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Author Topic: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion  (Read 42482 times)

Maximum Spin

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2018, 08:36:52 am »

Actually, you can't empirically confirm your own existence either.

To start on classical 'cogito ergo sum' terms, suppose that thought can happen on its own without requiring a substrate to think Ś that is, what if the verb "to think" doesn't require a subject, but perception and observation can happen in vacuo? Then "you" may think that "I think, therefore I am", but, in fact, this assumes the consequent: all that is really confirmed is "thinking", not that you exist to do the thinking.  All "your" perceptions, including that of being a separable identifiable existence in the first place, could merely be taking place in a general way in an environment without time, space, or things; and since this requires fewer assumptions (none at all, in point of fact), Occam's razor demands it.

Broadly speaking, all that can be confirmed by observation is observation, not the ostensible observer or observed.

ETA: This is extremely basic 'philosophy 101' stuff, by the way, so, don't worry, if you pursue philosophy when you get to college, you'll understand it eventually.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 08:39:16 am by Maximum Spin »
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Putnam

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #46 on: August 28, 2018, 08:39:39 am »

The only existence whose existence is empirical is your own.  All other consciousness are non-empirical objects, which means we don't need more of them that are necessary.  If the material object that is the brain can explain everything the body does without the need of a physical consciousness 'thing' inside the brain, therefore Occam's Razor eliminates not just non-physical consciousness but conscious itself if we make consciousness physical. 

You straight up do not understand my argument in any respect.

Quote
The only existence whose existence is empirical is your own.
Solipsism is a completely worthless philosophy that deserves no place in any reasonable epistemic discourse. It's like flipping the table: it's a gotcha which leads to nobody winning.

Quote
All other consciousness are non-empirical objects, which means we don't need more of them that are necessary.
See above. Other people appear to be conscious; it requires less assumptions to believe that what I see is real than that what I see is not.


Quote
If the material object that is the brain can explain everything the body does without the need of a physical consciousness 'thing' inside the brain, therefore Occam's Razor eliminates not just non-physical consciousness but conscious itself if we make consciousness physical. 

This does not follow. I can make a near-identical statements as such which are clearly false:

If the material object that is an electron can explain everything in chemistry without the need of a combustion 'thing' inside the electron, Occam's Razor eliminates not just phlogiston but fire itself if we make combustion a consequence of chemistry.

You are treating consciousness as something that must be a single, unified object. This is not something that can be believed, given the extraordinary evidence we have that all perception is in the brain, yet one still perceives having one consciousness, despite such things as an inability to name what is seen or independently acting limbs.

EDIT: It should be noted that I believe consciousness is basically an illusion. This does not mean I don't believe it exists. There's a difference!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 08:43:39 am by Putnam »
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Maximum Spin

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #47 on: August 28, 2018, 08:48:02 am »

Solipsism is a completely worthless philosophy that deserves no place in any reasonable epistemic discourse. It's like flipping the table: it's a gotcha which leads to nobody winning.
I notice a distinct lack of anything resembling an argument there. In a discourse about the best way to fly unicorns to the moon, gravity is a gotcha which leads to nobody winning, too, but it is nevertheless regrettably true. If the purpose of a philosophical discussion is to arrive at facts about the universe Ś and I'm certainly not saying it is Ś then your response is both pointless and irrelevant.

Here, let's try using words that have actual meaning: "Solipsism is totally unfalsifiable; while it might ultimately be true in some sense, or it may equally well not, discussing it is invariably unproductive because anything can ultimately be dismissed as a yet-more-complex illusion."

Of course, that standard would eliminate 99% of all other philosophy as well, which is why philosophers so rarely use it.


ETA: Unrelatedly, I've always wondered what would happen if I had a corpus callosotomy, because I have less than normal brain lateralisation. Not enough to go get a corpus callosotomy though.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 08:55:38 am by Maximum Spin »
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #48 on: August 28, 2018, 09:17:19 am »

I definitely exist.

You can clearly see why I have a grudge on GC.

