Skip to main content

Topic: The Awesomesauce with Religion (Read 112201 times)

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
The Awesomesauce with Religion
I suppose we need one of these.

Edit (20-02-2014): maybe a more positive title will make some difference? :)
  • Last Edit: 2014-02-20, 18:13:52 by Frenzie

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #175

Belief isn't methodical that's only the guise portrayed. True of most great philosophers and scientists is that their beliefs have often led them down roads not openly covered with their other materials in history books.

True, there are good reasons to avoid being ensnared by unmethodical philosophers, even those who are considered great but who cunningly veil their true motives. You are making a good case for being cautious. Now, how about making a case for that you are not one of those whom I should avoid?


These higher faculties would not exist without the lower ones. They build on them, reuse them, remix them, and are more than the sum of their parts. From my perspective, your interpretation of my words is similar to saying a plane can't fly. A wing can't fly; a body can't fly. How then could a plane fly? I'm not saying a plane can't fly. I'm saying a plane can't fly without wings. There is no consciousness, no self, without feelings.

Unsurprisingly, I disagree in important ways. Your description looks plausible on the surface, but when it gets to the very foundations of the issue, I disagree. And I happen to be a principled man when it comes to the basics.

COMPOSITES VERSUS COMPONENTS

It's plausible to assume that objects consist of parts. It's readily observable in nature that bits of stuff get together and the new configuration of matter is or becomes a new thing. Materialist version of the theory of evolution is much inspired by this observation. I can easily see why people think it's a valuable observation and devise corollaries from this that they tend to take for granted, so I don't argue with this portion. At least not now.

THE PROBLEM OF PRIMACY

My disagreement concerns some subtleties implicit in the view. I do not take it for granted that, given that parts are the primary elements, then their configurations are somehow qualitatively new things. To me it appears that, whether separated in different places or piled up together, parts are just that - parts. And any configuration of them adds no new quality.

Wings don't fly. Birds do. Two wings (and skin and legs and guts and whatever) in whatever configuration will not magically form a bird. Materially it may appear like this, but, in actual observable fact, adding one wing to another is insufficient to either create a bird or to explain it exhaustively. Two wings may be important parts in making up a bird, but they are *not sufficient*. You may put two wings together any way you like, they won't become alive and fly. But actual birds, as distinguished from mere two wings or a stuffed bird, are alive and fly. Even airplanes don't fly by merely adding two iron wings together. They need a pilot - a distinct quality in addition to material parts of the airplane.

It follows that there's no reason to believe that material parts are somehow more fundamental or more primary than the object or entity or structure that it appears to form. My hypothesis at this point is that components and the apparent entities formed by them are equivalent, identical. A composite thing can be defined either as the thing itself - distinguished from other things -, or as an enumeration of its components. These are very different levels of description, different points of view, but, as I showed, there is no logical reason to prefer one to another. For the purposes of description or definition, neither of these views has primacy over the other. Both are of equal priority.

EMERGENTISM

The view that supposes that the material alone is sufficient and, in a "certain" configuration gives rise to a qualitatively new kind of existence or being, is called emergentism. It's a nascent hip theory in philosophy that has quickly gained considerable ground. The supposition that, e.g. two wings can come together and form a bird (don't take the example too literally, but this is indeed the basic idea) rests on the doctrine of "emergent properties". The tenets of the doctrine are that (a) everything is latent in matter and (b) some types of configuration of matter kindle the latent aspects into manifestation, as in evolution. 

The theory has some immediate consequences and hidden presuppositions that I cannot stomach. First, it's not really ontologically monistic. There appear to be at least two things, not one. On one side there's matter wherein everything is latent, on the other there's configurations of matter where emergent properties manifest - which is the universe we know. Why and how does the matter change configuration? Did this movement begin at some point or is it eternal? If it began at some point, then there was another thing that caused it. If it's forever in movement, then there are again really two things - matter plus its movement or change. And maybe matter is not really the proper term for such substance. Why not "primordial ocean", "cosmic womb" or some such?

THE PROBLEM OF CONSCIOUSNESS

There's also the tougher problem - consciousness. Consciousness itself has several degrees. First, disregarding the problems of movement and configuration, there's contact of matter with matter. Whether there's any kind of sensation in mere contact of an insentient object with another, emergentism cannot say. Probably there isn't. The second degree is contact resulting in sensation. At this stage, the object should already have a certain kind of configuration so as to have acquired a primitive level of sentience. The third degree is contact with sensation which produces a reaction. The fourth degree is the critter's awareness of the reaction. The fifth is the critter's ability to change its own reaction (choice or will whether to react at contact or not). The sixth is the critter's ability to anticipate the contact and pre-empt reaction, either to accept the contact or avoid it. The seventh is the critter's ability to contemplate the purpose of all such experience, what the contact means, what more kind of experiences there could be beyond the ones already acquired, if all these experiences ultimately lead anywhere, etc.

