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Self-aware mindedness and the problem of trying to get North by going West . . .

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It seems that self-aware mindedness is now on the table for discussion.

In that context, I see that Reciprocating Bill is arguing:

Given the fact that you entertain the notion that brains aren’t necessary for dreaming, why can’t that which dreams without a brain be a rock?

This is a carry over from a discussion where I have pointed out:

self_aware_or_not

And also how a neural network is an example of how refined rock organised into a GIGO-limited computational unit still has not broken through from mechanical cause effect computation — which a raw rock obviously cannot do — to self-aware insightful reasoning contemplation:

A neural network is essentially a weighted sum interconnected gate array, it is not an exception to the GIGO principle
A neural network is essentially a weighted sum interconnected gate array, it is not an exception to the GIGO principle

. . . in the brain:

neurobrain750

 

That is, just as for a Thomson Mechanical Integrator:

thomson_integrator

. . . or [U/d, Dec 11 ’14, HT UoIL]  the op amp based electronic equivalent:

op_amp_integrator

. . . or a more conventional digital computer microprocessor central processing unit:

mpu_model

. . .  a neural network based computational processor is blindly computing in accord with cause-effect chains imposed by its organisation, more or less as Leibniz long ago pointed out by using his famous analogy of the Mill in Monadology 17:

[P]erception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain perception.

Accordingly, I responded to R-B on the problem of trying to get North by going West:

___________________

>> It is quite evidently a fact that raw, in-nature rocks are passive in the face of forces of chance and mechanical necessity.

That raw rocks have no dreams SHOULD be obvious as a matter of basic fact . . . save to those with a talking point agenda. Failure to acknowledge evident fact as a start point for all else, is not a healthy sign.

Second, I looked at processed, refined rocks that are made into devices that process information. Lo, behold, just as Leibniz pointed out, they too are passive, blindly interacting in cause-effect chains. That is, the functional organisation that effects computation has not changed the basic pattern, that is why GIGO rules in Thomson mechanical integrators, digital computers and neural networks alike.

Maybe, you are old enough to recall how the first Pentiums, after being triumphantly announced, had to undergo a major recall because an error was discovered in the floating point math coprocessor embedded in the devices. That is illustrative on how blind cause-effect chains fail to attain to actual reasoning in which inference is a process of insight based meaningful inference. As Reppert summarised (cited at 29 above):

. . . 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 [C S] 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.

This means that, even with computational functional organisation, we have not been able to make rocks dream . . . nor can we.

Computational processing in various architectures — INCLUDING neural networks, artificial or natural (= brains) — is patently qualitatively, categorically distinct from the self aware, insightful, rational and creative contemplation we experience and observe in one another.

Where also, the notion that such dreams may emerge beyond a magical threshold is tantamount to trying to draw out something from nothing — from non-being. Until you identify and demonstrate a sufficient causal pattern or an observed fact, we can set this notion to one side as science fiction fantasy.

There is a fundamental distinction between blind, signal processing based computation and insightful, self aware rational reasoning.

So, the fact that self-aware mindedness exists is pointing to something that an a priori materialism influenced age has great difficulty acknowledging. Namely, that it is at least possible that the material world we experience as self aware conscious persons may not be the only world we experience.

In a world dominated by evolutionary materialism dressed up in a lab coat, that may be very hard to recognise or allow in the door.

But, surely, at minimum we should keep an open mind on the subject, given that we can see that computation and contemplation are fundamentally distinct phenomena.

By now, it should be plain that blind, mechanical, programmed cause effect chain computation is simply not a process of rational insight. Which carries with it the point that we should be willing to recognise that neural network or digital computer or mechanical integrator based signal processing is not even on the right path to be self-aware, conscious reasoning and meaningful contemplation.

So, rocks not only have no dreams in the raw states as a matter of observed fact, but we can show why refined and organised rocks that form computational entities, by virtuet of the radical difference between cause-effect links and ground-consequent inferences, are not even on the right road to dreaming.

Which is not just the musings of one of those suspect “IDiots” and “Creationists in cheap tuxedos” — yes, we are very aware of the prejudices and contempt-laced accusatory attitudes that are ever so common — out on a silly blog that objectors to design theory come to to try to see if they can convince the unwashed heathen to give up their backward ways.

Nope, it is a direct implication of the so-called hard problem of consciousness, as stated by Chalmers, e.g. in his original paper as just linked:

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.

Notice, Chalmers’ confession: “It seems objectively unreasonable . . . ” and his contrasting creedal confession that follows, that somehow it has to be that the conscious emerges from the inherently non-conscious; per, the a priori materialism thesis that prevails as a dominant school of thought in our time, and which do often demands our genuflection.

But, sometimes, when you have come to what you regard as a puzzling paradox to be resolved by pushing forward ever more diligently, what you have actually arrived at is a reduction to absurdity that your paradigm makes it all but impossible to acknowledge.

You are not ever going to go North by going due West, in effect. (On a round planet such as ours, you can go West to get East . . . as Columbus proposed, but you will not ever get North by going West; as, the two directions are orthogonal.)

Let us call this, for onward reference, The get North by going West fallacy.

A manifestation of sheer wrong-headedness. Which, if insisted upon in the teeth of correction, becomes absurdity.

No wonder, Searle’s Chinese Room thought exercise then has so much bite, as it exposes the orthogonal difference between blind mechanical processing and genuine self-aware, language using understanding . . . a pivotal component of general — as opposed to limited — intelligence and rational mindedness:

Imagine that a person—me, for example—knows no Chinese and is locked in a room with boxes full of Chinese symbols and an instruction book written in English for manipulating the symbols. Unknown to me, the boxes are called “the database” and the instruction book is called “the program.” I am called “the computer.”

People outside the room pass in bunches of Chinese symbols that, unknown to me, are questions. I look up in the instruction book what I am supposed to do and I give back answers in Chinese symbols.

Suppose I get so good at shuffling the symbols and passing out the answers that my answers are indistinguishable from a native Chinese speaker’s. I give every indication of understanding the language despite the fact that I actually don’t understand a word of Chinese.

And if I do not, neither does any digital computer, because no computer, qua computer, has anything I do not have. It has stocks of symbols, rules for manipulating symbols, a system that allows it to rapidly transition from zeros to ones, and the ability to process inputs and outputs. That is it. There is nothing else. [Cf. Jay Richards here.]

The problem for evolutionary materialism is even deeper than that, as J B S Haldane long ago highlighted, in a profoundly linked observation:

“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.]

Reppert caps off:

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 [C S] Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it.

In short, you patently cannot get north by going west.

Just so, to demand why couldn’t a rock — raw or refined — be a basis for contemplation, is to try to go North by going West instead.

It is also to profoundly misunderstand the point that has been made, which has taken in not only raw rocks that are simply passive in the face of forces, but also rocks that have been processed to form signal processing computational entities.

As Searle has decisively shown, you inherently are not going in the right direction when you try to reduce insight to blind algorithmic or similar signal processing.

As Haldane has shown, blind processing — even in a neural network — is not even linked to self-aware rational insight.

And as Reppert has highlighted from Lewis [with Leibniz lurking in the background], until you acknowledge that the ground-consequent relationship is not equal to or transmutable into the cause-effect one you can get nowhere.

It is high time to see that one cannot ever get North by insisting on Going West, no mind how determined one is.  >>

___________________

So, it seems that until we become willing to acknowledge that one cannot get North by going West, there can be no mutually agreed progress on this subject.

But, of course, Planck long ago pointed out that too often old paradigms die hard, one funeral at a time as the old generation passes off the scene stuck in its old ways. In an age of pervasive computation, sooner or later, it is going to get through to a critical mass that wait a minute, rocks have no dreams and computation is not equal to contemplation — so let’s stop trying to get North by going West.

And, it is the job of a blog such as this, to stand up early and point that out — even when it is decidedly unfashionable to do so in the face of the strong riptide of the age. END

PS: As it keeps cropping up, here is the Smith Model in summary outline:

smith_model_agent

 PPS: U/D Jun 29 — as it seems that the issue of inference that mind may not necessarily be based on computational material substrates is coming up in the comments, and as in a follow-on thread on FSCO/I and its significance, here, I add the following from that post, on the inference from evident fine tuning of the observed cosmos we inhabit, to design of the cosmos:

>> . . . there is in fact only one actually observed cause of FSCO/I beyond that 500 – 1,000 bit threshold, design. Design by an intelligence. Which dovetails neatly with the implications of the needle in haystack blind search challenge. And, it meets the requisites of the vera causa test for causally explaining what we do not observe directly in light of causes uniquely known to be capable of causing the like effect.

So, perhaps, we need to listen again to the distinguished, Nobel-equivalent prize holding astrophysicist and lifelong agnostic — so much for “Creationists in cheap tuxedos” — Sir Fred Hoyle:

From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.]

And again, in his famous Caltech talk:

The big problem in biology, as I see it, is to understand the origin of the information carried by the explicit structures of biomolecules. The issue isn’t so much the rather crude fact that a protein consists of a chain of amino acids linked together in a certain way, but that the explicit ordering of the amino acids endows the chain with remarkable properties, which other orderings wouldn’t give. The case of the enzymes is well known . . . If amino acids were linked at random, there would be a vast number of arrange-ments that would be useless in serving the pur-poses of a living cell. When you consider that a typical enzyme has a chain of perhaps 200 links and that there are 20 possibilities for each link,it’s easy to see that the number of useless arrangements is enormous, more than the number of atoms in all the galaxies visible in the largest telescopes. [–> ~ 10^80] This is for one enzyme, and there are upwards of 2000 of them, mainly serving very different purposes. So how did the situation get to where we find it to be? This is, as I see it, the biological problem – the information problem . . . .

I was constantly plagued by the thought that the number of ways in which even a single enzyme could be wrongly constructed was greater than the number of all the atoms in the universe. So try as I would, I couldn’t convince myself that even the whole universe would be sufficient to find life by random processes – by what are called the blind forces of nature . . . . By far the simplest way to arrive at the correct sequences of amino acids in the enzymes would be by thought, not by random processes . . . .

Now imagine yourself as a superintellect [–> this shows a clear and widely understood concept of intelligence] working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix.

Noting also:

I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. [“The Universe: Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]

No wonder, in that same period, the same distinguished scientist went on record on January 12th, 1982, in the Omni Lecture at the Royal Institution, London, entitled “Evolution from Space”:

The difference between an intelligent ordering, whether of words, fruit boxes, amino acids, or the Rubik cube, and merely random shufflings can be fantastically large, even as large as a number that would fill the whole volume of Shakespeare’s plays with its zeros. So if one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure or order must be the outcome of intelligent design. No other possibility I have been able to think of in pondering this issue over quite a long time seems to me to have anything like as high a possibility of being true. [This appeared in a book of the same title, pp. 27-28. Emphases added.]>>

186 Replies to “Self-aware mindedness and the problem of trying to get North by going West . . .

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    When will we realise it is futile to try to get North by going West? KF

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Slightly updated to clarify:

    And also how a neural network is an example of how refined rock organised into a GIGO-limited computational unit still has not broken through from mechanical cause effect computation — which a raw rock obviously cannot do — to self-aware insightful reasoning contemplation:

    See above. KF

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    BTW, one can get East by going West as there are no E and W poles. But one cannot get North by going South either, one will only reach the S pole eventually. Going onwards will require not going S. KF

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: Let us highlight Reppert’s observation:

    . . . 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 [C S] 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.

    So, the issue is rational inference as an insightful process vs blind GIGO-driven computation.

    Or, as I put that elsewhere:

    Cogs move upon one another with so many Newton-metres of torque and turn through so many degrees as a result, which turning which being a matter of how they are somehow arranged and which was turned first. Indeed, this is the basis of the mechanical Analogue Computer, in which a rotating ball on a shaft spinning against a disk performs mechanical integration . . . . Where, too: such balls, disks and shafts, obviously, are refined rock.

    They depend on the care and skill of a designer, to be able to solve differential equations. [–> Cf the Thomson integrator above, where by design the rate of accumulating rotation on the o/p cylinder depends on how far the ball is from the centre of the steadily rotating disk. The integration is precisely that accumulation of change . . . whivh can be at varying rates.]

    Their precisely functional arrangement carries out computations based on intelligent design. Such glorified rocks neither contemplate nor care, and if things go out of whack, they will mindlessly and mechanically deliver incorrect results. As the old computer men would say: Garbage in, Garbage out: GIGO.

    Which points to a further, common but often overlooked fact: complex functionally specific arrangements themselves have but one observed source, design. Which, among other things, has to ensure that GIGO is not at work.

    Where also, the notion that such irreducibly complex, finely tuned systems could plausibly arise step by step through chance variations and blind trial and error selection of the incrementally successful intermediaries needs to be demonstrated empirically rather than be implied or assumed as a consequence of taking up an evolutionary materialist view as a controlling idea. And in fact, historically, the development of such machines took years and decades of highly intelligent design, with a huge sustained investment of cash.

    Time for fresh thinking. KF

  5. 5

    I think that Reciprocating Bill doesn’t understand that his question is a metaphysical non-sequitur. Neither humans (defined by the limits of their material state) or rocks dream (have conscious self-awareness), but rather it is the ghost in the machine (mind/soul) that is self-aware/conscious/dreams. The body is its apparatus, like a diving suit, finely tuned to immediately leap into action and express the intentions – conscious or subconscious – of the operator.

    The diving suit doesn’t dream. The diver dreams.

  6. 6
    Mapou says:

    I fully disagree with the notion that thoughts are not in the brain. The only awareness we have is of things/processes in the brain.

    A disembodied mind is nonsense, IMO. Mind/consciousness needs both a knower and a known. The latter consists of certain processes in the brain. The former cannot be the brain because nothing is its own opposite. But, after all is said and done, your need two things for a mind: a brain and something else. You can call that something else a spirit, if you wish.

  7. 7

    KF (again):

    That raw rocks have no dreams SHOULD be obvious as a matter of basic fact . . . save to those with a talking point agenda. Failure to acknowledge evident fact as a start point for all else, is not a healthy sign.

    I find it downright bizarre that you persist with a statement like the above, given the following, which you have already seen and which is utterly dispositive on this matter. (Now bizarre squared, as you’ve already seen this compilation.):

    KF: “Starting with the principle that rocks have no dreams”?
    RB: “I absolutely agree.”
    RB: “I don’t suggest that rocks compute, much less dream…Why would you think I do? I said above that I absolutely agree with you that rocks don’t dream.”

    KF: “Raw rocks can’t contemplate…”
    RB: “I know why I believe that…but that can’t be your reasoning.”

    RB: “The first words I uttered on this thread were that I “absolutely agree” that rocks have no dreams (contemplation, consciousness, etc.).”

    RB: “Given that I stated from the outset that rocks don’t dream (aren’t conscious, don’t contemplate, etc.), why do you think that results of administration of the Glasgow to a rock would present the least challenge to me?” [also repeatedly asked, but unanswered]

    Etc.

    KF:

    It seems you have not noticed my rationale, which has been put in various ways:

    1 –> We recognise self-aware conscious behaviour by its self-moved activity. (This goes back at least to Plato.)

    2 –> Raw in-nature rocks do not exhibit such, they are passively impacted by forces of chance and necessity, as observing a rock slide will easily exemplify.

    3 –> By contrast we and beavers show such self-moved activity in design leading to FSCO/I. That’s why eg we have the Glasgow coma test.

    What you describe is a behavioral heuristic, not an observation that is binds us to a conclusion in any particular case. An heuristic that is vulnerable both to false positives and false negatives, many notorious. Your brain in a vat, for example is a false negative – such brains as postulated exhibit no behavior (and are no more capable of behaving than a rock), yet are conscious. Bzzzt. (Another irony: the heuristic certainly has an evolutionary history, as shown by the theory of mind literature.)

    Given that you entertain the idea that brains aren’t required for dreaming, and given that the above cited reasoning is a heuristic that easily admits both false positives and false negatives, you remain bereft of a rationale for the assertion that rocks don’t dream, and particularly for claiming it as a “principle.”

    And here’s a hint: stating that the truth of your claim is “patent,” “obvious,” “manifest,” “common sense” and other forms of bald assertion doesn’t “show” a thing. Within a framework within which dreams don’t require brains, rocks may well dream, and you’ve no dispositive basis for saying otherwise.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    R-B: You talk as though you have never dealt with rocks, or with scientific observations. That’s a dead giveaway — we all know we walk around on a rock body of mass ~ 6 * 10^24 kg. There is a vast body of such observations, consequently and they fully warrant the conclusion that raw rocks are passive, mechanically moved inert entities. And for science, brain in vat scenarios are off the books absent positive indicators. But all of that is on rabbit trails. The real focal point is that when rocks are refined and organised into computing elements, they STILL remain blind, interacting by cause-effect chains without any reference to meaning. That’s why if things go out of whack, GIGO kicks in. KF

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Mapou, our pool of observations and knowledge includes the fine tuned physics of our observed cosmos. That points to cosmos designing mind ontologically before matter. At minimum, as a live possibility to be considered. And that’s before we see the point that computational devices go straight back to blind causal chains, not insightful inference. KF

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM: Interesting analogy. Care to develop it further and delimit strengths and limitations? KF

  11. 11
    Mapou says:

    kairosfocus:

    Mapou, our pool of observations and knowledge includes the fine tuned physics of our observed cosmos. That points to cosmos designing mind ontologically before matter. At minimum, as a live possibility to be considered.

    I see no reason that a non-material, creator-entity must necessarily possess a mind in order to create matter. Why can’t a creator create its own brain a little bit at a time over aeons? Even the Old Testament Yahweh is reported to have said that he was the first among the other gods (elohim).

    The main problem I see with your giving spirit some kind of historical primacy over matter is that it ignores the logic of opposites. Matter and spirit are opposites. The former can be created, destroyed or modified. Phenomena (changes) exist only in the physical realm. The spiritual realm, by contrast and logical necessity, is unchanging: it just is. My point is this:

    Thoughts cannot exist without change. Therefore…

    Ponder this and let me know why you still cling to the claim that mind and thoughts do not need a physical brain.

  12. 12
    vjtorley says:

    Hi mapou,

    Two questions:

    (1) Why does creation necessarily require a change on the part of the Creator?

    (2) Why does change require matter, let alone a brain?

    Here’s an article you may find interesting:

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.jp.....icity.html

  13. 13
    Axel says:

    If you watch any of the better NDEs on YouTube, mapou, at least two things ought to strike you very forcefully: the palpably unfeigned, emotional body-language of the people concerned, and the radically transformative effect of the experience on their subsequent lives. This in addition to a host of other very, very persuasive indicators.

    In the case of Pam Reynolds, which was subjected to a wealth of the latest, sophisticated instrumentation, her brain had been drained of blood and frozen.

    If you baulk at accepting the implications of such out-of-body experiences, monitored with such a wealth of sophisticated instrumentation, I’ll be disappointed in you, even though we’re miles apart in our beliefs.

  14. 14
    Axel says:

    By the way, references to gods in the Old Testament, were to demons. It’s mentioned in one of the psalms.

  15. 15

    KF

    You talk as though you have never dealt with rocks.

    And you as though you cannot read, as I have stated first, middle and last that I “absolutely agree” that rocks don’t dream. (Some brains have rocks, I suppose.)

    Where we part ways is that I have a rationale for that belief consistent with a larger framework and the evidence of 100 years of neuroscience gathered within that framework.

    Given that you entertain the notion that brains aren’t necessary for dreaming (consciousness, etc.), you’ve no basis for concluding that rocks can’t dream. The pallid attempt at such a rationale I quote above is an heuristic that is vulnerable to both false positives and false negatives. You’ve suggested another example of a false positive: the malevolent supernatural agency you postulate lies behind the depiction of mayhem in Saturday morning cartoons.

    The rest of your argument boils down to “patent,” “manifest,” etc. It all leaves unanswered the question: why can’t a rock be that which dreams without a brain?

    Perhaps rocks, once accreted, sit and contemplate their rockitude as they are passively rolled around. I don’t think they do – because upon examining them we find none of the physical and functional structure we know in other contexts is required for consciousness and contemplation. But that rationale isn’t available to you, as you entertain the idea that physical structures (such as brains and their functional equivalent) aren’t required for dreaming at all. Perhaps rocks have whatever it is that IS required for such contemplation. But you can’t be induced to say what that is. Perhaps supernatural agency, whether malevolent or not, endows them with that silent disposition.

    Given that, and given you are incapable of understanding a sentence such as “I absolutely agree that rocks don’t dream,” I’m going to cut the grass, consult with a Rolling Rock, and shelve this discussion until another day.

  16. 16
    Dionisio says:

    Mapou,

    in the thread

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....to-rdfish/

    did you see the questions in comment # 311?

  17. 17
    Mapou says:

    vjtorley @12:

    Hi mapou,

    Two questions:

    (1) Why does creation necessarily require a change on the part of the Creator?

    The reason is that creation is one of the only two types of change, by definition. The other is annihilation. Since matter can neither create nor annihilate anything, it follows that the entire physical universe is sustained by some spiritual principle.

    (2) Why does change require matter, let alone a brain?

    Change does not require matter. Matter is simply defined as that which can change. This is only true by definition.

    Here’s an article you may find interesting:

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.jp…..icity.html

    You know, I read the article and in the end all see is just a bunch of fluffy words. The doctrine of Divine simplicity, for example, not only contradicts scripture (Yahweh Elohim is a plural title), it does not make any sense. The ONENESS of God has nothing to do with simplicity. It has to do with Yin and Yang, the universal balance of all positive and negative parts. From my personal Christian perspective, I see all this stuff as mostly worthless verbiage, i.e., the work of the devil. Sorry for being so blunt but I always tell it like I see it.

  18. 18
    Daniel King says:

    KF:

    Do you agree that brains are necessary for thought (and dreaming), but may not be sufficient for either process? If so, I think that would answer Bill’s argument.

  19. 19
    Dionisio says:

    16 Dionisio June 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Mapou,

    in the thread

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....to-rdfish/

    did you see the questions in comment # 311?

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    Reciprocating Bill:
    And you as though you cannot read, as I have stated first, middle and last that I “absolutely agree” that rocks don’t dream.

    Great! We have agreement that rocks don’t dream. Can we move on now?

    RB:

    “The first words I uttered on this thread were that I “absolutely agree” that rocks have no dreams (contemplation, consciousness, etc.).”

    Yet you keep flogging that dead horse.

    You don’t dispute the truth of the premise. We got that, We’ve had that all along. Why do you keep pretending that we don’t get it?

    You and RDFish are remarkably similar in at least one respect. You both have this canned argument and just can’t seem to be able to deal with anything not accounted for in your preparation.

    You both remind of someone who has memorized certain chess openings but is lost when their opponent deviates from “the book.”

  21. 21
    Mapou says:

    Dionisio, my answer to your questions is that nothing means exactly the same to everyone. It all depends on the connections we make in our brains. The same is true for an intelligent machine.

  22. 22
    Dionisio says:

    21 Mapou June 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Dionisio, my answer to your questions is that nothing means exactly the same to everyone. It all depends on the connections we make in our brains. The same is true for an intelligent machine.

    Does that -what you just wrote- mean anything at all to anyone else besides you?

    😉

  23. 23
    Dionisio says:

    RE: post # 19

    21 Mapou June 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Dionisio, my answer to your questions is that nothing means exactly the same to everyone. It all depends on the connections we make in our brains. The same is true for an intelligent machine.

    whatever that means 😉

  24. 24
    Dionisio says:

    RE: post # 19

    21 Mapou June 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Dionisio, my answer to your questions is that nothing means exactly the same to everyone. It all depends on the connections we make in our brains. The same is true for an intelligent machine.

    say what? 😉

  25. 25
    Mung says:

    I have begun to entertain the hypothesis that RDFish is an alien intelligence who is searching for signs of intelligence on earth by scanning messages here at UD.

    Since the beginning of civilization, people have wondered if we are alone in the universe or whether there is intelligent life somewhere else. In the late twentieth century, scientists converged upon the basic idea of scanning the sky and “listening” for non-random patterns of electromagnetic emissions such as radio or television waves in order to detect another possible civilization somewhere else in the universe.

    SETI: The Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence

    Having found such a source of non-random patterns of electromagnetic emissions here at UD, “the RDFish intelligence” (purely hypothetical at this point) is now looking at the content of those emissions

    The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is the collective name for a number of activities undertaken to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life. SETI projects use scientific methods in this search.

    Search for extraterrestrial intelligence

    Great! ID IS SCIENCE!

    Does it matter which particular definition of intelligence these projects are using, or do they start out by asserting that there is no definition of intelligence and thus they are not engaged in a scientific endeavour?

    Enquiring intelligences want to know.

    Given that my posts and those of Joe tend to be relatively short, is it any wonder that an alien intelligence would rule them out as lacking sufficient complexity to establish intelligence?

    RDFish, an alien in search of intelligence. May you find it.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    DK (attn, R-B):

    Thanks for constructive input.

    The fine tuning of our cosmos is a case where we find evidence that puts the possibility — I am not here arguing plausibility — of design of the physics and materials of the observed cosmos on the table. Consequently I find it necessary to be open-minded about minds that are not embodied; mind, ontologically prior to matter.

    Let us not beg questions, and let us allow empirical evidence to guide us.

    (Where, I take as absurd any scheme of thought that implies the GENERAL un-trustworthiness of our senses and reasoning ability, as these necessarily lead to self-referential absurdity. That we are denizens of some Plato’s Cave world with little or no hope of spotting the cheat is absurd . . . in the parable, the pivot is the one set free and forced to see the cheat and the outer world then returning to try to set his peers free of their chains of mental slavery [the allusion to Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley’s quote in Redemption Songs is deliberate]. That we are in pods of an undetectable matrix is absurd. That we are all brains in undetectable vats is absurd . . . and I agree with VJT that the fine grainedness of the experienced world makes the “mental/computer simulation” view of reality unlikely. That the world as a going concern was instantly created five minutes past or last week Thursday with massive false memories etc is absurd. Haldane’s caution on chemically determined minds is a sobering warning on the implications of evolutionary materialism. And more. Yes, many can be deluded, and all of us are prone to error, but that is not the same as implying GENERAL delusion.)

    Anyone who has followed my repeated reference to the Smith Model, will recognise that I see a valid architecture, of a two-tier controller in a cybernetic loop. For such embodiment a brain or the substantial equivalent seems to be a key feature. But even there, the pivotal issue is interfacing.

    By now, it SHOULD be clear that I am putting a high emphasis on the relevance of actual evidence, not a priori assumptions as to what must or must not be on terms of materialism dressed up in a lab coat or the like.

    With 6 * 10^24 kg of rocks in play on our planet, I am saying we have a wide range of experience with in-nature rocks. To date, no-one has put on the table evidence that would lead us to take seriously any notion that they are anything but passive material objects shaped by laws and forces of physics and chemistry. And, it seems R-B has yet to put any such evidence on the table. Should he do so, I would apply a version of the sometimes recounted poltergeist effect [and BTW, there is enough eyewitness testimony to such and to similar or more elaborate phenomena that I would not instantly dismiss such as impossible or silly], that raw rocks could become “receivers” for external minds.

    But such is not the pivot of the matter.

