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General Discussion => Apologetics and Theology => Topic started by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 09:46:16 am

Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 09:46:16 am
(i) God, if He exists, is an unembodied mind.
(ii) An unembodied mind is incoherent.
(iii) Therefore, God does not exist.

Support for ii)

i) For something to function as a mind, it must produce thoughts, which operate under, minimally, at least some Law in order to string together at least one thought.
ii) An unembodied mind has no logical law under which to operate, and so cannot operate to produce thoughts
iii)Therefore, an unembodied mind is incoherent.

support for ii)

(Apparently, RandyE accepts i)
A mind is a functional entity that requires, at a minimum, a rule to make it cohere as an entity that we call a "mind". (i)  At a minimum, for example, a mind must have at least a thought.  This thought must be held by the mind in a way that doesn't simply mean that it flits in and out randomly.

This is the ontological part:
The principle of the nomological character of causality: all events are causally related through strict laws.


If there is no strict law that governs causality, then causality does not exist.  This is self-evident.

in order for a mind or thought to exist, it must be subject to some law of causality that ties it to SOMETHING.  Minds, in this universe, are governed by the law of causality, and any number of other physical laws.

An unembodied mind has no law that it is subject to (if it does, RandyE needs to provide it).

Logically, the unembodied mind (in this universe or some other realm) is incoherent if it has no governing principle, at a minimum one that grounds it as an entity called a Mind.

The proponent for an unembodied mind must define what they mean, and then show in what form this Mind floats around as a gas (which is subjet to laws), as a concept (which is a product of a mind, not a mind itself) or some other thing.

My suspicion is that RandyE willl appeal to some supernatural substance or 'rule' to claim that his unembodied mind can simply exist.

I can reject this unless he provides evidence.



Again, I request that RandyE provide:
1. a definition for "mind" in the way he means it
2. Some argument for the possibility that his concept of a mind can exist in reality.
3. Distinct arguments for why my argument is flawed.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Randy Everist on February 24, 2012, 10:02:30 am
GreatPumpkin wrote: My suspicion is that RandyE willl appeal to some supernatural substance or 'rule' to claim that his unembodied mind can simply exist.

I can reject this unless he provides evidence.
No, you can't. That's the beauty of modal claims. All I have to do is provide a possible model. You can't reject it even if you think it's false, because your claim is that it's impossible. Of necessity, my showing it's possible renders your impossibility claim as impossible. You also presume physicalism (cf. "gas" and that you seem to be using causality in a strictly physical sense). Next, there's no reason to suppose that the unembodied mind cannot simply know (epistemological) everything at once because its apprehension of ontological truths. This would, by defintion, be a "causal" law. "Ontology informs epistemology" is fairly uncontroversial. I also did not state that I accepted (i); indeed, it all depends on what "thought" means.

Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: phil nov on February 24, 2012, 10:05:10 am
Never has someone said so little with so much.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 10:08:15 am
RandyE wrote:
Quote from: GreatPumpkin
My suspicion is that RandyE willl appeal to some supernatural substance or 'rule' to claim that his unembodied mind can simply exist.

I can reject this unless he provides evidence.
No, you can't. That's the beauty of modal claims. All I have to do is provide a possible model. You can't reject it even if you think it's false, because your claim is that it's impossible. Of necessity, my showing it's possible renders your impossibility claim as impossible. You also presume physicalism (cf. "gas" and that you seem to be using causality in a strictly physical sense). Next, there's no reason to suppose that the unembodied mind cannot simply know (epistemological) everything at once because its apprehension of ontological truths. This would, by defintion, be a "causal" law. "Ontology informs epistemology" is fairly uncontroversial. I also did not state that I accepted (i); indeed, it all depends on what "thought" means.

I have shown it's impossible.  You just don't accept it.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Randy Everist on February 24, 2012, 10:10:06 am

GreatPumpkin wrote: I have shown it's impossible.  You just don't accept it.

I want everyone to note what I call the "no you" fallacy. I think this is my last post on this thread.

Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 10:25:26 am
RandyE wrote:
Quote from: GreatPumpkin
My suspicion is that RandyE willl appeal to some supernatural substance or 'rule' to claim that his unembodied mind can simply exist.

I can reject this unless he provides evidence.
No, you can't. That's the beauty of modal claims. All I have to do is provide a possible model.
You have not shown a possible case, unless you claim your 'magic super mind" is a case, which is hardly a philosophical argument. It's a religious one with no support.
It's comical in the sense that it's comic book like: you are making up other worlds, with other laws and calling them possible - with NO SUPPORT to show they are possible.

Is it possible I am Hitler?  If you say "yes", then we have a real problem, because without some sort of support that I am Hitler is a possible scenario, it's just you being gullible to the point of idiocy (no offense).

You can't reject it even if you think it's false, because your claim is that it's impossible.
It is impossible, that's what I have shown.

Of necessity, my showing it's possible renders your impossibility claim as impossible.
You did nothing of the sort except to appeal to some magical/supernatural material to create the god brain in which your now embodied-unembodied mind suddenly rests.

You also presume physicalism (cf. "gas" and that you seem to be using causality in a strictly physical sense). Next, there's no reason to suppose that the unembodied mind cannot simply know (epistemological) everything at once because its apprehension of ontological truths. This would, by defintion, be a "causal" law.
you completely misunderstand the argument.
I'm sorry I had to refernce ACTUAL minds in our ACTUAL universe to explain my position.  I'll try to avoid reality entirely when having a discussion with you in the future!

"Ontology informs epistemology" is fairly uncontroversial. I also did not state that I accepted (i); indeed, it all depends on what "thought" means.
Which you are trying to define in a way that ad hoc'ly (isn't he an NFL referee?) supports your belief that God is an unembodied mind, but you do with no support.

Again, I agree you only need to show one possible case of an unembodied mind.

But saying "well, there could be an unembodied thought that we can call a Mind..." is not showing you have a case of an unembodied mind.

Truly, and most powerfully, I appeal to your better nature and see that you have not made a case that a unembodied mind can exist.

And, to be clear, I am not just talking about a phsyical body - but ANY body.  Let's call it a framework.

How can a Mind exist without some framework (whether it's material, or supernatural), even minimally?  If it has one governing principle that restricts it to more than a random mess of (somehow) flitting thoughts, it is EMBODIED.

Note, we can say that the essence of sorrow is EMBODIED in the art work of Michelangelo's "Pieta".  But even that has a governing law that restricts it to the framework of the piece of art, history of the subject, mankind's understanding of the emotion, etc.

