Mind Neuroscience

Here’s a relatively new argument against the idea that our minds are an illusion

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It even involves Robert J. Marks, but mainly as a figure:

Unlike logic and physics, illusion theory has no rules. It has no rules by which to predict future illusions. Therefore, illusion theory cannot predict a mirror would reflect your image. It also cannot predict the infinite mirror effect seen in the picture of the lady. If you see the infinite mirror effect, it is your personal illusion only.

Illusion theory has no rule about how physical light reflects off physical mirrors. That means there is no reason why the series of repeated reflections would shrink and degrade as they do into the distance.
Illusion theory does not predict that you will see your hand movement reflected once, more than once, or identically repeated through the sequence of “infinite” reflections.

Illusion theory has no rule of reproducibility. Yet, if you set up the infinity mirror experiment at another time, you will see the same effect.
Illusion theory has no rule about how other observers perceive their illusions. In the picture of the couple, the handsome gentleman is viewing the lady’s reflections. Under illusion theory, there is no reason why he would see the same reflections as she does. Yet he does see them.

Richard W. Stevens, “Why the idea that the human mind is an illusion doesn’t work” at Mind Matters News

Check it out.

See also: Has neuroscience disproved thinking?

10 Replies to “Here’s a relatively new argument against the idea that our minds are an illusion

  1. 1
    mike1962 says:

    Illusion of what?

    (Illusions always have a corresponding referent.)

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    Mike1962: Illusion of what?
    (Illusions always have a corresponding referent.)

    That pretty much hits the nail right on the head. As David Bentley Hart succinctly put the irresolvable dilemma for Darwinian materialists, “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”

    The Illusionist – Daniel Dennett’s latest book marks five decades of majestic failure to explain consciousness. – 2017
    “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”
    – David Bentley Hart
    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-illusionist

    As WJM noted, “In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary.”

    “In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.”
    – William J. Murray

    But hey, you don’t have to take WJM’s word for it. Planck, Schroedinger, and Wigner are all also on record pointing out the blatantly obvious fact that consciousness must be primary in any definition of reality that we put forth,

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    – Max Planck (1858–1947), one of the primary founders of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    – Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    “The principal argument against materialism is not that illustrated in the last two sections: that it is incompatible with quantum theory. The principal argument is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied. On the contrary, logically, the external world could be denied—though it is not very practical to do so. In the words of Niels Bohr, “The word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as to others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation.” In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that “life could be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws,” could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists.”
    – Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, pp 167-177. – 1961
    https://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/scientists/wigner/Wigner_Remarks.pdf

    Besides the blatantly obvious fact that consciousness must be primary in any definition of reality that we put forth, and as Wigner mentioned, as far as empirical evidence itself in concerned, “materialism “is incompatible with quantum theory.”

    In fact, we have several more lines of empirical evidence from quantum mechanics available to us today, demonstrating this fact, than Wigner had available to him when he first made that statement,

    Here are eight intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness must precede material reality (Double Slit experiment, Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, as well as the recent confirmation of the Wigner’s friend thought experiment, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect, Quantum Information theory, and the recent closing of the Free Will loophole.)

    Putting all these lines of evidence from quantum mechanics together, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality (Jerry Coyne). or is an intrinsic property of material reality, (panpsychism, Philip Goff)
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality (Jerry Coyne). or is an intrinsic property of material reality, (panpsychism, Philip Goff), then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Here are a couple of my favorite experiments that demonstrate this point,

    Via realization of the Wheeler’s Delayed Choice experiment with atoms, we find this result, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    And via violation of Leggett’s inequality, we find this result, “Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.”

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    The quantum Zeno effect, (and quantum information theory), also, unambiguously, demonstrates that consciousness must precede material reality:

    December 2019 – Although each of those (eight) experiments are very interesting in their own right as to proving that the Mind of God must precede material reality, my favorite evidences out of that group, for proving that the Mind of God must be behind the creation of the universe itself, is the Quantum Zeno effect and Quantum Information theory. This is because the Quantum Zeno effect and Quantum Information theory deal directly with entropy. And, entropy is, by a VERY wide margin, the most finely tuned of the initial conditions of the Big Bang. Finely tuned to an almost incomprehensible degree of precision, 1 part in 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. As Roger Penrose himself stated that, “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/big-bang/sabine-hossenfelder-physicists-theories-of-how-the-universe-began-arent-any-better-than-traditional-tales-of-creation/#comment-690210

    So basically, Atheistic materialists not only must deny the common sense fact that consciousness must be primary in any definition of reality that we put forth, but Atheistic materialists must also deny many lines of empirical evidence from quantum mechanics clearly demonstrating the fact that the Mind of God must precede material reality.

    In short, Atheistic materialists, with their stubborn refusal to ever accept the fact that the Mind of God must precede material reality, are the ones who are the true ‘science deniers’.

    Supplemental notes:

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0hL3Nrdas

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://youtu.be/Vpn2Vu8–eE

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  3. 3
    EvilSnack says:

    If our minds are an illusion, then the person informing us of this is also an illusion, and therefore we should ignore him.
    There are certain fundamentals in philosophy without which no philosophy can be anything but idle chatter. Among these fundamentals is the reality of the world of our experience.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    “Surviving Death” on Netflix attacks materialism and its simplistic attempt at explaining the mind and consciousness. So people are aware of the false nature of materialism.

  5. 5

    A large portion of spiritual and religious views are basically versions of materialism. Adding a non-material domain to one’s perspective still carries along a large amount of materialism infused in the perspective. I’m probably the only actual “non-materialist” here.

  6. 6
    mike1962 says:

    WJM: I’m probably the only actual “non-materialist” here.

    Nay 🙂

  7. 7
    Fasteddious says:

    @5 & 6: Where precisely is “here” in your view of reality?

  8. 8

    Fasteddious,

    I was talking in that comment about here at Uncommon Descent, but apparently Mike1962 is also an actual non-materialist if I’m taking his comment correctly.

    In the broader sense of reality, “here” would be a mental world, “one” (I use that word loosely) of an infinite number, largely defined by common subconscious architecture and experiential parameters – such as, the immersive quality of the appearance of a time-linear, mortal (birth to death) life with little if any memory or concscious connection to our broader multidimensionality.

  9. 9

    As long as you think there is an actual material world, you’re part materialist.

  10. 10
    mike1962 says:

    Fasteddious: apparently Mike1962 is also an actual non-materialist

    Right

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