministic system. Why would or should it be discontinuous?

    I didn’t claim that a computer should be discontinuous. Are you saying that computers do not behave strictly as they are caused by matter and energy interacting according to natural law and probability? If you agree that computers behave exactly as determined by the laws of nature and mechanical probability dictate, then you are simply using the label “top down control” as a deceptive label hiding a more detailed description that is exactly the same as the bottom-up description.

    A computer is a material deterministic system. The top-down control is orchestrated from the bottom-up.

    IOW, “top-down” is a deceptive label that actually means “bottom-up” under materialism.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, computers compute. They are GIGO-limited, purely mechanistic blind devices wholly dependent on their engineers and programmers for any utility they may have. As those old enough to recall the Pentium recall will remember, they will happily carry out nonsense if someone makes a boo boo. Computers are NOT examples of reasoning and the only top-down control in them in cybernetic systems lies in the work of their designers. KF

  16. 16
    Zachriel says:

    gpuccio: Let me understand: why do you say that a computer is “a deterministic bottom-up system”?

    Barry Arrington: “a computer’s output can be traced down to the very last iota to bottom-up computation.”

    William J Murray: Are you saying that computers do not behave strictly as they are caused by matter and energy interacting according to natural law and probability?

    As noted, computers are deterministic systems.

    William J Murray: If you agree that computers behave exactly as determined by the laws of nature and mechanical probability dictate, then you are simply using the label “top down control” as a deceptive label hiding a more detailed description that is exactly the same as the bottom-up description.

    If you make your conclusion your premise, then of course, you’ll think your conclusion is supported.

    Are you saying a computer can’t act as a top-down control system?

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, Computers are not wholly deterministic, though we like to imagine that they are. The glitch is a classic example of chance disruptions. KF

  18. 18
    Upright BiPed says:

    Upright BiPed: The computer makes a rather poor counter-example … (ignore all content) … This doesn’t make for a particularly strong argument in favor of materialism.

    Zachriel: It’s not an argument in favor of materialism, but just shows how a deterministic bottom-up system can act as top-down control.

    I see now …

    A top-down design may be labelled a bottoms-up system if obeys physical law, because obeying physical law demonstrates that it organized itself.

    Got it.

    😐

  19. 19
    eigenstate says:

    Materialists are quite clear about the illusory nature of, say, folk psychology, especially in the manifestations argued for here. I have no idea where WJM or others gets the idea that materialists are refusing or ignoring these illusions. On the contrary, materialism is the vehicle for making the case that these intuitions *are* illusory.

    Just so it’s clear, I encourage any and all to accept the illusory nature of what a scientifically-informed materialism would identify as illusions. The “dualist” illusion should be clearly identified and accepted as such, and this understanding is warrant to abandon dualism because those intuitions are best explained *as* illusory rather than veridical.

    This is not a new position for materialists or me. That is why this is such a curious complaint from WJM:

    Do you really not know what the problem is in insisting in a debate that everyone, yourself included, is delusional?

    It’s not a delusion if you understand the misconception and illusions *as* misconception and illusions, WJM. On the dualist intuition, for example, I certain can understand from personal experience the raw intuition, but I also understand that intuition to be a misfire, badly misunderstanding the the nature of my mind and its operations. So “yourself included” is hard to understand, if that is one of the delusions you are referring to.

    But, I’m not interested in throwing darts to guess what you mean, here. What are the illusions you are referring to that materialists identify and yet still embrace and even insist others embrace?

    If you suppose “morality” was the example you really meant, you’re equivocating on the terms. Christian notions of “morality”, specifically “absolute morals” and deontological obligations that originate from some imagined creator-god, those are fabulous bits from the Christian imagination, and do not map to any actual referents in the real world.

    But that is not to say that because Christian concepts of “conscience” and “natural law” or “sensus divinitatis” are BS, that *morality itself* is an illusion or an unworkable concept. There are any number of competing frameworks, and many of those do not suffer the fantastical superstitions that underwrite Christian notions of morality (at least Christian notions of “moral authority” — many ethical ideas, like the Golden Rule are simply bowered from previous cultures and general human experience).

    Christian intuitions about “moral law” are bogus, yes, on materialism, but that doesn’t make “moral” in other renderings bogus. Other frameworks may (and I think some do) establish rich semantics for human values and also ground them in science-compatible experience.

    So, if we are adopting a ‘cattle motif’ here, where’s the beef? What’s the problem with materialist identification of Christian dualist intuitions as illusory? The materialist doesn’t entertain those intuitions as veridical, nor do he/she insist others do. We’d recommend abandoning such intuitions as unworkable falsehoods at once.

  20. 20

    When Chalmer’s (IIRC) devised the notion of the “hard” problem of consciousness, he did so in distinction to many “easy” problems of consciousness, thought to be fully addressable within the current scientific framework. In light of the following passage, it seems clear to me that he would classify awareness of “top down” control among the “easy” problems, and is distinct from the “hard” problem. Indeed, research shows that the human brain and nervous system are organized with massive amounts of hierarchical, top down activation, inhibition, representation ultimately control – coupled with and regulating many bottom up processes that are themselves hierarchical and rentrant. It strikes me as no surprise that the content of the “feels” of being a human being includes awareness and representations of ourselves in terms of that “top down” physical organization. In making this claim, no one is claiming to have solved “the hard problem.”