You are trying to say the unembodied mind is embodied in God.  How incredibly irrational is that!
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 10:29:40 am
RandyE wrote:

Quote from: GreatPumpkin
I have shown it's impossible.  You just don't accept it.

I want everyone to note what I call the "no you" fallacy. I think this is my last post on this thread.

Of course, because you refuse to note your irrational response which I paraphrased (as posted above):

Me: An unembodied mind is impossible
You: An unembodied mind is possible if it is embodied in God, or some other nature...

And people wonder why atheists seem angry often....
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 01:43:57 pm
To further my argument, that has so far not been rebutted, I will add:

To be "unembodied" means, by definition, to not be embodied.  To be embodied means to have some logical structure that makes it coherent.  Whether it is based on any law, natural or supernatural.

To be unembodied means to have no law governing it.

It's like taking the water from Lake Erie, evaporating it, sending it into the Sun, blowing up the Sun... and still calling it Lake Erie.


If the Unembodiest wishes to suggest there is some embodiment to the unembodied mind, then they only need to bring forth an argument or evidence that there is some embodiment (in the form of logical law, physical laws, civil laws, Stephan Laws, etc.) of an Unembodied Mind that gives it form in some ontological or metaphysical way that makes sense.

I am waiting.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 24, 2012, 04:58:03 pm
Hi GP

GP wrote: i] For something to function as a mind, it must produce thoughts, which operate under, minimally, at least some Law in order to string together at least one thought.

I don't really understand this premise.  What do you mean by "operating under, minimally, at least some Law"?  I can't get a hold of what you're getting at here.  Perhaps it would help if you gave some examples of things that don't operate under some law.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 05:14:28 pm
jbejon wrote:
Hi GP

Quote from: GP
i] For something to function as a mind, it must produce thoughts, which operate under, minimally, at least some Law in order to string together at least one thought.

I don't really understand this premise.  What do you mean by "operating under, minimally, at least some Law"?  I can't get a hold of what you're getting at here.  Perhaps it would help if you gave some examples of things that don't operate under some law.

Let's imagine, at minimum a mind is just a thought. Something that can flip a thought on and off, or something.  The most minimal conception of a Mind or Thought.

The first law it must be beholden to is, say, the law of identity. Also, It must function in a way that would conform to a principle of causality - that "I think" means that the Mind is actively thinking - even if it's a horrible confused though, but able to privitize it in some way.

I hope that is clear.

That structure, even in it's most basic and logical form must exist - a framework: a BODY.

After all, we aren't using "Brain" to mean what is in our own heads, we can use brain to mean a computer chip that he developed some level of consciousness.  Or, lets say an amorphous collection of energy that somehow fires quarks like we fire neurons.

Or, even more minimally, it could be that thought drift through a supernatural filter, and as they pass through, they are affected in some meaningful way.

In order to affect them, there needs to be a strict law - otherwise it's not a Mind - it's a random "fluctuation" of thoughts that aren't manipulated or commanded.  Hardly the definition of a Mind.

(Plus, i challenge that Ideas or thoughts can drift around without matter...but I won't argue that here.)

The point is that some governing law must make a Mind a Mind, and a Thought a Thought, and a particular Thought subject to at least one Mind.

If I  had a lawless (say, causeless) thought, there would be no sense in saying my Mind produced it. It wouldn't have in any logical sense.  If thoughts spontaneously appeared and disappeared, I could be called a Thought creator, but not  Mind.

A Mind has a ontological and metaphysical structure that defines it.

I don't see how this is possible without a Brain, even an infinite supernatural one (which i think is likely incoherent).


Thanks for a good question.  i hope I have, at least, explained my question.  I'd appreciate your thoughts.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 24, 2012, 05:38:50 pm

Let's imagine, at minimum a mind is just a thought.  Something that can flip a thought on and off, or something.  The most minimal conception of a Mind or Thought.

The first law it must be beholden to is, say, the law of identity. Also, It must function in a way that would conform to a principle of causality - that "I think" means that the Mind is actively thinking…

OK, I think I see what you're getting at then.  But I don't see how this helps your argument any.  Suppose, for instance, my mind is immaterial.  My mind would still be identical to itself, right?  And it would be able to think, and it would be part of cause-and-effect chains, wouldn't it?  So, I don't see how any of these conditions would show that the concept of an immaterial mind was incoherent.

Have I misunderstood your argument?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Rostos on February 24, 2012, 06:07:16 pm
GreatPumpkin wrote:
(i) God, if He exists, is an unembodied mind.
(ii) An unembodied mind is incoherent.
(iii) Therefore, God does not exist.

Support for ii)

i) For something to function as a mind, it must produce thoughts, which operate under, minimally, at least some Law in order to string together at least one thought.
ii) An unembodied mind has no logical law under which to operate, and so cannot operate to produce thoughts
iii)Therefore, an unembodied mind is incoherent.

support for ii)

(Apparently, RandyE accepts i)
A mind is a functional entity that requires, at a minimum, a rule to make it cohere as an entity that we call a "mind". (i)  At a minimum, for example, a mind must have at least a thought.  This thought must be held by the mind in a way that doesn't simply mean that it flits in and out randomly.

This is the ontological part:
The principle of the nomological character of causality: all events are causally related through strict laws.


If there is no strict law that governs causality, then causality does not exist.  This is self-evident.

in order for a mind or thought to exist, it must be subject to some law of causality that ties it to SOMETHING.  Minds, in this universe, are governed by the law of causality, and any number of other physical laws.

An unembodied mind has no law that it is subject to (if it does, RandyE needs to provide it).

Logically, the unembodied mind (in this universe or some other realm) is incoherent if it has no governing principle, at a minimum one that grounds it as an entity called a Mind.

The proponent for an unembodied mind must define what they mean, and then show in what form this Mind floats around as a gas (which is subjet to laws), as a concept (which is a product of a mind, not a mind itself) or some other thing.

My suspicion is that RandyE willl appeal to some supernatural substance or 'rule' to claim that his unembodied mind can simply exist.

I can reject this unless he provides evidence.



Again, I request that RandyE provide:
1. a definition for "mind" in the way he means it
2. Some argument for the possibility that his concept of a mind can exist in reality.
3. Distinct arguments for why my argument is flawed.


This is a stupid argument if i have ever seen one.

How do you know an unemobodied mind doesnt exist in a supernatual world?
You dont.


Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 06:24:39 pm
jbejon wrote:

Let's imagine, at minimum a mind is just a thought.  Something that can flip a thought on and off, or something.  The most minimal conception of a Mind or Thought.