Each degree looks a fairly sharp jump from one to another. It cannot be described as smooth transition through all levels. Emergentism would say that consciousness *acquires* self-sufficiency in stages as one single continuous process, but any meaningful description of the actual process clearly implies that such self-sufficient quality is there all along, sharply distinct from matter (i.e. Cartesian dualism explains the degrees of consciousness better than emergentism does). And, the way sentient beings appear in nature, their species are quite distinct. They are not an untaxonomisable continuum.

The problem of consciousness presents two further questions to emergentism: 1. Why all this? Why doesn't it remain at the contact level? Why doesn't matter just collide with itself and be happy with that? Why does consciousness have to arise, accumulate, and epicycle around itself several turns? The best answer to this I have heard is "There is no why." Which is a non-answer of course.

2. What is the ontological status and spatiotemporal characteristic of consciousness? Everything is material and located in spacetime, right? If so, then, given the fact that we humans are capable of contemplating the universe in its totality - even more, many of us are perfectly comfy with the concept of infinity, limitless existence - it's a serious question how such minds of infinite potential ontologically fit into limited bodies. Also, given that we have the capacity to think of ourselves as separate from our own bodies, we are able to pose the question: What if we are more than merely our body? What if we are completely other than the body? Emergentism has no answer here beside something like "You simply are your body, mind is brain, and that's it. Don't ask silly questions!" or "Who knows." So, this problem is a dead end for emergentism. I personally don't accept a limit to my quest for truth when I feel I can do better. I don't accept the dogmatic assertion that there's a limit to my understanding, when I clearly know by introspection that I am nowhere near my personal limit and can go further.

SCIENTIFIC INADEQUACY OF EMERGENTISM

The rule that "certain" configurations account for emergent properties - which logically means that other configurations don't account for the same properties - is broken at both ends. First, matter itself does not decide which properties to manifest. Matter doesn't consciously move towards "certain" configurations. It can't move consciously because consciousness is not manifest yet. From this point of view, all emergence is random, chaotic, and its dynamics should be fluid without interruption. However, the manifest universe is stunningly intelligible and ordered - as a minimum, clearly differentiated so as to enable meaningful observation. The bulk of observable and detectable objects appear insentient, yet they all demonstrate ordered behaviour, such as persistence, regularity, and causality. Objects, beings, and phenomena have individual characteristics by which an outside observer can distinguish and identify each and every object, and shared characteristics by which to categorise all objects meaningfully. This is one problem - the overwhelming order and intelligibility for no inherent reason, if emergentism were true.

The other problem is that, if the properties emerged from matter due to "certain" configurations, then why are there shared properties across configurations, some conceivable properties even across the entire existence? For example, there are myriad of red things. If red is an emergent property, and properties emerge given "certain" configuration, then why is redness related to objects in such a loose way? It appears that all kinds of objects can be red - or not. There's nothing certain or predictable about configurations that appear red.

Moreover, how to account for some properties that appear to emerge and vanish abruptly in self-same configuration of matter? For example, immediately after "natural" death, the human body is materially indistinguishable from the body of a living human - except that it's dead. It's non-different from the live body, but it doesn't manifest consciousness anymore. Looks like "certain" configurations are not so certain after all. They are completely random. The allegedly emergent properties are undeniably there, sure enough, but there is no rule to their relation to any particular configurations of matter. In short, there is no rule of emergence. The doctrine of emergent properties has no value of predictability. Therefore it's an impractical doctrine, worthless to science and inapplicable for any rational purpose. At best it's an incomplete theory, but imho emergentism is so insufficient that it does not qualify as a scientific theory at all.

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #176

The same way, as a demonstration, please give an exposition of your own philosophy. Or tell more what you think philosophy should be. It's all about sharing and comparing.I noticed that you asked me about creation. I will answer in a few days. But right now, for a change, I seriously think it's your turn to build a thesis.
I don't have quite the same egocentric approach as some. As I said I've had enough of this and besides your post simply reinforced my remarks so more is not needed.

How is sharing egocentric? I can easily think of ways in which non-sharing is egocentric.

Anyway, when I promise something, I always do my best to follow through. Like it or not, but here are a few words on creation. In my response to Frenzie, I already made an intro, and here's the continuation.

ATOMISM

Above I disproved the assumption that smaller components of things are somehow more fundamental than things themselves. Is the wing of a bird more fundamental than the bird? Is your arm or leg or kidney more fundamental than yourself? If you insist on your own material constitution, you are the sum total of your cells, not this or that cell rather than some other cell.

The point: You are a composite entirety. You can be disassembled, but this disassemblage will be *less* than you rather than the exact same you.

Atomism (belief or theory that particles are foundational to everything else) is false. However, atomism is influential enough in people's thinking, even in the minds of average religious people, so there are peculiar concepts of God that atomist theists hold. Adherence to atomism and even to materialism (called physicalism these days) does not sharply distinguish an atheist from theist.

So, I hope it gets through that I have nothing to do with atomistic premises. Atoms may exist, if they be a useful consideration in some contexts, but, logically, the space between of equal importance in constituting reality. It's unscientific to ignore the space between atoms. Considering atoms and space, neither is more fundamental than the other. If you want to know the way I think about the universe, drop atomistic assumptions. This enables you to understand better what follows.

CONTINUUM THEORY

How to reconcile the fact that both atoms and space are equally important constituents of reality? The answer is in continuum theories. The ultimate reality does not reside in this or that particle or thing, but is spread out evenly everywhere.

One of the corollaries of the continuum theory is that objects, beings, and phenomena are not strictly limitable. The edges between any one thing and another are undefinable, strictly speaking. In fact, this tenet has been found true in modern science. Humans are composed of cells, but the cells are constantly being lost on the surface, while new ones spring forth from inside the organism, providing continuity to human body throughout its life cycle. Same with the so-called atoms themselves. Rather than thinking of them as tiny solids that you see in school physics classrooms, quantum physics describes them as specific mathematical values of energy - and only that, no solidity whatsoever.

In continuum theory, the universe does not consist of distinct objects or particles, but of general properties that the entities share, such as mass, volume or speed - everybody has these general properties. The distinctions are changing, sometimes fluidly with an apparent continuity (such as the sun moving across the sky), sometimes abruptly (such as death of an individual or quantum leap of the electron). The shared poperties - universals - matter more, because they are more stable. That which exists in a more stable way, *exists more* as it were, more than that which is more perishable, unstable and changing. Solidity doesn't matter when it goes away. Logically, stability matters, even if ephemeral in the physical or empirical sense.

FUNDAMENTALS OF THE UNIVERSE

Philosophically, continuum theory lays primacy to general properties and universals over particulars. In philosophical realism, universals are true, because they are indispensable to analysis. Logically, that which you can't deny exists.

In particularist observation there are cold and warm objects. Each object has its own temperature. In continuum theory, cold and warm are values on a universal scale called temperature. Rather than existing in particularised way apart in several bodies, temperature exists everywhere. It has different values in different places, but there's no place without temperature. Hence, temperature exists everywhere, and cold and warm are its relative manifestations.

By this analysis, it turns out that universals are true. Math is true. And when it's true, then it exists. That which can't be logically denied must exist. What other option is there? The other option is to deny one's own reasoning, to hide from the consequences of one's own thinking.

Cold and warm don't exist as distinct particulars, but as values in the unbroken continuum of temperature. The same way, objects and other entities, including conscious human beings, exist as Theseus' ships in the continuum of existence.

The fundamentals of the universe are the fundamentals of logic. Details may matter, but principles matter more. In terms of the physical universe, details correspond to particular events, objects or data, whereas principles correspond to laws of nature. Principles are not a denial of details, but explanation of them. Details are facts as they appear, but principles are facts as they really are, with explanation how and why the details appear as they do. Sometimes principles seemingly "explain away" things, but this only by means of pointing out irrelevancies according to logically necessary priorities. "Explaining away" is pointing out an irrelevancy in relation to a greater relevancy.

NATURE OF UNIVERSALS

How do universals exist? Where? In the above analysis, the problems with affirming particulars was pointed out: Principles and universals matter more than details and particulars. Another aspect of the same problem is the problem of multiplicity. When there are multiple things, multiple anything, the problems of precedence and of ultimate relevance arise. This problem also applies to multiple universals. Therefore, in the final analysis, there's just one universal - existence itself, Being Itself.

Let's consider again how temperature exists. It appears that there's cold in one place and warm in another, so there are as if multiple existences of warm and cold places, but in truth it's one universal - temperature - perceivable and measurable in different ways anywhere and everywhere. This kind of existent is called omnipresent. The same applies to other universals, such as mass, volume, speed, intensity, life, etc. It applies to all physical and conscious (abstract and moral) universals. They are all omnipresent. And there's no contradiction in that they are all omnipresent, because existence is ultimately just one continuum. Universals are conceptually distinct aspects of that single continuum.  

NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE

The universe is a continuum of existence. Undeniably, we still normally perceive multiplicity. The multiplicity of physicality within the universe, such as objects, events, cause and effect, space and time, is due to the essential infinite richness of the single absolute existence. The apparent self-contradiction of universals, such as cold and warm, life and death, good and evil, is due to the perception of various degrees of intensity of the self-same continuum at different places and instances. We attribute too much value to our particularised experiences. This misattribution is due to lack of consideration of the absolute point of view - it's due to fluctuations and conceptuality in the mind. Conceptual distinctions in the mind are given different names - such as temperature, which is really one thing, is given contradictory names "cold" and "warm" - and this only reinforces the apparent multiplicity of the external universe. Such multiplicity persists as long as the final analysis towards the ultimate absolute universal has not been completed by oneself.

CREATION

The problem of creation is the problem of beginning. It's a logical problem, a matter of point of view. Considering logical absolute timescale, it's a matter of point of view what one considers the beginning. There is a concurrent logical problem: Beginning of what? If we want to be logical, we want to avoid the problem of infinite regress.

Indubitably, human beings have minds more comfortable with multiplicity than with unity, even though many have a rational and spiritual tendency towards unity. To remain intelligible to human minds, a multiplicity of some kind or another must necessarily be posited. Let's take the multiplicity of points of view. There's the point of view of (1) infinity and of (2) temporality, of time.

Infinity is the ultimate absolute existence where there's logically no flux, no time, no space. Or, if you insist there is time, it's omnidirectional rather than unidirectional. There's no logical limit to infinity, there's no way to compel or to force the absolute in any way whatsoever. This is God's point of view.

Whereas temporality is the point of view that time moves irreversibly and unstoppably in one direction. It's the human point of view. Given the network of sense-perceptions where we are entangled, the experience of differentiated multiplicity that appears to exist around us, the logical analysis that I performed above towards universality is the account of evolution of the universe in reverse order. It's roughly the same evolution as Darwinian evolution, only I don't overemphasise our biological or material history. Rather, I give reasonable proportionate status to mind and consciousness.

From the human point of view, because our collective experience indicates unidirectional temporality, creation must have occurred, and, because our analysis is gradual, it necessarily appears like evolution to us. For rank-and-file theists, God must have done it in some way, because it could not have begun on its own. But for atheists almost anything goes: It began in whatever way - except by God. Whereas, from God's point of view, there's no unidirectional temporality.

Naturally, I'm not the first one to think of it this way. For example St. Augustine writes roughly the same thing (just to give a familiar name). I won't get deep into the implications of this point of view now. I'm seriously out of space already. (There's limit of space here - 20,000 chars per post.)

  • Belfrager
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #177
Jesus, you resurrected by the third day, Ersi... :)

Respecting the Continuum theory, let me suggest you the theory of Fields, it seems to be what really explains a continuum between the macro scale and the quantic scale. Very interesting.
I don't know the quality of published material about it, what I know about comes from conversations with a physician friend that defends that all physics is philosophy.

There's hope in physics, so it seems...
  • Last Edit: 2014-02-24, 20:28:31 by Belfrager
A matter of attitude.

  • Banned Member
  • [*]
  • Banned
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #178
A composite thing can be defined either as the thing itself - distinguished from other things -, or as an enumeration of its components.
Not the latter -- that goes to the service data list "specifications"! :P
I suppose I could find more to disagree with, but you know what? I'm not paid to read up your dissertations here.

  • Banned Member
  • [*]
  • Banned
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #179
Bel, I love you!;) Laconic, beautiful, and amazing.
Amazing literally -- your friend is right. It is the picture of the Universe, and he happened to spot a glimpse of it: all the existing is merged into a brilliant. THE Brilliant. And all "things", knowledges, etc., are Its planes, ribs, etc., etc., etc...

  • Belfrager
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #180
CREATIONThe problem of creation is the problem of beginning. It's a logical problem, a matter of point of view. Considering logical absolute timescale, it's a matter of point of view what one considers the beginning. There is a concurrent logical problem: Beginning of what? If we want to be logical, we want to avoid the problem of infinite regress.Indubitably, human beings have minds more comfortable with multiplicity than with unity, even though many have a rational and spiritual tendency towards unity. To remain intelligible to human minds, a multiplicity of some kind or another must necessarily be posited. Let's take the multiplicity of points of view. There's the point of view of (1) infinity and of (2) temporality, of time.

Beginning is the problem of uniqueness. It doesn't depends on what is going to happen, what is going to happen depends on the beginning. So, infinity and temporality of time are irrelevant. The beginning is all about uniqueness.
Consequences are irrelevant because predictable. That's the big question, a moment of impredictability - the beginning, versus an infinity of prediction.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #181

Jesus, you resurrected by the third day, Ersi... :)

Admittedly, I am not Jesus. I'm nobody's guru. Josh is the Guru. (This is him, I suppose.)

Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #182
Admittedly, I am not Jesus.

Did your psychiatrist convince you of this? You weren't a party in the below study, were you?

Quote
On July 1, 1959, at Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, the social psychologist Milton Rokeach brought together three paranoid schizophrenics: Clyde Benson, an elderly farmer and alcoholic; Joseph Cassel, a failed writer who was institutionalized after increasingly violent behavior toward his family; and Leon Gabor, a college dropout and veteran of World War II.

The men had one thing in common: each believed himself to be Jesus Christ.

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #183
Atomism (belief or theory that particles are foundational to everything else) is false. However, atomism is influential enough in people's thinking, even in the minds of average religious people, so there are peculiar concepts of God that atomist theists hold. Adherence to atomism and even to materialism (called physicalism these days) does not sharply distinguish an atheist from theist.

So, I hope it gets through that I have nothing to do with atomistic premises. Atoms may exist, if they be a useful consideration in some contexts, but, logically, the space between of equal importance in constituting reality. It's unscientific to ignore the space between atoms. Considering atoms and space, neither is more fundamental than the other. If you want to know the way I think about the universe, drop atomistic assumptions. This enables you to understand better what follows.

You say materialism is called physicalism these days, but the empty space, as you put it, is why I don't typically use the phrase materialism--precisely because it might promote the false impression that it's only about matter and not about empty space. And it's not just the empty space between atoms. Most of the universe is empty space even without there being more empty space in us than not.

NB This doesn't affect any part of your argument. Thank you for sharing it.

Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #184
Now, how about making a case for that you are not one of those whom I should avoid?

I'd never presume to, sir. If one does, you should.

There's a lot to take in form your thesis, and plenty of reasoned arguments. But it's filled with deductive conclusions drawn from assumptions. This stood out first thing:   
The point: You are a composite entirety. You can be disassembled, but this disassemblage will be *less* than you rather than the exact same you.

This being The Point, offhand may seem profound, but really has no meaning. Sure you went on to deduce how natural  occurrence, from the view you want to discredit, seems unlikely. But I can't put my finger on the part that supports this statement with something that isn't pulled from thin air.

For you to claim logic as a foundation I think you would at least have to consider that fair. Therefore any conclusions drawn from the perceived short comings of the opposition are variable you can't build off of. Speculating one idea wrong isn't necessarily validating any one other side. Don't get me wrong science falls short of explanations too and you have points of debate, worth due consideration. Logic is a philosophical concept. If it can be purely applied is arguable in and of itself.          

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #185

You say materialism is called physicalism these days, but the empty space, as you put it, is why I don't typically use the phrase materialism--precisely because it might promote the false impression that it's only about matter and not about empty space. And it's not just the empty space between atoms. Most of the universe is empty space even without there being more empty space in us than not.

I'm not sure what kind of tension or problems you see with the word 'materialism'. I personally don't. What I have seen from philosophical discussions, atheists want some other word to replace materialism due to moral implications - *moral* materialist is a worshipper of Mammon, but this is not how the word is used in philosophy. If religious fanatics have insulted ontological materialists in Western Europe and America by making this connection (I don't know if they have, but it's likely), then I understand. I personally don't confuse ontological and moral materialism.

I'm okay with the term physicalism pro ontological materialism. Mind you, materialism - the root word 'matter' - does not necessarily mean particled matter, but may also include the space in between, if one so wishes. Sophisticated materialists (physicalists) often believed there was something more to matter than mere atoms, most readily called energy. Therefore my distinct discussion about atomism. Atomistic or not, emergentism is materialism, physicalism. And Jehovah's Witnesses' belief that the human being dies when the body dies (with the consciousness of the individual gone into oblivion, except that only "God remembers him") is sheer materialism, physicalism - they have no meaningful concept of the soul. The soul equates the body for them. Sheer materialism as I said.

I'm not okay with the word naturalism pro ontological materialism. This word implies as if other beliefs were unnatural and that materialism were natural, even though materialism disregards pretty much everything about the nature of consciousness. They always disregard the observer, the philosophical subject side, the factually necessary creator of experiments in science. They struggle with consciousness and, so it seems, think that consciousness is unnatural. Sorry, but consciousness is as natural as anything else - it's not going anywhere.

The point: You are a composite entirety. You can be disassembled, but this disassemblage will be *less* than you rather than the exact same you.

This being The Point, offhand may seem profound, but really has no meaning. Sure you went on to deduce how natural  occurrence, from the view you want to discredit, seems unlikely. But I can't put my finger on the part that supports this statement with something that isn't pulled from thin air.

Not only did you miss the part where I distinctly argued for this thesis (to help you out, it was the example of airplane - if airplanes are meant to fly too, then the airplane is not just the assemblage of its parts - the pilot is another necessary element that goes into making up the airplane as it really is), but you also missed an earlier broader point: It was never the point to convince anyone of anything. I'm only showing the way I reason.

This also applies in the opposite direction. When you say you can't put your finger on something - and this is your whole issue with my thesis - then you are only showing the way you reason. And, sure enough, you're not being convincing.

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #186
I'm not okay with the word naturalism pro ontological materialism. This word implies as if other beliefs were unnatural and that materialism were natural, even though materialism disregards pretty much everything about the nature of consciousness. They always disregard the observer, the philosophical subject side, the factually necessary creator of experiments in science. They struggle with consciousness and, so it seems, think that consciousness is unnatural. Sorry, but consciousness is as natural as anything else - it's not going anywhere.

There's something it's like to be you or me, and you're saying this quality, this personal experience, can't be explained in purely physical terms. Is that correct?

Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #187
Because the world has so many awesome sauces, I'd like to expand on the concept of Awesomesauce and move it out of the domain of religion.

Quote
3 gallons water
3 cups white sugar
1 (16 ounce) can tomato paste (such as Contadina®)
1 cup dried basil
1 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 pork neck

Stir water, sugar, tomato paste, basil, minced onion, oregano, granulated garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, and pork neck together in a large pot.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until thickened to desired consistency, about 30 minutes.
Remove pork neck bones to serve.


Admittedly, that's far too much sauce for one person, so you might want to cut the recipe down to size.

Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #188
Not only did you miss the part where I distinctly argued for this thesis (to help you out, it was the example of airplane - if airplanes are meant to fly too, then the airplane is not just the assemblage of its parts - the pilot is another necessary element that goes into making up the airplane as it really is)

Oh no, I caught it. And covered it.
that isn't pulled from thin air.

Innuendo. Fun stuff.
This also applies in the opposite direction.

You don't say? Actually came back around quicker than expected. You see, I was questioning your methods (you may of missed it)... I've no doubt you believe what you say but how logical is it to be so attached to assumptions? Not something you are willing to accept, tho. So clearly the more logical position.
When you say you can't put your finger on something - and this is your whole issue with my thesis - then you are only showing the way you reason. And, sure enough, you're not being convincing.

You know it's a common tactic for those bent on explaining the supernatural to try and make their point out of confusion. I reason that's it, you believe I'm confused? Maybe you wanna believe I can't grasp what you've said? Nevertheless, I never said that would be my only issue with your thesis. More like a reoccurring one. I wasn't willing nor would I waste time convincing anyone. But if you got that wrong... What else?

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #189

There's something it's like to be you or me, and you're saying this quality, this personal experience, can't be explained in purely physical terms. Is that correct?

This is how Nagel put it. The way I put it:

- For every object there's the subject. If not, there's no relevant object to discuss.
- The subject is consciousness in the role of observer. There's no logical necessity to predicate anything physical about the subject. All physicality is on the object side.
- The conscious apprehends the physical (material). Laws of thought trump sense-data. Never the other way round.

Principles sort out details. So-called facts without organisation and context are meaningless. If we don't agree on this, then in philosophical terms we don't agree on anything. The philosophical divide between us is indeed tremendous, if you still have questions about these things.

Note that I have not read Nagel. I am not a convert from materialism by any sort of philosophical argument. Ever since I remember myself (which is at very early age) I have found philosophical materialism dubious, and soon enough untenable and indefensible. For some time I guess I have had a subconscious struggle with various shapes and shades of dualism, until figuring out how spiritual monism works.

Here's something I have read fairly recently http://consc.net/papers/nature.html Note the arguments against materialism from section 3 to the end of the paper. I'd say that if you don't have a response to every problem with materialism pointed out there, then you don't really know what materialism entails and you have not made a conscious choice when siding with materialism. If you don't understand those arguments (admittedly technical talk there) or you don't think they matter, then you are not philosophical. And it's okay. People don't have to be philosophically informed. Most people are not, and they live their lives just fine.

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #190
Here's something I have read fairly recently http://consc.net/papers/nature.html

Coincidentally, the other day I read http://consc.net/notes/lloyd-comments.html

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #191

Here's something I have read fairly recently http://consc.net/papers/nature.html

Coincidentally, the other day I read http://consc.net/notes/lloyd-comments.html

And do you agree with the conclusion? "...what we will be left with is irreducibility and perhaps even a kind of dualism, rather than the kind of reductive explanation that Lloyd is searching for." Or do you have a refutation for it?

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #192
He doesn't give me any grounds for contemplating experience or consciousness as something in principle irreducible. Besides, his views seem to lack explanatory power. He says some parts of consciousness are an easy problem, and some other part a hard one. I posit that once you remove (solve) the "easy" problems, you probably won't have a "hard" one left. He doesn't seem overly concerned with neuroscience. We know to a fair extent that interference with this or that (neuro)biological process causes such or so reaction in the realm of consciousness, or its (temporary) termination. Above all, the vast majority of what happens in the brain is not conscious at all, no matter what "conscious" might mean. When he says that "we must either revise our conception of consciousness or [...]" my thoughts are that he probably should. See e.g. here for something that does take neuroscience into account.

I am not a convert from materialism by any sort of philosophical argument. Ever since I remember myself (which is at very early age) I have found philosophical materialism dubious, and soon enough untenable and indefensible.

Incidentally, Estonia is truly a foreign country.

Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #193
Ever since I remember myself (which is at very early age) I have found philosophical materialism dubious, and soon enough untenable and indefensible. For some time I guess I have had a subconscious struggle with various shapes and shades of dualism, until figuring out how spiritual monism works.


Pretty much confirms what I thought.

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #194

He doesn't give me any grounds for contemplating experience or consciousness as something in principle irreducible. Besides, his views seem to lack explanatory power. He says some parts of consciousness are an easy problem, and some other part a hard one. I posit that once you remove (solve) the "easy" problems, you probably won't have a "hard" one left.

There are two distinct problems of consciousness: the easy one and the hard one. The easy one is to do with perceived/measurable reactions and/or ability to report them. It's like Pavlov's dog salivating or intensity of brainwaves when a person dreams versus sleeps non-dreaming. The easy one is easy because it looks straightforward enough to probably have neurophysiological linear causal explanation.

The hard problem is hard because there's no way it could have a linear causal explanation in terms of neurophysiology - and everybody recognises this. Everybody. Except that those entrenched in the materialist paradigm say "We don't know everything yet (so let's postpone our attempts to explain this away a little bit longer)" which is the wrong answer in philosophy. "Don't know" is not an answer.

Note, I find Nagel's peculiar phrasing of the problem as "there is something it is like to be that" almost circumventive, and it's unfortunate that Chalmers quotes Nagel when talking about it. So I understand if the full force of the problem is not reaching you and you complain that Chalmers seems to lack explanatory power. Still, this does not mean that the problem is not there. I just rephrased it for you so you get it better. You welcome.

I personally am more radical than Chalmers. I disagree that even the easy problem is easy. To me, there are no necessarily linear causal relations between perception/stimuli and reaction. Reactions may be habitual, thus seemingly linear in relation to stimuli, but all habits can be trained away, to the level of reflexes and even to the level of instincts. Basic drives, such as sex instinct and survival instinct, can be trained away - and it doesn't necessarily happen by means of changing one's neurophysiology - can happen that way too, but not necessarily. It can happen by means of one momentous thought. One moment you are afraid of death, at another you are not, no changes in internal or external situation needed. Definitely no change in neurophysiology.

In terms of what *you* want to believe, non-linear reactions stemming from thought-reflection, choice, and will should not be there in the first place. The hard problem will not go away by means of explaining the easy problem. The hard problem is a distinct problem.

I have had my fill of reductionist accounts. Reductionism is logically flawed. Attempts to reduce consciousness to neurophysiology are subject to the same objections I brought up when talking about emergentism and atomism. The analogies can easily be adjusted to suit neurophysiology. For example, let's say you see a vicious dog and you get scared. Adrenalin flows with fear. Do you get scared because adrenalin (or whatever the exact hormon is) flows or does adrenalin flow because you get scared? In reductionist account, it must be the adrenalin causing fear. However, a person with self-control won't have fear. Such person may not be able to control the flow of adrenalin directly, but adrenalin won't have the same effect any more. As per reductionist account, this should not be possible! The relationship between fear and adrenalin should be straightforward and linear as per reductionist account. On the other hand, in dualist account it makes perfect sense: Of course consciousness has primacy and controls physiology in all ways, and does so imperfectly only where will, attention, and wisdom are lacking. Give it some more conscious effort and the lacking areas will be fixed too. And sometimes, as anyone of us knows, a momentous thought can cause wondrous instant changes in consciousness - in consciousness first, and physiology may or may not follow, depending on the continuity of the effort, or on remembrance of the momentous experience. Conclusion: The causality works the other way round than materialism assumes, and is non-linear to boot.

These are not new things. I'm saying nothing new. Nothing should be surprising. What is surprising is that reductionists have no response, but still manage to remain reductionists. The paradigmatic bubble is hard to break. This too is self-explanatory from the dualist point of view. And I'm not even a dualist.

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #195
In terms of what *you* want to believe, non-linear reactions stemming from thought-reflection, choice, and will should not be there in the first place. The hard problem will not go away by means of explaining the easy problem. The hard problem is a distinct problem.

What I conclude based on the facts available to me is not what I want to believe, except in the sense that I don't want to believe things that disregard the evidence.

Quote
The hard problem is hard because there's no way it could have a linear causal explanation in terms of neurophysiology - and everybody recognises this. Everybody. Except that those entrenched in the materialist paradigm say "We don't know everything yet (so let's postpone our attempts to explain this away a little bit longer)" which is the wrong answer in philosophy. "Don't know" is not an answer.

Yet "ma, look what I can squeeze into the gap seemingly without any hugely glaring logical contradictions" is an answer in philosophy? Please.

Adrenalin flows with fear. Do you get scared because adrenalin (or whatever the exact hormon is) flows or does adrenalin flow because you get scared? In reductionist account, it must be the adrenalin causing fear. However, a person with self-control won't have fear. Such person may not be able to control the flow of adrenalin directly, but adrenalin won't have the same effect any more. As per reductionist account, this should not be possible!

As luck would have it, I found that Damasio wrote a summary of what the "reductionist account" currently entails.

Quote
And sometimes, as anyone of us knows, a momentous thought can cause wondrous instant changes in consciousness - in consciousness first, and physiology may or may not follow, depending on the continuity of the effort, or on remembrance of the momentous experience. Conclusion: The causality works the other way round than materialism assumes, and is non-linear to boot.
Conclusion: your assumptions about what materialism "assumes" are absurd. You presuppose that consciousness is something that can't happen in a strictly physical universe, which may or may not be true depending on what you mean by consciousness, and then say that if you remove consciousness from the equation you can't influence your feelings. You've got this highly complex organ in your head and yet you assume that in a materialist account, if you give it a bit of cortisol and adrenaline, the only thing it can do is run away like the furnace attached to the thermostat. Nature's equivalent to the thermostat is a sea anemone or something simpler still, with only the most rudimentary nerve system that only provides direct sense to muscle input. We're a tad more complex.

Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #196
Quote from: Frenzie on 2013-11-30, 07:58:52
I suppose we need one of these.

A problem? Don't we all have plenty already? 

You can't have too much of a bad thing if you're an evil person.

  • Macallan
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #197

A problem? Don't we all have plenty already? 

You can't have too much of a bad thing if you're an evil person.

You mean problems for other people. Of course :right:
As they say, religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. Funny how the guy who wrote that was a contemporary to the people who invented Christianity. Coincidence? :left: :right:

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #198

Conclusion: your assumptions about what materialism "assumes" are absurd. You presuppose that consciousness is something that can't happen in a strictly physical universe, which may or may not be true depending on what you mean by consciousness, and then say that if you remove consciousness from the equation you can't influence your feelings.

I don't presuppose. I explain observations. You only confirm my assumptions about materialism when you say:

You've got this highly complex organ in your head and yet you assume that in a materialist account, if you give it a bit of cortisol and adrenaline, the only thing it can do is run away like the furnace attached to the thermostat.

So, in materialist account, the organ is "complex" and therefore, when you stimulate it with hormones, anything can happen this or that way, but the fact that anything can happen must not deter us from assuming that the causality is precisely from the hormones to the rest, not the other way, definitely not from non-physical towards physical, nevermind the actual observations.

In materialist account, everything that appears wrong with the experiment is explained by means of gaps: "We don't know everything yet. Please fund our studies better." In logic and philosophy there are no gaps. Lack of explanation is precisely that - lack of explanation. It's proof that something is wrong with the account itself and in a principled way. Materialism is full of such holes. The hard problem of consciousness is one of the better known ones. It would be nice if you had a direct response to the problem of consciousness the way I phrased it, or show how I failed to explain something, anything. Because, seriously, I will be happy with nothing less than a full and complete account. If my account has holes, you are doing me a service when you point them out.

I took a look behind your link and, as expected, it fails to explain anything. It gives the evolutionary explanation to emotions, and says about e.g. fear and disgust that they are protecting the integrity of the individual or of the organism. Which, of course, is true in about half of the cases, wrong in half of the cases, i.e totally unexplanatory. For example: How is your disgust of religion and fear of the concept of God protecting the integrity of your organism right now? Conclusion: Emotions have some behavioural context, sure enough, but beyond that there is no "neural basis" to them, and even the behavioural context is fluid enough so that any assumption that lays too much emphasis on it shoots itself in the foot. The behavioural context and the "neural basis" are very limited and very primitive explanations that leave most of reality unexplained.

Materialism always was materialism of the gaps, rush inductive generalisations on things that appear to be, forgetting that appearances may deceive. Induction is misleading. Russell knew it. You have to arrive at the right principle first to organise your facts, then we can begin to discuss the real thing.

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The Awesomesauce with Religion
Reply #199
So, in materialist account, the organ is "complex" and therefore, when you stimulate it with hormones, anything can happen this or that way, but the fact that anything can happen must not deter us from assuming that the causality is precisely from the hormones to the rest, not the other way

Indeed, that would be an absurd thing to say, ignorant at best. Lucky us that nobody says it, then.

Materialism always was materialism of the gaps, rush inductive generalisations on things that appear to be, forgetting that appearances may deceive.

Something of the gaps does not mean to say "behold, these are the gaps!" It means to say "look what I can squeeze into the gaps!" You keep talking as if my tentative conclusions and hypotheses were my starting point, which I find very odd. I find the fact that you consider that tentativeness a weakness even more odd. If you want to know for whether our lexical access functions primarily episodically or abstractly, you devise an experiment to find out what direction the evidence points at.

Edit: anyway, I'm going to stop posting here.