    The 800 lb gorilla in the middle of the room that is studiously not being seriously discussed, is that as I showed by putting on the table relevant cases in point, even when rocks are refined, processed and organised to form computational devices, they STILL remain blindly passive entities interacting by forces and factors of material cause and effect. That is, mechanical computation is NOT rational insight and contemplation.

    So, when we see the assumption that it is the matrix from which such somehow emerges, we must take notice of the injected materialist a priori, and its implication.

    We must reckon with the radical difference between

    A: blind mechanical GIGO-limited cause-effect chains giving rise to blindly produced computational outputs, and

    B: self-aware rational insight that — through active understanding of meanings and logical relationships — sees that granting grounds P is reasonable and then draws out that these grounds are a sufficient reason for consequences Q to obtain, therefore accepting P => Q, P, so Q.

    The two are simply not the same, they are categorically radically distinct.

    And so, it is not a reasonable claim that B floats on, or emerges from or is reducible to A.

    We are seeing a problem with trying to get North by going West.

    That is, Chalmers correctly identifies the hard problem of consciousness as a real problem, but his creedal in effect “despite the issues it MUST somehow emerge from computation” reflects a radical breakdown of a paradigm.

    It is time to rethink.

    KF

  27. 27
    Mung says:

    Remember, to an alien intelligence looking for signs of intelligence elsewhere in the cosmos, we are the aliens!

    I think this hypothesis best explains the posts and responses (or lack thereof) of the (hypothetical) “intelligence” going by the monicker of RDFish.

    Let’s set aside for now the potential absurdity of an intelligence seeking signs of intelligence by denying that the search for signs of intelligence could possibly be scientific.

    So perhaps I was wrong in earlier posts to be so dismissive of “RDFish.” Not all intelligence has to be as advanced as we are. Perhaps logic and reason are either not required at all for intelligence or are evidences of higher intelligence.

    This could be FIRST CONTACT people!

    Embrace the RDFish (ignore the smell)!

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    R-B:

    Kindly see the just posted. I note your descent into insinuations which are not in order nor will they help you pass the evident paradigm gap you seem to be facing.

    Now, I have repeatedly emphasised that absent credible empirical evidence it is pointless to entertain unrestrained philosophical speculations in a specifically scientific context. That is the principle of Newton and Galileo.

    There is no evidence of that sort that raw rocks have dreams.

    But, also — and this is where there seems to be a breakdown and a problem with dismissiveness — your hoped for out that the refining and organising of rocks into computational devices is a solution that grounds dreams, does not succeed. Indeed, it is a case of trying to get North by going West.

    The massive evidence — and I point to its significance because of earlier remarks on your part above, I am grounding an inductive generalisation as strong and cogent — is that rocks are mechanically passive entities governed by material laws of necessity and chance [F = m*a and thermodynamics for instance). Thus, we have a direct reason to hold that they will have no dreams: the self-aware is self-moved. No evidence of being self-moved, massive evidence of being blindly passive, so as a reliable fact not self-aware.

    But also, when such rocks are refined and organised into computational devices — cf the ones in diagrams in the OP above — we see that invariably, such devices work by blind, GIGO-limited cause-effect mechanical chains, NOT by reasoned, active, insightful inference.

    That is, the rocks remain passive, blind entities, but the cogs so to speak are arranged by an insightful designer to more or less reliably do what he wants — providing he or she has properly tamed GIGO. (Where also the FSCO/I involved goes well beyond what blind chance and mechanical necessity can reasonably do. Computational machines in our experience and on analysis of search space challenges, are reliable indicators of design as credible cause.)

    So, we have merely been going West, we have not advanced an inch to the North.

    And so, no, the rationale proffered for why on your view rocks do not dream fails. Fails because we cannot get North by going West.

    I trust that whether or not you accept my argument, you will at least find it sufficiently plain that you will see why I hold it well grounded and to be relevant to your points. Indeed, why I have taken such pains to highlight the problem of the non-rational nature of blind cause-effect chains in computational devices. Devices I have worked with for over thirty years.

    KF

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung: Do, please be a bit restrained in what will be taken as personalities. KF

  30. 30
    Mung says:

    Personality has to do with individual differences among people in behavior patterns, cognition and emotion. Different personality theorists present their own definitions of the word based on their theoretical positions.

    Personality

    Oh my. Personality must rank right up there with intelligence.

  31. 31
    Vishnu says:

    Consciousness is primary.

    Those who know this, please raise your hands.

  32. 32
    Vishnu says:

    From the SETI website:

    How do you know if you’ve detected an intelligent, extraterrestrial signal?

    The main feature distinguishing signals produced by a transmitter from those produced by natural processes is their spectral width, i.e. how much room on the radio dial do they take up? Any signal less than about 300 Hz wide must be, as far as we know, artificially produced. Such narrow-band signals are what all SETI experiments look for. Other tell-tale characteristics include a signal that is completely polarized or the existence of coded information on the signal.

    A lack of a rigorous definition of “intelligence” is apparently not required by the SETI people. Perhaps they should call themselves SETCIM: Search for Extraterrestrial Coded-Information Makers. 🙂 But I think we all pretty much know what we (and they) mean by “intelligence”- entities capable of understanding their environment, having goals, and foresight, which is the ability to run scenarios mentally, finally landing on a action path that leads to the goal. The ability to produce coded information seems a fitting thing to add to that mix since how else would individuals communicate if they couldn’t produce coded signals such as a language? Is consciousness necessary for this? That’s an interesting question, but the lack of an answer is not a science stopper.

    Just my 2 cents.

  33. 33
    Mapou says:

    Vishnu:

    Consciousness is primary.

    Consciousness is not just primary, it’s all there is. However, it takes two things to have consciousness, a knower and a known (subject and object). The two are complementary opposites. Consciousness needs them both. My claim is that the subject is spirit and the object is matter. Yin and Yang all the way.

  34. 34
    Dionisio says:

    21 Mapou June 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Dionisio, my answer to your questions is that nothing means exactly the same to everyone. It all depends on the connections we make in our brains. The same is true for an intelligent machine.

    OK, what about another ‘intelligent’ machine, as you like to call it? Would both machines, built exactly the same way, interpret that text the same way?

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    Vishnu: Self-aware, self-moving consciousness is our fact no 1 . . . the fact through which we access all other facts. Too many current worldviews cannot address and take this seriously, while not falling into the trap of implying general delusion. General delusion immediately implies self-referential incoherence that drastically undermines even one’s own views. KF

  36. 36
    gpuccio says:

    KF:

    Thank you for bringing out so beautifully these fundamental issues. Unfortunately, I had no time in the last few days to join the company. I hope I can catch up!

  37. 37
    gpuccio says:

    Mapou:

    Consciousness is not just primary, it’s all there is. However, it takes two things to have consciousness, a knower and a known (subject and object). The two are complementary opposites. Consciousness needs them both. My claim is that the subject is spirit and the object is matter. Yin and Yang all the way.

    I can agree that the subject is spirit. I call it the “transcendental I”. I would say that the object is any kind of form, of phenomenic reality, not necessarily just matter.

    And I don’t agree that a subject cannot exist without an object. I think that God, in His transcendent form, can be conceived as pure consciousness. Maybe it is not consciousness of form, but it is not certainly passive “existence”.

    We can probably give no attributes to God transcendent, because any attribute would limit Him. But, in human terms, I would say that He is more a person than a thing, more a subject than an object.

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    GP, interesting thoughts, care to elaborate? I would think the concept of a maximally great, necessary being would be relevant? KF

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: As a technically competent comenter, inter alia on CNS neural behaviour, do you care to add thoughts on the naturally observed neural nets as processors? These, I hold to be GIGO-limited computational substrates, which also by virtue of FSCO/I involved at many levels point to design. One of the thoughts in my mind is that feedback loops and lags in such networks allow for memory of not just content but in effect subdroutine calls, and for signal enhancement in the presence of noise and gaps, interpolation and trend projection . . . which is effectively an electrochemical integrator. Such loops may also reinforce reflexivity and spiralling progress in learning and skill building — which BTW reflects my favourite curriculum development model. And more, e.g. proprioception and context cues allow integrated pictures of being located in the world. I have long loved your cell phone receiver analogy, and think it has promise when mixed with the ideas of oracular machines and Smith two tier controller cybernetic loops with shared memory.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Efference copy servo control by comparison of intent and actual on a path also seems relevant.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: The Smith Model and variations on it, look promising . . . think of a neural net two-port memory with processing capabilities inclusive of having built-in analogue computers [which — once set up — solve complex differential/dynamical equations with “ease”], fed by a sensory suite that senses outer world and orientation in it, then injects oracular decisions and insights . . .

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    NB: As a stimulus for thought and point of reference, I have updated the OP to include the Smith Model and an illustration of how neural nets are integrated into the Brain.

  43. 43
    gpuccio says:

    KF, Mapou and others:

    I would say that Chalmers has said it well: the hard problem of consciousness is simply that consciousness exists, IOWs that there is a subject who perceives all the formal modifications that we call thoughts, feelings, ect.

    Very simply, consciousness is not an objective list of formal modifications: it is the perception of those modifications by a subject.

    The subject is the real mystery.

    The brain, the senses, the material world, and whatever else, are the source of the inputs, the modifications which are perceived by the subject. They happen in space and time. They are forms. They are transferred from one material medium to another. The brain certainly receives and organizes those inputs, and computes from them.

    But all that would remain a non conscious list of phenomena, if at some point there were not a brain/consciousness interface. All the modifications that reach that interface become conscious representations. IOWs, the transcendental I perceives them in itself.

    The transcendental I is also the ultimate source of all original outputs which proceed from it, and which generate the mysterious framework of free will.

    So, in the ultimate sense, the subject perceives. It is the brain, the mind or whatever else which computes, which deals with forms and laws, which shapes the forms which will be perceived by the subject.

    But the subject is not passive: it has fundamental intuitions: being, joy, love, purpose, meaning. Those things are not of matter, and are not of form: they are qualities of consciousness itself, or of its interaction with form. They cannot even be defined “objectively”, because they are experiences of the subject.

    Computers, neural networks, algorithms, however complex, are objective dispositions of matter, form imposed to other forms, in space and time. They are similar to a mind which has lost its inhabitant, the subject. They know nothing of meaning, of purpose, of joy and of love, although they can certainly incorporate algorithmic representations of those concepts, which have nothing to do with the true concept itself, which is and remains only an experience of the subject.

    But in no way the I needs its formal contents to exist. It can perceive its conscious qualities, existence, love, joy, meaning, without the need of external “reminders”. OK, that is not the usual human experience, however 🙂

    Dreams are perceptions of forms, even if they are inner forms. However, there are deep state of sleep, or of contemplative religious experience, where the I exists in a very pure state, which depends very little from outer forms.

    However, consciousness is always the first reality.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    GP, that was almost poetic! Quite well put. KF

  45. 45
    Vishnu says:

    gpuccio @43,

    Yes, you got it. Very well stated.

    Not that I recommend them for mere recreational purposes, but taking certain brain altering chemicals only adds to the obvious perception that consciousness is, indeed, primary.

  46. 46
    Vishnu says:

    … and the reason why this is true is that under the influence of certain drugs one’s consciousness can experience a sort of death, that is, a partial detachment from the normal “hard and fast” connection to the brain, where one can in varying degrees directly perceive that the brain is indeed an interface to spacetime. The brain is awesome, it is an organ of vast network of rational thought and algorithmic processes and correspondences to conscious states, but it is not those conscious states, that is the Real Indestructible You: the perceiver.

    But what do I know.

  47. 47
    Vishnu says:

    One can achieve the same realization when in meditative states. That is the more recommended approach, IMO.

    But what do I know.

  48. 48
    gpuccio says:

    Vishnu:

    Well said. It is true that brain altering chemicals have been used in certain religious traditions. Like you, I would not recommend those practices. But it is further evidence that strange things happen when we “mess” with the brain consciousness interface.

    NDEs are another interesting field of experience about the activities of consciousness when it is relatively “disconnected” from brain activities.

    The potential of conscious experience is great and beautiful. But, if we insist in narrowing it with a reductionist and materialistic view of reality, it becomes narrow indeed. Consciousness is very flexible. It readily obeys our whims.

  49. 49
    Vishnu says:

    Gpuccio…

    Conscious is primary. Some of us know that 🙂

    I think you do. Because the words point in that direction.

    I could be wrong.

    But?

  50. 50
    gpuccio says:

    Vishnu:

    I don’t think you are wrong. 🙂

  51. 51

    KF

    By now, it SHOULD be clear that I am putting a high emphasis on the relevance of actual evidence, not a priori assumptions

    KF, You opened this very post (at 26) by explaining that an a priori commitment compels you to entertain the idea that consciousness can exist independent of brains and nervous systems:

    Daniel King:Do you agree that brains are necessary for thought (and dreaming), but may not be sufficient for either process? If so, I think that would answer Bill’s argument.

    [Daniel correctly perceives that you hadn’t answered my argument.]

    KF: The fine tuning of our cosmos is a case where we find evidence that puts the possibility — I am not here arguing plausibility — of design of the physics and materials of the observed cosmos on the table. Consequently I find it necessary to be open-minded about minds that are not embodied; mind, ontologically prior to matter.

    An a priori commitment to “mind ontologically prior to matter” (a philosophical notion, BTW) compels you to entertain the idea that consciousness can exist independent of brains and nervous systems.

    (Daniel, if it wasn’t entirely clear, KF responded “no” to your question.)

    This immediately follows:

    Anyone who has followed my repeated reference to the Smith Model, will recognise that I see a valid architecture, of a two-tier controller in a cybernetic loop. For such embodiment a brain or the substantial equivalent seems to be a key feature.

    A model used in such a way that brains are necessary for dreaming (consciousness, contemplation), but may not be sufficient.

    (Daniel, if it wasn’t entirely clear, that’s now a “yes” to your question.)

    KF to me:

    Your hoped for out that the refining and organising of rocks into computational devices is a solution that grounds dreams, does not succeed.

    I’ve uttered not a single word indicating that I believe that that computation is sufficient to account for consciousness, in this thread or any other. Where do you get this stuff?

    I trust that whether or not you accept my argument, you will at least find it sufficiently plain that you will see why I hold it well grounded and to be relevant to your points.

    What yours above doesn’t respond to is this:

    Given that you are willing to entertain disembodied minds, malevolent and benevolent supernatural forces acting in violation of the laws of physics (and possibly authoring Wile E. Coyote’s travails), rocks as “receivers” of external minds (whatever that means), and given that you reject the notion that physical organization, and therefore the lack thereof, has anything to do with dreaming (contemplation, etc.), on what basis do you conclude that a rock can’t be that which dreams without a brain?

  52. 52
    Joe says:

    RB:

    …on what basis do you conclude that a rock can’t be that which dreams without a brain?

    Already answered. Why are you still acting like a little baby? It isn’t an act, you say…

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    RB: ahem, there is no a priori commitment in my comment no 26 above. Maybe you mistake my remark that if a view implies the GENERAL deludedness of our thinking, it is absurd. All that means is, I refuse to cling to absurdities. And, I refuse to lock out serious possibilities. But then, you seem to labour under the impression that to entertain the possibility of design is an unwarranted a priori. That sort of gambit speaks for itself, and not in your favour. KF

    PS: You may not like the fact, but I along with dozens of others am a recent eyewitness to events that do not fit your worldview; events that have forced me to re-evaluate some of my own earlier dubiousness on certain classes of events — and no I am not going into details, I don’t depend on your approval to know what I know, and what I saw at close hand is in violation of basic expectations of physics; but then I always had an understanding that such laws have limitations per basic logic of induction and other relevant considerations. Your — predictable — reaction is to try to deride and dismiss sight unseen, testimony unheard. Tells me a lot, none of it good.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    Joe, please moderate tone. KF

  55. 55
    Dionisio says:

    Do these nice-looking robots dream?

    See post # 7 in this thread:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-505043

  56. 56

    KF:

    RB: ahem, there is no a priori commitment in my comment no 26 above.

    Sure there is. The question from Daniel concerned the relationship between brains and thought (and dreaming). Your answer notes that your commitment to “mind, ontologically prior to matter” at the origin of the universe makes it necessary for you to to entertain the notion that minds may exist without brains.

    Can anyone familiar with your output seriously doubt that this is a foundational commitment for you? Are you now seriously claiming otherwise?

    Your — predictable — reaction is to try to deride and dismiss sight unseen, testimony unheard. Tells me a lot, none of it good.

    Sorry, but there’s no way to list your above listed recent statements in a way that doesn’t read like ridicule. What does that tell you?

  57. 57
    RDFish says:

    Hi gpuccio,

    Consciousness is very flexible. It readily obeys our whims.

    So we have whims, and these whims can be communicated by us to our … consciousness, which readily obeys them?

    That doesn’t seem to make sense no matter what one’s metaphysics.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  58. 58
    gpuccio says:

    RDFish:

    We do have whims. Our consciousness perceives them, like any other content which it represents. And reacts to them.

    A good reaction to whims is to overcome them, if they are destructive.

    A bad reaction to destructive whims is to second them.

    My original statement:

    “The potential of conscious experience is great and beautiful. But, if we insist in narrowing it with a reductionist and materialistic view of reality, it becomes narrow indeed. Consciousness is very flexible. It readily obeys our whims.”

    So, if our whim of adhering to a materialistic view of reality is represented in our consciousness, and our consciousness chooses to second it, the result (a narrowing of our consciousness) is rather quick. Because consciousness is flexible: it can make itself vaster or narrower, it is in its power to choose.

    If it chooses to make itself narrower, that becomes readily operative, and it can be difficult to go back.

    I don’t know if that makes sense in your metaphysics, but it does in mine.

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    R-b:

    I think you are mistaking an abductive inference to best explanation of cosmological fine tuning for an a priori. Fine tuning is a serious issue, and arguably its best explanation is design, as say life-long agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize-holding astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle pointed out. (Cf. my current discussion here, and the wider discussion on cosmological fine tuning here at UD and onwards.)

    There are tested, empirically reliable signs of design, and for reasons outlined in the first of the two links just given, there are good analytical reasons for them. In that light, there is good reason to see that the best explanation of a fine tuned cosmos is design. Design being a reflection of purpose, knowledge, decision and active implementation. Where, the physics of a cosmos that is supportive of C-Chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based information and algorithm using life is an evident target of design.

    Whether or no you find the term palatable, that puts mind on the table, designing mind as ontologically prior to the observed cosmos . . . the only observed cosmos. This means that one must be open to the possibility of mind antecedent to matter and being the designer of matter.

    That is separate from the main issue in this thread, that rocks are inherently passive entities moved by physical and chemical forces tracing to blind chance and mechanical necessity. On a broad base of observation that fully warrants a confident inductive conclusion. Until there is evidence from something analogous to a Glasgow coma test, that rocks show otherwise, there is no good reason to detain oneself on speculations that rocks may or do dream.

    Further to this, even when such raw materials are refined and shaped into components of a computational substrate — Thomson Mechanical integrators, microprocessor units and neural networks (electronic or wetware makes little difference) etc — we STILL see only blind cause-effect chains at work.

    That is, such substrates are blind, physical instantiations of mathematical operators of various types. They are not dreaming, they are blatantly blindly grinding away, one cog against the next.

    (An operator, for those needing to know, converts one or more input functions into output functions based on some internal rule, e.g. classically integration, or extracting logs: I(t) –> Op(I) –> O(t), and the world of op amps is a good way to look into this. Specific basic ckts for operations are here.)

    Such substrates are inherently GIGO constrained and are not cases in point of actual ground-consequent reasoning. For reasoning to occur, we must not simply have a blind mechanical cause-effect chain, but a process of insight that understands actively that on premises P1, P2, . . . Pn, conclusion C must follow, or the like. Must follow on a good and sufficient reason connected to the meaning in the propositions and their conceptual-logical inter-relationship. As a classic example, syllogisms are based on implications of memberships in sets, hence the utility of Venn diagrams.

    As Reppert put it — and as you R-b have, unfortunately, consistently not come to grips with — echoing C S Lewis:

    . . . 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 [C S] 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.

    This has been repeatedly drawn to your attention, most recently starting with the OP for this thread.

    Where also, as was pointed out already, the issue of cosmological fine tuning forces us to seriously reckon with the question of design as the basis for the observed material world. And thus, if we are not to become closed-minded, we must be at least willing to reflect on the possibility of mind as distinct from a material basis in brain or the like.

    (Evolutionary materialists — never mind the lab coats — face the additional problem of accounting for the FSCO/I inn both brains and the associated information base, on blind chance and mechanical necessity, with self-referential incoherence also in the stakes. In short, it is credible that evolutionary materialism is inescapably self refuting and irrational.)

    So, to look to even refined rocks grinding away as one cog against another as the source or basis of self-aware, rationally contemplative dreams, is to try to get North by going ever faster West.

    You need to think again, and deal with the logic of abduction as a key facet of the modern understanding of inductive reasoning in the broad sense.

    The bottomline remains: rocks (per massive empirical base) have no dreams. Refined rocks forming mechanical computational substrates still have no dreams. Computation is not equal to rational, insightful, meaning and understanding based contemplation.

    KF

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    GP: Perhaps, the concept you are fishing for is the blinding effect of a paradigm. Where, a paradigm is a double-edged sword . . . a way of not seeing just as much as a way of seeing in light of a particular perspective. This becomes all the more intellectually blinding if one compounds this with the no true scientist “denies” or doubts X/ the consensus sez X twin fallacies. “Denialist” is of course a nastily loaded invidious propaganda association with holocaust denial. KF

    PS: That is why paradigms need to be complemented with a comparative difficulties worldviews level analysis. Wherein alternatives are looked at on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory balance — elegantly simple and powerful, so neither simplistic nor an ad hoc patchwork. Something that fails to address the facts fails. That which is incoherent also fails. That which is ad hoc or simplistic is inferior.

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    D:

    I see:

    In a demonstration, the remote-controlled machines moved their pink lips in time to a voice-over, twitched their eyebrows, blinked and swayed their heads from side to side. They stay seated but can move their hands.

    In a clear triumph, Kodomoroid read the news without stumbling once and recited complex tongue-twisters glibly.

    The robot, designed with a girlish appearance, can use a variety of voices, such as a deep male voice one minute and a squeaky girly voice the next. The speech can be input by text, giving them perfect articulation, according to Ishiguro.

    There were some glitches—such as the lips not moving at all while the robot spoke, or the Otonaroid announcer robot staying silent twice when asked to introduce itself.

    But glitches are common with robots because they are delicate gadgetry sensitive to their environment.

    I am of course unsure as to whether OCR and text-to speech software were at work, but such would again be little more than putting a clever interface on GIGO-limited info processing based on carefully designed and debugged machinery.

    KF

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    Joe, BTW, my Mom — also a successful public education specialist — taught me that as a good rule of thumb it takes about ten exposures to a “simple” message for it to be likely to burn through the usual automatic filters . . . hence the drumbeat repetition of ad jingles etc. It of course helps if multiple sources and contexts are involved, so we have a ways to go to burn through the smoke and fog on this subject. KF

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Worse, we have to break through the persuasive effects of fallacies and linked polarisation. On this last, we may have to try for the Goliath demo effect. Namely the onlookers may be even more important. KF

  64. 64
    Dionisio says:

    KF @ 61

    Wonder what would happen if someone asked the girly robot (or is it robotic girl?) one of the standard iPhone Siri questions, like ‘would you marry me?’ What if the questioner has such a heavy accent that one can barely understand the question? What would kodomoroid do in such cases? Would it be polite, upset, indifferent, or just ignore the whole thing and move on to something else?
    My accent is so bad in any language, that those Siri-sh voice recognition apps don’t understand most of my questions. So they usually answer total nonsense.
    Perhaps Siri would have simply responded another nonsense. Perhaps kodomoroid would have repeated the speech stored in its memory?

    Borrowing your term, GIGO-processing devices that we tend to elevate to mythological deities. We keep forgetting that the authors of those AI machines are humans who got their intelligence from… ok, let’s leave the discussion there for now 😉

  65. 65
    VunderGuy says:

    “Denialist” is of course a nastily loaded invidious propaganda association with holocaust denial.”

    What if we came up with a new term that was more apt and less charged, like ‘Rejector’ and ‘Non-affrimer?”

  66. 66
    Dionisio says:

    VG,

    Did you mean

    Non-affirmer?

  67. 67
    Dionisio says:

    KF and VG

    I thought “Oder” was the name of a river near the border between Poland and Germany, but apparently the word has other meanings I was not aware of?

    Check this out:

    http://www.laboratoryequipment.....cation=top

  68. 68
    Dionisio says:

    OT: follow up to post # 67

    Back in the ’70s one could buy in Poland jeans labeled ‘Odra’ that were popular among young students in Moscow, because they were the closest thing to western jeans you could purchase in the black market, but at slightly lower price than the allegedly ‘legit’ Levi’s or Wrangler jeans. However, the whole deal could be tricky, because sometimes the “Odra” jeans were manually relabeled to Wrangler jeans and sold out at premium prices to fellow students.
    Anyway, this popped up to my mind after reading the article about the food ‘oder’ 😉

  69. 69
    Dionisio says:

    Semi-OT?
    constraints on power, communication or computation?

    Machine learning, in which computers learn new skills by looking for patterns in training data, is the basis of most recent advances in artificial intelligence, from voice-recognition systems to self-parking cars. It’s also the technique that autonomous robots typically use to build models of their environments.

    That type of model-building gets complicated, however, in cases in which clusters of robots work as teams. The robots may have gathered information that, collectively, would produce a good model but which, individually, is almost useless. If constraints on power, communication or computation mean that the robots can’t pool their data at one location, how can they collectively build a model?

    From http://www.laboratoryequipment.....cation=top

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    VG: We are not the ones using such language. The thought police are, on an increasing number of subjects they wish to push agendas on. All I am doing is pointing out the ugly well-poisoning tactic implicit in it. And judging by the steadily deteriorating tone in say YouTube etc, it is working. As in, divide, deceive and [mis-]rule. KF

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    D, obvious typo, and yes it is a bit funny — but y’know the way that spell-checks work, that one would be quite a mess between when it is a typo and when it is not; GIGO on steroids again. And that river line brings to mind some history. Sad,sad history. KF

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    D: Not so semi OT. This is cringe-worthy anthropomorphising of an inert machine that is not one whit more smart than the programmers:

    computers learn new skills [–> are programmed to improve performance] by looking for [–>algorithmically detecting] patterns in training [suitably denoted reference standard input] data

    When we point it out . . .

    KF

  73. 73
    Mung says:

    Running Bill:

    KF, You opened this very post (at 26) by explaining that an a priori commitment compels you to entertain the idea that consciousness can exist independent of brains and nervous systems:

    I must be defective. All of a sudden rocks no longer figure into the picture? RB assures us that he knows that rocks don’t dream. He claims he has a reason why rocks don’t dream, no evidence, mind you, but a reason.

    Now, all of a sudden, no rocks.

    RB dreams, and he has a brain, and his brain is not a rock

    Brains dream, ricks don’t, therefore his brain is not a rock.

    Therefore, rocks don’t dream.

  74. 74

    KF:

    I think you are mistaking an abductive inference to best explanation of cosmological fine tuning for an a priori.

