Debate rages as to whether the qualities of conscious experience can be explained simply as the workings of the physical brain or whether there MUST be an additional ingredient of a nonphysical kind.
Generally speaking, consciousness is simply the introspective access to mental states. ie you and me are conscious/aware of our individual sensations, perceptions, memories, thoughts, beliefs, desires, and so on, in so far as we know about them by looking in on our minds. This capacity for self-reflection supports a second important function of consciousness: to allow us to appreciate how our mind works.
Of the above mentioned varying mental states, of which we are conscious, it is only our sensations that have a peculiar quality--- what philosophers call "qualia", which to some physicalists/materialists/empiricists do offer a stunning/bizarre challenge to them, because qualia makes "consciousness so vivid, and its properties appear so otherworldly that it seems to call for GOD."
Philosophers and realists of various empiric predisposition take "qualia" at face value. In their view, if our sensations appear to have qualities that lie beyond the scope of physics, then they really do have such qualities.
This opens up the possibility that consciousness have duality in its nature, ie, the physical and the spiritual.
That you feel that your qualia seems to call for a god does NOT mean that the same is true for "physicalists/materialists/empiricists". On the contrary, to those people it cannot do the same or they would not be what they are.
It is an extremely common phenomenon; the believer "feels" strongly enough about their god that the feelings are attributed to all others as well, but it is not true.
When arguing for the factual veracity of qualia, Erwin Schrodinger, the famous physicist/empiricist, stated this ever-so-subtle counter-materialist take: "The sensation of color cannot be accounted for by the physicist's objective picture of light-waves. Could the physiologist account for it, if he had fuller knowledge than he has of the process in the retina and the nervous processes set up by them in the optical nerve bundles and in the braiin? I don't think so."
I didn't make myself clear: qualia is a very personal, subjective thing, and to put your subjective take what is perceived/felt onto others is a gross error. That you feel (the qualia says) points to a god is not what the materialist feels.
You totally missed my point. Qualia has nothing to do with theisitic belief, qualia has a lot to do with the fact that physicalism or materialism cannot explain all that is involved with our sensations.
"... fact that physicalism or materialism cannot explain all that is involved with our sensations."
Again, what you really mean is that we do not have all the answers to all the questions. Not that "physicalism or materialism cannot explain all that is involved with our sensations.", for you have no more way of proving that than you have of proving there is a metaphysical, or spiritual, world.
You're still trying to put your reaction to ignorance onto everyone else, and it still doesn't work. Most people today would rather wait for answers, answers with proof to back them, than to make things up and decide they must be true because they provide an answer.
From their purely empiricist point of view, scientist of varied persuasion would and could not wait for proofs of any kind. They have relied on their scientific instincts honed by years of experiential intellectualization and conceptualization .....and have come to the conclusion .that indeed when it comes to qualia its factuality is undeniable.
Many definitions say that mere "being" or simple presence is a form of consciousness.
@Oztinato: Mere being or simple presence is not enough for us to congeal the idea that we are aware of our existence because we are conscious of our sensations. What makes existence measurable or presentable is the fact that we, aside from our being conscious of events and our response to these events ie sensations, we also store these in our memory banks, thus our perception that time marches on linearly, not circularly. For what is memory, but the validation that the present is neither the past nor the future, notwithstanding the implications of quantum mechanics.
Other organisms like ants, amoebas etc seem to have a very basic sentience. Plants have also been found to have a basic sentience. This sentience is separate to any memories but the tiny creatures or plants maintain a sentience without "memories" as in the human sense.
If we consider the power of human memory it is very limited after only a few decades so it is possible that memory is secondary to sentience. I think the question of memory is overvalued in the debate regarding consciousness and sentience. For example, a person with chronic amnesia still has sentience.
You have to define for me, what you meant by "basic sentience". Is it anything related to instinctual or naturalistic response to environmental impositions or insinuations?
