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What is “dualism” and why is it controversial?

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Most people think we are more than just live bodies but what is the “more”? Frank Turek explains,

Here are some types of dualism:

(Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy) More.

If you don’t think you are 99.44% chimpanzee nd that consciousness is an illusion, you might want to consider what sort of dualism you are.

Hat tip: Ken Francis

See also: Alternatives to dualism: Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself

and

From Scientific American: “we may all be alters—dissociated personalities— of universal consciousness.”

104 Replies to “What is “dualism” and why is it controversial?

  1. 1
    Deputy Dog says:

    I can point to roughly 7.6 billion examples of minds that are associated with physical brains, and precisely zero examples of minds that are not associated with physical brains.

    From a Bayesian perspective, that makes for an extremely small likelihood that dualism could be true.

  2. 2

    #1

    I can point to roughly 7.6 billion examples of intelligence that can establish encoded memory systems, and precisely zero examples of such systems arising without intelligence.

    From a Bayesian perspective, that makes for an extremely small likelihood that a non-intelligent origin of such systems could be true.

  3. 3
    Deputy Dog says:

    #2 The subject is dualism, not evolution.

  4. 4

    I never mentioned evolution. Evolution requires measurement; and (in case were not aware) dynamics cannot explain the measurement function. Only intelligence can.

  5. 5
    john_a_designer says:

    “I can point to roughly 7.6 billion examples of minds that are associated with physical brains, and precisely zero examples of minds that are not associated with physical brains.”

    Therefore, consciousness and mind are just illusions.

  6. 6
    ET says:

    Deputy Dog:

    I can point to roughly 7.6 billion examples of minds that are associated with physical brains,

    Well you can’t show any examples of nature producing physical brains. And you cannot show that physical brains arose via purely physical processes.

    In other words you have nothing to account for the existence of physical brains.

  7. 7
    jdk says:

    In reply to DD’s comment that we know of “7.6 billion examples of minds that are associated with physical brains, and precisely zero examples of minds that are not associated with physical brains.”, UD said,

    re 2:

    I can point to roughly 7.6 billion examples of intelligence that can establish encoded memory systems, and precisely zero examples of such systems arising without intelligence.

    Assuming we accept as established with some certainty that human beings, and their minds, are the result of intelligence in some way, it doesn’t necessarily follow that dualism is true. It may very well be that that a unitary universe exists which the designing intelligence created so as to have consciousness and its emergence in human beings complementarily coexist with what manifests as the physical world as two parts of a larger underlying whole. That is, consciousness and physical may both be products of one underlying reality, not two separate parts of reality.

    We just don’t know. The existence of consciousness does not necessarily imply dualism.

    re 5, JAD responded to DD’s comment by writing,

    Therefore, consciousness and mind are just illusions.

    I don’t think that follows, as explained a bit in my reply to UD in the paragraphs above. Just because consciousness is real doesn’t mean that it has a fundamentally different nature or source than physical reality.

    As has been discussed at some length lately, given that reality at the quantum level is nothing like the physical world as it appears to us at the sensory macroscopic level, it’s a reasonable possibility, I think, that consciousness arises from the same foundation of reality as the physical world does, and concomitantly coexists with the material world, as opposed to having a ontological nature that could be separated from physical reality.

    Of course, I nor anyone else knows whether this is true or not at this time, and we maybe never will, but, once again, I think that the existence of consciousness does not necessarily imply that dualism is true.

    re 6: ET writes to DD,

    Well you can’t show any examples of nature producing physical brains. And you cannot show that physical brains arose via purely physical processes.

    Recently my daughter was pregnant, and gave birth to a delightful young child who clearly has a brain and is conscious (or at least I know that as much as I know anyone else is conscious.)

    Was the growth of my child not an example of nature producing a brain?

  8. 8
    ET says:

    jdk:

    Was the growth of my child not an example of nature producing a brain?

    No, nature didn’t produce it. It was produced as a result of immaterial information which directed the development to fulfill is pre-ordained destination.

    Saying nature did it would be question-begging as even the alleged theory of evolution has to be given starting populations of living organisms. Heck nature can’t even produce eukaryotes from those given starting populations. How the heck can it produce brains?

  9. 9
    jdk says:

    I see. You believe in a dualism whereby the inert physical body is directed by an immaterial aspect that controls the physical processes in the body. That’s interesting.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    jdk:

    You believe in a dualism whereby the inert physical body is directed by an immaterial aspect that controls the physical processes in the body.

    Seeing that the body isn’t reducible to matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions, it is a given there is an immaterial aspect. And it just so happens that information, which is neither matter nor energy, fits the void and solves the problem. We even have first hand experience with such things, ie immaterial information directing operations of a physical system.

    Or do you have any evidence that living organisms are reducible to matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions? A Nobel Prize awaits the person who could demonstrate such a thing- that and more I’m sure.

    Any evidence that nature can produce a code along with the physical means of carrying it out?

    We exist, Jack, how do you think that came to be?

  11. 11
    jdk says:

    I’m not discussing how things came to be. I’m interesting in how you understand how things happen now that they are as they are.

    So, some questions. Let’s take a fundamental physical process: when you breath in air, oxygen is taken in and carbon dioxide is given out. The process by how this happens is fairly well know.

    Is there an immaterial aspect to this process? What is the immaterial process doing?

    Now, let’s take an inorganic example:

    Here’s an example of electrolysis:

    The key process of electrolysis is the interchange of atoms and ions by the removal or addition of electrons from the external circuit. The desired products of electrolysis are often in a different physical state from the electrolyte and can be removed by some physical processes. For example, in the electrolysis of brine to produce hydrogen and chlorine, the products are gaseous. These gaseous products bubble from the electrolyte and are collected.[3]

    2 NaCl + 2 H2O ? 2 NaOH + H2 + Cl2

    This is a purely chemical process. Does it have an immaterial aspect, or is the immaterial aspect only a part of living things?

    What do you think?

  12. 12
    jawa says:

    jdk @11:

    Beware of the tricky editor in this website. It can mess up your text.

    In the first two paragraphs we read:
    “interesting” instead of “interested”
    “breath” instead of “breathe”
    “know” instead of “known”

    Buddy, the whole body is material.

    Our spiritual souls reside in our material bodies under the 4D conditions we’re in.

    We interact with this world through our material bodies.

    If you don’t like it, submit your complaint to our Creatot.

    BTW, your breathing illustration reminded me of this old British song:

    Breathe
    Pink Floyd

    Breathe, breathe in the air
    Don’t be afraid to care
    Leave but don’t leave me
    Look around and choose your own ground
    For long you live and high you fly
    And smiles you’ll give and tears you cry
    And all you touch and all you see
    Is all your life will ever be
    Run rabbit run
    Dig that hole,forget the sun
    And when at last the work is done
    Don’t sit down it’s time to start another one
    For long you live and high you fly
    But only if you ride the tide
    And balanced on the biggest wave
    You race towards an early grave

  13. 13
    jdk says:

    jawa, those were my mistakes. I write hurriedly, and don’t proofread well, sometimes.

  14. 14
    jawa says:

    jdk @11:

    Perhaps you’re right about the material world.

    Here’s a strong evidence that supports your opinion:

    Material Girl
    Song by Madonna
    Some boys kiss me
    Some boys hug me
    I think they’re ok
    If they don’t give me proper credit
    I just walk away
    They can beg and they can plead
    But they can’t see the light (that’s right)
    ‘Cause the boy with the cold hard cash
    Is always Mister Right
    ‘Cause we are living in a material world
    And I am a material girl
    You know that we are living in a material world
    And I am a material girl
    Some boys romance
    Some boys slow dance
    That’s all right with me
    If they can’t raise my interest then I
    Have to let them be
    Some boys try and some boys lie but
    I don’t let them play (no way)
    Only boys who save their pennies
    Make my rainy day
    ‘Cause we’re living in a material world
    And I am a material girl
    You know that we are living in a material world
    And I am a material girl
    Living in a material world
    And I am a material girl
    You know that we are living in a material world
    And I am a material girl
    Living in a material world (material)
    Living in a material world
    Living in a material world (material)
    Living in a material world
    Boys may come and boys may go
    And that’s all right you see
    Experience has made me rich
    And now they’re after me
    ‘Cause everybody’s living in a material world
    And I am a material girl
    You know that we are living in a material world
    And I am a material girl
    Living in a material world
    And I am a material girl
    You know that we are living in a material world
    And I am a material girl
    A material, a material, a material, a material world
    Living in a material world (material)
    Living in a material world
    Living in a material world (material)
    Living in a material world
    Living in a material world (material)
    Living in a material world
    Living in a material world (material)
    Living in a material
    Songwriters: PETER BROWN,ROBERT RANS
    © EMI Music Publishing

  15. 15
    ET says:

    jdk:

    Let’s take a fundamental physical process: when you breath in air, oxygen is taken in and carbon dioxide is given out. The process by how this happens is fairly well know.