You exist because you are wrong.   :P
Is this the lowest level of GC's degradation? Just outright saying people are wrong with basically no argument.
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #49 on: August 28, 2018, 11:36:11 am »

ETA: Unrelatedly, I've always wondered what would happen if I had a corpus callosotomy, because I have less than normal brain lateralisation. Not enough to go get a corpus callosotomy though.

Ooooo. Now here is an interesting thought. If someone with normal brain lateralization had their corpus callosum cut, there's plenty of research into split-brains. From what I would guess, because cutting a corpus callosum prevents any transhemispheric communication some very interesting things could happen depending on the extent of how "off" your brain is! Very fun for us to see, and very !FUN! for you, too! If however, everything is in the correct hemisphere with only minor variations in placement, I doubt anything would happen aside from the normal consequences of a corpus callosotomy

Of course, I'm not a psychology major; I just have a few credits. What surprises me (though it really shouldn't) is that this post turned into a forum for apparently enlightened students of philosophy to argue and debate their own viewpoints without considering that others might know more than them. I enjoy reading the debates, but the back and forth insults are just annoying. Play nice.  :(
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #50 on: August 28, 2018, 01:19:20 pm »

If consciousness is not epiphenomenal (and it seems you don't think it is, since you think that you need to be conscious to discuss consciousness), then either it is physical or there is an as-yet-undiscovered connection between quarks and the Realm of the Mind. Any theory which requires significant, unspecified changes to fundamental physics should receive a significant penalty.

You are getting it backwards.  The physics follows the evidence, the evidence does not follow the physics, no penalty therefore for disagreeing with fundamental physics.
Our current body of physical law represents our observed evidence. It would take an extremely large amount of evidence to overturn modern physics. That's not to say it can't be done - it's happened many times before - but it requires significantly more evidence than "I sat in my armchair and realized that the existence of something which can recognize its existence requires reality to include at least two fundamentally different kinds of monads, one of which comprises the universe as we know it and the other makes up a separate realm of the mind corresponding to my a priori intuitions about how cognition and sensation work."

I don't think the connection need be between the actual quarks and the realm of the mind.  The connection is probably between the unified object that is the body and it's mind
It appears I have implicitly assumed reductionism, even as I considered your non-physicalism. Okay. My argument still applies, with this addition: how can the body be noticeably different without the quarks that comprise the body being different? And if there is no noticeable difference between a body that's connected to an external mind and a body that doesn't, how can you determine which one you are? (I'm using Bayesian evidence here - knowing something is equivalent to a high probability of thinking X if and only if X is correct. For this to happen, there must be a causal interaction between X and the body - and not just a causal interaction, but one carrying a number of bits proportional to the complexity of X.)

that is because all the neurons are identical
What? I'm attempting to steelman this, and the best I can do is "neurons are all functionally identical and therefore theoretically interchangeable, although any particular neuron will have an internal state depending on its history." Even that isn't true, and I don't see how the steelman would support your argument against reductionism.

and we are only aware of some of the brain's content.
I don't understand how this connects to its context. Are you saying that the connection lies in the subconscious mind rather than the conscious mind?

Free will, if it exists likely works because there is a physical law that requires that the physical reality conform to it's mental representation.  This law works in reverse also, that is why you can move your arm freely but not engage in matrix-spoon bending.
As I see it, this theory generates a testable hypothesis: people will never be wrong (edit: if their beliefs could have been true, and them being true wouldn't violate physical law, only probability). And if it doesn't generate a testable hypothesis, then it's useless as a theory.

Your arm moving is possible, that means that the reality will conform to the mind.  You move your imaginary arm and since it corresponds to a possible state that the universe could logically assume your actual arm moves.  You try and move the spoon however and the universe 'says no' because there is no logical way that such an outcome can occur and the principle hence works backwards, your mind is forced to conform to matter rather than the reverse.
This is an empty explanation. It doesn't explain how the arm actually moves, and once you've truly explained how the arm moves (brain sends signal through neurons to cells which release chemicals which provide signal and energy to the structures that reduce a cell's length), you don't need this anymore - there's nothing else to be explained.

Mind must conform to matter and the universe has two ways of accomplishing this.  First it tries Mind-Over-Matter and then it tries Matter-Over-Mind.
That's still simply false. The map can incorrectly describe the territory, and the map itself can't affect the territory except to the extent that it is part of the territory.