    Not at all. A prioris are integral to adductive reasoning, as they are the basis for judgments regarding which explanation is “best” among the those that remain in logical contention given the facts at hand as one makes that inference to the “best” explanation. Often we can agree on which explanation that is based on shared background knowledge and assumptions, but but in disputed (and maybe unresolvable) cases like the significance of cosmological constants, inference to the best explanation is powerless to decide which explanation is actually “best,” as it has strictly circumscribed logical force. In those instances I prefer “I don’t know” rather than an abductive leap (which is not to claim that I don’t have my priors). The truth is I haven’t the slightest idea what accounts for the origin of the universe and it’s constants, and neither do you. But you’ve made your choice informed by your priors, at least to the extent that they necessitate your downstream acceptance of disembodied minds and poltergeist-powered rocks.

    Until there is evidence from something analogous to a Glasgow coma test, that rocks show otherwise, there is no good reason to detain oneself on speculations that rocks may or do dream.

    No one in the discussion so speculates – certainly not me. But there is a more abstract reason to tarry. In denying any and all relationship between consciousness and embodiment, you’ve built a framework in which rocks may well be conscious. Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient? Their complete passiveness can’t be the reason: perhaps they lack the physical structures required for interface between that ingredient and the world, yet are dreaming nonetheless. You’ve no principled reason for denying that. When you erect an argument that empties it’s starting “principle” of principled reasons for its acceptance, you have a problem. Appeals to adjunctive empirical supports for your empty principle don’t help. That’s a reason to tarry on the point, even if Bud and Weis remain baffled by the discussion.

    Regarding the Glasgow, Gpuccio clearly disagrees with you, as he has assented (to RDF) to the following statement:

    RDF:

    Apparently you are hypothesizing here that while we are anesthetized, or in a dreamless sleep, or have been “knocked unconscious”, and so on, we actually are still experiencing conscious awareness, but when we regain consciousness, we for some reason forget all that happened while we were unconscious (but still, in your view, having conscious experiences). Is that what you mean?

    GP:

    Yes.

    Persons who are anesthetized cannot respond to the Glasgow or anything like it, which is why we can perform deep surgical interventions without eliciting responses. Nor do they exhibit self-directed or self-moving behavior of any kind. The Glasgow indicates that they are unconscious, yet Gpuccio maintains that those persons are consciously aware at those very moments (one wonders: of what?). If he is right, then we have further instances in which the Glasgow, given your framework, gives false negatives – unless you wish to differ with GP about anesthetized persons. (IOW, it is useless and absurdly misplaced in this discussion. Give it up.)

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    R-B:

    Thank you for clearly stating your core contention. This allows us to be able to see the root issues.

    I will comment on the pivotal paragraph above on points:

    >> A prioris are integral to adductive [–> Abductive] reasoning,>>

    1 –> No more so than with reasoning in general, namely the first, self-evident principles of right reason.

    2 –> That is, once we accept that something A has a distinct identity, we see a world-partition { A | NOT-A } and so also the principle of identity, non contradiction and excluded middle.

    3 –> Also, and this seems to be a root problem you face, that if A is (or is possible, or is impossible) we may freely inquire as to why in at minimum the hope of finding a good and sufficient reason.

    4 –> Where, if A is contingent, it credibly traces to a cause; with the critical type of causal factor being the on/off enabling factor such that if absent then A will not actually exist. (Such as, each of heat, fuel, oxidiser and functioning heat-generating chain reaction for a fire.)

    5 –> Where also, there are necessary beings and candidate beings that turn out to be impossible. As an example, a square circle has inherent contradictions in core attributes and is impossible. By contrast the truth expressed in 2 + 3 = 5 cannot not exist, on pain of contradiction and confusion. It never began, is so in any possible world and cannot cease.

    6 –> All that is necessary for abductive inference to best explanation [and in science it is inference to best CURRENT explanation] to work is that we are willing to acknowledge alternative possibilities as candidates, and are willing to assess them on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory elegance: simple, neither simplistic nor ad hoc. Where also, the requirement of empirical reliability suffices to lock out unbridled speculations.

    7 –> So, it seems your real complaint is that on matters of origins, despite evidence on the significance of FSCO/I as an empirically reliable and analytically plausible sign of design, you are unwilling to entertain such a cause as a design.

    >> as they are the basis for judgments regarding which explanation is “best” among the those that remain in logical contention given the facts at hand as one makes that inference to the “best” explanation.>>

    8 –> This twists the matter, and is the gateway by which you have injected your own (evidently evolutionary materialism influenced) a prioris, by projecting the accusation of a priorism elsewhere.

    9 –> In fact, all that is required for abduction to work . . . and it is the form of induction that underlies scientific methods especially where competing hypotheses are at stake . . . is to be willing to seriously consider alternative possibilities on empirical and logical evidence.

    >> Often we can agree on which explanation that is based on shared background knowledge and assumptions,>>

    10 –> This is little more than a repetition, which does psychological work, rather than adding to cogency.

    11 –> All that is required to clarify what is at stake is to revert to possible worlds thinking (here, an expanded form of modelling based on scenarios).

    12 –> Is there a possible world in which, say, a design team creates cell based life forms and seeds a planet? Obviously yes. Given Venter et al, yes again. Given hopes to terraform Mars, yes yet again.

    13 –> This is a design scenario.

    >>but in disputed (and maybe unresolvable) cases like the significance of cosmological constants,>>

    14 –> Translation, by simply objecting, I and my ilk propose to lock out and dismiss serious considerations

    >> inference to the best explanation is powerless to decide which explanation is actually “best,”>>

    15 –> Translation, I and my ilk refuse to consider the implications of observations that led to Hoyle and others putting fine tuning on the table for serious consideration.

    16 –> Also, we refuse to take seriously the significance of FSCO/I as a reliable sign of design. (Cf the chirping crickets currently, here, onlookers.)

    >> as it has strictly circumscribed logical force.>>

    17 –> Actually, all arguments have strictly circumscribed logical force. Deductive ones go no further than the ambit of axioms.

    18 –> As Godel showed, starting with Math, we face irreducible complexities and uncertainties in sufficiently rich axiom systems. If consistent then incomplete. If complete — entailing all true claims — then self contradictory. So, maybe we should give up on Math where there are differences of views? Obviously not.

    19 –> As Locke highlighted in the intro to his essay on Human Understanding, in empirically grounded inductive contexts, the ones that allow us to learn new things, there are irreducible uncertainties and provisionalities. (I expand his Scriptural allusions.) Clipping:

    Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 – 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 – 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 – 2 & 13, Ac 17, Jn 3:19 – 21, Eph 4:17 – 24, Isaiah 5:18 & 20 – 21, Jer. 2:13, Titus 2:11 – 14 etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 – 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly. [Text references added to document the sources of Locke’s allusions and citations.]

    >>In those instances I prefer “I don’t know” rather than an abductive leap (which is not to claim that I don’t have my priors). >>

    19 –> On fair comment, this is selective hyperskepticism, boiling down to we don’t like some possibilities so we refuse to entertain them.

    20 –> Do we seriously think that you object to say teaching abiogenesis or body-plan macroevolutionary explanations as though various scenarios are fact when they cannot pass the vera causa test?

    21 –> The answer to this weakly grounded preference, is to insist that we teach origins science in light of strengths, limitations and requisites of abductive-form inductive reasoning in science and the resulting provisionality of results.

    22 –> But it is the evolutionary materialism advocates who object to that, demanding to monopolise in ways that look a whole lot like indoctrination.

    23 –> But, major body plans, cell based life and the physics of the cosmos all reflect an astonishing degree of FSCO/I. Where we do know a class of causal factors that is empirically reliably and analytically plausibly the only known, capable cause of such.

    24 –> Namely, design.

    25 –> As Wikipedia, speaking against known ideological interest notes:

    More formally design has been defined as follows.

    (noun) a specification of an object, manifested by an agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraints;
    (verb, transitive) to create a design, in an environment (where the designer operates)[2]

    KF

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    Continuing:

    >> No one in the discussion so speculates – certainly not me.>>

    26 –> Not quite. The challenge was raised repeatedly, why not entertain the rock as a locus of dreaming . . . even, as a dismissive reply to perceived “silly” belief in the supernatural. That is a simple fact. To which I responded, let a rock SHOW itself conscious, then we can talk seriously.

    27 –> And all of this is really strawmannish off a red herring from the main point I have taken pains to argue, only to see a lot of duck, dodge and side-slip.

    28 –> Namely, when we refine rocks and form them into computational substrates — analogue, digital, neural network — they STILL are patently interacting through blind, GIGO-limited cause-effect bonds not through actual insightful, meaning and concept based reasoning. As Leibnitz, Lewis and Reppert have pointed out across 350 years.

    29 –> That side slipping has become so consistent that it is telling me that a serious point has been made.

    >> But there is a more abstract reason to tarry. In denying any and all relationship between consciousness and embodiment, you’ve built a framework in which rocks may well be conscious.>>

    30 –> More precisely, entities formed of dust are observed to be conscious, in a context where neural network architectures are patently still in the cause-effect blind GIGO limited computational regime.

    31 –> So, the characteristic materialist lab coat clad fixation on rocks, raw or refined [and on software that is also GIGO-limited and constitutes blind manipulation of digital symbols and/or analogue signals by appropriately arranged rocks], begins to look suspiciously like trying to get North by going West.

    >> Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems>>

    32 –> Not so fast, you skipped over the analysis of refining and arranging rocks into computational substrates and associated software. This turns what I actually argued into a strawman caricature.

    33 –> I positively showed WHY cogs grinding on cogs or gating electrical or electro-chemical signals are acting by blind cause-effect chains, not insightful cognition. Based on having done the homework.

    >> (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness),>>

    34 –> This is first, burden of proof shifting. Done, in the teeth of my having taken time to show the limitations of blind computation and why it does not equal contemplation based on rational insight.

    35 –> That is, WITHOUT having shown the capability of computational substrates to cause consciousness, you wish to implicitly hold the default. This begs the question in the teeth of inherent limitations shown — shown, not assumed.

    36 –> In addition, on the strength of a weak selectively hyperskeptical dismissal already dealt with just now, you wish to pass over the case of the fine tuned physics of the observed cosmos in silence.

    37 –> But this is precisely a case that puts the issue of design antecedent to and causative of the material cosmos we inhabit. Which further puts on the table the issue of mind ontologically prior to and causative of, matter.

    38 –> So, the argument you have made is little more than an ideological lock-out.

    >> but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness.>>

    39 –> First, the issue of mind ontologically before matter arises from the origin of the cosmos, which exhibits a known, highly reliable sign of design: complex, functionally highly specific fine tuned organisation and associated information.

    40 –> Second, I took pains to show why we hold that raw rocks have no dreams, and why refined organised rocks forming computational substrates — INCLUDING neural network arrays — still have no capability to dream arising from the arrangement of material components.

    41 –> That we are self-aware and conscious, contemplative, reasoning, designing etc is self evident. That this shows capabilities beyond a cosmos full of blind chance plus mechanical necessity has been repeatedly shown [e.g. try here again], to deny this simply show FSCO/I coming from such blind material factors.

    42 –> We re minded, having self-aware, conscious, rational designing capabilities. What is the ontological root of that? In a world that shows itself fine tuned in ways that point to mind being ontologically prior to matter?

    >> On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?>>

    43 –> Asks as thought he answer has not been repeatedly given.

    >> Their complete passiveness can’t be the reason: perhaps they lack the physical structures required for interface between that ingredient and the world, yet are dreaming nonetheless.>>

    44 –> A case of groundless peculation put up as a counter-argument, with a caricature.

    45 –> On the contrary, until rocs pass something like the Glasgow coma test and show that here is something there to be addressed on empirical evidence, the matter is just wild speculation.

    46 –> On the contrary, we also have a considerable body pf experience with rocks, which shows that hey have no sign of conscious, self-moved active agency. Just the opposite of ourselves.

    47 –> So, we may freely put forth as a best current abductive explanation: rocks are passive objects, not self-moved contemplative ones.

    48 –> If you have an alternative that addresses factual adequacy, coherence, and explanatory balance, let us hear it.

    >> You’ve no principled reason for denying that.>>

    49 –> this is little more than, “I choose to reject an abductive, inference to best explanation scientific argument when it does not suit me.” And, then pretend that such a pattern of inductive reasoning does not exist — never mind that it is the basis of scientific arguments to best current explanation. Selective hyperskepticism.

    >> When you erect an argument that empties it’s starting “principle” of principled reasons for its acceptance, you have a problem.>>

    50 –> Nope, you have the problems with abductive empirically grounded scientific reasoning. Not me.

    >> Appeals to adjunctive empirical supports for your empty principle don’t help. That’s a reason to tarry on the point, even if Bud and Weis remain baffled by the discussion. >>

    51 –> Repeating your dismissals of the grounding principles of scientific reasoning do not make your selectively hyperskeptical dismissals any stronger.

    KF

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    Concluding for now:

    >> Regarding the Glasgow, Gpuccio clearly disagrees with you,>>

    52 –> GP can speak for himself, and what I find in him is disagreement with the notion of consciousness disapearing in sleep, as opposed to the issue of coma/conscious in the context of medical reference.

    53 –> Where, unlike with rocks, there are abundant circumstances where humans and many animals for that matter, exhibit every evidence of active, self-aware self-moved consciousness.

    >> as he has assented (to RDF) to the following statement:

    RDF:

    Apparently you are hypothesizing here that while we are anesthetized, or in a dreamless sleep, or have been “knocked unconscious”, and so on, we actually are still experiencing conscious awareness, but when we regain consciousness, we for some reason forget all that happened while we were unconscious (but still, in your view, having conscious experiences). Is that what you mean?

    GP:

    Yes.

    Persons who are anesthetized cannot respond to the Glasgow or anything like it, which is why we can perform deep surgical interventions without eliciting responses>>

    54 –> As it is, this illustrates my point as just made.

    55 –> During an operation such as on scoliosis, it is routine for physicians to raise the person to sufficient responsiveness to get him or her to move to a new position. At least, that is what the expert surgeons I dealt with brought to my attention.

    56 –> And again, you have distorted GP’s discussion on various kinds of conscious behaviour in a creature known to exhibit full waking consciousness, with the status of a rock which you nor anyone else have not been able to show a single sign of such a state. Where also, we have the ability to administer a Glasgow-like test to our own selves, that is we have self-awareness and memory of past states, so we can be aware that even while asleep we dream, and we have a minimal awareness of comfort while sleeping; indeed there is also evidence that there is an active monitoring of environment as we can be startled out of sleep by a sudden noise or the like, obviously this is protective.

    57 –> All this in pursuit of dismissal of abductive inference to best explanation.

    >>. Nor do they exhibit self-directed or self-moving behavior of any kind.>>

    58 –> Scoliosis patients, under surgery, can credibly be raised sufficiently to respond to verbal commands. During the surgery, tests are done on responses, to see if damage has occurred, so for instance in the case I had to deal with, we know before they sewed up the wound [I think that was at about 6 hours in . . . ], that the surgery was significantly successful. Further to this, there was a discussion later that night in which the responses to questions were in Spanish, which my son is studying in school. Later, when we asked him, he did not recall the conversation, i.e. he was not in full waking consciousness, but was at a certain degree able to hear and respond by emitting FSCO/I, in an acquired second language.

    >> The Glasgow indicates that they are unconscious,>>

    59 –> Cf just above, the degree of consciousness is variable. Also there are cases of people under surgery in pain, and I believe some may give indications of dreaming.

    >> yet Gpuccio maintains that those persons are consciously aware at those very moments (one wonders: of what?).>>

    60 –> GP can speak for himself, but it should be clear that he is speaking of the underlying states of a creature known to exhibit full waking consciousness . . . and, to remember dream states etc. Rocks don’t.

    >> If he is right, then we have further instances in which the Glasgow, given your framework, gives false negatives –>>

    61 –> That is not a false negative in the context of what it measures, degree of closeness to full waking consciousness. Let me clip Wiki:

    The Glasgow Coma Scale or GCS is a neurological scale that aims to give a reliable, objective way of recording the conscious state of a person for initial as well as subsequent assessment. A patient is assessed against the criteria of the scale, and the resulting points give a patient score between 3 (indicating deep unconsciousness) and either 14 (original scale) or 15 (the more widely used modified or revised scale) . . . .

    The scale is composed of three tests: eye, verbal and motor responses. The three values separately as well as their sum are considered. The lowest possible GCS (the sum) is 3 (deep coma or death), while the highest is 15 (fully awake person).
    Eye response (E)

    There are four grades starting with the most severe:

    No eye opening
    Eye opening in response to pain stimulus. (a peripheral pain stimulus, such as squeezing the lunula area of the patient’s fingernail is more effective than a central stimulus such as a trapezius squeeze, due to a grimacing effect).[1]
    Eye opening to speech. (Not to be confused with the awakening of a sleeping person; such patients receive a score of 4, not 3.)
    Eyes opening spontaneously

    Verbal response (V)

    There are five grades starting with the most severe:

    No verbal response
    Incomprehensible sounds. (Moaning but no words.)
    Inappropriate words. (Random or exclamatory articulated speech, but no conversational exchange. Speaks words but no sentences.)
    Confused. (The patient responds to questions coherently but there is some disorientation and confusion.)
    Oriented. (Patient responds coherently and appropriately to questions such as the patient’s name and age, where they are and why, the year, month, etc.)

    Motor response (M)

    There are six grades:

    No motor response
    Decerebrate posturing accentuated by pain (extensor response: adduction of arm, internal rotation of shoulder, pronation of forearm and extension at elbow, flexion of wrist and fingers, leg extension, plantarflexion of foot)
    Decorticate posturing accentuated by pain (flexor response: internal rotation of shoulder, flexion of forearm and wrist with clenched fist, leg extension, plantarflexion of foot)
    Withdrawal from pain (Absence of abnormal posturing; unable to lift hand past chin with supra-orbital pain but does pull away when nailbed is pinched)
    Localizes to pain (Purposeful movements towards painful stimuli; e.g., brings hand up beyond chin when supra-orbital pressure applied.)
    Obeys commands (The patient does simple things as asked.)

    62 –> It is only at the bottom of the scale that death enters, which I take it is reckoned by one and all to be an index that the body is now a passive object subject fully to blind physical and chemical and biological forces of decay.

    >> unless you wish to differ with GP about anesthetized persons.>>

    63 –> I do not materially differ from GP, especially when we look at the range of degrees of response and conscious behaviour involved.

    >> (IOW, it is useless and absurdly misplaced in this discussion. Give it up.) >>

    64 –> It would be useless if we had cases where rocks showed significant conscious behaviour, or that humans never showed anything but passivity and no signs of self-aware, intelligent rational conduct.

    65 –> But, contrary to your hoped for conclusion, we do and rocks don’t.

    KF

  78. 78
  79. 79
    Mung says:

    Evidently, Reciprocating Bill has no intelligent rejoinder, failing to reciprocate.

    Rocks For Brains!

  80. 80

    KF:

    I will comment on the pivotal paragraph above on points:

    Sorry KF, that isn’t the pivotal paragraph. The Pivotal paragraph contains the following question (here slightly elaborated):

    Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for drippy nervous systems. As that ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness, rocks with that ingredient may also be conscious. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?

  81. 81

    KF:
    Geppetto hypothesizes that while we are anesthetized we actually are still experiencing conscious awareness, but when we regain consciousness, we for some reason forget all that happened while we were unconscious (but were still, in his view, having conscious experiences).

    But Pinnochio hypothesizes that consciousness has ceased in those persons for the duration of the deep anesthesia, which may be for several hours, then resumes as anesthesia is lifted. There is no experience to remember.

    People under deep anesthesia are incapable of eye opening or movement, utter no verbalizations, exhibit no motor responses and are unresponsive to painful stimuli. They endure surgery without eyeing a bat.

    Can the Glasgow tell us who is right?

    (Pinnochio is particularly interested in this question because he was fashioned from a block of wood bearing the crucial nonphysical ingredient for consciousness. That’s why he didn’t like having his feet burned off.)

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    R-B:

    First, I worked through your comments, point by point across three posts.

    I spoke to the first set of claims as pivotal because they went to your foundational problems in logic.

    Your onward responses — with all due respect — constitute little more than ignoring what was worked through point by point and looping back to the same assertions, insinuations and underlying assumptions.

    I will simply note that I point out that the Glasgow test runs across a scale from 3 to 14 or 15 [modified], taking in degrees of consciousness from deep coma/death to full waking states, and relate to creatures that exhibit full waking states . .. as I took time to excerpt.

    Rocks simply do not exhibit such full waking states, we do. The rest of your objection then is irrelevant.

    Going beyond, you continue to ignore the point where I worked out in detail that rocks are refined and made into various classes of computational substrates. All of such have the same basic challenge, they are cogs grinding on cogs blindly, in accordance with an organisation that is not inherent to the properties of rock. So, we have inherently blind cause-effect chains limited by the GIGO principle, rather than self-aware insightful reasoned contemplative thought.

    As Reppert summed up, as has been repeatedly pointed out and repeatedly ignored on your part:

    . . . 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 [C S] 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.

    Leibnitz was right to point out that we look in vain to the physical causal chain if we seek to explain self-aware, self-moved rational contemplation. Rocks have no dreams, even refined and organised rocks carrying out GIGO-limited computational cause-effect chains. Computation simply is not contemplation. Yes, as the Smith model shows, a cybernetic loop architecture can use a computational controller in the loop, and a two-port memory as a key interface to a supervisory controller. But if all that is in that controller is more computational substrates, rationality collapses. And with it, the basis for genuine knowledge, responsibility and freedom. Thence, self-referential incoherence and absurdity.

    And, it is vain to try to get North by insistently going West.

    In this regard, we only need to mention in passing, that the FSCO/I involved in organising the requisite hardware and software (however expressed, e.g. synapse strength patterns count as software), cannot reasonably be explained on blind incremental chance and necessity, cf. here. (It is worth noting, onlookers, on the chirping crickets there.)

    KF

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung:

    We all have (refined) rocks for brains, organised on general principles of a neural network gate array. For which it is evident that the perceptron type feed forward network gives a case type structure. Integrate some feedback and pattern recognition can become self-reinforcing and — if done right — can pick patterns out of noise (but if done badly, can mislead), triggering the equivalent of subroutine calls. Also, it looks to me like an integrator capable of trend recognition and projection is possible much as the Thomson type integrator was used to track and keep range in fire control computers. Where too, case structures obviously are generalisations of decision sequences. Loops come with feedback. Storage would be a callable subroutine tied to a case structure.

    So, we have in-principle ways to effect structured computational processes using neural network gates. (Structured processes are dual to object-oriented ones.)

    So, we have ways to do effectively any computational task.

    (I note that this is technically important, though those who talk in terms of neural networks don’t usually talk in these terms.)

    But that still does not account for the organisation, or the software, both of which are FSCO/I rich. that already points to design.

    Going further, we know ourselves to be self-aware, self-moved, contemplative, conceptual, creative, insightful, meaning-/understanding- oriented reasoning thinkers. None of this is accounted for on either computational substrates or being embedded in cybernetic loops with servo devices [limbs] and sensory turrets.

    But that is what we need to address.

    It is a sad sign of our times that we have had to expend so much effort on fact no 1: we are self-aware conscious creatures.

    No worldview, and no scientific model that cannot seriously address fact no 1 through which we access all other facts we come to thereby be aware of, can be said to be factually adequate.

    Likewise, materialist schemes that end up implying this from Crick in The Astonishing Hypothesis, 1994, are self-referentially incoherent and self-refuting:

    . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.

    No wonder Philip Johnson has replied that Sir Francis should have therefore been willing to preface his works thusly: “I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of nothing more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Johnson then acidly commented: “[t]he plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit exception be made for the theorist.” [Reason in the Balance, 1995.]

    Something that purports to explain mind but is grossly factually inadequate and implicitly incoherent, is simplistic and an explanatory non-starter.

    It is not even wrong.

    It is futility to try to get North by going West.

    KF

  84. 84
    gpuccio says:

    Reciprocating Bill:

    Just a few thoughts (if you are interested in thoughts):

    a) Your attempts at putting my statements against KF’s are, at best, unkind. KF can answer for himself, and I can answer for myself, but nobody can answer for someone else, and nobody is intellectual authority to anybody else, in my intellectual world. Maybe that is not the case in yours.

    So, please discuss my statement with me and KF’s statements with him, and don’t try to cross them according to your interpretations. Moreover, I have very little time and I cannot monitor everything that is said here, either by friends or by “antagonists”.

    b) My only point is that I believe that consciousness never stops to exist. Not in waking conscious states, not in dreams, not in deep sleep, not in anaesthesia, not in coma, not in NDEs, not in death.

    However, the type of conscious experiences vary a lot between these different states. The only common experience is that of our identity (of being “us”, without any special connotation), which links all those experiences. Memory can connect some of those experiences, or not. We usually have scarce or no memory of most of our dreams, or of our life in the first three years, or even of many thoughts, feelings and states which are experienced, more or less subconsciously, even during the waking state.

    Moreover, the connection between consciousness and the brain is very different in those states. In dreams or in dreamless sleep brain activity is present, and yet we have almost no memory of those periods in the waking state.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Non-rapid eye movement sleep, or NREM, is, collectively, sleep stages 1–3, previously known as stages 1–4. Rapid eye movement sleep (REM) is not included. There are distinct electroencephalographic and other characteristics seen in each stage. Unlike REM sleep, there is usually little or no eye movement during this stage. Dreaming is rare during NREM sleep, and muscles are not paralyzed as in REM sleep. People who do not go through the sleeping stages properly get stuck in NREM sleep, and because muscles are not paralyzed a person may be able to sleepwalk.[1] According to studies, the mental activity that takes place during NREM sleep is believed to be thought-like, whereas REM sleep includes hallucinatory and bizarre content.[2] The mental activity that occurs in NREM and REM sleep is a result of two different generators, which also explains the difference in mental activity.[3] In addition, there is a parasympathetic dominance during NREM.[4] During the period of Non-REM sleep, the mindset of a person is more organized.[5] The differences in the REM and NREM activity reported is believed to arise from differences in the memory stages that happen during the two methods of sleep.[6] It has been found, through several experiments that low levels of stage 3 sleep are found in about 40-50% of acute and chronic schizophrenics who typically portray abnormal non-rapid eye movement sleep.[7]”

    So, do you think we are conscious in phase 3 sleep (deep sleep)? I certainly do.

    My point is that there is no demonstration that consciousness ever “stops to exist”, even in death, and IMO there are many good reasons to believe that it doesn’t. Period. Very simple, as you can see.

  85. 85
    gpuccio says:

    Reciprocating Bill:

    Always from Wikipedia:

    “Slow-wave sleep

    Slow-wave sleep (SWS) is made up of the deepest stage of NREM, and is often referred to as deep sleep.

    The highest arousal thresholds (e.g. difficulty of awakening, such as by a sound of a particular volume) are observed in stage 3. A person will typically feel groggy when awoken from this stage, and indeed, cognitive tests administered after awakening from stage 3 indicate that mental performance is somewhat impaired for periods up to 30 minutes or so, relative to awakenings from other stages. This phenomenon has been called “sleep inertia.”

    After sleep deprivation there is usually a sharp rebound of SWS, suggesting there is a “need” for this stage.[20]

    Slow Wave Sleep (SWS) is a highly active state unlike a state of brain quiescence as previously thought. Brain imaging data has shown that during nonREM sleep the regional brain activity is influenced by the waking experience just passed.

