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A question for Materialists/Atheist/ Humanists and their allies

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Duragizer View Post
    To make a long story short, Jorge is so pigheadedly set against evolution and "millions of years" that God Themself could tell him that modern science is right and he wouldn't believe a word of it. He'd ignore everything God has to say, accusing Them of being drunk/on drugs all the way.
    Is your faith designation new or am I just blind. I quite like it.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Jichard View Post
      So how does that apply to your OP? Well, psychological states like "aware[ness]" are typically taken to be multiply realizable with respect to their material constituents / reactions. So two organisms can have different chemical reactions going on in their heads, even if both organisms are aware. Which means the question you asked is just as absurd as the above question regarding houses and chemical reactions.


      It's for these two reasons (amongst a number of other's) that your questions would not be taken seriously by serious cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind. Your questions are just absurd gotcha! questions.

      Well here is a quote and link from someone in the field, neuroscientist, philosopher, Dr. Sam Harris. So Jorge's question is not merely a gotcha question.

      . . The painfulness of pain, for instance, puts in an appearance only in consciousness. And no description of C-fibers or pain-avoiding behavior will bring the subjective reality into view...

      ...Most scientists are confident that consciousness emerges from unconscious complexity. We have compelling reasons for believing this, because the only signs of consciousness we see in the universe are found in evolved organisms like ourselves. .
      http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/t...-consciousness

      I would also refer you to David J. Chalmers' Hard problem of consciousness - who is also a philosopher and cognitive scientist

      http://consc.net/papers/facing.html
      Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by seer View Post
        Well here is a quote and link from someone in the field, neuroscientist, philosopher, Dr. Sam Harris. So Jorge's question is not merely a gotcha question.



        http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/t...-consciousness

        I would also refer you to David J. Chalmers' Hard problem of consciousness - who is also a philosopher and cognitive scientist

        http://consc.net/papers/facing.html
        Here's the thing: I've already read both Harris and Chalmers. In fact, I've read both of Chalmers' books. So I won't fall for quote-mines of either of them.

        Neither of them think consciousness needs to be accounted for at the level of chemical reactions. And both accept that multiple realizability of mental states. So, in fact, they would both agree that the OP's question is nonsense. Furthermore, Chalmers thinks that psychological states like awareness can be accounted for in functionalist terms, and similarly so for states like belief. So he would disagree with the OP, and point out that the OP is conflating awareness and consciousness.

        And by the way: both of them are naturalists. So they don't think consciousness is a non-natural phenomena.
        "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
          Is your faith designation new or am I just blind. I quite like it.
          I've had it for a number of weeks now. I feel it more accurately describes my theological leanings than the ones I've gone with before.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Jichard View Post
            Here's the thing: I've already read both Harris and Chalmers. In fact, I've read both of Chalmers' books. So I won't fall for quote-mines of either of them.

            Neither of them think consciousness needs to be accounted for at the level of chemical reactions. And both accept that multiple realizability of mental states. So, in fact, they would both agree that the OP's question is nonsense. Furthermore, Chalmers thinks that psychological states like awareness can be accounted for in functionalist terms, and similarly so for states like belief. So he would disagree with the OP, and point out that the OP is conflating awareness and consciousness.

            And by the way: both of them are naturalists. So they don't think consciousness is a non-natural phenomena.
            Except Harris doesn't think that consciousness can be accounted for "even in principle." And Chalmers says that materialism can not account for certain aspects consciousness i.e. Qualia. But that the definition of materialism must be changed - but changed to what? And I'm not sure what your point about chemical reactions is - it there something other than chemical reactions in the thinking process?
            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by seer View Post
              Except Harris doesn't think that consciousness can be accounted for "even in principle." And Chalmers says that materialism can not account for certain aspects consciousness i.e. Qualia. But that the definition of materialism must be changed - but changed to what? And I'm not sure what your point about chemical reactions is - it there something other than chemical reactions in the thinking process?
              I think you missed the point of my reply to the OP. The OP's questions are ridiculous gotcha questions, as both Chalmers and Harris would accept. And that's because neither Harris nor Chalmers think that materialism necessarily involves accounting for awareness at the level of chemical reactions. For example, Chalmers focuses on a functionalist level of explanation, not one at the level of chemical reactions.

