• Bartricks
    626
    Question begging. You're just assuming the mind is the brain again (I think - not sure quite what you mean, though)
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    assumingBartricks

    Assumptions either way are out, as not being for sure, we thus having to remain agnostic to the free or not of the will.

    Probabilities and self-contradictions can still be applied if they are good ones, for estimation.
  • Bartricks
    626
    It is not rational to remain agnostic once someone has presented you with powerful evidence that P is the case.

    If there is a lot of good evidence that James did the crime, and none that he didn't, then you're not reasonably if you continue to assume that it is just as likely that someone else did it as he did.

    You're dogmatically committed, it would seem, to the view that we do not know what the mind is. So committed that no matter how much evidence someone provides you that the mind is an immaterial thing, you're going to reject it because it conflicts with your thesis - a thesis for which you can provide no evidence whatever -that we don't know the mind is.
  • Bartricks
    626
    I have now presented four arguments - each one valid, each one with premises that no-one has raised the least doubt about - that all imply the same thing, namely that our minds are immaterial souls.
    Someone who, unable to raise an objection to those arguments beyond simply noting that they have conclusions they do not believe in, still persists in believing that the mind is the brain - or that we do not know what the mind is - is a dogmatist, plain and simple.
    Following reason means something - it means drawing the conclusions she bids you draw.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    If there is a lot of good evidence that James did the crime,Bartricks

    No, not analogous.
  • Bartricks
    626
    er, yes it is. Explain how it isn't.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    no matter how much evidence someone provides youBartricks

    evidence = it appears to us that…
  • Bartricks
    626
    Four independent arguments that appear to prove that X is the case.

    Four independent witnesses come forward and say "James did it".

    You can't raise a reasonable doubt about any of the arguments, and you can't raise a reasonable doubt about the probative force of those witnesses' statements - yet you persist in thinking that it is as likely someone else did it as James did it. That makes you an appalling detective. And it makes you a bad philosopher.
  • Bartricks
    626
    And no, that's not what evidence is. Anyway, I'm tired of this now as this is going nowhere and I'm clearly dealing with an asserter not an arguer.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    er, yes it is. Explain how it isn't.Bartricks

    Analogous would be that we don't have any other evidence than somehow the notion only appears to us, and that's it, no blood, no fingerprints, no camera, not anything.
  • Bartricks
    626
    No, you really don't have a clue.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    No, you really don't have a clue.Bartricks

    That's right, no clues, no detective work, but only a mind appearance notion.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    an asserterBartricks

    OK, you assert that the mind instantly manages every thought and decision in real time, replete with memories looked up and all such figuring of relation between. So now you can show it for sure, due to appearances.

    I'm going to sleep soon; be well and enjoy. You are a good responder.
  • Coben
    832
    1. If everything I think, desire and do is the causal product of prior causes and/or indeterministic chance, then I am not morally responsible for anything I think, desire and do.Bartricks
    Yes, not morally responsible, however, it would still make sense, for example, for others to note your behavior and, avoid or incarcerate you, for example. IOW one is still the entity that kills women, or whatever. You can't help it - though perhaps certain new causes could change the behavior. You are a product, only of past causes, yes. So saying you are bad with a wagging finger as if you could have been otherwise, is confused - though also determined - but responding with certain measures that look like moral responses still makes sense.


    2. I am morally responsible for some of what I think, desire and do.
    Or not. This would need support. It is a good argument for cornering determinists who don't want to grant this as false.

    If they do grant both then, yes, three follow.
    3. Therefore (from 1 and 2), not everything I think, desire and do is the causal product of prior causes and/or indeterministic chance.
    4. If I am a material object, then everything I think, desire and do is the causal product of prior causes and/or indeterministic chance
    that seems true but there needs to be more put in. I don't think there is any clear definition of material or physical anymore. So we would need a definition of material. If one is arguing with most determinists, they will merely grant this, of course.