    A study was done involving an experimental and a control group to have them learn to navigate a 3D maze. The blood flow in the parahippocampal gyrus increased in conjunction with the individual’s performance through the 3D maze. Participants were then trained in the maze for 4 hours and later, during the various sleep cycles of nonREM sleep, REM sleep and wakefulness, they were scanned twelve times using a PET scan during the night. The PET scan demonstrated a higher blood flow in the hippocampus during SWS/non-REM sleep due to the training from the previous day while the control group exhibited no increased blood flow and they had not received the training the prior day. The brain activity during sleep, according to this study, would show the events of the previous day do make a difference. One theory suggests a model of Hippocampal-neocortical dialogue. “Two stages of hippocampal activity have been proposed, the first being the recording of the memory during waking and the second involving the playback of the memory during nonREM sleep. This process of reactivation of memory firing sequences is believed to gradually reinforce initially weak connections between neocortical sites allowing the original information to be activated in the cortex independently of the hippocampus, and thus ensuring refreshed encoding capacity of the hippocampus.” Maquet concluded that the areas of the brain involved with information processing and memory have increased brain activity during the slow wave sleep period. Events experienced in the previous day have more efficient and clearer memory recall the next day thus indicating that the memory regions of the brain are activated during SWS/non-REM sleep instead of being dormant as previously thought.[21]”

  86. 86

    KF:

    First, I worked through your comments, point by point across three posts.

    But you didn’t answered the following question:

    Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for mucilaginous brains and nervous systems. Ick.

    As that ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness, rocks with that ingredient may also be conscious. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?

  87. 87

    Gpuccio:

    Your attempts at putting my statements against KF’s are, at best, unkind.

    Your umbrage has no bearing upon the question that I pose to KF. Nor does the origin of the notions that I have placed in opposition have any bearing upon the force of the question – indeed, I assigned the respective points of view to fictional characters. (UD is a humorless bunch, however.) One expresses a view similar to yours concerning consciousness during deep anesthesia (not sleep), another a contrasting viewpoint.

    What I want to know from KF is whether the Glasgow has any utility in discerning which viewpoint is correct. You will notice that he does not answer the question.

    BTW, the sleep study you cite makes my point. “We” (we mammals, in this case) dream (in this case literal dreaming) in part because we have the right physical and functional organization for dreaming, including the hippocampus and lots else. We learn a lot about dreaming from examination of that organization – in his case, the hypothesis that dreaming is involved in the consolidation of learning receives support, as does the hypothesis that the hippocampus is heavily involved in place learning and map making in all mammals.

    Accordingly, I have a principled reason for believing that rocks don’t dream: as simple physical aggregates they lack this physical and structural organization, or anything remotely approaching it. KF doesn’t. Rather, he articulates the view that human beings also lack the physical and functional organization sufficient for dreaming (contemplation) and that dreaming can occur independent of brains, nervous systems and even bodies, from which it follows that he cannot state that rocks don’t dream. Yet he claims “rocks don’t dream” as a “principle” with which he opens the very argument that leaves open the possibility that rocks dream.

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    It’s easy to accuse of question-begging when one reverses a course of argument, turning it into a strawman caricature. Which is what the following clipped does:

    Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for mucilaginous brains and nervous systems. Ick.

    1 –> Human beings, in my framework, are immediately conscious of being self-aware, contemplative beings.

    2 –> Indeed, it is our prime fact, the fact through which we become aware of all other facts.

    3 –> And in fact, if you will scroll back up to the OP, you will see that the first graphic ponders a hypothetical case of a self-aware brain in vat, dreaming of being a runner under stimulus of feed-in probes.

    4 –> The point made is that while the entity may be confused as to circumstances, it cannot be so on its status of being self-aware.

    5 –> By contrast, a rock (which we observe to be entirely passive) has neither dreams nor beliefs and cannot be deluded to imagine such.

    6 –> I then went on to point out, based on physics of computational substrates, that such entities do not in the end rise above the level of cogs grinding against one another in blind, GIGO-limited cause effect chains.

    7 –> That is, even refined rocks organised into computational substrates are still only passively, blindly interacting.

    8 –> I took time to point out how neural networks, a computational architecture, fall into this category.

    9 –> So, I concluded that brains are processor networks, they are not in themselves the seat and source or credible cause of self-aware, contemplative, insight- and understanding, meaning based rational inquiry.

    10 –> Which, again, we directly experience and observe.

    11 –> So, you have set up and knocked over a strawman caricature, driven by perceptions of how I “must” be reasoning.

    12 –> You then set up a second strawman caricature on mind vs matter.

    13 –> Notice, how you have consistently failed to cogently engage the point on our observed, fine tuned cosmos, as has been pioneered by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize-holding Astrophysicist, Sir Fred Hoyle.

    14 –> I have pointed out that this argument as developed puts to the table the possibility to be taken seriously, that mind is ontologically prior to the observed material cosmos. And, a serious candidate to be its cause, per inductive inference to best explanation . . . which form of reasoning underlies science and which you plainly struggle with when it may point where you have a problem going.

    15 –> Obviously, I cannot make you revise your thinking on inductive logic, but I can highlight the selective hyperskepticism and its self-refuting consequences.

    16 –> Where also, inductive inference to best explanation across serious candidates obviously is not question-begging.

    17 –> So, no, I am no lumpen Platonist, I leave that to the New Agers playing with Gnosticism.

    18 –> Likewise, I do not despise computational substrates, whether metallic or Silicon or wetware electrochemical.

    19 –> I am just insistent on being clear-eyed about their limitations: GIGO, blind cause-effect. And no basis for self aware consciousness in sight save the materialistic magic of “emergence,” which looks suspiciously like something from nothing.

    20 –> where, again, I suggest you ponder Fact No 1: self-aware consciousness.

    21 –> And again, Reppert’s point speaks:

    . . . 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 [C S] 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.

    ___________________

    You cannot get North by heading West.

    KF

  89. 89

    GP:

    I didn’t read your wikipedia sleep cite carefully enough, and see that it concerns nRem sleep. That doesn’t change anything: you cite it to argue that there is mental activity during nRem (slow wave) sleep. You argue for such mental activity on the basis of the neural correlates of that activity – i.e. from the physical and functional organization of the brain!

    So my point stands, and your cite supports it. I have a principled reason for believing that rocks don’t “dream” (contemplate, etc.): as simple physical aggregates they lack this physical and structural organization, or anything remotely approaching it. KF doesn’t. Rather, he articulates the view that human beings also lack the physical and functional organization sufficient for dreaming (consciousness, etc.) and that consciousness can occur independent of brains, nervous systems and even bodies, from which it follows that he cannot state that rocks don’t dream. Yet he claims “rocks don’t dream” as a “principle” with which he opens the very argument that leaves open the possibility that rocks dream.

  90. 90

    KF:

    You cannot get North by heading West.

    Oops, you forgot to answer this:

    Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for saponaceous brains and nervous systems.

    As that ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness, rocks with that ingredient may also be conscious. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill, This is an obvious misrepresenatation, as you clipped the end of a comment in which I step by step answered exactly the clip you tried to raise again as though I failed to address it, here at 88. KF

  92. 92
    Joe says:

    Reciprocating Bill- There isn’t any evidence that rocks can dream. There isn’t any evidence that rocks are conscious.

    So on THAT basis we can make the claim that rocks do not also have that ingredient. But hey we all know that you, being an evolutionist and materialist, don’t care about evidence.

  93. 93

    RB asked, several times:

    Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for drippy, mucelangenous, saponaceous brains and nervous systems.
    As that ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness, rocks with that ingredient may also be conscious. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?

    Rather than answering this question, KF protests:

    This is an obvious misrepresenatation

    Is it? I began:

    “Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems….”

    On what basis this characterization?

    RB in his first post:

    And why are we so confident that rocks have no dreams (beliefs, desires, subjective experiences)? Because rocks don’t have the right physical organization to sustain/instantiate such states.

    KF replied:

    And neither do we.

    Human beings are not conscious and self-aware because they possess the right physical organization to sustain/instantiate such states, sayeth KF. Brains and nervous systems, even of the human variety, are not sufficient for consciousness.

    It follows that something other than the right physical organization is required. Let’s call that something else a “non-physical ingredient.”

    RB:

    “…but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient,”

    I continued:

    “one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness.”

    The basis for this?

    Daniel King:

    KF,
    Do you agree that brains are necessary for thought (and dreaming), but may not be sufficient for either process? If so, I think that would answer Bill’s argument.

    But KF in reply to Daniel:

    I find it necessary to be open-minded about minds that are not embodied; mind, ontologically prior to matter.

    Brains and nervous systems, indeed bodies, are not necessary for consciousness and contemplation, sayeth KF. The non-physical ingredient that is both necessary and sufficient

    RB: “may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness….”

    Give the above, I now ask:

    “…As that ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness, rocks with that ingredient may also be conscious. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?”

    Rock on.

  94. 94
    Daniel King says:

    I wonder whether KF and RB agree with the following proposition, which I consider to be well-supported empirically:

    A brain is necessary for thinking.

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    R-B: I had answered long since to the point. You put forth, and I took time early this morning to answer in step by step points in 88 above, correcting a strawman caricature that lies at the heart of the mischaracterisation you presented. You clipped the closing remark and ignored the step by step answer. I pointed you to the answer (giving a link), and lo and behold you again pop up — at this point obviously pretending — that the linked answer does not exist. That is not the response of a reasonable interlocutor, you are creating a distraction from the response. That strongly suggests to me that you have nothing cogent to say but wish to rhetorically distract attention from that inconvenient point. That is sad, and I would hope that you would do better next time. KF

  96. 96
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Here is the content of 88 above:

    ________________

    >> kairosfocusJune 28, 2014 at 5:59 am (Edit)

    R-Bill:

    It’s easy to accuse of question-begging when one reverses a course of argument, turning it into a strawman caricature. Which is what the following clipped does:

    [R-B:} Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for mucilaginous brains and nervous systems. Ick.

    [KF:} 1 –> Human beings, in my framework, are immediately conscious of being self-aware, contemplative beings.

    2 –> Indeed, it is our prime fact, the fact through which we become aware of all other facts.

    3 –> And in fact, if you will scroll back up to the OP, you will see that the first graphic ponders a hypothetical case of a self-aware brain in vat, dreaming of being a runner under stimulus of feed-in probes.

    4 –> The point made is that while the entity may be confused as to circumstances, it cannot be so on its status of being self-aware.

    5 –> By contrast, a rock (which we observe to be entirely passive) has neither dreams nor beliefs and cannot be deluded to imagine such.

    6 –> I then went on to point out, based on physics of computational substrates, that such entities do not in the end rise above the level of cogs grinding against one another in blind, GIGO-limited cause effect chains.

    7 –> That is, even refined rocks organised into computational substrates are still only passively, blindly interacting.

    8 –> I took time to point out how neural networks, a computational architecture, fall into this category.

    9 –> So, I concluded that brains are processor networks, they are not in themselves the seat and source or credible cause of self-aware, contemplative, insight- and understanding, meaning based rational inquiry.

    10 –> Which, again, we directly experience and observe.

    11 –> So, you have set up and knocked over a strawman caricature, driven by perceptions of how I “must” be reasoning.

    12 –> You then set up a second strawman caricature on mind vs matter.

    13 –> Notice, how you have consistently failed to cogently engage the point on our observed, fine tuned cosmos, as has been pioneered by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize-holding Astrophysicist, Sir Fred Hoyle.

    14 –> I have pointed out that this argument as developed puts to the table the possibility to be taken seriously, that mind is ontologically prior to the observed material cosmos. And, a serious candidate to be its cause, per inductive inference to best explanation . . . which form of reasoning underlies science and which you plainly struggle with when it may point where you have a problem going.

    15 –> Obviously, I cannot make you revise your thinking on inductive logic, but I can highlight the selective hyperskepticism and its self-refuting consequences.

    16 –> Where also, inductive inference to best explanation across serious candidates obviously is not question-begging.

    17 –> So, no, I am no lumpen Platonist, I leave that to the New Agers playing with Gnosticism.

    18 –> Likewise, I do not despise computational substrates, whether metallic or Silicon or wetware electrochemical.

    19 –> I am just insistent on being clear-eyed about their limitations: GIGO, blind cause-effect. And no basis for self aware consciousness in sight save the materialistic magic of “emergence,” which looks suspiciously like something from nothing.

    20 –> where, again, I suggest you ponder Fact No 1: self-aware consciousness.

    21 –> And again, Reppert’s point speaks:

    . . . 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 [C S] 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.

    ___________________

    You cannot get North by heading West. >>
    ________________

    R-Bill, it is fair comment, starting with 1 above and much more above, that you have disregarded my actual start-point and steps of evidence and reasoning, erecting a strawman that may well look like someone without reasons for his views, apart from the silent supposition, ignoramus superstition and/or blind trust in presumably a religious tradition. (And no, I do not adhere to a religious tradition blindly, by now you should know that I am a worldviews oriented thinker and will build a worldview from the ground up, cf. here on for an outline.)

    I invite you to lay aside the strawman caricature and address the real man, me.
    KF

  97. 97
    kairosfocus says:

    DK, please see 75 – 77 above, and particularly points 39 ff. You will see why I stress that the body of evidence only warrants connecting a computational substrate that uses refined rocks to computing. Further, on the evidence of a fine tuned cosmos, we have reason to have design of the cosmos by an intelligent and skilled designer as ontologically prior to the observed cosmos. So, we cannot properly foreclose the issue of a THE nature of mind or demand that it necessarily has a material, computational substrate or even interface. We do normally think and act in ways that work through our brains [cf. the Smith Model attached to the OP], but that is far from warranting that such a substrate is a necessary condition of self-aware, conscious thought. That should not be surprising in a world of general quantum weirdness and the like, where we are not even sure about so-called dark matter and energy, which together are what, 90+% of the observed cosmos? We just don’t know enough. And what we do know points to serious questions about design of our cosmos. KF

  98. 98
    Daniel King says:

    KF, thank you for your comment.

    I agree that we can’t conclusively rule out the possibility that disembodied thinking entities of some kind may exist, but I see no need to take such a possibility seriously in the criminal justice system, scientific investigation, or everyday life.

  99. 99
    kairosfocus says:

    DK:

    Pardon, but I see every reason to take quite seriously in such contexts:

    1: People are responsible reasoning — as opposed to reasonable — individuals with too often unmet duties of care and respect [as in, e.g. mens rea], and

    2: Blind mechanical computing substrates and linked cybernetics loops simply cannot sustain 1 for any number of reasons. (Take Crick’s Astonishing hyp as a start).

    KF

  100. 100

    KF:

    … a strawman that may well look like someone without reasons for his views, apart from the silent supposition, ignoramus superstition and/or blind trust in presumably a religious tradition.

    Well, you said it.

    But I disagree. I’d say you’ve looked more like a guy who, while in the habit of advising others to “re-think,” would rather stick needles in his eyes than admit that he hasn’t thought something through, that his ideas at times result in contradictions, and that he would benefit from a re-think himself from time to time.

    But that’s not my doing.

    R-Bill: That’s enough. The facts are there on the table from 88 on. Objectively, I have answered and answered to the merits point by point. If you disagree, that is your privilege. But to pretend that an answer has not been presented in the teeth of the answer, links to it and a reposting is to speak with disregard to duties of care to truth and fairness. You know better and you should do better. The sorry record you have made since I responded point by point at 75 – 77 speaks volumes, and not in your favour. KF

  101. 101
    Daniel King says:

    KF, thank you for your comment #99.

    Surely you don’t believe that the points you raised in that comment would be considered relevant in a court of law.

    In courts of law, as in science and everyday life, evidence rules, not speculation about disembodied entities that think.

  102. 102
    Mung says:

    Reciprocating Bill:

    I’d say you’ve looked more like a guy who, while in the habit of advising others to “re-think,” would rather stick needles in his eyes than admit that he hasn’t thought something through, that his ideas at times result in contradictions, and that he would benefit from a re-think himself from time to time.

    Oh, now that is really rich coming from you.

    But if that’s what you need to believe to make sure you “win” the argument, so be it.

  103. 103
    Mung says:

    Reciprocating Bill:

    Your umbrage has no bearing upon the question that I pose to KF

    Righto then!

  104. 104
    Mung says:

    Rock’s can’t dream because they lack a brain and bicycles can’t move because they lack an internal combustion engine.

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    Kindly, observe the note at 100 above.

    For record, I will again reproduce the answer to your repeated question that appears at 88.

    To disagree with it would be one thing, but to pretend it does not exist and/or is not cogent is for you to speak with disregard to duties of care to truth and fairness. Which, itself points to classic problems and gaps of the evolutionary materialist view in regards to duty to truth and to others, never mind its lab coat. Such concerns are rooted in its lack of a sound foundational IS that can properly ground OUGHT, and the deleterious influence this view has exerted among the educated and influential classes in recent years.

    For the record from 88 and 96 (and with the suspicion that it is all too likely that a twisted version of this latest tactic will be presented elsewhere as though it were unquestionable proof that I have had no reasonable answer):

    ______________________

    >> kairosfocusJune 28, 2014 at 5:59 am (Edit)

    R-Bill:

    It’s easy to accuse of question-begging when one reverses a course of argument, turning it into a strawman caricature. Which is what the following clipped does:

    [R-B:} Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for mucilaginous brains and nervous systems. Ick.

    [KF:} 1 –> Human beings, in my framework, are immediately conscious of being self-aware, contemplative beings.

    [NB 1: Onlookers seeking truth: the framework of say a building lays out guidelines for its foundation, etc. That is, the matter starts with the foundational, so I have every right to focus my reply on fact no 1, our self-aware contemplative inner lives through which we access all other facts]

    2 –> Indeed, it is our prime fact, the fact through which we become aware of all other facts.

    3 –> And in fact, if you will scroll back up to the OP, you will see that the first graphic ponders a hypothetical case of a self-aware brain in vat, dreaming of being a runner under stimulus of feed-in probes.

    4 –> The point made is that while the entity may be confused as to circumstances, it cannot be so on its status of being self-aware.

    [NB 2: I point back to the roots of the discussion and to the significance of a pivotal self-evident fact. Namely, being self-aware is immediate and undeniable, even if one otherwise labours under a delusion.]

    5 –> By contrast, a rock (which we observe to be entirely passive) has neither dreams nor beliefs and cannot be deluded to imagine such.

    [NB 3: Here, I point out a generally conceded fact; one that highlights the rhetorical artificiality and distractive nature of the gambit being used. With raw in-nature rocks, there is no empirical data whatsoever that they are self-aware, self-moved entities. And, every bit of data one may desire that they are passive, mechanically moved entities fully explained as mixtures of minerals fully explained empirically on being passively moved by forces of physics and chemistry etc. In short, absent a material body of evidence of self awareness, there is no good reason to suggest that any party to a discussion has a problem if he simply accepts the premise that discussions on scientific matters must be empirically grounded — that is, must be factually adequate. But then, as I had to highlight at 75 above as a start-point, RB has a problem with inductive reasoning by abductive inference to best explanation on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory balance and power.]

    6 –> I then went on to point out, based on physics of computational substrates, that such entities do not in the end rise above the level of cogs grinding against one another in blind, GIGO-limited cause effect chains.

    7 –> That is, even refined rocks organised into computational substrates are still only passively, blindly interacting.

    [NB 4: I have pointed out, from the outset, that when raw in-nature rocks are converted into computational substrates — in our actual observation, invariably by design, and involving FSCO/I which is a strong empirical sign of design — these substrates are composed of components that blindly interact through physcical and/or chemical forces. That is, they are blindly, mechanically working in cause-effect physical-chemical chains, not based on actual insight. If they are built with bugs, or go out of whack, they will just as blindly produce errors. Indeed, they are limited by GIGO. And, specifically this involves neural networks such as may be found in brains and nervous systems. That is, we have got not one inch Northwards to self-aware, insight based rational contemplation, by concentrating on going west on blind mechanical GIGO-limited cause-effect chains.]

    8 –> I took time to point out how neural networks, a computational architecture, fall into this category.

    9 –> So, I concluded that brains are processor networks, they are not in themselves the seat and source or credible cause of self-aware, contemplative, insight- and understanding, meaning based rational inquiry.

    [NB 5: as just pointed out.]

    10 –> Which, again, we directly experience and observe.

    [NB 6: Notice the reference to Fact no 1. Explanations answer to facts, and good ones will draw together the material facts in coherent unified ways, neither being simplistic nor an ad hoc patchwork. Going ever faster West hoping to get North is a major factual gap and breakdown of coherence. Indeed, as I have repeatedly pointed out it simply fails to account for self-aware insightful rational contemplation, by implicitly implying poof-magic emergence. Demonstrate such emergence empirically, then we have something to talk about. Otherwise this becomes a grand case of a non sequitur.]

    11 –> So, you have set up and knocked over a strawman caricature, driven by perceptions of how I “must” be reasoning.

    12 –> You then set up a second strawman caricature on mind vs matter.

    [NB 7: Notice, I am progressing through the paragraph put up by R-Bill in stages, now turning to: ” . . . because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness.” Here, R-Bill has skipped over the context of empirical evidence and reasoning in which — following points made by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize holding Astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle — I highlighted how the evident fine tuning of our observed cosmos puts an inference to design of the cosmos by an intelligence beyond the observed material cosmos, on the table. That is, unlike the hinted at a priori supernaturalism that peeks out from between R-Bill’s lines, I am pointing to a significant body of empirical evidence. One that makes Mind ontologically prior to matter a reasonable view (cf. here and onwards for a bit more on that topic). Where, as a long time critic of UD, R-Bill has a particular duty of being aware that in the ID Foundations series, years ago now, I emphasised the importance of the cosmological design inference and so helped to give it a much higher profile at UD. Indeed, I have long been on repeated record here at UD that the FSCO/I in observed cell based life could be sufficiently explained on a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond Venter et al.; but it is at the issue of fine tuning that we see a need to have designing mind beyond cosmos sitting at the table as of right not sufferance. Which echoes and builds on the thinking in the very first technical design theory work, by Thaxton et al in TMLO, 1984. So in that context, R-Bill has a lot of explaining to do about the strawman he set up and knocked over.]

    13 –> Notice, how you have consistently failed to cogently engage the point on our observed, fine tuned cosmos, as has been pioneered by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize-holding Astrophysicist, Sir Fred Hoyle.

    [NB 8: I point to the actual context for my point, as opposed to the strawman caricature.]

    14 –> I have pointed out that this argument as developed puts to the table the possibility to be taken seriously, that mind is ontologically prior to the observed material cosmos. And, a serious candidate to be its cause, per inductive inference to best explanation . . . which form of reasoning underlies science and which you plainly struggle with when it may point where you have a problem going.

    15 –> Obviously, I cannot make you revise your thinking on inductive logic, but I can highlight the selective hyperskepticism and its self-refuting consequences.

    16 –> Where also, inductive inference to best explanation across serious candidates obviously is not question-begging.

    17 –> So, no, I am no lumpen Platonist, I leave that to the New Agers playing with Gnosticism.

    18 –> Likewise, I do not despise computational substrates, whether metallic or Silicon or wetware electrochemical.

    19 –> I am just insistent on being clear-eyed about their limitations: GIGO, blind cause-effect. And no basis for self aware consciousness in sight save the materialistic magic of “emergence,” which looks suspiciously like something from nothing.

    20 –> where, again, I suggest you ponder Fact No 1: self-aware consciousness.

    21 –> And again, Reppert’s point speaks:

    . . . 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 [C S] 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.

    ___________________

    You cannot get North by heading West. >>
    ______________________

    For the record.

    KF

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    DK:

    >> Surely you don’t believe that the points you raised in that comment would be considered relevant in a court of law.>>

    1 –> Surely, you are aware of the significance of criminal intent in law? (E.g. if a man had no intent or reckless disregard on the subject of violation, he is innocent of rape. Where, it is material also, that the woman or girl victimised be able to consent, and that she has not consented. If she is not able to consent or has not consented to the sex act involved, and the man either knows this or should know it but went ahead to have his way with her by force or fraud [including impersonation of her husband], he is guilty of rape. So, the existence of a crime of rape implies mindedness as underlying understood basis. Where, self-aware mindedness — whatever its ontological roots — is fact no 1 of our existence and interaction with the world.)

    2 –> Let us observe TFD’s Legal Dictionary:

    Mens Rea

    As an element of criminal responsibility, a guilty mind; a guilty or wrongful purpose; a criminal intent. Guilty knowledge and wilfulness.

    A fundamental principle of Criminal Law is that a crime consists of both a mental and a physical element. Mens rea, a person’s awareness of the fact that his or her conduct is criminal, is the mental element, and actus reus, the act itself, is the physical element.

    The concept of mens rea developed in England during the latter part of the common-law era (about the year 1600) when judges began to hold that an act alone could not create criminal liability unless it was accompanied by a guilty state of mind. The degree of mens rea required for a particular common-law crime varied. Murder, for example, required a malicious state of mind, whereas Larceny required a felonious state of mind.

    Today most crimes, including common-law crimes, are defined by statutes that usually contain a word or phrase indicating the mens rea requirement. A typical statute, for example, may require that a person act knowingly, purposely, or recklessly . . .

    3 –> In short, the whole concept of guilt in law pivots on criminal intent as a willful, responsible but wrongful state of mind evident from the pattern of acts, words and circumstantial evidence that point to knowing violations of duties of care and respect that one knows and/or full well should know and acknowledge if one is of responsible years and reasonably sound mind.

    4 –> That is, it is ALSO implied that we can make morally freighted design inferences from evidence of circumstances, deeds and words.

    5 –> Which is of course relevant to how a lawyer such as Mr Arrington, may then look onwards at circumstantial evidence from the world of life and the wider cosmos and infer confidently to design as best explanation on the evident facts.

    6 –> Where, as the same situation of the Court Room highlights, such an inductive inference to best explanation may amount to moral certainty by which one would be irresponsible and reckless to dismiss its weight. For example, here is Simon Greenleaf in vol I of his famous Treatise on Evidence, courtesy Web Archiving services:

    Evidence, in legal acceptation, includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved . . . None but mathematical truth is susceptible of that high degree of evidence, called demonstration, which excludes all possibility of error [–> Greenleaf wrote almost 100 years before Godel], and which, therefore, may reasonably be required in support of every mathematical deduction.

    Matters of fact are proved by moral evidence alone; by which is meant, not only that kind of evidence which is employed on subjects connected with moral conduct, but all the evidence which is not obtained either from intuition, or from demonstration. In the ordinary affairs of life, we do not require demonstrative evidence, because it is not consistent with the nature of the subject, and to insist upon it would be unreasonable and absurd.

    The most that can be affirmed of such things, is, that there is no reasonable doubt concerning them.

    The true question, therefore, in trials of fact, is not whether it is possible that the testimony may be false, but, whether there is sufficient probability of its truth; that is, whether the facts are shown by competent and satisfactory evidence. Things established by competent and satisfactory evidence are said to be proved.

    By competent evidence, is meant that which the very-nature of the thing to be proved requires, as the fit and appropriate proof in the particular case, such as the production of a writing, where its contents are the subject of inquiry. By satisfactory evidence, which is sometimes called sufficient evidence, is intended that amount of proof, which ordinarily satisfies an unprejudiced mind, beyond reasonable doubt.