              And of course there are things other than chemical reactions involved in the thinking process, since no informed naturalists thinks all psychologically-relevant processes occur at the level of chemical reactions. I already discussed this in my reply to the OP, in the context of levels of scientific explanation.
              Last edited by Jichard; 04-09-2015, 01:48 PM.
              "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                And of course there are things other than chemical reactions involved in the thinking process, since no informed naturalists thinks all psychologically-relevant processes occur at the level of chemical reactions. I already discussed this in my reply to the OP, in the context of levels of scientific explanation.
                Really? Show me one brain process that is not chemically driven.
                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  Really? Show me one brain process that is not chemically driven.
                  Can you just read and understand what I actually wrote, as opposed to bringing up red herrings?
                  "And of course there are things other than chemical reactions involved in the thinking process, since no informed naturalists thinks all psychologically-relevant processes occur at the level of chemical reactions. I already discussed this in my reply to the OP, in the context of levels of scientific explanation."

                  Nowhere in there did I claim that brain processes are not chemically driven. So your question is a red herring based on a strawman you erected. Instead I said that no informed naturalists thinks all psychologically-relevant processes occur at the level of chemical reactions. And that's straightforwardly true, since there are processes that occur at levels other than chemistry, such as the processes discussed by functionalists. Not every process is a chemical process, since not every process occurs at the level discussed by chemistry.

                  If you still don't know what I mean by "level", then actually read the post I linked to above.
                  Last edited by Jichard; 04-09-2015, 05:33 PM.
                  "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                    Can you just read and understand what I actually wrote, as opposed to bringing up red herrings?
                    "And of course there are things other than chemical reactions involved in the thinking process, since no informed naturalists thinks all psychologically-relevant processes occur at the level of chemical reactions. I already discussed this in my reply to the OP, in the context of levels of scientific explanation."

                    Nowhere in there did I claim that brain processes are not chemically driven. So your question is a red herring based on a strawman you erected. Instead I said that no informed naturalists thinks all psychologically-relevant processes occur at the level of chemical reactions. And that's straightforwardly true, since there are processes that occur at levels other than chemistry, such as the processes discussed by functionalists. Not every process is a chemical process, since not every process occurs at the level discussed by chemistry.

                    If you still don't know what I mean by "level", then actually read the post I linked to above.
                    No you are not making sense, first you say:

                    Nowhere in there did I claim that brain processes are not chemically driven.

                    Then you say:

                    no informed naturalists thinks all psychologically-relevant processes occur at the level of chemical reactions

                    So which is it? Brain processes are chemically driven, or they are not chemically.

                    So I will ask again, what specific process causes psychologically-relevant events, if not chemical. And I would like a straight scientific answer not philosophical musings.
                    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Perhaps it might help to remember there are levels of explanation in science. Fundamentally, the laws of physics are responsible for everything, but it would be ludicrous to try to explain psychology in terms of basic physics. An example might help.

                      When we put the kettle on to boil, we increase the kinetic energy of the water molecules. Eventually, some of the water molecules have enough energy to vaporise and they form a small pocket of vapour. Meanwhile, the water pressure is greater than the vapour pressure and the bubble collapses. Eventually however, the molecules have enough energy to form a bubble whose vapour pressure is equal to that of the water pressure. At this point we say boiling is occurring. When we ask 'why did the kettle boil?' a bunch of answers are useful and correct in different contexts:

                      The scientific context above
                      I wanted a cup of tea
                      I put heat under the kettle

                      and so on.

