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Author Topic: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion  (Read 80361 times)

Demonic Gophers

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #105 on: September 04, 2018, 03:42:14 am »

Do you actually read the posts you reply to, GoblinCookie, or do you just scan them for keywords or something?  It's amazing how you were able to quote my post in chunks like that and still manage to avoid actually replying to any of my points.  You do realize that if people decide you're arguing in bad faith and there's no point in trying to talk with you, that doesn't mean you won the argument, right?

So if we know that one monkey wheel has 1000 elements, and another monkey wheel has 999 identical elements, with the 1000th element being a monkey turning the first wheel...?
The simpler explanation is that you are the only unnecessary monkey. 

So your position is that "we can surmise that the 1000th element is present also based upon them being the same thing" unless the 1000th element is consciousness, in which case we can be confident that the 1000th element is not present?  And this doesn't strike you as even the slightest bit inconsistent?

Sorry but I don't have to prove a negative.  Other beings are mindless things until somebody can establish by proof (that does not mean evidence) that they are conscious. 

I'm not asking you to prove a negative.  You didn't say that the default assumption, when we can't see into the monkey wheels, is that they are empty.  You said we can see into all the wheels, and observe that only one of them has a monkey.  This is an active claim on your part - you are saying that you have direct knowledge, equivalent to your personal experience of your own consciousness, that other beings are 'mindless things'.  This is a very strong claim that you are making, and I'm asking you to provide some form of support or explanation for it.  Or else to acknowledge that we can't see into any monkey wheel but our own, and have to form our conclusions about them without direct observation of their contents.

A mindless explanation is simpler than a mindful explanation because of one fewer element, THE MIND. 

We know a mind is present.  The mind is an observation.  All explanations must include that element, because it is part of what needs to be explained.  If there was no mind, you would not be aware of this discussion.  The mind is not a new element.  It is the beginning of both explanations.  A mindless explanation is not simpler, because it cannot exist in this context.  In the robot versus car question, both explanations are mindless.  In a question that includes your own consciousness, no explanation is mindless.  Why is an explanation that includes THE MIND and some other factor that arises from the same basis and causes the same results simpler than an explanation that only includes THE MIND?  Also, "The car made the body dodge the car" still doesn't explain anything.

When you agreed with my description of Occam's Razor, did you somehow miss the part where it applies equally to physical and non-physical assumptions?  And also that it is a general guideline, not an absolute rule?  And did you somehow miss these questions the first time I asked them, which you just quoted?

It is simpler to have only one monkey we don't need than to have 7 billion monkeys we don't need because of us seeing one monkey we don't need.  It is simpler to have our monkey-wheel be special than to have 7 billion unnecessary monkeys just so they can all be the same. 

We need one monkey because the monkey is the entire point of the discussion.  Our own consciousness is an observation, not an explanation.  We know that we are conscious; the questions is why we are conscious.  You seem to be insisting that if the explanation is based upon the physical structure and activity of the brain, then it applies only to you, not all the other beings with brains that are almost identical to yours.  Why?  Why do you think that two explanations is simpler than one explanation?  Simply repeating over and over that "it is simpler" is not actually supporting or explaining that position.

We aren't postulating 7 billion monkeys "just so they can all be the same."  We are concluding that there are 7 billion monkeys because everything we can actually observe about the wheels indicates that they are basically the same.  The only major difference we know of is that we can only see into one of the wheels (unless we are telepaths or some such).

Replacing the monkeys with magic fairies doesn't make the explanation any simpler, either.  And even if one explanation was more complicated than two, or monkeys were more complicated than fairies, that wouldn't tell us anything certain because the simplest explanations is not always the right one.

cookie, you are aware that your argument is literally identical whether or not consciousness is physical, yes? the physicality of consciousness has absolutely nothing to do with whether everyone else is a philosophical zombie. I can just as easily say "consciousness is a super special fairy that lets me think. Since I can't see anyone else's fairy, they don't have it."
What an awful set of arguments.  I was not talking about personality and neither was I claiming that the 'contents' of consciousness were not related to the physical body.  I was only arguing that consciousness is not part of the physical body. 

Your set of arguments is indeed awful.  And even if you think that consciousness has no relation whatsoever to personality, your awful set of arguments still applies just as much to non-physical consciousness as it does to physical consciousness, unless there's some reason (you haven't even tried to explain) why it wouldn't.

