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Featured Why materialism is probably false: A Hindu argument

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by sayak83, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    I am not making idle claims.

    I told you: the invisible blue fairy is responsible for the consciousness of everything that is conscious. She achieves that by flying around creatures, including lettuce, and smiling at them.

    So, the day we find lettuce being conscious, we will have some confidence that the blue fairy exists. And that she flew around that lettuce smiling at it.

    Actually, we can make a perfect prediction. Since she flies and smiles all the time, i predict that everything is conscious.

    What more explanatory power do you need?

    Ciao

    - viole
     
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  2. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    sayak, I appreciate your willingness to offer a point of falsifiability here. Hopefully the skeptics will grant you this.

    There is a new field of research in the traditional sciences that has grown largely out of the cognitive science field which is focused on understanding the nature of consciousness. I've even attended one of that communities' academic conferences in Tuscon (Towards a Science of Consciousness).

    David Chalmers, a well-known philosopher and contributor to that field has proposed that consciousness should be added as a fundamental property of the Universe. This, at least, is setting the stage for a scientific dialog on what consciousness is and how science should approach it. I don't know if we even have a good paradigm yet however.
     
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  3. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Let's get to the most important part, shall we ?
    What reason do you have to believe that Brahman is responsible for anything at all ?
     
  4. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Oh, this would be fun.
    How can invisible things be blue, since blue is a property of light?
    How does her smiling and flying make lettuce conscious?
     
  5. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    Oh, man of low faith.

    I do not have all the answers. But it is surely something worth investigating. :)

    Property dualism maybe?

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  6. Satans_Serrated_Edge

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    I realize that you probably believe that to be true.
     
  7. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Inference to the best explanation.

    Since it appears that matter-energy-space-time-information are strongly interconnected with each other despite their different phenomenology and these interactions themselves are determined by mathematical relations, where math itself appears at first glance to be an entirely autonomous domain..I infer that the best explanation of such strong interconnections is likely to be an underlying unified ur-entity whose various manifestations are being seen by us in these domains.
     
  8. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    So you are making idle claims. You admit that correct? Do you admit that a difference exists between posited invisible entities as atoms that was proposed in Greece and your blue fairies?
     
  9. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    I would also like to add that within the field of Consciousness Studies, input from experts in the field of Buddhism and Hinduism are a welcome source of knowledge. It is well known that Eastern meditative traditions embody a rich knowledge of what a Western philosopher might describe as the phenomenology (what it is like) of consciousness. My own limited studies of Hindu and Buddhist works indicate to me that these mystical systems of knowledge reflect a profound knowledge of states of consciousness and a useful language for describing it. As such these traditions will/should offer important insights into the scientific pursuit of the study of consciousness.

    So you skeptics beware...science has already taken a step past your incredulity.
     
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  10. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    Nope. You also said that you have not all answers when I asked you about the properties of Braman. And that things are worth investigation.

    So, if I make idle claims, on account of not knowing everything, you make them too.

    Therefore, my Brawoman is still in business :)

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  11. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    In other words, personal preference.
    Christians will say that Jesus is the best explanation and Muslims will say that Allah is the best explanation.
     
  12. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    You have failed to connect your entities properties (being blue, smiling, flying) to the thing in need of an explanation (being conscious) and your entity has logically contrary properties (being blue and being invisible). These are fatal flaws.
    Any final successful theory will have certain entities with certain properties with which it explains the hows and why of all phenomena with precision. The justification of positing such final successful theories and entities within them is in their explanatory and predictive success. This is true for all scientific theory or any final theory of matter as well.
     
  13. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    No, its not personal preference.
    A materialist will say matter is the best explanation.

    The relevant questions are:-
    1) How it explains. Is its explanations better than others
    2) Is it falsifiable. What kinds of evidence will validate or nullify it.
    3) Can it predict anything

    Several immediate predictions:-
    1) Consciousness is on a grade, not on-off and exists to some extent in many complex whole, animals certainly but also in distributed form in ant-colonies, ecosystems etc.
    2) Reality is beginningless and endless with many cycles of universes forming and destroying and reforming in an endless branching chain
    3) Laws of physics are indeed unified, so is matter made of one primitive entity. Mathematics and Logic are also unified in some fundamental structure out of which all domains of math and logic branch out.
    4) This tree-structure (one foundation, many branches) is also present in biology. Hence evolution, and hence the tree of life is true. A fully worked out theory of consciousness and information will also show this brachiating pattern among its concepts.
     
    #153 sayak83, Mar 28, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  14. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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  15. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Yes, it is.

    The best explanation for what ?

    In what way is it better ?

    Something unfalsifiable is not false by default though. But I do agree that it is important to take into consideration the evidence.

    None of those predictions require belief in Brahman though. If you are going to talk about predictions then at least make it so they would reasonably entail Brahman.
     
