On Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 3:46 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> On Friday, April 19, 2013 11:49:17 AM UTC-4, Terren Suydam wrote:
>> On Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com>wrote:
>>> On Friday, April 19, 2013 11:05:28 AM UTC-4, Terren Suydam wrote:
>>>> On Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 9:30 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stat...@gmail.com
>>>> > wrote:
>>>>> But you claim that it is impossible to conceive of consciousness
>>>>> supervening on function. A religious person would claim that it
>>>>> impossible to conceive of consciousness as residing anywhere other
>>>>> than in the spiritual realm. Both your positions seem to essentially
>>>>> be based on the argument from incredulity: see, this lump of coal is
>>>>> inert and dead, how could anything derived from it possibly have
>>>> Craig's "theory" is essentially equivalent with explaining
>>>> consciousness in terms of the religious 'soul'.
>>> Nope. Soul is anthropmorphic. Sense is generic and universal. I am
>>> talking physics, not religion.
>> It's a distinction without a difference. Making it generic and universal
>> as opposed to anthropomorphic doesn't change anything... it is still the
>> uncomputable "generator" of qualia.
> That's like saying that there is no difference between saying that ions
> are electrically charged and saying that atoms have little invisible men
> pushing them around. Soul is a concept which lends itself to supernatural
> inhabitants of natural bodies - I am not talking about that at all. I am
> talking about perception and participation being the absolute fundamental
Except that you don't articulate any demonstrable difference between a
universe in which experience is fundamental, and the deterministic physics
of mainstream science (as your exchange with Stathis shows, e.g. you
repeatedly deny that you need to show how ion channels would do anything
differently than what physics would expect them to do), except for one
thing - that "intention" flows downward and affects the lowest levels, and
it does this in a way that is not computable (i.e. not in obeyance of any
kind of law). That viewpoint is indistinguishable from soul, which is also
>>> He argues that "sense" is primary, and that the top-down causality of
>>>> intention translates to the bottom-up causality of physics,
>>> Not always, not. There is bottom up, top down, inside out, outside
>>> in...all kinds of causality.
>> Makes no difference.
> How do you figure? If you accuse me of stealing bread because you are the
> only baker in the world, and I insist that I also can bake bread, and so
> can many others, how does that make no difference to the presumptuousness
> of your accusation?
The only charge you need to answer for is an uncomputable causality that
somehow affects the world in a way that is undetectable by physics - this
is indistinguishable from "soul". The other kinds of causality you mention
(whatever those mean) are either from computable sources (in agreement with
physics) or uncomputable sources (and thus also indistinguishable with
>>> and, crucially, that top-down intention is not computable, i.e. that
>>>> it is not possible for such top-down intention to emerge in any kind of
>>>> simulation, at any level. This is almost exactly the same thing as saying
>>>> that what animates us is our god-given soul.
>>> Nope. I am saying that top-down intentions emerge from proprietary
>>> diffractions of the eternal experience. It's more Vedic or Taoist than
>>> Christian, but where I differ from Vedic or Taoist conceptions is that I do
>>> not see matter as illusion or Maya, but as the concrete public
>>> presentations which orthomodularly re-present private experiences.
>>> In what conceivable way does "proprietary diffractions of the eternal
>> experience" differ from something equally as ambiguous as "divine spark"?
> Spark of what? Divine = what?
> My description is precise. The universe is an experience, our own
> experience is a nested set of sub-experiences within that. What is the big
> witchcraft here? Are you denying that experience is real? Are you offering
> an explanation for why experience would ever arise from non-experience?
I have no idea what a divine spark is. I can invent a story about it
though, or parrot other stories I've heard about it. But they are just
Your story lacks a lot of details that I have asked about before. For
instance, if the universe is an experience, why don't I have that
experience... why do I have my own personal, embodied experience? What
sorts of entities larger than myself also have experiences, all the way up
to the universe, and why? You've said before that the atoms in my body all
have experiences. I assume the cells in my body do too. How do you
characterize the kinds of systems that have particular kinds of bounded
experiences, rather than everything just experiencing the one universal
Your story reminds me of astrology, because you use a lot of jargon and
"precision" to convey an aura of legitimacy that under closer inspection
breaks down into nothing more than story telling. After the year or more
of being exposed to your ideas, I have yet to see you articulate one single
fact of consequence that could be used to give actual legitimacy to your
ideas. You even have Stathis giving you ideas on how to do this
(experiments he has proposed to test e.g. whether systems made of
non-identical but functionally equivalent materials would behave the same
or differently) but for whatever reason you choose not to go down that
path. Why is that?
>>>> Such stories exist in part to assuage the discomfort of uncertainty or
>>>> existential angst, and stop any further inquiry by defining the fundamental
>>>> mystery of existence in absolute terms. It is no different from saying that
>>>> the way things are is God's will.
>>> Haha, if you see my last response to Stathis, you will see that my story
>>> offers no comfort nor discomfort - it is pure science which merely accounts
>>> for the actual universe as it is rather than what our mechanistic or
>>> animistic compulsions tell us it cannot be. The only advantage that my view
>>> offers is that it reveals consciousness as it actually is.
>> Pure science would give you a means to test your ideas. You are simply
>> philosophizing about metaphysics. Your view reveals nothing. It tells a
>> story. It is up to the listener to decide whether they want to place their
>> faith in the story you tell, because you provide no arguments that can be
>> tested in any empirical way.
> If that's true, it is only because experience is not empirical. I keep
> making this point but nobody seems to comprehend it at all. Science is
> about understanding whatever phenomena can be understood. Whether you
> denigrate it as 'simply' this or 'metaphysical' that doesn't make the
> alternative non-explanations of legacy science any more plausible. It's not
> a matter of having faith in a story, it is a matter of seeing for yourself
> whether it makes more sense than all other explanations - and I submit that
> thus far is seems to do that. Further, nothing that anyone on this list has
> said gives me any confidence that they really understand the basic premises
> that I propose, since the counterarguments offered are invariably old hat
> and obvious to me.
Of course experience is empirical. Drugs affect peoples' experience in
predictable ways - if they didn't, people probably wouldn't take them (as
much). Theories about experience can be used to make claims that can be
tested. There are theories of experience or consciousness that would
conclude lucid dreaming is possible, and others that would conclude it is
impossible. Turns out that any theory that says it's impossible must be
thrown out, since lucid dreaming is accepted as a real phenomenon... I've
even done it once or twice.
According to your definition of science above, religion is scientific.
Religions explain and confer understanding about reality. Religious
worldviews can't be tested, of course, but let's not let that detail
undermine their status as science.
If you want people to take your ideas seriously you need to do the work of
finding ways to legitimize them using the scientific method. Even if just
in principle. Even if you said something like "we don't yet have the
technology to do this, but in a hundred years we could test my theory by
> Fortunately other people do have a better idea about what I am talking
You might be better off spending more time with them. Honestly, why are
you still here? I give you points for persistence, that's for sure. I would
think at some point you cut bait. How many times do we need to see the same
arguments repeated? How long you gonna dangle that worm?
>>>>> Stathis Papaioannou
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