## The "Verificationist" Fallacy

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A word from Dr. David Bentley Hart:

The ”verificationist” fallacy is the exquisitely self-contradictory conviction that no belief can be trusted until it has been proved true by scientific methods or empirical methods.

Today, there are seemingly rational persons who claim that our belief in the reality of our own intentional consciousness must be validated by methods appropriate to mechanical processes, mindless objects, and “third person” descriptions. The absurdity of this becomes altogether poignant when one considers that our trust in the power of scientific method is itself grounded in our subjective sense of the continuity of conscious experience and in our subjective judgment of the validity of our reasoning. Even the decision to seek objective confirmation of our beliefs is a subjective choice arising from a private apprehension.

At some very basic level, our “third person” knowledge always depends upon a “first person” insight. In a larger sense, moreover, most of the things we actually know to be true are susceptible of no empirical proof whatsoever, but can only be borne witness to, in a stubbornly first person voice. We know events and personalities and sentiments better and more abundantly than we know physical principles or laws; our understanding of the world consists in memories, direct encounters, accumulated experience, the phenomenal qualities of things, shifting moods, interpretations formed and reformed continually throughout the course of a life, our own tastes and aversions, the sense of identity each of us separately possesses, and innumerable other forms of essentially personal knowledge.

Certainly private consciousness can be deceived, confused, diminished, or deranged; if we are wise, we submit our judgments to the judgments of others, offer our testimony expecting to be challenged by those who have very different tales to tell, learn to distinguish opinion from insight and impulses from reflection, rely upon the wisdom of others, cultivate an aptitude for doubt, and so on. Nevertheless, there remains in each of us an unshakable ground of resolute subjective certainty, which forms the necessary basis of all rational belief.

The world that appears in consciousness is the only world of which we have anything like immediate assurance. This being so, it would be positively insane to relinquish our confidence in, say, our sense of our own free will, or in the privacy of our qualitative experiences, or in the unity of consciousness, or even in the transcendental reality of goodness or beauty, and so on, simply because this materialist orthodoxy or that pseudoscientific theory urges us to do so.

We are not condemned to absolute subjectivity, but our direct experience of reality has to possess an altogether primary authority for us, which may need to be qualified by further experience but which can never be wholly superseded.
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this materialist orthodoxy or that pseudoscientific theory

These can only provide approximations, relative truths, contingent knowledge, reductions in uncertainty...I would add.

I would also use the word quasi-scientific, since it sounds cooler
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Using empirical demonstratability as the metric by which everything is judged presents the same issue as pursuing rationality for it's own sake: both empiricism and reason are mere tools to serve the individual. Yes, tangible evidence validates most information, but what is the ultimate point of validating information? To ensure that decisions based on that information have the intended effect, of course. That's why I will never understand people who do the opposite; adjust their decisions to reflect a principle like rationality.
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A "belief" is just a guess about an unknown.

A "belief" cannot be "proven true"...because the moment it is proven...it stops being a "belief" (or guess) and becomes a fact.

Every belief CAN be "trusted"...as long as you trust it to be a guess.
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I agree.

But I want to add that some beliefs are held not as guesses, but for their employment in certain kinds of thinking. For these beliefs, which I think include all religion, it's not the business of the belief to be proved, notwithstanding the confusion of many, many people who keep asking if "God is real." Indeed, proof in any of the religions would destroy the religion. The business of these beliefs, then, is not to be proved, but to be believed. The Christian creed, for example, starts with, "I believe...".

Thus about 99.99% of discussions about religion, are 100% nonsense. Maybe fun, although not really. Maybe good exercise. But whatever, all nonsense.

The exceptions are discussions of what religion(s) do and how, and what they're for. Religions in principle and for the most part are a good thing. If only there were a way to keep bad people out of them....
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tim wood
2.2k
↪Frank Apisa
I agree.

But I want to add that some beliefs are held not as guesses, but for their employment in certain kinds of thinking. For these beliefs, which I think include all religion, it's not the business of the belief to be proved, notwithstanding the confusion of many, many people who keep asking if "God is real." Indeed, proof in any of the religions would destroy the religion. The business of these beliefs, then, is not to be proved, but to be believed. The Christian creed, for example, starts with, "I believe...".