    The circumstances which will amount to this degree of proof can never be previously defined; the only legal test of which they are susceptible, is their sufficiency to satisfy the mind and conscience of a common man; and so to convince him, that he would venture to act upon that conviction, in matters of the highest concern and importance to his own interest. [A Treatise on Evidence, Vol I, 11th edn. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1888) ch 1., sections 1 and 2. Shorter paragraphs added. (NB: Greenleaf was a founder of the modern Harvard Law School and is regarded as a founding father of the modern Anglophone school of thought on evidence, in large part on the strength of this classic work.)]

    >>In courts of law, as in science and everyday life, evidence rules,>>

    7 –> Prezactly, and I have just outlined how it works to substantiate inference of Mens Rea, intentional design to act in a criminal fashion.

    8 –> However, it is quite ironic that you here hint of my acting with disregard to evidence, in a context where, from the OP on, I have consistently laid out and grounded my arguments on empirical evidence and direct technical experience of working with, analysing, designing and developing computational substrates made up from refined rocks. As in, ya gotta mine it or grow it first.

    9 –> It seems you have set up a strawman and are busily pummelling away at it, in the teeth of the actual evidence; which as you admit, should rule.

    >>not speculation about disembodied entities that think. >>

    10 –> Kindly, explain to me, who — other than you — said anything about disembodied entities in the context of courtrooms and human acts that are judged as criminal? (Kindly, scroll up to the OP and ponder the Smith Model of EMBODIED cybernetic loops with two-tier controllers and shared memory. Surely, that is about embodied intent-driven, world-interfacing action. FYI, there has been fairly serious discussion on how quantum influences may interface to neural networks in the brain and CNS. And if you argue or imply that one may get North to contemplation by moving West on computation, kindly provide empirical observation of how reasoning and intentional insight per observation arise from computation with its cogs blindly grinding away in physical and/or chemical cause-effect . . . not meaning-driven ground and consequent . . . chains. That is, show vera causa that mind reduces to or is emergent from the computational substrate. Absent such, you have made a non sequitur. Self aware, intentional, insightful, rationally contemplatve mind, I repeat, is Fact No 1 of our embodied existence; the first fact through which we access the world of facts and set out to understand them. On the West vs North principle, I have good grounds on the known dynamics of physically instantiated computational substrates to highlight the limitations of blind mechanism.)

    11 –> I think, on evidence, you are here projecting an imaginary opponent.

    12 –> Where I have pointed to issues of mind ontologically prior to matter, I have pointed to the cosmological evidence of fine tuning, and reasoning per its best explanation; explicitly highlighting the thought and facts highlighted by lifelong agnostic and Nobel-equivalent prize holding astrophysicist, the late Sir Fred Hoyle.

    _____________

    Please, think again.

    KF

  107. 107
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @Daniel King:

    Surely you don’t believe that the points you raised in that comment would be considered relevant in a court of law.

    In courts of law, as in science and everyday life, evidence rules, not speculation about disembodied entities that think.

    This is a good point. You can think all day long of a crime without using your brain. However without the use of actual material which hints at the intent or the crime itself the court is impotent.
    It is also evident, that all known creatures use their minds, their brains AND materials to instantiate material design. No one can create anything from nothing without the use of materials.

  108. 108
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us observe this, from Darek Barefoot by way of Reppert:

    . . . We need not draw lines all day long in every geometric pattern imaginable to realize that the task [of creating a 3-d figure such as a cube “by arranging lines on a two-dimensional surface”] is impossible. It is true that by means of perspective drawing we can usefully represent a three-dimensional shape, such as a cube, in two dimensions, just as human reason can be represented and communicated usefully by computer programs and even by humbler devices such as multiplication charts and slide rules. Nevertheless we can identify a set of lines in two dimensions as representing a cube only because we occupy three-dimensional space, and similarly we can appreciate that the blind functions of a computer have been so arranged as to accomplish a rational purpose only because, unlike the computer, we possess genuine rationality. [Darek Barefoot, “A Response to Nicholas Tattersall’s “A Critique of Miracles by C. S. Lewis”]

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    JWT: perhaps you intended instead, that we humans and beings of like order generally use materials to create, and in the process [under circumstances we normally observe] use our brains in such processes. I am not so sure that in a cosmos that shows signs via fine tuning of being designed, that we can make a universal assertion about material substrate as a necessary component of creative or mental acts. Beyond, I underscore that in courts, there is a two-sided issue: mental intent and physical act. As, the example of the crime of rape shows, for both perpetrator and victim. (Where, presence or absence of consent on evidence presented was the pivotal issue in a case I attended as a former student from here, was accused. When it turned out that the incident happened in a room of a shared house which was occupied by others in neighbouring rooms, the Judge stopped the case as “unsafe” to further proceed with; obviously because a key sign of lack of consent was conspicuously missing.) KF

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I see I needed to add the clip that discusses fine tuning inferences from the follow-on post on FSCO/I, which mow appears as a PPS to the OP above. KF

  111. 111
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It is probably relevant to note from the Merriam-Webster:

    em·pir·i·cal
    adjective \im-?pir-i-k?l\

    : based on testing or experience
    Full Definition of EMPIRICAL
    1
    : originating in or based on observation or experience . . . empirical data
    2
    : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory . . . an empirical basis for the theory
    3
    : capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment . . . empirical laws

    I would note that in this context, our self-aware, rationally contemplative inner life considered as an experienced phenomenon and what may be inferred adequately from observations of others who are as we are, is an empirical datum. KF

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Reppert, here (in a reply to a critical review of his book on the Argument From Reason), also highlights the conceptual gap issue, in a way that is similar to the North vs West point I have been using . . . I break up into shorter paragraphs:

    When we consider seriously what reasoning is, when we reject all attempts at “bait and switch”9 in which reasoning is re-described in a way that makes it scientifically tractable but also unrecognizable in the final analysis as reasoning, we find something that looks for all the world to be radically resistant to physicalistic analysis.

    So I maintain that there is a logico-conceptual chasm between the various elements of reason, and the material world as understood mechanistically.

    Bridging the chasm isn’t going to simply be a matter of exploring the territory on one side of the chasm. Now someone might perceive the chasm and either think that some kind of paradigm shift in our thinking will bridge the chasm, or that it while it’s a mystery to us how all this is possible, that somehow there is a bridge over the chasm, even if we can’t see one that’s consistent with materialism.

    In pointing out the chasm, I do not necessarily claim that no possible considerations could persuade us to think that the chasm has been bridged. However, we have no reason to believe that the problem can be dissolved a way by doing just a little more science.

    Without necessarily demonstrating that the problem is insoluble, I can try to show that the problem is deep and intractable, and that an alternative to naturalism would resolve the problem. And I should point out that lots and lots of naturalists, like Colin McGinn,10 think that there is a deep and intractable problem.

    The arguments from reason, in many cases, suggest that the descriptive discourse of physics cannot capture the normative discourse of reason.

    This presents a logico-conceptual gap, which is a very different kind of problem than pointing out something for which we don’t currently have a naturalistic explanation, and saying it must be supernatural because science can’t explain it now.

    In short, computation based on blind cause effect chains is not equal to rational contemplation in light of understanding of meanings and logical entailment. Nor, is there any easy way to show that the latter simply emerges from the former, especially in a world of blind GIGO limited code (or patch-cordage and pot setting of connexions and signal levels) and hardware.

    Which is an issue regardless of whether the computational hardware is mechanical (Thomson integrator), electronic (op amp integrator or microprocessor) or electro-chemical (neural network gate array implemented in wetware).

    KF

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Reppert on understanding naturalism in the context of these sorts of issues, here:

    When I deal with a naturalistic view, I offer an account of what that is supposed to have in it, which includes the mechanistic character of the base level, the causal closure of the base level, and the supervenience of everything else on the base level. By mechanism I mean that we are excluding from that base level four properties: intentionality, purpose, first-person subjectivity, and normativity. Now someone might come along and say that they have a view that doesn’t fit these characteristics but is still naturalistic in some sense, in which case we’d have to look at their theory to see in what sense they’re calling it naturalistic . . .

    I am of course laying out some brick-work to help clarify the context of discussion, here by citing some key observations by a scholar whose work I have respected for years.

    KF

  114. 114

    R-Bill: at this point, your behaviour is willful, I therefore install a header of warning for record. KF

    Kf:

    For record, I will again reproduce the answer to your repeated question that appears at 88.

    Unfortunately, there is nothing that addresses my question in your post at 88, in any of it’s versions.

    My question is premised on the following statements of yours:

    – “Neither do we” have the right physical organization to sustain/instantiate such dreams beliefs, desires, or subjective experiences.

    Therefore, human beings must be conscious due to something more, which I have called a “non-physical ingredient.” This is an entailment of your assertion that human beings lack the right physical/functional organization to sustain dreaming (consciousness, etc.), yet are obviously conscious. This entailment is one upon which my question is premised.

    But nowhere in 88 do affirm, deny or in any way address this entailment. Instead, in your bullets 1-4 you labor pointlessly to assert that human beings are conscious and self-aware, as though I have denied same. I haven’t.

    You also stated:

    “I find it necessary to be open-minded about minds that are not embodied; mind, ontologically prior to matter.”

    To the extent that you address this point in 88, you affirm it, by alluding to your reasons for stating it (vis cosmological constants, etc.) You believe that consciousness (contemplation, etc.) need not be embodied, and therefore is not dependent upon brains and nervous systems. You vacillate over human consciousness, with references to the Smith model, but that has no bearing on my question.

    If these premises are true (a “non-physical ingredient” is necessary for human consciousness, and there are minds that are not embodied), it follows that the “non-physical ingredient” is both necessary and sufficient for consciousness.

    Then follows my question:

    “As that nonphysical ingredient is both necessary and sufficient for consciousness, rocks with that ingredient may also be conscious. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?”

    Nowhere in your 88 do you respond to that question.

    But perhaps I have missed it. For the broken record, would you identify in which numbered statement of 88 you respond to the question, “On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?”

    I just don’t see an answer, or anything remotely resembling one, your resort to the loudspeaker in the ceiling not withstanding.

  115. 115
    Joe says:

    Daniel King:

    In courts of law, as in science and everyday life, evidence rules, …

    Evolutionism is out. Materialism is out. What’s left?

  116. 116
    Joe says:

    Daniel King:

    In courts of law, as in science and everyday life, evidence rules, …

    Evolutionism is out. Materialism is out. What’s left?

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    I had hopes that there could have been a fresh start, with a serious discussion.

    Had.

    Sadly, it is now quite plain that you have no cogent answer, so you have resorted to the false pretence that a response on the merits from 75 onwards, with amplification at 88 and 96 on a point you posed with the suggestion it has not been answered — it was — is not an answer.

    When I drew attention tot his in responses for record, you willfully and uncivilly ignored; showing bad faith. So, I took the next step of commenting on your false assertions. You have tried to double down.

    FYI, I have spoken for the record, at 105, annotating the earlier comments.

    If you had simply said, I disagree because of X, that would be one thing.

    Disagreement is not being disagreeable

    Instead — without good reason — repeatedly and in the teeth of corrections and pointing to the actual existing replies, you chose to falsely accuse me of not replying to your questions, thus by direct implication of only pretending to reply, which is tantamount to accusing me of lying. And, that is plainly a false accusation on your part, one sustained in the teeth of correction on the record.

    That, sir is a very serious and utterly uncalled for step.

    A step beyond the pale of civil discussion.

    And, just for record, ever since the OP, I have taken pains to show just why it is that neural network arrays — like other computational substrates — are carrying out cause-effect blind chains of interaction, they only carry out GIGO limited computation as they are organised. Their mechanical action singly or collectively simply does not address the requisites of self-aware, insightful, rational contemplation such as we carry out. The organisation of rocks or dust to form neural networks, in short is relevant to computation, not to contemplation.

    You cannot get North by going West, as I have repeatedly highlighted from Reppert’s excellent summary, which I have repeatedly highlighted . . . and which you have pointedly ignored:

    . . . 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. [–> That’s gate action] 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 [C S] 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.

    That is, self-aware, insightful, meaning based rational contemplation is an inherently intentional process, depending on meanings and relationships, not signal processing physics and chemistry. Truth and falsity, logical entailment and soundness, inductive relevance and cogency that gives an inference support on evidence gathered and understood, are not measured in mV action potentials, or ion gradient concentrations, or electrical current flows. It is a category error — admittedly a common one nowadays — to confuse the two.

    Or, using the Searle Chinese Room example, blind processing of the glyphs on cards in accord with imposed rules — never mind dismissive retorts and glib talking points — is simply and patently not the same as insightful understanding and reasoning then answering based on knowing what is being asked in Chinese.

    And no, these are real-world matters, playing with semantics and trying to redefine words to mean what they don’t does not answer to the matter.

    You cannot get North by going West.

    For the record,

    KF

  118. 118
    Joe says:

    RB has an agenda and it is based on a false premise:

    I don’t think they do – because upon examining them we find none of the physical and functional structure we know in other contexts is required for consciousness and contemplation.

    Materialists don’t have any idea what is required for consciousness and contemplation. And materialism doesn’t have any explanation for consciousness and contemplation.

    Heck under materialism I would expect rocks to dream, because hey, they too are just made of star dust.

  119. 119

    R-Bill: This is just spinning your wheels stubbornly in the face of the facts of what you have done since 75 above. You have as a matter of fact willfully and repeatedly falsely accused me of not responding to a series of questions and tried to use this to derail the thread. In this case you are resorting to the how dare you say that I did what I objectively did . . . onlookers just scroll up, let me twist it about into he hit back first. Sorry, game over. I am just noting on your tactics now. If you want to return to serious discussion, you know how to do it. KF
    ___________________

    KF: For a guy who advocates the human capacity for self-awareness, you seem weirdly deficient in that faculty.

    To me you state:

    Sadly, it is now quite plain that you have no cogent answer, so you have resorted to the false pretence…

    “you willfully and uncivilly ignored; showing bad faith. So, I took the next step of commenting on your false assertions.

    You chose to falsely accuse me of….”

    Because resorting to false pretense, making false assertions in bad faith and choosing to make false accusations are forms of lying, dishonesty, etc., you explicitly accuse me of lying.

    That’s OK, in part because I don’t care (really) and in part because you set yourself up to deliver the following bit of absurdist humor a couple sentences further:

    Instead …you chose to falsely accuse me of not replying to your questions, thus by direct implication of only pretending to reply, which is tantamount to accusing me of lying…

    That, sir is a very serious and utterly uncalled for step.
    A step beyond the pale of civil discussion.

    Are you really this devoid of insight? Of consistency?

    If you had simply said, I disagree because of X, that would be one thing.

    OK. I disagree with your assertion that you have responded to my question, because, although you’ve made lots of tangential responses, I find nothing remotely resembling an answer to my question in anything you’ve written. Also because of X.

    And that’s a fact, Jack.

  120. 120
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: For record, I will present again the reply to RB that he refuses to acknowledge as existing, which has appeared several times since 88 above. Note my context:

    RB, just above: >> I disagree with your assertion that you have responded to my question, because, although you’ve made lots of tangential responses, I find nothing remotely resembling an answer to my question in anything you’ve written. >>

    That is as willful a bold-faced, brazen misrepresentation of patent truth as I have ever seen, as can be seen by simply scrolling up to 75 and following. But I don’t doubt that many will be inclined to take that false assertion he made at face value, especially elsewhere where many will not even bother to consider duties of care to truth and fairness.

    The actual fact will suffice to show that R-Bill apparently has no cogent on the merits reply so — sadly — has resorted to trying to well poison. He has simply refused to address the actual case and has set up an ad hominem laced strawman which he has set alight with talking points designed to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere.

    Where, he needs to ponder his attempt to set up a strawman framework for what I have had to say, and the therefore relevant cogency of laying out my actual step by step framework [where starting in-common points, onward steps of meaningful inference and culminating warranted conclusions are to be reckoned with as they are not twisted about into a strawmannish caricature where start points are dismissed as irrelevancies and conclusions built on them are then presented as being dubious assumptions] — note the highlighted words below. That relevance of framework, foundations and step by step process of arriving at conclusions exposes the strawman caricature and lays out the reasons why I have highlighted the difference between blind cause-effect chains used in computation [including in neural network architectures] and insightful, understanding and meaning driven rational contemplation . . . which we all experience as fact no 1.

    Which, too, is highly relevant.

    Let me put things this way.

    Yes, rocks in the raw state are disorganised, typically random or semi-random mixes of minerals, or sometimes lockstep crystals. Per empirical observation and well grounded general induction that only hyperskeptics dispute or twist into pretzels in order to play rhetorical games, rocks have no dreams. But (for cause) that is NOT because they are not organised into computational substrates, as I have repeatedly pointed out and taken pains to explain — only to be willfully ignored then now willfully caricatured. Take the step of refining, processing and organising into a computational substrate, with programming installed.

    What do we have?

    A blind, GIGO-limited, cause effect computational chain wholly dependent on the skill of its designers to achieve any useful results; as in the famous Pentium error that led to a recall. The mere fact of organising rocks or stardust more generally into computational substrates runs at cross-purposes to the issue of actual insightful rational contemplation. As, has been repeatedly explained and as has been repeatedly highlighted by clips ranging from Reppert to Leibnitz to Searle.

    You cannot get North by heading West, even if you have swallowed a worldview in which getting North MUST reduce to going West. That simply reveals the conceptual errors in the worldview.

    And, willfully piling on assertions in the teeth of the real facts . . . perhaps to further propagate the misrepresentation elsewhere for purposes of well-poisoning . . . is willfully continued misrepresentation, an act of speaking in disregards to truth hoping to profit by what is said being taken as if it were the truth, R-Bill.

    I suspect there is a key conceptual gap on his part, in which there is no difference because the latter MUST collapse into the former or somehow emerge from it — which only reveals the circularities of evolutionary materialist schemes of thought, which are also inescapably self refuting and thus inescapably confused, confusing and irrational, undermining ability to discern true from false: ex falso quodlibet — the principle of explosion. Hence the very direct relevance of the issue that you cannot get North by heading West.

    No, “it’s all irrelevant tangents” is yet another strawman tactic on your part R-Bill.

    Okay, for record:
    ____________

    >>> . . . For record, I will again reproduce the answer to your repeated question that appears at 88.

    To disagree with it would be one thing, but to pretend it does not exist and/or is not cogent is for you to speak with disregard to duties of care to truth and fairness. Which, itself points to classic problems and gaps of the evolutionary materialist view in regards to duty to truth and to others, never mind its lab coat. Such concerns are rooted in its lack of a sound foundational IS that can properly ground OUGHT, and the deleterious influence this view has exerted among the educated and influential classes in recent years.

    For the record from 88 and 96 (and with the suspicion that it is all too likely that a twisted version of this latest tactic will be presented elsewhere as though it were unquestionable proof that I have had no reasonable answer):

    ______________________

    >>88 kairosfocusJune 28, 2014 at 5:59 am (Edit)

    R-Bill:

    It’s easy to accuse of question-begging when one reverses a course of argument, turning it into a strawman caricature. Which is what the following clipped does:

    [R-B:} Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for mucilaginous brains and nervous systems. Ick.

    [KF:} 1 –> Human beings, in my framework, are immediately conscious of being self-aware, contemplative beings.

    [NB 1: Onlookers seeking truth: the framework of say a building lays out guidelines for its foundation, etc. That is, the matter starts with the foundational, so I have every right to focus my reply on fact no 1, our self-aware contemplative inner lives through which we access all other facts]

    2 –> Indeed, it is our prime fact, the fact through which we become aware of all other facts.

    3 –> And in fact, if you will scroll back up to the OP, you will see that the first graphic ponders a hypothetical case of a self-aware brain in vat, dreaming of being a runner under stimulus of feed-in probes.

    4 –> The point made is that while the entity may be confused as to circumstances, it cannot be so on its status of being self-aware.

    [NB 2: I point back to the roots of the discussion and to the significance of a pivotal self-evident fact. Namely, being self-aware is immediate and undeniable, even if one otherwise labours under a delusion.]

    5 –> By contrast, a rock (which we observe to be entirely passive) has neither dreams nor beliefs and cannot be deluded to imagine such.

    [NB 3: Here, I point out a generally conceded fact; one that highlights the rhetorical artificiality and distractive nature of the gambit being used. With raw in-nature rocks, there is no empirical data whatsoever that they are self-aware, self-moved entities. And, every bit of data one may desire that they are passive, mechanically moved entities fully explained as mixtures of minerals fully explained empirically on being passively moved by forces of physics and chemistry etc. In short, absent a material body of evidence of self awareness, there is no good reason to suggest that any party to a discussion has a problem if he simply accepts the premise that discussions on scientific matters must be empirically grounded — must be factually adequate. But then, as I had to highlight at 75 above as a start-point, RB has a problem with inductive reasoning by abductive inference to best explanation on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory balance and power.]

    6 –> I then went on to point out, based on physics of computational substrates, that such entities do not in the end rise above the level of cogs grinding against one another in blind, GIGO-limited cause effect chains.

    7 –> That is, even refined rocks organised into computational substrates are still only passively, blindly interacting.

    [NB 4: I have pointed out, from the outset, that when raw in-nature rocks are converted into computational substrates — in our actual observation, invariably by design, and involving FSCO/I which is a strong empirical sign of design — these substrates are composed of components that blindly interact through physcical and/or chemical forces. That is, they are blindly, mechanically working in cause-effect physical-chemical chains, not based on actual insight. If they are built with bugs, or go out of whack, they will just as blindly produce errors. Indeed, they are limited by GIGO. And, specifically this involves neural networks such as may be found in brains and nervous systems. That is, we have got not one inch Northwards to self-aware, insight based rational contemplation, by concentrating on going west on blind mechanical GIGO-limited cause-effect chains.]

    8 –> I took time to point out how neural networks, a computational architecture, fall into this category.

    9 –> So, I concluded that brains are processor networks, they are not in themselves the seat and source or credible cause of self-aware, contemplative, insight- and understanding, meaning based rational inquiry.

    [NB 5: as just pointed out.]

    10 –> Which, again, we directly experience and observe.

    [NB 6: Notice the reference to Fact no 1. Explanations answer to facts, and good ones will draw together the material facts in coherent unified ways, neither being simplistic nor an ad hoc patchwork. Going ever faster West hoping to get North is a major factual gap and breakdown of coherence. Indeed, as I have repeatedly pointed out it simply fails to account for self-aware insightful rational contemplation, by implicitly implying poof-magic emergence. Demonstrate such emergence empirically, then we have something to talk about. Otherwise this becomes a grand case of a non sequitur.]

    11 –> So, you have set up and knocked over a strawman caricature, driven by perceptions of how I “must” be reasoning.

    12 –> You then set up a second strawman caricature on mind vs matter.

    [NB 7: Notice, I am progressing through the paragraph put up by R-Bill in stages, now turning to: ” . . . because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness.” Here, R-Bill has skipped over the context of empirical evidence and reasoning in which — following points made by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize holding Astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle — I highlighted how the evident fine tuning of our observed cosmos puts an inference to design of the cosmos by an intelligence beyond the observed material cosmos, on the table. That is, unlike the hinted at a priori supernaturalism that peeks out from between R-Bill’s lines, I am pointing to a significant body of empirical evidence. One that makes Mind ontologically prior to matter a reasonable view (cf. here and onwards for a bit more on that topic). Where, as a long time critic of UD, R-Bill has a particular duty of being aware that in the ID Foundations series, years ago now, I emphasised the importance of the cosmological design inference and so helped to give it a much higher profile at UD. Indeed, I have long been on repeated record here at UD that the FSCO/I in observed cell based life could be sufficiently explained on a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond Venter et al.; but it is at the issue of fine tuning that we see a need to have designing mind beyond cosmos sitting at the table as of right not sufferance. Which echoes and builds on the thinking in the very first technical design theory work, by Thaxton et al in TMLO, 1984. So in that context, R-Bill has a lot of explaining to do about the strawman he set up and knocked over.]

    13 –> Notice, how you have consistently failed to cogently engage the point on our observed, fine tuned cosmos, as has been pioneered by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize-holding Astrophysicist, Sir Fred Hoyle.

    [NB 8: I point to the actual context for my point, as opposed to the strawman caricature.]

    14 –> I have pointed out that this argument as developed puts to the table the possibility to be taken seriously, that mind is ontologically prior to the observed material cosmos. And, a serious candidate to be its cause, per inductive inference to best explanation . . . which form of reasoning underlies science and which you plainly struggle with when it may point where you have a problem going.

    15 –> Obviously, I cannot make you revise your thinking on inductive logic, but I can highlight the selective hyperskepticism and its self-refuting consequences.

    16 –> Where also, inductive inference to best explanation across serious candidates obviously is not question-begging.

    17 –> So, no, I am no lumpen Platonist, I leave that to the New Agers playing with Gnosticism.

    18 –> Likewise, I do not despise computational substrates, whether metallic or Silicon or wetware electrochemical.

    19 –> I am just insistent on being clear-eyed about their limitations: GIGO, blind cause-effect. And no basis for self aware consciousness in sight save the materialistic magic of “emergence,” which looks suspiciously like something from nothing.

    20 –> where, again, I suggest you ponder Fact No 1: self-aware consciousness.

    21 –> And again, Reppert’s point speaks:

    . . . 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 [C S] 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.

    ___________________

    You cannot get North by heading West. >>
    ______________________

    For the record. >>>

    _____________

    Game over.

    KF

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    Joe, 118:

    [R-B:] I don’t think they do – because upon examining them we find none of the physical and functional structure we know in other contexts is required for consciousness and contemplation.

    [Joe:] Materialists don’t have any idea what is required for consciousness and contemplation. And materialism doesn’t have any explanation for consciousness and contemplation.

    Precisely correct. But if one has a worldview in which all directions must reduce to heading West, contemplation MUST reduce to computation in some way.

    So, we see:

    the physical and functional structure we know in other contexts is required for consciousness and contemplation

    We know no such requirement.

    What we know is that first and foremost we are rationally contemplative and access all other facts via that.

    Second, that we are embodied and have brains and nervous systems that function cybernetically.

    There is a third point, which can be demonstrated empirically; that, computation based on organised stardust refined from rocks etc, is inherently a blind, PHYSICAL and/or CHEMICAL, cause-effect driven and controlled GIGO limited process.

    Fourth, this signal processing is categorically distinct from reasoning based on seeing logical [not merely “it works” or the like associational] connexions between concepts. (This is the point of Searle’s Chinese Room thought exercise, and anyone who professes to not know the difference between understanding Chinese and blindly shuffling glyphs per blindly adhered to rules is deeply confused at best.)

    So, we see a deep seated confusion and circularity.

    This is covered for by making insinuations about superstitious/ religious supernaturalism and guffaws over ghosts in the machine. A glance at the Smith two-tier controller model will suffice to show that an i/o in loop controller and a supervisory controller are distinct roles. BTW, R-B probably does not know that Eng Derek Smith is a Welsh researcher in relevant fields.

    Next, R-B refuses to examine seriously my ACTUAL context for pointing out on empirical evidence that we need to consider that there may be more to reality than matter, or at miniumum we need to recognise the right of independent mind to sit at the table of discussion instead of being excluded by implicit a prioris.

