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Author Topic: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion  (Read 42338 times)

Dozeb˘m Lolumzalýs

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #90 on: September 02, 2018, 04:32:47 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.
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.").

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.
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.

None of the things they do in themselves require consciousness as an explanation
This can only be true under epiphenomenalism, in which consciousness has no physical causal interaction with the physical world.

and an explanation not involving consciousness is a simpler explanation than one involving consciousness.
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.

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.
Physicalists don't think that consciousness is a physical object. It is like a computer program - it's fundamentally an abstraction, and it's fully possible to predict the behavior of the computer without referencing anything like a "variable" or a "bit", but that doesn't mean that the program is non-physical except to the extent that it's a logical object. Which logical object the computer is said to run is fully dependent on the physical state of the computer, so it's distinct from an independent non-physical entity like the consciousness that you describe, but it's also not an added entity which can be added or removed from theories. A theory in which the computer is exactly the same but the program is gone is... incoherent. You cannot remove the program without changing the computer.

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.
Fire isn't real. You're just seeing light and heat from a combustion reaction.

Whatever counterargument you have to that argument applies to consciousness as well, assuming that consciousness plays a causal role in behavior. (If it doesn't, then your mind has to be sectioned off - whatever thoughts you can vocalize are in the physical section and cannot be conscious. This includes any thought that you've mentioned here. There are philosophical reasons to reject epiphenomenalism as well, including "what does it mean to 'have consciousness' if there's no connection on your end to the consciousness?" and "why are we postulating unobservable things? how could we know that they existed, even if they did?" and "can something with no causal connection to the rest of existence even be said to exist?")

Empirical things are exempt from Occam's Razor, which applies only to things which are not observable.
What is an "empirical thing"? Things that you've seen? The experience of seeing?

(Somebody's already said what I was going to say about Occam's razor being more "simpler theories are more likely to be true" than "anything which could be something else is definitely that thing", so I won't repeat it, but I'll just gesture at Demonic Gopher and thank them.)

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.
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.

If equivalent, then possibly. It depends on how your "empirical self-observation" works - does it result in an entanglement between your model of reality and reality itself? "Empirical" or "evidence" means that the state of your beliefs is correlated with the state of reality, through a process of finding observations that are more likely under one possible state than under another. So for your self-observation to truly be empirical, the state of your beliefs needs to be somehow causally entangled with the state of the subject of your beliefs. You shouldn't assume that your intuitions are necessarily true - and if you do make that assumption, that doesn't make your intuitions empirical.

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.

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.)

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.

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.

We could always be wrong about physics, but be aware that breaking a probabilistic law is not 'lesser' than breaking, say, a deterministic law like conservation of momentum. It is still opposed by immense amounts of scientific evidence.

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.

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.

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

If by "everything the brain has in it" means "all properties of the brain": My computer does not contain a representation of its own atomic structure. Does this mean that the programs are separate from the computer itself?

If you are talking about subconscious knowledge: physicalists do not think that the brain is only the conscious mind. Multiple programs can run on one computer.

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.

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.

If that's too much improbability for the mental concordance force to handle, I will make the RNG binary and repeat it several times. If there is a bias toward my predicted number, then it will show up over time.

Also, I can test the backforce as well. I will ask many friends to predict an RNG's output. I will run the RNG but will hide the results. I am uncertain how your theory says that the universe will change the mind's beliefs to bring them into concordance with reality, but if it happens, I will detect it.

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.

So the mental concordance force has a particular strength? How unlikely of an event can it make happen? What counts as a belief?

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.

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

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'.

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?

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.

Free will is not something that reaches into the physical world and alters it. It's a feeling that you have when considering different actions to take, and you could take any of them. What does "could" mean in this context? Only that if I decide to do X, then I will do X. But in reality you only decide on one thing, so (barring Penrose-esque quantum mind hijinks) you couldn't really have done anything else. Free will is what you do when you consider future-counterfactuals with your decisions changed, and your intuitions around it don't correspond to reality.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.


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.
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.

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'.

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.

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.