Thus about 99.99% of discussions about religion, are 100% nonsense. Maybe fun, although not really. Maybe good exercise. But whatever, all nonsense.

The exceptions are discussions of what religion(s) do and how, and what they're for. Religions in principle and for the most part are a good thing. If only there were a way to keep bad people out of them....

Agreed.

Aside:

I was "religious" for a time in my life. Raised Catholic. I went to public school...so I was not an altar boy as so many of my friends, who attended "Catholic" school" were.

As an adult, while in service, I learned to serve Mass...and actually have served Mass (Latin rite) in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican...and served a High Mass as an acolyte to the Catholic primate of England back in the day.

There is value in religion. My arguments with religious people (or atheists) on the Internet are not frames from the mistaken impression that religion or atheism has no value.

At the moment, though, I see more value in the agnostic take.
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At the moment, though, I see more value in the agnostic take.

Perhaps more value for you, which in the nature of you could easily be a complicated subject. Is that what you meant? Because as awful as nearly all religions have at times been, at the times when they weren't being awful, I hold, they were the repository of most of the good of the world, including being thoughtful about what the good is, and how to accomplish it.

That is, if you mean that there is some significant value in agnosticism, then what is, are the value(s) you "see"?
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tim wood
2.2k

At the moment, though, I see more value in the agnostic take. — Frank Apisa

Perhaps more value for you, which in the nature of you could easily be a complicated subject. Is that what you meant? Because as awful as nearly all religions have at times been, at the times when they weren't being awful, I hold, they were the repository of most of the good of the world, including being thoughtful about what the good is, and how to accomplish it.

That is, if you mean that there is some significant value in agnosticism, then what is, are the value(s) you "see"?

Let me answer that last part first: The MAJOR value of agnosticism...

...is truth....the unvarnished truth.

We do not know if any gods exist or not.

Yeah, there are some who claim one is more likely than the other...but I've never seen an argument that made sense from either side for that.

In any case...the acknowledged agnostic is presenting the TRUTH.
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As for "repository of most of the good of the world"...that is not the function of religion...at least for most of the religions that have existed. Most "religions" speak of what some god demands of humans...speak of what pleases or offends some god or another.

The "Christian" god (derived from the ancient Hebrew god)...FOCUSES on what the god finds pleasing...and what the god finds offensive. For the most part, this means what the "interpreters" of the god finds pleasing (useful) and offensive (contrary to useful).

We could explore that a bit more...but it would be far outside the intentions of the OP.

Perhaps somewhere else.
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both empiricism and reason are mere tools to serve the individual.

Agree
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The moral of the story is that OCDish adherence to principles is a bad idea.

That doesn't mean that the content of a principle is a bad idea. But just adhering to it or interpreting it in an OCDish, theory-worshipping manner is a bad idea.
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We could explore that a bit more...but it would be far outside the intentions of the OP.
Perhaps somewhere else.
Let the seed grow where planted. Agnosticism speaks the unvarnished truth. Agnostic means "I don't know," yes? Is that the truth you're referring to? That, "
We do not know if any gods exist or not.

In what sense do you not know? What does it mean in this context, "do not know"? Are you referring to existence as a thing of some kind? Does a god survive as a god the revelation of his existence?

Agnosticism on a foundation of knowledge makes some sense. This fact or that fact pertains, but which I do not know - I'm ignorant, but also agnostic in that I commit myself to neither. Agnosticism founded on ignorance is a different species. Some fact does not pertain. But I claim it could - without giving any account for how it could.

Maybe the best place to start is a clear statement from you as to what you mean by "god" - a definition of the term. Mine is that "god" is simply a useful code word for a body of ideas and kind of thinking further developed in (a) religion. And on my understanding, I side with St. Anselm.
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The moral of the story is that OCDish adherence to principles is a bad idea.

That doesn't mean that the content of a principle is a bad idea. But just adhering to it or interpreting it in an OCDish, theory-worshipping manner is a bad idea.

