On Sat, May 1, 2010 at 9:48 PM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> That's assuming I believe some things are true in some absolute sense
>  unrelated to usefulness.  I don't.

I am having the experience of seeing a red book.  This is absolutely
true, regardless of usefulness - and regardless of whether I am
actually seeing a book or just hallucinating.  The experience exists,
even if the book doesn't.

I am NOT having the experience of seeing a blue pen.  This is also
absolutely true, even if I am suffering from "blind-sight" and there's
actually a blue pen here that I would react to correctly if pushed to
do so.

Truths about conscious experience are absolute truths, regardless of
what (if anything) generates the experience.

>> Just like there is no "red" in the world (in the sense that I
>> experience it), there is no "time" in the world (in the sense that I
>> experience it).
>> Time is like red.  Both only exist as aspects of experience.
> But (according to you) that is the only way anything exists.  So time and
> red exist if "exist" has any meaning at all.

When I say time and red are aspects of consciousness, I mean it in the
same way that a scientific realist means that spin is an aspect of an

>>>> On 5/1/2010 6:15 PM, Rex Allen wrote:
>>>> I would expect an honest physicalist to say that he believed it
>>>> because, given the initial conditions of the universe plus the
>>>> causal laws of physics as applied over  ~13.7 billion years, it
>>>> could not be otherwise.
>>>> He has no *choice* except to believe it.  To not believe it would
>>>> require different initial conditions, or different causal laws.
>>> I thought you were not believing it because there were no initial conditions
>>> or causal laws or universe.  It's all what a physicalist would call an
>>> illusion - i.e. a seemingly coherent series of experiences that do not refer
>>> to anything but just are.  But then you seem to switch viewpoints and want
>>> to use the consistency of a solipist know-nothing position to argue about
>>> which universes might exist??
>> I'm not switching positions, I'm saying that the "honest physicalist"
>> should believe that his beliefs are determined only by the initial
>> conditions and causal laws of the universe.
> Why would he be a determinist?

If he's a physicalist, why wouldn't he believe that his beliefs are
determined by the nature of the physical world?  What else would they
be determined by?

> And what if they were?  According to the
> best physical models we have they are mostly determined by the recent
> history of the universe plus probabilistic laws (QM) -

Probabilistic laws are still causal laws, right?

> and this explains why they are "true" in the sense of useful

Which brings me back to the point that I made in the "no miracles"
argument against scientific realism thread.  Which you never responded

> to those purposes we imagine we have.

We *imagine* we have?  What do you mean by that?

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