1. Occam's razor does not apply to definitions and categories. "It is strictly simpler for blue to not actually exist, only objects that tend to reflect light of particular wavelengths..." Reductio ad absurdum.

2. When you say "you, unaware of it, are arguing against your own existence," you are presupposing that if KittyTac were correct about consciousness being physical, they wouldn't exist. This is combining your beliefs and KittyTac's, and then claiming that the combination is an accurate reflection of KittyTac's beliefs.

1. No, blue exists because it's existence is empirically verified by observation.  Occam's Razor applies to theoretical (non-observable) explanations, not to observable things; or to put it another way, it applies to entities whose existence is indirectly proven by necessity.  Consciousness (of other people) is not empirically observable, which puts it in the theoretical explanation camp and so it falls under Occam's Razor.
Consciousness isn't an explanation, it's a category or an observed process.

If I see two monkeys turning the wheel but only one monkey is needed, Occam's Razor does not establish that one of the monkeys does not exist.  If I see blue, then blue exists as an entity; it is only wrong to invent something like blue when one colour would do as an explanation.
Blue doesn't "exist as an entity". It's a category/process of things that reflect light of a particular wavelength. And colors don't really explain things, they only describe them. An actual explanation would be something like "the electrons in this atom, probably for quantum mechanical reasons, resonate more at this frequency than another. When they resonate strongly, they generate additional electromagnetic waves which can travel in a different direction than the original wave."

2. It is quite acceptable to assume somebody else's position in order to reveal it's internal contradictions.  The irony here is that KittyTac is only disproving his own existence from MY perspective.  From his perspective he is actually disproving MY existence, in both cases Occam's Razor swiftly eliminates everyone but the observer, whose consciousness stands on empiricism.
I would have to ask KittyTac, but I strongly doubt that they consider themselves to be disproving your existence. You are only projecting your views onto them. (Everyone does it - some amount of projection is necessary for social interaction unless you can explicitly model the neurons in someone's brain - but less is better.)

Occam's razor is, in fact, an excellent argument for physicalism, since clearly what most would call "consciousness" does exist and personality changes from brain damage etc. point toward it coming from the brain.

The possibilities are essentially that consciousness either comes from the brain or does not come from the brain and merely appears to come from the brain in every way all the way down to being profoundly affected by changes in the layout or chemical balance of the brain.

We can see why the former makes fewer assumptions.

The only existence whose existence is empirical is your own.
What do you mean by the existence of an existence?

All other consciousness are non-empirical objects, which means we don't need more of them that are necessary. 
No, they aren't. That's only true in your model, in which consciousness is epiphenomenal. (I think - you're somewhat hard to understand, and you've never made it clear whether you think that consciousness causally/detectably interacts with the physical world.) If you don't consider consciousness to be epiphenomenal, then it's equivalent to blueness - it's just a more complicated physical process.

If the material object that is the brain can explain everything the body does without the need of a physical consciousness 'thing' inside the brain, therefore Occam's Razor eliminates not just non-physical consciousness but conscious itself if we make consciousness physical.
I'm not sure you understand physicalists. We don't think that consciousness is an object. We think that it's a process. Occam's razor does apply somewhat to processes, but in a way that's precisely opposite from your use. It's simpler for A and B to both be explained by one thing than for A to be caused by one thing and B by another. This means that your model, in which your externally-observable consciousness is caused by a bidirectional revision of physical reality and your mind to bring the two into concordance, and my externally-observable consciousness is "merely" caused by the interaction of atoms, is at a significant disadvantage.

Or rather it eliminates all consciousnesses *other* than the observer.  Occam's Razor does not work against empirically observable things.
You cannot empirically observe the existence of your "consciousness" (by which I mean everything that you tack onto consciousness, including your non-physical existence) unless there is a causal and informational interaction between your consciousness and your brain. (Or maybe, in some epiphenomenal sense, you can - but not in a way that you could ever communicate, since communication is physical.)

I definitely exist.

You can clearly see why I have a grudge on GC.