I understand principles to be those codes for behaviour that we (undefined "we") adhere to while it's appropriate to do so, and not when it's not. Is what you meant by OCDish behaviour adherence when not appropriate?
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tim wood
2.2k

We could explore that a bit more...but it would be far outside the intentions of the OP.
Perhaps somewhere else. — Frank Apisa

Let the seed grow where planted. Agnosticism speaks the unvarnished truth. Agnostic means "I don't know," yes? Is that the truth you're referring to? That, "

We do not know if any gods exist or not. — Frank Apisa

In what sense do you not know? What does it mean in this context, "do not know"? Are you referring to existence as a thing of some kind? Does a god survive as a god the revelation of his existence?

Agnosticism on a foundation of knowledge makes some sense. This fact or that fact pertains, but which I do not know - I'm ignorant, but also agnostic in that I commit myself to neither. Agnosticism founded on ignorance is a different species. Some fact does not pertain. But I claim it could - without giving any account for how it could.

Maybe the best place to start is a clear statement from you as to what you mean by "god" - a definition of the term. Mine is that "god" is simply a useful code word for a body of ideas and kind of thinking further developed in (a) religion. And on my understanding, I side with St. Anselm.

I am willing to use almost any definition of a god...so long as it contains a variation on the "creator" god. In other words, a god from which everything that is not that god (those gods) was derived. Devans "first cause" for instance. Abrahamic gods...that sort of thing.

Now, please, do not suppose I am talking about human interpretation of gods...or "revelations" from those gods. I am talking about the concept "gods"...meaning something that was the cause of everything that is other than that concept.

I've already set out my personal concept of the god question.

Mostly when discussing my "agnositicims" when I still used that descriptor regularly...I used something akin to: I do not know the true nature of the REALITY of existence.

I have no special insights into REALITY...other than that it seems much more complex than what we humans deem it to be.

I may be wrong.

But that is the nature of "I do not know."
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Hi, I'm blown away from everyone's responses. I wish beyond hope that I had the time to respond with the same attention given, I can't. I makes soaps for 5 fairs/events, charity, each year and the big one is coming up, 600 soaps. I'm trying to get funding for the first time too, 600 soaps for this one fair, the Wellness Fair here in Riverside (mental health).

My Dad is the one who put the cross on our mountain here.

This isn't even my philosopher, David is a Christian, my philosopher is Dr. Dennis Polis, a Catholic, and a contributor here, Dfpolis. He uses the term "quasi-fact." "quasi-science." Good memories.

The naturalists in this community, one/s commenting here, you've restored my faith in humanity. So, polite.
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Hi, found some more time.

Re: To ensure that decisions based on that information have the intended effect,

I'm new here, don't know how to do the quote thing (?). Anyway, I asked my psychiatrist a few years ago, "Why does the law hold me accountable for my willed acts and here at the mental clinic it's like the climatic scene of Good Will Hunting, it's not your fault, it's not your fault, it's not your fault"? He said, "It's a huge controversy."

I'm getting better at the intended effects of my words and acts, but most of the time I don't really know what motivates me, I suspect it's largely ego. I only tell others stuff about myself I think they won't judge me for.

Just made two lowball offers for Disney cake pans on eBay (moments ago). I included the language above about how I do this for mental health fairs and apologized for the lowball offers. I'm telling the truth, and I'm intending the begging for an effect. As I was writing I was thinking to myself, "Dude, you're way out of your league here in this community, you're barely following along, you're all over the place." and then notification came, one seller accepted my bid.

Sometimes being blessed is better than being the smartest person in the world. Really, really enjoyed your comment, for responding to the post. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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Hello Frank,

It's my position we can believe in what we have evidence for. We can believe in what we find worthy of that belief, and it be empirically true at the same time. I know God exists, I'm being held in existence by God, and at the same time I can choose to doubt God, and or, choose to know God exists.

The biggest problem I'm faced with as a minister is not convincing believers that God exists but that it is God's will to take away their pain, suffering and grief. For some reason people hold their own sin against themselves (?).

I'm new here and apologize if it's against the rules to provide a link: Dfpolis #37 Knowledge & Belief - YouTube.
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Hi Tim,

I know I'm being held in existence by an "Entity" (Supreme Being), and I know that the only way my existence would cease is if that "Entity" deemed it to be so.