I don't think we're using words in the same way. I can't interpret this sentence with a coherent meaning.

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.

No, I don't remember any sort of special relationship between GC-consciousness and the body, because I don't think GC-consciousness exists. That argument makes sense in your own head but fails to convince anybody else who doesn't already agree with you.

Also, what point are you making? "Categories can have special relationships with non-physical things"? That doesn't mean that blueness is fundamentally different from consciousness.

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.

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.

What do you mean by the existence of an existence?

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

The same thing as what? Different context from what? Or is this an unimportant aside and it doesn't matter if I understand it?

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

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

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.

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.

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.

If there's no consciousness process, then the person doesn't think or talk. You know that isn't the case because other people talk.

(We could all be robots programmed to say words, but then who programmed the words? A consciousness process is still required to generate the talking.)

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.

I meant "observe that you are conscious", not the things which happen to be passing through your consciousness at a given point.

It's the difference between seeing your eyes and seeing your field of view.

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.

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.
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The only difference between me and a fool is that I know that I know only that I think, therefore I am.
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Dozeb˘m Lolumzalýs

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #91 on: September 02, 2018, 04:51:26 am »

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?
Ah, I see. I was a bit defensive/paranoid, sorry. I'm glad everything's friendly and civil.

I had no idea that correlation had a non-statistical meaning. It makes sense, though - "gravity" used to just mean importance (from the adjective "grave"), "derivative" can also mean "that which is produced by", and so on. Most jargon was probably borrowed from normal terminology at some point.

Hm. Yes, it is a bit funny that three words can say so much about a person. (It says about as much as "I'm a rationalist", and without directly or intentionally referencing the interest.)
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...Simplification leaves us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open before our frenzied eyes...
Quote from: SalvanÚ Descocrates
The only difference between me and a fool is that I know that I know only that I think, therefore I am.
Sigtext!

Dozeb˘m Lolumzalýs

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #92 on: September 02, 2018, 04:58:14 am »

When matter becomes diffuse enough, which might happen if all the dark matter gets sucked into black holes and all the black holes decay. If there's clumps of dark matter left after all black holes decay (quite unlikely), then gravity will prevail. If not, expansion will.

This is all something like 101010120 years out, if I recall.
Is dark matter inherently better at holding a universe together gravitationally? I doubt it - it's probably just very massive, right? So why is dark matter the only thing that might survive black holes? Is it that normal matter will go through star evolution until it's all in black holes, whereas dark matter doesn't seem to form stars?

If dark matter is special and not like other matter, then might it violate the no-hair theorem? (If it were anything else, I'd think no, but the special properties of dark matter would be about gravity, so they might interact with the black hole in an unforeseen way. Probably still no, unless dark matter completely violates general relativity and forces a paradigm shift.)
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Quote from: King James Programming
...Simplification leaves us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open before our frenzied eyes...
Quote from: SalvanÚ Descocrates
The only difference between me and a fool is that I know that I know only that I think, therefore I am.
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #93 on: September 02, 2018, 05:19:35 am »

GoblinCookie exists, I can confirm it (as much as I'd like for the opposite to be true).
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #94 on: September 02, 2018, 05:36:31 am »

...can we not do that? I know GC can get annoying at times, but that's needlessly cruel and hostile.
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #95 on: September 02, 2018, 06:13:49 am »

...can we not do that? I know GC can get annoying at times, but that's needlessly cruel and hostile.
It was mostly in jest.
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #96 on: September 03, 2018, 11:49:59 am »

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. 

We can 'see' inside the first monkey wheel because we experience our own capacity for awareness.  In order to see inside the other wheels to the same degree, we would have to somehow experience other people's absence of that capacity.  Are you a telepath, reading everyone's mind and finding nothing there?  If so, maybe your telepathy just doesn't work very well.  How are you seeing into all the wheels?  Not just coming to a conclusion about their contents, but SEEING them?  Sure, there are people who don't seem to have much awareness of what's going on around them (or even what they, themselves, are saying), but noticing that is a long way short of directly experiencing a lack of consciousness on their part.

