On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 12:48 PM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> On 1/27/2011 8:34 PM, Rex Allen wrote:
>> On Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 4:12 PM, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com>
>>  wrote:
>>> What does "locally" mean in this context?  I doubt that consciousness is
>>> strictly local in the physical sense; it requires and world to interact
>>> with.
>> I would have thought that dreams would be a pretty clear
>> counter-example to the claim that consciousness requires a world to
>> interact with...?
> Do you think you could have dreams if you had never interacted with the
> world?

Yes.  Why wouldn't I be able to?

I assume your point is, "Where would the contents of your dreams come from?"

Well, where do the contents of the "external world" come from?

You haven't answered any questions by introducing the "external
world"...every question you can ask about a dream is still a valid
question for the "external world".

Isn't it?  What am I missing, do you think?  What has been
accomplished by introducing the extra metaphysical layer of the
"external world"?

If you fall back on your recurring theme "usefulness", then does that
mean that any belief that someone finds useful, they are justified in
attributing ontological significance to this belief?

If  the usefulness of science's predictions justifies the belief in
quarks and electrons, then couldn't one equally say that if someone
gets some use out of their religion (say, motivating they and their
countrymen to win a war), then this justifies their belief in God?

Isn't what's useful dependent on contingent circumstances and personal goals?

> On Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 7:58 PM, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com>
>>  wrote:
>>On 1/27/2011 8:34 PM, Rex Allen wrote:
>> But then the material world we observe doesn't cause our
>> consciousness.  Rather, the underlying emulation substrate (which we
>> have no access to) causes both the material world and consciousness.
> That's possible, or it may be that the emulatated matter causes the emulated
> consciousness; in which case we have the same questions about consciousness
> we had before assuming the world is an emulation.

But isn't "emulated matter" just patterns in the substrate?  So by
saying "emulated matter causes consciousness", aren't you effectively
saying that patterns cause consciousness?

But then what are patterns?  Are patterns that no one sees still
patterns?  If so, don't "unseen" patterns exist all around us?  Shades
of Searle's wordstar walls and Putnam mappings...

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