    Many processes are known. The question is how did it come to be the way it is?

    Is there an immaterial aspect to this process?

    Do you think it just happens? And for dead people it just stopped happening? What about your heart? Does it beat properly just because it does? Is there a data punch card, magnetic tape or disk or how do you think it all just works?

    This is a purely chemical process.

    But it can’t sing or dance and it don’t walk. (HT Neil Diamond) It will never produce a work of art, nor music nor feel anything. It will never contemplate its existence. It will never hunger.

    In other words one of deese tings is not like the other. I find it interesting that you would try to compare our existence to a common chemical reaction, even given the fact that you cannot account for the existence of those chemicals- matter, energy and information- the information necessary to produce the elements just the way they are so that they function as designed in this universe.

    Yes, Jack, it’s Intelligent Design all the way down. However designer intervention isn’t always required

  16. 16
    jdk says:

    re 14: I haven’t said we live in a exclusively material world. I don’t think you are reading what I’ve written very closely, but are rather just jumping to conclusions about what you think I believe. And the Madonna song is totally irrelevant, as she is using material in a different sense than the philosophical one.

  17. 17
    jdk says:

    ET writes,

    The question is how did it come to be the way it is?

    That is an interesting question, but I clearly said that it is not the question I am talking about right now. I will accept that it’s all designed. What I’m trying to understand are your notions about how the world works: what role does this immaterial aspect play in the everyday course of events.

    You write,

    I find it interesting that you would try to compare our existence to a common chemical reaction

    I mentioned an organic process and an inorganic process in order to see what differences you see in the two: do both partake of the immaterial aspect in the same way, or not. I did not “try to compare our existence to a common chemical reaction.” I’m asking you what you think the differences are.

    You write,

    that you cannot account for the existence of those chemicals- matter, energy and information- the information necessary to produce the elements just the way they are so that they function as designed in this universe.

    Yes, Jack, it’s Intelligent Design all the way down. However designer intervention isn’t always required.

    You’re right, I can’t account for the nature of the universe. As I’ve said, I’ll accept that all the qualities of the world are designed.

    What I am asking questions about is the immaterial nature of the world, in your philosophy. For instance, is “Designer Intervention” involved in electrolysis? Is Designer intervention involved in the exchange of gases in the lungs when you breathe? Is the immaterial aspect of the universe only present when the Designer intervenes, or is it present at other times, or at all times in all events, organic and inorganic.

    Can you explain what you think about these questions?

    (And, to repeat, I’m not asking about how the world got this way – I will accept that it is designed. I’m interested in your understanding of how the world works, and especially you ideas about how dualism is expressed.)

  18. 18
    ET says:

    jdk:

    For instance, is “Designer Intervention” involved in electrolysis?

    Electrolysis:
    In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a technique that uses a direct electric current (DC) to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction.

    According to that designer intervention is required.

    Is Designer intervention involved in the exchange of gases in the lungs when you breathe?

    Yes, Jack, the person breathing would be the designer and the exchange of gasses would happen per the design.

    Information is the immaterial part of the nature of the world. Are your thoughts physical, Jack? Do they actually weigh you down?

    And BTW, how the world got this way has everything to do with how it works and your dualism is expressed. So you really can’t ignore it.

  19. 19
    ET says:

    jdk:

    I don’t think you are reading what I’ve written very closely, but are rather just jumping to conclusions about what you think I believe.

    Then why don’t you just say, Jack?

  20. 20
    jdk says:

    re-read 7, ET, in my reply to UB and JAD.: that is what I have to say on this topic. The existence of consciousness does not necessarily imply dualism. That’s my point.

  21. 21
    PaoloV says:

    jdk @16,

    Hey, relax! jawa was joking. 🙂

    The only truth is this:

    Christ made everything that is. Anything else that conflicts with that truth is nonsense.

  22. 22
    ET says:

    jdk:

    The existence of consciousness does not necessarily imply dualism.

    You mean we can’t necessarily infer dualism from the existence of consciousness. Maybe not by itself but given everything that goes with it and the choices, it is a safe bet

  23. 23
    jdk says:

    Good, ET. We agree on my main point, then.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK & DD:

    To produce comments as above, you acted intelligently, governed by principles of reason and responsibility (however modified such may be by your circumstances, perceptions, view of the world etc).

    Neither responsibility nor reasonableness/rationality are or can be properties of a blindly mechanical and/or chance-influenced computational substrate. Rocks, however refined or reshaped (our bodies, brains etc are formed of “the dust of the earth”) as computational substrates, have no contemplative dreams. They are simply and inherently blind, GIGO-limited machines that are inherently non-rational. Whether a mechanical chain of ball and disk integrators, or electronic op amp networks or chains of neurons makes but little difference. If you doubt me, ponder the recalls on CPU chips found to be defective. The chips neither knew nor cared that they were defective, they just churned away, manipulating signals and codes per organisation and set up or programming.

    If you want a first-level elaboration, here is Reppert amplifying C S Lewis:

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

    So, exhibit A on the need to transcend matter to account for mind is our own morally governed mindedness — as in, do you or do you not hold yourself to be governed by duties to truth and to sound, prudent reasoning. On patent pain of reducing such to delusion and transforming the life of the mind into chaos.

    Going beyond, the world of life and the physics of the cosmos seen to be at a fine-tuned operating point for such C-chem, aqueous medium, cell based life, show many strong signs of design by intelligence. This is excellent grounds for inferring mind antecedent to matter and being the causal agent for the existence of such a world.

    Where, if mind or even Soul is antecedent to and the root cause of the material, natural world, it should be utterly unsurprising that creatures in that world can and should be minded and conscience-guided even in the practice of using minds.

    I have often suggested Eng Derek Smith’s two-tier controller cybernetic loop model as a useful framework to ponder how say a brain can be an i/o controller supervised, influenced and guided by something more. With quantum level influences as keys to the interface.

    We need to re-think what the dominance of evolutionary materialist scientism tends to make seem plausible or implausible. Recognising that such views are inescapably self-referentially incoherent and so irretrievably self-falsifying would be a good beginning. One that clears the table for sounder thinking.

    KF

  25. 25
    jdk says:

    I wasn’t discussing naturalism or “evolutionary materialist scientism”, which I made clear.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, a discussion of dualism in our time and civilisation necessarily has those matters in its context. KF

  27. 27
    jdk says:

    True, kf. It seems that you can expand virtually any conversation out to the biggest issues about reality, but that doesn’t make discussions about specific issues very fruitful. If I specifically discuss a topic in the context of accepting design, and consciousness, and then move on to discussing whether the universe is dualist or unitary in respect, your responding with your standards points about “evolutionary materialist scientism” is not very relevant.

  28. 28
    ET says:

    jdk:

    We agree on my main point, then.

    You mean this?:

    That is, consciousness and physical may both be products of one underlying reality, not two separate parts of reality.

    Was that ever a thing- that consciousness and the physical are two separate parts of reality, whatever that means?

  29. 29
    jdk says:

    Uh, that’s what dualism means.

  30. 30
    ET says:

    Maybe that is your misunderstanding or misinterpretation of it. Or maybe I just don’t understand what you are saying and we are talking past each other.

    My take is that they aren’t necessarily separate parts of reality. It’s just that the mind is not reducible to the brain. Similar to how computers are not reducible to its hardware

  31. 31
    FourFaces says:

    jdk:

    The existence of consciousness does not necessarily imply dualism.

    You’re kidding me? Consciousness necessarily and logically requires two opposite and complementary entities: a knower and a known.

  32. 32
    Deputy Dog says:

    @ET #30
    So, it sounds like you are a proponent of Property Dualism, but not Substance Dualism

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism

    It was Substance Dualism that I was objecting to, in my original comment. I can get on board with Property Dualism, since I am a big fan of emergent properties.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    Deputy Dog:

    So, it sounds like you are a proponent of Property Dualism, …

    Then it should be easy for you to make the case and yet I doubt that you can.

  34. 34
    jdk says:

    re 30, to ET: We are saying, at least in part, the same thing. If mind is not reducible to matter (the brain), then it is a separate part of reality. I think we are saying the same thing about your position, which would be a form of dualism.

  35. 35
    ET says:

    jdk:

    If mind is not reducible to matter (the brain), then it is a separate part of reality.

    OK so software is a separate part of reality than the hardware, re computers?

  36. 36
    jdk says:

    re 32, and DD: Property Dualism as explained by Wikipedia is the kind of thing I am referring to, with a further distinction. Wikipedia says,

    Property dualism describes a category of positions in the philosophy of mind which hold that, although the world is composed of just one kind of substance—the physical kind—there exist two distinct kinds of properties: physical properties and mental properties. In other words, it is the view that non-physical, mental properties (such as beliefs, desires and emotions) inhere in some physical substances (namely brains).

