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Great Pumpkin

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« 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.
God is not the Father. At least, he's not apparent to me.

1

Randy Everist

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #1 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.

"Every great man was thought to be insane before he changed the world. Some never changed the world. They were just insane."

Check out my blog, "Possible Worlds," at http://www.randyeverist.com

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phil nov

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 10:05:10 am »
Never has someone said so little with so much.

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Great Pumpkin

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #3 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.
God is not the Father. At least, he's not apparent to me.

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Randy Everist

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #4 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.

"Every great man was thought to be insane before he changed the world. Some never changed the world. They were just insane."

Check out my blog, "Possible Worlds," at http://www.randyeverist.com

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Great Pumpkin

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #5 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!
God is not the Father. At least, he's not apparent to me.

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Great Pumpkin

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #6 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....
God is not the Father. At least, he's not apparent to me.

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Great Pumpkin

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #7 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.
God is not the Father. At least, he's not apparent to me.

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jbejon

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #8 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.

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Great Pumpkin

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #9 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.
God is not the Father. At least, he's not apparent to me.

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jbejon

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #10 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?

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Rostos

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #11 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.


"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
Isiah 55:8

"For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." - Mathew 23-12

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Great Pumpkin

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #12 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?
God is not the Father. At least, he's not apparent to me.

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jbejon

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #13 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.

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Great Pumpkin

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Argument against an Unembodied Mind
« Reply #14 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.
God is not the Father. At least, he's not apparent to me.