Never really understood some people's adherence to potty gods.
And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself (taking a poop), or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”

If you believe the continuing Source for your existence is the universe, or quantum loop gravity, or laws in a multiverse superseding the natural laws here holding us in existence, creatio continua, then one of those would be responsible for keeping me/you/us in existence and we owe reverence to that, right?
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Daniel Cox
11
↪Frank Apisa
Hello Frank,

It's my position we can believe in what we have evidence for. We can believe in what we find worthy of that belief, and it be empirically true at the same time. I know God exists, I'm being held in existence by God, and at the same time I can choose to doubt God, and or, choose to know God exists.

The biggest problem I'm faced with as a minister is not convincing believers that God exists but that it is God's will to take away their pain, suffering and grief. For some reason people hold their own sin against themselves (?).

I'm new here and apologize if it's against the rules to provide a link: Dfpolis #37 Knowledge & Belief - YouTube.

Hi, Daniel.

I do not do "believing."

I am content that I do not know if any gods exist...and I am content that I do not know if there are no gods.

I am not willing to guess either way.

I pretty much deal with any pain, suffering, and grief on my own...but luckily, I have very little of any of those things to deal with.

Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy it here.
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You guys are bringing me to tears! I mean that in a good religious ecstasy type way.

For eleven years online I've faced myself with "Atheism is a denial of the deity claim. Atheism is not a claim, it's a description. Atheism is simple, it's the lack of belief."

O.k., but how do you improve?

I'm thrilled you're content, really, I am. I'm never thrilled about that for myself. The quality of the 600 soaps for this one fair I mentioned above improve with every fair event I do. If some funding comes through I'll be moving from 5 events/fairs to 10, moving out to the fairs in the surrounding area. They were about $4 in value (free to them) to closer to 7 now. Pardon the boasting, 600 X 7 =$4200 freely & happily given. Mental Wellness (mental health) fair (this May 23rd); Recover Fair (recovery from drug addiction and recovery from mental illness); Breast Cancer Awareness; Alzheimer's Awareness (PurpleBoatFloat put on by my friend, a Riverside city commissioner); & Hands Across America.

I'm improving spiritually. I'm improving my serve (Charles Swindoll); I'm out of the Salt Shaker and into the world (Rebecca Pippert). I'm taking US Navy pictures of my Dad (Captain - Admiral) putting the Cross on Mt. Rubidoux (Public property) to churches and to the people here in Riverside to ask for money for my ministry (Alyssa Michelle Soap).

There is work for me to do, there is an avenue for growth, for improvement. My God is not content with me being content. He has bestowed on me potential I must fulfill or I'd be failing my Dad in both senses.

One little girl at the last fair, a girl obviously suffering from Autism, was at my table. Her dad lovingly said, "Pick a soap, honey." She was frozen, I was new to her. I put out a little flower soap. She frozen as a board barely shook her head from side to side in essence saying "NO!" A snowflake soap, "NO!" An Alice in Wonderland soap, "NO!" At wits end I put a soap car before her, "YES, YES, YES!!!" She really likes cars. It's a routine for her. Let's say in exaggeration I have a \$100,000 into the mission not counting my time. That one moment was worth it all.

Sorry for so long.
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I know...
This is a philosophy site; says so right up front. If you say, "I know," then you should get some reaction; and you should expect it. It seems to me you're using "know" and "believe" interchangeably. People do that, I know. But it's a mistake that does violence to the concepts behind both words, and can lead to further mistakes. But let's start from the beginning. At the least we may by navigation know where we are if among the things we know is where we started from.

If you know something, then it's reasonable to infer you're also claiming there is something to be known, and if knowable then knowable by others. Above, it is
I know I'm being held in existence by an "Entity" (Supreme Being), and I know that the only way my existence would cease is if that "Entity" deemed it to be so.
Question: how do you know that, and on the assumption that it's knowable, how do others come to know it? And this isn't "is it?" but is instead how is it. That is, the account of the thing known such that the how of the knowing is made explicit.

In using "know" correctly, you are estopped from reverting to "belief." Did you use "know" correctly?

