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Logic and First Principles, 11: The logic of Ultimate Mind as Source of Reality

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After we headlined and began discussing PS on hearing and consciousness yesterday, H raised a significant issue:

H, 15: >> . . . the invocation of a Creator who “beautifully designed what each sound should sound like” and “put the special program that can interpret each frequency pattern of air vibration into each sound, thus giving us the sound experience” is an empty explanation, no more useful than claiming that mind arises from matter without any idea how that could happen. >>

To this, I replied:

KF, 16: >> The concept that the root of reality is Mind, and that mind is at least as fundamental as matter is not an empty claim or assertion. That intelligent, minded designers exist is a fact, your own comment is a case in point. Further to this, the only actually observed material cosmos is arguably contingent, thus not the source of reality. However, it shows strong signs of design, which points to design and raises the onward question of a designer of a cosmos. Where, too, once something now is — a world — something that is necessary of being always was; as circular creation and origin from non-being are non-starters. Matter is not a credible candidate as it is composite. Mind, ultimate mind, is a serious candidate; such would either turn out to be impossible of being (similar to a square circle) or would be actual. So, reasons why an ultimate mind is impossible of being are: _______ ? [I suspect, this will be very hard to fill in!] >>

This puts on the table the question of the logic of ultimate, necessary being Mind as root of reality.

First, a reminder on basic logic of being:

In this light, the claim at issue would be that reality credibly comes from an ultimate, necessary being Mind, so that Mind is a root-level category of existing entities. Thus, explanation on intent of a capable mind would be a reasonable explanation, even if we may not know details of techniques or processes.

So also, on identifying that there are recognisable, empirically tested, reliable signs of design — i.e. intelligently directed configuration — we have good reason to infer to Mind at work. As, from our world of experience, we are minded and create designs which bear hallmarks of design. This, of course, is pointing to the scientific legitimacy as well as the broader significance of the design inference on signs. And, at this stage, I think the balance on merits and track record of fallacious selective hyperskepticism on the part of ever so many objectors leads me to simply state the result. We do not exhaust possible designers, something that the mere existence of a thriving Sci Fi literature documents, not to mention the searches for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

The issue is ultimate mind, not mind and not whether minds may — or often do — leave empirically recognisable, reliable traces behind; that is obvious. It takes mind, just to be able to be aware of this OP then read and discuss it, and in so doing we mutually recognise other minds at work . . . even behind sock puppets etc.

Mind is real, the instant question is, how is it distinct from things like computation on a substrate. In response, I have put up Eng Derek Smith’s two-tier cybernetic control loop model, with a supervisory controller interacting with the one that is in the loop:

The Eng Derek Smith Cybernetic Model

In more details:

Here, the question would be, what would be a suitable interface to the neural networks? A suggestion has been, quantum influence on the radical contingency of possibilities at that level. We do not need to know more for present purposes, though obviously onward work is helpful. The issue is, without top-down intent, materially driven bottom-up causation undermines responsible rational freedom (so, mindedness) by reducing it to GIGO-driven computation on blind chance and/or mechanical necessity with of course a big lurking question being, where did such complex functionally coherent information-rich design come from, apart from design?

Thus also, we can see why the explanatory filter approach is helpful i/l/o the observed trichotomy of causal factors, mechanical, law-like necessity, chance, design:

The per aspect design inference explanatory filter

Indeed, we see here that it is arguable that what the filter is doing is identifying plausible cases of purposeful, intelligently directing mind having been at work.

Further, as matter is composite and/or diverse and/or contingent (even with elementary particles, we have a bit of a “zoo”), it is not a good candidate to be ultimate reality. Building blocks for our world, yes, ultimate reality, no. We need something that gets us to a unified, ordered system of reality.

Ultimate, necessary being Mind is on the table as a serious candidate i/l/o fine tuning of the observed cosmos and of the coherent, intricately functional complexity of cell based life in it. Where, on the logic of being, a serious candidate necessary being is either impossible of being or else actual.

This means, is the dominant evolutionary materialistic scientism of our day overly simplistic, locking out a reasonable category of being and clinging to absurdity? The case of Rosenberg seems to pose an Exhibit a:

Alex Rosenberg as he begins Ch 9 of his The Atheist’s Guide to Reality:
>> FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.

Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. [–> grand delusion is let loose in utter self referential incoherence] Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates [–> bye bye to responsible, rational freedom on these presuppositions].

The physical facts fix all the facts. [–> asserts materialism, leading to . . . ] The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We [–> at this point, what “we,” apart from “we delusions”?] can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives [–> thus rational thought and responsible freedom]. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live.>>

So, now, it seems that Ultimate, Necessary Being Mind is on the table as a serious candidate to be root of reality. The next question is, is such credibly impossible of being? If that cannot be responsibly shown, then there is very good reason to hold that such a Mind is actual, and to accept that other minds such as our own reflect a similar character and capability to supervene on and influence or control material realities, starting with our bodies. For instance, just to type comments.

Is reality best explained on necessary being, ultimate mind? Let us ponder together. END

76 Replies to “Logic and First Principles, 11: The logic of Ultimate Mind as Source of Reality

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Logic and First Principles, 11: The logic of Ultimate Mind as Source of Reality

    –> Moving the discussion forward

    PS: I expect a power cut for some time.

  2. 2
    hazel says:

    KF, believing that mind is primary at the root level of reality, which certainly is a possibility, and saying, as Pat did, that the Creator “beautifully designed what each sound should sound like” and “put the special program that can interpret each frequency pattern of air vibration into each sound, thus giving us the sound experience” are extremely different statements.

    Do you believe Pat’s statement? Did the Creator design what each sound sounds like, and put a special program in our consciousness to translate the physical mechanics of hearing into the conscious experience of sound? Did the Creator design what each color looks like, and put a special program into us for seeing? And tasting, and smelling an onion, and feeling a pin in the finger or a kiss on the lips?

    Is that what you think?

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the issue on the table for this thread is not PS’s discussion, there is an open thread for that. This thread is not even about beliefs, but about the logic of being of ultimate mind as an explanatory category and the onward implications of this. It seems that we need to be clear that mind is itself a reasonable explanatory category, indeed it is the aspect of our being that we use to engage in a discussion here. This then raises questions as to what mind is and how such may relate to the roots of reality. That is what the OP addresses. KF

  4. 4
    hazel says:

    Then why did you start by quoting me? I suggest you take that part of the OP out, then.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the focal issue is the empty explanation claim you made, and I am addressing it on the premise of fair comment. Mind is not an empty explanation, it does raise worldview level, logic of being issues. KF

  6. 6
    hazel says:

    I didn’t say that mind is an empty explanation.

    I said,

    “. . . the invocation of a Creator who “beautifully designed what each sound should sound like” and “put the special program that can interpret each frequency pattern of air vibration into each sound, thus giving us the sound experience” is an empty explanation

    That’s why I wrote what I did to you. What is empty is the assertion that the Creator specifically created what each sound should sound like and put a “special program” into us to hear it, which implies that the same is true about every color, and taste, and odor, etc.

    If you don’t want to discuss that, and think my response at 2 is off-topic, then take my quote out of the OP.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    H, pardon, but in context the substantial part of the matter is your clear import that designing mind is explanatorily empty. PS clearly said that the Creator was a designer who designed the aesthetics of aural perception and the programming (and one infers hardware) on which that is instantiated. those are acts of designing mind and that is what I have focussed on not his use of words like Creator and his somewhat poetic tone. BTW, why should it not be part of a design that perceptions give pleasure and warning, e.g. most poisons taste bitter and almost all natural sweet tasting things are good to eat. The manchineel is the exception. KF

  8. 8
    hazel says:

    But I was focusing on exactly what you don’t want to focus on, so leave me out of it. And I didn’t take Pat to be poetical: I don’t think you should dismiss the part I said was empty by calling it poetical.

    My question to you is to explain your thoughts on the leap from “mind is primary at the root level of reality ” to “the Creator (designer) specifically gave us the way various sensations appear to us, including the sense of pleasure or distaste.”

