The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
VV
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

A Conscious Mind, Based On Everything We Know, Is Probably The Basis And Grounding Of The Universe

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,112 times Debate No: 48379
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

First round is just for acceptance.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Argument For The Mentality Of The Physical World We Experience

P1: If there is a physical world that we experience which does not reduce to the mental world, then the physical world we experience which does not reduce to the mental world interacts with the mental world and vice versa

P2: If there is a physical world that we experience which does not reduce to the mental world, then the physical world that we experience which does not reduce to the mental world cannot (and therefore, does not) interact with the mental world and vice versa

C: Therefore, if there exists a physical world that we experience which does not reduce to the mental world, a contradiction entails (therefore, there cannot be a physical world that we experience which does not reduce to mental the mental world)

The formula is "if a, then b, but if a, then not b, therefore, a is illogical". It is similar to:

P1: If there is a perfectly spherical cube, it has no edges (as it is perfectly spherical)

P2: If there is a perfectly spherical cube, it has edges (at it is a cube)

C: Therefore, if there exists a perfectly spherical cube, a contradiction entails (therefore, there cannot be a perfectly spherical cube).

Therefore, the argument I presented in favor of the resolution is completely logically valid once understood. However, the question remains regarding whether the premises are true or not.

Defense Of P1

The only reason most people believe matter exists in the first place is that it interacts with our minds so we can experience it. When we look at the moon, that is the material interacting with the mental for example. Also, the mind interacts with the matter and vice versa all the time, such as when I cause my arm to wiggle by thinking, or when I take physical drugs and it effects my mind states. So, essentially, it is necessarily true that the physical world we experience, whether it is fundamentally mental or not, interacts with minds/ subjective self, or there would be no reason to posit material properties or a physical world in the first place.

Now, this premise of mine assumes that the mind isn't physical. This is going to need some justification on my behalf. I think that is true by definition, as we can only know a physical world through a posteriori reasoning, but that depends on experience. Thus, experience cannot be contained within the set of the physical, as it seems that would be viciously circular. Regardless, simple introspection demonstrates that the mind is non-physical and immaterial. What is introspection?

"Introspection is examination of one's own conscious thoughts and feelings..Introspection is closely related to human self-reflection and is contrasted with external observation."[1]

The problem is that when we examine our thoughts and experiences, there is no sign of anything fundamentally physical (like material property ridden brain states), but there are signs of mental states (thus, via Leibniz' Law, they cannot be identical). As respected neuroscientist Sam Harris notes:

"There is nothing about introspection that leads you to sense that your subjectivity is at all dependent or even related to voltage changes and chemical reactions going on inside your head. You can drop acid, you can meditate for a year, you can do whatever you want to perturb your nervous system, you can feel yourself to be one with the universe, and at no point in that transformation do you get a glimpse that there is a hundred trillion neurons in your head, or synapses in your head that are doing anything." - Sam Harris (Neuroscientist) [2]

Also, David Chalmers explains using a thought experiment why the mind cannot be physical:

"Marry, the famous color blind neuroscientist, spends her entire life in a black and white room. She has never seen a color, but she learns everything there is to know about the neuroscience of color; the wave-length of light, the neurons that fire in response, the behavior that gives rise to it... She could tell you all about 'red' and 'green' and 'blue', but there is this one incredibly important thing about she just doesn't know. She doesn't know what it is like to see red, to see green.. She doesn't know about the conscious experience of red and green; all the brain science in the world isn't going to tell her that. Imagine one day she gets an operation, she leaves her room, and says 'ah, that's it, that is what it is like to see red!'... She has learned something new about consciousness." - David Chalmers (Cognitive Scientist and Philosopher of Mind)[3]

Defense Of Premise 2

In order for two fundamentally different types of properties to interact (such as mental properties, and material properties), they would need to share properties, as this is what allows them to interact. However, if they share properties, then they aren't fundamentally different types of properties. Thus, interaction between the two is actually incoherent. Either mental properties reduce to physical properties, physical properties reduce to mental properties, or they both reduce to something else, as explained by narrator of a video on the subject:

"According to substance dualism, there are two fundamental kinds of substances; matter and mind. However, this view quickly leads to problems regarding the interaction of matter and mind. The internal contradictions of interactionalism demonstrate that two fundamental types of substances cannot interact. If the did, they would interact via a shared property. However, if they share a property, then they are not separate substances at all. Either mind shares a physical property with matter, or matter shares a mental property with mind. As such substance dualism becomes incoherent on close inspection, and must be rejected"[4]

This argument applies to property dualism as well. Now, to claim the mind reduces to anything else would be nonsense. Mental properties like consciousness are not reducible. Why? Well, if you could think of what that something else is that the mind reduces to, you'd need to know it in terms of mental categories, but then it would not be non-mental; which is self-evidently absurd. Additionally, you can doubt the physical without any problems, so that can reduce to something else. However, you cannot doubt your mind, because the very notion of having a "doubt" entails mentality.

So if everything is mental/ conscious, then a conscious mind is clearly the grounding for everything.

Argument From Integrated Information


P1: An integrated informational complex is a conscious state
P2: The universe is an integrated informational complex
C: The universe is a conscious state

P1 is true a priori. When we introspect, we encounter integrated information, and this is what are consciousness is. This is also the basis for the Integrated Information Theory of consciousness [5]. P2 is true, as the Wheeler-DeWitt equation describes all the information in the universe, and it is integrated as is not decomposable into a collection of causally independent parts. We already know the universe most likely boils down to information based on digital physics [6], but the fact that it is integrated entails the universe is a conscious state, thus, it must either be a conscious mind, or an aspect of a conscious mind.

So, I used two arguments to show that a conscious mind is the grounding of everything. Thank you.

Sources

[2] Video Source 1
[3] Video Source 2
[4] Video Source 3

VV

Con

VV forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

My opponent forfeited.
VV

Con

VV forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

My opponent forfeited.
VV

Con

VV forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by CorieMike 2 years ago
CorieMike
(panentheism* implies something more than information and yourself as the information processor)
Posted by CorieMike 2 years ago
CorieMike
"P2 is true, as the Wheeler-DeWitt equation describes all the information in the universe, and it is integrated as is not decomposable into a collection of causally independent parts. We already know the universe most likely boils down to information based on digital physics [6], but the fact that it is integrated entails the universe is a conscious state, thus, it must either be a conscious mind, or an aspect of a conscious mind."

I dont think your premise 2 can justify panentheism (pantheism implies something more than information). If information is the result of consciousness. Then to suppose the universe is limited information implies that consciousness itself is limited. The universe would be more accurately defined as all existing information. As you said yourself, if the universe is a conscious mind, how can this be an argument for panentheism? Also, I think it is fallacious to assume that laws imply a law giver, or that information requires an information processor.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Just because you do not grasp the concepts, that doesn't mean it is bullsh*t.
Posted by VV 3 years ago
VV
wtf is this, my brain is having trouble processing the amount of bullsh*t
Posted by Antiphone 3 years ago
Antiphone
Is there a paper somewhere outlining what the statement means? Terms of reference and definitions are a must, because I can see you ending up arguing at cross purposes.
Posted by oculus_de_logica 3 years ago
oculus_de_logica
So the resolution is: paraphrased:
"The universe is just thought/idea in the mind of some unspecified entity?"
Posted by NiqashMotawadi3 3 years ago
NiqashMotawadi3
I think this is panpsychism which is defended by Thomas Nagel. I'm undecided on the issue though I lean to Pro's side.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
*are
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
I'm just arguing that the grounding of the universe, is a conscious state, or a mind, if you will. It is not that vague, and pretty state forward. We know what a mind is, we know what consciousness awareness is (it is what we am engaged in), I am saying that there is some grand consciousness, which is the main reason the universe exists.
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Quite vague. Pro has too much room.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
Rational_Thinker9119VVTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
Rational_Thinker9119VVTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con is an idiot who forfeited because he was too stupid to understand Pro's arguments. I hope Pro eventually gets to redo this debate with someone who is actually competent.