But why stop?
On the cocktail circuit, where hors d’oeuvres are served in iron rice bowls, it is piffle that pays. From Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry at The Week:
Why do humans have consciousness? The arguments surrounding this question make it one of the most animated debates in contemporary philosophy.
One reason why consciousness so vexes academic philosophers is that a great many of them are atheists, and the reality of subjective consciousness frustrates an extremist but widely held version of atheistic metaphysics called eliminative materialism. This form of metaphysics takes the position that the only things that exist are matter and mindless physical processes. But in a world of pure matter, how could you have subjective, conscious beings like us?
To someone schooled in the great historical philosophical traditions — which have been largely dismissed following the adoption of post-modernism in the academy — this debate is immensely frustrating. In fact, much of the ongoing conversation about consciousness is self-evidently absurd.
Put simply, it gets funded.
First of all, there can be no scientific consensus or evidence about nonphysical realities, because science is only concerned with physical realities. As for the “philosophical consensus,” well, anyone who knows anything about philosophy knows that there has never been such a thing and never will be. And even if there were, it wouldn’t mean anything, since philosophy is not a science; in science, an expert consensus does represent the state of the art of knowledge on a particular issue. In philosophy, it merely represents a fad.
Has anyone ever come up with a politically correct naturalist nonsense thesis that could not be funded?
Another argument on consciousness that enjoys a bit of consensus, especially lately, is that consciousness is an illusion. Our brain constructs models of the world around us and then tricks itself into believing that this is an expression of the world. The foremost proponent of this view is the philosopher Daniel Dennett. More.
If one accepts the naturalist view, whoever dies with the most victims wins. They don’t spell it out. But if we look at recent events on campus, that is what it means.
See also: Thomas Nagel: Daniel Dennett “maintaining a thesis at all costs” in Bacteria to Bach and Back
The war on intellectual freedom How political correctness morphed into a monster.
The war on freedom is rotting our intellectual life In a world governed by naturalism, power is its own justification. That is the single hardest thing for opponents of rampant political correctness to grasp. If they can force it on the rest of us without making any sense, they have won.
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7 Replies to “Plea from The Week: Please stop spouting nonsense theories about the meaning of consciousness”
Wait a minute. Is this asserting some kind of equivalency between consensus and evidence?
No wonder were *bleeping* screwed and science sucks now.
“…much of the ongoing conversation about consciousness is self-evidently absurd.”
“Our brain constructs models of the world around us…”
“Our”? What’s that?
“us”? What’s that?
“Why do humans have consciousness?”
Does it have anything to do with the Latin expression “Imago Dei”?
Were we made to communicate with our Maker and between us?
But we naturally don’t do either?
It’s a good question but typically, from a commentator, we don’t get a good answer, just sniping at those who are trying to come up with an answer.
Just imagine not having consciousness.
Which qualifier better applies to the below linked article:
1. archaic pseudoscientific hogwash?
2. low grade bovine excreta?
3. all of the above?
4. worse than all the above?
5. much worse than all the above?
6. not even wrong?
Here’s the article:
According to a relatively recent declaration by professor Dennis Noble nobody knows exactly what a gene is.
What definition of “gene” do they use?
What definition of “intelligence” do they use?
Basically, where’s the beef?