The first law it must be beholden to is, say, the law of identity. Also, It must function in a way that would conform to a principle of causality - that "I think" means that the Mind is actively thinking…

OK, I think I see what you're getting at then.  But I don't see how this helps your argument any.  Suppose, for instance, my mind is immaterial.  My mind would still be identical to itself, right?  And it would be able to think, and it would be part of cause-and-effect chains, wouldn't it?  So, I don't see how any of these conditions would show that the concept of an immaterial mind was incoherent.

Have I misunderstood your argument?

I don't see how, if your Mind didn't have some restriction to keep it from disappearing into whatever metaphysical space it was in, how it would remain "your mind".

I don't think my being able to conceptualize your brain in a bodiless state (in order to do so for sake of argument, no less) is the same thing as 'your mind can exist in a bodiless state.'

Your mind can only be identical to itself given what it metaphysically is: a mind that is connected to a brain - YOUR brain.

For example, if your Mind is immaterial, then send it over to mine, or lets have them meet somewhere and think together.  If there is no physical aspect to restrict them, why are they restricted?

What keeps your mind located near your body, if not some governing principles that keep it there?

Let's go as far to assume your Brain has nothing to do with your Mind.  I still wonder how YOUR Mind exists without YOU: even as a metaphysical being that has no body.


What rule is in play that makes your Mind yours?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 24, 2012, 07:00:03 pm
GP,

From your post, I can't get any arguments that lead to the conclusion: "Therefore, unembodied minds can't possibly exist".  If you think these arguments are present, could you phrase them more precisely please?  Otherwise, I think I'm liable to simply misunderstand them.

Take, for instance, this statement:

Your mind can only be identical to itself given what it metaphysically is: a mind that is connected to a brain - YOUR brain.

You seem to be implying here that self-identicality relies upon matter.  If so, I don't see this as being true at all.  The number 3 is identical to itself and is non-identical with the number 2, right?

Then consider a question you ask:  What attaches my mind to my brains as opposed to someone else's?  Who knows?  But asking a question like that doesn't yield the conclusion, "Therefore, unembodied minds can't possibly exist".  Why do planets exert a gravitational pull on their moons as opposed to repelling them?  And how do they exert force like this from a distance?  Who knows?  But what follows from this?  Simply that there's a lot we don't understand about the cause-and-effect interaction of the world around us.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 07:11:43 pm
jbejon wrote:
You seem to be implying here that self-identicality relies upon matter.  If so, I don't see this as being true at all.  The number 3 is identical to itself and is non-identical with the number 2, right?
not on matter, but on some framework - if nothing else the law of identity.

Then consider a question you ask:  What attaches my mind to my brains as opposed to someone else's?  Who knows?  But asking a question like that doesn't yield the conclusion, "Therefore, unembodied minds can't possibly exist".  Why do planets exert a gravitational pull on their moons as opposed to repelling them?  And how do they exert force like this from a distance?  Who knows?  But what follows from this?  Simply that there's a lot we don't understand about the cause-and-effect interaction of the world around us.
Understood.  I am dealing with two things.

1. I have presented a case against an unembodied mind.  I don't pretend to have answered the age-old problem, but would like to discuss it.
2. in those discussions, it was said "there is no logical contradiction, I can imagine an  unembodied mind".

Please look at the OP for #1 and you may see the argument - then, if you want, ask some questions - but as I said, i don't expect to have found the answer that other, smarter philosophers have struggled with.

I am struggling, though, with #2.  If I could see what others see as logically possible, maybe I'd destroy my own argument on my own.



to #1, here is my understanding.

1. The Mind is to the air in a balloon, the Brain is the balloon.

2. If you take away the Balloon, you don't have the "balloon air".

The Balloon can represent our brain, or just a metaphysical framework, but it seems to be a Necessary condition for the Mind to exist.

Otherwise, I envision a Mind (some thing that deals with thoughts) dispersing into metaphysical randomness.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 07:13:19 pm
Or, if you like:

The Mind is the  letters in a book, the Brain is the book.

If you burn the book, you don't have a Mind.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Archsage on February 25, 2012, 01:17:24 am
GreatPumpkin wrote: Or, if you like:

The Mind is the  letters in a book, the Brain is the book.

If you burn the book, you don't have a Mind.


Close, but not yet there. The Brain is the Book and the Mind is the Story. Burn the Book and you probably won't be able to read the Story. But the Story needn't have the Book in order to exist, of course. And if you get rid of the Story, all the Book is, is paper and ink.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 25, 2012, 07:36:33 am
Archsage wrote:
Quote from: GreatPumpkin
Or, if you like:

The Mind is the  letters in a book, the Brain is the book.

If you burn the book, you don't have a Mind.


Close, but not yet there. The Brain is the Book and the Mind is the Story. Burn the Book and you probably won't be able to read the Story. But the Story needn't have the Book in order to exist, of course. And if you get rid of the Story, all the Book is, is paper and ink.

   A story is conceptual: of the mind.  How can a mind be of the mind?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 25, 2012, 08:05:41 am
GP,

I still can't get much of an argument from what you've written.  It seems to me that your overall argument is:

(1) God is an unembodied mind
(2) Unembodied minds are incoherent
(3) Therefore, God does not exist

Fine.  Only (2) is controversial.  So, you want to support (2) with an argument of the form:

(4) Anything that can reasonably be referred to as a "mind" would have to fulfil condition X
(5) An unembodied mind cannot, by virtue of being unembodied, fulfil condition X
(6) Therefore, an unembodied mind is incoherent

The question that remains, then, is, What is this condition X?

As best as I can make out, you've suggested that X is "being identical with itself" or "being able to causally interact with other things".

However, none of these conditions work.  If I have/am an immaterial mind, then my mind is clearly identical with itself.  It is also able to causally interact with other things, e.g. my brain.

So, I can't find an argument that persuades me here.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 25, 2012, 08:21:40 am
Archsage wrote:
Quote from: GreatPumpkin
Or, if you like:

The Mind is the  letters in a book, the Brain is the book.

If you burn the book, you don't have a Mind.


Close, but not yet there. The Brain is the Book and the Mind is the Story. Burn the Book and you probably won't be able to read the Story. But the Story needn't have the Book in order to exist, of course. And if you get rid of the Story, all the Book is, is paper and ink.

   A story is conceptual: of the mind.  How can a mind be of the mind?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 25, 2012, 08:49:05 am
jbejon wrote:
GP,

I still can't get much of an argument from what you've written.  It seems to me that your overall argument is:

(1) God is an unembodied mind
(2) Unembodied minds are incoherent
(3) Therefore, God does not exist

Fine.  Only (2) is controversial.  So, you want to support (2) with an argument of the form:

(4) Anything that can reasonably be referred to as a "mind" would have to fulfil condition X
(5) An unembodied mind cannot, by virtue of being unembodied, fulfil condition X
(6) Therefore, an unembodied mind is incoherent

The question that remains, then, is, What is this condition X?

As best as I can make out, you've suggested that X is "being identical with itself" or "being able to causally interact with other things".

However, none of these conditions work.  If I have/am an immaterial mind, then my mind is clearly identical with itself.  It is also able to causally interact with other things, e.g. my brain.

So, I can't find an argument that persuades me here.

   I think my question revolves around the ontological nature of the terms: "mind" (as a thing that functions as a mind) and "unembodied" (free of any framework or structure).

   First, i think its silly that for the most part the theists have agreed that an unembodied mind in this universe is hard to imagine, but if they invent new rules (namely that UM's can exist somehow) it becomes just a priori fact.

   

   Usually you would start with an inkling that it is possible in the real world before resorting to imaginary worlds.

   

   After all we can have a vigorous mind-body debate under atheism, right here on earth.

   

   But the theist knows that what ever comes of that debate mmust apply to their god, so they always skew it towards that.

   

   So, id just like to start at the basics, analogies aside and define the mind in a way we are all happy with.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 25, 2012, 09:56:11 am
And re-reading your syllogism, a think that is very close to what i am thinking.

   Let add a term from Tillich, an "organizational principle".

   There would have to be something that organizes or embodies the mind in order for it to have logical coherency.

   

   X would be, at minimum, an organizational principle that embodies the mind in order for it to function as such.

   

   Note, i am being incredibly lenient and generous for a materialist to say this. But i want the whole discussion laid out on the.table.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on February 25, 2012, 09:59:42 am
I think condition X would be some sort constraint or container to keep the mind contained and distinct from other minds.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 25, 2012, 10:27:21 am
jbiemans wrote: I think condition X would be some sort constraint or container to keep the mind contained and distinct from other minds.

   Yes, someting that keeps it discreet: embodied.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Archsage on February 25, 2012, 10:54:03 am
GreatPumpkin wrote:
Quote from: Archsage
Quote from: GreatPumpkin
Or, if you like:

The Mind is the  letters in a book, the Brain is the book.

If you burn the book, you don't have a Mind.


Close, but not yet there. The Brain is the Book and the Mind is the Story. Burn the Book and you probably won't be able to read the Story. But the Story needn't have the Book in order to exist, of course. And if you get rid of the Story, all the Book is, is paper and ink.

A story is conceptual: of the mind.  How can a mind be of the mind?


Yeah, so I guess you don't really get how analogies work...
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 25, 2012, 01:21:21 pm
GP wrote: X would be, at minimum, an organizational principle that embodies the mind in order for it to function as such.

OK, I don't really know what you mean by "an organisational principle".  I'm not being obtuse--I really don't.

Either way, if you define a mind as something that needs to be "embodied", then, sure, the concept of an unembodied mind is trivially incoherent.  But the claim that a mind needs to be embodied is what you're meant to be demonstrating rather than presupposing.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 25, 2012, 02:33:15 pm
jbejon wrote:
Quote from: GP
X would be, at minimum, an organizational principle that embodies the mind in order for it to function as such.

OK, I don't really know what you mean by "an organisational principle".  I'm not being obtuse--I really don't.

Either way, if you define a mind as something that needs to be "embodied", then, sure, the concept of an unembodied mind is trivially incoherent.  But the claim that a mind needs to be embodied is what you're meant to be demonstrating rather than presupposing.

   If, for sake of argument, a mind does need to be embodied, then by discovering that it needs to be embodied is presupposing?

   

   If the fact of the matter is that minds need to be embodied, then i think i have shown how that seems to be necessary.

   

   Btw, organizational principle is a tillich term , one that he beleives is god.

   

   I dont want to have to argue the theist position but it seems i might have to! Mainly because everyone seems to be hanging back and remaining hyperskeptical.

   

   What i have done is argued for a theistic mind, but still show that it must have at least one basic principle to be called a mind. Even if that is, somehow, in the form of a command of "BE!"

   

   But, as you say, it isnt very convincing...

   

   

   So, what argument besides "i can imagine it , its not logically impossible " is there?

   

   Thats where i am hung up. Ive argued a bare minimum, and the barest of minimum for a theistic mind, but no one is convinced.

   

   Perhaps we are all materialist, without our presuppositions?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 25, 2012, 02:44:56 pm
jbejon wrote:
Quote from: GP
X would be, at minimum, an organizational principle that embodies the mind in order for it to function as such.

OK, I don't really know what you mean by "an organisational principle".  I'm not being obtuse--I really don't.

Either way, if you define a mind as something that needs to be "embodied", then, sure, the concept of an unembodied mind is trivially incoherent.  But the claim that a mind needs to be embodied is what you're meant to be demonstrating rather than presupposing.

   Do you agree that a mind must, at least, be bound by something, like the law of identity, the causal principle, or something?

   I don't think i'm presupposing, here, it seems logically necessary.

   

   Frankly, no offense, i think what is happening is i am expressing a logical truth and being accused of a presupposition because it seems so rational.

   

   I feel a little like ive shown that triangles can only have 3 sides, then being accused of presupposing they need 3 sides.

   

   I guess i am looking for something other than skepticism to argue for an unembodied mind.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Arthur42 on February 25, 2012, 02:57:56 pm
I'm wondering why God would be a mind in the same sense that I have a mind.  I would think that my mind is analogous to God's mind but that they are not the same thing.  As such it seems kind of futile to reason from our own minds to God's mind.  Even if we can show that our minds are immaterial (I doubt this), Christians don't actually argue that God has a human mind, so in what sense does it even matter if our minds are immaterial?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 25, 2012, 04:12:57 pm
Arthur42 wrote: I'm wondering why God would be a mind in the same sense that I have a mind.  I would think that my mind is analogous to God's mind but that they are not the same thing.  As such it seems kind of futile to reason from our own minds to God's mind.  Even if we can show that our minds are immaterial (I doubt this), Christians don't actually argue that God has a human mind, so in what sense does it even matter if our minds are immaterial?

   1. Then why call it a mind? What would it be, a computer? Something else? This would be a rebuttal from ignorance.

   2. You are right that it barely matters what the truth is, a christian can simply assert things are different in their magic la la land without anything more than saying "i can imagine it, its not logically impossible."
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on February 25, 2012, 04:14:42 pm
but don't you see Greatpumpkin that saying a triangle requires 3 sides presupoes phycalism, its possible that an immaterial triangle exists that has no sides.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 25, 2012, 04:17:36 pm
jbiemans wrote: but don't you see Greatpumpkin that saying a triangle requires 3 sides presupoes phycalism, its possible that an immaterial triangle exists that has no sides.

   ... Because i can imagine it, and its not logically impossible"....

   

   Hehe
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 25, 2012, 04:31:27 pm
GP wrote: Do you agree that a mind must, at least, be bound by something, like the law of identity, the causal principle, or something?

First, what is "the causal principle" exactly?

Separately, I don't know that I'd want to use the term "bound".  But yes, I agree that a mind--or anything else for that matter--must be self-identical.  But why on Earth think that an immaterial mind wouldn't be identical with itself?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 25, 2012, 07:29:29 pm
jbejon wrote:
Quote from: GP
Do you agree that a mind must, at least, be bound by something, like the law of identity, the causal principle, or something?

First, what is "the causal principle" exactly?

Separately, I don't know that I'd want to use the term "bound".  But yes, I agree that a mind--or anything else for that matter--must be self-identical.  But why on Earth think that an immaterial mind wouldn't be identical with itself?


The principle of the nomological character of causality: all events are causally related through strict laws.
Why not "bound"?  What term is usful to you?
You, at least agree that an unembodied mind must adhere to the Law of Identity, correct?
But, this doesn't make it function as a mind, alone.
To Function, or ontologically BE a Mind, it must operate under some causality.  It thinks, then thinks about a thought, etc.  Or, thinks and then produces some kind of action.
I see no value in a mind that thinks, but poduces no action beyond a single thought.  That is what a quark can do: it just does what it does and is acted upon.
So, something distinguishes a Mind from other things: namely it thinks.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 26, 2012, 08:31:41 am
OK, I agree, of course, that a mind must think.  But immaterial minds do think, so this is no candidate for condition X.

As to a mind's events "being causally related through strict laws", I'm still not sure what this would mean in the context of an immaterial mind.  It's not even clear to me that this is a condition that's satisfied by many materialistic philosophies of mind, since many materialists appeal to the quantum indeterminacy of the mind's events in order to accommodate the notion of free will.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 26, 2012, 09:09:05 am
jbejon wrote: OK, I agree, of course, that a mind must think.  But immaterial minds do think, so this is no candidate for condition X.

As to a mind's events "being causally related through strict laws", I'm still not sure what this would mean in the context of an immaterial mind.  It's not even clear to me that this is a condition many materialistic philosophies of mind adhere to, since many materialists appeal to the quantum indeterminacy of the mind's events in order to accommodate the notion of free will.


well, we don't know if Unembodied minds think!  We are still trying to find out if they exist first!

I don't know how else to explain it.

There must be some law that governs thought.  Some undelying reality that gives a foundation to it, otherwise what makes it a mind as opposed to something else that "is what it is"?

See how its not enough for it to adhere to just the law of identity?

Many things that are not minds adhere to the law of identity.

It is necessary but not sufficient for a Mind to cohere, or be embodied by, the law of identity.  In fact, I don't think "embodied" is the proper term.

But, as I said, this is a bare minimum.

We are trying to discover the necessary and sufficient conditions for a Mind - embodied or not.  That is usually what a definition provides.

Notice the lack of definitions or engagement from theists on this issue: they realize that after they say "I can imagine an unembodied mind, and it's not logically impossible" that they suddenly realize that it's not so easy to imagine, and, in fact, may be logically impossible....
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on February 26, 2012, 09:13:20 am
if unembodied minds give this much trouble, try imagining an unembodied immaterial mind.....
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 26, 2012, 09:16:22 am

Also, quantum indeterminacy is a strict law.  It is a principle that simply is and the quantum "realm" is embodied by it.

Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 26, 2012, 09:19:44 am
We are trying to discover the necessary and sufficient conditions for a Mind--embodied or not.  That is usually what a definition provides.

Right.  So, what are these conditions?  Remember, it's you who are meant to be presenting an argument that shows that the concept of an unembodied mind is incoherent.  To do that, you're going to have to provide a definition of a mind that's intuitively reasonable and that doesn't presuppose materialism.  You're then going to have to show that an immaterial mind can't possibly satisfy this definition.

Let me give you a parallel example of just such an argument.

(1) For something to exist, it must have causal power.  It must be capable of producing effects.
(2) Numbers don't have causal power.
(3) Numbers don't exist.

I'm not saying this is the greatest argument in the world.  But note the salient features.  It provides an intuitively reasonable definition of what it means for something to exist.  More importantly, it's a definition that automatically rule out the possibility of immaterial things existing.  It then shows that numbers can't satisfy this definition.

It seems to me that this is what you need to do here.

Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on February 26, 2012, 09:27:10 am
can we not simply substitute your 2 for:  
   
 immaterial minds have no causal power  
   
   
   
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 26, 2012, 09:45:06 am
Yes, this is very hard for me to do because I believe that Minds are dependent on Brains.

But, I am proposing that Minds, even in the most minimal sense, must adhere to some basic rules to meet the necessary and sufficient conditions to be called a mind.

RandyE proposed they don't even need to think, but just hold a thought.  I suppose this is enough, but it would wreak havoc with his ontological argument since I can imagine a greater thing is to be able to do more than hold a thought!

Of course, he's not responsible for being coherent, only come up with one possible option for an unembodied mind.

However, let's assume he's right that a Mind only need to hold a thought.  How?  under what conditions does it need to hold a thought?  Can it hold a thought because the thought just happens to reside 'in' the mind?  Can it dift out of the mind?

If the Mind can be said the "hold" the thought, then how does it hold it without a 'holding device"? Some law, principle, or mechanism that holds the thought?

I am defining the mind in a minimal sense, as some thing that holds a thought (And, honestly, I don't think this is enough, and a far cry from what a mind is - but I am allowing RandyE's arguments to stand to expose the problem)
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 26, 2012, 09:47:11 am
can we not simply substitute your 2 for:

immaterial minds have no causal power

Only if you want to presuppose your conclusion.  No-one who believes in the existence of immaterial minds thinks they have no causal power.  However, people who believe in the existence of numbers agree that they have no causal power.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 26, 2012, 09:50:45 am

jbiemans wrote: if unembodied minds give this much trouble, try imagining an unembodied immaterial mind.....

actually, imagining an immaterial mind is hard enough!  It's the unembodied part that is killing me.

I think the non-materialists are either changing the material (saying it's supernatural), or not fully considering the implications of a mind that is not embodied.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 26, 2012, 09:54:30 am
jbejon wrote:
can we not simply substitute your 2 for:

immaterial minds have no causal power

Only if you want to presuppose your conclusion.  No-one who believes in the existence of immaterial minds thinks they have no causal power.  However, people who believe in the existence of numbers agree that they have no causal power.


I think you keep throwing in "presuppose" as a way to undermine anything we say.  Please stop.  I'm not trying to be rude, but it's a tactic, not a valid point.

As in, "you are simply presupposing minds can be unembodied".  Even if you came up with a valid argument, I could say that.

I think you need to show why we are presupposing, and where in our argument before you accuse us of it.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 26, 2012, 12:40:46 pm

I think you keep throwing in "presuppose" as a way to undermine anything we say.  Please stop.  I'm not trying to be rude, but it's a tactic, not a valid point.

As in, "you are simply presupposing minds can be unembodied".  Even if you came up with a valid argument, I could say that.

You'd be welcome to say that.  But there are two points you'd need to appreciate.  First, I'm not trying to come up with a valid argument here.  Rather, you've claimed that you can show that it's impossible for unembodied minds to exist.  Second, in modal terms, we generally assume that things are possible until proven otherwise.  I've never, for instance, seen a blue squirrel.  But I don't thereby assume that it's impossible for such things to exist unless I've got a decent reason for doing so.  "Presuppose" isn't just a word I'm using.  It's something you're actually doing.  Think of it like this.  People who believe in immaterial minds believe that minds are non-physical things which are capable of having thoughts, making decisions, and interacting with the brain.  If you want to argue that such things are impossible, you can't assume as a starting point that minds can't in fact interact with the physical world.  A good argument is meant to start from  premises that its "opponents" find plausible and then argue to a conclusion that causes them to change their mind about something.  However, no dualist thinks immaterial things are necessarily causally effete.  So, you need to give an argument for that claim if it's going to persuade anyone.

Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 26, 2012, 02:51:11 pm
Then we have a problem.  I keep telling you how it is impossible, and you just assert that i am presupposing, and that you dont need to provide any argument or reason for your assertion.

   

   For example, if you say "you cant have a married bachelor" apparently i only need to assert you havent proven it, say i can imagine it and tell you i dont need an argument.  I just say "people who beleive in married bachelors beleive they are capable of existing.". And, for the record you have changed from "unembodied" to "immaterial".  And, you still have not made a case for how you see an unembodied mind functioning without some kind of underlying structure... I would want some idea how you think its possible:

   Just like you would want a basic sketch how i beleive a married bachelor could exist.

   We are attempting a philosophical discussion to understand each other, right?

   

   Is that truly, in your mind, how this is supposed to work?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 26, 2012, 03:06:31 pm
Then we have a problem. I keep telling you how it is impossible, and you just assert that i am presupposing, and that you dont need to provide any argument or reason for your assertion.

For example, if you say "you cant have a married bachelor" apparently i only need to assert you havent proven it, say i can imagine it and tell you i dont need an argument. I just say "people who beleive in married bachelors beleive they are capable of existing".

NOTE:  I see you've erased your square/circle comments.  So, just plug in married/bachelor and make the necessary adjustments.

There's a major disanalogy here, which is in fact very instructive.

Everyone agrees that an essential property of a square is having corners.  Likewise, everyone agrees that an essential property of a circle is not having corners.  So, the following argument is fine:

(1) For something to be meaningfully called a square, it needs to have corners
(2) For something to be meaningfully called a circle, it can't have any corners
(3) Therefore, the concept of a square circle is incoherent.

Importantly, note that this argument doesn't presuppose anything controversial.  The arguments you've given so far, on the other hand, do.  They presuppose premises like, "It's impossible for immaterial things to interact with material things".  That's not going to make your argument very convincing to anyone who isn't already a materialist.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 26, 2012, 08:19:21 pm
I agree this is instructive, so lets respond to your argument in the way you have to mine.

(1) For something to be meaningfully called a square, it needs to have corners
(2) For something to be meaningfully called a circle, it can't have any corners
(3) Therefore, the concept of a square circle is incoherent.

You are presupposing squares need corners, I can imagine a square without a corner, and so its not impossible.


See, I have shown that:

1. The Mind needs to be "embodied" by at least one or law.
2. Unembodied means to be unstructured in any way that would obtain #1
3. Therefore, unembodied minds are impossible.

I need you to give me more on how unembodied means it can function.

Since you have been able to show how a squared-circle is incoherent, I can see that you understand the problem and only need to explain.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Michael S on February 26, 2012, 09:08:52 pm
Oooh, here is a discussion I can sink my teeth into!

Considering that my TCA balances the probability of an unembodied 'mind' versus an unembodied 'mechanism', I've put a lot of thought into this one.

In the original and non-analogous argument, I believe I use the terms 'personal agent' and 'impersonal process' as a means of drawing a dichotomy between a conscious cause and a non conscious cause.

The difficulty comes in trying to imagine either of these causes existing outside of time and space, and then creating a universe comprising of both.

To define a 'new' term here, we take the common three dimensions of height, width, and depth, then add a fourth dimension of time. But if we are to discuss the philosophy of the cause of the universe, then is seems necessary to add in a fifth dimension, where such a cause might exist. Remember, if a cause is responsible for a phenomena, it must exist independant to that phenomena.

For instance, I have seen the atheists in this thread make comments along the lines of 'What form does the unembodied mind take? Does it float along like gas?' etc. This also hints at conundrums explained elsewhere, such as 'If God thought the universe into being, but exists outside of time, then was there ever a moment before that thought? Thought implies a before and after, being before the thought took place, and after it took place.'

In the same notion, the theists might ask 'how can a process exist outside of time and space? A process, even an unembodied one requires that certain starting conditions be met before the process begins (ie, I will not fall to the ground (gravity) unless someone yanks my chair out from underneath me). That implies time).

In both of these circumstances, we are applying third and fourth dimensional ideologies to a hypothetical fifth dimensional existence. One can hardly blame us for thinking in this fashion, after all, how else might we think? Trying to imagine 'physical' or 'temporal causational' laws in a fifth dimension would be akin to trying to determine the width of a series, the depth of a square, or perhaps the duration of a chair. Ultimately, we're doing the best we can with the perspectives that we have.