    Namely, the work of lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize holding astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle, and those who have followed him. Whether or no one wishes to acknowledge it, cosmological fine tuning is a significant observed pattern. One that puts mind at the point of origin of matter as we observe it.

    So, as long as this is on the table, we would be utterly foolish to prematurely foreclose the matter by accepting the bald assertion: the physical and functional structure we know in other contexts is required for consciousness and contemplation.

    In short, materialist question-begging is to be identified as just that.

    Begging questions.

    An altogether too common darwinist debate tactic.

    Philip Johnson’s retort in reponse to Lewontin’s notorious assertion in NYRB is apt:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. [–> including, obviously, evolution of mindedness] That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    Going ever West, of course leads to running in grand circles. But, one has yet to get one inch North.

    KF

  122. 122
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @kf (109):

    No one has any clue what type of mind the designers have.
    No one has any clue how the designers created the universe.
    No one has any clue what tools the designers used to create the universe.
    I can only generalize from what I know to be true.

    Your rape-stroy demonstrates my point, that courts are impotent with regards to immaterialism. The court dismissed the case partly because of the necessary material presence of other human bodies with brains AND the necessary presence of immaterial intent. The other bodies indicated “consent”. If the room lacked any material presence of the other human bodies your friend would have been convicted.

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    JWT:

    The issue is that design, evident from the cosmic order, points beyond the cosmos to its causal root. The relevant mind is deeply knowledgeable (physics being notoriously the most conceptually challenging science), highly skilled, purposeful, deeply mathematical and logical, and with ability to give effect to purpose.

    Second, the realities surrounding rape and other crimes show how important mindedness and specifically the question of criminal intent is. Being embodied and interacting we infer from physical signs and symbols, but fundamentally, responsible mindedness under moral government is the foundation of justice and sound jurisprudence. (Ponder in this regard, the significance of the insanity defense and the laws on age of consent.)

    Rape being a crime where state of evident intent in two minds is pivotal. Which is the reason why the judge stopped the case as unsafe.

    KF

  124. 124
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let’s look at the classic syllogism:

    s, Socrates, is a member of the class M1, men

    M1 is a sub-class of M2, mortals.

    s is THEREFORE a member of M2.

    This is not merely a matter of arranging gates and labelling signals. There is an active process of insightful reasoning involved that drives understanding of meaning and logical consequences. It is not merely that we have signals combined but infer a conclusion for a reason.

    There is all the world involved in that THEREFORE.

    KF

  125. 125
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @kf:

    The issue is that design, evident from the cosmic order, points beyond the cosmos to its causal root.

    No one has any clue whether the cause of the universe is the casual root.

    The relevant mind is deeply knowledgeable (physics being notoriously the most conceptually challenging science), highly skilled, purposeful, deeply mathematical and logical, and with ability to give effect to purpose.

    That could potentially be me! In paradise I will have all the time in the world to learn about math and stuff! Then it will be me creating universes and playing God!

    Second, the realities surrounding rape and other crimes show how important mindedness and specifically the question of criminal intent is.
    Rape being a crime where state of evident intent in two minds is pivotal. Which is the reason why the judge stopped the case as unsafe.

    I agree! And without material evidence of the intent the courts are impotent. As I understand we don’t disagree on this point, right?

  126. 126
    kairosfocus says:

    JWT, do you know what is required to build a cosmos, and do you have the capability to back that up on the ground so to speak? (But, don’t forget that old joke about “get your own dirt”) Kindly, demonstrate for us — put it up on YouTube and link. KF

    PS: Embodiment is not in dispute nor is inferring mind from signs. The issue is responsible action, which on materialist or other monist, cause-effect rigid chain deterministic schemes, becomes self referentially incoherent in any one or more of various ways.

  127. 127

    “Framework,” in context:

    My first use of the word “framework” in this discussion with reference to KF:

    My question to you is: given your non-physicalist framework – one within which dreaming may occur independent of brains – on what basis do claim as a first principle that rocks don’t dream?

    “Framework” denotes a non-physicalist conceptual orientation within which dreaming may occur independent of brains. It does not denote a particular post or point by point progression produced by KF.

    Again, given your non-physicalist framework – one within which dreaming may occur independent of brains and that posits mind behind and ontologically prior to material cosmos, on what basis do claim that rocks don’t dream?

    Again, “framework” denotes KF’s general non-physicalist conceptual orientation within which dreaming may occur independent of brains.

    Within a framework within which dreams don’t require brains, rocks may well dream, and you’ve no dispositive basis for saying otherwise.

    Again denotes any conceptual framework that decouples “dreams” and brains.

    In denying any and all relationship between consciousness and embodiment, you’ve built a framework in which rocks may well be conscious.

    “Framework” again denotes a conceptual orientation that denies any and all relationship between consciousness and embodiment. Any orientation that decouples consciousness and embodiment is an instance of such a framework.

    KF decouples consciousness and embodiment.

    Having amply established the referent of “framework” in this discussion as a “non-physicalist framework – one within which dreaming may occur independent of brains,” and given that KF espouses one such conceptual framework, I then ask the following question, times many. Indeed, the last quoted instance is the first sentence of this question:

    In denying any and all relationship between consciousness and embodiment, you’ve built a framework in which rocks may well be conscious. Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for drippy nervous systems. As that ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness, rocks with that ingredient may also be conscious. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?

    The question is clearly justified in context, as KF has clearly asserted a conceptual orientation within consciousness can occur without brains.

  128. 128
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill: att his stage you are just repeating yourself, in the teeth of knowing or ought to be knowing better. You demand that I do the opposite of what I have done ever since Fr Raftery’s Geometry class back in 3rd form. Start with reasonable frameworking givens, then proceed step by step to evidence and logical interconnexions that are warranted by what is there so far, then lead out to conclusions. Those frameworking givens, which you insistently ignore, START from the Fact no 1, self conscious reflective contemplation as an experiential fact without any a priori commitments slipped in at that point or any onward point about what that must mean. I go on to point out that whether rocks are not organised or are organised into computational substrates they are still acting blindly on cause effect tracing to physical and chemical chance and necessity. In that context I have long since pointed out that cell based life — including neural networks by direct implication — is sufficiently accounted for on a molecular nanotech lab so I draw no conclusions beyond that from life based on the cell including our own. As you would acknowledge if you really wanted to be fair minded, I point to the fine tuning of the cosmos and what the fact that this is taken seriously brings to the table and which should not be a priori excluded. Notice, I am not even asserting that this demands the conclusion of Mind beyond the cosmos, just that it is a serious candidate to be best explanation. That is all I need to point out that we cannot properly foreclose that mind may be more than some mysterious emergent property or product of matter organised in some way or another that computes. All laid out with explanations above. All you are succeeding in doing is showing that you are playing twist-about strawman caricature rhetorical games. Game over. KF

    PS: Framework:

    framework (?fre?m?w??k)
    n
    1. a structural plan or basis of a project
    2. a structure or frame supporting or containing something

    3. frames collectively
    4. (Knitting & Sewing) work such as embroidery or weaving done in or on a frame

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

  129. 129

    KF

    Those frameworking givens, which you insistently ignore, START from the Fact no 1, self conscious reflective contemplation as an experiential fact without any a priori commitments slipped in at that point or any onward point about what that must mean.

    What you actually STARTED with, however, was:

    So, I think it is time to put the mind back on the table.

    STARTING with the principle that rocks have no dreams:

    (My emphasis).

    To which I responded as your STARTING principle – one that is undermined by your uncoupling of physical and functional states and dreaming (contemplation, consciousness.)

    If you were not actually starting with the principle you identified as the principle you were starting with, why not simply state “I misspoke; that’s not really the starting point of my argument”?

  130. 130
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill: This is more pretzel twisting to manufacture strawmen. It is plain that I have started from the fact no 1, self aware consciousness, which is evident for instance in the OP, in a diagram — which begins with a rock contrasted with something dreaming; where rocks being dreamless is supposedly a consensus point. But it seems the real explosion is when it is pointed out that refining and organising rocks into computational substrates does not escape the pattern of mechanical, meaningless, blind cause effect chains that have no reference to meaning in moving from one stage to another. Hence something like the pentium that was recalled due to a GIGO blunder. Blind, mechanical computation is not the same as insightful, meaning based rational contemplative reasoning. And I have consistently said that, with reasons. Much as the Searle Chinese room example shows in vivid terms. The resort to setting up and knocking over strawmen is tantamount to an unwilling implication that you have no cogent response. Rhetorical game over. KF

  131. 131
    Mung says:

    JWTruthInLove:

    That could potentially be me! In paradise I will have all the time in the world to learn about math and stuff! Then it will be me creating universes and playing God!

    The doctrines of the Watchtower Society don’t include you in paradise. And even if you had all the time in the world to study math that’s not enough for you to play god.

  132. 132

    KF:

    R-Bill: This is more pretzel twisting to manufacture straw men.

    1 -> On June 13, in the OP “Putting Minds Back onto the Table,” you started your argument with “Starting with the principle that rocks have no dreams…”

    2 -> Same day, I began twisting your words by addressing that statement as though it was the “start” of your argument. (Onlooker: Can you imagine?)

    3 -> I did so by asking this question:

    “If the physical states exhibited by brains, but absent in rocks, don’t account for human dreams (contemplation, etc.) then you’ve no basis for claiming rocks are devoid of dreams – at least not on the basis of the physical states present in brains and absent in rocks.

    Given that, on what basis do you claim that rocks don’t dream?

    4 -> Over the subsequent 15 days I posed this question 16 times in various forms. The question became more pointed after you stated, “I am not even convinced that a brain is necessary for dreaming.”

    5 -> I posted and posted, and when no answer came, I knew it must be from you. (Apologies to Ashleigh Brilliant.)

    6 -> On June 19 I began using the term “framework” to describe both of our general conceptual orientations. My use of “Framework” had a clear and accurate referent with respect to your statements, namely a non-physicalist framework within which dreaming may occur independent of brains. It can’t have referred to your bulleted list in 88, because 88 hadn’t yet been penned.

    “My question to you is: given your non-physicalist framework – one within which dreaming may occur independent of brains – on what basis do claim as a first principle that rocks don’t dream?”

    7 -> On June 27 I stated my question for the 15th time:

    Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for drippy nervous systems. As that ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness, rocks with that ingredient may also be conscious.

    On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?

    Again, when no answer came, I knew it must be from you.

    8 ->On June 28 I modified the above, posing the question again:

    Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for mucilaginous nervous systems. Ick.

    As that ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness, rocks with that ingredient may also be conscious. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?

    9 -> Same day, you penned your re-ordering at 88, above, analysing the “mucilaginous” version of my question (again, alas, no answer came). In that post you first used “framework” to refer to your bulleted revision, a short nine days after I had begun using that term. You commenced to tell me that my use of “framework” in my oft repeated question was a caricature of your actual “framework.”

    10 -> On June 28, subsequent to your post at 88, I reposted yet another version of my question:

    Oops, you forgot to answer this:

    Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for saponaceous brains and nervous systems.

    As that ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness, rocks with that ingredient may also be conscious. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?

    11 -> You replied, “R-Bill, This is an obvious misrepresenatation, as you clipped the end of a comment in which I step by step answered exactly the clip you tried to raise again as though I failed to address it, here at 88. KF”

    There is a bit of a problem there, however, as the question (minus “saponaceous”) was originally written and posted prior to your “step by step answer.”

    12 -> Since then you’ve clung to the ridiculous claim that, in repeating the question I have, I’ve ignored and distorted the framework you described in 88.

    13 -> Starting to see the problem? Some hints:

    I didn’t clip anything from the end of 88 in mine on 6/28.

    The post you claim I created by misrepresenting yours at 88 was written (and twice posted) before you posted 88.

    14 -> Sir, you’ve unmet duties of care and respect.

    15 -> So to you Sir, then, I say, “If you don’t like my opinion of you, you can always improve.”

  133. 133
    Mung says:

    Reciprocating Bill:

    Given that, on what basis do you claim that rocks don’t dream?

    Reciprocating Bill:

    Over the subsequent 15 days I posed this question 16 times in various forms.

    This after agreeing from the beginning that rocks don’t dream and stating repeatedly that from the beginning he has agreed that rocks don’t dream.

    So I ask again, why is Reciprocating Bill still banging his drum on a point he has already conceded?

    I conclude that it’s because he can’t abide with where accepting the truth of the premise, a truth he has agreed to from the beginning, leads.

  134. 134
    Mung says:

    kf @ 124:

    brilliant!

    Where is the rock-minded-computer that can reason to that conclusion based upon premises?

    Where is the rock-minded-computer that can reason according to a syllogism or understand why a syllogism is a form of reasoning?

  135. 135
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    On June 13, in the OP “Putting Minds Back onto the Table,” you started your argument with “Starting with the principle that rocks have no dreams…”

    Don’t you tire of setting up strawmen?

    The issue of rocks having no dreams has ALWAYS been used by me in a CONTEXT of a contrast to our own fact no 1 self-aware mindedness. This can be seen in the figure at the top of the OP above, which appears in the earlier post [onlookers, cf. here], and comes from much earlier discussions here at UD on the self-evidence of consciousness. Has the use of a foil (here, an empirically well grounded, generally accepted point about rocks) escaped you?

    Let me clip the just linked post, to give context:

    . . . design implies designer.

    One who exhibits creative, purposeful, imaginative, skilled intelligence adequate to configure a functionally specific, complex organised information-rich entity. Ranging from the text of this contribution (well beyond the 500 – 1,000 bits of FSCO/I that are easily shown to be beyond the plausible reach of blind chance and mechanical necessity on the gamut of solar system or observed cosmos), to complex body plans, to the DNA code — code! — involved, to first cell-based life to the complex fine tuned cosmos that facilitates the possibility of such life.

    But, it seems, genuinely independent, conscious, purposeful, creative designing mind is also under materialist interdict.

    Never mind the still telling force of famed Evolutionist J B S Haldane’s apt turn of the 1930?s observation:

    “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. (Highlight and emphases added.)]

    So, I think it is time to put the mind back on the table.

    Starting with the principle that rocks have no dreams:

    [IMAGE: Rocks with no dreams vs self-aware conscious but deluded BIV model, cf. OP above]

    Which, means that conscious mind is categorically distinct from blind mechanism based on cogs acting blindly on other cogs, or the substantial equivalent.

    And continuing with the issue that blind mechanical processing is inherently limited by that blindness . . . a rock has no dreams, including “dust” reconfigured as neural network “gate” arrays:

    [IMAGE: Neural network model bringing out its essentially blind mechanical cause-effect chain nature]

    I do so here, as there is a video involved that I doubt can be embedded at UD.

    So. now, let us ponder the GIGO principle. As wiki aptly summarises (inadvertently testifying against known ideological inclination):

    Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) in the field of computer science or information and communications technology refers to the fact that computers, since they operate by logical processes, will unquestioningly process unintended, even nonsensical, input data (“garbage in”) and produce undesired, often nonsensical, output (“garbage out”).

    Yes, blind mechanisms do not ask un-programmed questions and if out of whack or inadequately debugged, will just as blindly spew out garbage. They are utterly unreasoning, glorified calculation devices.

    So, I say: GIGO-limited computation is not contemplation.

    Again, I say: contemplative, creative designing mind does not credibly emerge from blind chance and mechanical necessity.

    Yet again, I say: contemplative mind is categorically different from blindly computing matter, as a rock has no dreams . . .

    In short, your whole rhetorical scheme rests on snipping things out of context, twisting into strawman caricatures to be knocked over and failing to address the real issue on the table.

    In the end, a sad spectacle.

    KF

  136. 136
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The caricaturing game continues by refusing to engage where R-Bill’s points have been taken up and addressed, e.g. cf 75 – 77 above. It is simply false for R-Bill to declare that his assertions and points have in effect not been answered for over a fortnight. The essential issue, in fact, was answered before he raised it; but twist-about rhetoric can easily confuse those who do not spot what is really going on, hence the use of that notorious trick by some of the most destructive rhetoricians of all time. This shows the cynicism in the attempt at mocking mimicry above. At this point, it is clear that, sadly, R-Bill has slipped into old ways. KF

  137. 137
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, the link you intended to provide is gone, maybe you should try again. R-Bill seemingly cannot accept that on technical analysis of computational networks, the refining and re-organising of rocks to form computational substrates is relevant to blindly mechanical GIGO-limited cause effect chain signal processing, it has not moved us an inch closer to insightful, understanding-driven reasoning based on seeing — perceiving, through self-aware intentionality and recognition based on conceptual understanding [contrast the Chinese Room with a genuine Chinese speaker] — how LOGICAL, ground-consequent links hold or fail to hold, why. KF

  138. 138
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The Chinese Room, from the OP [and so also onward earlier remarks I made], by Searle:

    Imagine that a person—me, for example—knows no Chinese and is locked in a room with boxes full of Chinese symbols and an instruction book written in English for manipulating the symbols. Unknown to me, the boxes are called “the database” and the instruction book is called “the program.” I am called “the computer.”

    People outside the room pass in bunches of Chinese symbols that, unknown to me, are questions. I look up in the instruction book what I am supposed to do and I give back answers in Chinese symbols.

    Suppose I get so good at shuffling the symbols and passing out the answers that my answers are indistinguishable from a native Chinese speaker’s. I give every indication of understanding the language despite the fact that I actually don’t understand a word of Chinese.

    And if I do not, neither does any digital computer, because no computer, qua computer, has anything I do not have. It has stocks of symbols, rules for manipulating symbols, a system that allows it to rapidly transition from zeros to ones, and the ability to process inputs and outputs. That is it. There is nothing else. [Cf. Jay Richards here.]

    The striking difference between genuine understanding and blind mechanical processing needs to be acknowledged, before real progress can be made in understanding why computation is not contemplation. Where, refining and reorganising rocks to make computational substrates is relevant to computation not contemplation.

    Which is what is being consistently ducked, dodged, diverted from and willfully misrepresented. Now, moving on to mocking mimicry . . . I hope the exercise helped R-Bill understand how a step by step reasoning process works.

    KF

  139. 139
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @kf:

    JWT, do you know what is required to build a cosmos, and do you have the capability to back that up on the ground so to speak? (But, don’t forget that old joke about “get your own dirt”) Kindly, demonstrate for us — put it up on YouTube and link. KF

    You’ve described the properties of the creator’s mind. I made a comment, that I, too, have potentially these properties.

  140. 140
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @Mung:

    The doctrines of the Watchtower Society don’t include you in paradise.

    I don’t care what you think about JWs. You and I will have all the time in the word to talk things through in paradise.

  141. 141
    kairosfocus says:

    JWT: I point out that nope, not even close. If I am wrong, do whip us up a new cosmos and post the vid on YouTube. Should be a no-sweat operation if you have the actual capability to design a physics and instantiate a cosmos — mekkin’ yer own dirt from scratch, so to speak. KF

    PS: If you have in mind making your own universe as creator, that would be a most interesting near-approach to certain Mormon views.

  142. 142
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @kf:

    If I am wrong, do whip us up a new cosmos and post the vid on YouTube.

    How the heck can I do that? I can’t even create a microchip.

    Again: You’ve described the properties of the creator’s mind. I made a comment, that I, too, have potentially these properties.

    I point out that nope, not even close.

    Which of those properties are beyond the reach of my mind and why?

  143. 143
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @kf:

    PS: If you have in mind making your own universe as creator, that would be a most interesting near-approach to certain Mormon views.

    It could be, that God’s creation is its method to replicate itself, i.e. “making children”.

  144. 144
    kairosfocus says:

    JWT: While our minds do obviously show intelligence, we are not in the same ball park as a designer of a cosmos; we can see that a cosmos designer is intelligent but of a class well beyond ours. I am not sure how German is it distinguishes SOME from ALL in a context like “these properties,” but in this case that is material. (Pardon, I am concerned there may be a bit of a languages gap here; forgive me if I am writing obscurely. I am aware that GP, an Italian writing very well in English — we love the few oddities that add to his charm — is a rarity.) KF

    PS: Part of the evidence points to a beginning of the cosmos from a singularity [usually dated c. 13.7 BYA on Hubble expansion] . . . I am discussing scientific evidence not religious traditions. We are creative knowledgeable and skilled, but our minds balk at the sort of ex nihilo that the origin of space-time energy-matter domains from a singularity points to. The scope of energy required . . . including energy density of free space, is already a killer issue.

  145. 145
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @kf:

    I am not sure how German is it distinguishes SOME from ALL in a context like “these properties,” but in this case that is material.

    Ok. Humans have potentially ALL the properties you’ve mentioned.

    While our minds do obviously show intelligence, we are not in the same ball park as a designer of a cosmos; we can see that a cosmos designer is intelligent but of a class well beyond ours.

    Well, I don’t hold that belief. Would I be able to create a universe, if the creator taught me how and what tools to use? Who knows…? I don’t have his manual, so I can’t tell.
    I also believe some of our mental capabilities may be restricted by our bodies. For instance, I believe a “mentally retarded” person doesn’t have a retarded mind, but is extremely restricted by his or her own bodily interface.

  146. 146
    kairosfocus says:

    JWT: There are no tools, it is ex nihilo; that’s the key point. It’s not like designing a car or a plane or a life form. We can construct a mathematical framework, but when it comes to moving from a simulation world to actualisation, it’s get your own dirt at the rate of E = m*c^2, about 9*10^16 J/kg. KF

  147. 147
    Mung says:

    JWTruthInLove:

    You and I will have all the time in the word to talk things through in paradise.

    You’d interrupt your maths studies just to talk to me? But I won’t be there, so it’s not going to happen, but I do hope you’ll also be in heaven.

  148. 148
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @Mung:

    You’d interrupt your maths studies just to talk to me?

    “You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things.” – Emmet Brickowski (2014)

    But I won’t be there, so it’s not going to happen, but I do hope you’ll also be in heaven.

    Our world is a hell-hole full of prejudice, violence, and death. The thought of heaven makes me happy and warm inside. Everyone will be there. Imagine kf, Goebbels, and Anne Franke side by side playing soccer against japanese pornstars, Ghandi, and Stalin’s death-squads. And afterwards, by the fire, they will be sharing memories from their former lifes. What a sight that would be!

  149. 149

    KF:

    The issue of rocks having no dreams has ALWAYS been used by me in a CONTEXT of a contrast to our own fact no 1 self-aware mindedness…Has the use of a foil (here, an empirically well grounded, generally accepted point about rocks) escaped you?

    You started by using rocks, in their dreamlessness, as a foil against which to compare and contrast human conscious self-awareness. So, let’s do:

    From your OP, and from your first response to me, we learned that neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness. In this respect rocks and human beings are similar.

    To be clear: it follows that conscious self-awareness does not arise from the sort of physical and functional organization that is exemplified by the human brain and nervous system: ~200 billion neurons interacting via ~125 trillion synapses, driven by sensory input and yielding output in the form of behavior (etc.). Neither does it flow from the almost oceanic computational and information processing characteristics of the physical human brain. Something more than physical and computational organization is required for contemplative consciousness. Let us call this something more a “non-physical” ingredient (as neutral a term as possible).

    Further, you are compelled by the values of the cosmological constants to consider disembodied consciousness possible. Mind ontologically before matter.

    Therefore physical organization is neither sufficient nor necessary for consciousness. By contrast, that “something more” is both necessary and sufficient for contemplative consciousness (sufficient so long as you don’t postulate further non-physical events or ingredients as well).

    Human beings are not in possession of this non-physical ingredient by virtue of their complex physical, functional, computational organization – otherwise the right physical organization alone would be sufficient for consciousness after all.

    That is to say, it is in principle possible for two persons who are identical in every physical respect, down to the smallest detail vis matter and energy, to nevertheless differ in that one possesses contemplative consciousness while the other lacks it (IOW, philosophical zombies are possible.) It would not be possible to discern which was which from an examination of their physical, functional or computational organization.

    Conversely, rocks are not devoid of this non-physical ingredient by virtue of their lack of complex physical, functional and computational organization – No degree of physical, functional or computational organization gives rise to, nor is necessary for, contemplative consciousness on your view.

    That is to say, it is in principle possible for two rocks that are identical in every physical respect, down to the smallest physical (and therefore behavioral) detail, to nevertheless differ in that one lacks the requisite non-physical ingredient, and is therefore devoid of contemplative consciousness, while the other possesses it and is therefore capable of contemplative consciousness. In other words, conscious rocks that are physically and behaviorally identical to zombie rocks are possible, because they possess the requisite non-physical ingredient. It would not be possible to discern which was which from a survey of their physical and computational functional organization.

    Therefore, on your view that neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness, but rather that an additional non-physical ingredient is both necessary and sufficient for contemplative consciousness: If a rock should possess that non-physical ingredient, then conscious rocks are possible. Like human beings with and without that non-physical ingredient, it cannot be determined from an examination of the physical or functional organization of a particular rock whether or not it is conscious.

    Unless you want to tell us: On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?

  150. 150
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill: Note the particular focus, on an analysis of what hapens on hard ware (and also software) as processing is carried out in various architectures of computation: blind, cause-effect bonds. So, brains — which follow a neural net archi — do not escape the cause-effect blind computation pattern. That is, rocks, whether raw or refined and organised, are not rising above blind cause-effect chains. That is the context in which we see GIGO at work. Until materialists can show vera causa, they have no right to jump to poof magic emergence or the like. By contrast, from the inside and as observed by our creative ability to routinely originate FSCO/I (which is beyond the credible reach of blind chance and mechanical necessity on the gamut of the observed cosmos) we show creative intelligence and are self-aware insightful contemplative reasoners and knowers. And yes, I am pointing out that the subjective knower, self aware infer-er etc are all part of what real reasoning and knowing are about; cf again the Chinese Room exercise, which again is cited just above — there is a categorical difference between blind mechanical processing on signals and insightful understanding and reasoning. Subjectivity is not the opposite to objectivity. KF

  151. 151
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Note, I speak of brains specifically, we have no good reason to foreclose possibilities (especially as we have by no means adequately accounted for the known capabilities of self-aware intelligent contemplative beings such as we are on material forces and factors and on fair comment are running into what looks a lot like trying to get North by heading West on the subject . . . ) and hold that a human being equals a brain in a body. There is something that is not fitting in the Procrustean bed — let’s not willy-nilly chop it off.

  152. 152

    RB:

    Unless you want to tell us: On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t also have that ingredient?

    KF:

    R-Bill: Note the particular focus, on an analysis of what hapens on hard ware (and also software) as processing is carried out in various architectures of computation: blind, cause-effect bonds. So, brains — which follow a neural net archi — do not escape the cause-effect blind computation pattern. That is, rocks, whether raw or refined and organised, are not rising above blind cause-effect chains. That is the context in which we see GIGO at work. Until materialists can show vera causa, they have no right to jump to poof magic emergence or the like. By contrast, from the inside and as observed by our creative ability to routinely originate FSCO/I (which is beyond the credible reach of blind chance and mechanical necessity on the gamut of the observed cosmos) we show creative intelligence and are self-aware insightful contemplative reasoners and knowers. And yes, I am pointing out that the subjective knower, self aware infer-er etc are all part of what real reasoning and knowing are about; cf again the Chinese Room exercise, which again is cited just above — there is a categorical difference between blind mechanical processing on signals and insightful understanding and reasoning. Subjectivity is not the opposite to objectivity. KF

    PS: Note, I speak of brains specifically, we have no good reason to foreclose possibilities (especially as we have by no means adequately accounted for the known capabilities of self-aware intelligent contemplative beings such as we are on material forces and factors and on fair comment are running into what looks a lot like trying to get North by heading West on the subject . . . ) and hold that a human being equals a brain in a body. There is something that is not fitting in the Procrustean bed — let’s not willy-nilly chop it off.