IMO every living entities on earth have inherent or innate field of energy that sorrounds them; energy that is totally separate or unrelated to their being metabolically functional and effectual.
Dear Mr. V.
Is this what you mean to say?
Qualia causes one's own consciousness to appear so mysterious to one's self, (through introspection,) that only SPIRIT Functioning can explain it. Therefore, Atheists and Theists alike can realize that consciousness is caused by both SPIRIT and BRAIN functioning.
Dear Mr. W
Is this what you mean to say?
Physicalists, materialists and empiricists, (non believers/Atheists, if you will,) do not believe in Spirit Functioning for any reason what-so-ever.
And never will... Ever.
The believer "feels" so strongly about Spirit that he thinks everyone else will think the same thing, upon introspection.
But they won't.
Those who only believe in the workings of the physical brain won't and don't think that Spirit causes consciousness, because they are just that thick-headed.
What are brains for, if consciousness can exist without them?
Or do you think the brain is a sort of "receiver", like a radio or television set?
Being conscious/aware of the physical world is what the brain is MOSTLY for, aside from coordinating the functions of the various organ-systems that make up the human body. The purely physical/chemical reactions that occur in the dendro-axonal connections of the neurons, can not explain all that we perceive as sensations, thus there must be something other than the physical. The transition from the physical to the spiritual is what qualia is all about.
"The purely physical/chemical reactions that occur in the dendro-axonal connections of the neurons, can not explain all that we perceive as sensations"
What you really mean is that no one understands how the connections cannot explain our perceptions of sensations. That is quite a different thing from knowing that the failure to understand is proof of the metaphysical.
There is no understanding dearth in the sphere of conceptualizing what qualia is and what it implies. Philosophers and scientists alike have put in their 2 cents worth of what their take is on qualia. And in any topic of conversation, there is always two... or three sides competing for relevancy and validity.
"No understanding dearth". All all of these philosophers and "scientists" have measured qualia and agree on exactly what and where it is?
Or not - putting in their 2 cents does not seem like something that everyone agrees on and knows about. Nor does two or three sides. I'd have to say that there is quite a dearth of knowledge about qualia; that it is indeed an unproven idea and little more.
If by unproven you mean no verifiable clinical data has been presented to qualify and quantify the effects of qualia on our sensations.... then you are right. ...but who needs objective proof when sensations are all subjective?
Anyone looking for truth rather that a cobbled together mass of misbegotten concepts that have no apparent connection to reality. That the mass of concepts might have such a connection could be said of anything and everything, particularly when the "connection" is only available through an imaginary "spirit world". Much like saying that because the Queen on the nearest anthill might be controlling human perceptions via ESP through the metaphysical world means it is true and therefore even materialists accept that a god made us as an extra sensory organ for ant use.
Your post takes the cake for incoherence, thus missing it's mark altogether. Analogyzing qualia's effects on our sensations to a human having an ant antenna and affecting the whole integrational and structural components of an ant hill....is to say the least grasping for debating straws.
But from a logical standpoint they do seem much the same. Make up a new concept and declare it to not only be true without any evidence whatsoever (outside of ignorance), and then claiming that everyone agrees with it, is the height of folly.
And that's not what the analogy was at all. You might read it again, more carefully.
In the marketplace of ideas, one can only insinuate one's idea(s) as " food for the fodder" to be chewed and digested, then regurgitated as nonsense or absorbed as ( at the most) factually valid and as (at the least) probably formative by the larger community of idealists.
You hit the bulls-eye on this one. As I indicated to Wilderness, not all empiricists are materialists/physicalists in all their un-blazing glory. Some believe that there are experiential entities that could neither be explained nor embellished by purely physical means/processes.
I have to agree with you. The incoherency of such "arguments" is palpable, verbose and highly convoluted not to mention fundamentally illogical.
The distinct and probabilistic interpretation of qualia in so far as it infers the involvement of quantum mechanics in the creative evolution of consciousness, is currently being studied or investigated by well regarded scientists/empiricists in the area of near death experience.
Materialists/physicalists alike have always contended that there is no separation between the brain-mind duality . We are now realizing that separation do exist, but how to explain the separation without necessarily undermining the basic tenet of quantum physics is what is becoming the next frontier of understanding the mysteries of existence.
"We are now realizing that separation (mind brain duality) do exist"
No, you are hypothesizing that the separation exists, but are unable to provide any evidence of such. Such evidence would be fascinating in the extreme and lend credence to at least some of the metaphysical/supernatural claims that have been circulating for thousands of years, allways with the same lack of evidence.
We are closer to the truth than you think. Preliminary evidence are now just coming forth, not from the philosopher's corner but from the scientific precincts whose duly excited and stimulated members are , as I write this piece, in the cusp of a breakthrough in finally providing empirical answers to non-rhetorical questions posed by qualia vis-à-vis consciousness and near death experience.
Personally, I think we've had the truth for a long, long time - that the mind is an intimate part of the brain tissue. This can be seen in the near death experience, as the brain/mind goes into massive malfunction when total failure is imminent. Or inferred from the thousands of years of total failure to show a metaphysical/spiritual world.
But you never know - maybe we'll learn something new soon.
Here is a new idea that you can mulch on, then tell me if after chewing it, you find it delectable enough for you to swallow it, digest it and absorb it as something factually valid or probably informative.
The theory of Quantum Consciousness posits that consciousness and quantum physics are intimately connected. It suggests further that consciousness ( which could be considered as a form of energy) resides in the "microtubules" of neurons. At death, the informative energy inside these "microtubules" doesn't disappear, but instead, is retained somewhere in the universe.
One of the fundamental laws in physics, the first law of thermodynamics, states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed---it can only be converted. So, consciousness being a form of energy, cannot be created nor destroyed. Instead it is converted into something else. That something, being what some people would like to call, "soul"
Well, let's look at that. Consciousness and quantum physics (more accurately what quantum physics describes) might be connected - string theory may point to that (or may not). But consciousness cannot be considered as a form of energy, not without changing the definition of energy completely and making a new one for consciousness. As there is no "informative energy" known to exist inside microtubules, the idea that it is retained somewhere (unknown) in the universe seems more than a bit far-fetched. It is based on an unknown energy, from a source that does not provide such, cannot be detected before or after death - the bottom line is that the concept is just that - a concept without basis in known reality.
Yes, thermodynamics says that, but your conclusion is based on an unproven hypothesis that consciousness is energy, resides in the microtubules and exists after death. All three are unproven, without any evidence whatsoever, and the conclusion is thus unknown to be true or false. It might be true, it might not, but to date there is no evidence to support either.
This seems a major problem - that nice sounding concepts, based on twisting of the meaning of words and unsupported ideas, must be true because they answer a question. Unfortunately the truth remains unknown no matter how hard the "teacher" tries to make it sound reasonable. It cannot even be considered as "probably informative" as thousands of alternative answers exist, all with the exact same proof. (One such was the ant hill being the source of human consciousness given earlier. Same evidence - none at all - so it must be just as valid.)
Of course consciousness is ENERGY personified. For what is consciousness but the energy that lights our existence, permeates our every thoughts, and animates all our actions.
If you don not believe in what I am saying, then I would say with probabilistic certainty that you are just a holographic image of someone else living the la vida loca in another world in a galaxy far far away, perhaps in another universe.
"In physics, energy is a property of objects which can be transferred to other objects or converted into different forms, but cannot be created or destroyed.[note 1] The ability of a system to perform work is a common description. But, it is difficult to give a comprehensive definition of energy because of its many forms. In SI units, energy is measured in joules, the energy transferred to an object by the mechanical work of moving it 1 metre against a force of 1 newton.[note 2]"
All of the many forms of energy are convertible to other kinds of energy, and obey the conservation of energy. Common energy forms include the kinetic energy of a moving object, the radiant energy carried by light, the potential energy stored by an object's position in a force field (gravitational, electric or magnetic), elastic energy stored by stretching solid objects, chemical energy released when a fuel burns, and the thermal energy due to an object's temperature."