If you meant "believe," then we're having a different discussion - and may not be having it at all, because while belief can be compelling, it also lacks the substance that drives so-called philosophic inquiry - the which in this case would be thinking about what is and the thinking about that thinking, rather than about what isn't, and is only felt or believed.
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Hi Tim, thank you.

Most philosophers claim knowledge is a type of justified belief. I direct my awareness every waking moment and lots of time while sleeping. How do I know I'm aware? I couldn't know if I wasn't. If I wasn't being held in existence then I couldn't know that.

Some things are given, my friend. It feels ridiculous to me to claim "I don't know" when I do. It's logically impossible we are not being held in existence. The only possible discrepancy is by people's varying opinions as to the label we put on the reality it's happening, and I'm not really flustered by that.

When I left my body (fall of 1999) and met God in His Shekinah Glory, it wasn't a belief of mine by the nature of the experience.

Points well taken (yours), and so here is a little philosophy.

Dfpolis #45 Knowledge & Mysticism YouTube
There are shelves of books written on mystical experiences and so it would be foolish to think that I could even summarize mystical experience in a single short video. However, I'd like to make some comments. The first is about how seriously we should take the claims of objectivity. A good part of what we know comes to us from other people. It's the experiences of other people over the history of mankind that lead to our culture, our science and our philosophy. So, we can not just dismiss mystical experiences because we ourselves have not had one. Instead we need to take the testimony seriously and apply to it the same criteria that we apply to any other testimony.

Are the observers reliable? Yes, they score very well on tests of psychological well being. Are the experiences repeatable? Again, yes they are. Do the people who have these experiences believe that they are experiencing reality in the same way that they believe they are experiencing reality when they see sensible objects? And again, yes they do, and in some cases they say that what they experience is far more real than sensible reality. So, there is every reason to assume that mystical experiences are experiences of reality and have true cognitive value.

So, what are they experiences of? Well, if we take the word of mystics, they're experiences of God. They are experiences of something holy, divine, formless, indescribable, and paradoxical. For example, Saint John of the Cross says that his experience of God is the experience of Todo y Nada, of all and of nothing. Language like that is what is meant by the paradoxicality of mystics in explaining their experiences. They say things which seem to be contradictory, but if we look at Todo y Nada we see that the experience could be an experience which permeates all reality while at the same time being no particular thing, nada. This is just what we would expect from an experience of God.

His Channel - YouTube - is Open Philosophy. I've transcribed 63 of 67 videos (I think). It's my preferred method for learning.

When I left my body and met God, it was more real than any other experience I ever had. I knew everything I ever learned in a single act of awareness while I was out of my body.

Thank you, really, thank you. I'm putting off work for this.
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Most philosophers claim knowledge is a type of justified belief.
None do. The phrase is "justified true belief. And even in its correct form it's problematic. The rest of your reply can speak for itself.

It's neither my business nor pleasure to drive you off of your beliefs. But in my small way I would challenge you wherever and whenever you claim for what you believe the status of knowledge. You can meet that challenge easily - and permanently - by meeting the challenge of knowledge itself: the requirement to be documented as knowledge.
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Hi again Tim,

So, it's the "God" part that we're disagreeing about, not the fact that we're being held in existence?
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So, it's the "God" part that we're disagreeing about, not the fact that we're being held in existence?

Most conversation progresses nicely enough without a need for a definitions section because most conversations are about the world and shared understandings. And to be sure, the world itself grounds, warrants, proves, verifies that the understandings in use are right., or right enough. If they're not, the conversation breaks down and maybe self-corrects. Anyway, the point is that there is the world, and it functions as a touchstone for the substance of the conversation.

"God" and "being held in existence" have no referents in the world. The world, then, provides no ground for these. It cannot be, then, that there are shared understandings about such things as grounded in the world. They can be in idea, certainly. Arguably that is the only place they can be grounded, and out of which shared understandings may come. The price of finding ground in idea is that any realness of the topic just is the realness of idea, which is exactly not the reality of the world.

