Profile of Great Pumpkin
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Messages - Great Pumpkin
Yuzem wrote:What other option would you have? You are welcome to not reason, after all.
You can be irrational.
If you don't think we can rely on reason then there is not much sense in asserting that a good God is not more reasonable than an evil-god.
maybe, but I am choosing to reason because I believe it to be worthwhile - even if I'm wrong.
After all, maybe philosophers have found reasoning worthwhile and were wrong. Aristotle, for example.
I don't believe you can simply decide that reasoning in not worthwhile just because you arrive at the wrong conclusion in the end.
And, if an Evil God exists, we have arrived at the right one despite his efforts. - Just like if a Good God exists some of us have arrived at the wrong conclusion.
« 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.
« 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?
« on: February 24, 2012, 05:14:28 pm »
jbejon wrote:Hi GPQuote from: GPi] 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.
wonderer wrote:Quote from: unluckynumber11The way I think about it is that the mind and the body is like a pianist and a piano. If the piano is out of tune or damaged then the music created won't come out right, but the pianist is still playing it correctly, but it's not coming out correctly.A major problem with this analogy is that a pianist is aware of the keys on the piano that he is interacting with to produce music, whereas your mind is not aware of interacting with neurons to produce behavior.
If your brain is simply an instrument which your mind uses to interact with the world, why isn't your mind conscious of the instrument your mind is interacting with most directly?
Further (again), I would say the problem with the analogy is that the Dualist wants us to believe that if they take away the piano, there is still a pianist.
In the physical world this makes sense because we know a person can play the piano, any piano, and even if there are no pianos on the planet, we can conceptualize a piano based on our brains/minds.
However, in this analogy, you are stripping bare the sole reason you call the person a pianist: the existence of pianos.
The Theist is not arguing that the piano is damaged, but that it is wholely unecessary for pianos to exist. (That is, the Theist is claiming that Brains (Pianos) are wholely unnecessary for Minds (pianists). This is incoherent to me. Not that if you take away a piano from a pianist, but that, if pianos never existed, ever, that you would call someone a pianist - that in any essence whatsoever they would have the properties of a pianist.
For the Theist, they simply imagine that a pianist can exist, even if there has never been a piano ever built or imagined.
Why call him a pianist?
"Because it's logically possible for him to be one."
Because he could call himself one. He could have the essence of a piano player.
But what would it mean with no piano's in existence?
Nothing, but it's logically possible...
It's logically possible for him to not be one too, and more importantly, HE WOULDN'T BE ONE!
So, the Theist is saying:
"I can imagine a Mind without a body/brain/framework"
Why call it a Mind?
"Because it's logically possible"
"We could call it one."
Call what what?
"The thing that is formless... we could call that a Mind"
But it's not anything, other than you saying "something out there is a Mind, deal with it".
"I mean, I can imagine nothing in particular being a Mind, and I'd define that amorphous "thing" a Mind."
"Because it thinks"
"I imagine it doing so..."
Imagine what doing what?!
"The amorphous "thing" of thought, thinking. I call it a Mind, and it's thinking. It's logically possible, so...
Oh... (slowly backing away....)
InternetNobody wrote: Everyone with a formal education in philosophy knows the epistemology of the natural asks to be read as the ideology of power/knowledge. Therefore, the mind is completely independent of brain matter and thus naturalism is false. Suggested readings are as follows: Jeremy Robbins, The Deadscope. In this book Robbins explains that the epistemology of the natural achieves a level of critical insight that the field will be hard-pressed to rival for the next five years.
"everyone" must have missed the memo...
philnov wrote: I understand your point, that a mind absolutely needs a brain. If there is no brain, then a mind can't exist.The thing is, a theist could, and probably would , say "well god has a big, huge immaterial brain!". Then you could say "what evidence do you have to think that brains could even exist outside of our universe?". Finally the theist would reply "well, I don't, but it's not impossible!".It's a sad, sad, sad way to argue, but this is what we have to brace ourselves for on this forum.
I would take it one step further and say that that "immaterial brain" is still a body in which to hold the mind.
After all, say that supernaturalist says that in Supernature World, there are energies and substances that are completely unlike here in the "real" world. God is an infinite creature made up of God particles - an immense goo of proto-plasm, but completely different than you imagine.