    If you don’t want to discuss that, again, then don’t use my quote as the springboard for your post.

    Or answer my questions. One or the other.

  9. 9
    PeterA says:

    Hazel,
    What’s your question that you want answered?

  10. 10
    hazel says:

    See post 2, to kf.

  11. 11
    PeterA says:

    Hazel:

    “the invocation of a Creator who “beautifully designed what each sound should sound like” and “put the special program that can interpret each frequency pattern of air vibration into each sound, thus giving us the sound experience” is an empty explanation”

    Your statement is wrong. What Pat wrote is not an empty explanation. It’s a heavily loaded explanation that is beyond our intelectual capacity to understand well. It’s beyond natural science explanatory power. However, it doesn’t conflict with science. We have many examples of designed systems that convert sounds or images or chemical particles to electrical impulses and back. But the biological systems are far more functionally complex.

  12. 12
    hazel says:

    Yes, loaded with metaphysical and religious assumptions that are definitely “beyond our intellectual power to understand well”, and in fact beyond any evidence or experience that could be used to confirm it: that’s why I called it empty. It doesn’t really explain anything.

  13. 13
    Eugen says:

    Let’s hear how would you explain it Hazel

  14. 14
    PeterA says:

    Hazel,
    What Pat wrote, which rightly prompted KF to highlight it in a separate OP, does explain a lot more than you want to understand. And a lot more than you, KF, Pat himself and I are capable to understand. But there’s no other explanation available. None. Zero. The only valid explanation is conscious design. With purpose and meaning.
    Everything else is just daydreaming “just-so” wishful thinking fairytale that holds no water under mild scrutiny.
    The RV+NS idea is bankrupt.
    As more research discoveries will increasingly confirm the beautiful functional complexity and complex functionality of the biological systems, the Darwinian attorneys will have no other choice than run for the door.

  15. 15
    PeterA says:

    Eugene,
    Sorry to disappoint you, but Hazel won’t explain it, simply because the ideas he relies on have no explanatory power for anything beyond the microevolutionary adaptation processes.
    Finches remained birds, bacteria remained bacteria.

  16. 16
    hazel says:

    I’m not claiming to be able to explain it. How the physical phenomena in the brain become the conscious experiences we have in our mind is unknown.

    To keep us on target, the main thing to me is that kj quoted me in the OP, and then tells me discussing my quote is off the topic he really wants to talk about. If so, he should take my quote out and leave this discussion to the other thread.

    Or, he should respond to the questions I asked him at 2.

  17. 17
    hazel says:

    I have said absolutely nothing about evolution, or RV+NS, or Darwinism, so PeterA is jumping to all sorts of irrelevant conclusions.

  18. 18
    PeterA says:

    Hazel:
    “I’m not claiming to be able to explain it. How the physical phenomena in the brain become the conscious experiences we have in our mind is unknown.”
    It’s not unknown to the Designer.
    It’s unknown to us, the Designer’s creatures, until the Designer reveals it to us, at least partially. Most probably the explanation could not be understood by us because we lack the knowledge and intelectual capacity to understand it.
    Someday we’ll understand it better. But not now.
    However, the explanation won’t be given by the bankrupt Darwinian ideas.

  19. 19
    PeterA says:

    Hazel,
    Again, KF rightly quoted your comment because it was wrong. Pat’s comment was not empty explanation. Was overloaded with meaning, though the details of “how” are beyond our comprehension, but nevertheless in the right direction because they point to intelligent design, consciousness with purpose and complex functional meaning. That’s the only valid paradigm in town. The rest is fake news.
    What you wrote was wrong and could be rightly quoted as an illustration of such wrong statements.

  20. 20
    hazel says:

    Peter writes, “though the details of “how” are beyond our comprehension..”

    Uh, offering details about “how” are sort of one of the things I expect an explanation to do. Maybe we have different definitions of what an explanation is?

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    H, UD is a forum accessed by the public. Once you comment here, it is in the domain of public discussion under fair comment. I have made fair comment on the philosophical heart of the matter. It is your right to emphasise other parts, but we are free to take up the substantial issue. I see you are concerned that PS is coming from the specific context of a Creator. That is a legitimate view and one that points to what I have spoken to: mind as cogent explanation, including Ultimate Mind as explanation. In particular, it is evident that explanation on purposeful, designing mind is not empty, it is different from mechanical and stochastic explanations. But as we ourselves express minds, it is highly relevant. Where, that we are able to bring our own minds to bear as part of the explanation above shows that precisely it is NOT “beyond any evidence or experience that could be used to confirm it.” And indeed, the fact that Mind at work often leaves behind traces or signs precisely provides a means to use evidence and experience to confirm such. KF

    PS: How is not always part of an explanation, where how is used in a mechanistic, deterministic or stochastic sense. For example, we are familiar with minds, purpose, decision, planning, implementing, intelligence, insight, wisdom. It is not explanatorily empty to appeal to such when talking of mind in action.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: In Newton’s day, the concept of a mass warping spacetime thus forming a grav well was not on the table. He appreciated that he was dealing with actions across thousands and millions of miles. That was a huge puzzle and bone of contention, action at a distance. And yet, being willing to accept on empirical signs things we did not fully understand opened the way for later, fuller understandings. This is a lesson of history for us.

  23. 23
    hazel says:

    kf isn’t going to answer my questions in #2, I imagine, nor drop my quote from his OP. It’s his thread to do with as he wishes, and I’ve expressed my concerns. That’s about all I can do.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    H, I from the beginning distinguished between PS’s specific Creation language, poetic focus and the substantial issue of a designing mind. There may be a religious tradition in his wording, that is of no great relevance; nor is whether I or my own religious tradition would agree with his aesthetic sense . . . sound as focussed on beauty — obviously PS is a music lover. Frogs like me know to steer clear there lest we embarrass ourselves . . . I recall music lessons as a child and student in school; less said the better on that painful topic. What is hugely material and of foundational importance is the concept that material substrates interacting on mechanical necessity and blind chance do not exhaust possibilities. I therefore took up the issue of designing mind as a core component of reality. The OP above outlines how that becomes fruitful, and draws out how the logic of such being could unfold. Such is not explanatorily empty or ineffective; whether one talks on a designing mind or a Creator, a term used in certain theistic traditions to identify God as the maker of the world, something seen as manifesting his intelligence, knowledge, wisdom and aesthetic sense. So, the focal, substantial point is designing mind. That, too, is significant. KF

    PS: Once you post a comment on a forum for discussion and debate, it is open for response under fair comment.

  25. 25
    PeterA says:

    KF,

    “Frogs like me know to steer clear there lest we embarrass ourselves . . .”

    Join the club! We have room for more honest folks like you.

  26. 26
    hazel says:

    Better sense kicked in … no comment.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    H, there is as I pointed out an active thread put up yesterday which deals with PS’s submission. So, there is no need to carry that here. What is distinct here is mindedness, which seems to be under a pall of suspicion. That is implicit in your attempted dismissal as explanatorily empty. Further, Creators are designers and would be minded. So, a look at mind tied to design is appropriate in that general context. I am not well fitted to discuss aesthetics of design in the context of sound (apart from maybe, harmonious sounds likely lead to paths that respond to pleasure inasmuch as that is bodily, much more seems involved), but have noted on how that is a relevant factor. KF

    PS seems you pulled your comment.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Hazel states that

    “offering details about “how” are sort of one of the things I expect an explanation to do. Maybe we have different definitions of what an explanation is?”

    Hazel probably thinks that she has a pretty firm ‘scientific’ grasp on the explanation as to ‘how’ many things actually happen in this universe. Yet, it might surprise Hazel very much to learn that she is confusing mere precise ‘scientific’ descriptions of ‘how’ stuff happens with the true explanations as to ‘how’ the stuff actually happens.

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf

    In fact, as CS Lewis noted, “In the whole history of the universe the laws of nature have never produced, (i.e. caused), a single event.”