                      When we ask how consciousness arises from the brain, the best answer is probably 'I don't know'. This does NOT mean we are obliged to say 'Ah, a miracle!'. Like every other hard problem that faces science, we investigate more. The complex structure and feedback mechanisms of the brain obviously have something to do with it. But to frame the question as 'How does a chemical reaction become self aware?' is much the same as asking 'What is the physics behind social psychology?'

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
                        But to frame the question as 'How does a chemical reaction become self aware?' is much the same as asking 'What is the physics behind social psychology?'
                        Well actually no, since no matter how complex all you have are chemical interactions. There is physically nothing else in play. Neurons that transmit electrochemical signals. Nothing more.
                        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by seer View Post
                          Well actually no, since no matter how complex all you have are chemical interactions. There is physically nothing else in play. Neurons that transmit electrochemical signals. Nothing more.
                          'nothing more' denies the complexity involved. And why don't we go deeper? Chemical reactions aren't fundamental. Why not quantum physics? When do quantum processes become self aware? Probably about the same level of complexity when quantum mechanics last kiss your wife?

                          Let's start with a simpler analogy. Hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms, when they combine they produce a water molecule with completely different (emergent) properties. How do hydrogen and oxygen atoms produce wetness, the boiling point of water, the odd fact that water expands as it shrinks, that I like to drink it cold? The levels between your foundation (chemical reactions) and your endpoint (consciousness) are of the order of millions. Frankly it's silly to expect an answer or worse still, use it as some kind of 'gotcha' moment. This will be my last post on this subject because, I'm sorry to say, talking to you is completely unproductive. It's the same ground over and over. Neither of us gains anything. Go kiss your wife and I'll kiss mine.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
                            Go kiss your wife and I'll kiss mine.
                            I know that's what I'd do (had I a wife ).

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Duragizer View Post
                              I know that's what I'd do (had I a wife ).
                              Here. Take mine. Please.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by seer View Post
                                No you are not making sense, first you say:

                                Nowhere in there did I claim that brain processes are not chemically driven.

                                Then you say:

                                no informed naturalists thinks all psychologically-relevant processes occur at the level of chemical reactions

                                So which is it? Brain processes are chemically driven, or they are not chemically.
                                No, I'm making straight-forward, to anyone who understands science and philosophy of science, in the context of levels of explanation.

                                For at least the third time:
                                "Instead I said that no informed naturalists thinks all psychologically-relevant processes occur at the level of chemical reactions. And that's straightforwardly true, since there are processes that occur at levels other than chemistry, such as the processes discussed by functionalists. Not every process is a chemical process, since not every process occurs at the level discussed by chemistry."

                                What is unclear about that? NOT every process occurs at the level of chemistry. For example, natural selection is not a chemical process. It does not occur at the level of chemistry. It's an evolutionary process thatoperates at a level higher than chemistry. Similarly, psychological processes occur at a level higher than that of chemistry.

                                For the love of all that's holy, I spent a post explaining that: http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/sh...865#post181865
                                How about actually reading that post, instead of proceeding with your strawman of my position?

                                So I will ask again, what specific process causes psychologically-relevant events, if not chemical. And I would like a straight scientific answer not philosophical musings.
                                If you still think deny that there are processes that are not chemical reactions, then open up any basic textbook on cognitive science. That will introduce you to processes that don't occur at the level of chemistry. Or open about a biology textbook. Or an astronomy textbook. Or an..

                                And at this point, I don't think you understand Chalmers work at all. You've basically just quote-mined (as many Christians tend to do, especially creationists) his work, without reading it. I think this because Chalmers spends page after page discussing non-chemical processes involved in psychologically-relevant events (that is: processes that don't occur at the level of chemistry), and yet you seem utterly unaware of this. For example, Chalmers focuses on processes discussed by functionalists, as I told you:
                                Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                                And that's because neither Harris nor Chalmers think that materialism necessarily involves accounting for awareness at the level of chemical reactions. For example, Chalmers focuses on a functionalist level of explanation, not one at the level of chemical reactions.
                                Last edited by Jichard; 04-10-2015, 03:44 AM.
                                "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                                Comment

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