On 1/28/2012 7:05 PM, Pierz wrote:
On Jan 29, 10:57 am, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 1/28/2012 3:15 PM, Pierz wrote:
These approaches always end up conflating the two, their
proponents getting annoyed with anyone who isn't prepared to wish away
the gap between them.
But most people seem to think that the two are linked; that philosophical
impossible. Are you asserting that they are possible?
Well of course they are linked. As for the problem of zombies, I of
course have to agree that they seem absurd. But to me the zombie
argument elides the real question, which is the explanation for why
there is anyone home to find the zombies absurd. Why aren't zombies
having this discussion? In the traditional materialist worldview,
there is nothing to explain that. We observe that we aren't, in fact
zombies and then the materialist observes that the his/her predictions
would be the same if there were no consciousness and so s/he loses
interest in the issue and effectively shrugs and says "oh well". But
there are some problems, though I expect you'll have little truck with
them. I could, for instance, refer you to a study of near death
experiences in the Lancet in which a person in cardiac arrest and
flatlining on the EEG was able to report the presence of a pair of
sneakers on a high window ledge of the hospital during an OBE which he
would have no way of knowing were there. There is a huge amount of
evidence along these lines that consciousness does not in fact
supervene on the physical brain.
No, there is a huge number of anecdotes.
And when there have been controlled experiments in which signs were placed on high shelves
in operating rooms those floating NDE's have not been able to read them.
Other evidence, for instance, comes
from LSD research conducted in the fifties (see Stanislav Grof's
The award winning Dr. Grof?
Of course there's also vast and incontrovertible evidence that
consciousness, under normal conditions, does supervene on brain state
and structure, so we are left with an anomaly that in most cases is
resolved by denying the evidence of the exceptions. This is not all
that hard to do when the evidence is to be found in consciousnesses
of subjects rather than 'instruments' and cannot easily be subjected
to controlled experimental trials. But even a single personal
experience can override the weightiest scientific authority
So all those sightings of ghosts and Elvis override the theory that the dead don't roam
around where you can see them.
Galileo looking through the telescope and seeing 'impossible'
mountains on the moon. So one can have a personal conviction that
'something is wrong with the conventional view' without necessarily
being able to present conceptual or experimental proof for one's
conviction. Therefore, I prefer to keep reminding people that
something utterly central to their existence - in fact the defining
feature to that existence: our awareness of it - remains without an
explanation. Even the estimable David Deutsch - arch rationalist and
materialist - concedes that we have no explanation for qualia.
Have you ever considered what form such an explanation might take?
differ in our belief as to how far-reaching the revisions to our
understanding will have to be in order to achieve that explanation.
Maybe Bruno has found it, but for the reasons I am trying to explicate
in this thread, I'm not convinced yet.
BTW, while I am with Craig in intuiting a serious conceptual lacuna in
the materialist paradigm, that doesn't necessarily enamour me of his
alternative. His talk of 'sense making' seems to me more like a 'way
of talking about things' than a theory in the scientific or
philosophic sense. It doesn't really seem to explain anything as such,
but more to put a lot of language around an ill defined intuition.
Sorry Craig if that wrongs you, but like others, I would like to hear
something concrete your theory predicts rather than just another
interpretive slant on the same data.
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