    “In the whole history of the universe the laws of nature have never produced, (i.e. caused), a single event.”
    C.S. Lewis – doodle video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_20yiBQAIlk

    As well, the fact that Atheists do not have a complete explanation as to ‘how’ something actually happens is revealed by the fact that they constantly invoke agent causality where it ought not be invoked. As CS Lewis noted, “to say that a stone falls to earth because it’s obeying a law, makes it a man and even a citizen”

    In fact, not only do the laws of nature not have the causal sufficiency within themselves so as to provide us with a truly adequate explanation so as to tell us exactly ‘how’ something happens in this universe, advances in quantum mechanics have now confirmed some of the oldest philosophical arguments that were ever made for God’s existence by Aristotle and Aquinas. Specifically, quantum mechanics offers fairly strong empirical confirmation for the ancient ‘First Mover and/or Unmoved Mover’ argument:

    Aquinas’ First Way
    1) Change in nature is elevation of potency to act.
    2) Potency cannot actualize itself, because it does not exist actually.
    3) Potency must be actualized by another, which is itself in act.
    4) Essentially ordered series of causes (elevations of potency to act) exist in nature.
    5) An essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act cannot be in infinite regress, because the series must be actualized by something that is itself in act without the need for elevation from potency.
    6) The ground of an essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act must be pure act with respect to the casual series.
    7) This Pure Act– Prime Mover– is what we call God.
    http://egnorance.blogspot.com/.....t-way.html

    Aquinas’ First Way – (The First Mover – Unmoved Mover) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmpw0_w27As

    As Dr. Egnor explains,

    Stephen Hawking: “Philosophy Is Dead” – Michael Egnor – August 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The metaphysics of Aristotle and Aquinas is far and away the most successful framework on which to understand modern science, especially quantum mechanics. Heisenberg knew this (Link on site). Aristotle 2,300 years ago described the basics of collapse of the quantum waveform (reduction of potency to act),,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....98261.html

    What Is Matter? The Aristotelian Perspective – Michael Egnor – July 21, 2017
    Excerpt: Heisenberg, almost alone among the great physicists of the quantum revolution, understood that the Aristotelian concept of potency and act was beautifully confirmed by quantum theory and evidence.,,,
    Heisenberg wrote:
    “,,,The probability wave of Bohr, Kramers, Slater… was a quantitative version of the old concept of “potentia” in Aristotelian philosophy. It introduced something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality…The probability function combines objective and subjective elements,,,”
    Thus, the existence of potential quantum states described by Schrodinger’s equation (which is a probability function) are the potency (the “matter”) of the system, and the collapse of the quantum waveform is the reduction of potency to act. To an Aristotelian (like Heisenberg), quantum mechanics isn’t strange at all.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/07/what-is-matter-the-aristotelian-perspective/

    And here is a video that further elaborates on the fact that only the Omniscience, Omnipresent, and Omnipotence of God has the causal sufficiency to ‘collapse the wave function’, i.e. Only God can be the ‘Unmoved Mover and/or First Mover’:

    Double Slit, Quantum-Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism- video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK9kGpIxMRM

    Thus, perhaps Hazel, if she were wise, should first realize that she herself does not have a true explanation for ‘how’ anything occurs in this universe, before she demands of us to know exactly ‘how’ God may make music beautiful for us.

    Moreover, the ‘argument from beauty’ is a Theistic argument. Beauty is certainly not an atheistic and/or materialistic argument:

    Aesthetic Arguments for the Existence of God:
    Excerpt: Beauty,,, can be appreciated only by the mind. This would be impossible, if this `idea’ of beauty were not found in the mind in a more perfect form.
    http://www.quodlibet.net/artic.....etic.shtml

    Verse, Music and CS Lewis quote:

    Acts 17:28
    For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

    Brooke Fraser – CS Lewis Song
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PycBrNP8dXg

    Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire; well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
    C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity, Bk. III, chap. 10, “Hope”)

  29. 29
    StephenB says:

    Hazel

    KF, believing that mind is primary at the root level of reality, which certainly is a possibility, and saying, as Pat did, that the Creator “beautifully designed what each sound should sound like” and “put the special program that can interpret each frequency pattern of air vibration into each sound, thus giving us the sound experience” are extremely different statements.

    The two statements are not “extremely different” because the latter is the logical consequence of the former being true. If mind is primary, then mind is also responsible for [a] arranging physical matter for the purpose of generating pleasant vibrations and [b] creating human minds with the capacity to be pleased with those vibrations, and [c] integrating [a] and [b] into the same reality. The primary mind has designed each sphere to be useless except in the context of the other.

  30. 30
    hazel says:

    Stephen, you are saying that it is not just “Mind” that is primary, but a conscious, willful entity who had designed humans to be as they are. True?

  31. 31
    PeterA says:

    Hazel,

    As far as I’m aware of, the Intelligent Design proponents don’t have to know or understand -much less explain- the details about how the design was done or implemented.

    Intelligent design is the best -actually the only- explanation for the functional complexity of the complex functionality observed in the biological systems. Other explanations are just fake news at best.

    Natural Science can research the physico-chemical processes occurring in the brain and the rest of the CNS, but should have a hard time figuring out the brain-consciousness interphase.
    What Pat was describing seems related to the interphase. That could be correct, though we don’t know the details. But Pat’s poetry is based on the correct premise of intelligent design. Therefore it’s far from empty as you incorrectly said.

  32. 32
    hazel says:

    PeterA writes,

    Natural Science can research the physico-chemical processes occurring in the brain and the rest of the CNS, but should have a hard time figuring out the brain-consciousness interphase [sic].”

    Yes, that is what I said: no one knows how the interface between the body and the mind happens.
    Peter also says,

    As far as I’m aware of, the Intelligent Design proponents don’t have to know or understand -much less explain- the details about how the design was done or implemented.

    Then it isn’t an explanation. And if that is so, I don’t think advocates for the above have much reason to criticize other philosophical perspectives for not providing details either.

    I have offered some speculative philosophical ideas about how mind and matter both arises from some underlying oneness that is neither mind nor matter, and is not like a person. I know enough to know that this is just speculation, but I’m glad to know that I can consider it an explanation even though I can provide no details. 🙂

    Philosophy is easy!

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    PA, the design inference, strictly is about design as process not designers. Namely, whether there are empirically detectable, reliable signs of design. Where, the strongly warranted answer is, yes. Design as project, on our part, reflects our conscious, minded, intelligent, self-aware, conscience guided, morally governed existence. Where, being conscious is for each of us our first fact, the one through which all others are accessed. The next issue is, such mindedness is involved in our rational life, which requires a freedom beyond what a computational substrate with software can account for. Further to this, reasoning is governed morally, by duties to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness etc. All of which sit poorly with a computational substrate view. Moral government points to a root of reality adequate to sustain such. Moreover, our contingent cosmos is not self explanatory. So we need to ponder bigger questions. One of which is in the OP, the claimed emptiness of mind as explanation seems a category error, and we need to consider the possibility of mind as a root level phenomenon. KF

  34. 34
    PeterA says:

    Hazel:
    “Yes, that is what I said: no one knows how the interface between the body and the mind happens.”

    That’s wrong again. Let’s repeat it once more:

    The Designer knows exactly how the interphase between the CNS and the mind works, and can reveal to us -at His will- some parts, or provide hints about other parts.

    That’s beyond Natural Science domain.

    Pat’s comments seem to relate to the interphase domain, and point correctly to intelligent design.
    Therefore it’s far from being empty, contrary to what you wrongly stated. KF rightly quoted your incorrect comment for illustration.

  35. 35
    hazel says:

    Let me be more precise: no human being knows how the interface between the body and the mind happens.

    And I’m curious as to what hints about this exist, and what parts have been revealed? What can you tell me about how an electrical signal in the brain received from the vibrations in the ear become the conscious experience of sound, for instance?

    And it’s interface, not interphase.

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the most likely candidate mentioned is quantum influences in neurons. KF

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    Hazel at 32 offers,

    I have offered some speculative philosophical ideas about how mind and matter both arises from some underlying oneness that is neither mind nor matter, and is not like a person.,,,
    Philosophy is easy!