I would say, you have just taken Gray Matter and changed it's color and texture, essentially.
Let's say the supernaturalist say "God is a mind - a infinite being of Mind." His Being is a mind.
I would say that you have embodied the mind of God into a body called God. It obviously functions as God's mind because of certain discreet functions that, say, keep us from knowing it. After all, I don't think anyone claims to have access to God's Mind - which is apparently everywhere and thinking away.
Again, it is entirely nonsensical to me to talk of a Brainless Mind, and I would love someone to lay it out for me.
innerbling wrote:Evil (a crucial part of the evil god) is the lack/omission/rejection of Love.Love is the nature of God.
Therefore, the Evil God lacks the nature of God.
No did you read my response (not G !=G but G != X)? As per the argument evil god would lack property of love not "nature of god". As in this possible world love would not be a part of nature of god.
Now how I believe things actually ontologically are is of course not in any way relevant to the argument itself which shows how it would be incoherent if my beliefs in a loving God would be false. That is such possible world is non-existent as it is necessarily incoherent.However, we know that there is no reason to presume a God is evil or good, according to the Ontological, Kalam or other arguments.
Well I just presented an argument which seems to be logically and deductively valid so this is nonsensical.
So, how do you define Love (and good) if there is actually an evil god?
Yuzem wrote:but you agree there is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.
Yes there is "nothing to preclude" which means, as I understand it, that it is not impossible.
I'm not holding that it can't be that he has created us with minds that can reason, maybe it is, maybe it isn't.
Even if there were some reasons that can be proposed for an evil-god creating minds that can reason, if these reasons are balanced by other reasons against an evil-god creating minds that can reason then we have no very good grounds to trust in reason.
If an evil-god exist: what reasons do we have to believe that he has created us with minds that can reason rather than with minds that can not reason?
If the reasons in one side are similar to the reasons in the other side then we have no very good grounds to trust in reason.So, it's reasonable to try to reason, whether we can reason or not.
If it is plausible to believe that reason was created to mislead us I don't see why it would reasonable to try to reason.
What other option would you have? You are welcome to not reason, after all.
philnov wrote: GreatPumpkin, we cannot say things are impossible until we have evidence to do so. Even tremendously unlikely things are in principle possible.I see no reason to believe in a mind without a body, or a non-physical world, but I can't logically say that they are impossible.Of course, the theist has all of his/her work ahead to show that these things are true, or even likely.
I understand, and yet I don't.
I would like to know how you imagine these minds. To me it's like Theists say they can imagine God, but then when you drill down, they really don't imagine God, but simply have convenient mental touchstones that they group together to form a general shadow or impression of what they might call God. They aren't really imagining God, they are simply referencing a series of metaphors.
I am questioning the very claim that an unembodied mind is possible.
The reason, I believe, they are logically impossible is because Minds, as we know and love them, are bound by certain laws that are not easily put aside when you want to imagine them floating in the ether.
I am STRONGLY appealing to people who say "I can logically imagine" (or variations on that) to explain that imagined thing.
I am strongly appealing that people be held accountable to what they throw out as "well it seems logically possible".
I don't think that gives one license to throw anything out there as possible.
Don't get me wrong, I understand the idea of logical possibility. I get it.
I believe there is an inherent contradiction in positing a Brainless Mind. I don't see how it works, how it coheres, how it makes any sense.
To me, a Brainless Mind is like a Square Circle. And, I'm not saying in the sense that it MUST have some physical property, but I am even saying ANY property that can function as a Mind. A Mind IS thoughts. Thoughts are not things that don't need laws governing them, they are discreet. Discreet means they are distinct.
Distinct from what and how? In our universe we can answer that, but I don't know how it happens without something that functions as a brain - a "body".
Of course, I could be accused of making the following errors:
1. Having a physicalist presupposition. (This I reject since I don't start with Physicalism, but it simply best represents my position in what the world seems to be. That I have ended up in the dance club, doesn't make me a dancer.)
2. assuming that Minds are Thoughts and need some Brain to function in.
But, to me, this is like saying, "I can imagine a vehicle-less public transportation system." The very thing you are trying to imagine away is intrinsically linked to the thing you are trying to preserve.
So, thank you for your position, and maybe unlike the snarky responses, I can get a sober answer from you.