    The hard problem is why such exquisitely organized systems give rise to subjective experience at all.

    Chalmers:

    The easy problems and the hard problem

    There is not just one problem of consciousness. “Consciousness” is an ambiguous term, referring to many different phenomena. Each of these phenomena needs to be explained, but some are easier to explain than others. At the start, it is useful to divide the associated problems of consciousness into “hard” and “easy” problems. The easy problems of consciousness are those that seem directly susceptible to the standard methods of cognitive science, whereby a phenomenon is explained in terms of computational or neural mechanisms. The hard problems are those that seem to resist those methods.

    The easy problems of consciousness include those of explaining the following phenomena:

    • the ability to discriminate, categorize, and react to
    • environmental stimuli;
    • the integration of information by a cognitive system;
    • the reportability of mental states;
    • the ability of a system to access its own internal states;
    • the focus of attention;
    • the deliberate control of behavior;
    • the difference between wakefulness and sleep.

    All of these phenomena are associated with the notion of consciousness. For example, one sometimes says that a mental state is conscious when it is verbally reportable, or when it is internally accessible. Sometimes a system is said to be conscious of some information when it has the ability to react on the basis of that information, or, more strongly, when it attends to that information, or when it can integrate that information and exploit it in the sophisticated control of behavior. We sometimes say that an action is conscious precisely when it is deliberate. Often, we say that an organism is conscious as another way of saying that it is awake.
    There is no real issue about whether these phenomena can be explained scientifically. All of them are straightforwardly vulnerable to explanation in terms of computational or neural mechanisms. To explain access and reportability, for example, we need only specify the mechanism by which information about internal states is retrieved and made available for verbal report. To explain the integration of information, we need only exhibit mechanisms by which information is brought together and exploited by later processes. For an account of sleep and wakefulness, an appropriate neurophysiological account of the processes responsible for organisms’ contrasting behavior in those states will suffice. In each case, an appropriate cognitive or neurophysiological model can clearly do the explanatory work.

    If these phenomena were all there was to consciousness, then consciousness would not be much of a problem. Although we do not yet have anything close to a complete explanation of these phenomena, we have a clear idea of how we might go about explaining them. This is why I call these problems the easy problems. Of course, “easy” is a relative term. Getting the details right will probably take a century or two of difficult empirical work. Still, there is every reason to believe that the methods of cognitive science and neuroscience will succeed.

    The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience. When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing, but there is also a subjective aspect. As Nagel (1974) has put it, there is something it is like to be a conscious organism. This subjective aspect is experience. When we see, for example, we experience visual sensations: the felt quality of redness, the experience of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field. Other experiences go along with perception in different modalities: the sound of a clarinet, the smell of mothballs. Then there are bodily sensations, from pains to orgasms; mental images that are conjured up internally; the felt quality of emotion, and the experience of a stream of conscious thought. What unites all of these states is that there is something it is like to be in them. All of them are states of experience.

    It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing. Why is it that when our cognitive systems engage in visual and auditory information-processing, we have visual or auditory experience: the quality of deep blue, the sensation of middle C? How can we explain why there is something it is like to entertain a mental image, or to experience an emotion? It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises. Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does.

    If any problem qualifies as the problem of consciousness, it is this one. In this central sense of “consciousness”, an organism is conscious if there is something it is like to be that organism, and a mental state is conscious if there is something it is like to be in that state. Sometimes terms such as “phenomenal consciousness” and “qualia” are also used here, but I find it more natural to speak of “conscious experience” or simply “experience”. Another useful way to avoid confusion (used by e.g. Newell 1990, Chalmers 1995) is to reserve the term “consciousness” for the phenomena of experience, using the less loaded term “awareness” for the more straightforward phenomena described earlier. If such a convention were widely adopted, communication would be much easier; as things stand, those who talk about “consciousness” are frequently talking past each other.

  21. 21
    Box says:

    Eigenstate,

    a question for you:

    What is in the driver’s seat of your reason? IOW what causes your thoughts?

    A. particles in motion
    B. neuronal network
    C. the brain as a whole
    D. ‘reason’ as an emergent property
    E. ‘consciousness’ as an emergent property
    F. other

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    Contrary to what neo-Darwinists would prefer to believe, In science empirical evidence, not personal opinion, has the final say.

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: ‘If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    Materialists hold that the mind is merely a ‘bottom up’ epiphenomena, (i.e. illusion), of the brain. In this ‘bottom up’ materialistic scenario, the illusory mind will have no ‘top down’ causal power over the material brain since the mind is the result of the prior material states of the brain.
    That ‘bottom up’ materialistic belief is falsified. The mind is now shown to have the ability to modify the structure of the brain, (i.e. brain plasticity). In the following video, Jeffrey Schwartz’s work in brain plasticity is covered.