You exist because you are wrong.   :P
That statement is false, even if interpreted charitably. It is not the case that KittyTac's philosophy bars conscious beings from existing. Instead, KittyTac has a different operational definition of consciousness.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 01:27:12 pm by Dozeb˘m Lolumzalýs »
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2018, 01:31:53 pm »

Consciousness = Being able to think with any degree of clarity. That's how I define it.
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Dozeb˘m Lolumzalýs

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2018, 01:53:09 pm »

Actually, you can't empirically confirm your own existence either.

To start on classical 'cogito ergo sum' terms, suppose that thought can happen on its own without requiring a substrate to think Ś that is, what if the verb "to think" doesn't require a subject, but perception and observation can happen in vacuo? Then "you" may think that "I think, therefore I am", but, in fact, this assumes the consequent: all that is really confirmed is "thinking", not that you exist to do the thinking.  All "your" perceptions, including that of being a separable identifiable existence in the first place, could merely be taking place in a general way in an environment without time, space, or things; and since this requires fewer assumptions (none at all, in point of fact), Occam's razor demands it.

Broadly speaking, all that can be confirmed by observation is observation, not the ostensible observer or observed.

ETA: This is extremely basic 'philosophy 101' stuff, by the way, so, don't worry, if you pursue philosophy when you get to college, you'll understand it eventually.
There's also a similar thermodynamical argument, which is slightly less... outrageous? counterintuitive?... but is still rather philosophically concerning. It's the Boltzmann Brains argument. Suppose that, for a long period of time, the universe is in a state of chaos. This will probably happen in the far future, with the heat death of the universe. It is possible, although astronomically improbable, that the atoms in this state will collide in just the right way and produce a human brain, or in general, a conscious object. The object will cease to be capable of consciousness almost instantly, but it will survive long enough to have a random experience. Over the length of time that the state of chaos will exist, which is at least astronomically long, the astronomically-improbable events become likely. In fact, there are probably more Boltzmann experiences than non-Boltzmann experiences in our universe, and so you are probably a Boltzmann brain. You think you read the last paragraph, but in reality, you only have the memories of doing so. One minute ago, you weren't reading anything - you didn't exist yet! The memories you have probably don't even correspond to a real person.

Consciousness = Being able to think with any degree of clarity. That's how I define it.
What is thinking? It can't just be computation, or else computers would already be conscious. It has to be a particular kind of computation, then.
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Maximum Spin

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #53 on: August 28, 2018, 08:15:41 pm »

There's also a similar thermodynamical argument, which is slightly less... outrageous? counterintuitive?... but is still rather philosophically concerning. It's the Boltzmann Brains argument.
Yep, I'm familiar with it.

What I think is more interesting is how your familiarity with it clearly correlates with your use of "steelman" in your last post.
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2018, 09:52:06 pm »

I got to think about the definition of thinking.
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Dozeb˘m Lolumzalýs

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #55 on: August 29, 2018, 04:56:20 pm »

There's also a similar thermodynamical argument, which is slightly less... outrageous? counterintuitive?... but is still rather philosophically concerning. It's the Boltzmann Brains argument.
Yep, I'm familiar with it.

What I think is more interesting is how your familiarity with it clearly correlates with your use of "steelman" in your last post.
I think I see what you're trying to say: "mentioning Boltzmann brains is correlated with using the word "steelman"." (The different is that you have to look at a population to notice this correlation, not just one person.)

Yes, I am indeed in a cluster of people who, among other things, tend talk about steelmen and Boltzmann brains, and the name for which is usually "rationalists" or "rationalist-adjacent". As it happens, I actually came across this cluster due to this link which somebody gave me in my long-gone, disastrous gender/sexuality thread.

I cannot fully determine your tone in your post. Possible interpretations include:

1. Wow, a fellow rationalist! How interesting to find you here.
2. Hm. I see you're one of those people.

However, since you seem to be focusing more on my revealed traits than on what I said, I would guess that the second interpretation may be more accurate.

If there is an undercurrent of suspicion or derision, can I ask why? Was it because I said that your philosophical argument was outrageous and counterintuitive? I didn't mean that as an insult, merely as a description of the differences between our arguments. The suggestion that nothing exists at all is clearly more [something] than the suggestion that something exists, but that thing is in a constant state of chaos which generates only brief experiences over an astronomical period of time.