  16. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    Materialism is an outdated term or is merely redefined as our knowledge progresses.

    The rest of your argument is merely an overdeveloped first cause argument and attributes by negation from your perceptive. When I remove the labels and religious perspective you give this entity it is not different from Pantheist consciousness arguments. You have also used the "Gap" argument to reinforce as background. Sorry but your argument is merely borrowing from existing arguments used by many religions.
     
  17. Spirit_Warrior

    Spirit_Warrior Active Member

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    Bravo Sayak, welcome to the anti-Materialism Hindu camp. Although you only haveone foot in there, but it's good to see that you are reconsidering materialism. However, this is not not a "Hindu argument" really. And I am afraid they are not very good arguments,

    I clumped these all together, because they are not three arguments, but one argument. Your argument basically is an argument from ignorance. Why are there laws of nature, why do things have properties? And then from that you conclude "Therefore there is something other than matter" The conclusion does not follow. One of the answers to this is the old classical Indian materialist argument, "sva-bhava" meaning self-nature, or in other words meaning because it is. Why is fire hot? Because it is. Why does gravity pull downwards, because it does? Why do electrons have 1.60217662 × 10-19 coulombs charge? Because they do.

    So basically it is not a good argument.

    The Hindu argument instead appeals to the functionality of laws of nature. The argument goes like this, because the things of matter are functional, it presupposes a functionary or user that uses it. This is a far better argument The question then becomes why do the laws of nature function so that stable matter, stable galaxies and stable bodies can exist? This cannot be answered by "Because it does" As matter should no reason to remain in a stabe configuration so that life can exist. This classical Hindu argument in its modern avatar is called the anthropic principle. It is the best argument, for a cosmic intelligence that creates, preserves and destroys this universe.

    As I argued in my most recent post, life begins as functional from the very beginning at the single cell stage. It is an extremely fine-tuned intricate nanofactory made up hundreds of thousands of parts performing hundreds of thousands processes all so that the cell can function. It is irreducibly complex Therefore, we must posit a principle of intelligence beyond matter.

    We have already locked horns over this. Hindu's do propose there is something other than matter, energy, laws of nature, mathematics, information etc ---- but consciousness is not included in that. You just said "Which we call Brahman" and you miss out that we also say "Prajana Brahma" that Brahman is consciousness. In classical Hindu theory everything else is matter and consciousness or the "I" is other than matter.

    It is a dualism between, that Gerald Larson, the leading contemporary philosopher of Samkhya has correctly identified as the dualism between consciousness and contents of consciousness. Everything that is knowable, observable, thinkable etc is all a content of consciousness. Consciousness cannot itself become a content of consciousness, because then you would have posit another consciousness that is conscious of that --- leading to an infinite regression (This same argument appears in the Yoga sutras)

    By including "consciousness" in the same category as matter-space-time-energy-mathematics you basically throw the baby out with the bathwater and end up with just absolute void. This is the position taken by Shunyata-vadis(followers of doctrines of emptiness), which is Buddhism not Hinduism.
     
  18. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    For reality of course.


    The materialist explanation takes physical entities, laws of science, mathematics, complexity etc. and interactions between them as brute givens. The one I am proposing seeks to explain them and their interconnections by unifying them into one entity. Basically same reason why a unification of QM and GR is a better theory than separate QM and GR.

    Yes. Here are the reasons:-
    1) Brahman being a basic ur-entity exists eternally, hence all its manifestations also exist eternally. This entails that physical reality is eternal as well and all that is seen is transformation of one form to another. Hence if Brahman theory is true, universe was not created out of nothing but had existed in some form or another (cycles, previous universes?) throughout.
    2) At certain levels of complexity, due to the inner unity and interconnections between various phenomena of the world, certain systems are able model themselves and the world it interacts with within its own self. This is a form of awareness (and sometimes self-awareness) increases as complexity and sophistication of these systems increase and we call this consciousness. Thus consciousness is not a special property from "on high" that have been "god-given" to humans and humans alone, but one expects it to be natural property that is manifested to lesser or greater degree by sufficiently complex and integrated systems within nature.
    3) The Brahman theory posits an ur-entity that unifies all domains as manifestations of this. This unification is expected to become more and more apparent in each domain as we look deeper. Thus one expects all laws to be unified into one at a fundamental level, all matter to be unified into one fundamental constituent at a fundamental level, all biology to be unified into a single unfolding pattern, all structures in mathematics to be unified into one super-structure etc. The entire phenomenal world is considered to be like a brachiating tree, with diverse forms and appearances at the surface but deep unity of all modes at the fundamental level.
     
  19. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    We disagree on what Hinduism as depicted in the Upanisads and Gita is saying. I will not comment further here.
     
  20. Spirit_Warrior

    Spirit_Warrior Active Member

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