    Something tells me that we won’t ever have to worry about Hazel’s name ever being mentioned in the top ten philosophers list.

    Were the Greatest Philosophers Theists or Atheists?
    Excerpt: 1. Plato (c. 429-347 BC)
    2. Aristotle (384-322 BC)
    3. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274)
    4. René Descartes (1596-1650)
    5. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
    6. Socrates (c. 470-399 BC)
    7. Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677)
    …..
    The first seven philosophers on my list are great philosophers, the rest are important but not great.,,,
    The greatest philosophers on my list are Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, Socrates, and Spinoza. All of these are theists of one sort or another. But even if Spinoza is excluded, that leaves six out of seven. And if you argue that Aristotle’s Prime Mover is not God in any serious sense, then I’ve still got five out of seven.
    If you say I rigged my list so that theists come out on top, I will deny the charge and argue that I used independent criteria (listed above). But if you disagree my assessment, I will consider it par for the course.
    http://maverickphilosopher.typ.....eists.html

  38. 38
    PeterA says:

    KF,

    “we need to ponder bigger questions. One of which is in the OP, the claimed emptiness of mind as explanation seems a category error, and we need to consider the possibility of mind as a root level phenomenon.”

    Agree.

    In my message to Hazel I meant that Pat’s comment seems to correctly assume intelligent design, though it describes the CNS-consciousness interphase in a poetic way, which is far beyond what any paradigm -including ID- can explain scientifically. Therefore it’s far from being an empty explanation. It’s a possible explanation, though science doesn’t go that far.
    Is this correct?

  39. 39
    PeterA says:

    Empty explanations are the frequent Darwinian “puffing up very modest results” and gross extrapolations that we read in some otherwise interesting research papers, producing misleading information that fits their agendas.

  40. 40
    hazel says:

    re 36: Yes, I know, kf. I’ve been mentioning that for multiple threads. However, that is an extremely speculative idea about which no human being knows any details, or has any evidence.

  41. 41
    StephenB says:

    Hazel

    Stephen, you are saying that it is not just “Mind” that is primary, but a conscious, willful entity who had designed humans to be as they are. True?

    The point is that mind, not matter, must be primary because matter cannot know why it is being arranged in a certain way. Only mind can know that. The argument is not empty because it shows that matter cannot come first, either logically or chronologically. The argument makes no attempt to show *how* matter is arranged, which is an entirely different matter.

    So now we come to your second question: I don’t think that mind alone can produce anything. It can only generate a conception. Only a conscious intelligent agent with an intellect and a will can execute the design (arrange the matter). Mind can generate the blueprint, but it cannot build the skyscraper.

  42. 42
    StephenB says:

    Hazel:

    believing that mind is primary at the root level of reality, which certainly is a possibility,

    It isn’t simply a possibility, it is a flat out necessity, as I indicated earlier. That is the whole point of the post. Matter cannot generate mind. There is nothing in the cause that could possibly produce the effect,

  43. 43
    hazel says:

    My speculative hypothesis is that both mind and matter are entangled manifestations of a deeper and utterly unknowable oneness, one from which the fundamental quantum phenomena present themselves macroscopically as material objects, and also from which some analogous fundamental aspect of “mindfulness” present itself macroscopically as the mind and accompanying consciousness of living things.

    Since I think my hypothesis is a possibility, I think that the hypothesis that mind is primary is also a possibility, but not a necessity.

  44. 44
    PeterA says:

    Hazel,
    Yes, you’re correct that it’s interface, not interphase. My mistake. Thank you for correcting my gross mispeling.
    Natural Science does know much about [cell cycle] interphase, but not much -if anything at all- about [CNS-mind] interface.

  45. 45
    hazel says:

    Peter writes, “Natural Science does know much about [cell cycle] interphase, but not much -if anything at all- about [CNS-mind] interface.”

    I agree – not anything at all about the brain/mind interface. We know they interrelate, but we don’t know how.

  46. 46
    PeterA says:

    Hazel,

    The ID paradigm is about intelligent design being -based on empirical evidence- the best scientific explanation for the functional complexity of the complex functionality observed in this universe, particularly in the information processing within biological systems.

    The detailed discussion about the CNS-mind interface is beyond the domain of Natural Science. However, it’s definitely a fascinating philosophical topic to discuss.

    What Pat wrote is not an empty explanation. You may disagree with it or dislike it. But saying that it is empty is wrong. And highlighting your wrong comment for illustration purpose is valid.
    Note that I admitted that I was using the wrong term for interface, after you pointed to my error.
    Because your argument about that particular error was valid. I’m open to being corrected. Actually I appreciate it.
    Are you open to valid corrections too?

  47. 47
    StephenB says:

    Hazel

    My speculative hypothesis is that both mind and matter are entangled manifestations of a deeper and utterly unknowable oneness, one from which the fundamental quantum phenomena present themselves macroscopically as material objects, and also from which some analogous fundamental aspect of “mindfulness” present itself macroscopically as the mind and accompanying consciousness of living things.

    Mind can come only from another mind. What you have described does not qualify as a hypothesis. Quantum events, matter, or energy do not have the causal power to generate minds. “Deeper, unknowable oneness” are weasel words – cause wannabes that are afraid to identify themselves as mere descriptions. “Tangled manifestations” is a phrase that does not even rise to the level of a description.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    H,

    part of the problem is that there is a creeping scientism in our intellectual climate.

    We have been led to think that Science is the gold standard of reliable, substantial knowledge and that institutional science and its leaders are the curators of knowledge. This is of course deeply connected to the wider domination of evolutionary materialistic scientism, which compounds the above with the notion that the stuff studied by the physical and chemical sciences is effectively the limit of knowable reality. In fact, all of this is ill-informed.

    Science, insofar as it creates large scale explanatory constructs, is unable to rise to the first level of responsible certainty, moral certainty. Scientific observations can indeed be morally certain, but that is if they are the testimony of reliable witnesses, not because they are scientific. This is part of why observations test and can overthrow theories.

    The domain that studies degree of warrant, reliability and certainty of knowledge claims is not science, but philosophy. This is part of the task of Epistemology, one of its branches.

    So, first, we must recognise the limitations of science and that the ideology of evolutionary materialistic scientism is self referentially incoherent (as Rosenberg so aptly but inadvertently demonstrates) and necessarily false. The self-refuting is logically falsified.

    Next, we must recognise that without people, there is no science. People, able to think rationally, responsibly and with significant freedom, a freedom that is morally governed by duty to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness etc. That is, we see here that we have minds of our own, minds that are utterly transcendent relative to what blindly mechanical and/or stochastic GIGO-limited, computing on a computational substrate, its organisation and software can do. Computers are refined, organised rocks and they have no dreams; rational, reflective, active, contemplative thought is beyond such.

    We therefore look at other philosophical issues, recognising that just to reason, we face the inescapable truth that we must have minds of our own, minds that have properties drastically different from those of dynamic-stochastic systems including computational substrates. Recall, such is antecedent to science and is a condition we must implicitly accept just to credibly do scientific and linked mathematical reasoning. Therefore, it is not explanatorily empty to accept on reasoned reflection that we have reason to accept that mind reflects an order of reality that transcends the picture painted by scientism or by evolutionary materialism.

    So, we now look at questions from another branch of core philosophy, the logic of being, i.e. ontology, a sub-discipline of metaphysics which studies being. What sort of thing must mind be to have the properties that are inescapable if we are to have a consensus-building community of rational, credible discussion?

    We find that conscious, self-aware, reflective, volitional, conscience guided, more or less intelligent, rationally and morally governed mind is our first fact; the fact through which we process others. So, such things are inescapably certain, in many ways.

    Where also, one of the empirical observations we make, is that design exists and often has in it highly reliable signs of intelligent, purposeful design that we may observe. Where also as contingent creatures, we cannot delimit possible intelligences. So, we know that where we see reliable signs of design, we are warranted to infer that as best explanation.