    What I would amend is the statement that the one kind of substance is the physical kind. I am offering the idea that the “one kind of substance” is neither the physical nor the mental, but rather an underlying unitary substrate of reality from which both the physical and the mental arise.

  37. 37
    ET says:

    jdk:

    I am offering the idea that the “one kind of substance” is neither the physical nor the mental, but rather an underlying unitary substrate of reality from which both the physical and the mental arise.

    That’s Intelligent Design, Jack- ID is that underlying unitary substrate of reality from which both the physical and the mental arise.

  38. 38
    Deputy Dog says:

    @ET #33

    I made my case against Substance Dualism: billions of examples of minds associated with physical brains and none that exist without them.

    As for Property Dualism, I think I agreed with you on that.

  39. 39
    ET says:

    Deputy Dog:

    I made my case against Substance Dualism: billions of examples of minds associated with physical brains and none that exist without them.

    Except that isn’t making a case. It’s just you and your ignorant opinion. And I don’t adhere to property dualism. You are confused.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, the answer you seem to seek is right there already. Notice, the limits of computational substrates issue? That means that the world that contains rational, responsible creatures such as we are cannot be wholly material. A Physicalist monism fails as it cannot address our reality. The cosmos cannot wholly be physical. KF

  41. 41
    jdk says:

    I’m not arguing for a physicalist monism. (I’m not actually arguing for any particular position: I’m mostly trying to establish that there are other possibilities than consciousness necessarily implying dualism.)

    See 36: “I am offering the idea that the “one kind of substance” is neither the physical nor the mental, but rather an underlying unitary substrate of reality from which both the physical and the mental arise.”

  42. 42
    ET says:

    jdk- Consciousness does not exist in a vacuum. And ID is that underlying unitary substrate of reality from which both the physical and the mental arise.

  43. 43
    jdk says:

    Sounds like you’re a Taoist, ET! 🙂

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, there are certain empirical controls tied to the problem of reduction to grand delusion. We observe a material world. If that is reduced to matrix-like delusion, then one self-undermines ability to perceive, understand and reason. Where rational, responsible consciousness is our first fact of experience, the one through which we access others. If on the other hand you try to reduce mindedness to in effect computation on a physical substrate, you undermine reason and responsibility. Thus, the plausible conclusion is we inhabit a reality where both mind and matter are actual and interact. The challenge is to identify and assess on comparative difficulties. Cutting to the chase scene, ethical theism is the option to beat. KF

  45. 45
    ET says:

    jdk:

    Sounds like you’re a Taoist, ET!

    Sounds like you are clueless, Jack.

  46. 46
    jdk says:

    re 45: Taoism posits an underlying substrate from which both the physical and mental arises: it’s called the Tao. You just called that substrate ID. There are similarities here.

  47. 47
    jdk says:

    re 44: kf, can you read? I am not arguing for reducing the mind to matter. I am accepting the premise the “plausible conclusion [that] we inhabit a reality where both mind and matter are actual and interact.”

    What I am putting forth for consideration is that these are not two separate aspects of reality, so that mind could exist without matter, but rather two intertwined manifestations of an underlying oneness that is neither mind nor matter.

    I know you won’t agree with that, but it would be nice to think that you are actually understanding what I’m saying rather arguing against things which I am not saying.

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    The Mind is not the same thing as the Brain.

    One simple way of demonstrating that the mind is not the same thing as the brain comes from utilizing the ‘Law of Identity’, (which is a basic law of logic), to separate properties of mind from properties of the brain:

    Law of thought –
    The three traditional laws
    1. The law of identity
    2. The law of non-contradiction
    3. The law of excluded middle
    ,,,,Commentary of Aristotle’s Metaphysics – a commentary which is full of the most ingenious and original views, – not only asserts to the law of Identity a coordinate dignity with the law of Contradiction, but, against Aristotle, he maintains that the principle of Identity, and not the principle of Contradiction, is the one absolutely first. The formula in which Andreas expressed it was Ens est ens. Subsequently to this author, the question concerning the relative priority of the two laws of Identity and of Contradiction became one much agitated in the schools; though there were also found some who asserted to the law of Excluded Middle this supreme rank.” [From Hamilton LECT. V. LOGIC.65-66]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_thought#History

    Michael Egnor, who is a brain surgeon and a professor of neurosurgery at SUNY, Stony Brook, states the irreconcilable properties of mind compared to brain, via the law of identity, as such:

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Michael Egnor – 2008
    Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: –
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....13961.html

    Alvin Plantinga humorously uses a clever thought experiment, that imagines that we have a ‘beetle body’, to highlight the fact, via the ‘law of identity’, that the mind cannot possibly be the same thing as the brain.

    Alvin Plantinga and the Modal Argument (for the existence of the mind/soul) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOTn_wRwDE0

    I would like to focus in on two properties of mind that are irreconcilable with the belief that the mind is ‘nothing but’ the brain. Those two irreducible properties of mind that I would like to focus in on are persistence of self identity and free will.

    In the following article entitled “Science and the Soul,,,

    Science and the Soul – Michael Egnor – June 2018
    https://www.plough.com/en/topics/justice/reconciliation/science-and-the-soul

    ,,Dr. Egnor comments that,,,

    “The neuroscientist Roger Sperry studied scores of split-brain patients. He found, surprisingly, that in ordinary life the patients showed little effect. Each patient was still one person. The intellect and will – the capacity to have abstract thought and to choose – remained unified.,,, The most remarkable result of Sperry’s Nobel Prize­–winning work was that the person’s intellect and will – what we might call the soul – remained undivided.
    The brain can be cut in half, but the intellect and will cannot.”

    And Egnor then goes on to comment that,,,

    “Penfield noted that patients always knew that the movement or sensation elicited by brain stimulation was done to them, but not by them. When Penfield stimulated the arm area of the brain, patients always said, “You made my arm move” and never said, “I moved my arm.” Patients always retained a correct awareness of agency. There was a part of the patient – the will – that Penfield could not reach with his electrode.
    Penfield began his career as a materialist. He finished his career as an emphatic dualist. He insisted that there is an aspect of the self – the intellect and the will – that is not the brain, and that cannot be elicited by stimulation of the brain.”

    And then Dr. Egnor goes on to state,

    “Consistently he (Libet) found that the conscious decision to push the button was preceded by about half a second by a brain wave, which he called the readiness potential. Then a half-second later the subject became aware of his decision. It appeared at first that the subjects were not free; their brains made the decision to move and they followed it.
    But Libet looked deeper. He asked his subjects to veto their decision immediately after they made it – to not push the button. Again, the readiness potential appeared a half-second before conscious awareness of the decision to push the button, but Libet found that the veto – he called it “free won’t” – had no brain wave corresponding to it.
    The brain, then, has activity that corresponds to a pre-conscious urge to do something. But we are free to veto or accept this urge. The motives are material. The veto, and implicitly the acceptance, is an immaterial act of the will.
    Libet noted the correspondence between his experiments and the traditional religious understanding of human beings. We are, he said, beset by a sea of inclinations, corresponding to material activity in our brains, which we have the free choice to reject or accept. It is hard not to read this in more familiar terms: we are tempted by sin, yet we are free to choose.”

    Thus, according to the research cited by Dr. Egnor, free will and sense of self,(and/or ‘persistence of self identity’), are the two primary properties of mind that simply refuse to be reduced to the material processes of the brain.

    Interestingly, it is precisely these two properties on mind, i.e. free will and ‘persistence of self identity’, that also most dramatically stand out in quantum mechanics.

    In regards to free will. First off it is important to note that the atheist commits intellectual suicide in his denial of free will. As Martin Cothan states in the following article “The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.”

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    Thus if free will did not exist in some meaningful sense then the atheist himself would be incapable of making a rationally coherent argument.

    Besides this catastrophic epistemological failure that is inherent in the very heart of the atheist’s worldview in his denial of free will, empirical evidence from quantum mechanics itself (which is our most accurate scientific description of reality thus far), also now corroborates the reality of free will.

    As the atheist Steven Weinberg stated:

    (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://www.nybooks.com/article.....mechanics/

    Advances in quantum mechanics, specifically contextuality and/or the Kochen-Speckter theorem, now validates the ‘instrumentalist approach’ and demonstrates that free will is very much a part of quantum mechanics.

