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Featured Against Scientific Materialism

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

  1. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I'd also point out that non-locality has dramatic effects on our notions of causality.

    If there is faster than light interaction, there is some frame in which the interact goes *backward in time*. In other words, events in the future (in that frame) are causes of events in the past.

    That automatically bring non-locality into question. Even to the extent that causality makes sense, it should be limited to the future light cone of the cause. Non-local causes violate that rule.

    But, and more importantly, the simple fact that quantum mechanics correctly predicts the behavior of any number of actual, physical systems is enough to take it seriously. And QM is a local, non-realist theory. That is very good reason to both suspect that realism is false and that locality is true.
     
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  2. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Correct. Thanks for the heads up. :)
     
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  3. atanu

    atanu Member
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    OTOH.

    My mother breathed her last yesterday evening after two years of illness. We three brothers, all of science profession, are sitting near the lifeless body. The body is there, the brain is there. But the body-brain do not say "I".

    It is obvious that "I" consciousness is not the intrinsic property of body-brain.

    In fact, we -- the living and the conscious, are the seer of the body-brain. The body-brain do not see and proclaim "I see". The dead brain does not say "I wish to live".


    What can reveal light to light? This materialistic thinking is flawed. It is consciousness that reveals objects (including thoughts). What will illumine consciousness?

    What is the explanation for gravitation? Consciousness IS. It is the warp and weft of existence.


    Ha. Ha. You mean to say that the idea "self-awareness is the product of brain function" is SCIENCE?

    In fact that is the problem. Your assumptions are your conclusions.

    We have no such limiting axiom, other than the empirical fact that "I exist" is the fundamental awareness at the base of any mind-sense experience. So, life-consciousness (self awareness) is the datum.

    ...
     
  4. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Very sad to hear that. I know from experience that it's a deep matter to lose a parent ─ it took me a year or so each time to repack my sense of self to new alignments. My condolences.

    On those occasions I also found it striking that the transition from life to death can indeed give the impression of the personality 'going away', leaving the clay behind. However, what actually happens is the irreversible breakdown of the many many interconnected systems of the living body that make the bioelectrical and biochemical patterns of life possible. The extinction of those patterns is death. Essentially the same thing happens (on a smaller scale) to eg a severed finger.
    It's no different in principle to the front light that turns itself on at night when it detects movement ─ and off again after a duration of nothing happening.
    No. It's not. The universe is still there when no one's looking. It was there before the sun and earth formed 4.5 bn ya, before genus Homo 2-3m ya, and it will be there when the earth no longer exists.
    You mean self-awareness is the product of magic? Ha ha yerself.
    But you share my assumptions, otherwise you wouldn't post here.
    At least we agree that we treat self-awareness as a datum. That doesn't mean it isn't caused. Nor does it mean we are unable in principle to discover, describe and explain the cause ─ something science is working on.
     
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  5. atanu

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    Who is asserting this truth with such certainty? The biochemical patterns?
     
  6. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Yup, and the biochemical-bioelectrical systems that support them. The self, indeed.

    What do you think >these people< are exploring, imaging, testing, finding, examining, describing?

    What do you think all that very complex and interconnected hardware is doing?

    Why does the impairment of any part of those systems impair brain function?
     
  7. atanu

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    A mechanical self indeed?

    If you are not able to demonstrate a mechanism or if you are not able to actually build a self, your assertion is not science and is empty. That is the point of the OP.
     
  8. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Biomechanical, if you like: chains of cause+effect, possibly subject to random alterations from QM randomness. That's how brains work, so that's how brains eg make decisions.

    So there's randomness and there's cause+effect. I'm not aware of any other way that actions happen in the real world. If you disagree, please tell me ─ by what means does consciousness (as you perceive it) make decisions?
    As I've said before, a complete reductive description of the world including its brains is not within the power of materialism at this time. Nor is it within anyone else's that I'm aware of.

    It's simply the best option. There's no credible alternative on the table.
     