    The Case for the Soul – InspiringPhilosophy – (4:03 minute mark, Brain Plasticity including Schwartz’s work) – Oct. 2014 – video
    The Mind is able to modify the brain (brain plasticity). Moreover, Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism cannot explain mind.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70

    InspiringPhilosophy recently may a new video defending the preceding video from the blow-back he received from atheists on it:

    The Case for the Soul: Refuting Physicalist Objections – video
    Computers vs. Qualia, Libet and ‘Free won’t’, Split Brain (unified attention of brain despite split hemispheres, visual and motion information is shared between the two hemispheres despite the hemispheres being split),
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB5TNrtu9Pk

    Moreover, besides the focused intention/attention of the mind being able to, in ‘top down’ fashion, modify the structure of the brain, the mind has now also been shown to, through what the researchers termed ‘mindfulness’, have the ability to reach all the way down to the genetic level and effect the gene expression of our bodies:

    Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes, – December 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    “Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.,,,
    the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.
    http://www.tunedbody.com/scien.....ges-genes/

    Needless to say, this is completely contrary to what materialists/atheists would have predicted for the causal power of the ‘illusory’ mind, and should, (minus any compelling empirical evidence to the contrary from materialists), falsify materialistic claims as to the mind being ‘illusory’.

    Of course, just like all the other empirical evidence that goes directly against materialism, materialists will completely ignore the evidence and pretend they are being rational in doing so. But, for whatever personal reason they do this, they have left the field of empirical science when they do so and are merely sticking their head in the sand as far as science itself is concerned.

    Of supplemental note to InspiringPhilosophy’s new video: In InspiringPhilosophy’s new video he covered the topic of ‘split-brain’ patients.
    A fact that InspiringPhilosophy left out of his defense is the following:

    If the mind of a person were merely the brain, as materialists hold, then if half of a brain were removed then a ‘person’ should only be ‘half the person’, or at least somewhat less of a ‘person’, as they were before, but that is not the case. The ‘whole person’ stays intact even though the brain suffers severe impairment:

    Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zBrY77mBNg

    Dr. Gary Mathern – What Can You Do With Half A Brain? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrKijBx_hAw

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives: – 1997
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining,,
    Dr. John Freeman, the director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Epilepsy Center, said he was dumbfounded at the ability of children to regain speech after losing the half of the brain that is supposedly central to language processing.
    ”It’s fascinating,” Dr. Freeman said. ”The classic lore is that you can’t change language after the age of 2 or 3.”
    But Dr. Freeman’s group has now removed diseased left hemispheres in more than 20 patients, including three 13-year-olds whose ability to speak transferred to the right side of the brain in much the way that Alex’s did.,,,
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    In further comment from the neurosurgeons in the John Hopkins study:

    “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”

    Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
    Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
    Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
    Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,
    http://www.scientificamerican......than-whole

    Once again, this finding of a person staying ‘whole’ despite a hemispherectomy, (like brain plasticity and ‘mindfulness’ effecting the gene expression of the body), is completely inexplicable to materialistic presuppositions that hold that the mind is illusory. In fact I hold that this evidence, despite what atheists may prefer to believe to be true, directly falsifies materialistic explanations for the mind.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, as if the preceding empirical evidence was not crushing enough for the atheist who prefers materialism to be true, quantum mechanics has reached down to the very foundation of reality itself and falsified materialism as being true:

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.,,
    The underlying problem is this: there are correlations in nature that require a causal explanation but for which no physical explanation is in principle possible. Furthermore, the nonlocalizability of field quanta entails that these entities, whatever they are, fail the criterion of material individuality. So, paradoxically and ironically, the most fundamental constituents and relations of the material world cannot, in principle, be understood in terms of material substances. Since there must be some explanation for these things, the correct explanation will have to be one which is non-physical – and this is plainly incompatible with any and all varieties of materialism.
    http://www.4truth.net/fourtrut.....8589952939

    “[while a number of philosophical ideas] may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics, …materialism is not.”
    Eugene Wigner
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video playlist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL1mr9ZTZb3TViAqtowpvZy5PZpn-MoSK_&v=4C5pq7W5yRM

    As well, not only does quantum mechanics falsify materialism as being true, but when all the lines of evidence from quantum mechanics are put together, a very compelling case for Theism ’emerges’ from the evidence:

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    Excerpt: Putting all the lines of evidence together the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect)
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uLcJUgLm1vwFyjwcbwuYP0bK6k8mXy-of990HudzduI/edit

    Verse and Music:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

    Radioactive – Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix (Imagine Dragons Cover)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE2GCa-_nyU

  24. 24
    Mapou says:

    Eigenstate:

    Just so it’s clear, I encourage any and all to accept the illusory nature of what a scientifically-informed materialism would identify as illusions.

    Spoken like a preacher or priest. The religion is strong with this one.

  25. 25
    Mapou says:

    Eigenstate:

    The “dualist” illusion should be clearly identified and accepted as such, and this understanding is warrant to abandon dualism because those intuitions are best explained *as* illusory rather than veridical.

    I have yet to see any argument against spirit-brain dualism that holds water. They are all wishful thinking or outright lies and deception.