    In contextuality we find that “In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation” and “Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment. Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. ”

    Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
    In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
    Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
    Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-w.....antum.html

    And as leading experimental physicist Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    Here are a few more references on the axiomatic position of free will within quantum mechanics:

    Antoine Suarez
    Excerpt: Suarez cites the Free Will Theorem of John Conway and Simon Kochen as making free will an axiom (within quantum mechanics), without which science itself could not proceed.
    http://www.informationphilosop.....ts/suarez/

    The free will theorem of John H. Conway and Simon B. Kochen,,,
    Since the free will theorem applies to any arbitrary physical theory consistent with the axioms, it would not even be possible to place the information into the universe’s past in an ad hoc way. The argument proceeds from the Kochen-Specker theorem, which shows that the result of any individual measurement of spin was not fixed (pre-determined) independently of the choice of measurements.
    http://www.informationphilosop.....eorem.html

    In regards to the mental attribute of the ‘persistence of self identity’, here is an interesting article entitled Einstein vs. Bergson, science vs. philosophy and the meaning of time

    Einstein vs Bergson, science vs philosophy and the meaning of time – 24 June 2015
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionat.....me/6539568

    In his ‘philosophy of time’, Bergson had clearly elucidated the fact that there was a clear distinction to be made between the subjective experience of person being outside of time as he watched time passing by and the physical time that clocks measure. Whereas, Einstein, on the other hand, defiantly declared to the philosophers that “The time of the philosophers did not exist.” In other words, Einstein held that only physical time exited and that Bergson’s belief that there was a mental perspective of time that was outside of time was wrong.

    This disagreement between Bergson and Einstein, between physical time and mental time, and as this following article points out, was one of the primary reasons that Einstein never received a Nobel prize for relativity:

    Einstein vs Bergson, science vs philosophy and the meaning of time – 24 June 2015
    Excerpt: Bergson was outraged, but the philosopher did not take it lying down. A few months later Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the law of photoelectric effect, an area of science that Canales noted, ‘hardly jolted the public’s imagination’. In truth, Einstein coveted recognition for his work on relativity.
    Bergson inflicted some return humiliation of his own. By casting doubt on Einstein’s theoretical trajectory, Bergson dissuaded the (Nobel) committee from awarding (Einstein) the prize for relativity. In 1922, the jury was still out on the correct interpretation of time.
    So began a dispute that festered for years and played into the larger rift between physics and philosophy, science and the humanities.
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionat.....me/6539568

    In the following video entitled “The Mind and Its Now”, Stanley Jaki, who is also a well respected philosopher in his own right, recounts another encounter that Einstein had, in 1935, with another respected philosopher who was named Rudolf Carnap

    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    I would like to focus in on exactly what Einstein was asked by Rudolf Carnap on that train in 1935. Einstein was specifically asked “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”
    – Rudolf Carnap

    And again, Einstein’s answer was categorical. Einstein answered: “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”
    – Albert Einstein

    Contrary to what Einstein himself thought possible for experimental physics, ‘the experience of ‘the now’’ is VERY MUCH a part of experimental physics, especially quantum physics.

    Although I could references several experiments,,,

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFFtZ301j4

    Although I could references several experiments, I hold the following delayed choice experiment to be one of the most dramatic demonstrations of ‘the now’s’ central importance in quantum mechanics.
    Specifically, in the following experiment, that was performed with atoms instead of photons, it was proved that “measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.
    Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler’s experiment then asks – at which point does the object decide?
    Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which,, has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips.
    The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler’s original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light.
    “Quantum physics’ predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-q.....dness.html

    The Theistic implications of this experiment are fairly obvious. As Professor Scott Aaronson quipped, “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists,,, But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

    Thus both of the primary mental attributes of mind, (free will and persistence of self identity (and/or the ‘experience of the now’), which Dr. Egnor had found to be completely irreducible to brain states, are also found to be foundational, even axiomatic, to our understanding of quantum mechanics.

    Moreover, besides giving us empirical evidence for the reality of our immaterial minds, quantum mechanics, via massive quantum entanglement/coherence now being found in every biological molecule of our material bodies, also gives us evidence that we each have a immaterial soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video
    https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y

  50. 50
    FourFaces says:

    A Yin-Yang reality explains everything. Everything is ONE. If not, nature tries its best to correct the imbalance.

  51. 51
    jdk says:

    Taoist philosophy does not say that everything is one.

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    At post 1 Deputy Dog states:

    “I can point to roughly 7.6 billion examples of minds that are associated with physical brains, and precisely zero examples of minds that are not associated with physical brains.”

    Besides the fact that Deputy Dog is (purposely?) forgetting about tens of millions of Near Death Experiences,,

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    Besides the fact that Deputy Dog is (purposely?) forgetting about tens of millions of Near Death Experiences, is the fact that Deputy Dog has no evidence that anyone else is having a subjective conscious experience save for himself. That is to say that Deputy Dog, although he may fervently believe that other minds exist, has no way of scientifically proving that other people are indeed having a subjective conscious experience.

    That is to say, I know for 100% fact that I really do exist as a real person and am having a personal subjective experience, but there is no way for atheists to ever to scientifically prove to me that they really exist as a real people who are having a ‘real’ subjective conscious experience, and that they are not just some type of ‘philosophical zombie’ going through the motions of acting like a real person!

    Philosophical Zombies – cartoon
    http://existentialcomics.com/comic/11

    David Chalmers on Consciousness (Descartes, Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo

    In fact, the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness is so far beyond any coherent materialistic explanation that Dennett once humorously stated, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.

    “(Daniel) Dennett concludes, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.”
    J.W. SCHOOLER & C.A. SCHREIBER – Experience, Meta-consciousness, and the Paradox of Introspection – 2004
    https://www.scribd.com/document/183053947/Experience-Meta-consciousness-and-the-Paradox-of-Introspection

    Dennett is hardly alone in his outright denial of his own conscious experience:

    The Consciousness Deniers – Galen Strawson – March 13, 2018
    Excerpt: What is the silliest claim ever made? The competition is fierce, but I think the answer is easy. Some people have denied the existence of consciousness: conscious experience, the subjective character of experience, the “what-it-is-like” of experience. Next to this denial—I’ll call it “the Denial”—every known religious belief is only a little less sensible than the belief that grass is green.
    The Denial began in the twentieth century and continues today in a few pockets of philosophy and psychology and, now, information technology. It had two main causes: the rise of the behaviorist approach in psychology, and the naturalistic approach in philosophy. These were good things in their way, but they spiraled out of control and gave birth to the Great Silliness.,,,
    ,,, I need to comment on what is being denied—consciousness, conscious experience, experience for short.
    What is it? Anyone who has ever seen or heard or smelled anything knows what it is; anyone who has ever been in pain, or felt hungry or hot or cold or remorseful, dismayed, uncertain, or sleepy, or has suddenly remembered a missed appointment. All these things involve what are sometimes called “qualia”—that is to say, different types or qualities of conscious experience. What I am calling the Denial is the denial that anyone has ever really had any of these experiences.
    Perhaps it’s not surprising that most Deniers deny that they’re Deniers. “Of course, we agree that consciousness or experience exists,” they say—but when they say this they mean something that specifically excludes qualia.
    Who are the Deniers? I have in mind—at least—those who fully subscribe to something called “philosophical behaviorism” as well as those who fully subscribe to something called “functionalism” in the philosophy of mind. Few have been fully explicit in their denial, but among those who have been, we find Brian Farrell, Paul Feyerabend, Richard Rorty, and the generally admirable Daniel Dennett. Ned Block once remarked that Dennett’s attempt to fit consciousness or “qualia” into his theory of reality “has the relation to qualia that the US Air Force had to so many Vietnamese villages: he destroys qualia in order to save them.”
    One of the strangest things the Deniers say is that although it seems that there is conscious experience, there isn’t really any conscious experience: the seeming is, in fact, an illusion. The trouble with this is that any such illusion is already and necessarily an actual instance of the thing said to be an illusion.
    http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2.....s-deniers/

    Thus, not only can atheists not prove that anyone else is having a subjective conscious experience, when push comes to shove regarding the ‘hard problem of consciousness’, many leading atheists themselves end up insanely denying the reality of their very own subjective conscious experience.

    And such as it is with the atheist’s refusal to ever accept any evidence for the Mind of God.

    As Alvin Plantinga pointed out years ago in “God and Other Minds”, “the evidence for God is just as good as the evidence for other minds; and conversely, if there isn’t any evidence for God, then there is also no evidence that other minds exist,,,”

    Another interesting argument comes from the leading philosopher and Christian, Alvin Plantinga—he asked, what evidence does anyone have for the existence of other people’s minds? He argued cogently that the evidence for God is just as good as the evidence for other minds; and conversely, if there isn’t any evidence for God, then there is also no evidence that other minds exist—see God and Other Minds, Cornell University Press, repr. 1990.
    http://creation.com/atheism-is-more-rational

    Of supplemental note. The evidence that other minds exist is all around us. In fact the irrefutable proof of the reality of other minds is sitting right in front of you right now. As George Ellis stated: “The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt page 7: Top-down causation is prevalent at all levels in the brain: for example it is crucial to vision [24,25] as well as the relation of the individual brain to society [2]. The hardware (the brain) can do nothing without the excitations that animate it: indeed this is the difference between life and death. The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

  53. 53
    ET says:

    jdk:

    Taoism posits an underlying substrate from which both the physical and mental arises: it’s called the Tao. You just called that substrate ID. There are similarities here.