Having said that, I think that there are still some basic principles we can apply, for instance the three laws of thought. It seems to me that even in the absense of any laws of physics, we might still be able to hold true to the law of identity, or the law of non-contradiction etc. We might not know in exactly what terms these laws are satisfied (for instance, as posted in this thread, a brain might be given a sense of identity based on the physical matter it inhabits), but we should be able to hypothesise that they still exist.

In consideration of the above, I would posit that an unembodied consciousness or agent (which might have less third and fourth dimensional connotations than the term 'mind') could still likely posess a uniqueness outside of time and space, though the way in which such an entity could do so is still up for discussion (and that's a discussion I look forward to!). However, I would be cautious about assigning certain 'laws' or 'embodying' constructs that need to be satisfied, because these will certainly involve principles that might not apply outside of time and space.

Hopefully that made sense, and wasn't a case of TL: DR.

Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 27, 2012, 06:01:52 am
Wow, that's exactly how i was going to argue the existence of married bachelors and square circles!

   

   Arent you going a long way to describe something that seems to have a much more elegant answer: minds are what brains do?

   

   After all, if you didnt presuppose god, what motivation do you have to posit brains, in other dimensions and time realms, etc?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Michael S on February 27, 2012, 06:54:01 am
cartersmith wrote: Wow, that's exactly how i was going to argue the existence of married bachelors and square circles!

Do tell, I'd be fascinated to see how using a fifth philosophic dimension would justify the notion of explicitly self contradictory ideas, especially in light of my positing that the laws of mind would still hold true in such an environment.

cartersmith wrote: Arent you going a long way to describe something that seems to have a much more elegant answer: minds are what brains do?


Not at all. I'm exploring the realms in which such a cause of the universe, be it conscious or not-conscious, might exist.

cartersmith wrote: After all, if you didnt presuppose god, what motivation do you have to posit brains, in other dimensions and time realms, etc?

The same motivation that I have to posit processes and mechanics in other dimensions and time realms. To solve the problem of ex-nihilo vs infinite regress of causality.

It sounds to me like you've just attempted to dismiss the entire post by means of generalisation and/or appeal to ridicule rather than engage with any of it. You might do better to try and show some logical incoherencies in my statements, or use my premises to undermine my conclusion. I might treat your statements with a bit more weight then.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 27, 2012, 08:27:41 am
Michael wrote: Do tell, I'd be fascinated to see how using a fifth philosophic dimension would justify the notion of explicitly self contradictory ideas, especially in light of my positing that the laws of mind would still hold true in such an environment.
Well, I was going to use the 6th Philosophical circle of metaphysical ontology to explain it... it's based on Modal logical and quantum theism... soo.....


Not at all. I'm exploring the realms in which such a cause of the universe, be it conscious or not-conscious, might exist.
Right, me too....


The same motivation that I have to posit processes and mechanics in other dimensions and time realms. To solve the problem of ex-nihilo vs infinite regress of causality.

It sounds to me like you've just attempted to dismiss the entire post by means of generalisation and/or appeal to ridicule rather than engage with any of it. You might do better to try and show some logical incoherencies in my statements, or use my premises to undermine my conclusion. I might treat your statements with a bit more weight then.
I don't have any idea what you are talking about when you start to propose modes of existence that are completely different than anything I understand, that you don't have any evidence for in an effort to "explain" something that I think is flatly incoherent (as I explained).

Let's simplify your "explanation".  How does the "fifth philosophic dimension" (a term I can't find in use any where) explain why certain regions of the brain become active when different things are thought of?

Doesn't an explanation need to explain things?

Can we shorten "fifth philosophic dimension" to "magic"?  Easier to type.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Arthur42 on February 27, 2012, 08:49:58 am
Carter, may I make a suggestion.  The fact that you seem to be unaware of any of the 2500 years of arguments that argue for at least one immaterial part of human consciousness (some with no theological ax to grind at all).  This message board works a whole lot better when people go read actual philosophy and then come back to discuss the finer points of it.  The alternative is people like you who just burst in, guns blazing, asking everyone to teach you the basics of philosophy of mind just so you can knock down the summary version of the arguments.  I've noticed you've done that on several topics now.  If you have access to JSTOR or another academic database through a school or library I suggest you get on there and look up some of the classics of these arguments and that will better acquaint you with the issues at hand.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 27, 2012, 09:02:28 am
Arthur42 wrote: Carter, may I make a suggestion.  The fact that you seem to be unaware of any of the 2500 years of arguments that argue for at least one immaterial part of human consciousness (some with no theological ax to grind at all).  This message board works a whole lot better when people go read actual philosophy and then come back to discuss the finer points of it.  The alternative is people like you who just burst in, guns blazing, asking everyone to teach you the basics of philosophy of mind just so you can knock down the summary version of the arguments.  I've noticed you've done that on several topics now.  If you have access to JSTOR or another academic database through a school or library I suggest you get on there and look up some of the classics of these arguments and that will better acquaint you with the issues at hand.
Arthur, I am not unaware of them.  This is the point of this.

It appears that everyone here is unaware of them and unable to give an account.  I would like to know why you, or any dualist believes that an unembodied mind is possible.

What, besides an argument from ignorance, do dualists have?

I am aware of the Hard Problem and the other arguments, but I am still at a loss why people HERE can't explain why they think an unembodied mind is possible.

It is possible that I win the lottery if I never play?  Well, sure, I suppose somehow... but how?  Maybe by invoking the 5th dimension of philosophical woo?


Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 27, 2012, 09:05:42 am
after all, as I have repeatedly pointed out, the rebuttal to my OP argument is "an unembodied mind is possible".

I would like someone to show how an unembodied mind is possible and destroy my argument.

With a little reading, it should be quite easy if there is 2500 years of discussion about it.....

So, instead of attacking me for not arguing your side, why don't you just argue YOUR SIDE!!!!
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 27, 2012, 09:22:16 am
In fact, let's be very clear.
IF the Mind cannot be unembodied, then how are you imagining that it can be?

Right?

I have tried to show how I think it's impossible, but your "side' has not shown how it's possible.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 27, 2012, 12:57:54 pm
I agree this is instructive, so lets respond to your argument in the way you have to mine.

(1) For something to be meaningfully called a square, it needs to have corners
(2) For something to be meaningfully called a circle, it can't have any corners
(3) Therefore, the concept of a square circle is incoherent.

You are presupposing squares need corners,…

I'm presupposing that squares need corners!?  Squares have corners by definition.  Are you suggesting that minds are material by definition?  If so, you might want to change the title of this thread to "Assertion against an unembodied mind".
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 27, 2012, 01:02:39 pm
jbejon wrote:
I agree this is instructive, so lets respond to your argument in the way you have to mine.