But I suspect you would deny that these beliefs of yours are entirely creatures of mind, feeling, thought with no worldly material counterpart. For example an analogy: I hold that two, the concept of the number, is an idea, a demonstrably useful idea, but only an idea - a matter of mind. Perhaps with respect to two, you agree. As to God, I hold it an idea. A demonstrably useful idea, but only an idea - a matter of mind. And here I think we'd part company.

And fair enough. But here's the problem, or at least an example of the problem. When you say "God" or "held in existence," I have no idea what you're writing about or saying. Now, I know that all day long people everywhere think they know what they're talking about and what is meant by such locutions, But even a superficial inquiry reveals that they don't, even by themselves and certainly not in conversation requiring shared understanding. (What is actually happening in such conversations a whole other topic.)

If you want to talk about ideas, in this case the idea of God, I'm your man. If as some kind of existing other- or non-worldly being, then you've lost me and the only way we'll communicate on the basis of a shared understanding is if you make explicitly clear exactly what you mean and what you're talking about, so that we both may know. And I think the nature of the idea of God makes it impossible, even in principle, to have that as knowledge.
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Blah, blah blah. Blah blah. Certainly private consciousness can be deceived, confused, diminished, or deranged; Blah blah blah blah blah.
You whole OP is an contradiction. What would it mean for some private consciousness to be deceived, diminished, or deranged if there weren't some way things actually are as opposed to how they appear? What does it mean to be deceived? How would anyone know whether or not anyone is deceived unless someone had access to some truth? What do you even mean by "subjective" if not that there is a certain state of affairs independent of some other state of affairs, or that some state of affairs isn't representative of some other state-of-affairs (a category error)?

What form does your rationality take? How do you know that you are being rational if your rationality doesn't take some form? Your rationality, just like every other thought, takes the form of your sensory impressions - colors, shapes, sounds, tactile sensations, etc. It seems to me that empiricism and rationalism are part of the same process and inseparable.
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Hi, how something appears is different depending on one's orientation to that thing. How things are is how they are.

What does it mean to be deceived? Most people cling to beliefs and assumptions rather than the truth. It's not that we're looking to be deceived but we cling to what makes us feel better about ourselves and there are not so considerate people who raise up on them.

People don't generally understand what it means to be subjective. David Chalmers established a baseline for the naturalist's view in his book, Consciousness Explained (1996).

How could a physical system such as a brain also be an _*experiencer?*_ Why should there be _something it is like_ to be such a system? Present-day scientific theories hardly touch the really difficult questions about consciousness. We do not just lack a detailed theory; we are entirely in the dark about how consciousness fits into the natural order. - David J. Chalmers, _The Conscious Mind,_ p. xi.

Apparently it's the naturalist's rationale which is formless. I'm not a naturalist, I'm a mystic & a philosophical theist.
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Thought I replied to this comment yesterday, but apparently it did not take. So, I'll keep it short.

"God" and "being held in existence" have no referents in the world. - you.

That's what we're disputing. I know I'm being held in existence because it's happening.
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"God" and "being held in existence" have no referents in the world. - you.
That's what we're disputing. I know....
No dispute on my side. You're professing a belief as knowledge, absent any pedigree of knowledge. If you were only saying that you know what you believe, no issue, although that, instead of the more straightforward, "I believe," is in my opinion disingenuous and viciously so. Vicious because intended to be taken for something it is not.

The invitation was to make something, the something in itself, clear, so that if it could be counted as knowledge that we could share, then we could share it. You have not. I believe you cannot for at least two reasons. One, it's not shareable because it isn't knowledge. Two, you cannot share what you believe to be so, because you do not really understand it.

Not said here is that you cannot yourself believe it and get whatever you get from your belief. Said here is that until you comply with the reasonable request, what you have to say is non-sense; i.e., without sense, without reason.
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Hi, how something appears is different depending on one's orientation to that thing. How things are is how they are.
Right, and an appearance is part of the world and something that can be talked about or referred to with language. I can talk about the apple as it is, or how it appears to you or me. In your OP, what parts are referring to how the world appears to you and what parts are how the world actually is? If there is any part that refers to how the world actually is, then how did you acquire that knowledge? How do you come to understand what is true without using a combination of sensory data and reason?