  26. 26
    Mapou says:

    RB quoting Chalmers:

    The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience. When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing, but there is also a subjective aspect. As Nagel (1974) has put it, there is something it is like to be a conscious organism. This subjective aspect is experience. When we see, for example, we experience visual sensations: the felt quality of redness, the experience of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field. Other experiences go along with perception in different modalities: the sound of a clarinet, the smell of mothballs. Then there are bodily sensations, from pains to orgasms; mental images that are conjured up internally; the felt quality of emotion, and the experience of a stream of conscious thought. What unites all of these states is that there is something it is like to be in them. All of them are states of experience.

    Chalmers is obviously a dualist. The concept of experience is a dualist idea: it calls for a subject and an object. Experiencing is the same as knowing, which requires a knower and a known. This is the perfect argument for dualism. It’s an unbreakable argument.

    Dualism is the acknowledgement that we necessarily exist in a ying-yang (i.e., super-symmetrical) reality, something that should be obvious to scientists and laymen alike.

  27. 27
    [email protected] says:

    It’s top down which naturally gives us the impression its bottom up…our minds must present a bottom up perspective since we are indeed top down designed…it seems self evident to me.

  28. 28
    tjguy says:

    Interesting reading. It is clear that Materialists have their own set of beliefs about humanity and reality. It’s a free world so they can choose to believe and argue for whatever position they think is right. In arguing about this stuff, we have left the realm of science and seem to be more in the realm of philosophy. To many of us, the Materialist worldview is self-refuting, but to them, it seems to be the most satisfying. Again, we all have our own beliefs.

    I don’t know how one could even begin to separate reality from illusion though, if they are right, but whatever. It’s a free world.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: StephenB

    Miracles: Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9G8o7JXlbE

    At 24:00 minute mark he gives testimony of his son being ‘miraculously’ healed of an incurable disease.

    StephenB, he is very careful to define his terms, so you may find his talk very interesting.

  30. 30
    Mung says:

    Upright BiPed:

    A top-down design may be labelled a bottoms-up system if obeys physical law, because obeying physical law demonstrates that it organized itself.

    That’s right. You may think your post was designed top down, but really it just emerged, bottom up, organizing itself according to physical laws.

    Or do you think that somehow your post violated physical laws?

  31. 31

    Zachriel asks

    Are you saying a computer can’t act as a top-down control system?

    No, I said that under the materialist definitions, “top-down” is ultimately just another term for “bottom-up”. It’s the label materialists use when they’re trying to avoid admitting that top-down, prescriptive control is an illusion.

    Zachriel might want to get with the materialist program. Apparently, according to eigenstate:

    I have no idea where WJM or others gets the idea that materialists are refusing or ignoring these illusions. On the contrary, materialism is the vehicle for making the case that these intuitions *are* illusory.

    I get the idea directly from the materialist who attempt to argue otherwise.

    What are the illusions you are referring to that materialists identify and yet still embrace and even insist others embrace?

    I have said that materialists identify top-down, prescriptive control as an illusion (because under materialism there is no such thing), yet (1) they still act as if they have top-down, prescriptive control, and (2) expect others to act as if they have top-down, prescriptive control.

    The rest of your post has absolutely nothing to do with anything I’ve argued. You seem to imagine I’m a Christian. I am not. I do not “intuit” that morality refers to an objective commodity; I have no idea if it in fact does or does not. I don’t really care if it does or does not; I only know that I, like every other sane person, must act as if it refers to an objective commodity.

    My argument is strictly about the logic (consistency and consequences) and the practicality (can we actually live as if our views our true) of moral systems presumed to be subjective (or objective) in nature.

    Nobody sane can live as if they do not have top-down, prescriptive control over at least some of their thoughts and actions. To hold the view that such is illusionary is to intellectually hold a thing to be false even while you must live every second of every day as if it were true. Even arguing that it is illusory requires you to act as if it is not.

    Further, while it might be the actual state of affairs we live in, it renders the world essentially nonsensical. Under materialism, we would think whatever we think, and do whatever we do, ultimately as a result of bottom-up, non-teleological forces. This means that if those forces cause us to bark like a dog, drool like a maniac and believe we have stated a scientific state of affairs, that is what will happen and there is no means by which we can correct it because the only means to correct is is the exact same thing that caused the error in the first place.

    If material forces can make the mad seem wise to themselves, you have no means by which to vet your own arguments, or to vet your own convictions because they are generated by the same categorical forces that generate those that are certain of contradictory things.

    Under materialism, you necessarily believe whatever you believe because matter and energy interacting according to natural law and mechanical probability have caused you to believe it; not because of logic or scientific evidence, because when you apply those labels, they by necessity are just deceptive place-holders you have applied over the exact same thing that causes madmen to believe whatever they believe: matter and energy interacting according to natural law and mechanical probability.

    IOW, ultimately, under materialism, you hold true whatever you hold true for the exact same reason anyone else holds true whatever they hold true: you are caused to believe it by happenstance physical interactions. Not because the evidence indicates it; not because logic requires it; but because some chaotic interaction of matter – could have been whatever you were eating at some point, or some biochemical blip in the brain – eventually caused you to believe it.