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  9. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Brains are very complicated objects. Reproducing one is far beyond our capabilities..That doesn't mean the assertion that brains exist isn't science.

    We know where various aspects of consciousness are done in the brain: language, planning, seeing, hearing, anger, etc. We can literally point to specific locations in the brain where these are done.

    I also thing it is a mistake to think that consciousness is a unity. In fact, it seems to be a multitude, each calling out for attention, which is exactly what we expect from the modular organization of the brain. There is no 'self', but rather multiple pieces, each doing its own job. We perceive it as a unity (usually) because there is nothing to perceive a difference: at each time only one module is dominant.
     
  10. atanu

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    What both of you say is, according to you, powered by biochemical reactions. But both of you are not willing to even consider the suggestion that awareness IS and underlies all objective observations. You believe this because it appears that human intelligence lasts as long as brain works.

    This evidence, as I have pointed out earlier, indicates the opposite, Brain only works as long as life-consciousness empowers it. But brain does not power life-consciousness. Furthermore, death of a brain is termination of one instance (a particular personality) of the universal awareness that IS. That is the answer to Polymath’s point regarding multiplicity of consciousnesses.

    Science is expression of awareness-nature. But Philosophical materialism is a product of human mind, which however cannot know its own truth, as shown by Godel.

    I think we have nothing more to add from both sides.
     
  11. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Lots of claims here. The evidence does NOT indicate the opposite.


    Godel's results are irrelevant here. We are not formal axiomatic systems with a recursive set of axioms.
     
  12. atanu

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    A brain in a dead body does not exhibit any consciousness. If consciousness was a property of brain, then that would not be the case.


    I think, we would be if we were result of reactions. Furthermore, actually, if we are not formal systems, then it is more probable that Godel's theorem would apply.
     
  13. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    It is true that we each observe the world through the senses of the self. Hence there is a subjective element to all human assertions about the world external to the self (reality).

    It is also true that science is aware of this and sets out to maximize objectivity eg by empiricism and induction, by use of multiple repeatable (and repeated) experiments, by publication and openness to informed criticism, and by consensus of the best-informed.

    The aim is to form accurate statements about reality.

    And it works ─ look about you.
    Nothing suggests that any aspect of mentation survives death. There isn't even a testable hypothesis as to how such a thing might be possible.

    As to whether either of those is true ─ is an accurate statement about reality ─ reasoned enquiry, in particular scientific method, will determine the question.
    I'm not aware of any second option there. Do you propose one?


    If consciousness is not the result of biomechanism, what is it, how does it work?

    If consciousness eg makes decisions independently of cause+effect and (possibly) QM randomness, how does it make decisions?

    In both cases, what examinable evidence says so, what repeatable experiments provide confirmation?

    Please address these questions. They're basic to our disagreement.
     
  14. atanu

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    There is no doubt about this and I do not contest this at all. Scientific method works in the domain when its objects are measurable. And science makes no pretense that it has any conclusions beyond the empirical domain.

    This however is not the case with philosophical materialism, which, while professing strict empiricism, however concludes absence of non empirical domain. How an investigation that is based on empiricism conclude absence of a domain which is beyond empirical measurement?



    This is not fair for several reasons. We know that a dead brain does not exhibit consciousness indicating that consciousness is not a property of brain. So, when you do not know what life-consciousness is how do you even test for its continuance? Furthermore, when you cannot tell us about a mechanism by which consciousness is generated how do you assert that consciousness is generated mechanically only?


    In both cases, what examinable evidence says so, what repeatable experiments provide confirmation?
    Please address these questions. They're basic to our disagreement.[/QUOTE]

    I said that your demand is not fair and it belies an ignorance regarding the nature of consciousness. Your demand is not fair, since without knowing the mechanism of generation of consciousness you not only conclude that the consciousness is mechanically generated but you also demand an objective empirical proof of consciousness.

    The latter is a naïve demand. Consciousness is not an object of mind-senses. It cannot be pointed out "See there, that is consciousness". There can never be any such proof since without a conscious subject, no discernment is possible. With what will you discern consciousness? Can unconsciousness discern consciousness?

    The proof of consciousness is ever present in all scientific endeavours and emphatically in meditation experience, which you refuse to even consider.

    You may wish to read the following:

    https://www.vedanet.com/mind-and-consciousness/
     
  15. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    By observing that if something is real, we can in principle detect it. If something has no existence except as a concept or conceptual process in someone's mentation, the day may come when by empirical examination of the brain we can detect and describe that too; or perhaps we'll find reasons why such things are externally inaccessible. Stay tuned but don't hold your breath.
    No no no. It indicates that consciousness is a property of a working brain, sets of bioelectrical and biochemical patterns that the working brain can maintain and the dead brain cannot.
    We know subjectively what self-awareness, awakeness, consciousness is; the aim of research is to map that onto the working brain so we can see how it arises.

    What research is your team doing to discover, describe and explain self-awareness in objective terms? What repeatable experiments confirm their views?
    First, we're actively researching the answer to the question. Second, the brain is the most complex working thing we know, and the means to investigate it are themselves works in progress.

    Of course it can. You think doctors don't have tests to see whether a person is conscious or not? You think the patterns on an EEG are the same for waking, sleeping, under anaesthesia?
    No. But you appear to be saying that it's impossible in principle to build a machine that is self-aware, conscious. Since the 18th century centrifugal governors have been used to control the speed of steam engines, a feedback system that continuously reacts to its own condition. This is not consciousness, but it's a form of self-awareness.
    You keep saying that and I keep pointing out that science is well aware of the perils of subjectivity and sets out to maximize objectivity.


    And I still need you to explain how your version of consciousness actually works ─ by chains of cause+effect? Randomly? By a mix of the two? By magic?

    How?
     
  16. Looncall

    Looncall Well-Known Member

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    I said that your demand is not fair and it belies an ignorance regarding the nature of consciousness. Your demand is not fair, since without knowing the mechanism of generation of consciousness you not only conclude that the consciousness is mechanically generated but you also demand an objective empirical proof of consciousness.

    The latter is a naïve demand. Consciousness is not an object of mind-senses. It cannot be pointed out "See there, that is consciousness". There can never be any such proof since without a conscious subject, no discernment is possible. With what will you discern consciousness? Can unconsciousness discern consciousness?

    The proof of consciousness is ever present in all scientific endeavours and emphatically in meditation experience, which you refuse to even consider.

    You may wish to read the following:

    https://www.vedanet.com/mind-and-consciousness/[/QUOTE]

    You seem to have fallen for the trap of reification.

    Consciousness seems rather evidently to be a process, not a substance. Your position is equivalent to asking where fire goes when fuel run out.

    Of course dead brains do not show consciousness; no processes are occurring in them.
     
  17. Polymath257

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    Sorry, that just seems silly. Digesting food is a property of the stomach, but a non-living stomach doens't digest food. So, yes, the brain has to be functioning.


    On the contrary, Godel's results only apply to formal systems that have a recursive set of axioms. They are very specific in that regard. And no, they would not apply if we are the result of chemical reactions. Chemical reactions do NOT give a formal system described by a recursive set of axioms. If anything, they require partial differential equations to model them accurately and such are *far* more powerful than the systems described by Godel.
     
  18. atanu

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    No it is not silly. On the contrary you seem uncharacteristically shallow in this case. When we say that gold has a particular property, it signifies that irrespective of shape-form of gold that property holds. One may say that ‘property of a car is movement’, but surely a car has has no inherent property of movement. It has been designed by humans to move (or stop) under some conditions.

    Similarly, brain or body does not possess the property of consciousness ‘intrinsically’. We do not know what ‘life’ exactly is and how it imparts consciousness.

    So, to assert that consciousness is generated in brain is wrong.
    We had discussed this earlier when I had pointed out the word ‘EVEN’ in Godel’s own words. Incompleteness theorems apply to simplest of formal systems, what to talk of human system? And in any case, to understand human system we apply formal knowledge systems only. So, you are wrong both ways.