    Jack, you know very little about ID and I doubt your knowledge of Taoism.

  54. 54
    jdk says:

    Hmmm. Dunning-Kruger? I think you’re probably wrong about both of those things.

  55. 55
    ET says:

    jdk:

    I think you’re probably wrong about both of those things.

    So what? You definitely can’t demonstrate such a thing.

  56. 56
    ET says:

    Has anyone ever seen Jack K demonstrate correct knowledge of ID? Anyone?

  57. 57
    jdk says:

    I will point out that there is a difference between understanding ID, and being able to articulate it in some detail, and agreeing with it. I’m pretty sure I have a fairly accurate and nuanced understanding of the various ID arguments that have been made the past 15 years or so, although I vary a lot as to how much I think they have any substance.

    Also, there really isn’t just one “ID theory”, and in many ways not much specificity in many aspects of those theories.

  58. 58
    jdk says:

    But we have gotten way off-topic: I should know better than to respond to posts such as 53. My bad.

  59. 59
    ET says:

    1- There isn’t any evidence that the brain is reducible to matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions

    2- Information is neither matter nor energy

    3- Intelligent Design doesn’t see it at dualism

  60. 60
    jdk says:

    1. I think you mean “mind”, not brain.

    2. This is an interesting topic, and there are a number of perspectives on it.

    3. Doesn’t see what [as] dualism? Information, the mind, matter and energy???. It’s not clear what “it” you are referring to.

    Also, ask bornagain whether ID thinks that the soul and the body are aspects of one thing (not dualism), or two separate kinds of things (dualism), and see whether he agrees with you.

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, I am addressing monism vs dualism, and have first grounded that monism on physicalism fails; already a significant result, then went on to point out — barbed dismissals notwithstanding — how dismissal of the physical AND reduction of mind to computation lead to grand delusion and self-referential absurdity. That is again a valuable result, we must address the one and the many in a world where we are embodied, responsible, rational creatures in a physical domain. I can go on to show that no essentially passive underlying candidate root reality can account for a coherent world involving the one and the many, when we must address responsible, substantially free,rational mindedness that is morally governed and inhabiting a coherent, unified world order. Blind necessity cannot account for this, and blind chance cannot credibly ground rationality much less a morally governed order. The significance of functionally specific complex organisation and associated information in the observed order also points beyond mechanical necessity and/or equally blind chance, starting with cosmological fine tuning that facilitates C-chem, aqueous medium, terrestrial planet in galactic habitable zone life, points to purposeful intent acting through intelligent design. That we find ourselves morally governed, starting with duties of care to truth and reason, points to a moral government of the world we inhabit, from its root. (Root of reality is the only level where is and ought can be successfully unified.) This outlines the context in which I have suggested that ethical theism is the strong horse that wins the comparative difficulties context going away. KF

  62. 62
    ET says:

    jdk:

    1. I think you mean “mind”, not brain.

    No, I said what I meant. It takes immaterial information to produce a brain.

    2. This is an interesting topic, and there are a number of perspectives on it.

    Until someone can demonstrate otherwise I will stick to what is known.

    3. Doesn’t see what [as] dualism? Information, the mind, matter and energy???. It’s not clear what “it” you are referring to.

    It doesn’t see the mind/ brain disconnect as dualism because it was all part of the unified design.

    I reject the claim of dualism and its definitions as nothing more than materialistic claptrap. If materialists could support their claims then there wouldn’t be any need of it anyway. But they can’t so they need to invent bogus stuff like dualisms.

  63. 63
    jdk says:

    re 62: Methinks you do not know what dualism means. Theists are dualists: body and soul are different. (You might watch the video in the OP). Materialists rejects dualism: they are monists who believe all there is comes from one substance, the substance which underlies the physical world.

    Materialists are NOT claiming dualism. Your last paragraph above is all confused, and wrong, about who is claiming that dualism is true.

  64. 64
  65. 65
    ET says:

    I know what it means and I reject it. methinks you don’t know what reject means. And you have reading comprehension issues.

    Materialists created the word and definitions because they disagree with it. It is their convoluted claptrap. Then invented dualism in an attempt to make non-materialists look bad, somehow.

  66. 66
    jdk says:

    You should read some of the linked articles in the OP. The dualism/monism debate goes back to Plato, who was a dualist.

    For instance,

    1.2 History of dualism

    In dualism, ‘mind’ is contrasted with ‘body’, but at different times, different aspects of the mind have been the centre of attention. In the classical and mediaeval periods, it was the intellect that was thought to be most obviously resistant to a materialistic account: from Descartes on, the main stumbling block to materialist monism was supposed to be ‘consciousness’, of which phenomenal consciousness or sensation came to be considered as the paradigm instance.

    The classical emphasis originates in Plato’s Phaedo. Plato believed that the true substances are not physical bodies, which are ephemeral, but the eternal Forms of which bodies are imperfect copies. These Forms not only make the world possible, they also make it intelligible, because they perform the role of universals, or what Frege called ‘concepts’. It is their connection with intelligibility that is relevant to the philosophy of mind. Because Forms are the grounds of intelligibility, they are what the intellect must grasp in the process of understanding. In Phaedo Plato presents a variety of arguments for the immortality of the soul, but the one that is relevant for our purposes is that the intellect is immaterial because Forms are immaterial and intellect must have an affinity with the Forms it apprehends (78b4–84b8). This affinity is so strong that the soul strives to leave the body in which it is imprisoned and to dwell in the realm of Forms. It may take many reincarnations before this is achieved. Plato’s dualism is not, therefore, simply a doctrine in the philosophy of mind, but an integral part of his whole metaphysics.

    Dualistic philosophies have been central to western philosophy, including all Christian theologies.

    Your paragraph that “Materialists created the word and definitions because they disagree with it. It is their convoluted claptrap. Then invented dualism in an attempt to make non-materialists look bad, somehow.” is uninformed, to put it mildly.

  67. 67
    ET says:

    Oh my. ID doesn’t see the mind/ brain disconnect as dualism because it was all part of the unified design.

    Christians shouldn’t see the mind/ soul/ body disconnect as dualism because it is all part of their unified Creation.

    In other words the disconnect only exists in the minds of materialists. Even your reference talks about the materialists and their monism.

  68. 68
    jdk says:

    I think you would find that most Christian theologians would not agree with you that they “shouldn’t see the mind/ soul/ body disconnect as dualism.”

    So it is false when you say “In other words the disconnect only exists in the minds of materialists.” Christians would self-identify as dualists. Just watch the video in the OP.

    Watch the video in the OP: at 2:25 Turek says, we are dual beings. Christian theology is a philosophy of dualism.

    And sure, my quote also talks about monism. As I’ve said, the debate between the two views has been around since the beginning of western philosophy.I think you would find that most Christian theologians would not agree with you that they “shouldn’t see the mind/ soul/ body disconnect as dualism.”

    So it is false when you say “In other words the disconnect only exists in the minds of materialists.” Christians self-identify as dualists. Just watch the video in the OP.

    And sure, my quote also talks about monism. As I’ve said, the debate between the two views has been around since the beginning of western philosophy.

  69. 69
    jdk says:

    My post at 68 is a mess, as I have some duplicated sentences. This is better:

    I think you would find that most Christian theologians would not agree with you that they “shouldn’t see the mind/ soul/ body disconnect as dualism.”

    So it is false when you say “In other words the disconnect only exists in the minds of materialists.” Christians would self-identify as dualists.

    Just watch the video in the OP: at 2:25 Turek says, we are dual beings. Christian theology is a philosophy of dualism.

    And sure, my quote also talks about monism. As I’ve said, the debate between the two views has been around since the beginning of western philosophy. But Christianity, and other common philosophies here at UD that see immaterial reality as separate from material reality, are dualistic philosophies.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, ethical theism (and especially the Christian tradition) would not trace reality to two but to one. Namely, God the one and only true God, sovereign creator of the world. There is no duality in the root of reality. This is key to solving the many-sided problem of the one and the many leading to coherent cosmos with diversity and with freedom of responsible rational agency, without fundamental incoherence and chaos. And yes, that man is seen as an amphibian, does not change this. KF

  71. 71
    john_a_designer says:

    I think to understand consciousness we have to begin with a few fundamental questions:

    Do you exist? How do you know you exist? Is your existence real?