Thatĺs total bullshit GC. The whole point of not being able to see whatĺs in the other wheels is that *you canĺt detect the consciousness of of other people, because they arenĺt you and therefore you donĺt have any proof that they are conscious (A monkey is turning the wheel) or merely appearing to be conscious ( the wheel is turning because there is something else inside it. A motor would work fine in this analogy)

What are you trying to say when you say ôwe can see into everyone elseĺs wheel and there are no monkies)? Because that sounds like youĺre saying that we can detect/observe consciousness, despite as far as Iĺm aware there not even being a scientific consensus as to what the term actually means.
You can't detect the consciousness of other people, that is totally a fact.  That means that physical or not, consciousness is an theoretical inference. 

...So are you acknowledging that we can't see into the other monkey wheels, and the other monkeys wouldn't have to be invisible?  Have you been persuaded to change your position on one detail of the analogy?

You can't hide behind Occam's Razor when you're proposing the existence of non-physical "magic" conciousness.
You are Helios pulling the sun across across the sky, that is the problem.  You are arguing for an invisible physical thing, I am arguing for an invisible non-physical thing. 

That doesn't explain why your... rather nonstandard version of Occam's Razor applies to physical things, but not to non-physical things.

I'm not sure you understand what solipsism is. Try checking Wikipedia. Your arguments heavily involve solipsism ("I have special knowledge about my own existence and everything else is suspect and likely illusory.").
That is the fundamental starting argument of Solipsism, fundamental arguments tend to be something that is pretty solid.  It does not mean the conclusions actually follow, that tends to be the shaky part of any philosophy. 

Dozeb˘m Lolumzalýs isn't trying to convince you to embrace solipsism, just noting that your position seems to be based upon it.

Reminder: we physicalists view consciousness to be physically and causally linked to behavior. This is like saying "Jim doesn't appear to be happy - he simply smiles and is energetic and says things about being happy." That's what appearing happy is! It's just a cluster of properties that we've given a name to.
He could be pretending to be happy and really be totally miserable.  Appearances are deceiving and you forget that to your peril. 

True, the simplest explanation is not always correct.  But completely ignoring all evidence of your senses because appearances can be deceptive is a lot more perilous.  And if someone is acting happy than they still appear to be conscious, even if he is actually miserable (which would also requite consciousness).  Your claim that prompted this remark was that "other people do not *appear* to be conscious," not that this appearance might be an illusion.

Can you actually explain human behavior? If so, it's likely to involve abstractions such as "model" and "goal". To a physicalist, that's the stuff that consciousness is made of.
Does the rock have a goal to reach the bottom of the mountain?  Talking about goals presupposes the existence of consciousness on account of the thing you are talking about, so it cannot be the stuff consciousness is made of. 

A rock shows no indication of awareness or decision making.  We describe its behavior according to physical factors like gravity and friction.  Its structure and composition have very little resemblance to a brain.  Humans do not act like rocks, and do not have the same structure as rocks, so their behavior requires a somewhat different explanation than rock behavior.  Rocks almost certainly do not have goals.  Humans almost certainly do have goals.

And of course an attempt to describe what something is involves properties that require the thing in question.  How do you describe something based on traits that aren't related to it?

Physicalists don't think that consciousness is a physical object. It is like a computer program....
A physical consciousness is an invisible, undetectable computer program.  We also don't need it to explain anything.  It's like a conspiracy theory of neurons really. 

Consciousness is not an explanation.  It is an observation to be explained.  Physicalists think that consciousness results from complex interactions between the components of the brain.  Computer programs are an imperfect, but potentially useful comparison for people actually seeking to understand the physicalist position.

I'll spare everyone my rant about the phrase 'conspiracy theory', which would be an even more ridiculous sidetrack of this thread than its current state.

Do you mean "equal" or "equivalent"? If you really meant equal, that's ridiculous - just because something exists doesn't mean that it's equal in magnitude to the sum of everything else.
Empirical things includes imaginary and illusory entities here, a rationalist I do not accept empiricism as the sole source of our understanding of the physical world.  They need not have any relation to physical reality at all.  It is not necessary that anything I see be real in order to prove the existence of consciousness, if I see anything at all I am consciousness.  The computer, robot or camera can appear to see something, but it does not actually do so. 

Proving the existence of consciousness does not prove dualism.  How is it that your awareness "results in the conclusion of dualism" regardless of any evidence?  And what source of understanding of the physical world do you consider superior to empirical evidence?

A technical definition of evidence does not require a reference to consciousness-as-you-define-it. (Under my definition, anything that forms and uses a model in a self-interpretive way is conscious, so I do view evidence and consciousness as linked, but not evidence and non-physical epiphenomenal entities.)
We cannot observe anything using a model in a self-interpretive way.  That requires you to observe consciousness as opposed to inferring it's existence. 
We can observe ourselves using models.  And consciousness is observed - as you just said, "if I see anything at all I am consciousness".