    IOW, if you are right, you are right by chance, and nothing more. And if anyone agrees with you, or changes their mind, it occurs by chance, nothing more. Chance, defined as the happenstance interactions of matter and energy according to natural law and mechanical probability. If a man thinks a thing immoral, he does so by chance; if decides to change his behavior, he makes that decision by chance; if he succeeds in changing his behavior, it is only by chance.

    So, you may be right; but you can only be right by chance. Telling others what they should do (dispense with their folksy moral views) is like telling a pair of die what number they “should” land on before you roll them.

    Sure, you can talk to the die if you want. Tell them they should land on a 7. But, if you know they will land on whatever they land on due to how matter and energy interact according to natural law and mechanical probability anyway, then talking to them as if they can understand you and make themselves land on 7 because you’ve convinced them they ought to, is insane.

    And, that’s what you’re doing here, and what all materialists who deny top-down, prescriptive control are doing. They’re telling dice what number they should land on an are expecting them to somehow make themselves do so, even while saying he/she knows that the die will land wherever natural law and probability dictates.

  32. 32
    Mung says:

    Zachriel:

    Just because phenomena supervene on material doesn’t mean that material can’t be organized for top-down control…

    So?

    Material organized for top-down control is teleology.

  33. 33

    Mapou:

    Chalmers is obviously a dualist. The concept of experience is a dualist idea: it calls for a subject and an object.

    Ordinarily, the term “dualism” doesn’t refer to subject and object, but rather to the ontological claim that there are two kinds of “stuff,” physical stuff and mental (or spiritual) stuff.

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It is worth the while to ponder Tim H of Rational Thoughts on self-refuting arguments:

    _____________________

    >>In his Introduction to Logic, Harry Gensler defines a self-refuting [= self-referentially incoherent, and so self-falsifying . . . ] statement as “[A] statement that makes negative claims so sweeping that it ends up denying itself.” [1] In other words, it results when an argument or position is undercut by its own criteria (An example of this would be saying, “I cannot speak a word of English” in English). Off the top of my head and in no particular order, here’s a grab-bag of several self-refuting positions which I’ve documented over the years:

    1] Truth does not exist (Is that a true statement?)

    2] Nothing is absolute (Is that absolutely true?)

    3] I do not exist (You must exist to deny that you exist)

    4] Science is the only way to know (Can you scientifically prove that?)

    5] Only what can be perceived by the five senses exists (Can you prove that by the five senses?)

    6] Nobody can know anything for sure (Do you know that for sure?)

    7] Nobody can know anything about God (How do you know that?)

    8] Talk about God is meaningless (Since it is a statement about God, this statement is meaningless too)

    9] Reality is just your interpretation, objective reality does not exist (That’s just your interpretation)

    10] “‘Everything we think and do is the function of our genes/nervous system’”: Is this belief itself just the result of genetic/neutral activity? If so, why trust it — or any belief we have? If your belief happens to be right, it’s just by accident” [2]

    11] There are no beliefs (You expect me to believe that?) [3]

    12] Everything is meaningless (So is that statement)

    . . . .

    Notes:

    [1] – Harry J. Gensler, Introduction to Logic (New York, NY: Routledge 2002)p:396
    [2] – Paul Copan, Loving Wisdom: Christian Philosophy of Religion (Danvers, MA: Chalice 2007) p.62
    [3] – Victor Reppert, C. S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity 2003)p.75>>
    _____________________

    Lewontin-Sagan style (and Marxist style, and Freudian style and Skinner-style and village/new atheist style . . . ) a priori evolutionary materialist scientism falls into this category by implying an account of reality from hydrogen to humans by blind chance and mechanical necessity that leads to humans in ways that implicitly reduce mindedness to an unintended effect of forces and factors irrelevant to purpose, truth, validity, right/wrong etc. That is it is a case of inadequate cause. As a direct result, Darwin’s musings on whether one should trust the deliverances of a monkey’s mind come back around and boomerang on it.

    Thus we see the force — again — of Haldane:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [[“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

    . . . and Reppert:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    But of course, such will predictably fall on deaf ears, i.e. we see the fallacy of the ideologised, closed mind at work.

    Feser explains why:

    A reader writes to inform me of Alex Rosenberg’s very interesting essay “The Disenchanted Naturalist’s Guide to Reality.” Rosenberg’s thesis? That naturalism entails nihilism; in particular, that it entails denying the existence of objective moral value, of beliefs and desires, of the self, of linguistic meaning, and indeed of meaning or purpose of any sort. All attempts to evade this conclusion, to reconcile naturalism with our common sense understanding of human life, inevitably fail. Naturalism, when consistently worked out, leads to a radical eliminativism. Says my informant: “Why, it sounds shockingly similar to some things you once wrote in a book that was all about sperm, does it not?” Indeed, except that when I said it I was a “religiously inspired bigot,” whereas when Rosenberg says it he gets a respectful link, complete with a fanboyish exclamation point. Odd, no?