    I would argue you know you exist (like I do) because you are conscious of your existence. However, if the conscious experience of your existence is real then what is consciousness? Does it have a chemical formula? A circuit diagram? If consciousness is created by the brain, how does the brain create it? And, what exactly does it create? Is it something we can measure and analyze like electrons, protons or photons? We can “objectively” analyze the brain. Can we analyze and study consciousness in the same way?

    David Chalmers puts it this way:

    “Why should there be conscious experience at all? It is central to a subjective viewpoint, but from an objective viewpoint it is utterly unexpected. Taking the objective view, we can tell a story about how fields, waves, and particles in the spatiotemporal manifold interact in subtle ways, leading to the development of complex systems such as brains. In principle, there is no deep philosophical mystery in the fact that these systems can process information in complex ways, react to stimuli with sophisticated behavior, and even exhibit such complex capacities as learning, memory, and language. All this is impressive, but it is not metaphysically baffling. In contrast, the existence of conscious experience seems to be a new feature from this viewpoint. It is not something that one would have predicted from the other features alone. That is, consciousness is surprising. If all we knew about were the facts of physics, and even the facts about dynamics and information processing in complex systems, there would be no compelling reason to postulate the existence of conscious experience. If it were not for our direct evidence in the first-person case, the hypothesis would seem unwarranted; almost mystical, perhaps. Yet we know, directly, that there is conscious experience. The question is, how do we reconcile it with everything else we know?”

    ? David J. Chalmers, The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory

    I would argue that if consciousness can’t be studied in the same way then ontologically it is different and distinct from the physical things we study in science. If it’s different and distinct from physical world then that’s dualism.

  72. 72
    jdk says:

    Yes, kf, Christianity traces back to one God. But in this world, as Turek say, human beings are dual creatures, with a material body and an immaterial soul.

    Do you think that is an accurate statement about Christian theology?

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: The design inference does not address ultimate reality, but instead identifies intelligent design on tested reliable observable signs. The worldviews discussion is at another level. And, it is clear from the above that attempting to reduce mindedness to a computational substrate undermines rationality itself. Trying to suggest that the observable physical world is grand delusion ends up undermining rationality. We must deal with an empirical order that manifests coherence with diversity, including mindedness in embodied beings. Which does not by itself address the world root and how it grounds coherence.

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, that we are amphibians does not entail that physical reality needs to be an ultimate or necessary aspect of the root of reality. There is a whole doctrine of creation with a beginning of the physical order of being. En arche, en o logos, in the beginning the Word was, and without him was not anything made that was made. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The beginningless initiates the beginning, and that beginningless is at root rationality himself. KF

  75. 75

    jdk,

    You said that you think the monistic “substance” is something other than either mind or matter, but produces both mind and matter (and their connectivity with each other).

    My question is, why posit a root kind of substance (in the same sense that one might postulate liquid water as the root substance that can form both ice and vapor) – when a far more elegant and experience-based option is available?

    We already know mind can entirely produce the appearance and experience of dualistic “mind & matter” when we dream. There’s no need to introduce another substance.

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I would argue that the mind of God — think here, en arche en o logos — is fully capable of creating energy and from energy a material world. As in, classically, let there be light. For, we also have abundant evidence of a physical world. Where, once we have mind at root of reality, it should not be astonishing that the mental and material can interact, with information as a key bridge. I have already pointed to the Smith cybernetic loop model and to the possibility of quantum level influences on neurons and networks, just for discussion. KF

  77. 77
    ET says:

    There is only ONE reality, though, Jack. With ID the ONE reality includes the fact that mind and body, while connected, are not one in the same. With Christianity, the mind, body and soul are all connected but they are not one in the same.

    So, no, we are not dual anything. We are one.

  78. 78
    john_a_designer says:

    It is a mistake for the anti-dualist to argue that Cartesian substance dualism is the only kind of dualism. For example, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor embraces a Thomist-Aristotelian view known as hylemorphism which basically sees mind and body, consciousness and matter as two sides of the same coin.

    The scholastic philosophers, following Aristotle and Aquinas, understood the soul as the animating principle of the body… Human beings are composites of soul and body, integrated form and matter, like (in Aristotle’s phrase) the shape of wax and the matter of the wax are just different aspects of one thing — the wax itself. The scholastics didn’t believe there was a Hard Problem.

    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/07/what_is_conscio/

    In fact Egnor sees Descarte’s substance dualism as problematic and misleading (as I do, though I’m no expert.)

    René Descartes in the 17th century created the Hard Problem, out of whole cloth. Descartes cast aside the hylemorphic (matter-form) metaphysics of the scholastics, and replaced it, in his psychology, with substance dualism. Descartes proposed that the mind and the body were separate substances, rather than just two principles inherent to one human being. The body (res extensa) and the soul (res cogitans) were joined, in Cartesian metaphysics, to make a whole person, but he identified the person with the res cogitans (the intellectual substance), and depicted the res extensa (the physical substance) as essentially a machine. After Descartes, a human being was a “ghost in a machine.” His new psychology solved no problems, and created many. How do the soul and the body interact, if they are completely different substances? If the soul is separable from the body, how is the soul to be identified as belonging to one body and not another?

    Does Egnor’s hylemorphic view explain everything? No, not really.

    However, anyone who makes a truth claim has the burden of proof. Therefore, a materialist just cannot claim that dualism is false without explaining what consciousness is and how it came into existence from mindless matter. If he can’t answer questions like those he is not justified in making the argument that any form of dualism is false.

  79. 79
    jdk says:

    wjm writes,

    You said that you think the monistic “substance” is something other than either mind or matter, but produces both mind and matter (and their connectivity with each other).

    Actually, I didn’t say I think that is true: What I said, and am arguing, is that it is possibly true, and therefore the existence of consciousness doesn’t necessarily imply strict substance dualism. But I do think that the idea of a monistic substance has some merit, and in my quite agnostic opinion is more likely than dualism.

    You write,

    My question is, why posit a root kind of substance (in the same sense that one might postulate liquid water as the root substance that can form both ice and vapor) – when a far more elegant and experience-based option is available?

    We already know mind can entirely produce the appearance and experience of dualistic “mind & matter” when we dream. There’s no need to introduce another substance.

    I don’t think dreaming is a compelling argument to posit mind as the root substance, and, as I have repeatedly said, although you haven’t responded, I don’t think the QM interpretations that claim mind as the root substance are compelling, and certainly not a consensual perspective on QM.

  80. 80
    ET says:

    jdk:

    But I do think that the idea of a monistic substance has some merit, and in my quite agnostic opinion is more likely than dualism.

    Except there isn’t any substance to it and there isn’t any reality in which monism is more likely than what we have- Intelligent Designed, connected but sperate minds and bodies.

  81. 81
    ET says:

    Norbert Weiner- who was an authority on information said:

    “Information is information, neither matter nor energy. Any materialism which disregards this, will not survive one day.”

  82. 82
    john_a_designer says:

    In another article Egnor argues…

    that, contrary to the hyperbolic claims of materialists, modern neuroscience accords quite well with dualist (and hylomorphic) understandings of the mind-brain relationship. The pioneer in the scientific study of the relationship between the brain and the mind was UCSF neurophysiologist Benjamin Libet, who described his own understanding of the mind-brain relationship as essentially property dualism. Other leaders in neuroscience, such as neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield (the father of epilepsy surgery), Sir John Eccles (Nobel Laurate in medicine for his pioneering work on neuronal synapses) and Charles Sherrington (the father of modern neuroscience) were explicit dualists. The inference to dualism in neuroscience has been emphasized by UCLA neurologist and neuroscientist Jeffery Schwartz, who has documented the substantial evidence that mental changes can induce measurable changes in brain function. Obviously these observations aren’t decisive; a materialist could assert that the brain changes were induced by other brain changes, and that the mental states were epiphenomenal, but the salient point is that advances in neuroscience admit dualist as well as materialist interpretations.

    https://evolutionnews.org/2009/01/daniel_dennett_call_your_offic/

    In the case of Wilder Penfield he arrived at his belief in dualism as a result of his pioneering work in neuro-surgery. Similarly, Jeffery Schwartz’s work with OCD patients led him to reject the materialistic presuppositions that formed the so-called scientific consensus at the time. He found that the therapies based on behavioral (materialistic) psychology to be dehumanizing to those afflicted with obsessive-compulsive disorders. He pioneered his own therapy which emphasized the patients will power. He came to the conclusion that human mind and volition are not the same as brain function. In other words, I am not my brain. Human personality, mind and volition stand over and above the brain. That sounds like a form of dualism to me.

  83. 83

    jdk said:

    I don’t think dreaming is a compelling argument to posit mind as the root substance, and, as I have repeatedly said, although you haven’t responded, I don’t think the QM interpretations that claim mind as the root substance are compelling, and certainly not a consensual perspective on QM.

    Whether or not such interpretations of QM are compelling or consensual doesn’t change the fact such interpretations are entirely consistent with the experimental evidence.