Perhaps "outrageous" was the wrong word. I just meant... not preposterous, but something that most people would say is preposterous. That reaction could be described as "outrage," couldn't it? And so something that causes outrage can be described as outrageous. But that word might be assumed to mean that your argument causes me outrage, which it does not.
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Maximum Spin

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2018, 05:22:22 pm »

If there is an undercurrent of suspicion or derision, can I ask why?
In classical logic, yes. In intuitionistic logic, not necessarily.

You needn't spend so much time second-guessing yourself; I had no objection to your statement. I merely found the correlation (not in the statistical sense) between your statements amusing because of how much information those two short phrases together imply. Don't you find it funny how much one's speech quirks can reveal about one's interests?
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #57 on: August 29, 2018, 05:26:43 pm »

oh they're not uncommon here at all, i'm adjacent to the group too and peredexis errant, the start pack person, is a mod for /r/rational, the subreddit dedicated to ratfic, which is also pretty adjacent.

also, I didn't know boltzmann brains were a rationalist-known thing, I learned about them completely independently, though I haven't much heard "steelman" outside that context

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #58 on: August 30, 2018, 08:17:21 am »

Solipsism is a completely worthless philosophy that deserves no place in any reasonable epistemic discourse. It's like flipping the table: it's a gotcha which leads to nobody winning.

Indeed, it just so happens that consciousness being physical results in precisely that outcome. 

See above. Other people appear to be conscious; it requires less assumptions to believe that what I see is real than that what I see is not.

No, other people do not *appear* to be conscious, they just do things.  None of the things they do in themselves require consciousness as an explanation and an explanation not involving consciousness is a simpler explanation than one involving consciousness.  Therefore if we take as our position that consciousness is a physical thing, then it follows that consciousness (except our own, see later) is eliminated by Occam's Razor.

This does not follow. I can make a near-identical statements as such which are clearly false:

If the material object that is an electron can explain everything in chemistry without the need of a combustion 'thing' inside the electron, Occam's Razor eliminates not just phlogiston but fire itself if we make combustion a consequence of chemistry.

You are treating consciousness as something that must be a single, unified object. This is not something that can be believed, given the extraordinary evidence we have that all perception is in the brain, yet one still perceives having one consciousness, despite such things as an inability to name what is seen or independently acting limbs.

EDIT: It should be noted that I believe consciousness is basically an illusion. This does not mean I don't believe it exists. There's a difference!

Fire is an empirically observable thing, phlogiston is not.  Empirical things are exempt from Occam's Razor, which applies only to things which are not observable.  This is why I am saying that a physical consciousness results in Solipsism, something you evidently despise.

It is like you have 7 billion monkey wheels and none of them require a monkey to turn them.  However you observe one particular monkey turning one particular monkey wheel anyway that monkey exists and is very much turning that wheel.  It does not follow however that there are 7 billion monkeys turning the other 7 billion monkey wheels.  That is why I said a physical consciousness results in Solipsism, the consciousnesses of all other people are like the unnecessary monkeys in the above scenario, while your consciousness is the one unnecessary monkey that was observed. 

Our current body of physical law represents our observed evidence. It would take an extremely large amount of evidence to overturn modern physics. That's not to say it can't be done - it's happened many times before - but it requires significantly more evidence than "I sat in my armchair and realized that the existence of something which can recognize its existence requires reality to include at least two fundamentally different kinds of monads, one of which comprises the universe as we know it and the other makes up a separate realm of the mind corresponding to my a priori intuitions about how cognition and sensation work."

Evidence means what is empirical.  If my empirical self-observation results in the conclusion of dualism, that is equal to all other evidence.  The amusing additional element here is that evidence itself implies consciousness and if consciousness is physical then nobody else actually has consciousness, since I am the only unnecessary monkey, to refer to my previous example to Putnam. 

It appears I have implicitly assumed reductionism, even as I considered your non-physicalism. Okay. My argument still applies, with this addition: how can the body be noticeably different without the quarks that comprise the body being different? And if there is no noticeable difference between a body that's connected to an external mind and a body that doesn't, how can you determine which one you are? (I'm using Bayesian evidence here - knowing something is equivalent to a high probability of thinking X if and only if X is correct. For this to happen, there must be a causal interaction between X and the body - and not just a causal interaction, but one carrying a number of bits proportional to the complexity of X.)