So how many joules does a person's consciousness contain? Is it a form of kinetic energy? Light, as in thinking photons? Positional, as above a gravity field? Does it come from burning chemicals, and dissipate when the chemical reactions ends? Is it hot, thus having energy from vibrating atoms or electrons changing orbits?
Or do you refer more the the energy of the body, as in "kids have lots of energy", meaning they are physically active? I confess that declaring consciousness to be energy of ANY known type is simply trying to make a philosophical concept sound scientific, likely because no other description can be made and it sounds nice and informative.
Thanks for the above tutorial on ENERGY in so far as it relates to material/physical systems.
As you are acutely aware of, consciousness is NOT in the realm of the material and physical, and as such, talking about it in measurable terms ie joules, ohms, kilowatts, megavolts etc. is an exercise in futility.
Therein lies the rub... you are so wedded to the material and physical. Frankly I have neither the inclination nor the compunction to unhinge you from your materialist/physicalist predisposition. That would be, again, an exercise in futility.
Which is what I said in the first place: you want to re-define the word "energy" to include "consciousness", presumably because it sounds more scientific and reasonable.
"But consciousness cannot be considered as a form of energy, not without changing the definition of energy completely and making a new one for consciousness."
Now you complain that I refuse to accept that consciousness is energy, because it isn't material or of the material world. Make up your mind (without assuming a new definition for "energy") - is consciousness "energy" in the accepted sense or is it not? If not, then don't try and change the definition of the term "energy" to legitimize your concept. If you want to claim consciousness is not of the material or physical world then don't define it using terminology that relates ONLY to that material world.
(And no, I'm not "acutely aware" that consciousness is not in the realm of the material. I have only your word for that - a claim that you decline to support with any evidence. Until you do, there is absolutely no reason to think that the claim is not simply your own imagination - it is more likely that "consciousness" is merely a philosophical concept without any real existence at all.)
@ Wilderness: The renowned brain surgeon Wilder Penfield said this"The brain has not explained the mind fully."
Now the reason for this could be as plentiful as the varied definitions/permuations of the word "ENERGY",--- your physicalist definition being just one of them.
Materialist science has yet to produce a conclusive model of consciousness. This is mainly due to its inability to quantify first-person, subjective experiences. Materialism views only objective, observable experiments verifiable by third parties to be valid. The current scientific method relies ONLY upon repeatable experiments to verify a hypothesis. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that approach, but its limit is reached when qualifying and quantifying consciousness.
Mainstream materialistic scientists claim consciousness is produced ENTIRELY by the brain. This is analogous to claiming TV sounds and images are produced entirely by television sets, despite the fact television sounds and images are produced by TV stations transmitting nonlocal radio waves.
None of which has anything to do with claiming consciousness = energy, except for the aside that there are varied definitions of energy. I presume you have made a new one, where it equals consciousness. This is a ploy unworthy of you.
If you want a conclusive model of consciousness, you're going to have to define consciousness, and I don't see that as being done outside of a vague notion that it has to do with thought and probably "soul" or "spirit" (more undefined terms).
Yes, the scientific method of observation has a limit and cannot investigate something that is not observable and does not have observable effects. But that doesn't mean we should make up answers we cannot verify - that is left to the shamans of the tribe.
TV sounds - well, the big bang created energy which created mass which created planets which created life which grew a larynx which created sound which created modulated radio signals which created electron flows in a TV which includes a speaker which created vibrations in the air which we interpret as sound. So I guess the big bang created everything, including consciousness? As everything from the BB is of the material world, so is consciousness.