(1) For something to be meaningfully called a square, it needs to have corners
(2) For something to be meaningfully called a circle, it can't have any corners
(3) Therefore, the concept of a square circle is incoherent.

You are presupposing squares need corners,…

I'm presupposing that squares need corners!?  Squares have corners by definition.  Are you suggesting that minds are material by definition?  If so, you might want to change the title of this thread to "Assertion against an unembodied mind".
Where did I mention material?  Please go over all my posts.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: jbejon on February 27, 2012, 01:06:10 pm
Where did I mention material?  Please go over all my posts.

So, you're happy to concede that things can affect the material world without themselves being material?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Michael S on February 27, 2012, 01:27:43 pm
cartersmith wrote:
Quote from: Michael
Do tell, I'd be fascinated to see how using a fifth philosophic dimension would justify the notion of explicitly self contradictory ideas, especially in light of my positing that the laws of mind would still hold true in such an environment.
Well, I was going to use the 6th Philosophical circle of metaphysical ontology to explain it... it's based on Modal logical and quantum theism... soo.....


Not at all. I'm exploring the realms in which such a cause of the universe, be it conscious or not-conscious, might exist.
Right, me too....


The same motivation that I have to posit processes and mechanics in other dimensions and time realms. To solve the problem of ex-nihilo vs infinite regress of causality.

It sounds to me like you've just attempted to dismiss the entire post by means of generalisation and/or appeal to ridicule rather than engage with any of it. You might do better to try and show some logical incoherencies in my statements, or use my premises to undermine my conclusion. I might treat your statements with a bit more weight then.
I don't have any idea what you are talking about when you start to propose modes of existence that are completely different than anything I understand, that you don't have any evidence for in an effort to "explain" something that I think is flatly incoherent (as I explained).

Let's simplify your "explanation".  How does the "fifth philosophic dimension" (a term I can't find in use any where) explain why certain regions of the brain become active when different things are thought of?

Doesn't an explanation need to explain things?

Can we shorten "fifth philosophic dimension" to "magic"?  Easier to type.

   

   I think I'm just going to go with 'lol'. Possibly even a 'cool story bro'.

   

   A sixth dimension? Some thing that can be intuitively hypothesised as being independent of whatever framework holds the cause that is independent of time and space?

   

   Sounds fascinating.

   

   Do tell, this is gold.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Arthur42 on February 27, 2012, 01:33:21 pm
cartersmith wrote:
Quote from: Arthur42
Carter, may I make a suggestion.  The fact that you seem to be unaware of any of the 2500 years of arguments that argue for at least one immaterial part of human consciousness (some with no theological ax to grind at all).  This message board works a whole lot better when people go read actual philosophy and then come back to discuss the finer points of it.  The alternative is people like you who just burst in, guns blazing, asking everyone to teach you the basics of philosophy of mind just so you can knock down the summary version of the arguments.  I've noticed you've done that on several topics now.  If you have access to JSTOR or another academic database through a school or library I suggest you get on there and look up some of the classics of these arguments and that will better acquaint you with the issues at hand.
Arthur, I am not unaware of them.  This is the point of this.

It appears that everyone here is unaware of them and unable to give an account.  I would like to know why you, or any dualist believes that an unembodied mind is possible.

What, besides an argument from ignorance, do dualists have?

I am aware of the Hard Problem and the other arguments, but I am still at a loss why people HERE can't explain why they think an unembodied mind is possible.

It is possible that I win the lottery if I never play?  Well, sure, I suppose somehow... but how?  Maybe by invoking the 5th dimension of philosophical woo?


I don't know how you're defining mind.  As a hylemorphic dualist, I think that the full human mind (which consists of a brain and a rational intellect) is necessarily embodied, and once an organism dies, the mind is gone.  However the rational intellect, as a non-material thing, continues.  This intellect is severely disabled and restricted by this separation, however, and can only regain its proper working function once it receives the "new body" promised in the resurrection.

I don't think this debate is relevant to what God is, however, because I wouldn't say that God is an "unembodied mind" nor that he has a mind.  Rather, God is God.  What we have as a mind is roughly analogous to what God is but it is not the same, and thus any comparisons between the two are limited.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 27, 2012, 03:06:36 pm
Arthur42 wrote:
Quote from: cartersmith
Quote from: Arthur42
Carter, may I make a suggestion.  The fact that you seem to be unaware of any of the 2500 years of arguments that argue for at least one immaterial part of human consciousness (some with no theological ax to grind at all).  This message board works a whole lot better when people go read actual philosophy and then come back to discuss the finer points of it.  The alternative is people like you who just burst in, guns blazing, asking everyone to teach you the basics of philosophy of mind just so you can knock down the summary version of the arguments.  I've noticed you've done that on several topics now.  If you have access to JSTOR or another academic database through a school or library I suggest you get on there and look up some of the classics of these arguments and that will better acquaint you with the issues at hand.
Arthur, I am not unaware of them.  This is the point of this.

It appears that everyone here is unaware of them and unable to give an account.  I would like to know why you, or any dualist believes that an unembodied mind is possible.

What, besides an argument from ignorance, do dualists have?

I am aware of the Hard Problem and the other arguments, but I am still at a loss why people HERE can't explain why they think an unembodied mind is possible.

It is possible that I win the lottery if I never play?  Well, sure, I suppose somehow... but how?  Maybe by invoking the 5th dimension of philosophical woo?


I don't know how you're defining mind.  As a hylemorphic dualist, I think that the full human mind (which consists of a brain and a rational intellect) is necessarily embodied, and once an organism dies, the mind is gone.  However the rational intellect, as a non-material thing, continues.  This intellect is severely disabled and restricted by this separation, however, and can only regain its proper working function once it receives the "new body" promised in the resurrection.

I don't think this debate is relevant to what God is, however, because I wouldn't say that God is an "unembodied mind" nor that he has a mind.  Rather, God is God.  What we have as a mind is roughly analogous to what God is but it is not the same, and thus any comparisons between the two are limited.

Why do you feel your view is a rational alternative?
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: Arthur42 on February 27, 2012, 03:11:44 pm
Because the arguments for hylemorphic dualism are convincing to me.
Title: Argument against an Unembodied Mind
Post by: carter smith on February 27, 2012, 03:16:15 pm
Arthur42 wrote: Because the arguments for hylemorphic dualism are convincing to me.

But surely they aren't to most people, and I would say that they are not just an alternative that you can declare as possible without showing they are possible (not just convincing to you).

But, either way, as I understand your post, you agree that an unembodied mind is incoherent.