Because the body is headed towards a number of possible future states that are multiple.  The state that actually happens is the state that corresponds to that of the mind.  The mind is unable to choose (or perhaps even imagine) what is not within the range of possible future states of the body. 

To the external observer the situation appears random.  In reality it is pseudo-random, but because consciousness is non-physical, no study of the physical world will reveal the pseudo-randomness and doing so would disprove freewill if such an explanation itself ignored consciousness. 

What? I'm attempting to steelman this, and the best I can do is "neurons are all functionally identical and therefore theoretically interchangeable, although any particular neuron will have an internal state depending on its history." Even that isn't true, and I don't see how the steelman would support your argument against reductionism.

What I was drawing attention to is the fact that there are no neurons-of-consciousness that are observably different from regular neurons within the brain.  So no empirical confirmation for a physical consciousness within the brain. 

I don't understand how this connects to its context. Are you saying that the connection lies in the subconscious mind rather than the conscious mind?

The easiest way for the non-dualist to dodge the unnecessary monkey problem is to declare that the brain *is* the physical consciousness, that would in fact work if we were conscious of everything that the brain had in it, knowledge wise.  Since the vast majority of things our brain knows were are unconscious of, we start needing a separate physical consciousness within the brain and no such thing empirically observable, so Occam's Razor strikes. 

As I see it, this theory generates a testable hypothesis: people will never be wrong (edit: if their beliefs could have been true, and them being true wouldn't violate physical law, only probability). And if it doesn't generate a testable hypothesis, then it's useless as a theory.

The theory can be falsified in two ways.  One is that you determine the material universe is entirely deterministic, the other is that you determine that the mind can do anything regardless of the physical laws.  It's clockwork universe OR matrix-spoon-bending, either way I'm wrong. 

Saying people can't be wrong because of this theory is like saying that people can't climb hills because of gravity.  A person who is wrong is constantly having to strain *against* the principle itself, but only if his error is directed at a specific material state.  A material thing can be in error about another material thing and so can a consciousness be in error about another consciousness. 

That is an important detail of the science of wrongness.  The brain is not actually separate from the body and the body is not actually separate from the rest-of-the-universe.  However to recall back to the question about the colour blue, consciousness imposes onto the world a division, because that division is possible.  It is possible for the light spectrum to be divided into colours, therefore divided they are. 

Once we have divided the body from the universe, the body can respond in isolation to the consciousness and therefore can be forced to 'disagree' with other elements of the universe (the law does not apply within the mind or within the material world, only between them).  Once we have accomplished this feat, we can exist in perpetual delusion since the elements that disagree with the consciousness have been 'eliminated'. 

This is an empty explanation. It doesn't explain how the arm actually moves, and once you've truly explained how the arm moves (brain sends signal through neurons to cells which release chemicals which provide signal and energy to the structures that reduce a cell's length), you don't need this anymore - there's nothing else to be explained.

We were not talking about how the arm actually moves.  We were talking about how free will, if it actually exists could move the arm.

That's still simply false. The map can incorrectly describe the territory, and the map itself can't affect the territory except to the extent that it is part of the territory.

Indeed, but not forever.  The universe will always find a way to bring the two into agreement.  The problem as already discussed is that information is also stored physically in *part* of the universe and consciousness has the power to divide up the universe into categories. 

1. Occam's razor does not apply to definitions and categories. "It is strictly simpler for blue to not actually exist, only objects that tend to reflect light of particular wavelengths..." Reductio ad absurdum.

2. When you say "you, unaware of it, are arguing against your own existence," you are presupposing that if KittyTac were correct about consciousness being physical, they wouldn't exist. This is combining your beliefs and KittyTac's, and then claiming that the combination is an accurate reflection of KittyTac's beliefs.

1. Yes, because those things are part of consciousness. 

2. Yes, it is common for people not to realise the consequences of their beliefs, it's other people's job to point that out. I am not however combining my own beliefs with that of KittyTac's, my beliefs are quite separate. 