(I'll add that you now seem to have equated mind and consciousness. Is that right, or is the comment on the mind a herring to divert attention from consciousness being energy?)
The last sentence of the above post was stunningly incredulous...... the skepticsm bordering on reductionism, and worse--- nihilism.
The ostensive definition of "consciousness" is the unmistakable awareness of something that we are observing or experiencing, thus consciousness refers to experience itself. It is exemplified by ALL the things that we observe or experience. The everyday understanding of consciousness is therefore based on the presence or absence of experienced phenomena. The "contents of consciousness" encompass ALL the phenomena that we are conscious of, aware of, or experience. These include not only experiences that we commonly associate ourselves, such as thoughts, feelings, images, dreams, body sensations and so on, but also the experienced 3-dimensional world (the phenomenal world) beyond the body surface.
So unless you are comatose or dead , you are consciously experiencing the fact that I called you a nihilist.
I love it when you produce words like "unmistakable", "acutely aware" or "of course", all pertaining to pet theories which you cannot show to have any truth whatsoever.
But I DO think you've started down the road to defining "consciousness" - the sum total of memory and current sensory data (including false data such as dreams). You can add in the neural pathways and connections, and the pattern they form. Then add the physical attributes of your body - limbs, skin, nerve receptors, right down to the food sitting in your stomach and the dirt under your fingernails. They all provide input into the construction of your thoughts (when you reach out to shake hands does the thought of dirty fingernails flit through your mind?) and are thus a part of your consciousness.
I don't really think you will strongly disagree with this, although we could nitpick forever (should we include the medulla oblongata?), but where we really diverge is the existence and function of an immaterial something you're calling "mind" or perhaps "soul", existing somewhere immaterial, apparently either because neither you or anyone else can give a definitive "mapping" of how all the other stuff can produce consciousness. Or just because you like the idea - it's hard to tell.
But what we might like to believe, or our own ignorance, is and always will be an insufficient reason to claim that is true. It can make an interesting hypothesis to follow up on, but cannot be considered true without evidence.
As far as nihilism ("an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth."), I'd say we both fit that (at least in this specific matter). After all, you're on record as saying there IS no, and can BE no, objective basis for your claim.
What you call "pet theories" are what is driving all the intellectualizing and researching into the ontological permutations of physical and material systems, that empiricists were so inexcusably fearful to even touch with a ten-foot pole just a few years ago. They are now finally delving into areas that are not purely physical and material with I must say with great exuberance.
The above development is what is making reductionists like you spin in a tizzy. I don't need to remind you that reductive physicalists and functionalists take it for granted that an advanced form of brain science will ultimately demonstrate phenomenal consciousness to be nothing more than a state or function of the brain. Unhappily a lot is lost if consciousness is defined that way, notwithstanding the fact that some theorists on the other side of the debating chasm fully accept the notion that there is an intimate relationship between consciousness and brain.
But what is debatable is the NATURE of this intimate relationship. Let me quote what one empirical investigator said about this topic: "Physicalists, functionalists, ie naturalistic theorists (that's you) agree that in humans, every distinct conscious experience is LIKELY to be accompanied by distinct, correlated conditions in the brain, but dual-aspect theorists (like me) resists the REDUCTION of phenomenal consciousness to brain states. Dual-aspect theory on the other hand, suggests that conscious experiences and their correlated brain states are how the mind appears when viewed from respectively first- and third-person perspectives, and that these aspects of mind are complementary and mutually irreducible. If so, the discovery of the neural correlates of given experiences WII NOT settle the fundamental differences amongst these theories.. Nor would the discovery of antecedent neural causes settle these differences. To achieve a genuine REDUCTION, conscious experiences would have to be shown ONTOLOGICALLY identical to their neural causes and/or correlates. Discovery of the neural causes and or correlates would not achieve this for the simple reason that causation, correlations and ontological identity are FUNDAMENTALLY different relationships."
