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Featured Against Scientific Materialism

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by sayak83, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    So science isn't everything. So what? Wasn't that fairly obvious? Maybe I'm being dense here...

    What I don't like, at all, is the attempt to pigeon-hole disbelief in things outside reality as relying 100% on "science". What the hell do I care, ultimately, if science can never bring us a good explanation for consciousness? Does that mean consciousness exists outside reality? No. Does that mean consciousness is supernatural? No again. Does that mean consciousness proves that there is some "realm" other than our reality? Sorry... it's a no again folks.

    It just means we have an area of the known natural processes within the universe that we can't quite explain or pin down to facts. And this is supposed to be shocking? Should we go ahead and insert something into that gap anyway? Of course not.
     
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  2. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I agree with what you are saying 100%.

    As I said in an earlier post in this thread

    "In my view science should avoid metaphysical entanglements. If nothing fits for now, then nothing fits. In time as both science and our thinking advances, something may click spontaneoulsy."
     
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  3. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    I don't know.

    But I'm confident that scientific method is the only way likely to find the answer.

    What alternative method of enquiry could explore such a question and yield results based on examinable evidence?
    That's the easy part ─ the biomechanisms of the brain, for want of any other candidates. The harder part is saying which and how, but we're working on it.
    Why is it anything other than a very complex question of brain physiology, and why should we not persist with our present lines of enquiry as the only ones likely to find the answer?
     
  4. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    You missed my point there completely. Where did I say we need to postulate weird metaphysical realities? You seem to think black and white on the topic.

    It is indeed funny to try to trivialize qualia into problems of the head. Though it doesn't make for much of a conversation, at least it tells us that you assume only functions that are "wrong" can produce qualia.
     
  5. atanu

    atanu Member
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    Truth constraints itself? You may be unknowingly correct, since that is what Vishnu does. He takes three steps to materialise the so-called truth -- the worlds of sleep, dream, and waking.

    Which means that our knowledge of the phenomenal objects/world is never not tentative. (But I see a lot of know it alls who are sure of their knowing to be absolute truths).

    But the main point. If the cognising awareness is also a phenomena, arising our of witnessed phenomena, then how do we know anything? Who are we fooling? Please consider this in light of the following query of yours.

     
  6. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I get where you're coming from, and I feel it is good to view things from this perspective and understanding at times. Too many people do not. But there is also the time to set it aside. For example - hunger is only a personal "phenomenon"... it manifests in you, and you alone. It isn't "real" just as you hint at our knowledge or awareness being these really elusive things that we may mistake for being concrete and completely trustworthy. You could also ask "how do we hunger for anything?", but that question doesn't feed you.
     
  7. atanu

    atanu Member
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    Actually I find that odd. Science itself has no cognising power. The given power of cognition and discernment allow us science. Why belittle that competence?

    So, when you presume that the cognising power itself is arisen out of the phenomena that the cognising power brings to light, you have landed yourself into a circular reasoning.
     
  8. atanu

    atanu Member
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    But I do not ask that at all. I also know that a dream hunger can be satisfied with a dream bread.
     
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  9. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    Guilty as charged :)

    I say that when you have one hundred billions cells connected in zillion possible ways, we might have a machine that is sufficient to feel colors and stuff. Ofherwise, what a waste of complexity!

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  10. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I've dream-peed in a dream-urinal... only to feel moments later (still in the dream) that I was not relieved, and had to go "again." My body persisted in producing the "phenomenon" of feeling that I had to relieve myself for obvious reasons. These states of consciousness and the "phenomena" that occur within them are nowhere near "the same."
     
    #50 A Vestigial Mote, Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  11. 1137

    1137 | O.S. Co-founder
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    Very good article. Unfortunately arguing against material is near identical to arguing against Creationism, or flat Earth. It was never valid or reasonable to begin with, yet you won't get through that strong faith. Bernardo Kastrup has a great book that discusses just how deeply ingrained in us materialism really is - "Why Materialism is Baloney"
     
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  12. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    No, it means that truth is retrospective but never absolute, is always tentative, always a work in progress.
    Self-awareness, response to sensory input, analytical and synthetic thought, memory, speech, survival and breeding imperatives, and so on, are all the product of our evolution, that is, we have them because of our genetics.