    Not really. Because in The Last Superstition I argue that the implications in question constitute a reductio ad absurdum of naturalism, whereas Rosenberg (who is himself a naturalist) regards them instead as a set of depressing truths we must learn to live with. As you’ll see from Rosenberg’s combox, not all naturalists agree with him. But naturalist religionists are an ecumenical bunch. They’ll allow you to draw any absurd conclusion you wish from naturalist premises, as long as (naturally enough) you never under any circumstances question the premises themselves.

    As TLS argues at length, the position Rosenberg rightly takes to follow from naturalism is not only depressing; it is incoherent. Therefore, naturalism is false. Furthermore (and as I also argue at length in TLS) there are no non-question-begging arguments for naturalism in the first place. Its hegemony over contemporary intellectual life owes entirely to a mixture of philosophical muddleheadedness, ignorance of philosophical history, and anti-religious animus . . . .

    Suppose (as I argue in TLS) that Rosenberg is right about what naturalism implies. In that case there are no beliefs or desires, nor is there any such thing as the “original intentionality” or meaning that common sense says thoughts have, and which it takes to be the source of the derived intentionality exhibited by language. But then, Rosenberg rightly concludes, there’s no such thing as “the” real or actual meaning of a work of art, a human action, or indeed of anything else. There is simply no fact of the matter about what anything means. So far so good, and so far what Rosenberg is doing is simply noting that Quine’s famous thesis of the indeterminacy of meaning is not some eccentricity on Quine’s part, but follows from the naturalistic assumptions Quine shares with most contemporary academic philosophers.

    The trouble is that if this is correct, then there is in particular no fact of the matter about what Rosenberg or any other naturalist means when he puts forward a naturalistic thesis. Objectively speaking there is no more reason to think that their utterances express a naturalistic position than that they express a Cartesian one or an Islamic one, or indeed that they are anything more than empty verbiage. The choice is purely pragmatic, or determined by social or economic forces or toilet training, or by Darwinian selection pressures, or by whatever it is this year’s clever young naturalistic philosophers are saying determines it.

    Now this is absurd enough, but naturalists have already long inured themselves to accepting such nonsense. Writers like John Searle have been pointing out the paradox for years, to no effect. It doesn’t phase the average naturalist, any more than the hardened criminal feels even a twinge of guilt upon committing his 345th felony. The mental calluses are too thick. You see, if naturalism leads to absurdity, then it must not really be absurdity; because, kids, naturalism just can’t be wrong. Only those dogmatic religious types think otherwise. [–> notice, the implication, reasoning in a closed minded, self-falsifying circle of a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism . . . . i.e. a closed mind can be closed to the exposure of glaring fallacies, to the point where questions of systematically indoctrinated Plato’s Cave style shadow shows confused for unquestionable realities have to be raised.]

    But it’s worse than all that. For it won’t do for the naturalist to say: “OK, so we’ve got to swallow some bizarre stuff. But we’re just following the argument where it leads!” What argument? There’s no fact of the matter here either – no fact of the matter about which argument one is presenting, and in particular no fact of the matter about whether one’s arguments conform to valid patterns of inference. In the case at hand, there is simply no fact of the matter about whether Rosenberg’s own arguments (or those of any other naturalist) are sound or entirely fallacious. So why should we accept them? I suppose Rosenberg could always do what any serious philosopher would when dealing with those who stubbornly disagree with him – start a petition to pressure the APA to settle the question in his favor. But until that happens, we’ll just have to wait on pins and needles.

    So, that’s one fatal problem . . . . There are other incoherencies too. For example, Rosenberg keeps telling us that this or that commonsense feature of human nature is an “illusion” – despite the fact that illusions themselves are intentional phenomena, and thus the sort of thing which, on Rosenberg’s account, naturalism entails doesn’t exist. Rosenberg also seems to think that blindsight phenomena give us a reason to be eliminativists about phenomenal consciousness. But this is incoherent too, because the only reason we judge something to be a case of blindsight in the first place is that we have phenomenally conscious experiences to compare it to. Furthermore, Rosenberg assures us that the mind is merely the product of a long process of selection which favored those who were skilled at detecting other people’s motives. But since “motives” are themselves intentional mental phenomena, they can hardly coherently be appealed to in an account of how the mind originated. (Nor will it do to suggest that Rosenberg means only that our more complex minds evolved in order to detect other people’s motives; for it is the existence of any intentionality at all which poses a uniquely difficult problem for naturalism, not merely the existence of complex minds like ours.)

    Of course, these are very old and very well-known problem with eliminative materialism, and eliminative materialists typically pooh-pooh them or (more commonly) simply ignore them. Even non-eliminativist naturalists do the same. What none of them do is actually answer such objections, except with “solutions” which also presuppose intentionality and/or consciousness and thus simply raise the same difficulty at a higher level. The problem is obvious, and obviously fatal, and yet amazingly, it is rarely addressed (Rosenberg’s essay completely ignores it). Victor Reppert and William Hasker have put forward what I think is the correct explanation of this bizarre state of denial: Even naturalists who are not eliminative materialists suspect that their position may inevitably lead them in an eliminativist direction, and they want to keep the option open. Precisely because the obviously fatal objection to eliminative materialism is so obvious and so fatal, the typical naturalist pays it little or no heed, lest he be forced by it to give up naturalism itself – a position which is, as Hasker puts it, something like “a theological dogma” for those philosophers committed to it. Like children, they hope the problem will just go away if they pay it no attention . . . [there’s a lot more!]