    Going further, the observed cosmos and its physics are pervaded with fine tuning, a strong sign of design. Where also atomic matter and the mathematics of cosmology point to contingency of being. We need a deeper root of reality than the physical world we inhabit. One that can accommodate designers.

    This is pointing to mind as antecedent to matter. Also, as we are minded, embodied, contingent, morally governed creatures, we see that the roots of reality reflect properties of mindedness (intelligence, purpose, creative synthesis are components of designing) AND moral properties. This points to mind that is of moral character sufficient to ground our moral government. All of this is reasoned thought, not empty, woolly speculation on culturally available myths.

    In addition, from non-being, nothing comes. That is, non-being has no causal power. That which is not cannot be a cogent explanation of what is. Were there ever utter nothing, such would forever obtain. So, if a world now is, something always was, something that is independent of external enabling causal factors, is adequate to cause the world we live in, and to ground moral and rational government..

    In short, moral, responsible, ultimate mind.

    Mind, that is necessary being, thus independent and eternal, being framework for a world to be, the root of reality.

    There is good reason to therefore accept or at least take as a serious candidate root of reality, such ultimate or primary mind.

    Thus, mind is antecedent to matter, though we cannot define it on a structure of independently existing component parts. Such an entity would not be a necessary being.

    Serious candidacy to be necessary being carries with it other implications: if such a serious candidate is possible of being, it will exist in at least one possible world. But, a necessary being will exist in all possible worlds — easily seen as being part of the unavoidable framework for a world to exist. So, a serious candidate will either be impossible of being or else actual.

    That is a strong logic of being position, which provides warrant for knowledge and linked insight. Ultimate, moral mind is credibly actual, once we see that such is not likely at all to be impossible of being.

    Where, too, this discussion is anything but empty speculation.

    KF

  49. 49
    PeterA says:

    Hazel,

    Minds have designed and created computer microprocessors and software that use electronic impulses to operate and to connect to the rest of the computer and peripheral devices through drivers.
    A superior mind must have designed and created our minds and bodies. That designing mind could have used electronic impulses, QM and/or other unknown to us means to implement the CNS-mind interface to operate the physical bodies within the physics law of this 4-dimensional universe, also created by the first uncreated mind.
    An immaterial mind is first cause to everything else.
    The ID paradigm empirically detects, infers and corroborates design within this universe. ID doesn’t transgress the limits of modern science.
    The discussion about the superior mind as first cause of everything including our immaterial minds, physical bodies and the CNS-mind interface implemented for every person, all that discussion is philosophical. Pat’s comment quoted in the OP transcends science and reaches philosophical level. But it’s valid and far from empty, contrary to what you wrongly stated, which KF rightly quoted as an example of incorrect statements.
    Do you understand this now?

  50. 50

    Hazel @43:

    Since I think my hypothesis is a possibility, I think that the hypothesis that mind is primary is also a possibility, but not a necessity.

    The problem with mind not being primary, rather being generated by some unknowable other thing that is also generating matter, is that it changes our minds from an uncaused to a caused phenomena. This means your thoughts would be caused, which renders you without free will.

    Unless free will is an uncaused cause (primary), then all of us are mental automatons thinking whatever this unknown deeper substrate causes whether or not it is rational. It’s the same problem as the hypothesis that mind is generated by matter. To have free will, which is required for rational thought, mind must be primary. There’s simply no way around the logic. It is, in fact, logically necessary – that is, if you don’t want to give up your claim to having free will and rational thought.

  51. 51
    PeterA says:

    The God of the Christian Bible (both OT and NT) is the first cause with sovereign will, who created everything that is, including our minds. Our free will is limited, not 100% free as God’s sovereign will is.
    None of us decided where to be born, what parents to be born from, and many things or factors that affect and determine our temporary existence in this planet.
    When I experience greed, lust, craving, that’s not free will. When I decide not to submit to those desires I exercise free will given by my Creator. But at any time He could intervene and make me think different, or remove veils that dim my spiritual vision, and even give me new desires to pursue different paths in life. Yes, I have free will to decide not to submit to temptations that would otherwise attract me as a human being. But sometimes that free will is weaker than my human-nature tendency to act in certain way.
    Our free will is spatiotemporally so wherever and whenever our sovereign Creator allows it.
    Nobody can explain this in terms that our intellect may understand. It’s beyond our comprehension capacity at this point. But it’s revealed to us in the Christian scriptures. But many will reject it. Is such a rejection free or slaved will? That’s a question to consider.

  52. 52
    PaoloV says:

    This excellent OP starts with the clear statement:
    “ The concept that the root of reality is Mind, and that mind is at least as fundamental as matter is not an empty claim or assertion.”
    That reality includes our minds, created by the Mind at the root of ultimate reality. Therefore our minds and everything else are created entities. Only the first cause, the ultimate Mind, is uncreated.

    It is written:

    “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”

  53. 53
    PaoloV says:

    Let’s go back to this fundamental affirmation:

    “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”

    The term “Word” (Greek logos) designates God the Son with respect to His deity; “Jesus” and “Christ” refer to His incarnation and saving work. During the first three centuries, doctrines of the Person of Christ focused intensely on His position as the Logos. In Greek philosophy, the Logos was “reason” or “logic” as an abstract force that brought order and harmony to the universe. But in John’s writings such qualities of the Logos are gathered in the Person of Christ. In Neo-Platonic philosophy and the Gnostic heresy (second and third centuries a.d.), the Logos was seen as one of many intermediate powers between God and the world. Such notions are far removed from the simplicity of John’s Gospel.

    In this verse the Word is expressly affirmed to be God. The Word existed already “in the beginning” (a clear reference to the opening words of the Bible), which is a way of denoting the eternity that is unique to God. John states clearly, “the Word was God.” Some have observed that the word translated “God” here has no definite article, and argued on this basis that it means “a god” rather than “God.” This is a misunderstanding; the article is omitted because of the word order in the Greek sentence (the predicate “God” has been placed first for emphasis). The New Testament never endorses the idea of “a god,” an expression that implies polytheism and is in sharp conflict with the consistent monotheism of the Bible. In the New Testament, the Greek word for “God” occurs often without the definite article, depending on the requirements of Greek grammar.

    That “the Word was with God,” indicates a distinction of Persons within the unity of the Godhead. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not successive forms of appearance of one Person, but are eternal Persons present from “the beginning”. “With” suggests a relationship of close personal intimacy.

    This verses also emphasize the deity of the Word, since creation belongs to God alone.

  54. 54
    PaoloV says:

    Here’s another fundamental affirmation written in the Holy Scriptures:

    “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17

    Because He is both agent and goal of creation, Christ is Lord of all that is, even of the angelic hierarchy which the Colossians think they must placate or revere.

    A strong restatement of the temporal priority and universal significance of Christ, these verses make this strong affirmation: Christ existed before all creation. He is Himself not created. Nor can it be said, as followers of Arius (c. a.d. 250–336) later maintained, that “there was a time when he was not.”
    There was a time when His human incarnation didn’t exist, because that monumental event took place at a predetermined time in history and lasted for a short time (less than half a century).
    The thought that Jesus is the moment-by-moment sustainer and unifying power of the universe is echoed in Hebrews 1:2, 3:

    “but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

    1:2 his Son. This revelation is qualitatively superior to that given through the prophets. Moses, the greatest prophet, was only a servant in God’s house; Christ is “over God’s house as a son” (3:6). The Son speaks, as the prophets did, but speaks as the Son whose revelation is final.

    heir of all things. The Son’s supremacy will be displayed at the end of history, for “all things were created . . . for him” (Col. 1:16). He is the firstborn (v. 6), the preeminent heir, whose enemies will be put under His feet (v. 13, citing Ps. 110:1). As God’s adopted sons through Jesus, we too are heirs (v. 14; 6:12, 17; Gal. 4:6, 7; Rom. 8:14–17).

    through whom . . . he created the world. The Son’s supremacy was displayed at the dawn of history, for “by him all things were created” (Col. 1:16; cf. John 1:3). The Greek word rendered “world” is lit. “ages” (also “universe” in 11:3), highlighting the successive periods of history in the created order. Vv. 10–12 quote Ps. 102:25–27 as testimony to the Son’s role in creation and His eternal permanence, in contrast to the created universe.

