• Dogbert
    9
    As a panpsychist I believe that the rarity and privilege of my experiential transformation from typical matter into a human is literally unimaginable. In fact, I think my miraculous existential fortune should be justified by something other than "it just is that way". My question is what you think this justification might possibly be, or why you think "it just is that way" suffices.
  • Outlander
    2k
    For the same reason you divert any sort of actual thought or sophistication:

    "It's just what happened bro"

    Can you prove it? "I don't feel the need to" only shifts the burden of proof to those ignorant. Yet here you are.

    Just as a broken clock is right at least twice a day, so is the unexamined life. That is to say, remains in a constant state of such. Thusly, this narrow frame of mind can be called truth to those who know nothing of the sort.
  • Dogbert
    9
    I honestly can't make sense of what you just said.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    In fact, I think my miraculous existential fortune should be justified by something other than "it just is that way".Dogbert
    Why? – and what then would justify that justification?
  • Dogbert
    9
    Imagine you find yourself in a room wearing a suit. In your hand is a resume and someone is sitting across from you at a desk. The context clues suggest that you're doing an interview. In a similar way, I think that merely finding yourself as a human being suggests something about the nature of reality. That explanation wouldn't require a further explanation in the same way that saying you're in an interview is fine enough. I guess you could then ask why you're doing an interview, but my point is that your first step is determining that you're at an interview. I mean, every child can do the why, why, why routine about anything and that's kind of what you're doing to me.
  • SpaceDweller
    520

    There is evidence of evolution, Neanderthals and other human species, so you didn't find your self in human body out of a sudden.

    Genetics and modern forensics reveal a lot of information.
  • Dogbert
    9
    If you think I somehow don't believe/know about evolution then you've missed the point of the question entirely.
  • Fire Ologist
    493
    the … experiential transformation from typical matter into a human is literally unimaginable.Dogbert

    I agree. The individual human experience, with its questions, explanations, and willing beliefs, is impossible. Yet it is.

    We will never be satisfied with “it just is” when what we see it just is, is impossible to be. The absurdity of reason in the face of the impossible demands some homecoming, some reunification with “it just is that way” because the way it just is cannot be, and yet it is.

    Accepting the impossible with “it just is” is ignoring the problem, not resolving it.

    What I’ve learned is that I must use more than reason to justify reasons. And instead of justifying it, I have to justify myself seeing this paradox. I am a paradox, so if all for me is paradox and unresolvable, it is because of me and not because of it. So I must understand something else besides the rational; take myself out of the picture and keep myself out of the picture, in order to see where I fit in the picture.
  • Dogbert
    9
    I've tweaked the question, see if it makes more sense now.
  • SpaceDweller
    520

    I think "that's just what happened" is too abstract statement, because in fact there a ton of stuff behind it.

    I assume by "that's just what happened" you imply evolution of life as well as climate change and evolution of cosmos and everything else that contributes to "it's how it is".

    So searching for alternative answers is not so simple.
  • Outlander
    2k
    If you think I somehow don't believe/know about evolution than you've missed the point of the question entirely.Dogbert

    Yet interestingly enough it, finally. encourages you to offer more input to a claim that has been repeatedly confirmed to be "requiring more information" to constitute a solid philosophical inquiry.

    So. Here we are. Rationally speaking.

    Your post: I subscribe to way of thinking and consider its tenets of proof to be self-evident. As anything opposite would in fact infer me to be as. well, a moron, per se.

    *multiple ignored or otherwise inadequately replied to posts* (no further comment)

    A finally (adequately) replied to response: : "Somehow" (as if the replier's state of mind is somehow bizarre or unreasonable based on your reply [which is understandable, the ego is real, but understandably... unimportant. It's kind of an obvious unspoken litmus test to determine how far one is as far as philosophical progress]).

    So. To simplify. Which I believe is the best course of action to produce a reasonable response. What is the underlying logic or rationale behind what encouraged such a reply?
  • Dogbert
    9
    Ok let me put the question another way. Either I "just happen" to be among the infinitesimal fraction of matter that became human beings, or this seeming miracle actually allows me to infer something about the nature of reality (maybe all minds are somehow destined for a higher state of being within their respective timelines, idk).
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    Either I "just happen" to be among the infinitesimal fraction of matter that became human beings,Dogbert
    On this planet, they're not exactly a rarity. And humans are only a fraction of the life forms on this planet. If you consider the size of the galaxy, in which there may be 300,000,000 habitable planets, then the number of other galaxies, all the suns and planets they contain, even if only one in a thousand of the potential life-generating planets actually does, life itself is not all that miraculous. The distances involved make it unlikely for us to meet any others like us, but that would also be true of a perfectly average fly buzzing around your window: it will never meet an equally common fly from Germany.

    or this seeming miracle actually allows me to infer something about the nature of realityDogbert
    You are allowed to infer anything you like from any fact you come across. You exist. You feel special. From there to:
    (maybe all minds are somehow destined for a higher state of being within their respective timelines, idk).Dogbert
    is a longish leap of the imagination, but you're not alone in taking it. Lost of people find reasons for their feeling of specialness.
  • Outlander
    2k
    Ok let me put the question another way. Either I "just happen" to be among the infinitesimal fraction of matter that became human beings, or this seeming miracle actually allows me to infer something about the nature of reality (maybe all minds are somehow destined for a higher state of being within their respective timelines, idk).Dogbert

    There's no real question mate. That is to say you have avoided anything of genuine philosophic value completely.