    As for the potential of our understanding to be accurate, I mention again my three assumptions, that a world exists external to the self, that the senses are capable of informing us about it, and that reason is a valid tool ─ and that anyone who posts here shares those assumptions (well, the first two, anyway). So, right or wrong, we have a shared frame of reference, and it enables us to have conversations of this kind.
    Expressions like 'science shows' and 'science has found' are metaphors. It means that humans with expertise have applied scientific method in reaching their conclusions.
    I don't belittle our power to reason and I don't belittle scientific method. It's the best means of answering the question 'What's true in reality?' that I know at this time.
    Your statement
    you presume that the cognising power itself is arisen out of the phenomena that the cognising power brings to light​
    is not accurate. It should start with the assumptions I set out above and be along these lines:
    'A sets out to explore, identify, describe and explain the functions of the brain, using scientific method hence reasoning honestly from examinable evidence, demonstration and repeatable experiment.'​
     
  13. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Look, this is a very subtle topic and I am not expecting you to accept wholesale what I, or the article is saying. Reflect on the things pointed out here from time to time, and I am sure, the significance of the points raised here will become clearer to you.
    Very simply,the answers that will be gotten from pursuing biochemistry of brains will, while very very useful....will not answer the question as to the what and why of experiential qualia....what it will give rather is what sort of brain activity occurs when that said brain self-report that they are having these mysterious things called experiences.
     
  14. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    As I said, I see nothing mysterious about qualia ─ it's simply a name for the manner in which we've evolved to respond to sensory input with our connotations as well as our denotations attached.

    But the common ground we may have is this ─ if that's wrong, then science will be the method by which we determine it's wrong, and what is correct instead.


    However, there does seem to be an elephant in the room ─ our author specifically rules out the supernatural yet offers no natural way for the argument to be correct. If our author's proposed gap between science and reality were itself real, and if our author were correct in saying it can't be filled by science, then it must necessarily be filled by magic, no?
     
  15. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    No. One can say that there are different fundamental modes of reality. The part covered by physics gives us that part of reality that has to do with events and causal structure. The part covered by math and logic provide insight into that mode of reality that is about abstract patterns and relationships. The part covered by information theory etc. describes that mode that deals with information, cognition, knowledge etc. Finally there is a part, not yet covered by any field that needs to describe the experiential mode of reality.
    Where reality is understood in the participatory sense. That is reality is necessarily built with and through interactions, thus "point-of-view" aspect of reality is not a bug but an intrinsic feature.
     
  16. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion it's an optimistic assumption that sufficient complexity spontaneously makes qualia emerge. I remember believing such about AIs in the 90s, today it seems researchers on that topic are better grounded, well except the ones who want attention from journalists... and feeling colors seems like switching inputs or outputs, not more complex or more simple. It seems like a lesser type of qualia to me.
     
  17. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    What element do you say it possesses that prevents its objective analysis?
    How does that differ from 'subjective'? Is science wrong to try and map the nature of the subjective and compare the results to the real?

    As well, if not science, then magic, either maximizing reason or maximizing emotion, no?
     
  18. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Do you think everything you don't like or prefer is magic or emotions?
     
  19. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    To say "everything that exists is physical" is vague and confusing to people unaware of the main point. The main point is that matter and it's correlates are the building blocks upon which the mind exists. The problem then becomes how to determine whether something is a correlate to matter. But this can be solved by being even more specific: Consciousness is not primary and does not exist by itself.

    Does this position follow from science ? No. Is this position compatible with science so far though ? Yes. Why would one hold this view ? Because the sciences have been very successful in explaining our universe without making use of a model where consciousness is primary.
     
    #59 Koldo, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  20. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    If, by objective you mean observer independent, then science is not objective...as both QM and SR/GR are observer dependent.
    Science is using experiences to find regularities and patterns within these and future experiences. Calling something real does not make it anything other than a set of experiences. We define something as unreal if it is incongruent with other sets of more frequent experiences, eg. dream experiences are incongruent with the larger set of waking state experiences...so dream experiences are labelled unreal to indicate their lesser value in terms of contunuity, predictability, utility etc. So if you think "reality" as anything other than a useful model to arrange and utilize the regularities found in a large set of experiences...then you need to justify such a move.

    I define objective very simply.
    A certain feature in the experience of any observing subject is called objective if it remains invariant when other background features of the experience the observer is having are identical.
    For example we have the objective statement "water boils at 100 C at sea level" implies:-
    That for every observer the experience of boiling is invariably cojoined with the experience of seeing a temperature reading of 100 C given other background features of the experience (being at sea-level, observing water, on earth etc.) are identical.
     
    #60 sayak83, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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