    1:3 radiance of the glory. The Greek word rendered “radiance” describes divine wisdom personified in the Jewish intertestamental book Wisdom of Solomon (Wis. 7:25–28). But Hebrews speaks not merely of a personified divine attribute, but of a divine Person who entered history to purify sinners.

    exact imprint of his nature. This verse expresses both the Son’s oneness with the Father and the distinction of divine persons. As One whose being corresponds exactly to the Father, the Son accurately reveals the Father. Christ is “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15), through whom we see the Father (John 14:9; 2 Cor. 4:4–6).

    upholds the universe by the word of his power. In the midst of history the Son’s command holds the created order in existence (Col. 1:17; 2 Pet. 3:4–7), preserving it from destruction until that day when His voice will remove all but the unshakable kingdom of God and its heirs (12:26–28).

    purification for sins. A change of verb tense focuses attention on the Son’s atoning death in history, the priestly act that cleanses us to worship in God’s presence (9:14).

    sat down at the right hand . . . on high. The Son’s enthronement at God’s “right hand” in heaven, promised in Ps. 110:1 (1:13), reveals His superiority in two ways. At the “right hand” of the Majesty Christ is ministering in the true, heavenly sanctuary and not an earthly copy (8:1, 2, 5). Secondly, He “sat down” because His sacrificial work (unlike that of Levitical priests) was finished once for all (10:11, 12).

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    PaV, I find your vest pocket exegesis interesting. I also think this in effect is speaking of Communicative Reason Himself, i.e. the rational principle of reality, its root is mind, person, God. That is biblical theology that interacts interestingly with logic of being issues and the fundamental reality of mind, even soul, the self-moved that is initiating, prime cause. Our self-aware, responsibly and rationally free, conscience-guided morally governed mindedness points beyond what material computational substrates can account for though obviously brains are very important and are intimately involved. Indeed, I have pointed to Eng Smith’s two tier controller cybernetic loop model for some years now, which raises issues of interface and interaction, but that is one way to discuss. The pivotal matter from the logic of being perspective is mind and ultimate, primary mind at world root. KF

  56. 56
    PaoloV says:

    KF,
    I like your insightful comment @55. Thanks.
    Some people look at the scientific discoveries and see true wonders beyond imagination. But others don’t see anything worth being excited for. Why is there such a radical difference?
    As children we were more curious than as grownups.
    Because as adults we tend to delight in irrelevant things and get entertained by insignificant mundane banalities all the way to the grave.
    Why did we lose that “magic” sense of wonder?
    Can we recover it or it’s too late?
    Does it matter?

  57. 57
    jawa says:

    This discussion was interesting:
    @45 Hazel posted his last comment
    @46 PeterA addressed a comment with questions to Hazel
    @47 StephenB addressed a comment to Hazel
    @48 KF addressed a comment to Hazel
    @49 PeterA addressed another comment to Hazel
    @50 WJM commented on Hazel’s comment about free will
    @51 PeterA posted a comment on free will
    @52 PaoloV posted a comment on the OP topic
    @53 PaoloV added biblical support to the OP topic
    @54 PaoloV added more biblical support to the OP topic
    @55 KF commented on PaoloV’s comment
    @56 PaoloV commented on KF’s comment

    Where is Hazel?

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    Jawa,

    H may be monitoring on and off or may be busy elsewhere.

    Part of what is going on, is that we are arguing things that run cross-grain to the dominant manner of thinking in our day which rules the roost in academia and among elites, being spread therefrom with aid of media amplifiers. Evolutionary materialistic scientism and its fellow travellers are profoundly flawed, but exploit the cultural prestige of science to foster the general impression that Big-S Science (in reality the ideology just described) has cornered the market on credible knowledge and on the elements of reality.

    The concept that morally governed, logically inferring, creative, conscience guided mind exhibits such radically different characteristics that it may well have an utterly distinct nature and identity which cannot be accounted for on blind, purposeless interactions on chance and/or mechanical necessity is alien to the dominant mindset. Never mind how that mindset is palpably irretrievably self-referentially incoherent and is patently utterly corrosive to moral soundness.

    Worse, the notion that the world of life and the cosmos may have in them empirically detectable signs that they came about by intelligently directed configuration. Which, while it is not at all a proof beyond all doubt of mind as source, certainly is more than merely compatible with it.

    Where also, that even in our arguing back and forth we reveal that our reasoning is inescapably morally governed by duties to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness etc strongly points to the need for a moral root of our being. Post-Hume, that can only be located at the root of reality, and morality is a strong indicator of responsible, rational, purposeful, free mind at work.

    So, ultimate, primary, necessary being, morally framed mind is the candidate explanation to beat — far, from being explanatorily empty. (And yes, that is utterly un-poetic compared to PS and his obvious delight in aesthetic factors. Let’s add, artistic to the list.)

    KF

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    PaV, adulthood is often a grind that does drive out the wonder of the young child. I target schooling and the way it is ever so often uninspired and a terrible struggle that turns learning from a joy to a pain with lurking life consequences if one does not rise to the top. One becomes alienated from knowledge, creativity, delight, wholesome enjoyment and more. KF

  60. 60
    PeterA says:

    KF @58 & @59:
    Excellent comments.

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks,

    Let’s track an exchange above:

    H, 43: >>My speculative hypothesis is that both mind and matter are entangled manifestations of a deeper and utterly unknowable oneness, one from which the fundamental quantum phenomena present themselves macroscopically as material objects, and also from which some analogous fundamental aspect of “mindfulness” present itself macroscopically as the mind and accompanying consciousness of living things.

    Since I think my hypothesis is a possibility, I think that the hypothesis that mind is primary is also a possibility, but not a necessity.>>

    SB, 47: >>Mind can come only from another mind. What you have described does not qualify as a hypothesis. Quantum events, matter, or energy do not have the causal power to generate minds. “Deeper, unknowable oneness” are weasel words – cause wannabes that are afraid to identify themselves as mere descriptions. “Tangled manifestations” is a phrase that does not even rise to the level of a description.>>

    PS, 49: >>Minds have designed and created computer microprocessors and software that use electronic impulses to operate and to connect to the rest of the computer and peripheral devices through drivers.
    A superior mind must have designed and created our minds and bodies. That designing mind could have used electronic impulses, QM and/or other unknown to us means to implement the CNS-mind interface to operate the physical bodies within the physics law of this 4-dimensional universe, also created by the first uncreated mind.
    An immaterial mind is first cause to everything else.
    The ID paradigm empirically detects, infers and corroborates design within this universe. ID doesn’t transgress the limits of modern science.
    The discussion about the superior mind as first cause of everything including our immaterial minds, physical bodies and the CNS-mind interface implemented for every person, all that discussion is philosophical. Pat’s comment quoted in the OP transcends science and reaches philosophical level. But it’s valid and far from empty, contrary to what you wrongly stated, which KF rightly quoted as an example of incorrect statements.
    Do you understand this now?>>

    WJM, 50: >>The problem with mind not being primary, rather being generated by some unknowable other thing that is also generating matter, is that it changes our minds from an uncaused to a caused phenomena. This means your thoughts would be caused, which renders you without free will.

    Unless free will is an uncaused cause (primary), then all of us are mental automatons thinking whatever this unknown deeper substrate causes whether or not it is rational. It’s the same problem as the hypothesis that mind is generated by matter. To have free will, which is required for rational thought, mind must be primary. There’s simply no way around the logic. It is, in fact, logically necessary – that is, if you don’t want to give up your claim to having free will and rational thought.>>

    Here, we see surfacing the issue of the one and the many, unity vs diversity, compounded by a fairly common tendency to see personhood as at best secondary. I find it significant that the inescapable issue of even our rationality being morally governed by duties to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness etc is overlooked. And yet, post-Hume, it is decisive: moral government can only be grounded at root level. Where, it inevitably brings to bear responsible, rational, purposeful freedom, i.e. personhood.

    Similarly, the signs of design in a cosmos fine tuned for C-chemistry, aqueous medium, terrestrial planet cell based life, and things like how we find alphanumeric, string data structure code, algorithms and molecular nanotech machinery in the heart of the living cell — thus language — similarly point to personhood and to mind.

    We may note as well on logic of being. It is evident that our observed cosmos is highly contingent and arguably dates to a fairly specific point of past origin, last I looked 13.85 BYA seemed plausible to the cosmologists and astrophysicists. It is not self-explanatory, where also it is further arguable that quasi-material substrates beyond that point such as a quantum foam are again contingent. Such cannot be the root. Circular causation of the world is not reasonable, the future does not reach back to the past to create itself, nor can we sensibly appeal to utter non-being as such cannot cause anything. If a world now is, something of independent, necessary being character always was — something that is framework to any world existing. Where also, as a key aspect of the world is morally governed, that too points to the world root as source.

    So, we have excellent reason to hold that the root of reality is best explained on ultimate, primary, necessary being, morally framed, creative and even artistic mind. And yes, that does look a lot like the characteristics of the God of ethical theism. Where, further, a serious candidate necessary being (flying spaghetti monsters — being composite — need not apply) is by the force of the logic at work either impossible of being (cf. square circles) or else is actual (cf. unity, duality, nullity, linked structure and quantity).

    Far from being explanatorily empty, ultimate, primary Mind is the strong horse explanation to beat.

    KF

    PS: SB, I think it was “entangled manifestations” which alludes to quantum entanglement.

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    PA, thanks. Kindly note my pulling together of a focal strand of comments by H, PS, SB and WJM that ties back to the OP and my onward remarks. KF

  63. 63
    hazel says:

    Jawa wrote, “Where is Hazel?”

    First, Hazel spent all day yesterday totally absorbed in the Cohen hearings. I don’t watch TV or videos at all, in general, but I got hooked and watched all day. Fascinating experience on many levels.

    Second, in general, none of those comments said anything new in regards to me: rather than all just brought up points that have been discussed at length over the past few months. Also, all the biblical posts aren’t anything I would respond to because I don’t share that perspective at all.

    I don’t want to keep going over old ground, and have other things to do with my life after avoiding other responsibilities all day yesterday.

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the problem is, this is actually not old ground here at UD. You had suggested that explanation on ultimate, designing mind shows explanatory emptiness, which requires a serious answer, one specific to this claim. Yes, as far back as Plato, there is a cosmological inference and a distinction between nature, accident, art. But we are 2400 years later now. We have GIGO-limited computational entities that process signals per their organisation and programming, they do not infer i/l/o principles of reason, understanding and under duties of truth, right reason, prudence, fairness etc. By contrast, we infer, freely or may refuse to do so. This points to the hard problem of consciousness, and to the issue of the mind as showing sufficiently distinct characteristics that its nature seems radically different from refined rock in the form, computing substrates. That is, an issue of distinct identity obtains. And in the case of there being cosmological evidence of fine tuning and that of alphanumeric coded information in the cell, we have signs pointing to intelligently directed configuration. Likewise, moral government of mind points to a needed bridge of is and ought at world root level. We already know and were reminded that we need necessary being at this level. In that context it is significant to ponder necessary being, morally framed ultimate mind as a serious candidate for world root. Which, is clearly not explanatorily empty. Further to this, we see that a serious candidate necessary being is either impossible of being or actual. That is strikingly powerful, if one wishes to set aside this candidate — is it less than serious? Patently, not. Is it of the order of a square circle? That does not seem to be so either. So, this is a serious view indeed, not something to be dismissed as empty. KF

  65. 65
    hazel says:

    Kf writes, “The problem is, this is actually not old ground here at UD.”

    Sure it is. You have written literally hundreds of posts saying what you have just said, and I and others have engaged you on those points multiple times.

    You write, “ You had suggested that explanation on ultimate, designing mind shows explanatory emptiness.”

    One of the things that is old, and tiresome, is how you take what something that someone says and blow it up to some huge deal by what you think it “suggests.”

    I did not “suggest” that “explanation on ultimate, designing mind shows explanatory emptiness.” What I said” was

    “. . . the invocation of a Creator who “beautifully designed what each sound should sound like” and “put the special program that can interpret each frequency pattern of air vibration into each sound, thus giving us the sound experience” is an empty explanation

    You yourself have described this as “poetical.” I agree: poetical descriptions of things are empty as explanations. That’s all.

    If we can’t count on you keeping some realistic, honest perspective about what people say, without blowing them up into bigger issues because of what you think they “suggest”, then it does get old for you to just post things like 64 over and over again.

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    H, I specifically composed a reply to an issue you implied by suggesting explanation on an ultimate, designing mind is explanatorily empty. I note, the inference on design is not — rpt, NOT — an inference to designers, or to their ontological character. It is an inference that design as causal process has happened based on signs found in an entity such as complex, functionally specific algorithmic code. The subject of the OP is therefore drastically different, it is about ontology and explanatory power as an exercise in logic and first principles of reason. In that context, I noted on the differences between computation on a substrate and actual, rationally and morally governed mind in action. Where, whatever the ontology, we exhibit mindedness while being contingent beings. I pointed to the radical difference and the principle of distinct identity implications: rational thought under moral government through mind in action credibly has different essential nature from a material computing substrate. Where also, as signs of design attach to cosmological origin, design of cosmos points again to mindedness. Design of cell based life that uses alphanumerical code similarly raises the question of mind in action. The moral government of reason points to root of reality (a point I have often indeed made, in answer to Hume et al), and so we see reason to ponder ultimate, primary mind as necessary being root of reality, antecedent to matter etc (which is contingent). This is a serious explanatory item, not something that is empty. Last, we see that for any serious candidate necessary being, the logic of being framework to any world existing implies either impossible of being or actual. So, in fact, significant new business as others in thread discussed. But also, old or new, substantial and enough to show that PS speaking of a Creator (thus, one or another form of ultimate mind) is not resorting to what is explanatorily empty. Just the opposite, ultimate, primary mind is the strong horse to beat in the explanation of reality stakes. KF

    PS: Repeating the text of your statement as an objection to responding to its import fails. A Big-C Creator is one perspective on an ultimate, necessary being designing mind. I here have little interest in whether PS is Christian, Jewish, Muslim or some other form of ethical theist, it is the designing mind that counts. That a designer of the world of life who is also root of moral value and aesthetic value might apply such to design of hearing is interesting but not primary, designers often have aesthetics in their work. The point is, you dismissed such as explanatorily empty, which opened up new business: logic of being of ultimate, primary mind as a part of our understanding of the broad matters at stake. Such is significant though perhaps not being interesting to one inferring an apparently pantheistic world root . . . which it is well known will have difficulties with unity in diversity [the problem of the one and the many], aesthetics and morals. Such instantly extends to the persistent attempts to reduce mind to matter in our civilisation. It seems, there is a sufficient distinction of characteristics that the two are credibly ontologically distinct, rendering reduction to the material futile. That’s a significant metaphysical point, ontology being a branch. Where, too aesthetic and moral elements may well be part of the purposes of a designing mind.

  67. 67
    hazel says:

    I have never “attempt[ed] to reduce mind to matter.” Just saying.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the problem of consciousness is often stated in essentially reductionist terms and as we can see from Rosenberg et al, consciousness is often considered a delusion. Your language above that spoke of explanatory emptiness therefore will naturally be seen against that known backdrop. It therefore calls for addressing why mindedness needs to be taken seriously. Which points to ontological questions. KF

  69. 69
    hazel says:

    That is because you have made no effort and/or are unable, to understand the point of my quote. I have no idea why I keep trying to explain a distinction, but here goes. The following are two different things.

    1. A “poetical” (your word) explanation that the Creator (God of some sort) put a special program in our brain to make each sound wavelength sound the way it does to us.