Consciousness isn't an explanation, it's a category or an observed process.

Consciousness creates categories.  They are therefore related to consciousness, along with all empirically observable objects.  Consciousness, not being physical is not subject to Occam's Razor and it eliminates Occam's Razor for all the things it 'touches'. 

Blue doesn't "exist as an entity". It's a category/process of things that reflect light of a particular wavelength. And colors don't really explain things, they only describe them. An actual explanation would be something like "the electrons in this atom, probably for quantum mechanical reasons, resonate more at this frequency than another. When they resonate strongly, they generate additional electromagnetic waves which can travel in a different direction than the original wave."

It exists as an entity because it is empirical.  The type of entity that it is, you have described correctly.  It is a category, but remember that the body is *also* a category and consciousness clearly has a special relationship to it. 

I would have to ask KittyTac, but I strongly doubt that they consider themselves to be disproving your existence. You are only projecting your views onto them. (Everyone does it - some amount of projection is necessary for social interaction unless you can explicitly model the neurons in someone's brain - but less is better.)

If KittyTac is right, then since I am the only unnecessary monkey (physical consciousness) KittyTac is just a mindless thing like the computer I am writing these words on.  The same also applies to you. 

What do you mean by the existence of an existence?

I simply mean the same thing in a different semantic context.

There is only one material consciousness if material consciousness happens to be true, Mine; you are just a complicated thing.

No, they aren't. That's only true in your model, in which consciousness is epiphenomenal. (I think - you're somewhat hard to understand, and you've never made it clear whether you think that consciousness causally/detectably interacts with the physical world.) If you don't consider consciousness to be epiphenomenal, then it's equivalent to blueness - it's just a more complicated physical process.

The question being addressed there is the existence or otherwise of free will.  If consciousness is simply a product of the material universe, then there is no free will.  Only if free will exists we have to come up with a mechanism for the non-physical consciousness to interact with the physical world without being part of it. 

I'm not sure you understand physicalists. We don't think that consciousness is an object. We think that it's a process. Occam's razor does apply somewhat to processes, but in a way that's precisely opposite from your use. It's simpler for A and B to both be explained by one thing than for A to be caused by one thing and B by another. This means that your model, in which your externally-observable consciousness is caused by a bidirectional revision of physical reality and your mind to bring the two into concordance, and my externally-observable consciousness is "merely" caused by the interaction of atoms, is at a significant disadvantage.

Both senses of the application of Occam's Razor eliminate everyone but me from existence.  We don't need a consciousness process, just as we don't need a consciousness object. 

You cannot empirically observe the existence of your "consciousness" (by which I mean everything that you tack onto consciousness, including your non-physical existence) unless there is a causal and informational interaction between your consciousness and your brain. (Or maybe, in some epiphenomenal sense, you can - but not in a way that you could ever communicate, since communication is physical.)

That makes no sense at all.  You can always empirically observe your own consciousness because your consciousness is the sum of things you are percieving.  That is like saying that you can't observe 10 things because you can observe 10 separate things.   

That statement is false, even if interpreted charitably. It is not the case that KittyTac's philosophy bars conscious beings from existing. Instead, KittyTac has a different operational definition of consciousness.

From KittyTac's perspective he is the one that exists and not the rest of us.  Unfortunately there is no KittyTac perspective, since I am the only consciousness if he is right. 
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #59 on: August 30, 2018, 08:24:58 am »

No, other people do not *appear* to be conscious, they just do things.  None of the things they do in themselves require consciousness as an explanation and an explanation not involving consciousness is a simpler explanation than one involving consciousness.  Therefore if we take as our position that consciousness is a physical thing, then it follows that consciousness (except our own, see later) is eliminated by Occam's Razor.
This is a factual falsehood which you are only able to maintain because you don't know (because nobody yet knows) how consciousness works. If consciousness is physical, then it is necessarily the case that there are some things a conscious lifeform can do, at least on the microscopic level, which a nonsentient being simply cannot. You may not think that the things you observe require consciousness to explain Ś you may believe that you are perfectly capable of imagining a nonsentient being which can do those things Ś but if consciousness if physical, then you would simply be wrong.
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