    This is the standard kindergarten response that predicates of rather fortifies the atheistic philosophy or "way or life" ie. religion.

    Yes any state of realization of avoidance of that which could be horrible (or awful whether immediately or over generations) is likely, perhaps as you suggest, even mandating of ideological if nor ritualistic recognition. But the critic rightfully questions: "yeah. so what?". That is to say, predicates the positive future of those who dismiss this ideology as a falsehood altogether. Perhaps who end up in a better state of observable quality of life than if not having done so. So what is the response to that?
  • SpaceDweller
    520
    I "just happen" to be among the infinitesimal fraction of matter that became human beingsDogbert

    Generally I think the magnitude of universe should not have an impact of probability of human existence.
    What follows for instance is that, the bigger the universe is, there is less and less chance for human existence or existence or life (because it's too small compared to entire universe [or matter]).

    If you consider the size of the galaxy, in which there may be 300,000,000 habitable planets, then the number of other galaxies, all the suns and planets they contain, even if only one in a thousand of the potential life-generating planets actually does, life itself is not all that miraculous.Vera Mont

    Agree, I was about to say something similar.
  • Dogbert
    9
    We can talk about rarity. Let's hypothetically say that the solar system is all that exists. Even then, even just on Earth, the fraction of matter which constitutes life is so infinitesimal as to be zero. The fraction of matter which constitutes intelligent life is even smaller still. Including the solar system exacerbates this to an unimaginable level. Including the entire universe, while there are likely aliens on many planets, exacerbates this to unconceivable proportions. Your perception of the percentage of matter which constitutes life is unbelievably biased. As for the rest of your comment, IMO humans are miraculous, but that isn't even the point I'm trying to make, its that the universe unfolded in such a way that I happen to be one of them which blows my mind.
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    Let's hypothetically say that the solar system is all that exists.Dogbert
    Why? Or why not go back to a flat Earth with a moon and sun circling around it and stars painted on the night sky?
    Even then, even just on Earth, the fraction of matter which constitutes life is so infinitesimal as to be zero.Dogbert
    And none of it could exist without all the matter that isn't alive. So?
    Including the entire universe, while there are likely aliens on many planets, exacerbates this to unconceivable proportions.Dogbert
    Does the amount of matter have any bearing on the intelligence of life-forms? You're still going on about rarity by through quantity, as if rarity by itself, conferred some special value. Life has no value to non-life, so only an infinitesimal fraction of all the matter in the universe gives a damn whether it exists or not. So small a fraction, in fact, that it approaches zero.
    Your perception of the percentage of matter which constitutes life is unbelievably biased.Dogbert
    Yes. I believe it to be irrelevant.
    But you can still be precious to yourself and set a higher purpose.
  • Manuel
    4k


    Mostly at the end of explanations - in so far as we believe we are close to reaching this level. It's almost never satisfactory, in my experience, but we cannot keep going down a further explanation "down" rabbit-hole.

    One must assume there are facts of the matter about many topics. And nature must be some way, rather than some other way. Or if "must' is too strong, then we have to say nature is, currently, this way.
  • Dogbert
    9
    I understand exactly what you're saying and I'm not even going to argue with the actual points you're making because they are perfectly valid. The problem is that you're completely missing the point of everything that I say.

    For instance, one of your points/questions is that:
    Does the amount of matter (I'm assuming you mean, "the amount of matter in the universe") have any bearing on the intelligence of life-forms?

    I have literally no idea what I said that could suggest to you in any way that I think this. I don't even know how to construct a sentence that would imply this conclusion. I mean, the idea that "the amount of matter in the universe influences the intelligence of life-forms" is such a confusing, random, and stupid position to take that I'm more baffled you believe someone would hold it.

    And this is just one example. I honestly don't know how I'm supposed to express my ideas to you anymore or if it's even worth it.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    Okay, you can't answer. Never mind.
  • Dogbert
    9
    Dude, what is your point? That I don't have an answer to the very question THAT I'M ASKING? Are you saying that the question is somehow invalid because you can keep asking why, why, why (or the justification for the justification for the...)?
  • mcdoodle
    1.1k
    If you're a panpsychist, then as a blob of matter you were already quite something, with capacity for imagination. Your experiential transformation to humanity was surely only one of growth and complexity. You already were part of a world where Matter exists, at least partly, to know itself. That is panpsychism's self-explanation: all is part of the nature of 'matter'.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    Dude, you propose an answer that merely begs the question (i.e. precipitates an infinite regress). Argument from incredulity – lack of imagination – is also fallacious. Talking out of your bunghole, Dude. "That's just the way it is" – brute fact of the matter – suffices.
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    And this is just one example. I honestly don't know how I'm supposed to express my ideas to you anymore or if it's even worth it.Dogbert
    Only you can decide whether it's worth it to you. As for me, I've heard so many arguments that begin with some version of 'the miracle of being me', I'm a bit jaded on the subject.
  • Fire Ologist
    493
    ↪Dogbert Dude, you propose an answer that merely begs the question (i.e. precipitates an infinite regress). Argument from incredulity – lack of imagination – is also fallacious. Talking out of your bunghole, Dude. "That's just the way it is" – brute fact of the matter – suffices.180 Proof

    How about the question “how” instead of “why?”

