This has to be my last response on this for a while. I will just say, about
consciousness arising from other premises: It is not the material itself
that is important, but the organization of it. Consciousness *might* be
what happens when certain kinds of organization arise. The human brain
might represent one particular kind of organization that is conscious. I am
interested in theories of consciousness that describe that organization,
and what kinds of organization support consciousness and what kinds don't.
Note that when we take the emphasis off material and put it on
organization, it means that there many different kinds of structures that
could support consciousness, including virtual structures, structures made
out of networks of people, and so on.  I'm not saying this is right. But I
am saying that it is conceivable. You seem utterly closed to that
possibility, and I don't understand why, except that you appear to be
locked into your own beliefs, unwilling to even set them aside for the sake
of argument.

Feynman's quote might make more sense if you realize that he was also
talking about himself. Obviously, he was one of the experts he warns about
in that quote.

Terren


On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 5:42 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

>
>
> On Friday, March 15, 2013 5:14:16 PM UTC-4, Terren Suydam wrote:
>
>>
>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com>wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Friday, March 15, 2013 4:11:32 PM UTC-4, Terren Suydam wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 3:38 PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com>wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Friday, March 15, 2013 3:04:24 PM UTC-4, Terren Suydam wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> No, I think that you haven't understood it,
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> That's because you are only working with a straw man of me. What is it
>>>>> that you think that I don't understand? The legacy view is that if you 
>>>>> have
>>>>> many molecular systems working together mechanically, you will naturally
>>>>> get emergent properties that could be mistaken for teleological entities.
>>>>> You can't tell the difference between a brain change that seems meaningful
>>>>> to you and a meaningful experience which causes a brain change. Just
>>>>> because you feel like you are moving your arm doesn't mean that isn't just
>>>>> a narrative fiction that serves a valuable evolutionary purpose.
>>>>>
>>>>> All of that is fine, in some other theoretical universe. In our
>>>>> universe however, it can't work. There is no evolutionary purpose for
>>>>> consciousness or narrative fictions.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> The entire field of evolutionary psychology would beg to differ.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Argument from authority. If evolutionary psychologists assume
>>> consciousness has evolutionary benefits it is because they make the same
>>> mistake that you do in looking backward in 20/20 hindsight. Looking from a
>>> pre-conscious era in the past, the idea of consciousness is no more
>>> reasonable than magic appearing spontaneously. Once you take the emergence
>>> of consciousness for granted, sure it's easy to find all kinds of exciting
>>> (and utterly unfalsifiable) uses.
>>>
>>
>> It's not a mistake, it's science. They may be wrong, but they do
>> experiments in support of, or to refute, a given premise.
>>
>
> For example? What kind of experiment can tell you that consciousness could
> appear in the universe under some particular material condition?
>
>
>> Whether or not the premise is true is beside the point. But you don't
>> even want to entertain the proposition. You just dismiss it, simply because
>> it doesn't agree with your prejudices.
>>
>
> Not at all, it is because I understand how and why the entire approach is
> built on bad presumptions. I welcome ideas of all stripes; wacky,
> conservative, that doesn't bother me at all. What I care about is that it
> makes sense and plausibly reflects the fullness of reality.
>
>
>>
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> The existence of the feeling that you can control your body makes no
>>>>> sense in universe where control is impersonal and involuntary. There is no
>>>>> possibility for teleology to even be conceived in a universe of endless
>>>>> meaningless chain reactions - no basis for proprietary attachment of any
>>>>> kind. It's circular to imagine that it could be important for an
>>>>> epiphenomenal self to believe it is phenomenal. Important how? It's like
>>>>> adding a steering wheel to a mountain.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> The fact that you can't conceive of how consciousness could arise from
>>>> mechanism does not amount to an argument against it.
>>>>
>>>
>>> You can't conceive of it either though. That is because it is
>>> inconceivable. Like a square circle. That it is inconceivable tells us
>>> about both squares and circles, as well as logic and sense.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> Sure I can. I can easily conceive of it. I might be wrong, but I can
>> conceive of it. It's funny that you assume that I can't. Projection