    Also, we already have an example of mind entirely creating the experience of a “material world” in which the mind is operating – dreams. The mind can even do this while we are awake in many cases.

    It seems to me the starting point of monism should that “matter” is an experiential quality of the mind. No need to point to some “unknown substance” when mind is already known to be capable, at least by example and in principle, of handling the generation of a “matter” category of experience.

  84. 84

    kf said:

    WJM, I would argue that the mind of God — think here, en arche en o logos — is fully capable of creating energy and from energy a material world. As in, classically, let there be light. For, we also have abundant evidence of a physical world. Where, once we have mind at root of reality, it should not be astonishing that the mental and material can interact, with information as a key bridge. I have already pointed to the Smith cybernetic loop model and to the possibility of quantum level influences on neurons and networks, just for discussion. KF

    “Let there be light” is meaningless without anyone or anything around to experience the light, because e-m radiation is not “light” unless something can see (experience) it.

    If God is efficient, there’s no reason to actually create a physical world AND the experience of it. There is only the need to create the experience. IOW, there is no physical world to experience; there is only information potential that can be interpreted and experienced AS a physical world by a particular, individual mind – or a group of them. That’s my view, anyway 🙂

    IMO, this has already been solved – mind is the root of experience. There is no physical world, per se. The problem is that mind is incredibly ill-defined and largely ignored in science.

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, light is photons, energy. Thence, mass and matter via a famous equation. KF

  86. 86

    KF,

    Does a blind person experience photons as light? Do photons create the experience of light in dreams?

    Light is the experience of a conscious entity. Photons are not “light.”

    All experience is a mental experience. Try having an experience without, or outside of, your mind. Experience = mind. The theory of an external, physical world is just that – a theory based upon interpretation of mental experiences.

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, light can be perceived but antecedent to that it is a key form of energy, in the form of photons. And as light is in effect present in a radiation field, this implies the origin of the space-time, temporal-causal domain also. Many have suggested, we here see a description of the singularity leading onward to the ongoing stretching out of space itself. Hence the half-jokes about the First Church of Christ, Big Bang, with Sir Fred Hoyle as reluctant evangelist. KF

  88. 88

    KF,

    There is no “antecedent to perception” other then in theoretical form. It’s not logically possible. We can only theorize about that which is prior to or beyond our capacity to perceive (naturally or via instrumentation).

    What is “energy”? The term represents perceived patterns and behaviors. Just because we give it a term that reifies those patterned behaviors as if there is a “thing” beyond those patterns, doesn’t give that theory any added weight.

    This is basic Plato’s Cave philosophy. The theory that something exists outside of the cave of our experience is ultimately just that – a theory. That’s all it can be because there is no way out of the cave.

  89. 89
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    actually, most light in the cosmos passes us by utterly unperceived. To perceive (for us) requires interactions with photons, which of course automatically destroys them.

    Yes, we infer from the observed to the unobserved that is of like nature, here photons in radiation fields. That is the way of science, and you have surfaced a key issue just how much of the unobserved is addressed almost without realising that.

    Even the questions and errors of a first class probing mind like yours are precious.

    We need a lot more people like you, to save our civilisation from the abyss whose brink we so carelessly tread. Many do not know that a cliff’s edge is by definition in a state of collapse so you do not have to go over the edge to fall, the edge can come to you without warning, crumble, roar, gone.

    Energy, of course is a fairly abstract concept rooted in but going far beyond observations.

    The operational definition on capability to do work by imparting ordered, forced motion, quantified by integral of force vector dot displacement differential vector etc is saying we define a set, little more. But whatever this is in root essence, we know it to be absolutely central to physics and the operations of the cosmos.

    Notice, even the Higgs boson was identified in an energy range, so many million electron volts.

    This is a convenient energy unit for particles etc, the energy transaction an electron goes through by changing electrical potential by a volt. The volt onward being a metric on work done or energy converted per unit charge moved in an electrified region between identified points (or to/from “infinity”).

    We investigate the physical world and per reversing Plato’s Cave hold that if the world is delusional we put our mental, conscious perceptions and reasoning in a state of grand, untrustworthy delusion. So, we revert to almost Reidian common sense: unless we have excellent reason to dismiss the common sense physical world in aspects shown to be in error we accept our senses and instrumental extensions as on the whole accurate.

    For co-ordinated coherent delusion on that scale is maximally less plausible.

    So, we must take both mind and matter and their interaction such as to type and share this seriously.

    That’s why it is so important to understand that a computational substrate is little more than refined, organised rock that neither is nor cares to be rational or responsible. It blindly grinds away as Leibniz’s mills.

    We need both mind and matter, we peculiar amphibians shaped of the dust of earth but breathed in with the heavenly breath of soul, thus mind.

    KF

  90. 90

    KF,

    I understand what you are saying … but I don’t agree with your conclusion. Philosophically, and logically, there’s absolutely no reason for a material, exterior world because there is nothing – absolutely nothing – it gains us in terms of experience. Everything you said is (1) mental experience and (2) theory derived from mental experience. All of our senses are mental experiences.

    Yes, the idea that there is an exterior, material world is one of the more universal, ubiquitous assumptions – so deep and pervasive that few have sees any reason to question it – at least until quantum experimentation started delivering the results they did.

    Based on what we know of subatomic phenomena, it’s entirely reasonable to question if there is actually a material world at all. I realize this is probably on the order of questioning if the world hangs “on nothing” or if the sun is actually moving through the sky. Those represent the same kind of ubiquitous experiential norms that is being challenged by current knowledge.

    But, I’m more of a logician and philosopher than anything resembling a scientist. So, the question I posed myself is – what would be the purpose of an actual material world? Of what value would it be? If we postulate that within mind there lies the capacity to generate all the consensual experience of a material world without the need of an actual material world, why would there be a physical world?

    We have found no such thing as “matter”; what we have found is “energy.” No solid, indivisible “atoms”.

    What is “energy”? As I said, “energy” is word used to reify an experiential behavior pattern as a “thing” – but we have found no “thing” there. Just patterns of experiences, seemingly of things that, when you look close enough, are not even “moving” – they are disappearing in one location and reappearing in another – correlating to statistical probabilities – giving the impression of moving. There is no “there” there.

    Philosophically, we cannot experience a material world even if it did exist. We cannot see beyond our experience, but even our experience of examining the so-called exterior material world shown us that matter simply does not exist. We haven’t found any matter. The closer we look, the more blatant it is that matter doesn’t exist; only the experience of what, on a certain scale, appears to be matter exists – matter that is no more real as matter than matter in a dream.

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, indeed our senses are mental. The problem with inferring a grand delusion is that it then undermines the credibility of any sensation or thinking including worldviews analysis. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that reduction to grand delusion is self-destructive and indicates error. Instead, a common sense approach is reasonable: take both the life of the mind and the physical world we experience seriously and seek a worldview where they both make sense. KF

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: by experience, I indicate, this is the grand, consistent message of our conscious mindedness.

  93. 93

    KF,

    But I’m not inferring a grand delusion. This is part of my point. The problem with that conceptual characterization is that its origins and are rooted in materialism. It is a materialist conceptualization of mind, not a mind-foundational conceptualization.

    The evidence and the logic are what they are, and they both support (to put it mildly) that we live in a mental experiential framework, not a “physical” one. We can either ignore the logic, evidence and the philosophical problems and insist that there is in fact an external, material world, or we can actually try to understand what it may mean to exist, rather, as experiencers of mental phenomena without an external, material reality. It’s a difficult task because most are far too wedded (I’d say subconsciously) to the material framework for the job.

    There is a vast array of apparently consensual, predictable phenomena we experience. If we presume arguendo that this category of experience is still mental and is, indeed, highly consensual (and we cannot live as if it is not), all this means is that many or most of us are sharing mental experiences that are much or mostly the same as others. No actual, physical world is required for that kind of consensual experience. All it has to be is highly consistent throughout the minds of those who are sharing those experiences (which it would have to be anyway, even if we added an entire actual, material world).

    The idea that error exists is mental – fundamental logic. Logic is a mental phenomena, as real as any perception of an exterior, physical world – yet, logic is not found in that category of experience. It lies in another category of mental experience we know begins with self-evident truths – cannot be seen or touched, but only realized mentally. We assume everyone (or at least most people) have access to these real mental principles, as much as they have access to the consensual phenomena we call the physical world. The consensual nature of our shared expereinces rely as much on shared mental principles that we cannot see or touch as it does on the experience of “seeing and touching” in the mental category of the “physical world”.

    There are many, many things that people experience that are easily explicable via this framework, but which are dismissed from the materialist perspective simply because those experiences are not more consensual.

    What does “delusion” mean in a mind-based framework? It cannot have the same meaning that it does from a material perspective. If potential for erroneous delusion is raised as an objection to the mind-based framework, it must be done from that perspective. The materialist-perspective objection is logically inapplicable. It is, IOW, an error.