    How is that?

    Your final answer still: It just is, so don’t ask again.
  • noAxioms
    1.5k
    my experiential transformation from typical matter into a human
    ...
    my miraculous existential fortune
    Dogbert
    Either I "just happen" to be among the infinitesimal fraction of matter that became human beings ...Dogbert

    All your wordings demonstrate a presumption of being a thing that has somehow won an incredibly low odds lottery and has 'become you'. It's a different wording of the old 'why am I me?' question.
    It seems this stems from your stated belief in panpsychism. Maybe if you cannot explain this very valid question that arises from such a view, perhaps you should question the view.

    I was never into panpsychism, but I still asked the same 'why am I me' question, getting no satisfactory answer. I had to realize that the question reflected my biases, and was thus the wrong question. Instead of 'why am I me', one could start with "is there an 'I' that got to be me?" Answer: Super low probability except in a anthropocentric view, which panpsychism isn't.


    Your current collection of matter is quite (over 99%) different than it was in the past, so how is this different collection of matter the same 'you' that it was back then? I've never really understood the panpsychist viewpoint, so forgive if my question is naive.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    How about the question “how” instead of “why?”Fire Ologist
    "How" would be a scientific question (i.e. to explain empirically) instead of a philosophical question "why" (i.e. to clarify-justify conceptually). For instance, imo, "panpsychism" – (i.e. that's just the way woo is (aka "woo-of-the-gaps")) – begs a philosophical question about "the cause of consciousness".
  • bert1
    1.9k
    As a panpsychist I believe that the rarity and privilege of my experiential transformation from typical matter into a human is literally unimaginable. In fact, I think my miraculous existential fortune should be justified by something other than "it just is that way". My question is what you think this justification might possibly be, or why you think "it just is that way" suffices.Dogbert

    Are you asking about the emergence of the sentient from the insentient?

    I didn't see this at first but I think you likely are. If so it is a restatement of the 'hard problem' in other words. It's good that you have seen it for yourself. If so 'it just is that way' is highly unsatisfactory. And panpsychism is an alternative, one that I happen to endorse.
  • Bodhy
    4
    Although I am in complete agreement that dead, dumb inanimate matter coming to possess a rich, subjective inner life is absurd, I don't agree that panpsychism is the answer.

    What explanatory gain do we gain with panpsychism? If atoms somehow have some sort of subjective life, how does it illuminate the phenomenon of consciousness simply by supposing everything has it? Do quasi-conscious atoms do anything to explain the phenomenon?
  • bert1
    1.9k
    If atoms somehow have some sort of subjective life, how does it illuminate the phenomenon of consciousness simply by supposing everything has it?Bodhy

    This is a good question, as it illustrates, in my view, a mistaken way that philosophers and scientists often think about consciousness. And in a way I agree with you.

    Consciousness is not in need of explanation - the mystery is already solved. We know what it is. We know its intrinsic nature, I suggest. There's nothing more to be said about that. What we don't know is how consciousness relates to everything else. That's the difficult bit. Panpsychism (of whatever kind - there are a number of different panpsychist views) is one way to tackle the problem of where to place consciousness in the world. There are a number of options competing with panpsychism, each with its theoretical pros and cons. For my money, panpsychism has the most pros and the least cons.

    Panpsychism is not really a theory of consciousness, I don't think. It's a theory of which things are conscious. Non-panpsychists perhaps do need a theory of consciousness itself, because they need to explain how some things are conscious and others not, and maybe in order to do that they need to assume consciousness has some underlying nature we can elaborate in terms of the structure and function of, say, brains, as @apokrisis and @180 Proof and others on this forum believe. Substance dualists (do we have any here?) need to come up with a theory of what consciousness could be such that it interacts with the physical world, without actually being of the physical world.

    Does that help? Your question has helped me articulate this.
  • bert1
    1.9k
    "How" would be a scientific question (i.e. to explain empirically) instead of a philosophical question "why" (i.e. to clarify-justify conceptually).180 Proof

    I get what you mean I think (maybe not), but I'm not sure that's really how language is used. Consider the empirical, scientific enquiry:

    "Why does it only rain when there are clouds in the sky?"

    We could say "How is it that it only rains when there are clouds" but it's unnatural. I think 'Why' is used in a wide variety of contexts, including scientific, conceptual and teleoplogical.
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