    5. Therefore (from 3 and 4), I am not a material object

    If I am not a material object, then I must be an immaterial one, for that's the only alternative.
    Or you are a mixed object, it would seem, unless you are arguing that humans are not material in any way. Now you may have meant 'I' is mind or soul, in this last sentence. But still if we go back to 3 it is 'not everthing is determined' which seems to indicate a potential mix of being partially determined or determined on occasion. Like when the doctor taps your reflex points, say. Unless that isn't you moving your leg in response. And then we need to wonder about the interactin between this immaterial self and the body. If bodies are material, which they seem to be. Two also needs to show what morally responsible means, unless it is granted by the opposition. If i choose to do X, not caused by love, empathy, hatred or rationality. Not caused by anything, I am not sure that is moral behavior. I don't know what it is. It seems to me moral behavior would either come from feelings or have certain goals, so these become causal.

    It is implicit in the argument that moral choosing exists. I don't know what that would be if it is not caused by wanting to do good or by values that create motivations, the motivations to live up to values being again causes and determining choices.

    It seems to me there is a lot to unravel, though ti might be an effective argument in relation to people who want to just accept two and one, and find themselves in a bind to avoid the rest.
  • Forgottenticket
    160
    And my reason also says that all extended objects - such as my brain - can be divided. Yet my reason says no less clearly that my mind cannot be divided. Well, if my brain is divisible but my mind not, then my reason is telling me that my mind is not my brain (or any other kind of extended thing).Bartricks

    Some people like Sperry believe a divided brain creates two individual minds each with consciousness. Like the split brain experiments, what do you say about that?
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    extended things occupy some space and any - any - region of space is divisible.Bartricks

    Any region of space is divisible per what? That's not the conventional wisdom in the sciences.
  • khaled
    1k
    e the rational intuitions that represent procreation to be ethical - well, those, I think, have been induced not by drugs, but by environmental programming.Bartricks

    I could then say that most humans will get the intuition that their tea isn’t conscious due to environmental programming. Threatening to call someone mad is environmental programming no? Not really a logical argument. So I can then use your first premise to refute your second premise using the “all things considered” clause.

    But to think that, systematically, one's own count for more just in virtue of being one's own is, I think, prejudiced. I can see no reason to think it would be trueBartricks

    And to think that others’ intuitions count more is just as prejudiced and arbitrary.

    How's that arbitrary?Bartricks

    There is no logical reason to assume shared intuitions are to constitute evidence for any hypothesis. Everyone thought the earth was flat for the longest time so was that “evidence”? Absolutely not

    Our reason represents minds to be indivisibleBartricks

    Does it? One could easily claim that minds are divisible but don’t retain memory once divided for example. That’s perfectly reasonable. In fact there is nothing “reasonable” or “logical” in claiming minds are indivisible, reason is only concerned with you to treat premises not with which premises to select

    But you're rejecting one of my premises on the grounds that it conflicts with your theory.Bartricks

    No I’m not. I’m saying it is just as unsupported as an alternative premise that would lead to very different conclusions. Also, I don’t really have “my theory” when it comes to this yet. I’m just using panpsychism as an example

    You need first to show that your theory is described by the conclusion of an argument that has stronger - that is, more self-evidently true - premises than the ones that entail my theory.Bartricks

    I’m saying the first premise to your first 2 arguments isn’t unsupported and the second one to your third is debatable.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    no-one has raised the least doubt about - that all imply the same thing, namely that our minds are immaterial souls.Bartricks

    Well, they did, and so the bubble is bursting.

    In short, for starters, some like you have suggested that consciousness itself is causal, due to common sense impressions, but consciousness is not a thing, as either a material or immaterial entity. It is rather that consciousness accompanies particular brain events—it is a process that is entailed by these material brain events. Only matter/energy can be causal, and so those events are part of the physical world, and that world is thus causally closed.

    We need not conclude that consciousness/qualia is useless, for its states are informational, as indicated earlier, even if not causal, as they are the discriminations entailed by causal transactions among neural activity states in a fine and useful symbol language.

    Because qualia states and neural activity states are coherent, in certain contexts it is still useful to talk of qualia as standing for neural activity , and at higher levels of description, it is all the more convenient to talk as if consciousness/qualia is causal as long as no confusion results about the true causes that arise in the neural system.
  • Bartricks
    626
    re what you say about premise 1 - yes, but that's not real moral responsibility. Incarcerating someone solely to protect others (and/or the criminal) is quarantine, not punishment. Being truly responsible for one's behaviour means being retributively responsible - that is, being such that if one does wrong, one can in principle be deserving of punishment. That kind of moral responsibility certainly requires free will and it is that kind that premise 1 invokes.