>> fallacy?
>>
>
> What is it that you conceive of though? Is it a mechanism which switches
> on and some kind of green gas begins to leak out of a glob of protein? Is
> there a genie or a fanfare of some kind, or is it just a collection of
> inanimate objects that suddenly begins to do something that has never
> happened before? I think that when you say that you conceive of it, you
> haven't really even considered it, and what you actually consider is a
> broad abstraction about complexity and feedback.
>
>
>>
>> Anyway, even if I couldn't, it *still* would not be an argument against
>> it for the same reason as before.
>>
>
> Right, because when inanimate objects agree, then it's 'evidence', but
> when we agree it's fantasy.
>
>
>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> due to whatever biases have led you to invest so much in your theory
>>>>>> - a theory which is AFAICT completely unfalsifiable and predicts nothing.
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> No theory which models consciousness will ever be falsifiable, because
>>>>> falsifiability is a quality within consciousness. As far as prediction
>>>>> goes, one of the things it predicts that people who are bound to the
>>>>> extremes of the philosophical spectrum will be intolerant and misrepresent
>>>>> other perspectives. They will cling pathologically to unreal abstractions
>>>>> while flatly denying ordinary experience.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> But you don't have a theory of consciousness, because you assume it.
>>>>
>>>
>>> I don't assume it, it is assumed period. Consciousness is inescapable.
>>> How can you claim to construct any theory independently of it?
>>>
>>
>> A real theory of consciousness explains consciousness in terms of other
>> premises.
>>
>
> In my understanding that is precisely wrong. Consciousness can only be
> explained as the parent of all premises and possibilities. I don't think
> that you are going to be able to understand that though. I don't know why
> you can't, but everyone has different intellectual strengths and weaknesses
> I suppose.
>
>
>> For instance, any theory of consciousness worth considering should tell
>> you why some things are conscious, and some things aren't... something your
>> theory cannot do because it assumes it from the outset.
>>
>
> All things are either conscious or a feature of some conscious experience.
> Determining which is which is a case by case situation because it changes.
> Animals die. What was conscious becomes a body that is no longer conscious
> as a whole.
>
>
>>
>>
>>> You beg the question. And if you are saying physics is wrong - something
>>>> you have asserted many times -
>>>>
>>>
>>> I do not say that physics is wrong, I say that is it incomplete. It is
>>> missing half of the universe, but in the half that it addresses, it
>>> addresses it remarkably well.
>>>
>>
>> Then my point still stands. Describe to us an experiment that shows *how*
>> physics is incomplete.
>>
>
> I imagine a blue strawberry. Physics doesn't see it, but I do.
>
>
>>
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> then it should be possible to construct an experiment that shows that.
>>>>
>>>
>>> We are the experiment. All that is required is for us to think with
>>> honesty and curiosity - to avoid the traps of kneejerk arrogance, fear,
>>> conformity, idolatry for authority, etc.
>>>
>>>
>> Decades of literature in psychology is rife with examples of why
>> introspection is suspect.
>>
>
> Introspection should be suspect, but it can only be suspect by further
> introspection. No amount of empirical data can ultimately force us to
> confirm or deny our suspicions unless we internalize an introspective
> inference from it.
>
> It has its place, but only in terms of conditional evidence. Nothing we
>> gain from introspection alone could ever be used to refute a theory.
>>
>
> Except a theory about introspection itself.
>
>
>>
>>
>>> "*Science* is the belief in the ignorance of *experts*." - Feynman
>>>
>>
>> A great quote that admonishes us to never trust our beliefs 100%. Very
>> few people I have met have Feynman's humility.
>>
>
> I don't see him saying not to trust our beliefs, I see him saying that we
> should not idolize the assumed expertise of others.
>
> Craig
>
>
>>
>>> Craig
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 2:02 PM, Craig Weinberg 
>>>>>> <whats...@gmail.com>wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Friday, March 15, 2013 1:55:26 PM UTC-4, Terren Suydam wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com
>>>>>>>> > wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Exactly. It is interesting also in that it seems to be like one of
>>>>>>>>> those ambiguous images, in that as long as people are focused on one 
>>>>>>>>> fixed
>>>>>>>>> idea of reality, they are honestly incapable of seeing any other, 
>>>>>>>>> even if
>>>>>>>>> they themselves are sitting on top of it.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> The irony in that statement is staggering. I couldn't satirize you
>>>>>>>> any better if I tried.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Why, do you think that I have never considered the bottom up model
>>>>>>> of causation?
>>>>>>>
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