    2. A general philosophical claim that mind is primary.

    Pop quiz: which of the two did I say was an empty explanation?

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the attempted wedge fails. Taking out poetic elements, PS discussed design by ultimate mind, identified as Creator. A description that the designer of life designed hearing and incorporated aesthetic aspects is plainly not explanatorily empty unless the underlying concept is that design by mind is a meaningless concept. In short, it seems the real problem is the term Creator, which is often held to be utterly of no credibility by those unduly influenced by scientism. Even if one disagrees with whatever particular tradition PS espouses and imagines that aesthetic elements are irrelevant to purposes of a designer, explanation that turns on a designing mind is not meaningless in itself nor is it something that is utterly implausible to a reasonable person. One needs not agree with something for it to be recognised as intelligible and a view that can be or in fact is held by responsible, informed people. In short, it is the sharpness of the dismissal that is the tell. KF

  71. 71
    hazel says:

    OK, I’ll bite: How is “God did it” an explanation?

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    H,

    your characterisation of PS as “God did it” misses out material context. Let me clip from his admittedly non-technical remarks:

    PA: >>The origin and mechanisms of consciousness are very “special” because no known set of nature’s laws suggest that matter can generate consciousness. It is so special that many scientists admitted that, “questions of consciousness may be beyond the bounds of science” [4], “We just don’t know how we should think about ‘being’ and how ‘mind’ fits into nature.” [5]

    Consequently, even the world’s top scientists can’t make AI or robots that have consciousness. [6] No scientists can make AI or robots that can hear sounds like human or animals. [7]

    set of Ultimately, the fact that ‘no known nature’s laws suggest that matter can generate consciousness’ has a very important implication. Without nature’s laws for consciousness to emerge from matter, consciousness certainly can’t arise by evolution !

    From air vibration which has no sound, the Creator beautifully designed what each sound should sound like. Inside brains, the Creator put the special program that can interpret each frequency pattern of air vibration into each sound, thus giving us the sound experience.>>

    He is pointing out the distinction between the conscious perception, sound, and vibrations travelling through air. He highlights the issue of blind mechanical necessity and/or chance giving rise to complex functionally coherent structures, where the implied contrast is that designers routinely produce such through purpose, planning, art, skill and effort. He is highlighting the challenge of getting to consciousness from vibrations and transducer action, on such blind mechanisms. That is, implicitly, we have the problem of consciousness on blind forces.

    It is in that context of an inferred best explanation that he went on to:

    From air vibration which has no sound, the Creator beautifully designed what each sound should sound like. Inside brains, the Creator put the special program that can interpret each frequency pattern of air vibration into each sound, thus giving us the sound experience.

    This amazing creation results in hearing ability which is very useful for us to observe surrounding through sounds, enjoy music, communicate in language, etc.

    As said at the beginning of the article, whenever we hear beautiful music or any other interesting sounds, we should realize that the ability to hear sounds is so special that no known nature’s laws can explain it. Without the nature’s laws for consciousness to emerge from matter, consciousness certainly cannot arise by evolution !

    In short, consciousness as manifested in hearing and enjoying sound is out of reach of the capability of blind mechanistic and/or stochastic laws, but we are not locked up to such. Design is a compelling alternative, and here he highlights aesthetic purpose. He speaks specifically of how ” Inside brains, the Creator put the special program that can interpret each frequency pattern of air vibration into each sound, thus giving us the sound experience.” That is, he points to design as best explanation of the functionally specific, complex organisation and information involved; though by contrast with the design inference’s emphasis on design as process he envisions a particular designer at work.

    This is not a simplistic inference that God did it, though we also see the contrast from a design inference perspective, a focus on a particular candidate designer.

    KF.

  73. 73
    hazel says:

    P.S. I have not been “unduly influenced by scientism”: I am definitely not supportive of scientism. It would really improve any possible conversations we might have for you to absorb the fact that I am not advocating materialism, much less scientism.

  74. 74
    hazel says:

    I have made no claims that consciousness arises from matter. That part of what he wrote, and what you wrote, is not relevant to a discussion with me. It just doesn’t seem possible to keep topics separate in these discussion, so once again, I give up.

    This is how I feel.

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the context of wider discussion in our civilisation is one of discussing issues and alternatives on the table in regards to mindedness. It is generally known that naturalism by and large rules the roost in the academy and so shapes effectively every discussion — one cannot ignore the 800 lb gorilla in the middle of the room. Naturalism is deeply infused with scientism, as was noted above — and cf. definitions below. That is why PS highlighted the inadequacy of naturalistic accounts of hearing as a main part of his comment; thus drawing out the logic of inference to a best explanation. It is in that context that he spoke to design by a Creator, i.e. ultimate designing mind seen through some particular tradition. He then envisioned such a minded designing agent as acting in the guise of engineer with an aesthetic purpose. I picked up the theme of ultimate mind and the ontology of mind. In that context — not in the abstract — you made your intervention. It is the terms of sharp dismissal that are material: “an empty explanation.” Yes, you also said that a naturalistic explanation without mechanism is comparable, which is to your credit. However, even that leaves on the table mechanisms as focus — i.e. we are right back at the problem of scientism. However, agent action is not a mechanical process, it involves free action, purpose, choice, creativity, art, aesthetics, ethics and more that we are familiar with from our experience but have no mechanical explanation for. And, recognising that a capable minded agent acts per such factors of agency then points to the essentially different characteristics of mind vs matter — where I came in. So, even without knowing specific techniques and without knowing how interfaces of mind and body work, explanation on minded agency is clearly not explanatorily empty.Where, such emptiness would imply irretrievable incoherence, unintelligibility, utter wrong-headedness, or utter irrelevance, etc. But PS’s comment was none of those, and a Creator is precisely one perspective on ultimate, designing mind which is a highly relevant possible explanation. Likewise, the contrast of core properties raises interesting ontological issues (especially as regards a necessary being mind as root of reality), which is where I went. KF

    PS: Definition of Naturalism, in Collins English Dictionary:

    5. (Philosophy) philosophy
    a. a scientific account of the world in terms of causes and natural forces that rejects all spiritual, supernatural, or teleological explanations
    b. the meta-ethical thesis that moral properties are reducible to natural ones, or that ethical judgments are derivable from nonethical ones. Compare naturalistic fallacy, descriptivism

    Kernerman Websters is even more pointed:

    4. Philos. the belief that all phenomena are covered by laws of science and that all teleological explanations are therefore without value.

    In short, scientism turning on evolutionary materialism is at the heart of naturalism. PS pointed out its inadequacy here and put forward an agent explanation, involving purpose and aesthetics.

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Let us recall, H at 43 and (among several others) WJM at 50 above (clipped with other remarks in an exchange at 61):

    H, 43: >>My speculative hypothesis is that both mind and matter are entangled manifestations of a deeper and utterly unknowable oneness, one from which the fundamental quantum phenomena present themselves macroscopically as material objects, and also from which some analogous fundamental aspect of “mindfulness” present itself macroscopically as the mind and accompanying consciousness of living things.

    Since I think my hypothesis is a possibility, I think that the hypothesis that mind is primary is also a possibility, but not a necessity.>>

    [ . . . ]

    WJM, 50: >>The problem with mind not being primary, rather being generated by some unknowable other thing that is also generating matter, is that it changes our minds from an uncaused to a caused phenomena. This means your thoughts would be caused, which renders you without free will.

    Unless free will is an uncaused cause (primary), then all of us are mental automatons thinking whatever this unknown deeper substrate causes whether or not it is rational. It’s the same problem as the hypothesis that mind is generated by matter. To have free will, which is required for rational thought, mind must be primary. There’s simply no way around the logic. It is, in fact, logically necessary – that is, if you don’t want to give up your claim to having free will and rational thought.>>

    Let me add to this, Plato’s observation that such an agent is self-moved and initiating, setting in motion cascades of secondary etc causal factors in a chain. This highlights freedom and choice influenced but not determined by circumstances, considerations, intent etc.

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