    Re what you say about premise 2 - it has considerable support. Like I say, the reason of virtually everyone represents it to be true. If that isn't support I don't know what is.

    That does not mean that premise 2 is true beyond all doubt, but the burden of proof is squarely on those who would deny it to provide countervailing evidence.
  • Bartricks
    626
    Yes, I mean my mind by 'I'. I think the argument probably does establish that your mind needs to be a necessarily existing thing (and thus establishes that our minds are not material objects) rather than establishing that some part of us needs to exist of necessity. For if I am some complex whole rather than a simple thing, then even if that complex whole has a component part that exists of necessity, my coming into being would still have been a product of external causes and/or chance. So I - the mind - need to exist of necessity. Perhaps I could be a complex whole who is composed entirely of simple things that exist of necessity - I admit that this argument does not rule that out - but it nevertheless seems beside the point, for a complex whole that is made wholly of necessarily existing things is not a material object.
  • Bartricks
    626
    Re what you say about the credibility of rational intuitions and the other things being equal clause - well, first we know in advance that we can't discredit all rational intuitions because all attempts to discredit rational intuitions must appeal to some. So, we know that some rational intuitions are accurate, and we know that the principle I am appealing to - that if something appears, rationally, to be the case, that is default evidence that it is the case - is true and thus that the rational intuitions that represent it to be are accurate. Thus we know in turn that such intuitions cannot be wholly a product of environmental programming.

    Some are, though. A good case exists for thinking that rational intuitions that represent procreation to be ethical are wholly a product of environmental programming. I don't think a similar case exists for thinking that any of the intuitions I am appealing to above are wholly a product of environmental programming. But anyway, while the burden of proof would be on me to discredit the widespread rational intuitions that procreation is ethical (a burden I think can be discharged), if you want to argue that the any of the rational intuitions I am appealing to here lack credibility due to being a product of environment programming, then the burden of proof is squarely on you. And you don't discharge it by saying "I can say that they are the product of environmental programming' - for, yes, of course you can 'say' it, but you need to 'show' it. Brute possibilities are not evidence.

    To stop this post getting too long, I will respond to the rest of what you said in another one.
  • Bartricks
    626
    I didn't say that other people's intuitions count for more. They count the same, other things being equal. That is, if my reason represents X to be the case, and your reason represents not-X to be the case, and those are the only rational intuitions we've got to go on, then a reasonable person (so both of us if we are reasonable) should conclude that it is an open question whether X is the case or not.
    I think someone who insists that their rational intuitions count and nobody else's do is wholly unreasonable and prejudiced. They really must think that they, and they alone, are hooked up to rational reality, and they can - by their own lights - have no better reason to think this than that they think it.
    I am interested in what's true - so I am interested in what my mind actually is - not in persuading prejudiced people who have no interest in objectively weighing the evidence of something. The fact an argument fails to persuade a person like that is never going to be to the discredit of the argument.
  • Bartricks
    626
    No, you are rejecting a premise because it conflicts with your theory.

    Like I say, you need to provide an independent argument for the thesis that my mind is not a soul, and that argument needs to have premises that are more self-evidently true than mine. Then you would have a rational basis for rejecting one of my premises, but ortherwise all you're doing is saying one of my premises is false because it is inconsistent with your theory.
  • Bartricks
    626
    Perhaps it is not 'your' theory in that you do not endorse it, but all that means is that you're rejecting one of my premises because it is inconsistent with 'a theory'. So what? That's not evidence the premise is false.

    My premise is inconsistent with a billion theories. A trillion. That's not evidence it is false until or unless there's better evidence that the theory in question is true than there is that my premise is true.
  • Bartricks
    626
    How does assuming everything is conscious help explain how a lump of meat can be? It's no explanation at all.