But is all this drive, intellectualizing and research producing any results? Or just unproven ideas that we do not, and likely will never, know if true or false?
That's the question you seemingly side step at every opportunity; that all the theorizing has not produced any knowledge at all. Just theorizing, intellectualizing and opinions. No factual information.
The question for you is...if the results do come in and they are not to your liking because they debunk your much adored materialist/physicalist viewpoint, would you be calling those scientists/empiricists who have produced those results... "crackpots"? But that would not be the first time that you've used that word isn't it?
As an example of what I am referring to in the above post, the Theory of Quantum Consciousness, was developed by the joint work of theoretical physicist Sir Roger Penrose and anesthesiologist Stuart Hamerrof. Quantum consciousness is the theory of an underlying consciousness connecting everyone and everything and is based on the fact that quantum fields can be interpreted as extending infinitely in space. What is interesting is the fact that the 2 scientists developed their theories synchronistically , and yet separately from two different angles: Penrose approached the problem of consciousness from the view point of mathematics, while Hameroff tackled it from the point of view of an anesthesiologist who is keenly interested in brain anatomy and physiology.
"Debate rages as to whether the qualities of conscious experience can be explained simply as the workings of the physical brain or whether there MUST be an additional ingredient of a nonphysical kind."
Physicist George Stanciu and philosopher Robert Augros
“In the New Story of science the whole universe–including matter, energy, space, and time–is a one-time event and had a definite beginning. But something must have always existed; for if ever absolutely nothing existed, then nothing would exist now, since nothing comes from nothing. The material universe cannot be the thing that always existed because matter had a beginning. It is 12 to 20 billion years old. This means that whatever has always existed is non-material. The only non-material reality seems to be mind(consciousness). If mind is what has always existed, then matter must have been brought into existence by a mind that always was. This points to an intelligent, eternal being who created all things. Such a being is what we mean by the term God.”
“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
"When the province of physical theory was extended to encompass microscopic phenomena, through the creation of quantum mechanics, the concept of consciousness came to the fore again; it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness."
Sir Arthur Eddington
"The idea of a universal mind or Logos would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of scientific theory."
Sir James Jeans, mathematician, physicist and astronomer:
"There is a wide measure of agreement which, on the physical side of science approaches almost unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter..."
The above quotes use established scientific fact to ground not only our existence but our awareness of our existence in the primacy of consciousness. Mind came first.
I could take certain claims to task that one of your respondents has made, since they are made based on Naturalism's obsolete assumptions and are blatantly false but this is an interesting thread and I don't want to go too far afield.
"The above quotes use established scientific fact to ground not only our existence but our awareness of our existence in the primacy of consciousness. Mind came first."
No, the above quotes use established scientific to extrapolate concepts and ideas that have no other evidence than that they answer a question.
"This means that whatever has always existed is non-material." And the contents of the singularity that existed before the universe was? Material (including energy) or non-material (from the spirit world)? Evidence please?
"We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind." (bolding added). See that bolded word? Assumptions are just that; assumptions without evidence. They may be true, they may not, but we do not know.
""The idea of a universal mind or Logos would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of scientific theory." (boding added). Same thing - "fairly plausible inference" means we don't know and have no evidence, so we'll make up an inference and hope for the best.
"There is a wide measure of agreement which, on the physical side of science approaches almost unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine." This is the first I've ever heard of a unanimity of thought that the universe is a thought rather than a machine. Philosophical mumbo jumbo, seems to me, with nothing but the crackpots agreeing. We don't even agree on what a thought is, let alone that the universe is one!
"No, the above quotes use established scientific to extrapolate concepts and ideas that have no other evidence than that they answer a question."
So, Physicist George Stanciu, Sir Aurthur Eddington, Max Planck, Sir James Jeans and many others are crackpots? I can see that you are unfamiliar with the material at hand or else you are in denial.