    Sobering.

    But, food for thought — at least for those not content to chase their tails in a closed, self-falsifying loop of thought on a view that undermines even the possibility of rational thought.

    There comes a point where someone needs to point out that The Emperor is parading around stark naked and everyone around him is pretending otherwise, to protect the system of mutually supportive interests. (Remember, in the old story, the tailors said that their magic cloth was an incompetence detector, i.e. if you were incompetent you could not see it. And so, from the Emperor himself down, they swallowed and institutionalised foolishness rather than first demand demonstration of the power to make such a detector. Thus, proving . . . their incompetence . . . )

    Again, sobering.

    KF

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    RB, That is simply implied at one remove. WJM has summed up aptly:

    If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason [ = distinct identity so LOI, LNC, & LEM as a triplet, and at least a weak form PSR with adequacy of cause as a direct corollary . . . ], you have nothing to argue with. If logic is not assumed to be a causally independent, authoritative arbiter of true statements, there’s no reason to apply it. If you do not assume libertarian free will [ = responsible, effective freedom to think, reason, speak and act], you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place. If you do not assume mind is primary, there is no “you” to make any argument at all.

    Without these things, we simply cannot get off the ground to argue rationally at all. Or even rhetorically.

    Then, we need to ask, what sort of metaphysics does that require.

    It does not have to be Cartesian dualism, but it does require that there be a realm beyond the control of blind mechanism and equally blind chance in which we can be sufficiently responsibly free to reason and contemplate rationally. Otherwise, as was pointed out to you about a year ago, we end up trying to get North by heading West.

    Its the price of admission to genuinely reasoned discourse, and to a world of responsible freedom that is under moral government.

    On this front, if our sense of being governed by OUGHT is false, we let loose grand delusion without firewalls, undermining mind. Self-falsification as just discussed yet again.

    We live in a world where it is reasonable to accept that we are responsibly free thus morally governed.

    That is, we face the need for a world foundational IS capable of adequately supporting OUGHT. The valid part of Hume’s guillotine argument implies that one and the same thing must be both the adequate tap-root of reality and simultaneously adequately ground IS and OUGHT. Much like how the mathematical properties of entropy and information force us into accepting log function metrics, this leads to there being just one serious candidate that fills the bill.

    One that is a hard pill to swallow for a priori materialists: the inherently good creator-God; a necessary and maximally great being worthy of service by persistently doing the good. Even, stumblingly.

    KF

  36. 36
    Box says:

    WJM:

    Under the materialist definitions, “top-down” is ultimately just another term for “bottom-up”. It’s the label materialists use when they’re trying to avoid admitting that top-down, prescriptive control is an illusion.

    And if you point out the impossibility of emergentism they fall back on eliminative materialism. And when you point out the absurdness of that position they start talking emergentism again. AND SO FORTH.

    Eigenstatte: I have no idea where WJM or others gets the idea that materialists are refusing or ignoring these illusions. On the contrary, materialism is the vehicle for making the case that these intuitions *are* illusory.

    It would certainly help if you stop using “bogus” terms! For starters stop talking in the first person, since you hold that consciousness is an illusion—a mere “intuition” based on scientifically-uninformed “folk psychology”. And stop pretending that “you” are “reasoning”, since it is supposedly well established by science that it is a thoroughly bottom-up irrational process.

  37. 37

    Box @35:

    Zachriel seems to think that “materialists” recognize and accept the illusory nature of self and top-down, prescriptive control; if so, why has materialist after materialist referred to “emergent properties” in response as if it somehow made a difference?

    Of course, they want to have their self, their free will, their intentionality and eat them, too. They think they can do this by writing the term on a tag and attaching the tag to something else entirely – even the opposite of what the tag means (note Zachriel attempting to have his already-eaten top-down control by simply attaching a tag with those words on it to a process he admits is entirely bottom-up).

    When challenged, they complain, “You don’t own the word! We can attach it to anything we want! Nyah!!”

  38. 38
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: No, I said that under the materialist definitions, “top-down” is ultimately just another term for “bottom-up”.

    No, they are not equal under materialism. While top-down processes are due to bottom-up processes, not all bottom-up processes result in top-down processes.

    William J Murray: It’s the label materialists use when they’re trying to avoid admitting that top-down, prescriptive control is an illusion.

    A computer control system is not an illusion.

    eigenstate: On the contrary, materialism is the vehicle for making the case that these intuitions *are* illusory.

    Sure. There are many misconceptions in folk psychology.

    However, when someone stubs their toe, we don’t call the pain an illusion, even though it is just nervous signals. We only consider it an illusion if, for instance, a phantom limb causes pain. Consciousness is best thought of as a sensation, not an illusion.