What does it mean to be deceived? Most people cling to beliefs and assumptions rather than the truth. It's not that we're looking to be deceived but we cling to what makes us feel better about ourselves and there are not so considerate people who raise up on them.
What I meant was, how do you know that you, or anyone, is being deceived without someone knowing the truth? It seems to me that for "deceived" to be coherent, one must assume some truth.

People don't generally understand what it means to be subjective.
You're telling me?! This seems to be the topic of the month here and people are still trying to make things so much complicated than necessary.

David Chalmers established a baseline for the naturalist's view in his book, Consciousness Explained (1996).

How could a physical system such as a brain also be an _*experiencer?*_ Why should there be _something it is like_ to be such a system? Present-day scientific theories hardly touch the really difficult questions about consciousness. We do not just lack a detailed theory; we are entirely in the dark about how consciousness fits into the natural order. - David J. Chalmers, _The Conscious Mind,_ p. xi.

Apparently it's the naturalist's rationale which is formless. I'm not a naturalist, I'm a mystic & a philosophical theist.
The problem is Chalmer's dualist notion of reality - of "physical" and "non-physical" systems that can't interact. His question basically amounts to "How does a physical system give rise to a non-physical system?" without understanding that the problem is his own use of language and he doesn't properly define what he means by "physical". Our minds are shaped by the world and the world is shaped by our minds. It seems incoherent to talk about our minds and the world as two separate things that cannot interact.

When we look at other people we see bodies, not minds. When we look inside their heads we see brains, not minds. So, when we look at other people and see a "physical" form instead of a "non-physical" form, then is that how things are independent of how they appear? Is the "physical" form the appearance, and the "non-physical" form how they really are?

The reason I believe that other people have minds is because my mental world is consistently from a location atop the pedestal of a body with its own appendages that are manipulated with the force of my will. All other things, things that are not what it is to be me, require indirect manipulation - by using my appendages to manipulate them. The ball is not part of me because I can't move the ball without moving my hand. To move the ball, I have to think about moving my hand. To move my hand, I only think about moving my hand. If this body has a mind associated with it, then why would't other bodies have minds associated with them? Why would this body be different? So, my understanding of the world is based on both empirical information and reason.

I am a naturalist because I believe that human beings are the outcomes of natural processes and not separate or special creations. Human beings are as much a part of this world as everything else, and anything that has a causal relationship (like a god creating it) with this world is natural as well. Evolutionary psychology is a relatively new scientific discipline that theorizes that our minds are shaped by natural selection, not just our bodies. This seems like a valid argument to make as learning is essentially natural selection working on shaping minds on very short time scales. You learn by making observations and integrating those observations into a consistent world-view. You change your world-view with new observations.
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Adherents to evolutionary psychology do theorize that our minds are shaped by natural selection, not just our bodies.

Earlier in your comment you validly claimed to adhere to what you experience, only what is empirical. You sort of (in all kindness) "jumped ship" to a "new theory." By memory alone, evolution is not interested in the truth, its interest is reproduction.

Evolutionary psychology (EP) seeks to explain behavior in terms of the advantage that particular human responses conferred in the struggle for survival.55 Philosophically, it is a kind of functionalism.
55 See Gaulin and McBurney (2004), _Evolutionary Psychology_ or Tooby and Cosmides (2005)., "Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Psychology," for a committed view and Downes (2010), "Evolutionary Psychology," for a more critical appraisal.

God, Science & Mind: The Irrationality of Naturalism by Dennis F. Polis, Ph.D.

Don't see you arguing for "functionalism" or naturalism, not really. You're a lot more on my side than I thought earlier. Dr. Dennis is Catholic and Dr. Hart is Christian. I stand by both. The "verificationist" fallacy seems valid to me.

"As Chalmers has pointed out there is no way in which external observations can tell us that an individual is conscious. It is only because of our own individual personal experience of being aware that we know that such a thing as consciousness exists." Dfpolis R-3-2

They seem in agreement to me.

Happy Easter,
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I'm being held in existence. If you value yourself then show me how that's not happening for you, prove your belief is true.

It's not a matter of absolute certitude, it's a matter if someone disagrees with me has any sanity.

happy Easter, my High Holy Day as in MINE!
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