How do you imagine a brainless mind? Please explain it to me so I can imagine it.
unluckynumber11 wrote: It's more powerful and most vast that the natural world, and can't be understood fully from the natural world.
I know that it's beyond capability of us to fully understand, I know that it acts on us every single day, through such things as morals, and I know that
I don't think you do know that. That is, I don't believe you. Please confirm that you can know something about the Supernatural.
It is like our minds, but not fully, in that our minds work with a brain, but that's doesn't mean that's the only way it has to be.
It's like our minds, but not.... I'm sorry, but you do realize the philosophy and science of the mind is really quite sophisticated. If you were to present this as your definition, I'm not sure what would happen...
I really am asking for more than just your general feeling about this stuff, but a clear and concise explanation.
Yeah, if one presupposes that nature is all there is, then of course you're gonna only assume the mind is physical. So if you're gonna claim that an unembodied mind is incoherent then you're gonna have to not presuppose naturalism. You're basically saying that a mind can't be unembodied because naturalism is true, when that doesn't seem to be the case, since naturalism would have to show these things to be impossible, and it has yet to do that, unless you count the on saying that naturalism is true because naturalism is true.
I don't presuppose nature is all there is, I see no evidence for anything else. I apologize I am not gullible to believe everything that is suggested to exist.
Does the Subnatural exist? It's "lower" than the natural. It's less "powerful" somehow... See how you can say words, but not mean anything by them?
You're presuming that it can't be that way because you adhere to naturalism, when already I have stated that in order for naturalism to prove positive is to show that other supernatural things are false, and are impossible on top of that. And that has yet to be shown. In order to show and internal contradiction with the idea of an unembodied mind one would have to not presuppose naturalism. I mean otherwise if you continue this course you're basically begging the question, and adds nothing to the discussion.
OK, in order to prove your view, you must prove that Subnaturalism is false. Is this how it works?
Or, how about you prove Naturalism is false?
I have explained it, many many times, you just don't want to prove that it's incoherent. All I've heard is that I have to prove it's coherent, which by the sheer fact that it's not incoherent means that it's coherent.
It is incoherent. I'll repeat. You are saying, in essence that an unembodied mind is embodied in something called God or the laws of "supernature".
An unembodied mind is embodied.
That is incoherent.
See, let me try to break through to you.
You are using the supernatural as a foil to say "well, in magic land, whatever i need to make you wrong is possible!" I know you aren't saying that verbatim, but essentially.
You keep bringing up the supernatural as if it anwers all your problems. But you have no idea if the supernatural "realm" needs brains, too!
You say you don't know that much about it, except it's powerful.
Powerful doesn't = Minds don't need brains.
Please, please, please understand that I am trying to help you elucidate your own understanding of what you believe!
Here is a challenge to anyone who will accept it.
Please prove that Minds in the Supernatural "realm" don't need some kind of Brain to operate.
innerbling wrote:Nowhere in the actual argument I state that evil god would lack Godly-ness but the property of love.
Good is the nature of God which is love. Thus evil is a lack, rejection or omission of that nature. Which results in the lack of presence of God
Help me understand this better.
Evil (a crucial part of the evil god) is the lack/omission/rejection of Love.
Love is the nature of God.
Therefore, the Evil God lacks the nature of God.
You have set it up so that you define your terms to make an evil God incoherent.
However, we know that there is no reason to presume a God is evil or good, according to the Ontological, Kalam or other arguments.
Yuzem wrote: I don't disagree with the premise:
You:1. There is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.
Me:Yes, of-course, but it may be that the evil god has created us with minds that can not reason.
If it is equally plausible that we can trust in reason than that we can not trust in reason then we have no very good grounds to trust in reason.
but you agree there is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.
So, it's reasonable to try to reason, whether we can reason or not.
Regardless, you are not disproving the evil god challenge. Do you agree? I don't want to rehash this whole thing again.
unluckynumber11 wrote:Quote from: GreatPumpkinPff of course not, if you're offering a worldview, shouldn't I (and you) reject it since that's the first thing you say should be done when finding this "truth"?Quote from: unluckynumber11Ok, that's nice.Thanks. So you agree?
You really just don't like me, do you, so you find anything to argue with me about...
or, maybe you secretly love me? ;-)
you could simply offer some insight on the subject of world views, you know. It doesn't always have to be about me.