    William J Murray: I have said that materialists identify top-down, prescriptive control as an illusion (because under materialism there is no such thing)

    It’s pretty clear that the human brain is a top-down system. That nerves and signals may comprise the whole of the process doesn’t change that it is a top-down system.

    William J Murray: Zachriel attempting to have his already-eaten top-down control by simply attaching a tag with those words on it to a process he admits is entirely bottom-up).

    There is nothing inconsistent about a bottom-up process exhibiting top-down control. A computer is a simple example.

  39. 39

    KF:

    RB, That is simply implied at one remove.

    Many monist viewpoints (e.g. idealism, neurobiological accounts) encompass subject and object. So that doesn’t follow.

    At any rate, his use of “dualism” is non-standard, to say the least.

    WJM has summed up aptly:

    I see no relationship between the quoted passage and my terminological quibble.

  40. 40
    tjguy says:

    Zach @37

    It’s pretty clear that the human brain is a top-down system. That nerves and signals may comprise the whole of the process doesn’t change that it is a top-down system.

    So, I guess Materialists believe that bottom up processes can create top down systems by random chemical reactions, blind mutations, and whatever else you want to throw in there.

    Talk about blind irrational faith/beliefs! That tops everything!!

    We’ve never seen this happen. Maybe I’m mistaken though. How about it? Can you show us any top down system that has originated through random blind purposeless processes that we can test and validate?

    Huge implausible claims require concrete evidence if it is to count as scientific evidence. Lacking this evidence, Materialism is not a rational conclusion or answer to origins.

  41. 41
    Barry Arrington says:

    Z@ 39

    However, when someone stubs their toe, we don’t call the pain an illusion, even though it is just nervous signals.

    Then you do not understand eliminative mataerialism. They absolutely do say that the subjective experience of pain is an illusion.

    Z, at bottom you are both deeply confused as WJM has pointed out and deeply ignorant (you literally do not know what you are talking about).

    I hope you will consider this: You come onto theses pages and display that your most deeply held beliefs are confused and ignorant. I implore you to rethink; do better; change your mind.

  42. 42

    Barry:

    They absolutely do say that the subjective experience of pain is an illusion.

    That’s not accurate, Barry. Eliminative materialism concerns the causal efficacy, or lack thereof, of the “propositional attitudes,” the notion that beliefs that…desires that, etc. have both causal force and can be invoked in a scientific explanation of human cognition and behavior.

    It denies that,

    “Propositional attitudes are functionally discrete, semantically interpretable states that play a causal role in the production of other propositional attitudes and ultimately in the production of behavior.” (From Stich, Connectionism, Eliminativism, and the Future of Folk Psychology.)

    It arose out of the expectation that connectionism would offer a basis for a complete explanation for human cognition – yet there is no room in connectionism for discrete propositional content as genuinely causal. You’ve over-applied the notion of eliminative materialism upon asserting that it denies subjective experience altogether.

  43. 43
    Mapou says:

    RB:

    Ordinarily, the term “dualism” doesn’t refer to subject and object, but rather to the ontological claim that there are two kinds of “stuff,” physical stuff and mental (or spiritual) stuff.

    So the materialist’s tactic is clear:

    1. Create a strawman, i.e., one’s own cheesy definition of dualism.
    2. Wrestle the strawman to the ground with great fury.
    3. Sound the trumpets and declare victory.
    4. Completely ignore the fact that one is buck naked and ugly.

    It’s weak, brain dead and pathetic.

  44. 44
    Upright BiPed says:

    William J Murray: I said that under the materialist definitions, “top-down” is ultimately just another term for “bottom-up”.

    Zachriel: No, they are not equal under materialism. While top-down processes are due to bottom-up processes, not all bottom-up processes result in top-down processes.

    Good Grief.

    It doesn’t matter that not all bottom up processes lead to top down processes. Under materialist definitions, all top down processes are actually bottom up processes.

    (Oh … and what has to be accomplished cannot be determined by physical dynamics of the constituent matter. Tall order.)

  45. 45

    Mapou:

    1. Create a strawman, i.e., one’s own cheesy definition of dualism.
    2. Wrestle the strawman to the ground with great fury.
    3. Sound the trumpets and declare victory.
    4. Completely ignore the fact that one is buck naked and ugly.

    Weird.

    As I said, it was a terminological quibble. Vis straw men, wrestling and fury, trumpets and victory, and my naked form: Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend.

  46. 46
    Mapou says:

    RB @45,

    Sorry, I was directing my ire at materialists.

  47. 47
    Zachriel says:

    tjguy: So, I guess Materialists believe that bottom up processes can create top down systems by random chemical reactions, blind mutations, and whatever else you want to throw in there.

    That’s not relevant to the question as to whether such a system can exist. They can and do.

    Barry Arrington: Then you do not understand eliminative mataerialism.

    Eliminative materialism is not the only form of physicalism.

    Upright BiPed: It doesn’t matter that not all bottom up processes lead to top down processes.

    It does because it means the statement “top-down is ultimately just another term for bottom-up” is false.

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