Biophysicist Harlold J. Horowitz
"What has happened is that biologists, who once postulated a privileged role for the human mind in nature’s hierarchy, have been moving relentlessly toward the hard-core materialism that characterized nineteenth-century physics. At the same time, physicists, faced with compelling experimental evidence, have been moving away from strictly mechanical models of the universe to a view that sees the mind as playing an integral role in all physical events. It is as if the two disciplines were on fast-moving trains, going in opposite directions and not noticing what is happening across the tracks."
Physicist Richard Conn Henry:
"Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism."
Naturalism/materialism, simply put, is critical for maintaining an atheist worldview. Mind must be the eventual product of mindless matter for atheism to stand. An atheist must therefore ignore, remain ignorant of, or rationalize away the insights of modern physics in order to prevent his/her belief system from collapsing.
The evidence for primacy of mind will not go away. Might as well bring yourself up to speed.
This means that whatever has always existed is non-material. "And the contents of the singularity that existed before the universe was? Material (including energy) or non-material (from the spirit world)? Evidence please?"
Are you denying that the Big Bang happened? Or do you just refuse to reason logically from the facts? There was NO natural realm before the inception event. Therefore Naturalism is disproved by the established facts of science. The content of the singularity was not natural according to the accepted definition that methodical naturalism is founded upon. Simple ... unless you're an atheist with a ideology to preserve at the risk of looking ridiculous.
"We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind." (bolding added). "See that bolded word? Assumptions are just that; assumptions without evidence. They may be true, they may not, but we do not know."
So assumptions contraindicated by actual scientific evidence (Naturalism) is ideologically superior to assumptions derived form real scientific evidence? I think I get it.
"There was NO natural realm before the inception event."
That would, to the best of our knowledge, be incorrect. The natural realm WAS the singularity.
"The content of the singularity was not natural according to the accepted definition that methodical naturalism is founded upon. "
Evidence, please of the claim as to what the contents of a singularity is or is not?
"So assumptions contraindicated by actual scientific evidence (Naturalism) is ideologically superior to assumptions derived form real scientific evidence?"
The "actual scientific evidence", please, of a supernatural world? Something beyond the opinions of a believer, that does not need evidence to believe?
"THE NATURAL REAL WAS THE SINGULARITY"
DO YOU have any proof of what you are theorizing?
Best guess, as I understand it, is that the universe was produced with the Big Bang of a singularity. That makes it rather "natural", does it not?
As Bangs go the BIG BANG was as natural as you stating that the egg came before the chicken. Of course we know that a chick embryo is inside the chicken egg before it even hatches, because it was produced by a chicken, and a chicken would never lay an egg that had an embryo alligator in it. If that ever happens that would certainly go against all of the laws of your much ballyhooed naturalism.
wilderness: ''That would, to the best of our knowledge, be incorrect. The natural realm WAS the singularity."
Wrong. There was no time, no space, no matter. This is accepted established science. Naturalism is defined as the natural world (nature). Nature did not exist. If you extend the definition of "natural" to include what is commonly defined as "supernatural" then that is nothing more than a transparent evasion. If you refuse the facts on ideological grounds or hope to avoid the truth with an amorphous definition of what is natural that is a personal matter for you to deal with.
For me, truth and honesty have a real intellectual value that cannot be displaced by ideological preferences. When I fully realized that Naturalism / atheism was irreconcilable with truth, logic and established science, that decided my course. It is for you to decide whether transparent evasions or truth will be your intellectual compass.
Are you then defining a singularity as supernatural without having any idea of what it is or what is inside it? Seems more reasonable to define it as natural because it did exist and did "evolve" into what we now see around us. That it used to be something else doesn't seem like a good reason to declare that it was a part of the unknown and unproven supernatural world. As an analogy, it seems like declaring that an egg is of the supernatural world because it isn't a chicken yet.