    Yes, but taxidermy specimens can be saved for later use by freezing. The taxidermist then removes the skin, to be tanned and treated at a later date. Numerous measurements are then taken of the remaining body. A traditional method that remains popular today involves retaining the original skull and leg bones of a specimen and using these as the basis to create a mannequin made primarily from wood wool (previously tow or hemp wool was used) and galvanised wire.

    P.S. Another method is to mould the carcass in plaster, and then make a copy of the animal using one of several methods. A final mould is then made of polyester resin and glass cloth; from which a polyurethane form is made for final production. The carcass is then removed and the mould is used to produce a cast of the animal called a ‘form’. Forms can also be made by sculpting the animal first in clay. Many companies produce stock forms in various sizes. Glass eyes are then usually added to the display, and in some cases, artificial teeth, jaws, tongue, or for some birds, artificial beaks and legs can be used.

  153. 153
    Joe says:

    Would disembodied minds dream? We material beings dream, for one because we sleep. It could very well be that a physical, working brain, is required for dreams.

  154. 154
    Mapou says:

    The concept of “disembodied mind” is flawed, IMO. Mind implies thinking and thinking implies change. Only matter can change.

  155. 155
    Joe says:

    So energy cannot change? Information cannot change? Thoughts cannot change? Ideas cannot change?

    Only matter can change, is flawed in IMO. 😉

  156. 156
    Mapou says:

    Joe, I have no idea what you mean above. What is it you’re trying to say?

    Energy, information, thoughts, ideas, all require matter, IMO.

  157. 157
    Joe says:

    Umm matter couldn’t exist without energy and information. And information is neither matter nor energy.

  158. 158
    Mapou says:

    Matter (mass) and energy are two forms of the same thing: particles. I am not at all sold on the idea that information is more fundamental than matter/energy. IMO, if something can change, it is matter.

  159. 159
    Joe says:

    Yes, matter and energy are different manifestations of the same thing but neither would exist without information.

  160. 160
    kairosfocus says:

    Joe, we dream during sleep; which we seem to need primarily for bodily rest — that is where we often feel the lack most strongly. There also seems to be a bit of housekeeping brain work going on in sleep, and which is a strong indication that the canard on how poof there goes consciousness is poof gone itself. Notice how that line went quiet? A mind without a body — and the pivotal case is the one that may well have designed the cosmos, would be in a different case. Such a mind might day dream as we call it, contemplate, which is more what I have in mind, but that is another story yet again. KF

  161. 161
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill: Why are you pretending that I have not given you a very detailed answer more than once or twice or three times? For sure, you are not so unintelligent that you cannot understand that an answer was given. Do you, instead only rhetorically wish to make a falsehood seem true by repeating it in a drumbeat like Dr Goebbels at work? That speaks volumes, none of it to your good. In summary, for record again: rocks are inherently passive entities, interacting in blind cause-effect chains. When refined and reorganised into procesors that compute, whether analogue or digital or neural network — the latest darling it seems — they still retain that inherent blind character. Such processors compute, carrying out blind cause effect chains that neither know nor care that what they do is informational. Hence the caution GIGO. In short, rocks refined and organised are relevant to blind computation, they are not relevant to insightful, self-aware, rational contemplation that understands, creates, sees connexions that are ground and consequent and concludes based on insight. That latter pattern is what we exhibit routinely, and undeniably. You may want to suggest that somehow it emerges on blind computation at some threshold, but that is something you are far from demonstrating, so you have no right to pretend that that explanation or insistence is the only “scientific” approach, however you may wish to disdain anything that leaves a possible opening for the soul. KF

  162. 162
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me clip from a related exchange in another thread:

    language thread, 22 on: >> Intelligence is conceptual which may be spatial, linguistic, movie in the head and more but always it depends on insight. Understanding. That is the underlying force of Searle’s thought case. Absent insight and linked creative imagination, intelligence becomes a problem . . . .

    That a neural network can carry out a steepest descent or similar algorithm is not in dispute. Whee that comes from is not either. Computation is not contemplation and rocks only make it so far as the former, for fundamental reasons . . .

    As an illustration of the first problem, observe Wiki:

    The [connection] weights in a neural network are adjusted according to some learning rule or algorithm. Thus, connectionists have created many sophisticated learning procedures for neural networks. Learning always involves modifying the connection weights. In general, these involve mathematical formulas to determine the change in weights when given sets of data consisting of activation vectors for some subset of the neural units.

    By formalizing learning in such a way, connectionists have many tools. A very common strategy in connectionist learning methods is to incorporate gradient descent over an error surface in a space defined by the weight matrix. All gradient descent learning in connectionist models involves changing each weight by the partial derivative of the error surface with respect to the weight.

    First, we see anthropomorphising a heuristic procedure as “learning.” (Well do I recall behavourism’s operant conditioning games, where successful patterns in a search space were reinforced and learning was equated to acquired behaviour patterns.)

    Second, we see our old friends of evolutionary computing. Including in effect a fitness function and things like steep slope seeking goal directed algorithms.

    When we deal with relevant complex functionality, the islands isolated in the search space eat up the possibility of successful search, unless of course one is effectively starting within the shores of an island. This points to search for search challenges. Which, per evo mat influenced ideas, is driven by blind chance and mechanical necessity on the gamut of solar system or observed cosmos. Thus hitting the FSCO/I threshold challenge.

    Genuine creative insight is light years away from this sort of thing.

    However we do it, we perceive key relationships and possibilities, and can evaluate likeliness to succeed. Then, if we are good at it, we can plunk down close enough for debugging to carry us the rest of the way absent nasty black swans lurking . . . .

    machines simply are not learning save in a confusing metaphorical sense . . . .

    I should add that Descartes’ conundrum had to do with an excess of reliance on the power of doubt in western phil. He painted himself in a corner . . . to doubt is to dismiss save we have certain proof, in effect . . . and tried to get out through a perceived self evident truth, self-aware cognition. The subsequent ugly ditch between the inner world and the outer one runs into the difficulty highlighted by Bradley. Namely to claim to know we cannot know the external world is to claim to know something of the external world. Self referential incoherence. Instead, we will find it profitable to view any claim that points to general delusion as self-undermining. For the obvious reason. Intelligence is closely tied to understanding and that manifests itself in concepts, perceptions, awareness, intuitions etc etc. The notion that these are simply reducible to connexions of arrays of neurons or similar processor elements runs straight into the search space challenges at the heart of ID, and pivotally beg questions on representation of info and how we find ourselves on or close to islands of function esp when blind chance and mechanical necessity are deemed the only acceptable formative forces. Intelligence is linked to awareness of patterns, but suggesting that if such are not reduced to coded symbols then the cause-effect blind processing issue is irrelevant again begs questions. And I repeat, the heart of Searle’s point is not about language but the difference between acting blindly and with insight. I don’t know if your paradigm is a roadblock to seeing that but please note that language has never been my prime focus. Insight has . . . . >>

  163. 163

    KF:

    R-Bill: Why are you pretending that I have not given you a very detailed answer more than once or twice or three times?

    I am stating that you haven’t given an answer to my question because you haven’t.

    Do you, instead only rhetorically wish to make a falsehood seem true by repeating it in a drumbeat like Dr Goebbels at work? That speaks volumes, none of it to your good.

    I would say that this is beneath you, but the fact is that similar statements are characteristic of you, KF.

    By the way, wasn’t it you who stated that accusations of lying are “a step beyond the pale of civil discussion?”

    (In 117 above, five-six lines below an accusation that I am lying.)

    You may want to suggest that somehow it emerges on blind computation at some threshold, but that is something you are far from demonstrating, so you have no right to pretend that that explanation or insistence is the only “scientific” approach.

    I’ve made exactly zero statements claiming that the problem of consciousness is solved by crossing a computational threshold. The assertion would be irrelevant to my question in any event, as I my query goes to implications of your claims, not my beliefs about the matter. In fact, I granted the opposite arguendo, as carefully laid out in 149 above:

    To be clear… Neither does it flow from the almost oceanic computational and information processing characteristics of the physical human brain. Something more than physical and computational organization is required for contemplative consciousness. Let us call this something more a “non-physical” ingredient (as neutral a term as possible).

    KF:

    In summary, for record again: rocks are inherently passive entities, interacting in blind cause-effect chains.

    See 149 above, which lays out reasoning I have presented since the beginning of this discussion, upon which you have yet to comment.

    On your view, neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness. It is also your view that disembodied consciousness is possible. It follows that that an additional non-physical ingredient is both necessary and sufficient for contemplative consciousness.

    If degrees of physical, functional and computational organization don’t account for the presence of that ingredient, and therefore contemplative consciousness, then it cannot be the case that rocks lack that ingredient due to their simplicity, passivity, and participation in cause-effect chains – physical characteristics that exemplify their degree of physical and functional organization.

    On what basis do you claim that rocks, passive entities interacting in blind cauise-effect chains, don’t also have that non-physical ingredient?

  164. 164

    By the way, KF, since you are fond of quoting John Searle on his “Chinese Room” thought experiment, it is worth noting his view on the relationship between brain and mind, as indicated by the following opening paragraph of his 1992 book, “The Rediscovery of the Mind.”

    The famous mind-body problem, the source of so much controversy over the past two millennia, has a simple solution. The solution has been available to any educated person since serious work began on the brain nearly a century ago, and, in a sense, we all know it to be true. Here it is: Mental phenomena are caused by neurophysiological processes in the brain and are themselves features of the brain. To distinguish this view from the many others in the field, I call it “biological naturalism.” Mental events and processes are as much part of our biological natural history as digestion, mitosis, meiosis, or enzyme secretion.

    Searle proposed the “Chinese Room” thought experiment as an argument against “Strong AI,” not contra a biological account of mental processes.

  165. 165
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill,

    I am now completely convinced that you believe that by blandly denying and dismissing a reality you can make it go away, at least so far as the audience you are interested in is concerned.

    Just for record, for I don’t remember how many times since 88:

    >>> Kindly, observe the note at 100 above.

    For record, I will again reproduce the answer to your repeated question that appears at 88.

    To disagree with it would be one thing, but to pretend it does not exist and/or is not cogent is for you to speak with disregard to duties of care to truth and fairness. Which, itself points to classic problems and gaps of the evolutionary materialist view in regards to duty to truth and to others, never mind its lab coat. Such concerns are rooted in its lack of a sound foundational IS that can properly ground OUGHT, and the deleterious influence this view has exerted among the educated and influential classes in recent years.

    For the record from 88 and 96 (and with the suspicion that it is all too likely that a twisted version of this latest tactic will be presented elsewhere as though it were unquestionable proof that I have had no reasonable answer):

    ______________________

    >> kairosfocusJune 28, 2014 at 5:59 am (Edit)

    R-Bill:

    It’s easy to accuse of question-begging when one reverses a course of argument, turning it into a strawman caricature. Which is what the following clipped does:

    [R-B:} Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for mucilaginous brains and nervous systems. Ick.

    [KF:} 1 –> Human beings, in my framework, are immediately conscious of being self-aware, contemplative beings.

    [NB 1: Onlookers seeking truth: the framework of say a building lays out guidelines for its foundation, etc. That is, the matter starts with the foundational, so I have every right to focus my reply on fact no 1, our self-aware contemplative inner lives through which we access all other facts]

    2 –> Indeed, it is our prime fact, the fact through which we become aware of all other facts.

    3 –> And in fact, if you will scroll back up to the OP, you will see that the first graphic ponders a hypothetical case of a self-aware brain in vat, dreaming of being a runner under stimulus of feed-in probes.

    4 –> The point made is that while the entity may be confused as to circumstances, it cannot be so on its status of being self-aware.

    [NB 2: I point back to the roots of the discussion and to the significance of a pivotal self-evident fact. Namely, being self-aware is immediate and undeniable, even if one otherwise labours under a delusion.]

    5 –> By contrast, a rock (which we observe to be entirely passive) has neither dreams nor beliefs and cannot be deluded to imagine such.

    [NB 3: Here, I point out a generally conceded fact; one that highlights the rhetorical artificiality and distractive nature of the gambit being used. With raw in-nature rocks, there is no empirical data whatsoever that they are self-aware, self-moved entities. And, every bit of data one may desire that they are passive, mechanically moved entities fully explained as mixtures of minerals fully explained empirically on being passively moved by forces of physics and chemistry etc. In short, absent a material body of evidence of self awareness, there is no good reason to suggest that any party to a discussion has a problem if he simply accepts the premise that discussions on scientific matters must be empirically grounded — must be factually adequate. But then, as I had to highlight at 75 above as a start-point, RB has a problem with inductive reasoning by abductive inference to best explanation on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory balance and power.]

    6 –> I then went on to point out, based on physics of computational substrates, that such entities do not in the end rise above the level of cogs grinding against one another in blind, GIGO-limited cause effect chains.

    7 –> That is, even refined rocks organised into computational substrates are still only passively, blindly interacting.

    [NB 4: I have pointed out, from the outset, that when raw in-nature rocks are converted into computational substrates — in our actual observation, invariably by design, and involving FSCO/I which is a strong empirical sign of design — these substrates are composed of components that blindly interact through physcical and/or chemical forces. That is, they are blindly, mechanically working in cause-effect physical-chemical chains, not based on actual insight. If they are built with bugs, or go out of whack, they will just as blindly produce errors. Indeed, they are limited by GIGO. And, specifically this involves neural networks such as may be found in brains and nervous systems. That is, we have got not one inch Northwards to self-aware, insight based rational contemplation, by concentrating on going west on blind mechanical GIGO-limited cause-effect chains.]

    8 –> I took time to point out how neural networks, a computational architecture, fall into this category.

    9 –> So, I concluded that brains are processor networks, they are not in themselves the seat and source or credible cause of self-aware, contemplative, insight- and understanding, meaning based rational inquiry.

    [NB 5: as just pointed out.]

    10 –> Which, again, we directly experience and observe.

    [NB 6: Notice the reference to Fact no 1. Explanations answer to facts, and good ones will draw together the material facts in coherent unified ways, neither being simplistic nor an ad hoc patchwork. Going ever faster West hoping to get North is a major factual gap and breakdown of coherence. Indeed, as I have repeatedly pointed out it simply fails to account for self-aware insightful rational contemplation, by implicitly implying poof-magic emergence. Demonstrate such emergence empirically, then we have something to talk about. Otherwise this becomes a grand case of a non sequitur.]

    11 –> So, you have set up and knocked over a strawman caricature, driven by perceptions of how I “must” be reasoning.

    12 –> You then set up a second strawman caricature on mind vs matter.

    [NB 7: Notice, I am progressing through the paragraph put up by R-Bill in stages, now turning to: ” . . . because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness.” Here, R-Bill has skipped over the context of empirical evidence and reasoning in which — following points made by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize holding Astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle — I highlighted how the evident fine tuning of our observed cosmos puts an inference to design of the cosmos by an intelligence beyond the observed material cosmos, on the table. That is, unlike the hinted at a priori supernaturalism that peeks out from between R-Bill’s lines, I am pointing to a significant body of empirical evidence. One that makes Mind ontologically prior to matter a reasonable view (cf. here and onwards for a bit more on that topic). Where, as a long time critic of UD, R-Bill has a particular duty of being aware that in the ID Foundations series, years ago now, I emphasised the importance of the cosmological design inference and so helped to give it a much higher profile at UD. Indeed, I have long been on repeated record here at UD that the FSCO/I in observed cell based life could be sufficiently explained on a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond Venter et al.; but it is at the issue of fine tuning that we see a need to have designing mind beyond cosmos sitting at the table as of right not sufferance. Which echoes and builds on the thinking in the very first technical design theory work, by Thaxton et al in TMLO, 1984. So in that context, R-Bill has a lot of explaining to do about the strawman he set up and knocked over.]

    13 –> Notice, how you have consistently failed to cogently engage the point on our observed, fine tuned cosmos, as has been pioneered by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize-holding Astrophysicist, Sir Fred Hoyle.

    [NB 8: I point to the actual context for my point, as opposed to the strawman caricature.]

    14 –> I have pointed out that this argument as developed puts to the table the possibility to be taken seriously, that mind is ontologically prior to the observed material cosmos. And, a serious candidate to be its cause, per inductive inference to best explanation . . . which form of reasoning underlies science and which you plainly struggle with when it may point where you have a problem going.

    15 –> Obviously, I cannot make you revise your thinking on inductive logic, but I can highlight the selective hyperskepticism and its self-refuting consequences.

    16 –> Where also, inductive inference to best explanation across serious candidates obviously is not question-begging.

    17 –> So, no, I am no lumpen Platonist, I leave that to the New Agers playing with Gnosticism.

    18 –> Likewise, I do not despise computational substrates, whether metallic or Silicon or wetware electrochemical.

    19 –> I am just insistent on being clear-eyed about their limitations: GIGO, blind cause-effect. And no basis for self aware consciousness in sight save the materialistic magic of “emergence,” which looks suspiciously like something from nothing.

    20 –> where, again, I suggest you ponder Fact No 1: self-aware consciousness.

    21 –> And again, Reppert’s point speaks:

    . . . 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 [C S] 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.

    ___________________

    You cannot get North by heading West. >>
    ______________________

    For the record. >>>

    FYI, R-Bill, to speak with disregard to the truth as you have again and again done, in hopes of profiting by what is said being perceived as the truth is something that has a name, a short three letter word beginning with l.

    I trust you will do better next time.

    KF

  166. 166
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: As R-Bill is liable to distort comenteary in service to an agenda I note for record on his clip:

    The famous mind-body problem, the source of so much controversy over the past two millennia, has a simple solution. The solution has been available to any educated person since serious work began on the brain nearly a century ago, and, in a sense, we all know it to be true. Here it is: Mental phenomena are caused by neurophysiological processes in the brain and are themselves features of the brain. To distinguish this view from the many others in the field, I call it “biological naturalism.” Mental events and processes are as much part of our biological natural history as digestion, mitosis, meiosis, or enzyme secretion.

    All this says is that per evolutionary materialist a prioris, mind is to be reduced to or emerges from or is an epiphenomenon of computation in the brain which is blind and cause-effect.

    However, it is to be noted that — quite obviously given his known stance — I cited Searle as testifying against known interest and revealing a key contrast between blind processing and rational contemplation and response. Which the Chinese room thought exercise amply documents. This can easily be seen from how I have cited his work.

    That is then to be set in the context of another remark I have repeatedly clipped from noted evolutionist J B S Haldane, who makes the point succinctly and well:

    “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.]

    In that light, ponder this from Reppert (as repeatedly pointed out and repeatedly ignored):

    . . . 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.

    It should be plain that rocks, whether raw or refined and organised into computational substrates, simply do no more than cause-effect sequences of action blindly. This is in itself capital reason to infer on evidence, massive evidence that rocks show no sign of self-aware self-moved behaviour. So it is idle rhetoric to acknowledge that in one breath then pretend to cast in the teeth of myself why does that happen.

    Again, blind computation which is what organisation of materials effects, is simply not in the same category as contemplative reasoned thought.

    The insistence on confusing the two is ideological, not reasonable.

    And we see highlighted a critical gap in evolutionary materialist thought, never mind the lab coat.

    KF

  167. 167

    KF:

    For record, I will again reproduce the answer to your repeated question that appears at 88.

    Good. Let’s see which point or points raised in your 88 address my question:

    1 –> Human beings, in my framework, are immediately conscious of being self-aware, contemplative beings.

    I don’t disagree. But irrelevant to my question.

    2 –> Indeed, it is our prime fact, the fact through which we become aware of all other facts.

    3 –> And in fact, if you will scroll back up to the OP, you will see that the first graphic ponders a hypothetical case of a self-aware brain in vat, dreaming of being a runner under stimulus of feed-in probes.

    4 –> The point made is that while the entity may be confused as to circumstances, it cannot be so on its status of being self-aware.

    Also not relevant to my question. (But possibly false as a matter of empirical fact, as seen in Cotard delusion, in which the afflicted person holds the delusion that he or she is dead.)

    5 –> By contrast, a rock (which we observe to be entirely passive) has neither dreams nor beliefs and cannot be deluded to imagine such.

    I also agree. On my view, as simple aggregates, rocks have the wrong physical and functional organization for dreams and beliefs. However, on your view, a non-physical ingredient is both necessary and sufficient for consciousness, and you’ve never told us why a rock can’t be in possession of that ingredient.

    6 –> I then went on to point out, based on physics of computational substrates, that such entities do not in the end rise above the level of cogs grinding against one another in blind, GIGO-limited cause effect chains.

    8 –> I took time to point out how neural networks, a computational architecture, fall into this category.

    9 –> So, I concluded that brains are processor networks, they are not in themselves the seat and source or credible cause of self-aware, contemplative, insight- and understanding, meaning based rational inquiry.

    Yes, of course you’ve said this. That affirms my observation that you assert that neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness, and that something more, a non-physical ingredient, is therefore required.

    Which leads to my question: “On what basis do you claim that rocks, passive entities interacting in blind cause-effect chains, don’t also have that non-physical ingredient?”

    10 –> Which, again, we directly experience and observe.

    We are capable of self-aware, contemplative, insight- and understanding, meaning based rational inquiry. I’ve never disputed this. Nor does it have any bearing upon the question I have posed.

    11 –> So, you have set up and knocked over a strawman caricature, driven by perceptions of how I “must” be reasoning.

    No, I asked a question that you claim to have answered in your post at 88. We’re half-way through that post; no sign of an answer yet. Let’s continue.

    12 –> You then set up a second strawman caricature on mind vs matter.

    I can’t really follow the panicky paragraph that is your note at “NB 7.” However,

    1) On your view, neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness.

    2) It is your view that disembodied consciousness is possible.

    3) It follows that that an additional non-physical ingredient is both necessary and sufficient for contemplative consciousness.

    Do you dispute that 1) and 2) are views that you hold?

    Do you dispute that 3) follows from 1) and 2)?

    13 –> Notice, how you have consistently failed to cogently engage the point on our observed, fine tuned cosmos, as has been pioneered by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize-holding Astrophysicist, Sir Fred Hoyle.

    Because it has no bearing upon the question I have posed to you.

    14 –> I have pointed out that this argument as developed puts to the table the possibility to be taken seriously, that mind is ontologically prior to the observed material cosmos. And, a serious candidate to be its cause, per inductive inference to best explanation . . . which form of reasoning underlies science and which you plainly struggle with when it may point where you have a problem going.

    Yes, I acknowledge that your argument puts on the table the idea that mind is ontologically prior to the observed material cosmos.

    My question builds upon that acknowledgement. If the physical and computational organization of human beings is not sufficient, or even necessary, for consciousness, and if consciousness may be disembodied – both notions that flow from the idea that mind is ontologically prior to matter – then clearly a non-physical ingredient is required for consciousness, including human consciousness.

    My question, heretofore unanswered, is: On what basis do you claim that rocks, passive entities interacting in blind cauise-effect chains, don’t also have that non-physical ingredient?

    5 –> Obviously, I cannot make you revise your thinking on inductive logic, but I can highlight the selective hyperskepticism and its self-refuting consequences.

    16 –> Where also, inductive inference to best explanation across serious candidates obviously is not question-begging.

    17 –> So, no, I am no lumpen Platonist, I leave that to the New Agers playing with Gnosticism.

    19 –> I am just insistent on being clear-eyed about their limitations: GIGO, blind cause-effect. And no basis for self aware consciousness in sight save the materialistic magic of “emergence,” which looks suspiciously like something from nothing.

    None of which have any bearing upon my question. (“Inference to the best explanation” is abductive, not inductive, however.)

    18 –> Likewise, I do not despise computational substrates, whether metallic or Silicon or wetware electrochemical.

    You must own a Mac.

    20 –> where, again, I suggest you ponder Fact No 1: self-aware consciousness.

    OK, I did. Cool. Given that is is your view that the self-aware consciousness I just contemplated flows from a non-physical source that is both necessary and sufficient for same, why can’t a rock also possess that ingredient, and therefore also be self-aware?

    21 –> And again, Reppert’s point speaks:

    Reppert’s passage speaks to perceived limitations of a view other than your own, and has no bearing on my question, which concerns the entailments of your claims.

    —–

    So, like neutrinos through naboulsi, we’ve passed through your entire post 88 without striking anything resembling a response to my question.

    FYI, R-Bill, to speak with disregard to the truth as you have again and again done, in hopes of profiting by what is said being perceived as the truth is something that has a name, a short three letter word beginning with l.

    I see. Stating that someone is a liar without actually spelling the word is “within the pale.”

    Which I think makes you – well, you guess the letter.

  168. 168
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @RB (163)

    I would say that this is beneath you, but the fact is that similar statements are characteristic of you, KF.

    The record shows otherwise. Goebbels and kf are a the same level: here, here, here, here, here, here, here

    Even evomats like Allen MacNeil and Richard Dawkins use the Goebbels-reference: here, here, here

    This shows that RB has no regard for truth! By denying and dismissing reality you think you can make it go away. There’s a critical gap truth-wise! I trust you will do better next time!

  169. 169
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill: The first dismissal is pivotal to seeing your problem. Self aware contemplativeness is our first fact and the pivotal matter to be addressed. The contrast of rocks in raw and refined organised states simply shows why a blind cause-effect process is not adequate to address such. And, as has been repeatedly pointed out, there is good evidence that rocks are merely passive entities so there is nothing there to be explained. But the thing that is offered up as a materialistic explanation, refining and organising rocks also turned out to be on teh wrong orientation completely: blind, GIGO-limited cause effect chains are relevant to computation under external direction and control, but not to the thing to be explained, the fact of self aware, insightful rational contemplation. Of course this has been repeatedly pointed out but the game of sideslips, tangents, strawmen arguments and outright denials of evident truth in hopes of the denial being perceived as true continues. Sad. KF

    PS: Your dismissal of note 7, which highlights that I have gone through your remark step by step in points, is revealing, sadly revealing.

  170. 170
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: R-Bill, it seems you have at least understood what is at stake when you insistently speak with disregard to the truth, hoping to profit from what you have said being taken as true. One hopes, therefore that in future you will take duties of care to truth and fairness seriously.

  171. 171

    KF:

    Self aware contemplativeness is our first fact and the pivotal matter to be addressed.

    But not relevant to the question I have posed, as I acknowledged and agreed with your 1, acknowledged that it is your view that physical substrates are neither necessary or sufficient to 1, and drew from that the consequence that a non-physical ingredient must therefore be necessary. The question at hand is, given all that, why can’t rocks possess that non-physical ingredient? A question that remains (and obviously will perpetually remain) unanswered.

    Then there is this:

    1) On your view, neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness.

    2) It is your view that disembodied consciousness is possible.

    3) It follows that that an additional non-physical ingredient is both necessary and sufficient for contemplative consciousness.

    Do you dispute that 1) and 2) are views that you hold?

    Do you dispute that 3) follows from 1) and 2)?

    KF:

    PS: Your dismissal of note 7, which highlights that I have gone through your remark step by step in points, is revealing, sadly revealing.