That's not how physics works. There are some apparently probabilistic laws (such as the 2nd law of thermodynamics, most quantum things), but that does not mean that the probabilities can be manipulated by an external mind.
The physics is based upon ignoring the fundamental reality of consciousnesses, which means the physics is predictably and dangerously wrong about consciousness.  You cannot tell if the probabilities are manipulated by the external mind, since probabilities are just statements as to how often something does something on average. 

You cannot tell the difference between actual randomness and pseudorandomness, if you do not have the source code.  What I am saying is that the randomness physics 'sees' is really pseudorandomness and that physics cannot see the source code of it because consciousness is non-physical.

Physics disagrees with your model of consciousness, so you dismiss all of physics.

If consciousness alters probabilities, we should be able to see psuedorandom events being warped accordingly.  Imagine I bought a set of weighted dice, just as a curiosity.  I gather a bunch of friends and say "Check out these cool dice!  They look perfectly normal, but they'll roll sixes half the time!"  But the seller tricked me, and they're really just perfectly ordinary, fair dice.  If I roll them a few times, what's going to happen?

If it does not produce an effect on the world, then what does it even mean for this interaction to exist? If this mind-world concordance process affects the world in any way, then by definition it changes the probability of events coming to pass. If it only produces random effects, then the mind has no room to be influencing the world.

The probability is an illusion.  An external entity is determining the result entirely, one that cannot be observed since consciousness is non-physical.  The randomness is simply apparent. 

Do you have any support or argument for this very extreme claim?

Physicalists do not think that consciousness lies in specific neurons. It's a collective property of the entire brain.

In which case they are really, really stupid.  You are not conscious of anything but a tiny amount of the thinking going on in your brain.  If consciousness is physical, then only some neurons are part of the party, collectively making up the consciousness that is invisible yet somehow physical. 

How civil of you.  I don't think you are really, really stupid.  I just think you work really, really hard to avoid actually considering any point that contradicts your position.

Consciousness does not include everything that happens in the brain.  Consciousness is a result of everything, or a large portion, that happens in the brain.  Just because something contributes to the process that gives rise to your consciousness doesn't mean you're aware of every detail of that process.  (And as far as I know, even the scientists who most closely study consciousness don't fully understand how it arises.  This does not mean it is magic, it just means we don't have a complete understanding of it yet.)

Do you believe in physical microorganisms? Physical wind?  Physical magnetism?  Lots of things cannot be perceived easily or directly, but still physically exist.  'Hard to see' does not conflict with 'physical'.

Your computer does not have a representation of anything inside it, because it is a mindless, unconscious thing.  It consists of mindless gibberish called binary code, which has to be translated into something readable. 

As Fleeting Frames noted, just because you can't read it doesn't mean it's mindless gibberish.  And that 'gibberish' also contains a representation of the process needed to translate it into something you can read.

There are additional ways to test your theory. I will generate a truly random number to a thousand digits (non-deterministically). Any result from 0 to 1 is physically possible. I predict an arbitrary number (0.010010001..., say). If the random number matches my prediction, that is evidence toward your theory. If not, it is evidence against it.

That would only work if your consciousness was that of the entire universe.  If you don't know something, then there is no problem with it contradicting your consciousness. 

So is it truly random, then?

Anything that can happen, will? That sounds deterministic to me.

I am proposing that blue exists because the light spectrum is divided up by consciousness into different colours.  Or to put it another way, the brain sees blue because consciousness sees blue, blue might well be an complete illusion.  The information storing of the brain is forced into conformity with consciousness so it understands the rest of the universe in terms of the categories consciousness created.   

We are proposing that consciousness sees blue because the brain sees blue because the eyes see blue.  Which is why physical problems can cause colorblindness.

You can delude yourself about the universe by thinking that all of your beliefs pertain only to your body? That's the last straw. Where are you getting all this? How could you possibly know this, even if it was true?
No, by default your beliefs only pertain to your own body.  The difficulty here is that is possible for there to be consciousness that is 'bonded' to the actual physical realities being observed rather than to the information *about* those realities in the brain, we don't seem to be that consciousness, but one bonded onto the body.  The problem is that the body is not actually physically separate from the rest of the universe, so nothing keeps you from 'reaching out' to annex not only the information *about* the consciousness but the thing that we have information about at the same time. 

We can, but we don't seem too.  A different 'type' of consciousness could do it, but we don't seem to be it. 

Maybe the reason we don't seem to reach out and annex information about the rest of the universe is that consciousness isn't actually capable of doing that, because reality is what it is, without regard for what anyone thinks it is.  You did not provide any sort of answer at all for how you would know all this.

Free will is not something that reaches into the physical world and alters it....
It is because consciousness is non-physical and free will is something that does not exist except in consciousness

"We were talking about how free will, if it actually exists could move the arm."  How can this hypothetical non-physical consciousness move the arm?  What is the mechanism?