"Are you then defining a singularity as supernatural without having any idea of what it is or what is inside it?"
As I have said before in this hub and others: "In a reasonable discussion one should be able to rely on the continuity of commonly held definitions. I can stand by my claim that if all are held to the standard of established science, correctly applied logic, and commonly held definitions ... The First Cause cannot be "natural" and must therefore be "supernatural". Naturalism as defined, and according to scientific discovery made under the auspices of methodological naturalism itself is self annihilating."
"We can deduce from the facts at hand is that there was no natural realm preexisting the physical universe. Time, space, and matter, (the natural realm) which according to GTR are co-relative, began to exist simultaneously and thus could not have caused themselves to begin to exist."
The universe had to have a cause if one accepts The Principle of Causality, which is one of the First Principles of Logic. That cause therefore could not have been "natural" as that word is described in the philosophical and scientific position of Naturalism.
If you don't want to believe in the "supernatural" that's well and good but the evidence for something beyond the natural is conclusive. What you think of as natural exists only as a subset of a more primal domain. That ... from my research is obviously consciousness.
The human brain is merely a preprogrammed organic computer, whose purpose is -like all other mathematical devices- a tool for input/output. Yet humans seemed convinced the brain is the master. Many philosophers agree there must be something beyond the brain, but that the brain is the conduit between the physical/solidified/seen universe and that which is not.
That, in some views, is called the consciousness or mind. The qualities of consciousness would have to be both those of the physic and non-physic in order to properly integrate them and enable the brain to do its function. Just like all elements of quanta, there is input, store, output; absorb, project, reflect; positive, neutral, negative.
Duality, however, is division and not integration. Duality only truly exists within the belief of right/wrong -known the worldover as the Moral Dilemma. Duality is merely the jumbling of thought patterns, or mental splicing if you prefer that term. An instance or series of where the brain is made the master and the correct sequences that allow the superseding of Reason, are misdirected, misconnected, misinterpreted, misunderstood. Duality is, therefore, limited to the brain and not the consciousness.
Philosophically speaking, dualism refers to the idea that body(brain) and mind are considered t be irreducibly distinct.
The duality of consciousness refers to the idea that our experiential awareness are not only mediated physically, but also ontologically.
Yes, the "mind/consciousness" supersedes the brain, as the atmosphere of earth divides from space. However, suggesting consciousness suffers the same effects of the brain, regarding division/duality or conflict seems a bit too abstract. Even in quantum physics, we see that which is beyond the human condition is ever constant -quite magnificent really, and therefore cannot be subject to division, meaning dualism or duality.
I also see that consciousness/mind is beyond the brain. My experience is that the further inward or beyond the ordinary human standpoint, the more the awareness of duality, lines are crossed without seeing the lines.
There is no empirical evidence of course because these experiences are not measurable with physical instruments. It's a conundrum having a conversation in the science realm when the experience of non-duality is beyond our current physical levels of measurement.
Deep involuted spaces of meditation, beyond the state of bliss, is where one loses sense of the physical body. Time passes unconsciously, you become conscious of time only by marking the start time of a practice, and then noting the end time, with little recognition of what happened in between. Yet you were conscious as if only moments had passed, yet vague as to what the details are. Conundrum. A loss of duality happens in these experiences - ie no definition of being a solid physical human being who sees differences in eye color, hair length, voice sounds etc. Additionally, conscious of the magnificence of the experience.
Dualism is separation, yet these deep experiences find a merging experience where separation is not so clear.
The transition from one reality to another ie from the physical to the spiritual is what is so difficult to comprehend, at least scientifically. Empirical evidence may yet come about that will at least clarify whether consciousness via qualia is the most that we could aim for or even achieve in uinderstanding the duality of existence. For what is existence but our conscious perception and instinctual appreciation that time marches on linearly because our memory banks are filled with events that happened yesterday, and is happening now, with the future that remains to be inculcated in that memory bank.
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