On 14 Aug, 09:51, Rex Allen <rexallen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 11, 2009 at 3:02 PM, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> >> Uncaused things can't be explained. They just are.
> > Didn't anyone ever explain arithmetic or geometry to you? Not every
> > explanation needs to be a causal one.
> Well, I think that's what I'm saying. Causal explanations are not
> really explanations, because you can never trace the causal chain back
> to it's ultimate source.
That doesn't mean anything else fares better.
> If conscious experience is uncaused and acausal, then in some sense
> knowledge is irrelevant. Your uncaused experience could be of
> believing that you "know" something which is actually false (e.g.,
> that 121 is prime).
It could if experience is causal, too.
For instance ingesting LSD could cause you
to believe that. Alternaitvely, if there is no
causality guaranteeing that you believe the truth,
maybe there is something else, such as Descartes'
God implanting clear and distinct ideas in your head.
> If conscious experience is caused, then knowledge is...still
> irrelevant. But for a different reason...in this case what you *can*
> know is determined by those external causes. You could be caused to
> believe that you *know" something which is actually false (e.g., that
> 121 is prime). But if you then trace the causal chain back, you will
> never find what ultimately caused you to be wrong...when you phrase
> your answer in terms of the ultimate causes, it will just be "I was
> wrong because that's the way the universe is".
You can still find out that you are wrong, often quite
quickly. Knowiing that you re wrong is not the same
as knowing ultimately why. I don't see how this
adds up to the irrelevance of knowledge at all,
> Do you see what I'm getting at with all of this "uncaused" stuff, and
> the equivalence between an uncaused universe and just an isolated
> uncaused conscious experience? At all? Anyone?
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