On Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 7:22 PM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> Rex Allen wrote:
>> So ultimately, there is no reason you value the things you do...that's
>> just the way things are.
>>
>
> Suppose there was a reason - what would it be like?  And why would it make
> any difference whether there was a reason or not?   This seems like another
> instance of  the "No explanation can satisfy Rex principle."  If you are
> determined to reject all explanation and rational inferences because they
> are not, in some undefinable way, complete explanations of everything then I
> can't see any point in discussing it further except to say I think you are
> philosophizing in bad faith.

Me?  Philosophizing in bad faith?  I was just thinking the same thing
about you!  Ha!

So I'm just trying to understand my situation here.  To me, my
existence seems quite perplexing.  An explanation is in order.

The chain of thought that led to my current proposal is not that complicated.

All you have to do is to consider the block universe concept, which I
choose because it's easy to talk about - but the points hold for any
physicalist theory of reality I think.

So, why does this block of space-time and it's contents exist?
Presumably there would be no reason, it just would.

Why would things be the way they are inside the block?  Presumably
there would be no reason, they just would be that way.

If certain configurations of matter inside the block gave rise to
conscious experience, why would this be so?  Presumably there would be
no reason for this either, it just would be so.

With that in mind, why would we prefer the explanation involving the
inexplicable existence of a space-time block whose contents somehow
gives rise to conscious experience *OVER* the explanation that the
conscious experiences in question just exist uncaused?

Well...I don't see why we should.  C

How do I explain the consistency and order of my uncaused experiences?
 Well, how do you explain the consistency and order of your space-time
block?

How can conscious experiences exist uncaused?  Well, how can
space-time blocks exist uncaused?

Any question you ask about my theory, I can just as easily ask about
yours...again, even if yours doesn't involve space-time blocks but
rather some other physicalist variation.

You can say that the space-time block explanation is more "useful" for
making predictions, but what does "useful" mean from inside the
context of a space-time block?

And as I've mentioned before, assuming that conscious experience is
fundamental doesn't preclude making predictions either.  In fact, the
predictions for future observations should be the same as those made
starting from physicalist assumptions.

But, whether consciousness is fundamental, or matter is fundamental,
or numbers are fundamental...the only reality that we'll ever *know*
is the reality of our conscious experience.  Life may not be a dream,
but it might as well be.

And, however things *really* are, there is no reason for it...they
just are that way.
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