Categories aren't part of the basic functioning of the universe either. You are projecting your mind onto physics.

In other words, free will. 

Doing this does not actually change physics.  The categories we construct just exist within our minds.  Things in reality may or may not fit those categories.

Okay. Consciousness, under physicalism, is a definition/category/cluster. It describes certain kinds of physical processes. It is no more ruled out by Occam's law than blueness is.

I thought categories weren't part of the basic functioning of the universe. 

Physical processes are part of the basic functioning of the universe.  We invent categories to describe them.  The category exists within our mind; the process is outside of it.

Under KittyTac's own beliefs, KittyTac is real. "Ah, but if consciousness is physical, then it doesn't exist!" That's your belief, not KittyTac's. Once you start using things in your argument which KittyTac disagrees with, you have ceased to describe KittyTac's beliefs. You are now describing a fusion of KittyTac's beliefs and your own.
Yes, but I don't believe in the fusion I have created.  My own beliefs are quite separate from the mix. 

NOBODY believes in the fusion you've created.  Describing your fusion is not describing anyone's beliefs.  You should not ascribe your fusion to KittyTac or anyone else.

Contagion is intuitive to humans, but doesn't necessarily correspond to reality. And your version of Occam's razor is significantly different from every other version I've seen, so I simply reject your razor at this point.
So you think that empirical things *are* subject to Occam's Razor then? Or what? 

...Maybe you could describe your version of oGCam's Razor, since it doesn't seem to correspond with, or even resemble, any version that anyone else has ever heard of?  You agreed that my description was correct, but you certainly aren't using it.

I don't think we're using words in the same way. I can't interpret this sentence with a coherent meaning.
I saw it, it corresponds to an external reality and so it exists. 

Didn't you just say that the things we see can include "imaginary and illusory entities"?

You are still projecting your own beliefs. If KittyTac is right, then consciousness isn't an additional thing which may or may not be present without affecting behavior. You can tell it's there because if it weren't in my head, I wouldn't be typing these words. Your argument only works if you introduce your own beliefs, which we physicalists do not agree with. If you use those beliefs, you are no longer accurately representing my beliefs or those of KittyTac.
In reality only one of us is right.  I don't need KittyTac to *also* be a non-physical consciousness, I simply eliminated KittyTac's proposed physical consciousness as violating Occam's Razor.  It is simpler to explain KittyTac as a mindless argument bot (or if you prefer, a philosophical zombie) than to ascribe a consciousness to him.

Wasn't your argument for non-physical consciousness that you refused to apply a physical explanation for consciousness to anyone but yourself?  If you're going to assume everyone is a mindless argument bot either way, that seems to undercut your own position without having any impact on ours.  And since we all experience our own consciousness, we know we aren't mindless bots and your position is clearly false.

I believe that the consciousness is part of the complication, so I would still be conscious if I were true.

The universe as a whole is far more complex than all of us, does that mean God exists as the consciousness of the complexity of the universe? 

What does this have to do with anything in the discussion?  And it isn't just the degree of complexity, but also the nature of it that gives rise to consciousness.

This is a complicated and unnecessary mechanism, justified only by your own intuitions about decisions. The world would look the same with or without the mechanism. Occam's razor applies fully.
Nope, it is an empirical thing and so Occam's Razor does not apply to it. 

How is it empirical?  How have you observed non-physical consciousness?

No. From KittyTac's perspective, GoblinCookie exists. Stop putting words into people's mouths. What you see as an obvious conclusion, we see as incorrect. Therefore, the conclusion is not part of our perspective.

There is no KittyTac's perspective without a KittyTac consciousness.  Perspective is something only conscious beings have.  I need neither either you nor KittyTac to actually exist as conscious beings in order for myself to exist.

If KittyTac is right, then we are all conscious beings and all have perspectives.  If your fusion were right, then only I would be a conscious being, but nobody thinks your fusion is right.  I'm not sure if you're basing this on your fusion, or if you've ditched the position that non-physical consciousness means we are all conscious beings with perspectives.  Even if your fusion were right, however, I could still describe things as being part of someone else's perspective because I can describe the perspective of a fictional character.  "Your perspective doesn't exist!" seems like the weakest strawman imaginable.
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #106 on: September 04, 2018, 11:19:37 am »

Okie dokie, time to lock the thread. We left Dwarf Fortress behind a long time ago.
Thank you everyone for your input, and ... yeah. You can't change someone else's opinion, they must make that decision for themselves.
Klinka Na Karaz : Grung A Na Grungron : Az A Na Ankor
A Pick for the Earth : A Hammer for the Anvil : An Axe for everything else
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