    Sadly revealing of my error while selecting text to copy, Einstein.

    7 –> That is, even refined rocks organised into computational substrates are still only passively, blindly interacting.

    Why would I deliberately omit that? That (and NB-4) make no difference whatsoever to my reply:

    “Yes, of course you’ve said this. That affirms my observation that you assert that neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness, and that something more, a non-physical ingredient, is therefore required.

    Which leads to my question: “On what basis do you claim that rocks, passive entities interacting in blind cause-effect chains, don’t also have that non-physical ingredient?”

    A question that remains unanswered.

    Maybe it would help if I make clear what I mean by “answer.”

    An answer would start something like, “Rocks can’t possess that additional non-physical ingredient because…”

    The ellipsis designates the place where you put your actual answer. Please don’t put 88 there, because it’s not an answer, and is way to long.

  172. 172
    kairosfocus says:

    FTR:

    It is now quite obvious that defenders of the notion that meat changed itself into mind by blind chance and mechanical necessity . . . meat being a form of refined, organised rock . . . have nothing more than “it must have been so” backed up by implicit a priori evolutionary materialism.

    And in particular refining and organising rocks into computational substrates leaves the same fundamental dynamic at work: blind, cause effect chains.

    Such are at utter cross-purposes to insightful, self aware, meaning based rational contemplation that understands, sees grounds and consequences and draws conclusions rationally. This is, on the face of it, strong substantiation for the point long since made by 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.]

    So, the sound effects tell the sorry tale:

    zip, zip, zip, zip, zip . . . CRAAACK . . !

    After all the distractive, side tracking, issue clouding rhetoric has been said and done by the materialism champions, they in the end have no answer to that.

    One cannot get North by going West.

    Let us take due note.

    KF

    PS: When R-Bill and co show us a raw in nature rock that shows evidence of self-aware intelligence, or a refined rock rearranged into a computational substrate that does the same, e.g. something analogous to the Glasgow coma scale test, or perhaps the Ada Lovelace test, then there will be something to explain. In the meanwhile, what we have on abundant empirical evidence is the well founded induction — notice repeated the sly side slips into demanding a deductive proof on an empirical matter [i.e. selective hyperskepticism] — that raw or refined rocks organised into computational substrates alike prove to be passively driven by blind cause effect patterns and forces. This R-Bill et al know or should know, but seem to be insistent on refusing to acknowledge. Likewise, such know or should know that it is abundantly shown that refining and organising rocks into computational substrates is relevant to blind GIGO limited cause effect bond chains, not to insightful reasoning on understanding.

  173. 173
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Did you know that in 1933 the commies set thr Reichstag on fire, in 1918 the Jews stabbed Germany in the back, in 1938 the Czecks were oppressing the Sudeten Germans, in 1939, the Poles attacked German Radio Stations — there were bodies in Polish uniforms to prove it, and last of all in 1941, Stalin was about to attack Germany! In short, twistabout accusations in the teeth of evident facts has a long pedigree. The fact is from 75 on and from 88 on, substantial answers were given to R-Bill’s points, but he has chosen to twist facts into pretzels to distract from the sorry record that rocks, whether raw or refined have no dreams, and that refining and functionally organising rocks into computational substrates has no evident ability to surmount the problem of blind cause effect chains limited by GIGO. While, we experience self aware insightful, rational contemplation. After the side tracks and tangents we are still at: computation is not contemplation, no more than you get North by going West.

  174. 174

    The fact is from 75 on and from 88 on, substantial answers were given to R-Bill’s points

    But not an answer to the question I have posed from the outset of this discussion.

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    The easily observed repeatedly documented fact is, I have answered your question, taking pains to do so.

    You may not like how I answered it, disentangling strawman caricatures, identifying blinding a prioris and impositions, alerting the reader to the first fact through which we access other facts — self-aware insightful rational contemplation, cutting apart complex loaded barbed questions, and linking to fundamental issues but you cannot truthfully or responsibly state that I have failed to answer the questions and points you raised.

    Actually, I anticipated many of them from my original posts and especially in key citations.

    It is at the point where you have chosen to derail a discussion of a serious issue by making false accusations that we part company.

    I note, further, that objectors have had little or nothing to say on the actual substantial matters and have resorted to agendas of tired talking points in defense of a worldview that on fair and grounded comment is patently and inescapably self referentially incoherent and so irretrievably irrational, evolutionary materialism.

    This pattern is also far more widespread, the anti-design movement clustering on NCSE et al seems to base its case on ideology and toxic misrepresentation to the point of speaking with disregard to truth banking on what they say being widely perceived as truth. That is a saddening, sobering, sorry picture.

    So, I suggest to you and your ilk, that you take stock of what you have done, day in, day out, for many years now.

    And, I suggest to you that when raw in-nature rocks show serious signs of self-aware contemplative rational behaviour, there will be something to explain. Until then, not. And, I point out that the evidence, from Thomson integrators to digital processors to neural networks also uniformly underscores that Leibnitz had a serious point in Monadology 17, which I have highlighted:

    perception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain perception.

    In the series of blog discussions that includes the above post, I have examined this in light of my experience with processing.

    The conclusion is simple and well substantiated. Computation, by analogue or digital or neural network systems, is inherently a blind cogs on cogs cause-effect chain so designed by an external entity as to effect relevant signal processing. It is GIGO limited, and will just as blindly output rubbish as correct results.

    The cogs and the processor neither know nor care.

    Blind cause-effect chain GIGO limited computation is not self-aware, value-motivated, insightful, understanding and meaning based rational contemplation.

    And to imagine that the reason why a raw rock does not contemplate is that it fails of computational organisation is therefore to commit a categorical confusion.

    One cannot get North by going West.

    And, this is meant to draw attention to the blinding effect of a paradigm.

    In this case, a priori evolutionary materialism dressed up in a lab coat.

    Which cannot pass the Haldane test:

    “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.]

    Again, you cannot get North by going West.

    KF

  176. 176
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Yet again, the answer that R-Bill pretends is not an answer and plays strawman caricature, drumbeat- repetition- of- irresponsible – (known or should be known) falsehoods- to- create- a- misleading- impression- of- truth dismissal agitprop tactic rhetorical games; to avoid addressing on the merits. This time I will insert his remarks again in clips step by step to show the specific responsiveness of what I said from 88 on. In particular note how by displacing the discussion on possibility of mind antecedent to matter from its actual context in what I said and what Sir Fred Hoyle said, he smuggles in a lumpen Platonist ghost in machine or disembodied ghost caricature meant to be a basis for cruel and dismissive mockery of the imagined IDiot — in effect, “Ick,” i.e, he resents the messily biological nature of brains:

    >>> For record, I will again reproduce the answer to your repeated question that appears at 88, now adding not only NB commentaries but clips in sequence that highlight just which parts of the main clip given numbered points respond to.

    To disagree with it would be one thing, but to pretend it does not exist and/or is not cogent is for you to speak with disregard to duties of care to truth and fairness. Which, itself points to classic problems and gaps of the evolutionary materialist view in regards to duty to truth and to others, never mind its lab coat. Such concerns are rooted in its lack of a sound foundational IS that can properly ground OUGHT, and the deleterious influence this view has exerted among the educated and influential classes in recent years.

    For the record from 88 and 96 (and with the suspicion that it is all too likely that a twisted version of this latest tactic will be presented elsewhere as though it were unquestionable proof that I have had no reasonable answer):

    ______________________

    >> kairosfocusJune 28, 2014 at 5:59 am (Edit)

    R-Bill:

    It’s easy to accuse of question-begging when one reverses a course of argument, turning it into a strawman caricature. Which is what the following clipped does:

    [R-B:} Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for mucilaginous brains and nervous systems. Ick.

    RB, clip 1: >Human beings, in your framework, are conscious and self-aware not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness) but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient . . . .>

    [KF:} 1 –> Human beings, in my framework, are immediately conscious of being self-aware, contemplative beings.

    [NB 1: Onlookers seeking truth: the framework of say a building lays out guidelines for its foundation, etc. That is, the matter starts with the foundational, so I have every right to focus my reply on fact no 1, our self-aware contemplative inner lives through which we access all other facts]

    2 –> Indeed, it is our prime fact, the fact through which we become aware of all other facts.

    3 –> And in fact, if you will scroll back up to the OP, you will see that the first graphic ponders a hypothetical case of a self-aware brain in vat, dreaming of being a runner under stimulus of feed-in probes.

    4 –> The point made is that while the entity may be confused as to circumstances, it cannot be so on its status of being self-aware.

    [NB 2: I point back to the roots of the discussion and to the significance of a pivotal self-evident fact. Namely, being self-aware is immediate and undeniable, even if one otherwise labours under a delusion.]

    RB, clip 2: > not because of the organization of their brains, bodies and nervous systems (which on your view are neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness), >

    5 –> By contrast, a rock (which we observe to be entirely passive) has neither dreams nor beliefs and cannot be deluded to imagine such.

    [NB 3: Here, I point out a generally conceded fact; one that highlights the rhetorical artificiality and distractive nature of the gambit being used. With raw in-nature rocks, there is no empirical data whatsoever that they are self-aware, self-moved entities. And, every bit of data one may desire that they are passive, mechanically moved entities fully explained as mixtures of minerals fully explained empirically on being passively moved by forces of physics and chemistry etc. In short, absent a material body of evidence of self awareness, there is no good reason to suggest that any party to a discussion has a problem if he simply accepts the premise that discussions on scientific matters must be empirically grounded — must be factually adequate. But then, as I had to highlight at 75 above as a start-point, RB has a problem with inductive reasoning by abductive inference to best explanation on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory balance and power.]

    6 –> I then went on to point out, based on physics of computational substrates, that such entities do not in the end rise above the level of cogs grinding against one another in blind, GIGO-limited cause effect chains.

    7 –> That is, even refined rocks organised into computational substrates are still only passively, blindly interacting.

    [NB 4: I have pointed out, from the outset, that when raw in-nature rocks are converted into computational substrates — in our actual observation, invariably by design, and involving FSCO/I which is a strong empirical sign of design — these substrates are composed of components that blindly interact through physcical and/or chemical forces. That is, they are blindly, mechanically working in cause-effect physical-chemical chains, not based on actual insight. If they are built with bugs, or go out of whack, they will just as blindly produce errors. Indeed, they are limited by GIGO. And, specifically this involves neural networks such as may be found in brains and nervous systems. That is, we have got not one inch Northwards to self-aware, insight based rational contemplation, by concentrating on going west on blind mechanical GIGO-limited cause-effect chains.]

    8 –> I took time to point out how neural networks, a computational architecture, fall into this category.

    9 –> So, I concluded that brains are processor networks, they are not in themselves the seat and source or credible cause of self-aware, contemplative, insight- and understanding, meaning based rational inquiry.

    [NB 5: as just pointed out.]

    10 –> Which, again, we directly experience and observe.

    [NB 6: Notice the reference to Fact no 1. Explanations answer to facts, and good ones will draw together the material facts in coherent unified ways, neither being simplistic nor an ad hoc patchwork. Going ever faster West hoping to get North is a major factual gap and breakdown of coherence. Indeed, as I have repeatedly pointed out it simply fails to account for self-aware insightful rational contemplation, by implicitly implying poof-magic emergence. Demonstrate such emergence empirically, then we have something to talk about. Otherwise this becomes a grand case of a non sequitur.]

    11 –> So, you have set up and knocked over a strawman caricature, driven by perceptions of how I “must” be reasoning.

    R-B, clip 3: > but because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness >

    12 –> You then set up a second strawman caricature on mind vs matter.

    [NB 7: Notice, I am progressing through the paragraph put up by R-Bill in stages, now turning to: ” . . . because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness.” Here, R-Bill has skipped over the context of empirical evidence and reasoning in which — following points made by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize holding Astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle — I highlighted how the evident fine tuning of our observed cosmos puts an inference to design of the cosmos by an intelligence beyond the observed material cosmos, on the table. That is, unlike the hinted at a priori supernaturalism that peeks out from between R-Bill’s lines, I am pointing to a significant body of empirical evidence. One that makes Mind ontologically prior to matter a reasonable view (cf. here and onwards for a bit more on that topic). Where, as a long time critic of UD, R-Bill has a particular duty of being aware that in the ID Foundations series, years ago now, I emphasised the importance of the cosmological design inference and so helped to give it a much higher profile at UD. Indeed, I have long been on repeated record here at UD that the FSCO/I in observed cell based life could be sufficiently explained on a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond Venter et al.; but it is at the issue of fine tuning that we see a need to have designing mind beyond cosmos sitting at the table as of right not sufferance. Which echoes and builds on the thinking in the very first technical design theory work, by Thaxton et al in TMLO, 1984. So in that context, R-Bill has a lot of explaining to do about the strawman he set up and knocked over.]

    [NB 7a: observe how, where I highlighted why I point to evidence of cosmological fine tuning that leaves the POSSIBILITY of mind antecedent to and causal of the observed material cosmos on the table, R-B tried to deride and dismiss without addressing the merits, in 167 above: >> I can’t really follow the panicky paragraph that is your note at “NB 7.” >> Translated, I am not bothering to actually address what you — and actually more importantly Sir Fred Hoyle — actually said when I can get away with a barbed emotionally loaded dismissal. ]

    13 –> Notice, how you have consistently failed to cogently engage the point on our observed, fine tuned cosmos, as has been pioneered by lifelong agnostic and Nobel equivalent prize-holding Astrophysicist, Sir Fred Hoyle.

    [NB 8: I point to the actual context for my point, as opposed to the strawman caricature.]

    14 –> I have pointed out that this argument as developed puts to the table the possibility to be taken seriously, that mind is ontologically prior to the observed material cosmos. And, a serious candidate to be its cause, per inductive inference to best explanation . . . which form of reasoning underlies science and which you plainly struggle with when it may point where you have a problem going.

    15 –> Obviously, I cannot make you revise your thinking on inductive logic, but I can highlight the selective hyperskepticism and its self-refuting consequences.

    16 –> Where also, inductive inference to best explanation across serious candidates obviously is not question-begging.

    R-B, clip 4: > because they possess an additional, non-physical ingredient, one that may even make possible completely disembodied consciousness. No need for mucilaginous brains and nervous systems. Ick. >

    17 –> So, no, I am no lumpen Platonist, I leave that to the New Agers playing with Gnosticism.

    18 –> Likewise, I do not despise computational substrates, whether metallic or Silicon or wetware — as in “mucilaginous brains and nervous systems . . . ” — electrochemical.

    19 –> I am just insistent on being clear-eyed about their limitations: GIGO, blind cause-effect. And no basis for self aware consciousness in sight save the materialistic magic of “emergence,” which looks suspiciously like something from nothing.

    20 –> where, again, I suggest you ponder Fact No 1: self-aware consciousness.

    21 –> And again, Reppert’s point speaks:

    . . . 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 [C S] 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.

    ___________________

    You cannot get North by heading West. >>
    ______________________

    For the record. >>>

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: In 167 of course, R-B tries a turnspeech twistabout projection in order to duck his responsibility for such a destructive tactic. And his trick there is how dare you point out that (1) such was used by KS and other objectors to ID, and (2) how dare you point out who were the notorious mid C20 champions of that nasty tactic. The turnabout projective accusation of course, is meant to confuse the onlooker by blaming “he hit back first” or worse. R-B needs to know that for me to recognise, identify and point out antecedents to such common anti ID tactics, is to simply lay out some facts that are all too relevant to uncivil behaviour by too many objectors to design theory. The real answer is simple. Avoid such twistabout accusations R-B et al at ATBC, Anti-Evo, and other sites all too notorious for incivility and abuse.

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: Since you, R-Bill, by implication seem to object to my summary of critiques of evo mat beliefs since Plato in The Laws Bk X, let me clip Plato on the subject, noting that Alcibiades and co are probably his exhibit A:

    _________________

    >> [The avant garde philosophers, teachers and artists c. 400 BC] say . . . that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only . . . .

    [[T]hese people would say that the Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.– [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT. ] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [such amoral factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless tyranny; here, too, Plato hints at the career of Alcibiades], and not in legal subjection to them . . . >>
    ________________

    If you think this classic 2350 year old rebuke by one of the top ten minds of our civilisation is harsh, outdated and unwarranted, then please ponder this by Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson in their 1991 essay, “The Evolution of Ethics”:

    The time has come to take seriously the fact [–> This is a gross error at the outset, as macro-evolution is a theory (an explanation) about the unobserved past of origins and so cannot be a fact on the level of the observed roundness of the earth or the orbiting of planets around the sun etc.] that we humans are modified monkeys, not the favored Creation of a Benevolent God on the Sixth Day . . . We must think again especially about our so-called ‘ethical principles.’ The question is not whether biology—specifically, our evolution—is connected with ethics, but how. As evolutionists, we see that no justification of the traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends. Hence the basis of ethics does not lie in God’s will … In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external groundingEthics is illusory inasmuch as it persuades us that it has an objective reference. This is the crux of the biological position. Once it is grasped, everything falls into place . . .

    Thus also, Provine at the 1998 U Tenn Darwin Day remark went on record:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will . . .

    I hardly need to say that if we do not have genuine responsible freedom, ethics is dead, which does in fact open the door to nihilism, and is inescapably amoral, having no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT.

    Dawkins also comes up in concurrence:

    Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This lesson is one of the hardest for humans to learn. We cannot accept that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous: indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose . . . . In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference . . . . DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. [[ “God’s Utility Function,” Sci. Am. Aug 1995, pp. 80 – 85.]

    Maybe, you do not like the fact that I am adducing on evidence that evolutionary materialism is an inherently amoral worldview that has no sound defense against nihilism, i.e. opens the gates of the city to it. There is abundant evidence of such, coming from critics over the past 2350 years, corroboraed by statements in our time from leading evolutionary materialism advocates.

    All I will say to such is that a system that cannot recognise that it is self evidently true that one ought not to kidnap, torture, rape and murder a little child and in the end boils down to might and manipulation make ‘right’, is morally bankrupt.

    I did not choose the worldview premises or where they lead by force of the logic and what has happened by dint of actual history especially in the past 100 years as the ghosts of 100 million plus victims moan out. So, please, do not shoot the messenger simply because you cannot face the consequences of your scheme of thought.

    Maybe, you should give it up instead as morally bankrupt?

    P^4S: I cannot make out why you imagine that listing the crimes of the Russian state over the past few months in taking over the Crimea through subterfuge and force and now going on to foment troubles in the rest of Ukraine, constitute reason to dismiss me. I do not endorse the Ukrainians as sinless innocents, no more than I think the Poles were utterly innocent of all wrongs in 1938 – 39 or thereabouts. For that matter the Western Allies were not without sins either, a point Hitler used as the pivot of a speech in reply to Roosevelt’s question that pivoted on twisting about — the very same tactic that it seems has stirred your ire (and doubtless that of the usual suspect sites) because I have pointed it out in what you have done — and accusing them of their sins, even while his planners on his instructions were putting the finishing touches to aggressive war plans. Six years later and 60 millions dead with a devastated continent and more, the world knew the difference.

  179. 179

    KF:

    Do you deny that the following accurately characterizes your views?

    1) Neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness.

    2) Disembodied consciousness is possible.

    Do you deny that it follows from these claims that some additional, non-physical ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness?

    If not, why can’t rocks possess that ingredient?

    An answer would start something like, “Rocks can’t possess that additional non-physical ingredient because…”

    Helpful hints: The ellipsis designates the place where you put your actual answer. Cutting and pasting massive quantities of stale text that does not contain an answer doesn’t provide an answer.

  180. 180
    kairosfocus says:

    P^5S: At this point let me again remind of the Haldane test that points to the self-referential incoherence of evolutionary materialism:

    “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.]

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill: You know full well that by snipping things out of context and refusing to engage the substantial basis of conclusions they can be twisted into a strawman caricature. That is what you have done and that is what I have answered to step by step since 88, now going to the extent of laying out point by point the specific part of your remarks that I am responding to. It remains astonishing that you refuse to entertain the reason why I hold (with the likes of a Sir Fred Hoyle) that cosmological evidence of fine tuning and onwards of design points to the possibility — not at this stage the conclusion, just the possibility, thus the grounds to sit at the table as of right not sufferance — that mind is a serious candidate explanation for our material observed cosmos. Thus, there is a reasonable view that we should be open tot he possibility that mind is potentially independent of matter. Instead, you have tried to push me into a strawmannish straightjacketed lumpen platonist who reacts to brains, “ick.” Sorry, at this stage your insistence on caricatures becomes revelatory of willful distortion to play rhetorical games without regard to duties of care to truth or fairness. KF

    PS: And even this, evidently plays off a caricature that design thinkers are guilty of general strawman caricatures so turnabout is probably perceived as fair play by virtue of being tit for perceived tat.

  182. 182

    1) Neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness.
    RB:

    Why are we so confident that rocks have no dreams (beliefs, desires, subjective experiences)?
    Because rocks don’t have the right physical organization to sustain/instantiate such states.

    KF:

    And neither do we. You failed to see that rocks lead to GIGO-constrained blind mechanical computation, minds contemplate. Including the one you are using to imagine that you are a glorified rock. (Never mind that the involved FSCO/I points to design of even that much, whether a Thomson integrator analogue comp cascade, or a collection of gates and software in silicio, or neural networks using electrochemistry.) There is a categorical difference that has to be faced and the sci-fi equivalent of poof magic, emergence or its substantial equivalent, has to be seen for what it is. KF

    2) Disembodied consciousness is possible.

    I am not even convinced that a brain is necessary for dreaming.

    And

    The fine tuning of our cosmos is a case where we find evidence that puts the possibility — I am not here arguing plausibility — of design of the physics and materials of the observed cosmos on the table. Consequently I find it necessary to be open-minded about minds that are not embodied; mind, ontologically prior to matter.

    Given the above, do you deny that it follows that some additional, non-physical ingredient is necessary and sufficient for consciousness?

    If not, why can’t rocks possess that ingredient?

    An answer would start something like, “Rocks can’t possess that additional non-physical ingredient because…”

    Helpful hints: The ellipsis designates the place where you put your actual answer. Cutting and pasting massive quantities of stale text that does not contain an answer doesn’t provide an answer.

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    Why do you insist on strawman caricatures so:

    Neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness.

    I have consistently spoken to how raw rocks are passive under blind cause-effect chains. Then, on experience, I have pointed out how rocks refined and organised into computational substrates — e.g. Thomson integrators, digital processors and neural networks alike — are STILL carrying out blind, GIGO limited cause effect chains. The point being that computation is not even headed in the right direction to be self-aware, insightful, understanding and meaning based rational contemplation.

    And, you will kindly observe neural networks, specifically including brains.

    Brains are not simply to be equated to human beings without begging big questions, given what has been repeatedly put on the table but dismissed, ignored or twisted into strawman caricatures. Let me cite Reppert yet again for instance:

    . . . 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 [C S] 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.

    At this point, it is already utterly clear that you have no intent to accurately portray or fairly respond to what I have said.

    So, instead, I point in another direction given one of your complaints.

    Do you not see how you are making yourself into yet another poster-boy for the moral irresponsibility of evolutionary materialist ideology at work on the ground?

    Namely, you seem to be working on the premise, might and manipulation make ‘truth’ and ‘right.’ (As in playing right out of the Alinskyite nihilist tactics primer.)

    Please, think again.

    KF

  184. 184

    KF:

    Why do you insist on strawman caricatures so:

    Neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness.

    I said:

    Why are we so confident that rocks have no dreams (beliefs, desires, subjective experiences)?

    Because rocks don’t have the right physical organization to sustain/instantiate such states.

    You said:

    And neither do we.

    I’m unsure why you bold “beings,” in the above, but I would think the “we” in your statement designates human beings, as I am a human being and I assume you are a human being as well. If you are not a human being and take offense, just let me know.

    So, instead, I point in another direction given one of your complaints.

    I’m not sure what this means, but you are certainly motivated to bypass the question at hand, and go another direction.

    Namely, you seem to be working on the premise, might and manipulation make ‘truth’ and ‘right.’ (As in playing right out of the Alinskyite nihilist tactics primer.)

    It’s unclear what “might” I have in this context. You, however, invoke the loudspeaker in the ceiling to insert remarks into my comments (against stated UD policy, as I recall), have in other threads deleted portions of others’ comments and inserted your own, can ban commenters from your threads at any time you wish, etc. Those are the only forms of “might” available in an internet discussion, and it is all in your hands.

    I disagree that I have “manipulated” anything. Rather, I have posed the same simple argument and question for two weeks. You’ve evaded answering it for two weeks. All three people still following this thread can see that.

  185. 185
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill: I have consistently discussed a problem of rocks refined and organised into computational substrates, which substrates are capable only of blind computation on cause-effect bonds. Whether or not I used “human beings” in some remark you have snipped out of context, I have been clear from the outset as to what I speak of, and have clarified. If you wish to continue pretzel-twisting strawman caricature games, just remember this underscores just how much of a poster boy you are making yourself of the moral and intellectual irresponsibility and unseriousness of evolutionary materialism. KF

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Nowhere in the op do I say what you wish to characterise me as saying, nor in comment 8 where I first respond to you:

    R-B: You talk as though you have never dealt with rocks, or with scientific observations. That’s a dead giveaway — we all know we walk around on a rock body of mass ~ 6 * 10^24 kg. There is a vast body of such observations, consequently and they fully warrant the conclusion that raw rocks are passive, mechanically moved inert entities. And for science, brain in vat scenarios are off the books absent positive indicators. But all of that is on rabbit trails. The real focal point is that when rocks are refined and organised into computing elements, they STILL remain blind, interacting by cause-effect chains without any reference to meaning. That’s why if things go out of whack, GIGO kicks in. KF

    In short, I remain as speaking to computational substrates including brains.

    The first time the expression:

    From your OP, and from your first response to me, we learned that neither rocks nor human beings have the right physical, functional or computational organization for reflective consciousness. In this respect rocks and human beings are similar.

    . . . appears in the thread — per search (and thereafter every other time save when I cited you to object) it comes from you R-Bill, in 149, preparing a summary you purport to represent what I have said.

    But by substituting the word “human being” for neural network computational substrate, you create a strawman. A human BRAIN is objectively a computational substrate that will have blind cause-effect chains [regardless of how many there are, that is HOW it works, cf. OP and illustration], it simply does not answer to an adequate ground for the self-aware insightful rational contemplation we carry out.

    I have corrected your misrepresentation of intent and on searching can find nowhere above that I use such phrasing as representing my thoughts. And indeed that sort of phrasing is alien to my thought and argument which has focussed on computational substrates and would lead to BRAINS not “human beings.” The human brain does not equal the human being.

    This looks like yet another strawman caricature, taken up to a further level of irresponsibility. My definitive answer to any serious concerns you have had was at 75 – 77 supra, and again at 88 and elaborations. These are my answer to the concerns you raised and until I am satisfied that you take back the false accusation that I have not answered to those claims, I find little or no use in running all over the world of ideas to try to answer someone who seems only interested in misrepresentation and manipulation.

    If I used a phrase that can be misunderstood as you portray, I have explicitly repudiated such an interpretation. And as at now it looks like you are reporting a strawman caricature summary as though it accurately reports.

    That is irresponsible at best.

    The basic approach of civil discussion would lead in a very different direction than you have taken.

    Game over.

    KF

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