    Please see Godel’s own argument below and please note the word‘EVEN’ in Godel’s own writing. Also note that Godel rejects the materialistic paradigm. Godel drew the following disjunctive conclusion from the incompleteness theorems:

    "either ... the human mind (even within the realm of pure mathematics) infinitely surpasses the power of any finite machine, or else there exist absolutely unsolvable diophantine problems." (Godel 1951). ​

    Furthermore, Godel concludes that philosophical implications are, under either alternative:

    "very decidedly opposed to materialistic philosophy" (Godel 1951). 

    Godel further continues:

    However, as to subjective mathematics, it is not precluded that there should exist a finite rule producing all its evident axioms. However, if such a rule exists we could never know with mathematical certainty that all propositions it produces are correct ... the assertion ... that they are all true could at most be known with empirical certainty .... there would exist absolutely unsolvable diophantine problems .... where the epithet 'absolutely' means that they would be undecidable, not just within some particular axiomatic system, but by any mathematical proof the human mind can conceive (Godel 1951).​

    Godel’s result shows that either (i) the human mind is not a Turing machine or (ii) there are certain unsolvable mathematical problems. Gödel implied that there are ALWAYS more things that are true than you can prove.

    How that works for Materialism-Naturalism, which is defined below?

    “Naturalism is the hypothesis that the natural world is a closed system, which means that nothing that is not part of the natural world affects it.”

    As per Gödel’s theorem, no logical system can be known within the system. Materialists still insist that there is nothing outside the universe. But if that’s true, then the universe itself is illogical. In that case, the paradigm of materialism leads to the conclusion that science itself is invalid.


    References
    GODEL, Kurt (1951) "Some basic theorems on the foundations of mathematics and their implications" (Gibbs Lecture). In Godel 1995, pp. 304-323.

    GODEL, Kurt (1995). Collected Works III. Unpublished Essays and Lectures, ed. S. Feferman et al., Oxford University Press, Oxford.

    The philosophical implications of Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems can be found at:
    https://www.cairn.info/revue-internationale-de-philosophie-2005-4-page-513.htm#
    ...
     
  19. atanu

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    This is like parroting.

    You probably fail to notice contradiction in your own statements. The latter, blue statement is an assertion, for which there is no proof. And since naturalism presupposes that there is nothing beyond the material, its conclusion of absence of consciousness is without empirical basis. Is this not clear to you?

    I will humbly request you to read the previous post.
     
    #139 atanu, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  20. atanu

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    @blü 2 @Polymath257

    For me this topic is not a subject for argument, since as per common sense and as per Godel: "either ... the human mind (even within the realm of pure mathematics) infinitely surpasses the power of any finite machine, or else there exist absolutely unsolvable diophantine problems." (Godel 1951).  Either way, the paradigm of materialism is faulty.

    Just as one person cannot explain the taste of mango to another person, one cannot really explain the power of introspection-meditation to another. When attention is introverted to the "I", rather than extroverted to objects of the "I" (in other words, when attention is on the subject rather than on the ever changing objects of mind-senses) the reality of the subject can be grasped. Additionally, it will be pertinent to point out that similar to deep sleep, conscious introversion of mind is rejuvenating. Physical benefits of this is well documented. If the consciousness was a product of a process, how could we consciously control mind?

    You two will surely come to this examination on your own time. But at the moment it is not my intention to argue and convert you (which is impossible). So, I retire at this point.

    Some readers will however see the Godel's argument and realise that materialism not only suffers from fatal error but also cannot ultimately solve fundamental problems of mind that arise from a false ego sense.

    If "I" consciousness is arisen out of chemical processes, how and why one is so sanguine about that? Who is it that passionately wants to prove it? Is it not the subject "I"? Or is it the chemicals that want to prove? How does one know that one's thought process is meant to find truth, ion some unknown process generated it? What freedom of thought have the chemical processes left for the ego sense?
    ...
     
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