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. 

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?

Consider "There is some process that causes consciousness in me, and in entities similar to me." versus "There is some process that causes consciousness in me.  A different process causes entities similar to me to act in similar ways to me without being conscious."  The first requires one assumption.  The second requires two.  Why do you think the second is a simpler explanation?  And not just simpler, but so much simpler that the other isn't even worth considering as a possibility!

"The car made the body dodge the car" uses fewer words, but doesn't explain anything or match observed evidence.  If cars cause objects to dodge, why didn't the car make the box dodge the car?  Or the body that was looking the other direction?  What made the body dodge the soccer ball?  We have a lot of evidence about how vision and muscles operate.  We experience seeing oncoming objects and trying to avoid them.  These aren't arbitrary assumptions thrown together to explain a single incident; they're based on a wide range of interconnecting evidence.

Of course, consciousness isn't required to dodge a car.  People could build a robot that detected traffic with cameras or radar and was programmed to take evasive action.  But this is still the evading object reacting to the car, by means that operate consistently in any similar context.  I suppose the car could have cameras or radar, and send a signal telling the robot to get out of the way.  To determine which of these happened, one would need to examine the car and the robot, and find out which has the capacity to detect a potential collision in advance and react to it.  Occam's Razor isn't going to tell us that.

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

Maybe our monkey wheel would work just fine without us, but that isn't what is happening.  We are there.  Why should every other monkey wheel be different from ours?  Consciousness isn't an explanation.  It's an observed fact to be explained.  However we try to explain it, there's no reason to limit the explanation to ourselves when it applies just as easily to everyone else.

Our monkey exists because it exists.  We know it exists because we can see it.  If there's a glass jar full of marbles on your desk, and you drop a towel over it, do the marbles cease to exist as soon as you can't see them?

Since we know one monkey exists, and have a definite example of it, additional monkey in similar circumstances don't make the explanation drastically more complex.  Two monkeys or 10 monkeys or 7 billion monkeys, it's all just a slight expansion of the 'monkey can turn wheel' assumption that's required for any explanation, because every explanation has to cover the wheel with the monkey that we can see.  We don't have any examples of the same sort of wheel turning when it definitely lacks a monkey.  We have other types of wheel that rotate with nowhere for a monkey to fit, but they aren't the same kind of wheel and they don't turn the same way.  It is a bigger assumption that monkey wheels can turn without a monkey than that they can turn with a monkey, which we can directly observe.

(The point was not 'If you don't like monkeys, maybe there's a squid turning the wheel'.  The point was that even an explanation that is clearly, unquestionably more complex, with creatures that haven't been demonstrated to exist at all in the analogy, still isn't ruled out completely by Occam's Razor because it is not an absolute rule.)

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. 

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."

also, phineas gage basically proves you wrong anyway? personality is changed by brain damage, so obviously there's a physical cause to personality, in the brain.

Why are you completely ignoring all the wonderful science done on affecting perceptions, personality and other things we attribute to "consciousness" by stimulating areas of the brain, some of which have been linked in this very thread? We can totally see the other monkeys.

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. 

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. 

You can't hide behind Occam's Razor when you're proposing the existence of non-physical "magic" conciousness.

Q: How does the sun cross the sky?
A: Helios pulls it! Simplest explanation wins! You can't prove Earth is a planet! You can't prove planets are affected by gravity like everything else! Occam's Razor doesn't apply to gods, haha!

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. 

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. 

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. 

This can only be true under epiphenomenalism, in which consciousness has no physical causal interaction with the physical world.

I don't really care if this is the case or not. 

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. 

Physicalists don't think that consciousness is a physical object. It is like a computer program - it's fundamentally an abstraction, and it's fully possible to predict the behavior of the computer without referencing anything like a "variable" or a "bit", but that doesn't mean that the program is non-physical except to the extent that it's a logical object. Which logical object the computer is said to run is fully dependent on the physical state of the computer, so it's distinct from an independent non-physical entity like the consciousness that you describe, but it's also not an added entity which can be added or removed from theories. A theory in which the computer is exactly the same but the program is gone is... incoherent. You cannot remove the program without changing the computer.

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. 

Fire isn't real. You're just seeing light and heat from a combustion reaction.

Whatever counterargument you have to that argument applies to consciousness as well, assuming that consciousness plays a causal role in behavior. (If it doesn't, then your mind has to be sectioned off - whatever thoughts you can vocalize are in the physical section and cannot be conscious. This includes any thought that you've mentioned here. There are philosophical reasons to reject epiphenomenalism as well, including "what does it mean to 'have consciousness' if there's no connection on your end to the consciousness?" and "why are we postulating unobservable things? how could we know that they existed, even if they did?" and "can something with no causal connection to the rest of existence even be said to exist?")

By the same token blue isn't real either, because blue is just a particular section of the light spectrum. 

What is an "empirical thing"? Things that you've seen? The experience of seeing?

Things that have been seen by consciousness(es). 

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.

If equivalent, then possibly. It depends on how your "empirical self-observation" works - does it result in an entanglement between your model of reality and reality itself? "Empirical" or "evidence" means that the state of your beliefs is correlated with the state of reality, through a process of finding observations that are more likely under one possible state than under another. So for your self-observation to truly be empirical, the state of your beliefs needs to be somehow causally entangled with the state of the subject of your beliefs. You shouldn't assume that your intuitions are necessarily true - and if you do make that assumption, that doesn't make your intuitions empirical.

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. 

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. 

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.

We could always be wrong about physics, but be aware that breaking a probabilistic law is not 'lesser' than breaking, say, a deterministic law like conservation of momentum. It is still opposed by immense amounts of scientific evidence.

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.

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. 

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. 

If by "everything the brain has in it" means "all properties of the brain": My computer does not contain a representation of its own atomic structure. Does this mean that the programs are separate from the computer itself?

If you are talking about subconscious knowledge: physicalists do not think that the brain is only the conscious mind. Multiple programs can run on one computer.

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. 

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.

If that's too much improbability for the mental concordance force to handle, I will make the RNG binary and repeat it several times. If there is a bias toward my predicted number, then it will show up over time.

Also, I can test the backforce as well. I will ask many friends to predict an RNG's output. I will run the RNG but will hide the results. I am uncertain how your theory says that the universe will change the mind's beliefs to bring them into concordance with reality, but if it happens, I will detect 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 the mental concordance force has a particular strength? How unlikely of an event can it make happen? What counts as a belief?

Obviously I don't know the answer.  You also are misunderstanding that the randomness is made illusory by the intervention of consciousness, by talking about how unlikely an event. 

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.   

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. 

Free will is not something that reaches into the physical world and alters it. It's a feeling that you have when considering different actions to take, and you could take any of them. What does "could" mean in this context? Only that if I decide to do X, then I will do X. But in reality you only decide on one thing, so (barring Penrose-esque quantum mind hijinks) you couldn't really have done anything else. Free will is what you do when you consider future-counterfactuals with your decisions changed, and your intuitions around it don't correspond to reality.

It is because consciousness is non-physical and free will is something that does not exist except in consciousness

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

In other words, free will. 

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. 

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. 

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? 

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. 

No, I don't remember any sort of special relationship between GC-consciousness and the body, because I don't think GC-consciousness exists. That argument makes sense in your own head but fails to convince anybody else who doesn't already agree with you.

Also, what point are you making? "Categories can have special relationships with non-physical things"? That doesn't mean that blueness is fundamentally different from consciousness.

I totally get nothing of what you are trying to say there. 

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.

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? 

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. 

If there's no consciousness process, then the person doesn't think or talk. You know that isn't the case because other people talk.

(We could all be robots programmed to say words, but then who programmed the words? A consciousness process is still required to generate the talking.)

Evolution programmed the words.  Or I did and forgot.  Or God did.  Three options really, or maybe two for the Atheist.   ;)

I meant "observe that you are conscious", not the things which happen to be passing through your consciousness at a given point.

It's the difference between seeing your eyes and seeing your field of view.

The difference is the difference between observing 10 and observing 10 1s.  The collective of all observed things *is* the consciousness, just as 10 is the collective of all 1s. 

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.
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #97 on: September 03, 2018, 12:29:16 pm »

What is the difference between the appearance of consciousness and actual consciousness? None, outside of useless armchair philosophizing.
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #98 on: September 03, 2018, 12:41:59 pm »

Quote
A mindless explanation is simpler than a mindful explanation because of one fewer element, THE MIND. 
Only if everyone is mindless(which is simplest). If everyone has mind, that is more complex, but a situation where the population talked about is in-between the explanation has to be as complex as both combined.

Quote from: GoblinCookie
Quote from: Lolumzalis
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, but irrelevant to whether Jim appears to be happy.
Quote
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.

At first I was like "yay, a definition!" then I was like wait, I think I can detect whether I am concious extremely trivially, and whether that consiciousness is awake or dreaming.

I guess I may have eliminated that you detect somehow their own conciscious via actions they perform or thoughts they think, as well as whether you're awake/dreaming or not.

I have no idea how you find yourselves to be consicious, but I can miss (even obvious) things. How do you find yourself to be consicious?

....Wait, there was " The collective of all observed things *is* the consciousness, just as 10 is the collective of all 1s. "

See, the problem with that is that even relatively mindless robots can observe their surroundings (record it and do x or y based on current and previous observations). I don't think this is what you want to mean, unless you're now redefining observation to something robots can't do?

Quote
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. 
Oi! Maybe it is mindless gibberish for you, but to computer and anyone with assembly experience it has meaning without needing translation. You might as well call anything written in foreign languages mindless gibberish.

Also, if anything that is mindless and unconscious is incapable of representing, what do pictures, caricatures, line schemas do?

Quote
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. 
Only if the external mind has constant effect on the probabilities it affects that doesn't stop no matter who dies or is born, which is about as useful as positing that the formula we have for a given probability includes multiplication by 1 because of the mind (which can't be linked to any living beings on earth as we can observe the past having same probabilistic laws).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 12:53:50 pm by Fleeting Frames »
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #99 on: September 03, 2018, 12:48:00 pm »

Also, didn't GC argue in a previous ethics thread that a perfect appearance is the same as the actual thing? A bit hypocritical.
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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #100 on: September 03, 2018, 12:56:14 pm »

This is different, for GoblinCookie appears different to themselves than everyone else appears to them in a way that directly involves detecting they're themselves consicious.

KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #101 on: September 03, 2018, 01:03:13 pm »

This is different, for GoblinCookie appears different to themselves than everyone else appears to them in a way that directly involves detecting they're themselves consicious.
No, I meant the "Jim appears happy" thing.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 01:05:40 pm by KittyTac »
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Putnam

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #102 on: September 03, 2018, 03:59:35 pm »

I still maintain that GoblinCookie's arguments vis-a-vis solipsism apply exactly as well no matter what the nature of consciousness is.

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #103 on: September 03, 2018, 06:59:37 pm »

Seeing as goblincookie has started ignoring posts reminding him that Occamĺs razor isnĺt a fucking law of physics as well as providing weird non-sequiturs to posts he doesnĺt seem to have an actual answer for, Iĺm of the opinion that he is no longer arguing in good faith; but merely wishes to avoid having to concede any form of defeat or incorrectness and is therefore dragging out the argument with obstinacy and repetition until the other participants get sick of him and leave
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 07:01:42 pm by Dorsidwarf »
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarves, Philosophy, and Religion
« Reply #104 on: September 03, 2018, 11:03:18 pm »

Seeing as goblincookie has started ignoring posts reminding him that Occamĺs razor isnĺt a fucking law of physics as well as providing weird non-sequiturs to posts he doesnĺt seem to have an actual answer for, Iĺm of the opinion that he is no longer arguing in good faith; but merely wishes to avoid having to concede any form of defeat or incorrectness and is therefore dragging out the argument with obstinacy and repetition until the other participants get sick of him and leave
We know what you are up to, GC. ;)
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