    IMO, most people that agree that our existences are mind-primary don’t even begin to think that through from the mind-primary perspective; rather, they explore it and advocate it from a material-primary framework without even realizing it. Exploring the concept of what mind-primary means, in coordination with logic and evidence, is IMO an incredibly untapped philosophical undertaking.

    I don’t limit what “mind” is to materialist-bound preconceptions and false dichotomies. I’ve found it to be a very rich, deep and broad undertaking in attempting to understand what it means – rationally – from its own framework.

    I should think you know me better, by now, than to think I would toss this stuff out here casually without deep consideration 😉 This is not solipsism and has nothing to do with allowing “delusion” or “self-destructive” perspectives, this is about understanding the ramifications of what it would mean for us to be individualized consciousnesses living mental existences in an “substrate” ocean (that’s an analogy) of completely interconnected mind with virtually limitless capacity.

    BTW, I would argue that “common sense” is often wrong, and in any event, IMO it is rooted in a materialist perspective. It may be common sense that the sun revolves around the Earth, or that the Earth must be standing on something, or that “light” is either a wave or a paticle but not both; that doesn’t make it true.

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I think it is a commonplace of the human story that we inhabit a physical world, now understood to work on quantum principles at micro level. This is based on a vast array of perceptions, experiences, interactions, discussions etc. If there is no actual world, all of this will be delusional, as will be the associated perceptions. That would utterly undermine credibility of mind. My point is essentially that of F H Bradley replying to the Kantians on the ugly gulch between the phenomenal world and that of things in themselves. KF

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Recall, I am speaking to the one and the many and recognise both our inner experiences and the outer world that we collectively experience. I can find no good reason to dispense with either.

  96. 96

    KF said:

    If there is no actual world, all of this will be delusional, as will be the associated perceptions.

    Note that in the above, you reference “actual” as synonymous with “material”, which sets your foundation in materialist perspective. Then you reference “delusional” in exactly the manner I pointed out was a philosophical error wrt presuming, arguendo, a mind-based experiential existence.

    That would utterly undermine credibility of mind.

    Only when one’s perspective is rooted in the materialist perspective. Unfortunate, since “credibility” can only be established in and by the mind, using purely mental categorizations, interpretations and principles.

  97. 97

    KF said:

    Recall, I am speaking to the one and the many and recognise both our inner experiences and the outer world that we collectively experience. I can find no good reason to dispense with either.

    You and I both know we can never experience any “outer” world. Plato’s cave. And I’m not asking for anyone to “dispense” with any experience, only to re-categorize it arguendo.

  98. 98
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, it is a pity that so much is going on all at once, even just here at UD. I note, the issue turns on the ugly gulch Kantian question. We experience an inner life and through that life we experience also existence in an outer, physical world based on solids, liquids, gases etc. Indeed, our experience is that our embodied existence is in that world, and we find others as ourselves leading to the social world. These take up a huge part of our experience as conscious individuals. So now we see an intersection and a pervasion of the inner world. If that outer world is essentially a delusion, i.e. there is no outer world remotely like what we experience, then we are in the grips of grand delusion, utterly undercutting the minds that we now may be using to infer that claim of delusion. No, I am not saying that say the atomic-molecular-quantum picture coming from observations, instruments and reasoning is grossly wrong (I am implying that it shows us the how of the material world, e.g. contact forces when we sit in a chair, say, but that just gives us deeper insight on solidity etc). The Plato’s world-like model implies grand delusion and discredits the very minds used to put up such. These discredit themselves through that self-referentiality. Instead, we need to find a way to accept unity and diversity in a coherent world, addressing the one and the many issue in its many facets. I cannot seriously deny my embodiment in a world that is based on atoms, molecules etc, and I cannot deny that I am a responsible, rational, conscious, self-aware, time-bound significantly free agent who therefore transcends GIGO-limited computational substrates (even those based on brains). I wish there was time for a more detailed exchange, maybe later; and the several local, regional and international streams of thought and action all demand some focus. KF

  99. 99

    KF:

    Well, you repeating your talking points over and over isn’t much of a conversation anyway. I was hoping for more vigorous debate on the subject, some significant criticism by which to better explore and examine this perspective.

    Since it’s not worth your time, I’ll look elsewhere 🙂

  100. 100
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, Yesterday, I had to deal with a local issue plus a thread that decided to go hot. Pity. This topic properly should run slowly and reflectively. What I will say is that I cannot shake the point that conscious self-aware experience is mental and that it communicates with just as much self-evidence that we experience embodied life in a common physical world. Instruments and analysis of that world have surprised us many times, in a fine grained manner, leading to the atomic-molecular and quantum picture. We also routinely distinguish dream and awake states. I cannot shake, that reducing the experienced waking world to a dream-like state ends in grand delusion and undermining of credibility of mind. KF

  101. 101

    I appreciate the engagement, KF. At least you’ve given me some opportunity here to explore some things, even if time pressures on you mean I’m mostly doing it on my own. 😉

    I cannot shake, that reducing the experienced waking world to a dream-like state ends in grand delusion and undermining of credibility of mind.

    I understand the difficulty, but I notice something in the above statement: apparently, you are saying that the credibility of our minds requires the existence of an actual, external material world. Do you not find anything suspect in that view?

    Also, to reiterate, I’m not saying that the experience of the waking world is the same as a dream, any more than a dream is the same as imagination, or either of those things are the same as conscience/morality, or mathematics, or logic. There are many different kinds of mental experiences. Surely you don’t consider logic and morality comparable to dreams or imagination?

  102. 102
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    I am of course saying that we experience, perceive, act into and generally understand ourselves to inhabit a common space-time, causally connected physical world. One that exhibits properties familiar and subtle. One independent of OUR particular minds — we are not projecting it, it was there before we were conceived or born and would have been there if we were never born. (The mind of God is utterly a different matter: in him we live, move and have our being, he upholds all things by his power and reason that orders and sustains reality as an ordered system.)

    If our common perception and understanding is fundamentally false to the actual state of affairs in reality, then a very large part of our perception and understanding would be delusional; and not just our physics, chemistry, biology etc, our whole commonplace experience goes poof. That undermines the credibility of mindedness when it comes to anything else, were that so. For if we are THAT delusional, there is little reason to trust anything else in our cognition, perception etc. Including when we propose logic model worlds and address structure and quantity, abstracta and relationships starting with say the naturals, reals and complex numbers.

    So, there is a valid comparison to a dream state vs an awake state.

    In the former, the perceived world is cast up by our interior life and often is radically diverse from the waking world we operate in. If the latter is part of a simulation cast up by our minds, then the perception of sharp difference and independence — objectivity — would be again a grand delusion. (Notice, how ever so many would argue that moral principles, laws of logic, schemes of math etc have no objectivity. I hold, we can have objective abstracta, even necessary being ones framework to any possible world.)

    If the matter is a simulation projected by the mind of God, then it would be independent of our minds. But we just made God into one of those clever Leibniz type demons who undetectably deludes us to imagine we inhabit a world of physical entities. That goes down some pretty serious lines starting with undermining the inherent goodness of God. Such a “god” would only be a powerful demon.

    I hold instead that God is inter alia inherently good and creator (including of the heavens and the earth), a necessary and maximally great being worthy of loyalty, love and reasonable, responsible service in light of our evident nature.

    I think the comparative difficulties issue tells on this case.

    There is nothing inherently evil or wrong or flawed with there being a physical world, especially one shaped to sustain soul-making. One in which we are amphibians capable of exploring, learning, growing, loving. Therefore, of responsible, rational freedom, creating a world of good. (And I am sure you can see the Plantinga side.)

    Going further for the moment, I wonder if the issue that the only minds we are directly aware of is our own would on a simulation model, would not then spiral down into a pernicious solipsism where we can identify the demon spinning the perception: oneself, the sole entity.

    And more, but again, I am extended on too many high intensity fronts to have energy just now to fully elaborate, I only sketch.

    KF

  103. 103

    KF,

    I can’t make out if there is an answer to either of my questions in #101 in your #102. Thanks for your time anyway.

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    Lost a reply to a database error.

    Try something:

    >> I notice something in the above statement: apparently, you are saying that the credibility of our minds requires the existence of an actual, external material world. Do you not find anything suspect in that view?>>

    Our common experience so pervades our minds that if it is delusional, mindedness becomes grand delusion.

    >>Also, to reiterate, I’m not saying that the experience of the waking world is the same as a dream, any more than a dream is the same as imagination, or either of those things are the same as conscience/morality, or mathematics, or logic. There are many different kinds of mental experiences. Surely you don’t consider logic and morality comparable to dreams or imagination?>>

    Conscious, minded experiences.

    See above on the issue of delusion.

    KF

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