On Friday, April 19, 2013 4:39:11 PM UTC-4, Terren Suydam wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 3:46 PM, Craig Weinberg
> > 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
> not computable.
The non-computability of sense comes from the supervenience of computation
on sense. There is no agenda to elevate sense to a special place of
reverence, it just so happens to be the boundary superlative. The
difference between the universe which physics describes and the one in
which we actually live is that the real universe is comprised exclusively
of aesthetic qualities while the physics universe has no plausible
explanation for even a single aesthetic quality. I don't see why that seems
inarticulate to you. I am telling you that you have to take the blinders
off to see what you are missing - there is no substitute. You cannot shut
your eyes and then demand to be shown that the world can exist visually
without opening them. Only you, through your own free will, can decide
whether to validate your own participation in the universe. If you ask the
universe to do it for you, it will show you that you cannot exist. That is
the nature of the universe and of sense...juxtaposition and reflection.
Don't take my word for it, but don't take science's word for it either.
>>>> 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".
Uncomputable causality *is* the world. Causality and computation are
expectations within sense, within sanity. They do not come free of charge
as a gift from nothingness. Why are you setting up this binary sanction:
'If it is not countable on fingers and toes then it musst be witchcraffft.'
Imagine how it was when electricity was discovered - you would be the voice
saying 'this is not in the Bible, therefore it can only be sin...you must
account for its absence in the bible.'
I am not talking about soul, or spirit, or phlogiston or elan vital, I am
talking about the front end of time. Space is the back end of time and
space is the source of computation and local causation. Unintentional
phenomena are not primitive or fundamental, they are derived from the more
primitive and insuperable principles of presence and participation. It has
nothing to with human personhood except that we happen to be living human
lives at the moment, so that is our only frame of reference which we have
reliable access to.
> 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 soul).
What makes computation? What is the cause of causality? Computation and
causality are motive properties of experience. They are about changes to
'things'. Things are experiences. Some of our experiences are more
thing-like than others, and those are widely shared experiences which we
call objects and misinterpret as physics. My suggestion is that this is
only the public half of physics, which supervenes on the private half - the
intentional half. The public half is the unintentional consequence of the
>>>> 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
>>>> 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
Then why compare it with my well reasoned proposal for universal experience?
> 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?
You are a limited partition of the total experience. You can't be eternity
and a human lifetime simultaneously in every sense - but in some sense you
are having that experience. You can look at the Hubble photos and have one
kind of indirect experience of totality, you can smoke DMT and have another
> 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
That's a legitimate question, and I have tried to lay it out in different
The idea is that just as an ant can walk on your stove without
understanding what the stove is, so too can our own human quality of
realism coexist with the totality in some sense but remain anthropocentric
> Your story reminds me of astrology, because you use a lot of jargon and
> "precision" to convey an aura of legitimacy
I don't give a rip about legitimacy. I don't try to convey any auras, I
only try to convey my thinking in a thorough and linguistically rich way. I
don't want to miss any of the connections that I'm not even aware of, so I
try not to edit it to conform to my current expectations.
> that under closer inspection breaks down into nothing more than story
If I'm right, the universe is nothing but story telling - a huge
improvement over being a computer/multiverse/nonsense motor, btw.
> 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?
Because that is not my department. That's up to other people. If they are
interested, they are welcome to develop experiments, and I would be happy
to collaborate. For myself though, since I know how and why my model makes
sense, and why no other model makes as much sense, and why experiments are
of limited value in this area, it really isn't a priority for me. It is
ultimately you who has to decide whether you exist or not. No experiment
can tell you that. Can't you understand why?
>>>>> Such stories exist in part to assuage the discomfort of uncertainty or
>>>>> existential angst, and stop any further inquiry by defining the
>>>>> mystery of existence in absolute terms. It is no different from saying
>>>>> 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
How do you know that? Only because you take their word for how they feel
> - 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
Certainly, once you have experience then you can make empirical
observations about experience, but none of them are independent of
experience in the first place. Without a person sitting there telling you
what they feel, and you being able to relate to their feelings with your
own feeling, there is no meaningful phenomena to study.
> According to your definition of science above, religion is scientific.
Religion is scientific only in the absence of science. Science is a
reaction against religion but it is still the same human effort at
understanding and influencing the super-personal realm.
> 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.
Religious worldviews are traditionally tested by killing those of opposing
views. Whoever is still alive has the right religion.
> 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
I have suggested some things. Walking off a person from their brain one
hemisphere at a time, for instance. I have proposed an experiment where
people who are suffering from PTSD compare results from focusing on generic
impersonal objects vs focusing on personal experiences. My hypothesis is
that focusing on geometry or science would be effective at temporarily
relieving PTSD while focusing on personal signifiers would likely
>> 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?
Oh I don't mind at all. It's actually kind of sad when people realize that
I was right all along. I prefer learning more about my own ideas by
understanding why other people's are wrong. I'm not here to convince anyone
>>>>>> Stathis Papaioannou
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