anytime someone invokes "for evolutionary reasons"... you know its a
cop-out... that is like invoking God to explain everything... in some
instances it works,  its clear, it makes sense.... but not in all.

rather then "for evolutionary reasons"... you could equally say "for some
reason". Apparently you presuppose the principle of sufficient reason.

On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 11:36 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> **
> On 7/4/2011 12:53 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
>
>
>
> On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 2:27 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>>  On 7/3/2011 10:30 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Jul 3, 2011 at 10:32 PM, B Soroud <bsor...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> "if you are thinking about consciousness, then what else could it have
>>> been but consciousness that caused you to think about it"
>>>
>>>  Are you saying consciousness literally causes you to objectify
>>> consciousness? Consciousness as a base is required to reflect on
>>> consciousness... the question is whether consciousness can truly be
>>> objectified or only falsely so.
>>>
>>
>> There appears to be some confusion.  This is what I am saying:
>>
>> Selva asked if consciousness is causally effective.  My response is a
>> thought experiment designed to show that it is:
>>
>> 1. Assume consciousness is not causally effective
>> 2. It follows that consciousness has no effects
>> 3. If consciousness has no effects, then whether present or not it makes
>> do difference in what happens
>> 4. Consider a universe identical to this one only without any
>> consciousness (this is possible only in the case where consciousness is
>> causally inert)
>> 5. This universe would have zombie humans that talk about consciousness,
>> that appear to wonder about consciousness, that write e-mail threads about
>> consciousness, and so on, yet all this is happening in a universe where
>> consciousness does not exist.
>> 6. It seems odd that there would be zombies talking and wondering about
>> consciousness in a universe where there is no such thing as consciousness.
>>
>> If on the other hand, consciousness is causally effective, as I believe it
>> is, then zombie universes cannot be identical to our own.  Perhaps you see
>> nothing wrong with a zombie universe with beings wondering about
>> consciousness, but if you do, then you should doubt the assumption made at
>> step 1.
>>
>> Jason
>>
>>
>>  You can make the parallel argument to show that the elan vital must be
>> causally effective too.
>>
>
> Please explain what steps 5 and 6 would be for an argument showing the
> causal effectiveness of a vital force, I was not able to come up with one
> that fit.
>
>
>>
>>
>  It's like reifying "the weather" and then asking can there be wind and
>> rain and sunshine without "the weather".
>>
>
> I think one of us is missing the other's point, but I am not sure who.
>
> Do you think epiphenominalism is a consistent and valid possibility?  And
> if not, what led you to that conclusion?  If you do, why do you think we
> evolved consciousness in the first place (if it has no effects), why do we
> feel thirst if it has no bearing (according to epiphenominalism) on whether
> or not we decide to get water?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Jason
>
>
> I you're thirsty you have a feeling that will be relieved by getting a
> drink.  If you sleepy you'll want to take nap.  But what is added to this by
> collecting thirst and sleepiness into a category called "be conscious
> of..."?  I think consciousness is the selection of experiences for inclusion
> in an inner narrative for the purpose of forming memories.  We have this
> inner narrative because for evolutionary reasons (and perhaps for technical
> ones we don't yet understand) the formation of the narrative into language
> and symbols uses the same brain structures and processes as used for
> perception.  This selective memorization of what seems important is
> essential to learning.  Whether it's use of the same processes as perception
> is essential I don't know.
>
> Brent
>
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