    Plus, the 'problem' is not explaining how meat can be conscious. The problem is that we have rational intuitions that represent all material things to be lacking in mental properties. And it's not a problem, unless you've started out assuming that we're material things.
  • Coben
    832
    re what you say about premise 1 - yes, but that's not real moral responsibility. Incarcerating someone solely to protect others (and/or the criminal) is quarantine, not punishment.Bartricks
    I agree. That was an aside on my part, but I think an important one, since some people, not that I asssumed you, think that if there is no moral responsibility, then there can be no measures taken without hypocrisy. So, I mention it. Call it a preemptive strike. Even retribution or punishment can happen, though they are hypocritical, since the one who punishes can say they feel compelled to do it, even to legislate it.

    Re what you say about premise 2 - it has considerable support. Like I say, the reason of virtually everyone represents it to be true. If that isn't support I don't know what is.Bartricks
    It's support in the sense that it may make the argument interpersonally effective, but other than that this is an ad populum argument, so far.
    That does not mean that premise 2 is true beyond all doubt, but the burden of proof is squarely on those who would deny it to provide countervailing evidence.Bartricks
    You haven't provided any evidence, you have said that people believe it, or think that way. IOW if this was strong evidence than it means theism is the default and even is evidence though less, that Kim Khardishan has important things to say.
    for a complex whole that is made wholly of necessarily existing things is not a material object.Bartricks
    My tack is to argue that the term material object, or the adjectives material and physical, no longer have any meaning. They used to mean things, like stones and chairs, but now the refer to massless particles, fields, things that have more than one in the same place, particles in superposition, neutrinos passing as we speak in their trillions right through the earth and so on. Whatever scientists consider real, they will call physical or material, regardless of the qualities. It is a set that is expanding not just in what it contains but in the types of things it contains, regardless of qualities or the lack thereof. So to me the whole debate about material/immaterial has a problematic ground since one of the two categories's criteria are expanding and are not fixed and has become synonymous with real. I think medieval theologians on hearing the characteristics of neurtrinos, let alone even less physicallike 'things' now considered physical, might very well have said 'oh, well with your use of the term, perhaps angels are physical, it's just they can fly right through the earth also.'
  • Bartricks
    626
    It's support in the sense that it may make the argument interpersonally effective, but other than that this is an ad populum argument, so far

    No, it isn't. All cases for anything appeal to rational appearances - to rational intuitions. Not beliefs, note. it is fallacious to think that you can make something true by getting enough people to believe it. But my claim is that the reason - a faculty - of most people represents it to be true. Which is stunningly good evidence - the best you're ever going to have for anything, for all appeals to evidence are appeals to reason - for anything.
  • Coben
    832
    No, it isn't. All cases for anything appeal to rational appearances - to rational intuitions. Not beliefs, note. it is fallacious to think that you can make something true by getting enough people to believe it.Bartricks
    Right that's what I'm saying.
    But my claim is that the reason - a faculty - of most people represents it to be true. Which is stunningly good evidence - the best you're ever going to have for anything, for all appeals to evidence are appeals to reason - for anything.Bartricks
    But then you face the problem of saying that set X is based on this faculty and sey Y is not, like the importance of the Khardishan's and the world being flat, at least once upon a time are in that set Y. Which is where actual evidence has to come in. The empirical component.

    Otherwise we just have default truths and the sense of the onus changing like fashion.

    And one can still want to live as if there is moral responsibility or that it is part of determinsm, as a felt process. Even if I think I am determined, I could still want to regret certain acts, improve my social relations, do things that I consider good to my fellow humans. All those feelings can still continue.

    Most people have not reasoned their way to moral responsibility, they have assumed it.

    There are a lot of folk beliefs, like folk beliefs in psychology that are not the case, despite their popularity.
  • Bartricks
    626
    I don't understand you - my premise talks about rational appearances, not beliefs. So you now accept, I take it, that what you said does not address any premise of my argument?
  • Bartricks
    626
    It doesn't challenge the claim that my mind is indivisible. All it does - if it is true, that is, and I see no evidence at all that it is - is show that if you split a BRAIN in half, then the mind that was previously associated with it ceases to be associated with it, and two other minds become asociated with each respective half. It does not show the mind itself to be divisible. To assume it did show this would be to assume - not show - that the mind is the brain for the purposes of demonstrating the falsity of a premise in an argument that shows the opposite. That is, it would be question begging.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment