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Physicist Barr's argument against materialism

popculturepooka
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7/14/2012 11:36:42 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is pretty interesting (he even interacts with commentators in the discussion part):

http://bigquestionsonline.com...

At 7/10/2012 11:47:52 PM, Stephen Barr wrote:
Not in any direct way. That is, it doesn't provide an argument for the existence of God. But it does so indirectly, by providing an argument against the philosophy called materialism (or "physicalism"), which is the main intellectual opponent of belief in God in today's world.

Materialism is an atheistic philosophy that says that all of reality is reducible to matter and its interactions. It has gained ground because many people think that it's supported by science. They think that physics has shown the material world to be a closed system of cause and effect, sealed off from the influence of any non-physical realities --- if any there be. Since our minds and thoughts obviously do affect the physical world, it would follow that they are themselves merely physical phenomena. No room for a spiritual soul or free will: for materialists we are just "machines made of meat."

Quantum mechanics, however, throws a monkey wrench into this simple mechanical view of things. No less a figure than Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, claimed that materialism --- at least with regard to the human mind --- is not "logically consistent with present quantum mechanics." And on the basis of quantum mechanics, Sir Rudolf Peierls, another great 20th-century physicist, said, "the premise that you can describe in terms of physics the whole function of a human being ... including [his] knowledge, and [his] consciousness, is untenable. There is still something missing."

How, one might ask, can quantum mechanics have anything to say about the human mind? Isn't it about things that can be physically measured, such as particles and forces? It is; but while minds cannot be measured, it is ultimately minds that do the measuring. And that, as we shall see, is a fact that cannot be ignored in trying to make sense of quantum mechanics. If one claims that it is possible (in principle) to give a complete physical description of what goes on during a measurement --- including the mind of the person who is doing the measuring --- one is led into severe difficulties. This was pointed out in the 1930s by the great mathematician John von Neumann. Though I cannot go into technicalities in an essay such as this, I will try to sketch the argument.

It all begins with the fact that quantum mechanics is inherently probabilistic. Of course, even in "classical physics" (i.e. the physics that preceded quantum mechanics and that still is adequate for many purposes) one sometimes uses probabilities; but one wouldn't have to if one had enough information. Quantum mechanics is radically different: it says that even if one had complete information about the state of a physical system, the laws of physics would typically only predict probabilities of future outcomes. These probabilities are encoded in something called the "wavefunction" of the system.

A familiar example of this is the idea of "half-life." Radioactive nuclei are liable to "decay" into smaller nuclei and other particles. If a certain type of nucleus has a half-life of, say, an hour, it means that a nucleus of that type has a 50% chance of decaying within 1 hour, a 75% chance within two hours, and so on. The quantum mechanical equations do not (and cannot) tell you when a particular nucleus will decay, only the probability of it doing so as a function of time. This is not something peculiar to nuclei. The principles of quantum mechanics apply to all physical systems, and those principles are inherently and inescapably probabilistic.

This is where the problem begins. It is a paradoxical (but entirely logical) fact that a probability only makes sense if it is the probability of something definite. For example, to say that Jane has a 70% chance of passing the French exam only means something if at some point she takes the exam and gets a definite grade. At that point, the probability of her passing no longer remains 70%, but suddenly jumps to 100% (if she passes) or 0% (if she fails). In other words, probabilities of events that lie in between 0 and 100% must at some point jump to 0 or 100% or else they meant nothing in the first place.

This raises a thorny issue for quantum mechanics. The master equation that governs how wavefunctions change with time (the "Schrödinger equation") does not yield probabilities that suddenly jump to 0 or 100%, but rather ones that vary smoothly and that generally remain greater than 0 and less than 100%. Radioactive nuclei are a good example. The Schrödinger equation says that the "survival probability" of a nucleus (i.e. the probability of it's not having decayed) starts off at 100%, and then falls continuously, reaching 50% after one half-life, 25% after two half-lives, and so on --- but never reaching zero. In other words, the Schrödinger equation only gives probabilities of decaying, never an actual decay! (If there were an actual decay, the survival probability should jump to 0 at that point.)

To recap: (a) Probabilities in quantum mechanics must be the probabilities of definite events. (b) When definite events happen, some probabilities should jump to 0 or 100%. However, (c) the mathematics that describes all physical processes (the Schrödinger equation) does not describe such jumps. One begins to see how one might reach the conclusion that not everything that happens is a physical process describable by the equations of physics.

So how do minds enter the picture? The traditional understanding is that the "definite events" whose probabilities one calculates in quantum mechanics are the outcomes of "measurements" or "observations" (the words are used interchangeably). If someone (traditionally called "the observer") checks to see if, say, a nucleus has decayed (perhaps using a Geiger counter), he or she must get a definite answer: yes or no. Obviously, at that point the probability of the nucleus having decayed (or survived) should jump to 0 or 100%, because the observer thenknowsthe result with certainty. This is just common sense. The probabilities assigned to events refer to someone's state of knowledge: before I know the outcome of Jane's exam I can only say that she has a 70% chance of passing; whereas after I know I must say either 0 or 100%.

Thus, the traditional view is that the probabilities in quantum mechanics --- and hence the "wavefunction" that encodes them --- refer to the state of knowledge of some "observer". (In the words of the famous physicist Sir James Jeans, wavefunctions are "knowledge waves.") An observer's knowledge --- and hence the wavefunction that encodes it --- makes a discontinuous jump when he/she comes to know the outcome of a measurement (the famous "quantum jump", traditionally called the "collapse of the wave function"). But the Schrödinger equations that describe any physical process do not give such jumps! So something must be involved when knowledge changes besides physical processes.

An obvious question is why one needs to talk about knowledge and minds at all. Couldn't an inanimate physical device (say, a Geiger counter) carry out a "measurement"? That would run into the very problem pointed out by von Neumann: If the "observer" were just a purely physical entity, such a Geiger counter, one could in principle write down a bigger wavefunction that described not only the thing being measured but also the observer. And, when calculated with the Schrödinger equation, that bigger wavefunction would not jump! Again: as long as only purely physical entities are involved, they are governed by an equation that says that the probabilities don't jump.


Cont.
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popculturepooka
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7/14/2012 11:39:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Cont.

At 7/11/2012 Stephen Barr wrote:
That's why, when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an "observer," said no, explaining that "the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requiressomebodywho knows." Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.

But what if one refuses to accept this conclusion, and maintains that only physical entities exist and that all observers and their minds are entirely describable by the equations of physics? Then the quantum probabilities remain in limbo, not 0 and 100% (in general) but hovering somewhere in between. They never get resolved into unique and definite outcomes, but somehow all possibilities remain always in play. One would thus be forced into what is called the "Many Worlds Interpretation" (MWI) of quantum mechanics.

In MWI, reality is divided into many branches corresponding to all the possible outcomes of all physical situations. If a probability was 70% before a measurement, it doesn't jump to 0 or 100%; it stays 70% after the measurement, because in 70% of the branches there's one result and in 30% there's the other result! For example, in some branches of reality a particular nucleus has decayed --- and "you" observe that it has, while in other branches it has not decayed --- and "you" observe that it has not. (There are versions of "you" in every branch.) In the Many Worlds picture, you exist in a virtually infinite number of versions: in some branches of reality you are reading this article, in others you are asleep in bed, in others you have never been born. Even proponents of the Many Worlds idea admit that it sounds crazy and strains credulity.

The upshot is this:if the mathematics of quantum mechanics is right (as most fundamental physicists believe), and if materialism is right, one is forced to accept the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics. And that is awfully heavy baggage for materialism to carry.

If, on the other hand, we accept the more traditional understanding of quantum mechanics that goes back to von Neumann, one is led by its logic (as Wigner and Peierls were) to the conclusion that not everything is just matter in motion, and that in particular there is something about the human mind that transcends matter and its laws. It then becomes possible to take seriously certain questions that materialism had ruled out of court: If the human mind transcends matter to some extent, could there not exist minds that transcend the physical universe altogether? And might there not even exist an ultimate Mind?


I'm always a bit leery about these arguments from quantum mechanics because it seems so mysterious and not well understood right now...but there it is.
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Ore_Ele
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7/14/2012 11:55:19 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The problem with that is that it has the conclusion that AI cannot be possible, when in reality we are actually getting fairly close to achieving AI.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
mattrodstrom
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7/14/2012 11:58:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Firstly...

As with "Something can't come from nothing"..

I can't see how Probabilities come from nothing... or how Particular outcomes come from nothing...
Rather I can only understand Probabilities of particular outcomes as reflecting operations of an underlying nature... which causes things to happen that way.

Secondly....
I don't really know too much about quantum mechanics.. but clearly sh*t gets settled out even without a Mind considering the results..

Large scale physical things, ultimately, rely upon Quantum happenings... Quantum structure... Lots of Sh*t happened in the world without Minds being there to help them on their way.

Quantum occurrences became more than mere probabilities but Realities... Or else Earth would never have formed. Definite things happened.. definite Quantum things.

Or did it only all get sorted out when a "mind" arose.. Before then the Quantum Happenings which caused the Earth to happen were only Potentialities?
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
popculturepooka
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7/14/2012 12:00:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/14/2012 11:55:19 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
The problem with that is that it has the conclusion that AI cannot be possible, when in reality we are actually getting fairly close to achieving AI.

If his argument leads to that I don't think it'd be very disconcerting for him - lots of people don't think true AI is possible (like John searle).
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popculturepooka
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7/14/2012 12:02:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/14/2012 12:00:57 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 11:55:19 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
The problem with that is that it has the conclusion that AI cannot be possible, when in reality we are actually getting fairly close to achieving AI.

If his argument leads to that I don't think it'd be very disconcerting for him - lots of people don't think true AI is possible (like John searle).

https://mywebspace.wisc.edu...
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Wnope
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7/14/2012 12:06:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is only a problem under the Copenhagen interpretation that treats measurements separately from non-observer-driven inducers of decoherence.

Under Consistent Histories Interpretation (Decoherence) the "observer effect" is recognized for what it really is: nothing more than decoherence brought out not by the sentient observer but by the appartus that interacts with the system to be observed.

Once two quantum systems interact (as is the case when something is measured or something coheres/decoheres), you cannot accurately describe their functions independent of each other. That is, you are dealing with a new system.

If you want to know anything about that new system, you'd need some way to measure it, and that measurement would create a NEW system which needs a measurement and so on and so on. It's basically the effects you see in the Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle.
mattrodstrom
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7/14/2012 12:16:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/14/2012 11:58:11 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Firstly...

As with "Something can't come from nothing"..

I can't see how Probabilities come from nothing... or how Particular outcomes come from nothing...
Rather I can only understand Probabilities of particular outcomes as reflecting operations of an underlying nature... which causes things to happen that way.

Secondly....
I don't really know too much about quantum mechanics.. but clearly sh*t gets settled out even without a Mind considering the results..

Large scale physical things, ultimately, rely upon Quantum happenings... Quantum structure... Lots of Sh*t happened in the world without Minds being there to help them on their way.

Quantum occurrences became more than mere probabilities but Realities... Or else Earth would never have formed. Definite things happened.. definite Quantum things.

Oh, wait.. I just proved God!

lol

ummm... no.

Even if we truly can't understand/see a pattern which suggests an underlying nature which causes quantum mechanics to work out as it does.. I think it'd be much more appropriate to say that we've reached the limits of how we can understand the nature of the universe.

I'm a Materialist in that I think it's how we are able understand the nature of things... Not in that I think that that understanding captures an absolutely Objectively Complete view of the universe.

Or did it only all get sorted out when a "mind" arose.. Before then the Quantum Happenings which caused the Earth to happen were only Potentialities?

I suppose Wnope's answer is probably the best for why Mind is not necessary..

Mine would probably only encourage people by "proving" god.. lol :)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Wnope
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7/14/2012 12:22:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/14/2012 12:02:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:00:57 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 11:55:19 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
The problem with that is that it has the conclusion that AI cannot be possible, when in reality we are actually getting fairly close to achieving AI.

If his argument leads to that I don't think it'd be very disconcerting for him - lots of people don't think true AI is possible (like John searle).

https://mywebspace.wisc.edu...

Dude, Searle is amazing. He is BLOWING away my conceptions about computationalism.
popculturepooka
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7/15/2012 1:02:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/14/2012 12:22:40 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:02:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:00:57 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 11:55:19 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
The problem with that is that it has the conclusion that AI cannot be possible, when in reality we are actually getting fairly close to achieving AI.

If his argument leads to that I don't think it'd be very disconcerting for him - lots of people don't think true AI is possible (like John searle).

https://mywebspace.wisc.edu...

Dude, Searle is amazing. He is BLOWING away my conceptions about computationalism.

Yeah, man, he's excellent.
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OMGJustinBieber
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7/15/2012 1:06:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/15/2012 1:02:00 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:22:40 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:02:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:00:57 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 11:55:19 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
The problem with that is that it has the conclusion that AI cannot be possible, when in reality we are actually getting fairly close to achieving AI.

If his argument leads to that I don't think it'd be very disconcerting for him - lots of people don't think true AI is possible (like John searle).

https://mywebspace.wisc.edu...

Dude, Searle is amazing. He is BLOWING away my conceptions about computationalism.

Yeah, man, he's excellent.

Which of his works do you recommend?
popculturepooka
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7/15/2012 1:10:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/14/2012 11:58:11 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Firstly...

As with "Something can't come from nothing"..

I can't see how Probabilities come from nothing... or how Particular outcomes come from nothing...
Rather I can only understand Probabilities of particular outcomes as reflecting operations of an underlying nature... which causes things to happen that way.

Secondly....
I don't really know too much about quantum mechanics.. but clearly sh*t gets settled out even without a Mind considering the results..

Large scale physical things, ultimately, rely upon Quantum happenings... Quantum structure... Lots of Sh*t happened in the world without Minds being there to help them on their way.

Quantum occurrences became more than mere probabilities but Realities... Or else Earth would never have formed. Definite things happened.. definite Quantum things.

Or did it only all get sorted out when a "mind" arose.. Before then the Quantum Happenings which caused the Earth to happen were only Potentialities?

I'm not even sure how this is relevant.

For one a theist would just say a Mind(s) has been there all along and for two this doesn't deal with the apparent problem in trying to account for the mind in terms of materialistism or physicalism.
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Kinesis
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7/15/2012 1:38:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
That was a fascinating article that cleared up (a tiny bit of) quantum mechanics for me. Noo idea if it's a good argument, though.
Kinesis
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7/15/2012 1:43:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Even conceding the entire thing, it doesn't seem to me like he's warranted in his conclusion: "If, on the other hand, we accept the more traditional understanding of quantum mechanics that goes back to von Neumann, one is led by its logic (as Wigner and Peierls were) to the conclusion that not everything is just matter in motion, and that in particular there is something about the human mind that transcends matter and its laws."

Rather, we should be led to the conclusion that there is something about human minds that are not described by quantum mechanics. And that negative is hardly enough to reach the conclusion that human minds are spiritual in nature,
Wnope
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7/15/2012 3:33:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/15/2012 1:06:21 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 7/15/2012 1:02:00 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:22:40 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:02:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:00:57 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 11:55:19 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
The problem with that is that it has the conclusion that AI cannot be possible, when in reality we are actually getting fairly close to achieving AI.

If his argument leads to that I don't think it'd be very disconcerting for him - lots of people don't think true AI is possible (like John searle).

https://mywebspace.wisc.edu...

Dude, Searle is amazing. He is BLOWING away my conceptions about computationalism.

Yeah, man, he's excellent.

Which of his works do you recommend?

I've only read his articles.

I suggest this one and his original work on the Chinese Room.
popculturepooka
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7/15/2012 5:12:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/15/2012 1:06:21 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 7/15/2012 1:02:00 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:22:40 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:02:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 12:00:57 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/14/2012 11:55:19 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
The problem with that is that it has the conclusion that AI cannot be possible, when in reality we are actually getting fairly close to achieving AI.

If his argument leads to that I don't think it'd be very disconcerting for him - lots of people don't think true AI is possible (like John searle).

https://mywebspace.wisc.edu...

Dude, Searle is amazing. He is BLOWING away my conceptions about computationalism.

Yeah, man, he's excellent.

Which of his works do you recommend?

I like Rationality in Action, Freedom and Neurobiology, and Mind: A Brief Introduction.

If I had to recommend just one I'd say the last one is the most significant and probably the most interesting (although I may be saying that because I find phil of mind so fascinating).
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popculturepooka
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7/15/2012 5:19:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/15/2012 1:43:19 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Even conceding the entire thing, it doesn't seem to me like he's warranted in his conclusion: "If, on the other hand, we accept the more traditional understanding of quantum mechanics that goes back to von Neumann, one is led by its logic (as Wigner and Peierls were) to the conclusion that not everything is just matter in motion, and that in particular there is something about the human mind that transcends matter and its laws."

Rather, we should be led to the conclusion that there is something about human minds that are not described by quantum mechanics. And that negative is hardly enough to reach the conclusion that human minds are spiritual in nature,

I believe he's operating on the assumption of the materialist/physicalist. A basic tenet of physicalism is that explanations/causality in physics exhausts what there is/what can play an explanatory role (at the most fundamental level of reality in principle). If QM doesn't describe something - the mind in this case - then it would be something that doesn't admit to a physical explanation. I.E. not physical.
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popculturepooka
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7/15/2012 5:20:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/14/2012 12:06:22 PM, Wnope wrote:
This is only a problem under the Copenhagen interpretation that treats measurements separately from non-observer-driven inducers of decoherence.

Under Consistent Histories Interpretation (Decoherence) the "observer effect" is recognized for what it really is: nothing more than decoherence brought out not by the sentient observer but by the appartus that interacts with the system to be observed.

Once two quantum systems interact (as is the case when something is measured or something coheres/decoheres), you cannot accurately describe their functions independent of each other. That is, you are dealing with a new system.

If you want to know anything about that new system, you'd need some way to measure it, and that measurement would create a NEW system which needs a measurement and so on and so on. It's basically the effects you see in the Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle.

Haha, I'm not exactly sure what this means. :/ I need to brush up on QM.
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The_Fool_on_the_hill
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7/16/2012 9:01:20 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/10/2012 11:47:52 PM, Stephen Barr wrote:
Not in any direct way.
The Fool: you mean in an Appeal to ignorance way!!! We know that way!.
That is, it doesn't provide an argument for the existence of God.

Stephen Barr: But it does so indirectly, by providing an argument against the philosophy called materialism (or "physicalism"), which is the main intellectual opponent of belief in God in today's world.

The Fool:" It doesn't provide and argument for God but it does so indirectly." Poopculture did you actually read this first? LMFAO.

Stephen Barr: Materialism is an atheistic philosophy that says that all of reality is reducible to matter and its interactions.

The fool: not it's a atheist doctrine there is a lot of Christian positivist. Tboones is one. YWW is another. This is False. No honestly did you read this.

Stephen Barr: It has gained ground because many people think that it's supported by science.

The Fool: Most science it and of that nature.
They think that physics has shown the material world to be a closed system of cause and effect, sealed off from the influence of any non-physical realities --- if any there be.

The Fool: Oh yeah then what about randomness in quantum mechanics.

Stephen Barr: Since our minds and thoughts obviously do affect the physical world, it would follow that they are themselves merely physical phenomena.

The Fool: That is not an argument. That is a Bold assumption. I have some but obviously he doesn't.
No room for a spiritual soul or free will: for materialists we are just "machines made of meat."

The Fool: This is preaching to the converted, a physicalist would just say it can be explained by physical phenomena ,wrongly or rightly so.

Stephen Barr: Quantum mechanics, however, throws a monkey wrench into this simple mechanical view of things. No less a figure than Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, claimed that materialism --- at least with regard to the human mind --- is not "logically consistent with present quantum mechanics." And on the basis of quantum mechanics, Sir Rudolf Peierls, another great 20th-century physicist, said, "the premise that you can describe in terms of physics the whole function of a human being ... including [his] knowledge, and [his] consciousness, is untenable. There is still something missing."

The Fool: You don't' need a noble prize winner for the fact that there is inconsistency, in fact its very old, very very old, an physicalist could argue that just because we don't know the link now does't mean we won't know it later. That is no my position by I am showing how awful of a philosopher this guy is.

How, one might ask, can quantum mechanics have anything to say about the human mind?

THe Fool: this is getting stupid!! I am stopping here. LMFAO!!> ahahhahhahhahahhahhaahhaha!!!!
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
popculturepooka
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7/16/2012 6:29:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is against my better judgement...

At 7/16/2012 9:01:20 AM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 7/10/2012 11:47:52 PM, Stephen Barr wrote:
Not in any direct way.
The Fool: you mean in an Appeal to ignorance way!!! We know that way!.
That is, it doesn't provide an argument for the existence of God.


...what are you talking about? Okay.......

Stephen Barr: But it does so indirectly, by providing an argument against the philosophy called materialism (or "physicalism"), which is the main intellectual opponent of belief in God in today's world.

The Fool:" It doesn't provide and argument for God but it does so indirectly." Poopculture did you actually read this first? LMFAO.


...what are you talking about? What does this have to do with the discussion?

Stephen Barr: Materialism is an atheistic philosophy that says that all of reality is reducible to matter and its interactions.

The fool: not it's a atheist doctrine there is a lot of Christian positivist. Tboones is one. YWW is another. This is False. No honestly did you read this.


Global/ontological materialism/physicalism entails that a being such as God (classically defined) doesn't exist. One could be a materialist/physicalist (i.e. local materialism) about human persons but not globally.

Stephen Barr: It has gained ground because many people think that it's supported by science.

The Fool: Most science it and of that nature.
They think that physics has shown the material world to be a closed system of cause and effect, sealed off from the influence of any non-physical realities --- if any there be.

The Fool: Oh yeah then what about randomness in quantum mechanics.

Stephen Barr: Since our minds and thoughts obviously do affect the physical world, it would follow that they are themselves merely physical phenomena.

The Fool: That is not an argument. That is a Bold assumption. I have some but obviously he doesn't.

That logically follows from the premises that the physical world is causally closed and that mind and thoughts are causally efficacous.

No room for a spiritual soul or free will: for materialists we are just "machines made of meat."

The Fool: This is preaching to the converted, a physicalist would just say it can be explained by physical phenomena ,wrongly or rightly so.

Stephen Barr: Quantum mechanics, however, throws a monkey wrench into this simple mechanical view of things. No less a figure than Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, claimed that materialism --- at least with regard to the human mind --- is not "logically consistent with present quantum mechanics." And on the basis of quantum mechanics, Sir Rudolf Peierls, another great 20th-century physicist, said, "the premise that you can describe in terms of physics the whole function of a human being ... including [his] knowledge, and [his] consciousness, is untenable. There is still something missing."

The Fool: You don't' need a noble prize winner for the fact that there is inconsistency, in fact its very old, very very old, an physicalist could argue that just because we don't know the link now does't mean we won't know it later. That is no my position by I am showing how awful of a philosopher this guy is.


...what are you talking about? How does that make him an awful philosopher?

How, one might ask, can quantum mechanics have anything to say about the human mind?

THe Fool: this is getting stupid!! I am stopping here. LMFAO!!> ahahhahhahhahahhahhaahhaha!!!!

...what are you talking about? What is stupid?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
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7/16/2012 11:30:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/16/2012 6:29:23 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
This is against my better judgement...

At 7/16/2012 9:01:20 AM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 7/10/2012 11:47:52 PM, Stephen Barr wrote:
Not in any direct way.
The Fool: you mean in an Appeal to ignorance way!!! We know that way!.

That is, it doesn't provide an argument for the existence of God.


...what are you talking about? Okay.......

Stephen Barr: But it does so indirectly, by providing an argument against the philosophy called materialism (or "physicalism"), which is the main intellectual opponent of belief in God in today's world.

The Fool:" It doesn't provide and argument for God but it does so indirectly." Poopculture did you actually read this first? LMFAO.


...what are you talking about? What does this have to do with the discussion?

The Fool: In some explanations contradictions are bad new bears. sorry for my foolish.

Stephen Barr: Materialism is an atheistic philosophy that says that all of reality is reducible to matter and its interactions.

The fool: not it's a atheist doctrine there is a lot of Christian positivist. Tboones is one. YWW is another. This is False. No honestly did you read this.


Global/ontological materialism/physicalism entails that a being such as God (classically defined) doesn't exist.

The Fool: Classically defined. It doesn't follow necessity that God doesn't exist. Secondly its not it not an argument for God anyways. Immaterial is just not-material. it does/t say what is. Thus just from the first few sentences you can already see the argument from ignorance coming. Things are not necessary designatted by the 'word' material. Nothing elss follows from that.

One could be a materialist/physicalist (i.e. local materialism) about human persons but not globally.

Stephen Barr: It has gained ground because many people think that it's supported by science.

The Fool: If science was defined as natural philosophy, It would would follow by definition.

They think that physics has shown the material world to be a closed system of cause and effect, sealed off from the influence of any non-physical realities --- if any there be.

The Fool: Oh yeah then what about randomness in quantum mechanics.

Stephen Barr: Since our minds and thoughts obviously do affect the physical world, it would follow that they are themselves merely physical phenomena.

The Fool: That is not an argument. That is a Bold assumption. I have some but obviously he doesn't.

That logically follows from the premises that the physical world is causally closed and that mind and thoughts are causally efficacous.

No room for a spiritual soul or free will: for materialists we are just "machines made of meat."

The Fool: 'soul' just comes from the word 'mind' they were the same. So only someobody who doesnt know anybetter or who is converted is going to by that.
Spiritual comes from: breath air.

The Fool: This is preaching to the converted, a physicalist would just say it can be explained by physical phenomena ,wrongly or rightly so.

Stephen Barr: Quantum mechanics, however, throws a monkey wrench into this simple mechanical view of things. No less a figure than Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, claimed that materialism --- at least with regard to the human mind --- is not "logically consistent with present quantum mechanics." And on the basis of quantum mechanics, Sir Rudolf Peierls, another great 20th-century physicist, said, "the premise that you can describe in terms of physics the whole function of a human being ... including [his] knowledge, and [his] consciousness, is untenable. There is still something missing."

The Fool: You don't' need a noble prize winner for the fact that there is inconsistency, in fact its very old, very very old, an physicalist could argue that just because we don't know the link now does't mean we won't know it later. That is no my position by I am showing how awful of a philosopher this guy is.


...what are you talking about? How does that make him an awful philosopher?

The Fool: because a philosopher wouldn't go that route that are already to many bold assumptoin. The i"dea" f soul being something other then mind is begging the question of the bat, of spiritual r

How, one might ask, can quantum mechanics have anything to say about the human mind?

THe Fool: this is getting stupid!! I am stopping here. LMFAO!!> ahahhahhahhahahhahhaahhaha!!!!

...what are you talking about? What is stupid?

The approach. It a theologins approach, a philosopher can't start of from bible princibles off the bat. For even the ideas beg the queston of the bible. So the gig is up from the start..
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
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7/16/2012 11:33:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/14/2012 11:39:55 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Cont.

At 7/11/2012 Stephen Barr wrote:
That's why, when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an "observer," said no, explaining that "the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requiressomebodywho knows." Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.

But what if one refuses to accept this conclusion, and maintains that only physical entities exist and that all observers and their minds are entirely describable by the equations of physics? Then the quantum probabilities remain in limbo, not 0 and 100% (in general) but hovering somewhere in between. They never get resolved into unique and definite outcomes, but somehow all possibilities remain always in play. One would thus be forced into what is called the "Many Worlds Interpretation" (MWI) of quantum mechanics.

In MWI, reality is divided into many branches corresponding to all the possible outcomes of all physical situations. If a probability was 70% before a measurement, it doesn't jump to 0 or 100%; it stays 70% after the measurement, because in 70% of the branches there's one result and in 30% there's the other result! For example, in some branches of reality a particular nucleus has decayed --- and "you" observe that it has, while in other branches it has not decayed --- and "you" observe that it has not. (There are versions of "you" in every branch.) In the Many Worlds picture, you exist in a virtually infinite number of versions: in some branches of reality you are reading this article, in others you are asleep in bed, in others you have never been born. Even proponents of the Many Worlds idea admit that it sounds crazy and strains credulity.

The upshot is this:if the mathematics of quantum mechanics is right (as most fundamental physicists believe), and if materialism is right, one is forced to accept the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics. And that is awfully heavy baggage for materialism to carry.

If, on the other hand, we accept the more traditional understanding of quantum mechanics that goes back to von Neumann, one is led by its logic (as Wigner and Peierls were) to the conclusion that not everything is just matter in motion, and that in particular there is something about the human mind that transcends matter and its laws. It then becomes possible to take seriously certain questions that materialism had ruled out of court: If the human mind transcends matter to some extent, could there not exist minds that transcend the physical universe altogether? And might there not even exist an ultimate Mind?


I'm always a bit leery about these arguments from quantum mechanics because it seems so mysterious and not well understood right now...but there it is.

The Fool: I don't think any of the many of the philosopher of mind think that Super AI is any where near close if ever. its old. and it end with argument from not ness.

Could it not be? You find me a professional non-theist philosopher arguiing from notness postition. he is for the converted already.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL